by Crystal Shard

First published

Equestria, on the surface a peaceful, happy world with a few minor problems that surface, but like an iceberg these problems are only the tip of something far worst

Equestria, on the surface a peaceful, happy world with a few minor problems that surface, but like an iceberg these problems are only the tip of something far worst. As nightmares from the royal sister’s past start to return to haunt them, something sinister is in the works to overthrow them and the other princesses, but a new champion has been chosen to help stand against the nightmares, and thwart the plots against the royal family.
But who is the new champion and what events lead to him being chosen by the Alicorn that resides within the Crystal Nexus.


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“I think it’s about time you wake up.” a soothing voice said, getting lifeless earth pony to jerk slightly, and slowly open his eyes.

“Where am I?” The Colt asked, as he started to get up, but winced in pain, his body felt like it had gone through Tartarus before arriving in this new place, all he could clearly see was Crystal everywhere.

“I think it would be better if you remain still for right now, your body is still trying to heal from your last choice.” the voice said, getting the colt to look around slowly. “If you do not remain still the Crystal Nexus won’t be able to heal you properly.”

“Well that’s one question answered.” the colt said, as he laid back down. “Now a few others, your voice is comforting, female, and the tone is slightly deeper, and more regal then normal ponies, which tells me that your not a pony.” with that a blue Alicorn walked out from one of the Crystal walls and looked down at the earth pony colt laying on the ground.

“Very good, I’m glade to see that your mind is still as sharp as it was before your ordeal, a lesser pony would have been driven mad by what was done to you.”

“My Ordeal?" As the colt forced himself to remember the events before arriving where he was, a flash of images came to him getting him to jerk his head up to the Alicorn standing over him. "Equestria!? The princesses are they?” the pony stopped as the Alicorn raised a hoof to calm his fear slightly.

“Your actions helped free them and save every pony, as well as a very young Changeling.” with that the pony smiled weakly.

“That’s good, their safe.” with that the Alicorn started to walk around the colt and smiled slightly.
“I can understand what she see’s in you, actually what each of them sees in you, strong, determined, selfless, and forgiving, many very good attributes.” with that the pony started to blush slightly. “Which is why I brought you here.”

“Ma-am not to sound ungrateful for the treatment, but who are you?” with that the Alicorn stopped for a moment, and then smiled softly as she remembered that nether one of them had been introduced yet.

“I’m not all that surprised you don’t know my name, You my call me Spectra.” with that the colt smiled slightly.

“As you wish.”

“Very well, now since I already know your name I’ve no need to ask, but I was wondering if you would like to help me with something, of your choice of course.” with that the colt cocked his head slightly to the right in confusion. “You see little one, I fear a dark cloud is starting to rise in Equestria, and before you say it, yes the royal sisters have defended the kingdom for a long time, and as of late new element barriers have been found, the Crystal Empire has been restored and two more princesses have been put into power.” with that the pony shook his head. “That wasn’t what you where going to say?”

“No ma-am I was going to suggest calling up the weather team and getting them to break up the cloud.” with that Spectra blushed slightly, and started to laugh a bit.

“I meant an evil is rising.” with that the pony nodded. “You see Celestia has been ruling for a long time, and in the beginning a lot of bad ponies got arrested and locked away, as well as many powerful magic wielders who tried to over throw her during the time of her young sister’s banishment.” Spectra looked at the pony to ensure that he understand what she was saying. “Now over time many ponies found ways to evade the royal eyes, in fact some of them can do it so well that they do it right inside the royal courts.”

“Then tell me their names, better yet tell the princesses their names.”

“And in that lays the problem, they can not hear me.”

“Then tell me the names and I’ll tell them.”

“And for that you will need proof of what you say, and they have gotten very good at making things vanish when any pony get’s close to the truth.”

“I’m getting confused why are you telling me this if there is no way to stop them?” with that Spectra let out a sign.

“Right now we are sitting inside the Crystal Nexus, and I can see hundreds if not a trillion different outcomes for the future, and events have been playing out in away that I fear dark times are coming, innocent foals jailed, the royal sisters slain ether by a monster from their foal hood or a cult that has been working in the shadows for a while now, and soon the seals for those other powerful ponies I have told you about will break and they will be unleashed upon Equestria, but as I said, these are just possible events, possible outcomes.”

“I’m not very sure I understand are you trying to tell me these things so I can warn the princesses.”

“No, I’m telling you this so you might understand what the favor is I’m about to ask of you.” with that Spectra held out her right fore hoof and an image of an ancient pony knight armor appeared. “In days of old when even Celestia and her sister where still foals there were knights fighting for their respected kingdoms, and these kingdoms were ran by Royals, which have been reduced to Nobles that now preside in the courts.”

“Which would explain why a few of them are royal pains in the flank.” Spectra stifled a giggle as she heard the comment.

“Well when a knight no longer liked the way his kingdom was being ran he would go rouge or be known as a black knight.” The image of the armor changed colors no longer silver and shinning, but now jet black. The colt looked at the armor and then at Spectra, confused by this new information.

“You want me to rise against the royal sisters?”

“No, I want you to help them.”

“How?” with that the Armor changed still dark but now more sleek with several gem stones on it.

“In the days before Sombra a pony by the name of Crystal Edge forged this armor, it is unlike anything in existence, it can withstand a fully charged magical blast of a full grown Alicorn.” Spectra turned and noted that her one pony audience was in shock as he looked at the armor.

“I take it you are impressed now?” Spectra asked, as she closed the pony’s mouth lightly with her hoof getting him to nod. “But be warned with this comes a very hard burden, I do not know what dangers you will face only ones that you might face, I only know what might happen.”

“And if I don’t choose to suit up?”

“Then I will put you back where you were when I brought you here, only softly on the ground, and you will be found.” with that the pony looked at the suit and then at an image of the other outcome of the choice.

“I would get my desire, to return home.”

“You would be welcomed back with open hooves, and treated like a hero.” with that the pony slowly stood up and looked at the two options. “You don’t have to choose right now.” Spectra watched for several moments as the pony looked at the choice to go back and live out his hearts desire, and watched as a happy reunion played out in front of him as his friends and family hugged him. All the while Spectra could feel the cold chill of fear started to creep up between her wings, fearing that her chosen champion would turn his back on the armor she lowered her head and ears just waiting for the moment that he would request to return him home.

“You said those events might happen soon correct?” Spectra looked up in shock and then slowly nodded. “Then how am I going to be able to use that armor, I don’t have any special training.” As smile spread across Spectra's face as she looked the pony before her.

“Inside the Nexus time can be slowed down or speed up, you will be trained to use the suit.” with that the pony looked at the suit once more.
“Hearts desire, or protector of Equestria.” the pony once more looked at his possible future, and smiled faintly seeing everyone he held close to his heart celebrating with him, smiling, and happy, he was happy, he could have what he had wanted for so long, As he took a deep breath he turned and started to walk towards the armor.

“I warn you now there is no turning back from this.” with that the colt lowered his head for a few moments, before looking back at Spectra, a smile was on his face but tears ran down it fear and sorrow filled his eyes.

“I know, and I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t scared, the truth is I’m terrified, you offer me an unknown future that could be filled with hardships, against everything I’ve ever wanted, at first glance I would be a fool to pass up going back, but if I do go back and the events you described came to pass I would be powerless to stop it, all those happy faces would be lost, and if anything happened to them.” the pony stopped as the words got stuck in his throat, and the tears started to come more freely. “If anything happened to them I could never forgive myself.”

“So you will fight for them?” the pony shook his head but kept it lowered.

“No, not just for them, if I do this I have to fight for all life, not just for the royal sisters, I have to set right what’s been going on and I have to make sure no innocent life get’s hurt.”

“What you are saying might be impossible.” with that the pony looked up at Spectra tears still running down his face, and eyes turning blood shot.


“WATCH YOUR TONE!” Spectra’s royal voice shook the nexus and got the pony before her to look away in shame for his outburst.

“I will not turn my back on any living creature that needs my help, even if they were once my enemy.”

“But what your saying.”

“Is what I’m going to do, if I am hated than let me be hated, but at least lives will be spared.” with that the pony turned and looked at the armor. “I will become what you wish but I will not be tied down to any one kingdom, I will not choose sides just because of the species, and I will do my best not to let my own emotions cloud my judgment. I will fight for all Equestria, I’ll be the defender from the evil that is coming, and the cure for the evil that already resides within it.” with that the colt looked at Spectra who was smiling slightly

“So now I suppose we should come up with a name for your new life.”

“I know one that will get some attention.” the pony turned and smiled slightly at Spectra. Getting a confused look on her face, as she raise one eyebrow.

“And that would be?”


“Orion?… As in Orion the hunter?” Spectra thought about this for a few moments, and smiled. “I like it, the hunter of evil.” with that the Spectra nodded and watched as Orion reached up and touched his new armor, only to have it in case him. “Now remember it’ll respond to your thoughts, but I will also be able to help you through the Crystal Nexus.” Orion nodded as the armor's helmet closed around his head, leaving two royal blue Crystal covering his eyes. “This is your last chance to turn back, if you have doubts about giving up everything you’ve known, and those you love.”

“I’m not giving them up, I’m just doing what they’ve taught me.” with that Crystal nodded and with a wave of a hoof causing Orion to vanish.

“Than let the training begin.” Else where in the Crystal Empire, the Crystal Royal guards walked out from the palace and smiled as they came up to a small group of royal guards clearly under Blue Blood’s command.

“We did not get told that Lord Blue Blood was coming today, the princess and prince are inn Canterlot right now.” with that the commander of Blue Blood’s royal guards nodded.

“You miss understand, are lord has sent us to aid in protecting the empire, with the princess and prince occupied he felt that it better to have reinforcements after that nasty changeling attack that nearly destroyed Equestria.” with that the commander looked at his troops and motioned for them to break off and start securing the empire. “Allow me to introduce my self, my name is Steel, and I am only here to help my fellow guards pony, once your princess and prince return we’ll leave.” with that Steel leaned close to the Crystal commander. “Between you and me I think my lord is trying to get some brownie points with your princess and his aunts.” with that the Crystal Commander smiled and nodded.

“Well then come on Steel let’s go over defenses.”

“By all means commander lead the way.” with that Steel followed the crystal commander and smiled slightly

First fight

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Spectra looked into one of the Crystal walls and could see events unfold before her, as sorrow and concern covered her face. The royal guards that were under prince blue bloods command had managed to take control of the Crystal Empire, the crystal guards had been turned to stone, and the Crystal Ponies now hid the best they could from their new oppressors, any attempt to contact the royal family was being intercepted, except from Steel to Prince Blue Blood. "I had hoped to have more time for him to master all the armors abilities." Spectra turned and looked at another scene of Orion fighting several titan class monsters at once. "But it seems I do not have a choice." As Spectra's horn started to glow Orion appeared before her, slightly stunned at the change of surroundings but then smiled at Spectra.

"You summon me madam?"

"Orion it would seem our time for training as shorter than I thought, the Crystal Empire needs you, it seems Prince Blue Blood has sent his royal guards to take over the empire." Spectra motioned to the image of the Crystal Ponies hiding from the royal blue guards.

"Seems a little pointless, once Princess Celestia finds out she will most likely beat his flank with an asteroid belt."

"It is not the empire that he wants but the location of Crystal Shard's old lab, it contains countless spells and inventions created by him that have been lost over the ages, the armor you now wear was only one of his creations, should his lost devices fall into the wrong hoofs Equestria would be in a great deal of trouble."

"Where is the lab?"

"In a place that Blue Blood and his minions will never be able to find it, but that doesn't mean that they won't harm innocent ponies to try and achieve their goal." with that Orion nodded and Spectra smiled. "Now I know you haven't mastered everything about the armor but even the small amount you have learned should give you an edge against these forces."

"Haven't mastered? I've been training for years."

"In the Nexus it felt like years, but in truth you've only been training for eight hours, you have yet to scratch the surface of what you wear, but what you know now should still give you an upper hoof in this." with that Orion nodded and Spectra teleported him out of the Nexus where with a simple thought the armor seemed to vanish and leave a plain Crystal pony. "Once you have freed the captured Crystal Ponies send them to the Palace I will put it into defense mode."

"Defense Mode?"

"Another bit of information lost to the ages, now go they don't have much time left."

"Which way?"

"To your right, the guards are accumulating the captives at the edge of the empire." with that Orion started to run in the direction that Spectra indicated. "Oh dear,... Orion you have to hurry i just saw the latest letter Blue Blood sent to Steel, he just gave him the order to do whatever it took to find the lab." Elsewhere at the edge of the empire Steel walked between a group of caged adult ponies, and a small group of foals.

"Now then we don't want to hurt anypony here, but you ponies have information that I want." Steel said, as he turned to the adults and gave them a slightly annoyed look.

"But we don't know anything honestly." one of the Crystal Mares said, as she nuzzled close to her husband.

"That's where you're wrong, you see my lord wants the location of Crystal Edge's lab, and he has just given me permission to obtain this information by any means necessary." Steel turned his head and pulled a foal from the other group. ignoring the screams from the child wanting to be let go, and the gasp of the adults as well as their demands to leave the foal alone.

"GEMINI!" the mare from before screamed as her foal was levitated off the ground.

"RELEASE MY SON YOU MONSTER!" the Stallion demanded as he glared at Steel.

"Then tell me what I want to know or watch as you colt learns the meaning of pain." with those words Steel's horn started to glow red changing the magic around the foal just before it let out a scream of agony, before Steel changed it back. "Now tell me what I want to know or little Gemini here will be only the first one to suffer for your refusal to help."

"YOU MONSTER!" Gemini's father yelled, as he slammed his fore hoofs against the cage. "You'll never get away with this, the royal family will never let this stand."

"If you haven't noticed I'm a royal guard, I'm doing this under orders and." Steel was cut off as a bolt of magic struck his horn breaking his concentration on holding Gemini who quickly ran to his caged parents for comfort. "WHO DARES!"

"SIR IN COMING!" on of the guards yelled, as he pointed at Orion running towards them. "IGNORE HIM I WANT TO KNOW WHO JUST ATTACKED ME!" Steel rubbed his horn feeling the attack had managed to crack it slightly.

"It was him sir."

"He's a Crystal Pony he can't cast magical spells. Just capture him and cage him with the others." As several Royal guards charged forward Steel watched as Orion seem to make short work of them in hoof to hoof combat, causing the general to face hoof. "HE'S AN EARTH PONY USE YOUR MAGIC YOU IDIOTS!" As another group of Royal Blue guards attacked from a distance Steel watched as Orion was hit with a barrage of attacks kicking out a large cloud of dust filling the street. "Well that was a short lived rebellion." Steel said as he turned and looked at Gemini who was still in tears from before. "Now where were we?" As Steel's magic started to pull Gemini away from his parents the colt screamed in terror, while both parents started to plead for Steel to release their child, but their begging was only answered a second later as Steel slammed against the cage way for an instant before he was turned to face his attacker only a split second before he found himself on the receiving end of a volly hoof strikes and kicks. As his fellow royal guards ran to his aid they soon found themselves being pulled into the assault and unable to counter or defend against the attacker. "I WANT WINGS IN THE AIR NOW!!" Steel yelled when he got a moment away from the assault and smiled as he small a small group of Pegasus guards flying overhead. "DROP HIM!" As steel pointed as Orion a group of the pegasus swooped in and snatched Orion up and started to fly into the air, but to their surprise even once they cleared the skyline he didn't stop assaulting them. After Steel rubbed the blood from his mouth he turned to the adults and smirked. "Alright you better get a good look because this is what's going to happen to these brats if one of you don't start talking." High above the empire the Pegasus guards flew the best they could as Orion continued to struggle.

"Hey I wonder if Crystal Ponies go splat or if they shatter?" one of the guards asked as he laughed at his fellow flier.

"Let's find out." with that both guards let Orion go watching as he fell back to the empire.

"Well guess it's now or never." with that Orion's disguise vanished before Red Crystal like wings appeared and he slowed his decent until he remained hovering only ten feet off the ground with his forelegs crossed as he looked down at Steel.

"SHOOT HIM, SHOOT HIM DOWN!!" Steel ordered only to watch as his fellow unicorn guards open fired to have no effect before beams of light shot from the eyes of the armor and encased the guards in a crystal like prison. "W-what?"

"Prism beam, it's a way I can capture my enemies alive." Orion explained as he landed and his wings vanished as he got up on his hind legs and started to walk towards Steel two Crystal like blades extended from his forehoofs. "You attacked the Crystal empire, you imprisoned its subjects, and abused them, just one of these would be a declaration of war." Orion stopped as the two pegasus guards that had dropped him before landed in front of Steel wings flared and ready for battle, getting Steel to smirk slightly but as Orion seem to teleport past the two guards Steel watched as a second later they both fell over encased in a crystal prisons each.

"Th-this can't be?... what are you?"

"I am Orion, and you Steel are my prisoner." with that Orion swung one of the blades at him, as Steel felt intense pain from his horn he fell to the ground as the sensation of his body slowly being encased in crystal started to wash over him he looked up slightly and saw just at Orion's hoofs what looked like a horn, as the realization washed over him he started to let out a scream of anger and agony before the prison silenced him. As the crystal blades retracted Orion went to all fours he walked over and broke the cage door. the first two to get out was Gemini's parents that quickly ran to their foal and held him close.

"Thank you, I don't even know how we can repay you." Gemini's father said, as he looked at Orion.

"Get everypony to the palace, find anypony in hiding tell them that the palace is safe."

"But you beat them, isn't it safe?"

"This could only be the first wave." with that information Gemini's father nodded and started to get the other ponies to head for the palace. "Spectra?"

"You're right to send them to the palace, there is a train heading for the Crystal Empire with all of Blue Blood's forces, seems Steel requested it in his last letter to the prince."

"What are we looking at?" there was no response. "Spectra?"

"Concentrate on getting the ponies to the palace right now."

"How long do we have?"

"At the rate of the train and the march from the station, an hour, but once the ponies are in the palace I can condense the shield to the inner sanctum."

"What will that do?"

"I can prevent anything from coming in or going out."

"Why couldn't you do that before?"

"Because the shield was to large, it was able to keep out a certain evil but not all, with the smaller shield I can prevent anything from entering or leaving."

"Sounds like a plan." with that Orion started to head for the palace. "Now let's find out what happened to the Crystal guards." As the crystal ponies found their fellow ponies and started to head to the palace, Orion entered the throne room and found that it was filled with stone guards. "Spectra?"

"They're still alive."

"Can you undo this?"

"I'm sorry but no, if they were inside the Crystal Nexus I could."

"Why is that?"

"My magic is more powerful inside the Nexus, and I can't leave it without risking my life." Orion nodded then looked out the window. "You said I can't face them alone."

"Not without knowing the true extent of the powers you can unleash, you haven't had enough time to learn all the armor can do."

"But I know enough to at least stall." with no response Orion knew Spectra knew what he was thinking, as he started to pace back and forth he looked at the guards. "Spectra is there a way to let them have mobility again?"

"I believe so, what are you thinking about?"

"The last line." Just then Gemini ran in and slid to a halt before saluting Orion, getting Orion to look down at him slightly confused.

"You're supposed to salute back." Gemini instructed getting Orion to salute him. "All Crystal ponies accounted for sir."

"Gemini." Gemini's mother called out as she noticed her son in front of Orion. "I'm sorry he got away from me."

"It's alright miss." Orion said, as he turned from the mare to her colt. "You should stay close to your family."

"Yes sir." Gemini saluted again getting Orion to do it again. "Are you going to kick the bad ponies flanks?"

"Gemini!" His mother blushed slightly and Orion only smirked under his helmet.

"It's alright miss, and yes I'm going to kick flank." Orion then turned to Gemini's mother. "You have a good colt, and I promise I will do everything in my power to keep this empire safe, please spread the word." As the two left Orion turned back to the statues. "Alright let's get started." While Orion followed Spectra's instructions, back in Canterlot Twilight's number one assistant was walking around the halls of the castle as all the princesses sat in a meeting talking about stuff he mostly found really boring.

"What do you mean all the Royal Blue guards are gone?" a mare of the royal guards asked, as she looked at her fellow guard.

"Just what I said ma-am, they all left a few hours ago." the mare gritted her teeth slightly and glared at the guard.

"Then go and find out why, I want to know why 10% of my day guard decided to leave without something crossing my desk."

"Y-yes ma-am." as the guard took off running down the hall the mare turned and spotted Spike and smiled slightly.

"Spike how have you been doing, haven't seen you in a while."

"Not bad, but I see somepony got a promotion since the last time I saw her, Noon Day what was that all about?" The Mare's smile vanished as she rolled her eyes.

"The royal blue guards decided to take a holiday and not one piece of paper crossed my desk."

"Royal Blue?... oh you mean Blue Bloods guards."

"Oh come on Spike I know it's been a while since you've been here but don't tell me you've forgotten that."

"How can I forget it was some of those jerks that picked on me when no pony was looking, until Philomena started to set their manes on fire."

"Yeah, well some of those jerks haven't changed, When shade was here." Noon Day stopped as she saw Spike flinch slightly and a look of sorrow spread across his face. "I'm sorry Spike I didn't mean to."

"It's alright, I mean it's not really alright, and." before Spike started to ramble Noon Day pulled him into a hug and smiled slightly. "Little dolt he didn't have to do it."

"He did what he thought was right, And if Blue Blood opens his mouth one more time about there being a statue in the royal garden dedicated to him." Spike smirked slightly as he started to hug Noon Day getting her to stop.

"Careful scales hug her any harder and I'll think you're trying to steal my wife." a guard from the night court said, as he landed behind Spike.

"Oh don't be silly Mid Night, besides shouldn't you be asleep right now?" Noon Day said, as she broke off the hug and walked over to her husband and nuzzled him slightly.

"I over heard about the royal blue's pulling a vanishing act, so I came to see if I could help."

"Sure you can help, find out where those insults to the armor are and leave a few of their heads intact so I can bash them in."

"I already have some of my informants looking into it, movements like this have to leave some kind of paper trail, that and I was on my way to their barracks to see if any of them might still be around."

"Can I come along?"

"I don't know scales this could be dangerous." Spike fell to his knees and wrapped his arms around Mid Night's right foreleg.

"Oh please, this place is so boring and Twilight said I can't leave the palace grounds, and she has all the gate guards keeping an eye out for me."

"He's right, per princess Twilight's request he is not aloud to leave the grounds." Noon Day confirmed and she smiled at her husband trying to shake Spike off his leg.

"Alright you can come, just get off my leg you're starting to cut off circulation." as the trio headed to the Royal Guards barracks, both Noon Day and Mid Night knew it might not be easy. As far as royal guards go the Royal Blue Guards only followed orders from Blue Blood and to both of the commanders now walking towards the barracks they didn't cut the mustard when it came to being a true Royal Guards, on many occasion both Mid Night and Noon Day had caught these so call guards abusing their power, and when Blue Blood found out he would always overturn any kind of punishment that they had set down. It was one of the reasons that Celestia and Luna had agreed to break up the Royal Blue guards and put them with the day guard and night guard thinking it would correct the, and show the group what a real guard was supposed to be like.

"Well I'll be, look Noon it's a Royal Blue, care to explain why you aren't at your post?" Mid Night asked, as he spotted a Royal Blue guard standing at the entrance of the barracks.

"I was given orders from Lord Blue Blood himself not to let anyone in."

"Lord Blue Blood, when did he become a lord?" Noon Day asked, as she looked at her husband.

"I think the same day Discord made pigs fly, but to my knowledge he's still known as Prince Blue Blood."

"If you want to be respectful so that dung heap." Spike added getting the Royal Blue Guard to glare at him. "Yeah I said it, serves him right for what he did to Rarity at the gala." As the Royal Blue guard reared up and prepared to stop on Spike, Mid Night darted forward and slammed the guard against the barrack doors.

"Listen I like the little guy, so you're not going to touch him, and in return he won't call Blue Blood all the things a lot of ponies think about him." the guard glared at Mid Night. "Look into my eyes and tell me I won't break you and bury you in a shallow grave at the bottom of Rainbow Falls." the guard glared a little more but then backed down. "Good, now we want to know where the rest of the guards are."

"On a special mission."

"In that case you won't mind if we take a look around, because to be honest I really don't trust you ponies."

"I was ordered to let no one into the barracks."

"So what you're saying is that you refuse to let us in?" the guard looked at Mid Night confused by the question, then rolled his eyes.

"Yes I refuse to let you in, what are you deaf you old goat?" Inside the barrack it was pitch black, until the room was bathed in sunlight as the Royal Blue Guard came crashing through the door and flying half way through the building.

"Remind me never to call you an old goat." Spike said, as he looked at the damage done.

"Oh he wasn't mad about that." Noon Day said, as she walked in and started to light up the barracks.

"Then why did he just buck that guard through the door?"

"He insulted my hearing." Mid Night said, as started to look around.

"And that's why you bucked him?" Spike asked, before getting pulled close by Noon Day.

"The greatest insult to a bat pony is to insult their hearing." Noon Day whispered, as she smiled at her husband.

"Still heard you." Mid Night informed as he looked to his wife. "Now enough messing around, there has to be something around here that will tell us where they went." For half an hour the three searched high and low but found nothing. "Well this was a bust."

"You're telling me." Spike said, as he kicked one of the bunk beds as the end of the building, only to watch as the lower mattress lifted up, and the floor under it dropped down. "Uh, I think I found something." As Noon Day and Mid Night went down Spike remain above to keep watch. As the two guards found themselves in an underground tunnel system Noon day started to explore, until she stopped in an area that looked like it was flooding.

"What happened here, it looks like they hit a water line." Mid night looked down and then looked up.

"It's not that but I have an idea of what it is." As he pointed up Noon Day noticed what looked like a wooden floor about 5 feet above her head, leading up to it was a lot of scaffolding.

"Oh that better not be."

"Those drills where rough today, I can't wait to take a nice hot shower." a mare's voice said, as hoof steps could be heard above before the sound of a shower turning on and a bit of a water started to fall.

"Looks as if the used a sound suppression spell to prevent your mares from hearing the water falling." Mid Night said, as he flew up and started to examine the wood, only to have his tail yanked back down and found himself facing an angry wife.

"When we get home we are going to talk about this, but when we find those perverted little Colts, I'm going to."

"HELP!" Spike yelled, from the entrance getting both guards to rush to the opening in just enough time to see Spike laying on the ground the Royal Blue guard reared up ready to trample him, just before Spike spit out his green fire and sent the Royal Blue guard away.

"You alright scales?"

"Yeah, the jerk jumped me when I turned my back on him. I yelled for help and that's when he tried to stomp me and."

"We saw kiddo." Noon day said, as she patted Spike on the back. "but I am curious where did you send him?"

"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!!!!" Came the Royal Canterlot voice from not only Luna, but Luna, Celestia, and Cadance.

"Well that answers that." Mid Night said, as he looked at his wife.

coming storm

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It was a rather strange scene as Noon Day, her husband Mid Night, and Spike stood before Cadance, Luna, Celestia, Shinning Armor, and Twilight, while off to the side Blue Blood stood with the only Royal Blue guard left in Canterlot, who was covered in cake. It didn't take a detective to know what had happened, but even so to Noon Day and her husband Mid Night they could still see traces of cake on the all four Princesses. "Alright, what is going on here?" it was rare for Celestia to sound anything but regal and joyous; this was one of those rare times.

"These three attacked and broke into my Royal Guards Barracks." Blue Blood yelled as he glared at the trio.

"Thank you nephew, but I was asking them." As Celestia turned her attention back to the heads of the royal guards Mid Night took lead and stepped forward.

"This morning during role call it came to my wife’s attention that the Royal Blue Guard had not shown up for duties, when asked where they were the only information we got was that they were gone, so we had to find out what had happened to 10% of the Royal Guards, when we arrived at their barracks the guard refused us access."

"Under my orders!" Blue Blood Interrupted, as he cut Mid Night off with a stamp of his hoof.

"You will be silent nephew, and let my guard finish." Luna said, as she shot Blue Blood a look that told him to not say another word until given permission to. "Continue Mid Night."

"We gain access."

"BY THROWING ME THROUGH THE DOOR!" as all four Princesses shot the Royal Blue Guard a stern look he quickly backed down and stood behind Blue Blood.

"As I was saying we gain access, and looked for anything that would tell us where the guards had gone."

"Upon are investigation we located a tunnel under one of the bunk beds in the barracks, a tunnel that lead under the mare shower stalls." Noon Day finished, as she shot the guard a dirty look.

"Is this true?" Celestia asked, as she looked at Blue Blood.

"I am unaware of any such tunnel." Blue Blood said, and then turned to his guard.

"We will talk about that later, I am more curious upon the location of your guards’ nephew, both me and Luna have made it very clear that they are to be placed with members of our guards until their probation period had past." Blue Blood stammered a little before smiling at his aunt.

"You see aunt Celestia with both Cadance and Shinning armor here; I thought it best to send my guards to aid with the Crystal Guards."

"I don't recall requesting for reinforcements to be sent to the empire." Shinning armor said, as he glared at Blue Blood. "And even if I didn't think my guards could handle us being away, and requested the backup then I would have requested them from Princess Celestia and Luna, then hoof picked the guards to join me back to the Crystal Empire, at no point and time would I have ever agreed to sending nothing but Royal Blue Guards to the Empire because to be perfectly frank Blue Blood I didn't trust any of your guards when I was captain of the guard here in Canterlot." When Shinning Armor was finished he looked up to Princess Celestia and bowed slightly. "Forgive me your majesty I did not mean to impede."

"Quit alright, and if you could please send a message to the empire and request that the Royal Blue Guard returns at once."

"It would be my pleasure Princess." It was clear Shinning Armor was still angry as he turned and left.

"I'll go see if I can help." Cadance said, as she followed after her husband.

"Very well, but while they handle that, let us discuss this tunnel." Celestia turned and looked at the guard. "Now then start explaining." While all this was going on, back at the Crystal Empire Flash Sentry started to wake from his stone slumber, only to find himself in the throne room looking at the black armor Orion.

"Who? Who are you?" Flash asked, as he looked at the armor but then noticed the discoloration of his nose, as he looked down at his hooves he started to panic. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME!?"

"I've woken you up." Orion answered as he looked at the rest of the guards who were starting to wake up as blue crystals necklaces now around their necks started to activate, their bodies looked like they had blue veins as they started to move.

"You have five seconds to explain what's going on or else."

"Alright, the Royal Blue tricked you, turned you to stone, tried to take over the empire, and terrified your citizens. I stepped in freed the citizens switched the empire defenses into fortress mode, and now your citizens are inside the inner section of the empire while new forces of Royal Blue guards are on their way here to try and finish what the first wave had already started." Orion explained, as he walked to a window and pointed towards the train station.

"And what make you think we would believe anything you just said?" Flash asked, as he looked at Orion. As Orion turned to Flash he then pointed to the door entering into the throne room getting Flash to notice families of Crystal Ponies standing and watching, as they ran in and found their loved ones, Flash looked at Orion in shock. "But their Royal Guards."

"No they're Royal Blue Guards, and if you knew anything about that group you would know they are anything but true Royal Guards." Orion walked up and stood in front of Flash. "We don't have time to argue or hit heads, we have a fight coming and the only way we are going to have a fighting chance against this force coming, since none of you are able to fly or use magic in your current state, is if we work together." Flash tried to open his wings and realized that he couldn't then looked at Orion.

"And why should I trust you?"

"Here he is big brother." Gemini said, as he ran up and hugged Orion's leg. "He came in and really gave those bad ponies a walloping." As Orion looked up from the young colt he saw a stone guard walking up with Gemini's parents. "He's a good stallion big brother."

"From what you're telling me he's a great Stallion Gemini." with that the stone guard held out his hoof and smiled, as Orion bumped it. "I want to thank you for what you've done."

"It's my honor to aid in these trying times, but another wave is coming and I'll need everypony's help in beating them back." with that the other guards turned to Flash who nodded. "Alright first things first I need every citizen to be moved close to the palace, and I need every guard to ensure that they never lose hope, the barrier is going to be are best defense right now and it will keep all of the ponies safe but only if they know for a fact that it will hold, and I give every citizen in this room right now my word that that barrier will stand against anything those tyrants want to throw at it." with that the guards nodded and then lead every pony out of the room leaving only Flash and Orion alone, as Flash checked to make sure no pony was outside the door's listening in he shut them and returned to Orion who was looking at a model of the Crystal empire.

"Alright you want me to trust you, tell me the truth." Orion looked at Flash and then took a deep breath.

"The truth is the only chance we have is if we have away to get a message to the princesses, the barrier will hold, but only as long at the ponies keep hope, and we both know what happens over time if nothing changes, while a monster bangs on the front door."

"The citizens will start questioning if the barrier will be able to hold."

"Which will make it weak and eventually."

"Fail, alright any ideas?"

"I'm thinking right now, if any of the unicorn guards were back to normal I would have them send them a message."

"Yeah, and then empire doesn't really have allot of unicorns, the only others are foals."

"Yeah, not about to ask a foal to send a message to Canterlot, top it off the first wave intercepted any messages being sent from the empire, so magical teleportation is out of the question."

"To bad we don't have another way to transport things right now." Flash kicked the floor in frustration but then looked at Orion, who seemed to be thinking. "What is it?" Before Orion could answered the other guards returned and started to line up as if they were in formation. "Report."

"All citizens have been told of the barrier and Orion's promise, and so far it seems that the barrier is holding."

"Good, what's the next step?" Flash turned to Orion who had moved to a mirror.

"Spectra, you transported me here through a reflective surface that was connected to the Crystal Nexus correct?"

"Yes, to be more accurate the Crystal Heart."

"Is there a way that we can send a message to Canterlot through the Crystal Nexus?"

"I believe that some of the old mirrors in the Canterlot palace contain crystal in them so it should be possible, but even if I was able to open a path for a message it would only be for a very short amount of time, so whatever you sent would have to travel very fast."

"Great." with that Orion ran up to the throne and grabbed a quill and scroll and started to write. Back in Canterlot Shinning Armor returned with Cadance with a look of concern on their faces.

"Cadance, Shinning, did you send the message?" Celestia asked, as she looked at her niece and nephew in-law.

"Yes Aunt Celestia, but something didn't feel right." Cadance said, as she looked at her husband and then her aunt. "When I sent it, it felt as if it was harder for some reason like I was fighting against something."


"Well no matter my guards are there and nothing can possible stand against them, your empire is completely safe while the Royal Blue Guards stand ready." Blue Blood bragged just before he was hit in the back of the head with something with such force it caused him to go face first to the floor, while the rest present turned and looked at an old mirror to see the stone guards and the black armor of Orion just before the mirror returned to normal. As Celestia levitated the wadded up scroll with her magic a stone fell to the ground just in front of Blue Blood nose.

"What does it say?" Cadance asked, as she looked at her aunt. Celestia read the message then turned to Luna.

"Get every guard we can spare, and be prepared to take off in three minutes."

"Aunt Celestia?" Celestia turned to her niece with a bit of concern, then handed her the message. As Cadance looked at it she gasped then looked at her husband, as he looked at the four words quickly written anger started to boil in him. 'Empire is under attack.'

"Shinning I have to go."

"Cadance that's too far."

"I can't just stand around and do nothing, at least there I can give our citizens hope and do my best to keep them at bay, besides you saw those monsters who know what their capable of doing, I have to go help our ponies Shinning."

"I understand but just give us a few minutes you heard your aunt we're all going in 3 minutes and we'll be there before you know it." Shinning could see Cadance was worried and smiled when she nodded. "Great, you'll see we'll be there before anypony knows it and we'll break those stone monsters and whatever that black metal thing was." As Shinning headed for the door he was just about leave when he hear Celestia and Twilight yell Cadance's name just before there was a flash of light, as he turned he could see that Cadance was gone.

"Oh Cadance you fool." Celestia said, as she looked at the spot Cadance had just been standing. "Get the guards ready we have to leave now, and tell Luna that Cadance has just tried to teleport back to the Empire.

"SHE'S DONE WHAT!?" Luna yelled, as she ran in and looked at her sister. "Does she not know that it is too far for one teleportation spell even for us, even if she makes it all the way her magic will be drained she would be of no use to anypony there." Luna looked at her sister and saw the look of concern on her face then noticed the tear, she knew what Celestia was already thinking about, the attackers would now have a Princess prisoner if Cadance had made it all the way, and if not Cadance could be lost somewhere between there and Canterlot, if her magic didn't give out and she materialized in the middle of a mountain, or something. "Sister you rally the guards I will fly ahead." Before Celestia could say anything Luna was out the window and heading for the empire.

Back at the empire Orion was just going over the plan when from the center of the throne room there was a flash of light and Cadance appeared, only seconds before she fell to the floor. "PRINCESS!" Flash ran to Cadance's side and lifted her head, as Orion joined her.

"Not good."

"Princess Cadance, is she alright?" One of the guards asked as they started to gather around.

"Spectra I need some information." Orion said, as he spoke into his right wrist and a holographic image of Spectra appeared looking at Cadance.

"She's completely used her magic she must have teleported all the way here and through the Crystal barrier."

"Will she live?"

"Yes but she's going to need a lot of rest."


"But her foal might not."

"HER WHAT!" All the guards said at once as this information came to light. "I'll go get the royal doctor." one of the guards said as he headed for the door.

"HOLD IT!" the guard stopped and looked at Orion confused. "Get all the Doctors you can find, bring them up here, but try and keep it on the quite side that she's here, and don't answer any of their questions until Flash fills you in." with that the guard nodded and headed out the door, while Orion looked at Cadance.

"Spectra are there any ways we can transfer the energy from the Crystal Heart and restore Cadace’s magic?"

"It would weaken the barrier so much; it's already starting to falter."

"What?... Why?"

"I think I know why." a Guard said and pointed towards the window getting the others to look to see a giant stone creature heading for them.

"That thing has to be as tall as the Palace." One of the guards commented getting Orion to look back at Cadance.

"Spectra the barrier it needs the hopes of the Crystal Ponies right?"


"And there is away to transfer some of the magic that the Crystal Heart uses to make the barrier to Cadance to ensure her life and the life of the foal she carries?"

"Yes." Orion turned back to the window and saw the stone monster once more. "Then what we need is to give the Crystal Ponies some more hope."

"We could try and wage an attack on that monster." One of the guards suggested only to have Orion shake his head. "Why not?"

"Because I know the royal sisters can turn you back to normal, but I’m not too sure what could happen if you got smashed out there, besides none of you are at your full game right now." Orion gulped slightly and then looked at Flash. "I know we don't know anything about each other but I need you to trust me now."


"Spectra give me that device we just talked about." with that a necklace appeared with the shape of a Crystal Heart as its center piece. As he placed it around Candace’s neck he looked at Flash. "Tell your guards to spread the word that Princess Cadance has arrived."

"But that will just scare them if they find out her condition." Orion shook his head.

"No tell them to spread the word that the Princess has arrived and has transferred apart of her magic into me to stop this monster, tell them that she has put her faith in me and that they should have faith in her actions."

"You honestly think this will work?"

"You honestly think we have a better choice right now?"

"Good point, but what about you?"

"Forget about me, I'm nothing you should be concerned about, only think of those under your protection and right now that includes your princess, I'll go out there and do what I can, hopeful I’ll be able to hold that thing off long enough for Princess Cadance to get back to normal." with that Orion talked to the window and red Pegasus wings of crystal appeared as he took to the air.

"Orion even with the boost of positive emotion it'll still take awhile for Cadance to get back to normal."

"Positive emotion? Spectra you told me the armor is powered similar to the Crystal Heart."

"Yes but it was made to use all emotions, Crystal Edge learned that if one wears the armor for too long while it was only being powered by one kind of emotion it would alter the wears behavior."

"So what you're telling me is that this armor can run off of just the dark emotions, hate, anger and so forth." there was no response. "Spectra I need to know the answer."

"It can but only for a limited amount of time before the armor starts to corrupt your behavior."

"In other words I wear the armor feeding on nothing but those emotions and I might turn into something like Sombra."

"No, you'll turn into something far worst."

"It's a risk we have to take, filter all the positive emotions back to the Crystal Heart and from there to Cadance and the barrier, Once it's confirmed that her foal is safe focused the energy on the barrier alone."

"And what of you?"

"One pony for thousands, and an empire that spreads hope across all of Equestria, sounds like a good deal to me." Back at the Palace the doctors started to walk in and started to tend to Princess Cadance while Flash passed on Orion's message and sent them to pass the message, in a bid to raise the Crystal Ponies spirits.

"Good luck Orion, my Faust watch over you."

History of Crystal Edge

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It was something Twilight never thought she would see, as available guard got ready to head for the Crystal Empire she was looking at herself in the mirror, in full royal battle armor. "Princess I don't know if I can do this." Twilight said, as she looked at Celestia, getting her mentors attention.

"Twilight you've face great odds before, what troubles you this time?" Twilight looked at Celestia then at her reflection. "Oh" Twilight looked at Celestia who had an understanding smile on her face. "You've faced great dangers before but you've never seen yourself as a warrior." Twilight nodded, and then felt her mentor put a comforting wing around her. "That's a good thing Twilight, it just means that you've always done the right thing when it needed to be done. To be honest I was terrified the first time I ever saw myself in battle armor."

"How did you get over it?"

"To be honest, I never have every time I have to wear my battle armor i worry that I’m going to fail to protect some pony or their family, it's the worst thing about situations like this."

"Yeah... now I just can't stop worrying about Cadance." Celestia nodded and pulled Twilight close to comfort her.

"I'm sure she's fine." Back at the Crystal Empire the doctors jumped back as Cadance quickly thrashed around and got to her feet, looked around dazed and confused until she realized where she was, and the soothing warm feeling seem to fill her body.

"What's going on here?" Cadance asked, as she looked to one of the Doctors.

"Well your majesty it would seem that the empire is under siege." the Doctor explained as he started to check her eyes. "We don't know much more, other then the attackers are Royal Guards from Canterlot."


"I'll explain." Flash said, as he ran up getting Cadance to back away slightly. "Your majesty, I know i don't look it but i am Flash Sentry your captain of the guard, it would seem that the Royal Blue Guards from Canterlot are trying to take over the empire, me and the rest of the Crystal Guards got turned to stone by the Royal Blue's during their first attack, but we've been restored partly by a pony calling himself Orion, and currently Orion is going after a stone monster quickly approaching the edge of the Crystal empire."

"But the barrier from the Crystal Heart should prevent any monsters from entering." Cadance said, as she slowly made her way to a window to see the stone monster.

"Yes but it didn't prevent the Royal Blue Guards from entering, and from what Orion informed me he's some how activated a fortress mode of the barrier and all the Crystal Ponies are now inside the inner portion of the empire."

"Fortress mode? I don't know anything about a Fortress mode." Cadance said as she started to notice the shimmer of the barrier. "It seems more condensed." Her attention was drawn back ahead as she heard what sounded like thunder and could see the monster trying to lift up one of it's massive hands .

"It just took a swing, Orion must be there." Flash said, as he tried to make out a small black dot.

"He's there." Cadance said, as she could see Orion clearly. "He's trying to slow it down, It looks like he's using a form of Crystal Magic." As Orion circled the beast dodging it's massive limbs as it tried to swat him down, he was using his prism beam to try and encase the beast into crystal but it only seem to crystallize a area for a few moments slowing the beast down, but still shattering after. "I have to get out there, I have to help him buy us some time."

"Some time for what Princess?"

"For my Aunts and husband to bring the real Canterlot help, I left just as they had started to gather the guards." Flash smiled and quickly passed on the message to a fellow guard who ran down to inform the ponies. "Then we have a fighting chance, but we need you to remain here princess, the necklace around your neck is helping restore your magic, as well as help you young one."

"The young one?" Cadance looked at Flash with a bit of shock, who seemed just as shocked. "What young one?"

"Uh... well according to the small Alicorn that came from Orion's armor you are with foal." Flash stammered as he looked at his princess who seemed just as shocked by the news. "Once he heard this information he was very insistent on finding away to help restore your strength and magic, he gave you that necklace and then told us to tell the Citizens that you had given him apart of your magic to fight the stone monster, it seemed to help boost the power of the barrier around the palace." As Flash finished he noticed the stunned look on Cadance's face as she sat back down and then looked down.

"I'm with foal?"

"According to the little alicorn from Orion's armor." Flash knew how insane it sounded but he didn't dare take a chance with an expecting mother, certainly not with a royal mother. As Cadance looked out at the battle field she could see Orion struggling to fight against the beast. "His original plan was to just keep the citizens hopeful, but when you arrived everything started to go wrong."

"What do you mean?"

"When you arrived, we found out that your magic would restore over time, like any other unicorn, but then the Alcorn told him that she didn't know if it would be in enough time to save the little one, he asked if there was away to restore your magic with magic from the crystal heart and she informed that there was but the barrier was already very weak, that's when we noticed the rock monster, he then requested the necklace now around your neck and took off for the monster, and after we spread the word that you gave him magic and sent him after it the barrier seem to restore the barrier back to full strength, if not stronger." Cadance nodded then looked out the window at the golem as a concerned look spread across her face.

"He's doing this because of my mistake." Cadance said, as a tear ran down her face. While Orion continued to fight but couldn't figure out how this massive monster was still moving.

"Spectra I see the golem, I can tell by the unnatural glow around this beast that some Unicorn is controlling it, but I can't see any unicorns around."

"Because they are inside the beast." Orion got as close to beast as he could running on it's chest at one point and quickly got a glimpse through a crack just before the beast neck and noticed a small invasion force sitting inside.

"They're using the beast as cover, if the Empire is destroyed and no witnesses left, then it could be blamed as a monster attack." Orion said, as he flew away from the swinging stone arms.

"Orion I don't think they ever intended for there to be witnesses."

"In other wards no survivors." Orion said, as he started to fly straight up.

"Exactly, and then offer to help with the clean up, all the while looking for their goal, Crystal Edge's lab." Orion started to fly faster and faster heading straight up. "Orion what are you doing?"

"Getting some distance." Orion could feel the air getting thinner as he started to slow down.

"Distance for what?" As Orion stopped flying up he looked around and see the curvature of Equestria and smiled, then looked down and could see a faint glint of the Crystal Palace. "Orion what are you going to do?"

"The barrier it's at full strength correct?"

"Yes the Crystal Ponies haven't noticed you leaving the battle yet, Princess Cadance hasn't informed anypony of your departure, and from what I can see the invaders haven't noticed your departure ether."

"Good." Back at the battle field the unicorn force inside the stone monster kept looking around, until one turned and looked at their commanding officer.

"Commander Iron Hoof, it seems that whatever was attacking us is gone."

"Good, continue on the assault, I want this empire crushed before any pony in Canterlot knows what's really going on." As the massive beast started to move forward once more there was a sound of several little pops. "What was that?" Iron hoof looked at his second in command, only to get a shrugged look of confusion. From Cadance and Flash's point of view all they heard was a pop, followed by a louder one, and then a loud boom just before what looked like black lightning bolt striking the rock monster shattering it.

"I have to get out there." Cadance insisted as she opened her wing but barely had enough strength to keep them open.

"Princess please, you used up way to much magic you have to rest, let Orion by us the time we need for you to regain your strength, and if at all possible enough time for the others to come." Cadance hated this, she wanted to defend her empire but she was drained worst then what she had been when she had used her magic to defend the empire before the Crystal Heart was found.

"He can't fight them all alone, as bad of an excuse those guards are they where still trained to be royal guards." with that Flash nodded then looked at the dust and smoke coming from the impact sight.

"Let's just hope he can hold out just a bit longer." Back at the crater Iron Hoof was slowly picking himself up from the rubble.

"REFORM!" he ordered, as he looked around and started to notice that many of the unicorn guards had been knocked out.

"Sir we can't, we've lost to many magic users we can reform the stone giant." Iron Hoof's assistant explained, as he walked up shacking the stars from his head.

"THEN GET THOSE FEATHER BRAINS FROM HIDDING AND TELL THEM WE NEED BACK UP!!" Iron Hoof glared down into the crater as smoke and dust started to settle. "I WANT EVER GUARD READY WHEN WE SEE THAT PUNKS BODY I WANT IT TORN APART AS AN EXAMPLE TO THOSE GLITTER BRAINS WHO IS IN CHARGE NOW!" several of the Unicorn guards still awake started to use their magic and form a giant construct around themselves in the form of a Cyclops, a Minotaur, and even a dragon.

"Looks like he has them scared." Flash said, as he saw the translucent shells from around their makers.

"And they should be." Cadance said, as Flash noticed a smile start to appear on her face.


"Look at the smoke and dust above the crater." Flash looked and noticed crimson sparks made it look like a thunder storm. "I don't get it."

"When Baby Unicorns start having magical accidents their parents have to keep a close eye on magical build up, the first signs of this is normally sparks from the horn."

"Yes ma-am I know, but what does this have to do with that?" Cadance smiled as she pointed at the dust cloud above the crater, that was filled with red flashes of energy.

"It seems that Orion is powering up." with that Flash looked back at the scene at the edge of the empire and smiled slightly. After a few minutes of nothing Iron Hoof smirked, as he turned and started to head for the Palace.

"Nothing that small could have survived an impact like that, follow me Royal Blue if we can still take this empire, and then our lord can find Crystal Edge's lab." As the small horde marched for the palace, the citizens could see them coming and fear of being conquered again, and enslaved filled them, but as that fear turned to hate Cadance could see that the shield was starting to falter.

"I better get ready." Cadance used her magic and conjured up battle armor and prepared for the attack.

"Princess look." Flash pointed to the creator as the smoke and dust seem to start forming a tornado, an action that also started to get the attention of the invaders who turned to see what was going on, just before a black bolt of lighting shot up from the top of the Tornado turning it inside out and dissipating it.

As the black lighting arched across the sky and struck just in front of the barrier another smaller cloud emerged, getting everypony's attention inside and outside the barrier. As red crystal like batwings emerged followed by a more war like armor, eyes now red gems and the front hooves looked like Griffin claws. The Crystal Ponies inside the barrier watched as this new armor look over it's shoulder and nodded once at them before looking back at the invaders, a surge of hope and joy hit the Crystal Heart like a train hitting a brick wall and with the surge the translucent barrier that once surrounded the inner empire started to become solid and form a crystal dome reaching up to the tip of the crystal palace.

"Princess what's happening?" Flash asked, as he watched the new Crystal shell appear.

"It's the citizens, their feeding so much hope into the Crystal Heart that it's able to form this new protective layer." Cadance said, as a smile spread across her face. "He just gave them a massive does of security." Cadance could see that this new sign of defiance wasn't setting well with Iron Hoof as he stamped his front hooves several time in anger.

"Orion I must advise against this, you can't let the armor feed off these emotions much longer or they will corrupt your thoughts."

"I have no other choice, you must use all the positive emotions to protect the Crystal Ponies."

"But you can't beat them."

"I don't have to beat them." As the standoff started Orion took inventory on what he was facing, three unicorns using construct battle armor the size of full grown dragons, at least two dozen Pegasus flying around caring explosive spears, and wearing wing blades, and five unicorns in royal guard battle armor on the ground ready to strike, and last but not least Iron Hoof. "I just have to hold them off." As Orion flared his wings out and got into a battle stance, Iron Hoof snarled and took the first shot, sending a massive blast of energy at Orion only to have Orion back flip and kick off the barrier into charge.

"DESTROY HIM!!" as the Unicorns started to shoot magical bolts, and the Pegasus started to throw their spears, Orion did not stop as he continued to charge forward dogging right and left before he reached the first adversary, pushing his weight to his hind legs and struck one of the few unicorn guards with a crystal blade that extended from his right fore-hoof encasing the unicorn in Crystal, and continued to use his momentum to dart back and forth to avoid the attacks he cut down several more unicorns before a large construct's fist slammed on top of him, stopping Orion.

At first it seemed as if the battle was over, concerning Cadance as she thought about how it would effect the Crystal Ponies, as she noticed the barrier start to shimmer slightly and begin to change back to it's normal state, until she watched as the construct get lifted off the ground from it's fist and slammed onto it's back shattering the image as well as knocking out the unicorn inside due to magical feedback. Cadance was shocked but then smiled as she watched the barrier turn rock hard once more. "He's doing it." Cadance said, smiling as she watched the fight, she could feel the emotions through the necklace around her neck, the pride, the hope, the joy all flowing into her. "He's going to do it."

As Orion turned and took off like a shot from a cannon, he punctured through another construct, as it faded the unicorn that was inside fell encased in Crystal, while Orion kicked off a building and hit the remaining construct in the face sending the towering creation staggering backward and slamming into several pegasus and unicorns as it hit the ground. AS he landed on the ground and let the last construct fade, two pegasus dove down and tried to finish Orion with their wing blades only to have Orion jump over them and struck both of them between their wings with his crystal blade sending their encased bodies flying into a few unicorns that had started to get up from the impact of the construct and slamming them into a building.

"I'LL MOUNT YOUR HEAD AT THE CRYSTAL GATES!!!" Iron Hoof yelled, as he charged Orion forming three sabers with his magic only to have them get deflected Orion's Crystal blade, leaving Orion opened to an attack from behind by the remaining unicorns sending Orion staggering forward before a rope wrapped around his neck and pull him into the air by a pegasus. "FINISH HIM OFF!!"

"With pleasure sir." the pegasus responded, as he looked down to Iron Hoof and noticed Orion now holding onto the rope, and breaking the noose around his neck with his spare claw. "SIR!" the Pegasus didn't say much more as Orion's wings flapped, as he pulled on the rope jerking the pegasus around getting Orion to notice the rope tied to the Pegasus’s left fore-leg, he could see the look of panic on the pegasus guard's face. "No, no, no,no" the guard started to try and get himself free only to feel the rope go taunt again as Orion started to swing him around liked hammer throw from the Equestrian game only to release him into the unicorns that had just attacked him behind.

"More." Orion nearly growled, as he looked at what remained of the attacking force ready to strike them all down.

"Orion, listen to me you can't keep going like this the armor must be returned normal." Spectra tried to reason with Orion only to watch as he dove back into the fight. "I have to set things back to normal, if he doesn't stop fighting on rage and hate he'll be corrupted forever." On the battle field those that hadn't been encased in Crystal or knocked out had made the smart move to run, all except Iron Hoof who was now using his magic to form stronger battle armor around his normal armor and had several weapon constructs at the ready.

"I refuse to be stopped."

"Then I refuse to show you mercy." Orion responded as the tips of the griffin claws started to glow bright red. As the two charged forward at each other both ready to take the other's life a beam of magic struck Orion in the chest sending him flying backwards and shattering through the crystal barrier, Iron Hoof stopped his attack, stunned by this turn of events but then watched as Luna landed next to him with a look of rage on her face, in her battle armor, and her horn smoking from her last attack.

"Princess Luna?"

"Fear not guard your princess has arrived to aid in vanquishing this villain." Inside the crystal barrier Orion started to climb out of a wall from a home that the blast had sent him crashing into.

"I'm going to kill her, I’m going to rip off her wing, one feather at a time, and,..." Orion stopped and shook his head free of the images he had started to think about, as the rage started to wash away from him. "Spectra?"

"It's about time you snapped out of it, it'll be a while before your back to normal but at least your showing signs of getting better." As the barrier started to lower Orion climbed out of the house as his armor turned back to normal. As he walked out into the outer part of the empire he looked at Luna who didn't seem very happy as she was facing Iron Hoof, when he spotted Cadance he had an idea of what had happened.

"Oh thank my Aunt Celestia that you're alright." Cadance said, as she ran up and looked at Orion. "I just finished explaining everything to my Aunt Luna." Orion didn't stop walking as he marched up to Luna and sat down in front of her.

"Do you have any idea of how much that stings?" Orion asked, getting Luna's attention.

"We are glade to see you are unharmed, and we extend our apologies for the miss understanding." Orion nodded then looked at Iron Hoof.

"You're lucky she stepped in, I was just about to finish you off." Iron Hoof warned, as he smirked at Orion.

"Princess Luna, I know that by Equestrian laws once an enemy has been captured they are to be treated with respect and not harmed, but can I knock that grin off his muzzle?" Orion asked, as he pointed at Iron Hoof.

"You most certainly can not, no harm will befall him while he is under my watchful gaze."

"In short, you can't touch me tin can." Luna didn't much care of the arrogance in Iron Hoof's tone, but then smiled as she looked at Cadance.

"We believe it would be best to talk with your citizens to prove that both Canterlot and the Crystal Empire, are still on good terms, which could take our attention for several minutes." Cadance knew what her aunt was getting at and smiled.

"I agree Aunt Luna, and i'm sure Orion wouldn't mind watching Iron Hoof while we do that."

"Wait what?" As shock and fear washed over Iron Hoof both Cadance and Luna turned their backs on him, leaving him to Orion's mercy. "But they can't."

"Yeah well they just did." a few minutes later Celestia arrived with Twilight, Shinning Armor and Blue Blood, as they landed it was clear that Luna and Cadance weren't happy, while the newly de-stoned Royal Crystal Guards glared at Blue Blood, and the Royal Blue Guards were still encased in crystal.

"It would seem we are to late Twilight." Celestia said, as she walked up and took in the scene. "But I am rather confused sister, why are Blue Blood's guard trapped in crystal?"

"Because sister it would seem we where wrong in our assumptions, when we saw the stone guards and the black armor we thought the one in the armor was the attacker, in truth it would seem that he was the empires protector." Luna explained, then turned to her nephew. "Something that we are all interested in hearing explained dear nephew." Blue Blood started to back away from his aunts glare only to stop when he backed into something. As he turned around he found himself looking at the black armor of Orion standing behind him.

"Blue Blood I would like to introduce you to the one resistant fighter that stood against your forces, Orion this is my nephew Blue Blood." Blue Blood quickly collected himself and straitened his shirt.

"Yes well I am unaware of what has transpired here, but i am grateful for your quick action. If there is anything i can help you with."

"Resist arrest." Orion said, as he glared at Blue Blood.

"Excuse me?"

"Resist arrest, I want you to fight and try to stop me from place you in cuffs and throwing you into a dungeon cell."

"What on Equestria for?" Shocked by this request Blue Blood started to glare at Orion, making it clear he wasn't amused by his request.

"Because I made a promise to your cousin and aunt that I wouldn't knock the blue blood out of your veins if you didn't resist arrest." Orion said this with such a calm demeanor that it sent a cold chill down Blue Bloods spin.
"I-I am a p-princes of Equestria, AND I WILL NOT (*SMACK!*)" Blue Blood was knocked to the ground as Orion back hoofed him. "HOW DARE YOU!" Blue Blood yelled, as he got back to his hooves.

"Like this (*SMACK!*)" Again to the ground only this time Orion placed a hoof on his head. "Don't move or this is really going to hurt... on second thought struggle all you want." before anypony knew what was going on Orion shoved his left hoof into Blue Blood's chest getting the Princesses to gasp in shock but stopped as Orion removed his hoof and produced a black Crystal, leaving no trace of injure on Blue Blood. "Well now that would explain things a little better."

"Explain what?" Twilight asked, as she looked at Orion and then got a closer look at the crystal that started to dissipate into a dark mist. "What is that."

"Consider it essence of Sombra, or rather what Sombra is. It's Umbra, which could only mean some how Blue Blood came in contact with an Umbra Crystal."

"But how? the last sighting of an Umbra Crystal was over 1000 years ago when King Sombra was in power." Celestia said, as she looked at Orion.

"Is there any dig locations around the empire?" Orion asked, as he looked at Cadance.

"None that I know of, but then again he has been coming up here often." Cadance looked at Blue Blood who was now curled in the fetal position. " And I don't think he's in any condition to tell us anything about where he might have come in contact with an Umbra crystal."

"Well at least this will cut down on a trial, all of his guard where corrupted by these things, Blue Blood just seemed to have the largest one."

"But how could he possibly have kept such a thing a secret?" Flash asked, as he looked at Orion.

"Not really sure, from what information I do know of the Umbra, they are creatures of shadows so maybe it was just able to hide it self from everypony inside of Blue Blood, and it seems that as Blue Blood was a carrier he managed to infect his guards alone."

"But why not the others, why not the Princesses?" Shinning asked, as he looked at Orion and pointed to Cadance.

"I can only assume that your love prevented it from infecting you Prince Armor, Celestia and Luna were to powerful to be controlled, as well as Princess Twilight's friendship with her group would have sent up some red flags and caught the attention of both the royal sisters, if she started to act different, the only reason I can figure for it not trying to infect the other royal guards is that it figured that since the Royal Blue Guard already had a bad reputation no pony would notice if they acted mean." Orion explained, as he looked at Blue Blood. "But right now we need to know how long he's been infected, and what has he been doing since then, but we won't know that until he recovers from the crystal-ectomy."

"Very well then, but what was the Umbra making him do?" Celestia asked, as she looked at Orion.

"Well his guards kept demanding to know the location of Crystal Edge's Lab." Flash stated getting the royal families attention. "Sorry if I over stepped."

"No you're right, the first wave of bent on finding Crystal Edge's lab, so it's safe to assume that something in that lab is able to stop them, and they fear it more then the Crystal Heart."

"That or something that might be able to destroy the heart." Celestia said, as she tapped her chin in thought. "It's been a very long time since I've heard the name Crystal Edge, I believe the rest of this conversation should be held in private."

"I would agree but I must rest, could we not carry this on in the morning?" Orion asked, then let out a yawn getting Celestia to smile.

"Of course my little pony, you've had a trying day, rest, and tomorrow morning I will expect that you will attend a meeting with the royal family so that we can privately discuss these turn of events." with that Orion nodded and then vanished in a flash of light. later the royal family did meet in the royal chambers, as the four princesses and one prince sat around a table drinking tea, Luna seemed to be pondering something before she finally turned to Celestia.

"Sister why did you say Orion will be in attendance tomorrow?" Luna asked, as she looked at her elder sister.

"Because of the armor he wears Luna."

"What about it Princess?" Twilight asked, curios on the information.

"The armor that Orion wears, was once known as the Edge Armor, it was forged with powerful magic by Crystal Edge himself, with the aid of me, Luna, and Star Swirl the bearded."

"But I've never heard of this Crystal Edge pony before Aunt Celestia." Cadance said, as she looked at Celestia.

"And for good reason, Edge was from a time before me and Luna took control, he was what you could consider the first Royal Guard."

"What do you mean?" Shinning Armor listened in, never knowing anything about this pony of Royal Guard history. Celestia smiled as she
sipped her tea then set it on the table.

"Alright I'll tell you the tale of Crystal Edge... In a time before me and Luna took our places on the thrones, the land was being ruled by Royals."

"You mean like us?" Cadance asked, only to get Luna to snicker.

"Not quite my niece, the Royals of that time where more like the nobles of this time." Luna explained as she smiled at Cadance.

"Which isn't to far from the truth, back then during the dark times, wars were always being fought, mostly between Unicorns and Pegasus with the earth ponies trapped in the middle, each side had their warriors, their knights as they were known during that time. It was a very dark and troubling time until one pony stood up and said enough was enough, this pony was a war mage known Crystal Edge, he was so sickened by the mistreatment of his fellow pony that he took his armor and stained it back, then denounced the unicorn royal he once served."

"Princess Celestia you said Crystal Edge was a war mage?" Twilight asked, as she seemed to be intrigued by this new information.

"Yes Twilight."

"But according to the history books all the war mages destroyed themselves."

"Which is partly true young Twilight." Luna corrected as she smiled at Twilight's knowledge. "The war mages of that time was like the royal's most powerful fighters, their so called aces in the hole, and many times the royals would just send out their war mages to wage a war against entire armies, or against another war mage."

"And sometimes the war mages would deliberately just go after another war mage to make a reputation for themselves." Celestia continued cutting off her younger sister, before Luna could go into great detail of the things the war mages could do.

"And what about Crystal Edge?" Celestia smiled at her former students inquisitive nature.

"Crystal Edge was not like most war mages, he used his skills to defend those that couldn't defend them selves, many times having to stand against war mages, some of them sent by their rulers, others just looking to make names for them selves, in the end Edge managed to survive onslaught after onslaught until finally they stopped coming."

"In other words the history books aren't wrong, they just don't mention that Crystal Edge was the last one standing." Luna added, as she
smiled at Twilight, who had started to write this information down.

"Now as I was saying Crystal Edge stained his armor black in rebellion against the cruel rulers of pony kind."

"One legend of the time was that he dove into Tartarus to fight a demon monster known as Metlar before it could surface." Luna added with a smile, getting Celestia to smirk slightly as she remembered the stories of old.

"Oh trust me there was a lot of rumors consisting of Crystal Edge back then, but we can talk about that later. At first he started to only fight and protect the earth ponies in areas of unrest, moving from one battle field to the next, he gained a lot of respect of many knights getting many of them to follow him."

"And the royals were not happy that their forces would abandon them and join some pony else." Luna added, getting Celestia to smile.

"But it wasn't until a period of peace came that things started to get complicated."

"How can a period of peace be complicated?" Twilight asked, as she looked at her mentor.

"Well during this time both Unicorn and Pegasus kingdoms started to tax the earth ponies, leaving them with barely anything to live on. Crystal Edge and his knights started to raid these tax collectors."

"To a point that Edge had very large bounties put on his head, I remember many times he would have poor earth ponies turn him in so they could collect the reward, but by the time they got the carriage that was carrying him to which ever castle they were taking him to he would be gone."

"Yes sister, Edge and his band fought only for those in need, but never attacked a kingdom that Edge would determine to be a noble kingdom. Which if I remember correctly the only kingdom that he ever said was worthy of that title was one that Fancy Pants is descended from." Celestia thought for a second and then shook her head. "Sorry, as I was saying him and his group only served to protect earth ponies and give them a fighting chance to survive, it wasn't until the species wars that it changed."

"Species wars, I think I remember reading up on that, wasn't that where Griffins, and Minotaur’s fought to try and take over Equestria."

"Many more then that Twilight, but those where some of the most powerful factions yes, Edge and his group stood and fought against all of them, but never took more land then what rightful belong to pony kind. Which didn't set well with many of the royals who demanded that they take over the other kingdoms, but earned the respect of the other species, and after awhile they stopped fighting, and again a time of peace arrived, and Crystal Edge and his followers now over 1,000 at the time and joined by several fighters from the other kingdoms had to reserve them selves into hiding once more, again the royals weren't happy with Edge's actions, except for lord Chain Mail who was more then happy to let them live peacefully in his lands."

"Lord Chain Mail?"

"The one royal Edge approved of." Luna answered, as she looked at Twilight.

"I remember reading about him in a history book, His kingdom was a shinning beacon during the dark times."

"Yes, and is one of the examples me and Luna thought back to when Canterlot was being formed, but as I was saying everything was peaceful until the Dragon war."

"I remember that one sister, I wanted to fight in it, but you told me I was to young." Luna said, as she looked at Celestia.

"Well at the time you where still just a filly by alicorn standards, besides we where in good hooves at the time."

"Wait the Dragon war I think I remember reading about those." with that Twilight used her magic and had a book appeared in front of her, and quickly flipped thought eh pages until she reached the section she was looking for. "Ah here it is, the dragon war was started when a dragon wizard by the name Dreadwing was able to control other dragon with a type of mental magic, the only dragon unaffected by this was the Dragon queen who rose up and defeated Dreadwing after three months."

"That is only part of the story my faithful student, what the history books don't talk about is Edge's contribution to Dreadwing’s down fall.
You can ask Tamara herself in a few weeks."

"Tamara?" Shinning looked slightly confused as he looked to his wife.

"The Dragon Queen." Cadance explained getting Shinning Armor to node. "Wait she was alive back then?"

"She was the queen way back then to, from what she told me years ago was that Crystal Edge arrived in her cell after he had made his way across dragon territory and snuck past all the guards of the dragon keep, during the day he would sneak out and poison Dreadwing’s food, and during the night he would sleep in a small hole in one of the stone walls of her cell. He did this for months before the first signs of Dreadwing’s powers wearing off started to show, as the guards started to break free of his hold, that was when the attacked happened." with that Celestia flipped the page and showed an image of Tamara sitting on her treasure hoard. As she used her magic and projected the image in front of everpony present she zoomed in on Tamara's right foot. "Do you see that strange shadow?"

"No." Cadance, Twilight, and Shinning Armor said in unison.

"Allow me sister." Luna used her magic and altered the lighting slightly until it was clear an armored pony stood in the shadow of the dragon queen.

"I didn't even know this image of Edge still existed until a few years after I had banished Luna, and Tamara tried to comfort me by telling me the story, she told me that no matter how long it took I should never give up hope, not on my friends, or on my family, and it was remembering that story and looking at this image that helped me on many nights when I missed Luna the most." with that Luna walked over to Celestia and hugged her.
"Then this is one of my favorite stories as well."

"But I don't understand, why has no pony every heard of Crystal Edge before, and what about hearth warming?"

"Ah, well when Edge returned from the dragon war he realized he was getting old, but during that time the land had turned cold, so he packed up and started to move, most of his followers had fallen during the dragon war fighting to protect ponies, and those that remained still followed him in hopes that things would get much better, it wasn't until we reached the new land of Equestria that he had stopped traveling, and started to teach."

"Teach what?"

"Well teach us really, we where still very young at the time, and he mostly taught us how to be just and fair. It wasn't until one day in the woods that we fought off a Temberwolf, that the other ponies started to look to us as their new rulers."

"We tried to tell them no, but they wouldn't listen." Luna said, as she smiled slightly.

"They built a house around us one night while we slept." Celestia said in a deadpan tone. "So instead of fighting it Edge told us to go along with it, so we did, and when the council of Rulers was formed Edge was there by our side, as well as helping us make trade deals with the other species. Many of the rulers that had been around long enough knew of Edge, they had great respect for him. All the while we sat by watching and listening, and afterwards he would talk us through what had happened, explaining how it worked.
As time went on Edge stopped being in the foreground, and slowly started to move to the shadows, once he realized we no longer needed him watching over us, he started teaching the ones he would leave to protect us."

"Though at the time we didn't know what he was doing, until the day of our coronation."

"What happened then, did he just leave with out saying goodbye?" Cadance asked, sounding like she was getting choked up.

"No, for everything he had done for us we offered him one royal request, anything he wanted and we would grant it, if he would have asked us then and there to make him into an Alicorn we would have." Celestia said, as she started to look down at her tea cup, looking at the leafs. "But we never expected what he asked for." Celestia and Luna both seemed somber now, their smiles of past memories now gone, and the others looked on.

"What did he ask for Princess?"

"That he be erased from history." Celestia set he cup down as a tear rolled down her face. "We asked if we had done something wrong to make him request such a thing, and he only smiled and told us that he was very proud of both me and Luna, but he had spent his entire life like a shadow, a ghost, and he wanted history to remember him like that... so we agreed."

"In a since." Luna said, as she used her napkin to clean the tears from her face. "He asked, us to have no mention of him in history, and even the other rulers agreed to it."

"What do you mean?"

"Well Twilight Sparkle you remember how we had to change the picture slightly so that you could see Edge clearly?" Luna asked, as she smiled at Twilight. "Look though your history books and you will see that many of them have pictures that contain an image of Edge in the background." Twilight smiled, she now had a new reason to look over all the history books she could get her hoofs on.
"But what happened to Edge?" Cadance asked, as she looked to her aunt Celestia.

"Well he helped found the Crystal Empire, in fact he helped design the Crystal heart."

"So he did have a lab." Twilight's eyes light up like a neon sign, as she thought about how many hidden treasures could be inside of the long lost lab.

"Not in a since Twilight, you see we made Edge a deal, we would follow through with his request only if he kept his knowledge and creations hidden in a place that only a worthy successor could ever enter, on the day that he completed his end of the bargain he showed us the Crystal Nexus, and it's guardian, Spectra, she was the one that would choose who could enter the Nexus and earn the right to learn any of his secrets."

"And the armor that Orion wore?"

"It was the only thing Edge ever asked us to help with, when we completed it he sealed it away inside the Crystal Nexus... It was also the last time we heard from him, until Princess Amore contacted us and informed us that he had past. We sealed him in a tomb up here in the frozen north over 1000 years ago, the landscape has changed so much I couldn't even begin to tell you where it is."

"Wait the tomb, what if Blue Blood stumbled over something about Crystal Edge, and thought his tomb was his lab, and that's where he was infected." Twilight surmised as she looked at Celestia, only to jump slightly as Luna slammed a hoof on the table.

"Then are nephew will be answering to a much harsher punishment for trying to desecrate that hollowed ground." It was clear Luna wasn't happy, and it wasn't until Celestia wrapped a fore-leg around her that she seemed to calm down.

"We will get to the bottom of that soon enough, but what we do know is that Spectra has chosen one to wear the armor, so that means there might be trying times ahead, or due to the attack upon the empire she feared the link to the Crystal Nexus would be severed and chose the best option at the time, ether way me and Luna will have to notify the Council of Rulers and inform them of this turn of events."

Back in the Crystal Nexus, Orion rested as he laid in bedroom of a very large crystal palace that Spectra had made. "How are you feeling?"

"My head is killing me."

"With good reason, I warned you about using the armor in such away."

"You did, but it was the best option at the time."

"I suppose so, but it was also very reckless, I told you what would happen if you only fought with negative emotions powering the armor."

"You also told me I wouldn't be able to beat them." Orion said, as he sat up and looked at Spectra.

"Yes, because all the possible futures I saw had you beaten by them, smashed and broken." Orion smiled as he looked up at Spectra.

"In other words, I made my own future." Spectra could hear a since of pride in Orion's voice, and smirked as she bopped him lightly on the head.

"That you did, which you are an anomaly."

"I'm a what?"

"It's something that can't be accounted for, something about you helped defy all the possible futures and create your own. It's like any scientist will tell you, through any experiment there is one factor that they cannot account for, that can alter the results slightly."

"So I'm that unknown factor."

"It would seem so."