• Published 4th Jul 2022
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The Nail - Boltstrike58

In which Fizzlepop Berrytwist, the Element of Magic, must face her greatest challenge.

  • ...

Chapter Five: Chaos Rains Down

Fizz wouldn't admit it to Rarity, but there were some perks to being a princess. One of which was the fact that, since it was an emergency, she was able to get five tickets for the next train to Canterlot immediately. Her friends were naturally a little shocked by her sudden freak-out, followed by her flying to the train station faster than anypony had ever seen her fly, but they said nothing. Evidently, they trusted her enough.

Once aboard the train, Fizz filled them in on what she'd managed to piece together.

"Basically, whoever stole that stuff from the Star Swirl wing had to be extremely powerful. I scanned the magical residue at Fluttershy's cottage, and it had to have come from a pony who'd be more than strong enough to pull that theft off. So it's likely that the same pony perpetrated both crimes."

"Okay, seems simple enough," said Rainbow. "But what does that have to do with Discord?"

"Remember, the materials stolen from Canterlot were mostly about him and his magic," Fizz continued. "What if they stole that stuff in an effort to understand how his magic works? Possibly to contain him, or find a way to steal his magic. What if somepony's been watching us, saw that he was friends with Fluttershy, and kidnapped her to lure him into a trap?"

The other four all processed her words. Fizz knew she couldn't prove her theory was correct, but something in her gut told her she was right.

"It makes sense," said Applejack. "But what if this mystery pony isn't as smart as they think? What if they can't hold back Discord's magic, and he just overpowers them?"

Fizz shrugged. "That is a real possibility, I admit. If that happened, we'd have no problem. But I'm not willing to take that chance. We have to get to Celestia and Luna."

"She's right," said Rarity. "We had enough trouble subduing Discord before. If somepony who already has powerful magic adds his to their own, we might be in over our heads."

"Don't worry, girls!" chimed in Pinkie Pie. "We always save the day!"

Fizz forced a smile onto her face. She appreciated Pinkie's optimism, but that didn't mean she shared it. They'd never gone up against somepony who was clever and subtle like this. The enemies they'd faced in the past were always loud and out in the open. Whoever was behind this, they were an unprecedented threat to Equestria, at least for Fizz's team. Sure, they had the Elements of Harmony, but would they be enough?

Fizz was jolted out of her thoughts by the sound of the train pulling into Canterlot. She wasted no time jumping out of her seat and galloping to the exit, with the others close on her tail. Once she'd disembarked from the train, Fizz spread her wings and took off with a single flap, zooming towards Canterlot Castle. It was times like this that she wished she'd learned the accelero spell.

In no time at all, the five mares burst through the front doors of the castle, startling the royal guards. They scurried down the hallways towards Celestia and Luna's throne room, only stopping to pull Rarity away from slapping Blueblood. Once they reached the entrance, Fizz created her magical hand and used it to shove the doors open.

"Celestia, Luna! We need to talk to you immediately—HUH?!"

Fizz came to a screeched stop at the sight that awaited her in the throne room. Celestia and Luna were there, of course, but they weren't alone. Hovering just above the thrones, looking rather distraught, was Fluttershy.

"Fluttershy! Oh, thank heavens!" exclaimed Rarity. She charged over and hugged her friend. "We were so worried about you!"

"I'm fine, everypony," said the timid pegasus. "But we've got trouble. Really bad trouble."

"I'm guessing whoever lured Discord into a trap knew what they were doing?" asked Fizz, stepping up next to Fluttershy.

Fluttershy blinked, clearly surprised. "How'd you know about that?"

"You'd be surprised what some simple deduction can do," replied Fizz. She turned to Celestia and Luna. "So she's already told you what's going on?"

Celestia nodded. "We've already gotten started on evacuating the city, just to be safe. Cadence and Shining Armor have been summoned here. We don't know who this unicorn is, but we're not taking any chances."

Fizz breathed a sigh of relief. At least they had a bit of a head start. Then something occurred to her.

"Hey, how'd you get away?" she asked.

"The unicorn who foalnapped me just let me go once Discord submitted to her," explained Fluttershy. "She said it didn't matter if I warned everypony or not."

"You'd better repeat everything to us," said Rainbow Dash. "Just in case."

Fluttershy nodded, and quickly relayed everything that had happened to her since she was taken from her home. Fizz and the others listened attentively.

"Well, that fits what I thought was going on," said Fizz, once Fluttershy finished. "Still doesn't explain what this pony wants from us or anything."

"Fluttershy, can you describe this pony's appearance?" asked Celestia. "Perhaps one of us knows her, and can shed some more insight on her motives."

"She was purple," replied Fluttershy, "with a dark blue mane with one pink stripe running through it. Her Cutie Mark was an asymmetrical six-pointed star. And before you ask, she never said her name the whole time I was there."

The others all thought, but their internal searches proved fruitless. "I know nopony with those features," admitted Luna. "It would seem this mare has no connection to any of us."

Fizz opened her mouth in an attempt to point out that it was possible one of them had met this mare and simply didn't remember it, but it was interrupted by the throne room doors banging open again. Everypony turned to discover Cadence and Shining Armor coming through, and Fizz shelved the thought for later.

"We got your summons, and came as fast as we could," said Cadence. "What's going on?"

"There isn't much time to explain," said Fizz. "Basically—"

This time, the disruption came in the form of an enormous crash that shook the entire castle. Fizz guessed that the entire mountain itself was rumbling from the force, and everypony who was standing on their hooves nearly fell over. Pinkie Pie began bouncing up and down and shivering.

"Ooh, I'm getting the doozy feeling again!" she informed everyone else. "And it's not a good doozy!"

Another thump made the castle vibrate again. Fizz took off into the air with a flap of her wings, grabbing Rarity and Pinkie by one leg each to keep them from falling over. Fizz focused, creating her magical hand, and popped over her saddlebags. She pulled out each Element of Harmony one by one, and tossed them to their bearers, who fastened them around the neck.

"Necklace. Necklace. Necklace. Necklace. Necklace." Then she produced the Element of Magic, and clamped it onto her head. "Big crown thingy. Alright, girls, time to do what we do best!" She turned to Celestia, Luna, Cadence, and Shining Armor. "You need to coordinate the evacuation in case we fail."

She turned and flew back the way they came, the other five mares on her tail. She faintly heard Celestia call out "Fizz, wait!" but ignored it.

It was a matter of minutes before the six made it outside. Fizz dropped to the ground once they did, both in anticipation, and in surprise at the sight that awaited them. Clinging to the side of the mountain was a gigantic dragon, so large he dwarfed Canterlot Castle. His scales were a bright purple, his spines and eyes were a brilliant green. He had no wings, but he was evidently strong enough to dig clawholds into solid rock. The thumps from before had come from his banging one massive fist into the side of the mountain. Once the six mares came out of the castle, he focused his slit pupils on them and grinned, his tongue darting out and licking his fangs.

"A d-d-d-dragon...!" Fluttershy squeaked, shivering in terror. She ducked behind Rainbow Dash, who groaned and pulled her fellow pegasus back into the open.

"Come on, Fluttershy. You faced down a dragon before, you can do it again!" she said.

Fluttershy swallowed, but she didn't attempt to hide again.

Fizz stared back into the dragon's eyes. With a flap of her wings, she took off and approached him, but still maintained a safe distance, so she could retreat if need be.

"Alright, punk!" she growled at him. "I don't know what you're doing here, but you'd better get away from Canterlot before we—"

She yelped before diving backwards to avoid a beam of pure magical energy that dug a small crater into the Canterlot street, before looking back up at the dragon. Standing atop his head was a unicorn mare that perfectly matched Fluttershy's description of her foalnapper. Fizz gritted her teeth, causing a few sparks of loose magic to jump out of her horn stump.

"You'll have to forgive me, Princess...what was it, Fizzlepop?" said the mare. I tend to get irritated when somepony threatens my little brother. Although you're not so little anymore, are you, Spike?"

Spike (the dragon) snorted, releasing a small cloud of black smoke from his nostrils. "Not with all this chaos magic coursing through my veins, Twilight."

Twilight (the unicorn) gave a soft little giggle. "Exactly."

"What do you want from us?!" Fizz demanded, pointing at Twilight with one hoof.

"And what have you done with Discord?!" cried Fluttershy, having evidently found her courage again.

"Calm down, I didn't do anything to him after I drained his magic," replied Twilight. "I simply left him on top of the mountain. He'll be fine. As for what I want...well, let's say it's complicated."

"Enough talking!" yelled Rainbow Dash. "I don't know who you are, but I'm past the point of caring! I say we kick this dragon's butt and take that pony in!"

"For once, I agree with you!" chimed in Rarity, powering up the Element of Generosity.

Fizz floated back and joined the others, using her own magic to start up her Element. The others followed suit, as each Element began to glow its respective color. A stream of rainbow light stretched out from the Element of Magic and began linking it to the rest of them, and the eyes of the six mares turned white.

Twilight kept her smile. "This should be interesting..." she muttered to herself.

Fizz's sensitive ears picked it up, though. She hesitated, her instinct telling her something was wrong. However, as she felt the power of the Elements surging, she realized she couldn't stop it even if she wanted to. If she stopped the attack now, the magic backlash could actually hurt her and the others.

With one final pulse, the Element of Magic fired its rainbow beams upwards. They entwined like a pair of snakes, ascending towards the heavens, before launching downwards towards Spike. Any second now, they would purge him of Discord's magic.

Or at least that's what they would've done, had Twilight not lit up her horn, and created a vortex in midair above herself and Spike. The rainbow beam plunged directly into the hole, where it vanished from sight, leaving Spike no worse for the wear.

As the Elements powered down, the mares' eyes stopped glowing, and six jaws dropped open.

"...I'm sorry, what just happened?!" demanded Applejack.

"I sent your harmony blast into an alternate dimension," answered Twilight in an eerily calm manner. "It takes a lot of magic, but I know your Elements will need time to recharge." She smiled. "And Spike won't be giving you that time."

Fizz barely had time to scream "MOVE!" before one of Spike's gargantuan fingers stabbed into the earth where the ponies had been standing mere seconds before. Fluttershy, Rainbow, and Fizz managed to fly in one direction, while Rarity, Pinkie, and Applejack charged in the other. Everypony was safe, but the two halves of the group were cut off from each other by the finger.

"Okay," Fizz grumbled, pulling the crown off her head and stuffing it back into her saddlebags, "we'll do this the hard way."

"Oh, I was so hoping you'd say that," replied Twilight.

Spike lifted his finger, preparing to stab it downward again, but Rainbow Dash flew upwards, building up speed, and slammed both her forehooves against the side of his jaw. The blow wasn't especially powerful, but it was enough to draw his attention. Rainbow, taking her cue, began flying away, while Spike's claw chased after her. Pinkie and Rarity followed to help out.

Fizz, meanwhile, scooped up Applejack in her forelegs, and zoomed towards Twilight, with Fluttershy on her heels.

"We have to remove Twilight from this fight," she said. "As long as she's in the game, we can't use the Elements to take out Spike."

"How are we gonna get rid of her?" asked Applejack.

"Still working on that!" was Fizz's reply, as she dodged a bolt of magic.

Twilight had taken notice of their approach and opened fire on them. Fizz and Fluttershy veered left and right to avoid her shots. Fizz's frustration was growing by the second, as she knew she couldn't return fire without the risk of hitting Applejack or Fluttershy. She powered through it until they got close enough that she could drop Applejack onto the dragon's back.

"Alright," said Applejack, pulling out her lasso. "Let's go, partner!"

She whirled the rope in the air, before tossing it forward, intending to wrap it around Twilight's body, only for the unicorn to snag it in her telekinesis. Twilight pulled, and Applejack was yanked off her hooves, and left dangling in midair, her teeth hanging onto the lasso. Twilight smiled, until she realized the frontal assault was a distraction.

Fluttershy was flying around them, intending to tackle Twilight from behind. Once she realized this, Twilight cracked the rope like a whip towards her, forcing Applejack to release her grip from the sudden movement. Applejack was sent flying towards Twilight, who ducked, allowing the farm pony to crash into Fluttershy.

Fizz groaned again. She should've known a trick that simple wouldn't work. She began charging electricity in her horn, creating her magical hand, and sending it forward to snag Twilight around the barrel. Fizz lifted Twilight off her hooves, and prepared to punch the unicorn in the face.

However, Twilight caught her off-guard by casting a shield spell, encasing her in a raspberry bubbled of magic, severing Fizz's hand. Then Twilight turned and launched another magic beam. Fizz was able to avoid a direct hit, but still got clipped on the wing, sending her into a downward spiral towards the ground.

"FIZZ!" screamed Fluttershy. She grabbed Applejack and dived off the side, racing down after Fizz. However, a short distance from impact, Fizz managed to flap her wings again, regaining control.

"What are you doing?!" she shouted at the other two. "I'm alright! You should've taken the chance and attacked Twilight!"

"But we were worried about you!" insisted Applejack. "Besides, if you hit the ground—"

"You know what? Fine! Whatever! Let's just get her!" yelled Fizz. Her horn kept sparking as she spoke, but she ignored it. She took off back towards Twilight, and after a second, she heard Fluttershy following after her.

Rainbow Dash had looped around Spike's head by this point, and was currently carrying Rarity while flying towards Twilight. Pinkie was still keeping Spike's attention, bouncing from place to place while the dragon tried to pin her down.

"You're still it, silly!" she sang while charging away from a finger. "You're supposed to tag me!"

Spike growled, and his growling shook the city. But that didn't deter Pinkie.

Rainbow and Rarity landed on Spike's neck, facing Twilight from one direction, while Fizz, Fluttershy, and Applejack came at her from another. Fizz stomped on the dragon scales with one hoof, trying her best to look intimidating.

"You can't possibly take on all of us, Twilight," she sneered. "You may as well throw up your hooves and surrender now. Nopony needs to get hurt today."

"Unfortunately, that's not in the cards, Princess Fizzlepop," replied Twilight, powering up her horn again. "More often than not, somepony needs to get hurt for the sake of progress."

She fired a sweeping beam, which Fizz narrowly ducked under. Rainbow and Applejack leaped towards the mare at the same time from both sides, but Twilight teleported at the last second, forcing the mares to crash into each other. When she reappeared, Rarity and Fluttershy tried a similar attack, only to meet the same result. Fizz's frustration was growing by the second, and she roared as she charged towards Twilight. Her broken stump flared with electricity.

Twilight simply smiled, before she teleported again. Fizz had anticipated this tactic, and turned around, readying a punch and expecting Twilight to reappear behind her. However, the unicorn had instead warped to a spot in the air above Fizz, before dropping down and landing on the alicorn's back. Twilight then tapped Fizz on the back of the neck with her glowing horn, sending a jolt of magical electricity through her system. Fizz screamed in agony and fell onto her stomach.

Through the pain, Fizz faintly heard Applejack, Rainbow, Rarity, and Fluttershy scream her name and rush towards her. Still, she climbed to her hooves, throwing off the spell.

"Fizz, are you alright?!" demanded Rainbow.

"Maybe you should sit this one out, dear," said Rarity. "You're taking a lot of hits—"

"I'M FINE!" Fizz shouted, stomping her hoof against the dragon scale. Lightning bolts launched out of her stump, and the others were forced to jump to dodge them. "I'M NOT SOME FRAGILE FLOWER THAT YOU NEED TO PROTECT JUST BECAUSE I'VE GOT A BROKEN HORN! YOU'RE WASTING A CHANCE TO TAKE OUT TWILIGHT TRYING TO BABYSIT ME, AND—"

Her enraged tirade came to an end as another volley of magic beams came flying their way. All five mares were hit by the attacks, and sent plummeting off the side of Spike's neck. Before they fell too far, Twilight's raspberry magic aura enveloped them, stopping their descent. Twilight herself floated down next to them, using telekinesis on herself.

"My goodness, Fizzlepop," she joked, with a shake of her head. "You really shouldn't keep all that anger bottled up the way you did. It's just not healthy."

Fizz glared at her opponent, but she couldn't do more than that, as Twilight's magic prevented her from moving anything besides her eyes.

Twilight ignored her, of course, and instead focused on the dragon. "Spike, bro, could you please catch that obnoxious pink pony?"

"With pleasure, Twilight," he replied, as his hand continued to pursue Pinkie. Annoyed, Spike slammed his open palm against the ground, causing a shockwave that knocked Pinkie off her hooves. He capitalized on the opportunity and snagged her between two fingers. Even the abnormally squirmy Pinkie couldn't escape from his grip. He brought her over, where Twilight's magic spread to envelop her too.

"Perfect," said Twilight. She cast another spell, turning the field of magic into a net that constricted, pinning all six mares together. Twilight then lowered the net to the ground, all while the six tried desperately to escape it. However, even the strength of Applejack and Rainbow couldn't push through.

"Great. Now what?" grumbled Fizz. The others didn't respond. It was likely that they were still shocked from her outburst earlier.

Twilight levitated herself downward, landing on her hooves next to the net. "Don't worry, this will be over soon. We just need a few more guests to join us. And here they are!"

Indeed, Fizz's ears picked up the sound of hooves coming towards them from inside the castle. Evidently, Celestia and Luna had finished evacuating the city. Sure enough, the doors were soon enveloped in a golden aura, and the doors swung open to reveal Celestia, Luna, Cadence, and Shining Armor.

"Alright, whoever you are!" shouted Shining. "You're trespassing on Canterlot, and as Captain of the Royal Guard, I—" He stopped mid-heroic speech, frozen at the sight of the mare in front of him. "...Twily?"

Twilight smiled that same smirk. "Hey there, BBBFF. Did you miss me?"

Celestia looked over at Shining. "You know her?"

"We do," Cadence admitted. "Twilight, what are you doing? You disappear for years, and then you—"

"Sorry, Cadence, but as much as I'd love to reminisce with you," Twilight replied with a smirk. "I've got more important things to take care of."

She fired a magical bolt from her horn, but Shining Armor managed to regain enough composure to throw up a shield in time. While it absorbed the attack, it seemed to just barely be holding.

"Ah, you and your protection spells," Twilight mused. "You always were better than me at those. Still, you're not all powerful. Spike?"

Spike obeyed the unspoken command, reaching down with one massive finger. With just a poke, he pierced through Shining's barrier, leaving the stallion wide open for Twilight to hit him with a stun spell. Which she did, knocking him to the ground.

"Shining!" Cadence cried out, rushing to her fallen husband. She turned towards Twilight, fury etched into her face. "You'll pay for that!" She powered up her horn, flapped her wings, and charged towards Twilight, followed closely by Celestia and Luna.

"Spike, now!" shouted Twilight.

Spike raised his unoccupied hand, and snapped his fingers. Instantly, purple chains sprang out of the ground, and launched themselves at the three approaching alicorns. They had no time to react before they were ensnared, and sent tumbling to the earth in a heap. Twilight then produced three metallic clamps, which Fizz recognized as anti-magic rings used to prevent prisoners from using their powers. Twilight fitted one ring each around Celestia, Luna, and Cadence's horns.

"Hah! And Discord said nopony else could control chaos magic!" she gloated. The princesses continued to struggle in the chains, but even their earth pony strength was locked.

Twilight then fired up her horn yet again, this time levitating up the three princesses off the ground. Beneath them, she began inscribing a complex rune that Fizz had never seen before, even in her advanced magic classes. Once the rune was complete, all three princesses suddenly stopped squirming, then vomited out streams of magic. Celestia's was her usual gold, Luna's was blue, and Cadence's was light blue. The magic began gathering at the tip of Twilight's horn, and was soon sucked inside.

"There," she announced, after a quick pause to catch her breath. "We have the magic of Discord and three of the princesses. Which leaves..." She turned on one hoof to face Fizz, who was still trapped in the net.

Fizz's brain was kicking into overdrive to process this. Whoever Twilight was, she'd managed to steal the magic of the four most powerful beings in Equestria. She hadn't said what she was planning to do when she got Fizz's magic, but Fizz's gut told her it wouldn't be good. She had to escape, now, before everything was lost. Luckily for her, Twilight had made the critical error of forgetting to put an anti-magic ring on her.

Most of the time, Fizz kept her emotions on a leash. This was because magic was fueled by strong emotions, and with her broken horn, strong emotions meant lots of leaking magic that could harm nearby ponies. Now, however, she was out of options. She allowed herself to again feel every ounce of rage and frustration that had been building up in her mind, even as the tiny bolts of electricity from her stub zapped her five friends. She couldn't afford to worry about them, and she knew they'd only have minor injuries. The static magic pushed against the magical net, until it burst like a firework, creating a hole to allow Fizz to slip out.

Twilight groaned, clearly annoyed with this latest development. "Now why did you go and do that?" she demanded. "Now I'm going to have to actually try to take your magic."

Fizz stomped her hooves angrily. "Come and get it," she dared.