• Published 11th Dec 2017
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Magicka Primordia - Sunbeam_Pony

After an accident with magic throws her forward in time, Rainbow must find her way back to where she belongs; and hopefully, prevent the tragedies that came to pass.

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Chapter 0: Prelude

Magicka Primordia

Chapter 0: Prelude

Two large, burly stallions pulled her down the stone corridor, the chains binding her legs together clinking softly as they dragged along the uneven ground. The mare felt a trickle of blood running down her face, but between the chains and the guards she had no way of raising a hoof to wipe it away. Instead, it continued to roll down unabated, eventually dripping onto the floor below. A flash of lightning outside the empty window shed a bit more light on the murky path, a loud roar of thunder hitting a moment after, the empty hall causing the sound to echo over and over. Everywhere her gaze fell, the sorry state of the castle was quite obvious: broken and cracked stonework, windows without glass, and the occasional hole in the ceiling were constant reminders that the castle had been abandoned for over a thousand years before he started calling this place home.

With little else to do, the captive pony took a look at what bits of her body she could, trying to examine the damage from the scuffle with the guards that had taken place only a few minutes ago. Thankfully it didn't seem, or feel, like she had suffered too much from the ordeal. There were the expected bruises, cuts, possibly a fractured rib when she failed to dodge the debris that was thrown at her, but her wings were still intact so she had no reason to complain. She felt herself round a corner and, looking up, saw them approaching a large set of double doors, the still-new lumber of its construction a stark contrast to the decay that surrounded them.

With nopony at the doors, the stallion on her right used his spear to push one side open, revealing the expansive room below. The old throne room, why am I not surprised, she mused to herself. As she was brought through the opening, her head turned toward the two empty thrones on the far end of the room, frayed and decaying banners sitting above them: one bore a moon, the other a sun. A pang of regret cut through her, but she kept her face a blank slate, instead distracting herself with the only objects, and other pony, in the room.

A small wooden table, laden with a small assortment of food and drink, sat halfway across the room, one chair on either end; the nearest being empty, presumably for her. The other chair was occupied by a midnight blue unicorn, who didn't seem the least bit fazed by the entrance of the three ponies; he merely sat there, pouring himself a goblet of wine. While being dragged across the expanse, she shivered as a small stream of icy water ran down her back, the rain of the raging storm causing tiny waterfalls throughout the room from the holes in the ceiling above. A quick flick of her head dislodged most of the runoff from her mane, the last few drops running the length of her body.

When they reached the chair, the two guards roughly sat her down, taking a moment to lock the chains to the floor beneath the table; one final click, and the chains secured, the pair stepped back and looked at the unicorn. “Sir, is there anything else?”

Finally looking up with dark golden eyes, he shook his head. “No, I'm sure that I can handle her if the need should arise. Go back to the eastern wall where you found her, and keep an eye out: I'm sure her little band of rebel friends won't be too far behind her.” They gave a curt nod before making a rather speedy retreat, the door slamming shut behind them. His gaze turned towards the captive, studying her up and down. “Did you really think it would be so easy to sneak in here, tonight of all nights? I honestly thought much better of you, Rainbow Dash.”

Flicking her rainbow-colored mane behind her head, Dash shot a cocky grin across the table. “Figured I'd be able to sneak in and hide behind that ego of yours, Astral Darkness.” She said, a small snort of amusement escaping her body. “Seriously, could you have come up with a more self-centered name for yourself?”

Astral shook his head, smiling back. “Poke fun all you like, my dear pegasus, the fact remains that you were captured and restrained, meaning that I have nothing more to worry about until the time for the ritual is at hoof.” Taking another sip from his goblet, he waved a hoof at the barren room surrounding them. “A bit poetic, don't you think? Over a millennium ago, this castle saw the most powerful battle of all history take place between the two Royal Sisters. Now, after all this time, it will once again play host to an event of magical proportion that not even the Alicorn sisters could have imagined.”

Looking around the room, memories of her previous experience here flooded back to Rainbow; of six friends coming together against Nightmare Moon, banishing the evil within her and saving the young Princess Luna. “Yeah, this castle has seen a lot of really awesome stuff happen inside it. This is where the girls and I first used the Elements together.” She took a deep breath, her wings shaking for a moment. “Heck, I think I can still feel a bit of that magic in the air.”

“Yes, that was quite powerful what the six of you accomplished: along with the power used to banish the Nightmare Moon so long ago, I'm not surprised that the residual power of the Elements from those events created an artificial Node more powerful than ever thought possible.”

As their eyes met, Rainbow finally took notice of the stallion's mane, her face quickly growing sour. With a gesture that caused her bindings to rattle, she asked “Does it make you feel better about what you did to her, wearing your mane like Twilight used to? Hmm?” Not even bothering to hide the aggression in her voice.

His gaze fell to the table between then, his expression turning dark and remorseful as he reached a hoof up to idly caress his gray mane. “You... you know I never meant for that to happen.” He spoke quietly, voice filled with regret. “Things just... got out of hoof. We were supposed to do this together, unlocking the secrets of the Primordia and shaping the world to a better place. Instead... Instead I held her as she died, telling her that it would all be okay” Slumping lower in the chair, he whispered “Just like my baby sister.” Looking out the window to the tower beyond, a tear rolled down his cheek. “Twilight Sparkle... Sunny Skies... I wasn't strong enough to protect you; but after tonight, I'll be able to protect everypony, forever.”

"Oh stop that crap.” Dash growled, shaking her head in anger. “You can't seriously believe that there's enough power in that thing to have that much power, especially over death!”

“I don't expect you to understand, Rainbow. But these calculations were made by Twilight herself, and the potential power flowing through that Node tonight...”

Slapping a plate from the table, she rose as far as her bindings would allow. “That's all you have to defend yourself!? A... a piece of paper, a math equation is proof enough to justify all the ponies you've hurt, the ones you've KILLED, to get where you are tonight?” Breathing heavily for a moment, she sat back down and narrowed her eyes. “Sorry, but there isn't enough magic in all of Equestria to condone all the pain you've caused.”

With a growl Astral slammed a hoof on the table, scattering the food on its surface. “You still don't get it!” He roared. “Tonight there will be enough power in that Node to set everything right! I can bring back every single pony we've lost, I can rebuild Equestria to be better and safer than it ever was under the Sisters! The creatures that lurk in the Everfree will be gone, the Changeling swarm never to threaten us again, and even if Discord himself broke free once more I could cow him beneath the power bestowed to me.”

“And all we have to do to prosper is bow at your feet and worship you as the Supreme Overlord of All Everything.” She said with sarcasm dripping from her voice. “Sorry, already seen this in Daring Do and the Emperor's Crown, and you're much less intimidating than Caballeron and Ahuizotl are.” They sat there in silence for several long moments, before she spoke again. “So, what now?”

A soft bright blue glow surrounded his horn as he placed the food back into the proper dishes, his eyes not leaving her as he pondered briefly. “How about you talk.”

Dash shook her head firmly. “if you think I'm going to tell you where my friends are...”

“Oh no no, nothing of the sort.” He interrupted with a wave of his hoof, the light around his horn dying as he finished cleaning. “You know the ritual is tonight, which means that whatever you have planned has to happen in the next few hours. Knowing the window of your attack makes it easy to keep the guard alerted without tiring them, and there are far too few of you properly trained to cause any possible issues.” He shot her a particularly broad grin before continuing. “No my dear, I'm asking about you since your arrival here.”

The pegasus tilted her head quizzically. “You wanna hear about what I've been through? Why?”

“They say there are two sides to every story, and I'm rather curious to hear things from your perspective. You've been here for almost two months now; I can only assume you've been up to far more than I've heard about, and we have several hours before the ritual is set to begin. I'll even offer to share some of this spread with you, I certainly won't be eating it all and I have no reason to mistreat you as long as you behave. I will have plenty of other tasks to take care of, and I'd rather not add more work on top of the list. Besides,” He filled Rainbow's goblet with water from a small jug, “I can only imagine the fit they would throw to find out I'd killed you, even if I did intend to bring you back with them.”

“Still don't think that's a power anypony can control.” Dash mumbled under her breath, eagerly taking a deep drink from the refreshing water. “Alright, I suppose it couldn't hurt to tell you. But don't expect me to share any of our details with ya; I would never leave my friends hanging.”

Astral bowed his head slightly. “I would expect nothing less from the Element of Loyalty.” Pushing some of the bowls closer, he gestured with a hoof. “So, I suppose from the beginning then; I heard from Twilight what happened on her side of things, but I'm quite eager to know what you've been through.”

Rainbow shrugged. “I mean, I ended up here, what else is there to it?”

“My dear pegasus, as far as I can tell you are the only pony to have ever been inside the Primordia itself. While the Sisters and Twilight herself drew magic from it, they've only managed to scratch the surface. You were bathed in it.”

A shudder ran down her frame. “It sounds so wrong when you say that.” Taking a bite of an apple, she chewed on it thoughtfully. “Alright then, from the beginning. I guess for you, it's been over ten years. For me... well, it was barely ten weeks ago..............”




It was a bright and hot day in Ponyville, typical of the midsummer days. The weather pegasi had set up a patchwork of clouds above the Apple Family's farm to keep the trees from overheating and drying out, but the rest of the town was left bare to the sun's rays; many of the townsfolk took this opportunity to go soak in the cooler waters of the stream and ponds that dotted the landscape nearby.

One such pony was Rainbow Dash, fresh from her weather shift. Having worked up quite the sweat from her day on the job, she was enjoying a rather lazy swim in one of the ponds to help cool off and freshen up. While the sudden change from blazing to icy had been a bit of a shock, she had quickly grown accustomed to the water's temperature and was happily doing her best to beat the heat. Glancing over at the side, she noticed Pinkie Pie building up a sand castle: how she had found enough sand to make one tall enough for her to stand in was a complete mystery. Better leave it be, or I'll end up hearing how cupcakes were invented. Dash mused to herself, spreading her wings wide as she floated along on her back.

Her ears perked up as she heard a soft giggle off to the side. Cracking open an eye, she saw a rather small, yet distinctive, purple mane and tail floating above the water, slowly getting closer. Suppressing a grin, she pretended not to notice as it drifted toward her inch by inch. Right as it got up next to her, she flipped over and grabbed the filly, who let out a loud squeak, and perched her up on her chest. “Did you really think you'd be able to prank the master herself, Scoots?"

The orange filly giggled, squirming slightly in the larger mare's grip. “I'll get you one of these times Rainbow.” They floated along silently for a few moments, enjoying the quiet. “So...” the filly started, uncertainty in her voice, “... I was wondering if you were going to make it to my birthday party today?”

Ruffling her mane, Dash shot her a grin. “Of course, squirt. I wasn't planning on missing my favorite filly's birthday! In fact...” Glancing around, she tilted her head closer and whispered “I got you a surprise back at Twilight's library.”

Her eyes lit up, her small body shaking with excitement. “R-really! Oh wow, I bet it's the most awesome gift ever!” Overbalancing in her excitement, she toppled into the water with a splash. She surfaced a moment later with a broad grin plastered on her face. “Can we go get it now?”

“Sure kid, let's just dry ourselves off first. Can't imagine that Twi would be happy if we dripped water all over her library floor.” Swimming up to the shore, the blue pegasus waved up to the pink earth pony. “Hey Pinks, any chance you could toss us the towels?”

From her tower, Pinkie waved down. “Oh, the peasants have come to ask for funds from the treasury! Well, I'm sure for my most loyal of subjects that some can be spared.” With a flourish of her hooves a pair of large towels fell from above, folding up neatly onto the sand in front of them. “Let nopony say that I was never generous to my people.”

Shaking her head with a chuckle, Dash picked up the larger of the two. “Never would have dreamed of it, Pinkie.” The two pegasi trotted back towards the town, vigorously drying themselves off as they left the beach behind. Once dry, Rainbow let Scootaloo hop up, letting the young filly rest on her back as they walked into town.

Ponyville had an air of ease about it, the heat of the summer day keeping many indoors or, if they worked, in whatever shade they could find. Dash gave a small wave as she passed across the path from Applejack's stall, the orange country mare having moved it from the center of the square to be situated beneath a tree. Big Mac was with her as well, even in the shade a thin layer of sweat was covering his face, though he didn't show any discomfort. Continuing on their way, the filly waved through the window of the Carousel Boutique, and although she hadn't looked, Rainbow was willing to bet that Sweetie Belle had been inside, no doubt ensnared by her sister into helping with one of her latest orders. It was getting close to the school season, and Rarity would insist on having a full lineup for fillies and colts to look their best upon their return.

They passed several more buildings and ponies, all milling about their activities, and rounded the final corner to see their destination just ahead: the Golden Oaks Library. Rainbow had to admit, she had been rather skeptical at anypony actually living in the tree, but Twilight made it work somehow. Most ponies would have thought, after her recent coronation, that the new Princess of Friendship would find a more “royal” place to live; but most of Ponyville knew that Twilight would never call anyplace home that wasn't covered in books. As they approached, they saw the door already ajar, the sounds of sweeping and grumbling coming from inside. Tapping the door open a bit further, the pegasus stuck her head inside and looked around.

Even despite Twilight's normal routine of unshelving dozens of books on a whim, the library was usually kept in a fairly orderly state, thanks in no small part to her assistant Spike. Despite that, the floor was littered in books and crumpled papers, the actual wood nearly impossible to see beneath the disaster. The grumbling was coming from the young dragon himself, dressed in a purple apron as he attempted to sweep up the balls of paper and set the books in small, orderly piles. While his efforts were commendable, the effect was merely to drain a drop in an ocean of paper.

“Uh, hey Spike. Did I crash into the library again and forget?” Dash joked, slipping inside. Scootaloo's jaw dropped as she looked around.

“Wow, not even the Crusaders and I get this messy! This must be some kind of record!”

Spike let out a heavy sigh as he set down the broom and dustpan. “Hey Rainbow Dash, hey Scootaloo. Sorry about the mess, but Twilight's in one of her research moods again.”

Kicking around a few scraps of paper, Dash raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, but... even at her worst she's a lot more organized than this. What gives?”

“It's the weirdest thing! I have no idea what she's looking into, but whatever it is isn't in any of her books!” He pointed at a stack of particularly old books, the bindings creased or cracking from overuse in their time. “She has books and scrolls from Starswirl the Bearded, the Two Sisters, she even dug up a book about the private research of Clover the Clever!” The dragon collapsed on the floor, gesturing to all the surrounding stacks. “But she says there's barely even a hint of the thing she's looking at.”

Setting Scootaloo down on the floor, Dash gave her mane a quick rub. “Stay here for a minute, kid. I'll check in on Twi and make sure she hasn't gone completely crazy.” Carefully stepping over books, and taking care not to slip on the loose pages, she made her way down to the basement where Twilight did most of her experiments and more volatile research. Clear of the main floor's debris, Dash quickly trotted down the steps, glancing around the various machines and tables looking for the purple Alicorn. The basement itself was lit by several crystals on the ceiling, casting a rather pale, but clear, light around the room. Not wanting to call out and possibly startle her if she was in the middle of something delicate, she opted instead to descend the final stairs and poke around. She recognized a few pieces here and there, stripped from the machine Twilight had used in an attempt to understand the mythical “Pinkie Sense”.

Her ears swiveled at the sound of chalk being dragged furiously across something, and she maneuvered through the remaining tables and models to finally find her target. Twilight had her back facing the pegasus, the purple aura of her magic surrounding a piece of chalk as it scribbled along the board in front of her, oblivious to the surrounding world. While her mane was usually brushed a very specific number of times, a number Rainbow had been told and promptly forgotten, it was currently in tatters; strands and sections seemed to have fought over which way to flow and decided to have at it, sticking out in all directions. She could hear Twilight murmuring to herself as she furiously scribbled at the board, erasing seemingly random sections and rewriting them just as quickly.

Dash thought for a moment of attempting to poke her, or shout her name, but both would end terribly: the latter in her being ignored, and the former in a high-speed trip into the nearest wall. Instead, she opted to walk over to a table that held large stacks of paper, and what had to be Twilight's entire supply of quills and ink bottles. Looking over their perfect alignment, she reached up with a wing and deftly tapped one bottle, sending it sliding off the edge and shattering on the floor below.

The Alicorn spun around, the magic dissipating and dropping the chalk down with a soft dink. “Rainbow! Was that really necessary?”

The pegasus blushed, rubbing the back of her neck with a hoof. “Heh, didn't mean to smash it, I just wanted to move it a bit. My bad.”

Sighing heavily, Twilight trotted over and started cleaning up the mess, levitating a rag to clean up the ink. “How long have you been there, anyway?”

A small shrug. “Eh, not too long, just a minute or two.” She pushed away from the table, moving some of the disheveled mane from Twilight's vision. “How long have you been here?”

At that, Twilight blushed lightly. “Just... ya know, a day? Maybe two? I think?” She glanced around the room, her horn flaring as she brought a few more crystals to life, adding to the glow. “I've just been working really hard on these calculations, and I think I'm finally getting close to understanding it!”

Looking to the board, Rainbow tried tilting her head various degrees: the scribbles didn't make any more sense. To be fair, they didn't make any less sense either, so perhaps that was a good sign? “What exactly is it? Looks like magic?”

The Alicorn let out a soft squee of delight, dashing over to the riddled board. “Oh it's so much more than just magic, Rainbow! There's absolutely no record of this in any book we have, which is astounding based on these numbers!” Dash wasn't sure which numbers she was supposed to look at, so she merely nodded in agreement. “The source of this magic is so powerful and so pure, I can't fathom how nopony has found this sort of thing before! Hay, I'm not even sure how I never found this before; I've been sitting on top of it this entire time!”

“Siiiiitting on top of what, exactly?”

“Come upstairs, I'll show you!” the Alicorn said excitedly. With a spring in her step, Twilight led the bewildered pegasus back up the stairs to the main floor. Spike, with a little help from Scootaloo, had managed to make some small progress on clearing the floor, most of the books now in neat stacks while the papers were slowly being accumulated into piles. Said work was quickly undone when, with a brief flare of her horn, Twilight shoved the entire contents of the floor to the ends of the room.

“Oh come on Twilight, we were actually getting somewhere!” Spike exclaimed, throwing the broom down in defeat.

“I'm sorry Spike, but I have to show Rainbow what we found.” Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself, her four legs spreading slightly to solidify her stance. “Stay back everypony, and whatever you do: do NOT touch what you're about to see. I can't even begin to imagine what would happen.” Closing her eyes, a bright purple aura began to shine around her horn as she gathered her magic together. Another, brighter aura surrounded the first as her face began to show strain from the amount of magic she was attempting to wield. Rainbow felt her fur begin to stand on end as the energy surged around and around, coalescing in a pure white ball at the tip of the Alicorn's horn. After another moment she released the energy, the ball turning into a beam of power that struck the center of the room, forcing Dash to close her eyes at the sudden flare. When the light had finally dulled enough she slowly cracked them open, her jaw dropping at what now lay in the center of the library.

While the rest of the library had dimmed and looked as if it were covered in shadow, the very center of the room remained lit and untouched. In the middle of that spot, suspended at eye-level in the air, was an orb of swirling... something. The bulk of it was the color of emerald green, but there were small, moving contrails that were several shades both lighter and darker. As she focused harder on the mysterious ball, she felt a strange tingle run down her spine and shoot through her wings, flaring them full-spread; the familiar itch to takeoff into the air, cartwheeling and speeding around coursed through her feathers and her mind. She found herself unconsciously walking forward, slowly drawing closer to the center of the room; with each step, the aerial power and need to soar grew exponentially. Her mind began to fly a mile a minute, running and choreographing every maneuver and trick she had ever read or dared to dream about. Every hoof closer sprang to mind a thousand possibilities, a hundred performances, all with speed and fluidity untold. When she was barely half her length away, the pulsating orb winked out of existence and the room's lighting returned to normal.

Shaking her head several times to clear the haze, she took a few tentative steps back. “Woah. W-what just happened?”

Stepping forward, Twilight put a hoof around the pegasus' shoulders, rubbing gently. “It's okay Rainbow, something similar happened to both Spike and I the first time I revealed it a few days ago, and I've been studying it extensively since then.”

“So, what is it?”

Twilight stepped away, slowly circling the area the orb had been moments before. “It's an entirely new kind of magic that I've never seen before, but I recognize most of the arcane components inside of it: the magic of unicorns, pegasi, earth ponies, even dragons. The actual area itself is heavily infused with power, and it seems to bleed out from that orb and spill into the surrounding land and creatures, infusing them with the different types of magics. The object itself doesn't seem to be drawing the power from anywhere, but it isn't creating any either: the magic just... is.

Rainbow shook her head slowly. “Any chance you could speak Equestrian for us?”

The Alicorn smiled softly. “Every race, pony or otherwise, has a special magic that runs through their bodies. Unicorn magic is the most obvious of those with our spells, but pegasus flight, dragon fire, and even earth pony strength are all attributed to magic in some fashion. The brightest minds in history have studied the source of that magic for ages, and the best they've ever found were the Leylines, essentially rivers of energy and the different magics that run through the land. But this is so much more than a simple river of energy: this is a Node, an actual omnibus of all the different magics of the races being formed in one spot, spilling out into the world.” She took a deep breath, steadying herself. “I think this might be part of the Magicka Primordia.”

Scootaloo tilted her head. “Magia what-ia?” She inquired.

“Magicka Primordia.” She repeated. “Only a few unicorns in history have ever suggested that all the magic in our world might come from a singular source, and they were usually scoffed at by the research community at large. Even Clover kept her theories about it a complete secret, only writing about them in her private research journals. They thought that all magic, whether it be unicorn, pegasus, earth pony, Alicorn, or even dragon and diamond dog, might come from some pure, all-encompassing form of magic.” She let out a loud squee, hopping from hoof to hoof in excitement. “And that's what we've discovered! A pure, unfiltered source of primal magic that has base traces of every known magical element! This is the magic find of a lifetime, probably several lifetimes!”

The pegasus chuckled to herself. She may not have completely understood what Twilight was going on about, but the enthusiasm made it obvious how important it was to her. “Well, that's really great Egghead.” She prodded with a wink. “I'd offer to help, but this seems juuuuuuust a bit over my head.”

“Oh but that's just it Rainbow, I actually could use your help for my experiment!”

Dash's face immediately grew suspicious. “What kind of experiment? I've seen what you did when you studied Pinkie Pie, should I be worried?”

Shaking her head, Twilight turned and started rummaging around. “Not at all! I was going to ask Spike, but it would be great if he could take notes instead while I'm casting the spell on you.” She turned around, starting to place a series of small stone pillars around the area.

“And what exactly are you planning to cast?” She inquired, watching Twilight go about her work.

“Well, the magic in here is purer than anything I've ever seen.” She explained, carefully making some chalk marks on the ground. “That means that I can use a lot less magic to get a lot more power for my spells. I was already doing some extra research on Starswirl's time travel spell I used a year ago to try and go back to warn myself; specifically, I was trying to find a way to reverse the effect of the spell and send a pony forward instead!” Setting aside the chalk, she pulled out a chest, opening it up to reveal the Elements of Harmony. Setting one on each of the five pedestals, she continued. “If my calculations are correct, I've made a spell that can send a subject exactly ten seconds forward in time. Using the Primordia to increase my magical abilities, it should be a cinch to cast!” She put the final Element around Rainbow's deck, clasping it gently.

She looked down, poking at it curiously with a hoof. “And the Elements of Harmony have... what to do with all of it?”

Setting the chest aside, Twilight started scrutinizing the entire setup. “For reasons I haven't discovered yet, the Elements seem to amplify the Primordia's power and make it more malleable. It's possible that it's due to the heavy amount of energy and magic the Elements are infused with, but I'll need to do further tests to be sure. Using these five to help channel the energy, the final Element on you to help focus their supportive energies, and with the runes I've drawn on the floor, you should be perfectly safe throughout the spell.”

“Whoa whoa whoa... should be safe?”

Gently pushing Rainbow into the center of the circle, the Alicorn nodded. “I've calculated everything three times, and the math says you aren't going to suffer any ill effects from the spell. In fact, you won't even notice anything has happened: you'll merely skip the ten seconds of time.” Stepping back from the circle, she gave the nervous flier a reassuring smile. “Rainbow, I'd never do anything to put you in jeopardy, you know that.”

Rainbow nodded, giving a small smile. “Yeah, you're right Twi. I trust you, it's just... ya know, really weird.” Looking around her, she fidgeted slightly, a chill running along her spine. “So, do I just stand here?”

Twilight nodded. “Yes, just stand right there. You'll be standing next to the Primordia, so please don't accidentally touch it.” The Alicorn motioned with a hoof to the other two in the room. “Spike, Scootaloo, I need you to come over by me so you don't accidentally touch anything while I'm building and releasing the spell.”

Making their way over, Scootaloo gave her honorary sister a worried look. “Are you going to be okay Rainbow?”

Shooting her a cocky grin, she nodded. “Of course I am, squirt. Twilight said I”ll be gone for all of like ten seconds, so just imagine I flew out to clear the skies, and I'll be back before you know it. Then we can grab your gift and celebrate your birthday in style.” That seemed to calm the filly, who stood slightly behind Twilight and watched with interest.

With a deep breath, Twilight closed her eyes. “I'm going to start building the magic to cast the spell. Everypony stand still, and don't touch anything.” A soft hum began to fill the air, and a moment later the glow of purple magic surrounded her horn once again. Her teeth clenching in concentration, they watched as she began to slowly build and shape the magic, forming it to her desire. As the room grew darker, a second shade of magic began to shine around the first, the sheer amount of power in the air palpable to the two young spectators, who stared on in interest. The air began to gently swirl around the outside of the circle, pages flipping and papers twirling as they were shifted about.

As a third film of magic grew beyond the second, Rainbow saw the orb slowly coalesce beside her once again, the burning desire to fly returning with it. While the urge was not as strong as before, she still had to fight herself to not fidget or reach out, despite the part of her mind begging her to trace a wing through the source. The orb began to pulse and glow brighter, the shine of Twilight's horn growing as well. The pegasus watched as the five Elements surrounding her began to charge with power and shine themselves, the hum of magic all that could be heard in the room. The sound became entrancing, enticing, like the call of a Siren; singing to her and whispering words she couldn't quite hear, but both excited and worried her. The surrounding Elements shot a bright beam of colored light straight into her necklace, which grew hot against her fur and began to vibrate and spark; a moment later a ray of pure white erupted from her Element and slammed into the glowing orb at the center of the spell. The moment the two magics touched, Rainbow felt a great power tug at her very core, seeming to pull her forward though her legs never moved. The entire world spun around her, before it all slipped away.

Her body felt as if she were floating down a river, gently bobbing in the currents that both tugged and caressed her; flowing around her and through her. An instant and an eternity passed before her, feeling both as a filly and an old mare, tired and alert, grounded and airborne. The knowledge and ignorance of a thousand generations passed through her mind, both opening and closing the door to infinite possibilities. The entire world was laid barren before her eyes, both hopeful as the dawn and menacing as the dusk. She felt horn and wing, dragon and diamond dog, sun and moon, darkness and light... she felt the eternity of everything, and she felt the void of nothingness. All the magics of the land were hers to command, and yet she was powerless to wield a single drop.

With a lurch she felt herself land firmly on the ground, sprawled out on her belly. Panting heavily, she felt her eyes darting back and forth as her mind slowly began to catch up with her, the world slowly coming back into focus. A long minute passed before she could finally see straight, a sensation that felt incredibly foreign to her. Slowly crawling up to her hooves she turned her head this way and that, trying to make sense of what she was looking at.

“T-Twilight?” She asked softly, her voice raspier than usual, a twinge of fear creeping in. “Twilight, where... where are you?”