The follow-up to "Harmonic Spectrum." When Lord Tirek breaks out and defeats even Princess Twilight herself, only the power of the Flame of Harmony, Super Rainbow Dash, can put a stop to the mighty centaur.
It has been quite some time since Rainbow Dash, who had discovered her true destiny as the long-lost Flame of Harmony, saved Equestria from the clutches of the Spirit of Chaos, Discord. Ever since that incident, Dash has been training herself in order to better understand her power as the Flame of Harmony, otherwise known as her Super form.
Now, an ancient enemy, one that the princesses had defeated long ago, returns. Lord Tirek is once again out in the wild, stealing magic from the pony population wherever he goes. And not even the princesses themselves, including Twilight Sparkle, can stand up to his might.
When all else fails, when all hope is lost, only the mighty scream of the heroic Flame of Harmony, Super Rainbow Dash, can save them all.
Little did she know, however, that a mysterious, otherworldly being is aiding and watching Tirek from the shadows...
A crossover with... I'll let you guess on that.
The main theme of this fic is "HERO ~Song of Hope~" from Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods.
Super Rainbow Dash concept and design by me. Conceptualized in the summer of 2011, pre-dating Hasbro's Rainbow Power forms.
Her eyes snapped open, with the sight of a wooden-made ceiling above her that filled her rose-irised pupils at an instant. With her eyes wide open now, she swiftly moved her head left and right, trying to find the source of what she had just heard.
As swiftly as she looked, though, there was nothing in the room she was in. There was nothing that the loud noise belonged to.
The blue pegasus, Rainbow Dash, was lying her back on a large purple beanie bag, with her upper hooves at the back of her head holding it up. Several long shelves of books were behind her, and the large circular room she was in was made entirely out of wood.
“Huh? Rainbow?” called a voice in front of her.
Sitting up with her lower hooves out in front, Dash looked, seeing that the purple unicorn, Twilight Sparkle, was sitting in front of a table with an opened book on it that stood high enough with a stand at the back of it. Having heard the pegasus’ sudden yelp, the unicorn was glancing back at her.
“Uh, Twilight, did you just…” Dash looked to her left and right, still with the same wide-eyed look. “…Hear something?”
“Hear what?” Twilight asked, looking around.
“Oh, I dunno. A big, scary, roarish-like scream that sounded like it came from a huge monster?”
“…Uh, no. I didn’t hear anything,” replied the unicorn. She looked at her. “Did it sound like it was far away?”
“No… It sounded like… it was in here? But…”
The pegasus further looked around. After a bit, she calmed herself down and formed a bit of a worried expression on her face.
“If you didn’t hear it, then… maybe it was in my head? …Weird.”
Looking down, Dash moved her hoof at the back of her head and rubbed it.
“Geez. What kinda scream was that? It sounded like both a roar and a scream at the same time… Hmm.”
Standing up, Twilight turned around and looked at her. “Were you dreaming, Rainbow? Or…?”
“No, I wasn’t sleeping that deeply. I was just taking a light nap,” she replied, looking at the unicorn.
“…Huh.” The unicorn raised an eyebrow. “That is odd, indeed.”
Dash sighed, closing her eyes and lowering her hoof.
”Eh, it’s probably just my brain farting or something. I dunno,” she said. “Still, that was the weirdest scream I’ve ever heard.”
Opening her eyes, the pegasus moved herself forward and off of the beanie bag, now standing on all fours. She walked towards the unicorn and stopped in front of her.
“Well, I’m done napping, anyway. Are you done reading whatever you needed to read yet?” Dash asked.
“Well, I was just re-reading some of the pages over to see I’ve missed anything, but yes, now I’m done,” Twilight replied, nodding and smiling. “And now it’s time to take a good, close-up look at you as the Flame of Harmony, Rainbow Dash.”
“Tsh… Do we really need to call it that every time?” Dash said, smiling. “I prefer to call it my Super form now, Twilight. And so does Pinkie Pie. After all, she was the one who called me Super Rainbow Dash when I first transformed.”
“Ah, alright, then. If that’s what you want to call it…”
“Yeah. Let’s keep it simple, eh?”
The unicorn nodded. She looked back at the still-open book on the table. Her horn began to glow with a purple wavy outline around it, and immediately, the same glow began to surround the book as well.
“It’s been a month since it all happened. And I still can’t believe that it actually happened,” she said, levitating the book up and over to her with her magic. “Discord getting freed by the Changeling Queen’s power that was multiplied by all the love energy she stole, me being brainwashed by Discord and becoming a crazy hotheaded lunatic bent on spreading Chaos and destruction, and you unlocking the true secret of the Elements of Harmony and embracing your true destiny.”
With the book in the air, Twilight proceeded to walk past Dash, going towards the shelves behind her. She stopped in front of them and looked for the right spot to place the book in.
“All of it was so sudden to us, and yet so interesting and fascinating… Well, except for the part where I became a hothead, that is. And maybe Discord lifting up Canterlot by the roots like that. I mean, we all knew he can do things like that.”
“…I’m guessing the interesting and fascinating part is my transformation,” said the pegasus, looking back at her.
Finding the spot, the unicorn levitated the book over and slid it into the opening between the books.
“Since then, and since the celebration party at Canterlot, I haven’t really seen you up-close as your white Harmonic self,” she said, turning around and walking back. “Well, I did see you a couple of times, but you were far away, and all while we were busy rebuilding Ponyville. Now that everything is back to normal…”
Stopping in front of the desk, she then turned around and faced Dash.
“…well, now is the perfect time to observe you, for curiosity’s sake. I really would like to see how it all works.”
Dash chuckled. “Yep. Now that’s the Twilight I know, unlike what happened back then.”
Forming a determined smile on her face, she took two steps back and lowered her head.
“Allllllrighty, then. Prepare yourself for the awesome.”
“Just… try not to knock things over with your winds, by the way,” Twilight said, looking around and chuckling nervously. “If you can even try to control them, that is…”
“Oh, don’t worry. I got that covered.”
Spreading her hooves outward a bit, Dash then began to concentrate. Focusing her mind, she reached for and tapped into her inner, calm-feeling energy of Harmony inside of her.
“Here, I’ll go slowly for you, so you can see the changes.”
As soon as she tapped into it, the energy inside then spread all over her, rushing through her body in an instant. Winds began to emit from her into her surroundings at a slow speed, causing her rainbow mane and tail to flow along. The winds didn’t reach very far from her, however, stopping three feet from her before dissipating and making Twilight feel nothing but a constant light breeze blowing against her face.
A few seconds passed by, and the changes began to manifest themselves. The front and back ends of Dash’s mane began to shoot upward, moving closer to each other and fusing into one to form a large, moving, colorful flame that began to emit colored embers from it. Her tail shot upward as well, and parts of it began to wave, move, expand, and contract like a flame, emitting embers from it just like the mane.
“…Let’s see. The flames have formed…” Twilight observed, with a bit of an awed expression.
“Yeah, and I can feel them moving wildly,” Dash said. “Now, the wings…”
With the energy at their joints, she unfolded her still-small wings and looked at her left wing.
“With a bit of a push… Hmm!!”
She grunted, and her left wing suddenly burst outward, growing to a large size with the number of feathers increased. Looking at her right wing, the pegasus grunted again, and her wing burst out and grew to the same size.
“You enlarge them to Celestia’s size…” said the unicorn.
“Mm-hmm, and man, does it feel good growing my wings like that,” said Dash. She looked down a bit at her left hoof. “And last but not least, my favorite, most awesomest part of this whole thing… I didn’t realize it back then, but now I know that if you want to look the part, if you really want to look super…”
Dash concentrated further, narrowing her eyes a bit. The winds grew and sped themselves up a bit, causing Twilight’s mane to move along with them. A shine of light then went across Dash’s eyes, turning their irises from rose to a ruby shade of red.
“…You got to change your color to a bright one, so that everypony can see that you totally mean business to the bad guy.”
“Right,” nodded Twilight, continuing to watch her as the winds blew. She smiled. “And the brightest color of them all is pure white.”
“Exactly! …Aaahhh... Hmmmm!!”
With that loud grunt, and her lifting up and swinging her head down, a large flash and explosion of white particle energy swiftly emitted from the pegasus, causing a bigger rush of wind that went into her surroundings. The winds blew Twilight’s mane briefly upward as it came to her, also slightly moving the objects on her desk back as well. The books on the shelves moved slightly, as the sudden rush wasn’t strong enough to knock them out of their place.
The winds died down, and Dash now stood there transformed as the unicorn saw. Along with her flames, large wings, and red eyes, her blue coat became a pure white one. An army of white energy particles were being emitted upward from her overall body, forming an aura that surrounded her and moved her large wings along at a constant rate.
With the transformed pegasus still in her lowered-head stance, a red glowing outline of a lightning symbol appeared on her neck. The glow then turned into a fully red glow, and from the left and right sides of it, a full yellow glow was seen extending and forming into a shape that resembled a necklace.
The glows dimmed down, and there was the Element of Loyalty that was worn on her neck.
Having just finished her transformation, Dash stood herself straight up and raised her head, looking onwards to Twilight and with a determined smile still on her face.
“Well, here I am. Super Rainbow Dash in the flesh!” she exclaimed.
“…Huh. That was such an amazing transformation,” Twilight said, smiling while in awe. “To see your mane and tail shapeshift into flames, your wings enlarged, your eyes turning pure red, and your blue coat turning white like that. It’s as if you became another pony altogether.”
“Eh, I wouldn’t say that,” Dash said, looking at herself all over and raising her left hoof up, turning it around to look at the underside of it. “It’s more like, that I’ve turned into another side of me. A side that was hidden within me until I discovered it that night when I had that dream… Or, if you wanna get metaphorical…”
She raised her left hoof up further and put it on her chest.
“I’m still the same pony that I was before. It’s just that I’ve brought out my soul from within. My soul on display.”
“Heh. The Soul of Harmony, you mean,” said the unicorn. “Which isn’t just a metaphorical thing, though.”
“Yep,” nodded the pegasus.
Twilight chuckled. Continuing to look at and observe her, the unicorn began to walk up to her and stopped right in front of her.
“Hmm, amazing, indeed. You really do look like a beacon of hope here, Rainbow. An angel of Harmony, more like. The white coat, the white wings…”
Twilight looked over at Dash’s left and right sides, seeing the constant white particles that were coming off of her.
“…and what appears to be an aura of energy around you, which further tells that you possess great power within.”
“An aura? Is that what you call it?” asked Dash, her smile fading, lowering her hoof and looking at herself once more. “This cloud of whiteness that surrounds me when I need to use more of my power?”
“Yes, an aura. Basically, a bigger, flashier version of the magic glow that you see from a unicorn’s horn… It’s what you just said. When you try to use magic energy, but you’re using the entire body to do it instead, this is what happens. Your entire body glows bright. It happens to us whenever we use the Elements of Harmony together, remember? We glow bright, and then, the glows unite to combine our power.”
“Ah, right. Yeah, I remember. It’s just that I never heard about that being called an aura before.”
“Mm-hmm,” Twilight nodded. “Although… this is a type of aura that I’ve never actually seen before, as your body seems to be emitting these tons and tons of tiny white particles… Huh, this must be Harmonic energy in its truest form, then.”
“Well, duh… This is a transformation that nopony has ever seen in a long time, either,” Dash said, smiling again. “So it should be no surprise to you, really.”
After glancing at the aura, Twilight turned her attention toward Dash’s red eyes.
“Pure red eyes… Seeing those, you’d think that a pony or some other creature might be pure evil or something. But with you here, it seems that it isn’t always the case with red-eyed beings. You, and that Bulk Biceps guy.”
“Ah, yeah. I forgot about him,” Dash said. “Yeah, he’s, like, the only other pony with a white coat and red eyes. Only except that his is natural and mine isn’t… But yeah, red eyes don’t always mean that you’re evil. I think I heard somewhere that having red eyes also mean that you have a lot of power within, by the way.”
“Really? Where did you hear that?”
“Hmm… I don’t remember,” the pegasus said, looking up with a hoof on the bottom of her chin. “But honestly, it makes perfect sense, as both Bulk Biceps and I have great strength in our hooves.”
She lowered her hoof and resumed her determined smile.
“With me being the strongest, obviously, and by far. I mean, you did see me lift up a ton of buildings while we were rebuilding Ponyville, right?”
“Yes, I did. And I definitely know what you had to do to me while I was brainwashed,” said Twilight.
“Yeah. Thankfully, I didn’t do TOO much damage to you... Or else…”
Dash gulped loudly and looked away, knowing what would’ve happened if she went too far.
“Or else, I wouldn’t have survived,” said Twilight, sighing and looking down. “But I did, anyway, and that’s all it matters. Like I said after the battle, you did what you had to do.”
“Right…” nodded the pegasus, sighing afterward as well.
Looking up at her again, the unicorn then glanced at Dash’s flaming rainbow mane and tail.
“Speaking of hotheads… um, if I touch your rainbow flames directly, will I burn my hoof?” she asked, staring at Dash’s flaming mane.
Hearing her, Dash looked up and smiled. Raising her left hoof up to it, she then touched her flame. It seemingly unaffected her hoof, as the fire went past it.
“Well, I dunno about you, but it doesn’t burn me when I touch it,” she said, swaying her hoof across her flaming head. “In fact, it feels rather cool to me here… But maybe that’s because my body can withstand it? I dunno.”
“…Hmm, strangely enough, I don’t feel any heat coming from you… Here, let me try something.”
Looking back at the table, Twilight’s horn began to glow bright. On the table, there was a set of unlit fire matches situated in a small open matchbox. Using her horn, she picked one up from the box and levitated it over, moving it to near Dash’s head flame.
“I’m going to light this match up with your flame, to see if it actually is real fire,” she said. “’Cause again, I’m not feeling any heat from you at all.”
The unicorn levitated the match over to the flame, touching it. After a second, she moved it away, and as both of them saw, the match appeared to be unlit still.
“Huh? It didn’t light up,” Twilight said, looking a bit surprised. “That’s surprising.”
“If it’s not lit up, then… it isn’t real fire at all,” said Dash.
“Yeah… Then again… when there’s fire, there’s… Oh, of course! There’s always smoke when there’s fire. And since there isn’t any smoke coming from your flames here…”
The unicorn moved the match away, and the glow of her horn dimmed.
“Then it’s as you’ve just said. It’s not actually real fire at all… But, if it’s not a real flame, then…”
Lifting her right hoof up and looking at it, with an expression of curiosity on her face, Twilight then slowly raised it towards Dash’s head flame. With her hoof just near it, she could feel that it was not heat coming from it, but that of cool air, instead.
Feeling it, she moved her hoof directly into the rainbow flame. Just as the colorful fire began to surround the hoof, what the unicorn felt was a mass stream of cool air that surrounded her hoof, emitting upward from the pegasus’ head.
“…What? It feels rather… cool to me,” she said, looking at her hoof as it continued to be in the flame. “Like you said earlier!”
“So it does feel cool to you as well, huh?” said Dash, smiling.
“But… I don’t understand,” said Twilight, looking puzzled. “How can a flame be cool like this? I mean, when you think of fire, you think of, well, the hotness. That it burns you when you try to touch it.”
“Yeah, I dunno either, Twilight,” said the pegasus, shrugging. “But maybe it has something to do with this form being called the Flame of Harmony. ‘Cause when you think of Harmony…”
“…you think of peace, and that everything is in tune with each other. Of course!” exclaimed the unicorn, realizing it with her eyes looking a bit wide. “Yes, that must be why!”
Twilight lowered her hoof.
“A flame that cools you due to it being powered by Harmonic energy… Now that is extremely interesting,” she said, smiling.
Dash chuckled. “Well, uh… I think some people might worry that I may set something on fire with these flames, even though I can’t. So… if it comes down to that, I can stop the flames and just have this, instead. Watch.”
Looking upward, she concentrated. A second later, both of her flames ceased their movements and embers, dying down, and her mane then shrunk a bit. With the flames having died down, her tail reverted back to its normal form, while her mane now appeared to be in a completely spiked-up, standing-on-end style, with its overall shape almost resembling that of a motionless flame.
“See? Now it’s just your normal hairy mane, but with the awesome shape of a flame,” she said, touching and moving her spiked mane. “And now, nopony has to worry about me setting their stuff on fire.”
“Huh, I see,” Twilight said, staring at the mane.
“Although, if I did this while I’m fighting, I’d be a tiny bit less powerful than before. I discovered this while I was training the other day, by the way,” the pegasus added, frowning a bit.
“Ah, so basically, the more power you use, the more your appearance changes.”
“I guess…” Dash shrugged. “I still don’t know everything about this power here. I don’t know how far I can push myself, what other abilities I have besides the Rainbow Bomb and the Super Sonic Rainboom… That’s why I gotta train. It’s what the Soul of Harmony wanted me to do after all.”
“Right. Same as with everything else, really,” the unicorn said, looking down at the pegasus’ necklace. “If a pony is inefficient at doing something, he or she must improve at it.”
With her eyes on Dash’s Element necklace, Twilight lifted up and placed her hoof on it, causing Dash to notice. With her hoof on it, the unicorn then glanced over to her right, looking at something that was placed in the library.
A few feet to the right of Twilight and to the left of Dash, there stood a stone pedestal. On top of it was a large glass box, and contained within it were the six Elements of Harmony, resting on a pinkish-purple surface.
“Well, that’s interesting,” Twilight said. “Your Element is over there in the box, and yet…”
“…it’s here on me. Yeah, I know, right?” Dash said, looking over at the box and then down at her necklace, smiling. “I mean, every time I transform into this, I notice that my Element appears on me, even though I took it off that night after I defeated Discord… Well, if I had to guess, when I transform, this appears on me to show that I represent Harmony, and that the Element of Loyalty is my strongest out of all the Elements that I represent.”
“…Hmm, yeah, I think that would be the most logical explanation on why this replica is on you, Rainbow.”
“Yeah. Honestly, I think having this on me makes me look even more awesome.” The pegasus grinned.
Twilight lowered her hoof down and began to look all over Dash once more. While she looked, Dash glanced over to the Elements box.
“Uhhh, with me and my Super form here, why do we even need to keep the Elements in here, anyway?” the pegasus asked, with a puzzled look. “Why didn’t Princess Celestia just keep them over in the tower at Canterlot?”
“Well, you did say that, despite that most of their power is in you now, there still is some leftover power within them,” said Twilight, still looking all over Dash. “So with that, the Princess decided to keep them in here with me in case we need to use them either as a last-ditch effort or as our first offense, depending on what happens. So, if something like the Changelings comes here again, then we can easily just unleash the magic beam on them. But if that fails, then it’ll be up to you. And if you go first but somehow lose in the end, then the last-ditch option comes in.”
“First offense, huh? …Well, I guess I did ask if you guys still prefer to use the magical beam or not after all. Heh.” Dash smiled. “Well, fine. I think I’ll leave it to you to decide, then, Twilight.”
“Yep. If we use the beam first and we succeed, then you won’t have to waste time transforming and then saving the day.”
“Fair enough, then.”
The unicorn continued to look, until she noticed something.
“Your cutie mark looks a bit different,” she said. “Well, it largely looks the same. Just that the cloud part of it looks like it’s darker.”
“Heh. You mean it became a storm cloud now,” said the pegasus, looking back. “Yeah, I’ve noticed, too.”
“Yeah, a storm cloud. I wonder if it’s there to symbolize the power that you’ve brought forth?”
“Obviously. And since our cutie marks show our destinies and all…”
“It further tells that being the Flame of Harmony is your true one. Right.”
After observing the cutie mark, Twilight then looked at Dash’s large wings. The unicorn put up and placed a hoof on it, feeling the strength and the toughness of them as she moved her hoof across the feathers. It felt like she was touching a rock with the hardness of them.
“White may be the brightest color of them all, but did you know that, in the light spectrum, white is the result when you mix all of the colors of the rainbow together?” asked Twilight, smiling. “With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that your coat is white here.”
“Uh, really? I didn’t know about that,” said Dash. “All the more awesome, then.”
Placing her hoof back on the ground, Twilight stepped back a bit.
“So, as I’ve seen while we were rebuilding the town, you can fly on your own, right?” she asked. “Without using your wings at all?”
Lowering herself to the ground for a second, Dash then pushed and jumped herself upward into the air. Stopping in the air a few feet from the ground, she then floated there in a bipedal “standing” position, folding her wings to further show that she didn’t need them, with her aura still active around her.
“Awesome, huh?” she said, looking around and downward. “I guess, even when you’re a pegasus, it gives you the ability to fly anyway. I can pretty much stay in the air forever as well if I wanted.”
“Hm, I see.” Twilight stared at her with a bit of a fascinated look.
“Yeah. But even though I can fly without them, my wings can still be pretty useful, as I’ve found out that night. I can flap them to give myself a huge speed boost as well as to dodge out of the way. Though, I won’t show you here because, you know…”
The pegasus looked around.
“…it’s cramped in here.”
“Right. Otherwise, you’ll pretty much destroy this place if you did,” Twilight said, chuckling. “Well, maybe whenever you’re training, I’ll observe you there.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea. Well, if anypony doesn’t need me today, maybe I’ll start training. And then, you can watch.”
Twilight nodded. “Alright, then. Let me know, Rainbow Dash.”
The pegasus descended and landed back on the wooden floor on all fours.
“Well, I think I’m just about done seeing every facet of your transformed appearance here, Rainbow,” Twilight said. “And again, wow… I really don’t think I’ve seen anything else like this before. It is really something else.”
Dash chuckled. “You got that right!”
“Mm-hmm. Well… is there anything you’d like to say or point out to me about your form here? Or should I just let you go for now?”
“Anything else? Well…”
Dash pondered, looking upward and putting her hoof on her chin while still smiling.
“…There is one thing that might be interesting to you,” she said. She lowered her hoof and looked at the unicorn. “And I found out about this a few days after that night. You know how Princess Luna stayed as her Nightmare Moon self until we reverted her back, right? Well, it turns out that I can stay transformed, too. It’s just that I can revert myself back to normal, unlike her. That, and she had a totally different personality anyway, but yeah.
“If I want myself to stay like this, though, then first I gotta power down a bit,” she continued, her smile fading. “If I don’t, then I’m going to feel more and more restless, and eventually, I’m gonna be forced out of my Super form. Basically, I’m going to run out of energy.”
“Really? Huh, that’s interesting, indeed…” Twilight said, looking fascinated again. “…And yet, not so interesting as well. From what you said, it sounds like even your transformation is prone to stressing out. The more you do something at a continuous rate, the more you’ll tire yourself out.”
“Hmm, something like that, I guess. But yeah. So if I want to stay like this, I must do this.”
Dash unfolded her large wings and proceeded to concentrate, calming herself. Soon, her aura began to fade away, stopping the emission of particles from her body. Then, her wings began to shrink themselves, shrinking back to their normal size.
“…Huh. Just as using more power changes your appearance, so does using less until you are normal again,” Twilight said, seeing her.
“Yeah. Now I don’t feel restless anymore like this. I’m obviously still Super, though, and I’m still pretty strong and fast. Just not at the same level as before. And honestly, I think I can still take bad guys out at this level,” Dash said, smiling.
“Heh, perhaps. And if they’re stronger than expected…”
“…then I can power myself up to their level. Yep. Hopefully, they’re not too strong for me to handle. Heh heh… Alrighty, I don’t think I have anything else to say or show you until I start training, so…”
“Right,” Twilight said, nodding and smiling. “I shall let you go now. Thanks for taking the time to let me observe you, Rainbow Dash. It was, as much as I’ve said it already, very fascinating.”
The pegasus chuckled. “No prob. It’s always awesome to allow somepony to witness my new Super form.”
Folding her wings, she jumped into the air and floated a few feet above the ground.
“I’ll let you know when I start training, Twilight. Then, you’ll get to see what I can really do.”
“Alright. Looking forward to it.”
Raising her hoof upward, bringing it down, and looking like she was making a fist, grinning and nodding, Dash then turned towards one of the open windows of the tree library. She propelled herself towards that direction and flew out of the library with her hooves out in front.
Watching her fly out, still with a smile, Twilight sighed.
“So unexpected, indeed. Well, that’s what life tends to throw at you, I guess.”
With Dash gone, the unicorn turned towards her desk. In the lower left corner of the desk, there was another book placed there, and on top of it was a piece of paper. A letter to her, it was, and seeing it, she remembered what it said when she first read it this morning.
“’He was never able to get it right,’” she recited. “…Hmm.”
Using her horn, she lifted the book up from underneath the letter. Turning around and taking the book along, she opened it and began to walk around, reading it at the same time.
“From one to another, another to one. A mark of one’s destiny singled out alone, fulfilled.”
Having just left the Golden Oak Library, Dash was now flying a few feet above the streets of Ponyville, flying on her own without the use of her wings and at a slow cruising speed. She didn’t want to fly fast at this height, since she could easily knock over things with her super speed.
The white pegasus was heading towards a large building ahead of her. This building was no ordinary one, though, for it seemed to be themed around bakery and confectionaries. The very top of the building appeared to have the shape and the motif of a cupcake, with lit candles on top of it and a window in the middle of its “wrapper.” The main roof of the building appeared to be covered with gingerbread all over, outlined with bluish-white frosting all over, and there was a lone flower pot on the right of the roof with a flower that was leaning over. To the left and right of the main door were candy cane-themed poles that were holding up the entrance part of the frosted gingerbread roof.
This building was the home of Ponyville’s bakery shop, Sugarcube Corner, and it was also the home of one of the Element wielders.
Descending towards the door, Dash landed in front of it and opened it, walking in. With the sight of a countertop ahead that contained various confectionary and baking goods, she walked further and looked around, stopping in front of the countertop.
“Pinkie Pie, I’m here,” Dash called, smiling. “You said you baked some cupcakes for me, so…”
A quick second later, the pink pony herself suddenly popped up from the other side of the countertop, startling the pegasus a bit. She placed her hooves on top of the counter.
“Yes sirree, you got that right, Rainbow Da---!“ she exclaimed, interrupted by the sight of Dash being in her Super form. She then looked surprised. “…Ohhhhhhhh! I mean… Super Rainbow Dashie! Hehehehe! Here they are, then!”
Ducking under the countertop, the pink pony then quickly reemerged, this time holding a tray of twelve cupcakes and then placing it on the counter. With a white wrapper surrounding them, the cupcakes’ base was of the usual golden color, with a large swirl of vanilla frosting on top of it. Several rainbow sprinkles were scattered all over, and in the very center of the frosting was a fondant decoration that resembled Super Dash’s storm grey cutie mark.
“See what I did here? I themed them after your awesome white Super self!” Pinkie exclaimed. “’Cause it’s the most awesomest thing in the whole wide world right now!”
“Really?” Dash asked, chuckling while looking a bit shy. “I wouldn’t treat it as the most awesome thing in the world right now, actually. But yeah, it’s definitely up there, that’s for sure.”
Raising her body upward and now floating slightly above in a bipedal position, the white pegasus picked up a cupcake with her hooves. Unwrapping one with her right hoof, she then took a bite out of it.
“…Mmm! I swear, you make the best cupcakes in the world, Pinkie Pie,” she said, smiling with a look of joy as she chewed, taking another bite afterward.
The pink pony giggled. “Well, it’s one of my specialties after all! One of the pieces of the pie that makes people happy!”
Finishing up the cupcake and throwing the wrapper away, Dash then picked the entire tray of cupcakes up with both hooves.
“Thanks as always, Pinkie,” she said. “I’m gonna go share the rest of these with everypony now.”
“Yeah, go ahead if you want. And if they like them, I can always bake more if they want!”
Dash nodded. She turned around and proceeded for the door, exiting the shop.
Pinkie sighed happily, watching the white pegasus leave with a look of love on her face.
“Soooo awesome… Huh?”
Suddenly, she noticed something flash white to her left and behind, making her look. There was nothing she saw that caused the flash.
“What was that just now…? Huh?!”
She then saw a glimpse of something that was on her own body. The pink pony looked, and what she saw shocked her with wide open eyes.
“Wh-what?! My cutie mark!”
The cutie mark on her was suddenly not her three yellow-and-blue balloons mark. Instead, it was that of three crystal-blue diamonds.
In all of the locales and places that there was on Equestria, there was one place that was ultimately hidden in the world. A place that was obscured out of sight from the public eye and accessible by only those with the magic and knowledge that was needed to do so. A place that served only as a prison for those only willing to commit evil deeds, and who were never to be redeemed into the path of light again.
It was this place where it served as his prison for a long, perhaps almost eternal time. And it was this place where he remained trapped even now.
In the underworld known as Tartarus, there was a long, narrow, rocky stairway that led up to a large rock spire with an open clearing at the top that was surrounded by parts of the spire protruding from the main base of it. At the bottom of the stairway stood a large, black, fifteen-foot-high, three-headed dog that wore spiked collars on each of his necks. The giant dog was facing the path ahead of him with the stairway behind him, standing guard against whoever dared to walk up the stairway that led to the spire’s top.
At the top of the spire, in the very center of the circular-marked clearing, there stood a large, silver, metal cage, and imprisoned within it was the dark red and grey centaur himself, sporting a white tail, a white beard, and cloven hooves. He wore silver metal bracelets on the wrists of his arms, a black chestplate on his upper body, a silver ring that was pierced in his nostrils, and a large silver necklace with a golden triangular medallion hanging from the bottom of it.
“Ugh… how much longer must I remain in this forsaken prison?” he said, looking annoyed and sporting an old and feeble voice, with his hands grasping the metal bars. “Curse those ponies. Curse them all… and my brother who foolishly sided with them!”
His hands tightened themselves on the bars as he exclaimed that. Then, he sighed with a weary tone, loosening his grip and looking down.
“It must have been years since he betrayed me like that. Years, decades… it could be centuries, even. Quite hard to tell in this cave-like underworld without the sun and the moon shining their lights upon it.”
The centaur began to look around, observing his surroundings. After a while, he then sighed again, looking upward with his teeth gritted.
“I swear… I will get my revenge on the pony world above, sooner or later. I cannot be stuck in here for eternity. After all, nothing lasts forever.”
“...Indeed… Nothing lasts forever.”
Having just heard a loud voice coming from somewhere, jumping a bit, the centaur swiftly looked around. He glanced left and right, ahead and behind him, and upward and downward.
“…What did I hear just now?” he asked, his black sclera, white-dotted eyes shifting left and right. “I thought it was just me and…”
He glanced downward, toward the base of the stairs where the three-headed dog was.
“Cerberus, was that you speaking to me just now? How sudden of you to speak to me now after all this time.”
After a few seconds, no response came from the dog. Instead, he raised his lower left leg up to the left side of his leftmost head, scratching his left ear with his paw. Seeing this, the centaur knew it wasn’t the dog.
“Hm, how odd… I thought we were alone in here?”
“…You were alone… until now. Gaze above you, Tirek.” Tirek looked upward, his hands still gripping the metal bars. What he saw above seemed to be a small sphere of swirling energy that was descending towards the centaur’s cage. The sphere had a mixture of beige-green, white, and black colors that were constantly swirling against each other, with beige-green being the sphere’s most dominant color. As it continued to descend, Tirek could see that the sphere’s size was about the same as a pony’s head.
The sphere stopped and floated right in front of the centaur, who stared at it with a bit of a puzzled look.
“…I am guessing that the sudden voice came from you,” Tirek said. “Tell me, then. Who are you? And how did you get into this cursed place?”
“…Who am I, you ask? I am merely… a stranger,” said the sphere, sporting a deep, reptilian-like voice. “To you, and all the inhabitants of this world you call Equestria. Perhaps you could call me an alien here, for this world is not my original place of birth.”
“You are not from around here? Interesting…”
“Indeed… I come from a far-away world. A destroyed world… A world which had been ravaged and harvested from the predecessor that I was spawned out of. A world that was destroyed by my father, you could say, and he, too, was a spawn himself that came from another destroyed world… To this, you could say that we are parasites. Viruses, even. We reproduce, find worlds for our resulting spawn to harvest and destroy, and then, the cycle repeats from there. We harvest worlds and their energy in pursuit of one ultimate goal: to achieve perfection in our forms. To obtain the perfect life state.
“But although that is my life purpose,” continued the sphere. “It is not why I have arrived here in this world. And this is not my actual physical form here that you are seeing. This… is merely my avatar. As such, I have a different motive for this world.”
“Oh? …and that is?” asked Tirek, raising an eyebrow.
“I would like to simply observe this world, for the sake of curiosity… and offer some… help for you. Nothing more than that.”
“…You? Offering to help me? Why?”
“I know of your past exploits, Tirek. And not just what you have just mentioned as well. I know that you and your brother Scorpan came to the main continent of Equestria to steal the ponies’ magic for yourselves, how he saw the supposed good in them and pleaded with you to relent. But you refused, and as such, he told their leaders of your plans. And while he returned to your homeland, you ended up here in the pits of Tartarus and had remained here since.”
After a bit, the centaur sighed, looking down. “…Yes, that is how it all went long ago. I still cannot believe that my own brother would rather be friends with them instead of showing them who their rulers should really be. Whose mighty force that they should be bowing down to. But alas, it didn’t come to.”
“Indeed… As such, I share some of the same sentiments as you. With attempted conquest or destruction of the land come those who wish to defend it. Their so-called ‘beloved’ home… and yet they so blindly ignore your needs and motives, the reasons why you wish to conquer or destroy it. Such was the case of my father back then, how he faced a group of lifeforms that foresaw his forthcoming destruction. In the end, however, he proved to be triumphant over them, and he ultimately succeeded in his goals.
“That is why I want to help you,” continued the sphere. “Whereas he succeeded and triumphed, you can, too. You do want their magic, correct? And rule over Equestria as the sole supreme ruler, bringing your might over those who oppose it?”
“Oh, I do, indeed,” Tirek said, looking at the sphere. “These ponies don’t deserve one bit of their magic. All they ever seem to do with it anyway is to maintain their happy little communities with each other. That’s it… and it is quite boring, in my opinion.
“However… I see one little problem with you helping me here… I have been betrayed before, and I won’t tolerate a second round of it. How am I supposed to know that you will not do that to me? Given the fact that you and your kind are parasites that harvest and destroy worlds, how am I exactly supposed to believe that you will not do the same to this one?” asked the centaur, frowning with a suspicious look. “Even when you’ve helped me take over it?”
“I have only one simple answer for that. The universe is infinite… and with such an infinity comes a vast number of worlds. Even if I do not harvest this one, there are numerous others that are ripe for us out there, instead… Do not worry. This world shall be yours, and yours alone. I will not disrupt your rule afterward.”
Tirek narrowed his eyes at the sphere, slowly caressing his beard with his left hand as he thought about the mysterious off-worlder’s offer to help him.
“I do not know how you came to know my past, but… if you say that you won’t harvest this one, hm… very well, then. And a fair enough answer as well. I guess if there’s other worlds out there…”
“How I know about your past is not relevant, Tirek. Again, I only seek to observe and help you. You should not worry about it afterward, and you shall have my word on this.”
Tirek nodded. He looked away and then back at the sphere again. “Alright… How will you get me out of this cage, then? With magic? …I don’t even know your name, by the way.”
“With my own, yes. As for that… we were called by many names and labels throughout our time in the universe. My father was given this particular name by the lifeforms he faced, so I suppose I should use it as my name as well.”
The swirling sphere began to glow bright beige-green, continuing to glow brighter and brighter until its light began to blind and envelop Tirek within it, who grunted and shielded his eyes with his hand.
The light then suddenly pulsated, and in the next three seconds, it dimmed and faded away. Both the sphere and the centaur disappeared, leaving nothing but an empty cage behind.
“From now on, you have the courtesy of calling me…”
The door to the Golden Oak Library was quickly barged inward, and in came the purple unicorn, running to her desk that lay ahead of her. With a smile on her face and with the Crown of Magic adorned on her head, she stopped right in front of the desk and focused her attention on the written parchment that was on it.
Soon after, her friends followed her in and stopped near her, with all of them wearing their respective Element necklaces. Still in her Super form, Dash floated right above the desk, facing Twilight as her horn glowed.
“Fix the spell? What spell, Twilight?” asked Dash.
“This spell. Right here,” said Twilight, using her horn to levitate the parchment. “Princess Celestia sent me this last night for me to rewrite and finish it, as this was supposed to be Star Swirl the Bearded’s secret masterpiece. I didn’t know what the spell was supposed to do, so today, I decided to cast it after you left, Rainbow. At first, nothing seemed to happen, but now I know that something did happen. The spell had changed the Elements of Harmony.”
The unicorn turned around to face the rest of her friends, looking at them while the parchment floated below her face a bit.
“And with the exception of Rainbow Dash because she’s the Flame of Harmony, it had changed your destinies as well.”
“Oh, so that was why,” said Rarity. “My goodness. I didn’t even feel like myself when I had Pinkie’s destiny.”
“Yeah! And with me trying to sew up dresses and stuff!” exclaimed Pinkie. “That was weeeeeeeeeird.”
“…I don’t think I ever want to buck trees with my hooves again,” said Fluttershy, looking back at her lower hooves with a look of pain on her face. “Ergh…”
“And I don’t think I wanna take care of them animals again,” said Applejack, looking weary. “It was harder than I thought it was goin’ to be... Gosh, Rainbow, you got lucky here since it was said that you’re the true conduit of the Elements and all.”
“Yeah… Still, at least I tried to help you guys when I saw what was going on. But even with my new powers, I had no idea what to do, so I ended up going to Twilight,” said the white pegasus.
Glancing back at the desk, the purple unicorn levitated the quill pen over to her, bringing it to the parchment. Focusing on the piece of paper, she began to write on it.
“From all of us together,” she wrote aloud. “Together we’re friends. With the marks of our destinies made one, there is magic without end.”
As Twilight finished writing and smiled at it, a second later, Dash felt something. Something tingled within her, making her notice.
“Huh…? Whoa, what?!”
Suddenly, her inner Harmonic energy began to flare up within her. As she looked down at the undersides of her upper hooves that she brought up, she began to notice that the lightning gemstone of her necklace was glowing brightly, sporting a glow of multiple colors.
Then, suddenly, as if it was a tide of rushing waters demolishing the gate that held them back, the colorful glowing gemstone shot out a rainbow energy beam the size of Twilight directly at the purple unicorn. As she glanced back and saw it, the beam had quickly engulfed her in whole. It hit the ground, causing a minor explosion and shockwave that knocked them all back.
With the beam dissipating thanks to the shockwave, the white pegasus was thrown farther back in the air above and behind her. She quickly stopped herself, looking onward to the rainbow sphere that now stood there with strong energy winds emitting from it.
“Twilight?! What did I just…? Huh?!”
Suddenly, she began to feel a pulling force, moving her forward. It didn’t take long for her to notice that she was being pulled toward the sphere.
In one mere second, Dash was suddenly flung towards the sphere, yelping loudly as the sphere swallowed her in. Then, the sphere quickly dissipated, stopping the energy winds and leaving behind nothing but a large, smoking, charred mark on the wooden floor as well as the Crown on top of it. A mark that resembled Twilight’s star-shaped cutie mark.
Getting up from being blown away earlier, the ponies gasped in shock, seeing that both Twilight and Rainbow were no longer with them.
For a brief moment after the sphere swallowed her in, Dash saw nothing but pure, blinding white light in her eyes. Her body, after getting pulled in, was now seemingly floating in the air somewhere, she felt.
Soon, the white light in her eyes dimmed, and her surroundings were revealed.
“…What? This is…”
The white pegasus had found herself in an area filled with stars and nebulae, as well as bluish-green mist all over, both near and far as the eye could see. She recognized this place, for she had been here before a month ago in her dream.
“The Lane of Destiny,” she said. She began to look around. “But why am I here again? And where’s…?”
She turned around, searching for where the purple unicorn could be.
“Twilight! Where are you?!” Dash shouted.
“Rainbow! I’m right here!”
Hearing her to the right, Dash turned and flew over, finding her standing past a layer of mist. The pegasus landed near her, facing the unicorn.
“Are you alright, Twilight?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, if you don’t count me being caught off-guard by your Element necklace suddenly firing a magical beam on me, that is,” replied Twilight. Her eyes shifted left and right as she looked around. “Um, where are we, Rainbow?’
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do that, much less send you to this place! That spell of yours must’ve triggered the Harmonic energy inside of me to send you here.”
Dash looked in the direction that the unicorn was facing. Suddenly, she was reminded of something. Something that she learned of when she conversed with the Soul of Harmony a month ago.
“And I think I know why it sent you here, actually…” she said, walking in the direction she looked.
“Huh? Well, why?”
Dash stopped and turned around to face her.
“I’ve been here before, Twilight. In the dream that I had a month ago,” she said. “It was here that I talked with the Soul of Harmony.”
“Really? This place?”
“Yeah. It said that this place is where ponies can discover their true destiny. Not the ones shown by our cutie marks, but our real destinies. Hidden ones, and only those with hidden destinies can enter the place, it said.”
“Hidden destinies? Such as you being the Flame of Harmony?”
“Yeah,” Dash nodded. “And it was here that I learned of the darkness coming to Equestria. That I must train in order to defeat it.”
The pegasus looked around. “I don’t know why I’m here again, but… maybe it’s to see you reach your own hidden destiny, Twilight. I didn’t mention this before, but…”
She looked at the underside of her right hoof that she brought up.
“…when I asked the Soul on why I’m the only one of my friends to have a special destiny as this, it said I wasn’t. Another one of them will come to represent all of the Elements of Harmony, but in a way that is different from becoming the Flame. Now that you’re here with me in this place…”
Lowering her hoof, Dash looked at the unicorn.
“…I’m guessing it’s you who is the one, Twilight.”
Just then, Twilight heard a familiar voice coming from behind.
“Indeed, it is you, my faithful student. I knew you could do it.”
Twilight glanced back. From out of the layers and layers of mist walked in the tall-standing, mane-flowing, white alicorn princess herself, with a graceful smile on her face.
“Princess Celestia? …I don’t understand,” said Twilight, turning around with a puzzled look on her face. “What did I do?”
“You did something that has never been done before. Something even a great unicorn like Star Swirl the Bearded was not able to do, because he did not understand friendship like you do. The lessons you have learned here in Ponyville have taught you well. You have proven that you are ready, Twilight.”
“Ready? For what?”
The sun princess turned to her right, glancing back at her with the same smile.
“To fulfill your destiny.”
Celestia began to walk in the direction she faced. Still puzzled, Twilight glanced back at Dash, only to see a smiling nod from her friend.
Looking ahead, the unicorn began to walk on, following her mentor. The pegasus began to follow as well.
But as soon as Dash took a step on the invisible ground, suddenly, something tingled in her head, urging her to look behind her.
“Huh? Behind me…?”
She looked back, and what she saw surprised her. Behind her was a completely black and dark void that appeared out of nowhere, with part of the Lane suddenly disappearing. In the void ahead, what looked like a blank white screen was floating there, with the screen seemingly flickering every three seconds.
Seeing it, Dash was reminded of her time with the Soul again, having seen the screens that retold the history of the Elements of Harmony. What could this screen be, then? Another look at the past?
Her mind tingled again, urging her to go to it. She heeded it, turning around and walking over to it. Whatever was happening to Twilight, she’ll know later.
Dash walked to and entered the void of darkness. Taking a look at the darkness around her, she recalled that the last time she was surrounded by darkness, she was met with a vision of a dark and destroyed future that would be caused by Discord. A future that she ultimately prevented.
Could this be another warning, then? She thought. After all, she knew that some sort of darkness, a threat greater than Discord, would be coming to Equestria.
The white ruby-eyed pegasus stopped at the screen, looking upward. The screen flickered and flickered, until it began to show something.
The scene she saw was that of a winter landscape. Heavy amounts of thick snow were everywhere, covering the hills and mountains that were seen. A strong blizzard was occurring, with rapidly flying snow and with strong gusts of wind that were howling throughout the area. Thick grey clouds were covering the sky, and without a hint of the sun’s light anywhere, there was nothing but darkness to see.
Barring the unusually dark clouds, to Dash, this looked like a typical blizzard snowstorm. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until the screen cut to a different scene. What she now saw triggered worrying feelings within her. The scene was that of Ponyville in ruins again, with its buildings having been crumbled and fallen to complete dust. Snow had covered some of the ruins. The ground, where the snow didn’t cover, appeared to have taken on a brownish-red color, with other parts of the ground appearing to be completely charred to black.
From this view, the ruined town appeared to be deserted, until she saw something moving in one of the ruins. As if it read her mind, the screen cut to inside of the ruin. There was a group of ponies there, with a pale and sickly appearance to them. Some were sitting on the ground and against the walls there. Some were lying on the ground, sleeping with mere torn rags on them. All of them seemingly lacked cutie marks on them, and all of them had the looks of sadness and restlessness on their faces.
…Oh, man. Dash thought. What the heck happened here? The ruins look like crazy Twilight did it again, but then, there’s no sign of Discord’s chaotic magic anywhere. And what happened to their cutie marks?
The screen then cut to a wider view of the town, with something else in the distance. The city of Canterlot was still there on its mountainside rest, but much like Ponyville, it, too, fell into ruin. Parts of the buildings there had fallen off, with some of them leaning over in different directions. The waterfalls that used to flow had ceased their run long ago.
As if the sight of both the Ponyville and Canterlot ruins suffering a seemingly never-ending harsh winter wasn’t enough to make her distressed and worried, the screen then cut to something again. This time, it was of a wide, sky-high view of a continent surrounded by grey-colored oceans of water. She stared at it, trying to figure out what she was looking at, and then, it hit her, causing her to look with wide open eyes.
“Oh, no… This is all of Equestria?”
So it seemed from the shape and the landmarks that she recognized from a map. However, much of it was now unrecognizable. Most of the world she came to know as her home was in ruins, with a giant howling snowstorm covering most of it. Half of it was covered in snow, while the other half had the same brownish-red ground as in Ponyville as well as charred marks and giant craters all over. Parts of the continent had been shattered into several smaller islands, and not a single hint of plant life, the greenery that used to dominate the landscape, was seen. It looked more like a dead world to her that had its life sucked out of it.
Seeing this dead Equestria instilled bleak feelings of hopelessness into Dash, as if she was there trying to survive. No way, then, was this the work of Discord. Could this be the work of the incoming darkness, then? If so, the Soul was right. This was definitely a greater threat than what the Spirit of Chaos could ever do.
And is this truly the future as well? Since she’s seeing this in the Lane of Destiny, it had to be. It must also be the reason why she’s really here.
The screen cut off and then shrunk to nothing. The darkness around her began to fade back into the ethereal light of the Lane.
Having seen the dark future that awaits them all, Dash thought about it with her eyes downcast, trying to process what she just saw. Who or whatever will cause Equestria to die like that, at least one thing is for certain: that she won’t ever allow such an event to happen.
Nodding to herself with an expression of determination on her face, Dash turned around.
The pegasus saw the purple unicorn floating bipedally in the air above Celestia. The unicorn was being surrounded by a ribbon of purple energy. As the energy enveloped her more and more, her head then shot upward as she began to glow blindingly bright white, with light shooting from the sphere encasing her.
The sphere continued to increase in size, until it began to engulf everything. It wasn’t until long that Dash herself was swallowed up within it.
No… No! Grandpa… Everyone… Breezegale… It… It’s all gone! It’s all gone!!
Whhhy?!! Why is this happening to me all of a sudden?! I didn’t ask for this! I never asked for any of this! All I wanted was a happy life! Not me being the Dream Traveler, and not my family and friends dying either!! Ugh!!
…I wish I could’ve done something. I wish I could’ve saved everyone! Mom, Dad, Grandpa… Kala… You all didn’t have to die like this!!
It’s not fair!!
IT’S NOT FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAIR!!!!!
Dash’s eyes snapped wide open, her eyes shifting left and right. Almost immediately, she realized she was hearing something while she was sleeping, for the source of the voice wasn’t found in her immediate field of view.
The pegasus, as her normal blue self, was sitting on the grass with her back on the brown bark of a tree, with her front hooves at the back of her head. She was in an open grassy area with a carved road path in a part of the area, half-surrounded by a small forest that was filled with small trees and the other half being a small hilly cliff. To the left of her was a cave opening, and to the right of the cave was the carved road, leading up the hill where the cave opening was underneath it.
In the center of the area were some wooden logs and rocks that were arranged to form a camping spot, with the inactive campfire base in the middle of the spot. Scattered all over the area were white camping tents with various supplies and travel bags next to them. As Dash calmed down from her sudden wakeup, she noticed that three of her friends, sitting around the camp spot on the logs, were looking at her, having heard her.
“…Did you have a nightmare just now, Rainbow?” asked Applejack, seeing her to the left. “You yelped all of a sudden, not to mention lookin’ like somepony had just scared you.”
“Are you alright, Rainbow?” asked Twilight, looking back at her.
Dash sighed, calming down with her eyes downcast. “Yeah, I’m fine… No, I didn’t have a nightmare. I just suddenly heard a voice, that’s all.”
She rubbed the side of her head with her hoof, looking puzzled.
“Man… what’s with me hearing voices lately while I’m snoozing off? I guess it must be a part of me being the Flame of Harmony now. Hearing or seeing things before they… happen. Or something.”
“…Hm, seems like it. Didn’t you hear a voice saying that you were the destined one several days before it happened?” asked the purple pony.
“Yeah. That, and your dream with Discord and all,” said Applejack.
Dash nodded. “And… that loud growlish scream I heard the other day, where I thought that some sort of big monster was nearby. Well, I dunno about you guys, but I really don’t like it when these things scare me out of my sleep.”
Lowering her hooves from her head, the pegasus proceeded to get up and stand on her fours. She walked over to her friends and stopped.
“Who does like it when one is interrupted from their sleep?” said Rarity, looking at Dash a few feet ahead of her. “Well, what did you hear this time, Rainbow?”
“Well, uh… it was a voice. Sounded sorta close to my own, but with a more… cat-like tone to it except at the end? I dunno,” replied Dash, shrugging and looking down. “It sounded really desperate and like it was in denial. It sounded like it lost its family and its home. ‘Breezegale,’ it said. And then, it screamed, ‘It's not faaaaair!’ in this really painful tone. Like how I felt when I saw that my nightmare with Discord was coming true…”
She looked up at her friends.
“And, well, that’s what woke me up.”
“…Huh. Breezegale, eh?” said Applejack. “Can’t say I’ve heard of such a place in Equestria before.”
“Me neither. And I don’t think it is in Equestria, actually,” Twilight said, looking at the orange pony. “While I was still in Canterlot after my princess ceremony, I took the opportunity to look at the most up-to-date maps they had. And this ‘Breezegale’ wasn’t marked on any of them if I recall correctly. So either we haven’t found it yet…”
“…or it’s not in Equestria at all. Remember when the Changeling Queen said she and her minions came from outside of Equestria?” asked the orange pony.
“Yeah, she did say that. Hmm.”
“Well, if this is, indeed, a foreshadowing dream, and it’s not in Equestria, then how are we supposed to save it from destruction?” asked Rarity. “If it is going to be destroyed, that is.”
Dash shrugged. “I dunno. It could be something, or it could just be nothing. Either way, whether or not this place exists and is one of its targets or not…”
She lifted up and looked at the underside of her right hoof, looking at it with a firm expression.
“We can’t forget about the darkness that’s coming here. And so I must train before then.”
“Right,” nodded Twilight.
Lowering her hoof, Dash glanced around, looking for something.
“Uh, where did the fillies go?”
“Oh, they’ve gone up the hill to see the Falls,” replied Applejack, smiling while glancing at the path leading up to the hill.
Turning towards that direction, the pegasus unfolded her wings and took off ahead, ascending to the air above.
Twilight sighed, smiling and looking down. “What a long-winded week this was. The princess ceremony, meeting and greeting all the ponies who came to see that I’ve ascended, going all over Equestria… I’m so glad that I went on this trip to Winsome Falls with you guys.”
“Yep. Even a princess, a new one at that, needs a big breather every now and then,” said Applejack, smiling.
“Indeed,” said Rarity, smiling. “My word, who could have seen that your special destiny was to become a princess?”
Twilight looked down at the left and right side of her body, seeing her new pair of folded wings. She unfolded them, revealing their full appearance. Unlike a pegasus’ wings or even Super Dash’s and Celestia’s wings, the newly-ascended purple alicorn’s feathers looked more fuller and more regal-looking, compared to the usual thinner feathers.
“Only Rainbow did, Rarity. Only she knew that she wasn’t the only one with a special destiny.”
“Wow… this is awesome.”
“You said it, Scootaloo. Wooooow.”
“I never thought a place like this could exist!”
The three Cutie Mark Crusaders, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, were standing at the edge of the cliff overlooking the other side of the area where the path continued. The path led to a pond and a large rainbow-colored waterfall that was falling in from the cloud above, with the area itself being the top of a small mountain that overlooked a huge, wide, grassy landscape below. Floating above this great land were several clouds that were constantly letting out rainbow waterfalls onto the land below, with some of them fading before they touched the ground.
With the rainbow waterfalls near and far, it was a majestic and colorful sight to behold.
“Rainbows. Rainbows everywheeeere…!” exclaimed Scootaloo, with a happy look on her face.
“So this is the place our sisters wanted us to see,” said Apple Bloom, looking with awe. She then put on a puzzling look. “But, uh, some of the rainbow falls look kinda… faded going down.”
“Yeah, that is weird. I wonder why some of them look like that?” said Sweetie, with a puzzled look as well. She then smiled. “Still, this is beautiful!”
“Loving the sight of this, huh?”
Hearing a voice from behind, they looked back to see Dash standing behind them with her wings unfolded.
“Yeah, this is awesome, Rainbow Dash,” said the dark orange pegasus filly, smiling.
“Yeah, but do you know why some of them look kinda faded, disappearing before they hit the bottom?” asked the yellow filly, looking onward.
Dash looked ahead. “Oh, those? Honestly, I have no idea. All I know that this place was made by pegasi from Cloudsdale who wanted a place for sightseeing tourists to go to and to be awed. They even said that this is supposed to be a vacation spot, which was why we came here in the first place.”
“Well, this is one heck of a vacation spot, that’s for sure,” said Scootaloo.
“Yup!” Dash nodded.
The blue pegasus began to look all over the area. As she glanced here and there, mostly the landscape below, she began to get an idea.
She took a few steps ahead, walking past the fillies, and then stopped there.
“This place looks big enough… Enough for me to practice and train.”
“Huh? Train?” asked the white unicorn filly. “Oh! I remember.”
“…Oh snap!” exclaimed the orange filly, looking surprised. “Are you really going to…?!”
Dash stood there for a second. Then, she looked back at them with a determined smile and with the iris of her right eye being ruby red.
A second later, the blue pegasus’ mane and tail began to move themselves upward. Then, at the instant they reached all the way up, a quick white flash and a short burst of energy occurred, and she now stood there as her white-coated Super self with her flame-shaped spiked mane and with her trademark Loyalty necklace instantly appearing on her.
“Whoa! Uh, wow, that was quick,” said Apple Bloom, jumping a bit as she was surprised by Dash’s instant transformation.
“Yeah, didn’t know you could transform that quick,” said Sweetie, also looking surprised.
“Aw, aw, AWESOME!” exclaimed Scootaloo, looking very happy and excited with wide open eyes.
“Hehe. Yeah, I did it in an instant, huh?” said Dash, smiling and turning right a bit to look at them, giving them her full appearance. “Well, I could transform slowly to impress everypony, but sometimes, when there’s danger to be had or you just want to get things done, you gotta do it quick. Right?”
“Right! And wow, what a difference from your normal self, Rainbow Dash,” said the yellow filly. “To go from blue to white like that…”
“…It’s as if you turned into another pony altogether,” said Sweetie, smiling with a bit of awe on her face.
“Heh, that’s what Twilight said when she saw me transform up close the other day,” the white pegasus said. “But, eh, it’s more like that I’ve just turned into another side of me, that’s all.”
Dash turned towards the Falls ahead. “Well, I’m gonna train now. If you think I look awesome here, ha, just wait ‘till I start swinging my hooves out there!”
Focusing on a spot between the various waterfalls and clouds in the air ahead of her, the white pegasus then jumped and took off, flying towards the spot with her wings remaining stationary as she flew.
“Wow, she can fly on her own without using her wings now?” asked Apple Bloom, seeing her fly to the spot.
“Yep, she can now while as her Super self,” said Scootaloo, smiling. “Didn’t you guys see her when she was helping to rebuild Ponyville a while back?”
“I don’t think we did. We were busy trying to help our sisters at the time,” said the yellow filly.
Reaching her desired spot, Dash stopped there in a bipedal position. She glanced all over, seeing she was in a spot large enough between the clouds and their waterfalls, and seeing she was high above the huge landscape below.
With a smile of determination on her face, she looked ahead, going into a fighter’s stance with her lower right hoof moving back a bit. Tensing up her body a bit, she pulled back her upper left hoof and swung it forward and down as hard and fast as she could. Then, she lowered her right hoof and swung it upward, pulling an uppercut that made her turn around. Immediately as she turned around, the pegasus quickly let loose a series of forward kicks with her lower right hoof at a really fast speed, appearing as if she had multiple hooves that were kicking the air. Stopping her flurry, she swung her lower left hoof all the way to her right, causing her to turn back around and unleashing a series of fast punches with both of her upper hooves a quick second after. Again, with her blazing speed, she appeared as if she had more than two hooves attacking the open air in front of her, and she yelped every time she threw a punch, sounding like she was stuttering.
Down below, the three little fillies watched the white pegasus as she continued to train.
“…Wow, I’ve never seen anypony punch and kick that fast,” Apple Bloom said, looking slightly stunned.
“Yeah… I mean, she was a fast hoof fighter, but she wasn’t this fast before,” said Sweetie Belle, with her mouth opened a bit.
“Well, duh. She’s Super Dash now,” said Scootaloo, smiling. “Super speed and super strength, able to lift up a giant building up on one hoof… Man, you guys REALLY should’ve seen her at Ponyville.”
Up ahead, Dash continued her session. After a heavy swing from her upper right hoof, she quickly dashed forward a bit and threw a wide kick, making her turn around once more and setting off another series of punches with just her upper left hoof alone. All with a firm, concentrated frown on her face.
“Hey… isn’t her mane supposed to be all fiery and flaming?” asked the yellow filly, looking at Dash’s mane. “It just looks kinda spikey.”
“Oh, good eye there, Apple Bloom,” said the white unicorn filly. “Yeah, why isn’t it all fiery? …Better yet, why aren’t her wings big? They were big before.”
Just then, the three of them heard footsteps approaching from behind, as well as a voice.
“That’s because she isn’t using a lot of power there. She’s basically in a low-power state now.”
The three fillies looked behind them to see the purple alicorn standing there with her wings folded, watching her friend train ahead in the air. Both Applejack and Rarity were approaching Twilight from behind.
“Huh? Low-powered?” asked Scootaloo.
“Yeah… Well, that’s what I observed when I studied her the other day, at least. It’s what she told me as well.”
“So this is her using a small bit of her energy?” asked Rarity, stopping next to Twilight on her right. “My word, she still looks quite fast out there.”
“Yeah. To think she could go even faster than that when she powers up,” said Applejack, stopping next to the alicorn on her left. “That’s gotta be somethin’ to see, alright.”
“Well, she did defeat a giant dragon after all, right? That should show how awesome her power really is,” said the orange pegasus filly, smiling and looking at Dash ahead again.
“Yep, she did, Scoots. She did.”
“And it’s all the more proof that the magic energy of Harmony really is the strongest of all Equestrian magic,” said the alicorn.
The group continued to watch on as Dash continuously did her numerous flurries of punches and kicks, slowly moving away from her spot as she continued. Watching the white pegasus, Twilight began to wonder about something.
“Hmm, which reminds me…” said Twilight, touching her chin with her hoof. “She has all that magic energy inside of her, and all it does is increase her speed and strength as well as change her appearance? …I know she doesn’t have a horn on her head, so she can’t really do spells or shoot energy beams. But… maybe at least she can shoot energy beams… through her hooves?”
“Huh? Through her hooves?” Applejack asked, looking at the alicorn.
“Yeah… You know how, no matter what type of pony we are, we are all connected with magic, right? Earth ponies being connected with the land, pegasi with the weather, and unicorns being the ones who can actively perform magic? Well, I once read in a book long ago that there was this secret group of earth ponies and pegasi that existed in history who, despite not having a horn on their heads, could actually perform unicorn magic through their own hooves. But they couldn’t use any type of unicorn magic, though. Only one, and that was to use the magic energy within themselves to shoot out beams as well as energy balls out of their hooves.”
“…Seriously? They could do that?” asked Rarity, looking at her. “And they were not unicorns at all?”
“They weren’t. Somehow, they were able to tap into their magic that connects them to the land and weather and were able to physically use it. How they did it is unknown. Maybe through simply focusing their energy like we do or…”
Twilight shrugged, lowering her hoof from her chin.
“Interestin’,” Applejack said. “So who exactly was this secret group of earth ponies and pegasi, anyway? Doesn’t sound like they were good guys at all, seeing how they were able to use a type of unicorn magic with their own hooves.”
“Actually, they were good guys,” said the alicorn, looking at the orange pony. “They were a secret group of ponies that was dedicated to protecting Equestria from crime and evil. They weren’t affiliated with anything or anypony but themselves, living in a secret place of their own. And not only were they able to shoot energy from their hooves, but they were expert martial artists as well.”
“Martial artists?” asked Sweetie Belle. “Like…”
“Yep,” nodded Twilight. She looked up and ahead. “Like her.”
The group looked ahead at Dash, who continued to train with a continuous flurry of punches, not showing a sign of slowing down. She continued to pour every bit of her strength into each and every swing of hers, with a part of her firm-looking face beginning to sweat a bit.
“She’s certainly good at being one, that’s for sure,” said Applejack, smiling. “Swingin’ her hooves at everything inside of my old barn to destroy it, and choppin’ all those trees at once with a dashin’ kick…”
“With all the abilities she has, it’s a no brainer on why she’s the destined Flame of Harmony and all,” said Twilight, smiling as well. She looked down a bit, pondering about something. ”…Hmm, so if those ponies were able to use magic through their hooves, then maybe…”
Looking up, the purple alicorn unfolded her wings, surprising her friends standing next to her.
“Hey, Rainbow Dash!” she shouted.
With a flap of her new wings, Twilight moved upward into the air above. Stopping a few feet above her friends, she held herself up in the air by constantly flapping her wings, leaning a bit left and then right as she tried to stay in the air.
“Whoa, careful, Twilight,” said Applejack, looking up at her. “You still haven’t gotten used to flying yet.”
“I still haven’t, yeah. But I think I’m getting there at least,” said the alicorn, keeping herself balanced in the air. “Don’t worry, she’ll catch me if I fall… Alright, stretch your front hooves out and...”
Stretching and pushing her front hooves out, pointing them in the direction of the white pegasus, Twilight began to fly over to her at a slow speed, flapping her wings to push forward.
Having heard Twilight’s voice from her right and below a few seconds ago, Dash stopped her training and looked. Watching the new princess fly, she faced her and smiled.
“Heh. Looks like somepony’s finally getting the hang of her new wings.”
“Yep! I’m still getting used to it, though,” the alicorn said, still flying on the way to her.
Reaching Dash, the princess flew to the pegasus’ left and stopped there, with her body going forward a bit as she stopped there, flailing her hooves up and down as she tried to regain herself.
Having regained her balance, she then faced Dash, floating there in a quadrupedal position.
“Heh, almost fell forward there,” she said, smiling. “Well, with more practice, I’ll be flying around flawlessly in no time.”
“Yeah. Just try and keep it together at all times, by the way,” said Dash, facing her again. “Even when you’re stopping.”
Looking down at herself, Twilight slowly moved all of her hooves and body into a bipedal position like Dash’s, still flapping her wings to keep herself afloat.
“So, you just decided to train now, huh?” she asked.
“Well, yeah. This place is big enough for me to do it, so why not?” replied Dash, looking left and right. “Plus with all these rainbow falls and all…”
“Right,” Twilight nodded. “I see.”
“Yep! And I’m just warming up here, actually. I’m not even at my desired power state yet as well,” Dash said, looking at her hooves she brought up. “Well, now I’m going to kick it up a notch and start training harder.”
Lowering her hooves, she then looked at her alicorn friend, her smile fading away.
“But, uh… why are you up here, Twilight?”
“Well, watching you train from down there, I was thinking,” replied the princess. “You wield the strongest magic energy ever seen in Equestria, and yet, all it does is increase your speed and strength as well as making you look like a flaming pony hero? I know you don’t have a horn on your head, but you still ought to be able to use that energy inside of you in ways that don’t involve punching and kicking and headbutting…
“Ah, but that’s exactly why you’re training, actually,” Twilight said. She chuckled while looking away. “I forgot.”
“Yeah, pretty much what I said the other day. But, are you trying to say that, even though I’m not a unicorn, I can actually do unicorn magic with the energy I have?” asked Dash. “How? I mean, isn’t unicorn magic a bit complicated to do from what I’ve seen?”
“Well, yeah, they are quite hard to do for a novice. But not basic energy beams and blasts. Those are the easiest of all the magic we can do. And yet, with the energy of an experienced user, they can also be the most powerful. Enough to be somepony’s main arsenal without relying on anything else, I’d say.”
“Energy blasts? Uh… yeah, did I mention that your burning self went completely crazy with them against me? Seriously, they hurt me a lot.”
“You did. So you already know first-hand how powerful they are. Wouldn’t you like to do the same, Rainbow Dash? They can be quite useful when you need to attack from a distance.”
Putting her hoof on her chin, Dash began to think about it. She recalled to her earlier, month-old battle with the burning unicorn and how the latter had always kept on attacking from a distance. Indeed, no matter where Twilight was, she always kept on throwing fireballs and energy beams at Dash without needing to be up-close and personal except for a few times, while the pegasus had to be up-close at all times in order to punch and kick her opponent.
“…Shoot energy from my hooves, huh?” Dash said while bringing up and looking at her hooves once more. “Now that I think about it, it could definitely be useful, alright. In fact, seeing what you did before, it could be quite awesome.”
“Yep,” the alicorn nodded. “Say that an enemy is keeping distance from you at all times while the enemy is unleashing similar attacks at you. Fighting back with your own energy might be the only to get back at him or her, yes?”
“Well, now that you’ve said that and everything, yep! Now I’m eager to try it out,” the pegasus said with a determined smile, lowering her hooves. She looked at her. “So how do you do it, then? Hope it’s not too hard, but since you said it’s the easiest of them all…”
Twilight turned to her right and went into a quadrupedal position again.
“The way we unicorns, or alicorns now, I guess, do it is simply like this. Gather your magic energy within, bring them to the horn from their place, and then…”
With her horn glowing its magic purple tone, bringing her head up and swinging it down, she fired a small purple energy beam from her horn. The beam went into the distance until it shrunk and faded away.
“Like that, basically. Though, that was a small one, so that means I only used a small bit of my energy to fire that. The more energy I use, the bigger the beam…”
Twilight’s horn glowed again, and this time, a purple energy ball twice the size of her horn appeared at the tip of it.
“…or ball will be. See?”
With the ball at the tip of the horn, she then swung her head to throw it ahead. The ball flew and flew until it made a miniscule explosion.
“Right… Wait, seriously?” asked Dash, raising an eyebrow and looking a bit surprised. “That’s it? Just gather your energy and shoot it out?”
“Yeah, that’s it, honestly,” replied Twilight, facing her again.
“Huh. ‘Cause that’s what I’ve been doing all along, except for the shooting part. I gather my energy, I get more powerful and I can pull off some special attacks. Like the Super Sonic Rainboom that I pulled off to defeat Discord… Hm.”
“Ah. Then… you should be able to easily do it. Alright, then. Try making an energy ball for me, Rainbow.”
Dash nodded. A second later, the pegasus raised her upper left hoof and brought it near her face. Frowning and looking firm, she began to concentrate, calling for the Harmonic energy within her and bringing it up to her hoof. With the shape of it in her mind, she focused the energy into a ball and began to summon it from underneath her hoof. Within a second, something quickly popped up from the surface of her hoof. A swirling, colorful energy ball with a rainbow gradient, it was, floating right above her hoof and with the size of it being half the size of her own head.
“Whoa… I think I did it,” Dash said, staring with a bit of awe at her own energy ball she made.
“Yeah, you definitely did. And wow, it’s rainbow colored,” said Twilight, smiling with a bit of awe. “Ah, but of course it is. It’s the energy of Harmony you wield after all, and rainbows go one-in-one with Harmony.”
Dash began to chuckle. Then, she grinned. “Yep, and it fits who I am with my mane and tail here… How awesome!”
With the ball above her hoof, her ruby red eyes turned to their left and she formed a determined grin as she turned to her left, taking the ball with her. Moving her hoof all the way to her back, she then threw the energy ball ahead of her. The ball flew and flew until it made a miniscule explosion in the distance.
“Heh, guess I can now do something without needing to be up-close and personal.”
“Indeed. Now, how about the energy beam?” asked the alicorn.
“Trying that out now!”
Taking a look at her left hoof again, Dash then pulled it back. Focusing her energy again, this time, she summoned up more energy to her hoof than she did with the ball, intending to unleash all of it.
“Heh, this is easier than I thought! Just focus your energy and let it out! Haaa!!”
She threw the hoof ahead, and as soon as she did, a rainbow-colored energy beam three times her size was shot out of her hoof, quickly flying into the distance. Twilight was knocked back a bit by the force emitted from the firing of the beam, causing her to almost fall back and over in the air with her wings flapping to try and keep her afloat.
“Whaaa! …oh, whoa…!”
Falling back and over, the alicorn slowly regained herself in the air with her wings slowing down. She looked ahead, surprised at Dash’s sudden huge beam.
“Well, that was a big one,” she said, blinking in surprise. “So much that it made me fall here.”
“…Whoa,” Dash said, looking surprised with her hoof still out. She then grinned. “That… that was even more awesome!”
Twilight smiled. “Well, at least we know you can easily do energy beams as well.”
The pegasus chuckled happily. “Yep!”
Still grinning, Dash brought her hooves to her face once more. Whereas she had to rely on her own body before for attacking, now she could use these new beams and balls to get back at her opponent as well. Her life couldn’t have been more awesome than this.
“Guess my battles from here on out are gonna get much easier with what I just learned here,” said Dash, facing her alicorn friend and smiling. “Thanks for showing me, Twilight.”
“Hey, what are friends for?” Twilight said, smiling. “Heh, no problem, Rainbow Dash. I just thought I could help, that’s all… and I guess I had to give something back for teaching me how to fly and all.”
“Ah… Hehe! Fair enough!”
Dash looked back at the area she was in. “Well, then…”
Looking ahead again, flying back a bit, she then put and crossed both of her hooves in front of her, her body leaning forward as well.
“…let’s kick it up a notch! And begin training for real! …Grrrrrrrr…!”
With that growl, Dash then swiftly moved her hooves down and strut her body forward, letting loose a loud scream to the sky that echoed across the landscape below. With that scream, the Super pony exploded with a massive amount of white particle energy that was coming from her, forming her usual white aura. Her spiked, flame-shaped mane and tail became their actual flaming forms, and her wings grew larger.
She quickly lowered her head from screaming to the sky and formed a determined grin on her face. Turning left, she then blasted off towards that direction, with her aura trailing from behind her.
“Do your best, Rainbow,” Twilight said, smiling and watching the white pegasus blast off.
Turning to where the rest of the friends were, the alicorn proceeded to fly and descend over to them. Reaching the cliff, she landed on all fours and sheathed her wings, turning around to watch Dash train.
“My word, did she really need to scream like that?” asked Rarity. “It seriously sounded like she was angry at somepony or something.”
“Well, sometimes, you need to let everything out if you want to get things done,” said Applejack, smiling. “Especially when you have all that power within.”
“Oh, there’s her flames and the big wings now,” said Sweetie Belle, smiling. “I think she looks pretty with her wings looking like that.”
“Man, those flames of hers…” Scootaloo said.
Up ahead, at a farther spot among the Falls, Dash resumed her punch and kick flurries, punching and kicking at a speed much greater than before, with the multiple hoof illusion looking blurrier. Her training continued, trying to push herself harder and harder as the hour went on.
Part 4: "Tirek's Emergence" / "The Cry of Harmony"
Sitting on a cloud like the pony she was with her lower hooves in, Dash, as her normal blue self, was looking onward to the distance ahead of her. The cloud she was on was floating above Ponyville, with the usual town sounds and various chatter going on below her.
She stared into the distance with a semi-puzzled expression on her face, wondering what was going on.
“What is this…? What am I feeling right now?” she wondered aloud, putting her hoof to her chest. “It feels like something is off-balance, and it’s coming from somewhere over there?”
Indeed, the pegasus felt like something was going to fall from its balance, like one side of a see-saw ride slowly descending towards the ground. Along with this, it also felt like this imbalance was being caused by something in the great distance ahead of her, past the hills and mountains. But where exactly? She wondered.
“Hm, weird… Just why am I feeling this right now?” she said, looking down.
Hearing Twilight’s voice from below, Dash leaned over to the side of the cloud and looked. She saw not only the princess herself, but also the rest of their friends, standing in the middle of an open street of the town.
“Yeah? What’s up, guys?”
“We have to get to Canterlot! Princess Celestia wants to see us immediately!” exclaimed Twilight.
Quickly standing and unfolding her wings, Dash jumped off the cloud, descending and stopping above the group with her wings flapping.
“Did she say why?”
“No, only that it’s urgent,” replied the alicorn. She then began to run off. “Come on! The sooner we get there, the sooner we know.”
With Twilight running off, the group followed her with haste, with Dash flying along.
“…So, if I’m gettin’ this right, we got a bad guy out there stealing magic from ponies and using them to make himself stronger?”
“I’m afraid that’s correct. And with each passing moment, he grows stronger still.”
The group of friends was now standing around a small, turquoise-colored roundtable that was situated in a large room in Canterlot’s castle, standing there with Princess Celestia at the north end of the table and looking at an open book in the center of it. A set of large, closed double doors were seen several feet behind the sun princess herself, with another large open doorway ahead of her that led to an outdoor balcony.
The group had just learned of the escaped centaur Tirek, how he came to Equestria with his brother Scorpan, and how the latter had betrayed him, letting the princesses banish him to Tartarus.
“How did Tirek escape from Tartarus, exactly?” asked Twilight, standing next to Celestia’s right and looking at the book. “Wasn’t there supposed to be a guard dog named Cerberus that was supposed to be keeping an eye on things?”
“As far as we know, Cerberus has not left his post there,” replied Celestia. “Tirek must have escaped without alerting him, somehow.”
“So if he’s out there to steal magic from everypony,” said Applejack. “Then…”
“It’s up to us to stop him,” said Twilight. She then smiled and looked over to Dash, who stood at the south end of the table. “Or rather…”
“It’s up to me to stop him. Right,” Dash nodded, with a semi-firm expression as she looked at the book. She then looked at Twilight. “…Wait, you’re deciding to leave this to me instead of using the Beam of Harmony?”
“Well…” The purple alicorn looked at the book again. “If this Tirek really is stealing magic from everypony for himself, then…”
“It is wiser to leave this up to you, Flame of Harmony,” said Celestia.
“Yeah. So that way, none of us will have to be caught by him if somethin’ goes haywire,” said Applejack, smiling at Dash. “I mean, as your Super self, you’re faster than anyone in Equestria. Faster than your normal self, even. Tirek will have a hard time tryin’ to catch you at that crazy speed.”
“Yeah, and extreeeeeeeeeeeeemely strong, too!” exclaimed Pinkie. “You’ll show him who’s boss in no time!”
The blue pegasus chuckled. “Yeah, okay, good points there. So then, how will I be able to find this guy before he steals all of our magic? Before he comes here, even?”
“I have my scouts searching for him in Equestria as we speak,” said the sun princess. Her eyes then turned downward, looking reluctant. “But I fear that I may have sent them straight towards him, and it may have been fruitless sending them on the search… Hm, if only… If we only had someone who could sense when there’s a magical imbalance, so that when the next time he steals magic, then we could track him down.”
“Magic sense? Oh, right, I forget that unicorns can do that,” said Applejack.
“Yes, but only within a limited radius. For some of us at least,” said Twilight. “And even then, our radius is very short.”
“…Magical imbalance…?” Dash wondered aloud. “…Wait a minute…!”
“Huh? What’s up, Rainbow?” asked Twilight.
“So that’s why I was feeling like something was off-balance earlier? That something was going to fall over? Because of Tirek?”
“…What? You can sense that there’s something wrong?”
“I guess so…!” Dash shrugged. “This weird feeling inside of me only started a few minutes before you came to get me, Twilight. Not only that, but I could also feel where this imbalance was coming from. And I still feel it even now, but… it seems like it’s pointing in a different direction now. Like…”
The pegasus turned around, looking at the balcony doorway.
“…south of here.”
“What? Where exactly south?” asked Celestia, looking a bit surprised.
“I… I don’t know. Just that it’s coming from this direction.”
Hearing her, Twilight and Celestia briefly looked at each other, then at Dash again.
“It must be your Harmonic energy that’s making you sense this!” exclaimed Twilight. “Transform, Rainbow. And try to focus where exactly it’s coming from!”
Hearing her, Dash formed a firm look on her face and nodded.
But before she could tap into her energy…
“I. Do not. Think so…”
“Huh? What…?” Dash looked around, hearing a mysterious, reptilian-sounding voice from out of nowhere.
“…Um, is it just me, or did anypony else hear a creepy-sounding voice just now?” asked Applejack, looking around with the rest of them.
“Was that Tirek?!” wondered Pinkie aloud.
A few feet ahead of Dash, something slowly began to rise up from the ground as they soon saw. Coming into full view and stopping a few feet in the air above, it was the mysterious beige-green sphere that had freed Tirek from his prison earlier.
“…Me? Tirek?” the sphere said. “No, I am not him. Rather, I am merely a friend of his… With such an association, you could see me as your enemy, yes.”
Seeing the sphere, Dash quickly stepped back, gritting her teeth at it.
“A friend, eh? Who are you? And are you the one who helped him escape?” she asked.
“Hm, such irrelevant questions. I will not bother answering them. What is relevant, however, is you there. The one called Rainbow Dash… So… you are the Flame of Harmony, I see. A legendary long-lost being with immense power. The power to restore peace to the world, correct?”
“Yeah, you’re looking at her, alright. Even though she’s not transformed yet, but is about to.”
“I know what your form looks like, thanks to the event of you defeating the Spirit of Chaos. And with that, hm… you’re just like him, I see. Down to the same fur and eye color.”
“Huh? Just like him? Who?”
“Someone who I have been keeping my eye on for many years now, ever since I destroyed his home… But as to the nature of his identity, well, that is irrelevant… Well, then, I see that you’re about to search for Tirek. Confront him and stop him while he is still growing in power. Do you not think that is a little unfair?”
“Sure, it is… to you bad guys, that is,” said Dash. She then lowered her head close to the ground, giving off a bull-like appearance from her. “Now move aside, whoever you are, and let me find him.”
“…As much as you want me to, unfortunately, I cannot.”
The floating, swirling sphere began to glow bright beige-green. Upon seeing this, Dash quickly tapped into her energy, causing her mane and tail to shoot upward.
“For I will not have the opportunity to see what you are truly capable of,” the sphere said.
“What? What do you--- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!”
Without warning, the glowing sphere suddenly shot out large, multiple bolts of green electricity at Dash, electrocuting her on contact and causing her to scream towards the ceiling with great pain coursing through her shaking body. After three seconds, the bolts stopped, and the pegasus fell over to the side with her eyes closed, seemingly looking unconscious.
“Rainbow!” yelped Twilight, running off to her.
The group and the sun princess swiftly ran over to her and stopped.
“Oh my word! Rainbow, are you alright, dear?!” Rarity called.
“…No, no, no, no, no…!” Twilight exclaimed, looking frantic and worried. “This can’t be…”
“…She’s not… Is she?!” asked Applejack, with a shockingly worried look on her face.
“…If you believe she is dead, she is not. I have merely made her unconscious,” said the now-dimmed sphere. “She will wake in time... and then the test will truly begin.”
The sphere began to float back a few feet, then it stopped there.
“Until then, here is a warning. Do not interfere with Tirek while he is still at insufficient power. Or else I will force you to meet your early end. Let him grow. Let him reach his desired state. Only then will you be allowed to go against him. Even then, I doubt any of you other than Rainbow herself will be able to defeat him… Farewell for now.”
With that last warning, the sphere then descended into the ground, going into it and disappearing afterward.
“…A test? To see what she’s truly capable of?” wondered Twilight aloud, looking at the unconscious Dash. “What did he mean by that?”
“Whoever that guy was, it sounded like he wanted to pit her against Tirek when he’s absorbed all of our magic,” said Applejack.
“Oh dear, so much for catching the brute while he is still weak,” said Rarity, looking very worried. “What are we going to do until she’s awake? Are we… are we just going to let him absorb everypony’s magic?”
“…I’m afraid we have no choice but to let him for now,” said Celestia, with a worried frown. “Sending anypony against him at this point, again, will only lose their magic. And once Tirek has absorbed the magic of all the earth ponies, unicorns, and pegasi, it is likely that he’ll go after our own alicorn magic next, which will make him nearly unstoppable to us. Therefore… I must resort to this.”
“What? What are you going to do, Princess Celestia?” asked Twilight, looking at her mentor.
“I will call upon both Princess Cadence and Princess Luna to gather here. Before Tirek has the chance to steal it from us, we must rid ourselves of our magic.”
Hearing this, everypony gasped at once.
“Say what now?!” asked Applejack, surprised.
“Are you serious?!” asked Rarity.
“B-b-b-b-b-b-but isn’t that the same thing as giving Tirek your magic, which will lead to a world full of hopelessness and stuff?!” asked Pinkie, speaking quickly with her eyes wide open.
“You misunderstand. We cannot just erase it into thin air,” said the sun princess. “To do so would, yes, lead to the same result. Rather, we must keep it in the hooves of somepony else. And that somepony is you, Twilight.”
“…What? But why me?” the purple alicorn asked.
“Unless his new assistant tells him, I do not believe Tirek knows that there’s a fourth alicorn princess in Equestria,” replied the white alicorn, looking at her. “And even if he does eventually know and he arrives here, he will not find you and our magic here, regardless. For you shall be hiding away from him. You, and her.”
She looked down at the unconscious Dash.
“This is what I am asking of you, my faithful student. Until she wakes up and regains her strength, you, her, and the rest of you must be hiding away from Tirek. You must not allow him to reach our magic or her while she is still unconscious, or else Equestria will truly be lost to him.
“Do you understand this, Twilight?” she asked, looking at her.
“Yes... It’s just… I'm only now learning how to control my own alicorn magic,” replied Twilight, her eyes downcast and looking reluctant. “To take on even more…”
“We understand you loud and clear, Princess Celestia. We’ll hide both of them as best as we can,” said Applejack, with a confident smile. She looked at Twilight. “Twilight, before this whole ‘Flame of Harmony’ business started last month, you were the Element of Magic. Have you forgotten about that already? I mean, if there is anypony who can do this, it’s you.”
“I haven’t, Applejack. It’s just that taking on this task will be one of the most difficult things I’ll ever do… But, with the help of my friends here,” Twilight said, looking at each of her friends and smiling. “There’s no doubt I’ll get through this.”
Her friends nodded and smiled at her.
“We’re with you, Twilight,” said the orange pony.
“It’s settled, then,” nodded Celestia. “I will call upon them, and then, we can begin at once.”
Slowly coming out of the darkness she was seemingly briefly in, Dash slowly opened her eyes. Blinking them for a few seconds and with the blur in her sight going away, she began to see what appeared to be a wooden ceiling. Regaining the nerves and sensations of her body at a slow rate, she soon recognized that she was lying her back down on a soft, comforting bed, with a blanket on top of her.
“Oh, man… Talk about almost being shocked to death. Ugh… Where am I?”
She moved her head left and right, trying to see where she was.
Indeed, she was, noticing the book shelves and the wooden walls all around. She was upstairs in Twilight’s own bed, she noticed, noticing the open window to her left.
Dash soon sat up, letting the blanket off of her. She sighed, looking down and brushing her mane with her hoof.
“Whoever that… thing was, he’s gonna get it the next time we meet,” she said. She then looked over at the stairway to her right. “I wonder where everypony is? Hope they’re alright…”
Kicking off the blanket, the pegasus moved off the bed and over to the side, standing on all fours. She walked over to the stairway and began stepping down, groaning as she did with her body still waking up.
Walking down the corridor and exiting it, still on the stairway, the sight of the library’s main room soon came into view. What she saw here had suddenly shocked her, causing her to gasp.
Spread and scattered all over the room were four of her friends, lying on the ground in various positions and appearing to be weak and helpless. Their own cutie marks were missing, and their eyes appeared to be faded.
Seeing them, the blue pegasus swiftly ran down the stairs, going towards Applejack in the center and stopping in front of her.
“Oh… R-Rainbow Dash, you’re awake… finally,” said the orange pony, lying down on her side and looking up at the pegasus with a very tired expression.
“What happened to you guys?! Did Tirek do this to you?!” asked Dash, looking very worried. She then looked around. “And where’s Twilight? Was she here with you?”
“Eeyup... After that thing knocked you out, we were told by Princess Celestia to hide all of us away from Tirek, with Twilight keeping the princesses’ magic safe within her. Twilight decided to hide us here in the library so that he wouldn’t find any of us here. But apparently, Tirek knew we were hiding and he went after us anyway.”
“With you still unconscious,” said Rarity, lying on her front, near the front door. “We decided to distract him away from the library. Twilight didn’t want us to do that, but we had to, just to protect her and you.”
“We couldn’t keep up the distraction for long, though, and so he ended up absorbin’ our magic,” continued the orange pony. “When we barely got back here, well… Twilight decided to take matters into her own hooves and decided to fight Tirek head-on with the magic she’s got. If only to stall for time until you wake up, she said.”
“…I see,” Dash said, looking away with her eyes downcast.
“…Gosh… I feel so tired like this,” said Pinkie, lying on her back, near the bookshelf.
“I never realized how connected we were with our own magic,” said Fluttershy, also lying on her side, near the window. “I feel so… drained like this.”
“…Rainbow… You are now everypony’s last hope,” said Applejack. “Go out there and beat him…! Or else…”
“…Equestria will fall to him. I know,” Dash said, calmly.
Turning towards the open window, she formed a very determined look on her face as she unfolded her wings and lowered herself into a stance.
“I won’t let him do that.”
Dash jumped and took off, flying towards the window and exiting out of the library.
“Finally couldn’t take much more from me, huh? Well, I admit that you caused me quite the pain from your attacks there.”
The purple alicorn, Twilight, was lying there in the middle of an open grassy area that was semi-surrounded by mountains and small trees, lying on her side in the grass with her body looking bruised and battered. Ahead of her stood the smiling centaur Tirek, who had grown to a massive, hulking, muscular size, being the same height as the tower in Ponyville. His white beard, black hair, and top white hair had grown longer, with the white hair being slicked back. His skin color became red, and he grew a pair of massive grey horns from the sides of his head, sloping upward to their sharp tips.
Along with the surrounding rocky destruction around them that was full of landslides and craters, the sky above was a reddish-orange color.
Tirek chuckled. “Seems like the magic of every single earth pony, unicorn, and pegasus that I took from has served me well against you and the alicorn magic that you hold. What a futile attempt trying to stop me with it.”
With his eyes on Twilight, the centaur moved and aimed his right hand towards her. Glowing a yellow outline around him, a great ball of swirling orange and yellow energy appeared in-between his long horns as he tapped into his energy.
“Now, it’s time to get what I came for.”
With his hand aimed at her, the purple alicorn began to glow the same colored outline as him. He then lifted her up into the air and brought her close to his face, floating in a quadrupedal position.
She groaned in pain, with her left eye shut and her teeth gritted. “…ugh… You will never prevail, Tirek.”
“Oh, but I just did, didn’t I?” said Tirek. “This world of yours is already mine to rule. I just have to do this first before securing my rightful place as your supreme lord.”
Closing his eyes, Tirek slowly opened his mouth. The alicorn grunted as he did, feeling that her magic was swiftly being drained from her body. Her horn glowed, and soon, a mixture of white, blue, pink, and purple-colored, raw magic energy was seen exiting from her horn, going straight into the centaur’s mouth.
A second after he closed his mouth and ate the energy, Tirek quickly felt a great surge of energy within him, causing him to grit his teeth with wide open eyes as the energy rushed through his body. Feeling the impulse, he quickly threw Twilight away with the swing of his arm, sending her far away from him.
After flying helplessly in the air for several feet, she soon began to descend towards the ground. Just before she hit the ground, though…
From the alicorn’s right, Dash flew in and caught her with her hooves. Flapping her wings quickly, she slowed herself down and hovered just above the ground.
“I got you, Twilight. Are you… oh no.”
Seeing that the alicorn’s own cutie mark was missing as well as her eyes looking faded, Dash knew in an instant that she was already too late.
“…ugh… Rainbow,” groaned Twilight, looking at her with a very weak look and a wrinkle near her eye. “S-save… Equestria… Please…!”
Hearing Tirek scream from behind, Dash looked back.
Screaming to the sky with his fists clenched, the hulking giant centaur had suddenly grown to a very huge size, now literally towering over the land and causing Dash to look at him with wide open eyes. He continued to glow the yellow outline around him, with black-colored electricity crackling around his body.
Ceasing his scream, the now-humongous Tirek looked down at his own hands that he brought up, feeling his newly-obtained power as well as noticing how huge he had become.
He chuckled and grinned. “Incredible… I can’t believe how much power I have now.”
Lowering his hands, he gazed all over his surroundings, then he looked ahead.
“Little ponies of Equestria!” he shouted, his voice echoing all over the land. “I have now stolen all of the magic that was once yours! Powerless I have made you, you shall now bow down to the will of Lord Tirek! Bow down to your supreme ruler!!”
With a shocked look still on her face, seeing him, Dash then formed a cold look of determination.
“Go get him, Rainbow,” said Twilight.
“Yeah. But what about you, Twilight?” Dash asked, looking at her. “I can’t just leave you here while I fight him.”
“I… still got a tiny bit of energy left within me. It’s a risk, but I will use it to teleport myself back to the library.”
“You think you can make it back there?”
“Like I said, it’s a risk… But I have to try…!”
Tirek chuckled, looking down. “And what better way to reinforce this rule than to destroy everything that you have built!”
Lifting up his upper right hoof, the centaur then proceeded to slam it against the ground with great force. On impact, huge chunks of rock “splashed” out of the ground around the hoof itself, with some of them going high in the air above, and the entire area began to quake wildly. Everything shook to a hard degree, causing some of the mountains to crumble on themselves and causing huge cracks to form and spread all over the landscape.
One of these cracks went straight to the hovering Dash, making her notice it below.
“Yikes!” she exclaimed, surprised at it.
Twilight grunted with her eyes closed, trying to quickly concentrate and reach for the tiny bit of the energy left within her.
“If you’re gonna teleport out of here,” Dash said. “Do it now!”
The crack below them was swiftly spreading itself apart as the pegasus saw, growing wider with each passing second. She then looked back and up, seeing something in the air that was coming straight at her.
At that moment, Twilight’s horn finally began to glow, albeit faintly.
“Got it!” she exclaimed.
In the split-second after, the purple alicorn suddenly “popped” out of existence with a brief bright glow. As its shadow loomed over Dash, a large boulder thrice her size was swiftly nearing her.
Dash noticed that Twilight was now gone, but as she tried to turn around, the large boulder hit and knocked her straight into the wide opening crack below her. A minor explosion of dust had occurred, breaking both the boulder and several parts of the earth from the crack into several smaller pieces that went toward her. The pieces were building up on top of her and continued to pile up until the red-orange sky above became completely obscured from view.
The quakes everywhere had soon ceased. Having been knocked out by the boulder, Dash stayed there several feet underground, her body trapped and squeezed by the sudden cave-in.
Several seconds later, she twitched a bit, and then she suddenly awoke.
“…ah! Ugh… What? I can’t see anything in here!”
The pegasus saw nothing but complete darkness around her. As she then tried to move her body around, she noticed she was completely trapped by the tight rocks around her. She couldn’t move anything but her head, which had some space around.
“Agh…! Am I trapped underground or something? It feels like it! I must get out of here, then!”
Just then, she began to hear Tirek’s roaring voice again.
“Well, isn’t this glorious! Just one footstomp of mine has already crumbled your mountains and decimated your precious landscape… Alright, then, I’ll just keep doing this until nothing of yours is left standing! And only after your destruction will I remake this world in my own image!”
Destruction. Hearing that word, Dash recalled in an instant the moment when she was back in the Lane of Destiny and saw the vision of a ruined Equestria that was condemned to an eternal winter. Could that be the result of not doing anything and letting Tirek continue on? Could Tirek even be the darkness that she was warned about?
…Darkness or not, she thought, she simply couldn’t let it go like this. Not while she was simply still alive, and not while the fire of Harmony was still burning bright within her.
Looking down in this darkness, Dash tried once more to get herself out of this underground trap, trying to pull her upper hooves out of these “shackles.” But again, she couldn’t move anything at all.
Thus, she had no choice in the end but to brighten the fire inside.
Dash lowered her head, closed her eyes, and gritted her teeth.
“…Grrr… stop... destroying… everything… I won’t let you… I will not let you…! Grrrrrrr…!“
As she clenched her teeth more and more, as well as her face becoming more and more angry-looking, her body began to shake at a violent rate.
Then, opening her eyes widely, she screamed with her head going all over the place and then going upward:
With that rageful scream and her eyes disappearing, an army of white particles had exploded out of her, turning her coat to white in an instant with her mane and tail turning into rainbow fire. At the instant of her transformation, she broke out of her trap, disintegrating the rocks into pieces. As she broke out and at the end of her scream, Dash immediately blasted herself upward with her furiously large aura trailing behind her, drilling herself into the earth above. With her rage, she started another scream as she continued to drill her way back up to the surface, going all over the place as she did. Her eyes were wide open and her now-visible, red-irised pupils were shrunk halfway as she continued to scream.
Back on the surface, Tirek began to hear her scream.
Seeing a burst of light coming from the ground ahead of him, the ground then began to burst itself upward. Among the exploding dirt was the angry white pegasus herself, having stopped her scream as she then soared to the sky. Stopping to the same height as Tirek’s neck, she turned around and faced him, floating there in a quadrupedal position with a frowning firm look on her face. Along with her particle aura, her wings were their large size, and her Loyalty necklace was on her.
“Twilight? …Wait, no… Your mark is different,” said Tirek, looking at Dash’s storm grey cutie mark. “And I’ve seen it before… You’re one of her friends, aren’t you? Not to mention… that you seem to have two different appearances…”
“So you’ve seen the stained glass stuff at Canterlot, huh?”
“Yeah, when I came to rob the princesses of their magic, only to find that they’ve cleverly hidden it away within a fourth alicorn princess. But that magic is mine now, as you can see… That mural of you in your current white form there, by the way. That was Discord at the top, was it not? I’ve always looked at him as a legend and as a potential partner, being one with Chaos itself.”
“Yeah, that was him. He was the trigger to me discovering my true destiny. My destiny to become the Flame of Harmony.”
“…’Flame of Harmony.’ Hm, that explains your form here.”
Dash took a “step” back in the air.
“Yeah, I’m friends with Twilight. My name is Rainbow Dash. But in my Flame of Harmony form, you can call me…”
Pulling her right hoof back, she went into a ready stance.
“Super Dash. Super Rainbow Dash.”
Final: "The Great Battle" / "The Destroyer of Worlds"
Just a few minutes ago, this was a place full of tranquility and peacefulness, with a blue sky, tall-standing mountains, and an open grassy landscape with scattered trees all over. Now, it was nothing but a wasteland of destruction. An orange-red color had overtaken the once-blue sky, the mountains had crumbled down from their mighty stature, and the landscape had been torn apart with cracks and chasms throughout.
At the center of all the destruction, there stood its cause. The gigantic, 500-foot-tall, hulking centaur, Tirek, stood there, looking down at the only thing that was in his way: the Flame of Harmony herself.
The centaur smiled and chuckled at her, who floated at the same height as his neck and was in a fighting stance.
“Just when I thought that I took everything you little ponies hold dearly. Every single ounce of magic that was once yours,” he said. “Well… it turns out that I’ve missed some.”
Dash floated there, saying nothing in response with a determined frown on her face.
“So you call yourself Super Dash, huh? Well, Super or not, you are still a tiny little pegasus who is about to get utterly crushed by this mighty hand of mine,” Tirek said, bringing up his right hand and clenching it. “The hand of a true ruler who has absorbed the magic of every single earth pony, pegasus, unicorn, and now alicorn as well. You may have defeated the legendary Discord, but with this magic, I aim to surpass his legend!”
With his clenched fist, he turned it upside down and pulled it all the way back, intending to hit her with it.
“And what better way to do this than to destroy his vanquisher?! You, who holds the last ounce of pegasus magic that I need!”
The centaur swung his gigantic fist at Dash. Seeing it coming, she swung her hoof right at the incoming fist. Heading towards each other, both the hoof and the fist clashed on impact, creating a fierce shockwave that quickly spread outward to their surroundings. The already-crumbled mountains moved a bit, the chasms cracked further apart to a slight degree, and the particles of Dash’s aura moved away from her, with the aura resuming its upward direction a second after.
Seeing that the pegasus’ own punch had stopped his, Tirek became surprised. His fist felt like it had hit a very small, but very tough rock that somehow stopped his hand’s gigantic size.
“I don’t think you know what really powers me here, Tirek,” Dash said, not showing a sign of flinching. “It’s not pegasus magic at all. Ever hear of the Elements of Harmony?”
“Elements of Harmony…?”
“Yeah. They are Equestria’s most powerful magic. Way more powerful than alicorn magic, as you’re seeing right now. There are six of these Elements, and when all of their energy is combined at once, they form the Soul of Harmony. And as I’ve discovered myself…”
Dash gritted her teeth.
“…I hold it right here inside of me. I am the Soul of Harmony!”
With her hoof still on the centaur’s fist, Dash quickly let go and flapped her wings down, boosting her upward. Immediately, she flapped her wings back, boosting her towards Tirek’s face. Nearing his face with her right hoof pulled back, she then swung it at him, launching a huge, forceful punch that knocked his head to the side and caused his entire body to be thrown backward. Tirek grunted loudly as he was thrown back in the air, flying several feet back. Then, a second later, all of his hooves landed on the ground, skidding backwards and creating trenches on the ground as he tried to halt himself with his head looking down.
The centaur soon came to a halt. A second later, he slowly stood up straight and lifted his head up, frowning as he then touched his left cheek, feeling a lot of throbbing pain there.
“…Well… How surprising,” he said, caressing his painful cheek. “To think that there is magic that matches the power of all those I’ve absorbed. Magic that still gives me pain despite my towering size.”
Lowering his hand, Tirek then smiled wickedly at Dash.
“Well, it should give me a rather great feeling once I’ve stolen it from you, Rainbow Dash. The Flame and Soul of Harmony, if that is your full title there.”
“It is. Come on, then!” exclaimed Dash, entering her fighting stance again. “I can guarantee you won’t steal it from me!”
Tirek chuckled. “We shall see about that!”
With his smile fading the second after, the centaur then began to run off towards her, with a step taken every single second. With each wide and massive step he took, the ground and the area quaked constantly as he ran. Nearing her, Tirek pulled his right fist back again and swung it at Dash. Flapping her wings to her right, she dodged the fist as it went past her right. Seeing the miss, Tirek then swung his left fist at her quickly afterward, only for Dash to dodge it by flapping her wings to her left.
The centaur continued to swing his fists at the white pegasus, grunting as he did. But no matter how long he continued, he couldn’t hit her at all due to her constant dodging. As she dodged and dodged, Dash soon noticed something about him.
“Gee, seems like you’re a little too slow to hit me here,” she said, dodging another fist. “I wonder if it has anything to do with, I dunno… your huge size, maybe?”
Tirek grunted frustratingly in response. To Dash and her increased reflexes and perception, it seemed like the centaur was moving at a snail’s pace here.
“Stop dodging, you little…!” exclaimed Tirek, gritting his teeth in annoyance.
After some more dodges and attempted hits, Dash stopped in one place and allowed his fist to come at her. She swung her hoof at it, stopping it again and creating another environmental shockwave upon the clash.
Surprising him again, Tirek pulled his fist back. Quickly putting both of his hands together, he then raised them up high and swung it down right on top of Dash like a hammer. Noticing it, she simply raised her hoof above her. Again, both the hoof and the combined fists clashed upon each other, making yet another shockwave that shook their surroundings.
Struggling a lot, the centaur growled at this, frustrated and annoyed that he couldn’t simply just swat the pony away like a fly. With her hoof still holding his hands up, Dash calmly remained there with a firm look on her face.
“Even if I don’t dodge, it looks like I’m still strong enough to block your attacks,” she said. “You think you’re all powerful with the magic you’ve stolen from us, huh? Well, I think you need a wake-up call!”
Tossing the combined fist upward, the pegasus then flapped her wings back, blasting her off towards Tirek’s torso and letting his hands drop. Upon reaching his torso, she began a flurry of hard, but fast-hitting punches and kicks at the midpoint of it, appearing as if she had an army of hooves attacking him. With each hard hit literally digging into his gut and spreading massive pain all over, Tirek’s face almost looked like he was trying to blow a whistle, with his black sclera eyes bulging outward.
She finished her flurry with a hard, heavy punch, knocking Tirek’s massive body away. Before the centaur could even regain himself, Dash quickly blasted off, flying to his left. She spun around and kicked him, knocking him to his right. Still, she wasn’t done yet, as she flew to underneath him, flipped herself upward, and did a vertical spin kick, launching him upward to the sky and causing his backside to face the ground.
Following him up and stopping above him, Dash then went to the centaur’s gut and launched another flurry of fast forceful hits with her upper hooves alone, dealing the gigantic tyrant another round of excruciating pain. She closed the flurry with another huge punch, knocking the centaur back down to the ground.
Tirek landed roughly on his back, causing a quake that was stronger in magnitude than his earlier foot stomp. Massive amounts of earth and dust rushed upward on impact, surrounding Tirek in their wake. More and more cracks appeared across the land, breaking it apart into several islands of varying height and width. The mountains around them now cracked apart, crumbling even further until they were nearly nothing.
Soon, the massive quakes ceased. A huge cloud of dust remained, concealing the land entirely until the dust began to fade away. A massive crater then appeared, with the downed Tirek lying in the dead center of it.
“…Oh man,” Dash said, looking a bit worried, seeing the destruction that happened as a result of battling her giant foe. “Wish I’d gotten to him sooner before he absorbed the alicorn magic and grew into this gigantic freak.”
After looking around, Dash then resumed her look of determination towards Tirek.
“Hm, no use in worrying about it. If Harmony can restore Discord’s crazy checkered hills and stuff, then it can restore this place as well. Just gotta defeat this guy first.”
Groaning, Tirek began to get back up, sitting up from the crater and holding the side of his head with his left. Pain coursed throughout his body, most notably the spots where Dash attacked him. He shook his head to ward off the pain, looking at the white pegasus with an angry, teeth-gritting look on his face.
“Ugh… It appears I’ve underestimated your power there, as I thought it matched mine,” he said. “Not only are you nimble, but you have brute strength that far surpasses mine. And yet you are just a tiny little pony that houses all of that. Is the power of Harmony really that versatile, able to fit a small body such as yours?”
“I guess,” Dash replied. “What? You think growing into a giant size has made you invincible? Well, guess what? Size isn’t exactly everything, Tirek.”
“So it seems. Perhaps I’ve overestimated my own physical abilities… But…”
The centaur began to smile and chuckle.
“…while it seems that this is the case, perhaps I cannot say the same for directly using the magic energy I wield…”
Suddenly, Tirek’s body began to glow the yellow outline from before, with dark electricity crackling around his horns. The great ball of swirling orange and yellow energy then appeared between his horns.
Moving his arms up and swiftly down, looking like he was flexing his great muscles, the centaur’s giant ball of energy then shot out a huge energy beam right at Dash above, having the same size and colors as the ball it came from. The beam was coming toward her at a speed that caught her off guard.
“What the--- Aaaaagh!!”
The beam hit and exploded on her, knocking her way back and up toward the sky with smoke reeling off her body. She stopped herself and regained her position in the air, with her eyes shut tight and her teeth clenched as she felt burning pain all over her.
Groaning, she then opened her eyes, looking angrily at the wickedly-grinning Tirek.
“That was surprising! So you can wield unicorn magic as well, huh? I thought absorbing it only made your strength increase.”
“Of course, I can. And it was thanks to this magic that I was able to defeat your friend Twilight,” said Tirek, proceeding to stand up from the crater. “She was a formidable foe, by the way, using all of the princesses’ magic against me. At first I thought we were at an impasse, with neither of us showing signs of defeat. But then, my pure determination to rule these lands had pushed me further, and thus, I was able to defeat her and absorb her before you showed up.
‘From your earlier screams of rage when you broke out of the underground like that, it seems that you are very much filled with the same amount of determination as me,” continued the centaur, standing there now. “Well… let us find out whose determination is stronger, then, shall we?”
“Oh, I’m very much filled with it, alright. I’m determined to save the world from you! And guess what, Tirek? You’re not the only one who can directly wield magic energy like that.”
Dash pulled her right hoof back.
“Hm…?” Tirek’s grin faded away as he heard her and saw her hoof.
“You’ll learn that I can, too! Eat thiiiis!!!”
With that yell, Dash threw her hoof forward at the centaur. A sudden burst of rainbow-gradient energy shot out of it, letting loose a rainbow energy beam that was the size of the centaur’s own face.
In the second before the beam reached him, Tirek quickly shielded himself with his own muscular arms, forming an “X” in front of him. The beam hit and exploded on him, knocking him back and causing him to slide out of the crater and create a long trench line as he went back. As he stopped to a halt and with the smoke reeling away from his arms, he looked ahead with an angry expression as the pegasus descended from the sky and stopped straight ahead of him.
“So you can as well, I see,” said Tirek. “Very well. Let us continue, then!”
Throwing his head back and then swiftly forth, Tirek shot out another energy beam at her. Seeing it coming this time, Dash flapped her wings to the left, dodging the beam by nearly an inch. Unlike the centaur’s punches earlier, she noticed, his energy beams seem to be way faster, nearly matching with her own speed. Gotta be faster than that, she thought to herself.
In the second after she dodged the beam, the pegasus pulled her hoof back again. But before she could fire her counterattack, Tirek immediately fired another beam at her without warning.
She flapped her wings to the right, trying to dodge the beam again. In the middle of her movement, however, the beam caught half of her right wing and engulfed it for a quick second, damaging it before it exited the beam and causing her to feel a sudden rush of great burning pain.
With a teeth-gritting, painful look on her face again, Dash floated there and winced at her right wing, holding the top of it with her left hoof. Smoke trails were emitting upward from her wing as she continued to feel the pain.
Tirek chuckled. “Seems like I’ve matched your speed at last. Oh, what’s the matter? Did I hurt your little wing?”
Dash growled, gazing angrily at Tirek. “It’s gonna take you more than that to bring me down!!”
Swiftly throwing her hoof back and then forward, Dash quickly shot out another energy beam at a greater speed than before.
Surprised at the rainbow beam’s faster speed this time, Tirek tried to shield himself with his arms again. But it was too late, as the beam quickly reached his face and exploded, knocking the centaur back and down. He fell to the ground while flying back, sliding once again on the ground and creating more trench lines with the back side of his body.
Lying there for a second, the centaur then opened his eyes. He shook his head a few times, warding off the burning pain that was just inflicted on his face. He then growled, proceeding to sit and stand up from the ground.
“If you think I’m gonna let you fire another beam at me, you thought wrong!” exclaimed Dash, turning both of her hooves upward and forming a pair of rainbow energy balls above them. “’Cause I won’t let yoooou!!!”
The pegasus began to throw the balls at the centaur. Immediately afterward, she formed another pair and quickly threw them as well. She continued on throwing more and more energy balls at an increasingly faster pace. Faster and faster she threw, until it looked like she had multiple hooves throwing an armada of these balls, with the rate of fire being that of a machine gun.
Hearing her yell and seeing the balls coming, Tirek once again shielded himself as quickly as he could. The armada of balls began to hit him, exploding on his arms and creating a cloud of smoke that increased as they continued to hit him.
With Dash yelping constantly as she continued to fire, her barrage continued on, not showing a sign of letting up. Tirek began to slide back again at a slow pace as this went on, with the cloud of smoke becoming bigger and bigger with each passing second.
Soon, he felt his own arms weakening due to the constant barrage, realizing that if he continued his guard up like this, he would be openly exposed to the attacks. Growing frustrated, Tirek began to growl, glowing the yellow outline around him once more.
Quickly moving his arms away, the centaur fired another energy beam from his horns in an instant, this time in a much larger size than before and at a speed that was faster. The beam quickly negated Dash’s energy balls as it then came straight at her.
Before she could even think of dodging it, the huge beam swiftly came for and hit her, causing a major explosion that knocked her far back. Farther than when she was hit before.
“If you can be relentless like that against me,” said Tirek, still glowing yellow. “Then so can I!”
As Dash began to fall downward, Tirek threw his head back and then forward, unleashing his own armada of energy balls from the big one in his horns and firing them at the same machine gun-like speed.
Falling downward a bit and then quickly flipping herself over to regain in the air, the pegasus then saw the incoming volley of energy balls.
As the volley reached her, she began to flap her wings right, up, left, and down, trying to dodge as fast as she could. She continued to dodge the balls with some of them nearly hitting her, until she suffered an explosion that knocked her slightly back. With her guard almost down, she quickly put it back up by shielding herself with her hooves, allowing the balls to hit and explode on her.
With Dash now guarding herself, Tirek continued to fire upon her with smoke building up on her. Several seconds later, however, Tirek noticed that she was seemingly putting up a longer-lasting defense than he did, with no sign of weakening anytime soon.
This one’s body is tougher than mine, it seems, Tirek thought. Ah, wait a minute here….
As he looked upon the smoke building around Dash, the centaur then suddenly got an idea, causing him to smirk. He continued to fire upon the pegasus until the smoke cloud around her was thick enough. He ceased his fire, and with him tensing up all of his legs, he then began to jump high up and into the air.
Dash noticed that the firing had stopped. She moved her hooves away and looked onward as the smoke around her dissipated.
“Huh?! Where in the hay did he go?!’
She looked around, only to notice a giant shadow looming over her from above, causing her to gasp.
Almost immediately without having a chance to guard against it, she was met with a double-fisted, downward pound attack from the centaur above, who descended and swung the double fist down on her. Unlike the last time he tried this attack, this time, it came through, forcing Dash down as the double fist then impacted the already cracked ground. Dust and debris blew upward as the ground was further destroyed, with a sudden, even bigger quake rumbling across the land from the point of the impact.
As the quake and dust ceased, Tirek stood there in a bent-over position, with his hands deep into the crater that had been formed underneath. He grinned, knowing that he finally had the pony subdued with his own strength.
He stood up and lifted his hands, now looking downward at the seemingly unconscious pegasus. Her flames had died down, back to her spiked mane, and her aura was gone.
Tirek chuckled. “Well, it seems that the rest of your body isn’t quite as strong as your hooves there. You were merely keeping your guard up when I tried to hit you several times earlier… You are wrong, Rainbow Dash. It seems that size is everything after all!”
Raising his upper left hoof and moving it above Dash, the centaur then swung it down, stomping on the little pegasus with the weight of his hoof. Grinning wickedly, he stomped and stomped and stomped on her, digging deeper into the earth and expanding the crater’s size. After one last stomp, glowing the yellow outline with the large ball of energy between his horns again, he aimed his hand at Dash, whose body appeared to be heavily bruised now.
Using telekinesis with the pegasus glowing the same yellow outline around her, Tirek levitated her upward and close to his face, bringing his hand with her as well.
“Guarantee that I won’t steal it from you. Ha! What a pointless bluff,” said Tirek, smiling at the floating unconscious pony whose head and hooves were all drooping downward. “I must admit, though. You gave me a much harder time than Twilight ever did. If I hadn’t stolen her magic, then you would have, indeed, finished me off in a short time. Now, it is time I drain you of the last pegasus magic in this world, as well as the Harmonic energy that powers your form here. With it, I should really become unstoppable this time!”
Closing his eyes, he slowly opened his mouth, expecting to absorb Dash’s energy into him. But after a few seconds, nothing came.
Opening his right eye to look, he noticed that Dash was still there, drooping downward. His draining spell was active, he felt. So why wasn’t he draining her yet? He thought.
Closing his eye, he then tried harder, opening his mouth to its widest. But after a few more seconds, nothing still came out of her yet, despite him strengthening his draining spell.
After waiting a bit longer, Tirek opened his eyes and formed an angry, gritted-teeth expression.
“Grr…! What is going on? Why isn’t your energy going out of you yet?!”
“…ha ha ha ha ha…”
“What…?!” Tirek heard her chuckling.
Moving her head up to look at him, Dash was smiling with her left eye closed.
“Seems like you can’t drain my energy after all,” she said. “When I said that I have the Soul of Harmony, what I really meant was that the energy of Harmony has merged with my own soul. And having a soul means you’re alive. Without it, I may as well be dead. Or alive, but without the ability to feel anything, as I’ve learned from my friend, Twilight. Either one…
“So it looks like you can’t drain my energy because it’s locked there inside of me with my own soul,” she continued. “If you really want my energy that badly, you’re gonna have to kill me. And even then, that isn’t a surefire guarantee because a soul goes away once someone dies. So tough luck for you, Tirek.”
The centaur growled again. “So that’s how it is, huh? And it seems like I have only knocked you out temporarily, despite making sure that you stayed unconscious.”
“Yeah, you did get the jump on me, alright. But no matter what you did, it wasn’t enough to keep me knocked out,” Dash said, chuckling again.
“…Ergh… So be it. I’m no longer interested in your energy… I just want you dead now!”
With his yellow outline and ball of energy still active, Tirek moved his hand away, taking Dash along, and threw it forward, throwing the pegasus away.
Dash flew back until she stopped and did a complete backflip in the air, regaining herself. She looked ahead and smiled.
“You said you wanted to see whose determination is stronger, right?” she asked. “Well, what you just saw a minute or two ago wasn’t really me at my best.”
“Huh? You mean…?”
“Yep! I have been holding back this entire time! And now, seeing what you can do with those energy attacks against me, hurting me with them and all, well…”
Dash brought both of her hooves up and faced them upward, with her smile turning into a frown.
“…I’d be an idiot if I didn’t use more of my power here to win!”
With that exclamation, Dash swiftly crossed her hooves in front of her, forming the letter, “X,” again. A second later, her body exploded with her white particle aura resuming around her again, and her spiked rainbow mane and tail resumed their flaming forms. Whilst powering up, she began to growl for a few seconds, growling louder and louder as her power continued to increase. Her hooves began to feel stronger and harder, and her overall body became lighter.
“You’re about to find out what I’m really like, Tirek!” she exclaimed with a growling tone, her aura speeding up at a faster rate. “This is me when I’m really serious! This is me when I’m pushed far enough!”
Tirek watched on with a curious look, wondering what her full might was going to be.
Still growling ever louder, Dash’s entire body began to shake wildly, quaking with her power coursing through her. Reaching the point where her power was at a high level, Dash then moved her hooves swiftly downward and away, creating a bigger explosion of her white particle energy. With the explosion, both of her aura and rainbow flames became even larger than before.
“And you won’t like me when I’m being pushed too faaaaaaaaar!!!” she yelled at the same time as her explosion, her yell echoing across the broken landscape.
At the instant she flapped her wings back, Dash blasted off towards the centaur at a greater speed than before, leaving an explosion of white particles behind as she took off.
“Nggh…!!” grunted Tirek, looking very surprised with wide eyes at the pegasus’ sudden increased speed.
It took only one second for Dash to reach Tirek from where she was. Reaching him, she quickly launched a massive punch at his face, knocking him back farther and faster than what her earlier attacks did before. Regaining himself and sliding back on the ground again, Tirek looked ahead and saw her coming again. Trying as fast as he could, he formed the ball of energy between his horns and fired a large energy beam at her.
As the beam neared her, Dash flapped her wings left, shooting her to the far right and taking a wide dodge from the beam this time.
The pegasus wasted no time in reaching the centaur, swinging her hoof and making another massive punch on his face again. In the middle of his knockback, Dash blasted off again and went straight for his torso. Reaching it, she launched a six-second volley of fast moving punches and kicks on his gut, yelping constantly and again looking like she had multiple hooves that were all attacking the target.
At the end of her volley, she pulled her hoof back and screamed loudly, with her expression being full of rage. Swinging her hoof, she launched her strongest punch yet at the centaur’s gut, digging into it and causing some massive pain to the gigantic tyrant. With his eyes and his cheeks bulging out, Tirek was quickly launched back, flying the farthest he had been yet.
Still flying back, the centaur was nearing a large mountain that hadn’t been crumbled yet and was nearly his size. He reached and crashed into it, cracking and destroying the mountain into pieces. Along with the damage to his back, the crash slowed him down, and he fell and crashed on his back on the ground along with the mountain debris.
Dash looked onward as Tirek crashed to the ground, seeing the huge smoke and dust emit upward from the ground and the destroyed mountain. The dust and smoke soon faded, and after a few seconds, she heard a low, but loud growl coming from the fallen centaur.
As pain radiated all over his body, Tirek quickly sat up, angrily gritting his teeth at Dash ahead.
“How dare you hold back on purpose, making me think I had the upper hand here? Grrr…!”
The centaur pushed himself up to stand. As he stood there, a sudden rush of pain came over him, making him wince and grunt.
“...Ugh, no matter. I will be the victor here! And if it means using up all of my power here…”
Once again, the yellow glowing outline appeared around him again, and he summoned his ball of energy once more.
“…then so be iiiiiiiit!!!”
Throwing his head back and forth, Tirek fired the fastest energy beam he could muster, with its speed twice the previous beam.
“Hmph!” Dash frowned at the fast-approaching beam coming at her.
Before the beam even reached the halfway point, the pegasus flapped her wings down, jumping up high and allowed the beam to go underneath her.
“Since I’m powered up now, let’s see if you can even hit me this time!” she exclaimed.
Hearing her, the centaur fired another one immediately after the first beam went past her. Quickly seeing it coming, Dash dodged it by moving widely to her right, only to see another beam firing at her immediately afterward.
With every half-second that passed, Dash continued to dodge each and every beam that Tirek had fired at her. Down, left, right, and up, she went, annoying the centaur to the point of frustration as he continued to fire.
“Grrr, I will get you, you little---“
Suddenly, Dash decided to stop in one place and decided to allow one of the beams to come at her. As the beam reached her, she swung her left hoof from right to left, hitting the beam itself and knocking it away to her left.
“Wh-WHAT?!” yelled Tirek, surprised at her suddenly deflecting the beam away.
“Huh… Guess I’m strong enough to deflect your beams now,” said Dash. “I thought it wouldn’t work, but it did anyway.”
Hearing her and seeing what just happened, the centaur was stunned. His magic attacks were nearly the only things that had worked against her, save for his surprise physical attack. Now, none of his attacks seemed to be working.
As much as he realized it, though, he refused to accept it.
“…No…! I will not lose… I cannot lose!! Grrrraaaaaaaagh!!!”
Suddenly, the centaur resumed his beam firing, with his head being thrown back and forth at a constant rate. But for every beam he fired, Dash deflected it away. She deflected every single one of them away, and she continued to do so as long as her power was still as high as it was.
“…Are you gonna keep this up forever, Tirek? Because I see you sweating a bit there!”
Indeed, as he continued to fire, a few sweat beads were appearing on Tirek’s head. His own strength and endurance were being pushed to their max, causing him to feel a bit tiring and weak.
Soon, Tirek’s rate of fire began to slow down, firing his beams with increasing time between each. The power of the beams themselves began to weaken as well, Dash noticed, as their size and speed decreased with each firing. The pegasus soon found herself deflecting smaller and smaller beams away, knocking them as if they were mere tennis balls.
At his final beam firing, the centaur quickly stumbled and collapsed downward to the ground with his hand touching it, holding himself up. As the sphere between his horns and his glowing outline faded away, he began to breathe at a heavy rate, with a ton of sweat beads appearing all over him now.
“…How…?” he asked. “How can this be? I… stole nearly all of Equestria’s magic. Yet I still… tire… It doesn’t make sense! I should be unstoppable…!”
“Everything has a limit, Tirek,” said Dash. “Even you… and me. It’s just that it looks like you’ve reached yours already.”
Bringing them up, she looked at her front hooves.
“Me? I’m not even there yet. I still feel like I could push myself even more with this power. I just haven’t tried it because I feel that being at this level is enough to defeat you. If I had to give out a percentage, I would say that this is me at 70% of my total power here.”
“Yep.” Dash lowered her hooves and resumed her frown at the centaur. “But even at 70%, even when I’m doing nothing here, it’s still sapping my energy for as long as I remain at this level. I still have a lot of energy left, though. So…”
She took a “step” back in the air and entered into her ready stance.
“…it’s time to take back what you’ve stolen, Tirek. Time for a massive beatdown that you deserve for hurting everypony!”
With that exclamation, Dash flapped her wings back and blasted off towards the centaur once again. As Tirek lifted his head up to see her coming, the pegasus swung her hoof upward and made a huge uppercut on the centaur’s chin, knocking him into the sky. As he flew upward and stopped there, Dash then blasted up with him and went straight for his torso again. She launched a long volley of punches and kicks on his gut again, doing more damage to him. She attacked and attacked and attacked, until she stopped, flew to his left side, spun around, and kicked his massive body away.
As Tirek went flying helplessly and slowed down to descend, Dash flew to his back and did another long volley of only upward punches, dealing damage to his back and keeping him up in the air. Finishing up her volley, she then flipped herself upward and flip-kicked him, catapulting him up toward the sky.
As he was still going up, the pegasus quickly went to the centaur’s right and spin-kicked him away to his lefy. Then, she went to his left and kicked him away again. For a while, Dash was treating Tirek like a pinball, continuously knocking him all over the place and never allowing him to fight back, despite him having used up all of his energy already.
At the end of her juggling, as Tirek was catapulted to the sky and headed to where she was up there, Dash pulled her hoof back and summoned as much as strength as she could, gritting her teeth. As he was within her reach, she screamed at her absolute loudest and swung her strongest hoof yet, doing the massive punch to his gut and catapulting him down towards the ruined area below.
Tirek crashed furiously into the ground, causing him to scream in great agony as his entire backside dug deep into the ground. Massive amounts of dirt and smoke exploded upward as he crashed, with the dirt and smoke quickly spreading far into their surroundings. The ground quaked at its absolute maximum, reaching for miles and taking down whatever was left standing in this battle-scarred arena.
Soon, it all ceased. The dirt and smoke dissipated and the ground stopped quaking. Tirek now laid his back on the epicenter of a massive crater, with himself taking up a third of the crater’s size. Still floating up high in the air, Dash looked onward to the downed centaur with a frown on her face, breathing a bit and with her rainbow flames and white aura still active around her.
Groaning with his eyes closed, Tirek tried to push himself up. He struggled, only to fall back down due to his entire body being heavily injured with bruises all over it.
“…Unbelievable,” he said, breathing heavily. “To think I’ve been bested by a mere pony in battle… Now I see why Discord, the legend that he is, couldn’t defeat you. I wonder if he, too, tried his best in stopping your incredible might?”
“He definitely tried, as he went into his true form for our battle. He even tried to get me to join him, only for me to decline ‘cause I knew that he’d just brainwash me into being his lackey,” said Dash. “So if you’re thinking of making the same offer to me, it won’t work here.”
Tirek chuckled. “Of course it won’t. Why would I need to, anyway, when every single pony is helpless, regardless? With your magic stolen and you are your helpless selves, I doubt brainwashing you would make things better. That is, though…”
“…if I won here.”
“Right. And I’m glad you didn’t.”
The centaur groaned and sighed. “So… since you are the victor here, I wonder what will you do now, Super Rainbow Dash? As far as I know, you ponies don’t kill. At least not in this current era of yours. Though I may have tired myself, I still have your precious pony magic inside of me. So, as I see it…”
“…you are going to have to kill me if you want it back,” he said, chuckling.
Dash stared at him for a bit. Then, she closed her eyes.
“No, I won’t kill you for it. But I do have another way to get it back...”
Opening her eyes, she then stretched her front hooves all the way out, pointing them at Tirek below. She arranged her hooves into a vertical position, putting them together with her left at the bottom and her right at the top.
“…and to send you back to Tartarus as well!” she exclaimed, pulling both of her hooves back into her right side, with both of them cupped together.
“Ngh…?” Tirek’s grin faded away as he heard that.
With her hooves cupped together, Dash made a loud and long grunt. Both her aura and her rainbow flames exploded again, becoming even more larger than before. She proceeded to grunt at a constant rate, trying to summon as much of her power as she could. After a few seconds, gritting her teeth, she let loose another loud grunt, exploding once more with the white particles of her aura going out of her and into the surroundings. With this explosion, her aura changed into a colorful rainbow one, and the red irises of her eyes changed into that of a swirling rainbow.
“…What is this? Have you powered up even further?” asked Tirek, looking a bit surprised.
“No. This is me when I’m using my power to restore everything,” she replied. “Take everything that you destroyed and bring it back to the way it was before you came along. And that also means sending you bad guys back to where you belong!”
In the middle of her cupped hooves, a ball of rainbow energy appeared. Tirek noticed it, and he soon knew what she was going to do with it.
“…No. No…! You are not sending me back to that infernal place!” exclaimed the centaur, with his eyes wide and full of shock. “You are not!”
“Too late to say please, Tirek! And I hope you don’t ever break out of Tartarus again. Otherwise, I’ll be here to stop you again!”
Soon, the energy ball in her hooves began to emit sparkles upward from it, and her hooves themselves began to shake wildly.
“This is it! Say goodbye!”
“W-wait, no, s-stop! STOOOP!” yelled Tirek, with his hand reaching out to her and his face fully engulfed in total fear.
With her power being high enough and with the ball in her hooves, Dash then grew wide-eyed with rage and yelled at her absolute loudest.
And with that yell, the pegasus swiftly threw her cupped hooves forward at Tirek below and fired a massive, gigantic, rainbow-colored energy beam from the ball that was there. The beam was the biggest thing she had ever fired out of her own hooves, and it was heading straight for the downed centaur below with the radiating colorful light of it coming over him.
“Ah, aah, aaah, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!!!”
Tirek screamed in fear and agony as the beam came straight at him and engulfed his entire body. Feeling the most extreme pain that he had ever known, he let loose another scream as he then felt that the pony magic inside of him was quickly being sapped out of him. He could feel himself shrinking and weakening as the magic was continuously being forced out of him by the engulfing beam, shrinking until he was the small, feeble-looking, hornless centaur that he was before.
With the pony magic gone, a bright white light then began to swallow him in whole, and he faded away from Equestria as he was transported back to Tartarus.
The gigantic rainbow beam had not only engulfed Tirek, but it also hit the crater, causing a gigantic rainbow explosion that slowly spread outward for miles, swallowing even Dash herself. It spread as far as the destruction went, and the gigantic, miles-wide, rainbow sphere stayed there for a while.
Soon, the sphere dimmed. As if everything went back in time, in an instant, the entire environment was back to normal. The mountains, hills, grass, and trees were all back to their normal state like nothing had ever happened, and not even a single crack or two were there. The red clouds were gone, allowing the sun to shine its light on the world once more.
Dash still floated in the same spot where she had fired the beam, with her hooves still stretched out. Breathing a bit heavily, her mane and tail went back to their initial spiked shape, her aura was gone, her wings had shrunk, and the irises of her eyes went back to red. She was back in the low-powered state of her Super form.
With Tirek defeated and gone, she looked at her surroundings and floated into an upright bipedal position in the air, resuming her normal breathing.
“Huh, looks like I restored everything with that move… But of course I did. I used the power of Harmony… Huh?”
Looking down at where Tirek and the huge crater were before, she noticed something large floating above the grass there. She took a closer look, seeing a large sphere of multicolored energy that resembled her own Soul of Harmony.
“That must be…!”
Dash moved and flew down to it, floating in front of it. The sphere was constantly swirling with the colors of the rainbow, with what looked like swirling shapes of hooves, unicorn horns, and wings in it as she noticed.
“Everypony’s magic,” she said. She smiled. “Guess it’s time to give back what was stolen.”
The white pegasus put her hooves at the sides of the sphere and grabbed it. She flew upward with it, taking it to the sky.
Flying high enough in the air and stopping miles above the ground, she then looked down at the massive landscape below, smiling as she looked here, there, and then at the sphere she held.
“Welp, hope this works.”
Looking at the sphere, Dash then brought it closer to her, moving it until it shrunk and entered into her entire body. Closing her eyes and feeling a great surge of power in her, she moved and crossed her hooves into the “X” position in front of her face again. It wasn’t till long that her body began to shake wildly again.
She shook, shook, and shook, until finally, she swiftly moved her hooves away and thrust her body forward. At that instant, a massive circular explosion of swirling rainbow colors blew out of her and into the surroundings, growing in size as it continued to spread. As the Sonic Rainboom continued to spread, not stopping until it had reached all of Equestria, the entire population of ponies throughout had felt their magic energy entering back into them as the Rainboom reached their areas. Their eyes were no longer faded and their cutie marks were visible again.
Opening her eyes and seeing her Rainboom spread all over the land, Dash flew back down to the grassy area and stopped there, floating above the ground and watching her massive rainbow ring enter into the far distances.
“There, that should do it,” she said. She chuckled. “Yep, looks like I saved the world again.”
“…You still think Equestria is an entire world… Oh, how naïve you ponies truly are.”
Hearing a very familiar voice coming from behind her, Dash swiftly turned around to find the mysterious beige-green sphere floating a few feet from her.
“…You!” she exclaimed. She growled, looking angry with her teeth clenched. “You nearly shocked me to death when I was still in my normal state!”
“Indeed, I did. Killing you was not my intent, however. Surely you remembered what I said before you drifted into darkness temporarily?”
“Yeah, I still remember. You said you wanted to test me… You wanted to test me against Tirek with all of the pony magic inside of him, you mean. Was that it?”
“Yes. That was the test. And you have passed it. Now I see what you are truly capable of, Flame of Harmony. And it seems that you are like him in more ways than I thought.”
“’…Him?’ Who is this person you keep speaking of? Actually, never mind that. What I wanna know is… Who in the hay are you, really?!”
The sphere chuckled slowly. “Very well. I suppose you have earned the right to learn my identity.”
Suddenly, the sphere began to grow into a size that was ten times the size of Dash herself, causing her to float back a bit. As it grew and grew, the contents of the sphere began to change into a black color. It stopped its growth, and all she saw was nothing but total darkness within the sphere.
All except for a pair of slit eyes, like that of a preying animal, above the center.
“…Eh? All I see are a pair of creepy eyes,” said Dash, looking puzzled. “Huh?”
Soon, everything seemed to be brightening up, washing the total darkness away. What she saw, then, was utterly foreign.
In the center of the sphere, there was a giant beige-green creature of sorts, with blue sclera behind its thin, slit eyes. It looked humanoid to her, with arms, but no legs at the bottom. Instead, the bottom of the body was shaped like a cone, having been inserted into a round, disc-shaped hole in the floor that was surrounded by a black-dotted, light-tan, disc-shaped floor. The humanoid creature itself looked completely alien; nothing like it had ever been documented in Equestria before.
The creature’s arms and hands appeared to be fisting each other and positioned close to its chest. It soon moved the arms away, with the arms themselves wearing armguards of the same beige-green color. It opened its hands, which had three long-nailed fingers and with a hole in their palms. The upper portion of the arms, where the guards ended, resembled a dragon’s underbelly scales, and its shoulders were wearing grey pads of a sort.
With its arms moved away, the creature’s body looked to be masculine in general, with breast guards and an almost triangular grey orb as its midsection. Below his slit eyes was a mouth that had the same scales of his upper arms, and on both sides of his face were tubes that protruded from his cheeks to the spots near his shoulders. His head had elongated sides, pointing left and right and looking like some sort of a hat, and in his forehead was a third normal eye that was bigger than his two slit eyes. In the middle of his large head, on the top of it and above his third eye, was a large, flattened, oval-shaped grey orb. And at the back of his head were small horns and two arms that looked like a bat’s, with their bat hands holding onto two large tubes that were connected to his head.
The two large tubes weren’t the only ones, though. His entire body was connected by a total of six tubes, and their other ends were connected to his surroundings. He was in a large area that looked like a shell, with hardened walls and the round area that he was positioned in.
Lowering his arms, the creature smiled wickedly, using his scaled mouth to smile.
“What… are you? I’ve never, ever seen anything like you before,” Dash said, with a strange look.
The creature chuckled.
“I… am Lavos,” he said, speaking with his scaled mouth in a beak-like manner. “And indeed, I am not from this planet. I come from a faraway world. One that had been harvested and destroyed by the father that I was spawned from. We are parasites. We only seek to harvest a planet’s life system as well as those living on it for one purpose: to pass what we harvested onto our children, adding on to our already vast collection of energies and genetic materials. By continuing this cycle, we hope to reach what we are destined to do: to achieve ultimate perfection in ourselves, where no lower lifeforms will be able to surpass us.
“Though Lavos may be my name, it is not my true name,” Lavos continued. “Our true name was lost to us long ago. I chose this name because that is what the warriors had called my father when they attempted to end him, only for them to meet their own end, instead… And that is what will transpire to this planet when I eventually rise.”
Still staring at the creature’s alien appearance, Dash then formed a firm look at him.
“…Lavos, huh? Sounds like lava if you ask… Huh?”
Suddenly, a feeling of great darkness, of bleakness and hopelessness, mysteriously came over her, making her glance down.
“Why am I suddenly feeling--- unh!”
Then, she was suddenly reminded of the vision she saw of the future, flashing back to the sky-high view of Equestria being utterly ruined and condemned to the eternal howling snowstorm. Seeing the vision in her head, she then realized that Tirek was not the cause of the future destruction.
“It… it’s you, isn’t it?” she asked, glancing back up at Lavos with a shocked look. She then formed an angry expression at him, gritting her teeth and pointing her hoof at him. “You! You are the darkness that I was warned about!”
The creature continued to smile. “Heh, so you were warned about me. Interesting… Yes… as I have said, once I am done feeding on your planet, I will rise from the earth and destroy everything that you have ever known. It is necessary for me to annihilate everything so that I can use the ruins of your planet as the breeding grounds for my own children. Just as my predecessors had done before me.
“All of the armies on this world… All of your defenses… They are nothing compared to the power gained from numerous harvested worlds!” Lavos exclaimed, glancing at his own hands and clenching them. “All of them have the strength of an ant to me. All of them… except for two living lifeforms.”
His eyes glanced toward Dash again.
“And you are one of them. You see, that is why I freed Tirek from his prison and manipulated events, so that you could fight him at his full strength. To see how powerful you were in comparison to me. Now I know what to expect when the day will arrive.”
“Hmph. So you were watching us the whole time, huh?” Dash said, frowning.
Lavos began to chuckle again as his eyes shifted right and he opened his clenched hands.
“What a fool Tirek was, thinking that I allowed him to rule Equestria as his own, not ever knowing that I would destroy him as well. No, the only true ruler of this planet shall be me alone.”
Dash growled. “This sphere here really isn’t you, isn’t it? You’re just using it to talk to me and watch what was going on. Where are you, you creep?! Why don’t you come out here and face me, instead of staying there with all those weird-looking tubes being stuck to you?!”
Hearing her, he looked at her again with a sly smiling look.
“…You really think you are looking at me in my entirety…? Oh, how really naïve you are!”
The sphere’s view suddenly began to move and zoom out, leaving Lavos where he was. The “camera” was traversing backwards in a large, slimy green area, with a bunch of mountain cliffs on each side of the long path that led to Lavos ahead. While still going backwards, the “camera” then took an upward turn for a few seconds, then it resumed going backwards horizontally. It then “exited” the place and zoomed out way further back, revealing the exterior of where the creature was.
Dash gasped. “What the…?!”
What she now saw was a gigantic porcupine-like creature, sitting in a glowing, swirling blue area. The porcupine had massive, long, greenish-grey spikes all over the top of it, with a hard, rocky, greenish-grey material that the spikes were protruding from with red burning streaks all over it. In the bottom-middle of the porcupine, there appeared to be a closed mouth with three, dark brown, bird-like beaks that were arranged in a triangular formation. Next to the mouth on both sides and touching the blue area itself were three feet that looked like giant brown eagle claws.
The three beaks opened, revealing a light purple membrane of sorts with a glowing purple orb in the center. As the mouth was opened, a long, loud, demonic-sounding sigh was heard.
“This is the face of destruction. The face this planet will see when the day arrives,” said Lavos, with a demonic, double-voice effect and using the beaks to speak. “The day where they will hear the scream of the apocalypse… You think Equestria is the planet itself. How unfortunate of you to neglect that you were under an illusion this entire time!”
Still shocked by Lavos’ exterior appearance, Dash then noticed that the sphere itself was glowing bright beige-green. Suddenly, the sphere shot out a thin green beam right at the sky above, fading away after a second. Nothing seemed to happen for the next few seconds.
Then, as if it was glass, the blue sky began to crack apart, with cracks spreading all over the sky. Even the sun itself was beginning to crack.
“…What… did you just do…?” Dash asked, confused by what was happening.
As if it was a sudden explosion, both the sky and the sun had suddenly shattered into pieces, revealing nothing but bright white light. Like a train hitting her out of nowhere, the pegasus then quickly felt a massive windstorm was blowing against her entire being, causing her to fly backwards and upward at a rapidly uncontrollable fast pace. It wasn’t until long that she was suddenly catapulted to the white sky itself, screaming as she went.
In the midst of the massive windstorm tearing the land apart, uprooting the trees and sending everything flying to the light above, the sphere was still there, with Lavos continuing to watch it all.
“…With the spell undone, Equestria is no longer hidden to the rest of Earth,” he said. “Now, no one will be left behind when the final day arrives. All of them will feel my might… even to the only two that may have a chance against me. The Flame of Harmony… and the Dreamer of Light.”
After a few seconds, the sphere began to fade away into nothing as the storm continued to ravage the land.
“I shall be waiting, then. It is only a matter of time now.”
An hour had passed.
On the shores of a beach in an unknown location, with the waters rushing to the sands and the ever-calm sounds of the ocean itself, there laid Rainbow Dash, lying unconscious and with her form back to her normal blue state. The waters were rushing up to her every five seconds, making her mane and tail move up and down as she laid there on her front with her eyes closed.
A minute had passed. A couple of footsteps were heard, walking closer and closer to the blue pegasus. Soon, a shadow came over her as the footsteps had then stopped.
A shadow with the silhouette of someone with very long ears, a hat, two spiked hair bangs, a collar of some sort around the neck, gloves on the hands, and with shoes on the feet…