Sol Umbrae

by Dream Bolt

First published

Twilight Sparkle is sent to a new world to face an old threat, only to find that this new world shares a lot more history with Equestria than she suspected.

A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic/ Sonic the Hedgehog crossover

WARNING!!! Contains big spoilers from the Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) game, as well as a few comic references.

This story contains no crazy crossover shippings, (although strong friendships are formed,) and is my attempt at creating a decent MLP/ Sonic crossover that does well at presenting both universes both with accuracy and depth. I have also tried to keep this so that it is as close to canon as possible for both worlds, although I naturally elaborated on some things.

When Twilight Sparkle and her friends are sent to go to the strange world of Mobius to defeat an ancient evil, they end up encountering a strange, spiky blue creature named Sonic. The ponies easily make friends with Sonic, but soon find that not all of the people on Mobius are friendly. Mysterious events lead to misunderstandings, while an evil villain known as Dr. Eggman is setting his eyes on Equestria as his new target.
And amidst all of this lies a great mystery, a mystery that will shed some shocking revelations on how Equestria and Mobius share a great deal of history, on the origins of the being called Solaris, and on a dark threat that both worlds know all too well.

Other than the listed characters, you will get to see the Cutie Mark Crusaders and a good deal of background ponies share in the adventure, and a bit of Discord, as well as a great deal of short appearances by other .

I Wasn't Prepared for This

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Sol Umbrae

Chapter 1: “I Wasn’t Prepared for This”

Twilight Sparkle sat anxiously upon her seat in the train. Ever since she had become a princess, she had been given a lot of responsibility, but today was different. Princess Celestia’s letter had been brief and cryptic, and had sounded urgent. She reread the letter for the twentieth time, still trying to decipher its meaning.

Dear Twilight Sparkle,
I require your aid on a matter of utmost importance. I cannot tell you in this letter, for I do not wish to spread panic if I am mistaken, and I do not wish unfriendly eyes to read this if I am not.
The fate of more than just Equestria may lie in the balance here. But I have faith in you, and I believe you will be able to face whatever may lie ahead.
Your dear friend and former teacher, Princess Celestia.

“You worry too much.” Spike said casually. He was leaning against the back of the seat, crunching on a couple sapphires he had brought along as a snack. “I mean, let’s think about this. Discord, Chrysalis, King Sombra, that Ursa Minor, that time Trixie had the Alicorn Amulet. You’ve faced all kinds of trouble, and you always came out on top.”

“But what if I don’t this time?” Twilight asked. “I’m not even sure what I’m preparing for! What if I fail, and the fate of Equestria really is in the balance?!”

Spike sighed. “Twilight, I have faith in you. The princess has faith in you. Your friends have faith in you, and pretty much all of Ponyville for that matter. The only pony who doesn’t think you can do this is yourself. Seriously, how can this be worse than Discord?”

Twilight sighed. “You’re right.” She then proceeded to pull a large stack of spell books out of her pack. “But I’d better catch some extra study time, just in case!”
Spike sighed, shaking his head, and went back to eating his sapphires.


Once they reached Canterlot, Twilight received a pleasant surprise as she saw who was standing at the platform.
“Shining Armor!” she cried with glee.
“Twily!” Shining Armor called back. “Good to see you!”
After a warm hug, Twilight gave him a confused look. “Why are you here? I though you became prince of the Crystal Empire.”
“Well, Princess Celestia wanted extra security here, and she asked if I could temporarily take over as head of the guard again. I guess whatever it is must be really important.”

“That’s what I’m worried about.” Twilight said. “What if I can’t complete the princess’s task?”
Shining Armor smiled, and put a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “Hey, since when did my little sister ever fail a test? You’ll do great.”
“See?” Spike encouraged. “I told you. Everypony has faith in you!”
“I know.” Twilight said. “I’m just nervous.” She turned towards Shining Armor. “Let’s go. We wouldn’t want to keep the princess waiting.”


As Twilight walked through the halls of Canterlot, she felt a little odd. Ponies continued to bow to her as she passed by. She had told everyone back in Ponyville to treat her the same as they always had, so it was rather unusual to actually be treated as a princess.

They stopped in front of a large pair of doors. “Well, here we are.” Shining Armor said. “The princesses are inside. Good luck, Twily.”
“Thanks, B.B.B.F.F.” Twilight replied with a nervous smile. Then, taking a deep breath, she opened the doors and went inside.

As she entered, she saw Celestial’s familiar face, as well as Luna’s. But their expressions were both very grim. Luna always tended to be rather stern by nature, but if Celestia was so serious, the Twilight knew something was wrong.

“Please sit down, Twilight Sparkle.” Celestia said, her gentle voice now grave. As Twilight and Spike sat down, Princess Celestia said sternly, “What is discussed here must remain secret. Only your friends should be told of this. Shining Armor and Princess Cadence have already been informed on this matter, so you may also discuss it with them, and some of the heroes of Mobius, but tell nopony else.”

“You have my word.” Twilight replied. “But who are the heroes of Mobius?”

“We get ahead of ourselves.” Luna stated. “Sister, I believe Twilight Sparkle should be told the whole story.”
Princess Celestia nodded, and began. “Long ago, an evil power came into Equestria, a shadow of darkness. Nopony knows where it came from, but we know what it did.”

“What did it do?” Spike asked.

Princess Luna sighed. “In a time when I was weak in spirit, and my jealousy of my sister had clouded my vision, this evil being came unto me. It offered me greater power, the ability to make the night greater than the day. I had never wished harm upon my sister or my subjects, but I became selfish, and wished to surpass my sister. I accepted the being’s terms, for I thought that, as the ruler of the night, I had nothing to fear from shadows.”

Luna gave a deep sigh, and bowed her head. “How wrong I was. My selfishness blinded me to how wicked this being truly was. It possessed me, filled me with rage. And that is all I remember before I became… Nightmare Moon.”

Twilight looked shocked. “So… was this evil destroyed when we used the Elements of Harmony to defeat Nightmare Moon?”

“Sadly, no.” Celestia replied. “This evil is not easy to destroy. The Elements merely banished it, sending it to another world, a world we have not visited for a long time.”

“Another world?” Twilight asked, hanging on every word. “Where? How?”

“This world was once a place we visited often.” Celestia said. “We rarely showed ourselves directly to people, but we protected them. I even granted some of my power to protect that world.”
Celestia gave a deep sigh “But… things went wrong. Some of the inhabitants, from the race called ’humans’, crossed a line that broke our trust, and we have avoided that world ever since.”

“But we never ceased to watch over it.” Luna stated. “And what we have learned has disturbed us. It appears that the evil shadow has risen again. It was recently defeated by the heroes of that world, but the shadow has great power. It will not remain defeated for long, for it is neither destroyed nor imprisoned. Its last attempts nearly doomed that entire world.”

“We have seen stirrings of its power.” Celestia said. “It is cunning and manipulative. I have done my best to hide the power I have gifted that world with away, and my avatar had guarded them well, but now I fear that neither she nor the power she guards are safe. In the defeat of the evil she fought, she sealed away its power within herself, and left for her own world, to keep this power safely hidden.”

“Wait, I thought you said that this avatar was from the first world you mentioned?” Spike confusedly asked.

“I know it is difficult to explain.” Celestia said. “You see, for you to understand, you must know of what happened long ago.”


In ancient times, I and Luna were at war with Discord. We had the Elements of Harmony, but he had an advantage; he had found a way to travel between worlds. We didn’t want him to wreak chaos in other worlds as well as Equestria, so we sought a way to follow him and, if possible, prevent him from being able to travel to these other worlds.

After much difficulty and failed attempts, we finally managed to use the Elements of Harmony to create a portal and follow Discord. We shut door after door behind him, locking out of world upon world. We weren’t without help. There were many warriors from these various worlds who aided us. With our help, and the help of many other powerful wielders of magic, they managed to forge weapons known as Keyblades to be able to open or close the paths between worlds.

Eventually, we had given Discord no choice. He was trapped, with only Equestria to run to. We knew that, in our own land, we could stand against him.
But things went… very bad. Discord had come into a world filled with chaos, where the inhabitants barely went a day without being attacked, and where only a few brave warriors guarded the world from slipping into chaos entirely. These warriors, of a race known as the Echidnas, protected and wielded seven powerful gems known as the Chaos Emeralds, and the one great Master Emerald. Though its power, they could control time, space, and reality itself. Very few of the could master the art of “Chaos Control”, and so they were in great trouble, for they were fighting a losing battle.

They had threats of their own. Discord is not the only god of chaos. Mammoth Mogul, Enerjak, Perfect Chaos, all these and more were threats they had to face. Discord united these others to his side, and began his attempt to overthrow the world. Things went from a simple fight with Discord to an all-out war.

I eventually was given a choice. Although I did not wish to influence another world too greatly, I could not stand by and let the people of this world fall under the power of chaos. And so I forged my own gems to compliment the Chaos Emeralds. I infused them with the power of the sun, and dubbed them the Sol Emeralds.

With the help of these magical gems, and the mighty defenders of that world, we finally managed to defeat all of Discord’s allies. As for Discord himself, he fled to Equestria, where we finally defeated him.

I and Luna came back to that world from time to time. We were loved and welcomed, and we made many friends. Towards the end, I made a friend of a princess who ruled over a large island.

But the one race, the race known as humans, went too far. A few of them tried to steal my power, so that they could use the Sol Emeralds for themselves.

While I knew that many of the world’s inhabitants, including the humans, were decent and friendly, I could not allow the power I had given them to fall into the wrong hands. And so, with the help of the Echidnas and the Master Emerald, I separated part of the world, creating a new world in which to hide the Sol Emeralds. I also altered their magic, so that they would be unable to exist in the same world with the Chaos Emeralds for too long, so that no creature could use both of their powers and become too mighty.

Some of the inhabitants of the first world offered to colonize this new world and protect the Sol Emeralds. I chose only the most trustworthy to be allowed this honor. One of them, a princess who had been my close friend for many years, was chosen to lead them. I gifted her and her descendants with a portion of my power, and set them as guardians over the Sol Emeralds. And for thousands of years since, that is what they have done, and they have lived in safety.


“But with the return of the evil shadow, we are not certain just how safe they will remain.” Celestia finished. “This second world has now been reached by people from the first world, the world where the shadow was banished to. It is possible that the shadow may rise again, and reclaim its power. That would be a disaster that would threaten both of our worlds.”

Twilight stared in shock, her mouth hanging open.

“I understand this is a lot to take in.” Celestia said softly. “But the recent attack this shadow performed upon this other world was far more devastating than even Nightmare Moon. It is growing more intelligent than before, knowing how to use its power better. We cannot risk its return, lest it grow too powerful to conquer. Your quest, Twilight Sparkle, is to stop this threat from coming to power.”

Twilight stared in shock, but finally managed to say, “Yes, Your Highness. I will do my best to complete this task.”

“Then gather your friends and the Elements of Harmony.” Celestia ordered, handing her a scroll. “This spell, together with the Elements of Harmony, should enable you to travel to this other world.”

“I won’t let you down, Princess!” Twilight said confidently.

“I know you won‘t.” Celestia said kindly. “And do not forget, even though this may be a strange and unusual world, the magic of friendship is still the same wherever you go. You will find help in that world. Be ready to accept it, but be aware that some may try to deceive you.”

“I’ll be careful.” Twilight replied. “I always try to be!”

“Then good luck to you and your friends!” Celestia said. “And if you need our assistance, Luna and I shall be there for you!”

“Indeed, let me know before you finish off this evil!” Luna cried. “I, for one, have a score to settle with it!”

“Will do, Princess Luna!” Twilight replied, standing up.

As Twilight walked out of the room, followed closely by Spike, Shining Armor strode up to her.
“So? How did it go?” he asked.
“Couldn’t be better!” Twilight responded, a rather forced grin upon her face.
Spike sighed. He knew that look, and he knew what it meant.
Twilight kept that forced grin on her face all the way to the train station, and all the way back to Ponyville, and all the way back to her library. As soon as they entered, Spike dove behind a table. He had a feeling he knew what was coming next.
Twilight calmly walked into the room. She gently shut the door behind herself. She closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.
And totally freaked out.


After about ten minutes of nonstop screaming and running in circles and shouting “What will I do?!” about a thousand times, Twilight finally settled down on her bed, exhausted.
“Spike?” she called wearily.
“Uh-huh?” Spike called back.
“Could you knock me out with a frying pan, please?”
Spike chuckled. “Twilight, I think you’re overreacting… again. You’ve faced all kinds of stuff before and done just fine.”
“This… is… DIFFERENT!!!” Twilight Sparkle shouted. “This is another world we’re talking about! I have no idea what I’m getting into here!”

“You said the same thing at the Crystal Empire, when we fought off King Sombra.” Spike said. “And you came through in the end. After all, it’s not like you’re doing this alone.”
Twilight sighed. “You’re right. I guess I will be with my friends. At least I can rely on you all.”

Spike gulped. “Wait. Did you say ‘us’? As in, ‘Spike too us’?”

“Well, where would I be without my number one assistant?”

Spike gave an awkward grin. “But… who will watch after the library while you’re gone?”

Twilight frowned. “If I have to go, you‘re not getting out of it. Now go get the others. We have a quest to complete.”


In a few minutes, Spike and Twilight had gathered the others atop a hill overlooking Ponyville and explained the situation to them.

“So now you know the mission.” Twilight said. “Find this evil power, and bind it away for good. Any questions?”

“Yeah.” Pinkie Pie piped up, raising her hoof. “What’s your favorite type of cake?”

“I mean about the mission.” Twilight sighed.

“Well, duh!” Pinkie giggled. “What kind of silly filly do you think I am? I have to know so I can pack snacks for us. We might be there a while, and they might not have pastries in that world!”

“Pinkie Pie makes a good point.” Rarity pointed out. “We’re not quite sure what we’re getting into, and we should probably prepare ourselves. Did the princess tell you anything about this world, Twilight?”

“Not much.” Twilight said. “She said that not much documentation has been left about this world. Star Swirl the Bearded was one of the only ponies to do research into this world, but his writings were lost long ago. As for Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, they have tried to keep an eye upon the world, but with the world being closed off for so long, all they really can do is receive a few tidbits of information. Apparently, this threat only caught their attention because it threatened that world’s entire time/space continuum.”

“So, basically we don’t know nothin’ about this world we’re going to?” Applejack asked.

“Well, the Princess gave me a scroll with the little information that is known about it.” Twilight replied, pulling out a small scroll. “But there isn’t much. And it’s been so long. This world has probably changed a lot since anypony last saw it.”

“I vote we try and open the portal now.” Rainbow Dash suggested. “I wanna see what this new place is like. This is gonna be so awesome!”

“We should prepare first before we attempt anything.” Twilight Sparkle said. “After all, this could be dangerous.”

“Not to argue, Twilight,” Applejack spoke up, “but I’m with Rainbow Dash here. Maybe if we got just a quick glimpse of what we’ll be heading into, we might know what to pack.”

“And what we should wear.” Rarity added. “I am certainly going to be quite displeased if I step out into a desert in a winter ensemble.”

Twilight looked thoughtful. “That’s a good point. It would help us be prepared.” She then stood resolutely, pulling out a small chest. “Very well, girls. Put on your Elements. We’re going to take a look at this new world.”

As they all put on their Elements of Harmony, Fluttershy looked even more nervous than usual. “Um, Twilight?” she asked. “What, if… what if something goes wrong?”

“Don’t worry!” Twilight reassured her. “I’m one of the best users of magic in all of Equestria, and we have the Elements of Harmony. What could go wrong?”

The six friends stood together. As they began to focus their minds, the Elements of Harmony began to glow. Each began to emit a ray of that element’s specific energy. Ribbons of rainbow light encircled the friends, linking their elements together.

“This is it, girls!” Twilight cried out.

There was a brilliant flash of light, and a deep, rumbling boom. When the light was gone, the friends all saw a large portal, like a hole in the air, swirling before them. On the other side, they saw grassy hills covered in flowers, and majestic, soaring cliffs. Gentle clouds hovered in a brilliant blue sky, and a waterfall could be seen in the distance.

“It’s… beautiful.” Twilight breathed. She took a step forwards, her eyes shining. This was an epic moment. Nopony had done this for over a thousand years. The great Star Swirl the Bearded himself was the only pony, other than the princesses, to ever perform this spell.

Suddenly, Pinkie Pie gave a shudder. Her excited face suddenly grew very worried.

“Twitcha-twitch!” she cried out.

Twilight turned about. “Pinkie, what are you…?”

Pinkie Pie dove for Twilight, knocking her away from the portal just as a wave of heat, fire, and smoke erupted from the vortex. The other ponies jumped back in surprise as something flew past them and crashed to the ground.
Twilight was on her hooves in an instant. With a brilliant flash, she collapsed the portal, closing off the other world.

“Thanks, Pinkie.” she breathed heavily. “You saved me.”

“No problem!” Pinkie grinned, her cheerful demeanor not dented in the least by the explosion. “That’s what friends are for!”

As everypony dusted themselves off, Rainbow Dash looked at Twilight with a worried expression.

“What was that?” she asked, a little more harshly than she intended. “What kind of world is that?”

“Maybe there’s some kind of war or something going on.” Spike suggested. “I mean, if there’s some kind of threat there like Princess Celestia said, maybe it’s already causing havoc.”

“Um, everypony, I think I saw something come through the portal.” Fluttershy said softly.

“We have to prepare for battle!” Rainbow Dash cried. “There could be anything on the other side of that portal!”

“Um, it fell in those bushes….” Fluttershy murmured.

“Perhaps some flame-retardant clothing would prove useful.” Rarity suggested. “I could design some protective measures for us that would be stylish as well as functional.”

“It… looked like it was alive.” Fluttershy said quietly.

“If you can shield me, Twilight, I can give whoever did that a buckin’ they won’t soon forget.” Applejack suggested.

Fluttershy turned towards the bushes and gulped. Her friends were too busy trying to think of what to do, and she knew she wasn’t outspoken enough to be able to get their attention at the moment.
Suddenly, a groan came from the bushes. Fluttershy stifled a yelp of fear. What if this thing was a monster? What if this was the very thing that Princess Celestia had warned them about?

As these and other worrisome thought poured through her mind, she suddenly noticed a rabbit staring curiously at the bushes.

“No! Stay back!” Fluttershy tried to warn it.

Either the rabbit hadn’t heard her, or it ignored her warning, for it hopped into the bushes. But much to Fluttershy’s relief, it hopped out a few seconds later, and dashed up to her.

“There’s a creature in there.” The rabbit spoke in the language of animals that only Fluttershy could understand. “It looks badly hurt.”

Fluttershy took a deep breath. She was absolutely terrified of what she might find, but her compassion was stronger than her fear. She gingerly inched towards the bushes, then slowly parted them and peeped fearfully inside.

The creature was rather strange, but not frightening. It was blue, with a lanky build and large spikes coming off of its back and head. Fluttershy could tell from its gloves and shoes that it was an intelligent creature.

She galloped over to her friends. “Girls, I need your help! Somepony… or something… is hurt over there!”

“Maybe I should go back and ask the princess for more information.” Twilight said.

“Um, I really, really need your help, everypony.”

“Ready the party cannon!” Pinkie Pie cried. “I’ll give them a taste of cake! Wait, that actually sounds kind of fun. Maybe I can use the party cannon on myself.”

“If you could just come here for a moment….”

“First impressions are very important.” Rarity added. “Our outfits will need to denote status as well as be defensive. After all, ambassadors are expected to….”


Everyone turned in surprise to stare at Fluttershy, who was rather surprised herself at her outburst.

“I am so sorry I had to shout, but I need your help!” Fluttershy said, meekly but urgently. “A creature came through that portal during the explosion and crashed into those bushes, and I think it’s hurt!”

“Well, why didn’t you say so?” Twilight asked as she and the others dashed over to see.

“That’s, um, what I was trying to do this whole time.” Fluttershy murmured.

As they all looked at the creature, Twilight used her magic to lift it carefully out of the bushes.
“We should take it to my house.” Fluttershy said. “I don’t think the hospital is going to know how to treat a creature like this, and since it kind of looks like an animal, maybe I’ll be able to do something for it.”

“Well, we don’t really have any other ideas at the moment.” Twilight conceded. “Somepony should also fetch Zecora. I can’t think of anypony who would be more likely to have some potion to heal this poor fellow.”

Twilight proceeded to carefully trot towards Fluttershy’s house, being careful not to jar the creature, while the others followed closely behind.

“What could go wrong?” Spike said, rolling his eyes as he remembered Twilight‘s words. “Every time somepony asks that question, something always goes haywire.”

As they walked away, nopony noticed a small, metal sphere lying in the bushes as well. Nopony saw as its red eye lit up. And nopony saw as it sprouted legs and began to scurry after the ponies.

Hedgehogs and Chili Dogs

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Chapter 2: Hedgehogs and Chili Dogs

Fluttershy sat next to the creature as it began to stir.

“Um… hello.” she said shyly. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I was hit by a train.” the creature groaned. “I guess Eggman must have gotten a lucky shot.”

Suddenly, the creature stared at Fluttershy. It blinked a lot, then rubbed its eyes. “Oh, great. Am I dead? Because that would be a really lousy way to go.” The creature looked at Fluttershy’s wings, then back at her face. “Wow, angels sure look different than I imagined. Although you are kind of adorable.”

“Um, thank you, but I’m not an angel.” Fluttershy said confusedly. “I’m a pegasus. And you’re still alive. I nursed you back to health. Thank Celestia you didn’t have any broken bones or sprains. I must admit, I’m pretty surprised.”

“Eh, I’ve been through worse. This is kind of commonplace for me.” the creature said as it sat up and looked around. “Although I can’t say I’ve ever seen a creature like you before, a pegasus or whatever. Um… by the way, where am I?”
“Oh, this is my house.” Fluttershy said.

Twilight suddenly trotted into the room. “Ah, you’re awake!” she said happily. “Are you able to talk?”

The creature stared at Twilight with a look of disbelief. “Um, is it just me, or am I seeing a purple unicorn?”

“Oh, you can talk!” Twilight said cheerfully. “So, I’ll bet you have loads of questions, because we have lots about you!”
“The only question I have right now is if I hit my head too hard.” the creature answered. “I’m seeing pastel-colored ponies. What next, they’ll be riding on rainbows?”

“You got a problem with rainbows?” Rainbow Dash asked, zipping into the room.

The creature blinked as it stared at Rainbow Dash for a couple seconds, then it sighed.
“That’s it. I’m officially nuts.” he said as he rolled over on the couch. “I’m just going to lay here until Tails or Dr. Quack discover a cure for me.”
Twilight walked over to the creature. “You’re not nuts. Well, not that I know of. You just came through the portal we created.”
The creature turned back towards her. “Say what?”

“I know this may be hard to grasp,” Twilight continued, “but we used the Elements of Harmony, some of the most powerful magical artifacts in all of Equestria, to open a portal to your world, because Princess Celestia warned us that a great evil is rising, and that we have to stop it.” She sighed. “I’m aware that this may be hard to believe, and very confusing….”

“Nah, I get it.” the creature said, sitting up again. “Other dimensions, princess, magical artifacts, evil power trying to take over. This kind of stuff happens to me a lot more than you would expect.”

Twilight looked a little surprised at the casualness with which the creature accepted the situation, but decided to continue. “My name is Princess Twilight Sparkle.” she said politely. “Although I would prefer you just call me by my name. I don’t like titles. And this is Fluttershy.” Fluttershy gave a shy little wave.

“I’m Rainbow Dash.” Rainbow Dash introduced herself.

“Well, thanks for helping me.” the creature said. “My name’s Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog.”

Fluttershy looked confused. “Um… I thought hedgehogs were little creatures that scurried about in the forest.”

Sonic gave her a weird stare. “Your world sounds pretty strange.” he said. “Anyways, maybe you should bring me up to speed. If there’s a world-threatening monster, then I’m your guy. I’ve done this loads of times before.”

“You’ve fought monsters?” Rainbow Dash asked. “Cool! I’d like to see that!”

“Princess Celestia told us we might meet some heroes in your world who could help us.” Twilight mentioned. “Are you one of them?”

Sonic chuckled. “Hey, once we get back to my home turf, try to find somebody who doesn’t know the name of Sonic the Hedgehog!”

“It’s ‘somepony’.” Twilight corrected him.

Sonic looked confused for a moment before replying with a chuckle. “Oh, yeah, I guess in this world that’s what you say. But a lot of the people in my world aren’t ponies, so we say ‘somebody’.”

“Don’t mind her, she’s an egghead.” Rainbow Dash replied, ignoring the frown Twilight gave her. “Ponies aren’t the only race in Equestria, and there are other kingdoms all over the world.”

The conversation was interrupted by Sonic’s stomach growling.
“Oh, you poor thing!” Fluttershy said kindly. “You haven’t had anything to eat yet. Would you like me to get you something? I’ll make whatever you want. That is, if I can.”

“I don’t want to trouble you.” Sonic replied.

“Oh, it’s no trouble.” Fluttershy insisted. “I’m a very capable cook, and you’ll need to keep your strength up if you want to heal all those bruises.”

“I feel fine.” Sonic said, standing up, then wincing and abruptly sitting down again. “Okay, maybe I’m a little sore. But I’ve been through worse.”

“Please, it would make me feel better if I knew you were happy here.” Fluttershy pleaded. “Is there anything you would like?”

Sonic sighed and gave her a questioning look. “You… wouldn’t happen to know what a chili dog is, would you?”

“Chili dogs!” Rainbow Dash cried out. “Great choice! I know a place I can get some for us!” She turned towards Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle. “So, you girls want any?”

“Um, no thanks.” Fluttershy replied. “I’ll just make myself a salad.”

“I just read a book on the health problems greasy food can cause.” Twilight Sparkle answered. “Greasy and oily foods have a significant impact on the body’s cholesterol….”

“That’s a no.” Rainbow Dash interrupted. “Anything on your chili dog, Sonic?”

“A bit of everything!” Sonic replied. “I’ll need the energy!”

As Rainbow Dash shot off, there was a knock upon the door.
“Oh, that must be Zecora.” Fluttershy said. “I asked her to make a nice, soothing ointment to help heal your injuries.”
Fluttershy opened the door, letting Zecora in. The zebra wore her usual traveling cloak, and carried a small saddlebag filled with potions.
“Oh, Zecora, thank you for coming!” Fluttershy cried. “He’s not too badly hurt, but he’s got a bunch of cuts and bruises and a few burns, and he’s sore all over.”

“I have just the thing to do the trick. This potion should heal him up quick.” Zecora replied in her usual, rhyming way. “Though he may have come through a portal, my potions can help any mortal.”

Pulling a salve out of her saddlebag, she leaned over Sonic and rubbed some of the salve on her hooves, then began to rub it upon Sonic’s injuries. Instantly, they began to sting a little less.

“Thanks for being so nice to me, you guys.” Sonic thanked them. “I just hope I can repay you.”

“Perhaps you can, my friend of blue.” Zecora stated. “We all are curious about you. Perhaps a tale of your world you can tell, that is if you’re feeling well?”

“Sure, sounds fair to me.” Sonic said.

“Wait!” Twilight interjected. “Let’s wait until the others get here. I’m pretty sure that they’ll want to hear this, too.”

“Fine by me.” Sonic shrugged. “I just hope I can heal up soon. I’m gonna go crazy if I can’t get a good run sometime soon.”

“Your injuries are superficial, and my potions are very special.” Zecora told him. “Get some rest, and tomorrow’s day, you will be able to go on your way.”

“Thanks again.” Sonic replied. “By the way, not to seem rude, but do you always talk in rhyme?”

“I prefer to speak in rhyme, at least a good deal of the time.” Zecora answered with a grin. “It helps one think before they say something they may regret one day.”

“That’s got to be difficult.” Sonic stated. “What if you have to rhyme something with ‘orange’?”

Zecora laughed. “I have found ways to avoid problems like that, by changing the place the word ’orange is at.”

“Wow, you’re good.” Sonic chuckled. “You should try your hand… er, hoof at songwriting!”
There was a sudden series of rapid knocks on the door. Fluttershy opened it, and three fillies dashed in.
“Where’s the creature that came through the portal?!” they all shouted at once.
Twilight sighed. “How did you three find out about that?” she asked.
“My sister’s the Element of Honesty.” stated the first little pony, a yellow filly with a red mane tied with a big bow. “Lyin’ ain’t her specialty. Why? Was this supposed to be a secret?”
“I probably should have remembered to tell that to everypony beforehand.” Twilight mumbled to herself as the three fillies excitedly dashed past her.

“Now, now, girls.” Fluttershy said softly. “He needs his rest.”

“Nah, I’m good.” Sonic replied with a casual wave of his hand. “I’m kind of used to fans.”

The three fillies scrambled into the room.
“Wow, he can talk!” cried the first one.
“The name’s Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog!” Sonic replied, assuming a causal, cool pose.
“Hedgehog? I thought that hedgehogs were small and prickly.” a white unicorn filly with a purple and pink mane stated.
“He’s from another dimension! Duh!” the third filly, an orange pegasus with a purple mane, replied.
“Now, now, girls.” Twilight stated. “Why don’t you introduce yourselves?”
“I’m Apple Bloom!” the yellow filly with the bow said.
“I’m Sweetie Belle!” the white unicorn filly said with a wave.
“And I’m Scootaloo!” the orange pegasus cried out.
“Well, nice to meet you all!” Sonic replied.
“Applejack told me all about how you came through that portal!” Apple Bloom squealed. “What was it like?”
“We’re waiting for the others to arrive before Sonic here tells his story.” Twilight explained. “Rainbow Dash went to get him something to eat, and should be back here quickly.”
“Quicker than quickly!” Scootaloo cried. She turned to Sonic. “Rainbow Dash is the fastest pegasus in all of Equestria! Maybe the world! In fact, she’s probably the fastest thing alive!”
Sonic raised an eyebrow. “Really?” he asked with a grin. “I’d like to see that.”


Rainbow Dash suddenly shot into the room at breakneck speed, carrying a large brown paper bag that was stained with grease.
“I got you, like, seven of them. I don’t have any idea how much you eat, so I decided to get extras. And of course I got some for myself. Oh, yeah, and there’s some fries in there. I got both potato and hay fries, because I wasn’t sure which type you’d prefer.”

“Potato fries are fine.” Sonic said, reaching into the bag and pulling out a couple foil-wrapped bundles. Then he looked again. “There’s fourteen chili dogs in here.” he pointed out.

“What can I say? I need my energy, too.” Rainbow Dash replied with a toothy grin.

As Sonic began to eat his chili dog, he made an unusual face. “This tastes… different. I mean, it’s good, but the hot dog tastes kind of different.”

“Well, it is made with the some of the best vegetables.” Rainbow Dash replied. “At least, that’s what the sign said.”

“Ooohhh.” Sonic said in realization. “These are vegetarian chili dogs. I thought it was odd that a pony was eating one.”

“Why?” Fluttershy asked. “What are your hot dogs made out of?”

Sonic shrugged. “I have no idea. Considering most of our citizens are animals, I think they’re just made of artificial stuff, although some people think otherwise.”

“So, Dash, did you see the others on your way here?” Twilight asked.

As if to answer her question, Applejack burst in through the door. “Sorry, everypony.” she apologized. “I had some things I had to get in order, in case we’re still leavin’ on that quest Princess Celestia gave us.”

“We will be, hopefully by tomorrow, if Sonic the Hedgehog is feeling well enough.” Twilight replied.

“Sonic the Hedgehog?” Applejack repeated, turning towards the blue hedgehog with a confused frown. “I guess hedgehogs are different where he comes from.”

“Everyone seems to say that.” Sonic replied with a shrug.

Applejack looked taken aback for a moment, but quickly regained her hospitable demeanor. “Well, roast my rump and stick an apple in my mouth! He can talk same as us!” She tipped her hat. “Name’s Applejack. Mighty nice to make your acquaintance.”

“Right back at ‘ya.” Sonic replied. “Gee, I was lucky I ended up where I did. Everyone here seems so nice.”

“Aw, shucks.” Applejack replied. “That’s just how Ponyville is. ‘Course we ain’t without a couple unfriendly folk, but we do our best to make visitors feel welcome. Speakin’ of which….” She reached into one of her saddlebags and pulled out a fresh, rosy apple. “I don’t know if things are different where y’all come from, but around here, most hedgehogs love apples, and my family grows the best apples in all of Equestria. Care for one?”
“Sure!” Sonic replied, taking the apple and biting into the crisp, sweet fruit. “Mmm. You’re not kidding. This is the best apple I’ve ever tasted!”
“Freshly picked!” Applejack said proudly.
The door banged as it opened, and Rarity’s musical “Yoo-hoo!” filled the room. Behind her, Spike waddled along, struggling to carry a large suitcase and a pile of pillows.

“Sorry about the wait, dears.” Rarity stated. “It’s going to be another late night if I want to fill my orders at the Carousel Boutique and get everything ready for our trip, which Spike tells me will be tomorrow.”

Using her magic, she lifted the suitcase and pillows from Spike’s grasp, setting them down on the floor. “Isn’t he such a gentlecolt? Well, not a colt, per say, but still, he offered to carry these for me. I of course wouldn’t think of burdening little Spikey-wikey, but he insisted.”

“Anything for you, Rarity.” Spike gushed.

“Well, I trust that our new friend could use a little extra comfort while he waits.” Rarity stated, using her magic to lift a couple of the pillows into the air. “So, how is he doing?”
“I’m doing fine for now.” Sonic replied. “Thanks for helping me out, though.”
Rarity smiled. “Not at all, darling. By the way, my name is Rarity. It‘s quite a pleasure to meet you.”

Sonic stared as she fluffed some of the pillows and put them upon the couch for him to lay upon, then finally asked, “Aren’t you going to be surprised that I talk?”

“Oh, goodness, no!” Rarity replied with a laugh. “I mean, it’s rather convenient that you speak a similar language, but anypony who has any sense could tell that you are intelligent just by your clothing. Most animals don’t wear clothes, unless Fluttershy is dressing them up.”

Rarity then gave Sonic’s shoes and gloves a stare. “Let me guess. You’re athletic, with a specific focus on speed, and you prefer a casual, trendy style. And by the state of your gloves, I would say that you aren’t unaccustomed to hands-on labor. I also noticed some oil on them as well. Could you perhaps be an athlete with an interest in mechanics?”
Sonic chuckled. “My buddy Tails is the mechanic. I just specialize in taking machines apart. But how did you guess all that?”

“One’s wardrobe tells a great deal about them.” Rarity replied casually. “I must say, your shoes bear a modern, stylish flair. I can imagine that it would be quite popular with the younger ponies around here.”

“Well, that’s everypony.” Twilight said. “Except for….”

“Is he awake?” a voice asked. Twilight turned to see a shadowy figure hiding outside the window.
“Oh, good, he is!” the figure said in answer to her own question. “Now I can give him a proper welcome.” The figure then ducked out of sight. There was some rustling in the bushes, and then some unusual sounds from outside the front door.

“What exactly is that noise?” Sonic asked.

Twilight sighed. “Oh, that’s just….”

The door suddenly burst open in a blast of confetti, and a pink blur shot into the room like a cannonball.
“…Pinkie Pie.” Twilight finished.
Pinkie Pie dashed up to Sonic, pulling out a great deal of instruments. She began to dance about on her hind hooves, playing all the various instruments, and as she did, she sang;

Hello there, I’m Pinkie Pie! I just dropped by to say hi!
I wanted you to feel at home, so here’s a special big welcome!
Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Our spiky visitor!
Welcome, welcome, welcome!
I hope you’ll stay some more!
I’m sure we’ll be the best of friends! I hope that this fun never ends!
So everypony sing along, and join me in the welcome song!
Welcome, welcome, welcome!
Our visitor of blue!
Welcome, welcome, welcome!
I hope you like us, too!

As Sonic sat on the couch, staring with a stupefied expression at Pinkie, she dashed up to him.

“How was that! Was that the most super-spledorific awesomest welcome you’ve ever gotten?!” she squealed.

Sonic regained his composure. “I admit, not many people greet me so enthusiastically. Except for one person, and she’s pink, too.”

“I made you some cupcakes!” Pinkie cried with a big grin, holding out a basket of tasty-looking cupcakes with orange frosting. “Cupcakes are my favorite! And I make really good cupcakes! And if you want other stuff, I’m an excellent cook! I can make any type of pastry there is!”

“I’ll keep that in mind.” Sonic replied with a grin, taking the cupcakes.

Twilight cleared her throat. “Well, now that we’re all here, would you mind telling us about your world a little bit?”

“Yes, yes!” the three little fillies, (and Pinkie Pie,) all cried out, hopping about excitedly.

Sonic sighed and leaned back, looking towards the roof. “Wow, where to begin. I suppose I should start with the basics….”


I come from a world where many types animals have evolved into fully intelligent beings, like me. That was because of some alien weapon that combined our DNA with the dominant race at that time, but that’s another story. We call our world Mobius, and the animal-people are called Mobians. There are also a race called humans, tall, pink things who only have hair on their heads. They were the original dominant race, but I’m pretty foggy as to what happened to them, because they weren’t around for a long time during the rise of the Mobians. Except for a few, and one in particular who did arise to become one heck of a pain in the tail.
Anyhow, we ended up forming our own societies and cultures, and eventually our own countries.


“So, are there other critters and birdies who walk and talk like you?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yep!” Sonic replied. “Foxes, rabbits, walruses, hawks.”

“So when Princess Celestia told us about the Echidna Empire, she was talking about real echidnas?” Twilight Sparkle asked.

Sonic’s eyes widened in surprise. “Wait. You guys know of the Echidna Empire?”

“Only what Princess Celestia told us.” Twilight admitted. “She claimed to have visited your world long ago, to chase out an old enemy who had taken up residence there. She told me she used to visit your world, before she had a problem with some of the… humans, was it? Anyways, they tried to steal her power or something, which by the way, is ludicrous to even attempt, and so she left, and only watched over the world occasionally, to make sure it was safe.”

Sonic shrugged. “Eh, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. I come across interdimensional meetings almost every other week, and have met my share of demigods and such.”

“Come on, already! Tell us the rest!” Rainbow Dash said impatiently.

“All right, where was I?” Sonic mused. “Oh, yeah….”


Well, long story short, a lot of stuff happened, and the Mobians thrived. Eventually humans rose to become a big part of the world again, although that only happened in my lifetime. Before that, the few humans we knew were viewed as unusual creatures. Even they were uncertain as to their origins.
Anyways, humans and Mobians actually managed to get along pretty well, considering their differences, and the bad example set by one specific human. In fact, that one human is why I flew through that portal you made.


“So, this specific ‘human’ creature caused that explosion?” Applejack asked, looking more than a bit angry. “He could’a hurt somepony real bad! Pinkie barely saved Twilight from gettin’ injured.”

“Well, he was trying to hurt somebody.” Sonic sighed. “To be specific, me. He and I go waaaay back. He tries to take over Mobius, I stop him, he tries again, I stop him again, et cetera, et cetera. We’ve been doing this since I was little more than a kid.”

“You were a kid and you were fighting bad guys?” Scootaloo asked, her eyes wide with excitement.

“Yeah, well, didn’t have a choice.” Sonic replied. “ This bad guy took over our world, and my parents and I got separated, so I was pretty much a homeless orphan. I teamed up with a bunch of other kids, most of whom weren’t old enough to drive yet, and we tried to do our best to take Dr. Eggman down, calling ourselves the Freedom Fighters.”

“Eggman?!” Pinkie Pie giggled. “That’s a funny name!”

Sonic chuckled. “It’s a nickname. His real name is Ivo Robotnik. We just called him Eggman because of his round belly. For some reason, he liked the name, and kept it.”

“So how powerful was he?” Sweetie Belle pressed excitedly. “Was he like Discord?”

“Darling, our guest probably doesn’t know who Discord even is.” Rarity said to Sweetie Belle.

“Well, I might not,” Sonic stated, “but I can tell you that Eggman succeeded in taking over our entire world once, and almost has again on multiple occasions. He’s a brilliant genius when it comes to science, and he’s built all sorts of weapons, not to mention armies upon armies of robots.”

“You have robots in your world?” Twilight asked, now looking as excited as the fillies. “I thought they were only in science fiction! The scientific knowledge to make such a machine would be amazing!”

“Now hold on a minute.” Rainbow Dash said, looking skeptical. “You’re telling me that you fight entire armies?”

“Pretty much.” Sonic replied casually. “My friends of course are indispensable, but they always call me in when the going gets tough.”

“And you did this as a kid?” Dash pressed.

“Yup.” Sonic answered. “Not as awesomely as I do now, mind you, but even back then I was scootin’ and rootin’. Nobody messed with Sonic the Hedgehog and the Freedom Fighters!”

“So this Eggman is still a threat in your world?” Twilight asked.

“Sadly.” Sonic admitted. “He sure can’t take a hint. Beating him hundreds of times hasn’t seemed to stop him from trying again and again and again.”

“Well, if we’re to be traveling to your world, we’ll need to know whatever you can tell us so that we can be prepared.” Twilight stated.

“Now hold on, I’ve been doing some explaining already.” Sonic interrupted. “But I have a question, now. Just what is this dark power that you heard is threatening my world?”

The ponies all looked at one another in worry. “We… don’t actually know, really.” Twilight admitted. “Not even Princess Celestia knew what it was. All we know is that it is responsible for one of the greatest dangers Equestria ever faced: Nightmare Moon.”

“What is Nightmare Moon?” Sonic asked.

“I have a potion that will show exactly what you want to know.” Zecora stated, pulling some green dust from one of her saddle bags. She blew it into the air, and it began to take shape, forming figures that moved as if they were alive, acting out the famed story of Nightmare Moon.

As the ponies told Sonic about their world, and Sonic told them about his, none of them bothered to look out the window and see a strange metal ball, with spindly legs and a single red eye, staring inside and watching their every movement, and hearing every word.

What is This Place, Filled With So Many Wonders?

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Chapter 3: What is This Place, Filled With So Many Wonders?

When Sonic awoke the next morning, he heard a musical voice wafting in from the kitchen. It was sweet and gentle, and there was something familiarly soothing about it.
Suddenly he remembered that it was the same voice that had so kindly sung gentle lullabies to him as he had drifted off. “That Fluttershy sure is nice.” he thought to himself. “Even by this place’s standards.”
He stretched his legs, which felt much less stiff now. “That zebra sure wasn’t joking about her potions.” Sonic mused. He stood up, stretching his limbs. The pain he had felt yesterday was gone, and his cuts and bruises had all but disappeared.

He quietly walked over to the kitchen, listening to Fluttershy’s musical voice. He stood in the doorway, watching as she was cooking up breakfast. And as she cooked, she sang;

Dear Celestia, I welcome your sun’s shining face,
As sunbeams stream through my window
Surrounding me in their warm, gentle embrace
And lighting my house with their glow.
It blesses us with its sweet ,life-bringing rays
And causes the flowers to grow
It warms everypony on nice summer days
And brings up the seeds that we sow.
And as you guide the sun on its journey through space
It brings life to all creatures below
We all are so grateful, Celestia, your grace.
I just wanted you to know.
I just wanted you to know.

Sonic stood still in the doorway, slightly spellbound by the gentle, soft song. As Fluttershy finished, she turned about, and suddenly gave a little yelp, and her yellow cheeks flushed red.

“That was fantastic.” Sonic uttered. “You have an awesome voice.”

“Um… thank you.” Fluttershy said in a quiet voice, hiding her embarrassed face behind her tail. She hadn’t expected that Sonic had been listening.

“That’s a pretty song. Where did you hear it?” Sonic asked.
Fluttershy mumbled something inaudible.
“Say again?” Sonic asked, cupping a hand to his ear.

“I made it up.” Fluttershy replied in a whisper, turning her eyes away shyly.

Sonic grinned, obviously impressed. “Wow. You’re a natural. You should totally be a singer.”

“Oh no, I’m not good enough for that.” Fluttershy answered, her entire face turning red at the compliment.

“Sure you are!” Sonic replied. “I bet you would be amazing.”

“I… I couldn’t.” Fluttershy squeaked. “I’m too shy. I couldn’t bear having to stand in front of a crowd, let alone sing.”

Sonic sighed. “It’s the world’s loss.” he replied, giving a shrug. “I’d love to hear you sing.”

Fluttershy awkwardly shifted her hooves, embarrassed by Sonic’s blunt admiration. “Um, breakfast is ready.” she said, changing the subject. “I made lots of nice things. I, um, don’t know what you like, so I, um, made a bunch of different things for you.”

She brought Sonic to the table, which was spread with all manner of delicious food. There was wheat toast, fried eggs, an omelet filled with tasty vegetables, biscuits and gravy, oatmeal with cream and fresh fruit, pancakes, fried tomatoes, fried mushrooms, hash browns, cornbread muffins, and a bowl of fresh berries.

“Wow. Good thing I have a big appetite.” Sonic exclaimed as he stared at the huge spread.

As they sat down, Fluttershy felt a little nervous, worried that her cooking would not be satisfactory. But her fears were disproved as Sonic devoured huge portions of everything on the table.
When he had finally finished, Sonic kicked back and put his feet up on the table. “Wow. You’re an amazing singer, a great caretaker and nurse, and an awesome cook.” he stated. “Is there anything you can’t do?”
“I’m glad you liked it.” Fluttershy said, smiling despite her bashfulness.
Sonic sighed contentedly, putting his hands behind his head.

“So, um, what exactly do you do here?” he asked. “I mean, do you have a job or something?”

“Well, I mostly take care of the critters.” Fluttershy stated.

“So, you’re like a vet?” Sonic asked.

“Well, kind of.” Fluttershy replied. “I work as a vet for all the pets in Ponyville, and I sometimes work as an unofficial nurse and pediatrician. But I mostly just tend to the animals here in the woods. You know, helping them if they get hurt or sick, helping them find or make their houses, teaching the little ones, keeping them safe. It’s a full-time job.”
“So, you work, like, at a nature preserve?” Sonic asked.
Fluttershy cocked her head. “Not that I know of. I’m not even sure what a nature preserve is. We preserve all nature in Equestria.”
Sonic looked confused. “So… they pay you to look after all the random animals in the forest?”

“Well, somepony has to.” Fluttershy said. “I mean, this isn’t like the Everfree Forest. Animals don’t have to fend for themselves with nopony to help them. But I would do it for free. I mean, imagine if a birdie lost her nest in a storm? It could be very hard for her to make a new one without any help. And I just love helping out the little critters. And the big ones, too.”

Sonic looked a little confused, but didn’t press the matter, for a that moment, a knock came at the door.
Fluttershy answered the door, to see Twilight Sparkle standing there with Spike, her saddlebags bulging with books and quills and research tools. The Element of Magic was upon her head. Spike wore a backpack, also bulging with supplies.

“Good morning, Fluttershy, and you too, Sonic!” Twilight said brightly. “I though it would be good to be ready for our trip early, although if Sonic needs time to rest, we can wait.”

“I’m feeling fine.” Sonic stated casually.

“Perfect!” Twilight said cheerfully. “Because we don’t have any time to lose! The fate of Equestria and Mobius depends upon it! Fluttershy, have you packed?”

“Well, I… um… I was taking care of Sonic most of the time I was awake last night.” Fluttershy said. “So I haven’t really had much time to pack.”

“Well, we’ll help! Just tell us what you’ll need!” Twilight said, trotting into the house and picking up Fluttershy’s saddlebags. “So! What will you be taking? Other than the essentials, of course?”

“Don’t sweat it too badly.” Sonic said nonchalantly. “We won’t be camping out or anything. My friend Tails can pick us up once we get there.”

“But who will take care of Angel, and all out other pets?” Fluttershy asked worriedly.

“Don’t worry about our pets.” Twilight assured Fluttershy. “Winona is staying with Granny Smith and Big Macintosh, and I’ve found pet sitters for all our pets. Although Carrot Top refused to pet-sit Angel because of the ‘carrot rampage’ incident.”

Suddenly, in a blur of color, Rainbow Dash shot into the room.
“Are you out of your mind, Twilight?!” she cried. “You let Ditzy Doo take care of Tank?! Tank tends to crash into stuff even when I’m there to help him. He and Ditzy are probably going to wreck all of Ponyville together! You know Ditzy, she’s the queen of crashing into things!”

“She’s a nice mare, and Tank is the only pet she wouldn’t probably accidentally hurt by banging into them, thanks to Tank’s shell.” Twilight stated. “And little Dinky was so happy to have a pet to look after, and she’s a very responsible filly. Tank will be fine.”

“Just… don’t let them in my house.” Rainbow Dash said grumpily.

“Are you packed?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, yeah.” Rainbow Dash said in a bored tone. “It’s not like we’re Daring Do going into the jungle. Sonic said this place is pretty civilized.”

“Yes, but you never know!” Twilight replied. “As for me, I’m bringing as much research equipment as I can. I want to find out all I can about this Mobius, and record anything I can find! Oh, this will be so much fun! I can’t wait to get started!”

“So, when do we leave?” Sonic asked.

“As soon as Fluttershy is packed.” Twilight answered. “We want to get an early start. The others are meeting us at the original portal location.”

It wasn’t long before Fluttershy had packed her things, and soon they were on their way. But had any of them looked back, they would have seen the strange, spider-like creature following them, watching with its unblinking red eye. A creature that watched Sonic’s every move.

Applejack and Pinkie Pie were already there when the others arrived. Zecora was also present.
“Glad to see you girls here so early!” Twilight said to Pinkie and Applejack, then she turned to Zecora. “Are you coming? I know Princess Celestia wanted this to be secret, but she did say only to tell my friends, not just the other Elements of Harmony.”

Zecora grinned and shook her striped head. “I am flattered by what you say, but this is where I must stay. I merely came to say farewell, for somepony must look after Ponyville.”

“Well, if there’s a crisis, I can’t think of anypony who would be better to look after things!” Twilight replied. “Now then, where’s Rarity?”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “That girl is probably still picking out what to wear. I swear, trying to take her anywhere takes longer than it does to grow an apple tree.”

After a few minutes, Rarity finally showed up, with a young stallion dragging a cart filled with suitcases.
“Oh, so sorry to keep everypony waiting,” Rarity apologized, “but I couldn’t possibly go without decent preparation. After all, who knows what styles I might need to give the right impression? Not to mention what types of weather we might encounter. And just to be safe, I’ve brought some of my sewing equipment, just in case I have to come up with something new.” She turned towards the stallion and handed him a few bits. “Thank you for your help, sir.” she stated politely.
“No problem.” the stallion replied, looking satisfied simply by the beautiful mare’s thanks.
Spike gave the stallion a glare. “Well, you’d better be on your way. We have some very important things to do. Top secret things.”
“Who’s the blue guy with the spiky mane?” the stallion asked.
“Will you just go already?” Spike cried.
The stallion looked a little intimidated by Spike’s jealous glare, and galloped off.

“You didn’t have to be so rude, Spikey-wikey.” Rarity stated.

“Yeah, well, I just didn’t like the way he was eyeing you.” Spike said awkwardly. “After all, you’re mine… uh… I mean my first priority to protect. From stallions. I mean ponies. Like the kind that might be impolite to you. You know, because they’re only interested in your looks, not in who you are, like I am. I mean, when I say interested, I mean like a friend. A really, really close friend who I love to be with. Okay, wait, that sounded creepy. What I mean is….”

“I know what you mean, dearie.” Rarity replied with a little grin. Then she turned towards Sonic. “So, do you think I should go ‘as is’, or would an attractive ensemble be more suiting? And I don’t know if the seasons are the same in your world, so it could be useful for me to know beforehand what they might be like, because showing up in a fur-lined winter coat in the middle of summer would be very uncomfortable, not to mention a dreadful fashion faux pas.”

“Oh, fer goodness sakes, just get yer Element on already.” Applejack replied, rolling her eyes.

“Just because you don’t care for the art of style does not mean it isn’t important.” Rarity replied curtly as she used her magic to strap on her Element of Harmony.

“All right.” Twilight said. “Everypony ready?”

The other five ponies stood ready. Light began to flash from their elements, and swirling tendrils of rainbow light linked them together. There was a blinding flash, and suddenly the portal was open again.
This time, the beautiful landscape had a few charred spots, but seemed to be quiet. In the distance, they could hear the sea crashing upon the shore.
Suddenly, out of the bushes, the spider-like orb leapt forwards, scuttling towards the portal.

“Whoa! What the hay?” Spike shouted.

Rarity screamed. Fluttershy stared worriedly, not certain if it was a little creature or something to be scared of. Rainbow Dash and Applejack took defensive positions. Twilight jumped back in surprise, while Pinkie Pie curiously tried to get a closer look.
Quicker than the eye could follow, there was a blur of blue and the sound of crushing metal and electrical sparks, and the orb was smashed, Sonic’s foot on top of the wreckage.

“W-why did you do that?” Fluttershy asked, looking concerned. “Did you hurt it?”

“It wasn’t alive.” Sonic replied. “It was a machine. A robot. And I think I know whose.”

Twilight looked worried. “How did it get here?”

“Likely it came through the portal when I did.” Sonic replied. “I don’t think there are any more. What I’m worried about is that it might have sent some information to Robotnik. I smashed it as quickly as possible, so maybe it didn’t send any info, but… well, I’d close this portal behind us, just to be safe. He’s the last thing you need here.”

“Is Robotnik the dark evil we were sent to stop?” Twilight asked, looking concerned.

“Nope, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he had something to do with it.” Sonic replied. He turned back towards the portal, cracking his knuckles. “Okay, everyone. Let’s do it to it.”


As the ponies stepped through the portal, there was a weird sensation, like they were getting off of a train that hadn’t quite stopped. As they stepped out onto the Mobian grass, they looked all around in wonder. Surrounding them were rolling green hills and cliffs, with the sea in the distance. Tropical plants dotted the landscape, and here and there, ancient, moss-covered ruins stuck out from the scenery.

But before they had any time to observe their surroundings any more closely, there was a sudden whirring sound, and dozens of yellow turrets popped up all around them, guns aimed and fully charged.

“One move and my shock cannons will zap you good.” a voice said.

The gang turned about to see a figure, clad in yellow and white robotic armor and at least twelve feet tall. It had a great deal of weapons built into it, all of which were trained on the ponies.

Twilight quickly closed the portal, while Rainbow Dash and Applejack were about to tackle this newcomer, when Sonic stepped out in front of them.

“It’s cool, big guy.” he said with a casual wave. “They’re on our side.”

The figure stopped, and lowered its weapons. “Sonic?” it said, sounding both surprised and relieved.

Suddenly, the figure’s armored chest opened with a hiss, and a small, yellow, two-tailed fox boy jumped out.

“Sonic!” he cried happily, dashing over to Sonic and giving him a big hug. “You’re back! Everyone was so worried about you!”

“That was pretty silly of them!” Sonic said, playfully mussing the fox’s hair. “They should know that nothing Eggman makes will ever take me down for good!”

“Yeah, that’s what I told them.” the fox replied, but it was obvious that he was extremely relieved.
Then he turned towards the ponies and Spike. “Who are they?” he asked.

“A few new friends.” Sonic answered. “They helped stitch me up after the explosion I got caught in. They were trying to create a portal to our world, which appeared just as I was blown through.”

“So they’re from another world?” the fox asked excitedly. “Wow! I can’t wait to hear all about it!” Suddenly, he gave a start, as if he had forgotten something. “Oh, where are my manners? I’m Miles Prower, but you can just call me Tails. Everyone here does.”

“Hey, you’ve got two tails!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “That’s so cool! I bet that’s why they call you Tails! I wonder what it would be like if I had two tails. I mean two ‘tail’ tails, not two of you, although I know a place where I can make another you, but I don‘t go in there ever since I made a bunch of me and they made everything all crazy and I was trying to prove that I was the real me and….”

“Ahem,” Twilight said, cutting off Pinkie’s ongoing stream of speech, “we had better introduce ourselves. I’m Twilight Sparkle, and these are my friends; Spike, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, and Zecora.”
Twilight suddenly stopped and did a double take. “Zecora?! I thought you were staying in Ponyville!”

“I think I should mention that that was my intention.” Zecora answered, looking a little confused. “But when I saw those machines threaten you, I thought that I should help out, too.”

“Oh yeah, sorry about that.” Tails said, pulling out a remote. He aimed it at the turrets and pressed a button, and they all deactivated and retracted back into the ground. “Didn’t mean to scare you. It’s just that, with Eggman’s recent attack on the area, I wanted to make sure it was secure.”
“As you should, being careful is good.” Zecora replied. “But now I should go back to Ponyville. It seems you do not need my skill.”
Twilight looked awkward. “Sorry, Zecora.” she apologized. “But the Elements of Harmony need to recharge between powerful spells like opening a portal to another world. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”
Zecora looked about, then gave a little grin. “What a pity I can’t return. When will I ever learn?” She stooped to look at a nearby flower. “It’s a shame I have to stay some more, but this place could be fun to explore.”
“You don’t sound too sad about that.” Spike noted. “Are you sure you didn’t try to come along?”
“I didn’t intend this, but I can’t say that I regret that I must stay.” Zecora replied with a grin. “So many new plants to make new kinds of potions! The things I could make if I had the notion!”

Tails turned confusedly to Sonic. “Does she always speak in rhyme?” he asked.
Sonic chuckled. “So far as I know. It’s a cultural thing. We’ll talk about it later. For now, let’s introduce our new friends to the others.”


A little while later, the gang arrived at a beautiful coastal city. Canals wove through it, as gondolas gently sailed past. The sun was shining brightly, and the entire city was bright and cheerful.
“Welcome to Solianna!” Sonic said, spreading his arms. “A beautiful costal city just perfect for kicking back and relaxing. In fact, until Eggman’s little attack, that was what we all were doing. Fortunately, I think Tails and the others have scared him off for now.”
“I contacted everyone else.” Tails told Sonic. “They should be here soon, and I told them we have visitors. We’re all going to meet at the hotel.”

“Sweet!” Sonic replied gladly. “That way, Twilight, you and your friends can get settled in and unpack a bit before we get down to business.”

“I could use some freshening up.” Rarity admitted. “I can’t have this sun damaging my mane.”

“And I wouldn’t mind a snack.” Rainbow Dash added.
“Or a nice cold drink.” Applejack included.
“Well then, let’s go!” Sonic said cheerfully.
“Wait. Shouldn’t we be worried about that dark entity that Princess Celestia warned us about?” Twilight said concernedly.

Sonic shook his head. “Here’s something I learned.” he said, putting a hand on Twilight’s shoulder. “Life’s too fast to waste it worrying. We’ll deal with this once everyone gets here. Until then, enjoy yourself.”
“Yeah, Twilight.” Spike said brightly. “I’ll bet that they have a beach really close by, and perhaps even a library.”
“There is a pretty big library here.” Tails spoke up. “I go there all the time. They have books on virtually everything.”
Twilight’s face lit up. “Really?”
She turned to Sonic. “You’re right. I should enjoy myself. And what better way than to curl up with a good book!” She turned towards Spike. “Come on, Spike! We have some studying to do!”
“Aw, but I wanted to go to the beach!” Spike complained.
“If it’s okay, I could go instead.” Tails volunteered. “I know the library here pretty well, and could show you around.”
Twilight looked at Spike’s pleading face. “Okay.” she relented. “You can go, Spike. Tails… it is Tails, right?… lead the way!”

As Twilight and Tails walked along, Twilight asked question after question about Mobius, and Tails was more than happy to answer them. He would point out important parts of the city and tell her about their history.

“This is the center of Solianna.” Tails said, pointing towards a large, circular structure. “This is where the people of Solianna celebrate the annual Sun Festival. They believe that, thousands of years ago, the sun came down upon this very spot, bringing light and chasing away the darkness.”

Twilight stared in amazed surprise. “Just like the Summer Sun Festival back home!” she squealed excitedly. “This must be where Princess Celestia came when she visited your world!”

Tails looked confused. “Princess Celestia? That’s someone from your world, right?”

“Oh yes.” Twilight happily explained. “She is the ruler of Equestria, and she is the one who raises the sun every day. I studied as her student for quite some time. She said that she came to your world long ago to fight an evil power that came here from our world. And these people still remember her!”

“Not very accurately, if you’re right.” Tails stated. “They believe it was the sun god Solaris that saved them. Although to my memory, no being such as Solaris ever existed, or it hasn’t shown up around here for a long time. Perhaps the stories got confused….” Tails suddenly drifted off. “How old are you?” he asked.

“I’m not yet a full-grown mare, if that’s what you’re asking.” Twilight answered. “Why?”

“You said you were a student of this Princess Celestia.” Tails asked. “Just how old is she?”

Twilight shrugged. “I don’t really know. She’s ruled Equestria pretty much since there was an Equestria to rule, and she’s been around for thousands of years. She is immortal, after all.”

Now it was Tails’ turn to look fascinated. “Wow! I would love to meet her!” he exclaimed. “Imagine all the stuff she’s seen, and all the things she knows!”
“Well, maybe you will meet her!” Twilight said brightly. “I’m sure I could introduce you, being a close friend of the princesses myself.”
“That would be great!” Tails said cheerfully, turning to walk up the stairs of a large building. “Well, here we are. The Solianna library.” He pushed open the doors, and they stepped into the silent building.

Twilight stared about excitedly. Shelves stretched all about, and there were three entire levels just packed with books. History, art, science, fantasy and science fiction stories, reference guides, magazines, comics, cookbooks, advice books, and so much more. It was like paradise for Twilight.

“It’s… beautiful.” she said, her eyes wide with excitement.

“It is a pretty great library.” Tails agreed. “So, what would you like to see first?”

Twilight swept her hoof through the air, gesturing towards the entire library.



At the hotel, Spike dropped off his and Twilight’s bags, making sure to stash the Elements of Harmony away safely in the magically protected case Twilight had brought, and went to meet the others.

Everyone was outside, enjoying the sunny day. Rarity was wearing a wide-brimmed sunhat and a pair of stylish sunglasses, which complemented her light, breezy skirt. Spike stared for a while, entranced by the beautiful mare.
“Enjoyin’ the view, sugarcube?” Applejack asked with a smirk, as she approached the bedazzled dragon.
“Yeah.” Spike sighed. Then he suddenly caught himself. “Er, I mean, it’s such a lovely day!” He grinned awkwardly, trying to sell the excuse.

Applejack leaned closer to Spike. “Are you trying to pull one over on the Element of Honesty?” she chuckled. “I already know about your crush on Rarity.”

Spike’s face went red. “What?! Since when?”

“Since that time your were daydreamin’ and were puckerin’ up. For a second I had though you were trying to kiss me!”

“Oh, yeah. You remember that, huh?” Spike asked awkwardly.

“Sugarcube, that ain’t easy to forget!” Applejack chuckled.

Spike shrugged. “Well, I am a charmer. ” he said jokingly, casually posing.

There was a blur of pink as Pinkie Pie shot up to join the conversation. “Did you try the piña coladas? They are sooo delicious and fruity! They just taste so beachy! I just made that word up. And speaking of beaches, you should check the beach out! It’s gorgeous, with palm trees and coconuts and sand! Oo! We could build sand castles and then go swimming and then go hunt for shells and….”

“Hold on now, Pinkie.” Applejack interrupted. “We are here on a mission from the Princess. Duty before pleasure, after all.”

“Oh, do lighten up, Applejack.” Rarity said, overhearing the conversation. “When Twilight gets back, we can start worrying about things then.” Rarity picked up a glass with her magic and handed it to Applejack.
“Come on now.” she coaxed. “It has apples in it. You’ll love it.”

“T’aint Sweet Apple Acres apples.” Applejack grumbled, but she tried a sip nonetheless.
“Well, I suppose it ain’t bad.” she said, taking a second sip and smiling.

Rainbow Dash trotted over, looking grumpy. “Hedgehog. Hmph! More like glory hog.”

“Whatever is the matter, Rainbow Dash?” Rarity asked.

“It’s those stupid pink human creatures.” Dash mumbled.

“Oh, they ain’t so bad.” Applejack stated. “So a couple of ‘em asked for a ride. They didn’t mean no harm.”

“Not that.” Rainbow Dash replied, pointing her hoof. “That!”

As the others looked where she was pointing, they saw a bunch of humans gathered around Sonic, asking for autographs and cheering.
“Well, he did mention that he was rather famous here, dear.” Rarity reminded Rainbow Dash.
“Yeah, well I’m at least 20% cooler than he is!” Rainbow Dash griped. “I mean, I come from another dimension! Don’t you think that would account for something?”
“Sounds like somepony’s a mite jealous.” Applejack said with a grin.
“Am not!” Dash retorted, folding her hooves.
Rarity suddenly looked about. “I say, has anypony seen Fluttershy?”


Fluttershy walked into the garden, looking about shyly. She had heard someone say that there were some sort of creatures here, and she couldn’t hold back her curiosity. She hadn’t wanted to bother the others, so she had slipped away quietly.

“H-hello?” she called softly, looking about. There was no response.

“Maybe they’re just further in the garden.” she thought.

As she trotted through the hedges, she suddenly saw a small creature bent over by the lake. It was a little Mobian girl.
The girl turned towards Fluttershy, who yelped and dove behind a bush. The girl approached and looked through the bush.

“It’s okay.” it said in a high voice. “I’m friendly.”

As Fluttershy saw the creature’s face, she realized that it wasn’t very frightening at all. In fact, it was very cute. It looked like a bunny, but larger and wearing a little orange dress, and with ears that were large even for a rabbit. Since it was a bunny, it reminded her of Angel, which was comforting. She stood up, feeling a little less nervous.

“My name‘s Cream!” the creature said brightly. “I’ve never seen anyone like you around here! What‘s your name?”

“I’m… Fluttershy.” Fluttershy replied in an almost inaudible whisper.

Fortunately, Cream’s large ears were able to easily hear her, so Fluttershy didn’t have to repeat herself. “So where are you from, Fluttershy?” Cream asked.

“P-Ponyville.” Fluttershy answered. “It’s… really, really far away.”

“Do you have Chao gardens in Ponyville?” Cream asked.

“Well, we have gardens, but I don’t know what a Chao garden is.” Fluttershy admitted.

“Well, this is a Chao garden!” Cream explained, spreading her little arms and gesturing to the surrounding area. “Here is where Chao gather. I just adore Chao! They’re so cute!” Cream cocked her head. “Would you like to meet them?”

“Oh, yes!” Fluttershy said happily. “I just love cute little animals!”

“Chao are very intelligent.” Cream explained, leading the way. “I think you’ll like them.”


“So, when are the others coming?” Pinkie Pie asked impatiently. “I wanna meet everypony! I mean everybody, since they aren’t ponies. Maybe we could have a beach party!”

“They should be here soon.” Sonic said, casually walking up. “They’re used to quick responses.”

“Enjoying the fans?” Rainbow Dash asked grumpily.

Sonic shrugged. “Eh, what can you do? I mean, a cool guy like me’s just bound to have fans.”

Rainbow Dash gave an exasperated sigh and rolled her eyes.

“Say, sugarcube, is that one of yer friends?” Applejack asked, hurriedly trying to change the subject as she pointed towards an incoming red echidna.

“Sure is.” Sonic replied, then gave a wave to the red echidna. “Hey, Knuckles! Over here!”

Knuckles strode over to Sonic and the ponies. “Um… I trust these are the ‘new friends’ you wanted me to meet?” he asked.

“Well, most of them.” Sonic replied. “Twilight Sparkle is at the library with Tails, and Fluttershy seems to be elsewhere. I think she left to explore or something.”

“I guess I’ll go look for her.” Rainbow Dash said. “Fluttershy doesn’t do too well in new places.” She turned towards Knuckles. “Knuckles, right? Name’s Rainbow Dash. Sorry I can’t stick around, but I do have to look after Fluttershy. Don’t want her getting lost.” Without another word, Rainbow Dash shot up into the sky and zipped off.

“Interesting friends you made, Sonic.” Knuckles said as he watched Rainbow Dash leave.

“Oh, we are soooo interesting!” Pinkie Pie piped up, stretching her head over towards Knuckles. “You know what else is interesting? Those big gloves you’re wearing! You’ve got, like, big spikes on your knuckles. Hey, that’s probably why they call you Knuckles! What do you use them for?”

“Mostly smashing Eggman’s robots and climbing walls.” Knuckles replied, shying back slightly from Pinkie Pie’s uncomfortably close face. “I’m kind of the muscle of the team.”

“Well, I’m kind of the muscle of our gang, too!” Applejack spoke up. “I’m guessin’ you’re a plain ol’, hard-workin’ fella like me.”

Knuckles shrugged. “I like things nice and simple.” he agreed. “I help my friends. I pummel my enemies. And I keep the Master Emerald safe.”

“We heard about the Master Emerald!” Rarity piped up. “I hear it is a powerful magical gemstone that is used to protect your world. And you guard it?”

“Yeah, I’m the appointed Guardian. It’s a title passed down from parent to child. If I were to fail, and it were stolen, Angel Island would fall out of the sky.”

“Angel Island is floating in the sky?” Pinkie Pie gasped. “That’s so awesomesplenderific! I would love to see a flying island! Is it made of clouds, like Cloudsdale, or is it made of rock and dirt?”

“Rock and dirt.” Knuckles replied.

“And it flies? That’s fantastic!” Rarity exclaimed. “The Master Emerald must have great magical power indeed!”

“It sure does.” a sultry voice interrupted.

Everyone looked up. Standing atop the rooftop of a nearby building was a white bat wearing a black leather ensemble with a pink top.

“Rouge.” Knuckles growled. “What are you doing here?”
“As a favor for an old friend.” Rouge replied calmly, gracefully leaping down to the street below.
“You and Sonic don’t really know each other very well.” Knuckles pointed out.
“I was talking about you.” Rouge said smoothly, stroking a finger down Knuckles’ cheek.
Knuckles pushed her hand away. “Don’t try that. Every time you put an arm around someone, your other hand is in their pocket.”
“Moi?” Rouge asked innocently. “I’m just a jewel collector, not a pickpocket.”

“A jewel collector?!” Rarity gushed, instantly interested. “How utterly fascinating! I have a penchant for jewels myself. After all, nothing says glamour like jewels!”

“You sound like quite the expert.” Rouge said, raising an eyebrow.

“Oh, well, I don’t know about that.” Rarity replied modestly, but she obviously enjoyed the compliment. “I do tend to have some skill with jewels. Finding them for example.” She didn’t notice Knuckles’ wild gestures to stop talking.

“So you can find gems?” Rouge asked, looking interested. Behind her, Knuckles vehemently shook his head mouthing, ‘no’ repeatedly.

“Yes, well, it is a special talent of mine.” Rarity replied. “I can use magic to detect where gems are.”
Behind Rouge, Knuckles slapped his forehead.
“Are you feeling alright, Mr. Knuckles?” Rarity asked. “You seem a trifle distraught.”
“No, no, I’m fine.” Knuckles replied. “I just… feel very sorry for you for what you just did.”
Rouge looked thoughtfully at Rarity, paying no attention to Knuckles. “So… you can locate where gems are? How far away?”
“Quite far, although I’ve never fully tested the limits.” Rarity replied. “When I was a filly, I once located a cache that was miles away.”
“Really?” Rouge said. She looked merely interested, but Knuckles saw a momentary gleam in her eye that he knew all to well. “That poor pony.” he mumbled to himself.
“Indeed!” Rarity stated proudly. “That was when I got my Cutie Mark, which as you can see, shows my talent for jewels.” She turned to show the triple diamond mark on her flank.

“Um… Cutie Mark?” Sonic asked.

“Oh, they’re special marks which only appear when we discover our true talents!” Pinkie Pie piped up. “See, mine is balloons, because I’m so good at throwing parties! Applejack is a great orchard farmer, so she has apples for her Cutie Mark! And the others all have their Cutie Marks based on their super-special talents!”

“How do they appear?” Knuckles asked, still shaking his head.

“Magic, of course, silly!” Pinkie Pie giggled.

“Oh, that makes sense, in a strange sort of way!” Sonic said in realization. “That’s kind of cool. All this time I was wondering why you all had tattoos on your rumps.”
Pinkie Pie burst out laughing at this, rolling on her back. “Ha ha ha ha ha! Tattoos on our rumps! Ha ha ha! He said ‘rump’! Ha ha ha!”

Suddenly, she stopped laughing, and began to twitch.

“Twitcha-TWICHA-twitch!” Pinkie squealed narrowing her eyes.

“What is it?” Sonic asked.

“My Pinkie Sense!” Pinkie Pie replied. “It lets me know when stuff is about to happen!”

Suddenly she whipped about, tackling the air. There was an audible thump, and the figure of a purple chameleon materialized.

“There you are!” Pinkie giggled. “I knew somepony… er, someone, was sneaking up on me! How didja do that? You turned invisible! Are you like a unicorn? You have a horn like one, only it’s on your nose!”

“You could detect me?” the chameleon asked, looking surprised.

“Pinkie Sense.” Pinkie said, helping the chameleon to his feet. She stared him in the eye, squinting her right eye for emphasis. “The Pinkie knooows.”
The chameleon brushed himself off. “Extrasensory perception. Interesting trait.” he commented.
“Espio, what the heck are you doing spying on us?” Knuckles shouted.
“My apologies.” Espio replied, bowing. “I wanted to ascertain some information about our visitors before I introduced myself. I noted during my investigations that one is present at the library, and one is present at the nearby Chao garden.”
“Chao garden? What’s in tarnation is that?” Applejack asked. “Never heard of a Chao before. Is it some kind of fruit?”
“Chao are creatures.” Sonic explained. “Cute little guys too. They have some very unique abilities, and tend to absorb traits from their environment, or from people they hang around.”

“I guess we know where Fluttershy went.” Spike exclaimed. “You know her and animals.”

Espio turned to Pinkie Pie again. “I must say, this is the second time today one of your kind has detected me. Perhaps I have been careless.”

“Second time?” Rarity asked. “When was the first time?”

“I wanted to investigate the individual upon the hotel roof.” Espio stated. “She possesses extraordinary senses. She is obviously a master of the body and mind.”

“On the hotel roof?” Sonic said confusedly, as everyone looked towards the roof. Atop the hotel, performing a headstand atop an upright staff of bamboo, was Zecora, her hooves placed in a meditative position.
“Now that’s a sight.” Sonic breathed.
“Nice poise.” Rouge commented.
“Dude, that’s creepy.” Spike muttered.
“I’ve seen it a dozen times before, and I never get used to it.” Applejack stated.

As they stared, Zecora deftly swung herself down with perfect balance, standing atop the roof for a second before sliding down, leaping from the trellises, and finally landing upon her hooves at the bottom.

“You have a very impressive meditation technique.” Espio commented. “I would be interested in learning it, if you would share your knowledge.”

Zecora smiled. “We meet again, my invisible friend. Of course I shall help if you want to learn, but this is a skill which you must earn. This type of meditation takes extreme dedication.”

Espio bowed. “I am a ninja, ma’am. Dedication is what I am.”

Zecora gave him a nod. “ Then perhaps you could stop by, whenever you want to give it a try.”

Espio gave another bow. “You have my thanks, ma’am.”

“Not at all, feel free to encroach.” Zecora stated, then turned to look down the street. “It seems that more of your friends approach.”

“Knuckles! Espio!” a loud voice shouted, as an alligator and bee approached. “Good to see ya! I should have guessed you would be here first, Espio.”
“Yeah, so you could investigate and spy on people!” the bee added.
Knuckles cleared his throat. “Everyone, this is Vector, head of the Chaotix detective team,“ here he gestured towards the alligator, “and this is Charmy, junior member of the Chaotix.” Here he pointed at the bee, which was difficult because Charmy was buzzing about in every direction with excitement.
“S’up, girls?” Vector said coolly.
“Wow!” Charmy squealed. “Ponies from another dimension! Wait until I tell Saffron!”
“You’re detectives?” Spike asked. “Cool! So, what kind of cases do you get?”
“Ah, mostly just lost items and stuff nowadays.” Vector replied. “Business has been a bit slow lately.”
“Not for long!” Charmy piped up. “Sonic said something about you guys knowing about a dangerous evil shadow thingy that was gonna threaten Mobius, and wherever you come from, too!”

“Well, Twilight is off doing some research with that two-tailed fox,” Applejack stated, “but frankly, we don’t have much more of an idea of what we’re lookin’ than y’all do. Even Princess Celestia, (that’s our ruler,) don’t know much other than that this thing attacked your world not too long ago, and it caused terrible events in our world over a thousand years ago.”

“Now this is more like it!” Vector exclaimed, rubbing his chin. “This is just the kind of case to get the ol’ juices pumping!” He slid the shades on his head down over his eyes. “Don’t worry, girls! The Chaotix are on the case!”
“Yeah, we’ll find out what that nasty thing is!” Charmy added.

“Well, if it helps, Twilight Sparkle is at the library.” Spike stated. “She’s really good at research, and has been trying to find out about this whatever-it-is herself. Maybe you could work together.”

Vector looked thoughtful. “I don’t usually allow civilians to get involved, but considering that she probably holds a lot of important information about your world, she could be very useful in discovering the connection between these events.”

From above, there was a sudden whoosh, and Rainbow Dash returned, closely followed by Fluttershy, Cream, and a number of Chao.

“I found Fluttershy hanging out with these little things.” Dash explained. “She and this little girl were talking and playing with them. Gah! It was so sappy and cute, I could hardly bear it! Seriously, somepony get me a Wonderbolts magazine to rub on myself to regain my cool!”

Cream landed gently upon the ground, as Fluttershy landed next to her. “See, these are the friends I was telling you about.” Cream said to Fluttershy. “They’re really nice.”
Fluttershy’s eyes grew big, and she huddled behind Cream.

“Well, aren’t you going to say hello?” Cream asked cheerfully.

“H-hi.” Fluttershy squeaked, quivering and hiding behind her tail at the sight of so many new faces.

“Don’t worry, they really aren’t scary.” Cream reassured her.

“Er, don’t look now,” Rouge stated, pointing down the road, “but I’m afraid you’re about to be proven wrong.”

As everyone turned, they saw a huge, hulking mass of metal tromping down the street towards them. It towered over even Vector, and its luminous red eyes stared unblinkingly at the group. Spike gulped. Fluttershy squealed and covered her eyes. Rarity took a cautious step back. Even Applejack and Rainbow Dash looked a bit intimidated by the approaching juggernaut.
The being turned towards Rouge. “E-123 Omega reporting as ordered.” it stated in a deep, metallic voice.
Rouge sighed. “Omega, dear, you don’t have to be so ominous. You’re frightening our new friends.”

“I wasn’t frightened!” Rainbow Dash replied, quickly trying to hide her unease.

Omega turned towards the ponies. “My apologies. I am a designated combat unit, and am designed to be physically intimidating.” he stated.

Pinkie Pie, unafraid as always, dashed up to Omega. “Wow! Are you a robot?”

“Affirmative.” Omega replied.

Pinkie jumped up and down squealing with excitement. “Wee! That is so cool! You’re a real robot! I’ve never seen a robot before! Well, except for that creepy little thing that Sonic smashed, but I didn‘t really see that for very long.”

“Now hold on a minute.” Applejack said. Now that she had gotten over her initial surprise, she was now more discerning. “No offense, Mr. Omega, but… well, we ain’t heard much good about robots in this world. I though they all worked for that Eggman fella.”

Omega’s eyes flashed, and despite his expressionless features, it was obvious that he was angry.
“ Dr. Eggman is a cruel master. He created me, but he abandoned me in a storage area, treating me like an ordinary machine that had become obsolete. After that, I swore to defeat Eggman, and stop him from doing to others what he did to me.”

“Wait… that Eggman fella built you, but y‘all are against him?” Applejack asked in surprise.

“Affirmative.” Omega replied. “I was created to be an intelligent unit, not a mindless machine like most of his creations. He learned how to create life from machinery, but he did not respect that life, as he does not respect any life. As I was one of his living units, I saw that following him was not in my best interests. So now my objective is to make him pay for his crimes.”

“Omega’s a good teammate.” Rouge put in. “He’s really a nice guy, and a loyal friend. But… well, you don’t want him for an enemy.”
“I can imagine I wouldn’t.” Applejack concurred. She turned towards Omega. “Sorry if’n I was rude. I guess you’ve had a pretty rough life.”
“Perhaps.” Omega replied in his flat, metallic voice. “But I have lived. Very few machines have been that lucky.”

“So, who else is there?” Sonic asked himself. “Big’s on a fishing trip, and the Freedom Fighters are off in New Mobitropolis. So that only leaves two more….”

“Sonic, sweetie!” a high voice called out. “My darling Sonikins!”

Sonic shook his head. “Just roll with it, Sonic.” he told himself.

A pink hedgehog in a red dress came bounding down the street. “There you are, Sonic!” she exclaimed. “Sorry I was late. The train had a breakdown. Something crazy was going on and there was a bit of a crash or something, but nobody got hurt, and they got the train going again, and so here I am!” She suddenly stopped to notice the new visitors. “Are these the new friends you said saved you?”
“Yep!” Sonic confirmed. “They helped look after me after the explosion.”
“Well, thank you all so much for saving my Sonic!” the pink hedgehog said. “Any friend of Sonic’s is a friend of mine!”

Pinkie Pie zipped up. “I just love your color!” she squealed. “My name’s Pinkie Pie! What’s yours?”

“I’m Amy Rose!” the pink hedgehog replied. “Nice to meet you all!”

Sonic looked around. “Well, I guess you’ve met nearly everyone.” he said.
“Aren’t you forgetting someone?” Rouge asked.
Sonic shook his head, looking awkward. “Nope, that’s everybody!”
“What about….” Rouge began.
“He’s working. Some important mission tracking down some criminal or something.” Sonic interrupted.
“He said he’d be stopping by later on today.” Rouge said with a sly smirk.
Sonic slapped his forehead. “You know, I’m not sure he’s the greatest person to introduce these ponies to.” he muttered. “And I don’t think he would like meeting them either.”
“Well, I’d like to meet him!” Pinkie Pie piped up. “Who is this mysterious mystery person?”
Sonic sighed. “Shadow the Hedgehog.” he replied. “He’s… not exactly the friendliest hedgehog around.”

“Hey, he may have some rough edges, but he’s a good guy.” Rouge stated firmly. “Just because he and you don’t get along isn’t any reason for you to say bad things about him.”
“I know he’s a good guy… mostly.” Sonic replied. “He’s just… seriously angsty. I don‘t think he would give our guests a good impression.”

Rouge was about to retort, but she suddenly got a call. She looked at her phone. “It’s G.U.N.” she said. “New updated objective on the criminals who broke into the G.U.N. vaults and stole a top-secret sample.”
As she looked at the picture on her phone, she suddenly looked worried. “Um, Sonic? I think we should get down to the library.”


“This is fascinating!” Twilight Sparkle said as she flipped through the massive pile of books she had acquired. “According to these books, Sonic has been present to stop nearly all modern catastrophes!”

“Yeah, well, that’s Sonic.” Tails said with a chuckle. “Always tries to be there for everyone. He usually is, too.”

“And this stuff about the history of Solianna, and their belief in Solaris, is surprisingly close to some of the facts about our own Princess Celestia!” Twilight went on. “And this stuff about the Echidna Empire! The Echidnas were absolutely amazing! And look at this! It’s a picture of you! You were there when the rule of Dr. Robotnik was overthrown?”

“Yep!” Tails said proudly. “I helped Sonic and the Freedom Fighters finally take down Eggman and free Mobius! Eggman’s still a threat, but at least he doesn’t rule the world anymore.”

“Do you think you could tell me about it?” Twilight asked excitedly.

“Well, it’s a long story.” Tails said.

“Please?” Twilight begged. “Pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease?!”

“Alright, alright!” Tails chuckled. “I suppose I should begin with the….”

His voice trailed off as a loud bang sounded through the library as the doors slammed open. Walking through them was a back hedgehog with red highlights on his spines. In his hand, he carried a device that Twilight had never seen the likes of: a machine gun.

Twilight was miffed at this rude intruder. “Excuse me!” she said firmly, walking up to the hedgehog. “This is a public library. You don’t just bash around so loudly. People are trying to read here!”

“Shadow, what are you doing here?” Tails asked.

“Stay out of it, Prower.” Shadow said grimly. He then pointed an accusatory finger at Twilight Sparkle. “You are hereby under arrest for the thievery and destruction of G.U.N. property, trespassing on government property, and conspiring against the Mobian government.”

Oh, It Is ON!

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Chapter 4: “Oh, It is ON!”

“What?!” Twilight Sparkle gasped. She could barely render the accusations. This was ludicrous. Somepony had set her up. It was obvious that this Shadow wasn’t joking.

“Hey, Shadow, I think you have the wrong person.” Tails said, trying to help. “Twilight Sparkle here has only been in this world a few hours. And either Sonic or myself was watching her the whole time. And anyways, she helped save Sonic from….”

“I heard about the spatial disruption.” Shadow interrupted. “G.U.N. analysis showed that it was an interdimensional breach… that came from another world. This Twilight Sparkle demonstrated the ability to break into this world twice. She could easily have done it before. And the alleged rescue of Sonic could have been an initial probing of our world and its inhabitants and warriors.”

Twilight was aghast. “My friends and I helped Sonic out of the goodness of our hearts! And I didn’t even know of the spell to reach your world a few days ago! I was just sent here to help you!”

“We have video footage of you and a second individual engaged in multiple break-ins on G.U.N. property, as well as the destruction and thieving of a large amount of top-secret materials.” Shadow pulled out a tablet screen and showed them the clip.
Twilight couldn’t help but gasp. There, clad in a black jumpsuit, with her matted mane tied back with a bandanna, was herself.

“But… I didn’t do that!” Twilight pleaded. “It wasn’t me!”

“The evidence strongly suggests otherwise.” Shadow replied coldly.

Twilight was shaking with a mixture of fear and shock. “But I can’t even get to this world alone! I need my friends, and the Elements of Harmony! Ask them! They can confirm it!”

“One’s accomplices hardly make compelling witnesses.” Shadow replied.

“Ask Applejack!” Twilight pleaded. “She’s the Element of Honesty! She wouldn’t lie! Heck, she’s the worst liar I know!”

“Your argument is irrelevant.” Shadow said with finality. “You are now a prisoner of G.U.N., your friends are suspects, and these Elements of Harmony will be confiscated as G.U.N. property.”

“Shadow, maybe we should try to work this out….” Tails began.

“I told you to stay out of it!” Shadow shouted. “Otherwise you may be considered a suspect. Your affiliations with Sonic have already shone poorly on you image. Dealing with those who have previously openly defied G.U.N. and the government is not looked upon well.”
Shadow turned and aimed his rifle at Twilight. “These are tranquilizers.” he stated. “If you refuse to come quietly, I will use force.”
Twilight stared about in surprise. Everyone in the library was staring at her. “Look, take me. Just let my friends go!” she begged.
“This is not a negotiation.” Shadow replied, aiming the gun. “You and all associated personnel are under arrest. Any attempts at resistance will be considered an act of defiance.”

“But I… DIDN’T… DO IT!!!” she shouted.

Shadow cocked the gun. “You are uncooperative. And my patience has run out.” He pulled the trigger.

“Shadow!” Tails cried.

There was suddenly a rapid, pinging sound as the tranquilizer bullets ricocheted off of the magical shield which had just appeared around Twilight.

Shadow stopped firing. “I told you any attempts at resistance will be considered defiance.” Shadow said coldly.

Twilight glared angrily. “And Princess Celestia told me that there was an evil shadow that threatened this world. Maybe shadow was not what it was, but a name. I came in peace, but I will not let you hurt me, and especially not my friends!”

Shadow gave a smug snort. “I am the ultimate lifeform, master of the Chaos energies. Do you really think you can beat me?”

“I’m an alicorn princess, and I took down the spirit of chaos.” Twilight Sparkle replied, giving a challenging snort. “Now, we can discuss this civilly, like I suggested….”

There was a sudden flash, and Shadow appeared behind her, delivering a powerful kick to her back. Twilight went sprawling on the ground.
Before Shadow could strike again, there was a flash of pink magic, and Twilight appeared on the library roof. She began to try to fly away, but she still wasn’t nearly the flier Rainbow Dash was.
There was a quick flash of blue light, and Shadow appeared on the roof. His hand glowed, and a spike of light formed in his fist.

“Chaos Spear!” he shouted, hurling the bolt of light.

It hit Twilight’s wing, and although it didn’t damage her, her entire wing felt paralyzed.

Quickly, she teleported to a nearby rooftop before she could crash. As she turned about, she saw Shadow leaping across the roof tops, coming towards her at an amazing speed.
She knew she couldn’t keep running; escape from someone with this hedgehog’s capabilities would be nearly impossible even for her.

“Time for plan B.” she said to herself.

She whipped about, sending a beam of magenta energy from her horn. It struck Shadow’s gun, which, to Shadow’s surprise, turned into a blossoming branch.

Shadow performed a homing attack, slamming into the ground, but Twilight had already teleported out of his way. Before he could react, Shadow felt himself struck by a beam of cold that froze him in his place.

“Told you not to mess with me.” Twilight exclaimed, grinning smugly.

But Shadow wasn’t about to go down just yet. He had underestimated his opponent; it would not happen again.
Flexing his muscles and letting the Chaos energy pour though his veins, he shattered the surrounding ice, then directed a kick at Twilight, knocking her down. Twilight quickly teleported away again, and began to strike the rooftops with bolts of magic as she strove to subdue her attacker.

Shadow swiftly dodged the magenta bolts, returning fire with more Chaos Spears, but Twilight blocked them with a magical shield.

But even her magical shield had difficulty withstanding the barrage as Shadow crashed into it with his homing attack. Again and again he bashed at the magical construct, while Twilight felt her strength waning.
She teleported away yet again, breathing heavily. “Celestia help me.” she gasped. “I could really use my friends right now.”


Shadow’s communicator bleeped. He answered it. “Make it quick, General. I’ve engaged the suspect.”
“Couldn’t help but notice the fireworks.” General Abraham replied. “Do you need any backup?”
“Negative.” Shadow responded. “I can deal with this.”
“Very well.” General Abraham replied. “Call us if things get hairy. We’re already sending in G.U.N. agents to apprehend the other suspects.”
“Understood. Shadow out.”
As Shadow turned off his communicator, he watched the purple alicorn as she caught her breath. She had powerful magic, but her training had covered a wide area of skills, while he had spent fifty years specifically perfecting his skills as a warrior. In combat, he knew he had the advantage.


Twilight Sparkle knew this, too. For such an intelligent pony, it hadn’t been difficult to deduce that her assailant was someone with a great deal more combat experience.

“Got to have a plan.” she told her self. “When in doubt, resort to the unexpected.” This attacker had the home advantage, but he also probably didn’t know unicorn magic. She had to play upon that. She knew she wasn’t going to match this Shadow as a fighter, but as a thinker, there were few who could rival Twilight Sparkle.

Shadow watched as Twilight teleported down to the beach. She began to summon a blanket of magical smoke, shielding her from view.

“She’s changing tactics.” Shadow mused. “Best be careful.”

As Shadow leapt down onto the beach, he began to carefully look about, watching every motion in the smoke.
Suddenly, he saw Twilight’s silhouette. In the blink of an eye, he teleported towards her, striking with a karate chop.

And hitting a unicorn-shaped pile of sand.

Shadow whipped about realizing he had been tricked.

Too late.

A magenta ray of magic lit up the smoke, hitting the sand. Instantly, flowers grew around Shadow’s feet, tangling him up and ensnaring his legs.
There was a loud crashing of metal, and Shadow saw one of the nearby shipping crates had opened and was flying towards him, surrounded in a pink glow.
The crate scooped him up, and the door slammed behind him. Twilight jumped out of her hiding place, locking the crate and quickly placing a magical spell that would prevent Shadow from teleporting out.

“Whew!” she exclaimed, mopping her brow as she dispersed the smoke, letting the sun shine through. “That was an ordeal! I’m just glad it worked!”

Suddenly, the crate shook. A large dent appeared in the side. The another. And another.
Finally, with a horrible ripping sound, the side was torn away. Twilight gasped to see Shadow shredding the metal with his bare hands.

Before she could react, she was struck by a homing attack and went sprawling. Before she could recover, she was hit by a shocking bolt of Chaos energy. And another. And another.
Shadow landed a kick that sent her flying. As she landed, Shadow teleported on top of her, his fist held ready to strike.
Twilight tried to teleport, but Shadow struck her horn with a Chaos Spear, making it feel numb and preventing her spell.

“You are under arrest.” he said with grim satisfaction.

Twilight tried to struggle, but she didn’t have much strength left after the Chaos spears had hit her, and while she could feel the magic returning to her horn, she knew it wouldn’t be in time.
“You’re coming with me, conscious or not!” Shadow said, raising his hand for the knockout blow.

But suddenly, something in the sky behind Shadow caught Twilight’s eye.

A flash of color.

She gave a weak grin.

“Ever seen a Sonic Rainboom?” she asked.

Shadow looked confused. “What?”

Before he could react, he was struck by a blinding blur of color, a blur that went soaring with him across the entire mainland.

In ten seconds flat.


Shadow had faced many foes, including some very fast ones, but even he could barely fend off the hard hooves which struck him like rain.

“YOU… DO… NOT… HURT… MY… FRIEND!!!” Rainbow Dash shouted between blows. Her heart had jumped into her throat when she had seen Twilight lying injured at Shadow’s feet, and now she was in a battle rage. Nopony in Ponyville had ever hurt somepony like that, except for the most evil villains. And right now, that was what Shadow was to her.

As they crashed onto the beach, Solianna now distant upon the horizon, Rainbow Dash slammed Shadow into a cliff face.

At that speed, anybody else would have been knocked unconscious, and probably received a few broken bones. But Shadow was made of tougher stuff than most people. Though stunned, he quickly recovered, kicking off Rainbow Dash and throwing a hail of Chaos Spears.

The bolts struck Rainbow Dash, giving her an unpleasant shock, but not doing nearly as much damage as they had to Twilight. “He’s using lightning on a pegasus?” Dash chuckled grimly to herself.

“You call that lightning?” she scoffed, shaking to get rid of the slight tingly numbness in her body. “This is lightning!”

She soared up to the sky whipping the clouds up. They grew darker and darker, and came lower and lower. Finally, Rainbow Dash gave the storm clouds a strong buck.

Thunder pealed, and the sky lit us as bolt after bolt of lightning struck the ground that was always just behind the speeding form of Shadow, the air resonating each time with a crack like a giant whip.
However, Shadow was swift, swifter than nearly any other creature. He dashed out of the way of each bolt as they seared the ground.
“Got to get back to Solianna.” he thought to himself. The first suspect could have escaped by now, and shadow was beginning to rethink his earlier refusal for backup. The first suspect had been trouble enough, but with this second one to deal with, things had gotten out of control. And he refused to let it stay that way.

He activated his communicator. “Team Dark, I’m requesting backup, ASAP. Report to the beachfront near the library. First subject is injured, but may have already escaped. Approach with extreme caution.”

Much to his chagrin, the storm cloud followed behind him, matching his speed as the blue pegasus soared along, pushing the cloud and striking it repeatedly, sending lightning crashing at Shadow wherever he turned. Had he not had to return to deal with the first suspect, he would have leapt up the surrounding cliffs and struck down the blue pegasus, but for now, he decided to let her follow him, right into his trap.

Rouge and Omega gave one another uneasy glances. Nobody else had overheard the transmission Shadow had sent them, and they had a feeling that things were about to get hairy.

“Omega, you stay here and keep an eye on the suspects. Don‘t let them leave this library.” she said, quietly enough so that the other’s couldn’t hear. “I need to contact G.U.N.”

“I thought that we had intended to resolve the dispute, and that is why we hastened to reach this library.” Omega stated.

Rouge shook her head. “Only one way to resolve this, and it isn‘t diplomacy. Check the data feed. There’s video footage of this suspect openly destroying and stealing G.U.N. property. She‘s dangerous.” Rouge tightened her gloves. “Looks like we’re doing this the hard way.”

“What if Sonic or his allies attempt to interfere?” Omega asked. “That is a viable possibility.”

Rouge sighed. “Wouldn’t be the first time Sonic had defied G.U.N. And his friends would follow him no matter what.” She sighed, and pressed her communicator. “General?” she said, trying to keep her voice down. “I need ground and air support. And something in case a certain blue hedgehog decides to interfere.”

“Confirmed.” General Abraham replied. “We will deploy troops to your area, along with M.S. Alpha 001.”

“What?!” Rouge cried, a little louder than she had meant to. “That thing is a prototype. Worse, it isn’t our prototype. How do you know it won’t have a glitch? This is a highly populated area, and I will not condone the endangerment of civilians.”

“Relax, Agent Rouge.” General Abraham replied. “The entire computer system has been replaced, and we’ve had some of our best engineers go over it.”

Rouge shook her head. “I’m not to blame if something goes wrong here.”

“Your protest is duly noted.” General Abraham replied.

As Rouge turned off her communicator, she shook her head. If Shadow was requesting backup, they would need a lot more than just a few gun agents and an untested prototype.
She turned towards Knuckles and the Chaotix. “It looks like I have some persuading to do.” she murmured.


Twilight opened her eyes to see a fuzzy image of a yellow face over her. As her vision cleared, she saw that the face itself was rather fuzzy.

“I am so sorry about this.” Tails exclaimed. “I have no idea what Shadow is talking about. Just lay here for a bit. You’ve been rather roughed up.”

Twilight looked around. She was in some sort of laboratory. “Where am I?” she asked.
Tails shuffled uncomfortably. “Er… before I answer that, I’m afraid I have to ask you a few questions. You know, just to confirm you really are a good guy.”

“I am!” Twilight exclaimed.

Tails sighed. “Look, if you are, my machines will let me know if you’re telling the truth. That way, if Shadow comes around again, we can at least have some evidence that you aren’t the criminal.”

Twilight sighed and gave a shrug. “Well, go ahead. I have nothing to lie about.”

Tails nodded in confirmation, and started up a couple strange devices.
“Please look at the camera.” he asked politely as he attached a few wires to her foreleg. Twilight did as she was told.

“Now, have you ever been to this world before?” Tails asked.

“No.” Twilight responded.

Tails observed the machines’ readouts, and gave a satisfied nod. “Did you steal any G.U.N. property?”

“I haven’t stolen a thing!”

“Did you damage any G.U.N. property?”

Twilight shrugged. “Not that I know of, and definitely not on purpose!”

“Did you break into G.U.N. headquarters and Royal Solianna property?”

“Of course not!”

Tails gave a nod, and detached the wires from her foreleg. “Well, you’re telling the truth.” he stated. “I suspected you were, but I had to confirm it.” He turned towards her. “And before you ask, I considered the possibility that you would try and use magic to change the readings. But while I don’t know much about your type of magic, I was at least able to determine that your horn emits energy and glows when you use your magic. My recordings have shown that you didn’t do any such thing. And most importantly, I saw it myself.”

Twilight got down from the cot which she had been lying on. “So, will that guy… Shadow, was it? Will he stop chasing me?”

Tails shook his head. “A lie detector test won’t be enough to convince Shadow or G.U.N.” he sated. “I’ve had some experience with lying thieves.” Here, his ears drooped slightly. “I know how well they can deceive you, and get you to like them. So I know what I’m talking about when I say I can tell you’re a good person. But Shadow and G.U.N. don’t care about hunches or unexplained feelings. They only care about cold, hard evidence. Which brings me to the problem of that recording Shadow showed us.”

Tails tapped a few words into a nearby computer, and the screen lit up with the footage of Twilight breaking into the G.U.N. base.

“That’s uncanny.” Twilight said. “Despite the way she’s dressed, that looks exactly like me.”

“That’s what I need to solve.” Tails said. “But I have a more immediate problem. Did you see that flash of color in the sky, just before I rescued you? Do you have any idea what that was, or if it was dangerous? All I know is that my sensors showed that something came at high velocity and took off with Shadow in tow, traveling to the other side of the mainland in approximately ten seconds!”

Twilight suddenly gasped. “Rainbow Dash! That Shadow person could hurt her! We’ve got to….”

Twilight was interrupted as an alarm began to blare. Tails quickly tapped a few buttons, trying to figure out the problem.
“It’s a powerful incoming storm!” he exclaimed. “And its coming in faster than any storm I’ve ever seen, following the mainland! Wait a minute!” He tapped a few buttons, and a satellite image popped up on the screen. They could see the cloud pursuing a small, black figure that was moving as extremely high speeds.

“That’s Shadow!” Tails exclaimed. “But why’s that storm following him?”

“That’s Rainbow Dash! She has him on the run!” Twilight cried, relieved to know that the blue pegasus was okay.

Tails looked concerned. “Uh-oh. This could be trouble.” he said.

“What? What is it?” Twilight asked.

Tails pointed towards a bunch of blips on the screen. “G.U.N. is sending in reinforcements. And your friend is flying straight into them.”


The doors to the library burst open, and soldier poured in. Some were coming down from the roof on ropes.

“G.U.N.! Everyone clear out! Evacuate the area!” the G.U.N. agents cried. “Apprehend the suspects!”

Sonic shook his head. “Guys! This is a library! You’re supposed to be quiet!” he joked, but he was tense. He knew he might have to move fast at any moment. “Of course, that’s my specialty.” he thought to himself.
The G.U.N. agents surrounded the ponies, aiming their tranquilizer guns.
“Sorry to say this, girls, but you are under arrest.” Rouge exclaimed, sashaying up to them.
“Stand down or we will employ force.” Omega stated in his flat, metallic tone.
Fluttershy promptly fainted, while the others looked shocked. “What?!” Spike shouted irately, wisps of smoke curling up from his nostrils. “On what charges?”

“On conspiring with the thief and criminal known as Twilight Sparkle.” Rouge replied.

“CRIMINAL?!” Spike spluttered. He would have tackled Rouge right there had Rarity not restrained him with her magic.
Sonic stepped in front of the ponies. “Hey, I can vouch for these girls. They’re cool. And anyways, let’s see what evidence do you have before you start scaring the librarians some more.”

Rouge pulled out her tablet and showed the footage of Twilight in the G.U.N. base. “Clear video footage of the suspect stealing and damaging G.U.N. property, and trespassing on top-secret G.U.N. territory.” she replied smugly.

“That don’t prove nothin’!” Applejack cried. “That could be a Changeling, or something!”

Rouge smirked. “You expect me to believe a flimsy story like that?”

Sonic rolled his eyes, his vexation showing a little through his cool. “Um, hello? Robot duplicates? Alternate universes? Time rifts? I thought you G.U.N. people kept up on this kind of stuff. I mean, how many doppelgangers have I had, including that black-and-red faker?”

“She resisted arrest.” Rouge replied flatly.

“Something tells me she wasn’t the one who fired the first shot if this is the person you said Shadow was after.” Sonic retorted. “That guy has no social skills and a tendency to use force at any given occasion.”

“You don’t catch criminals by being nice.” Rouge said.

“Yeah, well you might not have so many enemies if you didn’t make so many!” Sonic replied hotly. “These girls saved my tail back there. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t you, guys?”
“Absolutely, Sonic!” Amy cried out, but the others shuffled uncomfortably.
Amy whipped about. “Are you guys ditching out on Sonic?” she asked in a mixture of shock and menace.
“Well… the evidence is against them.” Vector said slowly.
“And we don’t even know a thing about them.” Knuckles added. “And did you hear how that white one kept talking about the Master Emerald, like she wanted it?”
“I have a name you know, you ruffian!” Rarity shouted. “And just because I’m an aficionado of jewels does not make me a thief!”
Espio shook his head. “This is not a decision to rush heatedly into.” he stated calmly. “There is not enough evidence to either confirm or deny these accusations. I recommend that we meditate on the situation, and try to uncover the truth.”

“The truth’s already been uncovered!” the G.U.N. commander replied. “Soldiers! Arrest them!”
The soldiers advances, aiming their tranquilizers.

Sonic shook his head. “This is an injustice.” he said firmly. “And you know what I do to injustices. I right them.”

Rouge motioned to the others. Knuckles stepped forwards, standing next to Rouge, and silently raised his fists. The Chaotix stepped back with sorrowful look upon their faces.

“We’re prepared to take you down if we have to, Sonic.” the G.U.N. commander said coldly.

Sonic gave a cocky grin. “Willing? Sure. Prepared? I don’t think so.”

“Very well.” the commander replied, gesturing to his men. “Take them.”

Shadow suddenly crashed through the window, landing commando-style next to the commander.

“Reporting as ordered, sir.” he replied.

Sonic grinned. “Hey, faker! It’s almost a fair fight now.” he quipped.

There was a peal of thunder, and Rainbow Dash burst in through the skylight.
“And now it’s not again.” Sonic chuckled.

The G.U.N. agents moved in. Shadow picked up a pair of tranquilizer pistols.
Sonic and the ponies stood back to back.

The G.U.N agents fired.


Now up until now, Applejack had tried to reason with these people. But when she realized they weren’t interested in reasoning, she remembered what Granny Smith had said when they had told her about the Changelings.
“Some ponies just ain’t reasonable. They’re like stubborn apples. The only thing to loosen them up is a few hard bucks.”
There was a crash as Applejack followed her grandma’s advice. A pair of G.U.N. agents went soaring into a bookcase, and crashed to the floor.

“Sorry, pardners!” Applejack said as she dodged a stream of tranquilizer darts.

Fluttershy woke up at the noise, and then shrieked and dove behind the librarian’s desk, hiding beneath it.

“Hey, nopony bullies Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash shouted, whipping about in a blur of color and knocking the soldiers off their feet.

Rouge dove for Rarity, but she had underestimated the refined unicorn’s power. She suddenly found herself caught in midair in a haze of blue magic.

“So sorry, dear!” Rarity laughed. “You might be stylish, but you have a lot to learn.” Rouge suddenly found herself soaring into a broom closet, which abruptly locked as soon as she was inside. She shook her head. The lock would be easy to pick, but she hadn’t liked being caught unawares. She told herself she would not let it happen again.

Back in the main hall of the library, Applejack was flailing her hooves left and right. She didn’t like hurting people, but she wasn’t about to let anyone hurt her friends.
Suddenly, she was tackled from behind by the commander and four other agents. “Gotcha!” the commander cried, pinning her down.

Applejack suddenly heard a strange sound, unlike any she had ever heard before.


There was an audible whump and gasp. She no longer felt the soldiers on her back. As she turned around, she saw Amy Rose, grinning and wielding a hammer almost as big as herself.

“Th-thanks.” Applejack stuttered, a little surprised.

“No problem!” Amy said with a grin. “I told you any friend of Sonic’s is a friend of mine!” Then she dashed off, her grin instantly changing into the crazed look of a maddened berserker as she chased the G.U.N. soldiers, who were running as if all of Tartarus had opened behind them.

“That’s a mighty big hammer.” Applejack muttered to herself as she ran on.


Omega was chasing the one pink pony, who had identified herself as Pinkie Pie. She was giggling and bouncing down the halls, seeming to think that this was all some fun game. But despite her silly, playful demeanor, she dodged each and every tranquilizer dart that was shot at her.

“Wee! You’ve got some big guns, Mister Robot!” she squealed as she danced out of the way of his shots. “How about I show you mine?”

She cartwheeled behind a bookshelf, and Omega followed her, but as he turned the corner, he found himself looking down the barrel of a large, shiny blue cannon.

“Say hello to my little friend!” Pinkie squealed.

Before he could even question where she had acquired the cannon, Omega was knocked backwards by a blast of confetti and cake batter.
“Unconventional weaponry.” he noted, getting to his feet. But as he cleared his visual receptors and looked around, the pink pony was nowhere to be seen.
“Over here, silly!” Pinkie cried out sticking her head out from behind a pillar. But when Omega dashed over, there was nobody there.
“Nope, over here!” she cried, diving inside a closet and shutting the door. Omega abruptly broke down the door, but when he looked inside, Pinkie was gone.

“This does not compute.” he said confusedly.

Pinkie Pie suddenly popped up behind him and put her forelegs over his shoulder. “Yeah, Twilight said something like that about me the other day, too.”
As Omega whipped about, he suddenly was struck in the face by a projectile which covered him in a gooey substance. He scanned the contents of the substance.

“Banana cream pie.” he stated. “Highly unconventional weaponry.”


Tails was flying towards the library, with Twilight Sparkle close behind.
“How can you fly?!” she asked for the fifteenth time. “That isn’t even physically possible for your tails to spin like that!”
“I told you, I’ll tell you later!” Tails replied, his eyes fixed on the screen of his scanner. “Right now, we’ve got a crisis to avert!”
As Tails and Twilight Sparkle flew over the library, they could see and hear the battle in full heat.
“Oh, this is bad. This is very bad!” Twilight exclaimed.
Beside her, Tails watched through a pair of binoculars. “Sonic’s fighting in there!” he cried. “He’s helping your friends!”
“Then we’re going to help him!” Twilight exclaimed. “Tails, have you ever teleported before?”
“Sure, lots of times.” Tails replied.
“Then hang on.” Twilight said. “We’re going in!”


In a flash of magenta magic, Twilight and Tails appeared inside the library.
“There’s the thief!” Shadow shouted.
“She’s not a thief!” Tails shouted, pulling out a handful of small discs. “Now stop this fighting!”
“So the fox kid is in on it, too!” a G.U.N. agent shouted. “Get him!”
As the G.U.N. soldiers surrounded Tails, the yellow fox threw the discs, which homed in on the soldiers. When they struck them, they latched on, then released an electrical charge, stunning the soldiers and making them go limp.
Twilight was relieved to see her friends were still fighting strong, but she stared in horror at the state of the library. Many books covered the floor, and some were badly ripped.

“How dare you!” she cried, firing bolts of magic all about. “How dare you threaten my friends, and how dare you damage these wonderful books!

Tails whipped out an unusual looking weapon, and fired a ray at the nearest group of G.U.N. agents. The agents themselves were unaffected, but their guns melted like wax, as did any metals they wore.

“Wow!” Twilight exclaimed. “What is that?”

“Microwave emitter.” Tails replied. “I’ll show it to you later!” He fired another blast as another group of agents came towards them. “As we Freedom Fighters say, ‘let’s do it to it’!”


Rouge finally managed to get the door to the closet open, and quickly set her eyes on Twilight Sparkle.

“We’re getting clobbered here!” Knuckles shouted to her as he dodged a barrage of books that Rarity had hurled at him. “I thought you said you had that prototype thing! Where is it?!”

Rouge looked at the surrounding battle. Things were indeed getting ugly. “We’ve got to get to the commander.” she stated. “He’s the only one with the codes.”

As they dashed through the fight, there was a sudden explosion of smoke, and they were enveloped in a cloud that rendered them sightless.

“You attempted to hurt my friends.” Zecora’s voice called through the clouds. “But now your warmongering ends!”

Knuckles was suddenly struck by a series of unseen blows. He struck blindly, trying to avoid his assailant.

Rouge, however, did not need her eyes to fight. Her radar sensed the approach of the zebra behind her. Swiftly, she spun about with a martial arts kick, but Zecora deftly dodged, apparently somehow able to sense Rouge’s movements through the smoke as well. She returned with a flurry of skillful martial arts moves of her own, now spinning and sweeping her leg, now striking with her front hooves. Rouge parried them, but was driven back. She hadn’t expected this level of combat skill. “Time to pull a few tricks of my own.” she thought.

Sensing Zecora’s position, Rouge threw a series of small bombs. They exploded, stunning Zecora, as Rouge followed up with a series of well-placed kicks and punches, knocking Zecora to the ground.

“I admit, you have great skill.” Zecora coughed. “But can you use magic as well?”

Through the smoke, Rouge saw Zecora’s eyes flash with yellow light, and her hooves burned with green fire.

Suddenly, ghostly shapes formed in the smoke. They swirled around Rouge, catching her, spinning her about. They would dash towards her, passing through her and knocking her down like a powerful wind.

“I prefer peaceful negotiations,” Zecora’s voice called, “but enemies beware my incantations! You seek to hurt these ponies who did nothing to you, so now you shall see just what I can do!”

Rouge suddenly heard a cry like an eagle, and was struck by a giant, winged shape. As she flew out of the smoke cloud, quickly twisting and landing on her feet, she looked towards where the commander lay, still dazed by Amy’s blow. Hurling a few bombs in Zecora’s direction, Rouge soared up to the commander’s side.

“We need the M.S. Alpha online now!” she said urgently. “I’ll try to get you to it.”

“It’s in the truck outside.” the commander said groggily.


Twilight looked about herself at the decimation that had been done to the library. This was getting out of hand, and she had to do something about it.

“Tails, cover me! This spell is going to really weaken me!” she cried.

“Gotcha!” Tails said with a nod.

Twilight gathered her magic. Her horn shone with a pinkish-purple light, like the twilight of a setting sun.

“We’re taking this fight outdoors!” she cried.

A flash of magic enveloped the entire library. Everyone looked around as Sonic, Amy, and most of the ponies now all stood in the middle of the street, along with Shadow, Knuckles, Rouge, the commander, and a good deal of G.U.N. agents.
Twilight fell to the ground, exhausted. “Tails….” she said weakly. “I’m sorry I caused this fight for you and your friends.”
“You helped Sonic.” Tails replied, firing his microwave beam and melting more weapons. “In my book, that makes you one of my friends.”


Fluttershy heard that the noise had died down somewhat, although it was still very loud outside. She dared to peek out from behind the desk. The library was empty. Everyone who hadn’t been teleported outside had dashed out quickly to join the fight.
Fluttershy slowly stood up, looking around.

“Somepony needs to make them stop.” she said to herself.

“Somepony like you.” a little voice in her heart said.

“No! I can’t! I’m just too scared!”

“Your friends are in danger.”

Fluttershy began to cry. “I… I can’t. I want to, but I can’t.” she sobbed.

“You can. You must.”

Suddenly, there was a crash, and Fluttershy saw Rainbow Dash smash into the ground outside the window with a sickening thud. She was dirty, and covered in scratches and bruises. She shakily got back on her hooves, but as she turned, for a moment, her eyes met Fluttershy’s, and Fluttershy remembered all the times when Rainbow Dash had stood up against bullies for her.
She gave a little sob, but she lifted her hooves, and began to trot towards the door.


Shadow slammed Sonic into the pavement, clutching his neck in his hand, while the other raised to strike.

“Wassa matter, faker?” Sonic said with a grim smile, dealing a dozen kicks to Shadow’s stomach with the speed of a jackhammer and twisting out of his grip. “You and G.U.N. are scared of some little ponies?”

“I should have known you would side with them.” Shadow growled, hurling a barrage of Chaos spears as Sonic deftly dodged them. “You’ve always been rebellious against G.U.N.”

“I just don’t like bullies.” Sonic retorted, raising his fists.

Shadow aimed his gun. “I’m going to end this.” he said coldly.


Everyone turned in surprise. Atop the stairs, standing stoically, although tears were streaming down her cheeks, was Fluttershy.
“Stop hurting each other!” she said firmly. Her eyes were set, and she glared specifically at Shadow. “Drop… your… weapons… and stop… hurting… my… friends.”
Shadow tried to raise his tranquilizer gun, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t bring himself to strike another blow. And suddenly, for a reason he couldn’t understand, be began to feel sorry about his harsh actions.

The others felt it, too. Although it was not nearly as strong for Sonic and the ponies, they could still feel the silent, unbreakable strength of that will, a will which, though perhaps meek and shy, strove for kindness and peace with every fiber of its being, with a determination so unbreakable that nobody present could defy it.
The G.U.N. agents all dropped their weapons. Rouge lowered her fists, and Knuckles let his hands drop. Even Shadow threw down his gun.
Twilight sighed, getting to her feet. “I’ve never been happier to see her use the Stare, not even with that cockatrice. Thank you, Fluttershy.” she said gratefully. Then she turned towards everyone present. “Now, I suggested earlier that we settle this civilly. Any care to listen to me now?”
Now feeling a little awkward, everyone shuffled about, not sure how to respond.
All except one.
The commander, still weak, had been inside the truck during Fluttershy’s appearance. As he entered the final code, the thing in the back of the truck hummed and came to life.
The back door of the truck slid open, and from inside it, a pair of red eyes glowed.

“Hold it!” Rouge shouted. “We’ve agreed to a ceasefire!”

The commander shook his head. “We’re brining in these criminals if it’s the last thing I do!” he cried.

From the depths of the truck, the red eyes moved forwards. And a hulking robotic figure stepped out of the truck.
It was apparently meant to resemble Sonic, but it was ten feet tall, and packed with all manner of weapons. It was painted black and silver, and the G.U.N. emblem emblazoned its forehead.

“Metal Sonic Alpha, online.” the robot said in a cold, metallic voice. “Objective: subdue Sonic the Hedgehog and equine compatriots.”

Sonic threw his arms in the air. “Now you guys are making robots of me? Who’s next? Ixus Naugus?”

“That wasn’t designed by G.U.N.” Rouge stated, looking wary.

Tails jumped up. “Look, I put Twilight Sparkle through a lie detector test, and she checked out!” he cried. “That at least warrants further investigation!”

The commander looked thoughtful. “All right!” he huffed. “But only because this fight has gone on too long!” He typed in the robot’s shutoff code into the truck’s controller.
But the robot didn’t shut off.
The commander tried again. But yet again it didn’t work.

“Who did you say designed that?” Sonic asked, looking worried. “Please don’t tell me it was….”

Suddenly, the screen where the robots eyes were located flickered, and began to project a video. In the image stood a bald, rotund man in a red jacket with black pants. His eyes were covered by a pair of dark glasses, which rested upon his unusually large nose, and he sported an incredibly impressive moustache.

“Greetings, Sonic the Hedgehog!” the man chuckled. “I had a feeling G.U.N. would use this against you someday. Those fools actually think they stole it from me! Gah ha ha ha! I knew they would try to replace the computer core! That’s why I hid wafer-thin microcomputers throughout the robot’s structure, just in case I ever required this unit’s service again, or in case G.U.N. got cold feet and decided to try to call off the attack, I could regain control!”

“Eggman!” Sonic shouted. “I should have known this hunk of metal was your doing!”

“Well, who else has this kind of technology? Definitely not G.U.N.!” Eggman laughed. “Maybe this will teach them not to take things that don’t belong to them! As for you, I shall enjoy watching you perish as it crushes you with its awesome might!”

“Not if we have anythin’ to say about it!” Applejack hollered, setting her hooves firmly upon the pavement.

“Ah, Applejack, the country bumpkin.” Eggman said coolly. “Don’t worry. You’ll get your chance to challenge me yet.”

Applejack started back in shock. “H-how do y’all know my name?” she asked.

“I know all your names.” “Eggman replied with a gleeful grin. “Rarity, the vain, backwater girl who aspires to be a fashion designer. The obnoxious Pinkie Pie and her terrible songs. That wimpy crybaby, Fluttershy. That full-of-herself Rainbow Dash, (there’s something about her which reminds me of something I hate, but I can’t place my finger on it.) And the dorky little nerd, Twilight Sparkle. I learned a lot from my little probe.”

“Pretty high and mighty calling Twilight a nerd when you play with computers all day!” Sonic jeered.

“Yeah, Egghead-man!” Rainbow Dash added. “At least Twilight isn’t a fat, bald bully who’s only friends are a bunch of tin soldiers!”

“I have plenty of friends!” Eggman retorted. “Like Snively!”

“He’s actually more of a slave than a friend.” Sonic pointed out.

“Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.” Eggman replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “What matters is that today is a very special day.”

“Ooh, ooh! What day is it?” Pinkie Pie squealed excitedly.

“The day that Sonic the Hedgehog PERISHES!!!” Eggman shouted. “Metal Sonic Alpha, attack!”

“What? That doesn’t sound like a very special day.” Pinkie huffed as the robot powered up.

The giant robotic hedgehog smashed its fist down, shattering the pavement, but Sonic was already out of the way of its blow.
“Come on!” he called to the others. “Let’s take this thing down before any civilians get hurt!”
The G.U.N. agents switched out to their ordinary bullets, but before they could get a chance to fire, the robot fired a stream of shock mines, electrifying the soldiers and knocking them unconscious.

“This isn’t your average Metal Sonic!” Sonic exclaimed. “Looks like Eggman packed him with a couple surprises! Stay on your toes!”

“Or hooves!” Pinkie Pie added.

Everyone scattered as the robot unleashed a barrage of missiles, which exploded all about.

“Everyone, we need a plan!” Twilight Sparkle shouted. “Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, get those soldiers to safety! Knuckles, Applejack, go for its legs! Tails, Rainbow Dash, try and distract it from the sky!”
She turned towards Shadow, Rouge, and Omega. “Can we put aside our differences for now?” she asked.

Shadow snorted. “For now.” he grudgingly agreed.

“Good, then I need Shadow and Sonic to draw that thing’s fire! Omega, cover Amy as she goes for the head! Rouge, try to flank it! Zecora, give Knuckles and Applejack some cover! Rarity, Spike, help me cover the soldiers from any attacks!”

“Who put you in charge?” Shadow griped.

“No time to argue.” Rouge told him. “Sounds like a good plan to me.” She soared into the air, trying to stay just behind the robot at all times.

From above, Tails tried to blast the robot with his microwave gun, but a well-targeted laser beam destroyed his weapon.
“Guess we do this the old-fashioned way!” he said to himself, blasting towards the robot with a spin dash.
Lightning crashed down from above, striking the robot, as Rainbow Dash bucked her storm cloud.

“Oh yeah! You want some of this?” she laughed as she deftly zipped away from the barrage of machine gun fire.

Zecora pulled out a couple of her brews and hurtled them at the robot. One exploded with a shimmering smoke, while the other covered the robot in a luminescent paint, making it glow so that Applejack and Knuckles could easily target it while remaining hidden themselves in the smoke. The robot was soon struck by many powerful blows to its legs. It crashed to its knees, but as it did so, it released another barrage of missiles.

But the missiles halted in the air as Twilight and Rarity caught them with their magic, then hurled them back at the robot. The few they missed were destroyed by Spike’s fiery breath. Applejack and Knuckles dove out of the way as the missiles exploded against the robot.

The robot’s paint was now badly scratched, and the G.U.N. emblem has been torn away, revealing the signature symbol of the Eggman Empire.

Sonic and Shadow began a tag-team pummeling of the robot’s midsection, while Rouge and Zecora stayed behind it, pelting it with bombs and potions. Omega was blasting away, keeping Amy covered as she dove for the robot, her hammer raised. There was a loud, metallic clang as she swung, and the robot crashed to the ground. Spike and Omega both immediately proceeded to torch it, while Rarity and Twilight magically hurled what remained of the truck at the mechanical monstrosity.

There was a crash, and then a stillness. As the smoke cleared, they saw the smoldering remains of the robot, still sparking. In the library, Fluttershy was tending to the injured soldiers, while Pinkie Pie was zipping back and forth, making sure that she had gotten everyone inside.

“Well, that went well.” Sonic said, grinning and brushing himself off.

“Perhaps, but we still have one problem to deal with.” Shadow said, pointing towards Twilight.

Twilight turned to offer a rebuttal, but as she did, she saw the screen of the robot’s eyes now displayed a countdown timer. She didn’t have to know what a time bomb was to know that when the counter reached zero, something terrible would happen.

“Look out!” she cried, pushing past Shadow. Without a thought, she leapt past her friends, old and new, and threw herself upon the robot. Her horn flashed with magic, and she and the robot disappeared.

High in the sky, Twilight and the robot reappeared. Twilight felt the wind whip past her face. She briefly thought of trying to stop the detonation, but she didn’t even know where to begin. Helplessly, she watched the counter drop to zero.

She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“Celestia, I’m sorry I failed. Tell the others… I’ll see them in the Summer Lands.”

There was a deafening boom, and a wave of heat engulfed her. She vaguely felt herself being limply thrown through the air. Everything was a blur.
There was a brilliant flash of blue light. She suddenly felt arms encircling her, to carry her off to the Summer Lands. She looked up, but instead of warm sunlight, she only saw two red eyes, not angry or cold, but stern, and filled with such pain and sorrow she thought her heart would break at the sight.

And then she shut her eyes, and her consciousness slipped away.

Let's Try This Again

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Chapter 5: Let’s Try This Again

Twilight groggily opened her eyes. She could here voices, and see the blurry images of faces.

“She’s waking up!” Fluttershy’s voice cried.

Twilight’s eyes focused, and she saw Fluttershy, Zecora, and Tails bent over her.

“Wh-what happened? Where am I?” she asked.

Before she could receive an answer, she was suddenly tackled by a small, purple form.
“You’re okay!” Spike cried, tears running down his face. “I kept thinking you weren’t going to make it!”
Twilight gave a weak grin, and nuzzled her face against his as she put her hooves around him. “Well, somepony has to make sure you don’t get sick eating too much ice cream again.” she replied with a small chuckle.

“I feared I could not heal the harm, when Shadow brought you down in his arms.” Zecora stated.

Now Twilight sat up in surprise. “Wait. Shadow saved me? The same guy who tried to beat me up?”

“The same guy.” Sonic replied, striding up. “He might be a jerk, but Rouge is right. He does have a good heart. And I think your sacrifice helped change his mind.”

Twilight wobbly got to her feet, still feeling a major headache.
“You should rest.” Fluttershy pleaded. “You’ve been through a lot. You’ve been asleep for two whole days.”
“I’ll take it easy.” Twilight replied. “We’ve already lost enough time. Celestia gave me a mission, and I’m going to finish it.”
“Don’t push yourself, Twilight.” Spike said gently. “If you need anything, anything at all, just tell me.”
Tails strode up, a grin on his face. “Well, now that you’re awake, I guess you can hear the good news.”


“I’m exonerated?” Twilight said in surprise.

General Abraham nodded. “Please forgive G.U.N.’s actions.” he apologized. “While you may appear identical to the culprit, while you were engaged with our forces, the same criminal struck again, this time destroying a wing of the Solianna library, a secret one with important research.”

“That monster!” Twilight growled.

“The loss is tragic.” the general agreed. “Irreplaceable information was lost in the fire. But luckily for you, nothing could have proven your innocence better. Dozens of my men report that you and all of your friends were engaging them at the time of the break-in, including our top agents Shadow, Rouge, and Omega. While we may still have a few questions to ask you concerning this criminal, you are officially considered innocent.”

The other ponies, who were sitting nearby, gave a relieved sigh.
“Yeah, nice of you to tell us that after you clobbered us, and we cleaned up your mess with that robot monster!” Rainbow Dash snapped.

“Rainbow!” Twilight chided.

General Abraham raised his hand, shaking his head. “No, no, you friend is right. Our actions were highly regrettable, especially considering your new arrival to this world. So as recompense, G.U.N. will be paying for all expenses during your stay here. Also, you will be given suites at the Hotel Solis, one of the finest resort hotels in Mobius, and you will be treated as official ambassadors of Equestria.”

“Now that sounds absolutely divine!” Rarity said dreamily. “I’m glad that something good came out of all that unruly brawling!”

“On a side note,” General Abraham replied, a slight grin coming across his face, “You aided G.U.N. in suppressing a dangerous robot when you had the choice to escape, and you minimalized damage and injuries for both G.U.N. and the city, as well as protecting G.U.N. agents, and keeping any civilians from being injured. Princess Elise wants to personally commend all of you, including Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends.”

“Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “Fancy hotels and meeting the princess! Oh, I have so got to plan a party for later!”

“G.U.N. thanks you for your help, and hopes that we can overlook our past misunderstandings and achieve a better future relationship between Mobius and Equestria.” the general stated.

“I’m willing to let bygones be bygones.” Twilight said happily. “And I must admit, I can’t blame you for thinking that thief was me. I plan to be working with Tails to solve this problem, as well as the threat of the shadow that Princess Celestia warned me about.”

“G.U.N. will inform you if we think we’ve found anything to do with this possible threat.” General Abraham assured her. “In the meantime, our apologies again, and please enjoy yourselves.”

“Well!” Applejack stated as the general left. “Now that sure is one heck of a turnabout!”
“G.U.N. has had some really bad people in charge of it in the past,” Tails said, “but at least now, although they may have some trouble, they’re genuinely trying to protect Mobius.”

“Yeah.” Sonic snorted. “But they still have a habit of doing the wrong things for the right reasons. Which is why I don’t get along so well with them.”

Suddenly the doors burst open. “Hey guys!” Amy shouted, dashing into the room. “Check it out! We’re on TV!”

She switched on the wide-screen television on the wall, changing to a news channel.
“…reports show that legendary hero, Sonic the Hedgehog, engaged a Robotnik robot which G.U.N. had unsuccessfully tried to reprogram.” the reporter on the screen stated. “But what’s really interesting are these new allies of his.” The camera zoomed in, showing footage of the ponies engaged in battle.

“Sonic’s close ally, Miles Prower, better known to the public as ‘Tails’, revealed the names of these new heroes, and seems to speak very highly of them.”
The camera switched to show an interview with Tails. Sitting nearby, the real Tails jumped up and down excitedly.

“There I am! That’s me!” he cried gleefully.

“These ponies helped save Sonic when he was accidentally blasted though a portal to their world by Eggman.” the TV Tails said. “And they really helped us take down that robot. Now I know a few people have claimed that these ponies are in league with a similar-looking criminal who has broken into multiple G.U.N. bases and government property, but just yesterday, G.U.N. uncovered evidence which has fully cleared these ponies off all charges, and has shown them to truly be great heroes!”

“Y’all said that about us?” Applejack asked Tails, blushing slightly. “Sugarcube, y’all are so sweet!”

“Aww.” Tails said, shyly shuffling his feet.

“Reports show that these ponies are no pushovers.” the reporter went on. “The purple pony known as Twilight Sparkle was responsible for teleporting the remains of the robot away from civilian areas when it threatened to explode with a powerful bomb, a feat which nearly cost her her life.”

Everyone cheered, patting Twilight on the back and shouting their congratulations.

“This footage shows this pony, known as Applejack, delivering some crushing blows to that robot. Eggman doesn’t want to get on this cowpony’s bad side, because this Applejack sure packs a kick!”

“Yee-haw!” Applejack hollered above the cheers of the others.

“And it looks like Sonic and Shadow aren’t the only speedsters in Mobius now!” the reporter continued. “The colorfully-maned pony known as Rainbow Dash can be seen flying about at speeds excelling the speed of sound! On top of that, she seems capable of manipulating weather patterns and can be seen in this clip as she uses a storm cloud to strike lightning at the robot!”

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow Dash shouted, leaping into the air as everyone gave a cheer. “Look at me! I was sooo awesome!”

“And one can only wonder how this white mare manages to keep such grace and poise in such a heated situation,” the reported stated, “but the pony known as Rarity is full of surprises. Her telekinetic abilities can be seen in this clip as she protects a group of G.U.N. agents from a literal storm of incoming missiles!”

“Well, I certainly wish they could have caught me at a better time. My mane is simply a mess!” Rarity complained amidst the cheers, but she was grinning and bouncing in her seat like a schoolgirl.

“We don’t have any footage, but reports tell that the pony Fluttershy single-handedly, or should I say, single-hoofedly, stopped all hostilities between the ponies and G.U.N., who at the time had mistaken them for international criminals. Mind control, skilled diplomacy, or just too adorable to resist? We don’t know for certain, but we do know that she helped provide medical attention to injured G.U.N. agents, and that her kindness has already made her popular among the soldiers.”

As everyone cheered for her, Fluttershy blushed and hid behind her long tail, but she was smiling.

“We see Zecora the zebra here in this clip.” the reporter exclaimed. “Martial arts, magical potions, and shamanic magical talents make this one zebra that the Eggman Empire does not want to mess with! She is known to speak in rhyme, part of her unique culture, and is no stranger to traveling to distant lands. One of her friends described her as a ‘not-evil enchantress, who does not-so-evil dances.’ I’m not quite sure what that means, but it’s obvious that Zecora is obviously not to be messed with!”

“I wonder who it could be who said those quotes about me?” Zecora mused with a smirk, casting a glance in Pinkie Pie’s direction, who began whistling conspicuously.

“Reports show E-123 Omega being aided in the final blow by what Tails tells us is a baby dragon named Spike. I don’t know about you, but if that’s what he’s like as a baby, then Eggman had better watch out when he grows up!”

“Sweet! Twilight, didja see me? Didja see?” Spike asked as everyone cheered and Twilight gave him a hug.

“Our final hero, called Pinkie Pie, was nearly impossible to get any good footage of,” the reported went on, “because she very rarely stood still. Also, she seems to demonstrate some unusual powers. Video footage shows her moving behind an object, only to come out from behind an entirely different object. However, we were able to get footage of her using the weapon she dubs her ‘party cannon’, and she apparently was aware that she was being taped, as these scenes show.” Numerous scenes flashed by of Pinkie waving to the camera.

“Lookit, lookit! That’s me, that’s me!!!” Pinkie Pie squealed amidst the cheers. (And confused looks.)

As the reporter finished up, and a commercial for fur shampoo came on, everyone jumped up and began cheering.
“Hey, guys!” Sonic called. “We should get ready! The princess will be wanting to see us soon!”
“I’ll go pick out something!’ Rarity squealed. “Ooh! I’m so glad I planned ahead and brought some formal attire!”


As the heroes stepped up to the podium, the entire crowd was cheering. The cheering died down as the princess Elise formally thanked both Sonic and his friends, and the ponies.

“You all have done great service for Solianna.” she stated. “You have acted heroically, and are to be commended for your brave service.”

As they bowed, she personally draped a medal over each of their necks. As they turned, the crowd erupted in cheers yet again.

Rainbow Dash grinned. “Now this is a welcome.”


“Oh, I’m in heaven!” Rarity squealed as she entered her new suite. It was enormous, with a full walk-in closet, hot tub, a kitchenette with full bar, and the most lavish décor.

Applejack looked about the hotel, feeling a bit out of place. “I don’t care much for all this fancy, frou-frou stuff.” she told the hotel attendant. “Any way I could git something a little more… homey?”

“You could request some changes be made to your room, madam.” the attendant replied with one of those formal-sounding accents. “G.U.N. is paying for everything to make sure that you are comfortable during your stay.”

“I can do that?” Applejack asked.

“Of course, madam.” the attendant assured her. “We get celebrities here all the time, and we make certain that their rooms suit their personal tastes.”

“Well, that’s mighty nice of y’all!” Applejack exclaimed. “In that case, I’d like a real bed for starters. “I got entire fields back home smaller than the bed I got now! And if it ain’t too much trouble, I would prefer it if it were a bit more… rustic.”

“Ah, we can easily accommodate that.” the attendant replied. “Many country singers who come here have similar requests. I am certain we can find you a more suitable suite. Shall there be anything else, madam Applejack and Rarity?”

“That shall be all for now.” Rarity replied, obviously enjoying having a servant.

As the attendant bowed and left, the other ponies, Spike, Sonic, and Tails all came into the room.

“Anypony care for a drink?” Rarity asked, sidling up to the bar.

“I’m too young to have that stuff.” Tails stated.

“Oh, I asked them to stock this with non-alcoholic beverages.” Rarity reassured him. “I learned that you don’t yet have purified alcohol in this world yet, so it still has all the nasty side effects. How you can build robots and yet now know how to remove all of the physically affecting chemicals in a drink, when even the most rural earth ponies know how, is quite beyond me.”

“Did you all see everything you can do here?” Pinkie Pie asked, excitedly bouncing about. “There’s a really big swimming pool, and a tennis court, and there’s this huuuuge room which you can rent just for parties! Which reminds me, everypony… oopsie, I mean ‘everybody… is invited to a big party I have planned for tomorrow night! It’s kind of a super-special, welcome-to-another-dimension party to celebrate making new friends and beating a giant robot monster!”

“Trust me, Pinkie throws the best parties.” Twilight stated. “You don’t want to miss it!”

“Wouldn’t dream of it!” Sonic replied. “I’m sure this big guy here could take a break from his research for a little fun.” He gave Tails a noogie as he added this, and Tails laughed happily.

“Speaking of research, I’ve been doing a little digging.” Twilight stated, pulling out a few books. “And I think I’ve found something that might point us in the direction of our threat.”
She flipped through one of the books, stopping at a picture of an elaborate scepter, set with a black jewel.

“The book states that this is the Scepter of Darkness.” Twilight explained. “It is an ancient artifact that has been passed down through the royal family for generations, and has many unusual capabilities, although nobody has learned how to harness them. The Scepter was eventually locked away to keep anyone from accessing it. Legend says that an ancient evil is bound within.”

“Have you found anything as to what this ancient evil is?” Sonic asked.

“Sadly, no.” Twilight answered. “But we have a lead, at least. Perhaps I can speak to the princess of Solianna and see if she can’t offer some insight.”

“I’ll check with G.U.N. and see if they have anything useful on the subject.” Tails added. “And don’t worry. I’ll make sure to be there for your party, Pinkie Pie.”

“Wee!” Pinkie Pie cried. “I can’t wait! I’d better go get everything set up! See ya, everypony! Oops, everybody!”

As Pinkie Pie blasted out the door, she almost banged into a group of animals which were following Fluttershy through the hotel. There was a great deal of roaring and squawking and hooting and bellowing going on.

“Now, don’t crowd each other.” Fluttershy was saying. “And, if you don’t mind, could you pleeease be a little bit quieter? We want to be polite to the other guests here.”

“Fluttershy, what is going on here?!” Twilight exclaimed in shock, although she wasn’t exactly surprised.

“Oh, I thought I could let these animals stay here with me.” Fluttershy replied, turning about. “They were all at this zoo nearby. But everyone kept staring at them, and some of them had rather small houses. So I thought they could come up here, where I could look after them.”

“Er… you do know some of those animals are very dangerous, don’t you?” Sonic asked, looking warily at the creatures.

“Oh, that’s okay. They promised to behave nicely while they’re here.” Fluttershy replied. “I sadly had to leave a few in the zoo, because they were very rude, and I don’t think that they would have been very nice if they had gotten out, but I made sure that the zookeepers treat them very nicely and make sure that they don’t get lonely.”

“Does the hotel know about this, dearie?” Rarity asked, looking rather taken aback by the messy animals.

“Oh, of course.” Fluttershy assured her. “They said that with those G.U.N. people paying for everything, I would be allowed to do whatever I wanted. Although they did look a little stressed.”

“I can imagine.” Rarity murmured.


Rainbow Dash sat upon a short wall, her hooves folded across her chest. She was watching Sonic sign autographs for a group of fans.
She rolled her eyes. This was getting out of hoof. She had to do something about this.
“Hey, everyone! Check this out!” she shouted. Launching herself into the air, she proceeded to do a triple backwards loop. To her irritation, nobody even looked.
“Okay, time to get their attention.” she grumbled. Shooting past the crowd at high speed, she whipped about, streaking straight towards them. She stopped short, splashing through a puddle, sending a mist of water into the air that spread a rainbow above her head.

“How’s that for awesome?” she asked with a cocky toss of her mane.

The fans stared, now paying attention.

“Hey, that was pretty cool!” one fan said.

“Yeah, you’re fast!” another fan said, while Rainbow Dash basked in the attention.

“Almost as fast as Sonic!” a third cried.

Rainbow Dash’s basking stopped shot. “Almost as fast?!” she cried, zipping up and putting her face in the fan’s face. “Almost as fast?! I am THE fastest! I was the only pegasus to ever perform a Sonic Rainboom, and I’m top student at the Wonderbolts Academy, where only the bestest of the best get in!”

“Er, hey everyone!” Sonic called out, an awkward smile on his face. “Meet my new buddy, Rainbow Dash!”

“Oh, don’t you ‘buddy’ me!” Rainbow Dash cried. “Hedgehog? You’re a glory hog!”

“Hey, I’m just giving my fans some attention.” Sonic said defensively. “It’s not my fault I’m popular.”

“Oh, no. I’m calling you out on this one.” Rainbow Dash cried. “I can take the fame, and the fans. It’s no crime being popular. I can even take that smug demeanor.”

“Hey, I’m confident, not smug.” Sonic replied, getting a little irritated.

“Oh, yeah?” Rainbow Dash shouted. “You act like you’re unbeatable! But that’s not what bugs me! What really bugs me is that you and all your fans seem to think you’re the fastest thing alive!”

“Sonic is the fastest thing alive!” a bunch of the fans began to cry.

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Well, I’m calling his bluff!” She crouched and pawed the ground. “You and me. Race. Right now.”

Sonic looked awkward. He zipped up to her side.
“You don’t have to do this.” he whispered, so the fans wouldn’t hear. “You don’t have to prove anything to them.”
“I’m not proving it to them.” Rainbow Dash growled. “I’m proving it to you, to wipe that arrogant smile off your face.”
“I’m not the one who’s acting arrogant here.” Sonic replied, finally getting irritated. “Don’t make me humiliate you.”
“Okay, that’s it!” Rainbow Dash shouted. She pointed her hoof into the distance. “End of the mainland and back. Whoever gets back first is the winner!”
As the fans cheered, Sonic shook his head. “Look, can’t we just settle this another way?” he whispered. “I don’t want to make you look bad.”

“You sound afraid.” Rainbow Dash said challengingly. “Wassa matter? Too chicken to race me?”

Sonic sighed, his face becoming resolute. “I’m not going to go easy on you, Rainbow.”

“Oh, I don’t expect you to.” Rainbow Dash retorted as Sonic crouched beside her in a starting position.

One of the fans pulled out a Sonic flag he had been carrying, using it for a starting flag.

“Ready… set… GO!!!”

There was a blur of blue and rainbow as Sonic and Rainbow Dash streaked off. The race was on.


Rainbow Dash noticed from the beginning that Sonic was obviously faster than she had given him credit for. He was keeping pace with her easily as they dashed across the beaches.

They streaked along, side by side, tearing past arches of stone and palm trees at blinding speeds. The edge of the mainland was coming up fast.

In what seemed like an instant, the land ended, and Rainbow Dash looped around. To her surprise, Sonic whipped about, making the turnabout almost instantly.

She flapped her wings harder. Faster, faster, she strove to pass Sonic. She finally began to pull ahead, a foot, two feet. Soon, Sonic was a few yards behind her. She laughed, turning back to look towards the rapidly approaching finish line. Faster, faster.

“Time to end this.” she said with a grin.

She blasted ahead, using the straightaway to build up speed. There was a tremendous boom, and a rainbow shockwave filled the sky behind her. She sped ahead, faster than the speed of sound. She grinned with triumphant determination.

But suddenly, there was a second boom behind her. A blur of blue streaked past her as Sonic shot ahead. Before she had even reached the city border, Sonic had crossed the finish line.

“N-no.” Rainbow Dash thought to herself. “He… he can’t be…faster….”

As Sonic skidded to a halt, his fans surrounded him, cheering him on. Only Sonic looked skywards, sadly watching the blue pegasus who shot off into the distance, her eyes tearful.


Applejack sighed as she approached Rainbow Dash’s room. After hearing about the race, she knew that somepony had to talk to Rainbow Dash, and despite their occasional rivalry, it might as well be her.
She knocked on the door.

“Go away.” Rainbow Dash grumbled from inside.

“Sugarcube, come on and open this door.” Applejack asked.


Applejack sighed. “Rainbow, I heard about the race. Will you just let me in? I’m tryin’ to help you.”

Applejack heard an exasperated sigh, and a few moments later Rainbow Dash opened the door.
“What do you want?” Rainbow Dash asked sulkily.

“I just wanted to see how you were doin’, sugarcube.” Applejack stated, coming into the room.

“I’d be a lot better if you just left me alone.” Rainbow Dash sulked.

Applejack sighed and shook her head. “Rainbow, it ain’t the end of the world. You lost one race. So what?”

“So what?” Rainbow Dash cried. “Someone is faster than me, that’s what!”

“Well, you challenged him, and he asked you to walk away.” Applejack stated. “You kind of forced him to race you.”

Rainbow Dash scowled. “You been talkin’ to him?”

“He ain’t the enemy, Rainbow.” Applejack replied. “And I know your competitive streak is a mile long. And you sometimes give my stubbornness a run for its money. But I don’t give a rotten apple core how stubborn you are, it ain’t gonna make things any better by sulkin’ in here.”

“I can’t go out there!” Rainbow Dash cried. “I’m a laughingstock!”

“No one is laughin’ at y’all.” Applejack assured her.

Another knock suddenly came on the door. Applejack opened it a crack to see Sonic on the other side, looking sheepish.

“I… came to apologize.” Sonic said, shuffling his feet.

“Ain’t nothin’ to apologize for.” Applejack assured him. “You won, fair and square.”

“Yeah, but… well can I talk to her?”

“No.” Rainbow Dash griped.

“I think that might be a good idea.” Applejack said, letting Sonic in as Rainbow Dash groaned and turned her back towards him, looking out the window.

“Doesn’t anypony know what ‘no’ means?” she grumbled.

“Look, I know it’s hard.” Sonic said, approaching Rainbow Dash. “I tend to be really competitive myself. If you had beat me, I would be pretty bummed, too.”

Rainbow Dash grunted in reply.

“But I think you’re selling yourself short.” Sonic went on. “Sure I’m faster. But that’s only fair. I mean, I can’t fly, or control the weather. Heck, I can’t even swim. Just because I’m faster doesn’t mean I’m better. You’re still the fastest flier I’ve ever seen.”

“Really?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Sure.” Sonic said. “Now look at my buddy Tails. He’s one of the best fliers I know. But you’re faster than him, and possibly a better flier. But you can’t build a plane, or a robot, or a laser like Tails can.”
Sonic put his hand on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. “You see, we’re each best at something. But nobody, not me or you or anyone else, is best at everything.”

“But you’re still… the fastest.” Rainbow Dash sighed, although it pained her to say the words.

Sonic shrugged. “You know, I was thinking, maybe that race wasn’t really fair. I always win the straightaway races. But you’re a flier. Over rough terrain, you might even be faster than me.”

“Really?” Rainbow Dash asked, her face brightening.

“Tell you what.” Sonic said. “How about a rematch? Green Hills Zone, tomorrow afternoon. It’ll be a fairer race then.”

“But what if I lose again?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Then get back up and try again.” Sonic replied. “You can’t win if you don’t try. Nothing starts until you take action. And if you have time to worry… then run.”

Rainbow Dash sighed. “Yeah, okay. Rematch at the Green Hills Zone, wherever that is. I’ll be there.”

“Good.” Sonic said with a grin. “I look forward to it.”

As he turned to leave, he looked back at Rainbow Dash. “By the way,” he said, “thanks for the race anyways. First time in almost forever that someone’s given me a challenge like you did.”
As Sonic left, Applejack turned towards Rainbow Dash.
“So, you feelin’ better?” she asked.
Rainbow Dash put her hooves on the floor, turning back towards Applejack. “I feel fine!” she replied.
“Great!” Applejack said brightly. “So, will you be comin’ to Pinkie’s party then?”
“Only for an hour or so.” Rainbow Dash replied. “I’ve got some wing workouts to do. Gotta stay in peak condition if I want to earn my rightful title!”
As Rainbow Dash put her forelegs behind her head and started doing wing-ups, Applejack smiled.

“Same ol’ Rainbow Dash.” she said to herself as she left.

Race to Win

View Online

Chapter 6: Race to Win

Twilight awoke to a knocking on her door. As she groggily got out of bed, she grabbed a brush with her magic.

“Who is it?” she asked, hurriedly brushing her tousled mane.

“Room service.” a hotel attendant replied “You asked for an early wake-up call, madam. Also, I have brought you a breakfast menu, and some hot tea, as per your assistant’s request.”

Twilight cast a glance at Spike’s sleeping figure. "He really does think of everything.” she thought to herself fondly.
As she let in the hotel attendant, who set out a tray with her tea and menu, Spike groggily awoke.

“Huh? Oh good, breakfast!” he mumbled, rubbing his eyes. “It’s kind of nice to waited upon.”

“There is also someone here to see you, madam.” the hotel attendant added. “He is from G.U.N.”

“Oh! Um… send him in!” Twilight replied.

As the hotel attendant left, she took a quick look in the mirror to make sure she was presentable. But as she turned around, she gave a small gasp.
It was Shadow.
Shadow shut the door behind himself.

“What are you doing here?!” Spike cried angrily, now wide awake.

Shadow looked uncomfortable. “I came to… to tell you that I regret my rash actions.”

Twilight looked surprised. “You’re apologizing?”

“I… suppose.” Shadow said. “I was too hasty. I should have given you the benefit of the doubt. But you do understand I held no enmity towards you. I was merely pursuing who I thought to be a criminal.”

“Yeah, well are you so brutal to all of your targets?” Spike growled.

“Spike, he’s trying to apologize.” Twilight chided. Then she turned to Shadow. “Although Spike is right. I ended up very badly hurt from that. Why were you so… aggressive?”

Shadow shook his head. “I don’t know how things are in Equestria, but around here, there’s quite a few criminals who don’t care if they kill someone. With the level of power you possess, I couldn’t afford to risk myself or civilian lives.”

Twilight stared in shock. “Ponies don’t kill.” she said, sounding horrified. “We only take a life if there is absolutely no other alternative. Only the most evil, wicked villains would kill somepony.”

Shadow sighed. “This is Mobius, not Equestria. Don’t think that everyone fears Eggman just because he’s cruel. He prefers to take slaves, but he isn’t above killing. We’ve all had enough losses to know.”

“Did… you lose someone?” Twilight asked gently.

Shadow sighed deeply. “I didn’t lose anyone to the Doctor. But I don’t want to talk about it.”

Twilight gave Shadow a sad glance. “I… I’m sorry.”

Shadow suddenly gave his head a shake, and he reassumed his cold demeanor. “I have to report back to G.U.N.” he stated. He turned to leave.

“Wait!’ Twilight called.

Shadow paused, his hand on the door.

“I… I never thanked you for saving me.” she said.

“I was just undoing my own mistake.” Shadow replied. “There’s nothing to thank me for.”

Twilight watched him go with a worried stare as he shut the door behind himself. “I think I’m beginning to see why I saw such sadness in his eyes.” she murmured.


“Balloons? Check. Confetti? Check. Fifteen types of cake? Check.”

Pinkie Pie was checking off her list as she examined the large room that the hotel had rented to her for the party. Beside her, Sonic was following along.

“Don’t forget chili dogs.” he added. “And no party’s complete without music!”

Pinkie suddenly stopped cold, causing Sonic to bump into her.

“Oh no!” she cried. “I forgot! I usually hire Vinyl Scratch to do music, but she’s not here! Aaaah! I don’t have anypony to do the music!”

“Hey, hey, chill.” Sonic reassured her. “I’ve got it covered. One of the most popular singers in Mobius is vacationing here, and she and I go way back. I’ll just see if she would like to do the music for tonight. I doubt she would turn down a chance to sing.”

“Really? Cool!” Pinkie cried. “I’ve never heard Mobian music before! That sounds like fun!”

“Yeah, Mina’s an awesome singer, that’s for sure!” Sonic stated. Then he looked at the clock on the wall. “Ooh, sorry Pinkie! Gotta go! I promised Rainbow Dash I would meet her at the Green Hills Zone for another race.”

“Yeah, Rainbow told me!” Pinkie squealed. “That’s going to be so fun!”

“Well, later then!” Sonic cried, shooting off into the distance.


Rainbow Dash was nervously pacing as she saw the blue streak that was Sonic zipping towards her location.

“Deep breath, Dash.” she told herself. “This time it’ll be more even. You’ve got nothing to fear. You wanna be a Wonderbolt, then you’ve got to face your fears. And even if he is faster, a true Wonderbolt wouldn’t let that get them down. Like Spitfire. She’d try and use her other strengths to win.”

Sonic skidded to a halt by Rainbow Dash’s side. “You ready?” he asked.
“O-of course.” Rainbow Dash replied. She didn’t tell him that she was feeling very nervous.

Suddenly, Pinkie Pie popped around the corner. “Hey guys!”

“AUGH!” Sonic and Dash both screamed in surprise.

“When Rainbow told me about the race, I was so excited!” Pinkie squealed. “So I took the liberty of preparing a little surprise for you!”
Rainbow Dash sighed. “Pinkie, I don’t….”
“Close your eyes and take my hooves.” Pinkie Pie instructed.
Rainbow Dash and Sonic exchanged confused glances, but they nonetheless took Pinkie’s hooves.
As Pinkie led them on, Rainbow Dash was just wishing that she could get this over with. Her entire stomach was in a knot. Waiting was not her specialty.

“Okay, you can open them!” Pinkie Pie shouted.

When Rainbow Dash opened her eyes, she saw that they had been led into an empty tent.

“The surprise is right outside!” Pinkie cried, bouncing excitedly.

Rainbow Dash and Sonic exchanged glances, then pulled open the tent flap and went out.
The glaring sun flashed in their eyes, blinding them for a moment. But the flashing continued, and a roar erupted into the air.
As their eyes adjusted to the flashing lights, Rainbow Dash felt the knot in her stomach become an entire mess of knots.
They were surrounded by makeshift bleachers, which were filled with crowds upon crowds of screaming, cheering people. Flashbulbs were going off everywhere, and camera crews were in helicopters in the sky.

“Pinkie, what the heck is this?!” Sonic shouted above the din.

“I thought that this should be a super-awesome enormously huge super-duper special race if you’re both the fastest from your worlds!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed with a big grin. “So I decided to host the biggest race event I could!”

Pinkie grabbed a nearby bullhorn and hopped into a waiting helicopter, which Tails was driving.

“We’re gonna be announcing the race!” Pinkie squealed. “Good luck!”

“Do your best, Sonic!” Tails cried, looking terribly excited.

As the helicopter took off, Sonic turned towards Rainbow Dash with a horrified expression on his face.
“I-I’m so sorry!” he cried, trying to be heard above all the ruckus. “I had no idea….” he sighed and shook his head. “If you want to, I’ll call the race off. That way, you won’t look bad.”

Rainbow Dash gulped and shook her head. “No.” she said, marching towards the starting line, her face nervous, but set and determined. “If I can’t prove myself to myself, then what difference does it make who’s watching?”
Sonic sighed. “You know, to make this fair, I’m not going to go easy on you.”

Rainbow Dash gave a nervous chuckle. “If you did, I’d have to give you a buck in the stomach for letting me win.”
They both crouched in position as Tails’ voice rang out from the sky.

“Ready… set… GO!!!”

Rainbow Dash and Sonic blasted off from the starting line, rocketing down the path.


Rainbow Dash quickly saw that this was far more complex than a simple straightaway race. Hills were not a good description for this part of the zone. Giant cliffs rose all about her. She dove through the rocks, shooting through holes and narrowly avoiding cliff faces.

As she looked down, she couldn’t help but feel a little worried about her odds. Sonic was rocketing off the cliffs like a pinball, running alongside sheer cliffs and looping upside down from time to time.

Rainbow Dash blasted ahead. She might not have had to keep her hooves on the ground, but the environment was still very tricky for her to maneuver.

She shot through a looping rock formation, while Sonic ran through the loop. Although she found it weird that a loop had formed in the rock, she didn’t have the time to question it.

Faster she pressed on, feeling the wind blast past her face.

“Come on!” she told herself. “You’re Rainbow Dash! You wanna be a Wonderbolt? Then BE ONE!”

A thunderous boom filled the air, as a blast of rainbow filled the sky behind her. The blast had shattered the rocks, and they now were beginning to fall. But Rainbow Dash kept her attention straight ahead, not heeding the falling boulders. She dashed around them, dove beneath them, soared over them.

Beside her, she saw to her surprise that Sonic was still keeping pace, leaping from falling boulder to falling boulder. But all the fear of loss had left her heart now. There was only the speed, and the wind, and the path ahead.

As Sonic dashed along beside her, she laughed aloud with the euphoria of the moment, and with impressed admiration of Sonic’s skills. The competition was still there, but it wasn’t as important to her as before. She was alive, gloriously alive. And as Sonic dashed alongside her, she saw that look on his face, that rapture in his eyes. For an instant, their eyes met, and it was as if they could read one another’s minds.

“There’s nothing like it, is there?”

Rainbow Dash laughed again, and Sonic joined in. Both knew that they were some of the few who would ever share this joy, the rush of the moment, the exhilaration of the speed. And at that moment, Rainbow Dash felt her jealousy and dislike slip away. They were much the same, she and Sonic. Kindred spirits of speed. In his face, she saw the same joy that had always filled her own when she was soaring like this.

He knew what this was like.

And rather than feel threatened, Rainbow Dash felt a joy in her heart. For once, for the first time in her life, someone actually knew what it was like for her.

“He’s just like me.” Rainbow Dash thought. Cocky, competitive, and maybe a bit conceited, but with a love for life and a loyalty that nothing could break.

Suddenly, the tumult of screaming cheers filled her ears. With deep disappointment, she left her world of speed, slowing to a halt and digging her hooves into the ground. Beside her, Sonic skidded to a stop.

“Nice to find someone who knows what it feels like.” Sonic said with a smile. “Good race.”

Rainbow Dash sighed, looking towards the sky, the fans and the flashbulbs barely rendering in her mind.
“You know,” she said, “I kinda felt like we shared something back there. Like we were related or something, you know?” She then stuck her face in his and glared. “If you tell anypony I said that, I’ll come back and clobber you.”

“Message received.” Sonic said with a chuckle. “And yeah. I know what you mean.”

Suddenly, Tails and Pinkie Pie came dashing up to them.

“That’s was the awesome race ever!” Pinkie Pie screamed, waving her hooved wildly.

Rainbow Dash suddenly remembered. “Oh, yeah! Um… who won?” she asked, afraid to hear the answer.

“It was a tie!” Tails cried. “You both crossed the finish line at the exact same time! For a moment, I wasn’t sure you were going to stop!”

“Y-you mean we both won?” Rainbow Dash cried happily.

“Tying with Sonic is no small feat!” Tails said encouragingly. “The crowd is going absolutely crazy!”

“No they’re not!” Pinkie Pie replied. “This is going absolutely crazy. Gablalalblaabraralalalablalalawawa!” She began to bounce about, flailing her tongue and spinning her eyes about while waving her hooves.

Rainbow Dash stared up at the crowd, which was cheering her and Sonic’s names. Flashbulbs were going off everywhere.

“Drink it in.” Sonic told her as he waved to the crowd. “You’re famous now. Wouldn‘t be surprised if all of Mobius doesn‘t hear of you now.”

Rainbow Dash’s face lit up, as she heard the crowd cheering her name.



“And then, I did a Sonic Rainboom, and everything started to crash down around us!”

Rainbow Dash was recounting the race for the seventh time as they entered the large room where Pinkie was holding her party. A huge crowd was already present.

“Goodness! That sounds dangerous.” Fluttershy exclaimed.

“Nah, I was too quick for anything to touch me!” Rainbow Dash said nonchalantly. “And Sonic was like, shooting between the stones and ricocheting off of them in mid-air!”

“Glad to see you got your confidence back!” Applejack said. “Just don’t let this new fame go to your head and start overestimatin‘ yourself again.”

“Are you kidding?” Rainbow Dash squealed. “I am too awesome to be overestimated!”

“Glad to see you’re remainin’ humble.” Applejack chuckled, rolling her eyes.

Rarity suddenly came into the room. She was wearing a pair of form-fitting designer jeans, and her stylish midriff shirt showed from beneath her trendy jacket. A fashionable purse hung from her shoulder.

“Woah! What’s with the street clothes?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Rarity looked vaguely miffed. “These are not ‘street clothes’, as you so put it. This ensemble is considered very in vogue right now.” she explained. “And after all, this is one of Pinkie Pie’s parties. Such a celebration calls for an entirely different style than a formal party. When at something like this, one would look dreadfully out of place in a ball gown. Balls are about glamour. Parties like this are all about being up-to-date on the latest trends of fashion.” She gave her flank a shake as she felt the comfortable fabric move. “I must say, I do like trying out something new. After all, style is all about trying new and bold things!”

Sonic suddenly zipped up. “Hey, girls! Nice to see you! Pinkie’s already getting everything ready, so you might as well start enjoying yourself.” He suddenly turned towards Rarity. “Wow. Nice outfit. Where’d you get one to fit a pony?”

“Get one?” Rarity laughed. “Darling, I made this.”

Sonic looked impressed. “Sweet.” he exclaimed. “Say, my girlfriend Sally has been thinking of getting a new outfit. I mean, she normally just sticks with the jacket and boots. She tends to me minimalist, and wants something simple, sporty, and suited for athletics. Kind of an everyday outfit that she can take on the field when we fight Eggman. Think you could whip up something? We’ll have no problem paying for it.”

Rarity shook her head. “G.U.N. is paying for my materials.” she told him. “I would be more than happy to design this Sally a new ensemble for free.”

“Woah, hey, thanks, but we’re more than able to pay you.” Sonic stated in surprise.

“Oh, please.” Rarity laughed. “G.U.N. is paying for everything while I’m here; why would I need your money? No, I’m doing this as a favor to you. The pleasure of designing the outfit will be pay enough.”

“That’s really generous of you, Rarity.” Sonic said thankfully.

“I am the Element of Generosity.” Rarity replied, tossing her mane. “It would be unbecoming to be greedy.”

Suddenly the door burst open, and Spike came in, dragging Twilight by her tail. Tails followed beside them, giving Twilight an odd stare.

“Nooo!” Twilight was wailing. “Just five more minutes! That’s all I ask! Five minutes and another hot chocolate!”

“Sheesh, Twilight, Books-a-Million will be there tomorrow.” Spike grunted as he dragged her along. “You promised Pinkie you would come to the party, and you… are… coming!” He gave her a final yank, then dashed around and slammed the doors shut. “Good grief.” he muttered to himself.

“She… really likes reading, doesn’t she?” Tails asked.

“You have no idea.” Spike replied, wiping his brow.

Twilight sadly got to her hooves. “I… guess we can wait until tomorrow.” she said sadly. “I wouldn’t want to disappoint Pinkie Pie.”

“Nopony’s getting disappointed on my watch!” Pinkie Pie’s voice rang out.

With a loud boom, Pinkie Pie rocketed herself out of her party cannon, shooting through the air in a stream of confetti. Landing deftly upon the large stage, Pinkie grabbed the microphone.

“ARE YOU READY TO PARYYYYY?!” she screamed.

“YEEAAAAAHH!!!” Sonic shouted, as everyone else covered their ears.

“Then put your hooves… or hands or paws or whatever… together for the greatest musician in Mobius!” Pinkie shouted, gesturing with her hoof. “Ms. Mina Mongoose!”

A young yellow mongoose with a stylish outfit and lavender hair stepped up on stage. She waved as the crowd cheered.
“Hello, Solianna!” she cried. “It’s a real pleasure to be playing at this party tonight, because we’ve got some real heroes here tonight! Let’s hear it for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and all their new friends from Equestria!” The crowd erupted in more cheers.
“I’m dedicating this song to all our heroes!” Mina shouted. “Here we go with Follow Me!”

As the music began to play, Pinkie leapt out onto the dance floor and began to dance. As everyone joined in, Twilight finally smiled.

“Okay, I’m glad I didn’t miss this.” she said with a grin.

“Told you.” Spike said with a satisfied grin. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see if Rarity needs a dance partner.”

As Spike ran off, Twilight began to dance, wildly waving her hooves to the beat.

“You‘re missing something!” Sonic chuckled, shuffling up beside her.

“Um… what?” Twilight asked.

Sonic smirked. “A dance partner.”

Before Twilight could react, she was whisked off her hooves, and found herself spinning along with Sonic. She gasped in surprise as he dipped her.

“Care to join me?” Sonic asked.

Twilight gave a shy grin. “Sure.”

She laughed as they whirled along to the beat, moving synchronously with the music.
The party lasted long into the night. Nobody wanted it to end.


“I can’t believe I actually ate all that food.” Rainbow Dash groaned the next day as the ponies lounged in Twilight‘s room. “I never want to see cheesecake again.”

“Well, I do!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed brightly. “That was sooo fun! I’d say it was one of my best parties yet!”

“I had a smashing time.” Rarity stated happily. “Spike is quite the dancer. Who would have guessed? And of course he was a gentleman as always.”

“Aw, it was nothin’.” Spike replied, blushing. “I had tons of fun, too.”

“Me, too.” Fluttershy said. “I had a really nice dance partner.”

“You had a dance partner?” Rainbow Dash exclaimed in surprise. “Since when did our little wallflower become a party pony?”

“Oh, he was really nice.” Fluttershy assured them. “He’s a lot younger than me, but he said he thought I looked lonely standing by the wall, so he offered to dance with me, and he was so cute, I couldn’t resist.”

“So you have a crush?” Twilight Sparkle asked with an excited smile.

“Oh, no!” Fluttershy exclaimed, to Twilight’s disappointment. “He’s too young for that. He’s kind of a foal. I kind of though I could take him under my wing, since he’s so far from his parents.”

“So who was this young boy?” Rarity asked.

Suddenly a knock came on the door.
“It’s me!” Tails’ voice called. “May I come in?”
“Oh, of course!” Fluttershy cried, soaring over to the door and opening it before anypony else could react.
“Thanks.” Tails said, stepping into the room. “Hey, Fluttershy. Did you have fun last night? You were a really good dancer.”
“Oh, thank you.” Fluttershy said brightly as she shut the door. “You were so nice to help me out. You know, I tend to be really shy.”
“I noticed.” Tails replied. “I kind of tend to be shy myself, so I thought you could use someone who knew your predicament. Oh, and I brought leftovers!” He held out a box of plastic-wrapped food. “I kind of thought there would have been more.” he said thoughtfully.
“You’re dealin’ with my and Rainbow’s appetites.” Applejack chuckled. “And then you got Pinkie Pie. She probably ate an entire cake whole again.”

“Three, actually.” Pinkie corrected her.

“Oh, thank you, Tails.” Fluttershy exclaimed. “You’re so nice. Now, you did brush your teeth last night, didn’t you? All that sugary food could be bad for them.”
“Yep!” Tails replied with a sparkling grin.

“Good grief!” Rainbow Dash cried. “What are you, his mom?”

“Well, he’s far away from his parents, so I figured I could look after him for them.” Fluttershy replied.
“Yeah, Fluttershy’s a great caretaker.” Tails said. “I wish my parents could meet her. She‘s kind of like the older sister I never had.”
“Ugh, spare me the sappiness.” Rainbow Dash groaned. She hopped up, grabbing her suntan lotion. “I’m going to hit the beach. Anypony coming with me?”
“Wee! That sound fun!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “Count me in!”
“I’m up for that.” Applejack agreed.
“I could use a little sunbathing.” Rarity said thoughtfully.
“I’d love to see all the seaside critters.” Fluttershy said brightly. “Do you want to come, Tails?”
“Nah, you go ahead.” Tails said. “I have some research to do on this dark threat that you all told us about.”

“Well,” Twilight said, clearing her throat. “Since it seems that everypony is getting settled in, I was thinking that we could get some research done together. Is that okay with you, Tails?”

“Sounds fun!” Tails exclaimed. “They’ve cleaned up the library by now, and because of the inconvenience, Princess Elise has had an entire new collection of books donated, and has plans to create a new wing. And since you took the fight outside the library both times you were attacked, they don’t hold you responsible for any of the damages.”

“Whew!” Twilight breathed a sigh of relief. “I couldn’t stand to have the people at a library mad at me. How could I get to check out books then?”

“Well, let’s go!” Tails said. “We’ve got a lot to get done!”

“Er, Twilight?” Spike asked. “Is it okay if I stay here? Just in case somepony needs some… assistance or something?” He discretely gestured towards Rarity.

Twilight grinned and rolled her eyes. “Of course.” she replied. “But make sure to come over if I need your help.”

“In a flash!” Spike assured her, giving her a salute.

“All right, Tails!” Twilight said brightly. “We’ve got some books to hit!”


At the library, Twilight was surprised to see Vector was there, studying as well.
“Oh, hey, glad I could meet you here!” he exclaimed. “I would just like to apologize for the Chaotix for not helping you guys out during that fight. We just… well, we didn’t exactly know which side was right!”

“No apology necessary.” Twilight replied with a shake of her head. “Considering the circumstances, you were some of the only people who acted sensibly.”

“Heh, thanks for understanding.” Vector said, looking relieved. “Anyway, when G.U.N. cleared your name, I started researching that story you told me about the dark threat, and I came up with a couple interesting facts. One is that the people of Solianna believe that darkness is as important as light. To them, it is essential for balance. But they have a story where the darkness thought that it was superior to the light, and tried to overthrow it, and had to be bound away. Imagine my surprise when the Chaotix interviewed your friends and found out about the story of Nightmare Moon!”

“That’s amazing!” Twilight exclaimed. “If this darkness is the same force behind Nightmare Moon, and if it is coming back, then… history is probably about to repeat itself!”

“There’s more.” Vector stated. “Once your names were cleared, G.U.N. started taking your claim of this threat more seriously. They allowed the Chaotix to do some research and access some various top-secret files, and… well, to be honest, what we found was very disturbing.”

“What was it?” Tails asked excitedly.

Vector looked about warily. “The people of Solianna thought of Solaris as a legend. So one day, the king decided to try and create Solaris.”

“But… you said Solaris was a sun god!” Twilight replied in shock. “You can’t just make a sun god!”

Vector shrugged. “G.U.N. was very hush-hush about that.” he stated. “But I did manage to learn about the experiment. They succeeded in creating a spark, a flame of solar energy. But for some reason, to make it powerful enough to be the sun god they had planned, they needed to use another source of power, an ancient relic called the Scepter of Darkness.”

“I just read about that!” Twilight exclaimed. “It houses a mysterious power of some sort!”

“Do you think that this dark power that your princess spoke of could have been Solaris?” Tails asked. “I mean, with that dark power inside him, who knows what could have happened?”

“What happened to this Solaris project?” Twilight asked urgently.

Vector shrugged. “It was destroyed. The living flame was blown out somehow, and all their work went with it. They tried to recreate it, but when the king died, all his knowledge died with him, and the project was officially cancelled.”

“Still….” Tails murmured, stroking his chin. “I think that this Scepter of Darkness is worth a bit more research.”

“There’s something else.” Twilight said. “Princess Celestia talked about splitting this world into two, and that there is another world like this one, where the magical gems called the Sol Emeralds existed.”

“The Sol Emeralds?!” Tails exclaimed. “So your princess knew about the Sol Emeralds?”

“Of course she did.” Twilight replied. “She made them!”

“WHAT?!” Tails and Vector both shouted, before being shushed by the librarians.

“Princess Celestia made the Sol Emeralds?” Tails asked in a lower voice.
“Dang, I have to meet this princess!” Vector exclaimed.

“There’s more.” Twilight went on. “Princess Celestia said that she had set a guardian over the Sol Emeralds, a princess who she had gifted with a portion of her own power. This avatar of Celestia was said to have absorbed part of this dark power within herself, and left for her own world.”

Tails suddenly looked thoughtful. “I don’t know anything about absorbing any dark power. But I think I can introduce you to this avatar, if it’s who I think it is.”


Spike was happily walking down the beach, looking for seashells to adorn the large sand castle he was making.

“Spike, dearie!” Rarity called. “Could you help me for a second?”

“Anything for you!” Spike replied, instantly dashing over to her.

Rarity was lying on a beach towel, and had a sun hat and a pair of stylish sunglasses on.
“Oh, thank you, dearie.” Rarity replied as Spike walked over. “I just needed a little help getting my suntan lotion on. Would you mind rubbing some lotion on my back for me?” She gave him a little bat of her long lashes as she asked.

Spike’s face lit up with a mixture of delight and embarrassment. “O-okay.” he replied, taking the suntan lotion and squeezing a bit into his claws. His face lit up red as he began to massage the white mare’s back.

“Oh, that is simply divine!” Rarity sighed. “Spike, don’t be afraid to put a little more claw in it. Goodness, your claws make for an excellent back-scratching. I should have you do this more often!”

Spike gave a huge grin, despite his nervous stomach. “I would… love to, Rarity.” he replied awkwardly.

Suddenly, he felt a rumbling in his stomach. “Oh, not now. Does she have to send it now?” Spike thought to himself. He tried to hold down the feeling. But before long, he gave a burp, and a note materialized out of his green, fiery breath.

“Whatever is that, dear?” Rarity asked.

Spike hurriedly stuck the note in the sand. “Just a letter for Twilight. Probably just the princess asking about her progress. I can give it to her when she gets back.”

“Well, don’t hesitate to leave if you need to.” Rarity said. “I can find somepony else to help me with my suntan lotion.”

“Oh, that’s okay!” Spike assured her. “I’m sure it isn’t urgent.”


Twilight stared in wonder at her surroundings as Tails led her and Vector into the building. Machines and vehicles of all sorts filled the entire place.

“This is the same place I woke up in when you rescued me!” Twilight exclaimed.

“Oh, yeah, sorry I never told you.” Tails replied. “This is my lab.”

Twilight’s mouth dropped open. The huge warehouse was filled with so many gadgets that she couldn’t count them all.
“Y-your lab?” she asked in awe. “Wow! So you’re like some kind of scientist? Where did you get all this equipment?”

“Oh, it’s mostly just some stuff I threw together.” Tails replied modestly.

Twilight stopped to look at an airplane which sat nearby. “Tails… how old are you?”

“Eleven.” Tails replied.

“And you… built all this?” Twilight was hardly able to contain her shock.

“Yup!” Tails answered. He pointed towards the plane. “That there is the Tornado. I use it to keep up with Sonic on missions, and offer him air support. This is in flight mode.”

“Flight mode?” Twilight asked. “You mean it has other modes?”

Tails pulled out a remote and pressed a button on it. In a sudden flurry of whirling parts and unfolding panels, the plane transformed onto a robotic power suit.

“I use this mode when ground combat is necessary.” Tails told her. “Although I have some other vehicles that are more suited for land-based conflict.”

Twilight just stared, her mouth moving, but without any words coming out.

“Anyways, this is what I brought you here for.” Tails said, leading her over to a pair of large rods, each topped with a red orb emblazoned with a star symbol.
“These are Star Rods.” Tails told Twilight. “They enable us to go to different zones. Through this, we should be able to reach the world that the Sol Emeralds’ guardian lives.”

“Er… right.” Twilight replied, snapping out of her shocked daze.

Tails punched in a few coordinates, and the Star Rods began to hum. A sparkling vortex appeared between them.

“Okay, we’re all set!” Tails stated. “I’ll go in first, just to check things out, and then you follow me.”

“Okay.” Twilight answered, looking a little worried.

Tails stepped through the shimmering portal, disappearing into the light. Twilight hesitantly raised her hooves, and, striding forwards, stepped into the swirling light.


Twilight felt sand beneath her hooves as she came out onto a sunny beach. Palm trees surrounded them, and the waves of the sea crashed upon the sand before them.
“Well, here we are!” Tails exclaimed as Vector appeared through the portal. “Now, we have to get to the capital city, which should be….”


The three of them all turned to see a large ship sailing past them, cannons aimed at the beach.

“Identify yourselves, ya landlubbers!” A short figure stood upon the ship’s prow, shouting down at them. “I ain’t afraid to use my cannons if you’re pirates! You blokes are messin’ with the great Captain Marine!”

“Marine!” Tails called. “It’s me, Tails! Me and my friends need to see the princess.”

“Tails?” Marine called back. “Crikey! Bloomin’ long time since I last saw you! Hop aboard!”

As Tails, Twilight, and Vector got aboard the ship, Twilight saw that the great Captain Marine was a young raccoon girl, around Tails’ own age.

“Blimey!” she exclaimed upon seeing Twilight. “Never seen someone like you before! You ain’t a Mobian, are you?”

“No, I’m from the land of Equestria.” Twilight stated. “My name is Twilight Sparkle.”

“Well, any friend of Tails is a friend of mine!” Marine stated cheerfully, shaking Twilight’s hoof. “Welcome aboard!”

With a hop, Marine leapt to the ship’s wheel. “Now, you need to see the princess do you? Then by crikey, nobody will get you there faster than Captain Marine!”

Twilight trotted down the gangplank excitedly as the ship finally docked. (It was kind of a crash, but Marine insisted that everything was fine.) A great deal of koalas stood about, watching their arrival.

“Now, I happen to be a good friend of the princess, so just follow me, mates!” Marine cried.

“That won’t be necessary, Marine.” a voice called out.

The crowd of koalas parted as a figure came striding up to the boat. A lavender-colored cat walked up to Twilight. Her fur was tightly pulled back in a ponytail, and she wore a purple jacket and high-heeled pink shoes. A bindu marked her forehead, and her face was stern but kind.
Twilight and the others bowed before her, and the crowd of koalas did likewise. A voice called out above everyone.

“Hail the Princess of the Flame, the guardian of the Sol Emeralds, Her Royal Highness, Princess Blaze!”

Blaze glanced down at Twilight and helped her rise. “I’m pleased to meet all of you.” she said, turning towards Tails and Vector. “Please, come to the palace. We can discuss matters there.”


At the palace, Twilight sipped an exotic tea out of a coconut shell. Blaze was far more laid back about royal procedure then Twilight had first been led to believe, and Twilight and her were already getting along very well.

“Your Highness, may I ask you a question?” Twilight ventured.

“You may, and please call me Blaze.” Blaze replied.

“Well, Blaze, I want to know if you know anything about a dark evil, an evil that dwelt within the Scepter of Darkness, an ancient artifact from the city of Solianna.”

Blaze looked grim for a moment. “I don’t believe that I have heard of the Scepter of Darkness before, but I have heard of Solianna. There was an incident there… an incident I would rather forget.”

Blaze sighed and went on. “In reality, the event never happened. Time was shattered, and when it was healed, all traces of the event were gone. The past had been changed, as it had to be to save the future.”

“But how can you change the past?” Twilight asked. “Believe me, I’ve tried. I only found out that what I did in the past, I had already done in the present.”

“Time tends to work that was normally.” Blaze replied, sipping the tea she held. “But like I said, time was shattered. All my studies point towards this. I was not there at the time, nor am I fully aware of what happened. But I do know that when I again met Sonic and his friends, they did not recall the event. None of them remembered, not even my close friend, Silver. I assume that since I was in a different zone at the time, I wasn’t affected. Sad to say, for the power I bound away that day still lives within me.”

“So you bound the evil away?” Twilight asked. “Can you tell me anything about it?”

Blaze sighed. “I only know half of the coin. The evil we faced was twofold; one half, a scientific experiment gone awry, an attempt at creating a god. Iblis, the Flames of Disaster. An eternal, mindless being, filled with nothing but the urge to destroy. In order to stop it, I had to bind Iblis’s spirit within me. Over time, I have trained it to obey my will , and be more docile, for it can’t really think. That was the other part’s job. But that burning rage still lies within me. I must restrain it, and not let it overcome me.”

Twilight listened with fascination. “And what was the other half of this evil?”

Blaze shook her head. “I don’t really know. All I know is that it was a shadow, a shadow that had power over time and space. And it was intelligent. Oh, yes, it was intelligent. It lied to us, pitting me and my friend against Sonic.”

“What was it called?” Twilight asked.

Blaze sighed, sipping her tea. “It is called Mephiles.”

The Worst Possible Thing

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Chapter 7: The Worst Possible Thing

Rarity sighed. It was a delightful day, and people everywhere were stopping to stare at the beautiful mare from another world, while she relished every bit of attention. There had been quite a few celebrities at the beach near the hotel, all of which were interested in meeting her, and Rarity had impressed them with her knowledge of fashion. Some of them had even requested outfits, a fact which tickled Rarity to no end.

“Now, Ms. Mongoose prefers teal and purple for her colors, and likes a trendy, modern look.” Rarity murmured to herself, designing the ensemble in her head. “Perhaps setting those colors against some black, with perhaps a….”

A giant splash interrupted her thoughts. Rarity used her magic to shield herself from the great splash of water as it crashed around her.

“Oh, goodness! Whatever caused that tidal wave?” Rarity loudly grumbled. But as the waters finally subsided slightly, she shrieked. Out of the water, a hideously enormous robotic crab was crawling forth.

“How do you like my latest and greatest creation, Miss Rarity?” a voice called out from the sky.

Rarity looked up. Hovering near the crab, in a flying, round vehicle, was Dr. Eggman.

“I thought I should give you and your friends a little welcome party!” Eggman cried gleefully. “I would love to see you all in action!”

“You ruffian! Get out of here with that monstrous contraption!” Rarity shouted.

“Not until I have what I came for!” Eggman shouted. “And what are you going to do about it? Style my moustache? Sew me into a dress?” He guffawed loudly.

Rarity spun about, to where Spike stood, staring in utter shock. “Spike, go fetch the others!” she cried. “I’ll keep this brute occupied until then.”

“But Rarity….” Spike began.


As Spike dashed off as fast as his short legs could carry him, Rarity dove to avoid a swiping claw that tried to grab her. The claw struck the beach, and a flurry of sand flew everywhere.
Rarity stared up at her mane, and shrieked at the sight of it; it was filled with sand, and a bit of seaweed was dangling from it.

She turned towards the robot, her face livid.

“Oh, it is ON!”


Applejack and Rainbow Dash were in a middle of a game of volleyball, while Fluttershy was peering into a tide pool at the little crabs and anemones inside. Pinkie Pie was at the snack stand, filling up on soda and candy.

“Hey guys! Check out all the types of candy they have in this world!” Pinkie squealed, her mouth dripping with chocolate and caramel. “Mmm! I love these Snickers things! But M&Ms are awesome, too! And Skittles are delicious, although they taste nothing like a rainbow. And whoever thought of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups was a genius! And then there’s Twix and Junior Mints and those marshmallowy orange peanuts! But the best part of all was white-chocolate-coated cupcake batter bits! Why didn‘t I think of that?”

Rainbow Dash spiked the ball, and Applejack dove for it, just missing it as it smashed into the sand.

“Oh, yeah!” Rainbow Dash whooped. “I’m the champ!”

“Y’all got a lucky shot.” Applejack replied with a snort, but she was grinning. “Care to test your luck again?”

“Oh, you lookin’ to lose again?” Rainbow Dash challenged.

Suddenly, the figure of Spike came over on of the dunes. He was running as fast as he could, and he looked out of breath.

“Oh dear! You shouldn’t run like that in this heat!” Fluttershy concernedly told Spike. “You could get sick.”

Spike drew to a stop, panting heavily. “R… Rarity… danger… g-giant crab… Eggman….”

Applejack’s face grew serious. “Sounds like Rarity need our help. Fluttershy, go get Sonic and his pals. Rainbow, Pinkie, let’s go help Rarity!”

“I’m… coming too.” Spike panted as Fluttershy galloped off.

Applejack shook her head. “Y’all need to stay here and rest….”

“I need to protect Rarity!” Spike cried, grabbing Applejack’s fur in desperation. “And I left a letter to Twilight back there! It could be important! I can’t let either of them down!”

Applejack sighed and tossed Spike on her back. “Suit yourself.”

Grabbing a rope from a nearby pier, she began to gallop down the beach. “Sweet Celestia!” she thought to herself. “If’n this is what Sonic has to deal with all the time, I reckon I haven’t given him enough credit!”



A crate slammed into the robotic crab as Rarity hurled it through the air with her magic. The crab flinched, but kept coming.

Rarity’s keen mind was observing the environment. She needed something to work with. Lots of boats were around, but she couldn’t lift them. Perhaps they had something useful on board.

Leaping onto one of the ships, she desperately looked for some form of defense.

“Champagne, telescope, cooler, fire extinguisher.” She noted as she hurriedly looked over the items. She hurled the fire extinguisher at the crab, creating a cloud which blinded it for a short while.

She leapt onto the pier again, diving out of the way just in time as the boat was snapped in half by the crab’s claws.

“Enjoying my new toy?” Eggman guffawed, sitting up in his hovercar. “Give it up! You can’t defeat my mighty creation!”

“Not like this, I can’t!” Rarity thought desperately. “Think, Rarity, think! There has to be something you can use!”

As she galloped down the pier, she suddenly stopped and looked inside a group of sailboats that were in for repairs. Lying within them were large needles, coarse rope, and heaps upon heaps of canvas.

Rarity grinned. An idea had already formed in her mind. Magically levitating the sail-repairing materials, she hurled a sail over the robotic crab to blind it. As it struggled with the sail, Rarity grabbed a nearby pair of giant shears, meant for cutting canvas.

She began to snip at the floating sails that surrounded her, cutting them into patterns and shapes. It was crude, but the outfit she was designing wasn’t made for style this time.

As the giant grab finally tossed off the sail covering its eyes, it was suddenly enveloped in swirling cloth. Large needles stitched and sewed the cloth into place, forming an unusual outfit.

Eggman threw his head back and laughed. “Those sleeves are impossibly long! What are you trying to do? Make a dress for it?”

“Hardly!” Rarity cried in return, not breaking her concentration for a moment. “I’m making the only outfit suitable for a madman like yourself!”

The crab was now clad in an outfit of tough canvas tied together with thick twine and rope, and its sleeves were twice the length of its arms. Rarity pulled the sleeves around behind the crab, crossing them over to that the crab’s arms crossed in front of each other.

Eggman suddenly stopped laughing as he realized what Rarity was doing. She was making a giant straightjacket!
Rarity tugged with all her might to pull the sleeves into place, but she suddenly realized that the strain of pulling those giant pneumatic arms together was far beyond her capabilities. She was about to simple give up and run when suddenly, somebody caught the sleeves.

To be specific, somepony.

“Applejack!” Rarity cried in delight.

Applejack didn’t respond, for her mouth was full of canvas as she struggled and strained. With a mighty heave, she finally pulled the sleeves back. Rarity swiftly tied the sleeves into place, stitching them to the coat for extra security.

“Wee-hoo! Now that’s what I call a rodeo!” Applejack hollered.

Eggman angrily beat the side of his hovercraft. “Well, this rodeo isn’t over yet, partner!” he shouted with rage. He hurriedly pressed a button on his hovercraft’s control panel.

The crab’s shell suddenly opened, and a huge arsenal of weapons folded out from the mechanical behemoth. Suddenly the ground was strewn with bullets and lasers, while missiles whistled and exploded all about them.
Rarity dove in front of Applejack, using her telekinesis to stop a stream of bullets.

“Where in tarnation did that thing get those from?” Applejack shouted.

A barrage of missiles soared towards the ponies. Rarity braced herself to catch them, but she wasn’t certain she could hold them all, not while blocking the machine guns.

An enormous plume of green fire suddenly leapt through the air, causing the missiles to explode in midair.

Rarity turned about. “Spike!” she exclaimed with an elated smile as the young dragon raced up to her side.

“Always here to help, my lady!” Spike replied. “I just had to get this thing from the fishing shop before I could show up.” He pulled out a large harpoon gun. He aimed the weapon directly at the crab.

“Hey, crab cakes!” he shouted. “Eat this!”

He fired all four harpoons in rapid succession. Two of them merely glanced off the metallic shell, but one found a power cable, sending sparks everywhere, and one hit a coolant pipe on one of the lasers, which began to smoke and overheat.

Now the crab’s full attention was on the two ponies and their dragon companion. It began to focus all its firepower upon them. They dove for cover behind some metal shipping crates, but they knew it wouldn’t last for long.

“We’re doomed if we can’t find some way to get that dreadful beast to stop focusing on us!” Rarity moaned.

“I could try to teleport you with my fire.” Spike suggested. “You would get a bit burnt, but that’s better than being caught by that thing.”

“But what about you, Spikey?” Rarity asked concernedly.

“I’ll think of something.” Spike said, trying to sound nonchalant, but it was obvious that he was scared.

“No.” Applejack stated firmly. “I’m not leavin’ anyone behind. Rainbow Dash And Pinkie Pie are still waitin’ to strike. We still got a chance.”

But even Applejack’s heart sunk as the crates were smashed away, and the giant mechanical crab charged through, aiming all of its weapons.
Applejack stood firm, ready to charge against the behemoth. Rarity wrapper her hooves around Spike, staring fearfully at the monstrous robot.

“Rarity?” Spike gulped. “In case this is it, I just want you to know. I’ve always lo….”

Suddenly, a bolt of lightning crackled and stuck the ground near the crab, cutting Spike off mid-sentence.

“Need some air support?” Rainbow Dash called down, giving a cocky grin.

“Sugarcube, you‘re a lifesaver!” Applejack hollered joyfully.

The robot turned its attention to this new threat, and began focusing its fire on the blue pegasus who was dashing through the sky, expertly avoiding its shots.

“Ha ha! Yooou can’t caaatch meee!” Rainbow Dash taunted, whirling about.

Applejack shook her head. “Rarity, we’ve got to take out those guns! Rainbow can’t get in for a clear attack while they’re firin’ at her!”

Suddenly, Pinkie Pie popped up from behind a shipping crate, wearing a glittery pink army helmet.

“Sound like it’s time to bring in the artillery support!” she cried.

Bouncing up on top of a pile of large metal shipping crates, she whipped out all three of her party cannons.
“Commencing party barrage!” Pinkie shouted. "Fire at will! I mean the crab, fire at the crab, not Will. What did Will ever do to us?”
Before the giant robot could react, it was being blasted by a storm of confetti and cake. Its guns and missiles began to clog as the were filled with frosting and glitter.

What?” Eggman shouted, his face livid. “Impossible! How can this be?”

“You villains always seem to say that!” Pinkie laughed, and Eggman barely dodged a large chocolate cake that soared past him.

“This is not over yet!” he screamed. “Egg Crab! Charge!”

The giant robot dashed at Rarity and Applejack. Rarity began to run, but Applejack stood her ground. She had a plan.
As the robot barreled down upon her, Applejack pulled out her rope. As the crab raised one of its legs, she tossed a lasso around it, drawing the noose tight. She dug her hooves into the sand and tugged.

The crab crashed to the ground, sending a spray of sand onto the air as it landed with a metallic crunch.

“Rarity, Pinkie, Rainbow Dash! Help me pin this thing down!” Applejack shouted, tying her rope to a nearby pier and grabbing another one from nearby.

Applejack began to struggle with the crab, pulling it down and tying it up with her ropes. Rarity found a few fishing nets, and began securing them over the crab. Pinkie Pie dashed about, tossing cakes and pies into whatever looked vital, clogging up the robot’s limbs. Whenever the crab tried to rise, Rainbow Dash would slam it back down again.

Finally, the robot crab was secured to the beach, unable to move.

“Rainbow Dash, do your stuff!” Applejack cried, smashing one of the few operative guns with a hard buck. “Everypony else, take cover!”

Rainbow Dash shot up into the sky, soaring higher and higher. Just when the crab was a small speck on the white strip of beach below her, she whipped around, soaring towards the earth at top speed. The wind whipped through her mane as she went faster, faster. Her face was set in an ecstatic, determined grin. A sense of euphoria and exhilaration had overcome her. She was in her element.

Faster, faster.

She could feel the air building up in front of her.

Faster, faster.

It was tightening, about to break.

Faster, faster.

There was a sudden boom, and a flash of color filled the sky. Rainbow Dash soared towards the earth, unable to hear her own elated whoop, which was far behind her as soon as it left her lips.
Down she came, like a rainbow-colored laser. She targeted the crab, and her face set with her signature cocky determination.

The ground came rushing up, and she slammed full-speed into the crab.

A mushroom cloud of color filled the sky as the shockwave of Rainbow Dash’s landing blasted the robotic crab into smithereens. Metal shards flew all about.
As the air cleared, the figure of Rainbow Dash came into view, standing in a smoldering crater, pawing the ground challengingly.

“That all you got, Egghead?” she shouted up at Eggman.

There was a sudden rush of wind as a streak of blue appeared beside the ponies.
“Woah.” Sonic said, looking at the robot’s remains with an impressed expression. “Nice work.”

“We’ve got this covered, Blue.” Rainbow Dash stated.

Rarity, Spike, Applejack, And Pinkie Pie all popped out from behind a pile of metal shipping crates.

“Yee-haw!” Applejack hollered, tossing her hat in the air. “We did it!”

“We did it! We’re alive! Ah ha ha ha!” Rarity squealed with gleeful relief, prancing about and joyfully hugging Spike in her hooves, while Spike hugged her back, laughing with relieved joy. (And a little bit of glee at Rarity’s embrace.)
There was a blast of confetti as Pinkie Pie shot into the air, wildly waving her hooves. “We won! We won!” she cried. “This calls for another party right after the one I just threw!”

Sonic walked up to Rainbow Dash, observing the surroundings.

“Nice work, everybody.” he said with a grin, then he gave a little chuckle. “I mean, everypony.”

He turned to look at Eggman. “Looks like I’m not the only one you have to look out for!” he shouted up. “You ready to give up, or do you want to lose again?”

“On the contrary.” Eggman replied with a smug grin. “I won.”

Suddenly, from the clouds, a giant Egg Carrier came into view, looming over the city. From it, hundreds of hovering robots emerged, surrounding Eggman.
“I had hoped that the Egg Crab could have acquired me some pony prisoners, but ultimately it was a decoy.” Eggman explained gleefully. “The real target was something I wanted to lure everybody away from. Something far more valuable than any prisoner.

As Eggman spoke, a different blue blur shot past, flying to his side.

“Ah, Metal Sonic! Do you have the items in question?”

Metal Sonic wordlessly presented Eggman with a chest, a chest that the ponies recognized all too well.

“The Elements of Harmony!” Spike shouted.

Rainbow Dash was in the air in a flash, but she was tackled by Metal Sonic. In the sky, more robots surrounded Eggman, guarding him as he soared up to the Egg Carrier.
Sonic was in the air faster than the eye could follow. Propelling himself off of the flying robots, he went in pursuit of Eggman’s hovercraft.

“Not so fast, rodent!” Eggman shouted, activating a smoke screen.

Sonic gasped and choked, fighting to stay in the air as he leapt from robot to robot, trying to avoid that one fatal slip that would send him falling into the surging sea below. By the time the smoke had cleared, Eggman was gone.

On the ground, Rainbow Dash wasn’t down for long. Applejack had kept her wits during the whole situation, and while Metal Sonic had tried to retrain Rainbow Dash, it hadn’t noticed the orange earth pony until it was too late. Now Metal Sonic sputtered after Eggman’s airship, with two serious, hoof shaped dents in its metallic body.

Once free, Rainbow Dash was in the air before anyone could blink. She didn’t think about the size of the Egg Carrier, or the number of robots that were defending it. All she knew was that the hope of Equestria, and the only hope for her and her friends to get home, was in the hands of the enemy, and she would not let it stay that way.
Turrets lit up the sky with gunfire and laserfire as Rainbow Dash twisted and turned. She beat her wings as fast as she could, building up speed.

She crashed into the deck with a multicolored explosion. Before the robots on deck even had time to aim, she had streaked past them, leaving them to be shattered in the wake of her Sonic Rainboom.

But Eggman had spent most of his later years learning how to fight the swiftest warriors, and the Egg Carrier was his flag ship. It was more than prepared for Rainbow’s assault.

Turrets began to pop out of the ground, emerging from secret places to take a shot at the speeding blue pony. Rainbow Dash dodged and spun, but eventually a laser grazer her wing, and she crashed to the deck.

There was no time for thinking. Robots were closing in all around her. She knew that she couldn’t get to the Elements with her wing injured. So she did the only thing she could.

She jumped.

“I sure hope somepony’s there to catch me.” she thought to herself, vainly flapping in an attempt to slow her descent.

The waves came closer and closer as she plummeted downwards. She closed her eyes.

“At least I hope those swimming lessons Pinkie gave me pay off.” she thought to herself.

Suddenly, something gently caught her, easing into a gentle, horizontal flight. Rainbow Dash looked up to see a large pair of gentle teal eyes and a long, pale pink mane which flowed in the wind.

“Nice save, Fluttershy.” Rainbow Dash said, giving a grim smile. “Not that I couldn’t have made the swim back, of course.”

“You’re hurt!” Fluttershy exclaimed. “We have to get you to a doctor!”

“No! Eggman’s getting away!” Rainbow Dash shouted, wincing as she moved her wing.

“Twilight put a spell over the chest so that nopony can open it, remember?” Fluttershy reminded her. “Don’t worry! Sonic says he has a plan! We just need to get you healed up.”


Meanwhile, in Blaze’s world, Twilight Sparkle was worrying about the information she had just learned. “So, how do we stop this Mephiles?” Twilight asked.

Blaze shrugged. “The Scepter of Darkness was used to bind him, but we don’t really have much knowledge about him.” she stated. “Perhaps G.U.N. or the royal library of Solianna may have some information.”

“And what about these Sol Emeralds? Princess Celestia wanted to make sure that they were safe. She seemed very concerned that this Mephiles could get his hands on them.”

“Rest assured, the Sol Emeralds are safe for now.” Blaze told Twilight. “And I intend to make certain that they stay that way.”

“I just don’t see why Princess Celestia didn’t lock them away in the Canterlot vault or something when she realized this threat.” Twilight mused.

Blaze sighed and took a sip of her tea. “I’m afraid it’s a bit more complicated than that. You see, the Sol Emeralds are tied to this world. If they remain away from it for too long, this world would eventually crumble and be destroyed.”

“So where are they?” Twilight asked. “They are in a secure place, aren’t they?”

“Each one is hidden in a different place, each one very secure, that only I know of.” Blaze assured her. “And even if someone managed to acquire one of them, only all seven together can become truly devastating. Alone, they are still capable of great power, but nothing like they are together.”

“Like the Elements of Harmony.” Twilight mused. It suddenly occurred to her that the Elements of Harmony also took the form of gemstones. “Could the Chaos Emeralds and the Sol Emeralds be akin to the Elements?” she mused to herself.

“There are others who used to have knowledge of this Mephiles.” Blaze added. “But… well, I seem to be the only one who remembers those events. I’m afraid much of the knowledge anyone had of Mephiles is lost. He was very secretive before the Solaris Project began.”

Twilight got up and began to pace, thinking hard. “This Mephiles has an unknown past and origin. Even Princess Celestia wasn’t really sure about his beginning or earlier actions.”

“And you say that this Princess Luna was controlled by the same dark power that came into our world?” Blaze asked concernedly.

“I think so.” Twilight said, shaking her head with surprise. “She let him possess her, in a moment of jealousy and grief, but… he corrupted her mind. When she became Nightmare Moon, the pony that was Luna was lost, overcome by a dark copy of herself.”

“Mephiles is a doppelganger.” Blaze stated. “He impersonated Shadow the Hedgehog in the forgotten past. He is a shapeless shadow who must draw from the shadows of others to take form. It would make sense that Nightmare Moon would possess Luna’s traits. And if Mephiles was possessing her, it is possible that her own personality merged with his own. While the real Luna was trapped inside, Nightmare Moon would be walking about with her memories, her skills, and perhaps even some personality traits.”

“I don’t believe Mephiles is a complete being.” Blaze went on. “He needs something to draw from; a personality, a mind. He can think, and is indeed very cunning, but he doesn’t have any traits, any personal strengths, other than his unyielding desire for power and destruction. As the Mephiles we knew, he was basically an evil copy of Shadow the Hedgehog. That is why he had powers over time and space. In Equestria, he, or she, manifested as Nightmare Moon. Mephiles is not masculine or feminine. He is only a shade, a shadow filled with evil will. And so he cannot exist without something to draw from. He has the will and the capability for cunning, but very little thought processes to do so. He needs a host to draw from, or else he cannot fully exist.”

“He’s like that doctor in that book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.” Twilight exclaimed. “Only he’s just Mr. Hyde, with no Dr. Jekyll. And he can’t be whole without a Dr. Jekyll.”

Blaze looked confused, but she guessed that Twilight at least understood her meaning. “Balance is the way of things. We cannot have light without shadows. We cannot have shadows if there is no light to cast them. But Mephiles is a shadow with no light. He is… well, I know it may sound ludicrous, but I believe he is an incarnation of evil; a force of pure malevolence that both is his host, and yet isn’t. He is their evil side, but it isn’t their evil side, so to speak.”

“So without a source to draw from, he becomes basically powerless.” Twilight stated, pacing furiously now. “But how does one stop him from taking on someone’s form, or revert him to his original?

Blaze sighed. “I don’t know. Other than the Scepter of Darkness, the only method I could think of would be to get him to willfully revert, although I have no idea how you would accomplish that.”

Twilight stomped her hooves. “Then we need this Scepter of Darkness at all costs! The fate of both Equestria and Mobius are at stake here!”

“I wish you the best.” Blaze stated with a small smile. “I must stay here and guard the Sol Emeralds, as is my duty. I feel my protection is becoming all the more necessary now.”

“Of course.” Twilight exclaimed. “And I have a plan!”

She galloped at full speed out of the palace. She had to find Tails and Vector. Finally, the game was ahoof.


“So, how’s my wing, Zecora?” Rainbow Dash asked worriedly. “Will I… ever fly again?”

Zecora laughed and shook her head. “Of course you will, don’t be silly. So don’t worry, my little filly.”

“I’m not a filly.” Rainbow Dash grumbled.

“Your feathers were singed, inhibiting your flight.” Zecora explained. “But a few potions and feather transplants set it right. By tomorrow’s dawn, you can once again fly faster than any of the other pegasi.”

“We don’t have ‘till tomorrow!” Rainbow Dash shouted. “Eggman has the Elements of Harmony! Who knows what he could do with them!”

“Dash has got a point.” Knuckles stated, turning to Sonic, who was anxiously tapping his foot. “Anything powerful in Eggman’s hands is bad news, and I don’t like him holding on to these Elements of Harmony for even a second.”

“And if these ponies were planning to use these Elements of Harmony to stop this evil shadow, then how are they going to without them?” Amy queried.

“Now, now, y’all just settle down.” Applejack calmly stated. “The Elements of Harmony won’t work for Eggman. They can only work for us, or at least somepony… er, somebody that embodies their traits: Honesty, Generosity, Kindness, Laughter, Loyalty, and Magic.”

“Eggman doesn’t have a single one of those.” Amy assured the ponies. “I mean, he does like to laugh a lot, but it’s not like fun or joyful laughter. It’s more like gleeful, evil laughter.”

“And that is totally not what the Element of Laughter is about!” Pinkie Pie cried out, shaking her head vigorously.

“And don’t forget that Twilight sealed up the chest so that nopony could open it.” Applejack went on. “Eggman won’t be able to get it open.”

“I say, what about that letter for Twilight?” Rarity asked. “Did you manage to find it, Spike? Perhaps Princess Celestia has something helpful to tell us.”

“She sent it before the Elements were stolen.” Applejack pointed out. “And even the Princess can’t read the future.”

“True, but she might have given us some instructions of how to go about our quest, at least.” Rarity replied. “So, where is it, Spike?”

Spike shuffled his feet, looking like her felt awful. “I… lost it.” he mumbled.

Sonic suddenly grinned. “Lost what? This?” He held up the letter in his hand, waving it about.

Spike’s face lit up. “You found it!” he cried. “How did you do it?”

“Saw it blowing down the beach, and I saw some sort of royal seal.” Sonic replied. “It was already broken, and I didn’t see an addressee on it, so I read it. Found out it was to Twilight Sparkle, and from what I read, it sounds pretty interesting. Not to mention, I think it may help with our little problem.”

“What? What does it say?” everyone cried out.

Sonic cleared his throat and began to read.

My dearest Twilight Sparkle,

I realize that there is a lot at stake here, and I want you to know I have faith in you and your friends. The heroes of Mobius are known for overcoming insurmountable odds, and will be valuable allies in your journey.

In the case that the worst should happen, and the Elements are somehow lost or stolen, there is still a way to return to me. The Chaos Emeralds can be used as well to create a portal to return you to Equestria. If possible, I recommend collecting all seven. You will need them in the fight you are about to face.

Once you are in Equestria, there is still one place in Equestria where a gateway to Mobius can be formed. However, only a certain individual can open this gateway, so you will have to locate them. If you for some reason need to return to Mobius by this route, then I can help direct you towards where they were last detected.
Again, I have faith in you. I know you will overcome.

Your dear friend and former teacher, Princess Celestia

“All seven Chaos Emeralds?” Knuckles shouted. “Do you have any idea how long it would take to find them all?”

“Not as long as you might think.” a sultry voice stated.

Everyone turned to see Rouge and Shadow entering the room.
“We heard about the Elements.” Rouge stated. “And G.U.N. doesn’t like it when the Doctor gets new toys.”

“The Doctor?” Pinkie Pie asked. “You mean Eggman? Or that funny pony with the hourglass Cutie Mark and the disappearing blue box? What does G.U.N. have against sonic screwdrivers?”

“She means Eggman.” Amy assured her, looking a little confused at Pinkie’s remark.

“Anyways,” Rouge said with a smirk, “jewel hunting is my specialty. And this time, we have an ace in the hole.”
Rouge turned towards Rarity. “Ready to go gem hunting, honey?” she asked.

Rarity grinned. “Always!” she replied.


“Just let me pack my things.”



Twilight Sparkle dashed into the library where Tails and Vector were browsing over the library’s collection that described the Sol Emeralds and Iblis.

“Guys, we have to go!” Twilight whispered. Even when the world was in danger, she still remembered that she was in a library, and crisis or no, she wasn’t about to defy the sanctity of a library.

“You found something?” Vector asked.

“No time to explain!” Twilight said. Her horn sparkled with magic, and she touched its tip to Tails’ forehead.

Tails went rigid, then blinked a bunch.

“Sonic…!” he murmured.

Tails was out the door in a flash, with Twilight and Vector close on his heels.

“What the blazes did you do to him?” Vector cried out as Tails leapt onto a nearby speedboat and began to hotwire it.

“I tried to use a memory spell.” Twilight huffed, straining to catch up with the flying yellow fox. “I don’t know what happened!”

“I remember everything, that’s what happened!” Tails cried, revving the boat as Vector and Twilight jumped inside.
Twilight had never seen Tails like this. Normally he was pretty dauntless, but now, she saw him working with a fury, his eyes a mixture of terror and pure rage.

“Tails, somepony owns this boat!” Twilight cried as Tails roared out of the dock.

“We’ll return it later!” Tails cried.

“Tails, what’s gotten into you?” Vector shouted above the roaring engine.

“We have to get back now!” Tails shouted, not taking his eyes off the sea ahead.

“You remember Mephiles?” Twilight asked.

Tails’ face became set with determined rage as he blinked back fearful tears.

“Yeah.” he said quietly, so quietly Twilight could barely hear him.

“What do you remember?” Twilight asked.

“…I remember he killed Sonic.”


“Okay, so here’s how it works.” Sonic told everyone. “G.U.N. already knows where four emeralds are. And we’re gonna go get them.” He turned towards Spike. “Spike, you stay here and try to contact Tails and Twilight. Charmy, Cream, you stay with him and give him all the help he needs.”

“Aww, I wanted to go have some fun!” Charmy whined.

“Rouge, Rarity, you’re our Emerald hunters. Find the three missing Chaos Emeralds.”

“Good as done.” Rouge stated with a smirk.

“I can’t wait to see what a Chaos Emerald looks like.” Rarity enthused. “I wonder if they would make good accents….”

Sonic turned towards Knuckles. “Knux, you have a connection to the Chaos Emeralds, so that could be handy. There’s one in the Shifting Sands ruins. You and Applejack have the task of retrieving it.”

“Got it.” Knuckles answered.

“Can do, sugarcube.” Applejack stated.

“Now one of the Chaos Emeralds is being held in the Casino Night Zone.” Sonic went on. “An old enemy of mine is holding it as a trophy.” He turned towards Pinkie Pie. “Now normally I don’t like cheating the house, but this is an emergency, and Mogul doesn’t play fair anyway. Your job is to bankrupt the casino. Mogul will then be forced to either part with the Emerald, or give you the entire Casino Night Zone. Your… Pinkie sense will help you win the Emerald. Shadow, you’re her bouncer.”

“What?!” Shadow said angrily.

“Hey, this is Mammoth Mogul we’re dealing with.” Sonic reminded him. “There’s some pretty rough characters there, and where Mogul and his friends are involved, I’d like to count on someone who knows about Chaos energy.”

“Very well.” Shadow said, folding his arms in sullen submission.

“Plus, it’ll give you and Pinkie some time to catch up!” Sonic said with a devious grin.

“Ooh, ooh, this’ll be so much fun!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “We can talk and maybe sing a few songs and become the best of friends!”
Shadow glared at Sonic. “You do realize I am going to make you pay for this.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet you will.” Sonic chuckled. He turned towards Espio. “Third Emerald is in the jungle, guarded by hordes of Eggman’s forces. We need stealth, and your our guy for that. Zecora, think you can keep up with him?”
“Indeed, I could be of some use.” Zecora answered. “I’m very skilled at creating a ruse.”
“Omega, you’re on back-up. If anyone gets into trouble, I want you there faster than lighting.”
“Affirmative.” Omega confirmed.
“Amy, you’re with me. Fourth Emerald is in Hang Castle.”
“You got it, sweetie!” Amy replied with a flirty grin. “No spooks there will be a match for us!”

“Hey, what about me?” Rainbow Dash asked hotly.

“You are going to stay here until your wing heals.” Sonic told her. “I’m not going to send an injured buddy onto the field if I don’t have to. Fluttershy, you stay here and look after Rainbow.”

“Oh… okay.” Fluttershy replied, looking relieved that she didn’t have to go.

“Don’t worry, sugarcube!” Applejack told Rainbow Dash. “We can handle things here.”

“Another way of saying you don’t need me.” Rainbow Dash grumped.

Sonic turned towards the others. “All right, teams! Let’s do it to it!”



The speedboat crashed into the shore as Tails leapt into the air, soaring towards the Star Rod portal.

“The kid… must be really… worried.” Vector said dizzily, shakily climbing out from the boat.

Twilight shook her head to get her eyes uncrossed. She was still seeing stars.

“He said that this Mephiles killed Sonic. Although I have no idea what that means. Sonic is still alive and well, by my count.”

“Well, Tails isn’t about to slow down and explain it!” Vector cried, dashing towards the portal.

As Vector and Twilight came through the portal, they saw Tails furiously typing away on one of his computers.
“Great! Sonic and everyone else is gone for some reason!” Tails cried. “Sensor logs show they left in different directions.”
“So when you say everyone, do you mean my friends, too?” Twilight asked.
“Well, I am picking up two lifeforms that match pony physiology at the hospital.” Tails stated. “But I can’t tell….”
Suddenly a transmission flickered to life on the screen. Charmy and Spike’s faces crackled into view.

“Finally! Where were you guys?” Charmy cried. “I’ve been trying to contact you for hours!”

“Woah. Can they see and hear us?” Spike asked, looking a little shocked at the transmission.

“Yes, we can Spike!” Twilight replied. “We have a situation! We know what the evil is that Princess Celestia sent us to banish!”

“That’s no good!” Spike cried. “Eggman came and stole the Elements of Harmony!”


“Princess Celestia sent a letter, telling us that we can use the Chaos Emeralds to get back to Ponyville, so everyone went to find them!”

“Who’s in the hospital?” Twilight cried out, feeling more stressed than she had in ages.

“Rainbow Dash.” Charmy piped up. “Fluttershy is taking care of her. Don’t worry, it isn’t serious.”

“But why isn’t everypony trying to get the Elements back?!” Twilight shouted.

Tails was looking thoughtful. “If Eggman has the Elements of Harmony, regardless of whether or not he could use them, he may be able to perform a temporal inter-spatial flux signature scan on them.”

“Um… meaning?” Vector asked, scratching his head.

“Simply put, Eggman could find out how to get to Equestria!” Tails replied.

Twilight was furiously pacing the floor. “Oh, no. No no nonononononono! This is bad! This is really, really bad!”

“Calm down, Twilight!” Spike told her. “Look, once we get back to Ponyville, we can tell Princess Celestia, and she can help. As for Eggman, I think even he’ll me in for a surprise if he messes with the princesses.”

“But what could happen? He could take over all of Ponyville! And what about Mephiles, the evil shadow? It could strike at any minute!” Twilight was frazzled with worry.

“Maybe we should tell Princess Celestia.” Spike suggested. “She could help us!”

“But then she’ll know I failed her!” Twilight cried.

Tails whipped about. “Look, you haven’t failed her.” he stated firmly. “Eggman is a match for anyone. She’ll understand. But if we don’t get help, you will fail her, and both our worlds could be destroyed!”

Twilight shook her head. “You’re right.” she agreed dejectedly. “It’s like in the Crystal Empire. My friends come before my image, regardless of what the princess thinks of me.”
She sighed. “Spike, take a letter.”
Spike pulled up a piece of paper and a quill.
“How are you going to write to the princess in time?” Tails asked.
“Trust me.” Twilight assured him. She cleared her throat and began.

Dear Princess Celestia,

I am sorry to say that I have failed you, and me and my friends really need your help.

The Elements of Harmony have been stolen by a human called Dr. Robotnik, better known as Eggman. My friend Tails believes that he might be able to find out how to get to Equestria, even though he cannot use the Elements himself.

My friends are trying to collect the Chaos Emeralds, and I have unearthed a great deal of information about the evil you sent me to destroy, but we need help. Ponyville could be in danger, and I fear that Eggman poses a great threat to Equestria. We could use any help you could offer.

I’m so sorry for failing you.

Your friend and former student, Twilight Sparkle

Spike rolled up the letter, then blew on it with his fiery green breath.
“What? You burnt it up!” Vector exclaimed.
“Nah, dragon fire is magical.” Spike stated. “That letter should appear in front of the princess any minute now!”
“Then we have to move!” Tails cried, leaping from his seat and hopping into the Tornado.

“But what about Rainbow and Fluttershy?” Twilight asked. “I have to see them! Maybe I can help use my magic to heal Rainbow Dash!”

“You go help them!” Vector cried. “Tails, you go after Sonic and the others. I’m going to alert G.U.N.!”

Large bay doors at the far end of the warehouse opened as Tails revved the Tornado’s engine. As he roared out into the open blue sky, Twilight and Vector dashed out of the door.

“I have to find a way.” Twilight said over and over to herself. “I must.”


The hospital door burst open, startling Fluttershy so that she gave a frightened squeak. But when she saw who had come through the door, she almost cried with delight.

“Twilight! You have no idea how glad we are to see you!” she squealed, throwing her hooves around the lavender unicorn in a big hug.

“Twilight! Thank Celestia!” Rainbow Dash said happily.

“Good to see you both, too!” Twilight replied with a small, tired smile. “I heard what happened.”

“And that Eggman chump winged me!” Rainbow Dash cried out. “And then that Sonic had the nerve to make me wait here while the others went looking for the Chaos Emeralds! I can fly! My wing is a little stiff, but I’m not gonna let that stop me!”

“Here, let me see it.” Twilight said. Unbandaging the wound, she looked at the damage, which had already healed some from Zecora’s potion.

“Looks like it will heal fine.” Twilight stated. “But it will take time. Time we don’t have.”

Her horn glowed and sizzled as she strained to cast her spell. Slowly, then more rapidly, Rainbow Dash’s wing began to heal at an incredible rate, until it was as good as new.
Twilight wiped her brow as she finished the spell. “Time acceleration spells of that strength are tough.” she mumbled.
Rainbow Dash leapt out of bed. “All right! I feel like I could take on Eggman all by myself!” She turned towards Twilight. “Now what? I assume you have a plan as usual?”
“Not really.” Twilight stated honestly. “We have to find Eggman and get the Elements of Harmony back. I’ll have to come up with a plan as we go.”

Suddenly, the door burst open, and G.U.N. agents swarmed the room, lead by E-123 Omega.

“You chumps again?” Rainbow Dash said angrily.

“My apologies. They are here for my protection.” a soft voice stated.

The ponies turned to see Princess Elise walking into the room. “I came to see Miss Twilight Sparkle.” she explained. “I’m afraid that I have some bad news.”

“What now? What happened?” Twilight asked in worry.

“G.U.N. has told me about your research, and they asked that they might see the Scepter of Darkness, the item you thought may have some connection to this threat you spoke of. But when we opened the chamber, we found that it had been shattered.”

Twilight’s heart felt as if it had stopped for a moment. “But… I just found out that that might be our only hope at binding this evil away!”

“I know.” Elise replied. “We in Solianna have always thought that it would save us from evil. But in the raid that occurred on the library, it appears that the scepter was broken.”

Twilight shook her head. “No… it can’t be….”

“There is something else.” Elise stated. “It appears that someone urgently wants to see you.”

“Who?” Twilight asked.

“An old acquaintance, who I think he has the best chance of helping you now.” Elise replied. “He just said that he needed your help, and to tell you that the fate of Equestria depended upon it. He‘s waiting outside. He specifically asked that I ask you. Apparently he hoped my royal status would persuade you better than his own.”

Twilight looked towards Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. “But… we have to get the Elements of Harmony back. Without the Scepter of Darkness, they‘re our only hope!”

“No problem.” Rainbow Dash replied, throwing a hoof around Fluttershy’s neck. “Me and Fluttershy got it.”

“W-we do?” Fluttershy stuttered nervously.

“Dash, you can’t take on Eggman with just the two of you.” Twilight told her. “Last time you got hurt, and Fluttershy isn’t much of a fighter.”

“She’s right, I’m not.” Fluttershy squeaked.

Rainbow Dash smirked. “Then it look like somepony need backup.” she said, turning towards Omega. “Care for a chance to settle the score with Eggheadman?”

Omega retracted his hand, extending a large, heavy-duty machine gun in its place.
“Affirmative.” he replied.

“Then let’s do this.” Rainbow Dash said, pawing the ground. “Twilight, go help your blind date. We’ve got an egg to crack.”


As Twilight dashed out onto the street, she saw a shadowy figure in an alleyway.

“Hello? Are you the person who wanted to speak to me?”

“Princess Twilight Sparkle.” the figure said. “Come with me. We can’t be seen here.”

Although Twilight didn’t like the idea of following a stranger through a dark alley, she knew that her magic would probably be more than a match for any enemy, so she followed the figure until they reached an abandoned shipping yard.

“Who are you, and what do you need my help with?” Twilight asked.

The figure stepped out of the shadows. He was a white hedgehog with spines that stuck up into the air. His golden eyes were set with determination.

“I am Silver the Hedgehog.” he stated. “And I need your help to defeat Sol Umbrae.”

Chaotic Situations

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Chapter 8: Chaotic Situations

Knuckles and Applejack stepped through the portal into the hot desert sun.

Applejack looked around in shock. “Land sakes!” she said with a whistle. “Those Star Post things sure are a wonder. Is G.U.N. the only ones with ‘em?”

“Tails has a pair in his lab.” Knuckles stated, “but since he’s off who-knows-where, we had to use G.U.N.’s ones.”

“Wish I had a couple.” Applejack mused as she trotted down the sandy dunes. “Would make fillin’ the barn up a whole lot faster. And don’t even get me started on winter trips to the outhouse.”

She wiped her brow. “Whew!” she breathed. “Actually, right now I wouldn’t mind a little cold. Thank Celestia I got my hat.”

“You’ll get used to the heat.” Knuckles said. “Come on. Our goal is that ancient ruin over there. Once we get inside it will be cooler. Let’s crank up the speed a little.”

As he and Applejack dashed along across the sand, the sun beat down upon them, causing them to sweat profusely.
“Lucky you were teamed with me.” Applejack huffed as they ran along. “I’m used to hot work. I can’t imagine what Rarity would have done if she were here.”

“Sonic knew what he was doing when he formed our teams.” Knuckles puffed.

Suddenly, Knuckles pointed ahead. “Dash pads ahead. That’ll give us a boost.”

“A dash what now?” Applejack queried.

“Those things.” Knuckles said, pointing towards a line of flat, fast-moving conveyor belts. “Now be ready. The quick acceleration can cause you to trip if you aren’t careful.”

As Applejack and Knuckles stepped on the dash pads, Applejack felt her hooves tugged along as if of their own accord. She found her hooves barely touching the ground as the wind blasted past her, and she was surprised that her hat managed to stay on. She stumbled slightly as the acceleration wore off.

“What in the hay was that doin’ in the middle of the desert?” Applejack asked.

“An abandoned experiment of Eggman’s.” Knuckles explained. “While he ruled Mobius, he tried to devise ways to provide better mobility for his robots. Dash pads, spring pads, dash rings, power siphons. He placed them all over the world.”

“What in tarnation is a power siphon?” Applejack questioned, galloping along.

“A special container meant to absorb ambient Chaos energies.” Knuckles replied. “They’re kind of specialized to specific types of energy. If you break them open, you can release the energies upon yourself, giving yourself an extra boost in speed or making you invincible for a short while, which is why we nick-named them power-ups. Some of them absorb and collect small amounts of Rings, even.”

“Hate to be a bother, but I have another question.” Applejack said. “What’s so special about a ring?”

“You’re about to find out.” Knuckles replied.

Ahead, a line of golden rings stretched before them. The rings all levitated in the air, spinning in synchrony.

“Grab a few as we pass!” Knuckles told her. “They’ll come in handy later on!”

Applejack grabbed for a few of the rings, but as soon as she touched them, they dissolved with a tinkling sound. Instantly, she felt the effects of the heat less than before, and she felt her sapped strength returning to her.

“Well, twist my tail!” Applejack exclaimed. “What in the hay are these? Eggman’s inventions?”

“Nope.” Knuckles replied. “Solid remnants of Chaos energy. They form in eddies of ambient Chaos energy. They’re an excellent source of power, if you know how to use them, but we mainly use them as either currency or a stamina boost. You could run for ages and not get tired with a few of these. And they will protect you from harm, to some degree.”

“Well, hoo-wee! I could use some of those!” Applejack cried, dashing to grab more rings. “Why with these, I could have all of Sweet Apple Acres harvested in half the time!”

Knuckles gave her a competitive grin. “Want to see who can get the most rings before we get to the ruins?” he challenged.

“You’re on!” Applejack exclaimed, returning the grin.


“Yee-haw! I got seventy-eight!” Applejack whooped as she skidded to a stop in front of the old stone structures.

Knuckles panted up behind her. “Not bad.” he said. “You won the race, but I won the ring competition. One hundred and three. Those ring power siphons come in real handy.”

“Nuts.” Applejack said, kicking her hoof. “Well, I still beat ‘cha here!” She looked up at the ruins. “So… we gotta go in there?”

“Yep.” Knuckles replied.

Applejack looked suspicious. “Are there traps?”

“Almost certainly.” Knuckles replied. “The people who built these didn’t like visitors.”

Applejack shrugged. “Well, might as well get to it then.”

“I’ll go first.” Knuckles said. “I have more experience with booby-trapped ruins.”


As they entered the foreboding ruins, Knuckles took a nearby torch and lit it with the sparks from a pair of stones. He then used the torch to ignite the other torches that hung upon the wall.
“Stay alert.” Knuckles said. “The traps are probably hidden, and could be sprung by the slightest movements.
Suddenly a tile moved beneath Applejack’s hoof. Knuckles tackled her to the floor as a stream of arrows whizzed over their heads.

“I see what y’all mean.” Applejack gasped.

They picked their way through the ruins, walking over precarious bridges and past menacing statues. Applejack barely dodged a swinging ax, while Knuckles would have fallen into a spike-filled pit if Applejack hadn’t caught him with her lasso.

“I can imagine Rainbow Dash would love this.” Applejack mentioned. “This whole thing sounds like something out of one a’ her Daring Do books.”

“Not the same in real life, huh?” Knuckles said. He suddenly paused, and scratched his head. In the firelight, Applejack could see that he was blushing.

“Er… y’know… I just wanted to say… I’m sorry. You know, for fighting you guys back at the library.”

“T’aint no need to apologize.” Applejack said. “You strike me as a right decent fella’. I know you were just tryin’ to do the right thing.”

“But I have history of this.” Knuckles went on. “I always seem to be tricked by people into doing things I regret. I mean, Sonic and I used to be enemies, too, you know. I thought he was out to steal the Master Emerald. But then I found out it was a lie of Eggman’s.”

“Well, all’s well that ends well, sugarcube.” Applejack said brightly.

“But it doesn’t always end well!” Knuckles shouted, punching the wall and sending chunks of stone flying. “My father died because of me! Because I listened to a madman!”

Applejack put a hoof on Knuckles’ shoulder. “It ain’t no crime to be trustin’ of others.” she said softly. “And it ain’t no good to go beatin’ yourself up over what you could have done better. I know from experience.”

Knuckles looked at her. “You lost someone?”

“Ma and Pa.” Applejack said, her voice staying strong, but her eyes shimmering slightly in the firelight. “Timberwolves came on the property. They told me to run back home, so I did. But… they didn’t come back. For a long while, I wondered if they might still be here if I had done something.”

She took a deep breath and went on. “Then I realized I was only foolin’ myself. I can’t change the past. And it don’t do anypony any good to keep beatin’ themselves up. When I get knocked down, I get up again, because that’s what Ma and Pa would have told me to do.”

Knuckles gave Applejack a sad smile. “I guess… Dad would have said the same thing.” He took a deep breath, then began to walk on.
Applejack put a hoof over Knuckle’s shoulder as they walked together. Knuckles looked surprised, but he couldn’t help but smile a bit.
Their concentration suddenly shifted, breaking the moment, as they saw the shimmering light of the Chaos Emerald, sitting on a stone pedestal out over a deep pit.

“At last!” Applejack exclaimed.

“It’s not over yet.” Knuckles stated, looking about warily. “Once I get the Emerald, stay close to me.”

“You get it?” Applejack said. “Sugarcube, I ain’t much of an explorer, but Rainbow Dash has told me enough about Daring Do that I know that the pedestal is always booby-trapped.”

“Well, then what should we do?” Knuckles asked.

“Stand back and let me handle this.” Applejack said confidently.

Pulling out her lasso, she swung the hoop over the Chaos Emerald. With a yank, it leapt off of the pedestal and into Applejack’s waiting hoof.

“Easy as apple pie.” Applejack exclaimed, tossing her mane.

But she was proven wrong as a large stone door slammed shut behind them. Suddenly, the roof began to crumble, and the ground began to shake.

“Looks like you were right about the booby traps!” Knuckles shouted.

As Applejack struggled to keep her footing, her hoof slipped, and the Chaos Emerald began to plummet into the darkness below.

“No!” she shouted.

Dashing past her, Knuckles leapt ahead, holding out his arms. To Applejack’s amazement, he glided through the air like a leaf on a breeze. He snatched the Emerald, then dug his spiked knuckles into the wall, sticking to it.

Suddenly, large chunks of the roof began to fall all around them. Applejack barely dodges a boulder the size of a wagon.

“JUMP!” Knuckles shouted to Applejack.

“Have y’all lost yer’ wits?” Applejack cried, straining to be heard over the deafening rumbling.

“Trust me!” Knuckles shouted back.

Applejack took a deep breath. She knew honesty when she saw it, and Knuckles genuinely believed he could save her. All she had to do was believe it, too.

She closed her eyes, held on to her hat, and jumped.

As she did, Knuckles leapt to grab her in his arms. From above, a boulder the size of a house came crashing down at them.
Knuckles held the Chaos Emerald in the air, straining to shout against the wind of their freefall.


There was a bright light, and they were gone.


“Wh… what in the hay?” Applejack exclaimed, looking about. They were on a grassy cliff, with a jungle surrounding them. Applejack leapt to her hooves and looked off of the cliff, trying to figure out where they were.
She got the shock of her life. Below was nothing but thin air. Far below, she could see stretched of forest, mountains, and rivers.

“Where is Celestia’s name are we?” she cried out.

“Sorry.” Knuckles stated, getting to his feet. “First place I thought of.” He spread his gloved hands. “Welcome to Angel Island.”

Applejack stared over the edge in amazement. “Now that is a sight.” she breathed. “Y’all weren’t kiddin’ about a flying island.”

She turned about. “Hold on. How in the hay did we get here?”

Knuckles held up the Chaos Emerald. “Chaos Control.” he stated. “The Chaos Emeralds have many magical traits, but their main power is over time and space. I just had to will it, and we were here. Although usually, a spoken phrase, such as ‘Chaos Control’, is necessary to make it work.”

“Well, lucky it did!” Applejack said, breathing a sigh of relief. “I thought we were goners.”

“All in a day’s work.” Knuckles chuckled. “Now, let’s get back to base.” He held the Emerald aloft, and shouted, “Chaos Control!”
There was a flash, and Knuckles and Applejack suddenly stood in the Solianna town square.

“One down.” Knuckles stated, looking proudly at the Chaos Emerald. “If we’re lucky, we might be able to manage a portal with four. Normally three or even two would do, but you’re world isn’t connected to this one nearly as strongly as the other zones.”

“Well,” Applejack stated. “I just hope the others are havin’ an easer time of it than we did.”


How Zecora managed to follow his invisible form, Espio didn’t know. The zebra shaman seemed to have sight beyond the natural realm.

“You keep up well.” Espio said as they dashed through the treetops.

“You expected me to bungle? I am used to the jungle.” Zecora replied.

“Not to sound rude,” Espio said, shimmying along the underside of a branch like a spider, “but may I ask why you speak in rhyme?”

“My people tend to speak this way so that they might think about the things they say.” Zecora answered, grabbing a vine and swinging to a nearby branch. “I do not always speak in rhyme, but I prefer to most of the time. Only when the situation is grave do I change the way I behave. For if you learn to control your tongue, the rest of the body will follow along.”

Espio gave a little smirk. “I like that ideology. ‘Control the tongue, and the body will follow along.’ Very wise.” He turned to Zecora. “You sound like a ninja.”

Zecora laughed. “I may know martial arts and stealth, but I am no ninja myself.”

Espio let his face become visible for a moment so that Zecora could see it as he gave her a respectful nod. “You taught me your ways, it’s only fair I teach you. You share meditation skills, I share ninjitsu.”

“Ha!” Zecora laughed. “Not a bad rhyme! You’ll be talking like a zebra in no time! If you want to teach, I‘d be honored to learn. First I was the teacher, now it‘s you‘re….”

Suddenly she froze and pointed. “Dead ahead.” she whispered.

Espio saw them. Eggman’s forces were spread across the jungle, surrounding a large clearing. A clearing that, to his worry, was growing larger every minute, as large machines mowed through the jungle foliage, ruthlessly cutting it down.

“The Doctor has been busy.” Espio noted dropping to the ground and hiding in the foliage

Zecora silently landed beside him, her stripes disguising her in the dappled light. “How could Eggman desecrate this place?!” she seethed, whispering hoarsely. “I’m going to buck him in his mustached face!”

“This complicates things.” Espio muttered. “Without the trees for cover, it won’t be as easy to get into the base. I can pass by invisibly, but you might be seen.”

“Have no fear, I have a potion here.” Zecora stated, pulling a jar of sparkly, pale blue gel out of her saddlebag and pouring a bit into her hoof. “When I coat myself with this brew, I will be as almost as hard to see as you.”
A few seconds later, Zecora had shimmered out of view, and could only be vaguely seen if she moved too fast.

“Not bad.” Espio commented. “Now, let’s go.”

Slowly, they stepped out onto the compound. The surrounding robots paid them no attention as they invisibly snuck past them, carefully approaching the base. Zecora especially had to avoid any sudden movements, for her shimmering outline would flicker into view whenever she did.

Finally they reached the gates, and vaulted over them. A few robots turned as they saw a flicker of Zecora, but as she stood still as a statue, they eventually turned away.

Silently Espio and Zecora approached the door to the base. Zecora waited impatiently as Espio hacked the code key. As soon as the doors slid open, they swiftly dashed inside.

“We have to get to a computer terminal.” Espio said quietly. “We’ll be able to find our exactly where the Emerald is being kept from there.”

“What is a computer terminal?” Zecora whispered, not daring to add a rhyme lest they be heard.

“Something with big, glowing screens with lots of symbols and words on them.” Espio explained. “Keep your eyes peeled.”

Slowly they stalked down the hall. Zecora couldn’t help but look around in wonder at the mechanical devices inside the base.
After a while of searching, Espio finally found a computer terminal. “Over here.” he whispered.
As he and Zecora approached the large computer, it was all Zecora could do to hold back her questions. But she knew now wasn’t the time, so she stood against Espio’s back, guarding him as he hacked the system.

As she waited, Zecora suddenly saw something that made her stop cold. Her hoof was shimmering into view.

“My invisibility is wearing thin!” she whispered urgently to Espio. “And I don’t have enough potion to use again!”

“Just stay quiet and out of sight.” Espio assured her with his usual calm. “Once we get the Chaos Emerald, we won’t have to worry about getting out.”

Zecora was worried, but she had known Espio for long enough to trust that he knew what he was doing, and so hid in a corner beneath a grate, where her stripes blended in with the streams of light as she faded back into view.
Espio’s fingers tapped away at the keyboard. Finally, a picture of the Chaos Emerald appeared on the screen.

“There it is.” Espio stated satisfactorily. “It’s deep. In a generator in the lowest basement. I have a map right now.” Then he frowned. “Looks like the Emerald is surrounded by a force field.”

“Perhaps my magic could be useful to you, and I could cast a spell to get us through.” Zecora suggested.

“I don’t want to risk it.” Espio replied. “I’ll try deactivating it from here.”

But as soon as he began typing commands, an alarm went off, and the room was lit up by swirling red lights.

“Blast!” Espio cursed.

The room suddenly filled with robots. Within seconds, Espio was surrounded.


“You have intruded upon Dr. Eggman’s territory. You will be taken for incarceration.” one of the robots said in a flat, metallic voice. “Any attempts at escape will be met with force.”

But the robots had been so focused on Espio, they hadn’t noticed the striped figure standing in the corner, hidden by the striped light shining through the grate in the roof.
There was a blast of green dust, and the room was suddenly filled with sparkling green monsters. The robots turned their attention away from Espio, shooting at the beasts, but as they shot them, the creatures dissolved into clouds of green dust once again.

In the distraction, Espio leapt into the air, sticking to the roof and turning invisible. He swiftly scuttled towards the doorway.

Below, there was a puff of smoke, and the room filled with billowing clouds. Zecora sprung out from the haze into the hallway, and Espio dropped down next to her, flickering into view again.

“This way!” he cried, running down the hall. “Looks like we’re going to try your spells after all!”

Espio dashed over to the elevator door, trying to hack the command pad, but Zecora put a hoof out to stop him.

“Time is something we haven’t got!” she cried. “I’ll deal with the door; you cover my plot!”

Espio stood behind Zecora as she pulled out a potion and poured it on the door. The acrid smell of acid filled the air.

From behind them, Eggman’s robots began to storm down the hall. Espio whipped a stream of shuriken at them, cutting through their guns and severing their power wires.

As more robots charged down the hall, Espio pulled out a ninja bomb, tossing it. There was a loud explosion, and pieces of metal flew every which way.

“The door is gone! Now let‘s move on!” Zecora shouted as the acid finally ate through, leaving a gaping hole in the door.
Espio unthinkingly leapt down the elevator shaft, and Zecora dove after him, as a stream of laser fire scorched the ground where they had just been standing.
Espio began to run down the wall, sticking to it with his chameleon abilities as he tried to slow his descent. Zecora whipped past him is a free fall.

“Zecora!” Espio shouted. “Don’t worry! I’ve got….”

Zecora suddenly closed her eyes and held her front hooves together, while her right back leg was crooked against her left. Moments before she struck the bottom, she swiftly came to a halt, suspended about a foot above the ground.

“…you.” Espio finished, raising his eyebrows in surprise.

He leapt down to Zecora’s side as she opened her eyes and dropped to her hooves on the floor.

“Impressive meditative skills.” he said with admiration. “That is the most impressive use of meditation I have ever seen.”

“It’s simply mind over matter. The former controls the latter.” Zecora replied.

Espio shook his head. “I’ve known that all of my life, and yet I have never seen something like that performed.”

Zecora grinned as she once again smeared acid upon the door. “It is not much to stop a fall. I am a shaman, after all. Magic spells are what I do. Do you wish me to teach you a few?”

“Magic isn’t my forte.” Espio replied. “Too unpredictable.”

Zecora chuckled. “I must admit, what you say is true. I’ve had many problems from an unsuccessful brew.”

The door finally corroded away, and Espio and Zecora leapt through. Unfortunately, they were not alone. Dozens of Egg robots filled the generator room.

“I can see we have company.” Zecora stated as the robots all turned towards them.

“You see if your magic can’t take out the force field!” Espio shouted, hurling a cloud of shuriken. “I’ll draw their fire!”

Zecora nodded, and began galloping towards the generator where the Chaos Emerald was being held, avoiding the robot’s shots with grace and agility.

Espio was off like a shot. While as a ninja, he knew how to keep out of view, he had also learned the opposite; sometimes a good ninja needed theatricality and flair to distract the enemy.

He threw a series of smoke pellets, clouding the enemy’s view, then hurled a couple miniature bombs. The loud noises and bright flashes helped draw attention to him. But he needed something more.

Pulling out a series of flares, Espio began to fire them off, sending bright bolts streaming through the air. When the enemy would target him, he would disappear, toss another smoke bomb, and drop some flares behind the smoke, sending balls of brightly colored flame into the robots’ midst, leaving Espio to move away while the robots fired at an empty smoke cloud.

Another blast of smoke filled the air, surrounding the robots. A figure moved among them, and they all began to fire. They continued to fire long after Espio was gone, targeting one another by mistake.

From high on a balcony, Espio gave a satisfied smirk. Robots were only too easy to deceive.


Zecora had reached the generator. But as she stared at the force field, she felt some trepidation. This wasn’t a magical force field; it was a science beyond her understanding. Would her spells have any effect?

She brushed the thought aside. She had a task to do, and she would do it. Raising her hooves into the air, she began an ancient rhyming chant.

Hey eyes glowed yellow, and dark clouds began to circle. Lightning struck all about her as a storm of wind was whipped up about her, blowing her mane.

The bolts of lightning began to focus upon the force field. Again and again they struck, as the shield glowed brighter and brighter.
The generator began to spark. A rumble filled the base as the entire room shook.

“Zecora! It’s overloading!” Espio shouted.
He leapt from the balcony he was perched upon, tackling Zecora out of the way as a loud explosion and a flash of light filled the room.
Zecora shook her head, dazed. “You saved me from that giant blast.” she said gratefully. “Thank you. Now let’s leave here fast!”

“Couldn’t agree more.” Espio replied as a new swarm of robots poured into the room.

He dashed up the side of the generator, whipping out his long tongue and snagging the Chaos Emerald. He dropped it into his waiting hands and leapt to Zecora’s side, who was already hurling potions at the incoming robots.

“CHAOS CONTROL!!!” he shouted.

Light surrounded them. Zecora squeezed her eyes shut. Then all went silent.


Zecora’s keen senses suddenly picked up the scent of delicious food, the sounds of the sea, and the warm light of the sun.

She opened her eyes.

“Wah….” she murmured. She looked about. They were back in Solianna.

She turned towards Espio, who was looking at the Emerald in his hand with satisfaction.
“The Chaos Emeralds are powerful indeed.” she said, looking about at their peaceful surroundings. “I can see why they are something we need.”

Espio smirked. “Nice work back there.” he congratulated.

“You too.” Zecora said in return, giving him a wide grin. “We make a good team, you and me. The ninja and the shaman from Everfree!”

“I agree.” Espio replied with his own small smile. “Now, speaking of teams, let’s see how the others are doing. Perhaps some of them have already returned.”


Shadow had been though many difficult trials in his life, but at the moment, he was certain that this was the worst he had had for the last decade. Pinkie Pie had not stopped talking from the moment they had left, and her topics were bouncing around as much as she was.

“… and then I said, ‘oatmeal, are you crazy?’ And then I….”

“We’re here.” Shadow growled as they approached the doors to the Casino Night Zone.

Pinkie Pie’s eyes grew huge as she looked up at the gigantic establishment. Everywhere she looked were flashing lights of all kinds and colors.

“This… is…AMAZING!!!” she shouted. “It’s like one big, never-ending PARTY!”

“Hmph.” Shadow snorted.

Pinkie Pie bounced up next to him. “Aw, come on, Mr. Grumpy-grumps! I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun here! Why, I bet you’ll be having the bestest time of your life in no time!”

“We’re not here for fun. We’re here on a mission.” Shadow said, striding past the guards as they entered the zone.

“Who says we can do both?” Pinkie squealed. “Now put a smile on that face! Everything is better with a smile! It’ll make you feel all warm inside, and then I’ll feel all warm inside. You know why?” Pinkie suddenly burst into song. “Because IIIIIII waaannnt to make you smile, smile, smile! Yes I do! It fiiiiills me up with sunshiiiine all the….”

Shadow stopped cold and whipped about, shoving his face into Pinkie’s.

“Alright, first, SHUT UP WITH YOUR STUPID SONGS!!! Second, I don’t smile, and thirdly, I could not care less about making a pathetic pink pony like you filled with sunshine or any kind of junk like that! IS THAT CLEAR?!”

The nearby guards gave wary glances at the enraged hedgehog, and took a couple steps away from him, but, to Shadow’s dismay, Pinkie merely folded her hooves and gave him a sly grin.

“Oooooh, so that’s how it is!” she stated. “You don’t fool me! You’re not as mean and cranky as you act like you are! And I’ll prove it!”

“Not likely.” Shadow snarled.

“Oh, I will.” Pinkie said sassily. “You just challenged the Pinkie Pie! And you are soooo on! I am going to make you smile, and prove that you’re not the grumpy ol’ meanie you pretend to be!”

“You of all people could never get me to smile, you annoying pink twerp!”

“Wanna bet?” Pinkie Pie challenged. “If I can’t make you smile within three days, I’ll never, ever sing another song near you again! But if I can make you smile, you have to come to one of my parties!”

“Deal!” Shadow growled, pushing the door to the Casino Night Zone open.

Pinkie’s eyes grew huge as she saw all the glamour and the lights.

“Oh, yeah!” she squealed leaping into the air. “Let’s party!”


Pinkie Pie sat at the card table, while Shadow stood nearby, looking menacing. Pinkie Pie stared intensely at her cards. Her body gave a few odd twitches as the bets were placed, and the chips rose higher and higher.

“I bet thirty thousand rings.” one of the players said, tossing in his chips.

“I’m all in!” Pinkie Pie squealed, tossing all of her chips onto the pile.

Everyone else froze.

“I fold.” one said.

“Me, too.” another agreed.

“I’m not going to take a risk like that.” a third stated.

The remaining player glared at Pinkie Pie. “I’m calling your bluff.” he said. He put down his cards.

“Straight flush.” he said with a grin.

Pinkie slammed down her cards. “Royal straight flush!” she screamed.

Her opponent’s face fell. “Wha… how….”

“That’s the seventeenth game in a row she‘s won!” one of the other players groaned.

“This is murder.” another moaned.

Pinkie stretched her arms around all the chips dragging them over to her side.

“So… anypony care to play again?”


“Place your bets on which pocket the ball will fall into!” the dealer shouted.

“33 black!” Pinkie squealed, throwing all of her chips onto the marker for 33 black.

As the ball landed in 33 black, the dealer cast her a dirty look.

“It must be your lucky night, ma’am.” he said with a fake grin. “It’s your thirty-eighth correct guess in a row!”

Pinkie gathered up all her chips. “Thanks!” she cried. “Now, let’s go again! This is fun!”

The dealer groaned and rolled his eyes.


As Pinkie was tossing the dice for her three-hundredth-and-eighty-first win, Shadow suddenly put a hand on her shoulder.
“Looks like your winning streak has attracted attention.” he whispered, motioning toward the approaching giant figure of a woolly mammoth dressed in an impeccable suit that even Rarity would be impressed by.

“You’re quite the lucky lady.” the mammoth said politely, but his eyes held a touch of menace.

“Thanks! Everyone keeps telling me that!” Pinkie cried. “So, you must be Mammoth Mogul!”

“I am.” the mammoth replied dryly.

“Well, I was wondering. I would really, really, really like to have that Chaos Emerald you have. Could I maybe trade in my chips for it?”

Mammoth Mogul glared at her, but retained his polite demeanor. “I don’t think so.” he replied.

“Okay, I’ll just play some more.” Pinkie said, picking up the dice again.

Mammoth Mogul glared suspiciously at her. “You haven’t lost a single game here, madam. Not to be rude, but that does sound suspicious. Might I ask what’s your secret?”

“Oh, just my Pinkie sense.” Pinkie Pie said brightly, while Shadow slapped his forehead in the background.

Mammoth Mogul narrowed his eyes. “Using extrasensory powers? That’s against the rules.” he said coldly.

“Well, how else do you expect anyone to win when your dealers keep switching the dice with these funny weighted ones?” Pinkie asked.

“Outrageous!” Mammoth Mogul said.

“And at the card tables, a lot of those guys had extra cards in their sleeves!” Pinkie went on. “And all the slot machines are rigged to go off only when a dealer presses a hidden button! And I had to quit the roulette when the dealer there started using a pedal to control the wheel!”

“What’s that? A pedal?” one of the patrons shouted.

“Weighted dice?” another cried.

Mammoth Mogul began to look a little concerned. “People, I assure you this casino has the highest standards….”

But someone had already flipped the roulette wheel over, and was pointing at the hidden device beneath the table.

“Mogul’s a cheat!” people were now shouting. “This place is a scam! I want my money back!”

Complete pandemonium broke out. In the chaos, Pinkie and shadow dashed out the door, not looking back at the bedlam that had erupted behind them.


“You ruined the entire mission!” Shadow screamed. “Now they’ll not even let us near that place! Why did you tell him about your powers?”

“Um… Applejack always tells me to be honest.” Pinkie Pie said, looking guilty. “I mean, the only reason I used my Pinkie sense was because they were cheating in the first place.”

“Well, now you’ve gone and made our job that much harder!” Shadow shouted. “I should have done this by myself!”

“I’m sorry.” Pinkie said contritely. She held out a wrapped gift box. “But I got you a present to make up!” She gave him an awkward smile.

“I don’t want a present!” Shadow cried.

“Just open it.” Pinkie prompted.

“I said….”

“Pleeeeeeease?” Pinkie Pie asked.

Shadow sighed. “Fine! If it will shut you up!”

He tore open the present. And suddenly, he stared, In the box was the Chaos Emerald.

“How….” he began.

“I got it when everyone was going all loco in the coco.” Pinkie explained. “I just walked into his office, and there it was!”

Shadow suddenly felt very awkward. “Well… um… good work.” he said, not looking Pinkie in the face.


Shadow sighed. “And… I suppose I should apologize. You aren’t a pathetic pony.”

“See? I knew you were nice deep down!” Pinkie exclaimed.

Shadow gave a sigh, and held the Chaos Emerald aloft.

“Chaos Control.” he uttered.

With a flash, they appeared back in Solianna.
“Wow! No wonder that thing was so expensive!” Pinkie Pie squealed. “I wish I had one!”

“That… would scare me.” Shadow muttered to himself. Then he turned towards Pinkie Pie. “We should probably meet up with the others.”

“Okey dokey lokey!” Pinkie Pie said cheerfully. “But don’t think I forgot your challenge! I am gonna make you smile yet!”

“We’ll see.” Shadow said, although his tone wasn’t as harsh as before.

“We sure will! You know what? I have a special song, just for you!” Pinkie exclaimed. “Don’t worry, you’ll like this one!”

Pinkie began to sing loudly as the two of them walked through the city.
“Suffer long and it will set you freeeeee! Only through trial do we find the strength we neeeeeed! It’s never over, just another daaaaaaay! Of hope and tragedy, and everything that comes our waaaay! Determination of the strooooooong! Found the meaning that you searched for soooo loooooooong!”

As she continued to sing, Shadow shook his head. At least this song was less obnoxious.

In fact… he kind of liked it.


“Is it near?” Rouge asked.

“Yes.” Rarity stated, concentrating with her magic. She gave a shiver. “Ugh! Why did it have to be in such a cold place! All this snow and ice makes it impossible for me to see, and this wind is stinging my cheeks!”

“Makes them look ruddy.” Rouge said flatly. “Now could you direct us towards the Emerald?”

“I am directing us as fast as I can.” Rarity sated firmly. “I have to make certain that we don’t go galloping off in the wrong direction. These mountains make it so difficult, what with all the winding paths. I have to keep concentrating to maintain a lock on….”

Rouge suddenly slapped a glove over Rarity’s mouth.
“Get down and keep quiet.” she whispered, pulling Rarity into a ditch.

“How dare you…” Rarity cried in a hoarse whisper, but suddenly shut her mouth as she saw something come around the corner.

A huge, shadowy figure stalked along. It was many times higher than Rouge and Rarity, and seemed to be made out of rock and a strange, shadowy substance. Evil eyes glowed within its head.

More creatures made from the same substance were close behind. Some looked like twisted wolves, others like strange, evil birds.

Rouge stared concernedly. “Those aren’t the Doctor’s.” she whispered.

“Sweet Celestia.” Rarity breathed.

Rouge pulled our a mini-camera and began to quietly snap pictures. As the creatures finally passed, she pressed a few buttons on the camera, then activated her communicator.

“General, this is Agent Rouge.” she called. “I’ve just sent you some photos of some unidentified lifeforms, if they really are lifeforms. I need intel, now. These things look like they could be dangerous.”

“Sorry, Agent Rouge.” General Abraham replied. “I’m afraid I don’t have any good news. These creatures are totally unidentified. No records of them exist. Which way are they headed?”

“Northwest of my position.” Rouge replied.

“Eggman has a huge base a few miles in that direction. It‘s called the Iron Egg.” the general stated. “That concerns me. Is Eggman behind these things? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s released some sort of monsters upon Mobius for his own crazy purposes.”

“I’ll keep an eye out.” Rouge said. “In the meantime, we’re getting those Chaos Emeralds. Rouge out.”

“Did he say that Eggman has a base a few miles northwest of here?” Rarity asked, her face nervous.

“Yep. We’ll just have to steer clear of it.” Rouge answered.

Rarity gave a shiver. “I… I don’t know about that.” she said quietly.

Rouge turned about. “Don’t tell me.”

Rarity looked out towards the horizon. “That’s where I sense the Emeralds.”


Rouge and Rarity hiked through the snow. The wind had died down, but now the silence and the clear air made them feel very visible.

“Do you think we should contact the others and see if they’ve gotten their Emeralds?” Rarity asked. “Perhaps we could avoid this whole dangerous venture altogether.”

“I’m with you on that one.” Rouge agree. “I’m in no hurry to tackle the Doctor on his own turf.”

As if on cue, her transmitter began to bleep.
“Rouge here.” Rouge stated, activating it.

“Rouge? We may be counting on you and Rarity.” Sonic’s voice came through. “Eggman got to Hang Castle first, and took the Chaos Emerald. Me and Amy got out fine, but we’ve got nothing to show for it. How’s your jewel hunt going?”

Rouge gave an angry sigh. “Sonic, I’m sending you my location. We need your help.”

“Problem?” Sonic asked.

“Rarity detects the Emeralds in a nearby Eggman base called the Iron Egg. I’ve heard stories about that place. No confirmations, though. None of the agents who went in ever came back.”

“Sounds like my kind of job.” Sonic said jauntily. “Me and Amy will be there to help you out.”

“Another complication.” Rouge said. “There’s been some strange, unidentified lifeforms up here, heading towards the Iron Egg. I’m sending you some photos now.”

They heard Sonic musing over the pictures on the other end for a while. “Doesn’t look like the Black Arms.” he mused. “Maybe it’s….”

“This is Tails!” Tails’ voice suddenly called, crackling to life over the transmitters. “Sonic! Anybody! Do you read me?”

“I read you loud and clear, big guy!” Sonic replied. “Rouge, you hear him?”

“Roger that.” Rouge replied.

“What is it? Is something wrong?” Rarity asked worriedly.

“Everyone, Twilight and I found out what the threat is! It’s Mephiles!”

“Who?” Sonic asked. “Tails, calm down. I know it’s serious, but we’ve fought stuff like this before. You know I can handle him.”

“No you can’t!“ Tails shouted. It sounded like he was crying. “He killed you! The only thing that saved you was a time rift and the seven Chaos Emeralds!”

“Wait… why don’t I remember any of this?” Sonic asked.

“Because it never happened!” Tails shouted. “You went back in time and stopped Solaris before it became too powerful, and time reset! But Twilight restored my memories! And Blaze still remembers, too! And Sonic, I got those pictures Rouge took of those creatures! They’re Mephiles’s creatures!”

Everyone was silent for a long while.

“Tails, tell Blaze we might need her help.” Sonic said, his jovial tone a little more serious now. “And get Twilight Sparkle to meet me out near the Iron Egg. This situation just got a little more complicated.”


“You mean those… those things are the servants of the same thing that made Nightmare Moon?!” Rarity cried.

“Looks that way.” Rouge said. “I know he’s just a kid, but Tails is pretty respected in the scientific community. He doesn’t give wild opinions often. There’s a strong chance that he’s right.”

Rarity put her hoof to her head. “And the Elements of Harmony are stolen! What are we going to dooohoohoo!” she sobbed as she flopped down upon the ground.

“Keep it together!” Rouge said roughly. “This situation just got a lot tougher. But if we can get back the Chaos Emeralds, we can get to Equestria, and hopefully get some answers. And if we can get all seven Chaos Emeralds in our hands, even this Mephiles will be given a run for his money.”

Rouge began to run down the mountainside. “Come on!” she called to Rarity.

Rarity leapt to her hooves. “ But there’s monsters down there, and those dreadful robots! Shouldn’t we wait for Sonic?”

“I don’t think Sonic will have any trouble catching up with us!” Rouge replied. “Now get going! We have to….”

Rouge was suddenly interrupted by a low boom. Up ahead, there was a sudden flash of light, and a gigantic circle or light appeared in the distance.

“What in the blazes?” Rouge cried. She pulled out a pair of binoculars, zooming in.

“What is it?” Rarity asked fearfully.

“A portal of some kind.” Rouge stated. “But it’s enormous. It looks like Eggman is flying an entire air fleet through. He’s got an entire army going in!”

“Let me see!” Rarity cried.

Rouge switched on her communicator, tossing Rarity the binoculars.

“General, this is a code red alert! The Doctor is moving in full invasion force through some sort of portal!”

“Location?! What zone is it?!” General Abraham shouted urgently.

“I’m not sure.” Rouge said. “It has some structures, but I can’t identify it.”

“I can.” Rarity said. Her voice was cold and numb, and her eyes filled with frightened tears.
She let the binoculars down, staring at the portal.

“It’s Ponyville.”

As the Eggman Watches

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Chapter 9: As the Eggman Watches

“Ugh! I’m so bored!” Sweetie Belle groaned. “I wish something would happen!”

“We’ve tried everything to get our Cutie Marks, and not one thing has worked!” Scootaloo complained. “And now Rainbow Dash and the others are off in some other dimension, probably having the time of their lives!”

“Well, we can’t just sit around doin’ nothin’!” Apple Bloom stated. “How about we go get some milkshakes or somethin’! That’ll be fun, and we can have an official Cutie Mark Crusader meetin’ to… discuss… the….”

“To discuss what?” Scootaloo asked.

Apple Bloom didn’t respond. She just stared, her eyes as big as saucers.

“Um, hello? Apple Bloom? Equestria to Apple Bloom, do you read me?” Scootaloo said, waving her hooves.

Apple Bloom continued to stare, and took a few steps back.

“Are you okay, Apple Bloom?” Sweetie Belle asked. “What’s wrong?”

“B-b-b-bu… big… w-w-what….” Apple Bloom stuttered, pointing behind them.

Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo turned around, and their mouths suddenly dropped open. There was a huge glowing portal behind them, and through it was flying the biggest airships the little fillies had ever seen. Alongside them, thousands of robots were pouring through.
The three fillies were rooted to the spot, staring in awe at the sight.

Suddenly, there was a loud clang as a robot landed in front of them.

“Equine lifeforms. You are now under the rule of the Eggman Empire.” the robot said in a flat, metallic tone. “Surrender.”

The fillies screamed and ran. They dashed over the hills, heading for the one place they thought of to go to: Ponyville.

But as they came over the hill, they stopped in shock. The streets were filled with robots, and ponies were running everywhere, screaming and shouting. Some were fighting against the robots. Above them all, in a strange hovering vehicle, was the most unusual, fat creature, with a bald head and a grand moustache, who was shouting down to the masses through a bullhorn.

“Now here this! This land of Equestria, or whatever you call it, is now under the jurisdiction of the Eggman Empire! Those of you who resist will be roboticized! Those of you who don’t resist… well, you’ll be roboticized anyway. Gyah ha ha ha ha!”

“W-what are we going to do?” Scootaloo asked.

“And what does ‘robotitituzashun’ mean?” Apple Bloom pondered fearfully.

Suddenly, Scootaloo turned about. “Hey, where’s Sweetie Belle?”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom suddenly shared a look of dread. Without thinking, they whipped about and started dashing back to the hill where they had seen the portal.
When they reached it, they saw the scorched ground from the robot’s jetpack. But neither the robot, nor Sweetie Belle, were anywhere to be seen.


“Dr Eggman, I have brought a subject for roboticization.”

Eggman turned towards the robot that had just entered, holding a struggling white unicorn filly.

“Roboticizing a little filly?” Eggman cried. “What kind of monster do you think I am?”

For a brief moment, in the robot’s arms, Sweetie Belle’s spirits lifted.

“A terrible, heartless, and brilliant one, master.”

“Exactly!” Eggman cried, dashing Sweetie Belle’s hopes that this strange creature had any compassion. “So, let’s get out little subject ready!”

“You meanie!” Sweetie Belle shouted. “My sister Rarity is gonna wallop you when she gets back!”

“Oh, I am already aware about Rarity.” Eggman said with an evil grin. “But without the Elements of Harmony, your little pony friends aren’t a threat to me. After all, I have the Elements in my grasp!” Eggman gestured towards a purple chest which lay on the ground next to him.

“I can’t actually open it,” he admitted, “but so long as it is out of your little friends’ reach, they are no threat to me. But don’t worry. In a minute, you’ll be by robot slave, and none of this will matter.”

Eggman gestured, and the robot put Sweetie Belle onto the roboticizer platform, while a round glass tube slid down over her.

“Initiate roboticization process!” Eggman cried.

There was a bright light, and lightning coursed through the tube. Sweetie Belle closed her eyes tightly as it crackled over her fur. She felt her hooves grow cold, turning into metal. And then….


“This will never work.” Scootaloo whispered, wearing a costume made of boxes painted silver.

“Sure it will.” Apple Bloom said, wearing a bucket with holes cut out on her head. “And anyways, we’ve got to get in there and save Sweetie Belle!”

“How do we know she’s in there?” Scootaloo asked, pointing towards the giant, egg-shaped tower which the lead air ship had deployed in the middle of Ponyville.

“Because that’s where their takin’ everypony to be robotatitasized!” Apple Bloom replied.

“But what if they don’t fall for it?” Scootaloo asked.

“Then switch to plan ‘B’!” Apple Bloom whispered back. “Now hush! We have to make the guards think we’re robots.”
As Scootaloo and Apple Bloom walked up, the robot guards turned towards them. “Identify yourself, units.” they said flatly.

Apple Bloom cleared her throat. “I am… er… Robopony, and this is… um... Scootabot!”

“I haven’t seen you around here before.” the one guard said.

“They must be some of those prototype units the master has been working on.” the other replied.

“We are here to… um… perform maintenance on the thing which robotototasizes ponies.” Apple Bloom stated.

“The roboticizer? Very good, it needs to be in top working order!” the first guard said.

“It will be very busy in the next few days.” the second added. “We need to keep it running as smoothly as possible. Please pass. The roboticizer is in the big door at the end of the hall.”
The guards opened the doors, and Apple Bloom and Scootaloo trotted past them.

“Scootabot? Seriously?” Scootaloo whispered as the door closed behind them. “Either these costumes are better than I thought, or robots aren’t very bright.”

They walked towards the end of the hall. On either side, hordes of guards stood. Apple Bloom and Scootaloo were both afraid that one of them would notice and say something, but none of them did.

As Apple Bloom and Scootaloo walked up, the big doors to the roboticizer room opened. The two ponies saw the rotund form of Eggman towering over them, bent over a control panel.

“What is it now? I’m very busy!” Eggman shouted.

Apple Bloom threw off her helmet. “We are here to demand that you free our friend, Sweetie Belle!” she shouted, pulling out a hooffull of rocks.

“Yeah!” Scootaloo chimed in, tossing off her costume and revealing her scooter underneath. “And leave Ponyville!”

Eggman stared for a moment and raised an eyebrow, stunned at the sight of these two fillies who dared to challenge him. Then an evil grin came across his mustached face.

“Why of course.” he replied. “I would love nothing more than to reunite you with your friend.”

He turned about. “Sweetie Bot! Your friends are here to see you!”

From the shadows, a pair of green eyes lit up. Slowly, a small figure emerged. It looked like Sweetie Belle, but now her mane and fur were made of metal, and here eyes were glowing optical sensors.

“Capture them!” Eggman ordered.

“Yes, master.” the robotic Sweetie Belle replied flatly.

Before the stunned Apple Bloom and Scootaloo could respond, Sweetie Belle leapt at them, tackling them to the ground.

“Sweetie Belle, it’s us!” Scootaloo cried. “We’re your friends!”

“You will be subjected to roboticization.” the robotic Sweetie Belle said flatly.

“Don’t you remember us?” Apple Bloom asked, her eyes tearful as she beheld her changed friend. “Apple Bloom and Scootaloo? The Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

Sweetie Belle paused.

“Remember?” Scootaloo chimed in. She began to sing. “We are the Cutie Mark Crusaders, on a quest to find out who we are….”

Suddenly, the robotic Sweetie Belle joined in. “And we will never stop the journey, not until we’ve got our Cutie Marks!”

“What are you doing?” Eggman shouted. “You aren’t programmed to sing! Throw them in the roboticizer!”

“But… they’re my… friends.” Sweetie Belle stated. Her voice sounded strained, as is she was struggling very hard against something.

“You don’t have any friends! Now throw those ponies in the roboticizer!” Eggman screamed.

Sweetie Belle’s horn crackled. There were a few sparks, and then suddenly, Sweetie Belle shook her head.

“They are my friends, and I won’t let you hurt them!”

“Why you little…!” Eggman growled, lurching towards them. But he didn’t get any further, save to cry “Oof!” as Sweetie Belle bucked his fat stomach. He went soaring across the room, slamming into the wall on the other side.

Sweetie Belle stared in surprise. “Did… I do that?” she asked.

Scootaloo hopped onto her scooter. “Come on, let’s go!” she cried. “Sweetie Belle! Apple Bloom! Hop on!”

Apple Bloom grabbed on as Scootaloo took off, but Sweetie Belle lost her footing, and fell off.

“Hey! Wait for me!” she cried, running after them.

Suddenly, the world was a blur around her. Before she knew it, she was far ahead of Scootaloo and Apple Bloom, and had slammed face first into the door.
The door slid open, and the two guards stared down at Sweetie Belle.

“It appears the master has improved his models.” the first commented.

“Indeed.” the second agreed. “You look much better than those two robots we let in earlier.”

“Gangway!” Scootaloo shouted, shooting through the door and past the guards, with Apple Bloom holding on for dear life behind her.

“Hey, was that Scootabot?” the second guard asked.

Sweetie Belle was on her hooves again as quick as she could be. This time, she knew what to expect a little better, and by the time that the alarms in the base were going off, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were far away.


Eggman shakily got to his feet, just as a robot walked into the room.
“Unit 798 reporting, sir.” the robot said. “I just wanted to inform you that the unicorn ponies’ magic may interfere with the mental conversion of the roboticizer. I recommend we compensate with a higher frequency to ensure a lack of free will.”

“You don’t say….” Eggman hissed.

“Also, we are having difficulty with a few of the new models.” the robot went on. “Some of the animal batteries have put up quite a struggle, and cannot be properly contained in a typical robot shell.”

“Then put it in one of the prototypes!” Eggman shouted. “And next time, deliver these reports to me before we begin roboticizing the populace!”


Back outside their clubhouse, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were discussing what to do about the current situation.

“We gotta tell Princess Celestia!” Apple Bloom stated. “She can help us!”

“We’ve got a more immediate problem on our hooves!” Scootaloo cried. “What the hay did they do to Sweetie Belle? I mean, look at her!”

Sweetie Belle shrugged. “I don’t know!” she replied. “All I remember is everything going all fuzzy, and then I heard you guys talking and singing, and it was kind of odd, and I tried to sing, too. And then I felt like I was waking up, and then I found myself standing over you and looking like this!”

“And did you see how she bucked that fat gut across the room? Or how fast she ran?” Scootaloo asked. “She’s got, like, some sort of super-awesome superpowers!”

“I think they changed her into some sort of robot pony.” Apple Bloom stated.

“What?! And I missed my chance?” Scootaloo moaned.

“It’s actually not very fun.” Sweetie Belle replied. “I think they brainwash you or something, so that you only obey this Eggman dodo. I mean, I could kind of tell that I was doing stuff, but it wasn’t me doing it.”

“Well, this Eggman has gone far enough!” Apple Bloom cried, stomping her hoof.

“I agree!” Sweetie Belle said, stamping her own hoof, and staring in surprise as her blow crushed a rock into sand.

“Hey, that Sonic guy said he fought this Eggman when he was a kid!” Scootaloo reminded them. “So why can’t we?”

“And who knows? Maybe we’ll even earn our Cutie Marks from it!” Apple Bloom added.

The three of them put their hooves together above their heads. “Cutie Mark Crusader Freedom Fighters! Yay!”


The Cutie Mark Crusaders made up their mind to sneak down and investigate Sweet Apple Acres to see if anypony was still there. As they approached, everything was silent. The ground was broken and charred with the signs of battle, and some of the apple trees lay broken, uprooted, or burnt on the ground.

Apple Bloom dashed down the hill, her heart in her throat, but she didn’t dare shout for her family, afraid that there would be robots waiting there for her.

The house looked empty. Apple Bloom ran up, then slowly opened the door. Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle were close beside her. Apple Bloom looked into the darkness, straining to see.

Suddenly, a golden light enveloped her, whipping her inside. She suddenly found herself pinned underneath the hooves of a mint-colored unicorn mare.

“Gotcha, robo… oh, sorry.” the mare said. “I thought you were a robot.”

“Seriously, Lyra, look at the poor filly.” a pale yellow earth pony mare said, pushing her curly blue and pink mane from her face. “You scared her half to death.”

“We can’t be too careful, Bon-Bon.” Lyra replied. “Those robots could be back at any minute!”

The door suddenly burst open, and Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle charged in.

“All right, let her go!” Scootaloo cried, holding a rock in her hoof.

Lyra dropped Apple Bloom and screamed. “Robot!” she yelled, pointing at Sweetie Belle.

“It’s okay, it’s okay!” Apple Bloom cried. “She’s okay! It’s still Sweetie Belle in there!”

“Apple Bloom?” a pair of voices called out.

Suddenly, from out of their hiding places, Apple Bloom saw the familiar faces of Big Macintosh and Granny Smith emerge. They dashed over and scooped her up in their hooves.

“We thought y’all were captured!” Granny Smith said, giving Apple Bloom a squeeze. “Oh, we’re so happy to see ya safe and sound!”

“Eeyup!” Big Macintosh agreed.

Other ponies began to emerge from their hiding places, surrounding the fillies and welcoming them in. Some of them looked with shock at Sweetie Belle.

“That’s what they’re doing to us?” a pale yellow mare with a curly orange mane asked. “They’re turning us into robots?”

“’Fraid so, Ms. Carrot Top.” Apple Bloom replied.

“Awesome!” a white unicorn with a spiky blue mane and purple sunglasses cried. “That would be totally wicked if that happened to me!”

“It isn’t like that, Ms. Scratch!” Sweetie Belle said. “I don’t know how I broke out of it, but the robotitotization makes your brain all loopy-like, so you serve that big fat guy with the mustache.”

“Really, Vinyl.” a grey pony with a soft English accent and a flowing black mane stated. “You don’t honestly think that this Eggman would be doing anything to us that we would enjoy, do you?”

“Aw, lighten up, Tavi!” Vinyl Scratch replied.

“I told you to call me Octavia, and this situation calls for anything but lightening up, Vinyl.” Octavia replied. “Ms. Lyra Heartstrings is right. Those robots could be back at any minute. Sweet Apple Acres may be well-built, but it is hardly a fortress.”

“She’s right.” Bon-Bon agreed. “We need to get to somewhere safe?”

“But where?” Carrot Top asked.

Scootaloo jumped up on a table. “Alright, everypony listen! I met someone who comes from the same world as this Eggman bozo, when Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash and their friends were on an important mission from Princess Celestia. He said he used to fight this Eggman guy when he was just a kid, and that there was one place where he could always hide and defend. The forest!”

Everypony gasped. “You mean go into the Everfree Forest?” Bon-Bon cried out.

“That’s insane!” Lyra cried. “Even for me!

“Now hold on just a gol-dern minute here!” Granny Smith shouted above the hullabaloo. “I went into that forest lots of times as a filly, and I still lived to a ripe old age. T’aint nothin’ in there we all can’t handle if’n we stick together!”

“What about timberwolves? Manticores? Cockatrices?” Carrot Top asked.

“Phooey on them!” Granny Smith replied. “When we founded Sweet Apple Acres here, this was nothin’ but wilderness. We had ta learn how ta deal with all sorts of nasty varmints. And anyhoo, it’s either go into Everfree, of become one’a them souped-up wind-up toys. No offense, Sweetie Belle.”

“None taken!” Sweetie Belle replied.

“This idea is outrageous.” Octavia stated. “But… perhaps outrageous enough to keep this ruffian from pursuing us.”

“That’s the spirit, Octy!” Vinyl Scratch cried. “And if anyone tries to mess with us, I’ll just give ‘em a taste of my
WUBS!!!” She whipped out a giant, wheel-mounted subwoofer set.

“Then it’s settled!” Granny Smith cried. “To the forest!”


The ponies trudged through the forest, warily looking to and fro. From time to time, they saw unfriendly eyes glaring out at them, but nothing they encountered dared attack such a large group of ponies.

“W-where exactly are we headed?” Carrot Top asked.

“You’ll see!” Granny Smith replied.

Finally, they stopped in front of a ravine. Granny Smith pointed across.

“There you have ‘em!” she exclaimed. “The Everfree Ruins!”

Everypony stared in shock. “Woah. Time out, Granny!” Vinyl Scratch exclaimed, shaking her hooves in front of herself. “We’re hiding here? This is, like, the most haunted place in the entire Everfree!”

“Aw, nuts to that!” Granny Smith replied. “That’s just a bunch of hooey. The Everfree Forest is dangerous enough without silly ponies making up stories!”

“But there’s no bridge.” Bon-Bon pointed out. “How will we get across?”

“Big Mac?” Granny Smith said. “Please help us cross.”

Big Macintosh silently walked over to a large nearby tree. Swinging his powerful legs, he bucked the tree over, knocking it so it landed across the ravine.

“Now, everypony take your supplies and git on over!” Granny Smith cried. “This’ll be where we’ll be stayin’ for a while!”


As the ponies sat around the fire later, Apple Bloom sniffed sadly.

“I wanna go home.” she whimpered.

“Me too.” Scootaloo agreed.

“Now, don’t you fret.” Granny Smith said brightly. “It’s just like a campin’ trip! Try and think of it that way, and might seem so bad.”

“Yeah, if by camping trip, you mean we lost our homes and have to hide from evil robots.” Scootaloo said dejectedly.

“Now, don’t you worry.” Bon-Bon said calmly. “This is only going to be for a short while. Once Princess Celestia finds out about this, she’ll come and save us.”

“But Sweetie Belle said that Eggman has the Elements of Harmony!” Apple Bloom said.

“Then we’ll get ‘em back!” Lyra cried, jumping to her hooves and pumping her forelegs like fists. “We’ll be unstoppable! This’ll be just like that adventure we had before! Right, Carrot Top?”

Carrot Top sighed. “I… I don’t know. But we’ve faced some bad times before, and gotten through, and somepony always saved us, even if we had to save ourselves. I guess we can make it.”

“We will make it.” Octavia stated firmly. “And Lyra is right. If we can, we must try to get back the Elements of Harmony. Twilight Sparkle and her friends may be gone, but they might find a way here to retrieve them. Or… well, I don’t mean to be a pessimist, but if the worst were to happen, and Twilight Sparkle and her friends could not return, perhaps we could find somepony who could use the Elements.”

“Rainbow Dash is coming back no matter what!” Scootaloo shouted.

Octavia flinched. She had forgotten that some of Twilight’s friends had family here.

“Forgive me.” she said apologetically. “If anypony could find a way back, it would be them. And I doubt Celestia would leave even one of her subjects lost far away from home.”

“Yeah, don’t worry!” Vinyl Scratch reassured the fillies. “Trust me, I was there at Canterlot when Chrysalis attacked, and I assure you nopony’s gonna take down Twilight Sparkle and her gang. This Eggman chump is totally toast when they get back.”

Bon-Bon leaned over and whispered to the fillies. “I think you should check on your friend.” she said softly. “She seems… really distraught. It must be really hard for her, with all she’s having to go through.”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom traded glances, then looked out at Sweetie Belle, who was staring at the sky.
Softly, they walked up to her side.

“I heard what you guys were saying.” Sweetie Belle said. “And Eggman said Rarity isn’t coming back.”

“That’s a lie!” Scootaloo cried. “They’re all coming back! All of them!”

Sweetie Belle lowered her head. “Scootaloo? Apple Bloom? I’m scared. I’m really worried about Rarity. I miss Ponyville, and my mom and dad.”

“You sound like you’re handlin’ it better than us.” Apple Bloom stated. “I was bawlin’ my eyes out a while ago.”

Sweetie Belle shook her head. “That’s just it. I’m sad, but I can’t cry. I even tried to, but it didn’t work.” She sighed. “I can’t even cry. I’m not a real pony at all.”

“Of course y’all are a real pony!” Apple Bloom said, putting a hoof on Sweetie Belle’s shoulder. “You’re our friend! And that’ll never change!”

Sweetie Belle raised her head as a breeze blew through their manes.

“Do you feel that? The wind?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Yeah.” Apple Bloom and Scootaloo replied.

“Well I don’t.” Sweetie Belle replied. “I can hear things, lots more things than before. And I can see all sorts of things I never could before as well. Nothing’s dark to me; I can see in the dark as easily as I see in the daytime. But I don’t feel anything.” She stomped her hoof angrily. “Why can’t I feel anything?!”

“Sweetie Belle, it’s going to be okay….” Scootaloo reassured her.

“No it’s not!” Sweetie Belle shouted, the robotic tinge obvious in her voice for a moment. “You know what? I didn’t tell anypony, but when I went out into the woods to collect firewood, a timberwolf tried to gobble me up. All it did was break its teeth on me. It was like when Pinkie Pie’s pet alligator bites you. I was too scared to tell anypony! You know why? It wasn’t the timberwolf that scared me, it was me! Now I’ve become scarier than a timberwolf! I’m a monster!”

Without warning, Sweetie Belle dashed off into the woods, leaping the ravine in a single bound.

“Sweetie Belle!” Scootaloo and Apple Bloom called after her.

“Aw, ponyfeathers.” Vinyl Scratch said, getting to her hooves. “Big Mac! We’d better go get her!”

“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh agreed, getting to his hooves as well.

“Vinyl, it’s not safe out there at night!” Octavia said. “Do be careful!”

“Hey, when am I not careful, Octy?” Vinyl Scratch asked with a grin.

“Most of the time, actually.” Octavia retorted.

Granny Smith suddenly looked about. “Where in tarnation are little Apple Bloom and Scootaloo?”

“Aw, they must have gone after Sweetie Belle!” Vinyl groaned. “Sweetie should be safe enough; I mean, she’s probably tougher than most of us since that robotification thing. But the other fillies could be in real danger!”

“Then we must find them immediately.” Octavia stated, getting to her hooves.

“Wait, Octy, this is dangerous. You should stay here.” Vinyl said. “Big Mac, me, and my bass cannon can handle this.”

“I’m not defenseless.” Octavia replied evenly, strapping an ornately decorated rapier to her side. “I didn’t spend all that time learning those fencing lessons for nothing. I thought you of all ponies would know that by now.”

“Enough talk! Let’s get those fillies!” Big Macintosh cried, dashing over the log bridge. Octavia and Vinyl Scratch followed closely behind as they followed the three fillies into the eerie blackness of the Everfree Forest.


Sweetie Belle plowed through the forest. Had she been able to cry, she would have been weeping, but now she had to bear her sorrow silently, which only made it worse.

Suddenly, from out of the bushes, a cockatrice leapt out. Sweetie Belle screamed and fell back as the cockatrice bore down on her.

But, to the cockatrice’s dismay, its petrifying gaze had no effect. Sweetie Belle began to realize it, too. She was already metal, the stuff of earth.

Shakily, she got to her hooves. She aimed her horn at the cockatrice, hoping she might be able to muster enough magic to throw it into the bushes.

“Go away, you meanie!” she cried.

Suddenly, to her shock, laser bolts began to erupt from her horn. The cockatrice squawked and ran for its life as Sweetie Belle accidentally singed the surrounding rocks, trying to control her fire.

As soon as she willed it, the lasers stopped. Sweetie Belle could only stare in shock at the still smoldering surroundings.

Had Rarity been there, and her mom and dad, Sweetie Belle might have thought that it was even kind of cool that she had these powers. But right now, she just felt very scared, and she wished that everything could go back to the way it was. She curled up on the ground and covered her eyes. Hey eyes were tearless, but inside, she was sobbing.


“She went this way!” Apple Bloom cried, galloping down a trail of crushed foliage that Sweetie Belle has smashed through. Logs had been knocked away, and small boulders flipped.

“Wow.” Scootaloo said, looking at the trail of destruction as they galloped along. “If she wasn’t so scared and sad about it, it could be pretty cool to be a robot.”

The two fillies dashed through the forest, following the trail of debris left in Sweetie Belle’s wake. They were so intent upon following the trail, that they didn’t notice the surrounding odor, growing stronger and stronger.
Suddenly, there was a rustling in the surrounding woods.

“What was that?” Scootaloo asked, giving a jump.

Apple Bloom looked about, and suddenly noticed the bad smell in the air. A smell like decaying leaves and rotted meat.

“Timberwolves.” she whispered.

She and Scootaloo looked about with terror in their eyes.

“Run!” Scootaloo cried.

The two fillies began to run faster than they ever had before in their lives. But wherever they turned, they saw glinting green eyes running beside them, herding them along.

They burst out of the foliage into a clearing. Suddenly, timberwolves leapt out all about them, circling them, surrounding them.
Apple Bloom and Scootaloo grabbed onto one another and screamed as the circle slowly closed in.

Sweetie Belle’s ears heard the screams, and for a moment, fear filled her little heart.
But where her friends were involved, Sweetie Belle wasn’t a coward. She leapt to her hooves. Her new abilities let her scan the area. Internal scanners quickly revealed the location of two young ponies.

Sweetie Belle was off like a flash, crashing through thorn bushes without so much as blinking, leaping over pits and ravines at least five times her own length.

As she neared she felt her sensor abilities growing weak. Her scans showed that the surrounding rock had some sort of magnetic effect that was interfering with her sensors.
“Dumb sensors.” she muttered. But she was close enough so that her heat-sensitive eyes could pick up the signatures of her friends.

She dashed towards them, leaping out of the bushes and clearing the ring of timberwolves to land directly next to Apple Bloom and Scootaloo.

“Sweetie Bell!” they cried in relieved joy.

Sweetie Belle stomped her hoof, and her horn crackled with electricity.

“You leave my friends alone!” she shouted at the timberwolves.

One timberwolf got too close. Sweetie Belle fired a laser that scorched its nose, sending it leaping back, howling. Another leapt at her, but she bucked it away, sending it flying into a bush.

“I said, leave them alone!” she shouted.

Suddenly, the air was torn by a shrieking thrum, and a large group of timberwolves went flying.
The fillies turned to see Vinyl Scratch with a large subwoofer set mounted on her shoulder, which she was firing like a sonic cannon. Beside her Big Macintosh and Octavia leapt out.

With his little sister in danger, Big Macintosh was a storm of rage. He had lost his parents to the timberwolves, he wasn’t about to lose anypony else.
The ground shook as he brought his hoof down upon a nearby timberwolf, then he spun about and bucked a pair clear over the treetops. Meanwhile, Octavia gracefully danced through the wooden beasts, slashing them down with her rapier.
The timberwolves were quickly defeated, and Big Macintosh hurried over to the three fillies.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Mm-hm.” they nodded, feeling relieved. All three of them grabbed Big Macintosh in a hug.

“Thank goodness. They’re safe.” Octavia breathed, sheathing her sword. “And Vinyl, you can stop shouting after those timberwolves. They can’t understand you, after all.”

“Yeah, but loud noises help keep creatures away.” Vinyl Scratch replied. Then her face lit up. “Speaking of which….” She pulled out a record and put in into her bass cannon, and the air was suddenly filled with loud dubstep beats.
Octavia sighed and shook her head, but as the little group went back to camp, with Big Macintosh carrying the little fillies on his back, not a single creature disturbed them.

Which was just as well. Vinyl was disturbing enough.


“I’m sorry I ran away and made everypony have to come find me.” Sweetie Belle apologized.

“Aw, we understand.” Granny Smith said kindly, giving the little filly a pat on the head. “You’re goin’ through an awful lot right now.”

“And any way’s you saved us!” Apple Bloom cried. “You ain’t a monster! You’re a hero!”

“More like a superhero!” Scootaloo squealed, her fears now forgotten. “You were like, ‘pow!, and then you went and zapped them, and it was like, ‘fzzzt!’, and then you whipped around and went ‘bam!’, just like that, and….”

“I… I did, didn’t I?” Sweetie Belle said, cheering up.

“Yeah, kid.” Vinyl Scratch said brightly. “You’re totally a hero!”

“I am?”

“Indeed.” Octavia stated. “You kept those timberwolves off long enough for us to come rescue you three, after all.”

“I… guess I did.” Sweetie Belle said, her metal mouth twisting into a smile.

“Now I’m sure we’ll be able to change you back to normal,” Bon-Bon assured her, “but until then, you might find that this isn’t so bad.”

“Yeah!” Lyra put in. “I mean, being a robot could be awesome!”

“And we all love you just the same!” Granny Smith stated.

“Eeyup!” Big Macintosh agreed.

Sweetie Belle gave a hug to Scootaloo and Apple Bloom. “I guess, you’re right! I may be Sweetie Bot on the outside, but inside, I’m the same old Sweetie Belle.”

“That’s right.” Granny Smith said. “Now you fillies better get off to bed. Tomorrow might be a little busy, ’cuz we have to round up the other ponies who escaped, and we have to make this place a little more homey. And don’t fret! The princesses will save us! They always do!”

Dreams of an Absolution

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Chapter 10: Dreams of an Absolution

“I’m sorry for this unusual way of meeting.” Silver said to Twilight. “But I don’t want to cause any disruption. I mean, I’m… not exactly supposed to be here.”

“What are you talking about?” Twilight asked confusedly, her voice somewhat irritated. “And what do you mean you’re not supposed to be here? Are you some sort of criminal? And what the heck is Sol Umbrae?”

Silver shook his head. “No, nothing like that. I mean, I’m not supposed to be in this timeline. You see, I’m from the future. Three hundred years in the future to be exact. A future where our worlds were both broken by Sol Umbrae. You see, Sol Umbrae is the destroyer, the one who dooms our worlds to the suffering we live through, and it arose because of the events happening now.”

“So, why ask me for help?” Twilight asked. “What can I do?”

Silver shuffled awkwardly. “I was… always a big admirer of you in the history books. Your legacy inspired me to become a hero and fight against Sol Umbrae.”

“And you want me to help you? How?” Twilight asked.

Silver held out a hand towards her. “Come with me, and I’ll show you. Perhaps together, we can find a solution.”

Twilight looked skeptical. But she had had experience with time travel before, and Silver was even younger than her, so she didn’t feel threatened.

“All right. If you think you can help us, then I’m not going to turn down this chance.”

Silver looked incredibly relieved. “Then let’s go.” he said, pulling out a strange-looking jewel.

“Where are we going?” Twilight asked.

“To the future.” Silver replied.

He held the jewel in the air. “KRONOS CONTROL!”


Twilight suddenly found herself standing in an arid wasteland. Nothing but dry, cracked soil, barren rock and some sparse dead trees surrounded her. The sun was red above them, and it beat down on them, baking them with its light.

Silver immediately pulled Twilight into a ravine, where some shade could be found, but even there, it was roasting, and Twilight could already feel herself sweating heavily.

“Take this.” Silver said, offering her a golden ring. As Twilight touched it, it disappeared with a tinkling sound, and she felt the strength-sapping heat less.

“That will protect you from sunstroke or sunburn.” Silver told her. “Now, how’s your flying and teleporting?”

“Okay, I guess.” Twilight replied. “I’m still learning to fly, but I’ve pretty much mastered short-range teleportation.”

“Good.” Silver said. “Now follow me, and keep to the shadows. Stay out of the sunlight as much as possible. We don’t want Sol Umbrae to see us.”

A bluish-green glow surrounded Silver, and he floated into the air. Twilight flapped her wings and took off, trying to keep up with the white hedgehog as he soared along.

“So, what is up with this Sol Umbrae thing?” Twilight asked, too confused to question how the hedgehog was flying. “Where did it come from?”

“Dunno.” Silver said. “All I know is that an evil force got hold of the Sol Emeralds.”

“Mephiles.” Twilight muttered to herself.

“Keep your eyes out!” Silver shouted back. “Sol Umbrae’s minions could be patrolling, and there are monsters lurking all over! Ever since Tartarus was opened, even the shadows are dangerous!”

“Wait, Tartarus?” Twilight asked in surprise. “I thought that was in Equestria.”

Silver gave her a rather sad glance. “I… think there’s something you should see.” he said.

Soaring up a cliff side, they landed underneath an encampment of rock which shaded them.

“So, what is it I should see?” Twilight asked.

Silver silently pointed out onto the horizon.
Twilight stared out, and gasped. Before them, the scorched land stretched for miles. And high upon the mountainside, were the ruins of a city. And not just any city.

It was Canterlot.

“Bu… but I thought this was Mobius!” Twilight spluttered. “No… how could this be?”

Silver sighed. “Many Mobians were born in Equestria. All I know about Mobius is that it was destroyed centuries ago. The world where the Sol Emeralds hailed from crumbled when the Sol Emeralds were stolen and never returned. As for Mobius, it was shattered when the Sol Emeralds and the Chaos Emeralds were kept in the same world for too long, during Sol Umbrae’s takeover. Any Mobians who survived fled to Equestria.”

Twilight flopped down on her rump, staring at the ruins of Canterlot. “This… this is the future?”

“If we can’t change it.” Silver replied, shaking his head. “Now we have to get going. You need to meet the others.”

“Others?” Twilight asked.

“Yes.” Silver replied. “The Chaos Fighters. We are a resistance group, who strives to fight Sol Umbrae, although hope isn’t something we have. The best we can do is survive.”

He turned to leave. “We have to get to the rendezvous point. From there, we’ll be able to reach our base.”

As he soared down the cliff, Twilight followed him, lost in a daze.

“They should be near that ridge.” Silver said, pointing a finger. “We should try and avoid being seen. Stay out of the sunlight.”

With a blur and a zip, Silver appeared behind a large boulder. Twilight teleported next to him.

“You can teleport, too?” she asked.

“It’s not teleportation, per se.” Silver answered. “I use my telekinesis to send my molecules across space at high velocity. Only works at very short range.”

“You have telekinesis?” Twilight asked with surprise. “Are you part unicorn or something?”

“Not that I know of.” Silver said, giving the first smirk Twilight had ever seen him give. “I don’t actually know how I got my powers. When I was little….”

Suddenly Silver grew stiff. He motioned for Twilight to be silent, and pointed down the ridge. As Twilight looked, she saw a group of frightening beasts. They came in all shapes and sizes, some like giants, some like birds, some like wolves, but all were made of fire and hardened lava.

“What are they?” Twilight asked in a whisper.

“Minions of Sol Umbrae.” Shadow replied. “They’re everywhere.”

“Can you teleport past them?”

“It’s not teleporting, but I might be able to.” Silver answered. “I trust you can?”

“It shouldn’t be a….” Twilight’s voice trailed off.

“Twilight?” Silver asked, turning about.

Then he stopped cold. Twilight was staring at a fiery bird which hovered above them. They had been spotted.

The bird let out a screech. Silver raised his hand and threw the bird into a rock wall, where it burst into flames and disappeared, but the damage was done. The other fiery beasts were coming their way.

“Go, go, run!” Silver shouted, soaring into the sky.

Twilight was beside him in an instant. They zipped through the sky, a phalanx of fiery birds on their tails.
They dove towards the ridge where the rendezvous point was. As soon as he landed, Silver spun about, raising his hands. From around him, dozens of rocks were lifted into the air. He hurled them past Twilight as she landed, striking the flaming birds.

“Nice work!” Twilight panted.

“Not over yet!” Silver shouted, pointing towards the other fiery beasts that were in rapid pursuit.

He and Twilight dashed down a gully that ran alongside the ridge. Both of them used their telekinesis to send boulders crashing behind them, in hopes of slowing up the enemy.
Suddenly, they reached a dead end. The only thing there was were a bunch of boulders and a sheer, mountainous rock wall.

“Silver, I thought you said this would be the rendezvous point!” Twilight cried, spinning about in the direction of the incoming monsters. She could hear them storming through the gully already. “This is bad! We can’t keep running forever!”

“Don’t worry.” Silver assured her.

“Don’t worry?!” Twilight screamed. “I haven’t been here for three full hours and I’m about to die! And you expect me not to worry?! How could things get any worse?!”

Suddenly, one of the boulders near Twilight moved, rippling and standing up. Hooves took shape, and it changed from a sandy red to black. A pair of large, blue eyes opened up.

It was a changeling.

Twilight froze as boulders all around them shifted into changelings. Her horn sparkled with magic as she prepared to defend herself.

But to her amazement, the changelings paid her no attention. Dashing past her, they began to attack the fiery monsters as they rounded the corner of the gully.

“Come on!” Silver shouted, grabbing Twilight with his telekinesis and pulling her along. “We’ve got to go!”

Suddenly, a hole appeared in the ground in front of them, Silver dove down, dragging Twilight with him.

They began to run through the tunnel. Silver seemed to be following a third figure who loomed ahead of them, hidden in the shadows.

After a while, they reached a small cave and stopped. Silver set Twilight down. She lit up her horn, illuminating the cavern. Her experience had just totally shocked and traumatized her, and now she had a piece of her mind to give to this Silver the Hedgehog.

“What in Celestia’s name are… AAAAUGH!” she screamed. The light showed the third figure’s identity.

It was a diamond dog.

“AUGH!” the diamond dog screamed.

Silver stepped up, holding his hands up between them. “It’s okay, it’s okay.” he assured them. “Scraps, this is Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle, Scraps.”

Twilight stared in amazement. “Y… you’re a diamond dog!” she cried.

“Twilight Sparkle?!” Scraps shouted. “She went to the Summer Lands centuries ago!” He narrowed his eyes. “Is this one of your changeling friends making some sort of joke? Because I don’t find it funny.”

“This is no joke.” Silver assured him. “I finally was able to find the gem that gave me the power to travel back in time and bring her here!”

“You’re a diamond dog!” Twilight shouted again.

Scraps snorted. “Insightful little filly, isn’t she?”

“You’re a diamond dog! And th-there were changelings outside!” Twilight shrieked. “What in the wide- wide world of Equestria is going on?!”

“Calm down!” Silver told her. “There have been some pretty big changes since Sol Umbrae took over. You’re going to have to adjust.”

“Oh, this’ll be rich.” Scraps chuckled. “If she’s scared of me, wait until she meets the others.”

“What others?!” Twilight shrieked.


The three of them came out of the small cave and into a large tunnel. Waiting there for them was a small steam locomotive, carrying some cars.

“Okay.” Twilight said, trying to keep her calm. “Let me get this straight. In the future, the diamond dogs and the changelings are helping everypony?”

“Well, there’s a stereotype if I’ve ever seen one.” Scraps said, hopping aboard the train. “Not all dragons are bad are they? Nor griffons? So why should all diamond dogs be bad?”

“Well, I haven’t actually seen very much of you.” Twilight admitted, as she and Silver also took their seats. “And the few I did see kidnapped my friend once. I didn‘t mean to be judgmental. I just… well, I have very bad memories about that.”

“I admit, the diamond dogs aren’t exactly known for good behavior.” Scraps agreed. “I suppose we were still at odds with ponies back in your time.”

“But changelings?!” Twilight cried. “They drain pony’s love to feed! How could they be nice now?”

“Who said we’re all nice?” Scraps asked, raising an eyebrow. “I said we’re helping ponies out. I never said any of us were nice.”

“Sol Umbrae forced us to join together.” Silver explained. “Good, bad, that wasn’t important. Old wars and conflicts suddenly didn‘t matter. The only thing which mattered was survival. As we say here now, friendship is survival.”

“Oh, that junk.” Scraps said, rolling his eyes.

“It’s not junk.” Silver stated firmly. “If it weren’t for friendship, we would end up like most of the dragons did. They refused to join with us. Look where that got them.”

“Whatever.” Scraps snorted. “I hear a buzzing coming down the tunnel. Looks like the cavalry’s back.”

From around the corner, a small cloud of changelings came swarming out of the tunnel they had just come out of. They all landed in the train’s cars. Some of them were wounded. Twilight couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge in her heart as a changeling set his injured comrade down beside her. After all, they had saved her life.

“Here, let me see that.” she said to the injured changeling. She examined him, looking at his back legs, which had been hurt by a falling boulder.

“Not too bad.” she said kindly. “The muscle has been bruised, but I think I can deal with that.” She touched each leg with her horn, and the bruises slowly faded.

“Take it easy.” she told the changeling. “It will still be pretty stiff for a while. I only wish Zecora were here with some of her potions.”

The changeling gave her a thankful smile, and despite its frightening face, it warmed her heart.

“Maybe I can learn from this.” Twilight thought as the train started up. “It looks like there are a lot of lessons on friendship I could learn here.”


When the train finally stopped and everyone got out, Twilight looked around in awe. Huge underground caverns rose all about, with arches and towers and doorways and stairs and passages every which way. Surrounding them all were enormous, beautiful crystal structures.

“Where are we?” Twilight gasped.

“This is the base and home of the Chaos Fighters.” Silver said. “We all live here.”

“But what was it?” Twilight asked. “I mean, it seems familiar.”

“I think it was the lower levels of the Crystal Castle.” Silver stated.

Twilight looked around in surprise. “So, we’re in the Crystal Empire?”

“Technically, yes.” Silver said, leading Twilight down a series of passages. “Nowadays, it’s called the Madlands.”

“Why is it called that?” Twilight asked.

“Because here things tend to be a bit… chaotic.” Silver explained. “Not so much down here as on the surface. This is one of the few places we are safe from Sol Umbrae.”

“So what did you bring me here to see?” Twilight asked.

Silver shrugged. “I hoped that you and our leader could work something out together.” he said. “I told him that I had a plan to go back in time and see if you could help us, and he seemed more than willing.”

“Just a few more questions.” Twilight asked, as they stopped in front of two huge doors. “What happened to the princesses? And why are you called the Chaos Fighters? Is it because of the Chaos Emeralds?”

Silver looked uncomfortable. “I… think my teacher is better equipped to answer those questions.” he replied.

As he pushed open the doors, Twilight gasped at the room beyond. Grassy hills rolled across the ground as waterfalls streamed upwards into the rolling sea that made up the roof. Miniature floating islands were tethered to the ground with chains, garlands, and streamers. Neon signs, trees, and oversized lollipops sprung out of the walls.

As Twilight stared in utter shocked confusion, she felt a droplet of rain on her nose. A few more droplets fell on her fur, as thunder began to rumble.
As the puddles began to form, Twilight suddenly felt a cold shock in her heart.
She looked up at the clouds, at their fluffy pinkness. And at the brown liquid streaming from them.

Chocolate milk.

“No. Not him. Anypony but him.” she cried.

The thunder pealed. Twilight turned about to run, but the door had gotten up and ran away.

“So eager to leave, my old friend?” a familiar voice asked. It was both mocking and persuasive at the same time. That might not make sense, but Twilight knew that nothing about this person made sense.
She turned to look at the sky, to face this madman.

“Discord.” she growled.

With a flash, a familiar figure appeared on a throne in the middle. A figure who looked like a mishmash of a dozen different animals. On his head was a sombrero, in his hand was a glass of chocolate milk, and on his face was that familiar, smug grin.

“Red alert.” he chuckled.


Twilight whipped about, turning towards Silver. “This?! This is who you’re all working for?! He’s insane! Worse than that, he’s EVIL!”

“Oh, now that stings.” Discord said sadly, appearing beside the two of them. “I thought you were there when I turned over a new leaf!” He sighed. “It’s the wings. Make somepony an alicorn and suddenly they forget their old friends.”

“You were never my friend!” Twilight shouted. “That was Fluttershy’s idea, and I’m still not sure it was her best!”

For the slightest hint of a moment, Twilight saw Discord’s eyes grow steely. In them, she saw something which reminded her of Shadow’s eyes; filled with grief and rage. Then Discord blinked, and the moment was gone.

“Fluttershy’s trust might just have saved Equestria from meeting the same fate as Mobius.” Discord replied casually, his cocky demeanor quickly returned. “After all, I am keeping everyone safe here, and I was the one who evacuated Mobius.”

“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna could have handled that!” Twilight cried.

“My my, for someone who talks so much about friendship, you sure are being unfriendly.” Discord said nonchalantly, pulling out a nail file and sharpening his claws in a bored manner. “Temper, temper, mon capitane.”

Twilight wanted to scream, but instead, she took a deep breath.

“You’re right. I’m sorry.” she said, although she could barely believe she was speaking these words to this person. “I should uphold my ideals of friendship, even towards someone like you.”

“That’s the spirit!” Discord cried. “Oh, how I’ve missed you. It just wasn’t the same with you gone. I suppose I still had Jean-luc and Catherine to visit, but they never actually managed to give me the challenge you did. And you are always so adorable when you’re angry! No wonder the bronies love you!”

“Look,” Twilight said, ignoring Discord’s confusing comments, “I need to know why you brought me here!”

“Ah, eager to learn, as always!” Discord laughed. He snapped his fingers, and suddenly the room was a tropical resort, although the world seemed to curl like a corkscrew.

“I brought you here because you need to do something.” Discord stated, now wearing swim trunks and a Hawaiian shirt. “Sol Umbrae is out there causing chaos.”

“Isn’t that what you do?” Twilight asked.

“Yes, but I have a creative flair.” Discord replied, picking up a piña colada from a nearby drink stand. “And I’m a spirit of chaos, not destruction. Scorching the world into a desert is amusing, I admit, but for three hundred years straight? And fire monsters?” He squished his cheeks with his hands, and assumed a sarcastic voice. “Ooo! that’s soooo original!”

Discord rolled his eyes, taking a sip of the glass and leaving the piña colada intact. “There was I time when chaos was fun, for goodness sakes! Now I’ve got to spend all my time protecting Equestria just so I can have some place to create chaos! Ugh! It’s all work and no play!”

“Is that all you care about? Your fun?” Twilight asked angrily. “Lots of ponies, and Mobians, and whatever else, are depending on you!”

“Oh, don’t worry, I look after them.” Discord said in a bored tone. “Like I said, I’m a spirit of chaos, not destruction. Anyone kicking the bucket just means one less person to play with. That’s why I made things a little interesting for everyone.”

“Interesting in what way?” Twilight asked suspiciously.

“I believe he means the Chaos Heroes.” Silver spoke up.

“The who now?” Twilight asked.

“Well, I don’t know where I got my powers from,” Silver went on, “but a lot of others here have special powers Discord gave them, to help them in the fight against Sol Umbrae.”

“Then why not just give everypony powers and attack Sol Umbrae together?” Twilight asked.

“Not so simple.” Discord replied. “Believe me, I’ve done that.” He grinned at the memory. “Now that was a sight to behold. A battle charge of thousands of superheroes, each with a unique and chaotic power! Cheese vision! Antigravity sneezes! Extending tongues that turned into snakes! Oh, it was fabulous! But we ultimately failed our goal, and had to retreat. Even all our might wasn‘t great enough to win.”

“So what about the princesses?” Twilight asked. “I’m sure they didn’t just sit by and do nothing!”

Discord shook his head. “Ah, the tragic period at the beginning. Luna did her best to save us. Poor girl. Banished to the moon again, this time for good. I have been trying to find a way to get her back, but… well, it pains me to admit it, but Sol Umbrae’s magic is beyond even my capability to counter.”

“But what about Princess Celestia?” Twilight asked fearfully. “She’s the most powerful alicorn ever!”

Discord gave a grin, but this time it held no mirth. “You really are naïve, aren’t you?” he said. “I thought the great Twilight Sparkle could do better.”

He leaned in close to Twilight. “Fiery beasts. Scorching light. The sun itself, the very light which sustains our world, becoming our greatest threat….”

He stared at Twilight, and for once, his face was grim. “Haven’t you figured it out? Celestia is Sol Umbrae.”


Twilight stood in utter shock.

“N… no. No! That can’t be true! Princess Celestia would never give in to Mephiles!”

“Oh, of course she wouldn’t.” Discord replied. “Tia was always such a goody-two-horseshoes. But she was also very, very foolish.”

“Hold on.” Silver asked. “Why didn’t you ever tell us this before?

“Well, I didn’t tell you because it didn’t really matter until now.” Discord replied offhandedly. “Now, will you please let me finish so I can explain it?”

Discord cleared his throat and went on. “Celestia might be very wise, but she does a terrible job of keeping her eyes out for threats she doesn’t expect. Didn’t she tell you that the humans stole something from her?”

“She did mention something about that.” Twilight admitted.

“It was a small sample of her blood.” Discord replied. “Now, while Celestia knew her magic well, she never bothered to study Mobian science. You see, at the time the humans stole the blood, they thought they could use it for some magical ritual. But over time, they learned that they could use science to do something even greater.”

Discord turned towards Twilight. “You know the basics of genetic, correct?”

“Of course!” Twilight replied. “I’ve known them since before I even came to Ponyville.”

“Well,” Discord went on, “Equestria was wise enough never to go beyond simple study. But these humans decided to try the impossible. Using a mixture of cloning and genetic engineering, they tried to create their own sun god. A being they called Solaris.”

Twilight was aghast. “S-Solaris? That was… you mean… that was made from Celestia?”

“Yes, the being Iblis was a product of an attempt to clone your sun goddess. And it was only a fraction of her power.” Discord answered. “Imagine Sol Umbrae.”

“Who’s Solaris?” Silver asked. “And who’s Iblis?”

Discord gave a sigh. “Oh, by the way Twilight, want to try your memory spell on Silver here? It might make things easier for you later on.”

“Wait, a memory spell?” Silver asked. “You mean I have suppressed memories?”

Discord laughed. “Oh, more than you could imagine. You really don’t know who you are, do you?”

Discord appeared at Silver’s side. “The time-walker. The hero of the future. You have relived your life over and over again, each time only to go back, erase it, and start again. In most cases, your past remains the same, and your future is the only thing that changes, letting you remember your deeds. But there was a time when the name Iblis, and how to destroy it, was all that filled you mind.”

“Wait. Silver was there during the Solaris incident?” Twilight asked.

Discord gave a bored sigh. “Yes, yes, of course he was. ‘Destroy the Iblis Trigger!’, ‘It’s no uuuuse!’ and on and on. He had the same angry dedication that Tia tends to get when I show up.”

Discord disappeared, reappearing in front of them in a flash of light. He snapped his fingers, and suddenly they were back in his chaotic throne room.

“Now, once you perform the memory spell, you’ll have a very important mission.” Discord stated. “You see, Nightmare Moon, or Mephiles, or Sol Umbrae, or whatever you prefer to call it, only could possess Celestia and have her might because of the Sol Emeralds, everyone knows that. But what they don’t know is that this Mephiles only managed to do so by drawing power from a direct source of Celestia: the blood samples. That was the only way he could be accepted into her body, and keep her from being able to resist him. Your task is simple: destroy those samples, and all research on the Solaris project. That might give just enough of a chance for Celestia to be able to resist this shadow being and prevent this terrible future.”

“B-but I’ve tried changing the past before!” Twilight cried. “It doesn’t work! I just came back to find I had already done what I had set out to do!”

Discord smiled. “But you already have, Twilight Sparkle.”

Twilight looked confused. “But… then shouldn’t the future have changed?”

“It hasn’t changed because you haven’t won.” Discord replied with a grin. “The past may be fixed, but the future is always in motion.”

Twilight looked confused. “But… then… do you even exist? And aren’t I just your past?”

“Some things are destined to be.” Discord replied. “From what I know, there isn’t a future in Mobius where Silver isn’t born.”

“But….” Twilight struggled to understand.

The entire throne room had begun to crumble, and debris was streaming upwards into the sky as Discord leaned close. “There are other forces in this world, Twilight Sparkle, beside the will of evil. Silver was meant to find you, and that also means you were meant to help him. And that is an encouraging thought.”

Twilight sighed. “This is like that day with Pinkie Pie and her Pinkie sense, isn’t it?” she asked as the world began to crumble upwards around her. “I don’t understand. I just need to have faith.”

“Have faith?” Discord asked. “Interesting choice of words, Twilight Sparkle. I believe you’ve just solved your own problem.”

Discord laughed, riding into the crumbling skies upon a cloud of cotton candy.

“What do you mean, I’ve solved my own problem?” Twilight called after him. “That doesn’t even make sense!”

She could hear Discord’s voice just as clearly as ever as it echoed about her. “My dear, for the first time in ages, I am making perfect sense. You just don’t know it yet.”

Then everything disappeared with a final flash of brilliant light.


Twilight Sparkle and Silver suddenly found themselves in a place Twilight didn’t recognize. But Silver did.

“Wonder why he transported us to my apartment.” Silver mumbled. He sighed, walking into the kitchen. “Okay, now you’ve met the master, and my teacher. And let me just tell you, don’t try to make sense of what he said. It will either come to you in time, or it will never make sense. Would you like a drink?”

Twilight was still a little dazed by what had just happened, and was trying to figure things out. “Then the future… and the past… but then… or maybe….”

“Twilight, I told you, forget it.” Silver said. “Believe me, if this whole time stuff is confusing you, Discord’s description probably won’t do much good. Just do like you said. Have faith. Now, we have apple juice, wheat juice, chocolate milk….”

“Wheat juice will do fine.” Twilight replied, flopping down on a couch. She suddenly noticed how unusual the pleasant settings were, considering the circumstances the world was in.

“One great thing about us Mobians coming here is that you pony folk have a talent for making the best of a bad situation.” Silver explained, seeing her confused looks. “Back in the early days, the Spirit of Generosity did wonders for our morale, helping us make homes in these caverns. She always furnished them well, stating that the battle for hope and morale was just as important as the one we were fighting up on the surface.”

“Rarity?!” Twilight exclaimed, taking the wheat juice as Silver handed it to her telekinetically. Then she smiled. “Actually, I’m not surprised. The world’s ending, and she’s still focused on style. And yet it appears that it was a wise choice. Although I never knew Rarity thought of style with that kind of depth. I always thought that it was merely because she liked it, but it sounds like she’s found something very important in style and fashion. She did it for the betterment of others. Giving of herself as usual. Suddenly all those free outfits she gives away make sense.” Twilight sighed, taking a sip of her wheat juice. “Generosity indeed.”

“Care for a snack?” Silver asked. “I’ve got potato chips, cheese doodles, pretzels. If you want I have some crackers and cheese paste, or an apple or a banana. There’s also some leftover pizza I could warm up, and there’s some salad and coleslaw and… I think I have some of those cupcakes Maraschino Cherry gave me.”

Twilight’s stomach growled. She hadn’t eaten since she had left for Tails’ lab to meet Blaze, and now she was starving.

“I wouldn’t like to impose….” she said.

Silver waved his hand dismissively. “Discord creates food storms all the time for us. Chaos for him, meals for us, so everyone’s happy. We still make some of our own foods, but supplies aren’t easy to come by. Thank goodness the changelings don’t really eat food.”

“How do you feed them?” Twilight asked. “Draining love is kind of… well, it’s not exactly something anyone would want to happen to them.”

“Well, the changelings usually get married, or find a friend, or something.” Silver said. “That way, the love is directed at the changeling themselves, so they don’t have to steal love . It’s supposedly a purer, better taste and healthier when it’s genuine. And it doesn‘t hurt the person they get it from.”

Twilight looked surprised. “You know… I wonder if we couldn’t find a way to do that in Equestria back in my time.” she mused. “We might be able to actually have peace with the changelings, then.”

“Well, friendship is survival.” Silver stated. “Especially for a changeling. Now, I could try and make a new pizza. I have the ingredients, and I’ve been told I make good pizza.”

“Well, if I’m not imposing.” Twilight accepted.

“What kind of toppings?” Silver asked

Twilight thought for a few moments. “Bell peppers and olives.” she said. “If you don’t have them, I could probably use a transformation spell to make them.”

“Nah, I got ‘em.” Silver replied, pulling them out of the fridge. “It’s Hawaiian for me. Care for anything while you’re waiting?”

“I guess I could go for some of that coleslaw.” Twilight said.

Silver raised his hand, pulling a bowl out of the cabinet with his psychokinesis, then pulling the coleslaw out of the refrigerator, while with his hands he was rolling out the pizza dough. Twilight watched as Silver accidentally spilled some as he poured it into a bowl.

“You know, a spoon might work better.” she suggested.

Silver blushed. “I’m… not too good at moving things with great accuracy.” he explained. “I can throw a boulder the size of a house, but I have a hard time making a spoon scoop something out of a bucket.”

“Maybe I could help.” Twilight said. “Once this is over, we could….” Her voice drifted off. “If you change the past… will you remember me?”

Silver looked sad. “I… don’t know. I remember some of my past adventures on Mobius. I mean, because of my method of time travel, I tend to retain the memories, and not receive new ones from the life I supposedly led. So even if I change the future, it doesn’t change my past. I tended to think it was always like that. But what memories do I have that I can’t remember? How important were they? Most importantly, who did I forget? Did I forget friends or loved ones?”

“Only one way to find out.” Twilight said, gesturing with her hoof for him to come over to her.

Moving away from the half-made pizza, Silver gingerly approached her.

“What if the memories are bad?” His voice showed a touch of worry.

“You’ll never know unless you try.” Twilight replied.

Silver sighed and closed his eyes. “All right. Do it.”

Twilight touched her horn to Silver’s forehead, and a spark of magic shimmered.

Silver looked dazed for a moment. Then he caught his head and suddenly sat down on a nearby chair.

“Blaze.” he whispered. “How could I… forget?” His eyes were teary.

“You knew Blaze?” Twilight asked in surprise.

Silver smiled. “She was like a sister to me.” he replied. Suddenly he did a double take. “Wait, you know Blaze, too?”

“I met her not too long ago.” Twilight replied. Suddenly her eyes opened in realization. “Wait. She talked about a friend of hers named Silver! You mean… but I thought that you were from centuries beyond her time!”

“It’s a long story.” Silver sighed. “Suffice to say, I’m not the only one who has traveled through time before.”

“Well, when we get back, you can see Blaze again!” Twilight said brightly.

Silver’s eyes grew all teary. Suddenly, to Twilight’s surprise, he leapt up and hugged her.

“Thank you. So much.” he said with an emotional smile. “I… the last time I saw Blaze, I thought I would never see her again.”

Suddenly feeling awkward about his affectionate display, Silver drew away and awkwardly scratched the back of his head.
“So, um… I guess I’ll get to work on that pizza!” he said, suddenly looking as if the weight of the world had fallen from his shoulders. He glided into the kitchen, and as he began to work, Twilight smiled, for she heard him humming.

Let's Do It to It!

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Chapter 11: Let’s Do It To It!

The Ponyville Freedom Fighters were discussing their next course of action.

“Alright, first off, we all gotta try and round up any other ponies that managed to escape.” Granny Smith stated. “There’s strength in numbers, as they say.”

“Agreed.” Octavia concurred. “I’ve made a list of the various places that any escapees would be most likely to take refuge in. There is actually a possibility that many ponies will come to us, in hopes of finding Zecora. Speaking of which, where is Zecora, Miss Bon-Bon?

“Nowhere to be found.” Bon-Bon replied. “She wasn’t here when I came to ask for some ingredients a few days ago either, and that was before the invasion.”

“Do y’all think she might have gone with Twilight?” Applebloom asked.

“I don’t know.” Bon-Bon replied. “But, though I don’t like the idea of borrowing things without permission, I recommend that we see if Zecora’s house holds anything useful.”

“Woah, Bon-Bon!” Lyra exclaimed. “Are you, you of all ponies, suggesting breaking and entering?”

“Yeah, and who knows how to make potions and stuff?” Scootaloo added.

“I have learned a few recipes from Zecora and the other zebras.” Bon-Bon stated. “You don’t think my magical candies just appeared out of nowhere, did you? And I would not suggest this if this weren’t an emergency. I’m quite sure that Zecora would approve.”

“Well, Bon-Bon, you see what you can find at Zecora’s.” Octavia stated. “My suggestion is that we send as many of us as we can to explore the hiding areas I have surmised are most likely to have refugees. I think our first target should be Sugarcube Corner.”

Vinyl Scratch tossed her subwoofer bass cannon onto her shoulder. “Then let’s rock and roll.”


Sneaking into Ponyville was harder than the Ponyville Freedom Fighters had expected. Robots were patrolling the streets everywhere.

“I still don’t like the idea of bringin’ the fillies into this.” Big Macintosh mumbled.

“Sweetie Belle’s… newfound abilities will be invaluable in detecting other ponies.” Octavia stated.

“And the Cutie Mark Crusaders ain’t about to be split up.” Apple Bloom whispered.

Big Macintosh shook his head, but remained silent.

“So, what’s the plan?” Lyra asked.

“We’ll need some cover.” Octavia stated. “Some fog would be helpful.” She turned towards Carrot Top. “Miss Harvest?”

Carrot Top looked shocked. “I… Octavia, I’m not sure I can do something like that.”

“There is a difference between humility and underestimating yourself.” Octavia replied evenly. “I have faith in you.”

“Don’t forget, Ditzy Doo might be in there.” Vinyl Scratch added.

At the mention of Ditzy Doo, Carrot Top’s face grew stern. “Very well. I’ll try.” she said.

She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Standing up on her back hooves, she put her front hooves together above her head, then crooked her right hind leg against her left.

“What’s she doing?” Scootaloo asked.

“Shh! Let her concentrate.” Lyra hushed.

Carrot Top spread her hooves. A flicker of green fire licked across them.

Suddenly, a cloud of fog rolled in about them, blanketing them in thick, impenetrable mist. They could barely see one another now.

Carrot Top approached out of the mist. “I… I think this will be good enough.” she stated.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders stared in shock. “D-did you just use magic?” Scootaloo asked.

“But y’all are an earth pony, like me!” Apple Bloom said in surprise.

Carrot Top gave a shy grin. “I learned from Zecora. It’s… a really, really long story.”

“Understatement of the year.” Vinyl Scratch chuckled.

“We can reminisce later.” Octavia stated. “Right now, our goal is to reach Sugar Cube Corner undetected. Ponyville Freedom Fighters, move out.”


“I can sense lifeforms nearby.” Sweetie Belle said quietly. “I think you were right, Miss Octavia. They seem to be coming from Sugar Cube Corner.”

When the group finally arrived at Sugar Cube Corner, it looked like a war zone. Sparking remains of robots, covered in frosting, pastry, and whipped cream lay in the streets.
Apple Bloom dipped her hoof into the remains of an apple pie, tasting it.

“Fresh.” she murmured.

Gingerly, the ponies approached Sugar Cube Corner. Big Macintosh went first, slowly peering into a window.


Suddenly, a purple mare with a light pink mane and a triple daisy Cutie Mark smacked Big Macintosh directly in the face with a banana cream pie.

“Big Mac!” Apple Bloom cried, as Big Macintosh stumbled backwards in a daze.

The purple pony suddenly looked horrified. “Big Macintosh? Oh, I’m so sorry!”

“Miss Cheerilee!” the Cutie Mark Crusaders cried out.

Cheerilee turned towards them, and her face lit up. “Girls! I was so worried about you!” she cried. “Quickly, everypony inside! Mr. and Mrs. Cake, open the door!”

There was the sound of moving furniture, and the door to Sugar Cube Corner swing open. The yellow stallion holding the door open looked extremely relieved, as was the blue mare with the magenta mane beside him.

“Thank goodness!” Mr. Cake breathed. “We thought you were more of those robots.”

“We’re so glad you’re all right!” Mrs. Cake added. “Hurry, get inside before they see you!”

Everypony dashed inside as quickly as possible, and Mr. Cake slammed the door and began putting furniture against it to brace it.

Cheerilee ran up and hugged Apple Bloom and Scootaloo. But she stopped for a moment when she saw Sweetie Belle.

“Dearie… are you okay?” she asked concernedly.

“I’m still Sweetie Belle in here.” Sweetie Belle replied.

“And she saved our lives!” Apple Bloom and Scootaloo chimed in.

“Well!” Cheerilee exclaimed, giving Sweetie Belle a hug as well. “You’re still my student, no matter what. And I’m glad to see that you’re still yourself.” She turned toward Big Macintosh, blushing a bit. “And I am so sorry about that pie. You aren’t hurt, are you?”

“Eenope.” Big Macintosh replied.

A pair of twin mares, one light pink with a smooth, pale blue mane, one pale blue with a smooth, light pink mane, came rushing up to Big Macintosh and began scrubbing off the cream and pastry.

“Oh, you need a good cleaning.” the blue mare said in a European accent. “We’ll have this all washed up in a… Aloe! Stop scraping off the cream on him and eating it!”

“Oh, lighten up, Lotus!” Aloe replied, sucking on her pink hoof. “It’s tasty!”

Lotus sighed. “Forgive my sister. She’s just… exuberant.” she said to a slightly embarrassed Big Mac as Aloe scooped another hooffull of cream and putting it in her mouth.

Carrot Top marched over to the Cakes and Cheerilee. “So, who else is here?” she asked.

“Well, a few of my students are here.” Cheerilee replied. She pointed underneath a table. “There’s two of them. I feel sorry for the poor dears, but they’ve done nothing but bully the others and complain this whole time.”

“And about the food, of all things.” Mrs. Cake huffed. “This is Sugar Cube Corner! You couldn’t have gotten trapped in a place with better food outside of Canterlot!”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders gave one another jaded looks. “That attitude sounds familiar.” Apple Bloom mumbled.

From beneath the table, a pink filly with a white and purple mane crawled out, followed by a grey filly with a silvery mane.

“So, you finally showed up.” the pink filly said grumpily. “I suppose you were off crying like babies.”

“Or hiding under your beds.” the grey filly added.

“Well, you two are the same old bullies we knew.” Scootaloo retorted. “And if I heard right, Diamond Tiara, you and Silver Spoon here were doing most of the whining.”

The pink filly gave a scoff. “And just what were you doing? Running for your mothers?”

“Actually, Scootaloo and Apple Bloom came to rescue me.” Sweetie Belle said, stepping up. At the sight of the robotic filly, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon fearfully shied away.

“After we all escaped Eggman’s base,” Sweetie Belle continued, “we went and rallied the ponies at Sweet Apple Acres and went into the Everfree Forest to prepare our next move. And I personally battled timberwolves and a cockatrice all by myself! So there!”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon merely gulped, unwilling to argue with this little juggernaut.

Meanwhile, Carrot Top was still asking about who else was present.

“Is there anypony else here?” she pressed.

“Let’s see.” Cheerilee mused. “You already met Aloe and Lotus. Roseluck and Berry Punch are here, too. And Nurse Redheart is looking after Screw Loose. (The poor girl is getting stressed by the situation. Started barking again, and was a little embarrassed about it when the fighting stopped.) And then Wildfire is….”

“What about Ditzy Doo?” Carrot Top said desperately. “ Where is she? Where’s Derpy?”

Cheerilee and the Cakes shared awkward glances. “Um… she… she doesn’t want to see anyone.” Cheerilee stated.

“So she’s here?! Carrot Top exclaimed. “Where?!”

“She… wants to be alone.” Mrs. Cake replied. “She was captured for a while, and… well, she managed to escape, but….”

“Where. Is. She?” Carrot Top demanded, grabbing Mrs. Cake’s shoulders.

Mrs. Cake sighed. “In the basement storage room.” she finally relented. “But….”

Carrot Top was gone before she could say another word. She swung open the basement door and dashed down.

“Derpy, it’s me!” she cried. “It’s me! Carrot Top!”

“G-go away!” a voice in the corner cried. In the shaft of light from above, Carrot Top saw a grey hoof, a blonde mane, and a flank with a familiar Cutie Mark of bubbles. In the dark, a pair of golden eyes, facing in different directions and sparkling with tears, stared out.

“Ditzy, it’s me.” Carrot Top said softly, slowly approaching her.

“Don’t come near me!” Derpy cried. “I… I don’t want you to see me like this!”

“See you like what?” Carrot Top asked. She reached out a hoof into the shadows, and smoothed it over Derpy’s soft mane, and down to her wings.
Suddenly, Carrot Top’s hoof clanged against something hard.

Something metal.

“D-ditzy?” she said concernedly. “A-are you okay?”

“No.” Derpy replied. “S-something happened. I accidentally broke something in the robot-making machine, and….”

“Derpy, let me see you.” Carrot Top asked softly.

Sighing, Derpy put her left hoof forwards. It clopped upon the hard floor.

But her second step clanged.

Carrot Top gave a small gasp as Derpy stepped out of the darkness. Her wings, her right front leg, and both back legs, were made of metal.

Derpy sighed. “I just don’t know what went wrong.”


Carrot Top couldn’t help but stare for a moment.
“Y-you’re half robot?” she asked.

Derpy sniffed “I know you’re probably scared of….”

She was cut off as Carrot Top threw her hooves around her.

“I’m just glad you’re safe.” Carrot Top said happily, tears of relief in her eyes.

“S-so you’re not scared of me?” Derpy asked.

Carrot Top gave a laugh of pure relief. “Of course not! You’re the sweetest mare I know!”

Derpy’s face lit up. “So you don’t mind that I’m like this?!”

“You’re still the same old Derpy!” Carrot Top laughed. The suddenly her face went serious. “Oh, my.” she thought to herself. “She is the same old Derpy!” Carrot Top instantly though of Sweetie Belle and her newfound strength.

“Maybe you should just rest and take it easy.” Carrot Top said. “I mean, well, Sweetie Belle had something similar happen to her, and… well, she’s a lot stronger now. And no offence, sweetie, but you do tend to be a little clumsy.”
Derpy gave a big grin. “Oh yeah? Guess who trashed about half those robots outside?” she asked. “If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s breaking stuff.”

Carrot Top grinned. “I’m not surprised.” she replied. “I knew you’d make a good hero. And there’s no need to be ashamed of how you look. I’m sure we’ll find a way to change you back.”

“Just one thing, Carrot.” Derpy asked.

“What’s that?” Carrot Top asked.

Derpy shuffled her hooves. “Um… do you think… if we have the time, that is… we could maybe make some muffins?”

Carrot Top laughed. “Of course, Derpy.”


“Well, let’s see what the Cakes have.”


Vinyl Scratch stared out of the window into the streets. The fog had already begun to lift, but a dark cloud still hung over Ponyville.

“So, what about the other towns?” she asked Mr. Cake. “Is Eggman attacking them, too?”

“He seems to be focusing on building up his forces here.” Mr. Cake replied. “More and more robots and flying ships come through the portal all the time. He’s building up an army.”

Vinyl sighed. “So, Octy explained the idea to you guys?”

Mr. Cake nodded. “I don’t like the idea of going into the Everfree Forest, but I can’t keep my wife and the babies here. I suppose, for once, the Everfree Forest is the safest place to go right now.”

“Not that idea.” Vinyl replied. “Eggman has the Elements of Harmony, and their wielders are in another world right now. We’re hoping that we can get the Elements somehow and maybe see if Princess Celestia can’t do something with them to help us.”

Mr. Cake looked alarmed. “That sounds dangerous!” he exclaimed.

“It’s either that or hide in the Everfree Forest for the rest of our lives.” Vinyl Scratch replied. “Which is not cool, if you ask me.”

“Maybe we should wait for the princesses to claim the Elements.” Cheerilee suggested.

“Rainbow Dash would never wait around for the princesses to save us!” Scootaloo cried out.

“Rainbow Dash doesn’t wait for anything, dearie.” Cheerilee reminded her.

“But Applejack would do the same thing!” Apple Bloom stated.

“And so would Rarity!” Sweetie Belle added. “She may be prissy, but she wouldn’t ever give up!”

Mr. and Mrs. Cake exchanged glances. “I can’t say Pinkie Pie wouldn’t do the same.” they agreed.

“So, we’re doin’ it?” Vinyl asked excitedly.

Cheerilee shrugged her shoulders. “I suppose our options are very limited.” she admitted. “But I’m not allowing the foals on such an excursion.”

“Agreed.” the other ponies said, despite the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ disappointed arguing.

“So,” Octavia said thoughtfully, “we must return to the Everfree Forest. We should all carry as many supplies as we can. From there, we can make our plans.”


It was rather difficult to sneak out of the overrun Ponyville, but eventually they made it. Big Macintosh had managed to haul virtually everything but Sugar Cube Corner itself out to the hideout, and everypony was now preparing for their next move.

Bon-Bon returned, her saddlebags laden with potions. “I already have made three trips.” she stated, setting the potions down near a pile of other elixirs. “Big Macintosh, do you think you could help me carry the rest? I could never hope to lift Zecora’s cauldron on my own.”

“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh agreed.

“I’ll help out!” Lyra volunteered. “A unicorn could be handy for grabbing all that stuff up quickly.”

Meanwhile, Octavia, Granny Smith, and Cheerilee were trying to design a strategy for getting the Elements of Harmony.

“We all know Ponyville like the back of our hooves.” Granny Smith stated. “Gettin’ to that big ol’ egg-shaped thingamadoo ain’t the problem. It’s what’s inside that we ain’t familiar with.”

“And the girls were only in there a few minutes.” Cheerilee stated. “And anyways, I would not want to bring them into this.”

“I don’t like the idea of going in blind.” Octavia said, looking thoughtful. “We’ll need a spy to give us some idea of where to go.”

“Um, excuse me.” a voice said.

The ponies all turned to see Derpy standing there awkwardly, shuffling her hooves.

“When, um… this happened,” she said, holding up a metal hoof, “I was also made to know stuff, too. I have a map of the Egg Dome inside my head.”

Carrot Top came up next to Derpy. “I know it might sound crazy following Derpy’s directions, but… well, I trust her on this.”

“Not to be rude, but Ditzy Doo’s sense of direction is rather muddled.” Vinyl Scratch spoke up.

“I know.” Derpy agreed. “But not here! It’s like I just know. Everything makes sense. I’m not trying to guess the path. I already know it. It‘s like a special map so the robots won‘t get lots in their big home.”

Octavia sighed. “It’s not like we have much of a choice.” she admitted. “I don’t like the notion of sending anypony in there alone to spy, considering all the security.”

“What about the security in the town?” Carrot Top asked.

Vinyl Scratch grinned. “That’s where the strike force comes in.” she said, shouldering her bass cannon.

Granny Smith nodded. “Well, if’n we’re finished here, I’m gonna go help the Cakes whip up some pies and pastries. Celestia knows we’ll need ammunition tomorrow.”

“I’ll help.” Carrot Top said, following after her.

In the corner, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were whining about everything from the weather to the living conditions. A bit further away, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were sitting and stewing.

“After all we did to help, they won’t let us go!” Scootaloo huffed.

“T’aint fair.” Apple Bloom grumbled.

Sweetie Belle, however, was standing alertly. “Girls,” she said, making sure to whisper so nopony could overhear them, “I don’t think the other know I can hear them. They talked about Derpy having a map in her head because she’s part robot now.”

“So?” Scootaloo asked.

“So, I’m a robot now!” Sweetie Belle whispered. “Maybe we can sneak in while the others are distracting Eggman, grab the Elements, and run!”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom instantly were at attention.

“We’ll need disguises again.” Apple Bloom mused. “I’ll have to get to work on those. Scootaloo, y’all get to the Crusader Tree Fortress and get me some supplies. Sweetie Belle, you go with her for safety. I‘ll cover for y‘all so nopony knows you’re missin’.”

“I’m on it!” Scootaloo said with a salute.

“You can count on us!” Sweetie Belle said as loud as she dared.

They quietly slapped their hooves together above their heads. “Cutie Mark Crusader Super Spies! Yay!”


The next morning, before dawn, the Ponyville Freedom Fighters quietly approached the edge of Ponyville. Big Macintosh, Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, and Derpy headed the group. Close behind them, Carrot Top had an oversized carrot strapped to her back, and her mane tied back with a green bow. Lyra was walking along on her hind hooves, her front hooves encased in magical energy that formed into hands, both of which already held a pie. Bon-Bon walked quietly alongside them, her saddlebags bulging with magical candies. She was chewing some gum to help calm herself.

Behind them, Aloe and Lotus carried an odd arsenal that they had salvaged from their spa. Incense, shampoo, perfume atomizers, soap, and dozens of other things filled their saddle bags. Lotus looked determined as she strode forwards to reclaim her spa. Aloe, however, looked excited, and was smearing herself with a bottle of massage oil to make herself harder to grab.

At the rear, Mr. Cake was pulling a large cart filled with a huge assortment of pastries, and beside him marched Granny Smith in a soldier’s helmet. She had flat-out refused to stay behind, exclaiming that she was still a dead aim with a pie. Behind them, more ponies trotted along, each carrying as many pastries or other type of weapons as they could.

Octavia waited at they reached the edge, quietly gesturing for ponies to get to their positions.

“When the sun rises, we charge, with Celestia to guide us.” Octavia stated. “Vinyl, get ready to sound the charge.”

Vinyl Scratch grinned, holding her bass cannon towards the sky. Octavia drew her rapier. Big Macintosh pawed the ground. Derpy munched on her muffin.

“Prepare yourselves.” Octavia whispered.


Behind the group, following discreetly, the Cutie Mark Crusaders marched along in their disguises.

“I sure hope this works again.” Scootaloo mumbled.

“Don’t worry, Scootabot!” Apple Bloom said jokingly.

“So, what’s the plan again?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Simple.” Apple Bloom stated. “When everypony’s distracted by the fight, we slip inside, y’all use your robot senses to find the Elements, we grab ‘em, then git outta there before anypony notices! Easy!”

Sweetie Belle sighed. “The last time you said that, we got covered in tree sap.” she muttered.


The light of the sun slowly rose above the hills, and the sky was turning purple and orange.

“Ready, Vinyl?” Octavia asked.

Vinyl Scratch nodded.

The sun slowly peek over the first hill, and a shaft of light struck the Ponyville Freedom Fighters.
Vinyl Scratch held her bass cannon high, and a deafening blast of dubstep shattered the morning tranquility.

“CHAAARRRGE!” Vinyl shouted.


The streets were filled with robots. As soon as they heard the raucous sound of Vinyl Scratch battle cry, they rallied to meet the opposition.

But the got quite a surprise.

Big Macintosh charged through first, plowing through the machines like a newly tilled field. He smashed through even the towering giant robots which stood high above everypony.

Octavia was dashing about, deftly avoiding attacks and cutting down the robots with an elegant ease. She moved swiftly and agilely, propelling herself off of awnings to leap into the heat of the battle.

Ponies began to swarm the streets, filling the air with pies and cakes and rocks and magic and fruit and whatever else they had acquired.

Carrot Top leapt from roof to roof, hurling pumpkin pies at a series of wasp-like robots. She dove from the edge to land atop a towering robot, smacking it in the face with a pie, then shoving it and steering it so that it crashed into another giant robot. She leapt to the ground, landing on all four hooves. As a platoon of robots approached her, Carrot Top then grabbed the giant carrot from her back, holding the stalk in her mouth. As she charged, she bashed through the robots, smacking them with the oversized vegetable.

As she came to a stop near Mr. Cake and began to reload on pies, Mr. Cake stared in shock.

“Long story.” Carrot Top explained, seeing his expression. “Zecora had to teach me a few things to save my special somepony.”

“I have got to hear that story some time.” Mr. Cake said, tossing a couple black forest cakes at the surrounding robots.

An ear-shattering blast filled the air, and a huge group of robots went flying.

“I sure hope everypony’s having as much fun with this as I am!” Vinyl Scratch shouted, letting another sonic blast loose that caused the ground to shake as a crowd of robots was thrown back.

“Yay! I am! I am!” Aloe cried. She was tossing bunches of incense sticks like smoke bombs. A robot got too close, and Aloe smashed it with an overly-vigorous back massage.

“Keep your mind in the fight, sister.” Lotus shouted, blinding a robot with a towel before delivering a few well-placed strikes. She tossed a bottle of shampoo on the ground, slipping another group up, then sprayed another robot with a bluish mixture from her perfume atomizer. The robot quickly turned pink and sticky as it collapsed into a pile of bubble gum.

“Nice work with the Poison Joke potions!” Lotus called to Bon-Bon.

Bon-Bon was holding a pump and spraying the robots with sticky treacle. “It’s basically just Poison Joke in liquid form! Very simple!” Bon-Bon shouted in reply. “Don’t get any on yourself!”

Bon-Bon suddenly gasped as a group of robots landed around her, surrounding her. She tried to spray them with the treacle, but they grabbed her.

“Hey!” Lyra shouted angrily. “No one hurts Bon-Bon!”

Dozens of hands made of golden magic soared over to Mr. Cake’s cart, and picked up a pile of pies. Soon the air was filled with an unstoppable barrage of pastry.
The last robot was grabbed by a giant golden fist, and hurled into the river, where it shorted out.

Lyra landed next to Bon-Bon, standing on her back hooves.

“Th-thanks.” Bon-Bon gasped.

“No biggie.” Lyra said brightly, turning to send a couple more hands to throw back more of the approaching robots. “You looked like you needed a hand.” She gave a big, cheesy grin at the pun.

Suddenly, there was a great crash, and the sound of jet engines and lasers. Derpy skidded through the robot crowd, doing more damage as Big Macintosh, although not necessarily on purpose.

“Oops! My bad! Look out, everypony!” Derpy cried.

Her robotic wings were shooting out flame as they jetted her about, skidding along on her back, while she tried to control the laser gun in her front hoof. She became airborne again, and began to fly about in dizzy spirals, crashing into a group of towering robots and knocking them down like dominoes.

From below, Carrot Top shook her head. “Derpy’s destructive enough as her normal self.” she mumbled. “With cyborg powers, I almost feel sorry for Eggman.”

“Well, Derpy’s great at breakin’ stuff, and that’s exactly what we need right now!” Granny Smith cried, hurling two apple pies at once.

A crowd of robots nearby was smashed as a huge robot topped over on top of them. Big Macintosh leapt up on top of the mechanical behemoth, giving it a final smash.

“The way’s clearin‘ up!” he bellowed. “Let’s move, everypony!”


The Cutie Mark Crusaders snuck up to the Egg Dome.

“This’ll be a cinch.” Apple Bloom whispered. The three Crusaders strode over to the guards.

“Ah, Robo-pony! Scootabot! Good to see you again!” the one guard stated.
“Yes! You look different. New upgrades, perhaps?” the second added.

Suddenly they looked at Sweetie Belle.

“Wait a minute.” the first guard said suspiciously.

Suddenly, he hit a button on the wall. An alarm started to blare.
“I need support down here, ASAP!” he cried. “I recognize the rogue roboticized unicorn! I believe units Scootabot and Robo-pony are in league with her!”

“You idiot!” Eggman’s voice came over the intercom. “There are no robots in service with those names! They are imposters!”

Suddenly, more robots appeared and grabbed the Crusaders. They struggled, but even Sweetie Belle couldn’t break free.

“We’ll have to install some new hardware onto the unicorn to suppress her free will.” Eggman stated. “As for the other two… take them to the roboticizer. They won’t be keeping their free will this time.”

I Have To Find a Way

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Chapter 12: I Have To Find a Way

“You do make a good pizza.” Twilight stated to Silver as she finished her last slice. “Thanks for that. Maybe someday you can come visit me, and I can introduce you to Spike.”

Silver looked a little surprised. “Spike?”

“Yeah. My number one assistant.” Twilight said. “He’s kind of like my little brother.” She gave him a shrewd glance. “Do you… know anything about him?”

Silver sighed. “Well, I can’t really cause any problems the timeline if I’m already trying to make this future not exist.” he said thoughtfully. “I suppose I might as well tell you that he’s here. But he’s no baby anymore. Not as big as the other dragons, but still, his magic is more powerful than most of them.”

Twilight looked shocked. “Spike… he’s… he’s grown up?”

“Yeah.” Silver said. “He’s been a great help. He’s now our head of communications. But I’m afraid I can’t let you see him.”

“Why not?” Twilight asked disappointedly.

“Because it would be too dangerous.” Silver replied. “Discord isn’t going to change in just a few centuries, but… well, Spike’s different in this future. I don’t want to influence what you may expect of him.”

Twilight sighed. “I suppose that makes sense.” she stated dejectedly. She got to her hooves. “So, when do we leave?”

“In a moment.” Silver replied. He gestured to a closet, which opened. Silver then telekinetically lifted out two black scuba outfits and a pair of oxygen tanks.

“I know where we have to go next.” Silver stated, stepping into the suit. Twilight put on her own suit, surprised that it was made for a pony.

“Where exactly is that?” she asked.

“To where the first sample of Celestia’s blood is kept.” Silver replied. “The underwater Solianna lab.”

Silver and Twilight put in their mouth pieces, then Silver held his magical gem up high.

“Kronos Control!”


Twilight felt very odd as she suddenly appeared underwater. For a moment, she panicked, then she realized that she could breath through the strange suit.

“I could have performed a spell for us to breathe underwater, you know.” she said in a garbled voice.

Silver simply shrugged. He pointed towards a large structure that surrounded them.
Twilight stared in surprise. She could see people walking through thick glass tubes that connected the various parts of the base.
Silver motioned for her to follow him. They moved over to a glass tube where Twilight could see a heavily locked door. On the outside were some words. She looked closer and read them.

Solaris Project. Top Secret. Do Not Enter.

She gave a nod to Silver. Suddenly, there was a flash of magic, and they appeared inside the lab beside the door.

Silver pulled his mask off and gasped. “Are you crazy?” he cried. He put a hand on Twilight, and she felt his telekinesis pulse through her.

“You could get the bends depressurizing that quickly.” Silver said, as his telekinetic force gradually weakened around both of them. “I had us when we came in, and was keeping our pressure stable. Next time, warn me before you do something like that!”

Twilight slapped her forehead. “I know, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe I forgot that, after all I read about diving safety. I guess I just was so intent on getting to the door….”

“Hey, no big deal.” Silver said, catching his breath. “I just… overreacted. I made sure we’re safe now. We’ve adapted to the pressure normally. I’m sorry I freaked out. I’m just… nervous.”

“You’re not alone there.” Twilight agreed.

There was a flash, and they appeared behind the door. Twilight shook her head.

“You people really need some decent magical wards.” she mumbled.

Silver approached a small phial which stood in a small stand by itself. It bore no label, just an emblem.

Celestia’s emblem.

“Those humans knew exactly what they were doing.” Twilight said angrily.

“I don’t think they meant any harm.” Silver said. “With my memories restored, I can remember them. The king of Solianna was one of the people who worked on this. I think their hopes were that Mobius could have a guardian like Celestia as well.”

“Doesn’t justify what they did.” Twilight replied, picking up the phial with her magic.

Silver gave a mirthless smirk. “I’m the last person you need to tell that.” he said. “Iblis was all I knew for much of my life.”

Twilight set the phial on the floor. Her horn charged up with magic. A bolt flew out, striking the phial, as it turned into….

“An orange?” Silver asked, raising an eyebrow.

Twilight shrugged. “First thing I thought of.” she replied.

“Well, that’s one down.” Silver stated. “Three more to go.” He pulled out his gem.

“Kronos Control!”


Twilight suddenly found herself aboard a train, but it was sleeker and more metallic than the trains she was used to.
She pulled off her scuba gear, dropping in on the ground, but left the wetsuit on, as did Silver.

“Why are we on a train?” Twilight asked.

“Because this is the only time that this phial could be retrieved, or at least so my research said.” Silver replied. “It was going from one hyper-secure base to an impenetrable one. Magic or not, we would have been spotted and caught in minutes. Furthermore, I didn’t try to land us on the train. I tried to land us nearby so that we could jump aboard. Appearing on a moving train can be very dangerous. We were lucky we didn’t go through a wall.”

“You mean because of the velocity?” Twilight asked.

“No, I mean literally appear through a wall.” Silver said. “The gem won’t target areas where solid objects are, but when the target is moving, we could appear straight through a wall.”

“Wh-what would that do?” Twilight asked.

“Dunno.” Silver replied. “You might just end up stuck, which wouldn’t be so bad, since both of us have powers that could get us out easily. Or two solid objects occupying the same space may cause an atomic explosion.”

“And that would be really bad.” Twilight stated.

“Exactly.” Silver said. “Now, let’s find out which car has the phial.”

Silver went over to a pile of crates that were in the car. Every single one was marked “Top Secret”.

“This is going to take too long.” Silver mumbled. “Can’t you use some sort of detection spell?”

“Detection spells are pretty difficult if you don‘t know the specific one, especially when the target is highly magical.” Twilight stated. “But maybe there’s another way.”

Her horn glowed, and rays of magic shot out. Each crate that they hit turned as transparent as glass.

“You see anything?” Twilight asked.

Silver levitated the crates and looked inside each one.

“Wow.” he muttered. “What the heck is G.U.N. working on?“

“Wait. This is a G.U.N. train?” Twilight asked.

“Of course.” Silver replied. “Who do you think would have top-secret blood samples of a demigoddess? The only other people who would have them would be the Solianna government or Eggman, and Eggman would have unleashed something horrible long ago if he had had it.” Silver looked inside one of the boxes. “This one says ‘Fire Flower’. They aren’t trying to cross plants with the Solaris Project, are they?”

“Better be safe.” Twilight said, zapping the crate. It and the flower instantly turned into….

“A sandwich?” Silver asked. “What is it with you and food?”

“Sorry, I’m a bit hungry.” Twilight said.

“You ate four pieces of pizza not half an hour ago!” Silver cried.

“It’s been a while since I had anything but that pizza!” Twilight replied. “And I don’t want to try eating the sandwich. If it is magical, I have no idea if the transformation will negate that.”

“Well, let’s keep looking, anyway.” Silver said. “Maybe you could whip up some cookies or something next.”

“Very funny.” Twilight replied, turning to look at the transparent crates. “Let’s see. That looks like a weapon. Here’s some samples of water or something marked Chaos. That’s odd. And here is a whole heap of weird weapons. Hey, a blood sample! No, wait, it says ‘Black Arms’. Here’s a jar of something called ‘Mega-muck’. An oddly-shaped gold mask marked ‘Persona’. A whole slew of plans for various things. Wow. Does G.U.N really have a truck like that?”

“No idea.” Silver replied. “Let’s see. Some odd gems marked ‘Anarchy Beryl’. A few prototype weapons. Some document on… hey, here’s some blood samples!”

Twilight dashed over. As they opened the box, they saw that there were multiple phials. As Twilight looked through them, she felt rather shocked as she read some of the labels.

“Shadow the Hedgehog. Miles Prower. Knuckles the Echidna.” she read. “No wonder Sonic doesn’t trust these guys.”

“Hey, I think the sample we’re looking for is in here.” Silver said, picking up a box beneath the other blood samples. Within it rested a single phial, labeled only with Celestia’s symbol.

“I’m destroying these both.” Twilight said. “I don’t like the idea of these G.U.N guys with their hands on anyone’s blood, if cloning is more than just science fiction in your world.”

“Good idea.” Silver agreed, as Twilight zapped the creates and turned them into potted plants.

“Sorry, but I just don’t trust G.U.N.” Twilight said. “Tails said it was pretty corrupt in the past, and I don‘t want to take chances.”

“I wouldn’t know.” Silver replied. “Government organizations don’t tend to exist in post-apocalyptic worlds like I come from.”

Twilight sighed. “Well, I suppose we should get going. Where’s the next….”

There was a sudden flash of bright light in the car. Twilight and Silver covered their eyes.

“Well, well. Fancy meeting you two here.” a mocking voice said. It was feminine, but deeper than Twilight’s.

As Twilight and Silver looked, they saw an alicorn mare. She was dark purple, and her mane, which was styled exactly like Twilight’s, was black, with a pink stripe running through it. Her eyes were bright pink with green irises, and were catlike.

“Who are you?” Twilight asked.

The mare laughed. “You shall see. For now, I am Dusk Flicker. And you have something I want.”

Her horn flashed with dark magic, and the potted plants transformed back into blood samples.

Suddenly, Silver’s time travel gem was pulled from his pocket, as the mare used her magic to grab it.

“Sorry, can’t have you messing up my plans any longer, weaklings.” she said. “Ta-ta!”

But before she could react, there was a blur, and Silver had transported himself directly next to the dark mare. With a wave of his hand, she soared across the car and struck the wall, while Silver grabbed the time travel gem.

“You’ve got to do better than that.” he said mockingly. He raised his hands, and suddenly dozens of prototype weapons floated out of their boxes and aimed at Dusk Flicker.

Silver gave a triumphant grin. “It’s no use.”

Suddenly he swung the guns about and blasted the blood samples, scorching them into oblivion.

Unfortunately, Silver had underestimated just how powerful G.U.N.’s prototypes were. With the shriek of scraping metal and a shower of sparks, the train car fell in half.

“You idiot!” Dusk Flicker cried. “You shall pay for that!”

“Sorry, my insurance doesn’t cover trains!” Silver shouted back, using his telekinesis to propel himself on top of the half of the car which was still attached to the train. Twilight teleported up next to him.

“Ugh this wind is blowing my mane everywhere! I can‘t see a thing!” she cried. She grabbed a cover cloth and tore off a strip, tying her mane back to keep it out of her face.

Dusk Flicker teleported up in front of them. Bolts of dark magic soared at them as Twilight and Silver dodged and blocked the bolts.

“Hey, you three!” a voice shouted.

All three of them looked down to see G.U.N. agents crawling out of every part of the train.

“Hands in the air!” they shouted. “Identify yourselves!”

“Ignorant whelps.” Dusk Flicker mumbled. She raised her horn and zapped an agent, turning him into a lizard.

“They’re hostile! Open fire!” the agents shouted.

Silver and Twilight shielded themselves from the incoming bullets, diving onto the next intact car. Silver raised his hand, tossing the remains of the other car at Dusk Flicker.
But the blow was caught and hurled aside.
“Fool!” she shouted. “You think you two can challenge me?”

Suddenly, everything around them began to slow down as a black haze surrounded the train. Both Twilight and Silver fell off their feet, and many of the G.U.N. agents had to catch a railing or comrade to keep from falling off. As they looked down, they saw that the train was hovering above the ground.

“She’s lifting the entire train!” Twilight shouted.

“Wrong.” Dusk Flicker said with a cruel grin. “I was lifting the train.”

With a jerk, the entire train went hurtling through the air. It was about to crash down upon the tracks, but suddenly it slowed down, then gently came to a rest.

Silver turned towards Twilight. “You did that?”

Twilight nodded, panting. “I… lifted an… Ursa Minor once. This was… nothing.”

“Yeah, but I’ll bet that Ursa whatever wasn’t traveling at high speeds like this thing.” Silver said.

Dusk Shimmer soared down beside them. “Enough of this!” she cried. “I will finish this here and now!”

Suddenly, from down the tracks, they heard a sound. A rumbling sound.

It was another train.


“Silver, I’ll deal with this Dusk Flicker!” Twilight shouted. “You stop that other train before it crashes!”

Twilight let a bolt of magic loose, making chains appear around Dusk Flicker. Silver soared over their heads, bracing himself for when the train came around the corner.

Dusk Flicker shattered the chains about her, then summoned a horde of bees that immediately dove for Twilight. Twilight countered with a simulacrum of a giant frog, which promptly swallowed the swarm.

The train rounded the corner. Silver held his hands out, trying to use his psychokinesis to slow it down. Inside the train, the driver could see the wreckage in front of him, and hit the emergency brakes, but they were still going too fast.

Silver strained to stop the train, but he knew his strength couldn’t hold out for long if he was under attack, and despite Twilight’s attempts to distract Dusk Flicker, the evil mare was still managing to fire at them both.

But suddenly, an idea came to Silver. He whipped about and used his psychokinesis to grab a few jars from the wreckage, which had cracked, but not shattered, held together by the incredibly sticky goop inside.

“Mega-muck.” Silver exclaimed with a grin, tossing the jars onto the tracks. “This is probably the first time a hedgehog has been glad to see the stuff.”

The train began to catch in the thick, gluey substance. “This is working!” Silver thought to himself.

Suddenly, he heard a rapid popping noise, and felt like a million needles had jabbed him in the back. Around him, everything began to go blurry, and his limbs felt like lead weights.

“Not… now.” he thought hazily as the train came closer and closer. He fell upon the tracks, unable to move. He could see the G.U.N. agents surrounding him, moving in closer.

“He’s lucky.” one of the agents said. He sounded very far away to Silver. “I almost was about to switch my tranquilizers out for normal bullets because of that purple thing with the pink eyes.”

“Take them alive if possible.” another agent cried. “If they attempt lethal harm, use any necessary force to subdue them, but try to keep them alive. We’ll want to interrogate them.”

Silver felt himself falling asleep. His hold on the train was barely more than a toddler’s push.
But the Mega-muck had done the trick. Slowly but surely, the train grinded to a halt, stopping inches from Silver.

“What is going on?” a passenger shouted.

“There’s been an accident.” one of the G.U.N. agents stated.

“What?!” a familiar voice cried as Amy Rose stuck her head out of the window. “I’m going to be late! And Sonic said that he has some very important new friends to introduce us to!”

“Sorry, ma’am, we’ll try to have the track clear soon.” the agent said.

Silver could feel a pair of G.U.N. agents lift him up off the ground. But before the could haul him off, there was a flash, and they turned into a pair of butterflies.

“I’m not finished with you, interloper!” Dusk Flicker screamed. “You will pay for what you did! You will….”

Suddenly, she erupted with light.

“No!” she cried. “Not now! It’s too soon!”

She began to disappear into the light.

“I will have my revenge!” she shouted as she faded away. “Mark my words! I shall have my….”

Suddenly, she was gone.

And consciousness slipped from Silver.


Silver awoke to a splash of cold water in his face.

“Augh!” he screamed.

“Sorry, sorry!”

Silver turned to see Twilight Sparkle standing over him.

“It was the only thing I could think of to wake you up.” Twilight stated. “Either than or an electrical shock. You were out for a few hours.”

“I guess I took quite a few tranquilizers.” Silver said groggily. He looked about. They were in a shipping yard, hiding behind some giant metal crates.

“I would have brought you home, but I have no idea how to work that gem.” Twilight explained. “I teleported you out of there, and then brought you here. It looked deserted, so I thought I could wait here until you woke up.”

“Just… give me a minute.” Silver said, rubbing his head. “I feel like you do when you’re woken up a few hours early, only about a million times more groggy
Suddenly, there was a crash above them. Silver suddenly felt very much alert.

He and Twilight peeked out from behind the crates. What they saw made Twilight’s mouth drop open.

Not too far away was Shadow the Hedgehog. And locked in combat with him, was herself.

“This is when I first met Shadow!” she exclaimed. “Wow! The implications of this are just….”

“Dangerous.” Silver interrupted. “I think it’s time we get back. Where’s my gem?”

“Here you go.” Twilight said distractedly, handing the gem to him while keeping her eyes on the fight.

Silver held the gem up.



They suddenly found themselves in someone’s apartment, but it wasn’t Silver’s.

“Augh!” a pale pink pony with a red mane cried. “Silver! What are you doing here? And who’s that?”

“Hey, Maraschino Cherry.” Silver said with a weak grin. “Sorry. My concentration’s off.”

“He got hit by some tranquilizers, and is still recovering.” Twilight stated. “By the way, my name is Twilight Sparkle.”

“The Twilight Sparkle?” Maraschino Cherry raised an eyebrow. “Well, I would expect one of the changelings were playing a joke, but… well, I know how young Silver here travels through time constantly.”

“Could you direct me to his apartment?” Twilight asked.

“Three doors down, to the left, left side.” Maraschino Cherry stated. “And tell me if he need anything.”


Back in Silver’s apartment, Twilight shook her head.

“The future is still the same!” she shouted. “Shouldn’t something have changed?”

“Perhaps we haven’t made any significant changes yet.” Silver suggested. “After all, Mephiles, who I can only assume is in league with this Dusk Flicker, would only need one blood sample to replicate the gene necessary for him to take over the princess’s mind or whatever he’s trying to do.”

“Who was that Dusk Flicker, anyway?” Twilight asked. “I’ve never seen anypony like her before. What scared me is how much she looked like me, but with dark magic.”

“I have no idea.” Silver stated. “She’s not from around my time I can tell you that.”

“Well, I saw how she disappeared into that light.” Twilight said. “It was much the same as the time travel spell I once used. My guess is that she wasn’t from that time any more than we were.”

“Well, if she’s working for Mephiles, there’s no telling what time she could be from.” Silver stated.

Twilight shook her head, pacing the floor. “I’m still bothered that I haven‘t changed the future, at least a little bit. You would think that….”

She suddenly stopped in her tracks as she passed a mirror. Turning about, she looked at her own reflection. The black suit. The bandanna.

“Maybe I already have.” she murmured.

She turned towards Silver. “When I first came to Mobius, someone mistook me for a thief who had broken into top-secret bases and destroyed and stolen top-secret property.” she stated. “The pony who did it looked exactly like me, and was dressed exactly like I am now! Now what if those items weren’t stolen. What if they were transformed into something that G.U.N. wouldn’t think was significant.”

“Like an orange?” Silver said, raising an eyebrow.

“Exactly!” Twilight exclaimed. “Shadow was right all along! I am the infiltrator!”

Silver gave a smirk. “Welcome to the boggling world of time travel.”

Twilight looked suddenly hopeful. “Then perhaps this already are set in motion! Maybe this means we will win!”

“Or it could mean that Dusk Flicker stole one of the samples and pinned it on us.” Silver pointed out. “We can’t afford to be careless here.”

“Right.” Twilight replied thoughtfully. “So… where to now?”

“We’re going in to a high-security G.U.N. base.” Silver stated. “It’s not impenetrable, but we’re going to have to be very, very careful. If we’re caught, I have no idea what could happen.”

“Are you feeling up to it?” Twilight asked.

“Those tranquilizers have pretty much worn off.” Silver assured her, getting to his feet. He held the gem in the air.

“Kronos Control!”


Twilight was suddenly glad that her suit had dried by now, because they were surrounded by flurries of snow. In front of them, a heavily guarded gate stood, with spotlights searching the surroundings for intruders.

“If you’re spotted, take out the spotlights.” Silver whispered. “But… well, just try not to be spotted in the first place.”

“Got it.” Twilight replied. “Hold on. I’m teleporting us up to that tower there. It will give us a good view of the base. But be careful. There’s some guards up there.”

“There’s guards everywhere here.” Silver muttered as he looked at the walls, where G.U.N. agents marched about on top and below.

There was a flash of magenta light, and Twilight and Silver appeared atop the tower. Silver gestured, and the two guards slammed together, being knocked unconscious.

“You didn’t have to hurt them!” Twilight whispered loudly.

“Sorry.” Silver apologized. “Don’t worry, they’ll just have a little headache when they come to.”

As the two of them scanned the compound, Twilight shook her head.

“We’ll never be able to find the blood sample.” she groaned as she saw the size of the base.

“And this is just the surface.” Silver stated. “Most of the base is underground.”

Twilight groaned and covered her head with her hooves. “Guess I’d better start working on that detection spell.” she murmured.

Silver grinned. “Nah. Let the psychic do his stuff.”

Silver silently glided down next to a soldier, closely followed by Twilight. As he came near the guard, he raised his hand silently.

Suddenly, the guard activated his communicator. “H.Q., is everything okay down there?” he asked.

“Down where?” a scratchy voice replied.

“Level 30, genetics division.” the guard replied. “I thought I just heard a radio saying the blood samples were in jeopardy.”

“Must have been a fluke.” the voice replied. “Nobody made any transmissions.”

“We should scan the area.” the guard stated. “Maybe the Doctor is messing with our transmissions.”

“Understood.” the voice replied. “H.Q. out.”

As Silver and Twilight quietly glided to a shadowy patch near the door to the base, Twilight turned towards Silver.
“How did you do that?” she asked.

“Telepathy.” Silver explained. “I’m really weak at it, but I was able to mimic a radio distress call for a couple seconds.”

“Not bad.” Twilight said with a grin. “Now to get inside. I can’t teleport us in without knowing what we’re going to encounter. I could land us in the middle of an entire platoon of soldiers. Do you think you could use your telepathy to trick the guards?”

“No can do.” Silver replied. “That radio trick was one of my best. Other than that, I can make a person woozy, and that’s it. Most of my skills are focused on telekinesis.”

“Hmm.” Twilight said thoughtfully. Then suddenly her face lit up.

“I have an idea!” she stated.


“This will never work.” Silver exclaimed as they stood outside the base once again.

His spikes had been combed back, and Twilight had used a couple spells to paint him with Shadow the Hedgehog’s colors.
“It’s simple.” Twilight assured him. “Just act really grumpy. I’ll hide in the back of that car, and you drive us in.”
As Silver turned to see an off-road vehicle approaching through the flurries of snow, he looked skeptical.

“How are we going to convince those guys to give us the truck?” he asked.

“Trust me.” Twilight Sparkle said confidently. “Now, shield you eyes.”

Silver did as he was told, while Twilight zapped a nearby army knife that a soldier had dropped. For a moment, heart-shaped sparks flickered around it, then vanished.

“Can I look now?” Silver asked.

“Nope.” Twilight replied. “This is a pretty strong spell. It took me some time to perfect. The last time I tried it, the results almost caused total chaos in Ponyville.”

“Aw, now I really want to see it.” Silver grumbled.

As the vehicle drove by, Twilight used her magic to levitate the army knife in front of the windshield.
The soldiers inside suddenly hit the brakes and stared, entranced. It was the most perfect, amazing, beautiful knife they had ever seen.

As it floated away, guided by Twilight into the woods, the soldiers jumped out of the car, scrambling to get the incredible, amazing knife. Twilight stuck it in a tree, high up so that the soldiers would have some difficulty getting it down.

“Okay, follow me.” Twilight exclaimed.

As she and Silver got into the truck, Silver looked at the soldiers’ blurry figures, jumping up and down far off.

“What was that?” Silver asked.

“The Want-it-need-it spell.” Twilight replied. “I used it on a knife. It will make any inanimate object so that it is almost irresistibly appealing, making anyone who looks at it instantly want it, and it’s extremely difficult to resist the spell.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.” Silver exclaimed, checking out his new colors in the rearview mirror.

“The last time I used it, half of Ponyville got into a fight over it, and I couldn’t stop it.” Twilight said. “Princess Celestia came and saved the day, not me. I’m not sure how long the spell would have lasted. For all I know, it could have caused all of Ponyville to riot and abandon their jobs, causing our town to fall into ruin.”

“Ouch.” Silver said as he adjusted the seat for his height. “Sounds pretty bad. Are you sure it’s safe to use?”

“Well, this one will wear off in about six minutes.” Twilight replied. “And I put a spell on it to help keep it from becoming a source of conflict among the soldiers. But these attraction magics are like Love Poison. Luckily, they only last for a couple days at best, and a strong mind can resist them, so they haven’t started any wars. Yet.”

Silver revved the engine and started to drive up to the base. “So… could you use that spell to get a date?” he asked jokingly.

“It doesn’t work on ponies or other lifeforms.” Twilight said. “That’s more the job of a Love Poison. And just one of those caused two empires to collapse, because their rulers paid so much attention to each other instead of their kingdoms.”

Silver shook his head. “Forced love never works.” he stated. “Who would have thought that ponies would be so into mind control.”

“It’s not mind control, it’s very strong suggestion.” Twilight tried to explain. “You see….”

“Shh! Get down, we’re almost there.” Silver said in a hoarse whisper.

As they reproached the gate, Silver made his voice as deep as possible.
“Um… Shadow the Hedgehog reporting.” he said with a frown.
The guards looked at one another, then back at Silver.
“You… look a little different, Agent Shadow.” the one guard stated. “Did you do something with your spikes? And you’re voice sounds a bit odd.”

“Erm….” Silver fidgeted nervously.

“I’m a little hoarse.” Twilight whispered.

“I know you’re a little horse!” Silver whispered back.

“Not me! You say it!” Twilight hissed. “Act like Shadow would!”

“Uh… mind your own business, pathetic human! I’m just a little pony. I mean horse. I mean hoarse, like…like a frog in my throat.”
“Are you okay, Agent Shadow?” the guard asked.
“I’m fine! Uh… now get out of my way! Your pathetic questions are getting in the way of my… uh, top-secret business!”
The guards nervously backed up. “Y-yes Agent Shadow!” they replied. “You may pass.”
As the truck drove up past the gate and into the base’s giant garage, Twilight stared very hard at Silver.

“Little horse?” she asked amusedly.

“I was panicking!” Silver replied, breathing heavily. “I sure hope my sweat doesn’t cause this paint to run!”

“Well, at least we’re in.” Twilight said. “Okay, so is the coast clear?”

“No.” Silver replied. “We’re surrounded by G.U.N. agents everywhere.”

Twilight peeked out, then smiled. “There’s none on the roof.”


Twilight and Silver quietly snuck along in the shadows of the roof, above where the lights hung. Stealthily, they approached an air vent. Silver used his psychokinesis to pry it open, and the two of them slid inside.

“Gravity-shifting spells, transformation spells, mind-control spells.” Silver whispered. “You’re quite the expert.”

“I told you, it isn’t mind control, it‘s strong suggestion.” Twilight whispered back as she scooted along behind Silver. “Not even Discord can create an unbreakable mind-control bond.”

“What about Nightmare Moon?” Silver asked.

“Luna allowed the evil into herself.” Twilight replied. “That’s the only reason it had such a strong hold. Although it appears that Mephiles might have found a way to overcome this, if Sol Umbrae is Princess Celestia.”

“But we have a chance, then.” Silver stated. “She can fight him from the inside. If she doesn’t willingly let him in, then odds are things won’t go as easily for Mephiles.”

Silver suddenly stopped. “Elevator shaft.” he whispered back.

“Hold on.” Twilight replied. Her horn flashed, and suddenly they both fell on their sides onto the wall.

“We can run down the side of the shaft this way.” Twilight exclaimed.

As Silver floated out and set his feet down upon the elevator shaft wall, he looked down… or was it ahead… into the darkness.
“This is going to be interesting.” he muttered as Twilight squeezed out of the air duct.

Twilight looked down as well. G.U.N. was indeed very high on security. Fields of high-intensity lasers and electrical fields were spread in front of them.

Twilight gave a confident smile. “Seriously, you need some good counter-spells in these places.” she stated.

With a flash, she and Silver teleported past the first electrical field.

“Why can’t you just teleport us to the bottom?” Silver asked.

Twilight shrugged. “Long-range teleportation is a lot harder, and it takes more energy. Plus, with these traps, I want to be careful where I teleport.”

“Well then, let’s see if you can keep up!” Silver said with a grin.

Before Twilight could respond, he was soaring and looping through the barriers ahead of her.
Spreading her wings, Twilight began to soar after him.

“Won’t they hear us?!” she hissed is a loud whisper.

“Nah, they don’t have constant surveillance in elevator shafts.” Silver replied. “They probably think that these traps are good enough to….”

Suddenly, they heard a loud, rushing sound behind them. They turned about.

And saw the last thing they wanted to see.

“Run! It’s the elevator!” Silver cried.

Twilight and Silver began to run, fly, and teleport as fast as they could without hitting into a trap, but the elevator was gaining on them.

“Isn’t it going to stop at a floor soon?” Twilight asked.

“It might be going all the way down!” Silver shouted back. “Keep going!”

Down, down they ran, until suddenly, the shaft ended. And the elevator was still coming.

“Stay close!” Twilight cried. “I’m going to teleport us onto the other side of the bottom door!”

“But we don’t know what’s over there!” Silver shouted worriedly.

“Well, we do know what’s over here!” Twilight cried back. “Get ready!”

There was a flash of magenta light, just as the elevator landed.
On the other side of the door, Twilight and Silver were relieved to find that the hall was empty.

But only for an instant.

Behind them, the elevator door opened, and six G.U.N. agents were inside. They suddenly noticed the two intruders and raised their weapons.

“Halt! What are you doing down here?” they shouted.

Silver gave an awkward grin. “I’m… Shadow the Hedgehog? Pathetic human? Hmph?”

“It’s those criminals which invaded the train!” one of the guards shouted. “Get them!”

Twilight jumped in front. “Cover me, Silver.” she exclaimed.

The agents fired, but their bullets were caught in midair by Silver. Twilight then zapped each soldier, turning them into various objects.

“The transformation spell should only last a while.” Twilight stated as she turned the last soldier into a lamp. “They’ll be fine, but that means that we’ll have to get to those blood samples quickly.”

“Then let’s go!” Silver cried. “I counted the floors. The samples should be down here!”

The two of them dashed through the halls. Stealth was now abandoned as time took precedence. It wouldn’t be long before one of the soldiers reverted and radioed for support.

“Wait, here we go!” Silver cried. “Genetics Division! That should hold the samples!”

Silver put his hand on the door, using his telekinesis to open the lock, then he and Twilight dashed inside.

But what they saw didn’t please them.

Scientists, frozen solid in positions of fear, filled the room. And standing in the center, tearing through hordes of samples, was Dusk Flicker.

“Well, it seems we meet again.” she said mockingly. “So, are you here to try and stop me? Good luck with that.”

“We don’t have to beat you.” Silver replied. “Just keep you down long enough so that your time-travel spell wears off.”

“And what makes you think you will be able to do that?” Dusk Flicker said with a smirk. Her horn crackled with dark magic. Bolts of arcane energy shot out, striking nearby pieces of furniture and lab equipment, turning them into frightening monsters which began to charge at Twilight and Silver.

But they stopped short. Silver waved a hand, and the monsters were thrown through the air at Dusk Flicker. As she blocked the attack with a magical shield, the beasts returned to their ordinary forms, smashing and clattering upon the floor.
Twilight was firing beams of magic off at Dusk Flicker, when she suddenly noticed a strange device on the wall.

A surveillance camera.

“This room seems familiar.” she thought. Then she realized.

It was the same room in the video where she had seen somepony breaking into the G.U.N. base.

That video was of her.

“But where did I search for the sample?” she thought to herself, dodging a bolt of dark magic.

Dusk Flicker may have had powerful dark magic, but she was having a hard time keeping a lock on Silver, and the entire room was filled with ammunition for Silver, as he tossed all sorts of equipment at her. A fire extinguisher went off, and the room filled with billowing clouds.

“Do you think that can stop me, fool?” Dusk Flicker cried out.

Suddenly, she was snagged by a tangled mess of electrical wires, and was pulled to the ground. She teleported away, but more wires ensnared her.

Silver was playing a very risky game. He knew that even together, he and Twilight still would have a very difficult time facing off against this foe. So instead of attacking with what did the most damage, he was doing everything he could to slow Dusk Flicker up, hoping that the time-travel spell would wear off soon.

Suddenly, he heard Twilight’s voice shout “Silver! I’ve got it! Catch the phial!”

Through the fog, Twilight tossed a blood sample to Silver. Silver reached out to catch it.

But Dusk Flicker reached it first.

As she caught it with her magic, she turned for an instant to look at Silver.

“You lose.” she said with a smug grin.

There was a flash, and she was gone.


“She has the blood sample!” Silver cried, dashing over to Twilight. “We have no idea where she even is going with it!”

“Calm down.” Twilight said. To Silver’s surprise, she was grinning.
“I came up with a plan to get rid of her early.” Twilight explained. “I merely tossed you a random phial, which I had changed the label on to look like the sample we’re looking for.”

Silver looked extremely relieved. “So… it was a trick?”

“Exactly!” Twilight said proudly. “Now, let’s try and get the sample.”

She looked around the room, trying to remember the video she had seen.
Then she noticed a small wall safe, revealed by the damage to the wall.
“There.” she said, pointing.
Silver used his telekinesis to force the lock open, and sure enough, there was the blood sample.
Suddenly, they heard the sound of approaching G.U.N. agents. Lots of them.
“Let’s do this quickly.” Twilight said. Firing a bolt of magic, the blood sample turned into a flower in a tasteful glass vase.
“Now, let’s get out of here!” Twilight cried.
“Agreed!” Silver said, pulling out his gem.

The G.U.N. agents burst in. “Freeze!” they shouted.

But Silver and Twilight were already gone.


Twilight suddenly found herself in a library. The silence compared to the noise they had been hearing only seconds before seemed as if time itself had stopped.

“Where are we?” she whispered.

“The location of the last sample.” Silver replied. “The Solianna secret archives.”

Twilight looked about in silent awe. She felt a chill down her spine as she imagined all the secret knowledge housed in the surrounding books. It was all she could do not to grab them and start reading some of them.

Silver looked about. “There has to be a secret door or something.” he muttered. “Odds are it’s behind a bookshelf.”

“But how will we know which one?” Twilight whispered.

Silver shrugged. “Maybe you should try a detection spell.”

“But those are really hard when involving highly magical things!” Twilight replied. “And they tend to be pretty case-specific, like Rarity and her ability to detect jewels. I don’t think I know any blood-sample-detecting spells, and a generic detection spell would take a while to focus.”

“We’ve got time.” Silver replied. “Nobody really comes in here very often, can’t you tell? Everything is all dusty.”

Twilight sighed. “Very well. Give me a moment.”


“There!” Twilight cried after fifteen long minutes. “I really should have worked more on detection spells. At the time, I though that object transformation was more important.”

“Well, where is it?” Silver asked.

“Behind that bookcase.” Twilight replied, pointing with her hoof.

Silver went over to it and began to examine the books.

“Let’s see.” he murmured. “These kind of things usually are triggered by a hidden switch, like a specific book or something.”

“Look for something on Solaris.” Twilight suggested.

Silver looked about. “Ah, here we go.” he stated. But as he pressed the book, nothing happened.
“Wait, here’s another one.” Twilight exclaimed, but as she pressed the book, again nothing occurred.

“Maybe it’s a code.” Twilight mumbled to herself. “Perhaps we have to press the right books in the right sequence in order to….”

“Twilight.” Silver interrupted. “Look.”

He pointed towards one book which stood apart from the rest. It was brown, with gold trimmings. A gold leaf unicorn’s head decorated the side.

Twilight stared in utter shock.

She knew that book.

Even as Silver hovered up close to it, she already knew the title.

The History of Equestria.

“Well, that’s interesting.” Silver murmured. He reached for the book. But as he pulled it, there was a creaking noise, and the bookshelf swung open like a door.

Silver and Twilight stared in awe.

“This… this is….” Twilight was at a loss for words.

“Wow.” Silver breathed.

All about them were ancient artifact and scrolls. But not just any artifacts.

They were Equestrian.

“Princess Celestia must have brought these to Mobius when she visited long ago!” Twilight exclaimed, staring at a shelf of scrolls marked with Celestia’s royal seal. “Look at these! Letters to the Solianna royalty!”

“Wonder why this is all locked away, and not in some museum.” Silver mused, staring at a golden statue of Celestia. “It’s as if they don’t want to remember.”

“We do remember.” a soft voice stated.

Silver and Twilight whipped about. Standing there was Princess Elise.

“Don’t worry. I’m not here to tell on you.” Elise stated. “I came in here to look at the secret chamber, as I hadn’t done so in a while, and I saw that the chamber was open. Although I must ask who you are and what you are doing here. And tell the truth. I know from legend that you are Equestrian.”

Twilight sighed. “I am Princess Twilight Sparkle. I trained under the tutelage of Princess Celestia herself, and have been sent here to stop a dark evil, known as Mephiles.”

Elise suddenly looked very grim. “That name is only spoken of in our darkest legends.” she stated. “Are you saying such a being exists?”
“With your permission, your highness,” Silver stated, “Twilight here can restore your memories, as she restored mine.”

“My memories?” Elise asked with confusion. “What have I forgotten?”

“Much evil, and much good.” Silver replied. “How the Blue Wind arose, how he conquered the Flames of Disaster. And how you, your highness, were the Iblis Trigger.”

Elise looked shocked. “Do you swear this is true?” she asked.

“Pinkie Promise!” Twilight exclaimed. “It will all make sense once your memories are restored.”

“Very well then.” Elise said, kneeling down. “Your words ring of truth, for some reason, and legends say that the ponies of Equestria are generally a good folk. If I have lost my memories, then please restore them.”

Twilight touched her horn to the princess’s forehead. There was a flash, and the princess blinked a great deal.

“I… remember.” she whispered, not to anyone in particular. “The Flames of Disaster, Silver, Eggman… Sonic.”

“Then you know why we have to do this.” Twilight stated. “Long ago, your people stole a blood sample from Princess Celestia.”

“A fact we have deeply regretted.” Elise replied. “We chased away one of our most beloved defenders. Over time, history became legends, and then the legends became myths. The name of Solarstia, the mother of Solaris, still lives in our culture.”

“Yeah, well, Solaris was some half-baked attempt at cloning Celestia.” Silver stated. “You know that now.”

Elise shook her head. “My father meant well. He hoped to give us a protector, a ray of hope. But… things went wrong. And yet now they are right. Mephiles remains bound in the Scepter of Darkness. And there he shall remain.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that.”

Twilight, Silver, and Elsie whipped about. Standing between two of Elise’s personal bodyguards, was Eggman.

“Hello, princess.” he stated with a toothy grin. “So good to see you again.”


Twilight and Silver leapt to battle-ready positions, but Eggman merely laughed, raising his hands.

“Are you trying to stop me?” he asked. “Well, that might be good for some laughs, but ultimately it is futile.”

“What did you do to my guards?!” Elise exclaimed angrily.

“You mean my guards.” Eggman replied. “Only the best soldiers get to be your personal guard. Funny thing is, machines always make better soldiers than humans, and they have a tendency for surpassing human soldiers in performance… which leads to recognition, and then promotion. Before you even knew it, most of your personal guards were my own androids.”

Eggman grabbed the face of the one guard, pulling on it and ripping off a latex mask. Beneath it, a mechanical face stared unblinkingly. Elise shrieked, and Twilight gasped.

“I’ve been watching you and making plans for quite some time now.” Eggman explained. “During the Solaris incident, I launched a time-probe to keep me informed of the events I had forgotten during the time-space reversion. Ever since, I have kept an eye on this place. Now, I can’t use the princess to release the Flames of Disaster, but right now, I have a more interesting target: Equestria.”

“You’ll never be able to win!” Twilight shouted. “Celestia and Luna will stop you!”

“I highly doubt it.” Eggman replied casually. “My probe informed me of the Nightmare Moon incident in your world, Miss Sparkle. Sonic didn’t smash it fast enough to stop me from learning all sorts of interesting tidbits about your world. Like how Princess Luna was overcome by this dark force. Well, that sounded familiar to me. So I looked through my databases, matching your conversations with Sonic to the information in my research files. It turned out that the one that matched the closest was Mephiles the Dark. Imagine how I felt. I had finally found a way to defeat these goddesses. And if Mephiles can control them, why can’t I? Soon, Equestria will bow before the Eggman Empire, and then Mobius!”

“You’re insane!” Silver shouted. “What makes you think you can even get past us?”

“Because the real Dr. Robotnik is safe and sound in his base.“ Eggman replied, as he held his palms up. The centers glowed with energy, as Eggman’s eyes flickered with electricity. “I’m simple transmitting my actions into this robot duplicate. Had it hidden in a castle broom closet for such an occasion. And now… it’s time to zap some rodent and equine interlopers!”

Lasers flew out of the robot-Eggman’s hands, scorching past Twilight and Silver.

“Elise, take cover!” Silver cried.

As Elise leapt behind the large Celestia statue, the two guards held up their hands and began firing upon Twilight and Silver as well.

Silver threw the one guard away, but the robot-Eggman tackled him.

“You hedgehogs are all the same!” Eggman cried. “Annoying interlopers! Well, I shall enjoy blasting you into oblivion, rodent!”

“Not this time!” Twilight cried. Using her telekinesis, she the robot-Eggman across the room, smashing into a large suit of Equestrian armor.

“Break my toys, will you?” Eggman cried as the robot got to its feet. “Eat missile!”

Twilight dove out of the way as the Eggman robot began to fire wrist-rockets at her. As she did, the second guard tackled her to the floor, holding her in its strong grasp. They rolled across the ground, crashing into a pedestal which lay in the corner.

Suddenly, there was a click. A panel suddenly opened in the wall, revealing another pedestal. And atop it rested the Scepter of Darkness.

“At last!” the Eggman-robot cried, charging towards the scepter. “There it is!”

But something went wrong. As Twilight struggled with her robot attacker, its laser went off. It struck the statue of Celestia, and ricocheted off, hitting the robot Eggman.

Which crashed to the pedestal, launching the scepter into the air.


The scepter shattered upon the hard tile floor.

“NOOOOOO!!!” Eggman cried.

From the staff, a dark, shapeless form emerged. It streamed across the floor.

Silver saw it, and shouted. But Twilight didn’t see it.

Until it was almost on top of her.

She screamed, but the dark shape made no move towards her. Instead, it moved towards her shadow, swallowing it up like a vacuum.

And slowly the shadow took form. Twisting, changing.

Until it took the form of a pony. An alicorn.

“Dusk Flicker.” Twilight breathed.

The pony shook her dark mane. “I am free at last!” she shouted. “Mephiles rises again!”

“You’re… Mephiles?!” Twilight gasped in shock.

“You!” Silver shouted. “You’re the cause of Sol Umbrae!”

The Mephiles-Flicker gave a smug grin. “It has been so long since I have seen ponykind.” she stated. “And you, of all ponies, Twilight Sparkle. How ironic that I take the form of the pony who cast me out of Luna.”

“You won’t rise again, Nightmare Moon!” Twilight shouted.

“Nightmare Moon?” the dark pony replied amusedly. “I am not just Nightmare Moon. I am the darkness in each of your hearts. Nightmare Moon was what Luna’s darkness was. And you, Twilight Sparkle. So much good, and yet so much potential for evil.”

“I will never give in!” Twilight shouted.

The dark pony grinned. “You are not my interest. You never have been. I seek only one thing. Revenge. Revenge upon Celestia.”

The pony turned away from Twilight. Silver hurled the Celestia statue at it, but it just tossed the statue aside with the same casualness as one treats a mosquito.

“For releasing me, I shall be kind enough to let you live.” the dark pony stated. “But I can’t have you getting in my way. But before I deal with you, perhaps I should deal with one who thought he could control me.” the dark pony turned towards the Eggman robot.

The android frowned. “If I can’t control you, you are too great a threat to be left be.”

A red light suddenly flashed in all three robots’ chests.

“So long, interlopers!”

There was a flash, and a wave of heat and shrapnel, as the robots self-destructed. Silver leapt to Elise’s side to shield them both, while Twilight used her magic to block the explosion.

When the smoke cleared, flames were spreading everywhere. The dark pony, who had also shielded itself from the explosion, looked about amusedly.

Then, it suddenly looked closely at a shattered glass phial on the ground. It stared at the symbol upon the glass, and the red liquid which had spilled upon the ground.

“Interesting.” it muttered. “It looks as if I might have found something useful. Something Celestia did not expect me to find. This one is useless, but I highly doubt it is the only one.”

The dark pony turned towards Twilight and Silver. “I have the perfect place to send you.” it stated. Its horn flashed with dark magic, and a portal opened.

“I trust you’ll enjoy it there.” the dark pony said with a cruel grin. “You’ll get to see everything from high up. And after all, what better place to put those you want out of your way?”

Twilight and Silver suddenly were enveloped in a flash. As they landed upon rocky, dusty soil, they turned about to see the portal closing behind them.

“NO!” Twilight and Silver both cried at once.

As the portal flickered away, Twilight looked about at their new surroundings.

“Where are we?” Silver asked.

Twilight looked about at the starry skies. She recognized those constellations. But they were little comfort now.

“I suppose this is meant to be ironic.” Twilight grumbled.

“Do you know where we are?” Silver asked.

Twilight pointed behind him. Hovering in the sky was a giant orb of blue and green, looking just like the globe in her room back in Ponyville.

“That’s Equestria.” she stated. “And this… is the moon.”

The Clock is Ticking

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Chapter 13: The Clock is Ticking

Rouge huddled with Rarity in a cave. She had been making calls nonstop, and had been trying to comfort the frantic Rarity.

“If Eggman gets into Ponyville, what will happen?!” Rarity cried. “My mom and dad and little sister live there! Not to mention a great deal of wonderfully nice ponies! And my boutique! And Opalescence! And… and… and….” She burst into tears again.

“Look, get a hold of yourself.” Rouge stated. “I’m trying to call in the others. Once Sonic and Shadow show up, we’ll see what we can do, but we’ll just have to wait until then.”

As Rarity continued to cry, Rouge gave a sigh. She was trained to be tough, but she couldn’t help but feel sorry for this mare, when her home and family were in such danger.

“Hey, honey, don’t get all hyped up just yet.” she stated. “I’ve faced the Eggman Empire plenty of times. And Sonic the Hedgehog has taken him down more times than you can imagine. Seriously, we’ve overcome worse. And don’t worry, we usually manage to save everyone, with minimal to no losses. Trust me.”

“I just… I never really expected that this could get so bad.” Rarity sniffed. “This dreadful Mephiles character, and Eggman, and… I’m all alone. I’m used to fighting with my friends, but I’m all alone right now. And I don’t like it.”

“I know how you….”

Rouge’s reply was suddenly cut off as a transmission came through.

“Rouge the Bat.” a flat, grating voice called. “We detected your signal. Stand by for evac.”

“Omega? Omega, is that you?” Rouge cried, her face lighting up.

“It’s more than just the metalhead.” a familiar, confident voice called out from the cave front.

A single ray of sunlight illuminated a figure who stood with spread wings, the wind blowing her colorful mane.

“Rainbow Dash!” Rarity cried, leaping towards the pale blue pegasus and throwing her hooves around her neck.

Rainbow Dash was rather taken aback by this affectionate display. “Hey, no need to get mushy, Rarity.” she stated. “I heard about the situation. This Eggman guy is going down. I’ll have him out of Ponyville in ten seconds flat.”

“Oh, Rainbow, I missed you so much!” Rarity exclaimed, happily prancing while still holding onto Dash’s neck. “I’m so happy to see you! I felt so lost and alone here, out in the frozen wastelands, fearing the worst.” She suddenly stopped and looked at Dash’s wing. “I say, weren’t you injured?”

“Twilight healed me up.” Rainbow Dash explained. “Now would you please cut the sappy, hugging stuff?”

“So Twilight’s here, too?” Rarity asked, looking very happy as she removed her hooves from around Rainbow Dash.

“Nah, she left to go after some guy who claimed he could help us.” Dash replied. “But don’t worry. We’ll meet up with her soon.”

With a rush of jets and smoke, Omega landed next to them. Fluttershy followed with a much quieter landing.

“A G.U.N. airship is waiting nearby.” Omega stated. “We arrived here in search of the Elements of Harmony. But your transmission has shown that the situation has grown more complicated.”

“We have to get to Ponyville!” Fluttershy stated with an uncharacteristic firmness. “I can’t bear to think of what Eggman would do to everypony.”

“We’re waiting for the others to show.” Rouge stated. “Twilight Sparkle is out of communications, but everyone else should be showing up.”

There was a flash of light, not far off, and a few second later, Applejack galloped up, with Knuckles close behind.

“This Egg fella has crossed the line!” Applejack was shouting. “When I get there, I am gonna buck his fancy machines all the way to Appleoosa!”

“Save some for me!” Knuckles added. “I have a whole bunch of scores to settle with the Doctor.”

With another flash, Zecora, Spike, and the Chaotix Team appeared on a nearby ledge.

“Sorry for the delay, but we had to rally the Chaotix up and the little fire-breather up.” Espio explained. “I heard the scoop. Tails will be arriving shortly with Amy and Sonic. Once they’re here, and hopefully when Shadow shows up, we’ll go in.”

“We’re goin’ in without Twilight?” Applejack asked.

“You guys are.” Spike replied. “I’m staying here with G.U.N. to wait for her. If she shows up, I’ll tell her what happened.”

A third flash suddenly appeared in the sky, and Pinkie Pie and Shadow fell down next to everyone. Shadow landed deftly on his feet, while Pinkie glided down softly, a bunch of balloons tied around her waist.

“What were you thinking?!” Shadow cried. “I was supposed to be the one to use Chaos Control!”

“Oops. Sorry!” Pinkie replied, tossing him the Chaos Emerald. “I just wanted to see what it was like. I thought my Pinkie sense said something would be falling!”

Shadow shook his head as he caught the Emerald. “Sonic is going to pay for teaming me with her.” he growled to himself.

“Ooh! Wait!” Pinkie stretched her arms and grabbed the Emerald back, disappearing in a flash. A few seconds later she returned, with a whole bagful of baked goods.

“Sorry, I forgot these.” Pinkie explained, tossing the Chaos Emerald back to Shadow again. “Care for a cupcake?”

Shadow simply gave a snort and walked off, muttering to himself.

“Anypony… I mean, anyone want some goodies?” Pinkie asked waving the bag around. “I’ve got some super-delicious donuts and cinnamon rolls and baklava! I love baklava! I just like saying ’baklava’! It’s such a funny word! Baklava, baklava, baklava!”

“I’ll have a donut with sprinkles!” Spike exclaimed.

The sound of a plane suddenly filled the air. From above, everyone saw the Tornado come swooping in. As it landed nearby, Sonic leapt out, closely followed by Tails and Amy.

“Got the scoop.” Sonic said hurriedly. “Where’s Twilight?”

“Checking with some guy who said he might be able to help us.” Rainbow Dash replied. “She’ll have to catch up. Right now, we need speed if we want to rescue Ponyville.”

Sonic grinned. “So, you think you’re fast enough, Dash?”

“Oh, yeah!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, pawing the ground.

Sonic nodded towards everyone. “Chaos Emerald ready! We’re going to have to teleport close to that portal and get through it before Eggman can stop us. Everyone got it?”

Everyone nodded.

“Alright, let’s hear our cry for freedom!” Sonic shouted. “Let’s do it to it!”

“Let’s do it to it!” everyone else (except Shadow) shouted, raising their hands or hooves high in the air.
Shadow held up his Chaos Emerald.

“Chaos Control!”

There was a flash, and they were suddenly surrounded by metal and concrete, and hundreds of robots.
Sonic grinned, getting himself in a ready position.

“All right. Let’s juice.”


Vinyl Scratch dove for cover. More Eggman robots were coming in by the dozen. Big Macintosh and herself were helping clear a path to the Egg Dome, but it wasn’t easy to hold off the hordes.

“Everypony, go, go, go!” Vinyl shouted.

The ponies charged at the Egg Dome. Big Macintosh was in front, ready to break down the great doors.

But suddenly, laser-fire began to erupt all around them. From the surrounding buildings, robots leapt out of hiding. The ponies fought hard, but now they came to a terrible realization.

They were surrounded. Nopony could retreat now.

It was a trap.


The Mobians and the ponies were blasting through Eggman’s forces as they fought to get to the portal. The air was filled with flying debris, lasers, lightning, bombs, and cake.

The ponies were fighting with all their might. This was now personal. Their home was at risk, and they weren’t about to let it fall into the hands of a madman.

“Y’all are not gonna take my home!” Applejack shouted, bucking a robot into a pile of crates.

Vector crashed down next to her, leaping onto a pair of robots and smashing them, then crushing a third in his mighty jaws. Swinging about, he smashed another with a powerful punch.
“Nice goin’ sugarcube!” Applejack hollered, lassoing an airborne robot and swinging it about, smashing away the other surrounding flying robots.

A flurry of throwing stars and colorful potions filled the air as Espio and Zecora joined the fight.

“Well, I did say I would offer you training.” Espio stated. “I just didn’t know it would be on-the-job.”

“You would have taught me much, I’ll bet.” Zecora replied. “But experience is the best teacher yet.”

A rainbow mushroom cloud erupted as Rainbow Dash crashed into a horde of giant robots, blasting them away.

“Oh, yeah!” she shouted. “Anyone care to try and match that?”

“Chaos… BLAST!!!”

Rainbow Dash covered her face as an explosion of crimson energy tore through Eggman’s forces, leaving nothing but scrap metal.
Shadow leapt out of the smoke, hurling Chaos Lances left and right.

“Okay, that was kind of cool.” Rainbow Dash admitted.

Shadow merely gave a snort and smashed another robot with a homing attack.

Rainbow Dash soared up and grabbed one of the dark clouds hovering over the base. Striking it, she sent lightning blasting down below, shocking the robots and shorting them out.

“Nice trick!” Tails shouted as he soared past, bombing the enemy with a flurry of Dummy Ring Bombs.

Below, the robots’ line was being torn through by Omega and Pinkie Pie.
“Eradicate all Eggman forces!” Omega cried with an uncharacteristic fervor as his machine guns ripped through the robotic armies.

“Let them eat cake!” Pinkie Pie screamed, firing all three of her party cannons in rapid succession, sending pastry blasting through the ranks of robots. One robot got too close, and Pinkie smacked it in the face with a pie.

From the roof, a group of robots fired a stream of missiles at Omega and Pinkie, but they were caught in midair, being hurled back at the robots who fired them.

Rarity dashed up, clad in a suit of light, flexible armor, her horn glowing as she threw a series of crates at the surrounding robots.

“Take that, you heartless automatons!” she cried.

Omega fired off a stream of missiles of his own. “Your support is welcome.” he stated. “Your defensive capabilities are impressive.”

“Thank you, dearie.” Rarity replied, blocking another incoming missile and hurling it into a group of robots.

“Hey, Rarity, where’d you get the fancy metal outfit?” Pinkie Pie asked brightly.

Rarity tossed her mane. “I quickly fashioned it from scrap metal for some added defense.” she explained, obviously proud of her work. “Not exactly something I would wear to Canterlot, but considering the circumstances, I’m quite pleased with it.”

A blue blur shot past, decimating the nearby remaining robots.

“Guys, the path is clear, let’s go!” Sonic cried, skidding to a momentary stop. He then did a double take at Rarity.

“Scrap metal?” he asked.

“Only material I could find quickly enough.” Rarity explained.

Sonic grinned. “Nice work. Do you do shoe design?”

“Come on, y’all!” Applejack cried. “No time to lose! We gotta’ move fast!”

“That’s my specialty!” Sonic and Rainbow Dash both exclaimed at once.

The team charged towards the portal. Sonic grinned at Rainbow Dash as they zoomed towards it together.

“You worried?” Sonic asked.

Rainbow Dash stared ahead determinedly as she replied.

“If you have time to worry, then run.”


Scootaloo kicked and struggled against the guards.

“Let me go!” she cried. “You aren’t going to robotatitasize me or my friends!”

“Bring them inside already!” Eggman cried. “I can’t wait till they are finally obedient, and most importantly, QUIET!”

Suddenly, they heard a blaring alarm on the other side of the radio.

“Sir, is there a problem?” the first guard asked.

“It appears that we have company.” Eggman replied. “I’m picking up some life forms approaching from the other side of the portal and….” Eggman’s voice suddenly trailed off.

“Sir?” the guard called.

For a moment the radio was silent. Then Eggman’s shouts blared out as he ranted like a madman.

“No! Not him! How did he even get here?”

“Sir, what should we do?” the guard asked.

“All units, mobilize!” Eggman cried. “It’s that blasted hedgehog!”

“Sonic, sir?”

“Yes, of course it’s Sonic!” Eggman bellowed. “And there’s another signature closely following him at high speeds! And they’re approaching this area!”

“What is this other….”

The guard’s question was gut off by a loud boom. Everyone looked up to see a blast of color in the sky.
Scootaloo’s face lit up, and her eyes grew wide with wonder.

A bolt of color streaked towards the robots.

“Mayday, mayday!” the guard cried. “Incoming….”

The guard was cut off as a rainbow blur smashed the robot into pieces, then whipped through the others, smashing them into scrap metal.
As Sweetie Belle helped Apple Bloom up, Scootaloo dashed over to the colorful figure of Rainbow Dash as she skidded to a stop. She threw her hooves around her neck, crying tears of sheer relief and joy.

“I knew you’d come.” she exclaimed.

Rainbow Dash grinned, returning the hug. “Course I would, kiddo. I am loyalty, after all.”


Big Macintosh was smashing robots left and right, but he was getting weak. Beside him, Vinyl Scratch struggled to keep her bass cannon aimed as fatigue began to set in.

Lyra and Carrot Top were hurling pies every which way, and Derpy was smashing into the flying robots, but they too were becoming weary. Granny Smith still struggled away despite her age, slowly tossing pie after pie.

Bon-Bon popped a sweet into Big Macintosh’s mouth. “That’s the last of the healing sweets.” she told him. “We’ve got to retreat.”

“I’m afraid that isn’t an option.” Octavia exclaimed, collapsing heavily beside Vinyl, her body covered in foamy sweat. “They have us surrounded, and their forces are far superior in numbers.”

“Somepony might still come and save us!” Derpy stated.

“Come on, Octy!” Vinyl Scratch cried. “We can’t give up!”

“I wouldn‘t, even if it would make any difference.” Octavia wearily replied, shakily getting to her hooves. “But I’m afraid that this shall be our last stand.”

Vinyl Scratch stared for a moment, a look of despair on her face. Then, she gave a grim smile, and shouldered her bass cannon.

“Then let’s go out rockin’.”

“I would have it no other way.” Octavia replied.

“Nor I.” Bon-Bon agreed.

“Eeyup.” Big Macintosh added.

Lyra put a hoof over Bon-Bon’s shoulder. “Together to the end.”

Carrot Top pulled out her giant carrot. “Let’s make them remember the name of Ponyville.”

Octavia nodded. “For Equestria.”

“On my signal, we charge.” Vinyl Scratch stated. “Ready… set….”

“Wait!” Derpy suddenly cried. “Don’t you feel that?”

“Feel what?” Carrot Top asked.

Derpy looked about herself, her mane whipping about as the air picked up speed. Something was approaching: a blur of blue.

“It’s the wind.” Derpy replied. “It’s like it’s alive.”

Suddenly, something tore through the robots with the force of hurricane. A streak of blue shot past, smashing the surrounding automatons, but leaving the ponies unscathed.

“W-what is that?” Carrot Top shouted above the rush of the wind.

The wind suddenly died down, and a strange blue creature seemed to materialize out of it.
He turned towards them. “The name is Sonic. Sonic the Hedgehog.”
The ponies stared in wonder at this strange being. Octavia was the first to regain her composure.

“Your aid is most welcome.” she stated. “We need all the help we can get.”

“Well, then you’re in luck!” Sonic replied. “I brought backup.”

Suddenly, with a great battle cry, the heroes of Mobius and Equestria charged out, plowing through the robotic forces.

Octavia fell on her haunches with relief and exhaustion. “The Elements have returned.” she breathed. “Thank Celestia.”

Carrot Top turned towards Sonic. “We need to get everypony into the Everfree Forest. We’re hiding out there.”

“Just like old times.” Sonic chuckled. Then, in a flash, he was gone.


Once everypony retreated back to the ancient ruins in the Everfree Forest, they finally were reunited with their friends and family.

“Applejack!” Granny Smith and Apple Bloom shouted with joy as they and Big Macintosh ran towards her.
Applejack caught her family up in a big group hug. “I am so glad y’all are safe.” she stated, sighing with relief. She sniffed.

“Applejack, are you cryin’?” Apple Bloom asked.

“No!” Applejack replied hurriedly. “I just… had a little sentiment in my eye.”

Apple Bloom grinned and snuggled against her sister, happy to have her back.

Rarity was trudging along beside Sonic, Tails, and Rouge, helping them as they started preparing a more trustworthy bridge to set across the canyon, when she was suddenly tackled by a powerful force.

“Rarity!” a familiar voice cried. A cold, metallic cheek nuzzled against hers, and strong, metal hooves hugged her tightly.

But in the joy of returning, Rarity didn’t notice this. All she knew was that sweet voice, which sounded more musical than ever before.

“Oh, Sweetie Belle!” she cried. “Thank Celestia! I swear, I will never yell at you again, not even if you rip every one of my dresses!”

“Even the red one?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Well, I might raise my voice a little.” Rarity admitted. Then she suddenly stopped and looked at Sweetie Belle. “Dearie, what’s wrong? Did you step into some Poison Joke?”

From behind her, Rarity felt a rush of air as Sonic dashed over.

“Oh, no.” he uttered. “This is bad.” He whipped his head around. “Tails! Get over here!”

Tails dashed over, and gasped as he saw Sweetie Belle.

“Eggman’s got a roboticizer.” he breathed.

“I was afraid of this.” Sonic growled. “That lousy jerk, picking on a little kid.”

“I feel okay.” Sweetie Belle assured everyone. “I was kind of loopy for a while, and I think that that Eggman dodo had hypnotized me or something, but I got over it!”

Sonic shook his head. “Well… at least she retained her free will.” he muttered.

“Whatever are you talking about?” Rarity asked, getting to her hooves.

“Eggman has a machine called a roboticizer.” Tails explained. “It turns ordinary creatures like Mobians or ponies into robots which mindlessly serve him.”

“Sometimes the person regains their free will.” Sonic added. “Like Sweetie Belle here, or my Uncle Chuck.”

“But can it be reverted?” Rarity asked.

Tails shuffled uncomfortably. “We’ve devoted huge amounts of research and resources to try and find out how, but… well, we still don’t know how to fix it.”

“So Sweetie Belle will be a robot forever?” Rarity cried.

“Hey, don’t get too worried just yet.” Sonic replied. “We don’t have a reliable source for a cure, but people have been deroboticized before. And since I have no idea what Equestria is like, perhaps your magic might have something to revert her.”

“It’s not so bad, sis.” Sweetie Belle stated. “At least we’re together again.”

“That we are.” Rarity admitted, hugging her sister.

She then turned and looked at the ‘bridge’, then at the surrounding ruins.

“Goodness, this place is a mess.” she mentioned. “It certainly need a touch of style.”

“Rarity, you need to rest.” Sonic exclaimed. “You’ve been going all yesterday and through the night, fighting Eggman’s robot crab, hunting down the Emeralds, then fighting through to the portal, then fighting to save Ponyville. You need to sleep.”

Rarity shook her head wearily. “The sun has only been up for a couple hours.” she stated. “I’ve worked late nights before.”

“Not fighting for your life half the time.” Sonic replied.

Rarity held her head up high, despite the bags beneath her eyes. “I’ll sleep when I have a decent place to sleep in. I’m not about to lie down on some dirty rocks or moss. And you haven’t had any sleep, either.”

Sonic shrugged. “Suit yourself. But I’m getting a couple winks, and I’m pretty sure everyone else is, too. Except maybe for Pinkie Pie.”

“Don’t worry, I can look after myself.” Rarity replied.


When Sonic awoke, it was already late afternoon. To his surprise, a lovely surrounding of garlands hung from trellises surrounded him. Not far away, within a chamber made of sticks and flowers, Rarity was sprawled across a soft mattress of heather lain atop some bales of hay, murmuring in her sleep.

“Well, if that Rarity don’t beat all.” Applejack whistled as she walked up to Sonic. “I was only asleep a couple hours, and she made all of this?”

“I like her style.” Sonic stated with admiration. “We need people… er, ponies with good construction skill.”

“Say no more!” Applejack announced. “We Apples are natural-born builders! Why, I’ve helped raise our barn in less than a day. Of course, I suppose I didn’t have to cut all the planks of wood myself, and we had an easy supply of tools and nails and such, so I might not be that quick here.”

“Then we’ll improvise!” Pinkie Pie cried, popping out of nowhere. “We can use gum to stick things up, and I once made a tiny log cabin out of sticks of candy! Now, all we need are some huge candy canes….”

“Pinkie, even if that worked, you know you would eat it all within the day.” Applejack replied.

Pinkie Pie sighed. “You’re probably right. Still, eating an entire house made of candy would be totally sweet!” She giggled at her own joke. “Do you get it? Sweet? Hee hee ha ha ha!”

“Well, I’d better get to work.” Applejack stated. “I already slept longer than I planned to, and there’s lots to be done.”

“Um… excuse me.” Fluttershy said softly as she walked up. “I was wondering if somepony could help me go to my house and collect some things. I mean, if that’s okay with you. It isn’t far, and it’s right next to the forest, so I don’t think it will be too dangerous. But I have to make sure my animal friends are okay, and I have a lot of medical supplies that could be very helpful.”

“Sounds like a good idea.” Sonic said. “Hey, Knuckles! Over here!”

Knuckles walked over, setting down the load of firewood he had collected. “You called?”

“Fluttershy needs an escort who’s strong and can carry stuff to go with her to check out her house.” Sonic stated. “You up for it?”

“Sounds more fun than collecting firewood.” Knuckles replied. “I’ll go. But someone has to collect firewood in my place.”

Sonic chuckled. “I can have that done in no time. After all, Sonic’s the name, and speed’s my game.”

Knuckles turned towards Fluttershy. “Okay. Lead the way.”

“It’s right this way.” Fluttershy said, pointing her hoof.


Fluttershy and Knuckles gently glided down outside of Fluttershy’s house. Fluttershy gasped, putting her hooves over her mouth, as she saw a few laser scorch marks. Worse, all her animals were missing.

“Oh no!” she cried. She dashed towards the house before Knuckles could stop her.

As she threw open the door, she suddenly froze. Standing in the room towering over her, was a giant robot.
Fluttershy squealed, quivering uncontrollably, unable to run from sheer fright.
The robot charged at her. She covered her eyes.

But to her surprise, the robot scooped her up and hugged her.

“Um… hello?” Fluttershy said, extremely relieved but very confused.

Suddenly, Fluttershy noticed all of her pets and animal friends climbing out of hiding spots all around her. They all squeaked or chirped in delight, and dashed over to her, surrounding her.

Knuckles suddenly burst in. “Fluttershy, you should be more….” Suddenly he noticed the robot, and raised his fists. “Get behind me, Fluttershy!” he shouted.

“Oh, it’s okay. I think he’s friendly.” Fluttershy replied, as the robot nervously backed up.

Knuckles looked suspiciously at the robot. “One false move, and I’ll scrap him. The only reason I’m not scrapping him right now is because I’ve seen a couple bots who’ve rebelled before.”

Fluttershy looked about. Her happy face suddenly became worried again. “A lot of my friends are missing.” she mentioned worriedly. “And… Angel? Where’s Angel?!”

“Who’s Angel?” Knuckles asked.

“My cute little pet bunny.” Fluttershy replied. “He’s gone!”

The robot suddenly waved its arms, pointing towards itself.

“You know where Angel is?” Fluttershy asked.

The robot nodded.

“Where?!” Fluttershy exclaimed.

The robot took a picture from the wall. It showed Fluttershy and a small, white rabbit. The robot pointed at the rabbit, then back at itself.

A dawning look came over Knuckles’ face. “Just how intelligent are the animals in Equestria?” he asked.

“Well, they all are quite intelligent, even if not many ponies can understand them.” Fluttershy said. “Angel was really smart. He would even look after me, sometimes.”

Knuckles turned towards the robot. “I think I can guess what happened.” he said.

He walked over to the robot. “Don’t worry.” he stated to the robot. “I’ve done this lots of times, and nobody’s ever gotten hurt.”

Before anyone else could react, Knuckles delivered a series of shattering blows to the robot.

“Knuckles!” Fluttershy shrieked. “He’s nice! You shouldn’t….”

As the sparks and smoke cleared, Fluttershy suddenly saw a small figure climbing out of the wreckage.

It was Angel.

“Angel!” She cried with relieved joy, scooping him up and hugging him.

Angel hugged her back. “You got no idea how glad I am to see ya, babe.” he said in his rabbit speak.

“H-how did you get in that robot?” Fluttershy asked.

“Eggman has been doing this since his earliest years.” Knuckles replied. “He uses animals as a biological power source to power his robots. Kind of like batteries. It’s sick.”

“He… does… WHAT?!” Fluttershy screamed. Knuckles took a few steps back, surprised and a little frightened by the sudden outburst of rage coming from this normally meek and shy mare.

“Relax. It don’t hurt or nothin’.” Angel told her. “Just really uncomfortable. But I guess that Eggman chump ain’t used to animals like me. I took control of the tin suit, and blasted his robot palookas. Then I came here. Me and some of the others have been doin’ our best to break out the other animals that Eggman caught.”

“Oh my.” Fluttershy stated.

Knuckles looked confused. “You can understand him?”

“Of course.” Fluttershy replied. “It’s a special gift of mine.”

“Who’s the red chump?” Angel asked.

“Angel , this is Knuckles. He’s helping us stop Eggman.” Fluttershy explained.

“Helpin’?” Angel squealed. “I had myself a tail-kickin’, bad-flank robot suit, and he goes and busts it up! What’s up with that?”

“He gave me a nasty look with that last squeak.” Knuckles said.

“Oh, Knuckles was just trying to free you.” Fluttershy explained to Angel.

“Well, tell Knucklehead here that thanks to his dumb moves, we’re down one more soldier!” Angel squeaked. “It ain’t comfy in there, but this is war, and I needed that tin can to fight! I have half a mind to teach this chump a lesson or two!”

“What’s he saying?” Knuckles asked.

“He’s a little disappointed that he can’t use the robot to help us.” Fluttershy replied sweetly.

Knuckles shrugged. “Well, maybe Tails can do something with it. In the meantime, let’s get those supplies, and get these critters someplace safe.”


“Got everything, sugarcube?” Applejack asked as Knuckles and Fluttershy returned.

“Oh, yes. We got everything we’ll need, and we even found Angel!”

“Well, that’s mighty lucky for y’all!” Applejack replied, setting up some logs to make a fence. “Winona has been stayin’ here most of the time, chasin’ off the varmints and whatnot. And Derpy brought Tank here when they came. Lucky for us we got pet-sitters. Octavia made sure to bring Opalescence along with her, and Lyra’s got Gummy. Owlicious was smart enough to head to the woods once the invasion started, so, he’s here, too!”

“Who?” Owlicious cried from a nearby branch.

“You, ya silly bird!” Applejack repeated.

Knuckles set down the supplies, then suddenly stopped and stared.

“What’s so interestin’ sugarcube?” Applejack asked, turning about. Then she suddenly put a hoof over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud.

Shadow was walking past with Pinkie Pie, and he was looking angrier than Applejack had seen him in a long time.

But there was a very big difference.

He was pink and glittery, with purple highlights.

“I told you, never, ever walk in Poison Joke!” Pinkie Pie was saying. “Although actually, I like this color on you! It’s very….”

“Just stop talking about it.” Shadow stated abruptly.

“You’d… better see…mrmph, heh heh… you should see Zecora about that, sugarcube.” Applejack said, trying very hard not to laugh. “She’s dealt with this stuff before.”

“I hope she can make it quick.” Shadow growled, stomping off.

As soon as he was out of earshot, Applejack, Knuckles, and even Fluttershy burst into hysterics. From afar, an even louder laugh, and some angry, unpleasant words testified that Sonic had just noticed Shadow’s condition as well.

“Well, that’ll do wonders for morale, at least!” Applejack laughed.


A short while later, Knuckles and Applejack were finishing up the fence.

“Hoo-wee!” Applejack exclaimed. “I need a breather, and a nice cold apple juice. Then I guess we should start gettin’ to work on some of those shelters.”

“Your work will not be necessary, Applejack.” a gentle, beautiful voice called from the heavens.

Everyone looked towards the sky. Against the sun, a winged equine figure was silhouetted. Her flowing mane shimmered with magic. The sun glinted off of her golden crown as she landed.

“P-Princess Celestia, y-your majesty.” Applejack stuttered, bowing. Everyone else followed suit, except Sonic, who gave a friendly wave.

“She’s the princess! Y’all are supposed to bow!” Applejack whispered.

“Sorry, not my style.” Sonic stated casually. “My respect is earned by who someone is, not by a title.”

Celestia gave a gentle chuckle. “Bold but wise words, Sonic the Hedgehog of Mobius.” she replied. “It is refreshing to see someone who doesn’t judge me as a princess, but as an equal.”

“No offense intended.” Sonic replied. “I don’t bow for most of the rulers of my world, either.”

“I am not offended at all.” Celestia replied. “In fact, I am pleased. It has been so long since anyone has treated me as an equal, rather than as a ruler.”

“But what Equestria need now is a ruler.” she continued, spreading her wings. Her eyes flashed with white fire, and her voice became thunderous. “And my people have been threatened. My patience is great, but I will not tolerate any who dare to harm my subjects!” She stomped her hoof, sending trembles through the earth, and flames licked out from her hoofprints.

She turned towards the ponies and the Mobians. “This Dr. Robotnik shall pay for his cruelty. I bid you all, stand up and fight beside me! Through the power of friendship, we shall overcome! For your homes! For your loved ones! For both Equestria and Mobius!”

“For Equestria, and for Mobius!” everyone shouted.

Celestia nodded, smiling kindly. “I have faith in each and every one of you.” she stated. Then her face became serious. “But where is Twilight Sparkle?”

“We… don’t know.” Fluttershy replied. “She went to meet someone who said they could help us.”

Celestia looked grave. “I cannot wait. Robotnik shall harm no more of my little ponies.”

“But we can’t go without Twilight!” Rainbow Dash stated. “We were waiting here for her!”

Celestia smiled. “Twilight shall come. I have faith in her.”

Sonic grinned. “You know something, don’t you, ma’am?”

Celestia gave Sonic a secretive smirk. “Every cloud has a silver lining.” she stated. “And please… call me Celestia.”

Was There Ever Any Doubt?

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Chapter 14: Was There Ever Any Doubt?

Twilight was furiously pacing. “I can’t use a teleportation spell to get us back!” she cried. “The distance is far too great! And I haven’t the slightest idea on how to get back to Mobius!” She turned towards Silver. “What about your gem? Check your suit again.”

“I’ve checked it over a dozen times already!” Silver replied in an exasperated tone. I must have lost it sometime in the fight. I think Mephiles took it. And even if we did have it, I don’t think it could cover a trip all the way back from the moon!”

Twilight collapsed, putting her head in her hooves. “We’ve failed.” she moaned. “I’ll never be able to get back and warn the princess.”

“We stopped Mephiles from getting those blood samples.” Silver stated encouragingly. “Without those, he won’t be able to copy the princess’s genetic structure. That will make it harder for him to merge with her. We bought our friends the best chance we could.”

“But we aren’t there to help them!” Twilight replied.

Silver shook his head. “You think I’m not scared?” he asked. “Mephiles is going after the Sol Emeralds. That means that Blaze is in danger, and I can’t get there to help her!”

Twilight got up and stomped her hoof. “We have to find a way to get over to Equestria.” she stated.

“But how?” Silver asked.

Twilight sighed, collapsing to the ground.

“I have no idea.”


Night was falling. Exhausted from stress, Twilight and Silver curled up next to each other. Twilight could feel herself drifting off. She didn’t resist. She felt hopeless, and sleep seemed like the only escape she would find.

Her eyes closed.

Feeling drifted away from her body.


Twilight was in a field back home. She was trotting happily along with her friends, laughing carelessly.
From the sky, Princess Celestia swooped down. She smiled at the ponies, and began to trot along with them.

But suddenly Celestia’s mane lit up with fire, and her eyes became pink with green, catlike irises. The field was scorched into a wasteland. All of her friends turned to stone.
From atop a cliff, Silver was yelling at her.

“You failed! You are the Sol Umbrae Trigger! You doomed us all!”

As the fiery Celestia began to chase her, Twilight ran as fast as she could. The evil Celestia was catching up.
But suddenly, Twilight saw a light ahead. A figure was silhouetted in front of it.

“Don’t be afraid!” the figure called. “Run into the light! I’ve got this!”

As the figure dashed past her, Twilight felt a calming breeze move past her, like a living wind.

“Sonic?” she said.

“Just the wind.” the figure said.

As he ran off, Twilight saw his long ears flowing in the wind behind him. The evil Celestia was changing into a shadowy monster.

“Run!” the figure cried.

He pointed a large golden ring set with a green jewel at her. She was enveloped by a gust of wind which blew her into the light.

Everything went bright.


Twilight found herself in a strange place, like a park. Surrounding her were doors which stood without any building or room behind them. A large fountain gently tinkled in the center. In the air, gentle, soothing music lulled her fears away.

Suddenly, the cheerful, whistling sound of a flute filled the air. Twilight looked towards the sound, and saw, sitting in the air, the most unusual character. He, (or she, it was impossible to tell,) was wearing a colorful outfit and a purple hat with two large spikes sticking off the back. He had no nose, but two large, blue eyes. The eyes were beautiful, but catlike, and something about them vaguely reminded Twilight of Nightmare Moon’s eyes.

“Oh, hello there!” the creature said brightly, gliding down beside her. “You look like you’ve had a scare.”

“Am… am I dreaming?” Twilight asked.

“Well, you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t!” the creature laughed. “My name’s NiGHTS. And you are?”

“Twilight Sparkle.” Twilight said, feeling very strange. “Is this… are you sure this is a dream? It’s the most lucid dream I’ve ever had.”

“Just because it’s a dream doesn’t mean this place isn’t real.” NiGHTS replied. “So, Twilight Sparkle. Would you happen to be the student of Luna’s sister?”

“Yes.” Twilight stated. Then her face suddenly lit up. “That’s it!”

“What’s it?” Twilight saw the same figure who had saved her earlier walking up. She saw he looked kind of like a Mobian, around Tails’ age, and had large, yellow eyes. His fur was black and white, and his ears hung almost to his feet. He wore a blue cap upon his head.

“This is a dream!” Twilight exclaimed. “Maybe I can find a way to tell Princess Luna where we are!”

“Where are you?” the large-eared boy asked.

“On the moon.” Twilight stated.

“The moon?!” the big-eared boy exclaimed. “Cool!”

“I think she means she’s trapped there, Klonoa.” NiGHTS stated.

“But if I find Princess Luna, she can come and rescue us!” Twilight exclaimed.

Suddenly, Twilight felt herself shaking.

“Wh-what’s happening?” she asked.

“The waking world is calling.” NiGHTS replied. “Sorry, this is a strong one. I don’t think you’ll be able to fight it off.”

“Don’t worry!” Klonoa shouted. “We’ll….”


“Twilight, wake up!”

Silver was shaking her awake.

“The moon and the stars are moving!” Silver exclaimed. “What does that mean?!”

“It was just a dream.” Twilight murmured to herself in disappointment.

“Does this mean something bad is happening?” Silver asked.

Twilight sighed. “No. Princess Luna is just aligning the sky for nighttime. And since she does it from afar, she’ll never know we’re here.”

Silver laid back, looking at the sky.

“Well,” he said, “at least we get front-row seats.”

Twilight gave a little smirk. She laid back as well, looking up at the heavens.

“I guess we do have that.” she stated.


Twilight felt herself being shaken awake for the second time.

“Leave me alone, Silver.” she muttered. “There’s nothing worth waking me over.”

“NAY, TWILIGHT SPARKLE!!!” a powerful voice bellowed. “TIS NOT SILVER WHO WAKES THEE!!!”

Twilight was shocked wide awake, as she and Silver both screamed in surprise.
But Twilight’s surprise quickly melted into joy as she saw the figure standing before her.

“Princess Luna!” she cried. “You found us!”


Twilight looked confused. “So… my dream, those people I met….”


“Could you please talk a little quieter, ma‘am?” Silver asked, his hands over his ears. “My ears are ringing.”

“Oh. Of course.” Luna replied. “Please excuse us. We are rather accustomed to using the royal Canterlot voice to address our subjects.”

Silver suddenly stared, looking rather awed. “P-Princess Luna?” he asked. “I… I never expected to see you!”

“Who art thou?” Luna asked. “And how dost thou knowest our name?”

“It’s a long story.” Twilight said. “But we need to talk to Celestia right away.”

“Very well!” Luna stated. “We shall bring you to her!”


There was a flash of blue magic, and Twilight was once again within the familiar halls of the Canterlot palace.

Silver looked impressed. “So this is Canterlot.” he murmured. “It’s beautiful. I would love to look around once our mission is complete.”

“Our sister is within here.” Luna exclaimed, pointing towards Celestia’s personal chambers. She rapped upon the door with her hoof. “Sister! I am sorry to bother you at this time of night, but your student Twilight Sparkle has come, and she brings a friend that appears to be Mobian!”

The doors were quickly opened, and Celestia looked up from her typical spot by the fire. For a moment, Twilight felt as if she had stepped back in time to when she was a filly, and she almost checked to make sure she had remembered her study books.

“Twilight! You’re back earlier than I suspected.” Celestia replied. “It’s only been a day. What have you learned.”

“Um… actually, it been longer than that for me.” Twilight explained. “Silver and I have been traveling through time quite a bit.”

Celestia gave an understanding nod. “Ah, yes. That tends to happen when you are a companion of Silver the Hedgehog.”

She turned toward Silver, who was staring at her with a mixture of awe and terror.

“Welcome, my friend.” she said kindly. “It has been a long time since a Mobian has set foot in Canterlot.”

“Um… thank you.” Silver replied.

Celestia gave him a shrewd glance. “At ease, Silver. You don’t need to be afraid of me.”

“S-sorry, ma’am.” Silver replied. “It’s just… well, I’m not used to seeing you like this.”

“Seeing me like what?” Celestia asked.

Twilight sighed. “That’s what we’re here to tell you.”


Celestia sighed as she heard the full story.

“So… the shadow has returned for revenge.” she uttered.

“And the Elements of Harmony in the hands of a madman.” Luna added. “This indeed is grave.”
“So what can we do?” Twilight asked.

“You must return to Mobius.” Celestia stated. “The Sol Emeralds must be protected at all costs. If they are somehow lost, then you and your friends should search for the Chaos Emeralds. With all seven, their power may be enough to counter the power of the Sol Emeralds. Also, you must reclaim the Elements of Harmony. Only they hold the key to banishing this darkness from our worlds.”

“But how can we get back to Mobius without the Elements?” Twilight asked.

Celestia and Luna exchanged glances. “There is a place which Star Swirl the Bearded created.” Celestia explained. “A doorway. This door lies within Canterlot, but it is only able to be opened by one individual.”

“Who?” Twilight and Silver both asked at once.

Celestia sighed. “Star Swirl tended to be suspicious, and after the Nightmare Moon incident, he became suspicious of even us. He made the door so that only he or one of his descendants could open it.

“You mean Star Swirl has a great-great-great-great-great grandfoal?” Twilight exclaimed.

“Precisely.” Celestia replied. “This descendant is the only individual who will be recognized, and will be able to open the doorway.”

“Then why haven’t you already asked this descendant to come here?” Silver asked.

“This descendant knows not the power they possess, nor are they easy to reach.” Luna stated. “We know not for certain who it is, but we know that the individual is located at the moment somewhere in Manehatten, but our scouts have been unable to locate them.”

Twilight stood up, thrusting her chest out. “I am willing to undertake this task, and locate this pony!” she said boldly.

Celestia smiled. “I have faith in your capabilities.” she said. “Just remember what you have learned about friendship. You may need it. Now go get some sleep. You‘ll need it for the big journey ahead of you.”

As they turned to leave, Twilight paused.

“Just one question, your highness. How will I know who it is?”

Celestia smiled. “It shall be the one who has the greatest faith.”

Twilight’s face lit up with recognition. “Have faith… just like Discord said.”

“What was that, Twilight?” Celestia asked.

Twilight grinned. “Never mind. I’ll tell you later.”


As Twilight and Silver got off the train, they looked about at the huge high-rises.

“Big city.” Silver stated. “Nice to see it like this, instead of… how it looks in my time.”

“Wow.” Twilight stated. “I’ve never been to Manehatten before.”

“I guess we should start asking around.” Silver stated.


“Ugh! We don’t have this kind of time!” Twilight exclaimed. “It’s already taken us two days, and we haven’t found anything!” She had gotten very little sleep because of her searches, and was now rather cranky.

“Maybe we aren’t looking in the right kind of places.” Silver replied. “Who’s to say that Star Swirl’s descendant would be hanging out in libraries or magic schools?”

As they walked along, Silver pointed towards a rather grimy-looking club. “Maybe someone in there knows something.” Silver stated.

“But… that place looks awful seedy.” Twilight stated, looking rather displeased at the thought of going in.

“Exactly.” Silver replied. “And it’s the seedy folk who know stuff. Trust me on this.”

Twilight sighed, reluctantly following Silver into the club.

As they entered, they found themselves surrounded by lots of tough-looking ponies, not to mention a few griffons and a couple minotaurs.
One of the ponies, a hulking one with a boxing glove Cutie Mark, strode up to Silver.

“What they hay are you supposed to be scrawny?” he chuckled. “You and your girlfriend don’t belong here.”

“We’re just looking for someone.” Silver replied.

“Well, what you found is trouble.” the big pony snorted. “We don’t like wimps like you traipsin’ in here.”

Before the pony could react, he was suddenly slammed up against the roof by Silver’s telekinesis. Silver floated up so that they were eye-level.

“We don’t want any trouble.” he stated. “Just tell me. Have you seen anyone who is a powerful magician?”

“I- I swear I don’t know nothin’!” the pony replied, not looking as tough now. “There’s just this one mare who works here from time to time. She claims to be real hot stuff, but she ain‘t much to talk about.”

Silver slowly lowered the pony to the floor. “Thanks.” he stated.

As he walked on, Twilight stared at Silver. “That was rough.” she said.

“I lived among dragons and diamond dogs.” Silver replied. “One has to be rough to live in those conditions.”

“So, what did he know?” Twilight asked as she strained to hear Silver over the noise of the crowd. Apparently, some sort of club show was starting, and everyone was paying attention to a small stage near the back.

“He said that a mare who occasionally works here claims to be a sorcerer.” Silver replied. “He didn’t think it was real, but it’s worth a shot!”

“I’ll look around and see if I can find her.” Twilight stated.

As a loud noise emanated from the, (whether it was a cheer or an angry shout was hard to tell,) Silver suddenly grabbed Twilight’s shoulder.

“Over there!” he exclaimed. That mare over there! See, the one wearing the cape!”

“Which mare?” Twilight shouted over the noise.

“That mare on the stage! The blue one with the pale mane and the hat!” Silver cried.

Twilight looked up at the stage. And felt her heart sink.

“It can’t be.” she stated in shock. “Not her. Anypony but her.”

The mare stood up on her hind hooves, the gem on her cape sparkling in the light of the fireworks that went off as she spread her front hooves towards the roof dramatically.

“Watch in awe!” the mare shouted. “For today, you shall behold the mystical powers of the Great and Powerful…TRIXIE!”


What happened next was uncertain. All that Silver and Twilight saw was a flash of fire, some screaming and enraged shouting, and then a whole crowd covered in scorch marks and whipped cream were carrying a bundle over their heads. Twilight and Silver were jostled along as the crowd hurled the bundle out into the street.

“You shall regret this!” the bundle shouted, as Trixie unwrapped herself from her cape. “Trixie shall make you all pay for your cruelty and foolishness! She won’t even show you her special disappearing trick when she leaves!”

As Trixie began to gallop down the street, Silver began to follow her.

“Oh, please let this be a wild goose chase.” Twilight mumbled as she followed Silver.

“Why?” Silver asked. “She’s a little crazy, but we need to get back to Mobius, and she could be our only hope!”

“She’s not going to be easy to work with!” Twilight exclaimed. “Especially with me here. We have a… less-than-stellar past together.”

As they followed Trixie into an alley, they saw her dash towards her caravan, which was parked near some garbage bins. As she ran, she slipped, tripping on her face and landing in a puddle. She got up and dashed inside her caravan, slamming the door angrily.

“She seems really upset.” Silver stated.

“She’s just angry that everypony doesn’t worship her.” Twilight snorted. “Now, if we have to do this, let’s get it over with.”
Twilight walked up to the door, but before she banged on it, she heard a noise that made her stop.

Inside, Trixie was sobbing.

“Mean… rotten… bullies.” she wept. “Nopony likes… hic… me. Why don’t they… hic… like me? I try my best to impress them and they… they… they hate me!” Trixie burst into sobs again. “I’m all alone and nopony... hic… cares!”

Twilight sighed. She couldn’t stay irritated with Trixie now.

She gently knocked on the caravan door.

The sobbing suddenly stopped. “Trixie is very busy right now!” Trixie replied, her voice quickly changing to hide every trace of her sorrow.

“Trixie, I heard you crying.” Twilight said softly.

“Trixie isn’t crying! Trixie is performing a trick that involves onions!”

“This is really important, Trixie.” Twilight stated. “Can you please come out?”

There was a sigh, and the door opened. For a moment, Trixie stared in surprise, then snorted.

“Twilight Sparkle?” Trixie grumbled. “Just when Trixie though this day couldn’t get any worse.”

Twilight sighed. “Trixie… I never knew you felt so miserable about being alone.”

“Trixie isn’t miserable.” Trixie retorted.

“You have tearstains on your face.” Twilight pointed out.

“Trixie was attacked by a puddle.”

Twilight sighed. “You know… I’ve sometimes worried about you, Trixie, when I thought about you. Being out there with no friends to look after you. So… well, I care at least.”

“Well, isn’t that just like you, you goody four-shoes.” Trixie snapped. “Run me out of town and then act sorry for me.”

“Hey, look here….” Silver began, but Twilight put a hoof on him, gesturing for him to stop.

“Trixie, I am sorry.” Twilight stated. “I wish you could have stayed in Ponyville.”

“What, and be mocked and hated by everypony there?” Trixie retorted.

Twilight shrugged. “Look, you weren’t the friendliest mare to everypony. But you could change that! And as for that magic duel we had, that wasn’t you, that was the Alicorn Amulet! We both know that!”

Twilight sighed and went on. “Look… you don’t have to be lonely. We could be friends.”

“None of your friends like me.” Trixie replied.

“Well, you were mean to them.” Twilight replied.

“Well, aren’t you all supposed to turn the other cheek and forgive and all that?” Trixie scoffed. “Some Elements of Harmony your friends are.”

“Hey!” Twilight said, now angry on her friends’ behalf. “You can’t just walk all over ponies and then expect them not to get mad! And if we’re going to talk about ponies not acting like they should, let’s talk about how you’re being such a big, stubborn meanie!”

“Trixie isn’t an Element of Harmony, so there!” Trixie stated, sticking out her tongue.

“Yeah, but we think that you may be the descendant we‘re looking for.” Silver stated, coming into the conversation.

Trixie paused, her tongue still out. “Come again?” she asked.

“We have reason to believe that you might be the descendant of Star Swirl the Bearded.” Silver replied.

Trixie blinked. Then she snorted. “Trixie is not amused by your mean jokes.” she replied.

“We’re not joking.” Twilight said. She took a deep breath trying to collect her patience, and continued. “Look… Trixie, I know you’re sore about how my friends didn’t like you. But… you treated them in a very degrading manner. And I think you yourself know very well just how much it hurts when somepony does that to you.”

Trixie was silent.

“You know, I remember Apple Bloom and her friends telling us about a filly they knew called Babs Seed.” Twilight went on. “Babs was a bully, but deep inside she was just acting like that because she didn’t want to be bullied. But she learned that she doesn’t have to be like that to keep from being bullied, and she ended up being a really good friend of Apple Bloom’s.”

“Trixie fails to see your point.” Trixie snorted.

“My point is that maybe if you prove to everypony that you aren’t all mean and nasty, you might find that they actually like you.” Twilight stated. “Just show a little humility. Don’t tell them that they aren’t as good as you. After all, you don’t have to put others down to make yourself look great and powerful. I recently met someone named Sonic the Hedgehog. He constantly claims to be the fastest thing alive, and the coolest. He’s got quite an ego. But lots of people like him. You know why? Because he builds up his friends, and he doesn’t put others down. He encourages them instead. If you did that, I think everypony would see how great and powerful you really are.”

Trixie sighed. “Very well. Trixie is willing to give it a try. She might have overlooked how intimidating her skills would be to other ponies.” Then she tossed glance in Silver’s direction. “But who is this, and most importantly, what is this talk about Trixie being a descendant of Star Swirl the Bearded?”

“Well, you are a magician, and magic is your talent.” Silver said, pointing at her Cutie Mark. “We believe that you may be Star Swirl‘s great-great-great-great-great grandfilly.”

“I… I am?” Trixie replied, looking disbelieving. “Could it really be…?”

“There’s only one way to find out.” Twilight stated. “You come with us, and try to open the magical doorway.”

“Well, please come in, and bring your funny-looking friend!” Trixie exclaimed, suddenly warming up to the two of them. “Trixie knew that she always had a great destiny upon her! She….” Trixie’s voice trailed off as she stared at Twilight in utter shock.

“Uh-oh.” Twilight thought. “She’s seen my wings.”

“You… ah… plpphphpaaaaaah… w-w-wings… ali… alico….” Trixie spluttered incoherently.

“Erm… look, Trixie, I didn’t come to show off to you.” Twilight exclaimed. Trixie’s face was a mixture of confusion and suspicion. “It just… happened. I finished some sort of spell made by Star Swirl the Bearded, and then I ascended to a cosmic plane or something, and then….”

“You’re a… princess?” Trixie spluttered.

“Y-yes.” Twilight replied. “Oh, Celestia, she’s going to be jealous and think I came to show off.” she thought to herself.
“Trixie, please, we….”

“Oh, I see!” Trixie shouted. “You just came here and made up that grandfilly story to show Trixie up again and show off your new royal status! Well, Trixie doesn’t care about your dumb wings or you being a princess! And you can forget about me helping you! After all, what does an alicorn princess need with a unicorn?!”

Twilight sighed. “Trixie… I need you. Everypony needs you.” she said. “And… since I’m an alicorn, that makes you… the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria.”

Trixie merely stared hostilely.

Twilight sighed deeply. “Please, Trixie. Everyone needs you. I’m begging you.” Twilight got down on her knees, bowing before Trixie, and motioned for Silver to do the same, which he did awkwardly.

“I can’t do this without you.” Twilight said humbly. “And I never thought I was better than you. If it weren’t for my friends, I would never have become an alicorn.” She held out her hoof. “So, Trixie… will you accept my friendship?”
Trixie gave a long, lingering look at Twilight. He face softened, touched by Twilight’s humble gesture.

“Trixie acc… I accept.” she replied. “For now.”

“Oh, thankyouthankyouthankyou!” Twilight cried, jumping up and hugging Trixie with relief. “And I’m sorry if I ever came across as arrogant or proud.”

“I… suppose I am, too.” Trixie replied quietly. “I just wanted somepony to like me.”

“Well, maybe we can both change things.” Twilight said. “And I think that once you learn a little more about friendship, everypony will love you.”

“I hope so.” Trixie stated. “But one question. What makes you think that I’m the descendant?”

“Because Celestia told me to look for somepony with great faith.” Twilight replied. “And while you may still need to learn about friendship a bit, I haven’t seen anypony with greater faith.”


As Silver and Twilight followed Trixie out of the alley, helping her with her caravan, there was ruckus as a group of ponies from the club walked up to them.

“Well, if it isn’t Miss Magician.” one of them said with a sneer. “You think you can bust up our joint and leave that easy?”

Trixie was about to respond, when Twilight stepped in front of her.

“I am Princess Twilight Sparkle, arch-mage to Her Royal Highness Princess Celestia, Seven-hundred-and-seventy-seventh apprentice to Her Highness, and the Element of Magic.” Twilight stated. Her eyes flickered with white light, and she folded her wings out majestically. “You shall treat The Great and Powerful Trixie with due respect. As the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria.”

“Of course, you could file a complaint.” Silver stated, levitating into the air and glancing threateningly about. He looked at one muscular pony with a boxing glove Cutie Mark. “Haven’t we met before?” he asked with a smirk.

The tough ponies suddenly looked a lot less tough. They scattered, running away from the imposing figures before them.

“Ha! Yes! Flee, you insolent fools!” Trixie cried. “You cannot stand before the might of the Great and Powerful Trixie!

“Ahem.” Twilight cleared her throat.

“And her friends, of course.” Trixie added quickly, blushing a little. She looked thoughtful for a moment. “My friends.” she muttered, a small smile crossing her lips.
Then she began to gallop off. “Come, my friends!” she shouted. “We go to Canterlot!”

“Hold up, Trixie!” Twilight said. As Trixie stopped, Twilight went over to her and unstrapped her harness to the caravan, then strapped it onto herself.

“I’ll drive.”

Trixie looked surprised at Twilight’s humility, then she smiled. As she clambered up onto the top of the caravan, (with a little difficulty and some help from Silver,) she stood and held her hoof outward, her cape flowing in the wind.

“If Equestria is in danger, then Trixie shall save it!” Trixie shouted to everypony around. “No foe is too powerful, no task too impossible! For I am the Great and Powerful Trixie! The most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria!”

As Twilight and the caravan took off into the sky, Trixie threw her hooves up and whooped.


The Flames of Disaster

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Chapter 15: The Flames of Disaster

The caravan landed in Canterlot the next day. As Trixie got down and looked about, she looked a little nervous.

“You say the princesses wish to meet Trixie?” she asked.

“Yep!” Twilight replied. “This is the big test. If you truly are the Element of Faith, you will be able to open the doorway made by Star Swirl the Bearded that leads to Mobius.”

“Trixie is unsure….” Trixie stated.

Twilight gave her a smirk. “Since when is the Great and Powerful Trixie unsure of herself?”

At this, Trixie smiled, and put her nose up in the air. “Very well!” she exclaimed. “Escort Trixie to this magical doorway! She shall open it for you! After all, she is the greatest and most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria!”

“Um, aren’t you forgetting what Twilight said earlier about humility?” Silver asked.

“Twilight Sparkle said to build others up, not for Trixie to sell herself short.” Trixie replied. “And Trixie shall try to encourage her lessers. And anyways, Trixie is being humble. Trixie only claims to be the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria. Trixie could have said that she was the greatest magician in all of history!”

“I’m not sure about that.” Twilight stated, smirking amusedly.

“Trixie would debate the point, but Trixie is too humble to do so.” Trixie replied.

Silver and Twilight glanced at one another and shrugged.

“Well, we’d better get to that doorway fast.” Silver stated. “Who knows how long we’ve got.”


“I’m glad to see you back so soon!” Celestia stated as the three companions entered the palace. Trixie was doing her best to remain nonchalant, but it was obvious that she was overawed by her surroundings.

“Trixie Lulamoon. How nice to see you.” Celestia said with a smile. “And no, I’m not surprised. Not because you are as great as you claim to be, because I know that deep in your heart, you know you’re exaggerating. But I believe that one day, you truly will be the most powerful unicorn in all of Equestria. After all, faith is a powerful thing.”

Trixie simply gulped and stared.

“Star Swirl the Bearded would be proud of you.” Celestia stated. “And… well, he always had a little trouble with his ego, too. You’re more like him than you realize.”

“Th-thank you, Princess.” Trixie replied, looking utterly shocked at the Celestia’s words.

Twilight leaned over towards Trixie. “See? Don’t you like it when somepony encourages you?” she asked.

A huge grin lit up across Trixie’s face, and she simply giggled like a schoolgirl.

“Well, we have little time.” Celestia said. “Go now, and give aid to my avatar. I sense that she is in danger.”

“Her avatar?” Silver asked confusedly.

“She means Blaze.” Twilight explained.

Silver suddenly looked worried. “Then we have to go now!” he exclaimed. “I can’t let anything happen to her! Not again!”

“Your friendship with my avatar will give you great strength.” Celestia stated. “I have faith in you all.”

Suddenly, a pegasus burst in through the doors. The guards were chasing her, trying to stop her.

“At ease.” Celestia told the guards. “I’m sure that Miss Blossomforth has a good reason for coming here.”
Celestia turned kindly towards Blossomforth. “If I recall, you’re from Ponyville.” she stated. “What brings you here in such a hurry, my friend?”

“Ro… robots. Take… over… Ponyville.” Blossomforth gasped. “Eggman… turn… ponies… into… robots. Flying… fleets… armies… everywhere.”

“Eggman?!” Twilight cried. “But he’s… he’s supposed to be on Mobius! How did he get here?!”

“How is not important.” Celestia said with a firm voice. Her face had grown concerned, and quite stern. “My subjects are in danger. I must rally the army together and go to their aid. Guards! Alert the Canterlot soldiers, and see that Blossomforth receives a place to rest.” She turned towards Luna. “Sister, bring these three to the doorway. They may need your help in their journey”

“But who shall defend Canterlot?” Luna asked.

Celestia sighed, and Luna’s eyes grew wide.

“Nay, sister! Tis not that desperate!”

“If there is an army from Mobius in Ponyville that has taken control, then it is that desperate.” Celestia replied. “If this Eggman can reach Equestria, then the door has been opened for the shadow.”

“Who are you leaving in control of Canterlot?” Twilight asked.

“Yes, who indeed?” a voice echoed.

From the ceiling, a familiar figure snaked down. A figure that was a chaotic mix of various different animals.

“Are you referring to moi?”

“Discord, both I and my sister are on important business!” Celestia stated firmly. “You will not be in charge. Your only duty is to defend Canterlot.”

“You have my word that I shall defend it to the best of my abilities.” Discord replied with an exaggerated bow.

“No causing an invasion just to amuse yourself by fending it off.” Celestia said.

Discord rolled his eyes. “Fine.” he grumbled.

“No making new laws or trying to hypnotize anypony while we’re gone.”

“What about new laws of physics?”

“No!” Celestia ordered. “You will do as you are told by my prime minister. Your duty will only be to keep Canterlot safe And I want to come back to see Canterlot exactly the way I left it.”

Discord snorted. “And I thought you had a sense of humor.” he muttered.

Twilight turned towards Celestia. “Princess, you’re leaving him alone here?” she shouted in shock.

“Hey, Discord isn’t all bad, remember?” Silver stated. “He’s the reason we’re all alive in my time.”

Even Celestia looked surprised at this.

“Well, Discord,” she stated, “it appears that Silver has faith in you. Although I must admit, the idea of you acting responsibly in any future is hard to believe.”

“Why, Tia, I’m very responsible.” Discord replied. “Whenever there’s trouble, I’m usually responsible for it!” He laughed at his own joke.

“Yeah, well, I know that you have a noble side.” Silver stated. “No less chaotic, but noble.”

“Oh, please.” Discord mumbled, rolling his eyes.

“If you don’t care about anything else, do it for Fluttershy.” Silver replied.

Discord sighed. “Very well.” he conceded. “I’ll behave. At least until Tia is back.”

“Good.” Celestia stated. “Sister, bring our three guests to the doorway. I must depart.”

Discord turned towards Celestia. “But can I have just a little candy storm?”

Celestia sighed. “Clean up afterwards, and you may. But only in the royal gardens.”


Luna lead Twilight, Silver, and Trixie down to the lower basements of Canterlot. As they walked through, the three younger companions looked about in awe at the various magical artifacts.

“Hey, is that a power ring?” Silver asked, pointing towards a gold ring inside a crystal case.

“Indeed.” Luna replied. “But we have not the time to explain such things. We must make haste to reach my sister’s avatar.”

She walked up to a simple, unassuming-looking door built into the wall. It looked very old, but sturdy.

“It looks like a broom closet!” Trixie commented.

“Star Swirl wished it to remain hidden from unfriendly eyes.” Luna stated. “Now Trixie, you must be the one to open the door. Only you can open the pathway to Mobius. That is, if thou art indeed Star Swirl’s descendant.”

For a moment, Trixie looked unsure. “And what if Trixie fails?”

“Then you shall find nothing but a broom closet.” Luna replied matter-of-factly.

Trixie gave a gulp, but went up to the door. Her horn glowed as she slowly turned the handle.
Suddenly, a gust of fresh air blew through, blowing Trixie’s mane about. The smell of the sea wafted in.
As the door opened fully, the four companions looked out to see the rolling beaches of Solianna.

“Why does this doorway also lead to Solianna?” Silver asked.

“It was the city where we and our sister first arrived.” Luna explained. “Here is where most of our interactions between Mobius and Equestria took place.”

“Trixie did it!” Trixie cried, leaping out onto the sand and kicking her hooves happily. “Trixie is the greatest and most powerful unicorn in Equestria! She opened the door to another world! Was there ever any doubt?”

“I’m glad you’re so happy.” Twilight said, as she and Silver exchanged amused glances at Trixie’s bragging.

“We have little time.” Luna said. “We must reach this portal you spoke of which lead to the world of sister’s avatar!” She sighed. “We remember now what we disliked about this world. Too many confusing alternate universes.”

“The portal is in Tails’ laboratory!” Twilight stated.

“Then let’s go!” Silver cried.


As Twilight led them to the laboratory, she approached the door, carefully observing everything.

Suddenly, a surveillance camera popped out of the wall.

“Identify yourselves.” the camera stated.

Trixie shrieked. “It talks!”

“Your name and appearance are not on record, Ms. Talks.” the camera replied.

“I am Twilight Sparkle.” Twilight stated. “This is Silver the Hedgehog, Trixie Lulamoon, and Princess Luna. We need to reach those Star Rod things.”

“Twilight Sparkle identified.” the camera said. “Security clearance level 4 granted.”

“Only level 4?” Twilight mumbled as the door slid open.

Silver dashed inside as quickly as possible, with Twilight close behind him. Trixie and Luna lagged behind staring at the surrounding machinery. Even Luna was greatly impressed, and she couldn’t help but stare at some of the gadgets.

“Come on!” Silver cried. “Blaze could be in danger!”

As Twilight ran over to the Star Rods, she was suddenly stuck by the realization that she had absolutely no idea how to operate them.
Fortunately, Silver had dashed over, and was hurriedly trying to activate the portal. In less than a minute, the portal came online.

“Thank Celestia you knew how to do that!” Twilight stated. “I never learned much about Star Rods.”

“They’re kind of a way of life for us in the future.” Silver stated. “No one wants to bother going to the surface if they don’t have to.”

He dashed into the portal without another word. Twilight gestured for the others to follow as she went in behind him.
Trixie walked up to the portal, slowly and tentatively. She slowly touched it with her hoof, testing it.

“GET THYSELF MOVING!!!” Luna cried. She gave Trixie a shove, pushing her into the portal, then dove in herself.


As they came through, Trixie was about to complain, but even she was silenced by the sight that met them.
All about, the trees and the land was scorched and burnt. Flames still flickered all about them.

Before they could question what had caused this, a horde of creatures, made of shadows and what appeared to be black rock, leapt out at them.

“Mephiles’s minions!” Silver cried, stunning one of the beasts and hurling it into sea.

Twilight blasted off streams of magic, striking the monsters. Trixie shrieked, trying to run back to the portal, but a hulking, shadowy giant cut her off. Trixie screamed, falling onto the ground.

The beast was blasted with a bolt of magenta light, and went soaring away, as Twilight dashed up to her.

“Come on, Trixie!” she shouted, blasting another monster. “You keep saying how great and powerful you are! So let’s see it!”

Trixie gulped, then closed her eyes and blindly fired a stream of magic from her horn.

The bolt struck a monster, freezing it in a block of ice. Trixie opened her eyes, looking surprised. Her face lit up.

“Trixie is the greatest and most powerful monster fighter ever!” she cried.

“Well, we’ll need that!” Silver cried, tossing a storm of boulders at the shadowy beasts. “We’re literally fighting an army here!”

“Get behind us, all of you!” Luna cried. “We shall deal with these creatures ourself!”

Twilight, Trixie, and Silver all dove behind Luna. Silver looked uneasily at Twilight.

“Are you sure she can handle all those?” Silver asked.

“You don’t get to be ruler of the night by title alone.” Twilight replied.

As the creatures surrounded them, Luna’s eyes glowed white. She planted her hooves firmly upon the ground, as thunder and lightning began to peal through the sky. He voice rang out, louder than the thunder, so great that it felt as if it could shatter the heavens themselves.


Lightning crashed all about her, striking the beasts, and her horn was alit with magic. Shadows sparkling with stars swirled about her in a maelstrom. For a moment, her eyes flashed, blue and catlike, and in the flash of the lightning, Twilight swore for a moment that her fur was black, and she was clad in dark blue armor.

The shadowy creatures mindlessly continued their assault. Now they surrounded the companions in a thick, wide circle.

“They cut us off from the portal!” Trixie cried.

“THESE WEAK CREATURES BE ONLY A MINOR PROBLEM!!!” Luna bellowed. Her horn flared with magic, and sparks like stars shimmered about it.

Suddenly, Luna struck the ground with her hooves, and the beasts were rocketed into the sky. But rather than coming back down, they continued to fall upwards, higher and higher, until there was another flash of magic, and they came rocketing down to the earth, crashing and disappearing into shadowy smoke.

Twilight stared in awe. “That was the most impressive gravity spell I have ever seen.” she breathed.

“Sister is better at those.” Luna replied nonchalantly, returning to her typical self now that the monsters were defeated. “We are better at controlling tides and such. We thought about wiping these creatures out with a tidal wave, but if there are inhabitants nearby, we would not wish to hurt them or their property.”

“We have to get to Blaze!” Silver cried. He soared into the sky, with Twilight close behind him. To Trixie’s surprise, Luna lifted her onto her back with her magic.

“Um… why are you letting Trixie ride you?” Trixie asked at they took off.

“This is a time of great peril, and we have not the time to give thee wings of thine own.” Luna replied.

Trixie merely looked surprised and shocked. She had been feeling surprised and shocked ever since she had opened that door, and was now wondering if she could ever shake the feeling.

As they soared over the town, Twilight gasped. It was in flames and ruins, and the streets were flooded. The populace was evacuated, save for four individuals.

The first was Marine, riding her ship through the flooded streets, firing all the vessels weapons at the second figure. Even from this distance, Twilight recognized it as Dusk Flicker. Upon the deck of Marine’s ship, Blaze was sprawled limply

But the fourth figure towered above them all. Taller than the buildings and the trees, a being of fire and lava.

“No.” Silver breathed. “He’s dead.”

“Silver, what’s wrong?” Twilight asked.

Silver just stared, his face looking fearful. Then it hardened with a determination so powerful and so driven that even Luna looked surprised.

“It’s always come down to this, hasn’t it?” Silver said quietly, looking at the fiery behemoth. “You and me.”

He soared higher, shouting at the beast. “You!” he shouted. “Remember me?!”

The flaming beast turned towards him, its green eye flickering in hateful recognition.

“This time, I’m going to stop you for good!” Silver cried. “This ends now…Iblis!”


Twilight stared in surprise. Silver was in a rage, filled with a determination as solid as iron. As the beast sent hundreds of fireballs soaring at him, Silver caught them and threw them back at it.

“Luna, what should we….” Twilight suddenly noticed that Luna was no longer by her side. Looking below, she saw Luna had dropped Trixie down on Marine’s ship. And now, she was attacking Dusk Flicker.

“YOU… SHALL… PAY… FOR… WHAT… YOU… DID… TO… ME!” Luna shouted between blows. Her hooves shook the earth as she struck at the shadowy pony, who was busy trying to evade her blows.

“What I did to you?” Dusk Flicker said mockingly, sending a bolt of magic at Luna. “You let me in. Your anger and jealousy and selfishness. You asked me for that power. You wanted to become Nightmare Moon. And deep down inside, you know the truth.”
Dusk Flicker teleported next to Luna’s ear, and whispered into it.

“You always were Nightmare Moon.”

Luna whipped about, blasting Dusk Flicker with a beam of magic that sent the dark pony soaring through the air.
“I… am… Luna.” Luna replied heavily. “I made mistakes, and I am to blame. But I never intended what came. That was you, and you alone.”

“Was it?” Dusk Flicker asked, teleporting to her hooves. “That darkness, that evil, is a part of you. I merely awakened it.”

“No.” Luna replied. “You controlled me. You deceived me. You stole my very mind and my choice.”

“But you asked for it.” Dusk Flicker replied. “You wanted it.”

“I never wanted the devastation you brought, and I never wanted to be your puppet.” Luna replied. There was a flash as she sent out a blast which collapsed the building that Dusk Flicker was atop.

The shadowy pony merely teleported away, staring smugly at Luna.

“But you still wanted to be Nightmare Moon. You still wanted to surpass your sister.”

Luna sighed. “Yes. And I regret it.”

“You see?” Dusk Flicker replied with a grin. “You have evil within you. Perhaps we aren’t as different as you believe.” She held out a hoof to Luna. “We could still rule together. Under an eternal night.”

Luna stared icily. “I am different from you.” she stated firmly. “We all have the potential to do evil. We all have selfish desires. But we can choose to deny those desires. And when we fail, we shall get back up again. Because that is what a hero does. I made a mistake, but I shall not let that mistake rule me.”

Dusk Flicker gave an irritated smirk. “Do you really think that Celestia still trusts you after that?” she scoffed. “Do you really think any of your subjects will… GAH!”

From the surrounding smoke, a bolt of magic flashed and struck Dusk Flicker in the back, sending her sprawling. She returned fire, but the figure dodged the attack.

“I have wasted too much time here.” Dusk Flicker stated. “I have what I came for. Now to let the Flames of Disaster deal with you.”

There was a flash, and a portal opened up. Dusk Flicker leapt inside, and was gone. The portal closed behind her as Luna attempted one last shot.

Luna turned about with a sigh. “Thank you, Twilight Sparkle.” she stated. “Your aid was most welcome.”

But the figure who walked out of the smoke was not Twilight.

“Miss Lulamoon?” Luna said in surprise.

Trixie snorted. “Trixie was tired of hearing that creepy pony blathering.”

“You were very brave to do that.” Luna stated.

Trixie shrugged, giving her cape a flourish. “Trixie is not afraid of creepy ponies or monsters.” she stated. “She was merely a little surprised before. But now, the Great and Powerful Trixie is ready to fight any evil beast!”

Luna turned to look up at the towering figure of Iblis, as the tiny figures of Silver and Twilight dove at it.

“Then shall you join us?” she asked.

Trixie stared at the towering behemoth and gulped. But she sighed, and straightened her hat.

“Of course Trixie shall.”


Silver soared about Iblis’s head, throwing all the debris he could collect at the colossal being.

“GO DOWN! GO DOWN! GO DOWN!” he screamed.

Silver landed on a rooftop, blocking the barrage of fireballs that Iblis spewed at him.
Twilight soared to his side, shooting beams of magic at the colossal burning beast.

“Is this the same Iblis that Blaze said was imprisoned inside her?” Twilight asked, levitating some water balls out of the surrounding water and hurling them to try and extinguish the behemoth.

“Yes.” Silver replied, his face fearful but set.

Luna and Trixie shot past and charged at Iblis, but Iblis swung at them. Luna dodged, but Trixie, who tried to jump atop Iblis’s hand, was knocked unconscious and fell down below. As Luna dove to grab her, Iblis swung again, striking Luna’s wing and sending her crashing to the ground, landing on Marine’s ship

Twilight dove to catch Trixie, but Iblis smashed the rooftop out from under them. Twilight spread her wings, trying to soar to clear ground, but she wasn’t used to flying with extra weight like this. She began to plummet towards the water. With a splash, she and Trixie landed in the salty depths.

Trixie immediately woke up, and began spluttering and screaming. Twilight tried to swim, But Trixie was being dragged down by her cape, which had soaked up water and become heavy. Twilight swam over to Trixie, trying to keep her head above the water, but they were both beginning to be dragged under.
Suddenly, they both found themselves caught by Luna’s magic, as Luna lifted them onto Marine’s ship.

“Our wing is injured.” Luna stated. “We are unable to fly.”

“Well then, just shoot the bugger with your pointy noggin!” Marine cried out, throwing the wheel as she turned down a city street. “We need all the firepower we can get!

Silver soared down, landing upon the deck. “He’s too powerful to take down like this.” Silver stated. “Luna, you said you create a tidal wave?

“Yes, but the town….”

“Is already wrecked!” Silver shouted in reply. “Iblis will wreak havoc on this world, and we don’t have much time to save the other ones as it is!”

Luna sighed. “It will not be easy to protect us all.” she stated.

“Leave that to me.” Silver replied.

Luna raised her horn, and it flashed with light. Suddenly, the water beneath hem began to drain away, until the street were dry.

“Where’s the wave?” Trixie asked. “How can you have a wave without water?”

“Wait for it.” Luna replied.

Iblis towered over them, raising a hand to smash the ship.
But a roar caused him to pause. He looked up to see a wave of water, taller than him, rushing towards him.

The wave crashed into Iblis, extinguishing his flame, only moments before it hit the ship.

Silver caught the ship, holding it steady against the powerful blow so that it didn’t shatter. Suddenly, it felt like they had been shot out of a cannon.

Twilight and Trixie both screamed and clung to whatever they could as the wind rushed past them. They were high in the air now, high above the building’s tops. Silver was too intently focused on guiding and holding the ship to scream, and Luna, as she sat next to Marine, shielding the ship, was whooping and hollering. Marine was screaming too, but with joy, as she clung to the ship’s wheel, her legs and tail drifting in the air behind her.

As the wave began to crash down, Silver raised his hands. Behind them, the wave split down the middle, and as they came soaring down towards the ground, the ship suddenly slowed down, and stopped in midair, as the sea crashed all around them.

“HUZZAH!” Luna cried, her horn shimmering as she held the ship up. “A BRILLIANT PLAN, SILVER THE HEDGEHOG! AND A FUN ONE, AS WELL!”

“That was a ripper!” Marine shouted, leaping up and down. “Can we do it again?”

“We have more important business right now.” Silver stated, running to Blaze’s side. His eyes were teary as he looked at her limp form.

“She’s unconscious, but her injuries aren’t that bad.” Twilight stated.

Silver turned about. “Luna!” he cried, forgetting her title for the moment. “Can you use your magic to bind Iblis back within Blaze?” As he said this, he pointed towards a fiery spirit rising out of the waves.

Luna nodded. Her horn flashed, and the flames of Iblis streamed through the air towards her, channeling through her horn before flowing into Blaze.

Blaze awoke suddenly as the process ended. “What happened?” she murmured. Then, as she saw Silver, her face lit up.
“Silver!” she cried, embracing him. “I thought… I thought I would never see you again!”

“Since when have I ever missed a fight with Iblis?” Silver laughed. He sniffed, his eyes shimmering as he tried to control his overwhelming emotions.

“Awww.” Twilight and Luna said.

Trixie rolled her eyes. “Trixie doesn’t like all this sappiness.” she muttered.

Blaze parted from Silver, suddenly looking grave. “That weird-looking pony was Mephiles.” she stated grimly. “He has the Sol Emeralds. I tried to stop him, but….”

“Hey, we’ll get them back.” Silver stated. “Don’t worry.”

“Of course you blokes shouldn’t worry!” Marine shouted. “You’ve got the intrepid Captain Marine on your side! Everything’s going to be apples. ” Marine turned towards Luna. “Now, where can I get my hair to look like yours? It’s bloomin’ lovely!”

“Marine, I need you to stay here and look after the koalas.” Blaze stated. “I have to reclaim the Sol Emeralds.”

“You can count on me, ma’am!” Marine shouted, giving a salute.

“As for the rest of you,” Blaze stated, turning towards the others, “thank you. You saved me, and likely my world as well.”

“It’s not over yet.” Twilight stated. “We have to get those Sol Emeralds.”

“Then let us pursue this Mephiles wherever he hath gone!” Luna cried.


Twilight led them back through the portal into Tails’ lab, and ran over to the computer.

“They used this to contact us before.” Twilight stated. “Maybe we can contact the others and get some help!”

“Are you sure that this is a wise idea?” Silver asked. “I mean, with the whole time travel thing….”

“We’re basically back in the normal stream of things.” Twilight assured him, pointing at the clock. “Judging by the date and time, we are now a few hours ahead of our original departure.”

“Trixie is confused.” Trixie stated. “What do you mean, your original departure?”

“Long story. We’ll tell you later.” Twilight stated. “Right now, we need to contact the others.”

Silver went over to the computer, but before he could touch it, Tail’s face appeared on the screen.

“Hello, Twilight.” he said. “This is a recording, so I can’t really talk to you or see you. I hope that if you activate this, you have found the help you were searching for. Because we have a situation. Eggman is invading Ponyville, and we’re going in to stop him.”

“Your support will be extremely helpful.” Tails went on. “We are in an attempt to locate and retrieve the Elements of Harmony. I do not know when you will receive this message, if you ever do at all, but I need you to report to the Iron Egg. That’s where Eggman has his portal to Equestria. He’s using the Chaos Emeralds to power it, four of them. Without them, the portal will close. Get those Emeralds and bring them to us. We are right now heading out on a mission to Equestria, and you will be able to find us there. If you need help finding the Iron Egg, talk to G.U.N., they know where it is.”

“As for Mephiles,” Tails continued, “my best bet is to collect both the Chaos Emeralds and the Elements of Harmony. We need all the help we can get. Rouge has detected Mephiles’s minions moving towards the Iron Egg, so we need to stop him from coming through. Spike will meet you at the rendezvous coordinates. Good luck.”

As the transmission flickered out, General Abraham’s image flickered into view.

“Miss Sparkle.” he stated flatly. “I assume that you got Mr. Prower’s briefing?”

“Y-yes.” Twilight replied, uncertain if this was another recording, and feeling very nervous that the general would somehow know of her role in the blood sample disappearances.

“Tails rigged the device to wire us if the message was triggered.” General Abraham went on. “We’re sending over a G.U.N. airship right now.” He turned towards the others. “Friends of yours?”

“Yes.” Twilight replied. “And we need to get to the Iron Egg.”

“I already know.” General Abraham stated. “Your assistant has been very impatient for your return.”

“Tell him we’ll be there shortly.” Twilight replied.


“This flying ship is certainly very impressive.” Trixie stated, looking about as they flew through the surrounding blizzards. “Trixie can’t even feel the cold. She wants one of these.”

“You’ll feel the cold soon enough.” one of the G.U.N. agents chuckled. “The Iron Egg is nearly impossible to reach for troops because of the harsh weather. Once you get off, I recommend you put on a sweater.”

Blaze gave a little chuckle. “Speaking for myself, I think I’ll be fine.”

Suddenly, a voice announced over the radio, “We are approaching the drop zone. Prep yourselves for the jump.”

“The… jump?” Trixie gulped.

“Sorry, guys.” one of the agents stated. “This terrain is too hazardous to land on. Most of you can fly, and we can loan you some parachutes if you need them.”

“We shall be fine.” Luna replied. “Trixie Lulamoon, thou shalt ride upon my back again. Princess Blaze, how shall you fare?”

“I’ll bring her down.” Silver volunteered.

“I can take care of myself.” Blaze replied, but she grinned at Silver’s offer.

“Well, you’d better be ready!” the G.U.N. agent said. “Opening doors… NOW!”

A blast of shockingly cold wind struck them all as the doors opened. Blaze leapt out first, without a second thought, closely followed by Luna and a shivering Trixie. Silver and Twilight then dove out together.

Flurries of snow blinded them. Twilight found it almost impossible to maneuver in the rattling winds, and it took all her strength just to simply guide herself safely to the ground near the drop point.

As she landed heavily and rolled into a snow bank, landing upside down, she suddenly saw a short figure dashing towards her.

“Twilight!” Spike cried out, grabbing her and hugging her. “I’m so glad you’re here! Eggman’s attacking Ponyville, and the others have been gone a really long time, and all these creepy dark creatures are inside Eggman’s base, and….”

“I know, Spike.” Twilight replied, getting to her hooves. She smiled and returned the hug. “Don’t worry. I’ve got help.”

Spike stared in surprise at Blaze and Silver, and his gaze narrowed at it settled upon Trixie.

“What’s she doing here?” he asked. “And… how did she even get here?”

“Trixie opened up a magical doorway that only Trixie could open.” Trixie replied, looking smug. “Twilight Sparkle depended on Trixie’s great and powerful magic to get her through.”

“And…?” Twilight prodded.

Trixie sighed. “And the magic of friendship. But it was still mostly Trixie.”

Spike turned towards Twilight in surprise. “Did she just talk about friendship?”

“Long story. She’s learning.” Twilight replied.

“Where beith this portal, young dragon?” Luna asked, stepping up.

Spike stared in awe, then bowed. “P-Princess Luna!” he stuttered. “It’s an honor to….”

“The portal is over there.” Blaze stated, pointing. “Kind of hard to miss.”

Everyone looked at the swirling, glowing vortex. Even still, troops were marching through it and giant airship were flying into the portal.

“We must move with haste!” Luna cried. “I shall distract the armies. The rest of you, get those Chaos Emeralds.”

“They should be in the machinery generating the portal.” Silver pointed out.

“I shall teleport us in!” Luna shouted. “Prepare yourselves!”

There was a flash of blue magic, and they were gone.


They began running almost as soon as they appeared within the base. Luna stood between them and the robots, blasting them with her powerful magic.

Blaze dashed over to one of the power nodes, melting the Emerald out with her fire. Trixie grabbed another with her telekinesis, ripping it out of its socket. She quickly dodged the lasers of the surrounding robot who had opened fire upon her.
Twilight grabbed the third, but Silver hovered next to the final Emerald.

“Everyone, get through!” he cried. “The portal’s collapsing! It’s gonna close when I pull this Emerald out!”

Luna whipped about, teleporting to Twilight’s side. As they all ran through the portal, Silver followed, pulling the last Emerald out as he did.
There was a flash, and the portal rippled and began to shrink behind them.

“Wow… it was that easy?” Twilight said in surprise.

“I fear not.” Luna stated quietly.

Although the portal heaved and buckled, it did not close.

“Eggman must be using his machines to hold it open.” Silver stated. “If we can close the portal, he won’t be able to open it again without the Chaos Emeralds.”

“Nay, leave it open.” Luna replied. She was staring away from the portal. “I fear we shall need to send much back through it.”
As they all turned, Twilight gasped. Spike stared in tearful shock. Even Trixie looked distraught.

“Ponyville….” Twilight murmured.

Silver gave her an understanding look. “Don’t worry.” he said. “I know what it’s like to lose my home. I won’t let that happen to you, too.”

Luna looked towards the sky, and smiled.

“The sun is rising.” she stated.

A light streamed over the land, as a brilliance filled the sky. Through the light, Twilight could see many figures coming out of the Everfree Forest. Most were ponies, but she could make out some blurs that were not pony shape.

And suddenly, the light moved, hovering above the small army, shining down as if the sun itself had come down from the sky.

“Sister is here!” Luna cried. “Canterlot has come!”

Sun of Darkness

View Online

Chapter 16: Sun of Darkness

Rainbow Dash stood beside Sonic, looking out over the armies of robots.

“You worried?” Sonic asked.

“Nah.” Rainbow Dash replied, despite the nervous knot in her stomach. “The princess is here, and the royal Canterlot army is on coming in on the horizon.” She pointed towards the hordes of air balloons that were soaring in, delivering the troops.

Rainbow Dash ran her hoof over her mane. “Plus, we’ve got me.”

From behind them, Vector chuckled. “You sound just like Sonic when you say that.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Rainbow Dash replied with a grin.

From above them, Celestia cried out. “My little ponies, and my Mobian friends! Today marks a great day! Today, for the first time in over a thousand years, our world once again are working together, to create harmony and defeat the forces of evil! Friendships you have made! Now, fulfill them all, for love and land!”

Sonic crouched next to Rainbow Dash. “You ready to play my game?”

Rainbow Dash pawed the ground.

“Let’s do it to it.”

Celestia’s voice rang out, using the Canterlot voice for the first time in ages.



Eggman’s forces began to pour out of Ponyville, firing lasers every which way. Shock-missiles soared into the pony ranks. A few detonated and zapped a few ponies, knocking them out, but many were caught by the unicorns and hurled back at the enemy. From above, pegasi soared about, mustering up storm clouds.

Down the hill they charged.

Then, they clashed.

The robots were smashed apart as the ponies crashed into them. With the might of the Canterlot army marching before them, the ponies were now far more formidable.

But the robots still had numbers. Giant robots, towering as tall as the houses, trudged forwards, while hundreds of crab-like robots scuttled out of their hiding places, crawling along the walls like spiders.

But their line was broken, as two blurs, one blue, one rainbow, blasted through their ranks, cutting a path for the others to charge into.

Knuckles and Applejack were the first to charge through the breach. Knuckles’ powerful fists crushed their way through the large robots, while Applejack pulled one down with her lasso, then bucked another over with a single kick.

From above, Tails soared, bombarding the enemy with Dummy Ring Bombs, while trying to keep his distance from Derpy, who was destroying virtually everything in reach, (although not always on purpose.)

A wave of resonant dubstep tore through a horde of mechanical soldiers as Vinyl Scratch blasted her way through. Beside her, Vector ripped through a robot with his powerful jaws.

“I like your style.” he said to Vinyl Scratch, looking admirably at her bass cannon. “I’ve gotta get one of those!”
Pulling off his headphones, he aimed them at another robot, turning the volume up all the way. The sonic blast threw the robot back, smashing it against a wall.

“And I used to think my headphone trick was cool!” he cried, turning the volume down as he strapped the headphones back on.

“Are you kidding?!” Vinyl Scratch cried. “That was awesome! I want some!”

“Keep your mind in the fight, Vinyl.” Octavia reminded her, dashing past and cutting down the robots with her sword.


A horde of robots were blasted to pieces as Shadow leapt out at them, firing a prototype G.U.N. rifle. As a couple robots got too close, he smashed them with his homing attack.

“Wee! This is fun!” Pinkie Pie cried out as she leapt to his side, holding a strange, colorful gun. “I see you’ve got a bot-popper, too!”

Shadow snorted. “This is a prototype military rifle that fires armor-piercing, concussion-tipped bullets.”

“And this gun shoots cupcakes!” Pinkie replied cheerfully, firing off a clip of pastries at the robots, filling their joints with frosting and causing them to short out and catch fire.

Shadow shook his head and sighed.

Pinkie Pie patted his shoulder. “It’s okay.” she said comfortingly. “No need to be jealous. I can make you one, too.”

Shadow slapped his forehead. This battle was going to be too long.


Rainbow Dash was shooting along beside Sonic, tearing through the robots.

“You know, you ponies would make great Freedom Fighters.” Sonic stated with a grin, pulverizing a few robots with a Sonic Spin.

“Yeah, well, we’re the Element of Harmony. We can hold our own.” Rainbow Dash replied, looping through the air as she pummeled a horde of airborne robots. “Except maybe for Fluttershy. She’s more of a medic than a fi….”

Rainbow Dash was cut off as a blur of yellow shot past her, smashing into a robot. Fluttershy was smashing the robots with a fury, tearing open the metal casing and battering them to pieces.

“Oh, I’m so sorry.” she said, helping the little animals out of their robotic shells. “I hope I didn’t scare you.”

A robot aimed its laser at Fluttershy. “Surrender and stand down from those animal batteries.”

“NO!” Fluttershy squealed, grabbing the robot and wrenching it open, pulling out a sparrow inside.

“Are you okay, little fellow?” Fluttershy asked sweetly, stroking the bird’s feathers.
She then turned towards the Egg Dome.
“You… big… MEANIE!” she shouted, hoping Eggman could hear her. “You won’t touch another little animal!”

Rainbow Dash gave Sonic a surprised glance as Fluttershy shot off in search of more animals to liberate.

“Er… well, she can get pretty defensive if animals or her friends are involved.”

“I noticed.” Sonic replied, looking a little shocked himself. “I’m glad I’m on your side.”

Suddenly, the sun was blocked out. Everyone looked to the sky, and their hearts sank.
Above them, dozens of giant airships hovered. The sky was blackened as they filled the sky, each one the size of an aircraft carrier.

“Sonic… are we going to take on all of those?” Rainbow Dash asked.

The blue hedgehog merely stood silently, looking grim. From the ships, thousands of robots began to pour out, flying down.


Sonic sighed. “This… looks bad.”

But suddenly, there was a flash of magenta in the sky. Beams of bright pink energy began to fly all about, blasting through the robots, and all about, more robots were swept up and pulled along like a magnet as a figure glowing with teal light soared among them.

“It’s Twilight!” Rainbow Dash whooped.

Twilight Sparkle and Silver swooped down, landing beside Sonic and Rainbow Dash. Spike dismounted from Twilight, looking rather dizzy.

“Sorry we’re late.” Twilight said awkwardly. “We were… well, it’s a long story.”

“But we’ve brought backup.” Silver said cheerfully. He made a backhanded gesture, tossing a bunch of barrels into a group of robots without turning around.

A streak of flame streaked past as Blaze dashed through the hordes of robots, burning through them and leaving a trail of flame and molten metal behind her.

“Hey, Blaze!” Sonic said, giving a wave. “Long time no see!”

“We can catch up later, Sonic!” Blaze cried, hurling a fiery bolt at a flying robot. “I just hope Cream isn’t in this.”

“She’s safe and sound on Mobius.” Sonic assured her.

Suddenly, there was a flash of smoke, and bolts of magic flew out from it, striking the robots. A caped figure leapt out from the billowing clouds, sending a stream of fireworks into another group of robots.

“Fear me, metal minions! For you have invoked the wrath of the Great and Powerful Trixie!”

Rainbow Dash glared as Trixie trotted up. “What’s she doing here?”

“Trixie is helping you, as you obviously need it.” Trixie replied. Then she looked thoughtful for a moment. “But you’re very powerful, too! Not as great and powerful as Trixie, but you’re still pretty good!”

Rainbow Dash stared in surprise. “Did… did you just compliment me?”

“Trixie is trying to build others up more.” Twilight explained. “She’s still kind of pompous, but I think she’s got a good heart.”

Rainbow Dash shook her head. “Well, even with your help, how are we going to take all those airships?”

“I think we’ve got that under control.” Twilight stated.

As she spoke, one of the airships was suddenly struck by a beam of pale blue light. In a flash, it suddenly appeared upon the ground, plowing through armies of robots, crushing them beneath its hull.

The ship slowed to a stop just in front of Twilight, Sonic, and the others. There was a flash of blue magic, and upon the bow, Luna stood proudly, an excited expression upon her face.


Her horn flared, and the crashed ship was suddenly lifted into the air, and was sent hurtling into another airship, causing a fiery explosion.

Sonic whistled. “That’s quite a feat, ma’am.” he stated.

“Tis nothing.” Luna replied. “We raise the moon each night. To lift these ships is filly’s play!”

Suddenly, above them, all the ships stopped moving. Then, surrounded in a golden haze, they began to move backwards. One after another, they hurled with great speed, towards the portal from which they came.
Everyone stared in awe as the entire fleet was tossed about like leaves on a breeze, disappearing back into the portal.

“Woah.” Sonic breathed. “Luna… you did that?”

“Nay.” Luna replied, pointing a hoof towards a light upon the hill, a light that shone like the sun. “Tis my sister.”

“Princess Celestia.” Twilight breathed. “We have to warn her!”

“About what?” Sonic asked. “She just trumped the Egg Fleet singlehan… er, singlehoofedly. What’s she got to worry about?”

“Everything.” Blaze said, her face grim. “I can feel their power. The Sol Emeralds are here.”

“And if the Sol Emeralds are here,” Spike said with trepidation, “then that means….”

“So is Mephiles.” Twilight finished.


Eggman was inside the Egg Dome, shouting orders, when there was a brilliant flash of light. As he turned about, he saw a tall, white mare with a flowing mane like an aurora. Her wings were spread, her eyes were blazing, and fire licked from her hoofsteps.

“Your evil ends here, Dr. Eggman.” Celestia said. Her gentle voice was now firm and commanding.

The surrounding robots tried to attack her, but Celestia’s horn flashed, and they all turned to stone.

“P-please… don’t hurt me!” Eggman cried out, falling to the ground as he tried to scuffle away.

“I shall not stoop to your level.” Celestia stated, slowly striding forwards. “But you will be punished for harming my subjects!”

Her horn flared, and she stepped towards Eggman.

Suddenly, Eggman’s expression changed from fear to triumph.

“HA!” he shouted, pressing a trigger he had hidden in his hand.

Quicker than Celestia could react, strange machines began to pop out of their hiding places, surrounding her. There was a jolting shock, and she fell to the floor, weakened. Before she could teleport away, the machines grabbed her from every direction, while coils were attached to her horn. As it flared, the coils simply absorbed the energy.

“Do you think you are the first demigod I have bound to my command?” Eggman laughed, now striding about confidently. “For all your magic, for all your power, you are just as vulnerable as anyone else once your defenses are broken.”

“How…?” Celestia gasped.

“The Sol Emeralds, of course!” Eggman cried with glee. “They house your very own power! With them, I can use them as a channel to redirect your powerful magic and harness its energy! With all seven of them, I shall use them to drain your energy and power the very armies you sought to destroy!”

“My… energy… is the full might of… the sun. You… cannot hold me… for long.” Celestia stated as she strained. Her horn blazed with light, and the lights in the room began to grow brighter from all the excess energy, while some of control panels sparked.

“I don’t have to.” Eggman replied. “I didn’t want you for a battery. I wanted you as a weapon.”

One of the nearby shadows twisted and moved, and the figure of Dusk Flicker stepped out.

Celestia’s eyes grew wide. “Eggman, you have no idea what you’re doing!” she cried.

“Oh, I think I do.” Eggman replied smugly. “Mephiles. Nightmare Moon. The shadow that has the power to control gods. And now… it will control you.”

Dusk Flicker gave a smug smirk, dissolving for a moment, before reforming into the ghostly form of a figure Celestia had hoped never to see again. A figure that brought back the worst memories of her life.

Nightmare Moon.

“You thought I was gone forever, didn’t you?” Nightmare Moon’s ghost stated mockingly. “You thought you could destroy me? Well, you were wrong. Luna may be Nightmare Moon, but Nightmare Moon is not Luna. I am eternal. I always have been.” Her face shifted, flashing as Mephiles, as Dusk Flicker, and many other faces as well.

“I will never give in to you!” Celestia shouted. She cried out as another shock suppressed her and weakened her yet again.

Nightmare Moon laughed. “You little foal! Don’t you see? The Doctor’s machines do not just drain away your energy. With the help of the Sol Emeralds, they can infuse you with it as well. He has proven to be very helpful, despite our… earlier problems.”

“And this little blood sample is all we needed to make the infusion complete.” Eggman said with a grin, holding up a small glass phial. As he stuck it into a cavity in one of the nearby control panels, the red liquid drained away, coursing through the machine.

“Eggman… Ivo, I beg you!” Celestia cried. “You’re dooming yourself! You’re going to doom all of us!”

“Dooming myself? Hardly.” Eggman replied. “Dooming everyone else? Well, that sounds like a wonderful idea! Finally, that blasted hedgehog shall be MINE!”

As the machine powered up the ghost of Nightmare Moon laughed. She disappeared into the machinery.

Eggman threw a switch. Celestia shuddered as shadows began to pour through her veins.


A sound like a buzz saw on metal rang out as Sonic cut his way into the Egg Dome with a Sonic Spin. Twilight teleported in front of him as they came through. Close behind them, the heroes of both Equestria and Mobius were rallied.

“Eggman!” Sonic shouted. “It’s over!”

“Not by a long shot, Sonic!” Eggman shouted. He pressed a button, and his hovercraft unfolded from beneath his feet.
“So long, Sonic!” he cried, soaring off as a pair of bay doors opened up in the roof to let him out. “I shall enjoy seeing your demise from a front-row seat!”

As Eggman floated away, Twilight dashed to Celestia’s side, as she lay unconscious on the metal slab of Eggman’s machine.

“Princess? Princess Celestia?” Twilight cried worriedly.

Celestia mumbled, giving a violent twitch.

“T-Twilight? Is that you?”

The others tried to rush to Twilight’s side, but as Silver saw Celestia, his face went whiter than usual, and he pulled them back with his psychokinesis.

“No!” he gasped. “Don’t get near her!”

“Silver, she’s hurt!” Twilight shouted. “We have to help her.”

“T-Twilight….” Celestia moaned.

“Yes, Princess?”

Celestia gasped. Hey eyes snapped open. But it wasn’t her eyes.

They were pink, with green, catlike irises.

“Please….” Celestia strained to say. “Run.”


Everyone suddenly felt themselves being dragged through the air as Silver pulled everyone away.

“Git off of me with your magic!” Applejack hollered. “I ain’t leavin’ the Princess!”

“That’s not Celestia!” Silver cried. “That’s Sol Umbrae!”

“No….” Twilight murmured in a horrified daze. “W-we failed.”

The Egg Dome suddenly exploded in a blast of fire. The heroes all dove for cover as shrapnel flew all about.

As the smoke cleared, a figure strode out of the smoke. Her mane was a cosmic fire, her wings flickering with flame. She was black, and clad in golden armor. From her mouth, a mocking voice cried out.

“At last! At last! My revenge shall be complete!” Sol Umbrae cried. “I am now the sun!”

She turned to look at the heroes as they arose from their shelters.

“Pathetic.” she laughed. She turned towards Shadow. “Well, it appears we meet again.” she stated, giving a smug grin. “Although it is not your form I take this time.”

“Mephiles.” Shadow said, coldly and evenly. “I stopped you once. What makes you think I can’t do it again?”

“Because this is different.” Sol Umbrae laughed. “You always rely on killing. On destruction. But if you kill me, you doom all of Equestria to eternal night. Though I doubt my sister would object to that.”

“You are not Celestia!” Luna cried, stomping her hoof. “You are not my sister!”

“Well, perhaps not strictly speaking,” Sol Umbrae admitted, “but I still reside in your sister’s body. If you hurt me, you hurt her as well.”

“Celestia! Fight back!” Twilight cried.

Sol Umbrae laughed. “Celestia is gone, little foal. Now, the sun shall become dark, and the darkest day shall begin. And the day shall last forever!”

A bolt of magic shot skywards from her horn. The sun suddenly dimmed to a dark red, dark, but hot.

“Celestia, you can do this!” Twilight continued to shout. “Remember us! Remember your friends! We have faith in you!”

For a moment, Sol Umbrae stared at Twilight, and her face softened. A tear trickled from her eye.

“Twilight.” she whispered.

Then she shook her head, and that mocking rage was back.

“You all have been quite the nuisance.” she stated. “But first, to deal with that fool who thought he could control me. Who forced me to beg for his pathetic aid.”

From on high, Eggman’s floating hovercraft suddenly was pulled to the earth, crashing into the soil. Eggman went sprawling across the ground.

“You fool.” Sol Umbrae laughed as Eggman struggled to lift himself out of the wreckage. “You thought that I would honestly let you control me? Or did you plan to betray me and trick me?”

“I never… I didn’t….” Eggman spluttered, scooting backwards. His fear was quite genuine this time.

“Well, no fear.” Sol Umbrae stated. “I’m not interested in destroying you. Instead, I want you to watch, and see your folly. I want to leave you as an example to all who dare to think that they can defeat me!”

There was a flash, and Eggman cringed. His feet became grey and rock-like, and it began to creep up his legs.

“No! No! NOOO!” he cried, as the magic crawled up him, freezing him into a screaming statue of stone.

Sol Umbrae laughed. In a flash of magic, the Eggman statue appeared atop a pedestal in the town square.

“Fitting.” she chuckled. “He always did love to stand above everyone else. Now he can do so for eternity.”

Sol Umbrae turned towards the heroes. “As for you, I have the perfect punishment.”

Her horn flared, and suddenly the purple chest, housing the Elements of Harmony, appeared before her.

“The Doctor was kind enough to get this for me.” she stated. “Unfortunately, you’ll never reach it.”

There was a flash, and the chest disappeared.

“No!” Twilight and the other ponies cried out.

“Do you want to guess where they are?” Sol Umbrae asked.

Silver looked grim. “I already know. You sent them to the sun.”

“Oh, bravo, my time-traveling hero!” Sol Umbrae replied. “Very good! However, I’m afraid that you won’t be able to get to them. I hear that the weather’s a little too warm for you right now. Ah ha ha ha ha haaa!”

“You… leave… my… SISTER!” Luna bellowed.

Sol Umbrae merely smirked. “Oh, don’t worry, Luna.” she said mockingly. “You won’t have to stay in this dreary land. In fact none of you will. I’ll make sure that you have a nice home, where you can get a good view of my world.”

Sol Umbrae’s horn blazed, and suddenly the world seemed to shoot out from underneath the heroes.

Light surrounded them, then… darkness.


Twilight awoke to feel someone helping her to her hooves. As her eyes fluttered open, she saw Sonic’s face.

“You okay?” he asked.

Twilight shook herself as she stood up.

“No. I’m not okay. We lost.”

“But… can’t Princess Luna teleport us down to the surface?” Trixie asked.

“I am afraid not.” Luna replied. “A binding spell has been placed over me. I cannot use my magic to send any of you back.” She lowered her head. “I am sorry.”

“No… Sweet Apple Acres.” Applejack said, tears forming in her eyes.

“Without the Sol Emeralds, my world is lost.” Blaze stated, falling to her knees.

“Oh… Sweetie Bell is still down there.” Rarity sobbed. “Of all the worst things that could happen, this truly is the worst possible thing!”

“For once, I think you’re right.” Rainbow Dash stated.

Fluttershy began to cry. Beside her, with tears in his eyes, Tails began to dig at the soil.

“We’ve got to do something!” he cried desperately. Maybe I can find some base ores, and then Blaze can melt them down and I can try to build….”

Sonic put a hand on Tails’ shoulder. “Tails.” he said gently. “Come on, big guy.”

Tails shook his head, putting his head in his hands. “Mom and Dad will never even know what happened to me.”
He put his arms around Fluttershy, sniffling as Sonic held them both.

Zecora, staring at the stars, took a deep breath. “We should not fret. We are not finished yet.” she stated. “This moon is our prison, that is without doubt. But no prison exists from which you cannot break out.”

“But if Cele… if Sol Umbrae has bound Luna’s magic, then what can we do?” Twilight asked. “And even if we got back, the Elements of Harmony are out of our reach.”

“Not exactly.”

Everyone turned towards Silver. In his hand, he held an azure jewel.

Suddenly, with a look of hope upon his face, Espio scrambled in his pack, pulling out another. Trixie produced another. Blaze and Knuckles both pulled out two more. Shadow reached for his pack, but found that Pinkie Pie was already holding the gem up.

“Six.” Sonic stated, with a deep sigh. “Only six.”

“But… how did I lose it?” Twilight asked herself. “There were four Chaos Emeralds that we took from Eggman’s portal. I… I must have dropped it.”

“Begging your pardon, Twilight, but… I’m afraid I have something to tell you.” Spike said, shifting awkwardly.

“Well, spit it out!” Vector cried.

Spike gave a dry heave. “That’s… what I’m trying… to do.”

With a burp, he spat out a large red jewel.

Sonic’s eyes lit up, and a glimmer of hope returned to all the Mobians’ eyes.

“Seriously, I couldn’t even dent that thing.” Spike said, wiping his mouth. “I tried swallowing it whole, but it didn’t sit to well with me.”

“Spike, did you try to eat a Chaos Emerald?!” Twilight cried.

Spike gave a an innocent shrug. “Erm… maybe?”

Sonic picked up the gem, despite the dragon slobber.

“Seven.” he said. His familiar, cocky smile lit up his face.

“So, we can teleport back to Equestria?” Twilight asked.

Sonic shook his head. “Nope. You said we need the Elements of Harmony to free the Princess, and that’s just what we’re going to get.”

“But how can we do that?” Rarity cried. “They’re all the way on the sun? Are you going to just teleport into the sun?”

“Nope.” Sonic said with a grin. “We’re gonna fly.”


Everyone was gathered around as they rallied together.

“Stay close.” Sonic stated. “Shadow, Silver, Knuckles, Tails, stay close. Since you’re the only ones who can channel the Chaos energies at this level, you’re with me.”

“I’m coming, too.” Blaze stated firmly. “If you can harness the power of my Sol Emeralds, then maybe I can channel the energy of your Chaos Emeralds.”

“Fine by me.” Sonic said. “We’ll need all the help we can get. The rest of you, stay here until we get the Elements.”

“But… we want to help, too!” Pinkie Pie squealed.

“And we are the only ones who can use the Elements!” Rarity added.

“And y’all did say you need all the help you can git.” Applejack reminded him.

Shadow shook his head, but before he could speak, Sonic grinned.
“I’m going to try something totally wild here.” Sonic stated. “Just a hunch. Twi, Dash, AJ, Pinkie, Flutters, Rares, step up here.”

“It’s Rarity.” Rarity mumbled, but the six of them nevertheless obeyed.

Sonic held up the Chaos Emeralds. They began to flash and sparkle, and they levitated into the air, forming a circle around the six ponies and six Mobians.

“Get ready.” Sonic said. “Assuming this works, this feels kind of overwhelming on your first time.”

There was a brilliant flash of light. Energy coursed through their bodies, filling them, strengthening them.

It felt like being reborn.

When the light cleared, the ponies shook their heads.

“Ugh, my eyes.” Rainbow Dash groaned. “Everyone’s still all shiny.”

Suddenly she looked down at her hooves. They were glowing a brilliant white.

“WOAH!” she cried, jumping back. As she looked, she saw her mane streaming upwards like a rainbow flame.
Sonic grinned at her. He was now golden, and shone brilliantly.

“Looks like I was right about my hunch.” he said with a smirk.

“Oh, darling!” Rarity squealed. “My mane! It’s golden! And I’m shining brighter than the brightest diamond! Oh, I look FABULOUS!” She turned towards Shadow. “And you look quite bit better, dearie. White and red is just so much less… gloomy.”

Shadow snorted and folded his arms.

Surrounded in brilliant white flames, Blaze walked over to Rainbow Dash, and reached out to help her up.

“Ah! You’re hand’s on fire! Don’t!” Rainbow Dash cried out, but as the flames licked against her, she was surprised to find that it was merely rather warm.

“Wh-what is going on?” Twilight asked. “My mane is gold, and I’m all glowing pink!”

“Hey, how come I’m white and she’s pink?!” Pinkie Pie cried. Then she fluffed her mane. “Although, this gold mane and white body look pretty good together.” she mumbled. “What a fun surprise!” Then she whipped about, turning towards Knuckles, who glowed with a pink light.

“Ah-HA! YOU stole my pink!” she cried.

“Nah, he’s always pink when he goes super.” Sonic said with a chuckle.

“Don’t rub it in.” Knuckles growled.

Tails helped Fluttershy to her hooves. Fluttershy stared in awe at her white fur and glowing green mane, then at the shimmering form of Tails, crimson energy flowing behind him like a cape.

“Oh…my.” she gasped.

“Sweet Celestia!” Applejack cried out. “What in tarnation happened to us? My mane is blue, and brighter than an entire orchard of Zap Apple trees in harvest season!”

“It’s what happens when all seven of the Chaos Emeralds are together.” Tails explained. “Only some of us can achieve this form. ‘Going super’, we call it. I gotta say, I’m kind of surprised that you guys can do it, too.” He turned towards Sonic. “What made you think it would work?”

Sonic shrugged. “The Elements of Harmony kind of reminded me of the Chaos Emeralds. I figured they might be some of the few able to channel the Chaos energies.”

“But what is this going to do to help us?” Twilight asked.

Sonic grinned. “It will boosts all your traits to extraordinary levels, for one.”

“You mean I’m even FASTER?!” Rainbow Dash squealed with delight.

Sonic grinned. “Dash, right now, you’re faster than the speed of light.”

Rainbow Dash’s mouth dropped open. For a moment she just stared. Then suddenly, there was a blur around the moon for about a millionth of a second, and Rainbow Dash appeared next to Sonic.

She just stood there, speechless, staring in awe.

“But, how will this help us get to the Elements?” Twilight asked.

“Easy.” Sonic replied. “In super-form, you’re faster, stronger, and pretty much immune to harm. And….”
Sonic levitated into the air, soaring about.

“You can fly.”

As soon as the words left his lips, there was a thunderous boom. Pinkie Pie was soaring in the sky, flying all around the moon. She landed with a crash a few seconds later.

“Wee!” she cried. “This is the bestest thing ever!”

“But how can it protect you from all harm?” Twilight asked.

“It’s like the Power Rings.” Silver explained. “After all, Rings are made of Chaos energy.”

“The problem is, “Sonic said, “this form will only last us a while. Once we move away from the Chaos Emeralds, the energy will start to drain. Once it’s gone, you revert back to normal. And you do not want that happening when you’re dancing around on the sun. Also, taking a hit will weaken that energy as well.”

“Sonic, we have to go!” Knuckles cried. “My control over the Emeralds can’t hold forever. Soon our energy is going to start draining.”

Sonic turned towards the ponies. “So, here’s the plan. Fly into the sun, get the Elements of Harmony back from a possessed sun goddess, and save both Mobius and Equestria. Any questions?”

“Um… so, we can’t get hurt?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yeah, but we’re on a time schedule here.” Sonic stated. “This is our one shot! Are you ready?”

“Yeah!” all the others shouted.

“Good luck to you all.” Luna stated.

“Don’t forget to come back for us!” Vector shouted up.

“And remember the power of friendship, for it is the only way to bring back the Princess and save the day!” Zecora shouted.

Spike gave Twilight a hug. “I have faith in you.”

Twilight returned the hug. “Since when does Twilight Sparkle ever fail?” she asked.

“Well, let’s see.” Trixie began. “There was that time I totally beat you, and that time with the “want-it-need-it“ spell, and….”

“Ah, you’re just jealous you didn’t get to go super.” Spike replied.

Twilight looked skywards as everyone stood back.

“We’ll be back everypony.” she assured them.

She turned about as they gazed towards the dark red sun.

“Come on.” she said. “Let’s do it to it.”

There was a thunderous boom, and they rocketed into the sky.


Within minutes, they were at the sun. They soared downwards, landing upon the burning surface.

“My mane isn’t even singed.” Rarity commented. “I must say this feels a little… unusual.”

“If this was usual for you, I would say you lead quite a life.” Sonic chuckled.

There was a brilliant flash as a solar flare went off. When the light cleared, Sol Umbrae stood before them.

“So, you make one last chance to stop me.” she said. This time, she wasn’t laughing.

“Celestia, you’re stronger than this!” Twilight cried.

“No.” Sol Umbrae replied. “I am stronger. And nothing you do can stop me.”

Solar flares blasted up, knocking everyone into the sky. The fire formed into hands, grasping at the ponies and Mobians.
Applejack soared about, dodging a flare, and bucked the flaming ground.
The entire ground trembled, and fire erupted out from everywhere. Sol Umbrae shielded herself from the shockwave.

“Is that all?” she asked. A beam of light flew from her horn, piercing the heavens with its light and sending Applejack soaring miles away with the impact alone.

A tornado of flame swirled through the air as Tails soared forwards, his tails a whirring blur. He struck into Sol Umbrae’s force field with all his might, but it didn’t even dent it. A beam of solar force blasted him away as well.

Sol Umbrae shouted, and a shockwave of magic blasted outwards, throwing the heroes back.

Shadow wiped his lip, and snarled.


Crimson energy ripped through the air, forcing Sol Umbrae back as she shielded herself. A barrage of Chaos Lances ripped through the burning air, only to strike nothing as Sol Umbrae teleported away.

“Your attempts are feeble.” she laughed. “Your time is running out. I have no limit to my time here.”

She laughed aloud, pulling a meteor from the heavens to crush Knuckles.

“How ironic that it will be the sun that shall spread darkness across all.”

The meteor shattered into pieces, and through it, Knuckles and Applejack soared.

“Not if we have anything to say about it!” Knuckles shouted.


Twilight soared after Sonic as he did a Spin Dash, tunneling straight through the sun.

“I can sense the Elements!” Twilight cried. “They’re at the core!”

“Always the core.” Sonic muttered.

As they burst through, They momentarily stared in awe. An entire palace, made of solid fire, stood about them.

“Has this… always been here?” Twilight asked.

“No time for sight-seeing.” Sonic stated. “We’ve got company.”

Thousands of dark, flaming beasts, the same ones Twilight had seen in the future, were pouring out from the flames all around them.
Twilight’s horn flashed. In an instant, the creatures all disappeared.

“Where did you send them?” Sonic asked.

“The depths of outer space.” Twilight said with a smirk. “That should douse their flames pretty well.”
She grinned. “Wow. This power is… is this what Princess Celestia feels like all the time?”

More creatures began to leap out. There were many that were five times the size of the Ursa Minor Twilight had faced.

Sonic blasted through them, and they disappeared into embers. Twilight’s horn blazed, and beams of magic transmogrified every beast they struck.
Up ahead, Sonic pointed towards a purple chest atop a pedestal.

“There!” he cried, soaring towards it. In an instant, he had snatched it up and soared over to Twilight.

Twilight hurriedly opened the chest and pulled the Elements out, placing the Element of Magic upon her head.

“We got them.” she said with relief. “Now, let’s get them to the others.”

There was a flash, and she and Sonic teleported out of the flaming palace.


“You get out of the Princess, you beast!” Rarity cried.

Crystals, harder than diamond, formed out of the molten slag upon the ground, and a solid tidal wave of crystal struck against Sol Umbrae’s shield, knocking her back. Rarity rode the crystals as they grew from the earth, shattering against Sol Umbrae’s shield again and again.

Sol Umbrae’s horn flashed, and the crystals turned to ash. Rarity continued to soar forwards, but missed and struck the ground as Sol Umbrae teleported away.
Rarity suddenly saw a flash of pink light, and she felt something slapped around her neck.
She looked up to see Twilight, her Element of Magic blazing.

“You found them!” Rarity squealed. Then she whipped about. “Now, it… is… ON!”

“You think I am a fool?” she asked. “I will not simply stand there and let you use the Elements of Harmony upon me!”
Her horn blazed, and suddenly, the flames stopped cold, freezing in their flickering shapes.

“What?” Rarity cried.

“She apparently froze time.” Tails said. “With us unable to get out. By the time the spell wears off, so will our super forms, no doubt.”

“Not on my watch!” Shadow cried. “CHAOS CONTROL!”

There was a flash, and everything began to move again.

Sol Umbrae hissed. “My patience with you grows thin.”

“Then fall already!” Silver cried. He raised his hands, pulling meteors out of the heavens and hurling them at Sol Umbrae, while beside him, Applejack was bucking asteroids directly at Sol Umbrae as well.

But the asteroids merely were thrown to the side as Sol Umbrae sneered.

“I lift the sun and you assault me with pebbles?” she laughed. Her horn flashed, and a horde of giant flaming behemoths arose from the depths.

“My minions shall delay you long enough for your chaos-infused forms to wear off.” she shouted with hateful glee. Your numbers do not even begin to match my armies!”

“Outnumbered, and yet those things are still no match for us!” Rainbow Dash cried. She shot through the monsters like a rainbow-colored laser beam. Multiple Rainbooms exploded in her wake, blasting the minions into cinders.

Rainbow Dash crashed into Sol Umbrae’s shield, and an immense shockwave of colorful energy exploded, shaking the sun almost to its core. Sol Umbrae’s shield cracked beneath the blow, and she teleported away hastily.
As she did, she found herself face to face with Fluttershy.

“Ah, the weeping one.” she scoffed. “Why they brought you, I cannot imagine. You couldn’t hurt a fly.”

“I would never try to hurt anypony.” Fluttershy said. “But you will NOT hurt my friends!”

“Or what? What will you do?”

“It’s not me, you have to look out for.” Fluttershy exclaimed. “It’s my friend.” She then turned towards the heavens. “I mean, if that’s okay with you.” she said to the sky.

Suddenly, a pair of eyes appeared in the sky, and the stars began to move.

Tails gave a gulp. “Wh-what is that?”

“An Ursa Major.” Fluttershy exclaimed. “It’s the first one I ever met! Apparently, I can call animals from really far away with this super… um, thing.”

The Ursa Major swiped its mighty paw, sending further cracks in Sol Umbrae’s shield.

Sol Umbrae teleported away, burning with rage. Her horn flashed, and the Ursa Major was sent soaring into distant space, unharmed but unable to offer any more aid.

Blaze soared at Sol Umbrae. A flame flickered from her chest, and the sun’s fire leapt up to engulf her. Fire poured from her body, forming into the form of Iblis.

Sol Umbra sneered. “You attack me with this weak shard of my own might?”

Blaze summoned up a fireball the size of a stadium, sending crashing into Sol Umbrae’s shield, cracking it a bit more.

“Weak, my tail.” she exclaimed.

Silver stared. “It’s so weird to see Iblis talking with your voice. Or to have him helping….”

“Mind in the game, Silver!” Blaze cried, sending a barrage of fireballs at Sol Umbrae.

Sol Umbrae laughed as the fireballs harmlessly struck her. “You expect fire to harm me? she laughed.

“Well, then let’s try cake!”

A barrage of cake batter blasted against Sol Umbrae as Pinkie Pie soared over, firing a barrage from the hundreds of party cannons surrounding her.

“What?” Sol Umbrae cried.

“That’s nothing!” Pinkie Pie cried. “I call this the Party Star!”

A gigantic, spherical object appeared in the sky. A hum vibrated through the heavens as it charged up. Then a blast of cake and confetti struck Sol Umbrae, sending out a sugary shockwave the size of a large state.

“Where did you get that?” Fluttershy squeaked.

“Oh, you see when I became super it boosted my powers and suddenly I thought I should come up with some bigger weapons to try and break Sol Umbrae’s shield with, so I went to another dimension and stole the plans for it from some bad men in white outfits, and then I rigged it with a giant party cannon instead of a laser cannon. It’s not as big as the plans said it should be, but my time frame was limited.”

“But… how’d you build it all in time?” Fluttershy asked.

“Meh, I built it when the author was taking his breaks.” Pinkie Pie said, casually firing her party cannons again. “He likes to take long walks.”

“Um… okay.” Fluttershy said, looking utterly confused.

Sol Umbrae burnt away the already flaming cake batter, shooting a magical bolt into a small cavity in the large spherical object Pinkie had made. It exploded in a brilliant conflagration of confetti.

“NOOOO!” Pinkie sobbed. “It’s as if all those parties I planned cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced!”

Pinkie was suddenly enveloped in solar energy, and her party cannons were blasted to pieces, although she herself remained unharmed.

“You fools!” Sol Umbrae cried. “You’re energy is nearly spent! And yet you persist? You shall fail! You shall all utterly fail!”

“No!” a voice cried out. Twilight shot through the sky like a bolt of lightning.
“I have never failed a test, and will not fail this one, not when my teacher is at stake!”

Beside her, Sonic soared, his face grim, but with that same old cocky smile.

He blasted forwards. There was a flash like a hundred laser beams as his spin dash hit Sol Umbrae’s shield again and again.

Finally, it cracked, and shattered. It was only for a moment, but that moment was all Twilight needed.

Her horn flared, and she shot a bolt at Sol Umbrae. Enormous chains enveloped the flaming black mare.

“Elements of Harmony, NOW!” Twilight cried. In a flash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie were at her side.
Their Elements flared as Sonic and his friends struggled to keep Sol Umbrae down.
The eyes of the six ponies lit up with magical light. Tendrils of rainbow light looped and spiraled, joining the Elements together.

A light flashed and flared, and the darkness began to draw away from Celestia’s face.

Twilight felt her heart leap.

But as it did, Celestia gave her a tearful glance.

“No.” she said. “Banish me. Send me far away. It…it’s too strong. It’s taking hold. I can bind it away, keep it far from Ponyville.”

“No!” Twilight cried. “I can’t! I won’t!”

“I thought the same thing when Luna became Nightmare Moon!” Celestia cried. “But I did it because I had to! Now is the time, Twilight!”


Luna suddenly soared down, hovering beside them.

“I brought this evil into Equestria! I shall not let you suffer for my misdeeds any more!”

“And I shall not let you suffer any more!” Celestia cried. She strained to speak, and her eyes flashed pink for a moment.

“You!” Sol Umbrae cried at Luna. “I bound you!”

“And your power is weakening!” Luna cried. “You’re spell over us grew too weak to hold us.” Luna took a step forwards, talking to the Celestia half now.

“Can you not see, sister?” she pleaded. “It grows weak! You can fight it!”

“No.” Celestia replied softly. “It will only rise again, and each time it is more dangerous than before.”

Sonic shook his head, approaching the princess.

“Look, I am NOT giving up! Not when we came this far!” he cried. “You keep telling your subjects about friendship and teamwork, but you try to do everything yourself! Believe me, I’ve been down that road! It only leads to defeat and sadness!”

“But… I must protect my subjects.” Celestia replied.

“Then stay and make sure they’re protected.” Sonic replied. “And as for you, Mephiles, get out of her. And stay out.”

Celestia’s eyes flashed as Sol Umbrae’s. “So you may try to drive me out.” she hissed. “But I shall have her eventually. You cannot destroy me.”

“Well, you can’t destroy me.” Sonic replied. “You already tried. And even Death itself says that I’m not losing to you.”

“Force me from this body and I will just return to it.” Sol Umbrae laughed.

“Then we’ll always be there to stop you.” Sonic replied with a determined smirk. “And someday, maybe you’ll get the hint.”

“Princess.” Twilight said softly, approaching Celestia. “Fight back.”

“She cannot.” Sol Umbrae cried. “Her very blood is part of me now.”

“But that wasn’t her blood.” Silver said with a grin.

Sol Umbrae’s eyes flickered with surprise for a second.

“It was a decoy.” Twilight said. “Come on, princess. You can fight it.”
She smiled. “I’m not losing my second mom.”

At these words, tears came to Celestia’s eyes.

“You’ve been the daughter I always wished I could have.” Celestia said softly.

Her eyes began to flicker between her normal ones and Sol Umbrae’s.

“No! You cannot force me out!”

“You will leave this instant!”

“If I go, I will take you with me!”

“You will never separate me from my little ponies.”

Twilight turned towards the other ponies. “Girls! Elements of Harmony, now!”

There was a flash, a brilliant light, as the Elements glowed with power. The light swept over Celestia, bathing her in its radiance. And from that light came two voices.

One, an unearthly scream.

The other, a clear and beautiful laugh.

Suddenly, Twilight felt herself growing warmer. She looked at Sonic in worry. Sonic’s golden glow was beginning to grow dim.

“Our time’s up.” she stated. “We’re almost out.”

The twelve heroes soared into the sky, trying to escape the burning atmosphere.

As they soared through space, the shimmering glow suddenly ceased. There was no air. There was nothing.
Only emptiness.

Everything began to blur and grow dim. Twilight couldn’t even concentrate enough to perform an air spell.

Suddenly, a brilliant light bathed them. In a flash, they were gone.

Tgether We Are Stronger

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Chapter 17: Together We Are Stronger

Twilight awoke, looking at her surroundings.

She was back on the moon.

Before she could absorb any more information, she suddenly found herself in Spike’s arms.

“I thought you were a goner.” Spike exclaimed, crying with joy.

Twilight nuzzled him. “Me, too. But we came through.”

Suddenly, Twilight found herself in an enormous group hug. Ponies and Mobians alike were embracing and whooping and cheering and laughing.
But they all fell silent as Celestia approached.

“Was that you who saved us?” Sonic asked.

“It was.” Celestia replied. “But do not celebrate yet. This isn’t over.”

As she spoke, a shadow covered the sky. From it, Nightmare Moon’s face leered at them.

“This isn’t the end.” she hissed. “This is only the beginning. Harmony can only last for so long. Soon, it will fall. Last time you banished me. This time even the Elements of Harmony cannot send me away.”

Twilight and the others aimed their Elements skyward, sending swirling ribbons of rainbow light into the sky, but the shadowy cloud merely winced, and was not forced away.
“Do you not see?” Nightmare Moon cried. “Each time I arise, I become more powerful. I have never lost the power of Nightmare Moon, nor of Mephiles. Even friendship will not always be able to overcome me.”

She turned towards Celestia. “One day… you will be mine.”


Nightmare Moon turned. Standing there, levitating the Chaos Emeralds about herself, was Luna.

“I will not let you harm another soul. Not one.” Luna said firmly.

Nightmare Moon laughed. “Are you forgetting something? I am part of you.”

Luna gave a grim smile. “I’m counting on it.”

The Chaos Emeralds flashed. The cloud of shadow suddenly began to be pulled towards them, like a vacuum, channeling the shadows into Luna.

Luna struggled, as the others stared in shock and awe.

“You want me back?” Nightmare Moon laughed. “I always knew you would.”

“You shall not have me.” Luna shouted as the shadows seeped into her. “I have found how to control my darkness. You shall be sealed within me… forever.”

Nightmare Moon laughed. “Indeed, I shall.”

“SISTER!” Celestia cried, as the form of Nightmare Moon enveloped her.

But as it touched her, it was forced away.

“What?” Nightmare Moon cried. “Why can’t I…. how are you repelling me?”

Luna looked surprised herself. “I know not.” she said.

Nightmare Moon suddenly looked terrified. “No! Stop! My power! You’re stealing it!”

“I am taking what never belonged to you.” Luna replied.

“No!” Nightmare Moon cried. “No, no, no! NOOOOOO!!!”

As the final shadows were absorbed into Luna, a figure fell to the ground.

It was Mephiles.


Everyone was on edge, ready to attack, but to their surprise, Mephiles didn’t attack.

“W-what?” he gasped. “M-my form! I cannot change it!”

“Maybe it has something to do with that blood you injected yourself with.” Celestia said with a grin. “I felt something in that blood. Something powerful. It became part of me, as well, but I have cleansed it from my body.”

“What was it, Princess?” Twilight asked.

Celestia smiled. “Chaos. The same energy that runs through the veins of Shadow the Hedgehog here.”

Shadow glared at Twilight. “You mean you used my blood sample by mistake?!”

“Patience, Shadow.” Celestia chided. “Because of what she did, Mephiles has lost most of his power.”

“I have bound the darkness within, myself.” Luna stated. “The power of Nightmare Moon is now bound within me. And I swear, I shall never let it rise again.”

“And because of your blood, Shadow, Mephiles will always remain in his current state, unable to steal the bodies of others ever again. He bound himself to that blood, and since, unlike me, he is not a corporeal being, he cannot remove it, or it will destroy him.”

“My power still is great.” Mephiles cried. “I shall return.”

“But never like before.” Celestia replied. “Of all the blood samples Twilight picked, she chose the one sample that would resist my body enough for me to remove it, the one sample that would prevent you from ever controlling me again. Had that not been the case, you would have not been able to possess others, but I and my sister would still be vulnerable. But now, Chaos runs in your veins. And Chaos does not mix well with Harmony.”

“So… that’s why.” Luna muttered to herself.

“That’s why what?” Mephiles growled.

Luna leaned towards Mephiles. “That’s why you couldn’t possess me. Because deep inside, though I may have made many mistakes… deep inside, I still have Harmony in my heart. And you can no longer deal with such a thing.”

Sonic turned towards Twilight with a grin. “Doesn’t do well with Harmony, eh? Let’s see what would happen if you gave him a dose.”

“With pleasure.” Twilight exclaimed.

The six ponies aimed their Elements. There was a flash, and Mephiles shouted.

“I will return! I shall have my revenge! I will retu….”

He was cut short as the flash engulfed him.

As the light faded, everyone saw that, in his place, was now a statue of Mephiles.

“We must store him somewhere safe.” Princess Luna stated. “We cannot risk his release once again.”

Celestia shook her head. “Perhaps, now that he is a full being, one day, he may be redeemed.”

“Yeah. Fat chance!” Sonic laughed, elbowing Shadow. “Right, faker?”

Shadow shrugged. “He has my blood now.” he replied. “I was redeemed for my actions. Perhaps he could be as well.”

Sonic stared incredulously at Shadow, then gave a chuckle. “Well, you ponies have officially done the impossible.” he laughed. “You made Shadow an optimist.”

“Hardly.” Shadow snorted, but there was no hostility in his voice.

The entire group laughed.
“Come on.” Celestia stated. “It’s time to go home.”



Celestia angrily stomped into the oversized gingerbread castle that stood where Canterlot had been.

Discord, sitting on a candy throne, gave a jump. “Tia! I didn’t think you would be back so soon! By the way, I think you need to replace the sun, that one you’ve got now seemed to be burning out a few minutes ago.”

“Did you not worry when you saw sister’s sun grow red?” Luna asked. “Did you not wonder what that meant had happened to our sister?”

Discord shrugged. “Why should I? Tia’s a big girl, she can take care of herself.”

Silver smiled, shaking his head. “Past, future, you’re always the same.” he laughed. “Always ashamed to admit your responsible side.”

“And what makes you think I acted responsibly while you were gone?” Discord asked. “Maybe you didn’t notice the frosting on the walls.”

“Well, I did!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, holding a gob of frosting in her hoof and taking a bite.

Silver smirked. “Have it your way.” he said with a shrug.

Celestia gazed with a disapproving stare at Discord. “Discord, put it all back.”

“But this is so much more fun!” Discord exclaimed. “And if there’s ever a food shortage, we can just nibble a tower or two.”


“Alright, fine.” Discord grumbled. “You’re no fun at all.”

He snapped, and Canterlot returned to its original self.

Celestia shook her head. “Come now, Discord. As your punishment, you will help me fully restore Ponyville and its citizens.”

“You were planning to make me do that anyways!” Discord exclaimed. “Would you have done that even if I had been good?”

“In your case, the question of good behavior is purely hypothetical.” Celestia replied with a smirk. She turned towards the others.

“I trust you all shall be happy to return to Ponyville and watch the restoration?”

Everyone nodded cheerfully. Celestia’s horn glowed.

In a flash they disappeared.


It took only a snap of Discord’s fingers to repair the damage and remove the wrecked machinery.

“Now, are you sure you don’t want just a tiny floating island?” Discord asked. “Mobius already has one.”

“That will do, Discord.” Celestia replied, smiling and shaking her head.

Rainbow Dash was the first to charge into Ponyville, with the others close behind her.

“Rainbow Dash!”

Scootaloo came galloping up as fast as she could and threw her hooves around Rainbow Dash.

“Hey, kid.” Rainbow Dash chuckled, nuzzling the little filly. “You weren’t worried, were you?”

“N-nope!” Scootaloo replied, but her eyes shimmered with relived tears as she held onto Rainbow Dash.

Applejack was suddenly tackled by Apple Bloom, closely followed by Big Macintosh and Granny Smith, as they all caught her up in a group hug.
Fluttershy squealed for joy as Angel hopped up, throwing his little paws around her neck.
The Cakes ran up as well, grabbing Pinkie Pie in a huge hug.

“Oh, Pinkie.” Mrs. Cake cried joyfully. “We were so worried!”

“You may not be our daughter, but you’re family.” Mr. Cake added.

Pinkie Pie chuckled. “I already know.”

Sonic and Twilight smiled, exchanging relieved and joyful glances.

“Nice work back there.” Sonic said to Twilight. “Looks like we saved the day again.”

“Literally.” Twilight chuckled, as she looked up at Princess Celestia.

Sonic looked about at all the ponies happily cheering and hugging and prancing happily about.

“This is it.” he said, grinning at Twilight. “This is why I do it.”

Twilight smiled, looking out over Ponyville. “It was worth it.” she said softly.

Sonic shrugged. “Whoever said you don’t get paid to be a hero? This is better pay than any job I could ever have.”


As they watched, a small white filly dashed through the crowd of ponies. She leapt upon Rarity, tackling her.

“Sweetie Belle?” Rarity exclaimed, her face lighting up.

Sweetie Belle smiled, nuzzling Rarity with her soft, warm cheek made of flesh and blood instead of metal. Rarity ran her hooves through her little sister’s soft mane. “Oh, Sweetie Belle.”

Sweetie Belle looked surprised. “Sis, why are you crying? I thought you’d be happy I’m back to normal.”

“Oh, I am, darling.” Rarity exclaimed, laughing and crying all at the same time as she embraced Sweetie Belle. “I am happy.”

Twilight sniffed, wiping her eyes as she smiled, turning back towards Sonic.

“You’re right. This is the best reward I could ask for.”


The ponies and Mobians surrounded the statue of Dr. Eggman.

“I say leave him that way.” Rarity huffed. “After what he did to my widdle Sweetie Belle, he deserves some time out to think about what he has done.”

“I’m with Rarity.” Sonic seconded. “He’s had far too many chances for redemption, and caused far too much destruction.”

Celestia shook her head. “Turning somepony to stone is only something I do when no other prison will hold them.” she replied. “I would not prefer to lock anypony in such a state if I didn't have to." She ignored Discord's sarcastic snort.

Her horn flashed, and the stone about Eggman cracked and shattered, falling to the earth.

Eggman woozily fell onto his back. As he sat up, he suddenly froze. Staring him in the eyes was that blasted hedgehog.

“GAH!” he cried out, shuffling back.

Suddenly, he was levitated in the air, and held firmly by a blue glow.

“You… MONSTER!” Rarity screamed. “I’ll teach you to mess with Sweetie Belle!”

“Hey, Rarity, take it easy!” Twilight exclaimed.

“I’m not going to hurt him.” Rarity replied. “Just give him a little taste of why he should not mess with me.”

Her horn sparkled, and a flurry of cloth swirled out from the nearby Carousel Boutique and surrounded Eggman. Needles swirled and glitter sparkled.

“Ow! Ow! You pricked me!” Eggman cried.

“Oh, did I?” Rarity exclaimed with mock remorse. “I’m so clumsy!”

As she finished, she stepped back satisfactorily, while the other just stared.

Then all of them, even Celestia, burst into laughter.

Eggman was dressed in the frilliest, most glittery dress Rarity could design. It was bright pink with lace and lots of bows, and his large moustache was tied up with glittery ribbons.

“Gah! Get this horrible outfit off of me!” Eggman cried. As he struggled, he found he couldn’t move. “The sleeves are sewn to the dress! I can’t move my arms! And my legs are laced together!”

Rarity gave a smug grin, while the others continued to laugh. Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Sonic were rolling and beating the ground.

“Now that’s a bold fashion statement.” Rarity exclaimed, tossing her mane. “Just one more little thing to finish it off.”
She levitated a cheap, gaudy tiara onto Eggman’s bald head.

“There! All done!”

“Get it off, get it off, get it off!” Eggman spluttered, hopping up and down with rage. But with his legs and arms tied to the dress, he fell over like a tree, which caused the others to laugh even harder.

“I will inform the Mobian government so that they can claim their princess… I mean prisoner.” Celestia stated, putting a hoof over her mouth in a futile attempt to stifle her giggling.

“You will all pay for this!” Eggman cried. “One day, I will return!”

“Maybe you should try something backless when you do!” Sonic roared, rolling and clutching his stomach.

Eggman spluttered, but as he tried to talk, Pinkie Pie shoved a cupcake in his mouth to silence him. All he could do was grunt as the Canterlot soldier lifted him up and dragged him away.

“I have never laughed so hard before in my life.” Sonic cried as he got to his feet. He turned to look at Shadow, who stood nearby, his eyebrow merely raised in slight amusement.

“Aw, come on, Shadow!” Sonic chuckled. “Does anything make you laugh?”

“Only your defeat.” Shadow replied.

Sonic laughed again. “Seriously? Do we have to go through this again? We all know you’ll never be able to….”


Sonic was suddenly blown back by a blast of cake and confetti, as Pinkie Pie blasted him out of nowhere with her party cannon. He soared though the air, sticking to a wall as the cake batter glued him there.

Shadow smirked. “See? Now that’s funny.”

Sonic pulled away from the wall with a sucking sound. “Hey, Shadow.” he said with a grin, brushing himself off. “You smiled.”

Pinkie Pie suddenly dashed up, a huge grin on her face. “I got youuuu to smiiiiilllllle!”

Shadow’s smile suddenly dropped away, replaced by one of trepidation.

“And Pinkie told me you two had a bet.” Sonic exclaimed, grinning. “And if she got you to smile, you have to go to one of her parties, or something like that.”

Shadow frowned. “You two planned this.” he growled at Sonic.

Sonic put his finger to his mouth in feigned innocence. “Maybe.”

“And since I win the bet, you know what that means?” Pinkie cried. “ I can sing near you whenever I want now!”

“ARGH!” Shadow cried, covering his ears as Pinkie Pie burst into song, and everyone else laughed.


“Your actions have been most helpful.” General Abraham stated. He was speaking to Twilight and her friends as they stood in Canterlot, overlooking the huge crowd of ponies below. Beside him, Princess Elise stood, smiling shyly.

“Despite our early misgivings, it appears that Equestria has been proven itself to be a friend to Mobius, not only stopping this dark thief, but apprehending one of our world‘s greatest threats.” General Abraham went on. Here he pointed towards Eggman, who was still trapped in the horribly garish dress Rarity had put him in. The crowd bust out laughing as he began to shout angrily.

General Abraham cleared his throat. “In light of current events, the Mobian governments have agreed that Equestria is recognized as a friendly world, and is allowed freedom in entering Mobius.” His stern face cracked the slightest hint of a smile as he shook Twilight’s hoof.

“I think that this shall be the beginning of a fruitful relationship.” he stated.

“As do I.” Twilight agreed, grinning.

General Abraham bowed to Celestia, then stepped aside, letting Elise step up.

“Your highness,” Elise asked, “we of Solianna would be quite pleased if you would continue to grace us with your presence once again.”

“I would be more than glad to.” Celestia replied with a smile.

Suddenly from the crowd, they heard a gasp. Charging through the sea of ponies was one particular mint-colored mare. She charged unthinkingly up upon the dais, ignoring the guards’ shouts, and stopped, staring at General Abraham with wide golden eyes.

“Um… hello?” the general said awkwardly.

The pony just stood, her mouth hanging open. She slowly reached out a hoof and touched his hand, then took it and began to examine his fingers, staring as if in a daze.

“Would somebody please tell me what’s going on here?” General Abraham asked, as a few ponies stifled giggles.

Suddenly, a yellow earth pony mare with a curly blue-and-pink mane pushed through the crowd.

“Lyra Heartstrings!” she cried. “This is a royal ceremony and you do not….”

Her voice trailed away as she saw Princess Elise and General Abraham. Her mouth began to move, but no sound came out.

“Sqeeeeee!” Lyra cried, letting go of General Abraham’s hand and hugging him, tears of utter elation in her eyes, while the General awkwardly and futilely tried to pull away.
“Bon-Bon! I was right! They’re real! They’re real! Humans exist! They’re real!”

Bon-Bon stood, staring with her mouth wide open.

“Hu… hum… real?” she gasped.

Then her eyes rolled back, and she fainted.

Celestia gave a chuckle as she turned back towards Elise.

“Of course, we’ll both have to get used to each other.”


After the ceremony, Twilight approached Elise.

“Does the general know about… you know?”

“Who broke into those G.U.N. bases?” Elise asked. She shook her head. “No. I didn’t tell anyone. When my memories were restored, I remembered who Silver was, and that he was a true hero. I knew that if you were with him, you must be good too. And since I know Silver is a time-traveler, I figured that when I met you for the second time, you were telling the truth about being innocent. After all, I know that it isn’t wise to interfere when time travel is involved.”

“Wow. You’re pretty wise for being so young.” Twilight stated. “I had to learn that the hard way.”

Elise smiled. “I’m a princess. I believe you know that we have to be wise. Our choices shape our kingdoms.”

Twilight smiled. “And in this case, our worlds.”


As the sun set over Ponyville, Twilight sat in her house, looking out of the window. Beside her, Spike and Tails looked out as well.

“There they go again.” Tails chuckled as Sonic and Rainbow Dash shot by. “Those two are always racing each other now.”

Twilight sighed as she looked towards the sky. “Tails, I’ve been thinking. Did we really win that fight? It seems like, in the end, it was all dumb luck.”

Tails grinned, shaking his head. “Twilight, I’m a mechanic. I know machines. And I saw how these events fitted together. It was like a machine. Sure, it could have gone haywire, but it didn’t. Each event was set so that, all along, it was never impossible, no matter how strongly the odds were against us.”

“But I just happen to choose the only blood sample in Mobius that would protect Celestia for good, and Mephiles just happened to forge a connection with Luna during the Nightmare Moon incident so that she could use it to bind away his stolen power.” Twilight went on.

Tails shrugged. “The Nightmare Moon thing was simple cause and effect. He stole power from her to become stronger. She took it back.”

“But how did I choose the right phial?” Twilight asked.

Tails gave a smirk. “You know… maybe there are forces at work besides evil.”

Twilight gave Tails a surprised glance, then turned back towards the window, smiling softly.

“Something funny?” Tails asked.

“No.” Twilight replied. “It’s just… someone else told me the same thing.”

She looked out, grinning as she saw Rarity embracing Sweetie Belle, and crying tears of joy. Not too far off, Applejack and Knuckles were laughing and having a cider together. Vector and Vinyl Scratch were sharing music, while Silver and Blaze were chuckling at Pinkie Pie’s antics.

“Our worlds will never be the same, will they?” she asked.

Tails smiled. “No. They won’t.”

Spike grinned as he looked out across the restored town and the happy ponies and Mobians below.
“Maybe that’s a good thing.” he said thoughtfully.

Twilight chuckled, putting her hooves around Tails and Spike.

“Maybe it is.”

You're All My Very Best Friends

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Chapter 18: You’re All My Very Best Friends

“Sonic!” Tails cried, bursting into the room.

“Woah, easy, big guy!” Sonic said. “What’s the rush?”

“It’s a letter from Twilight!” Tails cried. “We’re invited to a special party at Canterlot called the Grand Galloping Gala!”

“Hey, lemme see that!” Amy cried, dashing over to get a look at the letter.

“It says that we should show up early, so that we can help with preparations, and Rarity is throwing in a free Gala outfit for each of us!” she cried.

“Sweet!” Sonic exclaimed, jumping to his feet. “We’ve got to tell the others!”

Amy chuckled as she finished the letter.

“Oh, and it say that if Shadow refuses, we should remind him of his bet with Pinkie Pie.”


Twilight met Sonic and his friends as they came through the portal in Twilight’s basement.

“Hey, Twilight. So, how’s the portal been working?” Tails asked her, looking at the portal as they stepped through.

“Like a dream!” Twilight exclaimed. “With those modified Star Rods we made, my magic can easily power a portal to Mobius. How about the one on your side?”

“Piece of cake.” Tails replied. “I’ll see about installing some more sometime soon, so that we can get to Canterlot or other places quicker, and you’ll need a portal to New Mobitropolis.”

Twilight happily pranced as she led the Mobian heroes along.

“Now, the Gala was a bit disappointing for me at first, but Celestia has announced that she will be making some special allowances this year because of our special guests. Not to mention, all of Ponyville is excited to see you all!”

As they all stepped out of Twilight’s house, they saw a big banner stretching over Ponyville.

Welcome Sonic the Hedgeh

Twilight rolled her eyes as the Mobians snickered. “That Carrot Top. Always writes too big.” Twilight exclaimed.

Rainbow Dash suddenly zipped up.
“Hey, you guys!” she said cheerfully. “Who’s up for a trip to Canterlot?”

“I am!” Amy squealed. “Ooh, this’ll be so much fun!”

“Rarity’s at the Carousel Boutique, preparing your dresses.” Twilight explained. “Spike could you lead them there? Rainbow, you fetch the others and tell them the Mobians are here!”

“Like they won’t know already.” Rainbow Dash said with a grin, as a crowd of ponies began to gather.

“That’s them! The ones who saved us!”

“Hey, isn’t that Knuckles?”

“I really like his mane!”

“Alright, settle down!” Twilight called out.

Sonic grinned and waved to the crowd. “Hey, no need to rush! I can guarantee, we’ll be all be back here again soon, and you’ll get to meet us all!”

“Speak for yourself.” Shadow griped, obviously not happy to be present.

“Except for Shadow.” Sonic added. “Which you should thank your lucky stars for.”

Shadow scowled at Sonic as the ponies chuckled.

“Well, right this way.” Spike said, walking in the direction of the Carousel Boutique. “We wouldn’t want to keep Rarity waiting.”


Rarity’s face lit up as the Mobians came in.

“Oh, I’m so glad to see you!” she exclaimed. “I had some brilliant ideas for your ensembles for tonight at the Grand Galloping Gala! I assure you, no Mobian will have ever been better dressed!”

She quickly pulled out a series of outfits, each of them stylish, and each one suited to the personality of the Mobian they were meant for.

“Sonic, I know how you prefer the trendy look, so I tried to combine that with formal wear, and I daresay it looks fantastic.” Rarity exclaimed. “As for you, Tails, something simple and practical for our young scientist, yet elegant in its simplicity. Something stylish and robust for Knuckles, and this somewhat saucy black evening gown is for Rouge.”

She pulled out more beautifully made outfits. “This is for Amy Rose. I figured she would prefer a slightly more glamorous style than you boys. And I was inspired to use this fiery design for Princess Blaze from her own unique powers. Something very mod (that’s the Mobian word, isn’t it?) for Silver, and I think that the Chaotix will approve of their ensembles. I was inspired to use a Neighsian gi design for Espio’s suit, while Charmy’s suits his cheery demeanor, and Espio’s was an interesting mix of formal and street wear. I even crafted an ensemble for Omega, (that took a lot of cloth,) which suits his stern, military personality. And I even made one for Shadow.”

“Oh, no! Not me!” Shadow grumbled.

Rarity sighed. “At least take a look at it.” she stated. “I did work very hard to make an ensemble that would suit your tastes. She held up a black-and-red outfit which looked part formal military outfit, part trench coat.

Shadow raised his eyebrows, then quickly scowled again. “Very well.” he conceded. “It’s better than I expected it to be.”

“Well you didn’t think I would put you in a lacy ensemble, now did you?” Rarity asked. “I am a fashionista. I would not make such a faux pas for creating your outfit.”

“Can I try mine on now?” Amy asked excitedly.

“Well, I suppose, but be careful if you choose to wear it around.” Rarity warned. “That is for tonight at the Grand Galloping Gala. I wouldn‘t want to see it get ruined.”

Sonic shook his head in surprise. “Rarity, I know being generous is what you do, but I would still like to repay you in some way.”

“No, I won’t hear a word of it.” Rarity replied. “You already have done so much for us.”

“Well, perhaps I could offer something mutually beneficial.” Rouge stated. “I am an expert at finding jewels, after all. Perhaps we could go on a jewel-hunt together sometime You get the first cut.”

Rarity looked thoughtful. “Weeelllll… I guess I can accept that offer.” she said with a grin.


As the Mobians stood at the train station, helping Rarity carefully load the outfits, Twilight, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie came up.

“Oh, it’s so nice to see you again.” Fluttershy stated, rubbing Tails’ head. “Now, you’ve been taking good care of yourself, right?”

“Sure thing!” Tails replied happily.

“Y’all should come back for our Apple Cook-off later this year!” Applejack exclaimed. “You ain’t tasted good food until you’ve tasted a whole feast of homemade goods!”

Pinkie Pie bounced up, squealing happily. “And you should also come for Nightmare Night and Hearth’s Warming and Winter Wrap-up and Hearts and Hooves Day and the Summer Sun Celebration, not to mention all of our birthdays, and we’ll all come see you on your birthdays, and I’ll throw you the most enormously awesometastical super-fun parties EVER!”

“Wish you could come over to Cloudsdale sometime.” Rainbow Dash exclaimed. “Maybe Twilight could use her magic to let you walk on the clouds.”

“Yeah, well, you should come over and see Knothole and New Mobitopolis sometime.” Amy stated. “ And I’ll bet you’d just love to check out some of the Zones!”

“And I could see some more of those adorable Chao!” Fluttershy exclaimed.

From the train, a whistle sounded.
“All aboard!” the conductor shouted.
As the ponies and Mobians all climbed aboard, Rainbow Dash felt a hand hold her back.

“Canterlot is that distant little place on that mountain, right?” he asked.

“Yeah.” Rainbow Dash replied.

Sonic grinned. “Wanna see who can get their first?”

Rainbow Dash gave him a competitive smirk. “You’re on. Readysetgo!” she shouted, shooting off into the sky, as Sonic shot off, a blue blur streaking across the horizon.

Twilight shook her head and chuckled. “Those two.”


As the others arrived in Canterlot, they found Sonic and Rainbow Dash waiting for them, alongside Princess Celestia.

“My little ponies, and my Mobian friends!” Celestia exclaimed. “I’m glad you could all make it! There’s quite a bit to do, so I hope you don’t mind helping out a bit. This Gala is going to be special, because of our new Mobian friends, and I want to make sure that they can enjoy it. I’ve already discussed things with Sonic and Rainbow Dash. Pinkie Pie, could you help arrange the party?”

“You can count on me, your highness!” Pinkie Pie replied with a salute.

“The rest of you, I trust you will be able to find something you’re good at to help with.” Celestia told them. “I have to go oversee things now, but I shall see you all later tonight. I look forwards to seeing what you do with the party.”


As Twilight was leading Sonic through the Canterlot palace, they heard a fracas coming from the one room.







They peeked their heads in to see Octavia, Vinyl Scratch, and Vector arguing.

“Classical captures an epic and thrilling mood that would be more suiting for a heroic song.” Octavia stated firmly.

“Yeah, well I already wrote a song, and it would work better for rock! Anyways, Sonic would probably like rock better!”

“No way! Hip-hop is the only beat cool enough for a song like this!” Vector cried.

“Er, excuse me.” Sonic stated, coming into the room. “I couldn’t help but notice you girls and gator were having a bit of a discussion on music, and I heard my name mentioned. Is there anything I could help with?”

“Yeah!” Vinyl Scratch replied. “Octy’s trying to say my rockin’ tunes are no good for this song!”

“I am merely stating that classical tunes would capture a more heroic feeling than rock or … hip-hop.” Octavia stated, giving a shudder.

“We ain’t going for some epic musical score, we’re going for a song which suits Sonic and Mobius as a whole!” Vector cried.

“Um… would somepony care to explain exactly what’s going on here?” Twilight asked, stepping up.

“Well,” Vinyl Scratch said, “we all agreed that it would be cool to make a song in honor of Sonic, and of our encounter with the Mobian world. But nopony can agree on what to make it like!”

“You say you have a song written already?” Sonic asked.

“Well… just a couple lines, actually.” Vinyl admitted. “But they’re really sweet. They just get me right here.” She put her hoof over her heart.

“That’s because all that loud music is giving you heart trouble.” Octavia stated.

“Oh, yeah?!” Vinyl shouted.

“Hey, hey, cool down!” Sonic said. He browsed over the page. “His World, huh? Not bad. I think it’s pretty cool, actually.”

“Ha! See! I told you he’d like it!” Vinyl Scratch laughed.

“Now hold on a minute.” Sonic said. “I don’t see any reason that you all couldn’t be right.”

“Waddaya mean?” Vector asked.

“I mean mix it up.” Sonic suggested. “You guys are supposed to be great musicians. Improvise. I bet you could come up with something really cool if you all combined your talents.”

“Hip-hop and rock combined with classical?” Octavia said incredulously.

“Yeah, why not?” Sonic stated. “That way, you could get all of the awesomeness of all your favorite types of music.”

Vinyl Scratch looked thoughtful. “You know… that could be kind of sweet.”

“I could work a rap around that.” Vector agreed.

Octavia sighed. “I must say, the mere challenge of trying to do something like this does interest me.” she admitted. “I suppose I would be willing to try, if for nothing else than the challenge.”

“Past cool!” Sonic stated, clapping his hands together. “Now, you three play nice. Me and Twilight have some more stuff to check up on.”


“Amy, dear, is that ice sculptor here yet?” Rarity asked.

“He’s putting the finishing touches on the sculpture.” Amy explained, as she dropped some cloth at Rarity’s hooves. “So, how are the decorations coming?”

“Never better.” Rarity replied. “The banner is finished, and it looks marvelous.”

She used her telekinesis to lift the banner into place. It was a deep shade of blue satin, with golden trimmings. An elaborate golden design decorated the banner as well, with a combined symbol of a hedgehog and a pony in the center.

“Wow. Nice work.” Amy commented.

“It seems rather gauche, if you ask me.” a voice stated.

Rarity gave a an irritated huff as she turned about. She remembered that voice far too well.

“Prince Blueblood.” she stated, turning about. “I see your manners are the same.”

“I hardly think a common provincial like yourself would have any place to speak about manners.” Prince Blueblood replied haughtily.

Amy frowned at the prince. “Hey, Princess Celestia herself personally requested that Rarity do the decorating.” she stated, rather irked by this arrogant unicorn. “So if you don’t like it, take it up with her.”

“And just who are you?” Prince Blueblood asked. “One of those… Mobians, I see.” He said ‘Mobian’ with a touch of distain, and made a slightly disapproving face.

“Yeah, I’m a Mobian. Amy Rose, Freedom Fighter.” Amy stated firmly.

“Freedom Fighter?” Prince Blueblood stated with a smirk. “That sounds rather uncouth. I can’t imagine a real lady would be a member of something so… barbaric.”

“Perhaps if some of the men would do a little more, the ladies wouldn’t have to do their jobs for them.” Rarity replied with a toss of her mane, giving a meaningful stare at Prince Blueblood. “And you’re in no real position to talk. After all, you’re no Shining Armor.”

Prince Blueblood scowled. “And you are a commoner who’s opinion of her fashion skills far outstrips her talents.”
Rarity ground her teeth, ready to give an angry retort, but she caught herself, and instead, a sly grin came across her face.

“Amy, can I see your Piko-piko hammer?” she asked sweetly.

“With pleasure.” Amy replied, grinning as she pulled out her enormous hammer.

Rarity levitated the hammer into the air, giving it a few test swings. She turned back to Prince Blueblood.

“I’m giving you a five-second head start.” she told him.

“You wouldn’t dare.” Prince Blueblood scoffed.


“You‘re acting like a barbarian.”


“No wonder your sense of style is so poor.”


Prince Blueblood shrieked as Rarity swung the hammer at him. He ran off at top speed, with Rarity in hot pursuit.

Amy chuckled. “I think I’m starting to like Rarity.” she murmured to herself.


As Twilight and Sonic were walking through the halls, they suddenly bumped into the last pony they had expected to see.

“Trixie!” Twilight exclaimed. “What are you doing here? Did the Princess invite you to the party?”

“As a matter of fact, she did!” Trixie stated, putting her nose in the air. “Trixie is now beginning to get the recognition she deserves. Of course, I knew it would only be a matter of time. Was there ever any doubt?”

“So, this is Trixie.” Sonic stated with an amused smirk. “I’ve heard about you. Twilight told me all about you.”

“LIES!!!” Trixie shouted. “Twilight Sparkle made those things up! Trixie never did that!”

“She said that you were the most powerful unicorn in Equestria that she had ever met.” Sonic stated with a grin. “And that you were an excellent showpony.”

Trixie blushed. “Well… yes, that is true.” she said awkwardly, now feeling embarrassed about her outburst.
“I… suppose I had confused Twilight with somepony else.”

“And?” Twilight asked, raising an eyebrow.

Trixie sighed. “Trixie is… sorry.” she mumbled.

Twilight grinned, putting a hoof around Trixie’s shoulders. “I see you’re learning a lot more about friendship.” she cheerfully pointed out.

Trixie shuffled awkwardly. “Well, um… of course! Trixie is going to be the friendliest and most loving pony in all of Equestria!”

Twilight gestured towards Sonic with her hoof. “Trixie, this is Sonic the Hedgehog.”

Trixie looked Sonic over inquisitively. “Trixie thought hedgehogs were little creatures that scurried about in the forest.”

Sonic sighed, slapping his forehead.

“Yeah. I get that a lot nowadays.”


It was nighttime, and the Grand Galloping Gala had already begun.

“Wow!” Sonic said as he saw Twilight step out of her dressing room. “You look… well, awesome!”

Twilight blushed. “Well, Rarity made our dresses, too.” she stated. “She deserves most of the credit. And you look quite dashing as well.”

“Speaking of Dash, where is she?” Sonic asked.

“I think that’s her coming up right now!” Twilight pointed her hoof.

Rainbow Dash was wearing a beautiful, colorful dress that looked absolutely fabulous, but Rainbow Dash had a rather embarrassed look upon her face.

“Is something wrong, Dash?” Twilight asked.

Rainbow Dash looked about anxiously before turning back towards Sonic. “How do I look?”

Sonic raised his eyebrows. “You look amazing.” he exclaimed.

“But I’m still cool, right?” Rainbow Dash asked anxiously. “I mean, I don’t look all frilly or girly or anything, do I?”

Sonic chuckled. He shook his head, putting his hand on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. “Frilly? No way. But you can look like a girl and still be cool. I mean, you are a girl, after all. You should look like one. And I think you look pretty.”

“But I’m still cool, right?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Way past cool.” Sonic assured her.


Princess Celestia greeted each of the ponies and Mobians as they entered the palace. As Sonic passed by, she gave him a wink, and he returned it with a sly grin.

“What was that all about?” Twilight asked.

“You’ll see.” Sonic said. Beside him, Pinkie Pie gave a chuckle.

Twilight Sparkle shook her head, and gave a sigh. She had a feeling Pinkie Pie was also in on whatever it was, and whenever Pinkie was involved in something, it made Twilight a little bit nervous.

“This palace looks like my kind of place.” Rouge commented, looking appraisingly at the paintings and antique vases.

“Don’t even think about it.” Knuckles muttered to her. “I see that look in your eye.”

“Why Knuckles, do you honestly think I would steal from them when they invited me to this party?” Rouge asked, looking shocked. “What have I done to make you think I would behave like that?”

“Nothing.” Knuckles replied. “So long as you put that jeweled amulet back where you found it.”
Rouge shuffled uncomfortably. “I was just hoping I could find someone to identify it’s era.” she muttered unconvincingly.

Zecora, clad in a colorful dress, looked about the palace nervously.
“I should have stayed in my home, I fear. I do not fit in well around here.” she muttered.

“Nonsense!” Rarity exclaimed. “Now, I know this is my first time designing any outfit from zebra culture, but I think you look smashing, if I do say so myself, and I do!”

“The forest is where I belong.” Zecora replied, looking a little claustrophobic. “My presence here feels all wrong. These ponies will find my ways uncivilized, and as usual I will be despised.”

“Oh, we don’t despise you!” Rarity assured her. “You have a fascinating culture, and I for one think that you are more civilized than many ponies in Canterlot! After all, wisdom and intelligence are the keys to being civilized, and I daresay you have more of those than most ponies I know!”

“Perhaps,” Zecora admitted, “but I have learned that respect is something that has to be earned. Ponies tend to judge me hastily, by my looks or my ways, and not by the real me.”

“Well, anypony in Canterlot who would treat you like that is going to treat any of us the same way.” Rarity replied. “Ponyville is hardly what I would call upper-class. I daresay even I would be snubbed by some of these socialites. But if they can’t appreciate you for who you are, then phooey on them!”

Zecora grinned. “Thank you.” she replied. The fact that she forewent her usual rhyming speech let Rarity know how much her encouragement had meant to the zebra.

Fluttershy trotted along happily. Beside her, Tails followed closely.

“I think you’ll like it here.” Fluttershy told Tails. “Princess Celestia promised me she would bring Philomena. That’s her pet phoenix.”

“Wow!” Tails exclaimed. “A real phoenix! Cool! Do real phoenixes actually get reborn from their own ashes?”

“Oh, yes!” Fluttershy exclaimed. “I… found that out the hard way. I was really sad, because I thought that Philomena was gone, but she was fine. She was reborn out of the ashes, which was a lovely sight.”

“Well, I would love to meet a phoenix.” Tails exclaimed.

“As would I.” Blaze added, stepping up. “Fire can be beautiful, when properly controlled.”

Beside her, Silver looked awkward. “Well, to each their own. I never cared much for fire, but that’s mainly because I spent most of my early years dealing with fires that had an attitude.”

“I have got to hear that tale sometime.” Applejack stated, as she walked up to join the conversation. “All I heard were a few scraps, and something about time travel and the Flames of Disaster or whatnot. Sounds like a mighty excitin’ tale!”
“That’s an understatement.” Silver said with a sigh.


As the ponies and Mobians stepped onto the ballroom floor, Twilight turned and spoke quietly to them.

“Listen, don’t expect too much.” she stated. “Me and my friends were terribly disappointed when we first came to the Grand Galloping Gala, so… well, just don’t get your hopes up.”

Sonic and Pinkie Pie shared a sideways glance, and gave a sly grin.

“Alright, what are you two up to?” Twilight asked.

“Nothing.” Pinkie and Sonic replied simultaneously.

Before Twilight could question them further, a loud voice boomed out.


“Princess Luna?” Twilight said in surprise. “I thought she preferred to avoid the Gala. What’s she doing here?”

“We are also pleased to welcome our new friends and saviors!” Princess Luna continued. “I would like to introduce to you, our heroes from Mobius! May our worlds ever be friends, and may we begin a glorious new future together!”

The crowd applauded as Luna motioned for Sonic and his friends to step up on the stage. Celestia stepped up beside them, smiling warmly.

“I would also like to call up Twilight Sparkle, and her friends.” she stated. Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity shyly stepped up on stage, while Rainbow Dash dragged a resisting Fluttershy up behind them.

“All of her friends.” Celestia stated with a smile in Spike, Zecora and Trixie’s direction.

Trixie dashed in front, flaunting herself before the crowd, while Spike and Zecora followed with surprised delight.

“Because of these heroes, a great evil was banished today, for they saved me when I was overcome by that evil.” Celestia told the crowd. “And my sister, Princess Luna, is also to thank. It was her who sealed away that dark evil, preventing it form ever overpowering me again.”

The crowd erupted in applause. Sonic and Rainbow Dash high-fived one another. Fluttershy squeaked and hid her face. Shadow snorted and folded his arms. Trixie tossed her mane and grinned assuredly at the crowd.

“This Grand Galloping Gala is dedicated to these heroes,” Princess Celestia went on, “and to the union of our two worlds! So in honor of this union, we shall be performing what Sonic here informs me is the traditional celebration music of his world, performed by our own Equestrian musicians, and by some of the most talented Mobian musicians as well!”

The others stepped off the stage as some of the Canterlot musicians stepped up. But Twilight’s mouth dropped open as she saw Vinyl Scratch and Vector step onto the stage. She whipped her head in Sonic’s direction, and saw him and Pinkie Pie grinning.

“Did you plan this?” she asked.

Pinkie and Sonic both shook their heads.

“Wasn’t my idea.” Pinkie Pie stated with a smile.

“Not mine.” Sonic added with a smirk.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “Then if it wasn’t you….” She suddenly opened her eyes wide in surprise, and turned towards the elegant figure who was smirking beside her.

“Princess Celestia?” she exclaimed.

Princess Celestia shrugged, giving a naughty smile. “Well, I had hoped that the introduction of our new friends would give me an excuse to liven things up around here. So I put Sonic and Pinkie Pie in charge of a few secret plans for the Gala.”

Upon the stage, Octavia shook her head.

“I never expected us to be sharing a stage, and in the Canterlot palace of all places.” she said to Vinyl Scratch.

“Hey, if this works, maybe we can start a rockin’, classical duet thing!” Vinyl stated excitedly.

“All right!” Vector cried to the crowd. “This is Vector, bringin’ you the first-ever Equestrian-Mobian collaborated song. Dedicated to all our heroes, this is… His World!”

A chorus of violins, rounded out by Octavia’s deep cello, began to play. Soon, a drum kit and electric guitars joined in, surprisingly harmoniously.

Twilight looked shocked, but Sonic put a hand on her shoulder.

“Care to dance?” he said with a smirk. “Come on. You know you want to.”

Twilight grinned. “Well… okay.”


As the music finally ended, Rarity was surprised to see a familiar figure walk up, wearing the dress she had designed not so long ago for her.

“Miss Mina Mongoose?” she exclaimed.

“I heard I was invited to this party to perform.” Mina explained. “I’ve worked with Vector before once or twice, and I hear that this Vinyl Scratch is a famed musician in this world.”

“You better believe it, doll.” stated a gray stallion with a black mane and a musical note Cutie Mark. His black jacket and sunglasses made him look quite stylish to Rarity’s eye. “I was thinking that it would be totally wicked if we could create some sort of all-star-team-up band.”

“Neon Lights and me have already been working on the idea.” Mina explained. “We were thinking it should be called… Mobiquestria.”

“Kind of a cool, combo name for a cool, combo band.” Neon Lights added.

“And we’ve got a great song lined up for tonight!” Mina said excitedly.

Rarity looked surprised. “Well… that sounds fascinating, darlings!”

“Well, we gotta go and meet with the others.” Neon Light exclaimed. “Ciao!”

As they walked off, Mina turned around.
“Oh, by the way, Rarity, I love this outfit! It’s already becoming a sensation on Mobius! I wouldn’t be surprised if you started getting a lot more design orders soon, especially from me!”

“New… orders… sensation….” Rarity stuttered. Her eyes sparkled, and she trotted off, squealing like a happy little filly.


“Hello, Equestria!”

Mina Mongoose was being her usual, outgoing self as she stepped out on the stage. “Tonight, we bring you the dawn of a new age of music. I’m here with Vinyl Scratch, Neon Lights, and Vector to bring you the music of Mobiquestria!”

“Woo! Yeah!” Sonic and Pinkie Pie cheered, while many of the others clapped.

Mina turned towards Vinyl Scratch. “This one’s for all our friends we will soon meet again, it’s When Can I See You Again! Hit it, DJ PON-3!”

As the music filled the atmosphere, a feeling, indescribable but very strong, filled the hearts of the heroes.

“Wow.” Sonic said, giving Twilight a small but emotional smile. “You know, I’ve gotta say, it was worth it all just to be here. Not for the party, although it’s a great party, but….” He sighed. “It just feels… well, for lack of a better word, it feels magical.”

Twilight grinned. “Of course it does.” she replied. “Friendship is magic.”

Pinkie Pie dashed up. “Hey, Sonic! Wanna see who’s the better dancer?”

“You’re on!” Sonic laughed, jumping up.

Twilight laughed as well, watching Sonic and Pinkie’s acrobatic moves as they spun and flipped to the beat. She stood up, and got out on the dance floor herself, and began flailing her legs about in her usual adorkable dancing style.

She noticed all her friends, both old and new, enjoying themselves. Spike was twirling about with Rarity. Applejack and Knuckles were laughing by the refreshments. Silver and Blaze were swirling about together, and Twilight swore she saw their eyes shimmering with tears of joy, overjoyed at being reunited.

On the sidelines, Shadow was standing against the wall with his usual stern stare, while Rouge was trying to coax him into something. Twilight laughed out loud as Rouge suddenly grabbed Shadow, spinning him out onto the dance floor and dipping him. Shadow looked surprised and very flustered, but not altogether displeased.

Rainbow Dash was staring with awe as Omega showed her his vast arsenal of weapons. Espio and Zecora were dancing together with smooth, graceful moves. Even Fluttershy was doing a little dance with Tails as Tails led her across the dance floor, while she grinned happily, and for the moment, looking a little less shy.

Trixie was twirling about, her years of stage experience showing in her expert moves, while her horn flared, sending sparkles and fireworks all about the stage. She was very aware of the attention some of the guests were giving her, and she was happily drinking it all in.

Even Celestia and Luna were out on the dance floor, and it was rather shocking for Twilight to see her graceful teacher dancing like a pop star.

Twilight laughed, throwing her hooves into the air and spreading her wings.

And the best part? She knew this was only the beginning.


As the music blared on, Sonic approached Rainbow Dash.

“Care to step into the garden?” he asked. “I have a surprise for you.”

“Um… sure.”

As they stepped out into the quiet darkness, moving away from the flashing lights, Sonic turned towards Rainbow Dash.

“I have to return the Chaos Emeralds to the Mobian government.” Sonic said. “But… before I go, I thought… well, I though you would like one last flight.”

There was a flash as the Emeralds appeared around him. Golden light flashed over his body. He held out his hand.

“Care to join me?”

Rainbow Dash stared in surprise, then her face lit up.

“Of course!” she cried.

As she stepped into the circle of Emeralds, her body flared with light, and her mane streamed into the air.

Sonic smirked. “Then let’s go.”

The sky seemed to dissolve around them as they soared into the sky. Without a catastrophe to deal with, Rainbow Dash could actually take time to notice and appreciate the speed. In a flash, she shot past the clouds, and was surrounded by stars. All the heavens glistened around her as she soared through space beside Sonic.

She blasted off soaring through the sky, stopping to look down on the sphere that was Equestria.
Sonic stopped next to her.

“So? What do you think?” he asked.

Sonic’s face fell as he saw a tear coming from Rainbow Dash’s eye.

“Hey… is something wrong?” he asked gently.

Rainbow Dash smiled and shook her head. “Not at all.” she sniffed. “It’s just… look, swear that you won’t tell a soul I said this, okay?”

“Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” Sonic said with a grin.

Rainbow Dash gave a smirk. “Pinkie taught you that?”

“Yep! She said that nobody breaks a Pinkie promise.” Sonic stated. “So… what’s up?”

Rainbow Dash sighed. “I just wanted to say… thanks. I… I know I hated you at first, but… well, you kind of remind me of me.”

She sighed again and went on. “I was an only foal. I never had any brothers or sisters. But… well… I kind of… I kind of feel like you’re the brother I never had.”
She shook her head. “There. I said it. Now let’s pretend that never happened.”

Sonic put a hand on Rainbow Dash’s shoulder. “Hey, don’t be embarrassed.” he told her. “You know, I was an only kid, too. And… well, I think you would make a great sister.”

“Really?” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, looking surprised.

“Sure thing.” Sonic assured her. “Why do you think I brought you on this flight? You’re the only other one I’ve ever met who knows, really knows, the thrill of the speed, the rush of breaking the sound barrier. You appreciate it. You love it as much as I do. And that’s saying something.”

He gave her a cocky grin. “So waddaya say? Quick race around the solar system?”

“You’re on!” Rainbow Dash cried.

They blasted off, streaking through space. The heavens soared about them, and the stars shimmered in the sky all about. They shot through a comet’s trail, and bounced around a meteor shower, leaping between the enormous boulders.

They laughed, spinning through the vast reaches of space like a pair of shooting stars. For an instant, their eyes met, and it was as if they could read one another’s minds.

“There’s nothing like it, is there?”


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Twilight sat on a beach chair, overlooking as the ponies helped in the reconstruction of Blaze’s costal city as she sipped her tea. Beside her, Blaze sipped her own tea, giving a small smile.

“I’m glad we met, Twilight.” Blaze stated. “You reunited me with Silver, and you have been a wonderful friend.”

“And I’ve learned a great deal about friendship.” Twilight replied.

“As have I.” Blaze agreed. She sighed. “I used to be very… aloof. I would often work on my own, because I feared that my friends would get hurt. But you showed me that together, friends are stronger.”

“Sounds like you have a letter to write to Princess Celestia.” Twilight stated with a smile.

Blaze gave a small smile. “I… would like that.”

Twilight turned. “Marine, take a letter.”

Marine pulled out a notebook, some glitter glue, and a box of crayons.

“Er, I think I’ll write this on my own.” Blaze said with an awkward grin. “I’ll get my own writing materials. Marine, why don’t you go help with the construction?”
Blaze went inside as Marine cheerfully dashed off. Blaze came out shortly with some paper and a pen. She sat down, took a sip of her tea, and began to write.

Dear Princess Celestia

I used to be much like your former student and my new friend, Twilight Sparkle. I didn’t realize just how important friendship could be. I thought that friends were something only regular people had, and that people with big responsibilities, like me, should face those responsibilities alone.

But now I realize that I was only making my job harder and myself weaker. Through Silver, Marine, Sonic, Cream, and now Twilight Sparkle, I have learned that my friends can be as much a help to me as I can be to them. Together, we can overcome the odds. Alone, we have weaknesses, but if we have friends, our friends can cover those weaknesses and help us when we are down, and we can do the same for them.

I used to think that I had to save everyone myself, but now I realize that everybody need help from time to time. That’s why we need friends, especially when you’re a princess like Twilight or I. My friends help me to be a better ruler to my people, and a better person. With my friends, I can better lead and protect my kingdom, for together, we are stronger than anyone else can be on their own.

Your avatar and newest student,

Princess Blaze

“Hey, Twilight!” Applejack called up. “Y’all ready to help with those houses?”

“Be right there, Applejack!” Twilight called down. She turned towards Blaze. “Are you finished yet?”

“Just finished.“ Blaze said as she rolled up the letter. Her hand lit up with green fire, and the letter disappeared in flames.
“Since I don’t have a dragon, Celestia taught me how to mimic dragon fire.” Blaze explained with a grin.

“Perhaps we could be pen pals!” Twilight exclaimed. “I would love to write to you, and help you with any of the future assignments Princess Celestia gives you.”

A graceful white unicorn mare walked up. She bowed to Twilight and Blaze before speaking.
“Princess Blaze, your first assignments are here.” she stated, levitating a large pile of books over to Blaze.

“Thank you.” Blaze stated with a nod. “Put them inside. I’ll study them later.”

“But shouldn’t you get to work on the Princess’s assignment right away?” Twilight asked in surprise.

Blaze shook her head, and rolled up her sleeves. “If I have learned anything about the princess, it is that she would prefer me to put my studies into action. And right now, our friends need help rebuilding this town.”
She leapt down from the balcony, gracefully propelling herself from rooftop to rooftop.

Twilight grinned. Spreading her wings, she soared into the sky, flying alongside Blaze towards the fields of construction.

With everyone so busy, no one noticed the graceful white mare as she trotted into the rebuilt tower of Blaze’s palace. As soon as she was out of sight, a pair of insect-like wings sprouted from her back, and her graceful white body became black and twisted, with a draping green mane and legs with holes through them.

“A new world… one with strong bonds of love.” she hissed as she soared into the sky. “Love for their heroes… especially the hedgehog.”

A grin crossed her face, and her green, cat-like eyes narrowed greedily.

“It sounds like the perfect feeding ground for my children.”

The End…?