Crystal Ballerina

by BlueSkyHeadLeft010

First published

What is the meaning of life? For me it means getting a second chance. You wouldn't think that buying a simple Pearl from an old geezer at a gas station would transport you to Equestria right? Wrong. Now I'm stuck here with this Pearl on my

What is the meaning of life?
For me it means getting a second chance.
You wouldn't think that buying a simple Pearl from an old geezer at a gas station would transport you to Equestria right?
Now I'm stuck here with this Pearl on my forehead in a stupid ballerina costume and I may or may not have ticked off an all powerful love eating changeling queen...

"How dare you attack the Queen of the changelings! I'll turn you into a hat!"

Whoops... I guess this inter-dimensional message isn't as fool proof as I thought! I'll have to cut this short!
Seriously though, if anyone is reading this please send help!

[inspired to write this after seeing so many of these crossovers! Mainly inspired though by 'Land of Friendship and Magic' :D]


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It was just a routine stop to the local gas station to top off my SUV for the road...

Nothing was out of the norm as I inserted the nozzle into the slot and started pumping the ethanol liquid into my ride...

My stomach grumbled a bit as I paid with my debit card and put up the nozzle, so I decided to reward myself with a bit of a treat for the road...

I checked my watch to make sure I had enough time... It wouldn't be another hour until I had to go to all women's baseball game. I should be able to grab a kit-kat for the road and maybe go by a fast food joint for some actual grub later...

I locked the car with my keys and headed over to the store.

The doors slid open and chimed a familiar greeting to the employees to let them know I was here as I walked in...

The aroma of half burnt coffee and day old donuts greeted me as I went over to the candy bar section and found what I was looking for...

I reached over and grabbed a kit-kat bar when I noticed this old guy coming towards me with dirt ripped up jeans and a t-shirt that said "will work for pie". I rolled my eyes as the guy passed me and looked over at the butterfingers before eyeing the kit-kat bars towards me...

"Hey would you be willing to trade that last kit-kat bar you have there?" The guy asked me, a certain hunger in his eyes...

I shrugged, "depends... What you got?" I grinned, hoping for some cash or something so maybe I could buy a drink too...

What he had wasn't cash, it was a rock. A shiny rock the size of my fist, but never the less a rock... "I found this beauty today." The man said grinning, "I was thinking of selling it, but hey girls like jewelry right?" He chuckled as he held the rock out towards me..

I realized now that he was holding a Pearl in his hands, (I was never good at geology, ok?), and I nearly shoved the bar at him as I grasped onto the Pearl eagerly...

"Thannnnnnnnkkkkkkkkkksssssssssssssssssss kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-" His sentence got cut off as I blinked around and noticed that time was slowing down around me.

I panicked of course, but it didn't help much as I too started to slow and fade out. The last thing I did was scream, but it came out more as an un-completed yell as darkness overtook me.

Stirring up the Hive

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"Get off me!" Someone screeched.

I blinked back into reality only to be greeted by several million blue glowing eyes...

"Off!" The voice said as I felt whatever I was laying on buzz angrily and shift around. Needless to say I got off the thing.

"Sorry!" I apologized as I brushed myself off, "I didn't realize I had fallen asleep! I'm sorry-" I paused as I looked up at the being's eyes.

They were of a sickly green color, the kind that spoke of greed and envy, and were slitted like cat's eyes except they were much bigger than any cat's eyes I've ever seen. They seemed to glow with unknown and terrifying power; which made me tremble a bit I have to say, as I felt like they were able to peer into my very being...

"Well? I'm waiting for your explanation." The creature frowned with their very sharp canine fangs, as its two toned bug like voice echoed off the walls of the room we were in.

I backed up a little bit after that... The thing looked sorta like a small horse, maybe a pony? But ponies don't talk, nor do they look or sound anything like this one did!

"I er-..." Was what I said intelligently as I tried my best not to panic at the sight of this beast like being.

The bug like pony took a step towards me and snorted, "If you cannot explain why you suddenly appeared and landed in MY hive, onto MY back, and fumbled around like a nymph AFTER I ordered you to get off, then I will have to kill you for trespassing..." The creature grinned as it eyed me hungrily.

I opened my mouth to scream, but then shut it again, then once more opened it to explain, "I'm sorry I landed on you! I have no idea how I got here and pleasedon'tkillmeeee!" I squeaked as I tensed against a wall I had somehow wound up against and kept my eyes focused on the bug like creature and the millions of icy blue eyes watching me...

The creature laughed, "That is the most pathetic excuse I've ever heard!" She smirked before she narrowed her eyes and revealed her fangs in a menacing grin. "I guess I'll have to kill you then odd being..." She growled as she leapt towards me like a hungry cougar.

I screamed in panic and ducked at the last minute as the evil bug pony rammed into the wall I had just been leaning against and howled in pain. I took a detour down one of the bug holes and crossed my fingers it would lead to an exit. I could hear the sound of bugs buzzing behind me, and briefly turned my head back to see if the thing was still following me and then I screamed some more.

Okay so, apparently the bug pony had friends because those millions of blue eyes? Yeah they weren't just for show, she had an army of mini bug ponies and o'craptheywereafterme!
I started to sprint after that, pushing the air down my lungs faster as adrenaline ran through my veins... The buzzing was starting to become deafening, and my eyes started to cross as I could barely hear myself think! The only thing I could focus on right now was getting away, so I turned down another tunnel and ran some more.

The ground beneath me started to shake, and I let out a small scream as I saw more of those bug things crawling out of the ground in front and behind me, trying to launch themselves at my legs. I had to keep my eye out as I kept trying to run and avoid them.

Eventually I saw something that made me stop in horror. The tunnel was a dead end! "Nonononononoooooooooooooooo!" I yelled as I dug my heels into the soft ground and turned around quickly as I sprinted the other direction. If I was quick enough maybe I could jump over the bug things and- nope!

They were too many of them!

Panic rose up once more. The creatures smirked as they realized they had trapped their prey and slowly started walking towards me.

I backed up against the wall and waited for the end. One of the black things hissed and launched itself towards me, and everything started slowing down again.

You know how when you're about to die everything slows down and you see your life flash before you? Yeah well, that's what was happening to me. Except as I braced myself, something started glowing right above my vision and my hand subconsciously raised itself up towards the glow. The black bug pony was still frozen in time with its fangs bared towards me, but for whatever reason my left hand was quicker and pulled on something above me before using whatever it had grabbed to smack down the creature in one swift flick of the wrist.

The thing screamed as it exploded into sparkles and the other bug creatures stared in shock.

I'll admit, I did too. I looked down to where my hand was and noticed a glowing blue wand was in it. It had a spiral curved point to it, and seemed to be very sharp from the looks of it.

I couldn't believe it! I had no clue where this wand thing had come from, and no idea how I had used it to slay the beast, but my hand didn't even flinch as I turned to find another angry bug pony attacking, only for my hand to defeat it once more.

"This is a dream." I muttered to no one in particular as bug pony after bug pony launched at me, or hurled green fire blobs, only for my body to seemly move to deflect their attacks on its own while using the wand for offense.

Eventually the beings seemed to give up after they had watched about maybe fifty of their comrades dissapate into sparkles from my sword, or be dissolved by their own acid green fire that I deflected.

They moved back with their ears flattened and hissed at me in anger. I let out a breath of relief I didn't even know I was holding. "Who's next?!" I hollered, feeling more confident now that I knew this wand thing was helping to protect me.

No one moved for a good minute...

Finally the bug ponies stopped hissing and let out a small low growl as they suddenly parted to the left and right, making a pathway for someone to enter.

I could hear something clopping on the dirt floor.

"Well this has certainly been an interesting development." A familiar two toned voice said in a sarcastic sounding tone.

I squinted as I could barely make out the outline of the taller bug like pony, but I knew who it was instantly from the voice.

"Stay away!" I warned as I held my wand out for defense.

The ruler bug pony laughed, "So that's what you used to defeat my fellow changelings?" It smirked.

Changelings, so that's what these things were.

I frowned and walked back further to the wall, "I'm warning you! Stay away! I don't want to fight!" I called, but the ruler changeling only took a few steps forward and yawned.

"Such a waste." She said, "I wasn't going to kill you, you know..." She smiled as if knowing something...

I lowered my weapon a bit, "You're bluffing!" I said, as I tried my hardest to steady myself against the wall...

The ruler changeling licked her lips, "on the contrary I'm not. I just wanted to cocoon you and then steal all the love you had!" She said as she took another few steps forward.

I raised my wand up to her face, but she just smirked and walked until the point of it was lined up right between her eyes.

She looked at me, "If you think that you can kill me with that stick, I'm sorry to burst your bubble." She smiled as she lit up her horn with that familiar green fire and launched it at me.

I ducked once more in defense and the fireball went whizzing up to the ceiling and made a huge gap in the hole.

"Argh! Stay still!" The ruler screamed as bits of dirt and gravel fell from the walls and light poured in.

The smaller changelings hissed in pain as it hit their black chitin and they back up further into the tunnels to hide.

The ruler changeling winced and squinted her eyes at the light, but didn't seem to be so negatively affected.

"I'm going to kill you!" She screamed. "You've compromised the Hive!" She roared as she launched at me this time full force, but somehow I knew how to dodge it as I grabbed her in mid air, impressively, and flung her to the side where her head collided with the hard wall making a cracking noise.

I squirmed as I knew that was going to hurt in the morning, but then looked towards my window of escape.

With the other small changelings distracted by their ruler being down for the count, I climbed my way out of the 'Hive' and ran...


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Ideally I was lost. Once I crawled out of the hole and got a far enough distance away from the changelings, I began to notice that there was nothing else but dust around me for as far as I could see.

"Great. Just wonderful!" I moaned as I looked up towards the sky and picked a random direction to start walking in. I had no idea what time it was, navigation was also not one of my strong points, but I figured that anywhere was safer than near those changelings.

This gave me time to think about what had just occurred. The mysterious blue wand that had appeared above me earlier was no longer around as I watched it disappear a few moments after I got out of the tunnel. I guess it was a one time deal or something, which was too bad because I kinda liked the thing. However, I had noticed that sometime during all of this my outfit had changed.

I no longer wore my scuffed up jeans and loose fitted yellow t-shirt. Instead I had on an odd looking ballerina costume with the shoes to match. I ran a hand through my hair as well, trying to brush away the annoying bangs that kept tickling my forehead. To my surprise I found that someone must have cut my hair and sprayed it, because it was now styled 'pixie cut' and had been combed back to stick out at a triangular point behind me. For some reason I couldn't help but think of the 1998 movie 'I'll be Home for Christmas' scenario, except instead of having a glued on Santa suit, I was stuck in a girly ballerina costume. I also noticed that somehow the Pearl I had gotten from that old guy at the convenience store was stuck to my forehead tight, and no matter how hard I tugged on the thing it refused to budge.

A tumbleweed blew by me as I drowned in my self woe, but nevertheless I kept walking. Surely there had to be civilization around here somewhere!


Finally! After probably walking around in circles, getting dust in my eyes and grime in my mouth, I could make out in the distance a town of some sort.

I did a fist pump into the air as I let out a whoop as I picked up the pace. About ten minutes later I was on the outskirts of town and came across a sign that said 'Welcome to Appleloosa' with a, who would've guessed, an apple for a logo.

"Must like apples" I joked as I walked into town to search for a payphone. It didn't seem like anyone was out and about this hour, but I heard something trotting behind one of the stores and decided to walk over towards it in hopes of getting directions.

I stopped when I turned the corner though and gawked at what I saw.

Standing in front of me was a golden yellow pony with a red apple tattooed on its hips, and it wore a cowboy hat on top of it's head. But what really threw me off what that it behaved in a way that a normal human does. It was just walking around picking up flowers and things with its mouth and then setting them down in a flower pot and positioning them with its hooves.

It was so alien to me that I actually had to walk back and do a double take before I accepted it as something really real.

When I did finally calm down enough I decided to head over to the strange golden colored pony and talk to it.

I peered around the corner of the building I was hiding behind and looked around. Yep, that pony was still out there planting flowers. Casually, I straightened myself out and walked over to him.

"Well hello there good sir! Can you perhaps tell me where I am?" I asked. Really brain? That was the best introduction you could come up with??

I noticed that the pony had stopped what he was doing when he saw me. He looked startled by my sudden appearance, maybe it was because I was at least a good two to three feet taller, but after the initial shock wore off he just smiled at me and nodded.

"Why yes ma'am! Yer in AAAAAAA-pple-LOO-sa!" He grinned, "The fastest growing apple town this side of Equestria!" He said.

I had to clean my ears out after he'd finished saying all of that. My goodness that pony did have quite a pair of lungs on him! Wait, did he just say Equestria?

"E-Equestria? So as in not Earth right?" I asked, suddenly getting a very, very bad feeling in my gut.

The stallion cocked in his head in confusion, "I dun know nothin' 'bout a place called 'Earth' miss, but yer welcome to head on over to town hall and ask fer a map!" He smiled as he directed me towards a tall wooden building that said 'town hall'. "Mah name's Braeburn by the way! If ya ever need anythin' let me know!" He called as he waved good bye and went back to planting flowers.

I waved back, "Thank you Braeburn! I'll make sure to let you know!" I said as I started walking towards town hall.

This was going to be a long day...


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The walk to town hall was a little more interesting.

I saw several other ponies walking about chatting with each other while doing their daily thing, but unlike Braeburn they seemed scared, as if afraid of something or someone. More specifically me...

I suddenly realized I was the scary giant, as they would quickly dash back into the closest building nearby and shut the doors and close their windows. I watched as some of the younger fillies were pulled into houses by their moms, or peek out windows to look at me only to be pushed by down by older siblings.

It was terrible! I didn't even have to see them flee to feel I was being rejected. I felt very small. Smaller than I usually felt. So small I was-... Shrinking?!

I looked at myself in panic as I watched my form waver and twist into new dimensions, replacing my hands with a flat stubby surface, and my face stretched out as my teeth flattened. In few seconds I was no longer human shaped. I opened my eyes in disbelief as I realized what I had turned into. A pony.

Okay I screamed. Then screamed some more. Then smacked my face with a hoof as yelped in pain as it left a dent. Ouch! Why did I think that was such a good idea?!

After panicking a bit, I finally calmed down enough to look at my new form. I was an off white color, close to a cream, but not quite. My mane stayed in the same pixie cut my human form had, except now I had a tail to boot, which sported a similar sleek cut to it. I still had no clue what I entirely looked like, silently frowning that I still hadn't found a mirror, but my thighs seemed to have a ballerina slippers logo with a pink ribbon extending from the slippers that were wrapped around a criss-cross image of two of the blue wands I had used earlier. My face scrunched in focus as I tried to figure what that mean't, but I didn't have time as a pair of hooves suddenly wrapped around my waist and yanked me into a building.

I opened my mouth to scream in surprise, but a hoof clamped over it. "What the heck were ya doin' out there with that munster roaming about huh?!" Someone said as I was spun around to find myself in a parlor of some sorts with a bunch of scared looking ponies. The pony in question talking to me walked forwards, donning an old-timey sheriff's vest with a silver star pinned to it and a brown cowboy's hat.

I looked at him puzzled. Did he not just see me out there trans-? Oh, wait a moment! This was perfect! I could still get the information I needed!

I hung my head low and nodded, "I'm sorry sir, I was just passing through and was curious t'was all..." I lied, as the stallion seemed to ease off a bit and smiled at me warmly. He patted me on the shoulder, "That's alright. At least ya weren't hurt none. What brings ya ta Appleloosa?" He asked changing his tone to a friendlier one.

I perked up a bit, "Oh! I was hoping for a map of some sorts!" I said as I blushed sheepishly, "I got a little lost, and a pack of bandits stole everything I had." I fibbed. Smooth girl, like butter on toast.

"Oh you poor thing!" A green female pony gasped as she ran over to me and looked at me sympathetically. "I've got a map here and a few bits to spare for a train ride if you need to get back home!" She offered, pulling a backpack shaped like a saddle out of nowhere.

I gawked in surprise at how generous she was being. "Um, thank you." I said, feeling guilty that I had to lie to get help, but shook it off. Easy now, it's necessary. That's all.

"Not a problem!" She smiled as she practically sat down the pack on my back and put a map and some odd gold coins into them. "Just tell the Ticketmaster where ya need to go and she'll print ya out a ticket! Stay safe and keep an eye out for that hideous monster!" She cheered as once again I found myself being pushed out of a public building by cartoon horses and shoved into the streets.

Curious, now I was facing the direction of the train station. I raised a hoof excitedly as I somehow magically able to pull out the map from the pack and pry it open with my hooves. Lucky for me, the map was written in English! Yes!

Okay, so there was 'Canterlot'. Probably a big city I guessed since the map's inaccurate proportioned buildings indicated it as the biggest thing on the map. I don't think I'm ready to handle a big city just yet.

Then there was a pretty looking place called 'Cloudsdale', but in the fine writing it noted that it was only for Pegasi and ponies with a 'cloud walking' spell on, and since I wasn't either of those, that was a no go.

Oh wait! Right below 'Canterlot' and 'Cloudsdale' was a place called 'Ponyville'! It looked small enough!

With my course decided I rolled back up my map and took a step forward towards the train booth.

Of course without proper instructions on how to walk in a pony's body I immediately fell flat on my face... I grunted as I picked myself back up and instead very slowly made my way over to the train station. I'm so glad no one was there to see that!

The Ticketmaster said nothing as she printed out my ticket, but a quick glance and you'd miss a ghost of a smile...

Mixed Magic

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I found out that once I was isolated away in my room on board the train, my form changed back to its previous one. So I was stuck wearing that ugly ballerina costume, again!

The green mare had been nice enough to pack extra bits for me, so when I was still a pony I bought an apple on board and now I was happily munching away at it. One thing that was nice about Equestria was the fact their food tasted ten times better than anything Earth could have offered me. I savored every last bite of that apple before I tossed it away in the trash can.

Now that my stomach was satisfied, I leaned back on my seat and looked out the window. The brochure I acquired at the station told me that the train was passing by 'Everfree forest', a place full of untamed magic and dangerous beings, to get to Ponyville. I watched some of the trees of the Everfree pass by as I pondered how exactly Equestria worked.

According to several of the magazines sitting in my small makeshift room, there were three tribes of ponies: Earth, Pegasi, and Unicorns. Each had unique magical properties, and by law were each treated equally. The magazines also briefly mentioned other creatures that came from far off places; Zebras, Dragons, Griffons, Minotaurs, Breezies, and Ahuizotl? Well, no one could say that the place wasn't lacking imagination!

The fact that none of them mentioned anything about Humans was troublesome though... If Equestria relied on magic to sustain life, then it was apparent that Earth and Equestria worked in two very different ways.

Which lead me to my next train of thought. Back when I was fighting the changelings, was I actually using some sort of magic? It was apparent that my form had changed since I arrived in Equestria, but there was no way I was using the same sort of magic any one else was.

I looked up to where the pearl was siting on top of my head. It was what got me here, so therefore it was the reason I could do magic. I focused on trying to summon that strange blue wand from before but no dice. I guess because I didn't feel threatened, the pearl wouldn't summon the weapon. I changed tactics to trying to become a pony again.

This time something actually happened! My form wavered like before, but it felt more controlled and direct as I started shrinking again and success! I admired my earth pony form once more as I did a small twirl around the room before relaxing and trying to summon up my usual form. A few seconds later I was back as a human, and did a celebratory fist pump into the air. Hey, this wasn't as hard as I thought!

Perhaps over time using my magic wouldn't be as tough as it was currently...

I stowed away my stray thoughts as the train came to a halt and the conductor yelled for everypony to get off. I grinned excitedly as I changed back into a pony once more and grabbed my saddlebags.

This was it! Ponyville was right in front of me!

I beamed excitedly as I walked out of the train's doorways and pondered; what would be in store for me here?

The Welcome

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I'll never forget those first few minutes in Ponyville.

There wasn't many other ponies who stepped off the train, but enough to crowd the area and push by me. I fought my way through the sea of ponies until I came across a bench on the edge of the station and laid down. My eyes drifted to studying the passengers that got off as they headed north, south, east, or west, to wherever they needed to go.

I had no clue where I needed to go. Perhaps I could find a hotel or something, or maybe someone would let me stay with them seeing that everyone I had ran into previously was really friendly.

While I was internally bickering, I got distracted by a spring sounding noise as my eyes caught sight of something pink hopping among the dispersing crowd.

"New! New! You're new! Hi there welcome to Ponyville! Hello new stranger! Hello!" A pink earth mare called to each of the passengers that got off. I had to restrain myself from laughing at her. It wasn't everyday you saw someone, much less a pink pony, welcoming everypony she met to Ponyville. I continued to watch her for a few moments longer before I decided to take off my saddle bags and see how much money I had left. My hooves slid the bits on the bench as I counted that I had exactly twenty left, enough for lunch and maybe a cheap hotel room.

I tossed my saddle bags back on my back as I made a mental note that whenever I was finally settled down I would go thank that mare in Applelosa. She really was nice enough to provide me with this much mo- err, I mean bits.
I was just about to get up and walk into town when the pink pony came trotting my way excitedly with her tail sprung up in the air like a sock.

"Woah!!! You're totally new! Like, very new according to my Pinkie sense! Hi!" She exclaimed excitedly as she appeared right in front of my face, making me jump a good six inches.

"Gah!" I yelled as I tried my best not to punch the pink mare in the nose on reflex.

She must've guessed I was about to do that anyways, because she took a hop back and giggled, "Sorry! I didn't mean to startle you! I'm Pinkie Pie, and I just love new friends!" She smiled the widest smile I've ever seen.

I finally got some air going in my lungs and calmed down, "Quite alright." I said, brushing off any dirt that tried to cling to me, "I am just not used to ponies being right next to me is all..." I reassured as I let out a lopsided grin.

The pink pony just smiled, "That's ok! I totally understand! Hey! Are you moving to here?! I only say that because your face has that determined look, and if so-!" She paused a moment to inhale an unnecessary amount of air, "Ooooh! I should throw you a 'Welcome to Ponyville' party! We could have cupcakes and ice cream and balloons and-. Oh my gosh!" She yelled suddenly, grabbing me by the shoulders and looking me in the face, "I never got your name! I can't throw a party without knowing your name!" She gasped.

I blinked, still trying to process everything this pony had said to me, a name? I guess I hadn't really given out an alias since before now. The thought had never occurred to me. "I'm called Crystal." I said, deciding the name sounded pretty enough. "Crystal Gem." I proclaimed, since everyone else here had a first and a last name. It would be silly just to have a first.
Pinkie Pie's eyes widened in excitement, "Wow, your name is Crystal! That's really pretty! What's your talent?! Do you like, dig up gems or something?!" She squealed excitedly.

"Um no, not really... I'm good with Sports though." I shrugged, eyeing behind Pinkie for a diversion of some sort so I could sneak away.

"Sports, duh!" She hoof-slapped, "I should've known since your cutie mark has ballerina slippers and a err, pointy baseball bat?" She cocked her head in confusion.

"It's complicated." I explained, and Pinkie just made an 'O' with her mouth.

She then returned to her normal peppy mood, "Okie dokie Crystal! See you around then! Make sure you stop by at dusk for your party!" She called as she suddenly hopped out of sight.

I shook my head, what just happened? Did I just agree to a party? Never mind, I thought. Right now I had more pressing matters to attend to than parties. I looked at my saddlebags in confirmation. I needed a place to stay, and then I'll worry about my predicament later...

Off Track

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With my mind set on finding a hotel I walked into the town part of Ponyville and examined the buildings.

There were many ponies out today. I was especially surprised by some pegasi flying nearby, and a unicorn using a form of magical levitation to eat a sandwich. Everything in Ponyville was extraordinary! I found myself dazed for a bit before I walked over to a cart with a yellow mare with an orange mane who was selling carrots.

"Hi there! Whatcha need?" The mare asked me with a smile as I looked at her carrots. Each was ripe and looked wonderful.

"I'd like a couple of carrots please." I asked as the mare nodded and took my bits as she put the carrots in my saddlebag.

"Thanks! Come back again!" She said, but I stayed a bit longer to ask something from her.

"Excuse me, I was also wondering if you knew of any good places to spend the night here in Ponyville." I asked as the mare stopped restocking the carrots and looked up at me with a knowing grin.

"Ah, an out of towner! Eh?" She winked at me as she rested her front hoof on the counter. To this day it still puzzles me how human these equestrians are. "I thought I didn't recognize yer face. Don't tell me, Pinkie's throwing a party?" She asked.

I blinked in surprise, "How did you-"

"-know?" She finished my question and laughed, "It's what she always does." She giggled. "Listen, I wouldn't worry about finding a place to stay. Knowing Pinkie, and believe me you'll get to know her pretty quick, she's inviting all of Ponyville to the party over at SugarCube Corner." She directed me towards a house make of freaking gingerbread.

I gawked in awe at the amount of sugar the house had, and wondered how the heck it didn't melt in the rain, before snapping back to what the mare was saying.

"Anyways, if you go there, you'll bump into the hotel manager who'll hook ya up with a room if you need one. However there's lots of other ponies who'll split rent if ya want. Anyways I need to go run some errands so I'll see ya later at the party." She smiled as she got off the cart and rummaged around inside one of the doors of the cart for her saddlebags.

I nodded, "Thanks. I'll see you then-"

"-Carrot Top" she once again finished my sentence as she put on her saddlebags and waved goodbye.

Well that was interesting,.. And somewhat helpful at the most.

I decided to change tactics after that and go sightseeing of the town instead.

It was getting late now. I had finished my carrots at lunch, and by now my stomach wanted more food.

I looked at the setting sun and decided now was probably a good a time as any to start heading over to SugarCube Corner.

Carrot Top was right, because just as I started heading over business closed and ponies started pouring onto the streets by the dozen.

So the golden colored mare hadn't been lying. It really did seem like the entire town of Ponyville was coming to the party.

My party...

This was too bizarre to be real, yet here I was amongst talking neon ponies who could do magic!

A magenta pony with a ruffled up mane saw me walking towards the building and nodded politely as she opened the door for me.

I had to take a step back to process all the ponies crammed into the tiny facility, but once the shock wore off I excitedly walked in and joined everypony in dancing to the Dj's music.

Games, balloons, streamers, ice cream, and cupcakes surrounded me and I gleefully picked up a yellow frosted cupcake and experienced for the first time what equestrian sugar tasted like. Holy father of the universe! No matter how much sugar a person could cram into a cupcake I'll tell you right now it does not compare to the burst of flavor going through my mouth right now! There was sugar yes, but I could also detect freshly squeezed lemons in the frosting along with a burst of flavor coming from the center of the cupcake that had been filled with a lime flavored cream.

But that was just the tip of the icing, ah see what I did there? Anyways, I practically threw myself in the conga line to the limbo stick. I must say that something about this place made me feel like a child again!

Two hours into the party and it was still going strong! The Dj had switched tracks to hard dubstep and now there was a breakdancing competition going on in the center area. I took this time to wipe off the sweat accumulating on my forehead and headed over to the juice station to get something to drink. I ordered a cherry punch and-

"So, how are you enjoying the party?! It's pretty epic right?!" Pinkie Pie appeared out of nowhere, almost making me spill my drink in the process.

"We've got to stop doing this." I gasped as I recomposed myself and sat down my drink wisely.

Pinkie just laughed, "sorry! I'll have to make a mental note not to startle you! Anyways, I'm sooo glad you came! This is awesome!" She cheered.

I chuckled and looked at the happy ponies dancing, "Heh, it is awesome." I mused, still not letting my guard down around the pink mare.

She smiled and started hopping up and down, "Yes! I knew you'd love it! That makes it even more super duper awesome to be your friend!" She cheered.

I nearly choked on what Pinkie had just said, "We're friends?" I asked confused.

Pinkie looked at me funny, "Well duh!" She rolled her eyes like it was obvious, "Everypony is my friend!" She cheered.

I didn't quite know if I should correct her logic or just go along, but my mouth had other plans as I let out an "Uh, yea. Friends." Like a genius.

"Yay!" She cheered as I blinked and then stared in confusion as Pinkie was now on a table, "Hey everypony! Sorry to interrupt the festivities!" She called, and just like that the Dj cut the music and everpony stared at her in confusion. This didn't seem to phase Pinkie though as she held a smile like nothing had happened, "So anyways, this party is for my new friend Crystal Gem!" She cheered waving a hoof at me as millions of heads turned my way. Uh, this was starting to get- "She's new in town, so go say hi to her before you start boogie-oogie-oogying to the wicked beats of my good friend Dj Pon-3 alright?!" And with that she hopped off the table and the music started up again.

Now it was my turn to be the life of the party. I whipped around to find hundreds of ponies walking of to me with eager smiles as they lined up and stuck out their hooves in greeting.

"Name's Filthy Rich, if you're ever in need of anything stop by." The first pony greeted, an older stallion with greased black hair and a money sign logo on his hips. I thanked him as the line moved on and the other ponies repeated the same greeting.

There were a few that stuck with me by far. A pony named Lyra Heartstrings who had an unusual obsession with humans, which was something I planned to discuss with her in full later on before a cream colored mare dragged her away after I started complementing her foam finger she had brought to the party. Then there was Ditzy and Dinky Doo, a mother Pegasus and daughter unicorn, who were very polite and kind to me as Ditzy offered me a honey glazed muffin. I didn't bother questioning how much her job as a mailmare was handicapped by her crossed eyes, seeing as I might offend her, but nevertheless seemed to walk and behave normally even as they walked away to make room for other ponies waiting. Then there were a few others who ran some businesses throughout town that invited me over to their shops for services and such, but none could compare to the group of five ponies, and Pinkie, that met me next.

They were an odd bunch, the Pegasus in the back had a rainbow mane and the white unicorn in the group had physically impossible curled hair, but they wore friendly smiles and the orange one with a cowboy hat came up to me first.

"Howdy there Crystal! Mah names AppleJack and I help supply the town with its local apple produce! Come see me sometime if yer ever needing a job!" She smiled at me as she tipped her cowboy upwards with her hoof and walked back for the others to enter.

"Hello there! I'm Rarity, and I own the Carosel Botique in the center of town!" The white unicorn with the funny purple mane smiled at me as she eyed my mane and look, "Um, don't worry I'm really good with fashion!" She forced a grin, as I mentally guessed it had something to do with how I looked. I just smiled back politely, "Erm, thanks Rarity! I'll definetly give you a call!" I replied. She looked at me confused, "A call?" She asked confused, but then shook it off like she knew what I was talking about, "Well there's that, but you can also just stop by!" She smiled. I just nodded as the rainbow maned Pegasus flew into my view.

"Names Rainbow Dash!" She grinned shaking my hoof vigorously, "I'm the fastest flyer in all of Equstria!" She grinned cocky, before leaning in closer to my ear. "If you need an early schedule of what the weather's supposed to be, just come find me." She winked and then flew back and started whistling suspiciously.

The next pony that came up to me was a purple unicorn. I must say that the way she had cut her mane was interesting because it gave off the impression of bangs, sort of, as her horn stuck out from the top of the mane and moved with her pace. Instead of greeting me like the other ponies did, she narrowed her eyes and appeared to be studying me before she finally eased up and a smile formed on her face. "I'm Twilight Sparkle, the town's librarian and local historian. If you ever need anything, don't feel troubled to come get me. I get-" she paused for a moment, choosing her words as she stuck out her tongue in thought, "I get into all kinds of research, so anything you can bring by that looks interesting let me know." She nodded before she moved out of the way to reveal a yellow Pegasus looking like she'd rather be anywhere than here.

I smiled warmly and looked at the mare with interest, "Hello there, who might you be?" I asked kindly. The Pegasus just kinda stood frozen and Twilight looked over to her in what appeard to either be concern or sheer embarrassment, "Oh, this is-" she never got a chance to finish that line as Pinkie burst out of nowhere and pushed the Pegasus towards me. "This is Fluttershy!" She exclaimed as she leaned closer to me and whispered not so quietly, "She gets a little shy, but she really likes animals and is the resident veterinarian, but you wouldn't know it because she likes to stay inside her house a lot.." She grinned as she went back to partying and left me with the others. "Hello Fluttershy." I smiled as I extended my hoof. Fluttershy seized up suddenly and let out a small 'eep' as she slowly crouched down in a ball but slowly raised a single hoof out and touched mine. Once the contact had been made she zipped to the other side of the room and locked herself in a broom closet.

Rainbow just rolled her eyes as I blinked in confusion, "Ugh, I'll go get her." Rainbow said as she flew off in the general direction and fiddled with the lock to get it open.

Twilight just grinned, knowing something, and I got up from my chair. "Right. It was nice meeting you all. I hope to visit each and everyone of your fine establishments and-" I tripped on the rug beneath my hooves.

Everything went spinning as I yelled in surprise and caught myself; but with my hands instead of hooves.

The music stopped playing after that. Everypony gasped in horror at something I wasn't aware of yet, while Lyra just hooted in the background yelling, "Hah! I knew they existed! I kneeeeeewwwwww itttt!"

"Well that was a close call." I said as I stumbled back into my standing position and looked in confusion at everypony's faces. "What?" I asked, as I folded my arms, but then froze in horror when I saw what they were looking that.

I was back in my human form, no doubt caused by the surprise trip, and I was so very, very screwed.

Changeling, Alien, or Pony?

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"Changeling!" Somepony screamed as I found myself pinned to the ground by a dozen colorful ponies suddenly.

I grunted in aggravation as they tried to pin my arms behind my back, but fortunately I was much stronger than them and thus they didn't get very far.

The strange glow above my forehead was back, as I shoved the ponies off me and grabbed my blue wand in defense. Once the ponies saw that I was armed they backed off in fear. No one moved, each afraid of me as much as I was of them!

"Please, everyone calm down!" I stuck out my open hand in peace, "I don't want to harm you!" I explained as the ponies seemed to be calming down each second that passed by.

"What are you?" A purple pony, Twilight, called from the crowd as they parted for her.

"What?" I asked confused.

Twilight took a step forwards, more bolder and deliberate. She cleared her throat and asked the question again, "I said, what are you? Why are you here?" She asked inquisitively as she studied my form.

My wand dissipated in my hand as I calmed down enough and realized the ponies hadn't chosen to lunge at me. "I-I'm lost." I explained as Twilight looked at me surprised.

"Lost?" She echoed, this was starting to get old but I nodded the same.

"Yes, I am lost. I arrived here by unknown means and mean no one harm!" I quickly added, "I just trying to find my way back peacefully." I reassured.

Everypony seemed to ease up much more after I said that as Twilight walked up closer to me flowed by Rainbow, a bouncing Pinkie, and a curious Applejack; the rest stayed behind and left the other four to test their fate.

"Well, if you really are just lost then perhaps I can help!" Twilight grinned wide, a plan no doubt forming in her head.

"You would help?" I asked in surprise.

"Sure! Each one of us would, right everypony?" She turned around to the crowd.

"Right!" They all cheered merrily.

I couldn't believe it. "Th-thank you so much! You have no idea what this means to me!" I cried as I hugged Twiligth awkwardly.

"Urk! You're welcome! Can you please let go of me now?" Twilight grunted as I blushed sheepishly and let her go to which she took a deep breath.

"I'm so sorry!" I apologized as Twilight just chuckled and walked towards me.

"So your name is Crystal? It's pretty." She smiled as she walked around me in a circle looking about as Pinkie had politely escorted ponies out of SugarCube Corner while the rest of us got down to business. I didn't like seeing everypony leave, but I knew it was already getting late. By then Twilight had finished circling me and was back to the front. "Your form is- very interesting Crystal..." She awed as I had taken my seat and picked up the now smaller cherry drink. "I think I recall some books mentioning a species similar to yours, but I'd have to head back to the library to confirm." She paused, looking back at her friends in silent communication before looking back at me, "Would you mind staying over at my place? I understand you might have previous reservations, but-"

I held up my hand, "No! That's fine! I'd be more than happy to stay at your place while you do some research!" I reassured her. There was a bed calling my name and I'll be darned if I didn't take this opportunity to get some help.

"Really?! Ok!" Twilight cheered as the rest of the gang just groaned and said their good nights, trotting away quickly. She smiled excitedly at me, "This is great! I get to study a rare society while helping you find a way back home! A win-win! Crystal, I think were going to get along wonderfully!" She cheered as I followed her out of the building, telling Pinkie goodnight as she waved out the window, and we headed towards a big tree???

I looked at the thing. It was massive! Yet, it looked like it must've been hollowed out to make a building of some sort and that's where Twilight was leading us.

"This is your house?!" I gasped as Twilight turned around and smiled at me.

"Yep! This is the towns library, but it is also my home where I can safeguard the books. Don't worry, it's bark is worse than it's bite." She laughed, and I just rolled my eyes.

We arrived at the front door a few moments later and Twilight hovered a key out of her saddlebags as she unlocked the door. She turned around after she pushed the door open and looked at me in confusion, "Um, I think we may have a problem fitting you through the-" she paused when I shifted my form to my previous equine one and walked right in.

I looked at her and grinned mischievously, "Luckily I'm still able to do that." I winked at her as Twilight just shook her head in disbelief.

"How did-? And where did you-? And just whuh???" She stammered as I could almost see her malfunctioning.

I sighed, "I'll answer that tommorow, do you know where I can sleep?" I asked tired as Twilight just nodded and lead me upstairs to the guest room in the tree house as I thanked her before saying goodnight and laying my saddlebags down.

Once I got settled into bed, I let my eyes roam the wooded walls wondering just about how nice these ponies were and trusting when compared to humans. They gave me food, money, a place to stay, and heck, even a party! No one had ever been this nice to me before!

Suddenly I felt more exhausted than I ever had before as my eyes fluttered before I shut them and rolled over in bed to get some sleep. I had a feeling tomorrow would be a long day....

We are the Crystal Gems

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"Get off of me!" A black insectiod pony hissed in anger as I held onto its neck for dear life."Off!" It roared in anger as it revealed it's sharp teeth and bit into my leg.

I screamed as I clung on harder while the thing bucked around like a mad bull; but I refused to budge until I knew it was safe.

"You've made a grave mistake angering me." It narrowed it's eyes as it opened it's mouth and a green light started getting brighter and brighter from its throat. "Say good bye human!" It yelled as green fire came rushing out at me as I opened my mouth to-

"Crystal!" Someone shouted as I opened my eyes and jumped in my bed. I was awake, it was just a dream. Relief flooded over me as I wiped off the sweat on my face and turned around to see a very surprised looking Twilight staring at me.

She tilted her head, "Are you ok? You were screaming in your sleep." She asked concerned.

I let out a sigh and nodded, "Yeah, I'm just having nightmarish flashbacks about yesterday. I'll be okay." I said while Twilight still looked at me concerned.

"Are you sure? You can always talk if you want." She reassures me.

I snicker, "You are certainly very kind, but it is my business alone. I will be alright, I just need some more rest." And with that I flopped over in the bed and pulled the covers back on.

"Okay Crystal, but just so you know it's okay to talk to your friends about stuff too." She smiled as she walked back into her bedroom and shut the door.

I cracked open an eye when she left and pondered what she had just said. Friends? Pinkie had said the same thing too. Did these ponies really see everyone as friends so easily?

I grunted and rolled about to make my nest again. It was rather odd how kind and generous these ponies were, but hey maybe I was being narrow minded. Either way, it was making my head spin to think about it this late so I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. Things would be better in the morning, I hoped.

"Alright creature! Stay back! I have a broom and I'm not afraid to use it!" A tiny purple dragon, with a heart apron on, said as I awoke to find it looming over me.

"Can I help you?" I asked, annoyed from being woken up, but the dragon didn't even flinch.

"Yea, what are you'd doing in Twilight's house?!" He commanded, and I might've taken him seriously if he wasn't wearing an apron.

"I was sleeping, but I guess I'm not doing that anymore." I replied sarcastically as the dragon just looked at me in disbelief.

"Right, and I'm Princess Celestia." He scoffed.

"You're a girl?!" I exclaimed in fake surprise, and the dragon just turned red.

"No I'm not a- ARGH!" He yelled as he stuck his head out the door for a moment, "Twilight! There's someone in your storage room!" The dragon called downstairs.

Wait, this is a storage room? Well that's odd.

"I know Spike! Tell Crystal that breakfast is ready, would you?" Twilight called from downstairs.

Spike, the dragon just sort of stared at me and went, "Huh, I guess you really are the mystery guest Twilight was talking about. Sorry I was being rude earlier." He blushed in embarrassment as he messed with his tail.

I just smiled back, "That's ok. No harm done. By the way, what's your status with Twilight?" I asked.

Spike blinked, "My status?" He asked confused.

I sighed, "Your title! Like, are you her personal servant or-"

"I'm her assistant!" The little dragon puffed up proudly, totally ignoring what I had just said.

"Oh. Well I'm sure she's very lucky to have you as an assistant." I complimented as I headed downstairs, making clip coop noises all the way. Ehehe, it was still funny that I was disguised as a pony. I don't think I will ever get used to these hooves.
Spike followed me down and showed me where the kitchen was, which Twilight had a table and had pulled up an extra chair for me as I sat down for breakfast.

It wasn't bacon and eggs. I really wished it was, but sadly it was oranges, pears, some grass, and apple juice. Not to say it wasn't good, but it was no means breakfast food to me.

Twilight noticed my disappointment and looked at me like she wished she knew how to cheer me up. The usual conversation followed and then we put up our plates and Twilight turned around and looked at me. "Hey Crystal, last night I spent some time researching about your species and I think I found something." She said as I followed her from the kitchen to the library.

She used her magic to hold an open book that was on the small table in the center of the room and magically turned the pages.

"This is Alphabet Category's book on 'The Origin of Equestrian Species' and it goes into detail about many of the animals you can find in Equestria." She explained as she stopped flipping pages with her magic and settled one one page as she walked next to me. "This here describes a species called 'Hoo-manes' and over here they provide a pretty detailed illustration of what these creatures look like." She then showed me the image, which appeared to be hastily drawn, like the artist was in a hurry, but showed the creature standing on two hooves with claw like appendages and fangs jutting out of its mouth while everything but it's head was hairless.

She smiled weakly, "I won't go into the myths surrounding Hoo-manes since you can probably provide a better explanation than the book can, but what I noticed when I was reading was that there was a sub section on Hoo-manes entitled 'Crystal gems', and I found it curious since you called yourself Crystal Gem, Crystal".

This caught my intrest as I stared at her, "Crystal gems? What are those?" I asked confused.

Twilight nodded and flipped the page with her magic, "It doesn't say much. Other than that Starswirl the Bearded has done extensive research on them in the past, and that they are a more 'sparkly' variety of Hoo-manes with gemstones attached to them in various places. They seemed to describe you more than a normal Hoo-mane, but I'll have to go to the Canterlot library to do more extensive research." She sighed, but then looked up at me excitedly. "Anyways! I was wondering if it would be alright if I told my mentor Princess Celestia about you since she's thousands of years old, and then we could crack down on this mystery faster, yes?!" She squeed.

I blinked, "Who is Princess Celestia? Spike mentioned something about her earlier, but she must be really important." I noted.

Twilight nodded, "Indeed. She's very; but I think it would be better if you met her yourself. But is it okay if I go ahead and ask her for a meeting with us so we can figure this all out?" She asked politely.

I shrugged, "sure. Whatever floats your boat and helps me get home faster." I scoffed to which twilight squeed and jumped up and down as she asked Spike to take a letter....

Creatures and Castles

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Equestria has a much, much faster transportation route than back home. I had to admit that even though the place lacked some things, they made up for it in efficiently.

Soon after Spike sent the letter to Celestia with his magic green fire, Twilight quickly left to request a carriage for our trip over to Canterlot. The carriage arrived within five minuets. (Dang, Celestia don't play around).

Two pegasi pulled our carriage as we flew through the sky, directly horizontal somehow, and raced through clouds layers at breakneck speeds.

The cart was a two seater, and since Spike had opted out to stay at the library, it was just me and Twilight.

She had been unusually talkative the whole ride; leaving me unable to even get a word in as she asked me about random things.

"What's your favorite color? Oh! Do you eat gemstones since you consist of gems or is that considered cannibalistic? How do you control your magic and what if-" I tuned Twilight's ranting out after that. Instead I focused on the breeze and how pleasant it was.

Just the clouds and us flying by as some of them touched my face. The wind whipped up around me as a screeching wail could be heard...

Wait a moment. The wind doesn't wail. I blinked back into reality as a Twilight started yelling and poking at my shoulder directing her hoof towards something coming straight for us!!!

The pegasi noticed the odd blob snapped bird too and started to dive, "Hang on misses! Well keep it away but we have to move now!" They alerted us as they launched their wings at breakneck speeds and sped forward. The bird missed us by a yard or so and continued it's path down, screeching the whole time.

"It is over? Did that thing go away?" Twilight asked as I looked around for any sign of the ugly blind bird.


I nodded, "Yea, I think it-", something rammed into our carriage and sent us flying as Twilight screamed and I blanked out for a moment from the shock wave.

When I regained my senses I was free falling and o'crapthatbirdthingwascomingrightatme!!!

I didn't panick though as I repositioned my limbs to better steady myself and felt my gem responding to what I wanted as I summoned my blue wand in sucess.

I changed back from my pony form to normal and the bird came at me as I swung the wand at its beak, making a nice slice, and it screeched in horror.

Meanwhile me and Twilight were still falling and the ground was getting closer by the minute.

Luckily the pegasi running the carriage had gotten away safely and now were heading back to come get us, but I feared they would be too late.

On reflex, I turned into a giant pillow and allowed myself to fall in front of her as I landed in a nearby field and looked up at the falling unicorn.

Once she saw me as a pillow she stopped screaming and tried her best to focus on landing, but she didn't have to as the pegasi rushed out to grab her and then gently sat her down.

Well that happened.

I turned back into my normal form and was about to regroup when I heard the retched screaming again.

It was back.

The stupid bird hadn't learned it's lesson the first time and was now attempting to swoop in and pluck us off the ground like daises.

Anger welled up inside of me and I held out my wand in an offense stance and positioned myself in its view. "You wanna tango?! Then let's dance!" I yelled as the bird charged at me with its talons out and tried to grab me. I retaliated by slicing it's left talon off as it screeched some more and made a turn around, coming back towards me. This time I was ready.

With inhuman like speed I leaped upwards and did a somersault in the air as I landed in the birds back and pierced my wand into its spine. The bird screamed for a half second before it turned a bright blue and literally exploded into sparkles as I landed like a cat back on the ground and the pegasi and Twilight just started in awe.

I blinked in surprise too once the adrenaline had worn off, and I noticed that the bird thing had dropped something so I went over to pick it up. It was the top part of the birds head, apparently the only thing that survived, so I just shrugged and put the thing away for later in my saddlebag.

Once we regrouped, the pegasi got the cart back up and running on magic and we took off again. I once again donned my disguise as a regular equine, and Twilight was busy writing notes frantically as she kept commenting every second about how awesome it was that I took down that bird. I just muttered a small thanks and stared at the ever growing Canterlot as we neared it. What would the princess say about what I just did?

So apparently pegasi landing in the middle of a stone road is nothing unusual because ponies simply moved out of the way as they saw the carriages shadow and we practically descended so smoothly that it felt like we were still flying. The pegasi took us to the front entrance of the castle before stopping to let us off and we headed towards the bridge.

"Halt! Security check!" One of the white earth ponies with golden armor barked at us as I jumped in surprise and looked over at Twilight for assurance.

She smiled sheepishly, "Don't worry, they're just making sure were not changelings since the erm-" she shuffled her feet a but as the guards came over and searched our bags.

I raised an eyebrow at her, "Changelings? Why one earth would they think we were some sort of black bugs?" I questioned before some taller looking unicorns came over and pointed their horns at me and Twilight.

Twilight looked at me confused and opened her mouth to reply but that was when the unicorn guards cast their white colored magic on me and I suddenly felt very tingly before something went very, very wrong.

There was pain where there shouldn't be. It felt like my form was being ripped off me as my body clashed with the foreign magic and clung desperately to me in vain. I would've screamed, or done anything for that matter, but I was stuck between my human and pony form at the moment, making the guards around me startled as they hollered for more of their unicorn friends to come over and help them.

I couldn't make out anything but pain as more of the guards started casting their white magic, finally making my form give up and let go of my disguise as I collapsed in my human one.

I heard Twilight hollering over at me and some hooves rushing towards me, but that was about all I could do before I roughly passed out.

History Repeats

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Having a thousand volts of pure magic run through your system as your form gets ripped to shreds in front of your eyes is not something I would recommend ever experiencing...

The first thing I did after I was conscious was make a mental note not to trust anyone who points their horn directly at me. (Lord knows what others kinds of damage they could do to me...)

When I opened my eyes I noticed that I wasn't laying on the ground somewhere passed out, but rather I was placed in a comfortable bed with plush pillows inside some kind of fancy looking four star hotel. The second thing I noticed was a sleeping Twilight in the room sitting, or more appropriately laying, on a chair passed out from exhaustion. The third thing was that I was back in my human form again.

I stirred in my bed a bit and tried to summon my pony form, so I could feel more comfortable in the equine sized room, but it seemed like something was blocking or had depleted my energy, so I was stuck to crouching down off the bed and gently nudging Twilight...

She stirred gently before blinking in surprise. "Crystal? Thank goodness you're awake!" She cheered as she hugged me with those soft hooves of hers.

I hugged her too, not knowing what else to do, before we let go and I looked around still confused. "Um, Twilight? How did I get in this room?" I asked as I studied some more of the layout, looking for clues.

Twilight smiled sheepishly, "Um, well this is actually my old bedroom at Canterlot Castle." She laughed embarrassed, "After the royal guard magi accidentally harmed you and revealed your form, they felt bad and brought you up here after the Princesses saw you and-"

I looked at her in surprise, "Whoa, whoa hold on! You're saying the actual Princess Celestia told her men to bring me into her castle?!" I gasped in surprise.

"Well ya! She and her sister Luna offered to repay you for your troubles by bringing you to the guest quarters, well mine specifically since it's on the west wing away from the public, and then offering to meet you later." Twilight explained.

I blinked and then said dumbly, "Celestia has a sister???".

Twilight groaned and smacked her face with a hoof.

"Princess... Twilight Sparkle has informed that you and your sister's guest has awoken and requests an audience with the both of you immediately." A guard spoke as he entered the throne room.

Princess Celestia was busy with paperwork at the moment when the guard spoke to her. Nevertheless she cast her glance over to the guard and nodded in approval. "Ah, so it seems our guest is finally awake." She smiled coyly, "Tell Twilight I'll be there shortly, and kindly arouse my sister and infrom her the same please." She asked. After all, it just wasn't kind if one didn't add a please...

"Right away your highness." The guard bowed as he trotted off to attend to his duties.

Celstia watched him go and then glanced over at the paperwork once more before sitting up from her position at the desk and walking out of the throne room. "I suppose work can wait... If one has returned, then the others won't be far behind..." Celstia muttered to herself as she headed towards the west wing of the castle.

I'll be honest. My first impression of Princess Celestia was underwhelming...

Twilight has convinced me to rest some while I waited for the princesses, even if it was cramped in my human form which totally stunk, but when the Goddess of the Sun herself knocked on the door I found it very hard to relax indeed.

Her form was-... To put it nicely, not as shiny as I was imagining?

I mean, don't get me wrong! She still was a lot taller than most of the other ponies I had met, but she only came up to my stomach in height when I stood up, but even crouching she still was smaller than me. Not to mention she did have that whole 'I'm on acid' appeal going on with her mane as it ebbed and flowed on its own accord, but no one seemed to notice or care.

Naturally she had those sun tato- erm, I mean cutie marks on her thighs that marked she was the sun goddess, but nothing else screamed 'I'm a god' to me.

When she saw me though, I was a bit taken back when she freaking bowed down at me!

"Um, hello to you too?" I said confused as Celestia finished bowing and her sister, Luna the moon god- I mean princess, entered too.

"Welcome Pearl, it has been a long time." Celestia smiled as she looked at me like I had just turned into Jackie Chan.

I cocked my head in confusion, "I'm sorry, have we met before?" I asked, still wondering what the heck she meant by 'Pearl'.

Celestia moved to open her mouth, but Luna beat her too it. "We must apologize for our guards attacking you earlier." She nodded at me respectfully. "Had we known you were coming as an earth pony, we would have sent a summon so that wouldn't have happened." She said.

I shrugged it off, "That's okay. It's not the worst I've been through." I lied. Ok, technically it was right up there with getting a tooth pulled, but I wasn't going to admit that in front of someone who could very well bring the sun down on top of me.

Celstia sighed, "Yet, we did not wish to have any more changelings sneaking about Canterlot after last week's-" she paused mid sentence and looked at me oddly but regaining her formal composure.

I looked to Twilight for help, but she simply shrugged. "Are changelings that bad of a threat around here?" I asked.

"Not usually. Like I said, there have just been many around recently." Celestia said quickly, "Tell me, are you fit for some tea and small talk? We have many questions for you Pearl." Celesita said as she summoned a tray of tea and cookies in front of us.

Magic... Don't know if I'll ever get used to it...

I nodded and sat down as everyone enjoyed the food and then we started talking.

"So..." I started, still munching on some of my chocolate chip cookie in the process, "You guys keep calling me Pearl... That's not my name." I explained. "I think there must've been a mixup."

Celestia looked at me confused as she sipped her tea, "So you are not her then..." She hummed in thought, "I had just assumed because you look a lot like Pearl." She sighed, "Well this complicates things." She frowned before taking a bite of a cookie, "Tell me, what brings you here?" She asked.

I looked to Twilight who nodded and then back to Celestia. "Well, my Names Sarah, but feel free to Call me Crystal Gem when I'm disguised as a pony. I came seeking your aid in finding my way back home, oh, and to find information on a certain species of humans called Crystal Gems, since I'm apparently simular to them." I explained.

At the mention of Crystal Gems both Luna and Celestia nearly spit out their tea in horror.

"Did you just say Crystal Gems?" Celestia asked in confusion and fear...

All that Sparkles

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Long ago, in the times of when the three pony tribes were still at war, my mentor Starswirl the Bearded came across some very unique creatures.

He told me that they appeared one day in his garden, asking him if he had seen glowing monsters about.

Starswirl would've thought it funny if they had not looked so confused and desperate.

There were four of them. A pink curly one, a blocky red mute, a young and cheerful purple being, and a serious white one.

Starswirl took them into his humble home and showed them the world of Equestria. They were eager to discover the lands beauty, and while they were there helped to concure many foes.

It was only during the reign of Sombra did they mysteriously vanish, taking their strange creatures with them...

I cocked my head in confusion, "So let me get this straight. The crystal gems were a group of sparkly aliens that visited for a while and then just left?" I asked.

Celestia sighed, "No, they helped to quell the aggressive dragons of the north, vanquished the glitter bugs of the south, and defeated the diamond dogs of the badlands." She explained, waving her hoof in the air for emphasis. "We owe them for their aid in our times of need. Me and my sister swore that if they were to ever return we would aid them with whatever they sought." She said.

I nodded in understanding as I sipped on my tea and contemplated. "I apologize for building up false hopes. But still I came to ask if maybe you knew of how to get me back home. My family has no doubt begun to wonder." I said thougfully.

"We shall help as much as we can, but we do not know how long it might take." Luna said. Come to find out she was really understanding.

"We do not posses the ability to cross dimensions like the ones you spoke of to get here. It may be centuries." She sighed gloomy, pulling her ears back.

I leaned back on the bed in disappointment, "Well it's not like I have much else to look forward to. Apparently Starswirl's records state I'm now immortal and I don't need to eat, drink or sleep." I moaned, thinking about the fun times ahead.

Twilight put a reassuring hoof on my shoulder, "Hey that's future Crystal's problem. Besides, there are plenty of things to look forward too!" She beamed, "Like you could learn how to fight from my brother since you did so good defeating that bird!" She encouraged.

I chuckled, "It was blind." I stated, "But I guess you do have a fair point. Seems like I should at least know better techniques since I've had to fight all sorts of things after arriving here."

This made Celestia raise and eyebrow, "Oh? I do not think we've heard of your heroics. Prey tell what were you fighting other than this bird?" She asked sipping on her tea curious.

I shrugged, "Changelings."

"CHANGELINGS?!" Everypony screamed at once.

"What in Faust's name were you doing fighting changelings?!" Twilight exclaimed.

I shrugged sheepishly, "I kinda woke up in their nest/hideout." I explained.


After explaining the situation, Celestia and Luna left to go fetch the guard in search of the Changeling nests, but insisted that I stay another day and rest until we could head back to Ponyville.

"It'll be dark by the time you get there today. You are welcome to spend the night here until your magic has recovered. In the mean time me and my sister have some duties to attened to." And that was all she said before she quietly closed the door and left me and Twilight alone.

I stared at the door for a bit before noticing Twilight looking rather excited.

I raised a curious eyebrow to her, "What are you so excited about?" I said coy.

Twilight nearly squealed, "Because! You're literally made of magic!" she cheered.

"Uh, sure? What does that have t-"

"Don't you see?!" She whirled around showing off her cutie mark, "My talent is magic!" She then pointed to me, "You're magic! so that means-" She held the phrase with bated breath.

I just looked at her dumbly, "Uh, we both shouldn't exist?"

Twilight shook her head, "No! That means that I can teach you how to use magic!" She cheered as she started rambling on about what types of lessons plans she should use and vise verse.

I just sorta made an 'o' with my lips as Twilight drug me off the bed and out the door.

"Wait! where are we going?!" I asked as Twilight took the lead, the guards only giving us small chuckles as they saw us ran by.

Twilight smiled, "Somewhere really neat!" Was all she said before we went outside...

"Okay! Okay Twilight! What gives?!" I said as we arrived outside in the royal garden next to a fountain that had a stone pony spitting out water from its mouth.

Twilight giggled as finally stopped leading me as she sat down on a part bench and motioned for me to do the same.

I looked at her confused, but did as she asked.

She hummed to herself softly before looking up at the night sky,"So many things in this world are magical Crystal. From the stars and the moon that Luna raises to the tiniest blade of grass that provides nourishment to ponies." She sighed wistfully before looking at me, "I'm not sure how exactly your world worked without magic, but here you are! Magic!" She beamed, "I know it's hard to understand but believe me, this is quite exciting! You're something special!" She paused for a moment looking at me seriously. "Don't ever doubt that ok?" She chuckled, "Otherwise I might just have to get Pinkie Pie and prank you." She smiled mischievously.

I rolled my eyes and chuckled lightly, my mind on other things," Thanks for the pep talk Twilight. I understand and all, really but-"

"No buts!" She interrupted as she magicaaly yanked on my shirt and pulled me down to her level, "You. Are. Special! Got it? Stop lying to yourself!" She looked at me concerned.

I sighed defeated, "You're right, you're right." I held up my hands and laughed as I looked up at the stars which were winking at me, "I'm special." I whispered, as we both sat there a little longer until we fell asleep under Luna's skies.

The Crystal Empire: Prologue

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(Bronze Sheild's POV)

Bronze Shield had never run so hard in his life like he was right now...
Urgent news had just been received from the Northern EUP Intelligence and by golly Bronze Shield knew the Princess would want to hear about this!
Bumbling guests and council members of the Day Court bolted out of his way as he charged ahead to the throne room, giving out the occasional 'excuse me' and 'sorry's to those he had a close call with.
In Bronze Shield's mouth he carried a royal badge that when flashed, allowed the guards to the throne room to kindly step out of the way as he bolted straight through the doors.
Inside the throne room sat Celestia, doing her casual 'thousand page paperwork duties' like there was nothing better to do on a brilliant Sunday afternoon, but once she saw Bronze shield the papers were long forgotten as they slipped out of her telekinetic grip.
Bronze shield huffed as he steadied his breathing and looked at Celestia fearfully.
"Your Majesty!" He wheezed, "It... *huff* Has returned." He said grimly as Celestia raised a knowing eyebrow in horror and quietly excused her audience for the day.
The ponies grumbled and sighed but did not dare question their ruler as they sadly walked out of the throne room and the doors shut behind them...
Once that was done Celestia turned her head towards Bronze Shield seriously. "Send for my niece Cadence and her husband Shining armor. I will send word for Twilight Sparkle to arrive at Canterlot immediately." Celestia said as she stood up and magically fetched some paper and an ink quill.
Bronze Shield bowed as he galloped out of the room as fast as he could, praying to Faust that things looked worse than what they seemed, and headed straight to the guard post to alert them...

Meanwhile Celestia quickly wrote the letter to Twilight and sent it off as she looked out a nearby window facing the north. "Maker help us, I cannot let this kingdom fall again... Not when we have Crystal. I can't do this to her kind all over..." She sighed as she walked out of the throne room to where her sister's bedroom lay.
Meanwhile, at the Golden Oaks Library in Ponyville...
(Crystal's POV)

Twilight Sparkle was in a panic. "Spike!? Where are my quills?!" She yelled as I watched her run around in a panic inside the library.
Spike shrugged as he started clawing his way through the sea of books looking for what the distraught mare asked for, "I don't know Twilight! I put them on your desk Monday but they're not there!" He called from another room in the tree as Twilight groaned and kept sweeping the house back and forth for various things.
I rolled my eyes and groaned as I finished my lunch at the kitchen table. It had only been a week since the visit to the Princess. Twilight had kindly offered for me to stay with her in the library, mostly because she was still pretty excited about teaching me magic, until I felt capable enough to get a house for myself and familiar with how pony society worked as a whole.
Naturally that meant I was in my earth pony form a lot more than what I'd like to admit.
Being a pony was great and all but, I really enjoyed using my hands to do things more instead of picking up stuff with my hooves and teeth. Oh and eating bacon, definitely miss that...
"No, no, no, no, no... Ugh! I need the Magical Compendium volumes one through thirty six! Where is it?!" Twilight yelled as a loud thud could be heard through the building.
I peeked around the corner and noticed a heap of paper that wasn't there a few minuets ago, was now lying scattered all over the library with Spike crushed underneath most of it...
Okay, I think someone needs to intervene. I thought, as I finished my grass sandwich and trotted over to the book section.
"Flash cards!" Twilight mumbled in her crazy tone, "I should make some flash cards!" She talked to herself as she whirled around to where I currently was trying to pry the poor dragon out from the pile of papers.
"Spike, I'm gonna need you to quiz me. On everything. Everything I've ever learned. Ever." She said before looking at us after I'd just gotten Spike free from the card-tsunami and then frowned. "This isn't going to be enough cards..." She muttered as her horn lit up to make more.
"Whoa Nelly Twilight!" I said as I put some of my weight on her to stop her from summoning more paper. "You need to calm down!" I huffed as I let go of Twilight and looked at her concerned.
Twilight was fixing to protest when Spike walked up beside her as well, "Yeah Twilight, calm down. It's just a test." He reassured her.
I swore I saw some grey a peering in her mane right after he said that. Her eyelid twitched as she stared down the baby dragon.
"Just a test? Just a test?!" She shouted making both me and Spike kinda back off in surprise, "Princess Celestia wants to give me some kind of exam, and you're trying to tell me to calm down because it's just a test?!" She shrieked.
Me and Spike looked at each other for a moment before Spike shrugged, "uh... Yes?" He said.
Twilight just sort of gritted her teeth seething.
Spike poked me in the side and I turned to find him wearing an army helmet along with some pillows tied to his sides. "Um, you might want to-"
"Urgh!" Twilight shouted as she suddenly used her magic to rip the Golden Oaks Library out the ground and the house went flying with us inside it...
Crud monkeys...
After prying myself from the wreckage of the Library, Twilight teleported the tree back into its original position, before grabbing us and literally throwing us on the next train to Canterlot.
"Whee!!! Hey Twilight! Did ya miss us?!" Pinkie Pie suddenly popped out of nowhere on the train as I jumped in surprise while Twilight whirled around.
"Pinkie?! What in Equestria are you doing?" Twilight called confused.
That's when I heard a cough and turned around again to face the rest of the mane six on board the train as well.
Pinkie chuckled, "I got a doozy of my Pinkie sense telling me you were about to embark on an adventure! So I brought everyone!" She smiled.
Twilight opened her mouth to say something, but chose to sigh and muttered something about Pinkie just being Pinke, before trotting over to hang out with her friends.
I smiled briefly before walking to get a window seat and leave the six of them alone, when I ran into something pink and fluffy.
"Come on Crystal! Let's go hang out with everyone!" Pinkie cheered as she bounced back to where the group was.
I blinked, how did Pinkie get all the way over here when I just saw her there?!
Never mind, Pinkie was already waving me over with her hoof so I trotted over to sit down with the group, filing away the odd occurrence for a later time.
It took us a few moments to get by clearance in the castle to see Celestia, thank goodness Celestia had printed me out a little ID so they wouldn't scan me again, but eventually we got the all clear and entered.
Spike had to stay outside since he wasn't summoned, but I was curious as to why Celestia had summoned me after I just saw her last week.
Time would tell as we walked closer to the throne room and I spotted Luna whispering something to her sister before nodding at us and walking off.
"Ah Celestia! I've got all the note cards right here! What's my test on? Is it something new, or maybe you're wanting to quiz me on-" Celestia out a hoof to stop Twilight's onslaught of questions.
"It's not that kind of test Twilight." Celestia chuckled, "I need you to help me with the Crystal Empire." She frowned darkly like it was a bad memory,
Twilight blinked confused, "the crystal empire? I don't think I have any notes on-"
"You won't find it in any history books Twilight. Even I know little other than mere folklore of the place." She sighed before resolving herself, "twilight, crystal, I need you two to help out. The empire has returned, and with it a great evil." She scowled.
"Evil? What kind of evil?" I asked, not sure if I really wanted to know or not.
Celestia sighed, "Long ago the Crystal Empire was a place of love and joy. Many crystal ponies lived peacefully with one another and traded their irreplaceable goods with other empires... That is, until a powerful unicorn mage named Sombra took over the kingdom using a form of illegal dark magic and became the ruler. The crystal empire was fractured, and my mentor Starswirl was sent to stop him along with the Crystal gems." She paused for a moment, making me blink in shock. "They challenged King Sombra to a duel of strength, but Sombra cheated and won. In an act of kindness, Starswirl shielded his allies and took the brunt force of Sombra's attack, allowing a tactful retreat. But Sombra wasn't done. He used the dark arts once more to push back Starswirl from the heart of the empire, and with it interrupted the gems attacks, causing them to vanish from this plane mysteriously." She frowned, "This will be a step up in your training twilight, and a test of courage for you Crystal... You must help restore the crystal empire. Love and joy reflect out of the empire and shine on the world, but if fear and hatred take hold-." She paused as her eyes lit up in a sickly fusion of neon green and chaotic purple as she focused on a crystal shard in the room until it turned pitch black and spread a few feet from our space.
Twilight took a few feet back while I practically leapt backwards.
"Wh-what was that?!" I gasped. That power! It was so-!
"A form of dark magic Sombra used long ago to enslave the empire..." Celestia sighed as she raised up her hooves and quickly trampled the crystal shards into specks of dust.
Twilight looked just about as shaken up as I did, but she didn't vocalize it..
Celestia's serious face turned upwards into a smile as she reached over and nuzzled Twilight while looking at me reassuringly.. "Sombra was ultimately overthrown before he could take over the empire for good, but he put a curse on the place. This is what caused the Crystal Empire to vanish along with the Crystal Gems as well. My test is not an easy one, for I fear Sombra's return with the empire as well, but I am certain you both will succeed." She smiled.
I took in the information, trying to rationalize what had just been said, before I spoke, "So, you want us to help protect an empire?" I asked.
"It is, as I said, a different kind of test. But one I'm certain you will pass.." Celestia nodded.
"How do we begin?" Twilight asked serious.
Celestia chuckled as she stood up again to her regal height, "By joining Princess Cadance and Shining Armor in the Crystal Empire." she explained. Like that helped me... Who the heck were-?
"My bother is there too?!" Twilight gasped surprised.
I whipped my head around back towards Twilight in surprise, "You have a brother and you didn't tell me?!" I said, now really confused as to why Twilight's brother, that I didn't know she had, would be at a ancient empire along with another Princess, once again no idea other royalty existed besides the two sisters, to help protect the place...
As if to answer my question Celestia spoke, "He is." She looked at me, "Shining armor is the husband to Princess Cadance. He is also captain of the guard meaning he will also be there to help protect the Empire from threat." She then looked back over to Twilight, "Your Ponyville friends will join you there as well. I have every confidence you will succeed. And when you do, I'll know you are ready to move on to the next level of your studies." She explained.
Twilight appeared to be sweating beads of water, "But what if I fail?" She sputtered out. Golly, I wonder what kinds of studies Twilight does that would be so hard as to make her panic? Eh, then again she did panic over the fact there was spider in the kitchen, that she refused to touch and made Spike and I herd it out the window, so maybe she's just overreacting...
"You won't." Celestia reassured.
"But what if-"
"You won't." She sighed, slightly annoyed, "Twilight, in the end, it must be you and you alone who ultimately assists Princess Cadance and Shining Armor in doing what needs to be done to protect the Empire. Do you understand?" She asked Twilight seriously.
Twilight pondered it for a split second before nodding, "Yes. I-I understand." She said before nodding and picking up her saddlebags.
"Then go! There is no time to lose!" She called, as I followed Twilight out the building, who had chosen to gallop rather than trot... Pony legs, never will quite understand, nor get used to them...

The Crystal Empire: Part 1

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This day could've gone so much better...

It could've gone so much worse too, but right now it was pretty bad yea...

Well first off I find out that Twilight and I are tasked with protecting an Empire from a powerful tyrant that wiped out my entire kind, and from there things went down hill...
I summoned a being from another plane, that had a weird cube thing he used to transform, in hopes of gaining information on how to defeat Sombra. What I got was being who was utterly as clueless as I was and couldn't fight except maybe to save his own hind.
Then, me and Twilight end up facing our worse fear thanks to some dark magic junk enchanted on a door and then I find myself having to face off against the 'guardian' of the empire to even get where we needed to go! And when I get done with that, I find myself face to snout with mister 'rain on my parade' himself. Sombra.

What am I doing right now?
Banging my head against a crystal wall with Twilight next to me as I contemplate the stupidity that is my life.
I sigh as I lean against the walls and look over to Twilight, giving a weak smile. "Heh, and things were going so smoothly earlier today..."
"Whee! Road Trip! Road Trip!" Pinkie called excitedly as she bounced up and down in the cart.
"Pinkie, could you be a dear and please stop rocking the cart back and forth?" Rarity interrupted as Pinkie complied.
"Okie, dokie! I'm just itching to see the mysterious empire! Think of all the parties I can throw!" She ogled as she flopped down in the floor.

I let out a weak chuckle as I return to watching the snowy blank scenery in front of me...
Twilight seemed to pick up on it as I hear her trotting towards me and sit down. "Crystal, you've been awful quiet the whole ride through. What's on your mind?" She asks casually.
I let out a small laugh, "Heh. A lot of things are on my mind Twilight." I sighed as I lowered my snout on the window seal which resulted in fogging up the glass a smidge before I rubbed it away with a hoof.
I don't look at her, instead I continue to focus on the bleak desolate snow in front of me, "I guess, I don't know... For one, I feel kinda foreign here because I'm not-" I pause and flick my ear back over to where the group was before sighing again, "Another is that this empire we're visiting... If Sombra really did wipe out my species, what's stopping him some simply doing the same to me?" I sniffed, my eyes were not watering though! I refuse to accept that!

Twilight looked at me for a moment before smiling back at me, "Crystal, you're not going to suffer that fate." She stated.
I blinked at her, "How do you know?" I waved my hoof for emphasis, "What if-"
"You have us, and I Pinkie Promise nothing bad will happen to you while we're around!" She said, putting a hoof on my shoulder as a sign of support.
I sighed, giving up my argument. "You're right Twilight. I should stop trying to count my chickens before they hatch." I perked up.

"Chickens?! Why would you want to count them anyways??? That's kinda boring considering that they count themselves silly!" Pinkie popped in between us as she giggled.
I had to laugh too, "No Pinkie, it's an expression!"
Pinkie giggled, "I know silly! I just wanted you to stop frowning!" She hopped back to where she was and started chatting with Rainbow Dash, before the train squealed and came to a slow stop.
"All aboard!" The conductor yelled, as I realized we had reached our destination.
I got up and grabbed my things as everyone left the cart.
To say that it was cold was an understatement... More like bone chilling.
As I trotted out of the cart I noticed the looks on everypony's face. They agreed it was freezing. (Save for Rarity; she had Spike dragging a bunch of luggage with clothing in it as she herself had a scarf and a pair of elegant looking boots on.)

The train station itself was nothing impressive to look at really. It had been hastily thrown together from old tracks around the origins of the empire and several blocks of magically protected wood...
As expected there was no pony else around save for the conductor and us.
"Twilight!" A masculine voice shouted over the wind as something white, blue, and black moved into view.
A stallion with a pair of snow goggles and a face scarf came trotting into view as he pulled off his protection.
"Shining Armor!" Twilight gasped as she ran forward to hug the stallion.
I blinked, "Wait, that's your brother?" I said as I noticed Shining armor wasn't much taller than me in my pony form. Talk about being underwhelming...

Twilight didn't pick up on my comment though as she kept hugging her brother before he looked at the other seven of us.
"I'm so glad you made it!" He laughed before pulling his facial protection back on, "Come on, we'd better get moving... There are things out here that we don't really want to run into after dark." He said seriously as he waved at us to continue onward...

"What kind of things?" I asked as we started to walk in the snow. Ugh, I wish there was something to keep it from freezing my hooves, it was well.. Humiliatingly cold on them...
Shining stopped to look at me before he narrowed his eyes, "Let's just say the empire isn't the only thing that's returned." He said, as suddenly a bone chilling howl came from directly behind us, causing me to jump nearly a foot in fear.

Everyone seemed to freeze as they searched for the disturbance. "T-that was one of those things isn't it?" Fluttershy shook to my right as the wind started to pick up.
Shining kicked it into full gear, "We have to get to the empire, now..." He shouted as the ground started shaking beneath us...
As if tempting fate, I turned my head towards the source of the disturbance to find something sinisterly black and mist-like forming out of nothing....
A growl emanated from the black mist, as my legs locked up and I blinked to find Twilight shoving me away from it.
"Go! Go!" She shouted, as I suddenly felt my legs again, and the adrenaline pumped through my veins. I shot forwards like a bullet on steroids.
Everyone booked it to full speed, with Shining saving poor Spike who had to ditch Rarity's luggage to even run, as the mist-like being gave chase.

"Oh crap, oh crap! We're not gonna make it!" I screamed as I felt the mist closing in around me, my legs screaming in protest as the adrenaline was beginning to wear off. My rational side said the shimmering blue shield ahead of us was too far away, so I should just stop while I'm ahead...
My survival side beat my rational side to the curb, and screamed for me to keep running despite being tired. It was better than becoming food...
In the progress of fighting myself, I hadn't realized I had slowed down considerably.. The others were way ahead of me, but still not close enough to reach the shield, while I was galloping like I had a thorn in my hoof and had to trot awkwardly. I realized I wasn't physically as coordinated in this form than my humanoid one, and that was gonna cost me...

In a rushed panic, I changed quickly back into my humanoid shape and put on the extra speed. Or I would, if I hadn't forgotten that I was still running when I changed, and instead fell flat on my face, skidding across the snow in the process.
Everyone screamed in panic as they stopped running momentarily, while I picked my face up off the ground.
I looked up and saw the creature closing in on me and screamed. This was it, I supposed.

I hung my head in defeat as I prepared for the end, but a wail caused me to snap out of it.
The being was fleeing away from Shining Armor who was firing bolts of magic its way to protect me.
"Come on! Get moving!" Someone said, as I felt two hooves wrap around me and drag me back on my feet.
Once I was up again, I took off running with Rainbow Dash, who had saved me, and we fled towards the ever close shield.

There was a shout from behind me as I saw Shining firing more bolts at the creature as we kept running. "Almost there!" He yelled, as suddenly the creature lunged at us, and Shining bucked us all through the shield as he fired another bolt.
Time seemed to slow down again as I saw myself flying through the blue shield, and odd experience mind you... It's like sticking your finger through a soap bubble membrane and coming out the other side intact and not popping the bubble. Shining was firing bolt after magic bolt at the mist creature, and the creature was releasing a bolt of sickly green and purple magic right back.
Rainbow Dash was falling right on top of me, and then something else fell through the shield...

The mist-like being roared angrily as it charged the shield, but no luck. It was met with much resistance as it screamed angrily before turning around.
I breathed a sigh of relief before turning back to my dazed friends.
"Everypony okay?" Twilight called as everyone grumbled in agreement and we stood up.
Behind me Shining hissed as he placed a hoof up to his horn.
"What happened to your horn?!" Twilight gasped as she ran over to inspect it.
"I'll be okay. It's just a magic cancelling spell... It should wear off.." Shining winced as he tried to hide the all to obvious pain from his younger sister.
Twilight seemed relieved, but I just raised an eyebrow at him, as he looked away...

That's when I got a first view at what the Crystal Empire really looked like...
"Woah. This doesn't even look like what's outside.." I gasped, as I glanced back at the shield to see it still gloomy and snowy, and then back to the empire that was sunny and colorful.

"Wow! Sparkleriffic!" Pinkie cheered behind me as I tore my gaze away and noticed Shining standing up.
"No time to admire the scenery I'm afraid. Let me take you to the castle." He said serious as we walked on ahead.
Outside the mist vanished as it appeared to retreat for now...
I shivered. That was a close call. What if it happens again?
I shook my head as I turned back into my earth pony form to fit through the door. No, nothing like that was going to happen. Not as long as I had my friends with me..
The inside of the throne room was... Shiny, to best describe it.
"Cadance!" Twilight gasped as she galloped over to where a pink alicorn was sitting with her head hung low...
She perked up the moment she saw Twilight though, and they began to do a funny little dance.
"Sunshine! Sunshine! Ladybugs awake! Clap your hooves and do a little shake!" They giggled before Cadance groaned and hunched over.
Shining ran over to support her as we all looked concerned.
"I'm okay." she waved off Shining as he frowned.

"Cadance has been using her love magic to protect the empire, but she can't hold on forever and my counter shield isn't working anymore thanks to whatever Sombra did." He sighed.
"That's why we're all here. Tah help ya out!" Applejack chimed in from behind me as the other ponies nodded in agreement.
Shining looked unsure for a few moments before he sighed and gave in...
"It seems I don't have much choice. I'll stay here and help Cadance, while you eight walk around and see if anypony knows a way to defeat Sombra." He instructed.

"Will do!" Rainbow saluted as she started shoving us about, "Come on guys! Let's get moving already! We don't have all the time in the world ya know!" She teased as we left the building.
"Okay Rainbow, we'll get going." I laughed, trying to humor her as she wanted to help us make light of the situation.
As far as anypony knowing anything about the Crystal empire? Nothing.
Not a single pony we talked to could provide us with useful information.
It was either 'I can't recall anything since this morning, sorry.' or 'I'm sorry, who are you again?' or even 'If you're not here to bug me about my water bill then I can't help you', which took us back to square one.

I groaned as I leaned against the back of a crystal building, and frowned.
"So, did anyone else have better luck?" I asked as the rest of the team met up in the center of town.
Rarity, Applejack, Twilight and Spike shook their heads. Rainbow huffed annoyed but shook her head, "Nah, they kinda don't like direct confrontation.." She admitted.

"Rainbow Dash!" Applejack scolded her as she flicked the pony on side, making her lower her gaze for half a moment.
"What about you Fluttershy?" Twilight asked as Fluttershy just stood there for a moment.
"Uh, Fluttershy?" I asked, before Fluttershy put a hoof up to her chest and suddenly her skin fell off as it revealed Pinkie Pie???.
"My cover's been blown!" Pinkie whispered to Twilight as she dashed off.
We all just sorta stared confused before Fluttershy, the real one, appeared and walked over onto the fake Fluttershy costume.

"What did I miss?" She asked, before she looked down to her hooves confused, "Uh, and what am I standing on?" She said, as we honestly just sorta blinked at her not knowing what to say...
Applejack broke the silence by sighing, "I'm sorry Twi'. These crystal ponies seem to have some kinda collective amnesia or somethin'. Only thing I was able to get out of 'em was somethin' about a library.." She rubbed her neck embarrassed.
Suddenly Twilight gasped, "A library?! Why didn't you say so earlier?!" She squeed as she did a little dance, which honestly made me feel kinda embarrassed for the mare.
Rarity snapped her out of it though, as Twilight blushed before clearing her throat. "Um, right. Let's go girls." She said, as we all followed Applejack to the library.
" I just... I don't even know what to... There are no words!" Twilight gasped as she ogled at all the books in the ginormous library.
I chuckled, "How about breathtaking?" I jabbed at her moment, as Twilight just made a face at me before returning to admire the books.
"Woah. How do are we gonna find what we need in this?" Rainbow zoomed around, still twitchy from this morning and raring to fight.

"Ahem, can I help you?" An elderly voice spoke as a grey faded mare walked our way and smiled warmly with the affection of a grandmother that knows no bounds of love.
I picked the time to speak since everyone was still admiring the place.
Hey, when you've seen one library, you've seen them all in my mind.
"Yes. We're looking for a book." I smiled warmly as I placed my hoof out to shake hers and she returned the favor. "Crystal Gem." I replied as I introduced myself.
The old mare chuckled, "Amethyst Maresbury" she smiled, as for some reason the exact moment she said her name my heart leaped with wild abandon before she spoke again. "Well, we most certainly have plenty of books." She grinned as she pointed to the stacks and stacks of books towered in the building.

"You do~! You really do~!" Twilight sung as she was still lost in her own world as I just snorted at her display, rolling my eyes.
"That's great Amethyst, but we're looking for a history book." Applejack rudely butted in, her ears twitching in impatience like they were burning...
"History... History.." Maresbury squinted as her mind seemed to be processing the request before she shook it sullen.
"I'm sorry dearies, I can't seem to remember." She frowned before muttering to herself, "Come to think of it, do I even work here?" She stared blankly as she started to trot off in a stupor.

Rainbow frowned, "I Guess we'll just find it on our own!" She shouted before dashing at the top shelves and flinging books everywhere.
"Rainbow dash!!! That's no way to treat history!!!!!" Rarity shouted as she took off after Rainbow.
Applejack and I shared a glance of unease as the mane six, and Spike, started to embark in search of a history book. "Anyone else starting to get the feeling this is a lost cause?" Applejack asked rhetorically as I just sighed and went to look too...
The library was so huge that even after spending an entire hour searching we hadn't even scraped the top layer. (And I only say that because Rainbow flung most of the books out in the open, causing a mess and making it even harder for any of us to sift through what we needed).

Twilight sighed as she closed another book and set it down. She had bags under her eyes and the others shared the same looks. We were tired, and no where near our intended goal.
I frowned as I walked over to table with a neat little blue cube in the center, probably used for decoration, and sat down. "Let's face it. We're not getting anywhere and Sombra is growing stronger the longer we wait." Rarity admitted as we all sighed.
I leaned back, letting my hooves reach my neck and rub the sore spots out. "Yer right Rarity. This is getting us no where fast an-" At the exact same moment, my hoof tapped the blue cube-like decoration and sent a jolt of magic running down my spine, as it suddenly glowed and hovered up in the air.
"Uhh. This is the...Animorph...Wade. Call me...if you need any help?" A voice suddenly spoke from the strange blue device, before it dimmed and floated down into my hoof as I decided to change into my human form to examine the odd object closer with my fingers...

"W-what? Who was that voice??" Twilight sputtered astonished as I held the blue cube in my hands and felt the smooth cool surface of it and brushed some of the dust off.
I frowned as the cube did nothing more than remain dormant in my grip, "I'm not sure. It's not doing anything now." I admitted as I rapped my knuckles on it to make sure.
"Do ya think it might be like, the actual librarian of the place? This-... Aniwade?" Rarity said hopeful.
I shrugged as I examined the cube closer.

There was a form of magic inside of it. I could tell that much. Twilight had showed me a couple of weeks ago how to detect for magical residue. But... This magic was wild, raw, not organized yet somehow was??? Something was holding it in place, like a switch ready to light a room as soon as it was flipped.
"Who cares who it was!" Rainbow interjected as she zoomed up to take a closer look, "The voice said it could help us so let's call 'em!" Rainbow smiled.

Now normally, I take Rainbow's comments with a grain of salt because they can lead to trouble if you give her free reign. However, seeing as we were running low on options and this Wade fellow sounded trustworthy, I agreed on doing just that.
For dramatic emphasis, and to just look cool, I held out the blue cube with my long skinny arm and chanted, "I summon thee shapeshifter from beyond to aid me in my quest of knowledge!" I shouted at the top of my lungs as nothing happened.

"Uh..." I said feeling silly as I relaxed my arm and held the cube closer.
Not hardly a second later that cube glowed blue for a moment, enough to blink and you'd miss it, before the magic it contained shot out from the device and grew in intensity a few feet away.

From experience, I took a step back, knowing that wild magic can be very damaging to those around it, and to my body *cough*. The magic began to clump into a ring shape, facing us sideways, like looking at a hula hoop someone is using, and started to manifest in a much more stable manner.
I start to hear a faint noise, that grew in intensity by the second until I am able to distinguish the noise.
It's the same voice I had heard a few moments ago from the cube, but it sounded like it was yelling? Shouting??

The next thing I know BLAM someone falls out from the portal face first, like doing a body slam into a pool, and I hear a resounding groan as I make out the figure just as the portal closes.
A man, probably around his twenties, was laying face first on the crystal floor groaning in agony as he pushed himself up into a sitting position and wiped his brown colored hair out of his face.

I stared in shock as I looked at this guy as he seemed to notice us for the first time.
"Great, ANOTHER Twilight to whine at me whilst taking a mountain of notes. Would you mind waiting, at least till I managed to..." He paused in mid-rant, clearly annoyed at just face planting into the floor, when his eyes snapped over to me and he appeared shocked.
"Pearl?" He said, as if he had just seen me moments ago...

The Crystal Empire: Part 2

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How does he know that name?! How? HOW!?
I briefly panicked before I realized that wherever he came from 'Pearl', my doppelganger if you will, may have been there at one point in time too. Hmm... This could explain why the cube was here in the first place.
I realized I had spaced out for the brief moment Wade was trying to get his barrings. I snapped back to my usual friendly mood and tried to play off my panic with him knowing about Pearl...
I sighed tired and face palmed, "Why does everyone think I'm her?!" I grumbled slightly annoyed, but not enough to let anyone know what was up.
Twilight was busily taking notes about Wade using her magic, while she and Fluttershy helped him up off the ground as his legs finally stopped wobbling. His blue cube thing was laying beside Wade as he got up to put it in his pack. Whatever the object was, it was clearly his by right and I had no intention of taking from someone who could use it better than me...

"Ah, so you are the shapeshifter." I mused as he patted remnant dust off his jeans. I smiled sheepishly, "Sorry to summon you abruptly. Were you in the middle of something? Oh gosh, I hate that I interrupted anything!" I panicked as I realized the poor dude may have been practicing an advanced spell or something while I summoned him.
In case the man actually thought I was Pearl, I wanted to clear the air before he got really mad if I did actually bother him. "I guess introductions are in order. I'm Crystal Gem, not Pearl." I smiled as I extended my hand towards the man.

"A Crystal Gem named Crystal Gem, eh?" He said as he briefly looked like he was contemplating something, but the look soon faded as he reached out and shook my hand. "My names Wade Jallecks, pleasure to meet you. And no, I wasn't in the middle of something, The universe just loves causing me physical discomfort." He chuckled as he let go of my hand and put it in his jeans as he looked around for a moment and then back to me. "So...Steven Universe?" He asked me, and I just laughed.

(A few days ago, I had actually recalled the old cartoon show which made me proceed to shut myself in Twilight's guest room for the whole day until I calmed down... I shivered at the memory. It was a dark day... Let's just say I sorta went coo-coo for coco puffs with Pinkie Pie. Don't ask.)
"Yea. I'd be laughing a month ago if I knew one day I was going to actually be her." I admitted as I sighed and pondered once again if the real Pearl was out there somewhere looking for me, or if I had somehow replaced her and was thrown throughout time and space wandering aimlessly.
Were there even Crystal gems and Beach City? Was Steven real?? Was Garnet, Amethyst, or even Rose out there looking for me?
I shook my head to banish the thoughts as I smiled once more. "Right, so Wade Jallecks? These are my friends." I said as I held my hand out and waved in the general direction of the main six. "Meet Twilight, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie." I introduced, as Pinkie suddenly came rushing up into Wade's personal space and grinned.

"Hi! Hi Wade Jallecks! Can I call you Wade-y or maybe Wad, or how about WJ?" She said excited, as she had that calculating look on her face which either meant trouble or- "We need to have a super special welcome party when we get back to Ponyville! Or maybe we can have an ity-bitty one right now and then have an even bigger one later!" She cheered before gasping in surprise. "MUST. GO. PLAN." She chanted as she disappeared in a pink cloud of cartoonish dust.
I sighed relieved, a party. That was good. I'm glad it wasn't-
"What...I...No..." Wade balked as he look upset. "I just sat through my Pinkies party. That was bad enough..." He complained.

Wait, there was another Pinkie?? Where the heck did he come from?!
Wade looked at me pleadingly, "Please Pinkie Promise that you'll send me back before we get ANYWHERE near Ponyville. Please. Or at the very least, " He paused as he pointed towards my friends, Twilight being the closest so he pointed at her mostly. "One of you PLEASE get her to abandon this idea, due to the fact that I've already been put through a Pinkie Pie Welcoming party. And I did not find it fun." He sighed, like he was tired.
I blinked. Not finding a Pinkie Pie party fun?! That was just unheard of!
Pinkie always threw the best parties! (Speaking from personal experience, the party she threw for me coming into Ponyville was fabulous. I look forward to getting back so she can bake some more of those delicious cupcakes).

"That being said, I've already met everyone here." He explained curtly, before he looked towards Amethyst Maresbury, who was currently trying to sweep up the pile of books Rainbow Dash had thrown. "Except for her. She's new." He pointed as he clearly did not know her name.
"Hon' I've been around for eh-, erm... How long was it again? Oh! Well at least seventy years! I'm not the new one 'round here!" Amethyst called as Wade looked a little embarrassed. Huh. Well her hearing still worked apparently.

"Where are we?" Wade asked as he seemed to finally be noticing his location. " And if one of you states the obvious by saying 'in a library', I am going to groan in an extremely annoyed manner towards you." He snorted as he once again rudely pointed to the confused sextet of ponies.
"Oh don't worry about Pinkie, she's harmless." Twilight chuckled, trying to clear the air. "Welcome to the newly rediscovered Crystal Empire! And yes, you're currently in a library." Twilight frowned as she looked displeased with Wade's opinion on libraries. I noticed she was trying to give a hint to Wade that he was being a somewhat rude guest to everyone, but he didn't seem to read her face.
I decided to brake up silent staring contest, I had summoned Wade for help and that's what it all boiled down to.
"Well um, anyways. I don't think you have to worry about heading to Ponyville anytime soon. It's about fifty something miles south east of us and-"
"We're on a mission!" Rainbow interrupted as she puffed up her chest proudly.

I rolled her eyes and sighed as Rainbow took the wind out of my sails, "Right, which is why I summoned you. Do you know anything about an entity called Sombra? We were presumably attacked by his shadow on the way here, and well um-" I bit my tongue. How much should I tell him? I didn't really want to look lame or something just because I couldn't fight this battle but-
"*Ahem*, she means something odd happened with previous scouting of the land." Twilight interceded. Thank you Twilight! Remind me to make you a gift later...
"A couple of centuries back this place mysteriously vanished, leaving us to believe something happened to make this place reappear." She continued before frowning serious.

"Which is why we gotta protect it at all costs." Applejack butted in determined, as everyone nodded in agreement. We're here to help, and nothing or no one's going to stop us. The look on everyone's face said the same thing.
Wade seemed to be thinking about what we said for a moment before he took a big breath and-
"First off," he groaned as if bored, while Twilight scowled at him annoyed. "And no, I've never even so much as heard of a 'Sombra'. Sounds mexican. Sombrero. Sombreeeerro. Sorry. Never heard of him, And the only shadowmancers I know of are from Arm of Kanon, and Fullmetal Alchemist. Neither of them have names even remotely similar to Sombra." He stated as he walked over to a shelf full of scattered books and flipped through one. His eyes went through a various range of emotions, mostly one of joy and interest, before he returned to his bored gaze and sat the book down...

"If you were attacked once, stands to reason your attacker would try again. Can't you just wait, then retaliate?" He suggested.
Rainbow flew up to Wade annoyed, "Helloooooo! Did you not just hear her? This place can't stand another attack! We gotta find something to stop Sombra before he gets the one up on us again!" Rainbow frowned.
"I'm sorry, the Arm of what now and an alchemist?" I said confused, "Should we be preparing for a full scale attack?" I asked, starting to get anxious that I may have actually opened Pandora's Box by summoning Wade.

"I don't think that what he means." Twilight explained to me as she smiled reassuring.
Meanwhile Fluttershy had hidden under one of the tables, and poor Rarity was having to hold onto her tail to keep her from running off.
Twilight then turned her head towards Wade and gave him a serious stare, "You're not from here are you?" She asked, probably already knowing the answer.
Wade groaned as he rubbed his face before crossing his arms annoyed. "As I've had to explain to two other versions of you, no. According to the crazy pony that lives in the gold coin, We-" He pointed to himself and then at me, "Are what is known as displaced. Apparently some smuck with a crapton of power calling himself the 'Merchant' is picking up humans off of different earths and stranding them on different Equestria's. That's my exposition, take it or leave it." He nodded before turning his attention back to the book for a brief moment.

My mind froze. Displaced? As in thrown out of my proper world, form, and or role?! I started to hyperventilate a little.. And someone did this? Who could have so much power as to actually reach their hands beyond the tethers of nature and consistency and pick up people like action figures or mere ants for there own amusement?!

"I..." My voice cracked for half a moment as I swallowed and tried my best to recompose myself, "I was forced to come here?" I said, barely above a whisper, as if I wanted to be heard and not at the same time.
Twilight looked at me saddened as she sighed and hung her head. "I thought something like that." She admitted as she pawed the ground sheepishly, before looking up at me. "I wasn't sure Crystal, but ever since I met you your magic aura radiated-; differently..." She frowned, not sure how to pick the right words for what she was describing...

Radiated differently... I mused. Of course in a place practically built on magic, aura would be a natural thing to sense; if you're tuned to it unlike me... I'm sure the moment I met Twilight she was thinking something was off, but she never said a word to me.
Was she trying to keep an eye on me?? Trying to make sure I wasn't a lying changeling or a monster? I frowned gloomy as I wiped a stray tear from my eyes. Has all of this been an act? Did Celestia tell her something when I wasn't around? Are they actually spies or guards to make sure I don't go rogue?? I sighed as I just rubbed around the Pearl on my head.

"It's ok." I lied through my teeth as I picked up my saddlebags. "Let's just go ask some more locals if they know anything about how to stop Sombra..." I suggested since this had been a huge waste of time. I was done. Done with everything right now.
Done with secrets, done with lies, done with this whole pony place.
I should've just let Sombra get me... I said defeated as I started walking towards the entrance.

"Hold on thar a sec' sugarcube!" Applejack called as she tugged a book off a shelf with her teeth and sat it down on one of the tables. The bindings were worn and aged, but Applejack had no problem flinging it open and turning to a specific page.
"Talks a lot about the history of the Crystal Empire here. Take a gander at it." She motioned for everyone to come close as Twilight read aloud.
"Hmm. interesting, it seems that before the empire disappeared, the Crystal ponies had some sort of extravaganza to spread joy and happiness to power up the heart of the empire to protect them from evil." Twilight muttered fascinated.

"A fair? Pfft. If that's all we need to stop Sombra, I'll go find Pinkie!" Rainbow Dash shouted as she flew off.
"It's worth a shot. Crystal, will you go inform Shining and Cadance what we're planning to do?" Twilight asked, as she looked at me pitifully and I just sighed tired.
"Sure."I muttered, before looking over at Wade, "Wanna come?"

To be honest, I wanted to know more about Wade and where he came from. Compare notes. Perhaps even figure out why I looked like this...
"Sure." Wade shrugged, as he briefly look at his watch and frowned.
"Hey Rarity, mind if I get a hit off of you?" He suddenly asked as his attention darted to the white mare in the back who had finally managed to pry Fluttershy from under the table.

We all just kinda blinked confused, before Wade stammered and said "I mean, I'm kinda a little bit low on magic. I can't aquire Twilight or Fluttershy, and I already have Applejack, technically. A blend of her and her brother. So I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to sap any power off her." He quickly corrected as he looked away and blushed a bit.
Rarity tilted her head in confusion, "I honestly have no idea what any of that meant, but if you need some mana I've got a few extra." Rarity explained as she pulled a small crystal out of her pack that was radiating with a bright blue hue. She smiled as she held it in her telekinetic grip, "I always pack a few extra on long trips in case I get bursts of inspiration and need to stay up late." She explained.

Mana crystals, Twilight had explained the first week I got here, are essentially magic reservoirs used for emergency energy replenishing if say a unicorn were to accidentally use more magic than their body had and began to siphon it from their natural magic producing organs. If magic hasn't been siphoned from the body too much, a nap can usually fix the imbalance, but if a unicorn siphons a lot or they don't wish to rest they use mana crystals to replenish their magic. Like Gatorade on earth.

Though mana crystals are more individualized and not as publicly advertised. One reason being that the use of mana crystals, if used excessively, will not output as much magic as when the magic was put into the crystals. (Law of equivalent exchange; to gain magic, one must use magic etc. Some magic is lost in energy transfer, but some magic is regained in synthesis.) The other is that it is often seen as a 'cheap' way to get around magical exhaustion, or the unicorn is labeled as a 'crystal addict'; similar to someone who is addicted to coffee etc...

Luckily for me, I hadn't felt the need to buy one. I just hadn't used that much magic other than keeping my pony form up.
Anyways, while I was musing about mana crystals Wade was busy taking one from Rarity's magical aura. He seemed to be staring at it intently, like he could absorb it with his mind, before he shook his head and sighed.
"Sorry, I don't think I can leech any energy off of something that isn't living. Thank you for the effort, though. It means a lot to me." He admitted as he handed the crystal back to Rarity.
Rarity was unsure how someone couldn't just reach out and use magic, but shrugged as she took the crystal back in her magical aura and safety deposited it into her saddlebag. "Don't mention it darling. I apologize for that not working, but if you need direct contact with an individual to use magic I am more than happy to help." She said determined as she walked forwards.

Wade nodded and reached out to gently touch the top of her forehead with his hand and then something odd happened.
Rarity's eyes glazed over, and appeared ready to flop over, but her legs remained locked and then suddenly that was it.
He looked at his watch briefly as he moved his hand off of Rarity, "Eight. Thats good. Thank you for the juice, Rarity. And I'll give you the same Pinkie Promise I gave Spike. I promise to not use your form to mess with you, or otherwise screw with you or your reputation in any way. And also, if someone assumes that I'm you, I'll inform them otherwise. I hereby Pinkie Promise. Cross my heart, hope to fly, Stick a cupcake in my eye!" He made the motions of some weird promise or whatever and then smiled lightly.

Rarity was still coming around from being dazed as she swayed back and forth trying to get her hooves coordinated. "Yourrrrrr're, mosssssst weeeeeeelllllcome..." Was all she said before she simply flopped over on her back and gazed at the ceiling like a drunk person.
Twilight shook her head as she stared at the downed fashionista. "Magic feedback. She's not used to handling intense lash out of using major amounts of mana like I do." She chuckled before helping Rarity on her hooves as she drew out one of Rarity's reserve crystal. A quick tap on the horn was all that was needed from the crystal as the glazed over looked on Rarity's face vanished, and was replaced with confusion. "S-sorry about that. I'm just going to go help with the preparations for the festival now." She said embarrassed as she dashed off leaving a cartoon trail of dust behind her in the form of a pony.

I blinked, "What did you just do to her?" I said worried as I realized I didn't want Wade touching me anytime soon if he could do that!
"I'm guessing you never read the book series Animorphs?" Wade asked me, clearly annoyed that he was having to explain himself. I shook my head no, as Wade just rolled his eyes. "I received a magic cube thingy from that series called an Escafil Device.
Like the characters in the books, I can take the form of anyone I acquire. With some variables, I guess. I acquired Pinkie Pie, but when I turn into her, her hairs all flat and darker than normal. And I don't copy the butt mark, but I guess thats maaaaagic or whatever. Anyway, when I acquire someone, apparently I suck out a bit of extra juice. Learned that from this other displaced, Dante." He quickly explained as he rubbed the back of his neck sheepishly and looked embarrassed.
"Anyway, I just 'acquired' Rarity. Maybe...I should have explained all that before I asked it of her? Sorry...I'm not really the kind of person that thinks things through..." He laughed embarrassed.

No duh you're not the type to think things through.. I thought as I just waved it off.
"Nah it's understandable." I admitted, as I looked around and noticed that in the midst of Wade 'acquiring' Rarity, everypony had run off somewhere to probably go start up the festival. Briefly I looked at the giant clock in the library and saw it to be around 2pm, huh. Time really does fly by...
"Sometimes stuff happens and all and you try to make the best out of it."I continued as I rubbed my arm sheepishly, "So... A shape shifting device from animorphs huh?" I inquired, "I saw them in the display cases at the front of my library when I was little, but never bothered to actually read them."
I chuckled embarrassed, "Heck, I never really bothered with reading anything! I kept away from books like the plague, and stuck to the mind melting cartoons." I joked as she playfully smiled at Wade, trying to forget about the whole odd situation. "I guess that's what makes us different, huh? Books vs. Cartoon items. Strange how that works out, am I right?". I pointed to my gem as I concentrated and shifted into my Earth pony form. Better to be seen as a pony than a human right now. These crystal ponies were easily spookable.
"Come on, let's go inform Cadence what's going on." I said as I walked out of the library...

The Crystal Empire: Part 3

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"Okay. Cadence...Is that the same My Love Cadence Twilight told me about? She said she was the princess of....uhhh...sorry, I forgot." Wade scratched his head as me and him walked along the pathway to the castle. "So where is this Cadence, anyway?" He asked confused, even though we were heading right towards the castl- ah forget it....

"My love Ca-? Oh! You're using her full name!" I facehoofed. "She's the princess of love according to Twilight, and her brother is married to her." I quickly explained. "She's inside the throne room trying to hold the shield up to ward off Sombra until we can vanquish him." We entered the castle as several of the guards we passed seemed dashed and confused, some even holding various pieces of armor in their hooves and staring at them like they'd never seen it before.

"She's... married to her own brother? Incest is legal in Equestria?" Wade said confused as he rubbed his forehead. He then turned his attention to the dazed ponies. "...Whats...wrong with them? They all look like they're stuck in an acquiring trance... Heeeeey. Lady guard pony person..." Wade stooped down as he poked one of them in the face, gaining very little of a response. "Hellooooo, anyone in there?"

I groaned and made a scowl before I decided it would be much easier to talk to Wade in my normal appearance. "Gah no! I meant Shining is married to Cadence and Twilight is Shining Armor's sister." I sighed, grumbling before switching topics... "Everyone in the empire has been acting like that since since this place first appeared. Shining tried to briefly look into it but- excuse me, are you poking them?!" I exclaimed, suddenly very irked as Wade was totally tuning me out to mess with one of the poor saps who now had been poked so many times they had flopped over and didn't bother moving. The pony in question though didn't seem to be aware of it, as she continued to stare ahead with a dazed look. I couldn't believe him... Oh my god, is he ever going to take this seriously?? Some help he's supposed to be.. I thought gloomy, as I realized that the guards were indeed not getting up.

"Yes. Yes I am. What's WRONG with them? This ain't natural..." Wade replied as he began to rub his chin in thought.
He was right... In the midst of my rant I had failed to actually realize there was indeed something very wrong here...

Wade's words began to sink in, "Y-yea. At first I thought it was just PTSD, but now..." I hummed in thought as I leaned over to examine the dazed guard on the floor. That was when the ground started to rumbled beneath our feet, causing both me and Wade to stumble slightly as the remaining guards fell to the floor undignified. Something was wrong, and my guess it had Sombra's name written all over it.

"Ah fudge it! We ain't got time for this!" I exclaimed irritably, as I began to feel very frantic. To save time, I decided to shift back into my Earth pony form, and decided Wade could handle his own dilemma. Dashing out the castle, I turned right just in time to see Twilight headed right for me...

"OOF!" I grunted as I collided with a wall of lavender fur. Okay, owww.... No matter how marshmellowy they look, ponies are not soft!
"Crystal?" Twilight's voice asked confused as my head finally stopped spinning. "Why are you here? I thought you were with Wade trying to figur-"

I grit my teeth, "No!" I stomped my hoof, before I realized I was causing a scene and simmered down slightly. "No.." I corrected as Twilight looked at me with concern, Spike too but he was sorta hard to see on Twilight's back and all... Come to think of it... Why does HE get to ride on her back??? "He didn't need me, so I decided to find something else to do." I lied, well sorta... I mean, to be honest I had no idea what was going through that blockhead's brain anyways, but he really didn't seem to be taking this all very seriously so what was the point in having him around??

"Well, okay..." Twilight said as she looked away for a moment at the flickering shield in the background and then back to me.. It didn't go unnoticed. "Hey what's up with the rumbling earlier? Is Cadance still holding up?" I switched topics, trying to take the heat off me.

Twilight instantly perked up and donned a serious face, "Well that's just it. She's not." She frowned. I looked at her seriously worried. "Me and Spike are headed to the castle to find the real Crystal Heart." She sighed, as she lowered her gaze. "It's the only thing that will stop Sombra now." She bit her lip.

Concerned, I noticed Spike was patting Twilight's mane. "Well, let me come with you. You might need some... help!" I offered fake smiling.

"I don't know. But- ow!" Spike tugged on Twilight's ear, causing her to stop and frown at the Drake. "Okay, fine. But we need to hurry." She snorted as she cast a look at Spike who simply shrugged.

I could tell Twilight was nervous, and to be honest so was I. "Great! Lead the way!" I cheered, trying to lighten the mood, while on the inside I was freaking out... If Sombra comes then- NO! No... Not going to think about it, hehe.... We're GOING to find that heart and then everything will be okay... Right? Right. I argued in my mind as we walked into the Crystal Castle...

"No... No, not here either. UGH!" Twilight frowned as me and Spike continued to watch her search. Yea... We gave up about 5 minutes in when she started arguing about us not putting things back in their proper place. I sighed as I rubbed my face with a hand and leaned back on the giant crystal throne in the center of the room. "Maybe it's not here Twilight." I said.

"Yea, Twilight! Perhaps Sombra dug it in his back yard or something..." Spike pitched in as he rolled around on the floor absolutely bored.
"It's gotta be here somewhere! It just has to be!" She panted as she used her magic to grab books and shake them before stacking them back on their shelves. Hehe... Such a librarian.

"Urgh! It would help if you didn't just sit around..." She muttered under her breath. I gave up, "Ok, I'll move..." I stretched before looking at Spike, "You coming?" I asked.
Spike was about to reply when Twilight suddenly walked in front of me and held out a hoof, "Wait." She said, as she scrunched her face at the throne.

"Uh... Ok?" I asked confused.

Suddenly Twilight jumped in the air excited, "Of course! How could I have not realized this?!" She laughed.

Me and Spike looked at each other concerned. Okay the mare's lost it. Time to leave before she tries to do something with magic we're all going to regret.

"Um, Twilight? What's going on?" Spike asked concerned, as I moved in behind him ready to pounce upon the mare if she got any crazy ideas.

Giggling like a school filly, Twilight smirked. "We are not going to find the crystal heart!" She said.

"Bwhuh?!?" Both me and Spike said at the same time.

"Well, I meant we won't find it here because this isn't Sombra's castle." Twilight quickly corrected as we breathed easy.

"Wait, so the heart is in another castle?" I asked confused.

Twilight shook her head, "Yes and no... This is where Sombra ruled, but it didn't look like this. Watch." Twilight smirked as she lit up her horn suddenly as her pinkish aura began to charge.

Curious I watched as Twilight started to strain at the magic she was casting, before an ominous chill went down my spine and I looked to find her aura changing from bright pink to a very, very sickly purple with green sparks flickering off her horn like hungry jackals. I didn't even get time to call out to her and ask what she was doing, before she shot her magic at the top of the throne where a small crystal sat and enveloped its shiny hue into a black hard surface.

The magic spread down the throne and cast an eerie shadow in front of us before melting the floor in a similar fashion, revealing a set of hidden stairs.

Woah I blinked in surprise, as Twilight cut the magic tied to the crystal and placed her hooves together in a odd way, like she was trying to clap her hooves.

"Wow, that's one long staircase..." I whistled as Twilight immediately began to descend while using her magic as a makeshift flashlight.

Turning into a crane, I followed Twilight down the stairs as we continued to descend.

"Spike, stay here and keep an eye out for me please." She called as Spike replied ok as we cautiously continued down...

Grabbing a crystal with her magic, Twilight threw it down the bottom of the pit as we listened for a kerplunk..

Thirty seconds passed, then a full minute. I shook my head, "It's not going to go kerplunk." I sighed as I felt both our spirits plummet after that.

Nevertheless we had to keep going. As I flew I wondered what everyone else was doing at the moment...

Suddenly the ground shook as rubble began to shake loose around us....

The Crystal Empire Part 4

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“Beware the dark pool at the bottom of our hearts. In its icy, black depths dwell strange and twisted creatures it is best not to disturb.” ~ Sue Grafton

A roar echoed from below as it shook the foundation Twilight was standing on and caused her to tumble down.
"Twilight!" I shrieked, as I dove down to catch her, but nearly hit her in the process as I found that she had managed to levitate herself before hitting the bottom.
"I'm okay..." She huffed as a quick teleport righted herself on the ground and I sighed in relief before turning back into my human form.
"Hey! Is everything alright?!" Spike echoed from far above us as it bounced off the walls.
"We're fine!" I shouted back as more thumping noises could be heard.

We exchanged glances with one another.
"Ah! There's the exit!" Twilight cheered as she spun around to open a small black door. She reached the handle with her magic before *poof!*, it vanished right in front of us!
"Guh?!" I blinked confused as we both looked around and spotted the door behind us.
"Well that was-" *poof!* The door vanished again as Twilight tried to grab it.

The door appeared behind me suddenly I tried to open it, only for it to vanish once more. "Skittish isn't it?" I joked as Twilight frowned.
"Okay, you go that way, and I'll corner it this way..." Twilight pointed as I nodded and made my way back towards the bottom of the staircase.
"YAAAAAAAA!" Twilight charged the door towards me as I leapt to grab the handle and it poofed once more, causing Twilight to stop too late as she ran into me.
"Ooof!" We both grunted, as the door popped back behind us.

Cheeky little-!
Growling, Twilight reacted by attacking the door with another burst of black magic from her horn.
The result was immediate, as before I could even begin to think about scolding Twilight for stooping to Sombra's level, we were both engulfed in a bright light.

I was-...
Standing around the friends who had helped me by providing kindness, shelter, and food...
They were all dead.
Bleeding out in front of me without any hint of moving...
"My God..." I gasped, as I heard someone laugh behind me, sending chills down my spine.

Sombra. I knew that laugh anywhere. It was the kind that gave a child nightmares. The type I recalled from my early life as one who would tear you to shreds and lay on your bones afterwards. The kind of laugh that had one thing in mind...

My body on autopilot, I turned around to face the nightmare himself.
His form was nothing more than a mass of withering shadows, his eyes a piercing blood red that seemed to see right through my core. One by one he ate my friends, crunching bones and organs while spewing out the rest on the ground, like a bizarre canvas being soiled with paint, and then licked his lips at me.
"And now you will be mine!" He roared as he lunged at me and then-!

"CRYSTAL!!!!" Someone screamed my name, as I snapped out of my gripping fear.
"GAAAAHHHHH!" I screamed, as my weapon instinctively flew out of my Pearl and nearly hit Twilight, before she restrained the hand with magic.

"Crystal calm down! It's me! Twilight!" Twilight shouted, as I finally felt the fear ebb away. It was like I had come out of a fog. I rubbed my eye.
"Nrrgh! I'm sorry! Are you alright?" I asked concerned as my sword vanished once more back into my gem.
Twilight was panting, while Spike, who I have no idea how the heck he had gotten down here so quick, was clinging to Twilight in fear. "Other than being taken by surprise? Then yes..." She said as she let go of my arm, cancelling her spell.
I rubbed it tenderly, but oddly it didn't hurt...
Noticing my distress she carefully trotted over to me, "Hey... Are you alright?" She asked, genuinely concerned as she touched a hoof to my side. Height difference and all that...

In truth, I was not okay. The entire mission might not seem as bad to the rest of the group but I-...
I held back a sob just barely as I bit my tongue to keep from making any noise.
-I could die with one false move. And what was worse was that it seemed like we were failing and-,and-!
Like clockwork I broke down and sobbed.

Confused, Spike tried to pat my back, before Twilight looked at me in sorrow and hugged me tight.
"Shhh.... It's alright, just let it out..." She said patiently as I did.

I cried my heart out it felt like, as I let go of everything I had been holding back, and even more I didn't know I had been holding back!
I cried about my rotten luck arriving here, I cried over the fact that everyone had been so nice and accepting of me even though I had done nothing to deserve it nor had I paid them back, I cried about myself now being immortal and trapped in a body that was not my own, I cried over the mission and the good possibility I could die.
I cried over the dream I had just had where everyone had died in front of me and I had been frozen in fear instead of helping...

After a while I had finally cried out everything it seemed and I calmed down as I rubbed my nose and wiped my tears away.
"S-Sorry..." I said sheepish as Twilight just hugged me again real quick.
"Don't be. We've all had a rough day. I'm surprised you hadn't done something sooner." She giggled embarrassed as she kicked a hoof, "Look Crystal, I understand that we all have secrets we don't like to share but-... Just remember that you're friends are here to lend an ear, or shoulder if you need it." She smiled warmly.

My heart seemed to melt off the cold I had felt earlier after Twilight had said that. I felt silly but, "Why are you guys my friends? I haven't done anything to deserve it." I sighed.
"Oh no you don't!" Twilight pulled my ear with her magic, "You are not getting all mopey on us again!" She snapped, "We're you're friends because well... Everypony needs a friend! And to be honest.." She paused for a moment as I stared at her confused, "Well, when I first met you, I could tell you felt lost and confused. At the time I just thought you were scared because you were moving to Ponyville, but then after you revealed yourself I realized it's because you didn't have any friends or somepony special to talk to about stuff because you had been taken from you're home." She explained.
"But seeing that only made me want to open up to you more!" She puffed her chest. "It's strange when I look back on it, but I just really wanted to make you smile and laugh and feel welcome. I wanted you to know that no pony disliked you and that I thought you were cool." She laughed as I cracked a grin and Spike smiled as well.

"Yeah! You're just like Daring Do with you're awesome sword!" Spike cheered as I just had to laugh at his rendition of me fighting.
"Ok! Ok! I get it." I joked before looking back to Twilight. "Thanks you guys. I hope to always be a good friend." I smiled as a tear a joy slid out from my eye and I stood up, feeling invigorated.

"Okay door! It's time you met The Crystal Warriors!" I shouted as Twilight blasted her normal magic at the door and it melted away...

The Crystal Empire: Part 5

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I heard someone laughing in the other room... Curious, I turned the corner to instead find someone screaming. She was in pain, but I could not approach. Her body was lit up in green fire and the mere inch I had moved towards her sent pain down my spine. I could do nothing but watch her struggling in vain as the green fire's light reached a crescendo and then a roar was heard....
Walking out of the melted remains of Sombra's door, we entered a small dome-like room with tall ceiling and jagged black crystals sticking out everywhere.
There was hardly anything of interest here, except for a blue carved out slab of some kind of mineral in the center.

"Is it just me, or are all the crystals pointing at the platform?" Spike said as he shuddered.
He was right, the black crystals strangely were pointed at the one object in the room.
Something was familiar about this place. Something I couldn't put my finger on but remained tugging on my brain trying to break free.

In the meantime Twilight had walked up to examine the blue platform and gently tapped it with a hoof. "There's no spells on it, but I don't understand this strange magic it's emanating..." She frowned as she studied it some more.
Just then a roar shook the whole room as something moved...

What I had thought were just mere parts of the black crystal wall, suddenly slithered about, revealing green specks every now and then.
Moving closer to Twilight I could get a better view of what we were dealing with.
A monstrous black bug crawled out from its resting position, as its green back contrasted the walls, and its long white mane withered angrily. It had a sharp long beak, and its eye rested in the center of its mouth, as it roared and lashed out with its back pincers at us.

I was quicker though...
Once again on autopilot, I quickly grabbed Twilight and Spike before leaping out of the way just at the pincers hit the ground.
It hissed as we landed, and quickly spun around to snap at us.
This time Twilight shot out a beam of condensed magic in its eye as it roared and flew back enough for us to move.

"What the heck is that thing?!" Spike cried as the monster seemed to have regained sight and spat green acid all around.
Twilight panted as she charge up her horn again. "I don't know! Maybe Sombra's guard??" She asked confused as we dodged another glob of green acid and decided to divide and conquer.

On instinct I withdrew my weapon from my forehead and lashed out at one of the many legs of the beast.
It stumbled briefly before shooting out more acid at me.
Spike intercepted at the last moment with a puff of fire that collided with the stream of green and turned it into specks of glitter.

"It's too cramped in here for us to do any real damage!" I yelled, as we circled the beast again.
Twilight shot beam after beam at its head, causing an explosion of magic but no real damage. "Tsk! We don't have much choice!" She sweated, "If it leaves here we won't be the only ones in trouble!"

She had a point.
The back pincers on the monster suddenly lashed out at me as my hands moved to intercept. There was a resounding 'clang' as I fought hard against the crushing pressure of the pincers.
Grck! It's too strong! We'll never be able to-!
An image suddenly flickered in my head as I saw the beast attacking somewhere else... I focused on the fact that two other strange people were fighting off the monster as the red one went in for the kill and punched the face. Then the creature poofed out of existence...

Blinking, I found myself still fighting the pincers off.
Suddenly it clicked.
"Aim for its eye with your magic! That's its weak spot!" I hollered, as Twilight dodged another blast and charged up her horn.
Pushing the appendages back, I had just enough time to watch Twilight fire a beam at point blank, as the creature didn't even have enough time to react, or scream, as the magic hit the eye dead center and then it exploded in a puff of smoke.

There was nothing but silence for a few moments as me, Twilight, and Spike fought to catch our breath.
Ping! Ping! Something suddenly fell from high up that was green and rolled towards me.
It was spherical with a black line running down the middle and around a small circle on one end.

"Is that what's left of it?" Twilight said confused.
I picked up the ball and examined it closely when a name came to mind.
"Centipeedle.." I whispered as I made sure the gem wasn't cracked and carefully stored it in my saddlebags.
"Come again?" Spike said confused as I realized he'd heard my murmurings.

I shook my head, "It's what the monster was called. A Centipeedle." I explained.
"Wait, how did you know it's name?" Twilight said curious.
I shrugged before rubbing the Pearl on my head. "I'm not sure... It just sorta came to me, like the idea of how to defeat it." I frowned as I looked at the room once more and sat down on the blue pedestal.
Twilight followed me along with Spike as we rested.
"So where do you think the exit is?" I asked, before the room was suddenly encased in a bright blue light...
We're moving...
I realized as we suddenly floated up and then popped back into existence outside.
Confused I looked around before I realized we were at the top of the castle.

"Hey! There it is!" Spike cheered as he pointed behind me and Twilight and we whipped our heads around to find-
"I cant believe it! The crystal heart!" Twilight cheered as we ran towards it.
Suddenly the circular platform underneath us turned black...
"Wh-?" Twilight said confused, before the ground beneath us rumbled and I dashed towards the heart in a panic.

There was a thud, followed by the scraping of objects, before I felt something ram into my side and I blacked out...

The Crystal Empire: Part 6

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"CRYSTAL!!! Twilight voice rang in my ears as I snapped awake.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" I screamed for half a moment before I realized what had happened.
Right, I hit the edge of the wall barrier right before it closed and blacked out. I sighed.
Then I realized Twilight had me in her hooves, which embarrassed, we immediately scooted away from each other and coughed awkwardly.

"Um right, so..."
"-Er yeah..." Twilight finished as we each shivered for half a moment.
I focused my sight elsewhere. Mainly on the walls we were trapped in. "Wait. Where's the heart?!" I panicked as I started searching around for it.
"Spike's got it." Twilight calmly answered. "I couldn't teleport us out so I told Spike to grab the heart and run." She said as she sighed and hung her head.

"Oh right, the test..." I remembered.
"We've failed." Twilight said as she stared up at the ceiling sadly.
My heart ached for the mare, one simple task and we blew it. But-
But- I realized something.

"The test doesn't matter." I said.
"What?! You're kidding, right?" Twilight said panicked.
I shook my head, "No, the test doesn't matter right now because you chose to do the honorable thing." I hugged her as Twilight looked at me confused.
"Yea, but the test-"
"Shhh! Nope! Nope! Twilight..." I looked at her serious. "Battles in the end sometimes aren't glorious. A good leader know when to fight, when to retreat, and most importantly, when to sacrifice." I smiled. "In the end you knew that protecting the crystal ponies by getting Spike to deliver the crystal was more important than you trying to figure out how to escape and waste time. You picked a very honorable choice."
Twilight smiled at me and hugged back. "Thank you, Crystal..."

Just then, a bright blue explosion rocked the place as it expanded and shattered the crystal prison around us.
Confused, I opened my mouth to speak a question once the blue light had faded, but then came another bigger wave of light from-
O my goat it's right underneath us isn't it?! I thought, before another brighter blue explosion impacted the two of us and I screamed in pain as another wave of raw magic passed right through me...

It didn't last long though. What seemed like forever faded into color once more as I felt something sticking out from behind me.
No matter, I had more pressing matters... Like, WHY WAS TWILIGHT SUDDENLY SO SPARKLY?!
"Um, Crystal?" Twilight beat me to my own question as she examined herself.

Oh gees, please tell me i'm not sparkly too! I looked down at myself before I realized I just had on different clothing and sighed in relief.
Panicking, I patted down myself before finding everything in tact. "Ok, since we're free and all, let's go see what happened to everyone else." I said, not to mention Wade. I hope the poor bloke is doing ok since I left him!

Walking down from the balcony, not using that platform teleporter ever again. Nope! I don't trust it. I saw a bunch of sparkly ponies cheering excitedly as I realized we had somehow won.
Darn! I missed it!
I sighed, before I followed Twilight down as she hugged Spike. "You did it Spike! You saved the empire!" Twilight cheered happily.

Spike chuckled embarrassed as my eyes floated over to a distressed looking Rarity.
Huh, that's out of character.. I thought as I made my way towards the fretting unicorn.
"Um, you doing alright there Rarity?" I asked concerned.
Rarity jumped, obviously not prepared to see me, before she just sorta looked at me and groaned.

"What? You get a new outfit, and all I get is girlified? Seriously though," She thrust a hoof out in front of myself to inspect it better, "If my Rarity morph is forever tainted by sparklies, I'm gonna be majorly dissapointed." She frowned as she scuffed at the fur on her left leg, trying to rub the sparkles off.
Oh, so this was Wade's Rarity morph. I felt kinda silly that I hadn't noticed it wasn't Rarity sooner, but it wore off the moment his snarkiness started up again.
"What the heck happened to Sombrerro? He was heading this way, going after the pink pegacorn." He asked confused.

I shrugged, "Dunno. I was kinda busy when all this happened." I said, "Hey, at least he's gone. Thanks again for helping out." I smiled, stifling a laugh at Wade who was still trying to rub the sparkles off himself.
He looked at me quizzically, "Helping out? All I did was get pounded by Rainbow Dash...well I guess I provided some sort of entertainment." He mused, "Do you know what's with the sparklies? Why don't they come off? Screw it, I'm just going to morph back. Get rid of the sparklies once and for all." He straightened his back, slowly rising up on two legs. His spine rearranged itself with audible creaking and crackling, as Rarity's hair retreated and shrunk back into the scalp and turned a brown shade.
Hands broke out of Rarity's hooves, splitting into five fingers as the arms stretched and lengthened. Looking at him I saw Wade the human again. Though I wish I hadn't had to see him morph like that. *Shivers*

"Nyeagh, why am I STILL sparkly?" He whined as I realized the glittery substance still hadn't faded from him.
I couldn't stop myself...
I busted into a laughing fit at Wade's reaction. "Dude it's magic. Be thankful that you didn't end up like Sombra or something.." I smirked, still holding back stray giggles, "Anyways... Whether you think it or not, you did actually help out." I admitted, "You kept the crystal ponies distracted while we found the Crystal heart." I pointed to his chest, "You sacrificed your time (and maybe a bit of pride) and kept panicking to a low. That's true humility amigo. Stop being so modest and just take the compliment." I chuckled lightheartedly as I noticed some rubble lying about. Thinking back to my fight earlier, I summoned my spear and began to slice through sections of rubble left behind in Sombra's quake...

"Where the heck did you pull that from?" Wade asked, pointing at my spear amazed, it was like he'd never seem another weapon before... "Hey, think I might be able to copy your form too? It could come in handy if I get in a real fight." He said with stars in his eyes.
"Copy my form?" I asked confused. Why would he need too? Then again, maybe he saw my form as interesting.

I hummed in thought, "Yes, I suppose that's ok... Just don't go messing up my reputation." I frowned serious, "I'll hunt you down." I said in warning, before turning cheery once more. "As for the whole summoning my weapon thing, I don't really understand it either..." I shrugged as I spun the spear in my hands like a baton and then made it disappear.

"It's sorta like condensed magic according to Twilight... Same as my form." I explained, "I don't really know, I just think about summoning my form and weapon and it just happens." I shrugged, "Anyways, getting back to your request; yes you may use my form. Just one thing; should I be aware of anything when you try to acquire me? I'm kinda sensitive to direct magical input, so I tend to avoid anything magical that comes into contact with my gem." I asked unsure. I did not want a repeat of the changeling scanning spell. *Shudder*

Wade seemed to take in my words as he nodded and clapped his hands. "Coolio. Heres the rundown. My power should work off of nothing but technology. But it seems to feed off of magic for some reason," He said, showing his watch to me.
"This tells me how much magic I have left, and as I demonstrated earlier, I can somehow leach off a little bit of energy when gaining a morph. But to answer your concerns, all it should do is put you in a trance while I acquire your D.N.A, but for most of the people I've been coming across it hasn't even done that. They've just stood and stared at me while they waited for something to happen." He reached out a hand, and gave a big smile. "Half a minute, and it'll be done, no worries!"

I hesitated for a moment, pondering if this was a good idea or not before I nodded and shook his hand. "Ok, go ahead." I said as I felt tingly and a shudder ran down my spine... The world spun rapidly around me before everything went dark and I felt someone there...

The Crystal Empire: Part 7

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There was something there...
It was feeling around in my head, for lack of better terms, before it leached onto something in my core and pulled. If I could do anything other than just stand still at the moment, I would've gasped or let out a noise, but whatever it was seemed to be peeling off something inside of me, like an extra layer of skin, before it retracted from the spot and let go of its hold on me.

My limbs fell slack at the sudden lack of force upon them, as I stumbled but caught myself before I fell, and I felt my senses returning to me.
I felt disoriented. I shook my head to rid the lingering dizziness as I looked up to find Wade morphing in front of my eyes.
It was rapid, and for a moment it looked like he was glitching, not uncanny to how a computer screen behaves, before I saw his form stabilize again and it turned green.

But that wasn't the worst of it.
"Nyeeeeeeaaaaaaaagggggghhhh...Why am I still sparkly? I don't like it!" He whined in Pearl's voice. My voice. As I saw something bulging out and I grimaced.
"What? I didn't grow antenna or something, did I?" He spoke panicked as he began to rummage through his hair.

I felt sick. I could barely form a sentence to explain as I pointed at him. "Yo-you're eye..." I pointed in shock.
Wade looked at me confused, "What? Whats wrong with my eye?". He said, his expression turning to concern.
I shook my head, "It's all weird. Your gem is supposed to be on your head like mine, but it's green and it's over one of your eyes. Seriously, how do you not feel that?" I asked, tapping it for good measure, and promptly making Wade flinch in response like when one taps the glass of a fish tank.

By then Twilight had finished congratulating Spike as the Crystal ponies hauled him off for a celebration feast, probably, and she looked at Wade confused. "I don't think that's very healthy..." She paused examining Wade closer as she did an aura scan, "or pleasant feeling."
Twilight then frowned, "your inner mana is going crazy!" She gasped in surprise, as she shook her head "it's like there's two distinct forces of mana clashing but not mixing. You might want to get that checked out, assuming you are able to return to wherever your home is."

Wade seemed to be thinking about what Twilight had said before he spoke, "I am, thanks for asking. No, I can't do it on command, it'll happen when it happens. Sometimes I'm in another Equestria for a day, a few days, or even as short as a minute. It's all rather random. And are you sure? I feel fine. Well, as good as I can seeing as I'm currently a girl...but that seems to be an uncomfortable constant these days," I stated with a slump of my shoulders. " No offense, Crystal." He added as he kept poking his gem eye.

I shuddered as he kept doing that. "So, you honestly have no clue when you'll return home?" I asked, as I diverted my gaze from his eye, "Huh... Well you're welcome to tag along; but for the record gems don't have genders, we simply choose what we want to look like." I smirked, hehe... Wade.

Wade blinked as I imagined a variety of thoughts were going through his head at the moment before he looked at his hands and grunted. A small stream of sparks seems to just out from his fingers as I watched them grow an inch or two, but nothing longer... "It made my fingernails longer? What the hell? How does that even work?" He blinked surprised.
"Screw it, this isn't working. Your body doesn't like me trying to change it, I'm gonna stop trying for now before it tries making my hair longer or something. Feh. And yeah, no idea when I'll get sucked back...speaking of, if I don't get to go back before nightfall, I don't really have a place to stay... I stay in a spare room in Twilights castle in my Equestria, but last time I got stuck in another Equestria for more than a day Applejack let me sleep in the Apple's barn. Think she'll mind if I ask?" He asked.

Wait. Did he seriously think we were going to let him sleep in a barn???
Even if he wasn't the most pleasant guy to get along with, we'd never do that to him!
Luckily Twilight intervened.

"Don't worry about accommodations." Twilight smiled as she made her way back over to me, "I just got done chatting with Cadance, who said she really would like us to stay and enjoy the place before heading back tomorrow. The palace is big enough to house several hundred guests, so I don't think we'll have a problem squeezing in one more." She said perky as she looked up at Wade.

I smiled, "Sweet! She'd really do that?! Awesome! I've never gotten to stay at a castle before! " I fist pumped the air, "Well save for maybe Disney World, but that doesn't count seeing as it's not a real castle." I added chuckling...
"Coolio," Wade muttered, trying once again to do some sort of magic. "HNNNGFFG," He grunted, squeezing his right eye closed and forcing a gout of sparks to shower out of the gem.

Looking around everypony else was already heading inside seeing it was late and such... I motioned to Twilight, asking her if she wanted to follow, but she shook her head as she turned back towards Wade. Whatever.
My stomach gurgled happily at the prospect of food.
I was about to walk back with Cadance when lo and behold, here came Wade and Twilight.
"-Can't...even..." Wade's eye sparkled as he huffed annoyed. "Get anything besides sparks with this form. This is bogus, I saw Pearl use magic all the freaking time! She could summon a sword thingy like Crystal, and she could do all kinds of other cool stuff... nyeeeaaaaagggghh." He shouted as more sparks flew.

I chuckled a bit at seeing Wade trying so hard to do what was easy to me, "Well dude, sometimes ya just gotta have patience with things like this." I explained, as two crystal guards saluted and opened the doorways to what appeared to be the guest quarters. "I mean, I guess because you're default is human, magic just comes harder..." I frowned, whispering, "Still wish I was one..." I sighed as Cadance, Spike, and Shining Armor came into view and waved us over.
"Still, I can do magic. Sort of," Wade claimed annoyed, "I can levitate stuff... but the exact same steps aren't doing anything in this form. Maybe your magic is different?" He pondered.

Once we got close enough, Spike immediately ran and hugged Twilight who then returned the favor, and then waved to back to me while he hopped on Twilight's back.
"Glad to see everyone's still in one piece." Shining Armor joked.
I laughed too, "Yea, and check this out!" I exclaimed excited, as I withdrew the green centipeedle ball from my pack. Fighting a monster was one thing, but having a trophy was better!

Cadance and Shining looked at it with a mixture of awe and confusion. "We think it was the guardian of the heart before Sombra tainted it." Twilight explained as I handed the green ball to Cadance.
"It's rightfully yours Princess, that is if it still works or anything..." I shrugged.
Cadance smiled uneasy and pushed it back into my hands. "That's quite alright dearie, you should keep it as a trophy for your brave endeavors." She smirked as she turned her attention to Wade and half bowed.
"Thank you again for helping with both the festival and distracting Sombra." She smiled earnestly.

"I... only did what I was able," Wade muttered embarrassed, trying to look her in the eye and failing. "I... wasn't that much help, really..." He said.
Cadance chuckled as she smiled honestly, " And modest to boot!" She playfully punched Shining Armor, nearly knocking the poor Stallion over.
She then lit up her horn and used her magic to open a door to everyone's right. "Come, everypony else is already seated for dinner. Let's not keep them waiting." She hummed as she trotted through the doors like a school filly. Looking over at Twilight I saw her smirk and roll her eyes as I giggled while we followed Cadance.

Wade struck up a conversation with Cadance while we were walking, and we waited, but she motioned for us to carry on.
My stomach rumbled merrily.
"Finally some grub!" I smiled as Twilight laughed. "When are you not thinking about food?" She joked as we sat down and some waiters took our order.
I had a hard time picking, mostly because I'd never been anywhere this fancy, and there were so many choices!
I settled on minestrone soup as Twilight ordered a daisy salad.

"So then, I was like, three inches away from clobbering Wade after he disguised himself as Fluttershy; but lucky for him I'm way cooler than that.." Rainbow Dash smirked next to us as she continued to munch away at some hay fries while we all exchanged stories about our adventures and what we did.
Rarity chuckled as she messed with her sparkly hair, "Well despite our rough encounter with Sombra, I'd say the absolute worse thing was having to make hats out of napkins. Napkins!" She put her hooves on the table, "If I hadn't been in such a rush to keep everypony occupied I probably would've gagged to even have had to touch them." She grimaced, "Such atrocities..." She shivered.

We all stifled a laugh as Applejack took her turn. "I don't know thar' Rarity, I'd say keeping the ponies away from the fake heart was a pain in the flank mahself." She wiped her brow.
"But what about selling the flugelhorns?!" Pinkie whined between bites of candy.
Twilight intervened. "Well personally, I'm just glad it's over..." She added.
Everyone nodded and that was the end of that competition...

"So what now?" Wade suddenly whispered right beside me, making me jump a bit. Since when had he gotten here?!
I shrugged, "Dunno... Usually this is where I kinda kick back and relax at this point." I said, slouching back in my Minotaur-sized chair, "I guess I'll probably head to the rooms soon and take stock of things, perhaps play old mare with Pinkie Pie, etc." I added.
Well okay, I usually would play just one round with Pinkie; but when the cream covered pie dishes came out I am gone.
Wade seemed to nod his head in agreement as the waiters took up our plates and we fanned out to go explore the castle...

The Crystal Empire: Part 8

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"No." Wade said, crossing his arms.
"Baby," Rainbow spat back.
"Call me what you like, I would rather sleep on a cactus than sleep in the same room as you," Wade snorted, "I'd probably get more sleep that way." He retorted.
I groaned as I tired my best to block out the two arguing while I was playing cards with Pinkie. Apparently there were only seven bedrooms on each wing of the castle, and seeing how there were eight, minus Cadance and Shining who slept together in the Princess' quarters, we were going to have to split. However, Cadance didn't really think that was a good idea since one if would make it harder on the staff to have to work two different wings simultaneously, and if an accomplice of Sombra's still lurked it would be easier to pick off the separated being.
I personally thought it was a little eccentric on Cadance's part, but seeing that she was the Princess, and a good one at that, I didn't argue.
Now here we were trying our darnedest to block out Wade and Rainbow arguing over who was going to sleep where.

"No," Wade huffed again, as he pointed towards Pinkie this time, who was waving a hoof in the air to ask a question. "Just no. With Rainbow I can look forward to hours of her trying to convince me how awesome she is. With you, the same hours I'd be trying to fall asleep would be filled by you being generally energetic and annoying. Sorry, not annoying," He paused, "Distracting. Not conductive to sleep." He explained.
They continued to argue some more Rainbow spitting out more insults and Wade coming up with half baked reasons why he didn't want to share a room with 'x'.

I'd finally had enough of it. I set down my playing cards and gave Pinkie a sympathetic glance for having to stop our game early, before getting up.
"Enough." I interrupted the two, "Wade, you can sleep with me." Gees, why did everything have to be so hard???
Wade sighed thankful as Rainbow just lowered her jaw surprised.

"Crystal, are you sure?" Twilight asked me concerned.
I waved her off and nodded tired, "Yeah I'm sure. It's only one night and I'm just tired of hearing them bicker." I frowned as I dragged Wade out in the hallway where the rooms were.
I took him to each of the rooms, so he could pick one he liked and I wouldn't have to hear him bicker when I slept, but also so maybe we could find a double bedroom.

"Nope." Wade said as he shut the door on the last room.
Wade sighed as we walked back into the little break room everyone was in, "Can I get a single pillow and a blanket from each of you?" He asked, sheepishly. "One pillow, a spare, and then a blanket from each of you. I basically want to make a pile I can sleep in it as Spike. That way I don't have to encourage a certain Alicorn's amorous related shenanigans," He coughed, as everyone nodded and walked off.

What the heck did he think Cadance was going to do in the night? Put his hand in cold water or something???
I shook my head. Guess somethings are better off left alone. Wade's mind being one of them.
We walked back into the hallway as I just picked a random room for us to share.
"Huh, I could've sworn there'd be more than one bed in at least one room." Putting my hands on my hips as I frowned and looked over to Wade. "Do you think its got a bathroom somewhere? If it does, we might be able to squeeze one of us inside a tub or something." I thought, "Or maybe if I shapeshift into a pony I could save space and sleep inside the tub..." That was an idea! Being made of rock, sleeping on anything felt like the softest bed in the world...

"That sounds... insanely uncomfortable," Wade said, stifling a grimace. "Just take the bed, I'll take the floor. I'm sure to disappoint the pegacorn already by not sharing one of your beds, I wouldn't want to inadvertently piss her off by making you sleep in discomfort while I get a bed. You wanna know what I honestly expected? Bunkbeds. I don't know why, this place was just giving me that vibe. That and the whole-" Wade suddenly stopped talking, bringing up one of his hands to stare at it.

"Coooool," He blinked as his hands slowly stopped glimmering,"Hey, Crystal! Look! I'm back to normal!" He shouted excitedly as he waved his hands to get my anttetion.
Seriously? He was gidddy he was no longer sparkly? He reminds me too much like a hyperactive dog chasing his own tail, only to stop and bark at a bird when it flew by.
I think I must've made a face when I looked at Wade, because his mirth sorta deflated as he shifted awkwardly. "As back to normal as a clone version of you can be, yes." He admitted as he focused his attention elsewhere.

"Huh. Well good for you." I nodded, attempting to at least be thoughtful enough to reply to his excitement, as I focused back on the current bed situation... Wade clearly wasn't giving up on the whole pile thing so....
"Look, back to the bed thing..." I thumbed to the piece of furniture. "I've slept on harder things than floor, and the tub isn't any worse that your pile idea." I sighed. Wait a minute! Idea!
Thinking back to the times when I needed it, I summoned my spear from my gem and held it up. "So, since neither one of us wants to budge we're going to do this my way..." I continued as I thought about playing a nice game of spin the bottle, with a spear instead.

Wade suddenly jumped back surprised, "I'll warn you," he started, flailing his arms around before settling on a kung-fu pose "I can probably last for a whole thirteen seconds before being knocked out. In that thirteen seconds, I'll be sure to give you a nasty bruise! Or... you know, barring that I'll lower myself to insulting you or something. I'll think of something!" He shouted as he prepaed himself for battle???

"Uh, I was just going to spin it on the floor to see who takes the bed." I said confused, as I carefully put the spear by my side, so as not to agitate him any further... Perhaps this hadn't been the best idea after all. What did he think I was going to do? Actually attack him?

"Sorry to say, but when you brandish a sword with a wicked look in your eye and the slightest snear of an edge in your voice, that doesn't exactly scream 'benign', just so you know," Wade deadpanned, relaxing his battle stance before fully dropping his arms to his sides and he leaned back.

"Huh?" I said confused, "I didn't think I sounded like that. Apologies." I frowned. Had Wade thought I'd looked scary??? I wasn't sure what he thought he'd seen or not seen, but I didn't want to make him feel defensive. "Anyways, I'll just set the sword down here an-"
"Uh... Am I interrupting something?" Rainbow Dash suddenly asked confused as she opened the door. When had she come in?!

"Blanket!" Wade shouted, suddenly grabbing a blanket from Rainbow's pile, "Perfectly innocent blankets! I'll throw that in this corner," He tossed it in the corner, leaving it in a heap. "There! Ties the room together, don't you think?" He stuttered, a tinge shade of green showing if just barely. Poor Rainbow had stepped in at the wrong time it seemed.
I was grateful Wade was able to switch gears so quickly. It saved us both from embarrassment. I could feel the blue tinge creeping along my face as well as I tried, and failed to get the mental image of what we must've looked like to Rainbow, out of my mind.

"Uh... Yea I guess so??" Rainbow scratched her head confused. While she was still bewildered, I decided it was best to carefully back away from Wade.
Soon the other ponies came in, as the awkwardness faded, and brought the supplies needed for Wade's Pillow fort.
I had to smirk when I saw all the blankets and pillows. Forget a fort, the thing could build a house!

"We found some extra linen in the maid's station." Rarity said proud as she dropped a pillow from her magic grip.
"We also searched for a bed, but came up with nuthin'" Applejack sighed, "But hay, at least we found these!" She said cheerful
It was then that Twilight looked over to me "Uh, why is your weapon out?" Wait. It was still there?! Why hadn't anyone told me?!
"I dunno, but she said something about 'spin the bottle'. However the heck that would work with a sword," Wade butted in as he was still moving pillows back and forth. Really Wade?! Not helping...

I pictured him smirking in his head as he continued working. Sigh, guess I was alone here...
Luckily the other ponies, save Twilight, had left the room after delivering their items, so that was once small grace.
"That, and I- uh..." I stuttered as I looked around for an excuse while trying to calm down and hide that embarrassing blush on my face!

Okay Crystal. Just breathe... I thought as let out a breath and relaxed my body, an idea coming to mind. "That, and I was er... Wanting to give Wade a weapon, Yes!" I laughed. Yes! Perfect excuse! "A um, weapon to help defend himself if need be since his Crystal Gem form is unable to. Here Wade." I handed him the spear, exchanging a brief glance of annoyance back to him before putting my mask of calm sincerity back on.
Twilight smiled, "Aww! That's so sweet~!" She clapped with her hooves cheerful.

Wade turned the spear over in his hands, before it started glowing suddenly. "NyeeeeeeeAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHH!!!!" Wade yelled, as a cloud of white magic condensed to small specks of glitter and starting chasing him as he got up and ran.

I could help back laugh at the comedic expression of horror on Wade's face as he tried and failed to swat the magic away.
"Dude it's magic! It's not going to hurt you!" I called, but Wade was too busy panicking to hear me over his frantic yelling.
He tripped on one of the blanket covers, stumbling as I realized too late he was going to fall on me, and we collided.
I grunted painfully as my arms took the brunt on the fall while Wade still screamed his head off.

By now the magic had flown into his gem and remained dormant. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa? It... didn't hurt? Well now I feel just like an... can you get off me?" Wade blinked back to reality, as he squirmed in the blanket covers wrapped around us."I can't... get... just... heeeeeeelp." Well this couldn't be more awkward....

"ARGH!" I screamed annoyed, as I tried my best to to free myself from his form, but only managed to get a swift kick to the kneecap and a hand in my face, courtesy of Wade.
I groaned as we got nowhere, only more tangled, before I felt a familiar aura wrap around our bodies.

"I thought we agreed you weren't sharing sleeping arrangements..." Twilight giggled as she untangled us and gently put us down. "Honestly, you're like two foals." She snickered as she left the room, having done her duty.
"It wasn't li-!" I shouted embarrassed, as Twilight shut the door before I could explain.

I swore in my head silently as I felt my emotions betray me and that darned blue blush crept up my cheeks.
Aggggh! It was like having a nosy sister prying into your life and assuming things that weren't true! Then turning around and spreading it like the Daily Bugle.

I crossed my arms and stood up, leaving Wade alone to stumble about.
If I was a cartoon, there would be steam coming from my ears. Wait. Wasn't I technically one???

"Uh... Is it supposed to do that?" Wade spoke behind me, interupting my thoughts, as he held a sword in his hand?!
"Woah." I blinked, "That is amazing! How-? Wait, nevermind... Can you actually use it?" I was so excited. I could finally kick Wade's butt without getting yelled at! And to you know.... Let off some steam from time to time..

"I'm... not really a fighter, really," Wade admitted, holding out his hands in front on him, "I took fencing classes when I was ten, but that was only for a few months. I... was a bit of a spoiled brat. So if by 'use', you mean flail around wildly and hope it looks like actual swordplay, then yes. I can totally use it." He swung his sword poorly to demonstraight and grimaced, "It... I don't think this sword lends itself very well towards fencing. This is more of a... pirate-y sword. Yaaaar, avast ye matey," He closed his right eye, mimicking a pirate "Ye'll be giv'in up ye booty to the dread pirate rock eye, ye shall!" He held his sword high like he was Captain Hook.

Okay. I had to laugh a little at that. "Well I guess you'll just have to learn then." I smiled before stretching out and yawning. "But not tonight." I could feel my eyelids drooping already as I walked over to the bed. "I'm way too bushed." Muttering, I used my powers to switch to pjs, and then climbed into bed.

Wade followed suit as he suddenly shifted into the form of Spike and crawled under the covers until all you could see was his tiny purple snout. "Hey Crystal?" He called, slow, like he had second thoughts about it, but had said it anyways.

"Hm?" I asked confused, as I turned in the bed to look at his snout.
"Thank you," He muttered, sliding back under the pile.

Surprised, I couldn't help but smile a bit as Wade said that. "Not a problem." I hummed, turning around to lay on my side. Maybe Wade wasn't so bad after all.. He was like an annoying younger brother, or that cousin who puts gum in your hair but feels sorry afterwards and tries to make it up.
What I meant was that deep down he mean't well... It was just bruied undeerneath all that crazyness.
I let the sound of Wade saying 'Thank You 'repeat itself over and over as I drifted off to sleep.

Wade was a late sleeper.
I awoke at the same time Celestia had raised the sun, but Wade?
He slept in for another three hours.

I would've woken him, but given that a current purple dragon name Spike was sleeping peacefully ontop of Wade, and yes Wade was cuddling him back, I just couldn't.
Dang, this is one of those times I wish I still had my smartphone.
It was a wasted photo-op!

Wade stirred a bit as he reflexively wiped Spike's drool off him.
He blinked his eyes owlishly as he finally realized Spike was right next to him, and he looked at me with the face of a confused drunk person.
"How long has Spike been here?" He said confused, "Did you see him come in?" He asked as his rubbed his eyes.

I shook my head, "No not really... But last night around three I heard something scratching about, but didn't see anything." I rubbed my chin. It had been weird really. I just heard the door creak and then something skittering about really fast on the crystalline floor, then nothing... I had assumed someone had went to the bathroom in a hurry, but that was all that had crossed my mind as I flopped back down and went to sleep.

Someone knocked on the door in rapid succession.
Figuring it was probably maid service, I went and creaked open the door, only to have it slammed on me a pink blur dashed through the room.
"WADE!" Pinkie Pie giggled madly as she began bouncing up and down fast. "IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE~!" She sung as yellow frosting seem to fall off her face in clumps, giving the effect she was foaming at the mouth. Had she been up all night?!

"Wade?" Wade laughed suspiciously. "I'm not... Wade. I'm Spike!" He lied as he waved his claws around, "And anyway, isn't it too early for a party? If you're too tired, you can't enjoy a party.'' He looked at me for help. "Crystal? How did I get- Oh... was I sleep walking again?"
He wanted me to answer, but I just pretended I was looking at the door that Pinkie had slammed into me.
HAHA SUCKS STRAWS TO BE YOU. This is karma! Karma!!!

Pinkie Pie drew closer, the scent of sickly sweet sugar frosting on her breath. She let out a "Hmmmmmmmmm," before darting her hoof forward in a lightning fast motion, throwing the covers to the side. And somehow making them all fall into a neat little stack, each of them folded perfectly. "Aaaaaaha!" she chirped, grinning wildly. "I found you~" Pinkie sung as she revealed a still sleeping form of Spike underneath the sheets.

"I... uh..." Wade stammered, looking for a way to escape. "Split... into... two?"
Pinkie shook her head.
"I'm... dreaming. Yeah. Obviously there couldn't be two of me..."
Another short shake of the head.
"Oh my gosh, whats that?" Wade said shocked, as he pointed at the wall behind her.

"That's a wall, silly!" she chirped, her head whirling around to look at said wall then back to Wade.
"A... wall... yes it is..." He laughed ashamed.
"C'mon you silly billy, there's a party waiting with your name on it!" Pinkie exclaimed, holding out a hoof for Wade to grab.

After a few moments of hesitation, Wade let loose a sigh and reached a claw forward to accept her hoofshake. I watched him grab the hoof briefly, before his form flickered once, and then burst into a million tiny bits of magic as I blinked surprised.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooo!" Pinkie shouted upset as Spike finally woke up from all the noise.
"Ngh..." Spike said as he rubbed his eyes tired. "It is time for breakfast yet?" He asked, completely unaware of what had just happened..

The Message [Epilogue]

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Crystal held the blue hued spear longingly in her hand as she carefully traced the spiral curved edge before looking back up to Twilight who was standing a few feet ahead of her.
"Are you sure you want to do this?" Twilight asked nervous, shifting her front hooves back and forth, a habit of hers, as she glanced back at the crystal warp pad that sat ontop of the highest accessible part of the Crystal Empire.

Sighing, Crystal let the spear fall limp in her grip as she neared the platform part of the warp pad. "Yes..." She said, a brief flicker of uncertainty crossed her face, before she steeled herself and looked back serious. "I think it's for the best." She answered.
After Wade had left over two weeks ago, Crystal had put much thought into their little team up adventure they had. He'd helped distract Sombra, and even entertained the crystal ponies to keep them from panicking. On the train ride back, Crystal thought about what Wade had said. He wasn't alone, sorry, she wasn't alone. There were others. Displaced as he had called them, that were stuck in similar worlds and in similar situations. Though she knew not what other worlds lurked beyond yet, Wade was living proof there were other humans out there.

It wasn't a question of if she could return home anymore. It was now a question of how many others were out there needing help?
My help... She thought as she returned her gaze back to the warp pad.

Twilight had backed off to give Crystal some space as she held one of many summoned magical spears over time, in her grip.
If she could do the same thing Wade could, then she needed to do it. Like her mother had always said, With great power, comes great responsibility... Wait no, that was Peter Parker's Uncle.
Regardless, she had been given the ability to help others. And by George she was going to use it!

She flung the spear high above the warp pad, the Pearl gem on her head glowing a bright white as Crystal mentally prepared herself.
"To anyone who hears this... My name is Crystal Gem, and I am here to help! If you find yourself in need of assistance, do not fret to call for me... Simply point this spear upwards and I shall come at the speed of light." Crystal chanted the magic spell Twilight had taught her a week ago, Echo, one of the first of many spells she had found herself able to cast. (But that was another story for another time.) Then activated the warp pad the moment the spear touched the smooth crystal structure, and input the command for the warp pad to split the spear, Refract; another spell Twilight had taught, and send it anywhere that wasn't in this dimension.

It took much of Crystal's spare mana to maintain the command, but after a shaky start the warp pad obeyed and sent the multiple spears through small tears in the fabric of reality before closing them neatly.
She panted as the spell ended and she plopped down to catch her breath.
"Are you alright?" Twilight came up next to Crystal, worried as she put her neck under Crystal's arm to help support her.

"Yeah... Yeah..." Crystal breathed as she sat still and waited for the sky to stop spinning outside. "I think I did it." She finally managed to say. "It was hard to remember all the steps I needed, but I managed.." She admitted.

In reality she'd done rather poorly. Magic just wasn't something she was good at. Pony magic that was. Gem magic was easy enough. She could literally do almost anything that came to mind with it.
Being able to cast pony magic had come as surprise to both of them. But still an added bonus Crystal supposed.
Yet she had been eager to learn Echo and Refract as two of her first spells for this purpose.

She had wanted to be able to provide help to others. And this would give her a leg up.
True, she had to spend extra time figuring out how to attach the spell to the warp pad; which already had numerous 'gem spells' capped on it, but in time she had been able to come to a sort of happy medium between the two varying types of magic.

Now she just hoped she hadn't botched it. She had no idea where the warp pad had sent the spears. Frankly, she wouldn't be surprised if one ended up in Twilight's bathroom one day, but the warp pad had been stable so there was that.
Time would tell if she had been right or not. But for now, she had lunch with a certain Alicorn of Love and a student of the Sun.