• Published 17th Nov 2017
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My Little Universe: Season 6 - EquestrianKirin



New Gems, old foes, and a big mystery to tie them together. Who's ready for their big reprise?

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Butterfly Wings

"If somepony had told me when I was a blank flank that one day I'd give a speech to a class at Celestia's School of Magic, I wouldn't have believed it, but I hope that I have been up to the task, because I can tell that all of you are and that the future of Equestrian magic is in good hooves."

Off in Canterlot, Twilight Sparkle had gotten the big opportunity by princess Celestia, one that the alicorn herself was both nervous and excited to have privilege. For the longest time she was given the lessons by Celestia herself, and learning lessons herself. Now it's time for this alicorn to give her lessons to others in a more professional light. With Spike working the slides for the camera, Twilight stood at her podium and presented the day's studies to a number of magic students, most of these unicorns, though some other magic students were apart of this as well.

"Uh, next slide please," Twilight said, waiting for the slide to change. However, Spike ended up falling asleep through the first half. A particular equestrian Doppelganger nudged Spike just enough to wake him up, and once that happened, he scrambled like crazy to get the next set of pictures. Eventually, after some workings, the picture of the mane six were presented, seemingly around what looked like a rainbow ring at the center.

"I can speak from my own experience that the power of Cutie Mark Magic is very real, and in the instance of my friends and I, it can be traced to a single event! Without Rainbow Dash's race to defend Fluttershy's honor, this rainboom wouldn't have happened. Fluttershy might never have discovered her love of animals. Applejack might never have realized that she belonged on her farm. And Pinkie Pie might never have decided to leave hers. It must be hard to imagine Rarity without her sense of fabulousness. But it's even harder to fathom what my life would be like. Without this rainboom, I might not have gotten into magic school. Celestia wouldn't have taken me on as her pupil or sent me to Ponyville to meet my friends. And the most powerful thing about Cutie Mark Magic that I found is the connection I share with them."
Each word Twilight had explained in her grand lecture was met by some eager and intrigued ears of many a magic user in the room. Spike kept his focus up this time and kept up with the pictures as things went on, but as Twilight continued, she saw ... something. she squinted her eyes to be sure her eyes weren't playing tricks, but when she looked back again at who she was sure was there ... it was gone.

"The real question about... Cutie Mark Magic is... who it seems to affect."

~~~~~~

"Starlight Glimmer?"

"I was sure I saw her, Spike. But when I looked again, she was gone! I'm just worried what she could be up to," Twilight explained, as she and Spike made it back to Ponyville with little trouble since the presentation. And who could really blame her though? Twilight hadn't seen the magic mare in a VERY long time, and last she could remember was with the leader of Homeworld on a vengeance spree not just to her but her friends as well.

"Nothing good, I bet. I heard she wasn't very happy the last time you saw her," Spike said, bringing up the very same point, or maybe one further on. Twilight sighed as she and Spike went along.

"Forcing everypony in her village to have the same cutie mark wasn't right. We had to do something! I was really hoping she would try to learn from it, but ..." Twilight slowed her thoughts on that remark, but Spike had it covered with his own idea.

"And now she's coming back for revenge," spike concluded. Though seeing the alicorn's worried face made him switch and said "Uh, or she was just really interested in your speech!"

"Honestly, Spike. I'm not really sure what I saw. But as long as I have my friends, I know everything will be all right," Twilight concluded. she had her friends of Ponyville, and her friends from Beach City, so she had that going for her, whatever the case. After all, they've gone through many a problem before this. Eventually, Twilight and Spike were at the front door to the library.

"Maybe I was just more stressed about that speech than I thought."

"Yeah. That sounds better than Starlight Glimmer coming back with an evil plot for revenge," Spike pointed out. O so true.

"Well, when you say it like that, it does sound kinda silly," Twilight finally concluded, just as she opened the door. ...

"Or it's totally true!"

Dear oh dear. Twilight was a little confused at first, but when she looked into the library, she saw a sight that almost made her heart skip a beat. There, sitting casually by the library's center statue with a cocky, triumphant smirk edged on her face, was the very unicorn in question, levitating what looked like a scroll by her eyesight. And worse yet, it seemed this unicorn knew she was coming.

"Welcome home, Twilight!" Starlight said, as she read over the spell she had with her. Twilight and Spike looked completely shocked to see the unicorn in their own home of all places, and Starlight wasted little time in activating the spell in question. Up above their heads, the sight of what looked like a portal started to open up above them, a sight of green and blue mixture amongst the portal greeting them inside. some pages from Twilight's books actually started to swirl around, magical lightning zapping here and there, almost hitting Spike and Twilight.

"What are you doing, Starlight?" Twilight demanded, only to be met by Starlight's laughing.

"I'd tell you, but I don't want to ruin the surprise! Won't be needing that anymore," Starlight decided, crumbling up the scroll into nothing but scrap paper, and tossing it away, Spike catching it. After that was done, Starlight Glimmer began to float up with a magical aura around herself, using her own magic as she did before. Starlight rushed up through the portal, but soon she wasn't the only one beginning to get sucked in, Twilight quickly seeing Spike starting to get pulled in as well!

"Got you, Spike!" Twilight said, desperately grabbing him by the tail, but soon she too started to get pulled in, and soon both alicorn and baby dragon were sucked into the portal with Starlight! Starlight looked back through the portal, just to see this happen, and NO WAY was she going to do that.

"OH NO, you're not stopping me this time, Twilight Sparkle!" Starlight declared, turning around for a brief moment, and gave them a perfect blast of unicorn magic. Twilight Sparkle and Spike were too focused on keeping eachother from getting hurt for a counterattack, and the alicorn was hit especially strong and tossed around in the portal warpstream!

~~~~~~

Eventually, a portal did start to open up on one end of the world, and it made them all tumble and soon enough, Spike and Twilight ended up landing rather roughly on solid ground. The alicorn and dragon spun and stumbled until finally stopping in the dirt, both her and Spike dizzy from their fly around through time and space. Twilight got her horn out of the dirt, shaking herself off, as Spike coughed a little bit. Looking around, both Spike and Twilight seemingly found themselves just outside her home. Or at least, it would seem that way.
For one moment, Ponyville looked like the spitting image of friendship and harmony, friendly, sweet, and cozy to live in. But now, all the buildings and cottages they could see and make out had a rather horrifying look of decay on them. Each house they could see had at least two to three holes in their hay rooftops, some buildings with doors and windows boarded up, and trees which were once flourishing and full of life now simply stood like skeletons with only bark on their limbs swaying in the breeze. Twilight and Spike were left pretty shocked on what the hay happened to their world, and once more, the place didn't really look too inhabited either. Sure they saw a very few, but those they did see were not willing to come out to see them. Both of them began to head through town, and saw this same scenario practically all over Ponyville, one way or another.

"I don't have a good feeling about this," Spike said.

"W-Well, ok, maybe Ponyville looks a little uh ... low-maintained, but this is Ponyville! How bad could this be?" Twilight asked.

However, it appeared this Alicorn spoke just a little too soon. They were heading on over towards Rarity's boutique, but once they got there, the building looked just as bad and decrepit as anywhere else, the doors and windows boarded up from top to bottom, and no true way to get in.

"Rarity! Rarity, you in there?!" Spike called, pulling on the boards to look in. However, no such luck.

"I don't think she's here anymore, Spike. ... Oh, what in Equus and Earth happened?" Twilight wondered. Spike took a better look at his alicorn friends, and ...

"T-Twilight?"

"Spike, I know this looks bad, but there has to be something that hadn't changed. ... Spike?" Twilight turned to him and saw that Spike looked completely freaked out, irises shrinking, and finger claw pointing over to Twilight's back. Twilight followed his eyes, and what she saw shocked her to her core. Or rather, what she didn't see: her Cutie Mark, and her wings! Twilight yelped in shocked. As horrifying as this appeared to be for her, there was only one conclusion that she could make out for this happening.

"Did you think Starlight did this? Maybe if we find her, we can fix this! Now, where is she?" Spike wondered, but Twilight saw the paper in his claws, and took a quick look at it. And that's when it clicked.

"Not where, when!"

"What do you mean?" Twilight levitated the spell out of Spike's claws, and quickly looked it over, straightening it out.

"This spell! Spike, this is Starswirl's time spell. Starlight must've found it and went back to the past to alter something. Her knocking us back must've sent us back to the present."

"Good! ... Wait, our present or her present?"

"Looks like we're in hers Spike," Twilight concluded, looking around Ponyville. And just to show how decrepit everything had gotten, they both heard a distant sign fall to the ground., echoing throughout the town. Spike felt a shiver run through him as he gulped nervously.

"But what do we do now? I mean, nopony's going to listen."

"I know somepony who might! Come on, to Canterlot!" Twilight said, leaped up onto the air. However, all that did was make her thud to the ground, the now Cutie-Markless unicorn forgetting for a brief moment that she had lost her wings.

"I don't think they would listen to you either. Sorry but, you're no princess anymore," Spike pointed out. Twilight groaned and got back to her hooves.

"Oh, you're right. But there's got to be somepony. ... Wait. I think I got it!"

.......

And there they were. After their run around, their next stop was straight over to Sweet Apple Acres. However, the once happy, hard-working farmland now turned into a rough, hard-working factory. The barnhouse had a number of smokestacks coming up from it. To say that this was out pf place was surely an understatement. Twilight went over towards one of the windows, and looked on inside, only to find the barn completely turned into an assembly line: Big Macintosh and Applejack inside and working the machines around them. Neither looked very good though, both in full body suits, and masks over their mouths. This was indeed a scary situation, but Applejack was a nice sight to see, as the orange pony rolled out a barrel outside and towards a nearby wagon.

"Applejack! Oh, thank Celestia you're still here!" Twilight said with a smile. However, AJ's reaction was more mundane than most, and pushed Twilight off of her.

"Can I help you?" she asked, before going back to work.

"It's so good to see you. I didn't find Rainbow Dash, Pinkie, Rarity, or Fluttershy, but I knew you'd still be here."

"Of course I am, I live here. But who in tarnation's Pinkie Bow and FlutterDash? ... Or you for that matter?"

"You ... Don't know who I am?" Twilight asked humbly, as AJ got another barrel, and rolled it passed.

"Nope. Rarity sounds familiar, but she left years ago to manehatten."

"To fulfill her dream as a fashion designer I bet," Spike said, hoping that was the case. However, AJ had a different story.

"Doubt it. Last I heard she went to help the cause like everypony else," AJ answered. The cause? what cause? Sure things looked bad, but what was it they would be handling exactly? AJ looked back to them, and saw just how confused they were.

"Ya know, the war. The Lunar empire against the Crystal Empire?"

"W-WHAT?!" they gasped. AJ felt startled.

"Hold on. Y'all really didn't had a clue? Where have you been," AJ asked, eyebrow raised.

"Eh, more like when," Spike corrected. AJ still felt a little confused.

"Applejack, I know it's hard to believe, but those ponies I've mentioned and you are friends, myself included!" Twilight insisted. However, Applejack didn't seem to buy into it, and walked in between her and Spike.

"Really? Pull the other one, it has bells on it."

"I'm telling the truth, really!"

"Sure. And I reckon you had a set of wings and a little princess of friendship where you came from too, right?"

"EXACTLY!" Spike and Twilight gasped. That just frustrated AJ.

"Alright, look, I don't have a clue what y'all are talkin, but if you wanna figure this out that badly, go and talk to princess moon. If anypony's got a clue, it'll be her. Now, if you'll excuse me, I got some crates to deliver," AJ said, and with that remark and the final barrel in place, and began to head off. Well, guess the two knew where to go next.

"Do you know where she is?" Twilight asked, trotting up to her. AJ then stopped again on that question, and saw that this odd pony was being sincere about it.

"You really aren't from around here, huh?" AJ questioned. Twilight and Spike shook their heads.

"... Well, her castle's over within Everfree. Kinda hard to miss. Good luck in ... whatever you're doin," AJ stated, before going on her way.

"Look, I now you may not believe me, but I promise you, we're gonna make things right."

"... I hope you do."

.......

So with the directions given to them both, Twilight and Spike were on their way again, this time racing off towards the Everfree forest. Despite how much Ponyville had changed, the forest was still as lush and green as ever, so it couldn't have been that bad. At least on a global scale. The two knew the route to the castle like the back of their hands (or hooves in Twilight's case), but by the time they did get there, they found that the castle of the two sisters was not only still standing, but in peak condition. Considering it was in ruins in her timeline, that could only mean one thing to her, but to be sure, they had to go in there and look themselves.
Twilight and Spike wasted no time in getting into the castle, and when they managed to open the doors, the whole place almost mirrored the castle in Canterlot in appearance, although most of it had a blue feel to it rather than the white. The two didn't take more than a few steps inside when -

"Excuse me, but what business do you have here?"

Rarity! Er, kinda. Spike and Twilight looked and saw Rarity off nearby, seemingly cleaning some of the tapestries. Her mane and tail were in buns, her outfit a sort of maid uniform accompanied by front horseshoes, all of which were midnight blue.

"The castle's not open for tourists right now, as the tapestries are in need of cleaning. Again," Rarity stated.

"Rarity! It's me, Spike!"

"I do not consort with dragons, and I don't know anypony that does," Rarity made clear. Well that really was a heart-breaking moment for the dragon.

"Rarity, wait, listen we -"

"Oh hush. And how do you know my name, anyway?" she questioned, suspiciously. Twilight and Spike weren't sure how to react.

"Er ... well, it's kinda a long story, but -"

"I don't have time for it then. I've got far too much to do other than to handle somepony's fantasy," Rarity made clear.

"B-But Rarity, please listen, there's somepony that has completely changed the past, and I have to go and make things right."

...

"Time travel? Now that's something interesting."

Not a comforting voice that she wanted to hear. Twilight turned around next, and then she saw a particular Alicorn stand there behind her. But it wasn't Cadance, or Celestia, or even Luna. Well, not in the way that they would've wanted anyway. And it only took one look at the Alicorn's eyes for Twilight and Spike to know exactly who this was.

Nightmare Moon!

"Tell me how you came by this magic to travel through time," she demanded, looking down to them. Twilight felt herself gulp, and without much of her magic to use, it really wasn't much she could really do.

"The princess asked you a question! And unless you wanna end up in the dungeon, you'll tell her what she wants to know!" yelled one of the soldiers, as a group of them suddenly came out to confront the pair. Spike and Twilight stayed close.

"Nopony in my kingdom but me should possess a magic powerful enough to change time."

"Your kingdom?" spike asked, just to be nudged by Twilight to keep quiet. Last thing they want is to be thrown in jail.

"Who else?" Nightmare questioned.

"Um... Celestia, of course!" Spike said meekly. No that didn't seem to help, but lucky for them, Nightmare Moon wasn't too upset with that fact.

"My sister has been killed years ago. Taken down by Sombra himself. And you say you think she still rules around her anymore?" Nightmare questioned. Now THAT was a scary thought: the princess of the sun killed by such a unicorn. They could only wonder just how strong Sombra really was in this timeline, but with their encounters before perhaps it wasn't as surprising. Nightmare Moon moved closer to them, making the two back up.

"Anyway, reveal to me this source of time magic," Nightmare said again. Twilight had to comply.

"Well, your highness, I-it wasn't exactly us who did it."

"Hmm ... seems so. not often a blank flank would have such a power without a Cutie Mark to show for it," Nightmare figured. That just reminded them both just how much was altered, Spike glancing to the blank flank again. Nightmare began to ponder though.

"Then if it wasn't you. Then who?"

"... Starlight Glimmer. She altered something in the past, a-and we're trying to figure out what that actually is. We were told you might have an answer?" Twilight asked. It did felt kinda of ironic that she would be asking a pony like Nightmare for help, but if Sombra was the same as before, Nightmare would probably be the better option to pick. Nightmare shook her head.

"Sounds like one of King Sombra's pawns. I've ruled this kingdom for years, and I've never heard that name once. I would've known of her existence in my kingdom by now otherwise," Nightmare stated. Guess that made sense.

"W-What happened with Sombra anyway? Wasn't he defeated already?" Spike then asked. Nightmare paused for a moment, and then turned towards the throne, with her horn beginning to glow. Soon, a map of Equestria began to show, but this showed a huge divide between Nightmare Moon's kingdom to the south, and King Sombra's kingdom to the north in a clear north south split, with Canterlot just along the borders of it.

"My sister and I. Yes ... But when the Crystal Empire returned, so did he. The cold north he brought on began to ruin Equestria for everypony. we went to the Crystal Empire on his release, but he learned from before, and it only took moments before my sister was taken down. Right in front of me as well ..." Twilight and Spike saw a tear slide back down from her face as she recalled the memory of such before she continued. "After that, Sombra's winter storm started to spread south, turning the world colder and dryer. The Changlings had gone extinct in that time, but that was the only good that storm had brought upon us. I had to try and stop him before all of Equus turns into nothing but an ice age."

"Hence the war?" Twilight asked. Nightmare turned back to them and simply nodded her head. It was strange: normally Twilight would be horrified and angry at Nightmare Moon, but seeing her here ... this just wasn't the same Nightmare Moon. But more rather a different form of Princess Luna, and nothing else.

"I ... I'm sorry," Twilight said, going up to her. Nightmare looked down to her, but cleared her throat to turn more formal again.

"Part of that is why I don't allow magic greater than mine to be here. If there was anypony who could match and even surpass me in magic, then it could prove horrendous, and something Sombra could use against me. ... And by the sound of it, you're timeline didn't end this way?"

"Actually yeah. In fact, King Sombra never even had the chance to come to power," Twilight said. She didn't feel too right in telling Nightmare Moon about what happened to her, but hearing that intrigued Nightmare.

"Did he now? ... And my sister, is she ... still with you?"

"Alive and well, last I remember. And you were too."

"... As Nightmare? Or Luna?" Nightmare inquired. Twilight wasn't sure how to answer this correctly, but with guards around her, and with little option, and looked to Nightmare.

"As ... As Princess Luna."

There was some pause, and Spike and Twilight were worried that they would end up in trouble from that answer. But Nightmare didn't call for an attack or anything, in fact she didn't look too upset with them much. In fact, she looked a little surprised by what they were saying.

"... You know. There was one who came by and told me something like that. No one believed her of course, but ... that sure sounds like a far better world to live in than this one. ..."

"You'd be right," Spike said. This time Twilight didn't stop him from saying that. Nightmare pondered for a little bit more on what Twilight was saying.

"... I may not know how to travel through time, but it sounds like there is somepony out there who does. What's your name?"

"Twilight Sparkle. and this is Spike."

"... So, Twilight. What I gather here is that in an alternate world, everything was peaceful, but Starlight wanted to get back at you in someway, and upon doing so, has sent you two to this one so you won't be able to stop her. And now you're trying to make things right. Is that about it?"

"Well ... yeah, that about sums it up," Spike answered.

"Wish I could help you, but I know little about time magic. That, and you two already know what she looks like and what she can do. Therefore, your best chance would unfortunately be within the Crystal Empire itself. That pony must be stopped before her time traveling magic could alter anymore of our history. You two better get going," A statement that both Twilight and Spike could agree on.

"I promise, princess, that we'll make things right," Twilight said, before she and Spike went out of the palace.

"... I sure hope so."

.......

"This is worse than I thought," Twilight said as they raced down the road.

"No kidding: first Sombra's taking over, Celestia's gone, and nopony even remembers us," Spike summed up. Twilight felt heart broken on Celestia's news, feeling tears come down her own face before she shook them off. Now was not the time to grieve.

"Spike, we have to stop Starlight."

"I know, but how? I mean, none of us saw her since she popped up at your little speech in Canterlot," Spike said. Suddenly Twilight skidded to a halt, enough to make Spike fall off.

"Spike you're a genius!"

"Really?! ... What for?" Spike groaned.

"Spike, the Sonic Rainboom! I told everypony in my lecture that it was that who brought all of my friends together, and Starlight went back in time to stop that from happening. Without that Rainboom, my and my friends never would've met, and therefore couldn't stop the return of Nightmare Moon, King Sombra, Queen Chrysalis, and -"

"Yours truly?"

Twilight and Spike jumped on that voice. Both Unicorn and dragon looked up into a nearby tree, and soon saw the only Draconequus that the two knew of sitting up there looking down at them! Unlike practically everypony else around here, Discord looked pretty much the same as he was before.

"Discord?!" Twilight gasped.

"In the flesh. Finally figured out what Starlight Glimmer's up to?" Discord asked.

"Wait. You do know what we are, do you?" Spike asked. Discord simply laughed.

"I'm sorry, have we met? I'm Discord: spirit of chaos and disharmony, hello? You really think one time-splitter spell is gonna change this Draconequus?" Discord asked, flying down from the tree like a stray feather, and just as light too. Well, they couldn't argue with him there.

"So you remember everything then?" Twilight asked, just for Discord to pop up behind them, paw and talon wrapped around their shoulders.

"It's so hard to forget a few cute little Gems. Plus who could forget this little face, eh princess?" Discord said, playfully pinching her cheek. As annoying as it is, this was probably their best bet to figure things out.

"Right. Now, Discord, you saw how much has happened, we have to make things right again."

"Eh, I dunno, I'm enjoying all this little brand of chaos. could make for some good fanfiction, don't you think so?" Discord said, writing in a book as they were talking. Twilight and Spike couldn't believe their ears, but Discord then laughed again.

"I'm only kidding! It wouldn't be the same without those Gems running around here, and all this fighting's getting bland," Discord said.

"It's terrible here: Sombra's spreading his empire, Nightmare Moon has returned, and Celestia is ..." Twilight didn't want to finish that sentence, but Discord knew what she was talking about. And he wasn't happy with it himself.

"Know what you mean. Sure I like to mess around with ponies, but killing them? Geesh, pushing the boundaries there. Tell you what, I wanna help ya out."

"You know how to get back?" Spike asked.

"Tell you? I'll show you!" Discord said, pulling out a key from his ear like some magic trick. It wasn't exactly the same as the keys he gave them, Next thing they knew, Discord got a door opened for them, and both of them saw a familiar sight of Cloudsdale on the other side! Just what they wanted. However, before they could go, Discord tapped Twilight's back, and not only returned Twilight's wings, but her Cutie Mark as well, the Draconequus giving them a wink.

"Let's go Spike. Thanks, discord," Twilight replied, as Spike hopped onto her back.

"Good luck, everypony," Discord said, before he too disappeared. Now knowing what to do, Twilight and Spike jumped right through. Off to the past!

~~~~~~

"You're Going down, Rainbow Crash!"

"In history maybe. See you at the finish line!"

It was a moment of truth for one young little Pegasus, as Rainbow Dash, currently blank flank, readied herself up for a particular charge down the race track with a number of young bully pegesi. Her young friend, Fluttershy, stood up in front of them with a starting flag in her muzzle. With a simple wave, the race began to start, and all three of them quickly made their bolt for it, racing past Fluttershy so quickly she ended up in a tailspin, and fell off her cloud. Those that seen the story would know what would happen next, but for one Unicorn hidden just out of sight further down the track, that was not on her mind.

"That's it. Come here. Almost there," she said in a sly voice, her horn starting to glow. ...

"Starlight, wait!"

Unexpected company, and not what she wanted at all. Her concentration stopped, and low and behold when she turned, Twlight and Spike were coming her way, flying fast. Immediately though, her spell zapped right at her, Twilight narrowly avoiding it, but unfortunately a second blast struck her, and soon she and Spike were stuck encased in crystal! And as the weight of the crystal was making them sink down, Starlight started to float around them in her magic.

"Well, finding her will be easy! But stopping her's gonna be harder than you think. Sorry to disappoint you, but I created that spell to send myself back in time. So even when you cast it, I still get sent back here. It wasn't difficult to change Star Swirl's spell. He'd already done the hard part. But figuring out I could use the map to go to any time or place and pull you along with me? [short laugh] I even impressed myself with that. I knew you'd try to stop me. You're so predictable. Why else would I leave the scroll behind? Touching it triggered the map to whisk you here and watch me erase the one thing that linked you with your friends! My village was a sanctuary of equality, where nopony's cutie mark allowed them to feel superior! It was a special place, and you and your friends took it away!"

... And they were gone. Starlight, a bit bugged, flew under the cloud just to find them still encased, just underneath the cloud rather than on it.

"Now it's my turn to take something special from you! Without the rainboom, you and your friends will never form your special cutie mark bonds! Cutie marks for cutie marks! Sounds like a fair trade to me!" And with a hit of her hoof, the crystal began to fall! Twilight, thinking quickly, got her own magic together and just strong enough to make the crystal break, releasing her and Spike at once. Twilight made sure to catch Spike before he could end up falling to the ground. Twilight looked back up and quickly flew back to Starlight, finding her back in her place.

"Starlight, please listen to me, this -"

"This what, princess! WHAT?!"

"Starlight, what you're doing goes way beyond Cutie Marks - one change here and all of Equestria will be in extreme trouble! All of Equestria is hanging in the balance!" Twilight warned, hoping that would go through, but Starlight wasn't buying it.

"Spare me your overblown ego! Even if you're a princess, nopony's friendship is that important!" Starlight yelled, her horn glowing again and ready to shoot Rainbow Dash out of the sky. Quickly, Spike jumped off of Twilight's back, and landed on Starlight's head, making Starlight miss and for the bullies and Rainbow to pass by. Angry, Starlight bucked Spike off, Twilight catching him.

"What is wrong with you?"

"Wrong with us? look, Starlight, please, if you do this, then Nightmare Moon will return, King Sombra will start a war with Equestria, and Princess Celestia will pass on from all of us if you do this."

"Oh come on be real, no single friendship removed will cause all that!"

"But it did! I saw it happen. Please, Starlight, I'm begging you, don't do this, it'll ruin far more than you'll know. Even to you."

"Ruin me? My life was just happy and fine before you showed up and ruined EVERYTHING I've built, and you know it!" Starlight accussed.

"Starlight, I'm sorry for doing that, and I don't know what happened to make you start that village, but -"

"You want to know? I'll show you!" Suddenly Starlight Glimmer zapped something else to show up. Twilight and Spike braced for whatever impact, but this hit aimed right at Twilight's horn. And the Alicorn began to see something. ...

Twilight, Spike, Starlight were suddenly in a house of sorts, albeit in a sort of hologram form. Looking around, they ended up seeing what looked like a study of sorts. Twilight saw two ponies, one a colt and one a filly: the filly being Starlight, and the colt looking like an orange unicorn.

"Sunburst. He and I always stayed together. In fact, I don't remember a time we ever were apart. ... Until today," Starlight sasid. And suddenly, as young Starlight was working out some more books, a particularly large pile actually started to fall towards her! They thought she was going to be covered in books (at least Spike did), but then Sunburst suddenly had a spur of magic come up, and saved her from such, not to mention levitating tons of other books. And just like that, something ended up showing on his flank that changed everything: a Cutie Mark. As great as this was, Sunburst suddenly raced outside, passed his friend, and went on to show everypony else what was going on. Starlight sighed.

"And just like that, I lost my best friend. He went off to Canterlot, and I never saw him again."

"What? Why not?" Spike asked. Starlight grew angry again.

"Because of his cutie mark! He got his, and I didn't! He moved on, and I didn't! I stayed here and never made another friend because I was too afraid another cutie mark would take them away, too!" Starlight yelled, some tears actually showing up on her face.

"That's ridiculous. A cutie mark can't take your friends away," Twilight stated.

"Not everypony's lucky enough to get her cutie mark at the same time as her friends."

And with that, they were suddenly back at square one: back in Rainbow Dash's race, and Starlight ready to finish things up here.

"But once I take away that moment, you'll know what I'm going through!" Starlight readied to fly off, but then Twilight actually grabbed her by the tail with her muzzle, keeping her back.

"Starlight, you're right! I don't know what you went through! But I do know you can't do this! I've seen where this leads, and I know you've had too! Things don't turn out well in Equestria without my friends!"

"Ugh! What's so special about your friends?! How can a group of ponies that are so different be so important?!" Starlight yelled.

"The differences between me and my friends are the very things that make our friendship strong!"

"I thought Sunburst and I were the same. But we turned out different, and it tore our friendship apart!" Starlight stated again, more tears coming out. Twilight went over to her and placed a wing around her.

"So try again! Make new friends! And if something that you can't control happens that changes things, work through it together! That's what friendship is! And it's not just my friendships that are important to Equestria! Everypony's are! When yours ended, it led us here. But just imagine all the others that are out there waiting for you if you just give them a chance!"

"... How do I know they won't all end the same way?" Starlight asked quietly.

"I guess it's up to you to make sure they don't," Twilight answered. Starlight stayed quiet on this, and began to slowly come around to this idea. Did she really try to make friends after Sunburst left? No. All she did was trying to make people stay with her, and nothing else. Not truly friendship as what Equestria was known for. That, and if what Twilight was saying was true ... then she would be held responsible for far more than just some Cutie Marks.
During this, they all began to hear a distant explosion far off, and next thing they knew, a similar looking Sonic Rainboom had occurred. The impossible had happened, and history stayed as it was. As for Starlight, she looked to the Alicorn, and when Twilight gave her hoof in friendship, Starlight smiled and placed her own onto hers. Perhaps it was time for her to try again. At this point, Spike got out the similar spell, and both Alicorn and Unicorn got it to activate to send them all back.

Looked like this crisis was over.

.......

Starlight, Twilight, and Spike went through the time and eventually got themselves off back to their original timeline. With the Sonic Rainboom happening, they were sure that things would come back to normal. The portal was meant to bring them back to Twilight's house, but instead they were in Beach City, the city very busy right now with plenty of familiar faces around. Lars, Sadie, Connie even, and plenty others from Beach City saw them show up, but oddly they weren't too worried about that right now.

"Uh, did you change the spell for us to pop up here?" Spike asked.

"No, I don't think so," Starlight replied, just as confused as they were.

...

"Welcome back. Twilight."

In a sudden attack, Twilight suddenly found herself in what felt like an aura of white, her and Starlight suddenly stuck inside it! Spike jumped off just before the unicorn and alicorn got caught, and both of them were completely frozen in place, not even able to perform any magic spells, or even twitch a muscle! Spike fell into Lars's arms, and he saw the culprit getting her prize.

White Diamond herself.

And she wasn't alone in this little mission either. Looking up in surprise at this gigantic women in their midst, all found that the Diamond had quite a collection with her. Every single pony, and every single Crystal Gem, all captured in a single bubble. They were trying over and over again to break out, but it was no use, and Twilight and Starlight both were then moved right inside of it.

"STEVEN! TWILIGHT!" shrieked Spike. Every single one of their friends were all trapped in there, and White Diamond was not going to let any of them go. Connie instinctively got hold of her sword, but White Diamond was not going to have any of that, and her foot lifted up to crush her! Doug grabbed his daughter and pulled her back, but her sword ended up crushed under her foot, nothing left but a bunch of shattered metal of her sabre.

"Connie, don't try to fight against impossible odds. Noble, sure, but seriously, you're about as desperate as your friend here," White Diamond noted, referring to Steven stuck inside, who was freaking out from the stomp himself.

"What're you doing to them?!" yelled Spike.

"Taking them away, of course, what does it look like I'm doing?" White Diamond stated.

"Let them go!" Sadie yelled. White Diamond glared down at the little human, making her especially quiet.

"... Give me one good reason why," White Diamond instructed, but Sadie's worry made her draw a blank for a moment, too slow for White Diamond.

"I fail to see why everyone here is so worked up over them."

"They've done so much for the city, that's what! They're our friends! If you don't let them out, I'll -"

"You'll. What?" White Diamond kneeled and leaned to Connie, making her back up. However, White Diamond found this rather amusing.

"Listen to yourselves. for the longest time you all just stand aside and play as the crying pebbles. You can talk, yell, scream all you want to, but none of you have any way to defend any of your kind at all. you only want these creatures around just so you can sleep peacefully at night knowing someone else will fight all the fights for you." This response actually got a steak knife thrown right at her head. It barely did much, but still got White Diamond's attention. Looking down, she saw Onion on one of the rooftops, ready to throw another, but White Diamond simply chuckled a laugh at Onions attempts, and her hand swung down at him! Onion bolted back, narrowly avoiding White Diamond's fist, but it crushed the roof!

"How desperate of you."

"What'd they even do to you?! What deed had they done to deserve this?!" Jamie yelled.

"Let's see: defying my court, causing a Gem war which lasted a thousand years or so, killed one of my Diamonds, slaughtered hundreds of Gems, trespassed on my Homeworld, attempted murder on yours truly. ... Shall I go on, or do you feel shocked enough?" Everyone grew quiet for a moment, not remotely aware of just how many crimes they've committed over the years. A number of the humans and baby dragon looked to the Crystal Gems inside.

"Garbonzo." Garbonzo hissed under his breath, angry for nearly killing his friend, as mad as the rest of Onion's gang.

"Oh hush. Think real for a minute: how much of a role do any of these Gems truly have on any of your lives? You're all upset because I'm taking away your guard dogs."

"GUARD DOGS?!" shouted Bismuth from inside the bubble. What White Diamond did next was as cruel as it was childish: she grabbed the bubble with both hands and shook it up like a snow globe! Gems and ponies shook around like crazy in there for a good ten seconds until White Diamond stopped, leaving everyone in there dazed and wounded. That just angered some, and frightened others even more.

"White Diamond, please! Yes, they've done a lot wrong in the past, but they're different now! They're friends to Homeworld, they saved it! The war is over!" Connie yelled, but White diamond paid her no mind.

"Save your breath. I'm sure your mother and father wouldn't want to visit their daughter's grave, now don't they?"

"You wouldn't dare!" Doug shouted. The response he got was a stomp of White diamond's foot, directly on top of them! They all thought that they died on the spot, but only saved by the heel of her foot holding up a space just big enough to avoid being crushed under her weight. White Diamond smiled.

"Be grateful I decided to wear my heels today. I suppose it's time for me to go," she joked, though the feeling of joy was strictly one-sided, as she raised her foot off the cracked ground, the other people quickly pulling the family out from the area. White Diamond had about enough of them though, and her mighty Diamond started to glow bright white for a moment, and the mighty leader pulled something out, looking like another Gemstone or diamond, yet this one was floating in mid air, and surrounded by a faint white glow. With a snap of her fingers, the diamond began to spin faster and faster, as White Diamond turned away, and began to stroll off towards the beach, keeping her Gems hidden in the bubble before a tap of her fingers made the bubble disappear from sight. The only ones who reacted was Lars and Spike, both bolting for some cover behind a building from what they thought was going to be a mighty blast, many of the others outside not sure what was going on, or what was going to happen.

*BOOOMMM!!*