• Published 12th Oct 2019
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Logan and Carol; The Wolves of Equestria - JNKing

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Twilight's Promotion Pt 1

Logan and Carol could only stare in abject shock at the latest bout of craziness that had befallen them.

“Carol,” Logan said.

“Yeah,” she asked.

“Where’s Fluttershy?” Logan demanded.

“Here’s a better question,” Carol said, before storming over to Rainbow Dash. “WHY ARE YOU IN FLUTTERSHY’S COTTAGE?!”

The other animals had to agree with Carol; they were all chittering, roaring and generally causing a mayhem, looking around for their normal caretaker.

Dash fumed, and burst into song.

None of you will listen to me; not one little bit.

You run out of control, and throw your hissy fits.

“Can you imagine why?” Logan demanded.

“But it’s up to me to stop you, cuz plainly you can see…”

She pointed to her flank. Normally, a rainbow-colored lightning bolt adorned it, but now… Logan had to blink twice as he registered three butterfly marks – just like Fluttershy’s.

It’s got to be my destiny,” Dash concluded. “Because it’s what my cutie mark is telling me!”

Logan and Carol glanced at each other in horror.

“Dash…” Logan started gently. “Where is Fluttershy now?”

#

Leaving Logan in charge of the animals, Carol sprinted for Sugarcube Corner. Fighting against the strong smell of sugar, Carol burst inside to find Fluttershy, a pair of odd glasses with a moustache on her face, standing before a group of irate ponies.

“Fluttershy?” Carol asked, just as the music started back up again.

I try to keep them laughing,” Fluttershy bemoaned. “Put a smile on their face.

But no matter what I try, it seems a bit of a disgrace.”

She blew a party horn resignedly.

I have to entertain them, it’s there for all to see.

She pointed to her flank, which now had a picture of three balloons on it – Pinkie Pie’s mark!

“It’s got to be my destiny,” Fluttershy finished. “And it’s what my cutie mark is telling me!”

Carol sprinted back out, only to run into Twilight.

“Who’s in…?” Twilight tried to ask.

“Fluttershy,” Carol answered instantly. “Did you…?”

“Long story,” Twilight replied. “So… if Fluttershy is in Pinkie’s place, then what’s…”

A CRASH sounded, faintly, from Applejack’s farm. Carol’s ears flattened, as did Twilight’s.

“Oh, no…” Twilight whimpered, as she and Carol raced for the source of the noise. The song continued as they saw Pinkie at the farm. Or rather… what was left of the farm.

“I don’t care much for picking fruit and plowing fields ain’t such a hoot,” Pinkie was singing as she tried to work.

“No matter what I try; I cannot fix this busted water chute…”

It crashed again, Carol having to keep it from crushing Pinkie, while the mare wandered away from her.

“I’ve got so many chores to do, it’s no fun being me.

But it has to be my destiny, because it’s what my cutie mark is telling me.”

Carol darted between the apples now on Pinkie's flank and the farm. She made the connection before they got Applejack’s location out of the mare.

“Oh, no…” Carol muttered as they raced to Canterlot Boutique, to find Applejack with what looked like a scarecrow that had been butchered. Rarity's mark was on Applejack.

Lookie here at what I made,” Applejack cried. “I think that it’s a dress

I know it doesn’t look like much; I’m under some distress.

Could ya’ll give me a hand here and help me fix this mess?

My destiny ain’t pretty, but it’s what my cutie mark is telling me.”

Carol backed out, only for a lightning bolt to nearly hit her. Rarity walked by, singing sadly as well. Her flank was adorned with Rainbow Dash's lightning bolt.

“I’m in love with weather patterns, but the others have concern.

For I just gave them frostbite, on top of their sunburns.

I have to keep on trying, for everyone can see.

All across Ponyville, Carol heard the five mares cry in unison.

“It’s got to be my destiny, and it’s what my cutie mark is telling me!”

Carol glowered at Twilight, who was looking more than ashamed. Snagging her by the horn, Carol dragged her back to the library, Spike struggling to keep up.

“Carol-ow-Carol-Ow-that-hurts-Carol!” Twilight screamed before Carol shoved her inside. Barely giving time to let Spike in, Carol slammed the door and turned around on Twilight.

“Explain,” she growled. “Now!”

Twilight stammered for a second before Spike jumped between them.

“I don’t know how wolves handle problems,” Spike growled at Carol. “But yelling at Twilight isn’t gonna help anything.”

“Well, I WANT ANSWERS!” Carol snarled. “Fluttershy’s off doing… whatever the heck was up with that moustache, and I just left Logan and Rainbow Dash in charge of a bunch of wild animals.”

“You left LOGAN IN CHARGE OF SOMETHING?!” Twilight screeched.

“EXACTLY WHY I’M A LITTLE CONCERNED!” Carol screeched back before Spike once again separated them.

“And we’ll figure out what happened,” he said calmly. “I’m not sure how, but I’m pretty sure screaming like maniacs isn’t gonna help.”

Carol fumed, but didn’t say anything else, while Spike turned to Twilight. “Now, Twilight; what happened?”

With Spike’s assuring voice, Twilight snapped out of her funk, and took a breath.

“Okay,” she said. “Last night, I got a special delivery from the princess.”

She indicated an unfolded piece of parchment next to an old looking book. Carol didn’t even roll her eyes; she just took the parchment and started to read:

“Dear Twilight Sparkle,” she read. “The spell contained on the last page of this book is Star Swirl the Bearded’s secret unfinished masterpiece. He was never able to get it right, and thus abandoned it. I believe you are the only one who can understand it and re-write it. Princess…” Carol growled out the last word. “Celestia.”

Spike took up the book and turned it to the last page. Twilight stuck out a hoof.

“Careful, Spike!” she warned, glancing at the Elements worriedly. “Merely saying it cast the spell.”

Shutting his mouth, Spike showed the spell to Carol:

From one to another; Another to one. A mark of one’s destiny singled out alone, fulfilled...

He huffed. “Doesn’t make sense,” he admitted.

“You’re telling me,” Carol grumped. “It doesn’t even rhyme.”

Twilight just hung her head. “I cast the spell so I could find out what it was, but nothing seemed to happen...”

“Oh, nothing seemed to happen?” Carol demanded. She yanked open the curtain, revealing the checkerboard storm clouds outside. “Nothing seemed to happen?!” she demanded.

“I know something did happen!” Twilight snapped back. She walked over to a glass container containing the necklaces and tiara that Twilight and her friends had worn when they were dealing with Discord. But something was off about the five necklaces. They had different colors that didn’t match their shapes.

“The spell changed the Elements of Harmony,” Twilight bemoaned. “That’s why their cutie marks are all wrong.”

“So… just cast a counter-spell; switch them back,” Carol replied.

“But there is no counter-spell,” Twilight refuted.

“How about that memory spell you used to fix every pony when Discord came around,” Spike offered. Carol glanced at him in confusion, only for Twilight to shake her head.

“It’s not their memories, Spike; it’s their true selves that have been altered,” she replied.

“Altered just by a brand mark?” Carol asked. Twilight glared at her.

“Cutie marks are not brands,” she said sharply, looking down at her own. “Cutie marks are a show of who we are. Our… souls, if you will…”

Spike brightened. “What about Zecora’s cure for the cutie pox?” he asked. “That had something to do with…”

But Twilight shook her sorry little head. “That won’t work either.”

Spike deflated, looking out of ideas. Carol stared at them both in horror.

“Well, maybe it won’t be so bad,” Spike started to say. “Maybe…”

“Are you KIDDING ME?!” Carol bellowed, knocking them both out of their funk. She stormed over to Twilight. “Twilight, I may not have been around here as long as Logan has, but I know that you’re better than this.”

“Huh?” Twilight asked.

“Logan told me about when he first came here,” Carol insisted. “How you refused to just give up on him; how even leaving Equestria didn’t let you stop thinking he could be your friend. When Discord showed back up, you were right there by Fluttershy’s side, ready to help her!”

Twilight took a step back, but her eyes started to narrow in realization.

“And…” Carol gritted her teeth, but forced it out. “Princess Celestia? I’ve never met a girl more loyal and devoted to that alicorn than you. No matter how much Logan tries to get you to hate her... you just can't. Can you?”

Twilight looked up at her, and despite everything, Carol smiled.

“Dash may hold the Element of Loyalty,” Carol said. “But I have never seen you give up on your pack before, Twilight Sparkle.” She stood tall. “And I don’t accept that you’re going to leave your pack in the dust over this.”

Twilight’s eyes darted back and forth, before realization dawned on her. She looked up with a smile.

“You’re right,” she said. “They mean more to me than anything…” She looked at a picture on the mantelpiece; the six mares all gathered together. “My friends…”

She smiled, and then the light of an idea shined in her eyes.

“I GOT IT!” she declared, bursting from her house. Carol and Spike raced after her.

“Whatever you’ve got,” Carol said. “Can we make sure Fluttershy gets fixed first. I am not comfortable with Logan being left in charge for any longer than he has to be.”

“W-hang on,” Spike yelled, trying to keep up with them. “What’re we doing?”

"I can’t remind them of who they are,” Twilight admitted. “But I can show them what they mean to each other! They’ll find the part of themselves that’s been lost so they can help the friend they care about!”

“The bonds of pack,” Carol said, grinning in understanding. “Now, you’re thinking like a wolf.”

Twilight just grinned. “Maybe ponies and wolves have a lot more in common than we’d like to think.”

The three sprinted for Sugarcube corner… only to find Fluttershy sadly walking out.

“Fluttershy!” Twilight called. “Wait!”

“Oh, hello, Twilight,” Fluttershy said sadly. She shared a grin with Carol. “Carolina.”

“What are you doing?” Carol asked.

“I’m moving back to Clouds Dale,” Fluttershy admitted sadly. “I don’t know what’s wrong, but I can’t seem to make any pony laugh.”

She tossed a whoopee cushion into the air, and tried to walk away, but Carol jumped in front of her.

“I know something you can do,” Carol said. “You can help Rainbow Dash out. She and Logan really need your help right now.”

“They do?” Fluttershy asked. She shivered. “But… I don’t really know anything about animals.”

Before Carol could gape at her, Twilight jumped in.

“But you do know something about Rainbow Dash,” she prompted.

Fluttershy looked away doubtful. “I… know that she’s a true friend…” she brightened. “And I know I’ll do anything I can to help her.”

#

As it turned out, she needed the help. The group arrived to find Fluttershy - or Dash's? - cottage in disarray. Dash was in the doorway, her limbs straining to hold her in as Logan pushed her out.

“You need…” Logan huffed, kicking away at several angry animals chattered behind him, waving forks and anything they could grab as weapons. “To get… OUT OF HERE!”

“NO!” Rainbow Dash yelled. “This is my destiny! I have to keep you guys in line!”

“YOU ARE FAILING!” Logan roared, shoulder bashing her out hard enough to break the door down. A swarm of animals raced after them, squeaking and howling for blood.

Carol fell upon the animals, knocking them back as Logan pulled himself up.

“Can I assume you made any progress with them,” she asked, snapping at a mouse before a bear stomped out and bellowed at them.

“Honestly?” Logan asked, readying his claws. “I think I just pissed them off.”

Rainbow Dash shot up next to him, her wings flared. “Well, might as well keep trying,” she said resignedly.

“WILL YOU GET OUT OF HERE!” Logan bellowed.

As the pegasus and the wolf started arguing again, Fluttershy gasped and turned to Twilight.

“Can’t you do some sort of spell to help them?” she asked. Twilight stood back.

“No, Fluttershy,” she said. “You’re the only one that can help! Rainbow Dash? Logan? Carol? They all need you!”

Fluttershy nervously stepped up to the plate, standing behind the wolves and Dash. Instantly, every animal in the cottage turned to her. Logan especially whirled around, his ears perked and his tail wagging.

“Um… little woodland creatures?” Fluttershy whispered, looking very nervous at the sudden attention. “I know that you’re all very upset, and…”

“There you are!” Logan exclaimed, racing over to her. “You have no idea how freaked out everyone got. We thought Dash was pulling some kind of prank.”

The other animals chittered in agreement. Fluttershy raised a leg in shock, before she noticed an odd grumbling that wasn’t coming from the animal’s mouths.

“Well, no wonder,” she said, dashing inside. The animals followed her, only to find her setting down plates of leaves, acorns and other snacks.

“I could probably hear your grumbling from Ponyville,” she explained, setting more food down. “Here are some nice, juicy leaves for you to munch on!” She zipped by the wolves and Dash, feeding the animals. “And some crunchy acorns… wouldn’t you like to take a break and have a little snack?”

Dash’s jaw dropped as the animals instantly calmed, joining the buffet that Fluttershy had set out for them.

“Aw,” Fluttershy cooed, petting one rabbit’s head. “You were all just cranky because you were hungry.”

“And because Dash has got nothing on your kindness,” Logan added, nuzzling her… and promptly getting joined in by the other animals. “Ah, crud!” he mumbled, getting buried under the other animals, but Fluttershy didn’t seem to mind the attention.

“Oh, you are very welcome, little friends,” Fluttershy said, nuzzling the different animals. As they slowly dispersed back to their snacks, Fluttershy put a hand over her head.

“Goodness,” she muttered. “It’s like I can understand them! I feel… strange. Like this is what I’m meant to do. Like this is who I am. My… destiny!” As she spoke, Twilight placed the necklace with a butterfly jewel on her neck. Fluttershy’s eyes flashed like a kaleidoscope, before…

“Guys!” Carol said. “Her mark!”

As Carol spoke, Fluttershy’s cutie mark shifted; changing from balloons to butterflies. Twilight’s smile would have lit up the dark side of the moon.

“It worked!” Twilight declared, hugging Fluttershy, “Oh, I’m so happy you’re back to normal.”

“Eh, normal by your standards…” Logan started to protest, only for Carol to nudge him into silence.

“Now, we need your help,” Twilight declared, turning to Rainbow Dash. “Both of you.”

The three marched off, bursting into song.

A true-true friend helps a friend in need; a friend will be there to help you see.

A true-true friend helps a friend in need to see the light that shines from a true-true friend!”

Logan glanced at Carol, who gave him a grin.

“Well…” Logan finally said. “That was interesting.” He glanced back at the food. “Wanna stay? I mean, it looks like they got things handled.”

Carol started to turn inside, only for the mouse she had snapped at to bean her with an acorn.

“Maybe we should stick close to Fluttershy,” Carol noted. “Just in case.”

She turned away, dragging Logan off before he tried to eat the bold little mouse.

#

By the time Carol got Logan to stop trying to get revenge/possible lunch, the ponies seemed to have gotten everything straightened out, judging by the happier looks of the ponies and the lack of checkerboard storm clouds. The two wolves converged on the mares as they returned to Twilight’s library. The mares were all wearing their elements, but their marks were back in place.

“Can we assume everything’s back to normal?” Logan asked with a grin.

“As normal as it gets in Ponyville,” Twilight replied.

“What’d you even do?” Logan asked, his ears flattening.

“Long story,” Carol replied quickly. “Twilight cast a spell, and it made everyone switch marks and thus think they were different people.”

Logan rolled his eyes. “This is what Apple Bloom and the others want?” he asked. “Brand marks that can make them want to do different things at the whims of unicorns?”

“IT’S NOT A BRAND MARK!” Six voices barked at him. Logan just chuckled at their anger, before Twilight turned back to the book with a shake of her head.

“Look, the point is,” Carol said placatingly. “You got it fixed.” She shot Twilight an approving look. “Because you guys are a pack. And a pack always sticks out for each other.”

“So,” Pinkie noted happily. “I guess the chorus should have gone, ‘a true-true pack mate helps a pack mate in need!’”

“Yep,” Logan said with a grin.

“Pack…” Twilight pondered. “Friends…” Her eyes lit up again, and she turned back to the spell book. Logan took a cautious step back.

“Hey, Sparkles,” he warned. “What are you doing?”

“No need for fear, Logan,” Twilight replied teasingly. “Just figuring something out.”

“I wasn’t scared,” Logan snapped. “I was being cautious.”

Twilight didn’t reply, summoning up a quill and writing down the last of Star Swirl’s spell.

“From all of us together,” she said as she wrote. “Together we are…” she had to pause for a moment before continuing, “friends. With the marks of our destinies made one, there is magic without end.”

She put the last period down… and instantly, the element of magic atop her head began to glow. Twilight looked up at it, while even Carol and Spike backed up.

“Um…” Carol whispered. “Is it supposed to do that?”

None of the others answered. They were all looking down at their own Elements, which were all glowing as well.

“What are you guys doing?” Logan demanded.

“I don’t know, I’m not doing anything,” Rainbow Dash exclaimed.

“Me neither,” Applejack yelled.

But then, before anyone could stop it, five bright beams of pure energy shot out of the Elements.

Right. Towards. Twilight.

The purple mare vanished as all the beams converged on her, trapping her in a dome of pure white energy. Then, the energy dissipated. All that was left was a scorch mark on the floor in the shape and pattern of her own mark.

“WHAT DID YOU GUYS DO?!” Logan shrieked, bursting past the mares and sniffing at the ground.

“I DON’T KNOW; IT JUST HAPPENED!” Dash exclaimed.

“DID WE VAPORIZE HER?!” Pinkie cried. “OH, CELESTIA; WE VAPORIZED TWILIGHT?!”

“Somebody do something,” Applejack declared. “M-Maybe she’s just hiding.”

“I’m not getting a scent,” Logan yelped.

“Maybe she vanished,” Fluttershy declared.

But even as they burst out from the library, they knew it was likely pointless. They had no idea what the Elements had done to Twilight. But they determined to figure out what happened to her.

“Twilight?!” rang through the air on eight different voices. “TWILIGHT!”