The Gates of Tartarus

by DivineGlory

First published

Cerberus abandoned Tartarus for too long, and now Twilight needs to save Equestria

Twilight's future self tried to warn her but she wasn't quick enough. Cerberus left the gates of Tartarus open for too long and now the unspeakable evils of the world have been unleashed upon Equestria. It's going to be up to the Twilight and her friends to stop the escaped prisoners and restore order to Equestria before it's too late.

Cerberus' Mistake

View Online

"I'll just bring Cerberus back to Tartarus and then no disaster will happen," Twilight yelled back to her friends as she held the ball in front of the giant black dog and ran towards the edge of Equestria. They stopped just outside of Ponyville as Twilight's horn glowed and both her and Cerberus appeared at two large brass gates. "Ah, Tartarus. Just where I remember it was. Now, stay boy," she said to Cerberus, "I just need to make sure everypony is in order and then I can go back to Ponyville and get back to my scheduling!"

The gates opened in front of her as she walked towards them, and the darkness of Tartarus surrounded her. She walked slowly forward, only the light of her horn showing the way. "Okay, now Celestia had told me that the previous ruler, Sisyphus would be down here first." Twilight walked along Cerberus until she came across a large mountain. "This is where he should be," she said to herself looking around for the alicorn who was punished to push a large boulder up a mountain for eternity. "Umm Sisyphus? Are you there?"

Twilight's legs started to shake, and her mane swayed back and forth. She looked up the mountain as a boulder started to roll down towards her. Screaming, her horn glowed and she teleported out of the way as the boulder smashed into a wall. Following the boulder was a silver alicorn, his wings flopping lazily to his sides. Twilight smiled and brought a list in which she checked off the first box. Disregarded the small pleas of help Sisyphus made as he tried to push the boulder again, Twilight moved into the next corridor.

The next corridor opened Twilight up into a beautiful orchard. A small earth pony stood still in a pool of water, right next to a beautiful apple tree. Twilight watched as the earth pony tried to reach the ever receding apples from the tree, and drink from the pool which always seemed to empty. Her horn glowed and she checked another box off before walking into the next corridor. "Glad to see everything's in check so far," she said to herself again.

Twilight's eyes closed against a glaring light from the next room. She frowned and took out her list, protecting it in magic to stop the heat from catching it a flame. "So this must be Ixion," she said, trying to see through the wheel of flame in front of her. Her horn glowed and she created some magic sunglasses which allowed her to see through the blinding light and gasped. "He's not here," she yelled, running towards the wheel before needing to turn around. "This is NOT happening!"

Twilight ran to the next corridor, fearing the worst. She checked her list again and saw that the Danaides should be in the next room, carrying water from one pool to another but never being able to complete it. As she moved into the room, she noticed the deserted jugs on the ground and no ponies around. "Oh no. Oh no," she repeated to herself, turning around and rushing towards the gate. Since she was hurrying, she was unable to notice that the first two rooms were empty as well. Twilight moved towards the large open gate, shouting for Cerberus to close it behind her. She got out just as the large dog locked the gate behind her. "Oh Celestia, this is bad!"

Ponyville Back to Chaos

View Online

Twilight ran back to Ponyville as quick as her legs could take her. "This can't be happening," she kept screaming to herself, trying to remember if her future self said anything that might be useful. As she came over a large hill she saw Ponyville before her, but it was different. Smoke was billowing with the clouds in the distance, and she could hear screams and cries of pain. Her hooves stopped working and Twilight stumbled to the ground. She looked on in horror before feeling something land beside her.

"Quick Twilight," the familiar rainbow pony said beside her. Rainbow Dash's mane was singed a little, and the colors seemed faded. She had a few cuts on her wings, but her eyes sparkled with excitement and adventure.

"Rainbow! Someponies escaped from Tar-" Twilight started to explain before Rainbow shoved her hoof on Twilight's mouth.

"We know. Hurry," Rainbow shouted before lifting off into the air and blasting back towards Ponyville. A faint rainbow crested behind her as she swooped through the air and towards the ground near Twilight's library. Twilight's legs stopped shaking and she smiled a little. No matter what happened to Equestria, her friends would always be with her to save the day. She stood up and started to gallop towards the town.

Twilight looked at the ruined Ponyville as she ran. Roseluck and Golden Harvest were on the ground, clutching at their chests while moaning in pain. She passed by Colgate who was in the same position as Roseluck, yet she was moving slowly across the ground towards Dr. Whooves who lay sprawled on the ground. Twilight's eyebrows furrowed above her eyes, and she vowed to avenge everypony that fell today. As Twilight moved past Sugarcube corner she heard a familiar shriek and the two Baby Cakes crying. "Well Rainbow can wait," she said to herself before turning towards the door and rushing inside.

Sugarcube Corner was wrecked when she walked inside. The glass counters were overturned, and there was cake everywhere. The two Baby Cakes sat in the middle of the floor crying as Mr. and Mrs. Cake tried to calm them down and pack everything up. "Erm, Mrs. and Mr. Cake," Twilight asked, not wanting to interrupt.

Mr. Cake turned around and threw a cake towards Twilight, which she just dodged in time. "Oh, my bad Twilight. I thought you were that awful small pony who came in here," Mr. Cake explained, a small blush cresting his cheeks.

Twilight tried to give him a smile and a shrug. "It's no problem. What did that little pony do," she inquired as she wondered if it was Tantalus, the pony who was punished in the second room of Tartarus.

"He came in here and just started eating, Dearie," Mrs. Cake explained as she threw extra diapers in a suitcase and smashed it closed.

"Twilight," a pink pony screamed as she ran downstairs with her saddlebags bouncing on her back. "Twilight! There's a bunch of new ponies and I was going to go introduce myself then all of a sudden BLAMO the whole town just turned upside and WHAMO everypony went crazy and so I ran back here and tried to warn the Cakes but there was already some small pony eating everything in here so I attacked him with cake but then he ate it so I had to run and get Rainbow and she came in here like WHOOSH and she helped out and we knocked that small pony out of here with the power of music and now I'm packing up with the Cakes but we got to help Ponyville," Pinkie said in all one breath. Twilight blinked, a little confused.

"Oh um, alright Pinkie. You all right Mrs. Cake," Twilight asked before turning towards the door.

"Oh yes Dearie. Go on and help out Equestria," Mrs. Cake said as she threw a few suitcases on her back and picked up Pumpkin Cake in her mouth. Twilight nodded and rushed out the door with Pinkie behind her.

"Pinkie go to the library," Twilight said to the bouncing pink pony behind her, "I'm going to go find the rest of the elements."

The Rest of Ponyville

View Online

Twilight ran from Sugarcube Corner, hoping that Pinkie would go back to the library and perhaps have a few more emergency items stashed around Ponyville. "That pony is impossible," she muttered to herself, trying to block out the screams of pain around her.

"Hands off mah apples!" Twilight moved into the town square and searched for the familiar orange pony. She found Applejack with her hind hooves up in the air, kicking at Tantalus. Now that it was brighter, she saw that Tantalus was a small white earth pony, with a large black stripe running from one ear to his tail. His cutie mark seemed disheveled, like the hair had started to be pulled out forcefully. The cutie mark was a knife and fork, which seemed fitting as he was the most gluttonous of all ponies. "Twilight! You gunna stand thar all day?"

"Oh sorry," Twilight said as she was pulled out of her trance. She looked around the town square for anything to use against the evil pony but was unable to find anything. "One second Applejack," she called as her brain moved quickly to find a spell that might help. "Of course!"

Twilight's horn glowed as she remembered the spell that she had used on the parasprites. Sure it didn't work to well then, but they weren't normal ponies. A beam of purple light flashed out of her horn and towards Tantalus, striking him right in the flank. Applejack kicked him twice in the jaw once he was stunned. "What'd you do?," Applejack asked her as they stared at the disoriented pony.

"Remember the parasprites," Twilight asked as she cautiously moved towards the pony, "well I used the same spell. I've never used it on a pony before. I wonder what'll happen." They both stood and watched as the small earth pony blinked a few times and looked down at the apples in front of him. Instead of eating them, he turned away and slinked very slowly forwards. Twilight's face beamed as she saw that her spell was working, until the small earth pony moved his neck towards his flank and bit off more hair, chewing it slowly.

"Uh, Twilight," Applejack started, looking at the sad hungry pony in front of her.

"Let's just..." Twilight started before turning around and motioning for the element of honesty to join her. "He's an evil entity that's been locked away for years. He's not just hungry. He's trying to make us pity him." Twilight kept trying to reassure herself, but she felt a few tears in her eyes just the same. Sometimes you had to sacrifice a few things for the greater good.

The duo walked solemnly towards the library, their ears not even perking up to the cries of help from the other ponies who were still in pain and anguish. Tantalus wasn't the only pony who had escaped Tartarus and came to Ponyville. Twilight looked over at her friend for a second before she heard a very womanly shriek. "Was that-"

"Rarity," Applejack finished before turning towards where the shriek came from. Twilight put her front hoof in front of Applejack.

"Go to the library," Twilight said, "tell the others what happened to Tantalus. I'll get Rarity." Applejack opened her muzzle to complained, but decided it was against her best interest and instead turned towards the library to regroup with the others. As Twilight stood alone on the street, she regretted the decision to have any of her other friends to leave. "You can do this Twilight."

"Hands off me you dirty ruffian," A white pony said as Twilight bounded around the corner. She saw her friend Rarity, standing there in her gala dress, fighting off Ixion who was only minutes ago strapped to a burning wheel. His orange hair was singed on the edges, and his cutie mark was impossible to tell. Ixion's mane was completely burnt off, and one of his ears was bubbling from a recent burn. "Oh Twilight," Rarity started as she swiped a hoof at her attacker, "how glad I am to see you. This awful looking pony just attacked me screaming about how pretty am I." She swiped at Ixion again before swirling her mane in a fashion that only Rarity could do. "Of course, everypony calls me pretty so I didn't fall for his charm."

Twilight rolled her eyes but tried to remember any spells she could use to stop Ixion. "His crime against the old gods was that he was too lustful, wanting to be with every mare in Equestria." Twilight didn't know any spells that would stop that, but she did know someone who would be able to stop it for at least a little while. With one quick look at Rarity, Twilight dashed off back towards the town.

"Twilight dear!" Rarity yelled at her ever disappearing flank. Twilight gritted her teeth as she ran, trying not to think of it as abandoning her friend. She would be back for her.

Twilight felt a sharp sting in her shoulder and heard a deep booming laugh to her right. She noticed a black as night pegasus who was standing with his arms filled with rocks. He smiled at her and Twilight noticed even his teeth were black. "'Ello little pony," his deep booming voice said as Twilight felt another rock smash into her face. Her eyes filled with tears quickly and they mixed with the blood as they streamed down her face.

"I'll come back for you," she mumbled as she forced back the tears before running off. Another rock smashed into her cutie mark and she heard the voice declare that he was right on target. She kept running, her throat bubbling as she tried to stop from crying. "I have a mission" she reminded herself as she leaned against the wall of somepony's house. Her hooves moved up towards her face, searching for the cut that had been made just above her eye. She ran her hoof along it, trying to frit her teeth against the pain.

"Help!" Twilight stared up and noticed a yellow pegasus flying as quick as her wings could take her. Twilight cried out to Fluttershy, using her horn as a small beacon of light. Fluttershy didn't seem to notice, but she did change direction a bit.

"Fluttershy!" Twilight screamed at her, starting to gallop right underneath her. "Fluttershy! I need your help!" Fluttershy looked down at the purple pony and brought both her wings in simultaneously. Her plummet to the ground was much less graceful than when she was flying, and that was saying something. Twilight's horn glew quickly and cushioned her fall a little.

"T-t-Twilight," Fluttershy started before running towards her and nuzzling her neck. "How glad I am to see you!"

Twilight nodded to her friend and looked around the rest of the town. She had saved Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and now Fluttershy. All she needed left was Rarity. She whispered her needs to Fluttershy and her yellow friend nodded before taking a step back.

"He's in the Everfree forest Twilight but I don't know why you want to go there." Fluttershy murmured before showing Twilight the call that would bring what she needed to her. Twilight thanked the element of kindness before instructing her to head off the library. As Fluttershy ascended into the air again, Twilight ran towards the outside of Ponyville.

"Hopefully, the Everfree forest will be safer than Ponyville," she told herself.
Author's Note: I tried something a bit different this chapter, wanting to add some more emotion/action to the story. Hopefully it's still pretty good.