• Published 14th May 2019
  • 1,459 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?

  • ...

Filling in the Blanks

History is a surprisingly simple concept. It is a series of events that tie themselves to anything that can happen, specifically lessons. Its the act of studying, understanding, and implementing its lessons that shape future history.


Several months ago...

"Hey Doom?" Shade asked as he took a bite of an apple, his legs dangling on the ends of a chair. He was currently sitting on Doom's ship, which was headed for the island of Omniara.

To the side was Doom Raizer, the mad scientist that was at the time, trying to obtain the Omni Sphere. His hooves were spinning the ship's wheel as they cruised across a calm sea. The unicorn did a small grunt before turning to the fox, "What?!"

"No need to be so mean Doom, take a chill pill and relax." Shade added as he took a chomp out of the apple, "Heh...chill pill. Love that saying of this 'modern' time."

"You were going to ask me something?!" Doom growled, making Shade roll his eyes.

"Yeah. I got a riddle for ya..." Shade gulped down another bite as he wiped his mouth with his claw, "What do you think true power is? Is it something you just obtain by getting stronger, or is it something that you get after ya accomplish all your goals?"

Doom looked back at the sea as a small hum went out of his mouth, "Hmm...that's a different question. Why are you asking?"

"If you give me an answer, I'll tell ya why."

"Alright. If that's the case...I would say its by getting stronger. That way, it shows what power you truly possess, and shows you can become even more powerful."

"Hmm..." Shade leaned back in his chair at the response. "Interesting..."

"I answered your question fox. Now, why did you ask that?"

"Well...I was thinking of the history of Tricksters. In particular, a certain event between a Trickster and a unicorn."

"Oh? And why would a fox like you be interested in history? You seem more of the...instinctual type."

A huge grin shined on Shade's face as he leaned forward, "Hee hee hee...oh, I wouldn't say that Doom. We Tricksters, despite our...violent tendencies, love knowledge. We're beings that look back at the past mistakes of other Tricksters in order to better ourselves. We're also especially big lovers of history."

"I see." Doom replied, still not looking back at the fox, "So, what was this event in the past?"

"Oh, nothing much. Just what one would call the greatest event ever for the Tricksters. It was also an event where the unicorn in the story looked at power in...the latter category."

Doom raised an eyebrow at this, "The unicorn believed power only happens at the end of the goal?"

"Yes. Its the same story that created what I showed you went we first met."

"You mean...this unicorn created that?!" Doom glared back at the fox, "Why didn't you tell me this story?!"

"You didn't ask." The fox replied, chuckling as he put his claws behind his head, now leaning back in his chair again, "Besides, the story is so much more than just that. The difference is that the story says the unicorn was right...in a way." The fox looked back up at Doom, his grin now increasing, "Word of warning Doom, the finish line isn't where you think it is sometimes. You sometimes have to...go beyond what you could imagine."

Some time later, five weeks after the Omniara incident...

"Ugh...are we there yet?!" Shade moaned as he finished another apple. "I can't stand being on this ship much longer."

A cloak merely motioned to him, making the fox look up at a nearby window. There, he saw exactly what he had been seeing for five weeks...water. "Blast it. I so need a soundboard right now." he tapped the side of the cloak, "Get me another apple, I'm gonna look at the blueprints again."

As the cloak walked away, Shade let out a long yawn as he stumbled over to the captain's room table. He had made the cloaks navigate the ship, as he knew the ship mainly needed to just go straight to get back to Equestria. Now, he locked himself inside the captain's room, where he started to pour over all the papers and machines he had stolen from Doom's hideout on Omniara. The fox was now in his bipedal form, his eyes scanning a paper over the machine he would later put the Mane Seven into.

"Hmm...so glad I could convince Doom to make these. That moron really was a genius when it comes to building. Good thing the supplies on deck should help me make this." A cloak handed an apple to him before he took a satisfying a crunch into it. "I just need to make a few extra plans. One, I'll need to make a hideout to make this thing, then I'll need to find the subjects necessary...." Another bite into the apple, "And finally, I need to find that blasted jakhowl. I actually still don't know where he lives, mainly cuz I didn't care till now..." Shade leaned back in his chair as he pulled a small dark red gem out of his hair, "After all, what's the point of making this if I don't have an audience? Especially one that I want dead..."

With that last statement, Shade ate the rest of the apple before retiring for the day. It was a few days later that land finally came into view, which was met with cheering from one fox, and nothing else from a series of puppets guiding the ship. After that, he had them land on an abandoned beach, all the while making sure nothing saw the boat. Time soon passed as he unloaded everything off the ship, quickly making several more cloaks that could help him find a hideout. While doing this, he snuck into a few towns in pony disguise, all so he could get the latest news. There, he found out that the biggest recent news was that the princesses had vanished a few weeks ago, and the problem was solved around Ponyville. Seeing this, he had his first clue...

The Present...

"So...Flash Sentry, is it?" Shade asked as he leaned back in his chair, a huge smirk on his face, "Hee hee hee...why don't you go ahead and let the girls see this too? I suspect you have some questions."

"What are you talking about?" Flash replied, his voice coming out of Springer. "They can't do that."

"Oh? You don't-ah! Of course...he is the last jakhowl. I'm guessing the Princess of the Night hasn't told him everything." He pointed a finger at the jakhowl, "If that little pipsqueak can get to battle form, he can probably share his aura with those girls. I mean, you're seeing everything right now, correct? Just go back to them and tell 'em to connect to you. Granted, they probably won't be able to talk to me like you since your his partner, but that's just fine. So...go ahead. I'll wait. I prefer bigger audiences after all."

"That's possible?" Flash asked, getting a tiny nod from Shade.

"Don't worry. I have...how you say, 'paused' our little story. Go back to the girls, they'll probably be asking what's going on, and I really want this story to continue with no questions asked."

Flash now in Springer's body closed his eyes, reopening them to see he was now in front of all his friends. Now seeing him blink, Twilight spoke up, "Flash? Is that you? You okay?"

"Yeah...I'm fine." Flash moaned as he rubbed his eyes, "Got some bad news though."

"What's wrong? Did you find out who's behind this?" Twilight responded as she pointed to the scene behind them, "I'm guessing since, well...I don't know what exactly is going on right now." As for what she was pointing at, it was Luna and Sharp Paw, both still as statues as the princess was suddenly cut off mid-sentence.

"Yup. He's also responsible for that." Flash groaned as he did one last rub, "Girls, I don't know how to explain this, but...well, let's just say we're in trouble."

"We got that already." Rainbow deadpanned with crossed hooves, "Just tell us who's flank we need to kick to get out of this thing."

"That's the thing...I still don't know how to get out of this."

"Seriously?! Oh, come-"

"Rainbow, that's enough." Twilight interrupted with a hoof to her mouth, "Flash, let's start with who's behind this."

Flash gritted his teeth as he replied, "Its Shade. He's the one who got us in this mess."

"Shade? You mean, Shade the Trickster?"

"Yeah. And if you're about to ask about the how, he's got us trapped in some kind of...machine thing. I've never seen anything like it." Flash explained what the machine looked like, which was greeted with six combinations of glum frowns and looks of confusion. "Yeah, I had the same reaction." he then presented his hoof to his friends, "He also said you girls can take a look as well. Just grab my hoof and close your eyes."

"Huh?!" Twilight yelped with a raised eyebrow, "Flash...I thought only you and Springer can do that."

"Shade said its possible, though only I can talk thanks to me and Springer's connection. As for why he told me this, he said he won't let this continue until we do." He gestured to his hoof again, "Hate to say it, but let's go along with it for now. I don't know about you, but I want some answers."

"Hmmm..." Twilight did a glum sigh, but nodded. "Fine. Let's do it."

All six gripped Flash's hoof, all closing their eyes as Flash closed his as well. There, he mentally contacted Springer, the jakhowl happy to hear the girls voices. "Hey everypony. Sorry about this. Shade uh...got me in a real bind here."

"Its fine Springer." Twilight replied while others gave in chimes of agreement. "Just show us what's going on. I'll tell Flash what to ask Shade and make a plan to get us out of this mess."

"Got it. Thanks Twilight."

Springer opened his eyes, his pupils shifting and changing into Flash's. As they did this, the pupils kept morphing as the others all started to see out of his eyes.

"Whoa! What is that?! It looks crazy!" Rainbow responded first, her vision scanning every bit of the machine.

"Agreed darling. What a...I don't know how to describe it." Rarity replied as she tried to do a shudder of fear with her body.

"Tarnation. This don't look good at all." Applejack added while hearing a 'meep' out of Fluttershy.

"Yeah...definitely no party making machine, that's for sure." Pinkie continued while she looked to the right, now seeing her body in one of the capsules. "That doesn't look fun either."

"I couldn't agree more. Just...what is this thing?!" Twilight finished before her vision turned to Shade. "Ugh. So that's Shade. You were right Flash, he's ugly."

"Ah. I see your eyes are...having problems." Shade chuckled as he leaned over the map, "Tell me, who is looking at me right now? Is it the alicorn?" A toothy grin began to form on his face as he saw anger build on Springer's, "Hee hee hee...come now, no need to be angry. What's your first question? Is it how I got you here? Or maybe its what this machine is? After all, it was built by yours truly, who is a superior intellect beyond anything you could ever accomplish."

"And he's totally full of himself." Twilight moaned with a 'roll of the eyes'.

"Wow! He'd give Rainbow a run for her bits on having a massive ego!" Pinkie chimed in, getting a disgruntled snort from the athlete. "No offense."

"Ego aside, ask him how he did all this Flash." Twilight ordered, Flash taking a small breath in Springer's body as he prepared to do the command.

"Okay Shade, they're all here and watching. How'd you do all this?"

"Ah! The million bit question!" Shade exclaimed as he put his claws up to his mouth, "Hee hee hee...oh, I've waited so long for that question. As for its answer....well, I'm not sure where to start."

"How about the beginning?" Flash growled, making Shade laugh even more.

"Hee hee hee...good point! That's a great way to start!" his claws slowly touched his teeth, "But let's not go over the boring details. We'll skip the part where I escaped Omniara and stole Doom's ship. I suspect you already knew about that."

"I did. We searched the island over for you."

"And I'm flattered. Hee hee hee...oh, I just love the attention!" Shade guffawed, making Flash tap the table with Springer's paw, "Oh, lighten up! We got all the time in the world! After all, we have a lot to talk about over-"

"I'll just tell them everything right now if you don't start Shade." Springer interrupted, making Shade let out a low growl as the others felt the jakhowl take over.

"Hey! Don't ruin my-"

"Shade made this...'machine map thing' with plans Doom made. Something about advanced runes and junk." Springer started to explain, only to hear the sound of Shade's claws slamming the table.

"Stop that! I'm explaining my plan, and you're not going to ruin it!" Shade exclaimed, only to lean back in his chair, "This is just another reason why we Tricksters hate you jakhowls! You hate the fun of causing despair and agony! I wanted to see fear in their faces as I told them how I created this brilliant scheme!"

"Shut up and tell them what you told me."

"Fine...ya party pooper." Shade grumbled as he leaned back further, "It all started after I got back to Equestria. I had spent days finding out where you were Springer, and then...I started to plan."

A few months ago...

"So...this is Ghastly Gorge, right?" Shade asked the cloaks, getting a nod from the mechanical puppets. "Hmm...this looks good. Let's find a cave we can use here and get everything setup."

It wasn't long till he found what he was looking for, finding a maze of caves and tunnels, all that he used to setup a room for his machinations. Using a series of light devices Doom had made and stored in his ship, he quickly made a few rooms for himself as he got a table and the blueprints displayed on it. "Okay...this is good. I have most of the supplies I need for the machine. I'm just glad I convinced Doom to make these plans."

A cloak walked up and handed him an apple, which he started munching on, "Mmmm...so good. Glad I found a whole farm of these in that...what was that pile of dirt called again? Ponyville? Eh, whatever. Just glad there was a farm of these delicious treats for me to steal."

"WHAT?!" Applejack yelped in Springer's head, making the others all shake in sudden surprise, "That no good, rotten stinkin-"

"Applejack, calm down!" Twilight shushed, "You can make the evil fox pay later. I need to listen to this."

"But that's my apples Twi! My family's apples!" Applejack grumbled, "Grrr...wait! Does that mean Big Mac hasn't been sneaking apple snacks the past few weeks?! I thought he was putting on a few pounds because of that!"

"Nah. He's just been asking for my special super secret apple ice cream sur-eep!" Pinkie squeaked, "Um...nevermind! You didn't hear anything!"

"Pinkie...we can all hear each other." Flash deadpanned, getting a series of giggles from everyone but Applejack. "Now, let's keep listening..."

"Are you listening?!" Shade asked, seeing Springer's eyes fluctuate. "I thought you wanted to know."

"Let's just say...you ticked one of us off." Flash replied as his glare reformed, "Just keep talking."

"Yeah yeah, anyways...as I was saying, I, the greatest being you have ever met, decided to fully start my plan to capture you eight with so much ease that I..."

"I'll explain the rest. He's gonna be like this for a while." Springer commented while resisting the urge to roll his eyes. "I'll start when I woke up in this room."

An hour or so ago...

"Uhh...oh..." Springer moaned as he felt a drip of drool fall out of his mouth, making him slowly lift his head up. "Wha...what the..." His paw started to rub his head as he let out a small set of breaths. "Ugh...my head..."

"You awake? You certainly still seem out of it." said a snarky voice, a series of laughs following this, "Hee hee hee...looks like I did more than I thought."

"That laugh...oh no..." Springer groaned as he kept blinking, rubbing his right eye as he looked up and saw one Shade the Trickster. "Shade..."

"Good morning jakhowl. And before you summon some aura to punch my face, I suggest you take a look around." Shade commented as he pointed to the right of the jakhowl, "Trust me on this."

"I don't..." Springer muttered out as aura flowed out of his paw, now patting his head as his eyes darted to the right, only to go wide-eyed. It was Flash and his friends, all asleep in a series of capsules. "Flash!" he exclaimed before glaring back at Shade, "Shade, what did you-"

"Hold it!" Shade barked back as he pointed at his chair, now showing a tiny button, "Make a move and they're toast. Its that simple."

"Why you-"

Shade flashed a palm, "Don't. I don't know about you, but I'm not in the mood to end all of this in one go." A dark aura encased his claw as he let out a slow breath, "Let's all calm down. I want to enjoy this, and I'm pretty sure you don't want your friends turned into a living barbeque."

A blue flame consumed Springer's paws, both clenching into fists as he glared at the fox, his eyes darting back and forth between him and Flash. His brain soon catching up, the fire started to die down as he slumped in the chair he was in. There, he now saw everything else in the room, seeing several cloaks on every corner and the huge machine between him and Shade, "Okay Shade...what is this?! Where are we and what did you do to me and my friends?!"

"Ah! The million bit question!" Shade snapped his fingers, the machine in front of him now glowing. There, a series of symbols appeared, making Springer lean back as he saw glowing letters shine. "We'll start with this, as its all part of my greatest plan."

"What the-" Springer muttered out as he saw the machine show a blank white map, only for mountains, trees and a castle to form.

"Surprised? I suspected as much, as you jakhowls aren't much into....intelligent things." Shade chuckled as he pointed at the map, "This is a machine created thanks to a few...altercations from plans created by Doom Raizer."

"Doom Raizer? He's part of this?!"

"Oh yes. And this machine is quite the beauty, wouldn't you agree?" Shade added as he tapped the map, it now morphing to show a small castle. Springer blinked at the display, quickly noticing that he didn't recognize the structure in the slightest. Seeing his surprise, Shade let out a giggle, "Hee hee hee...I gotta say, your confused face is fun to watch. It makes the months of work to create this mechanical monstrosity all worth it."

"Why you-"

"Hold it! No need for insults right now." Shade interrupted with flashing a claw, "Tell you what, why don't I just reveal all my cards right now? It'll make things so much easier." The fox leaned forward, his chin soon resting on his claws, "After that, we can start the greatest game of all."

"Game? What game?"

"Oh Springer, don't you remember are first real encounter? You know, back in that uh...whatever that dustball town was called-"

"The town's called Appleloosa."

"And you make it sound like that actually matters." Shade barked back, his tongue flopping out, "Anyways, as I was saying, you remember our encounter there, right?" Springer did a slow, glaring nod, "Good. As I said back then, rule number one with Tricksters is that we live to play games."

"Yeah, I remember that. What does that have to do with this?!" Springer replied as he pointed at the map.

"Simple. This machine is the main part of the game." Shade lifted a single finger as his grin started to grow, "But before we get to that part, we'll answer your other questions. For starters, we're currently in what you call 'Ghastly Gorge'. More specifically, a tunnel of mazes that I found in that canyon area. And if you're wondering about help coming, it won't. Even if someone had a clue, the mazes down here are far too big to get to us before our game is done."

The Present...

"Whoa whoa whoa! Hold up buddy!" Flash exclaimed inside Springer's head, "We're in Ghastly Gorge?! I mean, I know he mentioned that earlier, but...that's barely a few miles from Ponyville! How'd he get away with making this machine in secret there?!"

"Its because he doesn't have an aura." Springer replied with a low hissing tone, "I couldn't sense him, and most traveling ponies tend to avoid that area. And if you're wondering, he said next that he has several cloaks guarding multiple entrances so they can tell him if he has an intruder or not. That means that even if Iron or somepony else was trying to find us....well, if I know Shade, he has a backup plan."

"Eh, makes sense. He obviously had one back at Omniara." Flash commented while grumbling.

"That's not good." Twilight added, "Springer, how did he capture us like this? And just what is his plan?"

"I...still don't fully know the plan. Its obvious there's something else to this than him showing us the past, but as for how he got us..."

Back to an hour or so ago again...

"That's nice and all Shade, but why are you showing me this?" Springer growled with crossed arms, "Or is this just you trying to do some revenge scheme again?"

"You underestimate me jakhowl." Shade remarked as he snapped his claws, another rune activating on the map. This one made the map morph to show seven small figures appear, all that Springer recognized.

"Flash! Everypony!"

"Yes, that's them. They'll be playing a certain role in all of this as well." Shade responded as he leaned forward again, "You see, this machine serves a very special purpose. Its going to show us the past."

"The past?"

"That's right. You see, back when I was working with Doom, I showed him the plans for what you would call...an ancient secret."

A click went off in Springer's brain, "Let me guess, that's the thing you wouldn't talk about back at Omniara."

"Correct." Shade replied with chuckling, "Hee hee hee...nothing gets by you. As for what I gave him, I basically showed him a certain method using rune magic to, how you say, create the object from those times. Now, I will admit that it didn't go well in terms of first impressions over the plan. Thankfully, I had prior knowledge about Omniara thanks to old Trickster teachings."

"What do you mean?" Springer asked while blinking, remembering his time against Doom and old comics Flash would show him that had mad scientists as the villain. "I have a hard time buying that Doom wouldn't want to learn things."

"Under normal circumstances, I would completely agree with you." Shade remarked as he let out a sigh, "Apparently, hating rune magic is something of a tradition in that family, including that...Grand something or other. Something about losing Doom's mother to that magic."

Springer went wide-eyed at this, memories of Solid yelling at Grand back at Canterlot in particular. "Huh...so that's why they hate each other." he whispered to himself before glaring back at the fox, "So, he still helped you with this...'secret'. Was it this machine?"

Shade did a quick nod, "Yes. I showed him a certain method, which needed rune magic to work, and after some...disagreement, he agreed to help. He made a series of blueprints, which I converted into my own pet project after the Omniara incident. Granted, I had to readjust and even create new runes in order for the machine to work, but I'm glad it worked out in the end." The fox placed a claw on his chest, "And before you ask anything, we Tricksters have advanced knowledge of rune magic. Its something we, how you say, designed in older times. Don't question it, as we would be sitting here forever if you wanted me to explain every detail."

"Alright. So you made this machine that...what did you say it was going to do?"

"Show the past." Shade leaned up, resting his chin on one paw with a smirk, "Tell me Springer, have you ever wondered what happened to the jakhowls?"

As that question left the fox's mouth, Springer went stiff as a board. His mind burned with anxiety, fear and confusion. He didn't know how to respond. On one hand, he wanted to just hop onto the map and charge with both fists swinging at the fox. On the other, he wanted to know. As such, a low growl formed as he glared at the monster, "What...do you know?"

Shade's grin grew tens times its size at the question. "Everything. I know what happened, and I can show you. That, after all, is the ultimate game for me. I can't wait for despair to overtake you as he have to watch every single thing happen, all because your friends are under my control."

A layer of blue flames traced itself around the defender, his blood boiling as he responded, "Game?! You think kidnapping my friends is a-"

"Game? Yes. Their lives are nothing to me, but I know they're something to you."

"Shade..." Springer hissed as a blaze of blue fire consumed his fists, "You-"

"Calm down doggo. We're not done here." Shade remarked as he pointed to the button on his chair, "Or do you wanna finish this game now?"

Springer could feel his whole body shake as he tried to force himself from leaping right at the fox. Despite this, he slowly slumped back into the chair as Shade continued, "Good. Now, we'll answer your final question before starting the show. How did I, the magnificent and superior being known as Shade, capture you and your friends?"

Flames still consumed his paws as Springer glared at the fox, "Go on."

"Geez louise, relax a little. You really need to calm down." Shade chuckled as he leaned back in his chair, "As for how I did that great deed, it wasn't much. For starters, I knew I needed some motivation from you, and I had to figure out what that would best be. At the start, I was just gonna go after your partner, but...I kinda wanted to get some more motivation just in case. After all, no point in putting all my eggs in one hostage when I can have several."

"I'm pretty sure you said that saying wrong."

"And you honestly think I care?" Shade spat as he snapped his claws, "Cloak! Bring it to me!" A single cloak walked up to the fox, handing him a small device that had several drawings on it. "This...is how I got you all."

Springer blinked at the device, seeing it was just a sphere with sketches on the sides. "Let me guess, are those runes?"

"Yes. These runes basically spell out the magic runic letters of..." Shade's grin kept growing, "Sleep."

As that word got into the jakhowl's ears, his brain instantly put everything together. "Don't tell me...did you-"

"Used this in that...whatever that giant crystal castle thing you all were in at that Ponyville town? Yes, yes I did. Knocked everyone out almost instantly. So glad that those two other soldiers were there as well." Shade began to fiddle the sphere around his claw, "I gotta say, when I saw that castle thing suddenly appear, I was so happy. I just knew you all would bunch up in that place. Made my job so much easier."

Springer grit his teeth, feeling his teeth bite his lip, "How nice for you." His arms crossed themselves as he tried to calm himself, "So...how did you get Flash and Twilight? They weren't there when you did this."

"Ah yes, that was a bit of a problem." Shade admitted as he gave the sphere back to the cloak. "Lucky for me, when I activated the sleep spell rune, those two were coming out of...some kind of mirror?"

"Its a portal...and a mirror."

"Oooookay. I'm guessing I should ask more questions about that, but I really don't care. As for catching those two, the alicorn fell to the spell pretty easily..." Shade turned to glare at the captured defender, "Not sure why, but the runes weren't working well on your partner. So, I had to get a bit..." Shade lifted his claw, a dark aura covering it, "Physical."

Springer felt his paws clench in anger. "What did you do?"

Shade just shrugged, "Eh, I just had to quickly knock him out. Thankfully, he wasn't fully immune to the rune magic, so it helped me knock him out." The fox pointed to the cloak behind him, "As you can probably guess, the cloaks made getting them to this machine really easily. That includes you too."

Shade tapped the map as his smirk increased, "Now, let's start the show. I'll explain stuff if necessary, but I wanna get this show on the road."

The Present...

"And that's everything. He also said he set up some kind of Trickster rune that blocks aura. That's why I couldn't connect to you Flash." Springer finished with a mental sigh, glaring at Shade as he saw that the fox had just now got started to explaining. "So...not sure I can help, but any questions?"

"No. I think that covers most of my questions." Twilight replied, making the others gasp.

"Really?!" Flash yelped, "Who are you and what have you done with Twilight?!"

"I'm still just Twilight, meathead. I said that because this has answered most of the mysteries over this situation."

"Well, could you update the rest of us?" Applejack asked, "Ah'm still confused over all of this."

"I'll explain...and before you say anything Flash, I'll make it simple. What we now know is how we ended up here, how Shade did this, and...well, I'm still not sure about the why." Twilight hummed at this, "That's what doesn't make sense. Why capture all of us just for hostages? It can't be coincidence, bringing all seven of us here. He also could've just took Lightning, Iron and Spike, but he didn't. He only got us."

"Think he's got another motive? It would make sense."

"I do Flash. Not only that, there's one more question: Why is he showing us this...event in the past? I get him tormenting Springer, as you've told me he does this, but...is this thing even the truth? I mean, wouldn't Princess Luna have told Springer about this after she met him?!"

"That's true...but I have no idea why." Springer replied as he clenched his crossed arms. "Either way, I don't like this. You want me to go ahead and tell him that I've told you everything Twilight?"

"Sure. I'll start thinking of way to get us out of this while he starts showing us more of these past events."

"Got it." Springer responded before tapping the table, making Shade stop his self-praising rant. "Hey Shade, let's continue watching this...past thing."

"Huh?" Shade yelped as he rapidly blinked, putting his paw at his chest, "What do you mean? Don't you want an expla-"

Springer crossed his arms, "I told them everything else. Start it up."

"WHAT?!" Shade screamed, his face morphing into a combination of rage and fury, "What do you mean you told them everything?!"

"Exactly as I said. I told them everything while you were busy praising yourself." Springer spat in a deadpan tone. "Turns out, they like my explanations more than yours."

"Wha...but...I...Augh!" Shade yelled as he gripped the sides of his head, a scream of anger following this. "Seriously?! Do you just hate fun?! You stinkin' aura freak! How dare you mess up my monologue! I didn't spend months on this thing so you can interrupt every piece of dialogue that I wanted to-"

"Just turn the machine on again Shade." Springer grumbled while rolling his eyes, "Me and my friends are waiting."

"Grrr...you blasted, little..." Shade growled, his face contorting to pure red rage as dark aura started to cover his claws.

Springer just smirked at this, "Awww...what's the matter Shade? Your plan all messed up?"

"Don't make fun of me." Shade hissed as he tapped the map, "Let's keep watching. You'll fall into despair soon enough."

Back to the Mane Seven watching Luna and Sharp Paw...

"Springer says Shade is gonna start it up again." Flash announced, getting a series of nods from everypony. After this, Flash glanced at Twilight, "Hey Twi, you...do have a plan to get us out of here, right?"

"I...don't know." Twilight honestly answered, a small sigh following this. "Even now, I'm not sure what we can do. When I looked at the machine that we're stuck in through Springer's eyes, I...I hate to say it, but this machine is super advanced." A bunch of glum frowns responded to her answer, making Twilight lower her head in despair, "Sorry. Ever since I saw those runes from that scene between Vile Rune and Dark Mist, I can't help but feel out paced here. Those spells they had there...I just don't know. I'm...I'm sorry everypony."

Applejack just shook her head, patting Twilight's side, "Aw, don't worry about it Twi. We've all been through plenty of thick and thin, so we'll figure something out."

"She's right. We'll get out of this mess." Flash added with a nod.

A small smile started to show on Twilight's face, "Thank you." She turned to Luna and Sharp Paw, the duo starting to move again, "Its starting. Let's watch."

"Sounds good to me."

As the seven watched the two start to move, it started with Luna flashing her hoof at Sharp. "Stop Sharp. I will not let you fall for Dark Mist's tricks."

"She's right my love." Calm added as she gripped his arm, "Please calm down. You are in front of the rest of the jakhowls."

"I...I..." Sharp growled, blue flames continuing to consume his paws. It was here he saw the look on his mate's face, a calm passionate expression showing itself. The sight made the fire die down, a small sigh following this, "I understand. I...I'm sorry my love."

"Its fine." Calm replied as she patted his side.

Luna did a small giggle as she patted his other side, "Listen to your mate Sharp. After all, we need to keep a cool head to solve this situation."

"You're...you're right." Sharp did a small bow to the princess, "Thank you, partner."

"Of course." Luna chimed in as she turned to the other jakhowls, "Every jakhowl, let us return inside. We will discuss what we need to do after that."

"Yes, your majesty!" they all responded, bowing before running back to the castle. They soon assigned a few lookouts for the castle, all knowing they would be told the plan later. The Mane Seven also followed the group of jakhowl, all sitting down in the throne room for the castle.

"Alright, now that everyjakhowl is here, we'll start the meeting." Sharp announced, the others nodding. "First off, we need to figure out our plan to fight against Dark Mist and the Tricksters."

"As such, we will start with-" Luna began to start, only for her form to flicker. A small wave of light followed this, making the Mane Seven go wide-eyed.

"Seriously?! We're cutting there?!" Flash yelled before putting his hoof over his eyes, blocking the light that began to change the scene around them.

"Augh!" Flash yelped as he rubbed his eyes, "Blast it! Why does this keep happening to my eyes?!"

"Ugh...that is really annoying." Twilight agreed as she kept blinking. As her eyes started to adjust, she saw they were back at the Trickster camp. "Oh...we're back here. That's not good."

"I agree darling." Rarity chimed in, "Oh, why couldn't we have stayed in that majestic castle of Princess Luna's compared to this...dump."

"Ah don't think she means it like that Rarity." Applejack added before pointing at the camp, "Look, there's that no good Dark Mist varmit."

"Yeah. Let's follow him." Flash finished before gesturing to his friends, the others nodding before following his lead. They soon found themselves at the tent from before with Vile and Dark Mist. "Oh goody. We're watching these two again." Flash deadpanned, "Can't wait to hear these evil monologues."

"Quiet Flash. This could be really important." Twilight responded as they all watched Vile lean back in his chair.

"I gotta say Dark, I know you said she hated you, but...wow. Princess Luna does not like you." Vile commented with a dark chuckle, "Though it also makes me think we can confidently make this plan work even more."

"Ki ki ki...I know." Dark giggled as he sat down and tapped the table between them, "That being said, I just ticked off an alicorn, and that means we really need to work together right now. You do realize the stakes here, right?"

"I do. I tried to make backup plans." Vile responded as he took out the gem from before, "That's why I had you get this made, remember? Its to make sure we don't need backups. In fact, considering what you just said...I think I know the perfect name for this weapon."

"What's that?" Dark asked with a raised eyebrow.

Vile's horn started to glow as he levitated the gem in front of the duo, a huge grin on his face. And as he started to talk, Flash's eyes went wide as he stared at the gem. He could feel a shiver down his spine, his pupils shrinking as his brain suddenly clicked at the sight of the gem. A small gasp followed, "No...it can't be."

"Flash? What's wrong?" Twilight asked, frowning at the expression on his face.

"I...I really hope that gem isn't what I think it is." Flash muttered as his ears started to listen to Vile, "Please don't let it be that..."

But his fears were well founded as Vile put his hoof under the gem, only for his horn to levitate another familiar piece of equipment to the table as he asked Dark Mist, "I was thinking of calling it...The Alicorn Amulet. What do you think?"

"Ki ki ki...ki ki ki...I love it."