• Published 17th Nov 2011
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Twilight Then, Twilight now - Paradise Oasis



From across time, Two different ponies named Twilight are drawn into a mystery transcending the ages

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Chapter 25

Chapter 25

Then...

The Trolls outside of town hall saw the goblins running out in a panic, and go scurrying into the streets. They scratched their heads in dim-witted confusion, unsure of what was going on. Nothing could prepare them, however, for what was about to happen next.

The very ground beneath their feet stared to rumble, as what sounded like a thousand hooves thundered from the building they were guarding. Everything was silent for a moment, before a stampede of ponies exploded from the doors and windows! Swarming out onto the streets, the vengeful herd attacked every goblin and troll in sight. Earth ponies charged at panicked Troggles, running them down, and stomping them to death with their hooves. Unicorns blasted away at the trolls and goblins both- blowing holes in the smaller beasts, while hitting the trolls in the face, while the Pegasus flew under their clumsy feet to trip them up. As each monster was brought down, ponies of all three kinds swarmed over them, stomping and biting their terrified foes to death.

It didn't take long, however, for the surprised goblins and trolls to fight back. The were soon bashing ponies skulls in with clubs and knives, killing as many equines as were killing them. What was left of the city guard, having recovered their weapons and armor, charged in after the civilian ponies. They skewered trolls on their spears, and hacked away at goblins with their blades. The tide soon turned against Grogar's forces, however, and the ponies slowly drove the Troggle hordes back.

The four harmony bearers came galloping out of the hall, and were horrified at the sight of the blood-filled streets spread out before them.

"T-they're slaughtering them." Rarity muttered, stunned. "The soldiers are actually using their weapons to kill their opponents!"

"T-the Canterlot guards only use their Spears to scare bad guys, or wound them!" Fluttershy whimpered in shock. "This is simply awful!"

"Whaddya think ponies used those weapons for, back before Equestria was made?" Rainbow Dash snorted, looking out at the carnage grimly. "They're simply givin' back the goblins what they did, when they invaded the city!"

"That don't matter right now!" Applejack yelled. "Rainbow Dash, y'all and Rarity need ta lead these ponies tuh the hole in the wall, and get em' outta the city!"

"W-what about me?" Fluttershy asked timidly.

"The battle seems to have moved away from the hospital." Rainbow Dash answered. "You need to fly over there, and get Pinkie Pie and Hopper out!"

"And you, AJ?" Rarity asked.

AJ was about to answer, when she saw a familiar form in a cowboy hat emerge from the mists.

"Hello, darlin!" The cruel cowpony sneered at her. "Ah finally found ya. Miss me?"

"Ah got mah own business ta take care of." AJ snorted, scraping the ground with her hoof angrily. "Now you three get outta here!"

As the other three mares galloped and flew away, the two cowponies glared angrily at each other.

"Ah been watin' for a throwdown with y'all, ya ornery mare." Bronco whinnied furiously.

"I'm gonna whup yer hide boy!" AJ snorted angrily.

The two ponies circled each other, looking for an opening to attack.
...

As chaos reigned in the city below, so did the battle rage in the skies above. The rainbows of light and darkness spun and swirled in the sky like dueling dragons, smashing into each other again and again, creating sparks and flashes as they struggled against each other.

"What's wrong, old friend?" Midnight taunted the other pony, standing across from him on the cliff. "Afraid your precious little toy cannot stand against the power of darkness?"

"Darkness must always give way to light, Midnight!" The white unicorn snapped back. "You've deluded yourself into thinking otherwise!"

The two unicorns were simply staring at each other, sweat trickling from their manes. Each had to pour their entire concentration into controlling their respective rainbow, least their opponents get the advantage. Since they could not battle physically, the two had to settle for sparring with words.

"How could you do it, Midnight?" Sky Runner growled. "How could you sell your own kind down the river to a bunch of barbarians?"

"Progress requires sacrifice." Midnight replied grimly. "What I do is for the greater good of our race, can't you see that?"

In the Sky overhead, Darkness slammed into Light, as the two bows pushed up against each other.

"It's only a matter of time, Sky." Midnight snorted. "The Equestria I fashion from the ashes of Tambelon, will be a better world!"

"Tell that to the thousands of dead ponies, who were slaughtered because of your actions!" Sky whinnied back. "Tell it to their families who will have to bury them!"

"They'll all thank me for the paradise I shall create for them!" Midnight roared. "They'll all see my way is right!"

"And what about Ditzy, Midnight? What about your wife?" Sky Runner drove the final dagger home. "When she finds out what you've done, she'll hate you forever!"

At the Mention of Ditzy Doo's name, the black unicorn's eyes went wide with rage. "AGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!"

It was all the opening Sky Runner needed. Spinning around, the white unicorn horse-kicked Midnight with his hind legs, The blow sent him flying high into the air.... right into the path of the dueling rainbows.

"SKKKKKKYYYYYYY RUUUUUUNNNNEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!" Midnight howled, as the two Rainbows carved into his flesh like meat cleavers. Sky Runner had to turn away, as his opponent tumbled back to the ground. The Rainbow of Darkness, no longer having a will to drive it, flew back into the pouch around Midnight's neck.

"Midnight!" Sky Runner ran up beside the pony he had called friend, only to see a scarred and charred husk of meat that was barely alive laying on the ground. Sky even noticed the two rainbows had burned one of Midnight's eyes out of it's socket.

"I am sorry old friend." Sky Runner whinnied sadly, as the rainbow of light returned to it's locket. "But your mind has been poisoned by that thing. You left me no choice."

The white unicorn levitated a rope out of his bag, and bound the unconscious Midnight up. As he placed a spell casting block enchantment on his vanquished foe, Sky Runner hoped the ponies fighting below were faring just as well.

...

Still groggy and woozy, Hopper's eyes slowly opened to the sight of a hospital room.

"Ungh... That arrow must have been a doozy." Trying to pull himself up to his hooves, the stallion found he was still wobbly. Noticing he was on a hospital bed, Hopper looked around at his surroundings.

"What in the name of Celestia?!?!" To his horror, the stallion noticed the goblin corpses lying on the floor. "Oh flank... the Troggles must have invaded the town!"

It was at that point he heard a mare's sobbing coming from over in the corner. "P-Pinkie Pie? Pinkie?" He stumbled over to her. "Are you ok?"

The pink pony looked up at him, and her eyes went wide. "Hopper!" The weeping mare hugged her lifemate tightly. "I was so afraid you'd never wake up!"

"W-what happened here?" He asked her. But Pinkie's only response was to tear up. He held her tightly in his hooves, even as a yellow Pegasus flew in the window.

"Pinkie! Hopper!" Fluttershy exclaimed as she saw them. Her eyes then went wide at the sight of the two dead goblins. "WHAT HAPPENED HERE?" She shrieked.

"The staff had all run away, and lest us here all alone. I-I had to protect Hopper..." Pinkie Pie said nervously. "I had to protect Hopper.." She burst into tears again.

The stallion quickly realized what had happened. "Pinkie... you did what you had to do... they would have killed us both if you hadn't stopped them."

Fluttershy, already finding herself starting to numb to the shock of seeing such violence, spoke up. "Pinkie, we've got to get out of here! The girls are leading all of the other ponies out of the city! Booker and the stallions are heading for the lab to stop Grogar!"

"They're what?!?" Hopper whinnied.

"Booker said something about a weapon, I think." Fluttershy looked at Pinkie Pie. "We need to get out of here, now!"

"Ok, your right. C'mon, Hopper, lets-" She looked, and saw he was already galloping away. "Hopper? Where are you-"

"He 's probably going to help Booker and the others." The yellow Pegasus answered. "Now, we need to go, too!"

"What? NO! Hopper, Come back!" Pinkie tried to charge after him, but the already-exhausted earth pony was dragged along, by a surprisingly strong Fluttershy. "HOPPER!!"

...

Bronco and Applejack plowed into each other- biting, whinnying and snorting. AJ reared up, and kicked the stubborn stallion away from her. Pulling away, the two glared at each other again.

"Ya know, it's funny, darlin'." Bronco snorted with fiendish glee. "Midnight n' Grogar are payin me a freakin' fortune ta help them. But personally, I'm doin it just fer fun!"

"You sick monster!" AJ snorted at him. "Ah should rip yer innards out fer all ya done!"

The two charged at each other again. AJ bit him on the side, while he bit her on the flank. Bronco shoved her back again.

"Ah didn't have ta end up like this, ya know!" He snorted. "If ya'll coulda showed me some compassion an' takin a shine ta me like the other mares did to their fellers, ah mighta considered turnin on Grogar an prevented this!"

"Ah didn't treat ya bad cause ah wanted ta be mean, Bronco!" Applejack snorted at him. "Ah treated yah badly cause of yer foul attitude.. an the darkness ah sensed in yer heart!"

The two charged at each other again, both rearing up, and kicking at each other with their front hooves. Both landed a blow on each other at the same time, sending their opponent flying back. But as AJ pulled herself back up to her hooves, Bronco was on her again.

"Ah'll rip yer throat out!" Bronco roared, locking his teeth onto her throat. Blood oozed out of the open wound.

"AAAHHHHH!" The earth mare wailed, trying to shake her opponent off. Struggling against the stronger stallion, she finally spun and kicked him with her rear legs, sending the stallion flying backwards.

"Agrrhhh!" Bronco wailed, as he was sent flying backwards onto the street. "Ah'll kill ya, ya filthy stinkin mare!" He roared. AJ galloped away towards the city wall, with the bloodthirsty stallion in hot pursuit.
...

On the roof of the Tambelon watchtower, Grogar looked out at the damaged city. This was his first conquest, his first step in subjugating Equestria. On the streets below, the goat could see the swarm of Ponies overwhelm his forces, and make their way towards the opening in the wall.

"Let them run!" The tyrant gloated to himself. "They will perish sooner or later as my war against Ponykind spreads!"

Even as he was gloating, Grogar heard the hoofsteps of a small purple unicorn come up the steps behind him.

"Twilight Sparkle." He grunted. "So glad you could make it to the party."

"Grogar of Manehatten, your reign of terror has come to an end!" Twilight replied, charging up her horn. "I'm here to stop you!"

"Oh how cliched, Miss Sparkle!" The goat tyrant roared with laughter. "But what did I expect from Celestia's sheltered bookworm pet!"

She fired a blast at him, which he easily blocked with an energy shield. Charging energy in his horns, the goat fired a blast back at her, which the unicorn rolled out of the way to avoid. "Is that the best you've got?" Twilight yelled defiantly.

"Not by a long shot!" Grogar howled back. The bell around his neck glowed, as he tore a gargoyle loose off of a nearby building, and sent it hurling at Twilight. She shattered it with a blast from her horn, then tore a chimney free from another roof, and hurled it at him.

"Looks like my magic can keep up with your little toy there!" The purple unicorn snapped back.

Grogar lasted the levitated chimney. "Yes, but for how long?" He countered. The goat fired blast after blast, which Twilight teleported to avoid. She fired off several shots of her own when she had an opening, and one of them actually managed to get though.

"AGGRRAAHH!" The goat tyrant roared, as a blast scorched his side. "Impudent unicorn! I shall splatter your innards all over the Streets of Tambelon!"

The goat released a mighty beam of magic, which Twilight countered with her own blast. The two met in the center of the roof, and pushed back and forth against each other. The purple unicorn strained with all of her might, and for a few moments it looked as if her beam was going to actually reach Grogar.

"End of the road, goatboy!" Twilight whinnied triumphantly.

"That's what you think, equine!" Grogar snapped back.

But while a unicorn needed to stop and rest to recharge their magic, Grogar's bell seemed relentless and inexhaustible. The goat's dark energies finally overwhelmed the small purple unicorn, and she had to throw up a quick energy shield to protect herself. The force of the blast still send her hurling off of the roof, and tumbling towards the street below.

"Aieee!" Twilight yelled, as she instinctively teleported herself to the street below. She then took off in a gallop towards the spot where the other ponies were fleeing from the city.

"Yes! Run, little pony, run!" Grogar yelled in triumph. "Flee back to your precious princess, and tell her that her doom is nigh!"

"I hope I bought Booker enough time..." Twilight thought to herself. "Good luck, my love!"

....

The five stallions slowly made their way up the steps to the top of the laboratory, fighting off Goblins and trolls as they went. As they began climbing on of the stair flights, Booker and his friends found themselves with goblins coming at them from the front.

"Avian, take care of this!" Booker yelled. The Pegasus bird handler gave a whistle, calling in a pair of phoenixes. The pair attacked the goblins, and set them ablaze.

"Good job, my friend!" Slick yelled, as the five burning fiends tumbled off the stairs. "But we need to keep moving!"

As they continued up the stairs, they saw several goblins skittering up the walls after them. Reaching into his pouch, Shureshot pulled out a weird looking... mini-canon that he held in his mouth. He fired several rounds of magical shots at the goblins, sending them screaming into the darkness below.

"What the heck is that thing?" Avian asked in confusion.

"Magic Cannon. My grandpa use to use it for trick shooting at the Canterlot rodeo." He slipped it back into his bag. "He taught me how to use it when I was little."

"No wonder you're called 'Sureshot'" Booker replied.

"But it was meant to entertain ponies, not to be a weapon." His ears drooped "I never thought I'd be using my grandpa's gift as a killing tool."

They finally made it to the top, where the large bell hung. "This is it, guys. Time for the final curtain!" Booker looked at all of them. "It's been an honor being friends with all of you!"

They all smiled at him, but they were interrupted by a horde of goblins coming up the stairs.

"Incoming!" Slick yelled. "Extra large swarm!"

"We gotta hold them off!" Avian yelled.

The four stallion attacked the monsters- Slick and Booker with their magic, Avian dive bombing them, and Sureshot with his rifle-like cannon. They were managing to hold the tide back, but it was taking all of their effort.

"I can't get a clear shot at the bell!" Booker yelled, blasting troggle after troggle."If I turn away, they'll reach us!"

"Nor can I!" Sureshot kept picking them off.

"Leave it to me!" An earth pony yelled, popping in through the window.

"Hopper!" They yelled in unison. "You're all right!"

"How did he get in through the window?" Slick asked, blowing away another goblin.

"It's Hopper. Do you really need to ask?" Sureshot replied, firing away at the swarm.

"Hopper, hit the bell, now!" Booker yelled up to him.

"Okey dokey!" He replied, jumping at the large bell, and slamming right into it.

...

At the city's wall, Rainbow Dash dove at goblin after goblin- kicking them out of the way, and clearing the path for the stream of refugees.

"Hurry up, you guys!" She yelled back at the other Pegasus. "Try and keep up!"

The winged horses followed her over the wall, while Rarity led the unicorns and earth ponies out thought the giant hole.

"That's about everpony!" Rarity yelled up to Rainbow Dash. "All of the Pegasus accounted for?"

"All but the few we know are still in the city!" The blue Pegasus called out. "And look up there!"

The two of them saw a low flying Fluttershy, half dragging a struggling Pinkie Pie through the wall. Behind her, they saw a large troll thundering towards her.

"Rarity, we have to help them!" Rainbow Dash yelled. She dove at the monster, flying in circles around his head. "Hey, fatso! Bet ya can't catch me!"

The troll swatted and swung at the Pegasus, while Rarity surprised it with a blast to the face. The troll tumbled off it's feet, while Fluttershy flew out past him.

"Good Job, you two!" Twilight Sparkle told them, galloping out past the fallen foe. "That only leaves AJ and the guys!"

BONG!

The sound of the ringing bell echoed through the city, stunning both the ponies and Grogar's forces. It caused most of them to stop in their tracks.

"What's that?" Twilight asked. "What's going-"

BONG!

Stretching out from the laboratory, a huge energy shield enveloped the entire city. As the sides of the giant energy sphere covered the town, Applejack ran straight towards the gap in the wall the others had escaped through. The energy wall came straight down on her, causing her whole body to spasm in shock.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAH!"

"Applejack!" Rarity shrieked.

"What's happening to her?!?" Fluttershy screamed.

"The chrono-field's tearing her between dimensions!" Twilight replied in a panic. "She's being ripped apart!"

BONG!

Behind the shield, Bronco came to a screeching halt stopping right in front of the barrier. "Darn ya, ya ornery mare! I'll still hunt ya down!"

"NOOOOOO!" Grogar screamed,watching the whole thing from the top of the tower, "This isn't over, ponies! I shall find a way back to this dimension! I shall slay your princess! I will burn Canterlot to the ground! I-"

BONG!

"Goodbye girls..." the five stallions said silently, looking out the window at the barrier.

FSHOOM!

The city of Tambelon vanished in a flash of light, leaving a large crater behind. Applejack fell to the ground, her body still sparking with the trans-dimensional energy.

"AJ! You ok?" The other five ran up to her scorched form, Twilight scanned her friend with her horn.

"She's going to be all right." Twilight Sparkle said reassuringly. "Though the energy may have affected her physiology."

As they stood over the unconscious AJ, Pinkie Pie suddenly remembered something they had momentarily forgotten about.

"Twilight, the city..." She said, looking at the crater in horror.

"The boys!" Rarity cried, panic rising in her throat.

"AVIAN!" Fluttershy cried out, dashing to the edge of the crater. "AVIAN NO!"

"Dammit Sureshot!" Rainbow Dash snorted, trying to hold back tears."You can't do this to me!"

"Booker, please don't..." Tears welled up in the book-loving unicorn's eyes. "It can't end like this... this story's supposed to have a happy ending..."

The screams and cries of five brokenhearted mares... were drowned out by the unfeeling, uncaring northern wind howling through the now-empty crater.