• Published 8th Jan 2023
  • 3,542 Views, 489 Comments

Regeneration - Rated Ponystar



The Doctor has to stop the Conversion War and save humanity from Celestia's madness, but a worse evil is playing everyone as pawns for a greater plot

  • ...
15
 489
 3,542

Regeneration Part 8

"That is the smell of death, Peri. Ancient must, heavy in the air. Fruit-soft flesh peeling from white bones. The unholy, unburiable smell of Armageddon. There's nothing quite so evocative as one's sense of smell, is there?"

- Sixth Doctor

"Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority."

- The Second Doctor

+}{+

***

Ever since she was a little griffin, Gabby had always wanted to know her destiny.

Growing up in Griffinstone, most didn't care about their futures or what they wanted to have as a dream job since, most of the time, griffins were only concerned about making day-to-day ends meet while ensuring no other creature was screwing them over.

It was no secret that griffins were going through a lot in the past one hundred years since the last downfall of their long list of ruined civilizations. Now they were scattered remnants fighting each other for resources or just leaving each other alone. It was kinda envious how the ponies of Equestria managed to keep one going for a thousand years while griffinkind had new systems of government every one hundred to three hundred years.

Gabby had been lucky. She grew up with parents who loved her and encouraged her to find happiness outside their homeland's sad state. So she decided to become a courier that traveled worldwide, giving her various experiences that shaped who she was today.

She was quite an outcast from her fellow griffins because she was always cheerful and happy, always doing her best. After all, she believed that the world would be a better place if everyone did their best.

Her parents worked hard with smiles, so why couldn't she?

It didn't leave her with many friends. The closest one she had was Gallus, and he was more of an acquaintance than anything since he had no parents and was forced to live on his own, but it was clear he wanted to be on his own most of the time.

Still, Gabby kept trying to find something to help her impact the world more. A chance to discover what she was meant to do in his world. And then fate gave her a twist she never saw coming.

While delivering a letter into Equestria, the entire nation was suddenly transported from their old world into this new one. A world with different creatures, environments, and beliefs. It amazed Gabby that this had happened, yet she was also frightened because she had left her parents behind.

And she wasn't the only one. Numerous non-ponies visiting or immigrating into Equestria were taken from their world against their will: griffins, donkeys, Non-Equestrian ponies, diamond dogs, minotaurs, cows, Abyssinians, and a parrot.

There were a lot of complaints with demands to be taken home. More than one was arrested, but the Princesses told them they couldn't return to their world.

Despite being given automatic citizenship, welfare, and even their own town built for them as compensation named Wayside, many like Gabby still felt it was unfair. Grandus knows what her parents were thinking upon hearing her gone like that. However, Gabby knew others were also feeling the same pain as her, so she resolved to help them. She soon became involved with their new community and helped them out in whatever manner possible. Gabby soon made new friends and started to adapt to her new world despite never being allowed outside of it.

There was Iron Will, who was in charge of security. A bold and loud minotaur but was quite sweet once you got to know him. He also made sure to toughen others up and had them learn self-defense. He also was good at ensuring Wayside didn't get screwed over by less kind ponies seeking to rip the town off.

Capper was an Abyssinian who knew how to get supplies from outside Wayside, and no creature knew how, but it was suspected he was a thief or con artist before being transported here. Still, he ensured to get you what you needed and only asked for favors in return. Although once or twice he would do things pro-bono.

Captain Celaeno had proven to be the town's best leader since she had managed her own crew before (Sadly, they were outside of the Equestrian Borders while she was scouting ahead on her own for a place to rest, and they were left behind). Everyone respected her wisdom and leadership, especially now that they were all on the run.

And finally, there was "Agent P." He had only shown himself to the four of them because he had no other options. Especially since his species was an enemy of the Equestrian Government. He only asked for sanctuary in exchange for spying on the government for them with his skills. Although they were reluctant at first to trust him, his information proved valuable as he began to show that the Equestrian Government was not all benevolent as it made out to be.

Princess Celestia and Luna forbid the non-pony races to interact with humanity or leave their borders for reasons that didn't seem obvious before.

Everyone in Wayside had to rely on Lyra Heartstrings' book to learn more about society, and Gabby was fascinated by them. She was amazed by what humanity could do, good or bad, and they reminded her so much of griffins it made her homesick. She longed to visit places like Latvia, Mexico, America, Kenya, and Germany. But they were denied every time she and others requested the right to travel.

The government said it was for their own protection since mankind was still adjusting to seeing aliens, but Gabby's secret friend, Agent P, told her it was hogwash. Agent P had claimed to her that Celestia was keeping them locked in her for some unknown purpose and was planning on doing something with humanity.

It turned out he was right because the war happened.

A war that Gabby never wanted.

In fact, everyone in Wayside was against it, but the Equestrian Government forbade them from speaking out loud and threatened to take away their funding if they did anything. They even started building checkpoints and fences around the town while gathering up other non-ponies who had managed to rile things up and throw them into Wayside.

It was becoming clear that Wayside was not a town but a prison.

Only Agent P had the means to escape, thanks to his particular skills. He was the only one who could give them information about what was happening outside.

When he returned one day, he was pale as a ghost and informed them of their future when this war was over. Agent P revealed what he had overheard from Princess Celestia's top scientists after weeks of being "friendly" with them.

Princess Celestia had no intention of letting anyone return to their old world, pony or otherwise. Worse still, Princess Celestia had plans to make a Conversion Potion for non-humans. The goal was simple.

A new planet for Equestria where only ponies existed.

It was clear that they had to escape. At times, Gabby might have been envious of ponies having cutie marks, but she loved being a griffin. It was what Grandus had made her, and she would die before letting that change. She had seen one or two Newfoals and knew something was wrong with them. She would not be like that.

Plans were made for an escape to the human lands when they heard about the changes of the war. The Defeat at Osaka and the death of Prince Shining Armor had made Equestria take a backpedal that changed everything.

However, it was Lyra's speech that had been the final straw.

Wayside wasn't allowed radios, but Capper had managed to get a few in for groups of creatures to hear. Once they listened to the true fate of their world, there was great sorrow and cry of pain for all involved. Gabby had spent the entire day and night sobbing into her pillow and screaming so loud her windows broke. She punched her bed mattress, threw her belongings into the wall, and got so drunk she had to puke into her toilet multiple times.

Their world was gone.

Everyone was dead because the Princesses were not controlling the sun and the moon.

Everyone in Griffinstone, and all other griffin lands, were gone. Her parents. Gilda. Gallus. Grandpa Gruff. All of them were with Grandus now, but they didn't deserve to die like that. None of their families, friends, and fellow members of their species deserved to die like that.

That was when every creature made the decision.

They had to leave.

They were all that was left of their people, their culture, their history, and more. They had to do what it took to survive for their sake to live on. And even if there was no way out, it was better to die than become prisoners to the ones that genocided their people.

Of course, they couldn't do anything half-stupid. They had to plan it out. They pretend to still be ignorant of the truth while spending months planning their escape.

The diamond dogs started digging tunnels to get them out while ensuring they collapsed to stop others from following.

Iron Will and his fellow minotaurs were using their smithing skills to make weapons and armor from any metals the diamond dogs found.

Capper and his fellow cats were stealing supplies under the nearby soldiers' noses with none the wiser.

Agent P had been vital in getting any information they needed and scouting ahead.

Meanwhile, Gabby had been their prime messenger to everyone. Since she was a courier, none of the inspecting soldiers would suspect her of carrying their plans.

Captain Celaeno had been the brains behind everything, especially when she learned there was a shipping port not far from where they were. While she might have been an airship pirate, she still knew how to operate a standard sea vessel, and training began with others on how to properly manage a ship.

The final and most important part came when Agent P contacted someone from The Underground Railroad who reached the U.N. They were more than willing to help, but the barrier was the problem. They would have to sail all the way to the South Atlantic Ocean, where members of the British Navy would meet them and escort them to the Falkland Islands. It was a risky operation, but after every creature voted unanimously to go forward with the plan, it was agreed.

And so, five days ago from today, the entire village of Wayside escaped under cover of night in the finished tunnels. They collapsed on the way out as everyone flew or ran together to the nearby port while the donkeys carried everything essential for the trip, including their young. The surprise attack had managed to give them the edge, and they took the port but had a few casualties along the way.

However, by dawn's beginning, they had started their journey.

Sadly, they underestimated the determination of the Equestrian Navy as they were now right behind them with their warships. They had fired a few warning shots, but Captain Celaeno urged them to keep sailing. There was no mercy for them if they surrendered.

It was this or nothing.

Gabby watched as the warships chased after them, but she was not afraid of dying. Her family was waiting for her in the afterlife, and if today she would meet them again, so be it.

"You scared?" Gabby turned around and saw a black feathered griffin with deep purple eyes and red tips for his wings staring out into the sea with her. The ships ordered them to stand down or be fired upon, but they ignored them. "From the rate of things, we're not going to make it."

"I'm not scared," Gabby answered with a smile. "If anything, I'm proud we did our best. And hey, where we're going after this will be nicer. We'll see each other again without pain, hunger, or fear."

"...My people never believed in an afterlife. You just died, and that's it," The black griffin sighed as he looked down. "Well, except my brother. He always...he always believed in things that are different from the rest of us. I always thought they were stupid. I would give anything to hear them again."

"You know if this is the end. Maybe you should lose the disguise? I mean, everyone knows what you are already, Pharynx."

The black griffin soon changed into the last living changeling known as Pharynx. Former Head of Border Vanguard of the Changeling Hive.

He and his group patrolled their borders when they were under attack by the Royal Guard investigating their patrols. Pharynx and his group fought bravely, but he was the only survivor who was being taken to Equestria for interrogation.

Fortunately, the teleportation into the other world confused the Royal Guards, allowing Pharynx to escape and kill them before hiding out in Equestria. He had also tried to see if other changelings were caught up in the teleportation, but he was the only one. It was a case of bad luck.

Naturally, everyone in Wayside was afraid of him at first and didn't trust him when he revealed himself, but over time he became more than just their contact and spy. He became their friend. And in turn, Pharynx found his new hive.

The day they learned what happened to their world, Gabby and her friends saw Pharynx sobbing uncontrollably and stating he wanted to die. He had lost everything he ever loved, cared for, and regretted so much, including never being a better brother to the one member of his family he truly loved: Thorax.

It was then that they knew that Changelings were no different from the rest and hugged him that night together.

"I wish I could have continued fighting...for them, you know?" Pharynx whispered as he took a deep breath. "I wish I could have lived a little longer. To see the human world."

"Me too," Gabby whispered with a smile as she hoofed his hoof and held it. Pharynx looked at her and smiled back before turning to the sea.

And then a large burst of water erupted from the sea.

Not from their side but from the direction of the Equestrian Navy.

Gabby and Pharynx were knocked off their legs, and others on all the ships started yelling in surprise. Gabby gripped the edge of the port and looked up in shock to see the boat in question beginning to sink. "W-What the?! Did we fire a cannon or something?!"

"Impossible! The ships have no weapons!" Pharynx shouted as he looked around. "We're still in the barrier, so it cannot have been the British Navy!"

Suddenly, there was a significant shift in the ship's movement, and they started to go faster. Someone shouted something about looking into the water, and the two proceeded to do so. "What in the Queen's Crown?!" Pharynx exclaimed in surprise.

Gabby was just as shocked as he was because of what was pushing them faster: Whales. Actual large blue whales were moving their ships away from the Equestrian Navy. That wasn't all, in fact. The loud sounds of whales could be heard just as far away, and Gabby gasped. Whales, as large as the ships themselves, had flung themselves out of the sea and onto the Equestrian vessels, crashing down on them. The entire fleet was being attacked by whales and sending them into disarray.

"H-How is that possible?!" Gabby asked in disbelief.

And then there was a sound.

The two looked behind them and saw something materializing. It was a large blue box with a light on it. Pharynx's jaw drop. "It...It can't be... It's him."

"Him? Wait a minute, you mean..." Gabby gasped as she recalled some of the stories and tales Pharynx shared with them over the months. About how a pony came in a blue box with companions that had turned the tide against Equestria. Giving them defeat after defeat with miracle after miracle. A name that had made Equestria tremble with fear:

The Doctor.

The door opened once the blue box stood still, and out came two individuals: A stallion looking like some kind of admiral while the other was well known: Fluttershy, the Element of Kindness, and the defector from Equestria.

Upon seeing Pharynx, Fluttershy yelped and ran back into the blue box, but her fellow pony ignored this and walked over to the edge with a telescope despite getting stared at. "Wonderful! Seems to be working nicely! I knew that the undersea creature communication device from the Sea Devils would come in handy one day. All we had to do was use your ability to communicate with animals, Fluttershy, and we'd have our own navy to handle the Equestrian armada."

Upon hearing no response, he turned around. "Hmm? Fluttershy? Are you back in the TARDIS?"

"D-D-Doctor! There is a changeling here!" Fluttershy cried out as she pointed from inside the TARDIS.

Turning to a shocked Pharynx, his eyes widened before smiling. "So it would seem! It seems the changeling race survives after all! Always did like your race. Had a companion who was a changeling. Khameleon, her name was. Although she's actually a Star Changeling, one of your cousins on planet Charade. You look familiar, though. What's your name?"

"Pharynx..." He answered.

"Commander Pharynx!" The Doctor said as he took the Changeling's hoof and shook it. "Great to see you again. Didn't recognize you without your color change. Although I think this would be the first time for you. Timeline change and all. Otherwise, our first meeting would be at your daughter's wedding to Dragon Lord Ember's son. Good thing we stopped The Rani that day."

"...Huh?!" Pharynx asked in disbelief.

"Oh, right. Sorry, kinda getting ahead of myself," The Doctor said as he smiled at them. "Well, who is in charge around here?"

"Um, Captain Celaeno," Gabby answered, pointing down the ship.

"Wonderful! I'll go meet with her. Fluttershy, please watch things from here?" The Doctor asked as he headed out.

"Okay..." Fluttershy whimpered.

Gabby blinked a few times before turning to a confused Pharynx. "Your daughter married a dragon?"

"I don't even have a daughter!"

+}{+

Princess Celestia had been at war before against multiple different nations throughout her long reign. She had soaked her hooves in blood, led legions against harsh conditions, and performed great strategies that are still respected today. Some wars were more brutal than others, but right now, the fight against humanity is becoming the most challenging and frustrating war in the history of Equestria.

Ever since the Defeat at Osaka, the entire war effort had turned against their favor. With a cure to the Conversion Potion now rapidly made, one of their biggest weapons was rendered moot, which affected their battle strategy.

Using the Conversion Potion was a means to cause confusion among the military and civilian population, which would allow their armies to strike while they were scrambling. Now that there was a cure, it was a waste to use it as the humans would use the treatment on themselves, and they were mass produced in every area of the world to the point that many had at least five or more cures on them at all times.

With reluctance, Princess Celestia had to put all manufacturing of the potion on hold. The good news was that the income used to make it could be given to alternate war ideas proposed by Twilight and other scientists.

Since force was the only thing left, significant war spending was sent towards creating better armor and weapons for their forces.

The two biggest weapons were the Orichalcum Armor and Crystal Shooter. The first was a breakthrough founded by one of her top scientists, Professor Helix, who had been trying to get more funding for his personal projects. Once he had it, a few months later, he had managed to create a means to craft the dense metal of Orichalcum into becoming a means to use for armor. The famous metal had always been so thick and hard to move even with magic due to its chemical structure, so rarely was it used save for fortifications and building construction. But with his new solvent that weakened the weight of the metal, it could be appropriately forged into armor. It was tougher than the Royal army's standard armor and could take bullets much better. It had already helped lower casualties by 18% on the battlefield.

The Crystal Shooter was Twilight's invention. A means to match humanity's prime weapon of firearms.

Personally, Princess Celestia hated using weapons inspired by humanity, but with the war going as it was, she had to resort to measures she disapproved of. It didn't help that Twilight went through with the idea without consulting her, but considering the results, it was something to merely ignore.

The Crystal Shooter was designed to be on the wrists of ponies using a specialized gauntlet with a powered crystal as the energy source. Through minor spells and mechanical engineering, it would fire a powerful laser blast that could be adjusted for damage ranging from stunning to full-on melting skin and bone.

The crystals needed to be replaced every so often once they were drained of energy, so all soldiers needed to have enough. Because of this, the Crystal Empire was forced to increase its mining operations threefold. This caused some complaints, but they were soon silenced with an agreed lowering of taxes as compensation.

Still, the new weapons of war hadn't caused a reversal of fortune.

Multiple invasions and operations had failed or ended up stalemates with humanity which was now refilled with determination.

The Battle of Chicago, the Invasion of Hong Kong, the Assault on Ontario, and the Conflict at the Suez Canal had been failures with high casualties.

Only battles where Celestia or her sister took part had success, such as the Devastation of Singapore and the Battle of Algiers. Princess Cadence was still too much in mourning to be an active fighter again, and Twilight had shut herself from the world to focus on making more powerful means of war. Neither her family, friends, or even fellow princesses had any luck talking to her except for a few minutes except to say she was "busy."

If that wasn't bad enough, Shining Armor's death had made it impossible to find a replacement.

While there were good Generals, none of them had his talent in war.

Morale was dipping, and many believed that instead of attacking, they needed to be on the pure defense and let the barrier do the work as it continued to move around humanity's land.

Princess Celestia would have agreed if not for The Doctor. He and his "companions" were always there to stop them. Appearing and disappearing from one place to another with the usual gang that had now been identified: Lyra Heartstrings, Fluttershy, Discord, Derpy Hooves, Dinky Hooves, Carrot Top, and Flash Sentry.

If it wasn't just helping out at war, it was also helping citizens escape Equestria.

Lyra's speech had done enough damage to the point that protests and riots happened in various locations demanding answers or an end to the war. Some were even demanding to head back to their home planet.

They had to be put down, but the worst was the city of Baltimare.

It had outright voted to secede from Equestria and declared itself an independent city that no longer recognized Equestrian rule. Princess Celestia personally led an army to take it back and had the entire government of the city, plus any succession activists, executed with martial law still in place.

There was still some shadow resistance every so often, but there were more important things to worry about.

Fortunately, after nearly a year in isolation, Twilight sent a message to everypony saying she had a solution to end the war and to come to the Crystal Empire at once. Not just the Princesses but also her friends.

However, it was not the Crystal Empire that they were told to appear at, but one of its top secret bases known as Fort Obsidian. It had been once King Sombra's secret base for military testing, and, despite the dark history, it was still valuable for the Crystal Empire, so it was allowed to stand, especially as the war against humanity pressed on.

That didn't mean it wasn't creepy. The entire fortress was made of grim black and green crystal architecture that made one feel like they were in a tomb rather than a fort. Twilight had been leading them through the halls, where soldiers and scientists saluted them as they progressed deeper and deeper into the fortress. Twilight had been mostly silent for the most part despite the attempts of others to get her to open up.

"So, how's the new metal wing working out for you, Twilight?" Spike asked to get his step-sister to say something.

"It's functional," Twilight said with a stoic expression.

"Come on, something like that has to be able to make you faster. I mean, not as fast as me, but still," Rainbow Dash said as she landed next to Twilight in the air. "What do you say we go through some flying exercises after this?"

"I've already been training myself, Dash. But I'm more suited for being here where I can end the war," Twilight said with a sigh. "If all goes to plan, chances are we'll end the war soon."

"Do you have a solution?" Princess Cadence asked in surprise.

"Yes. I've managed to create something that can end the war faster than waiting for the barrier to do the job for us and risk more pony lives," Twilight firmly stated.

"Oh, is it a super secret weapon?" Applejack asked.

"It's not so much a secret as it is a modification of one we've had in storage," Twilight said before they stopped at the giant double door. Using her magic, Twilight unblocked the powerful barrier spells put on it before it was opened.

Everyone but Twilight gasped upon seeing just how big the room was. It was twice the size of the throne room, and with good reason: a giant cannon was in the middle of the room while being attended to by scientists and engineers who were going back and forth on multiple levels to work.

It was practically the same height as the Royal Palace and was made from pure gold and silver. Its cogs, wheels, and circuits were beyond counting, encased in a large cylinder-like casing pointing upwards with the top part opening up a giant glass holding a sphere of what appeared to be pure magical energy.

Six smaller cylinders were attached to the glass, opened up and empty, but it was clear something was to be designed to put in it. The bottom of the barrel had the control systems, designed in a large computer-like manner, with various tactical information displayed and tested by unicorn scientists.

Mainly, it showed a map of the entire earth.

There were two big generators shaped like fat hourglasses spinning around while connecting glowing purple wires to the sides of the cannon that also had a giant floating circle shaped like a targeting system with smaller crystals circling around it. It was unlike anything any of them had ever seen before.

"What...what is this?" Princess Luna asked in shock. "I've never seen such a weapon in all my life."

"This is the Harmony Cannon," Twilight started as she walked forward and presented it. "It's been my main project for the past year, and it's finally ready."

Cadence then tilted her head. "Wait a minute...this looks..."

"It's somewhat based on the Crystal Cannon that King Sombra created, yes," Twilight answered, much to the shock of the others. "I've taken some basic parts and used them to create something new. I've done something even more powerful based on calculations combining harmonic energy, magical, and human knowledge on plasma."

"Twilight, are you insane?!" Princess Luna shouted in horror. "The Crystal Cannon is a weapon of pure mass destruction! King Sombra designed it to destroy Canterlot before his defeat! It's capable of wiping out an entire city!"

"Yes, but I've done better," Twilight said before turning to it. "I believe with this I can destroy entire countries."

There was a dark silence in the air as everypony stared at Twilight. It felt wrong to hear their once cheerful friend say such a thing with such calmness. "T-Twilight, you're kidding, right?" Pinkie nervously said while giving a twitching smile. "Y-You cannot be serious. Destroying an entire country?"

"Or two. Maybe more," Twilight said with firmness. "I haven't tested it yet, but all our simulations have concluded this."

"How are you able to do this?" Spike asked with wide eyes.

"The cannon is mainly powered by the energy of the barrier that we've managed to siphon off of for the past few months," Twilight explained. "It's the only substance of the six Elements of Harmony's magic we have available. I then took the power of several crystals and combined it with a means to create plasma to develop this new energy from its combination. I haven't figured out a name for it yet. However, I need more power to make it reach its full potential. I need all the Elements of Harmony to make it work. Not just my own. Their energy combined with the building energy of the shield should be enough to make it far more powerful than any weapon the humans have."

"Why would you even create something like this?" Flurry Heart asked in horror. "I thought we were trying to save humanity? Not wipe them out."

"Once we use this once or a few times, humanity will give up due to the sheer loss of life or the fact that they have no defense against us," Twilight stated with a slight smirk. "Not even The Doctor will be able to stop us."

"I...I think you might be going too far with this one, Twi," Rainbow Dash gulped as she pointed to it. "I mean, you based that thing off of Sombra's design. He's a bad guy, Twilight."

"This is war, Rainbow Dash," Twilight growled, which made the other rear back. "We aren't just up against humanity. We're against an alien whose species mastered time travel and space travel before our race was even born. We're against a being who made monsters afraid of it. If what Discord has said is true about The Doctor, then we must throw away some of our morals to defeat him, or else Equestria will lose this war!"

"...So you want to use...our Elements to power up this super weapon?" Rarity asked nervously. "Darling, are you...I mean...are you sure about this?"

Twilight sighed as she lowered her head. "Girls, I want this war to end. I've lost my brother. I've lost so many ponies under my command. Equestria herself is at risk because I predict that humanity will eventually destroy the barrier, and we'll be exposed to attack. The Doctor was able to figure out how to create a cure for the Conversion Potion so easily. It won't take long before he can figure out how to remove the barrier. Once he does, every nation in the world will attack us from all directions. They'll hold nothing back. That includes nuclear weapons."

Princess Celestia sighed upon hearing this and nodded. "Twilight is right. The barrier is the only reason we've never had to be on the defense. If we were to lose it..."

"But I thought we were supposed to be saving humanity! Not wiping it out!" Spike shouted with frustration. "I thought the point of this war was to save them by making them become something better! How can we do that by killing them in such mass quantities?!"

"We're already doing that," Twilight pointed out, rolling her eyes. "What's the difference between a battle and using the cannon? This way, we can end the war quicker and focus on recovering what we lost and helping the humans faster after they surrender to us."

"But to use such a means to do so? Using a weapon of mass destruction?! One based on a tyrant?!" Spike yelled with disgust. "This is not only dishonorable. It goes against everything we believe in as Equestrians."

Princess Luna turned to her sister. "Sister, what do you think?"

“I...”

Ǘ̵͕͍̤̹̪̘̺̰̥̪̆̒̓͗̈́͜͝ş̷̆̄̑̊̈́̓͒̿̏͛̆͆̄̏ĕ̸̡̨̛͇̞̟͖́͂͊̒͑̽̇̈́͗̑̕ ̶̡̙̲̫̙͉̪̠̟͙̪̦̗͔͙̑̐͌̽̓̋̊i̸͔̽͊͂͊̏̍͛̈́̉͒̀̚͝t̴̡͈͉͔̳͖̟̹̥͕͈͍̥̮͋̿̅̌̿̂̑͐́̚.̶̧̜̖̪̤̮̗̭̯͎̙͈̭́̐͑ ̸̺̥̘̦̙̩̫̉͜Í̶͙͚̖͚̻͎͈͇̇̋̋͗͗ ̵̨̡̨̢̦̹̗̞̠͉̤̝̹̦͕̓͘̕c̸̜͎̞̲̺̩̮̄̆̉͐͘ͅo̷̡̨̨̗͚̞̭͇͚̜̖͓̙̓m̶̨̪̯̟͉̲̗͉͉͔̯͇͍̮̌̽̇̈̀͊̕̚m̷̢̙͕̝̹̰͙̰̪͇̻̅ǎ̸̛͙͈̝͚̮̤̼̊͑̃̓̑̽͐̀͠ņ̴͍̠̹͙̻̻͕̱͉̓̀̉̊d̵̡̲͍̦̹͚͈̬̻͑̽͒̂̋͛ͅ ̵̧̢̨̘͕̙̠̩̹͓͇̘͋͐̏̒̃̌͋̓̚y̸̡̛̱͉̦̯̼͗͂̒́͂̈́̊͆̚o̶̖̥̖̯̤̻͔̺̝̥͔̗̗͒̋͆̾̈́̒͂̾̔̿̈͠͝͠ũ̸͔̀̎̇.̷̧̞̹̣̰̣̺̰̳̃̓̓́̄͑̕͝ͅ ̷̨̭͉̼̬̘̐̓͊̔̾̕̕͘Y̶̡̥̘̹͈̻̭̻̦̘̝̩̹̯̋͆ȯ̵̧̡̠̙͉̱̤͓͙̘̊u̶̧͇̝͓͚̠̺̭̼̩̤̝̰̝̇̎͐̂̈́ͅ ̵͖̆̐͛̓̋͘̕̚w̶̫͇̹͎̄̓̀̊̑̿̚͝į̵̘͖̭̹̻̹͚͑͛̈́́́̈́͘͝ͅl̶̗̥̼̣͇̯̩̯͍̭͚͆̐̉̿͆̑̌̐̑̂̚̕͝l̶͚͓̱̬̀̓͗̈́̈́̒͒̌̏̈́̕̕ ̶̯̝̉̈́̍͊d̶̛̪̳̭̖̳̳̉ȅ̶̡̥̳̟̿̉̑̓̈́͛s̷͙͓̠̟̉͛̉͋͑̒̃͘t̴͈͚̥͈͙͎̺͗̇r̸̺̫͎͍͗̂̐̎̈́͛͝͝o̶̢̡̧̭̣͉͉͕̖̙̊̎̅̊̍y̶̧̢̼͍̝͓̿̐̚͠ͅ ̶̛̛̣̗̬̒͌̈́̉͂͗a̴̡͈͖̠̣͙̭̜͍̗͙̓̓̅̒̈̄͝ͅl̷̨̧̘͚̘͓͓̑̈́̇̎̀̔͋̀̉̕͝l̷̯͎̟̼͗̄̈́̇̀́̓̿̄̆͘͘̕ ̷̨̘͕̜̪͙͕̞̂͜y̴͕̖͖̽͂́̑̾̋̕͘͠ó̷̢̠̹̳̲̹̥̪͍̦́͘ư̵̪̏̔̌̅̒͠ ̵͔̬̯̙̹̗͔̫̘̼̰̔̃c̷̺̞͈̫͈͉͖͍͔̘̐̂̒̄̌̈́̈́͗͘͘͝a̶̡̗̲̬͈͎̔̉̑̂̋̊͆͂̈̆̅̅̔͑́ņ̸̲̘̭̹̆ͅ ̴̧̛̘͉̗̺͔̘͗̍̔̈́ͅȃ̶̻̯͖͖͕͇͇̼̀̃n̵̛͎̘̞͙͑̏̈͋́̎̕̚̚͝͝ḏ̷̡̛̖̮̹̭̮͗̓͒̈́̒͂̂̽̇͘͜͝ ̴̡͔͎̜̱̪͑̒͐c̸̱͑͌̚ȃ̷̬̲̻̬̟̻̪͔̣̯̜́̄̂u̶̳̤̬̣̖̖̙͓̔͗͋̎̔̓̾̑́̈͑̔̊͝͝ͅş̶̝͚̤̻͖̯͙̳̮̜̻͂̅͑ȩ̶̢͇͚̱̟̬̟̺͍̋̃̑́̔̑̏͌̄̀̏͝͝͝ͅ ̵̢͎̬̣̟̘̫͙̦͕̊̉͌̌͋͛͂̒̚͝͝c̶̛͖͇̉͂͆̏͋̕ḩ̷͍̩̖͓͍͈̞̩̹̱͇̰̈̀̕͘͠a̶͈̜̋ȍ̶̩͍̖͚̙̝͇̻̈̏́͊̀s̶̢̛̭̩͍̆͒̈́̀́̄͌̇̉͐́͌ͅ ̶̳̘̍̏̑̒̓̄͛̓̓̅͌͐͝ȉ̸̢̨̹̣̱̬͈̞̭̪͍̟͌̿͌͒͑̇́̈́͜ṉ̵̨̗͖͎̞͙̮̉̑̓͂̌͊̇̀͐͐̇̀̊͗͜͠ ̴̙̥̫̠͈̓͆̀̊̉̍͠m̵̨̡̡̧͈̠͓͖̲̮͎̙̼̟̎̊̒̽͂̆̕͝ͅy̵̡̢̼̜̰̫̠̝̖̮͇͖͉͎̭̍͋̔ ̷̨̧̡̛͚̪̝̩̯̳̳̖̞̂̾̈́̈̒̈͒̽̀͗͐͝͝ͅñ̷̟͌͌͗̚a̷̺̭̲̰̅͠ṃ̷̧͇̥͍̰̭̘̥̲̼̖̆́͒̐̿̅̚̚ͅͅe̶̤̹̪̣̤͙̜͓̮͔͎̳̍̓̽̅͛͜͝ͅ.̷̨̫̤̣͓͎̱̭̪̱̲̯̆͗̈́̍̕͘͝

“Ugh,” Celestia winced as she rubbed her head.

“Sister, is something wrong?”

“I...I...”

Ȳ̴̨̼̱͍͂ọ̶̧̡̡̫̖͇̗̰͖̭̗̰͚̔̌̈́̿͋̄̉̚͘͜u̷̧̩̤̽̆̇̇̔̀̇́͘ ̷̯̝̣͉̼̟̮͍͎̞̟̔̔͋́͌̕͝ͅh̶̛̦͌̒̎̄̅́͗͘̚̕a̶͚͎͕͍̦̎̈̈́̀͋̽͆͗̎̾̀̀̾̄̿ͅt̵̗̬̼̯̳̱͗̆͜ě̴̤̻̭̬̯̟̫͚̈́͒̾̿̑͂́̉͋͒͋ ̷̫̺̮̩̬͍͇̚t̴̛̺̎̀́̂͐̿̂̕h̵̝̋͜e̶̠̱͖̳͙̗̠̰̤̗͕̹͆͒̈́̈́̈́́̒͆̋͐̍̾̕͜m̷͖̪͈͇̺̀̋̍͋̑̄̎̽͑̎̂͝͝.̶̧̻̰͌̄̔͝ ̶̡̧̤̞̞̜̰͚͓͉̞̺̇͆̾́̓̋̃̅͆̏͑̈́T̸̜̖͖̜̩̱͎͔̯̖͐̈́̈̑̀̐̆͛͆́͊̀̚h̶̛̙͓͕̦̹̤̙͙͙͓̳͇͍́͌͂͒͑͆̍͐̀̐͒̎͝ė̸̢̹̪̖̼̘͓͚̝̝̃̅̓̆̇̽̇̑͑͛͆̚̚̕y̵̢̯͋͛̓̈̀͌̍̍̃̀̈́̂͝ ̸̭̠̫͔͖̇̏̂̄͂͘͝k̴̛͍͋̽̐͊̀̄͑̔̾̕͝ͅͅị̶̡̧̤͍̘̲̯̼̼̻͓̔l̵̨͍̹̙̥͉̪̯̬̞̝̭͕̉̈̇̃͌̈́͌̈͜ͅl̶̼̩͙̳̞͇̖̦̓͋̾̐͊̀͜ē̵͎͕̳͈̰͠d̴̨̛̓͒͂̅̑̓̂̏̌̽̂͝ ̶͖̔́̒͛͝y̸̡̛̺̹̤̭̾͛̌̉̅̅͋̉́͗̚̕͜ǫ̶̡̛͕̘̟̳̗̱͔̙͕̠̋̓͋̆̀̒͑̔̚ų̸̫͇̥͎̞͇̫̩͎̝̯͈͇̄̆͂̉̊̒̓̚͜͠r̷̞͚͕̳̪̲͉̻̭̍̑͜͝ ̶̥͈͔͛́̆̈́̊͋͐͌̓͐̐͆̑͜͝d̶̦͈̺͝a̸̮̝̯̠͎̣̯̿̾͂̐́̏́̔̈́̓̀͘͜͠ù̴̢̜̜̩̖͙̮̱͓̐͂́͠g̸̦͉̰͎̝͓͈̜̭̝̩͈̬̺͗͑̋͋h̴̡̪͍̤̉̂͛̐̏̀͝ť̶̥̊͌̎̊̇̎͒̄̀̉ḛ̷̢̜͉̥͇̳̦̹̾̍͐r̷̫̭̔̐̔̈́̐̑̿̄̿̏̊́͐͝.̶̱̺̓͊͛́̆̅́͐ ̶̲̞͔̩̹̑̀͘T̶̬̱͍̜̰̘̙̘͚͉͋̃́̄̈́̑̒̈́ͅh̸̢͈̱̩̖̣̘̻̦̑́͂̈́́̋̔̉̇͐͗̍͗̽͠ë̷̢̫̫͜y̶̧̡̙̭̭̪͈̫̟͈̰̯̩͕͇͌̈̈́̅̏̍̿́̄̉́̃̌͘͠ ̸̯̱̪̰̘̜̠͙̪̲̫̮̣̗͉̇̍͒̀̋̅̇̇̽́͊͝͝͠͠ẇ̴̰͚̠̟͆̿̔̽͋ḭ̷̢̛̛̠̦̫̰͉̲̺̞̜̖̺͖̏̀̍͗̃̀̃̒͜͝l̶̡̤͔̝̹͈̘̼̹̗̹͇̟̓͋̅̓̉̚͘͘͝͝l̸̰̥̝̝̭̠̓́͊̄͆́̽͌̐̐̔̍̊̐̕ ̴̪͕̞͎͂̈́̾̒͒̚̚͝k̶̡͚̯̩̘͈̳̙͔̯̣̈̂̐̽́̽͆͘į̵͍̗̱̩̣̗̫̞̹̠̙͕̭̀̎̄͗̋̑͜l̷̝͆̓̓̔̆͛̑̒̈́̊̄̀̚͝ļ̷̨̡͔̦̲͓̬͈̻̖͉̗̂͊͊͜ ̵̛̤̼̚y̵̨̭͖̰̺͍̟͕͉̜̤̖͛͊̐̌͜o̴̡̧̤̝͍̣̙̪͓̮͖̘̞̯̠͌́͂͝ú̷̠̼̱̠͚̗͉r̶̡̭̊̌̒̌̎̍̾̃̾͛̇̈̈́͠͝ ̴̰̮̰̤̻̞͇̤̋́͒̽̀́̓f̴̡̨͔̯͙̞͈̹̗͓͉̦̜͛̆͗̍͂͛̃̒̊̒͒̏̍a̵͖̩̝͑̋́̀͊̕͝͠͝m̷̥̞̗̪͇̣̫̖̀́͋̀͛̒̍́̈̋̏͑͐̐ͅḯ̵̻͇͎̙͕̙l̴͕̣̲̳͕͑̿͂͒̀̈́̚͘͝y̶̢͈͕̟̲̻͉̲̳͍̪̟̭̆̔̊̃̕͝.̷̨̫̹͎̼̬̹̯̈́̈́̌̆̾̑̓́͒͐̆͌͋̊̏͜ ̵̳͚̯̠̈̈̀̍̎̑̑Y̴̢̭͕̤͕̘̪̠̟̜̫̪̪̻̔̈́͐̋́̽̊͐̇́̍̕͠ͅọ̴̧̱̲̳̫̤̭̠͔̜̺̘͉̎̈́̔ͅư̸̡̆̋́̌͂̔͌̈́͝ ̵̛͚̤̥̦̘̈́̉̾͋̎͊̀͑̄̊ͅm̵̨͔͔̙̜̬̲̖̙̣͉͋̓̍̓ũ̸̗͈̱̤̣͆͂̽͋ș̵̗̼̝̩̼̱̈͆̈́̍̋͛̂̍́̓́̚͜͜͠t̵̢͖͇̪̙͋͛̄͛ ̸̝̳͈̦̣̦͎̙̯͇̼̼̩̅̆͌̒͠d̵̡̛̼̖͎̳͓̒̈́̿̔͐̽̀̈́͑̆̎̿̚ẽ̷͖̲̞̝̳̬̮̬ͅͅs̸̺̘͔̘̋̾́̈́̈́͑̓̃̉͊͐͆͘̕͝t̷͈͍̼͇͕̦͍͉͍̻͉̼͚̒̄̎͛̉̾͝͝ͅŕ̵͕̑͊̐̐̓͆̔͒̚̚͝͝͝ô̷̬̥̖͔̝̻̩̲͙̪̺̔̈́̑͗̇y̶͓̥̬̭̑̃̋̒̋̒̈̎̀̀̓͝ ̷̗̤̦̪̘͔̣̼̟̼̋ͅṯ̴͊̎̚͘ĥ̶̯͉̹̖̥͇͇̺̏͌͂̆̔̅͗̑̍̕̕e̴̦͕̳̩̒̉̉̓̏̆͌͜͝m̵̘̙̪̤̑ ̸̳̯̊͒̎̏̽̉́̍̇͒̊̄͘̕b̷̤̹͔̗͐͊́͛̉̇͗͊̏́̐̐̄̚͝ḙ̶̡̡̭̼͈̻̤͐͊̎͊͋̈̿̓̚͠f̸̧̡̛͈̞̤̺͈̗̹̪̞̲̘̦̿̓̐͜o̴̘̱͎̟̤̤͓̲̠͖̙͔̰̺͙̿̇̃̏͌̊̊̀͐̈͝͝r̸̫̳̽̋̂͊̽́͆̀͋̄͝͝ȩ̸̪̣͈͉͎̝̪̜̦̩͍̗̏̀̑̐͒̄̓̾̈́̎ͅ ̵̧̖̬̖̖̙͈̱͈̝̹̥͈̿͆̉̑̏͒̋ͅṯ̷͑̐͛̑̏̔̽́͆̋̀͘h̴̛̩͎͎̙͙̳̯̤̽̒̅͑̐̌̋̿͜e̷̡̡͙̺̋̌̃͆͘̚y̶̡̛̥͙̳̞̳̼̘̟͌̌ ̴̳͚̤͆̓͠ḑ̵̢̹͍͓͌̆̅̍̏̿̆͜ẽ̷̡̨̨̝̰̝͇̬̺͕̝͖̭̜̓͐̌͋̍̾͐̒ͅŝ̸̨̢̛̖͔̤̻̯͙t̴̨͖͖̝̲̗̣̱͙̦̞̠̊̆̋̒̉͛̀̉͋̈́͗͐͠ͅr̶̛͇͒͆̐̿̏̕̕ò̶͕̦͈͖̣̯͔̱̹ͅy̶̧̛̛͂͌̅̀̓͐̐́̊͛̈́̚͝ͅ ̷̱͇͙̱͎̭̟̾̀̄̽͂̄͊͊̋̀͋͑͊y̴͈̻̗̻̯͌ơ̵̢͙̥͉̝̱̜͔̼͔̖̘͌͆̊͌̀̆́͊̑͗̇͝͝͝ų̶̳̦̜̥̯̽͋̽͊͝͝.̴̧̨̯̟͎̞̣̩̃̑̀̚͝ ̴̡͙̺̳̞̺͇̥͚̘͙̌̆̋̊̉̌̾͐̐̈͗̏͠͠Ÿ̵̡̛̩̺͉̹́̍̂̈́̈́͊͗͘͝͠ơ̵̟̻̹̳̈́͋̒͆̂͋͊̉̀͛̚͝͝͝û̶̧̢̢̼͎̙̙̣̰͓͉̯̣̖̯̂̉͆́̀̆͒̏̑̀̾̌̾̕ ̸̧̖̮̘̦̝̓̐̇͐̊̅̈́͋͛̈̌̎̕͜͝ͅw̸͇̬͇̺̳̩͉̋i̴̧̡͉͍̰̤͚͙̟̜̘̪͑͆͋͂̾̇͑̈̌̎͘̕͠l̵̥̙̩͖͓͐̇̀͛̐l̶̡̳̰̰̥̞͇̮̜͙̩̲̂͌̎̅̋̉̀̂̄́̉̎ ̶̧̘̭̝̩̳͔̜͉̙͎̒͑͋͗̓́d̶̢̛̛̘̯͂̇̈́̂͋͛̏̚̕͠ė̵̢͚̥̳͓̖̝̩́s̵̳̤͈̣̈́͗̏̑͋̏̐͘͝t̴̮͉̉̓̾̅̓̃̌̒͠͝r̸̢͈̙̼͇͍̟̦̂̿̈̈̔̚ö̷̡̤̱̣̠̼͍̆̓y̷̪̦̞̠̼̺͊͝ ̴̠̦̬̺͆T̵̞̰̭̥̦̖͙͕̲͉̙̅̒̋͗͝ͅͅh̸̢̧̥̭̪͕̮̙̺͉̋̑̏̉̅̾͊͛͋͌̊̀̚̕͘ͅḛ̵̡̡͖̘͕̪̠͓̙͍̝̑̌̆̏̍͋̍ͅ ̶̢̡̬̜̲̟̪̯̺̰͇͈̦̈́͗͋̏̊͑͋̃̒̿͜͝D̵̢̤̳̘̮̼̬̞̪̠̝̘͕̆̅͒͋͛̔̋̂̿̈́̉͊͜͝o̴̡̹̜͎͖͈̼̯͕̫̤͛̿̔̓̒͝͝͠c̶̢̝̠̣̪̻͕͉̰͇̑̾̀̈́͠͝t̴̜͇̙̮̮͖͊ȏ̵̧̡͙̤͔͕́̈́̓̅͒̿r̷̦̞̖͚̟̪̣̠̒̀̇̅̀͜.̴̛͖͉̦̩͕̊̽̄͛̈́̆͌̆̽͌̕͠͠ ̷̧̼̯̭̜̬̥͕̳̟̙̦͋͜

Ugh, my head, Celestia thought as she nearly stumbled. The others were asking if she was okay, but Celestia couldn’t hear them.

Ĭ̸̢̦̼̩̦̣͍̤̪̳͙̱̺͚͑̃͑̀͘͜͠ ̸̰͆̄̾̒̒͛́̓͘͝a̸̢̢͍̼̞͎̜̹̫̘̽̃̔̍͂̏̄̍̑͗̏͘͝͠m̷̯̯̼̻̉͛̅̀ ̸͈͋̕ş̷̟̪̗̜̤̹̮̪̬̗̫̟̬͗̑͋͗͘ǫ̷̛̠̺̤̈̍͆̈́́̿̕͝͝͠ ̶̩̫͔̺̫̻̥̱̮̏̀́̑͊̊̿̋̅́̈́́ͅc̷̣͈̻͈̣̬̥̼̈́̀͗͋̌̾̿̚̕̕͝ļ̷͕̘̠̲̺͉̞̾̿̄̌͛̍͒̒͋̓̿̀̉̚ö̵͍͙̱͍͖͉̺̫͔͙͚̼́͗̀͐͗̀̕͜͜s̷̥̖̓͑̆͒͐̀͐̓͒͒̕̕̕͝ȩ̷̛̺̥̫̪̘̟̗̜̓̀̒́͌̇̑̈́͘͝ͅ.̴̯͎̭͚̐̿̂ͅ ̷̧̰̈́̌͆̊̿͌͆̅͐̋Ç̷͚̥̠̪͍̙̹̗̟͙͍͔̀͆͋̀͠͝l̵̢͚̩̙̙̺͈̒̌̏̈́́̚͝o̵͚̣͐̆̌̽͂́̽̆͐̄͆̃̕͘ͅs̸̢̨̛̙̻̙̩̻̯̠̰̤è̵̖̍̒́̌́͐̈́̓̃͝ ̶̥͖̺͙͈̹̮̻͈̭̓̔̒̿̀̐͊̕̕ṯ̸̛̛͔͑́̀́͊̈͑̈̐͂̕͘̕o̴͎͚̱̓̊̅̕͘ ̴̰̟̰̮͇̺͓͕̥̄a̸̛̼͐͋͑̿͊̑̄̄c̴̨̛̺̘̩̝̠̹̦̹̝͎̝̠͔͍͌̀́h̵͙̰̤͚͉̤̐̏̐̒͌͌͆̔͑̎̊̕͝i̶̮̱̭̘̲̻̗̤̭̲̒̐͊̐̏̀͂̋̾̿̕͜e̷̢̧̢̻̺̻̭̣̹͉̣̬͑͌̃͛͝v̸͈͈̤͔̰͎͎̲̘̆̒̅͑̈́͐̋̑i̴̡͖̹̰̇͝n̸͚̱̮͙̜̰̯̻̠̬̣͉̦̰̓̀͗́͐͘ḡ̸̨̡̢̟͍͍͍̲̫̘̹͂̋̉́̾͑̔̋̄͑̂̓̑͝ ̴̧̢̨̞̩̲̘͉̱̒̑̓̌̌̕͠ṁ̷̛̝̜̮͈̟̯͚̘̞̏̈́̊͋̏̽͌͆̓͊̀̚͝y̶̝͓͙̖͇͔̣̥͍͉͇̼̥͛̓̐́͌̋̈́͐́͌́̎́͘ ̵̨̤̘͕̩̯̣̼̯̞̭̈̆͝g̶̫̜̦̾̾͂̃͂̈́̍̍́͋̃͘ơ̶̥̝̜̲̈̅̂̇̉̿̀̚̚ͅȧ̵̺̩͙̹̬͉̣̎̃̏̎̽̈͒̕͘͜l̶̡̤͍̺̳̫̠̰̘̤̫̞̙̭̄̆̄̀͐̐́̅̊̚͝͝s̴̛̭̫̣̼͓͉̦̙̱̲̻̲͗̇̓̇̏͛̌͠.̸̧͖̱̥͍̜̃͌̍̈̏̓̋̎̐͝͝ ̶̢̜̞̬̜̭̤̱̺̭̭̻͓̄̊̽͊͐́͌̒̋͐̿̽̓̀̋ͅͅT̷̢̛̳̱͓͕̱̫̪̯͍̦̀͋̃͂͋͌̍̔͂̎̉̓͋ͅh̴̡̬̠̮̲̮͈̩̰̮̺͖̯̱̮͂̉̑͆̈́͊͐̾͆̍̋͋̋͠ȩ̴̣̪̪̘̻͍̪̭̮̜̬͈̺̻̾̎̾͐ ̷͍̳̩͉̬͇̣͂̾̈́͠D̴̮͍̝̬̲̩̱̥͗̑̓ͅo̷̢͔͉̅̇͌̉́̈̈́͆̒̾̚͝c̷̯͚̗̈̽̕̕t̴̘̥̥͐̌͗̅̈́̆̇ơ̵̡̱̬̞̮̪̝̱̼͙̹̳͂͒̓̒̊͛̈́̎̑̈́͒͘͝ŗ̵̨̢͉̮̹͓̘̤̪̹̬͇͓̫̾͊̓͊̈̎̈̊̇̈́͝ ̵̛͕͑̋̿̓̔̊̕m̶̛̺͉͈̖͍͕̮̤̦͓̻̓̎͋u̷̝͎̘̫̺̱͒͌̈̓͒̿͗̋̃̇̀s̴̨̢͓̤̞͇͓̈́̄́̈́͛̉͂͆̕t̸̢̡̢̢̛̙̗̰̝̼̗̲̯̜̏͒̋͗͂́̈́͛̈́̈͘̚ ̵̻̤͖̲̜͈͇͍̫͈͈̰̞̈́̾ǹ̷̨͙̟̺̪̜̮̯o̴̢̼̲̻͗̅̊͜͜t̵͔̺͈̝̓͛̈́ ̴͕̻̮̹̱̘̉͒̒͑̈́͌̌́̈s̸̨̘̜̦͙̗̩̜̳͕̣̜͉͊̅͜͜t̷̨̗̲͖̜̫͎͇̍̓͐̈͌̕ơ̷̘͕̖̓̊͆̅̕p̶̨̖̗̭̟̟͇̉̓̅̊͒͝ ̷̢̢̻̼͚̬̜̤̘̭̣̺̺͑́̆̾̇͜͠m̷͙͂̏͂͠͝͝e̵̡̡̧̮͕̘͚̣̪͉̓́̃͒͗̎̌̎͘̚͠.̸̛͙͕̰̘̖͖̠̲͍͚̬̖̠̲̊̾̎̎̈́͌̃͆͗͋͌́̿͜ ̴̛͓̬̱͎̮̥̔̿ͅY̴͔̞̤̜̺͛̈̆ò̴̰͒̅̈́͛̀͑̍̀̉̎̀͌̕u̸̩͖̟̐̂̔ ̶̺̩̙̼͉̗̯͔͍͎̤̦̆͆̃̌̇͜w̵̨̗̗̙̺̳̯͇͚̻̝̆́̅̒̋̍̓̉̕͜į̸̖͍̮̥̹̲̄̓̀͘͠l̷̛̯̩̹͓͕̤̭̤̼̃͋̐̾̾̔͌͠ͅl̸̢͎͚̫̩̣̯̥̞̙̈͜͝ ̵̛̼͚͖ǫ̶̭̲̳͈̺͕̯̑̌̿̀̈̇̋̏̊͑̈́̎̏͝b̷̲̲̹͈̬̞̩̯̦̣̗̣̿̉͌͜ͅͅé̷̖͔̲̼̱̯͕̫̺͓̱̽̀͒̽̕ẏ̵̨̡̡̻̝̬̘̠̮͇͕̹̺͊͂̈́̽͊̈́.̸̧̨̧̧̛̛͇̣̖͍̣̰͙̳̟̬̠̃̽̏̊̀̒͌̚ ̵̖͔͔̙̑̔

Celestia's eyes turned black for just a second, unnoticed by everyone except for Flurry Heart and Spike, who felt their spine shiver upon seeing it. Their bodies had frozen up as they thought only one word entered their minds when they saw those eyes: Evil.

"I'm fine!" Celestia snapped before rubbing her head with her wing. "I'm fine. Just...a headache. I agree with Twilight. We need to use the cannon."

"I have everything prepared," Twilight said as she nodded. "I just need the Elements of Harmony, and I can have it all ready by tomorrow."

"Very well," Princess Celestia said with a nod. "This war needs to end before more lives are lost. We shall test this Harmony Cannon and see what can be done with it."

"I...I don't..." Pinkie Pie's hair began to deflate as she quickly ran out of the room, much to the surprise of the others. Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack all rushed after her while the others just stayed in the room. The Princesses began talking to each other about the plans to use the canon while Flurry Heart and Spike stood apart from everyone else.

"...You saw it too, didn't you?" Spike asked with terror in his voice.

"I did," Flurry Heart whispered as she looked ready to cry. "I never... I never felt so scared..."

"I've seen the eyes of some of our most terrible villains in the past, but never before have I felt pure evil like that," Spike said as he stared at Princess Celestia, who seemed to be none the wiser of what just happened. "What do you think is really going on?"

"I don't know...I just know that this is wrong..." Flurry Heart whispered as she looked down at the ground, much to Spike's surprise. "I don't like the war. I hate the war. Always have. I thought humans were cool and interesting, but I had to keep it a secret because Mom and Dad didn't like them. Not to mention how Auntie Celestia, Luna, and Twilight are about them. I think this whole thing is so stupid and...and...I lost my Dad because of it."

"What about the humans who killed your father?" Spike asked.

"How is my grief any different from all the other human children who lost their parents?" Flurry asked with a snort. "I miss my Dad. I want him back, but I'm not the only one who lost somepony in this war. None of them would be dead if we didn't just have this war in the first place. A war we started."

Flurry then tearfully looked up to Spike. "So who's really at fault? The ones who were defending themselves or the ones who started it all in the first place?"

Spike said nothing, but slowly he hugged his step-niece and let her sob on his shoulder.

+}{+

Needless to say, the other Elements were very hesitant about letting their Elements be used for such a thing, but in the end, they were ordered to do so by Princess Celestia.

At the top of the fortress, the Harmony Cannon stood ready as the final preparations were being set up. Twilight was by the control console while the others all stood to the side.

Spike had tried once again to get through to Twilight, but he failed. He kept Flurry Heart close to him while watching Princess Celestia, staring at the cannon with a stoic expression. Flurry Heart wasn't the only one with bad feelings about the war. He, too, was against it but kept himself silent to support his family.

Now I don't even recognize them, Spike thought to himself as he stared at his sister in all but blood. The loss of her brother, the humiliation at the hooves of The Doctor, Fluttershy and Discord's betrayal, and the trauma she went through upon losing her eye and wing had drastically changed Twilight and not for the better. She wasn't even there to help her parents deal with Shining's death, ignoring them and everypony else just to focus on the war.

"Everything is ready," Twilight said as she turned to the others. "However, I'll only fire this if my fellow Princesses agree with this."

"I don't agree with this!" Flurry Heart said rapidly, but Twilight glared at her.

"I mean official princesses," Twilight said in such a tone that it made Flurry wince.

"Twilight! Don't talk to your niece like that!" Cadence harshly shouted as she growled. "Fire it if you want, but don't act so cold to your family!"

Twilight's expression softened as she sighed. "I'm sorry, Flurry and Cadence. I'm...just a bit stressed."

Princess Luna closed her eyes and shook her head. "Fire it. I don’t like it but as you said, we have little options if we are to win this war."

Princess Celestia nodded as well. "Do it, Twilight."

"Very well," Twilight said as she pushed a big red button and stepped back.

+}{+

"Ugh! Even when I'm in a new body, I still cannot get used to the taste of carrot juice," The Doctor said as he put the glass down and wiped his mouth. "Thanks anyway, Carrot Top."

"Eh, it was worth a shot," Carrot Top said as she took the glass and walked over to the other side of the TARDIS's main room, where Derpy, Discord, Flash Sentry, and Lyra were all playing cards. "So who's winning?"

"Me! Full house!" Flash cried out as he put his cards down.

"Tch, three of a kind," Lyra grumbled as she tossed hers away.

"Straight," Discord grumbled as he summoned a glass of chocolate milk and ate the cup. "I still don’t understand why you won’t let me deal."

“Has it ever occurred to you that it's because the cards keep talking every time you do?" Lyra pointed out with a raised eyebrow.

"Guess I win the pot!" Flash Sentry said as he was about to grab his winnings on the table when Derpy played her hand and made him drop his jaw.

"Straight Flush! I win!" Derpy said as she took the chips and began to add them to her growing collection.

"Son of a..." Flash grumbled and crossed his arms before pouting. "Are you sure you're not cheating?"

"Nope! I'm just lucky," Derpy said with a giggle.

"She's not lying," Carrot Top said with a snort. "One time, I took her to Las Pegasus, and she won over four hundred thousand bits at the slot machines in an hour."

"The hay?! What did you do with that money?!" Flash asked in disbelief.

"I spent it all on a special lifetime supply of Mama Goodies Muffins!" Derpy answered with a bright joy as she rubbed her stomach before pouting. "Too bad they're no longer around."

Suddenly, a loud buzzer came from the TARDIS console, which made everyone jump. The Doctor started to turn pale as he rushed over and started working on the controls, looking more frightened the more he went to work. The others rushed over but made sure to give him enough space so he could work without interruption.

"What's going on?!" Lyra asked with worry.

"The TARDIS detected a large spike of energy. According to these readings, this is...no...it can't be...it wasn't supposed to be discovered like this...it's way too soon," The Doctor whispered in horror.

"What is it?!" Flash asked, looking more worried the more The Doctor behaved.

"Hey! What's with the alarm!" Dinky shouted as she and Fluttershy rushed into the control room. "You can practically hear all over the TARDIS!"

"The Doctor says some kind of energy is building up," Carrot Top answered.

"What kind of energy?" Fluttershy asked with worry.

"...H.E.P." The Doctor answered as he began working even faster. "In your original timeline, you went to war with an alien race known as the Prethoryn Scourge. They were a bio-organic intergalactic hive-minded race with the only objective: infesting and consuming the galaxy. Entire star systems fell to them, and while the Shadow Proclamation was the main force destroying them, Equus at the time was caught up in its invasion as well. It was a devastating war that pushed you to the brink until the invention of the H.E.P."

"H.E.P?" Discord asked, tilting his head.

"Harmonic Energized Plasma," The Doctor answered, which made their eyes widen. "After the creation of The New Elements of Harmony during The United Equus Republic's Civil War, there was a new order for specialized creatures to defend your borders from all threats known as the Guardians of Harmony. Each was a unique super soldier that had a small piece from one of the twenty-two New Elements-"

"There are six Elements," Lyra pointed out.

"At the moment. You'd be surprised how many virtues were made into new Elements over time," The Doctor said before continuing where he left off. "The pieces were fused into the bodies of the Guardians which, combined with bioengineering, nanotechnology, and cybernetics, created one of the deadliest special forces in the universe. But even they were still struggling against the Scourge. Until they discovered a means to combine harmonic energy with their elements in combination with a unique plasma formula.

It's a pure weapon of mass destruction that helped the Republic win the war but at the cost of having to practically melt their planets due to the Scourge infestation being so bad that they had to completely destroy their settlements just to cleanse them."

"And that energy is being used right now?!" Lyra screamed in horror. "Something that can wipe out entire planets?!"

"Nothing like that. The energy isn't that big, but the build-up is concerning. I'm amazed it was made this early to begin with!" The Doctor shouted in anger. "How the heck could this have been found?! Obviously, it's from Equestria, and the theory wasn't that hard to come up with, but even so, it would require the Elements of Harmony and a brilliant mind to-"

"Twilight," Discord and Fluttershy answered at the same time.

"...Yes, it has to be her," The Doctor sighed in anger as he shook his head. "Unbelievable. One of the most brilliant mares in the universe, and this is what she's reduced herself to. A mare who revolutionized the entire world during her Golden Age is now a monster."

"Look, whatever she did, do we know what she's doing?!" Lyra demanded.

"Well, the energy is coming from somewhere in the Crystal Empire, but the way the readings are showing..." The Doctor then went dead silent as his entire body froze. "Oh no..."

"What?" Dinky asked as the others waited.

"...Oh no, they wouldn't...."

"Doctor, what is it?"

He slowly turned to them and looked at them with such sorrow that his words were like hearing the living tone of the tragedy itself.

"I'm... I'm so sorry..."

+}{+

At that moment, a large multicolored beam sailed through the sky.

It sailed and arced itself from the Crystal Empire to the direction of the upper east area of the United States of America. Humans and ponies looked up and saw the arc sailing above them. Military systems only had a few minutes to sense the energy before it landed on its target in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

From space, watching from their space stations, astronauts of the human race watched in horror as a bright explosion emitted from a small area on Earth and grew. From Massachutsetts, did the explosion of bright lights spread like that of a growing infection without end. People just going about their day soon found utter oblivion before they knew it.

The entire states of Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Lower Michigan, and half of upper New Jersey were wiped out. Even Canada was not spared as Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and its surrounding areas were hit as well as the entire regions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

Cities vanished from the Earth, and nothing was left behind but utter ash and the smell of death. From Chicago to Cape Breton Island was nothing but a large and silent aura of pure heavenly light that eradicated all life in its presence.

When it finally settled after twenty minutes, eight-five million lives were gone.

It was the single greatest tragedy in human history.

+}{+

What have we done? That was all Rarity could think in her mind as she walked through the quiet town of Ponyville.

It had been three days since they fired the Harmony Canon, and Rarity could barely remember what had happened afterward. She remembered coming home to her husband, crying her eyes out, and passing out later when she heard the news of the casualties.

Eighty-five million.

Eighty-five million humans, and ponies living in their areas, were dead.

And she played a part in it.

Her Element, Generosity, was now Genocide in her mind.

She had given it to Twilight, who looked satisfied with the results in the end, and she let it be used so that it made her feel nothing but self-loathing. Rarity couldn't even look at herself in the mirror without smashing it now. She didn't know what she looked like, but whatever ugliness on her face was nothing compared to the ugliness she was feeling inside.

All of them had been affected when they heard the results: Applejack threw up, Rainbow Dash was so pale she nearly lost all her color and Pinkie Pie? She fainted. Honest to Harmony fainted, and it took hours for her to wake up. She just ran back to Ponyville, nopony stopping her.

She didn't know what Spike was thinking, but he was said to have had an argument with Twilight that resulted in them yelling profanities with each other. So he clearly didn't agree with what had happened either.

What have we become? Rarity wondered to herself as she continued to walk throughout the town. We were just friends and occasionally heroes, but now? We're monsters. Fluttershy was right. Lyra was right. Discord was right. This war? This isn't right! It's... it's wrong.

Rarity then paused and looked at the silent house of Sugarcube Corner.

The Cakes were out on a family reunion with Pinkie Pie to look after the place, but nopony had seen her in days. The store remained closed, and no matter who knocked, there was no answer. Rarity knew Pinkie Pie had to be taking this bad.

No, she has to be taking this worse.

Being Pinkie's friend, she was one of the few who knew where the second key was and took it out of the potted plant nearby before unlocking the door. She opened it, only to find the place dusty and dark. "Pinkie? Are you there? It's me, Rarity."

There was no response.

"Darling, I...I wanted to check up on you..." Rarity said as she walked in and closed the door behind her. The silence was unnerving. It was so unlike Pinkie Pie to keep the house quiet. She wondered if she was up in her room and walked up the stairs as quietly as possible just in case her friend was sleeping.

When she arrived at the door marked with Pinkie Pie's cutie mark, she knocked on it only to notice the door was slightly open. "Pinkie?"

When Rarity opened the door, she froze for five minutes before screaming.

Pinkie was hanging by a rope around her neck and a nearby knocked-over chair under her. Her eyes were wide, and her pupils dilated with her mouth wide open while her dried tongue stuck out as a fly landed on her face without twitching from the muscles. Her long pink hair was dull and a tombstone and lifeless as her corpse.

There was only one note left behind next to the chair:

"It isn't funny anymore."

Author's Note:

What the Jumbled Text says:

"I command you. You will destroy all you can and cause chaos in my name."

"You hate them. They killed your daughter. They will kill your family. You must destroy them before they destroy you. You will destroy The Doctor."

"I am so close. Close to achieving my goals. The Doctor must not stop me. You will obey."

And at last we have caught up from where Regeneration was on Choice. Next week I shall post Regeneration Part 9 which I've worked on since I started posting the chapters. Need to work on Part 10 when I can.

As always, please help out at the NegotationsVerse TV Tropes Page. We even have a Regeneration Focus section: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fanfic/TheNegotiationsVerse