• Published 14th Sep 2011
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The Eternal Storm - TDarkchylde



The Nightmare returns, now using an Element Bearer as a host.

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Arising Hero

The Eternal Storm - Chapter 10 - Arising Hero

Nightmare Spectrum knew her moments were fleeting, so she was using the last of them to try to destroy as much of Equestria as possible. Between cranking the cloud machines beyond their maximum and using what magic she could channel, she was seeding the storms to devastating effect.

As if the constant rain and high winds weren't enough, giant hailstones and powerful lightning bolts were striking the larger cities. Buildings were being damaged. Some even caught fire from the lightning strikes, despite being saturated by the rain.

Time was running out. Every moment the Element Bearers didn't reach Nightmare Spectrum, part of Equestria was dying.

..:://=||=\\::..

As the hail began striking the Palace, the Royal Guards began to panic.

Celestia's head Guard began to rally the troops. "Ok, stallions! It's getting worse, and we haven't heard back from the Princesses yet. We must assume the worst."

"No!" Spike cried out. "We have a plan here, and we need to stick to it."

"But the Princesses may need us!" one of the junior guards shouted.

"We have to act! Our enemy may have neutralized the Princesses again!"

"The Palace can't take much more of these storms!"

The panic was growing.

"I've heard enough. We're going to Cloudsdayle," the head guard said.

"No. You're. NOT!" Spike growled. "What are your orders, Guard?"

The head guard hesitated.

"Orders!" Spike repeated sternly.

"We're to wait until either Princess Celestia or Luna send word via you to fly in," the head guard grudgingly replied.

"I'm glad you can hear," Spike said, being as threatening as he possibly could. "Look, I'm worried about them too, but I trust the Princesses, and I trust Twilight Sparkle and her friends. If you were needed, one of the Princesses would send me word, even with her dying breath. You need to have faith in them."

Those words shook the Head Guard. "Stand down, stallions... we'll wait."

"But..." one of the junior guards tried to protest.

"We wait," he reiterated. "As much as I don't like being in this situation, I will trust the Princesses' judgment... and so will you. Understood?"

There was nothing but silence from the junior guard.

"Do I make myself clear, stallions?" the Head Guard reiterated.

"Yes, Sir!" they replied in unison.

..:://=||=\\::..

Twilight Sparkle and her friends finally scaled the long flight of stairs, and were walking down the hallway to the Severe Storm Room. "This is it, girls," she said. "We all know the plan. We all know what we have to do. If any of you are having doubts, tell me now."

None of the others spoke up.

"I'll take that as a no," Twilight said as she was the first to reach the door. Using her magic, she made short work of the lock. She sighed deeply. "Let's finish this..."

Applejack kicked open the heavy doors. The others filed in after her.

"Greetings, little ponies. Welcome to your grave," Nightmare Spectrum said as she stood high over the main cloud machine. "I would ask if you wanted to chat, but I'm afraid we simply don't have the time."

"Enough foolin' around!" Applejack shouted. "You're done for!"

"Yes... yes, perhaps I am," Nightmare Spectrum conceded. "I'm already doomed. Your friend is getting closer and closer to taking control of this body. I'm almost tempted to let her have it."

"Something isn't right," Pinkie Pie said as her body began to twitch uncontrollably. "She's hiding something!"

"My, aren't you the perceptive one, Pinkie," Spectrum said sarcastically. "You're right, of course. I'm very tempted to let Dash have this body back, but it doesn't matter anyway. You're too late."

"Too late?" Scootaloo asked.

"Indeed. Even if you banish me here and now, you're all going to die in twenty minutes anyway," Spectrum said sadly as she revealed her trump card. "This place is rigged to overload, whether or not you defeat me. When it does, Cloudsdayle will be consumed by a flash of heat that will evaporate it entirely. Of course, you won't even survive long enough to begin to plummet to the ground below..."

That fact caught the girls off guard. "You're insane," Twilight Sparkle said softly. She quickly tried to cast her thought projection spell, but to no avail. "Oh no... I can't warn the Princesses..."

Nightmare Spectrum laughed. "No cavalry coming in to save the day, no time to escape. So sorry."

Overhead, Princess Luna was hiding in the shadows and writing out a letter to Spike...

..:://=||=\\::..

Spike was pacing in the palace when he felt his stomach become upset. He belched, and out popped a letter from Princess Luna.

"Are those our orders?" the Head Guard asked.

Spike looked over the letter quickly. "Yes and no..." he said as he showed it to the Head Guard.

To our loyal Guards,

It is with the deepest regret that I must order you to stay away from Cloudsdayle at all costs. The Nightmare Spectrum issue is being resolved as I write this, but this is not a time to celebrate. In a very short time, the city will be obliterated by a blast of heat that will evaporate its cloud structures and incinerate all life in the city. We will attempt to evacuate with the Element Bearers in our care.

Please understand this decision. We do not make it lightly. Do not risk your lives. There is simply not enough time.

Signed,

Princess Luna

The Head Guard looked down for a moment before looking back to his team. "We... we have new orders. Prepare to receive wounded!" he shouted.

The gravity of the Head Guard's tone didn't escape his team. "Sir, yes Sir!" they all replied as they began acting on those orders.

..:://=||=\\::..

Nightmare Spectrum laughed. "Was it worth it, little ponies? Was one single abandoned friend worth it?" she taunted.

Twilight simply stared as she summoned the Elements. "It always is," she said as she began to channel their power. "If you knew anything about friendship, you'd know that even through misunderstandings, it survives!"

A glow began to envelop the six Element Bearers. They all started to float in the air.

Then the unexpected happened. Another glow came from within Nightmare Spectrum herself.

"I knew I could count on you guys!" Dash's voice shouted into their thoughts. "I never should have doubted that you'd be there for me in the end..."

The knowledge that their friend was still alive inside Nightmare Spectrum, still fighting... it ramped the power of the banishment spell to a level never seen before.

"No... you're not supposed to defeat me..." Nightmare Spectrum said helplessly as the glow emanating from her body shaped itself into magical chains and anchored her to the floor.

"You were there for us, Rainbow Dash..." Scootaloo said softly as her eyes glowed with the pure energy of the Element of Loyalty.

"It's only fair that we return the favor in kind," Rarity said, her eyes glowing as the Element of Generosity.

"The kindest thing we can do is free you from your Nightmare," Fluttershy said softly as the Element of Kindness gave her all it had to offer.

"Through good times and bad, we'll always be there," Pinkie Pie said. "Though hopefully there's more good than bad."

"Ah'm sorry Ah was cross with you," Applejack said as the Element of Honesty fed its power into her. "Do you forgive me?"

"I already have," Dash said. "Now let's finish this creep!"

"For our friendship," Twilight Sparkle said softly as she opened her glowing eyes.

The Elements' power began to coalesce together. As it exploded outward towards Nightmare Spectrum, Dash's fighting spirit added a little something extra to the display - as a standing Sonic Rainboom exploded outward from the group as the rainbow beam fired.

Their beam struck true. Nightmare Spectrum screamed as she was enveloped by it. The impact blinded everyone in the room for a few seconds.

When sight returned to the girls, Rainbow Dash was laying where Nightmare Spectrum once stood. She was too exhausted to get up, but she was conscious.

As for The Nightmare, it was encapsulated in a telekinetic field being maintained by Princess Celestia. "Did we miss anything?" she asked.

"There's... still the matter of a bomb," Rainbow Dash weakly said.

Applejack ran over to the console as the other girls checked out their friend. With all the time Nightmare Spectrum had spent trying to intimidate and taunt the girls, there was only a minute left on the countdown. "Horseapples!" she cursed. "Ain't enough time to get out of here!"

Twilight Sparkle turned to the Princesses. "You need to get out of here fast," she pleaded. "Equestria needs you a lot more than it needs us. Go!"

"Pass...word..." Dash struggled to say before she passed out.

"Password?" Applejack said as she stared at the console. Sure enough, there was a small keypad made of clouds next to the countdown timer. "Ah bet Ah know what the password is, too." Luckily for her, the cloudwalking spell allowed her to use it.

She typed in "ABANDONED"

The countdown stopped with only thirty seconds left.

Fluttershy, Rarity and Scootaloo all fainted from the drama.

Celestia looked at Twilight Sparkle. "...What were you saying, my dear student? Surely it didn't sound like you were ordering us to leave, right?" she said as a trollish grin crept upon her face.

"I... that is, I wasn't... ohhhhhh..." Twilight said as she too passed out.

Applejack looked confused. "Ah ain't gonna pass out, if that's what y'all are thinkin'," she said.

Princess Luna laughed. "Surely not, but some rest would do us all some good anyway," she said.

Celestia also laughed for a moment. "Sister, would you mind bringing them to Canterlot? I'm sure the winds are dying down enough for you to get them there yourself."

"I can," Luna said as she began to levitate the exhausted Element Bearers together. "What will you be doing?"

Celestia looked over at the black mist she had trapped in her magical field. "I think I'll find someplace safe to put this," she said as she flew toward the Sun.

Epilogue

Things began to return to normal within a few weeks. Some of the smaller towns were still rebuilding, but Ponyville was slightly ahead of them. Ponies in those towns began to return to their homes to help out in the rebuilding efforts. Many ponies were injured in the storms, but amazingly nopony lost their life.

Aside from the Element Bearers, Scootaloo, the Princesses, the Mayors of Ponyville and Canterlot and the head of the factory in Cloudsdayle, nopony realized that Rainbow Dash was once the fiend known as Nightmare Spectrum - and even if they had, a Royal Decree was quickly put in place holding Dash blameless for the crimes of her Nightmare-twisted manifestation.

The remains of Nightmare Spectrum's armor were melted down into scrap and sent into the sun for good measure.

The Nightmare itself was also sent to the sun. It couldn't be destroyed even by the gaseous orb's intense heat, but it would take a long time for it to make its way back to Equestria to destroy more lives.

When Rainbow Dash was finally in good enough condition to leave the hospital, she was greeted by a special gift - the power of the combined Elements had healed her wings completely. She promised her friends she wouldn't try something as risky as stopping a hurricane on her own again.

Spike was named an honorary Royal Guard for his part in protecting them from racing headlong into potential annihilation.

Scootaloo rejoined the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle didn't believe her story at first, but after Rainbow Dash confirmed it, they vowed to keep it secret.

Pinkie Pie hosted a private party for her friends, the Crusaders and the Princesses. She is still receiving noise complaints from her neighbors.

Opalescence showed her appreciation for Rarity finally retrieving her by clawing her face.

Another couple of weeks passed, and Rainbow Dash rejoined the weather team. As she was clearing clouds, she noticed something strange.

One of them was moving on its own. It was made of cotton candy and it rained chocolate milk...

==THE END==