• Published 2nd Sep 2012
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Cutie Mark Sentai Crusader! - RaisingShad0ws



Cutie Mark Crusaders Power Rangers Yay!

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The Midnight Assailant

Chapter 6


-The Midnight Assailant-

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS SLEEPOVERS YAY!” The battle cry of Ponyville’s self appointed secret society echoed throughout the town square two weeks later. Most of Wonderwing’s time was spent with the crusaders, mostly because of the fact that they were the first to come over and ask him if he was busy and wanted to help him get his cutie mark through their crusades. By the end of the first week, he was already considered a member of their organization.

Several adults moved out of the way from the approaching foal-sized wagon, pulled by both Scootaloo and Wonderwing on a pair of scooters. Both foals’ wings continued to flutter at an extreme rate as they continued to pull the wagon filled with fillies behind them.

“And why are we doing this again?” Wonderwing asked over the sound of their wings humming loudly between them both.

“Because, our next crusade is going to need all of us together!” Scootaloo answered. “Besides, what’s the fun of getting our Stargazing Cutie Marks if there’s only a few of us here?”

Wonderwing shrugged, looking over one of his shoulders and staring calmly at Applebloom, Sweetie Belle and Dinky who were all sitting in the wagon that they towed together.

“And when’s Twist supposed to get to the clubhouse?” Wonderwing asked as they continued to pull the wagon down the long path to Sweet Apple Acres. Scootaloo shrugged.

“Well, she said that she would be by later. I think it was because she wanted to help out with her parents today back at the store.” Sweetie Belle answered for the pegasus, adjusting her position in the wagon.

“Besides now that she’s got her cutie mark, she’s not going to be around as much. Momma told me that ponies with cutie marks have lots of responsibilities.” Dinky added.

The four foals remained quiet as they continued to approach the apple farm. As they pulled in, they could see that Applebloom’s older brother Big Macintosh was busy hauling a cart full of apples that had recently been knocked free from their trees. “Hey Big Mac!” The fillies called out, watching as the older stallion wiped his brow with a free hoof and nodded in their direction.

“Howdy.” Big Macintosh replied, watching as the wagon raced off, heading towards their club house.

“Who was that?” Wonderwing asked, watching the giant pony continue to pull the cart he was carrying into one of the many barns that dotted the landscape.

“Tha’s mah brother. He helps mah sister with the harvestin’ the apple crop.” Applebloom replied. “Ahlmost all of tha’ apples that Ponyville has comes from this here farm, an’ he’s responsible for gettin them down. Mah Sister also’s responsible for tha work, but she’s right now out sellin’ in the market.”

“Wow, you guys really run a tight ship.” Wonderwing commented.

“Well, tha’s how its ahlways been.” Applebloom answered.

As the foals approached the modest looking tree house, Wonderwing could see that a lot of care and effort was put into its construction. According to Scootaloo there had been a number of renovations done to the place, which mostly consisted of a crow’s nest like on a pirate’s ship and another smaller room that was elevated above the central clubhouse. He could see the flag for the crusaders flying high above the tree house, an all yellow pony silhouette against a blue sphere with a red background, fluttering proudly in the top-most point of the clubhouse.

He could feel the pull on the wagon as Scootaloo began to slow down on her end of the scooter and followed suit, until the, “Crusader Mobile,” came to a complete stop. Three of the fillies leapt out of the wagon and ran up the steps to the tree house as though it were a second home to them, sleeping bags in tow. Wonderwing calmly dismounted his scooter, looking up at the clubhouse nervously and looked back in the direction of the small town that was essentially his second home.

“Hey there Wonderwing, what’s wrong?” Sweetie Belle asked, looking down at the pegasus from one of the windows in the clubhouse.

“Oh u-u-uh, it’s nothing.” He lied, looking back at Sweetie Belle and smiling. “I was just thinking about something.”

“Whatcha thinkin’ about?” Applebloom asked, her head popping up from the same window.

“Oh... I was just thinking about how cool it was for you guys to be so nice to me like you have been. My father tells me that other ponies can’t really be trusted, and that they can only be used to get ahead in life.” Wonderwing answered.

“It sounds like your dad doesn’t know a thing about having awesome friends.” Scootaloo called out from inside the clubhouse.

“My father would have seriously punished me if he found out about me having friends.” Wonderwing said softly.

Sweetie Belle and Applebloom looked at each other nervously, seeing the somber look on Wonderwing’s face. They could tell that something was bothering him, but they were both unable to put a hoof on it. Even Scootaloo, who wasn’t too trusting of the new pegasus, could tell that what Wonderwing said wasn’t normal.

“What’s wrong with having friends?” Dinky finally asked, trotting out of the clubhouse and out onto the balcony that surrounded it. “I mean, real friends don’t get each other into too much trouble. And real friends don’t try to do dangerous things all the time.” Dinky said with emphasis, causing Sweetie Belle and Applebloom to share a glance back inside.

“What? I didn’t know that you had to ask a bull’s permission before you could act like a rodeo pony.” Scootaloo’s voice came from inside, which caused a slight snicker from Wonderwing.

“The thing that Momma told me is, that real friends are like muffins.” Dinky continued, ignoring the blank stares from the other foals that were at the clubhouse. “Sure they taste good, and they can make a bad day go away. But if they were really good, the recipe to make them again will last a lifetime.” She added, smiling at the now utterly confused pegasus.

“That surprisingly makes sense.” Wonderwing said quietly.

“And how are friends like muffins again?” Scootaloo asked.

“Well I don’t think that’s how Momma put it, but it went something like that anyways.” Dinky replied.

As the foals remained silent for a few moments, the sounds of Wonderwing’s stomach rumbled like the sound of a distant stampede which caused him to blush. The other foals giggled a little before their own stomachs began to rumble as well.

“Well all this here talk of Muffins has gone and gotten me hungry.” Applebloom said, laughing a little. “Come on now Wonderwing, the initiation into the crusaders can’t start without you.” She said, watching as Wonderwing nodded and grabbed his saddlebag before heading up the stairs and inside the clubhouse.

If anything could be said about Wonderwing’s first time at a Cutie Mark Crusader Sleepover, then it could be said that he was on Cloud Nine the whole time. Two other foals, Twist, a curly orange maned pony with a white coat and a pair of candy canes in the shape of a heart for a cutie mark, arrived a few minutes after they did. She was followed closely by Pipsqueak, a white and brown spotted colt with a black mane and a similar blank flank to most of the other foals in the room, who had helped her with most of the supplies that she carried into the clubhouse for their sleepover. Wonderwing, being mostly isolated from any sort of foals’ party, had never even seen the amount of candy that they had brought even on Nightmare Night. There were an assortment of peppermint sticks and gum drops, and little drops of chocolate, and anything that she and Pipsqueak could carry in a wagon that she had brought over, which was parked next to the Crusader Mobile outside.

As everypony seemed to have a good time, or that’s what Wonderwing assumed as everypony was all smiles and enjoying their own hauls, the sounds of a gavel banging on a small table echoed from the other side of the room and caused the pegasus to jump in the air.

“Ahll right everypony, less settle’r down.” Applebloom said, standing behind the table on the right side of Scootaloo as Sweetie Belle took the left. As soon as the remaining foals got quiet, she passed the gavel onto Scootaloo with her teeth
who took it and nodded.

“Members of the Crusaders, present your capes.” She said seriously watching as Dinky, Pipsqueak, and Twist all went to their saddle bags before pulling out a set of red and golden capes that bore the logo of their organization. Sweetie Belle, Applebloom and Scootaloo then followed suit and pulled their own capes out from their bags, before putting them on like
the others.

Sweetie Belle then grabbed the gavel from Scootaloo with her hooves and set it aside. “A call to the Crusade!” She declared.

“We Will Never Stop The Journey! Not Until We Have Our Cutie Marks!” The six foals shouted in chorus together. Wonderwing remained silent, out of a sort of respect for the surprising amount of structure that they had in their little organization.

“All right, this meeting of the Cutie Mark Crusaders has come to order.” Scootaloo began, watching as the four foals in front of her took a seat.

“We have ahrselves a new prospect into ahr little club here.” Applebloom added, smiling a little as a set of cheers erupted from the other excited foals.

“Now, Wonderwing. You are the prospecting member of the Crusaders right?” Sweetie Belle asked, watching as the pegasus nodded.

“Uh... Uh yes.” Wonderwing said, immediately feeling nervous.

“And as a prospective member of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, you do realize that we have a few simple requests of those who are wishing to join our organization. Do you understand this?” Scootaloo asked, watching Wonderwing nod.

“Well... When you put it that way...” Wonderwing began, nervously pawing at the floorboards on the base of the clubhouse.

“It’s not like you have to do something crazy like hurt somepony or something.” Pipsqueak commented.

“Yeah, you jutht have to thay a few wordth and thay the Cruthaderth oath.” Twist said through her lisp.

The earth pony’s words encouraged Wonderwing, which caused him to nod. “All right, well then I understand.”

The foals all cheered, which continued to enlighten Wonderwing’s spirits. The dark purple pegasus smiled as Sweetie Belle walked forward and presented a copy of the book, “Cutie Marks: The Things That Makes Us Special” She smiled, and stared earnestly at Wonderwing. “Okay, are you ready Wonderwing?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” Wonderwing replied, nodding in the direction of the unicorn.

“Well then, place your right hoof onto the book and repeat after me.” Sweetie Belle instructed, watching as Wonderwing placed his hoof onto the book. “I,”

“I,” Wonderwing repeated.

“Promise that I will never stop the search for who I am,” Sweetie Belle continued,

“Promise that I will never stop the search for who I am,” Wonderwing followed,

“I will not make fun of other ponies who haven’t found out who they are,” Sweetie Belle said,

“I will not make fun of other ponies who haven’t found out who they are,” The pegasus added,

“And when I have discovered who I am, I will help others do the same.” Sweetie Belle finished.

“And when I have discovered who I am, I will help others do the same.” Wonderwing repeated, hearing a chorus of cheers and hoof clapping and stomping from the other fillies.

Scootaloo picked up the gavel and banged it a couple of times until the other foals fell silent. Sweetie Belle smiled, and carried the book back over to where she stood next to Scootaloo and nodded. “All right, Wonderwing.” Scootaloo began, sounding slightly harsh as she said his name. “Breaking a promise to the Crusaders is just as bad as breaking a Pinkie Promise. There aren’t any second chances unless it is the absolute most critically necessary to everypony here. The first time is the last time here. You understand?”

Wonderwing took a deep breath and nodded. “Yes, I completely understand. I would rather die than make you guys mad at me.” He said, blinking as nopony said a word.

“Dude, that was a little too much.” Scootaloo said, finally breaking the silence after a minute.

“Uh... I’m sorry. I just got really into the moment.” Wonderwing apologized.

“That’s okay, it all happens to us sometimes.” Dinky replied.

As the tension in the room decreased, Sweetie Belle pulled out a cape similar to the ones that everypony else was wearing. Wonderwing smiled, watching as the cape was draped over his shoulders in such a way so as to give his wings room to move. Applebloom then trotted over to where he stood and helped to fasten the cape around his neck in a comfortable manner.

There was a chorus of cheers from the other initiated Crusaders. Wonderwing smiled, looking over his shoulder and seeing the nice red and gold fabric that it was made from. After hearing a round of applause from the other members of the Crusaders Wonderwing blushed, and received a pair of playful pushes from both Scootaloo and Pipsqueak.

Several hours later, both Pipsqueak and Wonderwing were both taking the first watch in the upper room of the Crusader club house. They called it the first watch anyways, Wonderwing thought that the girls didn’t want to sleep with either him or Pipsqueak though because of something that they called, “cooties.”

The room they were in wasn’t much bigger than the club house. It fit both Pipsqueak and Wonderwing comfortably with their saddlebags, though there wasn’t much room for anything else to get inside. A small window was put into the secondary room, which let in a cool breeze that flowed from the direction of the house every so often, and was made as a perfect lookout point for both colts to catch intruders.

Wonderwing laid his back against the front wall, closest to the rope stairwell that led down. Princess Luna’s moon wasn’t quite all the way full, but it was still as beautiful as it had ever been. He could see it gently rise through the heavens from several small holes in the wall that Pipsqueak rested on. The earth pony looked like he was about to fall asleep, his hooves gently cradling a small brown telescope that he had said would bring him the, “Bestest Treasure in the World.” After a deep yawn, the earth pony smacked his lips and stared at the pegasus.

“Gee,” Pipsqueak began, “That sure was some party.”

“Yeah.” Wonderwing nodded. “It was nice of Twist’s Parent’s to give us all of that candy just because I was joining the Crusaders.” He continued to watch the moon rise from a modestly sized hole in the middle of the wall behind Pipsqueak.

“Well, they are really nice ponies.” Pipsqueak replied. “Really, really nice ponies.” He stretched out and got up on all fours before walking to the window.

“What’re you doing?” Wonderwing asked, watching as Pipsqueak put the telescope to one of his eyes and began scanning the tree line.

“Lookin’ for perverts.” Pipsqueak answered, shocking Wonderwing.

“I’m sorry?” Wonderwing asked, looking nervously at his earth pony companion.

“Perverts.” Pipsqueak repeated, continuing his scan of the farm and not hearing Wonderwing get up. “There are some ponies out in the world who would try anythin’ to get a free look at fillies like Dinky, or Scootaloo, or Sweetie Belle while they’re sleepin.”

“Why would a pony do that?” Wonderwing asked.

“Maybe it’s just so they can get a good look at’em so they can make’em into cupcakes or somethin’. At least tha’s what I heard.” Pipsqueak answered.

Wonderwing’s coat went down a color. There were ponies that ate other ponies? Just the thought or mention of the idea sent shivers down his tiny spine. The pegasus wrapped the Crusader cape he wore closer around his body. “The other Crusaders must really trust Pipsqueak if they can let him keep them all safe by himself.” He thought, looking at the determined earth pony with a newfound respect for him.

“I think that ere’s not going to be any problems tonight.” Pipsqueak said confidently, closing his telescope.

“What makes you so sure?” Wonderwing asked nervously.

“It’s a pirate’s instinct that’s what it is.” Pipsqueak answered. “I just know that in me gut that there’s not gonna be a single problem tonight. I can’t explain it, but I know that there aren’t going to be any sorts of problems.”

At that moment, both foals stopped. They could hear the sounds of hoofsteps and twigs snapping in the dark. Quickly Pipsqueak and Wonderwing ran to the window and looked out of the window, the earth pony with his telescope and the pegasus with a pair of binoculars that Pipsqueak let him use for that night, and gasped.

Several yards out, almost the length of a skyball’s end zone was the silhouette of a tall dark pony that neither of them could recognize. The pony was completely shrouded in the dark, save for the pair of red eyes that it was using to glare at them both with, and it never moved from where it stood beneath one of the Granny Smith trees that sat in the Red Delicious fields.

“Oh no...” Wonderwing whimpered, gulping a little.

“N-N-Now don’t be s-s-scared Wonderwing,” Pipsqueak began, lowering the telescope and placing a hoof on the shoulder of the pegasus, “It’ll be all right. Maybe it’s just a figment of our imaginations, and it will go away if we shut our eyes and count to three.”

Wonderwing nodded, closing his eyes as Pipsqueak did. He had hoped that pony was indeed just a figment of their imagination, and not something that could and would possibly eat them up in a batch of cupcakes.

“One, two, three!” Pipsqueak whispered excitedly, opening his eyes at the same time that Wonderwing did. Both foals looked back into their respective viewing devices only to find, to their horror, the strange looking pony had cleared half of the distance while their eyes were closed and was looking right at them.

As both colts began to see details of the colt’s true self from the lack of distance between them, both of them began to tremble. It was covered from hoof to tail in an all black suit like a business pony, but its face was covered in a white mask. Its pale grey mane fluttered like smoke as another small breeze past by where he stood, and a long and very sharp looking horn jutted from the pony’s head. But that wasn’t the scariest part.

As the moon began to shine on the pony, both foals let out a horrified gasp as the pony was nothing more than an all black, flesh covered skeleton with a jagged horn and deep red eyes. Its form stood about as tall as an average adult pony, but the skeletal monstrosity carried itself like a noble from Canterlot. The undead horror stepped backwards under the shades of a nearby Red Delicious tree, its disguise ruined by the light of the full moon in some places.

Wonderwing and Pipsqueak calmly set their viewing tools down and gulped simultaneously. The sight of the pony would have scared the coats right off of the other Crusaders down in the main part of the Clubhouse but because they saw it first neither one of them wanted to warn the girls. After a few moments, both colts made a mental agreement nodding in each other’s direction and took deep breaths.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” They both screamed. “ZOOOOOOOOOOMBIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEE POOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNYYYYY!”

The shout was loud enough to cause the lights in the Apple Family home to immediately click on. There was a loud groan from down in the base of the Clubhouse, and as the lights went on, a loud and terrified shriek went pierced the night.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S A ZOMBIE PONY!”

Any foal from a five block radius could recognize the shriek, which caused Pipsqueak to jump into action. The foal undid the trapdoor that was underneath his sleeping bag and threw down the rope ladder to the second floor. He then
disappeared from sight, grabbing a small toy sword from his bag and clenched it with his teeth. Wonderwing, who was still trembling from the sight watched as the undead menace was in near perfect sight for anypony to see in the dark. Without any warning at all, the monster’s horn flared up with a black pulse of magic before it released itself into a small ball of energy.

Wonderwing scrambled to get out of the way of the attack, watching the small ball of energy take a huge chunk out of the room that he was hiding in. He could hear another shout from down in the main part of the clubhouse, and heard a deafening thud come from the outside. Stealing a chance to see what was happening, the pegasus saw a small bombardment of apples come from the main base of the clubhouse, and it seemed to be working.

“What in tarnation?” Wonderwing heard the shouts of another pony he didn’t recognize, and assumed it to be the older sister of Applebloom, and watched as the zombie pony began to beat a hasty yet clumsy retreat back deeper into the fields.

The pegasus then turned to his saddlebag, one of the many things buried in the shrapnel of the attack, and withdrew a small wristwatch-like device from it. After clasping it to one of his hooves and descending the rope ladder into the main clubhouse, he could see the trauma that the zombie pony had caused.

Sweetie Belle and Twist were trying to console Dinky, who was still recoiling from the sight of the zombie pony. Applebloom and Scootaloo had just finished moving what seemed to be a reasonably sized bucket back next to the small dresser against the opposing wall. Pipsqueak was running about the clubhouse, going where he was needed and trying to keep a level head about the whole situation.

“Wonderwing, are you all right?” Sweetie Belle asked, looking up from the trembling Twist with her face full of concern.

“Yeah, where were you? That thing didn’t get ya did it?” Scootaloo asked, remaining surprisingly calm.

“I was still upstairs. The thing fired a spell, and it did a number on the room that was up there.” Wonderwing answered, looking to Dinky. “Are you okay?” He asked, watching as the little unicorn nodded.

“Y-Y-Yeah. I-I-I’m fine.” Dinky replied.

The foals all watched as Wonderwing nodded before heading to the front door of the clubhouse. Before he could open the door, Twist stopped him. “What are you doing? There’th thtill that thombie pony on the loothe!” She cried, watching as Wonderwing nodded.

“I know, and it needs to be taught a lesson. Nopony attacks and scares me or my friends and gets away with it.” He answered.

“You aren’t going alone there mate.” Pipsqueak piped up, giving Wonderwing a stern look.

“Yeah, he’s right. Crusaders need to stick together!” Scootaloo said proudly.

“Well Ah don’ know.” Applebloom said, sounding unsure of herself. “Applejack said tha’ we needs to stay away from things like this and let the adults take care of it.”

“Well what if they don’t find it?” Scootaloo replied.

Before any pony could answer, the front door to the opened wide to reveal both Big Mac and an orange earth pony mare with a blond mane and a cowpony’s Stetson. Wonderwing watched the two older ponies closely as the orange mare looked around.

“Now what’n the hay is goin’ on round here?” She asked, looking from one of the foals to the next.

“Applejack!” Applebloom exclaimed, running over to her and giving the older pony a hug. “It’s just awful! We dun’ seen a zombie pony!”

Both older ponies exchanged looks.

“Say whut?” Applejack asked.

“There was a huge, red-eyed, black-boned, flesh rotten, brain eating, tear your tail off zombie pony out there!” Scootaloo reported, ignoring the gentle whimper that came from Dinky.

“Now what in the hay makes you say that? There’s no such things as zombie ponies. In’t that right Big Mac?” Applejack asked.

“Eeyup.” Big Mac replied.

“But we did see it!” Wonderwing protested.

Both adult ponies gave him a serious look. After a few moments, Applejack sighed. “Ah’ll right, it seems like ya’ll have some explainin’ to do.”

After a few moments of both Pipsqueak and Wonderwing reporting in what they saw, both adults turned to Dinky, who was still visibly shaken but otherwise okay. “Now little missy, would it make ya’ll feel any better if’n we had a little ole look see?” Applejack asked, watching the little unicorn nod. “Ah’ll right then. We’ll have a look ‘round here, an’ make sure that there taint nothin’ here that’ll getcha. Okay with you Big Mac?” She asked.

“Eeyup.” The stallion replied.

“Well then, you youngun’s sit tight. We’ll take a look ‘round and see if there’s somethin’ round here. Then ya’ll need to get some sleep.” Applejack ordered, watching as all seven foals nodded silently in response. “All right then, let’s go Big Mac.” She said, turning for the door and stepping out of it.

“Eeyup.” He replied, following her outside.

As the two adults left, everypony in the room had a chance to calm down and think about what had happened.

“Maybe it wasn’t a zombie pony.” Sweetie Belle was the first to say, breaking the silence that hung over them all.

“Yeah, and I’m an alicorn.” Scootaloo replied sarcastically.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sweetie Belle snapped.

“It means that what your saying isn’t sounding like what you were feeling just a few minutes ago.” Scootaloo replied. “You were screaming like the rest of us, and you also threw apples at that thing like the rest of us. And now you’re going to just say it wasn’t real?”

“Well... I mean we were pretty tired when it showed up.” Sweetie Belle replied. “It could have been something the boys could have thought up to scare us.” She said, giving both Wonderwing and Pipsqueak a look.

“What?” They both exclaimed.

“I’m just throwing out ideas. I mean, it’s not totally impossible. There have been pegasi and earth ponies that have gone to magical college before. Or at least that’s what Twilight said anyways.” Sweetie Belle replied.

“But neither one of us has any magic powers!” Pipsqueak said.

“Everypony has magic Pipsqueak. It’s just different from pony to pony.” Dinky corrected.

“Well barring that how are Pipsqueak and I,” Wonderwing motioned a hoof in between the two of themselves, “Stayed in a room that’s at least fifty feet from the base of the tree in the air, and that I can’t fly really well yet, plus the fact that we can’t control our magic the way that a unicorn could how do you explain us even setting up or even thinking about this prank you’re all talking about? I didn’t even meet Pipsqueak until two weeks ago.”

“Well... you could have gotten another pony you do know to help you with the prank.” Sweetie Belle retorted, almost at a loss for words.

“I’ve lived in Canterlot all of my life. I didn’t know anypony outside of the city and was told that meeting other ponies was a waste of time by my dad. I don’t think that could have happened anytime soon.” Wonderwing replied, watching Sweetie Belle’s ears droop slightly. “It was a good theory though.”

“Guys, guys, guys. We’re getting sidetracked here.” Scootaloo said, looking around at the other crusaders. “Chances are, not that I doubt your older sister or brother Applebloom-”

“Ya’ll better not.” Applebloom replied, looking at Scootaloo crossly.

“Well, chances are that they won’t be able to find the zombie pony and tell us that it’s nothing to worry about.” Scootaloo said, watching everypony look at her curiously.

“An’ wot makes you say somethin’ like tha’?” Pipsqueak asked.

“Trust me Pipsqueak; I watch a lot of horror movies.” Scootaloo answered. “And I know, that their just going to come on back and tell us to go back to sleep because there’s nothing to be worried about.” She said.

“And your point is?” Sweetie Belle asked, her fatigue getting the better of her.

“The point is that we can use this chance to get our Zombie Hunting Cutie Marks!” Scootaloo answered happily, watching as none of the other foals shared her enthusiasm.

“Zombie Hunting Cutie Marks?” Sweetie Belle repeated.

“What would that even look like?” Twist asked.

“Well, it would have something to do with hunting zombies and stuff. Maybe something awesome like a whip that lion tamers use or something!” Scootaloo exclaimed, hearing groans from the other crusaders.

“Nuh-uh. That’s too scary.” Dinky immediately piped up.

“What do you mean? It’s not like you’re going to get bitten by one and turn into a zombie.” Scootaloo replied, causing Dinky to gasp again.

“Hey, ya’ll need ta cool it Scootaloo. Twist just got her calmed down.” Applebloom scolded. “‘Sides, we don’t need ta be crusadin’ now. It’s late, and tha’ more time we spend stayin’ up like this, tha’ less time we have for crusadin tomorrow.”

“Fine.” Scootaloo groaned, folding up her hooves.

“She makes a pretty good point.” Wonderwing commented.

As if they were waiting for the foals to say something sensible, Applejack and Big Mac returned. The orange mare smiled and looked around at the seven foals. “Ah’ll right, we looked everywhere and there was no sighn of yer zombie pony.” She said, watching as Scootaloo threw her hooves into the air in exasperation.

“Are you sure?” Dinky asked hopefully.

“Eeyup.” Big Mac replied.

“Ya’ll can git some shut-eye here now, we’ll be in the house if’n you need us.” Applejack replied, watching the foals nod. After a round of thank you’s and good nights from all seven foals, both she and Big Mac left the tree house for the night and left them alone.

“Sometime tomorrow we need to fix that hole in the second floor.” Scootaloo replied, sounding a little defeated as everypony else snuggled up in their sleeping bags. She turned, watching as Wonderwing stared out of one of the few windows that were built into the club house. “Wonderwing, come on. We need to get some sleep here if we want to do more crusading tomorrow.” She said.

“It’s still out there.” Wonderwing replied, causing the other foals to sit up.

“Whatcha’ mean it’s still out there? Mah sister said that there wasn’t a zombie pony out there to begin with.” Applebloom said, sounding annoyed.

“I can’t explain it.” Wonderwing began, continuing to look out the window and into the darkened orchards. “Maybe I’m just like Scootaloo, only having read too many horror stories back home instead of watching horror movies, but that zombie pony’s going to show up again.”

“Well why don’t we go look for it?” Scootaloo asked with hope in her voice, but felt it fade as Wonderwing shook his head.

“No, that’s what it wants us to do. We’re not going to play its games. If the Zombie pony wants any of us. It’s going to have to come get us.” Wonderwing replied, turning his head towards the other six foals behind him.

“So what we’re just going to sit here and try to chase him away with our ammo, which is running thin at the moment, and be up all night so we can’t get our crusading done?” Sweetie Belle asked angrily.

“No, you just leave that to me.” Wonderwing replied.

Several hours later, while the other crusaders were sleeping, Wonderwing quietly tiphoofed in between them. There were no signs of the zombie pony, but if the safety of his new friends meant that he would have to risk a night’s worth of sleep then he would go back home and take a nap when the time came. He was just about to pass the front door when, in the light of the full moon he saw the zombie pony standing and staring at the tree house. Without a word, Wonderwing tapped his wristwatch with his hoof, causing one of the glass protectors to open upwards.

“All right zombie pony, let’s see if you can handle this.” Wonderwing uttered, tapping the wristwatch again as it began to emit a dull purplish glow.

The zombie pony seemed to hear him, or that’s what the foal thought, as his horn began to flare up with a blood red aura. Wonderwing quietly opened the window that was closest to him, and leapt through it, hitting the dirt of the farm hard. The zombie pony had followed his movements, and was now pointing its horn directly at him. With a growl and a dull shout, Wonderwing cried, “Change me now!”

The shout could have been heard back up in the tree house as Scootaloo immediately bolted up and rubbed her eyes. She looked at the opened window and saw the zombie pony from it and began panicking. “Hey, girls. Girls! The zombie pony is back!” She said in a horrifying whisper. When nopony else stirred, she turned and saw a dull purple glow radiate from closer to the tree house. As the glow got brighter, the pegasus trotted over to investigate. What she saw amazed her.

Below, Wonderwing was being obscured more and more by the localized light show, being bright enough to blot out some of what the zombie pony was doing. It was bright enough to mistake it for a spell being cast by Twilight Sparkle.

“Scootaloo, can ya’ll turn that light out...” Applebloom moaned from the inside of the tree as both she and Sweetie Belle sat up.

“But I can’t. Wonderwing’s doing it.” Scootaloo replied, causing both foals to immediately bolt to the window that she stood from. The immediate noise caused Dinky, Pipsqueak, and Twist to wake up with the unicorn having a frown on her sleepy face.

“Whath all the commothion?” Twist asked rubbing her eyes as she, Pipsqueak and Dinky vied to get a better look. When they could see what was going on, they immediately snapped awake.

Back outside the tree house, Wonderwing continued to let the light cover and obscure his body. “Come on... I need just a little more...” He thought, closing his eyes as the zombie pony let loose its spell from its horn. He could hardly hear the sounds of the other crusaders gasping and telling him to look out as a roaring gust of wind filled his ears, blocking out any other sound. He then reopened them, smiling as he did so.

The six other foals watched only as the ball of magical energy passed through Wonderwing and hit a tree on the other side of their clubhouse. However, as the light died down, the foals gasped as Wonderwing now sported an all black jumpsuit with an all black helmet and a cape which covered every part of his body save his wings and tail.

“Whoa.” Was all Scootaloo could say, watching as Wonderwing struck a pose that caused purple smoke to erupt from either side of him and into the air.

Wonderwing glared at his adversary, watching as it made no sudden moves but seemed to want to charge him. Wonderwing smiled, appearing to be happy to oblige. As the zombie pony reared up and began to charge, Wonderwing leapt into the air and did a flip which cleared about half of the distance in seconds.

“That had to be at least twenty yards!” Sweetie Belle said, her brain not believing what she was seeing.

Then, as if the zombie pony had taken the leap as a challenge, the beast’s horn began to glow before it unleashed a stream of magic at the foal. Wonderwing jumped in the air again, avoiding the attack and extended his left hoof like he were a karate master.

“He’s not gonna make it!” Applebloom gasped, watching Wonderwing’s descent into his foe.

The earth pony was wrong in her analysis as Wonderwing’s attack connected, smashing his hoof into the zombie pony’s back. The zombie pony turned and gnashed its teeth at him, which caused him to leap into the air again and back onto the ground. The zombie pony followed the movement and prepared itself to buck him senseless, but was met with another pair of front hooves to the chest.

“How’s e’ do tha’?” Pipsqueak asked aloud.

The zombie pony, absolutely furious that Wonderwing was beating him, thrashed back and tried to stamp him with its front hooves. Wonderwing was too quick however as he rolled out of the way and swept the zombie pony’s back legs with his back hooves.

“Ooh, be careful...” Dinky uttered, trembling at the sight of her new friend fighting a monster.

The zombie pony staggered back to its hooves only to be met by another pair of hooves to its side which sent it flying. After a few moments, the zombie pony let out an agonized wail and collapsed before disappearing in a puff of black smoke.

“He did it! Wonderwing thtopped the thombie pony!” Twist said excitedly as their fellow crusader trotted calmly back to the clubhouse.

As soon as Wonderwing got back to the clubhouse, and subsequently changed back to only just wearing his crusader cape, he was met with the smiling faces of his fellow crusaders.

“See. I told you I had a plan.”

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