• Published 7th Jul 2012
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The Beginning of Chaos, Alicorns, and the Elements - Tyler-the-Brony



The tale of a time before the Kingdoms, and a long forgotten enemy and friend of Equestria.

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Part 4: The Preparation and Arrival

Dune Star though about Luna’s question for a few moments, a plan practically already fully formed within his mind. Dune Star looked about the War Chambers one last time to check the attentiveness of everypony present before announcing his war plans.

“Our battle strategies will not be simple to prepare and execute. They will require most every moment of our time for the next year hereafter. Are you all fully prepared to dedicate yourselves fully to defending Equestria from Anima? If not, feel free to hide with the other masses who will not participate in this war.” Dune Star explained to the group, sweeping his eyes over Equestria’s chosen leaders of the era to look for any signs of wavering.

Dune Star saw not one pony before him that would back away from defending Equestria as best as they could. As Dune Star ascertained himself of this, he felt a slight spark of hope and happiness blossom within his soul.

“Excellent. Now then. Celestia, Shining Armor. I want the two of you to gather all current existing Guards within Equestria and recruit any other ponies that are willing and able to fight and bring them to Canterlot. Call them from all across Equestria. Afterwards, I wish you to be responsible for dividing the troops evenly. You two have the greatest military influence in Equestria. That is why I have chosen you for this mission.” Dune Star began the explanation of the battle plans for Equestria.

Shining Armor immediately leapt to his hooves and saluted Dune Star as he prepared to call a meeting of the Guards.

“You can count on me Dune Star. I’ll go alert every Guard and able pony within Canterlot and gather them here as soon as they can.” Shining Armor called to Dune Star as he exited the War Chambers and set about his mission already.

Princess Celestia was the next to stand from the table, stretching her wings wide from her body as she did so.

“If Shining Armor is taking care of those within Canterlot, then I shall alert the remainder of Equestria. I must go now. Even with my magic and speed, it shall take a while to alert all my other subjects to this impending war.” Princess Celestia announced to the Chamber, disappearing in a bright flash of magic a moment later.

Dune Star nodded at Shining Armor and Celestia respectively as they left and prepared to continue explaining his plans.

“Good. Next. Luna, Rarity. I want you two to accompany me to the Desert of Fate to help in the re-introduction and transportation of the Six Leaders. Once they are here in Canterlot, Luna, you are to join your sister in arranging the troops, and Rarity, you are to join your friends in linking your powers fully to the Elements of Harmony. You two are best accustomed to the times of the current ponies and the ponies of the past. You are the only ones for this job.” Dune Star continued, clearly surprising Luna and Rarity with the faith he placed in them.

“Certainly Dune Star. It is my duty to do all that I can as a Princess of Equestria. I will accompany you once we are finished here.” Luna replied, smiling for a moment at Dune Star before returning to her original state of focus.

Rarity stumbled over her words for a few moments before being able to speak properly to Dune Star.

“C-Certainly Dune Star darling. I am honored you would choose me for such an important duty. I shall do my very best.” Rarity assured Dune Star, moving to stand next to Luna as she did so.

Dune Star nodded at the two most well accustomed ponies of the eras he needed and then returned to directing the others.

“Excellent. Twilight, Applejack. You two are responsible for organizing your friends and any other warriors from Ponyville. Return there as soon as possible, gather anything and anypony you think you may need or want, and return here with your choices. Once here, as soon as you can after organizing the others, meet with the other current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony and the Six Leaders and beginning channeling you power through them and with them all. You two know best the value of organization and teamwork. That is why you are chosen for this job.” Dune Star spoke up, knowing Twilight and Applejack would not disappoint him.

Twilight teleported herself to the exit of the room and awaited Applejacks arrival there as she answered Dune Star.

“You can count on us. Oh there’s so much to do. I just hope I have enough ink and quills to organize everything…” Twilight trailed away in her self-motivation as Applejack approached the exit to the war Chambers as well.

“Don’t ya worry now. We won’t fail. I stake the entire Apple Family Tree on that promise.” Applejack added as she turned to follow Twilight out of the War Chambers and back to Ponyville.

Dune Star looked after them both for a moment before continuing to address the dwindling number of ponies in the room.

“Fluttershy. You are responsible for any and all animals. Hide them, prepare them for war, warn them, whatever you see fit. Simply make sure they are ready. You are the best pony to do this. Even I know that.” Dune Star addressed the timid Pegasus.

Fluttershy nodded at Dune Star before barely managing to utter a reply to him as she too prepared to leave the War Chambers.

“I-I can do that…I hope…” Fluttershy trailed off as she flew through on of the open windows of the War Chambers and out towards the arrears she knew were littered with the animals she could help now.

Dune Star stared worriedly after Fluttershy for a moment before assuring himself that her friends could bolster her confidence later.

“Alright. Rainbow Dash. You are Air Commander. Gather all the Pegasi in Equestria and organize them in whatever ways you see fit. As warriors or as weather operators or as anything you think can help our chances. You organized a hurricane and saved the Wonderbolts. You are best fit to lead the Peagasi.” Dune Star told Rainbow Dash, causing her jaw to drop wide open.

Rainbow Dash remained in her shocked state for a moment before coming to her senses and instantly becoming ready to go.

“Sure thing Dune Star! I’ll be the best Pegasi leader since Commander Hurricane. Maybe even better!” Rainbow Dash shouted as she too took off out a window and off to Manehattan, where she knew the Wonderbolts would be today.

Dune Star did not bother to follow Rainbow Dash’s movements, knowing that he must address the last three ponies present in order to return to the Desert of Fate as quickly as possible.

“Excellent. Lastly. Pinkie Pie, Cadance, and Blueblood. You all are responsible for keeping the troops together as a united force. Pinkie, you can inspire joy no matter what. Cadance, you can spark love wherever it is needed. And Blueblood. You possess the proper blood and mind to direct ponies as needed. You are the official Relayers of Hope and Order for this War.” Dune Star finished, hoping he had sounded less corny aloud than he had in his mind.

Pinkie Pie sprang up instantly and bounced around the room a couple times before moving to exit the War Chambers too.

“I’ll organize the bestest ‘Stay-Together-and-Do-your-Bestest’ Parties to motivate everypony! I’ll start right super duper now!” Pinke Pie yelled as she bounded out of the war Chambers.

Cadance was the next pony to rise from her seat, far steadier and easier than Pinkie Pie had just done.

“I’ll do my best. At least I can be around to help in this war.” Cadance told Dune Star as she exited the war Chambers calmly and collectively.

Prince Blueblood was now the last seated pony in the War Chambers. He too rose and set about his duties for the war.

“I will guide as best as I can. I can assure you of that.” Prince Blueblood stated as he too exited the War Chambers in perhaps the most normal fashion of any other pony that day.

Dune Star saluted Blueblood as he too left the War Chambers and turned to face the only two ponies that still remained there alongside himself, Luna and Rarity.

“Let us leave now too. Our journey will not easy or short. It is necessary though to grant us some of the power we need to face Anima. Come along now.” Dune Star told Luna and Rarity, moving forward to begin leading both of the ponies towards what was his home for the past 1600 years.

***

“Focus now Twilight Sparkle. Focus.” Clover the Clever spoke up to the pony she was now mentoring in her old ways, proud that the unicorn was doing as well as Clover had hoped she would.

A few moments after Clover the Clever had finished addressing Twilight, Twilight collapsed to the ground below her, as energetic as exhausted from her training with the Element of Magic.

Clover the Clever scanned Twilight with her magic and was happy with what she sensed within the third Element of Magic before her.

“Well Twilight Sparkle, you have awakened your Earth Pony blood. You are two thirds of the way to being able to become an Alicorn upon binding with the Elements of Harmony.” Clover the Clever explained to Twilight, happy to see Twilight leap to her hooves at the news.

“Really Master Clover? Oh I’m so happy! I never thought I’d be able to train with you or learn how to become more attuned with the Elements of Harmony. This is so many dreams coming true for me right now.” Twilight answered Clover the Clever, clapping her hooves together in celebration for a short moment.

“Never forget this though Twilight. Whether or not you are fulfilling your dreams right now is unimportant to the urgency of the situation. All Equestria will again be bathed in a reality of nightmares should we fail to defeat Anima in 6 months.” Clover the Clever responded to her students outburst, glad she was able to make Twilight refocus her studies so easily now.

“Certainly Master Clover. Allow me to try again.” Twilight told Clover the Clever, taking the posture and mindset which had become second nature to her now once again.

Six Months had passed since Dune Star had first informed Equestria of the impending return of Anima, God of Chaos. Each of the Current Bearers of the Elements of Harmony was in intense training with the respective first Bearer of their Elements, and were in the middle of fulfilling the additional war duties they had been assigned.

Shining Armor and Prince Blueblood currently trained and dispensed all of Equestria’s main forces, totalling well over 3000 ponies at this point in time. Pinkie Pie was in charge of propaganda and troop morality, and nopony had complained about any of her methods or choices thus far in the preparation months.

Princess Luna and Princess Celestia helped in organizing the hiding places for the remainder of the masses of Equestria. As was tradition, Celestia led them in the daytime hours while Luna replaced her at nighttime. Cadance also currently stayed amongst the hiding masses, reassuring them with her magic when necessary to help keep the timeline proper for evacuation of all the cities in Equestria.

Rainbow Dash led the Pegasi all over Equestria, dispensing them where and when they were needed to keep the weather normal in Equestria and to assist in evacuation. Rainbow Dash had also gained a seventh color to her mane, gray, due to her extensive work in organizing the Pegasi as such. As compensation for her work, Spitfire and Soarin offered her a position in the Wonderbolts if they were still around when all was said and done.

Fluttershy organized the animals of Equestria in much the same way, placing those species that were attuned for battle at strategic points and those who could not fight alongside some of the less populated pony hiding spots. Fluttershy had lost her shyness long ago and was now able to speak properly in front of anypony at any given time.

Rarity, Fleur De Lis, and Fancy Pants were in charge of outfitting all the troops, and each of them was doing a magnificent job. While both were known before this point as only producing amazing fashions, Rarity and Fancy Pants proved themselves to be quite the armor crafters as well.

Cheerilee remained with the masses as well, wanting to fight alongside Big Macintosh and the others, but also knowing that protecting all the foals was more important in the here and now. Derpy was responsible for information distribution between the masses and the troops, delivering mostly heartfelt letters and special objects between ponies.

Braeburn, The Cakes, and Cherry Jubilee were in charge of food for the troops and always made sure to have plenty for everypony, including the many buffalo that had come to fight alongside the Apple Family and all the Appleloosan’s. Octavia and Vinyl Scratch often performed live concerts in order to entertain the troops and help with the overall morality of the situation, both being unsure if the other would ever perform with them again after the upcoming war. When Octavia and Vinyl Scratch weren’t performing, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were, always managing to invigorate the troops with their shows in the same ways as Octavia, Vinyl, and Trixie when she bothered to show up at all.

Applejack was responsible for leading ponies like Snowflake and Dumbbell in clearing the surrounding area of Canterlot to allow maximum fighting space. Applejack’s long learned knowledge of where and how to buck down trees helped greatly in her job and allowed most ponies to keep more of their energy at the end of the day.

Twilight also helped organize the unicorns into co-ordinating their magic together, something not many of them had ever done before now. Twilight’s great organizational skills had never been more welcome than right there especially when dealing with unicorns like Trixie and Flim and Flam.

When Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Twilight, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were not doing their war duties, they were training with the Six Leaders in order to better attune themselves to their respective Elements to battle Anima directly.

Twilight and Clover the Clever were an easy match as Twilight had always respected Clover greatly even before she had directly met her. Their training had been going as smoothly as Twilight’s control of her magic allowed, which was actually quite rapid in comparison to some of Twilight’s other friends.

Rainbow Dash and Commander Hurricane had also been able to agree quickly in their training. Rainbow Dash also enjoyed a fierce drive behind any sort of training she experienced, and Commander Hurricane was more than willing and able to provide the enforcement she needed. Rainbow quickly learned though that becoming an Alicorn was a lot harder than even performing a Sonic Rainboom.

Fluttershy and Private Pansy had been an odd team for training, but they worked well none the less. Eventually, Fluttershy and Private Pansy trained at the same to better harmonize with each other and the Element of Kindness, also working to overcome their shyness and fear.

Princess Platinum was not overly thrilled to be teaching Rarity at first, but the two had bonded over matters of a ‘proper unicorn’ and now Princess Platinum loved to help her. Rarity had been the first of her six friends to be able to achieve and maintain her Alicorn form.

Applejack and Smart Cookie were the oddest of the pairing and had taken the most work to be able to work together. Smart Cookie’s methods did not directly relate to Applejack, and the same was true for Applejack’s methods with Smart Cookie. Eventually though, they came to attempt harmonization together and came to have a much better mentor-student relationship afterwards.

Pinkie Pie and Chancellor Puddinghead had somehow achieved perfect harmonization and Alicorn forms within just three short training sessions. Nopony understood just how they had done exactly, but everypony decided it was better not to ask at all.

Eventually, the First and Third Generations of Bearers of the Elements of Harmony all came to harmonize with their own Elements, the Elements as a whole, and each other as a collective group. All of them could become Alicorns and control their powers once they combined with the Elements now, and they were certain they could remove the Elements of Chaos from Anima’s being.

Dune Star was not certain that removing the Elements of Chaos alone would destroy Anima though. It was for that reason that Dune Star concocted his own plan for defeating Anima as he supervised and observed all the activities of all the ponies within Equestria. Dune Star secretly wished though that his plan would not be necessary and the Elements of Harmony alone would be enough. Dune Star wished for that eventuality more than anything.

***

“Are you certain he will come today?” Princess Celestia asked Dune Star, worried more for her subjects than she was for herself.

Dune Star stared gravely out at the blank path of land by Canterlot. That patch of land had once been home to the First Canterlot, which Anima had destroyed. Dune Star was absolutely certain that Anima would return to that area to attempt his Reign anew.

“I am certain Celestia. I have gazed the future every single day since Anima’s roar first tore through Equestria last year. 2 days ago, I was at last able to gleam the date of his return. It is indeed today. Even Anima, a being outside of Time, must obey some rules of it.” Dune Star explained to Princess Celestia, knowing that she would then go relay the information to the remainder of the troops in Canterlot.

Princess Celestia nodded towards her master and prepared to take flight in order to inform her sister and generals of the certainty of Dune Star’s words.

“I shall inform the others. How long do we have until his arrival this day?” Celestia questioned her mentor, sad to see him turn with disbelief clear on his face.

“Anima will be here within 2 hours. Do hurry Celestia. Time has never been of as great importance as it is today. A single moment is all it takes to crush Anima or for him to crush you.” Dune Star called to his student as Celestia again nodded and took quickly to the air behind them.

Dune Star looked over at the vast empty expanse of the Base again. The Base is what that area had been christened after Anima’s defeat. It fit only too well due to the fact that Anima had chosen it as his base of Chaos once Equestria was within his grasp.

Dune Star stared at the vast expanse of the Base for near an hour, all the while mentally refreshing the Plan as a whole and remembering his own secretly devised Plan. After near an hour of silence, more ponies joined Dune Star at the forefront of the battle formation.

Dune Star turned around from his position in order to gleam the identity of the ponies that now approached him, already having an idea implanted in his head.

Dune Star was not disappointed as he saw the Six Bearers and the Six Leaders approach him, already clad in their armor and carrying the Elements of Harmony between them.

Twilight wore a magical plate alignment of armor which protectively rotated around her, certain to be able to react and protect her from most any and all forms of attack. Each piece of the Armor was emblazoned with Twilight’s Cutie Mark as a sign of respect for its new master.

Clover the Clever wore armor in the style of the First Canterlot, magically restored earlier that year by Clover herself. Clover did not wear her cloak, much as she usually did before now. Clover’s armor too bore her Cutie Mark, a pair of crossed Unicorn horns.

Applejack wore only massively armored boots, certain she would need no more if she could fly and use magic as an Alicorn in her attacks against Anima. Each of Applejack’s boots was a different color, representing the most important members of her family. Green for Granny Smith, Red for Big Macintosh, Yellow for Apple Bloom, and Orange for herself and the remainder of her kin.

Smart Cookie wore only a broad piece of armor that protected her from her withers to her flank, leaving her hooves open so she could still have great mobility. Smart Cookie wore no emblazoning on her armor, instead preferring to keep things as simple and logical as possible.

Commander Hurricane had outfitted all of the Pegasi with the warrior armor once worn by them and their ancestors. Commander Hurricane and Private Pansy’s attire was no different than what it was normally, but Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy certainly looked different to everypony.

Rainbow Dash wore her armor, created by Rarity long ago for a fashion show, over the Wonderbolt uniform she had only recently received. Rainbow had her Cutie Mark design emblazoned over that of the Wonderbolts by Rarity as well.

Fluttershy wore armor in the style of Private Pansy, light but still protective. Though she was visibly nervous, she did not hide as she would have a year ago. Fluttershy stood her ground, the Element of Kindness giving her the courage needed to fight Anima.

Pinkie Pie wore green camouflaged armor, an odd choice by everypony’s standards. Pinkie preached that nopony would expect her to be in armor like that and that she just couldn’t wear pink armor because it would clash with her too much. Pinkie’s ideas were again left alone for fear of destroying the minds of others.

Chancellor Puddinghead too wore her original outfit, modified only slightly to carry more protection beneath its folds by Fancy Pants. Chancellor Puddinghead had never looked as serious as she did now, and everypony reflected her style, knowing there was no time to joke about anymore.

Princess Platinum and Rarity wore matching emblazoned suits of armor, with the symbol of Princess Platinum’s crowd on the chest, and Rarity’s Cute Mark on the back. Princess Platinum simply adored hers and had allowed Rarity to use the design as well, something Princess Platinum had never done before now. Rarity assured everypony that the armor was as durable as fabulous, and nopony mistrusted her words at all.

Dune Star addressed the Six Bearers and Six Leaders respectively as they fully approached his position now.

“Greetings my Fellow Timeless and Bearers of the Elements. I trust you are here because Celestia informed you of today’s timeline?” Dune Star questioned the twelve ponies before him, knowing they would be some of the best fighters today.

Twilight Sparkle spoke up first, moving her armor slightly with her magic so as to properly project her voice.

“Yes. Princess Celestia told us of the timeline. We have approximately less than one hour until Anima’s return now correct?” Twilight asked Dune Star, seeing him nod gravely in response.

“I’m afraid that is indeed the case. I trust you are all ready to attack at a moment’s notice no matter of the timeline though?” Dune Star replied to Twilight with a question of his own.

Commander Hurricane was the pony that would answer this question in lieu of the other ponies present.

“Absolutely. We are all so well attuned to the Elements of Harmony now that all it takes is a split second of focus for us to bear their power and become Alicorns. May I ask why you have other troops gathered this time? Last time we fought Anima we did not nearly have these numbers or the power of this many Alicorns. Certainly we can manage without all these extra lives on the line.” Commander Hurricane voiced her concerns to Dune Star, surprising him that she had noticed such things.

Dune Star thought to himself for a few moments before answering Commander Hurricane, needing to explain enough to alleviate her worries but not enough to add more.

“We also do not have Star Swirl the Bearded with us this time. His magic was what allowed us to win the day last time. And I fear removing Anima from time again is both beyond me and no longer an option for his defeat. We have many strong ponies here with us, but Anima will have still grown stronger in his time away. The Elements of Chaos are far too attuned to Equestria. In case our initial attack waves fail, we must have numbers at our side to support us until we can again charge ourselves.” Dune Star told Commander Hurricane, hoping he had not revealed too much of his thoughts regarding this battle.

Commander Hurricane looked perplexed for a moment at Dune Star, but then seemed to accept what little he had told her, and shrugged at Dune Star before also nodding to him.

Dune Star nodded in return to Commander Hurricane, and then returned to his original battle position before speaking again to the Six Leaders and Six Bearers.

“Do take your places now. I’m afraid we no longer have time for any more questions or statements. Anima will return at any moment. I will launch the initial blast. Rally yourselves and the other War Ponies to attack after that.” Dune Star called to the ponies behind him, knowing they would hear and understand him.

As Dune Star heard the retreating hoof steps of the Six Bearers and the Six Leaders, Dune Star looked to the heavens above and begged forgiveness for what he was now near certain he must do.

“Forgive me Father. But my destiny approaches. And I must embrace it. I simply hope you and the others will be forgiving of me.” Dune Star spoke aloud to the sky as the ground began to tremble and a single tear slid from his eyes.

***

The ground around Canterlot shook with a might that no pony alive, aside from the Timeless Seven, had ever felt before. The tremors were centered around a glowing blue light near the center of the area that was once the first Canterlot.

Within a few short moments, the blue light had grown to tremendous statures so that it blinded near everypony. A few moments afterwards, the light faded and a being beyond all imaginings inhabited the area where it had once been.

Dune Star looked at the being he had once known, noting one severe difference between this reality and his memories.

“He’s grown far larger than I expected.” Dune Star spoke aloud to himself as he gazed upon the face of Anima.

Anima had indeed grown larger than even his once towering stature, now standing large enough to dwarf most dragons to the size of foals in comparison. Anima’s features too had become more warped in the time he was removed from Equestria, making him near unrecognizable even to the Timeless Seven.

Anima turned his head slowly to gaze upon his surroundings, almost like a foal waking from an abnormally deep sleep. Anima seemed not to be able to see any of the ponies around him, mostly likely due to their miniscule in comparison size. Eventually, Anima chose to speak in a voice that would forever haunt the citizens of Equestria.

“I have at last returned. I do wonder how long it has been since I was last in Equestria. It seems to have rebuilt what I had once destroyed at least.” Anima spoke aloud to himself, in a voice that seemed to infect the very air itself.

Dune Star stood poised in the position he had been in mere moments ago, prepared to unleash his magic at any point. All Dune Star needed was the symbol, a hologram of Twilight’s Cutie Mark, to appear in order to signal him to attack.

A few seconds later, the very signal Dune Star needed appeared directly in front of him. Dune Star let fly one of the spells he had developed in his mentor’s wake in order to combat Anima when he returned.

The tremendous bolt of ocean blue energy collided with Anima and spread exponentially over his being within moments. Anima roared at the magic as it connected with him, but it faded away mere seconds later. Anima froze his body for a moment before turning towards the caster of the spell.

Anima smiled wickedly as his eyes confirmed what the Elements of Chaos had told him about the spell he had just experienced.

“Well, well, well. It has been a long time Dune Star. Though apparently not long enough for you to fade to dust.” Anima called out to Dune Star, not scaring Dune Star as much with his voice as somepony else might’ve been.

“Indeed Anima. I had hoped you’d never return. You are not welcome in Equestria. Our father made that very clear last time.” Dune Star responded to Anima, hoping to appeal to the tiny bit of Famira he hoped was still within the being.

Anima began to laugh the menacing laugh he had first echoed when Discan had battled him. Anima laughed for what might’ve been hours or mere minutes. All that was known was that while Anima laughed time itself seemed to flow erratically and silence abounded.

“Not welcome? I am one of the intended rulers of Equestria. I was created by our father Star Swirl the Bearded to rule! Unlike some I could mention.” Anima hissed at Dune Star, hoping to put Anger within him.

Dune Star had trained himself well for this battle though, and had learned to instantly sever all links to emotions and thoughts that Anima might use to make the Elements of Chaos grow stronger. As Anima realized this, his smile faded and he began to speak again.

“So Dune Star. Do tell me. What exactly was the magic supposed to do to me? You had but one chance to properly attack me without my knowledge of your location. Why did you not attempt to kill me then? Or is my death clock already ticking so to speak?” Anima questioned Dune Star, as curious as cocky about this situation.

Dune Star smiled at Anima, glad that Anima was now falling for his first plans entirely. Dune Star closed his eyes for a moment to make sure that his plans would progress, then decided to answer Anima.

“That spell was intended to do two things Anima. The first was to properly ground you within time again so that you could be hurt by attacks.” Dune Star started, glad to see Anima questioningly gaze at him upon his answer.

“And the second purpose behind the spell Dune Star? Do tell me what you intend to do now.” Anima mocked Dune Star, certain that one pony could do nothing against him.

“The second purpose was to distract you from glimpsing the entirety of your surroundings in order to execute THIS!” Dune Star screamed to the air as the Six Leaders and the Six Bearers took flight from their hiding spots in the Alicorn forms to begin the true attack on Anima.

Anima screamed as the powers of the Elements of Harmony began to make contact with him again, burning him almost. Anima was stronger now though, and he could take more pain because of this fact.

“I defeated the Six Leaders last time Dune Star! Do you really expect them to win this time?!” Anima screamed as he began to let loose energy from his body in an attempt to catch the Six Leaders.

“They’re not alone like last time Anima. 9 more Alicorns join them now!” Dune Star screamed back, taking to the air himself to begin attacking Anima as well.

“Nine more Alicorns?!” Anima screamed, attempting to scan all the small bolts of energy for unfamiliar shapes.

Anima took sight of the Six Leaders, the same as he remembered, and the Princesses, now fully grown. Anima was also able to glimpse Dune Star again, as well as the Six other Alicorns who were most unfamiliar to him as all circled and attacked him.

“ENOUGH!” Anima bellowed, releasing the full power of the Elements of Chaos through the entirety of his being to push the Alicorns away.

Dune Star regrouped quickly and used his magic to cushion the stopping points of the other Alicorns. Dune Star called the Princess, Leader and Bearers over to him as Anima began to bellow again as the other ponies began their assault on his being.

“Listen. The power of the Elements can hit him, just as I expected. Anima will not be still long enough for you to fully utilize their power against him and the Elements of Chaos though.” Dune Star explained, hoping that the others would follow him again as they had a year ago in the War Chambers.

“What do we do then? If we cannot hit him with their full power we have no chance of dispelling him.” Clover the Clever called out, worry creasing her face greatly.

“There is one way. Cockatrice petrification will hold him long enough.” Dune Star stated, certain he would be misunderstood.

“We don’t have enough Cockatrice power on our side to petrify something as large as Anima is now.” Fluttershy explained, confused as to why Dune Star had suggested such an idea.

“You’re right. We don’t have enough power to petrify Anima, but Anima himself possess the power.” Dune Star elaborated, hoping he was beginning to convey his idea properly.

“How in the hay do we get him to petrify himself though?” Applejack asked aloud, hoping she could help in some way.

“Leave that to me. You all continue your attacks. Celestia, when I give you the signal, Shining Armor’s Cutie Mark as a hologram, hit Anima with all of your Sun Magic directly in his eyes. That should make him draw out his Cockatrice powers.” Dune Star asked Celestia, glad to see his student nod at him before turning from her current position to return to the battle ahead.

***

“Trixie! Shining Armor!” Dune Star called out as he skimmed the ponies below looking for the two who could help him in his plan.

“Over here!” Shining Armor called out, waving Dune Star to his location as Trixie also galloped to his side.

Dune Star landed within moments and knew he had a very short time to explain and begin his plan to hold Anima.

“You forgot to call me ‘The Great and Powerful Trixie’ but considering the current situation, I will let it go. What do you need of Trixie?” Trixie asked Dune Star, shocking him with simply letting her title slide for the moment.

“Trixie. I need you to gather as many unicorns as you can and prepare to cast a reflection spell on my signal, which will be Shining Armor’s Cutie Mark projected in the sky.” Dune Star explained to Trixie, hoping her charisma would be a help now and not a hinder.

“Excellent. I shall go at once to prepare. We will be ready in 5 minutes time with all the magic we can muster.” Trixie replied as she set off at a gallop again, calling out to all the unicorns she passed with Dune Star’s plan.

Dune Star looked after Trixie for a moment before turning to Shining Armor again in order to explain his role.

“Shining Armor. I will need you to cast your strongest shield spell directly behind the reflection spell of Trixie’s forces. Don’t drop it for a second until Anima screams. You go at the same signal as Trixie got it?” Dune Star asked Shining Armor, truly hoping he had enough magic left for the job.

“Sure thing. I can do that. I’ll be ready at the same time as Trixie. Just show me when.” Shining Armor told Dune Star, closing his eyes afterwards to begin focusing all his magic.

Dune Star took to the sky again and glimpsed the crowd below for Trixie before taking off to give the signal. Dune Star found Trixie as she and most all the unicorns waved at him to show their readiness for their part.

Dune Star glanced once more at Shining Armor to make sure he was ready as well before focusing all his magic into making the signal everypony needed.

***

A giant hologram of Shining Armor’s Cutie Mark erupted next to Anima’s head, causing him to stop and turn his head minutely for a moment.

“What in the- AGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!” Anima screamed as Celestia let loose all her magic against Anima’s eyes just as she was asked.

Anima stumbled for a moment, fully blinded, allowing Trixie and Shining Armor to play their parts undetected before his vision returned along with his anger.

“HOW DARE YOU!” Anima bellowed at Celestia, his burnt eyes blinking for a moment before turning pure red to signal his Cockatrice powers.

Anima’s power was stopped by Shining Armor’s carefully placed shield spell though, and returned to him two-fold with the help of Trixie’s battalion.

Anima bellowed again as his own power was reflected upon him and he turned temporarily to stone against the Cockatrice’s influence.

“NOW! Release the full power of the Elements of Harmony.” Dune Star yelled as the Six Leaders and the Six Bearers charged forth to attack Anima with all they had while they could do so.

The Elements of Harmony collided fully with the Elements of Chaos, and without Anima to contain them within his being properly, they appeared a short ways in front of Anima, a strange creature centered within them.

***

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