• 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 28


Chapter 28:

Now...

The battle at the base of Canterlot mountain raged on, as both sides tore into each other mercilessly. The Minotaurs battered and smashed the earth ponies and unicorns, as both sides continued to fall in droves. Lightning barely avoided one such blow, ducking down as the bovine warrior swung at him, then horse-kicked the foe in the skull, sending the raging beast crashing to the ground.

"Nice shot, Lightning!" Fireball called out. The unicorn zapped one of the Strydons above, sending it tumbling to the ground. "Everybody keep it up!"

"Look out, Thundercloud!" Ice Crystal cried out in warning, soaring overhead. "There's a Strydon on your tail!"

"I'm on it!" The other Pegasus replied, as the miniature dragon closed in on him. The Strydon let loose with a burst of fire, which Thundercloud dodged by performing an inside out loop. Getting behind the monster, he mentally called down a bolt of lighting from the cloud above, searing the strydon's wing. The creature shrieked, and plunged from the sky in a tailspin.

"Happy landings!" The stallion called after the falling strydon. "Hey Tornado, you better pick up the pace if ya want to catch up with our kill count!"

"Oh dear..." Tornado replied nervously, creating micro-tornadoes that blew the minotaurs off their feet. "I don't seem to ba able to keep up with you."

"Aw, you never were good at combat, old buddy!" Sunburst yelled to his friend, as his rider speared another Minotaur. "Just try to stay out of the way... and keep your eyes open! Somebody has to write about our awesomeness!"

Tornado nodded, holding back as his friends tore into the enemy army. Looking to the castle atop Canterlot mountain, he silently hoped that his wife and the others would be alright.

"Stay Safe, my love." The blue unicorn thought to himself.

...

The six ponies arrived at the top of the mountain, surprised and yet relieved that they had encountered no guards or resistance. The six of them stepped onto the cracked and broken stone streets of Canterlot, as a chilly wind blew through the roofless houses and buildings. All of them would have been filled with reverence and awe at the sight of the ruins surrounding them... if it wern't for the tense situation at hand.

"Well, that was really easy!" Medley commented to the others. "We may just be able to walk right in!"

"Too easy, if ya ask me!" Firefly exclaimed. "This has all the signs of some kind of trap!"

"And that's exactly what it is, my dear little ponies!" A slimy looking Zebra hissed, cracking his hooves. "You were all lured up here, so's that we could get a chance ta greet you personally!" The Zebra trotted out from behind one of the ruined buildings.

"ZEB! You slimy scuzzball!" Bow Tie snorted, her nostrils flaring in anger at the sight of the zebra who had destroyed her hometown. "Girls, you go on ahead to Tirek. This piece of slime is mine!"

"Oh, they're not going anywhere, I'm afraid." Katrina stepped out of the shadows. "I'll entertain the rest of these ponies, Zeb, while you're busy with the blue mare!" The feline sorceress flashed a toothy grin, and her paws crackled with magic.

"That does it! This witch is toast!" Glory stamped her hoof. "Medley and I'll take care of her Twilight, you three go on ahead."

"W-we will?" Medley asked nervously.

"Wait, we should stick together!" Twilight started to protest. But the other two ponies were already rushing forward, leaving the pink unicorn to only sigh and run after them.

As they approached the entrance to Canterlot Castle, the three mares ground to a halt in front of the massive doors.

"Well, this is it!" Twilight took a sharp breath, and motion for the other two to open the door.

As AJ and firefly pushed the gigantic door open, the shadowy form of a pony trotted into the light.

"Hello, Y'all!" A foul, guttural voice greeted them. "Mastah Tirek sent me up here ta greet 'ya!"

Applejack suddenly turned pale, and let out a whinny of terror. The other ponies, while not recognizing the stallion, were still horrified at what they saw.

"B-bronco! But you're dead!" AJ shrieked in terror. "This isn't possible! THIS CAN'T BE REAL!"

The pony before them bore a resemblance to the earth pony Applejack remembered, but only a resemblance. Half of his body was rotted away in places, and the foul stench of the grave emanated from this undead pony. Firefly had to stop herself from throwing up in her mouth, when she thought she saw a worm crawling it's way out of one of his orifices.

"That's right darlin... Ah am dead. But good ole Midhnaight... ya'll know him as Tirek... brought me back as a fakie with a mind 'o mah own!"

"Twilight, you and Firefly go after Tirek." AJ hissed angrily. "I have a score to settle that's even older than either of you."

"But..." Twilight started, but then turned and galloped away in frustration. The two remaining ponies galloped onward through the endless hallways, until they finally came to the throne room.

"This is it." Twilight told her friend, swallowing hard. "You ready for the final battle?"

Firefly nodded. "Let's do this!" The two burst through the throne room door together.

The large chamber was dark, and the two ponies could only make out shapes (a sign the darkness was magically induced). The two ponies trotted carefully into the room.

"Dark Lord Tirek, we've come top put an end to your tyrannical reign!" Twilight called out to the shadows. "I command you to show yourself!"

"Ah, Twilight Shine! I have been expecting you!" A hideous laugh echoed from the throne. "I was hoping you and your friend would make it this far!" With a wave of his hand, Tirek lifted the veil of darkness from the room.

His voice dripped like battery acid, and the hate that burned his his eyes was far more terrifying than a thousand nightmare moons. The sight and sound of the intimidating dark lord almost caused the two mares to cower in fear.

"We're here ta put a stop to ya hornhead!" Firefly snapped. "We kicked yer can in before, and we can do it again!"

"Oh I'm afraid not, my dear." The dark lord snapped his fingers. "For I have a special event to entertain you!"

An image of the battlefield suddenly appeared in front of the two ponies, projected by the dark lord's magic. They saw the battle raging below, but they then noticed, to their utter horror, something cutting a magma trail around the edge of the battlefield.

"The lava demons!" Twilight shrieked. "They're carving out the crust, right down to the magma!"

"Yes, and when they are finished, they can flood the entire battlefield with lava!" Tirek bellowed.

"But, you'll kill your own troops, too!" Firefly whinnied in anger. "You'd really sacrifice them to defeat us?"

Gladly, if it will see the end of you accursed ponies!" The dark lord snarled.

"Twilight, deal with this loser!" Firefly snorted. "I'll go warn the others!"

Before Twilight could utter a word, the pink Pegasus quickly flew out of the chamber.

"That's better." The horned centaur grinned. "I prefer to entertain one guest at a time."

"So it's just down to me, huh?" The mare gathered up all of her courage, and addressed the dark lord in a defiant tone. "Before we fight, I just want to know...why?"

"Ah yes, the question that drove you on from the beginning." The dark lord replied with a grin. "Why did Equestrian civilization collapse? Why did I cause all of this pain and destruction to ponydom?"

Tirek leaned down on his throne, to stare directly at the frightened pink unicorn. "Because I used to be one of you!"

"What?" Twilight whinnied in shock. "You were a pony?"

It was at this point, the dark lord's body turned into a cloud, that twisted and contorted down into the shape of a black unicorn stallion- only slightly bigger than Twilight, and far less threatening than the dark lord. It was so convincing, Twilight had to keep reminding herself it was only an illusion.

"Best at magic in my class." His malevolent voice hissed, changing into the voice of a normal pony. "After my parents died, I became Princess Celestia's 'personal student'. Learned my magic directly from her highness, because she said I was special, that I had a raw talent that she had never seen in a pony before!"

"You were Celestia's personal student?" Twilight yelled in shock. "But they why did you-"

"She found a student with more magical potential! A little purple unicorn filly, who could hatch a dragon's egg!" The dark unicorn trotted in a circle around Twilight, whipping his tail in her face. "After that, I became just another gifted student at the academy. Oh, I made friends... even went to ponyville and found a wife! But I never was able to live up to how 'special' your ancestor was!"

"So, you struck back at Celestia, by striking at ponykind." Twilight replied, realization dawning on her. "You killed Celestia, and destroyed her kingdom out of spite and revenge."

"Oh, I must admit... I couldn't have done it without help." The black unicorn laughed. "Discord was the one who actually killed Celestia, though it was I who freed him. And it was Grogar who slew Princess Luna... though I was the one who gave him his power in the first place!" The stallion turned to face Twilight again. "Even if it wasn't me directly causing the suffering, I was always pushing Equestria onward to chaos- raiding border towns, taking pony slaves- even as the kingdom rotted from within, perishing under it's own steam!"

"And you changed yourself into an immortal centaur, and have been torturing ponykind ever since!" Twilight Shine took a fighting stance. "And now you've got me here, to take your final revenge on Twilight Sparkle's descendant!"

"That is an added bonus, yes." The pony moved back up to his throne, even as his form began to shift back to being a centaur. "But my true plan has been to extend ponykind's suffer out as long as possible, before I deliver the final, killing blow!" The huge horned centaur crossed his arms. "Now, you shall be the first to suffer, as all of the equine race dies!"
...

Queen Majesty's Sky Skimmer Carriage swung in over the battlefield, the two Pegasus pulling it stayed high enough to avoid being attacked. The queen, in her ancestral platinum armor and crown, glinted in the sun so much, that the Pegasus guards feared they would be spotted by the enemies below. But if any of the combatants even saw the yellow carriage with pink wheels soaring overhead, none of them showed they did so.

"My word, it's utter chaos down there!" Majesty whinnied. "Guards, land us outside that magma river, just beyond the battlefield!"

"As you wish, my Queen!" One of the stallions replied, his golden armor shining in the sun.

The chariot pulled in for a landing, out beyond the scene of the fighting. But just as it's spinning wheels came to a stop on the soft earth, two canine-like forms suddenly exploded out of the ground, lunging at the Pegasus.

"It's the diamond dogs!" One of the guards yelled, as the dogs pulled him and his companion to the ground.

Two more of the monsters popped out of the ground, on either side of the carriage, startling Majesty.

"It queen pony! She have rainbow of light!" One of the diamond dogs yelled, pointing at the locket around Majesty's neck. "Get queen pony!"

Majesty let out a panicked whinny, as five of the diamond dog swarmed over her chariot.