• Published 29th Nov 2012
  • 7,148 Views, 500 Comments

Geoverse Part Six: A Season Of Adventure - GeodesicDragon

Geo and Twilight deal with more stuff in Equestria — all of it leading to a big surprise for both of them...

  • ...

The Crystal Empire - Part One (v1.1)


The Crystal Empire - Part One

Version 1.1

I opened the library door slowly, hearing the sounds of things hitting the ground, mixed with frantic hoofbeats. Poking my head inside, I saw Twilight using her magic to levitate several books off the shelves, trying to stuff them into a saddlebag which sat near the door. In fact, if it wasn't for a stray book hitting me in the head, she never would have noticed I was there.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" she gasped as her magic faded, causing everything she had been holding to hit the ground. "I must have been more occupied with what I was doing, rather than my surroundings. Are you all right?"

I put on my best pout and rubbed my forehead, prompting Twilight to tenderly kiss the area where the book had struck me. I smiled and wrapped my arms around her. Hearing footsteps behind me, I turned around, whereupon I saw that Spike and Ace had turned up, the former with a very concerned look fixed on his face.

"Twilight!" he said. "Is everything okay?"

"No, Spike." Twilight replied as she broke away from our hug. "Everything is not okay. I've just had a surprise test thrown at me, and I don't even know what it'll be about! I have to study as much as I can before I go to the train station. I need books, quills, parchments... oh! And flashcards!"

She opened drawers and took out a pile of cards, muttering to herself about writing down everything she knew on them.

"Jeez, Twilight. Calm down." Spike said. "It's just a test."

Twilight froze, the flashcards ending up in a haphazard pile on the floor. Her eyes narrowed and she snorted.

"Just a test?" she snarled. "JUST. A. TEST?!"

A look of panic crossed Ace's face as he jumped behind the couch.

"Take cover, she's gonna blow!" he yelled. "Dive, dive, dive! Awooo-gah! Awooo-gah!"

I glanced over at Twilight, who appeared to be on the verge of catching fire. I decided to join Ace, and now Spike, in taking cover behind the couch.

Just as the library shot fifty feet into the air, accompanied by a loud scream of displeasure from Twilight. The structure landed back in its place with a loud crash — and the three of us crawled out from behind the couch, if it could even be called that any more.

"Never, ever, ever..." Ace muttered, "... tell an academic that its 'just a test'. That's like standing on a railway line and asking a train to run you over."

The only response from Spike was a pained groan.

I looked over at Twilight, who was still standing in the middle of the room. She looked calmer, though her mane, tail and coat were slightly black in places. I nervously approached her and laid a hand on her head.

"Feeling better, babe?" I asked.

Twilight turned to face me slowly.

And then she nodded.

"A lot better." she replied with a smile. "Thanks."


The train ride up to Canterlot had been quiet. Spike and I had accompanied Twilight to the palace. Ace had offered to come as well, but Twilight said that she'd rather have her family with her. Though when Spike and I were stopped from following her into the Princess' chambers, I began to wish we'd brought him along, if only so we could use his rank to get past the guards.

Minutes ticked by slowly as Spike and I sat on the steps outside the palace. I twiddled my fingers while Spike focused his attention towards Ponyville in the distance. The silence was unbearable, and I was keen to break it.

"So..." I said, "... I reckon she's totally nailed whatever test Celestia gave her. Wouldn't you agree, Spike?"

Spike nodded, but said nothing.

As I thought of something else I could say, the doors opened with a loud creak and Twilight walked out into the sunlight. From the way she was hanging her head, I gathered that her test hadn't gone well. Spike, however, seemed oblivious to this.

"So, how did you do?" he asked. "Did you get an A?"

Twilight shook her head.

"... did you get a B? B minus?" Spike gasped. "Wait... did you... you didn't fail, did you Twilight?"

Twilight sighed. I was expecting her to reply with a simple yes or no, but if there is one thing I've learned since coming to Equestria, its that things are never simple. This was proven when Twilight began singing in a flat tone of voice.

Spike threw his arms in the air triumphantly as he leapt off Twilight's back. He smiled broadly, before dropping his arms and gaining a puzzled expression.

"Er, prepared for what, exactly?" he said.

Twilight looked up and saw that the rest of our friends were waiting at the station. Ace had a bag slung over his shoulders, and the rest of the girls had worried expressions on their faces.

"Princess Celestia summoned the rest of the Elements of Harmony." John said. "Something is happening, and I'll be damned if I don't help AJ deal with it."

"Likewise." Ace added sternly. "And then there's the fact it's my duty. Not only to my wife, but Equestria as a whole."

"I'll explain everything on the train." Twilight said. "But I must warn you, it could be risky."

"After everything we've been through," I said reassuringly, "I think I can handle a little bit of risk."


"Risk, yes." I muttered. "This fucking cold? Not so much."

Twilight giggled as the ten of us stepped off the train into the cold. None of us had any idea as to where we were, but Twilight did — so we followed her as she walked along the platform, the snow whipping around us as we trudged behind.


Out of the haze stepped a pony wearing a covering over their face. The rest of him, however, wasn't covered — so I was easily able to identify Shining Armour from his cutie mark.

"Shiny!" Twilight called, rushing up to her brother and giving him a hug. He returned it eagerly, nodding a greeting to the rest of us.

"I assume you all know why you are here?" he asked.

"I think so." John replied. "But let me go over it real quick, just to make sure I understand."

He took a deep breath.

"A thousand years ago, the Crystal Empire was ruled by King Sombra with an iron hoof. He made everypony's life hell, up until the point he was defeated — but not before placing a curse on the Empire which effectively concealed it from view for a thousand years... or now, if you will. If the Crystal Empire is back, there's a chance Sombra is back as well, and we... I mean, the Elements of Harmony, are here to see if there is a way to stop Sombra from re-asserting control over the Crystal Ponies. Is that about right?"

John finished talking to find that we were all looking at him with bemused expressions. Well, all of us except for Rarity, who had developed a gleeful expression at the mention of 'Crystal Ponies', prompting Spike to wave his hands in front of her in an attempt to snap her out of her trance.

"Why are you all looking at me like that?" John said. "Surprised that something other than a dirty joke came out of my mouth?"

"Er, yeah." I replied. "I kinda am."

Shining coughed.

"Yes, John. You are correct." he said. "Cadence has been powering a shield around the Empire for a while now, but her power is fading. We need to help her, and find a way to defeat Sombra once and for all, and thus preserve the peace of the Empire."

"Then what are we waiting for?" Ace asked, adjusting the straps on his bag. "Let's get going."

Shining nodded and turned around, motioning for us to follow him. We left the train station, and soon we found ourselves slogging through snow which came up to my knees. Twilight, Applejack and Pinkie Pie were on my, John and Ace's shoulders. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were hovering above the ground, while Spike was trying to melt a path through the snow for Rarity. All he did was tire himself out, resulting in Rarity throwing him over her back and trudging through the snow herself.

After a while, we could make out a faint glow in the distance. It was the shield that Shining mentioned. Given the size of it, I could see why Cadence was running out of magic. Maintaining something that big can't have been easy on her.

I was so focused on the glow I failed to notice the sky turning dark. Thankfully, John was there to keep me on track.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!" he shouted.

I looked up and saw shadows converging on our group. At the front of it was the face of a really pissed-off looking stallion. His horn was black with a red tip.

"It's King Sombra!" Shining Armour yelled. "I'll hold him off, get to the shield! RUN!"

He didn't have to tell me twice. Twilight held on for dear life as I began running full pelt through the snow.

"Hey Twilight! Doesn't this remind you of John and Applejack's wedding?" I yelled.

"It does!" she yelled back. "Except instead of running to get to the buffet, we're running for our lives!"

We made it to the shield, the girls and Spike stepping through. John, Ace and I turned to see Shining facing down Sombra. As we watched, Sombra unleashed a bolt of magic, which Shining avoided. He charged up his own spell, but before he could cast it, the shadows enveloped his horn, encasing it with black crystals.

Shining gasped and tried casting, only for his spell to fizzle out.

"I'm going to help him." Ace said. "John, come with me."

"Why me?!" he yelped. "Why not Geo?!"

"Come on, man!" Ace snapped. "You're a former spy, so you'll know how best to use this!"

He reached into his bag and pulled out a gun, thrusting it into John's arms. John looked at the weapon for a moment, before a smile spread across his lips.

"A particle rifle?" he said. "... Bitching!"

Ace pulled out a pistol.

"Yeah, I built it the other day, along with this." he said nonchalantly. "Now, let's go help Shining. Geo, stay here."

"You got it, Lieutenant!" I said.

The two of them ran towards Shining's location as Sombra circled him, ready to attack.

"Hey, asshole!" John yelled. "Suck on this!"

He fired off a couple of rounds, one of which struck Sombra in the face. He roared in pain and flew higher into the sky.

"Yeah, you weren't expecting that, were ya?" John taunted. "You want some more?!"

Sombra growled in response.

"Come on, Shining!" Ace said, grabbing him. "We need to move!"

Shining rubbed his head and nodded, following Ace back to the shield as John walked backwards, keeping the rifle aimed at Sombra, who was snorting and growling.

The four of us stepped through the shield. John, Ace and I were immediately dumbstruck by the sheer beauty of the Empire. True to its name, there were crystals everywhere. We joined the girls and Spike, Twilight hugging her brother tightly.

"John?" Ace said. "Can I get that back now?"

John grumbled and handed the rifle to Ace, who put it back into his bag. Hoisting it over his shoulder, he walked over to Shining.

"You all right, Captain?" he said with a salute.

"Other than my horn being rendered useless, yes." Shining replied. "Thanks, Lieutenant. And thank you, John."

"Don't mention it." John replied, polishing his fingers on his chest.

"Come on, we need to get to Cadence." Shining said. "Follow me."

We did as we were asked, Twilight levitating a stunned Rarity in front of her.

As we walked, we got our first look at the Crystal Ponies... and how they looked anything but crystal. Their coats were a dull grey, and their manes and tails hung low. They were also looking at John, Ace and I with cautious eyes.

"Oh great." I said. "These ponies have been cut off from the world for a thousand years. So needless to say, we're the first humans they've seen. This is gonna be fun."

John sighed.

"Hopefully it'll be just as easy as it was in Ponyville." John said. "At least this time we didn't arrive on the back of a giant robot."

Ace laughed.

"I should have brought Tiny with me." he said. "He would have made getting through that snow so much easier."

We all chuckled as we followed Shining into the palace.


As we entered the throne room, Twilight gasped. Sitting on the throne in front of us was a very weak-looking Cadence. Her coat was matted, her mane and tail limp, and she looked thin.

"Cadence!" Twilight called.

Cadence looked up. Upon seeing Twilight, she found a source of energy and galloped towards her. The two of them met in the centre of the room.

"Sunshine, sunshine, ladybugs awake. Clap your hooves, and do a little shake!" They said together, before giggling. As they did so, Cadence winced, and the shield around the city faded for a brief moment. She rubbed her head and looked at Twilight.

"One of these days," she said, "we need to get together when the fate of Equestria isn't hanging in the balance."

"Cadence has been using her magic to spread light and love through the Empire." Shining said. "But she's barely eaten or slept. So far, it's kept Sombra at bay, since he was able to bypass my own shield. With all that's going on, we've been unable to gather information from the Crystal Ponies. We were hoping to question them about a way to defeat King Sombra, but so far we've not had any luck. Perhaps you girls... and guys... might fare better?"

"We'd be happy to help you, bro." Twilight said eagerly. "I can do a research paper! And Spike and Geo can help!"

She looked at me with pleading eyes, which caused my heart to almost explode. I nodded, and she squealed happily.

"Okay, everypony!" she said. "Fan out and start questioning the Crystal Ponies! Don't worry, Shiny. We'll handle this. You do what you can to help Cadence."

With those words, she galloped out of the room, the rest of us following close behind.


Half an hour later, and I found myself standing on the doorstep of somepony's home as Twilight tried desperately to talk to the owner. The mare, having never seen a human before, was reluctant to talk, believing me to be one of Sombra's tricks.

"If I was one of Sombra's 'tricks', as you so so delicately put it," I said sternly, "then surely the Empire would be his by now?"

The mare looked downcast.

"I... I guess so." she said. "I'm sorry, I want to help you, I really do. But... I can't remember anything from when Sombra ruled over us." she winced before adding, "And I don't want to remember."

She closed the door before Twilight or I could respond. We both sighed and turned back towards the centre of town.

"I just hope John and Ace are having better luck than us." I said.

"Don't worry." Twilight replied, nuzzling my leg. "I'm sure that one of our friends has found something."


Ace looked around, a puzzled expression on his face.

"Pinkie?" he called, before muttering to himself, "How can something so pink and fluffy be so hard to find?"

He reached into his bag and pulled out four small robots. He pressed a button on each one, which bleeped into life and hovered in front of him.

"Four BIRDs, four directions." Ace said, pointing at each one as he spoke. "You go north, you go west, you go east and you go south."

The bots bleeped affirmatively and headed off.

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Pinkie Pie was lowering herself down a rope towards a couple of unsuspecting Crystal Ponies.

"Colonel," she said to nopony in particular, "I have sabotaged Metal Gear, and am now moving to acquire intel on the Crystal Empire."

The two ponies looked up and gasped.

"A spy!" one of them said, before they both galloped away.

Pinkie groaned.

"Not again." she muttered. "How do they always know?!"

A bleeping noise caught her attention and she glanced skywards, looking into the lens of one of Ace's BIRDs. From out of nowhere, she produced a giant red exclamation point and held it above her head, before dropping it and vanishing in a puff of streamers.

Watching from his PDA, Ace laughed.

"I should keep her away from my computer." he said. "She always finds something on it to give her ideas. But, at least I know where she is and what she's doing."

He put the PDA in his pocket and adjusted his uniform before walking over to a group of Crystal Ponies.

"Now that my wife business is sorted, it's time for me to partake in my other business — protecting Equestria."


Ace and Pinkie soon joined Twilight and myself in the centre of town, shaking their heads in defeat. For some reason, Pinkie was dressed as a ninja. I decided not to ask why.

We were soon joined by Rarity, Spike, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. Only Applejack and John were unaccounted for.

"Did anypony find out anything?" Twilight asked hopefully.

"Sorry, Twilight." Spike said. "But Rarity and I got nothing."

"Which was entirely my fault, darling." Rarity added. "I'm afraid I got a bit carried away with trying to learn about the Empire itself, rather than how we could save it."

Twilight facehoofed.

"Uhh, yeah." Dash said. "I didn't have any luck either. In fact, I went a bit overboard in my questioning. I scared everypony away."

"And I was too nervous to ask anypony." Fluttershy squeaked.

Twilight sighed.

"What about John and Applejack?" she asked.

"Who, us? We got a lead for ya." We all turned to see Applejack and John approaching.

"You found something?" Twilight chirped. "Then by all means, share it with the rest of us!"

"One of the Crystal Ponies told us about a library." John said, smiling as Twilight's eyes widened. "That's pretty much all the info we got out of him. But it's worth a try, I guess."

"Where is it?" Twilight asked, quavering with anticipation. John pointed down the street and she was off like a rocket. The rest of us followed after her.


"Holy crap," I said, "this place makes the Ponyville library look like a news stand."

Twilight didn't reply. She was beside herself with giddy excitement.

"I just... I can't... there are no words for this!"

She began spinning around on the spot, taking in the sight of all the books stacked neatly on the shelves. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small grin on Ace's face.

"Looks to me like the selection of books..." he took a pair of sunglasses from his pocket and put them on. "... is dizzying."


Twilight stopped spinning around, falling to the floor. We looked around for the source of the noise and saw that John was on his knees with his arms in the air, making a horn gesture with his fingers. He noticed us staring at him and stood up.

"What?" he huffed. "Somebody had to do it."

"This is a library!" Twilight reprimanded as she got to her hooves with a stern look on her face. "You're supposed to be quiet!"

"Can I help you?" a voice said. One of the Crystal Ponies, an elderly mare, was standing watching us with a bewildered expression on her face. Applejack walked over to her.

"Howdy." she said. "Mah friends an' I are lookin' fer a history book. Ya know, somethin' that explained how the Empire kept itself safe back in the day."

"History..." the old mare repeated. "I'm sure we have something like that here."

We looked at her expectantly.

"... where, exactly?" Twilight asked.

The old librarian looked even more bewildered.

"I... I'm not sure." she said. "In fact, I'm not sure I work here."

Rainbow Dash groaned and ran a hoof down her face.

"Not to worry." Twilight said confidently. "We'll have a look ourselves. How hard can it be to find one little book?"


"Why did I have to say that?!" Twilight muttered, as she put down another book. "We've been here for hours!"

The others weren't faring any better. Spike was weighed down with books he was taking for Rarity to look through. Fluttershy and Dash were flying along the shelves, looking at the spines. Applejack was up a ladder, dropping books to John, while Pinkie Pie was jumping onto the shelves and grabbing as many books as she could carry before passing them to Ace.

I was also up a ladder, passing Twilight books, which she held in her levitation spell before floating them past her and glancing at the titles on the covers.

"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no... NO!" she sighed. "By the time we've been through the entire library, it'll be too late!"

"We just need to keep trying." I said, as I reached out for another book. At the same time, I lost my footing on the ladder and fell off it, landing on the floor with a crash.

"Geo!" Twilight gasped, dropping all the books she was holding. "Are you all right?!"

I was about to answer when a book landed on my head. I groaned and cursed under my breath and grabbed the offending object with both hands.

Upon seeing the title, I forgot about the pain in my body.

"I'm fine, babe." I said. "Because my clumsiness has helped us find what we're looking for."

I held up the book.

"The History of the Crystal Empire?" Twilight smiled with glee. "That's perfect!"

She took the book from me and kissed the sore spot on my head.

"We should hit you with books more often." she cooed.

I grinned and stood up.

"Come on, girls!" Twilight yelled as she put all the other books back. "We've got what we came for. Let's go!"

Quick as a flash, we left the library and headed back to the castle. As we ran, I noticed the shield was slowly getting weaker.

"I hope we're not too late." I muttered to myself.


I sat beside Twilight as she looked through the book for ideas. Both of us were hoping that it held the answer we needed.

"Do you really think that there is something in this book that can help us?" I asked.

"We have to try something." Twilight said, still flicking through. "We can't let Sombra— ah-ha!"

"You've got something?" I said eagerly.

"I do." Twilight replied. "It says here that the Crystal Empire held a fair in order to promote peace and love. If we can do something like that, it might provide the boost we need to defeat Sombra!"

"Great!" I cheered. "Let's tell the others."

We walked through to a large room, where the others were gathered around a large circular table, talking amongst themselves. Twilight cleared her throat to get their attention and put the book on the table.

"Girls... and men." she said. "I've got an idea."

There was a chorus of "Great!" from the others.

Twilight took a breath... and started singing again. John and Ace both looked at me with worry, to which I just shrugged.

The song ended and Twilight closed the book.

"Okay, everypony." she said. "Let's get this done!"

The other girls and Spike nodded, before all seven of them tore out of the room, leaving Ace, John and I behind.

"Hey, Ace?" I asked. "Are you still planning on studying this weird phenomenon soon?"

"I am." he replied.

"Don't." I said. "It'll just drive you crazy."

No other words were spoken as we followed our friends and wives out of the room.


A few hours later, and the Crystal Faire was in full swing. There was an arts and crafts stall, various food and drink, and even a jousting arena, which Rainbow Dash in particular was keen to do. So much had been done, and I was impressed. I just hoped that the Crystal Ponies would feel the same way.

Thankfully, they did. As soon as they realised the Faire was back, the Crystal Ponies changed. They lost their dull grey colourings, instead becoming vibrant. They shimmered like... well, crystals. It was a sight to behold.

Applejack and John were passing out refreshments like a mare and man possessed, while Spike helped Rarity make hundreds of fancy hats for everypony to wear.

And then I saw Rainbow Dash flying up to us with a panicked look on her face. Twilight looked concerned.

"What is it, Dash?" she asked.

"The Crystal Heart..." Dash gasped, "... is the key to spreading love through the Empire. But King Sombra knew this, and so he hid it!"

She pointed at the Heart Twilight had made. It stood in the middle of the Faire on a pedestal, and shimmered in the glow of the sun.

"That thing won't do any good!" she said. "If the Crystal Ponies realise it's a fake, they'll panic!"

Twilight gasped.

"But the book didn't say anything about that!" she said, as she flicked through it. "Oh no, the last page is missing!"

"What do we do?!" Dash asked urgently.

Before Twilight could answer, the shield around the Empire began to fade. Looking up, we saw Cadence collapse.

As she did, the shield vanished. Thick black smoke began snaking into the Empire. And at the front of it...

"Sombra." Twilight said.

We looked up at the balcony, watching as Shining Armour attempted to revive Cadence.

Guttural laughter soon reached our ears, and we turned to see Sombra's twisted face at the head of the smoke.

"Aw, fuck." I groaned. "Looks like the shit is about to hit the fan."

Author's Note:


Version 1.1: Removed lyrics, replacing them with a YouTube video, to comply with the rules of Fimfiction. The PDF of this story has the lyrics, as well as additional dialogue and actions from the characters.
Version 1.0: Original version.