• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,295 Views, 989 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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The Beginning of The End

Celestia was panting heavily in the aftermath of the explosion, her pupils dilated with fury and her nostrils flaring with every breath she took. Off to the sides, Luna and Cadance stared at her in concern and trepidation. Celestia had gotten angry before, sure, and both of them had seen it, Luna more than the others. But this…? This was a new level of rage, one that none of them had ever seen before. Her otherwise immutable composure and calmness had completely crumbled into dust, and what was left behind was an enraged mother who had dropped everything else in favor of defending her only child from the one before her.

With the raw power she had at her disposal, for Celestia to be in such a state was more than enough to deeply frighten the ponies near her.

The towering mushroom cloud of smoke and dust ahead of them suddenly began to disperse with a heavy gust of wind tearing out from the epicenter. Celestia righted her posture and took a deep breath while the others braced themselves, albeit with looks of shock. Cadance shook her head in disbelief. “No way... how?” she choked out, shifting to one side a few paces to be a little closer to Shining Armor, who answered the gesture in kind.

Luna scowled bitterly. “She is quite tenacious, isn’t she…?”

For from within the thinning cloud, the shadowy silhouette of Queen Chrysalis could be seen slowly trotting towards them. Her approach came with the ominous clacks of her chitinous hooves striking the crystal street, and her glowing eyes pierced through the dust. As the haze cleared around her, she was revealed to have a fresh, and severe burn mark on the front of her torso, forming a distorted grid-like pattern where her chitin had become ragged and distorted from the heat. Her movements were stiff, and her teeth were showing in a grimace of pain.

But she was still standing. Even after all of that, she was still standing and ready to fight. Celestia’s face twitched, her eyes narrowing and a burning sensation building up at the base of her skull.

Chrysalis gave her head a few wild shakes, sending her messy and ragged mane flying in all directions before flashing the four ponies in front of her a toothy, arrogant grin. “I’d say you missed… but, well,” she touched a hoof to her scarred chest and winced. “I don’t think I could convince you of that lie, now could I?” her tone of voice was almost sweet, and the jovial look in her eyes only served to add to her taunting demeanor.

“How?!” Shining Armor demanded, taking a defensive step forward so he could stand between Chrysalis and Cadance. His horn ignited with more purple magic as he continued. “How are you still standing?!”

Chrysalis’ face darkened considerably, as did her tone of voice. She slowly resumed her approach, stalking towards them. “For the big brother of that disgusting grub of a unicorn mare, you are remarkably slow,” she sneered before standing up tall and spreading open her now tattered wings. “But if you must know, you are all exhausted from spending weeks as food for me and my subjects. Whatever you could do before, I can do better. Whatever power you have now won’t be enough to save you from me.”

Luna snarled, her horn flaring to life as well. “Do not think to intimidate us, insect!” she spat, her eyes starting to glow a bright white. “We have faced terrors older and greater than you could possibly imagine!”

Chrysalis, as if bored, lifted one of her hooves to study it. “Yes, but you don’t exactly have your shiny gems with you this time, now do you? The only weapon that might have given you the edge…” she flashed them a sadistic grin, a pulse of light in her eyes. “How sad.”

“We don’t need them,” Celestia suddenly shouted, more embers drifting out of her mane to scorch the ground beneath her hooves. “Now hold still!”

With that, the princess of the sun suddenly launched into the air, a golden beam of raw sunlight streaking out of her horn towards Queen Chrysalis down below. The queen’s eyes lit up, and she vanished from sight as green flames exploded across the ground beneath her. She sunk quickly into the ground, and Celestia’s spell struck just behind where the queen had been before the flames dispersed. Celestia let loose a wordless shout of frustration. “Darn it! Where is she?!” she demanded, her voice echoing all around.

Her question was answered when more green fire spread out from just behind a startled Cadance. The young alicorn spun around too late, the rising changeling queen already unleashing a blast of concussive force from her horn. Cadance was sent rocketing down the street with a scream of pain before crashing through a stray lamppost. Stray shards of metal and crystal were sent scattering across the street, creating quite the commotion that drowned out Cadance’s hard impact with the ground beyond. She slid for several feet before rolling to a stop. She fell silent and still.

Shining Armor’s eyes widened in horror at the sight. “Cadance…!” he gasped before breaking into a desperate gallop for the fallen mare. Chrysalis had other ideas, however. An emerald glow engulfed Shining Armor before hurling him across the street and into another home. Repressive any exclamations of pain, Shining was quick to surge back to his hooves with a counter attack prepared. Chrysalis saw his spell coming, though and fell right back into her portal in time to dodge it.

“Luna, get to the sky, now!” Celestia shouted when she saw the green flames flicker into life behind her sister. The princess of the night didn’t bother looking, instead choosing to take her elder sister’s advice and launching herself toward the heavens with an almighty flap of her wings and kicking up some leftover dust. Chrysalis rose up where she had been mere moments earlier, growling deep in her throat. The flames swirled away as she glared up at the two alicorns, her eyes twitching.

And then a bolt of lavender magic exploded across her scarred cheek, causing her to stumble to one side. The already tender reminder of her humiliation flared with more pain, and if she paid close attention, she could have sworn that she felt something warm and wet running down her face from the accursed blemish. But before she got to act on her discomfort, a golden beam of magic struck her from above, exploding on impact and sending her flying back against the building she stood beside. She bounced off of the wall and collapsed to the street in a heap.

The next beam of magic to fly for her, this one blue, missed its mark. Chrysalis suddenly disappeared in a swirl of green flames, and the beam hit nothing but air. Luna’s eyes widened. “What?!” she shouted, lifting a few extra feet into the air in alarm. “Where has she gone?!”

“She transformed!” Celestia replied, scanning the area intensely for any sign of the now missing changeling. She gritted her teeth when no signs immediately presented themselves. “Captain Armor, keep your eyes open! She could be anything!”

“Understood!” Shining answered, slowly turning in place while a thick purple barrier flickered into life around him. Luna and Celestia continued their watch from above, none of them noticing the small, unassuming hornet that landed on Cadance’s shoulder.


Shining Armor went rigid, his ears swiveling on his head to face the sound. Slowly, he turned to face Cadance, who was still laying on the ground, motionless. He heard the noise again, clearer this time.

“Shining… help… I can’t move…”

“Cadance!” He shouted, dropping his barrier and breaking into a gallop for the fallen mare. As he drew closer though, something seemed off to him. He didn’t get a chance to ponder what it was, though, as just as he was about to reach her, a rush of green flames exploded into reality right in front of him. When they passed, there was Cadance, except with glowing green reptilian eyes and a horribly evil sneer on her face, the real Cadance pinned beneath her hooves.

“Gullable dolt,” she taunted before a beam of putrid magic shot out of her horn and into Shining Armor’s stunned face. Any cries of pain he might have made were lost over the rush of the energy, and he was propelled off his hooves and sent flying all the way to the other side of the block. He struck the ground and rolled several times before sliding to a halt, unconscious.

The fake Cadance then reverted to Queen Chrysalis and stared up at the alicorns with a smug smile on her face. Celestia recoiled and growled when she realized that Chrysalis was inviting them to make the next move.

Well… far be it from her to decline an invitation from a fellow royal.

“Twilight, slow down,” Rainbow moaned in pain as her swollen chest and belly rubbed against Twilight’s back. They were at present bolting down the streets towards the palace, the building looming almost directly over them now. Hearing Rainbow’s protests, Twilight did slow down to a brisk canter, Thorax, and Squall by her sides and Pharynx taking up a rear position. Twilight glanced over her shoulder at Rainbow with an apology in her eyes.

“I’m sorry, Rainbow, but we can’t waste any time. Can you power through it for now?” she asked in a quiet, regretful voice at seeing how the other mare’s face contorted with agony from even the slightest movement.

Rainbow winced and sucked in a sharp breath through her teeth, screwing her eyes shut as her swollen flesh was jostled by a slightly rough step. The reaction made Twilight slide to a total halt at the corner of an intersection, with the crystal palace only a couple blocks away. Pharynx scowled impatiently. “What’s the hold-up?!”

“Quiet!” Twilight barked back at him before her eyes settled on Rainbow again. Her heart twisted in her chest when she saw a few tears leaking out of the pegasus’ eyes. After a few moments, though, Rainbow managed to calm herself down enough to speak, opening her eyes just a crack.

“I don’t even know if… if I can stay awake for much longer…” she mumbled in exhaustion before shaking her head. “We’re almost there. We can go slower.”

Twilight sighed and continued the trip towards the palace, this time at a mere speedy trot. As they went, she couldn’t help but glance to her right every few seconds. Her curiosity was met with the distant flashes of light and the loud, echoing booms of explosions that had started up not long after their run began. The princesses were fighting Chrysalis, and by the colors of the light, only Celestia and Luna were still standing. The twisting in her heart only got worse with worry when she thought of Shining Armor, and fear for his well being began to take root.

She snapped out of it, though, when Rainbow Dash let out another long, quiet wail of pain. Twilight shuddered and cringed at the noise, her skin crawling. She glanced sideways at Pharynx. “Pharynx, get inside and find my friends. Have them meet us in the plaza beneath the palace right now,” she commanded simply.

Pharynx snorted under his breath, clearly uninterested in taking any more orders from ponies today, but a sharp glance from Thorax convinced him to not argue with Twilight right now. He gave a short, simple nod before moving ahead, taking to the air with his wings buzzing into life. As he flew up to one of the higher floors to enter through a window, Twilight, Thorax, and Squall made their way under the palace.

Squall took the moment of reprieve to look around at the city, really taking it in for the first time. “Wow… this place is gorgeous…” he muttered absently, his eyes then drifting up to the palace above their heads. “Just… wow.”

Thorax chuckled. “Yeah, it is something. And trust me, it’s even better when it’s not an active war zone. I’ve never seen someplace quite so… beautiful, I guess,” he mused aloud, his eyes shimmering with fond remembrance. Before any further discussion could be had, another sharp gasp from Rainbow Dash drew their attention. The two looked to see that Twilight was very gently easing Rainbow off of her back and onto the ground, a worried look in her eyes. She set Rainbow down so she was facing up, then settled down on her haunches by the mare’s side.

Squall’s eyes widened in shock when he saw the extent of Rainbow’s injuries for the first time. “Merciful Celestia…” he breathed out, slowly trotting over. “Your Highness…” he was fishing for words and fittingly mouthing like a fish for a good few moments. Finally, his expression hardened with subdued anger and resolve before he turned his attention to the battle raging in the distance. “That insect is going to pay for this.”

“Yes, she is,” Twilight answered bluntly, her eyes still glued onto the still gasping Rainbow. She briefly looked over her shoulder into the lunar guard’s eyes, making him flinch when he saw the fire in them, “But that’s not your job. Once my friends get here, your job will be to help Thorax and Pharynx keep everypony inside this palace safe and keep them from panicking.”

Squall blinked a few times before standing tall and nodding sharply. “Understood, ma’am.”

At that moment, Rainbow Dash finally began to get some control over her breathing again. She steadily calmed down over the course of a minute, and finally managed to open her eyes a crack. She looked up at Twilight and put on a small, lopsided grin. “Hey, Twi…” she murmured drowsily, her eyes fluttering as she struggled to keep them open.

Twilight reached a hoof out to Rainbow’s cheek, offering an encouraging smile of her own while she set the cloaked box holding the Elements down by her side. “Hey… you’re going to be fine, Rainbow,” she said in barely even a whisper.

Rainbow went to chuckle, but only managed to let out a few weak strangled coughs. “That’s… aheh… that’s an odd way to start a conversation,” she managed to get out before her eyes screwed shut and another hiss of pain slipped out of her.

Twilight pulled her hoof back, her smile fading away. “Rainbow? Hey, come on, focus. Stay with me. Hey,” she whispered in a trembling voice, uselessly trying to find something she could do with her hooves that wouldn’t hurt the injured mare any further. Eventually Rainbow managed to calm herself and opened her eyes again.

“Ugh… This sucks…”

Despite everything, Twilight managed to crack a small smile, a ghost of a laugh escaping her lips. She shook her head in disbelief before leaning a little closer to give the wounded mare an affectionate nuzzle. “Yeah, it does…” she agreed before glancing up towards one of the four entrances to the palace, her brow furrowing with impatience. “Where are they… come on, Pharynx…”

Luckily, they didn’t have to wait for long. After only a couple minutes, one of the doors was violently kicked open by the drone in question, who then came galloping out with a short parade of ponies following closely at his heels. Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie spilled out into the plaza, the three of them came to sliding halts by Rainbow Dash and looking on with wide, horrified eyes.

Rarity was the first to speak, falling to her haunches on the other side of Rainbow from Twilight. “Oh, my stars, Rainbow Dash! Darling, how ever did this happen to you?!” she asked with a hoof flying up to cover her muzzle and her ears falling flat against her head.

“To be blunt…” Rainbow began while staring bleakly up the suspended first floor of the palace overhead. “...I got beat up.”

Applejack turned her gaze out towards the city, where a green explosion could be seen, the echoing boom reaching their ears shortly after. She winced. “It was Chrysalis, wasn’t it? She’s still out there, by the looks of it.”

Rainbow just nodded, her lips tightening into a thin nod.

“She hurt Dashie…?” Pinkie whispered, sitting down on her haunches, reaching out to pull Rainbow into a tight hug, but hesitating when she saw all of her injuries. Her hooves hovered uselessly over Rainbow for several seconds before, with a heavy, defeated sigh, Pinkie Pie sat back and settled for offering Twilight an encouraging pat on the shoulder. “What a meanie…”

Twilight looked at the three of them in turn, taking great comfort in their shared concern and presence. But her comfort was stunted when she noticed that there was somepony missing. She looked past them all for a few seconds, tilting her head, before finally asking. “Where’s Fluttershy?”

Pharynx glanced over his shoulder at the door. “She’s coming. She said she needed to grab something first,” he said before giving Thorax a sideways look and knowing grin. The younger drone shuffled in place, tilting his head in confusion before the realization struck him. His eyes turned to the door at the same moment that Fluttershy stepped out, a certain, scared looking thestral filly riding along on her back.

Wind Whisper shifted on Fluttershy’s back to look towards the scene as they drew closer. She saw Rainbow Dash and wilted, hugging the back of Fluttershy’s head and holding onto her like she was a lifeline. Then, however, her eyes locked onto Thorax. Her mortification at Rainbow’s condition was washed away with a wide-eyed look of relief, and she wasted no time in springing off of her mount’s back to fly at the changeling. She stopped in mid-air when Squall came into view, before promptly falling to her hooves.

He looked right back at her with a similarly wide-eyed look of shock. For several seconds, the two just… looked at each other. Wind took a step back, looking almost like she didn't believe what she was seeing. “Are…” she began in a strangled voice, her eyes briefly flicking to look at Thorax before returning to Squall. “Are you really real? Is it really you this time?”

Squall blinked in surprise from the question. Her gave Thorax a questioning look, and the drone could only sheepishly shrink back with an apologetic smile. Furrowing his brow, Squall looked back at Wind Whisper. Slowly, he lowered himself down onto his belly and held out his forelegs. “It’s me, Wind… I promise.”

Wind didn’t quite seem sure, at first, taking one or two reluctant steps forward. Any reservations she had soon crumbled, though, and she burst into a full-on gallop, tears of joy streaming down her face. Squall visibly braced himself and wrapped his forelegs around her when she tackled him, the force making him slide back a couple inches. The two held each other tight, with Wind burying her face into his chest fur while he wrapped both of them up in his large leathery wings, blanketing her from the world and nuzzling her atop the head.

From beneath those wings, her quivering voice could just be heard. “Dreamy…”

A red tint blossomed to life on Squall’s cheeks, and he gave the other ponies that were watching an embarrassed smile. From one corner of his mouth, he whispered down at Wind: “C’mon, what did we say about using my nickname around other ponies?”

A little green hoof flew up to lightly poke him on the nose before disappearing into the safety of his wings alongside a happy little giggle. “You really are Squall… Thorax never complained about that when he was disguised as you.”

Thorax blinked and tilted his head, wordlessly chastising himself for missing something like that.

Another explosion in the distance ended the moment, sadly, drawing everypony’s attention. A trail of smoke could be seen plummeting towards the streets from the heavens, and Rainbow Dash gasped in alarm. “Th-that’s Princess Luna!” she tried to shout, although her voice carried no strength.

Applejack frowned at her curiously. “How can ya tell? We’re so far away,” she pointed out with her brow furrowing.

“Rainbow has better eyes than the rest of us put together,” Twilight was quick to answer, looking from the battle in the distance to the still invisible box she had brought along. “So if she says Luna just went down, I believe her. Which means we have to act, now!”

Her horn sparked to life, and the chest was thrown open, ending the invisibility spell Luna had placed on it. Everypony looked on with wide-eyed shock as the Elements of Harmony were, one by one, procured from the chest and delivered to their respective representatives.

“Yee-haw, now that’s more like it!’ Applejack proclaimed enthusiastically when hers was placed around her neck. She lifted up onto her hind legs and kicked her hooves out a few times in a very active display of her readiness. “Let’s do this thing!”

Pinkie Pie giggled happily, staring down at her Element with a look in her eyes that gave Twilight and the rest pause. “Yesssss, Queen Meanie the second won’t know what hit her…” she sniggered in an exaggerated raspy voice before smirking confidently up at the distant explosions. “YOU HEAR THAT, QUEEN MEANIE THE SECOND?! YOU’RE GOING DOOOOOWN!”

“Quite,” Rarity chimed in, lifting a hoof to lightly touch her own necklace. “Oh, we’ve been waiting too long for these. I say we don’t wait another moment longer and put that ruffian Queen in her place! All those holes; so garish!”

“Hey!” Thorax complained from the side.

Fluttershy just nodded in agreement, not really having much to say.

“Works for me,” Twilight replied to Rarity’s comment before placing her element on her head. There was only one more Element that needed to be applied. She was about to clasp it around Rainbow’s neck but paused with it floating a few inches in front of her face. Rainbow’s eyes were wide open, now, and her teeth were visible in a terrified grimace. The sparkling lavender glow of Twilight’s magic could be seen reflected in her eyes.

With a small smile, Twilight pulled the Element back and took it in her hooves. She then glanced over at Fluttershy. “Fluttershy, can you help her sit up, please?”

Although taken aback by the request, Fluttershy did not decline. She shuffled around until she was behind Rainbow before sitting down on her haunches. With delicate and cautious movements, she hooked her forelegs under Rainbow’s armpits and slowly lifted her up to a sitting position. Rainbow only gasped once or twice on the way up. With that done, Twilight came in with the necklace and gently clasped it around Rainbow’s neck with her hooves, the motion bringing their faces mere inches apart.

Rarity barely stifled and excited squee.

Twilight and Rainbow both capitalized on the chance to quickly kiss each other before pulling back, Rainbow’s Element of Harmony hanging firmly from her neck. Twilight smiled, then turned a more serious look on the distant battlefield. “Okay… it’s time. Get Rainbow on my back, and let’s do this!” she said loudly before standing up. Applejack and Fluttershy both stepped forward to do their part in lifting Rainbow onto Twilight’s back. After a few moments to make sure she was secure, the two took up positions by Twilight’s ride side while Pinkie and Rarity took the left.

Twilight briefly turned to address Thorax, Squall, and Pharynx. “You three, stay here and make sure everypony inside is okay. This shouldn’t take long,” she ordered, drawing a few short nods from them, sans Pharynx, who just snorted and looked away.

Rainbow chuckled. “Heh. I like the sound of that…” she said, her voice getting a bit of its bravado and strength back. She then loosely pointed towards the battle raging in the distance. When nothing happened, she looked almost offended. She looked to her left and right at her friends, to see they were all looking back at her with expectant, slightly cheeky smiles. “Really, guys? What are we waiting for? CHARGE!”

They didn’t need to be told twice. As one, Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie charged out from under the palace and towards the distant battlefield, with Rainbow on Twilight’s back, and the Elements of Harmony shimmering around their necks.

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