• Published 6th Sep 2011
  • 19,724 Views, 537 Comments

Substitute Harmony - blayzekohime

Pinkie's friends disappear and Pinkie must find others to try to help her defeat their ponynappers.

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Chapter 3: The Real Party Begins

Day Six

Sending guards to Sweet Apple Acres had not turned up anything of use. They had arrived to find only a collapsed barn and evidence that others had been there prior to its demolition. Celestia was quick enough to realize why it had collapsed, given the support beam that slammed into her head shortly after Spike’s letter, but where had the little one been taken after that?

Celestia could think of nothing else to do, so she had to come to Ponyville to lead the search herself. She had left Luna in Canterlot to deal with the day to day governance issues, as much as Luna wanted to come along with her. They really couldn’t leave things unattended, after all, but Celestia was also still quite protective of her little sister.

Surely, Celestia thought, Pinkie would see her and come out of hiding to talk, wouldn’t she? It wasn’t like Celestia had a reputation for doing horrible things or inflicting fates worse than death on those that displeased her… oh wait. Well, it was worth a try anyway.

Her first stop was the Ponyville hospital. Led by one of the nurses, she left her flanking guards outside to keep watch as she made her way towards a room specially set up for intensive care. Entering the room as quietly as possible, she found Missus Cake laying in the bed, still unconscious, her head and shoulders bandaged.

Beside her, Mister Cake sat on his haunches half-asleep, leaning against the bed.

“Mister Cake?” Celestia spoke, causing the baker to snap awake at her voice.

“Oh uh… your Highness,” he spoke as he rose to his hooves, awkwardly due to his exhaustion, and bowed low.

“Please Mister Cake; there’s no need. I just came to check on things. I’ll be overseeing the investigation personally, given… well a few things that have happened.” Celestia smiled gently to him, always trying to keep normal ponies from being intimidated, “I do not suppose she has been able to tell us anything?”

“No your Majesty,” Mister Cake insisted on calling her formally even if she’d rather he not at this moment, “They aren’t even sure she will wake up at all… but.. but your… well…”

“Please Mister Cake,” Celestia nodded to him, “Do not be intimidated. I am here as a friend, so speak as you wish.”

“It’s just,” Mister Cake looked back at his wife, then once again to Celestia. “There’s no way Pinkie Pie did this. The guards don’t understand. If only I could be left alone for a while,” He nose-pointed to the guard at the hospital room door as he spoke, “I’m sure Pinkie would contact me and we could get this resolved.”

Celestia kindly shook her head, “I’m sorry Mister Cake. But the guard is for your own protection too. While I do not believe that Pinkie Pie could have done this, someone certainly did. If that someone thinks you are a threat or may know something, they will come for you too.”

Mister Cake didn’t respond, instead slumping back to his previous position and looking to the hospital bed. He silently laid his head aside Missus Cake’s on her pillow.

“Please trust we are doing everything we can. I wish that I could help myself, but head injuries should really only be treated by a proper medical pony. I am having a specialist come in to look at your wife, and it should not be too much longer until they arrive,” Celestia said with a slight nod, then turned to exit the room once again.


Celestia however, wasn’t the only one that had arrived in Ponyville that day to search for Pinkie Pie or the others. Nearby Ponyville, guards had been searching the area of broken trees where it was believed Rainbow had crashed, not allowing anyone else inside the perimeter. One certain griffon, however, disagreed.

“I said MOVE IT!” Gilda arched her back, wings slightly unfurled, and feathers poofed up to make her look at least as large as the guard in front of her.

“MISS!” the pegasus guard shot back, moving to block her when she tried to turn about him, “Now we have been very patient with you. But this is a crime scene and you are not allowed inside while we are conducting this investigation!”

“She was my friend! Even more, and I never told her!” Gilda was so angry that tears were rolling down her face, “I deserve to know what happened to her!”

Gilda had been in Cloudsdale when she first heard the rumor. Message had been sent to Rainbow Dash’s family there from none other than Princess Celestia herself, and it had quickly gotten around to many of her old friends. As soon as Gilda had heard that Rainbow might be in trouble, she had set aside her reluctance to come back to Ponyville and rushed to find out what happened. The information that Pinkie Pie was wanted for questioning in the case had only made it worse, and of course made Gilda assume the worst.

It hadn’t taken her long from that point to find out that the town was swarming with royal guards, which was certainly not something one expected to see in a small village, and that even the Princess herself was somewhere in town. When she found out that there was a crime scene near Rainbow Dash’s home, she had immediately come to see. The conversation had actually started out rather civil, but Gilda had freaked out as soon as she spied one of the guards inside the perimeter picking up a few blood splattered blue feathers and placing them in what looked like a saddlebag full of collected evidence.

“MISS!” the guard repeated, “This is your last warning! I’m sure you wouldn’t like it if we had to take your pretty feathers in for questioning.” He smirked.

Gilda gritted her beak hard at both the guard’s statement and his inappropriate implications. It was almost as if he was trying to get her to attack him now so that he could just take her in and be done with this conversation. She barely held herself from doing so, instead turning about and taking off, screeching in anger. The hawk-like sound echoed through the nearby fields as she appeared to leave. She did not, however, stay gone for long.

Instead, the griffon flew some ways away, turning about in the air, and then charged back downward towards the ground. Approaching the site at break-neck speed, she angled and flew mere feet from touching down, claws angled for grabbing.

The guard honestly didn’t expect her to return, but it seemed that Gilda’s stubbornness had been underestimated. Just as they were getting back to their searching, a feathered streak blew through their formation, dodging within inches of several trees and surprised guards before grabbing hold of the saddlebag that lay on the ground. Packed with their documents and evidence, she was probably setting them back quite a bit in their investigation by taking it, but she was in rage mode and didn’t care.

“Later, dweebs!” Gilda’s voice rang through the encampment before she was gone.

The guards took several long seconds to even realize what had occurred, by which time Gilda had skyrocketed and poked through a low lying cloud. Hidden from their eyes, she arched her path and went the opposite direction to head back over the camp and towards Ponyville itself.

“I will find you Pinkie!” Gilda screamed to herself after she was well out of earshot, “You won’t take her away from me again!”


Meanwhile on the streets of Ponyville itself, a blue unicorn with a beautiful white mane walked from pony to pony, looking for information herself. Most of her body was covered up by her crookedly steepled hat, purple with star designs covering it, and a long cloak of the same design flowing down her back and over her tail. She wore the outfit with unmistakable pride.

Trixie had been spending much of her time in Canterlot since her little run-in with the ponies of Ponyville, training her own magic feverishly, determined to return to show up Twilight Sparkle once and for all. She had obsessed over un-doing her humiliation here to the point of unhealthiness, and had worked her offensive magic down to an art.

When news arrived in Canterlot of the events here, Trixie was horrified that Twilight was missing. It wasn’t that she was worried about Twilight, but that she couldn’t stand the idea of someone other than herself having defeated Twilight. She had enough contacts in the castle due to her befriending of a certain Prince Blueblood, so she was also aware that Pinkie Pie was wanted, though just as Gilda was not sure why. She, of course, made the assumption that Pinkie was to blame and that now her vengeance must be redirected there.

“What do you mean you don’t know anything?” she pointed a hoof at Rose’s face, the latest pony for her to approach. The terrified flower pony shivered in her hooves as Trixie continued, “Are you really refusing to provide the Great and Powerful Trixie with the information she requires to save your miserable city?”

“But why would I know anything?” Rose looked cross eyed at Trixie’s hoof, then started to back away, “You can’t just interrogate random ponies and expect them to know something!” With that, the easily startled pony had turned around and begun to flee, “Oh the horror!”

“Hmm. Perhaps the flower filly is right,” Trixie tapped her own chin with a hoof, “Perhaps the Great and Powerful Trixie has underestimated her own intimidating nature! No doubt her reputation has preceded her.” That was assuming, at least, that Trixie’s reputation had changed since her last visit to Ponyville, but she was pretty sure she had impressed enough ponies in Canterlot to make herself look rather good.

She had already tried the guards, but these were Celestia’s best and had refused to give her any information as well. No doubt this was only because Celestia was slightly more intimidating than Trixie. Random ponies weren’t giving her much luck either, obviously.

“Um… hey. You sure look familiar,” a tan colt with brown mane and horseshoes on his flank said as he walked up behind her.

“You dare to feign ignorance of the Great and Powerful Trixie?” she glared back at him, immediately so angry that she nearly forgot why she was in Ponyville to begin with.

“Oh right, ah remember. Anyway, uh, I’m Caramel. Mind if ah ask why yer lookin’ for Pinkie and Twilight?” Caramel was curious, obviously, given that he was friends with the missing ponies himself, not to mention Pinkie.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Trixie rolled her eyes, “The Pink One has dared to defeat the Twilight Sparkle. Only the Great and Powerful Trixie can defeat her! It is Trixie’s DESTINY! The Great and Powerful Trixie will defeat the Pink One and fulfill her destiny once and for all! Defeating the one that defeated somepony counts, does it not?”

Trixie raised her fore-hooves into the air and cackled madly as lightning danced around her. Luckily, it seemed to be no more than a special effect, and even though it zipped past Caramel, it didn’t do him any harm. Still, this caused Caramel to take a page from Rose’s book and turn to flee. In fact, this seemed to be the option taken by most ponies on this particular street.

“Oh well. Trixie will try the town square,” Trixie said to herself, then turned around and began to walk in that direction with head held high.


Pinkie was huddled behind a row of bushes and brambles which had grown up between two of the buildings lining the town square. Exhausted from her ordeal and unsure of where to look for her friends next, she had finally fallen asleep.

Unfortunately for Pinkie, her depression seemed to cloud her mind quite a bit. She had assumed that every pony was after her, when in reality most of them were now just worried that something happened to her as well. She had seen Princess Celestia arriving, which only made the situation all the more frightening for her.

Out in the square, the same calm peace that usually permeated Ponyville was present, though there was a hint of fright in the way ponies moved through the area. Unaware of Pinkie being nearby, countless ponies passed by the statue in the center before heading about their business. Hushed whispers spoke of the Element-bearers missing, rumors that it might be a precursor to an attack on Equestria, and the few who actually believed Pinkie to have finally cracked. Celestia had kept the investigation pretty tight to her chest, which meant that no pony knew for certain what was going on and only made the rumors worse.

When a balloon appeared in the distance, there was a bit of a nervous reaction from the residents, at least until it was apparent that it was not Pinkie’s balloon. As the black balloon neared the square, however, the nervousness returned as the words “Pie Family Rock Farming” could be read clearly on the surface of the hot air balloon.

This in itself wasn’t very surprising. Obviously, the Pie family would have been informed that she was missing, and some of them might want to come to try and check on the situation themselves. The part that was really alarming was more that the balloon was heading towards the square rather quickly, losing altitude at a near dive rather than coming in for the graceful landing that balloons probably should.

At this point, many ponies started running for cover. Surely enough, the balloon slammed into the ground, skidding all the way across the square until the head of the balloon fell against the square’s pony statue, deflating with a loud rush of air.

A number of the braver ponies ran back towards it to check for survivors. Luckily for said survivors, though less luckily for said residents, two earth ponies popped their heads out of the basket of the balloon, mostly unscathed.

The first one out exited with such violence that she immediately became tangled in the various straps of the balloon itself. The mare had a dark coat that could be described as purplish or bluish, and a gray mane and tail so straight that it looked like they might be able to cut somepony. As she stumbled out of the lines by tearing them with her teeth, she took several angry steps away from the balloon.

“I’m pretty sure that wasn’t supposed to happen, Inkie!” she screamed angrily at the other pony still stuck in the wreckage.

The second filly, whose coat seemed to match the first pony’s mane but contrasted with a darker gray mane of her own, laid a solid kick against the side of the craft, which literally disintegrated under the impact. She rolled out, quite calmly in contrast to the other and slowly rose to all four hooves before dusting herself off. She seemed completely unfazed by the crash, not a hint of emotion on her face.

“Not to worry Blinkie. It is probably my fault for suggesting that stealing Dad’s balloon would be faster," she stated dryly, “Though to be fair, I did not think you would really do it.”

There were murmurs from the crowd. Some talked about the crash, some asked if everypony was okay, and the closest murmured about the two fillies’ cutie marks.

Blinkie, the first pony out, seemed to have a highly unusual mark: a lit bomb. It was one of those cartoonish black round things, but most every pony in the peaceful town would have thought that such marks were impossible. How on Equestria would a pony even get that mark?

Inkie’s mark was perhaps something more vague. It consisted of a dark blue dot surrounded by two concentric crystal-blue rings, evenly spaced from one another. What appeared to be white cracks emanated from the center, almost as if indicating that her special talent was breaking things. But how could anypony have that talent?

“Stupid balloon!” Blinkie shrieked, turning her head about to pull something from her saddlebag.

“Now Blinkie we really don’t have to do that,” Inkie trotted over to her, staring calmly at her, showing nary a hint of emotion.

“What’s she lighting that red candle for?” asked one of the ponies nearest the two.

“You’ve failed me for the last time!” shouted Blinkie back at the balloon, before taking the lit stick of dynamite and tossing it back towards their arrival vehicle.

“Oh Blinkie. You should really watch that. Well I guess everypony should step back,” Inkie casually put her hooves to Blinkie’s chest and shoved. The force of the shove sent Blinkie tumbling back to skid some ten feet further away, Inkie following behind at a calm trot.

What happened next had the attention of the entirety of Ponyville. A blast of flame spread out from where the dynamite had landed, exploding shards of the craft in every direction and melting a large portion of the balloon to make it drool from the charred, cracking statue. A cloud of debris and smoke rose into the air, followed quickly by igniting fuel when sent out a spray of flame and more smoldering ash.

Needless to say, the royal guard was on the scene in seconds. It wasn’t long before they were pointed towards the two culprits.

“Stop right there, criminal scum! Nopony breaks the law on my watch,” an earth pony guard stated as he pointed his hoof at the two fillies. On either side, two other guards came forward, a unicorn and a pegasus.

“Oh hello, officers. I think there has just been a misunderstanding,” Inkie attempted to calm things, though her deadpan voice didn’t have very much of a calming effect.

“You’ll never take us alive!” Blinkie screamed, not helping their position as she opened back up her saddle bag to pull out a comically large black bottle rocket.

“Then pay with your blood!” the earth pony guard raced forward towards the fillies, not wanting to give the one time to throw her neat little toy.

The charging guard was joined by his two comrades, the trio all charging at the outmatched mares to try to get the bomb away from them.

“Oh dear. Now see what you’ve done sister? Again,” Inkie remained completely calm, but reached for her own backpack.

Out from Inkie’s saddlebag came a long handled sledge hammer, looking as if it had barely fit inside of her bag, which Inkie casually slammed into the earth pony guard as he charged at Blinkie. Shivers ran through him as he was visibly jolted, all the links in his armor coming loose as his entire royal guard uniform cracked and fell off of him.

Blinkie, meanwhile, pointed the rocket towards the pegasus and fired, sending it screeching forth to hit the charging guard and send her flying backwards, barrel rolling into the sky in tow with the rocket. The guard realized her predicament easily enough, letting go of the rocket in time to survive, but the ensuing explosion then flung her towards the ground at incredible speed.

The unicorn guard thought that he was home free, his horn glowing as he prepared to take hold of Blinkie. Without warning, however, his concentration was broken as none other than a pink cupcake slammed into the side of his head, striking with such velocity that he was knocked sideways into the earth pony guard, both now losing their balance even more. Out from between the buildings leapt Pinkie, the Cupcake Cannon over one shoulder.

“You leave my sisters alone you meanie meanaroo meanieheads!” Pinkie shouted as she took up a stance between her sisters.

“Oh hello sister,” Inkie stated with dead calm, before her eyes traveled back to their opponents, “Oh look at that.”

Her hoof pointed to the cutie mark of the guard whose armor she had shattered. The guard looked back in utter humiliation. It wasn’t because he was naked now, of course, given that such was completely normal, but because his lack of armor revealed the smiley face flower on his flank. Humiliated that his un-studly cutie mark was visible, the earth guard immediately ran for cover. That was one down.

“Oh, hey sister! I heard you killed all your friends!” Blinkie sounded alarmingly okay with this, “Don’t worry though, we still love you. We came to rescue you!”

Behind Blinkie, the pegasus guard which she had so tactfully dismissed with her rocket slammed into the ground with a sickening crack. The guard tried to rise to her hooves, only to fall back down, panting as she curled up into a ball of pain. That was two down.

“I didn’t kill them sillies!” Pinkie smiled, surprisingly okay with the accusation when it came from a family member, “They were pony napped so now we have to save them!”

“See. I told you,” Inkie looked at Blinkie, but showed no emotion at the news, good or otherwise.

“Oh well, I guess that’s fine too. Sure, we can save them,” Blinkie nodded, agreeing with a sadistic grin.

The third guard however, hadn’t been brought down by the cupcake, however surprising it may have been for him. He was once again casting a spell, eyes glaring at the three ponies as his horn glowed.

Suddenly the guard felt power coursing through him, a jolt of energy striking him from behind and sending him blasting forward. The smoking guard made an arc over the three Pie sisters, slamming into the damaged statue and shattering what remained of it like a bowling ball scattering pins. Okay, all three down.

“Noooooo!” Trixie cackled, standing behind where the guard had been, “No pony can defeat the Pink One but the Great and Powerful Trixie! It is Trixie’s destiny to defeat the defeater of the Twilight Sparkle!”

On the other side of the trio, there was a gust of wind as another large object angrily stuck the ground. That object was none other than Gilda, still carrying the saddle bags that she had snatched from the guards earlier, now on her back. She had been about to look at the contents when she had spotted the explosive battle from the town square.

“Got’cha dweeb!” Gilda spat out, furiously, “Now tell me where Dash is before I bite your stupid pink head off!”

“What is going on?!” a third voice boomed over them, reverberating with authority. The next impact of hooves against ground trembled the entire square as the majestic Celestia landed between the group and the still burning balloon, “What is the meaning of this, Pinkie Pie? What have you done?” it was rare to hear such angry words coming from Celestia, but the evidence certainly hadn’t pointed in Pinkie’s favor until now and this debacle didn’t help.

"I brought you a letterrrr!" a rather cutsie voice rang out, completely out of feel with the rest of the arrivals. Ditzy Doo landed on the fourth side to complete the set, but obviously wasn't there to fight. She seemed to just be waving a letter around in her mouth.

“Wow Pinkie,” Inkie turned calmly, staring first at Trixie, then over to Gilda, then upwards to Celestia. Then, yes, towards the wall-eyed Ditzy. “You really got some heavy hitters after you. I suppose we should be proud of you, even if we’re probably all about to die. Oh well. It was nice seeing you again.”

“Wait! I can fix this!” Blinkie turned back to her saddle, digging through it for something in particular, tossing out several round bombs into the immediate area to get them out of the way. The bombs bounced to the ground, moving around Celestia’s hooves and then rolling to settle near the wrecked balloon behind her.

“Noooo!” Trixie bravely stepped between Celestia and the trio of earth ponies, “The Great and Powerful Trixie has things well in hoof! Her Majesty has no need to dirty her royal hooves with such low lives!”

“Back off! I don’t care if you’re Queen of the Lamos!” Gilda was less brave and more completely irrational. She wasn’t about to let Celestia carry Pinkie off to jail, far out of Gilda’s reach. She wanted revenge on the pony and wasn’t about to let any pony, royalty or no, stand in her way.

"Isn't anypony going to take this letter?" Ditzy asked, waving the letter at the pie sisters, "I need to get back home in time to give Dinky her afternoon muffin!" She still didn’t seem worried about the situation at hand.

The one thing Celestia couldn’t have expected was to actually be attacked by normal citizens. This caught her completely off guard, having never happened before during her rule. She had actually expected all present to gracefully bow or act intimidated before handing themselves over. That’s what they had done every other time this had happened, after all. That said, Celestia wasn’t exactly at full power, fully intending to pull her punches even if she had to fight. She was intentionally repressing her power to prevent harm to others.

The irrational Gilda took off with a screech, looping through the sky before slamming back down onto Celestia from above, impacting her with her full weight in an attempt to knock her off balance. Gilda’s intention was to then snatch Pinkie Pie and fly off, but that’s not quite where things went from there.

The Pie sisters had to make a quick decision at that point; namely who to protect Pinkie from first. On one hand, they had every indication from Pinkie's letters home that Trixie and Gilda were both surprisingly incompetent. On the other hand, they had Celestia, who might banish Pinkie into a celestial body or garden statue if she were angry enough, and she certainly seemed furious. In their minds, flawed as they might be, it was fairly obvious who here was the biggest threat.

“You’ll have to go through me to hurt Pinkie,” the heroic nature of Inkie’s statement was lost due to her bland voice, but all the same she charged forward, slamming her hammer down upon Celestia’s head, vibrations shaking through her as her crown and neckpiece shattered to the ground, her horn visibly vibrating from the impact.

“Hey Pinkie look! A letter!” Ditzy didn’t give up, waving the letter directly in Pinkie’s face, speaking as if she expected Pinkie to be immediately excited at getting one.

“Not now Derpy!” Pinkie pushed Ditzy away, who immediately looked far more devastated than the refusal really warranted.

Pinkie was more concerned with the real problem, calling out to the others, “Wait! Don’t fight her! Wait no I surrender!” She was terrified that her friends, and all of these were her friends since it was very hard to become Pinkie’s enemy, would bite off a great deal more than they could chew.

Blinkie, for her part, wasn’t listening. “Oh well this will have to do!” she grinned as she pulled another large charge of dynamite from her saddle bag, lighting it while Gilda and Inkie were distracting Celestia, then leaping forward to stuff it into Celestia’s mouth as it hung open from the impact against her head.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie is not certain that this is a good idea!” even Trixie’s eyes widened at the mad attempts to protect or acquire Pinkie, but she had to admit to herself that she too did not wish for Pinkie to be taken away by the likely merciful Celestia. More importantly, that lit stick of dynamite was a lot closer than Trixie was comfortable with, “Very well! Prepare for Trixie’s finest feat yet!”

With that, Trixie’s horn glowed, flames leaping from the ground around her as she charged up her full strength, fore-hoofs faced forward as a blast slammed into Celestia’s chest and sent the Princess skidding backwards away from the others, still gagging on the lit stick of dynamite, landing with the other explosives Blinkie had thrown onto the ground around her.

The Princess landed upon her bottom some ten feet away, visibly dizzy, not even looking certain of what the object was that was sticking in her mouth. A few seconds of silence passed as all the members of the group were stunned at how effective their collective strategies had been against the unsuspecting royalty. It took them a while to realize how close they were to a potential explosion.

The group dived for cover, Ditzy dragged along with them in the fleeing mass. An explosion range out that far outmatched the previous ones. Dust and wind blew through the square, a crater forming where Celestia stood, energy waves tearing into the buildings around them as her body reacted to the incredible force trying to tear her apart.

Celestia could have put up a much better defense, all in all, but her mind was elsewhere. Rather than worry about damage to herself, it raced to the fate of the other ponies in the square. Both fore-hooves slammed into the ground again, driving shivers through the ground and causing walls of earth to rise up and shield the two guard ponies, who were still unconscious from the fighting, from the blast.

At the same time, her mind reached forward, giving a shove of energy to push the group that had just been fighting her into the alleyway where Pinkie had so recently been hiding, another shard of earth flying up to block off the entrance to it and protect them. Other ponies in the vicinity were lifted, shoved away, or shielded from the explosion before Celestia even thought to protect herself.

The group felt the ripple of energy shove them into the alleyway, seconds ahead of the explosion, the shard of dirt shielding them just enough to deflect the worst of the blast upwards above them in a brilliant flash of light, causing the buildings on either side to crack from the strain.

“Huh. I expected that fight to not last that long,” Inkie calmly stated as she moved herself in front of the others to protect them from what little debris made it through Celestia’s barrier, “Also: I expected us to be the ones exploding at the end.”

"You ponies aren’t being very nice," Ditzy commented, still holding the letter in her mouth, "Actually you're being pretty rude."

“Are you all crazy!?” that was quite a statement coming from Pinkie, though she had to strain to not admit how fun flying through the air like that was.

“That did go a lot better than I expe- hey wait!” Gilda spoke, but then remembered what her purpose was and immediately tackled Pinkie over onto the ground. She pinned the pony and raised one fore-claw up as if to strike.

“The Great and Powerful Trixie suspects that we are seconds from being located on a lunar surface,” Trixie peered through the dust, trying to see, but then perked her ears up at the sound of Gilda, turning to her and hoof-pointing, “Noooo! The Cat-Butted One cannot defeat the Pink One! You are as doooomed as you are foalish!”

Ditzy sighed sadly, sitting on her haunches and seeming depressed that no one would take her letter, or pay any real attention to her for that matter. It wasn't easy being a background pony.

“No way. No one could survive that!” Blinkie grinned, but then paused, “All the same shouldn’t we all get out of here? I’m pretty sure every guard in town is headed this direction, and I’d really rather not be seen at the site of a royal assassination.”

Though guards seemed to be the least of their worries as the jolts of energy that streamed from the blast crater and were not lessening. They showered outwards and caused nearby buildings to creak and crack under pressure, and the alleyway they were in was a dead end.

“All gather around the Great and Powerful Trixie and lay your hooves upon her!” Trixie held up her own fore-hooves.

“This is no time for kinky pony rituals!” barked out Gilda, fist paused as she had apparently thought better of assaulting Pinkie at this exact moment.

“I think she is probably going to try to teleport us, if I had to guess,” Inkie calmly stated as the heated air fluttered her coat and mane about. Somehow said mane was still remaining relatively straight.

“All at once? Is that possible?” Blinkie reached out to take hold of the blue unicorn, all the same.

Every other pony followed Blinkie’s lead, moving to hug against Trixie. Even Gilda eventually decided to cooperate, hugging arms and wings about the group. It looked like it was particularly embarrassing for her to do so.

"Yay! Group hug time!" Ditzy smiled, appearing to have relatively little clue as to what was going on as she joined in.

“Nothing is impossible for the Great and Powerful Trixie, who bested Her Majesty on completely even terms with no help whatsoever!” Trixie cheered herself on; the events of minutes earlier were already morphing inside her head. “Watch in AWE as the Great and Powerful Trixie uses the very power of an exploding goddess to open a rift in the very fabric of time and space!”

"Yay time and space!" cheered Ditzy, as if entirely used to this sort of thing.

“Is that safe?” Inkie calmly asked, “And won’t it make Celestia even angrier when she does come to?

“Trixie is fairly certain,” Trixie responded in an equally calm voice, but didn’t specify if her words referred to one or both of Inkie’s questions.

The force of the spell slammed outwards, tearing into the buildings on either side. Bricks and wood crumbled under the force of the magic, and each of them suddenly felt as if they were about to be torn limb from limb by the impact. Just when it felt like this was going to be a lot more lethal than Trixie promised, another wave of energy hit them, similar to the one that had shoved them into the alleyway to begin with. In a sharp flash of light, the group disappeared into a swirling blue vortex, the debris and walls around them imploding suddenly inward to fill the space the group had occupied moments before.