• Published 11th Sep 2019
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Twilight's Nightmare - Nightsclaw

Twilight in her most desperate of moments, issues a cry for help. She was not expecting the Nightmare to be her saviour.

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CH 3 Twilight's Unexpected Library

Twilight yawned. She felt calm, peaceful, rested and content with remembered sensations of wings lovingly wrapped around her, and a heartfelt lullaby. The lullaby was in an ancient dialect she studied back for fun during her first year in Ponyville, her mind offered. Nope, random trivia later, sleep now. She snuggled with her surprisingly book-shaped pillow, happily returning to her sleep.

Sunlight shone in her eyes, Nope, no reason to wake up everything is perfect. She shifted a wing over her head to block the light, much better.

Her movements disturbing the air brought the familiar scent of her fresh ink and books, both ancient tomes and freshly printed modern works only added to how relaxed she was feeling. It felt like home. It felt safe.

Thirty-five thousand and twenty-seven.

Twilight blinked, Thirty-five thousand and twenty-seven? What was that about? Her confusion did more to awaken her than the sunlight ever could.

Glancing around it was clear she had fallen asleep hitting the books once again. Noting her so-called pillow was most certainly a book She chuckled softly "At least Spike did not catch me this time."

She hoped she did not have ink on her face again. Rarity would never let it go if I had to ask for more of her fashion emergency strength coat shampoo.

She stretched, expecting to feel stiffness in her back and neck. Finding none, she smiled, Clearly, another superpower granted by being an Alicorn. She thought.

Now what to have for breakfast, and where is my daily checklist? She ruffled her wings, then settling them back as she looked around, adding a mirror to her search objectives.

Twilight froze, she stared at her work covered desk, the desk in her bedroom, her room in the Golden Oaks Library, the same Golden Oaks Library which now was long destroyed.

"Time travel? Alternate universe? Illusion? A dream?" she mumbled, her mane fraying slightly.

Possibility after possibility rushed through her mind, each with a list of tests she could try to prove or disprove them.

"Spike, Spike!" she called out, trying and failing to hide the panic in her voice.

She waited, there was no response, no little dragon shouting back, no banging of things being dropped or the sound of claws scampering on the wooden floors, not even a quiet request for five more minutes. All her senses told her she was alone.

Where is Spike? What is going on? She had to know, and she wanted to know right this instant. Her mind dragged her attention to the books and scrolls on the desk, maybe this would give her some clues. The puzzle they made up giving her something to focus on.

With her panic put aside now calmly waiting its turn, she looked at the first open book reading its title, 'Red Hooves study on Vampony magic.'

"Oh Celestia, what is this doing here? I thought I put that back years ago, and I was only interested in it because of the silly book series named after me. If they find I have it, I will be sent back to magical..." Twilight stopped herself and inhaled a deep calming breath falling back to Cadance's breathing trick.

"Breathe in, Breathe out, everything is going to be just fine." Now somewhat calmed she looked back to the rest of the texts. Her mind adding the new panic to the orderly queue behind the last one.

"Ok Twilight, no need to panic, no deadline here so no way to be tardy at all, your even a princess now, so you're allowed any books you want even that one." With one more deep breath, she focused back to the desk.

Shining Armour's speciality shield spell caught her attention next "BBBFF, when did you publish a book?" She picked up the book idly flicking through it as she kept on with her investigation. He did forget to tell her about the wedding so it is not beyond plausibility he would have betrayed her in this fashion, but for her to not have found it in the catalogue of spellbooks she browsed, hungrily seeking anything new, doubtful.

She hugged the white tome with her brother's cutie mark on its cover close. She could almost believe it was a treasured gift, a memento from him.

Next advanced spell mechanics books one through ten. Nothing to worry about there, standard reference materials for any halfway competent spell work or a bit of light reading.

A scroll detailing Nightmare Moon's miasma body transmutation, written in Twilights own horn writing no less. Oh, this spell could be so much fun, I could get Rainbow back for all those pranks, all in good spirits naturally, but how and why do I have it?

Lighting her horn, she lifted the scroll scrutinising every detail. Other than the fact she did not remember writing it, she was confident it was her work. "So time travel, memory problems or another world." Twilight tapped her hoof on her chin.

Am I Luna's student in this world and Celestia’s now back from her banishment in the sun for wanting eternal day? She wondered. A quick glance at her bookshelf disproved that idea, right there where it should be on the third shelf was her Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns yearbook.

All the advance spell mechanic books rose in her magic, revealing more scrolls concealed beneath them. The books floated off, filing themselves away on the bookshelf next to her desk as she examined the new scrolls.

The top one just had a running count on 'Thirty-five thousand and twenty-seven' There is that number again; what is it counting? Something dug at her memories. She should know this. Her body trembled, she was afraid to remember, but why?

Tightening her grip on her brother's book and wishing it could really be him, another item was expertly slid into the deal with later queue in her mind.

Putting it aside, she looked at the next one. It looked like some type of violent crime report. Now, why would I have this, am I investigating a crime? Being a princess, I do have legal powers so it might make sense.

The victim was clearly depicted as being an Alicorn. Even without looking at the name on the report that limited who it could be.

The first things she spotted was the horn was crossed off. She gulped, Nope, not going to try to imagine what my life would be like without magic. With an effort of will, panic number three took its place in the line.

There was an arrow going from the horn over to the heart on the diagram. The note said the victim's own horn was used to impale her heart. Attempted murder of a princess no less, flames momentarily flashed through her mane.

Read the facts; you can not do anything without information. Twilight used her reason to add the fiery anger to the back of the panic queue.

Mental images of each of the other princesses dead flooded her mind. She buried and locked them in a mental box labelled do not open, threw away the key then banished the box to the furthest depths of her mind where her nightmares lived and left a posted note with a polite request for Luna to destroy it.

Each leg had four fractures marked; the front right one had its hoof crossed off. Each limb had its fractures in the exact same locations. That is not something that could happen in an accident, is it?

Both wings noted as being dislocated, half the feathers from the left one marked off.

The incisions marked on the torso were horrifying to imagine, six ribs marked as broken and a seventh marked as removed. Who would do this to a pony? These wounds were not an attack they were too clean. This had to be surgery or torture.

She checked the notes, and each organ had a small sample removed. Add to that a hoof for earthpony magic, feathers for pegasus magic and likely a scraping from the horn for unicorn magic. Was somepony studying Alicorns? May be trying to find out how to become one?

Twilight's stomach twisted with disgust as a few motes of flame flickered from her mane.

Whoever did this was a professional and likely would have a medical qualification, it would be listed even if it was rescinded. If they were the sort of pony that would do this, she hoped it had been rescinded. Twilight could not stop her mind trying to work out if it would be possible to empower somepony with what was taken from the victim.

Arcane arrays, magic items, zebra potions and forbidden spell craft danced in her mind's eye, rearranged, altering and becoming something new.

She sat perfectly still, seemed to not even breathe for minutes on end then suddenly all the strength left her limbs. Ice had replaced her blood in her veins, being an Alicorn, if it happened to be correct, she would survive, but she was reasonably sure that's just how she felt, and her blood was healthy blood at this time. A ritual could be constructed. It could be done, it was possible, not reliable but it had more than a thirty percent chance of working without additional reagents.

This fact barged its way to the front of the panic line and impatiently tapped its hoof waiting for Twilight to freak out. Her traitorous mind helped, offering up the fact that the younger the Alicorn the donations came from, the higher the chances of success.

It was not left waiting for long. Looking back at the report, the victim's name slowly wrote itself in dripping red blood. Princess Twilight Sparkle, it cruelly displayed in beautiful flowing script.

It was me, and it happened to me. Twilight commenced hyperventilating as per panic response doctrine. Everything else she was delaying dealing with also jumped in, flooding her mind, striping her of rational thought, the golden oaks starting to fade from her senses.

"You are nothing but the rarest of spell components to me, Princess," a deep gravelly stallion's voice said with cruel amusement. "You shall not escape me," it roared.

"No, no, no, no, no!" Twilight screamed. She had to do something, her body tensed and magic surged to life. Flames and bursts of arcane power consumed her body.

It was dark, she could not move, everything hurt, she could not feel her magic. A migraine starting where her horn used to be, making thinking almost impossible.

Twilight watched helplessly, screams escaping her as sharp blades danced with precise movements of telekinesis dipping and diving as they cut into her flesh. Even with the agonising pain, a part of Twilight's mind marvelled at the skill displayed. Rarity being the only pony she had ever encountered with better control.

In the corner of her eye, she could see a little lavender filly, dutifully recording every cut the blades made on a scroll.

A dark-coated stallion imperiously leaned over her restrained form, pulling her attention away from the filly. His evil eyes showed only glee clearly visible in the dark as they glowed green and leaked toxic purple miasma, just like King Sombra.

"You are nothing but the rarest of spell components to me my formerly beautiful Princess," his deep gravelly stallion's voice said with cruel amusement.

A swarm of surgical blades rushed towards her face. His laughter almost drowned out her screams, almost.

Her world shattered as flames consumed everything.

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