• Published 14th May 2019
  • 1,473 Views, 73 Comments

Flash Sentry Chronicles: The Forgotten Darkness - Banshee531



Flash, Twilight and friends have beaten the Sirens. All seemed well as they returned to Equestria, only for a new threat to arise. Now, Flash and the others will find themselves learning a truth they had never seen coming. Will they survive?

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The Awakening

Author's Note:

Hello everypony, Banshee531's editor AandWguy here!

I am here once again to give you a new content in Banshee's awesome Flash Sentry saga! This time, its a full story, complete with my own flair. I decided to not put any notes or anything in the first chapter, as I wanted to see pure raw reactions, but I'll be talking a bit more now. As for this story, let's just say its a big project for me, and I'm really happy I get to write it.

That being said, I'm betting a few of you are wondering what's going on...and you'll just have to start reading to find out. Onward!

Hope you enjoy the chapter!

"To wake up means you accept you are there, alive and awake to take on the day. What happens afterward is your life."

- Unknown

About thirty minutes ago...

"Uhhh...ohhh....my head." mumbled one orange pegasi as he rubbed his noggin. "Wha…" His hoof dragged itself down his face, a moan following as his eyes started to blink open, "Urgh…"

It was here that he fully opened his eyes, his lids blinking rapidly as he started to look at his surroundings. He now saw that he was in a long vast grassy field, complete with a shining blue sky above him. "What the..." He rubbed his hoof on the left side of his face, "I don't know what this is, but I better have my wings back."

A quick glance at his back showed his wings were now on his body. Normally, he would have been happy about this, but fate decided otherwise. As his eyes stared at his feathery back extensions, he saw something else in the corner of his eyes. It was six other ponies, all laying down, unconscious on those grass filled plains. Soon recognizing them as his friends, he let out a yelp before hopping to the first mare, a purple alicorn. "Twilight! Twilight, are you okay?! Please wake up!" he cried as he tapped her side, the mare responding with a tiny yawning sigh.

"Uuuhhhh...no Flash, I wanna read..." she groaned as her hoof pushed his hoof aside.

Rolling his eyes, Flash let out a snort, "I'm pretty sure that means you're fine. Wake up Twilight, I'm gonna check on the others, alright?"

A few minutes later, the seven were now fully awake, all stretching as Twilight asked, "Okay...what's going on Flash? Where are we? I thought we left Canterlot High and we were going back to the castle."

"No idea Twi." Flash replied as he helped the final pony up, "You okay Applejack?"

"Ah'm fine." Applejack moaned as she patted her head, "Hm? Where's mah hat?"

"Err...I don't know. You weren't wearing it when we all woke up....wherever we are." Flash added as he walked back up to Twilight, "And if you're wondering Twilight, I don't remember how we got here."

"Same." Twilight growled as she turned to the others, "How about the rest of you? Remember how we got here?"

"No darling." Rarity replied first.

Fluttershy nodded in agreement, "I don't know either."

Pinkie just waved at the others, "Nope! Nothing here!"

"That ain't good sugarcubes." Applejack added as she rubbed her mane, "Ah don't like this, do you Rainbow?"

Rainbow shook her head, "Nope." She then flapped her wings, only to see she couldn't fly, "And why can't I fly right now...and why is there no wind?!"

Flash tried to fly as well, but quickly understood what Rainbow meant. "Figures. I get my wings back, and now I can't fly. Just my luck."

"Oh suck it up, meathead." Twilight barked back, "There's more pressing issues right now than you not being able to use your wings."

"You're just saying that cuz you barely use 'em!" Flash countered, only for Rarity to walk between them.

"That's enough you two. Before you two get into an argument, we need to find out where we are."

The duo sighed, but nodded at this as Twilight spoke up, "Okay, let's start with this: what does everypony remember before we got here? I know me and Flash we're going through the portal...only to wake up here. What about the rest of you?"

The five all shared a glance, glum frowns on each face as Rarity replied, "Hate to say it darling, but all I remember is that we were in the castle, I was applying some makeup, and...well, next thing I knew, I went to sleep. I don't know why I did, but-"

"We all did. We were all in that 'bunch of thrones' room, and ah was bringing in some food from the farm...then ah was asleep. At least ah think ah was." Applejack interrupted with crossed hooves, "Does everypony remember the same thing happening?" The five gave worried glances, confirming the farmer's thoughts, "That ain't good."

"Yeah. I was reading Daring Do, then...nothing." Rainbow added with a grimace. "Why would I fall asleep while reading Daring?"

"Its not just that." Fluttershy said next while rubbing her chin in thought, "I remember I was about to help Iron with something...then nothing."

"Wait, Iron was with you all?" Flash asked, getting five nods back. "So...if he was, why isn't he here?"

"Maybe its only us Elements of Harmony?" Pinkie chimed in, "I mean, I was preparing a special 'Welcome back from being weird monkey creatures' party for you two before this whole 'fell asleep and woke up in this mysterious field' thing."

"Hmm...you might be right Pinkie." Twilight admitted as she stared at the field around them, "I mean, it is only us here right now. That alone symbolizes something..."

"Though before we get to that, we'll still be having that party, right?" Flash asked, getting a nod from Pinkie. "Awesome! I so need some cake after that fight with the Sirens."

"Focus meathead." Twilight grumbled as she crossed her hooves, "We need to figure this out first."

"I know." Flash replied, only to hear Fluttershy let out a gasp. Seeing this, Flash asked, "Fluttershy? Is something wrong?"

"Um...I'm not sure. I'm not seeing anything, right? Look!" She pointed past the group, causing them all to turn and see a figure in the distance. "Everypony seeing that?"

"Yeah, I think we do." Flash replied as he blinked at the figure, turning back to Twilight, "Think we should go say hello? Maybe they know where we are."

"Sounds good to me. Better than just standing here." Applejack added as she walked past the others, "Let's go ask 'em."

The seven soon trotted over the fields, slowly approaching the figure. It was here that they saw it was a cloaked pony, though one that didn't seem to notice their presence. Despite this, Flash quickly raced in front of the pack and yelled out, "Hello there! Could we ask you something?"

But there was no response. The cloaked figure just kept walking, ignoring Flash's question. Flash turned to his companions, asking, "Um...was I not loud enough?"

Twilight shook her head, "I think you were...but maybe I should I try." The princess took a deep breath, "Hello?! We're currently lost, and would like to ask for directions!"

The group blinked at the figure once again as it didn't respond. It just kept walking, ignoring all seven ponies. The sight made Rarity let out a huff, "How rude! Is that pony even listening?!"

"Maybe they can't hear us...or they don't like talking." Fluttershy suggested, making Rainbow roll her eyes.

"That's still rude Shy. Here, I'll go stop this pony." Rainbow declared as she walked in front of the figure, raising her hoof, "Hey! We're talking to you!" But the figure just kept walking, making a vein pop on Rainbow's face, "Hey! Are you listening to-"

But her next words stopped right before leaving her throat, her eyes going wide as the next sight shocked everypony else. As Rainbow flashed her hoof to stop the figure...it walked right through the athlete like it was nothing. The pegasi had a shiver go down her spine as she saw the pony phase right through her, their bodies not even touching as the figure went through her like a ghost.

"Uhhh….huh?!" Rainbow gasped out as the other started to backpedal.

"What the heck?! What did you just do Rainbow?!" Flash immediately asked, only to get a terrified face from Rainbow in response.

"I...don't know." she muttered out, the others all blinking in disbelief at the sight.

As this happened, Twilight glanced back at the now walking away figure, making her quickly trot of the cloaked pony. Here, she reached out her hoof, "Wait! Please don't-" But her mouth came to a stop as well as the hoof went right through the pony's side. "Eep!"

"Whoa..." Flash added as he blinked at Twilight's hoof going through the cloak like it was nothing. He glanced at the other girls, all now seeing fear on their faces. The sight alone made his stomach slightly turn, which his brain told him to react to this...which ended up making them even more scared.

"Hey! Come back here!" he yelled as he ran up to the cloaked pony....only to run right through the pony. "Whoa!" A series of gasps came out again as he turned around and tried to touch the cloaked pony's face, only for it go through it again. "What the heck?! Why can't I touch you?!"

The girls all shared a glance at this, Twilight doing a small gulp, "Um...girls? I don't like the looks of this. Its like...we're ghosts."

"GHOSTS?!" Rarity shrieked, "Wha….what do you mean Twilight?!"

"Um...well, I can't think of anything else." She pointed at the still walking cloaked pony, "Girls, all of you try to touch that pony." They all responded and did so, only for the same results. Seeing this, Twilight showed a worried frown, "I thought so. I...don't know how, but-"

"Twilight! Ah can't be dead!" Applejack interrupted as pure horror now showed itself on her face, "Ah still need to make sure the Apple family has a next generation! Ah can't leave it to Big Mac! That oblivious stallion won't ever seduce a mare!"

"Now hold on Applejack-"

"And I can't be dead Twilight!" Rainbow exclaimed next, "Daring Do is gonna do another book next month! I've been doing a marathon leading up to its release and I still gotta read it!"

"I just finished another fashion line!" Rarity added as she started nibbling her hooves, "I...I still need to see if they can be approved by Sapphire Shores!"

"I was just suggesting-"

"Ah haven't taught Applebloom about the birds and the bees yet!" Applejack interrupted again, "Ah can't leave that to Granny Smith or Big Mac! Not after..." her body shivered like a leaf, "The 'Grape Family Incident'."

"Girls, if you give me a moment-"

"Oh, poor Iron and Angel Bunny!' Fluttershy cried as tears started to go down her face, "I left them all alone!"

The alicorn's eyebrows started to twitch as veins popped on her forehead. Sucking in a deep breath, her Royal Canterlot Voice started to release itself, "THAT'S ENOUGH! EVERYPONY, BE QUIET!!!" The yell made the girls all hop in place, all shutting up instantly. Seeing this, Twilight let out a long sigh, "Thank you. Now, the ghost thing was just a theory, and-"

"HOLY CRAP!" Flash exclaimed, making everypony hop in place again.

That is, except Twilight as annoyance covered her face, "Flash...I told you to be quiet-"

But her words stopped as she glared at the defender, only to see that he had fell onto his flank in front of the cloaked pony, a look of pure shock on his face. "Flash? What's wrong?"

He slowly raised his hoof at the pony as it walked past him, his mouth barely moving as he muttered out, "That pony...its Ruby Scarlet!"

"Ruby Scarlet?! What are you talking about?!" Twilight yelped as she walked up to him, staring at the still walking away pony, "Wait, that's Ruby?! Why would she be here?"

"I don't know, but I looked under the cloak and...she's young."

"Young?!" everypony exclaimed, Twilight quickly racing past him as she went in front of the cloaked pony, her head leaning under the cloak's hood. There, her eyes went wide as she saw the face of the Crystal Knight...but something was wrong. Her face was a tiny bit smaller, her horn maybe just a millimeter smaller, but Twilight knew it wasn't the normal size. Not only that, her hair was shorter than usual, her mane just going a little under her ears.

"It...it is Ruby. But, if she looks like that-"

"We're not ghosts, are we?" Flash finished for her as the two glanced at each other, both completing each others' thoughts.

"We're in the past." Twilight responded as she looked back at the still walking away pony, "That's why we can't touch her. We don't exist here."

"Wait! Hang on there sugarcube!" Applejack piped in, "Mind telling us what you're going on about?!"

Flash and Twilight both stared back at the girls, Twilight sighing, "This scenario...its just like when me and Flash used that Past Potion Zecora gave us a while back. We see the past, but we're unable to do anything."

"So...that's why our hooves went right through her?"

Twilight nodded. "That's right Rarity. The magic makes you a bystander of the past."

"Which begs the next question..." Flash added with crossed hooves, "How did we get here...and why?"

The group all stared at each other, no answer coming to mind. That is, till Fluttershy let out a gasp. "Hmm? What's up Fluttershy?"

She pointed past the girls, "Look!" They all turned and saw a new sight. It was Ruby now finally coming to a halt, only to stare across the green fields at another cloaked figure.

"Well, at least she stopped moving." Rainbow commented as she looked back at where they originally were. "We followed her for quite a while. But, who's that?"

Flash and Fluttershy both stared at the figure, the two sharing a glance as Flash said, "If its what I think it is...its not a pony."

"What is it?"

Flash crossed his hooves, "That cloaked thing is bipedal, and since it looks like Ruby is meeting it and its the past....it could only one thing." He turned to the others as his face showed a bit of worry, "Its a jakhowl."

"A jakhowl? How are you so sure?"

Flash did a small sigh, "Let's just say when we went on that mission to Omniara, Ruby showed Springer that she had a...history with jakhowls."

"Hmmm...interesting." Twilight added as she rubbed her chin at the sight, "If that's the case Flash, why are we being shown this? You're the only one that has a connection to a jakhowl."

"I am..." Flash admitted as he glanced at his friends, "But we are the elements, right? Isn't that why we're usually put together in these situations?"

"True...but-"

"I think we should stop debating for now darling." Rarity interrupted as she pointed at Ruby, "It seems they're about to start talking."

"Good idea. Let's listen." Twilight replied as they walked up to the pony and jakhowl facing each other. And as they watched, the jakhowl was the first to speak up.

"About time you showed up."

Ruby chuckled under her breath. "Heh, don't tell me you were waiting. I bet you were just sleeping standing up."

"Tch...smart-mouthed as usual, I see." the jakhowl barked back as it lifted a limb upward, only to its black paw that was soon consumed in blue flames. The fire started to morph and extend out a bone-shaped weapon. "Perhaps I should test you first. See if you're ready to face her."

"A Bone Breaker." Flash commented as he watched Ruby pulled her hood back and summoned a long crystal sword with her horn. "And that's definitely Ruby's magic....but where's her necklace?"

Rarity gasped at Flash's comment, "You're right! Was she making some kind of different fashion statement in the past? I always thought that necklace worked so well with her."

Flash shook his head, "No, not that. That was her version of Celestic Gear. She called it, um...the Crysal Promise. At least, I think that's what it was called."

"So this must be earlier in her journey to be a Royal Knight." Twilight continued for Flash as the duo started to fight, the group all gasping at the skill between the two. "Though I have to say, she seems ready."

"No kidding..." Flash admitted as he traced the battle with his eyes, now noticing he couldn't use Theta Mode here. However, it didn't matter, as he found he could still mostly follow the blows between the jakhowl's Bone Breaker and Ruby's blades. "Ruby was intense back then. Though I gotta say, that jakhowl is no slouch either."

It was here that the battle suddenly came to a stop as Ruby had a three-pronged claw under her neck while an energy bone was just centimeters away from her horn. At the same time, the jakhowl had the end of two crystal spears on either side of his neck, and a crystal blade at his stomach.

Then...they just stood there, unmoving. Seeing this, Rainbow raised an eyebrow, "Uh...are they okay?"

"Don't know sugarcube." Applejack commented, "Ah mean, they're just standin' there."

Flash shook his head again, "No, that's not it. They both can't move right now."

"They can't? Why not?"

"Because they're stuck. The stances they're in will destroy each other in an instant." Flash saw glances of confusion staring at him, causing him to sigh, "It means that whoever moves first, loses. Its battle of patience, as whoever moves first will also show a opening for the other, but they could also not move and see who's stamina will last." It was here that Flash saw a look from Twilight he usually called: 'You're being reckless again', in which he responded, "Its something Grand taught me. If you don't like it, take it up with him."

"I will. One of the benefits of being a princess." Twilight grumbled as she looked back at the duo, the second minute now passing, "But...why would they be that lethal between each other? They didn't seem to be that against each other at the start."

"I don't know, but I have a feeling it'll end soon." Flash ended as the third minute was about to start. And as it did, they saw the two start to laugh, the bone and crystal weapons now vanishing as the duo turned into a giggle fest. "See? What did I tell you?"

The others all smiled at this, Twilight commenting, "Huh...they do look like friends now."

And as those words left her mouth, the jakhowl spoke up, "Ahahahaha!!! Well done! You've improved yet again!" the jakhowl started patting the mare on the back, "You've come a long way, Ruby Scarlet!"

"Heh...thanks Sharp Paw." Ruby replied as she gave him a hug, "And you're still the toughest jakhowl around."

"SHARP PAW?!" Flash yelped, the others hopping in place as his outburst. "That's Sharp Paw?!"

"Flash? What's wrong?" Twilight glanced between Flash and the duo, "Who's Sharp Paw?"

"Well...I don't know much about him but..." Flash rubbed the side of his head as he replied, "Springer told me that Princess Luna talked about him back when they went to Appleloosa. He said Sharp Paw was her jakhowl partner back in the day."

"Really? Wow..." Twilight put a hoof over her mouth, "To think, a jakhowl that was partnered with a princess. But if that's true, and the fact that Ruby is here....we're seeing something that's over a thousand years ago!"

"Seriously?! Tarnation, that's a long time ago." Applejack commented as they watched Ruby and Sharp Paw start to walk away, "Looks like they're heading off. Figure we should follow 'em?"

"Let's. We need to figure out why we're here after all." Twilight responded as the others nodded, the group quickly following the leaving duo.


A little later...

"Whoa...what's this place?" Flash asked as the group walked up to what looked like a small castle.

"I don't know. It doesn't look familiar." Twilight replied as they walked up to the castle's gates. "But the banners on the sides of the castle...they're not Princess Celestia's."

"Wait...I thought Ruby originally studied as a knight in Equestria. Are we not in Equestria?"

"Well Flash, since this is the past-"

"Oh my goodness!" Fluttershy interrupted, her voice letting out a squee. The others turned to her, only to see stars in her eyes as she exclaimed, "They're all so cute!"

"Huh?" the others all traced her eyesight, only to see a whole group of young jakhowl now hugging Ruby, all of them cheering her name. And as the others girls all 'aww'd' at the sight, Flash just blinked, "Whoa...that's a lot of Springers. Heck, a bunch are smaller than him!"

"Oh, I can't believe how many there are! I wanna hug them all!" Fluttershy squeed as she hopped at the group surrounding Ruby...only to flop right through them. Seeing this, she let out a long sigh, "Oh...right."

The others giggled as Flash helped her up, Twilight soon directing them to follow Ruby as the knight started to make her way into the castle. Getting ahead of the knight for a second, they were surprised to see both Luna and another jakhowl, this one being called Calm Paw. Twilight soon asked Flash if he knew that one from Luna or Ruby, but he just shook his head.

"Interesting. I wonder if Springer will ever have a mate." Twilight commented as they listened to Ruby and Calm Paw talk.

Flash just shrugged, "No idea. We haven't met another jakhowl, remember? Besides...wait-what did Luna just say?"

"You failed the mission." Luna declared as Ruby kneeled, her form shivering like crazy. "I know the mission was a failure Ruby. That's why I asked my sister to have you return here before going to castle."

"So this is some separate castle for just Princess Luna." Twilight added before Flash shushed her as Luna told Ruby she was glad that the mission had happened. She told Ruby she was still going to be knighted, which gave Ruby her confidence back, which Ruby did a small bow.

"Your majesty Princess Luna, I will now give you my report."

And as those words left her mouth, the world around the seven started to shift. The floor beneath them started to look hazy, as if it was made of static. "What is..." Flash tried to say, only to feel a tingle down his spine. It was here he turned to Twilight with a small grimace, "Twilight, is this?"

"Yeah, I think its like the potion from before. We saw the fight with Discord, then we were suddenly in front of the tree..." Twilight replied before giving the others a strong glare, "Everypony, braces yourselves! I'll explain in a second what's happening!"


The world became a sudden flash of light around the seven, making them all close their eyes. And as they reopened them, they gasped as they saw the new sight. No longer were they at the castle. Instead, they were now at a small rustic village, which all of its citizens were now at the middle of the town. But it wasn't just this sight that surprised them. It was the fact that a group of soldiers were now just outside of the town, complete with one Ruby Scarlet.

"What the heck?! What just happened?!" Rainbow yelped as she shook her head.

"I think we just hopped to Ruby's failed mission." Flash answered for her, "And if you're wondering, the past potion stuff does this. When we used it last, it hopped us around to different events in the past."

"So we're now seeing a few days ago?"

"Probably." Flash admitted as he looked back at the town, only to go wide-eyed as he stared at the middle of the town. There, all the citizens were bowing before a makeshift throne, one that had a creature that made every nerve in his body tingle. "Oh no...don't tell me..."

"What? What is it Flash?" Twilight asked as she saw the fear now appear on his face.

Flash just raised his hoof at the throne, "I uh...I think I know who that is. And if I'm right...its really really bad."

They all just turned to the throne, most blinking as Rarity let out a yelp of disgust, "Ugh. What is that creature?! Its hideous!"

"That's a Trickster Rarity." Flash immediately replied, Twilight hopping in place at the response.

"Th-that's a Trickster?! Like, Springer's mortal enemy Shade?!" Twilight asked as she pointed at the fox. "I thought it was just a small fox."

"Yeah, that's a Trickster's version of its battle form. Though if I'm a betting colt...that's definitely not Shade, but something way worse considering what I've heard from Ruby."

"And what would that be?"

"Let's just watch and see." Flash responded as he pointed at the fox, only to for the group to see the crowd of ponies start chanting: 'MASTER DARK MIST! MASTER DARK MIST! ALL HAIL MASTER DARK MIST!!!' Hearing this, Flash let out a sigh, "I was afraid of that."

"Dark Mist?" Twilight glanced back at Flash, seeing a tinge of fear and worry now on his face, "Who is that?"

"A monster from Ruby's era." Flash replied with crossed hooves, "I don't know anything else. Let's just watch the rest of this."

Nodding in agreement, the other six started to watch the remaining part of the scene. There, they saw Dark Mist command the village ponies to basically destroy themselves and their town, the soldiers now trying everything to save them. As this happened, they followed Ruby as she chased down Dark Mist, only to lose in the confrontation. The battle alone made them grimace and flinch at the pain Ruby was dealt as Dark Mist easily beat her. Flash was hit the worst as he saw his friend get beaten by a foe that he couldn't do a thing about. And as Dark Mist got away, the scene began to flicker like it did when it first started.

"Looks like that's it. I'm guessing we'll be going back to Ruby and Princess Luna next." Flash commented as a bright light started to form around them. "Geez...no wonder Ruby was so negative when we first met her."


The Mane Seven were now back in front of Luna and Ruby, now seeing Luna and Calm paw hug the knight. All seven frowned at the sight, a few sniffing at the sight. There, they saw Sharp Paw join the hug before the broke the embrace. There, Calm Paw gave them the news she was pregnant, which made Rarity and Fluttershy gasp.

"Wow! That's one big smile on Ruby's face!" Pinkie exclaimed as the others giggled at her comment.

That is, except Twilight. Instead, she just blinked and sighed, "But...I still don't get it."

"Get what?"

"This!" Twilight exclaimed as she pointed at the scene, "Why are we being shown this?!"

"Um..."

Twilight just shook her head. "I don't understand. What is this? Just...what are we watching?"

But as those words left her mouth, the scene started to flicker again. And as it did, they all tried to say something, only to be consumed by a flash of light.


"Okay, I'm gonna go blind if this keeps up." Flash grumbled as he rubbed his eyes. "Everypony okay?"

"Ah'm fine." Applejack mumbled as she rubbed her face, the others growling in agreement. And as the farmer rapidly blinked to get her vision back into focus, she saw that there were still in the same castle, but nopony was around. "Hmm? Where is everypony?"

"And what happened to Ruby?" Flash asked as he got his vision back as well.

Thump!

Everypony turned their heads to the sudden sound, only to see Princess Luna. She had slammed the front doors of the castle open, and her form was something that made the others flinch. Her mane was messy, tears flowing down her face with small bruises and scrapes down her body. A giant frown was gracing her face, and her hooves trotted like no tomorrow, zooming past the gang in an instant. The group quickly nodded at each other and followed, soon seeing Calm Paw as she also now saw how Princess Luna was.

"Your majesty? What's-"

"Leave me be!" Luna interrupted as she went past her, her horn flashing as she opened another door with her magic, "No one is to enter my bedchamber. No one!"

SLAM!

"Whoa...what happened?" Flash asked as they watched Calm Paw walk up to the door, a huge worried frown on her face.

"Your majesty, what happened? What's wrong?" Calm softly said as she tapped the door, "Your majesty?"

"Don't bother Calm." answered a new voice, making everypony turn to see Sharp Paw enter the room. "She will not be coming out for some time."

"Sharp!" Calm exclaimed before running up and hugging him, the two embracing for a small second.

And as the loving gesture ended, Calm spoke up, "What's wrong with Princess Luna? Did...did something happen with the mission?" She started fiddling her paws, "I mean, I know you all had to suddenly go on that mission to the Crystal Empire when Ruby showed up." The jakhowl let out a low sigh, "Oh...I wish I could have saw her. Why was I stuck here at the time?!"

Sharp Paw grimaced at those words, a low gulp going down his throat. His mate's ears heard this, making her eyes turn into a glare. Seeing this, Sharp flashed his palms, "Don't. I'll explain. Its just...hard."

Calm crossed her arms, "Good. What happened? You don't give that expression unless something really bad happened."

"It did." Sharp immediately replied, "We...lost the empire. Including Ruby."

Calm's eyes went wide, her mouth gaping at the information, "Wha….WHAT?! What do you mean you lost the empire and Ruby?! What happened?!"

"Its...gone. I don't know how else to explain it." Sharp did a small sigh as he looked away, "Ruby went in to confront Sombra and...the empire disappeared. Princess Celestia said it was some spell Sombra had prepared."

"That's...that's..." Calm started to backpedal, Sharp grabbing her before she could fall over. Seeing the shock now on her face, he lead her to a chair as she continued, "I don't...why?! How?!"

"I don't know. We don't know why Sombra did this or how he did it..." Sharp replied as he sat down in a nearby chair, "Its...not easy to say, especially since Ruby just got stationed there a few months ago. I...I lost a great comrade, just I like I know you lost-"

"It was her life's dream to be there, even though I knew she hated leaving Princess Luna..." Calm interrupted before glancing at Luna's door. "No wonder Princess Luna was like that. She must be devastated." She put her paw to her forehead as tears started to flow down her face, "I...Ruby...oh Ruby..."

Sharp Paw's ears flopped down as he saw his mate cry, his form quickly going over and hugging her. Silence followed as their embrace continued, only for another jakhowl to walk up to them. This one was an adult like them, though she was wearing a white gown and hat. She did a small bow before speaking up, "Lady Calm. It is ready."

"Hmm?" Calm responded as she slowly opened her eyes, water blocking them. "Oh...right." She released her hug and wiped her eyes, "Sharp...I forgot to tell you. Um...it happened while you were gone."

"I figured as much. You're up and running compared to how you were a few days ago." Sharp replied as he turned to the other jakhowl, "Where is it? Could you bring it to us?"

"Of course. One second Chief Sharp." the jakhowl did another bow, soon turning to leave the room. A minute later, she walked in with a rolling tray which had a pile of straw on it. On top of the straw was a large egg, which was a soft black on top with a zigzag pattern on the end while the bottom was a navy blue color. The top of the egg also a golden ring pattern with blue in the middle of it. "Here it is."

"Oh...its beautiful." Sharp gasped as he walked up to the egg, rubbing it with one of his paws, "The aura...its strong inside this little one." Tears began to go down his face as he looked back at his mate, "This...this is ours, isn't it?"

"It is." Calm responded as she did a small nod, more tears going down her face. "I...I had the egg right after you all left. You...you just missed it. Both you, Princess Luna and Ruby."

"Oh Calm...I'm so sorry." Sharp replied as he hugged her again, "I should have never-"

"Stop." Calm interrupted as she put her paw over his mouth, "Don't say those words. You had to leave and help Princess Luna. Instead..." she leaned closer as she took the paw away, "You should be doing something else."

"You're right." Sharp admitted, only to lean in kiss her. The two started to length the loving embrace, both holding each other as the sight made Mane Seven blush, Rarity fanning herself with her hoof.

"Awww...how sweet." Fluttershy commented as her face showed a tomato red blush.

"Agreed." Twilight added as she rubbed her chin at the sight. "So...this is a few months after Ruby became a knight, but right after Sombra sealed away the empire."

"Yeah. I don't think that's a good thing though." Flash finished as they saw the jakhowls finish their loving moment.

"Sharp?" Calm slowly asked.

"Yes my love?"

"I was thinking...maybe we should show this to Princess Luna." Calm suggested as she pointed to her egg, "Maybe this will help her. I mean, I know she just came back, but-"

Sharp just shrugged as he interrupted, "Its worth a try."

The two started to roll the tray to the bedchamber room, the Mane Seven following them. As they did this, Fluttershy and Twilight fiercely stared at the egg. "Amazing...so this is a jakhowl egg. I've never seen any kind of egg that looked like this in my books."

"Oh, I wish I could touch it." Fluttershy added with a hoof over her mouth, "It must be so warm."

The others just rolled their eyes at the interactions, all soon arriving the bedchamber door. There, they saw Sharp and Calm knock the door, only to hear Luna call out, "Leave me be!"

"Princess Luna..." Calm slowly replied, her tone gentle and low, "I...we need to show you something."

"Leave me be!" Luna barked back, her voice slightly trembling. It was here that the group went through the bedroom walls, all now seeing a tear-filled Luna sitting on her bed. The sight made them all flinch and frown, sadness on all their faces.

"Oh, poor Princess Luna." Fluttershy whimpered out, only for Twilight to shush her as they heard the jakhowls speak up again.

"Princess Luna...I want to show you something I wanted to show Ruby." Calm barely said, her words slight mumbles. But it was enough, as the alicorn's ears twitched upwards as she stared at the door. "Please...please, come and see it. Please..."

Though they weren't looking at the jakhowls now, they could tell Calm was crying again. Despite this though, Luna slowly got up, her hooves shivering as her whole face dripped of water. Her mane flopped down, just bare magic in her hair as they sagged while she stumbled over to the door. The alicorn's horn started to flicker, magic slowly turning the doorknob as her head peeked out, "What is it? What did you...what did you want Ruby to see?"

The Mane Seven went through the wall so they could see the whole scene, all gasping as Calm picked up her egg and gave it to Luna. "This...this is our jakhowl your majesty. I had the egg while you were all gone. We...we wanted you to see it, just like Ruby."

Luna's eyes went wide. Her whole form went silent as she saw the egg, her hooves trembling as she leaned down to the sphere. Tears began to flow again, waterfalls forming as she tapped the egg, feeling its warmth. "Calm...this is..."

"Yes, I know." Calm interrupted as she held her egg tight, but motioned the egg up to Luna's chest. And as it brushed her fur, Luna was speechless, the sight even making the Mane Seven to start tearing up.

"Oh...oh Calm..." Luna replied as she put her hooves around the egg, the trembling in her hooves now coming to a halt. Her back hooves slumped down as she stood on their knees, soon hugging the egg as the jakhowl couple smiled at each other.

"Isn't it beautiful?" Sharp asked, only to see Luna just give a small nod.

"It is...it truly is..." Luna muttered as the jakhowl now hugged her. They weren't sure how many minutes passed in this embrace, but as it ended, Luna gave the egg back as her horn began to glow. "Sharp...Calm...I wish to propose something to you two."

"Hmm? What is it your majesty?"

"I...I wish to protect your egg." She slowly got up as she put her hoof on Sharp's shoulder, "You are my partner Sharp Paw, as our auras are connected. And even though I know your connection to your mate is stronger, you will always be my jakhowl partner. So...may I perform a spell over the egg?"

The two jakhowl glanced at each other, only for both to nod. "Of course."

And as those two words exited the jakhowl's mouth, the world began to flicker around the Mane Seven again, a bright light starting to embrace them. "Seriously?! Right at this moment?!" Flash barked out as he put a hoof over his eyes, "What the heck-"


"-is going on?!" he finished as felt a familiar sensation shiver his body. Soon opening his eyes, he saw that him and the others were now at a new location. No longer were they are the castle, but in a forest, surrounded by giant trees. The towering clan of lumber were like pillars, all randomly assorting the area as Flash started looking around, "Oookay. Where are we now?"

"Not sure." Twilight replied as she rubbed her eyes, Flash now noticing she was standing right beside him. "Is this the Everfree?"

The others all replied by staring at the trees, only for Fluttershy to chime in, "Hmm...I don't think so. This place seems...strange. I've never seen trees as wide as these. They don't look like something that animals that I take care of would regularly live with."

"That's worrying." Flash added with crossed hooves.

"And so is that!" Rainbow yelled, making everypony turn to her. There, they saw what she was pointing at, the sight making them gasp and grimace.

It was a full village of Tricksters, all big and small. Most were in their battle forms, as few were in their tiny fox forms, making Fluttershy squee. But before she could try to hop and hug one of them, Flash quickly stopped her, telling her they were not the nice foxes she usually knew back in Ponyville. Not only that, the 'village' was more of camping site as they continued to observe, noticing most were just living in tents and shacks. And as they looked over the village, they all gulped as they saw one familiar Trickster walk through the makeshift town.

"Dark Mist..." Flash whispered as they saw all the Tricksters bow to fox as he walked through the village. "That's not good. I'm guessing he's the leader of all these monsters."

"Well, they shouldn't be able to see us, so let's follow him." Twilight suggested, the others nodded as they started to walk through the village. And as they did, the seven grimaced at the sights around them. It was the opposite of the jakhowls in every way. While when they went to Luna's castle, they saw jakhowls talking and playing with each other, all with happy faces, especially when they watched Ruby first walk to the castle. But here, the Tricksters all growled at each other, most fighting or destroying dummies for battle practice. They also saw that the foxes had several prisoner ponies, some of the foxes absorbing their aura like they were candy. The sight made the group flinch, Fluttershy almost throwing up.

"They really are the antithesis to jakhowls." Twilight commented as they now saw three Tricksters all fight over a bowl of soup, one firing Dark Blasts while the other stabbed him in the back with a Dark Claw. "How do they exist together like this?"

"Probably through fear." Flash responded, making Twilight raise an eyebrow. Seeing this, he let out a sigh, "Its something Grand taught me. I'll explain later." He looked back at Dark Mist, only to go wide-eyed as he came to a halt, "Hmm? Who's that?"

They all walked around the defender, all soon blinking at the new sight. It was Dark Mist...and a unicorn stallion. The unicorn had a dark green mane with a brown clay colored coat. A series of scars were all over both sides of his body, a particularly big vertical one down his left eye with a small horizontal one on the bottom end of the vertical scar. His left eye was fake, a wooden eye with a pupil drawn in. His nose was also half burnt, and he had several teeth missing, all replaced with fake wooden ones. Finally, his cutie mark was a carving tool on top of a piece of paper.

"So...got anything for me yet, Vile Rune?"

"Oh yes." Vile chuckled back as he lifted his hoof, showing the red gem Dark Mist had gotten several months ago. "I finished the last Runic formula. Now...we can finally begin."

A huge grin shined on Dark Mist's face, one that made a shiver go down the Mane Seven's spine. Flash gulped at it in particular, seeing how almost mirror perfect it was to Shade's smile as the Trickster laughed, "Ki ki ki…excellent. And this will guarantee the death of all jakhowls, right?"

Vile just gave him a small shrug, "I wouldn't give you a full guarantee, as with all things concerning gaining power, but..." he gave the gem back to the fox as his wooden teeth now showed a checkered smile, "Gambling is all part of the power business, wouldn't you agree?"

"Ki ki ki...I couldn't agree more."