Five Nights in Equestria

by RandomHamster33

First published

Luna's job is to help her subjects. Will Foxy be able to be helped?

A night at Freddy Fazbear's isn't the most enjoyable thing. Sometimes, it's worse for the animatronics who work there. Foxy's nights are always like that. His happiness is done . . . or is it?

P.S. More than five nights. This follows canon for the most part, but some parts are a bit different.


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Scritch scratch scritch scratch

The pirate's claws clicked on the linoleum floor, the underlying sounds of machinery at work quiet. The half-endoskeleton tail swished back and forth, but not from joy. It was a simple, programmed action that the fox had no control over, even after all these years of being ignored and left to rust.

Foxy, as the pirate was recognized, flipped up his black eyepatch as he reached the window. His golden eyes gazed up into the sky, the moonlight reflecting off the shining glass. He sighed, leaning against the window frame, his patchy arms folding as his back legs bent. He remained in that position, staring into the shining abyss.

Soon, the echo of heavier footsteps echoed behind him. Foxy held in a deep sigh and didn't turn around.


Freddy's voice resounded from behind him. Foxy didn't even bother to hold his sigh in this time and let it out loudly.

"Foxy, you should get back to the Cove," Freddy suggested, though by his tone of voice, it didn't seem much like a suggestion.

"How 'bout no," the pirate growled, promptly deciding to ignore the bear's 'suggestion.'

"Someone's going to see you, and they're going to be worried. We don't need anyone seeing you."

"No one's goin' ta see me." Foxy's accent was thick.

Freddy glared, and the pirate caught it in the reflection of the window's glass. His large, red ears lowered.

" . . . F'ne. Jus' . . . jus' give me a few minutes, will ya?"

Freddy gave him a narrowed glance, but nodded and started off down the hallway, back towards the storage room where they were kept. Foxy waited until he was gone before giving all his attention back to the night sky.

Once again, I'm alone. But at least I can't hurt anyone when I am. Not like . . . back then. . .

Foxy saw something whiz past, right beside the moon. His eyes snapped to where it went.

A shootin' star? Well, the humans always said ye could wish on 'em. Might as well try.

The pirate's eyes closed firmly and he furrowed his eyebrows, putting his worn metal hand and hook together. It was quite an awkward combination.

Please, someone, somethin', that's out there, please listen ta me. I need another chance. Me whole life is ruined, all because 'a one day. Foxy's thoughts, as always, drifted to the horrible day in 1987. I've messed up. I need help.

"Foxy! It's going to turn to morning! Get back to Pirate Cove!" Freddy's voice resounded down the hallway. Foxy sighed, his ears falling back on his head. His eyepatch fell back into place and he straightened up. The wagging of his tail started as he walked away from the hallway.

The Princess of the Moon stood on the balcony. She was protecting the night, like always. A smile formed on her face, and Luna lit her horn. A blaze of light shot across the sky, across the moon's path of light.

Shooting stars were not that rare in Equestria, because the things needed to make them were created very easily with magic. Oftentimes, the moon princess would just create one to hear the wishes of her subjects. All the words spoken to the comet would bounce back into her mind.

. . . please, listen ta me. I need another chance. . .

Luna's ear twitched, her face contorting into one of confusion. The desperate note in the plea refused to go away. She'd heard many a broken ponies wishing on her shooting stars, but never one this hopeless. Luna tuned into it.

I need help.

It ended like that, a final cry for assistance. Luna bit her lip. She'd almost never actually granted a wish; only the truly desperate ones. And this was one of them.

But whatever had wished was not of this world. Perhaps, that is why it needed help.

"Do not worry, young one, for we shall offer you assistance," Luna whispered quietly, her horn glowing as she slipped into the dream world. Her surroundings changed gradually, the land of Equestria spread out before her changing into a dark place full of dimly glowing stars. Luna started down a starry road, going towards the door at the end of it. Upon reaching it, her horn lit and it swung open.

A bright light enveloped the Princess. Instantly, she was in a room full of small things, which were frolicking and skipping about. They seemed somewhat subdued, however, until a purple curtain swung open to reveal a metal thing that resembled a fox.

"Arg, me mateys! Who be ready ta play with Foxy?" the rusty-hued bipedal fox asked loudly. Immediately, there was a chorus of cheers. Princess Luna watched this, her interest peaked.

"Now, little ones, we be goin' on an adventure! What do we need first?" 'Foxy' declared, putting his hook and hand on his trouser-clad hips.

"The map! The map!" cried the children, as the Princess could only assume they were, for how small they appeared to be compared to the pirate onstage.

"Yes! Yes, the map! Good job, lads!" Foxy jumped off stage, careful not to step on any child. He walked right past Luna, not even knowing she was there at all. The pirate searched under a box and pulled out a rolled up scroll. "'Tis it! Now-now-now-"

The children stopped, confused, as the fox repeated, his arms twitching. Luna frowned as a larger bipedal stepped up and began clearing out the children from the area. They were pushing back though, wanting to know what was wrong with their beloved Foxy.

"Hang on there, Foxy. I'll fix you in just a second," the adult said, still attempting to escort kids out.

"Now-now-now-now what do-do-do-do-"

"Foxy! I can help you!" a small child cried, dodging in between the adult's legs. He ran up to the metal creature and grabbed onto its pant leg.

With a fearsome roar, Foxy struck. The child screamed and it all seemed to go in fast forward for the sovereign watching the gruesome display. Crimson blood spattered across the floor, and then the dream ended.

Luna yelled in astonishment as she was thrown out, much more quickly than any other time. She skidded across the starry path, her legs and wings spread out for balance. She looked up and saw a burnt and charred area where the door used to be. It contrasted sharply with the blue of the world around her.

With a sad sigh, she returned to the waking world. Her mind was set.

"We shall help you, Foxy. We shan't let you be alone," Luna said quietly, a midnight blue aura surrounding her horn. With a flash, it was done. She smiled.

The camera's red dot blinked as it watched Pirate Cove. As soon as it faded, the security guard going to check a different room, the fox pulled open the dark purple curtains. He froze, waiting.

Not wearin' a suit.

After a few minutes without being checked, Foxy creeped off the stage to the very edge of the camera's vision. His neck fell sharply to the side at a ninety degree angle. His eerie yellow eyes stared at the camera.

That's when the weird sensation started. A slight tingle that ran up his circuits, making them seize up and causing the fox to become frozen.

What? What's goin' on?

There was a strange glow appearing over his scratched metal. It was a deep blue, and it flowed like water. It shone in the darkness of Pirate's Cove. Foxy moved his eyes to look at it.

Some sort 'a bug? . . . I've definitely fell in disrepair . . . An ear twitched on his head. It's distractin'. Someone . . . needs ta die! His mouth contorted in a deep snarl, eyes flashing.

Foxy could feel the stuff moving around on his body, causing his controls to shake. He was able to move again. Knowing it had been quite a while since the guard checked the camera, he decided it was time to strike.

Ye can't escape me, rule breaker! Ahahah! With a single, swift movement, Foxy ducked underneath the camera's vision and sprinted around the halls.

His paws pounded on the floor as he ran, jaw working up and down as it flopped from its hinges. The glow on his body didn't go away; if anything, it only intensified. Now mildly concerned as he thumped on the door, draining a large amount of power from the remaining percent, he frowned and began making his way back to his Cove.

The light shone brighter still. Stupid. Go 'way! You're ruinin' me chances 'a killin' this outlaw!

"Foxy? What are you doing? You're glowing!" a female voice sounded from behind him. The pirate glanced backwards. Chica wore a frown, wings on her hips.

"I don' know. It jus' started happenin'," Foxy admitted, glancing at the glow on his fur.

"You need to go back to Pirate Cove, and stay there. You're jeopardizing this mission." With an angry huff, she turned her tail feathers, slinking down the opposite hallway.

Foxy's ears lowered in defeat as he slowly walked down to Pirate Cove. He vanished behind his starry curtain. Some of his rage dissipated at the encounter.

Aye, Chica is right. T'was jus' ruinin' our goal. I should jus' stay in 'ere.

Foxy tried to pat out the odd shining on his body, but its power continued to strengthen. In a matter of minutes, it was unbearable. He jumped in his suit as it began to make him feel lighter.

"Hey! What's goin' on?" the pirate cried to himself, shaking his whole body. He saw little trails of light floating off of him. Taking a chance, he rushed down the halls in one swift movement. He had to get to Freddy; he was the only one who could probably help him.

"Foxy! You idiot boy! Get back!" the bear growled as he cornered the pirate as they stood in the room with only the sound working: the kitchen.

"Ya gotta get this off 'a me!" Foxy exclaimed, waving his arms. Freddy approached and grabbed ahold of a skinny, damaged arm.

"I don't know what's happening to you," he said after a moment of inspection.

"Worthless! Do somethin'!"

Receiving only a firm slap across his muzzle for the insult, Foxy toppled to the floor with a series of metallic clangs. He shook his head back and forth, blinking.

"Don't take that tone with me, cub. Just because I don't know what's going on does not mean anything. Now, until this blows over, go back to the Cove," Freddy ordered, pointing. Foxy glowered, his ears pressed to the back of his head. The bear showed his teeth. "Now."

Willing himself to get up on his feet, the pirate slowly slunk back to his home. Freddy glared after him, eyes dark.

I can't believe it! After all I've done! Foxy growled. He then stopped. Okay, so maybe I can, but still! The pirate growled under his breath, his eyes glittering with evil intent. He looked over to the camera.

Is it jus' me, or is everythin' blurry?

With that final thought, the pirate collapsed to the ground in a heap.

Foxy awake with a start. His circuitry felt fried; sparks leaped out of the gaping hole in his chest where his endoskeleton showed through.

The first thing Foxy noticed was he didn't feel normal. He seemed more . . . alive, in the meaning of feelings. He was still an animatronic, of course, but he didn't appear as he had in the pizza place. He was more realistic, though looking more like a cartoon than anything else. And fur. How odd.

Shaking his furry head, the pirate glanced around. Around him was a giant forest. A single shaft of moonlight shone through the dense leaves. The pirate attempted to stand up, but his controls sparked and he fell forward onto all fours. A loud groan emanating from his endoskeleton, Foxy made his wobbly way over to the source of light.

Ugh . . . land's sake! Where am I?

Foxy's eyepatch flipped up. The light shone brightly into his face, even with how small it was. The rest of the forest was nearly pitch black. Glancing about, he formulated a plan to get out of . . . wherever he was. The fox turned and started off on a worn path off to the side, through a split in between two trees. His tail hung limply between his legs, the circuits fried. Thankfully, nothing else seemed too terribly broken, except for his creaking back. He let his head droop, shoulders hunched.

Aye, this is goin' ta be rough. The pirate plodded on for what seemed like forever. Though in reality it was only like an hour. He wasn't known for being patient.

Foxy heard something creak behind him. He swiveled around, hook raised. His yellow eyes searched the area in caution.

Whatever 't is, I'm sure I can 'andle it.

Something rustled in the trees. Leave swayed back and forth on their wooden perches.

"Show yourself, ye coward!" Foxy snarled, flipping his eyepatch down. His golden eye shone in the dark.

A roar ripped through the air, startling the animatronic. He watched as a large, yellow furred beast emerged from the darkness. It had leathery purple wings and a giant scorpion tail that curled over its back. Its paws were huge, and it was definitely much bigger than Foxy. Said pirate lowered his ears but didn't back down. Although maybe he should have, as the creature was bounding towards him.

"Aye, ye landlubber! I'll show ye ta mess with me!" Foxy growled, running at full speed right back at the lion-like beast. His efforts were not rewarded, however, as a massive paw swiped the metal fox right out of his path with a blur of red and gold. Foxy crashed against a tree and fell to the forest floor. Sparks shot out of his chest and his jaw tilted to the side, damaged even more.

The beast approached, its poisonous tail poised to strike. The pirate wasn't downed for long. With a swift roll, he was out of the way and delivering a sharp bite to its hindquarters. It let out a piercing screech and swung around in the blink of an eye.

Emitting a yelp of pain, right before it was cut off, Foxy tumbled across the trail, head over tail. Pain shot through his circuits. He dizzily came to a stop and tried to shout at the bumbling beast, but found he couldn't. His speaker was no longer functional.

Maybe it's best I get outta 'ere!

With that fear induced thought, Foxy shot up and scuttled through a clump of low growing plants framed by trees. The beast behind him roared in agitation, but didn't follow. It instead settled for emitting a few complaining grunts and went on its way.

Foxy felt a grin make its way onto his broken maw. He scrambled out of the plants and dusted himself off before returning to his journey.

His metal feet carried the fox fairly far. In what was about five hours, he was at the edge of the forest. Dim light told Foxy that it was very early morning wherever he was. The pirate stepped tentatively out of the dark forest, checking his surroundings.

In the distance, he could make out some sort of town. It looked tiny from where he stood. Maybe someone was there that could help him?

Arg, I be needin' ta get there . . . but where is there in the first place?

Foxy lifted up a back paw and scratched behind his ear absentmindedly before shaking his head. He needed to go and get help . . . but it's not like he needed help! He was a pirate, for goodness sakes! He could do whatever he pleased, whenever he pleased! But . . .

What else was he supposed to do?

Besides, his circuitry was damaged and he couldn't talk. There wasn't much to do besides get help.

So, his electronic mind made up, the fox set off towards the town . . .

A cottage came quite a bit earlier before the town. It was a nice little place, with a stream that had a bridge crossing over it. The cottage had a thatched roof and a . . . horse door? Foxy didn't know much, but he did know some things. And horse doors, no matter how odd it may seem, had been one of them.

There was a large garden surrounding the cottage, and dozens of small animals traipsed through it on silent and not-so-silent paws.

Foxy slowly approached it. But then, he froze. His circuits locked up and he found it hard to do anything besides stand there.

What I be doin'? Go! Foxy urged himself on, but he just couldn't bring himself to. This again? Am I really . . . shy? The moment brought back memories of when he was first introduced to the other animatronics. . .

"Okay you guys, here he is!" the engineer, his name Zach, exclaimed, throwing the newly finished Pirate's Cove's starry curtains open. In the center, there was a small wooden ship, though it was large enough so that an animatronic could be inside.

Neither Freddy, Bonnie, nor Chica said anything. The room became silent.

"Uh, Zach?" Chica started, glancing around the ocean decorated space.

"Where is he?" Bonnie questioned, bouncing forward. His metal nose wiggled.

Zach sighed. "Foxy's a bit shy. Don't worry, I'll go get him." He smiled at the trio. "Just be careful when you see him, okay? I don't want his circuits freezing."

"Got it. Just get him out here!" Freddy declared with a hearty laugh.

"I bet he's so cute," Chica purred, grinning.

"Of course you'd think that," Bonnie groaned, rolling his eyes.

"Foxy? Foxy, the others are here to see you. They've never seen you before," Zach said, searching around the pirate ship. He stopped on the other side of it. He crouched down, placing one hand on the hull of this ship for balance. "Foxy."

The animatronic tried to sink deeper into the floor. He emitted a few low pitched sounds, avoiding eye contact with the engineer.

Zach smiled gently, setting a warm hand on the pirate's back. "Come on, Foxy. It's okay. They may seem intimidating, being a bit--well, maybe more than a bit--older than you, but they aren't going to hurt you."

Foxy's tail tucked under his body and his eyepatch lowered over his eye. "Are ye sure?"

"I'm sure," Zach laughed. "Come now, your circuits are going to freeze."

The pirate gave a quiet squeak before grabbing onto the ledge of the ship. He peeked his head over it, eyes barely showing over the wood. His ears tilted backwards.

The trio gasped at the sight, their eyes wide. They stared.

Shying away again, Foxy dropped out of their sights. He quivered behind the wooden pirate ship.

Zach sighed. "Foxy. Say hello, will you?" he asked gently.

Foxy shook his head stubbornly. He put his paw and hook over his face.

"Don't you want to meet them?"


"But what about the children? Won't you want to have the courage to talk in front of them as well?"

Foxy's head popped up. The children. Something stirred in his controls; he cared about the children. He didn't know why, but he couldn't hurt the children. His job was to make them happy.

"I . . ."

"Is everything okay?" Freddy piped from the other side of the stage. "We can come back later."

"No, no, it's fine. Foxy's going to get up and say hi, aren't you, Foxy?" Zach urged, looking down at the newest animatronic.

Deciding to put away his fears for now, Foxy grimaced and started to stand. His legs trembled under his weight, but he managed to get to his feet; his eyes were closed as to avoid the gazes of the others, but he was standing nonetheless.

Chica spoke first. "Aww, he's so adorable!" she squealed, clasping her metal feathers together. Foxy peeked open his non-covered eye, getting a look at who was speaking. His ears twitched.

"Hello, Foxy. It's nice to meet you," Bonnie said gently, smiling.

Freddy gave a few chuckles. "Welcome to the Freddy Fazbear's family!" He threw his large arms out with a bright smile on his face.

Foxy remained silent.

"Come now, Foxy, say hi!" Zach encouraged, nudging the pirate lightly.

". . . Ahoy."

"He talked! Score!" Chica declared, pumping her wing in the air.

"Don't worry, my boy, we'll work those kinks out. Soon, you'll be jumping and playing with the kids just like the rest of us," Freddy declared.

Foxy tapped his hook and paw together. Why this be so hard?

"You know, Foxy . . ." Zach started, clicking his tongue, "I didn't know you were such a coward."

"I be no coward!" Foxy snapped, swinging around and pressing his snout against Zach's nose, getting right in his face. He was more than a bit bigger than the engineer, towering over him.

"Good." Zach smiled up at the pirate.

Foxy's ears drooped as he realized he'd been tricked. He turned around to look at the other animatronics. They were staring again. Foxy stared back. Metal in his face heated up, and his circuits froze. After not moving for what seemed like forever, Zach sighed.

"He froze," he said with exasperation in his voice. The engineer looked at the others. "It's best if you just left for now. Foxy'll be up and running again shortly."

"Of course," Freddy accepted, nodding his large head.

"Man, I wanted to play with him," Chica whined, her shoulders slumping as they turned away.

"I do hope we can get him to come out of his shell," Bonnie agreed.

When they were all gone, Zach turned back to Foxy, screwdriver in his hand.

We've never had one like this . . . could this mean Foxy will never be ready for the stage?

"La, la, la, la~" came a beautiful voice from the animal sanctuary, stopping the pirate's reminiscing. It was making its way towards him. Foxy shied away and dropped down to all fours, crouching beside a thick bush. Although he tried to stop it, his circuits trembled.

"Hello, Nuts, hello, Acorn," said the voice. It was obviously female. A few chitters were heard. "Yes? What? A monster!" She sounded surprised and alarmed.

Foxy grimaced and tried to dig himself a hole to hide in. Dirt covered his hands and stomach.

Sometimes I be cursin' this here hook. Foxy glared momentarily at the added part of his body before returning his focus to the female.

"Okay, I'll look. Don't you worry." Hearing steps toward him, the pirate scurried away, bouncing over to hide in a patch of tall flowers.

"Hello? Is that you, Angel Bunny? Are you playing tricks on the others again?" she called, still approaching. The steps got nearer.

Foxy rolled backwards, ending up falling into the small stream with a splash. He would've yowled in shock, but it chilled his circuits and made them spark and spasm.

"Ahh!" the female screamed. Foxy barely saw the shape of something before it ducked behind a bush.

The pirate gained control of his rapidly deteriorating controls and leaped out of the stream. His fur was wet and he felt like he'd never rid himself of the rust this would surely cause. He shook his fur out with a few quick motions, water spattering across the garden.

"Wait! What are you doing?" she called. Foxy heard steps and then nothing. He spun around from where he'd been planning to scurry away and faced the female.

She glided towards him on silent wings of the warmest yellow. Four hooves were held underneath her belly. A pink mane and tail accented her creamy coat perfectly.

Foxy stared. What else could do, anyways? He was wet and broken and diffident.


With a scrabbling of paws, the fox spun around on three legs and leaped forward. He stumbled as he tried to get to his back paws, where he was fastest. Besides, he couldn't run well with a hook.

"Wait! Please come back!" she yelled. Foxy heard the slightest sound of feathers batting the air as he sprinted forward at top speed.

Fluttershy whimpered as she saw the thing run away on two legs, surprisingly enough. It sprinted down the road towards Ponyville.

She dropped to her hooves, wings folding in. Her mind was in a frenzy. What should I do? If the, uh, fox thing gets to Ponyville, ponies will go crazy! They'll be terrified. Just imagining how the gardening ponies will react . . . She shuddered, ruffling her feathers. She gave her wings a flap and hovered in the air once more.

Fluttershy tapped her chin in thought, desperately looking around. Her eyes locked onto her chicken coop and she got an idea. The pegasus swiftly flew down into her cellar, throwing the large wooden doors open. She searched about in the dark for a bit before finding a large bundle of twine. She used it to fix holes in her chicken coop and the fences, but maybe it would work to capture that fox?

Of course, it had looked like it had had some sharp teeth . . . but it was worth a try. As Fluttershy zoomed over the lands, her hooves were working frantically to make some sort of loop in the metal. It wasn't near good enough to anything that Applejack could probably do. One end was made into a noose-like thing and the rest was curled up into a roll in her other hoof.

If it wasn't for her wings, she was sure she'd have lost the fox by now. It was quite fast, but no match for wing power. That's why pegasi were so much faster than any other species of pony.

Urg, alright, just gotta get in front of it a bit . . .

Fluttershy managed to hover directly over it, her fore-hooves stretched forward so the wire would fall over it. But the fox saw it, much to Fluttershy's disappointment, though it didn't surprise her at all. It sped up, leaving her behind by just a bit.

Fluttershy pumped her wings harder. She was sure Rainbow Dash would be very proud of her right now if she were to see her.

Almost there-!

The loop of twine caught on its muzzle with a quick swing from the pegasus above.

Foxy didn't get a chance to dodge the carefully maneuvered loop that was hung in front of his face. He felt it rub against his muzzle and then tighten. The flying creature stopped in midair and he was yanked backwards. His hooked hand came up and tried to claw it off his face, but it wasn't working. He instead latched onto it and pulled firmly against the force. He heard a squeak of astonishment from the female attempting to stop him.

Foxy took off again, dragging her behind. The flapping of wings increased as she tried to pull him backwards. They were still quite a ways from the town, however. Dirt puffed up under the pirate's back legs.

That's when he felt something wrap around his right hind leg. A strong pull sent him stumbling onto his side in a scrabbling of limbs. Dirt covered his red fur as he splayed on the ground.

Thank goodness, it worked!

Fluttershy could've sighed in relief if not for the twine in her mouth. Her jaw was aching and her teeth felt like they were being pulled out, but she managed to hold on for that amount of time.

Her plan had been fairly simple; make another loop and get it around its leg. It'd taken a bit of hoof work, but after managing to twist the other end into some sort of recognizable shape, she'd carefully aimed for its right leg. With a fast motion, she'd looped it around the grey foot, tightening it. As soon as she'd tugged upward and backwards, it'd came crashing down.

The fox writhed on the ground, attempting to rip the wire. Thankfully, it was fairly strong. She'd never needed to use much because it hardly ever broke, but when it did, she was ready.

Fluttershy quickly folded her wings in and trotted forward. The fox seemed to have calmed down a bit, but most likely not by choice. In all honesty, it seemed exhausted. And . . . sparks were flying out of its chest.

"It's okay, it'll all be fine," Fluttershy soothed as she began to delicately tie it up. She never liked to harm an animal further, but when one was in danger of hurting themselves or others, she took drastic measures. Now was a time like that. Thankfully, it didn't seem to be struggling too much. For now, anyways.

Once the fox had all its paws tied together, she ran a hoof over its head. It wiggled and tugged against the strong twine, but couldn't break free.

I wonder why it has a hook? she thought, looking at the sharp curve glinting in the early morning light.

Fluttershy felt quite proud of herself. She didn't think much about that though and just took to the air. She would go get her wagon and then she'd take it back to her house. Maybe Twilight could tell her what it was?

Foxy's circuit were sparking and tightening. He was unable to move because of the water damage. It was surprising he'd even made it that far.

He felt her hoof run over his head and then had heard her leave. Her wings were quiet and nearly impossible to hear. Honestly, it kind of pissed him off.

Perhaps he'd care more after he was rebooted . . .

Fluttershy was glad that when she came back, the fox was still tied. It's been a risky move, leaving it here, but she definitely was not strong enough to carry it all the way back to her cottage, (it had to be at least three times larger than her!) or anywhere for that matter.

Recently, Equestria had made advancements in technology. They had better communication systems and forms of transportation for non-pegasi. Twilight had taken to studying these and inventing her own. Prototypes had filled her lab last time Fluttershy had been there. Maybe this was just one of her experiments that had gotten out? Better to find out than just let her worry about it.

So, the pegasus struggled to push the large, metal fox into the wagon and put the tarp she'd also retrieved over the red creature. Fluttershy put the harness over her back, letting her wings remain free. Then, fluttering her wings, she took off. The cart lifted with her, because physics.

Fluttershy struggled slightly with the heavy cargo, a bit of sweat forming on her brow, but continued on.

"Twilight, I'm concerned for your mental health."

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Fluttershy landed gently in front of the giant tree that had been made into a library. She brought up a hoof and knocked three times on the wooden door. In a matter of moments, a familiar magenta aura coated the oak, pulling the door open in a fluid motion.

The sight of the purple unicorn relieved Fluttershy.

“Hello, Fluttershy. What brings you here this early in the morning?” Twilight Sparkle asked with a slight yawn succeeding her words. She’d evidently just awaken a short while prior.

“Hi, Twilight. I really need your help with something,” Fluttershy answered, glancing around to make sure nopony was listening.

Twilight tilted her head. “What with?” She noticed the cart behind her friend. A hoof pointed at it. “What’s that?”

Fluttershy quickly shushed the violet mare and scooted them both inside. Twilight tried to get a word in, but the pegasus didn’t allow her to as she put a hoof over her mouth. She checked for the familiar purple-and-green dragon before nudging Twilight down the stairs to her lab.

“Fluttershy! What’re you doing-?!” Twilight asked, shocked. She nearly tripped down the stairs as she was herded down them.

Dozens of small electronic items were scattered around the area, along with large machines and testing stations. A few areas were charred black, presumably from failed experiments.

“Twilight, have you been working on anything, um, large, recently?” Fluttershy asked quickly, narrowing her eyes at the mare.

“Um, no. Mostly small stuff. Well, actually, I did try some large scale experiments, but as you can see, they didn’t turn out very well,” Twilight responded, waving a hoof at a large, lightning-shaped scar running along a far wall. She grumbled something under her breath. “Had to scrap ‘em.”

“So . . . no robots that can walk?” She raised an eyebrow. “Or run?”

Twilight narrowed her eyes slowly at the pegasus. “No . . .”

“Are you sure? Maybe it just slipped your mind?”

“No, why would it? Fluttershy, what are you talking about?” She settled for a firm glare. “Does it have something to do with whatever is in that wagon?” Twilight pointed her hoof at the cart that was still hooked onto Fluttershy’s back.

The pegasus frowned. “I was afraid you would say that.” She unhooked herself from the cart and scooted to stand beside it. She gripped the tarp in her jaws and yanked it off in one fluid motion, unveiling what was inside. Twilight’s jaw dropped and a gasp escaped.

“Oh my Celestia!” Twilight cried, quickly rushing forward as Fluttershy started to untie it. “What is this?! This is amazing!” Magic quickly joined in on the pegasus’ efforts and soon the deactivated animatronic was loose. “Fluttershy, where did you find this?!” Twilight’s face was covered by a giant smile that seemed like it reached from ear-to-ear.

“I found it in my garden, hiding. I chased it down after it took off and then it went inactive. Must’ve gotten damaged by the water,” Fluttershy explained softly, watching her friend’s reaction.

“Wow, this is simply divine!” She rubbed a hoof against the ragged fur.

“I was wondering if it was one of your projects.”

“No, not at all! This has got to be one of the most astounding things to ever happen to me!” Twilight lit her horn, then stopped. She looked to Fluttershy.

“Yes, I was hoping you could fix it,” she confirmed with a smile. Letting out a happy squeal, the unicorn lifted the robot out of the wagon and set it on a nearby work table.

“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it! I haven’t even begun and I can see it’s got to be the most technologically advanced specimen in Equestria!” Twilight exclaimed, her eyes wide and sparkling. Her horn glimmered, prodding the animatronic to find a control panel through the fur. With a grin and a gasp, she flipped the fox over and the back popped open. Controls and wires were now on display to the two mares.

“Ooh, I’m so excited!” the unicorn cried with a small wiggle of happiness. “Oh! I should catalog everything!” She summoned a small recorder and held it in her magical grasp.

“Well, I’m just going to go now . . .” Fluttershy said softly, backing up.

“Yes, of course!” Twilight agreed, too caught up in getting a pair of welding goggles on. “Come back tomorrow, ‘shy! Then you can see my progress!”

With a small giggle, Fluttershy unfolded her wings with a ruffle of feathers. She flew back up the stairs, leaving the unicorn to her work.

Fluttershy, like Twilight had advised, returned the following day around noon. She landed on the balcony where Twilight kept her telescope in a rustling of feathers. She closed her yellow wings and trotted inside. There was nopony to be seen.

Twilight must still be in her lab . . . oh, I hope she didn’t stay up all night.

A trifling feeling of trepidation fell over the pegasus as she made her way downstairs. She didn’t see Spike, nor the unicorn she was looking for. She glanced around a few times before knocking on the basement door.

“Come in!” called the familiar voice. Fluttershy slid the door open. Downstairs, she heard movement and as she got closer, she could see something moving about in brief flashes of violet.

“Twilight?” Fluttershy asked cautiously. She peeked out her head from the staircase.

“Fluttershy! I knew you’d be showing up sometime! Come over here!” Twilight’s voice said in a pitch or two higher than normal. Fluttershy grimaced but walked over to her friend.

The unicorn’s mane was mussed up and her tail was no better, random hairs sticking up from the indigo locks. Yet, Twilight looked well rested and alive as she pulled up her working goggles from her eyes.

“Uh, hi, Twilight,” Fluttershy said slowly.

“If you’re wondering if I stayed up all night; I did. But I used a spell to give me a full night’s rest,” Twilight assured, a smile on her face. “It’s really come in handy as of late. There’s not even any repercussions of it, either! I can stay up as long as I want!” She squeed and rubbed her hooves together.

"Twilight, I'm concerned for your mental health."


“Nothing. So . . . how’s it going?” Her cyan gaze became focused on the much better looking animatronic laying still quite inactive on the work table. Of course, the holes and scratches that had covered it were still there, but no wires were sticking out and the jaw looked somewhat fixed.

“Splendidly, thank you for asking!” Twilight stood up from her stool and took a place beside the table. Fluttershy stepped up next to her. “It took me most of yesterday, but I succeeded in finding out a bit about the specimen. Its circuitry is exceedingly cutting-edge.

“This is definitely the preeminent thing in Equestria. No wonder you had to chase it down; the AI coded into it is astounding. This robot could do anything it wanted to. It could read, write—learn!” A wide grin split across Twilight’s face.

“AI?” Fluttershy asked.

“Artificial intelligence. It’s what makes something able to act on its own. Say, for example, that you have a robot like this, but its AI is only three. You’d have to program it do approximately everything. While this one here,” Twilight elucidated, “I’d say, has an AI of roughly twenty. That means it can do everything one of us can do. It’s virtually living.” Twilight’s eyes sparkled and she rubbed its fur gently. “It’s purely marvelous.”

“Wow, that’s really interesting.” The pegasus smiled at her friend’s enthusiasm. “Can it turn on yet?”

“I haven’t endeavored yet—I was waiting for you.” Twilight shot Fluttershy a quick smile. “But I’d say it would almost certainly work. I’ve fixed the motor functions and the jaw—the voice controls are located in the back of its mouth, so I did that while I was at it, too. There was a lot of water impairment. Some waterproofing measures were worked into it, but most of it had either worn off or been damaged. Maybe if it had been just a spray of water, it could’ve continued to be serviceable.”

“Okay then. Can we try now?” Fluttershy asked, a small smile on her face.

“Of course!” Twilight declared. “I’ve been waiting forever to hear those words.” She rubbed her purple hooves together with a maniacal grin and then levitated a pair of safety goggles to the pegasus without even looking at her. Her own came down over her almond-shaped eyes. Fluttershy quickly strapped them on, feeling them press against her neck and face. She braced herself, trying not to think about the charred and decimated sections of the lab.

“Alright, here we go!” Twilight announced, her eyes wide underneath her goggles. She flipped a switch on the inside of the controls and closed the panel, then sat it up on the table. From the animatronic came a soft humming. Static crackling was heard through it. The golden eyes of the fox lit up slowly, the shining irises glimmering.

“It’s working!” Twilight squealed quietly in excitement, her grin expanding. Fluttershy gave a small, nervous laugh, starting to have second thoughts about this whole thing.

The fox sat there. The eyes stared forward.

Foxy felt his systems rebooting.

Well I’ll be! Someone did fire me up after all! Wonder who did . . .

A blurry image made its way into his circuits. He could see brown mixed with gray and some other colors in front of his face. Violet and yellow blended together with a bit of pink and blue, but he couldn’t distinguish any actual shapes. His eyesight slowly adjusted. Two creatures were brought into view.

The yellow female, as Foxy was not sure this was a horse, and a purple—presumably female also—creature gazed at him. They were much smaller than him, he could tell. The pirate remained silent.

After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, the purple one’s grin fell. She cocked an eyebrow and flicked her gaze over him.

“Uh, Twilight, did it work?” the yellow one whispered quietly, leaning into the other.

“I thought it would. Its eyes are glowing; something happened,” she replied. She lifted a leg and tentatively brought herself a step forward. “Um, hello? Can you hear me?”

Foxy didn’t know what to do. Should he answer? If this thing fixed him, then maybe it could tell him where he was. Maybe.

He slowly nodded, a few groans emanating from his endoskeleton as he did so.

“Oh, good! It seems like you’re a little stiff, huh? Here, I’ve got some oil to fix that right up!” The violet equine-like thing’s horn lit up like a lantern, a magenta color casting its faint light onto the surrounding areas.

Foxy’s eyes widened upon seeing it. That pattern! That’s what had been all over him in the restaurant. Albeit it had been a blue, and a much darker blue than this color, it was still the same distinct energy.

“Here you go,” she said, lifting the oil can up to the back of Foxy’s neck. He felt the lubricant slide down his gears. “Is it better now?” With a quick roll of his shoulders, he nodded.

“Splendid!” she cooed, a grin splitting her face even more. She fluttered her eyelashes at him. “So . . . can you talk?”

Foxy couldn’t help but look down, the circuitry in his face heating up. He rubbed his metallic paw over his gleaming hook. He could feel the eyes of the two equines on him.

“Twilight?” the yellow one asked from the place she was in—still behind the purple one.

“Yes?” ‘Twilight’ turned to face her.

“Can you give me a few moments with it?”

“Huh? Why?” ‘Twilight’ cocked an eyebrow, tilting her head with the motion.

“Just trust me, please.” She gave her a small smile, trying to reassure the violet colored equine.

“Well . . . I don’t know. What if something happens?” ‘Twilight’ asked, frowning. The yellow one took a tiny step forward and leaned into her ear. Foxy could hear her whisper something, but couldn’t make it out.

‘Twilight’ brought her head back, a frown still on her face. “Okay then. If you think you can. I trust you, Fluttershy. Just be careful.” She started towards the staircase. “I’ll be right upstairs. Spike is probably still asleep. I should get him up.” The female started up the steps.

‘Fluttershy’ waited until she was gone and heard the door close gently from the top of the stairs. She took a few steps forwards.

I hope this works, Fluttershy thought. A feeling of unease wormed into her mind. She approached the fox sitting silently on the work table.

“Hello,” Fluttershy started softly. She stood before it. “I’m Fluttershy. What’s your name?” There was no response; no surprise for the pegasus.

“You know, I’m shy, too. I mean—I’m not assuming that you’re shy—for all I know you’re the boldest, um, fox out there, but”—Fluttershy felt her confidence draining away—“Oh, I’m sorry. Maybe your voice just isn’t working.” She scraped a buttery hoof against the wooden floor.

I shouldn’t have asked Twilight to leave . . . maybe she just needed to repair something . . . Wait, you know what? I’m sure I’m right! I can’t give up now!

Puffing up her chest to prepare herself, Fluttershy kept her gaze to the floor. “I just, you know, see all the signs of diffidence. I understand if you’re quiet. I’m sure you had a really hard time.” She tentatively glanced up. Two golden eyes stared back at her.

A low humming came from the animatronic. Fluttershy’s eyes widened, and she took a teeny, cautionary step back.

“I be Foxy,” came the low reply. Static crackled with its voice, but she could still hear the words.

“Foxy? Oh. I nearly thought you were a boy!” Fluttershy exclaimed.

Foxy looked at her with a deadpan expression on ‘her’ face. Fluttershy raised an eyebrow before realizing her mistake. She blushed red and let out a stammered beginning of a sentence.

“O-oh, I’m so sorry! I just thought—” she stuttered. Her eyes shot to every corner of the room except for at the fox. “I mean, uh, uh . . .” She shrank back, hiding behind her hair.

Foxy stared at her. After a few moments, he apparently decided he should say something. “Aye, it be 'right, lass. Not the first t'me . . .” he ended with a grumble.

Fluttershy peeped out from behind her mane, one large cyan eye opening. She blushed and tried to give Foxy a small smile, but it ended up as more of a grimace.

Easy, Fluttershy. I just need to stay calm and collected. I highly doubt this robot is going to judge you. After all, I made him speak! Twilight will definitely appreciate that.

“Uh, F-Foxy, so, um, where are you from?” the reticent pegasus asked quickly. She brushed a bit of pink hair of her eyes.

Foxy paused, shrinking back on the table.

“It’s okay.” Fluttershy felt her nervousness dissipating as the animatronic’s hesitant nature became noticeable again.

This isn’t so bad. Maybe I can help him.

“Whenever you feel comfortable. I don’t mind waiting. If you need a bit of time to yourself, I can leave.” Fluttershy gave her wings a few flaps to sit on a nearby stool. Her tail swung down by the floor.

Foxy stared.

For cryin’ out loud! Jus' stop.

“No . . . I be fine. It’s jus' . . . odd?” the pirate rumbled. His voice was crackling but there wasn't much he could do about that.

Fluttershy, as she’d introduced herself as, leaned forward on her perch.

“What’s odd? Being in our, uh, world? I mean, I’m presuming you’re not from here. We've never seen anything like you, and Equestria’s technology definitely isn't advanced enough for you to even exist,” she commented. She shifted her fore-hooves.

Foxy blinked a few times. Of course. Jus' my luck. But it makes sense, I guess.


“Oh, yes, that’s where we are. It’s our nation’s name,” Fluttershy said.

“Uh . . .” Foxy paused. He didn’t even know where the restaurant was, how would he know what planet?

Fluttershy frowned. “Oh my, is something wrong?”

“Are ye all . . . horses?”

“Um, mostly. It is predominantly equine, though we refer to ourselves as ponies. In the other countries, such as Griffonia and Zebrifa, there’s griffons and zebras. You won’t find many species of intellectual beings other than ponies in Equestria.”

. . . So, magic land????

Foxy nodded, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion. This place sure was odd.

“How are you feeling?” Fluttershy asked. She tapped her front hooves together lightly.

With a shrug, the pirate looked down at the floor.

“Well, the unicorn you saw earlier is Twilight. She’s the one who fixed you—I asked her to. I hope she did a good job.” Fluttershy smiled at him. “Are you feeling okay? Maybe . . . I could bring Twilight back down here?” A concerned frown formed on her lips. “I mean, only if you’re comfortable. She’s very eager to learn about you, and if that makes you uncomfortable, then I’ll tell her to wait for however long it takes,” she finished with a caring look on her features.

Perhaps this Twilight could help me get back ta the restaurant . . . but then again, why would I want ta? I’m broken and unwanted . . . I could at least try ta understand what happened ta me.

“Ye can let the lass in,” Foxy decided. Fluttershy’s ears tilted forward; a small smile tugged at the ends of her lips.

“Okay. I’ll get her,” the pony replied, flapping her wings a few times to lift herself off the chair. She traveled across the room and up the stairs. In a few moments, she returned, the purple one behind her.

Twilight was no longer grinning, but had a more serious look on her face. She’d obviously heard the circumstances of the situation and was no longer here just to help herself.

“Hello, Foxy. That’s your name, right?” Twilight started. A clipboard was picked up with her energy.

“I am,” came Foxy’s low and somewhat rough reply.

“Hmm . . .” Twilight took a few notes on her clipboard and then levitated it to the other side of her body as she went closer to the fox. She used her magic to open his jaw, much to his surprise, and with a few tricks in the back of his throat, she let it swing shut again.

“There, that should help. You had some static interference,” the purple pony explained, writing on her board. Foxy narrowed his eyes at her.

“Twilight, that wasn’t very polite,” Fluttershy warned from behind her.

“I—oh, sorry.” She blushed. “Sorry.” Twilight cleared her throat, “Should’ve told you first.”

“Aye,” Foxy mumbled, reaching his paw up and rubbing under his chin.

Twilight wrote some more notes and then looked up at Foxy again. “So, Foxy, I’m betting you’re fairly confused. I know I have questions for you, but do you have any questions for me first?”

The fox stared at her for a moment before pointing at her horn. Twilight glanced up at his pointing finger.

“My magic! Oh yes, I’m sure you are wondering about that. Well, I’m a unicorn—Fluttershy over there is a pegasus—but only unicorns have the ability to use magic. It’s essentially energy that we move with our horns, enabling us to manipulate objects and our surroundings,” Twilight explained. She smiled as she demonstrated by lifting several nearby objects. “Uh, Foxy?”

The animatronic broke out of his trance upon hearing his name.

“Are you alright? You’re just . . . staring,” Twilight said. She tilted her head.

“That’s what I saw when I was taken ‘ere,” Foxy explained.

Twilight’s eyes seemed to get three times bigger, if that was at all possible. “What!? Magic brought you here?!”

“Aye, lass.”

The unicorn leaped into the air, legs churning, and vanished in a magenta flash of light. Fluttershy and Foxy—startled—sprang backwards, the pegasus ending up behind a table and Foxy on the floor with a clanking of metal.

“—amazing! I can’t believe it! We need to inform the princesses!” Twilight shouted, popping back into existence. She looked around. “Oops. Must’ve teleported out of pure excitement!”

“Twilight?” Fluttershy hissed, her eyes wide.

“Not now, ‘shy!” Twilight exclaimed. She threw herself into Foxy’s face. “What did the magic look like?!”

“Uh . . .” Foxy started. His ears were pressed against his head. “Twas blue.”

“Blue?” Twilight paused, standing up straight on the table. “Was it perhaps—just out of curiosity—dark blue? Like, a midnight blue?”

“’xactly it, lass.” Foxy got to his feet.

Twilight’s mouth fell open and her pupils shrank. Looking around, she began to breathe a bit heavier. “I—I—how? Why? Wha’?”

And with that, the purple unicorn promptly fainted.

Fluttershy couldn’t believe what had just happened. Mostly because she’d never seen it before.

Twilight had just had a nerdgasm.

And fainted.

“Um, Foxy, perhaps we should—”

“I’m alright!” Twilight’s hoof shot up from the floor. The two other creatures peered over their hiding places, looking down on her. The unicorn scrambled to her hooves, shaking her slightly frazzled mane.

“Alright. I’m alright.” She blinked violet eyes before turning back to the others. “I’m pretty sure I know who brought you here!”

“And you would be correct, Twilight Sparkle,” came the gruff yet melodic voice of the alicorn princess. Three heads shot over to the door, where the words had come from. Princess Luna floated down towards them, wings wide and beating the air.

“P-Princess!” Twilight gaped, quickly ducking into a bow. Fluttershy did the same, closing her wings. Foxy, however, had already ducked behind the work table once again.

“You may stand. I thank thee, Fluttershy, for getting our guest here; I also thank you, Twilight, for fixing him. Now, Foxy, you may come out,” Luna said. She stood tall where she had touched down, wings out and ears pricked.

“Princess, I’m confused,” Twilight started, taking a step forward.

“I shall answer your questions in good time.” Luna waited a moment. “Foxy?”

“He’s hiding, your majesty. Do you want me to get him?” Fluttershy asked softly.

“Hiding?” the lunar sovereign questioned. “No need.” Fluttershy was about to ask something when Luna’s horn lit up and grabbed the pirate from his hiding place. He let out a startled yelp as he was hauled upward, then deposited on the floor in front of Luna. He looked up at her, ears folded back.

“Foxy, I’m glad to finally meet thee.” She dipped her head.

There was no response.



Twilight went behind him and opened up his control panel. “ . . . Yep, he froze. Sorry princess. You must’ve gotten here after we established the fact that Foxy does not like to meet new ponies.”

“I scared him,” Luna deadpanned. Her ears flopped backwards.

“Pretty much.”

Foxy on the Loose

View Online

“Hmm . . . that’s odd.”

“What is?”

Twilight spared a quick glance over at Fluttershy, who was sitting on a nearby stool watching as she was fixing Foxy.

“His circuits are all . . . cold. I can’t even move some of these wires—they’re so stiff.” Twilight’s horn brightened as it tugged on a particularly tough wire, her face one of concentration.

“Intriguing. Perhaps a heat spell would loosen them,” Luna commented from across the lab. She was examining some of Twilight’s inventions, her eyes narrowed in scrutiny.

“I’d melt the plastic and rubber in here if I did that, but thanks anyway, princess.” Twilight managed to get a small spark off a collection of panels using a switch, but nothing happened beyond that. The unicorn sighed, letting her head drop. “I just don’t get it! Why’d he freeze up so bad? I thought we were making some progress.”

Fluttershy blinked. “Luna probably just startled him, that’s all. I was scared to death too when I met”—the pegasus caught the princess’ glare—“came out of nowhere! That’s why. She came out of nowhere.” Fluttershy gave a quick laugh, avoiding eye contact with the lunar sovereign.

“I really wish he had some sort of manual that came with him. Maybe one on how to fix him,” Twilight said idly. She burrowed her purple hooves into his controls, tongue sticking out as she attempted to fix something—

“Yar, me mateys!”

The three beings in the room started in surprise. Twilight leaped backwards on the tips of her hooves, her tail high in the air.

“It be Foxy! And welcom-welcom-welcome to the Pirate’s Cove!” Foxy declared, his second outburst no longer startling the ponies.

“Twilight, what’s happening?” Fluttershy asked, now hovering in the air above her friend.

“Freddy best be gettin’ back to the stage, or I’ll be fo-fo-fo-forced to fo-fo-fo-forced to make him walk the plank!

The three equines were frozen to the spot.


“Twilight?” Fluttershy hissed.

“You best be gettin’ b-b-back to the stage, landlubber, because these little ones are now part of the pirate c-crew!”

“Seems like some sort of . . . programmed response. I must have activated it when I was tinkering with him,” Twilight responded after another moment or two.

“When in the Pirate Cove, remember to adventure safe, kiddies; no runnin’ around the Cove. Or else ye be ye be walkin’ the plank!”

“Must be a very old one, too. There’s so much stuttering,” Fluttershy commented softly, hearing the numerous skipping beats.

“Aye, is it swashbucklin’ adventures that ye be seekin’, la-la-lads? Or-or-or’s it that or-or-or is it that you’re not akin to the seven seas?”

“I should record this!” Twilight squealed quietly, getting her clipboard. She began jotting down every word from that point on.

“All pirates, give me an ‘arg’ an ‘arg’ an ‘arg’! Ahh, harhar-ha-ha-haha-haha! AARRGG . . .”

“A very broken laugh . . .” Fluttershy heard Twilight mumble almost incoherently.

“I be seein’ ya’ll already walkin’ all abou-abou-about with your pizza in hand, and your s-s-so-sody pops like proper sea-ea-ea pirates!

“And like proper sea pirates, we will be having ourselves a sea shanty!”

Twilight perked up. “Ooh, he’s gonna sing!” She shook her pegasus friend in excitement. Luna, meanwhile, was frowning in silence.

“Ooohh, what do you d-d-d-do with a drunken-ken-ken sailor, what do you do with a drunken s-s-sailor, early in the morn? Put him in the l-longb-oat ‘til he’s sober, p-put him in the longboat ‘til he’s s-s-sober! . . .”

The three ponies shifted as Foxy’s tone and speed got slower and deeper.

“Put him in the . . . longboat . . . ‘till he’s sober . . .”

Foxy’s words became a low keening groan. His jaw hung open, his eyes both half lidded and dimming from their light yellow glow.

“Yeah . . . let’s shut it off. We have work to do,” Twilight said slowly, her tone oozing discomfort. She trotted carefully forward. She let her magic search for the control to fix and in a final moan, Foxy slumped forward from where he sat on the table. A blank, dead stare met their gazes.

“That was quite . . . something,” Luna broke the silence.

“Perhaps something to study in more detail another day,” the violet unicorn added.

Why do I feel so . . . odd after hearing that? I shouldn’t, but I do. Maybe Luna and Fluttershy are feeling it too . . .

Fluttershy broke the silence after a few minutes of Twilight working on Foxy.

“So . . . can you get him working now?”

“I think so. After that, his circuits are looser now. I think I’ve nearly got him . . .” Twilight’s voice trailed off, her tongue poking out from her lips as she squinted in concentration.

“Gah!” Foxy let out a surprised yell and Twilight nearly had a heart attack. The pirate looked around wildly, his eyepatch having flipped down over his eye.

“It’s alright, Foxy. It’s just us,” Fluttershy announced, hovering before the fox.

“Oh. S’rry,” Foxy mumbled. He looked away.

“It’s okay.” She smiled. “Now, Foxy, this is Princess Luna. She’s one of the rulers of Equestria.” The pegasus backed away as she put her hooves out towards the lunar alicorn.

Luna had her wings out in an intimidating pose until she remembered what she’d just been told and quickly tucked them back at her sides.

“Greetings, Foxy. As the Lady Fluttershy said, I am Princess Luna, one of the conjoined leaders of this mighty nation. I am sorry for earlier—I was unawares,” she said. She dipped her head. “I am indeed the one who brought you here.”

Twilight quickly interjected, throwing a hoof out. “But why?”

Luna administered a sharp glare at the unicorn. Twilight quickly backed down, her ears folding back.

“S-sorry, princess.”

“Tis alright, Twilight Sparkle. Just know your place.” Luna shuffled her wings. “I know you are all wondering, why? Well, just last night, I made a shooting star. Anything in the sky I make, I am bound to. It is no different with a small body of matter from outer space that enters the atmosphere to become incandescent as a result of friction and appearing as a streak of light.

“I can hear many a wish when I create it, and even though you were worlds away, I heard yours. It surprised me quite a bit. Though, by the nature of your request, I accepted the challenge. I know I can help you, metal fox, but only if you are willing to accept it. For that is why I brought you to Equestria; so you can seek forgiveness and become a better creature for it.

“Because I know what it is like to wallow in crushing agony for years upon years.” Luna grimaced and stomped a hoof harder on the ground as she paced the laboratory. “I was quite hoping you would end up with Twilight Sparkle and her friends, as they can teach you and help you as well. Perhaps even more than I.”

Foxy watched Luna with wide eyes. The alicorn turned to face him.

“I see you have concerns. Do tell.”

Twilight and Fluttershy exchanged stunned glances, their eyes wide.

“Anypony? Go ahead, speak up,” Luna repeated.

“What . . . are you talking about?” Twilight asked.

“I suppose it is not my place to tell you, but Foxy was involved in an accident a number of years ago. I shall not tell you more than that.”

Fluttershy and Twilight turned around to look at the animatronic.

Luna also faced him. “You know what I’m talking about, I assume.”

“. . . How do ye know about that?” Foxy asked quietly. His eyes were downcast.

“I am the Princess of the Night. Naturally, I am a dream walker as well. After I heard your wish, I went into your dreams. Which, to be quite honest, I’m surprised you can even have, given your species. But I saw what happened . . . does it really haunt you every night?”

“Well . . . techn’cally, it’s e’ry day. I do . . . other things, durin’ the night.” He slowly ran a long, metal finger over his hook. “But aye.”

Luna’s face softened, and she came closer to him. “Then we are going to help you. I saw it—you were not in control.”

“No! T’was all my fault!” Foxy jumped off the work table, startling the two smaller equines. They backed away. Luna, however, stood her ground. She may have been somewhat shorter than this creature, but she wasn’t frightened. “Ye do not understand what happened.” Foxy’s anger died down, and a wave of sadness seemed to wash over him. The large ears on his head fell backwards, and his muzzle turned towards the ground.

“I understand that you’re still very upset about it.” Luna flicked an ear, tilting her head.

“Jus’ . . . drop it, will ya?”

“No, I will not. I brought you to Equestria for this very purpose.”

“There’s no hope ‘a “redemption” fer me,” Foxy mumbled. “That’s what Freddy says.”

“Then Freddy is wrong,” Luna retorted, going up behind the animatronic.

“He’s never wrong.”

“He is now.”

“Ye shouldn’t say that.” Foxy felt a twinge of fear go down his spine.

“Why not? That’s what Freddy told you, right? That he is never wrong? Well, I say he is, and I’m sure my sister will agree with me.” Luna stopped. Her nose twitched. “Why are you afraid?”

“I’m not.”

A large frown spread over the sovereign’s muzzle. “I can sense you are.”

The fur along Foxy’s spine lifted and he spun around, teeth bared. His eyes glinted harshly at the princess. “Ye should not say ‘nother word!”

The lunar ruler stopped, her face one of extreme surprise and indignation. She turned around, evidently trying to calm herself. Twilight and Fluttershy exchanged glances again.

“I see,” was all Luna replied with. She took a deep breath. “I am sorry if I offended you.” In a few minutes, she faced him again. “I shall check on you later. I still have to inform my sister of what I’ve done.” She leaned forward, lowering her voice as she hissed into Foxy’s ear.

“Do not be afraid.”

Foxy frowned as the princess stepped away from him. Her eyes twinkled in sympathy before she vanished in a cloud of blue smoke.

Foxy tried to block out the memories. They flooded his mind regardless, but he didn’t show his feelings as they did. The princess had left and just the other two were there, watching him.


The pirate turned towards Twilight’s hesitant voice. She shied away as he made eye contact, but then straightened up.

“Will . . . you tell us what happened?”

“No.” Foxy hunched his shoulders and turned away from the ponies again. If his tail had not still been broken, it would probably be twitching in anger.

“But if you talk about your problems, we can help you! Princess Luna’s a very smart pony. She said she saw what happened, so if it was really that bad . . .” Twilight trailed off, looking at the ground.

“Please, Foxy, we just want to help. Evidently you’re not getting any from wherever you’re from, and I don’t know how much I trust this ‘Freddy’—I mean, I’m not insulting him, or saying he’s a horrible person—”

“’Nuff. I don’t wanna hear it,” Foxy growled, trying to keep his voice down. Visions of blood and the sounds of children and adults alike screaming filled his mind.

Don’t think ‘bout it . . . don’t! Don’t! Betrayed eyes flashed in front of his face. STOP! Please . . .

Twilight and Fluttershy looked at each other with sad expressions on their faces.

“Okay then. We won’t push you,” Twilight said. She checked the clock hanging on the wall. “It’s nearly four. Do you eat? Spike makes this amazing hotdish—”

“No, I don’t,” he said. “But who’s Spike?”

Twilight’s face became one of relief, a smile on her face. “He’s my assistant. I’m sure he’d love to meet you. He doesn’t have many friends that are boys.” She stopped. “Hey, speaking of boys, how old are you, Foxy?”

“Hmm . . . what year is it here?”

“Well, it’s 7334, but I’m sure it’s different in your world.”

Foxy thought for a moment. “Aye, that is diff’rent. I know what year it was when I was introduced . . .”


“Aye, I worked at a rest’rant. I was built in 1986, and the . . .” Foxy stopped, grimacing. “And a few years progressed . . . aye, I remember the calendar in the workroom said 1993. So I’m . . . seven.” He seemed satisfied with that answer.

“S-seven?” Twilight stammered.

“Aye. What’s so funny?” he snorted.

Twilight let loose a few giggles. “Well, it’s just, it’s just, maybe that’s not how it works where you’re from, but here, that’s the age of a young . . . foal.”

“Obv’sly, that’s how it works in our world. Evr’y day I was surrounded by children. I know how old they were.”

“So . . . you know that you’re a child.”

“No, I am not.”

“Technically, you are.”

Foxy put his hand and hook on his hip. “What’re ye tryin’ ta say?”

Twilight just shook her head and sighed happily. “Just, just never mind. Ignore me.” She looked up at Foxy. “So, you wanted to meet Spike?”

“Spike! Will you come here please?”

“Yeah, sure Twilight!”

The pattering of footsteps sounded from upstairs, and the unicorn looked up to find her young assistant running down the steps.

“Finally out of that lab, are you? What’re you working on anyhow?” Spike asked.

“I have someone for you to meet. Now, I don’t want to you freak out, but I doubt you will, so there’s really nothing to worry about. It’s the thing I’ve been working on for a day-and-a-half now,” Twilight explained.

“Oooh, cool.” He then paused. “Wait, what?”

“You’ll see.” She raised her voice. “Fluttershy, can you bring him in?”

The door to the basement swung open and the cream coated pegasus appeared, standing in the doorway. She glanced behind her, checking on Celestia-knows-what. Spike bit his lip in consternation.

Fluttershy trotted forward and then something came into view. It stood just a tad higher than the door frame and ducked under the wood.

Spike felt his jaw hit the ground. It was some sort of fox or coyote, with patchy red fur. An eyepatch covered one eye, the other with a slightly droopy eyelid. A silver hook covered one hand.

“What . . . is that!?” Spike exclaimed, his eyes wide. He grabbed Twilight’s tail.

“Spike, this is Foxy,” the purple mare introduced.

“Ahoy,” Foxy said.

“Uh, h-hi,” Spike stuttered.

The two stared at each other. Twilight cocked an eyebrow.

“What’s the matter, you two?” she asked. She glanced at them.

“Ye never said he was . . . a kid,” the pirate said, putting his hand out.

“I guess. But you’re one. What’s the difference?”

“The diff’rence, lass, is: 1. I don’t really ‘ave an age that determines how mature I am, and 2. why didn’t ye tell me?”

“Is there something wrong with him being a kid?”

Something unrecognizable flashed across Foxy’s face, but it vanished as soon as it had come.

“No, I guess not.”

“Then come on! Spike, why don’t you and Foxy talk?” Twilight encouraged, nudging the baby dragon at her hindquarters. “He’s going to be here a while, so you’d best be getting to know each other.”

“Uh, sure, Twilight,” Spike said, nodding his head.

Of all the things Twilight could do, she asks me to be friends with a robot?

Foxy tried not to let his unease show. The last time he’d played with children . . .

No. Don’t think about it.

Who cared if it’d been 6 years since he’d seen a child face-to-face? He still possessed the characteristics that’d made him the biggest thing at the family restaurant in years.

Then why was he so nervous?

Bonnie and Chica anxiously paced the backstage area. Freddy was leaning against a wall, his eyebrows furrowed.

“Freddy? What are we going to do? Where did Foxy go?” Chica finally asked, stopping in front of her colleague.

“I don’t have an answer for you, my dear,” Freddy responded, shaking his head. The chicken gave a small whine and continued pacing.

“At least he doesn’t perform anymore, right? They won’t notice he’s gone,” Bonnie said, his voice cracking. The bunny tapped his fingers together.

“But he’s our friend!” Chica cried. “Most of the time.”

“Who cares? Having him gone isn’t really that big of deal,” Freddy said, trying not to act like he cared.

“Freddy, don’t say that. I know you two have had your . . . differences, but Foxy is your friend, too! I remember when he was like our little baby . . . when he’d just been built. We even worked out all his kinks! We worked so hard and he, he . . .” Chica whimpered, putting her hands on her head.

“I wish Zach were here,” Bonnie sighed suddenly, his shoulders drooping.

Freddy winced. “Don’t say that name.”


“Don’t, Bonnie.”

“He was fired years ago. No use dwelling on it,” Chica agreed sadly. The three animatronics sat in silence for a while.

“Maybe the new security guard’ll get fired ‘cuz of it. H-how great would that be?” Bonnie chittered nervously.

“You mean Mike? He’s a pansy,” Freddy mumbled. “’m surprised he’s even made it this long.”

“Y-yeah, right . . .”

There was another silence. It seemed to last for quite a long time.

“You guys?”

“Yes, Chica?” Freddy asked. Bonnie glanced over at her.

“I miss Foxy . . .”

“You shouldn’t.”

“But I do. He wasn’t the most stable of us, but, but, he made everything more fun, you know.”

“I know what you mean,” Bonnie murmured.

“Sometimes I feel like we’re not nice enough to him sometimes.”

“Yeah.” That was Bonnie again.

“I’ve heard the humans say . . . ‘you never know what you have until it’s gone.’”

Twilight and Fluttershy smiled when they heard a round of laughter from the other room. Despite the awkward beginning, Spike and Foxy actually got along great. Of course, after learning that Foxy was a children’s entertainer, their fun made more sense.

“I actually didn’t think it’d work out that well,” Fluttershy admitted. She brought her teacup up to her mouth with a wing. One feather was fixed through the handle, while two others were supporting the bottom.

“Me neither. Though I’m glad it is working. Honestly, I think Foxy just doesn’t know what he can do,” Twilight agreed. She took a delicate bite of her biscuit. They’d just had lunch—some of Spike’s hayburger hotdish—and the two mares were now enjoying one another’s company over some tea and biscuits.

Fluttershy remained silent for a few moments.

“Is something wrong?”

“No, it’s just . . . I wish we could help him. If we knew what happened to him, we could.” The pegasus shook her head.

“There’s no point in hoping. Possibly, when he’s earned our trust a little more, we can find out. Foxy seems to like you the best, so you’ll probably be the one to learn. And I highly doubt Princess Luna will tell us.”

Fluttershy nodded. “But you saw how he acted. He obviously hates taking about—even remembering it. I know . . . I used to have PTSD, and I can clearly see all the signs—”

“Wait, ‘shy? You had post-traumatic stress disorder?” Twilight leaned forward, placing a hoof on Fluttershy’s.

“Well, yes. It was way back before I knew any of you girls personally—except Dash, of course. It was one of the last days of flight school. We were asked to make a storm, and we had to pass in order to graduate.”

“Why was making a storm required? That’s actually kinda dangerous. Not all pegasi work with weather—you’re one of the examples.”

“Odd curriculum, back then. What happened with me was actually the reason they were forced to change the particulars.”

“Oh. Please, go on,” Twilight said.

“Okay. I was one of the first to go. Rainbow had gone a few ponies ahead of me, but was watching from the sidelines. She knew I’d been nervous all week . . . she’d helped me and coached me before-hoof, though I still felt absolutely horrid about the whole thing.

“They called me forward, and I got ready. I remember shaking violently. I moved clouds and got the electricity going—of course, I was moving fairly slow. I didn’t realize how slow I was going until the lightning was striking out. The winds weren’t prepared yet and I couldn’t fail. I was screaming and crying and trying frantically to get the lightning under control.”

“Why didn’t anypony help you?”

“It wasn’t that bad yet. An official can only step in after something really bad happens. I don’t know what could’ve happened, but apparently it never happened with me.”


“You’ll understand in a minute. Anyways, Rainbow was cheering me on and trying to give me advice, but the officials got angry at her and kicked her out. After that, I botched it. A bolt of lightning clipped my wing, and I fell. The officials did nothing. I could hear ponies screaming my name, but I had nearly passed out I was so scared. I guess the other students couldn’t get to me because of the officials, and the storm had gone asunder. They couldn’t see me.

“But thank Celestia Rainbow Dash got to me in time. I would’ve ended up as a splat on the ground. She heard my cries, as she’d been just outside the storm area. Rainbow flew down to me so fast I personally thought she’d made a sonic rainboom again. After she caught me, she flew off with me. We didn’t even return to the school, she just headed right towards the hospital. I was treated for burns and had to stay off my wing for a few days, but that was all.

“But it was terrifying. After that event, I couldn’t sleep. The terror of me falling, of me failing, was too great for me to sleep or eat or do anything. Rainbow, as always, was worried. She took me to a therapist, who diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder. And they were right—I showed all the symptoms. Sometimes, I freaked out in public . . . Dash beat everypony who made fun of me—even got several citations and was arrested one or twice—but she said she didn’t care. I’m glad I had a friend like her. Eventually, after—I’ve got to say—two years of having PTSD, my mind cleared. I mean, it still haunts my dreams occasionally, but not as much.

“Though I am ashamed it was of something so small. Most ponies get it through the war or near-death experience. Mine was just a failed exam.” Fluttershy frowned, her eyes glittering.

“Fluttershy, yours was a near-death experience,” Twilight said. She reached over and gave the pegasus a hug. “Don’t feel that way.”

“Thanks Twilight.” The pegasus smiled lightly.

“No problem, ‘shy.” Twilight returned the gesture and leaned back. “So, since that’s out of the way, what do you say we go and checkup on our boys in the other room?”

“Yeah. I haven’t heard laughing in a while, now that I think about it.”

“Oh.” Twilight frowned.

“Twilight!” Spike’s frantic call reverberated through the library.

“Spike?!” the unicorn shrieked, leaping to her hooves. She practically flew down the stairs. Fluttershy literally did, however.

Once they got downstairs, they only saw Spike, who immediately ran to Twilight. He hugged her leg, his eyes wide.

“Spike, what happened?! Where’s Foxy?!”

“He—he just freaked out. I don’t know what I did, but he backed away from me and then sprinted off!” Spike explained quickly. He then pointed towards the distinctly Foxy-shaped hole in the library’s wall. A few ponies skittered around outside. Sunlight poured in through the hole.

“Uh oh.”


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“Oooh, no, ooooh, no,” Twilight moaned, running in place. Strands of indigo sprung up from her mane, messing it up from when she’d brushed it just an hour prior.

“Twilight! We need to find him,” Fluttershy squealed.

“Yes! You’re very right, you are. Let’s not waste any more time.” The trio, as Spike had decided to join them, sprinted out of the library through the large Foxy-shaped hole. A few ponies (namely, the garden ponies) were laying, passed out, on the paths.

A scream resounded across Ponyville.

“That was definitely Rarity!” Spike exclaimed, panting, as they came to a stop. The group redirected themselves to head towards Carousel Boutique.

“Hey! I can see Foxy’s footprints!” Fluttershy declared. Large indentations marked out where the pirate had raced across Ponyville.

“Headed towards Carousel Boutique, I see,” Twilight grumbled, letting her head drop momentarily.


“Rarity! We’re coming!” Spike yelled at the top of his lungs. The group picked up speed. They skidded around a corner and saw Rarity’s place of business in front of them. A white shaped came flying towards them, nearly crashing through. It was Rarity, whose mane was ultimately more messy and disheveled than usual.

“Oh, my stars, Twilight, thank goodness you’re here!” the white unicorn shouted. Her eyes were wide.

“Where did he go!?” Twilight demanded, not wasting any time with her friend’s words.

“It barged through my house! Right through the bottom floor! There are holes in my boutique!” She pointed at her residence, and upon inspection, there were large, gaping holes on both sides, in a straight path, right through Carousel Boutique.

“Ugh, really?” Twilight complained. “Don’t worry, Rarity, I’ll pay for the damages. Right now, we've got to go!” She and Fluttershy set off again. Spike tried to follow, but a magenta force held him back. The dragon let out a wail of indignation as he was set on Rarity’s back. Twilight turned her head.

“Sorry, Spike! If Foxy is dangerous, I don’t want you getting hurt!”

“If you see Rainbow Dash, could you please send her our way!?” Fluttershy called a few moments later as they vanished into Carousel Boutique.

Run! Don’t stop . . . never stop! Did I hurt him? I don’t even remember . . . oh the skies above, what’s happenin' ta me?

Trip. Stumble. His foot caught on a suspended root, sending him tumbling forwards. Two arms were thrown out to catch him.

Foxy pedaled his back legs, managing to get back on his feet. He tore through the forest. He didn’t know what he was doing or why, but all he knew was he had to get away. Far away as possible.

Tree branches whipped at Foxy’s muzzle, and pain ignited in his circuits. But he not dare turn back.

“Twilight, how are we ever going to find Foxy in here?”

Fluttershy’s worried question surfaced as the duo reached the edge of the Everfree Forest. The unicorn frowned.

“We’ll just have to follow his trail, if he left one. And I very much doubt that Foxy, of all creatures, isn’t going to leave some sort of clue to where he’s gone,” Twilight responded. The pair slowed down as they traveled the first few meters into the darkness. Above their head, branches were scratched and even broken.

“I guess you’re right,” the pegasus said. She scrunched down, her wings ruffling on her back from fear. “The Everfree Forest is where Foxy first came from. He ran out of there, I think.” She started at a nearby hoot of an owl. “We should ask him later.”

“I thought he first showed up in your garden?”

“Well, that’s when I saw him, but I observed some traces of plants from the Everfree. Sorry I didn’t tell you.”

“That’s all right.” Twilight shook her head. “You can’t remember everything. Especially when something this big transpires.” The unicorn stopped as she put a hoof down into a large puddle of mud. “Great, just great.” She pulled against the sucking force of the mire, a slurping noise emanating from it. In a large explosion of mud backwards, Twilight managed to get free. Fluttershy squeaked, shielding herself with a wing.

“Are you okay, Twilight?” the pegasus asked, appearing over her friend, who was now on her back. Twilight groaned, rolling onto her stomach.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Twilight replied, “let’s just keep going.” She used her magic to perform a cleaning spell on her body, and then she was free from the contaminating substances.

The duo continued onward. Eventually, the trail of branches stopped, leaving them with no idea if their target went a different direction or not.

“Well, at least we reached a clearing,” Twilight said, glancing around. The trees here were much higher than earlier, towering hundreds of feet above their heads. “But now there’s nothing I can see that tells us where Foxy went.”

“No paw prints?” Fluttershy asked, scanning the forest floor. Leaves were scattered all around.

“Not that I can see.” Twilight narrowed her eyes in scrutiny.

“Do you know a spell that could help us?”

“Hmm . . . a tracking spell? That’s brilliant! I just need to think . . .” The unicorn began to tap her head in thought.

Fluttershy, meanwhile, searched around the clearing to see if there was anything.

“’shy, I think I know!” Twilight exclaimed from across the glade. The pegasus flittered back over, eager to hear the plan. “Alright, so I was thinking about how Foxy is made of, well, you know, metal. And I am nearly positive I can perform a spell that would allow us to track anything made out of metal.”

“Just metal?”

“Well, technically metal alloys, but they’re very nearly the same.” Twilight waved a hoof in nonchalance.

“O-okay then, Twilight, if you think you can do it.” Fluttershy twitched her tail.

“Alright!” The unicorn lit her horn, a magenta aura surrounding it. Twilight closed her eyes, concentrating. In a matter of moments, the glow grew brighter, and Fluttershy shielded her eyes with a wing.

“I’m getting a trace of something . . .” Twilight mumbled, an eyebrow twitching. Her eyes opened, and the corona on her horn dimmed, fading out. “Something with a large amount of metal in its system went through here just about thirty minutes ago.”

A grin split across both their faces.

Foxy stumbled along. His circuits hummed dully. He was running out of power.

Come on . . . somewhere I can jus’ stop. There’s defin’tely not anythin’ ta power me up in a forest.

Foxy had what could only be minutes left, and if he’d tried earlier, his path was lost to the ponies who were most likely following him.

Nearly startin' ta regret that . . . but if I did somethin’, I can’t go back.


The pirate slipped on something and went tumbling down the slope. He’d not been paying attention, and apparently was going to pay for it. Now he was crashing through bushes and thickets, his circuits screaming in pain. He came to a halt at the bottom, now half in and half out of a pool of murky water.

Well, maybe something more than a puddle of gross water. More like a huge expanse that went hundreds of feet in each direction.

“Great . . . jus’ great. Now I’m gonna rust out here before I lose power,” Foxy grumbled to himself. He hauled himself onto the land and tried to kick the offending mire from his hind legs.

“Speakin’ ‘a ‘out here’, where is here?” he asked. The fox let his eyes wander, taking in the scenery. The only way of out there seemed to be right through the swamp, and that was completely out of the question. After uttering a word that would have and did get him punished by Freddy Fazbear himself, Foxy fell against a nearby tree. His eyes half lidded, the pirate let out a small whine.

A growl rumbled from the icky mud. Foxy shot to attention, ears pricked.

“Who goes there? Show yourself, ye scallywag!” Foxy roared threateningly, waving his hook. Silence. “Is it ye ponies? Trying ta get ol’ Foxy back, ay? Well, too bad! I’ll ‘ave ye know, I’ve been through worse!”

“Grrroooooaaaaa . . .”

“Nice sound effects. Very nearly almost scared me. Close, but no cigar.” Foxy’s ears swiveled around on his head.

A silence followed his words once again. The pirate shivered, trying to keep his cool. Suddenly, a roar ripped from the mud. Four heads shot out of the mire, spattering it everywhere. Foxy gasped in astonishment as massive orange necks followed after the triangular heads. Eight black eyes stared down at the fox.

“O-oh, ahoy, maties. Am I in your terr’tory? I must be. I’ll jus’ be goin’. No need ta get worked up 'bout it . . .” Foxy said timidly, putting his hand and hook in front of him in a gesture of surrender. He slowly backed up, only to hit the tree on which he’d been leaning against just minutes prior. The beast inched closer, its body emerging from the mud slowly. Two legs as thick as tree trunks pushed it forward.

“No, ye can stay put. I’ll move . . .”


“I’m goin’!” Foxy yelped, jumping into action.

What’s with this forest and tryin’ ta kill me?!?!

“No! No!” Foxy leaped over a swipe from one of the heads, narrowly dodging the thick neck. “I’m goin’! No”—a crash as it bit down on a tree—“No! I’m goin’!”

A primal screech ripped through the cooling night air. Foxy gave a frightened yelp, picking up his pace . . .


Fluttershy stopped, soft yellow ears pricked as she stood straighter. They twitched on her head, swiveling forward and back.

“Twilight?” the pegasus called quietly a moment later to her friend that was a ways away.

Twilight glanced over at her friend’s call. “Yes, Fluttershy?”

“Did you hear that?”

Twilight flicked her tail. “What did you hear?”

“It sounded like some kind of . . . far-off roar.” Fluttershy frowned, face contorted in confusion.

“Well, that can’t be good.” Twilight bit her lip, approaching the pegasus again. “I suggest we check it out.”

“Are you betting that Foxy is involved?” Fluttershy asked, cocking her head.

“Most definitely. I swear, that fox is the unluckiest I’ve ever met,” the unicorn griped momentarily.

“We’ve only known him for around ten hours.”

“Yes, I’m aware. We turned him on at approximately twelve noon, and it’s nearly ten. We’ve been pursuing him for practically an hour now. Celestia’s sun, why can’t anything be stress-free around here?”

“I’m sorry to have it be this much trouble for you, Twilight.” Fluttershy looked away. The unicorn glanced quizzically at the reticent pegasus for a moment.

“It’s not your fault, ‘shy. Don’t feel bad.”

“O-okay. I just don’t want you to be stressed out more than you have to be.”

Twilight smirked. “Like that’ll ever happen. Besides, when we get back to Ponyville, I’ll take a nice, long bubble bath and some invigorating, soothing chamomile tea.”

“That’s kind of opposing, isn’t it?” Fluttershy cocked an eyebrow. “Invigorating? Soothing?”

“Sorry. My brain’s tired. I guess it did come out sorta odd sounding. But no matter—let’s just find Foxy, interrogate him, and then let me go relax.”

“Can’t you just use that spell you learned?”

“I’m not really tired like that. Just—worn out. Something only a period of reduction can affluence.”

“I understand. Happens to the best of us.” Fluttershy offered a smile as they continued on their journey.

“You know something, ‘shy?” Twilight asked after about a half an hour of walking through the dank forest.

“Hmm?” the pegasus replied, turning her head slightly to Twilight’s voice.

“Aren’t we on the path that leads to Froggy Bottom Bog?”

“Uh . . . perhaps a different route than what I took.”

“Then . . . you know what that roar probably was, right?”

“. . . Hydra?”

“. . . Hydra.”

“Fantastic.” Fluttershy dropped her head. “I am seriously getting fatigued, Twilight.”

“Me too. I don’t wanna relax anymore, I wanna sleep!”

“Can you please use that spell?”

“Right now, that sounds like a pronounced idea.” Twilight’s horn glimmered with energy, and then a fuzziness settled over both of the equines’ heads. The feeling reigned absolute for a tick, before it released its hold and both of the ponies blinked, feeling refreshed.

“Ahh, much better,” Twilight sighed in gratification.

“Thanks,” Fluttershy said. They continued headlong. “You know what, Foxy must’ve run this whole way for us to be this far behind.”

“You’re probably dead-on.”

“Luna . . . you brought a strange creature to Equestria?” Celestia asked, shocked.

Luna nodded. “It was for the greater good, I assure thee.”

“For both sides of the universe?”

“I . . . know it will help Foxy. And possibly your student.”

“Don’t you see that that was a very dangerous thing to do? And you did it without consulting me!”

“I . . .”

Celestia seemed hurt. “You didn’t even inform me right afterwards?” The solar alicorn gazed upon her younger sister with glimmering eyes.

“Why are you so upset? Have I done something to upset an old wound?” Luna asked, cocking an eyebrow.

Celestia began to place the room, mane flowing eternally around her. “I thought you had come past lying to me.”

Luna started, flaring her wings. “We hath not lied to you! And we are not subject to your lies!”

Celestia sighed, closing her eyes. “I am deeply sorry, little sister. I did not mean to offend you. I am just . . . overreacting.” She glanced towards the sun. “I hope to meet the poor fox, soon. Tomorrow I shall write to Twilight.”

Luna nodded. Her temper evened out again.

We suppose our sister has a point. We should not have brought Foxy here without consulting her.

“You know, Luna, I think you’re slowly reverting to your old ways.”

The lunar sovereign flinched. “What?!”

“Using the royal ‘we’ are you?” Celestia chuckled.

“Sneaky, sister, but we—I have come farther than that.”

“Maybe if you used it everywhere, instead of just in public, you’d get over it.”

“Perhaps you are right.”

Celestia smirked. “Perhaps I am.” She watched the sun on the horizon. “It is nearly time to lower the sun and raise the moon.”

“Yes. I shall be waiting.”

Two small, golden orbs slowly lit up the darkness. They became brighter and brighter, and with it, a slight hum that filled the air.

Foxy blinked his glowing eyes rapidly, trying to clear his vision. He shifted in the black.

Yar . . . where am I? . . . And what happened ta me?

The pirate glanced about, struggling to find a source of light. He began to stand up, only to fall over as a frantic beeping stopped him.

Ah . . . that makes more sense. I be runnin’ on emergency power. I musta lost power and . . .

Foxy stopped. He glanced upwards. A few dark shadows told him he had fallen down some sort of hole. He was at least twenty feet in the ground. The pirate perked an ear haphazardly, trying to see if he could hear the beast from earlier. There was silence.

Okay, I musta fell and lost power, or the other way ’round. Lucky me, least I didn’t have ta feel that. But what ta do now? I can’t move much on account ‘a me bein' on emergency power . . .

Foxy sensed he had about seven percent of his emergency power remaining. He only had ten percent of power to begin with in his short supply. If he was already dying again, what use was it?

For land’s sake . . . why!?

Foxy sighed, leaning back against the cold stone wall. It’s useless. I’ll ne’er get out ‘a here.

Twilight and Fluttershy glanced around. They were at Froggy Bottom Bog. So far, they hadn’t seen anything living, though there were footprints. And some of them were quite large.

“Hydra, great. And I assume it was chasing Foxy,” Twilight muttered, seeing the humongous prints going off in a different direction around the edge of the swamp.

“We better hurry! He might be hurt,” Fluttershy said, opening her wings. She hovered in the air, and the duo set off in the direction. After following them for a while, they stopped. The Hydra’s footprints doubled back, heading into the bog.

“Uhh, where did Foxy’s tracks go?” Twilight asked, turning in a tight circle.

“Maybe through those bushes?” Fluttershy responds, pointing a hoof at the nearby thicket. They exchanged glances and went forward. There was nothing there. Twilight raised an eyebrow, using her magic to shift bushes around so she could see if there were prints.

“Ooohhh,” the unicorn crowed, realization flooding over her.

“What? What is it?” Fluttershy flapped her wings, moving over her friend.

“Look. It’s some sort of trap. Maybe one of the ancient timber-wolf traps.” Twilight moved out of the way so the pegasus could see. A large hole was carved into the ground. It’d been covered with the bush so nopony would see it.

“Is Foxy in there?”

“Seems reasonable. This is where his footprints stop. The hydra probably stopped chasing him when it lost sight of him.” The unicorn stooped over the edge.

“Why don’t I go down there? I can fly.” For emphasis, Fluttershy flapped her wings a bit faster, dropping down in front of Twilight.

“Okay, ‘shy. Take this.” Twillight lit her horn and a small twinkling of magic dissipated into the pegasus’ cyan eyes. Fluttershy blinked a few times, alarmed. “If you think about it, you can turn on a light. It’ll shine from your eyes, but won’t affect your vision. Just be careful. If Foxy’s dangerous, we don’t want you to get hurt.”

“Of course I’ll be fine. If I’m in trouble, I’ll yell.” Fluttershy started descending, her wing beats slow and steady to lower herself down. The light vanished quite fast, so she blinked and tried to concentrate her thoughts on making a light. Immediately, a light shone onto the stone wall beside her. Fluttershy turned her head, testing it out. It followed her line of sight. “Thanks, Twilight,” she whispered. She then directed her gaze downward. Something reflected back the light.

Fluttershy slowed down a bit, trying to get the shape of the object.

“Oh, Foxy!”

The pegasus landed on the ground. The hole was quite narrow, but she managed to find some open space. Foxy was slumped against the wall, his head bent forward so she couldn’t see most of his face. His legs were bent and parted, his arms laying on the insides of his thighs.

“Foxy?” the pegasus asked again. She gently prodded his large metal foot. He didn’t move. Looking upwards, Fluttershy opened her mouth, “Twilight! He’s down here!” She glanced back at the metal pirate. “But I think he’s broken!”

“Really?” came Twilight’s disembodied voice. Fluttershy saw a shaft of light open up from Twilight casting a spell, and the shadow of the unicorn appeared overhead.

“Would you teleport him up there?”

“. . . Can you carry him up from there?”

Fluttershy paused. “Can’t you just levitate him up from here?”

“The Everfree Forest’s strange magic is messing up my own. Must be some odd magical storm? It came out of nowhere. My magic won’t allow me to carry something that heavy right now. Sorry.”

“No, no, it’s okay. I carried him before, I’m sure I can do it again.” Fluttershy waved a hoof and beat her wings. She moved forward and grabbed the metal fox under his arms. Straining, as Foxy was so much heavier than her, the pegasus furiously pumped her feathered appendages. Ever so slowly, they began to rise.

“Fluttershy? How you doing?” Twilight called. The beam of light fell upon her friend again.

“Uh . . .” Fluttershy was trying to respond, but couldn’t because of the strain she was under. “I’m—I’m getting there!”

“I think I can cast an anti-gravity spell. Unfortunately, the magical interference is strengthening. The spell won’t be full strength. But it’ll help.”

Oh, for Celestia’s sake, it was so much easier with my wagon! Fluttershy thought, huffing. Her cheeks tinged red and her wings were already tired. But then, a feeling of lightness came over her, and beating her wings became much easier. Fluttershy’s eyes opened from their closed position, and she looked up. She caught a glimpse of a smiling Twilight. The pegasus flapped quicker and she rose much faster. Soon she was at ground level. A magical aura encased Foxy and pulled him away from her. Fluttershy fell onto the grass, the dirt pressing into her belly fur. Her flanks and tail hung limply down the hole.

“Thanks—“huff—“Twilight—“gasp—“I nearly didn’t—“puff—“make it,” Fluttershy groaned, letting her head fall onto her front hooves.

“You’re very welcome. I’m glad I managed to lift him that far. This stupid magical interference is ticking me off,” the unicorn grumped. She glared at the air above her, though there was seemingly nothing there.

“Ugh, can we go back to Ponyville now?”

Twilight broke out of her pout. “Of course, ‘shy.” She flashed a smile at her friend.

“Wait, how are we going to get Foxy out of here?”

Twilight paused. “. . . Horsefeathers.”

Takes Place in a Matter of Hours YEEAAAAAHH

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There was a series of crashing noises that reverberated through the Golden Oaks Library just after four A.M. Following that, muffled curses and the stamping of hooves. A door slam came after and then more crashes. An immense amount of swearing next.

“Uh . . . Twilight? Are you okay?” Spike called nervously. He stood at the top of the stairs (by the way, Twilight should really get some hoof-rails), looking down at the lower part of the library.

“SPIKE, GO TO BED!” Twilight’s aggravated voice shouted from the lab, so loud it breached even the thick oak door that led downstairs.

“Yes, Twilight!” Spike yelled, shooting off to his basket in a blur of purple and green. He dove into the blankets, only his bright emerald eyes shining in the dark. “Yeesh, I only wanted to help . . .” A violet claw reached out for a small journal that rested on the ground next to his bed. Spike leaned out of his basket a little and took the quill that was stuck in the spine out of its place. He flipped open his book to the next clean page and began writing.

“Reminders: don’t stay up past bedtime when Twilight has been chasing a metal fox for eight hours.”

Spike flicked his wrist, closing the journal. He placed it back down on the carpet and snuggled into his bed, closing his eyes.

Twilight Sparkle was very miffed. Very, very, very, miffed. She continued telling herself in her mind she was only in ‘an angry mood or sulk.’ Otherwise, she’d freak out and explode, because in actual terms she was extremely tired and angry and ready to smack the Tartarus out of anything or anyone that came in her way of getting home. So she stormed into her library, trying so hard to ignore the fox-shaped hole in the wall of her home. But it didn’t work as said fox hit the door frame, causing her to drop him on the ground.

“F*%KING CELESTIA-D*&%#T! EVERYPONY CAN GO F*%K THEMSELVES!” Twilight tossed her head back. “F*%K!”

Fluttershy, who was currently hovering behind the frazzled unicorn, flinched, dropping into a nearby bush. Two large cyan eyes peeked out of the leaves to watch Twilight.

The unicorn took a deep breath, attempting to calm down. Her magic activated again, and the limp pirate was picked up. Twilight trotted inside, maneuvering Foxy so that he didn’t hit the door frame this time around. Once that was done, the unicorn opened the door to her lab and went on in.



Fluttershy stopped again. She folded in her soft yellow wings, then tentatively peeped around the corner of the door. Twilight was standing in the middle of the steps, swearing her lungs out. The creamy coated pegasus winced every time her friend shouted another rude word, but didn’t say anything as Twilight ranted.


Fluttershy stood silently, observing. Finally, after a few moments, the unicorn stopped. She harrumphed and traversed the steps to her lab. Fluttershy followed after a moment’s hesitation. She closed the door after she came in.

“Uh . . . Twilight? Are you okay?” Spike called anxiously from upstairs. His voice was muted through the wood.

Twilight’s head snapped around from where she’d started getting on her white lab coat and goggles. Her coat was half on.

“SPIKE, GO TO BED!” the unicorn screeched, her voice rising to tremendous levels. Fluttershy squeaked in fear and fell backwards onto her flanks. Twilight saw this and softened.

“Sorry, ‘shy. But do you have any idea how incredibly . . . miffed I am?” Twilight asked, her voice trembling with the effort to keep her volume down and not freak out.

“I understand, Twilight. I recognize it was hard to get Foxy here between us. Especially since that ‘magical storm’ was blocking your own magic,” the pegasus responded, getting back to her hooves.

Twilight sighed. “You can go home if you want. I need to fix Foxy, and by the looks of it, he’ll need a ton of repairs. When he fell into that trap, he did a number on himself.” Twilight lit her horn, opening a drawer on a cabinet on the other side of the room. A few pieces of machinery were levitated over to her, along with a blowtorch and mask.

“Um, I think I’ll do that. Thanks, Twilight, and good luck.” Fluttershy began backing away. She saw Twilight flip the mask over her face, and the blowtorch burst into life with a hiss. “Bye!”

The pegasus scurried out of her friend’s laboratory.


Twilight’s screeching started in the early morning. Spike, asleep, in his basket upstairs, shifted, letting out a small whine. He turned over in his bed, pulling the blankets tighter around him. He buried his spiked-head under the covers and fell back into a deep sleep.


Twilight lobbed her screwdriver across her lab. It lodged several inches deep in the wooden wall. The agitated unicorn stood there, legs spread out wide, chest heaving. Her nostrils flared, smoke coming out of her ears.

“Uh, what am I doing?” Twilight moaned. She let her head drop, frazzled mane bouncing. “I just need to stop.” She turned around, heading towards the stairs. “Taking a break.”

Twilight trotted up the steps. Her head was pounding. Why wasn’t Foxy working? She’d cleaned up all the mud and fixed all the areas where wires stuck out because of when he’d fallen.

“Mmm, it just doesn’t make any sense,” the violet unicorn mused to herself as she poured herself a cup of coffee. As she sipped it, Twilight thought about anything she might’ve missed.

“No, I got that . . .” Twilight frowned, taking a sip of the strongly caffeinated beverage that was currently floating in her magical grasp. Another sip. “Mmm, no, no . . .” She stood up against her counter, putting her elbows behind her on the sleek marble. “No! I got that done already.” Twilight’s eyes widened.

Hot coffee was spit all over the floor in front of the unicorn, which turned out to be a bad mistake, as when she took off towards her lab, her smooth hooves skidded on the liquid and she was flung towards the door at high speeds. Oh well, what was another giant hole in her precious library after all that had transpired in the last less-than-24-hours?

“Aaah!” Twilight’s cry as she tumbled down the wooden stairs echoed through the library. Thankfully, Spike didn’t wake at this exclamation, but he did shift at the noise.

“Guuh,” the purple unicorn moaned, rubbing her head when she finally stopped at the bottom and managed to sit up. Her mane was even worse, it that was all possible. Twilight shook her head, blinking rapidly.

“Well, s*%t,” she muttered when she looked up at her lab’s door. “Oh well.” Twilight scampered forward, her goggles coming over her eyes. Her horn glowing, she got out several wires. From the back of the lab floated a large machine. It was grey with a large switch on the front and two small lights on the top. Twilight set this down next to her and levitated the wires up closer to it. “Hmm.” Her horn flashed a brighter magenta and the wires were affixed to the machine, hooked to the controls inside. After that, the unicorn used her magic to hook the wires to a few controls in Foxy’s back.

“Alright, totally hope this works,” Twilight said, getting her magic ready to pull the large switch, “because if it doesn’t, then we’ll probably both be fried.” With a shrug (then a mad scientist’s grin), Twilight flipped the switch. The room lit up with a brilliant light, and if it wasn’t for her goggles, she was sure she’d be blind. The light flashed for a few more moments, electricity crackling, and soon was over. Twilight lifted her goggles off her face to rest on her forehead.

“Uhh, Foxy?” the unicorn tentatively asked. She grimaced. “Ooh, that might’ve been a mistake.” She moved forward to check Foxy’s controls, when he twitched his hand. Twilight stopped, lifting a fore-hoof off the ground and closer to her chest. “Hellooo?”

Foxy’s ears flicked, and Twilight heard the telltale hum that he was starting up. A grin split across her face once again.

“Foxy, can you hear me?” the unicorn asked. She relocated, standing in front of Foxy’s face.

“Rrrr . . . Chica?” the pirate mumbled, his voice heavy.

Chica? “Uh, no, Twilight.”

“Tell Freddy I don’t care . . .”

He’s definitely not listening. That electricity must have knocked some things around. This might be an opportunity to learn something . . . “Uh, Foxy, where are you?”

“I dunno.”

“O-okay.” Weird. “Who’s Chica?”

“The duck, 'a course . . . but don’t tell her I said that.”

“Of course I won’t.” Twilight raised an eyebrow. Don’t tell her she’s a duck? Oh . . . a chicken. She must be a chicken. That would make sense. “So . . . what does Freddy need?”

“How would I know? ‘s why ye are here, in’t it?”

“Right . . . But who am I? Chica?”

“Bonnie, st’p bein’ ridiculous . . .” Foxy mumbled, his metal hand twitching. Bonnie. Another girl?

“Okay, then.” Twilight frowned. What else can I even ask? “What happened between you and Freddy?”

Foxy sighed. “Ye would know . . . ye were there. Chica and ye . . . yeah, that.”

“But will you tell me?” Twilight asked in a more urging tone.

“Mmm . . .” Foxy suddenly yet groggily pushed himself up into a sitting position. “Am I . . . in the lab ‘gain?”

Twilight quickly cleared her throat and scurried around the table. “Yep! Fluttershy and I hunted you for like three hours, and then it took five hours to get you out of the Everfree Forest. Also, were you chased by a hydra?”

“Big or’nge creature with four ‘eads?” Foxy asked.

“That’s the one.”

“Then aye.” Foxy glanced around. “Where’s that lil yellow one?”

“Fluttershy went home last night. I’ve been up all night working on you. When you fell down that pit, some of your metal was crushed. It’s really cool, you know, that we have the same metals here in Equestria as you do in your world. So I fixed the holes and melded them with part magic part blowtorch. I must say, not to toot my own horn, but I did a really great job.” Twilight watched as Foxy inspected his body. “I should be a professional.”

Fluttershy felt the sunlight beaming down on her in shafts of light through her window. She rolled, not feeling ready to get up yet. Her mouth creased into a frown as she pulled her pink blanket farther up on her shoulders. Birds started singing. The pegasus whined, yanking the comforter over her head fully. Something soft and furry thumped on her shoulder.

“No! Angel, I’m not ready to get out of bed!” she wailed softly, trying desperately to ignore the feeling of her bunny pounding on her from the other side of the blanket. Angry chattering followed her words, and the blanket was ripped off her body. Fluttershy squealed in fear, shivering from the sudden removal of her comfort. Angel stood at the foot of the bed, blanket held in paw.

“Fine, Angel, I’ll get up.”

The pegasus rolled out of bed, fed her animals, took a shower, and then tidied up her cottage a bit. She busied herself with these tasks for a little while before remembering she had something to do. She got a few things together, then said goodbye to her bunny.

“I’ll be back later, Angel Bunny. Take care of the cottage while I’m gone,” Fluttershy said, stooping down to the fluffy white rabbit’s level. He looked at her, arms crossed. “Fine, you can have an ice-cream bar later. Just don’t eat it too fast; you might get a brain freeze.” The bunny grinned and hopped off. Fluttershy smiled gently, then turned around and started off towards Ponyville.

“Twilight? It’s Fluttershy,” the pegasus called, knocking gently on the library’s door. After a moment’s pause, the familiar purple unicorn appeared in the door.

“Oh, hi. I’m glad you’re back—Foxy’s up,” Twilight said, ushering the pegasus inside.

“For how long?”

“Well, it was about eight when I started violently swearing again, so for about an hour. He already asked where you were.”

“Probably because he was used to seeing me.” Fluttershy took the lead and started towards the basement door.

“No, ‘shy, he’s up here. He didn’t like sitting in the basement all day.” Twilight nodded her head towards the smaller room that led to a different section of books. The two mares strolled in, and saw Foxy causally flipping through a book. He was sitting in a wooden chair off in the small reading corner. There were a few beanie bags and chairs, along with a tall lamp. It was a cozy little area.

“Oh, hi, Foxy,” Twilight said, her eyebrows raised. “What book are you reading?”

“Hmm . . . not sure, lass. Somethin’ ‘bout ancient civilizations. Was tryin’ ta find a book ‘bout pirates, but I have no idea how ta use a lib’ry,” Foxy responded absentmindedly, not even looking up as he turned a page.

“Oh, pirates, huh? I can get you one.” Twilight turned to head back into the main part of the library. “Fluttershy is right here, by the way.” The unicorn exited the room.

“Hello,” Fluttershy said, walking forward. Foxy glanced up, one eyebrow cocked.

“Arr! Ahoy, lass! I hope ye slept well,” the pirate chirruped.

“Well, thanks. I did sleep quite well—like a log.” Fluttershy smiled. “But my awakening was not nearly as great.”

Foxy cocked his head.

“My pet—Angel Bunny. He got me out of bed by ripping my blanket off me. I’m still kind of tired.” She trotted over. “Anyways, I didn’t know you could read. I mean, Twilight said you might’ve been able to, but that was before we actually reactivated you.” The pegasus situated herself on a soft cushion, crossing her forelegs over one another.

“Oh, I can barely read. Remember, I was a children’s entertainer. Most ‘a the words I can understand are what a small child could. That’s the extent ‘a my skills.”

Fluttershy faltered. “O-oh. Well, I’m sure Twilight could teach you to read—if you really wanted to, anyway.”

“Don’t think it’d be that useful ‘a skill, ta be honest. Where ‘m I supposed ta get a book ta read in my place ‘a work? ‘sides, Freddy never bothered ta teach me, so if he didn’t think it was impor’nt, then ’s not.”

That’s true. He has a point. But . . . knowing Twilight, she’d try to teach him anyway.

“I guess. Expect Twilight to teach you even with that fact. Better not tell that, though I’m sure she’ll find out,” Fluttershy said.

“I be not worried ‘bout her,” Foxy replied with nonchalance.

Fluttershy paused, starting to think about the details of last night. “Foxy?” she asked after a few moments.


“What . . . about last night . . .”

Foxy froze, no longer casually flipping through the pages of the book sitting on his lap. His eyes looked down.

“Are you okay? I don’t want to offend you, but I can’t forget what happened. I’m sure Twilight’s dying to ask some questions as well, but she doesn’t know how to start.”

“I . . . don’t really understan’ what happened myself.”

“Can you at least try and explain to me?”

Foxy took the book off his lap and got up. He carefully padded over and put it back where he’d found it.

“I didn’t hurt the lad, did I?” he asked, still facing the bookshelf.

Fluttershy hadn’t actually expected him to answer. She turned her face towards him. “Spike? No, you didn’t. He said you had some sort of panic attack and then ran off.”

“I’m guessin' the hole—”

“Yeah, that was you.”

Foxy shook his head, turning around. “So I ran away?”

“Yes. You also damaged my friend Rarity’s house, then got into the Everfree Forest.”

“Oh, so that’s why I’m all scratched. I don’t remember why I was runnin’, but I do recall bein’ chased by a hydra,” Foxy said. “S’rry ‘bout that.”

Fluttershy blinked. “It’s alright. Twilight’s paying for the you-shaped holes in the walls.”

“I see. The ‘Everfree’, ye called it? That’s where I was?” he asked. “I’ve nearly gotten eaten twice in there.”


“Aye, big creature tried ta get me when I first arrived here.”

“Okay, so you did end up in the Everfree before I found you in my garden,” Fluttershy confirmed, nodding her head. “Can you describe what was attacking you?”

“Uhh, big, yellow, wings, huge paws?” Foxy put his hands up near his face, his fingers clawing out at the air, imitating claws. Though it wasn’t a very accurate presentation because of his hook.

“Um . . .” Fluttershy racked her brain. “Did it have a scorpion tail?”


“It was a manticore.”

Foxy raised an eyebrow at the word, but decided to come away from the shelves. He ditched the chair and plopped down on the floor next to Fluttershy.

“Do you remember anything else about what happened last night?” Fluttershy asked.

“I was runnin’ on emergency power for a lil while, which really blanks out recent mem’ries. But I lost power, so I guess that’s somethin’ ta comp’sate,” Foxy explained.

“Oh . . .” Fluttershy glanced down. What if he’s lying? Guess I can’t do anything even if he was. If he doesn’t want to talk about it anyways, who am I to press him?

“. . . Foxy, will you tell me more about your past?” she asked suddenly.

“I—me past?” the pirate stuttered, the look on his face saying exactly what he thought of that idea.

“Yes. I just want to know more about what happened that was so bad. Luna said something haunts your past, so maybe . . .”

“No. Nothin’s wrong,” he answered quickly with a shake of his head.

“I know that’s a lie, and so do you.” Fluttershy delivered an admonishing look.

Foxy glanced away, eyes downcast. “I can’t ever tell anyone.”

“But that’s what Luna brought you here for: to help you.”

“I asked fer a second chance—”

Foxy stopped, catching himself. Fluttershy blinked, tilting her head just slightly.

“A second chance? Well, Equestria is a good second chance for anyone,” the pegasus said gently. She placed a hoof on Foxy’s hand, which was partially in and out of his lap. “Because the ponies here listen. If Twilight and I didn’t care at all, why would she have fixed you? Why would we have chased you for three hours and dragged you back through the Everfree Forest for five hours?”

Foxy remained silent.

“Come on; we can help you.”

“Ye don’t understand.”

“Not yet.” Fluttershy looked into his golden eyes. “Please.”


“I found some books about pirates!” Twilight declared as she strolled into the room.

Celestia’s sake, Twilight. “Oh, hello, Twilight,” Fluttershy said, quickly retracting her hoof and once again placing it over her other foreleg. The unicorn held several books in her magical grasp.

“What were you two talking about in here?” she asked.

“Um, nothing,” Fluttershy answered.

“Oh, really? Well, I got some books, anyways. I’ve picked out some of my personal recommendations.” Twilight looked quite pleased with herself. She dropped the three books into Foxy’s arms. He clumsily managed to catch one, but the others fell onto the floor.

“Oh, uh, thanks, lass,” Foxy stammered. He glanced at the one in his hand. He raised an eyebrow at the title.

“Is something wrong, Foxy?” Twilight asked, seeing his confusion.

“O-oh, nothin’.”

“Are you sure? You look confused.”

“Jus’ . . . intrigued at the title?”

Fluttershy tried to hide her smirk. She hid behind her hair.

“It’s just Pirate Actualities: The Superior Edition, I don’t get what’s so “intriguing” about it,” Twilight said, shrugging with one shoulder as she made motions with the same hoof.

Foxy nodded. “Mmhmm, aye, sure . . .”

Fluttershy could barely contain herself. She put a hoof over her mouth, biting her lip. Twilight seemed to notice this and raised an eyebrow.

“Is something funny, Fluttershy?” the unicorn asked.

Said pegasus couldn’t hold back anymore and started giggling.

“I don’t get it,” Twilight said.

“I-it’s nothing,” Fluttershy chittered, trying to stop. Foxy, meanwhile, was giving the creamy coated mare a fierce glare. He shook his head at her.

“No, no, tell me,” Twilight repeated, a bit irritated and confused.

“I’m remembering a funny joke I heard earlier," she lied.

“What was the joke?” Twilight seemed interested now.

“I—um, okay.” Fluttershy quickly racked her mind for something. “Hey, uh, Twilight, I feel so bad for the vegetables . . . they . . . they . . .”

“They what?”

Fluttershy’s voice level dropped. “They got beet.”

Twilight blinked. “Heheh, I get it! Beet!” Twilight giggled a little.

“Yeah, see, that’s what I was thinking of.”

Twilight nodded. Foxy looked a bit relieved, but his yellow eyes were still narrowed in irritation.

“You know, I haven’t eaten since last night, so you wanna get breakfast?” Twilight asked abruptly.

Fluttershy jumped from the unexpected question. “Sure. I am hungry. I did only feed my animals this morning.”

“Then it’s decided.” Twilight turned to Foxy. “I don’t think you should come with us yet. Are you okay staying here?” Foxy nodded. “Spike’s asleep upstairs . . . he probably will be for a while.” She twitched an ear. “Be careful.”

My dearest and most faithful student,

How goes it with Foxy? Luna has told me all about what’s happened. I understand what she did and there is no worry of any intervention from me. I only wish to meet him. Luna has told me that she refused to tell you herself of what occurred in Foxy’s world that has allowed him to come here. Though she has told me, I advise you to get to know him so he may tell you, as like my sister, I shall not tell you either. If four is okay with you, could I come and meet Foxy? If that time does not work, just tell me a time that shall.

Your teacher and mentor, Princess Celestia

Twilight set the letter down, a frown on her face. Fluttershy tilted her head at her friend.

“Is something wrong, Twilight?” the pegasus asked.

“Princess Celestia wants to meet Foxy. I don’t know if he’s ready, though. We’ve only known him for about two days. He’s not exactly the most . . .” Twilight searched for the right word, “stable individual out there. What happens if he freaks out in front of the princess and she gets rid of him? We’ll never be able to help him. And if what he said to you earlier is true, then he’ll be sent away without a second chance.”

“The princess is a fair ruler. She wouldn’t do something like that without explanation.”

“But we don’t have an explanation.”

“Maybe so, but if he needed to stay, wouldn’t Foxy help his cause?”

Twilight glanced behind her at the side room. “I’m not so sure about that.”

Fluttershy frowned. “But we can’t lie to the princess. It’s not like we’re doing anything.”

Twilight tapped her chin in thought. “Well, since it’s only ten thirty, I think we should let him meet the girls first. He might be more welcoming of the princess if he’s already met others.”

The pegasus nodded. “I agree.”

“Okay, so it’s a date. I’ll have Spike send letters to each of them.”


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“There, Twilight, now they all got a letter,” Spike finished with pride. Said unicorn smiled at her assistant and patted him on the head.

“Thanks. Now we just wait. We should have plenty of time from when Celestia gets here to, uh, clean up any evidence of disaster that could happen before-hoof. We’ve already patched the holes in the library walls—and, um, door—so we should be all good,” Twilight said.

“I just hope everything turns out okay,” Fluttershy worried.

“I’m sure it will.”

“I’m not gonna run ‘way ‘gain if that’s what ye ‘r gettin’ at,” Foxy added. He was sitting on the floor.

“You don’t exactly know that!” the pegasus retorted sharply, startling the pirate with her biting voice. He looked down and mumbled ‘sorry’ under his breath.

“Look, I’m sorry, but what happened to you could’ve been the end. We need to be more cautious,” Fluttershy reiterated.

“Fluttershy is right. If that occurs again, then Princess Celestia might see you as dangerous,” Twilight stated, not mentioning that the princess already knew what he’d done in his past. Wish we knew, the unicorn thought.

“Aye, ye be right,” Foxy begrudgingly agreed. Twilight patted his head, much to his annoyance.

“Good,” Twilight said with a nod, “now let’s just get everything ready for when the others get here.” The group (AKA the three natives to Equestria) busied themselves with tidying up the library as much as they could. “Foxy, could you go into the side room until I come and get you? We should introduce you to all the girls at once.”

“Aye aye,” he obeyed, standing up and padding into the other room.

It wasn’t long before there was a knock at the door. Spike ran to get it, but the orange farmer barged in, slamming Spike into the wall. Applejack greeted them all with a loud “Howdy!” and strolled forward.

“Hi, AJ,” Twilight responded, a smile on her face.

“Now, what’s this thing ya needed me here fer?” the mare asked.

“You’ll see soon enough. We need to wait for everypony else to get here first.”

“Oh?” Applejack raised an eyebrow and took a seat on the floor, next to Fluttershy. The pair started talking idly as Twilight began pacing the room. It was only a couple minutes later when Rarity’s voice sounded from outside.

“Helloo~” the unicorn cooed. They heard a few delicate knocks on the door. “Je suis ici! Darling~”

Twilight’s magic opened the door, allowing the fashionista to enter. Rarity trotted in, mane bouncing gently.

“Hello girls,” Rarity greeted kindly. “What’s the occasion?”

“We’ve gotta wait, Ah guess,” Applejack said.

“Oh. Well, that’s no problem! I had just finished my order before I got your letter, Twilight. It’s always nice to see friends.” She laid down next to Fluttershy, then crossed her hooves in front of her. Twilight continued pacing . . .

“Here! Ooh, is it a party? I bet it’s a party! Man, I love parties! Can it please be a party?” Pinkie Pie’s ecstatic voice cut through the air, and a moment later her bright body burst from the bookshelves. Books sprayed down onto the floor from her entrance.

“Pinkie Pie! It’s not a party!” Twilight exclaimed, her horn lighting to pick up and reorganize the fallen books.

“Aw, that’s boring!” the party pony whined. “But what are we doing!?”

“Ya need to chill down and wait. Twilight here ain’t gonna start ‘til we’re all ‘ere. And Rainbow Dash ain’t here yet, so just take a seat,” Applejack announced. She patted the ground beside her with a hoof.

“Okie dokie lokie!” With a skip and a bounce, Pinkie landed alongside Applejack, rolling on her back.

“Uh! Where is she?” Twilight growled, annoyed. “Rainbow’s the fastest one of us! How is she not here?”

“Prolly nappin’ somewhere in mah orchard,” AJ grumbled, rolling her eyes.

A crash and a bang later, a blue blur sped through the library.


Rainbow Dash spiraled into the very bookshelf Pinkie had sprang form earlier, knocking all the books from the shelves. She was buried in the knowledge and soon her head popped from the middle of the pile.

“Whoops,” the brash pegasus giggled, “sorry. I was napping—”

“Knew it!”

“—and didn’t wake up until a passing cloud blocked my rays. I found the letter you sent on my cloud, so I zoomed over as soon as I read it.”

Twilight sighed. “It’s alright. I just wished you would’ve gotten here earlier. We’ve got some big things to go through.”

“Big things?”

“Yes, you’ll see.” Twilight felt nervousness crashing over her in waves. Oh no, what if this goes wrong? What could happen?

“Fluttershy, if you’d go get him?” the unicorn asked, struggling to keep the tremble out of her voice.

The creamy coated pegasus nodded, “Of course.” She got to her hooves and prudently walked into the other room.

“Him?” Rainbow Dash asked. She cocked an eyebrow. “Twilight . . . did you get a colt-friend?”

Twilight blinked, leaning her head back. “What? No! This is much more serious than some “colt-friend.””

The cyan pegasus looked unconvinced. She snorted, rolling her eyes. Just then, Fluttershy quickly trotted back into the room. She scurried up to Twilight.

“Uh, Twilight, Foxy’s starting to have some . . . second thoughts,” the pegasus whispered into her friend’s purple ear.

Twilight tried not to grimace. “What!? We don’t have time for this!” She caught the look from the other girls, flashing a pained smile. She scooted her and Fluttershy into a side closet. “We need to hurry this along!”

Fluttershy kept a rather calm demeanor. “We won’t have time for him to freeze up either. I’ll see what I can do, but it’s mostly up to him.”

Twilight whined, bouncing on her hoof tips a little bit. “Ooh, please tell him it’s really important to do this! We’d have to introduce him to the girls anyways, so it’s best if as soon as possible—especially since Princess Celestia—the supreme ruler of the nation—is coming to meet him later today!”

The pegasus nodded. “Yes, so I’ll go talk to Foxy, and then we’ll go from there.”

Twilight sighed, managing a nod. “Alright, I trust you. Thanks, ‘shy.” She smiled at the yellow mare, which was returned with the same gentleness.

The pair exited the closet, ignored the stares and blank looks they got from the remaining mares, and Fluttershy went into the side area. Twilight waited outside, her pelt itching with tension.

Fluttershy saw the pirate sitting on the floor, head in his arms. She approached him cautiously.

“Foxy,” the pegasus said slowly.

“Rrr, I don’t think I can do it. I can’t meet ‘em all,” he murmured with distress.

“Why not?”


Fluttershy didn’t let him finish. “Is it because maybe this whole situation reminds you of something?”

Foxy stopped. He lifted his head up, studying the normally timid pegasus. “N-no.”

“Oh really? Is that a stutter I just heard?”

“M-maybe.” Foxy glanced away, ears tilting backwards.

Fluttershy sat down on the floor next to the fox. “What’s really the matter?”

Foxy sighed. “Meetin’ this many at one time, it reminds me ‘a . . . when I was first introduced ta the other animatronics.”

Fluttershy smiled gently. “It’s okay. Sometimes I can’t do things because of something that happened—even if it was a long, long time ago.”

“How do ye know so much? I mean, ‘bout this kinda . . . situation.”

“I’ve been in your position more than a few times. So I understand. Even if you’re a talking, sentient pirate robot fox from another world, I can relate to what you’re going through.” That got a small smile out of him, and Fluttershy allowed herself to giggle slightly. “So, what do you say?” She pushed herself to her hooves. “They’re not that scary—except Rainbow can be a bit intimidating at times. She’s just protective.”

Foxy’s thoughts drifted back to Freddy in the beginning . . . “I understand that.”

“Are they going to come out anytime soon?” Rainbow Dash complained, rolling onto her back.

“I’m sure they will,” Twilight said, though she bit her lip as she turned away again.

Suddenly, the doorknob turned. Fluttershy exited the room, a small smile on her face. Twilight felt one working over her muzzle as the large shape behind her become visible. Foxy ducked underneath the door frame (for he was much too large to fit) and tried to keep calm.

Rarity was the first to react. She jumped back, all the while screaming. “Ew, ew, ew, ew, get that thing away from me! It ruined my boutique!”

Foxy frowned, looking to Fluttershy. She gave a quick nod, then took to the air.

“Now, girls—Rarity—don’t panic, please. If you’d just let Twilight explain,” the pegasus stated. Twilight stepped forward, a calm, collected look on her face.

“Girls, this is Foxy. He was brought here by Princess Luna for a . . . special reason. Yes, he’s a robot, well, technically animatronic, but he’s friendly,” the unicorn started. Heh, at least most of the time. “I want you all to be nice to him.”

Rainbow Dash, who’d been hovering above the group, swooped down to Foxy. “Hi! I’m Rainbow Dash!”

“Ah’m Applejack.”

“Pinkie Pie!”

“ . . . Rarity. Uggh!” the unicorn shivered after she said her name. She grimaced.

“Rares, be nice,” AJ chided, a smirk on her muzzle.

Rarity cleared her throat, puffing up her mane as a light blush spread across her cheeks. “Mm-mm, right. Excuse me.”

Twilight smirked slightly, but quickly glanced over at Foxy. His muzzle was turned down, and he was staring at the floor.

“H-hey! Foxy! Why don’t you say something?” Twilight quickly interjected, throwing herself forward to change the topic.

The pirate glanced quizzically at her. “What?”

“He talks! He talks! My life is complete!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, putting her hoof up to her forehead and falling about as she wobbled around on her back legs. The pink pony finally collapsed in a blur.

“Yes, Pinkie, of course he does,” Twilight said, an agitated frown on her face.

“What else can he do, huh huh huh?!” Pinkie leaped forward and gripped Twilight’s face, squeezing her cheeks. “Can he dance or sing or sail a ship ‘cuz he’s a pirate!?”

With a swing of her hoof, the party pony was knocked off. “Will you calm down?”

“It’s Pinkie Pie, telling her to calm down is like telling a fish not to swim,” Rainbow hissed into Twilight’s ear.

“Yes, I know, but this is a serious matter.” She waved the pegasus away and then raised her voice. “Hey! Listen up!” The group of ponies quickly got into a small huddle, eyes wide and ears perked.

“This is no joking matter. Foxy is our guest, so I want you all to respect him,” she continued in a serious manner.

“Okay, but what’s this all about anyways? I don’t get it—it’s sweet, but I don’t get it,” Dash put in, flying up closer to her friend.

Twilight looked shocked. “What’s not to get?”

“Like this whole situation! What’s the point?”

Twilight sputtered. “Foxy is a creature from another world! How do you not comprehend that?!”

“But why is here? And why do we”—Rainbow circled her hoof around the four of them who’d just came there—“care at all?”

Foxy watched with an increasingly aggravated glare. He was sick of them pretending like he wasn’t there in the room with them! A growl rumbled in his throat.

For goodness sakes!

“Why are ye all arguin’?!” the pirate finally exclaimed, throwing his arms out. “Aren’t ye ‘friends’ or somethin’? ‘s like a board meetin’ all o’er ‘gain!”

The ponies stared, mouths open.

“I’ll be havin’ ye all walk the plank ‘fore this is over.” Foxy shook his head in disappointment.

“Wow . . . that . . . that was somethin’,” Applejack stammered.

“You can say that again,” Rarity said.

Pinkie Pie, without even breaking eye contact with Foxy, repeated, “Wow, that was something.”

“She wasn’t being literal.” That was Rainbow Dash.

Pinkie giggled, raising an eyebrow. “Then what was the point in saying it?”


“Girls, please,” Twilight said gently. “Foxy’s right. Though I didn’t expect it from him.” She shot him a smile. The pirate shrunk back. His circuits heated up.

There were a few moments of silence. Suddenly, one pony’s happy voice rang out:

“Who wants to play a game~?”

“Aw, ponyfeathers!”

Rainbow’s curse was rather loud in the room.

“What’s the matter, Dashie, you upset Foxy’s whipping your butt?” Pinkie Pie asked smugly, easing up to her friend.

“Uh, maybe.” Dash pushed the annoying partier out of her face.

“Yeah, who knew Foxy was good at poker,” Twilight said casually. She had her cards levitating in front of her face. She shuffled some things around, trying not to show her disappointment at her hand.

“How did you get so good?” Rarity questioned. She’d gotten over her disdain (mostly) and was rearranging her cards idly.

Foxy smirked. “Lass, the gang and I played poker all the time. ‘course, I never won—Chica was inadvertently good at the game—she learned from the best.” He sighed. “Freddy could whoop us all fer a time, but when Chica began playin’, she’d beat ‘im by a longshot. Always said he shouldn’t ‘a taught her.” The pirate chuckled, a smile on his muzzle.

“Sounds that Chica was quite interesting—a lady, good at poker. Unladylike, to me,” the fashionista continued, sniffing.

“Really, comin’ from you, Rares?” Applejack scoffed jokingly.

“I’m—I’m not decent at this game!”

“That’s a nice poker face ya got there.”

“Oh, haha. Very funny.”

“Say, Foxy, you ever play strip poker with your buddies?” Pinkie Pie asked out of nowhere. She glanced up from her cards.

“I don’t even . . . know what that is,” he said rather unconvincingly. The ponies snickered.

“How do you even play that? You don’t wear clothes,” Rainbow Dash said, pointing out the obvious.

“’s nt really ‘strip’ poker fer us as much as ‘take ourselves apart’ poker.”

Applejack snickered. “Mind elaboratin’?”

“Uh, we can take off parts of our bodies. Like so,” Foxy said, reaching his hand up to his ear. He unscrewed it and set on on the floor. The ponies stared at it until Pinkie whipped her hoof out and grabbed it. She stuck it in the side of her thick mane and grinned.

“Ya look half fox already,” AJ joked, rolling her emerald green eyes.

“I do?” the party pony asked, gasping. She leaped to her hooves and pranced around. “Hey, hey, hey! Foxy! Can you give me your other ear?”

The pirate raised an eyebrow. “What’re ye planning ta do with it?”

“You’ll see! Please?”

“Fine.” He took it off and Pinkie immediately took it and put it on the other side of her mane. The two bright red ears contrasted oddly with her cotton candy pink coat, but she didn’t care.

“I’m a fox! And”—Pinkie quickly sped off and when she came back, she had an eyepatch and a hat with a skull-and-crossbones on it—“I’m a pirate fox! Arrrr!”

The mane six were all laughing, and Foxy rolled his eyes. It always felt odd without a body part, so he decided to put an end to this.

“Aye, hand it over,” Foxy ordered, sticking out his hand.

“But Foxy!” Pinkie whined, “I’m hooked on them!”

Another burst of laughter from the group.

“I mean, for fox sake, I’m trying to keep this PG, not pi-rated arrrr, but I think I should be able to wear them for a bit longer!”

The other mares were splayed over the floor laughing.

“Can you sea what I’m saying? To think I’d just wave and give you these ears, are you shore you’re not smoking sea-weed?”

Foxy stood up, towering over the little pony by nearly five feet. Pinkie saw the shadow falling over her during her laughter and looked up.

“Whale, I better stop these puns, you’re not looking very jolly, roger.”

Foxy blinked.

“Don’t need to be such a beach about it, though.”


“Right.” Pinkie Pie shook them out of her mane and bounced away.

“That was more fun than I thought it’d be,” Twilight commented idly as the rest of the mares were gone. Fluttershy nodded in agreement.

“And Foxy, I’m very proud that you stepped in,” Fluttershy said, flashing a gentle smile at the pirate.

“Arr, lass, ‘twas nothing. Your mates are very interestin’ once one gets ta know them,” Foxy stated.

“I’m glad you think so.”

Twilight interjected, “But it won’t be as easy in a half an hour.”

“Hopefully you’re not completely right,” Fluttershy worried.

“I guess we’ll see.” Twilight looked towards Foxy, a fretful frown on her muzzle

‘’Mike, what in the world?!”

The young security guard cringed away from his boss’ voice. The older man in front of him scowled, his eyebrows in a v.

“W-what do you mean?” Mike asked shakily.

His boss pounded his fist harshly on the table, causing Mike to give a small yelp of surprise and tilt backwards in his chair. He was sent rolling backwards.

“You idiot! I’m talking about the fact that one of our animatronics went missing! On your shift!”

Mike shook his head to clear it, clawing his way back to his feet. “I-I don’t know a-anything about that!”

“How do you not know what happened?! It’s your job to make sure the animatronics are protected during the night.”

“If a thief did break in here, why would they take the only broken one?” Mike asked.

“Does it matter? All I care about is that we’re losing money!” his boss yelled.

“Yeah, ‘cuz obviously you don’t care that I nearly get killed every night . . .”

“What was that?”

“N-nothing, sir!”

His boss stomped around his desk, grabbing Mike by his shirt. The security guard grimaced, leaning as far away from the angry face of his employer as he could.

“You’re going to find the missing one! I don’t want to the police involved—that’ll just cost more money. We’re barely running this place as it is. If you don’t find it, you’ll be kicked out of here before you can say ‘Freddy Fazbear’!”

Mike swallowed nervously, nodding. “H-how long do I have?”

“You’ve got two weeks. If it’s not back by then, YOU’RE FIRED!”

“Yes, sir!”

With that, his boss let go of him rather roughly, sending the smaller man skidding across the office. Mike recovered and quickly exited the office, shutting the door behind him. The security guard stumbled down the long hallway to his office to begin the fourth night of his work week. It was only about ten, but Mike didn’t want to go home to Doll.

Mike fell against the wall, sinking to the floor. He crossed his arms on his knees and buried his face in his arms.

“What am I gonna do?”

“There’s the princess’ carriage! Quick, Fluttershy, with me!” Twilight yelled, backpedaling away from the window. The pegasus flew forward, then followed her friend outside into the sun. There, Princess Celestia’s guards flew her carriage down from the blue sky. They touched down, and the regal white alicorn stood up to walk off. Twilight trotted forward with Fluttershy flying next to her.

“Princess Celestia,” Twilight said formally, a nervous tone to her voice. Her mentor smiled down at her.

“No need to be so afraid, my dear student. I’m sure everything will be fine,” Celestia soothed. She reached down and nuzzled the little unicorn.

“You’re probably right. Heh.”

“Now where is Foxy?”

Twilight cleared her throat. “He’s inside. If you’d come with me, princess.” She started towards the library. Fluttershy had landed and was walking behind Twilight. The trio entered the library.

“Princess Celestia, this is Foxy,” Fluttershy introduced. The pirate was waiting in the back of the room, and as soon as he saw the princess standing there, he quickly bowed.

“It is nice to finally meet you, Foxy,” Celestia said warmly.

“Same ‘ere, your majesty,” the fox declared.

“No need to be so far away. You can come closer.” She smiled at him. Foxy glanced around nervously, his ears twitching. “It’s okay. I don’t bite—not on purpose, anyways.” The princess gave a small laugh, while Foxy recoiled. Luckily, she didn’t notice.

“Come on, Foxy,” Twilight said, nodding her head towards the regal alicorn. With reluctance, Foxy closed the distance between them. He now stood about three feet before Celestia.

“That’s much better,” the princess stated, smiling. “My, my, quite tall aren’t we?” Celestia could look him in the eye.

Foxy glanced down at his feet, his circuits heating up. “Er . . .” He trailed off.

“You’re also very nervous. I assure you, no matter what these ladies might have said, I won’t banish you to the moon.” She rolled her eyes playfully. When there was no response to her statement, she tilted her head. “If I’m making you feel uncomfortable, please let me know. I’m a fair ruler.”

Foxy shook his head. “Jus’ . . . I’m jus’ like this sometimes. . .”

“It’s fine to be nervous. Luna told me about your”—Celestia coughed softly—“condition. I may seem intimidating, but I’m really not.” The alicorn paused. “How are you getting on?” She took a few steps to the side and simply began browsing the numerous amount of books on the shelves.

“Fine, so far,” Foxy stammered. He kept an eye on the princess as she went off to the side, but then looked at the ground.

“Good, good.” Celestia studied Foxy from behind as she paced.

Hmm . . . Twilight could surely repair him . . . what is she waiting for? Celestia raised an eyebrow at this. And it doesn’t seem as if they’ve done any speaking. I presume he’s not at ease conversing about the . . . topic of which befell that evening. The princess frowned. I might have to intervene . . . yes, I shall speak with Luna tonight when I get back. Then we’ll decide.

“Ooh, look at the time!” Celestia cooed, eyeing the clock. “I am very sorry about this, but I must go. It was very nice meeting you, Foxy, and I have no doubt I’ll see you again very, very soon.”

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Chica frowned. She watched as Mike made his way down the hall. His shoulders were slumped over and he seemed to walk with no purpose. The chicken looked towards the office before making up her mind and turning away, going back to the stage.

“Freddy!” Chica called. The bear on stage glanced towards her. “We need to talk.”

“Well . . . that was fast,” Fluttershy said quietly. The princess’ chariot was vanishing in the distance. Canterlot loomed on the side of the mountain; Princess Celestia’s destination.

“Yeah, definitely. I wonder why?” Twilight questioned, looking away. She walked inside with Fluttershy following right after. “Did we do something wrong?”

“If anyone did an’thin’ wrong, ‘twas me,” Foxy muttered as he heard Twilight’s question. The unicorn lit her horn and shut the door behind Fluttershy.

“I don’t think any of us did anything wrong,” Fluttershy said. “Princess Celestia seemed fine until she just decided to leave.”

“Fluttershy’s right. Something went through her head as she was looking around. There’s nothing in here to provoke that sort of reaction, so perhaps she just left her sink on?” Twilight guessed pathetically.

“I don’t foresee that bein’ a logical explanation,” Foxy deadpanned.

“Well, what else could’ve happened?” Twilight slammed a fore-hoof into the side of her head as she scrunched her nose.

“Don’t berate yourself, Twilight,” Fluttershy ordered. “We should just forget about what happened. She didn’t send Foxy away, did she?”

“No . . .”

“Then let’s not worry too much, alright? I can make some tea to calm us down.” Fluttershy set off towards the kitchen.

“Thanks, ‘shy. Mind getting some sandwiches while you’re in there?” A pink tail flicked in silent acknowledgement.

Spike smelt the food before he saw it. The little dragon peeked around the corner, seeing who was in. Fluttershy was standing on her hind legs as she fiddled with a teapot on the stove.

“Hiyah, Fluttershy. What ya making?” Spike asked, entering the kitchen. The pegasus blinked and looked over.

“Oh, hello, Spike,” Fluttershy greeted. “I’m just making some tea and sandwiches for Twilight and I. Would you like some?”

“You don’t have to.”

“Nonsense. I’ll make you a few as well.” Fluttershy smiled as she got out an extra cup.

“Thanks.” Spike came closer. “So, how was the meeting with Celestia?”

A frown made its way over her face. She dropped down onto all four hooves. “I’m not sure how well it went, Spike.”

“Why?” he asked, tilting his head.

“She was only here for about ten minutes.”

Spike blinked. “Really? That’s all?”

“Yes, I’m afraid. The princess came in and then just as fast, she unexpectedly left.”

Spike bit his lip. “She didn’t give any explanation at all?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “No.” She sighed. “The princess sounded odd, though.”


“Yeah, although I can’t point out exactly why.” The pegasus moved over to the other counter. She began to put the sandwiches together. “You don’t worry about it now. Why don’t you go on and hang with Twilight?”

Spike nodded, then ran off.

Freddy raised a large eyebrow at the chicken. “What about?”

Chica scurried up to the stage. “We need to help Mike.”


Chica clambered on stage. “You heard me. Mike is gonna get fired if he doesn’t find Foxy.”

“Why? Why not just fire him now?”

“I’m saying that if we get a human’s help, then maybe we can find Foxy!”

“Who cares about Foxy? He’s broken anyways.” He shrugged. A yellow blur swung towards him.

Freddy recoiled, holding his cheek. He looked with surprise at the little chicken in front of him.

“Did—did you just slap me?” Freddy asked, startled. He rubbed where she’d hit him with the hand that didn’t have his microphone.

“Yes! You need to stop with the act, mister! You care about Foxy just as much as the rest of us,” Chica reprimanded. “I don’t care what you say about him. We’re going to find him.”

The bear grumbled something, bringing his hand down. “How are we even going to get Mike’s help? He won’t come near us.”

“I’ll go first. You and Bonnie can stay on stage until I bring any news. Maybe I can get Mike to believe me and open the door.”

“I doubt it.”

“Thinking negatively won’t get us anywhere.”

“Who says we’ll get anywhere?” Freddy grumbled. Chica gasped.

“Do you want to get slapped again?” she demanded, holding back her arm. Freddy put his hands up, starting toward backstage.

“No, no, anything but that.” He smirked.

“Don’t get smart with me.”

“Whose name is in the restaurant title?”

“Not yours if you keep that up.”

“These are delicious, ‘shy,” Twilight said gratefully, taking another small bite of her apricot-and-apple sandwich. There was a delightful blend of cream cheese and yogurt spread on both pieces of the bread.

“Thanks. My mom used to make them for me all the time,” Fluttershy said, a smile on her face. She used her wing to take a sip of her sweet tea.

“Hats off to your mom,” Spike commented with his mouth full. He scarfed down the rest of his.

“Manners, Spike,” Twilight chastised. She lifted her teacup to her muzzle and took a drink.

“Sorry. Hey, where’s Foxy?”

“In the other room. Reading again.” The unicorn grinned. “Glad he can.”

Fluttershy inhaled some of her tea. A few drops of the brown liquid sprayed from her cup, spattering on the floor. Twilight gave her an odd look, but the pegasus waved a hoof as tears filled her eyes as she silently coughed, trying to get the tea out of her throat.

“Anyways”—choking and splutters—“it’s nearly six now. I’ve got no other plans for the day, so Spike, have you wanted to do anything all week?” Twilight asked. She lifted an eyebrow at Fluttershy—still attempting to clear her throat—and then looked at her assistant.

The dragon thought for a moment, then shook his head. “Not that I can think of.”

Twilight stuck out her tongue briefly. “I don’t know what to do.”

Fluttershy collapsed from her chair in a blur of pink and yellow. She coughed from down on the floor.

“Somepony”—hacking—“please help”—cough—“me.”

Princess Celestia stood at her sister’s chamber. The large blue doors were emblazoned with her royal crest. The solar princess knocked on Luna’s door.

“Come in,” came the commanding voice. Celestia used her golden magic to push the doors open and strode in. Luna turned from her desk.

“Greetings, Luna,” Celestia said.

“I see you have concerns about Foxy,” Luna replied simply, turning towards the window now instead.

“I am afraid that we will not be able to help him.” Celestia padded up to stand next to her sister.

“I have sensed the same as well, but I am quite sure that your student shall be able to handle it.” Luna looked up towards the sky. “Twilight Sparkle can do many extraordinary things.”

Celestia frowned. “I know. But Twilight has never been through a tragedy like that. She won’t be able to help if she doesn’t know what to do.”

“So? One does not need to have the same happen to them to help another.”

“I am aware. Though in this situation, it may be what we need. And we can’t do anything.”

Luna narrowed her eyes, glancing at her sister. “Then what do you suggest?”

Celestia met Luna’s eyes.

“. . . We’re going to what again?” Bonnie asked.

Freddy sighed. “We’re going to help Mike find Foxy.”

The purple bunny blinked. Was Freddy going crazy? Agreeing with Chica’s plan?!

“I . . . don’t know what to say.”

“Don’t say anything. You might get slapped.”

Before Bonnie could ask what he meant, the bear was already exiting the room. Bonnie hurried after him. Out on stage, Chica was pacing.

“You’re in, right?” she asked, pointing at Bonnie. “Of course you are. What am I talking about, you don’t have a choice.”

“Thanks,” the bunny deadpanned.

“Right! Here's the plan.”

Bonnie put his hand to his mouth and whispered to Freddy, “When did you become the second-in-command?”

“Shut up, Bonnie,” Freddy grumbled.

Chica continued talking. “Since I’m a lady, I’ll go first. I’ll try and get Mike to listen to me. If he doesn’t, we’ll all split up and make him waste all the power.”

Freddy raised his hand.

Chica raised an eyebrow. “Yes, Freddy?”

“Can I stuff him in a suit afterwards?”

Chica sighed, rubbing the top of her beak. “No.”

“Can I at least scare him?”

“I—no! We need to have him on our side for at least until we find Foxy.”

“Fine.” Freddy crossed his arms. “Long as we get to attempt to put him in his suit after this is all done.”

“Yes, we can. Now, no arguing.” Chica continued on. “We’ll tell Mike about what happened, and see if he can supply us with any ‘human’ intel.”

“I doubt the idiot knows anything.”


The bear looked surprised. “What?” he asked. He shrugged. “I’m right and you know it.”

Chica looked towards Bonnie. “Kick him.”

The bunny grinned and raised his foot, but Freddy glared at him. Bonnie laughed weakly and put his foot back down.

Freddy smirked, glancing forward again. “That’s what I—”


“Bonnie, I’m going to rip your left arm off again.”

“Please don’t.” Bonnie took a few steps back.

Chica face-palmed. “For goodness sake. Okay, okay, it’s nearly eleven. Just go with the plan, okay guys?”

“Yeah, sure, whatever.” Freddy rolled his eyes.

Bonnie eyed Freddy. “Please don’t kill me.”

As the clocked ticked down to midnight, Foxy felt a change come over him.

Tis almost midnight. Should I warn 'em? Foxy glanced towards the chatting ponies and Spike. Of course, I’d think they’d lock me in the basement anyways, so there’s really no worry.

Fluttershy let out a large yawn. “Hey, Twilight, I think I’m going to leave. Angel Bunny probably ate all the ice-cream bars. If I’m right, he’ll have a stomach ache. Plus, I’m tired.”

Twilight smiled. “Of course. Tonight, I think I’ll get some actual sleep as well. Spike, why don’t you head on up to bed? Remember to brush your teeth.”

Spike yawned. “Yeah, sure, Twi . . .” Without any complaint, he headed up the stairs.

“Goodnight. See you all tomorrow,” Fluttershy called softly as she drifted towards the door.

“Night, lass,” Foxy said.

When Fluttershy shut the door behind her, Twilight looked at Foxy. “What are you going to do? Do you have some sort of sleep mode?”

Foxy furrowed his eyebrows. ‘course I have a sleep mode . . . but my servers are goin’ ta act up if I don’t wander aimlessly fer a while.

Twilight saw the look on his face. “Foxy? Something wrong?”

“’s really nothin’, lass. I jus’ used ta rest durin’ the day and wander at night. ‘Twas the only time I was allowed out 'a the Cove,” he explained.

“Oh, uh, okay. Do you want to try and rest, or . . ?”

“My servers kinda act weird after a while. I’ve been off at night fer a few days, so I think I’d better turn on my ‘free roamin' mode’.”

Twilight nodded. “What do you do during this time?”

Kill people. “Mostly wander aimlessly. Shouldn’t be too much 'a problem, but ye might wanna lock me somewhere.” Else ye might be next on my list. “I don’t communicate much except Freddy said I sing occasionally.”

“Okay. Would you rather stay in the smaller section of the library or . . . well, if you wander, you might accidently hit something if you were to stay in the lab. Are you okay with staying in there?” Twilight pointed towards the closed off library section.

Long as ye lock me in as much as ye can. “Aye, that’s fine.”

“Alright, then it’s settled.” Twilight started towards the room. “How long will you be like that?”

“From midnight ta six in the morn’.”

The unicorn allowed Foxy to go in. She stood at the door. “Should I lock you in now? There’s about fifteen minutes until midnight.”

Sooner the better. “Aye,‘s fine. Have yourself a good night, lass.” Foxy watched the door close as Twilight’s form vanished from sight. The sound of a lock clicking was heard.

Midnight. Great, Mike thought in misery. He sighed as the 99% popped up in the corner of the tablet he held. The cameras flicked on. Well, night four. Hopefully tonight won’t be the night I die. And at least I won’t have to worry about Foxy.

He switched to the stage. Chica was gone. Already!? Mike quickly clicked the night on outside the door. The chicken was illuminated in the doorway. Letting out a less than manly shriek, he closed the door.

“Mike! Mike, open the door!”

The security guard fell off his chair in surprise. DID SHE JUST TALK TO ME?!

“Please, I know what you’re thinking. But I’m not here to hurt you. We need to talk,” the distinctly feminine voice said again.

Taking a deep breath, Mike yelled back, “Go away! You’re just the product of my stressed out mind!”

“Oh for goodness sake, I’m not a hallucination! It’s just Chica!”

Mike put his hands over his ears. “Blah, blah, blah, I can’t hear you!”

There was the sound of feet, and Mike looked at the door. He got up from the floor and checked the light. She was gone.

Thank the gods she’s left.

Mike sat back in his chair, tablet in hand. He switched to the stage and saw that Freddy and Bonnie were gone as well. The security guard stared at the screen for a moment.


“I wouldn’t use language like that around the children,” a voice said. Mike spun around and saw Bonnie poking his head in the room. He lunged forward and slammed the ‘door close’ button and the bunny yelped in surprise at he yanked his head back just in time to prevent it from getting crushed.

“Go away!” Mike yelled.

“Mike, just listen,” Chica pleaded from the other doorway. Mike screamed, dropping the tablet. It bounced off the floor. She stared at it. “Pretty sure that’ll come out of your measly paycheck.”

“Please don’t kill me!” Mike whined, backing against the opposite door.

“I’m not here to kill you! Haven’t I said that already?”

“Why should I believe you?”

Chica rolled her eyes. “We want Foxy back just as much as you do. I overheard the boss talking—well, more like screaming—to you. And we want to help.” She scooted a little closer.

“S-stay back.” Mike grabbed his chair and brandished it as a weapon. Chica blinked.

“Really?” she deadpanned.

“This is got to be some sort of hallucination. Maybe someone slipped something into my food or, or—”


Said security guard stopped his hysterical ramblings and glanced up at the chicken.

“Are you going to calm down?” Chica asked evenly.

Mike inhaled. “Yes.”

“Good, because we’ve got some work to do.” Chica walked forward and leaned to open the door Mike was leaning on. He nearly fell backwards but managed to get to his feet again.

“Bonnie, come in,” she said, stepping away. Mike swallowed shakily and braced himself.

“Finally,” the bunny muttered, walking in.

Chica scanned the dark hallway. “Where is he?”

“I don’t know.”

Mike raised an eyebrow. “Wait, who are you—”

“Boo,” hissed a deep voice right next to Mike’s ear. The security guard let out a shrill squeal and jumped forward, landing in Bonnie’s metal arms.

“Freddy!” Chica complained loudly, hands on her hips.

The bear waved a paw. “Sorry, I had to. Couldn’t resist.”

Chica rolled her eyes and looked towards Mike. His face was pale and he clung to Bonnie tightly.

Freddy blinked. “Now that is a sight I never thought I would see.” He walked towards the desk in the room. “Calm down, Mikey. We’re not gonna hurt you yet.”

Bonnie shifted uncomfortably, but didn’t drop the security guard. “I don’t even know what’s going on . . .”

Chica raised an eyebrow and glanced at Freddy, who was rummaging around in the drawers of the desk. His microphone sat on the top of the desk.

“Freddy, what’re you doing?” she asked.

The bear pulled out a white package that looked very small in his large hand. He flipped open the top and pulled something out. With it, a long holder and lighter from the drawer. Freddy put the cigarette in the holder and brought the lighter up to the end, lighting it with expert fingers.

“Need something to get past what we’re doing,” Freddy replied causally.

“Are you . . . smoking?” Mike asked, grimacing.

“Yep,” the bear said, taking a long drag.

“Why the holder?” Mike pointed at it. He no longer appeared as spooked.

“I hate getting my metal dirty.”

“Then why are you smoking? I didn’t even know you could smoke. You can’t even breathe.”

“Please be quiet, your stupid questions irritate me.” Freddy blew out a long trail of smoke.

“Freddy, don’t be rude,” Chica scolded lightly.

“I’m not being rude—I’m being truthful. Would you rather me lie?” he asked smoothly. Chica watched him blow out a puff of smoke through his nose. She wiggled her tail feathers.

“. . . Anyways, Mike, what did you see the night Foxy went missing?” she questioned.

Mike kept one arm slung around Bonnie’s neck, tapping his chin with a finger from the other hand. “I remember a glowing, I guess.”

Chica’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, I saw that too! He said it just started for some reason. Did you see him, Freddy?”

The bear twitched an ear. “Yeah, he came up to me. Wanted me to tell him what was going on.” Freddy snuffed his cigarette out on the edge. There was a deep scar there, so he’d obviously been doing it for a while. “I didn’t know, so I sent him back to Pirate Cove. And then he vanished, I assume.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” Bonnie commented. He switched Mike to one arm like one would hold a baby and padded closer to the group. Mike fidgeted, trying to get loose, but Bonnie wasn’t paying attention.

“I know,” Chica murmured. “If we could just figure out what the light was, we’d be able to find Foxy!”

“Mike, you know what that light was?” Freddy asked, raising an eyebrow at the guard.

Mike shook his head. “Never seen it before.”

Chica sighed. “Then we’re already stuck.”

Luna shook her head. “That would be very intrusive.”

Celestia blinked. “Are you forgetting how we even found out?”

“My dream walking is for a greater purpose.” Luna padded towards her sister. “What you are suggesting is just an invasion of privacy.”

Celestia frowned. “Yes, I understand. But you know why it is a better idea than waiting.”

The lunar sovereign sighed, closing her eyes briefly. “I’m aware.”

“So are you going to do it or not?” Celestia asked.

“I’ll do it.”

Foxy felt the change. His servers switched to ‘free roaming mode’ at exactly midnight. He’d heard Twilight getting a few things ready for the night and then silence. The room was dark.

They be not watchin’. They be not in their suits.

The feeling of anger and betrayal rushed over him in a torrent.

Time to play the waiting game.

Twilight snuggled into bed, her dreams merry. It was now that she realized using a spell was much different than actually sleeping.

It had to have been about three when Twilight was awoken by a loud noise. She nearly jumped out her pelt. The unicorn shivered, sitting up in bed.

“Hello?” she called softly. “Spike? Is that you?” Twilight clambered out of bed, throwing her starry comforter to one side. Her horn lit with a simple light spell and illuminated the room. Spike was sound asleep in his basket, the faint rise and fall of his chest showing that he was living. She started down the wooden stairs instead, deciding to check on Foxy.

The small room in which Twilight had locked him up in was silent for the most part. A few scuffling sounds emanated dully through the door. She pressed her ear up against the wood.

“Da da dum dum dum diddily doom doom doom doom diddily doom da da dum diddily dum dum . . .”

Twilight blinked in surprise, lifting her head away. Her ears flicked as she tilted her head.

“Hmm, well, he did say he might sing,” Twilight commented to herself. She listened carefully again.


Twilight reared back, falling onto her flanks. The door rattled on its hinges, reverberating throughout the library.

“What the-?”

Repetitive pounding came next. Then silence.

Twilight scooted backwards—still splayed out on the ground—and stood up slowly. Her horn grew brighter as she began to approach the door once again.


Twilight jumped, her breathing quickening. It’s just Foxy under the control of his servers, or whatever. He doesn’t know what he’s doing. Twilight took a deep breath. This is why he told me to lock him up. She took a tentative step towards the door.

A long scream—if it could be called that—ripped through the air, accompanied by loud, violent pounding. Twilight screamed as the hinges on the door broke. Her horn flickered and she backed away hurriedly. Foxy shrieked again. She tore her gaze away from the breaking door and sprinted upstairs. Her magic picked Spike up. He woke up, groggy, as Twilight set him—wrapped up in his blanket—into her saddlebags that she set on her back. She then glanced at the stairs.

The deafening crash of the door breaking into tons of little pieces caused Twilight to scream again. The outline of large ears became apparent as Foxy moved through the light from her horn. He was running towards the stairs.

“Foxy!” Twilight shrieked, horn now blazing. Spike was now awake and struggling in his hold. “Don’t make me do this!”

Foxy appeared at the top of the steps. His jaw fell open and another high-pitched scream tore from his throat. Along with it, a jumbling of what could be described as possible words, but Twilight couldn’t make them out. Her horn was like a burning star as she unleashed a beam of magic. It struck Foxy in a swift move and he collapsed. Twilight leaped out the window behind her.

Fluttershy poured herself another cup of tea. Twilight and Spike showed up on her doorstep at around three thirty in the morning. Twilight had described to her what had happened.

It just doesn’t make sense . . . are we just the most unlucky ponies in Equestria? Three days of hectic events. I hope Foxy’s alright as well. Twilight is a very strong unicorn and if she hit him as hard as she thought she did, then Foxy might be broken forever.

Only the Beginning

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Freddy sighed deeply. “Dear lord, someone get me out of here.” He dropped his head into his hands.

“I think this is pretty great,” Bonnie commented. “I actually prefer this.”

“Yeah, as long as you guys don’t kill me, I’m in,” Mike agreed.

“What’s the point in this?” Freddy groaned. “I thought we were supposed to be looking for Foxy.”

Chica looked his way. “We are. But unless we have come sort of clue as to what that glowing was, we’re stuck. May as well get to know Mike. Besides, I’m killing right now.” She switched a few cards around, then laid them on the table. “Ha-ha, Mike, now off with that shirt.” Chica waved his uniform’s hat in front of her—she’d already gotten that.

“Ugh, why did I agree to strip poker with robots?” the security guard grumbled. He unbuttoned the front of his shirt and slipped it off, then tossed it at the chicken. Chica caught it and put it beside her, laughing.

“Shoulda thought twice, then!”

“I didn’t think it’d be much of a challenge . . . How did you get so good?” Mike furrowed his eyebrows and looked down at his cards.

“Freddy taught me, and the rest is just natural talent.”

“You’re a metal chicken. Nothing’s natural about you.”

When Twilight woke up again, she didn’t know where she was. The events of the night slowly came back to her as she saw she was in Fluttershy’s guest room bed. Spike was clinging to her midsection, gently snoring. The unicorn nuzzled his head and carefully unattached him. She wrapped him up more in his blanket and left the room, shutting the behind her.

Fluttershy was nowhere to be seen as Twilight entered the main area. She glanced both ways before hearing the door open.

“Oh, Twilight!” Rarity exclaimed, rushing forward. Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie followed after, worried looks on all their faces. “We’re so glad you’re safe!”

Twilight accepted Rarity’s hug. “Yeah, of course I’m fine.” She blinked. “How did you guys find out about that?”

“Dear, the whole area around the library is talking about it! Nopony knew what had happened, but apparently there was a huge ruckus. What happened?”

Twilight frowned. “It was Foxy.”

Rainbow Dash flew forward. “What do you mean?” She then gasped. “If he did anything, I swear I’ll kill him—”

Twilight cut the pegasus off. “He didn’t hurt me. It’s . . . hard to explain. But I don’t think he’s a danger anymore. Well, not right now, at least. What time is it?”

Pinkie Pie pulled an entire watch from her mane and glanced at it. “Nearly two in the afternoon.”

“Huh, I slept for a while.” Twilight paused. “Any of you guys know where Fluttershy went?”

All of them shook their heads.

Fluttershy pushed the library door open. As soon as she did, the remnants of the side door shattered on the floor met her sight. The pegasus grimaced, taking flight. She flew cautiously up the stairs. The bedroom wasn’t that messy. Twilight’s bed was mussed up and that was really all. She folded her wings in.

Fluttershy realized something was missing. Foxy was nowhere to be seen. A faint feeling of terror washed over her, and she ruffled her wings. The pegasus looked around. She walked over to the bathroom, checking it just in case. From there, she searched the library.

Fluttershy was scouring the kitchen when she heard a noise behind her. She jumped, turning around. There was nothing behind her, but the small noises continued. It was if something was moving.

“Foxy, are you here?” the pegasus called. She padded cautiously forward, her head low. “Hello?” The small sound of metal creaking reached her ears. Fluttershy followed it to the side room. She’d already checked there, but maybe he had moved?


The animatronic stopped, his circuits resisting. Fluttershy tensed her muscles, preparing to run if she had to.

Foxy turned towards her. Fluttershy gasped, shrinking back. The whole right side of his torso was gone, and his arm was barely attached. Charred areas covered a good portion of the rest of his body.

“Foxy! Are you . . . you?” she asked.

His jaw opened but nothing came out except for a few static screeches.

“Oh. I’m guessing since you’re not trying to chase me, you’re not on roaming mode?”

Looking down, he shook his head. Fluttershy frowned, her ears flat against her head.

“Is it safe to come near you then?” Fluttershy asked again.

Foxy backed up a few steps, shaking his head.

“You’re afraid, and that’s okay.” She took a couple steps forward. “I’m sure everything’s going to be fine. You just need to come with me.” Foxy shook his head vigorously. “You need to go into the lab. I’ll get Twilight; she can fix you.”

Foxy shook his head again. Fluttershy sighed.

“Then I’m terribly sorry about this,” the pegasus said. Foxy gave her an odd look. Fluttershy brought her hoof back and launched something at him. The projectile soared through the air and clung to his exposed endoskeleton. Immediately, a jolt of electricity shot through him. Foxy gave a broken cry as his circuits locked up and shut down.

Twilight had her goggles and lab coat on. She stood over Foxy’s still and broken body with a screwdriver in her magical grip. She moved it with skilled precision as it tightened all the screws in his jaw.

What is this, the third time I’ve fixed him? Well, this time is my doing. Besides, it’s all good practice.

Fluttershy had arrived back at her house and told what had transpired.

“Electrical charge,” the pegasus said.

“A what?” Rainbow Dash asked. The girls were gathered around.

“An electrical charge—Taser, pretty much. I have a few hidden around my house. In case anypony breaks in.”

Dash blinked. “That’s pretty . . . bad*#s, actually.”

“You live on the edge ‘a the Everfree Forest. Who’s gonna break in?” Applejack asked, signaling to said forest outside.

Fluttershy shrunk beneath the gazes of her friends. “Well, you know, I—it’s just a precaution, okay?”

“That’s perfectly alright, dear. I keep an old sewing machine under my bed just in case,” Rarity said. Everyone glanced at her. “What? It’s broken and doesn’t even have a backstitch button. No point in wasting it. Worked well to kill that spider last week.”

Rainbow blinked. “Okkaaay, then. Anyways, so you hit him with the electrical charge—then what?”

“I just locked him in the basement. He’s lying on your work table, Twilight,” Fluttershy continued.

The purple unicorn nodded. “Thanks, ‘shy. Though you definitely didn’t have to do that.”

“I had to make sure he wasn’t a danger. He’d already moved that far, who’s to say he couldn’t get out of the library? Your door wasn’t locked.”

Twilight blushed. “Heh heh.”

“Sounds to me like Foxy was a danger to himself more than anything,” Rarity said.

“Agreed!” Pinkie Pie declared. “Though I hope you can fix him, Twilight! He’s awesome!”

“Take pictures of the damage! I want to see it later!” Rainbow exclaimed. “Sounds brutal.” She rubbed her hooves together.

“Dash.” Twilight looked at the pegasus.

“What? It does. At least the way I imagine it.”

“I don’t even want to know.”

“Alright, jaw and voice done. Now let’s just buff out these charred areas . . .” Twilight said to herself. Her magic levitated a rag up to her head level. She worked steadily.

“So how’s it going?”

Twilight turned to Rainbow Dash’s voice. The rest of the mane six were crowded by the stairs, watching her with worry clear in their expressions.

Twilight glanced at Foxy briefly. “Uh, good so far. I think. I don’t have enough metal to fix him. I’ll have to get some.”

Applejack trotted forwards, hooking an arm around Twilight’s shoulders. “What do ya say—we all go out to lunch, then you can get back to work and we’ll go get the materials ya need.”

Twilight smiled. “That sounds wonderful.”

“When shall we go forward with our plan?” Luna asked. Celestia pondered the question for a moment.

“I think I shall ask Twilight when a good time is. I won’t tell her of our intentions, but it’ll be up to her for when we accomplish our goal,” the solar goddess replied.

“How will we do it? Will we just . . .” Luna trailed off, thinking. “Are just going to just cast the spell and answer their questions when we have already started?”

“I think we may have to. If we explain it to them, one or more of them may refuse. And we cannot make them if they say no right to our faces.”

“They are the Elements of Harmony—they will understand either way, and I’m sure that they’d agree.” Luna paused. “I think we should tell them not the deed we are doing, but the context of it.”

Celestia smiled at her sister. “That is a good idea.”

The day passed and Twilight continued working diligently. She gave her friends the money they’d need and sent them down to a nearby hardware store. Spike had come with them for lunch and then retired to his basket to read a comic book. Now, Twilight was occupied with restoring Foxy’s ability to use his right arm when Spike entered the lab.

“Twilight, letter from the princess!” he called. She didn’t even glance his way as he announced it.

“Thanks, Spike. Read it for me, would you?” Twilight replied after a moment. She was immersed in her work.

“Alright. Ahem,” the dragon began, “my dearest and most faithful student, how are you? I hope you have not been too stressed out with Foxy and other things down there. I’m terribly sorry for leaving early the other day. I had some things to think about, but would like for Luna and I to come down there together. I send this letter because I don’t like to surprise you when I know you’re stressed.

“As I was saying, when do you think an appropriate time would be? Luna and I can come at any time.

“Your teacher and mentor, Princess Celestia.”

Spike rolled the scroll back up. Twilight perked up, her eyes widening.

“Oh no! Both the princesses are going to come to Ponyville! This is terrible!” the unicorn exclaimed, gripping her head with her hooves.

“But Luna brought Foxy here, right? So she’s comfortable with him,” Spike said, shrugging.

“You don’t get it, Spike! I won’t be done with Foxy! I know I get to arrange the date and time again, but if I say ‘oh, yeah, come in a week from now,’ they’re going to know something’s up!”

“Just work faster?”

“Yes, that’s what I’ll have to do. I’ll have to shift into:


Spike blinked at her reaction, his face blank. Twilight looked at him. “Which means, you need to let me work, and I need to hope that the girls will get here soon with the metal I need!” The unicorn shot across the room, magic collecting the various tools she’d need later. “Might as well get ready.” She glanced up at Spike again, seeing him standing there. “Well, what’re you waiting for? Shoo!” She used her magic to open the door and sent a small wave of it to push him out.

Spike winced as the door shut behind him. He sighed, letting his shoulders droop. Suddenly, a yell from the basement made him jump.


Dear Princess Celestia,

Thank you for the understanding. Though I am busy today, tomorrow I’m free. How does two in the afternoon sound?

Your student, Twilight Sparkle

My dearest and most faithful student,

That is a good time. However, I am afraid I made a mistake in my last letter. Am I right to assume the other Elements of Harmony are aware of the situation? If they are not, I request you tell them.

Has Foxy given you any information about the event? Please keep me updated.

About your friends, they will need to be there at our meeting as well. Luna and I must share some information with you all.

Unfortunately, Spike cannot be present. The information we will be sharing with you isn’t appropriate for his age.

Your teacher and mentor, Princess Celestia

“Pleeeease, Twilight!” the little dragon whined. He clasped his hands together and fell onto his knees. Twilight frowned, rubbing a hoof over his head scales.

“I’m sorry, but Princess Celestia told me that you can’t be there. I can’t go against her wishes. She obviously has her reasons. Luna must’ve agreed also, so that would be pretty rude of me, don’t you think?” the purple unicorn asked, now smiling gently at her assistant.

“But I missed them coming last time too!”

“I’m sorry about that, but I didn’t want you to get hurt.” Twilight pulled him off his knees. “I’ll ask the princesses later if I can tell you, alright. As long as it is not too bad and they agree. If they don’t let me, I don’t want any complaining.”

Spike nodded. “Okay . . .”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure you won’t miss out on anything too big.”

“We’ve all gotta be there?” Applejack asked.

Twilight nodded. “Yeah. Apparently the princesses have got some big news.”

“Sweet!” Rainbow Dash cheered. “Meeting with the princesses!”

“And it’s big!” Fluttershy said in shock. “What else did Princess Celestia tell you?”

“I think it’s going to be about Foxy. She mentioned him in the letter,” Twilight said, her magical aura appearing on her horn. The scroll was lifted into the air. Rarity snatched it with her own magic and began reading.

“Hmm . . . yes, it would appear that way,” the fashionista murmured.

Rainbow ripped it away from Rarity. She skimmed it. “Rarity’s right. Plus, with all that’s going down at this moment, what else could be more important?”

Rarity tugged it from Dash’s hooves, a disapproving look on her features. “Yes, I agree with Rainbow. While ‘going down’ isn’t the most refined way of saying it, it definitely describes the past few days.”

Pinkie Pie leaped forward. “Ooh, we never get to see both the princesses in Ponyville at the same time! I can’t wait!”

“Ah hope it’s nothin’ too bad,” Applejack said.

“Have you told Princess Celestia about the . . . events that unfolded here last night?” Rainbow asked.

Twilight shifted uncomfortably under her friends’ gazes. “Well, no . . .”

Rarity’s eyes widened. She grabbed Twilight’s shoulders with her hooves. “Dear, you must tell them! That must be the very first thing!”

“But what if—”

“No buts!”

“Okay! I get it!”

Rarity released her hold and stepped back. She absentmindedly ran a hoof through her mane, attempting to ignore the stares from the other mares.

“Um, as unexpected as that was, it’s true,” Applejack agreed.

Twilight nodded. “I know. But how are they going to react to it? That’s what I’m worried about.”

Mike walked out to his car. The night’s events were still fresh in his mind, and he didn’t know if they were real. Because really, he played poker with the animatronics.

That sounded like a dream for sure.

Either I’m going crazy, or I hallucinated the whole thing. Which is unlikely.

As Mike backed out of the parking lot, his thoughts drifted to how in world they’d find that annoying pirate fox.

I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. Who cares if I get fired? I’m risking my life every night. Why would I miss that? I should just quit. Of course, I can find another job . . .

“Tada!” Twilight cried, yanking the cloth off Foxy with her magic. The ponies gasped.

“Holy moly, Twilight! He looks good as new!” Pinkie Pie declared. She shrunk down and then appeared on the other side of the room, where Foxy was sitting up on the table. The pink pony wrapped an arm around his broad shoulders. “Looking foxy, Foxy!”

“That was so bad,” Rainbow Dash deadpanned.

“Eh, I’ll take it.” Pinkie popped up next to Applejack.

“Guess there wasn’t much ya couldn’t fix with your skills, huh?” the farmer asked, ignoring her pink friend’s sudden appearance.

Twilight shook her head. “I had enough supplies, and I got done with his right side at around three in the morning, so I decided hey, why not? Besides, I'm sure he didn’t like the gaping holes in his arms and legs . . . and body . . .”

“I’m certainly glad everything worked out for us. Now we just have to meet the princesses in an hour,” Rarity said.

Twilight frowned. “Yeah, just.”

Rainbow bit her lip. “So . . . we gonna activate him, or not?”

“We have to. But I advise we all stay back.” Twilight backed up, and her friends did the same. A magenta aura flashed briefly, and then there was silence.

They waited a few minutes. Pinkie leaned over to hiss in Twilight’s ear. “Did it work?”

“I hope so.” Twilight frowned.

Foxy’s eyes started glowing. The telltale humming began a couple moments afterwards.

“Be prepared . . .” Twilight warned softly.

Foxy jolted back into reality. The pain from being electrocuted was gone. He tried to move his head, and it creaked slightly to the left. He heard whispering from the area in front of him, but he couldn’t see yet.

Sounds like Twilight and her friends . . . oh no.

Ooh no.

Foxy blinked rapidly to clear his eyesight. The ponies appeared in his line of sight.

“Foxy? Foxy?” he heard his name. Who said it, he didn’t know.

It took a while for him to get his jaw moving, but he managed to respond.

“Arr,” he growled simply. There was a chatter following that. On Foxy’s head, his ears swiveled in the ponys’ direction, trying to distinguish what was being said.

“Can you move any more than that? Are you too stiff?”

Foxy twitched his hand. It was difficult.

“Here . . .”

Foxy felt the panel on his back being opened. There was a sense of relieving pressure and he felt more fluid.

“How about now?”

“Aye, that be better,” Foxy responded.

He could clearly see now. Twilight took a tentative step forward. “You’re not in . . . killer mode, are you?”

Foxy shook his head. “I don’t even know what ta say that could possibly make up fer that.”


Foxy flinched, taken back. His eyepatch flipped down over his eye. The other ponies seemed to have the same reactions as they took a step back as well.

“Do you have any idea how angry I am?! You could’ve hurt Spike! Or me! If I hadn’t just fixed you and the princess weren’t going to be here in less than an hour, I’d rip your leg off!”

Foxy opened his mouth to say something, but was cut off before he could say anything.

“You could’ve told me! But no, you didn’t! Now the princesses are most likely going to be p*ssed!”

“Uh, Twilight, are you okay?” Fluttershy asked.

“No, I’m not! This has been a disaster! All I want to do is hit someone!”

“You can hit the wall,” Rainbow suggested.

“No, I don’t mean something, I mean someone!”

Rarity sighed. “I can just tell how the rest of today is going to go.”

Twilight glared at the pirate still sitting in front of her.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t think—”

“Yeah, obviously you didn’t! Come on, even the CMC have more sense than that!”

Pinkie’s mouth formed an o. “Oooohh, shots fired! Might wanna rub some ice on that burn!”

“But then again, the Cutie Mark Crusaders are older than you, so I guess it makes some sense,” Twilight continued on. Her deep blue tail lashed behind her.

Foxy cringed. This was not going well. I didn’t think it would, anyways . . .

“Look, lass, if you’d calm down—”

“No! I won’t! You—”

Rainbow flew from upstairs, her eyes wide. Nopony’d seen here go in the midst of the furious reprimanding Twilight was giving Foxy, but she’d quickly checked.

“The princesses are here!”

Twilight’s head shot around. “WHAT?!


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Twilight completely stopped her rant and very nearly flew up the steps, the rest of her friends behind her. Foxy pushed himself off the table, glad he had more control over his limbs again.

“Princess Celestia!” the violet mare almost stuttered, her voice high. She ducked into a sloppy bow. The other Elements of Harmony did as well, and when Foxy got upstairs a few seconds later, he did the same.

“Do not forget I am here as well, Twilight Sparkle,” came Luna’s voice. She strode from behind her older sister.

“O-of course not!”

“Very well. That’s enough. We have business to attend to. If you would all give your complete and utmost attention,” the lunar sovereign continued. The mares and Foxy stood straighter.

Celestia saw Foxy and smiled. “I am glad you are repaired. I see my student has done an excellent job in the small amount of time it has been since we’ve seen each other.” Twilight beamed at the praise, her cheeks flushing.

Luna allowed a small smile onto her muzzle. “I am also glad. Do not make me feel like I do not appreciate you.”

“I know you care, Princess. And I really don’t deserve so much praise . . .” Twilight waved a hoof, trying to clear her blush.

Celestia’s smile mellowed out. “I’m afraid we do have some serious business to attend to. Is Spike around?”

“No, I sent him to play with the Cutie Mark Crusaders earlier.”

“Good. Now, girls, we all know about Foxy, yes?” The elements nodded. Said pirate shrank back.

Luna took over. “Only we know about what has happened. But today, that’s going to change.”

The girls all looked between the princesses and Foxy, looks of confusion on their faces.

“Foxy—are you willing to share with us now?” Luna’s teal eyes burned into his own golden ones. Foxy shook his head.

“No, lass, I won’t be,” he growled softly.

Luna frowned. “Well then. Twilight, may I ask of you a chair?” Upon seeing the unicorn’s perplexed expression, she added, “I’ve been awake all day. Normally I sleep during the day, so a rest would be nice. Celestia, would you care for a seat?”

“No thank you. I’m fine,” the solar goddess responded, knowing their plan was coming into play.

Twilight nodded, albeit somewhat hesitantly. She trotted off and returned a few moments later. She set the rather large chair next to the princess.

“Here you go,” Twilight said.

“Thank you very much,” Luna said. Her horn then ignited, and Foxy was picked up. The girls split as he was floated over their heads rather quickly. Luna set him in the chair and there was a blinding flash of blue light. When it cleared, the fox was tied up with ropes of her magic. There was one across his midsection, one around his forehead, and two for his legs and arms.

Foxy growled and struggled to wrench himself from his bindings. “Let me out!” But the magic was impervious. It stretched the smallest amount, then pulled, affixing Foxy firmly to the chair.

“Princess! What are you doing?!” Twilight exclaimed, as the mares behind her all gasped.

Luna turned to face them. “I know this may seem shocking—and it is—but it’s for a purpose.”

Twilight looked with horror at Celestia. The white alicorn nodded.

“Yes, my dear student, I am in on it. In fact, I’m the one who proposed it,” Celestia confirmed, putting a golden clad hoof to her chest before setting it back on the ground.


“Luna and I sensed in Foxy that he would never tell anyone what happened. We cannot help him if he won’t talk about it.”

Fluttershy butted to the front of the group. “That’s not true! I’ve been talking to Foxy about what happened!”

Celestia knew the creamy coated pegasus meant well, but her statement wasn’t 100% true. “But do you actually know what occurred?”

Fluttershy’s confidence faltered. “Well, no—”

“And that’s why Luna and I are here.”

Sensing the time to engage their plan was now, Luna stepped forward. “I’d like you all to get comfortable.”

Twilight stuttered. “W-why?”

Luna looked at her with a held back expression. “Please, we request of you just to do what we ask.” She let her eyes roam over all the ponies. “Sit down and make sure you are comfortable.” The elements exchanged fearful and perplexed glances. Twilight sat down first, followed by Fluttershy, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and finally Rainbow Dash as she folded in her wings and came out of the air.

“Thank you. Now, this may be uncomfortable, but just bear with it,” Celestia advised. She exchanged glances with Luna and her horn lit up with a golden aura. Luna’s was glowing deep blue. The room grew dark and still.

“Foxy, try and keep calm. This will hurt the most for you,” Luna added before the spell started to take effect. As if on cue, the pirate groaned in discomfort. “Sorry about this, but it’s for your own good.”

As it grew increasingly darker, Celestia and Luna’s manes stopped waving ever so slowly, as if they were being wind down. Foxy gave a high-pitched whine of distress, and he thrashed in his seat. Finally, the room was a pitch black.

Twilight blinked, shifting. Where was she? The unicorn stood up straighter, gently rubbing her head. Suddenly, a figure faded into view next to her. Rarity’s white form became opaque. She turned to Twilight.

“Twilight? Where are we?” she asked, looking around. It was dark and smelled slightly of pizza.

“I have no idea,” Twilight replied. She felt something next to her. Fluttershy appeared, her eyes closed. She opened her eyes as she became fully visible.

“Whoa, what was that!?” Rainbow Dash’s voice exclaimed as she appeared next to Rarity.

“I have the same question,” Fluttershy said.

“Yippee! This is great!” Pinkie Pie cheered, her voice sounding very far away and empty. Applejack followed next, then finally Luna and Celestia.

“Princesses, where are we?” Twilight asked.

Luna blinked. “We are inside Foxy’s memory banks.”

“WHAT?!” the mares all exclaimed.

“Yes. Now, you all came in the order of unicorns to earth ponies, correct?”

“Uh, yeah,” Rainbow answered. “But what has that go to do with anything?”

“Just checking. If you hadn’t that’d be a sign for concern. Unicorns come first because they have stronger magic, then pegasi, then earth ponies,” Celestia replied. “Luna and I arrived last because we were making sure the spell went right. Plus, I put a time lock on the room. Nopony can get in or out.”

“Cool!” Pinkie Pie yipped.

Luna looked around. “Hmm, I thought I performed the spell right for—”


Foxy abruptly appeared, unlike the others who had faded into view. He collapsed to his hands and knees.

Luna smiled in victory. “I was correct.”

The pirate stood up, falling against the wall behind him. He jumped out of his haze, glancing wildly around. He backed up.

“No! No, if this is where I think it is—”

Celestia stopped him with her magic. “This is exactly where you think.” She brought him closer. “And you are going to come with us in your own head.”

Foxy bared his teeth at the princess. “No, I’m not! So why don’t ye all get outta ‘ere?”

Luna frowned. “Do not take that tone. We know why you don’t want to see your memories.”

Foxy paused. “It’s personal.”

“Your ‘accident’ affected more than just you, if you remember correctly?” Luna continued. Foxy fell silent. “Alright. This is the first memory. I’m using my magic to propel us forward in this setting. We’ll end up anywhere that stands out in your mind.”

Rainbow glanced around. “Looks pretty lonely in here.”

“Dashie’s right! Where is everyone?” Pinkie asked.

Celestia walked forward. “I can detect that the memory starts not in here, but in the next room. There is nearly nothing in this room, can you see? That’s because there is not enough memories about it.”

“I didn’t spend much time in ‘ere,” Foxy said softly.

Celestia glanced at him, then back at Luna. The lunar goddess nodded for them to keeping going.

“Follow me, my little ponies,” Celestia said. The elements trailed behind her as instructed, and Luna stayed back to make sure Foxy did as well. “It’s through this wall.” The solar goddess vanished as she crossed into the next room. Twilight stopped, startled, before hopping forward. Her tail was the last thing they saw. Rainbow grinned, swooping through it, and Pinkie Pie dove right past. The last three mares came in at a much mellower speed, as did Foxy and Luna.

“Whoa! There’s a ship!” Pinkie Pie cooed, pointing at the stage.

“Please, everypony, let’s try and stay quiet,” Celestia requested. Pinkie didn’t make another comment, but the grin on her face stayed put. “The memory will start in a moment.”

“Nervous for your first day?” a feminine voice asked. The ponies saw a yellow figure peek in the door on the other side of the room. Foxy, who had appeared on stage, glanced backwards.

“Heh, maybe jus’ a lil bit, lass,” Foxy replied nervously. Chica padded forward, getting onto the stage. She was a head shorter than him.

Twilight blinked in surprise, watching with large eyes. Foxy wasn’t broken in this memory.

“It’s alright. I know I was nervous the first time too. But your instincts will just take over, and the programming will help you out as well,” Chica said.

“Thanks, lass, but messin’ up isn’t what I’m really worried ‘bout.” Foxy’s shoulders drooped.

Chica frowned, her eyebrows falling. She scooted a little closer. “You’re afraid that the kids won’t like you?” Foxy met her eyes and shrugged before looking down.

“Foxy, it’ll be okay! The kids are going to love you! I’m sure of it. What kid doesn’t like pirates?”

“I’m not a performer like ye or Bonnie or Freddy. I jus' run around and play . . .”

Chica brightened. “But don’t you see, that’s what kids love the most! They don’t like to sing songs, they like to play!” She grabbed his hand/hook and swung him around. Foxy let out a startled squeak as he was spun in a circle. Chica let go, spending him twirling backwards. The chicken then winced as he landed in his ship, his feet hanging over the edge.

“Uh, you okay?” Chica asked timidly. She grinned sheepishly from her position above him.

“At least I’m not worried anymore,” Foxy replied with a small sigh.

The area started getting darker again. Celestia and Luna exchanged glances, knowing it was time to move on.

Pinkie Pie smiled, her eyes shining. “Aww, that was so cute!” She turned to Foxy, giving him a hug around his waist. The pirate jumped in surprise. He’d been focused on the sweet memory.

“Wonder where we’re going to end up next,” Fluttershy said softly to Twilight. The purple unicorn frowned, shaking her head in cluelessness.

Luna lit her horn. “No time to stop and chat, we must continue before Foxy’s mind throws us out.”

Foxy tipped an ear. “An’ why can’t I kick ye out right now? We’re in my ‘ead, I should be able ta.”

“I’ve cast a spell so the you that is here cannot. The Foxy out in the real world can only do that, but he is not aware. To him, we’re not even existent.”

Foxy snorted, crossing his arms. Luna rolled her eyes at his attitude.

“Brace yourselves. We’re taking a jump. You’ll feel a sense of paralysis for just a moment.”

“Ugh, how vulgar,” Rarity managed to get in right before a wave of darkness crashed over them.

“Ooh, ooh, do it again!” Chica giggled hysterically. She was sitting on the edge of the ship with Bonnie next to her.

Foxy tried to stop laughing, puffing out his chest. “Alright, alright, one more time.” He forced himself to be serious. “Hi, I’m Freddy Fazf*#k!” Foxy waved the microphone of yours truly at them.

Chica and Bonnie fell out of their chairs laughing. They held their stomachs as Foxy howled, putting an arm across his face.

“You’re killing me!” Bonnie snorted, burying his face into the floor. Chica was on her back kicking her legs in the air.

“I can’t take anymore!” the chicken screeched with laughter. Foxy put his hands on his knees, leaning over. A shadow suddenly fell across them. Chica and Bonnie paused in their mirth and looked up. Their faces fell. Foxy noticed their expressions and turned around.

Freddy stood there with his arms crossed. He raised an eyebrow. Foxy gave a sheepish smile and quickly hid Freddy’s microphone behind his back.

“Ahoy, Freddy!” the pirate exclaimed.

“Foxy,” the bear said simply, “what do you think you’re doing?”

“Doin’ what? Was jus’ havin’ myself a grand ol’ time with the others, here!” Foxy waved his hook at Chica and Bonnie who were trying to look somewhat civilized.

“Uh huh.” Freddy put his left hand out, the same expression on his face. “Give it to me.”

Foxy chuckled weakly, showing his sharpened teeth. He carefully set the microphone into his boss’ metal hand.

“Well, I should probably be goin’—”

Freddy reached out and took ahold of Foxy’s ear, firmly gripping it. Foxy grimaced as he was led backwards.

“Nuh uh, I don’t think so. You’re coming with me,” Freddy said as he began to tug the fox after him by the ear.

“Now, come on, I didn’t do anythin’ really wrong—”

“You stole my microphone. That’s criminal enough, so do I seriously have to go on?” Freddy gave Foxy an admonishing glare.

Foxy shrank away from the bear’s icy blue gaze as much as he could in the position he was in.

“Uh, no,” was all the pirate responded with.

“Good, so don’t make this harder than it has to be.” Freddy tugged Foxy along and walked to a corner. He stuck the pirate there, nearly bumping his muzzle against the wall. “Now stay there.”


“No buts. I don’t want to see your nose out of that corner until I say so.” Freddy walked away, and as he did, he gave Bonnie and Chica unimpressed glances.

“Goodnight, Freddy,” Chica called nervously, waving a small yellow hand at him as he left.

“Bite me,” the bear grumbled, flipping up his middle finger as he left to head back to the party room.

Bonnie blinked. “Someone’s grumpy.”

Rainbow Dash couldn’t contain herself any longer. She fell over with Pinkie right afterwards, both of them laughing their heads off.

Foxy rolled his eyes, arms crossed. “Grow up.” He tried to cover his embarrassment as the circuits in his face heated up.

“Look who’s talkin’,” Applejack said, leaning over to whisper in Rarity’s white ear. The dressmaker bit her lip as a small snicker escaped.

“Seems like Freddy was k-kind of a buzzkill to me,” Rainbow sputtered through her giggles.

Pinkie gasped from beside the pegasus, her laughing stopping abruptly. “Freddy kills bees?”

“Pinkie, what—”

Luna stepped forward, cutting the ponies off. “I am glad that you have not had too terrible memories so far. But we shall carry on. We still have a long ways in your mind to go through.”

“Luna’s right. The longer we stay in here, the more we are at risk of damaging something,” Celestia added. Foxy’s ears stood straight up.

“What!? Damage somethin’?!”

“An insignificant chance, but we could accidentally wipe your memory banks or something along that line.”

Foxy aimed a fierce glare at the two princesses, but neither of them noticed. A snarl worked its way up in his throat, but he forced it down and turned away, arms crossed.

“The princesses wouldn’t have brought us in here if there was a large chance of us breaking you. Try not to doubt them—they know what’s best,” Twilight said gently. Foxy glanced down at her.

“Aye, I know they’re your rulers, but this be my mind—apparently. Ye lasses are seein’ some ‘a my most private moments, good or bad.”

Twilight frowned, really thinking about it. He was 100% correct, and she didn’t know how she felt about it. Of course, they were going to see what had caused him to wish himself a second chance, but Twilight felt like it wasn’t her right to know. The princesses thought it was the right course of action.

“I’m just going to let you know, I won’t judge you. None of us girls will. That’s why we’re the Elements of Harmony.” The other mares had seemingly picked up on this conversation and nodded in unison.

“’course not, sugarcube! You’re our pal now, and we’ll make sure ya get the support ya need!” Applejack declared heartily.

Foxy tilted his head, eyebrows dropping over his eyes. “Don’t be so sure.”

“Freddy, how many times have I told you to stop giving Chica your nose to play with?”

Freddy rolled his blue eyes. “She ruins her bouncy balls all the time, so I let her play with my nose. It’s round and squeaks.” As if for emphasis, Chica leant forward and gave his nose a squeeze, provoking a small squeak from it. She laughed as Zach swatted her yellow hand away.

“Chica, enough. Freddy can’t be giving you his nose anymore—he’s forbidden,” Zach continued with a scolding tone. He raised his eyebrows at her.

“Aw, but what am I going to do if my ball breaks?” Chica asked in a whiny voice. “He’s the only one with a round nose!”

“Don’t break it, for starters. This is what, your seventh one in three months?” Zach dug in his bag of tools and pulled out a red-and-blue ball. He tossed it at Chica and she giggled, running off.

“Don’t see why it’s that big of deal,” Freddy grumbled as Zach got out his screwdriver. The repair man got to work on Freddy’s left knee—which had always been kind of a nuisance to the animatronic—and listened idly to what he had to say.

“Every time you take it off, it chips off a little bit more on the inside. I don’t want to have to order you a new nose, of all things.”

“Eh. As long as the others are happy.”

Zach smiled, letting a small huff of air out of his nose in amusement. Freddy narrowed his eyes at him.

“What do you find amusing?”

“It’s just . . . I see the way you are around the others, and you don’t always seem like you care,” Zach explained.

“And your point is?”

“Why don’t you act like you care? I mean, you let Chica play with your nose—stop doing that—and you help Bonnie with his tie, Foxy sometimes needs a nudge in the right direction, but that’s about all. You’re so . . . grumpy most of the time.”

Freddy blinked. “Are you calling me a bad supervisor?”

Zach smirked. “You’re not a supervisor.”

“What’re you trying to say?”

“You’re more like a . . . dad, I guess. A rather crude dad, but that’s the word I’d use.”

Freddy fell silent. He watched as Zach continued working on his knee without saying anything.

“Did that offend you?” Zach asked, looking up, his red cap covering most of his eyes.

Freddy paused, mulling it over. “I guess you’re right.”

Zach smiled as he stood up. “Now, why don’t you act nicer? You obviously care about the other animatronics. I know Foxy would like some advice on controlling his stammer.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. We’ve been helping him, even if you don’t believe it. Now scram; we’ve got a show to get ready for. Your wife is waiting out there,” Freddy said, roughly patting the repair guy on the back. Zach tipped his baseball hat to the bear and picked up his tool box.

“Seeyah, Fazbear.”

“Bye, Snow White.” Freddy smirked at the look of defiance on Zach’s face. He lifted up his hat, shaking his snowy blonde hair at him. The repair man exited the back room.

Twilight looked confused. “I don’t get it. How is this your memory?”

Foxy scratched the back of his head. “Aye . . . I was eavesdroppin’. Thankfully, Freddy nor Zach caught me.”

Pinkie Pie wedged herself between Foxy and Twilight. “What did you think of Freddy, huh huh huh?”

Foxy stiffened. “Uh, I don’t know, lass.”

The party pony tilted her head. “What do you mean you don’t know?”

“It’s hard ta explain.”

Rainbow Dash lowered herself from the air to hover by his head. “You either liked him or not. Which is it?”


“You can’t answer like that!”

Fluttershy nudged the brash pegasus away a few inches. “Dash, girls, please don’t try and force any answers out of him, okay? The least we can do is respect his wishes—besides, we’re in his mind.”

Rarity nodded. “Yes, however odd it may seem, I’m sure there’s some sort of—how do you put it—‘head etiquette,’” she said.

“That’s the silliest thing Ah’ve heard all day,” Applejack commented, rolling her eyes.

Rarity turned, offended. “Well, at least I have etiquette. Seems like you’re totally lacking in that department.”

“Oh, gimme a break.” The two glared at each other. “Allow me ta remove that stick fr—”

The unicorn gasped. “Why, I never!”

“Girls!” Twilight exclaimed, pushing the two apart. “Now’s not the time for this.”

“Correct. We must pay attention to the next scene,” Luna said.

Rainbow glanced around. “We’ve switched already?”

Luna and Celestia glanced around. “Yes, several seconds ago. And you might want to watch carefully. Luna and I have already seen this one,” the solar alicorn informed.

Foxy gasped, looking towards the stage. He saw himself walk out and wave to the kids. He backed up against the wall with a whimper. “Please don’t make me watch this.”


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“Arg, me mateys! Who be ready to play with Foxy?”

It was like every other ShowTime—he’d step out onto stage, the kids would grin and become louder as their little cries filled the air, and then the fun would start. But today was not just another day.

The mares watched as Foxy buried his face into his arms, his ears folded down, trying not to hear or see anything that was going on just in front of them. He curled up in a ball on the floor against the wall.

Luna frowned, but it wasn’t a stern frown like she usually wore. It was a sympathetic one—she knew what was going to happen, and he did as well. The reaction was exactly as she had expected. She felt her sister step forward.

“Foxy, you need to watch. It’ll help you,” Celestia said gently yet firmly.

“H-how will seein’ that help me in any w-way? If anythin’, i-it’ll destroy what lil amount of hope w-which I have that I didn’t deserve w-what came after!” Foxy cried, his voice muffled.

Luna nearly flinched back at that statement. Poor thing. “Foxy, it’ll get better. But you must watch what happens.” She used her magic to gently tug him from his ball.

“Princess, what’s going to happen-?” Twilight tentatively asked.

“Brace yourselves. I know some of your appetite for things such as this are extremely lacking.” Twilight raised an eyebrow, and Fluttershy hid behind her, barely peeking out with one eye. The other mares grew stiff, and Rainbow Dash’s wing beats slowed down as the air seemed to grow thick with tension.

The child—a male, by the looks of it, Luna decided—sprinted between the repair man’s legs—who was now known as Zach, thanks to the former memories. The boy latched onto Foxy’s leg.

Blood spattered across the floor. The screams of the children still in the room and the mares watching drowned out what Zach said, but it was vaguely recognizable as:

“Sweet merciful Heaven.”

The children continued screaming. Parents and other workers sprinted into the Cove, and some blanched white before covering their mouths and racing off in the other direction.

Foxy was roughly and quickly pushed back by Zach back onto the stage, and the curtains closed.

Fluttershy was still screaming with her hooves over her eyes. The other elements were standing with their mouths open, eyes wide with shock. The two princesses exchanged saddened glances.

Rainbow Dash kicked into action as she realized her friend was still screaming. The cyan pegasus floated down and pulled Fluttershy into a hug, running a hoof down her back.

“It’s okay, ‘shy. The memory is fading,” Rainbow soothed, one of her rare moments of actual affection. Fluttershy’s cries melted into sniffles and muffled sobs.

Twilight broke out of her trance as well, blinking a few times. She glanced down at the two pegasi before registering the fact that Foxy hadn’t said a word since the beginning of the memory. She turned her attention towards him.

The pirate was back into his position of head in his arms and knees pulled tightly up to his chest. He gently rocked himself back and forth, and even from where she stood, Twilight could see he was shaking.

“Foxy?” the violet unicorn asked hesitantly. She cautiously approached him, one hoof reaching out to touch him. A large wing stopped her before then. Twilight looked up to see Princess Celestia shaking her head. “But Princess—”

“Please, Twilight. Just wait a moment,” the white alicorn said softly.

“Princess, are you sure that was the right thing to do?” For the first time in her life, Twilight was actually doubting the motives of her teacher.

Celestia sighed. “It is a touchy matter, but I promise, once there is help given, he’ll be better off.” She nuzzled her student, and Twilight arched her back into it, raising her face. She felt better after the gesture of affection, and waited in silence. Celestia gently smiled at her before turning to Luna.

Fluttershy, meanwhile, had calmed down enough to lift her face out of Rainbow’s shoulder. She blinked wet eyes at Foxy, trying to see him from the angle she was at. Fluttershy sat up slightly and Dash loosened her grip. There was a damp path of blue fur on her arm, but she ignored it.

“F-Foxy?” the timid pegasus called, her voice wobbly.

Twilight appeared in her line of vision. “Princess Celestia said to wait a few minutes.”

“W-why? He needs to be comforted, just like everypony else. More than anypony else . . .” She sank back into Dash’s arms, her eyes the only things showing.

“Maybe she’s afraid he’ll strike out?” Applejack suggested warily.

“Doesn’t look like he will to me,” Rarity whispered, her sapphire blue eyes shooting back to get a glance at the animatronic who was still in his ball.

“Doesn’t look like he’ll do anything,” Pinkie Pie added, a large frown on her face. Her mane hung down in her eyes—not completely straight, but half deflated.

Fluttershy sniffled, clambering out of Rainbow’s embrace. “I’m going to comfort him.”

“Are ya sure that’s a good idea, sugar cube?” AJ asked.

“I’m sure,” Fluttershy said with shaky determination.

Twilight frowned. “Wait a second . . . why aren’t we at the next memory? Or at least out of Foxy’s head.” The mares looked around. The world was dark, nothing but blackness surrounding them. It was as if they were floating in darkness. “I’m going to ask the princesses.” The unicorn padded forward, heading towards her mentor. The two sovereigns were standing off to the side, simply staring ahead.

“Princess?” Twilight asked, tilting her head to the side. There was no answer. The purple mare narrowed her eyes. As she stood there, she realized that neither of the princess’ manes were moving. Twilight had always known that Celestia’s mane flowed forever in the solar winds, and she had become accustomed to it, so she didn’t even notice it anymore. Two sets of eyes stared without blinking, but their horns were glowing. Twilight backed up, turning towards her friends.

“I don’t know what’s happening. They seem to be frozen,” she reported. Fluttershy furrowed her eyebrows.

“Then I’m going to comfort Foxy,” the creamy coated pegasus declared, her gaze set. She trotted gently towards the shaking animatronic.

It’s your fault. It’s your fault. You disgusting, worthless piece of—

No, no, it wasn’t my fault, it wasn’t!

All that kid wanted was to help you. And what did you respond with? Biting his face. You destroyed his life. You don’t deserve to be alive.

You’re wrong!

Bad fox.

I’m not—

Stop lying to yourself. You know it’s true! It’s been haunting your every second since the day it happened. You ruined Chica, Bonnie, and Freddy’s lives, too. Why do you think you—

Shut up! I’ll kill you!

Evil laughing filled Foxy’s head. I’m inside your mind, you idiot. I’m the little voice you hear whenever you think about the bite. They have a name for it, you know. But I’m sure you didn’t, because you spend your days locked up in your precious little Pirate’s Cove like a coward.

. . . Wh-what do they call it?

A dark chuckle resounded in his skull. It’s not the most evil name that your deed deserves, but they call it the Bite of ’87. You see, your hideous act has changed more lives than you can count to. I’m almost offended to be called your guilty conscious. But at least it’s fun to torture your innocent, fun-loving mind.

I’m far from innocent . . .

You got that right. At least you’re smart enough to know that. Because when you’re stuck being the conscious of a robot with the IQ of a kindergartner, things tend to have little meaning behind them.

Shut up.

How about no? I still have plenty of things to remind you of.


Remember when Freddy—


Oh, is the little foxy-woxy getting angry? Hmmph.

Get out of my ‘ead!

The presence of another creature made Foxy jump in surprise. There was a warmness on his back and sides, and he looked up to see the little pegasus Fluttershy giving him a hug. He blinked, startled that after what they had just watched she would still get near him at all. There were obvious tear trails under her eyes and on her cheeks.

“Wha-what are ye doin’, lass?” Foxy stammered, shying away as he really processed the situation.

“I’m sorry,” Fluttershy said simply. She had her eyes shut as she hugged him.

“I—what?” He was puzzled. Why didn’t she hate him, just as the other animatronics had after the bite?

“That shouldn’t have happened to you.”

Foxy sighed. “I was a bad pirate.”

Fluttershy looked up, opening her eyes. “What? No you weren’t! Not from what we saw. The kids seemed as if they loved you.”

Foxy grimaced. “And look what I did ta repay them.”

Twilight appeared in his vision. “Foxy, are you okay?”

Oh, look, ponies. Great, just the kind of cowards you need to feel loved.

Shut your mouth.

I don’t have a mouth. Must I reiterate this every time—I am a state of consciousness, one that’s lurking in the back of your idiotic and childish mind.

And why have I never heard you before, then?

You’ve never watched yourself bite that kid’s face off. Now you have, and I’ve awoken fully.

Get out.

I’m about to make your life a living nightmare.

“No, ‘m not ‘okay’,” Foxy whispered, closing his eyes.

“Of course not. That was a stupid question to ask,” the unicorn murmured, falling back onto her haunches.

Applejack sat down next to Twilight. “No point in not makin’ absolute sure.”

“I guess.” Twilight looked away, and the room became eerily silent. It remained that way for a long while.

The work day was ending.

“See you soon,” Freddy called in a happy tone of voice, his hat off and in his hand.

“Bye! Hope you had a good day!” Chica exclaimed. She waved at the kids as they left, a grin on her face. Bonnie, who was standing next to her, smiled and wiggled his ears at a passing family with twins. The girls giggled and bounced forward to catch up with their mother.

“Come on, let’s go. I’ve got a date with a cheesecake at home,” a random worker said to another person as they walked out the door. The worker turned and locked the doors before heading off. The lights were dimmed, and as soon as all was still, Freddy yawned, placing his hat back on his head.

“Ugh, can we roam tonight? Mike should be able to cope,” the bear said. Chica turned to him and frowned.

“No, Freddy. I know you’re the boss around here, but right now, you’re not making any decisions. We have an allotted amount of time to find Foxy before Mike gets fired. He has some useful human intel, and if we can get him to identify the glowing stuff, then we can find Foxy!” Chica explained for what seemed like the hundredth time.

Bonnie hopped forward. “Freddy, why are you so against working with Mike? He’s not that bad. Plus, to give him credit, he’s made it farther than anyone else. We got that last guy in his suit, right?”

Freddy sighed. “I guess I’m just . . . getting old. I’ve been at this longer than anyone. My circuits were already changed several times; this is just getting irritating.”

Chica gave him a small smile. “It’s alright, Freddy. But just get through the next hopefully-less-than-a-week, and I’m sure we’ll have found Foxy by then.”

“Hope so.” Freddy swiveled around to head towards backstage.

“It’s only eight. We have some time to plan, so let’s do that,” Chica said.

Foxy had not said another word since his few before, but Fluttershy had calmed him down a bit more. As in he wasn’t shaking violently, but the long-lasting feelings of pain and despair were still present. The princesses hasn’t moved or made any kind of motion either. Twilight guessed since their magic was visible, they were using some sort of spell. What kind, she said, she didn’t know.

So the mares and Foxy waited in the darkness. It didn’t look dark to them, but the darkness was there. The chitchat that could’ve made the situation less tense was gone. In each ponies’ mind, their thoughts on what they’d all just seen were slowly undergoing evaluation. Fluttershy was half-laying on Rainbow Dash, but the brash pegasus didn’t seem to mind at all as she was half asleep, having missed her nap earlier that day because of a set of ornery storm clouds. Rarity was idly styling Twilight’s mane into a few dozen curls, but it was a joyless task. Applejack had her head resting on Pinkie Pie’s tail as she was using it as a pillow. She had her eyes closed, but she was far from asleep. And the party pony was staring at the ground, much like Twilight was while Rarity did her mane.

Though Fluttershy was laying partly on the quickly falling asleep Dash, she also had Foxy next to her. She’d dragged him over a bit and taken to running her hoof over his spine. He was mostly curled up—shivering slightly—but the motion had seemed to calm him down. Though the pain and regret in his eyes was very clear, even though they weren’t real.

It was a while before the first sign that the princesses were moving again. It was Rarity who noticed it, with her fine attention to detail. She’d glanced over briefly to check on Fluttershy, and her keen eyes spotted the faintest movement of an ear on Princess Celestia’s head.

“Twilight, dear! I think the princesses are moving,” Rarity quickly reported with a nudge to the other unicorn’s shoulder. Twilight twisted her head around.

“What’d you see?”

“I think I saw Princess Celestia tic an ear, but I could be wrong.”

Twilight began to stand up, and Rarity let out an indignant huff at her work being interrupted. The violet unicorn trotted over to the royal sisters. The other mares started to take notice (all except Dash) and turned their heads to look.

“Princess?” Twilight started. She gently poked her mentor’s side. A moment afterwards, Luna took a large inhale, startling the unicorn. The blue alicorn’s mane kicked into action, the movement more intense than usual. It slowed down to regular speed and she turned to Twilight.

“Twilight Sparkle, is all well?” Luna asked, her voice sounding strained.

Twilight shied away, startled. “Uh, y-yeah. Mostly, I guess. We’ve just been waiting for you and Princess Celestia to . . . move.”

Luna flared her nostrils, looking at her still frozen sister. “Yes, that seems reasonable . . . Hopefully, she shall become active.”

“Princess Celestia moved her ear earlier, so—”

“Is that so? Good, then all is well in that department.” Twilight noticed the lunar goddess was still breathing quite heavily despite her attempts to calm herself.

“Are you okay?”

Luna blinked, facing the unicorn again. “Me? Yes, I’m fine. Just a side effect . . . of the spell.”

“What were you doing anyways?” Twilight asked.

“Foxy’s mind was . . . was trying to expel us. My sister and I had to stop him from doing so,” Luna explained.

Fluttershy sat up at this, ears pricked. She gently moved away from both of the entities she was with and stood next to Twilight.

“You didn’t destroy any of his memories, right?” she asked.

“No, we did not. All we did was let our consciousness go back into the waking world and fix a few . . . things.”

Fluttershy wanted more information. “Fix things?”

“Well, to put it this way—Twilight,” Luna started, looking at the unicorn, “I’m sorry about your chair.”

“Uh, that’s alright?” Twilight guessed. “And if you don’t mind, princess, how are we still sitting here? Wouldn’t his mind expel us if we were moping about between memories?”

“Part of the reason we froze was because of us staying in this one place. Celestia must still be fighting to keep us in place until we can go together.”

As if on cue, the celestial guardian broke out of her state. She nearly fell backwards, but managed to stay upright by bending her legs. She stood up, coughing gently.

“Hello, everypony. Hope you had a good, fulfilling rest because we have to leave now,” Celestia said, her horn igniting once again. Luna blinked in surprise, did the same, and the world started to shift. Rainbow Dash woke up with a kick of her back leg and a twitch of her wings.

“Thank heavens we’re moving again,” Rarity said, getting to her hooves. The other mares stood and looked around at the changing scenery.

Foxy grunted, sitting up weakly. He saw the two princesses and shrunk back. Fluttershy frowned, walking over to reassure him.

“Do you have any idea where we’re going next?” the yellow pegasus whispered. Her eyes glanced nervously back to the others.

Foxy nodded weakly, his eyes downcast. “I know ‘xactly where we be goin’ next, lass. And it’s not pretty either.” Fluttershy winced.

“I hope it doesn’t involve blood again.”

“Not tech’cally.”

“Oh dear.” She shifted her wings on her back. “Well, come along. I’ll stay with you.” She gave him a small, encouraging smile.

“I can’t,” Foxy whispered, shoulders drooping.

Look at that, you baby. I know exactly what Freddy would say in this situation.

Oh, ye again. Get outta ‘ere.

Aw, just when you were getting comfortable again? That’s going to be happening a lot from now on.

Comfortable? Please, I’d be more comfortable in a volcano.

“It’ll be okay,” Fluttershy continued. “I won’t be such a baby this time, and I’ll keep by you.”

Foxy couldn’t even manage a weak smile and just closed his eyes. “That’s a sweet sentiment, lass, but I’ll be tryin’ my hardest not ta look.”

“Now, now, I know you’re scared, but I’m sure the princesses will make you anyways,” she finished in a much quieter whisper. Foxy looked at her, sorrow in his eyes. “I’m sorry.” The scenery had changed already.

“And ‘ere comes the aftershock,” Foxy muttered. The mares all glanced about.

The room was dark, but it was evident they were still in Pirate’s Cove. Across the section was police tape and in the center, a deep crimson stain on the floor. The mares felt an ominous feeling wash over them.

From the door on the other side of the Cove, Chica busted in. She slammed the door before turning around again. Her face was one of concern and anger. She rushed towards the stage, not caring as she trampled police tape.

“Foxy! Foxy!” she cried, throwing the starry curtains open. On the stage, still half conscious, was Foxy. She grabbed him by the shoulders and jostled him. The pirate jerked into life, eyes lighting up all the way.

“C-Chica?” he muttered, blinking.

“Yes! Quick, you need to apologize to Freddy! He’s really angry—”

The door was violently thrown against the wall. Chica and Foxy both flinched, their eyes widening with shock.

“Foxy!” Freddy snarled, his eyes dark. His hand was gripping the microphone with so much force it looked like he would crush it. He stormed up to the stage and placed his hand on Chica’s shoulder.

“Out,” he ordered.

“Freddy, don’t—”

“Listen to me. Get out.” Chica sent a fearful glance at Freddy and an apologetic one to Foxy. She reluctantly scurried away, closing the door behind her.

Foxy was already on his feet, backing away from the furious bear. “Freddy, w-what are ye doin'?”

Freddy set his microphone down on a nearby table. He then looked up, eyes burning with hatred. In a fluid motion, he leaped on stage and stood in front of Foxy.

“Do you have any idea what doom you’ve just laid on us?! We could be shut down, replaced—destroyed! All because of you!” Freddy shouted, taking a step forward.

Foxy took another step backwards. “’t’was an accident. I was glitchin'.”

“Excuses, excuses. That’s all you ever have, huh?” They were steps apart, Foxy backed up against the wall. “I’ll teach you.” Before Foxy could even react, Freddy’s hand was around his throat and was lifting him off the ground. The mares in the background gasped as they saw this. Fluttershy flung her hooves around the Foxy beside her.

Freddy turned around, still with Foxy in his grip, and launched him across the Cove. He landed with a crash of metal a few paces away from the stage. The bear dropped off the stage.

Foxy whimpered, scooting away. It was a pathetic attempt, since Freddy was a step away and already reaching for his foot. The bear grabbed the pirate around the ankle and pulled so that their faces were aligned.

“Do you have anything to say before you’re so badly beaten you can no longer talk?” Freddy growled, a malicious smile on his face.

Foxy put his arms up to his chest, an apology squeaking out of him. “I’m sorry!”

“An apology doesn’t change what you did.” Freddy’s fist raised up and smashed right into the fox’s jaw.

“I can’t watch!” Fluttershy wailed, using her wings to cover her eyes. The sound of metal against metal filled the air. Even the princesses seemed taken aback.

Foxy finally managed to get his body working again and lashed out, but Freddy caught his wildly thrown fist.

The bear growled. “Cute. Fighting back, ay? Can’t allow that, now can we?” Freddy pressed Foxy harder against the floor. His fingers gripped Foxy’s hand and he pushed. The metal joints in Foxy’s hand began to creak. The pirate hissed through his teeth, trying not to let the pain show. It didn’t work for long, as Freddy—malevolent grin wider than before—pushed harder. Foxy’s hand snapped backwards and he let out a screech of anger and pain, trying to kick Freddy off.

“Didn’t you learn not to—gah!” Freddy fell backwards, gaze lighting up with surprise. A hand shot up to his eye, covering one part of his face. Foxy scrambled to his feet, backing away with a feral snarl.

Freddy brought his hand away. Four scratches—two below and two above his eye—showed where Foxy had bitten him. “You little brat!”

“S-stay back, ye hear me?” Foxy warned. His voice was shaky.

Freddy glowered, ignoring the sting of his bite marks. “You’ve just proven that you’re guilty.”


Freddy pointed to the marks. “You bit me, you dolt.”

“That d-doesn’t mean anythin’.”

“I’m afraid it does.” Freddy approached him, eyes black. Foxy backed away, stumbling over upturned chairs. His leg finally caught on a stray edge and Freddy grabbed him by his shoulders.

“Might wanna move,” Foxy started, voice sad, earning the mares’ attention. “This is where he throws me.” A few moments later, the younger Foxy came at them in a blur of red. The mares scattered even though they wouldn’t interrupt anything.

“Are you learning yet, Foxy?!” Freddy roared, towering over the pirate. Foxy grimaced, weakly sitting himself against the wall.

“P-please, Freddy, stop,” Foxy whimpered. His ears were down against his head.

“You can still talk,” Freddy pointed out, light shining out from his mouth as his eyes flickered. Freddy snatched Foxy’s hand and yanked him to his feet. The bear brought his fist back and punched Foxy, sending him twirling towards the stage. The pirate landed right in front of it on his back. Freddy stomped over and once again roughly picked Foxy up. He mustered up some strength and threw his arm up, digging his hook into Freddy’s arm. The bear gasped and then snarled, facial expression now angrier than ever. He grabbed Foxy’s arm joint and twisted.

“Aaah!” Foxy gave a cry of pain and struggled in Freddy’s hold. The bear yanked the hook out of his arm with the other hand and then took ahold of Foxy’s jaw. He jerked it sharply to the side, damaging it and other controls on the inside of his muzzle area. Foxy’s wail turned into a broken, high pitched screeching and Freddy laughed.

Freddy hauled Foxy onto stage, his angry beating nearly over. He pushed the pirate backwards, causing him to stumble. Foxy kicked and hit Freddy in his left knee. Toppling sideways, Freddy’s eyes lit up with surprise. With one hand still on Foxy’s shoulder, the pirate was spun around and pushed forward as the hand’s weight vanished. Freddy landed on his bad side and stuck out an arm to catch himself.

Foxy fell onto his ship. The short bowsprit on the front went right through his chest. Foxy’s eyes immediately went dark and he slumped down, arms hanging in front of him.

The mares stood in shocked silence as the memory began to fade. The princesses even had their mouths nearly hanging open.

“Wow, Freddy is a real meanie,” Pinkie Pie said with a tone of sadness in her voice.

No Idea What I'm Doing LEL

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The colors blended together as the memory transitioned into the next one. The mares were shocked as ever, the words Pinkie Pie had spoken just moment ago not even registering in their minds. Nopony talked as the next memory became clear. They were backstage again, and they saw the repair man. Freddy sat on the table, powered down. Zach was busy screwing some things back into place on his knee. The bite marks on his face were melded back into his metal, no sign as to whether or not they were there in the first place.

“Foxy . . . I’m sorry,” Zach said suddenly, standing up from his crouch. The pirate glanced up from the floor, where he was leaning against the wall. A few metallic screeches were emitted from his throat in reply. Zach turned to look at him. “I can fix that; I’m done with Freddy.” Zach bent down and took ahold of Foxy’s arm, hauling him onto his feet. The fox sat down on the table as soon as the repair man moved Freddy off.

Zach started firstly on repairing his voice and then fiddled with his jaw before realizing he didn’t have enough supplies to fix it. He blinked and then grabbed Foxy’s hand to repair the joint there.

“I’m sorry, buddy. I can’t even do anything more for you. I got the news earlier; they’re deactivating you. They told me make any last fixes that I could—they don’t know about what you currently look like—and then . . . I’m relieved from my job,” Zach said forlornly with a shrug of his shoulders.

Foxy blinked. “W-what?” he gasped, his voice still scratchy, “ye can’t leave!”

Zach smiled, scratching Foxy behind the ear. “Don’t be sad over me. You should be thinking of what’s going to happen to you. Seems like Pirate’s Cove is shut down from here on out.”

The pirate slumped down, his ears falling. “So . . . I’m never gon’ get fixed?”

“No.” There was no use sugarcoating it.

Foxy sighed. “That’s what I deserve, anyhow. I bit that lad.”

Zach frowned, not knowing what to say. “I . . . yes, you did. And there’s nothing we can do. Even if they wanted you to, you’d never be able to perform again. Especially for kids.”

“Ah. I see.”

“But maybe I’ll see you guys around, huh? I may not work here anymore, but it’s not like I’m banned from the establishment.”

“But what reason are ye gonna have fer returnin’? Not a soul besides ye even knows we’re actually . . . livin’, per say.”

“Well . . . I was going to keep this a secret until she was farther along, but . . . Tricia is pregnant!”

Foxy’s eyes brightened. “Ye’re havin’ a baby!” His tail started wagging. “Lad or lass?”

“We don’t know yet. She’s going in next week for an ultrasound, so we’ll find out then.”

“How far along are ye?”

“Uh, eighteen weeks.”

Foxy smiled. His jaw fell slightly to the side and he quickly grabbed it, embarrassed. Zach frowned. The fox glanced up and his ears fell back.

“Say, lad, I’ve got a question . . .” Foxy started.

“Yeah?” Zach adjusted his hat.

“Is it . . . my fault that ye’re gettin’ fired?”

“No, don’t think that way. I should’ve put you out of order until I’d fixed that glitch that had sprung up in your systems.” Zach reached out a hand and scratched Foxy under the chin. The pirate flicked his ears idly and didn’t move. “Well . . . I better get going. Gotta get a new job soon as I can; I’ll have another mouth to feed here.” Zach patted Foxy on the head and dropped down on one knee to turn Freddy on. “Run along to Pirate’s Cove—I’m activating Freddy now.”

“Aye, aye, cap’n,” Foxy said. He slipped off the table and went for the door.

“And Foxy, don’t let Freddy do this. Ever again.”

Foxy paused at the door, his hand up and ready to open it. He didn’t look back as he pushed it open.

It was a few months after the incident. Foxy had been cut off for the most part, never seeing the others as the court trial took place. When the news finally came that the company had won the argument, the restaurant was relieved. But the drawback was the animatronics were no longer allowed to wander during the day. Their time was now only at night. It was a few days afterwards when Foxy noticed his hook arm was falling off.

The pirate inspected his appendage, the forearm now only loosely connecting to his upper arm by a thin amount of wires. He tilted an ear, thinking of what to do. He had thin, nimble fingers on his one hand, but this required two. Perhaps Bonnie would help him? He hadn’t talked to him for a long while, but he was sure he’d still help.

Foxy emerged from Pirate Cove for the first time in months. He checked both ways for anyone that might’ve had to work late before sneaking off stage and down the hall to the party room. Bonnie was currently the only one in there. He had his back to him.

“Arr, lad, could I get your help with somethin’?” Foxy asked, trying to put the usual amount of tone in his voice since the accident.

The purple bunny stiffened. An ear twitched.

“Me arm’s fallin’ off, and I need an extra hand. If ye could jus’ hold it closer I could connect the wires—”

“No,” Bonnie said stiffly.

Foxy’s peaceful exterior faltered. “What?”

Bonnie turned around angrily, his maroon eyes burning. “I said no! Get out of here.” He stood up.

“But, lad, me arm’s fa—”

“First of all, you can stop calling me ‘lad’, and secondly, I don’t care about your problem. You caused us more problems than we can ever fix, so just stop your complaints.”

Foxy looked stunned. “I’m not complainin’—”

Bonnie shoved Foxy backwards, allowing the pirate to stumble over his own feet.

“Leave,” Bonnie snarled. Foxy backed away, ears down. He quickly scurried off to Pirate’s Cove, his good arm cradling his broken one. In the midst of running away, he bumped into something. He bounced backward and saw Chica blinking in confusion. She noticed him and scowled.

“What are you doing out?” the chicken hissed, crossing her arms.

“I—I jus’ needed to get me arm f-fixed . . .” Foxy stammered. Chica glanced at his arm and seemed to soften slightly. There was still a frown on her normally happy face, but she took a step forward and grabbed ahold of Foxy’s arm. Her yellow fingers worked quickly and she roughly tugged the wires back into place before clicking some of the clips to hold it in position. She abruptly dropped his hand, not even taking notice of the somewhat pained expression on his face.

“There. Now go back to Pirate’s Cove,” Chica ordered. “Better not let Freddy see you.” She hurried off heatedly. Foxy watched her go. His shoulders slumped as he turned to go back to Pirate’s Cove.

A bright light filled the ponies’ eyes. They felt a pulling sensation as they were tugged back into the waking world. The time lock shattered as they faded back into their bodies. The mares sluggishly lifted their heads and moved their legs. The two princesses shook their heads and their manes kicked into action. Foxy, who was still bound in the chair, didn’t stir.

“Urrgg . . . did that really just happen?” Rainbow Dash’s voice broke through the faint sound of sighing at the relief of finally being back in their own bodies.

“Yes, I’m having that kind of feeling as well,” Rarity commented, running a hoof through her mane.

Pinkie Pie hopped up, hair trembling. “Hey! Freddy was a big fat meanie! Somepony ought to teach him a lesson about friendship!”

Applejack flicked her tail. “Agreein’ with ya, Pinks.”

“Everypony, I hope you’ve all learned from the experiences we’ve shared together,” Luna started. She moved towards Foxy and lit her horn. The magic binding him faded away and he woke up suddenly, falling forward.

Fluttershy stepped forward. “Princess . . . what do we do now? I don’t understand.”

Celestia looked down at the pegasus. “Now we confront the issues at hoof.”

Foxy picked himself off the floor and gave his head a shake. He glanced over to see the ponies looking at him. Foxy’s eyes grew dark and he stood up, snarling.

“How dare ye? Messin’ ‘bout in me head, lookin’ at my life as if t’were some sort ‘a movie!” Foxy growled in a threatening way. The two princesses didn’t say anything. “Great, jus’ great! Don’t even care, do ye?”

Luna’s face became one of offense. “How dare you to actually say that we do not care. Why would we have done it if not to help you?” The lunar princess took an intimidating step forward. Celestia held her wing out, blocking the smaller alicorn’s path.

“Luna, he has a point,” the solar goddess said gently. Luna raised an eyebrow at her older sister, but backed up so Celestia could fold her wing back in. “We’ve taken advantage of him and done personal things without his consent. For that, we are sorry.”

Foxy crossed his arms. “Apology not accepted.”

Celestia dipped her head. “Then I feel as if we should be off. What are your plans tonight, girls?”

Pinkie Pie thrust herself forward, nabbing Foxy and swinging him around in her grip. “I call slumber party at Twilight’s!”

Rainbow Dash grinned. “I’m so in!”

“Ah’ll stay too.”

“Um . . . yeah.”

“Of course, darling, what a good idea.”

Twilight smiled. “Okay, that’s fine with me.” She turned to Princess Celestia. “Slumber party here.”

The solar goddess smiled at her student and looked outside. “Hmm, it is nearly time to lower the sun. Luna and I really must be going. Have a good time.” Luna glanced at her sister before approaching Twilight. She dipped her head to the unicorn.

“Do what you must,” the lunar sovereign hissed softly in her ear as she lowered her head. Twilight nodded slightly as Luna backed away. In a flash of multicolored light, the two princesses were gone.

Pinkie Pie flapped her bright pink (what other color did you expect?) sleeping bag up and down to shake the crumbs off it. It’d been resting in her cupboard (for what reason, they didn’t know) and so she had to get it ready. Rarity set her light purple bed/sleeping bag on the floor. She’d wanted to take the guest bed, but of course she had to be a good house guest and sleep with everypony else. Applejack had a dark green sleeping bag and Rainbow Dash a red-and-blue-and-yellow one. Twilight had one with pink and purple lines streaking across the front of the blue fabric. And Fluttershy had a teal one with a vine design on it. Foxy had insisted he didn’t need one, but Rarity (being the ever-so generous and overly pushy on occasion pony she was) insisted that he get at least a blanket to lay on and pillow, if not a sleeping bag. Of course, he’d rolled his eyes at her but it was forced upon him.

“Ooh, this is gonna be great!” Pinkie Pie declared, jittery from her permanent sugar high.

“Yeahh! What are we going to do? Tell scary stories? Play truth or dare?” Rainbow asked with a smirk on her face, rubbing her hooves together.

“We could give each other makeovers!” Rarity squeed, voice rising an octave in an adorable manner.


Twilight strode forward. “Since this was Pinkie’s idea, maybe we should let her pick?” The six others looked over at the party pony, who was currently trying to see if she could move like a caterpillar in her sleeping bag. She glanced up with big blue eyes, ceasing her activity.

“I know! How about we all pick something to do? Then everypony has fun doing what they like!” Pinkie suggested. She popped out of her sleeping bag.

“That’s . . . actually a well thought out idea that could benefit everybody,” Applejack said, impressed.


“So, Pinkie, why don’t you pick first?” Twilight asked, laying down and tucking her hooves under her, then finished it off with wrapping her tail around her body. The other mares followed suit, though Rainbow Dash remained hovering in the air. Pinkie grinned, eyes lighting up right away.

“I already know! We’re going to have sleeping bag races!” As she said this, the party pony grabbed her pink bag and hoisted it up, showing off the darker pink bubbles decorating its surface. “Just grab your bag and get in, then we zip it up and crawl all over!”

Rarity winced, flattening hers down somewhat. “Uh, Pinkie, darling, this is such a great idea, but, um, may I not partake in this activity?”

Pinkie frowned, giving her friend puppy eyes. “But pleeeasse?”



“. . . I don’t know . . .”

“Rarity, do it for me?”

The fashionista sighed and shimmied into her purple sleeping bag. “Fine. But just to point out, Foxy does not have one, so how is he going to play?”

Pinkie Pie looked over at the animatronic. “Hmm . . .” She tapped her chin. “Twilight, do you have an extra sleeping bag?”

The violet unicorn shook her head. “No, sorry. I only have one for Spike and I, and obviously, Spike’s would be much too small.”

Pinkie huffed. “Great! Now not everyone’s included!”

Foxy shrugged. “I be fine, lass. Right as rain. You ponies play your game.” Rainbow rolled over casually, like it was the most normal thing to do.

“You really okay with not playing?” the cyan pegasus asked.

“Aye. It’s alright, really.”

“Okay, if you say so! Come on, everypony, to the starting line!”

Hmm, let’s see . . .

Go ‘way.

Wasn’t it great, reliving all those memories? I should thank those pony rulers.

Why are ye here?

I’ve already made my intentions clear—to make you go completely and utterly insane.

I’m already insane. Can’t break somethin’ that’s already broken.

The voice seemed to smirk, giving a sound of doubt. If you had a toy truck, and it was broken—it’s missing a wheel, let’s say.

Where ye goin’ with this?

Then you ripped its other wheels off and also the doors. What would it be then?

. . . Broken.

Hmmph. You can ignore it all you want, but one thing’s for certain—you won’t make it out alive.

“Fluttershy wins again! Wow, how are you so good at this?”

Said pegasus looked over at Pinkie Pie, who’d spoken. “Oh, I don’t know, honestly. Probably just good luck.”

Rainbow wiggled out of her sleeping bag and took it in her mouth, flying it back to her place in the circle between Rarity and Fluttershy.

“Yeah, ‘shy, that was pretty awesome how you kept winning!” the brash pegasus declared.

Twilight placed her bag down as well. “Since you won, how about you pick the next activity?”

Fluttershy shrunk down. “W-well, I don’t know . . . Rainbow or somepony else can have my turn . . .”

“Fluttershy!” Pinkie bounced forward. “That’s not how it works!”

“Can I at least have some time to think? Have somepony else go first . . .”

The party pony nodded. “We can do that! Who wants to pick?”

Rarity scooted bashfully forward. “Um, I don’t mean to sound selfish, darling, but could I pick?”

“Sure thing, Rares!”

Applejack sighed, running a hoof down her face. “Oh boy, Ah know what we’re doin’ next . . .”

“Makeovers!” the unicorn cried happily, clopping her front hooves together.

“Ooh, sounds fun!” Pinkie exclaimed. She quickly grabbed Applejack and sat her on the floor. “I know exactly what to do with your mane, AJ!”

“Uh, okay, just nothin’ too girly,” the earth pony agreed.

“Foxy, you really need a makeover! Come along,” Rarity said, producing a small stool. Foxy tilted his head at her.

“A makeover?” the pirate asked, confused.

“Yes, dear. Now come on; it might take a while to get through your . . .” She let her well trained eyes to roam over his fur. “Rats’ nest of a pelt. On the floor you go!” She used her magic to nudge him over to sit on the floor. She stood up on the stool, a pair of scissors and a comb in her magical grip.

“This is gonna be good,” Rainbow whispered into Fluttershy’s ear from behind where she was braiding her friend’s pink mane. Nearby, Twilight, who was brandishing a curling iron to use on Pinkie’s mane, nodded, a smirk on her muzzle. The mares snickered as their minds imagined what might be Foxy’s new style.

“Actually not as bad as Ah thought it was goin’ to be,” Applejack commented as the group of ponies studies Foxy, who was also checking himself out in the full-length mirror Rarity had provided.

“What’d ye think it was goin’ ta be?” Foxy asked as he turned around. The longer fur on his head was formed into a serious of spikes that stuck out over his eyes.

“Uh, really girly and over the top?” Rainbow Dash said before AJ could.

“Please, girls, Foxy here is a gentlecolt. Besides, if there was any sort of feminine mane style it would look absolutely atrocious, I can tell you that much. I just fixed his current flair,” Rarity said professionally.

“Well, I gotta say, I didn’t know what I looked like ‘fore, but I’m sure I look better now,” Foxy commented.

“Why thank you, dear.” The white unicorn activated her magic briefly to pat down a fluffed up part on his tail. “So, now that we all have had a bit of time to relax, who is going to pick what we do next?”

“Fluttershy, do you know what you want to do?” Pinkie Pie asked, springing forward.

The pegasus shrank back. “O-oh, um, yes, I think I do. I was just thinking a nice, simple board game.”

“Oh, that sounds great. I have a small selection—I’ll go grab them,” Twilight said, already trotting off. The ponies waited briefly until she got back. “Alright, I’ve got six to choose from.” The unicorn floated the six games in front of her face. “Hooves and Ladders, Apples to Apples, Pictionary, Quelf, Life, and Scattergories.”

“Ugh, please not Life,” Rainbow groaned.

“Not Scattergories either. ‘m bad with words,” Applejack added.

Rarity glanced over at the two of them. “Girls, this is supposed to be Fluttershy’s choice.”

“N-no, it’s fine. I didn’t really want to play those anyways. Quelf is kind of . . . vulgar at times, and so is Apples to Apples, plus Hooves and Ladders is a game for little foals . . . I think Pictionary,” Fluttershy decided.

Twilight set the chosen game down onto the table. “Good choice. Gather round, everyone.” The seven individuals positioned themselves around the coffee table.

“So, here are the rules,” Twilight continued, “one of us uses this board and starts to draw something. Whatever they want.” Rainbow grinned, starting to stick a hoof in the air. “No, please not anything extremely inappropriate.”

The rainbow-maned pegasus smirked. “You said ‘extremely’. Challenge accepted.”

Twilight frowned. “Please don’t.” She got only an eyebrow wiggle from Dash. “Ugh. Alright, anyways, the drawer picks what they want to draw, and everyone else guesses. First one to get it right is the next one to draw. If no one guesses and we give up, the drawer goes again.”

“Ooh, ooh, can I go first?” Pinkie Pie quickly piped, waving her hooves.

“Is everyone okay with that?” There was a chorus of yeahs, yesses, and ayes, and then the white board and marker was scooted over to Pinkie. The party pony grinned and took the cap off, using her mouth to grip the black marker. She immediately started to draw.

“Uh,” Rarity started with an eyebrow raise, “is it a cake?”

Pinkie dropped her marker. “Yes!”

The white unicorn blinked, satisfied. “Oh, look at that! In the first ten seconds!”

“Ten seconds flat,” Dash commented.

Rarity took the board with her magic. “Alright, hmm, what to do . . .” She glanced around briefly before her eyes lit up. Her glittering aura surrounded the marker, taking the cap off, and began drawing. The ponies and not pony around the table studied her drawing carefully.

“It looks like a bear,” Foxy said.

Rarity frowned. “It’s not.”


“Yes, really!”

Twilight narrowed her eyes at the doodle. It looked distinctly familiar . . .

“Is that supposed to be Spike?”

Rarity beamed. “Yes, darling! Très bien! Sorry, I’m not used to drawing living creatures. As you know, it’s usually dresses on a printed model.”

“It’s not that bad.”

Rainbow leaned over to get a closer look. “I don’t know, where are the spikes?”

“Shush,” Rarity scolded as she pushed the materials over to the other unicorn.

Twilight already had an idea, so she just uncapped the marker and pressed its tip the white board. She hesitated before beginning, but continued at a better pace when she got adjusted. A line here, a line there, and she finished. She held it up.

The crowd in front of her just stared with wide eyes and open mouths.

“Well, aren’t you going to guess? Why are you all giving me that look?”

Applejack smirked, but tried to hide it. “Uh huh, um, Twilight? What, uh, what is it s’posed to be?”

Twilight blushed. “W-what do you mean?”

“Like,” Rainbow Dash had gotten into the air and lowered herself in front of the unicorn, “we don’t know what that is.” She pointed to the board with a blue hoof.

“Are you saying my doodle isn’t good?”

“Not exactly,” Rarity started.

“Um, kinda,” Pinkie Pie interjected. Rarity quickly turned and smacked her with a rolled up newspaper.

“It’s not bad,” Fluttershy murmured.

“We’re not sayin’ it’s bad, we’re sayin’ ye better tune your skills with that thing on your head,” Foxy said plainly. Rarity gasped and turned to him as well, resulting in him getting a newspaper upside the head instead of what Pinkie got.

Twilight sighed, shoulders slumping. “So you give up?”

“Yeah, duh.”

“Sorry, sugarcube, but eeyup.”

“Unfortunately so.”


“Aye, lass.”

“Sorry . . .”

“It was the symbol for the princesses. You know, the whole sun and moon thing,” Twilight answered with a wave of her hoof.

The others blinked at the picture, eyes scrutinizing.

Rainbow made a huffing sound. “How?!”

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“Fine, if you’re so sure you can’t tell what it is, then you go, Dash,” Twilight huffed, pushing the board and marker away.

“Alrighty then! Sweet! What to draw . . .” Rainbow Dash muttered, tapping her chin. She seemed to get an idea . . .

“It’s the Wonderbolts,” Fluttershy said simply.

“Correct! See, Twilight, you can actually tell what my drawing is!” Dash grinned in pride as she passed along the items. Twilight rolled her eyes but switched her attention to Fluttershy. She was carefully sketching what looked like some sort of animal, but they couldn’t tell just yet.

“Wait, that that thing that attacked me in the for’st?” Foxy asked, pointing.

Fluttershy glanced up. “Which one? Gotta know the name.”

Foxy paused, thinking. “That . . . mantocir or whatever.”

“Close enough.” She nudged over the board and marker.

Foxy fumbled with the marker for a few seconds, the writing utensil a little too small for his hand. He then stopped.

“Something wrong?” Rarity asked.

“Uh, jus’ realized I’ve never actually . . . drawn anythin’,” Foxy said awkwardly.

“It’s not that hard. Just think of something, and try to make it,” Twilight advised.

“Aye, jus’ don’t expect to be able ta know what it is.” He began to painstakingly scribble something down. The ponies watched with curiosity. They focused closely on what was being drawn, all wanting to get it.

“Oh, land sakes, even I can’t tell what this is s’posed ta be,” Foxy mumbled, embarrassed as he set the white board down.

“Uh, yeah, we’re all kinda getting that impression,” Rainbow snorted, an eyebrow raised at the drawing.

“I’m also getting the impression that this probably has something to do with pirates,” Twilight said.

“Aye, ye be right on.”

Celestia turned towards her sister.

“I believe we have interfered enough. Perhaps my idea was not as well thought out as I had originally believed,” the solar goddess worried.

“Maybe we could’ve approached that with a bit more grace, but we may need to do more,” Luna said gravely.

“I’m sure Twilight and her friends can help more than we can.”

“It’s not just Foxy that needs to be changed.” Luna gazed out at the deep blue sky. The moon shone high in the sky, stars twinkling.

“Yes, I understand, but we cannot just bring other creatures into our land willy-nilly.”

Luna furrowed her eyebrows. “Are you calling my plan absurd?”

Celestia blinked, leaning back. “Of course not. I’m just suggesting, that after what has just occurred, we should wait a few weeks—possibly months, depending on how long it takes for Foxy to regain his composure. I’m sure he’s hurting on the inside. He seemed well offended by what we’d done.”

“Of course,” Luna started, taking a few steps in the other direction, “I see your point, sister. And I agree, let us wait. I shall be checking in on his dreams often, however.”

Celestia dipped her head. “And I encourage that aspect.” She ruffled her wings on her back. “Though I have a quick question before you leave.”

Luna twitched an ear.

“Why do you care so much? Of course, I care about any living thing, but with you it seems . . . different,” Celestia explained.

Luna hesitated, her ears falling backwards. “It’s . . . about Nightmare Moon. I wasn’t aware of the power of the Nightmare, and many suffered the price of my actions. Foxy seems like an ideal specimen for the Nightmare to reside in. I fear what may happen if that kind of force takes over him.”

Celestia nodded carefully. “I fully comprehend you concerns. Perhaps we should watch more carefully.”


After riveting sleeping bag races, amazing makeovers, a somewhat confusing game of Pictionary, a bit of rowdy truth-or-dare, and finally some thrilling charades, it was Twilight’s turn to pick. She settled down in her spot, curled up, and crossed her forelegs over one another.

“Talk. I’d like to talk,” the book smart unicorn said simply.

“Talk?” Rainbow Dash deadpanned, slumping in the air.

Fluttershy laid down in her spot. “I’m fine with that.”

“As am I—I’m quite worn out from what we’ve already done,” Rarity commented.

“But it’s only like two in the morning!” Dash argued.

“We’re not going to sleep—we’re just going to talk,” Twilight said.

“’bout what?” Applejack wondered as she sat down.

“Anything, really.”

Fluttershy glanced over. She mouthed “Foxy?” to her friend. Twilight hesitated before nodding lowly.

“Fine, I’ll sit. But make sure we talk about something interesting,” Dash continued. She beat her wings to come down to the ground, then made herself comfortable. As soon as everyone was sitting, laying down, or something in between, Twilight started.

“So, I know we’ve all had a . . . rough day, but I just want to say thank you all for not panicking. Well, uh, most of us,” the violet unicorn finished with a cough, flustered. “Anyways, um, just wanted to talk about the events.”

Foxy blinked once and then stood up.

“Foxy! Don’t leave! We need to talk to you!” Twilight exclaimed, leaping to her hooves.

“I don’t wanna talk ‘bout it,” the pirate growled, his back to the group.

“Well”—Twilight fumbled for words—“suck it up!”

Foxy stopped in his tracks. Twilight grimaced, and the whole room seemed to drop a few degrees. Foxy slowly turned around, eyes burning. Twilight winced before leaning back a bit.

“Uh, eh heheh,” the unicorn stammered weakly.

Foxy took a step towards her. Even if he wasn’t as tall as Celestia, Twilight would still be frightened. Being faced down by an alicorn that was 9’ 6” was terrifying in itself, but a robot that she’d just seen bite a kid’s face off? And then still managed to get beaten up by another robot that was that tall as well? Nuh uh, there’s going to be fear involved.

“What did ye jus' say?” Foxy hissed quietly.

Twilight found herself floundering for words, but then she puffed out her chest, her argument prepared.

“I said, suck it up! Yes, I understand completely. You’re heartbroken—I would be too, if that had happened to me, and especially if I was forced to watch it—but you’re going about it in the wrong way. Getting angry may seem like an appropriate reply, and it is justified, yet it’s not the best choice,” Twilight rebuked. “We only want to help you, and you’re just pushing us off. If Princess Luna brought you here, that means she saw some means of assisting you. Fluttershy and I have been working our flanks off to get everything done—we stayed up hours searching for you after you ran off; I didn’t blow you to pieces before the princesses came yesterday. We can fix this, but only together. So for right now, I want you to sit your butt down, listen up, and answer our questions, or else I’ll use a restraining spell! And trust me, it wouldn’t be pleasant!” She finished with a stomp of a hoof, her voice escalating. Foxy’s jaw hung open, eyes wide. He looked like he was attempting to come up with some sort of retort to that, but didn’t say anything as he went and sat back down in his spot next to Fluttershy and Rainbow. Twilight nodded, a firm look on her face. She turned and plopped herself back into her fluffy seat.

“Now, as I was saying,” the purple unicorn restarted, “we want to know more so we can help you. I know we all have questions, so we’re going to ask.” She glanced around. “Don’t hold back with questions, alright? And Foxy, if a question goes too far, just don’t answer. Try your best, however.” She got a quiet chorus of agreements, and then silence.

“I have a question,” Dash announced, deciding not to wait. “So you went crazy that one night—why aren’t you all angry and stuff now?”

Foxy hesitated. “Tis . . . complicated. Roamin’ mode is a touchy matter. Usually when we go inta it, we act deranged, though we can interact when the time comes. We can also turn it on and off, but only before the night, not durin’. Our servers get picky if it’s off too long, so we don’t have much ‘a choice ‘bout it.”

“I guess that makes sense.”

“You’re not on roamin’ mode now, are ya?” Applejack asked.

Foxy shook his head in reply. “Course not.”

“Jus’ makin’ sure.”

Twilight hummed to herself for a moment. "You can feel pain, right?"

"Aye," Foxy replied.

"Huh, I just recalled that from earlier. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't rip your arm off." She paused. "I'm performing some tests later."

Dash leaned over, one hoof covering her mouth. "Good luck."

Rarity tentatively stuck a hoof in the air. “Excuse me, darling, but I’d also like to ask something. After what happened with the bite, the other animatronics treated you so horribly! Surely they’d listen to you when you said it was an accident?”

“Sadly, when Freddy’s schedule is messed up, he gets angry . . . Chica and Bonnie were angry too, and then they just stopped bein’ nice as well. I didn’t expect ‘em to, either,” Foxy answered, his tone saddening.

“It’s okay, don’t be sad,” Fluttershy said. She put a hoof on his arm.

Rarity frowned. “Even that little bird—Chica, if I’m correct—she treated you horribly as well! I thought you two were fairly close. You’d make a cute couple—”

“A-aye, we were good pals,” Foxy quickly cut her off before she could say anything more. His face heated up but he hoped no one else could tell. “But if ye destroyed someone’s life, do ye think they’d forgive ye so easily?”

Rarity hesitated, glancing away. “I-I guess not. Though surely you could’ve worked something out?”

“Sadly, no. I knew from that day on I was doomed ta live alone.”

“Oh come on, Foxy! You couldn’t have known that!” Pinkie Pie declared.

“They’re obviously not very loyal,” Dash muttered.

“Jus’ calm down. I’ve learned ta accept the fact that I’m not good ‘nough,” Foxy murmured.

Boo hoo. Are you glad the ponies are taking care of your little baby self?

Foxy stopped talking abruptly. The mares switched their full attention to him.

Am I interrupting something? Whoops, my bad.

. . . What’re ye doin’ back?

“Foxy?” Fluttershy asked tentatively. She tapped on his side.

“Hmm?” It was as if someone flipped a switch. He seemed fully in control.

“Are you okay?” Twilight wondered.

“Aye, course I am. Why?” He tilted his head.

“You just . . . kinda blanked out,” Rainbow added.

“How long?”

“’bout ten seconds. You stopped movin’ an’ froze,” Applejack countered.

“Huh.” Foxy scratched his head. “Probably jus’ a system glitch. I’ve been known ta have those, as ye are all aware.”

Twilight nodded thoughtfully. “Okay then.” Her face was still one of concern, as were the other mares in the room. “I’ll take a look later, I think.” She then perked up. “Oh, and since we saw what you looked like before, do you want me to redesign your repairs? I just went off what I thought you’d look like.”

“That’s fine.”

A dark chuckle reverberated dully in his head.

“I’m so glad you’re coming with us to Appleloosa to plant Applejack’s tree. She’s been getting the tree ready for weeks, and today is finally the day,” Fluttershy said. Foxy walked beside her, deftly ignoring the stares of various towns’ ponies in the general vicinity. It’d been a little over a week, and he’d only been outside a few times. Ponies still stared, and most of them didn’t trust him. Probably didn’t help that he was freakishly tall for a normal citizen of Equestria.

“Aye, s’no big deal. It’ll be great ta see some more 'a your lil world,” the pirate commented.

“Oh, I’m glad you’re not scared. If I was you, I’d be terrified.” Fluttershy ruffled her wings, quivering.

“Come on you two! You’re gonna miss the train if ya don’t hurry!” Rainbow Dash proclaimed, dipping in her flight path. The two beings on the ground looked up as she flew off, heading much more quickly to the train station.

“She’s right. We’d better hurry.” Fluttershy started into a trot. Her saddlebags bounced on her back. Foxy followed swiftly after, easily matching pace with her.

Twilight was waiting at the boarding platform, waiting patiently for any more of her friends. Rainbow’s multicolored tail vanished in the doors of the train. Twilight’s gaze lit up as she saw the two walking towards her.

“Oh, Fluttershy, you got Foxy, that’s great. Sorry I had to leave earlier, Spike wanted to get a few snacks to make before we left,” Twilight said as she trotted over to meet them.

“That’s fine. What time does the train leave?” the pegasus asked.

“In about five minutes. Everypony’s already in there. You two are the last.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. Let’s just get on before they leave, huh?” Twilight took the lead, talking over her shoulder as she started going faster. The three clambered onto the train. The conductor gave Foxy an odd glance, but didn’t object. After all, business was business. Though Foxy had to duck to fit under the doorway.

“Bonsoir, darlings. Great to see you’re here,” Rarity greeted from her top bunk.

“Eeyup,” came Applejack’s voice from another car. She appeared in the doorway.

Rainbow Dash was spread over a pegasus bed. This kind had no ladders, so naturally, only pegasi could get to them. Sleeping higher up tended to help them relax. The pegasus leaned over the edge of her bunk.

“Good to see you didn’t get left behind,” she remarked snidely.

“Now that everyone’s here, do we all have beds? Even with new steam engines, the trip will still take over a day,” Twilight said.

“Here, Foxy, you can take this one,” Pinkie Pie quickly announced, pointing to the bed across from her. Foxy raised an eyebrow, but dipped under the edge.

“I think I’m too big fer this,” Foxy said simply from his somewhat awkward position sitting on the bed.

“Take a pegasus one. They’re larger,” Dash commented idly, waving a hoof in the air as she rolled over.

“Now, Dash, that’s ridiculous. All the beds are the sa—” Rarity stopped in midsentence as she stood up on her hind legs to get a better look. “Good heavens! How come pegasi get such exquisite beds?!”

“’cuz we’re awesome?”

Rarity gasped dramatically. “This is so no fair!”

Fluttershy frowned from her bunk across from Dash’s. “Oh, I’m sorry.”

Rarity sighed breathlessly. “Don’t be.”

Rarity trotted back into the main car, looking nearly offended. “I cannot believe that Applejack is letting the tree have the private car. I need my beauty sleep!”

“You’re already beautiful, Rarity!” Pinkie Pie declared.

“Well, thank you, darling, but I’m afraid I’ll be waking up with bags under my eyes.”

“Why would you keep bags under your eyes?”

“. . .”

“Would you all be QUIET. . . NOOOOW!!!???”

The ponies let out a few exclamations at Rarity’s scream (not to mention her face) and dove back into their beds. Foxy actually managed to not hit his bed getting into his, his first time actually achieving that. The fashionista up in her bunk sighed and was heard snuggling back into her blankets.

“Geez . . .” There was Rainbow’s sigh.

Foxy was awoken by a large jolt. He flew out of his small bed, landing with a crash of metal on the floor. The other mares let out screams of surprise as they as well were tossed about. They all managed to become tangled in one large ball as the train car rocked back and forth.

“Gah! What’s happening?” Twilight exclaimed.

Rainbow Dash managed to escape their ball of doom and smashed against the window. Buffalo surrounded the train.

“It’s buffalo!” the pegasus announced in surprise. She looked up as she heard hooves pattering on the roof. She narrowed her eyes and zoomed to the train car door, vanishing into the early morning light.

“W-why are buffalo attacking the train?” Fluttershy whimpered, also hovering now as the massive banging stopped.

“Look!” Pinkie screeched, pointing at the swinging door. Through it, they saw the train car containing Bloomberg heading down the opposite way.

Applejack gasped. “They've got Bloomberg!”

“Heeeelp!” came a distant yell. In the window of the train car, they saw Spike’s face pop up.

Twilight’s eyes widened even more. “And Spike!” They heard another shout for help before the train car vanished for good, lost in the background.

Pinkie Pie, while the others were fretting, was devising a plan of her own. She hooked Foxy around the waist, sprang to the other side of the train car where another door was, and kicked it open.

Foxy blinked, not sure how he got to the other side so fast. “Pin—”

“Let’s go!” Pinkie declared, throwing him out. Foxy didn’t have time to stop himself as he was hurled out, and the party pony followed with a ‘whee’!

“Come on, wake up! It’s no fun if you lay here while I search for Spike on my own!”

Foxy mumbled something and sat up, joints creaking. He rubbed his head. The feeling of sand in his metal made him give a quick shudder.

“P-Pinkie? Why in the world did ye throw me out the train car?”

“Because you’re going to help me find Spike and Dashie! You’re fast, so we can get there faster!” Pinkie said like it was obvious.

Foxy blinked, tilting his head. “I’m all fer helpin’ ye, but couldn’t ye ‘ave warned me?” he asked.

“Then the others would have objected! No, we needed to go quietly.”

“Fine. Let’s go. They went that way, right?” Foxy pointed towards the train tracks in the distance.

“Yep! Now let’s go!” She started off in a bounce.

“Ooh, I can't wait to get my hooves on that little buffalo . . . Hnnh . . . Ow! Nobody tricks Rainbow Dash and gets away with it.”

The pegasus crept forward a few paces before stopping.


The metal pirate fell out from behind the nearby rock. Pinkie Pie followed immediately after in a tumble, splayed across Foxy’s back.

“Aw, man! Foxy, you gave us away!” Pinkie whined.

Rainbow blinked. “What?”

“Uh, nothing.” She sprang to her hooves. Foxy wobbly got to his feet. Rainbow quickly yanked him back down, as he towered above the rocks.

“Stay down. We’ve got to keep hidden.” She sighed. “What are you two doing here anyways?”

“We’re looking for Spike!”

“You two should go. The more of us there are out here, the more chances of us getting . . . caught.” Dash trailed off as she stood up fully, realizing they were completely surrounded. Pinkie stood taller, but as Foxy rose to his full height, he was met with shrieks from the buffalo.

“What is that?!” one shouted in horror.

“Predator! The ponies have brought a predator! Kill it!” another bellowed.

Foxy looked around in shock as all the buffalo took a step closer. Suddenly, Spike broke through the ranks.

“Stop! Dash, Pinkie, Foxy, 'sup? Hey, no worries I know those guys. They're cool,” the little dragon said smoothly.

A nearby buffalo ground his hoof into the dirt. “By law, the predator is not allowed to live. For the safety of the herd, it must be destroyed.”

Spike frowned. “C’mon, fellas. We can come to an agreement, can’t we?” he asked nervously.

“Yeah, Foxy wouldn’t hurt a fly! Well, actually . . .” Pinkie trailed off, tapping her chin in thought. “He doesn’t eat buffalo! In fact, he doesn’t even eat at all, now that I think about it!”

“There is no exception to the law,” the buffalo argued stubbornly.

Rainbow frowned. “We aren’t leaving Foxy behind, so I suggest you back off. He’s coming with us.” She took an intimidating step forward. The buffalos strengthened their ranks, forming a tighter circle.

“Oh come on! Foxy’s coming with us! You wouldn’t want to disrespect me, would you?” Spike growled in a fake manner.

The leading buffalo faltered. “W-well . . . no,” he sighed. “Fine. But it can’t walk free.”

Rainbow narrowed her eyes. “And what do you mean by that?”

“Gah! Careful with the joint there, buddy,” Foxy snarled angrily. He was bound by his feet and arms, the final knot being tied around his wrists. The same buffalo that had been doing the tying bowed his head and thrust it forward, scooping the pirate up and launching him skywards. He landed on his stomach sideways over the back of the carrier buffalo. “Fazbear, this is humilatin’.”

“Sorry, dude,” Dash said with a shrug.

“I’ll try and talk to the chief about it,” Spike added.

Foxy’s perch wobbled as the group started off. He flicked his tail in agitation. “This is so stupid. Bein’ carried by a bunch 'a idiotic beasts.” The buffalo snorted and dropped suddenly, bending its knees. Foxy let out a small exclamation of surprise before grumbling and snorting. The buffalo, however, seemed rather amused.

“Uhh, okay then,” Twilight said simply, her confusion plain to see. Foxy was dropped in front of her like a sack of bricks, while Rainbow Dash hovered in the sky and Pinkie Pie bounced happily nearby.

“Predators are usually not allowed to live. You should be thankful,” Little Strongheart murmured. She didn’t have a problem with the pirate, though she was still a bit uneasy around him as he was still taller than all the buffalo.

“Um, well, thanks for not . . . injuring him.”

“Yes, darling, that’s quite nice. Um, so, what now?” Rarity asked.

“We may be divided

But of you all, I beg

To remember we're all hoofed

At the end of each leg

No matter what the issue

Come from wherever you please

All this fighting gets you nothing

But hoof and mouth disease

Arguing's not the way

Hey, come out and play!

It's a shiny, new day

So, what do you say?

You gotta share

You gotta care

It's the right thing to do

You gotta share

You gotta care

And there'll always be a way through

Both our diets, I should mention

Are completely vegetarian

We all eat hay and oats

Why be at each other's throat?

You gotta share

You gotta care

It's the right thing to do

And there'll always be a way


Welp, that was certainly somethin’.

“All right, Pinkie Pie! That was FANTASTIC! What a great song! Yeah, you were right on!” Spike cheered happily, applauding. The party pony bowed several times, a smile on her face. As the disses came (for what reason, I don’t understand! Like, seriously, out of nowhere. WHY, YOU EVIL PONIES, WHY?!), the proud smile became a sad frown of defeat. Her eyes became downcast, and her shoulders slumped.

“An' we Appleloosans say you'd better bring yer best, 'cause we'll be ready and waitin',” Sheriff Silverstar growled back.

Braeburn grimaced. "But, Sheriff . . .”

Pinkie Pie whimpered, “Oh . . . That wasn't the message of my song at all . . .”

The buffalo charged. A wild battle cry sounded through the air. Ponies whooped and got their pies ready for action. Foxy was sitting behind a hay bale with Pinkie, who’d popped up next to him after her defeat during the charge.

“I don’t want to fight,” the party pony whined in misery.

“Me neither. They already hate me,” Foxy muttered with a roll of his golden eyes.

“Hopefully this is over rapidly,” Rarity said, approaching them.


“And . . . it’s over,” Twilight deadpanned, coming over as well.

“Apple pies, of course,” Rainbow Dash mumbled, dropping in from the sky.

“At least nopony got hurt,” Fluttershy added as she appeared from behind a cloud.

“Those poor apples!” Applejack cried in grief, putting her hat over her chest, head down.

Foxy paused. “Wow.”

“Dear Princess Celestia, friendship is a wondrous and powerful thing. Even the worst of enemies can become friends. You need understanding and compromise. You've got to share. You've got to care.”

“So, ye write these letters ta your princess every time ye learn somethin’ ‘bout friendship?” Foxy asked.

“Yep,” Twilight responded cheerily. The swirl of green in the background signified that the letter was sent thanks to Spike.


“Shut up!”

Grand Galloping Disaster

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“Foxy, you’re putting this tux on even if I have to break every limb in your body to do so!”

“Arr, I ain’t wearin’ no tux!”

Rarity grunted in effort as her horn brightly sparked. Foxy was currently trying to run away, but her magic was just barely holding him back.

“We’re going to the Grand Galloping Gala! You’re lucky you get to come, it’s a huge event! And you’re not going with nothing on!” Rarity screeched back.

“Why do I have ta come?! I’ll be so outta place!” Foxy retorted, grabbing onto a nearby doorframe. Rarity tugged harder, putting her last amount of magical strength into her horn. With a large exhale, her horn died down and Foxy sprinted out of her store.

“Foxy!” She took a deep breath. “Get back here!”

Rainbow Dash appeared in her window. “What’s with all the yelling? I’m trying to get a nap in.”

Rarity turned to the pegasus. “Foxy is being a stubborn little brat, that’s what!” She stomped a polished hoof, rubbing her horn softly.

“Oh, is that all?”

Rarity huffed and straightened up. “Would you be a dear and go get the other girls? We should really get dressed. And make sure Twilight gets Foxy, s'il vous plait?”

Dash saluted. “On it.” She flipped around and took off into the sky.

“Please, dear, just put the suit on! We don’t have all day,” Rarity continued to plead. In her magical grip was the suit she’d made a few days earlier. The mares and Spike were all dressed, waiting in the other room, and the stallions were waiting outside to bring them to Canterlot.

“Urg, but I don’t wanna,” Foxy whined, much like a child would. Rarity sighed. Dealing with a ten foot tall seven year old wasn’t very high on her to-do list.

“Now, now, darling, this Gala is a very big deal. Maybe you’ll make some friends or something. Explore a bit. The castle is a wondrous place.” She smiled gently. “I’m sure you’ll have a ton of fun if you give it a try. Besides, the girls and I would very much like you to come.”

“Mmm, f’ne,” he sighed in defeat, slumping down. Rarity perked up.

“Alright, let’s just get you changed! Follow me behind the curtain, it’s just back here-!”

Chica was staring at Pirate’s Cove. The partly drawn curtains revealed nothing but darkness. She blinked and walked forward, clambering onto the stage. She vanished behind the curtains. The cracked and damaged ship that sat in the center was covered in dust, and as she ran her metal hand over it, she couldn’t help but give a sad sigh.


The animatronic turned around. Freddy stood there, watching her.

“Oh, uh, hiyah, Freddy,” Chica said.

“What are you doing in here?” he asked as he stepped onstage.

“Just, you know, reminiscing.”

Freddy paused. “We’re going to get him back. Don’t worry.”

“You don’t know that,” Chica retorted sharply. “It’s been over a week. Mike knows nothing. We know nothing. How are we possibly going to find Foxy?”

“Uh . . .”

Chica glared at Freddy. She then stalked past him, off the stage.

“Tada! Mwah, tout simplement fabuleux!” Rarity declared, her voice joyful.

“Oh, wow! Looks great!”


“Mighty impressive!”


“I love it . . .”

The mares stood around Foxy as Rarity added the finishing details to his attire. A tape measurer, hairspray, and a brush hovered around and moved in quick, agile movements around Foxy’s head and body. He flinched away from these, only to have one jerk around and get a swift brush or spray right where he’d moved to.

“Now, Foxy, just stop moving, and we’d get this done a lot quicker,” Rarity said after a minute of this. She sighed, stopping. “Alright, I’m done anyways.” She cooed. “Aw, don’t you look handsome.”

Foxy wrinkled his snout. “Arr, don’t say that.”

Pinkie Pie appeared over his shoulder. “But it’s totally true!”

“Pinkie, get off him! You’re going to wrinkle his suit,” Rarity admonished. “And your dress, now that I think about it. Shoo, shoo.”

Foxy was clad in a black suit (tailored to his body type and size, obviously) with a white undershirt and golden tie that was pinned to his suit with a clip. Rarity had gone with the slightly more casual look with it, and decided it fit him better than a more formal attire. Along with that, there were three clip-on earrings on one of his ears; golden hoops that got progressively smaller. The unicorn straightened out his tie and admired her work more closely.

“J’adore cela! Everything’s perfect! Come along, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve got a carriage ride ahead of us~”

“I can’t believe we’re finally here. With all that we've imagined, the reality of this night is sure to make this . . .”

“The best night ever!”

Foxy paused as the mares burst into song. He glanced at Spike.

“This happen often?”

Spike shrugged. “Just let it happen.” So they waited. (Blah, blah, blah)

“Yeah! This is gonna be the best night ever. You know why? Cause we're all gonna spend time at the Gala to . . . gether. Or not,” Spike deadpanned as he realized he was alone. Even Foxy had vanished, taken by one of the mane six. “Great.”

“Princess Celestia!” Twilight exclaimed, her magic tugging Foxy along behind her.

“Twilight! It is so lovely to see my star student. And Foxy, how are you? I’ve heard things are getting better,” Celestia greeted, a warm smile on her face.

“Aye, they be fine,” Foxy said.

“That’s good to hear.” She glowed.

“Oh, I'm so excited to be here! We have so much to catch up on,” Twilight interjected, her excitement catching up. The princess looked down.

“Well, I want you right by my side the entire evening, so we'll have plenty of time together,” Celestia said happily. “Foxy, you can go pretty much wherever you want during the Gala. And I also notice you’re dressed very sharply. Rarity?”


Celestia gave a chuff of amusement. “Yes, of course she’d want you to look nice. Why don’t you go explore the Gala? The gardens are beautiful this time of year.”

“Ooh, Princess, can I tell you about . . .” Twilight started quickly. Celestia turned her attention away from the pirate to her student.

Foxy nodded, turning around as he realized he’d been kicked out. He flicked his tail idly as he began to wander away. As he did so, he felt a prickle of unease run down his spine. It wasn’t all from nervousness, however. He’d been ignoring his urges to go on roaming mode for a while now, at least three weeks, and it was getting harder to not switch off.

You can’t stop it forever, you know. It’ll get you sooner or later.

Foxy continued walking.

The feeling of dread you get every night, I can sense it now. The moon is in the sky, and stars are shining . . . ponies fill the area. And guess what? None of them are in their suits.

I thought ye were jus’ blamin’ me; now ye’re tryin’ ta get me ta go psycho?

Just tempting you. It’ll give you more reason to throw yourself off a cliff into a river.

Nice sentiment.

Foxy strolled out into the main lawn area, where most of the ponies were. And almost immediately, the eyes of at least a dozen ponies were on him. Foxy faltered momentarily, then resumed his walk to the gardens. Whispering spread throughout the crowd as more and more ponies took notice of him. His ears tucked against his head as he quickened his pace.

I knew this was a bad idea.

Foxy sighed in relief as soon as he was out of the view of the crowd. He slumped his shoulders, continuing through the large and rather extravagant garden. The details of it quickly took his attention and he lifted his head to look.

Hmm, I can see why Fluttershy wanted ta come.

A species of bird he didn’t recognize flittered over his head. Foxy allowed a small smile onto his face. Bushes filled with vibrant flowers of every shape and size grew along the path on which he walked. A trail of ducklings emerged from the leaves on one side, waddling across the trail.


Foxy stumbled as something ran into him. He looked down. Fluttershy was on her back, face screwed up as her vision went double.

“Arr, lass, my apologies,” Foxy said, picking her up and placing her back on her hooves.

“O-oh, no, it was my fault. I was too excited about getting to the animals,” the pegasus admitted. She blinked and looked down.

“What’s the matter?”

“It’s just that the animals won’t let me near them. I keep scaring them, the poor little dears . . .”

Foxy tilted his head. “Well, I’m sure they’ll come ‘round. Jus’, uh, keep tryin’.”

“I guess you’re right.” Fluttershy glanced around. “Ooh, there’s a wallaroo!” She took off in a blur.

After the gardens started to get boring, Foxy worked up the courage to go back to the palace yards. Deciding to check out how well Applejack was doing with her sales, mostly because he didn’t have anywhere else to go, Foxy started in that direction. Once again, ponies whispered. There was a ten foot radius around him, but he decided to ignore it.

“Uh, excuse me!” a voice called from behind him.

Foxy turned around. A white stallion and tall mare were standing there, gazing up at him.

“Yes, hello!” the stallion continued.

Foxy hesitated. “Ahoy?”

“Sorry to bother you, it’s just, when I heard there was a fox in a tux walking around, I couldn’t resist tracking you down.” The stallion chuckled. “Though you weren’t very hard to, if you’ll forgive me.”

Foxy shrugged. “Tis okay.”

“Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Fancy Pants and this is my wife, Fleur Dis Lee. I was once a scientist, if you can believe me. I’ve heard a selection of rumors from Ponyville about what I can only presume is you, since you’re a robot pirate.”

Foxy shuffled his feet awkwardly. “Aye, that’s me.”

Fancy Pants maintained the polite smile on his face. Fleur Dis Lee was randomly striking poses and pretty much flinging herself all over her husband’s back. He didn’t seem to even register she was there.

“I know Equestria has been making large leaps forward in the fields of science and mechanics, and I’d just like to say how incredible it is we could make something like you in a short amount of time! Who built you, I’d like to know,” Fancy Pants said.

Foxy couldn’t just say he came here from another world, so he lied. “Twilight Sparkle.” She was probably the only one who could’ve done it, anyhow. She was a smart pony.

Fancy looked surprised. “I always knew she was a smart mare! I must congratulate her. Especially since you seem to have a mind of your own. I hope I’m not offending you with any of this. Your programming must be extraordinary to actually be able to respond to me.”

Fleur Dis Lee finally stood straight. “Husband, dear, Princess Luna is coming. We should greet her.” Indeed, the lunar goddess was soaring down from the sky.

Fancy looked towards his wife. “Of course, darling.” He glanced towards Foxy. “It was nice to exchange words with you. I shall have to congratulate Twilight on her brilliance.”

“Au revoir!” Fleur called smoothly as the couple turned their backs.

Foxy stood still for a couple for moments, surprised. He didn’t freeze up at all during that. Ponies were stealing glances in his direction, now wondering if they should converse like Fancy Pants did. Foxy shrugged and turned to find Applejack. Around a corner, along a path, he found her stand. She looked bored as heck, but perked up when she saw Foxy approaching her.

“Howdy, Foxy! What brings ya over here?” the southern mare asked.

“What do ye ponies do here? It’s not very excitin’,” Foxy said, frowning.

“Well, I don’t reckon Ah do know. It’s mah first time here too.”

“Hmm. So how’s business?”

Applejack sighed. “Not very good. Ah’ve gotten one sale. Rarity and her date were over here earlier, but he was . . . a hay-hidden shower-bag, as they say in France.” She gave a small giggle. “Rarity told me that one.” She cracked up, and Foxy grinned. “Say, where ya headin’ off to now?”

“Dunno. Wander, I suppose.”

Applejack tapped her chin. “Hmm, Ah ain’t got any ideas for ya.”

Foxy sighed. “Guess I’ll go see what Pinkie’s doin’.” He turned away.

“Right! See ya later!” AJ waved a hoof, going back to being bored.

Pinkie Pie spotted Foxy immediately and raced over to him.

“Foxy! Just the robot I wanted to see!” the party mare cheered. “Come on, we’ve gotta get these ponies into the spirit! The party spirit!” With a giggle, she bounced off towards the stage. Foxy quickly followed after.

“Come on, everypony!” Pinkie yelled, a tune beginning to play. “Stage dive! Foxy, catch me!” She dove off the stage, right onto the unsuspecting crowd. Foxy jumped back in surprise, but caught himself. He threw his body weight forward, leaping ahead as the rest of the ponies sprang back. Pinkie was blissfully unaware of her incoming smash into the floor, but Foxy was almost there . . .

Until he tripped.

His foot caught on a random mare’s dress and he tumbled. He went down, momentum throwing him forward. By what was perhaps a miracle, Pinkie landed on his upturned feet.

“Okay, all you high-class ponies. Here's a highfalutin apple cake for your hoity-toity taste buds,” Applejack’s voice sounded from behind them. A cake was rolled in, unfortunately right behind the action going on. There was an exclamation as Applejack lost the pastry and it went flying.

Pinkie Pie giggled in giddiness as Foxy caught himself and launched her backwards, sending her flying skywards. She had her eyes shut, arms up in the air. Foxy rolled back onto his feet, quickly putting his arms up.

Good idea, stab her with your hook!

Ah, crap!

Foxy put one arm down and readied his hand. Pinkie dropped back down and was ensnared in his grasp by one of her arms. She dangled there, a foot or two off the floor.

“Woo! Again, again!” the pink mare cheered. She wiggled in his grasp, and then was dropped the rest of the way onto the floor. Pinkie started bouncing. “That was awesome!”

“You, sir, are the most uncharming prince I have ever met! In fact, the only thing royal about you is that you are a royal pain!” Rarity’s shout came after a collective gasp. The white unicorn approached Blueblood, her anger fueled by the cake.

Rainbow Dash flew forward like a bullet. Columns toppled like dominoes. Ponies screamed in horror. All of this happened in the timeframe of a minute.

Princess Celestia and Twilight appeared in the door. Their faces mirrored one another’s, the expression incredulous.

“Well . . . it can't get any worse,” Twilight said.

The doors on the other side of the room busted open. Animals of all kinds fled in terror. Fluttershy appeared through the cloud of dust, breathing heavily.

“You’re . . . going to LOVE ME!” the pegasus screeched.

Foxy was watching this from behind a felled pillar. He was about to step forward, but stopped.

It’s time!!! Dark laughing filled his mind and Foxy gripped at his head, a growl coming from his throat. When he lifted his head, his eyes were glowing brightly.

They’re not wearin’ their suits!

“Foxy? What are you—AHH!” Rarity screamed in terror as the pirate grabbed her by the collar of her dress and lifted her off the floor. She kicked in his grasp, only managing to hit him a few times in the chest.

“What do we have here—here?” Foxy snarled, voice breaking and repeating.

“Help!” the unicorn screeched again.

“Foxy! Put her down!” Princess Celestia demanded.

Foxy’s head turned swiftly to the princess. He dropped Rarity roughly and stalked forward, ready to attack. Without further notice, he lunged forward quickly and tackled the solar goddess to the floor. Celestia used her magic to keep his snapping jaws away from her face, and fired up a keep-away spell. A layer of golden magic appeared over her body and Foxy was immediately thrown backwards. He regained his balance and snarled.

“Run,” Celestia said to her student. Twilight nodded and brought her hoof up to her mouth, whistling. The mares sprinted towards her, and the group retreated.

“Foxy, what are you doing?” the sovereign asked levelly.

“Ye aren’t in your suit,” Foxy growled in a frightening voice.

Celestia narrowed her eyes. Destroying him wouldn’t solve anything, so she thought of another plan. A bright beam shot from her horn to the celling. A large structure formed and then dropped suddenly. It was a magical cage, but Foxy leaped out of the way.

“I can easily defeat you. What are you trying to accomplish?” Celestia asked. Foxy didn’t answer, but instead just grinned at her, showing his sharp teeth.

Hmm. What’s the meaning of this? Celestia paused. Perhaps my student has not told me everything.

The princess lit her horn again and a large net-like structure flew towards him. Foxy sprang backwards, but the net ensnared him. He snarled, kicking and clawing at his prison. The connection to Celestia’s horn broke and she approached him cautiously.

“I am sorry, but—”

The magical trap exploded into dust and Foxy leapt to his feet, jaw open as he dove at the princess’s head. She gasped in shock as blood welled in her neck from his bite. Her horn lit on instinct and he was forced backwards.

How did he break that?!

Princess Celestia backed away, trying to blink the blood out of her eyes. They weren’t deep; no, she’d been too fast to have his teeth dig into her flesh. They were simply puncture wounds, though the head injury part made them bleed faster.

“Whatever has taken over you, you must control it,” Celestia said. She used a wing to wipe some of the blood from her neck and face, flicking the wingtips to rid it from her feathers.

“Nothin’s taken control ‘a me!” Foxy argued, a sinister grin on his muzzle. “I’ve always been like this!”

Celestia frowned. An idea formed in her head, and she decided to go with it. The spell was simple (for her, anyway) and caused no harm. She opened her wings fully and flew back, golden light enveloping her horn. She closed her eyes and took the shot. A far-reaching bolt of energy flowed downwards, enveloping the entire room. The light began to die down quickly.

“And there we go,” Celestia said, hooves touching down. She walked forward, eyes searching for her prize. A jar appeared in her magical grip and she levitated something from the floor. It struggled in her magic but she easily deposited it in the glass jar. A one inch version of Foxy pounded on the glass. It was like someone tapping it with a needle, and Celestia smirked.

“Sorry, but you’ll grow again. I shall give you to Twilight, and perhaps I shall get an answer for your behavior.”

“Princess!” Twilight’s horrified cry sounded.

The solar sovereign hadn’t even bothered to wash off, so blood trails were apparent on her face and neck, even down to her long legs. She, however, had a smile on her face. She lowered something onto the table around which they were all gathered.

“Before you panic, I’m fine. Here is your robot friend,” Celestia said. The ponies looked in the jar.

“B-but Princess, what happened?”

“Foxy attacked me—you saw it, my student.”

Twilight gaped. “I saw Foxy tackle you! Not bite your face!”

“Well, yes, but that happened after you left. Somehow, he broke my magical force. He managed to graze me. Went from my ears to my neck. However, I am fine, I assure you.”

“What about the injuries on your side?” Rainbow Dash asked, pointing. Celestia flipped up a wing and saw a long scratch down her left side.

“Oh, his hook must’ve gotten me. I didn’t even notice,” the princess mused. She put her wing back down. “I would like an explanation for his actions before you all worry about me, however.” Her face became one of seriousness. The mares and Spike looked away, ashamed.

“Twilight, what happened?”

The violet mare gulped and shrank away from her mentor’s burning gaze.

Celestia sighed. She shook her head. “I am disappointed you would not tell me. But I hope you realize how dangerous it is to keep secrets. Foxy has definitely learnt that lesson—several times over, if your story is correct. Though he seems not to think over the consequences.” She eyed the snarling and biting pirate inside the jar. “He shall return to his full size in ten hours. Thankfully, he’ll be out of his ‘roaming mode’ then.”

Twilight nodded. “I’m sorry, Princess.”

Celestia nuzzled her student. “It’s fine. I’m not mad. I shall tell Luna as well, so she is informed of the circumstances.”


Celestia began to head for the door. “I must return to the castle. See you all next time.”


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The first thing Foxy noticed was that he felt sick. Like physically unwell. Could robots feel sick? He didn’t know.

The second thing he noticed was that he didn’t know where he was. Everything was blurry (though it might have been a side effect of this feeling he was getting). Foxy shook his head and clumsily got to his feet. He was back in his regular outfit of just his brown shorts.

“Uh, ahoy? Anyone there?” he called to nowhere in particular. Suddenly, something appeared in his sight. He leaped backwards.

“Oh, good, you’re awake!” Twilight pronounced. Foxy blinked, wondering why he felt so small . . .

“What the—what?!” he yelled as Twilight levitated him out of the jar. He was approximately the size of half of her eye. (Seriously those ponies have big eyes)

“Princess Celestia shrunk you to avoid destroying you. Be thankful she didn’t. You attacked her.” Twilight set him on the table and sat down on the floor. He face portrayed anger and a tone of seriousness. “Now, I want you to tell me—why didn’t you tell me you had to go on roaming mode earlier?”

Foxy shifted in discomfort, scraping his foot against the wood. He glanced away, shamefaced.

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “This is serious. You seemed just fine without it, so I ignored it. Do you really need to use that?”

“W-well, I mean, I went so long without it, I guess, s-so—”

“Don’t avoid the question.”

Foxy sighed. “We all have ta use roamin’ mode sometime or another. I managed ta keep mine off ‘til the Gala—I couldn’t stop it.”

“I see,” Twilight said, standing up. “I’ll have to organize a way to allow you to switch to roaming mode without harming anyone. You’re strong, so that’ll be difficult.” She hummed to herself. “I’ll get to work on that. Anyways, Fluttershy is coming to pick you up.”

Foxy raised an eyebrow. “Pickin’ me up?”

“Yep.” Twilight frowned. “Sorry, but I’m going to need to work, and maybe it’d be best if you stayed out at her cottage anyways. That way, if you lose control, you can run off. Fluttershy’s tougher than she looks.”

“Oh, well, I guess I don’t care. She’s a nice lass.” He was reminded of his tininess as Twilight moved forward, her shadow falling over him. “And am I gon’ get bigger?”

Twilight blinked. “Oh, yes, you are. In about four hours, so it won’t be long.”

Knocks sounded at the door. Twilight turned her head. “Oh, that must be Fluttershy.”

“Hello, Twilight,” the pegasus’ voice came from the slowly opening door.

“Hi! Everything’s all set, and he’s right over here,” Twilight replied. Fluttershy appeared in the doorway, then trotted over.

“O-oh, hi, Foxy.” She tried a weak smile and scuffed her hoof against the floor, looking away. “Um, s-so Twilight, should I just-?”

Twilight smiled gently at her friend. “Relax, ‘shy. It’s just Foxy.”

“Aye, and I completely understand if ye are . . . ‘fraid ‘a me,” the pirate finished in a murmur.

Fluttershy frowned. “No, no, I’m sorry. I’m just a bit . . . on edge, from yesterday night.” She straightened up. “Okay, so, uh, do you want to head off now?”

Twilight looked between the two of them. “You can. I should get to work, uh, fixing some things . . .”

Fluttershy nodded. “Of course. Come on, Foxy.” She stuck out her wing level to the table so he could clamber onto her back. Foxy padded forward and over her soft yet steady wing. “When do you want him back?”

“I’ll get you when I think I’ve figured it out,” Twilight said as she headed towards her lab.

“O-okay then. See you—”

The door slammed, cutting Fluttershy’s connection with her friend.

“Okay . . .”

Luna paced her royal chambers. Her face portrayed indecisiveness as she did so. The stomp of her silver slippers was much more aggressive than usual, and the agitation written across her face showed. Eventually, her anger became more pronounced and her horn lit. The chair at her desk no longer resembled a chair, instead now a smoldering pile of ash.

“Angry, sister?”

Luna spun around. Celestia walked smoothly forward from where she’d been standing at the large doors.

“Why are you not agitated? You were the one attacked,” Luna said angrily.

“It was not his intention to do me harm. He was not in control,” Celestia replied evenly. “I have been healed for quite a while now. No real damage was accomplished.”

Luna snorted, rolling her eyes lowly. “Maybe so, but that is no reason to let this idly by. We must act!”

“Act on what principles? What could we possibly do? Luna, sister, you’re the one that brought Foxy here to Equestria.” Celestia tilted her head.

“I know! But something has caused him to be like this. One wouldn’t go around murdering for the sake of getting their circuits to relax.” Luna’s gaze was dark.

Celestia hummed. “Perhaps you are right. But please, don’t do anything irrational.”

Luna scoffed. “Me? Irrational?!”

“Yes, though I am sorry to say it,” Princess Celestia responded. She huffed in a small sign of amusement. She studied her sister’s facial expression. “Oh dear, what are you planning?”

Luna looked surprised, her contemplative air vanishing in a split second.

“What? I’m not planning anything,” the lunar sovereign said with a kick of her hoof. Celestia narrowed her eyes. She then turned around, regally padding back towards the doors.

“Remember this, dear Luna: that you might end up somewhere where you don’t belong—literally.”

Fluttershy yawned, spreading her wings. It was getting close to the time for the moon to come out, and with all the stress lately, she needed as much sleep as she could. The pegasus was lying across her couch, front hooves crossed. Foxy was already sleeping on her chair, his head thrown back and mouth open. Fluttershy was surprised he was sleeping at this early time, but she wasn’t sure how his sleep cycles worked—or anything worked, for that matter.

Fluttershy hummed to herself and twisted around, beginning to preen her wings. Proper care was required for pegasi to fly well—not to mention wings were much more attractive when preened.


Fluttershy let out a muffled screech as she roughly tore out several long feathers. Her eyes blurred with tears. Blood welled up under the edges of her other feathers all around the sore area. She spit out the soft yellow plumes and blinked away her warm tears, though some escaped her ducts and slid down her cheeks. Fluttershy whimpered, then glanced over at the cause of her pain.

Foxy was twitching his leg, face contorted into one of pain and anger. His hand clenched into a tight fist.

Fluttershy blinked. She wobbly got to her hooves and shuffled over to his side. She ignored the stinging in her wing and stood over his resting form.

“Foxy?” the pegasus asked, placing a hoof on his arm. She was knocked back as his fist came at her in a swing. “Foxy, w-wake up now?!” Fluttershy squeaked as she was nearly swatted with his hand again. Suddenly, his foot swung around, and struck her in the side of the head. Her mane whipped across her vision and she went down.

Fluttershy sighed.

A dark figure stalked through a dirty alley. A stray cat hissed at the form and leaped up to a windowsill, tail flicking in irritation. Two icy blue eyes watched it spring to its perch, and then a glow formed in the air, seemingly around a pair of hands. The flow streamed towards the cat and it meowed in surprise. A moment later, the straggly feline appeared well-fed and healthy.

The dark hood covering the person’s face whipped back, and it was revealed to be a young woman. Her hair shimmered in the darkness and seemed to be made out of water. Little sparkles twinkled in the fine hair.

Luna traipsed forward. Her bright eyes glanced back and forth, wary of any intrusions. Covering her body was a long cloak, and underneath, a tightfitting “spy outfit”, as others would call it. Her wings were no longer visible, and neither was her horn, hence the reason for her hands being used to perform her magic.

“It must be somewhere around here . . .” the lunar goddess murmured to herself. She vanished in a flash of blue, transforming into a cloud of similar colored smoke. Her form shot over the rooftops, searching for her target.

There it is.

Luna dove downwards, transforming back into her human illusion as she did so. The lights on the sign of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza were off, but she lived in the dark; her night vision exceeded her ability to see in the light. Though she hadn’t known the name of the restaurant Foxy had worked at, she’d found it quite easily thanks to her magic.

Luna strode up to the doors. She gripped the handle just to check to see if it was locked. It was. The lunar princess vanished and appeared on the other side as not to trigger some sort of alarm if she were to unlock it. Once in, she checked for the animatronics. They weren’t on stage. Luna looked about, then headed down a hallway. She remembered what she’d seen from the time spent in Foxy’s memory bank and went from there.

Something was coming at her. Luna spun around in an instant, hands flashing in quick spurts of magic mixed with physical attacks, and whatever had been about to oppose her fell. Out cold on the floor was a young man. A pipe or something—Luna wasn’t sure what it was—lay on the ground next to him.

“Hmm, I wonder what he was doing here.” Luna bent down, cloak creeping into the shadows until it was gone. Her hand rolled him onto his back and she read his nametag which simply had “Mike.” On his knocked off hat were the words “Night Watch.”

“I am sorry, Mike,” Luna said simply. She swiped his hat from the floor and stuck it on his head. She wondered why he was shaven—no hair at all, which was odd for humans—before she did so. Her arms scooped him up and she strode down the hall. Mike didn’t move at all. Evidently she’d done a good job with the pressure points. Luna entered the room at the end of the hallway, which said ‘SECURITY’ on it. The large doors that were positioned on both sides worried the princess, but she merely raised an eyebrow and set the man down in the only chair in the room. On the table by his side was a square shaped item. Luna picked it up in curiosity.

“Hmm, what is this?” she asked herself. Her fingers tapped it, and it flashed to life. She blinked, bringing it away from her face. What was onscreen began to move.

Chica peeked around the corner. Bonnie followed after, his head below hers, and then Freddy appeared over Chica.

“Do you think Mike is okay?” Chica asked. “What do you think he saw?”

“I dunno,” Bonnie replied, “but he hasn’t come to get us.”

“Maybe we should check on him.”

“Why didn’t we just go check whatever it was out in the first place? We’re stronger than him,” Freddy pointed out in irritation.

“He didn’t want us to get stolen or anything like that. Remember, he’s already in trouble,” Chica said.

Bonnie winced. “What if it’s the thing that took Foxy?”

“Foxy was glowing, remember?” Freddy added.

Chica huffed, coming out from the closet. “Come on, let’s go check on him.”

Fluttershy ran a hoof over Foxy’s head. She’d managed to calm him down after what had seemed like a nightmare.

The pegasus ducked away after she was sure he was fine and padded off to her room. She still had some blood on her wing, but she didn’t care as of right now.

“Mm, goodnight Angel,” Fluttershy murmured to the fluffy white bunny already snoozing in his basket.

Foxy shifted. His head pounded and he wasn’t quite sure if it was real or not. He opened his eyes and was faced with Fluttershy’s ceiling.

“Gah, land sakes,” Foxy hissed as he grabbed his head with his hand. He rolled over, falling out of the chair he’d been resting in. Sighing, he pushed himself up and looked around. The sky outside was dark, which meant Fluttershy was probably sleeping. There was no point in him going back into sleep mode, so he approached the door and pushed it open, ducking under the frame.

Foxy sullenly walked forward. His shoulders were slumped down. He wasn’t sure why he was so depressed, but maybe it had something to do with the nightmare he’d just suffered—for the thousandth time.

Kids all around, their faces full of cheer. Foxy recognized the room as Pirate’s Cove. The edges of his vision were blurry and he felt the sensation of glitching. A bright flash of light.

The same children, their faces full of not joy, but fear and terror. The limp body of the boy in front of him, blood splattered in a small radius around his feet.

Screams. The sound of footsteps heading in the opposite direction, and the feeling of Zach pushing him back. Foxy’s vision dimmed as his circuits locked. Even through the curtain, he could hear screaming and shouting. Police and ambulance sirens wailed in the background, their high-pitched whine getting closer.

And through it all, the sound of a mother crying.

Chaos Eternal

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“Angel. Angel? Angel, come back here!”

Foxy twisted his head around to look at the pegasus. She was standing just off the side, by her tulips as she fed her animals. Except she wasn't standing there anymore. Instead, she was bounding off after her pet bunny. Fluttershy opened her wings and leaped over her flower beds, taking to the air. Angel was scurrying away from the cottage in a blur of white.

"Lass? Do ye need-”

Foxy stopped as another dozen or so small rabbits and squirrels passed by him in a stampede. He raised an eyebrow at the sudden change in behavior, then started after them. He reached down and snagged two squirrels by their fluffy tails. They struggled and squeaked in indignation, but couldn't escape from his grasp. He tossed them back towards the cottage.

“Angel, what are you doing?!” Fluttershy yelled, voice distant. Foxy could see her yellow form up ahead. Applejack’s farm was getting closer as well, barely being seen over the crest of a hill.

And as they came to the pinnacle of the hill, Fluttershy stopped. Foxy finally caught up to her and was met with quite a sight: popcorn flooded the land and pink clouds pouring brown rain filled the sky. The two could see Applejack, Rarity, Twilight, Spike, and Pinkie Pie down on the ground. Rainbow Dash was shooting around the sky, trying to calm the crazy weather.

"Oh dear! What's happening? Let's go!” Fluttershy exclaimed, taking off with a quick burst of speed. Foxy followed after, feet pounding on the ground. The creamy coated pegasus ran past the others to the squirrels that had shot up the trees. The apples were huge, bending the trunks.

“Fluttershy! Do somethin’!” Applejack shouted as the apples were devoured by the critters. Fluttershy held onto the bent trunk of a tree, her face one of surprise.

“Now, Angel, you really shouldn't—” Fluttershy stopped as the little bunny grew long, deer-like legs and ran off. She unfurled her wings. “No! It's not possible! I must be seeing things!” Her eyes gazed around in horror as more bunnies stampeded past her.

“Don't worry, everyone. I've learned a new spell that'll fix everything,” Twilight stated as she levitated a book in front of her face. Her horn lit with magic and a bright wave was sent in every direction. Foxy felt it pass through him, getting the odd tingle that happened whenever magic was used on him.

“My fail-safe spell . . . failed! What do we do?” Twilight asked in misery, her eyes wide.

“Uh, give up?” Spike suggested.

“How ‘bout keep that rain ‘way from me!” Foxy exclaimed as it started pouring right next to him, where he’d previously been safe. He backed away, ears down and snarling at the sugary clouds in the sky.

“Sorry, Foxy! There’s just so many!” Rainbow Dash cried as she slammed into the group of clouds.

Rarity approached Foxy and held the umbrella from her outfit over his head. “I’m sure Twilight will come up with something.”

In response, the unicorn tapped her chin in thought. “Hmm, time for plan B. Rainbow, can you corral all those clouds in one corner of the sky?”

The brash pegasus saluted and shot off to do her task. Once the large expanse of storm clouds were in a ball being contained by Dash swirling around them, Twilight turned to Applejack.

“Applejack, I need you to bring those high-strung storm clouds down to Earth.”

AJ pulled out her rope, twirling the lasso in the air. She threw it up at the clouds and Rainbow zoomed away as not to be caught. Applejack pulled and the great ball of clouds was tugged away, making Pinkie Pie give an exclamation of indignation.

Twilight began whispering in Fluttershy’s ear. The coy pegasus brightened and turned away.

“Oh dear. I hope none of the animals see these delicious chocolate-filled cotton candy clouds. I'd hate to have to share them,” Fluttershy said in a very enticing manner. The animals looked around and advanced quickly towards the sweet treat. Pinkie, once again, was robbed of her chocolate milk

“Hey!” the pony exclaimed.

Applejack trotted over to the group. “And when y'all are done with that, feel free to have some popcorn for dessert.”

Foxy eyed the snacking animals cautiously. “What the heck is this all ‘bout?”

Twilight shook her head. “I don’t know. Something’s happened.” At that moment, Spike gave a loud belch and a letter was thrown from his mouth. Twilight lifted it up and unrolled it with her magic.

She gasped. “Come on, girls. Princess Celestia wants to see us all in Canterlot immediately!”

“The Elements! They're gone!” Twilight cried as the group let out a collective gasp.

Princess Celestia looked more shocked than any of them. “That chamber is protected by a powerful spell that only I can break! This doesn't make sense!” she declared as she paced.

A low chuckle reverberated through the room. “Make sense? Oh, what fun is there in making sense?”

“Discord . . .” Celestia said lowly. “Show yourself!”

Discord laughed once again. “Did you miss me, Celestia? I missed you.” The stained-glass Discord began to move. “It's quite lonely being encased in stone, but you wouldn't know that, would you, because I don't turn ponies into stone.”

“Enough! What have you done with the Elements of Harmony?”

“Oh, I just borrowed them for a teensy little while.” Discord snapped, teleporting.

“You'll never get away with this, Discord!”

“Oh, I'd forgotten how grim you can be, Celestia. It's really quite boring.

Rainbow Dash flew forward. “Hey! Nopony insults the Princess!” She charged at the glass. Discord merely teleported away, leaving her to smash into the window.

“Oh, you must be Rainbow Dash, famed for her loyalty, the Element of Harmony you represent,” Discord said evenly as he grew larger.

“That's right! I'll always be loyal to the Princess!”

“We'll see about that.”

Rarity scoffed, kicking her hoof and holding it to her chest. She closed her eyes and looked away. “I can't believe we're wasting our time talking to a tacky window.”

Discord appeared by her. “The beautiful Rarity, representing the Element of Generosity, if I'm not mistaken?”

Applejack approached them. She rolled her eyes. “So you know who we are, big deal.”

“Oh, I know much more than that, honest Applejack.”

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “You seem to know our strengths too.”

Discord grinned. “Yes, Twilight Sparkle, and yours is the most powerful and elusive element, magic.” He turned his focus to the other Elements. “Fluttershy's is kindness and Pinkie Pie's is a personal favorite of mine—laughter.” He chuckled. “But I must say, I don’t know what this is.” His glass-self changed windows, directing his attention to Foxy, who’d remained silent for this.

“Yeah, of course you wouldn’t know! Foxy’s different,” Rainbow said with an added glare at the chaos spirit.

“Foxy, huh? Interesting,” Discord commented idly.

The pirate growled at the draconequus. “Aye, and ye better give ‘em back their lil elements!”

Discord merely laughed. “And who are you to challenge me? You're just a piece of scrap metal.”

Foxy bared his teeth. “I’ll show ye scrap metal!” Fluttershy quickly flew forward and stopped his actions, putting her hooves on his chest.

Celestia stepped forward. “Stop stalling, Discord! What have you done with the Elements of Harmony?”

Discord sighed, rolling his eyes in a dramatic fashion. “Oh, so boring, Celestia. Really? Fine, I'll tell you, but I'll only tell you my way.” He vanished and then appeared much larger on three windows. “To retrieve your missing Elements, just make sense of this change of events. Twists and turns are my master plan. Then find the Elements back where you began.” With the final sentence, his stained-glass illusion stopped moving and his voice faded out with a series of dark laughs.

Foxy crossed his arms. “That landlubber is too cocky fer his own good.”

Rainbow snickered. “Landlubber.”

A flash of magic and then Rainbow Dash yelling, “My wings!” as she plummeted to the earth. She fell on her back and gaped incredulously at her missing appendages. Soon after, Fluttershy squeaked in astonishment.

Twilight and Rarity gaped at each other.

“Your horn! My horn! Ahhh!” the mares screeched at the same time, followed by a thundering of hooves as they panicked.

Suddenly, above the group, there was a flash of light and hysterical laughing. Discord, in all his glory, floated above them.

“Haha! You–you should see the looks on your faces. Priceless!” he cackled, more laughter fizzing out of him as he wiped a tear.

Twilight snorted in anger. “Give us our wings and horns back!

The chaotic spirit smirked. “You'll get them back in good time. I simply took them to ensure there's no cheating. You see, this is the first rule of our game: no flying, and no magic.” He ran a claw down the side of Twilight’s face. “Which means, this robot over here, cannot help you.” All eyes pointed to Foxy.

The fox reacted. “What?! I ain't got no magic in me at all!” He stuck his muzzle right into Discord’s.

“Well, I suppose not, but rules are rules.”

Rainbow stepped forward. “Wait, you said the first rule.”

Discord paused. “Oh yes, I did.” He opened his mouth to say the rest, but then stopped. “The second rule is . . . everypony has to play or the game is over.”

Foxy laughed. “Aha! Ye can’t not let me play!”

Discord crossed his arms. “Yes, I suppose that’s correct.” He teleported over their heads. “Good luck, everypony!” he finished in a grand manner, vanishing with a laugh.

“Never fear, girls. We have each other!” Twilight declared.

“Yeah! Like Twilight said, there's nothing we can't overcome if we all stick together!” Rainbow Dash added.

“All right, let's do this!”

The ponies and Foxy lined up at the entrance to the labyrinth.


Screams filled the air as hedges came up behind and between everyone. Words of panic were exchanged in the chaos.

Twilight quickly took control. “Stay calm! Everypony head to the middle as fast as you can, and we'll regroup there!”

Dash took off. “Moving out!”

“See you in the center.”


“See you guys there!”

“Arr, be on my way!”

“What's that? Who's there? Girls!”

Luna carefully set the item back onto the desk. It was odd yet wonderful, this human technology. They could do oh so many things, but cause so much destruction at the same time.

“Hmm?” the princess made a small noise of concern when her keen ears picked up movement behind her. Something moved in the darkness. The sound of something scraping lightly against the floor—walking, most likely. She focused her magic and she vanished from view, using her nonvisible wings to get to the high ceiling. Her eyes glowed momentarily before she became invisible.

A large head poked out from the door. It was a bright yellow.

“Mike!” Chica yelled, surging forward in a panic. She grabbed his chin and tilted his head up.

“What’s happened?” Freddy asked, walking in.

“Something happened to Mike! He’s in sleeping mode.”

Freddy leaned in closer. “I don’t understand.”

Bonnie, who’d come in a few moments later, tilted his head. “He can’t just fall asleep in a minute.”

Luna sucked in her breath. One of Bonnie’s ears was very close to poking her in the abdomen. They were much taller in person than she’d anticipated. She clung like a spider to the ceiling, just observing.

Chica patted Mike’s cheeks a few times, trying to wake him gently. “Come on, Mikey, wakey wakey eggs and bacey.” She yanked her hand back. “What the heck-?”

“What? What is it?” Bonnie asked.

“It’s blood, I think,” Chica responded, grimacing. She tilted his head up and saw a small cut under his ear.

“You know what this means, don’t you? Mike was attacked!” Bonnie gasped in horror. “There’s someone in the building.”

The three animatronics exchanged glances.

“Well, we better take care of them, then,” Freddy said in a menacing tone. His eyes darkened to black.

Foxy slid around a sharp corner, smashing into the hedges. He grumbled and brushed several leaves from his fur. Walking a few more paces, the pirate came upon a dead-end.

“What! I went every other way! There’s no way this is the end!” Foxy exclaimed indignantly.

“Well, well, well, looks like you’re useless once again,” came a voice. Discord floated casually down from the sky as he admired his paw.

“Oi, ye better stop playin’ tricks on me!” Foxy snarled, jabbing the spirit with his hook. Discord snorted and pushed the pirate away.

“I’m not playing any tricks. I’m being deadly serious.”

Foxy glared. “Ye are jus’ a trickster! Course you’re bein’ obnoxious.”

“Oh, I wish that were the case.” Discord hovered lazily around the fox. “But have you seen yourself lately? Why do the ponies keep you around?”

Foxy stumbled for words, and Discord pressed on.

“Is it pity? Empathy? Or do you actually think they’re helping you get past what happened all those years ago?”

“H-how do ye know ‘bout that?” Foxy stammered.

Discord waved a paw nonchalantly. “Please. I know all about your little pony pals, and I’ve been encased in stone for a millennium. Who says I can’t know anything I want?”

“Knowledge is power.”

Discord smirked at the old saying. “And knowing is half the battle.”

Foxy felt his circuits draining.

Why’m I so tired all ‘a sudden?

Foxy, he’s right! Come on, just turn darkside.

Tis not midnight yet . . .

Foxy jerked out of his state. His power jumped back up to regular, and Discord moved back slightly, but just enough to be noticeable.

“I don’t know what you’re tryin' ta do, but I can tell ye, tis not goin’ ta work!” Foxy declared.

Discord blinked. His mood darkened. “Yes, yes, of course it’s not. But what am I trying, hmm?”

Foxy paused. “I-I dunno, but I already know it’s somethin’ no good.”

“And why does it have to be midnight? Why can’t it be now?” came the sudden question.

Foxy stopped, surprised. A sudden feeling of drain came over him and he toppled sideways. He grimaced, head beginning to pound violently. Discord’s face appeared in his line of vision.

“Goodnight, Foxy,” the spirit said with a wave of his paw. Foxy’s vision darkened.

Mike was tied up in the supply closet, which no one even went into anyways. He was safe for the night.

The intruder, however, would not be.

Chica walked back to the stage, where Freddy and Bonnie were waiting.

“Well?” Freddy questioned gruffly.

“He’s hidden,” Chica said.

“Good. Now come on, let’s get started.” Freddy closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them, they were black with white pupils. Bonnie looked over, though his eyes were not like that. Chica felt the change as well.

Luna watched their actions in curiosity. They were searching for her, surely. She silently cursed herself for allowing herself to make such a mistake as cutting the security guard with her magic. But she’d ruined her chances of talking to them until morning, as she’d wanted to observe their behavior. She was no longer invisible, but they couldn’t hurt her anyways. Besides, they’d just started what she assumed were their roaming modes—


Twilight was about to get angry at the sudden dead-end, but the wall fell before she had a chance. She glanced about, eyes searching. The grey personalities of Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy followed after her in a much more irritating manner.

“Foxy?” Twilight called to the limp shape. She padded forward in curiosity. She gently prodded him with her hoof. Foxy was laying on his back, and looked quite dead. Thankfully, to Twilight’s pleasure, he didn’t appear grey—or in a killer mood.

“Uh, Foxy? Please don’t be out of batteries. We already charged you today,” the not-so-unicorn-right-then said, poking continuing.

Foxy let out a low mumble, batting her hoof away unconsciously. He rolled over, curling up.

“Come on, Foxy.” Twilight furrowed her eyebrows.

“What?” Foxy finally murmured, sitting up.

“Oh, good, you’re not all . . .” Twilight’s bright eyes travelled back to her bickering friends.

Foxy blinked in confusion, rubbing his head. “Uh, aye, not like that.” He got to his feet, but toppled over once again.

Twilight was there immediately. Her face appeared over his. “Are you okay?”

“I feel . . . awful, but I’ll survive.” Twilight assisted him in getting up and staying up.

“Okay, but if you feel any killing urges taking over you, please tell me.”

The maze fell around them.

“Well, well, well. Somepony broke the "no wings, no magic" rule,” Discord announced, his snake-like form appearing in the dust clouding the air. He snapped and wings and horns were returned to their rightful places. “Game's over, my little ponies. You didn't find your precious elements.”

“Looks like we might be due for a big old storm of chaos!” Discord summoned an umbrella and cackled hysterically.

Twilight’s face became one of horror as her ears fell.

Chaos Not so Eternal

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Foxy watched on in shock as chocolate milk rain poured down from the cotton candy clouds clustered in the sky. Twilight angrily approached Discord, leaving her opposite personified friends to bicker and fight among themselves.

“Great, sticky rain. This gets better an’ better,” Foxy mumbled.

“What? Scared of a little rain, Foxy-woxy?” Fluttershy taunted as she hovered near his head.

The pirate gave her an irritated look. “Don’t ye have someone else ta tease?”

“Nope! Hahah!” the pegasus laughed.

Pinkie Pie walked by them. “Stop laughing!”

Fluttershy, now occupied, floated down a ways. “Haha ha HA HA!”

“Quit it!”

"No! Ha ha ha ha ha!


Foxy groaned and face palmed. He walked away from the annoying and repetitive squabbling, having had enough. He looked over and saw Twilight approaching him, an expression of despair on her features.

“Ugh, I just want to go home,” the unicorn muttered. She suddenly brightened. “Home!” She grinned. ““Back where you began!” The Elements must be in . . . Ponyville!”


Luna’s breath was knocked out of her as two large arms grabbed her around the chest and yanked her backwards. Dark blue magic lit up in her hands and she used her strength to wrench the animatronic away from her body. The princess spun around and came face to face with Bonnie.

“W-where ya goin’, stranger?” the bunny asked darkly. His eye twitched.

Luna’s magic glowed brightly and a katana—exactly like the ones she used to yield in the ancient battles of Equestria—was formed in her grasp. She sized up the animatronic, who was once again taller than her.

“I am afraid I am not on the menu,” Luna said evenly.

“Well, sure you aren’t! But the show’s about to start!” Bonnie continued. “You might want to get in your suit.” Bonnie yanked on her arm. “Here, I’ll show you where it is.”

Twilight sighed. “Okay, we're here. Everyone please, please, please just go inside, please?

Foxy watched as the mares stomped inside, each giving Twilight even more grief than before. Eventually, it was just Rarity who was being difficult.

“Pleeeease, we gotta hurry!” Twilight whined.

“Forget it, Twilight. I know what you're up to. The second I go in, you'll have your little minion Spike come and take Tom!” Rarity argued, clinging onto the boulder.

“Tom?” She exchanged glances with Foxy. He just shrugged.

“Well, it's not going to work.”

“You're not going in without him, are you?” Twilight deadpanned.

Rarity shook her head stubbornly. “Mm-mm.” Her coat became even greyer.

“Fine!” Twilight shouted, stepping forward. Foxy quickly stopped her.

“Here, lemme get it,” the pirate said.

Twilight sighed. “Thanks. At least you’re sane.”

“Careful!” Rarity shouted angrily.

Foxy put his arms under the huge rock and lifted it. He was sure he was going crazy because of these ponies, though not as much as Twilight surely was.

Luna twisted her hand out of Bonnie’s grip. The bunny blinked at her before glaring.

"W-what's the matter? Are you a-afraid to get your s-suit on?” Bonnie asked darkly.

Luna narrowed her eyes and pointed to the floor. A blast of magic shot from her fingertips and hit his feet. He jumped away in shock.

“I w-wouldn't do that if I were you,” Bonnie warned, waggling his finger at her. He latched onto her arm again and yanked suddenly, nearly pulling her off her feet.

“Unhand me,” Luna commanded.

Bonnie grinned.

“The Elements! They were here all along!” Twilight shouted in wonder.

Foxy kicked Fluttershy away from him, reminding himself to apologize later, and scooted over to the violet unicorn to see.

“Oh, that's what them Elements look like!” Foxy said with a grin. Twilight beamed.

"This is great! Now you guys can defeat Discord and put everything back to normal!” Spike cheered.

Twilight leaped to her hooves and stood before her friends. “See, girls? We did it! We found the Elements of Harmony! Together!”

Applejack yawned.

“You don't even care, do you?”

As a group, “No.”

Twilight sighed and let her head drop to the side. “I never thought it would happen. My friends . . . have turned into complete JERKS!” The violet unicorn began putting the Elements onto their appropriate holders. “Necklace! Necklace! Necklace! Necklace! And . . . big crown thingy! Come on, everypony, let's go!”

“But Twilight, aren't you missing somepony?” Spike asked.

“Nope. We've got the liar, the grump, the hoarder, and the brute. That just about covers it.” Twilight glared at each of the mares in turn.

“But what about Rainbow Dash?”

“Congratulations, Spike, you're the new Rainbow Dash. Now let's go!” Twilight stuck the Element around his neck.

Spike gasped. “Me? B-b-but what if she finds out I've been impersonating her?” He moaned. “That won't end well.” His eyes were wide.

“Too bad, you're Rainbow Dash. Now let's go defeat Discord so we don't ever have to talk to each other again!” Twilight reared onto her hind legs and raced off. Foxy glanced at the dragon before following.

The other ponies grinned and cheered, trampling Spike. “Yeah! Woo-hoo!” Meanwhile, Rarity was struggling once again to push her giant rock.

Twilight appeared behind her. “Move!” Her magic encased the boulder. “Look out, here comes Tom!” And the rock was sent flying off the balcony. Twilight appeared after, her chest puffed out in agitation.

Discord slipped into view, but from where, no one knew.

“Well, well, well, I see you've found the Elements of Harmony. How terrifying!” he called sarcastically.

Twilight stepped forward, head angled down. “Discord! I've figured out your lame riddle. You're in for it now!”

The draconequus fell down from the sky to the checkered ground. “I certainly am. You've clearly out-dueled me, and now it's time to meet my fate.” He summoned a pair of sunglasses and put them over his eyes. “I'm prepared to be defeated now, ladies. Fire when ready.” Discord waved his paw over his body and a target formed.

Twilight growled, “Formation, now!” The grey mares responded with a chorus of ‘ehs.’

“I’ve got a bad feelin’ ‘bout this,” Foxy muttered to himself.

““Rainbow Dash”, get over here.” Spike, who’d been hiding behind Tom, gulped and ran over to the group.

Twilight sighed. “All right, let’s get this over with.”

Chica stepped from the darkness to help Bonnie. The intruder was not getting into their suit without a fight. She could hear Freddy’s music in another room.

“B-Bonnie, are they going to get in their suit?” Chica asked. She grasped Luna’s other arm.

Luna glowered. Her magic glowed and her form changed. She was now smoke. The princess slipped into the ceiling. There was no point in staying any longer.

The ponies fell. Twilight picked herself up wearily.

“What’s going on?” she asked, puzzled.

Applejack inspected her Element. “Mine's workin'. There must be somethin' wrong with yours.” She pointed at Twilight, who drooped.

“I HATE the Elements of Harmony!” Pinkie Pie declared.

“Hmph! Garbage,” Fluttershy scoffed, throwing her necklace. Rarity shot towards it, scooping it up.

“MINE!” the fashionista yelled.

Spike gently set Rainbow’s necklace on the ground. “Sorry, Twilight. I guess I'd better get back upstairs and clean up the library. Good luck with all this—whoa!” As he tried to run off, Fluttershy tripped him.

The pegasus grinned. “Oops, sorry, Rainbow Crash.” She let out a mocking laugh.

Discord advanced towards the group. “Bravo, ponies, bravo!” He clapped, each giving a different sound. “Harmony in Equestria is officially dead. Discord rules, Celestia drools.” Discord drew his finger down Twilight’s snout, and she growled in return, eyes blazing.

Foxy snorted, stepping forward. “Maybe if ye hadn’t cheated!”

Discord stopped walking away. He turned. “Me? Cheat? How absurd.” He waved a paw in dismissal. “Besides, what are you going to do about it?”

“I can take care ‘a ye!” Foxy thrust himself forward in a huge leap. He soared through the air, arms out and jaw open as a feral screech escaped him. He was aimed right at Discord.

The chaotic spirit rolled his eyes in the short amount of time he had. “I’ve had enough of you.” He waved his paw at Foxy, and in mid-jump, there was a flash of golden light. Something small and red tumbled from the air, rolling head over paws at Discord’s mismatched feet. He reached down and picked it up by the scruff.

“Not so tough now, huh?” Discord asked the small fox he had in his grasp. Foxy’s mouth was open in shock. He was agitated to find that instead of fighting, he stayed still, as if he was paralyzed. “Ugh, you’ve been a pain in my hide all day—or is it days? Anyway, away with you.” Discord summoned a rather large slingshot and set Foxy in it. He then drew the pouch back and released. Foxy went flying through the air, legs churning. He landed somewhere in the distance.

“Foxy!” Twilight cried, her eyes loosing track of his location. She heard a thump and a yelp of pain. “Discord! What did you do!?” She turned back to him.

The draconequus merely shrugged. “I just made him a bit more—realistic. I’m sure he’s fine. He definitely won’t be a problem anymore—to me or you.”

Twilight stomped her hoof. “He wasn’t a problem.”

Discord laughed. “Are you sure about that?”

“He was a problem all right. He kept trying to steal my precious Tom,” Rarity said, running her hoof over the boulder.

“Foxy was so lame. Should have named him ‘Idiot’ instead, seeing as he couldn’t read at a level higher than a 1st grader,” Fluttershy added.

Twilight blinked. “Is that why you kept laughing?”

“Well, well, well, Twilight Sparkle—you lost. Your Elements are useless. You may as well give up,” Discord interrupted. With that, he gave an evil cackle and set off down a soapy road, twirling all the way.

“It's your fault it didn't work!” Pinkie Pie announced.

Twilight turned her head. “Who are you talking to?”

“Any of you! ALL OF YOU! I'm outta here!” Pinkie began hopping off with a sour look on her face.

“Ah better go, too. Ah've got new better friends waiting for me at the farm,” Applejack said, walking away.

“Yeah! I'm sick of you losers,” Fluttershy snarled as she flew lowly over their heads.

Twilight’s face contorted to one of anger. “FINE! Leave! See if I care! I don't need you guys either! With friends like you, who needs . . . enemies . . .” Her head dropped. Her bright colors faded to grey and a tear dropped from her eye onto the ground.

Luna reappeared in her royal chambers in a swirl of blue. She fixed her attire and turned around . . . only to be met with the sight of her elder sister laying casually on her bed.

“Sister! What are you doing here?” Luna asked, surprised.

Celestia stood, stretching her legs. “I just stopped by to say hello and discovered you were gone.”

Luna rolled her cyan eyes. “Of course you did.”

“I’ll cut right to the point—did you travel to the human world?”

Luna paused. “Well, yes. I needed to speak to Foxy’s acquaintances; I got a bit curious and I waited. Their roaming modes would definitely be deadly to any regular being.”

“Yes, I was aware.” Celestia padded towards her sister. “I also knew this was going to happen. But I cannot and will not try to restrain you.” She headed for the doors.


Celestia stopped abruptly.

“Come on, ponies, let’s get Discord!” Twilight declared.

Fluttershy quickly stepped in front of her. “But Twilight, where did Foxy go? We can’t just leave him.”

“Why? What happened?” Rainbow Dash asked, swooping down next to her friend.

Twilight scuffed a hoof against the ground. “Well, he tried to attack Discord, but Discord I think turned him into an actual fox and—”

Pinkie Pie smacked Twilight out of the way, “And then Discord pulled out this big slingshot and slunged Foxy all the way over there!” She pointed with a hoof back in the direction of the library.

Twilight bumped Pinkie away. “’Slunged’ isn’t a word.” She exhaled. “But yes, Pinkie is correct.”

“Geez.” Dash blinked. “Come on, we’ve gotta find him before we kick Discord’s flank!”

“Yah!” Pinkie cheered, bouncing in the direction that Rainbow was already flying off. The other mares followed quickly after. From there, they started a search for their robotic companion.

“Foxy?” Rarity called, using her magic to lift bushes and flowers out of her sight. Pinkie was sticking her head into random things and popping up somewhere else.

Twilight approached Fluttershy. “You know more about animals. Do you have an idea of where he’d hide?”

The creamy coated pegasus tapped her chin. “Just dark places, I guess. Bushes or holes. I doubt he would’ve gone farther than this area.”

“Hey! Ah think Ah found somethin’!” Applejack called, motioning with her hoof for them to come over.

“Paw prints!” Rarity announced happily. “Eeeeew, is that chocolate milk?” Her face turned to one of revulsion.

“And look!” Dash shouted, pointing. “They lead right into that hole!”

“Fluttershy, you wanna-?” Twilight asked, arching an eyebrow.

“Oh, of course.” The pegasus ducked onto her stomach, hooves near her face. She peered into the small hole. “Foxy?” She heard something move in the depths. The slightest sound of paws moving made her twitch an ear. “Foxy, it’s Fluttershy—I’m not bad anymore.” Finally, a red snout poked out. Quickly, Fluttershy bent forward and closed her mouth gently on his scruff, then tugged him out and stood up.

“Aww, look at him!” Pinkie squealed, eyes widening. Foxy dangled limply from Fluttershy’s mouth. He churned his paws ever so slightly and the timid pegasus set him down.

“Just look at his big ears and little paws! And his tail is so fluffy! I mean, just look at it!” Pinkie continued, batting at his large red tail with a pink hoof.

“Pinkie,” Dash deadpanned.

“What? Wait, wait, and let me test something . . .” Pinkie moved her hoof up to Foxy’s neck. She scratched softly and he let out a happy ‘murr.’ He arched his back like a cat and raised his face.

“Pinkie Pie, we don’t have time for this,” Twilight said. “Come on, girls!” She raced off with Rainbow, Applejack, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie following. Fluttershy squeaked in surprise and ducked down, taking hold of his scruff again. Foxy whined in distress, and she emitted a muffled apology as she bounded over the checkered grass in large leaps.

The large bubble of cleansing magic expanded and spread across Equestria. Discord’s rule was over.

The ponies fell back to the ground and cheered. Foxy stood up, shaking his head to clear it. The mares trotted over to him.

“How did it feel to be alive, huh?” Twilight asked.

“Odd. Don’t really want ta do it ‘gain,” Foxy replied as he stretched his arms.

“It’d almost be easier,” Dash muttered to Applejack, who snickered.

“But you were cute, I’m just saying,” Pinkie Pie repeated.

“Of course,” Fluttershy said softly.

“Ooh, I wonder if it still works!” Pinkie hopped onto Foxy’s shoulders and began scratching him on the back of his neck. Foxy let out a sigh and fell on his stomach with a thud, his eyes closed in content. Pinkie grinned in victory, eyes bright as she pet him.

“Hacks! I found hacks!”


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Fluttershy put one hoof over another and sat watching. Foxy was slumbering on her couch and she was laying in her armchair. She knew what would come next—he’d have a nightmare and panic, then be nearly inconsolable. Of course, she never questioned what it was about the next morning—she had a good enough idea.

I wish he’d say something to me. He just bottles all his emotions in.

So here she was, ignoring her fatigue and instead focusing on Foxy. Occasionally he’d twitch or something like that, but so far there was no sign of a bad dream.


The security guard jolted awake, the voice scaring him. He looked up and was faced with a woman.

“Doll?” he asked in a groaning voice. His blonde-haired girlfriend looked down at him with worry.

“What happened to you? You never came home and I got worried. So I got one of your coworkers to let me in before they open.” Doll reached down and grabbed his arm, heaving the skinny guard to his feet. Almost instantly, he toppled forward, but she caught him.

“Mikey, come on, let’s get you to the car,” Doll said, taking one of his arms and putting it over her shoulders so he could use her as support.

“Urg . . . I feel terrible,” Mike groaned.

“Yeah, you look the part. Where’d you get all those bruises?”


Doll raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, half your face and neck is black-and-blue. We better get you to the hospital.”

“I don’t need a hospital . . .” Mike’s feet stopped working and he went slack in Doll’s arms. She let out a yelp and almost went down with him, but managed to stay upright.

“Oh dear.”

Foxy began to whimper and his twitching became more pronounced. Fluttershy pricked her ears and looked over.

“Foxy, it’s okay, I’m here,” Fluttershy shushed as she got up. She gently nuzzled against his face, trying to calm him down. He only growled and clenched his fist as if angry.

“No, no, I’m sorry,” the pirate whined. He brought his leg up and kicked it at something. Fluttershy’s mouth contorted into a grimace and then she reached over to shake his shoulders.

“Foxy! Foxy, wake up!” Fluttershy shouted. After a few moments, with a flail of his limbs, Foxy shot into the waking world. He blinked several times, eyes darting in different directions.

“W-what? Fluttershy?” he asked in confusion.

“Yes, it’s me. You were having another nightmare.”

Foxy sat up. “Aye, course I was.” He sighed. “I’m sorry, lass. I don’t mean ta keep ye from sleepin’ with my night terrors.”

Fluttershy shook her head. “I’m used to staying up. I’d just like if you would talk about your dreams. You’ve been through traumatic events that would have most in mental hospitals.”

Now it was his turn to shake his head. “No, I really don’t want ta.” He rolled away and onto the floor. A yellow hoof came down in front of his nose. He looked up, ears back.

“Foxy, it’s been a week of extremely horrible nightmares. Tell me—are these worse than you had in the other world?”

Foxy shied away, trying to make himself smaller. The action confirmed her fears without words. Fluttershy sat down.

“Please, I want to help. It’s obvious you need it.”

Foxy sighed and pushed himself up. “I understand that ye want ta help, but I wouldn't want ta interrupt your life more than I've already done.”

The pegasus frowned. "But if I can't help you, I'll be forever remorseful!”

“Ta be honest, I don't see the point in all this—this whole situation. For Fazbear’s sake, I'm a broken robot that was once a children's entertainer! I’ll never be on stage ever ‘gain. Everythin’ ye ‘ave been doin’ . . . I jus’ don't see the point.”

Fluttershy gasped, eyes widening. “Do you really think that we care what you are?” She fixed him with a firm look. “We don't care if you're a poor apple farmer or a shut-in with no life, no one deserves to live with something that horrible and be told every day that it's their fault.”

Foxy blinked at her. “Are . . . are ye sure?”

“Yes, I am.” She nodded, a smile on her lips.

“Thanks lass. I guess I jus’ don't want ta ruin yer life as well.”

“Get those thoughts out of your head. I'm the Element of Kindness. If I didn't accept you, then how well would I be representing my element?” She fluttered her eyelashes at him. “Now, come on, tell me.”

Foxy hesitated, eyes darting back and forth between her and the door. Fluttershy saw his travelling gaze and got to her hooves, scooting in front of him.

“Don’t even think about it,” she said, frowning.

He made a small sound of guilt and scratched the back of his head. “Sorry.”

Fluttershy blinked a few times and tilted her head. “Was it about the bite? Or about what happened . . .” She winced, her memory recalling the event she’d witnessed. If Freddy ever saw her, it would be the last thing he did. “. . . Afterwards,” she finished.

“Mostly the bite. But the aftereffects come ‘casionally.” He dragged a long metal finger across the wooden floor, shrugging.

“Was that what you dreamt about tonight?”

Another shrug was her only answer. Fluttershy took that as a yes and stood up, knowing she wouldn’t get any more out of him.

“Well, I’ve got some things to do tomorrow, so I’m going to get some sleep.” Fluttershy started towards her bedroom. “I’m having a picnic with the girls as well. Would you like to come? I’m sure they’d all be happy to see you. It’s been nearly a week, with you staying here and all.”

Foxy glanced up, eyes wide. “Uh, aye, might as well. Thanks lass. Ye ‘ave a good night.”

“You too.” With that, the pegasus flew up her stairs, lights flicking off to complete darkness. Foxy’s eyes glowing in the black were the only things that illuminated the room.

Doll sat on the bed, legs kicking idly as she did so. Mike lay unconscious next to her, dressed now in a hospital gown. She heard the doctor enter and looked up, pushing her glasses higher on her nose.

“You’re Michael’s girlfriend, correct?” he asked.

“Oh, yes,” she replied, now standing.

“I’m Dr. Philips.” He shook her hand as she introduced herself as well. “He’s got quite the medical record, hasn’t he?”

Doll grimaced slightly, nodding. “Uh, yes, unfortunately.” She paused. “Is there anything wrong with him?”

Dr. Philips shook his head. “Not at all. Besides the bruising, there’s nothing wrong with him. Though he might be sick for a few days—some of the pressure points that were used to knock him out were fairly unorthodox.”

Doll sighed in relief. “Thank goodness he’s alright.”

He nodded. “Yes, of course. When he awakens, he can be discharged.”

“Geez, I hope Mike’s okay,” Bonnie said. Freddy glanced over, a cigarette in his hand.

“We didn’t stuff anyone last night, so he must’ve gotten out. Plus that burglar, or whatever they were doing here,” the bear commented. He glared at nothing for a moment. “Too bad.”

Chica shrugged. “Nothing was stolen, as far as I can tell. Mike’s not in the closet. It’s almost as if nothing happened at all. Though I swear, something strange occurred last night. It’s fuzzy.”

“I agree. Freddy, I don’t remember you being there, but something . . .” Bonnie searched for the right word. “Mystical happened.”

Freddy narrowed his eyes. “Mystical? Strange? What are you two going on about?” He took a long drag from his cigarette.

Chica tapped her chin. “I don’t know. It’s really odd—I can’t remember like I usually can.”

“And you forgetting what we do is weird because?”

Chica frowned at him. “Freddy, for the past thirteen years, I’ve remembered what we’ve done in roaming mode—back even to when there was no security guard. Why, the one night we get an intruder, can’t I remember what occurred?”

Freddy thought for a few moments. “Look, I don’t really recall what’s happened either, but I’m sure it’s nothing.”

Bonnie looked over. “You don’t think it’s the least bit suspicious?”


“Freddy! You are always the most distrustful, and now you’re not even a teeny morsel of suspiciousness?” Chica interrupted, pinching her fingers together to signify how much he seemed like he cared.

Freddy shrugged, then took a drag of his cigarette. Chica sighed with a frown, turning away. She scooted closer to Bonnie.

“I think he’s lost it,” the chicken deadpanned. Bonnie hesitated slightly before nodding.

The six were gathered around their picnic area. Rarity was looking through her basket, nose poking under the pink fabric that lay across the top.

“Please tell me I did not forget the plates,” the unicorn fretted. She gasped and pulled her face away, looking with disappointment at the basket. “I did. I totally forgot them. Of all the worst things that could happen, this is THE. WORST. POSSIBLE. THING!” Rarity’s eyes got wide and her horn lit up. A couch was dragged to her side and she fell across it, crying why. As she realized the eyes of all her friends were on her, she raised an eyebrow. “Uh . . . What? You didn't expect me to lay on the grass, did you?”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and let her sunglasses fall back onto her eyes. Suddenly, deranged snorting sounded from above her. She lifted her glasses, only to be faced with an unstable looking Twilight.

Applejack glanced over. “You alright, hun?”

Twilight maintained her crooked grin before letting it dissolve into a pout. “No! I am not alright.”

The other girls and Foxy all gave various exclamations of surprise and wonder.

“It’s just terrible,” Twilight moaned, head dropping.

While all the ponies went, “Yes?”, Foxy let out his traditional “Aye?”

“Simply awful.”

Another chorus of wonder.

“It's the most horrific trouble I've ever been in and I really really really need your help!”

Even louder and more pressing this time.

“My letter to Princess Celestia is almost overdue, and I haven't learned anything about friendship!”

There was a series of relieved sighs. Fluttershy leaned back, smiling. “Oh, thank goodness. I thought something really awful had happened.”

Twilight sputtered, eyes wide. “Something awful has happened! If I don't turn in the letter on time, I'll be tardy! TARDY!”

Foxy tilted his head. “What does that mean?”

The violet unicorn grabbed his shoulders and pressed her face against his. “It means I’m going to be LATE! And I won’t allow that to happen!” She released her grip, shoving him back. The other ponies let out a few giggles.

Applejack casually walked forward. “No offense, sugarcube, but it looks like somepony's gettin' themselves all worked up over nothin'.”

“This is not nothing. This is everything. I need you guys to help me find somepony with a problem I can fix before sundown! My whole life depends on it!

Pinkie Pie fell over, laughing and kicking her back legs. “Oh, Twilight, you're such a crack-up!”

The book smart unicorn seemed absolutely astounded. Applejack met her with a steady look.

"Come on now. Have a seat and stop sweatin' the small stuff,” AJ suggested. Twilight groaned in irritation. She twisted around and galloped off, vanishing in a burst of magenta magic.

“Wow. I've never seen Twilight so upset before,” Fluttershy said with a frown.

Rarity spoke up from her fainting couch. “Oh, what a drama queen. Mm. Relatively speaking.” She ran a hoof through her mane in embarrassment.

“Don’t ye think ye were all a lil bit . . . rude ta Twilight?” Foxy asked, sitting back on the picnic blanket. The five mares turned to look at him.

Rainbow raised an eyebrow. “Rude? How?”

“All we were doin’ was tryin’ to calm her down. She was frettin’ ‘bout nothin’,” Applejack said with a quick shrug.

“She seemed too upset for it ta be “nothin’” as ye put it,” the pirate commented with a tinge of irritation to his voice. “I didn’t even know what ‘tardy’ meant, but it seemed as if twas ‘portant ta her.”

Fluttershy tilted her head at his statement. “Do you really think so?” She looked around. “Were we too uncaring about Twilight’s problem?”

Pinkie gasped. “What if we made her sad?”

“Should . . . should we go check on her?” Fluttershy asked. The mares remained quiet for a few moments, then they got up and rushed towards town.

“But I was so relaxed,” Dash complained, stretching as she hurriedly followed after.

Foxy didn’t remember to duck under the doorframe and smashed right through the oak. Splinters of wood were flung in every direction and even managed to get stuck in his fur. He grunted, shaking his head as they skidded to a stop. All eyes were on him, but he quickly gave them a thumbs up and resumed clearing his fur.

“Quite the entrance . . .” Twilight mumbled to herself, eyes dark as her friends started talking.

“I'm listening,” Princess Celestia said, putting on a fake exterior.

“Please, your Highness. We all saw that Twilight was upset,” Fluttershy said.

“But we thought that the thing she was worrying about wasn't worth worrying about,” Rainbow Dash added.

“So when she ran off all worked up, not a single one of us tried to stop her,” Applejack said.

“As Twilight's good friends, we should have taken her feelings seriously and been there for her!” Rarity continued. She nudged Foxy, who was standing next to her. He blinked, glancing down at her. “Thankfully, Foxy here piped up and said we were being insensitive.” She gave him a smile.

Princess Celestia smiled as well. “Really? Hmm.”

“Please don't take her away from us just because we were too insensitive to help her,” Fluttershy finished.

The solar goddess pretended to think for a moment. “Looks like you all learned a pretty valuable lesson today.”

There was a chorus of responses, all agreeing, excluding Foxy, who just let out a quiet “meh.”

“Very well. I'll forget Twilight's "punishment" on one condition.” Acknowledgments. “From this day forth, I would like you all to report to me your findings on the magic of friendship, when, and only when, you happen to discover them.” She paused. “And that includes you, Foxy.”

The pirate glanced up from where he’d been brushing off his chest. “What? Me?”

“Yes, of course. You’re part of the group now.” The trolling sense inside Princess Celestia was telling her this was the time.

Foxy arched an eyebrow. “Uhhh . . . are ye serious?”

“100% so.” Celestia smiled.

“Princess Celestia, wait! How did you know I was in trouble?” Twilight asked.

“Your friend Spike made me aware that you were letting your fears get the best of you. I commend him for taking your feelings seriously. Now, if you will all excuse me, I must return to Canterlot. I'm expecting some mail,” Celestia informed, winking.

Applejack cleared her throat. “Y'all heard the Princess. Spike, take a letter.”

Foxy groaned. “Ugggh, now I’m gon’ have ta do what ye ponies do?”

Twilight closed her eyes, smiling. “Yes, yes you are.”

Dash snickered, hovering in the air. “Yeah! Friendship!” She kicked her legs with laughter.

“And Twilight, um, if you need help fixing the door,” Fluttershy piped from beside her.

“It’s fine. Just because you’re taking care of Foxy doesn’t mean you have to clean up his messes,” Twilight said, aiming her last words at the pirate. He shrugged.

“What? Sorry, but I don’t get how the princesses would allow such tiny doors,” he answered. “I’ve run into doors more times this week . . .”

Fluttershy blinked, then looked back to Twilight. “Anyways—”

“Hey, hey, I have an idea,” Rainbow interrupted, trying to contain her giggles.

Rarity rolled her eyes. “Do we even want to know?”

“Y-yes, because it’s hilarious.” She laughed, flight pattern jerky. “Alright, alright, I’m gonna say it.” She fizzed with giggles. “W-why don’t you get him a leash?” With that, she died of laughter, falling out of the air to the ground at the thought of Foxy walking around with a collar and leash on. Similarly, Applejack was snorting with laughter beside her. Pinkie Pie was pounding her hooves on the ground in amusement.

Foxy hunched his shoulders, blushing. “No.”

Twilight tapped her chin, biting her lip as she tried not to laugh. “I don’t know, it kind of seems like a good idea.”

Fluttershy giggled. Rarity smirked, letting out a small snicker at his expense.

“Ye scurvy dogs.”

It’s now or never.

Luna adjusted her stance and began the intricate spell.

There was a knock at the door.

Luna straightened up, coughing. “Yes, come in.” She turned to face her sister. Celestia strode in, head held high.

“I take it that you were just about to do what I warned you not to do?” the elder sister questioned smoothly.

Luna flattened her ears. “Well, yes. But I have a good reason.”

“Last time you were there, they turned on you and tried to attack you, no? It will be no different tonight.”

“I shall talk to them—I shan’t allow them to enter roaming mode like last time.” Luna cleared her throat. “Besides, if you were there . . .”

Celestia’s violet eyes widened. “No! You are going to try and make me come; I know what you’re up to.”

“Come on, you said you wanted to keep me safe. If you seriously are worried, then accompany me to the human world.” Luna raised her eyebrows.

“Do not goad me,” Celestia said, eyes now narrowed.

“Let us go, ay? We never do anything cool as a team anymore,” Luna responded, circling the white alicorn.

“You sound like you’re 500 again—making stupid choices and begging me into doing those stupid things with you.”

“Stupid?” Luna sounded amazed. “It is not stupid—merely like a talk with another king or ambassador from another kingdom, yes?” She grinned slyly. “Just like old times.”

Celestia followed her sister’s movements warily. “Yet we will be talking to robots from another dimension.”

“Meh, close enough.”

Celestia sighed. “Fine. But only because I don’t trust you to not to pester me into going even more.”

Luna rolled her eyes. “Now who sounds like 500?”

“I’d still say you.”

The Second Coming

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Twilight held the two wires together, eyes narrowed as she prepared to touch them. With a small yet careful movement, she tapped them against one another. A huge explosion of sparks sprayed back into her face, causing her to give a wild yell and leap backwards.

Twilight lifted her goggles from her eyes. “Ugh, you’re supposed to meld together! That was like, the fifth time!” She wiped some ash from her forearm and tossed the destroyed wires into disposal. She then removed her lab coat, goggles, and safety boots, setting them where they belonged before trotting tiredly upstairs. She smelled something good and made her way to the kitchen.

Spike was making breakfast. He glanced over. “So, how’s it going?”

Twilight plopped down at the table. “Urg, not well. It’s been over a week and I’ve gotten nowhere. Half the time, I don’t know what I’m doing.” She rubbed at her eyes: sore from looking into bright lights.

Spike flipped the pancake over and tended to the hay bacon beside him. “What are you trying to do anyways?”

“I’m trying to do something about Foxy’s problem with switching to roaming mode.”

“And not working on him is helping how?” Spike asked, getting out two plates from a cupboard to his left.

Twilight narrowed her eyes. “What do you mean?”

Spike turned around, two plates full of food in his claws. He deposited them at their spots and sat down. “Foxy isn’t here; you sent him with Fluttershy. So how do you work on it at all? You can’t test it on nothing.” He took a large scoop of his scrambled eggs and stuck them in his mouth.

“I don’t think you understand what I’m trying.” Twilight levitated her fork.

Her assistant shrugged, slurping a piece of hay bacon from his plate. “Whatever you think works, but honestly, if I were you, I’d, you know, make sure it works. Maybe I don’t get what you’re doing—all I’m saying is that it wouldn’t make sense to anypony but you.”

“Are you saying my methods are debauched?”

“Whatever that means, sure.”

I cannot believe I'm doing this.

Celestia’s glowing ethereal form changed and began to build up her human body, starting at her feet and making its way up her length. Soon she was a tall, slim woman clad in yellow-and-violet armor. With a casual flick of her hand, the armor faded into a darker purple suit much like Luna’s own dark blue. At her hip was a broadsword concealed in a leather scabbard, her royal symbol emblazoned on it. Luna saw this and cocked her head.

“Why do you have Sol?” the lunar goddess asked, addressing the sword.

Celestia glanced down. “I figured having it at my side is better than trying to conjure it in battle.” She looked Luna up and down. “Don't you have your katanas?”

Luna frowned. “Why would I need them?”

“There is obviously more corruption in this world—we might need our weapons.”

After pondering it for a moment, Luna allowed the slim blades to shimmer into view. She then tucked the twin katanas into place in the bands across her back. The handles stuck out on both sides of her head. She'd always preferred slimmer blades (such as her katanas or occasional rapier), while Celestia had gone with the larger ones (her broadsword, battle axe, etc.), though they both wielded bows with deadly accuracy.

“So, what's our plan?” Celestia asked. She looked up at the sun high in the sky. Judging its position and the atmosphere surrounding them, she'd say it was about four in the afternoon.

Luna tossed her shimmering hair, letting it cascade down her back, where it rested with a slight curl at the end. “I did not mean to arrive so early in the daytime,” she explained, frowning. Celestia placed a hand on the golden hilt of Sol and glanced around. They were in some random alley, probably the weakest spot to enter the dimension.

“Hmm, time must move slower here. Foxy said it was 1993, yet our world is in the 7300s. I wonder how long it has actually been since Foxy was transported to Equestria,” Celestia commented. She glanced around.

Luna did the same. “Yes, I’d heard that.” A thoughtful look crept over her features, and then a sly grin. “Say, shall we allow ourselves a tour of this city?”

“Luna, shouldn’t we check out the restaurant?”

The lunar sovereign shrugged. “Why? The animatronics are on stage and there will be plenty of people there. We have time to kill.”

Celestia blinked. “Yes, I suppose you are correct.” Her clothes changed to a white dress with gold trimming that reached down to her ankles, but cut up one way to reach her knee. On her feet were the traditional golden slippers and the rest of her royal attire was present. Luna quickly changed as well, garnishing herself in jeans and a dark blue T-shirt—also with her regal dressings adorning her.

“Now,” Luna declared, grabbing her sister’s arm, “let us be off!”

Twilight’s scream rang through the whole library. Spike sighed and rolled his eyes. He grabbed the fire extinguisher and walked to the laboratory’s door, opened it, and made his way down the steps. He pulled the pin and let out a torrent of white spray, extinguishing the small fire that had started on the table. Twilight, who’d dove under the nearest chair, crawled out.

“Thanks Spike. Don’t know what I’d do without you,” the unicorn said thankfully, rubbing his scales.

“Probably burn or starve to death,” Spike muttered, even as he appreciated the gesture.

“Speaking of burn.” Twilight looked at the charred area of the room. “I swear, I’m close.” She lit her horn and the mess was gone, leaving no evidence that it ever existed.

“Maybe you should take my advice and get Foxy over here. Just see if your idea is going to work.”

“I think it will.”

Spike arched one incredulous eyebrow at her. Twilight saw this and smiled.

“Don’t worry. I’ll get it, and then I’ll test it.”

The dragon sighed, throwing up his hands. He started up the stairs. “That doesn’t even make any sense.”

Fluttershy was cutting vegetables in her kitchen, hoof moving up and down in a rhythmic pattern. Being careful not to accidently cut herself, she swept the carrots into a bowl and set them aside. She then snatched a cucumber from its place and began slicing it as well. It was then that she heard heavy footsteps behind her.

“Good morning, Foxy,” the pegasus said, not ceasing her cutting. Foxy stopped in the doorway to her kitchen, looking around.

“Mm, mornin’, lass. What’re ye doin’?” he asked, stepping closer.

“Just cutting some vegetables.” She paused a few moments. “Have a good night’s sleep?”

Foxy grunted. “Usual.”

Fluttershy nodded. “Say, do you mind helping me with something today?” She frowned. “If you don’t, that’s okay . . .”

“Why wouldn’t I? Not like I’m busy . . .” Foxy trailed off. “What did ye need help with?”

“I’ve got to pick up my order of birdseed down at the veterinarian’s. Rainbow Dash usually does it for me, as she likes to become better at carrying heavy loads for long distances, but as you know, she’s in Cloudsdale to visit her parents. Now I’ve got no one to help me.” She finished chopping up the cucumber and put it in the bowl. She turned around. “So I was wondering if you’d go with me and fetch it.”

“Aye, I’ll do it.” Foxy was unprepared for a quick hug around his legs. Fluttershy smiled up at him and backed away.

“Okay, let’s leave as soon as we can. I’ve got to feed my animals, and that should be it.”

“Aye aye.”

Celestia and Luna sat at a restaurant. It was starting to get late, so after this would be the time to sneak off to the pizzeria.

“Hmm, what are you having?” Luna asked, glancing up from her menu.

“Probably chicken,” Celestia idly replied.

Luna’s eyes snapped back up. “Really?”

“Yes. In Equestria, it’s considered taboo to even consider eating another living thing—though there are some exceptions. I figured I’d give it a try.” Celestia shrugged.

Luna pondered this for a moment. “You know what, sister, I think I shall try as well.”

Celestia hummed. “Goodness, their cakes look delicious.”

“Are you already thinking about dessert?”

The older sister looked up. “Maybe.” She bit her lip. “What? I have an addiction.”

Doll watched anxiously as Mike buttoned up his work shirt. “Do you really have to go? You went through a trauma—you can stay home,” she said.

Mike glanced over at her. “Sorry, Doll. The boss is already angry at me—I doubt he’d let me stay home if I’m fine.”

Doll grabbed his hand. “But you’re not fine. Every morning you come home, and you look as though you’ve been at war. Please, just get another job.”

“There are no other jobs, Doll. I’m lucky I got this one, with the economy as it is.” Mike slipped his hat on and leaned down to get a kiss from his girlfriend. “Now, I’d better get going. Don’t want to be late.” He grabbed his car keys and headed towards the front door.

“Be safe!” Doll called before he shut the door. Once he was gone, she sighed. “Please be safe, Mikey.”

“Hiyah, Ms. Fluttershy! And I see you brought your . . . friend,” the vet, her name Mane Goodall, said warily as she eyed Foxy. Fluttershy smiled hesitantly.

“Yes, hello. I’m here to pick up my birdseed,” the pegasus replied.

“Oh! I always thought RD got it for you.” Goodall led them into the storage area. Various supplies and kits sat for later use, but a large bag of birdseed was laying propped up against the wall.

“She usually does, but she’s out of town.”

“I see. Is that why, um, he’s here?” Goodall asked, pointing at Foxy.

Fluttershy nodded. “Yes, if you don’t mind him being here. It is okay, right?”

“Of course it is! I’m just a bit unnerved. I’ve never had an animal quite like him in here before.” She gave Fluttershy a nervous smile.

“Don’t worry—he’s a good fox. Right, Foxy?”

The pirate shot her an unimpressed glare and bent to pick up the birdseed. “Got it,” he said.

“Alrighty then! Thank you, Ms. Goodall! We’ll just be out of your mane, now,” Fluttershy announced. Foxy bent under the doorway and she followed him out.

“No problem. Have a good day!”

When the two were out of the veterinarian’s, Foxy directed his attention to Fluttershy. “A good fox? Really?”

The pegasus frowned. “Sorry, but I couldn’t exactly say he doesn’t bite, now could I?” She seemed to register what she said a second too late. “Oh, no, I’m sorry!”

What she said is very true.

Foxy rolled his eyes. “W-whatever.”

Oops, was that a stutter I heard?

Fluttershy glanced up at him, but pretended not to notice. “Are you okay? The birdseed’s not too heavy, is it?”

Shaking his head, Foxy replied, “N-no.”

Might want to control that little twitch there, huh?

“’m f-f’ne,” Foxy growled, something inside him stirring.

“Are you sure? We can stop if you wa—”

“I s-said, I’m f-fine!”

Fluttershy gasped, shrinking back. Her eyes blinked a few times in shock. “I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

Oh look, you’ve made her cry. Now would be a good time to bite her face off.


Fluttershy paused. “W-what?”

Foxy stopped in mid-step. “What what?”

“You just said no. No to what?” Fluttershy asked. “Wait, Foxy, are you . . . glitching?”

Foxy fumbled with the birdseed, then just dropped it all together. “I-I don’t think s-so.”

Fluttershy frowned. “We’re going to Twilight’s.”


The security guard was unprepared for the sudden weight smashing into him. Chica bowled him over, bringing them both crashing to the floor. Mike groaned as his bruises were harshly pressed down on, and the animatronic seemed to notice this. She rolled backward, sitting on the floor.


“It’s—it’s okay. I’m fine,” Mike huffed. He clambered to his feet.

“What happened to you!?” Chica exclaimed.

“Uh, whoever attacked me left me some bruises. That’s really all that’s wrong with me.”

“Those look really bad.”

“They’re really not.” Chica poked him sharply in the chest, and he winced. “They still hurt, however.” He rubbed at the spot.

“So, you lived,” came Freddy’s voice. The two turned around and saw Freddy and Bonnie walking down the hall.

Celestia glanced over at Luna, eyes narrowed. The younger sister caught this look and blinked.

“What? Harming him was not intentional. I may have overestimated the strength that humans possess,” Luna defended herself. Rolling her eyes, the solar goddess switched her attention back to the conversation.

"Yeah, though I doubt you really care,” Mike mumbled to Freddy. The bear shrugged.

“Meh, I guess. Chica just wants me to be nice,” Freddy said, jabbing his thumb at her.

“You're lucky I'm not making you do more,” Chica replied with a slight huff.

“Yeah, whatever.”

So,” Bonnie interrupted, trying to move the conversation forward, “did you maybe . . . see who did it to you?”

Mike furrowed his eyebrows. “I . . . hmm, yes, I think so. Right before I was rudely and quickly knocked out, yeah. I think they were a, uh, girl, actually. A woman.” He contemplated this before nodding. “Yes, I’m sure it was. A woman, and she had blue hair—it glowed kinda, too. That’s really all I could tell. It was too dark.”

“Really?” Chica asked, interested. “Do you think she has anything to do with Foxy?”

Luna and Celestia reacted to this. They shifted cautiously, taking more care to listen to the conversation.

“Glowing hair?” Bonnie questioned, cocking his head. “That does seem suspicious.”

Chica glanced over at Freddy. “Don't you think so too?”

Freddy rubbed his chin. "Whatever she was doing here, it wasn't good.”

“At least we can agree on that.”

Mike scratched the back of his head. “Yeah, sure. Come on, we should go to the, uh, room. Whatever it's called.”

Freddy rolled his eyes. “Fine.” He took the lead and started down the hall . . . only to bump into something. Celestia, who'd been the one in the way, became visible. Her tall figure stood imposingly, her lightweight armor shining faintly with magic. Freddy stumbled back a few steps, quite surprised at what had just happened. Soon after, Luna appeared next to her sister. Freddy quickly recovered from his shock and took a step forward, snarling. An ivory sword was swiftly pointed at him, courtesy of Celestia. Sol’s ghostly white blade contrasted sharply with the dark hallway.

“Greetings,” Celestia said smoothly, sheathing Sol. “Sorry about that. I just haven’t used him in such a long time.”

Luna took a small step forward. “I am Luna and this is my sister, Celestia. We are the rulers of the kingdom of Equestria.”

Mike backed up, not taking any chances. “You’re that woman that attacked me!” He hid behind Bonnie.

“Yes, and for that I apologize. I did not intend to harm you.”

Freddy scoffed, “Why are you here?”

“We had to convene with you, for we know what you are searching for,” Celestia replied. “Foxy is safe with us.”

“Foxy? You have him?” Chica asked, now concerned. “Give him back!”

Luna’s gaze hardened. “I am afraid it is not that simple. Foxy has deep and troubling problems—problems which have burdened him for a good while, and may be the complete destruction of everything he knows.” She conjured a small metal box, and crushed it in her hand, allowing the red-hot liquid to drip out of her fist.

“Problems?” Bonnie asked. He cocked his head, one ear twitching.

“Yes,” Celestia responded, “and he will not leave Equestria until we get him past these. Obviously he is getting no help while he is here.”

“Foxy doesn’t have problems,” Freddy said, rolling his eyes. “He might be a bit out of commission, but he’s not—”

Luna interrupted him. “Broken? Damaged?” She set her burning cyan gaze on him. Freddy shifted uncomfortably, glancing away. Luna continued. “As we were saying, Foxy shall not leave Equestria until he is deemed fit to do so.”

Mike peeked out from around Bonnie. “Uh, if you care, if I don’t get Foxy back, I’m going to lose my job . . .”

“That’s true,” Bonnie said in response to Mike’s statement.

“I do not understand why you work here,” Celestia murmured. She rolled her eyes. “I am sorry, but time shall pass, and we cannot do anything. Your world moves slowly enough as it is.”

“What do you mean, our world?” Mike questioned. He stood up.

“Why do you think we were invisible?” Luna asked, somewhat sharply. “Equestria is not of your world, but another. Ours is full of magic and, well, a difference in species, naturally.”

“Can we maybe . . . see Foxy?” Chica asked quietly. Luna and Celestia exchanged glances.

Shall we? Luna asked telepathically to her sister.

I am not sure if we should do this, Celestia replied.

Tia, this would be the perfect opportunity.

After a moment's hesitation. You’re right. Let us.

“Yes, I think maybe that will work,” Luna said out loud.

Chica gasped. “Really?” She took a step forward.

Freddy quickly stopped her by putting an arm out. “Whoa, whoa. I wouldn’t trust these . . . females.”

Celestia couldn’t decide whether to narrow her eyes or roll them. “Females, huh? I would not disrespect us.”

“Because I really care.”

Deciding to just go through with their plan, Celestia lifted her hand and a bright golden light illuminated the room. Freddy’s eyes widened and he backed up, both arms out to shield the others. The light became more intense as Luna’s magic came in.

Twilight frowned. She worked fervently, magic and hooves alike working together. Foxy was sitting on the table, deactivated; his circuits were on display as the unicorn toiled.

“Well?” Fluttershy asked from where she was sitting.

Twilight briefly glanced over. “Well what?”

“How is it?”

“Not good. When you two came in and you said he was glitching, I didn’t think there’d be evidence of it in his circuits. But no—there totally is.” Twilight twitched her tail.

“And what is it?” Fluttershy was now standing on her hind legs, fore-hooves placed on the work table.

“Uh, well, he’s a bit . . . warm, to tell you the truth. When he froze up, he got cold. When he’s glitching-?”

Fluttershy frowned as her friend trailed off. “He gets warm? Wait, he said that his circuits get all weird when he hasn’t been on roaming mode, so you think that’s the reason he was all glitchy earlier?”

Twilight tugged on a tangle of wires. “That’s a good theory. We can only assume at this point.” She inserted a few new wires in and pulled them tight. “We’ve never seen him this bad. It must be getting worse, each time he goes without it.”

Fluttershy nodded. “Because at the Gala, he didn’t glitch once before he switched.”

“Exactly. He said he just couldn’t control it.”

“It makes me wonder if something else is in control,” came a regal voice. Luna padded towards them on silent hooves.

“Princess Luna?” Twilight asked, lifting her goggles.

“Yes, but no need to stop your work.” She cleared her throat. “You must quickly finish and gather your friends. The others are here.”

Others?” Fluttershy asked, facing the princess. She paused. “W-wait, you mean-?”

“Indeed.” Luna nodded solemnly. “Unfortunately, as with Foxy, they’ve came through into this world directly into the Everfree Forest. The Canterlot Castle is protected from foreign objects, living or nonliving, that come through. The Everfree’s magic is perfect for that sort of thing.”

Twilight jumped off her chair and scooted over. “We’ll find them, don’t worry, Princess.” She hesitated. “I just have one question—why’d you bring them here?—if you don’t mind me asking.”

“They have some making up to be doing as well.”

“Okay, so do we all know what we’re doing?”

Twilight looked at the assembled ponies. The five mares nodded resolutely. Satisfied, Twilight turned around to face the Everfree Forest that loomed gloomily before them.

“Alright, girls, let’s go!”

So Much Awwww~some

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A purple lump shifted in a patch of long, tangled grass. The thing took a few moments to pick itself up. Large ears stuck over the top of the grass.

Bonnie blinked his eyes wearily and glanced around. Trees surrounded him on all sides. There was no sign of any of his fellow animatronics anywhere.

“H-hello? Anyone there?” Bonnie called warily. He stood up shakily, his hands clasped to his chest. He took a few steps forward, eyes searching the murky forest. The bunny parted a clump of ferns and stepped past them. That was when he heard a snarl. He whipped around, eyes wide.

“Uh . . . hello?” he called. His voice was shaky. Another growl, but this time, it didn’t sound as menacing as it had at first. “Um, hello?” Bonnie began to follow the now familiar sounding voice, and eventually it led him to a small cliff—a narrow crack—that seemed to go on for a while in both directions. The edge of the ground dropped away sharply. Roots, small shrubs, and a various assortment of rocks littered the soil.

“Freddy!” Bonnie exclaimed, blinking. Blue eyes turned towards him, glowing brightly in the dim light. The faint outline of Freddy could be seen.

“Bonnie?” he called, confused. “Bonnie! Hey, hey, uh . . . there’s not a chance you could, um, help me up there, could you?”

Bonnie cocked his head. “Can’t you get out yourself? It’s not very far. Maybe a foot or two higher than you.” Freddy growled something, seemingly embarrassed. Bonnie leaned over the cliff farther. “What was that?” Another low grumble. “Freddy, come on. We have good hearing but you’re hardly pronunciating.”

“I said, I can’t!” Freddy snapped angrily.

“What?” Bonnie said incredulously. “Why?”

“. . . My leg’s falling apart.”

"W-what?” Bonnie seemed almost amused.

“You idiot, don’t you dare laugh at me.” Freddy was furious. “My knee broke, moron. Now get me out of here.”

“How’d you manage to do that?” Bonnie continued.

Freddy glowered up at him. I’m going to punch him. And then I’ll kill him.

“Listen, you oversized baboon, help me get myself up there. And that’s an order!”

Bonnie sighed. Freddy was probably going to punch him, seeing how angry he was, but it was kind of amusing to see their leader unable to do something.

“Alright, uh, grab my hand,” Bonnie suggested, sticking said appendage downward as far as he could. Freddy wobbled to his one good leg and stretched upwards, fumbling to get to Bonnie. His fingers twitched only an inch away.

“Come on, I can’t go up anymore,” Freddy huffed.

Bonnie frowned. “I can’t scoot over the edge anymore either. If I do, I’ll either fall or won’t have enough traction to lift you out.” He searched the slope for anything that could help them. “Hey, see that rock there? It’s flat—to your left.” He tilted an ear towards it. Freddy glanced over.

“Yeah, and it’s to my left. That certain leg is useless right now.”

“Come on, you’ve got to try. If you do step on it, it’ll only be for a second. I can haul you up as soon as I get ahold of you.” Bonnie twitched his nose, watching as Freddy contemplated.

Freddy hesitated. He couldn’t move in either direction, so using his left leg would be the only option to go with. He muttered a swift curse and braced himself. Bonnie’s hand was still there, waiting patiently.

“Best not be lying,” Freddy mumbled, then picked up his left leg, set it on the rock, and leant all his weight on it. He propelled himself upward, easily reaching Bonnie. Immediately, his leg gave out (he swore he could feel a screw fall out as well) and Bonnie grunting reached his ears.

“Alright, good, good . . .”

“Urg, j-just hurry.”

Bonnie grabbed Freddy’s arm with both hands and pulled as hard as he could. As soon as he was close to the top of the cliff, he reached out with his other arm and hefted himself out farther. Bonnie grunted and dropped him.

“At least your stupid plan worked,” Freddy groaned, laying on his back. He pulled himself into a sitting position and checked out his most likely nearly-in-two limb.

“I wish I had a screwdriver or something,” Bonnie said, rubbing his chin. The plate covering Freddy’s knee was gone, and one could easily see the support that connected both segments together. A screw was missing on one side and the whole thing was barely being held by the one still there.

“Yeah, me too.” Freddy glanced around, trying to distract himself from his mobile problem. “But I think we should probably find out where we are.”

Bonnie searched the trees. “Yes, that does seem like a good idea.” He stood taller, pricking his ears. “Do you think Chica is in here somewhere?”

“Since we’re here? Yes. Hopefully she’s alright.”


Chica kicked her legs happily as her makeshift swing carried her back and forth. The tree branch the vine was wound around creaked forebodingly, but didn’t break. She laughed, watching the shadowy forest with enthusiasm. Eventually, she hopped off her swing and began to roam. Watery shafts of sunlight pierced the holes in the canopy, leaving random splotches of murky yellow. Chica stuck her arms out at her side as she crossed a medium sized creek, an impromptu bridge composing of a fallen log wobbling as she traversed the length. At the end, she sprang off it and followed a hidden animal trail through a thicket.

Wow, this is so cool! I wouldn’t mind staying here . . . Chica stepped around a root sticking from the ground. I wonder where Freddy and Bonnie are. She frowned. Oh no, what about Mike? Did we leave him at the restaurant? The boss is going to be so upset. I don’t envy Mike if that’s the case.

Sinister growling sounded from around them. Bonnie and Freddy sat on edge, their eyes searching the depths of the forest.

“We should get out of here,” Bonnie warned.

“Yes, I agree,” Freddy said in an innocent tone. His voice turned sour. “But wait! I’m stuck with one leg! How am I supposed to walk?!”

Bonnie flinched back, but regained his grace. “Hop on one leg?”

“I doubt that’ll work for long—if at all.”

“You’ve gotta try.” Bushes rustled close by. “And make it quick,” Bonnie gulped.

Freddy sighed, shoulders drooping. He stuck his arms up. “Help an old man.” Bonnie bent forward and snagged both of the bear’s wrists, hauling him to his feet. Freddy wobbled for a few seconds, but regained his balance and used Bonnie as a support.

The bunny perked up. “Hey, I think I’ve got an idea! You know when we see kids that have broken their legs, and they have those things that they use to get around without the broken leg touching the ground?”

Freddy paused. “Crutches?”

“Exactly!” Bonnie grinned. “Maybe we can make some real quick. That’d help you.” He carefully allowed Freddy to lean against a nearby tree and then poked through the surrounding bushes. His hand reached for a sturdy looking branch and nearly had a heart attack as it moved.

“Gah! What the heck?” Bonnie stammered, lurching backwards. Growls emanated from the “branch” and yellow eyes glowed fiercely. A lean creature burst from the copse, snarling.

“What is that?!” Freddy exclaimed, pressing himself farther against the tree.

“Uh, tree thing?” Bonnie guessed weakly, backing away. The faintly dog-shaped creature was soon flanked by two others. Each of them were panting, drool leaking from their open maws.

“Maybe now would be a good time to panic.”

“I agree.” Bonnie let out a wild yell as one lunged for him. The bunny hopped away, narrowly avoiding being bit. He reached for Freddy and pulled him towards the bushes, determined to get out of there.

“Where are we going!?” Freddy shouted as Bonnie all but pulled him along.

“Don’t ask me!” Bonnie yelped. “Sorry boss, but you’re going to have to pretend you can run! Or else they”—a volley of yips sounded close behind—“are going to pretend we’re food!”

Freddy let out something that sounded very much like a whine and braced for the shock of pain that followed immediately after he set the foot on the ground. He nearly collapsed straight away, but the hot breath puffing on their heels from the pack motivated him not to fall to the dirty ground.

The two of them crashed through the forest, trampling low growing plants under their feet. The wooden canines continued after them. Sounds of the branches that rattled against one another as they moved were prominent.

Bonnie noticed Freddy getting a little behind. He latched onto his hand and yanked. Freddy stumbled and nearly toppled forward, but managed to stay on his feet.

“Come on, Freddy,” Bonnie urged. He never thought he’d be the one telling what was technically his boss to keep going—especially when being chased by tree dogs.

“You try and run . . . with a broken leg,” Freddy growled. He shot a quick glower at the bunny.

Chica heard something. She turned in her spot, scanning the trees for what it was. Nothing caught her eye, however, and she went back to watching where she was going. That was when two blurs shot across her vision. They crossed her path, sprinting into the thick expanse of trees. Leaves and branches quivered where they’d disturbed their peaceful resting places.

“Freddy, Bonnie?” Chica called after a moment, her shock still fresh. She blinked repeatedly. Then three—wait, are those wolves?—leapt over the path, their sleek bodies streamlined, disappearing into the brush a moment later with no more than a rustling of leaves.

“Uh, okay then.” Chica started after them.

Twilight had split the ponies into teams: her and Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy and Applejack, and Rarity and Pinkie Pie. And as of now, she and Dash were trekking along a frequently used path—in fact, the one that led straight to the Castle of the Royal Sisters.

“So that’s the only reason Princess Luna gave you?” Rainbow asked.

Twilight ducked under a low growing branch. “Yes,” she answered.

“Huh . . . I don’t know how I feel about this.” Dash frowned. “But if we find Freddy, the first thing I’m gonna do is punch him in the face.” She smashed one hoof into the other.

Twilight gasped. “Dash, you can’t go around hitting random . . .” She paused, admonishment trailing off. “Animatronics in the face.”

Dash rolled her eyes. “Don’t lie; you totally want to hit him too.”

“Nooo . . .” Twilight glanced away. “Okay, maybe. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.”


Pinkie Pie bounced happily. Her tail waved in the air with each thrust off the ground. Rarity trotted in front of her, nose up and head held high. They were traveling through some sort of glade.

“Do you think the others are broken like Foxy?” Pinkie asked.

“I doubt it. Though we didn’t exactly see anything recent when we were in his head, so I suppose it’s entirely possible,” Rarity replied. She raised an eyebrow. “Pinkie, darling, why would you ask that?”

“I dunno! I was just curious I guess!” The party pony laughed at herself.

“Oh. Well, hopefully—if we run into one of them—we’ll be accepted. I’d hate to have to stand in this swamp all day arguing.”

“Yeah! I need to feed Gummy.” Pinkie gasped. “Oh no, I need to feed Gummy!” She then thought about it for a second. “Wait, never mind. I fed him this morning!” Giggling, she thought about her little alligator.

Rarity rolled her eyes and smirked. “I say, you and your little . . . critter. Opalescence is far more sophisticated, however. Why you can be happy with a . . . reptile is entirely beyond me.” The unicorn shuddered.

“Gummy’s great!” Pinkie cheered. “Oh, that’s a good one! Great Gummy, Great Gummy, Great Gummy!” She giggled. “Great Gummy garishly groomed Gertrude’s groaning grey gorilla!”

Rarity sighed. “This is going to be a long day.”

“Come on, ‘shy. We ain’t got time fer this.”

Applejack gently prodded the pegasus’ hindquarters with an orange hoof. Fluttershy squeaked and a tremble went down her spine. Squirming her hind legs, she wormed her way farther into the shallow growing bush. Applejack sighed and clamped her teeth down on the soft yellow tail, dragging her friend into the open. Fluttershy squealed and covered her eyes with her hooves, wings stuck tightly to her sides.

“Please, sugar cube. We’ve got to get movin’, else we aren’t gon’ find any of Foxy’s little robot pals,” AJ pressed, worry in her voice. “Nothin’s gonna get ya.”

Fluttershy quivered in fear. “B-but I heard a n-n-noise!” She pointed a shaking hoof towards a clump of berry bushes. Rolling her emerald green eyes, the farm pony swiveled around and approached the bundle. A hoof went forward and peeled the center apart, allowing them to see nothing but berries and branches.

“See? Nothin’ there. Now can we please go?” Applejack asked. She was beginning to get desperate. “Ah don’t want to make ya feel pressured, but we’ve still got a heck of a long way to go ‘fore we reach anywhere we might be able to find one of ‘em.”

The creamy coated pegasus warily got to her hooves, wiping her eyes. “I-I’m sorry—it’s just, you know, scary.”

Applejack smiled gently. “’s alright, ‘shy. Ah understand.” She patted Fluttershy on the back. “Now come on; we’ve got work to do.”

“And is this a good word to describe somepony? Surreptitious?” Pinkie Pie rambled on. Rarity felt like her mane was fraying from just being there. “Ooh, I don’t know . . . hey, hey, Rarity! Do you like the word beeswax?”

“Oh sweet Celestia kill me now and deliver me to paradise,” Rarity hissed under her breath. When she was prodded for a response, she stood straighter and cleared her throat. “Pinkie, I don’t—”


Rarity flinched as something bumped against her snout. Pinkie jounced into her rump, stopping in her tracks. The unicorn’s sapphire eyes blinked several times, then roved upwards. What appeared to be some sort of limb dangled in front of her face.

“AAAHH!” she shrieked and flew backwards, jarring Pinkie. The party pony merely jumped back a few paces, eyes bright and unsuspecting. Rarity screamed and reared up on her hind legs, forelegs churning at the air. Squeezing her eyes shut, she let out a series of “Eeewww”’s and scrunched her nose. Eventually, she tired of this and settled down. Rarity looked more intently at the appendage.

“Ew—ew, ew—why is there a . . .” Rarity trailed off—she didn’t know what this was. Eyes narrowing in scrutiny, she hesitantly reached a polished hoof up and swatted the thing quickly. The limb swung slightly. “What is this? Are those . . .” As she thought more thoroughly about the subject, she realized she did indeed recognize this type of appendage. “This is a hand. Why—oh dear me—why, is there an arm hanging oh-so blatantly from this tree?” She gazed up at it.

Pinkie shrugged. “Maybe someone left it there. Maybe Lyra?”

“Pinkie, darling, I very much doubt”—groan—“please don't make such sounds, it's not very ladylike.”

Pinkie frowned, tilting her head. “I didn't groan.”

Rarity’s mouth dropped open just barely. “Uh, but I just heard you.”

“Are you sure you didn't hear the hand?”

Rarity and Pinkie both watched in stunned silence as the fingers on the limb began to twitch ever so slightly. The unicorn’s face turned to sheer horror and Pinkie’s mouth fell open. Now, not only was the arm moving, but it was pulling itself back into the tree!

If Rarity wasn't already white as snow, she’d be then. “Uh huh, well, uh, Pinkie, maybe we should back up”—the party pony leapt forward and snagged the hand, tugging it—“oh for Celestia’s sake, get over here!”

“Wakey wakey!” Pinkie called. She gave one more hard yank and the thing came crashing out of the tree onto the ground. Rarity squealed, jumping back.

“Pinkie Pie!” the unicorn screamed. She stomped a hoof in anger. Pinkie glanced over, then focused on the creature that had fallen out of the tree.

“I think he’s hurt, Rares,” Pinkie said with a frown.

Rarity hesitated for a moment. “How do you know it’s a he?” She stepped forward to gaze down upon him. It had the faint resemblance of one of the creatures from the other world—Zach, that was it. Only this one didn’t look as small.

“Helloooo?” Pinkie called, waving a hoof in front of his face. There was no response. Next, she tried to open his eyes—nothing there, they were rolled back in his head.

“We should get him back to Ponyville,” Rarity stated. She used her magic to prop him up, then allowed Pinkie to slide under his back. She stood up and his feet were still touching the ground. “Oh my, this one has long legs. Come along, let’s try something else.”

The dogs were still after them. Bonnie and Freddy—whose leg was very close to being ripped off—sprinted as fast as they could through the undergrowth. After him, Bonnie could hear Freddy falling behind little by little.

“Come on, Freddy. Keep going,” the bunny urged.

“Yeah, j-just you try and—” Freddy’s voice cut out with a yelp as he fell. There was a series of shouts and barks. Bonnie skidded to a halt and turned around, only for a wooden canine to leap at his chest. He threw a fist out and managed to catch the beast in the muzzle. It was blasted into hundreds of pieces.

“Whoa! Freddy!” Said animatronic’s form appeared from a bush, several new scratches coating his metal. He turned to look.

“Yes, I discovered that mere moments after I was tackled,” Freddy said, limping over to Bonnie.

“You okay?” the bunny asked.

“Not much worse than earlier. I’d just like to, you know, get out of here.”

“Me too.”

Freddy and Bonnie started off at a slower pace, since the canines were scattered all over the forest floor.

Chica wasn’t that far behind the two boys when she came across a footprint. It wasn’t exactly a foot, however—more of a U shape. She studied it briefly and then began to follow them. They weaved through a bramble thicket, and then there was some sort of clearing. And that was when another pair of tracks became visible. They appeared not a long distance away from the first prints.

“What’s going on here?” Chica asked herself in suspicion. She scrutinized the tracks and decided to continue following. As she came to the end of the clearing, the second tracks vanished again. Her eyes widened, then narrowed.

“Is this some sort of trick?” she hissed, placing her hands on her hips. She checked the canopy that loomed over her head. Leaves waved in the wind from above.

Fluttershy swooped over Applejack’s head as there was no need for her to walk down on the ground among the pokey thorns. As soon as her friend was out of the patch, she tucked in her wings and landed in the soft dirt. She took a few quick paced steps before falling into her cycle.

“I’m afraid that we’ll miss them,” Fluttershy said. “What if we walk by them and don’t even notice?”

“Ah’ll be the first to say that this here forest is darn annoyin’. Everythin’ we track ends up in here fer some odd reason. Dang coincidences,” Applejack growled. She shook her head in disdain.

“I agree.” She looked back where she was going. There was another narrow path, but thankfully, still room for her to fly. “I’ll take to the air again.”

“Alright, ‘shy. Keep an eye out.”

“I will.”

“Right through here . . .” Chica murmured to herself, following the solo set of tracks. She quickened her pace, determined to find the source of the prints. They seemed to get fresher and fresher (though she was no expert on how that really worked), so she was sure the owner was nearby.

“. . . anythin’?”

Chica focused in on the voice. The accent sounded faintly like her pirate friend. Her curiosity now peaked, the animatronic rushed forward in a quirky run.

“No. I don’t see—” Another voice cut off. “Wait, I hear something.” Chica stopped and approached more slowly.

“Ya think it’s one of those robots?” asked the first voice in its now identifiable female accent.

Chica gasped. They were looking for them! Maybe these were nice . . . whatever-they-ares! She quickly went to confront the speakers.

“Oh—oh!” came the second voice, which belonged to a yellow horse . . . with wings. Chica stopped, confused.

“Uh, hi?” she guessed.

The orange one smiled. “Well, howdy there! Ah reckon you’ve saved us a ton ‘a time.”

“Here, let’s rest for a little bit,” Bonnie said. He led Freddy into a small alcove in the side of a sudden drop-off. The bear slumped down immediately, sighing. His eyes closed, and he allowed himself to rest for a little while. Bonnie sat down next to him, hands on his knees.

“Is . . . is it dark yet?” Freddy asked, cracking one blue eye open after a few minutes of silence.

Bonnie glanced up at the sky. “No.”


Bonnie blinked and looked over at Freddy. “You okay, boss?”

“Yeah, I’m fine.” He rubbed his face. “I’m just . . . tired. I mean, just look where we are right now.” He gazed wearily at Bonnie. “Just let me think.” Bonnie hummed in reply and glanced away, keeping an eye out for any wandering beasts. It wasn’t that much later when a rustling of leaves sounded from the surrounding trees. Yellow eyes glowed in the bushes.

“Uh . . . Freddy?” Bonnie asked quietly.

Freddy grunted. “W’t?” His eyes were still closed.

“Do you happen to remember what color the eyes of those doggy things were?”

“Odd question.” He thought for a moment. “Yellow, I think.”

Bonnie frowned. “That’s what I was afraid of.”

Finally opening his eyes, Freddy glared over at Bonnie. “What are you—” He stopped. One of the lean creatures snuck from the edges of the forest. Two more made themselves visible as well. Freddy jumped, straining to get himself to his feet. Bonnie followed after, eyes wide.

“I thought we killed those things!” Freddy exclaimed. Bonnie grimaced.

“I thought we did too,” he replied. The dogs closed in, rancid-looking saliva dripping from their parted jaws. Their paws carried them across the leaf-strewn forest floor. Bonnie glanced around, searching desperately for an escape route. There seemed to be none.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders Timber-wolf Vanquishers, YAY!”

Three small creatures—one orange, one yellow, and one white—flew from the trees, vines in their grasps. They fell from the vines and each landed on a wolf, crushing them into bits. Once done, they turned to Bonnie and Freddy.

“Come on, there's no time to lose!” the orange one yelled. She turned to the side and the others followed, exposing small wings on her back. The white one had some sort of protrusion sticking from her head, and the yellow with a large pink bow.

“Them Timber-wolves will be up 'fore ya know it!” cried the yellow one.

“Yeah! We've got to get to safety,” agreed the white one in a squeaky voice. Bonnie and Freddy exchanged glances. The three equines raced off, tails and maroon capes flying behind them. Not wanting to be left behind, the animatronics ran after them. They could faintly see the shapes of them running through the forest, ducking under branches and leaping over protruding roots. Finally, dim sunlight poured in large quantities through the trees. The exit was close by.

“We’re out!” Bonnie exclaimed in surprise, a grin spreading across his face.

“Finally,” Freddy groaned, sinking into the grass. He fiddled idly with his leg.

“Is your leg okay?” came the yellow one’s voice. Freddy glanced up into the sunset eyes of the girl.

“No. I can’t exactly say that it is.”

“Sorry.” She paused. “Well, Ah’m Apple Bloom!”

“I’m Sweetie Belle!”

“And I’m Scootaloo!”



Sweetie tipped her head. “I’ve never heard the name “Freddy” before. Though I know a mare named Bon Bon.”

“How did you know we were there?” Bonnie asked.

Scootaloo turned around. “Well, Foxy has been here for a while. We’ve never been allowed to meet him (Rainbow Dash says he’s dangerous for our age) but we kind of . . . overheard that the ‘others’ were here. So we had to come and check it out!”

“Though we had to keep it secret because we didn’t want any of them to get mad at us, plus we didn’t even know who ‘others’ meant,” Sweetie added.

Apple Bloom nodded. “Yup! And when we saw the Timber-wolves closin’ in on ya, we couldn’t waste a single second!” She quickly checked her flank, as did the others. They shared brief looks of disappointment.

“You guys are so cool, too. Wish we could hang out with Foxy,” Scootaloo complained. Her wings drooped. “Anyways, we should get you back to Ponyville. I think Spike is still at the library.”

“Yeah. Let’s go,” Sweetie agreed.

“Wait, a what?” Freddy asked, confused.

“A library?” the filly guessed. She cocked her head.

“Come on, Freddy. Let’s not waste any more time,” Bonnie urged. Freddy glared up at him for a brief moment, then stuck up his arms. Taking the hint, Bonnie stooped over and hauled him to his feet.

“Hmm . . . maybe Ah could help ya?” Apple Bloom suggested.

“How are you going to help me?” Freddy asked, narrowing his eyes at her.

“Ah’m really good at buildin’ things. If Ah could just take a quick glance at your leg, Ah’m sure Ah could help ya.”

Bonnie looked at Freddy. “Wouldn’t hurt to try.” Besides, they were forced to trust these little girl horses, and apparently they had Foxy.

Grumbling, Freddy rolled his eyes, “Fine.”

“Alright! Just stay still . . .” Apple Bloom instructed, standing on her hind legs. She eyed his broken left knee carefully, then dropped to all fours. She quickly trotted off, going into the forest with no explanation. The filly returned a minute later, a long expanse of vine in her mouth. She spit it out at his feet and looked over to Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.

“If you gals could find two very long and sturdy branches—preferable with a y—it’d be much appreciated,” Apple Bloom said. Nodding, her friends galloped off into the forest. Once gone, the yellow filly then pulled the bow off her head. She unraveled it and then made it into a sort of padding.

“Ah’m gon’ put this on your knee and then fasten it with this here vine,” Apple Bloom explained as she pressed her dismantled bow on his knee. She wrapped the strong vine around it, using hooves and teeth to get it tied. Once that was done, Freddy tried to move his leg, which she grunted at.

“Don’t move your leg. It’ll undo mah work.” Apple Bloom glanced towards the tree line. “Ah hope those gals get back here soon. And hopefully they’ll have known what Ah was lookin’ fer.” She looked back down at the extra amount of vine she had at her hooves. While they were waiting, she collected a few thick sticks, testing their strength.

“Are these good enough?” came Scootaloo’s questioning voice.

Apple Bloom looked up. “Yup, those look just fine. Bring ‘em here.” She padded towards Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle, who were carrying the branches across their backs. They were shaped quite nicely, so Apple Bloom began comparing the sticks to the branches, adjusting the length, and lashed them all together. Once she was done, they looked quite well put together.

“Are those crutches?” Bonnie asked, pointing.

“Why, yes. As ponies, we don’t really use ‘em, but Ah’ve read books on the subject. They’re mostly used for upright walkers—minotaurs are the only ones I’ve seen usin’ ‘em—an’ that was only one time.” She held them up to Freddy. “Here ya go. Try ‘em out.”

“Oh. Alright,” Freddy said warily, taking them, leg sticking out awkwardly. He positioned them how he remembered the several kids did. He glanced over at Bonnie. “This look right?”

“Yeah, I’d say so,” was his reply. “Boss, why don’t you take a little stroll?”

“If I can even move with them.” Freddy wobbled a bit as he stood straighter. Then he used his weight to propel himself forward.

“Hey, you’re doing pretty well,” Scootaloo complimented.

“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle agreed.

“Ya feel comfortable?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Think so,” Freddy replied. “Nice handiwork, kid.”

“T-thanks. It was really no problem.” She smiled, a light blush on her cheeks. “Alright, why don’t we head to Ponyville?”

Searching a la Puns

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“I’m so sorry for your loss.”

Doll’s fingers trembled by her pale face. Her wide brown eyes glistened with unshed tears, and she watched as the police officer walked away from her apartment door. Once he was gone, she didn’t hold back and collapsed to her knees; her hands covered her face and she sobbed into them, shoulders shaking.

Her Mikey was gone.

Twilight and Rainbow Dash continued their trek through the Everfree Forest. So far, nothing unusual had taken their attention. The howls of Timber-wolves cut through the slowly dimming daylight, but they were far away. No reason to panic.

“Twilight, this is so boring. Can we head back to Ponyville?” Dash complained.

“No, we can't,” Twilight replied, even though she too was completely jaded, “not until we've found them.”

“But what if the other girls found them? Then what?”

“They haven't used their signals.” Twilight indicated to the small purple device in her ear. When activated, it would alert the others by their own.

Rainbow flicked the ear with her blue device. “What if they just forgot? We could be wandering in this stupid forest forever.”

“Now, Dash—”


The two ponies blinked in surprise as the devices in both their ears went off rather loudly. Rainbow and Twilight exchanged glances before taking off, the magical signal pulling them towards their companions.

“Wait, wait, I'm getting another force,” Dash alerted Twilight. As a pegasus, she was directed more obviously.

“Wow! Okay, you go after whoever that was. I'll go this way,” Twilight instructed. Rainbow nodded in confirmation and allowed herself to be redirected, vanishing in the dark forest. Twilight galloped onward, face one of determination.

Pinkie Pie and Rarity sped towards Ponyville. Once Rarity had turned on her tracker, she knew at least one of the other girls would be coming. That didn't, however, stop her from trying to get to the library to regroup as soon as possible. Thankfully, she wasn't the one with the unconscious whatever-it-was over her back. Pinkie had taken care of him, and they'd actually managed to get his whole situation taken care of. And since they'd entered the forest rather slowly, their progress towards Ponyville was much quicker. They were almost at the fields that covered nearly all the area around the Everfree. In a matter of minutes, the two multicolored mares were in the soft green grass.

“Okay, Pinkie, let's get to Ponyville as fast as we can. And try not to be seen, please. Nopony must know of that,” Rarity instructed, jerking her head towards the him on Pinkie's back.

“I got it covered, Rarity. You can count on me!” Pinkie replied with enthusiasm. “I'll be sneaky—sneaky as a shadow in the night.” She wiggled her eyebrows like a snake and the unicorn rolled her sapphire eyes, frowning.

“Just . . . please be discreet.” Rarity took the lead once again and sprinted away. Pinkie followed with a series of short bounces before settling into a quick-paced run.

The mares trotted down the dirt path that led to Ponyville. It was devoid of any other citizens, and only the sound of their hooves clopping on the ground was heard. As they neared the town, Rarity turned to Pinkie.

“Alright. I'll go ahead and check to see if the coast is clear. Then you wait for my signal,” Rarity explained.

“Okey-dokey-lokey!” Pinkie bubbled, saluting in a silly fashion. Nodding, Rarity settled into a brisk trot down the final slope. The streets seemed fairly empty. The unicorn glanced around the town square. While the sun was going down, it was a bit unusual to see absolutely nopony out at all—mostly stragglers or late workers heading home at least. Deciding it was safe, Rarity let out a shrill whistle, like Applejack calling Winona, and there was a flurry of movement from behind her as Pinkie skidded to a halt. She panted like a dog, tongue hanging out of her mouth. Rarity patted her on the head and checked once more for any ponies, then opened the door to the Golden Oaks Library. Pinkie entered first, hooves moving swiftly over the ground. Once she was in, Rarity quickly followed, slamming the door behind them.

“Are we going to your . . . libry?” Chica asked, fumbling with the word.

“Library, sugar cube. And yup, we are. Ah've turned on my trackin' device,” Applejack said. The orange light blinked as if to emphasize her words. “Somepony should be here soon.”


Fluttershy smiled at her happy attitude. “I'm glad you're not scared like Foxy was. He was very shy.”

“Foxy? Shy?” Chica's mind drifted back to the good old days . . . “It's been so long since I last have heard that to describe him.”

‘Really? Well, if you'd like me to tell you what happened, I can happily oblige.”

Chica grinned. “Oh, yes please!”

Rainbow Dash's wings carried her through the dense and dark forest, the only light being the moon high above the tree canopy, though not visible through it. The pegasus laughed and whooped, glad to have the challenge of maneuvering in this place. Spinning a tight circle to avoid a collision, she tucked in her wings before ducking low to the ground under a row of vines. That was when something golden flashed on one side of her vision.

“W-whoa!” Rainbow shouted, blinded by the light. She flinched away. A tree on that side ended up in her way. Dash pushed off of the trunk in her panic, then surged headlong into a tight tunnel of branches. They smacked her muzzle, cracking over her head and causing lines of red to appear through her fur. Giving a loud cry of mostly shocked nature, the pegasus went down, mud splattering around on impact. All that was seen for a brief moment were her wings and vibrantly-colored tail—flicking in agitation. With a slurping noise, Rainbow pulled her punished head out of the muck.

“Uuugghh . . . ow,” Dash moaned. She clasped a hoof to her head, a strong headache coming on. She then quickly brought the hoof away. There was mud everywhere. With a grumble, she stood and shook her whole body vigorously. Mud splattered across the trees, disturbing their leaves and making them flap. Once that was done, the dirty pegasus focused on determining what caused her to crash like that. With an ill-tempered snort, she snuck her way back of the area of which she'd seen the disturbance.

“Hey! Who's out there?” Rainbow snarled in anger. “You made me crash, and I demand an apology!” She stomped her hooves on the ground, gritting her teeth together. “You better come out, or you'll regret it!” She flicked her tail in agitation. Ruffling her wings in disdain, the pegasus began to search the surrounding trees. But she spotted nothing. With an attitude and a migraine, she turned around to follow the signal.

“Whoa!” Dash exclaimed as the same yellow from before appeared in her eyes. She stumbled back, wings spread in a sign of aggression. As soon as she regained her footing, Rainbow snarled, ears back. Then once she got a good look at the thing, she paused, relaxing. It was an animatronic. Albeit, not one that she even remembered seeing.

“Uh . . . hi?” Dash asked uncertainly, cocking her bruised head. The bear reminded her of Freddy, but it was yellow instead. The eyes were black with white dots and the robot didn't move at all. It just sat staring most uncomfortably at her. In its hand was a microphone and on its head a hat.

“Um, I'm Rainbow Dash. What's your name?”

A low sound came from the animatronic. Uncertain, Rainbow backed away, ears folded not out of anger, but of fright. She crouched lower to the ground, not sure how to react. It was then that images began flashing across her vision. Dash screeched in fear as horrible monsters and creatures came down on her. She couldn't identify any of them, as they were mostly blurs and shady objects. But all the same, something inside her became terrified by them. Rainbow skittered backwards, twisting at the same time, preparing to take flight. But the golden bear was somehow right in front of her nose. With a loud shout, the pegasus sprang into the air. The oh-so real hallucinations she was feeling scared her back down to earth, however. She swore she could feel the teeth of them biting into her flesh . . .

Rainbow saw the golden robot before she could react. It seemed to shoot towards her. She leapt back as fast as she could, but the world went dark before she could even get off the ground.

Twilight could sense that the signal was coming from her library. She didn't know who was in there, though hopefully the situation was good in there.

“Hello?” Twilight asked, gently opening the door. She poked her head inside and glanced around. Two bright blue eyes met hers. “Huh? Pinkie Pie?”

Pinkie blinked rapidly. “Hiyah, Twi! Did you get the message, huh huh huh huh?”

Twilight shook her head, confused. She pressed a hoof to Pinkie's chest and pushed her away. “Pinkie, calm down. Yes, I got the signal. That's why I'm here.”

“Okey-dokey-lokey!” Pinkie spouted, nodding. “Well come on, silly, we’ve got something to show you!” She hopped towards the stairs.

“Did you find one of the animatronics?” Twilight asked. She wondered briefly why they were heading up into her room, but disregarded the thought. Pinkie didn’t answer her question, but Rarity did.

“Well, not exactly,” the fashionista replied.

“What do you mean, not”—Twilight glanced at the creature laying in her bed—“okay then.” As Twilight approached the bed, Rarity began to explain.

“You see, we were out in the Everfree and he was hanging from a tree. It’s one of those creatures from the other world. I did find a nametag, however. His name is Mike.” Rarity pointed to the small badge on his chest. Twilight inspected it, narrowing her eyes.

“I see. How long have you two been here?”

“About a half an hour!” Pinkie squealed as she cartwheeled past.

Rarity nodded in confirmation. “Yes, that sounds about right.”

Twilight turned around. “Alright. Well, Dash is tracking down Applejack and Fluttershy.”

“Yes, I felt it.” Rarity twitched the ear with the device. “So, what are we to do?”

“Wait for them, I assume.” Twilight perked up. “Hey, I should go check on Foxy. I’ll be back.”

The three had started towards Ponyville. They’d tired of waiting for somepony to meet up with them, so decided to regroup since the two ponies had felt an alert not that long after theirs.

“Come on, ya’ll. We’re nearly to Ponyville,” Applejack said, looking back over her shoulder. “Ah hope the others are there.”

Fluttershy flittered over their heads. “Yes, I as well. It was odd that nopony came to us. I expected someone at least.”

“Maybe they were busy,” Chica suggested. “I guess if you guys were truly looking for us then they’d be busy.”

Fluttershy glanced at the robot. “Hmm, yes, I suppose.”

Twilight used her magic to push Foxy up. He weakly sat upright, but his shoulders were drooping and eyes half lidded.

“Are you okay?” Twilight asked.

“Mm . . . bit tired, hon’stly,” Foxy responded.

Twilight frowned. “I can tell.” She inspected him carefully. “I need to check your power. Hold on.” She shifted behind him and opened the plate on his back. Foxy stiffened slightly as she checked the small screen hidden inside of him. “Wow, 2%. Here, let’s get you charged.” Her horn lit up and a cord was pulled from a corner of the room. It snaked over to a plugin inside of Foxy’s internal wiring and attached itself. Twilight made sure he was charging before returning to the conversation.

“There we go,” the unicorn said with a small smile. “Say, your, um, friends, are on their way.”


Twilight flinched back, eyes wide. She regained her sense of grace and blinked several times. “Yes. The princesses apparently decided now was the time.”

“There was a time?!” Foxy continued, jaw hanging open.

Twilight shrugged. “Apparently. Don’t ask me—Princess Luna was the one who came and told me. Though she didn’t say much.” The unicorn cocked her head, frowning. “Is that a really bad thing, though? Maybe we can rekindle your friendships.”

Foxy put his head in his hand/hook. “Tis not that, lass. Tis just . . . I’d rather ‘em not see me like this.”

“. . . With us . . . ?”

“No, no. So . . .” Foxy fumbled for the right words, glancing away with his ears down. “Weak.”

Twilight relaxed, a small smile slipping onto her muzzle. “You’re not weak, Foxy. Why do you think that?”

“Tis true. Look at me—I be a mess.”

Twilight laughed. “If anything, you’re better than ever. When we first met—when Fluttershy found you in her garden—you were mangled and destroyed. Pieces were falling off and rusting”—Twilight saw the look on Foxy’s face—“Ahem, what I’m saying is that you have already made so much progress. You can’t be deterred now.”

Yes, yes, progress.

Why do ya keep both’rin’ me?

Ooh, look, we’ve made an all twos word count.



If ye are jus’ gon’ annoy me, then leave.

You can leave. Leave this world, you pathetic excuse for a robot.



Foxy found himself staring into the bright purple eyes of Twilight. Both her front hooves were gripping his shoulders, probably from when she was shaking him. Foxy scrunched his nose and shook his head against the oncoming headache. The unicorn hopped away from him. She landed gracefully back on all fours.

“What was that?” Twilight asked carefully.

“Uh, what was what?” Foxy responded in confusion. A stab of pain went through his skull, causing him to grab it.

“What’s the matter?” she repeated.

Foxy shook his head and looked at her. “Nothin’. ‘m fine.”

Twilight glowered briefly at him. “Don’t lie. I’m not dumb, if you haven’t noticed.”

Yes, tell the pretty pony what’s the matter. She’ll believe you, surely. Do you even realize that you forget every time that we’ve talked?

Is that your doin’ or is it simply a coincidence?

Is anything actually ever a coincidence?


A shock of electricity shot though him, startling him. Foxy weakly picked himself up and glanced around. He was lying on the floor. The cord that had been powering him was torn, hanging from the table. Sparks flickered occasionally from the golden edges peeking out.

“Tell me what’s wrong!” Twilight demanded, voice filled with worry.

Foxy blinked wearily. “What happened?”

“You blanked out again. Then you, like, fell forward. It was . . . odd.” Twilight frowned, then glanced towards the ripped wire. “The power cord severed when you fell. I think the plugin is still connected to you. Roll over, will you?” She gently helped him turn his back to her. The panel was still partly open, exposing his wires and circuits to the world. Twilight’s magic probed around for the top, then tugged it out. She tossed it into the trash.

“Here, we better get you plugged in again. I’ve got an extra cord . . .”

“Are we nearly there yet?”

“Yes, we are, actually,” came the responding voice of Apple Bloom to Freddy’s irritated question. He and Bonnie glanced around. They were surrounded by trees—some red fruits hung from the branches.

“I thought we were going to the town,” Freddy grumped, seeing this was definitely not where they were supposed to be.

“Yeah, we are. But we thought we should stop by our clubhouse first,” Scootaloo replied.

“And for what purpose?”

“We can’t get you into town very quickly, with ya on crutches an’ all,” Apple Bloom started, “so we’ve come to get a few items to help out.”

“Like what?” Bonnie asked. The three fillies started off towards their clubhouse. None of them answered. The two animatronics followed after them. When they came to the ramp leading up, however, Freddy angrily plopped down into the grass beside it.

“What’s your deal?” Bonnie questioned.

Freddy grunted and crossed his arms. “Nothing.”

“Oh, come on, I know that’s not true.” Bonnie sat down beside him.


“Tell me.” Bonnie nudged the bear in the side.

“Go away, you menace.” Another poke. “No.”



Bonnie tilted his head quizzically. “Are you just grumpy because you’re hurting?”

Freddy rolled his eyes. “No. I don’t hurt much. It’s already faded for the most part.”

“Tired? Circuits acting up?”


“Ants in your suit?”

“No!” Freddy balled his hand into a fist and punched his bunny friend in the nose, causing Bonnie to topple over.

“Gah! Ow!” Bonnie exclaimed, holding his nose. “That was mean!” He pouted briefly. Then he brightened suddenly, pointing in knowing at Freddy. “Oh my gosh, I know what’s making you so angry! You’re grouchy ‘cuz you don’t have your microphone!”

Freddy glared harshly at Bonnie.

“Um, yeah . . . but that’s the reason, isn’t it? I just noticed it. Plus your hat’s gone. Must’ve lost it when we got, uh, transported.” Bonnie pondered it momentarily. They all knew that Freddy had some pretty phenomenal anger issues at times. But it was his microphone that calmed him—for what reason was fairly unknown. Perhaps it was like a stress ball? Bonnie didn’t know.

“Maybe it’s the reason,” was all Freddy responded grumpily with. Bonnie was about to respond but was interrupted.

“You two, come over here,” came Scootaloo’s voice. She walked from around the side of the clubhouse. Apparently she’d not gone in. “Well, our wagon wasn’t as big as we’d hoped, so AB went to the barn to get one of the ones used for hauling apples. She should be back soon.” Bonnie and Freddy stood up and went over.

“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle agreed, trotting down the ramp, “and after that, we can get into Ponyville! Hopefully one of the others are there.”

“I’m sure there’s at least one of them. Foxy can’t be left alone for long, remember?”

Freddy and Bonnie exchanged glances. “Uh . . . care to elaborate?” Bonnie asked.

Sweetie tipped her head to one side. “Wouldn’t you know?”

“Yeah. He’s got some pretty wicked problems,” Scootaloo added, “or so Dash has told me.”

“Sounds fairly accurate,” Freddy muttered with a slight movement of his head. Scootaloo nodded and glanced around. Her light violet eyes lit up as she saw a small shape moving towards them.

“Look, there’s Apple Bloom,” the pegasus piped up. A hoof pointed towards the figure. The filly advanced towards them, moving progressively quicker. Soon the distinct shape of Apple Bloom was visible.

“Howdy. Come on, Ah’ve got it. Let’s hurry and get to town,” the yellow filly said. She shifted the harness on her back. There was one more space for another pony to pull.

“Alright you two, get comfortable,” Scootaloo added. The two animatronics looked at each other.

Freddy gave a small laugh. “Yeah, right.”

“No, no, we’re serious,” Sweetie Belle said.

“Yeah, come on. We don’t have all day . . . night,” Scootaloo urged. She glanced briefly towards the moon in the sky.

Bonnie hesitated, rubbing the back of a hand. “Um, are we going to fit?”

“Looks like it. Now get in there and get situated,” Apple Bloom said firmly. She jerked her head towards the wagon.

Bonnie finally shrugged and padded over, then carefully sat down in it. Pulling his legs over the edge, he scooted as far to one side as he could and looked up at Freddy. The bear paused, shifting awkwardly. Then, giving a resigned sigh, he wobbled over and slowly got himself in the wagon. Scootaloo placed the crutches in the middle of the animatronics.

“Cool. Now we’ll just cover you a bit and we’ll be all set,” the pegasus said. “Sweetie—blanket.” The unicorn stood on her hind legs, and together they got them partially covered with it. Both Freddy’s and Bonnie’s faces peeked out, eyes shining. No one could tell what they were, though Bonnie’s ears were outlined more visibly by the moonlight. After that, Scootaloo hooked herself up in the harness and Sweetie Belle leapt into the wagon. The robots didn’t seem to mind all that much at the intrusion.

“Off we go, then,” Apple Bloom announced. She and Scootaloo began walking.

Knocking sounded at the door. Rarity turned to answer it, but the door was pushed open. In came Applejack and Fluttershy. Then the yellow robot. She entered cautiously, bending down to get through the doorway.

“Oh, thank goodness you found one,” Rarity sighed, rushing forward. She inspected her friends. “Everything’s alright, yes?” She frowned. “Where’s our dear Rainbow Dash?”

“Rainbow? Ain’t she here?” Applejack asked.

“No, Twilight said she went to you.”

“If she did, she never showed herself,” Fluttershy said quietly, voice edged with worry.

"Who never showed themselves?” Twilight asked, appearing in the door to the lab. She wiped some sort of black substance off her brow and glanced around. Her eyes lit up when she laid her eyes on Chica. “Oh! That’s great!”

“But what’s not so great is we’re missing Dashie,” Pinkie Pie commented. She frowned.

“What?” Twilight tilted her head. “She went right for those two. I was with her. She was supposed to meet up with you.”

Applejack sighed. “This ain’t good.”

“Aren’t there beasts in the forest?” Chica intervened. “Perhaps she was, like, attacked or something?” She shrugged her shoulders. “And I really want to know—is Foxy here? Fluffershy and Jackapple said he was here!”

The two mentioned ponies exchanged dark glances. “Jackapple?” hissed the farm pony.

Fluttershy scuffed a hoof against the ground. “At least she remembers the sounds . . . for the most part.”

“Oh dear!” Rarity gasped, “what if Chica is right? We have to help Rainbow Dash.”

“You’re right. And yes, um, Foxy’s here,” Twilight replied. Rarity opened her mouth to say that was not the most pressing issue, but Chica retorted before she could.

“Then can I see him? I want to see him!” Chica exclaimed.

Twilight frowned at her needy attitude. “I’m afraid he’s a bit . . . off right now. Emphasis on the off.”

Chica titled her head. “Um, what do you mean?”

“He’s powered down.”

“But why?!”

“There’s . . . no reason for you to be concerned,” Twilight lied. “He’s perfectly fine. Just tired.”

“Tired? Tired!? He doesn’t get tired! I know Foxy hates to let his power run out, and that’s the only reason he’d be “tired”,” Chica replied angrily. She crossed her arms.

“Well, it’s a bit different here. Just don’t worry. In a few hours, you can see him. It’s probably better to wait until everypony gets here.”

“But that might not happen if we don’t find Rainbow,” Rarity interrupted, finally seeing an opportunity to speak up.

Twilight met the fashionista’s eyes. “You’re right, Rarity. We’ve got to find Dash.” She trotted towards her lab. “I can track all the locaters. As long as she didn’t toss it somewhere, it’ll show her location. Even if it got destroyed, the magical signal will be still be strong enough to trace.” She dashed down the stairs, door swinging idly behind her retreating figure.

“But what about Freddy and Bonnie? They’re still out there!” Chica interjected. She turned to Rarity and Pinkie Pie. “Why were you here? Your friends told me you were all out looking for us.”

“We did find someone,” Pinkie responded. “His name’s Mike.” Rarity nodded in confirmation.

“Mike! He’s here? Is he alright?”

“Out cold, but other than that, yes,” Rarity answered with a small flip of her hoof.

“But the duck’s right,” Applejack said, holding back her smug expression, “what about the other two?” Chica shot her an agitated glance. “If they’re out there, they’ll be easy prey for any passin’ predator.”

“Foxy almost got destroyed by a manticore when he was out there,” Fluttershy reminded them. She shook her head sadly. “This night is such a disaster.”

“You’ve got that right,” Pinkie agreed.

“Verily,” Rarity sniffed. “And it’s already past two. In a few short hours, the sun will rise. If one of them wanders into town, we could be in big trouble.”

Suddenly, Twilight burst in from the lab. In her magical grip was a small device about the size of her head. “Everyone, I’ve got a signal on Rainbow Dash! Fluttershy, Rarity, come with me! Applejack, Pinkie Pie, you two stay here and look after them.” The mares acknowledged their orders and split into two groups. “Come on you two, let’s go find our friend.”

Not Giving Up

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“Alright, we’re nearly into town.”

Apple Bloom’s country-accented voice cut quietly through the still night air. There was a shuffling of movement from their guests in the wagon.

“Thank god,” Freddy growled irritably. “Now hurry up. I’m dying back here.”

“How and why would ya be dyin’?” Apple Bloom retorted in a hiss, sounding annoyed. Secretly, she thought Freddy—his design, that is—was incredibly cute for some reason. To her, he wasn’t menacing at all. And Applejack had gone on just a few times about what they’d experienced. What the specifics were, she had no clue, but her older sister had described him as “evil and a no-good bully with no better thing to do then get angry at others ‘round him” and to Apple Bloom, that didn’t seem close to right. Sure, he was a bit rude and huffy, but rather calm and levelheaded for the most part.

“Because I’m sick of this uncomfortable position and—Bonnie I swear if you jab me with your elbow one more time it’ll be the last thing you ever do!”

“Sorry, I’m not doing it on purpose,” he replied.

“Just watch it.”

“Will you two shut up? I see a few lights on in houses,” Scootaloo said. She glanced around. “At least the library is up ahead.”

“Speaking of that, uh, have we thought about our excuse for this situation?” Sweetie Belle asked, raising an eyebrow.

“There ain’t any way to lie ‘bout it,” Apple Bloom muttered. “We’ll just have to be honest.”

“Great. I’m so looking forward to it,” Scootaloo huffed. “Whatever. At least we’ll probably be involved after this.”

“Hopefully. I still want to meet Foxy. Rarity keeps talking about him,” Sweetie complained. She flicked her tail, swishing it around her body.

“Alright. How should we approach this? Knock?” AB questioned as they came to a halt at the Golden Oaks Library’s sturdy door.

“Duh. I’ll do it,” Scootaloo said. She wigged herself out of the harness and scurried forward the last few steps. She lifted an orange hoof and rapped several times. Movement sounded from inside and whispers heard. After several long moments, the silhouetted face of a certain farm mare became visible as the upper half of the door swung open.

“Howdy?” Applejack greeted hesitantly. “Scootaloo? Apple Bloom? Sweetie Belle? What’re ya fillies doin’ here?” She cocked her head to one side to get a better view of the wagon. “What’s in there?”

“It’s us, sis. We really need to give ya a hand,” Apple Bloom said.

“Why are ya up at this hour?” Applejack narrowed her eyes and opened the full door. She emerged farther from the library. “Ah said Ah’d be home later.”

“AJ, listen! We’ve brought ya very important cargo.”

“What could be so important—?”

“Just let me explain. See, we kinda maybe sorta heard Twilight telling you guys about the ‘others’ and we wanted to help? So we kinda maybe sorta went into the Everfree and found them . . .” Taking that as a cue, Sweetie Belle tugged at the blanket and allowed Applejack to see the two animatronics in the wagon. They sat up, blinking their blue and maroon eyes at her.

“Land sakes!” AJ exclaimed, mouth agape. She immediately faced Apple Bloom with a furious glare. “Why would ya do that?! Ya coulda been hurt!”

“But sis! We saved ‘em from Timber-wolves!”

“Timber-wolves?!” Applejack gasped. “That’s even worse!”

“AJ. There’s more pressin’ issues at hoof! These two need to get inside.” Apple Bloom met her sister’s gaze with a level stare.

Applejack blinked, mouth closing. She nodded. “Right. Thanks, you three. Come on, let’s get these fellers into the library as quick as a jackrabbit.” Apple Bloom smiled in relief and unhooked herself from the wagon. She looked to Freddy and Bonnie.

“Come on. Everythin’s fine,” the yellow filly assured. Without speaking, the two animatronics got themselves out of the wagon and onto their feet. Sweetie Belle took Freddy’s hoof-made crutches and trotted inside. It would be impossible to use them now anyways.

“In ya go,” AJ directed, waving a hoof. She stared at them as they came in, her sister and Scootaloo coming in last.

“Freddy! Bonnie!” Chica cried, racing from a closet where she’d hidden when knocks were heard at the door. She latched onto Freddy, earning a cry of pain as she rudely assaulted him. Immediately she loosened her hold, looking up at him with worry clear on her face. “What happened to you two?” She noticed their ragged appearances.

“Timber-wolves,” Sweetie Belle answered for them.

“Yes, and you’ve just re-aggravated my nearly falling off leg, if you don’t mind letting go now!” Freddy groaned, still in the grasp of his companion. Chica gasped and jumped back. Freddy was unable to hold himself up and fell almost instantly. He landed in a crashing of metal, sighing as he stared at the wooden floor.

“Those would probably be useful now,” Apple Bloom said, signaling with a jerk of her head to the crutches Sweetie held in her hooves.

“Oh, yeah,” the white unicorn said. She let out a nervous laugh and watched as Pinkie Pie appeared out of nowhere to help Freddy to his feet. The pink mare swiped the crutches from Sweetie and handed them over to him.

“There you go, Fredbear!” Pinkie declared with a grin.

“Don’t call me that,” Freddy deadpanned. “Get this annoying pink one away from me.”

Apple Bloom laughed. “It’s alright, Freddy. That’s Pinkie Pie, and my sister over there is Applejack.” She pointed to the orange mare standing off to the side.

“Howdy,” Applejack said evenly. She tipped her Stetson at him.

“I thought you said there’d be more of them,” Freddy said, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, there are,” Pinkie started, “but they went out again to find our fine-feathered friend, Rainbow Dash!” She giggled briefly.

“So what are we supposed to do?” Bonnie asked, confused. “Why are we here?”

“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna brought you all here. It was none ‘a our choices,” AJ stated, “so don’t ask us what the point ‘a ya bein’ here is.”

“Yes, because that’s helpful,” Freddy retorted sarcastically. He moved over to a chair and took a seat.

Applejack narrowed her eyes at him. “Don’t be complainin’ now.” She arched an eyebrow, scrutinizing the pair of crutches by him. “Where’d you get those?”

“Uh, Ah made ‘em,” Apple Bloom admitted, raising a hoof slightly. Applejack turned her head to look at her sister.

“Really? That’s mighty impressive, AB.” She ruffled the filly’s reddish mane.

“Aw, thanks AJ. But it was really nothin’.” She blushed lightly, moving closer to Scootaloo.

“What should we do, then? If the other ponies went to find Rainbow Dash, we’re stuck here,” Sweetie Belle started. “And it’s not like we can fix these guys.” She allowed her eyes to rove up and down the three animatronics.

“We’ll just have to be patient and wait for ‘em to come back,” Applejack said. “Meanwhile, we can just, Ah dunno, play a game.”

“I heard the call of my people!” Pinkie Pie cried, falling off the ceiling and onto AJ’s back. The farm pony let out a loud grunt, limbs splayed out with Pinkie laying on top of her. “I wanna play a game! Applejack, do you want to play a game?”

Applejack pushed the party pony off. “Not very much. Ah think Ah’m content to watch the proceedins.” She stood up and shook herself. “You all do whatever. Ah’m gon’ go check on Foxy. Maybe he’s up now.”

“Can I come with?!” Chica squealed, eyes pleading.

“No. We’re goin’ to listen to Twilight’s suggestion of waitin’ ‘til everyone’s here.” AJ shook her head.

Chica’s shoulders drooped. “Fine.” She turned away. “I hope they get back soon.”

Twilight held up the device. The blue dot signaling Rainbow Dash’s location was getting progressively closer to their group. She glanced around, violet eyes searching the undergrowth for a sign of their brash friend. She could hear Fluttershy and Rarity shuffling behind her, most likely doing the same thing she was. Rarity lit her horn, casting a soft light spell. Her head tilted directly up to look at the dense layer of branches.

“Twilight, darling, I think I see something,” Rarity said evenly. Twilight turned her head, then followed the other unicorn’s gaze upward. In the branches above, many were broken and hanging attached to their spots by only a thin layer of bark.

“A sign of a crash?” Fluttershy asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Most likely, judging by the angle at which many are hanging; if she was crashing, the velocity at which she was would have”—Twilight saw the expressions on her friends’ faces—“I think you’re right about the crash, ‘shy.”

“Well, a negative and a positive,” Rarity commented grimly.

Twilight blew air out her mouth. “You got that right. Come on, let’s see if we can find a crash site. Judging by the angles of the branches, she was going this way.” She started walking forward.

“Or the fact that if she had been going the other way, she’d be going out of the forest.”

“. . . That too.”

Rarity smirked and the trio continued onward. Twilight found her thoughts drifting to Spike, who she hadn’t seen for a majority of the day. She’d sent him to her parents’ house so he wouldn’t get hurt. The situation they’d been in for the weeks Foxy was here weren’t the most pleasant and kid friendly—he was a baby dragon, after all.

“Look,” Fluttershy’s voice broke Twilight out of her thoughts. “I can see where she crashed. There’s mud . . .”

“Everywhere! Ew, don’t let it touch me,” Rarity moaned, backing up. She accidently bumped into the yellow pegasus behind her, causing Fluttershy to give a little squeak.

Twilight smirked slightly before observing the damage. Then she hovered the tracking device closer to her voice. The blue dot blinked several times. Twilight frowned, glancing about.

Where is she? The scanner is showing that the tracker is somewhere around here . . .

Rarity bumped her with her flank. “Twilight, hoof prints. They lead that way before they vanish—presumably when she flew away.” The snowy unicorn pointed at the tracks, which led back in the opposite direction.

Twilight blinked. “Oh, yes, I see them. Good job, Rares. Let’s go.” The three mares followed the tracks and then the trail of destruction that showed them where she’d flew in from. Branches were snapped in half, there were hoof prints on trees, and a final scattering of tracks allowed the mares to see where she’d last been.

“What happened here?” Fluttershy asked, ears pressed to her head. Her teal eyes widened in fright, pupils shrinking to dots. A strange feeling tingled under her skin, making the fur down her spine stand on end.

“I don’t know, but it doesn’t look good,” Twilight muttered. She observed the scene, trying to deduce some sort of answer.

“Goodness me. This most certainly was not a good thing,” Rarity commented, shuddering.

Twilight stalked forward, eyes narrowing at a spot on the ground. It was partially hidden underneath a bush and was shaped rather oddly, almost as if some animal had been injured and limped away . . . The unicorn’s head jerked up, eyes snapping open as a shrill beeping filled the air. She backed away, nearly slamming into Rarity. The device in her magical hold was signaling her of Dash’s location changing.

“Twilight, darling! What’s the matter? What’d you find?” Rarity inquired swiftly.

Twilight stammered a few times. “R-Rainbow Dash! She’s in danger! We’ve got to follow the signal!” Twilight didn’t wait for an answer as she leaped forward, eyes studying the trail. If one looked closely, they could see slight hoof marks, but they were so faint in the grass and dry dirt that is was nearly impossible to spot them. She floated the locater to one side of her head. Rarity and Fluttershy galloped after her.

Doll cast away her doubts and knocked on the door to the manager’s office. She waited politely to hear an answer. When she did, she immediately walked in and was faced with the owner of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza.

Taking a quick breath, Doll began, “Hello. My name’s Doll. I think you know the rest.” She tried to stay calm. The man leaned forward in his chair, fingertips pressed together. He straightened his lips into a line and glanced up at Doll.

“Yes, I do know. And I’m afraid I can’t help you,” was all he replied with.

“You can! You have to tell me what happened to Mike!” Doll yelled frantically, putting her palms face down on his desk. He leaned back slightly, eyes narrowing. “You know what happened to him, and I demand to know as well!” She huffed, crossing her arms. “There was no body found and I highly doubt there was even an investigation in the first place.”

“I can assure you, we had police in here—”

“Then they haven’t done jack squat!” Doll shouted back, cutting him off. “Whoever took all your robots took him too, and I won’t stand by and let it go!”

The man glared at her and stood up, towering over her. Doll took an intimidated step back, fearful. “Look, sweetcheeks,” he started, “I don’t know where anything went. But I don’t have the time nor the patience to have a bunch of moron police in here investigating. I abhor everything they stand for and I am not going to have my reputation ruined by your little boyfriend. If he couldn’t even protect a children’s place, I don’t think he’s worth it, anyhow. I’m sure you could do much better.”

Doll gasped, mouth dropping open. How dare he say that about my Mikey!? “You are a heartless man. I swear, even if it takes the rest of my life, I will find Mike, and I will make sure you rot in jail.” She cast one more cold glance at him as she walked towards the door. “And you’ll find that I’m not a woman to give up easily.”

Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy sprinted as hard as they could. Their limbs burned with exhaustion, from the night’s endeavors and the rest they desperately needed, but they wouldn’t—couldn’t—stop in their race. Rainbow Dash was in trouble and they all knew it.

“She’s just changed directions! Let’s try and cut her off,” Twilight directed. She turned slightly, heading left instead of straight. The mares behind her followed. Twilight pushed harder; they were so close. The dot was getting closer . . .


Twilight tackled down the blue figure. Rainbow Dash collapsed on impact, no resistance at all. She lay like a puppet whose strings had been snipped under the purple unicorn’s body.

“Rainbow?” Fluttershy asked, face already in the other pegasus’. “Twilight, she’s not waking up.”

“I can see that,” Twilight replied, voice thick with worry. She rolled off the pegasus, who still lay still. Carefully, she nudged Rainbow onto her back. Her wings splayed weakly under her, broken feathers scattered across the forest floor. “Dash . . . ?” Twilight set down the tracking device and instead used her magic to lift one of Rainbow’s eyelids up. Instantly, a golden light filled all their visions. Instinct taking over, Twilight threw up a defensive shield around her and the two others. The light seemed to retract and fall back. There, it morphed into a shape.

“What . . . is that!?” Rarity’s voice screeched. Fluttershy’s mouth simply gaped open.

“I . . . I don’t know!” Twilight cried back. The light took a form, coming together as a familiar shape.

“Is that F-Freddy?” Fluttershy finally squeaked. She shrank back, belly scraping the ground. The yellow bear sat limply against the truck of a tree. It stared empty-socketed at them, white pupils gazing at them. The mouth on it hung open, dirty teeth exposed.

“I don’t think so. I-it looks different.”

“I agree. Isn’t Freddy more . . . brown?” Rarity stammered.

Twilight felt frozen under its stare. Thoughts wormed into her skull—what should she do? It had seemingly possessed Rainbow Dash, so it could most likely do it to them as well. Perhaps my magic is keeping it out? Very carefully, Twilight summoned a magical containment. It hovered in front of her face; its shape was cube, magenta energy swirling in a pattern on its outside. The cube was no bigger than her hoof, but it would work. Acting quickly, the unicorn tossed it through her shield and it landed at the bear’s feet. Seemingly confused, it stared down at it . . . only to be sucked in in a brief flash of golden-and-magenta energy. There were collective sighs all around her.

“Thank goodness . . .” Rarity sighed. “What was that?”

Twilight took in a large breath, tired. “A magical containment. New spell I picked up this week. Thought it’d come in handy.”

Fluttershy nodded. “I think it worked.”

“Good.” Twilight stumbled forward a bit. “Come on.”

What am I Even Doing Guys

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“Rainbow Dash, answer me please—your friends are here—and they’re filled with unease.”

“Is she going to be okay?”

“I think yes, but even then, that may be a hasty guess.”

“Wh-what if she’s not okay?! I don’t think I’d—”

“Fluttershy, please do not fret. The end for Dash has not come quite yet . . . look; she stirs in her slumber, so do not let your feelings go asunder.”

Blurry images became apparent as Rainbow opened her eyes. The voices she’d been hearing grew louder, until finally, she’d managed to wake herself from what was similar to a coma. Dash saw Fluttershy, Rarity, Twilight, and Zecora standing around her; looking down on her with worry and for one, complete ease.

“Urrg . . . w-what? What are you all looking at?” the cyan pegasus muttered, attempting to sit up. A sharp stab of pain through her whole body swiftly stopped that action in its tracks, however. She fell back onto the pillow propped under her.

“Rainbow! Thank goodness!” Twilight cried, sighing. “How do you feel?”

“Uh . . . really bad migraine and dizziness . . . that’s about it.”

Zecora shifted in her peripheral vision. “I have concocted a brew; the likes to help you. It should do just fine, to make your head’s pain decline.” She brought forth a flask of liquid, holding it in her hoof. She offered it to Dash. “Take it now. Then share your story of what happened—and how.”

Rainbow tipped the flask back, swallowing the slightly bitter tasting concocting. When she was done, Zecora took it back and set it down. “Well, it started when Twilight and I went our separate ways . . .”

Twilight glared at the magenta cube sitting on the table in front of them; it hovered just off the decorated wood. There was a barely noticeable golden aura to it as well, no doubt the presence of the creature inside.

“What are we supposed to do now?” Fluttershy asked, frowning. “We can’t let that thing out, or else it might do the same thing to somepony else.”

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Twilight said. She got down to its height, eyeing it carefully. “But we should at least try talking to it. I can try and set up some sort of cell for it. Then we’ll decide what the next plan of action is.”

“Alright. We should get to Ponyville as soon as possible. The others are waiting,” Rarity added.

Twilight nodded. “Right. Thank you, Zecora, for all you’ve done.” She tipped her head to the zebra, which was wholeheartedly returned.

“You are very welcome, my pony friends. Just keep in touch, and let us hope this mystery soon ends.”

Applejack heard the door shut behind her as she trotted down the long staircase to the laboratory below. She didn’t even have to look for what she was seeking; it was obvious enough. Padding forward, she made her way to the animatronic fox lying face-down on the table. An arm hung loosely downwards, fingers slightly curled at the ends. His head was turned to one side, eyes closed and eyebrows relaxed. To Applejack, it looked like a death scene—one walking into a hospital, only to find their loved one dead upon the cot, unhooked from the machines which had worked to save their fleeting life.

Well, he looks fine. Twilight sure didn’t say anythin’ was amiss, but that mare keeps more to herself than Big Macintosh.

Applejack came closer and inspected Foxy. A cord ran from an electrical socket to his back, slipping under the panel that was barely lifted on his back. The farm mare glanced casually at it, mouth in a straight line. She tentatively reached a hoof up and pushed the panel up, checking to see how much power he had. She searched for some sort of sign to tell her. Nestled between several clumps of wire was a small LED screen. Applejack squinted her eyes, trying to discern what it said.

“Shoot. How can Twi read this stuff? Ah can barely see anythin’,” she muttered to herself. She sat back on her haunches, unsure of what to do. Looking around, Applejack hummed a little tune. She could hear the other ponies upstairs. Pinkie Pie was giggling like a maniac; that much she was sure of. “Ah guess Ah could try and do somethin’. No use sittin’ here useless.” The orange mare got back to her hooves, and she leaned up to at least attempt to read the screen again. Maybe Ah should get contacts like Big Mac suggested. Applejack sighed and turned back towards the door to head upstairs.

Mike shifted slightly in his sleep. A whispery breath escaped his mouth as he rolled over onto his side. His hand lifted and scratched at an itch behind his ear.

“Awake yet?”

Mike opened his blue eyes to come face-to-face with two large maroon eyes. The security guard let out a very unmanly shriek and flew backwards, toppling off the bed.

“Mike? Did I scare you?” came the familiar voice of Bonnie.

Mike let out a shaky breath and pulled himself off the floor. The animatronic standing on the other side of the bed blinked at him, tilting his head. One of Bonnie’s ears twitched in amusement.

“Maybe a little,” Mike admitted, getting to his feet. He brushed some literal dirt off his shoulders before stopping. “Wait, where are we? I’m covered in dirt.” He looked to Bonnie for answers, an eyebrow raised.

“Oh, um, you remember what happened back at the restaurant right?” Bonnie asked.

Mike hesitated. The memories flooded his mind--the two mysterious yet deadly woman with their swords and then a bright flash of light. That was all. “Yeah, of course I do. But what does that have to do with wherever we are?”

Bonnie nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah, that has every reason to do with why we’re here. Apparently we’re in some sort of different universe filled with ponies called Equestria.”

Mike paused. Then he began to laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh. He tossed his head back as he cackled hysterically. Bonnie watched in a combination of confusion and irritation. When Mike finally simmered down, there were tears in his eyes.

“Heh, y-yeah, BonBon, I believe that. I must be dreaming,” the security guard went on, wiping his eyes. He sauntered around the bed, clutching his stomach.

“I’m not sure what you find so hilarious,” Bonnie said warily, eyeing Mike. “But this isn’t a dream. I don’t dream much, and even when I do, it’s definitely not of stupid security guards.”

“I--hey! That was uncalled for.” Mike frowned. “And anyways, that doesn’t even make any sense. There’s no such thing as a ‘parallel universe.’ Pinch me if I’m wrong.”

. . .

“Ow!” Mike whined and held his arm, rubbing at the spot where Bonnie had pinched him. “You can’t just pinch me!”

“You said to,” Bonnie said, confused.

Mike narrowed his eyes and allowed his arms to fall back at his sides. He knew the robots could tell sarcasm and such--Freddy was the definition of that. But instead of arguing, Mike decided to go down the stairs to his right.

“Anyways, I came to see if you were awake. And you are,” Bonnie continued. “Do you hurt anywhere? The orange pony asked me to check on you. She said there was another pony taking care of you, but she left to find a rainbow pony.”

Mike stared blankly before turning to go downstairs. Bonnie quickly hurried after. Upon reaching the bottom, Mike stopped and stared. Here he was, surrounded by a bunch of ponies. Little and big ones alike, and Chica and Freddy were in there also.

“Howdy! You’re lookin’ fine, so Ah suppose there’s nothing’ to worry ‘bout,” said the orange one. She (as it presumably was) trotted forward, a smile on her face. Mike stared down at her, eyes wide. “Is there somethin’ wrong?”

“Uh . . . Maybe the fact that I am being confronted by a talking equine,” Mike admitted, shrugging.

“Oh, yeah, Ah understand. That was kind of a given, sorry. Ah reckon that’s how the others reacted at first, too.” She kicked a hoof nonchalantly. “Anyways, Ah’m Applejack, that’s Pinkie Pie.” She pointed to a strikingly rose colored mare standing off to the side. Pinkie Pie lifted a hoof and waved vigorously. A bright smile was plastered across her face. Mike waved hesitantly back at her, but still wore a frown. “And the little ones’re my sister, Apple Bloom, and her friends Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle.” The three fillies blinked up at him.

He looked back down at Applejack. “Uh, nice to meet you all . . . I guess. But why am I here? Or we here, I guess.”

Freddy interjected with an angry grunt. “Don’t even bother asking. There’s no reason.”

Applejack cast an angry glance back at Freddy, but he didn’t catch it. “Just ignore ‘im. He’s been grumpy ever since he came back. His leg’s a tad roughed up.” Perplexed, Mike shifted his glance over to the animatronic, who did seem to have something attached to his leg. “Anyways, we just hafta wait ‘til the others get back. There’s no need to worry. They’ll be here soon, I’m sure of it.”

Rainbow Dash stumbled slightly. Fluttershy was instantly pressed closer to her side, teal eyes filled with concern. Dash grunted, twitching an ear.

“’m fine,” she murmured.

“If you’re sure,” Fluttershy whispered quietly back, but staying close. She watched carefully as Rainbow’s head drooped just a little bit more. A sigh escaped her mouth.

Twilight glanced backwards. “The library is right ahead.” She let a small smile onto her face. “Thank goodness, right?” Rarity let out a quiet hum in response, though that was the only acknowledgement Twilight got at all. The violet unicorn’s ears pressed against her head briefly. They were all tired; rest was required. Well, I could cast that spell and refresh us all . . . but the others might object to that.

Twilight found herself at the thick oak door sooner than she thought. The sun was coming up over the horizon, spreading golden rays across the scenery. The violet unicorn looked up at the sight before letting a small smile cross over her face. It shows that no matter what, life goes on . . . heh. I wonder what Spike would say if I said that to him? Twilight chuffed in amusement as she began to push the library door open. Inside, nothing stirred and she wondered if everyone was gone. The lights were off.

“Twilight!” Applejack’s southern voice travelled to their ears first. The orange mare appeared rather suddenly in her face, and Pinkie followed after. The party pony grabbed onto Rainbow, swinging her around in joy.

“Oh, Dashie! I’m so glad you’re alright!” Pinkie Pie cried, squeezing the pegasus.

“Gah—yes, I am, and it’d be—ur—appreciated if you’d let me go,” Dash squeaked, face red. Pinkie released her without another word, still smiling. Rainbow huffed, dropping her neck. She made a curious face at her pink friend and scooted away.

“What happened to ya? Why—”

Twilight silenced Applejack with a small cough. “We can explain all that later. Rainbow is fine. What matters now is the animatronics that are currently scattered across the land.”

“Well, actually . . .”

Twilight tried not to be angry. She really did. The fact that he was hurt helped her calm down, but inside, she could not forget. So here she was, staring at Freddy, who was staring unimpressed right back at her. Bonnie, Chica, and Mike all watched, confused, as the two glared one another down.

“Alright,” Twilight began, finally breaking the awkward silence, “let’s get started, shall we?” She walked coldly around the room, making extra sure to ignore Freddy as she did so.

“With what, exactly?” Mike questioned.

“Ooh, ooh, do we get to see Foxy now?!” Chica exclaimed, pushing past Bonnie. She grinned at Twilight, eyes sparkling. After gathering everyone inside the room (excluding Foxy), they had formally exchanged names and greetings.

Twilight twitched her nose. “. . . I suppose since we’re all here.” Truthfully, she was a bit hesitant. Ever since the, uh, memory incident, Foxy had been twitchy—more than usual, anyways. But he’d been charging, so maybe it was safer now. Though she wished she’d gotten more time to work on a free-roaming solution.

“Awesome!” Chica bounced up and down in excitement.

Twilight nodded, even though worry made her heart heavy. She managed to meet her pony friends’ eyes as she walked—barely slower than her usual pace—past them. Fluttershy’s teal gaze sparkled with unease. The other mares had sympathetic frowns on their faces. Glancing around, Fluttershy decided to join Twilight in her endeavor. As soon as the two mares were through the door, heading down to the lab, she hissed to the unicorn:

“Twilight, what’s happening?”

Twilight bit her lip. “I don’t know if Foxy is safe to be around. It’s night, and he hasn’t been on roaming mode for weeks. He could switch . . . at any moment.”

“But we have the other animatronics. They could probably restrain him,” Fluttershy murmured.

“I don’t know. What if they decide to . . . join him?”

Fluttershy seemed astounded. “They . . . they wouldn’t do that, would they?”

Twilight gazed uncertainly at the animatronic laying unresponsive on the table. “I really don’t know.”

A Case of Extreme Writer's Block

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Hey . . . wake up.

Argg . . . what? I don’t . . .

It’s Twilight, Foxy.

Twilight? Are ye sure—

Shut up, nopony wants to hear you talk.

There was a flash of something going through Foxy’s head, and he didn’t like it one bit. Ye ain’t Twilight.

The voice changed. Of course it’s not. It’s actually Fluttershy. So you can quit complaining.

Fluttershy wouldn’t even talk like that.

I only do it so I don’t trigger your stupid killer mode. You’re so useless, I can’t even stand it. The voice was mocking him.

What’s happenin’ here?!

I said, wake up!

Foxy blinked open his eyes, golden irises rotating in his sockets as they did. The unmistakable figures of Twilight and Fluttershy stood next to him, their blurry outlines the only thing he saw.

“Wake up.” That was Twilight. “Foxy, Foxy~? You in there?”

Foxy’s circuits whirred in response. In a fluid motion, he sat up, ears pricked. He twisted his head to look at the ponies. Their abnormally large eyes stared back at him, blinking soundlessly.

“Hmm, lasses?” the pirate droned, tilting his head. An annoying buzz rattled his circuits, but he ignored it.

“You alright?” Twilight asked with worry in her voice.

“Course.” Foxy looked forward.

“Well, good. Because everyone is upstairs.”

Foxy winced at that.

“It’ll be fine. They—well, Chica, at least—seem excited to see you. Been asking all night,” Fluttershy added, smiling gently. She purposely left out the pronoun in her last statement—honestly, she wasn’t sure if Freddy, or even Bonnie, wanted to see him, but out of all of them, Chica was positively bursting with anticipation.

“Yeah,” Twilight began again, “I’m sure it’ll all be fine. If you feel alright.” Sweat beaded on the back of her neck. This didn’t feel safe.

Foxy stretched out a leg, flexing the toes on the end. He avoided the mares’ gazes for a moment, but tried to hide the nervousness in his voice. “Aye, I’m feelin’ fine.”

Twilight hid her doubtfulness with a nervous smile. “That’s good! That’s good.” She exchanged a quick glance with the creamy coated pegasus next to her. Fluttershy flexed her wings subconsciously. “Anyways, let’s go upstairs, ay? They’ve been waiting all night.” Twilight turned around, muttering under her breath, “literally.” Fluttershy waited a moment to make sure Foxy was coming, and then twisted around, letting him go in front of her. She tilted her head to avoid his twitching tail, blushing as it swatted her in the side of the face. Hearing a quiet ‘sorry’ from the pirate, she murmured, saying nothing in particular, just a faint whisper of a breath.

The door glowed magenta with Twilight’s magic. The energy grasped the wood and pushed it open, light intensifying. Faces watched them—some with trepidation, some with eagerness. Twilight pushed her bad feeling away as she stepped out.


Chica ran forward, her arms outstretched. Foxy winced, quickly trying to turn away, but she was already clinging to him. She picked him up with ease, squeezing him fiercely.

“Oh, Foxy, I’m so glad you’re alright! I thought I’d never see you again and I’m sorry I treated you badly!” Chica spouted rapidly, eyes shut as she wobbled back and forth. Foxy’s arms were pinned against his sides, feet not touching the ground. The pirate looked down at the animatronic holding him securely, an eyebrow raised. Was this really the Chica he’d left?

“Uh, lass, would ye put me down?” Foxy asked casually.

Chica shook her head, a movement he felt against his chest. “Nope. I will never let go. I’ve missed you too much.”

“Geez, Chica, you’re really setting me up for a joke,” Pinkie Pie commented, the strain in her voice making it evident that she was holding back her laughter.

Foxy frowned. “I need ta touch the ground sometime soon.” He attempted to stretch out a leg, but his toes just barely brushed against the library floor.

Chica nuzzled her head into Foxy’s chest, making him blush and wiggle away from her. “Then you’re going to talk to us, alright? You’re not going to run away or be shy or anything,” Chica said firmly.

Foxy rolled his eyes. “Aye, mother.”

Chica smiled, dropping him from her grasp suddenly. Foxy’s feet slipped out from under him, causing him to topple face first into the wooden floor. Chica apologized sheepishly.

Foxy sighed, standing up again. Chica’s beaming smile met his gaze, along with Bonnie’s blank expression and Freddy’s irritated one. Suddenly Foxy felt . . . overwhelmed. He never faced the other animatronics--he'd only see brief glimpses of them individually, and more often than not--if it was after closing but not quite midnight--there'd be a bit of struggle which would end up with Foxy limping back to Pirate’s Cove to try and repair himself. His mind swiftly rejected the memories, but they lingered in the back of his thoughts.

Foxy gazed into their eyes, feeling self-conscious. His circuits burned and he glanced away, nervous tendencies coming to light as he found himself fiddling his hook and hand together.

"So," came Freddy's gruff voice. There was a shuffling of feet (possibly hooves).

Twilight clearing her throat released some of the tension from the room. “If you want to ask any questions, now would be the time.” She sounded hesitant. Foxy glanced back up, shifting awkwardly. Fluttershy, who stood by his side, smiled up at him. She mouthed “It's alright”. He returned it with a slight nod.

Freddy sighed, clearly irritated. “Well, we aren't getting answers for the question, but I would like to know why we’re here. Still.”

Twilight huffed, but Applejack retorted before she could get a word out. “Would ya stop complainin’? We can't answer everthin’, so Ah suggest ya buck up and not whine!” the farm mare said angrily.

“I second that,” Pinkie Pie declared. “It's no fun playing with a party pooper!”

Freddy seemed stunned into silence, blinking rapidly at the harsh reply to his question. He turned away, blowing air out of his nose. Bonnie murmured something to him, and then looked at the ponies.

“If you don't mind, um, ladies, me and Freddy’s power is getting low. I don't know about Chica’s,” Bonnie started, sparing a glance at the female animatronic, who nodded, “and we’d like to charge.”

Twilight looked like she was about to say something, but then blinked and licked her lips with a nod. “Of course; yes,” the violet pony agreed quietly.

Fluttershy stepped forward, looking up at Mike and Freddy. “Sorry for ignoring you. Come with me and I can get you some medical attention, Mike. Freddy, could you follow Twilight down to the lab?” She glanced at Bonnie. “If you would also go with Twilight; Chica too. There are places down there to charge.”

Mike shrugged. “I'm fine, really.” Fluttershy frowned.

“I haven't checked you, and I'm the only one here with a medical degree.”

Twilight’s gaze switched over to the pegasus. “You've got a medical degree?”

“Yeah, DVM: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine,” Rainbow Dash added. “It’s not like she went into her profession unprepared. You need to have one; it’s required.”

Twilight smiled sheepishly. “Eh heh, right. Sorry. Guess I didn't think that she had gotten one . . .”

“It's fine,” Fluttershy replied, “so come and sit down. I'll get a first aid kit.” She led Mike to a seat and flitted off, not bothering with stairs. The security guard sighed, but was somewhat thankful as the headache pounding in his skull threatened to worsen. His limbs felt thick and heavy and he felt like he was about to pass out, even with the large amount of time he’d spent asleep upstairs.

Twilight waited patiently as the animatronics gathered behind her—though they kept their distance. Foxy stood silent and unmoving off to the side, gaze directed at the floor. Twilight bit the inside of her lip, but turned around to go into the basement. Freddy, Bonnie, and Chica followed stiffly. Twilight paused, examining their appearances. Freddy was hardly walking, the makeshift crutches under his arms the only thing supporting his weight—plus his body was littered with small dents—much like Bonnie. Chica looked fine for the most part, if a bit rough around the edges.

Sighing, the unicorn levitated three cords from somewhere behind her. “Sorry about all this. Let’s just get this started, and I can repair you all while you’re resting.” She took a small step forward, only to be stopped by a large brown hand.

“Whoa, I don’t trust this little operation. I’m not turning my back on you, pony,” Freddy retorted, frowning. Twilight blinked up at him, startled.

I should’ve predicted this, I suppose.

Twilight cleared her throat quietly, stepping backwards. “I see.” Her mouth felt dry. “Then I can plug you in. But I want to be of service to you.” Freddy narrowed his eyes at her. She sighed. “Please, let me fix you.”

Freddy opened his mouth to protest, but a metal hand on his shoulder made him pause. Bonnie was frowning. “Freddy, don’t be stubborn. The ponies don’t seem bad. They want to help. Just let Twilight repair us.”

Freddy twitched his nose. “Bonnie . . .”

“Freddy, come on,” Chica urged—though she didn’t exactly care what Freddy said, because she wanted to be relaxed and in working condition. She was fairly sure she had water in her controls, and her safety precautions wouldn’t last much longer.

The bear paused, looking like he was about to argue, but decided not to and scooted over to the work table, taking a seat. He didn’t look happy about it at all. “Fine.” He placed Apple Bloom’s crutches behind him. “But I still don’t trust you ponies.”

Twilight sighed, but knew that this was inevitable. “Thanks, now if you could, have a seat somewhere. I’ll plug you in.”

Fluttershy gripped the little plastic handle in her mouth, descending from the living area upstairs. The first aid kit swung stiffly from her jaws. Her wings beat a soft rhythm as she lowered herself from the air. She landed softly next to Mike, then placed the kit on the side table next to her.

“So, does anything hurt?” Fluttershy inquired casually. Mike sighed, clearly not comfortable with the situation he was currently in.

“I’ve got a headache, I guess,” Mike replied wearily. Truthfully, he didn’t feel like doing this.

Fluttershy nodded, searching through the first aid kit. She grabbed a bottle with her teeth, then lifted a hoof to keep in still while she twisted her head. The white lid popped off and she smiled, dropping a few pills into an outstretched wing.

“Here you go,” Fluttershy prompted. Her wing extended farther up so he could grab the small white pills from the stiff yet soft feathers. Mike hesitated, but then decided why the heck not? and swiped them from her possession.

“Those aspirin or what?” he asked after swallowing them. They actually hadn’t even tasted as gross as ones on Earth.

“Yes. Anything else hurting?”

Mike shook his head. “Nah, other than that, I’m just . . . tired.”

“Me too,” Rainbow Dash commented, stretching like a cat on the floor. She flexed her wings several times.

Applejack nodded wearily, eyes half lidded. “Ah am too.” She glanced over at her sleeping sister and friends. “Ah think Ah’m just gonna tell Twi we’re goin’ home.” She scooped Apple Bloom up from the floor, depositing the yellow filly on her back.

“I can tell Twilight,” Fluttershy said quietly in reply. “Why don’t you all go home? I need to stay in case something happens.”

Dash tilted her head. “You’re going to stay?”

“Yeah, I better. This is all a bit too much for one pony to handle.” The creamy coated pegasus turned to face Rainbow.

The other pegasus shrugged. “Alright. I could use a good twelve hours of sleep after this.” She held out one feathery appendage and high-winged Fluttershy before leaping out a window, Scootaloo on her back. Similarly, Applejack and Rarity collected their sisters and left, and Pinkie Pie with them. The library seemed much emptier.

Twilight heard the gentle flap of wings and glanced over at the lab door. Fluttershy descended gracefully from upstairs, looking worn out.

“What happened?” Twilight asked, lifting up her goggles. Behind her, Freddy grumbled something in response to her stopping in her work.

“Mike fell asleep, and the other girls left. I stayed because I figured you’d need help with . . .” Fluttershy trailed off a bit. “All this.” She glanced around the room.

Twilight nodded carefully. “Thanks, ‘shy. I’m just fixing these guys.” She indicated to the mini blowtorch in her magic by moving it up slightly.

“Oh, okay. Well, if you need anything, I’ll . . . be upstairs.” Fluttershy turned to go back into the library section.

Twilight felt a small smile flicker across her face. Remembering something, she quickly added, “How’s Foxy doing?”

Fluttershy froze. The color seemed to drain from her body. Her eyes wide, pupils small as pinpricks, she turned back to her friend.

“I thought he came back down here with you.”

Okay so I Lied Sue Me

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Twilight sighed, horn lighting up to remove her safety goggles from her head. Purple eyes filled with exhaustion, she gazed at her pegasus friend.

“So you’re saying he’s gone? You didn’t see him at all?”

Fluttershy seemed horrified, one hoof near her mouth as she thought. “I-I, u-uh, I saw him e-earlier—”

Twilight quickly stepped forward and looped a gentle arm around her friend’s shoulders. “I’m not blaming you, ‘shy. I’m just . . . tired. I’m not angry.” She allowed a quick smirk onto her features. “Besides, I wired a tracker into his circuits a few weeks ago. On a whim, I can pull up his signal and follow it.”

Fluttershy wiped her eyes and sniffled. “Really? You—you aren’t mad at me for letting him leave?”

The unicorn shook her head, releasing Fluttershy from her grip. “No, of course not. You didn’t exactly let him leave, anyways. He must’ve snuck out when nopony was paying attention.” Twilight turned around, goggles once again on her head. Freddy sat grumpily on the work table. Bonnie and Chica were already in sleep mode, their minor damages fixed. They were leaning up against the walls, since the lab had only one table (Twilight vowed to add more). “We should probably just let him sulk for a bit. He seemed fairly miffed. I’m sure this whole situation is stressful for him.” Twilight purposely took a long time to fiddle with her blowtorch. “And . . . with all the going-ons lately, I think he might want to be alone.”

Fluttershy nodded, ears tilted backwards. Her eyes were focused on some little detail in the floor. “You’re probably right,” she said shakily.

“Look,” Twilight said, twisting around once more, “why don’t you go and get some sleep? You can use my bed.”

“Oh, no, I couldn’t—”

“I insist. I’ll most likely be down here for a while.” Her violet eyes rolled.

The pegasus glanced away coyly. “If you’re really sure . . .”

“I am.” Twilight slid her goggles over her eyes. “Now, go and take a well-deserved break.” Fluttershy hesitated, part of her wanting to be of some use, but the other screaming at her to please go to bed, she was exhausted. She defiantly ignored it—this wasn’t the first—nor last—time she’d refrained from sleeping. Being a veterinarian was a fulltime job.

Finally, the pegasus turned around and walked slowly up the stairs.

Two brightly shining gold orbs floated over the dark field. No, not floating—they were attached to something. Someone, in fact.

Foxy’s insides felt like they were twisted into sailor’s knots. His anger burned brightly inside of him, causing his eyes to appear fiercer than average. His feet carried him far from the sleepy town of Ponyville, over the various fields stretched miles around the Everfree Forest.

Stupid. Stupid. Why these ponies have ta meddle in everythin’ is beyond me. Foxy hesitated in his next thought, a sadder frown etched across his face. Okay, so maybe I’m over-exaggeratin’ . . . it’s not like I don’t appreciate ‘em helpin’ me or repairin’ me, but . . .

You don’t want them to know your weaknesses?

Foxy sighed audibly, but then stopped in his tracks. Why had he sighed? Right, my problems with these ponies. He resumed his trek.

Oh, come now, Foxy, cling onto that anger! Don’t let it slip away into depression. That’s just no fun.

Why? Not like I care . . .

The voice made a sound of disinterest. I love watching angry rages! So much death~!

If ye are suggestin’ that I’m gonna go on a kill streak, then you’re mistakin’.

No, I’m not exactly suggesting that, but what I am saying is that it’s okay to be angry! Anyone in your position would be. I, for one, am absolutely appalled that they’d risk your safety to bring those monsters here! Are you going to let these deeds go unpunished?

I . . . I dunno. Foxy stopped, realizing he had wandered into the edges of the Everfree Forest. Great.

Come on, let’s get some anger flowing into you! Remember what Freddy did to you?

No, stop talkin’!

Listen to me. They’ve put everything you’ve done at risk by bringing those incompetent saps here. You’re recovering, right? So why put up with it?

Why am I listenin’ ta ye again?

Because I, in essence, am your voice of reason right now. I may not always be the nicest to you, but this time, it’d be in your best interests to do as I say.

Aye, voice ‘a reason, sure.

But it’s true, what I’m saying—you can’t deny it. I am always correct.

Foxy laughed, startling himself. He glanced around at the dank forest, blinking in confusion. What a joke! Ye aren’t anythin’ I need ta be associated with.

The voice chuckled darkly. But Foxy, that day in ’87, remember? The beating your so called “friend” Freddy gave you. If he truly cared about you, would he have done such a thing? Look at yourself—look at how broken you are.

No, no, T-Twilight fixed me—

No! Truly, truly, look. Look at yourself.

Foxy found himself ripped out of his thoughts with a sudden jolt. He couldn’t tell what was happening. Something compelled him to look down. The edges of his vision were blurry, nothing distinguishable, but his main center of vision was fairly sharp. His gaze roamed downwards and he came upon an unpleasant surprise. His endoskeleton shone silver through his red fur, the familiar black hole gaping in his chest. Foxy felt his bare legs, the various holes and rusted spots in his arms, his drooping eyelid; it seemed so real.

Something shifted in front of him.

Foxy lifted his head and saw two white dots staring back at him. The outline of Freddy’s ears and jaw and torso were silver from the moon’s pale light. Foxy gasped, a stab of fear rocketing through him. He flinched away, and a rough call reverberated in his skull:

Foxy, he’s coming to get you! Protect yourself!

A sudden wave of blistering anger raged inside the pirate’s head. His hand closed into a fist, and his arm shot forward. Freddy vanished in a puff of mist upon impact, and Foxy’s fist smashed right through him. His vision cleared up instantly.

Foxy grunted as pain lanced up his arm, leaving an aggravating tingling in his shoulder. Blinking several times in quick succession, the pirate noticed that his fist was planted firmly in the trunk of a tree. It was bent where he’d punched it, a sticky sap already creeping down its wooden stand. Foxy—with a bit of effort—extracted his fist from the trunk, and the upper half of it—above the impact point—fell forward. He swiftly sidestepped, nearly stumbling over the undergrowth. The shattered trunk collapsed less than a second later right where he’d standing.

Foxy sighed, eyes flickering shut a moment. The agony in his arm had already subsided to a dull throb, but he knew it’d be gone in a few minutes. Robots didn’t feel pain long, if at all. Foxy lifted his nearly deadweight arm, trying to twitch his fingers. They barely moved; he probably damaged the wires connecting them to the rest of his arm. The joints that held his fingers in place were dented severely, one bolt even missing; most likely stuck in the tree. Sap also coated some of his hand.

Arg . . . f*#k me. Foxy allowed his arm to drop back down to his side. But what came over me? I can’t seem ta remember . . .

Nothing stirred in the surrounding forest as Foxy gazed about.

Morning came too soon for Fluttershy. It crept up on her like a predator, determined to mess up her whole day. With a not-stifled-at-all whimper, the creamy coated pegasus opened her eyes . . . only to quickly shut them against the blinding sunlight. She growled silently and sat up in not-her-bed. She tossed the comforter away from her body and swung her legs over the edge of the bed. Her mane was mussed and her wings were in disarray. It would be a good idea to have a shower and preen herself today.

Fluttershy dropped onto all fours, stifling a yawn that came back a moment later to assert its dominance. She shuffled towards the stairs, checking to see if Twilight was possibly upstairs. She wasn’t. So Fluttershy traipsed in the direction of the bathroom. She had a quick shower and trotted downstairs, wanting to visit Twilight before she began to preen.

The pegasus pushed open the door to the laboratory. She couldn’t hear movement downstairs. With a glance around, she noticed the three animatronics—all in sleep mode—and a purple lump splayed across the wooden floor. Fluttershy felt a smile worm its way across her face as she heard the gentle snores of her unicorn friend.

As soon as Twilight was snuggled into her own bed, lab equipment disengaged, Fluttershy sat curled up in an armchair. A wing was being carefully attended to. This was a relaxing and necessary practice. Not only did it promote healthy wings, but it was a stress reliever. A bit after starting on her left wing, a low growl sounded from somewhere in the room. Fluttershy lifted her head up, worried. Eyes searching, the pegasus continued with her preening.

“God f*%king d*#mit,” came a clearer annunciation. The light blue capped head of Mike came into view as he sat up on the couch. Fluttershy spat out an errant feather, finished with her task. She’d nearly forgotten about the security guard nestled on the couch.

“Mike?” Fluttershy called softly, approaching him. Mike glanced over, eyes still blurry from sleep.

“Oh, hey, Fluttershy,” he replied, stretching. Several resounding pops echoed throughout the room as he cracked his back. His stomach grumbled a moment later. He smiled sheepishly at the pegasus.

“Hungry?” Fluttershy flashed him a quick smile. “I was going to make breakfast as soon as I was done preening. Come along, you can help me.” She padded towards the kitchen, Mike trailing hungrily behind her.

While preparing lunch, Fluttershy had learned several things about their situation:

1. Mike had a girlfriend named Doll, and he planned to marry her someday.

2. He very much hated his job.

3. He also despised vegetarian food.

Well, Fluttershy didn’t say they were exactly important. But the food part was unfortunate because all they had was vegetarian food—they were ponies, you know.

As of now, Fluttershy was serving up lunch—a cucumber sandwich for her and an egg sandwich for Mike. She set the plates down at the table and took her seat, mouth very practically watering. The two dined in silence for a little while before Mike casually started to make conversation.

“So, uh, any idea how long I’m going to be here?”

Fluttershy paused in her chewing. She swallowed a moment later and glanced up. “Sorry, I really don’t. You would have to ask the princesses for the answer.”

Mike nodded carefully. “And, uh, when am I going to, well, meet the princesses again?” Mike inquired.

“I’m sure it’ll be soon. It’s been—what, two days?—and the princesses wouldn’t just bring you here and abandon us.” Fluttershy took a sip of her tea. “Twilight will probably be getting a letter or perhaps even a random visit within the next day—maybe less. She doesn’t have Spike with her now, and he’s the one that receives the letters. Honestly, I’m not sure what to expect.”

“Yup, that’s helpful.” Mike let his head fall into his hands, where he kept it.

“Come now, it’ll all be fine. I don’t know if you were supposed to end up here anyways. Perhaps the princesses will send you back.”

“Ugh, hopefully.” Mike raised his head. “I don’t like it when Doll worries. I know her, and since she thinks—well, knows, technically—that I’ve been kidnapped, she’ll be either sitting in our bed crying, or trying to do something about it. I don’t want her to stress. She’s already got enough on her plate, what with my whole security job and all.”

Fluttershy nodded, understanding. “I see where you’re going.” She smiled. “Doll sounds like a lucky lady.”

Mike turned red, pulling at the collar of his work uniform with a finger. “Eh heh, thanks. I would disagree.”

“Why? You seem like a caring individual.” The pegasus tilted her head.

“Well, I’m not exactly, like, the easiest person to deal with, you might say . . .” He trailed off, adjusting the hat on his head in embarrassment of being put on the spot.

Deciding not to pry, Fluttershy nodded. “Alright.” Mike seemed relieved at that. “Do you want me to take your plate?”

Mike blinked, looking down at his empty platter. “No, no, I can do it. Why don’t I take yours instead?” He stood up, hand out.

Fluttershy hesitated. “You don’t have to . . .”

“No, I insist.” Mike reached down and took her dishes, walking over to the sink. He placed them in and walked back.

Fluttershy stood up. “So, what do you feel like doing?”

The security guard shrugged. “If I could take a shower, that’d be great.” He lifted up his arm, sniffing. “I could definitely use one.” He wrinkled his nose as he let his arm fall back down.

“Oh, okay! I can do that. Here, just follow me,” Fluttershy instructed, trotting towards the stairs. She led Mike up them and to the bathroom. “Alright, I doubt our showers are difficult to understand. Do you need instruction?”

“No, I’ve got it,” Mike said, eyes roving over the bathroom area.

“Good. I’ll be right downstairs if you need me.” She backed away. “The towels are in that closet there.” She pointed.

“Alright.” He was already unbuttoning his shirt. Fluttershy quickly stepped out and closed the door. She heard the water turn on as she began to fly downstairs. That’s when she stopped, realizing something.

He had clothes on. They looked more than a bit dirty. Maybe I should wash them for him . . .? But would he appreciate that? I don’t want to disturb his privacy . . .

Fluttershy turned back and rapped gently on the door. She stuck her head in, careful not to look up in case he hadn’t pulled the shower curtain closed. She saw his clothes in a pile near the wall.

“Mike, would you object to me washing your clothes?” Fluttershy called quietly. There was no answer, and she assumed he wasn’t listening. Deciding he would most likely appreciate the gesture (or at least when he was done he’d have something clean to wear), she reached out a hoof and tugged the articles of clothing towards her. Bunching them into a neat pile, she closed the door with a wing and flew off.

The first thing Mike noticed getting out of the shower was his clothes were gone. He looked around, confused. Resigning himself with a quiet sigh, he grabbed a towel, wrapped it around his waist, and walked downstairs. He could hear the pony singing in a different room. He followed the sound found her in the kitchen, washing clothes—his clothes—on a washboard.

“Uh, Fluttershy?” Mike inquired. The pegasus ‘eeped’ and nearly fell out of the air. She glanced up, blinking.

“O-oh, Mike,” she squeaked. A blush coated her face. “Sorry, I just wanted to wash your clothes so they’d be clean—”

Mike silenced her with a hand. “It’s fine. But I don’t exactly have anything besides those to wear.” He pointed at the light blue shirt she held in her hooves.

“R-right! I’ll hurry then.” She quickly got to work once again. “You can do whatever ‘til I’m done.”

Mike nodded, exiting the kitchen.

Once Mike was clothed, Fluttershy took a little bit of time to relax. The security guard was reading in the side room. A romantic thing, if she remembered correctly. He’d mentioned wedding plans or something along those lines.

That was when there came a thump from outside.

Fluttershy jolted from her spot on a shelf, wings splayed open. She managed to keep her balance, tottering on the edge. Her heart pounding, she glanced towards the door.

“Hello?” she called, flitting down to the floor. She kept her wings extended in case something dangerous was outside. The pegasus pulled open the door and was quite surprised.

Two police ponies stood outside, a shameful looking Foxy behind them.

“Uh, yes?” Fluttershy stammered, eyes wide.

“Ma’am, you’re the caretaker of this . . .” the mare officer started, “dog?”

“Not a dog,” Foxy growled.

Ignoring him, the pegasus nodded. “Y-yes, I am.”

The stallion officer seemed to inspect her from underneath his sunglasses. “Then you’re aware of leash laws?”

“Leash laws? There’s no leash laws in Ponyville,” Fluttershy retorted, almost upset.

“Uh huh.” The officers pushed Foxy forward. “Keep your pet under control. He was harassing some ponies in the marketplace earlier,” the stallion continued, seemingly oblivious to her reaction.

“Next time, there’ll be a fine,” his partner snapped. They turned, walking away. Fluttershy stared after them for a little longer, blinking. Foxy stood where he was, unsure of what to do.

“Come in,” the pegasus quickly said, breaking out of her trance. Foxy bent down, scooting inside. He held his injured hand away from her eyes as he did so. She cast one more glance at the officers before closing the door.

“Uh, lass, I can explain,” Foxy murmured, seeing the cold look on her face.

“You’re not in trouble,” Fluttershy said in reply, face switching expressions instantly. She blinked at him, eyes searching. “Harassing ponies?”

Foxy frowned. “More like walkin’ through, and ponies started screamin’.”

“It’s not like they haven’t seen you before.” She walked away.

“Where are ye goin’?” Foxy asked, turning his head towards her.

“I saw your hand,” was the reply. Her form ascended the stairs. She disappeared from sight, then a few moments later, he saw her at the top the staircase. “Twilight’s not awake yet, so you’ll have to wait.” She came to stand in front of him again. “Meanwhile, why don’t you tell me what was going on in your head before you left.”


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Fluttershy listened attentively to Foxy as he quietly explained to her what he'd done when he snuck away. She felt bad; if she’d thought more, he wouldn't have run off and gotten himself injured. When asking him about his hand, he replied with he wasn't sure what had come over him, and the next thing he remembered, his fist was stuck in a tree.

“I'm sorry,” Fluttershy murmured, putting a hoof over his hand. Foxy shrugged.

“Ye have nothin’ ta be sorry fer,” Foxy replied. Fluttershy shook her head.

“I should've known you'd feel this way. I wish I could give you some comfort.” The pegasus looked away, eyes shining. “But . . . I don't even know how it's all going to turn out.”

“I . . . It's fine. None ‘a this is your fault. I was jus’ . . . angry. And embarrassed.” Foxy blushed and twitched his tail.

“I understand.” She looked up into his face, for even when sitting, she was still shorter than him. “I just wonder what happened to make you “black out” as you put it.” Foxy shrugged. Fluttershy continued, “Do you think it's because . . . you need to switch into roaming mode?”

Once again, he shrugged.

“Foxy. I'm being serious.”

The pirate let a small whine crawl out of his throat, eyes looking away. “I don't . . . I dunno. Maybe.”

Fluttershy nodded. “. . . I'll talk to Twilight later.”

Twilight yawned. Her fore-hooves stretched out over her head, back legs nearly straight under the dark blue comforter. A few moments of luxurious stretching later, she rolled onto her stomach, blinking fuzzily. She gazed around, surprised to find herself in her room. The last thing she remembered was working in the lab.

Hmm . . . I suppose it’s not unlikely that Fluttershy put me up here. Gee, I wonder what time it is.

Twilight pushed herself up . . . only to find the blanket slipping out from under her. She flopped onto the wooden floor, face smushed against it. Picking her head up, the unicorn glanced around. The clock sitting on her nightstand read 4:17.

“What?! I’ve been sleeping all day!”

She leaped up, scrambling to get downstairs. Her hooves skidded on the wood, tossing her down the steps. She rolled horn over tail, a cry of astonishment making its way out of her throat. Twilight landed in a heap, tail draped over her face at the bottom of the stairs.

“Gosh, Twilight, are you okay?” came the concerned voice of a certain pegasus.

Sighing, the violet unicorn flicked her tail out of her face. “Yes, I’m fine.” Twilight pushed herself onto all fours, shaking her messy head full of hair. “How’s this day gone?” she asked quickly after. Fluttershy blinked, tilting her head with a curious appearance.

“The day’s gone fine. Is something wrong?” she questioned innocently. Twilight shifted slightly, clearing her throat.

“No, nothing’s wrong; I was just wondering. Did, uh, Foxy get back?”

“Oh, yes. He’s in the other room. Why?” Fluttershy gazed silently back at her friend.

Twilight shook her head furiously. “Ugh, never mind. Are any of the other animatronics up yet? What about Mike?”

“Mike woke up. None of the others did. I’m sure they’d appreciate that, however. And before I bother you with anything, I want you to go and tidy yourself up.” The pegasus crinkled her snout. “You look like you need it.” Twilight glanced down at her body, lifting a leg carefully. She could feel sweat and dirt, and her mane felt greasy.

“You’re right. I really feel like a shower.” Twilight smiled at the pegasus. “Thanks for looking after things, ‘shy.” She glanced up at the stairs. “And for bringing me to my bed. Any longer on that floor and I would’ve been stiff as a board.” The duo shared a quick laugh. “I’ll be down soon.”

“Take your time,” Fluttershy called as Twilight trotted up the steps. Suddenly, the unicorn paused, and twisted around. She looked sheepishly at her friend.

“So, you do mind activating the other animatronics for me?” Twilight wondered meekly. Fluttershy stared for a moment before shaking her head, a soft smile on her face. “Oh, good, thanks even more. I really ought to give you something for all your help.”

“No problem, Twilight. I’ll do that now.” With a flick of her tail, Fluttershy turned around and padded towards the laboratory’s door. Twilight vanished upstairs.

Fluttershy continued downwards, taking the longer route of the steps. The animatronics sat where they’d been earlier, eyes closed and bodies limp.

Okay, first, I’ve got to unplug them. Fluttershy trotted over to Bonnie first—he seemed like the least irritating. Chica was . . . hyper, mostly, and Freddy was angry. Well, for now, at least.

Taking the power cord in her teeth, Fluttershy tugged quickly yet gently, the plug popping out. She repeated the step on the other two. Then—back at Bonnie—she searched for the switch to activate him and pushed it into the ‘on’ position. A moment of whirring later, his magenta eyes blinked, ears barely twitching. He sat up a bit more from his position against the wall before looking over to find the pegasus at his side.

“Fluttershy, hello,” the bunny greeted.

“Hi, Bonnie. Feel rested?” she asked.

“Yeah, actually.”

“Good. I’ll just wake the other two; you wait here.” Fluttershy activated Freddy and Chica and stood back a safe distance.

Freddy yawned, exposing the very back of his machinery. Fluttershy very nearly cringed away at the creepy sight, but held still other than an anxious twitch of an ear. Chica sprang up onto her feet with vigor, eyes bright and still slightly moving as they adjusted.

“Great—I was seriously hoping this was some sort of nightmare,” Freddy growled, fingers grasping at something invisible. He seemed to notice this and quickly stopped, though his fingers still twitched with anxiety.

“It did kind of seem like it, huh?” Chica quickly babbled on. “Ooh, do we get to go out and do something today? Instead of sitting here all bored and stuff?”

Fluttershy flinched back at her attitude, not used to someone besides Pinkie Pie doing that.

“U-uh, not as far as I know. Ponyville is barely used to Foxy, even,” the pegasus answered timidly. She tried a quick smile but looked away just as fast.


Continuing, Fluttershy said, “How about we go upstairs, huh?” She smiled weakly and bit the inside of her lip.

"Whatever," Freddy muttered, stalking past her, disdain clear in his movement. Chica followed after and then Bonnie. Fluttershy cringed when they weren't looking; she really wished this was over. After following the animatronics upstairs, they settled in the main room. Foxy was nowhere to be seen; the pegasus sighed.

Chica noticed this as well and frowned. “Where’s Foxy? We barely talked at all last night.”

Fluttershy glanced over at her and replied, “I'm sure he's around here somewhere. Let me go find him.” She shot them a quick smile and dashed off. “Foxy, Foxy. Come out, please? We can't have you running off every two minutes.” She threw open a closet door and found him sitting in a mix of boots, cleaning supplies, and beakers.

“Oh, ahoy,” Foxy responded, embarrassed.

Fluttershy stood there with one hoof holding the door open. “Foxy.”

“Aye, aye, I know. But I don't know if I can face ‘em again.” His muzzle turned downwards and his eyes became half lidded. Fluttershy softened and rubbed his arm in an attempt to comfort his fears.

“I understand,” she said. “But you'll be better off if you work past your doubts.”

Foxy clenched his fist. “But ye know—” He cut off, blinking. “’S not important.” He tilted his shoulder away from her.


“They don't take blame fer what happened to me. It's my fault,” he whispered. The pegasus watched him closely for a moment.

“Are you talking about after the bite?” she asked. Foxy merely shrugged. “Look, I get it. But have no fear—as long as we’re here, nothing bad will ever happen to you.” She paused. “Unless something seriously drastic happens. And I think most of what has happened, was drastic.”

Foxy dipped his head quickly in reply to her words, “True ‘nuff.”

Fluttershy smiled. “There’s no need of fear. Come now—Chica still wants to see you. Why don't you give your old workmates a chance?”

Sighing, the pirate resigned himself to his fate. “Fine.” He pushed himself to his metal feet and ducked under the closet’s doorframe. Fluttershy backed up and waited for him to compose himself before slowly beginning to walk forward.

"It won't be so bad, you'll see,” the pegasus strode forward. Foxy sighed behind her. “We’ll work through your problems.” She swallowed, unknown to him. “No matter how big.”

Foxy stopped as soon as he saw the three another animatronics. He could feel their eyes on him, seeming to examine his every movement.

It was uncomfortable, to say the least.

“Foxy?” Chica asked. “Are you okay?”

“’m fine,” the pirate replied in an undertone. He saw her orange feet in his vision, since he was looking down.

“Come on,” she urged.

“If ye cared so much ‘bout me, why'd ye leave me ta rot in Pirate’s Cove?!” Foxy snarled, his anger boiling over. Chica backed away as he loomed over her, shadow darkening her face. “Don't act like ye care so much! Ye never cared and I don't know why ye bothered ta try and find me!”

“Foxy! Calm down!” Freddy shouted, surprised. Bonnie stood by him, eyes wide.

“No! I won't calm down!”

Foxy, he's going to get you.

Foxy felt his vision blurring, edges becoming fuzzy. Freddy moved in the circle of sight he still had, hand outstretched as if to hit him. Anger surging through him, Foxy opened his jaw and let out a furious roar, then leapt forward.

Twilight nearly jumped out of her skin as she heard screams resounding from downstairs. Her brush falling from her magic grip, the unicorn practically flew down the steps, eyes wide. As soon as she got around the corner, she was met with an unpleasant sight.

“What's happening?!” Twilight exclaimed in disbelief. Fluttershy was on panic mode, trying to avoid being hit. She saw Twilight in the corner of her vision and twisted her head to look.

“Twilight, help me!”

Just Gold

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Twilight watched the scene before her, utterly baffled and terrified. Seeing Foxy completely, downright attack someone was not something she saw everyday, and certainly not in her own house. Horn glowing automatically out of instinct, the unicorn used her magical power to grab Foxy’s body. He seemed to register the fact that he was trying to be picked up, and he turned his head towards Twilight . . . and roared with the ferocity of a manticore. Twilight, of course, was somewhat taken back by this, and flinched away, falling onto her haunches with a light thump. Fluttershy was cowering at this point.

And while the ponies were trying to figure out what was to be done, Freddy was getting broken into pieces by Foxy!

That's when Mike came screeching into the room from the side area, mouth open in disbelief. He quickly plastered himself to the bookshelves surrounding him, not wanting to get too close, but wanting to know what was happening.

“Foxy, get off of him!” Chica screamed, sounding terribly upset. Foxy simply ignored her and continued.

“Foxy—ow—what in the name of—” Freddy’s exclamations were getting shorter and shorter by the second, as Foxy attacked relentlessly, with little break in-between punches. Mostly, Freddy had been shell shocked into silence, not expecting the rampage. And now he was a bit more than overwhelmed. Well, didn't this feel the slightest bit familiar? Freddy struggled to get a leg up to kick Foxy off. He managed to get a foot securely against the fox’s chest and pushed firmly. Foxy was pushed back slightly, but for the most part, seemed unaffected by the counterattack. He instead lashed out harder, hook a sharp blur in the air. It came down towards Freddy’s face and he tried to dodge it, but when you're pressed into the floor, there's not many ways to do that. So Freddy could only roar in pain as the silver hook curved downwards and lodged itself in his left eye, blackening it as the light fizzled out.

“Chica, help me!” Bonnie yelled, surging forward in an act of courage. He grabbed onto Foxy’s arms from behind and tugged. A swift kick soon dislodged the bunny.

Twilight had sat up by this time and was frantically searching for a safe answer to their problem. She tapped her head in rapid intervals. That was when a deep voice sounded in her head:

I can help you.

The unicorn winced and nearly shot to her hooves. She glanced around feverishly.

Let me out, and I can help.

Twilight paused. Her emotions ran through her with a terrible urgency. The golden bear from two nights ago shifted in her mind. She'd totally forgotten about it when she'd begun working with the animatronics.

What . . . are you? Twilight asked back telepathically.

Some call me a freak, others a hallucination. But you may call me Golden Freddy.

What do you want?

Simple, really. Freedom. You seem to have ensnared me in this . . . prison of energy, and no matter how much I try, I am unable to break free.

Why would I do that? You took over Rainbow Dash!

Oh, your little blue friend? Yes, I did. But forgive me, if you will. I showed up in this place with no alert. I simply did what I usually do.

Usually? That doesn't even seem safe.

Oh, it's not. For others. But since I know a bit more about your situation, I'd like to be of some assistance.

You're just going to attack us! Besides, you're in my lab! How are you even aware of what's going on up here?

Dear, how am I able to speak telepathically? These questions are best left for another time, if you want to save Freddy over there without injuring yourself or others.

Twilight glanced over to the battle and grimaced, swallowing. I don't trust you.

You'd be a fool if you did. However, your situation’s going to get worse before it gets better. So if you could allow me to assist you, I'd happily answer any questions you have. I just want my freedom. I promise not to attack someone else when I come out.

. . . How would you help?

As with your little Dash, I am able to control the various animatronics of the restaurant at will. I would force him to back down and then I would leave him after I'd calmed the broken thing. Simple enough, wouldn't you say?

You're sure that'll work?

Dear, I'm sure. Do we have a deal?

I . . . fine. But the minute you get out, I'm casting a spell on you.

Ugh, fine. But whatever. Release me, and I shall do as you wish.

Twilight spared a quick glance at the battle—which was going no better—and hesitated slightly before racing down the stairs. She found the magenta cube, swirling with golden power on the inside, and teleported back upstairs. Her magic opened the cube, the top sliding open like a miniature door. The vortex of gold rushed out like a sandstorm, spreading across the floor. It took the shape of a bear and sprang forward, seeping into Foxy’s limbs and curling around like smoke. Once no more remained on the outside, the pirate’s eyes shone with a more intense golden light. He suddenly stopped moving, going rigid. A brief struggle of power seemed to occur, as his eyes would flash between darker and lighter, until the lighter appeared to have won. Foxy was wrenched away, as if invisible arms were yanking him back. He took a few stiff steps backwards. Once he was away, Chica and Bonnie rushed down to Freddy, who looked quite beaten on. They sat him up.

“Foxy?” Twilight called softly. She approached his rigid figure. He stared ahead without seeing.

“W-what happened?” she heard Fluttershy choke out. The pegasus appeared next to her. Twilight briefly explained, though she could tell Fluttershy didn't like her answer. She just nodded tersely and watched Foxy with large eyes instead. Suddenly, the pirate collapsed like a rag doll. The golden energy was cast out, floating in twisting tendrils around the ponies. Twilight lit her horn, preparing a spell. The gold materialized into the shape of an animatronic once again. As soon as Golden Freddy was a solid, he fell backwards, chest heaving.

“Whoa, whoa, what's happened?” Twilight asked, startled.

Golden Freddy shook his head, broken ear flopping as he choked out, “There was . . . something in there with him. Something! I barely overwhelmed it.”

Twilight exchanged a worried glance with the pegasus next her her. She allowed the shell of magic around her horn to die out, but kept the spell right at the forefront of her mind in case she needed it. She wasn't sure if he was faking, but the struggle between forces hadn't seemed faux.

“What . . . what was it?” she asked hesitantly.

Golden Freddy growled, glancing up, “I just said, I don't know what it was!” His black eyes closed and he let his head fall back against the wall with a dull thump.

“Do you know if Foxy’s going to be okay?”

“He should. But while I did manage to expel the dark force within him for a moment while I held him back, I do not know how long I did it for. For all we know, it’s already taking control of him once again.”

Twilight glanced towards the limp body of Foxy. “This isn’t how I envisioned this day going.” She let her head droop.

“Are you okay?” Fluttershy asked, looking at the yellow animatronic sitting there.

“Me? Oh, why thank you for caring, but I’m fine,” Golden Freddy responded. He blinked pitch black eyes at her.

"O-okay, that’s good.”

“You seem nervous, my dear. Relax. I’m not going to hurt you.”

“You certainly didn’t hold back when you attacked Rainbow Dash.”

“As I said to Twilight over there, I was put in a strange world with no explanation. I acted on instinct.”

“That’s some instinct.”

“Can we get some help over here?” came Bonnie’s voice. The three beings glanced over in unison. Twilight quickly hopped to it and trotted forward.

“Alright, what hurts?” she asked Freddy. He glowered up with his good eye, the other black. There were various scratches and dings in his metal, along with a good sized indentation on his chest, but other than that, he wasn’t too badly banged up. At least there hadn’t been any throwing around.

“Uh, right. Come on, Freddy, let’s go fix you,” Twilight said, stepping back so he could stand up. “Again.”

“Hello,” Mike said to Fluttershy. The pegasus was sitting outside in a patch of flowers. It was a day later, and she’d decided later the previous one she wanted a break from the drama and fear. Accepting her answer, Twilight had asked if she’d take Mike with her, so he wouldn’t have to be cooped up with the animatronics and her. She’d agreed. Now, the creamy coated pegasus was alone in her garden as the sun went down.

“Hi, Mike. Sorry for leaving you on your own in there with the animals, but I had to get away,” Fluttershy replied, sounding weary.

“Nah, it’s fine. You’ve seemed sad the last day, so I came out here to ask if you wanted to talk about it?”

Fluttershy swiveled her head, finally looking at him. “Oh, there’s nothing wrong. I’m just . . .”

“Come on, I can see you’re pretty sick of this whole situation. If I could go home and not come back, I would. Just to not cause you ponies as much grief.”

She sighed, “It’s just . . . I wish I could help Foxy, but every time we resolve an issue, another pops up.” She closed her eyes and frowned, eyebrows pressing together. “I don’t know what to do.”

“I see.”

“Anyways, before I bore you, I should tell you I’m going to ask Twilight to send a letter to the princesses. I know that you miss Doll.”

Mike brightened up slightly. “That’d be great.” He was hesitant to touch her, but he patted her head like he would a dog. She gave him an odd glance, but continued looking forward a moment later. Awkward, Mike stood up and turned towards the small cottage.

“Goodnight, Mike.”

Twilight frustratingly paced her study. She didn’t know what to think. What did Golden Freddy mean when he was battling for a spot in Foxy’s mind? She glanced towards the cage off to the side. It was composed of magic, and stood a little taller and wider than the animatronic inside of it. He’d been aggravated with her, but didn’t have much of a choice as the cage was materialized around him. After rattling the bars several times and snarling at her, he’d given up and sat down. His black eyes were closed and he sat there limply, looking much like an empty suit.

Twilight slunk forward, eyes scanning the animatronic. He was a bit rough around the edges. Frayed wires and scraped metal. Dull sheen to him. She’d never heard Foxy mention him—that was odd. She rubbed her chin in contemplation, then turned around and trotted to her desk. Her horn lit up and a scroll and quill were arranged in the proper place. She dipped the quill into the ink sitting in the corner and began writing.

Dear Princess Celestia,

We really need your help. I thought you’d be here already, and I don’t mean to rush you, but there’s something seriously wrong with Foxy. Golden Freddy—he’s another one of the animatronics, if you didn't know. He can use telepathy . . . I don't know how, but he can. Anyways, he offered to help after I, well, caught him and he went into Foxy to make him stop . . . beating up Freddy. After he came out, he said there was something else in Foxy’s head! I'm not lying. However, I can't say Golden Freddy isn't. But I request your audience, princess.

Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle

Celestia frowned at the letter. Had it really been three days already? Maybe she shouldn't have turned off her internal alarm clock. She rolled out of her bed with all the grace of a celestial being and brushed her flowing mane. After she put on her royal attire, she settled down at her desk and wrote a reply.

Twilight’s face broke into a smile as she waited in eagerness—yet anticipation—for her mentor to arrive. Princess Luna would also be there, as usual. Fluttershy was not with her, however. The pegasus really needed a break from all this, so Twilight was happy to oblige. Once the princesses arrived, she would bring them inside to the other cage in which Foxy was stuck for a while. He hadn't been conscious during that process, and had barely woken up earlier. His eyes would flicker and buzz and Twilight was worried that Golden Freddy had actually done more harm than good, but theorized it was most likely a side effect of being taken control of, and it would go away soon enough.

“Twilight, my faithful student,” Celestia’s greeting voice rang out like a bell as her chariot descended. Twilight smiled at the alicorns.

“Greetings, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna announced.

“Princesses,” Twilight said, bowing slightly. She trotted forward and received a quick nuzzle from her mentor.

“I apologize for the long wait. I've . . . been preoccupied. Luna has been running things,” Celestia said, casting a somewhat embarrassed glance back at the darker alicorn. Luna frowned, an eyebrow raised. “And since I'm the only one with a connection to you, she couldn't send you a letter,” she continued. “She did not want to go without me with her, you see.”

“Oh, that's okay,” Twilight said.

“I have a question, however: how did you send me a letter without Spike?”

“Oh! I just recalibrated the magical signature.” Twilight beamed. “Anyways, princess, may I explain to you what's happened?”

The two alicorns nodded.

Golden Freddy listened quietly as the little purple mare led two beings into the library. He could sense their presence, and their power. If he could get into one of them . . .

No, you're not supposed to be difficult. Or else you won't get let out. And boy, did he want to be let out. It sucked in his cage. It was small and restrained his energy.

“Let us go meet this ‘Golden Freddy’,” he heard the smaller one say.

“Yes, we need to see what he knows about this ‘presence’ inside of Foxy,” the larger one agreed. Golden Freddy frowned. They only wanted to know what he knew of the . . . whatever it was? Huh, surprising.

“Of course, he's right up here,” Twilight Sparkle said. She was leading the two powerful beings up the stairs. He really wondered what they looked like, but he couldn’t reach out with his consciousness because of his accursed entrapment! Golden Freddy resisted the urge to rattle his cage bars and instead played dead, falling backwards oh so softly, limbs going limp. His eyes closed, but he continued to listen in silence.

"Here he is,” Twilight announced.

“Oh my. I have never seen this one before,” the most powerful being in the room murmured.

“Neither have I. Not even when I went to their world alone did I see it . . . nor did I sense it,” the less powerful one said.

“And you can stop pretending, you know. We aren't going to hurt you.” Golden Freddy’s circuits blossomed into life, and his eyes snapped open at the powerful one’s request. How did she know? He met their gazes, and studied them carefully. They were equine in nature, of course, but were larger and more graceful, with wings and horns, unlike the others. Their manes whirled with eternal life.

“Greetings, Golden Freddy. I am Princess Luna and this is my sister, Princess Celestia,” the blue one declared.

“Pleasure to meet you,” Celestia said.

Golden Freddy couldn't help but stare for a few more seconds. He then smirked, dissipating into a cloud of energy that whirled up to take his form standing. Now he was about level with them, but the elder one was still taller than he.

“What kind of devilry is this?” Luna snorted, glaring at him.

“I'm afraid I don't know what you are talking about,” Golden Freddy responded icily, a mean spirited grin on his face. The next thing he knew, his head was smashed into the magical cage bars. Golden Freddy tried to prevent the needles of pain from stabbing through his circuits, and the results showed on his face as one eye closed in effort. He was shaking his head when the blue one began speaking again.

“Show us no haughtiness, trickster creature,” Luna continued, much to his chagrin. He looked up, eyebrows pointed downward.

“Luna, please don't repeat that action,” Celestia said, placing a hoof on the younger’s shoulder. “But she is correct; you should not treat us with disrespect. We are merely here to talk with you. We need to know what it is you found inside of Foxy’s mind.”

Golden Freddy paused, glancing slowly between the princesses. He contemplated his next move. “And why should I?”

“It will result in your freedom from this cage,” Luna responded, “and I have much reason to think you do not enjoy it in there.” She raised an eyebrow at him—almost mockingly—and his circuits tightened in anger. But it was true—he despised it in there.

“Okay, you've got me there. But I've no clue what it was inside of his mind—though the poor creature doesn't really have a good one, so it could've been a bug for all I know.”

“You know as well as I do that is not what it was.”

“Golden Freddy, we need your assistance if we are to pull this off,” Celestia spoke again.

“In what?” he hissed back.

“We must go back into Foxy’s mind and identify what has taken over his body—and apparently has done so more than once. You can pull us in without us having to cast a spell. You could lead us where we need to go.”

Golden Freddy raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Seriously? And you think I'll just do whatever you say?” An energy suddenly enveloped his body and he looked down—well, tried to, at least. He couldn't seem to move at all.

His eyes could, however, and he looked up at the ponies. Luna’s horn was glowing. He felt the pressure intense and heard metal groaning. Or maybe it was his vocal components that were.

“Creature, we are offering you a chance at getting out of there. And to help us. You had better make the right decision,” Luna said in a low voice.

“Luna!” Celestia barked.

“No, I shall not release him—not until we get an answer.”

Golden Freddy fought to keep down the overwhelming sense of pain that was working up and down his endoskeleton. “F-fine, I'll do it. If not to make you release me!” The magical presence faded away abruptly and he fell backwards, clinging to the cage. He glowered at the princess.

“Good. Now, let us not wait another moment. Let’s go fetch Foxy, shall we?”

Mechanical Instinct

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Twilight paused, eyes shifting from one corner of the room to the next, then stammered, “Wait—do you want me to go get Foxy, or—”

Princess Celestia smiled slightly at her student’s questioning demeanor, then replied, “I’m going to assume he’s not very active at this moment?”

“Uh, that’d be negative.” She shook her head. “He’s kind of . . . delusional, I’d say.”

“Oh, in that case, I say we had better bring Golden Freddy down to Foxy.”

Twilight nodded immediately and looked to the animatronic. He met her gaze. Her horn lit up and the cage began to shrink. Golden Freddy frowned as he looked up at the contracting prison. Less than a moment later, he was a mass of energy and the small magenta cube was sitting on the wooden floor. Princess Celestia smiled, using her magic to pick up the cube.

“Very good. Is this a new spell?” the celestial being inquired.

“Um, if by new spell you mean one I learned about, then yes,” the violet unicorn replied.

“Very interesting. Keep up the good work,” Princess Luna commented with a quick glance at her sister.

“Let’s go. We have business to attend to,” Celestia said, horn’s light flaring and teleporting them downstairs. In a corner of the laboratory sat a somewhat larger cage that contained the pirate inside its bars. The other animatronics were sitting in a different section—deactivated, of course.

“So, how is this going to work, princess?” Twilight asked, gazing up at her mentor.

“First, we’ll release Golden Freddy. He’ll go into Foxy and then, when he has established a good connection, he will pull Luna and me in,” the white alicorn explained. She held the magenta cube up to her path of vision. “Did you get that in there?” There was a brief lull in the conversation, and a moment later, a low voice resounded angrily in their heads:

Yes, I got that. Just let me out now.

“Don’t be snippy. Twilight will open it as soon as she deems fit,” Celestia chided. She could sense his displeasure roiling through her mind. An eyebrow rose at her student. “Ready?”

Twilight blinked, then nodded. “I am,” she responded with determination. Her horn began to glow and the top of the cube once again slid open. The coiled light that was Golden Freddy emerged and swirled around the ponies’ hooves before slinking towards Foxy’s sedated form. He submerged into his circuits. A few moments later, Foxy’s body stiffened—then abruptly released. He sank farther into the floor. The mares watched this for several seconds. Then, Golden Freddy’s voice came again:

Alright, it seems to be quiet in here, though I can sense the presence. Shall I pull you in now?

Yes, you can.

It is just you two? Not the little purple one, correct?

Celestia nodded physically in response to his question. Correct. Are you ready?

Please, I was born ready. You, however, should prepare yourselves. It might be a bumpy ride; I’ve never done this before.

Of course. Take your time; I do not wish to be obliterated trying to get in when we can easily get into his head with a spell.

Golden Freddy sighed in frustration. Then why am I doing this?

Take us in, trickster. Do not waste anymore of our time. That was Luna.

Calm yourself, dear. It’s not my fault I’m edgy. Golden Freddy’s consciousness retreated from their minds and instead seemed to constrict the two princesses. Twilight watched the process from their sides, purple eyes wide and somewhat fearful.

Celestia and Luna became translucent, the extensive amounts of magic flowing through their bodies pulsating in time to their heartbeats. Twilight had the feeling that was exactly what hers looked like, and she refrained from lifting a hoof to see if she could see the energy pulsing under her skin. Next, the two princesses began to dissolve into a sort of mist—much like Golden Freddy’s own. Celestia was a swirl of flames and Luna a cloud of stars. Hers reminded Twilight like a nebula in space. Then, as if sucked by a vacuum, the energies went towards Foxy. They dissipated into his limbs and there was not a sign of them afterwards.

Golden Freddy glanced around. He recognized this as one of the many junctions inside one’s mind. There were four hallways leading away from the small center. He very carefully examined each one and deciphered which one the dark energy was lurking down. He and the two princesses would have to follow its signature swiftly—lest it realize they were after it—but also be cautious about it. The darkness most likely knew this place better than them, for who knew how long it’d been inside Foxy’s head.

He could now sense the princesses taking physical forms behind him—that was a generous thing to call them here. Golden Freddy twisted around and faced them.

“Greetings again, Freddy of Gold,” Luna stated formally, dipping her head.

“I rather like that: Freddy of Gold,” the animatronic replied with a slightly cocky air. “However, that would take much too long to say, and even though they are of the same syllables, it just does not work.” He shook his head. “No, we must go at once, before the evil presence slips away, or worse—locates us first and launches the first attack.”

“I agree. Have you traced its location?” Celestia inquired formally. Golden Freddy twisted his head to look down the second hallway.

“Follow me, ladies, and I can assure you, we will find whatever’s haunting poor little Foxy here.”

“After you,” Celestia offered, sweeping a hoof in that direction.

“Of course.” Golden Freddy smirked and turned away, walking confidently down the dim hallway of Foxy’s mind. Celestia and Luna followed after him, keeping an appropriate amount of space between them.

Foxy moaned in pain, bleary eyes flickering open. His sight wandered back and forth from one corner of the room to another. It took a moment for him to realize he was in a cage. He tried to sit up, but could practically hear his joints protesting defiantly at this simple action. Something felt . . . off. He willed himself to move, but still couldn’t. That’s when the familiar purple unicorn appeared in front of him.

“Foxy! You’re actually awake!” Twilight exclaimed with surprise clear in her voice.

His vocal components barely worked, but he managed to choke out, “Aye—what ‘appened?”

Twilight clearly hesitated. Then, deciding it was not worth the trouble to keep the information from him, explained what had occurred in the past several days.

“This is just getting ridiculous,” Luna muttered from the back. The three beings were stuck in a room that had no doors—previously, they’d been chased by a large dog creature.

“It wasn’t ridiculous at the dog?” Celestia asked, quirking an eyebrow.

“That was somewhat justifiable. This”—Luna gestured around the no-door room—“this is unnecessary.”

Golden Freddy, while they were talking, was examining the walls. There definitely didn’t seem like there was any sort of exit. However, there was always a way . . . even if it meant a bit of self-sacrifice in the process. The animatronic braced himself and backed away, trying to make himself as large as possible. He broadened his shoulders, set a grim frown on his face, and charged.

“Oh! Goldie, what in the name of the sun?” Celestia’s startled voice rang out as a large hole appeared in the wall. She and Luna rushed over, eyes wide. Golden Freddy sat up, confused. He thought that would hurt. But no—the walls caved in like paper, surprisingly enough. He got to his feet.

“Dear—don’t call me that,” the animatronic said, dusting himself off.

“What, Goldie? I don’t know, I kind of like it,” Luna commented with a shrug of her shoulders. “It’s shorter.”

Sighing, Golden Freddy rubbed his head. “Just . . . no. Come on, let’s go. I can feel the dark presence getting closer.” He set off once again. The princesses seemed somewhat frustrated, but didn’t say anything. The end of the hallway came much sooner than it looked. The three entered the final room—Golden Freddy’s circuits tingled. A dark shape stood in the middle of the room. The door behind them snapped closed. Behind him, Luna gasped.

“The Nightmare!”

The dark shape spun around, two white eyes glowing intensely. A mouth opened and revealed sharpened teeth that glimmered as it smiled. The darkness was more of an indistinguishable shape, but as the three took in more, it formed into the shape of Foxy—a larger, more strongly built Foxy.

“Right you are, princess! I am the Nightmare!” ‘Foxy’ cried in a demonic roar. The three beings didn’t flinch. “Oh, hello, Gold One,” he greeted. (Let’s call him Nightfox, for the sake of this being much easier on me.) “You seemed to have gotten rid of me for a little while. How very interesting. You’re not even very big.” Nightfox smirked, two long and sharp canines poking out over his bottom lip.

“Please,” Golden Freddy remarked, glaring with black eyes at the Nightmare, “it was just pure talent. I could do it again.”

“Oh, really? I’d like to see that.” Nightfox grinned maliciously, putting his hands—yes, hands (he is supposed to be better than Foxy)—on his hips.

Golden Freddy balled his hands into fists and jabbed several punches at the air, bouncing side to side on his feet. “Bring it, Nighty!”

Fluttershy rapped gently at the door to the Golden Oaks Library. She waited patiently for an answer. The purple mare opened the door a few moments later.

“Oh, hi, ‘shy!” Twilight greeted, looking just a little perplexed. “I didn't expect to see you here.”

“Sorry I've left you alone. I needed a break . . . I just came over to see if you could write a letter to Princess Celestia about Mike? He really wants to go home, and I agree he should at least leave,” Fluttershy explained.

“Oh, uh, yeah. I'll definitely tell her that. I'm sure . . . I'm sure she'll agree.” Twilight shot her friend a reassuring smile.

Feeling something was off, Fluttershy quirked an eyebrow. “Twilight, are you feeling okay?”

“Of course! Of course!” the unicorn declared. “Don't you worry about anything! I will most definitely write to the princess and request that Mike be sent back!” She grabbed the door and gave Fluttershy a rushed smile before slamming the door in her face.

The Nightmare struck with amazing force, as Golden Freddy found out. Last time he'd fought this thing, it'd been spur of the moment, with no physical—or as physical as one could get inside another’s head—elements, just his force against the Nighmare’s. No, there just had to be physical contact this time!

Golden Freddy exploded into a cloud of energy, surrounding Nightfox’s body and tried to wrestle his way inside to see if he could control him. Unfortunately, the Nightmare could also do this, and soon the two energies were just a writhing mass of color. They broke apart and Golden Freddy rematerialized his head and torso; the rest of him light. Nightfox didn't waste time with this and became whole once again, and nearly matched Golden Freddy’s height even as he hovered in air.

“You are quite interesting,” Nightfox commented, a sly grin on his face.

“It just happens to be one of my specialties,” the animatronic replied snarkily.

“I'm stronger than you. I gain more power every moment I'm in here, feeding off Foxy’s anger and resentment!”

Golden Freddy waved a hand in nonchalance. “Please, don't flatter yourself.” He rolled his white pupils and caught the movement of the two princess’ as he did so. He quickly made eye contact with Nightfox again. “And seriously, why take over a robot? I don't know much about you, but I can already tell your standards could use some improvement. All I see is a coward, preying on defenseless beings.”

The Nightmare’s eyes exploded with white light, anger boiling inside of him. “You know not what you say! I am the destroyer of worlds, peasant! All I see before me is a broken, meaningless, forgotten piece of robotic trash!”

Golden Freddy sighed. “You should control your temper, dear.” He idly examined his nonexistent fingernails. “Besides,” he resumed in a cheerful manner, “isn't that why you picked Foxy?”

Nightfox raised an eyebrow and smirked. “Harsh.”

“Thank you, it's what I'm here for.”

“Enough chitchat! Now, you die.”

“Mm, no. I actually think that's their cue.”

Celestia and Luna combined their magic and sent the ever-growing blast at the Nightmare. The beam of yellow and blue nearly blinded Golden Freddy and he quickly transformed wholly into a cloud of energy, ducking down. The Nightmare was screaming in pain as he was bombarded with the harmonic magic. Celestia and Luna hovered in the air, eyes focused in on their target as their magic took its toll. Finally, the crying out stopped and they released their magic.

A blast of darkness pounded into the three beings and they all crashed into the far wall. Golden Freddy was forced out of his gaseous form and now lay halfway on top of Luna.

“FOOLS! YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD BEST ME WITH YOUR SIMPLE MAGIC! PREPARE TO DIE!” Nightfox screeched, now twice as large and hands glowing with black magic.

Golden Freddy had to react quickly—

Twilight stared as Foxy abruptly stopped talking. His eyes froze and even the quiet hum of his circuits could no longer be heard. The unicorn subconsciously backed up. Suddenly, three shots of light were cast out. Twilight screamed, leaping back. It was then that Foxy began to grow.

Princess Celestia, holding an unconscious Luna, looked over to her student with fear filled eyes. “Twilight, the Elements!”

It's Me

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Twilight, shocked, could only watch as the cage containing Foxy shattered into hundreds of pieces, breaking as if only made of glass. His eyes turned white, body twisting in unnatural ways. Metal cracked and splintered as he changed. His voice came out strained and sounding as if he was being ripped apart.

“Twilight!” Princess Celestia’s voice reached near-cracking levels. Twilight’s head yanked back to her mentor. “Gather the other Elements! We need to get them from Canterlot!” The little unicorn could only nod shakily and sprinted upstairs, horn ablaze in a fire of sparkling magenta light. She vanished in a small blast of light. Meanwhile, Celestia turned to face the Nightmare—who was quickly finishing its gruesome transformation. Luna lay unmoving in her arms. Golden Freddy was nowhere to be seen. She could only assume he didn’t make it, as she didn’t see him exit. Perhaps he threw them out at the last moment? She was about to take off, when her gaze flicked to the deactivated animatronics in the adjacent corner. That was when Luna burst into life. She gasped several times.

“Dear, it’s me!” the lunar sovereign cried out, sitting up straight.

“Golden Freddy!” Celestia exclaimed, taken back. She released the alicorn.

“Yes! Come on, we haven’t got all day!” Golden—Luna, Freddy, she didn’t know what to call him/her—sprang up, stumbling somewhat. Their voice coming out of Luna’s mouth was a mix between the two entities, creating a strange tone. She/he twisted their head slightly and Celestia nearly recoiled—black eyes with white pupils stared back at her.

Throwing off the distraction and without another thought, Celestia’s magic gathered the other animatronics so they wouldn’t be left here in the Nightmare’s wrath. She transferred their bodies into a small device located within the gem of her necklace. Golden Luna turned and fired a blast from their horn, the magic looking like a mix between their respective colors. Then, horn glowing brilliantly, Celestia added to the spell, hopefully slowing down the creature somewhat. The two alicorns vanished in a twinkle a moment later.

Celestia’s wings pounded against the air. Golden Luna fell almost immediately, not sure how to work wings at first. They quickly regained altitude, large blue wings pumping rapidly. The two alicorns met eyes.

“So, what’s the plan, dear?” they asked, raising an eyebrow.

“We have to get the Elements of Harmony from Canterlot. But I can’t leave Twilight and her friends here, nor can I leave the Nightmare here. It could destroy Ponyville,” Celestia responded, sharp eyes scanning for her student from where the two flew high up in the atmosphere, nearly on the verge of space.

“Canterlot? That’s the city on the . . .” They trailed off, seemingly trying to figure out the correct word, “. . . Big rock, yes?”

Celestia blinked in confusion before recalling that Golden Freddy most likely didn’t have the largest vocabulary, as with the other animatronics. He could, however, probably pull information from the minds of the creatures he takes over. That was the reason he knew where Canterlot was, but must’ve been unable to track down the word ‘mountain’ inside her sister’s head.

“Yes, on the side of the mountain,” the solar goddess replied. “And I must ask—is Luna in there with you?”

Golden Luna nodded. “Of course. Though she’s been knocked out of it, so I’ve inhibited her useless body. She does make for a nice magic power, however.” They tapped on their horn.

“Is she going to wake up anytime soon? Can’t you do that?”

“No, she’ll be out for another . . . fifteen minutes, I’d say. I can’t wake her up—that’d disturb the balance. I could really affect her head, you know.” Golden Luna cocked their head. “This mind stuff is very unappealing in some instances, wouldn’t you say?”

“Fifteen minutes!” Celestia exclaimed, eyes widening. She completely ignored their snarky comments and continued. “We don’t have two minutes! We need the Elements of Harmony!”

Golden Luna paused, then a small grin worked its way over their face. “Well, why doesn’t one of us go retrieve the Elements, and the other will go find those six mares?”

Celestia’s wingbeats faltered for a brief moment. “I can’t trust you, especially when you are in my sister’s mind and body.”

“But you trusted me enough to allow me to bring you into Foxy’s mind?” Golden Luna countered.

“Well, yes, but that was under different and less dire circumstances.”

“How is this any different? Come on, we could save so much time, dear! And maybe lives! I don’t know what this Nightmare wants to do with your ponies! I wasn’t in its head.”

Celestia hesitated. It was true—she could lose her subjects, and that had happened enough when Luna was overtaken by the Nightmare. If she had to protect the Elements and get the Element-Elements—there was no way she could avoid something terrible from happening. And they certainly couldn’t leave the Nightmare alone in Ponyville!

The solar sovereign sighed, “Fine. But if you backstab me, prepare yourself to be blasted with the Elements as well.” She jabbed a hoof at him. “Promise me you’ll not make me do that.”

Golden Luna floated upright, placing a hoof over their heart. “Cross my cold, nonexistent heart.”

She nodded. “Find the ponies. I must go to Canterlot to retrieve the Elements. I’m the only one who can break the spell surrounding them.” Celestia’s horn lit up, and she cast one final warning glare at Golden Luna. “Be good. Now go! Ponyville is directly below us.” And with that, she vanished.

Twilight and her five friends galloped—with the exception of the two pegasi—through the streets of Ponyville. She wasn’t sure where to go, for she knew the precious Elements of Harmony were in the capital of Canterlot, but she had to try and find one of the princesses. A distant roar screamed through the air, startling the mares.

“Is—is that-?” Fluttershy stammered, eyes wide as dinner plates.

“I’m afraid so,” Twilight said in reply. She suddenly screeched to a stop. “Oh no! The other animatronics! They’re still in the library!”

“No, they aren’t,” came Princess Luna’s voice, though it sounded a bit . . . off. Twilight and her friends’ heads shot around to see the night alicorn hit the ground in front of them, flapping her wings to slow her down.

“Princess!” Twilight cried, about to run forward, but then stopped when she saw the black eyes staring back at her. “. . . Golden Freddy?”

“Yes, dear, it’s me,” they replied. The demonic sounding voice grated the ponies’ ears. “Princess Celestia went to Canterlot to fetch the Elements.”

“Get out of her, you monster!” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, pointing a hoof angrily. She shot forward less than a second later and tackled them to the ground.

“Luna was knocked unconscious! She’ll be up soon, you imbecile! Now get off!” Golden Luna snarled, kicking their back legs to dislodge the brash pegasus. Dash spread her blue wings to avoid hitting the ground and hovered above the other five once again, a glare focused on the alicorn.

“Now, as I was saying,” they continued with a glower, “we have to hurry. The Nightmare—”

“The Nightmare!?” came all the mares’ cries of incredulousness.

“Yes, the Nightmare! Now be quiet! Anyways, for the second time, tell me what you ponies usually do when this sort of thing happens!”

“W-well, first we get the Elements!” Twilight began.

“And we fire ‘em up!” Rainbow added.

“Then we use our friendship to blast ‘em back into oblivion!” Applejack yelled.

“And finally, we throw a big party~” Pinkie Pie quipped.

“Well, technically next we get a stained-glass window in Canterlot Castle depicting our heroic events,” Rarity finished with a small toss of her head and a charming smile.

“Okay. Well, Celestia should be here soon with the Elements,” Golden Luna said. “We’ve just got to hold off the Nightmare Foxy while she’s gone.”

Applejack gulped. “It’s a bit too late fer that.” The ponies turned around and saw the huge figure standing where the library was. Well, maybe not anymore. Two glowing eyes turned towards them.

“Oh my goodness,” Rarity gaped, jaw dropping open.

“Ponies! Did you miss me?” came the evil question. Nightfox took a step forward; the ground shook beneath his massive foot that was as wide as the road, at least. He was almost as tall as the cloud layers.

“Uh, now would be a good time to panic,” Fluttershy squeaked.

“No! We can’t panic,” Twilight stated firmly. Then, screams broke out across the town. “Well, not us.” Nightfox roared, the massive shock wave hitting the ponies and making the two pegasi jet backwards, landing in the bushes. The five others managed to stay in their positions, though manes and tails were astray—much to Rarity’s disappointment.

“Gah! What’re we going to do?” Dash asked as she proceeded to scramble out of the bushes, “I don’t think we can fight that thing.”

“It’s comin’ right at us!” AJ declared, backing away just slightly.

“We might want to run,” Twilight murmured. Nightfox started a full out sprint towards them, jaws open.

“Yeah, might!” Rarity screamed, turning around and fleeing. The rest followed immediately. Golden Luna, however, paused, unwilling to leave the fight.

“Golden Freddy! Come on! We can’t fight that!” Twilight shouted back. She said a few quick words of encouragement to her friends and galloped back.

“I beat it once,” they said. “I can hold it off, and hopefully Celestia will get back soon. Meet with her somewhere.”

Twilight stamped her hoof. The Nightmare would be upon them any moment. “You’re being stupid! Why be the hero?”

“Hero? What’s that?”

“It’s what you’re trying to be! Now come on!” Twilight grabbed them and yanked them along behind her until they decided to run.

“Twilight! I have the Elements!”

The two ponies looked up to see Celestia descend from the heavens, eyes focused on them. Twilight’s face burst into a grin, until she caught sight of the movement from the side.

“Princess Celestia, watch out!” she screeched. Celestia turned her head and was preparing a spell just as the giant hand batted her out of the sky with enough force to shatter bones . . . if she’d been anything but an alicorn, that is. She was shot across the wide expanse as a white blur. The Elements fell from her magical grasp and Nightfox swiped them from the air.

“No!” Twilight cried, eyes widening. Her horn blew up and she teleported herself to where her mentor had fallen. Golden Luna was abruptly left alone with the Nightmare, who was busy eating the Elements with impunity.

“Now, nothing can stop me,” Nightfox snarled, grinning. He set his pupiless gaze onto the most definitely smaller alicorn by his feet.

“Well, first of all, how dare you eat those, and secondly, what a cliché thing to say! You really think these ponies will actually let you take ov—”

Golden Freddy spat blood out of their mouth. It was odd, actually getting hurt and having physical damage done to you that required medical attention. The alicorn clambered to their hooves. Getting a huge foot to the head hadn’t done much for Luna.

“Puny thing,” Nightfox laughed. His large hand swept downwards to pick them up and was rewarded with an angry blue-and-gold blast of magic. He recoiled, surprised at first, but then smirked. “Oh, Luna, how silly. Thinking you are anything without your sister. She doesn’t care about you. She just wants the attention all to herself.”

Golden Luna tilted their head. He knew that the princess had been taken over by this, but had not known the circumstances—she’d been keeping him out of that part with a mental block. So, needless to say, these words didn’t affect him.

“Okay then,” was all Golden Luna said. Nightfox roared in outrage and attacked.

Twilight bent by the white alicorn’s side, horn bright with a healing spell. Celestia shifted uncomfortably, eyes blinking open. She was faced with her student’s caring eyes.

“Twilight, my faithful student,” she greeted with a smile. Celestia sat up, drops of blood rolling through her usually snow white fur from a cut on her forehead. “You can stop. I’m fine.” She shook her head. “Dark energy is hard to fight. I should have been paying more attention.”

“It wasn’t your fault,” Twilight responded. “You had to get the Elements to us as swiftly as possible.”

Celestia stiffened. “The Elements!” She looked over at her student. “Did it get them?”

“. . . Yes, it did.”

The Show Must Go On

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Golden Luna swung upside down by one leg. The battle hadn’t gone as well as they’d hoped. They and the Nightmare had exchanged a few blows, but ultimately, it was pretty obvious he had the advantage. Honestly, maybe they could’ve won if Luna was awake, but Golden Freddy really didn’t have much experience with battle.

“I’ve got you now,” the Nightmare snarled, a crooked grin spread across his face.

“I see that,” Golden Luna said, tucking their forelegs against their chest. “And what do you intend to do with me?” They glanced around with black eyes.

Nightfox smirked and lifted the alicorn up a bit more. Sharp teeth glinted in the light of day. Without answering, the Nightmare opened his ferocious jaws and held Golden Luna above him. The alicorn froze, eyes widening. They furiously flapped their wings, horn buzzing with magic. They were only a bit exhausted from all the magic withdrawal, as Golden Freddy didn't have a near endless supply, like Luna. His ‘magic’ was a bit different.

Don't panic. Listen to everything I say.

What? Princess Luna, have you just woken up?

I regained consciousness shortly after we were caught, yes. And if we are to live, you must listen to me.

Golden Freddy felt their minds meld together more acutely. Dear, do you happen to have a plan? I'm only slightly out of options at this point. The Nightmare’s sharp teeth were nearing their face as the two entities talked in quick succession.

Yes, I have a plan. We cannot switch bodies, unfortunately. The Nightmare would notice the change and act in kind.

Okay, so, mind telling me what the plan is?

Do not get pushy, or I shall have your head . . . listen carefully:

I'm going to channel my magical power into our horn. You add as much as you have left and think of my sister.

Think of your sister? For what? I mean, this may come off a bit . . . odd—even if I am an animatronic bear from another world—but your sister is pretty h—

Shut up. Just do it. I'll perform the spell, but you have to help, as you have more control than I do at the moment.

Ugh, fine. I don’t understand, but I’ll do it. Golden Freddy focused all his thoughts on the white alicorn. He felt extra power flowing through them, into their horn. Then, in the blink of an eye, they vanished. The world screamed by, images and sounds going by so fast there was no distinction between them. The sensation was so overwhelming he immediately flung himself out of Luna’s extensive mind. This action left him shaking in the grass, eyes staring ahead at nothing.

“Goldie! Are you okay?”

The violet eyes of Princess Celestia and following a moment after, Twilight Sparkle’s own. Golden Freddy didn’t respond, just stared, circuits frozen. A few seconds later, he went offline.

Twilight shook the animatronic by the shoulder as soon as he went limp. A frown creased her face. “Did something happen?” she asked, glancing over at Luna.

“Perhaps it was because he was weak from fighting, or perhaps he was unprepared for the sudden rush of teleportation,” the lunar sovereign stated.

“But I teleported him earlier. He was a bit confused, I’m sure, but he didn’t tense up like this,” Celestia replied, arching a brow.

“Mayhaps it is the spell I used? As you know, I don’t use the newer method of teleportation.”

Celestia glanced down at the yellow animatronic, nodding slowly. “That’s right. You use the swivel teleportation. The one we use is the instant teleportation spell.” She lit her horn and he was sucked into the gem in her necklace.

“Princesses, we’ve got to get the Elements of Harmony back from the Nightmare!” Twilight interjected.

Luna’s sharp gaze swung back to the violet unicorn. “What? The Nightmare has the Elements?”

“I’m afraid so. It took them from me when it struck me so suddenly from the air,” Celestia explained.

“Oh no, this is not good. We must get them back at once!”

“And how do we do that?” Rainbow Dash asked, floating down from the skies with Fluttershy by her side. The three others trotted up the slope, eyes full of worry and determination. Twilight ran towards them, a smile on her face.

“Thank goodness you girls are here. I was almost worried that the Nightmare got you,” she explained in a rush. The group exchanged a quick embrace and began to talk.

“No, we got away,” Pinkie Pie said.

“But the Nightmare won’t be off our scent for long,” Rainbow added. They all cast a glance back at the distant town of Ponyville, where the figure could be seen rampaging through.

“What are we going to do?” Rarity asked.

“First, we need to retrieve the Elements,” Celestia stated.

“But how?” Twilight asked. Her mentor exchanged glances with Luna. The two alicorns nodded and switched their grim gazes back to the ponies.

“They must be retrieved from inside of the Nightmare,” Luna said monotonously.

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, so?”

“The Elements are inside of it,” Celestia repeated.

“Wait . . .” Rainbow Dash muttered. “Are you saying . . . ?” They seemed to be picking up on the princesses’ hints.

“We have to go into that thing!?” Rarity finished in a high voice. “Eeeeww!”

“Oh, gross!” Pinkie choked, sticking her tongue out.

“Well, it’s not like it’s a living thing. Foxy still has the dominant factor, and . . . well, he’s a robot. So naturally, the Nightmare would take on his attributes,” Fluttershy said shyly. All eyes were on her in an instant, and she uttered a squeak, hiding in her hair.

“Well, that is true,” Applejack agreed. The other ponies murmured agreements among themselves.

“So, are we all going . . . in?” Twilight wondered.

“No,” Celestia said firmly. There were a few sighs of relief and some ‘awws’. “That would alert the Nightmare. No, we need someone who can sneak in, and sneak out with the Elements.”

“Then I’ll do it, princess. I can get them,” Twilight declared. Smiling, the princess shook her head. “W-what? Why not? Do you not think I’m the pony for the job?” Her violet eyes sparkled with hurt.

“No, of course not, my faithful student. If Luna and I were not here, and we could not do it, you’d be the first. But our magical signature would alert the Nightmare before we were even inside. It is the same reason we can’t use magic to extract them. No unicorn can be the one to do it, for fear of getting caught.”

“What about us?” Rainbow asked. “We’re not unicorns.”

“She’s right; Ah’d be happy to get them Elements,” Applejack stated.

Once again, the solar alicorn shook her head. “I’m afraid neither a pegasus nor an earth pony can even do it. The magic within you may not be as prominent as a unicorn’s, but what makes you your species is the magic surging inside. This is what allows pegasi to control the weather and walk on clouds, and earth ponies to excel in farming.” She gestured to each group of ponies as she spoke.

“Can’t we just use a signal to block out the magical properties of one of us?” Twilight asked.

“You are so brilliant, Twilight, but that won’t work either. The signal or spell used to do that will also be detected in an instant.”

“Then . . . how are we going to retrieve the Elements if the Nightmare can sense any of our magic before we’re close?” Fluttershy inquired.

“What we need is someone who has not a scrap of magical energy in their body,” Celestia continued.

“But every being in Equestria has some magic in them, princess! From the plants to the animals,” Twilight argued. “There’s nopony that is completely devoid of it.”

Celestia smiled. “You are right. But I hope you have not already forgotten who we are fighting.” The ponies stared in confusion for a few moments. They all appeared to be thinking.

“You mean Foxy?” Pinkie Pie questioned with a cock of her head.

“I’m looking for a bit more than that,” Celestia said with a small laugh. The six ponies exchanged glances.

“The animatronics!” Twilight shouted suddenly, eyes lighting up.

“Precisely.” Princess Celestia smiled at her student and exchanged a quick glance with Luna.

“Excuse me for asking, but where are they, exactly?” Rarity inquired.

Celestia lit her horn and the gem on her necklace became enshrouded in a light violet glow as it reacted with her magic. A moment later, the three animatronics were standing before them, no longer asleep. Golden Freddy was not among them.

“Whoa! That was weird,” Chica said, studying her arms.

“Whoa indeed,” Bonnie agreed.

Freddy glanced around, one eyebrow raised. “Where are we?”

“Very far from Ponyville,” Princess Celestia replied.

“And why is that?”

“See for yourself.”

The three animatronics looked to where the princess had gestured to with a dip of her head. A giant—wait, what was that?—raged through Ponyville.

“What happened?” Chica asked.

“The Nightmare happened,” Luna said, walking forward to stand beside them. “It has taken control of Foxy and made him turn evil.”

“But . . . that thing’s huge!” Bonnie shouted, jaw gaping.

“Yes, it is. But tis Foxy, alright.” Luna took a step backward. “We’ve called upon you three for assistance.”

“With what? Talking some sense into that idiot?” Freddy muttered.

“Of course not.”

“We need one of you to go into him and fetch the Elements of Harmony that have been stolen,” Celestia instructed. The three animatronics gaped at her.

“Are you crazy!?” Bonnie shouted.

“Now, it may seem a daunting task—”

Freddy barked out a laugh. “—yeah, that’s a way to put it!—”

“—But none of you have magic that can be detected by the Nightmare. I can teleport you in and you can search for the Elements!”

“But princess, if you can just teleport them in, why not just do that to yourself? Then you could quick find the Elements and get back out so we can use them,” Twilight argued.

Celestia shook her head. “Oops, I’m sorry if that’s what it sounded like. No, I can’t teleport them inside of the Nightmare, I can just get them close. We don’t know how Foxy looks anymore; if there’s even wires and bolts. We know the Nightmare is still mechanical, but without proper knowledge of his workings, there’s no way to teleport them safely in. They’d have to get eaten or find some other way in.”

“Eaten!?” Freddy exclaimed.

“I volunteer Freddy to go in!” Chica quickly yelled, hiding behind Pinkie Pie.

“Uh, me too!” Bonnie declared in swift agreement as he grabbed Dash from the sky and held her in front of him. Celestia and Luna exchanged smirks, then lit their horns.

“The Elements of Harmony are kept in a small case. I’m sure you’ll know it when you see it,” Celestia explained. “We are going to teleport you to the edge of Ponyville. Devise a plan to get inside Foxy and then back out.”

“The Nightmare is cunning, but still has some major flaws—it is too sure of itself and its ability to win. It is subjected to angry attacks, so you can get eaten quickly enough if that is the case,” Luna added. Freddy was slowly backing away, ears tilted backwards.

“Are you serious? Thanks a lot, guys!” Freddy growled at his fellow animatronics.

“Good luck,” all of the ponies said at the same time, and he was teleported away.

No More

View Online

Freddy stumbled backwards, landing on the hard pavement. He shook his head and then glanced around. The thatched-roof houses of Ponyville surrounded him . . . along with the sounds of screaming ponies and the giant footsteps of the Nightmare clomping about. Freddy got to his feet and snuck forward, peeking around the corner of a house. Smoke rose from the flattened remains of a building to his left.

Uh, okay, plan. Plan, plan, plan, plan, plan . . . aw geez, I don’t have any idea how to go about this!

Freddy ducked behind the house as a scrap of debris was sent cutting through the air above his head. Looking up, he found that the Nightmare had just ripped a small shack in half. It dropped the remains and roared in furious abandon to the sky.

Shoot. Quick, think, Freddy, think!

Freddy slumped against the house—which was now on fire—and tapped his head in thought. Images and ponies flashed through his mind, until getting stuck on one particular face—the little yellow filly. She was a brilliant engineer! Maybe she could help him devise a plot to get the Elements of Harmony or whatever they were.

Freddy followed his memories to the little farmhouse sitting in the middle of nowhere. They seemed to be unaffected by the rampaging beast just a mile or two away from them. He suspected that their peace wouldn’t last long. To him, it seemed like the Nightmare was searching for something—perhaps the ponies?

I really hope that little pony’s here.

Lifting up a metal fist, he bent his knees to get down to the door’s level and rapped several times on its wooden surface. Freddy waited a good minute before an elderly-looking green mare pulled the door open. She had a smile on her face before glancing up.

“Uh, hi, I’m Freddy Fazbear. I’m seeking the yellow one known as Apple Bloom,” Freddy said, softening his gruff voice. That was her name, right? Apple Bloom? The green mare stared at him with a wrinkled face before letting out a loud screech and slamming the door in his face. He blinked, momentarily surprised, but then figured that reaction was a given in this situation.

“Apple Bloom! Big Mac! There’s a monster at the door!” Granny Smith hollered, making her slow-yet-frantic way towards the stairs. A moment later, the two other members of Apple family appeared at the top of the steps.

“A monster? Are ya talkin’ ‘bout the one ragin’ through Ponyville? Because we’ve noticed. It’s why Applejack left earlier, remember?” Apple Bloom reminded, hopping down. Big Mac accentuated it with a strong “Eeyup.”

“No, there’s a bear at our door! He’s tryin’ to take ya away, Apple Bloom! Run!” Granny continued yowling and ‘running’ away.

“What are ya goin’ on ‘bout, Granny? A bear?” AB scoffed, very puzzled. She rolled her sunset eyes as she walked towards the door, flinging it open . . . only to be met with a crouched down Freddy Fazbear. Apple Bloom blinked in surprise as he sent a small wave her way.

“Freddy! What are ya doin’ here?” she asked, sticking her head out. She quickly glanced towards Big Mac and the retreating form of Granny Smith. “Ah’ll be, uh, right back! Don’t worry ‘bout me!” She pushed Freddy with a fore-hoof, giving her brother a sheepish smile. Then she swiftly turned around and closed the door.

“Freddy, what are ya doin’? Ah mean, Ah’m not exactly heartbroken, but shouldn’t ya be somewhere safe instead of runnin’ ‘bout?”

“Uh,” Freddy started, rubbing the back of his head, “I’m kind of on a mission.”

Apple Bloom raised an eyebrow at him. “What kind of mission?” Freddy quickly explained it to her. “Oh. Well, that don't seem like a very nice thing to do, but whatever. Ah know just how to help ya, Freddy! Come on, let's get to the treehouse.”

“Sweet! We get to help save the day!” Scootaloo exclaimed as she took off her helmet. She set it on her scooter and left that parked against a nearby apple tree.

“I know, right!” Sweetie Belle cheered. She ran towards the treehouse, Scootaloo on her tail. Inside, they were met with Freddy and Apple Bloom.

“Hiyah, girls,” AB greeted, standing up. “Ah was hopin’ ya would get the message.”

“Totally! We wouldn't miss this for the world!” Scootaloo declared. “So, what do we have to do?”

“We’ve got to help Freddy get the Elements of Harmony from inside the giant Nightmare Foxy that's destroyin’ the town!”

For a moment, the two other fillies stared. But then they burst out cheering and high-hoofing.

“Totally radical! We’re in!” Scootaloo laughed.

“Yeah, for sure!” Sweetie Belle agreed with a smile. “But how are we gonna do that?”

Apple Bloom patted the map that lay on the small table situated in front of her. “That's why we’re here: to think up a plan to help Freddy.” Scootaloo and Sweetie walked forward, gathering around the table. Freddy sat on hands and knees next to them as well, as he was too tall to even crouch comfortably.

“Alright, so Ah’ve already got some idea of what we’re gonna do . . .”

“I don’t know, Bloom, Nightfox doesn’t seem like he has any weaknesses,” Scootaloo commented. She held a pair of binoculars up to her eyes, peering out the treehouse’s window at the distant Nightmare.

“You’re sure? There’s no small hole or anythin’?” Apple Bloom asked.

Scootaloo frowned, face creasing. “Hmm . . . wait! Wait! I think I found something!” she declared. She adjusted the binoculars’ vision. Then, one hoof still holding them to her eyes, she pointed at the Nightmare. “There are these little claw sheaths on the paws—do you see those?”

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Freddy clustered more tightly around the window to see.

“Well, when he has his claws in, there are these small slits. I’d say they’re about,” Scootaloo explained, “I don’t know, yay-big.” She made a gesture that covered about the size of the window frame. “He doesn’t seem like he uses ‘em all that much; that may be your way in, Freddy.”

Freddy nodded, chin nearly bumping into her head. “Okay. Unfortunately, I’d have to be in front of him. I could be spotted.”

Scootaloo removed her binoculars. “But that’s why we are going to be supplying the distraction.” She made a swirling motion with her hoof to the three fillies.

“I know, but still. He could see me before I’m even close.”

“Don’t worry—we’re experts,” Sweetie Belle proclaimed.

“That is why ya came to me, ain’t it?” AB joked, elbowing him in the side. He frowned at her momentarily before smiling just slightly.

“Okay, I did come because I’m not the expert on magical nightmare Foxys, so I’ll give you that much,” Freddy admitted, reaching out a hand and ruffling her reddish mane. “Anyways, we’ve got to do this fast. We’ve got our plan down. Those ponies need the Elements of Whatever.” They all stepped back from the window.

“Alright! Let’s review the plan,” Apple Bloom decided. She made a circular motion, gesturing to herself and her two friends. “We are gonna be gettin’ Nightfox’s attention; leadin’ him on a chase through town—hopefully.”

“Then,” Sweetie Belle said, taking over, “as we’re running between buildings, you sneak up and crawl through the claw spaces on one of his feet. If all goes in our favor, it’ll just be a climb through his leg to . . . his stomach, or whatever. He did swallow them.”

“Then, simply make your way back down to the foot,” Apple Bloom finished. “If he does notice ya, we’ll be ready to fetch the Elements before he gets ‘em ‘gain.”

“Legit!” Scootaloo barked, leaping up on the table. “Come on, guys! Let’s go beat the Nightmare!”

“Yeah!” the two other fillies cried out. Freddy tried his best to smile, swinging an arm around in a fake gesture of ‘yay.’ The fillies raced towards the door. Freddy groaned.

“I’m doomed.”

Scootaloo’s tiny wings were buzzing full speed towards Ponyville. Her friends were in a wagon being pulled behind. Freddy was keeping pace just off to the side; having speed was useful in this sort of situation.

“Freddy, hide. We’ve got this,” Sweetie Belle directed. He nodded in reply and, as they entered Ponyville, he dashed off the path to follow behind. The fillies continued onward.

“Hey, Nightfox! We think you’re really lame!” Scootaloo’s obnoxious cry rang out over the sounds of panic and despair. The giant Foxy turned his head towards them in a slight expression of surprise. He looked down, pausing from where he was about to stomp a house in.

“Ha! You little ponies can’t hope to stop me!” the Nightmare laughed, deciding not to smash the house.

“Oh yeah? Well, come and get us, weenie!”

Nightfox grinned, canines glinting. “Really? You know what, this’ll be fun!” With an amused snarl, he approached the little ponies.

“Suck it! Bye!” In a blur, Scootaloo and her friends were gone, twisting and turning through the paths of their town. The Nightmare kept close tabs on them, following their motions. He opened his mouth and released a torrent of fire out of his jaws, alighting several houses in flame.

“Hey, that’s cheating!” Sweetie Belle cried, looking around at the damage.

“Hah! Hold up!” Nightfox barked. The flames were suddenly extinguished. “What, you think this is a game of kickball on the playground? You puny little ponies, so irritating.” He held up a hand, curling it into a fist. “I’ll crush all of you! Like I already have!”

Scootaloo blew a raspberry at him.

“You think you’re so cute, huh? Well, this’ll teach you.” The Nightmare lifted a claw, and the three fillies were suspended in air.

Freddy watched this from the ground, eyes wide in horror. He couldn’t let them be killed!

“I’m going to regret this,” he mumbled to himself. Without another thought, he shouted up at the Nightmare. “Hey! You leave them alone!”

The result was instantaneous. The large head snapped to Freddy’s location. With a grin, he flicked his hand, sending the fillies tumbling through the air. They landed safely in a lake across town.

“Well, well, well,” Nightfox began, bending at the middle to stare down at Freddy. “I was wondering when the ‘big guy’ would come out and face me.” A claw reached downward and snatched Freddy by the leg.

“Foxy! I know you don’t really like me all that much, but if you’re in there, please try and control yourself,” Freddy shouted, voice wavering. His blue gaze switched from the ground to the eyes of the Nightmare in quick succession.

“You did this to Foxy, you know. It was the pain and torment from all those years ago that did him in.”

“I know! I know it is,” Freddy admitted. “And I’m sorry! I’ve been sorry for so long, Foxy! I never meant—I never meant to . . .”

“To what!?” Nightfox screeched. “You did that on purpose! You never cared about him! But I do. I care. All his fear was perfect for me. Even if the princesses hadn’t made him watch those painful memories, I could’ve broken his resolve at some point! It was only a matter of time. So if your little pony friends are watching this, know it wasn’t their fault. But that’s a small moral issue when you’re here.” The Nightmare chuckled. “The one who started it.” He held Freddy a bit closer to his eyes. “I’m sure Foxy could’ve worked past that little bite. The end of his career wasn’t that big of a deal, in all honesty. It was the repercussions of it that ultimately destroyed him. You, Freddy, ruined his psyche. He’s believed he’s trash for so long, because of what you did.”

Freddy could only hang and listen to the Nightmare berate and explain to him what he’d done. But after that last statement, he seemed to be done.

“However, that’s all in the past, now,” Nightfox growled, a smile twitching upon his muzzle. He opened his jaws.

The six Elements and the two alicorn sisters watched the scene unfold. The Nightmare’s voice carried a long distance, but from there, they could only hear the angry tones. That was when it opened its mouth.

“Shouldn’t we help him?” Twilight asked, gaze switching from the scene to her mentor’s face.

Celestia watched a moment more before meeting the unicorn’s eyes. “I’m afraid we can’t without risking everything. I’m actually fairly surprised the whole town isn’t blown up by now.” Her eyes glistened with sadness and hope.

Twilight’s frown deepened, and she glanced down.

“Foxy! Foxy, please don’t do this!” Freddy shouted desperately. He didn’t try and escape—he knew it was pointless. But that didn’t mean he couldn’t try and get Foxy to listen.

“There is no Foxy! There is only the Nightmare!”

With a flick of his wrist, Nightfox tossed Freddy into his open maw. The animatronic fell into the abyss . . .

“Gah!” Freddy choked, eyes in night mode. He stood up carefully, gaze searching his surroundings. He was standing in a bunch of wires. Circuits and switches filled the room.

I’m . . . not offline? Well, that’s a surprise. Guess this does mean if I touch these things, I could power him off. Freddy hopped off the panel he was on, beginning his search for the Elements of Harmony. A case. What kind of case, I wonder. Celestia said I’d know it when I see it. I do hope she realizes I’ve never actually seen or heard of these ‘Elements.’ The animatronic grabbed onto a wire and slid down to another switch. Oh well, might as well keep searching.


View Online

Holy freaking Fazbear. I’ve been in here for who knows how long, and I haven’t found jack!

Freddy clenched his fist around nothing and caught himself, struggling to remain calm. This wasn’t so bad, was it?

I guess I was expecting something worse. Like blades or something in that horribly irritating area.

Then he fell.

A moment later, he crashed through a tight bundle of wires. Several snapped in two. It was not the best situation. He didn't want to touch anything important and get a negative reaction from the Nightmare. But it seems like that notion was already rendered useless. Freddy pushed himself up, rubbing his head. Hissing sounded from all sides. His eyes widened.

“Uh, nice wire things?” Freddy laughed weakly, putting his hands up. The cut wires slithered around like snakes, sparks shooting at random intervals from their broken ends.

This definitely betrays the fact that I'm not in a regular place!

One of the wires lashed out. Freddy yelped and leaned backwards. It narrowly missed him. The several other wires hissed low threats as their fellow creature backed up into their midst. Freddy smiled pathetically at them, but prepared for another attack. He'd wanted this to be a relatively easy trip, but that was no longer an option, it seemed.

One of the snakes struck again. Freddy leaped to the side, but one of the wires had wrapped around his foot, constricting and making him fall sideways. The first wire’s fiery bite went past the animatronic’s hip, but one of the silvery filaments that was frayed, sticking out of the mouth, just barely grazed him. A blast of electricity shot through his body. Freddy yowled in pain as he landed on his back. There was no time to inspect the damage; the wires hissed and slithered forward mockingly. He desperately wished he had his microphone as a weapon—but nooooo, stupid freakin’ luck—

A wire grabbed harshly onto Freddy’s foot. Huge amounts of energy blazed through his endoskeleton. His vision switched between black and barely able to see. Freddy lashed out blindly with his feet, desperately trying to kick the wires back. Something thin was batted away and he pushed himself to his feet shakily, then stumbled away in a run. Hissing chased after him for a brief time before becoming softer. The only sound was his own in a matter of minutes, yet he continued running. His circuits buzzed irritatingly, and threatened to shut down on him. Freddy blinked away dizziness and soon found himself leaning against a control panel for support.

Alright, get it together, Fazbear. You've got a mission to complete. No time for going offline now.

Freddy braced himself and regained his balance. He took a few shaky steps, then steeled his resolve and padded onward. He knew in his mind that another hit like that and he would've been down for the count.

Okay, don't cut wires. His whole body jerked in a spasm from the electricity. Got it.

Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo dragged themselves onto the shore, looking quite bedraggled and miserable. They all exchanged glances and shook themselves off like dogs.

“I can't believe we let Freddy down,” Sweetie Belle said sadly. She pushed some sodden strands of hair out of her emerald eyes.

“I didn't expect Nightfox to be able to use magic,” Scootaloo added, using the name they’d made up. “He hadn't shown he could use it before.”

“Ah’m afraid Ah didn't think of it either. Couldn't he have just destroyed Ponyville with a flick of the wrist then, and saved himself the trouble?” Apple Bloom questioned, knowing that her friends wouldn't have any more answers than her.

“That's stupid! He totally cheated!” the orange pegasus growled, throwing her helmet at the grass. “And now Freddy is eaten!”

“Look,” Sweetie began, “maybe he's still in there, tracking down the Elements?”

“Or what if he's been crushed into a million-zillion little itty-bitty pieces?” Scootaloo retorted in a mild tone.

“Whatever the case,” AB stated, “we’ve got to keep an eye out for him. If he escapes, he's gonna need an extraction team.” The three girls smiled, hopes renewed.

“Cutie Mark Crusaders Animatronic Savers, YAY!”

Fluttershy stared in the direction of her cottage, biting her lip. She'd been doing this for well over five minutes now.

“What's the matter, Fluttershy?” Rainbow Dash asked, coming up behind her friend.

“Oh, when we left to get together, I said for Mike to stay there, and that I'd be back soon. He's all alone at my cottage now. I'm worried about him,” the creamy coated pegasus replied, tapping the tips of her fore-hooves together.

Dash shrugged. “I'm sure he's fine. I don't think the Nightmare’ll get out there if it hasn't even rained down destruction on Applejack’s farm.”

“What'd Ah just hear ‘bout mah farm?” came the southern voice.

“Uh, nothing!” Rainbow called back. “Anyways, I wouldn't be worried.”

Fluttershy frowned. “I still don't know. Maybe I should go check on him . . .”

“And risk getting caught by the Nightmare? No way.” The brash pegasus looped an arm around Fluttershy’s shoulders. “I care about you way too much to do that—not that I couldn't totally protect you from it, but I don't think the princesses would approve anyhow.”

“I guess you're right . . .”

“Of course I am!”

Freddy had to be nearly at the bottom of the Nightmare’s elongated torso. He'd been traveling downwards for what definitely seemed like ages, and he was even scouring for the case that contained the Elements.

The animatronic slid down a tilted panel, keeping his arms out to keep his balance. At the bottom, he practically tightrope walked across a bundle of wires that reminded him of a bridge since it was suspended high above the next layer of circuits. After that, he clambered up the endoskeleton to an enclosed section. Once again, nothing. Freddy was having a hard time believing the Elements were even in there anymore. And, once again, he was proved wrong.

Freddy tripped over something. It'd been lodged somewhat under a mess of wires, nestled between panels. He turned around, keeping his legs under him. Something shone dully from in the crevice. He reached forward and dislodged it.

It was a golden chest decorated with gems and jewels. It was warm to the touch, as if it contained within its hold a fire. Freddy’s eyes reflected the small glow it gave off, and he slid a hand over its surface. A few moments later, he moved a finger down and pressed the button in the center, undoing the clasp. The case sprang open, revealing its sacred treasures. The six Elements of Harmony gave off their own natural glow, the gems as clear as water and as smooth as glass. He realized the warmth and glow of the case was from the jewelry inside.

Freddy was in awe. So these were the Elements of Harmony? He didn't think he'd ever seen something so . . . majestic. They were the most beautiful things he'd ever laid his blue eyes upon. No wonder they could defeat evil.

Gently, he took one in hand. Its gem was red and shaped like a bolt of lightning. It hummed like electricity in his palm, though felt friendlier. He carefully put it back and closed the case after admiring them a few more moments.

I need to get out of here.

Freddy stood up, clutching the chest in both hands. His eyes shot back and forth, and their initial plan came back to his head. You know, the one before everything went south. But then the large panel that each animatronic had that allowed the repair man to gain access to their circuitry passed over that idea. If the Nightmare still had that, then Freddy could force it open, and if the ponies were watching, they could teleport him back as soon as they saw him. It was somewhat risky, but no more than their original plan . . . right? It would save time, at least.

Freddy made his wary way to the back of the Nightmare’s body. He scrutinized the metal, eyes searching for the small lines that would tell him where the door was located. A few moments later, he found the edges of it. He ran a hand along it to try and determine if he could possibly push it open. To do so, it would be a simple amount of exerted force, and it should pop right open.

Carefully. I can’t risk him knowing before I have a chance to escape.

Freddy deduced that with the right amount of force, he could definitely open the door. He made sure the golden case was secure in his other arm before letting the claws on his hand come out. He was quite interested to find that after arriving in Equestria he’d had a pair. Deciding not to waste another minute, he slashed at a bundle of wires, slicing them into ribbons. A foot came up and smashed into the panel. It sprang open. Red lights were flashing above his head—hissing sounded behind him as well—and he didn't think about anything as he leaped out the open door. The Nightmare was roaring and the world swayed back and forth.

It all happened so fast. The ponies watched as the Nightmare suddenly roared, legs buckling. White eyes flashed angrily. The control panel on the back of it swung open. A small shape fell from the air. Celestia’s sharp eyes caught the movement and her horn flashed an instant later.

Freddy was still up in the sky and continued falling as if he’d never been moved. Thankfully, Luna caught him before he hit the ground. The chest containing the Elements—which he’d dropped—was suspended in her sister’s golden aura.

“Freddy! You did it!” Chica cried with a smile. The bear glanced up at her, a frown on his face. Before he could give a sharp retort, the princess was addressing the mares.

“Ponies! Quick! We have the Elements! Go and defeat the Nightmare!” Celestia exclaimed. The case containing the Elements popped open and they soared to their owners, clicking themselves into place on their necks, and the crown settled itself right atop Twilight’s head.

“We won't let you down! Come on, girls!” Twilight responded with determination in her voice. She reared up on her hind legs as the other girls gave shouts of victory. They vanished in a flash of magenta magic.

The six mares raced forward in the destruction of Ponyville. They dodged fires and beams of ruined buildings. None of them addressed the damages to their home, but stared ahead with steel in their eyes.

The Nightmare was struggling to stand after having the important wires slashed. Its eyes turned to face the ponies; one of its hands glowed with dark energy.

“Formation!” Twilight exclaimed, eyes bright. She could sense the other Elements getting into position, and her horn sparkled with magic.

“No! You can't do this to me again!” the Nightmare snarled. It pushed itself to its feet, but then fell back onto its knees, the sound of broken machinery downplayed by the Elements’ hum.

“You are a horrible entity, Nightmare. You've given us no choice,” Twilight’s strong voice echoed out, her tone enhanced by the powerful and harmonious magic coursing through her. Her eyes glowed white. She was holding back the magic for a few moments longer.

A sudden grin split its face. “I may be an evil creature, but this time, I came prepared! You won't get Foxy back after this at all!” The Nightmare looked at the ponies, letting loose a quick cackle. “I can assure you that!”

A flash of anger shot through Twilight. “That's a lie!”

“No, it's the truth! Your little Elements can't control what I do now!”

Twilight realized that by holding back, she might be dooming their friend. The rainbow torrent rushed out, flooding the land with harmony. The Nightmare laughed as it was destroyed.

“What happened?”

Fluttershy was the first to ask as they gazed at the place their robotic friend was supposed to be. The six mares had been standing, still in the same place from where they'd used the Elements, for a good while now.

“I—I don't know,” Twilight responded, eyes wide. She finally padded forward, limbs stiff. Shouldn’t they be happy about defeating the Nightmare? They’d saved the day once again. But . . . Foxy was nowhere to be seen.

Multiple pairs of footsteps sounded behind them.

“Yay! You beat it!” Chica exclaimed.

“That was amazing!” Bonnie echoed. The two animatronics were both grinning. A weary Freddy followed a short distance behind them.

“Congratulations, my faithful student,” Celestia praised, giving the violet unicorn a swift nuzzle.

“I commend you on your remarkable save,” Luna added.

“But princess . . . where did Foxy go?” Twilight asked with worry in her voice. Instantly, the two alicorns frowned.

“He isn’t here?” the sun goddess asked, blinking. Her violet eyes searched the area, as did Luna’s own teal.

“No. The Nightmare said something about never seeing Foxy again, and . . .”

“Now he’s gone,” Fluttershy finished. Her shoulders slumped sadly. The two princesses exchanged saddened glances.

“. . . I'm afraid we don't know where he is,” Celestia said after a moment.

“If the Nightmare rid itself of Foxy moments before the Elements struck, then there's no telling where he went,” Luna explained. She hesitated. “He may be lost for eternity.”

“B-but how do you know that?” Fluttershy stammered. “You can’t say that for sure.”

Celestia hesitated briefly. “I guess we’re saying . . . the Nightmare might have subjected Foxy to the full wrath of the Elements’ blast. Because of his background . . .”

“He was most likely destroyed by the Elements of Harmony,” Luna finished softly. The atmosphere froze. All eyes were on the princesses. There was silence.

“But—but he wasn’t bad! Foxy was good!” Fluttershy cried.

“I’m afraid the Nightmare may have tainted the views of the Elements,” Celestia said, draping a wing over the distraught pegasus.

“The Elements are able to distinguish between good and evil!” Twilight exclaimed. “That’s why they returned Princess Luna to herself, isn’t it?” Her voice was borderline hysterical.

Luna’s frown deepened. “It is possible the Nightmare would have grown in strength from then to now.”

“No!” Fluttershy squeaked, “I won’t believe it! We have to try and get him back—from wherever he may be!”

We can’t have failed him! We can’t have! . . .

“I’m sorry, my little ponies. If the Nightmare sent Foxy somewhere, we don’t know where it’d be,” Princess Celestia’s voice broke Fluttershy out of her thoughts. The six mares and three animatronics were silent.

After a moment, Fluttershy spoke again. “We failed him.”

Applejack glanced over at her, “What do ya mean, sugar cube?”

“Foxy came here for a second chance, and we let this happen.”

“Now, Fluttershy, none of us knew he was possessed by the Nightmare,” Rarity pointed out.

“But we could’ve done something! Instead, we just . . . ignored everything that was wrong with him. We could’ve seen the signs.” Fluttershy dropped her head. She felt her eyes begin to water. She sniffed, looking back up into the eyes of everyone that was watching her. “A-and now it’s our fault he’s gone!” The pegasus couldn’t contain her tears anymore and she wailed, racing off through the renewed town. She took off a few moments later, hair swinging and covering her face.

Twilight prepped herself to run after her, but Rainbow Dash stuck out a hoof to stop her. When given a questioning glance by the unicorn, she said, “Just let her go. I’ve learned, in situations like this, we should let her be.”

Fluttershy sobbed into her pillow. Her shoulders shook violently as her muffled bawling increased in strength. Mike stood at the door—looking slightly scruffy—and peeked his head in. After being pretty horrified at the giant-as-balls Foxy decimating Ponyville, seeing Fluttershy crying about it was not something he was prepared for.

“Uh, Fluttershy?” Mike asked weakly, tapping on the door.

The pegasus lifted her head up jerkily. “M-Mike?” she stammered with a sniff. “I'm s-sorry I left you h-here.” She wiped her nose with an arm. “But I d-didn't know it'd be so difficult to defeat the Nightmare.”

Mike shrugged. “No worries. The only bad thing that happened to me was getting ran over by your animals spazzing out.” He neglected to mention he’d hidden under her bed with the bunnies and a number of other small critters, and instead waved his arms in a gesture much like Jazz Hands. This got a small smile out of her, but it quickly vanished as the memory of Foxy imitating a manticore came to mind. Her head tilted up and she began to bawl again, then her face was shoved back into her pillow. Mike’s face fell.

“What’s the matter?” the former security guard asked, taking a seat on the bed. “I saw the magic and stuff. In fact, it passed right through me—I felt it.”

Fluttershy picked her head up, rubbing at an eye with her fore-hoof. “I-I know I should be h-happy, but—oh, Mike—something t-terrible has happened!”

Mike tilted his head at her. “What do you mean?” He felt a feeling of suspense fall over him.

“The Nightmare made it so we’d never see F-Foxy again!” she cried. “The princesses say that he was p-probably destroyed b-by the Elements!” With a long, drawn-out wail, she pressed her face into Mike’s side for comfort. The man stared down at her, surprised—not exactly about Foxy being gone (that animatronic was his least favorite, given how many times he’d try to kill him—and not to mention had gotten him into this whole mess—literally), but at the sorrow emanating from the yellow pony. She must’ve cared an awful lot. To be honest, Mike had never thought much about that. After Foxy had been taken, he’d done his best to avoid the wrath of the others. Though, since his fourth day back at work, none of them had attempted to slaughter him by stuffing him into a suit.

“Uh, it’ll be okay . . . ?” Mike dragged, unsure as he gently pet her mane like he would a cat. Fluttershy’s wailing only increased. He could feel a damp spot through his shirt.

“N-no it won’t! I failed Foxy, and he died beaten!” Fluttershy sobbed, voice high with grief. Mike blinked, a large and uncertain frown spreading across his face.

The group of ponies—minus Fluttershy and the princesses, as they had left to assure the ponies in Canterlot—were still situated in the square where they’d taken down the Nightmare. As of now, they were mostly milling about, the Elements bearers consoling random ponies everything was alright now.

Bonnie watched as Freddy sat down on a nearby bench. His face was downturned and his shoulders were slumped. Chica padded forward to stand beside the bunny.

“What’s the matter with Freddy?” Chica asked.

“Do you think he misses Foxy? And he’s actually showing it?” Bonnie replied.

Chica sighed. “I miss him, too. He never forgave us, and we made him turn into . . . into that monster.” She grabbed Bonnie’s hand for a bit of comfort. “Now he’s gone. I don’t even know how to feel.”

“We—we didn’t make him like that, did we?”

Before she could respond, Freddy jumped to his feet, one hand on each of their shoulders. His teeth were bared in snarl, eyes burning . . . but not just with anger.

“We? Are you asking if we did it!?” Freddy snapped, getting right into their faces. The two other animatronics flinched as he yelled at them, unsure of what they’d done.

“F-Freddy, why are you yelling?” Chica stammered.

“It wasn’t you! Or you!” Freddy’s angry exterior changed dramatically to one of hysterical proportions as he looked at his companions. “I-it’s all my fault!”

“But Freddy—” Bonnie was quickly cut off.

Freddy’s eyes glowed in sadness. “I made him feel that way! If I hadn’t”—he choked on his words—“I didn’t . . . I caused him to turn into that monster! So don’t you blame it on yourselves!” he continued. By now, he’d released them from his grip. The mares had also started taking notice of his outburst.

“Freddy, you need to calm down,” Bonnie managed to say, trying to grab his boss. But Freddy was in a rush now.

“I ruined him! You would know that! I know what you both think of me!” Freddy shouted. He grabbed Bonnie’s arms, nearly pinning them to his sides. “I’m bad, Bonnie, and if I hadn’t done that, we’d be all happy and dandy back at the pizzeria-!”

“Freddy, please,” Chica pleaded, desperately attempting to console him.

“Notice how none of you are saying it wasn’t my fault!?” Freddy roared. “Go ahead! Just say it already! No use denying it!”

Bonnie and Chica’s eyes gazed back at him with regret. Freddy grimaced, falling onto his knees as if he’d been struck from behind. There, he sat hunched over in grief with his hands covering his face. His companions stooped down to his level.

“Freddy?” Twilight began, finally speaking. All she got was a head shake from Bonnie. “But what’s happening?”

“Please, don’t make it worse,” Chica begged, frowning up at the unicorn. “Just leave us alone.”

“Foxy, I’m sorry!” Freddy shouted suddenly, voice cracking and glitching several times.

Twilight frowned and exchanged glances with her friends.

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“Is Freddy okay?” Pinkie Pie questioned, an actual frown on her muzzle. The mares looked to Twilight for answers. The group hadn’t caught much of the conversation, so were a bit unsure of what was happening.

“I don't know. I think Freddy might be a little . . . upset,” the violet unicorn replied, one eyebrow cocked.

“You don't say,” Rainbow Dash retorted sarcastically, rolling her eyes. Twilight frowned at her momentarily before Rarity spoke up.

“Perhaps we should comfort the poor thing,” the fashionista suggested somewhat uncertainly.

“Poor thing? Where have you been?” Dash asked with a snort.

“I've been here. I'm just saying that maybe we should show him a bit of compassion instead of ignoring him.” The two ponies frowned at one another.

“Look, Ah don't much like Freddy either, but he seems like he’s feelin’ . . . guilty,” Applejack stated.

A small whine emanated from the cluster of animatronics, and the five ponies glanced over there. They all met eyes in the middle again.

“You can say that again,” Twilight muttered. Pinkie opened her mouth and Rainbow quickly stuffed a hoof into it before anything could be repeated. “And I really don't know what to think about this whole thing.”

“I'd say tough love,” Dash snorted. “After what he did, I'd say that's exactly what he needs.”

Twilight frowned, tilting her head just slightly. “I don't know. I understand what you're getting at, Dash, but I don't think that's what we need to do. After all, he did unintentionally volunteer to take back the Elements of Harmony. From inside the Nightmare, may I add.”

“That's true,” Rarity agreed. “Maybe he and the other animatronics should . . . go back to the library.”

“Alright, well that'd be one problem taken care of,” Rainbow murmured, rosy colored eyes shifting between her friends.

“Yeah, there's still somethin’ wrong here,” Applejack said. The mares shifted uncomfortably, body language saddening.

“More like someone’s missing . . .” Pinkie Pie whimpered.

“What are we going to do? Foxy can't be gone forever!” Rainbow declared suddenly, perking back up. She stomped her hoof angrily. “There's gotta be something we can do.”

“I know there is, too, I can feel it,” Twilight stated. She quickly glanced over at the animatronics. They were still in the same positions; Freddy hunched over with Bonnie and Chica crouched down beside him.

“Rainbow Dash!”



The five mares turned to the small, high-pitched voices. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were being pulled behind Scootaloo’s scooter in the wagon. They pulled up and jumped towards the ones they'd cried out to.

“Glad you're safe, squirt!” Dash proclaimed, giving the orange filly a noogie.

“Sweetie Belle, I told you to stay at home,” Rarity chided, but by the look on her face, she was glad her little sister was safe as she nuzzled her.

Applejack hugged Apple Bloom to her chest, “Are ya okay? Are the others okay, too?”

“We’re all fine—everypony,” AB replied. She was set back on the ground. “Where’s Foxy?”

All conversation stopped. The mares glanced around, faces dark.

“What? I know them looks!”

“Yeah! What happened?” Scootaloo asked. “We never got to meet Foxy.”

“Well, technically we did, that one night in the library. We just didn't talk to him much,” Sweetie Belle interjected. Scootaloo frowned at the white unicorn.

“Not helping.”

“Um, girls, there's been some complications . . .” Twilight began, lowering herself to their levels.

Scritch scratch scritch scratch

Foxy blinked, eyes widening. He looked around furiously, mind in a frenzy. Where was he? Wait, he was in the Cove. Why was he in the Cove? Foxy heard the sound of . . . was that his walk? He could never forget the clicking of his claws on the floor. He had to find the source. He pushed the curtains to Pirate Cove open, only for his hook to go right through it.

Okaaaay, what's happenin’ here? I must be dreamin’ . . . but why? Wasn't I . . . in the . . .

Foxy paused, gripping his head with his hand. He couldn't remember what was happening. Where he was last. Why he was here.

I-I might as well follow, I guess.

Foxy hesitantly pushed his way through the curtains, still shocked by being able to pass through them as if they didn't even exist. He twitched his ears, tracking the sound of ‘him’ walking. He hurried forward, and soon found himself at the window, looking into the sky. Why was he there? He was so confused.

Wait . . . wait. I’m broken. But . . . I’m not broken.

Foxy looked down at his own body. His chest and legs, they were fixed. They weren't broken and patched like the dream him. Foxy glanced back up and discovered that Freddy was standing right behind him. He jumped away, scared. A moment later, he realized that Freddy couldn't see him and was talking instead to the other Foxy, the broken one.

“Foxy,” Freddy said. The dream Foxy exhaled loudly. “Foxy, you should get back to the Cove.”

“How ‘bout no,” dream Foxy huffed back.

Foxy frowned at the exchange as it kept going. This felt . . . familiar, somehow. As if it happened before, but . . .

I don't know when this coulda happened.

Freddy was glaring narrowly at the dream Foxy, but soon nodded and walked away. ‘Foxy’ stared back at the sky, watching the stars above. The real Foxy watched silently, cocking his head.

What am I doin’? This is so confusin’ . . .

That was when Freddy’s angry yelling echoed down the hallway. Foxy flinched, but the other just sighed, ears moving down. A few moments later, the dream Foxy straightened up and turned around. He passed right through the real Foxy, who gasped and shuddered slightly, and then vanished into the darkness of the pizzeria.

“Well, that's . . . disappointin’,” Apple Bloom said after a moment. The two other fillies nodded in agreement.

“But you're gonna get him back, right?” Scootaloo asked.

“If you're referring to you three helping us, no,” Rarity retorted gently. “But, for right now, we adults are trying to . . . figure out a solution.”

“Aw man,” Sweetie Belle muttered. The CMC looked a bit unhappier.

“Well, you can't blame us for not wanting to put you in harm’s way,” Twilight said gently, an apologetic smile on her face.

“I guess . . .” Scootaloo grumbled. Rainbow mussed the orange pegasus’ purplish mane.

“Don't worry, squirt. We’ll take care of everything,” Dash reassured.

“Well, if we can't help by lookin’ for Foxy, then let us take the other animatronics off your hooves,” Apple Bloom suggested suddenly. The five mares appeared startled, all of them recoiling just slightly.

“What?! Ah will allow no such thing!” Applejack barked, stomping her hoof.



“Wait a second,” Twilight said, stopping the arguing. “They are, well, kids. Maybe they can help them—Freddy—calm down.” She shrugged, giving her friends a helpless look when their eyes shot over to look at her.

“That'd actually . . . make sense,” Rarity admitted, however regretfully, with a tiny shrug.

“Rares is right,” Dash added with a slight nod. The three members of the CMC were grinning hopefully now, eyes pleading.

“I vote yes!” Pinkie Pie declared, a hoof shooting into the air. She held it up and waved it there for a few moments before letting her arm fall back down, a smile on her face. “Because I don't like to see big, unhappy robots and I think the kiddies will cheer them up!”

Applejack frowned as all the other mares agreed. She glanced down at Apple Bloom—still with a large smile on her face—and sighed, letting a small grin slip onto her muzzle. “Well, alright. It does make sense. As long as they stay in the same place, Ah say let it happen.”

“Alright then,” Twilight said, a smile on her face now. “Let’s get back to the library. There, we can sort things out and then find Foxy.”

“Sweet! Let's get down to business,” Apple Bloom declared. She turned and trotted to the cluster of animatronics.

“Hi, Apple Bloom,” Chica said quietly as she approached. The mares listened in on the conservation from their positions, and the two other Crusaders waited a few paces away from the yellow filly.

“Howdy, Chica. How's Freddy?” she asked gently.

Bonnie tried to pry his boss’ hands off his face but was unsuccessful. “Not well,” the bunny murmured, defeated.

“Ah see,” was all AB said. She exchanged a quick glance with Chica, who was the closest to her, and the chicken scooted backwards a little. “Freddy?”

A low whine was her only reply.

“Ah know that you're feelin’ a bit sad ‘bout this, but ya don't have to blame yourself,” Apple Bloom continued, setting a hoof on his arm. He didn't respond. “Why don't ya just calm down and come with us to the library?”

Once again, Freddy didn't say anything, nor did he even seem to register her question.

“Come on, Freddy. Don't be like this.” AB frowned. “It's your job to cheer others up, not mine.”

“And look how badly I've failed at that!” Freddy cried suddenly, lifting his head from his hands just long enough to make that fact known to the world. Without another word, he planted his face back into his hands, crying almost comically. Apple Bloom recoiled at his outburst, taken by surprise, but then grimaced.

“Freddy . . .” she started.

“I don’t deserve to be a children’s entertainer!” he wailed again.

Oh for Celestia’s sake.

“Freddy, stop cryin’!” Apple Bloom shouted, stomping her hoof as her mood suddenly changed. The animatronic stopped immediately, lifting his head from his hands to look at her. He was met with a fierce yet concerned pair of sunset eyes.

“Ah get you’re sad and feelin’ guilty, Ah do—but that’s no reason to carry on for twenty minutes,” the filly admonished, using the same kind of argument from when Applejack would scold her during her temper tantrums years ago. “Just calm down and everythin’ll be fine—you’ll see. Now buck up, ‘cuz we’ve got a job to do.” Freddy blinked at her, producing a mechanical click. A few moments later, he was making a small whining sound. AB narrowed her eyes.

“Don’t ya dare. Don’t ya dare make the face,” she warned, snout crinkling. Freddy’s blue eyes became big and shiny, his ears falling back even farther than they already were. He quietly whimpered at her. Apple Bloom threw her hooves into the air in a gesture of ‘screw everything.’ (If I could find the comic, I would, I swear!!)

The ponies/animatronics stared at the spectacle. Their mouths were all slightly parted, eyes wide. They all exchanged quick, synchronized glances.

“Freddy Fazbear, you’re going to get up and be the slightly mean bear you’ve always been!” Chica suddenly began. Like Apple Bloom, she’d had enough of this whiny behavior and decided to take action. She put a finger right into his face, nearly touching his nose. He stared at it before glancing quickly up at her angry face. “You’re not going to pout the whole day away. It wasn’t just your fault this happened to Foxy, so you’re not going to take the blame. Do you hear me?”

Without responding, Freddy stared. Then, after a moment, he sunk lower, eyes still pouty. Chica sighed, knowing that he wasn’t going to get up. She looked to Bonnie.

“Bonnie,” was all she said.

“Yup,” the bunny replied, rolling his eyes just slightly. Bonnie bent down and wrapped his arms around Freddy, then hefted him up to carry him bridal-style. The sad animatronic continued to sulk, face turned downwards.

“Let’s go then,” Twilight said—uncertainly—after a moment. She raised an eyebrow at Chica, who gave her a thumbs up, as she took a cautious step forward. “Alright, uh, yeah. To the library.”

Rainbow Dash flew over the hills leading to Fluttershy’s cottage. The ponies needed her with them, but she was most likely crying inside.

“Fluttershy?” Dash called as she knocked rapidly on the door to the cottage. She smushed her face against the door, trying to hear her fellow pegasus. “It’s me, Rainbow Dash! We need you to help look for Foxy!”

There was the sound of shuffling hooves from inside, and the yellow mare appeared in the doorway. Her eyes were red and puffy—she’d been crying for a while.

“B-but h-how? He’s g-gone,” Fluttershy sniffed, her voice barely a whisper.

“There’s always a way, ‘shy. Come on—we need everypony’s help if we’re to find that pirate.” Rainbow shot a grin at her friend.

“I-I don’t know . . .”

“Come on. You don’t get a choice; you want to see Foxy again, right?” She pressed her face closer to Fluttershy’s.

“O-of course!”

“Then you’re going to want to be there when we find him!”

Fluttershy scuffed a hoof against the wood. “How d-do you even know w-we’ll be able to f-find him?”

Rainbow gave her a level gaze. “Because after all the work we—though mostly you—have done, there’s no possible way we won’t be able to find him. Determination, ‘shy!”

Fluttershy perked up, letting a shadow of a smile flicker across her face. “You’re right. I’ll help; just let me get Mike really fast.” She didn’t even close the door all the way as she turned around, trotting through her cottage. She vanished down a hallway and soon returned with the security guard trailing behind her.

“Alright! Sweet! Come on, you two!” Dash proclaimed, rearing onto her hind legs and bounding into the air, arms outstretched as she whirled about. She took off in a zip of technicolor dust, leaving the two of them far behind in no time at all. Her excited cries rang out across the land. Fluttershy, hopes renewed at her friend’s enthusiasm, grinned and shot a quick glance at Mike. She ran off, wings helping to propel her forward. Mike started after her, trying not to be left too far in the dust.

Foxy followed his dream counterpart as the night went on. It had skipped—this was definitely a dream, so there was no worry of him being completely crazy. Right now, dream-Foxy was resting in Pirate Cove, not yet activated for the night. A little while later was when the action really started to happen. As dream-Foxy switched positions, a peculiar glow spread out over his body. Foxy watched this with a wary curiosity, not sure what was going to happen. Yet the deep seated feeling of déjà vu settled over him once again.

This has definitely happened before! Right? I can't stand feelin’ this and not knowin’ what it's from. Perhaps I should try and communicate with this dream me.

But the glowing Foxy took off down the hallway, startling the one who’d been thinking readily about the odd events taking place. Foxy glanced up, then made his swift way to the security office. The sound of the door slamming shut rang in his ears and dream-Foxy slunk back down the hall. He was glowing more violently now. It was very strange.

“Foxy? What are you doing? You're glowing!” Chica snapped, giving him a scolding glare. Dream-Foxy acknowledged her presence.

“I don’ know. It jus’ started happenin’,” the pirate replied with a quick look at his blueish arm.

“You need to go back to Pirate Cove, and stay there. You're jeopardizing this mission.” Chica whirled around and angrily padded off, leaving the two Foxys alone. Dream-Foxy let his ears fall down, looking sad.

I've heard Chica say that before! There's somethin’ strange goin’ on here, and I intend ta find out what it is.

Foxy followed his fake self once again back to the Cove. There they sat in silence for a while longer, until the glowing on dream-Foxy began to grow in intensity. He rushed out of the Cove. Foxy sprinted out after him, wanting to figure out what was happening. They ended up in the kitchen. A moment later, an angry looking Freddy appeared. He cornered the two pirates, though only saw one as he snapped something demeaning to the dream-Foxy.

“Ya gotta get this off ‘a me!” dream-Foxy cried as he flailed his arms. The real Foxy frowned, thinking as hard as he could to remember what was taking place.

Come on, think, think! There's somethin’ you're gonna remember sometime . . . Maybe I should touch one ‘a them?

Foxy reached out and hesitantly swiped a hand through Freddy. The animatronic didn't respond to this action, but his figure did waver just barely. Neither of the dream apparitions seemed to notice anything amiss. He was going to try and touch his dream self but before he could, he was knocked to the floor next to him. Dream-Foxy grimaced, gazing up at Freddy’s angry snarl. An arm was extended and a finger pointed in the direction of Pirate Cove. Dream-Foxy stayed low in an act of submission and crept past Freddy before breaking into a run out of the kitchen and across the pizzeria. Foxy watched Freddy for a moment longer, but he appeared frozen. He studied him, confused.

If this is a dream, wouldn't Freddy still be movin’ by himself? Nothin’ seems familiar ‘bout this moment now, so I must have ta stay close ta myself.

Foxy trotted off, heading back to his Cove. Once there, he discovered a pouting dream-Foxy. He watched the flustered pirate for a few minutes, but then everything began to go dark. Foxy’s gaze switched places, trying to learn why this was happening. Dream-Foxy wavered on his worn feet, and then toppled to the ground. The real Foxy gasped as a cold claw of discomfort stabbed through him. A moment later, there was nothing.

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“. . . But if we are to begin looking for Foxy, we—”

A low buzzing noise sounded in the room, cutting Twilight’s sentence in its tracks. The mares plus Mike stopped and they all looked around in confusion, before Twilight’s horn lit and a small magenta cube was pulled from Pinkie Pie’s bouncy mane. The cube vibrated once again, though the noise was dimmer thanks to not touching against anything solid—like Pinkie’s skull.

“What's that?” the party mare asked, pointing.

“It's, uh, well—I'll show you,” Twilight said. “He's probably getting grumpy from being in there so long, I'm assuming.”

“Wait, he?” Applejack questioned. Before answering her inquiry, Twilight allowed the cube to flash into nonexistence. Standing there now was a yellow animatronic that looked much like Freddy. He groaned in relief, then began to stretch in an over-exaggerated manner. The group stared in confused yet annoyed silence.

“Are you done now?” Twilight asked with a straight face when he stopped. Golden Freddy cocked his head in an intrigued expression before grinning and nodding. “Good. And am I assuming too much when I ask if you've come to help us in some way?”

Golden Freddy looked around, seeming to be contemplating her question. After a moment, he shrugged. Twilight’s frown deepened.

“What's up with you?” the unicorn asked icily. After another few moments with no answer, she lit her horn and dragged him close, using his bow tie as the chain. “Answer me, or I swear I'll lock you up and never let you out again.” She was sick of this new cryptic attitude, and if he was going to be allowed to walk free, then she wanted a reason to let that happen.

“Calm, dear,” Golden Freddy finally responded, his grin chilling. She released him and he leaned back.

“What are we getting from this . . . knockoff?” Rarity asked, being the first to interrupt the exchange. Golden Freddy’s gaze snapped to the fashionista, but she didn't pale under his black eyes. She simply made her gaze fiercer and his smile spread wider across his face. He looked back to Twilight.

“Yes, I'll help. Partly because I want to be rid of that simply horrid magical contraption of yours,” the animatronic began, “and also because I can't stand it when Freddy’s sad, so I'll have to cheer him up, of course.” The golden animatronic pretended to study his fingers, acting nonchalant. “Where is the poor thing?”

Rainbow Dash, from behind Twilight, jerked her head toward the upstairs. Golden Freddy briefly turned his upper body to look, then faced the ponies again.

“Are you going to just stand there like an idiot, or are you actually going to do something?” Dash snapped in a haughty manner.

“Oh, dear, seems like I'm a bit lightheaded right now. I'm not thinking straight,” Golden Freddy cooed, draping an arm across his head. The mares focused their withering glares on him, not convinced by his act. After a moment, the animatronic frowned and stood straighter.

“You girls are no fun,” he pouted. Turning around, he swirled into a cloud of smoke and whisked up the stairs. Twilight glared after him, thoughts of his attitude tracing a line through her brain. She'd have to do something about him, but now was not the time.

Twilight switched her attention back to the group. “Okay, as I was saying, if we are to find Foxy, we should start from the beginning.”

“The beginnin’?” Applejack questioned with a cocked eyebrow.

“Do you mean . . . ?” Pinkie Pie murmured. Twilight met their gazes, determining if they knew what she was thinking. They did.

“Yes,” the violet unicorn confirmed.

Fluttershy slowly met Twilight’s eyes. “So, we’re going to the dreamscape?”

Golden Freddy dissipated back into his physical form, approaching the group of animatronics scattered about the room. Bonnie and Chica didn't notice him right away, as their attentions were focused elsewhere—trying to get Freddy to stop wallowing in sorrow. The Cutie Mark Crusaders sat on the other side of the bed, peering up with large eyes from the floor.

That is just sad.

“Really, Freddy? Why so babyish?” Golden Freddy asked, appearing between the two other animatronics. Bonnie and Chica flinched and recoiled at the sight, while Freddy rolled onto his side to look.

“Goldie?” the bear asked, surprised. He sat up.

“It's me,” Golden Freddy confirmed with an air of confidence and slight cockiness. He grinned sharply at his darker counterpart. “What's all this I hear about you being saaaad?”

Freddy fidgeted slightly, fingers clicking together. His golden counterpart raised an eyebrow, slinking closer smooth as a snake. Black eyes met blue ones.

“You know this isn't exactly the way to be acting, Freddy,” the other continued, getting his face right into the one he was talking to. The only reply was a small grunt.

“You coward,” Golden Freddy snarled suddenly, lip curling menacingly. The real Freddy’s head shot up and the two other animatronics blinked up at Goldie, eyes wide. The three fillies jumped to their hooves, sensing the oncoming battle. Apple Bloom opened her mouth to intervene, but didn't get the chance.

“What'd you call me?!” Freddy snapped back, standing up.

“You heard me.”

Freddy threw himself at his lighter counterpart a moment later, tackling him. Golden Freddy seemed somewhat unprepared for the charge, however, and his eyes lit with surprise as they tipped backwards. His microphone and hat clattered onto the floor.

“Wait, you idiot, the stairs are right behind us!” came the slightly agitated yet concerned voice of Golden Freddy. The actual Freddy snarled and seemed not to care as the metallic thump of the golden animatronic’s back hitting the edge of the stairs was heard. There was a crack and the two barreled downwards, rolling head over feet.

“My goodness! What's happening?” Fluttershy’s quiet voice rang out behind the gasps of the other mares in the room.

The two animatronics twisted from each other’s grips, looking scruffy. They glared at one another before Freddy charged again, a fist swinging up into the other’s jaw. Golden Freddy rolled backwards with the punch, grabbing Freddy’s wrist and twisting it suddenly to the right, taking the whole animatronic with it. Stumbling, he hooked his fingers into the slight gap where Goldie’s torso met his hip, dragging him down as well. They ended up on the floor again, throwing punches.

Twilight lit her horn to end the madness, but Bonnie came flying down the steps by fours, stopping her as he sidestepped the brawl. Chica raced down after, trailed by the CMC.

“Just let them fight—it’s for a good reason, I promise,” the purple bunny breathed, sticking out a hand.

“But this is crazy!” Twilight shot back, eyes wide and mouth open.

“Just wait, please.” He gave her a pleading expression with maroon eyes and she allowed her mouth to close, face relaxing just slightly. She nodded and jerked her head at her friends, telling them silently to stay back. The mares looked like they were about to argue, but stopped when she frowned and shook her head. The whole group backed up a few paces.

“You two timing moron! Why didn't you say anything?!” Freddy barked, throttling the golden animatronic underneath him. Golden Freddy squeaked out a response, unable to speak. He turned into smoke, sweeping up and around Freddy to grab him by the sides of his head as he rematerialized. Freddy was yanked backwards and slammed into a bookshelf, and this action was repeated several times by Goldie as he lifted Freddy’s head back and continued to do so.

“Two timing?! I was trapped in a magical prison!” Golden Freddy screeched, nearly ripping Freddy’s head back at a ninety degree angle, hand buried in his messy fur. The darker animatronic grimaced in pain at this action, and then grunted as his face was slammed into the bookshelf again. Freddy reached around and curled his fingers into the black eyes of Golden Freddy. He shrieked as he was pulled forward, where Freddy took control again. He grabbed the back of Goldie’s suit and used momentum to swing the animatronic around, tossing him across the room where he landed in a heap of metal.

“You pest!” Freddy yelled in anger, not bothering to go after the wounded animatronic again. Golden Freddy pushed himself shakily to his feet, pinprick pupils meeting burning blue ones.

“Pest? How? I've actually been helping, unlike you, you brat!” Golden Freddy shouted back.

“Oh yeah, sure! What're you planning?”

“I'm not planning anything!”

“Haha, don't make me laugh!”

Golden Freddy scoffed, placing his hands on his hips. “You doubt my truthfulness?”

“Yeah, I do!” Freddy retorted sharply.


Everyone in the room started at the demanding screech. The little pegasus who'd yelled’s face was twisted in anger, her face red. She flew into the air, hovering above the brawling animatronics. Her eyes were wide with fury. The ponies—knowing what was coming—watched in silence. Bonnie and Chica exchanged worried glances.

“You two ought to be ashamed of yourselves!” Fluttershy scolded, her piercing gaze on the bears. “Fighting as if you have nothing else to be worried about! We’re trying to find Foxy, and you two aren't helping!”

Golden Freddy tried to interrupt, sticking a finger in the air, “It’s not—”

“Don't interrupt me!” she barked at him, directing most of her Stare in his direction. “You were supposed to go up there and make things better, not worse!”

“You don't—”

“And you!” Fluttershy continued, snapping her gaze to Freddy, “you should know better than to go around pouting about something you had no control over! That's no reason to start a fight.” The pegasus focused her Stare on both of them, making sure she had their complete and utter attention. “Now, what do you have to say for yourselves?”

There was a pause, and then the two animatronics pointed at the other. “He started it!” came the cry in unison.

Fluttershy’s Stare intensified. “I don't care who started it, I'm finishing it! Both of you, apologize!”

“Sorry,” Freddy muttered, ears tilted backwards.

“I apologize,” Goldie pouted, his expression looking very close to Freddy’s own.

With a firm nod, Fluttershy pointed to the lab door. “Good. Now, both of you, downstairs. And no more fighting, or Celestia help me.”

“Yes, Miss,” the animatronics said quietly, resigning themselves to their fate. They quickly hurried towards the laboratory and down the stairs. As soon as they were gone, Fluttershy blinked, the Stare gone as quickly as it had appeared.

“Well, that was certainly . . . something that just . . . happened,” Mike commented plainly.

“Yeah,” was all Bonnie replied with.

“They had no reason to be fighting. I don't care if you said not to intervene, they were going to hurt each other—worse than they already had,” Fluttershy said. “We have to focus on finding Foxy, not petty arguments between animatronics.”

“I did not think the Stare would work on them,” Rarity admitted.

“Well, I think it's good that it did. Come on, girls, let's get back to discussing our plan,” Twilight suggested.

“You guys can go back upstairs if you want,” Fluttershy said to Bonnie, Chica, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders.

“What about Freddy and Goldie?” Chica asked, looking briefly towards the lab door.

“They're in timeout.”

Bonnie winced. “Freddy’s not gonna like that.”

“Of course he doesn't. But I didn't say they were in timeout to them, so they should be fine.”

“Then can we hear what y’all are plannin’?” Apple Bloom wondered. The fillies trotted closer to the table at which the Elements were gathering around once more. Bonnie and Chica looked eager to hear as well. Mike just eyed the group and sighed before tuning in.

Twilight smiled. “Alright. Here's the plan . . .”

Luna raised an eyebrow at the group before her. “And you think that this will lead to what exactly?”

Twilight frowned; getting the princesses to see her point of view was hard, given the circumstances. “If we can somehow find the way into Foxy’s last dreams, maybe there’ll be something there. I don't know what exactly, but I know we can do it—you can do it.”

Luna pursed her lips, eyes twinkling in thought. “How do you know that is even possible? If I could go into any old dream, why wouldn't I just resurrect every dead pony in Equestria?”

“Because Foxy isn't living, but he still dreamt. He had a memory bank—we’d be able to get into them, albeit they'd probably be extremely filled with gaps,” Twilight continued, a determined smile on her face as she realized the princesses were sure of her plan—they knew it would be a long shot, but the Elements of Harmony had a reputation of doing the impossible.

The two royal sisters broke their charade, smiles flickering across their faces.

“I can do it,” Luna said, “but it will most likely take a large amount of effort. We’ll need outside help.”

Celestia stood from her throne, addressing the group, “Which is why I shall stay here and provide the necessary energy to perform the spell.”

“Spell? Can't you dream walk naturally, Princess Luna?” Fluttershy asked softly.

“I can. But,” the lunar sovereign explained, “to access Foxy’s memory banks, we’ll need a special kind of spell—one that is extremely difficult to do. Inside of the dream world, I have complete lucidity, but spells are hard to cast correctly. If I had to contribute all the energy for the spell, I might fade out by accident as I concentrate.”

“Alright. Is there anything specific we need to do before going in?” Twilight asked.

“No. I just need all of you to lay down and close your eyes. Including you four,” Luna instructed, gaze switching to the animatronics. They all did as they were told. “Alright, I'm going to cast a spell to bring you in with me. Since you do not have the ability to naturally dream walk, you'll be a sleep-like trance. If all goes well, we’ll meet at a central location, and not individually in your own heads.”

As soon as he saw the yellow pegasus pop into his vision before squeaking and shooting into the bushes, Foxy remembered what was happening.

That . . . That's right! Equestria, the ponies, the . . . the Nightmare. But I'm so confused. Why am I here? I swear, the ponies did somethin’ . . . them Elements, they attacked me—the Nightmare—with ‘em. So . . . why’m I ‘ere?

A thought occurred to Foxy as he saw Fluttershy flying after the ‘dream’ him. His shoulders slumped and his ears fell.

I guess I didn't make it.

Luna appeared a moment later, her wings giving a few flaps to steady herself as she materialized. The group of ponies and animatronics looked to her expectantly.

“Hello once more, my friends. Come along—we have not a moment to spare,” Luna stated, turning to trot through the world of stars. Doors of dreams were scattered along the sides of the starry path, but the dark alicorn didn't stop for any of them. Instead, she lit her horn and picked up the pace, the world beginning to swirl around them, faster than they were traveling at.

“Hold onto your wits, for it gets a bit bumpy here!” Luna explained loudly as a forceful wind began to blow. Wings were clasped to sides and heads turned down to battle the oncoming storm, which seemed to come from nowhere. The stars around them whipped past at breakneck speeds, as if in fast forward. Then, as suddenly as it had come, it stopped, leaving the group in complete and utter darkness, save the gentle light that came from the violet, white, and dark blue horns of Twilight, Rarity, and Luna as they cast their own illumination spells.

“There we go,” Luna said in satisfaction, “we are here. Come along again. The entrance is close.” The alicorn held out a dark wing to lead them into the darkness. Her horn lit a bit brighter and a soft glow spread through her body, pulsing through her veins like blood. In a moment, every movement she made was framed by light. She flapped a wing and the shaded echo of it remained for a second, making the air seem thick. It was a few minutes of awe later when they noticed they all had it.

“Ooh, pretty!” Pinkie Pie squealed, jumping around.

“Awesome! I wonder what my tricks would look like if I had this effect on me then!” Rainbow Dash beamed, flapping her wings and doing a flip in place. Rarity cooed and ran a sparkling hoof through her mane as the others admired themselves.

“I figured you'd all want to see something cool, giving the nature of this task,” Luna said with a smile on her face. The only ones who didn't seem to have it were the animatronics, whose eyes were merely glowing in the dark. However, Freddy’s were the only regular ones, as both Chica and Bonnie had theirs in night mode, and Golden Freddy couldn't change his.

“Aw man! I wanted to see what they would look like,” Pinkie complained briefly.

Luna glanced over. “It only works on creatures with blood in their veins. But they seem to be doing fine.”

Freddy blinked, and his eyes began to glow as a gentle tune started to play.

“Whoa! What's that?” Rainbow asked.

Eyes still shining brightly, Freddy explained, “I’m programmed to do this. It's for the dark.”

“Why the music though?” Applejack wondered.

“To comfort the children, of course. If the lights went out, since we had no backup power, I was programmed to calm their fears.” There was a chorus of agreements that the music was fairly soothing, so the group continued on their way, an even sparklier Princess Luna guiding them.

“Though it is very nice not to have to walk in silence, I must admit,” Rarity commented after a moment.

“Well, for security guards, that music signals other things,” Bonnie whispered softly.

“What?” Twilight asked. Mike was not there with them, for he stayed back with the CMC and Princess Celestia in Canterlot, declaring he definitely did not want to go and save Foxy. There was no way in Hell, whatever that was. So they couldn't get an explanation out of him.

“When the power goes out,” Chica began.

“Freddy is the one to appear in the doorway and finish the night guard off,” Bonnie continued.

“The Toreador March is a victory song, and I'd say it fits perfectly for that situation.”

“Well, that's great,” Dash said sarcastically. From that moment on was silence.

I'm not in action anymore.

The thought was surprising, but maybe it was the best thing. Foxy stopped glancing around at the library, deciding instead to study Fluttershy more intensely—he obviously didn't have to be careful anymore. It wasn't like she could see him. And now that he was staring, he saw that she had a small scar on the back of her ear. It was shaped like a half moon; a crescent. He briefly wondered how she’d gotten it before she began backing up slightly. Twilight was fawning over his dream self, and she quickly told Fluttershy to come back tomorrow to see her progress before the pegasus spread her wings and flew back upstairs.

As much as I want ta know how Twilight managed ta get me runnin’, I think I'll follow Fluttershy.

With that thought set in his mind, Foxy walked after her, following her up the stairs. But as soon as he stepped through the doorway, she was waiting for him.

“There it is,” Luna said, stopping in front of a broken door made of stars—as all the doors in the dreamscape were. After however long of walking in darkness, they'd come upon it.

“That's Foxy’s dream door?” Rainbow Dash scoffed, waving a hoof at it.

“I am appalled as well! That door is seriously heinous!” Rarity cried, putting a hoof across her forehead in astonishment.

Luna tilted her head in acknowledgement. “I understand why it doesn't look as you would expect. However, it makes sense that it would be broken as it is.”

The glowing door seemed odd in the middle of darkness. One couldn't see the floor nor any space around it. Twilight cocked her head at it.

“So, are we going in?” the violet unicorn asked.

“Yes. But I must go in first to check it out. If Foxy is in there, he may be in some sort of . . . state. I can explain it the best I can: he may be reliving memories or perhaps making up a new world inside of his head. It shall be best to find where he is and replace one of the characters inside; as to not make him suspicious, or even break his subconscious mind. He may be very fragile right now,” Luna explained. Then she turned around, horn lighting. The light spells were extinguished, and the light was replaced from the opening door.

“Foxy,” Fluttershy said cautiously. She recalled Princess Luna’s words in her mind:

Don't raise your voice. Don't tell him he is dreaming. Just get him alone; he’ll be confused at first, but don't try to explain. Get him to follow you to the door, but you must make him open and go through it himself. If Foxy is forced to exit his world, he won't survive on the other side—our side, the world of the living—for long.

She could also recall Twilight asking why Foxy wouldn't survive on their side if he was a robot, and technically not living.

“He doesn't breathe, eat, nor does he have a heart, and I'm pretty sure that he doesn't even need sleep to function.”

“Yes, I understand, but if he was forced back into this realm, in his case, he'd probably try to kill us all.”


“The horror of it all, Twilight.”

“Fluttershy?” Foxy gaped. She could see him? How?

“Foxy, do you know where you are?” Fluttershy asked carefully.

“I-I'm dreamin’.”

If he already knows he is dreaming, that's good. He came to that conclusion on his own. Don't confirm his thoughts, just continue. What you'll need to do now is get him to go with you; you'll need to go to the door.

“Will you come with me?” Fluttershy asked, changing the topic abruptly. Foxy tensed, looking her up and down.

“How can ye see me? The dream me is downstairs—Twilight is workin’ on me,” Foxy argued.

“Will you come with me?” she repeated.

Don't explain how you can see him or why, just repeat your question—will you come with me?

“Lass, please tell me what's happenin’,” Foxy begged, trying to decipher her bright gaze.

“Foxy, will you come with me?” Fluttershy asked, turning slightly. She needed to get him to go to the door.

“Ta where?” Foxy began to follow her as she trotted away. “Tell me what's goin’ on, please!” He hurried after, not bothering to duck under the doorframe as they exited the library. Fluttershy didn't answer.

Just go. Do not answer his questions. If he gets angry, don’t worry—as with all dream characters, he won't be able to hurt you.

“Fluttershy, tell me!” Foxy growled, frustration bubbling up inside. He continued to follow her as they travelled to wherever. After another minute of silence, Fluttershy stopped at a door. It looked like any regular door. Except for the fact that there was nothing surrounding; no building it was attached to, no reason why it should be there or how.

“What's this?” the pirate asked uncertainly. He looked down at the pegasus.

Fluttershy blinked up at him. She didn't say anything. She just looked back towards the strange door.

“Am I ‘posed ta go through?”

No answer.

Foxy frowned, carefully inspecting the door that was seemingly placed randomly in the middle of Ponyville. His hand reached towards it. With hesitation, he pulled it open. On the other side was the dirt path of which it was located. With frustration clear in his movements, he peeked his out head to look around it. One could see the open door on the other side.

“I don't understand!” Foxy cried, slamming the door closed. Fluttershy looked back up at him, her face showing clear signs of urgency now. “What do ye want from me? What is this?”

No reply.

Foxy whimpered, so unsure of what was happening. He quelled the urge to stomp his foot like a little kid and looked back towards the door again. He inspected it carefully, trying to think of any reason why it'd be there and what it had to do with Fluttershy. Finally resigning himself to his fate, Foxy threw it open and—with a slight wince—he ducked down and stepped through.

Back Again

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There was a flash, and everything seemed to stop. The ponies waiting on the other side froze. The animatronics froze. Even Princess Luna froze as the wave of light washed over her, shrouding the dreamscape like a thick blanket of fog. Then time seemed to move backwards. The light remained; however, the group began to walk back, all their actions in reverse. Nonetheless, the door to Foxy’s head remained open. He and Fluttershy were nowhere to be seen as time rewound. Minutes passed like seconds and—without any of them realizing it—they were back at Canterlot Castle. Then, back at the train station and heading to Ponyville. Freddy and Goldie brawling in reverse at the library. The Nightmare laughing as it was defeated, and the rainbow of justice sweeping back up to be absorbed by the Element bearers—minus one. Soon, the ponies were gone, miles away from Ponyville again. The Elements were back with the Nightmare. Princess Celestia went flying across the sky and vanished in a flash of teleportation as Golden Luna fought with the Nightmare. Time sped backwards still.

Past incidents flashed by as the Nightmare transformed, but there was no one standing there at the end. Then Celestia, Luna, and Golden Freddy were randomly standing in the library, not doing anything.

Then, as suddenly as it all happened, it stopped.

Twilight woke with a start, hooves jerking under her starry comforter. Her head swiveled around, eyes searching. Spike’s quiet snoring from his basket was the only thing she could hear. The moon’s pale light shone in through the wi—

Wait, Spike? I sent him to my parent’s house before we searched for the other animatronics. Why would he be here?

Twilight sat up almost mechanically, a perplexed expression on her face. Kicking her covers off, she stood next to Spike’s basket, just watching him sleep. After noticing nothing amiss with him, she decided to explore.

I shouldn't be dreaming. Why would I be? We were just rescuing Foxy.

The violet unicorn trotted downstairs. Her horn lit and she went into her lab as the door opened. Upon reaching the bottom, her blood went cold.

There was nothing there.

“Fluttershy! Fluttershy!” Twilight yowled, pounding loudly on the cottage door. There was no answer. Steeling herself, she lit her horn and the door slowly began to creak open.

“Fluttershy? You here?” Twilight whispered. She took a few steps, entering the pegasus’ living room.

“She's not here, Twilight.”

The violet unicorn spun around, heart pounding at the sudden scare. Princess Celestia stood in the doorway, her frame outlined by the moon in the night sky.

“Princess Celestia? What do you mean she's not here?” Twilight asked with a frown on her face as she padded closer to the alicorn.

“I mean Fluttershy has never existed,” Celestia said in the same nearly-monotone voice as before.

Twilight tilted her head in confusion. “What are you talking about? How could Fluttersh . . .”

Celestia illuminated the room with her horn. Twilight’s words faded out as she gazed about. The room was sparsely furnished, only a few broken chairs and a legless table taking up space. Cobwebs and dust covered everything. The windows were broken and the floor was mostly dirt. A rat scurried across the room with a quiet squeak. There was no sign that anypony had lived there in years.

“Princess, I'm—I’m confused,” Twilight choked, turning back to the alicorn.

“I'm sorry, Twilight. When you were in the dreamscape, something happened . . . the timeline reset, and everything that was not part of our world was erased.”

“Our world? But Fluttershy—”

“Fluttershy was in Foxy’s head when it happened.” Celestia paused. “It’s the way of the world to return to its natural state, and we’d been poking about in the chaos and clutter for far too long, with everything that had happened.” Draping a large white wing over the unicorn, the solar sovereign led her out of the cottage and into the garden. She didn't let her illumination spell die out just yet.

Celestia allowed Twilight to take the scenery in as she continued speaking.

“Foxy was not part of this world, this we are all clear of. None of the animatronics were. Not Mike, either,” Celestia spoke. “And when Luna brought Foxy here, I didn't foresee any of this happening. Neither did she.”

Twilight found it hard to respond as she gazed about the garden. Or what was supposed to be a garden. There were weeds and the tall grass was up to her chest, all with no clear order.

“Equestria’s magic flows deep within the land—from the plants to the animals to the ponies, nothing is devoid of magic’s force. When the Elements of Harmony were not ours (though that whole story is best left for another time), they helped restore harmony from their places deep within what is now the Everfree Forest. And now that they are attached to you ponies, you are the thing that resets harmony.”

For the first time, Twilight looked to the moon.

“Princess Celestia, we—” Twilight found it hard to choke out—“we didn't save Luna, did we?” She gazed up at her mentor.

Celestia smiled a bittersweet smile, the tears in her eyes shining faintly in the light. “No, Twilight. There was no Element of Kindness.”

The two ponies looked up at the moon. It was partly shattered, a large chunk out of where the Mare in the Moon used to be. The bits of rock missing floated in a mock halo around the side.

“How did we—you—stop her?” Twilight whispered.

“The five Elements we did have powered up and attacked her with all they had,” Celestia explained. “They tried to launch her back into the moon. But without Kindness, they didn't restore harmony—they killed her.”

Twilight stared up at the desolate night sky, the tears wanting to fall but unable to.

“Did we defeat Discord?” she asked after a moment.

“I knew after what happened to Luna that there'd be a chance we couldn't find a new Element of Kindness,” Celestia started hesitantly, “so I took precautions.”

Dreading the answer, Twilight didn't ask what kind of precautions immediately. Then, “You killed him.”

“I had to.”

Twilight nodded. “I understand.”

After that, the two beings stood in silence, allowing Twilight to take in all the information.

“Gather the other Element Bearers, Twilight. I must tell you all together what to do,” Celestia said softly, breaking the quiet.

Eyes shooting up to her mentor, Twilight gasped, “You have a plan?”

Celestia dipped her head. “I have had years to think about it.”


“Yes.” Celestia blinked. “I have waited from the first rainboom to now. You five only remember what happened in the original timeline. That's why I've had to wait so long.”

Twilight frowned. “I'm sorry.”

“Do not be. We shall fix this.” The alicorn gestured with a wing. “Go. Get the remaining Elements.”

“Alright,” Celestia began, “it will be a difficult task, but one that you cannot afford to fail.” The five Elements stood before her, eyes wide with sadness yet determination.

“Just tell us what to do, Princess,” Rainbow Dash spat, scraping her hoof against the ground in agitation. Celestia couldn't help but feel sorry for the brash pegasus, as she was the one who'd lost the most—her best friend since childhood. The very one who'd helped her become Loyalty in the first place. It had been a surprise when she'd still met Twilight in Ponyville. After all, nothing had been keeping her there.

“I can send you to the alternate world, where the animatronics originate from,” Celestia continued. “I cannot go, for I have the Sun and the Moon to control.” She paused. “You must find out if the animatronics remember you or not. If they do, perhaps they can tell you where Fluttershy has ended up. It's quite possible she got bounced to their dimension with them. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you whether she remembers everything like us.”

“But how are we goin’ to ask them? We won't be ponies in this dimension, will we?” Applejack asked.

“No, you won't; that is correct.” Celestia shook her head. “When Luna and I traveled there, we were humans, like Mike. But we still had use of our magic and flight, one just couldn't see our extra appendages. That is what it shall be like for you. And using a few trick spells, you should all be able to get in afterhours quite easily.” The princess smiled. “I can't tell you exactly what to do, but this is a crucial task. If we don't get Fluttershy back, the Elements of Harmony will be useless until a replacement for Kindness is found.”

“But since you banished Princess Luna to the moon, you wielded the Elements, right?” Rainbow Dash asked. “I'm not saying I don't want to find Flutters, but . . .” She trailed off, eyes saddening. “Just in case, you know.” She scuffed a hoof against the floor.

“Yes, I did wield them at one point,” Celestia answered. “When Luna and I first defeated Discord, I was the Bearer of Magic, Kindness, and Generosity. My sister had Loyalty, Honesty, and Laughter.” The alicorn smiled. “But I no longer have the connections to the Elements. As soon as Twilight became Magic and named you all as the others, my power over them was severed. I cannot wield Kindness without the other two, and Luna by my side with the last three.”

Twilight cocked her head. “Alright, so back to the mission: how do we get back to Equestria? Won't bringing them back cause the same thing to happen?”

Celestia paused. “We aren't bringing them all back, Twilight. Just Fluttershy—if you manage to locate her. We can't take the risk.” She saw the look on her student’s face and spoke again, “But if we do manage to restore the original timeline, then it's possible they'll be back. I am not sure at what point in time, however.

“And getting back to Equestria will be easy. Here, take this.” Celestia lit her horn and deposited a small pouch at Twilight’s hooves. Upon receiving a provoking nod from her mentor, she opened it, revealing a collection of gems in all sorts of different colors. They all had the same shape, however.

“Ooh, what are those?” Rarity purred, eyes widening at their beauty.

“They are spell gems, imbued with the spell to bring you back to Equestria—hence the name spell gem,” Celestia explained brightly. “I’ve powered them just for this purpose. It's much easier than me waiting for a signal.”

“Okay, how do we use ‘em?” Dash asked with a flick of her tail and a raised eyebrow as she inspected a silver one.

“When you want to leave, return to the place you arrived. That is the weakest point to enter the world—the closest, at least. Arrange the gems in a circle and stand inside. If any one of you is outside it, you won't be transported, so use caution. When you are all ready, activate them with magic—you'll be transported back to Equestria to land in the Everfree Forest; our weakest point.”

“We’ve got it, Princess!” Pinkie Pie cheered. Twilight and the rest nodded, their faces determined.

Celestia smiled. “Then go with haste! I wish you luck!”

The group of five were enveloped in a bubble of gold—Celestia’s magic.

“Fluttershy is waiting, of that I am sure!”

“Whoa! This is so weird!” Rainbow’s voice was the first to be heard as they materialized in the foreign land. She had her hands out in front of her, inspecting her fingers. Her rainbow hair was cut short and she was sporting a pair of jeans and a T-shirt under a cropped overcoat, with a pair of athletic sneakers on.

“Tell me about it,” Applejack murmured, a hand reaching up to make sure her hat was there. She had on a checkered shirt with jeans and cowboy boots.

“Wow! I feel so tall!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed happily, picking up her feet that were covered in large boots. The rest of her outfit was composed of a short sleeved shirt and a pair of capris.

“A girl could get used to this,” Rarity purred. She had a cute dress with a bow in the back, and on her feet were a pair of small high heels.

“Maybe not all of us,” Twilight mumbled, pulling her jacket closer to her body. She had a pair of jeans and Converse shoes on also. Looking up, she saw from the position of the sun it was about five in the afternoon. “Come on, girls. We have to find the pizzeria.” She waved her hand in a gesture of ‘follow me’ and the group scurried out of the alley. There were a few stumbles along the way, but they managed to get to the end of the street.

“There it is,” Pinkie Pie breathed in awe. The five stood on the other side of the street, gazing at the slightly rundown building of Freddy Fazbear’s pizzeria.

“I can't say I didn't imagine it differently,” Rarity commented, voice slightly disappointed.

“Who cares what it looks like? Let's go in!” Rainbow Dash shouted, on the verge of punching someone if she didn't find Fluttershy soon. Luckily, Applejack grabbed her before she could run across the street.

“Hold up,” Twilight warned. “We can't just stroll in. It'd look odd, wouldn't it, if a group of adults came in alone. It's a children’s place, right?”

“What? Are you saying you should turn one of us to kids? Do you even know any aging spells?” Dash retorted.

“Well—no, I’m not saying I turn one of us into kids. That's really unnecessary.” Twilight gave her a slightly sheepish look. “Let's wait ‘til nightfall and sneak in then.”

The five girls were pressed against the side of the pizzeria, the one facing away from the street. Twilight poked her head out to make sure no one was watching and then waved her hand in a gesture of ‘come on’ before sneaking forward. The four others crept after her as they approached the door. Using her magic, she unlocked it and, one after another, the group entered the building. It was nearly eleven, so the restaurant was closed, but the animatronics weren't in roaming mode yet, thankfully enough. The three of them stood on stage.

“Freddy?” Twilight called uncertainly. With a sudden movement, the leading animatronic’s head jerked up, eyes glowing. He looked in their direction.

“Ponies?” he questioned, blinking. “Well, once-ponies, anyways.” He leaped off stage and made his way towards them. He looked as he did before they’d ended up in Equestria—not scruffy and wild: “What are you doing here?” He poked Twilight in the forehead, causing her to grunt in pain and stumble backwards. But apparently just as angry.

“Hey! What was that for?” she growled, rubbing at the spot he’d touched her.

“What do you think?” His blue eyes glared daggers at them. “You sent us back here and abandoned her!” He took a menacing step forward, making the girls flinch back.

“For your information, we didn't send you back!” Twilight retorted. “There was something happening with the timeline and we came to fix it!”

“Then why did you wait so long?!”

Twilight’s heart skipped a beat. “Wha-what?”

Without holding back, Freddy grabbed Twilight’s head in his large hand and dragged her to the side, where a calendar was tacked upon the wall. He ferociously planted a finger on the day it was.

“Do you see that?!” Freddy snarled angrily, getting louder every time he spoke. “What do you see?!”

Twilight recalled the day Foxy told her how old he was:

“Hey, speaking of boys, how old are you, Foxy?”

“Hmm . . . what year is it here?”

“Well, it’s 7334, but I’m sure it’s different in your world.”

Foxy thought for a moment. “Aye, that is diff’rent. I know what year it was when I was introduced . . .”


“Aye, I worked at a rest’rant. I was built in 1986, and the . . .” Foxy stopped, grimacing. “And a few years progressed . . . aye, I remember the calendar in the workroom said 1993. So I’m . . . seven.” He seemed satisfied with that answer.

“S-seven?” Twilight stammered.

This calendar read September 19, 1996.

“Oh my Celestia,” Twilight choked. Freddy released her from his tight grip and she fell against the wall, where Pinkie Pie and Applejack quickly helped her up.

“Hey! That was mean!” Pinkie spat.

“Do—do you know-?” Twilight stammered, looking up at Freddy, who was lighting a cigarette. He glanced down at her with contempt.

“Of course I do,” he answered, taking a long drag from his cigarette, which sat in its usual holder.

"Where is she?” Rainbow Dash quickly asked, flying to get her face right in Freddy’s. He snorted a bit of smoke out his nose. It enveloped her face and she ducked away, coughing. “Dude! I can't believe you actually smoke those things!”

“Do you mean to tell me you have cigarettes in Equestria?” Freddy asked. “For goodness sakes! I could have relieved so much stress!” Pausing, he inspected the girls. “Well, it's nearly eleven thirty. You know what that means.” He finished his cigarette and flicked it off to the side where it landed in a trash can.

“That's a real fire hazard,” Rarity pointed out, raising an eyebrow at him. Freddy stowed the holder behind the front desk.

“So what?”

“Does Mike work here still?” Twilight asked suddenly.

Freddy paused, then started to laugh. “What! Why would he work here? I'm sure he remembers everything, too! That's why he's never worked here!”

“Wait, never?” Applejack asked. “Ya mean he never worked here?”

“Of course he didn't!”

“Wait, how long ago did you come back?” Twilight whispered, dreading the answer.

Freddy arched one of his dark eyebrows. “Dear, we've been back since 1987.”

He watched the complete shock on all of their faces. He pointed right at Twilight. “Do you have any idea how much that hurt them?” He leant up close to her before regaining their spacing. “Of course, I don't care. It's just, you know, Foxy and Fluttershy—even Chica and Bonnie, though not as much—were upset because of this. You can imagine Foxy and Fluttershy’s complete and utter devastation.” He paused. “And you know who really got ruined?”

Trying to think, Twilight only managed a few stutters.

Freddy smirked. “You know what; I think I'll let you figure that one out on your own.” He walked towards the stage. “It's gonna be midnight soon. I recommend you prepare yourselves.”

The room was silent for a few moments.


Dead and Deactivated

View Online

The group of five turned suddenly to the open door. There she stood.

“Fluttershy!” Rainbow Dash cheered, eyes bright and full of joy as the biggest smile spread across her face. She shot into the air and zoomed over to her fellow pegasus, enveloping her in a large hug and swooping around the pizzeria.

“Oh, Dash, I’m so glad to see you!” Fluttershy cried, wrapping her arms around Rainbow’s neck and holding on for dear life. “I’m so glad to see all of you again!” She lifted her head to look at the other girls, who stood with broad smiles on their faces, and in Rarity’s case—tears in her eyes. She took out a tissue from Pinkie Pie’s hair and dabbed at her eyes gently.

A good thirty seconds passed before Rainbow set Fluttershy back on the floor. And immediately after, she was taken into another hug with everyone else. As soon as all embraces were finished, Twilight was the first one to ask:

“Fluttershy, why are you here?”

The pegasus stepped back, straightening out her uniform. “I work here. I’m the night guard.” The girls all ‘waa-huuuh?’d and gave her looks with open mouths and plenty of astonishment.

“Look, I know you want to know what happened, but we’ve got a few minutes until midnight, and I’d prefer to give the animatronics more than a minute’s notice that they can’t go into roaming mode. Just meet me out back in the morning,” Fluttershy explained. She reached into her back pocket and pulled out a wallet. From there, she extracted about two hundred dollars. “Here—go and get a hotel for tonight.”

“What? Fluttershy, we can’t leave you here a minute longer!” Rarity scoffed in bewilderment. “Especially not in this dreadful place!” She waved a hand at the secondhand pizzeria.

“Hey, it’s not that bad.” Fluttershy frowned and rubbed her arm. “It’s nearly midnight. Please just go, okay?”

“But we have to get back to Equestria! To fix the timeline!” Twilight argued.

“But I can’t just . . . leave. I’ve been here a . . . long time, girls.”

Suddenly, the group understood. They exchanged glances, expressions sad.

“Okay, ‘shy. But we’ll be back in the morning,” Twilight said gently.

Fluttershy smiled. “The boss gets here at about nine, and my shift is over at six. The pizzeria opens at ten. We can talk before then.” She put the money in Rainbow’s nearby hand and turned around, walking towards the backroom. The girls stared after her for a few moments before begrudgingly turning to leave.

The night seemed to pass at a snail pace for the group of five. The only one who got more than an hour of rest was Rainbow Dash, naturally. The rest were too busy pacing and worrying about things to come. This wasn't going as they'd thought it would go, but at least they'd found Fluttershy, right?

“Alright, it's six,” Applejack said, turning off the strange ‘television’ that sat in the front of the room. The girls stirred, and Rarity prodded Dash from her sideways spot on the bed. She jerked awake and look about blearily, then fell back asleep . . . for about another two seconds before realizing what they were going to do. With that, she flailed and slipped off the edge of the bed with a thump.

“Come on, let's go! We need to go!” Rainbow shouted, already antsy.

“Just hold yer horses there, girl,” AJ said, out stretching an arm to block the way to the door. She looked to Twilight, and Rainbow’s gaze followed soon after.

“Let's not waste time, I suppose,” Twilight murmured with a shrug. Dash grinned.

Fluttershy was waiting in the office, trying to calm herself. She knew this day had been coming. But she never knew it'd be this hard—this hard to get her courage up to speak to her best friends again.

But then again, it had been nearly ten years.

Shaking her head, Fluttershy stood from her chair and did her rounds, checking to make sure the animatronics were in their appropriate places. There couldn't be a chicken in the kitchen or a misplaced bear somewhere.

Alright, calm yourself. It won't be that bad; they'll understand. She took a deep breath. They'll understand.

Fluttershy listened to the quiet swish of the door opening. She waited in the hallway, watching the silhouettes of her friends making their way into the pizzeria.

“Fluttershy?” she heard Rainbow Dash call. A moment later, the said pegasus stepped out. She didn't turn on the light, just ran her eyes across them and turned away. She padded quietly to the large, rectangular tables in the party room and she heard the other five following her a bit less quietly.

“Hello, girls,” Fluttershy said, flicking on the lights in the room. She faced them once again. “Make yourselves comfortable. I’m guessing you’ll have a lot of questions.” She watched them take the closest seats and she finally sat too.

“Fluttershy, you seem . . . different,” Twilight said softly.

Fluttershy shrugged. “I’ve been here nine years. I’ve seen and experienced things you’ll never know.” She looked away, letting her long pink hair swing in front of her face.

“Of course.” Twilight paused. “Why don't you start from the beginning?”

Fluttershy look back towards them, letting one glittering eye rove up and down their forms.

“Okay. I'll start from the very beginning.”

Fluttershy blinked her eyes open, not sure what was happening. She expected to find the ceiling of her cottage, or even the library, but no—she was greeted with the sterile white walls of a hospital. Very awake now, she sat up.

“Oh, you’re awake,” came an unknown voice. Fluttershy looked over, confused. A human stood in her line of sight. He smiled brightly at her and approached. The pegasus flinched away at his movement. That was when she realized there was something different about her. She looked down and gasped.

“What’s happened to me?” Fluttershy gaped, holding up her arms to inspect them.

“Miss? Is something wrong?” the stranger asked.

Fluttershy’s gaze shot over suddenly, bringing her arms back to her body. She felt her wings tighten on her back in fright.

“Wh-who are you? Where am I?” she asked. She backed away as far as she could in the bed.

“Calm down, everything’s fine,” he said gently. “I’m Dr. Jackson Long, and you were admitted to St. Alexis Medical Center a few days ago.”

“Why? I don’t remember that.”

“You were found on the street, unconscious. Someone called you in. You’ve been out of it until now.” Dr. Long sat down on the edge of the bedside table. “So, mind filling me in on the details?”

Fluttershy didn’t respond immediately. She fiddled with her hands.

“You could start with your name, if you’d like—I can’t keep calling you ‘Jane Doe’ forever, yeah?”

The pegasus looked up slightly, inspecting him. He was young for a human; that much was obvious. He didn’t seem untrustworthy—and she would know, being the Element of Kindness.

“Uh, it’s Fluttershy,” she answered after a moment.

He tilted his head. “Huh, never heard that name before.”

She shrunk down, hiding in her hair. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s nothing to be sorry about, Miss,” Dr. Long replied, grinning slightly. “What ended you up on the street?”

Fluttershy shrugged, looking away.

“If it’s something like getting drunk, I don’t judge.”

“It’s not that,” Fluttershy squeaked quietly. “I just don’t . . . know what happened. I can’t remember why I’m here or when that could’ve . . .” She trailed off, putting a hand to her forehead. She waited like that for several moments. “Oh, I just have no idea.”

Dr. Long didn’t say anything for a few seconds. “Alright then. Do you have anyone you could call to come pick you up?”

Fluttershy shook her head.

“Okay.” He frowned. “Well, you’re free to go whenever you're ready, anyhow. I'll get your things.” He stood up.

“Go where?” she asked, concerned as he took a step towards the door.

“Home?” Dr. Long suggested, stopping in his tracks. He cocked his head at her.


The young man faced her, putting his hands on his hips. “What’s the matter?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “N-nothing’s wrong.”

“Do you have anywhere to go?” he asked.

“Well, you see, it’s just, I don’t”—she felt her face heating up—“no. No, I don’t.”

Dr. Long frowned at her, furrowing his eyebrows. Fluttershy saw the look on his face and blushed harder, trying as hard as she could to make herself smaller. She squeaked out an incoherent response.

“Hey, hey, it’s alright. We can find you somewhere to stay,” Dr. Long said in a consoling tone. He rubbed his chin, trying to think. A few moments later, he crouched down, getting to her level. “Would you like to stay with me for a little while? Maybe just until you can get your own place?”

Fluttershy peeked out of her hair to look at him, blinking. “What? Really?”

“Sure, why not? A pretty little lady like yourself shouldn’t have to live on the streets.”

“Are you s-sure? I wouldn't want to be a bother, and I don't know if that's really okay with you . . .”

“It's okay, I assure you. I can't just let you run off and not have anywhere to go, now can I?”

“Well, you could . . .”

Dr. Long laughed. “I'll go get your things.”

“So I moved in with him,” Fluttershy continued, staring down at her hands as she spoke. “I didn’t know anything about this world. Jackson was pretty much my savior at this point, and he taught me all sorts of things. I told him I was a foreigner, and he believed me, so at least my shortcomings in this world weren't as odd.” She took a shaky breath. “I know it seems kinda weird, him being a doctor, and after not even an hour with me, he invited me to stay with him. That shouldn't be a thing, right? Well, I guess he just trusted me, and I trusted him. We had this . . . bond.

“So we began to spend more time together. I stayed at his house. He would be at work—he did a lot of nights, too—and I'd be left all alone, so I asked him about getting my own job. Of course, in Equestria, I'd been a veterinarian, but I didn’t have any idea if animals here were any different, or how to get my DVM, since I didn't have it in this world . But after some research, I deduced they were the same and Jackson helped me pay to go to vet school. I got my degree, but it wasn't really the same as in Ponyville . . . so I didn't work as a vet for very long,” she finished quickly, avoiding their gazes.

“Anyways, at this point, I'd been here about three years. I was eager for a job again and that was when I saw the add in the paper for a night guard position at Freddy Fazbear’s. I hadn't even known it was here until a few months before. It just never came up. But I decided to try it against my better instinct.”

“So you got a job here? Why? It's dangerous!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, blue eyes wide.

“I agree with Pinkie,” Rarity murmured in distaste.

“Well, you see,” Fluttershy began again, “since I've already known the quirks of the animatronics, I figured I'd be good at it; I was, and am. I’m glad they recognized me. And I listened to the phone guy—well, kinda—and got myself a little costume.”

“Costume? Ooh, can we see?” Rarity cooed, gripping the table and leaning forward.

“Of course.” Fluttershy reached down from where she'd stowed her bag under the table earlier and removed several articles of clothing. She pulled a black hoodie over her uniform along with two other things. She began to dress again. In the end, she was wearing a cat hoodie with some sort of tail-belt and gloves that looked like cat paws. Her wings materialized on her back as well.

“And that works?” Rainbow asked, cocking her head.

“Yes, quite well, actually. When the animatronics get to my room they just kind of stare at me and leave again.” She paused. “But . . . Foxy kind of scares me. He rushes the office and screeches. He always leaves right after, when he sees I'm in a “suit,” but, you know.” Fluttershy frowned, blushing slightly. “I know I shouldn't be scared, but I do. Still. He's the only one I really need to worry about. His camera is the only one I check.” She quickly pulled off her costume and put it back in the bag.

“Well, I'm glad you're not getting hurt. I wish that you could pursue your passion of helping animals here, too,” Twilight said, leaning over and placing a hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder.

“Me too. But it's not like I don't help at all. I work for a few of the animal shelters here, like when the animals get sick or if they need to a checkup. I do it for free, though. They need the money for other things, like food and supplies.”

“That's good.”

“But what did you do then?” Pinkie Pie asked, eager to hear more.

Fluttershy hesitated. “I haven't really done anything else.”

“What? Nothing?” Rainbow asked.

“Come on, sugar cube, Ah can see somethin’s botherin’ ya,” Applejack coaxed. “Why don't ya tell us? If it's somethin’ bad, we don't judge.”

Fluttershy folded her hands in her lap, staring down. “I . . .” She stopped, taking a deep breath. “I know you girls want me to come back to Equestria, but . . . I don't think I can.”

There was a collective gasp as she finished. Everyone was out of their seats, towering over her.

“What do you mean?!” Rainbow barked frantically.

With tears in her eyes, Fluttershy cried back, “I don’t know if I want to go back!”

“Oh, dear,” Rarity moaned, putting a hand to her forehead as she fell down in a brief faint. Everyone was so surprised they didn't even try to catch her as she lay splayed out.

“Fluttershy, why are you saying this?” Twilight asked.

Trying to calm herself, the pegasus wiped at her eyes. “At first, I would sit and look out the window everyday while Jackson was at work, trying to see a glimpse of your faces. It went like that for a while. But years passed, and I started to lose hope.”

“What's with this ‘Jackson’ guy you keep talking about?” Dash snapped in frustration.

“And all the while, Jackson and I were getting closer,” Fluttershy continued, ignoring the outburst from her best friend. “We were already dating before the first year was over, and even though I tried to ignore his advances, he asked me to marry him another year and a half later.” As she said this, Fluttershy uncovered her left hand, which she’d been cleverly keeping out of sight this whole time. A diamond ring glinted on her ring finger.

“You got engaged!” Rarity squealed, up from the floor in no time.

“More than that now . . .”

“Fluttershy,” Rainbow murmured, “you're married?”

“Yes. Jackson and I were in love, and I couldn't wait for you my whole life! I was so alone, and he filled that space in my heart . . .” Fluttershy trailed off. “So the next year, we were married. During the third year of our marriage—the sixth year here—he told me something I never even considered:

“He wanted to start a family.”

The girls were silent.

“I said I wasn't ready—if anything, I was determined not to give more of my heart away in this strange land. I did this for another year, and another. I could tell he was starting to get discouraged, and we began arguing; about my job, about my reluctance to have children—about anything that went wrong. When I could no longer stand to see him unhappy, I said I was ready.” Fluttershy stood up and put a hand on her stomach. “I'm about seven weeks in.”

The girls’ mouths were open. Suddenly, Rainbow flew forward, wrapping her arms around Fluttershy. She squeezed her fiercely as she laughed.

“My Fluttershy is a mom!” Dash cried, giddy.

Rarity squealed cutely, clasping her hands together. “Oh my gosh I can't believe it! I call throwing the baby shower!” All the girls rushed forward eagerly.

All except for Twilight.

“Fluttershy . . . Equestria will perish without the Element of Kindness,” she said. “The timeline is destroyed. We need you back to fix it.”

Fluttershy looked up. “I know.” She unwrapped Rainbow Dash from her body. “But . . . I’ve done a lot here. I’m sorry.”

“But you don’t understand, Fluttershy! Do you know what’s happened in Equestria?”

Fluttershy didn’t answer.

“We had no Element of Kindness! We didn’t beat Nightmare Moon—without you, the other Elements didn’t work! Luna is dead! The moon is shattered in the sky! Princess Celestia was forced to kill Discord inside his statue because she couldn’t risk him getting out!” Twilight yelled, tears gathering in her eyes.

“Oh my goodness,” Fluttershy whispered, putting her hands to her face. “I had no idea . . .”

“So you see? We need you.”

“I understand, Twilight, I really do.” She frowned. “I just need some time to think.” Fluttershy looked towards the three animatronics on stage. “They won't be active until tomorrow night. You won't be able to talk to them until then, and there are some things you'll want to know—but they aren't really mine to tell.

“Until then, why don't we go out? I've missed you guys so much, and it'll be nice to get our minds off of all this,” Fluttershy finished, waving a hand.

The group readily agreed.

“Oh, Jackson’s home. You guys stay here, I'll go get him,” Fluttershy said, standing up at the sound of the door opening. The five other girls sat in wait, glancing around with mixed expressions. A few moments later, the couple walked back in, holding hands. Pinkie Pie ‘aawed’ and Rainbow Dash refrained from gagging, only due to the fact that it was Fluttershy.

“Jackson, these are my friends I was talking to you about,” Fluttershy stated, smiling. “Girls, this is Jackson.”

“Hi,” Jackson said with a slight wave of his hand. “Fluttershy’s told me a lot about you five.” Said group of five stood up to introduce themselves, but Jackson waved his hand for them to stop. “Wait, I think I know almost as much about you as she does. Let me guess who's who, yeah?”

“Ooh, I love guessing games! Me first!” Pinkie cried, jumping in place. She pointed at him. “You're Jackson!” She clapped. “I'm good at this!”

With a smirk, he pointed back at her. “You're definitely Pinkie Pie.” He went around, guessing at their names. “You're Rarity”—

“Yes, darling!”


“That's me!”

—“Rainbow Dash”—

“Don't you forget it!”

—“and Twilight Sparkle.”

“Ooh, he's good,” Pinkie interrupted.

“Yeah, I'm surprised,” Twilight murmured.

“I'm not,” Rainbow said. “It'd make sense that Flutters would talk about us as much as she did. Especially me.” The pegasus pushed out her chest and gave her invisible wings a single flap to emphasize. She got a few frowns sent her way.

“Well, let's not waste time, huh?” Jackson suggested. “I'd like to hear some stories after a long day of work.”

So the group sat down again.

“Hey, did Fluttershy ever tell you about the time she stared down a dragon?”

“Um, Pinkie, not-tay real here-tay.”

“A dragon?”

“Oh boy.”

It was late once again, and the mares-turned-human were making their way back to the pizzeria.

“We’ll just tell them not to switch into roaming mode,” Fluttershy said as she unlocked the doors with her key. There was a quiet murmur of agreement from the others and they went inside.

“Hey, Fluttershy, before, when we were talking to Freddy,” Twilight started as they stood by the doorway, “he asked me about who really got ruined. But it wasn't Foxy, you, Chica, or Bonnie, nor Freddy. I can't think of anyone besides Mike—but he's safe—even safer, because he didn't take this job. So, do you know who he was talking about?”

Fluttershy blinked, looking her friend up and down. “You'd better ask him that yourself.” She turned around.

“Freddy?” Fluttershy called. There was a whir of machinery and he lifted his head, blue eyes glowing. He looked over at them.

“Why don't Bonnie and Chica wake up?” Pinkie Pie asked, seeing them standing as still as ever on the stage. Fluttershy glanced back at her as Freddy made his way over.

“They can't.”

“Ponies,” Freddy said stoically, giving them a fairly dark look. “Fluttershy.” His gaze switched to her.

“Freddy, don't be rude. We talked about this,” Fluttershy scolded, wagging a finger at him. Freddy rolled his eyes with a sigh.

“Yes, yes, all that. I get it. But I don't see why I should care.” He glared slightly at the girls.

“Boy, someone's grumpy tonight.” Fluttershy walked past him idly, then stopped abruptly. “Have you been smoking again?”

Freddy looked away, rubbing the back of his head in embarrassment.

Fluttershy frowned. “How many times have I told you to stop?”


“I thought I hid those from you anyways. How do you keep getting them?” Fluttershy chided as she dug around in the front desk. Freddy didn't answer, instead standing off to the side with an annoyed expression on his face. “Well?”

“Well what?”

“Where do you keep getting these?” She shook the small box of cigarettes she'd found in front of her face. “I want an answer, mister.”

“Ugh, one of the employees leaves them in there for their smoke break,” Freddy groaned, sounding a lot like a teen being busted by mom.

Fluttershy frowned, sticking them in her pocket. “You will not be getting anymore. You don't need to smoke, especially since you're a children’s entertainer.”

“But it's not like I'm hurting anyone—and definitely not myself.”

“I don't care. You smell like smoke, and that's why I know. If I can smell it, so can everyone else.”

Freddy rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”

"Don't whatever me, Freddy.” Fluttershy walked up to him with a frown on her face. The animatronic just huffed and turned his nose up, crossing his arms. “Anyways, there's not going to be any roaming tonight.” She ignored his attitude.

“I’m guessing there's going to be lots of conversation, ay?” Freddy asked, a sly grin on his face.

“Yes. So do what you usually do and then we can all talk.”

Freddy nodded and padded back towards the stage, going behind Bonnie. He exposed his circuits and began to do something, much to the confusion of the ponies.

“What's going on here, ‘shy?” Twilight asked, looking to the pegasus.

“The timeline, Twilight. Freddy was the only one to get away with all his circuits and servos intact—in the long run, at least. Chica and Bonnie—”

“—can only be awoken by their roaming modes switching on at night, or their programming taking action during the day,” Freddy finished as he closed Bonnie’s circuit door. He moved over to Chica, seemingly focused on his task as he talked. “When we first arrived, it wasn't like that. We ended up here about an hour after the pizzeria would have closed. It was very confusing. The three of us were on stage and Foxy was in Pirate Cove—but not for long. That fox came sprinting down to the showroom so fast I thought his tail was on fire . . . again.”

“That sounds funny!” Pinkie laughed.

Freddy finished with Chica and looked down at the party pony. “Believe me when I say it was far from ‘funny’.”

“Ouch . . . Freddy, Chica, what just happened?” Bonnie asked as he picked himself up from the floor. Chica rolled onto her stomach and pushed herself up, and Freddy did the same as he grabbed his hat from the floor next to him.

“I don't know. We’re back at the pizzeria, though, so the ponies must've sent us back home,” Chica said.

“Finally,” Freddy grumbled. He bounced his microphone in his hand a couple times. “What time is it?”

Bonnie looked to the clock. “Um, about ten.”

“Alright. I don't care about Mike, let's switch into roaming mode tonight.” The two other animatronics agreed.

“Is Foxy down in Pirate Cove?” Chica asked. “I hope he doesn't stay there. I want him to like us from now on.”

“Yeah, I'm sure he is. I wonder what he's doing,” Bonnie said. Suddenly, a large bang resounded from the direction of the Cove. The three animatronics looked towards it.

“Graceful as ever, I imagine,” Freddy muttered. “Foxy, you better not be putting holes in the walls again! For Fazbear’s sake, get balanced before you take off!” He hopped off stage, heading down there.

There was silence for a moment, and then the pirate came flying down the hall. Freddy blinked in surprise as the red blur came at him, but managed to not get tackled as he was run into. Foxy gasped and fell backwards, going head over tail as he bounced off the other animatronic.

“Foxy!” Freddy barked. Two golden eyes stared back up at him. Freddy frowned, and Foxy scrambled away, hopping on three limbs as he tried to get back up and run off. He fell against the wall, where he managed to get shakily to his feet.

“Foxy, come back!” Freddy yelled. He hurried over to the calendar on the wall and felt his circuits go cold. “Bonnie, Chica, cut him off! We need to keep him out of Pirate Cove!” Freddy dashed off with the two others hot on his tail.

Bonnie managed to get to Pirate Cove before Foxy by using a shortcut. He rounded a corner and nearly smashed into Chica. Flailing, Foxy skidded back towards the showroom. Freddy quickly stepped out and grabbed him. Foxy kicked and tried to escape, but only managed to turn himself around. Freddy’s grip was strong around his waist, and it kept him close.

“Jus’ le’ me go back ta Pirate Cove; I won't bother ya again!” Foxy cried, desperately wriggling in Freddy’s hold. He couldn't fight back, as his arms were pinned to his sides.

“Foxy, calm down,” Freddy said firmly.

“Please don't hit me, I'm sorry!”

“Foxy, I'm not going to hit you! Tell me, do you remember the ponies?”

Foxy stopped fighting, letting himself hang over Freddy’s arms. “What? That—that wasn't a dream?”

“No,” Freddy said, “no, it was real. I remember it, too!”

"Then why-?”

“I don't know, Foxy, I just don't.”

Foxy sagged down farther. His legs bent under him and he depended on Freddy to prevent him from falling.

“Come on, let's get back to the stage, alright?” Freddy suggested, trying to get him responsive again.

“I don't wanna . . . I jus’ wanna go back ta Pirate Cove,” Foxy whimpered.

“No. You're just gonna sulk in there.” Freddy saw Bonnie and Chica at the end of the hallway and he jerked his head towards the showroom. They nodded and scurried off.

“Is it my fault?” Foxy murmured. Freddy stopped.

“No, it's not. Come on, work those legs,” Freddy urged, struggling to walk with Foxy in front of him.

“It is, though. If I hadn't been so . . . weak. The Nightmare wouldn't ‘a been able ta take over me . . .”

“Foxy! Foxy?” Freddy turned the pirate to look at his face. His eyes were starting to close, the golden light fading out to black. “Come on, Foxy, don't power down now.”

“Wh’t do I n’d ta stay on fer?” Foxy asked quietly, accent slurring his words in his low power state. “’M br’k’n and usel’ss. Don't e’n bother chargin’ me . . .” His eyes flickered out and his eyes closed. He went completely limp in Freddy’s arms.

Freddy waited a moment, staring down at Foxy's once again broken form, before he lifted him up to carry him to the back room. There, he flipped him over and plugged him in.

“I'm sorry,” Freddy said, running a hand over Foxy’s shoulder. He padded back to the showroom. On his way in, he spared a glance at the calendar on the wall.

“He was on again before I could check on him. He went right back to Pirate Cove. Hasn't come out afterhours yet,” Freddy finished. “I know he hates himself for trusting you. I don't think it'll be easy for him; to see you ponies again.”

“Aw, poor Foxy,” Pinkie Pie whined.

“But then, what happened to Bonnie and Chica?” Twilight asked. She glanced at the animatronics on stage.

“Oh, I don't really know. After a few months they just kind of . . . stopped working. I'm not sure why,” Freddy said with a shrug. “I mean, it's not like I tried everything I knew to help them, or that I miss talking to them during the night, or that they were my best friends and now I have no one left.” He had a grin on his face, but the sarcastic tone wasn't there.

“Freddy, it's okay,” Fluttershy said, patting his arm.

“Yeah, yeah, of course it is. Of course it is. I’m just being silly.”

“Calm down. Come on, just do what I taught you.” Fluttershy grabbed his hands in hers, looking up at him. Freddy looked back down at her, expression dark. Fluttershy hummed quietly, trying to make him copy her. A few moments later, a mechanical whir emanated from Freddy as he began to hum.

“Yes, good. Now, don't worry, everything will be just fine,” the pegasus soothed, smiling up at the animatronic.

“But it's not,” Freddy said back, voice thick.

“I know, I know. Just keep humming—it'll help calm you down.”

Fluttershy released his hands and turned back to the girls. “So, you know why.”

Twilight looked like she was about to ask something, but didn't. Fluttershy looked at her.

“Do you have anything to say?” she asked.

“I don't . . . I mean, I do, but I don't have to ask it,” Twilight murmured.

“Just ask it, Twi,” Applejack said.

“Yeah,” Rainbow Dash agreed.

Twilight spared a glance at Freddy, who was turned away, still trying to calm himself. “A-alright.” She paused. “When you asked me who really got ruined, who did you mean?”

Freddy stopped humming abruptly. His head turned sharply to look at her. “Can you really think of no one? Tell me, Twilight, who was with us?” He turned his full body towards them.

Frowning, the unicorn reviewed their time in Equestria.

Alright, there was Foxy, Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Mike, and . . .

Twilight stopped. “Golden Freddy.”

Freddy clapped slowly, tucking his microphone underneath his arm. “Well done,” he snorted sarcastically. “F**king brilliant.”

“Freddy!” Fluttershy exclaimed, eyes wide. She swatted him with a hand, appalled.

“Where is he?” Twilight asked.

“Back room,” Freddy replied, ignoring the glare he was getting from Fluttershy. “Feel free to go and see him.” With an angry huff, the animatronic turned and walked off.

“Where's he goin’?” AJ asked.

“He needs to calm down,” Fluttershy responded. “He’ll most likely wander for a bit.” She watched him go before looking back to her friends. “I'll take you to the back room.”

Fluttershy led them down the hall, then opened a door to let them inside. Upon entering, there were spare heads and suit parts on the shelves. The pegasus pointed at the corner.

“Goldie is right over there,” she murmured. Twilight walked forward in trepidation, the four others following closely. Fluttershy stood at the door.

“What happened?” Pinkie asked upon seeing him.

“He went crazy,” Fluttershy replied. She crossed her arms and leaned against the door.

“Crazy?” Rarity asked.

“Yeah, Freddy told me when they got back, a few hours later, Goldie appeared behind them, spouting off random things. Like, random random. Words and phrases and all sorts of things.

“Freddy tried to talk to him, but didn't get anywhere, apparently. A minute later, Goldie vanished again. This kind of activity went on for a while. A couple of months, he said. About the time Bonnie and Chica started to go, well, down. Maybe they were related; maybe not. I couldn't tell you.

“I know they didn't see much of him. His craziness would come and go. But then, a month before it, well, happened, he began to get violent. So violent they couldn't restrain him. Freddy tried to reason with him, to make him stop, but nothing worked. They lived with Golden Freddy coming in and out, shoving them and attacking them out of nowhere. It was an issue, but not that big of deal, in all. Not until one day, like, in the middle of the day, Goldie appeared and attacked one of the customers. No one knew what happened, but Freddy says it was good that it was an adult that got attacked, and not a kid.” Fluttershy smiled. “You should hear what he says about kids—all the good things. All the little quirks they have. He's a real sweetheart when you get to know him.” Realizing she was getting off topic, she shook her head.

“Uh, anyways, it was that night when he couldn't risk Goldie attacking another customer. So . . . when Freddy saw him again later in the day, afterhours, he . . . grabbed him. They tussled for a little while, but Freddy managed to get him in the right position, and he . . .” Fluttershy trailed off, eyeing the remaining parts. “Did that.”

Twilight picked up the suit head, feeling a bit sick. “He . . . burned him.”

“Yeah. He told me it wasn't pretty, but it was the only way to be sure he didn't hurt anyone again.” Fluttershy walked forward. “So Freddy had to rip open and burn one of his best friends. I think anyone would be angry about that, Twilight.”

“When Freddy was talking about this earlier, I have a feeling he wasn't talking about Golden Freddy being ruined . . .” Pinkie Pie said sadly.

“I have to agree,” Rarity murmured.

“But you and Freddy do seem pretty close,” Applejack commented.

“I've had to help him a lot. I didn't see him in the first few years. I wanted to make him feel better. He was really sad and angry when I got the job. And since Chica and Bonnie only wake up because of their roaming modes, I couldn't talk to them. I had to get Freddy to open up.”

“You treat him like a kid,” Rainbow said slyly.

“Well, yes, but that’s kind of what he is.”

“’Freddy, have you been smoking?’” Dash mocked. Applejack and Pinkie snickered at that.

“He needed someone to help him through this timeline mess up, and it certainly wasn't going to be anyone else.” Fluttershy frowned at her friends. “Foxy and he are the only ones who can talk, and Foxy won't even leave the Cove—and it’s been nine years.”

“Can we talk to Foxy?” Rarity asked.

“Yes,” Fluttershy replied. “Though I've talked to him. He's not . . . doing so hot.”

“Can we talk to him anyway?” Twilight asked.

Fluttershy frowned, but nodded. “You can try.”

Tunnel Vision

View Online

Fluttershy paused outside the door to Pirate Cove, briefly casting her eyes over her friends.

“Alright, let me go in first. I’ll need to tell him no roaming mode first, anyways,” the pegasus said. “But I’m going to let him decide on his own if he wants to see you.”

“We understand,” Twilight responded with a slight nod.

“Okay; I’ll be back soon.”

Fluttershy gave them a grim look before slipping through the door. It was dark inside as she made her way up to the stage. The Cove’s curtains were closed, the ever-present sign that read ‘Sorry: Out of Order!’ sitting in front.

“Foxy?” Fluttershy called softly. “Are you up?”

There was no response. The pegasus paused outside the purple, starry curtains, trying to listen.

“Foxy, I’m coming in,” Fluttershy warned, slipping a hand through the curtains and pushing them out of her way. She saw the ship in the center of the stage, but no Foxy. She looked around, taking several steps forward. There was movement behind her.

“Foxy!” Fluttershy cried, a small smile making its way onto her face. She walked up to the rusted fox, who was concealed in shadows. He towered over her, though not as much as before, on account of a bolt that had come unscrewed in his endoskeleton leg, giving him a bit of a limp and a stooped appearance.

He was less groomed than usual, with a large section of torso missing from his chest, working its way across his back. One of his ears was hanging at an angle, broken. A finger was missing from his hand.

“Lass? What brings ye ‘ere?” Foxy asked, tilting his head. His broken jaw squeaked with this action, voice coming out more distorted than normal.

“I just thought we should talk about some things,” Fluttershy said gently, taking his broken hand and leading him away from the curtains. He bounced forward on one leg, trying to get the other to push him up.

“’Bout what?” he asked as she made him sit down on the floor. She sat next to him.

“No roaming mode tonight, okay?”

Foxy blinked, producing a mechanical sounding click. “Uh, why ‘xactly?” His eyepatch flipped up, revealing the blackened, lightless eye. Now he really needed the thing.

“Foxy, remember how much we did in Equestria?” Fluttershy asked, determined to start off easy. Foxy frowned, looking down at her.

“I ‘member bein’ brok’n an’ used,” he replied in a stiff tone.

“No, Foxy. We had fun! We did things!” Fluttershy smiled widely, trying to get him to talk more. “I remember going to Canterlot and you stuck your head out the window of the train and tried to catch passing birds.” Foxy remained silent. “And there was the time we were going back to the library and you ran into the door—well, more than one time, maybe.” The pegasus laughed brightly.

“’Ow many good times were there?—‘bout that many.” Foxy remained angry, his dull glare boring into her.

Fluttershy’s shoulders sagged briefly. “Foxy, why do you have to be so stubborn . . . ?”

“Stubb’rn?” Foxy scoffed, good eye burning intensely. “Those ponies ‘bandoned us ‘ere, an’ everythin’s jus’ gone ta ‘ell!” He pushed himself to his feet, but cringed and grabbed onto his nearby ship for balance. “Why’re ye askin’ me this anyway?” He glowered at her.

“But Foxy, I’m one of ‘those ponies,’ too,” the pegasus said in response, voice sad. Foxy stared at her.

“I know.”

“Then why continue to hate for no reason? It was because of the timeline getting messed up, I know now.”

Foxy stiffened. “’Ow do ye know that?”

“Because,” Fluttershy continued, “they finally found us—they came to get us; to fix everything.” She scooted over to the curtains, pulling them open so he could see the light shining from under the door. Foxy stared, stiff as a board.

“They want to talk to you. And I think, somewhere inside of you, you want to, too,” she finished, walking closer as she let the curtain swing close, the fabric rustling as they did.

Foxy didn’t say anything for a few moments. His face was turned away. Then:


Fluttershy stopped, gasping. “Foxy! Why not?”

Foxy swung around. “I tol’ ye! I don’ want nothin’ ta do with ye ponies e’er ‘gain! An’ ‘ere ye come, givin’ ‘em permission ta mess wit’ me ‘gain!” His eye sparked angrily.

“But Foxy, I'm not saying you have to talk to them; maybe just give them a—”

“Get out!” He took a menacing step forward. Fluttershy cowered, mouth open as she was grabbed by the collar. He yanked her up to his face, snarling. “An’ don’t ye dare come back.” With a swift movement, he tossed her away. Thankfully, she opened her wings to slow her down and ended up flailing for a moment in the air. Fluttershy landed ungracefully on the floor outside the curtains. Her eyes welled with tears and she wiped her eyes, pushing herself up. Feet slipping out from under her, she made her wobbly way towards the door.

“Fluttershy, are you okay?” Rainbow Dash quickly asked, surging forward. “Did he hurt you? If he did, I’ll break his—”

“Rainbow, I’m fine,” Fluttershy said shakily. “But . . . oh, he refuses to see any of us again!” She buried her head in her hands.

“What? Why?” Twilight gasped.

“He’s still so upset, and I can't make him talk to anyone of us—though I so wish he'd stop being angry. It wasn't our fault this happened.”

“Ugh! Why did this stupid timeline try to fix stuff? It just messed everything up worse—trying to make it better, no less!” Rainbow shouted, throwing her arms up.

“Quite rude, actually,” Rarity scoffed, eyes half lidded and eyebrows arched as she examined a hand.

“Can't ya make him see reason?” Applejack asked, putting out her hands in her friend’s direction. Fluttershy frowned.

“I might be able to. Sometimes his temper gets the best of him. But this time was different; he wouldn't have thrown me if not,” the pegasus replied.

“He threw you?!” Dash exclaimed, hands on her head. She growled, face switching from astonishment to anger, and leapt in the air. “I'll throttle him!” She was stopped by a hand on her ankle, curtesy of AJ.

“I can try,” Fluttershy said, ignoring her rainbow-haired friend.

“Out of anyone, he's always listened to you the most,” Twilight pointed out. “But if you're in danger of being attacked, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

“I don't think he'll attack me again. I've known him for a while—he’s probably beating himself up in there.”

“Can I do it, too?” Rainbow asked, pounding a fist into her palm. Both Rarity and Applejack gave her dirty looks.

“What's important is your safety. I don't doubt your skill, but we don't have to try to talk to him,” Twilight continued. “We can reset the timeline, and hope we all forget what's happened—we’re supposed to be back already, anyways.”

Fluttershy frowned, but didn't say anything about it. “I'll go in there and talk to him in a little while. Foxy probably just needs to calm down. Meanwhile, I'm going to go check on Freddy.” The pegasus walked away stiffly.

Freddy lit his cigarette with slightly shaking fingers. He wasn't shaking out of sadness, or fear, but merely anger. Those ponies just had to come and try to make him talk about everything that had gone wrong. It was all because of them this happened! If they'd just left well enough alone!

But then where'd you be? Same old situation, with Foxy terrified of you as always? a little voice asked. Freddy scowled, but there wasn't much strength behind it. He was mostly angry to be angry. He took a long drag off his cigarette and pulled it away jerkily, frustrated. Whenever he was really angry, usually he wouldn't use his holder; this was one of those times. He held the smoke in for a long while before exhaling, letting it blow slowly from his mouth. He had been leaning up against the wall—near the bathrooms, for whatever the reason he always did—but then stepped away, trying to think.

I should ask what their plan is. Obviously they came here for a reason. Maybe they know how to fix this, Freddy thought to himself. He ran a hand over his head, taking his hat off in the process. He readjusted it, then put his cigarette in his mouth as he turned around. A pair of teal eyes looked back at him.

Freddy jumped slightly, surprised to see the little pegasus standing there with her arms crossed. He put a hand over his eyes, shaky.

“Okay, okay, you caught me. But I needed one,” Freddy growled, frustrated, before she could say anything. Fluttershy raised an eyebrow, but didn't acknowledge it.

“Foxy isn't in the best mood,” she stated plainly, leaning up against the wall.

Freddy blinked in surprise when she didn't say anything about him smoking, but he joined her against the wall, saying, “I'm not surprised in that regard.”

There was silence for a small while. Then, “He tried to hurt me.”

Freddy looked sideways at her. “I told you he wouldn't want to see them.”

“I know. I didn't doubt it—I knew it myself. Doesn't mean I couldn't try.”

He shrugged. “It's your head.”

“Don't be like that.” She paused. “Can you talk to him? Maybe get him to see reason?”

Freddy raised an eyebrow at her. “Why do you want me? I doubt he'd listen.” He pulled the cigarette out of his mouth, gesturing with his hands.

“Why do you think that? Foxy would listen to you—he always has, hasn't he?” Fluttershy cocked her head at him.

“Of course he has. But, recently, Foxy’s been getting rebellious. I know he's always taken getting sent back the worst—he’s let himself rust away because of it,” Freddy explained. “So I doubt he'll listen to me go on about how he should talk to your friends.” He waved a hand—the one with the cigarette—allowing smoke to drift about. “Or you now, I suppose.”

Fluttershy glared at him, jerking her head out of the way. “I'm trying to ignore you smoking, but if you keep flailing it about like that, I'm not going to.”

“Alright, alright, geez.” Freddy took a final drag off it and flicked it into the mop bucket that sat along the wall. Fluttershy rolled her eyes.

“Anyways, why have you never mentioned Foxy’s ‘rebellious attitude,’ as you put it?” she asked.

“I didn't really consider it something to be worried about,” Freddy replied with a small shrug. “After all, he stays put in Pirate Cove.” He huffed briefly, looking ahead. “I could have him crying for forgiveness in a rather short amount of time.”

Fluttershy blinked, eyes wide as she looked over at him, but he didn't seem to notice. Deciding to just ignore that last part, she asked, “Well, could you try and talk to him anyways? I've been doubting my influence over him for a while now.” When Freddy looked as if he was going to complain and reject her question, she added:

“Keep in mind that if you don't, I'm not going to pretend you weren't smoking that entire time I was standing here.”

Freddy opened his mouth, then closed it quickly. “Alright then. I'll talk to him.” He scurried forward, leaving her to stand there, smirking.

Foxy sat slumped against the back wall, his eyes empty and devoid of life—literally—for half of it. He didn’t seem to be looking at anything in particular, just sitting limply.

“Foxy,” Freddy said. He stood by the edge of the stage, just inside of the curtains. His microphone was held tightly in one hand, the other with flexing fingers. “We need to talk.”

Foxy didn't seem to even realize that his boss was standing there, and as Freddy was about to say something in a sharper tone of voice, he replied, “I di’nt mean ta ‘urt ‘er.”

“I get it. But you shouldn't have lost your temper.” Freddy walked forward until he was standing right in front of the pirate. Foxy didn't look up. “Remember the days when I'd deal with you about that?”

If Foxy was affected by that statement, he didn't show it besides a messy shrug in response.

“Foxy. Answer me.”

Another shrug that was accompanied by, “What do ye wan’ me ta say? There's nothin’ ta do.”

“Talk to the ponies, Foxy,” Freddy said. “They may be ridiculous, but they're only trying to help—I know that much, however long I've denied it.”

“They don't r’lly care ‘bout us.”

“Foxy . . .”

“They ‘bandoned us.” Foxy’s voice was monotone.

Suddenly, the pirate was splayed on his side, hand up at his face. Jaw falling open even more in astonishment and pain, he looked up at Freddy. The standing animatronic was glaring at him, arm still outstretched from where he'd slapped the fox across the face. It changed into a pointing finger, getting right into his face.

“Foxy, would you look at the facts?!” Freddy shouted in anger, gesturing around them with the same arm. “The ponies didn't send us back here on purpose! Something happened, and we all paid for it! They came back here to fix things, and you're just being a brat about it because you need someone to blame for everything that's happened!” His eyes were burning, chest heaving. “So I want you to stop with all this nonsense, and be the person you used to be!”

Foxy was staring, shell shocked, up at Freddy, his non-broken ear tipped backwards. He didn't care about the indignation that'd come with being slapped as if he was young again; all he could pay attention to was the wave of emotions surging over him at being yelled at. He never heard Freddy talk to him like this—not even in the early days. Sure, there were a few instances where his being ‘naughty’ would get him a firm chastising, but not a full blown shouting match stemmed from something other than anger.

“B-but Freddy, ‘ow can I possibly be somethin’ else . . . ?” Foxy asked in the most pathetic voice ever.

“Talk to the ponies, Foxy,” Freddy replied softly.

“I don’ know if I can—e-e’erathin’s ruined!”

“Foxy, just let them talk to you.” Freddy bent down, looking right into the younger animatronic’s eyes.

“Will it all be ‘lright? Can ye promise me that?” His voice was quiet and shaky.

Freddy reached forward and enveloped the pirate into a hug. Foxy didn't push away, instead wrapping his arms around Freddy and nestling his head into his shoulder.

“I promise, buddy.”

So they talked. The six girls came in, all looking wary yet enthusiastic. There were apologies and forgiven deeds from all in the room. Questions were asked and answered. Once the group was acquainted with one another again, Fluttershy spoke.

“We might as well deal with the elephant in the room.”

Twilight tilted her head. “What's that?”

“Twilight . . . I'm married. I'm pregnant. What am I supposed to do?” Fluttershy asked, teal eyes filled with sadness. “If we don’t forget what happened here, then what? I'm trapped with the memories that never were?”

The girls were silent.

“We could find the next Element of Kindness,” Rainbow Dash whispered. She kept her gaze down. “And Loyalty.”

“Rainbow Dash?” Twilight asked, eyes wide.

Dash looked up at her friend. “I can't leave Fluttershy. I'll do anything to stay with her.” She glanced over at the other pegasus, a small smile on her face. “She's my best friend.”

“Oh, Dashie . . .” Fluttershy said, eyes filling with tears.

“Princess Celestia was doubtful we could find another Element of Kindness! How in Equestria could we possibly locate another Element of Loyalty?” Twilight shouted.

“If I stay, I suppose . . . that's not my problem,” Rainbow replied after a moment.

“But Rainbow, we need you!” Rarity exclaimed. “We need you both! We aren't the Elements of Harmony without you!”

“Rares is right,” Applejack said. “We could never leave ya here.”

“Who's gonna be my prank buddy? Or my background singer if you're gone?” Pinkie Pie asked frantically, glancing between the two pegasi.

“Find somepony else,” Dash responded sadly. “I'm sorry, but if Fluttershy is staying, then I am too.”

Fluttershy, who'd remained quiet for the rest of it, put a hand on Rainbow’s shoulder. “You’ve made my decision easier, Rainbow. This just proves how much my friends care about me. I don't want to leave Jackson, but . . . Equestria is more important. I'd be willing to leave everything if it meant staying with you all.” Her eyes filled with glittering tears.

“This makes me so sad!” Pinkie Pie wailed, taking a tissue out of nowhere and blowing her nose loudly on it.

“It makes me sad, too . . . and even if I live the rest of my life knowing what I've done here, I'll always come back and not regret a thing.” Fluttershy put her hands over her heart.

Twilight smiled, trying not to cry. “Thank you, Fluttershy. It wouldn't be the same without you.” She wiped her eyes. “So, should we leave?”

“What?” Foxy asked. “Ya aren't gonna stay, e’en fer th' rest ‘a th’ night?”

“No, we’re going to stay,” Fluttershy replied, wiping her eyes. She exchanged a quick glance with Twilight. “I've got to say some goodbyes . . . and besides, I don't want to leave just yet.” She smiled slightly, trying to cheer herself up.

“You know what, you're right. Let's stay a little longer; for Fluttershy’s sake,” Twilight said. The group exchanged renewed glances.

Since the decision was to stay, the group of six stayed in Pirate Cove for a longer time. But as the clock started to tick its way towards three A.M., there was a bit of wanting to get up.

“You girls look like you can't sit down anymore,” Freddy commented slyly, “so why don't you start moving around; stretch those legs.” The animatronic stood up, making it okay for the rest of the group to.

“Aye, ye ponies go an’ do somethin’ else. I’ll be f’ne in ‘ere,” Foxy added. He didn't stand like most of the others. Only he and Fluttershy were left sitting.

“You're just gonna . . . sit in here?” Rainbow Dash asked, raising an eyebrow skeptically. Foxy blinked up at her, tilting his head.

“Why do you stay in here anyways?” Rarity continued. “It's rather drab, to be honest.” She let her well trained eyes wander around the dingy, dusty Cove. If Foxy was offended by her statement, he didn't show it and instead responded with:

“I jus’ . . . can't go out.”

Fluttershy leaned over and put a hand on his, giving him a small smile. “Maybe it's time you try.”

Foxy seemed to debate whether or not to yank his hand away from her before replying, “I can't.”

“But why not?” Pinkie Pie chirruped, appearing behind him and setting her hands on his shoulders. She leaned over his head, looking at him upside down with big blue eyes. She fluttered her eyelashes innocently. This time, Foxy didn't respond, just stared forward.

“If we stay with you, will you try to leave the Cove?” Fluttershy asked, trying to get his attention.

“Not we,” Foxy said softly, head turning quickly to face her. “I only wan’ ye ta go wit' me.” Fluttershy merely nodded in understanding. The rest of the girls didn't prod, choosing instead to remain silent.

“Alright. That's good.” Fluttershy got to her feet, Foxy mimicking the action moments later, if a bit more unstable.

Foxy limped towards the curtains, aware of everyone’s eyes on him. He tried not to think about it, but was unsuccessful. Why was he doing this again? A few minutes earlier, he'd been adamant about taking a step consciously outside of his beloved Pirate Cove. During the night—when he was lost in the depths of free roaming mode—he wasn't exactly aware of what was happening. He'd let go of any consciousness during that period when they'd all been sent back to their world.

So when they were only steps from exiting the stage, it was no surprise when he collapsed to his knees, trying not to cry. Foxy turned his face away from the ponies, looking down instead.

“I can't,” he choked out, shaking his head fervently. His broken ear flopped back and forth and his eye closed, the other still covered. “It's too soon. ‘M not strong ‘nough.”

Fluttershy bent down. “It's okay, Foxy. We don't blame you.” She paused. “But don't you want to leave? You haven't left of your free will in years.” She moved a hand and put it under his chin, attempting to get him to look up. Pinkie inched closer, whispering in the pegasus’ ear.

“Hacks, Fluttershy! Hacks!” Pinkie hissed slightly inconspicuously. Fluttershy raised an eyebrow, clearly not recalling the incident.

“You mean you don't remember!?” Pinkie gasped. She raised a hand. “Like this!” Without further ado, she reached a hand out—but not towards Foxy. Freddy, who was standing somewhat close to the party pony, soon found a hand scratching at his tummy. With a happy little growl, he relaxed into the action. A moment later, he was laying on the floor with Pinkie giving him a belly rub. The party pony never broke eye contact with Fluttershy, a grin on her face and giving her a thumbs up with her other hand. The shy pegasus stared, eyes wide, before slowly turning her head back to Foxy.

“It's okay if you don't want to leave—but I think it'd be good for you,” she continued.

“’Ow? There's nothin’ fer me. Freddy already tol’ me ‘bout th' three others,” Foxy replied in a low voice. “I think I'm safer in ‘ere.”

“Foxy, look; when I leave to go back to Equestria, everything should be returned as it was. I know that Princess Celestia was probably expecting us back already, but I've stalled. I know it doesn't really matter, since soon this will all be over, but if we all remember what's happened . . . I don't want you to allow yourself to waste away again.” Fluttershy smiled when he made hesitant eye contact with her. “So, please, do it for me?”

Foxy didn't respond immediately. Instead, he just blinked and glanced away briefly. Then, “Okay. I'll try.”

“That's good.” Fluttershy smiled and the pair stood next to one another. Foxy braced himself, body tight with tension, and inched his way closer to the curtains. An arm was hooked around Fluttershy’s, and she was helping to guide him forward. The other ponies—Pinkie Pie no longer rubbing Freddy’s belly—and the animatronic watched with attentive eyes, keeping their distance.

“Why don't you push open the curtains?” Fluttershy suggested. Foxy—if it was at all possible—seemed to freeze up even more, whole body shaking in anxiety. His damaged jaw worked up and down as he tried to get a reply to push itself forward, but in the end he just closed his eye and moved his hand forward. The fingers brushed against the worn purple curtains, and he recoiled slightly. But he pushed forward, managing to open a small section of the only things protecting him from the outside world—and all the pain of it.

“Are ye sure it’s okay?” Foxy whispered so quietly Fluttershy almost didn't hear him.

“Yes, I'm completely sure. Everything’s fine.” Fluttershy patted his arm and took a step forward, trying to lead him into the open area. Hesitation. A baby step. A shuffling of feet. Okay, they were at the very edge of the stage. The curtains were behind them. Foxy was trembling, trying not to think about what had transpired out here, in this tragic room. The walls seemed to stretch out, and the pegasus standing next to him was no longer there. Everything was a hundred miles away. There was too much space. Too much!

“No—n-no, I can't go any f-further,” Foxy stammered, legs threatening to give out on him. He closed his eye and shook his head quickly. “’M sorry. ‘M sorry.”

Fluttershy realized he was leaning farther down, at the point where he was going to collapse soon. She felt his weight press down on her.

“Okay, okay. It's okay; you have nothing to be sorry about,” the pegasus soothed, trying to make him calm down. “You did good. Come on, just turn around, let's go back.”

Foxy tried to back up, but ended up toppling sideways, nearly crushing Fluttershy. She squeaked, but Freddy was already catching his fallen comrade and tugging his deadweight farther back onto the stage.

“That was kind of a bust,” Rainbow commented, sticking her hands in her jacket pockets.

“No,” Fluttershy said, “it wasn't. He hasn't so much as touched the curtains of his own free will.”

“He just faced one of his worst fears,” Twilight continued, “and that's a big deal. I think, for the first time, that he did rather well—besides the fainting part, at least.”

“That is true,” Rarity said.

“Anyways, can we move ‘bout? Ah’m in need of some activity,” Applejack stated. She placed her hands in the small of her back and pressed, cracking her spine several times.

“Me too,” Dash said, hovering above the group with her feet at their head levels.

“Yeah, that seems fine,” Twilight said, exchanging a quick glance with Fluttershy, who shrugged.

“Ooh, let's play a game!” Pinkie Pie bubbled, jumping up and down before taking off. Rainbow laughed and followed after, and soon the whole group had evacuated Pirate Cove.

Twilight found herself talking to Freddy some time later. He'd just been wandering casually, and since Twilight hadn't decided to take part in the other girls’ activity—charades—she’d found herself at his side. He didn't address her at first, instead just kind of ignoring her.

“So,” Twilight started awkwardly, “how's it going?” She paused. “I mean, like, not about the others, I mean, um—”

“Shut up, please,” Freddy sighed, rubbing his face. “I don't want to hear your irritating banter.”

Twilight’s mouth gaped open, and she flushed red, looking down. Okay, not happy right now. She didn't say anything after that, but kept trying to think of something.

“Why don't you ponies just leave if everything’ll go back to normal afterwards?”

Twilight jerked at his words, not expecting the question. She looked up at him with large violet eyes, blinking. He continued to face forward.

“Because Fluttershy needs time to . . . get ready. You know how long it's been. She's made a life, so it's going to take some time for her to accept her role as the Element of Kindness again,” Twilight explained carefully; hesitantly. “And we haven't got time, so we’re rushing her as it is. None of us could have predicted how long it'd been for you guys.”

"But what's the point of asking us about what's happened, or happening? Why should you care, especially with this short of a time frame?” Freddy shrugged slightly.

Twilight frowned. “What's not the point? We want to know what's gone on.”

“But why?”

“Because we care, why do you think?”

Freddy quickly turned his body to look at her. “I don't know!” he snapped back, exasperated. He growled and turned away again, storming down the length of the hall that remained. Twilight stood, surprised, before hurrying after him.

“Freddy!” she barked.

“Don't talk to me,” Freddy retorted angrily, back to her.

Twilight was about to argue, but stopped, deciding instead to remain quiet. She raised an eyebrow, studying him from behind.

Yeah, he's angry; antagonizing him is the last thing I want to do.

So instead, Twilight cast a final glance in his direction and padded around him, going further into the showroom, where they'd been casually walking towards. She noticed Freddy’s head movement as he followed her movements, and she pretended not to notice as she studied the room. There were drawings hung up, along with other random memorabilia—stuff from restaurants past, she deduced. None of it was very newsworthy, until a jutting out piece of wood caught her eye.

“Hey, Freddy,” Twilight started, eyes narrowing as she slowly moved forward, “why was this wall boarded up?”

“What? There's no boarded up wall,” Freddy responded.

“No, I see the wood covering it.” Twilight reached the sidewall and ran a hand over it, feeling the planks that were laid over whatever had happened.

“Twilight, I don't know what you're looking at. I don't see anything but a wall with kids’ drawings all over it.” He walked up to her.

“But there is! I can feel it; how have you never noticed this?” The unicorn was gazing at the wall as if it were an undiscovered creature that she was studying for the first time.

“How have I never—?” Freddy sounded incredulous and a bit irritated. “There's nothing there!” He put a hand out in disbelief.

“How can you not see this?” Twilight gawked, eyebrows furrowed. She narrowed her eyes further, then perked up. Using her magic, she cleanly pulled off all the papers and such littering the wall. Maybe it was no surprise the animatronics had never noticed it; there was a lot of random stuff. She set the piles down on a nearby table, not taking her eyes off the wall the whole time. Now that there was nothing covering it, she could see the wooden planks fairly well.

“What in the world do you think you're doing?” Freddy gasped.

“I'm going to find out what's behind this wall.” Twilight grinned and the boards were surrounded by her magenta aura, the tension increasing as she began to extract the nails holding them down. A minute later, the numerous planks were in a neat pile by the papers.

“See? There's nothing there.” Freddy seemed satisfied with that.

“Uh, Freddy . . .” Twilight murmured, “there's a whole room back here.” She turned violet eyes on him. Freddy was looking up at the “room,” his facial expression one of slight confusion at this point. “You can't see this, can you?”

Freddy stared for a moment longer before meeting her gaze. “What am I supposed to be seeing?”

Perhaps his programming was fixed so he couldn't see this! That would explain why he didn't know it was here.

“I'm going in,” Twilight stated firmly and suddenly.

“What? In where?” Freddy asked, looking around.

“The secret room. Hello? The one I was just talking about?” She raised an eyebrow at him. “Come on; let’s both go in. Maybe you can see it then.”


“Come on!”

Twilight waved her hand and took a step forward, planting a foot firmly on the other side. She turned back to Freddy.

“Just trust me,” she said with a slight smile. Freddy shot her a questioning glance (as in, why was her leg gone?) before tentatively moving forward. But as soon as he got within a step of the gaping hole, he stopped abruptly. His circuits whirred violently in response.

“Error,” Freddy said monotonously.

“Error?” Twilight repeated, eyebrow raised even more now.



Freddy stepped backwards, eyes staring forward blankly. Then he blinked and he seemed to be back to normal.

“What? Why are you staring at me?” the animatronic questioned.

“Um, I think your servos just kicked in . . .” Twilight admitted, still standing just barely in the other room.

“Oh. That's odd. Though I'm guessing it's probably why I can't see nor go into this room you're rambling on about. Since we're on that subject, by the way, you're only slightly disappearing from your right hip down.” Freddy shrugged. “Perhaps you should get your friends. I assume they'll want to see just what you’ve discovered.” He put his hands on his hips.

“Come on; I doubt there's anything in here. I’m just going to see what's up.” Twilight waved a hand. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

She didn't give Freddy time to protest as she turned and padded down the dark hallway. The floor was dirty and it smelt musky, but there was another scent . . . something metallic? Twilight couldn't tell; it was so faint. She continued into a large room. Another party room, most likely, as all it had was a table and a few creaky chairs. The unicorn glanced about, then cast a simple light spell. Cobwebs and dust-covered surfaces . . . and—

What was that?

Twilight paused, eyes scrutinizing what exactly she was seeing. The floor was black-and-white checkered, just like the rest of the restaurant, but there seemed to be some sort of . . . stain all over. It spread at least a foot-and-a-half across, even coating a little bit of the wall. Twilight approached it hesitantly, crouching down and getting closer. Her spell cast a purplish light around her, making the stain look odd. A hand reached out and brushed against it. It felt rusty and flaked away at her touch.

Oh. Oh Celestia.

Twilight backed up, getting partially to her feet as she stumbled away. Her stomach churned, face going pale as a gasp of horror escaped her lips. She bumped into the wall opposite the blood stain, going slack against it . . . until she realized that the quiet, raspy breathing in her ear wasn't hers, nor was this “wall” smooth and hard like it should be.

Large hands landed on her shoulders. A small, whispering laugh was breathed in her ear.


Our Little Horror Story

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The hands spun her around and Twilight came face-to-face with a monster. Glowing white eyes met her own violet ones, and there was a stench that could only be described as absolutely atrocious as it invaded her nostrils. She coughed, yanking her head back. The grip on her shoulders didn't lessen—if anything, it only strengthened.

“Are you an animatronic?” Twilight asked quietly, hesitance clear in her voice. She tried not to think about her heart pounding in her chest, or her slightly erratic breathing even though she tried to keep calm.

Even so, she thought the thing holding onto her was an animatronic, because it did have the form of one. The large frame, glowing eyes, wires, and metal.

However, it just stared back at her, hollow, half-lidded white eyes seeming to study her. It panted like a dog—not as heavy—but still easily noticeable. Every breath allowed a wave of sickly and stale air to wash over her, and Twilight had to refrain from gagging. She tried to pull away from the firm grip, but she was jolted as it shook her.

“Stay still,” it said plainly. Its eyes were no longer on her, but looking sideways. Twilight noticed that he—as she had deduced from the voice and form (even though it was decayed and broken as it was) that it was, indeed, a male—had an accent, and she believed it was from across the ocean. She couldn't identify the exact origin, however.

“Did you forget about me?” he asked suddenly, eyes on her in an instant. Twilight blinked, taken aback. Fingers squeezed tighter into her flesh. Briefly, she considered casting a spell to push him away, but decided against it. He might turn hostile if that happened.

“Did you hear me?”

“Uh, y-yeah,” Twilight replied shakily, “I heard you. And I don't know who you are, so how could I forget about you?”

He stared at her, looking—if Twilight was correct—as if he was offended. Then, he suddenly released her. Twilight stumbled back, hands rubbing at her shoulders. She was sure she was going to be bruised.

“I've been waiting. Why did you never come?” he asked again.

“What are you talking about?” Twilight retorted, confused.

“I'm talking about our game of hide-and-seek, duh!”

Twilight blinked, mouth falling open slightly. All this over a game of hide-and-seek?! What a delusion!

“You are supposed to try and find the hider as fast as you can. You do know that right?” He tilted his head at her. “But no matter. I am the seeker now, and you are the hider. I shall count to thirty.”

Twilight stared. “I never said I wanted to play . . .”

“I never asked.”

Realizing she might be in a bit of trouble, as his tone slipped into iciness, she carefully considered her next words. “Okay, okay, I'll play . . . If you tell me your name.”

He stared at her.

“Please? I'll tell you mine, too!” Twilight bargained. The decayed animatronic watched her for a moment, and at first she thought he wasn’t going to answer.


Twilight looked back up. “Springtrap? That's nice. Uh, my name’s Twilight Sparkle.”

Springtrap stared at her again. “You are a sparkle.”

Twilight shook her head, a slight smile crossing over her face. “No, no, that's just my name. I don't sparkle in the slightest—just like you're not a spring.”

“I am not a spring.”

“Of course.”

“Can we quit this awful small talk and get to the hiding-and-seeking?”

“Um, okay. I did agree to play if you told me your name,” Twilight admitted. At least Springtrap didn't seem that bad, if a bit mysterious. He had really frightened her at first, but he seemed to be fine now.

I should take care not to upset him. I don't know what he's capable of.

“I am going to count now,” Springtrap said. He turned to face the wall and began a very loud count. “One. Two. Three . . .”

Twilight frowned, then glanced around the rectangular room in which she found herself. She didn't think she should go out into the main part of the pizzeria, as Springtrap might not be able to go out or get upset over it.

No, it's probably the best option to stay in here for now. I've already been in here a while; Freddy has most likely already gone to get the girls. They can help with this odd animatronic.

So, without further ado, Twilight scurried over to the old party table and crouched under it. It probably wasn't the best hiding place ever, but it's not like there was anything else. At least she could prove to Springtrap that she was at least trying to play with him.

“Twenty-eight. Twenty-nine. Thirty,” Springtrap finished counting. She could hear him beginning to move. Twilight didn't look up, not wanting to move in case she gave herself away. The ratty tablecloth that still covered the table hung a few inches from the ground, concealing most of her form. She thought briefly about using magic to conceal herself but decided against it and just kept still. She couldn't tell what Springtrap’s intentions were.

I have never wanted to not offend someone as much as I do now.

Springtrap’s feet scuffing quietly against the ground soon vanished. Twilight paused, still crouched under the table. Maybe he was looking down the hall? Very carefully, Twilight lifted the edge of the tablecloth and allowed herself to scope out the area. The dark room was bare, as if nothing was ever there. Twilight frowned, then turned her head slightly to look down the hallway. It was empty as well.

Huh, I wonder where—

Twilight’s thought was cut off abruptly as a hand clamped down over her mouth. Eyes widening, her hands flared with magic just as something slid across her throat. A thin line of pain became known as she was dropped down. Her hands shot out to keep her up, and through her blurry eyes red dripped, coating the floor in the slick substance. She gasped desperately, trying to get air into her already burning lungs. A hand reached up to try and stem the flow. Her throat alit with burning pain and she lacked the strength to keep herself off the floor. She dropped into the pool of blood—her blood. Twilight vainly tried to use magic to help her, but there was no spell—one that she knew, anyways—that could heal this. Her body began to go limp and something shadowy lurked at the edge of her vision.

I win,” Springtrap whispered in her ear.

Twilight’s eyes fluttered closed.

Freddy tapped his foot, checking the clock at rapid intervals. He fidgeted, fixing his bow tie for the third time.

What's taking her so long?!

Freddy frowned, then approached the “wall” that was apparently there. He could feel a slight tingle running down his circuits, and decided against going any closer.

Maybe I'll get the other ponies.

The animatronic turned away and padded down the hall. He could hear voices—primarily Pinkie Pie’s high pitched squeals of “Ooh, ooh, manticore! Hydra! Timber Wolf! Zebra! Winona!” and so on and so on. He rolled his eyes and entered Pirate Cove, where they'd taken up residence again and were continuing their games.

“Oh, hi, Freddy,” Fluttershy greeted, looking up as he walked in.

“Wanna join our game?” Pinkie asked happily, pausing in her frantic and frankly annoying guessing. She turned to Rainbow Dash, who was making motions still. “Steven Magnet!”

Applejack sighed. “Pinkie, that's the fifth time ya’ve guessed that. It wasn't right that time, and it will never be.”

“Well, maybe she changed her mind!”

“That's against the rules.”

“Do you know where Twilight is?” Rarity asked, standing from her seat.

“Uh, you see, that's why I'm here,” Freddy started. “She went into this room or something and hasn't come back out . . .” He awkwardly gestured over his shoulder.

“What? What room?” Fluttershy asked immediately. She approached him quickly, looking up into his face.

“I don't know, some secret room!”

“Why didn't you come get us?”

“She said she was fine, and that there wasn't anything to be concerned about!”

“Why didn't you go in with her?”

"Because I can't even see the room, let alone go in! Something with my programming.”

Fluttershy put her hands on her hips. “You should've known better than to listen to Twilight saying everything’s fine.” Her tone was scolding.

“What? I—” Freddy stammered, flustered at her sudden change in attitude.

“Come on, have more sense than that.” Fluttershy frowned, then looked over her shoulder. “Come on, girls. Let's go.” She walked towards the door after one of her brief and rare displays of control, then stopped as they all rushed past her. Freddy watched carefully. “Sorry for snapping like that. I'm just . . . frustrated and stressed out,” she admitted. Her teal eyes cast off to the side and she let some of her hair fall into her face, rubbing an arm.

Freddy hesitated. “Mm, it's fine. I guess I could have come to you ten minutes ago when she first entered.”

She's been gone ten minutes?!”

“Well, yeah.”

Freddy’s head snapped to the side abruptly, a loud metal crack! ringing out. He squeaked in an expression of pain, a pout appearing on his face a moment later.

Ooooow, what was that for?” the animatronic whined as he rubbed at his face. Fluttershy put her hand down, shaking the sting away.

“You’ve let Twilight run off for more than ten minutes! What do you think that was for?!”

Freddy huffed, keeping his hand to his face. “Geez, not even Chica slapped me that hard. And she's a robot; that's really saying something. What's your hand made of, stone?” Fluttershy was already turning to walk down the hall. Freddy was beginning to follow her, and she glanced back:

“Do you want another to see?” she retorted. Freddy backed up a step, eyes widening slightly. He shook his head—still rubbing his face, mind you—and Fluttershy smirked slightly to herself as she padded forward.

“Whoa, has this been here the whole time?” Rainbow Dash’s voice drifted down the hallway. “I wanna go in!”

“Hey, hey, hold on,” Applejack warned, “we don't know what's in there. If Twilight hasn't come out yet, there's a chance somethin’ dangerous is awaitin’ for us on the other side.” Her tone gained a sense of foreboding.

“Applejack is right,” Fluttershy said, emerging from the hall with Freddy close behind. All eyes were on her. “We should be careful.”

“Yes, Celestia knows what's on the other side,” Rarity moaned. She smoothed out her skirt. “Who's going first?”

“I will!” Rainbow cheered, throwing her arms up. She kicked her feet and dove towards the entrance before her foot was snagged by a familiar blue aura.

“Now Dash, I didn't mean right this instant.” Rarity frowned, sapphire eyes glittering.

Rainbow sagged in the air. She came back to the floor, wings drooping. “Come on! I wanna see what's in there!”

“We will see. But first, we've got to make sure it's safe,” Fluttershy said.

“Twilight! Twilight, are you there?” Pinkie Pie called into the darkness, a hand near her mouth. There was an echo that launched itself back at them, but other than that, nothing besides the occasional sound of water dripping onto the floor from some loose pipe.

“Oh, my.” Fluttershy hunched her shoulders slightly, afraid.

“It'll be okay, Flutters. We can do this!” Rainbow declared.

“Do what?” came a mysterious voice.

There was a cacophony of shrieking as the group of six all but leaped backwards, hair on end from fright. They ended up in a bunch, all of them very close to one another, even with Rarity in Freddy’s arms. He didn't even seem to have the will to snark something back to her as he stared at the strange animatronic.

“Oh. Don't give me that look,” the animatronic continued, waving a hand nonchalantly. “But what's going on? I mean, I'd like to know.”

“Who are you?” Fluttershy stammered, heart fluttering in her chest. She was partially hiding behind Applejack.

“I already told the sparkle that, and she didn't make it very far—I don't think you want to know.”

“Twilight? You know where she is?” Rainbow Dash asked, her tone growing hard.

“Why, yes.” The strange animatronic grinned. “Want to see what I used?” He held up a hand and showed them what he was holding; a bloody knife.

“You son of a-!” Dash shouted and hurled herself forward, swinging her body around to deliver a kick worthy of the gods. The animatronic stood silently, a grin still on his face. When Rainbow’s foot was inches from hitting him, he dropped to the floor with unnatural speed. The pegasus’ eyes grew wide as she collided with the adjacent wall, sticking there for several moments before peeling off almost comically. She groaned and a wing twitched in a spasm.

The animatronic on the floor suddenly frowned. He began to sit up, his torso doing a full 360 turn so his hands could get under him, and then his legs followed suit, allowing him to stand quickly and fluidly.

“Oh, pardon me. I didn't mean for that to happen,” he said, tilting his head.

“Yeah, right!” Applejack snapped, speaking up for the woozy pegasus still splayed on the floor behind him.

“What? Don't believe me?” He looked puzzled. “Why not? I may have killed the sparkle but I do not know what you have against me.”

“Oh my Celestia,” Fluttershy sobbed, putting her head in her hands.

“You actually killed Twilight?” Rarity asked, eyes big.

“Well, of course. I had to win the game, you see,” the strange animatronic explained as if there was nothing wrong with that.

“What game?” Freddy retorted, feeling his eyes flickering menacingly.

“Our game of hide-and-seek! Why don't any of you remember? That's just rude.” The animatronic stalked forward, causing Freddy to put his arms out protectively over the ponies. “Come on, calm down, I'm not going to hurt you.” White eyes flashed at Freddy.

“Tell us your name.”

“I told you, you don't want to know.” The animatronic turned, hands clasped behind his back, and casually walked away. “Oh, and by the way, what you did to Fredbear just wasn't fair.”

Pinkie Pie frowned, looking up at Freddy from where she was crouched under his arm. “Why'd he use your nickname?”

“Stupid pink one, that's not my nickname,” Freddy sighed, caring enough to roll his eyes.

“He's right, you know. But don't worry, I fixed the poor guy,” the other animatronic continued. He put his fingers up to his mouth and whistled. Suddenly, a broken figure limped forward.

“Goldie?” Fluttershy gaped. They all stared at the yellow animatronic.

He was beyond broken, his jaw hanging open and right leg halfway gone. His microphone hung from one hand, barely in his fingers, and his hat was tipped dramatically to the side. An ear was gone and his eyes had no pupils, not even the tiny white dots. Burn marks streaked his body. How he was standing, they didn't know.

“You see, before I confronted your little group, I searched for my long lost buddy,” the creepy animatronic started. “And I found him—in worse condition! I just had to put him back together.” He patted Golden Freddy’s shoulder. “Of course, he has no sense of who he is or what he's doing anymore, which unfortunately I cannot fix, but he's still useful. I mean, he can still take orders!” An evil grin spread further across his face. “Sic ‘em, boy!” He pointed at the group.

The group scattered as the broken animatronic dashed towards them. Golden Freddy pulled to a stop, looking around like a cornered animal. He pounced at Rarity, who screamed and desperately tried to throw up a small magical shield, but she didn't have to as a brown blur smashed into the incoming animatronic.

The two Freddys rolled across the floor. They ended up a few feet apart, dazed. Golden Freddy yanked his head up, turning his focus immediately on his darker counterpart. They both jumped up and the two forces met in a clash of metal.

“After him!” Applejack shouted, pointing at the escaping animatronic racing down the hall. He moved quickly, vanishing into the darkness.

“What about them?” Pinkie Pie asked, casting a glance at the two animatronics brawling. There seemed to be no clear winner so far, neither looking defeated yet, although Golden Freddy had the other in a fierce headlock.

“They'll be fine! Come on, we need to stop him!” AJ glanced around and swept up Rainbow’s limp form. The pegasus’ limbs swung in her grip. With that, the group raced down the dark hall.

Springtrap grinned as he beheld the small pouch in his hand. It was soft and he could tell there were items of worth inside—to the strangers, at least. His raspy breathing was very noticeable to the otherwise quiet back room as he studied the pouch.

Heheheh . . .

Springtrap’s head jerked up, pupils contracting. The dark laugh echoed in his head, fading away into nothing. He looked around fervently.

The kids . . .

“No,” Springtrap groaned, dropping the bag to grip his head with both hands.


And that was the end of that. Springtrap pulled his head back up and glanced around quickly before deciphering he was still alone. He quickly shook his head and picked up the small items scattered across the floor. They were little sparkling gems. Springtrap decided they were valuable and did what any sane individual would do in this situation:

He picked them up and threw them down a nearby air vent. Metallic clinking met his ears as they fell, and he couldn't help but grin in content, looking as if he was a kid in a candy store.

His grin turned malevolent as he heard the strangers’ footsteps nearing him. They were in the room.

“My friends, I'm so glad you could make it,” Springtrap crooned. He stayed in his position with his back to them, crouched down slightly by the vent.

“We're not your friends, you monster,” the one with purple hair spat.

“Then I don't see what the point in running after me was.” Springtrap stood up, turning around. He drew the knife from his hip and brandished it casually. “After all, it just gives me more opportunities to kill you.”

“You're disgustin’,” the blonde one growled.

“Me? I'm disgusting?” Springtrap put a hand over his purple heart. “That's so rude. I would never say something like that to one of you.”

“You don't even know us! You big meanie!” the irritatingly pink-pink one snapped back.

“You hardly know me, either. No need to be a hypocrite.” Springtrap waved a hand nonchalantly and leaned against the metal table. “Now, what do you need from me?” He watched them with half-lidded eyes, same relaxed smile on his face.

“We’re here to put an end to ya!” Blondie exclaimed. There was a small chorus of ‘yeahs’ following her statement.

“End me? But I haven't done anything wrong!” Springtrap refuted, standing straight up again. The group of strangers recoiled slightly, seeming surprised.

“What? Of course you've done wrong! You killed Twilight!” Violet retorted, pointing at him and looking a bit sick as she did so.

“Me? You think I killed your sparkle?” An incredulous laugh bubbled up in his throat. “Me?”

“Yeah, duh!” Pinky groaned, rolling her eyes.

“And you said you did,” the not so irritatingly pink one pointed out quietly. She saw the look Springtrap was giving her. “Or at least, that's what I'm pretty sure you said.” She tried to avoid his hollowed gaze.

“Well, I can hardly say I'm not offended,” Springtrap scoffed, looking to the side momentarily.

“Shut up, ya devil!” Blondie ordered. “Either surrender or we’ll force ya to.” She slammed a fist into her palm, green eyes burning. Pinky hissed like a cat and made a scratching motion from the side.

Springtrap grinned, a small laugh working its way forward as he waved his hand nonchalantly. “O~oh, assorted beings, don't make me laugh any harder than I already am.”

Freddy grabbed Goldie under his jaw and hefted him over his head, throwing him across the room. The broken animatronic didn't make any sounds as he landed, even though his head lolled at an awkward angle as he stood up.

“Oh, come on!” Freddy groaned. “Goldie, it's me! Freddy!” There wasn't time to say anything else as he found himself on his stomach with an arm twisted behind him. Golden Freddy yanked it harder, and they both heard metal cracking. Freddy hissed and tried to shake the other from his back, but Goldie’s grip was true, even if he did only have one leg.

“Look, if this is about ripping you apart and burning you all those years ago, I'm sorry!” Freddy added, rolling over and pinning the other animatronic under his weight. He cuffed Goldie over the ear, then delivered several hard punches to his face, snapping his head back and forth. The completely black eyes stared back at Freddy with seemingly no emotion. It was a little disconcerting, to be honest. Usually there were angry glares, or at least winces of pain during fights—even some laughing, at the event which he'd just been vainly apologizing for moments earlier in hopes of staving off the attack—not a blank stare.

“Come on, work with me here! I don't like beating the circuits out of you!” Freddy exclaimed, nearly rolling his eyes. Apparently, fate wasn't working in his favor, as Golden Freddy reared forward and brought his jaws down on Freddy’s snout. The receiver of the bite cried out and fell back, allowing the other to get back up again. Freddy shook his head, getting to his feet. He glanced around, but stopped in confusion when he didn't see the other animatronic.


A hand broke through the metal on Freddy’s chest, cutting off his sentence and making him cry out. He gasped and slumped down slightly a few moments later, eyes half lidded. Goldie placed his other hand on Freddy’s shoulder to detach the animatronic. His circuits emitted a metallic screeching as he was pushed to the ground. His blue eyes stared forward for a few more moments before they faded to black.

Golden Freddy shook his arm, flinging small bits of metal and wire onto the floor. The appendage was scratched in several places from the sheer force of punching the other animatronic straight through the back, through his circuits, and out his chest. He briefly glanced down at the dead animatronic splayed across the floor. Golden Freddy blinked, cocking his head.

“What ‘ave ye done!?”

Golden Freddy twisted his head sharply to acknowledge the voice. The pirate fox stood at the entrance, looking frightened. He pulled his golden gaze off of his defeated comrade and stared Golden Freddy in the face.

“I though’ ye were dead!” he barked. He wobbled slightly and had to stick an arm out to balance himself. Golden Freddy tilted his head. He wasn't sure what kind of intentions this animatronic had. There wasn't any sort of angry body language; then again, it was hard with him leaning like he was. Better safe than sorry, Golden Freddy presumed as he closed the distance between him and the other animatronic. He figured this one would be easy.

But what he wasn't prepared for was the hook under his jaw that had him at the fox’s mercy. The pirate took a step forward, teeth bared in something resembling a pained snarl. Golden Freddy found himself being dragged. He tried to dislodge the hook from under his jaw but was stopped as the pirate dragged him around and got his arm around his neck, effectively pinning him there. He was dragged into another room behind a set of swinging doors. It was the kitchen.

There, the fox hit something; what it was, Golden Freddy couldn't tell, but he did hear the hiss-like sound of water. Then the sensation of burning as his head was stuck under the surface of it. He desperately shook his head to keep water out of his circuits, but it was a lost cause. Both his hands reached up to latch onto Foxy’s arms—

Wait, since when did he remember the pirate’s name?

Speaking of the pirate, he could tell he was getting electrocuted as well, from the tingling of his metal and the trembling of his limbs.

It’s all coming back to me! I remember!

Golden Freddy tried twice as hard to fight back, frantically trying to signal to Foxy he was back to his regular self. It seemed to work, for the next thing he knew, they were on the floor next to each other.

“Goldie?” Foxy wheezed, sitting up.

Golden Freddy coughed, water spraying from his suit. He sat up and pressed a hand to his head, wincing.

“Y-yeah, it's me,” he stammered. He looked up at Foxy. “How did you know that would work?”

“What would work? I jus’ wanted ta stop ye.” He shook his head. “What was up wit’ ya?”

Golden Freddy leaned up against a cabinet. “S-Springtrap happened, that's what.” He frowned. “We need to stop him.”

Foxy nodded, then paused. “’Ow did that water bring ye back?”

“I think that the electrocution you put both of us through activated my previous wiring. Springtrap, of course, had to shock me back to life, but it was only a small one.”

Foxy just nodded in reply. The two animatronics sat in silence for a few moments. Golden Freddy shifted, wincing as a small shock zapped him.

“That actually hurt a lot.”

Stay Calm

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Springtrap grinned, taking a step forward and being menacing about it. The strange girls hesitated as he did so.

“I don't know about you,” Springtrap continued, looking down at the tarnished weapon in his hands, “but I could really go for something to do.” He met their eyes and tilted his head, ears flopping.

“Is that something putting your knife down?” Quiet asked, large eyes staring right back at him.

Springtrap laughed. “Oh, no, I have something far different in mind.”

He closed the distance between them.

“What’re ye goin’ ta do?” Foxy asked, limping behind Golden Freddy as he stood up and did the same.

“Well, first,” Goldie started, turning to look at the fox, “I'm going to fix myself. I won't be any use in this form.” With a quick movement, he vanished into smoke, a whirlwind ensuing. His body slowly began to rematerialize, starting with his feet. A few moments later he was back to his original body, all grace and gold. He wiggled his nose and looked at Foxy with black eyes.

“Let's go, shall we?”

Blood spattered on the floor and there was a scream. The group of ponies fell apart, all going their own direction. The strange animatronic was already gone again, a few bloody footprints telling them which direction he'd raced off in.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy yelled, scrambling to her feet to get over to her friend, who lay splayed on the floor. “Rarity?! Can you hear me?!”

Rarity coughed, a hand on her side where blood was steadily pumping out. “I-I'm fine. Just a little . . . injury.” They could all see she was straining to stay calm as the rest of the group gathered around. Her face was paling and her chest rose quickly up and down. Her violet locks of hair were in a fan around her head.

“Oh, Rares,” Applejack whimpered, emerald eyes shining as she gazed down at her friend.

“AJ, don't worry a-about me. I'll b-be fine.” Rarity tried a small smile but it failed and ended up as her desperately trying not to let them see her lip trembling.

Fluttershy had already pulled off her suit jacket, pressing it to her unicorn friend’s side. “Pinkie Pie, will you hold this to the wound? . . . Yes, yes, like that.” Fluttershy nodded as Pinkie placed her hands where she'd told her to. “I'm going to go get the first aid kit.” She got to her feet and sprinted off.

Fluttershy dug around for the emergency kit she had hidden in the desk in the office. She scrambled desperately to find it, her hands shaking. She'd trained herself to stay calm, to just stay calm. She knew that something bad could have happened to her on the night shift; of course she did. That's why she'd taken all the necessary precautions for an instance much like this. It was also why she hadn't burst into tears upon hearing that that monster had actually murdered one of her best friends like an animal at slaughter.

I hope the others don't think less of me because of my reaction.

It was true; she really feared that would happen. Usually, in this kind of situation (horrible as it was), she'd begin bawling and go into shock, even have an anxiety attack, maybe. Perhaps it would even trigger her years old PTSD. She didn't have any experience with this besides seeing it in Foxy’s memories. Speaking of Foxy . . .

“Oh my goodness! We left Rainbow Dash in Pirate Cove!” Fluttershy gasped, nearly dropping the first aid kit she held in her faintly trembling hands. Before confronting the deranged animatronic, Applejack had hidden their unconscious pegasus friend away with the still shut down Foxy, who they’d very much hoped would wake up soon (both of them, that is).

Fluttershy raced down the hall, not wanting to keep Rarity waiting. Slightly out of breath, she sat down again, getting out medical supplies.

“Applejack, Rainbow Dash. Pirate Cove,” she huffed quickly.

“Shoot! Ah’ll go now!” Applejack declared, getting to her feet.

“Be careful!” Fluttershy called, even though Springtrap’s bloody footprints led in the other direction. Shaking her head, the shy pegasus looked back down to her bleeding friend. Rarity had fallen unconscious from the blood loss. She was still breathing, thankfully.

Clock’s ticking, Fluttershy . . .

“Shouldn't we check on th’ ponies?” Foxy asked, still limping behind Golden Freddy.

“You can. I need to find Springtrap before he does anything drastic,” Goldie replied.

“But th’ ponies might know where ‘e went.”

Golden Freddy paused. “. . . True. Okay, let's go, but quickly.”

The two traipsed down the halls, going towards the office from the right door. Goldie stuck his head in, very careful to check before entering in case someone was lurking there, waiting to strike. He didn't see anything dangerous, but he did see something running very swiftly out of the room. He didn't call out, just ducked back behind her doorframe to look to Foxy.

“I saw something. It might have been one of the girls. Come on.” He moved quickly forward. Foxy stumbled after him.

Pirate Cove was empty. Applejack had checked everywhere, but there was no sign of Foxy or Rainbow Dash. Panicked, she hurried back down the hallways, hoping to find one of them in a different room. Whilst racing towards the showroom, she bumped into something.

“What in tarnation—!” AJ huffed as she was bounced backwards off something tall and considerably large. She held her hat down as she toppled, and soon found herself looking up at a pair of very dark eyes.

“Ah! Golden Freddy!” Applejack gasped, green eyes wide. She sprang to her feet and immediately delivered a winning kick right to his stomach. The animatronic, completely unprepared for this action, grunted and fell back with a small yelp.

“Oi! Watch it!” another voice cried out after a few crashes were heard. Applejack blinked, standing up straighter from her fighting position. She lowered her raised hands slightly, but made sure they were still in fists.

“Foxy?” The earth pony raised an eyebrow and tried to get a glimpse behind Golden Freddy, who was pushing himself away from the wall.

“Aye, s’me,” came the strained reply. The pirate came into view as he walked forward, his one eye very prominent in the dark.

“Thank goodness.” She sighed and wiped her forehead. “And Goldie here is good, too, right?”

“Yes, dear, I'm good,” Golden Freddy responded as he brushed himself off.

“Oh . . . okay. Sorry ‘bout that; ya can't be too careful, ya know?” AJ asked, standing normally. “How'd ya get back to this?”

“Foxy here electrocuted me.” Goldie jerked a thumb towards the mentioned animatronic.

Applejack smiled and reached forward, giving Foxy a good natured pat on the shoulder. Her smile was gone, however, as a spark of electricity shocked her. She yanked her hand away with a small wince.

“Yow, more like both of ya got some,” the farm pony commented as she shook her hand slightly.

“Aye . . . ‘twas a plan not tot’lly thought out,” Foxy agreed.

“Well, Ah’m just glad ya’ll are both safe.” She paused. “Speakin’ of safe, neither of ya’ll happen to know where Rainbow Dash is, would ya?”

Golden Freddy froze. “Rainbow is gone?”

“Yeah . . . she was knocked unconscious, so we put her in Pirate Cove just in case Foxy woke up. We figured he’d be able to, ya know, protect her ‘til then. But when Ah checked the Cove, she wasn't there!”

“When I reactivated, she wasn't there,” Foxy said quietly.

“Oh, Celestia . . .”

Golden Freddy spoke up, “If she's still alive, we've got to find her. Immediately.”

Applejack's eyes widened. “If?! If she's still alive!?”

“Well, yes. Springtrap is a very demented individual, and if he found Rainbow, he would have killed her.”

“Do ya even know that girl? She wouldn't let that . . . monster catch her.”

“I don't ‘know her’ know her, but I did spend a short period of time in her head.”

Applejack’s eyes became half-lidded. “That's not what Ah mean, and ya know it. Now, tell me, can you track that coward?”

Golden Freddy made a small, noncommittal gesture with his hands. “Eh, I can kinda track him. Of course, when we were built, our programming wasn't as good as the newer editions, so if we wanted, we could easily overpower our commands.”

“So . . . ?”

“. . . If he wanted to, he could leave and not come back.”

Rainbow Dash crept forward, making sure to be quiet. She peeped her head over the edge of the roof she was on and kept her eyes on the darkened figure below. Unfortunately, she couldn't hide in the clouds, as they were very high up in the atmosphere. She didn't want to risk being seen by the animatronic just in case he saw her zip up there. Besides, a cloud hovering very close by would surely alert him to her presence.

The strange animatronic was limping slightly (an injury caused by a car clipping his hip as he hurried across the street). Rainbow knew what a car was because of Fluttershy, and was fairly proud that she hadn't burst into laughter as she saw it happen. Of course, the animatronic had quickly gotten to his feet and ducked into the shadows before the person in the car could get out and inspect the damage.

Dash waited for him to sprint across another street into an alley before leaping across as well, wings out. She was almost at the roof when a sudden breeze caught her feathers and jerked her sideways. Stifling a gasp, Rainbow threw her hands out and latched onto the emergency stairwell of the apartments on the opposite side of the alley. The clanging of the metal grinding together rang out loudly, and from the corner of her eye, Rainbow could see the animatronic’s head snap in her direction. Quick as lightning, the pegasus jumped and soared over the apartment building. She rolled with the impact as she hit the roof, ducking down immediately. She stayed there for several moments, waiting to see if he called her out. As a minute passed with no sounds, she crawled over to the edge and peeked over. The animatronic was continuing his way down the alley.

Rainbow sighed in relief and got up, trailing him once again.

“Oh no, I hope Dashie’s okay!” Pinkie Pie wailed. Applejack and the two animatronics stood by the door from where they'd just given all the information they knew. The three of them had done a quick search of the pizzeria before reporting back (purposely avoiding the hidden room).

“We need to find her, and fast,” Applejack continued.

“Well,” Fluttershy began as she stood up, holding her blood soaked hands out in front of her, “if I ever knew Dash, I'd say she probably went after Springtrap. If you didn't see any blood in the rest of the pizzeria, that means he didn't kill her. And if she was . . . killed . . . outside, then surely the police would already be here.”

“But what if Springtrap didn't kill her in a bloody way, and just hid her body somewhere?” Pinkie fretted, looking sick. Her puffy hair was drooping like it was deflated.

Golden Freddy smiled grimly. “I'm afraid that's very unlikely. Springtrap has always had a . . . thing for knives.” Ugly memories resurfaced and he quickly shoved them away.

“Well . . . that's good, Ah guess,” AJ commented after a moment. “But how are we possibly gonna find ‘em now?”

“As you should recall, I did say I could kinda track Springtrap.” Golden Freddy shrugged. “It's . . . weird, but I should be able to get his general vicinity.”

“Um . . . how? Do you two have a twin-like bond that allows you to sense the other?!” Pinkie Pie guessed in sudden excitement, jumping into Goldie’s face. He pushed her away.

“No. It's just . . . hard to explain. Basically, it works like this—”

Applejack put a hand over his mouth, “If this is gonna be some sort of scientific explanation, Ah don't wanna listen. We ain't got time. Just do it and let us find ‘em.”

Golden Freddy frowned, eyebrows arched. “Well, if you'd listen, my dears, I'd be able to tell you I need to take one of you over.”

“What? Why?”

“I thought you didn't want an explanation.”

Applejack glared at him. “Ah’m gonna smack ya; just tell us why ya need to use one of us.”

“Okay then, geez. No need to be rude about it.” Golden Freddy harrumphed and turned his head to the side briefly. “Anyways, you . . . um, people, I guess I should call you, have this little thing called fitting in. It's very helpful in this kind of situation. I mean, a group of people wouldn't be able to sneak out with a robot very easily.”

Fluttershy nodded and Applejack rolled her eyes at his very sarcastic explanation. “Okay, that makes sense,” Fluttershy agreed. “Who do you want to . . . take over?”

“Oh, it doesn't matter. I honestly don't have a preference; well, I do, but it seriously doesn't matter in this case,” Golden Freddy explained.

“Ooh, ooh, you can have me!” Pinkie declared.

“Um, not the crazy one, preferably.”

Pinkie didn't even seem to mind the insult and just continued smiling.

“Okay, let's make this easier: what are ya gonna do when we get to Springtrap?” Applejack asked.

“Probably kick his *ss,” Golden Freddy said. “Maybe not completely. We just need to find him first.”

“Okay . . . ya can use my body. Just don't do nothin’ stupid.” AJ pointed a finger at him threateningly.

“Please, dear. You'll still be in there.” Goldie tapped the side of her head, to which she crinkled her nose and shot him a glare. “If I'm doing something bad, just tell me.” He straightened up. “Anyways, better prepare yourself. This process can get kind of interesting for some people.”

“Um, alright.”

A torrent of gold suddenly enshrouded Applejack and she didn't even have time to react. The bright smoke entered her eyes and a few moments later, she moved again.

“Whoooo, what a rush!” they exclaimed, stumbling slightly. Both Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie recoiled, moving away, the former having to be careful not to step on her still unconscious friend settled by her shoes. Black eyes met their gazes.

“Hey! I've got a name for this!” Pinkie exclaimed, a hand at her chin as she thought. “Ooh, um, Goldenjack!” She snickered. “That's a golden apple if I ever saw one, right guys?” No response. “Oh, come on!”

“Let's just go, alright?” Goldenjack mumbled, rolling their eyes.


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“I need to stay here,” Fluttershy said, “to take care of Rarity.” She gestured to the unconscious unicorn, whose side was coated in blood and whose chest was rising and falling at an almost nonexistent pace. “But I want you two to go out and catch that criminal. I don't know what to think about it, but . . . please be careful.”

“You be careful too, Flutters,” Pinkie Pie responded, gently touching her friend’s arm. “Goldenjack and I will totally get him and Rainbow Dash! Then we can all go home to Equestria and be happy and junk!”

Fluttershy smiled. “Good. Now, you guys better go, and fast. I'll be fine; I've got Foxy to protect me, anyways. Time is running out for us, though.” She flashed a quick glance up at the pirate next to her.

“Yes, she's right, dear,” Goldenjack said. “We've got to leave. Every second wasted here is another opportunity for Springtrap to strike.”

“Aye, be on your way,” Foxy urged. “We’ll hol’ down th’ fort.”

“Okie dokie lokie!” Pinkie agreed. “Come on, Goldie, let's go!” She grabbed their arm and the duo hurried out of the room.

Fluttershy watched as they disappeared around the corner, and then turned her face towards Foxy.

“You think they'll be okay?”

The pirate stared forward. “I'm sure they will.”

Springtrap could sense Fast following him. She trailed behind him as though he couldn't see her. How ridiculous! He wasn't stupid. Besides, with all the noise she made when she jumped around like a rabbit, it was a wonder how she ever got around without drawing attention to herself.

We can take her out . . . It'd be easy . . .

Springtrap stopped in his tracks.

Hehe . . . yes, it'd be very easy wouldn't it? I could lure her down, and take this knife, and jab it into her jugular vein-!

There's the spirit!

Springtrap was grinning like a madman, his fingers itching to retrieve the knife from where he'd put it in his suit. The dark thoughts clouded his mind and he found himself devising a plan.

“So, are we getting close?”

Goldenjack didn't turn to look at Pinkie Pie, instead searching the streets with black eyes. A few moments later, with nothing dangerous or suspicious showing up, they turned to face her.

“You've asked me that question seven times now. And no, we are not close yet!”

“Aw.” She paused. “How about now?”

Goldenjack rolled their eyes, irritated. “You are very annoying. Please be quiet.”

Hey, don't talk to her like that!

Seriously, why do I care? Dear, she's hella annoying.

Ah’ll kick ya outta here if ya don't behave. Ah won't have ya insulting one of mah best friends.

Golden Freddy refrained from groaning loudly and resigned to her commands. I shall do as you please. Even if you would not be able to ‘kick me out.’ And when that talkative strip of bubblegum gives us away to Springtrap, don't come crawling to me.

Says the guy who's in mah body.

Golden Freddy rolled their eyes and ignored her. He instead focused back on the task at hand. Pinkie Pie was still looking at them with her large blue eyes, head cocked slightly.

“Come on, we don't have time for this,” Goldenjack sighed, quickly moving across the street. Pinkie bounced behind him.

Celestia was gazing up at the moon as she lowered it to make way for the sun. As always, she had to be very careful not to destroy her sister’s work even more than it already was. The broken of pieces of space rock floated around, barely held in check by the force of gravity. As the sun peeked slowly over the edge of the horizon, Celestia felt something go wrong. Her breath was forced rather abruptly from her body and she almost jerked the sun to the side. It would've happened if she had been less experienced, but after doing the same thing for centuries, she was an expert.

As soon as she was done with her duty, she turned and nearly stumbled over her own hooves. Celestia stood still for a few moments, catching her breath, before taking off. Her wings opened and she leaped from the balcony where she stood into the cool night air. She needed to get down to the Element containment chamber.

Celestia landed on another balcony, where she ran swiftly down the halls to the throne room. Her guards made way, though some had expressions of confusion on their faces at her behavior instead of the usual stoicism. Once inside the throne room, she slowed down and prepared her spell. Her horn lit with golden magic and she inserted it into the lock. Gears shifted and she pulled her head away as the doors began to unlock and pull apart.

Celestia waited until she saw the marble pedestal. On it sat the gilded chest that contained the Elements of Harmony. She moved forward, lighting her horn once again to open the chest. It popped open with a click and the solar alicorn gazed down upon the gems. Her eyes immediately took in the sight of the five.

Four were healthy and smooth as always, but there was one that was cracked and seemed dimmer than the rest . . .

Magic was the odd one out.

Rainbow Dash noticed it immediately.

The strange animatronic had faltered in his steps slightly, one leg seeming to give out from under him. He tried to move forward but continued to stumble until he eventually half fell against the side of a building. Dash narrowed her eyes, unsure of what was happening.

The animatronic was attempting to get back on his feet, but he was unsuccessful. It seemed like he didn't have enough power to go anywhere. The pegasus on the rooftop watched carefully, unsure. Was he really stopping, or was this all a ruse?

I’ll wait all night if I have to. I won’t just rush in and let you trick me.

The animatronic slumped against the brick building and went limp. Rainbow watched for a few more moments before snorting slightly and settling down on the roof. Eyes narrowed, Dash glowered down at him.

It was time to play the waiting game.

Fluttershy contemplated what to do next. She could always bring Rarity to the hospital; it would be easy. But then again, why would she need to? After they caught Springtrap, they needed to get back to Equestria. She would, of course, say her final goodbyes to Jackson and then she assumed Twilight . . .

Suddenly, Fluttershy froze. Without Twilight, how would they get back to Equestria? And if they somehow returned without Twilight, would everything be fixed as they had said it would? What would become of their equine world?

Oh dear. What's going to become of us?

Fluttershy looked towards the door of the back room where she still sat with Foxy. A moment passed where she could only stare at it. Then she looked back down to Rarity, checking for the telltale signs of life.

Fluttershy frowned.

She turned, trying to stay calm as her blood ran cold, and put two fingers to her friend’s pale neck. She waited.

“Lass? Is somethin’ wrong?” she heard Foxy ask. There was a small scraping sound as he scooted towards her.

Fluttershy didn't respond and instead kept her attention focused on Rarity’s nonexistent pulse. Thirty seconds passed with nothing. Fluttershy began to feel sick as she realized another one of her best friends had passed. Quickly leaping into action after the fact, she began to hurriedly do CPR.

Please, Rarity, please! Don't—don’t . . .

Fluttershy’s desperate thoughts were drowned out as she became focused on the task at hand. She could sense Foxy behind her, unsure of what to do. Unfortunately, he couldn't help, as he didn’t even know what she was doing.

It was minutes later and Fluttershy realized she wasn't getting anywhere. It was too late. Rarity had lost too much blood. Feeling tears welling in her eyes, Fluttershy sat back, wings drooping behind her. Foxy put his hand on her shoulder.

“Is she-?” the animatronic asked cautiously. Fluttershy could only nod sadly. “’M sorry.”

She sniffed. “I just wish I could've done more.”

“Ye did all ye could.”

Fluttershy shook her head, then allowed her neck to droop sadly, eyes half lidded. A few moments later, her gaze slowly made its way up to the room’s door, and her eyebrows furrowed.


Fluttershy stared at the door for several more moments before she began to move. Foxy removed his hand from her shoulder as she stood up and made her careful way to the door.

“Fluttershy, is there somethin’ wrong?” Foxy asked, wobbling to his feet after her.

“I . . . need to check on something,” Fluttershy murmured in response, hand on the doorframe.

“’M comin’ wit’ ya.” Foxy followed after her. The pegasus didn't object to this; in fact, she didn't even respond.

What am I feeling? It's so weird. I need to know why I'm feeling like this.

Fluttershy walked down the hallways, Foxy on her tail. She kept a careful eye out for anything strange, but didn't see anything until they reached the showroom. Her eyes fell upon Freddy, who was lying face down on the floor.

“Oh . . .” the pegasus whimpered quietly.

Foxy walked forward to stand beside her. “Aye. Goldie got ta Freddy ‘fore I made ‘im normal ‘gain.” Fluttershy frowned, seeing the blank expression on the dead animatronic’s face.

Well . . . there’s no use standing here. He’ll be fixed later. She exhaled gently. Though I do wish I’d be able to say goodbye to him in case we never see each other again. Honestly, Fluttershy was surprised she was sad. She never thought she’d ever forgive Freddy for what he did to Foxy. But as she got to know him through the years she’d been there, she had realized he wasn’t as bad as they’d all originally thought.

“Come on, Foxy,” Fluttershy said after a moment, stepping over the top hat that’d ended up in front of her. Foxy nodded and padded after her as she approached the room.

“Are ye goin’ into that ‘idden room Freddy was talkin’ ‘bout earlier?” Foxy asked as Fluttershy stopped in front of a wall that was seemingly only that to him—a wall.

“Yes, Foxy. I’ve got to go in.” Fluttershy hesitated briefly. “Something just seems odd about this whole situation. I’ve got to confirm my feelings.”

“But what could there be in there that could possibly be good?”

“Maybe not good. But I need to know why I’m feeling so odd all of a sudden. Since you can’t come in, you just wait here.” Fluttershy patted his shoulder gently. “I’m going in.”

With that, the pegasus entered the dark hallway.

Princess Celestia lit her horn and picked up the fractured Element of Magic, holding it at face level. Her eyes sparkled with sadness and she felt herself droop, flowing mane seeming to die down a bit and lose some of its sparkle . . . until another jab broke her out of her daze. This one was more intense and seemed to needle its way into her heart. She coughed, gasping. She nearly fell against the wall but managed to stay on her hooves. The princess could faintly see a few drops of blood spattered on the floor through her blurry vision.

Celestia hacked once more before standing up straighter. There was a fierce throbbing in her ribcage, but she deftly ignored it and shook some strands of pastel hair out of her face. Her horn’s light intensified and another Element was picked up. The purple gem was rapidly falling apart as if made of dust. Any life Generosity had in it was draining out, the light visibly dripping like water.

Celestia’s eyes widened visibly, panic showing on her face. She quickly shook her grimace away and closed her eyes. A spell began to take place. A spell she’d worked on for years; all the years she’d spent waiting for the ponies’ present. A moment later, twin twinkles were absorbed by the two Elements. Princess Celestia opened her eyes.

Fluttershy entered the hallway with a cautious air. She didn’t want to race into trouble like Rainbow Dash surely would have. She wanted to live, thank you. While it was very unlikely that there was anything dangerous in there anymore, one could never be too careful.

The room was pitch black by now. Narrowing her eyes in the dark, Fluttershy felt along the wall for anything resembling a light switch. Dust coated her fingers as she slid her hands over the smooth surface, and she coughed slightly as it invaded her nostrils and caught in her throat. A moment later, she found the switch and flicked it on.

And promptly screamed.

Twilight’s consciousness was being bounced around. Or, at least, it felt like it. Voices murmured in the darkness and she felt like she was floating—no, she was. She was floating in darkness, back to her pony form. The voices were indistinguishable at first, but one eventually stood out among the rest.

“. . . hear me, Twilight?”

The unicorn paused, ears flicking in the direction of it. She scrunched her nose, shifting her head, eyebrows furrowing. Twilight willed her eyes to open, but it seemed she was unable to, no matter how hard she tried. Her hooves twitched under her, her arms and legs tucked close to her body.

“Twilight, can you hear me?”

There it was again! Twilight lifted her head, craning her neck to try and get closer to the mystery voice. The owner of it was someone she knew; that much was sure. The name was on the tip of her tongue . . .

“Twilight, it’s the princess.”

Princess-? Princess Celestia! Her mentor and the bringer of the sun, Princess Celestia! Twilight kicked her legs, instincts telling her to find the origin of the disembodied voice. Unfortunately, her body wouldn’t move. She opened her mouth to try and cry out so she could have some sort of direction, but the soft sound of her mentor’s voice came again:

“Do not try and move. You will not get anywhere with that, I am afraid.

“Now, listen to me—you have been killed in the human world, Twilight. I am not sure how, but I do know you were. Luckily, but also something I had hoped not to need, I devised a spell many a years ago for just this purpose. I call it the Renew Spell, and anything beyond that bit of information is not vital. Just know that it will bring you back; it’s like a backup life. So go forth now, my faithful student, and fix this mess!”

Twilight found herself swirling downwards quickly. She could finally move her limbs, and she wasted no time in throwing her hooves up with a soundless yowl as she was tugged into the vast expanse of nothing below her. Twilight’s eyes opened and flashed white, mouth open with no sound coming out.

Fluttershy screamed, eyes squeezed shut. Her hands were tucked under her chin and her back was pressed against the wall behind her. She continued to scream at a constant volume.

Twilight, who was partially kneeling, finished standing up all the way. Her legs wobbled under her briefly, but she put her hands out for balance.

“Fluttershy?” Twilight croaked, throat a bit sore. She rubbed at her neck, and was surprised to find blood that hadn't dried yet. She glanced down at her body and saw most of the front of her shirt was soaked in blood. “Oh, wow. Sorry, ‘shy. I had no idea I was still . . . messy.” She wiped her hand on her jeans, imprinting the mark of it. “Um, Fluttershy?” Twilight looked back up and realized her friend was still screaming. “Fluttershy, it's okay! I'm okay! We’re all okay here!” She moved forward and placed a hand on the pegasus’ shoulder. Fluttershy finally stopped screaming, opening her eyes.

“Y-you're s-sure you're okay?” Fluttershy stammered, shying away just slightly.

“Yeah, I'm fine; I feel great, actually. Well, except for how, you know, bloody I still am. Speaking of which, I need a bathroom.” Twilight began to walk out of the hidden room. “I'm glad you're safe. Who else is here?”

“Well, um . . .”

Rarity frowned, eyeing the blood stain on her dress. “Hmm, that is most unnerving.” Her sapphire eyes landed back on her friends. “Anyways—ignoring my ruined outfit—have we heard anything from Pinkie Pie and Applejack—I mean, um, Golden Freddy in Applejack’s head?”

Fluttershy shook her head. “No.”

“Well, shouldn't we go after them? To back them up?”

“I imagine on of us should, at least. They haven't got any magic between the three of them,” Twilight commented. “Now, I'm not saying they need magic to beat Springtrap, but I think it'd be helpful.”

“Okay then. Twilight, you can track them, right?” Fluttershy asked.

“I mean, I could. But I could also ask Goldie about it just as easily. I still remember what his consciousness feels like.” Twilight closed her eyes and spread her consciousness out.

Goldie? You there?

There were a few empty moments with no reply . . . Well, hello there, dear. I had heard you were lying dead on the floor in the old fitting room. But I had also not felt your consciousness at all, so you were indeed lifeless. Tell me, what's behind your reincarnation?

Princess Celestia. Now, I'm going to teleport to your location. Where is that?

. . . Hold on a moment, dear. Twilight felt his consciousness fade out briefly. Then, I don't know how to tell you with words. Here.

Suddenly, Twilight saw a rush of images flash through her mind. They were all a little different, but she got the gist and a few moments later, she was standing on an empty street with Goldenjack and Pinkie Pie.

“Twilight! Twilight! Twilight!” Pinkie shouted, eyes growing three times as big as they already were. She leaped at the unicorn, hugging her tightly. “I'm so glad to see you!”

Twilight stumbled slightly at her friend’s embrace, but smiled down at her. “Me too.” She patted Pinkie’s curly hair. “Lead the way, Goldie.”

Goldenjack rolled their eyes. “Come along. Time’s a-wasting.”

Rainbow frowned, then checked the position of the moon. She'd been waiting for the animatronic to move for an hour already. He hadn't so much as even twitched since he'd fallen, and she was beginning to think he might have actually deactivated. If not, then he was one heck of a good actor. But he was a tricky character, so all in all, Dash was perplexed. It was either wait longer and possibly uncover a plot he'd hatched, or wait and never do anything ever again and look like an idiot once the rest of her friends arrived, seeing how she’d sat there for an hour straight staring at an animatronic.

“Gah . . . I'm not gonna wait any longer!” Rainbow scoffed, standing from her position on the roof. She cracked her back and stretched her legs. She was rather stiff from that hour, so she was glad to be on her feet again. Dash opened her wings and carefully descended to the ground, still trying to be as quiet as she could. Very slowly, she approached the limp animatronic from the side, keeping a keen eye on his body language. He still wasn't moving.

Okay, I think I'm good. Hmm, what should I do now? I'm not going to leave him here. Maybe I should tie him up? Will that even work? Rainbow shrugged. Whatever. Might as well try.

Dash glanced over at the animatronic, then checked around for something to use to restrain him just in case he woke up.

“I can feel him. He's very close,” Goldenjack said, glancing around.

“How close?” Pinkie Pie asked in a loud whisper from the end of their small line.

“Very. Which means you should be quiet, pink one. We don't need him knowing we’re coming.”

“He's right, Pinkie. Just try to be quiet now,” Twilight agreed.

“Okey dokey lokey!” Pinkie cheered. Goldenjack rolled their eyes. The continued to lead the way, taking soft steps and moving quite slowly through the night. Twilight made sure to give them room as they crept along.

“So . . . close . . .” Goldenjack murmured. They skirted a building and came upon an alley that went through several streets, picking up on the other sides. Something shifted in the darkness. “Wait, I see something!” His superb night vision easily picked up the movement.

Twilight narrowed her eyes, struggling to see. “What? What is it?” Her pulse began to race.

“I think it's the rainbow one.”

“Rainbow Dash?!” Twilight gasped. Suddenly, Goldenjack stiffened next to her. Twilight caught the action and looked at them. “What? What do you see?”

“It's Springtrap! He's about to get her!” It was true; he could see Springtrap’s outline and, more specifically, the knife he held in his hand as it glinted in the moonlight. He was only about two feet from Rainbow, who had her back turned to him. She seemed to be looking for something.

“Oh no!” Pinkie Pie wailed, putting her hands to her head. “Somebody do something!”

Golden Freddy emerged from Applejack’s body with a flash, leaving her stumbling around in a daze for a few moments before his smoky form took off. Twilight’s magic activated, hands glowing as she followed quickly after him with Pinkie and AJ on her tail, and with the voice magnification spell, she shouted, “Rainbow Dash! Watch out!”


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Rainbow Dash could hear the quiet whirring of the animatronic’s circuits as he—presumably—snuck up on her. She felt her heart start to beat a little faster, but she could get out of this. She pretended to continue her search; waited for the shadows in front of her to shift, signifying his approach.


The shadows moved suddenly. Rainbow Dash sprang into action, twisting so the knife just barely missed her back. The empty, angry white eyes of the animatronic flashed at the edge of her vision as she leaped to the wall. She pushed off again, bouncing between the buildings at inhuman speeds. Her wings spread out and a small tornado began to form as she circled the growling animatronic. He began to get pushed around by the winds howling on all sides. His eyes glinted with anger and he barked several insults through the wind, but she couldn't hear any of them. Rainbow smirked as she continued to sprint around him.

Twilight watched as the tides quickly turned, ending up with Rainbow Dash trapping Springtrap in a quickly made tornado. She sighed in relief, glad that her friend was safe for now. She let her spells die down, the magic around her hands fading away. Behind her, she heard a few cheers from Pinkie Pie and Applejack.

“Woo! You show him, Dashie!” Pinkie yelled happily, pumping one of her fists in the air. Applejack laughed beside her.

“No time for celebrating yet, girls,” Twilight warned.

Golden Freddy was still in his energy form as he whisked across the streets, aiming right for Springtrap. It was a little surprising that the pegasus had actually not gotten stabbed, but then again, he remembered she was very fast. And that was fairly evident by the fact she was now circling Springtrap at such high speeds a tornado had formed. That was certainly unexpected.

Goldie prepared himself to rematerialize as he got close to the whirlwind. He figured he would go right through it, considering he wasn’t physical right now.

Well . . . he was wrong. Rainbow’s tornado sucked him in as he got close, sending him whirling along with it, making the already multicolored vortex look brighter with his own golden color mixed in.

Aaaah, shhhh—

Golden Freddy tried rematerializing to get himself out of this mess. He dropped suddenly, but didn’t fall out. He continued being carried around by the fast winds. Vainly, he lashed out with his hands, trying to grab onto something.

“Hey!” he heard the cracking voice of Rainbow Dash cry, and her blurred figure below him tripped. That sent her tornado spinning wildly out of control as it began to move sideways. Golden Freddy only got a moment of reprieve before she smashed into him from where she’d gotten picked up as well.

“This . . . is . . . all . . . your . . . fault!” Dash snapped at him, looking up from where she was trapped close to his body. He growled in response. Her head was pressed against his chest, directly below his head. Her words were being thrown around, making them seem farther apart. She attempted to push herself away from him. He helped her, using his strength to shove her away. With a small yelp, she was thrown out of the whirling vortex as it began to dissipate. A few moments later, he toppled onto the ground as well.

“Heheh . . . well, well, well,” came the robotic voice of Springtrap as the two picked themselves up from the dirty alley cement. Rainbow, who was laying a bit off to the side, sat up and shook her head to clear it. She was a bit scraped, but otherwise unharmed. Golden Freddy was already standing, eyes glaring at the other animatronic. A little ways behind, the three other girls finished their hurried running, catching their breaths as they stood by Dash.

“Hello, dear,” Golden Freddy said, grinning.

Springtrap’s own smile turned even more demented at those words, the final, frozen cry of the purple man visible as his jaws opened wider.

“Honey, I’m home!”

Fluttershy couldn’t help her nervous tic as she stood by the doors, watching the outside world. Foxy had taken up a spot under a nearby party table, laying curled up like a dog ready to guard his owners. Every once in a while, he’d lift his head up and carefully study the pegasus at the door before setting it back down. Rarity was sitting at a different table with her legs crossed over one another. She was filing her nails idly; perhaps out of nervousness.

“Fluttershy, darling, you’ve simply got to sit down and relax. I have no doubt they’ll be fine. They’ve only got to beat one animatronic—that Springtrap fellow. Twilight could probably destroy him with her magic on a whim,” Rarity said after a half hour of them all doing the same repetitive things. She set the nail filer down and cocked an eyebrow at her friend.

“Oh, I know I shouldn’t be worried,” Fluttershy replied, turning around, “but I just can’t help it. Of course they’ll win. Goldie will set things straight. Everything will work out. It’s just . . . I don’t know. You know me . . .” She trailed off, rubbing an arm.

Rarity frowned. “Of course I know you, darling. And I also know the others. They'll win for sure.” She stood up and placed a hand on Fluttershy’s shoulder. “Now, come along. Let's try and not worry.”

“Oh, how good it is to hear your voice, my dear friend,” Springtrap crooned in a mocking tone of voice. “I never thought I would, after all that.”

Golden Freddy returned his sinister grin and watched him with half lidded eyes. “It was rather obvious our paths would cross again, though, wasn’t it?” Springtrap took a step to the left and Goldie mirrored him. The two began to circle one another. Behind them, Twilight and her three friends watched uncertainly.

“Hmm, I suppose now that I think about it . . .” Springtrap mused, briefly looking away. “I suppose it was very likely we’d end up together again.” He focused his attention back on his old friend.

“I'm glad you see it from my perspective.” Goldie gave him a dangerous smile. “Enough chit chat. Power down. I don't have the patience for you.”

“Ha! Don't make me laugh! I'm not going to power down. I haven't had my fun yet.” Springtrap pretended to pout briefly. “Besides, I'm sure we can work this out, can't we? Neither of us has to kill the other, surely?”

Golden Freddy began to laugh. Springtrap stared in confusion at first, a somewhat offended look on his face.

“Are you kidding me? If I don't kill you, then one of these other little ponies will,” Goldie said, jerking his thumb back at the group of girls. “Besides, I've wanted to do this for a long time.” His grin turned sinister.

Springtrap’s face twisted into a snarl, and his eyes flickered dangerously for a split second. “So be it.”

The two animatronics threw themselves at each other, clashing with a flurry of sparks and metallic grinding. Springtrap, unfortunately, was taller than Golden Freddy by a few inches, giving him the advantage. The broken animatronic shoved Goldie backwards, nearly causing him to fall. Springtrap then pounced, grabbing onto his ex-friend’s collar and head-butting him fiercely. The bear tumbled backwards, head over heels. He landed in front of the girls, who gasped and recoiled slightly. Twilight then stepped forward, hands blazing with magic.

“No,” Golden Freddy snarled as he got back to his feet. He held up a hand to ward off the unicorn. “He's mine.” He stabilized himself, dusted himself off, and then put his fists up. Springtrap smirked.

“Must we continue like this? I really don't want to have to kill you, honey,” the bunny said, eyes glinting with malicious intent.

Golden Freddy returned the sarcastic smile. “Hmm, maybe we should sit down, have a cup of tea, and talk about our feelings like some elderly couple on the verge of divorce?” His voice was sinisterly sweet.

“Sweet Celestia,” Twilight mumbled under her breath from behind the animatronic. Goldie frowned, glancing backwards.

“Fine; have it your way,” Springtrap replied coldly. He leaped at Goldie, but the other animatronic quickly fell, turning into a cloud of smoke. Springtrap stumbled at the sudden disappearance. Golden Freddy rematerialized, getting the broken animatronic in a headlock and yanking him backwards. He smashed Springtrap into the wall of one of the buildings and scraped his head along it, pushing him to the ground.

Springtrap kicked out, catching Golden Freddy in the stomach and causing him to stumble back with a small metallic wheeze. He then leapt on top of the bear and snagged his bowtie, using it to savagely beat Goldie’s head into the ground. The tables flipped just as quickly again, this time with Springtrap being body slammed as Golden Freddy yelled something.

“For Celestia’s sake,” Applejack snarled. “Twi, just finish Springtrap! We don't have time for this!”

“Yeah, Equestria needs us!” Rainbow Dash agreed. “We’ve got Fluttershy. Let’s hurry and leave. You've got the gem things that Celestia gave you, right?”

Twilight glanced uncertainly up at the brawling animatronics. There seemed to be no clear winner as they fought viciously.

“. . . Yeah, I do have them. They're in my pocket . . .” Twilight answered slowly, reaching into her magic pockets for the bag of spell gems . . . only to find she carried nothing with her. Her eyes widened.

“Twilight?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“I—I don't have them! They're gone!”

“Gone?!” Rainbow exclaimed, flying into Twilight’s face and grabbing her shoulders. She shook the unicorn. “What do you mean, gone?!”

Twilight batted the pegasus away. “I mean gone! As in gone gone! They're not in my pocket, where I had them!”

Applejack thrust her way forward, barging between Pinkie and Rainbow where they'd closed in around Twilight. “How could they be—”

The earth pony was knocked over as a golden shape came flying at her. The three other girls leaped backwards, narrowly avoiding being hit. With wide eyes, they looked to their friend.

Golden Freddy flashed white teeth at them, his sinister black eyes glinting. Applejack was knocked out under him, a thin trail of blood leaking from her nose. Before any of the girls could say anything, there was laughing from behind them. Their heads shot to look in that direction.

Springtrap clapped, nearly howling in laughter, “Aha, you see? You think Fredbear is loyal to you girls?” The broken animatronic continued to laugh for a moment. “It really is quite silly. I was almost tricked for a while. But when you silly fools turned your back, he switched sides again.”

“What?” Twilight gaped, unable to comprehend what she’d just heard. “But Foxy—”

“Oh, come on!” Springtrap continued, rolling his eyes and waving a hand dismissively. “You really think Foxy, the broken down hunk of scrap metal, could undo what I’d done?” The animatronic seemed insulted for a few brief moments. “My wiring is the work of a genius—which I am. It’s going to take more than a few shocks to revert my craft.” He chuckled, moving his ears on his head. “No, I’m afraid it’s not that simple. And now it’s much too late to stop me.”

“Twilight’s the Element of Magic; she could stop you with her eyes closed!” Rainbow snarled, her hands curling into claws.

“Mmhmm, yes, I’d figured that out earlier, too,” Springtrap said cockily. “You see, you girls really don’t think things through, do you?” He held up a hand and snapped his fingers. An instant later, the sparkling mist that was Golden Freddy gathered around Springtrap. His upper torso materialized, a hand grabbing onto the other animatronic’s arm.

Slung over his other shoulder was a still unconscious Applejack.

“Tata for now, ladies~” Springtrap cooed, giving a little wave. The next moment, Goldie shot off, his yellow glow quickly vanishing. The girls were left standing in complete shellshock.

“This is not good,” Twilight said, mouth open as she stared into the night sky where the animatronics had made their escape.

“We’re never going to get home, are we?” Pinkie sighed, slumping in defeat.

“Oh, come on, Pinkie, don’t say that,” Dash argued even though her resolve was beginning to fade as well. She glanced nervously at her two friends. “Well, don’t just stand there! Let’s go!” She forced herself to growl.

Twilight shook off her stupor and quickly nodded. “Y-yeah, right.” She took a tentative few steps in the opposite direction. “We should get back to the pizzeria to tell the others what just transpired.” There was silent agreement, and the trio headed back.

Twilight glanced up at the moon. Celestia, how are we ever going to get back now?

Springtrap Finale

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“Fluttershy, please calm dow—”

“I knew something bad was going to happen! I had the feeling! Rarity, I told you I had the feeling!”

Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash watched on as Fluttershy proceeded to go into full blown panic mode, her eyes wide and breathing erratic. She had Rarity by the shoulders, shaking her as she yelled wildly in her face.

“Fluttershy, calm down!” Twilight tried again.

“Darling, please stop shaking me,” Rarity said, placing her own hands over Fluttershy’s. She gently pried the pegasus off, holding her hands down.

“This is terrible! How are we going to find them? Or the spell gems? We’ll never get back to Equestria!” Fluttershy shouted, pulling away from Rarity and holding her hands near her face.

“Uh, well, finding them will be easy,” Twilight answered, a small smile on her face.

“How? Goldie’s the one who tracked Springtrap down last time,” Pinkie Pie said.

“Using the metal tracking spell—I’ve used it to find Foxy before.”

“Um, Twilight, but half of this city’s made of metal,” Rarity pointed out. Twilight’s head jerked up, her eyes widening.

“Oh, no! You’re right! I’d never be able to distinguish between a belt buckle and a bottle cap,” the unicorn fretted. She tapped her chin with a finger in thought, furrowing her eyebrows.

“Don’ tell me ya ain’t got no other fancy spell fer findin’ them two,” Foxy said, tilting his head. “I’ve seen ya do much more. Ya gotta think ‘a somethin’.”

Twilight met eyes with Foxy, biting her lip. “U-uh . . .”

“Come on, Twilight, he’s right! You’re the Element of Magic; surely you can conjure up some sort of spell for the tracking down Springtrap and Golden Freddy,” Rarity agreed.

“Yeah! We believe in you, Twi!” Dash exclaimed, pumping her fist. Pinkie cheered along and gave a ‘whoop whoop!”

Twilight smiled wearily back at her friends. Her mind went into overdrive as thoughts ricocheted around in her head like pool balls after being hit full force by the cue.

“That’s it! Oh, Rarity, you’re a miracle worker!” Twilight declared suddenly, whole body straightening up. She seemed to glow like a lightbulb for a few moments as a metaphorical one appeared above her head.

Rarity blinked, surprised. It took her a few seconds to react. “O-oh, I see! That’s very kind of you, darling. I know I can be an inspiration~” She fluttered her eyelashes, putting a hand to her chest.

“So, uh . . . mind filling us in? What’s your plan?” Rainbow asked, cocking an eyebrow.

“Goldie—he’s the key!” Twilight announced as the group settled in around her to listen. All she got were stares. “You see, when we first met him—when he took over you, Dash—I noticed he gave off a very special ‘magical’ signature.” The unicorn let her hands glow briefly to emphasize her point. “That glow he gave off when I trapped him in the cubical prison. Or, if you want to see it like this, how he can transform into a gaseous form.”

“You’re saying he uses magic?” Pinkie asked. “I thought he said it wasn’t magic.”

“As I said, it’s “magic”,” Twilight made quotation marks with her fingers, “so it’s like magic, but more of a . . . spiritual kind. It’s how he can communicate telepathically from long distances—or short, and even how he can take others over.” She beamed. “I may not be able to track him specifically, but I can track his magical signature! It fluctuates with his forms: smoke or solid. All we have to do is follow the waves he gives off.”

“Brilliant!” Rarity cooed, clapping her hands together.

“Heck yeah! I knew we’d find them!” Dash proclaimed, punching the air.

Fluttershy looked very relieved, her body releasing a whole ton of tension, making her visibly deflate. “Oh, how nice. I was terribly worried for a little bit there.”

“Uh huh, because we couldn’t tell,” Rainbow teased with a gentle prod to the other pegasus.

Fluttershy smiled, sighing.

“No, I refuse to stay here again! I want to go with. I need to be there; I don’t want to be useless,” Fluttershy argued.

The group was debating on what their plan should be. The instant Fluttershy and Rarity were instructed to stay at the restaurant, the usually timid pegasus spoke up.

“Fluttershy, I get that, but we don’t want to risk anything happening to anyone else,” Twilight started.

“Are you saying I can’t defend myself?”

Twilight flushed, freezing. “W-what? No, Fluttershy, that’s not—”

“Oh, please, Twilight,” Rarity intervened, setting her hands on her friend’s shoulders. “Let her come! She’s more than capable of taking care of herself. Besides, we’ve been sitting here all night while you girls have been out in the action! I say, I could use a good adventure as well. I most definitely don’t blame her for wanting to get out of this stuffy place.”

Twilight sighed, a small smile crossing her face. “Alright, you have a point. I can’t say I don’t agree with you.”

Rarity smiled. “Good.”

“What about Foxy?” Rainbow Dash asked in a raised whisper, jerking her head towards the animatronic staring out the window. Twilight looked to where Dash had indicated.

“Uh . . .”

“Wh’t ‘bout me?” Foxy said suddenly, turning and limping towards them a few steps. “I know I ain’t useful, ‘specially not now. ‘M broken an’ stuck ‘ere. Don’t worry ‘bout me. I’ll hol’ down the fort jus’ in case those golden traitors wander back ‘ere.”

“All by yourself?” Fluttershy asked in worry, glancing towards him with big eyes.

Foxy huffed in amusement, patting her head with his rusted hand. “Aye, still worryin’ ‘bout me, lass? No need. ‘M a grown animatronic that can take care ‘a ‘imself.”

Fluttershy laughed quietly as he turned back around and limped to a chair. He fell down in it, sighing as metal squealed and creaked.

“Alright then, gang,” Twilight said, eyes blazing with determination, “let’s roll out.”


When Applejack came to, the last thing she expected was to find herself tied to a chair. Blinking, she shook her head to clear it, wondering if this was all just some strangely realistic daydream. After tugging at her bindings a little while, she decided this was real.

Well . . . great.

Applejack was stuck. Her hands and feet were tied effectively to the steel chair she was sitting upon. To get her mind off the situation, she glanced around to try and decipher where in the world she was.

“Well, someone’s awake,” came a smoothly sinister voice. Applejack’s head jerked towards the sound. Springtrap waltzed forward, his usual sadistic grin on his face.

“Where am I?” AJ asked coldly, narrowing her green eyes.

Springtrap arched an eyebrow. “Why would I bother telling you? You aren't getting out.”

“For the sake ‘a me knowin’, just tell me, ya oversized door hinge.”

“Rude.” The animatronic moved closer, bending down as to look her directly in the eyes. “It’s not like it matters.”

“Ya know what’s rude? Your rancid breath. Geez, ever heard of a breath mint?”

Springtrap stood straight again, a snarl crossing his face. He glared at her before turning away.

“Be snarky. It won’t get you anywhere,” the animatronic responded. Suddenly, he whipped around again. His eye twitched, and he pointed a finger at the bound girl.

“Eheheheh—cuz you’re not getting out alive!”

Applejack’s lip curled at him, a snarl making its way from her throat.

“Are we getting close yet?” Rainbow Dash asked, bored. She and the others walked after Twilight, whose eyes were closed and eyebrows furrowed, her glowing hands held out in front of her as the magic guided her actions through the dark and empty streets of wherever they were.

“Hmm . . . yes, closing in,” Twilight replied, voice soft and a bit strained.

“I—closing in? Is that the same thing?”

“Ssh, let Twilight concentrate on her spell,” Rarity admonished.

“Yeah! We need to let her find those meanies that have Applejack!” Pinkie Pie agreed.

Twilight frowned at her friends’ soft bickering, but ignored them as she warily followed the pull of magic. She needed to concentrate to be able to track the slight shifts in magical force—the slight shifts that happened whenever Golden Freddy changed forms. She hadn’t felt one for a little while, so it was crucial she focus on the location of the last ping.

Come on . . . nearly there . . .!

Twilight gasped as the final piece of the puzzle clicked into place, her eyes widening.

“I’ve got them! I’ve got them!” she declared. She was nearly bouncing with joy. Her hands sparked with magic as it surged through them. “Come on, everyone!” She took off, hands flashing. The rest of the girls grinned, exchanging hopeful glances, and proceeded to run after the unicorn. The sprinted down several streets, skirting corners and cutting across the middle of intersections. In a matter of minutes, they found themselves at an abandoned warehouse.

Twilight and her friends gazed up at the run down large building.

“This is it?” Rarity asked.

“Yes, this is where they are. A secluded location—Springtrap is a lot smarter than we first thought,” Twilight responded with furrowed eyebrows.

Rainbow Dash snorted and pounded a fist into her open palm. “Let's go! AJ needs us.”

“Yeah! We've gotta rescue her from the meanies,” Pinkie Pie added. Her curly hair seemed to vibrate with anger.

“Okay, but we need a plan before we just charge. We can't have anything worse happen,” Twilight advised. “We should sneak in quietly and locate Applejack. Then we'll need to confront the two animatronics. I'm not sure what's even up with Golden Freddy at this point, but we can only assume he's no longer on our side at all. So we’ll take out Springtrap and him as fast as we can, then report back to the pizzeria. Let's try and make this as painless as possible.”

She received a chorus of agreements.

“Alright, girls; let's go.”

“I can feel them approaching,” Springtrap whispered to his companion. Golden Freddy tilted his head, staring soundlessly at the bunny.

Springtrap smirked. “I'm so glad you can no longer argue with me, Fredbear. Talking back just doesn't suit you.” The rabbit turned to the bear with half lidded eyes. He lifted his hands and cupped Golden Freddy’s face gently. “I'd say this is much better, don't you think? No complaints, no rejections, no saying no . . .” Springtrap leaned in farther, making their noses touch as he stared into his eyes. Golden Freddy just continued looking blankly ahead. “Just complete compliance.”

Abruptly, Springtrap removed himself from the stoic bear’s personal space.

“They arrive, finally,” he murmured with a maniac grin.

Perfect . . .

Yes . . . It really is perfect, isn't it?

It's all coming together . . .

Yes . . .

The voice left again with dark, menacing laughter, leaving the animatronic in silence. Springtrap’s eye twitched, and he brandished the still bloody knife from earlier.

“Come along, honey; we have some slaughtering to do~”

Applejack could've sworn she heard something. It was shuffling, just the quietest of movements. Of course, it could've been the animatronics, but this time . . . it just didn't seem like one of them. Keeping her head up, AJ searched the shadows intently with green eyes.


The earth pony jerked her head to the other side as she recognized the gentle and timid voice. Glittering cyan eyes and pink hair met her vision, and Applejack sighed heavily in relief.

“Oh, ‘shy! Ah'm so glad you're here!” she declared in a quiet voice. She watched with bated breath as the pegasus sliced away the ropes binding her with a packaging knife. Standing as soon as they were cut, AJ stretched out her sore limbs. She had a few ligature marks and a headache from when Golden Freddy had decked her, but that was about it.

“Come on, we've gotta hurry to find the others and meet up with them,” Fluttershy said. “We’re going to take out the animatronics.”

Applejack nodded carefully. “’Bout time.”

Springtrap’s ears twitched as he padded quietly and carefully down a long, dark hallway. Golden Freddy trailed obediently after him, completely silent. The only sounds heard was the raspy breathing of the bunny animatronic and the squeaking of rats from inside the walls.

Springtrap perked up at whispers, his purple heart tingling as if in a warning. He stayed absolutely still and listened.

“. . . so glad you're okay, AJ. We were really worried about you,” came what he was sure was the voice of Sparkle. A spark of anger ignited in his chest; he'd killed her. She had been there in the alley earlier, too, along with Violet—who he quite remembered he'd stabbed.

Give them what's coming to them.

Springtrap stiffened at the voice in his head again.

Those kids got that.

The devious animatronic grinned, eyes burning with violet for just a moment before it faded away as he blinked.

“Alright, let's find those two animatronics,” Sparkle said in a way that told him she was wrapping this up. “Remember, be careful. Watch your backs. That's how he gets you.”

There was movement in the room, and a soft declaration of confidence. Springtrap smirked and stepped out into the colored light from the hands of Sparkle.

“Springtrap!” she gasped, eyes quickly settling into a glare.

“How delightful. You've made this easier for us,” Fast growled, hands fists at her sides. Blondie, Violet, Pinky, and Quiet said nothing as they flanked Sparkle, but they all shot him angry looks.

“Well, now, that'd be a shame if I went that easily,” Springtrap commented idly. He waved his hand, and Golden Freddy slunk forward.

Twilight scoffed, earning a suddenly confused glance from the animatronic.

“You think we’re scared of Golden Freddy? We may not have been prepared last time, but this time, however . . . I mean, how do you think we controlled him in Equestria?” the unicorn asked rhetorically. She knew Springtrap had no idea what she was talking about, but that was okay. Her hands flared with magic, and suddenly Golden Freddy was being sucked down. He made no noises of discomfort or denial as he struggled to escape from her magic. He was no match, and the next moment, a small magenta cube of magic sat at their feet.

Springtrap was obviously surprised. “Sparkle. You have bested him?” He glanced up at her.

“Yes, I have, and you're next.” Twilight smirked as she held one of her glowing hands out towards him. He was surrounded by her magic and totally subdued, then brought closer to her. He glowered daggers at her as she pried the knife from him and tossed it. “No hostages, no surprises. You're done. Now, tell me what you did to the spell gems!”

Springtrap cocked his head. “The tiny sparkles?” He cracked a yellowed grin at her.

Twilight squeezed him with her magic. “Yes, the tiny ones. What did you do with them? I know you took them.”

The animatronic paused, thinking. “Hm, yes, I do recall.”

“Tell me,” Twilight demanded. Her glare was fierce. “No tricks—unless you want me to start slowly crushing you.”

Springtrap scowled. “I disposed of them.”

“Disposed?” Fluttershy gasped.

“Yes, good luck finding them.” His tone was full of malice and sarcasm. His metal suddenly groaned as Twilight tightened her magical hold.

“I'm not playing games! Where are they?” she barked.

“Sparkle, go ahead: kill me. But I've already won,” Springtrap said, voice growing soft and malevolent. His eyes blazed with purple, and the next moment, he deactivated, going limp in Twilight’s magic. The girls gasped, eyes wide, and they exchanged glances.

“What do we do now?” Rarity asked with worry clear in her voice.

Twilight gazed down at the broken animatronic from where she'd dropped him.

“The only thing we can do—go back to the pizzeria.”


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The group made its way back to the pizzeria. There, they discussed what had happened and how to solve their problems.

“We can return to Equestria,” Twilight Sparkle sighed.

“But not until we find the spell gems,” Rarity continued in a saddened voice. The six mares exchanged weary glances.

Rainbow Dash scraped at the floor angrily with a foot, hands in her pockets. “Stupid Springtrap.”

“I agree,” Pinkie Pie murmured, head drooping.

Fluttershy stood in silence much like the rest of the group. She stared down at the floor as she tried to come up with a solution. What could they possibly do?

“Can't you, well, sense them or something? Like, find a magical signature?” the shy pegasus asked.

Twilight frowned. “No . . . the gems hide their power. Besides, the little bit of magic they each contained wouldn't be enough to lead me across town if Springtrap had ditched them along the way.”

Fluttershy fell quiet again. “Oh.”

She paused.

“What about Golden Freddy? Could he help us?”

The group of five looked at her in shock.

“Golden Freddy? How could we possibly get help from him?” Applejack angrily spat.

“He's a traitor!” Rainbow declared.

“He's gone dark side, darling,” Rarity continued.

Fluttershy put her hands up in defense, shying away slightly. “Look, I know, but please listen. I know Springtrap did something to him so he turned against us, but don't you remember what he said when he first talked to us?”

The rest of the girls exchanged confused glances.

“Uh . . .” they all droned.

“Springtrap said something about how Goldie doesn't know who he is or what he's doing, but he can take orders,” Fluttershy explained. The other girls seemed to be catching on.

“But what if he doesn't listen to us? I mean, he was only listening to Springtrap,” Pinkie Pie said. There was a murmuring of agreements.

“Of course, there's that possibility. But Springtrap powered down, so who else is there to take orders from?”

Twilight hummed, rubbing her chin. She let a small smile cross her face as she looked at the pegasus.

“You know, Fluttershy, I often wonder what we'd do without you,” Twilight said gently. Fluttershy blushed slightly, embarrassed.

“O-oh, plenty, I'm sure,” the shy girl replied softly. She hid behind her hair.

Twilight’s smile grew bolder, and she removed the magic cube from Pinkie’s mess of hair. The party pony merely beamed widely and rocked on her feet.

"Let's hope this works,” Applejack murmured just as soon as Twilight released the animatronic from within his prison. There was a flash of gold, and the next moment, Golden Freddy was standing there. He turned in what seemed to be confusion, though his facial expression didn't change whatsoever.

“Goldie?” Twilight asked cautiously. The bear cocked his head at her, blinking silently. “You can understand me, yes?”

Golden Freddy seemed to ponder her question before nodding.

“Will you do what I say?”

The animatronic stared. He made no actions.

Twilight frowned, swallowing dryly. “Go find the spell gems,” she ordered in what was hopefully a stern enough tone.

Golden Freddy stood there stiffly. Twilight felt a little sweat beading on her forehead. Maybe she should try again?

Just as she was about to open her mouth to repeat the command, Golden Freddy dissolved into smoke and sank into the floor. The group of former ponies looked around worriedly, picking up their feet to look at the ground.

“Did it work?” Rainbow asked uncertainly.

“I’m not sure—”

Twilight didn't get any farther than that as gold smoke surrounded their feet once again. It seemed to be funneling from a nearby air vent. The form of Golden Freddy materialized, and in his large metal hands he seemed to be holding something. He stretched out his arms and opened his cupped hands. The entire room of girls gasped in happy shock.

“The spell gems!” Twilight exclaimed.

“He found them!” Pinkie cheered.

“Good job, Goldie!” Fluttershy complimented, patting his arm gently. He glanced down at her. She smiled shyly at him briefly before turning her attention back to the goings on.

“Does this mean we’re leaving?” Rainbow piped up as she hovered just above Twilight’s shoulder. The unicorn had taken the spell gems from the animatronic, holding them in her magic.

Twilight glanced up at the pegasus, smiling. “Yes, it does.” She then directed her attention to Fluttershy, and the rest of the girls soon copied the action.

“Fluttershy?” Twilight began. “It's already six.”

The pegasus glanced at the clock, blinking. “Oh, yes, it is!” She seemed surprised. What with all the action happening, she'd totally forgotten.

“Would you like to . . . come back with us?”

Fluttershy smiled, her eyes sad. “Of course, girls. I could never leave you; I already said so.”

"Even though you've got a family?” Rarity asked, stepping forward to press a hand gently against her friend’s stomach. The pegasus seemed to hesitate for a moment, but she still nodded.

“Yes. It'd all be worth it.”

“Then,” Twilight continued, “would you like to say goodbye to your husband?”

Fluttershy glanced towards the door. “. . . No. He won't remember me; I can already tell. He'll be okay, and so will I.” Her smile was sad, but she seemed content with her decision.

“Alright then.” Twilight glanced around her group of friends.

“You're leavin’?”

They all turned to see the animatronic fox standing in the doorway to the showroom. He'd been powered down in his cove before they'd gotten back, but he'd woken himself and made his way out to check on them.

Fluttershy walked up to him and took his hand. “Yes, Foxy. We’re leaving. Equestria needs me—needs us, the Elements of Harmony.” She felt empowered as she said that.

Foxy turned his eyes down. “I'll be all ‘lone ‘gain, then.”

“No, that's not true. You'll have your friends.” Fluttershy glanced towards the animatronics in the room, from Bonnie and Chica onstage to Freddy laying splayed across the floor and finally to Golden Freddy standing next to the group of ponies.

“But—but what if I forget ya all?” he whispered.

“It'll be okay, Foxy. Hopefully you will remember at least some of what happened to you, and hopefully they will, too. Things will be better, I promise.” Fluttershy reached up and brushed her knuckles against his broken jaw. The animatronic met her eyes. “Don't be sad, please.”

“I . . . I'll miss you lasses—ye most ‘a all.”

Fluttershy smiled. “I'll miss you too.” She glanced back at her friends, who were all giving her soft smiles, which she returned. “But I need to go now. I have my own world to return to.”

Foxy nodded slowly. “Goodbye.”

The pegasus patted his hand once more before breaking away. Before she walked back to her friends, however, she padded over and bent down next to Freddy’s inanimate body.

“You be good to them, okay? I'm sorry I couldn't help you,” Fluttershy whispered. She gently ran a hand over his head. Maybe, just maybe, he'd hear this, wherever his mind was. She then stood and made her way back to her friends.

“Goldie, you stay here. We’re leaving,” Fluttershy told him, lightly touching his arm, and he took a step away from them. She glanced at her friends. “I'm ready.”

Twilight nodded. “Goodbye, you two. Take care.”

The other girls copied her sentiment. Foxy nodded, giving a small wave, while Golden Freddy merely stood there silently, watching.

And with that, the group of six made their way back to the entry point. The spell gems were spread out in a wide circle, and the ponies stood within its confines. They all shared a moment of silence as they gazed towards the moon.

Twilight activated the spell.

Fluttershy woke up in her cottage. She lifted her head up, blinking. She rubbed at her bleary eyes with her hooves, scrunching up her nose.

“What-?” the creamy coated pegasus murmured. She wasn't even under the covers on her bed.

I don't even remember falling asleep, she thought to herself as she gazed up at the moon through her window. It was a large circle in the sky, illuminated fully. She smiled gently up at it, a warm feeling spreading through her body.

Something felt . . . right about this, like she'd just accomplished something amazing. A sense of pride made her chest swell, but she couldn't place why she was feeling like this. Her heart felt changed for some reason.

Well . . . for whatever reason I feel like this . . . I’m thankful.

Foxy jerked awake with a small twitch of limbs. He shook his head before touching his worn metal hand to it. His mind felt fuzzy for a few moments.

Mm . . . what time is it? he asked himself. The pirate stood, stretching, and then he made his way across his stage, pushing the curtain open. It seemed to be late at night. Curious and confused, Foxy padded down the hall to the window at the end of it. His claws scratched against the smooth floor.

It was definitely nighttime, judging by the stars in the sky. Leaning against the windowsill, the broken animatronic gazed up at the darkness. Something felt different about tonight. He wasn't sure why, but for some reason, he felt . . . better. He tried to think of something negative, but found he couldn't, even as he glanced down at his destroyed body.

Years of being inactive, caused by him developing that glitch back in ’86 that had made Zach shut him down, had caused him to slowly fall into disrepair. It couldn't be stopped. Zach had resigned from his job to take a higher paying one to better support his family, and the new engineer didn't bother repairing Foxy because it was a pointless endeavor. After all, why waste time fixing a never going to be used again animatronic?

But that didn't matter to Foxy all that much. He had his friends—no, family— to help put himself back together.

A small smile flickered across the weary pirate’s muzzle. He flipped up his eyepatch to gaze with both golden eyes into the night.

A shooting star streaked across the dark sky.

The End

~Fun Facts/Secrets~ *Bonus Chapter

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• I was originally going to have Foxy as an actual living, anthropomorphic fox when he came to Equestria. But then I thought about him being a robot still, and I couldn't decide immediately. Ultimately, you guys know what I picked.

• As I started the story, I was debating on whether or not to ship Foxy and Fluttershy. In the end, I decided against it, deeming it too "taboo," and I thought it would scare people away. That's why you see so much of those two together in the story.

• This goes along with the previous fact. When time reset and Fluttershy ended up in the human world, it was then that I reconsidered shipping her and Foxy. I thought maybe it'd be an interesting plot twist, for the girls to come and see that their friend was in a relationship with an animatronic. Again, however, I quickly dismissed this for something else of the same caliber.

• As you all know, the rest of the gang wasn't supposed to make a visit to Equestria. This completely changed the story, which meant I was severely unprepared writing it. The whole Springtrap thing? Yeah, not supposed to happen. XD Ah, the power of commenters.

• If you didn't understand, the voice in Springtrap's head was the purple man haunting the suit. This is why Springtrap would switch between benevolent and seemingly harmless to deadly and calculating. It's also why he seemed to forget what he'd done at times.

• *Golden Freddy calling others 'dear' is a habit he acquired from the soul of the child that died in his place, since his single mother often called him that.

• *Similarly, Springtrap calling Golden Freddy 'honey' is a reference to the other's use of 'dear.' This perverted his sense of friendship, causing him to dote and fawn on GF in a rather disturbing, even "rapey" manner.

• Of all the characters, Golden Freddy was my favorite to write, especially when he was in someone else's head.

*indicates my personal fanon beliefs