• Published 10th May 2016
  • 1,945 Views, 422 Comments

The Titan's Orb: Rising Storm - Old Man Dusters

While Callum and the Mane Six continue their quest to find the shards of the Titan's Orb, their path ahead grows only more deadly as they are now stalked by a relentless shadow that will stop at nothing until they are vanquished...

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Chapter Nineteen: Feathers of a Blu Bird

I took a deep breath before sitting up, Rainbow Dash was still asleep, snoring loudly with her body splayed out over half the tent. My head was swimming with mixed and confusing thoughts, but there were two questions that stood out very clearly; what the fuck happened last night? And who was Stardust Moonshimmer? After Nah’Lek grabbed him and said his name, everything phased out, and it felt like I was falling through a void, it felt like I had no physical form, but the sound was loud enough to cause pain, it was like a white noise, along with the sound of someone screaming inaudible words. The worst part was, I could barely even remember it, I only got small flickers of memory, I vaguely heard Conscio at first, and then I distinctly heard Nah’Lek’s raspy voice. But otherwise, I didn’t remember a thing.

I shook my head, I needed to focus.

{Conscio?} I thought.

No reply.


Still nothing, it seemed Nah’Lek had been able to separate us permanently, not just in the dream world. Was Conscio and Stardust the same person? I assumed so, but I wasn’t completely certain. I hated not knowing the answers, I started to regret heading out with Dashie before using the collars with Twilight. Assuming I’d possibly get to the bottom of things the next time I went to sleep, I decided not to dwell on it for now, and focus on getting the next orb shard with Dashie.

“Wakey wakey.” I cooed, nudging her.

She responded by snoring louder, her leg twitching slightly.

“Oi, wake up.”

I gave her a slightly harder nudge, and she rolled over.

“Mmmnn.” She groaned.

“I will tickle your hooves if you don’t get up.” I warned.

“You’ll lose teeth.” She grunted.

Rainbow yawned, and then took a big stretch, before sitting up and looking at me.

“What time is it?”

“Time to move.” I replied.

She grumbled and rubbed her eyes, before getting up and left the tent with me. Blu woke upon hearing us and shook himself briefly, before fluttering down from the tree and onto my shoulder.

“Morning! Morning!” He squawked.

“Sleep well?” I asked.

He replied with a high-pitched growling sound, it sounded similar to a velociraptor from Jurassic Park. Assuming that was a ‘yes’, I smirked and went to pack up the tent. At the back of the tent was a small rope about the length of an outstretched hand, I pulled on the rope and the tent automatically folded itself up until it reduced to its snug suitcase size.

“I love magic.” I said to myself.

I removed two slices of bread from Rainbow Dash’s saddlebag, before tucking the tent inside and zipping it up. Unlike Twilight and Rarity’s bags, there was no pocket dimension, which made sense as neither pegasi or earth ponies could use magic. I ate my slice of bread rather quickly, not bothering to dig around the bag for butter. I then came over to Dashie and held the other slice above her nose. She tried to take it with her teeth and I held the bread higher so it was just out of her reach.

“Dude, come on.” She moaned.

“Work for your meal!” I barked, chuckling.

She stood on her hind legs to reach the bread and I launched it into the air, only for Blu to swoop in and snatch it out of the air before Rainbow could catch it.

REALLY?” Dashie cried out.

“Work for your meal! Work for your meal!” He squawked loudly.

Rainbow gave chase while Blu zoomed around with the bread in his claws. He then dropped it for me to catch, and Dashie landed in front of me, prepared to wrestle me.

“If you tackle me, I’ll drop the bread and get it dirty.” I warned her.

She gritted her teeth and took a step forward.

“Give me, the damned bread.” She ordered.

Blu landed on my shoulder and gave my ear a playful nibble.

“Feed the pony! Feed the pony!” He cawed.

I burst into laughter and Blu bobbed up and down with amusement, clearly proud of himself.

“What’s so funny?” Dash asked, confused.

“Never. You. Mind.” I laughed.

“Tell me!” She demanded.

I responded by throwing the bread at her, and she caught it in her mouth and quickly ate it.

“See how much tastier food is when you work for it?” I teased.

Rainbow dived into me and took me to the ground, we struggled playfully, attempting to pin each other down and make the other submit, all while Blu circled us and squawked loudly, clearly rooting for me.

Kill her! Survival of the fittest! Fight to the death! Bite her ear off! Punch her face! Flick her left nipple! Mate with her to establish dominance! Destroy the anus! Destroy the anus!

I couldn’t take the playfight seriously and rolled onto my back, howling with laughter. Rainbow simply sat up and stared at the parrot with disbelief. Before bursting into hilarity as well. I ended up laughing so hard that I started crying, tears left my eyes as I bellowed uncontrollably. All while Blu continued to bob up and down with pride and delight.

After a moment of hysterical laughing, we both wiped our eyes and got up.

“Blu, you’re one heck of a parrot.” Rainbow chuckled.

“Compliment accepted! CAARK

The bird took to the sky, and I put my bag onto my back, giving Rainbow Dash hers. After tightening the straps, Dashie took off and flew alongside Blu. I trudged on below them at a relatively fast pace, making sure I was just able to keep up with them. It was rather interesting watching Rainbow Dash fly, since Hawnu Rey’eng had explained the principles of mana, it was amazing to think Dashie was currently only half her usual body weight, as the magic in her wings made her lighter when they were in use. Blu had also been enchanted with the magic from Fluttershy’s singing voice, granting him a much greater mental capacity than usual parrots, he was now entirely sentient and just as smart as any human being.

Mana was truly curious, the fact we all had souls, made from mana, amazed me. That surely meant there was an afterlife, when the soul is separated from the body. But if there were different dimensions, each with their own gods, what was our afterlife? Was it the Christian heaven? Are we reincarnated? Or was it something entirely different and undiscovered. Heck, we could go to the Pastafarian afterlife and witness the mighty beer volcano for all I knew. I wished Hawnu Rey’eng had gone into more detail about souls and what happens to them if they’re separated from the body.
And what defines a soul? What IS a soul? Was it like a ghost of ourselves? Or was it a cluster of energy that contained our memories and personality? Or do we just become a state of pure mana after death, and become one with the universe, and forget who we once were?

I blinked a few times, and then began to chuckle. I was having an existential crisis, while searching for a fragment of an alien relic, in the middle of Portugal, with a talking pony, and a sentient parrot.
What a life.

Yes, it had some serious down moments, especially lately with the loss of Bunnie, and with Nah’Lek now trying to track us down. But seriously, I was on an adventure! A real, Lord of the Rings style adventure! Fighting and killing enemies, travelling the world, sleeping rough and witnessing incredible things. It was a proper fantasy come true, a Fanfiction in reality. Every story had its worst moments, and I imagined losing Bunnie was mine. The only way was up from here, I’d finally befriended Twilight, and I’d soon find a way to bridge the gap between her and Rainbow Dash. Once I returned with this orb shard, Twilight and I would use the collars and find a way to remove Nah’Lek from my brain. I had a feeling Rainbow Dash would forgive Twilight if she helped to end my nightmares, so I planned to tell her about Nah’Lek’s presence soon.

Watch out daydreamer!

I looked up and yelped as Dashie grabbed me and yanked me upwards, pulling me into the air.

Warn me Rainbow!” I barked.

“I did!” She giggled, and continued to pull.

She flapped her wings intensely, taking me higher and higher until I was a few metres off the ground.

“That’s high enough!” I shouted to her.

She ignored me and continued to ascend, I held onto her legs and gulped as I went up, and up, and up. Soon enough I reached the top of the trees, and she pulled me above the woods, and my mouth fell agape.
The view was, beautiful.

“Whoa…” I murmured.

“Now you know what you’ve been missing!” She giggled, panting.

Despite feeling Dashie’s hooves under my arms, and my hands firmly clasping at them, it felt like I was flying. I looked down and saw the trees below me, and then glanced over my shoulder at the mountain range in the distance, this was incredible.

WOOHOOO!” I hollered.

My delight was abruptly halted as Rainbow Dash let me go and I yelled out in fear as I plummeted to the ground. She swooped in and caught me with about a second to spare.

You’re a dickhead Rainbow Dash!” I growled, shaking.

“I thought you were brave dude.” She chuckled.

“There’s brave, and there’s falling to your death!” I spat.

“Grow some balls dude, I wouldn’t have let you die.”

She let me go and I hit the ground running to ensure I didn’t fall over, before she landed in front of me with a great big grin.

“Do you not like heights?” She asked.

“I don’t mind them, but not when I’m falling.” I answered with a frown.

“I caught you didn’t I?”

“Only a few days ago you thought I fell to my death, what if you sprained your wings from the overuse? Could you really be sure you would have caught me?” I pointed out.

Her ears drooped and she looked down.

“Sorry.” She mumbled.

I came up to her and knelt in front of her, taking her hoof.

“The view was wonderful, thank you for showing me. Maybe just don’t drop me next time.” I said warmly.

Her ears perked up again and I smiled, before giving her a kiss on the cheek. Her smile went from ear to ear and she lightly bit her tongue sheepishly, I daresay she was caught off-guard. It made me chuckle, and she gave me a shove.


“You know, one of these days you’ll be straight forward about your feelings.” I teased.

Her eyes widened with surprise, and then she gave me another, more forceful shove, and I fell onto my bottom, chuckling. She blew a raspberry at me and then flew into the air with Blu. I got up and followed them, smirking.

An hour went by, and the woodland became rather dense, making it difficult for Dashie to fly straight. Eventually she dropped down and decided to go on foot, her wings flexing a few times. I looked at her wings and hummed, still intrigued by the way they worked.

{I wonder if I could ever use magic… If I have mana in me, surely there’s a way…} I thought to myself.

While I hoped I’d hear a reply, there was still nothing from Connie. Strangely, I was looking forward to the next time I went to sleep, so I could investigate this mystery. Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I started to whistle to myself, specifically to the tune of Winter Wrap-Up.

“Not far now! Not far now!” Blu squawked, whizzing past my head.

I stopped whistling and picked up the pace, looking forward to finding the next shard. The ground started to slope upwards and I began to slow down as it became more and more of a climb. Soon enough I was needing my hands to help me scramble up the terrain.

Without warning, a loud BANG went off a few yards ahead, and I quickly lay low, pressing my body against the dirt alongside Rainbow Dash. It didn’t sound like a gunshot, it was more like an explosive. Blu landed next to me and tilted his head.

“You never said there were people here...” I whispered.

“There weren’t before.” He replied, ruffling his feathers.

“Scout ahead, find out how many there are.” I ordered.

“Why me?”

“Because you’re a fucking parrot, nobody will see you!” I hissed.

The bird pecked my hand with annoyance, before fluttering up into the trees to investigate. I turned to Dashie and put my hand on her hoof.

“Go back, and find a tree to hide in.” I told her.

“No way, we stick together.”

I furrowed my brow.

“Dashie, your bright blue, with a rainbow tail and mane; you’re easy to spot. I don’t want to see you get captured again, okay? Please, hide.”

She looked at me for a moment, and then nodded.

“What if you need my help?” She asked.

“I will call for you.”



We looked into one another’s eyes, before I cleared my throat quietly. She slid back down the slope and then took off, flying up into the trees. I crawled upwards slowly, edging upwards to the top. I popped my head over the peak and was met with the most curious thing. Two large tents, and seven men all nearby a strange structure made of stone. Standing about seven feet tall, the monolith had large fragments of crystal sticking out of it, and from the cracks radiated a bright glow.

{The orb shard…} I thought.

Next to the tents lay numerous pickaxes, all of them shattered and broken. Next to them were boxes of dynamite; the men were trying to break open the structure.

“There are more cracks! Keep trying!” A man shouted.

He sounded American, his southern accent suggested Texan, or perhaps South Carolina. One of them headed into the tent, and came out with another pickaxe, he approached the stone pillar and swung it as hard as he could at it. The monolith emitted a deep ringing sound as if it were hollow; it sang for a second, but appeared to be undamaged from the attack. The man took another swing, and a small fragment of rock broke away, revealing more crystal. Once again, it resonated with the deep chime.

“The damn thing is cursed!” One of the smaller men yelled.

“Shut it!” The first man barked back.

I had to figure out how to stop these men, I had no weapons to attack or defend myself with. I could possibly take them on by hand if I were given a one-on-one scenario. If I could get inside the tent, I could take down a few of them without them noticing me. I spotted Blu on a branch directly above the group, perhaps he could assist me. I waved my hand and he spotted me, and flew around the group and landed in front of me.

“Eight of them, shiny thing is inside the stone.” He quietly chattered.

“I’m only seeing seven men.” I replied.

“One’s in the closest tent, very drunk.” He informed me.

I exhaled out of my nose with amusement, I suppose someone enjoyed drinking on the job.

“Are there any weapons?”

“There’s a Wrinkleboom in the other tent.”

I almost laughed out loud, I’d forgotten about my old double-barrelled shotgun from Brazil, Wrinkleboom had served me well until the mutated Elephant’s Foot in Chernobyl destroyed it. Come to think of it, I’d also lost Kroksbane in the napalm; I needed a new personal weapon.

“I’m going to sneak into the tent, can you cause any distractions?” I asked.

“Do I look like James Bond to you?”

“Yes, if he was a parrot.”

Blu bobbed up and down with amusement before fluttering away and waiting for my signal.

I made my way around the sloped earth until I was close to the first tent. Blu looked at me and I nodded, he fluttered in front of one of the men and gave him a cute, curious whistle.

“Look guys, a parrot.” He called the guys.

A few of them put down their pickaxes to inspect the bird, while the others looked in his direction, giving me enough time to scramble over to the tent, picking up a broken pickaxe handle, serving as a stake until I found something better. I scuttled over to the side of the tent, as some of the men were losing interest in Blu. That was when one of the men signed his own death warrant.

“Polly want a cracker?” He cooed at Blu.

I watched as Blu tilted his head on one side, before unleashing the terror of a thousand Nah’Leks.

“Fucking normies… REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” He screeched.

Blu launched at the man and dug his beak deep into his face and scratched away with his talons, gouging out his eyes. He screamed in agony and swatted at the parrot, who soared into the air, before swooping back down and opening his mouth, causing the sharp tip of his beak to tear his throat open. The other men came rushing towards the bird and started swinging their picks at him. One pickaxe accidentally made contact with the dying man’s head, causing it to break open like an egg. Brain matter and blood sprayed in all directions, all while the livid parrot jumped around and shouted at the men.

Call me Polly again, you Yankee bastards! Offer me some crackers! I dare you! I will gut you all open and do a jig on your insides! Do you hear me!? I will fucking END you all! I’m the lightning before the thunder! I’m the one that women warn their children about! I give the White Walkers beyond The Wall sleepless nights! Do you understand me!? I AM THE MOTHERFUCKING APOCALYPSE!

I knew Blu didn’t like the cracker jokes, but I hadn’t realised it would cause this kind of onslaught. By the time I had entered the tent, Blu had taken out another man's eyes, and had somehow removed his tongue.

“Wha… What’s going on?” A slurred voice asked.

I turned away from Blu’s rampage and found myself face to face with the group’s alcoholic, he looked at me and blinked, he was completely out of it. Not wanting to take any chances, I shoulder rammed him into the ground and drove the stake into his sternum, using my body weight to drive it through him, he was dead very quickly. I jumped with shock as I heard a shotgun going off, I knew one of the men had taken it and was trying to shoot Blu out of the sky. Stealth was out of the question now, I needed to save Blu before he lined up a second shot. I ripped the stake from the dead man’s chest and left the tent, I spotted the man just a few metres away from me, tracking Blu with his gun as he flew around evasively. I strode towards him and he spotted me, but he was too late. As he turned to aim at me, I smacked the gun out of his hands and thrust the stake into his belly, with all my might I pushed upwards and lifted him into the air, before dropping him to the ground.

We’ve got company! Forget the parrot, kill this bastard!” The group’s boss ordered.

The remaining four men came towards me, pickaxes raised. I didn’t have time to reach the shotgun as the first man swung his pick at my head, I ducked down and punched him in the throat, causing him to choke and splutter. The next man swung vertically down at me, and I dived to the side, the next pick also came down like a spike and I rolled out of the way, the pickaxe drove deep into the dirt and missed me by a matter of inches. I stood up and dived into the fourth man before he could raise his pick, I took him to the ground and punched him repeatedly. I then rolled away just before the other men reached me, I took a jagged rock and held it, my only weapon.

“Come on guys, come on!” I taunted angrily.

The bravest man took a swing at me and I dodged, but was unable to reach him as he jumped back upon missing. The second man wasn’t so fast and I was able to avoid his strike while stabbing his neck with the sharp stone. He clutched his throat and choked on his own blood while I grabbed his pickaxe and hopped out of way of another attack. Now armed, the three men before me wouldn’t pose too much of a challenge. One of them picked up a stone and threw it at me, I turned away and the rock hit my shoulder, I grunted and then heard one of the men charging at me. I spun around and swung the pickaxe with all my might and anger, it caught the side of his body and shattered every damn rib he had, along with ripping open his torso. His heart dangled from the gaping hole in his chest and convulsed, before he smacked into the ground. The next man swung his pick at me and I used my own to deflect the attack, the force took the tool out of my hands and it clattered onto the ground. He dived onto me and pinned me down, I grabbed his wrists and tried to hold him back. He was stronger than I anticipated and I struggled to keep his hands away, I watched his thumbs as they got closer and closer to my eyes, eager to blind me.

DASH! DASH!” I hollered, my voice cracking.

The other man stood behind my head with his pickaxe raised up high, there was suddenly a flash of blue as Rainbow Dash smacked into him, he hit the ground faster than his pickaxe. Rainbow bashed his face with her hooves, and didn’t stop until he was completely unrecognisable and disfigured. The man on top of me was so shocked that I could push him off me and stand up. I took one of the dropped pickaxes and swung it at him, he rolled away but I caught his shin, breaking it open and completely destroying his lower leg. He cried out in pain and desperately tried to crawl away from me. I didn’t have a shred of mercy for him after he tried to gouge my eyes out with his thumbs, and brought the pick down into his back, he screamed loudly, before going limp. I looked at Dashie, who was staring at her hooves, dripping with thick blood.


She didn’t reply.

“Rainbow Dash.” I spoke, louder.

“What have… What have I done?” She murmured.

She looked from her hooves to the bloody mess, that was once a man’s face.

“I think… I think I’m going to be sick…”

The pegasus turned away and vomited onto the dirt, twice. She tried to walk towards me and then fainted, crumpling to the ground in a heap; the first kill was always the hardest. I was about to take a step towards her when I heard a click, I turned around to find the group’s boss standing a few feet away from me, holding the double-barrel shotgun. I had completely forgotten about him, I gulped nervously and put my hands up.

“Bollocks…” I muttered.

“Yeah, that’s right…” He growled.

He stepped towards me and aimed the gun directly at my head, he didn’t look like the kind of man to negotiate, certainly not after killing his friends; I was going to die.


The parrot whizzed over my shoulder and gripped the shotgun with his claws, pushing the gun aside and blocking the barrel with his body. Instinctively, the man pulled the trigger and the shotgun went off, I watched with horror as blue feathers burst in all directions.

BLU!” I roared.

A burst of rage consumed me and I charged at the man, tackling him to the ground. My fists hammered down onto him, I aimed to pummel every ounce of life from him. A few punches later, he swerved his head aside and then caught my fist with his hand, and hit me in the jaw. Pushing me back, he was able to roll away from me, I quickly got back on top of him and shoved his face into the dirt, pressing down on his head with all my body weight. I held him there for a few seconds as he struggled, before he started frantically kicking my back with his heels, hard enough to break my concentration. He flipped over and grabbed my throat, slinging me aside towards the monolith. I grabbed one of the broken rocks and threw it at him, which he dodged. I got onto one knee and picked up a thin shard of crystal and held it, the tip was sharp and would serve as a shiv.

As I got back up, the boss had reached me and kicked me square in the chest, knocking me a metre back, I rolled backwards and used the momentum to quickly get back to my feet just as his fist came flying towards me. I ducked down and stabbed him in the ribs, it wasn’t a fatal blow, but caused him to cry out loudly. He tried to kick my knee in an attempt to bring me to the ground, but after walking across Portugal, my legs had built up quite nicely. The kick barely affected me, and I used the opportunity to shove him backwards, without much balance to support him, he tripped over and I dived onto him, aiming to shove the crystal into his throat. He took my wrist and stopped me, I missed my strike and planted the crystal into the earth beside his head. The man punched me in the gut and rolled me over, sitting on top of me and locking his legs around mine, preventing me from escaping. He grabbed the crystal shard and attempted to pierce my throat. I held both his wrists and struggled against him as the shard came closer and closer to me.

I had the upper hand with strength, and was very slowly able to push the shard away from me and to the side. Twisting his hand, I gradually rotated the shard until it was facing him instead of me. With my other hand, I grabbed the back of his head and forced it towards the shard, he gritted his teeth and fought against me with all his might, breathing heavily. When the shard was an inch away from his face, I gave the back of his head an unexpected whack, causing him to jolt forward and the shard impaled his eye, he screamed at the top of his lungs and I bashed his head a second time, pushing it further into his head. After bashing his head two more times, the shard went deep into his brain and killed him, he went limp and slumped onto me.

I lay there for a moment, before rolling the body off me. I took one glance at the damage I had caused, and very nearly threw up myself, I was never fond of eye-gouging, it was one of my few phobias. Just able to keep my breakfast down, I wiped my hands on his clothes and then looked around on the ground. Bright blue feathers lay scattered everywhere, there wasn’t much left of the poor parrot, he’d been scattered to the wind. He died in order to save my life; I knew already that this would tear Fluttershy apart.

“Oh Blu… You magnificent bastard…” I sighed.

Gathering as much of him as I could find, I felt Blu deserved a proper burial. I found his beak, separated from the rest of his head, and decided to keep it. Back in Brazil, I remember how excited he was to come on this adventure with us, at least I could take a small piece of him to remember him by, at least a part of him could continue travelling with us.

“Those aren’t my feathers…” Rainbow Dash croaked.

I turned around to find her stood a few metres away from me, shaking.

“Blu’s gone…”

My voice was hoarse, both from the shock and from the temporary exhaustion of the fight, as skilled as I was in combat, it still took a lot out of me. Dashie came up to me and looked at the pile of Blu’s remains.

“What happened?”

I said nothing as I pointed to the shotgun, she quickly understood what had gone on and she rested her head against me. Putting a hand on her head, I lightly caressed her mane to comfort her.

“This is fucked up…” She choked.

“I know.” I breathed.

“I just killed someone…”

Kneeling down, I helped wipe away the blood from her hooves.

“Don’t overthink it, what you did was necessary. It was either him, or me.” I told her.

She looked at me, and blinked a few times.

After a brief moment of processing that information, Rainbow Dash came to accept that she had prevented the man from killing me, and slowly began to digest her actions.

“Twilight did the same thing to protect you.” I pointed out.

She opened her mouth to challenge me, and then choked on her words, knowing I was right. Influenced by the Fel or not, Twilight killed those people because they had attacked Dashie. Even though she enjoyed it at the time, she still saved Rainbow’s life. I decided to let that sit with Dashie, rather than push it any further.
I turned to face the monolith, it was a little smaller than I anticipated. All around lay broken tools, rocks, and a few shards of crystal; these men seemed really keen to break into it. Finding a large crack, I peered inside the structure to find the third orb shard, floating in the hollow core of the pillar. I placed my hand against the stone and it began to hum, pieces of rock crumbled away, and the shard vibrated slightly.

Interested by this reaction, I smacked the monolith with the palm of my hand, it shook heavily before every piece of stone crumbled away, leaving a pure crystal pillar. Rainbow Dash came over to me and looked at the structure, humming with interest.

“All these guys were desperately trying to crack this open, and yet I’ve just cleared all the stone with a single hit. What do you think that means?” I asked.

“Maybe it’s because you’ve had physical contact with the other orb shards, maybe it thinks you’re part Equestrian or something.” She hypothesised.

“So, you’re saying this crystal is Equestrian?”

“Dude, we’re talking about the Titan’s Orb. It used to cover our entire planet in a giant forcefield, I’m pretty sure its capable of protecting itself. I’d bet my bottom bit that it grew this big crystal thingy around itself to keep it from getting into the wrong hooves, or hands, in this case.” She put forward.

I wrinkled my nose, curious. This crystal had withstood dynamite, and constant hacking from pickaxes, yet there was barely a scratch on the damn thing. Whatever properties this mineral had, it was strong stuff. Rainbow Dash walked up to the mysterious obelisk and pressed her hoof against it, I nearly shrieked like a little girl as the entire monolith shattered into tiny pieces, each piece no bigger than a pencil. The shard remained floating in mid-air.

“The honour’s all yours, dude.”

Walking past Dashie, I approached the third shard and admired it. The dark crystal had so many different colourations, from one angle, it was dark purple, and from another it was a navy blue. It constantly warped the light that touched it, as though it couldn’t make up its mind what colour it wanted to be. After a moment of gazing at the broken relic, I reached forward and grabbed it. The second I had gripped it, everything went white, and I felt like I was floating.

When my vision cleared, I found myself standing in the middle of a town. Most of the buildings were made of thatch, and the sun shone brightly, engulfing the land around me in harmony and mirth. I turned around and found the townsfolk going about their business, life seemed perfectly normal. At least, it would have seemed perfectly normal, if the townsfolk weren’t technicolour ponies.

It would have seemed normal... If I weren’t stood in the middle of Ponyville…

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