• Published 26th Sep 2015
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My Little Universe - EquestrianKirin



What happens when a group of magical ponies meet a group of magical, talking rocks? Tons of fun and Adventure!

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Equestrian Games

The situation was starting to become a bit more stressful when it came to the Gems, the Mane Six and Sombra. Day in, day out, there was more of a risk to the large unicorn causing more trouble, and they don't have Garnet with them for the moment either. First Steven became corrupted and disappearing, and now Ruby's gone, and Sapphire remained. For one thing, the ponies, along with some of the newer Gems of the group, were a bit new to having Sapphire alone around instead of Garnet. As for Steven, the clues as to where he ended up was, for a lack of a better word, shocking. Such a big creature, and with many eyes around Beach City, and still no sign of him anywhere. They could only wonder how such a large corrupted Gem simply disappeared out of the city. While every Gem was still a little bit busy in one endeavor, another thing represented itself.

The Equestrian Games.

Even with Steven still gone, and things still edgy, Rainbow Dash still had to be off on her way to the games, being a goal she'd been waiting to do for a long time before Steven went missing. On the train there, Rainbow Dash sat down by the window of her train kart, some other competitors were still getting themselves ready, though Rainbow Dash didn't feel as up for it, looking out her window at the passing scenery as they neared the Crystal Empire: where this year's games were being held. Nearby, her two teammates, April Showers and Sunshower Raindrops were both hanging out with Rainbow Dash, though April did notice that her teammate did seem a little bit out of it.

"Hey, you alright?" April asked. Rainbow got back to her senses.

"Huh? Uh, oh, yeah I'm fine, never better," Rainbow said, regaining her attitude. Sure, she was bummed out, but, she needed a good front for her friends to do better in the games.

"Great, cuz we're almost there! We'll show everypony what Ponyville's got," Sunshower said, full of enthusiasm. Rainbow only wished she had the same sort. Sure, she had enthusiasm for the games, but some of it was indeed blocked by some worry. Course, if somepony did find out not only about Sombra's return, but saw what he'd done so far, worry was almost a guarantee. Yet, she'd signed up fully to get herself going on these games, so, she can't ditch it now. She could only hope that her friends could at least come for this.

~~~~~~

After what felt like forever, the train had finally arrived at the empire in question. At least Sombra (for the moment) wasn't going after the place again, as it still appeared very great and bustling with activity from the crystal ponies. Rainbow, April, and Sunshower began to head off on their way, walking along through the empire, along the streets leading to the main sign-up. As they went through, Rainbow hovering all the while, the rainbow Pegasus was just hoping that her friends do show up, and hoping that everything works out for Steven and all. Sunshower flew over to Rainbow Dash, poking her head to get her back.

"Yo, come on Rainbow, we got this, why so glum?" Sunshower asked, trying to lift Rainbow's spirits. Rainbow landed; if she was going to keep zoning out like that, she at least needed to get them on the level so they wouldn't have too much trouble.

"Listen guys, things had been a bit rough for me, and I'm just trying to relax a bit, okay? Don't worry about a -" Rainbow was still moving on ahead, and wasn't exactly paying attention on where she was going until she bumped into one of the crystal ponies going about his business. When Rainbow looked, she actually jumped, thinking she'd just walked into Sombra, but some differences were noted. The crystal pony was black, with a black mane and tail, but he didn't look like and rough ruler honestly. His cutie mark was in the shape of a target, but other than that he seemed to be an ordinary male crystal pony. The item dropped was just some food from the market, which ended up all over the place on the ground. The pony gave a rough huff, as he began to pick everything up.

"Eh, sorry," Rainbow said. The crystal pony just got his stuff together, placed them back in his saddle bag, and started to head off. Not a word, not a smile, and he simply moved off. That seemed a bit off for the happy crystal ponies everywhere else: he stuck out completely like a sore thumb. Rainbow wasn't too sure about this pony. Aside from appearance alone, his behavior was simply out of place for all she knew. Every other pony appeared happy-go-lucky and cheerful, and he was simply the opposite. Course, maybe it was mostly from what he looked like, but, Rainbow wanted to put two-and-two together before their turn at the games.

"Let's get going then. Coming, Rainbow?" April asked, Rainbow began to fly again.

"Eh, I'll be with you in a bit; sign us up, I promise ill be back soon," Rainbow said, taking off before April or Sunshower could ask. Rainbow had kinda disappeared after a bit, so, following her wasn't an option. So, with a sigh, April and Sunshower both went off to sign themselves in.

~~~~~~

Back in Beach City, the town was still on the edge of things; Steven still missing. Soon, everyone started to get more involved in looking around for Steven, though saying he'd turned into some freaky creature might not be a good idea to pull off. Still, the Gems didn't count up on where Steven would go in all terms. Unknown to them: Steven himself had high-tailed it out of Beach City soon after encountering Sadie and Lars, and he'd been gone for quite sometime.

Out on the open plains, Steven kept wandering around for a bit. Without anyone eating to mirror, Steven had nothing to consume, as he continued onward through the quiet land. Even while wandering around, his moving about had lead him into dangerous landscape. He wandered so far, he began to reach a ominous, yet oddly familiar area of the world, as the colors of grass began to fade away. As he kept going through the darkened area, one of his back paws stepped on a branch, which literally disintegrated under paw. Soon, the corrupted lion ventured into the area in search of food. As he kept going, some of the area began to take shape: large cliffs forming up into a canyon around him, with signature holes, and machines all around the area.

He ended up back in the Kindergarten!

Steven continued to wander a bit more within the Kindergarten, not finding much of anything to even consider eatable, or even anything lively for that matter. All Steven heard was the sound of his four paws walking along the ground, and his own growl making echoes all over the place. The place hadn't changed all that much since Steven last past through here weeks ago, yet this corrupted Steven couldn't remember anything from that trip. As he kept going through, he started to feel a little bit uneasy, yet his own instincts kept him going along the trail for a while longer. For the time being, it seemed to be rather quiet until something ahead soon caught his attention. It sounded much like the Warp Pad at first, but then he heard what sounded like helicopter blades Steven his off behind some rocks as whatever it was came up into view. Flying above him looked like a Gem, though not one he'd recognize from before or during his corruption. He watched the Gem hover nearby one of the machines, looking over the status on it. After a little bit, she landed on the ground.

"This is Peridot: Data on Gemstone is showing signs of activity. Should be fully active in a few days time," she said as she worked out her screen. Seemed her last example to a particular Pegasus meant she had to come back to Earth to keep track of her little Gemstone in the Kindergarten. Steven, being an animal with no true threat towards himself, began to move out of hiding, as Peridot looked over the screen in front of her.

"Status on Experiment Gem activity going successfully, some had even emerged early -" Peridot glanced away from her touchscreen, and shrieked when she saw Steven sitting like a curious pup. Steven didn't do anything apart from tilting his head in confusion. Experiment gem activity? What did she mean by that? As for Peridot, it was a basic stare-off with her and Steven. For the next fifteen seconds, not a word was spoken, Peridot making sure nobody else was around for any extra surprises. She didn't want to be in another inconvenient tussle like last time. Yet, Steven was the only other thing there, and Steven didn't want to harm her exactly. In fact, Steven went over to her (despite Peridot aiming her blaster at him) and rubbed against her like a household pet. Peridot wasn't sure how to react to this sort of behavior, but at least it wasn't hurting her, though she noted the gem on the end of Steven's flower tail, which was in front of her face at one point. Peridot tried to ignore Steven to get to her own work, but Steven peeked over her shoulder, leaning against her back. Peridot couldn't focus like this.

"Uh ... Recording log 3 ... 4 - Get off me!" Peridot suddenly said, pushing the corrupted Gem away from her. Steven whimpered, but Peridot ignored him, as she continued her own work. Steven though didn't leave her just yet, looking at her touchscreen to see what's what. Peridot tried to turn her screen away, but Steven kept trying to see. Eventually, Peridot decided to fly away, hovering high enough with her finger chopper so Steven couldn't reach her. Soon, Steven finally got bored, and noticed the funny disk not too far away (Warp Pad). Curious, Steven went right over to it, getting onto it like a curious kitten. Steven's tail swished about while he looked it over, though his Gemstone caused a sudden reaction onto it. In short, the corrupted Gem was teleported away! For Peridot, she had gotten time to finish things up on her second trip.

~~~~~~

Whilst Steven's world was going along, the stuff going on back at the Crystal Empire seemed to go along its merry old way, with the excitement that the Equestrian Games was about to start soon. April and Sunshower both soon went on over to the main area, which was a large stadium within the empire for the competitors to begin. Sunshower was the one that signed their group up, showing their medals as a way of proof that they're qualified competitors. April though was a bit troubled over one thing: Rainbow. When to came to why she flew off, it was no complicated puzzle - she got curious over the black crystal pony, but just before the games could begin? Seriously, some timing to fly off and do something else, and to check out somepony else no less.

"You think Rainbow will come back in time?" April asked eventually, as Sunshower went back to her team mate.

"No sweat, Rainbow's faster than any of us. Besides, the air relay won't be for a while, so, she's got time on her hooves before she needs to come back," Sunshower pointed out, which was true. Course, asking the pony in charge of prescription helped too. Still, April needed to know exactly how much time Rainbow Dash had before it was their turn, so she went over to the counter.

"Uh, when is the aerial relay race? After how many other events, that is?" April asked. The counter crystal pony looked at his list, containing the names and events of which pony would be competing.

"Well, the aerial relay's after the iron horseshoe toss, the tag team race, four hoof long jump, and uh the hundred meter gallop. You've got quite a bit before you ponies go, why?"

"Oh, well I guess I might as well: one of our team members didn't arrive yet. She'll be around soon though," April clarified. However, if Rainbow would show up in time was her own guess - four games can go quickly if there were no delays to any of them. Besides, their own victory needed to work itself out with Rainbow, not without, and there's no time for any replacement pony to step in. The advisor worked out the names, and circled Rainbow's name amongst the list he had, adding a question mark just in case if Rainbow wouldn't show up in time. After getting themselves in, Sunshower and April began to walk off towards where the other competitors were.

"Oh, I hope Rainbow does show up in time for the games," April said on worry. Still, while April was more level-headed, Sunshower was more confident in Rainbow Dash.

"Don't get your mane in a knot, Rainbow will be back soon enough," Sunshower assured, as they went along. April sighed, taking a glance back outside. She knew Rainbow was fast, though she hoped Rainbow could be fast enough to catch up to them.

~~~~~~

Speaking of Rainbow Dash, the Pegasus was still keeping her eye on the peculiar black crystal pony. The crystal pony himself wasn't completely aware that he was being followed, Rainbow taking every chance to spy on him and keep out of sight. Be it behind a barrel, creeping around the many buildings, or hovering just out of sight, Rainbow kept a good eye on this pony. Even if this pony wasn't Sombra, he could easily be a worker under his command. After all, Ruby seemed to follow a similar color scheme to him, though lighter in overall color. The pony kept going along through the Crystal Empire for some time, further and further away from the more populated areas. It even got to the point when he started leaving the empire itself! Now Rainbow was for sure that the pony was up to no good - why would a crystal pony like him leave the Crystal Empire anyway? Rainbow quickly hid behind a roof side as he looked around. After a quick look, he quickly started to gallop away quick. As he did, Rainbow started to fly after him, keeping just out of sight from the black crystal pony. Along the brightly colored tundra plains and areas of snow, it was easy to track him as he began to near the mountains.

The pony began to gallop up the mountainside, surprisingly quick for a pony to scale such a mountain. Rainbow, having wings, began to scale the mountain after the crystal pony, the crystal pony galloping as if gravity wasn't affecting him. Suddenly, the incline quickly ended when the pony went into a mountainside cave. He took one more glance back before he slowed down. He rounded the corner within the cave when Rainbow landed. The cave was oddly well-maintained for a cave in the mountains, as she went along inside. The cave was pretty large, though not by much compared to her. She only went in just a little bit, and peeked around a corner to notice the same pony nearby a fire within the place. However, Rainbow then saw somepony else there. Scratch that - somebody.

The girl nearby looked rather young, with a green kimono for clothing. She had the look of a Japanese women, however with her hair and skin having a strong sea green color to it. From experience to Rainbow Dash, that kind of look only meant one thing, as the girl looked to her companion. To her surprise, the crystal pony suddenly began to shift and manifest into a human shape! He was a lot taller, close to Garnet's height. His body was covered in a sort of knight armor, his skin a dark grey and his hair black. Rainbow immediately knew what they both were by that point.

More Gems.

"Everything okay, Jade?" the male Gem asked. Jade looked over to him as he sat down by the fire. Rainbow also noted some crystals around them.

"Thank you, Flint," Jade said, as Flint gave her some bread he got from the Crystal Empire. Even if Gems don't need to eat, it was nice to get some treat time and time again for Jade. Rainbow kept an eye on the whole thing, doubting her own theory on him being apart of Sombra's evil crew. When she took a hoofstep forward, her hoof knocked some rocks forward by mistake, catching both of their attention. Jade felt a little bit worried, but Flint reacted with more threat. Rainbow moved back, hoping she didn't get anypony's attention, but when she took a quick look, she immediately noticed that her vision was nearly all grey. That was because she was staring right at the leg armor from Flint, who then had some sort of weapons at her: a pair of gun-like objects aimed right at her head. Rainbow quickly got airborne, wings spread out, as Flint ready to shoot.

"Hold it!" Rainbow shouted, though if it was anything like her encounter with Peridot, he wasn't gonna relent. Rainbow ended up dodging energy bullets, the Pegasus landed in sight of Jade by the fire. Flint aimed again, Rainbow scratching the ground with her hoof like a angry bull.

"Why'd you follow me here?" He demanded, his tone emotionless and firm. Rainbow tried to think, something that wasn't her best strong suit, especially when under pressure. Jade got up, about as tall as Rainbow was, as the Pegasus scrambled in her mind to find an answer for the seconds.

"I'm not here to hurt anypony, really," Rainbow got out, a bit quickly to get to the point. Flint however didn't place his weapons away.

She felt a strong sense of Deja vu from this: the encounter with Peridot mirroring this one. Only here, Fluttershy wasn't really involved, and he didn't come from any Warp Pad. The fact he was in Equestria with Jade was enough of a puzzle; only the Crystal Gems had the fancy keys as far as she knew. As for Flint, he gave a rather rough sigh before moving the weapons away from aim (though he kept them out just in case).

"Then why are you here?" He demanded.

"Uh ... Checking?"

"On what?"

Rainbow tried to think straight, but eventually she just got it out of her system.

"I thought you were an evil minion and I followed you so I'm sure, alright? You here to cause any trouble?" Rainbow asked, though Flint didn't look willing to talk. Like Rainbow though, Flint had his own protection over Jade in mind rather than like Peridot and her studies and check ups.

"E-Evil minion?" Jade said, first thing she said the whole time. Rainbow noticed that Jade's behavior reminded her of another Pegasus she knew ...

"Things had been a bit rough for me lately. Look, you two are Gems right?"

"You ... Know about Gems?" Flint asked, though his guard wasn't lowered for any moment. Rainbow wasn't sure if saying that was a good idea or not, but, she might as well roll with it.

"Sure I do. Some of my friends are Gems; Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, Lapis, Peridot - sort of -, plenty of them," Rainbow said. Flint took Rainbow's words with some salt, not finding that information any easier to swallow and take in. Eventually, Flint got his weapons lowered, and sat down by the fire. Rainbow wasn't sure if that was an invitation or a shunning, but Rainbow still had questions. An obvious one: how'd two Gems even get to Equestria anyhow? Far as she knew, their worlds are dimensions apart.

"How'd you know what our kind was?" Flint asked.

"Well, I've met them a while back, been at pretty cool levels with you Gems for a while now," Rainbow said, sitting down by the flame. The Pegasus was ready to either bolt or attack if provoked.

"Oh are you?" Flint noted, a bit rough in tone.

"Uh ... yeah, I am. Now, you two, what are you two doing here?" Rainbow asked, curious rather than rough in her tone. Oddly, it didn't seem to make anything better for herself and Flint ...

"That's none of your business, pony," Flint replied. Rainbow, looking at the weapons Flint still had out, didn't want to be pumped full of energy blasts, so, she decided to let him slide that time.

"Ok ... how are you here then?"

Still not much response from Flint. Jade had finished her bread by that point, but still kept quiet around Rainbow Dash. Being around Fluttershy, Rainbow knew how to handle ponies/people like this. So, she gave a gentle grin towards her, trying not to look threatening, yet Flint didn't seem like the Gem to take chances.

"So, you're an ally to homeworld," Flint assumed, readying to use his weapons on Rainbow's answer. The mention of that name made Jade a bit worried on the fact, but Rainbow Dash got herself a good answer that time.

"Eh, no I'm not, never been there. That where you two came from?" Rainbow asked, head tilted in wonder. Flint took a moment to see if Rainbow was really curious, or calling a bluff. However, she did seem truly confused on Homeworld. Sure, Rainbow had gotten some bit of information on homeworld from her time with Peridot, but not too much apart from their involvement on earth (not saying her brain didn't get plenty of info from that anyway). Flint and Jade looked to each other before Flint answered.

"All Gems come from there. We call it Homeworld for a reason," Flint said.

"All of you? But you two are here, aren't you?"

"We came from Homeworld, but we arrived here ..."

"Arrived? Wait, you're from another dimension, aren't ya?"

"Another planet. Now, you satisfied yet?" Flint asked. Rainbow knew this wasn't the best conversation, so, she just got up.

"Alright, I know when I'm not wanted," Rainbow said, started to go. However, Flint got out his weapon again.

"Not a word to anybody," Flint concluded. Far as he's concern, any Gem couldn't be worth their time, and if Rainbow did talk on about their true identities to anypony, then they'll be all over them. Rainbow nodded, getting the hint, before she went off outside. Besides, she had a game to catch up on.

~~~~~~

Back in the Crystal Empire, the games themselves were, by all means, beginning to start. So many of the seats were filled up all over the stadium, everypony can't wait for their teams to show what they're made of. Out on the field, the many teams were out there, ready for the games to start. So many of the teams were altogether in the arena, waiting for the signature torch to be lit - a main ideal for the games to start. thousands of ponies from all over Equestria, the crowds awaiting in anticipation for everything to begin. The place also had a sort of Royalty seating area, a number of royals sitting down awaiting for the event to begin. Like the other ponies, they've come from all over. Among those there included the princesses of Equestria themselves: Celectia and Luna. Other included Cadence, and a spot was open for Twilight Sparkle to have a seat. However, it was still bare for the time being, no other alicorn present.

"Strange. Twilight should've been here by now," Luna said, looking to Celestia. They both knew, for the most part, of Twilight showing up for the games themselves. Knowing how much she's strict on schedule, she should've come by now. Instead though, another pony, a Canterlot unicorn guard, ended up coming over to them both, a letter levitating by him.

"Message from princess Twilight," he informed, bringing the letter over to the princesses.

"Oh? Well, thank you," she said, bringing the letter over with her own magic. The guard nodded, and moved off back to his own post as Celestia and Luna both looked over the letter.

Dear Princess Celestia:

I know this is sudden, but, I'm afraid I can't join you at the games, something important had came up, and I can't put in any time to come back. I'm sorry about that, I hope I can make it up to you soon.

your faithful student: Twilight Sparkle

A rather interesting letter, all the same, and some odd notes were brought up. For one thing, this was Twilight that wrote the notice; a unicorn that wouldn't ever disappoint the princess, and a pony that was closest to her during her studies. Also, what was exactly important for her to abandoned the games themselves to do? She may not be apart of them, yet she'd at least show up for a bit so she'd see her friends compete...

Back at the main arena, for April and Sunshower amongst the group, things were getting edgy: Rainbow still didn't show up just yet from her little fly off from earlier, and they felt a bit out of place for being down one player. The other ponies to represent Ponyville also noted this, making the situation less durable.

"Rainbow, where are you?" April wondered quietly, looking around at the other teams for the aerial relay. She noted every single team was ready to go, all members present. Giffinstone, Manehatten, Cloudsdale for sure, they all had their teams altogether, though they both did see that the batpony team had switched one of their members, Loli Beats waving to them. April waved to her, but turned to Sunshower.

"It's going to be fine, Sunshower, she'll arrive, really," April said, though she was a bit worried all and all.

"Uh ... Okay," Sunshower said, eyebrow raised from April's worry. Sunshower had full confidence that a pony like Rainbow wouldn't ditch out on something this important. April sighed nervously, looking around the sky for some point when Rainbow would fly in. Soon, much to her delight, she then heard somepony come in from the competitors entrance: Rainbow Dash. Thank Celestia for that!

"Rainbow, there you are," April said, with a sigh of relief.

"And you were worried she wouldn't show up," Sunshower commented, nudging her on her shoulder.

"Sorry I was long. What'd I miss?" Before anypony could answer her, the grand equestrian torch was suddenly lit up, the flames launching upward for the games, as the ponies cheered on the event, as another pony went out to address; a white unicorn in Canterlot guard uniform.

"Let the Games begin!"

~~~~~~

For some time, the Games themselves had gone along with many a time for their different events to go underway, many ponies on the edge of their seats for which teams will take home the gold.

First event for the moment went on fairly well: the Iron Horseshoe Toss. Straightforward enough, the competitors basically were judged by overall length from their teams. When it came to support, most of it actually fell on Ponyville, but mainly because the team for that event had a white Pegasus with them that had muscles to rival five oxen! While the other teams proved a good challenge, it was really Ponyville who'd gotten the upper hoof, and won thanks to said Pegasus. While a pony from Appaloosa had gotten at least a good sixty seven total feet, Ponyville's highest was thirty two, giving them the total of seventy four (guess who got that high winning score).

For the next event, the Tag Team race (no need to explain how that worked), it was Appaloosa who'd won it by a mile. Although the teams from Cloudsdale and Transylmaneia were fast and got some good competition, Appaloosa had the advantage for Earth Pony raw power, and being overall used to galloping rather than flying. So, they got the win by a hair.

With the Four hoof long jump following, that was actually won over by the Manehatten team, but only by a very little bit (as in two points over Ponyville and Appaloosa).

As for the meter dash, there was actually some stalling on it due to it being won by both Appaloosa and Cloudsdale; a tie as of were. that was easily fixed though with a tiebreaker race, Cloudsdale winning by a hair.

Then came the aerial relay.

All the ponies got themselves positioned where they're supposed to be. In Ponyville's case, it was April, then Sunshower, then Rainbow Dash. For this fly about, it was a bit longer than the tryouts made it to be, many of the flying rings positioned practically all over for the event to go on. April was as ready as ever, though Rainbow took the moment of hover mode to think a bit on what was going on, even more so that she had a view of the royals, and noticed Twilight not seated. It was only another reminder of the predicament back in Beach City, and with Steven still corrupted, Sombra running around, and so on. Even if nothing bad was happening in Equestria per say, her friends were still going around back in the place. She could still remember plain as day the images of Sombra fighting them, and Steven's corruption right in front of her. The fact she couldn't do anything to stop it was a bit worse on her part.

Rainbow's thoughts kept her so distracted that she didn't notice the air rifle going off for the ponies to begin. April, at first, was making pretty good speed, but the other groups were pretty well in their field as well, with Griffinstone taking lead as they reached their second members. As they did, Rainbow still was distracted, as everypony focused more on the race itself. Without her friends to support, her mind ended up in a bit of a wrap-about, until.

"Rainbow!"

The voice suddenly snapped her back, when she saw Sunshower flying towards her. Rainbow snapped back into line, as she grabbed the horse shoe from her, and flew on ahead with the front ponies. Loli Beats, Spitfire, Grieva, and Rainbow Dash were in close ranks with each other for the first while, though Rainbow tried her best to at least focus on what she was doing, nevermind keep up. Rainbow was even in a good frontal lead for a good while, just a little bit in front of everypony else, but the flashes of what happened before were still in her mind, almost like a curse, as she tried to go on ahead, and stay ahead.

It was so bad, a small tear suddenly escaped her eyes ...

Something the competitors could see flying next to her.

The distraction finally pulled Rainbow back, Spitfire taking the gold while Rainbow slowed her flying in the air. The winners were given applause, but that was just the cover-up for Rainbow's decent to the ground. Despite that, Rainbow felt her tear move slowly down her face before finally dropping off of her face, and it was noted by the teams that noticed, yet Griffinstone didn't bother with it. The Wonderbolts landed nearby, Rainbow with her wings stretched to the ground and head lowered. Course, April and Sunshower flew over to her. The thoughts were simply a burden to the Pegasus.

"Hey kid, you alright?" Spitfire asked, taking off her goggles for a moment. Rainbow, realizing who was talking to her, tried to wipe away the seeping tear. Should she really tell them about Steven's world, and what's going on back there? She just spat it to two random Gems, but not only did they threaten her into saying it, but these ponies were unaware (as much) of what was going on. The Pegasus looked back at them.

"Yeah, I'm okay, just got something in my eye that's all," Rainbow Dash said, hoof pointing to her eye.

"Rainbow, something's wrong, what is it?" April asked, knowing that Rainbow wouldn't have something in her eye slow her down.

"I thought I'd told you already, mane," Rainbow said, getting annoyed with this attention. She messed up one time, and everypony ends up all over her about it! Annoyed, Rainbow started to go away in a huff, back to her group and the Wonderbolts. The rainbow pony had too much negative on her mind to think straight.

~~~~~~

Sometime later, Rainbow Dash had actually ended up outside of the stadium, needing some fresh air. Her friends weren't around to talk to, the competitors weren't helping either, and everybody in Beach City was still having their trouble. She felt like she wasn't supposed to be there, she should be looking for Steven instead, make sure he's okay. Sure, she knew well he's corrupted, but if he was still around that'll settle her nerves. She ended up pacing about in front of the place, her hooves making their pattern in the dirt. Eventually, the Pegasus was caught off guard by somepony else coming about towards her. Rainbow actually walked into her, only then realizing who it was, seeing her lighter rainbow mane flowing in some imaginary wind, and gentle expression.

"P-Princess!" Rainbow said, jumping back for a second on seeing her. Celestia herself looked down at Rainbow Dash, understanding her surprise on seeing the princess of the sun.

"Afternoon, Rainbow. Is everything alright?" Celestia asked. Rainbow needed a bit to realize what she meant, surprised to see the royal away from the booth without any guards about her.

"You too? I just got something in my eye, that's all really," Rainbow insisted, but Celestia knew better than that, her expression telling Rainbow that. She had to tell her, nothing to say not to.

"Things had been a bit edgy lately," Rainbow admitted. Celestia gently moved closer to her, the Pegasus sighing a bit.

"Care to share your troubles?"

"You sure? I don't know if you'll believe me," Rainbow said, dropping the royalty treatment for the moment. Celestia didn't mind that much, knowing Rainbow meant well. Celestia thought for only a little bit before she answered.

"It's about your friends."

"Well, Twilight and the others -"

"Your Gem friends."

Rainbow stopped; so, Celestia knew about the Gems now?

"Wait, how did you know about that?"

"They've visited a number of times, yes? It goes around after a while. Now, is it something with them?" Celestia asked. Rainbow looked away, as Celestia's wing rested on her back, the Alicorn keeping a motherly ear to Rainbow Dash. Rainbow looked up to Celestia; she might as well talk.

"In a way. One of my friends, he's named Steven. He'd gone missing sometime ago, and ... Well, he got corrupted."

"Corrupted," Celestia repeated.

"It's this odd state Gems fall into. And now, he's stuck as one ... I tried my best ..."

"Ooohhh. I see," Celestia asked, getting a better idea on Rainbow's situation. All Rainbow did was nod, but she felt like Celestia needed to know about the other issue.

"He ran off after that. And what's worse, we have a deadlier problem to deal with on top of that. He already took another friend away," Rainbow said, looking down at her hooves.

"And who's that?"

"Well ... King Sombra." That's when Celestia got the full, and scary picture; an enemy they thought gone for good came back, and he corrupted her friend and took another away from her. Rainbow moved off a little bit from Celestia's gentle hold, letting the princess have the info settle in.

"I wanted to do these games, but I feel simply out of it now ..."

"I see then. Then you go."

"You sure?"

"As true as I'm standing here. I'm sure they'll need you. I'll be sure to tell your team what you're doing, I promise," Celestia promised. Rainbow Dash could rely on her own God to get that message through for her. So, with a nod, Rainbow began to head off, away from the stadium. She achieved her goal; they qualified, they participated, and now Rainbow was free to head back to help the others. For Celestia, not only did it explain Rainbow's troubles, but also why Twilight wasn't present. It was something she had to look into.

Rainbow Dash, free, didn't stop her gallop until she was in a more remote area of the empire. After that, she got out her magic key, and looked for a good spot where she could go through, finding a good spot on the side of one of the crystal cottages. Good thing the games were still under way, otherwise the streets would still be full of crystal ponies. So, with no time wasted, she got her key working, and the portal to open up. With determination, she went right on through.

~~~~~~

Back at the Beach House, things had been a bit quiet. The only ones there for the moment were Lion and Blue, Lion outside the door while Blue was hanging out with him. Everybody/everypony else was still going around, though it'd been plenty long already. Blue was trying to play with Lion, but Lion wasn't as up for it like he was, even with at least five stick brought over to him for fetch. Lion couldn't bring himself to play anyway, with what had happened. He didn't know if Blue was either stupid, or let it by and moved on so quickly. As they were there, they both heard something go on inside the Beach House. Looking inside, the two noticed the signature door portal open up inside, Rainbow Dash landing in the Beach House.

"Alright, where are the others?" Rainbow said to herself, looking around. No one was there for the moment from where she was, so Rainbow started heading for the door, Lion and Blue both looking to her. Rainbow got out, but she didn't had time to catch up, and flew off to see where the others were. Blue rushed off to join her, but before Lion could go, he then heard something else inside. Soon after the door portal finished up, the Warp Pad suddenly went active. Looking inside, to his surprise, he saw the corrupted gem coming in from the other portal!

Just arriving after his little trip, Steven jumped right out of the Warp Pad second after landing, a little frazzled by the crazy warping. Lion, not saying a word, only watched as Steven began to look around his 'new environment'. Rather small to Steven, but it didn't sense any sort of danger inside of it. Lion couldn't get himself inside, since the door was shut, so Steven was alone and able to explore a bit. Steven's newfound curiosity got him into the kitchen, looking at his own reflection on the fridge. The reflection of Steven's mirror on the reflection gave off a sort of infinite effect, Steven shaking his head from getting a headache. Turning away, his tail knocked the door open, showing a good amount of food inside. Steven tried pawing at a jar of pickles, and eventually knocked over one of the milk cartons, which spilt onto the floor. Steven tried to have some, but could only move his mirror face on the floor, getting his petal mane wet with milk. Eventually, Lion somehow got the door open, catching Steven's attention. Lion didn't want him to run away again, but Steven was more curious than frightened over seeing Lion, head tilted. Lion was more curious over the reflection in the mirror though, sitting down right in front of him. Steven was bigger, but Lion still beat him in height thanks to his large mane. Lion and Steven had a stare-off for a good five minutes, both a bit confused overall on each other, until Lion looked down at the spilt milk. The milk started to go on Steven's Gem tail, Steven feeling a bit cold and moved away. Lion watched him bring his tail to the front of him, and he started moving his paws, grooming his own tail. Lion wasn't sure if he should go off, in risk of Steven running off again on them. So, Lion stayed by the door, sitting so the door was almost completely blocked by his body and mane, and then gave off a good loud roar, aimed right to the sky. The others couldn't had gone very far (Blue and Rainbow anyway), and Fulgurite and Sapphire can move very fast themselves, so someone should come over. As Lion figured, the roar got Steven spooked, the corrupted Gem jumping back away from Lion, his tail swishing around wildly. Lion turned around, and sat down in the only exit Steven had.

The roar, luckily for Lion, had gotten some good attention from the rest, Rainbow being the first to loop around and come back. Fulgurite too got herself back very quickly, seeing Lion still in the way.

"Found something?" Fulgurite asked. Lion moved to the side, only for them to see Steven standing there. The corrupted Gem backed away as they went in, yet Blue was overjoyed to see him again, rushing towards him. Steven reared back, tumbling over his back paws, before Blue landed on his and licking the mirror face. Steven shook, getting Blue off of him, and he quickly jumped right to the upper floor of the Beach House. Steven tried rushing out the window, but the glass made him stop, hitting head long right into it, making him tumble onto the bed. Fulgurite quickly rushed to the window, making sure he didn't run at it again, her hair stretching out to cover it.

Steven had settled down comfortably on the bed like a kitten would, a small bit of roses growing around him, despite not being on dirt, when the others eventually got themselves back around.

"Well, at least he's here now," Fluttershy said, hovering by him.

"But what're we going to do? Kid's corrupted and Sombra's still running amok," Amethyst said, as Steven began to stir again. The lion Gem looked down to Amethyst and Lapis, who were sitting next to each other. While Amethyst was just a bit unused to it, Lapis couldn't even look at him directly in the face. Since she was stuck in a mirror for thousands of years, she had a bit of a rough feeling on them, and the fact that Steven's face had a mirror instead didn't help her out either. Lapis had her hand to block her vision from Steven's face, trying to relax a little bit.

"W-Well, let's try to keep him here," Lapis said. Steven fell down onto the couch, pushing the two away from each other. Sapphire went over to him, the corrupted Gem looking at her directly in the face. Pinkie saw her own reflection too, and actually started to make some funny faces in the mirror, seeing how silly she looked in it. The others heard a content purr pass through Steven, liking Pinkie's happiness. Sapphire gently petted Steven, the Gem rubbing against the small Gem.

"He's not violent, at least," Applejack said, Steven's tail accidentally hitting her hat off. Twilight got Steven's attention next, the large Gem gently nuzzling her, a pink petal staying on her head.

"We'll figure it out, I promise you. For now, let's make sure he doesn't run off on us again," Twilight assured, as Steven settled down back on the couch. None of them could tell what the future held for Steven, but at this point, they could only hope for a miracle...

Author's Note:

Flint and Jade belong to Runic_Soul :twilightsmile: Thanks for your contribution :pinkiehappy: Guest appearance by Loli Beats if you read carefully :3

I'm gonna be honest, I'm not too sure if I played Rainbow right or not while she was with Flint and Jade :twilightblush: hope you like it all the same (sorry for it being short)

It's a breath of fresh air to me when it comes to developing on things, and keeping the evil chaos out for a while from the last two chapters of Sombra mayhem. Besides, everypony wants to know what other events happen in the games, I'm sure (not too descriptive, I know, but story plot demand focus ... so yeah) :raritywink: