• Published 7th Mar 2013
  • 8,699 Views, 946 Comments

Master - NejinOniwa

While investigating a strange magical signal, the Element bearers (along with an unsuspecting Spike) are scattered throughout a strange world filled with even stranger creatures. The one who brought them there is very interested in catching them all.

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Chapter 1 - To the Winds

Chapter 1 – To the Winds

“Are you sure this is going to work?” Rainbow asked for what was probably the sixteenth time this morning – Twilight's mind had a tendency to try keeping count of these things even if she didn't tell it to.

She wasn't entirely sure about the number, but it didn't matter at this point. The message had gotten across. Rainbow doubted her, and if Rainbow was voicing her doubts, there was definitely one or two more of her friends who were keeping them quiet. That was bad. And just like everything that was bad, it had to be dealt with.

Heaving a long sigh, the Element of Magic started explaining to her friends why everything was going to be just fine, why they didn't need to worry, why the Thaumatron was absolutely perfectly safe to use, and why there wasn't anything special whatsoever about this strange magical signal that every unicorn in Equestria had been picking up for a week now.

Admittedly that last one was a bit hard even for her – especially seeing as the reason they were down here in the first place was that Celestia had assigned them to investigate the thing – but stars mark her, she did try.

After a long-winded description of their assignment – riddled with excessive arcane detail on purpose, to ensure her friends were bored instead of worried – she finally put her hooves to the levers of the device she had created for the purpose of this investigation. She couldn't use her horn for this; all of her magic would need to be focused on the spell inside the Thaumatron, and it would do her no good if she lost control of it mid-cast just because one of the levers were off.

Well, “no good” is probably a bit of an understatement, Twilight admitted to herself as she planted herself in the Thaumatron's seat, putting all the levers in place for the spell she was about to cast. Reaching inward for a moment, she found herself surprised over how much power she was about to wield. While it wasn't unheard of for unicorns to keep growing in strength until well up in their middle years, she hadn't really been keeping track of her own capacity lately – and as far as she could tell, it was almost double what it had been a year ago.

Twilight gulped, a sound that ironically spread through the library's quiet cellar clear enough for all of her friends to hear it. Definitely an understatement, Twilight concluded before gathering her considerable reserves of magic and starting up the device.

“The first thing we're going to do,” she explained to her friends as the Thaumatron started spinning up, “is probe the signal's nature. If it's using multiple types of magic – we know it's using unicorn magic, but we need to detect if there are any pegasus or earth elements in there as well – you four will be able to pick that up, and that will give me a reading through the device's sensors. Rainbow, Fluttershy, Applejack, Pinkie, take your positions on the Thaumograph.”

The designated spots on the floor, circles of metal inscribed with various runes, were quickly populated by four of her friends. A brief sense of relief instilled itself in Twilight's mind – perhaps she'd been more successful than she'd thought in allaying their doubts about her plan. That was quickly replaced by the ever growing concentration needed for the spellwork she was now doing, and it took serious effort for her to start speaking again.

“Rarity, you will be acting as receiver for the unicorn part of the signal. Since I'm powering it, I can't do it myself – and I can't really be in two places at once, either. Take your position on the Thaumograph, and focus on the signal as much as you can.” In the corner of her eye she saw Rarity flick her mane a bit before prancing into place, taking her spot right opposite of where Twilight was sitting in the bottom end of the circle. The Thaumatron was big, but not really all that high; which really was the only reason she'd managed to fit it into her basement in the first place.

“Spike,” she continued, “you will be the focus of our signal transmission.” The dragon had insisted on taking part – he'd practically extorted a promise out of her in exchange for helping her build the device – so she'd been forced to accommodate. Not that there wasn't much of a change of plans needed, of course, but Twilight disliked unnecessary risks something fierce. Involving a young, spirited dragon boy in what might be the most delicate magical experiment of the century wasn't really the most sensible thing she'd done in her life. “Once we have identified the nature of the signal we will need to ping it back to determine its point of origin, and we will use your magical signature as our transmission. Take your position in the center of the Thaumograph.”

Admittedly the last bit was completely unnecessary, seeing as Spike already was just about frozen in place right in front of her, throwing nervous looks at the rapidly spinning metal circles surrounding him every other second. At her words, though, he met her eyes and immediately stood up straighter, sending a brief smile to Twilight's face. At least somepony still had faith in her abilities, even if he wasn't a pony.

“All ready, girls?” She dared a brief look around the room, and over the spinning shape of the Thaumatron she could see confident smiles accompanying her friends' nods. Finally, the concentrated frown fled her face, and was replaced with a small grin of her own. “Then, let's do this!” She tapped into her magic as deep as she could, and forced the pulsating power into the Thaumatron's core.

Ten minutes passed, with nothing but the whirring of machines and the soft humming of Twilight's horn making a single sound in the somewhat crowded basement.

Fifteen minutes passed, and when Twilight finally spoke, the entire group sighed in relief. “Okay, I think I have it.”

A few words of encouragement were passed around, but were quickly silenced by the unicorn's stern look. It wasn't over yet. Twilight was only starting to get a clear grasp of the signal, which didn't have any of the distinct features of unicorn magic as far as she could tell – or anything else she'd seen for that matter. It wasn't like the princesses' magic, both of whom had very recognizable signatures, or like what she'd seen of changeling magic during the invasion. Sombra's magic had been pretty much like a mixture between the princesses' magic and the changelings, with a few quirks thrown in. Even dragonfire and its inherent magical properties seemed familiar in comparison to this.

The signal was entirely alien in nature, pulsating in a strange way whenever she focused on it, making it hard to concentrate properly. It was almost as if it was fighting back, trying to deny her efforts from making any progress toward understanding it.

This only spurred her on, however – Twilight Sparkle would not be beaten in magical prowess by some mystery signal out of nowhere!

Redoubling her efforts, she once again set about trying to make sense of the signal.

It took almost half an hour before she finally gave up her efforts of probing it – during which her friends had all been blessedly quiet, but wielding pained and bored grimaces that pleaded for her to stop dragging this out any further. She gave a frustrated groan, and shook her head. “Okay, we're moving on to the next step. Spike, we're going to transmit your magical signature to the source and see where the signal originates from.”

Spike, who had almost managed to fall asleep standing, blubbered in surprise before snapping his claw to his forehead in a sloppy salute. Twilight rolled her eyes – it wasn't like she needed him to be particularly alert for any of this, but it was rather irritating to have him act like this despite all his insisting to take part in the experiment. Where was all the enthusiasm he'd shown just an hour ago? She snorted briefly before moving her focus to the young dragon's magical signature – just a habit, really, since she'd memorized all of her friends' signatures long ago – and patterning the signal she sent into the Thaumatron just so.

With a brief prayer to Celestia that everything would work as she hoped, she pulled the big, red transmission lever with her hoof and fired up her signal.

Two seconds later, the gates of Tartarus swung wide open on her. The signal had suddenly changed, gone from pulsing to throbbing like the heart of an Ursa Major, and it was writhing in her grasp like it was alive. Her own counter-signal, meanwhile, had flung itself far off her expected target – she had no idea where it was going, but from all she could feel it was trying to pull her along.

Last, but not least...

“Wh-What's going on!?”

“Twilight! What's happening!”

Her friends had obviously noticed something was amiss, too. She opened her eyes briefly, and was met by a shocking sight. The basement was flickering in and out of existence, the Thaumatron and its parts almost completely fading from view erratically. In their place were a rocky, barren cave, seemingly turned up-side down, the enormous chasm opening underneath them shining with sunlight.

Her friends were all there, still, and entirely solid too. There was something else there with them, however – she could make out a strange, off-white creature hovering in the air above Spike, head-to-head with the dragon and well over three times his size.

Three times the size of a dragon, but with magical power so far beyond anything she'd ever felt before she could not even begin to measure it.

They were being pulled in by this creature – she was fairly certain of that – and there was nothing she could do about it. The Thaumatron, flickering or not, was using up all of her magic – she didn't have anything at all in her to try keep herself in place with, and she had no idea how to accomplish that in the first place. Struggling with all of her being, she squeezed her eyes shut and tried desperately to guide the flows of magic into something resembling order.


The words made their way across her lips almost by their own accord, but when she heard herself say it Twilight knew it was over. Resigning herself to whatever fate had in mind for her, she let go of her magic and...

Nothing happened.

Twilight slowly opened her eyes, and found herself back in the basement – she felt like the world was about to explode, but they were there, all seven of them together. Fearful looks were exchanged all around, but the strange creature that had been hovering over Spike was gone.

At least, so she thought until a small, bright pink something suddenly appeared right on top of the dragon's head, staring right at her with big, blue eyes.


Twilight had no time to respond, however, for the very next moment her basement dissolved into a blurry mess of noise and movement as she was sent hurtling into the sky.



A scream that was way too girly for Rainbow Dash echoed through the sky. It was quickly cut off as she realized how embarrassing it'd be if anyone saw her doing that, and she broke out of her fall with a practiced maneuver of simply flaring her wings and going into a glide.

Once she'd regained control of her flight, she looked down – and what she saw was worrying. She was pretty familiar with just about every decently sized city in Equestria and how they looked from the sky; this was very obviously not one of them. Uniform purple rooftops were packed into streets and alleys, and a strange, swaying tower reached skyward to the north. What worried her even more than her lack of geographic knowledge, however, was the fact that there weren't any ponies around. Even on an early morning like this, there ought to be ponies walking around a village of any size.

It didn't make any sense to her. None of it did – beginning with the strange magical signal, which she'd felt nothing of, and including everything up until those weird creatures in Twilight's basement appeared. Rainbow Dash didn't like things that didn't make sense, and her usual fallback method – ask someone who understood – wasn't available at the moment, since the airspace around her was very much empty of any ponies other than herself.

“What the hay just happened?”

Feeling desperately in need of some time to think, Rainbow set her trajectory for a small lake to the east of the sleeping town,



A scream that was way too desperate for Rarity tore through the sky, as she hurtled uncontrollably toward the ground.

No, not ground! Rock! Stupid – vile – rock!

The scraggly mountain beneath her did not care for her desperation, however – it remained stoically in place, opening its stony arms for the hardest embrace she'd ever faced.

As well as what she feared could very well be the last one she ever had.

I'm going to die. I'm going to die! Celestia help me, I'm going to-

A sickening crunch echoed across the mountaintop as Rarity crashed into its rocky surface. The echo was followed by silence, and then a bustle of activity as the mountain's inhabitants scurried to find out what had happened; this was soon followed by a pressured silence, however, as the mountain's other visitor made itself known, and quickly scared the shy creatures back to their lairs.

Now undisturbed, a lone, lanky being made its way down toward the freshly made crater to investigate its bounties.



Like a comet on a sugar rush Pinkie Pie cruised through the air, comfortably kept airborne with an emergency balloon. It was a green one, so it could've been better, but the only other ones she had on her were in gray and desert camo, and she really preferred more colorful alternatives whenever available.

Below her, a vibrant green forest was passing by. She was fairly sure it wasn't the Everfree since her Pinkie sense hadn't alerted her to any nearby ghostrees yet, but she could be wrong. Some part of her actually hoped she was, because if this was the Everfree it would mean-

“Oh look! There's Ponyville right...now?”

At first glance it was similar, but it was obvious enough once she got close enough that “similar” would be as far as that idea got. She was approaching a large town filled with trees and green rooftops, but she couldn't see any ponies whatsoever wandering around.

Three buildings stood out from the rather uniform green-roofed ones dominating the town's streets, however. The first two, at the other end of town opposite from the one facing the forest she'd come from, were rather similar in size and shape to most of the green ones – except that they had rooftops of blue and red, respectively. Not very interesting compared to the enormous box-like shape that dominated the entire area closest to her; a monolith in various shades of brown and gray, indicating that whoever built it had no sense of fun – or possibly, was colorblind.

Feeling extremely sad for anypony cursed with that particular disability, Pinkie went in for a landing right in front of the brown-gray building, bouncing down on the ground as her balloon deflated itself back into her emergency compartments. She walked through its big double doors while humming a happy tune about the word viridian she just made up. She felt it fit the occasion nicely.


“IIAAAA-oof! My, goodness.”

Fluttershy did thankfully not have to fall more than a meter or two before landing on the stony surface of the immense tower's roof. She really doubted she would've been able to break her fall on her own – she had been very surprised by suddenly appearing in the air like that, and even if her flying had become better lately it wasn't quite yet as instinctive as with most other pegasi.

A quick look around presented her with an impressive view of the ocean, cresting waves sweeping by on their way to the shore below her. This kept her fascinated for a few moments, before she realized how far this meant she must be from Ponyville.

“Oh. Oh...my.”

She spent a few moments searching frantically for something she could recognize – she greatly feared being completely lost, and adding that to being completely alone would be a total disaster in all ways – but was suddenly interrupted by a pained cry from behind her.


She swung her head around, and suddenly realized that the plateau she was standing on wasn't the top of the tower, but rather that role was filled by the tiny little hut-like construction in its center. More importantly, however...

“Oh my goodness! Are you all right?”

Something was inside, and whatever kind of critter it was, it was hurt badly. Her dislike for flying completely forgotten, she fluttered her wings and flew into the small chamber as fast as she could.


“Aaaaaaoh for landsakes-!”

Applejack just managed to straighten her body into a reasonable diving pose before striking the water's glittering surface head-on, narrowly avoiding being hit with blunt force trauma of a pretty fierce degree. In her own opinion, however, blunt force trauma was nothing compared to the sheer degree of nuisance that was salt water. She'd only experienced that particular horror a few times in her life, most of them during her short-lived stay with the Oranges in Manehattan, but they had been well enough to convince her that staying out of the sea was more than worth the sacrifice.

She sputtered out what little she had swallowed of the foul substance as she broke the surface again, trying in vain to shake out as much of it as she could from her mane. “What bright-eyed little schoolfilly thought of the wise idea to fill Ponyville with saltwater anyway?” she asked herself out loud, trying to fit the strange situation she was facing into her head. First they'd been in Twi's basement, then there'd been the strange lights and creatures all round, and then...

Then the implications of what she had just said hit her, and Applejack went wide-eyed, even forgetting to tread water for a second. That had the ever disgusting effect of her being submerged in the salty liquid yet again, and she once more sputtered out a mouthful of seawater as she broke the surface.

“What in tarnation is goin' on here?”

The sea was hardly going to answer her questions with any clarity, though, and after taking a few frustrated, confused looks around her in search of land, she started swimming toward the nearest shoreline. And when she found someone who knew what was going on – or better yet, one of them consarned white-legged critters – they'd darn well have a lot of explaining to do.


Twilight was prepared for the teleport – she knew that feeling better than many others, and even though it was involuntary she was well used to the slight disorientation it brought most users of that type of magic. Being up-side down in mid-air was surprising, and would have been problematic had she not been a unicorn well versed in gravity manipulation spells.

As it was, she merely fired up her horn. While she was fairly drained from the long, exhausting and ultimately fruitless hour spent investigating the signal, it didn't take much to spin herself around and safely hover down towards the ground.

At least, she'd been expecting ground beneath her – her hooves touched solid matter far before she was all the way down, however, and she gave her surroundings a surprised look. She was standing on top of a massive structure of dizzying height, reaching so far into the sky it would even have dwarfed the towers of Canterlot Castle had they been next to each other. It wasn't the only one around, either – several of these towering monstrosities painted the area around her, their flat tops dotting the skyline in a series of gray square plateaus.

For a moment she wondered what in the world these structures could be, but daring a look across the edge she could easily make out an ordered system of arrow-straight streets, dotted by a few ordinary rooftops besides the enormous towers.

“This is...a city?”

It was enormous, if that was the case, and the technological implications of these gigantic buildings were immense. Wherever she was, she was sitting on a goldmine of knowledge...

She just had to get it home.

Along with all her friends, who she had no idea whatsoever where they were, and could very well be crashing towards their doom at the moment if her own start was any clue – something only Rainbow could be counted on to avoid with any reliable ease.

A horrible feeling of nausea gripped her insides, and she snapped her eyes up and away from the distant ground to avoid tunnel vision setting in. Her eyes landed on a wide but relatively inconspicuous building at the edge of the enormous city, its simple browns in stark contrast to the steely gray monstrosities filling the majority of the city's streets. She didn't want to face whatever secrets they hid quite yet – she had to familiarize herself with whatever creatures resided here first, and if what she'd seen had been any clue they would most probably be nothing like ponies.

“As good a place to start as any, I guess,” she murmured to herself, firing up her horn yet again to search for whatever powerful magic there could be here aside from bringing her safely down to earth.

For some reason, she had a feeling this would not end well at all.

Author's Note:

Well, I really hope you guys are catching all these references (for the reasons stated in the prologue A/N). For your own good, it is.

Also, did I mention Mew is one of the most epic trolls in pokémon history? Because it is. It also has a pretty cool theme music, but that doesn't measure in the least to the sheer amount of troll power that pokémon has. Learn almost every single fucking move in the game? Cool fucking stats all across the board? MOST RAGE-INDUCING GIGGLE OF ALL TIME?
Check, check and fucking triple check. This bitch is born to troll, and troll hard.

Stay tuned for next episode of Ponymon Heart Silver or whatever, when we reveal the typings of our favorite cast members! Oh, and actually get some plot going, too, but WHO CARES ABOUT THE PLOT* THIS IS POKÉMON ANYWAY, GIVE US THE DAMN SHINIES AND LEGENDARIES ALREADY LAZY GAMEFREAK.

*i do