• Published 30th Nov 2012
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Into the Black: A Mare's Tale - shirotora



Twilight is flung into the farthest reaches of the galaxy

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Prelude: Memorial

“Xander!” cried the angry voice of Princess Celestia's prized student.

“Ah, Twilight Sparkle,” said the silky smooth voice of Xander, “So nice for you to join us.”

The pony standing before Twilight was the evil unicorn Xander, that stole the Black Book - a forbidden tome containing magic too powerful to be properly controlled. With it he planned to become an alicorn and conquer all of Equestria.

Twilight looked over Xander's shoulder, where her friends were locked in cages like animals. The sight enraged the lavender unicorn. Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, and Fluttershy looked to their friend with hope.

“Let my friends go, and give me back the Black Book.” she ordered, “If you do, I'll implore Princess Celestia to be merciful.”

“I might just do that.” Xander laughed, “Or I could just do this...”

Xander charged up his horn and fired a blast of energy at Twilight. To his dismay, it fizzled harmlessly when it struck the shield the lavender unicorn put up. Twilight countered with a volley of her own. He managed to dodge all but one.

He picked himself up and glared at her. That glare was quickly replaced though, by a malicious grin.

“I figured you would be too powerful for me to confront head on.” he said, as the caged ponies cheered for their friend, “But no matter.”

He began chanting in an ancient language that few knew. As he chanted, a wind picked up, followed by lightning.

Taking the opportunity, Twilight teleported to the cage that held her fellow elements.

“I’ll get you out of here.” Twilight assured them.

His chanting was replaced by laughter as he turned to face his adversary.

“Farewell little Twilight.” he laughed maniacally .

A black orb appeared between the two unicorns pulling everything towards it. The pull picked up until he too was being dragged towards the thing.

His laughing abruptly stopped, “No, no... What's happening.”

“TWILIGHT!” Rainbow Dash cried.

The cyan pegasus reached out a hoof to support her friend, but missed by a hairs width. Twilight was pulled just out of reach, grabbing for anything she could.

Twilight and Xander both fought for a hoof-hold, but to no avail. Both lost grip and went tumbling into the void. The void vanished swallowing her and Xander...well part of him anyway.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Almost every night for the past year Shining Armor watched his little sister being pulled to her death again and again, as she cried for help. The memory spell that let him see exactly what happened through Rainbow Dash's eyes, now haunted him regularly.

Oh, Twilly, why did I let you go alone? He asked himself yet again.

A lithe pink hoof caressed him in a comforting hug. His wife, Princess Cadence, was always there to support him, even though she was hurting as much as he was. After all she had helped raise Twilight from when she was just a foal. Shining looked out the window of their carriage. Immediately in front of them was the princesses' carriage and beyond that, Ponyville. They were going to meet with Twilight's friends at her memorial. It had only been one year, but it seemed like forever.

Soon enough the two carriages landed on the outskirts of town and the four occupants stepped out into a field of flowers. In the center was a statue of the brave mare, his little sister smiling as she looked ever into the distance. On the pedestal was written the words “In memory of Twilight Sparkle, Faithful friend, loving sister, devoted student and a courageous protector. She gave her life so Equestria could live”.

A tear fell from Shining's eye, “I miss ya, sis.” He said, with his wife's forehoof over his shoulder.

Everypony there was in a sombre mood. All but one, Pinkie Pie. Ever since Twilight disappeared, Pinkie had insisted that she wasn't dead, rather that she was “having a big adventure in the stars”. Everyone assumed it was just her way of coping with the loss. Today though, she seemed extra happy about something.

“You're happy today, Pinkie.” Shining observed plainly.

She smiled back, “Well of course I am. When I woke up I had an eye twitch, tail flip, knee twitch, tongue click.” He looked at her with an inquisitive expression, “Duh that means I'm going to see a long lost friend. There's only one friend I haven't seen for a long time and that's Twilight.”

For a moment he let himself hope. He knew about Pinkie Pie's Pinkie Sense, but he also knew that nopony can come back from the dead. A part of him felt sorry for the happy-go-lucky pony, but another part of him wanted to slap her until she stopped spouting nonsense.

He was an emotional wreck. He was lucky that Cadence was such a loving mare. Any other would have left him by now but not her. She was his reason for going on. If not for her he would have crawled into his bed and let himself waste away.

“Land sake, girl. What're ya goin' on about now?” Applejack asked incredulously.

“Twitchy tail, twitchy tail.” Was her reply.

Everypony instantly looked up for the incoming object. What they saw was the worst kind of falling object. A meteor...and it was heading straight for them!

All the ponies present gathered together with their hooves over their heads as Shining cast a shield spell. They waited for the inevitable impact, hoping the shield hold up against the falling death...and they waited...and waited... Finally, they opened their eyes one by one and looked up toward the fireball of doom, only to see that it had slowed down. While that was indeed confusing, it wasn't as confusing as the makeup of the space rock - it didn't appear to be rock at all, but metal, hoof-crafted metal. It looked like a metal bird! It had a smooth body with a clear angular window in the middle, and short wings that looked like a double bladed ax. There were two cylinders fixed just under the wings on the body with holes in the front.

It was still falling rather fast but was slowing quickly until it came to a near stop mere feet from the ground. A set of three legs extended from the bottom, and it lowered the last few feet to rest on said legs. The window slid backwards and a figure leaped nimbly from the flying machine, landing on all four perfectly. The hot metal created a steam shroud masking the strange creature from their view.

The creature promptly stepped forward, revealing a gray-green armored suit, of alien design, and a strange, semi-transparent orange visor over it's eyes, and an unknown object strapped to its back. It had purple fur and a short cut dark blue mane with a pink stripe, and a horn. Everypony stared wide eyed as the familiar, yet different mare smiled at them.

“I'm home.” She said, with tears forming in her eyes.

Shining Armor approached what must have been a hallucination. He couldn't believe it, his sister was alive, but she was...different. Her mane was cut very short. It barely passed her horn. He recoiled at the sight of a terrible three inch scar running horizontally beneath her left eye. Speaking of eyes, her eyes frightened him. He had only seen that look in the old griffons that fought in the war.

“Tw-Tw-Twilight?” He finally said as he reached a shaky hoof out.

She grabbed his hoof in hers, “Yeah, it's me. I'm finally home.”She said with a smile.

“Twilight!” All the ponies in the field shouted at the same time and rushed their friend in a group hug, practically suffocating her.

“We all thought you were dead,” Celestia cried. “Where have you been my dear student?”

“Oh, nowhere special.” She replied, “Just having a big adventure in the stars.”

“Told ya!” Exclaimed Pinkie Pie.

“Dude you have to tell us about it!” Said Rainbow Dash.

“I was planning on it, but before I begin can I get something to eat.” Twilight replied, “I'm fucking starving.”

The group hug was broken instantly as everypony stared at her mouths agape.

“What?” Twilight questioned, “I've hardly eaten anything but SNP's and synthetic food in a whole year. The stuff's nutritious, but it tastes like shit.”

“Twilight!” Celestia scolded, “I've never heard you use such foul language.”

Twilight recoiled with a sheepish grin, “Oops, sorry. When you hang out with marines you kinda pick up some of their...quirks.”

“Well try to keep yourself under control.” The Sun Princess said, “What is marines?”

“I'll tell ya later. Right now, let's go get some chow.” Twilight said.

“Wait a minute.” Shining stopped her, “We haven't seen you for a year, everyone thought you were dead, and now you show back up in some weird machine from space, and the first thing you want to do is eat? You don't want to catch up?”

“Of course I do,” She said, “...and my 'weird machine from space', is a SF-23T Executioner Class Light Assault Gunship, we just call it an Ax. As for why I want to eat first...” She cantered back to the machine, and opened a panel grabbing, an unseen object, before shutting it again. She trotted back and held a tube to her brother. “Taste this.”

She put a small bit of grayish brown past on his offered hoof, licked it and quickly spit it out.

“What the hay?” He choked, “What is that, and why would you ask me to eat it?”

“That's an SNP. It stands for 'synthetic nutrition paste' and I’ve had to eat this crap for a year, with few exceptions.” She informed them.

He looked down at the tube then back to his sister, “Let's get you some real food.” He said and started for town.


--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

As the group walked through town, Twilight noticed all the stares she was getting. They looked at her like she was a... ghost.

“So everyone really thought I was dead?” She asked.

“Yeah we did.” Her brother stated plainly, “We thought that you and Xander both died in that thing.”

“Oh,” Twilight said bashfully, looking at the ground, “I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make all of you so upset.”

“It wasn't your fault.” Celestia said, “I think we just need some time to come to grip with what's happened here.”

They walked into Sugarcube Corner. The bell on the door sounded the arrival of customers. Mrs. Cake walked in carrying a tray of cupcakes.

“Oh, hello dearies.” Said Mrs. Cake, “What can I get fo...Oh my...” She gasped at the armor clad pony in the middle of the group, dropping the tray with a crash, “Tw-Twilight is that you? You're alive!?”

“Honey, are you OK.” Mr. Cake came at the sound of falling confections, “What's...oh my goddess.”

“Hi Mr. and Mrs. Cake.” Twilight said, “It's been a while.”

Mr. Cake went around the counter to get a better look at the long lost pony, “Twilight, is that really you? You seem so...different.”

“Do we have anymore of that amazingly fantastically scrumptious cake left?” Pinkie asked.

“Yeah, it's in the cooler.” Said Mr. Cake absentmindedly, still looking at Twilight in disbelief.

In a flash, the hyper, party mare was gone, only to return with a large chocolate cake. She set it down on a table in the corner and set about serving a slice for each of them, the biggest piece for Twilight. The ten ponies settled into their seats and dug in.

“Oh. My. God.” Twilight said with a tear in her eye, “This is the best damn thing I’ve ever eaten.”

“Twilight,” Rarity scolded, “...language!”

Soon enough the cake was gone and everypony looked expectantly at Twilight.

“OK, fine.” Twilight said, “I'll tell you what happened, but I’m warning you now, you won't like a lot of it! After I fell into Xander's wormhole I found myself on one of the craziest, strangest, and most terrifying adventures you could ever imagine...”

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