• Published 20th Oct 2018
  • 9,047 Views, 567 Comments

A Sparkle in the Darkness - tom117z

Following the return of the Crystal Empire, Twilight begins some intensive research into the history of the Empire and its late king. What she finds changes everything she knows about herself.

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5 - Possession

Twilight was frozen to the spot, and she was having a tough time even just comprehending the ghostly stallion standing in front of her. So much of her being wanted to believe this was just another really weird effect of sleep deprivation, and yet… she knew it wasn’t. The smirking dark mage in front of her was real.

How could he be real!?

Now Twilight was feeling an increase in panic, her mind racing for an explanation. After all, Sombra was dead! He was destroyed by the Crystal Heart! There hadn’t even been a body, he’d been fully disintegrated by the magical pulse!

And yet, here he was. Whispering into her ear, a bulging mass of shadow that now formed into the pony who’d enslaved thousands. Standing inside her home with how knows what in mind for her.

There was only one thing that the Bearer of the Element of Magic could do…

Twilight screamed.

Backpaddling fast from the shade, she grabbed onto a few nearby books with her magic and propelled them at King Sombra like impromptu missiles. The stallion, on his part, just took on a deadpan expression as the projectiles passed right through him without causing the spectre any form of harm.

On seeing the books pass through him without issue, and realising she might accidentally damage one of them, Twilight quickly stopped and switched her spell output for something more… destructive.

“Don’t,” Sombra simply commanded, and Twilight’s magical aura blinked out uselessly.

“Wh- what…” Twilight muttered in disbelief, but then had a whole new emotion roll over her.


“Hey! Give me back my magic!” she shouted at the King. “How did you even do that? Actually, how… anything!? You’re dead! You can’t be here! Go away!”

“Dead? How terribly short-sighted,” Sombra responded. “I am not as easy to vanquish as a normal pony, Twilight Sparkle. Truly, a mind of your calibre should have realised as such. How disappointing.”

“Well, maybe I should take you back to the Crystal Heart and finish the job!” Twilight shot back.

“Really now? I thought someone such as yourself believed in friendship above all? I find it hard to believe you would directly commit murder.”

“W-well, I…” Twilight stuttered. “It happened before!”

“I know the discomfort you felt on seeing my ‘demise’, you did not know what the Crystal Heart would do to me,” Sombra noted, beginning to circle Twilight in a predatory manner. “But now you do. Would you willingly deliver a pony’s demise without searching for another way first?”

“I… guess not…” Twilight admitted, before shaking her head sharply. “Wait a minute! What’s your game here, Sombra? Actually, let’s backtrack a moment… how are you alive exactly?”

“Questions and confusion, I can feel it within you like an insatiable hunger,” Sombra mused, stopping his prowling and standing before the alicorn once more. “And that is joined by fear, doubt, insecurity… You are not convinced you are fit for the wings you wear, are you?”

“I didn’t realise you were a psychologist too,” Twilight growled.

“I am inside your mind,” Sombra informed her. “It is impressive and bright, just what I need. A library of knowledge and power, and so much untapped potential. And it is mine to read as I see fit.”

“But, how…?” And then Twilight remembered… That day, that shadow. It had… had… “It was you. The shadow, it… I forgot. How did I forget!?”

“Because I commanded it,” Sombra answered. “I was still weak, I couldn’t have your brother knowing of my presence.”

“But… You…”

“Your attempt on my life destroyed my form, it is true,” he continued. “But my will survived within my magic, a darkness that remained even without a physical body. But I was still dying, barely able to interact with the world around me. My hatred of all you wrought kept my spirit from passing, waiting for a mind powerful enough to sustain my consciousness.”

Sombra then snorted dismissively, turning and glancing out of the window.

“Your brother was too dim-witted, as were my slaves. Even the alicorn descendant of Amore lacked the certain level intelligence and force of will to be a suitable host. I needed a being as ancient and powerful as the Royal Sisters, or an individual as bright as Starswirl the Bearded himself, in order to sustain my soul.”

“I… guess I should take that as a compliment,” Twilight muttered, not really sure if she should be accepting such compliments from a tyrant like him. Especially since it meant she was now in this whole situation.

“You should. Take it from one such as myself, your mind is brilliant. I see why Celestia considered you worthy of alicorn ascension,” the King admitted. “You were the perfect host. A mind for me to sit and regain my strength, to set my roots and begin infecting your mind with my own.”

“Infecting?” Twilight asked, suddenly feeling that panic creep up again. “So, you’re living inside my head… What are you going to do to me?”

“Kill you,” he answered without any hesitation, and Twilight’s heart sank. “I’m going to kill you, Twilight Sparkle. I will spread my essence into the rest of your form and force you out. Your spirit won’t last without a body, and you will be forced to move on to whatever afterlife may or may not exist.”

“And then what?”

“I will be you,” he replied with a smirk. “None of your ‘friends’ will know the difference… at first. Your alicorn body will be mine to cultivate to my needs, so much more power for me to work my dark magic than I ever could have dreamed! And then, when the time is right, the other princesses will know of my return.”

“…Right. Okay…” Twilight muttered, letting out a breath as she let that information all sink in.

He was going to kill her, take her body and use her alicorn magic to take over Equestria… Right. A good plan.

But a bit of that severe panic bled away, preventing any hyperventilation that had been threatening to overtake the mare, as she realised something brilliant.

Twilight formed a smirk of her own as she realised the usual villainous need to gloat had already destroyed the King’s plans.

“Well, I think there’s one thing you’ve forgotten!”

“And that would be?” Sombra asked, looking entirely unconcerned.

“My friends!” Twilight declared. “When I tell them about you and everything you’ve told me, they won’t stop until you’ve been stopped! The princesses too! And I’m sure the Elements of Harmony would not like you being inside one of their bearers… You shouldn’t have shown yourself, because now I can stop you!”

“…No. You cannot.”

Twilight blinked. “Huh?

Why wasn’t Sombra worried? Shouldn’t he be worried!?

“I have already waited all the time I needed,” Sombra explained. “Before I could make you forget small details, but now I can do so much more.”

“What do you mean? What… what have you done?”

“You wish to tell your friends about me? Good luck. I think you will find that any attempt to communicate my presence to them will be met with failure. Speaking. Writing. Screaming. Any action with the intent of revealing my presence will be henceforth blocked.”

“Blocked? How can you block something like that?”

“Simple. The impulse in your brain will never translate over to your body. You may try to speak, but you will be silent. You may try to write, but the pen will not move. You may try to run, but your legs will remain rooted. You will go about your daily life for the time you have left, I will not interfere. Nor can I, I am not yet strong enough to attain full control. But what influence I do have will ensure you never reveal me and will strip you of any hope that remains.”

“Y-you’re… you’re lying!” Twilight accused, trying to prevent that hyperventilation that was returning quite rapidly. “You must be trying to trick me, or… or… Maybe this is a bad dream? L-Luna… can you hear me? Oh, please say this is a bad dream!”

“Princess Luna cannot help you, for this is very much your reality,” Sombra stated with a small measure of satisfaction. “You are mine, Twilight Sparkle.”

“You won’t take me!” she shouted in defiance.

Sombra chuckled. “I already have.”

“Hey, Twilight!” Spike greeted as he walked through the door, and Twilight looked between Sombra and him with wide eyes when the young dragon gave no reaction to his presence. “Who are you talking to?”

Twilight instantly went to warn Spike, he clearly couldn’t see Sombra! And who knew what the dark mage would do to him! But…


Nothing came out of Twilight’s mouth. She had tried to say:

“Spike! Sombra’s still alive and here, get the girls!”

But those words never reached her lips. She felt herself go to try and say it, could physically feel the impulse to do so within her brain.

But just like Sombra had said, nothing came of it.

“No deceptions,” the King stated, unheard by Spike. “There is no need. Know that your time is short, accept. Accept it so you can enjoy what is left of it.”

Then, in a puff of shadow, the apparition vanished.

“Twilight?” Spike called out in confusion. “You okay? You are kind of spacing out a bit on me.”

“Y-yeah… I guess I am…” Twilight responded, the mare wracking her brain in some vain attempt to figure out a way to circumvent Sombra’s influence. But every single rebellious thought was caught by Sombra and shot down before anything could come of it.

She was now a prisoner in her own body. And there was nothing she could do about it.

“I’m fine, Spike,” Twilight lied with an all too fake smile. “Where did you go out to?”

Spike offloaded a backpack he’d been lugging around on his back and opened it up to show Twilight the contents.

“Eh, just some odds and ends. We needed some milk and we were also low on apples, so I hopped on by to see Applejack. How did things with Princess Celestia and Mayor Mare go?”

“Oh! Yes, that was today wasn’t it…” Twilight had completely forgotten everything else that had transpired before Sombra’s arrival. Even with Sombra’s magic blocking her attempts at resistance, nothing could hide the levels of stress her body was displaying. “It went well. The Mayor got most of the land she wanted, and Fluttershy might get to help with a new sanctuary near the town.”

“Oh, really? I’m sure she’ll like that,” Spike said as he hefted the backpack up onto a nearby table. “Anything else? I know that the Princess wouldn’t have gone back to Canterlot without saying a few words to you first.”

On the word ‘Princess’, Twilight got the idea of having Spike send a letter to Celestia for an ‘unrelated’ matter to Sombra. And when they met up, and Twilight had nothing to say, Celestia might figure out that something was wrong and do a magical scan on her!

But even that was caught and stopped instantly. It may not have directly revealed Sombra’s presence, but the intent was what mattered.

The intent to receive help from others.

Hm, maybe…

“Spike, I might be gone for a few days.”

Spike blinked. “Huh? Why?”

“I’m going to be heading to Canterlot, I need to do some research in the Royal Archives.” Yes! She said it! “I’m not sure when I’ll be done.”

“Research? You don’t want me to come and help?”

“The library needs to remain open,” Twilight replied, bopping the drake on the nose. “Besides… this is a project I need to see to alone.”


She felt Sombra’s influence kick in again the moment that specific intent to reveal him came back to mind. But that was alright, she wouldn’t need anypony’s help for this.

“I’ll explain later,” she decided to say. “I’ll put the groceries away, could you go and pack all my things? Make sure to include Sombra’s journal.”

“Uh, sure…” Spike said, scratching the back of his head in confusion. “I’ll be right back.”

The dragon proceeded to hop up the stairs towards Twilight bedroom. On reaching the top he glanced back down at Twilight as if trying to figure something out, but then vanished from view.

Twilight sighed, picking up Spike’s backpack and heading into the kitchen in order to put everything in its correct place. As she levitated out the milk and put it into the fridge, a flicker in the corner of her eye signalled Sombra’s reappearance.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

Twilight smiled smugly. “You are using your magic to block a specific intent, that being to communicate about you and get help. But you’re not blocking the intent to help myself without ever doing the former, and I imagine you can’t do both quite yet.”

Sombra narrowed his eyes. “Ah.”

Twilight finished packing away the products Spike had brought home, and then she turned to glare at the evil tyrant.

“I’m not accepting anything, Sombra. I will find a way to beat you, I promise that.”

“Every second my power grows, now more than ever before. Do you believe you can find that solution before I can snuff out any and all intent to find it?”

“I will try.”

“And you will fail.”

“Maybe,” she admitted. “But I think I know where to start looking for a way around your magic.”

The King raised an eyebrow. “And what might that be?”

“The tomes we recovered from your sanctum,” Twilight declared. “If I’m going to beat you, then I’m going to need to learn all your secrets.”