• Published 19th Jan 2012
  • 16,987 Views, 1,496 Comments

Sweetie's Mansion - Moon Shooter

A My Little Pony/Luigi's Mansion Crossover

  • ...

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Chapter 4- The Real Nightmare Begins[REBOOT]

"No...NO! Get away from me! Go away!"

Sweetie screamed this as she ran through the forest. Her voice cracked as she strained her vocal chords to call for someone to save her. She wasn't sure how, but she was back in the darkness again, trying to escape from the laughing monster in the wood. Just like before, no matter how fast she ran, the laughter seemed to be faster. Just like before, as the laughter got closer and louder, Sweetie Belle felt colder and weaker. The entire scenario felt so real, so experienced, she wondered if this was actually happening, and her finding the haven in the mansion was the dream.

Sweetie saw the opening to the forest.

"The mansion! I'll be saved!" Dream or not, Sweetie believed that beyond that opening was the mansion. There she would be saved by just making it through the gate. She wasted no time in bolting through it. This time, she found herself not in front of the mansion this time, but in a clearing, with a campfire set up in the center. Evenly seated around the campfire were six mares, two fillies, and a baby dragon. It was her friends. Sweetie immediately identified Rarity by her white coat and purple mane.

"Rarity!" Sweetie called, as she entered the small campsite. Sweetie embraced her sister, burying her nose in Rarity's mane. "Sis! I thought I'd never see you again! I-I was so scared that I-!"

"Relax Sweetie Belle. You're safe here. Just relax. You're safe. Relax-" Rarity continued to repeat, as she wrapped her fore legs around her, stroking the filly. Sweetie found it odd the way she spoke in such a mono toned voice. At first, Sweetie didn't care what Rarity sounded like, but only that she was there. She felt just a little safer with the thought that her friends, especially her big sister, were there to protect her. The relief however was short lived when she heard something else. A new laughter. This laughter didn't come from the woods however, but within the circle of mares around the fire.

Sweetie turned her head out of Rarity's mane to confirm who she couldn't believe it was. Applebloom was looking at her, laughing, with a sick, twisted grin on her face. Her leg was extended toward her, her hoof pointing at Sweetie's face as though she were laughing at something hilarious sitting in between her eyes. She almost didn't even look like Applebloom anymore, with that toothy grin spread across her face.

"W-what are you-?" Sweetie was about to ask Applebloom, but then Scootaloo then joined in the laughter, and following close behind her, Spike. They both had the same grins on their face.

"S-stop..." Sweetie said, but her friends only got louder. Then, Applejack started to laugh and grin at Sweetie Belle. Then Rainbow Dash... then Fluttershy... Pinkie Pie, and finally Twilight Sparkle.

"Sis, please! Make them stop! Make-" Sweetie looked up to see her sister grinning as well. Rarity laughed, and was no longer hugging the filly, but holding her in place, as she struggled to get free.

"You're not my sister...! Let me go! Hey! Let me go!" Sweetie commanded. Her (sister?) only got louder in her laugh.

"It's fine sister! Why are you trying to get away? Why won't you let me love you?!" She said as she laughed. "It's fine! Relax! IT'S FINE! RELAX!" Their laughing had begun to gain in pitch, and was soon on the same level as the monster in the woods.

Sweetie managed to break free of her sister's grip, but immediately felt colder, despite her close distance to the fire. She backed away from her so called friends, into the trees. As she did, her flank hit something. Not a tree, not a bush. It felt like a pony- no the feathers of a griffon- no, the scales of a dragon- no. What was she touching? It wasn't normal. It was strange. It was deathly cold...

Before Sweetie had a chance to turn around and identify the monster, it grabbed her and lifted her by the waist. It lifted her up into the air, and then threw her her back down. However, she didn't feel any pain from the fall.

Instead, when she got up, she felt a biting cold cover her waist. When she looked down at the area the thing picked her up from, she saw her white coat had begun to turn dark grey. She felt the nerves in her body scream in agony as they died, unable to survive the cold. The grayness and coldness was spreading through her body. Once it reached her hind legs, which she collapsed on. It then it went to her upper body, then her forelegs, which she collapsed on next. Sweetie lied helplessly on the ground, her hooves in front of her face, and unresponsive. She tried to scream, but no sounds came.

Her vision grayed along with the rest of her body. The last thing she saw was her hooves being stepped on by some "thing" she didn't have the strength to look up at. Her hooves shattered like ice under the pony's hoof... no... no, it wasn't a hoof anymore... it was changing into something else. She felt her grip on her life slipping away, and she accepted her grim fate, as she used her remaining strength to close her eyes for the last time.


[Ary Tgain?]

Tee hee!



Sweetie tossed and turned as she suffered though nightmare. She eventually, and thankfully felt herself wake up, as she was introduced to the back of her eyelids and the feeling of a blanket over her body. Though she woke up, she didn't want to wake up and therefore kept her eyes closed. She was still in that mode between consciousness and unconsciousness and still tired. She wanted to go back to sleep, and perhaps have a different dream. Possibly one that didn't involve her dying.

Sweetie felt a chill along her coat. Instinctively, she curled herself into the blanket more. That didn't do a thing. Sweetie started to shiver in her semi-consciousness. It was only getting colder as minutes rolled by. It was as if all her body heat was gone, and she was cold all of the way though.

--Just like the woods

--Just like the dream

--Just like the lonely hallway

--Only worse

The chill of the night turned from cold to freezing, as if it were a winter day. That freezing temperature turned into frostbite to the filly. It stung her, which convinced her to open her eyes to find the source of the cold. It couldn't have been an open window, it had to be something closer to her. When she opened her eyes, she wasn't staring into the darkness of the room, but something else. Sweetie wasn't sure whether or not it was a pony, but it certainly wasn't normal. It glowed green, much like the sludge Sweetie found on the plane. It's eyes were the same color as it's body, but it didn't have any pupils. It's eyes were dead, but it's face was very much alive as it grinned at her, much in the way her friends had in her nightmare.

Sweetie didn't have time to scream as the (pony?) thing put a hoof over her mouth before she could let out a peep. The thing laughed as it grabbed Sweetie by the neck with it's other hoof, lifting her into the air. It was impossibly strong, and despite, from what she could tell, it not having wings, it seemed to float up higher as it brought her above the bed. Though it was green like the pony's body, it wore a tuxedo from what Sweetie could tell. The first pony Sweetie could think of when she saw the suit was Spiffy, or at least one of the other butlers he'd mentioned. The strange thing however, was that it didn't have any hind legs, or flank to speak of. Instead was just a tail that funneled into nothing. Sweetie compared it to a tornado. Was this some kind of ghost?

The ghost pony used the hoof over her mouth to force it into Sweetie's throat. Sweetie struggled to free herself from the ghost's grip, but it was useless. Sweetie would have screamed again if she wasn't gagging on the pure subzero leg that was taking up most of her esophagus. She could barely breath, let alone make sound. After what felt like an eternity, as Sweetie felt herself ready to lose consciousness, she felt the ghost grab something within her. Oddly enough, Sweetie didn't feel like it's any of her internal organs. No, this was something else entirely. Something magical.

Sweetie felt weak and cold as the monster griped her with its freezing hooves. No, not just weak, she felt like she was dying as the ghost got a firmer grip of whatever essence it was trying to obtain. And she knew she would die if she lost the consciousness she was so desperately fighting for.

Before the ghostly monster could pulled out the thing it had grabbed a hold of, a miracle happened. A light shined on the ghost-


-causing it to scream in pain. The thing let go of Sweetie, dropping her back onto the bed, as it faded away into the darkness.

Sweetie didn't question where the light came from, what it just did to the specter, or who the pony in the shadows with the flashlight was. None of her senses were working, her mind wasn't functioning. There was nothing but fear as she automatically grabbed her saddlebags and galloped as fast as she could out of the bedroom. She ran down the hallway, trying to determine where to go in the darkness. Everything looked the same, from the pottery on stands in the hallway, to the various other paintings on the walls.


No, that was wrong, It was different. Very different from when she first walked through with Specter, but Sweetie couldn't put her hoof on what it was, nor did she feel inclined to wait around and ponder on it.

Through sheer luck, Sweetie managed to find the stairway. She ran down it, tripping over a step, and falling down the last few. Lightning flashed for a split second, followed by booming thunder, revealing the foyer. It wasn't a lengthy flash, but it was enough to confirm Sweetie's suspicions. The mansion had definitely changed since she first came in. From what she saw in that moment, everything had an abandoned look, rather the new one Sweetie had seen when Spiffy took her through the foyer. Sheets covered the fountains, statues, paintings, and any other furnishings in the room. Though one other odd change Sweetie noticed was that two spots on the wall with paintings were clear.

Though it didn't matter to the filly. All she wanted to do was get out of that mansion, and escape the thing that had tried to kill her. She didn't know what she'd do once she was outside, but surely her chances out there were better than in here. Sweetie charged for the door, and tried to ram it open. However there was a problem: it wouldn't. No matter how hard the filly pushed, kicked or yelled at the entrance to the mansion wouldn't budge.

"C'mon! Open!" Sweetie gave one final yell at the door, followed by one final assault. She rammed her small frame against the large door, with no better luck in opening it. "Dumb door!"

All she had felt was a pain in her upper body from the attempted forcing of the door. She collapsed on the floor, and started to cry, fearful for her life.

Sweetie's ears sharpened up as she heard the laughter again. As her body went cold again, she found herself too weak to get back up on all fours. Only her hind legs were responding correctly. Sweetie flipped herself over to turn herself around, to face the green thing (ghost?), following close behind her.

Sweetie used her hind legs to crawl away from the green thing as it grew closer to her. Sweetie backed herself against a wall, cornered and helpless.

"Help!" Sweetie tried to yell, however, her dry throat kept her from her plea being very loud. "Help!" She tried again. "Someone! P-please! NO!"

The ghost pony was barely a foot from her face by now. It grinned at her, desiring something from her.

The thing inside her.

It wanted it.

She would die without it.

But it wanted it.

Sweetie shut her eyes tight. She was going to die here. It would get what it was looking for and she would die once it did.

No. That was wrong. Something horrible would happen, but she wouldn't just die. Something would happen that would make her wish she was dead. However, instead of her own death scream, she heard a small-


-sound. The sound that reminded her of something metal.

Sweetie opened one eye to see the ghost pony wasn't grinning anymore, but it had its own terrified look on its face. Shining on her and the ghost was the light of some pony’s flashlight. The next thing Sweetie heard was the last thing she expected to hear. It was the sound of a vacuum cleaner.

The ghost was pulled away from Sweetie as it screamed in terror. Sweetie, through the darkness saw another pony, this one actually looking normal rather than acting as their own personal night light. In her hooves she held something, Sweetie couldn't quite make out through the darkness. Is it the hose to some kind of vacuum cleaner? It would make sense considering what she was hearing.

Whatever it was, the ghost tried to fly away from it, but was unable to escape it's grasp. After moments, a trail of the ghost began to streak back to the device the pony was holding. They let out one final wail before getting sucked into the device. Once the ghost pony was gone, the unidentified pony collapsed onto the ground, and stopped moving.

Sweetie's heart raced in her chest, having difficulty processing what just happened. A pony just saved her from a ghost thing in a mansion she was somehow trapped in, with a portable vacuum no less. If that pony didn't come, her fate would have been sealed.

As minutes passed Sweetie remained pressed against the wall, starring at the pony, still lying motionless on the floor. Slowly, Sweetie regained her mind, and started to calm down. Sweetie, although the pony just saved her, wasn't ready to approach the stranger. Instead, once Sweetie regained control over her fore and hind legs, she reached into her saddlebags, to pull out her flashlight. She turned it on, and shined it on the pony.

Sweetie's nearly dropped her flashlight when she saw who it is. Her lavender coat, her purple mane with the maroon stripe going through it, her star like purple cutie mark, faded, but clear as day. There was no doubt in Sweetie's mind that she had just been saved by none other than-

"T-Twilight?" Sweetie said, shocked. What was she doing here? Didn't Specter say she was headed home with the rest of her friends?

Twilight mane, tail and coat was muted from it's original. Her body was shrived and frail. She looked almost as old as Granny Smith. Maybe even older. In her mouth was the flashlight, now turned off. In her right was a vacuum hose that went around to her back. Strapped to her back by some saddlebags was a weird looking grey box, with a cylinder sticking out, above 6 lights. One of the lights glowed green, and the others, red.

Sweetie shakily detached herself from the wall, and proceeded cautiously to the mare. Sweetie stood over her, horrified at what she saw. She didn't move. Was she dead?

Sweetie shined her light close to Twilight's face, looking for some sign of life. Just as she noticed her chest was ever so slightly going up and down, Twilight's eyes snapped open, revealing her dark purple eyes, pupils contracted. Sweetie jumped back, as Twilight struggled back onto all fours, once she did, her eyes snapped on Sweetie, along with her her flashlight and vacuum hose to point at the filly.

"Wait! Wait! Twilight!" Sweetie said, turning off her own flashlight so Twilight could get a better look at her. "It's me! Sweetie!"

She stared at her for a moment before her eyes softened. "...S...Sweetie?" Twilight said. Her voice sounded as old and frail as her body, as if she were ready to drop dead right on the spot. "Who..."

"Twilight, it's me! Don't you remember?" Sweetie asked. Of course she remembered. She had to remember. But the mare just stared at her with a blank expression. "Sweetie Belle? Rarity's sister remember?"

"Sweetie... Belle... Rarity's... my friends... no..." Twilight lost control of her jaw as her flashlight fell out of her mouth. Oddly enough, she didn't seem to notice. Not shining the light directly on her, she looked like a silhouette shook her head as though trying to shake herself from a dream. She fell down again, trying to remain conscious. Sweetie rushed over to help the mare back up onto all four of her legs. As she did, Twilight coughed violently.

"Sweetie... you're Sweetie..." she mumbled.

"Yes..." Sweetie was at a loss for words. For a good few minutes, the two of them were complete strangers before Twilight could remember her face.

"It's... It's not safe here... we need to... that way..." Twilight said as she pointed her flashlight to the door on the right of the stairway. Sweetie nodded quietly. She allowed Twilight to lean on her as they moved through the door. Twilight pointed them through to dining hall and eventually into another room with a stairwell. They both headed down the stairwell, taking them down to another door. Twilight's horn glowed faintly, as the lock on the door releases.

This room led them into a new room. This new room was definitely a change from the rest of the current mansion, as it was actually decently lit. The room's walls were completely composed of metal. The walls hummed softly as if a small bee were behind each panel. The room was filled with mirrors of different frames, one of which, of a fountain around it. Sweetie couldn't help but be reminded of the fountain she first came in looking at in the foyer. Against one of the walls was a large network of devices, the one farthest to the left having a little hole about three inches in diameter.

Twilight collapsed onto the ground again, exhausted from the walk.

"Twilight?" Sweetie asked.

"Hold on Sweetie... just... give me a moment to... catch my breath..." Twilight said. She let out a weak laugh, and tried a faint smile, as if to calm Sweetie's nerves of the mare who looked as though she should be on her death bed. "I'm... not as energetic... as I used to be you know..."

"...what happened here?" Sweetie asked after a few minutes. "Where is every pony? I thought you headed home with Rarity and the others."

For the first time since she saw the mare, Twilight let out a single sarcastic laugh. "HA!" Twilight said, after which, having a coughing fit. The sudden burst of energy made Sweetie jump.


"Where did you get that idea?" she said sharply.

"Huh? Uh... Mr. Yield told me." Sweetie said.

She chuckled to herself. "Of course he did... He lied to you." Twilight said coldly. "He lied to all of us... it was a trap, and we ALL FELL FOR-" Twilight coughed again towards the ground. Her sudden outburst drove Sweetie silent. "Sorry. I didn't mean to yell like that... I... I just can't believe what happened..." Tears were running down Twilight's cheeks as she looked back at Sweetie. "I... I watched them Sweetie. I watched that monster... that ghost drag Spike away and I couldn't do anything. He tried to save them and I froze. I froze. And now... even with this thing, I'm not sure if I can do anything about it anymore..." She wiped them away.

"Twilight... where's my sis?" Sweetie asked. "Where is she? Twilight where-?"

"Dead." Twilight blurted out with gritted teeth.

The blunt word hit Sweetie like a train.










The two words didn't seem to work compute or compile in the her mind. It didn't seem real. As Twilight seemed busy in her sobs, not receiving an answer, Sweetie backed away from the mare. It took a moment in her depression for Twilight to realize what she'd just said to the filly. How it sounded.

"No... you're lying."

"Sweetie... wait, that's not-" Twilight said.

Tears for the third time that night, were running down the filly's cheeks. She covered her head and ears as if some unpleasant sound was driving her mad. "NO! RARITY IS NOT DEAD! SHE ISN'T DEAD! SHE ISN'T-"

"SWEETIE!" Twilight yelled, before letting out another coughing fit. Twilight forced herself to move over to the filly and embrace her. "I'm, sorry... I..."

There were soft sobs that came from under her. Twilight sighed, feeling as though she might regret saying what she was preparing to say. "W... what I said was wrong."

Sweetie looked up at Twilight.

She paused for a moment before nodding. "Yeah... that came out wrong. Your sister isn't dead."

"What?" Sweetie said, wiping her tears away. "She... she's not? Then why did you say she was?"

"Well... yes, and no." She cleared her throat. "Honestly I don't know what happened to her specifically, but right now, all I can do is assume the worst for all of them. And that's... that's death."

Sweetie continued to stare at her. Trying to decipher how that was supposed to make her feel better.

Twilight continued. "But death works differently here because... technically, we're all dead... Rarity, Pinkie, Rainbow, Applejack, Fluttershy... and I, in a sense. Anyone unlucky enough to find their way in this place, dead... but... but we're not at the same time. At the same time alive."

"Huh?" Sweetie asked confusedly. "I-I don't get it."

Twilight sighed. "I really wish I could explain all of this to you... but there really isn't much time." Twilight got up, shakily on all fours. "I need to head back out there, and try to save at least one of them. If I'm suffering in half-life, then I can't imagine what it must be like to be like one of those ghosts."

Like one of those ghosts

Did that mean that her friends could be-?

"Save? You mean, everyone who came here is in danger?" Sweetie asked.

"Danger?" Twilight looked at Sweetie and her dumb question. "Sweetie... you've seen the ghosts, haven't you?"

Sweetie nodded.

"Then you know?"

"I... you're not saying that they're like those things right? That's-"

"Exactly what I mean." Twilight finished.

"What?!" Sweetie said shocked. "How?"

"Those things, those... ghosts is probably the best thing to call them right now, they... they're spirits, visible spirits. Abstract magical energy composed of the mind and memories of the pony drenched in concrete magic to give them form and pseudo tangibility. Essentially giving spirits new bodies that we can see and can interact in this world... and at the same time ignore some of it's properties. I've seen them move through walls for example and disappear at will..." Twilight explained. "They appear... to have the power to take out the spirits of ponies, and turn them into ghosts like them... Drench them with their own surplus supply of magic being constantly rejuvinated by the powerhouse the spirit is. They're mindless though. They're all controlled by that pony who calls himself 'Specter Yield'... we were so foolish... so stupid... then again, Specter managed to fool Celestia and Luna as well..."

"Huh? You mean the princesses came too?" Sweetie asked.

"Unfortunately... anyone who met Specter the first day he visited Ponyville was invited. Mainly the six of us." Twilight sighed, knowing Sweetie would inevitably ask for more information. She decided to keep going. "Even Spike got caught up in this mess." Twilight looked down at the tiled floor, closing her eyes recalling the day's events. She was silent for a good while, trying to gather all of her thoughts before she finally spoke.

"We were all invited to a housewarming party. I'd think Rarity's told you that much already. When we arrived here, besides the aged mansion, it was pretty normal. Nothing out of the ordinary on the outside. Even though there was that horrible chill that kept coming and going throughout our visit. Pinkie was jittery the entire party. Heck, even Fluttershy was restless, as if we all knew something was wrong... but we ignored that gut feeling, accepting explanations to sate our suspicions. That Fluttershy was just off put by the size, Pinkie was just hyped up on sugar, and I was just feeling-"

"A draft?" Sweetie guessed remembering she thought of the same thing earlier when Spiffy left her alone.

Twilight nodded and continued. "Heh... worst part is had every opportunity to leave. The doors were open the whole time actually. But... we stayed past nightfall. We got distracted trying to figure out more about the folk from Stabletown... and Specter. Heck, not one of us cared when the princesses disappeared. Actually... it's funny. Like a dream, we knew they weren't there, but at the same time we were sure they were. It was like trying to become conscious in a dream the longer we stayed in that mansion. It was wrong the princesses would disappear without saying a..."

Twilight bit down on her lip hard. She was obviously beating herself up for how weak minded she acted during that party.

"I-it's okay Twi." Sweetie tried.

A shudder to show how hard she was resisting breaking down again as she took a deep breath and continued on. "No one noticed until late. The sun was down, and I swear someone was trying to say that they were called off on 'celestial business', but that still made no sense because the moon wasn't rising. I knew. I knew something was off so I asked him. I asked Specter what was going on. I asked... him. I don't know why, but I felt like he knew. Maybe it was because I thought he was the one who spoke to the princesses last. Or maybe in the back of my head I... I knew. He answered me himself my flaw. 'You do ask an unhealthy number of questions'. I wish I didn't... not yet, so maybe there was a chance to escape. So he wouldn't attack so soon. Sweetie it's my fault they're dead now. My fault they're..."

She began sobbing again. Sweetie wasn't sure how to respond, or console the mare any further, so she asked. "...what happened next?"

"Laughs." her voice sounded dryer than ever when she uttered the word. "All of the party guests were laughing. And rotting. Sweetie, they weren't rotting before, but they were then. The place smelled horrible. Everything. Everything was changing. And then... they came. Those zombie like... hyenas spat out ghosts, ghosts came out of the walls, out of the ceilings, out of... any of the seven of us who weren't close to a door that wasn't the entrance like... like Applejack, or Fluttershy didn't stand a chance. I saw them reach into their throats and..." another whimper. "... I don't know what happened to the others, but Spike and I were the only ones who came here. That's why I'm sure they were caught."

Another silence. "Twilight... y-you said Spike was with you, where is he now?" She didn't know why she asked that. She knew the answer, but didn't want to hear it. Why the heck did she ask?

"After we found this place!" Her voice was louder now, as though she were scolding herself. "We... both found this room, and figured out it had some... property that kept ghosts out, as long as it's humming. When we knew this place was safe, we... decided we had to try and save them. Regroup, and plan our next move with some degree of rationality. At the time we wanted to believe that the others... Rarity, Rainbow, Pinkie, that they all got away, and were running for their lives somewhere else in this mansion. And that maybe they needed our help. We went back out and looked around." she swallowed. "It was okay for a little while. Not much came after us besides the stray ghost which we hid from we... didn't know that light could hurt them yet, but we found out because..." she closed her eyes. "Sweetie, I'm sorry."

"Twilight, it's-"

"Scootaloo was in an open room." Twilight cut her off.


Was it so outlandish to imagine her and Applebloom here. It certainly was a likely truth. A truth she should have realized the moment she realized the danger in this mansion. The real reason Spiffy could describe his friends so well.

"Was she-"

"She was alive but... She was still. Very still. Like she was petrified, but... not. In a room with this... thing. This device." Twilight pointed to her back, without looking. "Spike went to check on her while I went to get it. When I got it I... I don't remember what happened next. Just that there was a lot of laughing, and he was screaming something. Next thing I knew, I was running. I had a flashlight, this vaccum and... Spike was gone..."

Looking closer, Sweetie could tell that the flashlight's handle was similar, if not exactly like Scootaloo's. It's handle was decorated with colored rubber bands as if to simulate a rainbow. If Scootaloo had truly attacked the both of them, or was somehow in cahoots with the ghosts-

What happened to you Scoots?

And even more, where was Applebloom? Sweetie didn't want to think about what had become of either of their friends.

"It's... it's okay Twilight. I-if you don't remember, maybe he got away! And Scootaloo too... If you don't remember what happened to him."

Another silence.

"But..." she seemed to be calming down as her voice wavered less as she spoke. Talking about what happened must have been healthy for her, even if it was difficult. Like therapy. "When I was running, I got caught by one. When I was almost back here, one tackled me and lifted me in the air. My magic wasn't working when it was inside me, like a plug was blocking the flow... so I couldn't cast a spell to free myself. But at the last minute, when I shined the light on it, it wailed and disappeared." Twilight was holding onto the flashlight as if it were a talisman. "...but there was a price. It... ripped on my spirit. Perhaps your spirit is more malable, or maybe you were just lucky when I found you, but the ghost ripped apart of me out. I don't know what it did, but in turn, in exchange for maintaining my body, it began aging rapidly. Especially when I used magic. If I don't figure out how to regain my other half soon, I'll probably be dust before tomorrow morning if I use too much more... and that's if I'm lucky."

"Oh..." So much bad news hitting her at once, all she can say is "oh" with a dry throat. Her friends had become some otherworldly entity, something horrible might have of her fellow crusaders (or at least Scootaloo), and now Twilight's life span was now limited to a half a day at maximum. As cliche as it sounded, the phrase "what else could go wrong" seemed oddly foreboding as she was afraid to find out the answer to that question.

"When I returned here, I found a book. It wasn't here before, but... it discussed how this machine could catch ghosts. And... since I was likely the only one left alive, after doing everything to rejuvenate myself ready to go back out and search for my friends." Twilight opened her eyes again and looked at Sweetie. "Eventually I found you by chance. I didn't remember who you were, but if you were living, there was no chance I'd let you become one of them."

"I... see." Sweetie could fill in the blanks from there. "Twilight... I'm sorry." Sweetie tried to give her condolences to the mare.

She shook her head. "Crying over it won't save anyone. I did something horrible. I let my fear get the better of me, but this..." she showed the box on her back a little more enthusiastically. "This device, after a little examination has the ability to attract magic. But not just concrete magic, but abstract magic as well. Therefore, it can trap spirits within it. It's really is an amazing thing."

"But... It's a vacuum cleaner." Sweetie commented.

"Well... yes, it is fashioned off of a few of its components, but a vacuum, no, a normal magic cleaning could never trap spirit entities and magic like this. Whoever invented this device was a genius. Just as the book says, if the spirit is weak, the device can encase it. It's amazingly compact too." Twilight seemed much more lively now. Her depression from before vanished and her eyes filled with hope. "And guess what? This device... I'll call it the 'GCD' for Ghost Capturing Device... well, It's better if I show you..."

Twilight walked over to the machine and put the nozzle end of the GCD into the hole in the machine.

"Processing..." the machine said in a computerized voice.

The machine reacted to the GCD by making the cylinder turn on the box. Then, something moved through the hose of the GCD into the machine, it's one green light going red, like the others. The entity from inside of the hose entered the first, box like part of the machine. It vibrated violently before moving the entity from the GCD into the next part of the machine, which looked a little like a dryer, with a window on the front. Inside, Sweetie could see a glowing green ball, beginning to get color to it, aside from the green. The ball was then flattened within the dryer like part of the machine. Finally, it moved to the third and final segment of the machine, where it was loudly slammed onto some kind of piece of paper... it looked like canvas, and it was given a frame. All of the items were then spit out of the machine from that part, onto the tile floor, into a portrait, much like the ones Sweetie saw around the mansion.

Sweetie went over to examine it herself, and was somewhere between awed and shocked to see the pony that nearly stole her spirit in the bedroom. However, in the portrait, they didn't look dead anymore. Instead, it looked very much alive. His eyes were still green, however, now looked much less dead with actual pupils. It's coat was no longer a glowing green, but a light grey, his mane orange. He still wore a tuxedo, this time, not blending in with the rest of his body.

"What did you do?" Sweetie asked.

"I put his spirit... into that painting." Twilight explained. "The painting almost acts like a body for him."

"But... if he's just trapped in a painting now... then how does that help us" Sweetie asked.

"As you're may have figured, this canvas isn't normal canvas. It's actually a hybrid of something known as 'dust parchment'."

"Dust parchment?"

"Yes. Dust parchment is commonly used for summoning spells of small creatures and brings them to life for varying times. The stronger the parchment, the larger and more complex the creature you can summon. I... don't know what type this is, but I do feel it's strength."

"You do?"

Twilight smiled warmly. "I suppose you haven't been taught to detect magical energy as well as I can. But yes, it is powerful. And in theory, I can actually, if I can decipher what type of spell to use, charge it to summon the spirit in the painting into a living form."

Sweetie blinked. "I don't get it."

Twilight sighed. "The point I'm trying to make is... that If I can manage to capture my ghostly friends, and put them through this machine, I might be able to save them. Giving them a new body and in turn releasing them from Specter's control. Assuming he only has control of the spirits of those who've died."

"You mean, by capturing them... you can save them?" Sweetie confirmed. All the technical stuff aside, that's all she needed to hear. "That's great!"

"Now you see why I'm so excited about this." Twilight smiled.

"...so, do you have any idea where to look?" Sweetie asked.

Twilight's smile faded. "Well... I haven't exactly found them yet. Or any clues either." Twilight said. "Something tells me they're hiding from me now that I have this device. Either that, or my 'half life' isn't that appealing to the dead."

Not too easy to look at physically either Sweetie thought.

"...but I'll find them, don't you worry your little head." Twilight smiled, trying to keep the little spirit she still had left, up. "It's all taken care of. Don't you worry."


A thought came to Sweetie's head as she came to a realization.


Things wouldn't be alright. Ten minutes ago, Twilight could barely stand on her own four hooves. She thought- no, she must have been deluding herself to believe she, in her current state, could fight anything.


She would die. She would probably die if she went out to fight those things on her own. Would Sweetie just let Twilight go out and kill herself?

O[She'll be fine. Perhaps Sweetie should have more faith in her. STAY BACK]

O[She'll die if she goes out. Sweetie couldn't forgive herself. TAKE HER PLACE]

Author's Note:

I'll give you a chicken if you can find the sexiest reference in here.
Also Dust Parchment

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