• Published 20th Jul 2012
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The Conquering of Love - Littlecolt

Twilight finds she and her friends are trapped in their own minds and must escape.

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Pinked Ch 2 - Peanut Brittle

Book Six: Pinked

Chapter Two - Peanut Brittle

Canterlot, Reality, Ten Minutes Ago…

Chrysalis had barely returned to her throne after her little conversation with Cadence when two changelings before her cried out and threw their front hooves into the air in front of them. She stood back up quickly and looked at them, her face filling with disappointment and her ears falling down against her head.

“Morosa… Duval… What a sad showing,” she said flatly.

Morosa, after screaming nothing sensible, fell silent and slumped forward, unconscious.

Duval on the other hoof, popped up to his feet and stared at Chrysalis. His legs began to shake as he tried to call out anything he could remember. “Linnai! Her weakness!”

Chrysalis stood up and shouted back. “Out with it! Quickly!”

Duval began to laugh, then coughed. “Twilight… Sparkle!” He fell to the ground, his breathing quickly softening into a light snore.

The queen plopped her plot back down against the throne and rested her chin against a hoof. “Her weakness is Twilight Sparkle?” she repeated. Visions of Mulcibar’s sideways glance at Fluttershy flashed in her mind and she grinned ear to ear. “That’s it, then. That’s what you’ve been keeping from me, is it… Chrysalis? No, no, don’t say anything, that’s okay.”

Her eyes began to darken, and she shut them, taking a deep breath as a stream of green magic began to flow into her once again from the dream web. “Yes, I do taste it, it’s so strong. How did I miss this?” she whispered to herself. Her eyes shot open and she stared up at the cocoon that contained Pinkie Pie. “It’s as if you want to be found. What useful little tools. As amusing as this game has been, it’s time to end it.”

She closed her eyes once more and relaxed against the throne.

Pinkie Pie’s Dream, Present...

I don’t understand! What the heck is he talking about? Is this Pinkie’s dream? Where did all these changelings come from?

Twilight backed away from the musclebound changeling as the floating marshmallow he was standing on lowered down into the arena she’d found herself in. The crowd of changelings roared and stomped their hooves against the floor, chanting a name over and over.


The changeling flexed and posed and the crowd got even louder. “Eres delivers!” he shouted and flashed a glare at Twilight. He leapt down at her, letting one of his front hooves slam into the ground. The impact shook the floor and his hoof smashed through it, sending debris flying. Twilight leapt back and lit up her horn, flashing a shield in front of her, pieces of wood and stone smashing into it and fizzling against its surface.

Twilight shook her head, still confused as to what was happening, and lifted a hoof up. “Okay, now, uh... Eres. I don’t want to fight you. Let’s talk about what you said a minute ago, about Pinkie Pie.”

“The time for talking… is over!” the changeling said, flexing his muscles again and taking several strong steps towards Twilight. “Pinkie Pie demands swift retribution!”

“No!” Twilight insisted. “Pinkie Pie wouldn’t demand anything of the sort!”

“Enough talk! Time to kill!” Eres shouted. The amber gem in his horn lit up brightly and he launched himself at Twilight, slamming his front right hoof against her shield. The surface of the barrier rippled and sparked, and Twilight slid back along the floor, towards the back wall. His entire foreleg and hoof were now glowing with bright, golden magic, and cracks began to form in the shield.

What!? Twilight thought as she stared at the shield. She channeled more magic into it and braced herself.

Eres’ hoof smashed through the forcefield, sending bits of purple magic flying everywhere. Twilight ducked toward the ground, evading the punch’s continuation, and then reared forward with her head, slamming it against the changeling’s chest. To her surprise, her horn did not puncture him, but instead seemed to bounce off of him. She fell to the ground, dizzied.

“That’s right!” Eres shouted. “Nopony can beat Eres in single combat! Victory is mine!” He raised both of his front hooves up above Twilight’s head and swung them downward.

Just as his hooves were about to make contact, a massive blast of purple magic came from the side, blasting him away from Twilight and slamming him into the far wall. He fell to the ground with a loud, surprised growl.

Twilight jerked her head to the side and saw Princess Luna standing across the way, wings spread and horn blazing with magic. “A poor performance, Twilight! This sort of enemy does not listen to words.”

“Princess Luna! He knows something about Pinkie Pie.”

“So I heard! Shall we beat it out of him?” the princess responded, galloping towards the changeling while he was down.

“Princess, wait!”

Eres leapt up from the ground, the gem on his horn still glowing. He let loose with a blast of golden magic, shooting it at the charging alicorn, screaming as he fired. “Bring two or two hundred, Eres will prevail!”

“Luna!” Twilight leapt to her hooves and lit up her horn, readying a spell to try and deflect the magic. Luna simply nodded her head to one side and the magic bolt the changeling had fired stopped in midair. Twilight gasped. How did she—

Luna stopped short of her opponent, and instead raised him in the air, holding him in place with levitation. “Submit. We have subdued you.”

“Never!” Eres shouted, lighting up his horn once more.

Luna sighed and levitated the gem out of his horn. “Feel free. The blast will be contained within the shield we’ve placed around you. Can the mighty Eres defeat himself? Let us see.”

The crowd booed. “That’s cheating! Fight him fair and square!”

Luna sighed as Twilight joined her. “Keep an eye on the crowd, Twilight. I shall deal with this one.”

“Alright, but how did you...”

“Freeze his magic? Lucidity. We are in an awakened dream. What these changelings have to do with Pinkie Pie, though, I am still uncertain.”

Twilight stuttered slightly with confusion. “Wait, what? You mean Pinkie is—“

Before she could finish, a blast of pink lightning shattered through the roof and slammed into the ground, throwing up a cloud of dust and debris. The crowd screamed and began to flee the stands. After the cloud of dust cleared, a pink pony, her body coursing with magic, stood in the arena’s center.

“Pinkie Pie!” Twilight shouted.

“Pinkie Pie!” Eres also shouted, flailing his front hooves in the air. “You didn’t have to come all the way here! I was just about to—“

“You were just about to fail me!” Pinkie responded, her voice unnaturally loud and booming. She turned to face the changeling, her eyes ablaze with black magic. “What sort of friend are you? You promised you’d handle this, and it looks like you couldn’t!”

Twilight and Luna turned to look at one another. “She’s possessed by something! That must have something to do with all this!” Twilight said with a gasp.

“Dark magic,” Luna confirmed. “I know that aura. We may be in big trouble, Twilight.”

“What do you have to say for yourself, Eres?” Pinkie asked, making her way towards the three in the corner. “You’ve hurt my feelings!”

Eres fumbled with his words as he responded. “Pinkie! I love you! You know I would never hurt your feelings on purpose! It’s the tall one, she’s really strong!”

Pinkie scoffed. “Princess Luna? That’s a laugh! I’ve beaten her before, what’s your excuse?”

“Pinkie! That’s not fair! You were with us, and we were using the Elements!” Twilight shouted, and then slapped a hoof over her mouth. Why am I defending the changeling?

“Twilight, I’m mad at you, too! Just wait your turn!” Pinkie said, and then a surge of black magic flew from her forehead and encased the changeling, snatching it out of Luna’s grasp. “Eres, you know what happens to friends that stop being friendly!”

“P-P-P-Pinkie! No! You said friends forgive each other, too! Come on! Let’s hug it out!” Eres begged as Pinkie pulled him towards her.

Luna dove at Twilight and wrapped a foreleg around her. “We need to go! Now!” she shouted.

“What? But what about—“ Twilight started, and then her eyes went wide.

“Yeah, but we’re not friends anymore!” Pinkie said with a huge grin. Her eyes opened widely, their whites slowly turning black as she lifted her front hooves and pressed them together. The ball of magic that held the changeling shot spikes out into the air around it. It began to spin, faster and faster.

“Pinkie! No!” The changeling screamed, tears streaming down his face. “I love—” The spines outside the ball inverted, stabbing through the changeling from all directions. He choked, grasping his forelegs around a spine that had stabbed him through the back and exited his chest. His eyes turned to Pinkie, his face, plastered with terror and sadness, his voice - ceased. Blood began to trickle down from the bottom of the sphere onto the ground, and Pinkie turned her gaze to Twilight and the princess.

“Now!” Luna repeated, her eyes wide as she blasted the wall. Instead of an explosion, a tear in the fabric of the dream opened up and she dove through it, dragging Twilight with her. The rip closed behind them, the final thing Twilight saw through it being Pinkie’s face, her black eyes staring at her as she laughed.

“What was that? How could Pinkie do such a thing?” Twilight asked as she and the Princess dove through the air, having appeared in the sky elsewhere.

“Umbral magic, one of the primal magic forces. I’ve not seen it wielded since, well, since I wielded it a thousand years ago.”

“Primal magic? I’ve read about it, but there wasn’t much info.”

Luna nodded her head. “Good, that is not a path one should walk. Several beings throughout history have meddled with primal magic. You already know one: Discord. He’s the only known being to have mastered a primal magic and survived.”

Twilight nodded. “I had read that Star Swirl the Bearded wished to uncover and study all of the primal magics, which eventually led to his demise. That was all I needed to know,” she said, and then sighed. “How did Pinkie Pie end up possessed by Umbral magic? And… who possessed her?”

“Very good questions, Twilight. Perhaps if we can find Discord or my sister, we can learn more. Even though I used Umbral magic as Nightmare Moon, it was not pure, primal magic. I fear that Pinkie Pie has been possessed by a master of Umbral magic, much like Discord is a master of Chaos.”

“Umbral magic. Goodness gracious, it’s been centuries,” Discord said, releasing the changeling from his grasp and reattaching all his body parts. “Tell me everything you know, and I mean everything.”

“You don’t scare me!”

“My, how the tables have turned. Best to end the big talk now. I can end you with a thought, shove you off to the far reaches of another dimension, don’t test me. You just brought up one of the few things in this universe that can give me pause, now tell me… everything!” With the last word, Discord’s body blazed with randomly colored magic and his eyes burned red. The Crusaders jumped away from him and screamed. The changeling squished against the ground and shook.

“Alright, I’ll talk, just don’t tell Pinkie! She made me Pinkie Promise not to tell! I can’t believe I let it slip!” the changeling said, his voice shaking and tears falling from his eyes.

Discord sighed and turned to look at the three fillies. “It’s okay, I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said, and they slowly came back towards him and sat down. He turned back to the changeling and waved a claw in the air. “I meant to scare him. Now, start at the beginning. Tell me what has happened in this dream world.”

The changeling wiped his eyes and gulped slightly. “Okay, so we were all lined up and ready to jump into the dream web. The queen told us we had to go in and reset everything, that something had gone wrong. She warned us about some of these ponies, Pinkie being one of them, and then she fed us with love magic. It was then that I heard a little, scared voice call out to me.”

“Was it Pinkie?”

“Yeah, I heard her clear as day. Some of the others around me did, too. She asked us to come play with her. We figured we’d go in and show her how we play, you know, rough like.”

“But something stopped you from doing that.”

“Well, yeah. See, as soon as we got in here, we all got real confused. I could tell they were all feeling it, too. It was like some sort of weight had been lifted off us. Like, we all just started laughing, like madponies. I’d never laughed so hard in my life, and I was filled with this feeling of, I don’t know, joy. I still don’t really know, Pinkie told us that we were all happy, and that she was so happy to have us there to play with her.”

“So? What did you do?”

“We played with her. Duh.”

“Alright, smarty pants, get to the point.”

“You said to tell you everything.”

Discord groaned. “I did say that, didn’t I? Fine, continue.”

“Something inside us had changed, that’s the point. From the moment we came here, we felt different. Before, all we’d known was survival and struggle. Pinkie showed us happiness, taught us about friendship, showed us that we could…”

Discord groaned and rolled his eyes. “Showed you that you could what?”

The changeling blushed slightly. “Love. It’s so weird. It’s weird, right? We can’t love. We can’t have friends, or anything. We’re just—“

“Yes, yes, like a broken record. Skip past that part. If I have to hear another changeling wax poetic about discovering love, I’ll likely rip my ears out and toss them to the far reaches of the Flebotinum Nebula. You know, it really is becoming a tired event.”

“There’s others besides us?”

“Yes, surely you heard about Mulcibar and Linnai. They’re just the same, maybe even worse, I can’t tell yet.”

“Oh, that would definitely explain it,” the changeling said, nodding his head. “If they even feel half as good as we do, they won’t want to go back to the queen, that’s for sure.”

Discord reached out towards the changeling and patted it on the head. It ducked slightly and groaned. “Don’t fret, and I apologize for what I had to do to you earlier. I have a proposal for you, if you’ll listen, uh, what was your name again?”

The changeling shook his head and slouched forward. “Lieutenant Renta… though I guess I can kiss my rank goodbye, just like Mulcibar and Linnai. We came in here originally to wake the dreamer and also to stop Mulcibar and Linnai if we saw them. Now I’m a traitor just like they are, I guess.”

Discord clicked his tongue. “Now, now, traitor is a harsh word. You just, uh, joined the other side.”

“Isn’t that what that means?” Sweetie Belle questioned.

Discord shot the foal a glance. “Not helping!” he whispered.

“She’s right, though. My only loyalty is to Pinkie, now. She’s changed since we arrived, but she’s still Pinkie. I just know it!”

“And how long ago was that?”

“Well, not sure outside the dream, but inside it’s been about a week. It was so wonderful at first, like we were all finally waking up and realizing what our true purpose in life was! Then Pinkie fell into a coma or something, and this shadow appeared and showed us something I’ll never forget,” he said with a gulp. “We saw you lot, all talking and arguing, and this thing that looked like Pinkie, along with Twilight Sparkle, curse her name, used a pink gemstone to shock Pinkie Pie unconscious!”

Discord stroked his beard with a claw. “The communication gem. Yes, that was how this all started.”

“Right! We all saw it! The dark creature, whatever it is, said it was called Umbra, and that it would bring Pinkie back, but in return, we had to swear to kill you all. It proved itself by bringing Pinkie back right then and there! So we’re honorbound! We have to defeat you! For Pinkie!” The changeling was becoming more and more passionate as it spoke. It stood up and glared at Discord, its entire body tensing up.

“Calm yourself!” Discord snapped his finger and the changeling was pushed back to the ground. “Let me tell you what that creature is. It’s not ‘Umbra’ as it claims, I refuse to believe it. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t hold the power of life and death in its hands. It’s playing you for a fool! It wants you to do its dirty work, but then it will dispose of you, I guarantee it.”

“Why should I believe you? It brought Pinkie back to us! She smiled and laughed, same as she had before!”

“Because there is no such thing as ‘Umbra’, my little changeling, there is only ‘Umbral magic’. If this creature is truly wielding Umbral magic, I seriously doubt it can rival me, chaos versus darkness. Take me to it, and I will make sure it never harms you or Pinkie Pie ever again.”

The changeling frowned. “Oh sure, and by doing that, you’d have a clean shot at Pinkie! I don’t think so. No deal.”

“Then allow me to extract the information from you,” Discord said, his face darkening. He lifted a claw and the changeling in turn rose into the air once more.

“That won’t be necessary,” a voice spoke from behind Discord. He turned and looked, his expression going from evil to confused in a flash.

“Who are you, then?” he asked with a squint. “Ohhhh, I recognize you. Well, now we’re finally getting somewhere.”

Ponyville, Reality, Present

“Couldn’t we have at least waited until the storm let up?” Trixie whined as she and Zecora marched through the swells of rain in Ponyville.

“Who do you think would break up these clouds? If what you say is true, I fear that everypony in town has been replaced, and Rainbow Dash is away in Canterlot.”

The two of them ducked behind a house, peeking inside the windows. There was nopony home, as expected. They continued through the town, weaving through alleyways and backstreets until they were finally approaching the town square where Trixie had encountered the changelings. Zecora peered around a corner and spotted several ponies milling about near the town hall. She blinked, a glint of light catching her eyes from the inside.

Pulling back to face Trixie, she whispered as quietly as she could. “There is definitely something amiss. We should try and get closer, work our way around, see if we can see or hear anything.”

They snuck around the backs of houses, diving between them when none of the changelings were looking. They eventually came to a house near the town hall. Zecora looked left, then right, and then kicked the back door open. “Pardon the intrusion,” she whispered as she entered. The two of them crept low to the ground, stopping at a window that faced town hall, right across the way. Zecora cracked the window and put her ear up. “It’s no good. I cannot hear what they are saying.”

Trixie grinned and lit her horn up. “Leave that to the great and powerful, uh… me.” She cast a spell against the window, and suddenly the both of them were able to hear voices speaking.

Zecora smiled and nodded. “Well done.” They both listened intently as two changelings conversed.

“I saw a messenger. Any word from Canterlot?”

“It has fallen. The princesses are ours, all three of them.”

Trixie gasped and ducked her head down, clasping her hooves over her mouth. “Canterlot? Fallen?” she said in a muffled tone.

“So this is not even the main force,” Zecora noted gravely, her eyes narrowing.

“They gonna send us any relief?”

One of the changelings laughed. “Relief? What for? The puny group of ponies down at that farm? Let them struggle! If we can’t take them, we’ll take them out!

“There was a unicorn from out of town, earlier, as well. We ran her off, but couldn’t catch her. She used some sort of teleportation,” a third changeling added.

“Teleportation? That’s high magic. She could be trouble if she gets to the farm.”

Trixie grinned and nodded her head.

“More likely she just ran off crying. Other than the teleport, her magic was pathetic.”

Trixie growled and Zecora slapped a hoof over her mouth.

“What was that?” One of the changelings said, its head jerking to face the house. Zecora and Trixie ducked down beneath the window.

“Sounded like a dog. Probably the mutt from the farm got loose.”

“Do mutts crack windows and snoop around?”

“We have to go!” Trixie whispered, jolting forward.

Zecora grabbed her, pulling her back down. “Shh! Be still.” They could hear hoofsteps approaching them. Zecora’s ear twitched. “Two of them. Coming straight at the window. Stay perfectly still.”

The changelings continued their approach, and Trixie’s body started to shake. Zecora pressed a hoof against her shoulder, trying to calm her, but it did nothing to stop her shivering.

“They’re gonna—“ Trixie started. Zecora grabbed her head with her forelegs and smashed her face against her chest, silencing her. She hugged her close, quietly breathing through her mouth. Much to her relief, Trixie’s shaking slowed.

“Little ponies, where are you?” One of the changelings asked, followed by a flash of green light. It continued, its voice now a perfect copy of the mayor’s. “Everything is alright, we just need everypony to gather in the town hall.”

Cheerilee’s voice chimed in. “Is it any of the children? Come out now, everything is fine.”

A hoof reached out to the window and began to slowly push it upward. “Are you in there?” Mayor Mare’s voice called out. “Don’t worry, we just want to make sure you’re safe and sound.”

The mayor’s face poked into the house, hovering over Zecora and Trixie, staring into the house, but not looking down to spot them.

Zecora pressed her mouth into Trixie’s ear, her lips barely moving as she whispered with almost no breath. “Brace yourself and hold on tight.”

Trixie felt a chill run down her spine and nodded her head, which was still pressed firmly against Zecora’s chest.

The mayor glanced left and right, her eyes scanning the dark home. “It’s not good to spy on others, you know.” A sudden flash caught the mayor’s eye and she jerked her head downward, spotting Zecora and Trixie huddled together. “There you are!”

The darker of Zecora’s stripes lit up a bright green and magic began to sparkle all around her. The ground shook beneath them, and in the blink of an eye, vines and growth began to sprout out of the ground, wrapping around the two changelings. She released Trixie and calmly nodded up at the mayor, who was now wrapped tightly in foliage. “Now we run.”

The two of them bolted through the house and out the front door, breaking it down in front of them just before the interior of the house burst with solid ice. The building was frozen into a jagged ice crystal. The two changelings shed their disguises and gave chase, their wings fully open, glowing blue and orange. Zecora and Trixie sped through the streets, their hooves pounding against the dirt, the sound of more hooves following behind them echoing across the village.

Trixie turned to look back at the frozen house. “That was crazy! We almost died! How did you do that?” she asked with amazement.

Zecora grinned. “Magic, of course, though different than yours. With no horn, one must channel magic in other ways. Mine is of a connection to nature.”

Trixie glanced back at the swarm of changelings now chasing after them. “Well, can you maybe do it again and stop those things?”

The two changelings with flowing wings leapt into the air, taking flight. A column of fire shot down from the orange one’s wings, cutting down the center of the road behind the fleeing pony and zebra. They leapt to the side as the beam blazed between them.

Zecora shook her head as they regrouped once past the sudden flames. “I fear not, Trixie my dear! It is not as automatic as a unicorn’s horn! Speaking of which, care to try that teleportation spell again? They’re gaining!”

Trixie’s jaw fell open even wider. “I told you, that was a fluke! I’d never done it before, and now… to teleport the both of us? It’s insane! Nopony could do such a thing!”

“Hmmm?” Zecora intoned, her eyebrows raising. “I suppose I was just assuming from your title. Or, is the only great and powerful thing about you your mouth?”

Trixie fumed, steam practically shooting out of her ears. “Now you listen here, miss one-spell-and-she’s-done! I am great, and I am powerful, but what you’re asking is beyond that! It’s marvelous and potent, even!”

“Well, you’d better rename yourself the Marvelous and Potent Trixie, because we’re not going to make it to that farm without getting caught!”

Trixie clenched her eyes shut and shook her head. I can’t! I can’t do it! she thought, and then heard her own voice from the past ringing in her ear.

No one can vanquish an ursa major! I just made the whole story up to make me look better!

“But she did it!” Trixie shouted, her voice raspy and annoyed. “Damn it, Twilight Sparkle, I will surpass you!” She skidded to a stop, grabbing ahold of Zecora with her forelegs.

“What are you doing? Have you gone mad?” Zecora shouted, struggling against Trixie’s grip.

The unicorn’s horn lit up brightly, magic crackling all around it. “Just hold on!” she shouted, and then the two of them vanished with a flash and a pop just as the road they’d been standing in froze into a solid sheet of ice.

They reappeared in an apple orchard and fell to the ground, both of them panting heavily. Zecora turned to Trixie and smiled. “You did it! I knew you could!”

Trixie took a deep breath and sat up, brushing grass and dirt from her coat. “Of course I did! The Marvelous and Potent Trixie could never fail!”

A whooshing sound followed by a thump rang out to their left, and both of them jerked their heads in time to see an arrow lodged in the tree next to them.

“Hold still!” a deep voice called out. “Next one skewers one of ya!”

A massive red stallion stepped around from a tree and into view. IN his teeth, he held a crossbow, a bolt loaded into it, and his front left hoof ready to push the trigger.

“We ask that you hold your attack. We come in peace, my dear Big Mac,” Zecora said, raising her hooves in the air.

“Zecora?” Big Macintosh asked suspiciously. He kept the crossbow trained on them and Zecora sighed.

“Our word he cannot simply trust, so be his prisoners we must,” Zecora explained.

Big Mac nodded his head. “Eeyup.” He pointed the crossbow’s tip toward the edge of the orchard.

Trixie sighed and stood up, helping Zecora to her hooves. The two of them walked ahead of Big Mac out of the orchard and up to the Apple Family farmhouse.

Upon entering the house, Zecora and Trixie glanced around the living room. Zecora recognized every pony in the place. “Granny Smith, Flitter, Roseluck, Lily, Cloudchaser, Silver Spanner, and a pair of foals, Diamond Tiara and Snips. Is this truly all that is left of Ponyville?”

Big Mac seemed to relax slightly, then sighed. “‘Fraid so. It really is you, ain’t it?”

Zecora nodded her head. “Indeed, and the one with me is Trixie, who came here to, ehm… redeem herself.”

Trixie blushed and scoffed. “Indeed! The Great and Powerful Trixie has returned to Ponyville for another performance!” she said, posing in place. “Or she would have if it weren’t for those creatures.”

Everyone in the room groaned at the same time. “It’s her. Yep. No one could fake that.”

Flitter’s eyes glanced to the side suddenly and she leapt up against a window, pressing her face against it. “Hey! Everypony, look! It’s Cloudsdale!”

“Cloudsdale?” Roseluck shouted, bolting past Zecora and Trixie and running out into the front yard. She stared up at the distant northern sky. Both Canterlot Mountain and Cloudsdale were barely visible. Everypony else joined her as she fell to the ground, her eyes wide and shaking. “It’s… moving.”

The group all stared into the sky as Cloudsdale slowly drifted northwest, going further and further away.

“It’s leaving. The pegasi… they’re abandoning us.”

“Hey! I bet they have a plan! Come on, Rose! They can’t just…” She squinted and pointed a hoof out towards the horizon. “Hey, what’s that?”

Big Macintosh leapt back into the house, returning quickly with a pair of binoculars. He pressed them against his eyes and gazed into the distance. “Airships. Lots of ‘em. Headin’ ta Canterlot.”

“Why are they going to Canterlot?” Trixie asked, shaking her head. “They should be coming here! We’re the ones that are in trouble!”

“Canterlot has fallen,” Zecora said, turning to look at Trixie. “That is what one of the creatures let slip. Perhaps for that reason, they’ve taken to ship.”

Trixie stamped her hoof against the ground. “Speak normally, you striped music box!”

“If Canterlot is captured or under attack, then Cloudsdale’s clear choice is to take it back.”

Trixie glared. “At least I catch your drift,” she said, then turned to look at the others. “So we’re on our own. Fantastic.”

“Maybe we should just wait it out,” Flitter said with a sigh.

“No way!” Diamond Tiara shouted from the back. “I have to get back to town hall! You said you’d help me!”

“And I said you’d have to be crazy to want to go back there!” Snips snapped.

“She’s right, y’all,” Granny Smith spoke up, driving the others to silence. “Turnin’ tail and hidin’ ain’t the Ponyville way! It ain’t the Apple way! We’re gonna come up with a plan and run them bug-eyed demons right outta town!”

Everypony stared at her for a moment, and then Big Mac nodded his head. “Eeyup!” he said with vigor.

Zecora approached the elder pony and placed a hoof to her chin. “The enemy uses ice and fire. I may have an idea, but timing is dire.”

Everypony huddled up to Zecora and Granny Smith.

“Go on, then, child. Let’s hear it.”

Author's Note:

Dark Pinkie! Or should we call her Nightmare Pie? Umbral Pie?
Things are heating up in Ponyville, too! Or wait, are they freezing? Fire and Ice must be defeated to save the town, and Zecora has a plan.

It was a bit shorter than usual this time, or more like it's right around 5k which was typical of this fic up until recently. This book is gonna get going big time real fast, so I hope you look forward to next time!

If you like my stories, consider supporting me on Patreon.

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