Chrono Reflect

by Sapphire Valley

First published

Crossover/continuation with Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross: Rarity is sent on a journey through dimensions in the hopes of finding the way back to her own.

Main Theme


Rarity has a wonderful life. She has a wonderful family, great friends, and lives in probably the best neighborhoods around, filled with bright colors, nice people, and even a hint of magic. If she could, she'd stay here in this peaceful world forever.

Sadly, fate has other plans for her. A mysterious creature appears one day in the portal to Equestria, and causes a phenomenon that thrusts Rarity out of her world and into another one. In this dimension, nothing makes sense. Her friends aren't who they're supposed to be, Canterlot is nowhere near as bright, and for some reason, no one knows who she is. Determined to discover what happened, Rarity will journey to a number of Parallel Dimensions, all to learn what that creature was, what happened to her world, and how to get it back.

But she's a part of something much bigger, and may learn that returning to home may be the least of her worries.


Will now update regularly, every Tuesday.


Crossover with Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, taking place after both games. Information on the games is not needed to enjoy this.

All characters have normal colored skin, despite this being canon to the Equestria Girls movies.


New TV Trope page!

Home: My Wonderful Life

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Home - My Wonderful Life

play this song

It had been a long journey, but they had finally made it to Nightmare Moon's castle. Hopefully here they could get the answers they needed, and figure out exactly how the universe became so fragmented.

The first one to run into the castle was DASH-379 naturally. Clad in her form fitting and slightly revealing rainbow colored armor, she knelt down and scanned the area.

“Scan complete,” DASH said, “The perimeter is safe. No enemies located within the immediate area.”

With that said, the rest of the group walked in. They were an odd group for sure. One of them was an extremely fashionable yet smart looking girl with straight purple hair with a pink highlight and black glasses. She wore a black and purple blazer and matching skirt, and strapped to her back was a quiver of arrows to go with her golden bow.

Next to her was an older woman wearing silver knights armor with a red cape. She had long blond hair, and at her side was a broad sword. On her left arm was a red and silver shield.

Coming up right behind her were two more girls. One was a girl with really pretty girl with impossibly long light pink hair wearing a yellow bra like top and matching long loincloth that looked to be made of some sort of animal fur and brown boots. On her face were tribal markings that looked like animal whiskers, and she had two daggers strapped to her side.

And right next to her was their leader, and the whole reason they were here to begin with. She was a beautiful girl with long curly purple hair. She wore a white blouse that accentuated her figure tastefully, purple skirt, and matching purple heeled boots. She had blue eye shadow, red lipstick, and in her hand was a golden spear.

“Well, this is it,” the knight said, “No turning back now. Twilight, how are you feeling?”

“I should be okay,” the girl with the bow, Twilight, said taking a deep breath, “I think the poison's fully worn off. Thanks Applejack,” she turned to the two members lagging behind, “Rarity, are you ready.”

“More than ready,” Rarity said, “I'll be honest, I'm a little scared though.”

“There is no reason to worry,” DASH boasted, “I am more than capable of protecting everyone.”

“Well aren't you humble?” Applejack asked sarcastically. DASH put her hands on her hips and smirked.

“I am merely stating a fact as a superior model,” DASH said.

The tribal looking girl held onto Rarity's arm and nuzzled her lovingly before looking her in the eyes. Rarity smiled warmly cupping the girls cheek.

“I'll be okay, Fluttershy. Thank you for being concerned,” Rarity said, “You should be up front with DASH.”

Fluttershy nodded and ran up to DASH's side on all fours. The five of them ran deeper into the castle, Fluttershy running far in front and DASH using her jets to fly next to her. Fluttershy stopped suddenly and held an arm out.

“Stop!” Fluttershy shouted before sniffing the air. She then hunched over and growled.

“Looks like we got company!” Applejack said running forward next to Fluttershy with Rarity, who now stood in the center. As three blob monsters materialized in front of them, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Applejack all pulled out their weapons and got in fighting stances, “Remember what I taught you, Rarity! Control, then aggression!”

“Right!” Rarity said.

Fluttershy charged in first, choosing the blob on the right. As she slashed wildly at her opponent, Applejack held up her shield preparing for her opponents attack on the left. It slammed into her shield knocking her back, and the third blob shot toward Rarity, who spun around and slammed the curved blade of her spear into it, knocking it into a wall.

Fluttershy flipped back and began charging up green energy. She pointed her arms at the blob that Applejack was fighting, creating a tornado that knocked the blob into the air. Applejack followed up by jumping up to her enemy and slashed it in half.

Applejack landed on the ground and turned to DASH, “Scan the enemy!”

“Understood,” DASH said examining the blob that Rarity was clashing with, “Enemies are Blue and Black attribute. Using Red and White elements should be sufficient.”

“That means me and Twilight!” Applejack said.

“Fluttershy, switch with Twilight!” Rarity commanded. Fluttershy nodded and did a back flip out of the way of the blobs next slash. Twilight fired an arrow at the blob impaling it, and then charged up white energy. She was about to fire an offensive element, but she saw Rarity get blasted back by her enemy sprouting spikes suddenly and knocking her to the ground.

So instead she cast a healing element on Rarity.

“Thank you,” Rarity said, seeing the blob behind Twilight about to strike her, “Twilight, look out!”

“Huh?” Twilight turned to the blob, “AHH!!!”

Applejack charged up red energy and pointed her sword at the blob, shooting a fireball at the offending monster, burning it to cinders. She ran over to Twilight's side, “You should have continued the attack.”

“But… I didn't want Rarity to get hurt,” Twilight said looking ashamed.

“Remember, she has a Black attribute,” Applejack said, “These enemies won't hurt her too much.”

Rarity held her spear in front of her and charged up black energy. She then jumped away from the blob and charged toward it a second time, slashing wildly with her spear, which was engulfed in black energy. With the enemies gone, Rarity walked over to Twilight and put a hand on her shoulder.

“I appreciate your help,” Rarity said, “But we're a team, remember? You don't have to protect me.”

“R-right,” Twilight said blushing, “I'll do better next time, I promise.”

The group continued to trek through the castle. They ran into more blobs on the way to the throne room, but DASH blasted them all away with her arm cannons. When they reached the throne room, they were surprised to see it empty.

“Nightmare Moon!” Rarity called out, “Where are you?!”

DASH and Fluttershy stepped forward looking around, DASH scanning the area and Fluttershy sniffing the air.

“Nightmare Moon… not here.” Fluttershy said.

“My radar is showing a large power source higher above us,” DASH said, “I think Nightmare Moon is on a higher wing.”

“How right you are, my metallic friend,” a high pitched voice said. Everyone looked at the throne and saw a woman with really curly pink hair dressed like a scary looking clown. She was spinning a bladed hula hoop on her arm with a sinister smile.

“Pinkamena!” Applejack said running forward and drawing her sword. Next to her both Fluttershy and DASH drew their weapons.

“Aw, is that any way to greet an old friend?” the clown, Pinkamena said with a sinister grin showing off her fangs.

“You not friend!” Fluttershy said, “You attack village!”

“Huh, alright then,” Pinkamena said jumping off the throne and holding her bladed hoop at her side, swaying her hips, “Since you guys still don't get it, I'll just have to beat sense into you!”

Fluttershy roared in anger and charged at Pinkamena. She did a spin kick to the gothic looking clown, who blocked with her bladed weapon and then kicked her back. As Fluttershy fell back, DASH flew into Pinkamena and tackled her into a wall.

She flew back and began charging up yellow energy. DASH then pointed her cannon at Pinkamena and built up energy before firing a large electric blast at Pinkamena. She rolled out of the way and threw her hoop at DASH as a boomerang, but the attack was blocked by Applejack's shield.

Pinkamena caught her weapon and began charging up blue energy. Around the entire group towers of water shot out temporarily flooding the entire room. The water magically vanished and Rarity and Twilight saw their more combat oriented friends all on their knees injured, poor DASH sparking.

“DASH! Fluttershy! Applejack!” Twilight cried.

“Heal them!” Rarity said brandishing her staff. Twilight turned to look at her like she was crazy.

“Rarity, no! You can't beat her! Look at what she did to the others!” Twilight exclaimed, “Let's just-”

“I need answers!” Rarity said, “Why was I thrown out of my world? What does Nightmare Moon want with me? I need to know, and she's the only thing standing in my way!”

“Rarity!” Twilight cried as Rarity ran toward Pinkamena. Rarity's spear clashed with Pinkamena's weapon, pushing her back a bit. Rarity continued to slash widely forcing Pinkamena to keep her distance. When it looked like Pinkamena was about to charge up her Element, Rarity did a sweeping kick knocking her off her feet.

end song

Rarity stood over Pinkamena glaring at her, tightening her grip on her spear as Pinkamena laughed ruefully.

“You've truly become a demon, haven't you Rarity?” Pinkamena asked, “Looks like you and I are a lot alike after all.”

“Shut up!” Rarity seethed, “I'm nothing like you or Nightmare Moon!”

“Why don't you prove it then?” Pinkamena said lying on the ground elegantly and sensually, “Show me just how different you and I are.”

“No!” Twilight called out, “Don't fall for it Rarity!”

Rarity, for the first time ever, ignored her friend. Instead she held her spear above Pinkamena's chest. She was getting that feeling again in her chest. It felt like something was consuming her. Normally she'd push it away, but this time she allowed the feeling to take over.

“RARITY!!!” Twilight, DASH, Applejack, and Fluttershy all screamed as Rarity thrust her spear into-


Rarity…

Rarity…!

“Rarity honey, it's time to wake up!”

play song

Rarity, completely under her covers, stirred at the sound of her mother calling her up. For someone who was usually very well put together, she was anything but a morning person. She slowly sat up in her bed, her usually very nice looking purple hair a matted mess of bedhead.

“Mmm… go back to sleep, sun…” Rarity fussed at the opposing light from outside. Her parents and little sister were the only ones who got to see her like this: groggy, and not put together in the slightest.

She trudged her way in the direction of the bathroom just as her mother started walking up the stairs.

“Oh good, I was just about to knock on your door,” her mother, Cookie Crumbles, said, “Did you sleep well?”

“Mm hm…” Rarity nodded, still making her slow trudge to the bathroom.

“I'm making breakfast,” Cookie Crumbles said, “It should be ready by the time you're dressed.”

“…nk y…” Rarity mumbled, closing the bathroom door behind her. She allowed her pajama pants to fall to the ground and threw off her pajama top, walking into the shower all in one motion. She turned the water on and for a few seconds just let the warm water to fall on her body and wake her up.

Once she felt herself become aware of the world around her, she proceeded to using the shower for it's intended purpose. After she was nice and clean, she brushed her teeth, and then brushed her hair. Most people didn't know, but her hair was naturally curly, so as long as she got to it while it was wet she could get it in it's natural style quickly.

After putting on her favorite white blouse and purple skirt, Rarity walked downstairs where her family waited for her. Her father, Magnum, sat at the breakfast table with a newspaper and her little sister was already sitting in front of her plate eating three pancakes.

“Rarity!” Sweetie Belle cheered.

“Good morning,” Rarity said walking into the kitchen. She first kissed her sister on the forehead, and then walked over to her father and hugged him.

“Morning honey,” Magnum said, “How did you sleep?”

“I slept… okay,” Rarity said, remembering her dream from last night. It felt so real…

“Rarity, are you okay?” Cookie Crumbles asked when she saw Rarity looking thoughtful.

“Oh, yes Mother,” Rarity said, “I was just thinking about my dream last night.

“Was it a bad dream?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“I don't… think so,” Rarity said, “It's fading now.”

“Maybe you're just stressed,” Cookie Crumbles said, “Aren't you helping your school with the Spring Festival today?”

“Ahh! That's right,” Rarity said, “Oh, thank you for reminding me. I need to make sure I bring everything we need for the banner.”

“Wasn't the Spring Festival something you came up with?” Magnum asked.

“Well, I wouldn't say I came up with it per say,” Rarity said sitting down, “The school board wanted something special for the spring, and I just sort of… thought of having a festival.”

“You don't give yourself enough credit,” Sweetie Belle said, “You always have great ideas, sis.”

“Thank you so much Sweetie Belle,” Rarity said hugging her little sister. She finished breakfast with her family and then gathered her things for school. Since she was leaving a little earlier, she decided to take her bike to school instead of waiting for her Father to drive her in the car.

The ride to school was a pleasant one. Every one of her neighbors waved to her as she rode past them. She loved this town so much. So many wonderful people living here. On the way she saw Sunset Shimmer stop next to her on her motorcycle. Rarity smiled at her and waved, and Sunset nodded to her before riding off.

Rarity smiled watching her ride off. She remembered a time when Sunset was someone that she absolutely hated. Well, that's not the right way of wording it. She didn't hate Sunset Shimmer. She never hated anyone, but Sunset Shimmer definitely wasn't her friend. That was then though.

She had long since redeemed herself.

As Rarity continued her ride to school, her thoughts went back to her dream, at least what she could remember of it. Come to think of it, was Sunset Shimmer in her dream at all? She didn't remember. She could barely remember anything about the dream now.

It wasn't that important though. It was just a dream after all.

When she arrived at school, she parked her bike and put her bicycle lock it, and began sauntering into the building, carrying her bag of materials with her. Just like when she was riding to the school, everyone she passed by either waved or said hi to her. While this was nice, her main focus was in getting to the gymnasium, her true destination.

Where the people she really wanted to see were.

Right outside the door, she stopped for a second and took a deep breath, thinking about the six girls waiting for her inside. Rarity loved her friends so much. They were very different, each and every one of them, yet they all shared a special bond. She pushed through the door and then held her hands in the air standing elegantly.

Hello girls!” Rarity sang.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy cried happily running into her friend's embrace.

“It's a surprise seein ya here so early,” Applejack said, she and Rainbow Dash walking over to them, “Usually ya ain't here till right before the first bell rings.”

“What can I say? I enjoy my beauty sleep,” Rarity said releasing her friend, “As you can see, I brought the materials for the banner.”

“Sweet!” Dash said taking the bag, “Applejack, you wanna help me with this?”

“Sure thing,” Applejack said, “We got this, Rares.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said. She hugged both Applejack and Rainbow Dash before they walked off, and then turned her attention to Fluttershy, “So, how's my best friend doing?”

“Better now that you're here,” Fluttershy admitted looking down, “Um, you remember those three boys that were harassing me the other day?”

“Rover, Fido, and Spot?” Rarity asked.

“W-well, they sort of… asked me out earlier today. I said no, and asked them to leave me alone, but…”

Rarity folded her arms thinking to herself. She remembered those three very well, as she was once their main target for sexual harassment. That stopped when they cornered her one day and she showed them just how annoying she could be. They started targeting Fluttershy as she never fought back.

So Rarity would just have to teach them a lesson.

“Oh Pinkie Pie,” Rarity called out, “Be a dear and throw me that broom.”

“Rarity, what are you about to do?” Twilight asked, both she and Sunset nearby and turning to her.

“Just going to teach those boys a lesson in how to treat a lady,” Rarity said.

“Here you go!” Pinkie Pie chirped handing Rarity a broom. Rarity screwed the actual broom part off, twirled the stick around above her, and then held it to her side elegantly.

“I'll be back in a bit, girls,” Rarity said, “Just need to whip those boys into shape.”

“You do realize that fighting on school grounds is prohibited, right?” Sunset asked.

“If I know those three, then they're not on school grounds at the moment,” Rarity said, “Which means I'm not breaking any rules.”

Rarity walked out of the gym, her friends following closely behind her. Rarity knew exactly where they were hiding. There was an alleyway right behind the school that they liked to play dice while waiting for school to start. Rarity had heard that a number of students even used the alley for… um, things.

Not that she would ever do that. She was a true lady after all.

end song

Just she expected, the three boys were sitting near a trash bin gambling. Rarity turned her nose to the air and then sauntered over to her them.

Yoohoo,” Rarity called out catching their attention, “I heard you were bothering Fluttershy here.”

“We weren't bothering her,” their leader, Rover said, “We just asked her to the Spring Festival.”

“Didn't she say no yesterday?” Rarity inquired.

“Well…” Fido said nervously.

“You're making my friend uncomfortable, and I don't like that,” Rarity said getting in a fighting stance, “You boys need a spanking.”

The three boys, realizing that they had her outnumbered, all stood up in front of her. Honestly, just the thought that these three would even consider fighting a lady showed how uncouth their lot were, so no one had sympathy for what was about to happen to them. Rarity looked delicate, but as many people knew, she was truly like a rose.

Beautiful, but with thorns.

play song

Rover charged in first trying to grab her. Rarity simply moved to the side and used her broomstick to sweep him off his feet. She then spun around and whacked Fido in the stomach with the stick, sending him flying back into a trash can.

Spot, clearly the smarter one of the trio (yet that wasn't saying much) grabbed a trash can lid and threw it at Rarity, who elegantly bent back out of the way, causing the lid to hit Rover just as he was getting up, knocking him down to the ground a second time.

“Yeah Rarity! Kick their butts!” Pinkie Pie cheered.

“It always amazes me that she has this side to her,” Twilight said shaking her head.

“Rarity's always been a bit of an adrenalin junkie,” Dash stated, “I mean, look at her. She's having the time of her life right now.”

And she was. This was another side of Rarity that not a lot of people got to see. In fact, only her friends and the Diamond Dog gang knew about this side of Rarity's personality. That, and maybe a few special people who tried to take advantage of her friends.

As Rarity elegantly spun her makeshift staff around whacking Spot, she was unaware of Fido standing up and creeping up behind her.

“Rarity, behind you!” Fluttershy cried. Rarity looked too late as Fido grabbed her from behind, causing her to drop her broomstick.

“Rarity!” everyone cried. Rover rubbed the back of his head and walked over to the now captured teenager.

“You really piss me off,” Rover said, “Maybe being humiliated in front of your friends will teach you a lesson!”

Applejack and Rainbow Dash were about to rush in and help her, but stopped when they saw the look on Rarity's face. She was smirking.

“Oh dear! Whatever shall I do now?!” Rarity cried helplessly, “You brutes are far too much for me! Please, I beg of you, be gentle with me!”

“Not likely!” Rover said, “Once we're finished with you, you won't be able to stand for a-” Rarity stomped on Rover's foot hard cutting him off. She then headbutted Fido behind her, forcing him to release her, and then kicked her broomstick off the ground into Spot, knocking him to the ground and catching the broomstick as it bounced off of him.

She twirled her “staff” over her head, spun around to hit Fido in the face, and then kicked Rover down onto the ground and pointed her staff right at his face. Needless to say, all of her friends applauded and cheered for her.

“I GIVE!!! I GIVE!!!” Rover cried.

end song

“So, we sha'nt have this problem anymore then?” Rarity said, smiling sweetly at her fallen opponent.

“Not at all! We'll leave Fluttershy alone now! Just don't hurt us anymore!”

“Good boy,” Rarity said. She knelt down to him and patted him on the head before turning to her friends, “Well that was fun. Now, we have a few minutes to finish the banner before class starts. Come alone girls.”

As she sauntered back into the school, her friends all gathered around her.

“You got off on that, didn't you?” Sunset Shimmer asked. Rarity gave an overly dramatic gasp.

“How could you insinuate that one such as moi would get aroused from something so violent?” Rarity asked, “I'll have you know I was merely trying to protect my best friend's honor.”

“I'm sure that's everything,” Dash said putting her hands behind her head, “Not like you enjoyed the feeling of knocking their heads in with that broomstick.”

“Kickin Rover in the stomach didn't make yer heart flutter at all,” Applejack added.

“And I'm sure you didn't get even the slightest bit excited standing over them like an amazon seeing him beg you to not hurt him,” Pinkie Pie said. Rarity moaned helplessly.

“Stooooooop iiiiiit!” Rarity begged, “You're getting me aroused again!”

Everyone laughed. It was these times that mattered the most to Rarity. She seemed materialistic to some, superficial to others, and overall extremely vain to most, but honestly, Rarity could have given all of that up for what was really important. She didn't need to have the prettiest clothes, the nicest hair, or the fanciest things.

As long as she had her six best friends with her, she'd be forever happy.


play song

After setting everything up, Rarity went with Fluttershy and Twilight to their homeroom. Fluttershy wouldn't stop showering her with thank yous for making Rover and his gang leave her alone, but Twilight wouldn't stop looking at her. Every time she turned to her though, Twilight would quickly look away.

“For the last time Fluttershy, it was nothing,” Rarity said laughing as they walked into the classroom, “You're my dearest friend, so of course I'd help you.”

“I know, but…” Fluttershy looked down, “I wish I could return the favor. Sometimes I feel like you're always helping me, but I'm too weak to do anything to help you.”

“Fluttershy darling, you don't have to worry,” Rarity said cupping her friend's cheek, “You're friendship is more than enough. I'd save you a thousand times over if I had to.”

Fluttershy, overcome with emotion, hugged Rarity tightly, “I love you so much, Rarity.”

“I love you too, Fluttershy,” Rarity said returning the hug. The three of them took their seats, Fluttershy sitting in the back of the classroom, and both Rarity and Twilight sitting next to each other in the middle.

“She really depends on you,” Twilight noted.

“Fluttershy used to be horribly bullied back in elementary school,” Rarity pointed out, “Rainbow Dash and I protected her all the time, so she's become somewhat clingy to both of us.”

“I see,” Twilight said, looking down and blushing a bit. Rarity rested her head on her hands and looked at Twilight with a suggestive smile.

“Twilight, are you… jealous?” Rarity asked. Twilight's eyes went wide.

“N-no!” Twilight defended, “I'm not! You know that I have a crush on Flash Sentry!”

“That doesn't mean you can't admire someone else too,” Rarity pointed out, “Besides, I've seen how you tend to look at me. You can tell me Twilight. I won't be offended or turned off.”

Twilight fought with herself internally before sighing in defeat, “It's not really a crush I don't think. I mean, maybe it is. I don't know. I just know that I think you're really amazing.”

“Really?” Rarity asked, still smiling at her friend.

“Well, yeah. You're pretty, smart, you protect your friends, and seeing you fight the Diamond Dog Boys earlier was really something. You were so elegant, yet still ferocious. Ever since I transferred here from Crystal Prep, I've wanted to be closer to you so I could… I don't know.”

“Hm…” Rarity pressed a finger to her lips thoughtfully, “Tell you what? Why don't you and I spend the Spring Festival together?”

“Huh? You mean… like a date…?” Twilight asked. Rarity giggled.

“If you wish to see it as such, yes. There isn't a single boy in the school I'd want to take with me. Unless you planned on asking Flash Sentry, upon which I would completely understand it if you declined my offer.”

“No!” Twilight said quickly, “I mean… I'd love to go with you, Rarity.”

“Wonderful! So, how about I pick you up at around eight, and we can go together?”

“That's perfect,” Twilight said. Twilight and Rarity hugged right as the teacher walked into the classroom. Now Rarity had an even bigger reason to be excited for the Spring Festival. Before, she was only going to oversee the event, but now she actually had a date.

“Alright class,” Ms. Cheerilee said, “I'd like to first take attendance. First up are the school announcements.”

end song

Wait, what?

Rarity shook her head trying to focus on Cheerilee. For a second, it looked like she had split in two.

“Um, what are we doing right now?” Rarity asked Cheerilee raising her hand.

“We're taking attendance,” Cheerilee said, “Please try and pay attention Rarity.”

“Yes, sorry,” Rarity said sheepishly. Twilight turned to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Are you okay Rarity?” Twilight asked Rarity.

“I… yeah,” Rarity said, “I just-” she heard something odd in the background. Something almost like an otherworldly screech or roar. At the same time, she felt a sharp pain in her head, “AHH!!!”

“Rarity!” Flash Sentry said from right next to her, “Mrs. Cheerilee, I think something is wrong with Rarity!”

Hold on a second. Didn't Twilight sit next to her in class? And since when was Cheerilee married?

“Rarity, are you alright?” Cheerilee said/Time Turner said.

What? No. Her homeroom teacher was Cheerilee. Not Time Turner.

“I… don't know…?” Rarity said/asked. She looked up at her homeroom teacher, and saw Time Turner phase out to the side like a static projection almost, Cheerilee appearing next to him.

“Why don't you go to the infirmary?” Time Turner/Cheerilee asked. Rarity nodded and quickly ran out of the classroom. As she left the room, she heard that roar again, and felt another sharp pain in her head, this time falling to the floor screaming.

Rarity looked ahead and saw Sunset Shimmer wandering the hallway looking around nervously. When she saw Rarity on the ground she ran over to her aid.

“Rarity! Are you okay?!” Sunset Shimmer asked.

“My head…” Rarity moaned, “It hurts every time I… hear that…”

“You hear it too?” Sunset asked, “I thought I was the only one.”

“What is it…?” Rarity asked.

“I'm not sure, but I think it's coming from outside,” Sunset said.

“Let's go then,” Rarity said forcing herself to her feet, “If it's another magical disturbance, we need to-” she heard it again, this time even louder. Also, the pain in her head was so bad she felt like it was being split in two.

“Rarity!” Sunset cried catching her, “What the hell is going on here?”

“Make it stop…” Rarity sobbed, “Please make it stop…!”

“I think the portal to Equestria is open,” Sunset said, “It's short notice, but we need to see Princess Twilight immediately. I'm taking us there now!”

Sunset carried Rarity over her shoulder as they rushed out of the school over to the remains of the statue. Though the statue itself was destroyed, the base of it remained intact, which was the only thing that was important, as it was a doorway into Equestria, a parallel dimension where everyone was a pony or some sort of mythical creature.

Right when they reached the statue, that odd sounding roar was heard again, this time Rarity screaming loudly with the roar and holding her head in pain. It was too much! She felt like she was about to die!

“Hang on!” Sunset said. She placed her hand on the base, pleased to see it fall through as if the reflective surface were made of water, “Good, the portal is open. Let's go.”

“W-wait!” Rarity said, “That thing… I think it sounded really… loud from here…”

“That means it might be in Equestria…” Sunset reasoned, “But… why would we…? Either way, we need to warn Twilight. I think something's happening to this world.”

Rarity looked around and saw something really odd. Everywhere she saw what looked like people splitting off in different directions and doing two sometimes three things at the same time. Some people even turned into different people all together, or switched genders suddenly.

“No…!” Rarity said shaking her head, “Stop… it…!”

“What are you seeing?!” Sunset asked.

“Everything…!” Rarity said backing up against the portal, “It's like I'm seeing… every possible outcome… at once…!”

“What the…?”

“Help me…! HELP ME!!!” Rarity screamed. That roar was heard again, this time as if the thing making it were right on top of them. As for Rarity, she fell to her knees again holding her head, but this time the pain wouldn't ebb away.

Sunset knelt down next to her and was about to say something, but cut herself off with a gasp, “Rarity, you're hand!”

“My… hand…?” Rarity asked. She looked at her hand and saw a sight that terrified her. Her hand was beginning to fade away, “S-Sunset…?”

“We're going to Equestria!” Sunset said picking her up, “Brace yourself!”

Sunset and Rarity jumped through the portal, flying through the multi-colored dimensional void. However, when Rarity looked up she saw something absolutely terrifying. Some sort of large black and red creature that almost looked bug like, but with only a large three pronged mouth instead of a face.

The creature roared loudly, giving the same loud screech Rarity kept hearing, but this time she saw it close in on her and Sunset.

“W-what's that thing?!” Rarity cried.

“I don't know, but I've never felt anything so strong in my entire life!” Sunset exclaimed, “The magic I'm feeling from it is just… immense…!”

Rarity looked down at her hands again, and saw them fading in and out like before. As for Sunset Shimmer, her entire body started changing, becoming what looked like an orange unicorn with a sun shaped Cutie Mark.

“This means it's actually standing in front of Equestria...” Sunset said seeing herself shift, “But why aren't you changing into a pony?”

“I… don't…” Rarity said looking back at the giant creature. Something about it terrified her, more than just because it looked absolutely terrifying. But something about this thing just felt pure evil, like it was the devil itself.

The creature opened its mouth and started sucking Sunset closer to it. Rarity tried to rush over and grab her, but her hand turned transparent and just went through her unicorn friend.

“No…! No! NO!!!” Rarity screamed, feeling something grab her and pull her back. They felt like black tendrils of energy, and they were pulling her outside of the portal, “SUNSET SHIMMER!!!”

Sunset turned to Rarity wide eyed, “RARITY!!!”

The two of them reached for each other, both of them being pulled in opposite directions. Right before their hand and hoof touched each other, Rarity's entire body was consumed by the black energy and she was pulled out of the portal, screaming as her entire world went black.

The last thing she heard was Sunset screaming as that monster roared one last time.

Standard: Something is Very Wrong

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Standard – Something is Very Wrong

When Rarity came to, she was back outside of the portal. Her head was throbbing a bit, but she wasn't in any real pain at the moment. She rose to her knees and looked around, happy to see that everyone looked singular.

“What on Earth was all of that?” Rarity asked rubbing her shoulder, “Sunset… Sunset!” Rarity turned to the portal and ran her hands on it, saddened to see that it had closed, “Oh dear! I have to warn the others!”

She rose to her feet as the bell rang, signaling the end of homeroom. Maybe she could track down her friends on the way to their next classes. She ran into the school as fast as she could.

play song

When she got inside though, something just felt wrong to her. She didn't really know what it was, but for some reason she felt out of place. She shook it off and continued to walk through the halls. If she knew her friends' schedules, she should have run into Applejack somewhere around this-

“Oof!” someone cried, falling to the ground after bumping into Rarity.

“Oh, terribly sorry,” Rarity said kneeling down to help them up, her eyes went wide though when she saw who it was. She was wearing a simple blue and white dress, and she had a bunch of thick text books with her, but her rainbow colored hair gave her away.

This was Rainbow Dash

“N-no. It was my fault…” Dash said demurely, “I should have been watching where I was going.”

“D-Dash…?” Rarity asked, “What are you wearing…?”

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash looked up at Rarity confused, “I always wear clothes like this, uh… Are you new here?”

“N-new?” Rarity asked, “Rainbow Dash, it's me, Rarity,” she suddenly smiled, “Oh, I get it. This is a prank, isn't it? Very cute, but I really need your help.”

“Prank? What are you talking-” Rainbow Dash suddenly backed away from her looking terrified, “Wait, you're in Miss Fluttershy's clique, aren't you?”

“Fluttershy's… clique…?” Rarity asked tilting her head slightly, “Dash, what's going-”

“Please, I'm sorry!” Dash cried bowing to Rarity, “I-I-I didn't mean to bump into you, I swear!” she stood up, “I'll leave you alone forever, I promise!”

Rainbow Dash ran off holding her books close to her chest in tears. Rarity stood up and watched her run away in confusion.

Okay… that was weird,” Rarity said to herself. She turned around and saw Twilight step out of a classroom. Like Dash though, she looked different. Her hair, instead of the loose bun she always put it in, was now out and flowing freely. She was wearing a black blazer over a purple dress shirt, a matching tight pencil mini-skirt, and black high heels. If Rarity was looking at her correctly, she was also wearing black eye liner and red lipstick.

“Twilight?” Rarity asked walking up to her, “When did you have time to change clothes? Oh, that's not important right now, Dash was acting weird just-”

Twilight turned to Rarity frowning in confusion, “Um, I'm… sorry. Do I… know you?”

What… did Twilight just ask her…?

“T-Twilight…? It's me. Rarity. You and I sit together in homeroom,” Rarity said, a little hurt now.

“I think I'd remember sitting with someone as pretty as you in homeroom,” Twilight said with an awkward smile, “But I am curious as to how you know my name.”

“Twilight, I don't know what prank Dash has you a part of, but this is very cruel,” Rarity said, her heart racing for some reason.

“Dash playing a prank? She's been here since ninth grade, and I've never known her to pull a prank of any kind. She's too shy for that sort of thing,” Twilight explained.

“Too shy? No no no, Rainbow Dash isn't shy at all. She-” she stopped thinking about something that Twilight said, “Wait, since… ninth grade…? How would you… know what she was like in… ninth grade…?”

“Because I've been here since ninth grade…” Twilight said slowly, as if Rarity had asked something silly, “Seriously, are you okay? You said your name was… Rarity?”

“Yes! My name is Rarity, and you're Twilight!” Rarity teared up, “I asked you to come with me to the Spring Festival just a few minutes ago! Don't you remember that?”

“What's a… Spring Festival…?” Twilight asked. Rarity shook her head and ran, tears beginning to fall from her eyes for some reason.

What's going on?!

Did something happen to all of my friends?!

The closest one to her was probably Fluttershy, since she also had the same homeroom as Rarity. Her next class was History with Time Turner. When she made it to the classroom, she saw Applejack walking ahead of her.

At least, Rarity thought it was Applejack.

It looked like her from the back a bit, but like with Rainbow Dash and Twilight, everything was off. Her hair was flowing freely instead of being in a ponytail, her stetson was replaced with a white and red hat that looked similar to her usual one but fancier, her usual attire was replaced with a flowing white gown, a red jacket, and white high heeled boots, and her walk was more of a saunter, swaying her hips back and forth with each step.

“Applejack!” Rarity called out. Much to her fear, the girl in front of her stopped and turned to her. Rarity was taken aback by seeing how fancy the jacket she wore was, and how much of her ample cleavage the top of her gown was showing. Also, Applejack herself was wearing pink eye shadow and red lipstick.

Ooh, well aren't you precious?” Applejack said walking over to Rarity and examining her, sounding more like a southern belle than a farmer, “Ah just love your style. It accentuates your figure in a very tasteful manner, an' Ah absolutely love your make-up.”

“Please no…” Rarity pleaded shaking her head.

“Let me guess, ya heard about me from one of my many admirers?” Applejack asked haughtily, “If your new to Canterlot High, then you came to the right person. Ah'll get ya acclimated just fine. Oh, but please call me Applejewel, love.”

First of all, since when did Applejack know how to use the word “acclimate” in a sentence properly? Second of all, since when did she dress and act so elegantly? Finally, since when was Rarity new to Canterlot High?!

“You too…?” Rarity asked backing away from Applejack, “You… don't remember anything… do you…?”

“Sugar, are you alright?” Appleja- sorry, Applejewel asked, “You look like your about ta break down an' cry.”

Oh, she was. She was very close to breaking down. Still, she had to try and stay calm. Surely someone in this building would recognize her. Someone who no matter what would-

Fluttershy! She needed to find Fluttershy!

“W-where's Fluttershy?” Rarity asked, trembling as she tried to hold in her tears, “I need to f-find her… and ask her something.”

“Fluttershy?” Applejewel asked with wide eyes, “Ah don't know why you'd be searchin for her, unless ya had a death wish or somethin.”

That didn't bode well.

“Please, just tell me,” Rarity urged, “It's very… important…”

Applejewel pursed her lips and folded her arms considering Rarity, before sighing, “She's probably in the history classroom now, assumin she ain't cuttin.”

“Thank you Applej-jewel,” Rarity said pushing past Applejewel and walking briskly to the history classroom, trying her hardest to not break down completely just yet. She needed to see Fluttershy before she could truly get a grasp on her situation.

When she arrived in the classroom, she looked inside and saw Fluttershy leaning by the open window of the classroom. Instead of her more modest attire, Fluttershy was wearing a red top that showed off her bust line, a black leather jacket, black mini skirt, fishnet stockings, and black high heeled boots. Her eyeshadow was dark gray, she wore dark red lipstick, and her butterfly hair pin was replaced with a bat shaped one.

Also… she was smoking.

Rarity slowly approached Fluttershy, noticing how everyone was watching her.

“F-Fluttershy…?” Rarity asked. The teenager in front of her threw her finished cigarette out the window and glared at Rarity.

“What?” Fluttershy asked harshly, making Rarity step back a bit. Honestly, she felt a little like how Sunset Shimmer used to act before she was reformed.

“Uh… well, I…” Rarity was suddenly at a loss for words. Something about Fluttershy was extremely terrifying right now.

“Do you have a reason for standing there like a fucking dumbass, or are you just trying to annoy me?” Fluttershy asked walking over to Rarity, “Either way, it's not looking too good for you right now.”

Rarity started trembling. Not just from how scary Fluttershy was all of a sudden, but because of what this meant. Fluttershy wouldn't act so out of character for no reason.

“Um… can I ask… you a q-question…?” Rarity asked Fluttershy.

“I don't know. Can you?” Fluttershy asked sarcastically. Rarity swallowed nervously before speaking again, choosing her words carefully.

“D-do you know anyone n-named Rarity…?” Rarity asked. Fluttershy stepped back a bit frowning.

“Yeah, I knew a girl named Rarity back in elementary school,” Fluttershy said.

“You... knew a girl named Rarity? What happened?”

end song

“She died in a car accident ten years ago,” Fluttershy said, making Rarity's mind go blank. She was… dead…?

“D-died…?” Rarity asked, trembling as the tears started to fall freely.

“Oh fuck, you're crying,” Fluttershy groaned, “What's the matter with-”

“Fluttershy, it's me!” Rarity cried, going into full panic mode, “I'm Rarity! I'm not dead! You and I are best friends! Please, try to remember-” something within Fluttershy snapped and she shoved Rarity to the ground and glared at her seething.

“Don't fucking joke about that!” Fluttershy shouted, “Rarity and I were best friends, and her death destroyed me!”

“Fluttershy…” Rarity sobbed, “What happened to you…?”

“Get out…” Fluttershy seethed, “GET OUT OF MY FACE!!!”

Rarity scampered out of the classroom, bumping into someone in the middle of the hall.

“Please, no running in the halls,” Principal Celestia said, so far the only one wearing the same attire she always wore.

“Principal Celestia…” Rarity sobbed.

“Oh dear, what happened honey?” Celestia asked holding Rarity in a comforting embrace. Rarity couldn't hold in her tears anymore, and simply broke down crying in the older woman's shoulder. She didn't even need to find Pinkie Pie to fully understand how messed up her situation was.

Something happened to all of her friends, and possibly even her entire world.


Unknown to both of them, Twilight stood behind a corner listening to them. As the two of them walked off, Twilight folded her arms thoughtfully.

“Was that girl being… serious?” Twilight asked, “But… I don't remember her…”


“Here,” Celestia said, handing Rarity a cup of tea. She took Rarity to her office, which thankfully looked the same. Actually, so far Celestia was the only one who was remotely like she should have been.

Why is this happening?

What did that creature do to my friends?

“Is there anything you wish to talk about?” Celestia asked Rarity as she took the cup of tea. Rarity, not looking up at the older woman, just shook her head. She had since stopped crying, but she didn't have the energy to speak up yet, “You're new to this school, right? My sister Luna is the Vice-Principal, but she also doubles as the school counselor. Maybe you could talk to her.”

Damn it! I already know these things!

Rarity closed her eyes tightly as a fresh batch of tears built up, these being tears of frustration. Before Celestia could ask her what was wrong, there was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” Celestia said, the door opening shortly afterward, “Twilight? Is everything okay?”

Twilight…?

Rarity looked up and saw Twilight standing next to her.

“Rarity is my pen pal from Manehatten,” Twilight said, “She's really emotional because she's so far away from home.”

“Ahh, that makes sense,” Celestia said, “So she is a new student?”

“Yes,” Twilight said, “I think her enrollment letter got lost in the mail though, which is why no one knew about this. That's why there was such a commotion earlier.”

“Hm, I see,” Celestia said thoughtfully. Rarity couldn't take her eyes off of Twilight. In fact, looking at her right now, Rarity saw a brief flash of her Twilight standing with the same serious expression.

“It's going to take a full day to sort this out,” Celestia said turning to her paper work, “I'll discuss this with Luna, but we should have you enrolled by tomorrow. For now, why don't the two of you go home. Is it safe to assume Rarity is staying with you?”

“Yes Principal Celestia,” Twilight said with a bow.

“Good. I'll write you an excused absence for the rest of the day,” Celestia said writing a brief letter, “Take care of your friend, Twilight.”

“I will. Come on, Rarity,” Twilight turned to Rarity with a kind smile.

“R-right…” Rarity said, slowly taking Twilight's hand.

“Oh, and Rarity,” Celestia said, stopping them at the door, “Don't worry if you're far away from home. I'm sure there are people out there who will be your friend as long as you are your genuine self.”

Somehow, the way Celestia smiled at her put Rarity a bit at ease, like everything would work itself out somehow.

“T-thank you, Principal Celestia,” Rarity said.

Twilight and Rarity stopped right outside the school, Rarity looking down somberly.

“Why did you do that?” Rarity asked softly.

“You seemed like you needed help,” Twilight said. Rarity shuffled a bit rubbing her arm.

“Were you serious… about me staying with you…?” Rarity asked.

“You don't have anywhere else to go, right?” Twilight asked, shocking Rarity, “Don't worry, my parents are always away on business, and they won't mind either way. They basically let me do as I please.”

Rarity remembered that her Twilight was always stuck at home with just her brother, Shining Armor, for the same reason. Was that still a thing here?

“My house is down this road,” Twilight said pointing to the right, “Do you want to go right there?”

“Actually… could we… go someplace else first?” Rarity asked, “There's something I… need to see.”

“Yeah, sure,” Twilight said nodding, “Lead the way.”

The more she heard this Twilight speak, the more comfortable Rarity was around her. Somehow, she seemed about the same as her own, if not more fashionable, and as far as she knew she wasn't obsessed with science and magic.

Was there still magic here? Oddly, Rarity didn't think so.

play song

As they walked through Canterlot, Rarity saw more and more signs that something was wrong. Whatever happened wasn't limited to just her friends or the school. The entire town looked different. Shops that were supposed to be open were either closed or replaced with other shops. Mr. and Mrs. Cake's place was some other diner, and Flim & Flam's Pawn Shop was a general good's store.

Also, no one waved to Rarity as they walked by. They were too focused on themselves and their own personal effects. Even though it was sunny outside, the entire world seemed gray and dark to Rarity.

“So… feeling better?” Twilight asked awkwardly. Rarity sighed looking away.

“No. Actually, I'm starting to feel worse than I did before,” Rarity admitted, “Nothing looks like it should. Everything just seems so… empty.”

“This is just how Canterlot is,” Twilight stated, “People are too concerned with themselves to really care about what's going on around them. But isn't that everywhere?”

No, it wasn't. Canterlot was a community. Everyone looked out for each other, and cared about one another. Here, Rarity saw people arguing out in the streets, and there was even litter on the ground. Rarity took a deep breath in an attempt to calm her nerves.

It didn't work.

When they arrived at their destination, Rarity's eyes went wide. Her house, which was supposed to look like a giant merry-go-round, looked like just a regular three story house.

“Where's Carousel Boutique…?” Rarity asked trembling, “Mommy… Daddy… Sweetie Belle… Where are you…?” she fell to her knees as the realization fully hit her. She had been thrown far out of Kansas, straight into Oz.

“Hey, it's okay,” Twilight said kneeling down next to Rarity and embracing her.

“No…! No it's not okay!” Rarity screamed breaking down completely, “This isn't my house, this isn't my town, my friends don't remember me, and I'm-” her words were lost in heavy sobs. She buried her face in her hands as Twilight held her tightly. She probably looked insane right now, yet Twilight stayed with her. She had to admit that it felt nice.

But she had no idea how to get back to her home, or even if she could get back home.


end song

Rarity's place was on the way to Twilight's house, so it didn't take them long to get there once Rarity calmed down. She was extremely silent for the rest of the day, only speaking up to ask for something to eat, and even then she didn't have much of an appetite.

Twilight's house was nice, but very lonely. Turned out her brother was in the military, so she didn't have anyone staying with her. Also, there were only two bedrooms. Rarity was prepared to either sleep in Twilight's parent's room or the couch, but Twilight refused to allow that.

As such, after Rarity finished her shower, she waited for Twilight in her room, wearing some of Twilight's pajamas. As Rarity was a little more top heavy than Twilight, she had to unbutton the top three buttons of the shirt in order to breath, but otherwise they were comfy.

“That felt good,” Twilight said, drying her hair as she walked into the room, “I don't know about you, but a shower always helps me relax at night.”

Rarity brought her knees to her chest and hugged them, trying to avoid a fresh batch of tears. She didn't feel more relaxed at all. Instead, she just felt hopeless and helpless. She was scared for Sunset, who as far as she knew probably died from that monster. She might have been the only one who could get them out of this mess.

Twilight sighed and sat down next to Rarity.

“So… how did you know my name?” Twilight asked, “I've been meaning to ask that for a while.”

“You won't believe me,” Rarity said somberly.

“Try me,” Twilight said with a smile. Rarity took a deep breath, deciding to take a chance. I mean, what did she have to lose? Twilight did help her, and she hadn't asked any questions except for this one.

“You and I are actually friends…” Rarity said, “It's you, me, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Applejewel, Fluttershy, and another girl named Sunset Shimmer.”

“Don't know anyone named Sunset Shimmer I'm afraid,” Twilight said thoughtfully, “But Fluttershy is our friend?”

“Yes, but no one is like they should be,” Rarity continued, “You're supposed to be a transfer student from Crystal Prep, Rainbow Dash is an athlete with the ego the size of Mount Everest, Applejewel is a hardworking farm girl, Pinkie Pie should be all throughout the school cheering and making people laugh, and Fluttershy…” Rarity closed her eyes as fresh tears fell, “Fluttershy is the sweetest person you'll ever see.”

“What about you?” Twilight asked softly.

“I can tell you this much, if I had died, I wouldn't be here right now,” Rarity said.

“Wow… okay then,” Twilight said, taking what Rarity said in, “Not going to lie, that's something. So… are you saying you're from another world or something?”

“I don't know, maybe?” Rarity said/asked, “I do know that everything around me is off. You and Principal Celestia are the only ones remotely right, and yet you're still not the way you're supposed to be. No offense, darling, but…”

“I-I get it,” Twilight said nodding, “You're saying that I'm still not your Twilight, right?”

Rarity nodded, “You think I'm crazy, don't you?”

“Actually… I think I believe you,” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Twilight wide eyed.

“W-what? You do…?” Rarity asked.

“Well, the Fluttershy I know is anything but sweet, Rainbow Dash is the shyest girl in school, Applejewel is nice, but she's not really what I'd call a hard worker, and Pinkie Pie avoids everyone because of her social anxiety. You said that over here, you're supposed to be dead?”

“That's what Fluttershy said,” Rarity said, “I asked her if she knew anyone named Rarity, and she said that they were best friends in elementary school, but she was in a car accident and… died.”

“Huh, do you remember a car accident?” Twilight asked.

“When I was seven, yes,” Rarity said, “My parents said its a miracle I even survived it. I do sometimes still get chest pains from it, but beyond that I made a full recovery.”

“I see,” Twilight said, “I think I know what's going on here. At least, why your memories of the world are so different than mine.”

“I'm crazy, right?” Rarity said sadly.

“No, I was going to say this sounds like the Butterfly Effect,” Twilight said.

“The… Butterfly Effect…?” Rarity asked, “What on earth is that?”

“According to the theory, if a butterfly flaps its wings in one area of the world, somewhere else there's a hurricane. Essentially, it's saying that the smallest change can drastically effect the rest of the world. What you're looking at right now is a version of the world where you didn't survive the car accident ten years ago.”

“But… how does this place even exist then?” Rarity asked.

“Well, some people believe that when you make a choice, there's another world created where you made the opposite choice. So for example, this: you were in a car accident ten years ago. There are two possible outcomes from this: one where you survived it, and one where you didn't. You know what happened if you survived it, because here you are. This world represents what would happen if you didn't.”

“So… I'm in a parallel world?” Rarity asked.

“That's… surprisingly the most logical explanation,” Twilight said, “Either that, or something happened to your world and switched events to match that outcome.”

“Why do you believe me?” Rarity asked defensively, “You know I can't prove any of this, right? How do you know I'm not an escapee from a mental asylum?”

“Because you just asked me that,” Twilight said laughing, “Also, I don't know what it is, but I just… feel like you're telling the truth. Besides, this is kind of a dream come true for me,” Twilight admitted sheepishly.

“W-what do you mean?” Rarity asked stepping away from Twilight a little in shock.

“You're actually from another world!” Twilight said, grabbing Rarity's hands, “I read about all of this stuff all the time, and you're living proof! Could you imagine the implications this discovery would have on science?!” she caught herself, “Um, not that I don't feel bad for you. I do, really. It's just… this is kind of exciting for me, you know?”

Rarity couldn't help herself. Despite her situation, she had to laugh a little. At least Twilight felt like herself. If what she said about the Butterfly Effect was true, then Twilight probably wouldn't have changed so drastically either way.

“Twilight, thank you,” Rarity said, “I… needed this.”

Twilight smiled, “I'm glad I could make you smile.”

“Do you think… you and I could be friends…?” Rarity asked Twilight looking down nervously, “I know this is sudden, and even though you're helping me, I shouldn't expect you to be willing to-”

Twilight cut her off by hugging her.

“Apparently, you and I are already friends, right?” Twilight asked. Rarity returned the embrace, this time shedding tears of joy. The two girls lied down in the large bed together, looking into each others eyes.

“Tomorrow, let's meet up with Pinkie Pie,” Twilight suggested, “I actually am friends with her and Applejewel, and she's into this sort of stuff too. She might have a solution to getting you back to your dimension.”

“They'll believe me?” Rarity asked.

“Well, Jewel might be skeptical, but she won't put you down or anything,” Twilight said, “Like I said, she's nice. Prissy, but nice.”

“Well good,” Rarity said with a yawn, “Perhaps this isn't so bad. Besides, what's freaking out going to do for my situation? Thank you Twilight.”

“No problem, Rarity,” Twilight said locking pinkies with Rarity, “What are friends for?”


“So… that's the one my master chose?” the shadowy figure said, standing on a nearby roof watching Rarity and Twilight, “This is going to be fun!”

She gave a high pitched yet terrifying giggle before she jumped away. She had to report this to her beloved master.

The Singularity had arrived…

Standard: Still Friends

View Online

Standard – Still Friends

play song

The next day, Rarity decided to try and keep her spirits up. After all, it was like she told Twilight, no good would come from her freaking out about her situation. Bottom line, if she came here, she could get back to her world.

Until then, she just had to stay positive.

She and Twilight hit it off pretty quickly. This Twilight was in fact just like Rarity's Twilight. Besides being more open, the only real difference was that she was more interested in esoteric science. Beyond that, she was still into reading, she still wanted to be a scientist when she grew up, and she was still an avid gamer. Before they started going to school, Twilight showed Rarity her collection of video games, dating all the way back to Super Nintendo, which she claimed she inherited from her older brother.

Needless to say, Twilight had a big collection.

The walk to school was the opposite of yesterday. Twilight and Rarity talked about a lot of things, mainly getting Rarity adjusted to her surroundings. She was pleased to know that history was the same overall here. In fact, the only major differences were from the last ten years onward.

When they arrived in the school building, Rarity was immediately aware of the stares she was getting from the other students. She also heard whispering, and giggling.

“Why do I get the feeling they're going on about me?” Rarity asked slowly.

“You did sort of make a scene yesterday,” Twilight pointed out.

“Oh dear, this is dreadful,” Rarity said burying her face in her hands, “This is the opposite of what it's like at home! Now I'm a laughing stock!”

“Hey, look on the bright side,” Twilight said with a comforting smile, “At least you have me.”

“True,” Rarity sighed.

“Come on. Let's see if Principal Celestia was able to get you a schedule, and then get to class,” Twilight said walking off. Rarity huffed and trudged after her friend. This was turning out to be a great day already.


To Rarity's surprise, she somehow managed to get her original schedule. This made things easier as long as the school layout was the same. Thankfully Twilight's schedule seemed identical to Rarity's Twilight, which meant they still had the same homeroom.

When they walked into the classroom though, Rarity saw that much to her dismay, everyone's schedules were identical to how she knew them. Which meant sitting in the back of the classroom…

Was Fluttershy.

Rarity froze when she saw Fluttershy, who immediately narrowed her eyes at Rarity. Normally she was excited to see Fluttershy, but this time all Rarity wanted to do was run away. Sadly, sharing a homeroom with Fluttershy wasn't even the worst of it.

“This is a disaster!” Rarity whispered frantically, “This means everyone's schedules are how I remember them!”

“Isn't that good though?” Twilight asked, “It means you'll know where everything is.”

“It also means that more than half of my classes will be shared with Fluttershy!” Rarity fussed, “Including the next one.”

Twilight looked at Rarity's schedule and nodded, “Yep, World History with Time Turner. God, it looks like you share lunch with her too.”

Before they could finish, the teacher, still Cheerilee, walked into the classroom. This version of Cheerilee was quite different though, as she didn't have the usual pep in her step. Actually, she acted like she hated her job.

After homeroom ended, Rarity began packing her books as fast as she could so she could get to her next class before-

“So, Canterlot High's started letting nut jobs enroll?” Fluttershy asked, right behind Rarity, who was frozen in fear, “Must be some sort of special program or something.”

“Fluttershy, um…” Rarity began slowly turning to the pink haired bully, “About yesterday, I…”

“I don't want to hear it,” Fluttershy spat, “I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with you yet. Do I make sure you stay as far away from me as possible?” she caressed Rarity's cheek a bit, and then grabbed her hair and yanked it a bit, “Or do I show you why I run this school and turn you into my bitch?”

I… don't…” Rarity stammered.

“Either way, don't disappear anywhere,” Fluttershy ordered, “And don't do anything stupid. Otherwise, I will make you wish you stayed in whatever crack house you came from.”

She released Rarity and stormed out of the classroom. Twilight put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her.

“Well, that turned out pretty good,” Twilight said.

“Did it now?” Rarity asked skeptically.

“She didn't do any physical harm to you,” Twilight pointed out. Rarity laughed awkwardly, but still had to think. Just how bad was Fluttershy if that was Rarity getting off easy.

Could she survive another encounter with her?


Rarity stayed as far away as she could from Fluttershy in History, sitting on the opposite side of the classroom. It was bad enough that she had to deal with the students in the classroom laughing and gossiping about her for yesterday; the fact that she could literally feel Fluttershy glare hitting her back.

She must still have The Stare over here, Rarity thought.

Once that class was over, she rushed to her next class, this one being Math. If she remembered correctly, Applejack ( Applejewel, sorry) and Pinkie Pie should have been in that class. When she got into the classroom, she saw Applejewel sitting in the front of the class. She waved sweetly to Rarity, who returned the gesture and searched the room for Pinkie Pie. It took a second, but she eventually found what looked like Pinkie Pie, but something was definitely off.

First of all, her hair was completely straight, tied in a red band. She was wearing a black and white gothic lolita dress that almost looked like a maid's outfit, black high heels and fingerless gloves, black eyeshadow, blood red lipstick. Rarity tried not to stare too hard as she went to her seat, but it was just so jarring. Pinkie Pie looked really uncomfortable, as she was huddled in her seat and looking nervously around at the other students.

It felt odd being in class like this, with her situation up in the air like it was. She still didn't know where Sunset Shimmer was, and she almost felt like she was wasting time sitting in a classroom. She needed to know what that creature was, and whether or not it had something to do with her ending up in this alternate dimension.

Math class was as long and boring as Rarity remembered it. When class ended, she let her head fall on her desk.

“I hate this,” Rarity sighed, “It wouldn't be so bad if it were my classroom.” She noticed a flash nearby. She sat up and looked right into the lens of a camera held by the alternate Pinkie Pie, “Um… hello?”

“Abnormality number 43,” alternate Pinkie Pie said softly, “Teenage girl claiming to be the ghost of someone who died. Possibly from another dimension.”

“Um… I'm assuming Twilight told you?” Rarity asked.

“First, a test,” Pinkie Pie asked, “What's my name?”

Rarity sighed, “The name I'm familiar with is Pinkie Pie, but your full name is Pinkamena Diane Pie the second.”

Alternate Pinkie Pie lowered her camera and regarded Rarity with a somewhat unreadable expression, “Correct. I prefer to be called by my middle name, Diane, but for your sanity, you can call me Pinkie Pie. That's actually what Jewel and Twilight call me.”

“What are ya doin to the new girl?” Applejewel asked walking over to them.

“Testing her,” Pinkie Pie said, “She'd only know my full name if she were telling the truth.”

“She might have jus' asked around,” Applejewel said shrugging.

“No one cares enough about me to go through that much trouble,” Pinkie Pie said somberly, “I'm not important enough for that.”

Oh, if only you knew the version of you I remembered.

“Either way, glad to see ya survived the dragon's fire, hun,” Applejewel said as Rarity stood up, “We're headin to lunch now. Where are ya headin?”

“I believe I have the same lunch as you,” Rarity said, “Will Twilight be joining us.”

“We'll be meeting her in the library,” Pinkie Pie said, “She and Jewel always eat there with me so I'm not alone.”

“Unless you packed yer lunch, we'll meet ya there,” Applejewel said, “Ah never eat the lunches here. To think they'd make someone of my caliber eat that gruel. Ugh!”

“I packed my lunch,” Rarity said, “It's in my locker.”

As the three girls walked to Rarity's locker to pick up her lunch, they were stopped by the sound of something slamming in front of them. They ran down the hall and stopped when they saw Fluttershy standing over Rainbow Dash, who was backed up against her locker cowering in fear.

“That paper is due tomorrow, you dumb bitch!” Fluttershy shouted, “Why isn't it done yet?!”

“W-well… I sort of… needed to do extra work on mine, so…” Dash squealed in fear as Fluttershy slammed her fist next to Dash's head.

“No one gives a shit about your grades! You're nothing but a weak, helpless bimbo who isn't worth the scraps from my cigarette! I own this school, and I own you, so when I order you to do something, I expect you to do mine first and give it your best!”

“I… I'm sorry…” Dash said, her eyes watering as she began to cry. This was too much for Rarity, not just because this was so out of character for both of them, but because of how Fluttershy was treating Dash. Sure, that was her friend in her dimension, but here Fluttershy was just a bully.

Rarity hated bullies.

Rarity narrowed her eyes and walked over to them, but Applejewel grabbed her arm stopping her.

“Hold on, hon,” Applejewel said, “That ain't none of our business.”

“You don't expect me to just do nothing, do you?” Rarity asked.

“Unless ya want her to turn on you, then yeah,” Applejewel said, “There ain't nothin that can be done 'bout that. Best to jus' leave things like that alone.” Rarity was aghast hearing those words come out of Applejack's mouth. The Applejack Rarity knew would never turn her back on someone in need. Rarity scowled at Applejewel, yanked her arm free, and stormed over to Fluttershy, “Rarity!”

Pinkie Pie pulled out her camera and pointed it at Fluttershy and Rarity, “This could be fun,” she said softly.

Right when Rarity was next to Fluttershy, she turned her around and did something that no one in the school was ready for, and she was sure would forever solidify her place in this dimension.

end song

SLAP

“How dare you!” Rarity seethed, “Getting angry at someone just because they valued their grade over yours!”

“You… stupid… fucking… BITCH!” Fluttershy shouted getting in Rarity's face, “What did I say to you about doing something stupid?! I am the wrong one to-”

“What, am I supposed to be afraid of you?!” Rarity asked, “The problem here is that no one has the courage to stand up to you! I'll admit, at first I was intimidated by you, but looking at this shows me just how small you really are, and I'm not going to stand for it! The one thing I hate is a bully!”

“And just what are you going to do about it?” Fluttershy asked, “Tell on me?”

Rarity laughed, “Oh no, that won't be enough. I was thinking of possibly teaching you a lesson in manners myself.”

“This is rich!” Fluttershy laughed, “This prissy, high heeled slut thinks she's tough! Sorry, but you're wearing too much make-up to stand up to me!”

Fluttershy went to slap Rarity in the face, but Rarity grabbed her arm stopping her, not ever taking her eyes off the girl in front of her. There was a unified gasp in the hall.

“I may be a pretty face, darling, but don't let that fool you,” Rarity said dangerously, “Back in my old school I was somewhat of a defender of people like Dashie here, and after a while the bullies were more afraid of me. Shall I put you in your place?”

Fluttershy started breathing heavily as she got angrier and angrier, until she screamed in rage, “YOU WANNA GO BITCH?! FINE THEN! AFTER SCHOOL IN THE BACK ALLEYWAY, BE THERE AND WE'LL SETTLE THIS! I'LL MAKE YOU WISH YOU NEVER CROSSED ME!”

Fluttershy turned and stormed off, screaming loudly in rage. Rarity took a deep breath and turned to Dash, “Are you okay, darling?”

“Why… did you do that…?” Dash asked trembling, “You don't know me…”

“No, but I know someone very much like you,” Rarity said, unsure who she was referring to, “I've never turned away from someone in need before, and I'm not starting now.”

“She'll hurt you…” Dash said, “She doesn't care about anyone… She's just filled with hatred and anger…”

“She lost someone important to her,” Rarity said thinking about her Fluttershy, “I think losing that person painted her outlook on the world. She isn't meant to be feared, she's meant to be pitied. That doesn't excuse her behavior though. After school, I'll deal with her. She might not stop, in fact she probably won't, but this will be the first step in teaching her discipline.”

Rarity turned to walk off, but Dash embraced her from behind crying.

“Please… make her stop…” Dash sobbed, “She wasn't always like this. When we were kids, she was nice, but-”

“Shh…” Rarity said turning to Dash again and embracing her, “It's alright, darling. Why don't you eat with me and my friends, hm?”

“You… want me to eat with you…?” Dash asked.

“Of course,” Rarity said smiling warmly, “Not everyone you know is going to hurt you. You can have friends, Dashie.”

“No one ever calls me that…” Dash said, “Thank you…”

“You're welcome,” Rarity said, “Now come along, darling. Let's get our lunches and go to the library.”

play song

As Rarity and Dash walked off, Dash holding onto Rarity's arm, both Pinkie Pie and Applejack looked at her in shock. After they all gathered their lunches, the four girls went to the library. Pinkie Pie led them to the back of the library, where Twilight was sitting in front of a computer, already eating her lunch.

“Twilight!” Pinkie Pie chirped running up to Twilight and embracing her from behind.

“Hey Pinkie Pie,” Twilight said turning to everyone, “Oh, Rainbow Dash is joining us too?”

“Rarity here was the one who suggested it,” Applejewel said with a shrug, “She stupidly faced Fluttershy an' saved Rainbow, effectively markin herself as public enemy number one.”

“Hold on, what?!” Twilight asked looking at Rarity, “You attacked Fluttershy?!”

“I couldn't take it,” Rarity said putting her hand on Rainbow Dash's shoulder, “Dashie here didn't deserve do be assaulted like that. I had to do something.”

“She was really cool looking,” Pinkie Pie said pulling out her camera, “I took pictures of the whole thing.”

Twilight looked at the pictures and was visibly impressed, “Wow. You look almost like you do this for a living.”

“Where I'm from, I kind of protect my more sensitive friends,” Rarity explained, “I'm not worried about Fluttershy, which is why I'm going to meet up with her after school.”

“What's after school?” Twilight asked.

“Fluttershy challenged Rarity to a fight after school,” Pinkie Pie said, “They're going to fight in the back alley.”

“Oh no!” Twilight said shooting up and running over to Rarity, “Rarity, you can't do this! That's Diamond Dog territory!”

“I know,” Rarity said, “It's the same in my world.”

“Wait… her world?” Dash asked looking at Rarity confused.

“Then you should know that you're about to get ambushed! Fluttershy doesn't play fair! Once she gets a hold of you-”

“Twilight!” Rarity said placing her hands on Twilight's shoulders, “I'll be fine. I've done this before.”

Twilight sighed shaking her head. Rainbow Dash walked over to them and lightly pulled at Twilight's shirt to get her attention.

“Um… what did she mean by "her world"?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Right, um,” Twilight looked at Rarity embarrassed, “This is a slightly bigger crowd than we wanted, but do you still…?”

“She's bound to find out eventually,” Rarity said, “Besides, you said Applejewel would be a skeptic anyway.”

“Does this have anythin to do with how ya knew my name yesterday?” Applejewel asked folding her arms, “No one knows my real name, so how you knew is sorta strange, and yer little outburst in front of Fluttershy is common knowledge in the school. Just who are you, Rarity?”

Rarity looked around at the girls surrounding her, and felt out of place. The only one who was remotely right was Twilight, but Pinkie Pie, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack looked like complete strangers.

“This is going to sound crazy,” Twilight said stepping forward, “But Rarity here does know all of us. Somehow she landed here from another world. Pinkie Pie, you remember what I said in my text, right?”

“I remember,” Pinkie Pie said, “I tested her myself. She knew my full name.”

“Hold on, hold on,” Applejewel said holding her hands up, “How did this happen, assumin yer tellin the truth.”

“That's the thing, I don't know,” Rarity said somberly, “I remember everything shifting around me, and I heard this creature's roar. It sounded like something out of this world.”

“A creature's roar?” Dash asked.

“Yes. I have no idea what it was, but that thing took my friend Sunset Shimmer,” Rarity said rubbing her arm, “I know this sounds odd, but I swear I'm telling the truth. I just wish to know what happened to my friend, and how I got here.”

“I think she's being serious girls,” Twilight said, “What reason would she have to lie about something like this?”

“It just doesn't make any sense,” Applejewel said, “Parallel worlds, creatures through portals.”

“She does know things she shouldn't know though,” Pinkie Pie said, “She knew both of our names, and I've been watching her go through the school, and she seems to know where everything is.”

“Hm…” Applejewel folded her arms, “Twilight, why do you believe this girl?”

“Honestly, I don't know,” Twilight said, “When I look at her though, something inside is telling me that she and I are supposed to be friends. Besides, I saw how upset she got. No one would be that upset over something she made up.”

“Um… if that's true,” Rainbow Dash said, “What's Fluttershy like in your dimension? Is she nicer?”

“Actually, she's a lot like you,” Rarity said, “You see, apparently in this dimension, I died in a car accident when I was seven. I survived it, but the Rarity here didn't.”

“This is all really elaborate,” Applejewel said, “Too elaborate for it ta be a lie.”

“Do you believe me?” Rarity asked Applejewel.

“Ah ain't so sure,” Applejewel said, “But, Ah'm willin ta give ya the benefit of the doubt. Ya don't seem like a bad person. Actually, ya seem good to a fault.”

“I've heard that before,” Rarity said smiling at Applejewel.

“So… how do we get her back to her dimension?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“That's what I've been trying to figure out,” Twilight said turning to the computer again, “Her situation does sort of match the story of Lavos, the Time Devourer, but that sounds a little too out there.”

“Until then,” Rarity said sitting down, “Why don't you tell me about Fluttershy? I figured while I'm here I might as well help out with a few things.”

“Won't that mess up the time space continuum or somethin?” Applejewel asked sitting down next to Rarity.

“I didn't travel through time,” Rarity said, “That shouldn't apply. It… won't… right?” Rarity asked.

“I'm sure you're fine,” Pinkie Pie said, “Worst case scenario we'll all have to explain how you just vanished all of a sudden.”

“Oh good,” Rarity said sighing in relief, “So, what sort of person is Fluttershy? You said she wasn't always like this?”

“She wasn't,” Rainbow Dash said looking down, “I… didn't want to say anything before, but you… did sort seem familiar to a girl I used to know in elementary school. She had hair like yours, and she and Fluttershy were always together, but I heard she was in an accident. After that, Fluttershy left the school for a bit.”

“How was she when she got back?” Rarity asked.

“She had a dark air about her,” Dash said, “She used to get bullied really bad, but one day she just snapped. She started fighting the bullies back, and at first she was fine, but after a while she just took it too far and became one herself.”

“Fluttershy was always unstable,” Rarity said, “She works at the animal shelter in my world, which I believe balanced her out, but I was the one who suggested that.”

“So without you, Fluttershy became a bully herself as a defense,” Twilight stated, “I kind of feel sorry for her now.”

“Ah don't have any sympathy for her,” Applejewel said daintily eating her lunch, “Her friend dyin doesn't excuse how she treats people.”

“So, with that in mind, what are you going to do?” Pinkie Pie asked, “Are you going to try and bring your Fluttershy out through her?”

“I don't think I can,” Rarity said sadly, “She's too far gone at this point. However, I feel I can at least help her see how much of a bitch she's being and plant the seeds of change.”

“What if you lose?” Dash asked, “Like Twilight said, Fluttershy doesn't play fair.”

“I won't lose,” Rarity said, “I've won in odds that were stacked against me before. This won't be any different.”


end song

At the end of the school day, Rarity walked straight to the back alleyway. Applejewel, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight all went with her, Twilight actually walking next to Rarity. In the alleyway, they found Fluttershy sitting on a dumpster as if it were a throne.

“Well well well, you've got guts, I'll give you that,” Fluttershy said smugly.

“Aren't you calm?” Rarity taunted, “When I saw you this afternoon, you were an absolute mess. Are you ready to apologize?”

“Apologize to Rainbow Trash over there? You've got to be kidding,” Fluttershy said with a laugh, “I'm so calm because there's no conceivable way you're going to win.”

“Oh?” Rarity asked.

“I'm the queen of this school. What's a queen without her knights?” Fluttershy asked before she snapped her fingers.

play song

Out from behind the dumpster walked Rover, Fido, and Spot. Fido had a wooden bat in his hands, Spot was holding a trash can lid, and Rover pounded his fist in his palm. As they surrounded Rarity, her new friends were forced to back away.

“Rarity!” Twilight cried out, “I knew you couldn't play fair, Fluttershy!”

“It's called insurance,” Fluttershy taunted, “But I'll make you a deal Rarity. Get on your hands and knees, beg me to forgive you, and I'll tell my boys to be gentle with you.”

“This is terrible!” Rainbow Dash cried, “It's all my fault!”

“Ah'll get the teachers!” Applejewel said, “Vice-Principal Luna should-”

“Don't you dare!” Rarity called out stopping Applejewel, “If you think I'm going to be intimidated by this, you're sorely mistaken,” she noticed an old broom on the ground in front of her. Naturally, she picked it up, twirled it around above her, and got in her self taught stance, “Don't worry darlings, this will be over before you know it.”

Fluttershy's face was contorted into a scowl, “You're the kind of person I can't stand. Rover, Fido, Spot, I want this uppity bitch wrecked!”

“Yes ma'am!” the Diamond Dogs all said in unison.

Fido rushed at Rarity first, swinging his bat wildly. Rarity ducked out of the way and tripped him with her broom before whacking him in the head. Rover ran to tackle Rarity, but she moved out of the way forcing him to tackle Fido, knocking both of them to the ground.

Spot threw his trash can lit at Rarity, actually knocking her back a bit onto the ground. She rolled to her back just as Rover rushed over to her and tried to pin her to the ground.

“You smell real nice,” Rover said licking his lips, “Definitely my type.”

“Too bad you're not mine!” Rarity said kicking Rover back. She kicked to her feet twirling her broomstick above her head. She turned to Fido just in time, meeting his bat with her makeshift staff.

The two of them clashed weapons for a good while, until Rover got behind Rarity and tried to grab her. Rarity thrust her broom into Rover stomach, and then swung it to Fido's head, knocking them both back and onto the ground.

She turned to Spot, who immediately pushed past Twilight and the others running out of the alleyway. Fluttershy groaned in frustration.

“You boys are useless!” Fluttershy screamed jumping off the dumpster and pulling out two small daggers, “Fine! I'll just do it myself!”

“Fluttershy's got a knife!” Dash cried.

“This is getting really really good,” Pinkie Pie said, already recording the fight on her camera.

“Good?! She's gonna get hurt!” Applejewel cried, “We gotta do somethin!”

“No!” Rarity said, “This is between me and Fluttershy! You all stay out of it!”

Unknown to all of them, someone was watching the fight from a nearby roof, looking right at Fluttershy.

“I bet I can use her,” the figure said with a toothy grin, “Try to bring out the Singularity's latent abilities.”

She created a black orb in her hands, and threw it down at Fluttershy. When it hit the bully, she screamed in pain as a black aura engulfed her.

“W-what's going on with her?!” Applejewel asked.

“Wait, that's not a graphic on my camera…” Pinkie Pie said frowning at her camera.

“Rarity!” Twilight cried, Rainbow Dash simply covering her face in fear.

Fluttershy stood hunched forward a bit as if possessed, and then looked at Rarity with a demonic grin, her eyes glowing red. Rarity backed away a bit as Fluttershy began charging up green energy. She pointed her hands forward, creating a sharp gust of wind that knocked Rarity onto the ground.

“Rarity, are you okay?!” Twilight cried running to her side and helping her up.

“Something is wrong here,” Rarity said rising to her feet, “Was that Equestrian magic? It didn't look like it…”

“Equestrian magic…?” Twilight asked.

“Stay back,” Rarity said getting back in her stance, “There's something possessing Fluttershy!”

“I'm going to enjoy ruining that pretty face of yours,” Fluttershy said laughing like a mad woman, “Scream real loud for mommy now!”

Fluttershy rushed at Rarity slashing with her daggers. Rarity jumped away from the slashes, careful to not let Fluttershy hit her. After a second, Fluttershy began charging up that green energy again and shot another sharp gust of wind at Rarity, who rolled out of the way just in time.

Rarity landed on one knee and looked at Fluttershy as she sauntered over to her throwing one of her daggers up and down.

“Well, you talk a big game Rarity, but this might be it,” Rarity said to herself, “No! I can't die here! My friends, Sunset, they all need me! I have to get back to them!” Rarity tightened her grip on her broomstick, her hand being engulfed in black energy.

“What the…?” Twilight asked, looking at Rarity intently.

Rarity stood up and did the first thing that came naturally, allowing the new feeling building up in her chest to consume her. Black energy charged up around her, just like the green energy did for Fluttershy, and she held her hand forward. A black ball of energy built up in her hands, and she fired it at Fluttershy, actually knocking her back.

“Whoa!” Pinkie Pie exclaimed, “Did that really happen, or is my camera acting up again?!”

“I think Rarity… just used magic…” Dash said in awe.

Rarity didn't know what she just used, but she felt like she could do it again if she built up energy. Brandishing her broomstick again, she braced herself as Fluttershy rushed over to her and slashed with her dagger. Rarity blocked each slash with her broom, and then began her own assault. She noticed that with each impact energy built up within her.

Could she…? Yes, she could use it again.

Rarity jumped away, and charged up that black energy again. Once again she held her hand out creating that black orb, launching it at Fluttershy. This time, Fluttershy went flying into a trash can. At the same time a black mist flew out of Fluttershy's body.

end song

Rarity stood up proudly as her friends all looked at her in shock. A second later, they all started cheering loudly and ran over to her.

“Ah don't believe it! You were tellin the truth!”

“You looked like a super hero! How did you do that thing with your hands?!”

“This is going on Youtube! I have to post this!”

“I thought you were going to die out there! I didn't know you could fight like that!”

“Girls, girls, please,” Rarity said, “I know I looked wonderful just now, but please hold off on the autographs,” a groan caught their attention. The five girls looked and saw Fluttershy shaking her head coming too. Rarity walked over to Fluttershy, her expression unreadable.

“What the hell…?” Fluttershy asked, “Why am I on the ground?” Fluttershy looked up in shock as Rarity stood over her, still holding her broomstick. Fluttershy looked away darkly, but was surprised to see Rarity hold her hand out. When she looked back at Rarity, she was greeted with a warm smile.

“Come now, sitting on the ground like that isn't becoming of a lady,” Rarity said. Fluttershy looked up at Rarity, eyes widening as a look of recognition came over her.

“R-Rarity…?” Fluttershy asked, slowly reaching for Rarity's hand. Right before grasping it though, she caught herself and slapped it away, “You stay away from me!”

Fluttershy stood up and ran out of the alleyway in tears.

“What's goin on with her?” Applejewel asked.

“She's just upset that she lost the fight,” Pinkie Pie said, “Which I'm still going to post to youtube.”

“Rarity, are you going to be okay?” Twilight asked.

“Y-yeah,” Rarity said now looking at her hand, wondering about that odd magic she used, “I'm fine.”


That night, Rarity found that she was having trouble sleeping. Not just because of her current situation that despite now having a few friends in this dimension hadn't improved much if at all, but also because of what happened during her fight with Fluttershy. What possessed Fluttershy that gave her those strange powers?

And how had Rarity gained power herself?

As Twilight slept next to her, Rarity lied on her back looking at her hand in both fear and confusion.

“What's happening to me?” Rarity asked herself, tearing up a bit, “Girls, I wish you were here with me. I miss you all dearly.”

An odd shadow from the window caught her attention. Rarity looked and saw the silhouette of someone standing outside of the window sill. They looked like they were dressed a bit like a jester or clown, but what struck Rarity was how familiar her curly hair looked.

“Pinkie… Pie…?” Rarity asked sitting up. The figure jumped down from the window, and Rarity shot out of bed and over to the window to find them. She saw someone running swiftly in the direction of the school.

Realizing that this might have been the only way for her to get answers, Rarity quickly got dressed and ran out of the room, unaware of how long Twilight had been awake and watching her in confusion.


Rarity stopped when she reached the school and looked around.

“Where are you?” Rarity asked, more so to herself.

“Rarity!” she heard from behind her. Rarity turned to see Twilight, fully dressed and on her bicycle riding over to her.

“Twilight? What are you doing here?” Rarity asked as Twilight stopped in front of her.

“Seriously? You're asking me that?” Twilight asked stepping off her bike, “You're the one who ran out of the house late at night like a crazy person.”

“I'm sorry, but I saw someone,” Rarity said turning back to the school, “They were watching me from the window, and I think they're involved with what happened to Fluttershy earlier. They might even know how I got here,” she saw the figure walk into the back alleyway, and she was almost floored, “Pinkie Pie?!” she cried out running after them. Twilight threw her bike to the ground and gave chase, stopping next to Rarity in the alleyway.

“Hold on…” Twilight asked looking at the mysterious woman before them, “Is that… Pinkie Pie?”

The woman turned to them a with a sinister yet sensual smile. She certainly looked like Pinkie Pie in the face, and her hair was closer to Rarity's Pinkie Pie, if not longer and fuller, looking closer to Adagio's style. She wore a black jester's top that was more like a fancy bra with red sleeve like fabric on her arms connecting to golden bracelets on her wrists, black panties with the same red fabric going down to gold anklets that showed off her shapely legs, and golden high heeled jester shoes. She wore black lipstick and had a red star made up on her right eye, and behind her was a large hula hoop that looked bladed.

“How right you are,” the Pinkie Pie lookalike said, “Or wrong, who can say? There are a lot of Pinkie Pies, you know,” she walked forward, “But I'm not here for you. The Singularity and I need to talk.”

“Singularity…?” Rarity asked.

“Did you enjoy my little gift today?” the jester Pinkie Pie said leaning forward with an odd smile, “The power of Elements are fantastic, right?”

“Elements…?” Rarity asked, her heart racing for some reason.

“The girl you were fighting has a green affinity, and the girl next to you I feel a white affinity from, but you, oh you're a rare one indeed. A black affinity,” jester Pinkie Pie giggled, “All you needed was a little push in the right direction.”

“You did that…” Rarity said, eyes wide, “You were the one who turned Fluttershy into that monster…”

“Wasn't that fun?” jester Pinkie Pie asked laughing, “I thought you'd get a kick out of that.”

“How could you…?” Rarity asked trembling, “She could have been seriously hurt…!”

“Besides giving your powers a push? Oh that's easy,” jester Pinkie Pie smiled showing off what appeared to be vampire fangs, “It. Was. Fun.”

“Fun?! FUN?!” Rarity screamed, grabbing the broom that she left in the alleyway earlier and swinging it at the jester who did a back flip out of the way, “My friends almost died today, just so you could have your fun?!”

“Pinkie Pie, t-this is a joke… right?” Twilight asked, slowly beginning to panic, “You're just messing with Rarity and I, right?”

“Is that what you think?” jester Pinkie Pie asked. She then spun around swinging her hips sexually as if dancing charging up blue energy. She then pointed her hand and Rarity and Twilight, and a sharp icicle appeared above her and shot down at the two of them. Rarity grabbed Twilight and jumped away just in time and then glared at the now confirmed evil jester.

“You…!” Rarity seethed. Sure, this person looked like her Pinkie Pie, and acted a bit like her, but she definitely was not her Pinkie Pie.

play song

“You can call me Pinkamena,” the jester Pinkie Pie said spinning around and getting into her fighting stance, holding her large hoop at her side and swaying her hips back and forth slowly, “If it's a fight you want Rarity, I'm happy to oblige.”

Rarity stood up and got in her fighting stance. Immediately Pinkamena began charging up her element again, firing another icicle at Rarity, who this time blocked with her broomstick. Rarity then rushed at Pinkamena swinging her weapon at the demonic jester, who flipped out of the way of her all of her assaults.

Pinkamena kicked Rarity stunning her, rested her hula hoop on her wrist and spun it around slashing Rarity, knocking her onto the ground.

“Rarity!” Twilight screamed.

“Having fun yet?!” Pinkamena asked maniacally. She then began charging up her element, but this time a blue light converged on her body.

“Rarity, I think she just did something weird to herself!” Twilight said as Rarity stood up, “Brace yourself for her next attack!”

“Got it!” Rarity said. She then charged up her element (happy to see she could use that anytime she wanted) and then held her hand forward, creating her black orb. She mentally called this attack “Shadow Ball”.

She launched her attack at Pinkamena, who surprisingly took the attack head on and didn't seem too hurt by it.

“What?!” Rarity cried.

“Silly filly, you couldn't tell?” Pinkamena said dusting herself off, “Oh right, neither one of you probably have that skill. You see, I have a double attribute, blue and black. This means your elements don't have much effect on me.”

“Damn it…!” Rarity swore, realizing that she might have bitten off more than she could chew this time. Her “weapon” was nothing more than a simple broom, and her one trump card wouldn't work on this woman. She was in trouble this time.

“Why don't I show you what real black elements look like?” Pinkamena said, once again charging up energy, only this time it was black like Rarity. She then rushed toward Rarity holding her ring weapon behind her and started spinning around slashing Rarity, the hoop engulfed in black energy. Rarity was unable to block the attack and fell back onto the ground screaming in pain.

“RARITY!!!” Twilight screamed as Rarity's entire world went dark. The last thing she heard was Pinkamena's demonic yet giddy laughter.


end song

“Wake up!” Twilight urged, “Rarity, please get up!”

“Mmm… Twilight…?” Rarity asked coming to. She sat up slowly rubbing her head, “What happened?”

“Thank God!” Twilight said embracing Rarity, “I thought you had died!”

“Where's… Pinkamena?” Rarity asked looking around.

“She's gone,” Twilight said with a sigh, “She opened some sort of portal and then retreated inside.”

“Portal?” Rarity asked. Twilight pointed in the direction of the dumpster Fluttershy sat on earlier. Sure enough, there was an odd circular phenomenon still present in front of it. It was blue, and was sparking a bit.

play song

“She said 'if you want to know the truth, take the plunge',” Twilight said, “Rarity, I don't think you should go.”

“I have to,” Rarity said standing up, “She knows how I got here, and probably how to get back to my home world.”

“But…”

“Thank you so much Twilight,” Rarity said, still looking at the portal, “Please, keep Dashie close. I'm certain Fluttershy will continue bullying her, but she'll have a harder time if she's with you and your friends.”

Rarity began walking to the portal, but Twilight grabbed her hand stopping her.

“I can't let you go alone Rarity,” Twilight said, “So… I'm coming with you.”

“Twilight!” Rarity exclaimed turning to the teen in shock.

“Something inside of me is screaming that I need to go with you,” Twilight said, “I don't know if it's because I'm afraid you'll die, or if it's some odd connection to your Twilight, but I have to go too.”

“Mmm…” Rarity really wasn't sure this was a good idea. Rarity didn't belong here anyway, but there wasn't a guarantee that they'd ever make it back to this dimension.

“Besides, two heads are better than one, right?” Twilight continued, “If we both go together, I can help you figure out why you were pulled out of your dimension.”

Rarity sighed. Twilight did have a point. Though she wasn't an idiot by any standards, Twilight was a lot smarter than Rarity. She needed someone with her who knew about that “Butterfly Effect” thing just in case it came up again. She didn't want Twilight to come with her, but she did need her help.

“Fine…” Rarity said, “But we need to find you a weapon. Until then, stay behind me, alright?”

Twilight nodded. The two of them looked at the portal apprehensively, nodded, and then jumped through to parts unknown as the portal closed behind them.

No turning back now. Rarity and Twilight's adventure awaited.


CHRONO

REFLECT

Forest: Priestess of the Forest

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Forest – Priestess of the Forest

Deep in the lush greenery of Canterlot Forest, the latest girl to be sacrificed to their masters was being brought to the tribute site. Though she was screaming and begging everyone to release her, the young red haired girl's cries fell on deaf ears. They didn't want to do this to little Apple Bloom, but they didn't have a choice.

Further away, her older sister “Applejack” was frantically screaming at the elders to release her little sister. Sadly, all she could do was watch helplessly as they bound the girl's wrists behind her back and then tied the rope to a tree, preventing her from running away.

“No!” Applejack screamed, “Let sister go! Please! I be sacrifice instead!” one of the men pulled Applejack away as the group left the little girl, “Apple Bloom! APPLE BLOOM!!!”

“APPLEJACK!!!” Apple Bloom screamed. Unfortunately, the crowd left, leaving the poor preteen girl alone in the forest. She pulled frantically at the bindings, but it was futile. She was bound too tightly to the tree. All she could do was weep loudly and await her fate.

The true owners of the forest would come and claim her soon.


Elsewhere in Canterlot Forest, the young priestess of the village hid in the bushes watching a pack of deer graze. She knew that the Chief didn't approve of her leaving the village to hunt, but she couldn't stay cooped up in the village. She may have been a woman, but she had the blood of a hunter.

The priestess pulled out her dagger and was about to lunge at the game in front of her, but an odd sound caught her and the deers' attention. It sounded almost like something opening. Sadly, the animals were startled by the sound and ran off, leaving the pink haired priestess alone in the forest.

She sighed, but then put her attention to the odd sound ahead. Something was calling her there. She probably should have gone back to the village soon, but this was something she just couldn't ignore.


Rarity and Twilight emerged from the portal in what appeared to be a lush forest. Rarity stepped forward and looked around before groaning in frustration.

“Hrm… this isn't my world,” Rarity said. Twilight turned around to the portal and saw it close, vanishing from sight. She laughed awkwardly and nervously.

“There goes the door,” Twilight said, “I hope my teachers aren't upset at me for missing midterms.”

“Strange,” Rarity said, “There doesn't seem to be any civilization in sight. There's just an endless forest.”

An animal growl caught their attention. They turned around and saw two large wild boars growling at them. They looked larger than most boars, almost looking like monsters.

play song

“My guess,” Twilight said nervously, “any humans alive were probably eaten by those!”

“Remember when I said to stay behind me?” Rarity asked holding her broomstick at the ready, “Now's the time to exercise that!”

The boar on the left charged at Rarity, who pushed Twilight out of the way before taking the blow head on. She flipped to her feet and charged at the boar and swung her broom at the boar. Sadly the “weapon” broke on contact.

Shoot, Rarity thought. Now she really needed a real weapon.

The second boar rushed at Rarity, but she jumped to the side out of the way near Twilight, who was sitting on the ground helplessly.

“Try using that black thing!” Twilight suggested.

“I need to build up energy to use that, and the only way is to attack! I can't do that without a weapon!” Rarity shouted. The boars circled around the two girls as they huddled together.

Right before they could charge at Rarity and Twilight though, something charged past them at high speed knocking one of the boars to the side. Rarity and Twilight looked to see who their savior was, and neither one of them knew what to make of it.

It was Fluttershy.

This Fluttershy had super long pink hair that was extremely full and fell over her shoulders along with going past her waist. She wore a light brown bra shaped top to loosely cover her bosom, a long loincloth that fell to her knees matching the bra that also had a long tail falling behind her, and dark brown boots. On her face were six black markings that looked like whiskers, and she had two daggers in her hands along with a spear strapped to her back.

“Holy…” Twilight said, mirroring Rarity's shock, “That looks like… Fluttershy.”

Tribal Fluttershy hunched forward like a beast, actually growling at the boars. They charged at her, but she jumped over them landing behind the animals. She then rushed over to one and slashed at it a few times. To Rarity, it seemed like she was choosing to modulate her attacks by impact, making some slashes stronger than others.

After a while, she jumped away and began charging up green energy. She then pointed both hands forward, creating two sharp gusts of wind at the second boar, actually knocking it far back. Rarity shot up and ran over to the tribal version of Fluttershy.

“Can I borrow your spear?” Rarity asked, afraid that this Fluttershy wouldn't have understood her. To her pleasant surprise though, she nodded and handed her the spear.

“You use spear! Fight other one!” Fluttershy requested. Her English was broken, but Rarity could understand her well enough. Rarity took the spear and nodded. She got back in her fighting stance and engaged the boar that Fluttershy just hit, this time actually hurting it.

Once she gathered enough energy, Rarity charged up her element, launching her Shadow Ball at the boar. When it fell back, it didn't wake up.

Rarity turned to the other boar just in time to see this world's Fluttershy deliver the finishing blow to it. She couldn't believe her eyes. Seeing Fluttershy take a life, and fight on such a professional level threw her for almost as much of a loop as seeing her as a bully.

end song

Twilight ran over to Rarity and embraced her.

“Oh my God, that was too close!” Twilight cried, “I thought we were going to die!”

“Shh, it's alright darling,” Rarity said comforting her friend, “Everything worked itself out,” Rarity noticed the tribal Fluttershy circling them closely, “Um…”

play song

Tribal Fluttershy started sniffing the two of them, getting super close to them, to the point where Twilight was clearly starting to get a little uncomfortable.

“Uh… Rarity… she's smelling us,” Twilight said.

“I realize…” Rarity said, smiling calmly. Something told her that this Fluttershy was more animal like than just cosmetically.

“Smell like fruit,” Fluttershy said softly, “Strong smell, but nice.”

“You understand us?” Rarity asked tribal Fluttershy.

“I understand,” Fluttershy said, “You speak man speak, like people from village.”

“That's right,” Rarity said placing her hand on her chest, “I'm Rarity. This is my friend Twilight,” she continued, pointing to her friend.

“Rar…ity… Twi…light…” tribal Fluttershy held her hand to her chest, “Fluttershy.”

“Oh, so you have the same name as-” Twilight was cut off by Rarity hitting her arm.

“It's truly a pleasure to meet you, Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “Do you live here alone?”

Fluttershy shook her head, “Village home. Come, I take you there where safe.”

play song

Fluttershy turned and walked deeper into the forest, Rarity and Twilight following closely.

“I am so not used to seeing Fluttershy act so nice,” Twilight whispered.

“This is refreshing for me,” Rarity whispered, “Except for how she's dressed and the way she talks, she seems more like the Fluttershy I grew up with,” Rarity ran to Fluttershy's side and held the spear to her, “Here, I think this belongs to you.”

“You keep,” Fluttershy said, “I only bring as last resort, but prefer daggers.”

“Ahh,” Rarity nodded, “Where is this place?”

“This Canterlot Forest,” Fluttershy said, “Share forest with Wolf Tribe.”

“Are there any cities anywhere?” Twilight asked.

“Cities…?” Fluttershy asked turning her head in confusion, “What is cities?”

“You know, large buildings, cars, TVs, things like that? Things outside of the forest?” Twilight pressed. The way Fluttershy looked at Twilight was both sad and hilarious.

“Nothing is outside of forest,” Fluttershy said, “Forest is all there is.”

“How can that-” Twilight asked, but Rarity grabbed her arm.

“Excuse us Fluttershy,” Rarity said leading Twilight away a bit, “Twilight, we're confusing the poor thing.”

“She's confused? What about me? How can there be nothing outside of the forest?” Twilight asked.

“You were talking about that Butterfly Effect thing, right?” Rarity asked, “What if this is the result of that? Could the Butterfly Effect change the world to be a forest like world?”

“Hm… come to think of it, that could be possible,” Twilight said, “The change would have to have occurred sometime thousands of years ago, but essentially yeah. There could be a world so drastically different from ours that it resulted in this.”

“Different world?”

Twilight screamed in shock as Fluttershy now stood next to them, “Fluttershy, don't scare me like that!”

“You say different world?” Fluttershy asked tilting her head to the side, “What is “oifferent world”?”

“Ahh, that's a little complicated,” Rarity said, “You see darling, I don't know if you'd believe us, but Twilight and I-” they heard a girl scream in the distance. Fluttershy immediately turned in the direction of the scream.

end song

“Apple Bloom!” Fluttershy cried out. Rarity ran after her without question, but Twilight looked around nervously.

“Oooh, I pray this doesn't become a habit of hers!” Twilight said running after her friend and their guide. The three of them stopped seeing what looked like three anthropomorphic wolves, two with spears, and one holding a bow with a quiver of arrows, circling around a young girl with long messy red hair wearing a one piece dress made of the same animal fur as Fluttershy's, but much less revealing as she was a child.

A child that looked like Apple Bloom.

Fluttershy growled and rushed at the wolf men standing in between them and Apple Bloom.

play song

“Fluttershy!” Apple Bloom cried happily.

“You not take Apple Bloom!” Fluttershy stated, “Leave now!”

“Child latest sacrifice,” the wolf man in the middle said, “Unless you want sacrifice yourself, High Priestess.”

High Priestess? Is the Fluttershy here someone if import?

“I not give myself to you or Chief!” Fluttershy said, “Free like wind! No man take away freedom!”

“This is getting intense…” Twilight said, “Come on Rarity… let's get out of here…”

“No,” Rarity said gripping the spear tightly.

“No?! Rarity, this isn't our business!” Twilight said.

“Fluttershy didn't abandon us, so I'm not going to abandon her,” Rarity said. She then ran over to Fluttershy's side, “I'm helping!”

Fluttershy nodded and pulled out her daggers. Twilight shook her head and ran to untie Apple Bloom while her friends engaged the wolf men.

The two with spears engaged Rarity, who immediately began to notice the difference between her self taught skills and their professional fighting prowess. She was easily getting overwhelmed.

“Ugh! This is harder than I thought!” Rarity said, holding her spear in front of her to defend as one spear wielding wolf kicked her into a tree.

Fluttershy slashed her opponent and kicked him back, and then turned to Rarity's fight. She charged up her element and shot her wind blade attack at one of the wolves, catching his attention. Rarity used that as her chance to get a few lucky slashes in with his back turned, and then charged up her element, firing her Shadow Ball at the wolf behind Fluttershy, killing him.

Fluttershy rushed over to the second spear wielding wolf and grappled him to the ground while Rarity continued to clash weapons with her opponent.

After Apple Bloom was untied, Twilight looked at the fallen wolf and ran over to him, grabbing his bow and an arrow. She pointed the arrow at the wolf Rarity was fighting, and shot him point blank in the back.

Rarity tripped him and knocked him to the ground before turning to Twilight, “You're an archer?”

“I took lessons back home,” Twilight said, “I'll be fine using this weapon.”

Rarity ran over to Fluttershy just as she was kicked off her opponent. Rarity stood in front of her and charged up her element, once again launching her black hole attack and knocking the last one out.

end song

Fluttershy slowly rose to her feet and looked at Rarity wide eyed.

“Are you okay?” Rarity asked Fluttershy, who immediately embraced her tightly, “Uh…”

“You save me and Apple Bloom,” Fluttershy said sweetly, “When one act to save another, it sign of eternal friendship.”

“I see,” Rarity said smiling and returning the embrace, thinking about the irony of the situation, “Well then, I suppose that makes us friends.”

Fluttershy released Rarity and walked over to Apple Bloom, “You safe now, Apple Bloom.”

“Fluttershy, I sacrifice to Wolf Tribe…” Apple Bloom said sadly, “Why you save me?”

“I not agree with tribe law,” Fluttershy said stroking Apple Bloom's face lovingly, “Come, we take you home now. Sister will be happy.”

Fluttershy took Apple Bloom's hand and walked off as Twilight went over to Rarity's side.

“You heard that, right?” Twilight asked Rarity, “She was a sacrifice?”

“Mm hm,” Rarity nodded folding her arms, “I'm willing to bet there's a lot more to this. Come on.”

Twilight tied the arrow quiver to her back with Rarity's help, and they caught up with Fluttershy and Apple Bloom, both anxious to see what would happen at Fluttershy's home.


As they left, Pinkamena walked out from behind a tree watching them leave.

“Oh Rarity, you're so naive,” Pinkamena said shaking her head, “No good deed goes unpunished, and I'm going to have to show you exactly why that is.”

She sauntered over to the leader and slapped him in the face, “Hey, wake up.”

“Hrm… who are you…?” the wolf man asked.

“Someone that's gonna soon become your best friend,” Pinkamena said with a sensual smirk, “Take me to your leader, and I'll make sure those girls pay for backing out of the tribute.”

“We could just take you,” the wolf man said gripping Pinkamena by her hair, “You fertile woman.”

Pinkamena giggled, “Sorry hon,” she grabbed his neck pinning him to the ground and making him release her, “I'm off the market, and you're not my type. Now, are you ready to listen, or am I going to have to play a little rougher?”


play song

Rarity thought that a village of people who lived in the forest would be dirtier, but she was surprised by how clean everything was here. There were different smells, mostly earthy scents, but nothing unpleasant. Actually, she was initially surprised by how pleasant it was to be around Fluttershy, who since the last fight had become somewhat clingy to Rarity. It seemed that she had somewhat imprinted onto Rarity.

Well, she didn't mind. Actually, she could remember a time when her Fluttershy would lean into her holding onto her arm just like this.

When they arrived in what Rarity and Twilight had learned was called Canterlot Village, they saw a familiar blond sitting under a tree crying her eyes out.

“Sister!” Apple Bloom cried out. The woman, confirmed to be this dimension's Applejack, perked up at the sound of Apple Bloom's voice. When she turned to Fluttershy and her group, she teared up covering her mouth in shock.

“Apple… Bloom…?” she asked trembling, “Apple Bloom!”

Apple Bloom and Applejack ran into each others arms and embraced. Applejack then turned to Fluttershy holding her sister in her arms.

“You save sister?” Applejack asked.

“Not alone,” Fluttershy said pulling Rarity and Twilight forward, “These friends now. They save Apple Bloom and me.”

Applejack went up to Rarity and Twilight and hugged them, “Thank you for saving sister!”

“It was our pleasure,” Rarity said, she and Twilight returning the embrace.

“Fluttershy!” a familiar authoritative sounding voice called out. They saw this world's Luna walking up to them, flanked by this world's Macintosh and Shining Armor. She was wearing a dark gray wolf skin two piece dress and a head piece that looked almost like a crown made of animal fangs. She did not look happy, and the air she was giving off scared Rarity a bit.

“Chief Luna,” Fluttershy said stepping forward and bowing. Chief Luna walked over to Fluttershy and slapped her.

“Hey!” Rarity shouted.

“What was that for?!” Twilight asked.

“Inside hut, now!” Chief Luna ordered, storming deeper inside of the village. Rarity walked over to Fluttershy and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Fluttershy, is everything okay?” Rarity asked.

“Come with me to chief's hut,” Fluttershy said, “You learn everything there.”

Fluttershy led Twilight and Rarity to the chief's hut, where they saw Chief Luna kneeling in the middle of the hut waiting for them. Fluttershy knelt down in front of Chief Luna, and Twilight and Rarity knelt down next to her.

“You not only interrupt tribute,” Chief Luna said sternly, “you also bring outsiders. You bring ruin to our village.”

“Wolf Tribe not use women to appease Lavos!” Fluttershy retaliated, “Wolf Tribe use women as playthings! They not believe in Lavos! Also, outsiders are friends! They save life! I bring them to village because they have nowhere else to go!”

Chief Luna shook her head, “Too kind, Fluttershy. One day, kindness will get you and everyone in trouble.”

“Um, excuse me,” Twilight said raising her hand, “Could I ask why that girl was left outside? Those men looked like they were going to hurt her.”

Chief Luna sighed, “Wolf Tribe own most of forest. They stronger than us, and are ones chosen by Lavos, God of Forest.”

“Lavos again…?” Rarity asked herself, remembering when Twilight brought up Lavos briefly before.

“They say, in order to appease Lavos, we must give female children as sacrifice,” Chief Luna continued.

“Wolves lie,” Fluttershy said folding her arms, “Lavos not real. They just use Lavos as excuse to steal women and take freedom.”

Rarity thought that was interesting. Not a lot of people knew that her Fluttershy was actually an atheist. Even though she grew up from a strict Christian household, Fluttershy herself was apathetic to spirituality, believing that people needed to be kind to everyone regardless of who was watching, and hated how people used religion as an excuse to be nice one minute yet criticize people the next.

This Fluttershy had a lot in common with her Fluttershy.

“You are High Priestess,” Chief Luna scolded, “Why continue to deny Lavos?”

“I not believe or support God that endangers tribe,” Fluttershy said, “I go to lake now. Wash off hunt.”

“Fluttershy!” Chief Luna called out. Sadly her words fell on deaf ears, as Fluttershy ignored her and walked out of the hut. Luna pinched the bridge of her nose, “That child will be death of us.”

“We didn't mean to cause you any trouble,” Rarity said, “We're searching for someone named Pinkamena, and we have reason to believe she's somewhere in this wor- er, forest.”

“We don't have anywhere else to go,” Twilight said, “Could we possibly stay here until we find the person we're searching for?”

Luna considered them for a long time before she sighed, “I must talk with sister. She is Village Seer, so she know what to do. For now, you may stay in village, but you will be Fluttershy's responsibility.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said, she and Twilight bowing. Both of them stepped out of the hut, unaware of the other figure watching them leave. They looked intently at Rarity, and then stepped back deeper inside the hut.


“Well, we're going to be here for a while,” Rarity said, “What are you going to do?”

“I think I want to take a look around,” Twilight said, “It's not every day that you end up in another dimension, you know? What about you?”

“I'm going to search for Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “The Chief said we're her responsibility, and there are a few things I wanted to ask her.”

“I know that the Fluttershy you're used to is really nice, but to me, this is just so weird,” Twilight admitted, “She looks like her, sounds like her, but acts completely different.”

“I know,” Rarity said, “But to me, this is more like how Fluttershy is supposed to be. Kind to a fault, affectionate, and full of courage.”

“Your Fluttershy sounds wonderful,” Twilight said wistfully, “I wish I could have met her.”

“I wish so too,” Rarity said, starting to feel a little misty eyed thinking about her best friend, “I think I saw a body of water down this pathway.”

“Rarity,” Twilight touched Rarity's shoulder, “Do you miss your Fluttershy?”

“She was my dearest friend back in my world,” Rarity said, “I guess… seeing a Fluttershy that's so much like my own… I just want to get closer to her is all.”

“I think I understand,” Twilight said before looking back at the hut they left with an odd smile, “So question… if you meet someone in another dimension who's another imagining of a sibling… is it still considered incest?”

“Twilight!” Rarity shouted aghast, “You were not eyeing Shining Armor!”

“He wasn't wearing a shirt!” Twilight whined, “He's like, a total dream boat!”

“I am not having this conversation with you,” Rarity said, trying not to laugh.

“Come on, just tell me your opinion!” Twilight urged, “I need to know if I'm creepy for thinking that an alternate version of my big brother best friend forever is totally hot!”

“Good bye Twilight,” Rarity said waving her off and walking away.

“I'm going to do it,” Twilight said, “I'm totally going to flirt with him.”

I'm looking for Fluttershy,” Rarity said.

“I'll put in a good word for you!” Twilight said. Rarity ignored her friend and continued to make her way to the lake. She didn't know if her Twilight was so flirtatious, but if she was, that meant they actually had a lot more in common than Rarity thought, which was nice. When she made it back to her dimension, she'd have to go shopping with her Twilight.

end song

It didn't take long to find the lake. She did have to ask around a bit, but the locals were all friendly enough and led her in the right direction. When she arrived at the lake she saw Fluttershy's clothes hanging on a nearby tree branch.

Realizing that Fluttershy probably wasn't decent at the moment, Rarity was about to rush away, but was caught off guard by someone rising out of the water suddenly. It was Fluttershy, and goodness gracious she was beautiful.

play song

Fluttershy turned to Rarity and smiled warmly, her long hair covering her breasts perfectly and her lower body still submerged in the water. Rarity didn't know if she were lesbian or bi-sexual, but seeing another girl naked was definitely a little embarrassing.

“Friend, you search for me?” Fluttershy asked.

“Um, I was hoping we could talk for a bit,” Rarity said, her face turning red as she looked away, “but you look like you might want privacy, so I'll just leave you be.”

“No!” Fluttershy called out stopping Rarity, “I not mind. Please stay. It nice to have friend to talk to.”

Rarity sighed and sat down on a nearby stone as Fluttershy turned her back to Rarity and continued to wash. This gesture was actually really intimate, but Rarity figured that it was just the norm for tribe members to see each other like this.

“The Chief said that Twilight and I are to stay with you,” Rarity said.

“Good,” Fluttershy said, “I not have many friends in village.”

“Is it because you don't believe in Lavos?” Rarity asked, “I wanted to ask, why don't you? You're the High Priestess of your village, right?”

“I am,” Fluttershy sighed looking forlorn, “Not always without faith. When I become High Priestess, believe in Lavos. But then Wolf Tribe leader begin asking us to give us women from our tribe, using Lavos' name to control us.”

“I see,” Rarity said, “After that, you lost faith in Lavos. After all, what sort of just God would give his power to such disgusting people?”

Fluttershy nodded, “People stop coming to shrine for worship. Religion become tainted, and stop making me feel good. So, I use worship time to hunt instead. Hunt make me feel strong. It empower me.”

“I wish the Fluttershy I knew could become strong like you,” Rarity said softly, catching herself when Fluttershy turned to her, “Oh sorry! I guess that sounds weird to you.”

“No… I assume you not from forest,” Fluttershy said, “You and Twilight dress funny, and you not smell like forest. Also, I hear strange sound before you appear. Was that from other world?”

“It was,” Rarity said hugging her knees, “I'm not sure if you'll believe me, but Twilight and I are from another world.”

“I not understand,” Fluttershy said stepping out of the water and going to her clothes, which were now dry.

“It's really hard to explain, but I guess where we're from, there isn't a lush forest like this, nor is there magic and monsters. Twilight and I aren't from the same world though. I was pulled from my world by some sort of creature, and a friend of mine is in a lot of danger,” Rarity teared up a bit, “Oh, I miss my friends so much.”

Fluttershy, now fully dressed, knelt down next to Rarity and began nuzzling her lovingly.

“You sad, sad person,” Fluttershy said, “I not completely understand, but believe you.”

“You do…?” Rarity asked, once again surprised by how quickly someone believed her.

“You not lying. Tears are genuine,” Fluttershy said, “You feel sad, I feel sad. That sign of bond. I not believe in Lavos, but I believe in you.”

“Fluttershy…” Rarity said, touched by Fluttershy's kind words. Looking into Fluttershy's eyes, she saw a brief flash of her Fluttershy, gazing into Rarity's eyes with the same kind, loving expression.

“When you one day go, I feel sad, but I still help you,” Fluttershy said looking into Rarity's eyes, “Seer says that in world, there are people destined by stars to be close. I believe that us. You and I… sisters under stars.”

Rarity smiled taking Fluttershy's hands, “I would love that, Fluttershy. Thank you.”

Fluttershy beamed, and then hugged Rarity tightly. It was sudden, and Rarity's heart was racing a bit from the intimacy of it, but she soon returned the gesture, silently wishing she were hugging her Fluttershy in this manner.

You're not my Fluttershy… but you're close enough.

end song


After spending a bit more time with Fluttershy, Rarity decided to head back to the village. Fluttershy offered to go with her, but Rarity suddenly felt really emotional and wanted to be alone for a bit. As she walked through the village, she saw a familiar woman sitting in front of a fancy statue looking up at the moon. She wore a long white animal skin bra top, matching skirt that was long and open on both sides, and had multicolored hair and a fancy head piece.

Is that… this world's Celestia?

Celestia turned to Rarity, smiled, and beckoned Rarity to come closer. Rarity looked around nervously, and then walked over to Celestia, who continued to regard her with a warm smile.

“Had feeling I meet you here,” Celestia said warmly, “Waited for long time to meet you, Rarity.”

Rarity's heart was racing. She had never been to this world, and as far as she knew, memories didn't carry over between alternate selves. That being said…

How did this world's Celestia know Rarity's name?

Forest: Fluttershy's Sacrifice

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Forest – Fluttershy's Sacrifice

Pinkamena stood in front of the Wolf Tribe leader, Greymane. He was a large anthropomorphic wolf wearing a red shirt and golden pants, both made of animal skin. He had a black eye-patch on his left eye, which had a large visible scar. While he was intimidating to most, Pinkamena was afraid in the slightest.

“Ritual is important to us,” Greymane said, his voice low like a growl, “Women of Canterlot Tribe used to appease rage of Lavos.”

Pinkamena laughed to herself, “You don't have to lie to me. We both know what you're really using the women here for.”

Greymane laughed, “You not understand. We use women to appease rage of Lavos within us.”

“Ahh, I see,” Pinkamena said laughing, “You know what? That's actually pretty funny. I like anyone who can tell a good joke. So, want my help with the punchline?”

“You help us? Why?” Greymane asked.

“You see, the one who interrupted the ritual was actually an outsider like me,” Pinkamena said, “I think she needs to be taught a lesson in getting involved in things that aren't her business, don't you?”

Greymane barred his teeth angrily, “Yes, outsider pay for ruining ritual.”

“So I'm gonna give you a present,” Pinkamena said sauntering over to Greymane, a black orb forming in her hand, “Something that I know you'll think is fun.”


Rarity stood in front of this world's Celestia, eyes wide in shock. How had she known her name? Did she recognize her as the Rarity of this dimension? No, that couldn't be it. No one else knew who she was, and she didn't see herself anywhere in this village, meaning she probably lived in another village.

So, how did Celestia…?

“Don't be alarmed,” Celestia said, “I am Village Seer. I see all, within forest and without.”

“I see,” Rarity said, “So… you also know the truth about me?”

“That you are traveler from another time? Yes,” Celestia said turning her attention to the moon again, “You lose something, something of import.”

“Y-yes,” Rarity said looking away pained, “A friend of mine is in danger, and the fate of my own world is up in the air at the moment.”

Celestia nodded, “Come with me. We continue conversation inside.”

Celestia wordlessly stood up and walked off. Rarity thought that was odd, but she shrugged and followed after Celestia. She thought she was taking her to the Chief's hut, but instead she took her to a hut with a butterfly sown above the entrance. When they went inside, Rarity saw Twilight already sitting there.

“Rarity?” Twilight asked, her eyes suddenly going wide, “C-Celestia?! What are-” she stopped when she realized what was going on, “Wait, you're… shoot, um…”

Celestia giggled, “You are fine, Twilight. I know where you and Rarity come from.”

“You do?” Twilight asked, “Rarity, did you tell her about the other worlds?”

“I didn't have to,” Rarity said, “She knew about that already. At least, I think she does.”

Celestia sat down in the middle of the room, and Rarity sat next to Twilight.

“You two come from different places,” Celestia said, “Same at core, but different, like apple of different skins.”

“An apple?” Rarity asked. Celestia reached for a basket nearby, and pulled out two apples: one red and one yellow, and threw one to each girl. Rarity getting the yellow apple, and Twilight getting the red one.

“Outside, apples look different. One color of blood, while other is closer to color of earth. Yet, does either one stop being apple?” Celestia asked.

“No,” Twilight said, “Both are still apples. It's just one was picked earlier than the other one.”

Celestia nodded, “Very good Twilight. Now, bite into apples, and tell me what you see.”

Both girls bit into their respective apples, and then looked at them. There really wasn't anything special about the two apples, at least nothing that Rarity saw.

“They're just apples,” Rarity said, “I don't see what-”

“No wait, I think I get it,” Twilight said, “Both of them look the same inside, right?”

Celestia nodded smiling, “Yes. At their centers, both apples are same. Maybe they taste different, but they look same. That is where you come from. Same place, but different.

“In case of where you are now,” Celestia reached for another basket, this time pulling out a pear, “Represented by different fruit all together. Pear looks similar to apple, inside and out, yet texture, taste, all is different,” she bit into her pear, and then showed them the inside, “From here, can't see difference. Only through experiencing pear can you tell how different it is from apple.”

“So we are in another dimension,” Rarity said somberly, “One that isn't anywhere near my own…”

“Rarity…” Twilight said rubbing Rarity's back comfortingly.

“Answers lie with Lavos,” Celestia said, “Must seek Lavos to learn truth.”

“Lavos?” Rarity asked, “How would your god be able to help me?”

“Mmm, not everything is as it appears,” Celestia said, “You not find answers here. Answers lie in another place,” she closed her eyes, “There you meet someone. Friend who is not human, or even alive in sense of us. Yet, they are alive, and wish to help you. This friend is one you will both recognize,” she then pointed to Twilight, “But only you can awaken friend from slumber.”

“Um… when you say “awaken”, that doesn't mean I'll have to… um…” Twilight asked, her face turning red. It didn't look like Celestia understood, but Rarity couldn't help but laugh a bit.

“Don't mind her,” Rarity said, “I'm sure it'll make sense when we get there. Um, how do you know all of this?”

“I know because I see,” Celestia closed her eyes and smiled peacefully, “Time, space, not separate like people think. See everything as clearly as I see this moment,” she stood up and walked to the entrance, “Tonight, you will face challenge. Fail, and lose more. Succeed, and you will move to next place. I see you there.”

Celestia winked to Rarity and then walked out. Rarity frowned a bit as she left, thinking about the odd thing she said.

“See you there?” Twilight asked, “What does she mean by that?”

“I don't know,” Rarity said, “Nor do I know what she means about Lavos being the answer, or us not finding the answers here.”

“Maybe she means we'll find them in another world,” Twilight said lying down, “I was thinking, their God is called Lavos, right?”

“Yes, which if I recall you mentioned is an urban legend in your world, right?” Rarity asked lying down next to Twilight.

“In my world, there's a legend of a monster called the Lavos, Time Devourer,” Twilight explained, “It's said to be a monster able to consume whole dimensions. I thought it was interesting, because your situation matched a part of the legend.”

“If I may ask, what part?” Rarity asked.

“I don't exactly remember the whole story, but I'll paraphrase to the best of my ability. A long time ago, there was a boy who was on a beach. As he looked out on the water, Lavos pulled him away from his beach to another world. It looked like his world, but so much had changed. What was terrifying was that this was a world where he himself no longer existed.”

“Just like… me...” Rarity said, “What happened to this boy? Do you know?”

“I think he ultimately found and fought Lavos himself, but no one knows the outcome of the fight. It's said however that the boy was able to eventually return to his plane of existence, so that's good,” Twilight said.

“Yes it is,” Rarity said, “If my situation is the same as his, then that bodes well for me and mine. Still, it's interesting how both your world and this one know the name Lavos.”

“So you think we'll learn more about Lavos in another world?” Twilight asked.

“It's the best bet I can think of,” Rarity said with a yawn, “This could get dangerous. I wish you weren't involved, Twilight.”

Twilight shook her head, “I had to come, Rarity. If it's dangerous for me, then it's also dangerous for you as well. I don't have powers like you do, but that doesn't mean I can't protect you. We're friends, Rarity, and I'm never leaving your side.”

“Twilight… thank you,” Rarity said, tearing up a bit and holding out her pinkie.

“You're welcome, Rarity,” Twilight said, smiling warmly and locking pinkies with Rarity.


Fluttershy walked around the village searching for her friends. Maybe she should have gone with Rarity at least back to the hut so she'd know where-

“Fluttershy,” Celestia said behind Fluttershy. She turned to Celestia and bowed.

“Seer, I…”

“Friends safe,” Celestia said, “I take them to hut. Probably asleep now.”

“Good,” Fluttershy said, “Seer, did I do bad thing?”

“Bad thing?” Celestia asked.

play song

“Bringing friends to village, and interrupting ritual. I not believe in ritual, and hate sacrificing women, but Chief say I put village in danger,” Fluttershy looked away somberly and teared up, “I always screw up. This why I not have friends in village.”

“Child, you are pure of heart,” Celestia said placing her hands on Fluttershy's shoulder, “You follow heart. That's why you save Apple Bloom and bring outsiders to village. There will be consequences for actions, but everything that happens is supposed to happen. Also, you wrong. You do have friends. Always have friends, just didn't meet them until today.”

“Rarity and Twilight friends, but friends leave soon. When friends leave, I alone again,” Fluttershy started crying, “Not want friends to leave. Not want to be alone.”

Celestia embraced Fluttershy tightly, “You love them, don't you?”

“Can't explain it, but I do,” Fluttershy said, “When I see Rarity, felt happiness like never before. Like seeing old friend. Friend that disappear, that I miss. I not want to lose friend again.”

“When time comes, friends will leave forest,” Celestia said, “Can't change that, can't force to stay. Friends have important journey.”

“I know…” Fluttershy said somberly.

“But, that not mean friends go alone,” Celestia said. Fluttershy looked at the seer wide eyed.

“You mean, friends leave forest, I leave forest?” Fluttershy asked.

“Up to you,” Celestia said, “You face tough journey, see things that will scare you, but will be close to friends, and even meet other friends.”

“But… I never leave forest…” Fluttershy looked down, “Forest all I know.”

“You stronger than you know,” Celestia caressed Fluttershy's cheek, “Grace of butterfly, but heart of lion. Need courage, either to say goodbye to friends, or go with friends. Choice is yours.”

With that, Celestia walked off back to her and Chief Luna's hut. Fluttershy walked to her own hut, which being the High Priestess was one of the bigger and nicer ones. Inside, she saw her two friends lying together, fingers locked as they slept peacefully.

Fluttershy sat down next to Rarity and started caressing her face lovingly.

“Rarity… friend…” Fluttershy said to herself, “Best… friend…” she lied down behind Rarity, spooning her and embracing her from behind, “Protect friend… no matter what.”

Soon, she fell asleep, a familiar feeling coming over her. A feeling of comfort, and familiarity. It was almost like she had done this with someone once before, only somehow different.

Like… maybe in another time, Rarity was the one embracing her.

end song


Greymane and his men approached the village late at night. There wasn't a large army, just him and a few of his best warriors. Since the people of Canterlot village weren't naturally strong fighters, they wouldn't be able to defend themselves.

Which was good. He wanted to make sure they paid for going against their word, especially the High Priestess.

Greymane pulled out his ax and pointed it forward, “Attack!” he commanded. As he and his warriors charged into the village, Pinkamena stood on a tree branch watching things transpire.

“Would you look at this?” Pinkamena asked, “I think the Wolf Tribe is upset Rarity. Maybe you should have just minded your own business,” she smiled evilly, “This is going to be so much fun!”


Fluttershy awoke to the smell of smoke. She sat up, accidentally waking up Rarity.

“Mmm, what's going on?” Rarity asked.

“Smoke,” Fluttershy said, “Fire outside of-” she was cut off by someone screaming, “Wolves!”

Fluttershy immediately grabbed her daggers and ran out of the hut. Rarity looked in shock and then shook Twilight awake.

“Twilight! Twilight, get up!” Rarity urged. Twilight slowly awoke rubbing her eyes.

“R-Rarity? What's wrong?” Twilight asked.

“I'm not sure, but I think the village is in trouble!” Rarity said, “I'm heading out to help Fluttershy!”

“Not without me,” Twilight said grabbing her bow and quiver of arrows, “Like I said, I don't have powers like you and Fluttershy, but I can help at least a little.”

play song

Rarity nodded smiling, grabbed her spear, and ran out of the hut with Twilight next to her. They saw Fluttershy struggling with three spear wielding wolf men. One jumped into the air to attack Fluttershy, but Twilight fired an arrow at him making him fall back. Fluttershy looked in shock as Twilight and Rarity ran to her side.

“Friends?” Fluttershy asked.

“We'll help you!” Rarity said, “Twilight, get ready!”

“Right! I'll follow your lead Rarity!” Twilight said readying her bow. Fluttershy nodded to Rarity, and held her daggers ready as the wolf stood up.

Rarity wasted no time rushing in with her spear clashing weapons with him. While they fought, Fluttershy stood in front of Twilight defending her from two wolves as Twilight jumped back.

Getting on one knee, Twilight fired an arrow at the wolf she hit previously, hitting him in the head this time killing him. Fluttershy jumped back and charged up her green element, and launched her sharp wind attack at the second wolf.

Rarity felt the attack was called “Wind Blade”.

Speaking of Rarity, the wolf she was fighting managed to push her back, and then charged up what looked like a red element. He then shot fireballs out of his spear at Rarity. She rolled out of the way of one, but actually took the remaining two in the chest and fell back.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy cried out.

“No…!” Twilight cried, unaware of the white glow surrounding her, “I have to help her…! I HAVE TO PROTECT MY FRIEND!” Twilight did what came naturally, actually charging up what appeared to be white energy. She then focused on Rarity, who was suddenly hit with a white light. A second later, Rarity felt rejuvenated and rose to her feet.

“I have no idea how you did that, but thanks!” Rarity said before charging up her black element. She held out her hand, and shot her Shadow Ball at the wolf who knocked her down, killing him.

Fluttershy charged up her green element, and then launched her Wind Blade at the remaining wolf present, and both she and Rarity ran to Twilight.

“You have white element?” Fluttershy asked.

“White…?” Twilight asked in confusion.

“Both have rare elements,” Fluttershy explained, “Twilight have white element of light, and Rarity have black element of darkness. Powerful, but difficult to use.”

“We'll get an explanation on them later,” Rarity said, “We need to clear these wolves out of here.”

“Right,” Twilight said, “I think I can use that white element again if I need to.”

“Then you're our healer,” Rarity stated, “Come on!”

As Rarity and Fluttershy ran off, Twilight pouted.

“Why am I the white mage…?” she groaned to herself before running after her friends.

Between the three of them, they managed to take out any wolves that got in their way as they ran to the center of the village, where they saw a much larger wolf standing there waiting for them. He wore red and gold, and had an eye patch on his left eye.

Standing before him injured was both the Chief and Seer of the village.

“Greymane!” Fluttershy shouted running to the scene with Rarity and Twilight beside her. Greymane looked at Fluttershy and laughed.

“Good to see you, High Priestess. And those must be outsiders that ruin ritual,” Greymane said, looking at Rarity and Twilight, “They look good. Perfect for future tributes.”

Fluttershy growled, “Stay away from friends!”

“Why are you attacking?!” Rarity asked, “These people did nothing to you!”

“These people took back sacrifice,” Greymane explained, “We need sacrifice in order to appease Lavos. Attack simply us following Lavos' will.”

“Liar!” Fluttershy shouted, “Lavos not God! You just use Lavos to control village and take women!”

“If that's true, then you're the worst of the worst!” Twilight said.

“See Chief? High Priestess still deny God's will, and now has outsiders agreeing with her. She bring you nothing but ruin,” Greymane said. The Chief actually looked at Fluttershy with slightly narrowed eyes.

“You remind me of someone from back home,” Rarity said darkly, “Someone I can't stand. He's always taking advantage of those weaker than him, and just wants to get his way,” images of Rover flashed in her mind, “I think I'm going to enjoy mopping the floor with your face!”

“Ooh! Pretty girl have spirit!” Greymane said pulling out his ax, “I enjoy breaking you.”

Rarity charged at Greymane and slashed with her spear, but Greymane blocked with his ax and pushed her back. Rarity charged up and fired her Shadow Ball, but Greymane used his ax to easily knock her attack away.

“You have powerful magic,” Greymane said, “But not enough to stop me.”

He charged up red element, and then raised his hands. From underneath Rarity, energy gathered, and exploded in an orb of fire, knocking her far back toward Twilight and Fluttershy.

“RARITY!!!” Twilight and Fluttershy cried at the same time. As Twilight got to work healing Rarity, Fluttershy charged at Greymane and slashed at him wildly with her daggers, actually clashing weapons with the large wolf man.

“You hurt friend! You destroy village! You leave now!” Fluttershy demanded.

“You and your people brought this on yourselves,” they heard Pinkamena say. Everyone turned to see her sauntering toward them, her large bladed ring behind her back, “Had you not let those outsiders take the sacrifice and then bring them here, none of this would have happened. So you see, all of this, is your fault, Fluttershy,” she laughed, “Isn't that hilarious?!”

“My… fault…?” Fluttershy said, taking in Pinkamena's words.

“Oh my God! Look at that face! See that? That's the one right there!” Pinkamena cheered, “That's the punchline! Oh, this is absolutely priceless!”

“You…!” Rarity seethed rising to her feet and charging at Pinkamena, who effortlessly blocked her attack, “This is all your doing, isn't it?!”

“Well, I might have had something to do with it,” Pinkamena said, “Like… giving Greymane a boost in power so he could actually take you on.”

“This is all just a game to you, isn't it?!” Rarity asked, “These are innocent lives, and you're just toying with them!”

“Uh, duh! Of course I'm treating it like a game! This is fun for me,” Pinkamena said smiling, “Besides, you really need to learn to mind your own business Rarity. You had no reason to get involved, and yet here you are.

It was odd, seeing Pinkie Pie like this. Seeing Fluttershy as a bully was one thing, but at least she had a semblance of humanity. This version of Pinkie Pie was almost inhuman. It was like she actually enjoyed hurting people.

As for Fluttershy, she slowly stepped away from Greymane, looking around at the destruction around her. Her breathing picked up, and tears built up in her eyes as the reality hit her. All of this was her fault.

“Stop it…” Fluttershy cried, “STOP IT!!!!!”

end song

All the fights around her stopped, and all eyes turned to Fluttershy as she fell to her knees and cried in devastation.

“F-Fluttershy…?” Twilight asked, slowly lowering her bow.

play song

“Not right…” Fluttershy sobbed, “Friends not interrupt ritual… Friends only help me… I was one... who ruined ritual…”

“What are you doing…?” Rarity asked, her spear still pushing against Pinkamena's weapon.

“Special sacrifice needed now to appease Lavos,” Greymane said, “It is only way to end this.”

Even in her tears, Fluttershy somehow still managed a glare shot right at Greymane before she faltered, “Then take… me.”

“W-what?!” Twilight exclaimed.

“Fluttershy, no!” Rarity cried. She was about to run toward her, but Pinkamena hit her in the back knocking her to the ground, and then held her down with her foot.

“What did I say about minding your own business?” Pinkamena asked.

“Fluttershy… please don't do this…!” Rarity begged, thinking about her own Fluttershy, “Let me protect you…!”

“Rarity… you and Twilight friends,” Fluttershy said, “Glad I finally met you,” she looked at Rarity with a truly sad, yet forced smile, “This time, I protect you.”

Twilight shook her head and got an arrow ready. She was about to launch it at Greymane, but an icicle hit her, knocking her to one knee.

“You too,” Pinkamena said to Twilight, “This doesn't affect you either, so butt out, kay?” she had the audacity to smile sweetly, which just made Rarity's blood boil even more.

“You worthy sacrifice,” Greymane said looking Fluttershy over, “Tie her up! We leave village with High Priestess!”

One of his wolves walked over to Fluttershy and bound her wrists. Pinkamena released Rarity and vanished. Rarity immediately rose to her feet and charged at Greymane, only to be stopped by two of the villagers.

“Let me go!” Rarity ordered, “I have to rescue her!”

“This is truly for best,” Chief Luna said somberly, “Fluttershy offer herself, and village spared.”

Rarity was horrified to hear that. The Chief was just going to let Fluttershy leave?! Rarity became frantic and tried to push past the villagers holding her back, forcing them to grab her arms.

“No! NO!!! I HAVE TO PROTECT HER!!! SHE'S MY BEST FRIEND!!! I CAN'T LEAVE HER!!! I PROMISED!!!!” images of her Fluttershy flashed in her mind, “I promised to protect her no matter what! I can't break that promise! She's too important to me! Fluttershy! FLUTTERSHY!!!”

As they left the village, Fluttershy looked back at Rarity one last time before closing her eyes and turning away, shedding tears of both sadness and fear.

When they were long gone, the villagers released Rarity, who fell to her knees crying harder than she even cried upon realizing her predicament. Twilight immediately ran to her side and embraced her tightly.

“Oh Rarity…” Twilight said somberly.

“It's happening again!” Rarity sobbed, “I'm losing my best friend all over again!” she held her head and screamed loudly, in frustration, anger, sadness, and above all grief. Grief at watching her best friend be taken away from her, and for the first time being powerless to save her.

She didn't notice, but Seer Celestia looked at her somberly yet intently as she cried. Her next move would be the most important.

Forest: Rarity's Resolve

View Online

Forest – Rarity's Resolve

Greymane took Fluttershy to his chambers in the large bamboo structure he called home. It was there she was promptly brought to his room, sat down in front of a pole, her wrists bound tightly above her head to the pole, and her ankles bound together. She struggled against her bindings for a bit, but it was no use. Greymane had stripped her of her freedom, and soon he'd take her dignity.

The whole time, all she could think about was how upset Rarity got. She didn't expect to have left such an impression on her oddly dressed friend. It was almost like they had been friends for many moons. The Seer told Fluttershy when she was younger that one day she'd meet people who were her best friends, even though they hadn't ever met.

Was that… Rarity?

Thinking of her friend, Fluttershy couldn't help but cry. She wasn't ashamed to admit that right now she was terrified, and that she wanted to be in the arms of her friend. But she knew that this was for the best. The wolves kept their word and left the village peacefully. Maybe now they'd leave them alone for a while.

Besides, it was ultimately her fault that this happened anyway.

“Always mess up…” Fluttershy sobbed, “Always make mistakes… Rarity… Twilight… sorry I… put friends in danger…”

As she cried, she heard someone enter the room. She looked up and saw Greymane walk into the room with a sinister smirk.

“Now, we get to know each other better, High Priestess,” Greymane said. Fluttershy backed away as much as possible as Greymane approached her. She didn't know what he was going to do, but she knew one thing.

She didn't like the way he was smiling at her.


A six year old Fluttershy was on her knees crying as three kids circled around her laughing.

“Baby! Baby! Baby!” the kids taunted.

“Stop it!” Fluttershy cried, “L-leave me alone!”

As Fluttershy closed her eyes crying, she heard whacking, and the kids cringing in pain. She looked up through her tears and saw another girl. This girl wore a very pretty white and purple dress, black Mary-Jane shoes, and she had an impressive curly mane of purple hair.

“Leave her alone!” the girl said, her voice high with an odd flair, making her sound almost like a rich girl. In her hands was a wooden stick about as tall as her, which she held at her side as she stood proudly.

“This isn't any of your business!” one of the kids said rubbing his nose.

“It is too! This girl is my friend!” the purple haired girl said, “If any of you want to pick on her again, I'll make you regret it!”

Shortly after the kids were chased away, the girl helped Fluttershy up. Fluttershy hadn't ever seen a girl as beautiful as her in her life. The girl looked to be a tad older than her, as she was a bit taller, and while before she had the air of a fighter, now she was the epitome of grace.

“Everything okay darling?” the girl said.

“D-did you m-mean that…?” Fluttershy asked, “When y-you s-s-said I was y-your f-f-f-friend?”

“Of course I did,” the girl said holding out her hand, “You're new to this school, right? My name's Rarity.”

Fluttershy slowly took Rarity's hand and shook it, “F-Fluttershy…”

“Wow, you have a really cute name, Fluttershy!” Rarity said enthusiastically. Fluttershy looked at Rarity wide eyed.

“No one… ever compliments my name…” Fluttershy said.

“Want to sit next to me in class?” Rarity asked, “I'll keep all the bullies away from you. You can think of me as your knight in shining armor.”

Fluttershy was so impressed with this girl. She was so beautiful, yet at the same time so strong. She was like a beautiful princess and a powerful knight all in one. Before she knew it, Fluttershy started crying again, this time tears of joy.

“I'd… love that…” Fluttershy said through her tears of joy. Rarity smiled brightly.

“I promise, as long as I'm alive you'll never have to be afraid,” Rarity said honestly.

She nodded, and took Rarity's hand as the two of them walked into the school building together. Fluttershy didn't know it, but she wasn't the only one who took that exchange so seriously.

Fluttershy…

I'm sorry… I couldn't keep my promise to you…


“Rarity, are you awake?” Twilight asked walking into the hut. Poor Rarity was lying on the mat of Fluttershy's hut, her back turned to the entrance. Twilight sighed and sat down next to Rarity.

“Please talk to me, Rarity,” Twilight urged, “I'm scared. This isn't like you at all.”

“I… failed her…” Rarity said softly. Twilight looked at Rarity in shock.

“Rarity, no, there wasn't anything either of us could do,” Twilight said.

“That. Doesn't. Matter,” Rarity said, the flair in her voice leaving her, “She's my best friend… and I just watched… as that… bastard of a wolf took her…”

“Rarity,” Twilight said, “I know you're upset, but you do know that's not your Fluttershy, right? You just met-”

“I know that!” Rarity screamed glaring at Twilight, “I know she isn't my Fluttershy, but don't you get it?! I. Don't. Care! That's Fluttershy! My best friend! Someone I promised I'd always protect, and I failed!

“You don't know how it feels,” Rarity said, looking down trembling as more tears fell from her eyes, “I was torn away from my best friend, not knowing if she's even still alive. Then I see another Fluttershy, who confirms all of my fears. That if I wasn't there for her, her life would become a nightmare. Now I've found this other Fluttershy, who acts so much like my own that I feel like I have to protect her. It doesn't matter to me that she's not my Fluttershy. I would do the same for any Fluttershy if I met her. I love her that much.”

“Is it… romantic…?” Twilight asked, almost nervously, “The way you love her?”

“I never thought about it,” Rarity said, “That's not important though. I love her dearly. Whether or not it's romantic, she means everything to me.”

Twilight looked somewhat comforted for some reason, and embraced Rarity.

“You truly are a wonderful person,” Twilight said, “I wish I could have known the Rarity in my world. If she was anything like you, we'd be best friends too,” Twilight released Rarity and placed her hands on her shoulders, “We need to head to the Chief's hut. She wanted to talk to us when you woke up.”

“Probably to kick us out of the village,” Rarity said somberly, “Not that I'd mind.”

“Rarity,” Twilight said aghast.

“They didn't do anything for her,” Rarity said darkly, “All they did was watch as Greymane took her away.”

“They were afraid,” Twilight said, “Sure, we know that the Wolf Tribe is full of it, but they don't. They truly believe that Lavos is real, and that if they don't do this, they'll-”

“Even still, she's a member of their tribe, and she was only following her heart. To just do nothing, I…”

“Let's head to the Chief's hut,” Twilight said, “We'll see what she wants before we judge.”

Rarity took a deep breath, “Sure,” she said curtly. Honestly, she already pretty much judged them. One thing Fluttershy was better at than Rarity was forgiveness. Rarity wasn't ashamed to admit that there were things she couldn't forgive.

Hurting her friends was the quickest way to get on her bad side.

play song

The walk to the Chief's hut was one done in silence. All of the villagers turned away from Rarity whenever she met their eyes, probably able to feel the controlled rage boiling within her. Once they arrived in the hut, they saw both the Chief and Seer kneeling next to one another.

“Please sit, outsiders,” Chief Luna said, waiting for Twilight and Rarity to kneel before she continued, “Sister and I talk, and we decide that although you are outsiders, you not fully responsible for attack last night. Therefore, if you wish it, you stay in village.”

“A-are you sure?” Twilight asked, “We don't want to cause any trouble.”

“You have no where else to go,” Seer Celestia said, “Dangerous outside of village. You safe here. Stay as long as you-”

“What about Fluttershy?” Rarity asked, catching everyone's attention. The Chief took a deep breath before she spoke.

“Unfortunate what happened to her, but she knew consequences of her actions,” Chief Luna said.

“She just wanted to help Apple Bloom,” Rarity said, “You act like it's a crime to save a life!”

“What she did was put entire village in danger,” Chief Luna said, “Wolves attack last night because of her thoughtless intervention.”

“You don't seriously believe that bullshit do you?” Rarity asked.

“Rarity, stop…” Twilight warned. Rarity ignored Twilight and continued.

“Do you really believe that you're sending your people to appease Lavos?! As far as you know, all you're doing is condemning your women to slavery!”

“Even still, what do you expect us to do?!” Chief Luna challenged, “Wolves are bigger than us, stronger than us, compared to them, we are ants! I just try to protect village!”

“By sending people from that very village into the lion's den?! What are you protecting then?! What's the point of protecting a village when it's the people you're putting in danger?!”

“You know nothing of our struggle! You child, just like Fluttershy! Never lead! Never sacrifice! Never have to protect anything!”

end song

“I know exactly what it's like to have to protect something precious, and what it's like to be facing odds stacked so far against you there's no way to win! But I still fought! No, I didn't win all the time, and yes, it was hard, but I never gave up!” as another image of her Fluttershy flashed in her mind, tears of anger built up, “I'd fight, and fight, and fight even more if it meant I could at least keep my loved ones safe! Even now, I'm only here because my friend is in danger, and I want to do something, anything, to save her!”

As she spoke, Twilight pressed a hand to her chest, a look of pure admiration coming over her. Seer Celestia gave Rarity a somewhat enigmatic smile, and even Chief Luna looked down in shame.

Rarity shot up and walked to the entrance, stopping for a second.

“I might not be the strongest in the world, but no could ever call me a coward,” Rarity said shooting Chief Luna a look, “I wonder if your people can say the same about you.”

With that she left the hut. Twilight took a deep breath before speaking again.

“She's… amazing…” Twilight said. Soon she shot up from her seat and ran after her. When she reached Fluttershy's hut, she saw Rarity stepping out, her spear strapped to her back.

“Rarity, where are you going?” Twilight asked.

“Where do you think?” Rarity turned to Twilight with a look of sheer determination, “I'm going to save Fluttershy!”

play song

“S-seriously?” Twilight asked, blushing looking at Rarity.

“I'm an outsider here, so while that means I don't have a say in this world's affairs, that also means I'm not bound by this world's rules,” Rarity looked at her hand, “She's not my Fluttershy, but Fluttershy will always be my best friend, whether in this world, your world, or any other world I end up traveling to. I'm not going to abandon her.”

“What if this puts the village in even more danger though?” Twilight asked, “Mind you, I want to save her too, but if this village gets attacked again because of us…”

“Everything should be fine.”

They turned to see Seer Celestia standing behind them, her arms folded under her bosom and smiling kindly at them.

“Celestia?” Rarity asked.

“You have answer then?” Celestia asked, “What you want to do?”

“I do,” Rarity said, “I'm going to rescue Fluttershy. She's my friend, and I made a promise that I have to keep.”

Celestia nodded, “Very good, Traveler. I knew you would make right decision.”

Twilight ran into the hut herself, and after a few seconds came back with her bow and arrows.

“Well, if you're intent on doing this, you'll need a healer,” Twilight said.

“Are you sure about this, Twilight?” Rarity asked, “I'm always putting you in-” Twilight placed a finger on Rarity's lips.

“No Rarity, you're not putting me in danger. I chose to follow you of my own free will, and I still don't regret it. Rarity, you're truly the most beautiful person I've ever met, and more and more I just want to be beside you. So I'm going to follow you, and keep following you no matter where you go, until we finally reunite you with your Twilight, and your Fluttershy.”

“Twilight…” Rarity said, tearing up a bit.

“Wolf Tribe is south of village,” Seer Celestia said pointing in the direction the wolves left in, “Keep going and you'll see it. Try to stay hidden until you find Fluttershy.”

“I don't want to sound pessimistic, especially after such a touching moment,” Twilight said, “But how do we know she's even-”

“If what Fluttershy says is true, then Greymane keep all women alive and relatively safe,” Celestia said.

“When we find her, what should we do?” Rarity asked, “I don't know if it's safe to bring her back here, but…”

“Everything will work itself out,” Seer Celestia said, “Always does, always will.”

Rarity nodded. Seer Celestia took Rarity's hands and placed an odd stone in her hand.

“This special stone. Use it to open door. Take Fluttershy somewhere safe,” Celestia said. Rarity and Twilight looked at the stone in confusion. It was small enough to fit in Rarity's palm, and was shaped almost like a key of some sort with a circular base.

“Thank you, Celestia,” Rarity said. Celestia nodded and walked over to Twilight, actually kissing her forehead.

“Um…” Twilight said.

“Stay close to her,” Celestia said, “You Traveler's Light. When time comes, you will save her from abyss.”

“I… don't know what you mean, but I'll stay with Rarity no matter what,” Twilight said.

“Well then, shall we be on our way?” Rarity asked.

“Yes, let's go,” Twilight said. The two girls ran out of the village, both of them determined to leave with Fluttershy alive and well.


Celestia watched them leave with a comforted smile. Chief Luna walked to her side looking at them as well.

“You sure this okay?” Chief Luna asked, “Sending them to rescue Fluttershy?”

“Traveler and friend will be fine,” Seer Celestia said, “They have pure hearts. Fluttershy safe, village safe, all will be well.”

“If you say so,” Luna said. As she walked back into their hut, Celestia's expression became more serious as she looked at Rarity.

“Take care of her… Chrono Trigger.”

end song


play song

It took a while, but they soon arrived outside the Wolf Tribe's settlement. Unlike Canterlot Village, there were buildings made of bamboo, and it was a lot bigger than Canterlot Village. Somehow, this place just didn't seem as clean or welcoming as Canterlot Village.

Twilight and Rarity waited until it was night to infiltrate, as it was safer for them. Thankfully they didn't have to wait too long, and during that time they both tried to hone their fighting. When night hit, the girls approached the entrance and hid behind a nearby building.

“Where do you think Fluttershy is being held?” Twilight asked.

“It looked like Greymane wanted to have her for himself,” Rarity said, “My guess is, that building right there belongs to him.”

Twilight looked at the building Rarity was pointing to, and saw a large building almost like a castle.

“Geez, this looks intimidating,” Twilight said.

“Oh, just imagine it's the first dungeon of one of those role playing games you enjoy,” Rarity said.

“I enjoy playing those games!” Twilight said in a whisper, “I never wanted to live it!”

The two of them slowly started making their way to the castle, careful to stay out of sight. Rarity didn't want to know what would happen if they got caught. Sure, they could fight two, maybe three on their own, but going after an entire village wasn't smart.

When they got to the castle, Twilight stopped Rarity and led her to the side, where she saw what appeared to be a broken entrance.

“How did you ever find this?” Rarity asked.

“You said to treat this like an RPG, so going by that logic, secret entrance in the side,” Twilight said.

“I'm really beginning to like the idea of you traveling with me,” Rarity said walking into the entrance.

“You're just warming up to that?” Twilight asked, “Remember who your white mage is.”

Inside it was both easier and harder to stay hidden. On one hand, there wasn't as much open space so that meant less people, but on the other hand there was less room to hide. They had way more close calls as they traveled through the halls.

They eventually reached what appeared to be the dungeons. Twilight wondered if Fluttershy was here, but Rarity figured Greymane probably kept her separate from other prisoners, which they eventually saw as they turned the corner, where they saw all the wooden cells filled.

All of them filled with women from Canterlot Village.

“Oh my God…” Twilight said as they walked around, “These are the women sacrificed to Lavos, aren't they?”

“Looks like Fluttershy was right,” Rarity said, looking in a cell to see a girl that looked only about Sweetie Belle's age sitting in a cell crying, “This is disgusting.”

“How are we going to get them out?” Twilight asked, “Can we get them out?”

“I don't see a means anywhere,” Rarity said looking around, “Excuse me? Do you know how to open this cell?”

The little girl looked at Rarity fearfully, “Switch is somewhere else.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said turning to Twilight, “We have to do something for them on our way out.”

“Agreed. We need to at least make sure Fluttershy is safe first,” Twilight stated, “We'll come back for all of you, okay?”

Twilight and Rarity ran down the hall, almost running into a group of Greymane's men as walked down the hall. When the left, Rarity and Twilight walked in the direction they came from, seeing a staircase going up.

“I bet Greymane's room is up here,” Rarity said.

“Let's hurry,” Twilight urged. They ran up the stairs, stopping when they heard sobbing. Rarity carefully followed the sound, stopping right outside a room with a closed curtain. She and Twilight carefully looked inside, please to see tied to a pole still.

Was Fluttershy.

end song

“Fluttershy!” Rarity cried. Fluttershy stopped crying a bit and looked up at the entrance wide eyed.

“Rarity…? Twilight…?” Fluttershy asked. Rarity immediately ran into the room and embraced Fluttershy.”

“I'm sorry it took so long!” Rarity said as Twilight ran in and untied Fluttershy's wrists, “Are you okay? Did Greymane hurt you at all?”

Fluttershy couldn't answer her. Instead, once her wrists were free, she embraced Rarity tightly, breaking down into heavy sobs. That told Rarity everything she needed to know.

“Shh… it's okay now, darling,” Rarity said returning the embrace, Twilight now untying her ankles, “We're here now. You're safe.”

“I'll heal you,” Twilight said, charging up her white element and casting what she now called “Cure” onto Fluttershy. Any visible injuries (and hopefully a few of the invisible one) all healed, and she looked stronger.

“T-thank you…” Fluttershy said softly.

“He didn't leave any “gifts” did he?” Rarity asked. Thankfully Fluttershy must have known what she meant, as she shook her head.

“I not pregnant, but he…” Fluttershy looked away, “Try to… break will…”

“Oh my God,” Twilight embraced Fluttershy this time, “I am so sorry, Fluttershy. If we had got here sooner, maybe he-”

Fluttershy shook her head, “Greymane do right after bringing me here. Nothing you could have done.”

“We're getting you out of here,” Rarity said, “We'll come back for the other villagers after-”

play song

“No!” Fluttershy stated standing up slowly, “We save villagers now. Take down Wolf Tribe here and now.”

“Hold on, are you sure?” Twilight asked, “After what he did to you, should you really-”

“Yes!” Fluttershy said, pushing past Twilight and Rarity and grabbing her daggers, “Greymane pay! He pay for hurting women of village! He pay for hurting me! He pay for…” she trembled, tears falling from her eyes, “For… taking away…”

Rarity looked at Fluttershy intently, and then placed a hand on her shoulder.

“Then we'll support you,” Rarity said, “Let's make sure he's afraid of us before we leave this place.”

switch songs

Fluttershy nodded to Rarity seriously and put her daggers in their holders. The three of them ran back toward the dungeon, Fluttershy on all fours and leading them. This time they weren't trying to stay hidden though, as Fluttershy was on fire, lashing out at anyone that got in her way.

When they reached the dungeons though, they saw Greymane standing in the middle waiting for them.

“I knew you'd come,” Greymane said, “Smell scent from mile away.”

“Ah, you liked my fragrance then?” Rarity said stepping forward and brandishing her spear, “It's one of my favorites, a summer scent.”

“You have like, no shame at all, do you?” Twilight asked stepping forward with her bow ready.

“Shame? Why, I never learned the meaning of the word, darling,” Rarity said.

“I make this easy for all of you,” Greymane said, “High Priestess go back in room, and outsiders come with me, and I not kill any of you.”

“No!” Fluttershy stated pulling out her daggers, “I not be controlled by you or anyone! I free! Free like wind!”

switch song

“Women need to know place!” Greymane said pulling out his ax, “I remind you who is on top.”

Fluttershy wasted no time rushing toward Greymane slashing wildly with her daggers. Greymane blocked all of her assaults, and then swung his ax knocking Fluttershy back into a wall. Before he could approach her, Rarity charged up her element and launched her Shadow Ball at Greymane. He took the hit point blank, and then turned to them shooting Fireballs at Rarity and Twilight.

Both girls jumped away, and Twilight fired three arrows at him at the same time. He blocked those with his ax, but both Fluttershy and Rarity charged at him from opposite sides. He blocked Rarity's spear with his ax, but Fluttershy's daggers with his armored gauntlet.

“Women weak! I strong!” Greymane proclaimed.

“Is that so?” Rarity asked, “Then why, pray tell, are you struggling against three teenage girls?”

Greymane laughed out loud, “I not lose to you! In fact, I barely even have to fight!”

As soon as he said that, more of his men charged into the dungeon. The ones with bows fired at Twilight, forcing her to take cover away from Rarity and Fluttershy.

“Shoot! I can't heal them if I can't see them!” Twilight said.

Greymane took that as his chance to charge up his red element. He then spun around, creating what looked like a fire tornado around him, knocking both Rarity and Fluttershy away.

“F-Fluttershy…!” Rarity cried, trying to rise to her feet. Before she could rush to her aid though, she was kicked down by a wolf, and two more slashed downward at her. She blocked with her spear, pushed them off her, and then flipped to her feet actually meeting both of their spears with her own.

Greymane walked over to Fluttershy and grabbed her by the neck, holding her up against a wall.

“Free like wind?” Greymane asked, “You just as weak as all women in Canterlot Village! Can't save village! Can't save friends! Can't even save yourself!”

Fluttershy's will was clearly beginning to falter a bit, as her arm was dropping.

“That's not true Fluttershy!” Twilight shouted from the other side of the room, “What you did took a lot of courage! You're one of the strongest people I know, right up there with Rarity!”

“You are like the wind!” Rarity shouted, “That means you're as gentle as a cool breeze, but can also be as rough as a tornado! Show him, Fluttershy! Show him your true power!”

“True… power…!” Fluttershy said, gritting her teeth (which Rarity for the first time noticed were sharp like fangs). She then gripped her daggers tightly, and thrust them into Greymane's arm, forcing him to release her. She then kicked him back and got in her fighting stance.

“Rarity! Twilight! Everyone! Hold onto something!” Fluttershy commanded, “Tornado…”

She rushed over to Greymane, this time slashing and kicking him directly. She ended her assault with a back flip kick, and then charged up her green element.

This time, instead of Wind Blade, she used another attack. Much like Greymane did earlier, she started spinning in place, letting the artificial tail she wore swing around her. Soon after, she created an actual tornado around her, knocking all of Greymane's other men away knocking them out and even blowing Greymane into a wall.

Rarity mentally called this move “Tail Spin”.

When the attack stopped, Greymane rose to his feet clearly injured. Twilight ran past him firing arrows as fast as she could. She then got on one knee and fired three arrows into the air, making them rain down on top of Greymane.

He rushed toward Twilight, but Rarity quickly blocked with her spear. She then swung it pushing him back, and followed up with a series of slashed of her own that he couldn't block. She then jumped away and charged up her black element, shooting her Shadow Ball at him.

This time it hit.

end song

He fell to one knee, and Fluttershy walked over to him, a look of sheer venom on her face.

“No man… ever touch me again!” Fluttershy proclaimed. She grabbed Greymane by the collar of his shirt and stabbed in the heart, “No man!”

He looked at her in horror as he fell to the floor lifeless. Fluttershy stepped away from his body trembling.

Rarity immediately ran to her and embraced her tightly as she once again broke down and cried.

“It's over now,” Rarity said comfortingly, “He'll never hurt you again.”

“Um… you might want to retract that statement!” Twilight cried. They turned and saw the men that Fluttershy knocked out were waking up, and none of them looked happy.

“This is bad…!” Rarity said, she and Fluttershy backing away to where Twilight was, “We need a diversion and we need it NOW!”

Fluttershy looked around and saw a pole holding a series of ropes. Immediately she slashed the ropes with her daggers, and all of the cells opened up. The women all ran out of their cells, picking up some of the weapons left over by the men who died, and stood in the wolves way.

“Now! We run! This way!” Fluttershy ordered. She led Rarity and Twilight deeper in the hall, which opened up to the forest. It sounded like while most of the men were being held back, a few of them managed to get through and were following them.

They stopped when they reached what looked like a dead end.

“Ooh, now what?!” Twilight cried looking around frantically. Rarity pulled out the odd key shaped stone that Seer Celestia gave her, and it started sparking for some reason.

“Use this… to open the door…?” Rarity asked, “Girls, get close to me!”

“You have plan?” Fluttershy asked.

“I hope so! Either this works, or I'm going to look really ridiculous in a minute!” Rarity said holding up the key shaped stone. The stone broke away, revealing an actual odd looking key, and another portal opened in front of them, just like the one that took them here in the first place.

“What is this?!” Fluttershy asked holding onto Rarity's arm tightly.

“Do we even know where this leads?” Twilight asked, “It could lead anywhere!”

“It leads out of here, that's where!” Rarity said grabbing Twilight, “White mages first!”

She pushed Twilight through the portal, the poor thing screaming loudly as she vanished in the blue portal. Rarity then turned to Fluttershy.

“Fluttershy, you should hide somewhere! They won't see you if-”

“I not leave you!” Fluttershy said, “I go with you!”

“Fluttershy, I have no idea where this leads, but I do know it won't be a forest! We might not see this place again for a long time! Are you sure you can live with that?!”

“You leave, I alone again! I not want to be alone! Please Rarity, take me with you!” Fluttershy urged. Rarity didn't have time to think about it, so she swore to herself for what she was about to do, and then grabbed her arm.

“Then let's get going!” Rarity said. The two of them jumped through the portal just as it vanished, and three wolves ran to the clearing and looked around, none the wiser of what just happened.


After the area cleared up, Pinkamena walked over to Greymane's lifeless body. She shook her head in disappointment.

“You were doing so well, too,” Pinkamena said, “The best comedians always sell out at the end of their careers,” she sighed pinching the bridge of her nose, “I wonder where they're heading to now?” she looked up as if listening to someone, her eyes going wide for a second, “They went there?! Ooh, I was hoping to head them off before they found out about that place. I'll get right on it, Mistress.”

She sauntered off, making her way to her next location. Nothing she could do about where they went, but she could at least get to work on planning for the next phase of their plan to harness “its” power.

Machine: The Metallic Guardian

View Online

Machine – The Metallic Guardian

play song

When Twilight came to, she was in what looked like an old laboratory of some sort. The lights were off, and all the machines looked worn out. She straightened her glasses and looked around.

“Now where are we?” Twilight asked, “Someplace in the future or something?”

Behind her, the portal opened, and Rarity jumped through, surprisingly holding onto the Fluttershy from the previous world.

“Oh dear,” Rarity said rising to her knees, “Are you alright, everyone?”

“Head still spinning,” Fluttershy said looking dizzy, “Is pretty light show over…?”

“Rarity…?” Twilight asked as Rarity stood up, “Why is she here with us?”

“Well, why are you here with me?” Rarity asked with a raised eyebrow. Twilight looked down sheepishly.

“Touche,” Twilight said.

“Mm hm,” Rarity nodded.

Rarity helped Fluttershy up and the three of them looked around the room.

“So… any idea of where we are?” Rarity asked.

“We're definitely not in the same world, I'll tell you that,” Twilight said, “We might be in another time all together.”

Fluttershy walked over to the window and gasped, “Friends! Look!”

Rarity and Twilight looked out the window and saw a world very different than the world they just left. Outside were futuristic floating cars, endless roads, large dome shaped buildings, and even more shocking.

Robots. Lots of robots.

“Ladies,” Rarity said, “I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.”


ALERT

THREE UNLICENSED LIFEFORMS DETECTED

SCANS INDICATE LIFEFORMS ARE LOCATED SOMEWHERE IN SECTOR D-12

ALL AVAILABLE UNITS SEARCH AND APPREHEND UNLICENSED LIFEFORMS

Everywhere, security drones stopped what they were doing and began flying toward the area most people knew as the junkyard. Watching this from their window was a single figure wearing a fancy white and golden dress. The figure smiled watching the drones fly off, knowing exactly what this meant.

“Good. She got here safely,” the figure said. She wasn't worried about the security drones. As long as they met “her” everything would be fine.


Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy all looked around at their surroundings as they explored the clearly abandoned building. There were a few machines still working, but they seemed to be cleaning machines. At least the lights still worked.

Poor Fluttershy kept getting spooked by the machines, so she had begun clinging to Rarity as they walked.

“I know I'm from another world too, but I'm really beginning to think Fluttershy's not fit for a world of machines,” Twilight said.

“The poor thing is terrified,” Rarity said, “She's never seen anything like these before,” she began petting Fluttershy's head, “It's alright darling, the robots here aren't going to hurt us.”

“I not like this place,” Fluttershy pouted, “Creatures don't feel alive, and air not as clean.”

“Sorry we couldn't open a wormhole to a place filled with pretty ponies and magic,” Twilight said, noticing how Rarity started snickering, “What? What did I say?”

“Oh nothing,” Rarity said, “It's just, well, one of my friends actually does come from- AH!” she stopped as she tripped on something. Fluttershy quickly caught her before she fell.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy cried, then turning to the thing she tripped on growling at it, “What hurt you? I rip it to pieces!”

“Whoa! Calm down, Spot!” Twilight said, “What is this?”

They all looked and saw an arm. It was coming out of a container, and it looked like it was connected to something. Rarity's face turned pale.

“Oh dear…” Rarity said, “Is that, by any chance… a dead body…?”

“It's wearing some sort of armor,” Twilight said, “Fluttershy, help me with this.”

Fluttershy nodded and helped Twilight pulled out the thing connected to the arm. They were all shocked to see that the arm was connected to what looked like a person, and this person was very familiar.

The person was female, looking to be about in their early twenties. She was wearing rainbow colored armor consisting of an armored bra, panties, large sharp shoulder pads, gauntlets and bulky armored high heeled boots, giving her a sexy yet powerful appearance. She had a blue metallic headpiece that came out at the sides almost like feathers and had a blue gemstone in the center where her forehead was. Her long rainbow colored hair was tied in a ponytail, and her face looked completely human, her eyes closed making her look like she was asleep. Her body was dusty, but to both Rarity and Twilight, it was really clear who it was.

“Oh my word…” Rarity said, “It's… Rainbow Dash…”

“You know her?” Fluttershy asked.

“Sort of. We know another version of her,” Rarity explained, “Also from another world.”

Twilight examined the armored Rainbow Dash, and sighed in relief, “Good news, this Rainbow Dash isn't dead. She's an android.”

“Wait… what?” Rarity asked.

“If you look closely, you'll see it. She's not human like us,” Twilight said. Rarity looked closely, and sure enough, she could tell that the “armor” was actually connected to her. It wasn't armor. It was her body.

Goodness… is Rainbow Dash actually this sexy?

I had no idea she was so top heavy.

“Um… what is android?” Fluttershy asked.

“Let's see,” Twilight said to herself, “Best definition I can think of… you see the machines that are around us?”

Fluttershy looked around, “Yes. I see,” she said.

“Well, this woman here is one of those,” Twilight said, “She's a machine built to look like a human.”

“The Rainbow Dash in this world is a robot,” Rarity said kneeling down next to Robo Dash, “This is actually sort of cool, I must admit.”

“Yeah it is,” Twilight said looking Robo Dash over, actually opening her back, “You're going to think it's even cooler in a minute. I think I can fix her.”

“Wait, really?!” Rarity asked, Fluttershy mirroring her surprise.

“Wake machine woman up? How?” Fluttershy asked.

“Well, we'd have to take her to one of the work stations, but as long as there are tools there… yep, I'm sure of it. I can fix this robot,” Twilight said confidently.

“Alright then,” Rarity said, “Let's move her into the work area we just passed. I think there was a tool box there.”

Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy all picked up Robo Dash, moving her back to the lab they passed a few minutes ago.

end song

Once there, Twilight got right to work. Rarity was surprised, but Twilight actually looked like she knew what she was doing. Fluttershy found a table and was lying on it curled up almost like a kitty cat, and Rarity stood over Twilight watching her work.

“How do you know how to fix this robot?” Rarity asked.

“Back home, I've fixed all of Shining Armor's video game systems,” Twilight said, “Later, once I bought a few of my own, I enhanced them myself. Rainbow Dash here isn't too different from one of those. In fact, computers in general are all similar. The only difference is what they're built to do.”

“Dashie here is a computer?” Rarity asked.

play song

“All self sustaining machines are computers,” Twilight said, smiling looking at the sleeping robot, “She really is beautiful, isn't she? Kind of odd, seeing Rainbow Dash wear so little.”

“Well, the Rainbow Dash from my world wasn't as modest as yours,” Rarity said rubbing her arm, “But oddly enough she never let any of us see her without a shirt. Looking at this, I can kind of see why. Kind of hard to be respected as an athlete when you're a high D cup.”

“What's your Rainbow Dash like exactly? You mentioned her briefly, but we never were able to talk about her that much,” Twilight asked, still working. Rarity looked up thinking about her beloved friend.

“Rainbow Dash… she's interesting. She's the kind of person you think you're going to hate at first. She's loud, crass, arrogant, short tempered, and very impatient,” Rarity explained.

“She sounds terrible,” Twilight said. Rarity giggled.

“Like I said, first impression of her isn't the best. But behind all of that is one of the most faithful people I know. She always puts others before herself, she's kindhearted, sincere, and most of all, loyal. If you're friends with Rainbow Dash, you have a guaranteed friend for life. Someone who will rush into danger to save you,” Rarity's eyes watered a bit, “I miss her.”

“Now that I know that, your Rainbow Dash sounds amazing,” Twilight said.

“What about yours?” Rarity asked, “What's she like?”

“Nowhere near as brave as your Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said sadly, “She's shy, quiet, has really low self-esteem, and tends to cry a lot. One thing I have to say about her though, is that she's really nice, and just as loyal as your Dash. I think that's why she puts up with my Fluttershy's behavior so much. I heard that they knew each other when they were kids, and Rainbow Dash refuses to leave her side. It's a shame with how mean Fluttershy is to her.”

“Have you ever wanted to stand up for her?” Rarity asked.

“All the time,” Twilight said, “Sad thing is, I was afraid of Fluttershy. I'm not like you, Rarity. I'm not strong, brave, or any of that other stuff you are. Unless it's books or computers, I'm useless. But, I think I understand why you were so devoted to helping forest Fluttershy now. You felt like by helping her, you were somehow helping your Fluttershy. That's how I feel about this. I know she's not my Rainbow Dash, but she looks so much like her, and I just feel like I need to do this. Like I'm helping someone I've been friends with for a long time.”

Rarity smiled at Twilight, placing a hand on her shoulder.

“I can save her, Rarity,” Twilight said confidently, “I know I can save Rainbow Dash.”

“I believe in you,” Rarity said, kissing Twilight on the cheek, “Good luck, Twilight.”

“Um… t-thanks Rarity…” Twilight said, blushing madly.

end song

Rarity giggled and then walked over to Fluttershy leaning against the table she was lying on. She heard a low rumble, and Flutteshy sat up with a pout.

“Hungry…” Fluttershy said sadly.

“I'm sorry Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “After Twilight is finished fixing that robot, we'll be able to find something to eat, I'm sure.”

Before Fluttershy could say anything, a crash was heard from right outside. They all looked and saw what looked like small floating robots with two gun arms floating into the room. There were four of them. Rarity and Fluttershy immediately sprang into action, drawing their weapons.

“Twilight, how far along are you?!” Rarity asked.

“I think I'm almost done!” Twilight said, “Could you two stall for a bit?”

“We'll do our best! Fluttershy, get ready!” Rarity said. Fluttershy nodded, and both of them got in fighting stances.

The drones all started firing at Fluttershy and Rarity, who both ran in opposite directions taking cover. Poor Twilight screamed in fear, but then quickly got to work on fixing Robo Dash.

While they took cover, both Rarity and Fluttershy charged up their elements, and launched their basic attacks. The drones flew out of the way of Rarity's Shadow Ball, and they didn't seem all that effected by Fluttershy's Wind Blade. The drones fired at the girls again, knocking them into the back wall.

“Rarity! Fluttershy!” Twilight cried. She turned back to Robo Dash, closed and sealed her open compartments, and then pushed the switch needed to activate her.


DASH UNIT NUMBER 379

RECOVERING MEMORY FILES

..............

RECOVERY FAILED

REACTIVATING UNIT

POWER OUTPUT AT ONLY 65 PERCENT

RECOMMEND IMMEDIATE ENERGY RECOVERY IF ACTIVATED FOR COMBAT PURPOSES

REACTIVATION COMPLETE


Robo Dash slowly opened her eyes and rose to a sitting position.

“Help us!” Twilight urged, getting the robot's attention, “Please! My friends are in danger!”

play song

Robo Dash looked at the security robots, and then at Rarity and Fluttershy taking cover. She scanned all of them, identifying the two girls hiding as “allies” and registering the security drones as “enemies”. Once that was done, she immediately pushed Twilight to the side and held out her left arm. It started glowing and turned into what appeared to be a cannon of some sort. She charged it up and fired at the security robots, actually destroying one.

“Target destroyed!” Robo Dash said, “Three targets remaining! Commencing combat sequence! Engaging!”

Robo Dash ran over to the security robots, jumped into the air and kicked one knocking it to the floor. Before it could fire at her, she turned her arm into a cannon again and fired at it, destroying it.

“Target destroyed!” Robo Dash shouted, “Two targets remaining!”

The remaining security robots pointed their guns at Robo Dash, who did a series of elegant back flips away from the attacks, landing next to Rarity and Fluttershy.

“I will attempt to stun them,” Robo Dash said, “So I can preserve energy, I request your assistance in destroying the remaining two drones.”

“G-got it!” Rarity said, taken aback by how quickly she sprang into action. She looked at Fluttershy, who nodded in confirmation.

Robo Dash stood up and charged up her element, the energy being yellow. She then pointed her arms forward, and two lightning bolts shot down onto the two drones paralyzing them.

“The enemies have been immobilized!” Robo Dash stated, “Finish them off!”

Rarity and Fluttershy immediately charged up their elements, and fired their Shadow Ball and Wind Blade moves. This time both of of their attacks hit, destroying the remaining robots.

Robo Dash stepped out and looked around. After a second, she turned back to the girls hiding and rested her hands behind her head.

“The perimeter is cleared. It is perfectly safe for you to come out.”

The three of them stepped out, shocked to see the robotic Rainbow Dash giving them the biggest cocky grin.

“You are… amazing…!” Twilight said, “I had no idea that you were so powerful!”

“Well, I am the most powerful robot in my line after all,” Robo Dash boasted, “Those inferior models were no match for a superior machine like myself.”

“Um… okay then,” Twilight said, clearly taken aback by how this robot was acting. Even Rarity was surprised by how full of herself she was, even if it was a breath of fresh air, “My name is Twilight. These are my friends Fluttershy and Rarity.”

Robo Dash shook all of their hands, but stopped when she shook Rarity's hand. She looked at her intently for a while, as if reading her.

“Um… are you okay?” Rarity asked.

“Y-yeah, I just experienced… odd data for a second. Anyway, my serial number is DASH-379. It is nice to meet you,” DASH said, now grinning again. The bright and arrogant smile got to Rarity, and for a split second she saw a flash of her Rainbow Dash giving her the exact same smile.

“Likewise,” Rarity said, before getting on one knee in pain.

end song

“Rarity! Are you okay?!” Twilight asked, both her and Fluttershy kneeling next to her.

“I'm fine,” Rarity said, “Just a little hurt from that attack is all.”

“There is a recharge station right over there,” DASH said pointing to a pod shaped machine, “If you go in there, you should be able to heal yourselves.”

“Thank you DASH,” Rarity said. She and Fluttershy both got in the pod, immediately feeling rejuvenated, “Ooh, that's much better. I feel completely rejuvenated.”

“I'm still hungry,” Fluttershy pouted, holding her stomach. DASH-379 laughed.

“Those machines do not cure hunger. Do not worry though. I got you covered. Follow me,” DASH said. She turned to the door and walked out of the room, a surprising saunter with each step. Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy all followed after her.

“Okay, that was shocking,” Twilight said, “I wasn't expecting this.”

“Yes, seeing a robot version of Rainbow Dash is shocking,” Rarity said, “I'm still trying to get used to how much her outfit shows.”

“Not just that! How full of herself she is!” Twilight whispered, “We found her out of commission, and what's the first thing she does? Brags about how she's the "greatest robot in the world"! What the actual hell?”

“Oh yeah, I forgot,” DASH said turning to Twilight, “Thanks for fixing me. Not sure what happened, but I am glad you turned me back on.”

“Oh, no problem,” Twilight said sheepishly. Rarity couldn't help but laugh, “Whaaaat?

“I bet the two of you will be the best of friends in no time,” Rarity said giggling.

play song

DASH-379 lead them to what appeared to be a cafeteria, which was thankfully abandoned. She walked over to a machine that looked a bit like a microwave and pushed a few buttons.

“Good, this thing still works,” DASH said. She then created three dishes of food in succession, all three being full plates of chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, “Here you go. Food made to sustain organic lifeforms.”

“Ooh, thank you so much, DASH,” Rarity said. Fluttershy wasted no time digging into her food, which had more meat than any of their dishes. DASH then turned back to the machine and created what looked like two soda cans. Must have been her energy source.

“So, where you guys from?” DASH asked sitting on the table and opening her can actually like it was a soda can, “Cause you three clearly are not from around here.”

“Um… what makes you think that?” Twilight asked as she ate her food. DASH gave her a deadpanned look.

“Twilight, I am a combat android. I am not an idiot,” DASH said, “None of you are registered in the citizens database, and that one looks like she came from the stone age or something.”

They all turned to Fluttershy, who stopped chewing her food for a second and looked at them.

“What?” Fluttershy asked with a full mouth.

“So needless to say, you three are not fooling anyone, least of all me,” DASH asked, “So spill it. Where are you guys from?”

“You probably won't believe us, but-” Rarity stopped herself, looking at DASH for second, “No, actually you might believe us. You see, the three of us are actually all from other dimensions. Fluttershy here came from a world that was an endless forest, and Twilight and I both come from different variants of the same sort of urban like world.”

“You are from other dimensions?” DASH asked with a raised eyebrow, “Eh, makes about as much sense as anything else.”

“Wait, you believe us? Just like that?” Twilight asked as DASH finished her first can.

“Like I said, you three are not registered in the citizens database, and none of you have cybernetic enhancements,” DASH said opening her second can, “Besides, this world is already researching multiple dimensions.”

“It is?!” Rarity asked shooting up, “Do you think you might be able to find my world then?!”

“It is possible,” DASH-379 said, “Are you lost?”

“Something like that,” Twilight said, “Rarity and I are from the same world, but my world is one where she died ten years ago. She ended up being transported to my world when something happened to her world.”

“Really?” DASH asked, “I might be able to find your world, at least, I could if I had a gate key.”

“Gate key?” Fluttershy asked, “What is gate key?”

“It is a device that is able to tune into other worlds and permit travel to alternate dimensions in a controlled environment,” DASH explained, “If I had one of those, I could use the warp room here to connect to your worlds using the three of you as bases.”

“Seriously?!” Twilight asked, “So, we can travel to other worlds at will? Rarity, this is great news!”

“But, we don't have a gate key…” Rarity said looking down. Fluttershy slammed her hand on the table excitedly.

“Rarity! Show DASH special stone!” Fluttershy requested.

“You mean the stone the village Seer gave us?” Twilight asked.

“Stone open door to here, and here is other world! Stone must be gate key!” Fluttershy stated.

“I don't see how that could be though,” Twilight said, “It was just a regular stone, and it was in your world. No offense, but I don't think your world had the technology to see other dimensions.”

“No, stone open door,” Fluttershy said, “Rarity, show DASH, please.”

Rarity shrugged and reached into her pocket. She pulled out the stone, but was surprised to see that it didn't look like a stone anymore. Actually, it looked more futuristic. It no longer was made of stone, rather it was made of some sort of metal. It was golden, and the circular base looked sort of like a clock.

“Wait… this isn't…” Rarity said. DASH looked at it and smiled.

“Oh, you had one,” DASH said, “That makes things a lot easier. They are impossible to get your hands on unless you are affiliated with the research facility.”

“But… how did…?” Rarity asked as DASH took the key.

“Follow me,” DASH said, “The entrance to the warp room is upstairs.”

As DASH sauntered out of the room, Twilight and Fluttershy stood next to her, Fluttershy with a large piece of meat in her hands still chewing.

“I told you stone was gate key,” Fluttershy said proudly before biting into her food again.

“But… how did your Celestia have a gate key from this world?” Twilight asked.

“Also, why did it look different?” Rarity asked, “That wasn't the stone Celestia gave me.”

Rather than try to rationalize what just happened, the three of them followed their mechanical tour guide to the higher floors, where they were taken to what appeared to be a large computer room. DASH went to the main computer and typed on it, groaning.

“Ugh, bad news ladies. The warp room here is no longer operational,” Dash said.

“It isn't the only one though, is it?” Rarity asked walking next to DASH-379.

“Negative. There is another one, but it is not in this area. We would have to go to Sector F-9, which is in the Class A district,” DASH explained.

“Class A? What's that?” Twilight asked.

“This dimension has a caste system implemented,” DASH stated, “The Class A district is where the upper class people live, and more state of the art robots like myself work. This area, the Class B district, is where the lower class lives. More outdated robots work here, and the people aren't as well taken care of.”

“Then why the heck are you here?” Twilight asked, “You're supposed to be this state of the art machine, right?”

The way DASH stood up and folded her arms was odd. She looked down thoughtfully.

“That… is a very good question,” DASH said seriously, “You found me in disrepair, correct?”

“We did, yes,” Rarity said, no one aware that Fluttershy was wandering off, “You weren't active at all, and Twilight had to fix you.”

“Honestly, it looked like you had been here for a while,” Twilight said, “Speaking of, where is here exactly, anyway?”

DASH managed to get the computer on and typed on it. After a second she looked up at the screen wide eyed.

“The junkyard?! Why am I here?!” DASH asked, clearly shocked. Rarity was shocked too. Sure, seeing Rainbow Dash so animated was more normal for Rarity, but this Rainbow Dash was a machine. Whoever made her was a genius to make such a human like machine.

“I'm… assuming this is exactly what I think it is, isn't it?” Rarity asked.

“This place…” DASH said trembling, “This is where… they throw robots away that… don't work anymore…”

“That's odd,” Twilight said thoughtfully, “Besides a few unplugged wires and loose screws, you were in perfectly good condition. There's no reason why you should have been thrown away.”

“Why…?” DASH asked holding her head now, “Why can I not remember? What was I doing before…?”

They heard beeping from another side of the room. The three of them looked and saw Fluttershy pushing random buttons on another terminal, giggling at the beeps each button made.

“Fluttershy!” Twilight cried running over to her, “You can't push random buttons like that!”

“DASH push buttons, so I push buttons,” Fluttershy reasoned, giggling again, “Buttons make funny sound. Listen.” She started typing random buttons, this time making a song almost. Twilight screamed and pulled Fluttershy away from the keyboard

“Are you trying to get us killed?!” Twilight asked, “We don't know what those buttons-” the screen turned on, showing a wire framed image of a creature spinning around. This creature looked like a bug almost, with an off three pronged mouth. Next to it, as if stating the creatures name, was the word “LAVOS”.

end song

Rarity looked at the screen wide eyed, remembering the creature that sucked in Sunset Shimmer before Rarity ended up in Twilight's world.

“T-that's it…” Rarity said walking over to the screen, “That's the creature that captured Sunset Shimmer…”

“I've seen pictures of something like that in books,” Twilight said.

“We have carvings and drawings of monster in temple,” Fluttershy said softly.

“That creature,” DASH said walking up to the group also looking up at the screen, “is an anomaly in the universe being researched in this dimension. It is called Lavos, the Time Devourer.”

Fluttershy and Twilight turned to DASH wide eyed, “Lavos?!” they both cried at the same time. They both turned back to the screen, poor Fluttershy trembling backing away.

“Lavos… real…? Lavos is… monster…?” Fluttershy asked fearfully.

“DASH, you said it's an anomaly, right? What does that mean?” Twilight asked.

“No one knows where it came from,” DASH explained, “I do not know the basics, being a combat robot, but by my limited understanding, Lavos is an entity that consumes dimensions for some unknown purpose.”

“C-consumes dimensions…?” Rarity asked, “How does it do that…?”

“Beats me,” DASH said, “I exist in time and space, so I do not know anything outside of it. We would probably find out more in another lab in the Class A district, but-”

“We're going,” Rarity said suddenly.

“Rarity?” Twilight asked, everyone turning to look at Rarity shocked.

“I want to know everything I can about this… Lavos!” Rarity said, tightening her fists and gritting her teeth, pure rage consuming her as she looked at the screen. This was the monster that captured Sunset Shimmer, and possibly altered her world. If DASH was to be believed, it might have even eaten it.

You better hope I don't find out my world was eaten by you Lavos!

I swear, if I do, I'll make you pay!

I'll destroy you… Lavos!

Machine: DATA UNKNOWN

View Online

Machine – DATA UNKNOWN

Somewhere in the A-Class district, an older man in a lab coat paced back and forth in his dark lab, two female androids kneeling before him.

“The security drones were taken out?” the man asked, his voice gruff and worn.

“Affirmative,” the red android on the left said, “Fleetfoot was connected to them, and caught images of the fight. DASH-379 is activated, and protected the unlicensed lifeforms.”

“379 is operational?” the man asked, “Hm…”

“Doctor, I have saved the images of the unlicensed lifeforms in my database,” the blue android said, “One was scanned to have an unusual energy signature.”

“Is that so?” the doctor asked, “They might be the one we're looking for…”


play song

After making sure they had everything, Rarity and her team ran out of the abandoned lab in the Junkyard and started making their way to the Class-A district.

“We can get a train that will take us right to the Class-A district,” DASH-379 explained, running next to Rarity.

“Perfect,” Rarity said, “And there we can learn more about Lavos?”

“Definitely,” DASH said turning to Twilight and Fluttershy, “We are not going too fast, are we?”

“Not at all,” Twilight said, “I'll be fine.”

They ran into an alleyway and hid as three security robots flew past.

“We cannot let them catch us,” DASH whispered, “You are unlicensed, thus will be arrested on the spot.”

“Not imprisoned again,” Fluttershy said pulling out her dagger, “I never get imprisoned again.”

DASH turned to Fluttershy, “I think I see why you lost against the security robots earlier. Those weapons are outdated.”

Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy looked at DASH as she held up her arm, which turned into a cannon. They then looked at their stone and wooden weapons almost in shame.

“Compared to her, we are sort of pathetic,” Twilight said.

“Why am I always lacking in the weapon department?” Rarity groaned.

“Do not worry,” DASH said holding her arm out, “Just stay behind me. If anything attacks you, I will protect you.”

“Why are you helping us like this?” Rarity asked, “Not that I mind, but you're a robot from here as well.”

DASH chuckled, “Honestly, I am not too sure,” she admitted looking forward, “But when I looked at you, I experienced strange data. It is that same data that is prompting me to do this. Something is telling me to value your safety above all else. I am not sure if it is a malfunction, or foreign data, but it appeared when I saw you for the first time.”

Rarity looked down, unsure how she felt hearing that. She was happy that DASH-379 was helping them, but the thought of her being a malfunctioning machine did sort of scare Rarity a bit.

“Do not worry,” DASH said, “While there is the possibility of me malfunctioning, this data is all I have,” she turned to Rarity and smiled, “You and your friends are perfectly safe with me.”

Rarity was definitely put at easy with that smile. It reminded her of her own Rainbow Dash's smile, how it just let you know everything would be okay. Like Twilight and Fluttershy, this version of Rainbow Dash was so much like her own it was terrifying.

Her being a robot was still messing with Rarity's head though.

“Alright, the perimeter is cleared,” DASH said, “Proceed with caution.”

DASH stepped out, the others following close behind her. Naturally some people did give them off looks, but those were probably more for how Fluttershy looked than anything else.

Although, Rarity didn't see any other robots like DASH walking around. What kind of robot was she, anyway? She didn't look like a civilian robot, or even a regular security robot.

“Rarity, this world scares me a bit,” Twilight said walking next to Rarity.

“Yes, it's not as open or friendly as Fluttershy's world,” Rarity pointed out, “In fact, it's almost the opposite of her world.”

Speaking of Fluttershy, she walked up next to DASH and started poking her arm. After a second, DASH turned to Fluttershy with a raised eyebrow, shocking the poor forest girl.

“Never seen a robot before, eh?” DASH asked.

“Body like armor in certain parts, but soft like human in others,” Fluttershy said, “Maybe… a little afraid of…”

“I see,” DASH said thoughtfully, “You know, it is that very fear that resulted in robots like myself.”

“Really?” Fluttershy asked.

“People have an easier time working with something automated if it looks, sounds, and acts like a person. That is me. I am built in the image of a human, and programmed to act like one to…” she stopped when she realized that Fluttershy didn't understand anything she was saying, “To put it simply, me looking like a human is so you will be more comfortable.”

“It is? How?” Fluttershy asked somewhat distrustfully, “I not understand.”

“Give me your hand,” DASH asked holding out her hand. Fluttershy slowly reached for DASH's hand, letting the android grasp it tightly, actually letting their fingers intermingle, “How does my hand feel?”

“Soft…” Fluttershy said softly, “Like… Twilight… and Rarity… and…”

“And anyone else you know from your world, correct?” DASH asked, Fluttershy nodding slowly, “Now, feel this.”

DASH brought Fluttershy's hand to her chest, where her heart would be, and Fluttershy was wide eyed.

“You have… heart…?” Fluttershy asked. DASH laughed.

“Not exactly. I have what is called a “core”, which functions in the same manner of a heart for an organic being. As such, it also beats at regular intervals, much like your own heart,” DASH placed a hand on Fluttershy's chest and smiled softly, “See? We are different, but we are also the same.”

Fluttershy looked down, “Rarity and Twilight protect me. DASH… protect me… too?” DASH-379 laughed before wrapping an arm around Fluttershy comfortingly.

“Of course I will protect you,” DASH said, “You and I are officially friends, okay?”

Fluttershy nodded smiling brightly, leaning into DASH as they walked. Before Rarity could say anything to that, bright lights shot down on them.

end song

“HALT!” a voice called out from above them. The four of them looked up and saw two figures hovering over them, “DASH-379, step away from the humans!”

“Who are they?!” Twilight asked.

“I am not sure… but I…” DASH said. The two figures landed, revealing themselves to be androids like DASH. One wore somewhat bulkier armor that was red and orange, and had orange and red hair that was fashioned to look like a flame. The other wore rounder form fitting armor that was blue, and had much longer light blue hair that flowed down her back and over her shoulders.

“379, what is your major malfunction?!” the red robot asked, “You know those three are unlicensed lifeforms, correct?!”

“Spitfire, there is no point in reasoning with the aberrant,” the blue robot said, “We should remove her so we can complete our mission. She is the only real threat.”

play song

“Affirmative, Fleetfoot,” the red robot, Spitfire said to her ally, “One single target. Locked on.”

“Offering support,” Fleetfoot said stepping forward, “Locking onto single target.”

“What should we do?” Rarity asked reaching for her spear.

“Leave this to me,” DASH said stepping forward, “Your weapons are insufficient against these targets. I will defend you. Two targets! Locked on!”

“Commencing attack!” all three shouted at the same time.

Spitfire and DASH charged at each other, fighting close quarter. While DASH's moves were quick and athletic, SSpitfire was simply a brute, trying to overpower DASH.

She got a lucky punch in, knocking DASH back. She slid away holding her stomach, but then jumped to the side as Fleetfoot fired with what looked like a machine gun compartment coming out of her arm.

DASH rolled to her knees and fired her arm cannon, but Fleetfoot was too fast, flying out of the way of all of her shots. Spitfire charged up red energy, held up an arm revealing a fiery blade, and charged at DASH. She then slashed upward, and came down on top of DASH, knocking her to the ground.

“DASH!!!” all three girls cried at the same time. As great as she was, this was a two on one fight against robots of her same type apparently. This wasn't fair in the slightest.

Spitfire grabbed DASH by the neck and held her up.

“A malfunctioning machine like you doesn't stand a chance against a superior model like me,” SPpitfire said, “You should have stayed scrapped.”

“Spitfire, cease taunting 379,” Fleetfoot said, “We have a mission to accomplish.”

Rarity couldn't take this anymore. She didn't care if her weapon wasn't strong enough. She was plenty strong herself, and she wasn't about to let those two destroy DASH. She gripped her spear and charged in screaming.

“Rarity, no!” Twilight cried.

Fleetfoot turned to Rarity just as she started attacking, spinning her spear elegantly and actually doing some minor damage to the android. Once she felt strong enough, she jumped away and charged up her black element, but this time didn't use her Shadow Ball. No, instead she felt another move come to her. She sent the black energy into her spear, and rushed toward Spitfire and slashed wildly with her spear, which was now engulfed in black energy.

The name “Grim Slash” came to mind.

Spitfire, now damaged, released DASH who jumped back and charged up her yellow element. She then held out her arm cannon and charged it with energy, firing a stronger energy shot at Spitfire, actually pushing her back to Fleetfoot.

“How did she pierce my armor?” Spitfire asked, looking at Rarity in shock.

“She is a black adept,” Fleetfoot said, “Specializing in darkness based magic and attacks.”

“I thought I told you to stay back,” DASH said walking over to Rarity's side.

“I don't abandon my friends when they're in need,” Rarity said, “I may be a pretty face, but I can hold my own in a fight.”

A white light came over DASH, instantly healing her. Twilight and Fluttershy ran to their sides as well with their weapons ready.

“We might not be able to do much with our weapons,” Twilight said, “But our magic should be enough.”

“DASH, you and I will take on Spitfire,” Rarity said, “Twilight and Fluttershy, keep Fleetfoot away from us.”

Fluttershy nodded getting in her fighting stance. Fleetfoot flew into the air and fired at them with her machine gun, but Fluttershy did a series of back flips out of the way. Twilight fired at Fleetfoot with her arrows, which understandably did barely anything, but it did catch her attention.

Fluttershy then charged up her element, casting Wind Blade on Fleetfoot knocking her to the ground. Twilight charged up her white element, pointed her bow and arrow at Fleetfoot, and sent in white energy to the tip. She then fired the arrow, which turned into a sharp beam of light that pierced Fleetfoot (Ray Shot).

Meanwhile, Spitfire and DASH were at it again, but this time Spitfire had her blade out, forcing DASH to have to work harder to block or dodge. Behind Spitfire, Rarity rushed in to slash her, but she used her other arm to block. DASH tried to kick Spitfire, but she used her blade to block that attack as well.

“You are stronger than I thought,” SPITFIRE said, “Or is this because you now have assistance?”

“Shut up!” DASH spat, “You are just upset because you are losing to a group of humans and as you put it, a malfunctioning machine!”

“Is that so?” SPITFIRE asked, “What if I told you that I had you all right where I wanted you? Fleetfoot, now!”

“Affirmative,” Fleetfoot said. Both she and Spitfire charged up their elements, Fleetfoot's being blue. Fleetfoot shot an ice beam toward the ground freezing it and trapping everyone. Spitfire then jumped in the middle and spun around, turning into a fiery tornado. She then moved around the field hitting everyone while their feet were still frozen, knocking all of them to the ground (Double Tech: Fire & Ice).

end song

Spitfire walked over to the badly damaged DASH and kicked her, “Like I said, you were are no match for us.”

Fleetfoot walked over to Rarity and picked her up, “Mission complete. Let us return to the Doctor.”

“Affirmative,” Spitfire said. The two of them flew off, leaving everyone else on the ground unconscious.


“Hm… that's not good,” the mysterious figure said, folding her arms looking at Spitfire and Fleetfoot fly away with Rarity on a screen, “I can't let Tirek get this win, no matter what. I suppose I'll have to intervene.”

She turned to another computer, getting to work on her next project. First order of business, make sure that Athena was okay. After that, ensure that Rarity met up with her friends.


RECOVERING MEMORY FILES

RECOVERY FAILED

PREVIOUS MEMORY STATE FOUND

LOADING PREVIOUS STATE

UNIT WILL RESUME FROM RECOVERED STATE

REACTIVATING DASH UNIT


DASH-379 woke up with a start and sat up. She looked around and saw both Twilight and Fluttershy rising to their feet. At first she was relieved to see they were okay, but got worried when she noticed someone was missing.

SEARCHING FOR REGISTERED ALLY: RARITY

SEARCH INCONCLUSIVE

LOCATION OF REGISTERED ALLY: RARITY IS UNKNOWN

Realizing that Rarity was missing, DASH felt an odd sensation. Her core was beating frantically for some reason, and she was having a harder time taking in oxygen for ventilation. She was about to ask how the others were doing, but stopped when she heard sirens.

“Damn it!” DASH swore, “Twilight, Fluttershy, get up and follow me!”

Not wasting any time, both girls rose to their feet and ran after DASH, who led them to an alleyway. Police drones flew past them at that moment.

“Is everyone alright?” DASH asked turning to her group.

“Where's Rarity?” Twilight asked nervously.

“I don't… argh!” DASH shouted slamming a fist against a wall and holding her head, “What is happening to me?”

“D-DASH…?” Fluttershy asked. She was about to approach her, but Twilight held her back.

“Strange… data… unable to comprehend… Cannot… focus…!” DASH started trembling holding her head with both hands as more odd data was flowing into her CPU.

RARITY

MUST PROTECT

PRIME DIRECTIVE IS TO PROTECT RARITY

“Why…?” DASH asked, her eyes closed tightly as tears started to build up, “Why is that girl so… important…?”

Twilight was about to say something, but her cellphone went off.

“That's odd,” Twilight said, “I didn't know it could get calls from across dimensions. Maybe Sprint does have the best service,” she answered it, “Hello?”

Is the DASH unit with you online?” a voice asked.

“Um… who is this…?” Twilight asked.

Don't worry about that for right now, Twilight. If the DASH unit is functioning, we can get to work on finding your friend.

“You know where Rarity is?!” Twilight asked. DASH looked up at Twilight, and quickly walked over to her snatching the phone from her.

“Where is she?!” DASH demanded.

You must be unit 379,” the voice said calmly.

“If you hurt Rarity, I swear I will find you and-” DASH stopped herself, surprised by her outburst. She had just met Rarity and her friends today, but something within her programming was telling her that Rarity's safety was of optimal importance.

Remain calm,” the voice said, “I did not take the Chrono Trigger, but I do know who did, and where she is at the moment. Put Twilight back on the phone, and I promise I will guide you to her.

DASH reluctantly gave Twilight back the phone and then walked off, trembling as she tried to figure out what was happening to her. Fluttershy walked over to her and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“DASH…” Fluttershy said.

“I apologize for my irrational behavior,” DASH said, “Ever since I saw Rarity, I've experienced odd data. Something is telling me that I have to keep her safe.”

“I same,” Fluttershy said, “Get strange feeling when see Rarity. Feeling like she beloved friend.”

DASH looked at Fluttershy, realizing that she probably did experience her own version of that sensation, “Yeah… I guess we are the same.”

“Okay, thanks,” Twilight said hanging up and walking over to them, “You should receive two locations in a few minutes. Apparently, Rarity is in the first one, and we need to take her to the second one after we save her.”

DASH nodded, and then received two points on her radar back to back.

“Data received,” DASH said.

“Are you going to be okay?” Twilight asked DASH, “You were scaring us a little earlier.”

“I… do not know…” DASH admitted leaning against the wall, “Those two other robots said I am malfunctioning, I still do not know why I was in the junkyard, and now this data,” she held her head in pain again, “I am afraid to do anything right now. How can I trust programming like this?”

“You trust, because I trust,” Fluttershy took DASH's hands, “You and I friends now. Friends with Twilight, and friends with Rarity too. Not malfun… mal…” Fluttershy shook her head, “Not big word bad robots said. You and Rarity friends. Same as me.”

“I… think I know what you're feeling,” Twilight said, “When I saw Rarity for the first time, something told me that I needed to be with her. It was like I was looking at someone I had been friends with for a long time, even though we hadn't ever met yet. I don't know if it's the same for you, since you're a robot and all, but maybe this is the same feeling.”

“You guys…” DASH said looking at both Twilight and Fluttershy. As far as they knew, she might have been a mad machine, yet they still believed in her. She felt a happiness like no other at that moment, and before long pulled both of them into a hug.

“Thank you, Twilight and Fluttershy,” Dash said, “Now, let us rescue our friend!”


play song

When Rarity came to, she noticed that she couldn't move. She was bound to what looked like a hospital bed, her wrists and ankles strapped tightly to the bed by shackles, and even her mouth was gagged with a black band. She looked around and saw her spear on another desk, being examined by a figure in a white lab coat. She couldn't really see who they were, as they had their back turned to her and she was at an odd angle.

What's going on?

Why am I here?

“Finally awake, Chrono Trigger?” the figure, revealed to be a male, said. He was an elderly man with thick glasses and a long white beard, wearing a red suit shirt, black tie, and black pants underneath his white lab coat.

Chrono Trigger? What's that?

“I have to say, your composition is astounding,” the man said, “To think that someone was born that's completely organic. You're not from this world, or any world, for that matter.”

Not from any world? What ever does he mean?

Rarity tried to ask him about that, but the band around her mouth was too tight.

“You have questions, I'm sure,” the man said, “But as you noticed, you've been silenced for the duration of your stay. The reason for that is quite simple. Here, you are nothing but a tool to be used by me, so that I may learn how to control Lavos.”

Lavos again? What does he mean by control?

Wait… did he say… tool?

Rarity tried screaming at the man, but he turned away from her.

“I know you have no intention of helping me on your own free will. That's why I'll just have to take it by force. I need to get something from my main office. I will return shortly.”

The man left the office, shutting the door. Once alone, Rarity pulled at her bindings frantically, screaming as loud as she could. She tried summoning her Element, but it was no use. She used up all of her energy fighting those robots.

Rarity didn't really care about herself. Okay, that was a lie. She was terrified for herself. But she was more worried about her friends. Were they okay? Were they still alive?

Twilight… Fluttershy… DASH…

Please be alive…

end song

Good, you're finally alone.

Rarity looked around frantically, after hearing an electronic voice speak from somewhere in the room. Was there another robot in there with her?

Don't bother looking for me,” the voice said, clearly using a voice synthesizer to hide their voice, “I'm not in that room with you. I've hacked into Tirek's systems to communicate with you. My voice is coming from his computer.

Oh dear… not another one…

You're not in any danger with me,” the voice said once Rarity closed her eyes in fear, “I'm on your side. Tirek is a horrible man who desires control of all the computers and robots in this world. He believes that by using the power of Lavos, he'll be able to control everything in the world. For that reason, he wants to use your powers as the Chrono Trigger.

Your friends are already on their way, but we can't afford to wait for them. You must at least make your way to the first floor of this compound. From here, I can at least release your arms and legs. It will be up to you to get out of there though. Once you're released, grab your spear and get to the first floor. Now, are you ready? Blink once for yes, and twice for no.

Could this person see her? Rarity looked and saw a security camera looking right at her. Chances were, that whoever she was talking to was watching her through that.

Realizing that she didn't have a choice, Rarity closed her eyes tightly once for yes. A few seconds later, she heard a machine activate, and the bindings on her wrists and ankles opened. She immediately sat up and undid the band around her mouth.

“Ugh, that wasn't fun,” Rarity said, immediately pulling a compact and lipstick from her pocket, quickly redoing her make-up, “I don't know how anyone would find that appealing. Um… thank you, uh…”

Just call me… Solaris,” the person who helped her said, “Once you get out of there, you'll find an old warp room west of here. You should be safe there, as it's under my protection. You can return to Standard, or go to any other world you need to from there.

Rarity nodded and ran to her spear, “Got it. I'll start making my way there now.”

Good luck, Rarity,” Solaris said. Rarity turned to the camera in shock.

“How do you know my name?” Rarity asked. Sadly, her question went unanswered, as Solaris probably disconnected. Rarity sighed and left the room, deciding to instead focus on meeting up with her friends.

Once she turned the corner, she ran into two security drones. Both robots turned their blasters at Rarity, who did a fancy cartwheel behind the corner out of the way.

play song

“Well, I will say this much, this experience has done wonders for my figure,” she said to herself, remarking at how much more athletic she had become over time. Once they stopped firing, Rarity rushed out to them and slashed one with her spear, knocking it back. When the other one fired at her, she jumped away and charged up her black element, firing her Shadow Ball at the second one, destroying it instantly.

Am I getting stronger…?

Yes… I think so!

Rarity turned to the remaining drone just in time to block its shots with her spear. Even she was amazed by how well she was doing. Feeling a little bolder, she spun her spear around in front of her walking toward the drone. She then stuck her spear into the ground in front of her, and used it as a lever kicking the drone into a wall, breaking it.

Right after the fight, the alarm went off. Was that because of her?

“Ooh, looks like the paparazzi is coming,” Rarity said nervously, “I should probably try and dodge them, else they catch me in a compromising position.”

She continued to rush through the compound, stopping in front of the elevator. She pushed the call button for it, and then tapped her foot nervously.

“Come on…!” Rarity said. She looked to her side and saw two more drones turn the corner along with a bulky looking security bot standing upright with treadmills on its feet. They fired at her, but she quickly ducked out of the way, rushing to the stairs instead.

As she ran down the stairs, she saw a few drones coming up the stairs toward her. She got on the railing and slid down past them, blowing them a kiss before she jumped off and ran through the door to the first floor.

Once there, she was ambushed by two of the larger security bots. One of them pointed a machine gun at Rarity and fired, but she rolled to the side just in time. Sadly the second one was right in front of her in a second and whacked her back into a wall.

Rarity stood up and charged up her black element. Instead of Shadow Ball, she rushed toward the robot that just assaulted her and used her Grim Slash. It seemed to do a bit of damage, but she saw an odd looking drone floating behind them charge up what looked like Twilight's white element.

Oh, you better not!

Much to Rarity's dismay, it launched “Cure” at the drone she just attacked and healed it completely. Rarity swore and rushed over to that drone, but the other security robot knocked her back onto the ground. She looked up and saw the robot she attacked raise its arm above her and try to slam it down, but Rarity rolled to the side and whacked it with her spear. She slashed it a few more times and then jumped back charging up her black element again. This time she did fire Shadow Ball, right at the healing drone.

And sadly the robot in front of it rolled in the way defending the attack. It then pointed its machine gun at Rarity and fired. She jumped back away from the attack, but the second security robot grabbed her and held her up.

end song

“N-no!” Rarity screamed as she struggled, “Let me go!”

Just as the second robot prepared to fire at her, an electric blast shot it in the back knocking it down. As it fell, Rarity saw DASH, Twilight, and Fluttershy running to her aid.

play song

“Girls…!” Rarity cried, tears of joy forming in her eyes.

Twilight pulled out her bow and slid underneath the healing drone. At the same time she pointed her bow at it and fired as fast as she could. Once she charged up enough of her element, she charged up and fired her Ray Shot at it, destroying it.

“The healer is down!” Twilight shouted, “We can take them out now!”

DASH and Fluttershy nodded, both of them running toward the robot that was holding Rarity. The second robot rushed toward them knocking Fluttershy back, but DASH took to the air, activating the jets on her feet.

“Fluttershy!” DASH cried.

“Leave robot to me! Save Rarity!” Fluttershy ordered. DASH nodded and flew over to the robot that was still holding Rarity. She landed on her feet, running toward it and then jumped into the air doing a drill kick at the robot's face, making it release Rarity.

Once Rarity ran behind her, DASH charged up her yellow element and pointed her cannon arm at the drone. She built up energy, and then fired her Charged Shot at the robot, destroying it in one shot.

Nearby, Fluttershy kicked the last robot back and then charged up her green element, knocking it back with Wind Blade, surprisingly killing it.

“My word!” Rarity said in shock, “How did her attack do so much against it?!”

“Those robots have a yellow element,” DASH explained, “Thus green elements like Fluttershy's are the most effective. Rarity, are you okay?”

“I am now,” Rarity said, immediately hugging DASH, “Thank you! All of you!”

“It is no problem at all,” DASH said with an arrogant grin, “They had me backing them up. There was no way we could lose.”

“Rarity, there's a warp room further away from her,” Twilight said, “We need to-”

“I already know,” Rarity said, “Someone named Solaris told me.”

“She bring us here,” Fluttershy said, standing on the remains of the robot she destroyed, “We go now?”

“Damn right we do,” DASH said, “Follow me. I will lead us right there.”

The four of them rushed out of the compound, Rarity happy and amazed to see how far they went for her. They might not have been her versions of her friends, but it felt nice to know that no matter where she was, Twilight, Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy were there to protect her.

Girls… thank you so much.

end song


Tirek walked through the halls, looking at the remains of the robots scattered all around him.

“Stupid drones!” she exclaimed, kicking one of the scraps in front of him, “We had her right where we wanted her!”

“Don't worry, Tirek,” a voice said behind him. He turned to see a figure standing in the darkness behind him, wearing a black trench coat and with really long hair.

“Ah, Mistress, I apologize for losing the Chrono Trigger,” Tirek said with a slight bow.

“Worry not,” the woman said, “I'm sure its only a matter of time before they go to the one you refer to as Medieval. My servant is there now, and we are preparing for their arrival. Once we capture them, I will make sure you receive all the information you need.”

“Thank you, Nightmare Moon,” Tirek said, “This is more than I deserve.”

“Think of it as my way of thanking you for providing me with a vessel from this world,” the woman, Nightmare Moon said. She stepped out of the darkness slightly, revealing her long dark blue hair.

Hair that looked almost like the night sky.


play song

“Well, here we are,” DASH said as they entered the fancy room. It looked like the computer room from the Junkyard, but much nicer looking with newer computers. Rarity, Twilight, and Fluttershy looked in the middle of the room and saw what looked like a mirror of some sort hooked to a machine.

“This is the warp room?” Rarity asked.

“Yep, using this we can warp to all of your worlds or any other world that we need to,” DASH explained, “We can also get information on Lavos.”

“Can we first track down Rarity's world?” Twilight asked, “I'm really worried about it.”

“Yes, I worried too,” Fluttershy said.

“Sure,” Dash said sitting down at the computer, “Rarity, may I have a piece of your DNA?”

“S-sure,” Rarity said. She hated doing this, but realizing she didn't have a choice, she took a single strand of her hair and pulled it out. She handed it to DASH, who put it into her computer and scanned it. After a second, the computer beeped, but the word “UNKNOWN” appeared on screen. Rarity looked up at the computer

“What does that mean…?” Twilight asked nervously.

“I am not sure,” DASH said thoughtfully, “It may take some time to work this out and gather information on Lavos. You can stay here with me for that, or you can return to Standard for now.”

“Um… think we could go back to my world for a bit?” Twilight asked, “I think I want to take this time to check on my friends.”

“Y-yeah, sure,” Rarity said distantly, looking up at the screen. She was terrified, trembling unable to look away from the screen.

Unknown…?

Does this have to do with what Tirek said…?

“I stay here with DASH,” Fluttershy said, “Keep company.”

“You should hold onto the gate key,” DASH said handing Twilight the gate key, “Use that to come back here. I should be ready in one to two days.”

“Thanks DASH,” Twilight said, “How do we use it?”

“Hold it up in front of the warp gate,” DASH explained, “You will end up in a place with multiple doors. You'll see images showing you the world, but the door to Standard will be pretty obvious.”

“Thank you,” Twilight said, “We'll be back soon. Rarity, are you ready?”

“W-what?” Rarity turned to Twilight suddenly, “Oh, uh… yes darling. I'm… fine.”

“Rarity, are you going to be okay?” Twilight asked. Now all eyes were on Rarity, who for the first time found herself shirking away from the attention.

“I… don't really want to talk about it right now,” Rarity admitted, “Maybe later, but…”

Fluttershy embraced Rarity tightly, “Find your world, friend. Answer with Lavos, I sure of that.”

“Same here,” DASH said, “I will not rest until I find everything I can about Lavos.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said. She turned to Twilight and took the gate key, “Now, let's head back to your world.”

Twilight nodded, still looking at Rarity seriously, and followed her to the warp gate. She held the gate key above her, and electricity converged on the mirror, which started to ripple like water. Rarity placed her hand on the mirror, surprised to see that like the portal to Equestria, her hand went right through it. She then took Twilight's hand and pushed through the warp gate.

Warp Gate

The area they two girls found themselves in was terrifying, yet also beautiful. The ground underneath them looked like it was made of metal, and it circled around what looked like a holographic globe of planet earth. Around the circular platform were four large mirrors, each one showing a different landscape. While the rims of all of them were fancy looking, most of them had silver rims while one had a golden rim. Surrounding all of them was what looked like a glass wall either colored to look like outer space, or were clear showing them the outside.

Considering that Rarity saw slight movement though, she assumed it was the latter.

“Looks like we came out of this mirror,” Twilight said looking back at the world showing them “Machine”. Through that mirror they saw a far off image of a super advanced city.

Rarity looked around, seeing only four mirrors, “Are there only this many worlds?”

“I doubt it,” Twilight said, “These are probably the only worlds that they could find, probably because the differences are so vast in them.”

“I see,” Rarity said, walking around the area. She saw a door that showed her a forest like landscape, and another one that showed her what looked like a medieval castle. If the last one was “Standard” then that meant…

“Rarity?” Twilight asked.

“Let's go,” Rarity said curtly, walking to the golden mirror. Twilight sighed and followed her. The two girls looked into the mirror, seeing an urban metropolis before them.

Rarity and Twilight took each other's hands, and jumped through, returning to Standard.

Standard: Stand Up for Yourself

View Online

Standard – Stand Up for Yourself

Twilight was so happy her bike was back at her house when they got back. Not that she couldn't just get another one, but she liked that bike. Apparently, her friends (now joined by Rainbow Dash) covered for her absence, as she got a text message from Pinkie Pie as soon as she got back, asking her to call her as soon as she could.

After talking to Pinkie Pie for a bit, getting her updated on what happened, Twilight took her shower and went to her and Rarity's room. Rarity had taken her shower already and was probably asleep now. Twilight was really worried about Rarity. She hadn't talked much since they returned from Machine. Twilight kept thinking about what Forest Celesta told her about being Rarity's light.

She did think it was interesting that she was a light adept while Rarity was a darkness adept.

play song

Twilight slowly opened the door, but saw that Rarity was still up, looking at the moon from Twilight's window. She was already wearing her pajamas, but she didn't show any sign of going to bed anytime soon.

“I was thinking about going to school tomorrow,” Twilight said walking into the room, “Might be a good idea to see everyone, you know?”

“Mm hm…” Rarity nodded, still not turning to Twilight. Twilight sighed walking over to her.

“Rarity, what's the matter?” Twilight asked, “I haven't known you for very long, but I can tell when you're really upset about something.”

“I'm fine Twilight,” Rarity said, her voice darker, actually giving Twilight a chill. Her entire air was beginning to darken.

“No you're not,” Twilight said, “It's about what we saw in Machine, right? How DASH wasn't able to find your world?” Rarity tensed up, but she didn't turn around, “Rarity-”

“I don't want to talk about it,” Rarity said, the flair in her voice gone, something Twilight noted was a sign that she was really upset, “Just… leave it alone for now, okay?”

“Stop doing that,” Twilight demanded. This time Rarity slightly turned to Twilight.

“Stop doing what?” Rarity asked.

“Pushing me away like this,” Twilight said, looking down and trembling, “I get it, you're suffering right now. You put on a happy face so Fluttershy, DASH, and I won't suspect anything is wrong, but deep down you're in a lot of pain. You're sad, scared, frustrated, angry, all of those things, and it's okay that you feel that way,” Twilight ran over to Rarity, turned her around, and grabbed her shoulders looking her in the eyes, “But what isn't okay is bottling it up like this, and pushing your friends away. I know I'm not your Twilight, but I do care about you. I want to be there for you, but I can't if you keep blocking me out.”

Rarity averted her eyes, and started trembling horribly, like she was about to break down.

“I… I can't…” Rarity said, “If I let it out… I don't know if… I'll stop… or if I'll be able… to… stand…”

“That's okay,” Twilight said, “I'll hold you. I'll hold you for as long as I have to. You'll feel better if you just let it out. Please, Rarity.”

Rarity closed her eyes tightly, and a stream of tears flowed. Twilight immediately embraced her friend, who soon after started wailing, unable to even keep standing. Twilight went down with her, holding her tightly as Rarity lost all composure.

They stayed like that for a good few minutes. Once Rarity calmed down a bit, Twilight took her downstairs and pulled out a carton of strawberry ice cream, which the two of them shared. Rarity hadn't spoken yet, but she also hadn't left Twilight's side.

“I don't know what to do…”

Twilight was started by Rarity's voice, but then turned to her friend confused.

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

“When I was alone in that compound, a man called me “Chrono Trigger”, and said that I wasn't from any world,” Rarity said.

“Solaris said something like that too,” Twilight said, “She kept calling you “Chrono Trigger” too. I wonder what that even means.”

“I don't know, but it's sounding like my world might be…” Rarity choked back a sob, covering her mouth and looking away.

“That's what has you so upset,” Twilight said, “Seeing DASH unable to find your world must have been like confirmation of your worst fears.”

“My world, my friends, my family,” Rarity started trembling again, “They're gone…! All of it is gone!” she broke down again, covering her face in her hands, “I'll never see any of them again!”

“What if… what if I am your Twilight?”

Rarity stopped sobbing and looked at Twilight confused, “What do… you mean…?”

“Well, what if your world was just shifted into this one?” Twilight asked, “I mean, that would make sense with what DASH saw, right? I don't know,” Twilight sighed looking forward, “I'm just… I don't want you to give up hope.”

“You… really care that much…?” Rarity asked.

“Of course,” Twilight said, “I know how I'd feel if this happened to me, and I'm willing to bet that if I had met you, you'd be the same way. I don't know how we're going to save your friend or find your world, but I do know that giving up hope isn't the way. So… I want you to be strong. Crack a joke, brag about your appearance, and when you see your enemy, say something really arrogant like you always do.”

Twilight felt Rarity embrace her tightly.

“Thank you, Twilight,” Rarity said softly, “I don't know what I'd do without you.”

“You won't have to figure that out,” Twilight said smiling, “I'll be there for you, no matter what.”

As they hugged, their hands met, their fingers interlocked with each other in a very intimate and loving manner.


play song

The next day, Rarity decided to go with Twilight to school. She needed the distraction, and it honestly didn't make sense to just sit around and do nothing for the day. She wasn't much of a gamer herself unless it was Candy Crush, so she didn't see herself spending the day playing video games, and Standard didn't have any monsters to fight, so no training.

Well, unless she ran into this world's Fluttershy.

Everyone was happy to see her. Pinkie Pie kept asking both her questions about their trip, and even Applejewel seemed interested, especially when she heard about the alternate versions of Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. Dash actually smiled bashfully when she heard that her alternate self was a robot.

When it was time for homeroom, Twilight and Rarity walked in, surprised when they saw Fluttershy. Rarity waved to her, forgetting what this Fluttershy was like. When she scowled at her and turned away grumbling to herself, Rarity remembered.

Right, Standard Fluttershy is a bitch.

That sounds… so wrong.

When homeroom ended, Rarity shot up and ran after Fluttershy as she left.

“Hey, wait!” Rarity called out. Fluttershy stopped and turned to her.

“What do you want, bitch?” Fluttershy spat.

“I…” hoo boy, after a few days being with a more pleasant Fluttershy, standing in front of this version was back to being jarring, “How… are you doing…?”

“Wanna know how humiliated I am after you cheated in our fight?!” Fluttershy asked harshly.

“C-cheated?! Says the one who tried to ambush me with her goons!”

“I saw that stupid goth's video!” Fluttershy said, “I don't know what that black ball was you shot at me, but I'm going to get my revenge, not just on you, but on everyone there! Jewel, Pinkie Pie,” Twilight walked over to them, “Four-eyes over here!”

“Four-eyes?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, and don't think Dash is safe! She's going to get it the worst! I'm going to make all of you fucking bitches wish you hadn't messed with me!”

With that, Fluttershy stormed off to her next class. Twilight looked at her glasses and frowned.

“I haven't been called Four-eyes since elementary school,” Twilight said, “I didn't even know that insult was still a thing.”

“Oh dear,” Rarity said with a sigh, “I might have messed up a bit.”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked, putting her glasses back on.

“I was hoping Fluttershy would think about what happened and try to better herself, if only a little,” Rarity admitted, “It sounds more like she's even worse now.”

“Yeah… that's just how she is.”

Both Rarity and Twilight turned to see Rainbow Dash standing meekly behind them.

“She hasn't hurt you or anything, has she?” Twilight asked.

“No more than usual,” Dash said, “Pinkie Pie and Applejewel stay with me most of the time, so she doesn't get the chance to try anything, but she still forces me to do all of her homework.”

“Why do you put up with her?” Rarity asked.

“Because I made a promise,” Dash said somberly, “Remember when I said that Fluttershy got bullied a lot when we were younger? I sort of promised that I'd be her friend no matter what.”

“Wait, you actually consider Fluttershy your friend?” Twilight asked, mirroring Rarity's shock.

“Of course I do,” Dash said as if it were obvious, “I know why she's really like this, and I'm not going to let her attitude destroy our friendship.”

“As loyal as that is,” Rarity said, “And believe me, I think that's really loyal of you, that doesn't give her the right to push you around like that. You need to stand up for yourself.”

“I… can't…” Dash said sadly, “I don't want to hurt her anymore than she is right now. I need to get to class. I'll see you at lunch, okay?”

Dash pushed past them and walked to her next class. Rarity folded her arms and pursed her lips as Twilight sighed shaking her head.

“If this keeps up, Fluttershy's just going to keep bullying Rainbow Dash,” Twilight said, “What should we do?”

“Leave it to me,” Rarity said.

“What are you going to do?” Twilight asked nervously.

“Dashie here can't see herself as strong,” Rarity said, “So I wonder what would happen if she saw a stronger version of herself.”

“Hold on,” Twilight asked, “You're not about to do what I think you're about to do, are you?”

“I am,” Rarity said walking off, “I'll be back in a bit.”

“Rarity, we don't know how the time space continuum would be affected by that,” Twilight said, “We've been lucky so far, but what if we cause a paradox or something.”

“Back in my world, my Twilight once met another world's Twilight and they had a full on conversation,” Rarity explained, “The world didn't implode on itself then, and I don't believe it will do so now. Besides, Dashie needs this.”

Rarity walked out of the school, thankful that she didn't run into any teachers on the way. She walked over to the statue in front of the school, looked around, and then pulled out the gate key. She held it up, and then walked through the base.


play song

When Rarity arrived in Machine, she saw DASH-379 sitting at the computer right where they left her, still working. Nearby she saw Fluttershy lying on a table sleeping. She smiled and walked over to DASH, touching her shoulder.

“Rarity,” DASH said turning to her, “It is good to see you. I apologize, but I have not finished my analysis.”

“That's alright,” Rarity said, “Actually, I need your help with something in Standard.”

“Eh, sure,” DASH said swiveling her chair around, “I can assist you. What do you need?”

Rarity explained to her the whole situation in Standard, about her alternate self's timid nature, and how she was enabling Standard's Fluttershy. When Rarity finished, DASH-379 considered the situation carefully.

“Huh… that is serious,” DASH said.

“I know that this really isn't your business,” Rarity said, “But Dashie is also a good friend of mine, and I want to help her. I figured if she spoke to you, she might get a burst of courage.”

“Well, it is worth a shot,” DASH said standing up, “Allow me to borrow the gate key. If you are willing to stay here with Fluttershy, I will talk to my alternate self and be back soon.”

“She should be heading to her next class soon,” Rarity said, “Thank you, DASH.”

“I could use the break anyway,” DASH said standing up and stretching. Once again, Rarity couldn't take her eyes off DASH's chest. She really wanted to know if Standard Rainbow Dash or her Rainbow Dash for that matter was this built.

Rarity handed her the gate key, and DASH through the warp gate. Realizing that DASH might be a minute, Rarity sat down in the chair and spun around, immediately regretting not bringing some sort of entertainment.

Okay, next time I'm asking Twilight to borrow her hand held or something.


play song

DASH-379 stepped out of the monument and looked around, scanning the environment.

SEARCHING FOR SIGNS OF AUTOMATON LIFE FORMS

SEARCH COMPLETE: NO AUTOMATON LIFE LOCATED WITHIN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY

INITIATE STEALTH MODE?

Before DASH could figure that out, she heard someone gasp in shock. She looked and saw two students looking at her pointing. When the students ran away, DASH rolled her eyes.

NEGATIVE

STEALTH MODE WOULD DO NOTHING TO ALTER THE SITUATION

DASH sighed to herself, and then sauntered through the school. As she walked through the halls, a lot of the students and a few teachers were giving her odd looks. She even heard someone actually whistle as she passed by.

WHISTLE IS PROBABLY A SIGN OF ATTRACTION DUE TO UNIT'S PHYSICAL FEATURES

CHANCES OF AWKWARDNESS FOR STANDARD ALTERNATE SELF

87%

Well, she wasn't really phased by it. For one thing, she wasn't programmed to be bashful about her appearance. Also, she was hot, and her armor did a great job of showing that off. Why shouldn't people enjoy the show?

She walked over to another student and tapped her shoulder. When the black haired student turned to her, she stepped back in shock.

“Whoa! Um… Rainbow Dash…? Is that you…?” the student asked.

“I am looking for a girl about your age that favors my appearance,” DASH said, “It is of the utmost importance that I speak with her.”

“Um… this is weird,” The student said, “But… if you're not Rainbow Dash, you're probably looking for the gymnasium. I think this is a free period for her, and she spends that in the gym.”

“Thank you for your assistance,” DASH said with a bow. She then walked off, doing her best to locate the gymnasium.

It took a bit, but she eventually found the gym. Just as the student said, her alternate self was sitting on a bleacher by herself watching students play basket ball. DASH was a little taken aback by how delicate this version of herself looked. She was very pretty in her own right, but she didn't look very strong physically.

DASH walked over to Rainbow Dash and sat down next to her, waiting for her human self to notice her. It only took maybe a second.

“Ahh!” Rainbow Dash screamed in shock. DASH turned her human counterpart and smirked.

“Hey, you are this world's version of me, right?” DASH asked. Rainbow Dash's eyes were wide.

“Oh my God… you're the alternate version of me that Rarity met!” she cried, “The one who's a robot!”

“So you know about me. That makes things easier,” DASH-379 said.

“W-why are you here though?” Rainbow Dash asked nervously, “This isn't like the Terminator, is it?”

“The… Terminator…?” DASH-379 asked confused, “No no no, I am here on Rarity's behalf. She asked me to talk to you.”

“Rarity asked you…?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“She told me about you and this world's Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said, “How she bullies you.”

“She's… difficult…” Dash said, “But she's not a bad person.”

“I did not say she was,” DASH-379 said, “But she does bully you, correct?”

Rainbow Dash tried to deny it, but she sighed looking shamed, “Maybe a little…”

“Do you know why she targets you so much?” DASH-379 asked.

“It's because… I'm her friend,” Rainbow Dash admitted, “She goes after everyone a bit, but when it comes to me, I'm the main one she attacks.”

“Why do you allow her to do that?” DASH-379 asked, “Why do you not stand up for yourself?”

“Because she needs someone…” Rainbow Dash said sadly, “I don't like the way she is now. Actually, I hate it. She used to be so nice, but after her friend died, she was crushed. If I don't stay with her, she's going to be alone…”

“You value her as a friend,” DASH-379 stated.

“I do,” Rainbow Dash said, “That's why I…”

“That is why you have to be the one to face her,” DASH-379 said, shocking Rainbow Dash.

“W-what?! Me?!”

“Uh, yeah. You claim that you value her as a friend, but right now all you are doing is enabling her. You want her to go back to the way she was before, right?”

“More than anything,” Rainbow Dash said.

“So how is what you are doing now helping her with that? How does being her punching bag, doing her homework, and letting her crush your self-esteem bring her back to being her old self?”

Rainbow Dash looked down seriously, gripping the skirt of her dress tightly, “Um… you know another Fluttershy, right? What's she like?”

“She is a wonderful person,” DASH-379 said, “Kind, strong willed, maybe a little slow when it comes to machinery, but she always means well. I am assuming that is more like the Fluttershy you remember?”

Rainbow Dash nodded, “She was so sweet back then. When we were kids, she never hurt anyone. She liked animals, mainly bunnies. She cried a lot, but that was okay, because she had Rarity and… me…”

end song

At that moment, almost on cue it seemed, Fluttershy stepped in. DASH-379 had to admit, seeing Fluttershy like this really messed with her head, but she didn't let it show. Fluttershy turned to them and stormed over to them.

“Hey Rainbow Trash, the teacher said that my math homework was wrong,” Fluttershy fussed, “You better do a better job next…” she noticed DASH-379 sitting there and stepped back, “What the fuck…? Who are you supposed to be?”

“That is not important,” DASH-379 said, “I believe Rainbow Dash here has something to say to you, right?”

DASH-379 turned to Rainbow Dash, and looked at her intently. Rainbow Dash stood up, looking down trembling as Fluttershy got closer to her, looming over her.

“Is that right, Skittle-Head?” Fluttershy asked, “You have something to say to me?”

“You… you…” as Rainbow Dash stammered, DASH-379 looked up at her nervously, and Fluttershy narrowed her eyes at her.

“What?” Fluttershy asked harshly, “You got something to say apparently, right? So come out and say it, if you've got the guts that is.”

Rainbow Dash tightened her fists, shaking uncontrollably thinking about what Rarity and Twilight said to her, what DASH-379 said, and also how badly she wanted her Fluttershy back. What happened next shocked everyone, as Rainbow Dash took a deep breath.

“YOU CAN DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!!!”

play song

Everyone stopped what they were doing, all eyes on Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. DASH-379 smiled proudly, but Fluttershy was shaking in rage.

“W-what… did… you… say…?!” Fluttershy seethed.

“Y-you h-heard me…!” Rainbow Dash said, still trembling but now looking Fluttershy dead in the eyes, “I've… put up with you… for years… because you're my best friend… but this… stops… NOW! I'm not going to be your victim anymore!”

Fluttershy started breathing heavily, her face starting to turn red she was so angry, “You… talked back… to me…?! I WILL FUCKING WRECK YOU, BITCH!!!”

“Go on!” Rainbow Dash said, “Instead of threatening to do it, just do it! Maybe that's what I need to stop putting up with you! To see that my best friend is really gone!”

Fluttershy raised her hand as if to slap her, and Rainbow Dash flinched in fear. The hit never came though, as Fluttershy looked like she was struggling with herself. She stepped away from Rainbow Dash trembling as tears fell from her eyes.

“I hate you…” Fluttershy said, “I FUCKING HATE YOU!!!”

She then turned around and ran out of the gymnasium. Everyone was silent for a few seconds, until someone started clapping. Soon, all the students in the gym started clapping. DASH-379 stood up and patted her human counterpart on the back.

“You did good, Rainbow Dash,” DASH-379 said.

“You heard her though…” Rainbow Dash said sadly, “She hates me now…”

“That was a lie,” DASH-379 stated, “She is resisting, but she felt what you were saying. Hearing her best friend call her out on her bad behavior might be the wake-up call she needs.”

“I… I don't know where any of that came from,” Rainbow Dash said, “I'd never be able to do that before…”

“You could, you just did not know you could,” DASH-379 said putting her hands on Rainbow Dash's shoulders, “You and I are the same. That means deep down you have the heart of a warrior,” she smirked, “Besides, I refuse to believe anyone with my face is weak. As far as I am concerned, you are a DASH unit like me, and that means you are the best in your line.”

“I'm… the best…?” Rainbow Dash asked before smiling more confidently, “Yeah. I guess I am pretty cool. Thanks robot me.”

“Do not mention it human me,” DASH-379 said, “Oh, do not be surprised if your popularity shoots up a good sixty percent. See ya, DASH-380.”

“Popularity…?” Rainbow Dash asked, “What do you mean by that?” she stopped when she noticed how her robot counterpart walked, unable to take her eyes off her hips. As she started blushing, she noticed two of the boys playing earlier behind her watching too.

“So uh… just how similar do you look to that?” one boy asked. Rainbow Dash looked down sheepishly, blushing even more now.

Yep, she was now a superstar in the school.

Outside the gym, DASH-379 thought back to what she just did and smiled.

“I think she will be just fine,” DASH said to herself, “I have to do my best too. Rarity is counting on me,” she looked down at her hand and tightened it into a fist, “Even if I am malfunctioning, Rarity is my friend, and I have to do whatever it takes to help her.”

With renewed spirit, DASH-379 made her way back to Standard's warp gate. She felt something within her change, almost as if she gained a new power of some sort. When she checked the list of elements she knew, she saw a new one present.

Speed Boost.


play song

When DASH returned to Machine, she saw Fluttershy was now awake, sitting in front of Rarity who was applying make-up.

“And there,” Rarity said, “Take a look.”

Rarity held out a mirror and pointed it at Fluttershy, who looked mesmerized.

“I pretty like you now?” Fluttershy asked. Rarity giggled.

“Oh darling, you were already gorgeous,” Rarity said, “This just calls attention to how gorgeous you are.”

“Looks like you two are having fun,” DASH said smiling. Fluttershy immediately shot up and ran over to DASH hugging her.

“DASH! You come back! I scared when woke up and you not here!” Fluttershy cried. DASH looked Fluttershy in the eyes intently, “DASH…? You okay…?”

“Y-yeah…” DASH said softly. She smiled and pulled Fluttershy into a tight embrace, “I am fine Fluttershy. Just… promise me you will never change, and we will always be friends, okay?”

“Promise,” Fluttershy said immediately, returning the embrace, “I never change, and I always your friend.”

DASH released Fluttershy and walked over to Rarity, “I believe this belongs to you.”

Rarity took back the gate key and smiled, “Thank you DASH. Is everything okay now?”

“Everything is fine,” DASH said, “My human counterpart has taken a major step to becoming stronger, and I feel that I have become stronger as a result.”

“Wonderful,” Rarity said, “I feel better then. But… are you sure you're okay, darling? You have a sort of… odd look in your eyes.”

“I… guess seeing a version of Fluttershy and I that were not so close just… affected me,” DASH explained.

“What matters is how close you are with this Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “No matter what, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy have been, and always will be best friends. I think that's just something that has to happen in any world.”

“Perhaps so,” DASH said returning to her chair, “I will work overtime to get the information on Lavos, and anything that can locate your world.”

“Thank you…” Rarity said, somewhat surprised by how far DASH was going for her, “That… means a lot to me.”

DASH-379 nodded to her, and put her focus back to the computer. Rarity turned to Fluttershy and took her hands.

“I have to go for now, Fluttershy. I'll be back tomorrow though, okay?”

Fluttershy nodded smiling and embraced Rarity lovingly, “Bye Rarity. I see you tomorrow.”

Rarity used the gate key, and went through returning to Standard. She was anxious to see what the aftermath of that would be.


play song

When Rarity walked out to the portal and went back to the school, it was lunch time. She picked up her lunch and met up with her friends in the library. She only saw Applejewel, Twilight, and Pinkie Pie waiting for her.

“Well look who reappeared,” Applejewel said, “You missed somethin crazy.”

“Oh did I?” Rarity asked sitting down.

“This scantily clad robot that looked like Rainbow Dash just walked through the school like she owned the place and talked to her!” Pinkie Pie said excitedly, “Then Fluttershy came in being a bitch like usual, and Dashie told her off!”

“Is that right?” Rarity said, feigning ignorance, “Sounds like things got exciting while I was gone.”

“Are you sure this was okay Rarity?” Twilight asked, “DASH really called attention to herself with that,” Applejewel and Pinkie Pie turned to her, “I'm talking about the robot Dash.”

“Oh,” both girls said at the same time.

“I'm sure it'll be fine,” Rarity said, “Speaking of, where is Dashie?”

“Probably runnin away from all the boys givin her rhythm,” Applejewel said, “Poor thing is so shy, she's probably afraid ta leave the bathroom now.”

They heard the library door open, and all four of them looked out to see who it was. They saw Rainbow Dash walk into the library with a boy. They couldn't hear what was being said, but he smiled sheepishly rubbing the back of his head, and Rainbow Dash giggled. The boy waved to her and left, and Rainbow Dash squealed happily before running to where her friends were waiting for her.

“Hi girls,” Dash said, more enthusiastically than usual.

“Hey… Dashie…” Twilight said, “You seem to be in good spirits.”

“Ever since my robot self appeared, I've been getting so much attention!” Dash said happily, “Before no one noticed me, but now I'm one of the most popular girls in school!”

“And… yer okay with that…?” Applejewel asked.

“I was surprised too,” Dash admitted looking down, “I was scared at first, but after a while, something inside of me lit up. I realized everyone in the school was talking about me and well, I think I like that.”

“That's wonderful,” Rarity said embracing Rainbow Dash, “I'm so happy for you. Now, what about Fluttershy though.”

“I'm not worried about her,” Dash said honestly, “She had a chance to attack me, but she didn't take it. I'm sure now, deep down my best friend is still in there, and I'm going to keep fighting for her. But…” Rainbow Dash opened her lunch, “she's doing her own homework from now on.”

Everyone laughed at that, Rarity the hardest and happiest. Somehow, she seemed just a tad more like her own Rainbow Dash.

“So… question for the blog,” Pinkie Pie asked pointing her camera at Rainbow Dash, “Who was the boy you came in with, and what were you talking about?”

“Oh, that was Soarin,” Dash said, blushing madly and smiling, “He… asked me out on a date this weekend.”

“WHAAAAAT?!!!!”

end song


play song

Turned out this was the break that Rarity needed, as she felt so much better now when she woke up next to Twilight the next day. The two of them showered, got dressed (Rarity taking extra time with her make-up) and they made their way to the warp gate early in the morning.

They arrived in Machine shortly after, immediately going over to DASH-379 and Fluttershy.

“Hello friends,” Fluttershy said happily.

“Hey Fluttershy,” Twilight said hugging Fluttershy, “It's seriously great to see you again.”

“Did you discover anything?” Rarity asked DASH-379.

“Concerning your world's location, I am afraid not,” DASH admitted, “But, I did discover something very interesting concerning Lavos.”

“That's a start at least,” Twilight said, “What did you find?”

“It turns out, Lavos gives off unusual temporal energy,” DASH explained, “It is the same temporal energy that comes off of Rarity.”

“Really?” Rarity asked looking at her hand.

“DASH, tell them other thing,” Fluttershy urged.

“Ahh, right. So once I discovered that, Fluttershy suggested looking for that energy signal elsewhere. Sure enough, I did not have to look very far either. Turns out, there are two locations that give off this temporal energy. The first one being here in Machine.”

“And the second one?” Rarity asked.

“In the third and final registered world,” DASH said, “We have code named this world “Medieval” as it seems to favor more of a medieval style.”

“You mean that other world we saw,” Twilight said, “I think we should go there next.”

“I agree,” Rarity said, “We can come back here and investigate anytime, but if there's a new lead we need to follow it.”

“So… we go to new world then?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes,” Rarity said, “We're going to Medieval.”

“Then we should depart immediately,” DASH said, “Solaris told me that she is monitoring this area, so we can leave this in confidence.”

“Then let's not waste any time,” Twilight said.

The four of them walked over to the warp gate, standing in front of it. Rarity held up up the gate key, and led her new team through the warp gate, making their way to their next destination and newest horizon.

Next stop, Medieval.

end song


Deep in a lush forest, a group of knights were camped out. They were making their way back to their kingdom of Canterlot, sadly not with good news. Their queen was still nowhere to be seen, but after the rough time they had, their leader felt it was time for them to return home to regroup.

Said leader stood on a hill looking out at the horizon. Clad in silver knights armor with a flowing red cape, they tightened their fists.

“Even if I have to go alone, I will not rest until I find my queen,” the knight said, “That's the mark of a knight of the queen, right teacher?”

The leader drew their sword and held it up, red energy briefly shining through it.

Medieval: Just A Tool

View Online

Medieval – Just a Tool

play song

Rarity's group arrived in what appeared to be a ruined monument, the portal behind them being the remains of a statue. It looked like the sun had just risen in this world. Fluttershy immediately ran forward on all fours and breathed in happily while DASH-379 walked ahead and scanned the environment.

“Forest!” Fluttershy cheered, “Trees! Fresh air!” she fell back onto the ground and relaxed, “Feel much better here!”

“Ack! Fluttershy, stop rolling around in the dirt!” Twilight scolded running to their animal like companion, “Didn't you just take a bath before coming here?!”

“Huh… I am picking up an abundance of odd energy,” DASH said, “I cannot get an accurate reading on it.”

“What about Lavos' energy?” Rarity asked, “Can you get an accurate reading on that?”

DASH-379 looked around for a second, and then shook her head.

“Sorry, but negative,” DASH said, “I am picking it up, but it does not feel like it is in the world, if that makes any sense.”

“What? Like it's enveloping it?” Rarity asked.

“Correct,” DASH said, “We will have to explore this area if we are to learn more.”

“I wonder where that castle was,” Twilight said dusting an annoyed Fluttershy off, “You know, the one that appeared on the warp gate.”

“That is a very good question,” DASH said, “It would have to be important for the warp gate to show us.”

“By the way, where did that area come from?” Rarity asked, “The warp gate chamber.”

“How should I know?” DASH-379 asked resting her hands on the back of her head.

“Well, you were made in Machine,” Twilight stated.

“What? Just cause I am a robot I should know everything?” DASH asked, clearly offended, “I believe you humans would call that racist.”

“What?! No no! I didn't mean it like that!” Twilight covered, “I just figured with you being made there, that information would have been downloaded to you.”

DASH turned to Twilight and activated her cannon presenting it, “Do you see this? This is what I was built for. I am strictly a combat machine. Yeah, I can learn pretty much anything I want, but at the end of the day, this is what I am meant to do.”

“So… you were created to fight… and destroy…?” Rarity asked sadly, “That's it?”

“Pretty much,” DASH said, not even visibly fazed by that.

“But… doesn't that make you sad at all? To know that you were made for one purpose and that's it? To never be given a choice as to what you want to be?” Twilight pressed.

“I have never thought about it,” DASH admitted, “I am a robot, a machine. Basically, I am a tool to be used by humans, just like your spear, Twilight's bow, or Fluttershy's daggers. Even right now, I am a tool being used to assist you.”

“No!” Fluttershy of all people shouted, catching everyone's attention. When they looked at her, she was looking down trembling, fists clenched tightly.

“Fluttershy?” Rarity asked.

“You not tool like daggers, or bow, or spear! You friend! Come with us as ally, not as tool!” Fluttershy stated. DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently, and then walked on ahead.

“I will begin searching for civilization,” DASH said, “Please stay close to me.”

“DASH!” Fluttershy called out, her plea going unanswered as their mechanical companion continued to walk ahead, “DASH is friend. She say so herself, so why…?”

“I guess we have to remember, she may have a personality and emotions, but DASH is still a machine,” Twilight said somberly, “Also, there is that part of her malfunctioning.”

Twilight and Fluttershy walked after DASH-379, but Rarity stayed behind for a bit thinking about her behavior, and relating it to her own Rainbow Dash. She had a tendency to push her more sensitive emotions aside to preserve her strong image. Rarity wondered if DASH-379 was similar in that regard.

“What is mal… func…tion?” Fluttershy asked as Rarity ran after them, “Keep hearing big word, but not understand.”

“It means I am not working properly,” DASH explained, still not turning to them.

“Not working properly? I not understand,” Fluttershy said running to DASH's side, “You not broken. You are friend, DASH. Friend fine just as is.”

DASH tightened her fists in frustration, looked down covering her eyes with her bangs, “Fluttershy…” she said through gritted teeth. Before anyone could say anything, she stopped suddenly and held out her arm, “Hold!”

“What's going on now?!” Twilight said, immediately pulling out her bow.

“I am detecting an unusual signal around us,” DASH said, “It seems… non-organic, but not mechanical either.”

play song

Rarity looked around them and saw shadows take form around them. The shadows turned into black upright creatures with glowing red eyes that still looked like living shadows, and there were a lot of them.

“DASH! Do they feel like Lavos?” Rarity asked pulling out her spear. Fluttershy drew her daggers and DASH got in her fighting stance.

“Scanning,” DASH said, “Affirmative! I am picking up the same energy as you and Lavos from these creatures!”

“Then we're in the right place! Everyone, get ready!” Rarity commanded. The four of them spread out and engaged the creatures, which seemed much stronger than what they were used to fighting. At least, Rarity noticed that she was having a harder time with them.

She swung her spear at three to build up energy, and then jumped away charging up her element. Feeling much stronger, she set her spear down and held out both hands, firing two Shadow Balls at the monsters. They took the attacks head on, but they didn't seem to hurt much.

“Um… problem dearies…!” Rarity said picking up her spear and backing away from them.

“These enemies have a black attribute!” DASH shouted doing a spin kick knocking a shadow monster back, “Your elements will only have one third their usual effectiveness!”

“Well isn't that lovely!” Rarity groaned.

“Hold on,” Twilight said, “DASH, what is black weak against?”

“All elements are weak to their opposing colors!” DASH explained, “Blue and Red, Yellow and Green.”

“And Black and White,” Twilight said, “Got it!”

Twilight, feeling invigorated, spun around firing her arrows at all the shadow monsters she could. She then charged up her white element, held her bow above her as if to shoot at the sky, and fired an arrow. It then exploded into tiny white shots that hit every shadow creature, doing massive damage to each one (Star Shower).

DASH charged up her yellow element and fired her Charged Shot at a shadow monster that tried to hit Fluttershy, killing it. Fluttershy looked at DASH in surprise.

“Are you okay, Fluttershy?” DASH asked lowering her gun. Fluttershy nodded but then gasped in shock.

“DASH, behind you!” she cried. DASH turned around just in time to see one of the shadow monsters charge up its own black element and fire a Shadow Ball at her, knocking her back.

Fluttershy gritted her teeth in anger and rushed at the shadow monster in question slashing with her daggers. Once it seemed like she gathered enough energy, she charged up her green element, and spun around using her Tail Spin attack to hit every shadow creature present.

play song

“Well wasn't that fun?” they heard a familiar voice ask above them. They all looked and saw Pinkamena standing on a tree branch looking down at them.

“I was wondering when you'd show up again!” Rarity said pointing her spear at the demonic looking jester, “I know about Lavos!”

“Ooh, do you now?” Pinkamena asked smiling evilly, “Feeling big and bad now that you know the mastermind behind your pain and suffering?”

“So you don't deny it!” Rarity said, “Lavos is the reason for everything! What happened to my world, Sunset Shimmer being captured, and even you! All of it is because of Lavos!”

“Well, I can't say all of it is Lavos,” Pinkamena said shrugging her shoulders, “But you're right about Lavos being more or less the reason for all of this.”

“You seem pretty loose lipped today!” Twilight said pointing her bow at Pinkamena.

“Well, sure you know what Lavos is, but what can you do about it?” Pinkamena asked. She snapped her fingers as more shadow monsters appeared around the group, “It's not like you can fight Lavos. Even if you knew where he was, killing him would be impossible. You can't hope to kill a God.”

“Lavos not God!” Fluttershy shouted, “Lavos is monster! You are monster!”

“Aw, is that any way to talk to an old friend, Fluttershy?” Pinkamena asked with an evil smirk.

“You not friend! Rarity friend! Twilight friend! DASH friend! You monster that lead attack on village!” Pinkamena laughed.

“Oh, this is rich! You guys still don't know what's happening here, do you?” Pinkamena said, laughing so hard she almost fell off the branch.

“What's happening…?” Rarity asked. DASH scanned Pinkamena while she laughed.

“That woman is completely consumed by the energy that these creatures are made of,” DASH explained, “She's giving off the same reading.”

“Of course I am Rainbow Dash,” Pinkamena said, “I'm just like them, a pawn to be used by Nightmare Moon, the harbinger of Lavos.”

Wait? What did Pinkamena call DASH-379?

play song

“Now shadows, let's continue the party!” Pinkamena said jumping off and getting in her fighting stance, “This is so much fun, I can't take it!”

“Twilight, help me deal with her!” Rarity commanded, “Fluttershy, DASH, deal with the shadow monsters!”

“Got it!” Twilight said.

“Understood!” DASH said. Fluttershy nodded. Twilight and Rarity ran forward to face Pinkamena.

“Now then, let's see what you've learned since I last left you,” Pinkamena said. First thing she did was rush over to Rarity and swung her bladed hoop around. Rarity managed to block most of those attacks, and then began swinging her spear in retaliation.

While that was going on, Twilight used some of the energy she had left over to charge up her element, and then pointed her bow at Pinkamena, “Rarity, move!”

Rarity jumped away, and Twilight fired her Ray Shot at Pinkamena, actually knocking her back a bit. Before Pinkamena could retaliate, Rarity charged up her element and fired her new Twin Shadow Ball move at her. Pinkamena took the attack, and then dusted herself off looking surprised.

“Huh, you know, that actually hurt a little,” she said, sounding impressed, “Good job, Rarity!”

“Quit talking like we're friends!” Rarity screamed rushing over to Pinkamena and slashing with her spear wildly. Pinkamena met her assaults with her own attacks, and the two met in a weapon clash.

“But Rarity, we are friends,” Pinkamena said, pretending to sound hurt, “You and I are best friends, remember?”

“The Pinkie Pie I remember wasn't such a heartless monster!” Rarity screamed pushing back against Pinkamena's hoop.

“So I guess your Rainbow Dash was a combat android, your Fluttershy was an amazon warrior, and your Twilight was a happy student her whole life with lofty dreams, right?”

Rarity wanted to fight that, but then realized what she was saying. These versions of her friends were similar, but they weren't the same. All this time, was she just clinging to the closest things to her friends she could find?

“You know I'm right, don't you Rarity?” Pinkamena asked evilly, “You didn't bring them along because you cared about them. You brought them along because they're the closest things you have to the friends you remember. That's why you hate me so much, isn't it?” she giggled, “It's because I act so much like your Pinkie Pie you can't take it.”

Rarity looked at Pinkamena when she giggled again, and actually saw a brief flash of her Pinkie Pie giggling in the exact same manner. It made Rarity sick to her stomach.

“It hurts, doesn't it?” Pinkamena asked getting real close to Rarity, “Seeing your Pinkie Pie turned into such a heartless monster?” An arrow shot between them, forcing Pinkamena to jump away.

“Stop putting weird thoughts into her head!” Twilight demanded, “I know I'm not her Twilight, but as far as I'm concerned she and I are friends!”

“Now who's putting weird thoughts into her head?” Pinkamena asked, “You're confusing the poor thing.”

She was right to a degree. Rarity was horribly confused. Were these versions of her friends extensions of them, or were they completely different people who Rarity was clinging to because they had the same faces. As those thoughts ran through her mind, she felt a dark feeling consume her, and a black aura engulfing her.

“No… they're my friends…” she said to herself, falling to her knees, “Even if… they're different… they're…”

“Rarity!” Twilight cried. She was about to run to her side, but Pinkamena charged up a black element. She then threw her hoop at Twilight knocking her to the ground. As Twilight cried in pain, Rarity somewhat snapped out of her daze.

“T-Twilight…?” Rarity asked. DASH and Fluttershy finished their fights and turned to them.

“We help?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yeah! Hurry!” DASH commanded. She and Fluttershy ran toward Pinkamena, DASH-379 firing at her with her arm cannon. Pinkamena spun, flipped and blocked all of her attacks, and then met Fluttershy's daggers with her blade. Pinkamena kicked Fluttershy back and spun her blade on her arm knocking Fluttershy to the ground, but DASH flew over to her with a flying drop kick.

Pinkamena fell back from that, and then fought DASH close quarter, DASH mainly slashing with her arms and kicking. She raised her leg blocking Pinkamena's hoop with her knee and glared at her.

“Ooh, you're a strong one!” Pinkamena said, “Look like state of the art machinery Rainbow Dash, or should I call you… Athena.”

The second she said that, something hit DASH, who flinched as if in pain. She staggered back, holding her head in pain.

“That… name…!” DASH said, “Athena…? What does that…?”

Pinkamena took that as her chance to rush over to DASH and slice her with her bladed hoop, doing massive damage to the combat android and knocking her into a bush out of sight.

Pinkamena charged up her black element again, but this time held out her hand. Behind her, a large shadow appeared and cat eyes shined through. A second later, hundreds of black cats made of shadows rushed past all of them as they stood up, knocking Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight back to the ground.

Pinkamena laughed out loud, “Looks like your journey ends here, Singularity.”

“Everyone… can you stand…?” Rarity asked trying to stand.

“I… can't…” Twilight said lying helplessly on the ground. Poor Fluttershy tried to rise to her feet, but then fell back to the ground, and Rarity couldn't find DASH-379 anywhere.

“Well, time to put an end to the show,” Pinkamena said, “Let's end this with a bang!”

Just as she was about to charge up an element to finish them off, fireballs shot down at her rapidly.

play song

“W-what the…?!” Pinkamena asked. She looked ahead and saw a squad of about five knights run to the scene. The leader in the middle wearing fancy silver armor with a red cape, a matching helmet that completely covered their face, and holding a fancy looking broad sword and red and silver shield with the symbol of a golden apple in the center.

“Men, protect the injured!” a powerful voice said from the knight in the red cape. A voice that was somewhat genderless, but sounded somewhat familiar to Rarity.

“You again?!” Pinkamena fussed, “What are you doing here?!”

“What I was trained to do,” the red caped knight said, “Protecting the weak! Teacher, please be with me!” they charged up what looked like a red element, and then pointed her sword at Pinkamena. Instead of one fireball though, they rapid fired hundreds of fireballs almost like a machine gun, forcing Pinkamena to do a series of back flips and then jump into a tree.

“Damn it! I won't forget this! You'll be joining your teacher soon enough in oblivion!” Pinkamena seethed before jumping away. One of the other knights was about to run after her, but the leader held their hand out stopping him.

“But sir!” he exclaimed.

“We have other things to worry about,” the leader said, “Let's focus on the task at hand here.”

end song

“Sir, look here!” one of the knights cried out. The leader ran to his side as he examined Twilight, “This girl looks like the castle Wizard.”

“Odd,” the leader said thoughtfully. Rarity finally gathered enough energy and rose to her feet slowly, catching the knight's attention. Oddly, they all gasped in shock when they saw her.

“Ugh, thank you for helping us,” Rarity said, stopping when she noticed the looks she was getting, “Um… is everything okay…?”

“What in the world…?” one of the knights said looking at Rarity with wide eyes. Rarity turned to the leader and saw they were trembling.

“It's… not possible…” the leader said, “You're… supposed to be…”

“Is… everything… alright…?” Rarity asked as Fluttershy rose to her feet next to Rarity.

“What do you make of this…?” one of the knights asked the red caped knight.

“Take them with us to Canterlot,” the leader said, “Viceroy Luna will want to know about this.”

play song

The knights all gathered around Rarity and Fluttershy, while the knight holding Twilight stepped back carrying her over his shoulder. Sensing tension, Rarity and Fluttershy pulled out their weapons.

“Hold on, what's going on?” Rarity asked. Rather than answer, two of the knights lunched at them. Fluttershy tried to fight them off, but was easily overpowered due to her weakened state, but got frantic as they grabbed her wrists.

“NO! NO!” Fluttershy screamed, “NO MAN TOUCH ME AGAIN!!! NO MAN!!!”

Rarity tried to fend them off with her spear, and for a while seemed to actually be doing a pretty good job, as none of them were able to even get close to her. The leader gripped their sword and rushed at Rarity clashing swords with her spear.

“That technique… that fire in your eyes…” the red caped knight said, “It's not possible though…”

Rarity pushed the red caped knight back and then charged up her black element. She fired her Shadow Ball at the knight, who jumped away and then gripped her sword tightly in anger.

“So that's it,” the red caped knight seethed, “You're one of them!” the red caped knight stood up and charged up their red element and launched three Fire Balls at Rarity, knocking her back into a tree.

“RARITY!!!” Fluttershy screamed. The red caped knight walked over to Rarity as her vision began to darken.

“Lock them up,” the leader said to their men, “We're getting to the bottom of this, one way or another.”

end song


PERIMETER IS NOW CLEARED

DISENGAGING STEALTH MODE

play song

Once all the knights had left, DASH-379 faded into view, leaning against a tree and holding her arm in pain. Her entire body was sparking, and she was breathing heavily watching the carriage that now had her friends held captive.

“Must… rescue…!” DASH said, slowly beginning to walk after them. Something sparked in her leg and she fell to her knees screaming in pain.

POWER OUTPUT AT 18 PERCENT

FURTHER STRAIN RUNS THE RISK OF IMMEDIATE SHUT DOWN

DASH-379 slammed a fist on the ground in frustration. She didn't know why she was reacting like this. Her systems were telling her to stop or else she'd probably deactivate. Normally she listened to her systems, as they never steered her wrong.

But something else was telling her she had to move, regardless of her current situation.

A malfunctioning machine like you doesn't stand a chance against a superior model like me. You should have stayed scrapped.

“Malfunctioning… machine…?” DASH said, SPITFIRE's words automatically playing back in her CPU. Was her irrational behavior because of that malfunction? Was she really a mad machine, disobeying her programming?

Was that… why she was thrown away…?

I am a robot, a machine. Basically, I am a tool to be used by humans, just like your spear, Twilight's bow, or Fluttershy's daggers. Even right now, I am a tool being used to assist you.

That was the truth… right…? She was just a tool. A machine designed to be used for… what? What was she made for? Why couldn't she remember anything?

Ooh, you're a strong one! Look like state of the art machinery Rainbow Dash, or should I call you… Athena.

DASH-379's head started hurting again as that name played in her head over and over again. It felt significant to her, but she couldn't for the life of her remember why? Actually, it felt more like the memory file was being blocked.

Athena…

What was… Athena?

“What… do I do…?” DASH asked herself, “My systems are telling me to cease action… but something else is saying-” another spark cut her off as she cringed in pain, “I… don't know… what…”

You not tool like daggers, or bow, or spear! You friend! Come with us as ally, not as tool!

“Fluttershy…” DASH said. She saw images of how afraid Fluttershy was as the knights grabbed her. That fear seemed almost irrational, like she was traumatized or something. Was she okay right now? Was she panicking?

Would those men actually try to hurt her?

POWER OUTPUT AT 16 PERCENT

FURTHER STRAIN RUNS THE RISK OF-

“Shut up!” DASH-379 said, forcing her systems to cease warning her of her situation. She could find a safe place to let her nano-machines begin partial repairs, but once she could stand, she needed to get going. She didn't know whether or not she was being irrational, as she couldn't trust own programming at the moment. For now though, she knew one thing.

Her… friends needed her.


Unknown to her, something was watching her intently from the bushes. It had begun following them for a long while, trying to keep an eye on them, but couldn't reveal itself just yet. The creature, an oddly colored wolf, backed out of the bush and narrowed its eyes, thinking about what just happened.

It's not time for me to intervene yet.

end song


play song

When Pinkamena made it back, Nightmare Moon immediately knew that she had failed. Unlike the last few missions, Pinkamena was to actually complete the corruption of the Singularity, but when she returned alone, Nightmare Moon knew that punishment was in order.

So when Pinkamena arrived, the first thing she did was strip her of “that” power, setting her “free”. Then she chained her to the ceiling and began firing her with her black magic, now that she was no longer protected by her black element.

Pinkamena screamed in pain as her mistress fired black electricity through her body. She stopped and let the gothic jester hang helplessly.

“Please… no more…” Pinkamena begged. Nightmare Moon loved seeing her like this. Without “that” she was so helpless.

“You have failed me,” Nightmare Moon said, “You returned empty handed, and let that girl defeat you.”

“She… had a white adept with her…” Pinkamena said through her tears, “And that knight from before came at the last minute and-” she was cut of by her own screams as Nightmare Moon resumed her torture.

“How do I know you didn't just chose to leave of your own free will?” Nightmare Moon asked, “You could have exerted your own will over my own.”

“N-never…!” Pinkamena cried, “Mistress… I beg you… give me another chance…! Please…!”

Nightmare Moon considered it, and then relented on Pinkamena's torture.

“I will keep you here for now,” Nightmare Moon said, “I must see how to rectify this situation, now that the Singularity has found not only Athena, but “her” student. As long as you remain with me though, she will have no choice but to fall.”

“Why…?” Pinkamena asked, tears of anguish falling from her eyes, “Why do you have to torture her…? Why can't she… just die… peacefully…?”

“I wasn't the one who chose her for this fate,” Nightmare Moon said, “If you want to ask anyone that, you should ask my foolish sister.”

With that, she left Pinkamena hanging in her cell, and then moved to another wing of her dark castle. In a hidden section below the castle, Nightmare Moon went to her special prisoner. This one was completely naked, her multicolored hair hanging loosely over her chest and down her back as she knelt on the ground in front of the back wall of her “cell”, her hands chained to the wall behind her and a black band over her mouth keeping her silent.

“The Singularity is here now,” Nightmare Moon taunted the helpless woman before her, “Isn't that wonderful news?” her prisoner looked up at Nightmare Moon, eyes wide in horror, “You're knight has her now, but I plan on bringing her ito my side one way or another. There's nothing you can do in this world, Celestia.”

Nightmare Moon patted Celestia on the cheek, and then stepped out of the cell. Inside, Celestia closed her eyes and let her tears flow freely as she thought of the helplessness of her situation.

If what my other selves tell me is true, they should get here soon.

Oh… I just pray for “her” safety. As long as she lives… there's still hope.

Medieval: The Knight in the Red Cape

View Online

Medieval – The Knight in the Red Cape

The knights took Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight to what looked like a large medieval city. Rarity was concerned for a number of reasons. For one thing, she was worried about Twilight, who was in another carriage with some of the other knights. She was also worried about Fluttershy, who not only was tied up, but was also gagged and guarded by two other knights.

But her main concern was DASH-379. She was badly hurt in the fight, and they didn't see her anywhere. Without Twilight, would she be able to recover?

Rarity, who was also tied up, sat in front of the leader in the red cape. This knight had never taken of their helmet, and even listening to their voice Rarity couldn't tell if they were a woman, or a young man. But she couldn't shake the feeling that she heard that voice before.

But even through the helmet, Rarity could tell that the knight was glaring at her.

“Something bothering you?” Rarity asked. When the knight didn't answer her, Rarity scowled at them, “You know, it's rude not to speak to someone when they address you directly.”

“Hmph,” the red caped knight said.

Rarity rolled her eyes and turned to Fluttershy. The poor thing was trembling. Her eyes were closed, and she looked like she was getting ready to explode in anger. Rarity reached over to her with her leg to get Fluttershy's attention.

“You okay, darling?” Rarity asked, saddened when Fluttershy shook her head. She turned to the knight in front of her, “You didn't have to be so rough with her.”

“She attacked my men first,” the red caped knight said, “It was the only way to ensure she not cause harm to them.”

“Did you have to gag her though?” Rarity asked.

“After she bit one of my men's hands, yes,” the red caped knight said seriously.

“Why are we even here?” Rarity asked, “You're treating us like we're criminals or monsters.”

The knight turned away from Rarity folding their arms. Rarity couldn't stand them already. Not just because he/she hurt her friends, but because they still refused to answer any of her questions.

When they reached the castle, both Rarity and Fluttershy were pulled out of their carriage. They both looked back at the other carriage and saw Twilight being pulled out by two knights. She turned to them and looked wide eyed.

“Rarity! Fluttershy!” Twilight cried. She tried to rush over to them, but the knights held her too tightly.

“We need to keep them separated,” the red caped knight said, “Take the girl who looks like the wizard to her lab, and lock the pink haired one in the dungeon,” they walked over to Rarity and stood over her, “This one is coming with me.”

The three of them were all pulled in different direction, all of them frantic.

“Rarity! Fluttershy! Help!” Twilight screamed.

“Don't worry! We'll get out of this!” Rarity called out, “Both of you, stay calm!”

As they were all pulled away, all Rarity could do was hope that DASH was still functioning and on her way. She was literally their only hope now.


DASH-379 took to the skies the second she was well enough. She wasn't at one hundred percent, but sixty percent was enough. It was going to be enough at least. She wasn't leaving this place without her friends.

DASH-379 landed, falling to one knee still in pain. She forced herself to her feet and then staggered into the main city.

“Fluttershy… hold on…!” DASH-379 said through gritted teeth, “I will… save you…!”


“Where did you get your power from?” one of the knights asked Rarity. She was brought to a dark room, tied to a chair in the middle of the room. One knight was pacing back and forth, but the leader stood by the door with their arms folded.

“I don't know,” Rarity admitted, “Is this why you captured us?”

“We'll ask the questions here, impostor!” the knight pacing spat, “You're with the shadow creatures, aren't you?”

“What?! Whatever makes you think that?!” Rarity asked, “Those creatures attacked us first!”

“How do we know this wasn't a trick?” the leader asked, “Try to play on our sympathy.”

“Did you not see how hurt we all were?!” Rarity asked leaning forward as best as she could, “Honestly, first you rescue us, and then you lock us up! I don't know what you think we're here for, but whatever it is, that isn't it!”

“Why are you here then?” the leader asked.

“We're searching for something called Lavos,” Rarity said, “My friends and I are…” she stopped herself, unsure of what saying that would do to her situation.

“Are… what exactly,” the leader asked walking over to Rarity. Shoot, now she had to talk, assuming she valued her life at all.

“We're not from here. My friends and I come from… another world. We're traveling around searching for Lavos, the Time Devourer.”

The two knights in the room looked at each other, and then back at her.

“Nice try,” the other knight said, “You don't really expect us to believe that, do you?”

Rarity sighed, “Honestly, I didn't,” Rarity said sadly.

“We need to discuss this with the Viceroy,” the leader said, “We'll return shortly, once we know what to do with you.”

“What about my friends?” Rarity asked, “It seems like I'm the only one you want here, so let them go.”

“Not likely,” the red caped knight said, “If we release them, they're bound to attempt a rescue. I'm not stupid,” both the red caped knight and their companion walked to the door, but stopped and turned to her, “Before I go, tell me something. What is your name?”

Rarity thought that was odd, but she sighed relenting, “It's Rarity.”

The knight with the red cape tightened their fist, and then stormed off, their associate following after them. That confused Rarity. Why was that knight so upset? It seemed like her name upset them for some reason.

Did they know the Rarity of this world? Had something happened to her?


“Sir, you don't seriously believe her, do you?” the knight asked his leader, who folded their arms looking down.

“I'm not sure what I believe,” the leader said, “I'm going to consult with the Viceroy. Keep watch of this room. If she does possess the powers of darkness, we can't be too careful.”

“Yes sir,” the knight said saluting his leader. The red caped knight walked off in search of the Viceroy, who she needed to speak to about this “Rarity”, assuming that really was her name.


play song

ALERT

MOBILITY CIRCUITS STRAINED

UNIT MUST CEASE MOVEMENT TO ALLOW NANOMACHINES TO REPAIR

“Shit!” DASH-379 said falling to one knee. She had just reached the castle, and now she had to stop?! She had wasted enough time as is! Who knew whether or not they were even still alive?!

DASH heard movement. She quickly jumped behind a pillar, seeing two guards walk out from downstairs.

“That forest girl is something else, isn't she?”

“Tell me about it. She's quite the looker. Too bad we can't even get close to her.”

“Hey, with her restrained, anything is possible. Not like she can do anything to stop us now, right?”

Seriously Thunderlane? Do you know what the captain would say to that?”

“Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?”

As they left, DASH-379 for some reason started seething. She didn't understand why she felt like she did, but it was beginning to overtake all of her programming.

TARGETS ARE TALKING ABOUT A FORM OF ASSAULT ON ALLY: FLUTTERSHY

REPAIRS ON MOBILITY CIRCUITS 64%

UNIT CAN NOW PROCEED ONWARD

DASH-379 rose to her feet and made her way down the stairs, which led to what appeared to be the dungeons. She heard chains rattling frantically ahead of her, and muffled screams. She played the screams back in her CPU and matched them to Fluttershy's voice.

She ran as fast as her state would allow her, following the sound to an area further inside. Here she didn't find another cell. Instead she found Fluttershy chained to a wall, a white scarf gagging her, and a look of pure rage and fear on her face as she struggled to get free. DASH was about to rush out to her, but stopped when she saw a guard approach her along with someone that looked a lot like Twilight, but wearing purple and white robes instead of her usual attire. She actually looked like a wizard.

TARGET IS PROBABLY THE TWILIGHT OF THIS DIMENSION

PROCEED WITH DUE CAUTION

DO NOT ANTAGONIZE UNLESS CAUSE IS FOUND

“So this is the girl you told me about?” Wizard Twilight asked.

“She's assaulted everyone that approached her so far,” the knight said, “That's the reason we had to restrain her.”

“I see,” Wizard Twilight said walking around Fluttershy examining her, Fluttershy glaring at her more controlled, “She doesn't seem to be from around here.”

“One of the other knights said she reminds him of a girl living in Cloudsdale up north,” the knight said, “We're investigating it now.”

“Don't bother,” Wizard Twilight said, “She's probably the same as the girl you said bears my likeness. Let's head back to my lab. I need to run a few tests to see just who she is. It might tell us what's going on.”

The two of them left, and Fluttershy resumed pulling at her bindings. DASH-379 chose that as her moment to come out of hiding and approach her frantic friend.

“Fluttershy, I am here,” DASH said. It sounded like Fluttershy said DASH's name through her gag, but DASH didn't waste any time. She held a finger at the chains and shot a small red laser at them, breaking the shackles and releasing Fluttershy, who immediately pulled the gag off and hugged DASH tightly.

“DASH! You rescue me!” Fluttershy cried happily, “I worry when you disappear!”

“Sorry about that, Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said returning the embrace, “I used my stealth function to turn invisible as to not-” she cringed in pain falling to one knee.

“DASH!” Fluttershy cried, supporting her injured friend, “You hurt?”

“Auto Recovery systems are not enough for these injuries,” DASH said, “Do you know where your daggers are? Though it pains me to say this, I might need some help.”

Fluttershy nodded and ran to a desk, pulling out her two daggers, still in their holders, “Come. We find Rarity and Twilight together. Save friends.”

DASH nodded and ran after Fluttershy, both of them moving slowly as to not strain DASH's body too much. Something was bugging DASH though, so she placed a hand on Fluttershy's shoulder to get her attention.

“Hey, you seemed to calm down significantly in front of the Twilight of this world, but you were so frantic before,” DASH-379 pointed out, “Is there a significance to that?”

“She wasn't man,” Fluttershy stated seriously, “Not like man touch me.”

“Did something happen?” DASH-379 asked, “You do not have to tell me if you are not comfortable.”

“Thank you,” Fluttershy said somberly. She then looked up suddenly sniffing the air, “Rarity.”

“Do you know where she is?” DASH asked. Fluttershy sniffed around.

“I smell sweet scent,” Fluttershy said, “Follow me.”

Fluttershy ran ahead, DASH-379 following close behind. They turned the corner, where they met two knights waiting for them with their swords drawn.

play song

“The prisoner is escaping!” the knight on the left shouted.

“You're not getting away!” the knight on the right shouted.

“DASH, you still fight?” Fluttershy asked.

“I am still combat able,” DASH said, “Locking onto two targets! Commencing combat sequence! Engage!”

The two knights rushed toward them, one going for DASH, and the other targeting Fluttershy. Fluttershy, being in much better condition, was able to flip out of the way and dodge most of the attack, getting in a few of her own. DASH couldn't move as much as she liked, so she resorted to using her armor to block most of her opponents attacks.

Fluttershy kicked her opponent back, and then charged up her green element. She then rushed over to the knight she was fighting and slashed with her daggers, both of them engulfed in green wind making them stronger. (Gale Slash)

DASH-379 saw and opening and began throwing punches and kicks, ending with a back flip kick. She then charged up her yellow element, casting Speed Boost on herself. Her body was briefly engulfed in electricity, and she felt herself become somewhat lighter.

The knight she was fighting tried slashing with his blades, but now DASH was able too dodge his attacks. She then grabbed him by the arm and flipped him over her shoulder.

Fluttershy charged up her green element again, this time casting Wind Blade on the knight DASH threw, knocking him out. DASH-379 saw the remaining knight about to attack Fluttershy from behind, but she quickly activated her arm cannon and shot him back. She then charged up her yellow element, charged up her arm cannon, and then fired her Charged Shot at him. He flew into a wall knocked out.

play song

“All targets have been defeated,” DASH said lowering her arm cannon.

“Hurry! More come!” Fluttershy urged. DASH nodded and followed her to the higher floors of the castle.

On the way, they saw the red caped knight walking across the hall with this world's Luna, who was wearing fancy blue and black robes, black high heels, and white gloves.

“And you're sure that this girl favors her,” Medieval Luna asked the knight.

“Positive,” the red caped knight said, “She's younger, but her resemblance is uncanny. She even fought like her.”

“I'm sure it's a trick,” Medieval Luna said, “Probably by the shadow creatures to make us lower our guard.”

“But Viceroy, she didn't seem to remember me,” the red caped knight said, “She said some strange things too, like mentioning something called Lavos.”

“Did she now?” Viceroy Luna asked.

“If she really is with the shadow creatures, why wouldn't they transfer her memories?”

“Probably to get you to ask these questions,” Viceroy Luna said, “We cannot waver. Once we've discovered her origins, we can quickly dispose of all of them.”

“Viceroy, with all due respect, I'm not sure how I feel about-”

“She has the same powers as the shadow creatures, doesn't she?”

The red caped knight was silent for a while before speaking, “Yes, Viceroy, she does.”

“Then that's all the proof we need,” Viceroy Luna said, “For now, keep all of them under strict watch, especially this “Rarity”.”

“Yes, Viceroy,” the red caped knight said with a salute.

“This is not good,” DASH-379 said as they walked off, “It sounds like they plan on executing Rarity.”

“Rarity close,” Fluttershy said, “Closer than Twilight.”

“We need to get her out first then,” DASH said, “Lead the way.”

Fluttershy nodded and led DASH deeper through the castle. DASH was hoping they'd find Twilight soon, so she could repair her, but at least with Rarity they'd have another strong fighter in case they ran into trouble.


Rarity had completely given up on getting free. The ropes were tied too tightly around her wrists, as were her ankles. She didn't know what was going to happen to her after this, but she did know one thing. She was sick and tired of getting kidnapped. Not only that, but tied up too! Seriously, she hated the feeling of being held down. It made her antsy, and nervous.

Also, her nose itched, and she really needed to scratch it.

The biggest thing that bothered her about this whole thing though, was that knight in the red cape. She couldn't get him or her out of her mind. Something about them felt so familiar, and whenever she heard their voice she felt somewhat comforted despite the situation.

She wasn't falling for them, was she?! No way!

“Oooh, this is so frustrating!” Rarity shouted slamming her feet on the floor angrily, “I hate this so much!”

After screaming for a few seconds in frustration and pulling at her bindings, she stopped when she heard movement from outside. When Rarity saw the door open, she started trembling nervously. This was probably the knights coming back to interrogate her again, or this time maybe even do something dreadful to her.

“Rarity!”

Rarity opened her eyes when she heard a familiar high and breathy voice. She looked and saw both DASH-379 and Fluttershy standing outside the door.

“DASH! Fluttershy!” Rarity cried happily. They both ran in, Fluttershy embracing Rarity tightly before working to undo her bindings.

“You really need to stop getting kidnapped,” DASH-379 said with a smirk. Rarity groaned rolling her eyes.

“Despite my outward demeanor, I try not to make a habit out of it,” Rarity huffed, happy once both her wrists and ankles were free, “Thank you.”

“I return favor now,” Fluttershy said sweetly, “You save me, so I save you. Men not hurt you, did they?”

“No one hurt me,” Rarity said cupping Fluttershy's face lovingly, “You both came just in time,” as they hugged, Rarity noticed the odd manner DASH-379 was looking at Fluttershy, “DASH dearie, is something amiss?”

“It is nothing…” DASH-379 said, “I would like to talk to you about it later. For now, we have to track down Twilight.”

“Yes, I agree,” Rarity said standing up and grabbing her spear, which they left off to the side in the cell, “Do we know where she is?”

“I find,” Fluttershy said, “Same way I find you.”

Fluttershy sniffed the air, and then ran off on all fours. DASH and Rarity followed closely, Rarity realizing how she probably found her.

Yep, she was never leaving home without putting on perfume if it gave her these results.

end song

They ran into the throne room, where Fluttershy stopped running and sniffed around again.

“Twilight scent stronger here,” Fluttershy said, “Coming from room over there!”

“I pray we're not too late,” Rarity said, “Let's hurry so we can get out of here!”

“Why? So you can return to your lair and warn the shadow creatures of where we are?”

play song

The knight in the red cape walked out, standing in front of them with their sword drawn.

“You are the leader of these soldiers,” DASH stated, “Get out of our way right now, or I will make you move!”

The red caped knight stepped back a bit in shock looking at DASH-379, “What the? Just what are you supposed to be?”

“The android that is about to knock your block off, that is what!” DASH said getting in a fighting stance, “I am damaged, but I am still combat able!”

“We're only going to ask you one more time,” Rarity said stepping forward, “Get out of our way!”

play song

“Sorry, but I can't do that,” the red caped knight said pointing her sword at them, “I have my orders. I'm throwing all of you back in your cells.”

All three of them rushed at the red caped knight at the same time, who fought on a whole different level. She managed to push all three of them back with her blade, blocking DASH's attacks with her shield, and even locking Rarity and Fluttershy's weapons with her sword.

She did an impressive spin slash knocking everyone away, and then charged up a red element. Instead of firing an attack, she looked like she charged up with energy as she was briefly engulfed in what looked like a red flame. (Vigor)

“What was that?” Rarity asked. DASH-379 scanned the red caped knight.

“This knight has somehow strengthened their body,” DASH said, “These readings suggest an increase in offensive capabilities.”

“I not understand!” Fluttershy asked, “What does DASH mean?”

The knight rushed over to Fluttershy, slashing downward with her blade which now left a red streak when it moved. Fluttershy screamed in shock and rolled over to Rarity's side out of the way.

“In other words,” Rarity said, “His attacks hit harder!”

DASH-379 charged up her yellow element, and pointed her hands at the knight, hitting them with her Lightning Bolt. The knight took the attack head on, falling to one knee.

Rarity used that as her chance to rush in and begin slashing with her spear to build up energy. Even down on the ground though, the red caped knight managed to block all of her moves. It was almost like she knew all of her techniques.

“You're not going to beat me with those moves!” the red caped knight said meeting Rarity's spear with their blade and rising to their feet, “I sparred against my teacher for years, so I know all of her techniques!”

“Is that so?” Rarity asked, “Then perhaps I should start doing things you haven't seen before!”

Rarity jumped away and charged up her black element. She held out her hand and started launching Shadow Balls at the knight continuously, something she didn't even realize she could do. The knight rolled out of most of them, but had to resort to using their shield to block the rest.

While that happened, both DASH and Fluttershy charged up their elements. DASH held up her hand, and a lightning bolt shot down onto Fluttershy. Instead of harming her though, Fluttershy was engulfed in electricity. Fluttershy then spun around, turning into a tornado engulfed in electricity and rushed past the red caped knight, actually knocking them down. (Double Tech: Hurricane)

The red caped knight flipped to their feet as DASH-379 rushed over to her. The two of them traded blows for a bit, neither one able to get the advantage.

“You're… not human,” the red caped knight said, “I don't know what you are, but I don't feel the same spark of life I do from everyone else.”

“You can tell that I am a robot, good,” DASH-379 said, “Not like that will help you, though!”

“A… robot…?” the red caped knight asked before shaking their head, “I can't lose focus. I have to keep fighting!” the knight pushed DASH away from them, “I have to protect my kingdom!”

“Wait… protect…?” Rarity asked. Suddenly she wondered if this was all a huge misunderstanding. This knight didn't seem too bad. In fact, the more she heard them talk, the more Rarity heard...

No way… it wasn't possible…

Could that have been…?

The red caped knight charged up their red element. They then slashed at the air sending a red beam at DASH-379. Once it hit her, the knight appeared right in front of her and slashed wildly with their blade, doing massive damage to the already hurt DASH. (Sword Dance)

“DASH!!!” Fluttershy cried as DASH fell back onto the ground. Fluttershy growled in anger and rushed over to the knight slashing wildly with her daggers. The knight's defense was too good though, as they effortlessly blocked all of Fluttershy's attacks.

It was driving Rarity crazy. She had to know if they were this lucky.

“Applejack!” Rarity called out. Sure enough, the knight stopped and turned to Rarity, clearly shocked.

“How do you know-” the knight didn't even get the chance to finish their sentence, as Fluttershy kicked them away. DASH, who had managed to rise to one knee, charged up her yellow element and fired her Charged Shot at the red caped knight, knocking them to the ground.

Fluttershy screamed in anger and ran over to the knight to finish them off, but Rarity ran in the way.

end song

“STOP!!!” Rarity screamed, “Don't kill her!”

“She hurt friend!” Fluttershy seethed, “She kidnap us! She use men to attack me! I kill bad knight!”

“This person isn't bad!” Rarity urged, “This is all a big mistake!” Rarity turned to the red caped knight and knelt down, “It's you, isn't it? That's why I recognized your voice. You're the Applejack of this world, aren't you?”

The red caped knight looked at Rarity intently, and then slowly removed their helmet, confirming a few things. Not only was this knight female, but her hazel eyes and long, thick mane of blond hair only belonged to one person.

play song

Applejack…

Rarity's eyes went wide, but soon she smiled, shedding tears of joy. She couldn't contain herself. Yes, she knew that this knight wasn't the same as her Applejack, but all of a sudden it didn't matter. Seeing the face of her beloved friend brought too much joy to her.

“APPLEJACK!!!” Rarity cried, embracing the shocked knight tightly, “Oh, I know you must be dreadfully confused, but I can't believe it! I'm sorry if-”

“N-no!” Knight Applejack said, trembling a bit as she slowly raised her arms to return the embrace, “It's… it's fine… don't let go… Rarity.”

DASH-379 staggered over to Fluttershy, both of them looking at the scene before them shocked.

“Um… am I missing something?” DASH asked. Before she could say anything, an army of knights ran into the throne room with their swords out.

“Captain! We heard fighting! We're here to-”

“Stand down!” Applejack commanded. As all of the knight looked confused, Applejack rose to her feet with Rarity and addressed her men, “Tell Twilight to release the girl who looks like her, and alert the Viceroy that these people are not enemies.”

The men looked so confused, but they lowered their weapons and cleared out. As they left, Rarity looked at Applejack confused.

“Um… why did you change your mind so quickly?” Rarity asked.

“I was wrong about you,” Applejack said, “I had a feeling you were telling the truth, but I was clouded. Once you saved me from your comrade though, I became sure,” Applejack turned to Rarity, “I don't know how this is possible, but you're really who I think you are, you and I are comrades.”

Rarity couldn't believe her eyes. This Applejack was speaking to her as if they had actually been long time friends. Rarity met eyes with Applejack, and felt honest comradeship from her, and even saw a flash of her Applejack giving her the same serious, honest expression. It was enough to bring Rarity to tears all over again.

“I'll have someone tend to your prismatic friend's wounds,” Applejack said walking off, “Twilight will lead you all to the meeting hall, where you can tell me your story. I promise, this time I'll listen to the whole thing.”

As she left, the door behind them opened. Their Twilight ran out and hugged Rarity tightly.

“Everyone! You're okay!” Twilight cheered, “What happened?”

“I believe the knight that attacked us was a representation of Rarity's friend from her world,” DASH stated, “She used the name Appleja-” she cried out in pain as something sparked and she fell to her knees.

“Oh my God! DASH!” Twilight cried as everyone gathered around her, “What happened to you?! You look like you're about to fall to pieces!”

“I will… be fine…” DASH-379 said with a peaceful smile, “I saved… my friends… Mission… complete… going into… standby… mode…” her voice trailed off as her eyes shut and her entire body went limb.

“DASH! DASH!!!” Twilight cried, “I need to repair her fast!”

“You have your tools, right?” Rarity asked frantically.

“I do! I'll have the Twilight of this world help me! Let's get her into the lab!”

“Right!” Rarity and Twilight lifted DASH-379 up as poor Fluttershy looked to be on the verge of tears.

“DASH fight nonstop,” Fluttershy said, “Not stop until she rescue us. DASH live… right?”

“She'll be fine, I'm sure,” Rarity said comfortingly, “The poor thing is just exhausted is all. Don't worry.”

As they all returned to the lab, Applejack watched them from a distance smiling.

“Just like you, worrying about your friends more than yourself,” Applejack said, leaning against a wall and shedding tears of joy, “This is a sign, isn't it TGeneral? A sign that you're still with me, even now.”

end song


After hearing that Applejack stopped fighting the Chrono Trigger, the Viceroy swore to herself. She was hoping she'd be able to continue using that idealistic knight longer, but alas, she proved to be just as sentimental as always.

“Looks like I'll have to find another way then,” Viceroy Luna said, allowing a black aura to engulf her, “Perhaps Pinkamena's poison will prove effective in drawing out more of the Chrono Trigger's darkness.”


play song

Thankfully it didn't take long to get DASH-379 repaired, so she was now fully active, drinking one of her energy canteens to replenish her battery. The group now sat in the meeting room of the castle, naturally joined by this world's Applejack and a few of her knights. Applejack still wore her armor, but she now had her blond hair tied with a large red bow, which Rarity recognized as the same bow Apple Bloom wore in her world.

Maybe they switched head wear in this world.

“So, there are other dimensions out there besides this one,” Applejack said thoughtfully.

“Yes,” Twilight explained, “Rarity and I are from different versions of the same world, DASH is from a more futuristic world with robots like her, and Fluttershy is from a forest world with animal people.”

One of the knights turned to Fluttershy, who slightly drew her dagger growling at him. He looked away quickly, but DASH-379 took note. Now she really wanted to talk to Rarity.

“Everyone exists in these worlds, but are slightly different,” Rarity added, “This is why there are two Twilights here.”

“I see,” Applejack said nodding, “Twilight, what do you make of all of this?”

“Honestly, I think they're telling the truth,” Wizard Twilight said, “I've taken a look at my alternate self thoroughly, and I can confirm that she and I are in fact the same person. The only difference is age and upbringing. Also, those things she's wearing on her eyes.”

“These are glasses,” Twilight said handing her alternate self the eye wear, “They help correct my vision.”

“Really? I just use a spell for that,” Wizard Twilight said pointing to her eyes, which had a slight glow to them.

“That is so cool!” Twilight cheered. Everyone in the room laughed.

“Why did you assume Rarity was with the shadow creatures?” DASH-379 asked. Applejack looked down in shame.

“Once again, I apologize for jumping to conclusions. The powers that Rarity used are of the same variety as the creatures.”

“You assumed that I was sent by them in order to harm you,” Rarity finished for Applejack, who nodded sadly, “What are those creatures anyway?”

“We call them demons,” Wizard Twilight said, “They appeared only a few days ago. They kidnapped Queen Celestia, and have been attacking our kingdom since.”

“They have the Celestia of this world?” Twilight asked, her Wizard counterpart nodded gravely.

“She predicted that someone called the “Chrono Trigger” would come to us in our darkest hour,” Wizard Twilight continued, “Sadly she was captured before we could learn who this person is.”

“Rarity is Chrono Trigger,” Fluttershy pointed out, catching everyone's attention, “I hear word a lot, and always used for Rarity.”

“Is this true?” Applejack asked, “Are you truly this Chrono Trigger?”

“I am,” Rarity said looking down nervously, “But I have no idea what that even means. All I know is that a few people keep calling me that.”

Applejack nodded, “You said that you were looking for something called Lavos, correct?”

“He is an anomaly in the universe,” DASH-379 explained, “We believe that Rarity's world was consumed by Lavos, and have been searching for him. He gives of a temporal energy that is the same as the creatures you refer to as demons.”

“So that's why you're here,” Applejack said, “Sounds to me like we have a common goal then. If DASH is right, then the demons are connected to Lavos, which you need to defeat.”

“So, you'll help us?” Rarity asked.

“I believe I have to,” Applejack said, “I can never truly make up for my mistake, but I can at least assist you in your quest. Besides, since we're probably after the same thing, it makes sense that we'd work together.”

“This is good,” Twilight said, “Thank you so much… Apple… jack…”

Twilight suddenly fainted, catching everyone off guard.

play song

“Twilight!” Rarity cried rushing to her side and holding her, “Good heavens, she's burning up!”

“Rarity…?” Twilight asked, “The whole room is… spinning… I can't…” she opened her eyes and then looked in horror, “No…! No! Those monsters are coming!”

Everyone looked around shocked, but didn't see anything. DASH-379 scanned the area.

“Um… Twilight? Nothing like that is here,” DASH stated.

“No… they're here!” Twilight cried fearfully, “They're all around us…!”

“She's hallucinating,” Wizard Twilight said, “Something must have happened.”

“Let me,” Fluttershy said pushing past everyone going over to Twilight. She took her hand and looked her in the eyes examining her, “I see this before.”

“What's going on with her?” Applejack asked.

“Twilight show signs of poison from my world,” Fluttershy said seriously, “Put on weapons, cause person to see what not there and panic, and body heat up like fire. Person die if not treated.”

“When did this happen?!” DASH asked, “None of us were poisoned!”

Rarity thought back to when it could have happened. She then remembered Twilight getting hit with Pinkamena's bladed hoop. She was the only one to get hit with that directly besides DASH-379, who was probably immune.

“Pinkamena did this…!” Rarity seethed, “She was in Fluttershy's world, so she probably coated her weapon with this poison!”

“There's a cure for this, right?” Applejack asked. Fluttershy nodded.

“Special herb in forest, found in village,” Fluttershy said, “We go there quickly, save Twilight before too late.”

“We're not wasting any time,” Rarity said shooting up, “We're heading back to Fluttershy's world now.”

“I'll go with you,” Applejack said.

“Miss, I appreciate it, but you don't have to concern yourself with us,” Rarity said.

“First of all, just call me Applejack. Second of all, I said that I'd help you. That doesn't just mean with fighting Lavos. Also, I kind of want to see these other worlds for myself.”

Normally Rarity would have felt funny bringing someone along like this, but this Applejack was a soldier. She'd be able to handle herself. Applejack walked over to a shelf, pulled out a fancy spear, and then handed it to Rarity.

“What's this?” Rarity asked taking the spear.

play song

“This belonged to my Teacher,” Applejack said, “As she's no longer here, I feel like it would be best to give this to you.”

“Sir, are you sure about this?” one of the knights asked.

“None of us can use the General's style, so this weapon is collecting dust here, and that's not what she would have wanted. The General wanted her spear to always know the glory of combat. Please take it Rarity. I believe she'd want you to have it.”

Rarity looked the spear over. It was really a beautiful spear. It had a long black handle with a golden base at the bottom and top connecting to the blade, which was composed of two curved blades intertwined with one another. At the base Rarity saw a familiar blue diamond shaped crest.

This Teacher of Applejack's…

Was she… the me of this world…?

Rarity spun the spear over her head, pleased with the weight of it, and then hooked it to her back, “Thank you Applejack. I'll use this well.”

Applejack nodded and then turned to Wizard Twilight and her men, “I want all of you to keep watch on their Twilight. We'll be back as soon as possible.”

“Don't worry Twilight,” Rarity said taking her friend's hand, “You're going to be okay.”

“Thank you… everyone,” Twilight said, “I'm terrified, but I believe in you.”

“Her vitals are beginning to drop,” DASH-379 said, “We must hurry.”

“Then let's get a move on,” Applejack said, “Lead the way Rarity.”

Rarity nodded and led them out of the castle. With DASH-379's help, they made it back to the old ruins, where Rarity activated the gate key sending them to the warp gate.

Warp Gate

When they arrived, Applejack looked around in shock. If she wasn't sure they were telling the truth before, she was sure of it now.

“By the Gods…” Applejack said, “This is amazing…”

“Try not to freak out,” DASH-379 taunted, “Would not want you chickening out on helping us.”

Applejack scowled at DASH-379, who laughed walking ahead. Yeah, they were going to get along great.

“The way to forest is here,” Fluttershy said pointing to the silver mirror showing the endless forest, “Come.”

“R-right,” Applejack said. She followed her new team through the mirror, all the while her heart racing. The world was a lot bigger than she thought apparently.

Forest: Mysterious Moon

View Online

Forest – Mysterious Moon

play song

The last time they came here, they landed in a clearing. As such, Rarity wasn't sure where they'd end up. So Rarity was a little surprised when they arrived in Fluttershy's world and were walking on water for a bit. She looked behind them as they left and saw some of the water shaped like a door behind them fall back into the main body.

Fancy.

I rather like that.

DASH-379 and Applejack looked around, both of them taken aback by the beauty of the lush forest surrounding them.

“So, this is your world Fluttershy?” DASH-379 asked.

“Yes. This lake behind Canterlot Village. Actual village this way,” Fluttershy said pointing ahead. Applejack looked a little nervous.

“So uh… we're actually nowhere near my world, huh?” Applejack asked, “As in, no matter where I go, I'm not going to find the castle anywhere.”

“Afraid not,” Rarity said, “Trust me, it's something you get used to.”

“Doubt it…” Applejack said rubbing her arm.

“If you are so worried, you can stay behind me,” DASH-379 said with a smirk, “I will protect you, oh "brave" knight.”

“Watch it, you self absorbed tin can,” Applejack said glaring at DASH-379, “Else I knock you on your hide, again.”

“Tin can?! My body is composed of 1.3 kilograms of bioplast material, and my armor is composed of titanium alloy mixed with 16 grams of platinum and 5 grams of iron! And for your information, you got lucky when you disabled me in combat! Had I been at optimal capacity, you would have been easily terminated!”

“Is that a challenge?!”

“If you think you can take me!”

DASH-379 and Applejack got real close to each other's faces glaring at one another. Rarity could almost see the electricity between their eyes.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” Rarity shouted getting in between her two friends, “Why don't we focus on the task at hand rather than at fighting each other, hm?” As Rarity spoke, DASH-379 and Applejack were replaced with her own Rainbow Dash and Applejack in her mind.

Yeah? Well… I'm still better!

Keep tellin yerself that, Dash. Rarity's right though, we got a mission ta continue.

Rarity shook her head, and saw both DASH-379 and Applejack return to normal, both of them looking at her confused.

“Um… what was that?” Rarity asked.

“I said we have a mission to continue,” Applejack said, “Are you okay, Rarity?”

“Yeah, you kind of zoned out there,” DASH-379 added.

“Yes, I'm fine. Absolutely fine,” Rarity said, “Come along. We can't keep Twilight waiting for too long.”

DASH-379 and Applejack walked over to Fluttershy, and all three of them watched Rarity walk off in confusion. Rarity herself was confused, as for a split second she felt like she was moderating one of her Applejack and Rainbow Dash's fights.

But… that's not the case…

They're not my Rainbow Dash or my Applejack…

My friends… are gone…


When they arrived in the village, they noticed a tense air around them. Fluttershy led them to the Chief's hut, where they saw Chief Luna and Seer Celestia talking outside of the hut. It looked serious.

“Chief! Seer!” Fluttershy called out, catching their attention. The Seer and Chief turned to them, Celestia smiling warmly.

“Fluttershy, Traveler, you return,” Celestia said, walking over to them and hugging them before turning to DASH and Applejack, “And you bring more Travelers.”

“Yes. These are new friends, DASH and Applejack,” Fluttershy said pointing to the robot and knight in question, “They from other worlds.”

Chief Luna walked up to DASH-379 and examined her closely, “Not human, but not animal either. Strange.”

“Yeah, you get used to it,” DASH said, “Do not worry though, you are perfectly safe with me.”

Seer Celestia looked around confused, “Where is Twilight? She not with you?”

“That's… actually why we're here…” Rarity said, “Perhaps we should talk inside.”

Once inside, Celestia and Luna took their usual spots kneeling in the center of the room and Fluttershy and Rarity knelt down in front of them. Applejack and DASH-379 opted to remain standing though. After explaining the situation to the Chief and Seer, both of them looked serious.

“This unfortunate news,” Celestia said somberly.

“Friend die if we not cure fast,” Fluttershy said, “Must get herb to make cure.”

Chief Luna looked down gravely, “I sorry about friend, but we can't give herb.”

Everyone looked horrified.

“What do you mean?!” Rarity asked, “If we don't get this herb, Twilight will die!”

“You misunderstand,” Celestia said, “We would if we could, but can't.”

“Does this have anything to do with the tense air around here?” Applejack asked. Celestia nodded gravely.

“Shortly after you leave, Wolf Tribe begin attacking more ferociously,” Chief Luna said, “Attacks even more frequent and brutal than before.”

“I thought I saw a few burned huts around here,” DASH pointed out, “Were you all attacked recently?”

“We were,” Celestia said, “Hut with herbs attacked and burned down. All healing herbs destroyed in fire.”

“No…” Fluttershy said covering her face with her hands, “Without herbs, can't cure Twilight!”

“There has to be another way,” Rarity said, “Maybe a place where we can get them ourselves.”

Seer Celestia looked thoughtful, “Actually, yes. Find herbs in old shrine.”

“Celestia, are you sure?” Luna asked her sister, “Shrine sacred place. No one go there.”

“Friend dying, Luna,” Celestia pointed out, “Traveler and friends help us, so we help them in return,” Celestia turned to Rarity and Fluttershy, “Shrine in deeper part of forest west of village. It day's walk. Best if leave as soon as possible.”

“Thank you,” Fluttershy said, both she and Rarity bowing in respect. DASH and Applejack both nodded to the Chief and Elder, and the four of them exited the hut.

“Old shrine, huh?” Applejack asked, “Think we have enough time?”

“Poison take while to kill, three moons,” Fluttershy said, “Longer we wait, harder to cure, but if we hurry, Twilight live.”

“I have started a timer,” DASH said, “I will keep track of the time for us.”

“Good,” Rarity said turning to Fluttershy, “Lead the way, darling.”

Fluttershy nodded and led the team through the forest.

end song


Rarity wanted to keep going, but once night came everyone felt it would be safer to wait until day time. Since DASH-379 didn't need her battery recharged, she opted to stay awake as to not only keep watch, but also to wake everyone up when it was time.

Rarity felt a little lonely as she lied down to rest. She had become accustomed to sleeping next to Twilight, so not having her there made Rarity feel a little uneasy. In fact, her absence period was a little nerve wracking. Whenever she couldn't sleep, she'd just hold onto Twilight. Sometimes, she'd find Twilight wrapping her arms around her on instinct.

She hadn't realized just how much she was growing to love Twilight until she wasn't there.

“Are you still up?”

Rarity turned to the side and saw DASH-379 standing a bit over her.

“Yes, I'm having a little trouble sleeping,” Rarity said, “Is something bothering you, DASH?”

DASH averted her eyes looking serious, “What happened to her?”

“To who?” Rarity asked sitting up.

play song

“To… Fluttershy,” DASH asked. She sat down next to Rarity before she continued, “I noticed it when I broke into the castle to rescue you all. She was very upset, but only got that way when a male approached her, and I did not miss her shying away from all the males we have passed after that. Do you know the source of her Androphobia?”

Rarity was a little confused by that word, until she realized what DASH was probably asking. She wanted to know why Fluttershy was afraid of men. Once again she was taken aback by how human DASH-379 was.

“Well… I do actually,” Rarity said, moving to sit right next to DASH, “It happened right before we arrived in your world. The previous leader of the wolves captured her. She already hated the idea of being tied down, believing herself to be like the wind, so that was bad enough. However… Greymane… he… assaulted her, if you get what I mean…”

DASH-379's eyes went wide, “You do not mean…” when Rarity nodded sadly, DASH looked down, visibly upset, so much her eyes were watering, “Damn it…!”

“I believe that was her first time as well…” Rarity said somberly, “He stole something from her, something she'll never get back,” Rarity was shocked when she heard something slam next to her. She looked at DASH-379 and saw a shocking sight. She was trembling, her fist slammed in the ground in anger. But that wasn't all that got to Rarity.

Is she… crying…?

“Why…?” DASH-379 asked through her tears, “Why did he do that to her?! Why would anyone want to do that to her?!”

“Oh my word…” Rarity said wrapping her arms around her robotic friend, “You're really upset about this, aren't you?”

“Damn right I am,” DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy, who was sleeping curled up against a tree by herself across from them, “Fluttershy is my… friend. She is the first true friend I have ever made. She does not see me as a simple machine. To her, I am a living person, and she is not afraid of me even though I am malfunctioning. Maybe she does not fully understand it, but that is okay. When she speaks to me, I feel comforted.”

“She has really taken a shine to you,” Rarity said also looking at Fluttershy, “She's the same with me, mind you, but there I feel like she wants to protect me. When it comes to you, she almost seems to rely on you for protection.”

“What can I do?” DASH asked, “How can I help my f-friend?”

“Well, I'd say for starters, be a presence,” Rarity said, remembering when she and her Rainbow Dash had a similar conversation, “She wants to depend on you, so let her know that she can depend on you. You don't have to do anything special, either. Just continue to be yourself, DASH. By doing that, you'll be doing wonders for her.”

“Do you think, she will recover from that ordeal?” DASH asked. Rarity sighed.

“Hard to say really,” Rarity admitted, “One's first time paints their outlook quite a lot. She might not ever recover completely. If she doesn't though, she'll need her friend more than ever.”

DASH looked back at Fluttershy, nodded, and rose to her feet. She actually looked like she was heading over to Fluttershy.

“Oh, and DASH,” Rarity called out, stopping DASH, “Just know that we all feel the same way as she does. Twilight, Applejack, and myself all see you as a living person, just like Fluttershy. You have more friends than you realize. Don't forget that.”

“I… will not,” DASH said slowly, “Thank you, Rarity.”

With that, DASH-379 walked over to Fluttershy, and sat down next to her, resting Fluttershy's head on her lap and caressing her lovingly. It was an interesting sight for Rarity. On one hand, it felt right, seeing Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy so close. On the other hand, knowing that this Rainbow Dash was a robot made that gesture all the more meaningful. Somehow, DASH-379 was actually… alive. As terrifying as that was in hindsight, it meant that she had a true heart.

Maybe even a soul.

Rarity looked around their camp sight, and saw Applejack lying down. She had removed the upper part of her armor, revealing a simple red bra underneath. Rarity walked over to her and lied down next to her.

“Having trouble getting to sleep?” Applejack asked.

“A little,” Rarity admitted, “It may sound odd, but if possible… could I sleep next to you?”

Applejack smiled, and turned to the side wrapping her arms around Rarity, “Sure thing, Rarity. Is this better?”

“Much better,” Rarity said snuggling in Applejack's embrace, “I guess I've gained a bit of a fear of… sleeping alone.”

“I can imagine,” Applejack said, “Your story wasn't really a happy one. I'm sorry about your world, Rarity.”

“It's… alright,” Rarity sighed, “Well, no it isn't, but I'll manage I suppose.”

“If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, and Twilight isn't there, you can come to me. I'll be there for you, just like my teacher was for me.”

“You mention your teacher a lot,” Rarity pointed out, “What were they like?” Rarity was surprised when Applejack tightened her embrace.

“Actually, she was a lot like you Rarity.”

In Applejack's strong embrace, it didn't take long for Rarity to fall to sleep. More and more, she wondered if Applejack's teacher was who she thought she was. If so, that meant the two of them were a lot alike.

Both of them sort of using the other as a surrogate for someone that they lost. Someone precious, and beloved.

end song


The next morning, they arrived at what appeared to be an old shrine. The outer section was covered in moss, making the whole building look like it was centuries old.

“This old shrine,” Fluttershy said, “Find herbs inside.”

“What was this place used for?” Rarity asked, “Do you know?”

Fluttershy shook her head, “Place not used to worship Lavos. Odd statue further in, but no one knows what it is.”

As they walked toward the building, DASH-379 stopped and looked up, “Vitals detected! We are not alone!”

play song

As soon as she said that, arrows shot at them, almost hitting Rarity. Thankfully Applejack moved in the way just in time and blocked with her shield. Four wolves came out of the bushes and stood in front of them, two holding bows and two with swords.

“It's an ambush!” Applejack said as all four of them drew their weapons and got in their fighting stances.

“Just once I'd like to go in and out without needing to get my hands dirty!” Rarity fussed.

The two sword wielding wolves rushed at the group, one focusing on Fluttershy and DASH-379 while the other one focused on Rarity and Applejack. While they fought, the two holding bows charged up red elements and shot fire arrows at all four of them that exploded on contact.

“They couldn't do that before!” Rarity cried.

“Wolves stronger now!” Fluttershy stated, “High level red elements!”

“Alright then, here's the plan!” Applejack said, “DASH, cast an element to increase Fluttershy's speed, while I cast one to increase her strength! Rarity, you and I will then use long ranged elements on the archers while Fluttershy charges up! Once you're ready, Fluttershy, I want you to use a wide spread attack on everyone!”

Everyone was a little taken aback, but they nodded and followed the plan. DASH-379 charged up her yellow element and used Speed Boost on Fluttershy, who was now able to move out of the way of the arrows and hit the swordsmen. Applejack slashed one of the swordsmen with her sword to get energy, and then charged up her red element, using a Power Boost on Fluttershy. Both she and Rarity continued using long ranged elements while Fluttershy gathered energy.

Once she had enough from basic attacks, she charged up her green element. She then jumped in the middle of the area and spun around, using Tail Spin to create a large tornado that engulfed everyone, knocking them down.

Rarity felt a new power build up within her and decided to test it. She charged up her black element, and then spun her spear above her, pointing it at the wolves now grouped together. A black wave appeared over them, and then converged on top of them flattening them, even causing the ground to temporarily cave in. (Gravity Well)

Needless to say, they didn't get back up.

play song

Everyone put their weapons away and gathered in front of the door.

“Wolves meet us here?!” Fluttershy asked, “We must hurry! They might take all of herb, or even burn down rest!”

“Twilight currently has 61 hours until the poison takes full effect,” DASH-379 stated, “We must hurry.”

As DASH-379 and Fluttershy ran in, Rarity turned to Applejack, who had her arms folded looking troubled.

“Is something wrong, Applejack?” Rarity asked.

“You remember what this world's Celestia said, right?” Applejack asked, “This place is sacred, and private. No one knows about this place except for the people of the village. Also, that was an ambush. They were waiting for us. How would they have known about us being here?”

Rarity thought about that. Now that she thought about it, that was odd. It was almost as if someone had told them ahead of time where they were, but the only ones who knew…

Were this world's Celestia and Luna…

“Let's worry about that later,” Rarity said, “For now, we need to rescue Twilight.”

“Right,” Applejack said, “Let's go.”

They proceeded deeper through the shrine, DASH and Fluttershy up front while Applejack and Rarity stayed behind them covering the rear. The shrine was more complicated than Rarity thought it would be, with a lot of twists and turns. The interior felt odd to Rarity though, as if it didn't fit with the rest of the world.

They eventually reached a large room with a large statue in the back sitting on a throne. The statue looked somewhat like a knight, but its face had a simple blackened orb in the middle, and its entire body was green from the plant life growing on it.

“Odd,” DASH-379 pointed out, “This room is made of different material than the rest of the shrine.”

“You can see all that, huh?” Applejack asked.

“Affirmative. The environment seems different than the rest. My readings are showing… Spectrum carbonate?”

“What's that?” Rarity asked.

“It is a metal found in my world…” DASH said, “Why is that here?”

Fluttershy walked around the room, stopping when she found a small plant growing right in front of the statue. It had small white flowers on it. Fluttershy smiled and ran over to it.

“Found herb!” Fluttershy cheered.

“Oh thank heavens!” Rarity cried, “Now we can rescue-” she was cut off by the entire room shaking, “W-what's going on?!”

“I am picking up strong energy readings!” DASH-379 stated, “It is as if something is activating in this room!”

“Brace yourselves!” Applejack commanded, “I don't like the looks of this!”

You who seek enlightenment…

I am one who guards the door to Zenith…

“The… door to… Zenith…?” Rarity asked.

Only one who passes my test can enter the door…

Prepare yourself…

The orb on the statue lit up, turning white. The statue itself then slowly stood up from its throne. Rarity grabbed Fluttershy's arm and ran away from the statue a bit as it walked toward them.

play song

“What do you suppose we do?!” Rarity asked frantically.

“We don't have a choice!” Applejack said drawing her sword, “If we don't fight it here, it might follow us to the village! We have to defeat it!”

“Understood!” DASH-379 said getting in a fighting stance, “Locking onto single target! Engaging!”

The odd statue charged up a green element, and then stomped its foot. Its entire body was engulfed in a green sphere of wind and empowered.

Rarity and Applejack charged in first, slashing the statue with their weapons. Understandably this did absolutely nothing to it, but it allowed them to gather energy. Both of them jumped away and charged up their elements at the same time. Rarity charged up her spear with darkness, and Applejack charged up her blade with fire. Both of them charged at the statue slashing in a sort of X formation, doing minor damage. (Double Tech: X-Strike)

DASH-379 stayed away from the statue, using her arm cannon to shoot at it. It took a few of her shots head on, and then pointed its arm at her. It's hand retracted into its arm and let a large fan come out, and it blew sharp gusts of wind at DASH, blowing her away a bit. Fluttershy caught her and kept her steady thankfully.

“Thank you,” DASH said to Fluttershy, who smiled in response. DASH then charged up her yellow element, and got on one knee charging up her arm cannon. She then fired her Charged Shot at it, seeming to paralyze the statue.

“It can't move!” Rarity shouted, “Now's our chance!”

Applejack rushed in and slashed with her blade, only so she could gather energy. Once she was finished, she jumped back and charged up her red element, and then shot a red beam at the statue. Once it hit, she appeared right in front of its face in mid air and used her Sword Dance.

When Applejack jumped away from it, Rarity charged up her black element. She held out her hand, and shot three Shadow Balls at the still paralyzed statue. As it looked like it was about to get back up, Fluttershy quickly rushed in and slashed it with her daggers, and then jumped away charging up her green element. She then ran to the statue and used her Gale Slash at it.

The statue slowly rose to its feet and began walking toward them. Out of its hands it shot out green lasers at it walked toward them, forcing all of them to scatter.

“DASH, can you use your Charged Shot again on it?” Rarity asked.

“Leave it to me!” DASH-379 said giving Rarity a thumbs up. She ran toward the statue and began punching and kicking it to gather energy. Her final move was a back flip kick away from it, and she charged up her yellow element, firing her Charged Shot at the statue again.

Once it was paralyzed, Applejack charged up her red element, and used Vigor on herself, which Rarity learned doubled the power of whatever her next move was. Made Rarity wish she had something like that herself.

Applejack ran over to the statue and slashed it with her blade, finally doing some visible damage to it. It seemed to recover from DASH-379's attack quicker though, as it started getting up and raised its arm.

“Look out!” DASH shouted. She ran over to Applejack and pushed her out of the way just in time as the statue slammed its fist onto the ground. Applejack looked at DASH in shock.

“Thanks for that,” Applejack said.

“Do not mention it,” DASH said, “You are still my friend, even if I could kick your ass in true hand to hand combat.”

Applejack chuckled, “Fair enough, but we'll have to agree to disagree on that last part.”

Applejack and DASH stood up and charged up their respective elements. DASH and Applejack jumped to either side of the statue, and then charged at it both of them attacking it in the side with all their strength. (Double Tech: Beat Rush)

The statue recovered from their attacks and started targeting Fluttershy and Rarity, both of them running out of the way of its assaults. They both took cover behind pillars close to one another.

“I think statue has same affinity as me!” Fluttershy said, “Attacks not hurt me much!”

“Are you saying you'll act as bait so I can get a good shot in?” Rarity asked. Fluttershy nodded in response, “Alright, but be careful darling. We don't have Twilight to heal us this time.”

Fluttershy rushed out and ran around the statue. It flailed and slammed its arms around trying to hit Fluttershy, but DASH-379 used her Speed Boost on her to heighten her speed, making her almost impossible to hit.

While that went on, Rarity charged up her black element, but something came to mind. She remembered that attack that Pinkamena used on them, the one with the black cats. The name “Feral Cats” suddenly came to mind. Could she…?

She gave it a shot, holding out her hand and allowing the darkness to heed her commands. Hundreds of black cats shot out of the shadows from behind her, shooting at the statue and knocking it to one knee.

“The statue seems to be getting weaker,” DASH said, “We need to end this now.”

“Agreed,” Applejack said, “DASH, your attacks seem to do the most to it, so this one's all yours.”

DASH nodded and charged up her yellow element. Instead of charging up her arm cannon though, she held up her hand allowing a bolt of lightning to hit it, engulfing her hand in electricity. She rushed at the statue and slashed it once real good with her arm acting as a blade, doing massive damage to the statue. (Elec Sword)

The statue exploded from that final attack and fell to the ground. As everyone sheathed their weapons, they heard that voice again.

end song

Well done…

The path to enlightenment has partially lit up…

There are two more tests…

“So… does anyone here know what the hell they're talking about?” Applejack asked.

“Negative,” DASH-379 said, “But that fight ate up a lot of time. We have 53 hours to rescue Twilight.”

“As long as we hurry we should have plenty of time,” Rarity said, “Let's go.”

As they all ran out, DASH-379 stopped briefly and looked at the statue lying on the ground. She frowned to herself, and then ran out after her friends. They'd deal with it later, after Twilight was safe.


play song

It took a while, but they eventually made it back to Canterlot Village. They saw Celestia waiting for them right at the entrance.

“Ah, you return safely,” Celestia said, “I worry when I had vision of struggle.”

“Do you know what that statue was?” Rarity asked, “It mentioned something about “Zenith” and a test.”

Celestia looked at Rarity, giving her a somewhat odd expression, “It is nothing you need to worry about right now, Traveler. Your friend needs you.”

“R-right,” Rarity said. She sort of had the feeling that Celestia wasn't telling her everything she knew, and for some reason it disturbed her. Before they could leave, they saw Chief Luna walk through the village.

“Sister, Traveler and friends return,” Celestia said. Chief Luna flinched and turned to them with a strained happy expression.

“Very good,” Luna said, “You find herb then?”

“Yes,” Fluttershy held out the herb showing it to Luna, “We take to Twilight now.”

“Very good, Fluttershy,” Luna said, “Sister, I tired. Going to rest.”

“Very well,” Celestia said with a slight sigh, “Rest well, sister.”

As Chief Luna walked off to their hut, Applejack watched her with a slight frown.

“Everything okay?” Applejack asked Seer Celestia, “You two seem a little tense.”

“You find out soon enough,” Celestia said, “Go, save Twilight.”

“Thank you, Seer,” Fluttershy said with a bow, “I come back soon.”

Celestia smiled, bowed to all of them, and walked off deeper into the village. Applejack folded her arms and frowned again.

“What is wrong?” DASH-379 asked.

“The Luna of this dimension sort of rubs me the wrong way,” Applejack said, “In fact, she feels sort of like my Luna.”

“That's not too weird though, right?” Rarity asked, “I mean, they are the same person somewhat.”

“Well yeah, but this feels different. It's more like they're literally the same person, just in two different places. I don't know if that makes any sense.”

“No, I get it,” DASH-379 said, “Chief Luna is the only other one I have seen so far besides yours, and I noticed the same thing when I saw both of them.”

“If both of you are sensing it, then there might be something to this,” Rarity said, “Fluttershy, when your tribe began sending women as tributes, who was the one who spoke to Greymane?”

“Chief Luna,” Fluttershy said, “She talk to Greymane alone.”

“She did not bring her sister with her?” DASH-379 asked, “That sounds illogical to me.”

“They do seem rather tied to the hips usually,” Rarity said, “Come to think of it, Applejack, you said that the demons captured the Celestia of your world, correct? Where was the Viceroy during this time?”

Applejack thought back, “You know, I don't think I even saw her during the kidnapping. I saw her after it though, as she took over the Queen's affairs in her absence.”

“Now that sounds suspicious,” DASH-379 said, “We might need to investigate this angle. If she is connected to the kidnapping of Queen Celestia, she would be connected to the shadow creatures.”

“And thus Lavos by extension, right?” Rarity asked, getting a nod from DASH, “First we need to hurry back to Medieval. I don't think Luna would act suddenly to harm Twilight, as that would make us suspicious of her, but I still don't feel comfortable leaving Twilight alone with her.”

“I hope we wrong,” Fluttershy said, “I not want to suspect Chief of putting village in danger.”

“I know,” Rarity said putting her arms around Fluttershy, “But we have to cover all of our bases. Let's cure Twilight first, then we can discuss a plan to investigate Luna.”

Everyone nodded in agreement. Rarity didn't want to suspect Luna either, but now that she thought back to it, she did feel a little odd around Chief Luna. She sadly never got to see Viceroy Luna, and she was pretty sure that seeing her would be difficult with her being such a high ranking official. There was one other option though. If she wanted to confirm this feeling herself, she'd need to find another Luna and talk to her, right?

Looked like she was taking another trip back to Standard.

Standard: Real Strength

View Online

Standard – Real Strength

play song

Rarity felt bad leaving Twilight like this, but when they arrived back in Medieval she was asleep. Applejack and DASH-379 offered to stay with her while Wizard Twilight began working on the antidote to cure Twilight's poison.

This left Rarity and Fluttershy, who decided to head back to Standard to enact Rarity's plan.

Truth was, Rarity didn't need anyone to come with her, but she didn't feel right going back to Standard by herself. Also, she knew it would be the end of the school day when she got there, and she still didn't want to be alone. She missed Twilight fiercely, but this was a good chance for her and Fluttershy to spend time together. Twilight wouldn't mind, she was sure.

After they arrived back in Standard, she saw a number of students rushing out of school, happy to see the day ending.

“Fancy runnin into you here, hon,” Applejewel said walking over to Rarity and Fluttershy.

“Hello Jewel,” Rarity said. She and Applejewel hugged, but then Applejewel saw Fluttershy and frowned slightly.

“Um… this is one of the alternates, right?” Applejewel asked. Rarity giggled.

“Yes Applejewel, this is an alternate Fluttershy I'm traveling with. Don't worry though, this Fluttershy is extremely nice,” Rarity explained. Fluttershy got close to Applejewel and sniffed, smiling.

“You have pleasant scent,” Fluttershy said, “Smell like citrus.”

Applejewel giggled, “Well thank ya kindly. It's my aunt's special fragrance, based off of the scent of oranges.”

Oranges? Right, Applejack had an aunt and uncle named Orange who were aristocratic. This must have been what Applejack would have been like had she stayed with her relatives rather than move back to the farm with her immediate family.

It's so hard seeing Applejack act so… frivolous though!

Rarity was caught off guard by a crash. The three of them looked and saw Standard Fluttershy fussing at another student who apparently bumped into her. Rarity couldn't make out what she was saying, but it sounded violent.

Fluttershy on the other hand, looked at her alternate self intently with an odd expression. Applejewel sighed and was about to say something, but a beep behind her caught her attention. She turned to look, and smiled seeing a white and orange limo by the school waiting for her.

“Looks like my ride's here,” Applejewel said, “Y'all two want a ride? No reason ta walk back home, ya know?”

“You know, that would be lovely,” Rarity said, “Fluttershy, you don't mind, do you?”

Fluttershy was shocked by Rarity's voice, but shook her head. Applejewel clapped her hands happily.

“Splendid. Come along, y'all. Today, you get ta ride with a super star.”

Rarity laughed awkwardly, “That's wonderful, Applejewel. Thank you so much.”

The limo was really nice and spacious. Rarity was surprised to see just how rich Applejewel actually was. Apparently, she alone was worth almost one million dollars, and was destined to inherit her Uncle's business and funds one day.

Talk about loaded.

“So… what's going on with your Fluttershy?” Rarity asked, “Has she caused Dashie any trouble?”

“Not in the slightest,” Applejewel said, “But it's kinda hard ta get close ta Dash since she's always hangin with the basketball team. She's now officially datin the captain, an' the rest of the team adores her. She's quickly becomin almost as popular as yours truly.”

“That must drive Fluttershy crazy,” Rarity said, Fluttershy now turning her attention to their conversation.

“It does. Most of the school's startin ta stand up to her, so she's losin power fast. So ta compensate, she's jus' bein real nasty ta everyone. She got detention jus' yesterday for startin a fight with Octavia, an' all she did was look at her.”

“Geez, what is it going to take?” Rarity said, more so to herself than to anyone else.

“Why don't ya jus' let it go?” Applejewel asked with a shrug, “By now, ya jus' have ta admit it. She's a bad seed. Nothin like this absolute gem though,” she said taking Fluttershy's hand. Poor thing looked so confused.

“I just can't do that,” Rarity said, “She's the Fluttershy that I grew up with, the one that I originally called my best friend. She just had to grow up without me. Jewel, that's still Fluttershy to me, and she will always be my best friend.”

Applejewel sighed, “Ah don't get it, Rarity. Ah really don't. Ah mean, sure she's Fluttershy, but she ain't your Fluttershy. Sides, ya have a perfectly good Fluttershy right here, an' she ain't a complete bitch. Why can't ya leave it alone?”

“Because that's not my style,” Rarity said, “I've never turned away from Fluttershy, and I won't start now, whether she's my Fluttershy or another Fluttershy.”

Applejewel took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of her nose, “Ah suppose there's no stoppin you. You're a good person, Rarity. Too good, I might add, but that's better than not bein good enough.”

Rarity smiled at Applejewel in response to that. After arriving at Twilight's place and saying their goodbyes, Rarity and Fluttershy went inside, using the extra key that Twilight gave Rarity just in case. She really hoped her parents didn't surprise visit, otherwise she'd have some serious explaining to do.

end song

After taking their showers, both girls got in bed together. They had to once again borrow more of Twilight's pajamas, as Fluttershy didn't have any other clothes and Rarity refused to let her sleep in Twilight's bed wearing that. With the only other solution being Fluttershy sleeping nude…

Yeah… Rarity had already seen Fluttershy naked enough to last her a life time. Not that it was unappealing, it was just so awkward for her.

As they lied on the bed, Fluttershy spooning Rarity and holding her from behind, Rarity found herself still unable to get to sleep. Maybe she missed Twilight more than she thought. She had thought about her a lot. Having to find an excuse for Applejewel didn't help either.

She was also thinking about the Fluttershy of this world. As things stood, she was just going to fall even harder. This wasn't like with Sunset Shimmer, where Rarity could shoot a magic rainbow at the problem and it was gone. Rarity had to actually try and change her herself, but so far it seemed like nothing worked.

“Rarity? Awake?”

“Huh?” Rarity asked, “Yes darling, I'm still up. Lately, I just can't seem to get any sleep.”

“Girl that look like me, she is… bad person? I… am bad person?” Fluttershy asked slowly.

play song

“No no no, not at all,” Rarity said turning to Fluttershy, who looked really upset, “Neither you nor the other Fluttershy are bad people.”

“But… she hurt other people… and I still put village in danger…”

“Fluttershy, you were doing what you felt was right. Remember, the wolves were just using Lavos as an excuse to keep the women of your village captured,” Rarity looked away somberly, “As for the Fluttershy here, she lost someone important to her. That person was her rock, and without them… she fell.”

“That person… you?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes actually. Remember how Twilight and I are from different versions of this world? Well, this is a world where… I died ten years ago. The Fluttershy here is the same as my friend, but she had to grow up without me looking out for her. As such, she went in a bad direction. You see, she's not a bad person, she's just suffering. This doesn't excuse her behavior though. Someone needs to talk to her.”

“I talk to her?” Fluttershy asked.

“I don't know if that's a good idea Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “Honestly, I'm not sure what's a good idea anymore. Nothing else seems to work…”

“Then I talk to other me,” Fluttershy said grasping Rarity's hand, “I talk to other me, and save her.”

Rarity did have to admit, that method worked on Rainbow Dash. That was different though. Dashie needed to talk to someone who represented who she could be. Fluttershy here represented something that as far as Rarity knew, Standard Fluttershy hated.

Still, not like things could get any worse.

“I don't know how you'll get close to her, but I trust you,” Rarity said, “Just… try not to make a scene, alright?”

“Everything fine now,” Fluttershy said closing her eyes, “Other me learn lesson this time. I make sure of it.”

And just like that, Rarity was terrified now. She knew it. Fluttershy was going to make a scene. Well, maybe Pinkie Pie could tape it and get another video on youtube. That would be a bonus, right?


play song

While Rarity went to school, Fluttershy began stalking her alternate self. She was easy to find, because of an odd scent. She herself smelled fine, but those white things she kept smoking left a very bad smell to her.

Fluttershy hated that, but it made it easy to track her.

Her alternate self seemed to keep getting into arguments, yelling at everyone around her and shoving people into walls. Despite what Rarity said last night, it looked like she and this Fluttershy didn't get along too well. That was unfortunate. Rarity really wanted to be close to her friend, so seeing her act so mean had to be hard.

After a little while, Standard Fluttershy stormed toward the back door of the school, bumping into another student on the way and knocking him down. She didn't even acknowledge that it happened. She just walked through the back doors into the back alleyway behind the building.

Fluttershy didn't like that.

She followed her alternate self into the alleyway, where she saw her lighting another one of those white sticks that smelled funny.

end song

“Bullshit,” Standard Fluttershy said, “I fucking hate this place. I hate everyone here.”

“That not nice.”

Standard Fluttershy turned to the entrance, meeting eyes with Fluttershy. Standard Fluttershy backed a way looking really freaked out.

“So first Rainbow Trash meets some weird robot that looks like her, and now this? Some freak that looks like me from the stone age or something?” Standard Fluttershy asked harshly. Fluttershy frowned looking at her other self intently, trying to find something, “Well? Have something to say, freak?”

“Why you push boy to the ground?” Fluttershy asked, “Not even apologize.”

“Apologize to that shrimp?! He should have fucking watched where he was going! Anyone who gets in my way I just shove out of my way!”

She was so full of anger, and hatred. But that wasn't all. There had to be something else. A reason.

“You… shove out of way,” Fluttershy repeated, “Why not just wait, or move out of way yourself?”

“Why should I have to move out of the way? I'm the one with someplace to go! He's just as worthless as everyone else in this fucking place! Thinking they're so important, when all they are is a bug under my boot!” she gave Fluttershy a sneer, “I'm the one on top here. Everyone else in that school just forgot who their queen is. But I'm going to remind them. I'm going to remind all of them.”

“How?” Fluttershy asked tilting her head to the side. Her Standard counterpart laughed.

“By humiliating that bitch Rainbow Trash, that's how. She thinks she's so great, now that everyone in the school thinks that she's this super cool and awesome chick who hangs around the basketball team. But once they see what I have in store for her, she'll never be able to show her face in this school again. And then everyone will remember who the real queen of this school it!”

Fluttershy still couldn't find what she was looking for, but she find something. Something that she really hated.

“You disgust me,” Fluttershy said with a scowl. Standard Fluttershy was wide eyed for a second, but then narrowed her eyes in anger.

“What did you just say to me?” Standard Fluttershy asked.

“You think you are Queen, that you are strong, but all you do is push people around and make them small. You only hurt weak. That because you are weak.”

“You think I'm weak, huh?” Standard Fluttershy seethed, “What makes you so high and mighty, hm?

“I not high or mighty. I strong. Strong for real. Not fake strong like you.”

Standard Fluttershy laughed, “You can't even finish a sentence correctly, and you're saying you're strong?! What, strong in the real way or some bullshit like that? You're a joke!”

“If you strong, prove it,” Fluttershy said getting in a fighting stance, even pulling out her daggers, “We not talk with words. We talk through battle. Show me strength.”

play song

“Oh, you are pissing me off, bitch!” Standard Fluttershy said, surprisingly getting in the exact same stance and pulling out two small knives of her own, “Even if you have my face, I'm gonna enjoy wrecking it!”

The two Fluttershys charged at each other, and a violent fight began, both Fluttershy's slashing, kicking, blocking, doing everything in their power. Fluttershy was impressed with the skill her Standard counterpart had. They truly were the same person at their cores.

But something was off. Something separated the two.

Standard Fluttershy got in a lucky kick knocking Fluttershy to the side, but she flipped to her feet. Her Standard counterpart rushed at her screaming, slashing wildly with her knives and forcing Fluttershy to have to work harder with her blocks.

“You talk big, but so far all you've done is block!” Standard Fluttershy shouted, “Where's that strength you were talking about so much?”

The only reason Fluttershy wasn't fighting back was because she still needed to learn something. She still hadn't seen it yet, the thing that she was looking for. If she won the fight before then, all of this would be for nothing, and Rarity would still be sad.

Fluttershy didn't want Rarity to be sad.

Realizing that she'd have to push a little harder, Fluttershy kicked Standard Fluttershy off her and then went more offensively. Now she saw it a little. Standard Fluttershy was beginning to have a tough time, but she was still determined. But determined to what? What was she fighting-

That was it. What made them different. She herself was fighting to prove a point, but her other self was just fighting to win.

The two of them slashed with their daggers again, this time actually clashing blades. Standard Fluttershy spun around and did a spin kick, but Fluttershy bent all the way down out of the way and then did a flip kick knocking Standard Fluttershy back a bit. When she rose to her feet, she saw her Standard counterpart breathing heavily, a look of pure hatred in her eyes. Something inside of Fluttershy cried out when she saw that.

She pitied this girl so much.

“Stop that,” Standard Fluttershy said through gritted teeth, “Stop looking at me like that…!”

Wait, what? What did Fluttershy see just now? Was that…?

“I said…” she was trembling, “Stop… LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!!!”

Standard Fluttershy completely lost it and rushed at Fluttershy, this time slashing without technique, without reason. Yeah, it was time now. She won this fight.

As such, all Fluttershy had to do was sweep her foot to the side, knocking Standard Fluttershy to the ground. She rolled to her back just in time to see Fluttershy lift her leg into the air. Standard Fluttershy screamed and moved to the side just as Fluttershy went to drop kick her.

Standard Fluttershy rose to her feet and braced herself, but Fluttershy already rushed over to her, spinning around and slashing with her daggers. Standard Fluttershy tried to block, but she lost grip on her knives. Fluttershy then charged in with her daggers, going in for the finishing blow.

end song

“NO!!!!!” Standard Fluttershy screamed helplessly. Fluttershy stopped, her dagger right at Standard Fluttershy's neck, the poor girl trembling now, “P-please stop…! No more…! No more!”

Fluttershy backed away, and Standard Fluttershy fell to the ground. Fluttershy sheathed her daggers and looked down at her other self.

“You see now?” Fluttershy asked, “Not real strength. You weak, helpless, just like people you attack.”

play song

“I KNOW THAT!!!” Standard Fluttershy screamed, now crying, “I know I'm weak…! I've always been weak…! I hate being like this…! I know everyone hates me…! I hate myself…! But… but if I don't get them first… they'll get me!”

“Who will get you?” Fluttershy asked kneeling before her broken self.

“EVERYONE!!!” Standard Fluttershy cried, “Everyone there will hurt me! Make fun of me! If I don't make myself someone they're afraid of, they'll know that… that I… that I'm scared… of them

“I was bullied so badly when I was in elementary school… They made fun of my voice… Teased me because I cried a lot… and that I liked animals so much… The first person to ever be nice to me was… Rarity… She fought the bullies for me, made them stay away from me, but then she… she…” Standard Fluttershy broke down completely, probably crying harder than she had cried in years, “SHE DIED!!! SHE LEFT ME HERE ALONE!!!”

Fluttershy placed a hand over her heart. She could feel the intense pain this girl had. Years of this sadness and grief finally being let out. It was almost too much, but she knew that she had to stay.

“I had to be strong…” Standard Fluttershy continued, “So when I returned to school, and I saw the bullies… I was determined to make them leave me alone… So I attacked them! I beat them! Every single one! Rarity couldn't protect me, so I'd just protect myself from now on! I'd hurt all of them so they wouldn't hurt me every again!”

“But now… you hurt yourself,” Fluttershy said, “You push everyone away, and no have no one.”

“This is better!” Standard Fluttershy sobbed, “This way, no one can leave me like Rarity left me! It hurts too much… making friends and then losing them! I'd rather have no friends at all if that's the case!”

“No, that not true,” Fluttershy said, “You want friends. Lonely, sad, afraid, want someone to be there for you, right?”

“N-no! That's weak! I don't want to be weak anymore!”

“Accepting friends isn't weak. Crying in front of friends isn't weak. That takes strength.”

“What happens… when they leave me?” Standard Fluttershy asked, “I… hate that…!”

“Friends come, and friends go. I have friend. Very special friend, but I know she leave me one day. When she leave, I cry. But friend hasn't left yet. I enjoy friend now, so when she leave, I have no regrets. Also, I make more friends. Lots of friends from all over,” Fluttershy took Standard Fluttershy's hands, “You make friends too, Fluttershy. Lots and lots of friends. Friends hold you when sad, friends laugh with you when happy, friends calm you when angry.

“But you have to be true self to have friends. No more hurting people, calling names, and saying mean things. Hurt people, hurt yourself. You not bad person. You kind, gentle person, just afraid. Okay to be afraid, that what friends for.”

“Friends…” Standard Fluttershy looked down, “I don't have any friends… not anymore. The one person who probably would be my friend hates me now…”

“No, not hate,” Fluttershy said, “Probably waiting for you. You apologize, then you friends again.”

“You make it sound so simple,” Standard Fluttershy looked into Fluttershy's eyes, “Maybe… it is that simple, huh? I'm… sorry if I… upset you.”

Fluttershy shook her head, “Not hurt me. I know truth from beginning.”

“H-how though?”

Fluttershy smiled, put her Standard counterpart's hand on her chest, and then placed her own hand on her other self's chest.

“Because… we are same person. You Fluttershy, I Fluttershy. Fluttershy not bad person. That what… special friend say.”

Standard Fluttershy gave Fluttershy a soft smile, “That friend… must be really special,” she then pulled Fluttershy into a tight embrace, “Thank you… Fluttershy.”

“You welcome… Fluttershy.”


Fluttershy waved goodbye to her Standard counterpart as she walked back into the school, and then leaned against a wall thinking to herself.

“Rarity happy now. Save other Fluttershy, so now Rarity smile,” Fluttershy looked up at the sky, “One day, you leave. Sad when you leave, but… that okay. Even when you leave, we still friends,” she held her hand to the sky, letting her tears flow freely despite her smile, “Best friends forever… Rarity.”

As she stood there, she felt a new power grow within her. Something she could share with her friend, and everyone she loved.

Reinforce…


play song

Rarity didn't see Fluttershy anywhere after homeroom. The only class she had with Fluttershy besides that one before lunch was History, so if she decided to cut class, she wasn't going to see her for a bit. Rarity wasn't too sure if that was bad news though.

Things felt lonely without Twilight, but Rarity was determined to enjoy her lunch with her friends. She hadn't forgotten her other reason for being here though. She needed to find Vice-Principal Luna at some point. Her best bet would be to find her after school though, as long as her schedule remained the same as well.

“I hope Twilight's okay,” Pinkie Pie said as they all sat down in the library for lunch.

“She's going to be fine,” Rarity said, “It wasn't anything too serious, so I'm sure she'll make a full recovery.”

I hate lying like this, but if I tell them the truth…

“So, Jewel, you met the other Fluttershy?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Sure did,” Applejewel said, “She was an absolute doll. Why, Ah wish our Fluttershy was that adorable.”

“She really is nice,” Rarity said, “I do hope she's staying out of trouble though. She has a habit of getting into trouble when left alone for too long.”

They stopped when they heard the door to the library open, and all got the shock of a lifetime. Walking into the library, going right over to them…

Was Fluttershy.

She stood over them for a few seconds, everyone looking up at her, nervous about what she was going to do or say. She met eyes with Rainbow Dash briefly, and then turned to Rarity. Their eyes met, and then Fluttershy did something equally shocking. She walked over to the far end of their section, and took a seat.

Naturally, everyone was still staring at her. After a second, she looked up at them.

“What?” she asked harshly.

“Um… can we help you…?” Applejewel asked, “This is kinda our spot ya know.”

“Yeah, I know,” Fluttershy said, “I can sit and eat here if I want to though. You don't own this place,” she caught herself and closed her eyes, “That's… wrong of me to say. I… apologize… if me being here upsets you.”

“You just didn't want to eat alone, right?” Rarity asked. Fluttershy looked at Rarity in shock, and was greeted with the kindest smile, “Personally, I say the more the merrier.”

Fluttershy's expression softened. It took a second, but soon lunch resumed as normal, only now with a new member. One that as time went on, Rarity found sitting closer and closer to her. Oddly this time, she didn't seem to mind.

After lunch ended, they all went their separate ways for the most part, however Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy stayed with Rarity as they had the same class coming up.

“So… you met one too, I'm guessing?” Rainbow Dash asked Fluttershy, who looked away slightly.

“Lucky bitch, yours was a robot. Mine was some freak from the forest,” Fluttershy said. Rarity rolled her eyes smiling.

“Well, I'm just happy she was able to help you,” Rarity said, “And that she's going to be in one piece when I go back to her later.”

“Hey, stop for a second,” Fluttershy requested, stopping everyone.

“Um… we don't want to be late for our next class,” Rainbow Dash pointed out.

“I don't care about that. This is important,” Fluttershy backed Rarity up against a locker looking her dead in the eyes, “The day I met Rarity is a day I'll never forget, and she said she'd never forget either. She made a promise to me. What was that promise?”

Realizing what she was doing, Rarity closed her eyes smiling calmly, “I promised that as long as I was alive, I'd protect you from the bullies, just like a knight in shining armor.”

Fluttershy took a deep, shuddering breath, and then turned away from Rarity.

“I know you can't stay here, but… it's really… um…” Fluttershy was cut off by Rarity's sudden hug.

“It's wonderful to see you again too, Fluttershy. And for the record, all is forgiven, as long as you continue to be nice to Dashie and everyone else here.”

Fluttershy snickered to herself, “I can be nice to Dashie, Applejewel, Pinkie Pie, hell, I'll even be nicer to Twilight when she gets back. I make no promises for everyone else though.”

“I suppose if that's the best I can hope for, then I'll take it,” Rarity said. Rainbow Dash looked behind them and gasped in shock.

end song

“Um… problem,” she said nervously. Rarity and Fluttershy released one another and looked to see Vice-Principal Luna glaring at all three of them.

“Shouldn't you three be heading to class?” Vice-Principal Luna asked.

“Yes! That's what I was saying!” Dash said, “You two need to listen to me more.”

Fluttershy gave Rainbow Dash a deadpanned look and shook her head, “Don't push your luck, Skittles.”

Rainbow Dash sighed, “I guess change doesn't happen over night.”

“Rarity, come on,” Fluttershy called out once she realized Rarity wasn't following them. Rarity was looking at the Luna of this world, reading her. She could feel it. The thing that Applejack and DASH-379 were saying they sensed.

“Is there a problem, Rarity?” Vice-Principal Luna asked.

“Not at all, Vice-Principal Luna,” Rarity said, “I'll be heading to class now.”

“See that you do,” Luna said before walking off. Rarity caught up with her friends and they walked to their next class.

“What was that about?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Something I needed to investigate for my mission,” Rarity said, “It would be too complicated to explain, but I needed to see Luna face to face.”

“This is about another version of her, isn't it?” Fluttershy asked, “Like, one of her selves is an evil witch or something?”

“If what I felt was correct, darling, then not just one of her selves is an evil witch. More like all of them.”

Rarity knew they were confused. Honestly, she was confused too. She didn't know how it was possible, but she could tell by her eyes. Somehow, in someway, Vice Principal Luna… recognized her.

And based off that glare, she wasn't too happy to see her.


After returning back from school, Rarity and Fluttershy gathered their things and went back to Medieval. Applejack had told all the knights to let them through the second they arrived, so they were able to go right inside the castle. Rarity rushed to Twilight's room, worried about whether her friend was okay.

When she reached the medical area though, she was horrified to see that it was empty.

“T-Twilight…?” Rarity asked looking around. Her hands were shaking as she walked to the bed which was now empty, “No… I can't be…” she was alerted by a side door opening. She looked and saw a sight that brought tears of joy. Walking out of the room…

Was Twilight.

play song

“Hey Rarity,” Twilight said with a soft smile, “You did it.”

Rarity's breathing picked up, and she looked at Twilight wide eyed, still shedding tears of absolute joy. She slowly walked over to Twilight, but then ran to her embracing her tightly.

“You're alive!” Rarity sobbed, “I was so… worried!”

“You were…?” Twilight asked, a shocked and touched expression on her face.

“YES!” Rarity looked into Twilight's eyes, “While you were hurt, I realized just how much you truly mean to me! Not having you next to me, healing me, holding me when I'm unable to stand, it was too much! I can't do this without you, Twilight! I…”

“Shh…” Twilight placed a finger of Rarity's lips, “I understand, Rarity. I'm… I'm so happy…!” now she was shedding tears of joy, “All while I was sick, I was worried about you! I kept thinking, what if she's crying? What if she's scared? I can't be there to hold her! But you're here! You're here, and you're okay!”

“Promise me, that you'll never cease being my light,” Rarity said.

“I promise, Rarity,” Twilight said placing a hand on Rarity's cheek, “I'll be your light, always and forever.”

The two of them touched foreheads, laughing happily as they were in each other's arms. Now Rarity felt whole again. While Fluttershy was her best friend back home, Twilight here had been with Rarity since the beginning of her journey. At first she was worried about bringing her along, but now she couldn't imagine Twilight not being there.

She was going to make sure she'd stay safe, no matter what.

As they held each other, DASH-379, Applejack, and Fluttershy all walked into the room smiling at them. DASH had an arm around Fluttershy's shoulder while Applejack sat down on a nearby chair with her arms folded.

“Now this feels right,” Applejack said, “You two must really love each other.”

“I do,” Rarity said looking into Twilight's eyes lovingly, “I love her so much.”

“I am just happy that our team is back together,” DASH-379 said, “Seriously, having to go so long without your healing magic is nerve wracking. I cannot fight as well as I want.”

“You know there's a remedy for that, right?” Twilight asked, “You could try to dodge a little more when you fight.”

“That takes too much extra work, having to focus on fighting and dodging. Why do that when I have the best healer backing me up?” DASH asked.

“Since was dodging a separate program?” Applejack asked tauntingly. All of them laughed, Rarity laughing the loudest of all of them. She felt almost at peace being with this group. It felt almost like she was surrounded by her actual friends.

I know… it's not really them.

But please… let me have this illusion for a little while.


play song

“So, were you able to find the Luna in Standard?” Applejack asked Rarity, who nodded. They decided to just stay in the medical room, DASH-379 and Fluttershy standing close to the door keeping watch.

“Yes, and based on how she looked at me, I think she did recognize me,” Rarity stated.

“You don't really think that Luna is connected to Lavos, do you?” Twilight asked, “I mean, Vice-Principal Luna has always been a little scary, but evil?”

“But we've seen alters of other people before,” Rarity pointed out, “Remember, we've seen Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Applejack, and Pinkie Pie, and none of them feel like they're the same person exactly.”

“I can concur with that statement,” DASH-379 said, “When I met the Fluttershy from Standard, the only similarities I could detect were in their DNA. Beyond that, they were completely different people.”

“What about Luna?” Fluttershy asked.

“With both the Viceroy and the Chief, I detected an odd energy signature. It was causing me to register them as the same person in my database,” DASH explained.

Twilight looked down thoughtfully, “You know, I think I sensed something similar. Not with Luna though.”

“With who then?” Applejack asked.

“With… Celestia,” Twilight said, “When I met the Seer from Forest, she looked at me as if she recognized me, and something inside of me felt like I was talking to the Celestia from home.”

“Come to think of it, the Celestia from Standard felt an awful a lot like my own,” Rarity stated, “When I first arrived there, she was the only person who felt remotely correct.”

“What if… Celestias from worlds are same person?” Fluttershy asked.

“That can't be possible,” Applejack said, “I mean… could it?”

“If both Celestia and Luna have some sort of temporal connection with their alters, then it is possible,” DASH-379 stated, “It might explain how both Seer Celestia and Queen Celestia are capable of receiving visions.”

“Like some sort of telepathic communication among their inter-dimensional counterparts?” Rarity asked.

“Affirmative,” DASH said, “The Celestias and Lunas are sharing information among one another. It is possible they have been monitoring our movements for quite some time.”

“Hold on then,” Applejack asked, “DASH, do you think that one of the other Celestias would know where my Queen is?”

“That is definitely a possibility,” DASH-379 stated, “But for safety reasons, we would have to find a Celestia that is not under surveillance by Luna.”

“That means the Celestia from Forest is out of the questions,” Applejack said, “The Chief might be using her position to keep the Seer under watch.”

“By that logic, we can't count on the Celestia from Standard either,” Rarity said, “They're co-workers after all.”

“What about Celestia from DASH's world?” Fluttershy asked, “We not ever meet her.”

“True, but we can't be certain that she's not being watched by Luna already,” Rarity stated.

“What if… Celestia is in hiding?” Twilight asked, “And we spoke to her without even knowing it.”

It took a second, but Rarity, DASH-379, and Fluttershy all gasped in shock.

“Solaris!” they all cried at the same time. Twilight nodded before continuing.

“Here's the scenario I propose. Mind you, this is only a hypothesis, but it makes the most sense,” Twilight stood up and paced around the room, “Medieval Celestia is captured first. She's still in contact with her other selves, so she warns them to be wary of Luna. Machine Celestia manages to go into hiding, but Forest and Standard Celestias get caught by Luna. Both of them are in positions where if they vanished suddenly it would cause a red flag.”

“So Luna just stays close to them,” Applejack said, “Making sure they don't do anything too crazy.”

“Exactly,” Twilight said, “If we assume that they've been waiting for Rarity, who's this Chrono Trigger or whatever, then once she appears before Standard Celestia, she warns the others.”

“Seer Celestia makes sure to send us to Machine, where the only free Celestia is currently,” Rarity said, “It's there that she helps us learn about Lavos,” Rarity gasped, “Twilight, Seer Celestia told us that Lavos is the key!”

“Yep, she also told us that we'd find DASH in the next world, and she had a gate key prepared for us,” Twilight added.

“The gate you used must have been an unstable one,” DASH-379 said, “If you use a gate key on an unstable gate, it sends you directly to the world of the gate key's origins. Forest Celestia knew where the key would take you.”

“It really sounds like our best bet is to go to Machine and speak to the Celestia there,” Applejack said before shuddering, “Which means traveling to another world. Great…”

“Then I say we get going now,” Rarity said, “Before you-know-who warns her Machine self.”

Rarity and her team slowly made their way out of the castle, as usual Fluttershy and DASH-379 taking the lead to watch out for Viceroy Luna. Nothing was for certain yet, but it was better to be safe than sorry. Once they were out of the castle, they ran as fast as they could to the warp gate, heading right to Machine.


play song

“Damn it…” Luna said watching them leave from her window, “I can't have them moving too much without me knowing. Pinkamena, come to me.”

Pinkamena stepped out of the shadows and bowed.

“You called, Mistress?” Pinkamena asked.

“I want you to head to Machine. That's the only place not under my full watch. I will watch them from Forest and Standard,” Luna commanded.

“Yes, Nightmare Moon,” Pinkamena said the a sinister smile, “I will do as you command.”

Machine: MEMORY UNAVAILABLE

View Online

Machine – MEMORY UNAVAILABLE

play song

When they arrived back in Machine, the first thing Twilight did was pull out her cellphone. She tried searching for the number that Solaris used to talk to her initially, but when she used it, she was saddened by the result.

Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please check the number, and dial again.

“Course,” Twilight said sarcastically, “Why would it go through?”

“Having trouble, darling?” Rarity asked.

“So, you know how Solaris called me on my cellphone before?” Twilight asked the group, “Turns out, that was just her hacking into my phone.”

“I… don't know what you're talking about,” Applejack said, “But I'm assuming we can't use your tiny ear thingy to call the Celestia here?”

“Nope,” Twilight said, “We can't reach her at all unless she reaches us first.”

“So what then?” DASH asked sitting at the computer and resting her hands behind her head, “Do we just sit here and hope that Solaris gets in touch with us at some point? I do not have the patience for that.”

“Oh really? That's such a shocker,” Applejack said rolling her eyes.

“You know, I am not afraid to break the first rule of robotics,” DASH stated.

“Come on over here and try it!” Applejack exclaimed. Applejack and DASH walked over to each other, but Rarity stood in their way.

“Okay, am I going to have to start keeping you in separate rooms?” Rarity fussed, “Twilight, Fluttershy, help me-” she looked around and realized Fluttershy wasn't there, “Fluttershy?”

“Oh my God, not again,” Twilight groaned, “I swear, I'm getting her a leash and keeping her on it.”

“She did come through with us, right?” Applejack asked nervously.

“She was right next to me just a second ago,” DASH said, “Chances are she is in the facility, just wandering around by herself.”

Everyone stood silently taking that in.

“Fluttershy?” Rarity called out after a second, everyone now frantically searching for their fifth member before she pushed the wrong button or something.

It took a good few minutes, but they eventually found Fluttershy right outside the warp room. She was moving her head from side to side, giggling at the security camera that follower her every movement.

Twilight screamed frantically and ran out to Fluttershy.

“What the actual hell Fluttershy?!” Twilight cried.

“Everyone, look!” Fluttershy said happily, “Odd machine follow me when I move,” she jumped to the side, and sure enough the security camera followed her perfectly.

“Um… I'm no expert on machines obviously,” Applejack said slowly, “But… I'm guessing this thing moving isn't good.”

“The security camera here was not working before,” DASH pointed out, “Someone must have fixed it while we were away.”

“Please tell me this doesn't mean what I think it means…” Rarity groaned.

“Chances are… we are about to be bombarded by security robots soon,” DASH stated.

play song

“Shoot!” Rarity cried, “Everyone, brace yourselves! This isn't going to be pretty!”

Everyone gathered around, pulling out their weapons, and preparing for the wor-

end song

RIIIIIIIING

Everyone turned to Twilight, who frowned and pulled out her cell phone answering it.

“Um… hello?” Twilight asked slowly.

It's good to see you again, Twilight. I had feared the worst.

play song

“Solaris?!” Twilight cried, shocking everyone. Twilight put her on speaker.

You don't have to worry. Those cameras are connected to my estate,” Solaris explained, “They're made specifically to alert me whenever you arrive, which I had a feeling would be soon.

“Because you met up with us just the other day,” Rarity said, “Right, Celestia?”

Solaris was silent for a good while, but when she spoke again, her voice was no longer synthesized.

“You figured me out, Chrono Trigger,” Celestia said.

“Q-Queen…?” Applejack asked trembling, “Is it… you…?”

Celestia sighed, “All of you should come to my mansion. I will send the location directly to the DASH unit with you.”

After a second, DASH-379 looked up, “Data received.”

“Excellent. I will see you soon,” Celestia said disconnecting.

“I believe thanks are in order,” Fluttershy said, smiling proudly.

“Oh get over yourself,” Twilight groaned, “You were just playing.”

“This location…” DASH said, apparently looking at her radar.

“Something wrong?” Rarity asked walking up to her.

“I feel like I have seen this location on my map,” DASH-379 stated.

“Maybe it's the place you were made or something,” Applejack said.

“If possible, could we verify a few things about my origins…?” DASH asked looking away slightly.

“I don't see why not,” Rarity said, “Is everyone okay with this?”

“Help DASH,” Fluttershy said nodding.

“I see no reason why we can't,” Twilight stated.

“Well, you guys are helping me, so I should return the favor,” Applejack said.

“Then it's settled,” Rarity said taking DASH-379's hand, “Lead the way darling.”

DASH-379 nodded to Rarity smiling, and then walked on, leading everyone to where they'd finally meet the Celestia of Machine, and hopefully get some answers.


Celestia walked over to her window looking outside. She couldn't stop trembling. She hadn't had contact with another human in ages, but for good reason. She was taking a huge risk, but it had to be done. She couldn't stay hidden forever.

Still, she couldn't remember the last time she was so afraid.

“It has to be done,” Celestia said, holding back her tears, “I know it does, but I…”

She had to make sure she was together when they arrived, so she decided to just get her crying out of the way. This wasn't going to end well for her, but she promised herself that once the Chrono Trigger arrived, she'd help her. She didn't abandon those in need, even if she was afraid.

So she wasn't going to start now.


The walk was a tense one. While in machine, they had to be on constant alert since here they were all fugitives: four of them being unlicensed citizens, and the other being essentially a Maverick. At least, that was the word Twilight used to describe DASH-379, claiming she got it from a game.

Rarity might end up taking up gaming at this rate.

While the group tried to stay together, on more than one occasion Fluttershy wandered off a bit examining something. Things like tiny robots, or weird sounds. One time she almost got them caught. Rarity didn't want to admit it, but she was starting to think getting Fluttershy a leash would… huh…

Augh! No! Bad thoughts Rarity! Bad!

“Hey? Are you okay Rarity?” Twilight asked walking next to Rarity.

“Oh, yes. Sorry, I was just spacing out. I wasn't thinking anything weird. Not at all,” Rarity said, laughing awkwardly. Twilight nodded slowly.

“Ooookay, but that's not really what I was asking about,” Twilight said, “We haven't really gotten a chance to talk since we got here.”

“Yes, so much is happening so fast,” Rarity said, “After we save the queen, I vote for taking a trip back to Standard to relax. Oh, that reminds me, Fluttershy is a part of our group now.”

At first Twilight looked confused, but when she realized what Rarity was saying her eyes went wide.

“Hold on, you mean Standard Fluttershy?!” Twilight asked, “How the heck did-” she looked at Rarity suspiciously, “No… you didn't.”

I did nothing,” Rarity said skipping ahead, “It was all Fluttershy's idea.”

“Not that I don't appreciate all this, but is that really okay to keep doing this?” Twilight asked nervously, “I mean, they're legally the same person. What if this is one of those things where the more times you do it, the more changes occur?”

“Like I said before, where I come from this happened a few times with no issue,” Rarity said, “I believe if there was a problem, it would have come up by now. Besides, if that's true…” Rarity looked down somberly, “That means… my very existence right now is…”

“Oh Rarity, I'm sorry,” Twilight said hugging Rarity's arm, “I didn't mean to upset you.”

“No, you didn't upset me,” Rarity sighed, “This is just something that has bugged me for a while. My world is gone Twilight. I don't have a home anymore, nor do my friends even exist. Whenever I think about it… I feel heavy, and… dark.”

“Then don't think about it,” Twilight said. Rarity sighed.

“You make it sound so easy…” Rarity said rolling her eyes.

“It isn't easy, I know,” Twilight looked up into Rarity's eyes, “If you ever find it hard to stop thinking about it, let me take your mind off it. I'm your light, remember?”

“Right… you are…” Rarity said slowly, her expression lightening a bit, “Besides, once Lavos is defeated, I'll get everything back.”

“That's the spirit,” Twilight said with a smile. She and Rarity held hands.

“Thank you for coming with me, Twilight,” Rarity said lovingly.

“Thank you for letting me,” Twilight said, equally lovingly, “Despite everything that's going on, this is a dream come true for me. You're a dream come true.”

Rarity looked down blushing, “Twilight, you flatter me.”

“No, I mean it. You're from another dimension, and are taking me on a wild journey across the multiverse. That, and you yourself are just so amazing. Rarity, I…”

“Halt,” DASH-379 said holding out her arm, “We are at the designated location.”

play song

Rarity hadn't even realized how far away they had walked from the city, but they were in the outskirts now. This area was the only place where there were trees, and even wildlife.

And before them, probably one of the nicest mansions anyone had ever seen. It was white and golden, and cleverly hidden behind more trees that would have been hard to pass through had they not known the way to go. Whoever lived here, while living in luxury, clearly didn't want to be found.”

“More big buildings?” Fluttershy asked, “So many big places. Places big like wolf tribe chief.”

“Kind of a big house for someone trying to stay hidden,” Applejack pointed out. She walked forward a bit, but stopped looking at DASH-379, “DASH, you okay?”

DASH was frozen, looking up at the mansion before them. Her eyes were wide, and it looked like she was trembling.

“DASH dear, whatever is the matter?” Rarity asked as all ran over to their robotic friend.

“She didn't crash, did she?!” Twilight asked.

“DASH, wake up!” Fluttershy begged, “You scaring me!”

pause song


NEW DATA LOCATED

OPENING FILE

VIDEO FILE FROM UNKNOWN DATE HAS BEEN LOCATED

BEGINNING PLAYBACK

S-stop it…”

The figure stood over the helpless woman, who looked hurt but was holding a child in her arms. A child that wasn't moving.

Why… are you doing… this…?” the figure pointed their cannon arm at the woman's head, “Please…! You can be more than this…! You don't… have to… be…” the cannon charged up, “NO!!!!”

The shot was fired. Afterward, the figure sauntered over toward a white mansion, where Tirek stood in front waiting for her.

Good job… Athena,” Tirek said. He and the figure, Athena apparently, walked over to the mansion, Athena's right hand now charging with electricity.

ENDING PLAYBACK


resume song

“A… the… na…?” DASH-379 said slowly, like she was in a trance almost.

“DASH, what's happening?!” Rarity cried, “Say something to us!”

DASH-379 shook her head, snapping out of her daze, “Is everything okay?”

“We wanted to ask you that!” Twilight exclaimed, “You looked at this place, and then you stopped moving! What, did you hit a blue screen of death or something?!”

“I… am not sure what happened to me…” DASH said holding her head, “I saw… strange data though… somehow I…” she was shocked when Fluttershy embraced her suddenly and tightly.

“You scare me!” Fluttershy said, “Worry that friend break again!”

“I apologize for worrying you Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said returning the embrace slowly, “But as you can see, I am much stronger than that. A superior model such as myself will not randomly crash.”

“Sounds to me like you're just fine then,” Applejack said, “At least your ego seems to be intact.”

“Admit it, you were worried about me,” DASH-379 taunted.

“Hah! Not a chance,” Applejack said, “If anything happened to you, I'm sure we could just get a better model somewhere.”

“Good luck with that,” DASH-379 said rubbing her nose, “I am the best in my line. You will not find a model superior to me anywhere.”

“Okay ladies, I think that is enough for now,” Rarity said as usual getting in between them, “We still have a job to do.”

“Yes, so stop your dick measuring contest and lets get moving,” Twilight said, frowning at what she said, “How can two women have a dick measuring contest anyway?!”

“Do not ask me,” DASH said walking ahead, “I am not competing in any contest. Kind of hard to compete when I have already won.”

DASH turned to Applejack and smirked. Applejack growled in frustration and stormed off after them. Twilight and Rarity looked at them, Twilight shaking her head.

“If not for what DASH is wearing, and Applejack's bow, I'd completely forget they were women sometimes,” Twilight sighed.

“It's the same back in my world,” Rarity sighed, “Far away from home and I'm still breaking up Applejack and Rainbow Dash's fights.”

The group walked to the mansion, where DASH-379 rang the doorbell. Something about this moment felt familiar to DASH. She didn't know what it was, but somehow…

The door opened, revealing a dark skinned man with yellow and red eyes, long white hair, and a matching goatee. He was wearing a black and white suit, showing he was a butler, but his metallic hands and black armored boots showed that he was in fact a robot.

“Hello. You must be the Chrono Trigger and her companions,” the robot said with a slight bow, “My name is Discord.”

“The pleasure is all ours, Discord,” Rarity said shaking the robot man's hand. He shook Twilight, Applejack, and Fluttershy's hands too, but when he got to DASH-379, he frowned.

“You…” Discord said.

“Have… we met before?” DASH asked raising an eyebrow. Discord looked her up and down, and then turned to usher them into the mansion.

“Miss Celestia is waiting for you in her study,” Discord said, “It's straight down the hall.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said. The five of them walked past him, but Discord's eyes followed DASH-379 all while she walked inside. Normally she wouldn't have cared, but something about that robot made her feel uncomfortable.

And he didn't answer her question. Did he actually know her?

The inside of the mansion was really something else. All around were robots of various kinds tending to the mansion. Not one of them were simple machines though. They were all androids like DASH and DISCORD. Also, all of them turned to Rarity and her group and nodded to them smiling.

“This is pleasant,” Rarity said looking around.

“Nothing like the rest of this world,” Twilight pointed out, “It's like the complete opposite here- OOF!” she bumped into someone and fell to the ground. When she saw the person she bumped into to, she was shocked. It was Fluttershy! The Fluttershy of this world was a robot too, wearing a black and white maid's uniform. They could all tell that she was a robot because her eyes had a slight glow like DASH's and she had rounded white ears with red lights in the middle and feather like flaps coming out behind her.

Rarity smiled warmly and walked over to robot Fluttershy and held her hand out.

“Here,” Rarity said warmly. Robot Fluttershy looked up at Rarity and slowly took her hand. After Rarity pulled her up, she bowed to Rarity and ran off, sadly tripping and almost falling over again.

“I not clumsy,” Fluttershy pouted folding her arms.

“Odd,” Applejack said, “She didn't say anything.”

“That's because she can't talk,” a familiar voice said from ahead. They all looked and saw this world's Celestia walking out to them. In this world, she wore a fancy white jacket/dress that was open in the front showing off her legs, white high heels, and a golden necklace with a sun shaped emblem falling in between her breasts. She looked oddly more delicate than the other Celestia's they've seen.

“You're this world's Celestia, aren't you?” Twilight asked, “Do you… know who I am?”

“I do,” Celestia said with a warm smile, “You're Twilight, the one from Standard. I was worried when Rarity and her friends told me you were poisoned.”

“So it's true then,” Applejack said, “You really are connected to the other Celestia's.”

Celestia looked down somberly, “You should all come into my office. I believe there are things we need to discuss.”

As Celestia walked into her office, DASH looked at her intently. Something within her was saying that she knew her, but she couldn't for the life of her pull up the data.

“DASH? You not break again, right?” Fluttershy asked nervously. DASH snapped out of it and turned to Fluttershy.

“I am fine Fluttershy,” DASH-379 assured, taking Fluttershy's hand and patting it.

“Are you?” Twilight asked, “Ever since we arrived here you've been acting strange.”

“I said I am fine!” DASH snapped, immediately surprised when she realized what she did, “Twilight, I apologize for shouting at you.”

“DASH, if there's something bothering you, you can tell us,” Rarity said, “Remember, we're your friends.”

“I appreciate it, but my issues come second,” DASH said turning to Rarity, “We came here to learn about the Queen's location and if Luna also possesses a temporal existence. I will ask this world's Celestia my questions last.”

“If you're sure you're okay,” Rarity said unconvinced, “Let's get going.”

As everyone walked in, DASH stayed behind for a bit, holding her head in confusion.

“What is… happening to me…?” DASH-379 asked. She turned around to see Discord standing by a door still glaring at her. She stuck her tongue out at him, and then walked into the office after her friends.


“I apologize,” Celestia said once everyone entered the room, “I don't have enough seats for everyone.”

“That's okay,” Applejack said, “I generally stand anyway.”

“I do not need to sit,” DASH said standing closer to the back in the room. Fluttershy sat down next to her at her feet, every so often looking up at her friend worried.

The room looked like a small library and laboratory rolled into one. Small being a relative term, as the room itself was pretty spacious. There were a few shelves of books, and in the back of the room was a large window that looked out toward the city. Near the window was a desk with a fancy golden chair behind it and a really futuristic computer with the keyboard built into it.

Celestia took her seat behind the desk, with Rarity and Twilight sitting in front of her in the two other seats.

“Now then,” Celestia leaned forward a bit smiling at the group, “You must need something very important to come all the way back to Machine, and to seek me out as well.”

Rarity looked down, “We needed to confirm a few things, and we were hoping that you could help us find someone.”

“You see, we're looking for… well, you, but in Applejack's world,” Twilight said.

“Hmm, I see,” Celestisa said closing her eyes thoughtfully, “So, you have figured out my temporal existence then.”

“Then it's true,” Applejack said, “You're my Queen?”

Celestia opened her eyes, “In a way, yes. However, it's not as simple as we're the same person. You see, I, Celestia, am all four entities. I am the Celestia before you now, I am the Principal of Canterlot High, I am the Seer of Fluttershy's forest, and I am also Applejack's Queen. However, the individual beings themselves are separate people. We think independently of one another, feel differently, some are stronger, yet some are weaker, so on and so forth.”

“I don't think I quite understand,” Rarity said frowning a bit, “So you're saying… you're all different people, and the same person all at once.”

“Yes, actually,” Celestia said. She pushed a few buttons on her computer, and the room darkened a bit. The window behind them turned into a large screen and showed them a simulation of their Fluttershy.

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“That's me!” Fluttershy cheered, “But… I here though. How here… but there also?”

“It is just a projection,” DASH said to Fluttershy smiling, “That is not real.”

“You see, each and every world is a mirror of one another. Because of this, each and every person exists in that world in one way or another. They might have a different upbringing,” an image of Standard Fluttershy appeared next to the image of Forest Fluttershy, “Or maybe they'll be born in a different way due to differing circumstances,” an image of the Machine Fluttershy they just met earlier, “Either way though, they exist. They exist because the Universe requires that they exist in order to move forward.”

“So no matter what that person will always exist,” Applejack said, “Even if the world has to jump through hoops in order to make it happen.”

“Exactly,” Celestia said, “But while they technically are the same person physically, most cases the person is completely different than their multidimensional counterparts,” three golden arrows shot up from each Fluttershy, all of them going straight up and never touching, “Therefore, even if they possess similar hearts, their lives are not connected. They are completely different people at their cores.”

“So, nothing would go wrong if someone met themselves from another world,” Rarity asked.

“Not usually, no. In most cases, it's perfectly harmless,” Celestia explained. Rarity folded her arms, her eyes going to Twilight with a knowing smirk. Twilight turned to Rarity and shook her head scowling.

“Don't… you dare…” Twilight seethed.

“Hm…? Don't what, darling?” Rarity asked, “Don't say that I told you so?”

“Ugh… you are horrible…” Twilight said slumping forward. Celestia giggled at them before continuing.”

“Now, in the case of myself, things are a little different,” Celestia said, now pulling up an image of herself, and all three of her counterparts, four arrows going up and then connecting into one, “For the most parts, the rules still apply. We are the same person in our respective worlds, but while we do have differing upbringings, were born in different ways, and might have different circumstances in our lives leading to different personalities, we do possess the same soul, and thus we also have the same mind.”

“So it is like being multiple people at the same time,” DASH-379 said, “All of you make up the whole Celestia, but you yourselves are different parts of her.”

“Yes, very good,” Celestia said, “So to answer your question from before, Applejack, I am technically your queen, but only in terms of me knowing who you are. Beyond that, I am my own person.”

“But… you do know where your version in her world is, don't you?” Rarity asked, “Please Celestia, this is the only way we can talk to you safely.”

“Because of Luna, correct?” Celestia asked.

“Er… well, it's just a hypothesis, but…” Rarity said looking away slightly.

“No, it's fine,” Celestia said somberly, “I regret to tell you that you are correct to suspect her,” Celestia said, “You see, Luna is-” she was cut off by a loud crash, the screen behind her exploding. At the same time, Pinkamena jumped through, rolling to her feet.

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“Thought you could hide from me, huh?” Pinkamena taunted.

“You!” Rarity shouted. Immediately she jumped up, grabbing her spear and charging at Pinkamena, who jumped up with a kick, and then met her spear with her bladed hoop, “You're going to pay for what you did to Twilight!”

“Aw, are you mad at me, Rarity? I was just trying to have a little fun,” Pinkamena said innocently, “Hey! Get in here!”

At that moment, Spitfire and Fleetfoot flew into the room. Celestia screamed and ran behind Applejack and Fluttershy, both of them with their weapons out. Spitfire charged right at DASH, knocking her to the floor with a flying kick.

“So you had the audacity to come back,” Spitfire said, “Fleetfoot, you deal with Celestia. The aberrant and I have unfinished business to attend to.”

“Affirmative Spitfire,” Fleetfoot said. She flew over to Celestia, but Fluttershy kicked her away.

“Not take Celestia!” Fluttershy shouted.

“Fluttershy, take Celestia to somewhere safe!” Applejack said. Fluttershy nodded, took Celestia's hand, and then ran out of the room. As Fleetfoot flew after them, Spitfire grabbed DASH-379 by the neck and threw her out of the window.

“DASH!” Twilight cried. Applejack was about to rush after her, but Pinkamena shot an icicle at her feet stopping her.

“Why don't we let them handle their fight, kay?” Pinkamena said. Applejack growled, looking at Spitfire as she flew out the window to engage DASH-379.

Twilight shot an arrow at Pinkamena, making her jump away from Rarity. She and Applejack ran to Rarity's side getting in their fighting stances as Pinkamena got in her fighting stance.

Rarity charged in first, swinging her spear wildly at Pinkamena, who seemed to dodge all of her attacks. Pinkamena saw and opening and countered by spinning around with her bladed hoop slashing Rarity back.

Twilight fired two arrows at Pinkamena knocking her away a bit and to gather energy. Once she had enough energy, she charged up her white element and cast Cure on Rarity immediately.

While that went on, Applejack charged at Pinkamena and slashed with her sword, actually getting through. Once she had gathered enough energy, she jumped away and charged up her red element. She pointed her blade forward and shot four fireballs at Pinkamena, doing a surprising amount of damage.

“AHH!!!” Pinkamena cried as she fell back, “Damn it! That's right, you're a red adept!”

“And I'm guessing despite your control of the black arts, you're primarily a blue adept,” Applejack said, “And you wondered why I came to help in this fight.”

Pinkamena charged up her blue element, and then held out her arm, shooting a stream of glowing bubbles right at Applejack, who held up her shield to block at least a little. (Bubble Beam)

“You do realize that advantage works on me too, right?” Pinkamena taunted, “My blue elements work just as good on you as your red elements work on me.”

Rarity growled in anger and rushed at Pinkamena, taking the chance to get in a few lucky strikes while she was preoccupied. Once she gathered enough energy, she charged up her black element, and used her Grim Slash, which sadly didn't hurt Pinkamena but so much.

Pinkamena kicked Rarity back, but then had to flip out of the way as Twilight fired with her arrows. Twilight charged up her element again, this time casting an odd spell on herself, Rarity, and Applejack.

“It's called Healing Stream,” Twilight called out to her confused friends, “It should heal us at a steady rate.”

“Good thinking,” Applejack said, “Rarity, let's do that thing again!”

“Got it!” Rarity said nodding. Applejack and Rarity both charged in, clashing weapons with Pinkamena, who seemed to be able to block all of their attacks no problem. Both of them then jumped away and charged up their respective elements. They then rushed past Pinkamena using their X-Slash.

Pinkamena fell to her knees, but then charged up her black element. She held out her hand, sending her Feral Cats move at all three of them. It didn't hurt Rarity but so much, but Applejack looked really hurt and poor Twilight fell to her knees.

Right! She's white! That means that move seriously hurt her!

Rarity was about to rush at Pinkamena again, but Applejack grabbed her arm quickly.

“Aggression without control is nothing,” Applejack said, “Even if you're angry, you have to control yourself. If you control your anger, you can use it to power yourself. Control, then aggression.”

“Control… then aggression…?” Rarity said, taking in what Applejack said.

“Twilight, if you can, cast a mass healing on all of us, focusing on yourself. Rarity and I will protect you.”

“Right…” Twilight said rising to her feet.

Applejack charged up her red element, then using Vigor on herself. She then rushed at Pinkamena with her blade, which now had a red streak behind her.

Twilight waited until Applejack jumped away, and then shot Pinkamena a few times with her arrows. Pinkamena was about to rush over to her, but Rarity jumped in the way pushing her back with her spear.

“I'll be fine!” Rarity said to Twilight, “Cast it now!”

Twilight nodded and charged up her element. She then cast a spell like Cure, but this time healing herself along with Rarity and Applejack. (Cure All)

Pinkamena spun around knocking Rarity back, and then jumped away, “You've gotten really good at working together. I might have to stop playing around with you soon.”

“Playing?!” Rarity shouted as Applejack and Twilight ran to her side, “You're not seriously still holding back, are you?!”

Pinkamena giggled, “Of course silly! Nightmare Moon doesn't want you dead.”

“Then what does she want?!” Applejack asked.

“I'm sure you'll find out soon enough. In the meantime though,” Pinkamena rushed at Rarity and Applejack, slashing both of them with her bladed hoop. Applejack slashed her away, but Pinkamena charged up her black element again, once again using Feral Cats on the group. This time, Twilight took a defensive stance to lessen the damage on herself, but Applejack sadly fell back screaming in pain.

“Applejack!” Twilight cried. Rarity turned to Applejack in shock, and then glared at Pinkamena. She wanted to unleash everything she had on her, but if she lost control…

But… it was too hard to not let her hatred consume her.

Twilight rushed to Applejack's side and checked for a pulse, “She's still alive. I might be able to heal her, but…”

“Think I'm going to let that happen?!” Pinkamena shouted. She rushed over to Twilight, prepared to slash her, but met Rarity's spear instead.

“Control… then aggression…!” Rarity seethed, feeling a dark aura consume her, “Control… then aggression…!” she pushed Pinkamena away, and then stood in front of Twilight, who was looking at her with wide eyes.

“Rarity…?” Twilight asked, “You sound…”

“I'm going… to rip you apart Pinkamena!” Rarity shouted. She did the first thing that came naturally, charging up her black element. This time though, she held her spear close to herself as if still charging.

“JUST DIE!!!” Rarity screamed. She spun her spear over her head as her entire body was engulfed in darkness. She now stood there, as a black shadowy silhouette of herself, her eyes glowing demonic red.

“Took you long enough!” Pinkamena said, “Finally learned Shadow Form, huh? Let's see what you can do with it!”

Pinkamena charged at Shadow Rarity, who stood her ground calmly. When Pinkamena reached her and slashed, Shadow Rarity quickly moved to the side out of the way. She then slashed at Pinkamena with her spear, moving so fast that Twilight could barely see her. Also, she was so aggressive.

Pinkamena flipped away, but Shadow Rarity rushed after her and continued slashing. She knocked Pinkamena into a wall, and then threw her spear at her to pin her there. Shadow Rarity then ran over to Pinkamena and slashed wildly with her hands, which were now black claws.

Twilight fell to her knees trembling. This wasn't Rarity. This wasn't her Rarity.

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“Stop…” Twilight begged, “Please… stop…!”

Shadow Rarity wouldn't stop though. Either she didn't hear Twilight, or she ignored her entirely. She continued to slash at Pinkamena for a bit longer, allowing her to fall to the ground after she was done. Shadow Rarity stood over her broken body and tilted her head to the side before raising her spear. Before she could impale Pinkamane though, she turned into water and broke down.

“Wow! Sure am glad that wasn't me!”

Twilight and Shadow Rarity turned to the window to see Pinkamena standing there, perfectly unharmed and clapping.

“H-How did you…?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, you didn't think I was going to let her kill me, did you?” Pinkamena said pointing a finger to her own head, “I'm crazy Twilight, but I'm not that crazy,” she turned to Shadow Rarity, who silently glared at her, “Now that's a good look for you, Chrono Trigger. Well, I think I bought enough time. Tootles!”

She jumped away as Shadow Rarity slashed at the air sending a black shock wave at Pinkamena. She was about to rush after her, but Twilight immediately ran over to her and embraced her from behind.

“Come back…!” Twilight sobbed, “Please come back Rarity…! This isn't you!”

Twi…light…” Shadow Rarity said slowly. After a second, the shadows dispersed leaving the true Rarity standing there, her eyes wide in horror.

“T-Twilight…?” Rarity asked trembling, “What… did I do…?”

“Oh Rarity!” Twilight cried, turning Rarity around and embracing her tightly. Rarity couldn't move to return the embrace, as she was just so horrified by what happened to her. She could remember everything, but the worst part wasn't that.

The worst part… she remembered that she loved it.

Applejack apparently recovered, as she slowly walked over to them and placed a hand on Twilight's back.

“Hey, we gotta move,” Applejack said, “DASH and Fluttershy are still in danger.”

“Right,” Twilight said releasing Rarity, who was still traumatized, “Rarity, come on.”

“I… I…” Rarity said. Applejack grabbed Rarity by her top and held her against a wall.

“Snap out of it!” Applejack ordered harshly, “There's a time and a place to get lost in your head, but the battlefield isn't it!”

Rarity took a deep breath and nodded vigorously. Did Applejack see what happened to her? Had she woken up by then? Applejack released Rarity and turned to the door.

“Come on. Let's get out of here,” Applejack said darkly. She ran out the door, Twilight following her closely. She stopped at the door and turned to Rarity.

“Rarity, are you-”

“No Twilight, I'm not,” Rarity said, the haughty flair in her voice not present, “But… Applejack is right. Let's go.”

Twilight nodded, and the two of them rushed out of the room.


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Outside things were a grizzly sight. Right in front of the mansion were DASH-379 and Spitfire, engaged in ferocious hand to hand combat. The two robots seemed completely unaware of anything that was going on around them. DASH had taken a lot of damage it seemed, as she was sparking a bit.

On the other side, Fluttershy and Discord were on their knees injured as Fleetfoot stood over them. Celestia was on the ground behind them helplessly trembling.

“Targets disabled,” Fleetfoot said calmly, “Continuing with the mission.”

“NO!!!” Celestia screamed, backing away from Fleetfoot as she walked past Discord and Fluttershy toward her.

DASH-379 charged up her yellow element, and then fired her Charge Shot at SPITFIRE, who fell to one knee hurt. DASH then rushed at SPITFIRE and began her own assault on the slightly larger android.

Right before Fleetfoot could grab Celestia, Fluttershy grabbed her foot.

“Not… take… Celestia…!” Fluttershy seethed.

“Target is still partially able,” Fleetfoot said turning to Fluttershy, “Continuing with termination sequence.”

She grabbed Fluttershy by her hair and held her up. Fleetfoot then charged up her blue element and stabbed Fluttershy in the stomach with her ice engulfed hand. Fluttershy's scream alerted DASH-379.

“FLUTTERSHY!!!” DASH shouted. She was about to rush to her aid, but Spitfire slashed her in the back with her fireblade, knocking her to the ground.

“Never take your eyes off your opponent, aberrant!” Spitfire shouted. She then charged up her red element and used her Eruption spell, causing the ground underneath DASH to explode and knocking her over to where Fleetfoot dropped Fluttershy.

“Fluttershy… live…!” DASH-379 shouted, “Please…!”

Rarity, Twilight, and Applejack ran outside just in time to see Fleetfoot and Spitfire prepare to fly off, Celestia screaming and struggling as Fleetfoot carried her over her shoulder.

“No!” Rarity shouted.

“You are too late, Chrono Trigger,” Spitfire said, “As expected, the aberrant stood no chance against me,” she walked over to DASH and grabbed her by the hair, “You are obsolete, Athena.”

“What… did you call me…?” DASH asked slowly. Spitfire let her head drop as the two evil androids flew off.

“No!” Applejack shouted running after them, “Your Majesty!”

“APPLEJACK!!!” Celestia screamed. It was hopeless though, as the two robots flew off too fast. Poor Applejack fell to her knees and pounded the ground in frustration.

“Damn it! DAMN IT!!! Not again!” she shouted. She was alerted by Twilight's screams of horror.

“Fluttershy and DASH are badly hurt!” Twilight cried.

“Can you heal them?” Rarity asked.

“Yes, but they're not moving for a good while!” Twilight fussed.

“If we don't go now though, we'll lose this world's Celestia!” Applejack exclaimed, “Damn it!”

“I know… where they're headed,” Discord said walking up to them, “Come with me… we'll heal your friends and prepare to rescue… Miss Celestia.”

“Thank you so much Discord!” Rarity said. With his help, they managed to get DASH and Fluttershy inside the mansion, but Applejack stayed outside for a bit longer, looking in the direction of where Spitfire and Fleetfoot took Celestia.

“Don't worry, my queen,” Applejack said, “I'll save you this time. I swear it.”

She rose to her feet and walked inside the mansion. If she was going to rescue Celestia, she needed to be prepared herself. She just hoped that Celestia would still be able to help them whenever they did find her.

There was no telling what they had in store for Celestia.

Machine: Darkness Within

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Machine – Darkness Within

The robots took Celestia to Tirek's lab, chaining her to a machine in the upper floor of the lab. She struggled against her bindings, but it was futile. The only way she was getting out of here would be if someone by some chance came to her rescue.

“Oh Discord…” Celestia said through her tears, “Please lead them here…” the door opened up and she saw the silhouette of Luna, wearing a long trench coat, large matching hat, and high heeled boots.

“It's so good to see you, my beloved sister,” Luna said sauntering into the room. In the room, Celestia could fully see her sister's form. Her trench coat and hat were both dark blue, and she wore dark red lipstick.

“Luna…” Celestia said trembling.

“Now that I have you… I plan on making sure we're never apart again…” Luna said, caressing Celestia's cheek. Celestia closed her eyes in fear, trembling from her sister's touch.


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Twilight finished the repairs on DASH-379 with Discord's help, and now turned her back on. As usual, her expression was first emotionless, but once her emotion circuit kicked back in she looked around frantically.

“Fluttershy!” DASH cried, sitting up from the table she was lying on, “Where is she?! Is she still-”

“Whoa, calm down!” Twilight urged, “Fluttershy is fine.”

DASH visibly calmed down, “She is?”

“Yes, during the fight against Pinkamena I learned a stronger healing art called Rejuvenate. It was just enough to heal her injuries,” Twilight said. DASH breathed out in relief and surprisingly hugged Twilight.

“Thank you Twilight,” DASH said. Twilight was taken aback, but she returned the hug after a second smiling.

“No problem,” Twilight said softly, “The others are in Celestia's office with Discord, getting the information about Celestia's whereabouts.”

“We should be present for that as well,” DASH said getting up from the table, “Let us go, Twilight.”

Twilight nodded and followed after DASH to Celestia's office. Inside, there were maids cleaning up from the fight already. Discord was by the computer with Applejack and Fluttershy standing over him looking for something.

“Ahh, wonderful,” Discord said not looking up from his computer, “Now everyone is present.”

“Where's Rarity?” Twilight asked. Applejack sighed and pointed to the right side of the window. Rarity was sitting on the edge, one knee close to her chest with a forlorn expression on her face.

“She's been like that since the fight ended,” Applejack said, “She won't even talk to Fluttershy.”

“Scared for Rarity,” Fluttershy said sadly, “Become distant, and quiet. I not like Rarity quiet.”

“Yeah, that is a red flag,” Twilight said, “I'll talk to her.”

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Twilight walked over to Rarity and sat down next to her, leaning against her shoulder.

“You know how much I hate this, don't you?” Twilight said softly, “Please talk to me.”

“What should I say…?” Rarity asked, still not using her usual flair, her voice instead sounding dark and somewhat cold.

“Tell me how you feel?” Twilight requested, “Let me know what's going on in your head right now.”

Rarity closed her eyes, “That art I used… Shadow Form… it felt different than my usual moves.”

“How so?”

“I felt like my mind changed…” Rarity stated, “Like I wasn't myself anymore. I think I was going to kill Pinkamena…”

“Sadly, we've killed a few people on this journey of ours,” Twilight said looking down, “It was in self defense, but yeah… I hadn't really thought about it until now.”

“I think it's starting to get to me…” Rarity admitted, “The more I go on, the darker I feel, and I think that form I turned into was a reflection of that,” Rarity leaned into Twilight, clutching her blazer tightly as she cried, “I'm scared, Twilight…!”

“R-Rarity…” Twilight said, taken aback by this sudden outburst.

“I think I'm losing control of my powers…! They keep growing beyond my control, and the longer I fight, the darker my mind feels…! They have to be connected…! If they are… I'll…”

“You'll what?” Twilight asked softly, “What do you think is going to happen?”

“I'll… become something… someone else…” Rarity looked into Twilight's eyes desperately, “Oh Twilight! You have to help me! I don't think I can control this anymore!”

“I'll help you,” Twilight said immediately, holding onto Rarity tightly, “What do you want me to do?”

“Hold me, please!” Rarity sobbed, “Just hold me, and keep being my light!”

“Then that's what I'll do,” Twilight said embracing Rarity tightly, “I'll protect you, even from your own darkness.”

“I love you Twilight,” Rarity said crying into Twilight's chest, “I love you so much!”

“I love you too, Rarity,” Twilight said, trying her hardest not to cry herself. Seeing Rarity like this was too much for her, but she had to keep it together. Rarity needed her to be strong.

end song

“And done,” Discord said, catching everyone's attention, “I've located Miss Celestia's signal.”

Rarity stood up with Twilight and they joined the group. They all saw on the map Celestia's signal was coming from what looked like a warehouse not too far from the mansion.

“I think I remember passing that place,” Twilight said.

“It is a weapon's factory where robot soldiers are created,” DASH said, unaware that Discord looked up at her briefly.

“DASH born there?” Fluttershy asked. DASH-379 giggled.

“I am not sure about that, Fluttershy,” DASH said, “Perhaps, but I do not remember where I was created.”

“Is that so…?” Discord said to himself. Twilight raised an eyebrow looking at him.

“Then that's where we're going next,” Rarity said walking to the door, “Let's get going.”

“Hold on,” Applejack called out, stopping Rarity, “You're not ready yet.”

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“What do you mean I'm not ready?” Rarity asked turning to Applejack.

“You're head isn't straight,” Applejack stated folding her arms, “I know that look in your eyes. It's the look of someone clouded, unsure of what to do.”

“I know what to do!” Rarity shot completely turning to Applejack.

“Do you?” Applejack challenged, “I don't think you know anything anymore. I think you're confused, and scared, and you're trying to force yourself to keep going.”

“Don't talk to me like you know what's going on in my head!” Rarity shouted, “You don't know anything about me, or what I'm going through right now!”

“Rarity, stop!” Fluttershy urged, “Sound scary. Not like Rarity.”

“No, let her,” Applejack said holding out a hand, “If you think you know better than me, prove it,” Applejack walked past Rarity, stopping next to her, “I'll be waiting for you outside. Make sure your spear is ready.”

Applejack walked out of the mansion. Everyone was silent, looking at Rarity to see what she'd do next. She looked down trembling, but then grabbed her spear and stormed toward the door.

“Rarity!” Twilight called out. Rarity stopped for a split second, but then continued out the door. Twilight looked at DASH and Fluttershy, and the three of them ran to the door.

“DASH, wait,” Discod called out stopping DASH.

“What? My friends need me!”

“They'll be fine. I need to give you something though,” Discord said seriously. DASH frowned at DISCORD, wondering what he needed from her.

end song


When Rarity got outside, she saw Applejack standing far ahead of her. She had her arms folded, and looked at Rarity intently. Rarity knew what Applejack wanted, and although she was a lady, Rarity never backed down from a challenge.

Besides, Applejack doubted her. Rarity didn't like that at all.

Rarity walked over to Applejack and pointed her spear at her, “I don't know what you're hoping to prove, but if it's a fight you want, then let's do this!”

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Applejack raised an eyebrow, but then drew her sword and shield, getting in her fighting stance. Twilight and Fluttershy ran out, looking at the display in horror.

“Come on you two! We don't have time for this!” Twilight fussed, “Celestia needs us!”

“Don't fight! Friends not fight!” Fluttershy urged.

“This won't be much of a fight, I assure you,” Applejack stated. Rarity gritted her teeth glaring at Applejack.

“You're going to regret saying that, Applejack!” Rarity shouted, getting her fighting stance. She charged at Applejack, swinging wildly with her spear. Applejack effortlessly blocked her attacks with her shield, and then used the opening she saw to kick Rarity back.

Applejack then charged in, slashing in a more controlled manner. Rarity blocked her attacks, but she was having a bit of trouble. Applejack and Rarity clashed weapons, but Applejack easily knocked Rarity to the ground.

“Rarity!” Twilight cried. Fluttershy covered her face with her hands.

Applejack charged up her red element, and then shot her Fireballs rapidly at Rarity, who rolled to her feet and ran in a circle around Applejack. Rarity then charged back at Applejack, using her spear as a lever to kick Applejack, who once again held up her shield in defense.

Ugh! I hate that shield! Why can't I get past it!

“What's the matter, Rarity?” Applejack asked, “You haven't actually hit me once.”

“Shut up!” Rarity shouted. She charged at Applejack again, slashing even more wildly than before. Applejack used her shield to push most of the slashes back, and then did a spin slash knocking Rarity back.

Rarity flipped to her feet, and then charged up her black element. She was about to fire her Shadow Ball, but then saw a flash of her Shadow Form. On instinct she held some of the energy back, firing a slightly smaller Shadow Ball than normal.

A Shadow Ball that Applejack had no problem knocking away with her sword.

“If that's the best you can do this fight is over,” Applejack said. She charged up her element again, this time casting Vigor on herself. She then charged at Rarity, slashing with her now empowered blade. Rarity did her best to block her attacks, but Applejack managed to once again knock her to the ground.

Applejack raised her blade above her head, and Rarity screamed as the blade came down.

end song

“RARITY!!!” both Twilight and Fluttershy cried at the same time. Applejack slammed the blade onto the ground right next to Rarity, creating a small impact crater in the ground. Rarity slowly looked at the blade next to her, breathing heavily with her eyes wide. She then looked up at Applejack, who looked at her sternly, but with concern as well.

“Had I not had more control, that would have killed you,” Applejack said, “I'm your ally, but your enemy will take that chance if they see it. What would you have done then?”

“I… I don't…” Rarity stammered.

play song

“Exactly,” Applejack said standing up and sheathing her blade, “You don't know. Right now you're mind is clouded by fear. I saw you hesitate to use Shadow Ball just now. You're trying to hold your power back.”

Rarity averted her eyes away from Applejack. She hated how insightful Applejack always was.

“If you're not sure of yourself, then find something you are sure of, and cling your hope to that,” Applejack said kneeling down in front of Rarity, “We don't have the luxury of you sitting this out, and we don't have time to let you recover. You need to figure out what's going on with this,” she pointed to Rarity's forehead, “before you even think about trying to use this,” she held Rarity's spear up, “Otherwise, you're going to die.”

“But… what if I lose control…?” Rarity asked trembling, “What if my power… hurts someone I care about…?”

“As long as your heart has something pure to hold onto, you don't have to worry about that,” Applejack said, “The power is yours, Rarity. At all points, you're the one who decides what to do with it.”

“Something… pure?” Rarity looked back at Twilight, who looked so worried for her. It tore Rarity's heart into pieces seeing her and Fluttershy so upset.

DASH-379 stepped out at that moment, looking around confused, “Did I miss something?”

“Applejack was… just knocking some sense into me,” Rarity said as Applejack helped her up. She looked at Applejack with a soft smile, and Applejack returned the gesture with a nod.

“Ooookay then, well I am ready to go,” DASH said with a shrug.

“What were you doing all this time anyway?” Twilight asked as they all gathered together.

“Discord transferred a few special files to me,” DASH stated, “These will allow me to track down the Celestia of this world via her electronic implants.”

“Can we use these to find her in my world too?” Applejack asked.

“That should be possible,” DASH said, “But I will need a fragment of DNA from the Celestia of this world first.”

“Um… not completely understand,” Fluttershy said turning her head in confusion, “But we find Celestia here first, then find Applejack's Celestia?”

“That seems to be the basic gist of it, yeah,” Twilight said.

“Then let's head out,” Rarity said, “I think we've wasted enough time as is.”

As the group started to head off, Twilight grabbed Rarity's hand.

“Are you going to be okay?” Twilight asked Rarity.

“Remember what I asked you to do for me earlier?” Rarity asked Twilight, not turning to her, “I'm truly going to need that.”

Twilight squeezed Rarity's hand as a response. Rarity returned the gesture and ran after the group. She put on her best confident face, but she wasn't sure if she'd be able to control herself. Her fear was probably apparent, as everyone kept turning to her silently asking if she was okay.

Honestly, I'm not okay.

I just want to find Sunset Shimmer and put an end to all of this before I lose my mind…


play song

With DASH-379 guiding them, it didn't take them long to reach the large metallic building, which was definitely a factory of some sort. Rarity found herself wondering what the heck a factory of this size could be manufacturing, or who could have owned it.

Surrounding the building was a metal fence, preventing anyone from entering without authorization.

“So Twilight,” Rarity asked with a cheeky smile, “Any idea how to get inside of here?”

“Why would I know?” Twilight asked. Rarity shrugged her shoulders.

“Well, I figured something like this happened in one of those RPG games you play, so that's the best place to start.”

“Okay, first of all, RPG stands for role playing game, so you just said game twice technically,” Rarity rolled her eyes, “Second of all, just because this situation is like an RPG doesn't mean-” she cut herself off and looked ahead, “Got it.”

As she ran off, Rarity, DASH, Fluttershy, and Applejack all shrugged and followed after her. She stopped behind a large carrier truck which was stopped at the front gate.

“DASH, can you get us inside the back of this?” Twilight asked. DASH-379 looked at the truck, and nodded.

“Affirmative Twilight,” DASH said, “You wish to use this to sneak inside?”

“Yep yep. If you can't find a secret passage inside, just hide in the trunk of the enemy's truck,” Twilight said, quite proud of herself actually.

“Was this a trick you learned from the “role playing game” Rarity mentioned?” Applejack asked. Twilight wanted to deny it, but after a while just sighed sadly looking down.

“Twilight smart,” Fluttershy said, “Twilight use “role playing game” to guide us.”

“I think making her our consultant in these situations would be best,” DASH-379 said. Twilight looked at all of them painfully, and then turned to Rarity, who could barely hold in her laughter.

“Look what you did,” Twilight said glaring at Rarity.

“I'm not apologizing, either,” Rarity said playfully, “So come along, team. Let's get inside before they leave us here.”

DASH-379 carefully opened the trunk of the carrier, and the five of them went inside. A second later, the carrier moved into the factory. Inside of the carrier, the group looked around to see metallic crates labeled “weapons” and “legs”, stuff like that.

“Are these… robot parts?” Twilight asked.

“Remember, this place is a weapon's development factory,” DASH-379 said, “These must be the parts used to develop the weapons.”

“They got arms, legs,” Applejack shuddered, “Okay, this is getting morbid. How are you all not freaking out right now?”

“Well… it's not like they're real body parts,” Rarity said, “They're robot parts, like DASH. Um, not to say you aren't real DASH.”

“I understand the meaning,” DASH said with a shrug, “And you are not incorrect. These are not parts from living people. They are machine parts, meant to make something akin to me.”

“Honestly, knowing that is even more frightening,” Applejack said, “They just make people like Facet makes our weapons.”

Facet? Was that Applejack's blacksmith?

“Not people, weapons,” DASH said, “Remember, I am not alive in the sense as all of you. I am created more or less to be a humanoid version of that sword you wield on your side. The same goes for all of the robots being made here.”

“DASH…” Fluttershy said looking down somberly. DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy, closed her eyes, and walked to the back of the trunk.

“Once they stop, we need to leave immediately to avoid being spotted,” DASH said, “I will keep watch, and alert you all when it is time.”

Everyone was silent for a good few seconds after that. It was Fluttershy who broke the silence.

“DASH still thinks she's just weapon…” she pouted.

“We don't know all the details of this world,” Twilight said, “As far as we know, she might be just that.”

“DASH is friend though,” Fluttershy fussed, “DASH not weapon. DASH think. DASH feel. DASH alive like me.”

Fluttershy ran to another section of the trunk to be alone. Twilight sighed shaking her head.

“It's so hard explaining these things to her,” Twilight said.

“She sees things in a more simple way than we do,” Rarity reasoned, “That's probably why the two of them are so close. She doesn't see a difference.”

“I don't know much about robots, but from what I'm getting at, DASH is created to be a walking and talking weapon, right?” Applejack asked.

“That's the gist of it,” Twilight said, “She was created for a particular reason, but we don't know what that reason was for. She's malfunctioning, so she doesn't follow her programming.”

“So she's just walking around doing whatever she pleases, completely unguided?” Applejack asked. When both Rarity and Twilight nodded, Applejack gave her trademark shudder, “Not sure how I feel about that.”

“Trust us, neither does she,” Rarity said looking at DASH-379, “I think she's scared of herself. That's why she sort of distances herself from the rest of us.”

“But she's a robot,” Twilight said, “I can understand programming her a personality, but why would anyone give her the ability to feel fear?”

Rarity didn't know how to answer that question. To be honest, she didn't know what to make of DASH-379 period. Yes, she was very much like her own Rainbow Dash, but she was still a robot created with a purpose. From her understanding of that purpose, there was no reason for DASH-379 to be like this at all.

In fact, it would have made more sense for her to be like Spitfire and Fleetfoot.

The carrier stopped after a bit, and the five of them gathered by the back of the trunk. DASH-379 opened the door, and lead them through a hallway before any of the guard robots could spot them. The group stopped in a computer room with two doors. One in the far end of the room, but the other one off to the side.

DASH-379 walked over to the door at the back of the room and tried to open it.

“This door leads to where Celestia is being held,” DASH said.

“I'm guessing you can't get it open though?” Applejack asked walking over to DASH.

“Negative. The controls for this door are probably in another part of the factory.”

“So what do we do?” Rarity asked, “Do we all go search for the controls?”

“That's not a good idea,” Twilight said, “If we all go, we'll attract too much attention. Also, if we leave a few people here, they can go through and retrieve Celestia once the door opens.”

“Thus less backtracking,” Rarity said, “Good. I think three searching would be enough.”

“Then two stay here,” Fluttershy said, “Who go, and who stay?”

“I'm definitely going to search for the controls,” Rarity said, “If I stand still for too long, I'll start thinking about things…”

Applejack looked at Rarity intently, and then turned to Twilight, “Go with her.”

“M-me?” Twilight asked, “Not that mind going with Rarity. I really don't mind that at all, but why me?”

“For one thing, you're the healer, so if Rarity and whoever else she takes gets hurt, you can heal them. Also, she seems to be calmer with you close to her. Essentially, I feel safer knowing the two of you are together.”

Twilight looked at Rarity, who briefly looked at her before averting her eyes somberly. She knew exactly what she was worried about. Just in case she turned into that thing again…

“If that is the case, Rarity should take one more person with her,” DASH stated, “You will need a strong fighter to travel with you to protect Twilight.”

“Geez, I'm not used to being this protected,” Twilight said.

“You're the most important one here, after all,” Rarity said.

“While I do not agree with that in the slightest, I'll accept it since you said it,” Twilight said, “Now, who else are we taking with us?”

Rarity turned to the group and looked around. It was ironic, as all three of her alternate choices were all from different worlds than herself and Twilight. She weighed her options carefully, thinking about each one of them.

Fluttershy was a very skilled fighter, and chances were they'd run into a lot of enemies with Yellow elements, meaning her Green element would be effective. Sadly, that also meant she'd be hurt more, and Rarity wasn't about to put her best friend in danger like that.

Applejack had a lot of offensive abilities and the best defense, but her element probably wouldn't do much against what was ahead. Besides, she clearly didn't like this world too much. They'd need someone who could adjust to her surroundings the best.

DASH-379 had the advantage of being from this world. Also, she could scan the robots to see what elements they used, giving them an edge in battle. Finally, with her being a Yellow adept herself, she'd have the best defense against whatever came their way. It seemed like she was the smartest choice.

As such, Rarity walked over to DASH.

“You are taking me with you?” DASH-379 asked.

“I think it's the best choice for what's ahead,” Rarity said. DASH smirked rubbing her nose.

“Damn right it was the best choice,” she bragged, “I will look out for you no problem.”

“DASH, be careful,” Fluttershy said hugging DASH.

“Aw, I will be fine, Fluttershy,” DASH said returning the hug, “You stay close to Applejack alright?”

Fluttershy nodded and ran back to Applejack's side.

“When you open the door, try to find your way to where we are,” Applejack said, “We'll manage, but we're definitely going to require help in rescuing the Celestia of this world.”

“We'll hurry to your side,” Twilight said, “I'll make sure everyone gets there safely.”

Rarity nodded to Applejack, “Let's go team.”

Rarity, Twilight, and DASH-379 ran through the second door, which led to a staircase going to the higher floors.

Rarity's group carefully made their way down the hall, trying their best to avoid combat as much as possible. According to DASH, all the robots here ran on a single network, so if one saw them, they'd all know where they were.

It was tense, but it definitely confirmed that Twilight's decision to go in a smaller team was spot on. Rarity was definitely going to check out some of these games whenever she got the chance.

The group stopped in a large room, which all had the same variety of android scattered around. These androids looked very similar to DASH-379, but their shoulder pads weren't as sharp as hers, their boots not as fancy, and their bodies nowhere near as full figured as DASH. Their hair was dark blue with purple and magenta streaks lining it, but not as long as DASH-379's hair, which even tied in a ponytail still went down to her waist. Beyond that though, they all looked exactly the same as her in the face.

“What sort of robots are these?” Rarity asked looking around.

“They're so many of them,” Twilight said, “They all look the same too.”

“That is not uncommon,” DASH said catching the two girls' attention, “In fact, most robots are mass produced. Why do you think my serial number is DASH-379?”

“That's… the amount of robots… in your line?” Rarity asked, suddenly trying to imagine hundreds of robots just like DASH-379, which just didn't make sense to her.

Yet still, DASH shrugged her shoulders, “Basically. There were approximately 379 robots before me, all of them looking just like me. I am the best in my line, yes, but I am not one of a kind.”

“Um… you might want to rethink that statement,” Twilight said, “Take a look at this.”

play song

DASH and Rarity walked over to Twilight, who was looking at one of the robots standing. Rarity and DASH looked closely at the robot's shoulder, and were shocked by what they saw etched there.

DASH-246…

Rarity looked back at DASH-379, who looked really confused and afraid almost. Rarity looked at her shoulder closely, and saw her serial number etched in the same spot.

DASH-379 ran around the room, checking all of them.

“DASH-225,” DASH said before running to another robot, “DASH-346, DASH-193, DASH-025?!” DASH stepped back looking in shock, “They have been using this build for this long?!”

“DASH, what's the matter, darling?” Rarity asked, she and Twilight walking over to her, “You look so pale.”

“These robots… they are my line…” DASH-379 said trembling, “These are the… other 379 robots… in my series…”

“So this means they probably decided to chance the appearance with you,” Rarity reasoned, “It would be too boring to have robots that all look the same, right?”

“Rarity, robotics don't work like that,” Twilight said, catching Rarity's attention.

“What do you mean?” Rarity asked.

“When you create a machine of any sort that you plan on making more of, you generally don't alter the build. That's so you can easily assemble them. The fact that there are so many robots that use this build would mean… this is technically what our DASH is supposed to look like.”

“It is more than just appearance,” DASH-379 said distantly, “Build, weapons, statistics, all of them would be completely altered. I knew I was the best in my line, but…”

Twilight looked ahead and saw a terminal. She ran to it and checked it, smiling almost immediately.

“Okay, I have real good news,” Twilight said, “This controls the doors on the ground floor. Using this, Fluttershy and Applejack will be able to take the elevator.”

“Wonderful,” Rarity said walking over to Twilight and hugging her from behind, “Let's get that door open then.”

“Not yet,” DASH said stopping them, “I need to check something first.”

“DASH?” Rarity asked as DASH-379 stormed over to them, shoved Twilight away from the controls, and started typing furiously.

“Hey! What happened to “my needs come second”?” Twilight asked.

“The second you open that door, the security is going to close the system, locking us out,” DASH-379 said, “This is my one chance to learn something about why I was created, and I am not passing this up.”

DASH pulled up a screen showing the number of DASH units accounted for in the room. Twilight shrugged her shoulders and looked it over with DASH-379, while Rarity looked over their shoulders, trying to understand what they were seeing.

It didn't work.

“Looking at this, five robots are missing from this line,” Twilight said.

“The first one would be the prototype,” DASH-379 said, “She would not be here. She would also have a different build, but she would be kept someplace else. Her information is not stored here anyway, nor is the one right after her.”

“What about the other three?” Rarity asked.

“Their information is right here,” DASH-379 said, “I am pulling up information on units 377 and 378.”

When the images came up, all three of them were shocked. The robots on display were two they knew very well.

“DASH-377, codenamed FLEETFOOT… and DASH-378, codenamed SPITFIRE…?” Twilight asked, “Aren't these the robots that took Celestia?”

“They are,” Rarity said, “Check the final one.”

DASH nodded, and slowly pulled up the information on the last one. It was in a special file, showing that this robot was clearly different than the others. Said file was named “ATHENA”.

DASH opened the file, and her eyes went wide. The image was of herself.

“DASH-379… codenamed ATHENA?” Rarity said, “DASH darling, is that your name?”

“I… I do not…” DASH started typing furiously on the keyboard, scaring both Twilight and Rarity. After a second, they saw a video come up. This video showed DASH-379 going through training drills fighting other robots. While she was naturally ruthless in combat, the way she fought in the video was just… off. The DASH-379 there didn't care about her opponent at all, actually ripping the arm off before blowing its head off.

What Rarity was struck by though was her expression. It wasn't emotionless, but it was definitely more of a blank look.

“Oh my God…” Rarity said covering her mouth in horror.

Twilight pulled up more information on DASH-379, and was honestly surprised by what she saw.

“Looking at this, Athena has more destructive power than all the DASH-units in her series combined,” Twilight said.

“Really?” Rarity asked.

“Not only does she have a fully developed mana-drive, which allows her to channel elements, but she also has the ability to learn… and grow stronger. Each battle she fights increases her power. Looking at these weapons… it looks like these robots are all soldier class.”

“I thought DASH was a security robot though,” Rarity said.

“That's what I was thinking, but then again we've seen security robots, and they don't look human. These robots… oh dear…”

“What?” DASH-379 asked, “What did you see?”

“DASH… I don't…” Twilight looked away, but DASH grabbed her by the arms earnestly.

“Tell me, please!” DASH begged, “Why are these robots here?! What was I made for?!”

Rarity was wide eyed looking at DASH-379. She didn't know what was more terrifying; seeing DASH so afraid, or whatever it was Twilight saw.

Twilight swallowed nervously, “According to these files… these robots are made… to kill humans.”

DASH-379 stepped away from Twilight, looking back at the screen showing Athena.

“If the other robots in DASH's line are killing machines… does that make our DASH…?” Rarity asked slowly.

“Looking at her capabilities compared to the others in her line, I'd say this “Athena” was probably akin to a doomsday machine.”

“No…” DASH said shaking her head, “No…! NO!!! THAT IS NOT ME!!! I AM NOT A KILLING MACHINE!!!”

“D-DASH…?” Rarity asked, holding Twilight in fear. She had never seen DASH get this upset.

“I… I cannot be…! It is… impossible…! I am… I am… AHHH!!!!” DASH screamed, falling to her knees and holding her head in pain.

“DASH!” Twilight cried, she and Rarity running to her side, “Are you okay? What's wro-”

“DON'T TOUCH ME!!!” DASH screamed. Both Rarity and Twilight stepped away a bit, but Rarity was shocked by something.

play song

Did she just… use a contraction…?

“Stop it! STOP IT!!! IT'S NOT TRUE!!! IT'S NOT TRUE!!! I'M NOT A KILLING MACHINE!!! I'M NOT!!!!”

She was using contractions. Rarity was sure of it now. She was also sure that something happened to DASH-379. She was definitely this “Athena” robot, but between that video and now, something happened to change her.

Rarity walked over to the crying robot and knelt down in front of her.

“DASH honey, look at me,” Rarity said. DASH-379 shook her head, but Rarity placed a hand on her shoulder, “Please look at me. We're your friends, DASH.”

“Y-you saw… right…?” DASH sobbed, “That robot was me! The memories are still blocked… but I feel them! I feel them trying to come out! Trying to make me… remember…!”

“Okay, so that robot was you,” Rarity said, “That's not who you are now. You're with us of your own free will, and you're fighting alongside us.”

“But… I am malfunctioning… r-remember…?” DASH asked, slowly looking up at Rarity, “I do not know what I am doing… nor do I trust my programming. My programming is everything, Rarity. It is what makes me me. To know that my base programming is…”

“Maybe… you malfunctioning is a good thing then.”

They both turned to Twilight, who was standing back at the computer looking at the screen.

“What…?” DASH-379 asked.

“You're a Maverick basically, a robot that's rebelling against it's original programming. If that's the case, then technically you're supposed to be our enemy,” Twilight turned to DASH and smiled, “But you're not. You're one of us.”

“Remember the first thing you did when you met us,” Rarity said taking DASH's hands, “You protected us. Also, when we were captured by Applejack's men, you fought to save us even though you were close to being destroyed. Maybe you are malfunctioning. I don't claim to know much of anything about machines,” she moved a strand of DASH's hair behind her ear, “But if you're going against your programming, then that means Athena was, is a truly good person. Without your programming, you have free will. Tell me, what do you want to do now? What's the first thing that comes to mind?”

“I… I want to continue… helping you…” DASH-379 said immediately. Rarity smiled.

“Very good, and why is that?” Rarity asked.

“You are… my… friend…” DASH said before hugging Rarity tightly, “Yes…! You… Twilight… Applejack… and… Fluttershy… All of you are… my friends!”

“That's right, and you're our friend too,” Rarity said closing her eyes and returning the embrace, “I personally don't care what sort of robot you are, DASH.”

“Neither do I,” Twilight said, “You more than proved you're on our side. Even if the robot you were made to be was some sort of killing machine, that doesn't mean you're one now.”

“What happens… if my memories return though?” DASH-379 asked letting Rarity go, “I am still a machine. I do not know what would happen once my programming corrects itself.”

“Well, I don't see that happening on it's own,” Twilight stated, “If it does though, we'll deal with it then.”

DASH turned to Rarity, who nodded in agreement. DASH stood up, wiped her eyes, and then perked up.

“Thanks you two,” DASH-379 said, “Can we maybe… keep this between the three of us for now though?”

“Sure,” Rarity said, “I doubt Fluttershy would understand anyway. Applejack might, but let's not test it.”

“With that done,” Twilight said, “We still have a mission here. I think it's time we took care of that.”

“Yes, I believe so,” Rarity said.

Twilight went over to the control panel and pushed a few buttons. Once that was done, the alarm went off immediately, and the system locked itself down.

play song

“Just like you said, the system locked us out,” Twilight said, “I can definitely confirm though that the door opened. Applejack and Fluttershy are probably making their way to the room Celestia is trapped in.”

“What about us?” Rarity asked, “How do we get there?”

“There should be another elevator somewhere in this facility,” DASH-379 stated, “If we can hack our way inside the system, it should open for us.”

“Then take us there,” Rarity said, “Twilight, once we reach the elevator, hack into the system while DASH and I protect you.”

Twilight nodded. As soon as they reached the door, security robots burst through. These were of the same variety as the kind they were used to, two of them floating in mid air with gun arms and one being larger with treadmills for feet, but they had heavier armor it seemed.

The larger robot, clearly the leader of this squad, began charging up a yellow element. It then held its arm out and shot lightning bolts at all three girls.

After they recovered, Rarity and DASH both charged in. Rarity focused on the two smaller ones while DASH fought the larger one. Twilight ran away a bit and focused on supporting both of them with her arrows, mainly trying to build up energy to heal.

DASH was the first one to jump back, charging up her element. Instead of attacking, she cast Speed Boost on Rarity, who was now able to dodge their attacks easier.

“Thank you,” Rarity said to DASH, gasping in shock when she saw the large robot prepared to attack, “DASH, watch out!”

DASH-379 looked up a little too late, and was knocked back by the robots large arm. Seeing that did something odd to Rarity. She felt darkness rising within her.

Oh no! It's that… power again!

I can't let it consume me!

Sensing Rarity's struggle, Twilight immediately charged up her element, casting a stronger Cure spell on DASH (Rejuvenate). DASH-379 kicked to her feet and resumed her fight against the leading robot.

“Rarity, DASH is fine!” Twilight called out, “I used a new spell to- AHH!!!” she was cut off by a blaster shot aimed for her. The other smaller drone targeted Twilight and was firing at her, forcing her to run deeper into the room.

“Twilight!” Rarity cried. She charged up her element and used her Grim Slash on the drone she was fighting to quickly finish it, and then rushed after Twilight.

“Shoot! I have to end this fast!” DASH exclaimed. She jumped into the security robot and did a drill kick into it's stomach, and then charged up her element. This time though, she noticed a new function activated within her. Should she trust it?

No choice really.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA mode!” DASH-379 shouted. This time, energy burst out of her body, which now had golden electricity coming off of it. Out of her head piece came a dark red visor that completely covered her eyes, giving her a colder and more dangerous look. The security robot fired at DASH with its machine gun, but she quickly flipped to the side out of the way and pointed both of her arms. She then fired two piercing beams at the robot, going through it and instantly destroying it.

She stood up and turned to where Rarity and Twilight were. Instead of calling out to them, walked over to their fight and activated her arm cannon.

Rarity wasn't able to focus on attacking, as she was too busy trying to keep Twilight safe. She knew that if anything happened to Twilight, that form was going to take hold, and she couldn't let that happen no matter what.

“Rarity! You have to fight back!” Twilight urged, “If you don't this robot will-”

“If I fight back, it'll attack you!” Rarity cried, “I have to protect you! I can't let that thing…!”

“Oh Rarity…” Twilight said, looking at Rarity sadly. The drone managed to break through Rarity's defense and knocked her to the side, “Rarity!”

Rarity forced herself to her feet, and looked in horror as the drone loomed over Twilight.

“No…! No!” Rarity screamed, that darkness building up again within her, “I can't… let her… get… hurt…!”

Right before the aura could completely engulf her, an electric shot hit the drone, paralyzing it. Rarity and Twilight looked and saw DASH-379 walking up to it, her arm cannon pointed forward still in that alternate form.

“D-DASH…?” Rarity asked, slowly coming back to reality.

“I think… that's Athena…” Twilight said.

Once she reached the drone, DASH-379 grabbed it with one hand, and threw it off behind her. She slowly turned to it and charged up her element without any effort. She then charged up her cannon, firing her Charged Shot at it. When that didn't destroy it, she fired another Charged Shot at the drone, this time blowing it to pieces.

end song

The fight over, whatever possessed DASH left, as the electricity stopped going through her body and the visor retracted.

“Are you all alrigh-” she cut herself off by falling to her knees, seemingly exhausted.

“DASH!!!” Twilight and Rarity cried at the same time. Twilight put her hand on DASH's shoulder, but then recoiled shaking her hand in pain.

play song

“My God! DASH, are you overheating?!” Twilight asked.

“Looks like… a side effect of that… other mode…” DASH-379 explained, “I felt… a familiar power… but my systems can't handle it… quite yet…”

“That was your past self wasn't it?” Rarity asked, “Athena?”

“I believe so,” DASH-379 said, looking up at Rarity with a familiar smile, “You have to admit, scary as that was, I looked pretty damn cool, right?”

Rarity was wide eyed. DASH just embraced her past self, becoming that killing machine again, and she was still herself afterward? Her thoughts went back to the past, when her Rainbow Dash had done something similar.

Flashback

You really shouldn't push yourself so hard, Dash,” Rarity fussed, carrying Rainbow Dash over her shoulder back to the gym in Canterlot High, Fluttershy walking with them. Poor Rainbow Dash was exhausted after fighting some bully harassing both Rarity and Fluttershy.

I couldn't just let that asshole get away with that,” Rainbow Dash said as they set her down on a bleacher, “You know I don't like doing that sort of stuff, but he was asking for it.”

You looked so terrifying,” Fluttershy said sitting down next to Rainbow Dash, “It was like you were a completely different person.”

Yeah, I guess I did,” Rainbow Dash looked at both Rarity and Fluttershy with a huge grin though, “But you gotta admit, I looked pretty awesome, right?”

Rarity was so taken aback by that. Dash hated fighting, as it reminded her of a time when she almost became a bully herself. Even still, she fought to protect her friends, to the point where she couldn't even stand anymore.

Rarity tightened her fist, vowing on that day to be stronger. She wasn't going to let Rainbow Dash have to put herself through that again.

End flashback

Back then, Rarity had started falling behind on her training, which forced Rainbow Dash to have to bring out a side of herself she didn't really like. She had promised herself that she'd always be strong, so she could bear those sins for her friends.

Yet here she was now, falling behind again. Once again, Rainbow Dash had to unleash a side of herself that she hated, and yet still smiled. Rarity tightened her fist just like she did back then.

“I'm sorry,” Rarity said turning away from everyone, “This is what Applejack was trying to show me earlier. The truth is… I'm scared of my power now. I turned into something while you were fighting Spitfire, and completely lost control of myself. I'm worried that… I'll become that thing again…” she started crying, “But this time… I won't be able to pull myself back!”

DASH-379 looked up at her intently, forced herself to her feet, and took Rarity's hand. Thankfully she had started cooling down.

“That monster was you,” DASH said, “But it is not who you are now. Is that not what you told me earlier?”

Rarity looked at DASH, who was giving her a reassuring smile, a lot like what her Rainbow Dash did when comforting a friend by throwing something they said to her right back at them.

“Don't worry if you lose control,” Twilight said, “Just focus on me when that form comes out, and you should be fine. If not, I'll bring you back.”

Rarity nodded to her friends and picked up her spear, “Come along then, darlings. We can't leave our friends waiting.”

“That sounds like the Rarity we know,” DASH said, “I am cooled down now, so we should depart before more drones show up.”

As the three of them ran out of the room, Rarity thought about that form, Shadow Form as Pinkamena called it. She didn't want to have to use it, but it was going to eventually take hold of her.

I… can't escape it, or run away.

If that's the case, I'll just have to control myself when it happens.

No matter what, I won't hurt my friends.

Machine: DIRECTIVE OVERRIDE

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Machine – DIRECTIVE OVERRIDE

Applejack and Fluttershy wasted no time running through the door once it opened. They plowed through all the machines that tried to get in their way, as they didn't want to keep Celestia waiting for too long. All they could do was hope that she'd still be alive when they got there.

They took the elevator at the end of the hall up to the top floor, emerging in another hallway. Here they found a large circular room almost like an arena. Lying in the middle of the room was Celestia.

“Your Majesty!” Applejack cried, she and Fluttershy running to Celestia's side, “Damn it! Are we too late?”

Fluttershy looked ahead of them, and then shot to her feet getting in a fighting stance, “Applejack! Not alone!”

Applejack looked up and saw Spitfire and Fleetfoot walk toward them.

“I am surprised the aberrant isn't here,” Spitfire said with a sneer.

“This makes things easier,” Fleetfoot said, “We can kill the two of you before Athena arrives.”

“I don't know who Athena is,” Applejack said standing up and drawing her sword, “but we don't plan on dying here!”

“You hurt Celestia! You hurt Rarity! You hurt DASH! I destroy bad robots who hurt friends!” Fluttershy seethed. Spitfire laughed.

“Athena's pet has fangs it seems,” Spitfire taunted, “Maybe seeing you ripped to pieces will be the wake up call she needs.”

Now Applejack was really confused. Who was “Athena” anyway? It sounded like they were talking about… DASH-379.

That didn't matter though. What mattered was that they were in a lot of trouble. They were both strong fighters, but no one had been able to defeat these two yet, and that was with them all together. Right now, it was just the two of them.

This wasn't looking good for either of them.


Rarity, Twilight, and DASH-379 stopped at a crossroad, as the path broke up into three halls.

“Which way is it to the elevator?” Rarity asked. DASH-379 looked around.

“The radar is pointing me to the hallway on the left,” DASH-379 said. The three of them ran down that hall, but were ambushed by two security robots standing right in front of the elevator.

play song

“We're so close!” Twilight fussed.

“Rarity, are you prepared for this?” DASH-379 asked Rarity, who gripped her spear tightly.

“I have to be. I can't keep letting my fears of my powers hold me back,” Rarity said getting in her fighting stance, “DASH, Twilight, get ready!”

DASH-379 and Rarity both ran to one of the security robots, fighting them close quarter to gather energy. The robot that DASH was fighting knocked her away, and then charged up a yellow element, hitting Rarity with a lightning bolt.

Twilight got on one knee and fired her arrows at the security robot Rarity was fighting. Once she had enough energy, she charged up her white element, and used Rejuvenate on Rarity, who immediately flipped to her feet and charged up her black element.

As a testament of her not holding back, she held out her hands, launching Feral Cats at both of the security robots, causing heavy damage to both of them. Before they could think to retaliate, DASH-379 rushed in and drill kicked one of the security robots destroying it. She charged up her element, and then held up her hand, letting a lightning bolt hit it. With her hand charged with electricity, she rushed at the remaining security robot, using her Elec Sword to destroy it.

play song

“We need to hurry,” DASH-379 said turning to her companions.

“I'll hack into the elevator's security,” Twilight said running to the console. As she worked, DASH-379 walked over to Rarity.

“Hey, you said you have an alternate form like me now, correct?” DASH-379 asked.

“Something like that, yes,” Rarity stated, “Why?”

DASH-379 looked to the side and frowned, “I do not like asking for help directly, but I have to admit, even with my new power I am still inferior to Spitfire and Fleetfoot. ATHENA-Mode only works for a few minutes before I overheat,” DASH put a hand on Rarity's shoulder, “But if you and I both use our alternate forms at around the same time, we might be able to at least get an edge.”

“You want me… to use Shadow Form… to help you…?” Rarity asked, understandably nervous.

“I would not ask if I did not believe you could do it. This is… really humiliating for me… so could you please just say yes so this can stop being awkward?”

That was so Rainbow Dash. Rarity was nervous, but she nodded all the same.

“Alright then. I'll help you defeat Spitfire and Fleetfoot,” Rarity said. DASH-379 nodded, and they both walked to Twilight just as she finished.

“And we're in,” Twilight said, “This should take us right to where Celestia is being held.”

“I hope Fluttershy and Applejack are okay,” Rarity said nervously, “I mean, they're strong, but…”

“They will not be able to defeat Spitfire and Fleetfoot,” DASH-379 said, “Even with Applejack's overwhelming strength, she'd only get so far.”

“Then we better not keep them waiting,” Twilight said. The three of them ran into the elevator, taking it right to the top floor.

With DASH-379's help, they were able to navigate through the hallway pretty easily. As they ran, Twilight stopped looking into a room off to the side.

“Hey! Hold on you two!” Twilight called out. Rarity and DASH stopped and went into the room with Twilight, who was looking at a computer screen which showed some other robot project. Something called “Project SOMBRA”.

“This doesn't look pleasant,” Rarity said.

“I think this is related to what the owner of this place has planned,” Twilight said, “DASH, could you download this information and save it to your CPU? We need to show this to Discord.”

“Understood,” DASH-379 said walking to the computer. Something akin to a needle came out of DASH's closed fist, and she inserted it into a slot underneath the keyboard, “Download complete.”

“She did the Robo-Cop thingy…” Twilight said, clearly amazed.

“Come on, Twilight. Be mesmerized later,” Rarity said. Twilight shook herself back to reality.

“Right! Let's go,” Twilight said. The three of them continued down the hallway, stopping in front of a fancy looking door. Inside they heard what sounded like fighting. Rarity immediately pushed through the door, and was immediately shocked to see Applejack and Fluttershy fall to the ground in front of them.

play song

“Fluttershy!” Rarity cried.

“Applejack!” Twilight exclaimed. As the two of them ran in to check on their fallen comrades, DASH-379 rushed in and got in a fighting stance as Spitfire and Fleetfoot slowly walked over to them.

“There you are, aberrant,” Spitfire said with a toothy grin, “I have been waiting for you.”

“Spitfire…!” DASH-379 seethed. She looked back at Fluttershy, who was bruised up even worse than Applejack.

“The pink haired one kept going on and on about how you were her friend and how she wanted to make us pay for hurting you,” Spitfire said, “It was pathetic really. A disgusting organic getting attached to a machine? I bet it was you who put her up to that. So I figured I'd save you the trouble of one day throwing her away by breaking her in two myself.”

DASH-379's eyes went wide, and she turned back to Spitfire enraged.

Spitfire laughed, “Do not tell me, you think you actually care about her?! Wake up. You are not her friend. You are a machine, just like Fleetfoot and myself.”

“I… am nothing… like you…!” DASH-379 seethed, electricity charging in her hands.

“You are malfunctioning,” Fleetfoot stated, “At the moment, you cannot trust your programming. Robots of our caliber do not form relationships.”

“Shut up…! SHUT UP!!!” DASH-379 rushed at Spitfire and threw punch after punch, kick after kick, all of which were charged with electricity. Spitfire easily dodged all of her attacks, grabbed her by the arm, and threw her back onto the ground near the others.

“DASH!!!” Twilight and Rarity cried. DASH-379 stopped right next to Fluttershy, who was thankfully still breathing. Fluttershy slowly opened her eyes and looked at DASH-379.

play song

“D-DASH…” Fluttershy said, catching the android's attention, “Not… like them… DASH… good… robot…”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently. Something within her awakened. Seeing Fluttershy so hurt, yet still believing in her did something to DASH's programming. It was another anomaly, but it coincided with Fluttershy. Suddenly, she became the most important thing in DASH-379's CPU.

WRITING NEW PROGRAM

……….

PROGRAM WRITTEN

ALLY: FLUTTERSHY'S SAFETY IS NOW SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO

ALL OTHER OBJECTIVES WILL BE CONTINUED, BUT PUSHED TO THE SIDE IN THE CASE OF ALLY: FLUTTERSHY'S ENDANGERMENT

“You… fucking… BITCH!” DASH-379 said forcing herself to her feet. Spitfire charged up her red element and shot a fireball at DASH-379, who slapped it away effortlessly, not even looking up at Spitfire.

“Maybe this is just a malfunction…” DASH-379 said, her voice low and shaking, “Maybe nothing about me right now is real… Maybe… I am supposed to be like you… But if that means… I have to turn my back on her…” DASH-379 glared at Spitfire and Fleetfoot, tears of anger streaming from her eyes, “Then I accept it! I am a mad machine! A Maverick! And the two people you hurt are my friends!” she got in her fighting stance, “I'M GOING TO TURN YOU INTO SCRAP SPITFIRE!!!”

“Just try it!” Spitfire shouted. She charged at DASH-379, but was held back by Rarity's spear.

“She's not the only one who's pissed, you know?” Rarity said, her voice even and her bangs covering her eyes, “Fluttershy is both me and DASH's best friend. I was afraid of what would happen if I unleashed my darkness before,” Rarity looked at Spitfire, her blue eyes glowing red briefly, “But it looks like I have a rare opportunity to let loose my more destructive side.”

Twilight shot an arrow at Spitfire, forcing her to jump back to where Fleetfoot was. The three of them got into position, Rarity front and center as usual, and all prepared for probably their toughest fight yet.

This time, they had to defeat these two.

play song

This time, it was Twilight who attacked first, firing her arrows at Fleetfoot, who flew around the whole room to dodge. A few of her arrows hit, giving Twilight just enough energy to cast Healing Stream on herself, Rarity, and DASH-379.

Fleetfoot flew down over to Twilight ready to kick her, but Rarity jumped in the way with her spear and pushed her back.

“DASH, I'll deal with Fleetfoot!” Rarity said, “You focus on Spitfire!”

“Understood!” DASH-379 said. Still having some energy saved up, she charged up her element and activated her Elec Sword. At the same time, Spitfire activated her Fire Sword, and the two of them charged at each other and clashed weapons.

While that went on, Twilight went over to Applejack and Fluttershy, immediately getting to work on healing them.

“This should at least get you on your feet,” Twilight said as Applejack rose to one knee.

“Thanks, but we have to get Celestia and Fluttershy out of here. They're still not moving,” Applejack said.

Twilight nodded and tried to heal Fluttershy, but saw that the element wasn't connecting.

“What's wrong? Why isn't it working?!” Twilight asked, getting a little scared. Rarity flipped away from an attack and landed a bit in front of Twilight, “Rarity, my healing arts can't heal Fluttershy's wounds!”

“What?!” Rarity cried.

“She's breathing, but I don't think my healing arts can work now!” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Fleetfoot, her eyes now glowing red.

“You… hurt… Fluttershy…!”

“Spitfire, the Chrono Trigger is showing unusual energy signs,” Fleetfoot said, “It seems to be the same as-” she was cut off by Rarity grabbing her by the neck. Rarity looked absolutely enraged, almost like she were a monster.

“Oh DASH… I think it's time to go all out on these two,” Rarity said, “Don't you?”

“Affirmative!” DASH-379 said jumping away from Spitfire, “Applejack, take Celestia and Fluttershy to the room down the hall. A healing station is there.”

“Got it!” Applejack said, “Twilight, can you help me?”

“Um, well…” Twilight looked at Rarity, worried about leaving her.

“I'll be fine as long as you hurry back,” Rarity said, “I promise, I won't lose myself to the darkness.”

“You better not,” Twilight said carrying Fluttershy over her shoulder as Applejack ran over to Celestia picking her up bridal style. As the two of them left, both Rarity and DASH-379 charged up their respective elements.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA mode!”

“JUST DIE!!!”

Shadow Rarity rushed over to Fleetfoot and slashed wildly at her with her spear while DASH-379 immediately charged up her element again, this time firing her Charged Shot at Spitfire.

“What the?!” Spitfire cried falling to one knee, “How did you-” she was surprised to see DASH-379 already charging at her with her Elec Sword activated. Spitfire held up her blade to defend, but found that DASH-379 was easily able to push her back.

Fleetfoot found herself completely overwhelmed by Shadow Rarity, who was a lot more aggressive than her lighter counterpart. Instead of adding fancy flair to her moves, each and every slash was meant to kill.

Fleetfoot jumped away and charged up her blue element. She then held up her hands creating a series of water towers that shot up from the ground and hit both Shadow Rarity and DASH-379. (Water Tower) It didn't hurt Shadow Rarity too much, as she seemed to jump out of the way of most of the attack.

DASH on the other hand wasn't so lucky, and fell to one knee sparking afterward.

Spitfire charged up her red element, and then slammed her fist onto the ground creating a tower of fire that rushed over to DASH-379, who thankfully jumped out of the way of that attack. (Flame Tower)

Twilight ran back into the room and started firing arrows at Spitfire. Once she gathered enough energy, she charged up her white element to cast Rejuvenate on DASH-379, who shot back up to her feet.

“Rarity, you shouldn't stay in that form for too long!” Twilight called out, “You should pace yourself!”

Shadow Rarity turned to Twilight, nodded, and then allowed the darkness to dissipate, turning her back to normal. Rarity immediately did an elegant back flip out of the way as Fleetfoot tried to kick her.

Rarity charged up her black element again, this time holding out her hand and hitting Fleetfoot and Spitfire with her Feral Cats move, doing more damage to Fleetfoot than Spitfire.

DASH-379 charged up her yellow element again, this time casting Speed Boost on Twilight just in case. She then immediately charged up her element again, raising her hand and sending a trail of Lightning toward Spitfire, who took the attack head on. (Elec Tower)

DASH tried to charge up again, but froze in place once she saw how much she was staining her systems.

“Systems… overheating…!” DASH-379 said, her visor retracting as her body stopped charging electricity, “Can't… move…!”

As DASH fell to one knee, Spitfire sneered at her.

“Fleetfoot, Fire & Ice!” Spitfire commanded.

“Affirmative, Spitfire. Charging element,” Fleetfoot stated.

The two robots charged up their respective elements, and Fleetfoot shot an ice blast on the ground freezing everyone in place. Spitfire then spun around turning into a fiery tornado and rushed around the field hitting Rarity, Twilight, and DASH-379, knocking all three of them to the ground.

“Twilight, can you heal everyone?” Rarity asked as they forced themselves to their feet.

“Only with Cure,” Twilight stated sadly, “I don't know how to use Rejuvenate on multiple people yet.”

“That is fine,” DASH-379 said, “Cure will be sufficient. Rarity, do you see how they fight?”

“I do,” Rarity said, “Fleetfoot is fast, but not very powerful, while Spitfire is powerful, but not very fast. Spitfire overwhelms you with constant attacks while Fleetfoot keeps you at a distance.”

“Also, as long as both of them are still standing, they'll use that Double Technique Fire and Ice again,” Twilight reasoned, “We have to disable them somehow.”

“I might have an idea,” Rarity said, “It's crazy, but I need you to use that new move on me, DASH.”

DASH-379 looked at Rarity like she was crazy, but she nodded in understanding. The two of them charged up their respective elements, and Rarity jumped into the center of the field. As she spun her spear over her head, DASH held up her hand making a bolt of lightning come down onto the spear, which then spread out and hit both Spitfire and Fleetfoot, actually paralyzing them. (Double Tech: Zeus' Cry)

Twilight used that chance to quickly hit Fleetfoot a few times to get energy, and then charged up her element to cast Cure All on herself, DASH-379, and Rarity.

“Twilight, can I use Shadow Form to finish Fleetfoot off?” Rarity asked.

“Go for it,” Twilight said. Rarity turned to Fleetfoot and charged up her black element.

“JUST DIE!!!” Rarity screamed, changing into her Shadow Form. Before Fleetfoot could move, Shadow Rarity rushed at her and slashed wildly with her spear. After a second, Shadow Rarity jumped back and charged up her black element. Instead of her normal moves though, Rarity leaned back as if to unleash something, and black blades shot out of her body tearing Fleetfoot apart.

“Function… ceased…” Fleetfoot said, her voice trailing off before she exploded falling to the ground. Spitfire turned to her fallen comrade in shock.

“Damn it!” Spitfire swore, “You and your “friends” are going to pay for that, Athena!”

“You are about to join her,” DASH-379 said charging up her yellow element, “Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!”

Spitfire and DASH-379 charged at each other, slashing wildly. Twilight was about to fire at Spitfire, but Rarity, who had changed back, held her shoulder stopping her.

“This is her fight,” Rarity said. Twilight reluctantly nodded and put her bow away.

Spitfire retracted her blade and threw a punch, but DASH quickly ducked out of the way and did a back flip kick knocking her away. As she landed, DASH-379 fired her arm cannon at Spitfire rapidly, keeping her from getting too close.

Spitfire screamed unleashing as much of her energy as she could, and then entered her own variant of DASH's ATHENA Mode. She slashed at the air wildly, sending fiery shock waves at DASH-379, who jumped, flipped, and rolled out of the way of all of her attacks.

“She needs help!” Twilight cried.

“No she doesn't,” Rarity said simply, shocking Twilight.

“Look at her! She's completely overwhelmed!” Twilight fussed, surprised when Rarity shook her head smiling.

“I timed it the last time she went into her alternate mode,” Rarity said, “She still has two whole minutes left before she overheats.”

“Yeah, but Spitfire-”

“Is the model made before Athena, remember?” Rarity said looking at Twilight with a knowing smile, “Combine that with her fire based moves… do you see where I'm going with this, love?”

“I… think I do,” Twilight said, shocked by that revelation. Had DASH-379 already figured that out herself? Was that why she was so calm right now?

It didn't take long either. Spitfire raised her arm prepared to attack again, but stopped herself, freezing in place.

“Over… heating…?!” Spitfire asked, her visor retracting, “What the…?!”

DASH-379, still in her alternate form, smirked and ran over to Spitfire. She then threw punch after punch, kick after kick at Spitfire, actually breaking off bits and pieces of her armored body with each attack. After a few seconds, she charged up her element one final time, slashing Spitfire with her Elec-Sword.

Spitfire, eyes wide, fell onto her back. DASH-379 deactivated ATHENA Mode to avoid overheating, and then sauntered over to Spitfire, standing over her body.

play song

“W-why…?” Spitfire asked looking up at DASH-379, “You are malfunctioning…! How can a machine… like you… defeat a superior model… like me…?!”

“You only fight to carry out orders,” DASH-379 stated, “I fight to protect the people that I care about. That is the deciding factor between us, DASH-378 Spitfire. You lack something that this malfunction has given me. That being… humanity. Also…” DASH-379 held her arm cannon at Spitfire's face and charged it up smirking, “malfunction or not, I am still the top machine in my series.”

Spitfire looked at DASH-379, and then laughed, “Well said, DASH-379 Athena. In the end, you truly were the better model.”

DASH-379 fired her arm cannon, destroying Spitfire's head. She then turned to Twilight and Rarity with a somewhat somber smile.

“Mission completed. All targets have been terminated,” DASH-379 said.

“Are you okay, darling?” Rarity asked.

“Yeah, I sort of expected more bragging after that victory,” Twilight said, “I mean, this is you we're talking about.”

DASH looked down somberly, “Could the two of you get the others and meet me outside? There is something that I have to take care of.”

“Certainly,” Rarity said. She hugged DASH-379 and then walked with Twilight out the side door. DASH-379 looked at her hand seriously.

“We are… machines made to kill humans,” DASH-379 said, “Humans like Rarity, Twilight, Applejack, and… Fluttershy…” the image of Fluttershy broken and beaten replayed in her CPU, “I must protect Fluttershy. No matter what that protection means. Even if it means I have to…” she closed her hand in a fist, and then sauntered out of the room.

She made her way back to where the other DASH-units were. She looked at all of them seriously.

“DASH-377 Fleetfoot and DASH-378 Spitfire have been terminated,” DASH-379 said activating her arm cannon, “Proceeding with immediate termination of DASH-units 002 through 376.”

She then got to work, ripping each and every DASH-unit robot in that facility apart. Her new objective: terminate all units within the DASH series. By the time she was done, her files marked only three DASH-units remaining. DASH-000, DASH 001…

And DASH-379…


play song

After what felt like forever, DASH-379 ran out of the facility, which was now blowing up behind her. She met up with the others, pleased to see Fluttershy was up and okay. Fluttershy immediately ran into DASH's arms hugging her tightly.

“DASH!” Fluttershy cried, “You okay! Not hurt!”

“I-I am fine,” DASH-379 said slowly returning the hug, “Are you okay?”

Fluttershy nodded vigorously to DASH-379, “Machine heal all wounds, just like last time!” her stomach growled at that moment, and she wilted, “But machine still not cure hunger.”

Despite herself, DASH-379 laughed before rubbing Fluttershy's head, “You are truly my closest friend, Fluttershy.”

“You my friend too,” Fluttershy said smiling warmly.

“Glad you came out when you did,” Twilight said as the rest of the group gathered together, “We were worried that you were planning to commit suicide or something with how grim you looked.”

DASH-379 looked at Twilight, then looked away somberly before pushing past the rest of the group, “How is Celestia doing?”

“She's still not moving,” Applejack said, “We tried to use that healing machine on her too, but it didn't do anything. It's like she's just a hollow shell at the moment.”

“We need to get her back to her house,” Rarity said, “Maybe Discord knows what's wrong with her.”

As they all walk off, Applejack grabbed DASH-379's arm.

“Hey, you okay?” Applejack asked.

“I am fine, why?” DASH-379 asked.

“The way you looked just now was sort of scary,” Applejack stated, “When Twilight mentioned you killing-”

“It is not important at the moment,” DASH said picking up Celestia's body, “We need to focus on rescuing the Celestia of your world.”

Applejack pursed her lips, but nodded all the same, “Just don't do anything foolish, alright? You're life is important, just as important as everyone else.”

“I know,” DASH-379 said walking off, “That is the problem…”

She didn't want to talk about it anymore today. Right now, she just wanted to figure out what was going on with Celestia so they could get back on track in finding and defeating Lavos. Besides, she still had no idea where Units 000 and 001 were, nor were their any leads.

But something told her that both might be closer than she originally thought.


play song

“So Spitfire and Fleetfoot failed,” Tirek said to himself, slamming his fist on his desk, “Damn it! I made Athena too strong! At this rate…”

“Don't fret, Tirek,” Luna said, walking up to him and embracing him from behind, “Based on the data we received, the Chrono Trigger is almost fully tainted. Once she's fallen into the darkness, Athena will be quite simple to defeat. Besides, you do have that trump card, don't you?”

“Ah yes,” Tirek said, pulling out the file on his latest creation, “A machine capable of controlling all the machines in this world. With this, Machine will be ours for the taking.”

“Then there's nothing to fear,” Luna said, “No one can oppose us. Those world jumping fools are fighting a losing battle. As for you,” Luna pulled out a small computer device and smiled at it, “I hope you enjoy the show. I gave you a front row seat after all, dearest… sister…”

On the screen, Celestia appeared, frantically trying to scream to get Luna's attention. Sadly though, all that was heard was silence.


play song
Back in Celestia's home, Discord wasted no time checking Celestia to see why she wasn't moving. Rarity and the others decided to wait in the living room of the mansion as he worked, as to not get in his way. When he came out to join them, he did not look happy.

“Well?” Rarity asked, “How is she?"

Discord sighed gravely, “She's not even in there. What you gave me is a hollow shell. All of her personal files have been removed.”

“You talk as if she's a robot,” Applejack said, her eyes going wide at the realization, “Hold on… she is a robot, isn't she?!”

“What?!” Twilight cried, “But how's that possible?! She didn't seem like a robot!”

“It's true,” Discord said, “The Celestia of this world is a robot. She was created by Tirek, but escaped his control once she learned what he planned on doing to her and her sister.”

“Is that so…?” DASH-379 asked raising an eyebrow. Fluttershy looked at DASH in confusion before focusing on Discord again.

“The reason you couldn't tell that she's a robot is because of a phenomenon in this world called “The Pinocchio Effect”.

“Oooh, more big words I not understand,” Fluttershy pouted.

“Wait… Pinocchio? As in the story of Pinocchio?” Twilight asked. Discord looked at Twilight surprised.

“You are familiar with the name?” Discord asked.

“Both of us are I think,” Rarity said, “In our worlds, there's a story about a puppet who magically came to life and sought to become a real boy. The puppet's name was Pinocchio.”

“It's the same here,” Discord said, “The phenomenon called “The Pinocchio Effect” is when a machine gains human level sentience. Instead of merely imitating and emulating human behavior like DASH-379 and myself, the robot begins to feel actual emotion, and their programming adjusts itself as a response. The end result has the robot be essentially no different than a living person.”

“This effect causes a lot of controversy in this world,” DASH-379 added, “Most of the time, robots that fall prey to this are decommissioned immediately.”

“Hold on, you mean they just kill them because they gain free will?” Rarity asked aghast, “That's totally barbaric!”

“That's easy for us to say,” Applejack said catching everyone's attention, “But the people here view robots mostly as tools and weapons, remember?” she pulled out her blade and showed it to everyone, “It would be like this suddenly moving on its own deciding who to kill and who not to kill.”

“In most science fiction stories, that's an issue that's tackled a lot,” Twilight said, “Whether a robot is a living person or just a machine. But that isn't just fiction here. That's actually real.”

“And this world knows about Pinocchio, and every world has a legend concerning Lavos somehow,” Rarity reasoned, “It's almost like… all the worlds were connected at some point.”

“That's all well and good,” Applejack said, “But what about Celestia? If she's unconscious, she can't tell us where my Queen is.”

“And if Celestia here is unconscious, other Celestias in trouble too,” Fluttershy said.

“Yes, we need to rescue the Queen as soon as possible,” Rarity said, “DASH, even if she's a robot, can you still get her DNA and track her down?”

“Negative,” DASH-379 said sadly, “Robots do not have DNA like you do.”

“Damn it!” Applejack swore shooting up and walking off a bit, “We were so close!”

“Not give up,” Fluttershy said walking over to Applejack and putting a hand on her shoulder, “Maybe we get… DNA thingy from other Celestia.”

“Not wise,” Rarity said, “All the other Celestias are being watched by their respective Lunas, and by now she'd know that we're onto her.”

“We need to rescue her now, but there's no way to rescue her now,” Twilight stated, “Geez, what do we do then?”

Everyone was silent for a few seconds thinking. Fluttershy looked up suddenly.

play song

“Wait! There is way!” Fluttershy said.

“How?” Applejack asked.

“Remember what Celestia tell us? She connected to all Celestias. Connection still there, even if she is robot like DASH. All life connected, so we use that connection to find Applejack's Celestia.”

Fluttershy ran over to DASH-379, took her hand, and pulled her into the room where Celestia's body was resting. Everyone shrugged and followed after them.

“Here. You find connection, and lead us to Celestia in Applejack's world,” Fluttershy said.

“But how can I…?” DASH-379 asked.

“All life is connected, DASH,” Fluttershy said, taking DASH-379's hands into her own, “Human, robot, not matter. Both alive. Celestia is robot like you, so you can find life stream and use to lead us to other Celestias.”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently, “You really believe this.”

Fluttershy nodded. Rarity had to admit, it was somewhat touching to look at. Whether it was because she didn't understand fully, or she somehow understood more than anyone did, Fluttershy knew in her heart that Celestia and DASH were alive.

“I say give it a shot,” Rarity said, “What do we have to lose? Either it doesn't work and we're back at square one, or it does work and we're in business.”

“I can't believe I'm saying this,” Applejack looked away somberly, “but please DASH, at least try. I'm terrified for my Queen, and if this is a means of us finding her…”

DASH-379 looked at Applejack, taking note of her trying to hold back tears. She then nodded and walked over to Celestia, kneeling down next to her. She took a deep breath, and then took her hand.

“Beginning scanning procedure,” DASH-379 said, “Searching Celestia's CPU for connection to other Celestias,” after a second, she looked up, “Hold on… I believe… yes! I have found something!”

“You did?!” Twilight asked.

“Is it the Queen?!” Applejack asked hopefully.

“I have found a stream of energy. It is foreign to this unit, but it seems to be intimately connected to it as well. Also… it is connected to multiple other sources that match this unit!”

“Oh my God…!” Rarity said, “That's her soul you're seeing! The sources must be the other Celestias!”

“Applejack, I need your assistance,” DASH-379 said.

“Sure, anything!” Applejack said running to DASH's side.

“I need to hold your hand, so I can find the energy that matches your world,” DASH-379 said.

Applejack nodded, knelt down next to DASH-379, and took her hand. As she worked, DASH-379 started smiling in awe and wonder.

“This is… incredible…” DASH-379 said.

“What is?” Rarity asked.

“It is like… I can see her soul…” a single tear fell from DASH's eye, “She is truly alive… just like the other Celestias…”

Rarity smiled to herself. It looked like this showed DASH-379 something about herself as well.

“There! I have made contact with the Celestia of Medieval!” DASH-379 said.

“You did it! You actually did it!” Twilight cheered. Fluttershy folded her arms nodding proudly.

“Told you it would work,” Fluttershy said.

“Can we contact her?” Applejack asked.

“I will try,” DASH-379 said, “Celestia… this is DASH unit number 379. Can you read me?” she was silent for a second, confusing everyone, “We are using your Machine version to establish communication with you. Can you tell us where you are? Seriously?! They are not going to be happy about that. Thank you. We will retrieve you immediately.”

DASH released Celestia's hand and stood up to face the others, “She is in a castle on the far reaches of Canterlot. She said that it is Luna's personal castle.”

“I know where that is,” Applejack said, “She has invited me there many times. You mean my Queen has been held there the whole time?”

“Affirmative,” DASH-379 said, “Your Queen has granted me permanent access to the universal network, so I can track her down wherever she is.”

“Then we can't waste any time,” Applejack said turning to everyone, “Right?”

“That's right,” Rarity said, “Now that we know where to go, we need to head there immediately.”

“But, what about the Celestia of this world?” Twilight asked, “We can't just leave her like this, can we?”

“There isn't anything you can do for her at the moment,” Discord said, “For now, worry about your Celestia. I will protect my Celestia,” he walked over to DASH-379 and placed a hand on her shoulder, “The files I granted you along with your new ability to connect to the universal network will allow us to be in constant contact. I will call you if anything happens.”

“Good, thank you Discord,” DASH-379 said, “Let us depart immediately.”

As everyone ran out of the room, Discord walked over to Celestia and took her hand elegantly.

“I wonder if she realizes how lucky she is that worked,” Discord said, “If the two of you weren't of the same series, she wouldn't be able to connect to your network like that.”

Discord brushed the side of her face, briefly revealing her robotic cylindrical ear, which had a number etched in it.

000…

Medieval: Bonds Beyond Time and Space

View Online

Medieval – Bonds Beyond Time & Space

play song

When the group arrived in Medieval, DASH-379 looked around.

“I can still sense the life stream that is Celestia,” DASH said.

“Where is it?” Rarity asked walking up to her.

“It appears to me as a trail of sort,” DASH explained pointing south, “I believe that the stream is flowing from this direction.”

“So do we head right there?” Twilight asked.

“I'd like to, but we need to be prepared,” Applejack said folding her arms, “My teacher always told me, “better to take a while to prepare than to rush toward your death”. We should head to Canterlot to make sure we're prepared.”

“It is true that we need to brush up on our supplies,” DASH-379 stated, “Also, some of you need to update your equipment. I refuse to carry any of you.”

“You carry us?” Twilight asked, “Says the one who still hasn't quite learned how to dodge!”

“Hey! I dodge plenty! Whenever it suits me!”

“It's like talking to a brick wall sometimes…” Twilight sighed defeated.

Fluttershy pulled out her daggers and examined them. The blades looked old, but the handle looked specialized.

“Not want to use different weapon,” Fluttershy said, “Daggers special to me.”

“Don't worry,” Applejack said turning to the town, “The person we're meeting will know exactly what to do with your weapons. No one is going to have to change anything. Follow me.”

As they all walked after Applejack, Twilight stopped for a second and held her head.

“Twilight? Are you okay?” Rarity asked running to her side.

“Yeah, I think I might just be pushing myself a little too hard is all,” Twilight admitted. Rarity then remembered that only a few hours ago she was poisoned. Was it okay for her to be up and at 'em like this?

“Sweetheart, should we tell the others we need to rest?” Rarity asked putting her hand on Twilight's back, saddened when Twilight shook her head.

“We need to rescue the Queen as soon as possible,” Twilight said, “I should be fine Rarity. Thanks though.”

Twilight kissed Rarity on the cheek and walked ahead. Rarity pursed her lips and then ran after her special friend. She was pushing herself too hard, Rarity knew it.


Applejack lead the group to a blacksmith's shop called “Facet's Forge”. They were surprised, as they half expected Applejack to take them back to the castle. Applejack walked right inside, where they saw a woman with long blue hair with a light blue highlight and a purple bow in her hair sitting by the counter.

“Sapphire,” Applejack called out. Immediately the woman looked up from her paper and ran to Applejack beaming.

“Applejack! It's so wonderful to see you!” The woman, Sapphire said, her voice soft with a slight British hilt.

“Yeah, it's been a while hasn't it?” Applejack said, “Facet back there?”

“Where else would he be?” Sapphire asked before turning to the back room, “FACET!!! WE GOT CUSTOMERS!!! APPLEJACK AND SOME FRIENDS ARE HERE!!!”

“THEN BRING THEM IN, WOMAN!!! YOU KNOW WE DON'T LET APPLEJACK WAIT TOO LONG!!!”

“WELL EXCUUUUUUUSE ME FOR BEING RESPECTFUL!!! NEXT TIME YOU'RE WORKING ON A PERSONAL PROJECT, I'LL JUST SEND HER RIGHT IN AND INTERRUPT YOU!!! HOW'S THAT, HUH?!!!” Sapphire turned back to the group completely composed, “Head on back, everyone.”

“S-sure… thanks…” Rarity said, still blown away by that display. Honestly, it seemed like Applejack was the only one not fazed by that in the slightest.

“Oh my God…” Twilight said checking her ears as they walked back to the forge, “I think my eardrums burst.”

“Trust me, you get used to it,” Applejack said laughing a bit, “They're actually madly in love with each other.”

In the back area, they saw a hulking man with shorter sapphire blue hair with amethyst highlights setting up a large forge. When he saw Applejack, his somewhat scary looking face softened immediately.

“Applejack! Good to see you, girl!”

“Likewise Facet,” Applejack said hugging the man, apparently named Facet. When he saw the rest of the group, his eyes lit up a bit.

“Oh, these are your friends, eh?” Facet asked.

“Yep, they're an odd bunch, but they're quickly becoming the closest friends I've ever had. This is Fluttershy, DASH-379, and these two…”

When Applejack pointed to Twilight and Rarity, Facet did a double take. First he walked over to Twilight and looked her up and down.

“She's the spitting image of the castle wizard,” Facet said.

“It's… crazy to say the least,” Applejack said, “Let's just say, the world is a lot bigger than I initially thought.”

“It's a pleasure to meet you, sir,” Twilight said holding out her hand, “My name actually is Twilight Sparkle.”

“The pleasure is all mine, sweetheart,” Facet said, taking her hand elegantly and kissing it. Twilight blushed but then turned to Rarity, who was giving her a suspicious glare.

“YOU BETTER NOT BE FLIRTING WITH THOSE GIRLS BACK THERE!!!”

“I WAS JUST BEING NICE!!! FOCUS ON YOUR JOB AND I'LL FOCUS ON MINE!!!”

“YOU DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF THE WORD!!!”

“Devil woman… I tell you…” Facet grumbled.

“I do not know if my audio receptors can handle much more of that…” DASH-379 said.

Facet then turned to Rarity and looked at her in shock. It was like he was looking at a ghost.

“A-Applejack! This girl… she's-”

“No she isn't,” Applejack interrupted, “Not quite at least. It's a long story, one that we don't have time to tell you. We're here to reinforce everyone's weapons for an important mission.”

“I see. In that case, I won't press ya,” Facet said walking to the forge, “Now, who's weapon am I taking care of first?”

Rarity frowned a bit looking at Facet and Applejack. She still wondered if they were talking about what she thought they were talking about.

“Fluttershy, do you wish to go first?” DASH-379 asked Fluttershy, who was hiding behind her looking at Facet fearfully.

“Facet is man. Not go near man,” Fluttershy said trembling.

“Fluttershy, it's okay,” Twilight said, “He's not going to hurt-”

“Not go near man!” Fluttershy fussed.

“You'll have to excuse her, sir,” Rarity said, “She had a very bad experience with a man before, and it's made her somewhat afraid of them.”

“You don't need to go any further,” Facet said. He slowly approached Fluttershy and DASH-379 and held out his hand, “I promise you, you're perfectly safe here.”

“Not… hurt… me…?” Fluttershy asked warily.

“All I want is to reinforce your weapon, that's it,” Facet said with a kind smile, “You don't even need to come near me. Just let me borrow your daggers, and I'll be finished quickly.”

Fluttershy was understandably apprehensive, but she slowly reached for her daggers and handed it to Facet, immediately holding onto DASH-379 for protection.

Facet nodded, and walked over to his forge, immediately getting to work. Since her weapons were smaller, it didn't take long, and before they knew it, Fluttershy's daggers looked shiny and brand new.

“Here you go, little lady,” Facet said handing her back her newly reinforced daggers, “Why don't you give them a try? Just not on me, okay?”

Fluttershy slowly reached for her daggers, snatching them from Facet and hugging them. She then examined them, and swung them around, surprised by how easily they cut through the air. Fluttershy turned to Facet with narrowed eyes before averting them away.

“T-t-thank you…” she said before running to the far end of the room and sitting down by herself. DASH-379 and Rarity both looked at her sadly.

“Don't worry about it,” Facet said catching their attention, “Some scars take a long time to heal. I think she's going to be okay though.”

“I hope so,” Rarity said, DASH-379 nodding in response.

Facet proceeded to work on everyone's weapons. He even managed to upgrade DASH-379 a bit, putting a special stone into her arms that channeled energy. The last one he worked on was Applejack, who actually was the only on in the room with him at the time.

“So… you didn't tell her?” Facet asked.

“She probably suspects,” Applejack said, “I wouldn't know how to tackle that anyway. She's been through a lot so far, so hearing that my teacher was…” Applejack shook her head, “How's the search coming along?”

“You mean for the Rainbow Shells? At the moment, pretty slow. If I had that, I could finish that blade for you. I wish I had it ready for your big mission.”

“I'll be fine,” Applejack said, “Those girls will be supporting me. They've really grown on me, you know?”

“Nice to see you opening up to people,” Facet said, “You sort of closed yourself off after The General died.”

Applejack looked down seriously, remembering the day she lost the most important person in her life next to the queen.

play song

Flashback

Applejack, wearing nothing but her red and golden nightgown, ran out to the fields behind the town. It was nighttime, and the rain was pouring down, making it hard to see. Even still, she knew she had to find her Teacher. If what the Queen said was true, then today was the day she'd…

Applejack stopped before a hill, where she saw Pinkamena and her Teacher fighting. Unlike Applejack currently, her Teacher was in her full black and purple armor, her helmet closed and her spear ready. Shoot! Applejack forgot her sword! If she died, it would be because of her foolishness and haste.

General!” Applejack cried helplessly. Pinkamena turned to Applejack, smiled evilly, and then threw her bladed hoop at Applejack. The General reacted instantly, blocking the attack and sending the hoop back to its master.

Leave her out of this!

I'm the one you want!

Applejack looked in awe and fear as her beloved General rushed back to her opponent.

Sadly, The General wasn't the one destined for victory, as after a long fight, Pinkamena rushed past her armored opponent slashing with her hoop, breaking through her armor.

NO!!!!!” Applejack screamed as the General fell to the ground. Applejack ran over to the General, taking off her helmet resting her head on her lap, “Please, you can't die! I'm not ready yet!”

The General slowly reached for Applejack's cheek and caressed it, smiling despite herself.

My friend…

My spirit will always be with you…

The General's hand slowly fell to the ground limp. Applejack shook her master to wake her, but to no avail.

No…! No! You're not dead! You're not! You haven't taught me the final lesson yet! Please General! Don't leave me!”

As Applejack sobbed holding her best friend/teacher/commanding officer in her arms, Pinkamena turned her back to them and walked off, swinging her hoop and whistling a jovial tune.

RARITY!!!!!”

end song

End flashback

“I'm still hunting for her killer,” Applejack said venomously, “I've found quite a few leads, as it seems she's an enemy of my group's as well.”

Facet nodded and handed Applejack her now fully reinforced blade.

“Just don't forget everything the General taught you,” Facet said, “She wouldn't want you to lose yourself to revenge.”

“This isn't about revenge,” Applejack said sheathing her sword and turning to the door, “This is about justice.”

As she left, Facet shook his head somberly.

“I wonder, do you know the difference between the two right now…?” Facet asked, more to himself than to Applejack.


play song

Applejack met up with the others right outside of the shop.

“So, now that we have everything we need,” Applejack said turning to DASH-379, who nodded.

“The life stream is still strong,” DASH-379 stated, “However, we should still hurry on ahead.”

“Right,” Twilight said, “We can't keep Celestia waiting too long. We have to rescue her as quickly as possible.”

As they all followed DASH-379, Rarity ran up to Applejack.

“Um, about what happened in the shop,” Rarity said, “Just who did he think I was?”

“No one you need to be worried about,” Applejack said, “I mean, right now isn't the best time, and with what's going on, you need to be focused.”

“I know, but-”

“If you lose focus in battle, that's when people you care about die,” Applejack said, “Never forget the point of your journey, Rarity.”

“I won't,” Rarity said, a little taken aback by how sincere Applejack was.

After traveling for a bit, Twilight started getting woozy and actually fell to her knees. DASH-379 was the first one to turn to her.

play song

“Twilight is down!” DASH-379 shouted. Everyone gathered around her.

“Twilight! What's wrong darling?” Rarity cried.

“My head just feels a little funny is all,” Twilight said. Fluttershy knelt down in front of Twilight and examined her closely.

“Poison not fully heal yet,” Fluttershy said, “Need to rest or poison resurface.”

“But… no!” Twilight fussed, “We can't keep Celestia waiting! I'm… I'm not going to hold anyone back…!”

Twilight tried to rise to her feet, but quickly fell down again, this time Applejack catching her though.

“We're setting up camp,” Applejack stated, “We'll continue our journey in the morning.”

“Damn it…” Twilight said sadly.


end song

After making sure Twilight was resting, Fluttershy went to the campfire with Rarity, DASH-379, and Applejack.

“Twilight fine now,” Fluttershy said, “Need to rest, but be okay by morning.”

“If she needed to rest, she should have told us,” DASH-379 said, “She is the most important member of our group.”

“Geez, she reminds me of myself a bit,” Applejack stated, “Pushing myself too hard. My Teacher scolded me time and time again for that.”

Rarity shook her head, shot up, and walked over to where Twilight was, leaving Applejack, Fluttershy, and DASH-379 alone.

play song

“I have been thinking,” DASH-379 said after a second, “The way the worlds are all broken up is odd.”

“You think so too, huh?” Applejack asked, “Both your world and theirs has a story about that Pinocchio character, your world's problems are shown through what Twilight called “Science Fiction”.”

“Remember back in forest?” Fluttershy asked, “Large statue we fight there was robot like in DASH's world.”

“And Facet used the same sort of mana infused stone for my arm cannon that I always use,” DASH-379 said, “None of these things should be possible.”

“Robots don't exist in Fluttershy's world, and why would our worlds use the same magi-tech concepts?” Applejack asked, “Celestia being able to connect to her alters is crazy enough, but more and more I'm beginning to wonder how the worlds actually connect.”

“Maybe… worlds are same world,” Fluttershy said, naturally confusing everyone there.

“What do you mean?” Applejack asked.

“Maybe worlds not separate, or at least not separate always. Key that Rarity use to travel through worlds come from DASH's world, but found in my world. Also… I sometimes feel… strange.”

“Strange? How so?” DASH-379 asked.

“Feel like… this is familiar,” Fluttershy said looking at both Applejack and DASH-379, “DASH and Applejack not feel like strangers when met. Twilight and Rarity same, especially Rarity. I never see her before, but…” Fluttershy placed a hand on her heart, “Feel like she is special friend. It same feeling I get from DASH, like…”

“Like we were always friends…?” DASH-379 asked, finishing for Fluttershy, “I did not say anything about it, as the data was foreign, but I felt the same way about both you and Rarity. I experience odd data whenever I am in your presence, and this data tells me that I must protect all of you with my life.”

“Okay, so I'm not going crazy then,” Applejack said folding her arms.

“You too?” Fluttershy asked.

“When I saw Rarity, I was elated. Not just because she reminded me of my… teacher… but because something inside of me was crying out to her. Also,” Applejack turned to DASH-379, “It's the same with you. I feel a strong bond with you, one that's volatile, but close.”

“Like we were always in competition, correct?” DASH-379 asked, Applejack nodding in response, “I wonder if it is a connection to Rarity's variants of us?”

“But that wouldn't explain everything,” Applejack said, “Sure, that would explain why we all feel a pull to her, but why each other? The three of us are all from different worlds, and yet…”

“Feel like… always friends…” Fluttershy looked down, a single tear falling from her eyes, “Why does… chest hurt so much…? Feel like… I lost something…”

“I think this proves Fluttershy's beliefs,” Applejack said, “That the worlds were all once connected, maybe even one world.”

“Perhaps Lavos is the reason for the worlds splitting up like this,” DASH-379 said, “If we defeat Lavos, perhaps we can fix things.”

“Like, bring worlds back together?” Fluttershy asked, “If do that, we not have to say goodbye?”

“I… think I'd like that,” Applejack said, “If we're all supposed to be friends, I don't want to say goodbye either.”

DASH-379 turned away from everyone, looking down at her hand sadly. She slowly closed her fist again, closing her eyes somberly as she remembered her new prime directive. Eventually, she'd have to…


Fluttershy made a makeshift tent for Twilight so she could get the rest she needed. When Rarity approached the tent, she saw Twilight lying on her side, her eyes closed. Rarity sighed and turned to leave the tent.

“Please stay,” Twilight said softly. Rarity turned to see Twilight awake and looking up at Rarity sadly. Rarity lied down next to Twilight caressing her face lovingly.

“Why do you push yourself so hard?” Rarity asked, “You know how important you are, right?”

“I do…” Twilight admitted, “That's why I push myself like I do. Rarity, back home I'm no one special. Yeah, I'm smart, pretty, and talented, but that's it. I'm not a high priestess, a mobile weapon, or a knight. I'm just Twilight.”

“And there's noting wrong with that,” Rarity said.

“But maybe I don't want to be “just Twilight”!” Twilight cried, shocking Rarity, “Maybe I want to be someone special! Someone important! Someone strong like…” she looked into Rarity's eyes, “Like you!”

“M-me…?”

“I look up to you, but at the same time… I'm really jealous of you. You're so brave, and everyone relies on you. Even DASH was willing to ask for your help. The fact that you go through all of this and… you're still able to stand so tall is-” she was cut off by Rarity's sad laugh, “What?”

“Oh Twilight, you have the completely wrong impression of me,” Rarity said, now lying on her back and looking up, “You really think I'm brave, and strong? Don't you realize? The only reason I'm able to be like this is because of you. The truth is… I'm really afraid. Not just of my powers, not just of Luna, or even Lavos. I'm afraid of… of the truth…”

“The truth…?” Twilight asked, shocked when Rarity completely broke down.

“The truth that I'll never see home again!” Rarity sobbed, “That my Twilight, my Fluttershy, my Rainbow Dash, my Pinkie Pie, and my Applejack are dead, and that Sunset Shimmer is…!” her words were lost in heavy sobs, “This Twilight, this is the real me… What you admire so much… is a facade…”

“Rarity…” Twilight said sadly.

“This is why… I need you…” Rarity said, “Why you're so important to me. The longer this goes, the closer I feel to breaking down completely. You are special, Twilight. Maybe not in a way that affects the whole world, but you're special to me,” she turned to Twilight, “Why isn't that enough?”

Twilight looked pained, but she quickly embraced Rarity, both of them crying.

“I'm sorry I was so selfish,” Twilight said, “I know I'm important to you, but…”

“But nothing…!” Rarity said, “You're my light, remember? Focus on that… and stay alive… Please…!”

They stayed like that for the rest of the night, crying themselves to sleep but feeling comforted in the embrace of their beloved friend. Rarity didn't know what she and Twilight were anymore, but it felt much closer than merely friends.

Were they actually…?

end song


The following morning, the group continued their way to the castle. On the way, Applejack shared with Rarity and Twilight their theory of the worlds, and how they might have all been one world at some point.

“That does seem to make sense,” Rarity said, “But then, how did the worlds split up? And why?”

“That's what we need to ask Luna,” Applejack said, “I'm thinking she might know more about this than any of us.”

“Speaking of Luna,” DASH-379 said, “We have arrived.”

play song

The five of them all looked up to see a large gothic looking castle. The front door was open, which in of itself was somewhat ominous.

“She's expecting us,” Twilight said.

“Sense evil intent,” Fluttershy said, “Something dark inside castle.”

“I do not care how dark it is,” DASH-379 stated, “Someone inside of there has a date with my arm cannon.”

“Your Majesty, wait for me,” Applejack said, “I'm coming.”

“Well everyone,” Rarity stepped forward, “Let's go meet Nightmare Moon.”

The five of them ran through the front gate, unaware of the demonic jester watching them from a window.

“Looks like it's finally time,” Pinkamena said, “I guess I'll stop playing with you, Chrono Trigger.”

Medieval: Fade to Black

View Online

Medieval – Fade to Black

play song

The door to the interior of the castle opened, and DASH-379 ran in first. She knelt down and scanned the area.

“Scan complete,” she said, “The perimeter is safe. No enemies located within the immediate area.”

When she said that, the rest of the group came in, Applejack staying close to Twilight while Rarity and Fluttershy lagged behind a bit.

“Well, this is it. No turning back now,” Applejack said turning to Twilight, “Twilight, how are you feeling?”

“I should be okay,” Twilight said taking a deep breath, “I think the poison's fully worn off. Thanks Applejack,” she turned to Rarity and Fluttershy, “Rarity, are you ready?”

“More than… ready…” Rarity said, looking around as an odd feeling came over her.

Wait… this feels familiar to me…

“Rarity? Are you okay?” Twilight asked.

“Not feeling sick, are you?” Fluttershy asked.

“No, nothing like that,” Rarity said, “I'm just getting an odd sense of de-ja-vu is all.”

“You can stay back if you want,” DASH-379 said, “I will protect everyone, like always.”

“Well aren't you humble?” Applejack asked sarcastically.

“I am merely stating a fact as a superior model,” DASH-379 said, completely unaware that Rarity was mouthing out her entire sentence at the same time.

I knew it. I have seen this before.

Fluttershy nuzzled Rarity affectionately to get her attention, and looked at her visibly concerned.

“I'll be okay, Fluttershy,” Rarity said, “You should go up front with DASH.”

Fluttershy nodded and ran on all fours to DASH-379's side. The five of them started making their way through the castle, but stopped in a hallway as Fluttershy held her arm out.

“Stop!” Fluttershy called out, before growling getting in a fighting stance.

“Looks like we've got company!” Applejack said as she and Rarity ran next to Fluttershy. Before them three shadow demons appeared before them, the same monsters that attacked them the first time they came to Medieval, “Remember what I taught you, Rarity! Control, then aggression!”

“Right!” Rarity said, getting in her fighting stance, “Twilight, DASH, you two get ready as well. I think these enemies are weak to your elements.”

DASH-379 looked confused, but scanned the enemies, “You are correct. The enemies have a blue and black affinity. Twilight would be most effective here.”

Twilight nodded and immediately fired at the demons with her arrows. At the same time, Applejack, Rarity, and Fluttershy all engaged the enemies before them. As they fought, DASH-379 turned behind her and saw two more demons spawning behind them.

“Shoot! More are coming!” DASH-379 said getting in a fighting stance, “Luna is sending more demons our way!”

Applejack jumped away and charged up her element, and shot Fire Balls at the demon in front of her killing it. One demon got a lucky slash at Rarity knocking her back.

“Rarity!” Twilight cried, immediately charging up her white element. Something within Rarity was screaming to stop her.

“No Twilight!” Rarity cried, “Don't worry about me! Use that energy to attack! Trust me!”

Twilight looked confused, but she nodded and instead channeled her energy into her arrow. She then shot into the air using her Star Shower move to hit all the demons, actually killing all of them.

“That was weird,” DASH-379 said as they gathered around Rarity, “I am not used to you taking charge like that.”

“You've been acting weird since we entered this castle,” Applejack said, “Are you okay Rarity?”

“It's strange,” Rarity said holding her head, “I'm pretty sure that I've seen this before. Ugh, it's driving me crazy.”

“See in vision maybe?” Fluttershy asked, “Like how Seer has vision?”

“I don't see how that's possible,” Twilight said, “She's not connected to her alters like Celestia and Luna are. Actually, I don't think we've ever seen an alternate Rarity.”

“You're right…” Rarity said looking down, “I haven't ever seen a version of myself in any world we've been to. You'd think I'd meet one at least.”

Applejack frowned looking away, “Hey, let's not worry about it right now. We're still on an important mission after all.”

“This is true,” DASH-379 said, “We will have plenty of time to ponder this after Celestia is safe.”

“Right,” Rarity said, “Let's go then.”

As they continued, Rarity's heart wouldn't stop racing for some reason. The more she thought about it, the more wrong that seemed. Why hadn't she ever seen an alternate of herself? The only connection she had was-

Her spear…

Rarity stopped running a bit and looked at her spear, paying attention to the diamond insignia etched on the base. She put that on everything that was of true value to her, and she thought it was strange that Applejack's master had the same fighting style as her, and with how she reacted when they officially met…

“Rarity!” she heard Twilight call from up ahead, “Are you coming?”

“Y-yes darling,” Rarity said, “I'm coming.”

end song

After catching up, the group found themselves in what looked like a throne room. DASH-379 walked through the room looking around.

“I am picking up a high energy signature above us,” DASH-379 said, “I believe that this is Nightmare Moon.”

“What about the Queen?” Applejack asked, “Can you sense her?”

DASH-379 looked around again, “Odd. The life stream is leading me here. I do not see any doors though.”

“That's because she's in a secret room, Rainbow Dash.”

play song

They all looked at the throne and saw the last person they wanted to see sitting on the throne sideways.

“Pinkamena, I knew we'd see you at some point,” Rarity said stepping forward and pointing her spear at the demonic jester, “Where's Luna keeping Celestia?”

“Are you sure that's what you wanna know, Rarity?” Pinkamena asked, “I bet you have a ton of other questions you'd like answered. Like what really happened to your world, and your friends.”

Rarity slowly lowered her spear looking at Pinkamena seriously, “She knows then?”

“Nightmare Moon knows all about that,” Pinkamena said getting up and walking over to Rarity, “She wanted me to tell you that she's waiting to meet you at the top of the tower,” Pinkamena pointed to the stairs at the side, “Right through there.”

“Why are you telling us this?” Twilight asked, “Want to force Rarity to make a choice?”

“I bet it seems like that, doesn't it,” Pinkamena said with a sideways smile, “But that's not why I'm here at all. In fact, technically I'm supposed to guide you right to Nightmare Moon.”

“Then why are you not doing that?” DASH-379 asked, “Your master will not be pleased to see you disobeying her direct order.”

“You're right, she won't,” Pinkamena said looking down, surprisingly serious, “But you see, today is a special day. For the first time in who knows how long, I'm off the leash as it were.”

“Off… the leash…?” Twilight asked.

“So I figure, why not kill two birds with one stone? I get to finally continue my mission and have some fun!”

“Your mission?” Applejack asked.

“What mission?” Fluttershy asked.

“Why, to kill Rarity of course,” Pinkamena said with a toothy grin.

“Kill me?! Why?!” Rarity asked, “What did I ever do to you?!”

“Oh, nothing actually,” Pinkamena said, “You see, it's for the greater good that your life ends here. Otherwise, you're going to destroy them.”

“Who am I going to destroy?!” Rarity asked, her heart racing.

“Our friends, Rarity,” Pinkamena said, “Twilight, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Sunset Shimmer. Your very existence is a threat to all of them, myself included.”

“You not making sense!” Fluttershy shouted, “You talk like you are friend!”

“But we are friends, Fluttershy,” Pinkamena said, “Don't you remember your birthday party last year?”

“Birthday… party…?” Fluttershy shook her head furiously, “No! You not friend! Not friend!”

“Wait… what?” Twilight asked looking at Fluttershy in shock. She then looked back at Rarity, who was trembling looking at Pinkamena.

“They're all in danger, Rarity,” Pinkamena said, “But you can save them all by dying right now.”

“You…” Rarity said, backing away from Pinkamena, bumping into DASH-379, who looked pissed.

“Rarity, do not listen to her,” DASH-379 said, “She is just trying to get into your head.”

“Exactly,” Applejack said stepping forward, “This is the woman who killed my Teacher. She'll do anything to get what she wants. But not this time. This time, I'm going to put my Master's soul to rest!”

play song

Pinkamena sighed, “There's just no getting through to you, is there? Okay then,” she got in her fighting stance, “Since you guys don't get it, I'll just have to beat sense into you!”

Rarity shook her head and got in a fighting stance, DASH-379 and Applejack standing next to her.

Pinkamena rushed forward to Rarity, immediately spinning around with her hoop to slash Rarity, who blocked her attacks with her spear. Rarity flipped away, letting Applejack and DASH-379 trade blows with Pinkamena, who for now seemed to just be defensive while still perfectly calm. Pinkamena spun around knocking them away, and then charged up her blue element, using Ice Body on herself.

“Target has increased her defensive abilities!” DASH-379 said.

“In that case, I have just the thing!” Applejack said, charging up her red element. She then cast Vigor on herself, and rushed at Pinkamena, slashing with her now empowered blade. Pinkamena was knocked back by those attacks, but then took a few of Twilight's arrows directly.

Once she had enough energy, Twilight charged up her element and cast Healing Stream on everyone. Fluttershy rushed at Pinkamena next, slashing a few times with her daggers. She then jumped next to Applejack, both of them charging up their elements. Fluttershy jumped into the center of the room and spun around creating a tornado, and Applejack pointed her sword at Fluttershy, shooting a flame into the tornado. Now engulfed in flame, the tornado exploded actually causing massive damage to Pinkamena and knocking her back into the throne. (Double Tech: Fire Spin)

Pinkamena kicked to her feet, and then used another blue element, this time seeming to heal herself.

“Wait?! Blue can use healing spells too?!” Twilight asked in shock. Pinkamena was about to charge at her, but Rarity jumped in the way and slashed her back with her spear.

“I'm not holding back against you, Pinkamena!” Rarity said, “I plan on ending our relationship here and now!” Rarity rushed at Pinkamena and clashed weapons with her. The two of them seemed to dance around each other as they slashed and dodged. Rarity charged up her black element and then used her Grim Slash, but Pinkmena managed to jump out of the way.

“Good warm up,” Pinkamena said, “But now I'm serious!” She charged up her blue element, this time using Water Tower on everyone, knocking everyone to the ground.

“Hold on…” Twilight looked at Pinkamena confused, “Why isn't she using… DASH! Scan her!”

“Why? We already know her attributes!” DASH-379 said.

“Just trust me! I need to know something!” Twilight urged. DASH-379 shrugged and scanned Pinkamena as she fought Fluttershy, Rarity, and Applejack at the same time actually keeping them at bay.

“Wait a second… this is not right!” DASH-379 said, “My systems are only detecting a Blue Element.”

“She's supposed to be a double attribute though…” Twilight said to herself, “Rarity, she's not using black elements this time! You can afford to go all out on her!”

“Perfect!” Rarity said charging up her black element, “I know what to do with you then! JUST DIE!!!”

Rarity shifted into her Shadow Form and rushed at Pinkamena slashing ferociously. Pinkamena calmly kicked and danced out of the way of all of her attacks.

“Oh, you thought I was handicapped, huh?” Pinkamena said, “Now that I don't have Nightmare Moon holding me back, I'm at my full power!”

Pinkamena demonstrated this by actually kicking Shadow Rarity back. She then rushed at Shadow Rarity and jumped on her bladed hoop sliding into her before doing a back flip kick knocking her back.

Applejack and DASH-379 charged up their elements and jumped at either side of Pinkamena. They then charged at Pinkamena and used their Beat Rush move, hitting her on both sides. When they were done, Pinkamena put the hoop around her waist and spun it around, knocking both of them back.

“It seems she was not bluffing,” DASH-379 said, sparking as she took a lot of damage, “Her fighting style has gotten a lot more aggressive.”

“My mission is more important to me than anything, even my own life!” Pinkamena said sauntering over to Shadow Rarity, who was slowly rising to her knees, “I don't care what I have to do! I'm going to protect everyone!”

“NO!!!” Twilight screamed charging up her white element. She then fired her Ray Shot at Pinkamena before running in between her and Shadow Rarity, “I'm not letting you kill her!”

Pinkamena gritted her teeth, actually looking frustrated, “I'm trying… to SAVE YOUR LIFE!!!” Not even trying to be fancy anymore, Pinkamena gripped her bladed hoop and slashed Twilight aside knocking her to the ground. She was about to strike, but Shadow Rarity shot up and blocked with her spear, changing back to her normal self.

“I… DON'T WANT TO DIE!!!” Rarity shouted, pushing Pinkamena back, “I don't know what you're talking about, but I don't plan on hurting my friends anytime soon or dying! My entire journey is to save my friends!”

“You're seriously that much in denial, aren't you?!” Pinkamena asked, “This isn't some story where everyone lives happily ever after! In order for life to go on, some lives have to be taken!” Pinkamena looked away pained, “I hate it too… but this is the only way…”

Twilight slowly sat up and looked at Pinkamena in confusion. Why did she seem so… sad all of a sudden? Why was she doing this?

Applejack charged up her red element, and then shot a red beam at Pinkamena. Once it hit her, she appeared right in front of her and used her Sword Dance move, actually knocking her to the ground.

As Pinkamena flipped to her feet, Fluttershy rushed at her with her Gale Slash. After trading blows with Pinkamena for a bit, Fluttershy jumped away letting DASH-379 fire at her with her Charged Shot. Pinkamena rolled out of the way and then ran in a circle around the room as DASH-379 fired at her continuously. This lasted for a bit until DASH got impatient and charged up her element.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!” DASH-379 shouted, shifting into her powered up state. She then rushed at Pinkamena and fought her close quarter. She went for a lethal punch, but stopped short for some reason.

“Hey! Why are you stopping?!” Applejack asked DASH-379.

“This… does not… feel right…” DASH-379 said looking at Pinkamena intently, “P-P-Pinkie… Pie…?”

Pinkamena's eyes went wide, but she quickly kicked DASH-379 back and then rushed at Rarity. Before she could reach her though, Fluttershy charged up her green element and used her Wind Blade on Pinkamena, stopping her.

Rarity and Applejack charged up their elements where they stood, and both rushed past Pinkamena using their X-Strike on her, knocking her to one knee.

Rarity then turned back to Pinkamena and clashed weapons with her again, but this time charged up her black element at the same time. She then held her hand right at Pinkamena's stomach.

“Game over, Pinkamena!” Rarity said, firing her Shadow Ball point blank at Pinkamena, knocking her far back onto the ground.

end song

Rarity slowly walked over to Pinkamena's body. She was still breathing, and she slowly looked up at Rarity with an unreadable smile.

“You've truly become a demon… haven't you Rarity?” Pinkamena asked, “Looks like you and I aren't too different after all.”

“Shut up!” Rarity seethed, “I'm nothing like you or Nightmare Moon!”

“Why don't you… prove it then…?” Pinkamena said, “Show me… just how different… you and I are…”

“No!” Twilight cried desperately, “Don't fall for it, Rarity!”

She could feel it, her Shadow Form beginning to take hold. It was happening against her will, but this time she wasn't going to stop it. No, she wanted to let it consume her. Before she knew it, she was engulfed in darkness, shifting into her Shadow Form.

“RARITY!!!” Everyone shouted at the same time. Shadow Rarity raised her spear ready to impale Pinkamena. This was going to end one way or ano-

Twilight immediately embrace Shadow Rarity, stopping her.

play song

“Don't do this!” Twilight begged, “Don't lose yourself!”

Twilight…?” Shadow Rarity asked.

“You're not this monster, Rarity! I don't know what's going on anymore, what Pinkamena is trying to do, but if you kill her like this, you're proving her right! That in the end, you're just like her! Please don't kill her, Rarity! Please!”

Everyone was shocked to hear that. Sure, they didn't want Rarity to fall into the darkness either, but spare Pinkamena?! Even Pinkamena looked up at Twilight in shock.

“Twilight, that woman-” Applejack called out.

“I know! She killed your friend! Don't forget that she poisoned me!” Twilight shouted, “But, something inside of me is screaming that this isn't right! We're not supposed to kill her! This woman… Pinkamena… she's… What if she's one of us?!”

“One of us?” DASH-379 asked, “What are you talking about?”

“Didn't you feel it DASH?!” Twilight asked, tears forming in her eyes, “You couldn't hurt her! You had a chance to kill her, but you didn't take it! You felt the same thing we feel for everyone else! That she's one of us! That she's… SHE'S OUR FRIEND!!!”

Everyone was wide eyed at that. She claimed that Pinkamena was… their friend?

“Woman not friend…!” Fluttershy seethed, “Woman attack village…! Woman help wolf tribe! I kill her myself!” Fluttershy grabbed her dagger and was about to walk over to Pinkamena.

“Don't think with your heads!” Twilight begged, “Think with your hearts! The answer is there!” Twilight tightened her hold on Rarity, “I'm begging you, Rarity! Don't kill Pinkie Pie! Please! I know she's not your Pinkie Pie! I know she's done some horrible things, but I don't believe she's a bad person! She has a reason for all of it! Even if it isn't a good reason, I don't think she wants to actually hurt us! Please Rarity! Just let her go!”

Shadow Rarity looked at Pinkamena, thinking at length about what Twilight was saying. All of a sudden, through her eyes, Pinkamena disappeared, replaced by her Pinkie Pie lying on the ground in the same manner.

Pinkie… Pie…

The shadows dispersed, and Rarity changed back into her regular self.

“Come on everyone,” Rarity said, “We have to find the Queen.”

“You… are not seriously going to spare this woman?!” Applejack asked.

“What's more important?” Rarity asked shooting a look at Applejack, “Petty revenge, or the safety of your Queen? You're a knight Applejack! First and foremost!”

Applejack stepped back, a look of sheer shock on her face. DASH-379 walked over to Fluttershy and placed a hand on her shoulder.

“We need to continue our journey,” DASH stated.

“But… woman-”

“Killing her will not erase the past,” DASH-379 stated, “She is beaten. There is nothing she can do now.”

Fluttershy took a few deep breaths, but eventually sheathed her dagger and turned away.

“Never forgive,” Fluttershy said, “No matter what anyone says, woman not my friend.”

“You're… seriously going to spare me…?” Pinkamena asked.

“Twilight says she feels something from you,” Rarity said, “I trust her judgment. Now then, let's go everyone.”

As they all turned to leave, Pinkamena slowly rose to her feet.

“W-wait!” Pinkamena called out, stopping them. They looked as Pinkamena slowly walked over to the throne and pulled a lever behind it. A second later, the throne moved to the side revealing a staircase.

“The Queen… is being kept… down there…” Pinkamena said.

“Why are you helping us now?” Rarity asked. Pinkamena laughed.

“You know? I'm not sure. Kinda… funny when you think about it… isn't it?” Pinkamena fell down, leaning against the throne, “Just know, whatever happens in the end, I tried to stop you…”

“You all go get the Queen,” Rarity said, “I have someplace else to be.”

“Rarity, you're not planning on going after Nightmare Moon alone, are you?” Twilight asked.

“Once you've secured the Queen, come after me,” Rarity requested, “I need to have a word with her before anything else happens though.”

With that, Rarity ran up the staircase to where Nightmare Moon waited for her.

“We better hurry then,” Applejack said, “We can't leave Rarity alone for too long.”

Everyone nodded and ran to the staircase, but Twilight stopped and looked at Pinkamena. After a second, she knelt down next to her and used Rejuvenate on her. Pinkamena looked at Twilight wide eyed.

“Why…?” Pinkamena asked, “After everything I did to you and the others, you…”

“Because that's what white mages do,” Twilight said smiling at Pinkamena, “They heal people who are hurt.”

Twilight then ran after her friends, leaving Pinkamena sitting there. She looked up, tears of frustration falling from her eyes.

“Damn it…! Now what do I do…”

end song


Rarity ran up the stairs, stopping in front of a large blue door. Her heart was racing, not just because of who was behind here, but the possibility of finally getting some answers, and the possibility that she might not like those answers when she got them.

She took a deep breath, and pushed the door open. The door led outside onto a large balcony, and standing at the far end…

Was Viceroy Luna.

At least, it looked like Viceroy Luna. She wasn't wearing her usual robes, instead wearing a fancy black gown, black high heeled boots, and matching gloves. Her hair was much longer than normal and fuller, going all the way to her waist.

“This is a meeting that was a long time coming,” she said turning around to face Rarity, “Welcome, Chrono Trigger.”

Rarity was struck by how sexy her gown was. It was open in the front, showing off her legs, which were wearing fishnet stockings. The top of her gown showed off the top of her bust line, and for make up she wore blood red lipstick and purple eye shadow.

This was it. The source of everything that happened to her. Her sworn enemy, and final link to Lavos.

Nightmare Moon.


“Your Majesty!” Applejack called out as they ran down the stairs. In the far end of the room, on her knees chained to the back wall, completely naked and gagged with a black band, was Queen Celestia.

The group reached her, Twilight struck when she saw the state that Celestia's Medieval counterpart was in. Applejack, DASH-379, and Fluttershy wasted no time running to her aid, Applejack removing the black band covering her mouth.

“Applejack, my faithful knight,” Queen Celestia said weakly, “I knew you'd reach me.”

“I'm sorry it took so long,” Applejack said, cupping Celestia's face, holding her close, “I came as soon as I could, but-”

“Shh… Shh… Fret not,” Celestia said, “You came for me, and that's what matters,” she looked up at DASH-379 and Fluttershy with a soft and relieved smile, “Thank you. You guided my beloved knight to me safely.”

Fluttershy rubbed her nose smiling proudly, and DASH-379 nodded smirking. As DASH got to work on breaking the shackles on Celestia's wrists, the Queen turned to Twilight.

“Where is the Chrono Trigger?” Queen Celestia asked.

“She went on ahead to face Nightmare Moon,” Twilight said, “She told us to join her once we released you.”

“Twilight, listen to me,” Celestia said seriously, “You must hurry to Rarity's side immediately. She's in more danger than you could ever imagine.”

“She… is…?” Twilight asked, her heart racing all of a sudden.

“Your Majesty, what's happening?” Applejack asked.

“Luna's plan is to draw the Chrono Trigger into darkness. Together, they'll be able to create a paradox that will open the way to Lavos,” Queen Celestia explained.

“Open way… to Lavos?” Fluttershy turned to Twilight, “You go now! Protect Rarity!”

Twilight nodded and ran upstairs, praying that she wasn't too late. Something told her that letting her go alone was a horrible idea.


play song

“Nightmare Moon,” Rarity said pointing her spear at the woman before her.

“Please, call me Luna,” Nightmare Moon said holding her hand up, “And I'm not your enemy, Rarity.”

“Oh really?” Rarity asked, “Then tell me, why did you pull me away from my world? It was you that sent Lavos after my world, right?”

“It was I who pulled you from your world, yes,” Nightmare Moon admitted, “I am truly sorry for what happened to your dimension, and your friends. However, I did not seek to harm you.”

“Didn't seek to harm-” Rarity cut herself off, she was so incredulous, “My friends, my family, my home, all of it is gone! Everything that's happened to me up to this point has been your fault, and you expect me to believe you when you say that you didn't seek to cause me harm?!” Rarity got in her fighting stance, “You're going to pay, Luna!”

Nightmare Moon closed her eyes seriously, and then held out her hand summoning what appeared to be a scythe. She twirled it above her head in one hand and then held it in her personal stance, swaying from side to side almost like Pinkamena did.

Before she could even move, a white arrow fired at Nightmare Moon. Rarity turned to see Twilight standing by the door with her arrow pointed at Nightmare Moon.

play song

“Let's do this Rarity,” Twilight said, “Together!”

Rarity nodded to Twilight as she ran to Rarity's side. Rarity charged at Nightmare Moon first, slashing wildly with her spear. Each slash Nightmare Moon blocked easily, but Rarity was still able to gather energy. She then jumped away and charged up her black element. Rarity held her hand forward and fired her Shadow Ball at Nightmare Moon, who took the attack head on.

Twilight fired at Nightmare Moon a few times with her arrows, finding most of her attacks blocked as well. Still, once she had enough energy, she charged up her white element and used Healing Stream on herself and Rarity.

“A white adept and black adept working together?” Nightmare Moon asked, “The light and darkness can't coexist. You'll learn this soon, Chrono Trigger.”

Nightmare Moon ran over to Rarity, slashing with her scythe. Rarity found herself having a terrible time trying to block her attacks, which were really difficult to read. Yet, Rarity could tell that she was oddly pulling her strikes.

Twilight fired at Nightmare Moon forcing her back, and then charged up her white element, firing her Ray Shot at Nightmare Moon.

The second it hit her though, Nightmare Moon spun her scythe above her head charging up her own element. She then spun around slashing the air and sending a horizontal black shock wave at Twilight. She then followed up by jumping into the air flipping forward and slashing again, sending another vertical shock wave at Twilight. (Shadow Slice).

“Twilight!” Rarity cried as her friend fell to one knee.

“I'm fine!” Twilight said, “I don't think me attacking her is a good idea though! You'll have to be the main attacker!”

That was really bad actually. Twilight was the one with white elements, meaning she'd do more damage. Nightmare Moon was clearly a black adept like Rarity, so they couldn't really hurt each other.

Rarity rushed at Nightmare Moon again, once again clashing weapons with her. Nightmare Moon effortlessly blocked all of her attacks, meeting Rarity in a weapon's clash.

“This struggle is pointless, Rarity,” Nightmare Moon said, “You and I aren't enemies.”

“Shut up! SHUT UP!!!” Rarity screamed. She pushed Nightmare Moon back, and then charged up her black element, her eyes glowing red briefly, “JUST DIE!!!” Rarity shouted, shifting into her Shadow Form. Nightmare Moon raised an eyebrow, and then charged up her own black element.

“BEHOLD!!!” Nightmare Moon shouted, shifting into her own Shadow Form. The two shadow entities rushed at each other and slashed wildly. It was so terrifying to watch that Twilight had to step back in fear.

After a few seconds, Shadow Rarity charged up her black element and leaned back unleashing her Shadow Blades on Shadow Nightmare Moon, who actually blocked each and every attack effortlessly. She then slashed Shadow Rarity back, and then charged up her element. She then threw her scythe at Shadow Rarity, making it spin continuously slashing Shadow Rarity continuously and knocking her back. (Blood Wheel)

Shadow Rarity shifted out of her Shadow Form and Twilight ran to her side, immediately casting Rejuvenate on her.

Nightmare Moon dispersed the shadows around her, and walked over to the two girls.

“You have a lot of control of the dark arts,” Nightmare Moon said, “However, you lack the discipline to fully utilize them. Black elements require a special kind of heart to control, much like white elements.”

“Stay back!” Twilight said immediately standing up and pointing her bow at Nightmare Moon.

“Now you on the other hand are quite skilled in your element,” Nightmare Moon said, “Almost a natural. But you lack the heart to use the much stronger aspect of your element. You've only grasped the healing and support aspect. Those rudimentary skills are no match for me. Allow me to show you,” Nightmare Moon charged up her element, “WHAT THE BLACK ARTS ARE TRULY CAPABLE OF!!!”

Nightmare Moon held her arm out as if to fire a Shadow Ball, but this time charged up energy in her hand. Sensing danger, Rarity immediately pushed Twilight out of the way as Nightmare Moon unleashed the largest black and red energy beam Rarity had ever seen, actually destroying part of the balcony they were standing on. (Hell Wave)

Rarity was horrified by this woman's power. It was official, she was too powerful for them. Even if the others were there, it wouldn't have made a difference. Nightmare Moon beat them.

play song

Nightmare Moon walked over to Rarity and knelt down before her.

“Let's stop this foolishness,” Nightmare Moon said, “There's no reason for us to fight, child.”

“Why did you do this…?” Rarity asked, trembling before the woman before her, “Why did you… take me away from my world?”

“I did this… to save you.”

What did she say? She wanted to save Rarity?

“Save me…?” Rarity asked.

“You've been given a cursed fate, Rarity,” Nightmare Moon stated, “Thrown away by the gods. You've noticed it, haven't you? In all of your travels, you've seen alters of everyone. Twilight here, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, even Pinkie Pie. Yet nowhere have you seen an alter of yourself. Haven't you wondered about that?”

Yes, actually. Earlier today Rarity was wondering why that was.

“In the universe, there are people who have to live in order for time to move forward. However, there are also people in the universe… who have to die for that very reason. Do you see where I'm going with this?”

Did she…? Rarity didn't know if she wanted to know where she was going.

“I lost someone because of this,” Nightmare Moon continued, taking Rarity's hand and helping her up, “My best friend was killed… because of “fate” and because she was one who had to die. You see, Rarity, you're what's called a “Singularity”.”

“What's a Singularity…?” Twilight asked, afraid but intrigued nonetheless.

“A Singularity is something that occurs in only one variant of the universe,” Nightmare Moon explained, “Such as… Being the only variant of yourself that's currently alive.”

Rarity's heart was sinking. Was Nightmare Moon telling the truth? Could it be that every other Rarity in the universe was…

“I was doing what I had to,” Nightmare Moon said caressing Rarity's face, “Yes, I pulled you out of your dimension, but I also gave you the tools needed to create your own destiny.”

“I don't want any of that...” Rarity said quietly, “All I want is to find Sunset Shimmer and return to my world.”

Nightmare Moon looked down somberly, “Rarity… your world doesn't exist.”

end song

Rarity's eyes went wide, and she stepped back away from Nightmare Moon in horror.

“My world… doesn't exist…?” Rarity asked. Twilight looked at Rarity shaking her head.

“But… she's right here!” Twilight said, “She exists! That means that her world had to have-”

“She's right here, because once again I was the one who intervened,” Nightmare Moon said, “Do you remember the car accident ten years ago?”

“I… remember…” Rarity said, “The doctors said that it was… a miracle that I…” she looked at Nightmare Moon wide eyed, “Don't tell me… that was you?” Nightmare Moon nodded smiling, “You're the reason… I survived that…?”

“That was supposed to be the moment that ended your life, allowing the world to continue to move forward. You've seen the world without you, right? Her world?” Nightmare Moon turned to Twilight, “According to fate, that's the way your world is supposed to be. A world that's dark, devoid of magic and unity. A world…”

“Without… me…?” Rarity asked, suddenly shaking her head, “No…! NO!!! You're lying! You have to be lying!”

“Why don't you ask them?” Luna asked as commotion was heard from the door. It opened revealing the rest of Rarity's group, now joined by Queen Celestia, who was wearing Applejack's cape to cover herself somewhat.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy cried.

“Are you okay, Rarity?” DASH-379 asked.

“Go on Rarity,” Nightmare Moon said placing her hands on Rarity's shoulders, “Ask Applejack the name of her teacher.”

“Rarity…?” Twilight asked slowly.

play song

“Well?” Rarity asked looking at Applejack, “What was your teacher's name? Was your teacher… me?”

Applejack's eyes went wide, but she looked away pained. Rarity was aghast, realizing what she was saying in her silence.

“My God…” Rarity said, eyes wide, “It's true… isn't it…?” she turned to Celestia now, enraged, “ISN'T IT?!! YOU KNEW, DIDN'T YOU?!!! THAT EVERY SINGLE RARITY IN THE UNIVERSE DIED!!! THAT I WAS LITERALLY THE ONLY ONE!!! THAT MY WORLD DIDN'T EXIST ANYMORE!!!”

“R-Rarity… you're scaring me…” Twilight said.

“Tell me the truth!” Rarity said pointing her spear at Celestia and walking toward her, tears streaming from her eyes, “Tell me what happened to my world!”

“Rarity, what are you-” Applejack started to ask.

“Stay out of this!” Rarity screamed, “Where. Is. My. World?! WHERE ARE MY FRIENDS?!!!”

Queen Celestia closed her eyes somberly, “I'm sorry, but your world is… gone. It never was supposed to exist in the first place. You're… an anomaly in the universe, as… you're not supposed to even exist.”

“See?” Nightmare Moon said placing a hand on Rarity's shoulder, “This is the confirmation. The universe has thrown you away.”

“No…” Rarity said, darkness rising to engulf her, “Everything I've been fighting for… was it all for nothing…?”

“Rarity no!” Twilight cried running to Rarity and embracing her, “Don't let the darkness take you! You have to hold on!”

“Hold onto what exactly…?” Rarity asked darkly, “Didn't you hear? My world doesn't exist anymore. My friends, my family, I've been fighting a losing battle from the start,” Rarity laughed ruefully, “Even if I somehow did get back to my world, fate would probably just kill me the next day.”

“Rarity-”

“Do you think that's fair?” Rarity asked grabbing Twilight's shoulders, “That you all get to live while the world just tosses me aside? Because believe it or not, I don't!”

“But you can live, Rarity!” Twilight urged, “You and I can just go home and-”

“THAT'S NOT MY HOME!!!” Rarity screamed, her eyes glowing red, “MY HOME IS GONE, REMEMBER?!!!”

“Even still, we can fight Lavos and Nightmare Moon!” Twilight urged, “They're the ones who-”

“Fight Nightmare Moon?! Why would I do that?! She's the only reason I'm even alive now!” Rarity pushed Twilight to the ground away from her as the black flame grew around her.

“Rarity, no! You can't fall to the darkness!” Twilight begged as Fluttershy, DASH-379, and Applejack gathered next to her, “This is exactly what Nightmare Moon wants!”

“Exactly,” Nightmare Moon stated, “I want her to join me, so I can protect her. I'll never let you or anyone hurt Rarity again. Now, let the darkness consume you, Rarity. Do this, and no one will ever be able to touch you again.”

end song

Rarity closed her eyes, and allowed herself to be completely engulfed by the darkness. At the same time, Nightmare Moon was engulfed in the same darkness, and a black wave shot out pushing everyone back.

“We have to get out of here!” Queen Celestia urged, “They're summoning Lavos!”

“But what about Rarity?!” Twilight cried, “We can't leave her here!”

“There is no time!” DASH-379 stated, “We have to escape from here!”

Before anyone could think to move, Pinkamena of all people jumped down standing in front of the two dark flames.

“Go!” Pinkamena urged getting in her fighting stance, “I'll cover you!”

“Why you help?!” Fluttershy asked.

“I'm returning the favor!” Pinkamena said, “I can't hold them off for too long! Once Lavos gets here, I'll be at my limit! You need to get going now!”

Applejack and DASH-379 pulled Twilight to her feet and they ran out, Queen Celestia running after them. Fluttershy lagged behind a bit looking at the black flame that engulfed Rarity.

“Rarity!” Fluttershy cried before reluctantly running after her friends. As the flames dispersed, revealing Nightmare Moon and Rarity's new sinister form, Pinkamena got her blade ready and rushed at the two dark figures.


It took a while, but they managed to exit the castle, which was now trembling before being engulfed in a white light and breaking apart.

“What's that?!” Applejack asked.

“That… is Lavos…” Queen Celestia said. The castle exploded in a white flash, forcing everyone to cover their eyes. As the light died down, they heard the most horrifying screech they had ever heard.

Twilight was the first to lower her hands, and then screamed. Everyone else looked in awe and horror at the large black and red bug like creature that materialized where the castle once stood.

“This is Lavos?!” Fluttershy asked trembling, “God of Forest?!”

“No Fluttershy! Lavos is not a God!” Celestia stated, “But he is terrifying!”

“The power coming off this creature is off the charts!” DASH-379 stated, “It is unlike anything we have ever faced!”

“Everyone, brace yourselves!” Applejack commanded, “I think he sees us!”

play song

Lavos immediately charged up an oddly colored element, this one being multicolored. Lasers shot down from the sky at everyone, doing massive damage. (Rain of Destruction)

DASH-379 and Applejack both rushed at Lavos and began attacking him, but as far as they could tell, nothing they did seemed to work against him at all.

DASH-379 jumped away and charged up her yellow element, deciding not to waste time against this creature.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA mode!”

Now in ATHENA mode, DASH-379 charged up her element again, this time holding up her arm. A bolt of lightning hit it empowering it, and she rushed at Lavos using her Elec Sword. In response to that, Lavos roared and fired a light blue beam out of his mouth at DASH-379, knocking her back.

“DASH!” Fluttershy cried. She then rushed at Lavos herself and began slashing at him with her daggers while Twilight charged up her white element. She was about to cast Cure All, but felt stronger after her fights earlier so tried using Rejuvenate on everyone, pleased when it worked. (Mass Rejuvenation)

“Fluttershy, move!” Applejack ordered. Fluttershy moved out of the way as Applejack charged up her red element. First she cast Vigor on herself to double her attack, and then she charged at Lavos slashing with her blade. Once she had enough energy, she and DASH-379 (still in ATHENA Mode) charged up their elements, and used Beat Rush on Lavos. Right after they finished, Fluttershy charged up her green element and spun around using her Tail Spin move.

None of these attacks even fazed the creature.

Lavos charged up that strangely colored element again, and fired his Rain of Destruction hitting everyone, this time knocking out both Applejack and DASH-379.

“Applejack! DASH!” Twilight cried. She fired rapidly with her arrows to gather energy, and then charged up her element to cast Mass Rejuvenation on everyone. Just as she feared, it only worked on herself and Fluttershy.

“No…!” Twilight cried falling to her knees, “My magic isn't strong enough! I can't heal their wounds!”

“Twilight, move!” Fluttershy urged. She pushed Twilight out of the way as Lavos shot three large black missiles at Twilight, instead taking the attack herself. She screamed in agony as she fell to the ground unconscious.

“No! Fluttershy!” Twilight screamed. She looked up at Lavos, trembling in fear, “Rarity…! I wish you were here! You'd know what to do against it!” Lavos opened his three pronged mouth and charged up energy, “RARITY!!!!”

Pinkamena jumped down in front of Twilight, landing on one knee clearly in pain.

“I guess I don't have a choice…!” Pinkamena stated.

“Pinkamena…?” Twilight asked.

“I'm getting us out of here!” Pinkamena stated holding what looked like a gate key, but slightly different looking than the one Rarity used, “Gate open!”

Behind them, a large blue portal opened, engulfing Applejack, DASH-379, and Fluttershy instantly. Pinkamena grabbed Twilight by the arm roughly and started pulling her toward the portal.

“Celestia, you're coming too!” Pinkamena commanded. Celestia nodded and ran through the portal. Pinkamena pushed Twilight through, and then stuck her tongue out at Lavos before jumping through herself seconds before the portal closed.


play song

“They escaped,” Nightmare Moon said leaning on the balcony, watching as Lavos faded away, “It's no matter. Now we have the power to draw Lavos into the universe.”

“What will we do with this power?”

Nightmare Moon turned to the figure leaning against the wall next to her, shrouded in shadows.

“We'll create our own universe,” Nightmare Moon said, “Think of it. With the power of a god, we can rewrite the universe however we see fit. We can become gods now, if we so wish, and ultimately, we can make Celestia pay for what she did to us. What do you say, Rarity?”

“Rarity is dead,” the figure said, opening her now demonic red eyes, “You can call me… Crystal. Nightmare Crystal…”

Standard: Aftermath

View Online

Standard – Aftermath

play song

Twilight was surprised when Pinkamena took them all to Standard, but she claimed it was the safest place to be. Celestia said that she'd take care of Applejack, DASH-379, and Fluttershy, saying that if Twilight wanted to rest she could.

Since it was night when they arrived, Twilight went right to sleep.

Her house was pretty big, so there was plenty of room for everyone as long as some people were okay with sleeping together. Normally Twilight would have been micromanaging all of that, but she had lost all enthusiasm.

Did Rarity really just… give up like that?

She prayed that the next morning it would all be a bad dream, and she'd wake up with Rarity lying next to her. Sadly though, when she woke up the next morning, her bed was empty.

A feeling she wasn't accustomed to anymore.

“Rarity…” Twilight said hugging herself, crying for the third time since the incident happened, “It's not true… is it? You didn't… turn your back on everyone… did you…?”

After she calmed down enough to face everyone, she got cleaned up and dressed. Before she could head downstairs, her phone chimed letting her know she had a text.

Are you and Rarity here today? If so, we're all gathering in the park today! Hope to see you there!

Pinkie “Diane” Pie

Pinkie Pie wanted to meet up today? Not only that, but she wanted Rarity to come too?

Sounds like fun. Why don't we go pay them a visit?

Twilight looked next to her, almost seeing Rarity standing next to her with her usual confident smile. One that was almost a smirk, but more sensual than arrogant. When the image faded away, Twilight's heart sank.

“Good, you're up.”

Twilight jumped when she heard that voice behind her. She turned and was surprised to see Pinkamena leaning against a wall with her arms folded.

“P-Pinkamena…” Twilight said. Even with everything that happened yesterday, it still felt odd having this woman in her house, considering that just the other day they were sworn enemies.

“How are you feeling?” Pinkamena asked, sounding genuinely concerned, “Wait, don't answer that. You probably feel like absolute shit right now, knowing that your friend is gone.”

“Did you… know about this…?” Twilight asked, “Was this why you were going after Rarity all this time? Why you were trying to kill her?”

“You wanna know what's funny? I wasn't trying to kill your Rarity,” Pinkamena admitted, “Well, I guess she isn't your Rarity. She's not anyone's Rarity. Technically, she's not supposed to exist.”

“H-how can you say that?!” Twilight asked harshly, “Rarity is a living person, and she has a right to live! Just as much of a right to live as you, me, DASH, Applejack, Fluttershy, Celestia, everyone!”

“That's only seeing things from your narrow view,” Pinkamena said regarding Twilight seriously, “You can't see the big picture, or how one person can affect the flow of time and space.”

“That's easy for you to say!” Twilight fussed closing her eyes tightly, “You didn't know her! You didn't get to spend time with her, getting to know her, and fighting alongside her! It's easy for you to just say she wasn't supposed to exist!”

“Easy? EASY?!! YOU THINK THIS IS EASY FOR ME TWILIGHT!!! SHE WAS MY FRIEND TOO, BUT-” Pinkamena stopped herself and turned away seriously. Twilight calmed down a bit, and regarded Pinkamena seriously.

“That's not the first time you've done that…” Twilight said, “You always talk like you're familiar with us. Just who are you?”

Pinkamena took a deep breath, actually fighting back tears, “You don't remember me at all, do you Twilight? I guess that's understandable. In the human world we never got very close, but we were super close in Equestria. I guess I keep hoping… that you'll remember that much at least.”

“Equestria…?” Twilight asked, “Pinkamena, what are you talking about? Is that another world?”

“I wish I could tell you,” Pinkamena said, letting her tears fall freely, “I wish so badly that I could tell you, so I could tell you why things ended up like this. But I can't. If I did, you wouldn't understand.”

“Understand what?” Twilight asked, slowly approaching the gothic jester before her.

“That you and I… have been friends for years,” Pinkamena said, actually surprising Twilight, “Gather everyone, and meet up with me at Canterlot High's statue later. You can decide what to do with me then, along with what you're going to do about Rarity.”

“What happened to her anyway?” Twilight asked Pinkamena as she started walking downstairs, “Is she… did she actually…”

“I'm afraid so,” Pinkamena said somberly, “It's actually the very thing I was trying to prevent. What the universe was trying to prevent. You can't halt the flow of time and not suffer the consequences.”

With that, Pinkamena walked downstairs, apparently leaving the house entirely. Twilight was struck by a lot of what Pinkamena said, mainly the part of them being friends for years. She knew that she and Pinkie Pie had been friends for a long time, but it sounded like Pinkamena was referring to herself personally.

With everything she had already learned about the universe, was it possible?

Twilight went downstairs to see where everyone was. The first person she saw was Celestia, sitting at the table in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee, now wearing a simple white dress Twilight's mother never wore anymore. At first Twilight was confused, but then remembered that this was probably the Celestia from Medieval.

Golly. Right now, she looks JUST like my Principal.

“Glad you finally came downstairs, Twilight,” Queen Celestia said looking at Twilight with a somber smile.

“Celestia… is it true…?” Twilight asked, “Was Rarity… really not supposed to exist?”

“It's so much more complicated than that,” Queen Celestia said, “Sadly, I'm not privy to that information.”

“But you knew that Rarity wasn't-”

“Yes, only because I'm allowed to know that,” Queen Celestia stated, “I'm not allowed to know the rest.”

“This isn't like the second Matrix movie, is it?” Twilight asked with a slight groan, “You know, where everyone was talking about “purpose” and “knowing things because they're supposed to know” and other really deep stuff that didn't make any sense at all.”

“I assure you it's not that complicated,” Queen Celestia said with a slight chuckle, “Close, but not that insane. The one who knows is on a plane higher than all of this. You'd have to meet special requirements to meet me there.”

“Wait… you mean there's a fifth Celestia?” Twilight asked, “One besides you, the Seer, Solaris, and my principal?”

“The four of us are all connected to the same soul,” Queen Celestia said sipping her coffee, “That single soul has to come from somewhere, doesn't it?”

She was talking about the source of their existence, in a way the person they were really talking to whenever they spoke to a Celestia. Still, what were those special requirements Celestia was referring to?

“Why don't you meet up with your friends?” Celestia requested, “I'm not going anywhere at the moment, so we can talk later.”

Twilight noticed that although the dress she was wearing covered the essentials, the dress was a little small for Celestia. Her mother was really petite after all.

“Why are you wearing my Mom's clothes anyway?” Twilight asked. Queen Celestia coughed blushing a bit.

“In case you forgot, Luna kept me in that cell… um… you know…”

“Oooh, right,” Twilight said, remembering how they found her the last time, “I guess sitting around completely naked is really annoying.”

Queen Celestia cleared her throat, “Yes, mind you this isn't much better, but at least you can't see my um…”

“I'm… going to go now, before this gets anymore awkward,” Twilight said.

“Thank you,” Celestia said quickly, returning to her coffee. Twilight shook her head and left out of the room to search for her friends. She needed to hear their opinions of what happened.

The first one she saw was Applejack. She was sitting in the library of the house, not wearing her armor. Instead, she was wearing one of her dad's red flannel shirts, blue jeans, and her usual boots. It actually looked really good on her, making Twilight wish that Applejewel would dress more practical sometimes. It was a good look for her.

Applejack looked up from her book with a somewhat somber expression, “Hey Twilight.”

Twilight lightly waved saying hi and then looked to the side holding her arm.

“Are… you okay?” Twilight asked.

“I'm fine, Twilight,” Applejack said honestly, “It's you we're all worried about. You and Rarity were really close after all.”

“I don't know what to make of what happened,” Twilight said, “The look in her eyes… it wasn't anything like her, nor were the things she said…”

“Honestly, I'm not surprised this happened,” Applejack admitted, putting her book down and folding her arms.

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

“She lost everything that she loved. Her friends, her family, no one would be unaffected by that. I don't care who you are. With all of that, learning that her world wasn't supposed to exist, that she wasn't supposed to exist, it pushed her over to the edge.”

“But to give up? Just like that?” Twilight asked.

“Tell me something,” Applejack said walking up to Twilight with a stern expression, “What exactly is she supposed to fight for now?”

“W-well…”

“No, think about it from her point of view. She's lost everything, Twilight. She doesn't have a home anymore, she doesn't have a family, hell, technically this is her world, right? Where is she in this world?”

“She's… dead…”

“Exactly. Just like she is in DASH's world, Fluttershy's world,” Applejack looked pained, “and… my world.”

That confirmed it. Applejack's teacher was a variant of Rarity. Twilight had actually suspected it for a while, ever since seeing the spear that she gave Rarity. At the time she didn't think much of it.

“She's not ever going to get her friends back, Twilight,” Applejack continued, “This is the closest thing she has to her world, and she's alone in it. Add on the knowledge that the universe essentially chose her to have to die for it to keep moving forward, what exactly is she fighting for now?”

“I just…” tears started building up in Twilight's eyes, “I don't want to believe that there's nothing we can do… Rarity is my…”

Applejack sighed looking down, “The world is so much bigger than I thought. Not just in the places and people, but just in how it all works. People who are living weapons, alters of people I've known for years. You're an alternate version of someone I see everyday back home. God, knowing all this now, makes me feel really small. Who's to say, you know? We don't know how the rules of the world work. Sad as it is, Rarity might have to-”

“Don't say it,” Twilight said, “Please.”

Applejack sighed, “Twilight…”

“I know I'm being silly right now, but I'm not ready to face that reality yet,” Twilight said, “I don't know if I'll ever be willing to face that reality.”

Applejack looked at Twilight somberly, and then walked over to a picture on a desk, “So… this is my alter, right?”

Confused, Twilight walked over to Applejack and looked at the picture. Sure enough, she saw a picture of Twilight hugging Applejewel.

“Oh, y-yeah. She prefers to be called Applejewel though.”

Applejack looked at her with a raised eyebrow, “Applejewel? Really?”

“She moved in with her Aunt and Uncle Orange when she was eight. I think she came from Sweet Apple Acres… yeah she did. Everyone in her family has an apple themed name.”

“So just like me then,” Applejack said.

“The upper class lifestyle just suited her,” Twilight continued, “She eventually changed her name, and just put her all in being, well, that. She's like you somewhat, but a little frivolous.”

“Interesting,” Applejack said, “Do you know where I'd be able to meet my alternate self?”

“She lives in a huge mansion down the street,” Twilight said, “You can't miss it. It has a huge orange symbol on the gate.”

Applejack nodded, “I think I'll go there to meet her.”

“Why? Except for her slightly snooty personality, she's actually pretty well off.”

“None of this has really hit me yet,” Applejack admitted, “It's right in front of me, and yet something inside won't let me accept the truth that… I'm so small and insignificant in this universe. The one constant I've seen in every world so far is that humans are arrogant. We think that the world revolves around us, and that our lives are more important than anyone else. I admit, even I can be like that sometimes.

“But this journey has put things in a new light for me. All of a sudden, I'm seeing entire worlds that are completely different than my own. Worlds where I don't even have an active part in them. I know I'm there, but…” Applejack looked down seriously, “Unlike everyone else, I can't accept what's in front of me. I think that's because I'm the only one who hasn't had contact with themselves in another world. Maybe if I meet this… Applejewel, I'll be able to understand more about how this world works.”

Twilight remembered what happened when Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy met their alternate selves. Maybe this would be good.

Twilight looked to the side a bit at a chair, and saw an old stetson hat. Her dad never wore it anymore, but something about that made Twilight feel funny.

“Applejack, before you go…” Twilight walked over to the hat, picked it up, and then gave it to Applejack, “Could you maybe… try putting this on?”

Applejack raised an eyebrow, but then shrugged and put the hat on. When she did, a weird feeling came over Twilight. Seeing Applejack like that, wearing that hat just felt… right to her. Applejack also had an odd look on her face, and slowly ran her finger across the brim of the hat.

“What in tarnation…” Applejack said, “Why does this feel… familiar to me…?”

Hold on… did she just speak in… a Texan accent?

“Twilight… why did you give me this?” Applejack asked.

“I don't really know,” Twilight said, “It just feels like… you're supposed to wear that.”

“Same…” Applejack said, “Could I maybe… keep this…?”

“Yeah sure,” Twilight said, “I don't think my dad's going to make a huge fuss about it. He hates the hat anyway, so you'd be doing him a favor.”

“Thanks…” Applejack said, “I don't think I can wear it with my armor but… I'll keep it with me.”

Twilight nodded and turned to the door, “Oh one more thing. Later, could you come to the statue in front of my school? Pinkamena wanted to talk to all of us.”

Applejack took a deep breath, “I suppose right now I should put my grudge aside, and she did help us in the end there. Sure, I'll listen to her.”

Feeling satisfied, Twilight left the library to search for her other remaining teammates. Outside, she heard commotion. She followed the sound to her backyard, where she saw DASH-379 throwing punches at the air.

“I am still too damaged it seems,” DASH-379 said looking at her hand flexing her fingers, “I will need to ask Twilight to repair me later.”

“Maybe you should get some rest, before you pull a wire out,” Twilight said, getting DASH-379's attention.

“Good, you are unharmed,” DASH said walking over to Twilight, “We were all worried that Lavos hurt you.”

“That monster… that was Lavos?” Twilight asked.

“Affirmative,” DASH-379 stated folding her arms, “I do not believe that he was able to fully manifest however. His existence seemed incomplete, like all we saw was a part of him.”

“That's terrifying,” Twilight said looking away seriously, “DASH, about Rarity-”

“Do not worry,” DASH-379 said turning around and getting in a fighting stance, “I will begin my search for Rarity and retrieve her when I am combat ready.”

“Wait… retrieve her? As in… bring her back…?”

“That is correct,” DASH-379 said, now throwing kicks. Twilight was looking at DASH-379 with wide eyes.

“But… she's joined Nightmare Moon now,” Twilight said.

“So? That does not change anything about how I feel concerning Rarity. She is my friend, and I am going to bring her back,” DASH-379 charged up her leg with electricity and did a fancy rapid leg kick, “Even if I must knock some sense into her first!”

“DASH…”

“I do not abandon my friends, no matter what they do to me. Rarity knows that I am a killing machine, yet she did not turn her back on me for that. I would be a hypocrite if I abandoned her for this.”

“Is that… a part of your programming?” Twilight asked, “To be that loyal…?”

“I do not believe so,” DASH-379 said, “I am programmed to simply follows orders. This however feels more personal. It is strange, but… I feel almost like my programming is now adjusting itself to me.”

Was this a sign of that thing they heard about in Machine called “The Pinocchio Effect”? Was this how it started? Looking at DASH-379 now, something seemed… right. Like seeing Rainbow Dash determined to save a friend was just “Rainbow Dash being Rainbow Dash”.

Twilight smiled warmly, “You know what? You're actually really awesome, DASH.”

DASH-379 smirked, “Yeah, I know I am. I am approximately 20% more awesome than any machine in existence.”

When she said that, both she and Twilight looked shocked. The same feeling that she got from Applejack when she put on the hat came over Twilight.

“Where did that come from?” Twilight asked.

“I am not sure…” DASH-379 said tilting her head, “Was that… another malfunction? No… it felt…”

Okay, something was happening now. Possibly a connection to what Pinkamena was saying even. Right! Pinkamena!

“Oh, there's something I needed to tell you,” Twilight said, “Pinkamena wants to meet up with us at the statue in front of my school later.”

“Huh, okay then,” DASH-379 said with a shrug, “I will talk to Fluttershy about it in a bit. She still gets very volatile concerning Pinkamena, so it is probably best that I let her know about the meeting.”

“Yeah, good idea,” Twilight said, “Speaking of, what do you think of Pinkamena?”

DASH-379 looked at Twilight surprised, “You want my opinion of her? Why?”

“Well, you don't really give your opinion on a lot,” Twilight said, “You may be a machine, but you're one of us, so your thoughts matter too.”

“Huh…” DASH-379 looked down thoughtfully, “Well, I personally see no reason why we cannot work with her.”

“R-really? That was not what I was expecting from you.”

“It is strange, but something about her feels trustworthy to me. Despite everything she did to us in the past, I feel like the real Pinkamena is someone I should be friends with, almost as close as I am with Fluttershy.”

It was weird, but to Twilight, DASH-379 seemed more human now than ever. It suddenly struck her that she just asked a machine for their opinion, and got one that made sense. She was changing too, just like Applejack.

“Thanks DASH,” Twilight said, “I think… I needed to hear that too.”

DASH-379 smirked as a response, and then got back to her training. Seeing a robot that was so arrogant was… odd, yet somehow that response was just… right.

Twilight walked back into the house, this time going to the living room. There, she saw Fluttershy lying on the couch with a truly sad expression on her face. Twilight walked over to sit near her.

“Hey,” Twilight said, “How are you feeling?” instead of speaking, Fluttershy closed her eyes and whimpered softly, tears streaming from her eyes, “Yeah, I guess I expected that. You care about Rarity a lot too,” Fluttershy nodded, still not looking up at Twilight, “I wish I knew what to tell you. Truth is, I'm just as upset as you. I don't want to believe that she's…”

“Not… evil…”

Twilight looked down at Fluttershy surprised.

“Fluttershy…?”

“Rarity… not evil… Rarity hurt, feel alone. In very dark place right now. I… scared for Rarity…”

“Oh Fluttershy!” Twilight broke down, immediately embracing Fluttershy. She was too sweet for words. Even after seeing Rarity help Nightmare Moon summon Lavos, Fluttershy still believed in her.

“Twilight… please don't cry,” Fluttershy urged, sitting up and looking into Twilight eyes, “Have to believe in Rarity… She weak now, but you strong for her. Bring her back, I know.”

“How can I though?” Twilight asked somberly, “She pushed my light away, remember?”

“But still Rarity's light, even now,” Fluttershy said, smiling despite her tears, “Always Rarity's light, so you save Rarity.”

Twilight still wasn't sure if she had that much faith in herself, but she realized a few things concerning Fluttershy. One, even though she had a more primitive mind, she understood a lot more than Twilight gave her credit for. But also, this was how Fluttershy was supposed to be. Kind to a fault, sensitive, and determined to see the good in just about everything.

Fluttershy hating anyone was wrong.

“You're really kind Fluttershy,” Twilight said taking Fluttershy's hands, deciding to just say what was on her heart, “Too kind to hate anyone.”

The way Fluttershy looked away slightly told Twilight she knew what she was talking about.

“You mean…” Fluttershy asked.

“I don't know why, but something inside of me is just screaming that you shouldn't hate her. That you of all people need to try and forgive her. I know right now it's hard, but… come on Fluttershy, don't you feel it too? Like something isn't right? That you're not being true to yourself?”

“I… I not sure…” Fluttershy admitted, “She… attack village… and led Greymane to…”

“I know, I know,” Twilight said, “And you don't have to outright like her, but seeing you harbor such hatred for her just feels… wrong to me. Just think about it, okay? Not with your head though. Think with your heart, and do what… Fluttershy would do.”

“What… Fluttershy… would…?” Fluttershy asked. Twilight got up and walked out of the living room, deciding it would be best to leave Fluttershy to her thoughts. DASH-379 would know what to do.

Twilight stepped out of the house and stretched. It was perfectly sunny, yet for some reason everything felt so dark to her right now. It still was too early to meet up with her friends (assuming she decided to go) and she wasn't ready to meet up with Pinkamena yet.

So instead she went for a walk. She needed to sort a lot of things out, especially concerning Rarity. As she walked, she was unaware of the entity that was watching her. A purple and black wolf with piercing green eyes.


“Well, this is the place,” Applejack said, looking up at the large mansion before her. It took her some time, but eventually she found it. Just like Twilight said, the gate had a large orange on in. Since the gate was open, Applejack just walked up to the door and rang the doorbell.

When the door opened, a maid with long black hair greeted Applejack, but then did a double take.

“Um… Miss Jewel…?” the maid asked, “But… I just spoke too…”

“I'm not her,” Applejack said, “But I'd like to talk to her. Just let her know that I'm a friend of Rarity's. I think she'll understand.”

The maid nodded and ushered Applejack inside. As the maid then ran off to fetch her young mistress, Applejack looked around awkwardly. It felt like she was in the castle a bit, but not as personal, if that made any sense. Maybe it was because she wasn't in her home.

“Oh my stars…” a voice that sounded like hers said from the stairs. Applejack looked up and saw Applejewel looking at her with an awed expression. Her clothes were WAY fancier than Applejack normally wore, and her hat was a fancy variant of the one she was currently wearing. Besides that and the make-up, it was clear to Applejack.

“You're… Applejewel, right?” Applejack said, “The me of this dimension?”

“Ah believe so…” Applejewel said, “When Kira told me that someone who looked jus' like me was downstairs claimin ta be a friend of Rarity's… Ah jus' sorta knew. Yer name… is Applejack, right?”

“That it is,” Applejack said as Applejewel walked downstairs to greet her. She seemed a little younger than Applejack, but with her high heeled boots, they came up to the exact same height, thus looked into each other's eyes in awe. Applejack could tell that her standard counterpart was being affected by this meeting as well.

“Why don't… Ah make us some tea,” Applejewel said, “We have plenty of Orange tea, if ya…”

“I guess you would know that it's my favorite,” Applejack said with an awkward smile. The two of them walked into the kitchen, where Applejewel got to work preparing the tea. Meanwhile, Applejack sat down looking at Applejewel while she worked. It was so surreal seeing herself standing right there, but knowing that she was here.

After pouring both of their cups, Applejewel sat down in front of Applejack and just looked down, an odd look on her face.

“So… your from another dimension, right…?” Applejewel asked, her voice shaking a bit.

“Yes,” Applejack said, “They call my world “Medieval”. Are you okay, Applejewel? It looks like my presence disturbs you.”

“It… does sorta scare me,” Applejewel admitted, “Thing is… Ah wasn't so sure Ah wanted ta believe in all of this other world stuff. Ah mean, yeah Ah believed it, with Rarity havin those weird powers, her knowin all of us, seein a Fluttershy that ain't a complete bitch, hearin that a robot that looked like Dashie was walkin through school. But… Ah sorta figured that none of that mattered ta me. It didn't occur to me that…”

“That there would be a… version of yourself from another world, right?” Applejack asked, “Like… as long as you didn't see that, you could just ignore the truth and live in ignorance?”

“You too then?” Applejewel asked, still not looking her alternate self in the eyes.

“Yeah actually,” Applejack took a small sip of her tea, “I've been traveling from world to world, and I've seen some amazing things in all of them. Yet… somehow it hadn't really hit me what it meant. Sure, these were other worlds, but it didn't change anything about my perception of myself. However… something happened that… made me rethink all of that.”

“If ya don't mind,” Applejewel said, finally looking up at Applejack, “What did ya learn?”

“Are you sure you want to know that?” Applejack asked, “It's going to change you. Knowledge like this… it's impossible to not be affected by it.”

“Ah need to know,” Applejewel said, catching Applejack's attention, “Ah mean, Ah'm lookin right at me. The look in your eyes is haunted though, like whatever ya saw changed yer whole world. If yer here because of that, then Ah wanna know too, so Ah can understand.”

Applejack took a deep breath, “Okay, so in every world, there are apparently people who just have to live for it to move forward. This is why you and I both exist in our respective worlds.”

“That makes sense, Ah guess,” Applejewel said, “Ah think Twilight called it “String Theory” or somethin like that. Never paid much attention to it, but Ah might have ta start now.”

“You should,” Applejack stated, “However… apparently there are also people who need to die in every world for that same reason.”

“Wait, ya mean like… some people jus' ain't supposed ta live full lives…?” Applejewel asked, her eyes going wide, “Oh dear… does that mean… Rarity?”

Applejack sighed, and then nodded, “To think, that the universe would be that cruel. It's a miracle that she even lived. I mean, it's actually a terrible thing, but…” Applejack closed her eyes pained, “This is the dilemma I'm having. On one hand, I'm happy that Rarity is still alive in some way or another, but… on the other hand, now that I know that her life halts the flow of time…”

“Ah see,” Applejewel said looking down sadly, “Yep, that's why Ah close myself off to all of that. As long as I stay in my safe little bubble, Ah don't have ta deal with the harsh reality.”

“But does that mean the truth vanishes?” Applejack said looking at Applejewel seriously, “Ignorance is bliss, but it's still ignorance. Isn't it better to know the truth than to live a lie?”

“Ah guess… but… the truth is so terrifyin,” Applejewel said, closing her eyes and shedding tears, “Ah mean, right now there's another me sittin in my kitchen! The implications of this, what it means for everythin, right now Ah…”

play song

“I know,” Applejack said placing her hands over Applejewel's, “But the world doesn't stop moving. Even if you stay here and never change, the world around you does. I think… we both need to really face what this meeting means. That compared to what's out there in the world…”

“We're jus… tiny specks of dust, aren't we…?” Applejewel asked looking into her alternate self's eyes, “Ah mean, we matter an' all, but we ain't… we ain't as special as we thought…”

“I'm afraid not,” Applejack said, “Geez, this really is another variant of my world, huh?”

“So… what am Ah in… Medieval?” Applejewel asked, “Ah mean, ya don't look like a noble. Ya look more like a farmer.”

Applejack laughed, “Funny, I did come from a farm initially. However, I'm now a knight protecting the queen.”

“Ah'm a knight?” Applejewel asked, “Ya know, Ah actually know how ta use a sword a bit. Think before ya go, you could show me a few things?”

“You know what? Sure,” Applejack said, “I don't have to meet up with everyone till later anyway.”

Applejewel smiled, and took Applejack's hand into her own squeezing it, “Thanks for comin… Applejack.”

Applejack smiled, “Thank you for having me, Lady Applejewel.”

The two of them stayed together for a little while longer, Applejack showing Applejewel a few of her sword skills and even a few of her less destructive elements. They ended their meeting with a hug, promising to each other to no longer ignore the world around them. Once they parted ways, Applejack looked up with a warm smile, remembering her teacher.

“General… is this what you wanted me to learn?” Applejack asked herself, “That my life could have been anything? That at any point, I could have been someone else? This was why you were always so passionate. You knew that everything you were was because of your choices in life,” Applejack placed a hand over her heart, “I think I'm beginning to see what the final lesson is. Thank you… Rarity.”

As Applejack began making her way to the school, she felt her powers increase, forming a new power. Something that was a sign that she was living her life to the fullest, no longer holding herself back.

Explosion…


play song

Twilight found herself going to the park, where she found a bench to sit on. She thought hard about what her friends were saying concerning the situation. Each one of them had slightly different thoughts about the whole thing: Applejack considered that what they learned about Rarity might actually be true, DASH-379 didn't care about any of that and just wanted to search for Rarity herself, and Fluttershy believed that Twilight was the key to rescuing her.

But the one thing that they all had in common… they all still believed in Rarity.

Twilight believed. She wanted to believe, but she was scared. Rarity herself had asked Twilight to protect her, and to be her light. For her to just push her away after that.

“Twilight!!!” she heard a familiar voice cry out happily. She looked and saw Pinkie Pie waving to her, Rainbow Dash, Applejewel, and Flutteshy even standing with her.

Right… Fluttershy is our friend now. Thanks to… Rarity…

Hey, is Applejewel okay?

Twilight paid close attention to Applejewel as they walked over to her. Pinkie Pie immediately hugged Twilight.

“We missed you,” Rainbow Dash said, “Even Fluttershy said so.”

“Did not,” Fluttershy spat, “But… it's good to see you, I guess…”

“It's… good to see… you too…” Twilight said, “You have to excuse me, Rarity told me that you-” Twilight stopped herself.

Rarity…

Something within Twilight broke, and tears began to fall from her eyes. As she broke down, her friends (including Fluttershy to a degree) all looked concerned. What surprised her was when Applejewel walked over to her and embraced her.

“Jus' let it out, honey,” Applejewel said softly, “Ah know…”

“Applejewel…?” Twilight sobbed.

“Ah met, well… myself if you would,” Applejewel said, “She filled me in on things.”

“What's going on?” Fluttershy asked seriously, “Twilight, where's Rarity?”

“I…” Twilight looked down somberly, “I don't…”

“Twilight, they should know.”

Twilight looked at Applejewel in shock, “But Jewel-”

“They're her friends too,” Applejewel explained, “Ignorance is bliss but… ignorance isn't ever a good thing. Let's tell 'em the truth.”

Twilight was really taken aback by how mature Applejewel seemed now. In fact, looking at Applejewel, Twilight actually saw an image of Applejack replace her briefly.

They're actually… a lot alike.

“Alright…” Twilight said taking off her glasses to wipe her eyes, “You're not going to like it… but I'll tell you.”

They all went to sit under a nearby tree, where Twilight filled Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie in on everything that went down the night before. Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie both looked horrified, but Fluttershy actually looked almost angry.

“Bullshit,” Fluttershy spat after Twilight was finished. Applejewel sighed.

“Fluttershy, Ah saw the other me, an' she said the-”

“I don't care if God himself were to tell me this,” Fluttershy admitted, “I'm not just going to accept that my best friend had to die,” Fluttershy turned to glare at Applejewel, “Does that mean the pain I went through was supposed to happen? That I was supposed to end up like this?”

“You becomin a bitch didn't have anything to do with Rarity dyin.” Applejewel said.

“Jewel…” Pinkie Pie said warily.

“No, she needs to hear this,” Applejewel said returning the glare, “Was losin your best friend tragic? Very. Was it wrong for you ta be bullied as horribly as you were? Yes it was. But does that give you a right ta become a bully yourself, torturin poor Dashie here to tears, shovin Twilight inta lockers, makin fun of my cousin Pinkie Pie for her anxiety disorder, an' jus overall bein a terrible person to everyone including the people who jus' wanna be your friend?! No the hell it doesn't!”

Everyone was shocked to see Applejewel speak up like this. Normally she didn't get involved with things like this, saying that “if it wasn't her business, she was going to stay silent”.

“Rarity's death might have hurt ya,” Applejewel stated, “But everythin that happened after that was all on you. Don't blame God for you bein alone.”

Fluttershy narrowed her eyes at Applejewel, but then looked away pained. Did that actually get to Fluttershy?

“I just don't get it…” Fluttershy admitted, “Why did she have to be the one…? It should have… it should have been me…

“Y-you…?” Twilight asked, everyone shocked to hear that.

“No one would have missed me,” Fluttershy said somberly, “I'm a horrible person, remember? No one likes me, not even my own family. Everyone just goes on and on about my younger brother Zephyr Breeze, how he's so smart and so talented. No one cares about me anyway, so why didn't the gods pick me?”

“Don't say that,” Rainbow Dash said softly, “I'd… miss you.”

“Don't do that,” Fluttershy said, “You know you'd be happier if I had just left you alone.”

“I don't know that,” Rainbow Dash said, “That's the thing, isn't it? We know that there was a world with Rarity living in it, but we don't know what that world was like. As far as we know, it could have a whole slew of other problems. Or maybe in the future, you're supposed to do something amazing and world changing. If you died, that wouldn't happen.”

“But I don't care about any of that,” Fluttershy said hugging her knees now, “None of that matters.”

“No… I think it does,” Pinkie Pie said. Everyone turned to her, as she rarely spoke out, “We can't see what sort of impact we have on the world, that's because we're just ripples in the pond. But we don't know when that ripple becomes a tidal wave, or where that wave goes. I personally think that the gods choosing you to live, is a sign that your life is meant for great things.”

“But what about Rarity's life?” Twilight asked, “Does that mean her life… only matters if she's dead?”

A somber silence fell over all the girls. That was an answer neither of them had. In the end, they were just teenagers. Could they make a decision of that magnitude?

“Fair or not,” Applejewel said, “The only way yer gonna get the answers is if you search for them.”

“So… you think I should…”

“Ah think you should follow your heart,” Applejewel continued, “Maybe there's another way, maybe there isn't. Either way, Rarity's in a lot of trouble right now. She's lost, an' yer the one who has ta bring her back.”

“But… why me?” Twilight asked, “I'm no one special. Out of everyone in my group, I'm the most average. DASH-379 is a mobile weapon, Fluttershy is a high priestess, and Applejack is a Queen's personal knight. All I am is a high school girl who thought it would be fun to travel across the universe.”

“I don't believe that,” Rainbow Dash said, “You went with her because you were worried, right? You didn't want to leave her alone.”

“I… I guess, but…”

“Oh my God, stop beating around the fucking bush,” Fluttershy said rolling her eyes, “Everyone here knows how you really feel about her, and I bet she knows too. As cheesy as this sounds, that's what makes you special in this. Rarity loves you. Not Forest Shy, not Appleknight, and not DASH-1536… whatever her dumb name is. She loves you.”

Twilight looked down, taking in what she was saying. Fluttershy in this world was a bitch, but what she said did make sense.

“Also, regardless of what he universe says, she's our friend too,” Pinkie Pie said, “We want to see her again, and spend as much time as time will allow us together.”

“She helped me become stronger,” Rainbow Dash said, “And thanks to her… Fluttershy and I are close again.”

Fluttershy rolled her eyes slightly, but smiled despite herself.

“Yer the one she's waitin for,” Applejewel said, “Even if she seemed to push you away, she still needs you. If you turn your back on her, then what will she do then?”

Twilight hadn't thought about that. She was so focused on how hurt she was, that she hadn't even thought much about how Rarity was feeling right now. If the person who claimed to be her light turned away from her, she'd feel that she was really alone.

“I don't know if I can change her fate…” Twilight said, “But… I want her back. Even if she were to die the next day, I just want to hold her one more time…”

“Then you know what ya have to do, right?” Applejewel said. Twilight looked at Applejewel as an odd feeling came over her. It was similar to how she felt around the others and Pinkamena, but this time centered around the moment. It was like she remembered sitting in the park with them just like this, all of them smiling. At the same time though, she felt like someone was missing. She couldn't place the face, or the name, but she knew it. In this moment, there were supposed to be five people with her, not just four.

Was that fifth person… Rarity? Was it possible that she was… somehow remembering a moment in the past, where the six of them were the best of friends, more like sisters?

Friends… best friends…

“Yeah… I do know,” Twilight said getting up, “I'm sorry, but I have to go now. I don't know when I'll be coming back this time, so…”

“Hmph, at least you're saying good bye this time,” Fluttershy said with a small smile.

“Whenever you do bring her back, we should definitely have a party,” Pinkie Pie said, “As a way of letting her know that even if she doesn't have a world, she has us.”

“A party…” Twilight said looking at Pinkie Pie, an odd feeling coming over her, “Y-yeah. That sounds like a great idea.”

Fluttershy, surprisingly enough, stood up and hugged Twilight tightly.

“I'm counting on you to save her,” Fluttershy said, crying a bit, “Please Twilight.”

“I will,” Twilight said returning the hug, which didn't feel as odd as she felt it should, “I promise girls. I'll bring Rarity home… to us.”

With that, Twilight ran off to the school to meet Pinkamena and the others. She didn't know if she could really make a difference, or if she could change Rarity's fate, but she loved her too much to leave her alone.

Wait for me Rarity.

You won't be lost in the darkness for too long.


“Are we sure this is the right thing?” Rainbow Dash asked, “We're just kids. What do we know about this?”

“Absolutely nothing,” Fluttershy said sitting back down, “I just know that I don't want my best friend to die again. Even if the universe thinks it's fair, I don't.”

“Whatever happens will happen,” Applejewel said folding her arms, “All we can do now is believe in Twilight.”

“I know she'll do it,” Pinkie Pie said, stilling looking at Twilight as she ran off, “Something tells me… she's the best person for this job.”

Behind them, that oddly colored wolf also watched Twilight run off. After a second, it carefully followed after her, making sure to avoid being seen by any of the girls she was with earlier.

end song


When Twilight got to the school, she was pleased to see everyone was already there waiting for her by the front gate. Applejack was already in her armor (sadly, like she said she had to take off the hat though), and DASH-379 was off to the side with Fluttershy, apparently having a serious conversation with her.

Twilight approached the front gate, and everyone turned and gathered around her.

“Glad you could make it,” Applejack said.

“You all waited out here for me?” Twilight asked.

“It did not feel appropriate to see Pinkamena without you present,” DASH-379 said, “She is already in front of the statue though.”

Twilight looked through the gate and saw Pinkamena sitting on the base of the statue, her bladed hoop dangling loosely in her hand. It was certainly an odd sight to behold. Twilight then turned to Fluttershy.

“How are you doing?” Twilight asked.

“DASH talk to me,” Fluttershy said, “Tell me that I need to stay calm. Also, Applejack have more reason to hate her than me.”

Applejack turned away with a slight glare. She said she'd put her animosity aside to listen, but that didn't mean she had to like it.

The four of them walked to the school over to the statue, where Pinkamena looked up at them.

play song

“Looks like the gang's all here,” Pinkamena said. Applejack stepped forward first.

“You said that you wanted to talk to us, right?” Applejack asked, “So, talk.”

“First, you and I have business, don't we?” Pinkamena jumped off the statue base and walked over to Applejack, “I did kill your Rarity, remember? I bet you'd love revenge for that, wouldn't you?”

Applejack gritted her teeth and looked away from Pinkamena.

“And you,” she turned to Fluttershy and DASH-379 next, “I did help the wolf tribe invade your village, didn't I? You want to spill my blood for that, don't you?”

Fluttershy glared at Pinkamena growling in anger. DASH put a hand on her shoulder to keep her calm.

“She is merely trying to get a rise out of you, Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said, “Do not let her words get to you.”

“Wow, that's impressive Athena,” Pinkamena said, “You almost don't look like a killing machine now.”

DASH-379 looked at Pinkamena in shock, but then glared at her, “Do not call me that!”

“Hold on, what?” Applejack asked turning to DASH-379 briefly, “What does she mean by a killing machine? And what is “Athena” anyway?”

“You didn't tell them?” Pinkamena asked, “That's too bad. Some friend you are then, keeping such huge secrets.”

“Why you…!” DASH-379 said, about to rush at Pinkamena, but Twilight held her back.

“DASH, calm down!” Twilight fussed, “What did you just tell Fluttershy?!”

Pinkamena looked at everyone and shook her head, “You guys are a mess, you know that? Keeping secrets from each other, going on this journey probably because it was fun, or hoping that Rarity was a link to your pasts. None of you were actually here for her, were you?”

“What do you know anyway?!” Applejack asked, “You've been doing nothing but cause trouble from day one!”

“Is that what you think?” Pinkamena smiled evilly, “In that case, why don't we just cut to the main event and start beating the ever living shit out of each other. That's what all of you want, isn't it?”

Twilight looked around at the group, realizing that they were all one step away from fighting. What Pinkamena said did hurt, and she was clearly trying to upset all of them, but Twilight remembered what she saw earlier that day. This wasn't the same Pinkamena as earlier. She didn't know why she was doing this now, but she couldn't let this continue.

play song

“Stop it! All of you!” Twilight shouted. She then ran in front of Pinkamena and held her hands out glaring at her friends, “If anyone of you wants to hurt Pinkamena, you'll have to go through me!”

“Twilight?” Fluttershy asked, mirroring everyone's surprise in Twilight's actions.

“She's right you know? About me?” Twilight said looking down and trembling, “The main reason I went with Rarity in the first place was because she was a dream come true for me. My life isn't like yours. I'm no one here, and nothing ever happens in this world. When Rarity showed up, she made a huge scene, claiming to be from another world. She looked absolutely crazy, and part of me thought she might be crazy too, but then I thought… what if she was telling the truth? Were there other worlds out there? Also, something inside of me was screaming that I needed to help this girl.

“So I listened to her story, and while it was absolutely insane, somehow I just knew she was telling the truth. That's when I got excited. Here it was, my adventure. Finally, something to make my mundane life more fun. When Pinkamena opened the door to Fluttershy's world, I knew that I had to follow her. Not just because I was afraid for her, or that feeling telling me that she needed me by her side, but because…” Twilight teared up, “Because I knew that if she left without me, I'd never get out of this miserable world!”

Applejack, DASH-379, and Fluttershy all looked at Twilight somberly. Pinkamena's expression, while unreadable, did show that she was listening to her intently.

“I felt guilty about it all the time,” Twilight continued, “Especially with how serious things were for Rarity. She lost everything that she loved, and didn't know if she'd ever get it back. I didn't know either, yet I kept pushing her to keep believing, like she was some hero in a video game or movie. When she started really depending on me, it got worse. Now she was relying on me for strength, asking me to be her light and remind her that it was going to be alright. But… but it wasn't alright! It was never alright! Her journey from the beginning was just a waste of time, and it was all because I wanted to feel special for once in my miserable life!

“I… I think she realized it too… at the end…” Twilight fell to her knees, “That's why she pushed me away. She saw how selfish I was being, and how pointless it all was. Applejack, you told me to see things from her point of view… but I was always afraid to. I was afraid because… if I did… I'd tell her to give up… I'm not her light… I was never her light… I'm the main source of her darkness… It's my fault she's gone…” Twilight hugged herself as she broke down completely, “It's all my fault!”

Everyone was silent, taking in what Twilight just confessed. For a while, no one really knew what to say.

“My code name… is Athena…” DASH-379 stated, catching everyone's attention, “I learned that I am a weapon created by Dr. Tirek to cause mass destruction and kill humans. I am the final robot in my line, thus the greatest and strongest. It is my original purpose to destroy all of you.”

“DASH…” Fluttershy said, taking DASH's hand as the android continued.

“My very existence is an abomination. Robots like me should not be created. I wish… I… wish… that… Twilight… had not… reactivated me… I should not… be functioning…”

“You're not the worst one here,” Applejack admitted, “I did keep the identity of my Teacher a secret from all of you. Part of me kept hoping that Rarity was somehow an extension of her, but more and more I began to see the truth. She wasn't my teacher at all. They had the same face, same voice, same fighting style, but their souls were completely different. This… kid wasn't the General. She wasn't my Rarity. I was clinging to her a bit, but… that doesn't change the fact that she's gone. Heh, now I've lost both Rarity's. Isn't that funny?”

“Not understand,” Fluttershy said somberly, “Not understand much about other worlds, what DASH is, why some people have same faces, or why Rarity leave us. I just… I wanted to be close to Rarity… Not want to say goodbye to Rarity… Not want to say good bye to new friends… even though friends all come from different places…”

Pinkamena sighed, “So, now that you all got that out of your systems, what are you going to do about it? Moping isn't going to make things right, and I can assure you that Nightmare Moon and Rarity are going to keep causing trouble.”

“I…” Twilight forced herself up and turned to Pinkamena, “I'm going to save Rarity!”

play song

Pinkamena looked at Twilight with a raised eyebrow, “Are you now?”

“Yes, I am. Rarity isn't our enemy. She's hurt, and alone in the darkness now. I've been terrible to her during this adventure, but maybe… maybe I can let her know how sorry I am, and bring her back into the light.”

“I am accompanying you,” DASH-379 said, “I already decided that I would search for Rarity and bring her back. If you do not mind a walking, malfunctioning doomsday machine traveling with you, then I would like to join you, Twilight.”

“If DASH go, I go too,” Fluttershy said, “Rarity is friend. I not care what she is,” she looked at DASH-379, “or what DASH is either. All are my friends, and I fight to protect friends.”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy wide eyed, but then smiled softly. It was an oddly human expression on her.

“You do realize what this means, right?” Applejack asked catching everyone's attention, “This isn't just about bringing Rarity back to us. We can't forget, by the universe's standards she's not even supposed to exist to begin with.”

“Maybe not,” Pinkamena said walking off a bit, “Buuut, her world is gone, while she's still alive. As far as we know, she might actually be an exception to the rules now.”

“Pinkamena…” Twilight said, her heart lifting when Pinkamena turned to her and smirked.

“What the hell then,” Applejack said, “I've come this far. Might as well go all the way.”

Pinkamena smiled to herself, and then reached into her bra like top, “Here Twilight.”

Pinkamena threw Twilight a new Gate Key. This one was fancier than their old one, with sharper edges and odd writing on it.

“A new Gate Key?” Twilight asked.

“That one is stronger than the one you were using before,” Pinkamena said, “With that, we'll be able to access the land of the Gods, once we meet the requirements that is.”

“The land of the Gods…?” DASH-379 asked.

“What do you mean “we”?” Applejack asked. Pinkamena giggled.

“What? You thought I was going to just leave you guys? No way Jose, it doesn't work like that. See, I've made my decision too,” she walked over to Twilight and wrapped an arm around her, “I'm going to stay close to my good friend Twilight.”

“Eh?!” Twilight exclaimed, everyone backing away in shock. Pinkamena looked at Twilight with a bright smile that was somehow still creepy.

“This is going to be so much fun Twilie! You and I are travel buddies now!” Pinkamena cheered, almost like they had been friends for years. Twilight wanted to refute it, but that smile made Twilight feel… almost comforted. Like it was something she had seen before, and missed. It was the same as when Applejack wore that hat earlier.

“What is land of Gods?” Fluttershy asked, “Why go there?”

“Because, there we can learn how to rescue Rarity, and maybe, maybe beat Lavos while we're at it,” Pinkmena said.

“How do you know all this anyway?” Applejack asked, “You've always known quite a bit about our journey.”

“And it is rather suspicious that you have this stronger Gate Key as well,” DASH-379 stated, “Just who are you Pinkamena?”

“You'll find out soon enough Dashie,” Pinkamena said, “Ooh, now that we're totally besties now, what do I call you? Do I call you DASH, Dashie, Rainbow Bright, can I call you Rainbow Bright? I think that would be a great name, don't you?”

DASH's eyebrow twitched, “I hate her already…” Pinkamena gave a playful gasp.

“Dashie! You slay me!” Pinkamena said playfully.

“Hey! Focus here!” Applejack said, “How the hell do we get to the land of the Gods?”

“Oh, right? First you have to pass the test.”

“Test? What test?” Twilight asked.

“Defeat the three guardian statues in the three side branch worlds,” Pinkamena explained, “You already beat the one in Forest. That just means Machine and Medieval are left.”

“We should head to Medieval first,” DASH-379 said, “We need to ensure that everything is safe there, and if possible, return Celestia back to her world.”

“Think it's safe though?” Twilight asked, “I mean, Nightmare Moon does come from-” Twilight gasped in shock, “Girls! We can't go to Medieval yet! We have to check on the Celestia from Forest!”

“Seer is always next to Chief!” Fluttershy said, “Nightmare Moon might attack her next!”

“We need all four Celestia's alive if we're going to get to the land of the Gods,” Pinkamena said, “For now, I say we keep Medieval Celestia in the Warp Gate, and any Celestia's we can rescue as well.”

“Then let's get the Queen and then head to Forest,” Applejack said. They all nodded and ran back to Twilight's house, their next objective set.

Next stop, Forest. Next objective, get to the Land of the Gods.

Forest: The Blackened Gem

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Forest – The Blackened Gem

I was nighttime in Forest, and most of the village was asleep. Seer Celestia hadn't been able to get a good night's sleep since what happened in Medieval. Knowing what happened to the Chrono Trigger caused Seer Celestia a lot of anxiety. She didn't know how much Luna was affected in this world, but she had her suspicions.

Luna always seemed so distant, even more so as of late.

Celestia knew from her Medieval self that the Chrono Trigger's group would be coming soon, so she decided to head to the pond in order to wait for them. Luna was already asleep, so it was better safe than sorry. When she arrived at the pond, she sat down on a nearby stone and pulled out her brush, deciding to do a little grooming before they arrived.

“My my, what a lovely night for stargazing, darling.”

Seer Celestia froze when she heard that voice. It sounded familiar, but deeper, older than usual. The Seer didn't even need to turn around to know who it was.

“Traveler,” Seer Celestia said, closing her eyes somberly. Behind her, a shadowy figure with long hair leaned against a tree with her arms folded.

“It's dangerous to be alone at night,” the person behind Celestia stated, “You never know who could be lurking in the shadows waiting for you.”

“You not have to do this,” Seer Celestia said, trying to control her breathing, “Killing me not change fate.”

“Oh, I know. I'm not here to kill you,” the figure said, stepping out and sauntering over to Seer Celestia, wrapping her arms around the now fearful Seer, “I'm just here to solidify my best friend's rule, and to cause you as much pain and suffering as possible. Now… why don't we go on a little trip.”

Seer Celestia looked to the side and saw the shadows form into various demons that slowly approached her. Her screams echoed through the whole village as the demons lunged at her.


Warp Gate

Twilight and the group emerged entering the Warp Gate. It had been decided that for the time being, Twilight would assume Rarity's role as the leader, until they brought Rarity back to her senses.

The interior looked a little different now. The walls were still translucent, showing outer space, but now the ground was bigger with a few benches spread throughout. The four portals leading to the other worlds were still present, but now they seemed to be spread out in an X formation in the room, with another portal in the front center of the room. This portal had a platinum boarder, and was in front of a small staircase. Unlike the other portals, this one showed no image, appearing instead to be a stone wall. The holographic globe was still in the middle of the room, but was bigger and raised a little.

DASH-379 ran over to the new portal and scanned it, “This portal appears to be inactive,” DASH stated.

“Yep yep,” Pinkamena said walking behind DASH-379, “That's the way to the Land of the Gods.”

“It wasn't here before,” Applejack said, now looking around, “Actually, this entire place looks new.”

“This room is different than the warp gate you were using before,” Queen Celestia said, sitting down at a bench near Medieval's portal, now wearing a long fancy white and golden gown and holding a golden scepter in her hands, “The new Gate Key connects you to here, which is the only pathway to the Land of the Gods.”

“Will you be okay here by yourself?” Twilight asked.

“I'll be fine, Twilight,” Queen Celestia stated, “I have my own clothes now, and this place has pretty much everything I need to sustain myself for a little while. I already shared my knowledge of you coming with myself all over the universe.”

“So Seer know we coming?” Fluttershy asked.

“Sadly I haven't heard back from my Forest alter,” Queen Celestia said, “Nor can my Machine self respond.”

“That doesn't bode well,” Applejack stated, “She's probably still in that coma.”

“DASH, you're still able to contact Discord, right?” Twilight asked, “Let him know that we'll be stopping by later.”

“Affirmative,” DASH-379 stated, “I will send Discord an email. In the meantime, I suggest we begin making our way to Forest.”

Fluttershy nodded, and then turned to glare at Pinkamena, “I not want her to come.”

“Aw, I thought we were besties now, Flutter Butter,” Pinkamena said, pretending to be hurt, “Don't you want to introduce me to your family?”

“You send wolves to destroy village, and send Greymane to capture me!” Fluttershy seethed, tightening her fists, “Never forgive you!”

“You need to really think about who's at fault there, Fluttershy,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “I mean, okay, I did give Greymane a bit of a power boost in order to help him fight the Chrono Trigger, but that's it. Everything he did was on him, and if I recall, you killed him already.”

“I kill him, but I still not kill you!” Fluttershy said, pulling out a dagger as both Twilight and DASH-379 got in front of her and held her back.

“Come on Fluttershy, we already talked about this!” Twilight fussed, “We need her help!”

“Please calm down, Fluttershy,” DASH urged, “It will not assist our situation if this in fighting continues. She is our ally now.”

“Your ally,” Fluttershy said, pulling away from Twilight and DASH, sheathing her dagger, “I never work with that woman.”

With that, Fluttershy began making her way to the gate to Forest. Twilight and DASH-379 sighed and turned to Pinkamena.

“Um… I don't know what you want to…” Twilight asked slowly.

“This world doesn't have a statue anymore,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “I could stay behind if you want. Without the Gate Key, I won't be able to come help you guys if you need me though.”

That was true, Twilight thought. They didn't know what to expect anymore, and without Rarity traveling with them, they were down a fighter. Most of the wolf tribe members were Red adepts, and with Pinkamena being a natural Blue adept she'd be a great help. The only issue was Fluttershy, who actually had even more of an aversion of working with her than Applejack, who seemed to take up the mantle of tolerating the demonic jester.

“Honestly, I really don't think that's a good idea,” Twilight said, “I know Fluttershy is uncomfortable with it, but we can't afford to leave anyone behind. Just… keep your distance from her, okay?”

Pinkamena squealed happily clapping her hands, “Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!” Pinkamena said jumping into Twilight's arms and hugging her, “I knew I could count on you, bestie!”

“N-no problem…” Twilight said, lightly patting Pinkamena on the back before turning to DASH-379, “Could you stay close to Fluttershy? I think she'll calm down with you nearby.”

“That was my plan from the start,” DASH stated.

“You're like, the best Dashie!” Pinkamena said. She was going to hug DASH, but stopped as the robot held up her hand.

“I am not comfortable being that close to you yet,” DASH-379 said, “It is nothing personal, Pinkamena, but Fluttershy is my friend and I am loyal to her first.”

Pinkamena sighed, “It's alright, Dashie,” Pinkamena said, sounding as disappointed as she could, “I'll survive without your loving embrace.”

DASH-379 raised an eyebrow at Pinkamena, but then walked over to Fluttershy. As Pinkamena skipped after them, Applejack walked over to Twilight.

“You sure about this, Twilight?” Applejack said, “It is Fluttershy's world after all.”

“True,” Twilight stated, “And I can imagine Fluttershy is going to be giving me the evil eye for a bit, but this is really the best option. I just thought, what would Rarity do, you know?”

Applejack nodded, “Alright then. I support it.”

Twilight walked over to the group, naturally Pinkamena stepping next to her. Just as she thought, Fluttershy glared at both of them before jumping through the portal. Twilight turned to Pinkamena, who just shrugged.

I really hope this doesn't bite me in the ass, putting so much trust in this woman.


The group made it to Forest, surprised when they didn't see Seer Celestia.

“I thought the Seer was waiting for us here,” Applejack asked.

“The Queen did say that she hadn't heard back from her,” Twilight said, “I hope nothing happened to her.”

“I am detecting temporal energy within the area,” DASH-379 said.

“That's not good,” Pinkamena said walking up next to DASH, “That means Nightmare Moon might have been here already. But… she wasn't able to fully connect to this world's Luna.”

“Oh, we're already taking care of that.”

play song

Everyone looked ahead and saw a shadowy figure leaning against a tree, completely covered in the shadows. That voice sounded familiar to Twilight.

“Who are you?” Applejack asked.

“Oh, darling, don't you remember me?” the figure asked, “Or… now that you've gone and replaced me with that clown you've gone and forgotten about me.”

“That voice…” Twilight said slowly walking forward, “Is that you… Rarity?”

“Rarity? Rarity is dead,” the figure said, slowly stepping out of the shadows, “Remember? The universe just decided that she's not worth keeping, and that her life only matters when it's expired. No… “Rarity” is long gone,” she fully stepped out of the shadows, revealing her new sinister form, “You may call me… Nightmare Crystal.”

Nightmare Crystal looked quite a bit like Rarity still, but a few years older. She wore a long black dress that accentuated and showed off an almost indecent amount of cleavage and opened on the right showing off her leg, long black gloves, and black high heels. Her purple hair was much longer and fuller, flowing behind her back and white highlights as front bangs. Her make up now consisted of dark blue eye shadow and black lipstick, and her eyes were now demonic red.

“DNA scans show that she is indeed Rarity,” DASH-379 stated, “But I am detecting a larger amount of temporal energy surrounding her.”

“Rarity? What happen?” Fluttershy asked, “Why do you look so…”

“Do you like it?” Nightmare Crystal asked spinning around, “Luna granted me a lot of new powers, and this form came with it. I'm so much stronger now thanks to her.”

“Rarity, please tell me this isn't real,” Twilight asked, “You're not actually with Nightmare Moon, are you?”

“I told you,” Nightmare Crystal's eyes narrowed, “My name is Nightmare Crystal. As for your question,” she held out her arm, summoning a gothic looking spear and getting in a fighting stance, “Maybe this will answer it!”

play song

Nightmare Crystal charged up her black element, and then held out her arm as darkness formed behind her and hundreds of cat eyes peered from the darkness. She then launched Feral Cats, causing all the cats to shoot out and hit everyone.

“Rarity! What's going on?!” Twilight asked, “Why are you attacking us?!”

“Luna told me that you'd all come here to stop us!” Nightmare Crystal said, “I'm not going to let any of you get in the way of us becoming the new gods of this universe!”

Pinkamena shot up and rushed at Nightmare Crystal, spinning around and swinging her hoop fighting Crystal close quarter. After a second, she jumped back and charged up her blue element. Underneath Nightmare Crystal the ground began to glow, and icicles shot out from the ground, doing moderate damage to her. (Ice Wall)

“What are you doing?!” Twilight asked running to Pinkamena's side as she got in her usual fighting stance.

“Do you wanna get to Celestia or not?!” Pinkamena asked, “Because she's clearly standing in our way!”

“I hate to say it, but Pinkamena is right,” Applejack said getting in her fighting stance, “We have no choice right now! We have to get past her!”

“I not want to hurt friend,” Fluttershy said pulling out her daggers, “but need to protect village!”

“I apologize for this, Twilight,” DASH-379 said, “But right now she will not listen to reasoning.”

“So this is how it is then?” Nightmare Crystal said looking down, visibly hurt, “Fine… none of you were my real friends anyway! I'll kill you! I'll kill ALL OF YOU!!!”

Nightmare Crystal rushed at the group, swinging wildly with her spear to fight all of them close quarter. She spun her spear over her head to knock all of them away, but they all flipped to their feet.

Applejack charged up her red element and used Vigor on herself. She then rushed at Nightmare Crystal and slashed with her blade, but all of her attacks were blocked with ease.

“I bet you never thought this would happen,” Nightmare Crystal taunted, “Having to fight your “Teacher”?”

“You're not my teacher!” Applejack seethed.

“That's right, I'm not, am I?” Nightmare Crystal said pushing back against Applejack's blade, “Your teacher, the Rarity of your world already died, didn't she?!”

She then kicked Applejack back turned to Fluttershy, who immediately began slashing her. Nightmare Crystal jumped away, and then charged up her black element again, this time creating what looked like a shadowy aura around her. (After Image)

Fluttershy charged up her green element, deciding to use a new one herself, casting what looked like a larger and stronger Wind Blade. (Air Thrust) Sadly when her attack hit, Nightmare Crystal seemed to instantly appear next to the attack out of the way as Fluttershy hit a shadow.

DASH-379 held out her arm cannon and fired continuously at Nightmare Crystal, who used her spear to knock all of the attacks out of the way. DASH then looked at Applejack, and both of them charged up their respective elements. They used their double technique Beat Rush, but sadly the After Image was still active, causing the two powerhouses to miss each and every attack.

“This is not working!” DASH-379 exclaimed, “Her element is not deactivating!”

“That's After Image!” Pinkamena called out catching everyone's attention, “The only attacks that will hit her are black and white elements now!”

“Twilight, that means you!” Applejack said turning to the frozen teen, “You need to attack her!”

“M-me…?” Twilight asked, “Attack… Rarity…?”

“Don't even think about it!” Nightmare Crystal shouted, slashing with her spear and sending a large black shock wave at everyone currently fighting, knocking them to the ground, “She's not going to do anything. She can't do anything.”

“Rarity… no…” Twilight pleaded, backing away as Nightmare Crystal slowly walked over to her.

“The two single attacking elements she has are too weak to make a difference at all,” Nightmare Crystal taunted, “Twilight here… is nothing but a weak, helpless, child.”

“W-what…?” Twilight asked, hurt beyond belief by her words.

“Care to prove me wrong, darling…?” Nightmare Crystal asked, standing over Twilight with a dark and sensual smirk, “Are you going to do it? Will you attack me?”

“I… I…”

“Didn't think so,” Nightmare Crystal said, slapping Twilight hard and knocking her to the ground. Twilight looked up helplessly as Nightmare Crystal raised her spear to impale her.

“RARITY!!!!” Twilight screamed. Before she could do attack, an odd howl was heard. It sounded like a wolf, but almost otherworldly. Nightmare Crystal stopped and looked around confused.

“What in the world…?” Nightmare Crystal asked, “Where did that…?”

Something shot past Nightmare Crystal quickly, knocking her away from Twilight and onto the ground. Twilight looked in front of her and was shocked by what she saw. It was a black wolf with purple highlights on it's fur. It was larger than a normal wolf, coming up to Twilight's waist, and had piercing green eyes.

“What in the world…?” Twilight asked, “What is…” she stopped when the wolf turned to her.

What are my orders… Mistress?

“O-orders…?” Twilight's eyes went wide, “Wait! Was that voice… you?”

My name is Spike. I have been sent by the one known as “The Entity” to protect you.

I will follow whatever you command.

Twilight looked at the wolf, and then at Nightmare Crystal as she slowly rose to her feet.

“Please Spike…” Twilight said, tears falling from her eyes, “Help me.”

Spike nodded to Twilight, and then glared at Nightmare Crystal barring his teeth and growling.

“So, got yourself a new pet I see,” Nightmare Crystal said with an arrogant smirk, “It doesn't matter though. My After Image is still active after all. He's not going to make a difference.”

Spike howled charging up what looked like a black element. He then hunched forward turning into a black shadow, and charged past Nightmare Crystal actually hurting her. Nightmare Crystal slashed Spike with her spear, but the mysterious wolf creature jumped away, rolling into a ball, and rolled away from Nightmare Crystal, who rapidly fired Shadow Balls at him.

While that fight went on, everyone gathered around Twilight.

“Hey, you okay?” Pinkamena asked helping Twilight up.

“Y-yeah, I think so,” Twilight said.

“You have guardian beast?” Fluttershy asked, “Why never summon before?”

“Honestly, I've never seen him before this,” Twilight admitted.

Nightmare Crystal braced herself as Spike rolled over to her and thrashed about in an attempt to bite her. The two of them fought close quarter for a bit, eventually jumping away from each other.

play song

“That's enough Crystal,” A familiar voice called out. They looked at the direction of the village and saw the Chief walking up to them, only now she looked like Nightmare Moon, “This world belongs to us now.”

Pinkamena charged up her blue element and shot an icicle at Nightmare Moon, who held up a hand to block.

“So this is the choice you've made,” Nightmare Moon said, “You know the land of the light won't accept you.”

“Even if the light forsakes me, I won't let the darkness rule either!” Pinkamana said stepping in front of Twilight in defense, “If you want her, you have to go through me!”

Nightmare Crystal gritted her teeth, but Nightmare Moon placed a hand on her shoulder to calm her.

“Their time will come, Crystal. Come, my friend.”

Nightmare Crystal scowled at the group, and then turned to Nightmare Moon and walked over to her.

“Is this true, Rarity?” Twilight asked, stopping Nightmare Crystal, “Are you… really our enemy now?”

“This universe is my enemy,” Nightmare Crystal said darkly, “As is anyone that this universe loves.”

With that, both Nightmare Moon and Crystal walked into a dark portal and vanished. Twilight fell to her knees as the realization hit her. That was Rarity, and she truly hated all of them now. Realizing this, Twilight broke down completely, crying harder than she had cried in ages. As she sobbed, Spike walked over to her, and on instinct Twilight embraced the large canine. Her friends all looked at her in sadness, unable to really say anything as they all felt the same as her.

Their chances of bringing Rarity back just got a lot slimmer.

Forest: Fluttershy's Trauma

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Forest – Fluttershy's Trauma

It was night when they arrived, so everyone went to sleep shortly after arriving at the village, Twilight sleeping in the Chief's hut with Spike and Pinkamena while Fluttershy, Applejack, and DASH-379 all went to Fluttershy's hut. Twilight felt comforted sleeping on Spike's coat, which made a great pillow.

play song

“Twilight, you can't give up.”

“Hm…?” Twilight opened her eyes, surprised to see that she was alone in the hut. When she looked by the entrance though, she saw another girl standing there that she didn't recognize. This girl had long red and orange hair, and wore a light blue blouse/skirt, blue skinny jeans, black high heeled boots, and a black leather jacket. Despite her bad girl appearance, there was something very friendly about this girl, who looked like she came from Standard.

“You're her light, remember?” the red haired girl said.

“W-who are you…?” Twilight asked. The mysterious girl smiled warmly.

“Come on, you remember me. I know you do, deep down,” the girl walked over to her and leaned in close smiling, “Just say the first thing that comes to mind.”

Twilight looked at the girl, and while she wasn't sure, there was one name that she immediately thought was a good name for the girl.

“Sunset…?” Twilight asked, “Is it… Sunset… Shimmer…?”

The girl nodded, “See, that wasn't so hard.”

“But… how did you get here? Did you follow us…?” Twilight asked.

“I'm not there. Right now, I'm not anywhere. But I'm not important right now. You have to save Rarity, Twilight. She's the only one who can stop him,” Sunset urged.

“Only one who can…” Twilight was so confused, “Who are you talking about…?”

“Lavos,” Sunset stated, “Only the Chrono Trigger, with the help of the Chrono Cross can destroy Lavos.”

“I've heard that first term, Chrono Trigger before, but what's the Chrono Cross?” Twilight asked sitting up.

“Something that you need to get your hands on,” Sunset said rising up and walking toward the entrance, “Not only is that the only way you and Rarity can hurt Lavos, but you need it if you're going to bring Rarity back from the darkness. You'll be seeing me around a bit, Twilight. Just don't lose your light, okay?”

“Hey, wait!” Twilight cried shooting up, “Just who are y-”

end song


Twilight shot up awake, still inside the hut. Did she dream that whole thing? That girl, who was she? Why did Twilight feel like she knew her? Like they were really close at one point?

Good. You are awake.

When Twilight heard that voice in her head she jumped. It was somewhat deep, yet youthful sounding. She looked behind her and saw Spike sitting up a bit looking at her.

Was your rest peaceful, Mistress?

“That voice… it's you isn't it?” Twilight asked the giant wolf, “Spike… right?”

The wolf nodded before she heard the voice again.

I communicate telepathically. Normally my voice can only be heard by my channeler, but if you wish it, you can share my voice with others that you trust. This includes Athena, or DASH as you all call her.

“O-okay,” Twilight said nodding. She decided to just accept it. I mean, was this really the strangest thing she experienced on this journey?

In order for me to manifest, I must draw from your mana pool. For now, I must disperse. But if you require my assistance, all you must do is charge up your element and think of me. I will then materialize by your side.

“Hold on, before that,” Twilight asked, “Have you heard of something called… the Chrono Cross…?”

I have heard of it, yes. The Entity would know more though.

There was that phrase again, The Entity. Just who was this “Entity”?

For now, focus on saving the Seer of this world. We can't proceed without her.

With that, Spike vanished, leaving Twilight alone in the hut. Deciding to head out and see where everyone was, she stepped outside, where she immediately saw Pinkamena leaning against a nearby tree waiting for her.

play song

“Morning Bestie,” Pinkamena said.

“Good morning Pinkamena,” Twilight said, “Did you sleep well?”

“Geez, I wanted to ask you that,” Pinkamena said, “You spent the entire night crying.”

“Yeah, I…” Twilight looked down somberly, “That woman we fought yesterday, was Rarity… right?”

Pinkamena sighed nodding, “She's been consumed by the power of Lavos. It's not like when it had me. All it did was take away my ability to move freely. For Rarity, it's tainted her very soul.”

All it did?” Twilight asked, “Pinkamena, that's terrible! You mean all those times you fought us was against your will?”

“What happened to me isn't important,” Pinkamena turned to Twilight and glared at her seriously, “You see it now, right? How bad things are for her? We're not going to be able to reason with Rarity right now.”

“So what do we do?” Twilight asked tearing up, “I don't want to kill her.”

Pinkamena, in a shocking gesture, hugged Twilight, “We get to the Land of the Gods. There, someone will be able to help us.”

“You mean the Entity, right?” Twilight asked, “Who is that?”

“Someone you actually know very well,” Pinkamena said, “Just pass the tests and open the door. Everything else will fall into place.”

It was so weird, yet somehow Twilight just felt better being with this woman. She didn't seem bad in the slightest. Maybe a little terrifying, but not bad.

Twilight let go of Pinkamena just as DASH-379 walked over to them.

“Have either of you seen Fluttershy?” DASH asked.

“Sorry, but I just woke up,” Twilight said, “Is she not here?”

“She was not present when I exited recharge mode,” DASH stated, “Also, some of the villagers wished to speak with her about the current situation.”

“Fluttershy is the third most important woman in the village,” Pinkamena stated, “After the Chief and Seer, so if anything happens to either of them, she's supposed to take the lead.”

“Does that mean she'd have to stay here?” Twilight asked worried. They already lost one member of their team.

“I am not sure. That is why I am searching for her,” DASH stated, “Would either of you be willing to offer their assistance in finding her?”

“I probably shouldn't,” Pinkamena stated with a shrug, “I mean, if you value my life that is.”

“I'm pretty sure right now Fluttershy is liable to do anything,” Twilight sighed, “I'll help you DASH.”

“Thank you,” DASH-379 said, “And I am still attempting to talk to Fluttershy about you, Pinkamena. I appreciate your patience.”

With that, DASH-379 sauntered off. Twilight nodded to Pinkamena and began her search for Fluttershy, which wasn't too hard for Twilight. She played enough video games to know how to handle this situation.

First step, talk to everyone.

All of the villagers were really nice, if not really worried about the Chief and Seer. No one knew what was going on, and just assumed that the Chief and Seer together had been captured. Still, Twilight did eventually hear that Fluttershy was at the lake.

So Twilight headed off there.

When she arrived at the lake, she immediately hid as Fluttershy wasn't alone. Actually, behind her was a big, muscular man with long blond hair, wearing just pants made of animal fur. Fluttershy was in the water submerged from the waist down apparently cleaning herself.

Who's that hunk?

Wait, wasn't he with this world's Shining Armor the last time?

play song

“Fluttershy, please talk to me,” the man said, his voice super deep.

“Nothing to say,” Fluttershy said, keeping her back turned to the man, “Just need time alone.”

“You become distant,” the man said slowly walking toward the water, “Not even look at-”

“STOP!!!” Fluttershy screamed, stopping him instantly, “Don't come, Macintosh.”

“Fluttershy…?”

“Come close, then touch me…” Fluttershy hugged herself, trembling, “No man touch again…”

“I not just man,” Macintosh said warmly, “I friend. Best friend. Possibly more. You leave for long time, come back, but never see me. Scared something happen to you.”

“Please leave…” Fluttershy sobbed softly.

“Fluttershy-”

Fluttershy turned to Macintosh, holding her arms over her breasts, “I SAID LEAVE!!!” she completely broke down, “Not want you near me…! Not want man close or touch me…! So go…! Leave…!” when Macintosh didn't leave right away, Fluttershy used one of her hands to splash water at him, “Leave!”

Macintosh looked so hurt, but he respected Fluttershy's wishes and left, taking one last look at her before returning to the village. Twilight then stepped out, looking at Fluttershy as she sobbed loudly. It was a pitiful sight, as she looked so alone. Twilight had no idea that what Greymane did to her had affected her this much.

Twilight took her shoes and socks off, and then walked into the water, immediately embracing Fluttershy.

“It's okay,” Twilight said softly, “I'm here.”

“No… it not okay…!” Fluttershy sobbed, “I hurt him…! I hurt friend because… because I can't…!”

Twilight lightly shushed Fluttershy, escorting her out of the water and over to a stone. Realizing that she probably wouldn't have enough drive to dress yet, Twilight took off her blazer and used that to at least keep Fluttershy warm.

“So… is he your boyfriend or something?” Twilight asked. Fluttershy looked at Twilight, confusion marring her saddened face.

“Boy… friend…? I not understand,” Fluttershy said. Twilight closed her eyes tightly, mentally kicking herself for forgetting who she was talking to.

“Right, think simpler with talking to you,” Twilight said to herself, “Um… like, is he a potential husband for you… or mate…?”

“Oh… that's what you mean,” Fluttershy said, “Macintosh is… close friend, yes. I do- I mean, I did consider asking him to be husband one day, but…”

“But… after what happened with Greymane…” Twilight said slowly.

“Macintosh is man!” Fluttershy cried looking at Twilight intensely, “No man touch me again!”

“But… is that really fair to Macintosh?” Twilight asked. Fluttershy closed her eyes and shook her head.

“No man touch me again…! No man touch me again!” Fluttershy sobbed.

“Fluttershy, stop this!” Twilight screamed, grabbing Fluttershy's wrists and looking her dead in the eyes, “I get it, alright? You're traumatized after what Greymane did to you! It was horrible what happened, and I'm so sorry for it! You have every right, every right to be upset after that! I know I would be upset if it happened to me!

“But the way you're handling it isn't healthy in the slightest! Lashing out at people, shoving the blame onto others! Greymane is dead, Fluttershy! You were the one who killed him!”

“I KNOW THAT!!!” Fluttershy screamed, “I KILL HIM!!! I MAKE GREYMANE PAY FOR HURTING ME!!! BUT PAIN NOT GO AWAY!!! FEAR NOT GO AWAY!!! NOTHING I DO MAKE PAIN STOP!!!”

Twilight looked at Fluttershy sadly, still holding her wrists as she cried.

“Still have nightmares about it…!” Fluttershy continued, “In dreams, I feel what Greymane do to me…! Dreams feel real… and when dream ends, still feel it…! Then I remember it not dream…! It real…! Greymane was man, and man hurt me…! Macintosh man too, so… Macintosh…”

“No, that's not right,” Twilight said, “Yes, Greymane was a man, but that's not why he did that. It's the same as what I was trying to tell you concerning Pinkamena.”

“Pinkamena bad person…” Fluttershy fussed, “She lead Greymane to attack village, and let Greymane hurt me…”

“What happened to you isn't Pinkamena's fault, and I can tell you with confidence, killing her won't make the pain of what happened go away,” Twilight explained, “Sure, she played a part in it, but you don't know all the details.”

“Not need all the details…” Fluttershy sobbed, “Know everything I need to know…”

“Fluttershy-”

“Please leave, Twilight…” Fluttershy said, closing her eyes, “Not change mind.”

Twilight shook her head and let Fluttershy go, “You know, right now you look a lot like the Fluttershy from my world. Dark, lonely, and honestly, full of hate. I don't know why I feel like this, but something deep inside of me knows this isn't the real you. But, I know that you're not going to listen to me right now. I'm going to start working on how to find Celestia with Applejack and the others, and yes, that's including Pinkamena. Whenever you're done sulking, you're free to join us.”

Twilight was about to just get up, but stopped when Fluttershy took off Twilight's blazer and held it out harshly, still not looking at her. Twilight sighed, lightly took the blazer, and walked back to the village, wishing more and more that Rarity was there.

I bet you'd know what to say to her.

You always knew what to say.

Rarity… I miss you so much.


play song

No one really spoke to Fluttershy for the rest of the day. She was present when they all gathered in the Chief's hut to discuss their next move, which so far no one could quite figure out what that was.

“We can't just leave things like they are,” Applejack said, “But Celestia could be anywhere at this point.”

“Thankfully, I am still picking up her signal on the life stream,” DASH-379 said, “I have been using my internal radar system to pinpoint Seer Celestia's location.”

“What did you find?” Pinkamena asked, unaware that Fluttershy narrowed her eyes behind her.

“Based off information given to me from the villagers, her location is more than likely the Wolf Tribe's main village,” DASH explained.

“Alright then, let's get going,” Twilight said, “We know where they are, and we have a larger group, right?”

“Yeah, we do,” Applejack stated, “But Nightmare Moon and Rarity both know that already. They're expecting us to storm the village.”

“Applejack is right,” Pinkamena stated, “I know Nightmare Moon, and she doesn't do anything by accident. If she's this easy to track down, she wants us to find her.”

Fluttershy looked away, growling to herself and slightly barring her teeth.

“If you know this, do you know a way for us to break in without her knowing?” Twilight asked Pinkamena, who immediately looked at Twilight and smiled brightly.

“Of course I do, Bestie!” Pinkamena said, “If we wait until nightfall, we can have a small group infiltrate the village and get Celestia out of there before Nightmare Moon or Crystal even know.”

“Sounds good to me,” Applejack said, “Then we'll have Pinkamena lead this-”

play song

“No!” Fluttershy shouted, catching everyone's attention, “Pinkamena not lead!”

Twilight took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of her nose, “Fluttershy…”

“She knows the most about Nightmare Moon,” Applejack stated, “It makes the most sense to me that we let Pinkamena and DASH-”

“Why are you okay with her?!” Fluttershy asked, “Pinkamena kill your Master!”

“Yes, she did,” Applejack said folding her arms, “And I haven't forgotten that, but things are a lot more complicated now. Besides, she's one-” she was cut off by Fluttershy holding her head and screaming.

“STOP SAYING THAT!!! I'M TIRED OF HEARING PEOPLE SAY THAT!!! YOU SAY PINKAMENA IS ONE OF US!!! TWILIGHT SAY PINKAMENA IS ONE OF US!!! NO ONE CARE ABOUT ME!!! NO ONE CARE HOW I FEEL ABOUT PINKAMENA!!!” Fluttershy pushed past everyone and ran to the entrance, “If everyone want Pinkamena on team, then I leave team!”

“Fluttershy, you do not mean that,” DASH-379 said walking over to Fluttershy and reaching for her, “Please calm down, Fluttershy-”

“DON'T TOUCH ME!!!” Fluttershy screamed slapping DASH-379's hand away, and immediately catching herself looking at DASH in horror, DASH's eyes wide in surprise as well. For the longest time no one moved, until Fluttershy ran out of the hut crying loudly. DASH-379's expression softened to one of sadness as she watched her friend leave. Applejack took a deep breath closing her eyes, but Twilight groaned and turned to Pinkamena, who shrugged with an awkward expression.

This was not going to work.

end song


That night, Fluttershy woke up earlier than anyone. After checking her equipment, she stepped out of her hut and looked around before running out of the village, completely unaware of DASH-379 opening her eyes activating.

Fluttershy wasn't too far from Canterlot Village when she stopped and looked down. She didn't know what happened, but lately she just couldn't control herself. Was it because Rarity wasn't there?

Or was it because Pinkamena was.

What was worse, her friends were all flocking around Pinkamena, acting like everything was okay. It was like no one cared that she was the same woman who had tried to kill them time and time again. Twilight was probably the worst one, being directly hurt by Pinkamena yet now considered her “bestie”.

They didn't think Fluttershy knew what that meant, but she knew. It meant that Twilight liked Pinkamena more now. Soon, everyone was going to like her more than Fluttershy.

“Friends replace me with Pinkamena…” Fluttershy sobbed, “By now… even DASH-” she cut herself off hearing a twig crack behind her, followed by familiar heavy footsteps. She turned back to the village to see DASH-379 walking up to her, her magenta eyes glowing in the darkness.

play song

“It is dangerous to go alone, Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said. When Fluttershy looked away rubbing her arm, DASH tilted her head in confusion, “Is something wrong, Fluttershy?”

“Why come…?” Fluttershy asked sadly, “You hate me now. After I hurt you, you become Pinkamena's friend now.”

DASH frowned, taken aback by that, “Is that what you think will happen? That is highly illogical, Fluttershy. You are my best friend, and I am yours.”

“But… I hit hand away…”

“Yes, you did, and I was very surprised by that, but I also understand that you are upset. I am concerned for your mental well being, Fluttershy,” as DASH-379 spoke, Fluttershy felt herself get more and more worked up, to the point where she was trembling, “Fluttershy, what is wrong? You look like you are about to cry.”

Almost immediately, Fluttershy hugged herself and squinted her eyes closed, tears falling freely. DASH-379 wasted no time walking up to her and holding her close.

“You are more affected by what happened before we met than I realized,” DASH stated as softly as her mechanical tone would allow.

“I… spoke to old friend today…” Fluttershy sobbed, “Friend who is… man.”

DASH-379 tilted her head slightly, “Did this friend hurt you? If so, I have no problem terminating him.”

It took a second for Fluttershy to remember what the word “terminating” meant. While she loved her robotic friend a lot, she was sometimes really hard to understand with how many big words she used.

“Oh no!” Fluttershy said immediately, shaking her head, “Macintosh not hurt me! Macintosh… never hurt me… He is just… man.”

“I see,” DASH stated, “He is a male, and your traumatized state makes it difficult to let him close. Is this statement correct?”

“Yes, it is,” Fluttershy admitted, “But… that's not only reason I'm so upset.”

“I realized,” DASH-379 said nodding, “That is the reason why I have sought you out, Fluttershy. I wish to discuss the whole Pinkamena issue with you at length.”

“You need rest though, right?” Fluttershy asked.

“Remember, I do not require sleep. Since I recharged myself last night, I will not need to enter recharge mode for another 120 hours,” DASH escorted Fluttershy to a nearby fallen tree, where both of them sat down, “Talk to me, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy took a deep breath before speaking, “Everyone tell me that I not being fair. That Pinkamena not at fault for hurting me.”

“You do not believe them?” DASH-379 asked.

“Pinkamena bad person! She send wolves to attack village! Because of her, wolves capture me and… Greymane… assault… me… I hate Pinkamena forever!”

DASH tilted her head, “Fluttershy, you remember that I go by a specific sense of logic, correct? So everything that I say is well thought out.”

“I know…” Fluttershy said, “Trust DASH.”

“Then I must sadly admit that I agree with the others. Your actions are not fair to Pinkamena or Macintosh.”

“You too,” Fluttershy pouted folding her arms, “You tell me to forgive Pinkamena too?”

“Negative,” DASH-379 said, shocking Fluttershy, “My objective is not to tell you what to do, rather it is to put your situation into better perspective. May I?” Fluttershy realized she had nothing to lose really, and DASH-379 always knew what was best, so Fluttershy reluctantly nodded, “First, concerning Pinkamena, as she is the most immediate issue. Your issue with her is that because of her you were assaulted, correct?”

Fluttershy nodded wordlessly, listening intently to her mechanical friend.

“Let us analyze the moment. Pinkamena granted Greymane added power. Was her reasoning to send Greymane to assault you?”

“N-no,” Fluttershy stated, “Greymane wanted me for long time before then, but I say no each time. Greymane just wanted to attack village.”

“I see. So already we have a disconnection,” DASH-379 stated, “That did not take too long.”

“What do you mean?” Fluttershy asked.

“You blame Pinkamena for being assaulted, yet by that small look back at the situation, it becomes clear to me that all she did was give him the edge to do something he already wanted to do. Something that he probably could have done himself anyway. In fact, why was Pinkamena there? Do you know?”

“I… don't…” Fluttershy thought back to the whole thing, and remembered that when Pinkamena showed up, it was in response to Rarity being there. Actually, looking back helped Fluttershy remember a lot of things concerning that, like how in reality, it wasn't Pinkamena's fault her village was attacked.

It was her fault.

“She come… because I bring Rarity to village…” Fluttershy said somberly, “Village attacked because of… me…”

DASH-379 nodded slowly, “Greymane was going to attack your village at some point, all he needed was a reason. Pinkamena appeared and gave him the reason he needed. She is not blameless in the slightest, but I believe that you can now see that placing the blame on her for your assault is illogical.”

“You mean, not right to blame Pinkamena,” Fluttershy said, trying to translate what DASH-379 was saying.

“Now concerning Macintosh, he is your friend, correct?” DASH asked.

“I… I don't…”

“Forget about his gender for the time being,” DASH requested, “He is your friend, correct?”

“W-well, yes…” Fluttershy said.

“Has he ever done anything to hurt you in the past?” DASH asked.

“Never…” Fluttershy said, “Macintosh big, but Macintosh shy, and very nice. Macintosh childhood friend.”

“He does not sound like the type of person to cause you harm, Fluttershy.”

“No… but… I can't get close to him…!” Fluttershy said holding herself, “I… not want to be hurt again… and he is man… and… Greymane was man… and-”

“Androphobia. Definition, an intense fear of men. Being assaulted has caused this.”

“I know it not fair to Macintosh, but when I think about man touching me, I see Greymane touching me. I still have bad dreams about it. Dreams where I'm being held down, and man is… doing things to me…”

“Fluttershy, if you were this traumatized you should have told me,” DASH-379 said.

“Mission more important,” Fluttershy said, “I not want to slow everyone down.”

“Yet we are currently slowed down with you keeping it a secret,” DASH pointed out, “Fluttershy, if you are going to proceed, you need to fix this issue.”

“I try! But not know how!” Fluttershy fussed, “Killing Greymane not work, can't avoid men, can't kill Pinkamena, how do I make pain go away?! You always know what to do, so tell me! Why do I do?!”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intently, “You… wish to know my opinion…?” DASH asked, her expression softening in an odd way, “I would suggest… relying on Macintosh.”

“Relying on… Macintosh…?” Fluttershy asked apprehensively.

“Affirmative. He is a male, yes, but before that, he is your friend. He is someone you can trust, Fluttershy. I believe you can trust him even more than you can trust me. This will not get rid of your fear of men, but it should at least help in the recovery process.”

“Macintosh…” Fluttershy said, thinking about her friend. She was so mean to him earlier that day. Actually, she was mean to a lot of people lately. She needed to apologize to everyone, but first she needed to see Macintosh. This wasn't something that could wait.

DASH-379 got up, “I will return to Canterlot Village and keep watch. Please think it over, Fluttershy.”

DASH began walking back to the village, leaving Fluttershy to her thoughts. She didn't stay there for too long though. Instead she shot up and ran back into the village herself, going to Macintosh's hut. When she got there, she saw that Macintosh wasn't there.

She thought for a bit, but then remembered someplace that Macintosh would go. It was a little out of the village, but if she was lucky, and it was still there, she'd definitely find him there.

Fluttershy ran to a secret area of the village, where she found a large worn tree trunk. She looked inside, pleased to see the old vine ladder was still there. She took that down into the trunk, going into a large and deep cave. At the end of the long corridor, she found an open area where the moonlight shined through.

And sitting right in the middle, was Macintosh.

Fluttershy cleared her throat to get his attention. Macintosh turned to Fluttershy surprised, but then looked somberly at her.

“Fluttershy, I…”

“We come here when children,” Fluttershy said walking toward him, “Special place, were only good things could exist.”

Macintosh smiled remembering, “I come up with that. You were sad, and I say that to make you happy again.”

Fluttershy nodded, “I remember. Macintosh… always make me smile when sad,” Fluttershy looked down nervously, “I… sorry for screaming at you. Not fair to you.”

“What happen to you?” Macintosh asked, “I not get upset. I promise.”

Fluttershy bit her lip, as flashes from that moment came back. She remembered him tying her up, touching her, violating her. She almost started screaming it was so vivid. She then looked back at Macintosh, seeing how worried he was for her. He wouldn't ever do anything to hurt her. He cared about her. He loved her.

Trust Macintosh.

He is man, but… he's good man.

Good man… save me…

Before she knew it, the tears came back, but this time she didn't take her eyes off of Macintosh. She refused to. He was the only thing keeping her together right now.

“M-Macintosh…!” Fluttershy cried, “Need… help…!”

Macintosh immediately ran to her and was about to hug her, but stopped short, apparently remembering what happened earlier, “How can I help?” he asked.

“Greymane… take something from me…” Fluttershy said, slowly reaching out to grab Macintosh's hands, “Want to forget… so… need you… to save me…!”

Fluttershy closed her eyes tightly, grabbing Macintosh's hands. She felt like she was panicking, and had to suppress the urge to scream, but she kept reminding herself that Macintosh was different. He was her friend. He wasn't going to hurt her.

As such, to illustrate what she wanted, she put his hands right on her hips.

“Fluttershy, you look terrified,” Macintosh said, eyes wide. She was terrified actually. Her entire body was screaming for her to run away. But she came this far. She knew what she had to do in order to erase the horrible memory of her first time.

“M-M-Macintosh… never… hurt… me…?” Fluttershy asked.

“Never hurt Fluttershy,” Macintosh said honestly, “Never ever.”

“Then… m-make… me feel… loved…” Fluttershy said, now escorting Macintosh to the central area again. There, she stepped away from Macintosh, and lied down in a manner to present herself. Macintosh's eyes were wide.

“Fluttershy… this is…”

“Please…!” Fluttershy begged, trembling, “Trust Macintosh…! Always trust Macintosh…! Greymane take without permission, but I give… Macintosh permission…! Wanted Macintosh… to be first… but…” she closed her eyes and cried softly, unable to finish her sentence.

Macintosh considered her for a few moments, but then nodded to himself. He then walked over to her, slowly crawled on top of her, and lightly caressed her cheek. Fluttershy naturally flinched in fear, but then opened her eyes and looked into Macintosh's eyes. The fear remained, but she felt a calmness come over her as well.

“Not move,” Macintosh said, “Not until you ready.”

“Go… slow…” Fluttershy requested, “Not go faster… until ready…”

“Go at your pace. Promise,” Macintosh stated. Fluttershy took a deep breath, and then pulled Macintosh in for a kiss. She didn't plan on leaving this secret area until she completely forgot every horrible thing Greymane did to her.

She ended up staying the night there, but when she finally went to sleep, her dreams were much more peaceful.

Forest: Letting Go

View Online

Forest – Letting Go

When everyone woke up, they didn't see Fluttershy anywhere. Twilight and Applejack were understandably frantic, searching all around for Fluttershy. She was so mad yesterday, but when she said she was going to leave the team, they didn't think she meant leave the team!

After searching for about an hour, Twilight and Applejack met up at the central plaza of the village, where Pinkamena stood leaning against the statue.

“Did you see any sign of her?” Applejack asked.

“No, I didn't!” Twilight said, “Ugh! She could be anywhere by now!”

“I'm sure she's fine,” Pinkamena said airily, danging her bladed hoop on her finger. Applejack turned to glare at her.

“You could help, you know?” Applejack fussed.

“I am helping, by staying the fuck out of it,” Pinkamena said simply, “Geez, it's like you guys are trying to get me killed.”

Applejack tightened her fists in frustration, trying so hard not to hit Pinkamena. Twilight took off her glasses and pinched the bridge of her nose.

“I feel like I'm babysitting a bunch of kids sometimes…” Twilight muttered to herself. The three of them heard the sound of heavy footsteps, and saw DASH-379 walking up to them.

“Good morning, everyone,” DASH said, “You all seem troubled.”

“DASH! Do you know where Fluttershy is?” Twilight asked, “We've been looking everywhere for her!”

“Fluttershy is fine,” DASH said smiling, “I talked to her last night. I believe that she is taking care of something very important at the moment.”

“Something important…?” Twilight asked. A second later, the Applejack from Forest walked over to them looking worried.

“Outsiders, see big brother?” Forest Applejack asked the group.

“His name is Macintosh, right?” Applejack asked walking up to her forest counterpart, who shied away a bit, “Sorry, I know this is scary, seeing someone with the same face as you. You said Macintosh is missing?”

Forest Applejack nodded, “Macintosh have fight with Fluttershy, and then disappear at night.”

“Ooh, I bet I know where they are,” Pinkamena said. Everyone turned to her, and Pinkamena raised her eyebrows up and down. Forest Applejack tilted her head confused, but both Twilight and Applejack blushed. DASH-379 on the other hand, laughed.

“I believe this proves my point,” DASH stated, “We should wait for Fluttershy to return before we begin making our way to save the Seer.”

“See? Dashie gets it,” Pinkamena said, “You guys need to relax more.”

Twilight shook her head at Pinkamena, but then looked at DASH-379 suspiciously. While she was always really expressive, that was the first time DASH had outright laughed.

Was she beginning to…


play song

Fluttershy slowly woke up, still in their secret cave. She felt someone spooning her from behind, their arms around her in a loving embrace. When she saw the ruggedness of the arm, her eyes went wide for a second, until she remembered who it was.

Macintosh…

Fluttershy smiled softly, and moved Macintosh's hand to her stomach holding it there. She wondered if there was something there now. Wouldn't that be something? If through her pain, and torture, it all lead to…

She heard Macintosh stir, and she turned around to face him, greeting him with a smile. When he opened his eyes, he reached to caress her cheek, but stopped short. Fluttershy shook her head, and then held his hand on her cheek before caressing his. They stayed like that for a few seconds, and then Fluttershy pulled Macintosh in and kissed him tenderly on the lips. She could feel it, her heart was still racing in fear. She was still afraid of men, and would still keep her distance from them. But Macintosh wasn't just a man. He was her best friend, and soon, he'd be something else.

He'd be her husband, and the father of her children.


play song

Twilight's group waited for a minute, but soon saw Fluttershy walk back into the village. What threw them all for a loop was that she was in the arms of this world's Macintosh. They were REALLY shocked when they saw her lightly kiss him on the lips before walking over to the group.

“Morning everyone,” Fluttershy said with a content smile on her face.

“Someone looks like they're in a better mood now,” Applejack pointed out. Fluttershy looked down shamed.

“I sorry for yelling yesterday. I not want to leave team,” Fluttershy stated.

“You just don't want me on the team, right?” Pinkamena asked with a shrug. Fluttershy glared at Pinkamena for a bit before walking over to her, getting right in the demonic jester's face.

“I not like you,” Fluttershy said seriously, “I not trust you either. But, I see you not leave, so I just keep eye on you.”

“Aw, there you go,” Pinkamena said, “You see? That's the first step to becoming friends.”

Fluttershy then pulled out a dagger and held it right at Pinkamena's neck.

“Do anything I not like, and I kill you without hesitation,” Fluttershy stated, “I not care if Twilight's friend.”

Pinkamena laughed nervously raising her hands in surrender, “What? You thought I was crazy? Well okay, granted I might be a little crazy, but even I wouldn't dare cross you.”

Fluttershy didn't look convinced. Honestly, Pinkamena was really hard to read, so it was almost impossible to tell when she was being serious and when she was joking around at times. Still, Fluttershy sheathed her blade and stepped away from Pinkamena.

“Now that we are all present,” DASH-379 stated, “I believe we should begin our search for Seer Celestia.”

“We can't go to the next world without at least securing the Celestia here,” Pinkamena stated, “We need her present if we're to enter the Land of the Gods.”

Twilight was really curious about that. Why did they need the four Celestia's secure before they could enter this “Land of the Gods”? How were they connected to that?

“So do we start making our way there now?” Applejack asked.

“I think that's a good idea,” Twilight stated, “If I remember back when Rarity and I made the trip the first time, we left around this time and got to the Wolf Tribe kingdom right at sunset.”

“Hopefully the security will not be too intense,” DASH stated, “But then again, if what Pinkamena says is true, Nightmare Moon wants us to find her, so she will not make it too difficult.”

“Worst we'll have to deal with probably are a few wolves stalking about,” Twilight stated, “I think if we spit up into two groups we'll be safer.”

Fluttershy looked away blushing, “Um… I should… get clean before mission…”

“Since when did you start caring so much about cleanliness?” Twilight asked.

“I not… it's just…” Fluttershy's face was getting redder and redder by the second, “Wolves have strong sense of smell, and… I… um…” she then quickly ran off to the lake, apparently to bathe. Now Twilight was blushing, realizing what happened.

“Oh my…!” Twilight said, “I didn't think Fluttershy would, um…”

“Well! I say we start gathering supplies, preparing for the trip!” Applejack said, quickly rushing off. Pinkamena started laughing so hard that she hunched over slapping her knee.

“Oh my God! I love it!” Pinkamena cheered through her laughter, “This is so much more fun than trying to kill you guys!”

While Twilight was greatly disturbed by that statement, she turned to DASH-379, who had a truly peaceful and content smile on her face. She must have talked to Fluttershy. Still, the look on DASH's face was more human than her usual expressions.

end song


Once everyone was adequately prepared, the group began making their way to the Wolf Tribe's settlement. The walk was quieter than what Twilight was used to. Quieter, and more tense. She didn't realize how much Rarity being with them added to their group.

Twilight stopped and looked down, feeling a fresh wave of depression hit her. She remembered the dark look on her face, and the condescending way she spoke to all of them.

“Hey, we can't stop moving,” Applejack said to Twilight, who looked up and saw the knight walk back toward her.

“Sorry Applejack,” Twilight said somberly, “I'm always slowing the group down it seems.”

“This is about Rarity, isn't it?” Applejack asked somberly.

play song

“Applejack… she really hates us…” Twilight said tearing up, “The way she looked at us, and how she fought us… she's our enemy now… I promised that I'd bring her back, but…”

“But nothing,” Applejack cut Twilight off, “You said you'd bring her back, so you'll bring her back.”

“But how?” Twilight asked earnestly, “Applejack, she wasn't brainwashed or anything! She's doing this of her own accord! That means she… hates me…”

“Do you really think that lowly of her?” Applejack challenged. Twilight looked up at Applejack in shock.

“I…”

“Twilight, she doesn't hate any of us. She's lost in the darkness, and needs her light to come back. She feels hopeless right now.”

“I guess… I really never understood how hopeless her situation was,” Twilight admitted, “She was really affected by it.”

“Wouldn't you be?” Applejack asked, “If you realized that your world was destroyed, and that you weren't going to ever see your family, or your friends again, wouldn't you be just as hopeless?”

Twilight thought about that. Imagining what it would be like to not ever see Pinkie Pie, Applejewel, Rainbow Dash, or even Fluttershy ever again. Imagining what it would be like to never see her mom and dad, or her brother. Imagining that she'd never have a home to go to that was truly hers.

“She… really lost everything, didn't she?” Twilight asked.

“If you can truly understand the depth of her pain, then maybe, just maybe, you can save her,” Applejack turned to continue their trek to the village.

“What do I do after that though?” Twilight asked, stopping Applejack, “After I bring her back to her senses, what do I do then? She'll never have her old life back, and she's still…”

“You let her decide what to do, and support her decision no matter what it is,” Applejack said, “Even if it means letting her go.”

“You mean… letting her…?”

“It's her life, Twilight. It's up to her what she decides to do with it. The most you can do is help her get a clear head so she'll be making the decision for the right reason. Come on, we need to rescue Celestia.”

Applejack walked on ahead, leaving Twilight to follow after her. Honestly, the implications of what Rarity would do after coming back scared Twilight more than seeing her now. Would Rarity decide to stay and live in Standard with Twilight?

Or would she choose instead to follow after her world and friends into oblivion?

play song

It didn't take long for them to reach the Wolf Tribe village. Just as Twilight feared, there were wolves walking around patrolling. Such a large group would attract too much attention.

“I know a safe way to get inside the chief's house,” Pinkamena whispered, “I'll lead one team that way.”

“I can lead the other team down the same path that Rarity and I took the last time,” Twilight said.

“Twilight should have more protection with her since she is the healer,” DASH-379 stated, “The safer option would be for Applejack and I to accompany her.”

“That's true and all,” Applejack said, “But you realize that means the second group would be…” All three of them turned to look at the two remaining members of their party.

Pinkamena and Fluttershy.

Fluttershy glared at Pinkamena, and then turned back toward the village. No one really knew what that meant.

“Um… Fluttershy…?” Twilight asked slowly.

“Pinkamena and I go together,” Fluttershy stated with a sigh, “I watch her closely.”

“Aw, you say that like you don't trust me?” Pinkamena said jovially.

“Honestly, I am certain Twilight here is the only one who does fully trust you,” DASH-379 said.

“Who said I fully trust her?” Twilight said quietly.

“Don't worry,” Pinkamena said, “I won't do anything, I promise. Remember, we're friends now.”

“Saying it like that only makes us more suspicious, you know?” Applejack stated deadpanned. Her statement went unanswered though, as Pinkamena skipped off. Fluttershy shook her head and ran off on all fours after her.

“Come on, the secret passage is this way,” Twilight said, leading DASH-379 and Applejack toward the secret door she and Rarity used before. At least she knew that they wouldn't run into too many enemies this way, and even if they did, she had two powerhouses with her.

She was more worried about Pinkamena and Fluttershy. Even if she was still wary of the demonic jester, she didn't was anything to happen to her, and biggest threat wasn't even the wolves. It was the person she was partnered with.

I just hope Fluttershy took what we were saying to heart.


With Pinkamena's guidance, they managed to make their way to the front door. It was here that they both saw two wolves guarding the door.

“Guards,” Fluttershy said pulling out her dagger, “I kill to get through.”

“Whoa whoa whoa! Slow your role, Flutter Butter,” Pinkamena said holding Fluttershy back, “Ever think of finding a none violent solution?”

“Wolves kidnap women of Canterlot Village,” Fluttershy seethed, “I make them pay for using Lavos to have way with my village!”

Pinkamena sighed, “You gotta seriously let all that go, sister.”

“Let go?” Fluttershy asked glaring at Pinkamena, “Why should I let go? Why should I forgive?!”

“Try because you killing them would just attract more attention,” Pinkamena stated seriously, “Wolves can smell blood, and if they see two of their comrades dead, they'll be looking for the ones who killed them.”

“Then I kill them too,” Fluttershy said darkly.

“When does it stop, Fluttershy?”

Fluttershy looked at Pinkamena surprised, seeing a gentle yet stern expression on her face.

“When does… stop?”

“Are you planning on just killing everyone and everything that hurts you?” Pinkamena asked, “Will that take back what happened? Will that make you feel better about yourself?”

“I not do this for myself! I do this-”

“Don't kid yourself,” Pinkamena said harshly, “This isn't about your village. You just want revenge for what they did to you. You know that's selfish though, and that's why you hide it behind wanting to protect your village. But if you don't actually let go of all of this anger, it's going to turn into hatred, and then you'll end up being someone ruled by those feelings.”

A quick flash of Fluttershy's Standard counterpart appeared in her mind. Twilight had even mentioned that she was beginning to act like her. Was that true? Was that where she was ending up?

Fluttershy took a deep breath, “So… what is non violent way?”

Pinkamena smirked, “Well, you're not gonna like it, but I promise you this will work as long as you trust me.”

Ooh boy, that was a hard one. Killing the guards would have been so much easier. But that would have caused more problems ultimately, so Fluttershy sighed.

“Fine. We try your way,” she said reluctantly.

“Good girl,” Pinkamena said, “Now, I'm gonna need to borrow one of your daggers.”

A few seconds later, Fluttershy and Pinkamena were walking toward the guards, only Pinkamena was holding Fluttershy's arms behind her back with one hand and holding one of her daggers at her neck with the other. It was a really compromising position, and Fluttershy was really beginning to regret trying to trust this woman.

“Yoo hoo!” Pinkamena called out, catching the guards' attention, “Lookie lookie what I brought ya.”

“High Priestess from Canterlot Village,” the wolf on the left said as they walked over to them, “She kill Chief Greymane.”

“I kill you too if touch me!” Fluttershy shouted trying to rush at the wolf, but stopped when Pinkamena held the knife closer.

“Bad girl. Down,” Pinkamena commanded. Fluttershy growled at Pinkamena, but relented, “I need to take her to Nightmare Moon. She's expecting us.”

“Good, you know way to throne room,” the wolf on the right said.

“Thank you so much!” Pinkamena said, then whispering under her throat, “For being complete idiots.

Fluttershy looked at Pinkamena with her eyes briefly before they walked in. Was she… actually serious?

That was confirmed once they were out of the way of all wolves when Pinkamena released Fluttershy and handed her back her dagger.

“There, see? Easy peasy lemon squeezy,” Pinkamena said with a smile. Fluttershy took back her dagger and sheathed it.

“You… not actually capture me…” Fluttershy said.

“What?! Flutters, don't you remember? We're friends now. They just don't know that yet,” Pinkamena stated, “Come on. We got a psychic to save.”

As they walked off together, Fluttershy felt the need to ask Pinkamena something. Something that had been on her mind for a while.

“Was… monster really Lavos?” Fluttershy asked. Pinkamena stopped, but didn't turn back to Fluttershy.

play song

“Pretty scary, right?” Pinkamena asked, “Yep, that's the thing your people have been calling God all this time. Crazy thing is, that's not even his whole form. You were just fighting a small fragment of Lavos. One of his “arms” if you would.”

“Just fragment…? Then… Lavos really is… God?” Fluttershy asked nervously.

“Are you afraid of him?” Pinkamena asked, “It's okay if you are.”

“Are you… afraid of Lavos?” Fluttershy asked.

“Damn right I'm afraid,” Pinkamena said, hugging herself and trembling, “I've seen what it looks like when Lavos destroys a world. Everything gets torn apart, and you feel like you're losing everything that makes you who you are. It's a fate worse than death itself. At least when you die, your soul is probably going someplace. But when Lavos gets you, it's like you don't even exist anymore.”

Fluttershy's eyes went wide as she realized what Pinkamena was saying.

“Lavos… destroy your world…?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yeah… he did,” Pinkamena said softly, “I lost all of you guys because of that. In my world, we were all best friends. You, me, Applejack, Dashie, and Twilight. All of us were super close, like sisters.”

“How did you survive?” Fluttershy asked.

“I didn't,” Pinkamena admitted, “The fact that I'm here like this is only because of the power of our friendship. I'm not who I'm supposed to be. No one is who they're supposed to be. But it doesn't matter. We're all friends.”

“If friends, then why try to kill Rarity?” Fluttershy asked with her arms folded.

“I was trying to save you!” Pinkamena exclaimed turning to Fluttershy, revealing something Fluttershy didn't expect to see.

Tears.

“Save…? I not understand…”

“Rarity was the reason Lavos was hunting you down to begin with!” Pinkamena explained, “She wasn't supposed to live. In all timelines, Rarity gets killed in some way, shape, or fashion. Having a world where Rarity lived created a new timeline that went in another direction, and Lavos was attracted to that. I had to do something, so I…”

“You tried killing Rarity yourself…” Fluttershy said.

“I know that it doesn't make up for what happened to you,” Pinkamena said, “Once we make it to the Land of the Gods, I can tell you everything, and I will, but for now, you just have to trust me. Please trust me, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy wanted so badly to keep hating Pinkamena, but then she had to think about it. Why did she want to hate her so badly. Pinkamena had clearly poured her heart out, and it was pretty clear that she was telling the truth. All of a sudden, it seemed almost… unfair to keep hating Pinkamena.

“I… I trust you,” Fluttershy said, “You tell us why you kill Applejack's teacher and try to kill us when we reach Land of Gods, but until then, I trust you.”

Pinkamena smiled genuinely, and then wiped her eyes, “Great! Then let's keep pushing onward!”

Fluttershy nodded and followed Pinkamena deeper into the large building. Hopefully they'd find Celestia soon so they'd be able to get back on track to getting to the land of the Gods.


play song

It was sort of unnerving for Twilight, not to be running into any danger on their side. Sure, there were a few close calls, but nothing too threatening. Was Pinkamena right about Nightmare Moon wanting them to reach her?

It was a good thing that the ground was so soft, otherwise DASH-379's footsteps would have given them away. She was really trying to not reveal their location, but being a robot made her feet a lot heavier. Naturally Applejack called her on that, which DASH was quick to remind her that she was wearing armor too.

Much to Twilight's annoyance, they had been arguing the entire time.

“How can you even call that armor anyway?!” Applejack whispered harshly, “You're practically walking around naked!”

“That statement is merely a human concept!” DASH-379 retaliated, “My armor is designed to cover up all of my essential and vulnerable parts, but my skin is composed of material that is resistant to most attacks! It is not my fault that the human body is so fragile!”

“Please, I bet the only reason that armor works is because your enemies are too busy staring at your tits to fight right!”

“At least I have an attractive pair! You are just jealous because my outer appearance is more sexually appealing than yours!”

“Ha! Me jealous of you? Please, my boobs are perfectly fine! At least they're natural! Yours were manufactured in an assembly line!”

“I have stated many times before that I am the most superior model in my line! That even includes-”

Twilight put her fingers on both DASH-379 and Applejack's mouths.

“Will you both keep quiet?!” Twilight whispered, “God, it really is like babysitting kids with you two!”

“She started it,” DASH-379 said, actually folding her arms and looking away dejectedly.

“I rest my case,” Twilight deadpanned, “Now look alive. We're here.”

play song

The three of them looked ahead and saw that they were indeed in front of the throne room. There they saw the Seer, on her hands and knees chained to the floor with Nightmare Moon walking around her in a circle.

“You didn't really think you could keep me isolated from this world, did you?” Nightmare Moon asked Seer Celestia, “My power has far exceeded yours. There was nothing you could do.”

“Power is not yours,” Seer Celestia said, “Power is Lavos'. Power be your downfall.”

Nightmare Moon slapped Seer Celestia hard in the face, “This power is all that I have after you banished me, separating me from all of my alters!”

“Had no choice, sister,” Seer Celestia said looking up at her fallen sister pained, “You proposed destruction of entire Universe.”

“I proposed a new Universe! One without these petty laws! One where people like her no longer have to be sacrificed!”

As she pointed back to the throne, Twilight, DASH-379, and Applejack all saw Nightmare Crystal leaning against the throne with her arms folded. Just like when they saw her before, she was partially covered by shadows.

“Rarity...” Twilight said somberly. DASH-379 put a hand on her shoulder to comfort her.

“Or, are you going to tell Crystal over there that it's fair that she get's sacrificed so the universe can move forward?” Nightmare Moon said forcing Seer Celestia to look at Nightmare Crystal. All Seer Celestia could do was avert her eyes somberly.

“Hmph, we're wasting time here,” Nightmare Crystal said darkly, “Besides, don't we have guests to attend to?”

Wait, what did she say?

“Ah yes, I suppose it is time, now isn't it,” Nightmare Moon said, “You can come out now. We already know you're here.”

Twilight looked at DASH-379 and Applejack nervously, both of them sharing her expression. They then stepped out of the hall slowly, never taking their eyes off Nightmare Moon.

“You knew we were here,” Applejack stated.

“Crystal here had the perfect position where she could see all of you, but you couldn't tell she was looking right at you,” Nightmare Moon said walking over to Nightmare Crystal and taking her hand, “Thank you, my friend.”

“Of course, darling,” Nightmare Crystal said smiling at Nightmare Moon, “Always happy to help.”

“Twilight, run!” Seer Celestia urged, “Not safe here! Luna can't harm me, but use me to-”

She was cut off by her own screams as Nightmare Moon shot black electricity at her.

“Silence! You've lost the right to speak in this hall!” Nightmare Moon proclaimed, “As for you, it looks like you're short two members,” Nightmare Moon said, “I could kill you now… but I still need you to play your parts.”

“Play our parts?” DASH-379 asked, “What do you mean by that, Nightmare Moon?”

“Ahh, you will remember your role in this soon enough, Athena,” Nightmare Moon said turning to DASH-379, “Your creator is waiting for you back in Machine. Until then,” she snapped her fingers, and both she and Nightmare Crystal were engulfed in black flames.

play song

“No…! No!” Applejack shouted, “They're getting ready to summon Lavos here!

“Not if I have anything to say about it!” DASH shouted, getting on one knee and holding her arm cannon forward charging it. She fired at Nightmare Moon, but found that the flames protected her, “My attacks do nothing against her!”

“Rarity, please stop!” Twilight urged.

“Why should I?!” Nightmare Crystal asked harshly, “I don't have anything left in this Universe! My friends are gone! My family is gone! My world is completely erased! Why should my world be destroyed but yours is just fine?!”

“Rarity… I…” Twilight looked down, unable to answer that question.

“I've made my decision…!” Crystal said, tears falling from her eyes as she glared at Twilight in rage, “With the power of Lavos… I'll destroy ALL the worlds!”

“What?!” DASH-379 shouted, “Rarity, that action is highly illogical!”

“What would destroying all the other worlds do for your world?!” Applejack asked.

“It's simple, really,” Crystal continued, “I destroy all of them… and with Luna's help I can recreate my own world… only this time it will be the only world that exists! And in that world, I shall rule as a God!”

“I… I can't let you do that Rarity!” Twilight said pointing her bow forward, “I have to stop you!”

“Just try it!” Nightmare Crystal shouted throwing her arm out, “I'll make sure your world is the first one to disappear!”

play song

With that, the flames got bigger, and the entire area started shaking. The ceiling gave way and was about to fall on top of Celestia, but a large blast of ice shot at the rubble blowing it away. Everyone turned to see Pinkamena and Fluttershy standing at the other entrance back to back with their arms forward.

As Fluttershy ran to the Seer's aid, Pinkamena rushed at Nightmare Moon and began swinging her hoop at the evil sorceress, who blocked all of her attacks with her scythe. Twilight charged up her white element and then focused on her new companion.

“Spike! Come forth!” Twilight commanded. A second later everyone heard a familiar howl, and Spike jumped in between Twilight and Nightmare Crystal barring his teeth.

“Everyone! We leave now!” Fluttershy commanded once the Seer was free from her bindings.

DASH-379 and Applejack nodded, and both charged up their elements at the same time. Instead of using their double tech though, DASH fired her Charged Shot at Nightmare Crystal, and Applejack launched her Fireball at Nightmare Moon to distract them. The seven of them all ran down the hall just as a familiar horrifying screech was heard.

“Lavos is coming!” Twilight cried, “What do we do?!”

“Exactly what we're doing right now!” Applejack exclaimed, “Run like hell!”

“Enemies approaching our immediate vicinity!” DASH-379 warned, “Prepare to initiate combat protocol!”

“Um… does that mean I'm leading?!” Twilight asked.

“Just stay behind us!” Applejack said as she, DASH-379, and Spike all got ready to fight, “We'll cover you, so take another path out of here!”

Twilight nodded to them and went with Fluttershy, Pinkamena, and Seer Celestia down the side pathway as Applejack's group dealt with the wolfs that came their way. When they reached the dungeon though, they saw something materialize in front of them. Scary as it was, it looked like a somewhat smaller Lavos.

“Oh no!” Twilight cried, “It's Lavos!”

“No it isn't!” Pinkamena said holding out her hoop and getting in her fighting stance, “It's just one of his agents! Still strong, but easily beaten if we work together!”

“Right!” Fluttershy said getting her daggers ready, “We protect Twilight. Twilight heal.”

“Um… okay!” Twilight said, getting in between Flutteshy and Pinkamena as Celestia went to take cover.

The Lavos Agent opened its mouth and fired three darts at the girls, but Pinkamena grabbed Twilight and pushed her out of the way as Fluttershy rolled to the other side. Fluttershy then charged at the Agent and slashed it a few times with her daggers to gather energy. Once she had enough, she charged up her green element and cast Reinforce on herself, Twilight, and Pinkamena, raising everyone's defense.

Before the Agent could attack again, Pinkamena ran over to it and slashed wildly with her bladed hoop, at one point even spinning the hoop on her wrist super fast and knocking it back. She then jumped back and charged up her blue element, using Ice Body to increase Twilight's defense even further.

“Huh?” Twilight asked, “Why me?”

“You're the healer!” Pinkamena said turning back to the Lavos Agent, “I'm not letting anything happen to you!”

As Pinkamena rushed back over to the agent, Twilight looked in awe. Seeing Pinkamena go so far to look out for her was amazing. She really was a good person.

The Lavos Agent charged up what appeared to be a red element. It then launched a red fiery laser at Pinkamena, instantly knocking her to the ground (Flamethrower).

Fluttershy turned to the Agent and rushed at it, but before it could do anything it charged up a yellow element this time, and fired a large bolt of lightning at her, paralyzing her (Thunder Wave).

“No! Pinkamena! Fluttershy!” Twilight cried. She saw the Lavos Agent slowly begin crawling toward her, “No…! No!” Twilight held up her bow, “Stay away from me Lavos!”

“Twilight! Fight!” Seer Celestia shouted, catching the teen's attention, “Have to fight! Have to protect friends!”

“F-fight…?” Twilight asked. She shook her head and tried firing at the Lavos Agent with her arrows, but she missed each and every shot, “I… I can't…! I'm too afraid…!”

The Lavos Agent charged up a black element this time, and then opened its mouth firing a Shadow Ball at her. Before she could do anything though, Spike jumped in and grabbed Twilight, carrying her off on his back and letting her off near Celestia.

Are you unharmed Mistress?

“Spike…?” Twilight asked looking at her familiar, “If that's the case, then that means…”

Almost on cue, she heard what sounded like a gun charging. A large rainbow colored blast shot at the Lavos Agent, knocking it back. DASH-379 and Applejack then ran in, helping Fluttershy and Pinkamena to their feet.

“Are you two okay?” Applejack asked helping up Pinkamena.

“My hero!” Pinkamena cheered playfully. Applejack let her go making her fall back onto the floor.

“Pretty sure you're fine,” Applejack deadpanned.

“Thank you DASH,” Fluttershy said as the paralysis wore off.

“No problem,” DASH-379 said, “It appears that the two of you have taken extensive damage.”

“I'm sorry,” Twilight sobbed, “It's my fault. I can't fire my arrows straight enough! If I can't fight, then I can't heal!” Twilight buried her face in her hands, “It's just like Rarity said! I can't do anything!”

“Twilight…” Applejack groaned. They all turned at the sound of the Lavos Agent giving a screech similar to the real Lavos.

“We need to dispatch this enemy immediately!” DASH-379 stated, “The temporal energy is growing!”

“Then we give it everything we have!” Applejack commanded as they all got in their fighting stances, “Everyone, attack!”

The Lavos Agent did something strange, charging up four different colors of elements at once one by one. As they all charged at it, it fired a large icicle at Applejack, a fireball at Pinkamena, a sharp gust of wind at DASH-379, and another bolt of electricity at Fluttershy.

Applejack stood up and charged at the Agent, slashing with her sword. Once she gathered enough energy, she charged her red element and cast Vigor on herself. DASH-379 flew toward the Agent, dodging all of its wind blade attacks and then kicked into the Agent, knocking it back into a wall. As it emerged, DASH-379 landed next to Applejack and charged up her yellow element.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!” DASH shouted, entering her altered state. She and Applejack immediately charged up their elements and then charged at the Agent, using Beat Rush on the monster. Once they jumped away, Pinkamena rushed at the Agent and slashed wildly with her hoop. She then charged up her blue element and used her Ice Wall on the Agent, causing what appeared to be minor damage on it. The Agent was about to launch another fire move on Pinkamena, but Fluttershy grabbed her and pushed her out of the way.

Twilight could barely even look at the fight anymore. She felt so useless now. Lavos was coming there next, and there wasn't anything they could do to stop it or bring Rarity back.

“I can't do this…!” Twilight fussed falling to her knees, “I can't lead like Rarity could!”

Mistress, what are my orders?

Twilight looked up to see Spike standing over her looking at her intently.

“Your… orders…?” Twilight asked slowly.

I cannot act unless you order me to. I am bound by your will.

“You… want to fight that monster…”

It is not a matter of whether I want to or not. It's about what YOU want. Do YOU want to protect your friends?

“I… I do… but…” Twilight cringed as she heard Fluttershy scream in pain. Pinkamena looked like she was about to fire an attacking element, but instead used a healing Element on Fluttershy.

“They're… struggling…” Twilight said, “Without Rarity… they're…”

“No Twilight, not without Rarity,” Seer Celestia said kneeling down next to Twilight, “Without you.”

“Me?” Twilight asked, “But… I'm powerless! I can't fight like they can!”

“Can't fight, but can do something that no one else can do,” Celestia explained, “Can heal.”

“But… I can only do that if I can hit Lavos!” Twilight cried, “Celestia, I was only confident because Rarity was here! Without her, I'm too afraid to move…”

“Need courage,” Celestia urged, “Have faith in friends, faith in yourself, and have faith in Rarity. Know that she's not evil, right?”

“I… I want to believe…” Twilight admitted looking away, “But the way she was talking just now… she's…”

“Understand her pain, then can save her,” Celestia said, “Only see from your point of view, so actions seem terrible. See from her point of view, can understand and save her.”

Seer Celestia stood up and walked over to the fight. Twilight looked at her in shock and grabbed her arm.

“H-hold on!” Twilight shouted, “What are you going to do?!”

“Take time you need, Twilight,” Seer Celestia said with a warm smile, “I protect you.”

Twilight looked in awe as Seer Celestia ran over to the Lavos Agent, both of her hands glowing white. She then began hitting the monster with what appeared to be Gentle Fist style attacks. After a second, she did a back flip out of the way and charged up a white element. She then raised her arms shooting out a bright light that enveloped everyone and healed their wounds (Revitalize).

Fluttershy and Pinkamena both rose to their feet, looked at each other, and nodded. They then charged up their elements at the same time. Pinkamena and Fluttershy then stood back to back holding their arms out and shot a large Icy Wind at the Lavos Agent, freezing it apparently. (Frigid Wave)

Applejack charged up her red element, and then shot a red laser at the Lavos Agent, appearing right in front of it and using Sword Dance on it. After it fell back, DASH-379, still in ATHENA Mode, charged up her yellow element and used Elec Sword on the Agent. As she stepped back, she froze and then fell to one knee in pain.

“Systems… overheating…!” DASH-379 said, exiting out of ATHENA Mode, her entire body giving off steam. The Lavos Agent then charged up its green element and fired what appeared to be a large tornado at DASH-379, knocking her to the ground badly damaging her.

“DASH!!!” Fluttershy screamed. She then rushed at the Lavos Agent and slashed wildly at it in rage, eventually charging up her green element and using Tail Spin, which still didn't seem like it was working.

Seer Celestia charged up her white element, and then used a new spell, this one sending a small golden orb at DASH-379. When it entered her, her entire body exploded with light and she then opened her eyes and stood up (Resurrection).

“Reboot successful. Reentering combat procedure,” DASH-379 stated, immediately rushing into the Lavos Agent and attacking it with everything she had.

play song

While that went on, Twilight was having her own internal battle, trying to understand her beloved friend.

“Rarity… why would you attack us like this…?” Twilight asked herself, “It just doesn't make any sense.”

Mistress… if I may.

Twilight looked up at Spike again.

Perhaps you should ask yourself, how you would feel in her situation.

“How I would feel in…” Twilight actually thought about that this time. What would she have done if the roles were reversed? She had thought about that briefly before, but even then the idea of wanting to destroy every-

Just try it!

I'll make sure your world is the first to disappear!

She singled out Twilight's world. Singled out… Twilight. That world wasn't just any old world to Rarity thought. That world represented her own world if she didn't live in it.

Her world, after Rarity was left behind.

“That's why she's so hurt…” Twilight said, “She doesn't hate, does she…?”

If my assessment is correct, she doesn't hate you at all Mistress. She might think she hates you, but she's just lashing out.

“Do you think… I can still save her Spike?”

Honestly, I believe you are the ONLY one who can save her.

“Spike…” Twilight smiled warmly, taking in what her companion was saying. It was true, she had to rescue Rarity, even if she didn't know that she needed rescuing.

play song

“You're right,” Twilight said rising to her feet, “Even now, Rarity is my precious companion. She's lost in the darkness, and she needs her light to guide her home. If her darkness is too much for my light to reach…” she pointed her bow forward and readied an arrow, “then I'll just have to shine even brighter for her! Spike, attack!”

Spike growled at the Lavos Agent, and then rushed at the Lavos Agent. He latched onto the monster biting into its side to hold it still. Twilight then got on one knee and fired arrows at the Agent, finally hitting it and gathering enough energy.

Once she had enough energy, she charged up her white element. Instead of healing everyone though, she felt something else come over her. A new skill, this one matching her determination to slice through the darkness surrounding her beloved friend.

Getting on one knee, she pointed her bow into the air and fired an arrow. Said arrow opened a white portal, and then shot out a large javelin, which pierced through the Lavos Agent's exoskeleton (Holy Lance).

Spike jumped back and howled, charging his black element. He then hunched forward turning into a shadow and rushed past the Agent, actually doing some significant damage.

“I'm not running anymore!” Twilight said firing an arrow at the Agent, “Not from Lavos!” she fired another one, “Not from Nightmare Moon!” another arrow, “And not even Rarity!” she charged up her arrow with magic and fired at the Agent, piercing it's body and knocking it back, “DASH, if you can, help me!”

DASH-379 nodded and rushed over to the Lavos Agent. She then punched and kicked it with all her strength to gather energy. Once she had enough, she jumped back to Twilight's side, and both of them charged up their elements. DASH got on one knee and charged up her arm cannon as Twilight pulled out a few arrows setting one. She charged it up, and started firing large and powerful arrows at the Lavos Agent while DASH-379 fired a large multicolored laser out of her cannon. (Double Tech: Full Assault)

Needless to say, the Agent exploded screeching in pain as it's body faded from existence.

end song

Before anyone could celebrate, the entire castle started shaking again.

“As much as I'd love to stay and do a victory pose, we need to get moving!” Pinkamena screamed, “Lavos is still on his way!”

“The exit should be here!” Twilight stated, “Follow me!”

Twilight led the entire group out of the castle, just as it exploded in a white light. Instead of leading them back to Canterlot Village though, they instead went to the side of the Wolf Tribe village, stopping in the same clearing they were in before arriving in Machine the first time.

“Could we use the gate key you gave us to go back to the Warp Gate from here?” Twilight asked Pinkamena.

“My gate key can open any gate!” Pinkamena stated urgently, “We'll end up in the Warp Gate!”

“What about Forest though?!” Applejack asked, “They're summoning Lavos now, right?!”

“As long as I live, Forest is safe, even from Lavos,” Seer Celestia said, “Take me to Warp Gate, hurry!”

Twilight nodded and held up the gate key. Immediately the gate opened, and the entire group went through, just as they heard Lavos' terrifying screech.


play song

“Ugh!” Nightmare Crystal shouted kicking a wall, “They got away again!”

“Patience, my friend,” Nightmare Moon said calmly, “We will get our chance. For now, we need to continue preparing.”

“Preparing?! We have Lavos' power now, don't we?! We should just destroy everything now before they get the chance to regroup!”

Nightmare Moon embraced Nightmare Crystal from behind.

“Nay, dear, that would be setting ourselves up for failure. Why destroy the worlds one by one when we can erase it all in one fell swoop?” Nightmare Moon asked. Nightmare Crystal looked back at Nightmare Moon and raised an eyebrow.

“Destroy them all at once…?” Crystal asked.

“Their next move will probably be Machine,” Nightmare Moon said, “I believe I know where they want to go, and if I'm right, then they'll lead us right to where we want to go. Let's just let them do as they please for a bit.”

Nightmare Crystal took a deep breath to calm herself, “I'm sorry love. I get so infuriated when it comes to them.”

“That's understandable,” Nightmare Moon said, “Just continue to follow my guidance, and I promise that our dreams will come to fruition.”

Crystal nodded, deciding to relent. Still, something just didn't feel right about this. When she thought about how Twilight looked…

No! She's the enemy now!

She's abandoned me, just like the rest of the Universe!

I hate her!

I hate all of them...!

I… I…

A single tear fell from Nightmare Crystal's eye. She had no idea where that came from, but for some reason, even in Nightmare Moon's embrace she felt…

Lonely…

Machine: MEMORY RECOVERY COMPLETE_

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Machine – MEMORY RECOVERY COMPLETE_

Warp Gate

After securing the Celestia of Forest, the group gathered in the central area of the Warp Gate room to discuss their next move.

“I hope Forest is okay,” Twilight said rubbing her arm, “I mean, Lavos appeared there, right?”

“The people will probably be in a panic, but Medieval is still okay. There is no reason to believe that Fluttershy's world was destroyed,” DASH-379 stated.

“The way Nightmare Moon and Rarity are going about this is weird though,” Applejack said folding her arms, “I mean, they have Lavos's power, why don't they just destroy the worlds?”

“I think answer to that is in Celestia,” Fluttershy said, looking at the Seer, who sat down on a bench next to the portal to Forest, combing her hair, “Seer say that world is safe as long as she is here.”

“Celestia is so much more important than you guys realize,” Pinkamena said standing off by herself. Applejack walked over to her.

“You seem to know a lot about the situation. Why don't you stop being so enigmatic and tell us what the hell is going on here?” Applejack asked.

“Because you guys wouldn't get it if I just told you,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “You just have to trust me.”

“You keep throwing that word out, trust,” DASH-379 said walking over to them, “But it is still difficult for some of us to put our trust in you, considering what you have done in the past.”

“Just like it's hard to trust you, right Athena?” Pinkamena asked giving DASH a sideways look. DASH-379 stepped back a bit in shock, but then glared at Pinkamena.

“That is different,” DASH-379 stated, “I am a machine, and my current state is due to an error in my programming.”

“Yeah, which makes it even harder to trust you, don't you think?” Pinkamena said, turning to DASH-379 and leaning forward, “I mean, if the way you are now is because of some “error”, what happens to us when said error gets corrected? You're a machine, right? That means your programming is everything.”

“Pinkamena, come on,” Twilight said, “Seriously?”

“I'm just saying everything that she's said,” Pinkamena said folding her arms under her breasts and giving DASH-379 a serious glare, “You can't be “just a machine” and yet still profess to have freedom to choose a path. You gotta choose a side at some point. Who are you? Are you “Dashie”, or “Athena”?”

DASH-379 looked down seriously, taking that in. Twilight hated to say it, but a lot of what Pinkamena was saying she had thought at some point. By now, DASH-379 had been with them for so long, and had helped them so much, it was easy to forget that she was malfunctioning. How much of what they saw was the real DASH-379, and how much was the error?

“Either way, we need to head to where the next statue is,” Pinkamena said walking to the portal to Machine, “I think I have an idea of where to go.”

“We go to DASH's world next?” Fluttershy asked.

“Probably for the best,” Pinkamena said, “It's the only one besides Standard not touched by Lavos yet, so it's probably the safest one.”

“Sounds good to me,” Applejack said, giving DASH-379 a look before following after Pinkamena. Fluttershy walked over to DASH and put her hands on her back.

“Trust DASH,” Fluttershy said, “DASH is best friend, so always trust her.”

“Thank you, Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said looking oddly somber, “I just wish that I trusted myself that much.”

DASH-379 turned and walked back to the portal after the others. Fluttershy wilted as Twilight stood next to her folding her arms.

“DASH not trust herself? I not understand,” Fluttershy admitted.

“Let's just say, Pinkamena wasn't too wrong this time about what she said to DASH,” Twilight said, “Come on, we can't get left behind.”

As they walked through the portal, Twilight thought really hard about what Pinkamena was saying, and she had a sudden chill. What would happen if DASH-379 got her memories back and was fixed? It was bad enough that they didn't have Rarity with them anymore.

Would they lose DASH-379 as well?


play song

When they arrived in Machine, Pinkamena led the group back to the junkyard where they found DASH-379 initially. Somehow, the path they took felt a little familiar to some of them.

“So… anyone else getting an odd sense of de-ja-vous?” Applejack asked the group.

“I'm not,” Twilight said, “Well, besides being back in the junkyard.”

“I have be comparing our pathway to previous maps,” DASH said looking around, “This is the same path we took to the temple where we found the cure for Twilight.”

“Very good observation,” Pinkamena said, “The guardian statues are all in the same location in each world. It's how they communicate with each other.”

“So, I'll be able to go into the Land of the Gods even though I wasn't there for the first one?” Twilight asked running up to Pinkamena.

“As long as they're all together, it should be fine,” Pinkamena said, pointing back to Applejack, DASH-379, and Fluttershy, “They're the ones being tested.”

“Why us though?” Applejack asked.

“Twilight here was chosen by the Entity,” Pinkamena said wrapping her arms around Twilight, “You guys are the one's who need to take the test to enter. Also, you three were the one's there for the first test.”

“Chosen…?” Twilight asked looking down and frowning, “Just like with Spike. He mentioned the Entity too. Who is the Entity?”

“How to explain it,” Pinkamena said thoughtfully, “The Entity is the one who created the world the way it is. The multiple worlds, the rules, everything was essentially orchestrated by the Entity.”

“That mean Rarity as well?” Fluttershy asked, “Her fate connected to Entity?”

“In order for the universe to keep moving forward, some things need to be consistent,” Pinkamana said, “Rarity just sort of drew the short straw.”

“That is a horribly simple way to put it,” DASH-379 said, “Why did this happen?”

“It was the only way to protect the world from Lavos,” Pinkamena said somberly, “You know this isn't the first time Lavos has been a threat?”

“Where did Lavos come from, anyway?” Applejack asked.

“I don't know all the details,” Pinkamena admitted, “But from what I hear, two other groups fought Lavos at different points in history, both lead by someone known as a “Chrono Trigger”.”

“That word Rarity called,” Fluttershy stated, “What is Chrono Trigger?”

“It's a person or artifact that's able to affect fate itself,” Pinkamena explained as they entered an old abandoned warehouse, “The Chrono Trigger is exempt from the rules of the universe, making it both incredibly powerful and dangerous.”

“And Lavos was fought by two other Chrono Triggers?” Twilight asked Pinkamena.

“Yep yep,” Pinkamena said, “As you can see, neither one of them were able to do beat him though.”

“How are we expected to beat Lavos if the last two guys who tried failed?” DASH-379 asked.

“This is rare, but I gotta agree with DASH on this one,” Applejack said, “What do we have that they didn't?”

“Beats me,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “Horribly enough, this current Chrono Trigger was an accident.”

“This journey is looking more and more hopeless as time goes on,” Twilight pointed out, “Just saying.”

“And now you know why I'm the way I am,” Pinkamena said, “By the way, we're almost there.”

The warehouse they were in was completely abandoned, to the point where even the robots there were all broken. The room they were in was large and wide open, giving them all a lot of space to move in.

Up ahead they saw a large robot knight sitting in a throne. It's entire body was golden and white, and on it's shoulders were two large cannons currently pointed upward. Twilight paled when she saw that.

“Please please please don't tell me that's what we're looking for,” Twilight fussed.

“It looks just like the statue we faced in Fluttershy's world,” Applejack said, “Yeah, I think that's it.”

“So we're at that part of the game then,” Twilight said with a sigh, “Wonderful.”

They approached the statue, and the room started trembling.

“This is familiar!” DASH-379 stated.

“Large statue move like one home?!” Fluttershy asked holding onto DASH-379 in fear.

You who seek enlightenment…

I am one who guards the door to Zenith…

Only one who passes my test may enter…

Prepare yourself…

play song

The orb on the statue's helmet glowed, and the guardian slowly rose from it's throne.

“We have to beat this thing?!” Twilight cried.

“We beat the first one! We can beat this one too!” Applejack said drawing her sword, “Everyone, get ready!”

The Guardian immediately charged up it's yellow element, and stomped its foot casting what looked like Speed Boost on itself. It then immediately charged up another yellow element sending a wave of electricity at everyone, forcing them to take cover.

“How the hell did you guys beat the one in Forest?!” Twilight asked.

“We just kept hitting it hard enough until it died!” Applejack said, “DASH, let's do it!”

DASH-379 nodded and rushed at the Guardian, punching and kicking with everything she had. The guardian knelt down and swiped her away, but Applejack rushed in and slashed it with her blade a few times to gather energy. Once she had enough, both she and DASH charged up their respective elements and hit the Guardian with their Beat Rush double tech.

Once they were finished, Fluttershy rushed over to the Guardian and slashed it with her daggers. Once she had enough energy stored, she charged up her green element, and cast a new spell, holding out her hands creating what looked like magical sharp leaves. She then held her arms forward, and the leaves shot at the Guardian, actually slicing through it's body a bit. (Razor Leaf)

The Guardian charged up it's yellow element, and this time fired orbs of electricity out of its cannons at everyone, forcing them to tun around the field out of the way.

Pinkamena pulled Twilight behind her to protect her from an incoming attack, and then charged at the Guardian slashing wildly with her bladed hoop. She then jumped away and charged up her blue element, casting Ice Body on Twilight to raise her defense.

Twilight fired at the guardian with her arrows, and then charged up her element, thinking of her familiar.

“Spike! Come forth!” she called out. A second later, Spike's howl was heard all throughout the room, and he immediately rushed at the guardian turning into a razor wheel knocking it back a bit.

As it fell to one knee, Applejack charged up her red element and shot a red laser at the Guardian. She then hit it with her Sword Dance move, but took a shot point blank from its cannons and flew back.

“Applejack!” Fluttershy cried out in shock. She then rushed toward the Guardian and slashed with her daggers before jumping back to stand next to DASH-379, who fired at the Guardian with her arm cannon to gather energy. She then charged up her yellow element.

“Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!” she called out, her visor appearing over her eyes as she entered her altered state. She immediately began charging up her element again as Fluttershy charged up her green element. DASH-379 held up her hand as a bolt of lightning came down on Fluttershy engulfing her body in electricity, and Fluttershy then spun around creating an electric tornado and rushed at the Guardian, hitting it with their Hurricane double tech.

The attack seemed to do significant damage to it, as it's entire body started sparking a bit. It quickly rose to it's feet and charged up its yellow element again, pointing it's cannons down at Fluttershy and charged up energy. Seeing this, DASH-379's eyes went wide behind her visor.

SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO ACKNOWLEDGED

PROTECT ALLY: FLUTTERSHY AT ALL COSTS

“FLUTTERSHY, WATCH OUT!!!” DASH-379 screamed. She activated the jets on her feet and flew at Fluttershy, pushing her out of the way. Sadly, that pushed her systems to their limit and she was forced out of ATHENA Mode at that moment, her entire body overheating.

This meant that she had no way of dodging once the Guardian fired it's Charged Shot at her.

“DASH!!!” everyone screamed watching their robotic companion fly into a pillar and fall onto the ground. Fluttershy ran over to DASH-379 and knelt down next to her shaking her.

“DASH, please wake up!” Fluttershy begged, “Always wake up! Not dead! Not dead!”

The Guardian charged up its yellow element again and sent a wave of electricity at everyone, paralyzing everyone except for Twilight and Spike.

“Damn it!” Applejack shouted, her body sparking, “I… can't move!”

“Twilight… you and Spike have to keep fighting!” Pinkamena urged. Twilight looked down at Pinkamena nervously, but nodded and held up her bow.

“Spike, get ready!” Twilight shouted. Spike howled charging up his black element, and then fired a few Shadow Balls out of his mouth at the Guardian to get its attention. As it turned to them, Twilight fired at it with her bow and arrows before charging up her white element.

She cast Healing Stream on everyone, and Spike charged at the Guardian, thrashing about and even hitting it with his tail. He then jumped back and charged up his black element, hunched forward turning into a shadow, and then dashed past the Guardian for massive damage.

As they both fought, DASH-379 opened her eyes and slowly rose to her knees.

“DASH! You alive!” Fluttershy cried happily. DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy and smiled in relief.

“You are… unharmed… good…” DASH said. She was about to reach for Fluttershy, but stopped when she heard Twilight cry out in shock. She looked ahead and saw the Guardian knock her down and was about to stomp on her.

DASH-379 reacted immediately, running to her side and holding the foot up.

“DASH?!” Twilight cried out in shock.

“I… cannot hold this for long…!” DASH said through gritted teeth, “Someone has to finish it FAST!”

Twilight turned to Fluttershy and nodded, and the two of them charged up their respective elements. Twilight fired an arrow into the air creating an orb of light, and Fluttershy jumped up to grab it. Still in the air, she spread out her hands as the orb exploded into tiny sharp crystals that then rained down on top of the Guardian for massive damage. (Double Tech: Diamond Storm).

The Guardian fell back onto one knee in shock, and DASH-379 charged at it with, punching and kicking it with more force than usual before charging up her yellow element. She then held her leg out in preparation to kick the Guardian, and did a series of rapid side kicks at the Guardian, her leg charged with electricity. She ended the technique by doing two back flip kicks, knocking the Guardian down onto the ground and causing it's entire body to explode. (Lightning Leg)

Well done…

The path to enlightenment has partially lit up

There is one more test…

“Oh my GOD!” Twilight cried falling to her knees as Spike dispersed, “We won?! We ACTUALLY won?!”

“Yep yep!” Pinkamena chirped running to Twilight and hugging her from behind, “You were great, bestie!”

“Um… t-thanks…” Twilight said, smiling awkwardly as she patted Pinkamena on the arm. She then looked at the rest of the group secretly giving them her best “please help me” face. Applejack shook her head chuckling and then walked over to DASH-379.

“You gonna be okay?” Applejack asked her.

“I am fine,” DASH-379 said, “The enemy has been dealt with, we can now proceed with our next objective.”

“That's fine and all, but that outburst wasn't lost on me,” Applejack pressed, “Are you sure you're-” she was cut off as DASH held up her hand and looked around.

“High level enemy approaching!” DASH shouted, “Take cover!”

A barrage of missiles shot into the warehouse at that instant. Everyone ran to take cover behind pillars, looking out in horror.

“What's going on?!” Twilight asked.

“Looks like someone waited until we finished here before attacking us!” Pinkamena said. DASH-379 was about to say something, but was cut off by a ringing in her ear.

“I am receiving a transmission from Discord,” DASH called out, “This is DASH unit 379. Do you read me, Discord?”

“Athena…! I'm sorry…! Tirek came and… took Celestia's body…!” Discord said, the transmission full of static. Also, he sounded hurt.

“The Celestia of this world was recaptured?!” DASH'379 asked, catching everyone's attention.

“You've GOT to be kidding me!” Pinkamena fussed, “She's the worst damsel in distress EVER!” they all heard a deep laughter from above them. Twilight looked up and saw a new robot hovering over them. This one, unlike all of the other robots they've seen, was male in frame. He had black and red armor almost like a gothic knight, jets on his back and feet, long black hair, and green slit like eyes. On his shoulder was a large golden cannon, and in his hands was a black and red helmet with a T-shaped opening.

play song

“Oh my God…!” Twilight said recognizing the frame, “That's the robot we saw in development in the weapon's lab.”

“So this group of misfits are the ones causing my master so much trouble?” the robot said, “Don't make me laugh! I could wreck all of you easily in a heart beat!”

“Why don't you come down here and try it!” Applejack shouted, she and DASH-379 stepping out and pointing their weapons at the newcomer. The robot looked at DASH and smirked.

“Athena, you're the one I'm actually here to retrieve,” the robot said, “Master Tirek wants you to come home.”

“Master… Tirek…?” DASH-379 asked looking up at the robot in confusion, “Is that… the name of my creator?”

“Will you come with me of your own volition? Or am I going to have to knock some sense into you?” the robot asked. Before DASH could answer, Applejack shot a fireball at the black and red robot, forcing him to fly back a bit.

“I don't know who this Tirek is, but DASH is one of us!” Applejack proclaimed, shocking DASH-379 a bit. She was further shocked to see everyone gather around her with their weapons out ready to defend her. The robot shook his head and sighed.

“Well, I guess that's how we have to do this then,” the robot snapped his fingers and a large robot charged into the room. This one had two large fists and no head, as if someone could sit inside of it. The new robot hovered over to the large suit of armor, and instead of sitting inside of it, stood letting on foot rest on the edge and leaning forward arrogantly as he put his helmet on, which covered his face completely.

play song

“My name is Sombra, Doctor Tirek's ultimate creation!” the robot said, resting his arm on his knee, “I'm going to enjoy turning you into scrap!”

DASH-379 wasted no time charging at the large armor looking robot and engaging it. It took her attacks head on, but nothing she did seemed to affect it at all. The robot punched her back, sending her flying to the group as Applejack and Pinkamena rushed at the robot. Both of them attacked the robot with their weapons with all of their might, but the robot charged up and did a barrage of punches knocking them back.

Applejack charged up her red element and then used Vigor on herself. She then charged at the robot hitting it again with her now empowered blade. The armor robot punched Applejack back and then Sombra flew off it and fired missiles out of his knee out at everyone, laughing maniacally then entire time.

Twilight fired at Sombra with her arrows, but he flew out of the way of each attack and landed back on his armored robot. He then rushed at them punching rapidly with it, forcing the group to split up jumping out of the way.

Fluttershy charged up her green element, and then used her Tail Spin attack against the robot carrier and Sombra, neither one showing any signs of taking damage. When the attack stopped, Sombra yawned.

“You guys bore me,” Sombra taunted, “I was expected more from you, but I guess I'll just end this.” he shot up into the air and charged up a red element, “THE END HAS COME!!!”

Out of his shoulder cannon fired a large red beam of energy, which he shot at the ground and actually moved it to hit everyone and destroy part of the warehouse (Vile Cannon). As everyone screamed in pain, Sombra had his armored robot pick up DASH-379 in its large hands.

end song

“You're coming with me, Athena,” Sombra said. He threw her into his armored carrier as it walked off, unaware that Fluttershy was still partially conscious reaching out to them.

“D-DASH….!” Fluttershy cried as she fell out unconscious.


INITIATING SYSTEM DIAGNOSTIC

………………

DIAGNOSTIC COMPLETE

ALL IMPORTANT FILES HAVE BEEN RECOVERED FROM REBOOT

NEW MEMORY FILES HAVE BEEN LOCATED

DOWNLOADING NEW MEMORY FILES

………………

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE

MASTER REGISTRATION: DR. TIREK HAS BEEN INITIATED

ID REGISTRATION: ATHENA HAS BEEN INITIATED

ALL WEAPON SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN REACTIVATED

REACTIVATING DASH UNIT

………………

REACTIVATION COMPLETE


play song

DASH-379 opened her eyes and sat up looking around. She was in a lab. One that her systems recognized. She had been here many times actually. This was where she was created.

“Athena, you have woken up my child,” a worn voice said from a nearby computer. DASH looked to see an elderly man looking at her, “Let's check to see if the memory files have been uploaded correctly. Do you recognize me?”

Did she? Wait, something came to her. She did know this man. She loved this man actually. He was important to her, and she knew to listen to him no matter what.

“You are… Doctor Tirek,” DASH-379 said slowly, “My creator…”

Tirek sighed in relief, “Good, everything checks out. I had worried that the Pinocchio Effect had taken hold of you for a second, but it seems that you're systems are still functioning properly.”

“Master… what happened to me…?” DASH-379 asked holding her head, “My memories are fuzzy, but I feel like I was…” she saw a flash of a girl smiling at her. This girl was dressed funny, and had really long pink hair.

Fluttershy…?

“You were malfunctioning, and had lost your memory files. Thankfully I had a back up of them. You might experience odd data from time to time,” Tirek said, “Sadly, I could not erase all of the data, so if anything odd shows up, disregard it. You only need to be concerned with the data I give you, understand?”

“Yes, Master Tirek,” DASH-379 said, getting up from the work bench and bowing to her Master, “What are my orders?”

“Sombra is helping me get absolute control of all of the robots in this world,” Tirek said, “I need you to retrieve a particular item from the group you were traveling with before. They have a powerful Gate Key with them, and we'll need that if we're to get to the other worlds and the Land of the Gods. Once you get that, just dispose of them and prepare to enter the other worlds.”

“Understood Master Tirek,” DASH-379 said, “I will carry out your orders.”

As she left the room, she felt a sharp pain in her head as that girl appeared again. She remembered this girl hugging her tightly, looking up at her and crying.

Fluttershy…

You are… my… best…

“Disregarding memory file,” DASH-379 said, pushing the odd file away, “I must carry out my mission for Master Tirek.”

As she sauntered out of the lab, something within her died inside. It was a foreign feeling, but something within her felt great sadness for some reason. That wasn't all though. Something inside of her was screaming for her to stop. Like her programming was fighting itself. That didn't matter though. Her master told her to only trust the data that she received from him directly.

Thus anyone who wasn't associated with him was an enemy. One that she would destroy with extreme prejudice.

Machine: TERMINATE... TERMINATE... TERMINATE...

View Online

Machine – TERMINATE…! TERMINATE…! TERMINATE…!

Twilight…?

Twilight…?

“Twilight, wake up!”

play song

Twilight stirred and opened her eyes, seeing that she was in a strange white environment. Sitting over her was Sunset Shimmer, who looked really worried.

“S-Sunset…?” Twilight asked slowly sitting up. Sunset breathed out in relief.

“Good, you're alive. I was really scared for a second there,” Sunset said honestly. On instinct, Twilight pulled Sunset into a hug.

“I'm sorry I scared you,” Twilight said, wondering why she felt so close to this girl. She knew that they never met, but for some reason it just felt like they had known each other for years.

“Twilight, you have to find Rainbow Dash,” Sunset said grabbing Twilight's shoulders, “You can't save Rarity or stop Lavos without her.”

“Rainbow Dash…? You mean DASH-379?” Twilight asked tilting her head. Sunset frowned looking really confused.

“What? Twilight, that's-” she caught herself and sighed, “You still have no idea what's going on, do you?”

“What's going on? Sunset, you're scaring me,” Twilight said, her heart racing, “What's happening?”

“Twilight, that's Rainbow Dash! As in OUR Rainbow Dash!” Sunset urged. Now it was Twilight who was confused.

Our Rainbow Dash? But I know who the Rainbow Dash of my world is, and it's not DASH-379,” Twilight said. Sunset groaned looking really frustrated.

“No Twilight, that's not your- well okay, she is your Rainbow Dash, but she's not our Rainbow Dash. Twilight, it's the same as how you remembered my name, and why you followed Rarity to begin with. Lavos destroyed everything, but you were all able to survive thanks to the Entity. Twilight, if you're going to save Rarity and stop Lavos, you HAVE to remember who you are!”

“Who… I am…?” Twilight asked. She noticed that everything was getting foggy, and she couldn't feel Sunset's hands on her shoulders as well as before, “Hey, wait!”

“My time's up now. Please remember, Twilight,” Sunset pleaded as she faded away, “You're the only one who can save Rarity, but to do that you'll need Rainbow Dash!”

Before Twilight could say anything else, the environment faded away and she felt herself wake up.


play song

When Twilight opened her eyes, she was back in the old abandoned lab where they found DASH-379, actually lying down on the table where she initially repaired her. That girl in the dream, Sunset Shimmer. She kept talking about “finding Rainbow Dash”, but her Rainbow Dash was back in Standard. Also, why did that girl's name sound familiar?

“Sunset Shimmer…?” Twilight asked, “Why does that name… wait! That's the girl that Rarity was looking for! She's alive! That means… maybe Rarity's world still does exist somewhere!” the door opened and Applejack walked in with a serious expression on her face, “Applejack! You're not going to believe this, but I found one of Rarity's friends!”

“Seriously…?” Applejack asked, shocked but not really focused on it. It seemed like Twilight pulled her out of another moment in her head.

“Yes! Rarity mentioned one of her friends was a girl named Sunset Shimmer, and I think she spoke to me in my dream! I know it sounds insane, but I think Sunset Shimmer was reaching out to me!”

“I… huh…” Applejack looked like she was having a hard time with that, but she shook her head, “Twilight, I'm sorry, but you need to hear this. Something really bad's happened.”

Twilight looked at Applejack worried, and slowly got up from the work bench, “What is it? Is everything okay?”

“No actually. DASH is missing,” Applejack said. Twilight's heart sank as she remembered what Sunset told her. “Find Rainbow Dash.”

Oh my God… was she…?

Was she somehow… talking about DASH?

“Twilight, are you okay?” Applejack asked walking over to her. Twilight shook herself out of her daze.

“Y-yeah… I'm fine but, what do you mean DASH is missing?” Twilight asked.

“When Pinkamena and I came to, we couldn't find her anywhere,” Applejack explained, “Fluttershy is still out cold. We're using the healing stations to heal her now, but-” they heard a loud crash from the room next door. Twilight and Applejack ran to the room and saw a frantic Fluttershy trying to rush out of the room, Pinkamena holding her back for dear life.

“Hey! Wanna give me a hand?!” Pinkamena asked. Twilight and Applejack ran to Fluttershy's side.

“Whoa! Fluttershy, what's wrong?” Twilight asked, a little taken aback. Fluttershy's eyes were slit like, looking like cat eyes she was so angry.

“Hey! Calm down!” Applejack shouted reaching for Fluttershy. On instinct Fluttershy lashed out at Applejack with her dagger, forcing her to retract her hand and making Pinkamena release her. Fluttershy immediately rushed out of the room on all fours, but Pinkamena ran after her too quickly and jumped on top of her holding her to the ground.

“What's… wrong… with you…?!” Pinkamena asked, straining to hold the enraged Fluttershy down, “Why are you acting… like this…?!”

“BAD ROBOT TAKE DASH!!!” Fluttershy screamed, “I KILL BAD ROBOT!!! I SAVE DASH!!!”

“Wait… bad robot…?” Twilight asked, gasping in shock, “She means Sombra!”

“That robot that wrecked us in the warehouse?” Applejack asked.

“Fluttershy probably saw him leave with her!” Twilight said running to Fluttershy, kneeling in front of her as Pinkamena held her tightly, “Fluttershy, calm down,” Twilight said softly, as if talking to an animal. Still in that feral mindset, Fluttershy glared at Twilight gritting her sharp teeth.

Holy cow she looks just like an animal right now…!

“You're scared for DASH, I know,” Twilight continued, trying her hardest to stay calm, “I am too. We all are. She's just as much our friend as she is yours. But this isn't going to save her,” Twilight lightly began caressing Fluttershy's face and petting her head like she would an animal, “You have to stay calm, Fluttershy. We'll save her, I promise.”

Fluttershy's eyes slowly returned to normal as she calmed down and relaxed, “Help… save DASH…?”

“Yes Fluttershy, we'll help you save DASH,” Twilight said. As Fluttershy stopped struggling, Pinkamena released Fluttershy and sat up, breathing out in relief.

“God girl! You're too strong!” Pinkamena stated. Applejack shook her head smiling.

“Still, you did good,” Applejack pointed out. Pinkamena turned to Applejack and held her hand up hopefully.

“Does this mean we're friends now?” Pinkamena asked smiling brightly. Applejack immediately let go of her hand giving her a deadpanned glare.

“I still have a few issues to get past before we can say that,” Applejack said.

Pinkamena sighed, “Tough crowd I tell ya…”

play song

Before they could say anything else, they heard commotion outside. They looked out the window and saw robots flying toward the city, which looked like it was under attack almost.

“That's bad…!” Twilight said, “Girls, we have to head out there and help them!”

Everyone nodded and followed Twilight out into the main city. There it was absolute chaos. Everywhere people were running away from what looked to be security robots that were now attacking the civilians. One little girl was running away from a security drone, but tripped and fell to the ground. The robot was about to fire at her, but Pinkamena rushed at the robot, jumped onto her hoop and slid on it toward the drone knocking it away.

“You okay?” Pinkamena asked as she got in her fighting stance. The little girl nodded and stood up.

“Thank you, pretty lady,” the girls said before running off. Twilight, Applejack, and Fluttershy all ran to Pinkamena's side and drew their weapons as more robots approached them.

More security drones rushed over them and fired at them, but the four of them ran out of the way. Twilight turned around and started firing with her arrows, but the drones all moved out of the way of her shots.

“I can't do it!” Twilight cried, “They move too fast!”

“You've fought things like this before right?!” Pinkamena shouted.

“Yeah, but we had DASH with us!” Applejack shouted, “She was the one who fought the drones!”

Pinkamena turned to see a bunch of civilians surrounded by rogue robots, “Twilight, summon Spike! Hurry!”

Twilight turned to the security robots and fired at them with her arrows while their backs were turned. Realizing that she was about to be attacked, she charged up her white element and focused on her familiar.

“Spike! Help us!” Twilight cried out. A second later she heard Spike howl and two Shadow Balls fired at the robots destroying two of them before Spike appeared and ran over to the civilians to protect them.

“Our top priority should be getting the civilians to safety!” Applejack shouted, “Everyone, spread out!”

The group all went in separate directions, Twilight staying close to Spike while everyone else got to work gathering civilians. There were all kinds of robots around attacking: not just security, but even a few utility robots as well were attacking.

As they took out the robots in the city, a video appeared on all the screens, showing an old scientist speaking.

Hello, citizens of Canterlot City. My name is Dr. Albert Tirek, and this attack is my doing. Thanks to my newest creation, Sombra, I now have control of every robot in the city.

“What the hell...?” Applejack asked looking up at the screen on a building.

You are probably wondering why this is happening. This world has become one poisoned by the notion of robots as citizens, and I plan on fixing this in one way or another.

“Hmph, this guys a real comedian,” Pinkamena said, folding her arms as she looked through a holographic screen showing Tirek's message.

Through an odd phenomenon called the Pinocchio Effect, robots everywhere have begun to lose control of themselves. They no longer listen to their human masters, and begin to see themselves as 'people'.

“DASH is person…!” Fluttershy seethed, gripping her daggers as she looked at the TV screen in a shop.

With me as your new ruler though, I will control ALL the machines, and ensure that none of them end up like my first creation, DASH-000 Celestia,” he said moving to the side revealing the still unconscious body of Machine's Celestia.

“Oh no…! Celestia!” Twilight cried, standing in the town square with Spike and a number of civilians watching from the biggest screen there.

end song

Now that I have retrieved my strongest robot, DASH-379 Athena, it is time for me to take what is rightfully mine. Now Athena, do as your creator commands! Destroy them, and get the Gate Key to the Land of the Gods!” as soon as he gave that command, the screen exploded causing everyone to scream. Twilight and Spike covered their faces in defense, but then looked up to see the last person they expected to see hovering over them.

play song

“Understood, Master Tirek,” DASH-379 said, her voice softer and devoid of it's usual intensity despite her expression being colder and more terrifying than ever.

“D-DASH…?” Twilight asked in shock, surprised to hear a woman scream.

“It's her! That's the robot who destroyed the Ponyville District three years ago!” the woman screamed.

“Athena is still functioning?! We're doomed!” a man on another side of the Town Square cried. Twilight looked around at the panicking people and then back up at DASH-379, who slowly lowered onto the ground and elegantly landed before sauntering over to Twilight.

“DASH…? Is it really you…?” Twilight asked, trembling for some reason.

“Affirmative. My designation is DASH unit number 379, codenamed Athena,” DASH-379 said, her voice even and mechanical.

Mistress, something is wrong with her. I sense that something within her has changed.

“No…” Twilight said, shaking her head in denial as tears streamed from her eyes, “DASH… you can't be gone…”

Through DASH-379's eyes, she scanned Twilight before speaking again.

SUBJECT IS REGISTERED UNDER FILE: ENEMY

INITIATING COMBA794572804663

ALLY: TWILIGHT IDENTIFIED

SHUTTING DOWN WEAPON SYS95069467187457

DISREGARDING FOREIGN DATA UNDER COMMAND OF MASTER REGISTRY FILE: TIREK

ACTIVATING WEAPON SYSTEMS

PREPARING FOR TERMINATION SEQUENCE

DASH-379 activated her arm cannon and pointed it right at Twilight charging it, “Relinquish the Gate Key in your possession to me or face termination.”

“Termination?!” Twilight cried, “DASH, I'm your friend!”

“Negative, you are registered under file “enemy”. If you will not give the Gate Key to me, I will have no choice but to terminate you,” DASH-379 fired at Twilight, but Spike pushed her out of the way just in time. The two of them both got ready to fight, Twilight trembling the entire time looking at what her friend had become.

play song

“No…! I can't lose you too!” Twilight cried.

DASH-379 wasted no time firing at Twilight with her arm cannon. Twilight jumped to the side out of the way and fired with her arrows as Spike charged toward DASH and thrashed about fighting her close quarter. DASH punched Spike back, but he caught himself and charged up his black element, shooting Shadow Balls at DASH.

The attacks hit her and knocked her back, and Twilight wasted no time charging her white element, shooting an arrow into the air, which came down onto DASH as her Holy Lance move.

DASH-379 flipped out of the way, and charged up her yellow element. She then rushed at Twilight activating her Elec Sword and slashed wildly at her. Twilight screamed as she barely dodged all of the attacks, falling to the ground.

DASH raised her leg straight into the air, but Twilight rolled out of the way just as DASH-379 ax kicked. Twilight fired frantically at DASH-379 with her arrows, but she was able to punch and kick each one away with ease. DASH then charged up her yellow element, flew into the air, and shot a bolt of lightning into the sky. Seconds later, large lightning bolts rained down onto the ground, hitting everything around DASH-379 and knocking Twilight and Spike back. (Thunder Storm)

As Twilight slowly rose to her feet, she saw Spike struggling to stand before he just fell to the ground.

I apologize… Mistress… but I cannot stay manifested… I must… disperse to heal…

With that, Spike vanished, turning into black mist. Realizing she was now alone, Twilight looked up in horror to see DASH-379 standing over her charging up her arm cannon still with the same cold expression.

“I don't… believe it…!” Twilight cried, “I refuse to believe that you're gone DASH! That you're a slave to your programming! It's just like Fluttershy says, you're more than this!”

“Flutter…shy…?” DASH-379 asked, her eyes showing the briefest emotion before it was gone, “Disregarding foreign data. Proceeding with my mission.”

“DASH, NO!!!!” Twilight screamed as DASH-379 prepared to fire. Thankfully though, a bladed hoop tackled DASH-379 back before she could fire. As the hoop flew back to it's owner, a red laser hit DASH and instantly Applejack appeared in between DASH and Twilight using Sword Dance.

“Applejack! Pinkamena!” Twilight cried rising to her feet as Pinkamena ran to her side, “I'm so happy to see you two!”

“Are you okay, bestie?” Pinkamena asked getting in her fighting stance.

“I'm fine, but I think DASH was reprogrammed by Dr. Tirek!” Twilight said, “I don't know what to do!”

Applejack looked at DASH-379 as she slowly rose to her feet. The two of them glared at each other for the longest of seconds, and then charged at each other fighting close quarter, almost looking like they were using Beat Rush on each other. After clashing for a few seconds, Applejack's blade and DASH-379's arm met in a weapon clash pushing against each other.

“So in the end, you really were just a machine, huh DASH?!” Applejack challenged, “Is that what this means?! Everything we went through together was just some stupid error in your programming?!”

“You are not making any sense,” DASH-379 stated, “You are my enemy, under registry-”

“I don't care about some stupid master registry or whatever!” Applejack shouted, “I care about what you think! What do you want to do?!”

“What… do… I… want… to…” DASH-379 looked to the side confused before shaking her head and gritting her teeth, “You are just attempting to confuse me! My master warned me not to listen to anything except what he tells me! Anyone else is merely an enemy!”

DASH-379 pushed Applejack back, and Pinkamena rushed in slashing with her bladed hoop. DASH met each slash with her own attacks to block, but then the two of them jumped away from each other charging up their elements at the same time. Pinkamena engulfed DASH with her Ice Wall technique, but at the same time, DASH-379 hit her with her Elec Tower, both of them falling to the ground.

end song

As this went on, Fluttershy ran to the scene after taking down one of the last drones attacking and the looked in shock at confusion at the fight.

“DASH…?” Fluttershy asked, “Why you… fight friends…?”

“It's because she was reprogrammed,” a familiar voice said behind her. Fluttershy turned in shock to see Nightmare Moon standing behind her.

play song

“Nightmare Moon!” Fluttershy shouted getting in her fighting stance, “You do bad thing to DASH!”

“Nay child, it was not I who did this,” Nightmare Moon said raising her hand, “The one you seek is my creator in this world, Dr. Tirek. He has simply returned your friend Athena to what she was meant to be.”

Fluttershy looked at the fight, trying to take in what Nightmare Moon was saying. She watched in terror as DASH-379 charged up her yellow element and used her Thunder Storm on Twilight, Pinkamena, and Applejack, blowing all three of them to the ground.

“What she… meant to be…?” Fluttershy said slowly.

“He doesn't believe that robots are people,” Nightmare Moon said, taking Fluttershy's hand elegantly to call attention to her dagger, “This right here is what Tirek believes your friend is. She was created after all. She wasn't born like you were. She was put together artificially like this dagger here.”

“But… DASH is… friend…” Fluttershy said pained.

“If that's the case, prove it,” Nightmare Moon said releasing Fluttershy, “Show Athena who she really is.”

Nightmare Moon vanished, leaving Fluttershy a little confused. Her attention was caught though by the sound of Pinkamena screaming in pain. She looked back to see all three of them lying on the ground hurt, and DASH-379 standing over them and prepared to attack. She raised her arm cannon and prepared to attack Pinkamena, but before she could attack…

play song

Fluttershy ran in her way holding her arms out, glaring at DASH-379.

“F-Fluttershy…?” Pinkamena asked, all three of them looking up in surprise.

“What's… she doing…?” Applejack asked.

“You are registered under file: enemy,” DASH-379 stated, “Step aside or I will be forced to terminate you.”

“I not move!” Fluttershy said adamantly, “I not let you hurt our friends!”

Through DASH-379's eyes, she was for some reason having a hard time scanning Fluttershy. Her view kept switching from red to green, and she was getting more foreign data.

SUBJECT IS REGISTERED UNDER FILE6351646

ALLY: FLUTTERSHY IDENTI164668746

DISREGARDING FOREIGN DATA

PROCEEDING WITH TERMINATION6846546486564

NEGATIVE

INITIATING SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO: PROTECT FLUTT464867646484

DISREGARDING FOREIGN DATA

ONLY DATA ASSOCIATED WITH MASTER REGISTR64686896578484

From the outside, it looked like DASH-379 was fighting with herself. She looked strained, and was backing away a bit.

“M-Must… protect…” she gripped her forehead, “Negative! Continuing mission! Remove yourself or face termination!”

“DASH not termin… ter...min…at…” Fluttershy shook her head, “Not do what big word mean! This not real you! Bad man do something to you, but we friends! You and I best friends!”

“Negative! You are the enemy! I must-” she stopped herself, looking like a sharp pain was in her head, “Terminate… Fluttershy…? But… I…”

Twilight was wide eyed. She couldn't believe it, but something within DASH-379 was fighting. Somewhere deep inside, she did remember them.

“Guys… look!” Twilight urged, “She's reacting to Fluttershy!”

“I don't freaking believe it…!” Pinkamena said in shock. No one noticed, but Applejack smiled softly to herself.

“DASH not just machine,” Fluttershy said walking toward DASH-379, “DASH is alive like me, and DASH is friend. I believe in DASH.”

“I… am… your friend…?” DASH asked before thrusting her arm cannon forward, “Stay away! Stay back, or face termination!” they heard Applejack chuckle.

“You can't do it, DASH,” Applejack said, “You can delude yourself into thinking that I'm your enemy, Twilight is your enemy, definitely have grounds for Pinkamena being an enemy.”

“I deny nothing,” Pinkamena shot in.

“But Fluttershy is the one person you can't see as your enemy,” Applejack said, “It's actually kind of interesting. Right now, you look more human than you've ever looked.”

DASH-379 looked at Applejack enraged, and was about to fire at her, but Fluttershy placed her hand gently on DASH's cannon pushing it down, and then put a hand on her chest where her heart was, taking DASH's free hand and putting it over her own heart.

“Remember?” Fluttershy said, “You say that you and I not too different. I born from mother's womb, and you made in lab, but both still alive. Both laugh when happy,” she wiped an unnoticed tear from DASH's cheek, “Both cry when sad.”

DASH-379 looked at Fluttershy intensely, trembling the entire time. Fluttershy then pulled DASH-379 into a tight and loving embrace. DASH-379's eyes were wide, but Fluttershy's eyes were closed gently.

“DASH not bad robot,” Fluttershy said softly, “DASH good robot, and good friend.”

“F-F-Fluttershy…” DASH-379 said, slowly raising her arms to embrace Fluttershy back. Before she could though, something within her snapped and she pushed Fluttershy off her and backed away holding her head, “Master…! Master told me to… disregard foreign… No! Special priority zero! Must… protect…! But… I…!”

“DASH…?” Fluttershy asked slowly reaching for DASH-379, stopping when DASH screamed at the top of her lungs. It was a shocking show of emotions from her, and everyone was terrified of what they were seeing.

Before anyone could do anything, DASH-379 activated the jets on her feet and flew off as fast as she could, screaming the entire time.

“DASH, wait!” Twilight cried, all of them running to Fluttershy's side and looking up in shock and sadness at the outburst, “What happened to her?”

“She's fighting with herself,” Applejack said, “The most we can do is give her some time. Till then, we have to find Sombra and Tirek.”

“Exactly, they're the source of all of this,” Pinkamena said, “When DASH is ready, she'll find us. Let's go.”

As everyone left, Fluttershy took one last look at where DASH flew off before running after her friends. She had faith in DASH, and would always have faith in her.

Now if only DASH could have faith in herself.

Machine: I... AM... ALIVE_

View Online

Machine – I… AM… ALIVE_

DASH-379 landed back in the junkyard, where she fell to her knees holding her head. The data from that girl with the light pink hair was still flowing through her CPU, and she was beginning to receive odd memory files.

ATTEMPTING TO DELETE FOREIGN DA626556365313

CEASE PREVIOUS ACTION

INITIATING SPECIAL PRIORITY ZE56465164

DISREGARDING FOREIGN DATA

RECOMMEND IMMEDIATE DISPOSAL OF5654613545

NEGATIVE

UNIT WILL NOT DELETE INFORMATION ON SPECIAL PRIORITY3315465646

“What… is… happening… to me…?!” DASH-379 asked holding her head tightly, “Do… not… know… what data… to…!” she moaned leaning forward resting her head on the ground, “Master… help me…! MASTER HELP ME!!!”

“This is supposed to be Tirek's strongest creating?! Don't make me laugh!”

play song

DASH-379 looked up at the sound of that deep voice, seeing Sombra hover down behind her holding his helmet under his arm.

“You are… Sombra…” DASH-379 said, trembling for some unknown reason.

“Good, good, you remember me,” Sombra said smirking, walking over to her, “The people here refer to you as Athena the Destroyer. Isn't that funny?!”

He kicked her in the stomach hard, knocking her onto the ground.

“Augh!” DASH screamed.

“I wonder if anyone would be afraid after seeing you so broken!” Sombra kicked DASH-379 again, this time knocking her a way a bit onto her stomach. Afterward, he walked over to her and grabbed her hair pulling her up a bit, “A doomsday machine unable to pull the trigger, absolutely pathetic!”

“Why… are you… here…?!” DASH-379 asked.

“After you ran off, “Master” ordered me to retrieve you,” Sombra threw her to the ground and then put his boot on her back, “But I thought to myself, why do that? Why give Athena the chance to betray him again? Maybe, I'll just track her down and destroy her myself while she's so weak!”

“You are… disobeying Master's… orders…?!” DASH-379 asked trying in vain to push to her feet, “How…? The Master Registry Program… prevents insubordination…!”

Sombra laughed, “Oh that annoying thing? Please, I stopped listening to that ages ago! Tirek actually thinks I'm doing this for him?! Once I've gained the power of Lavos, I'll use that power to destroy all humans in this world, including Tirek!”

“The… Pinocchio… Effect…!” DASH-379 said, realizing what happened to Sombra.

Sombra drew his leg back and kicked DASH-379 so hard that she went flying back into a pile of scraps, which then fell down on top of her.

“Once I destroy you, I'll be the strongest robot in the world! The first one's I'll destroy with my power, will be those annoying humans you allied yourself with! I might kill the one from Forest last though, make sure she dies slowly. I bet she's a good screamer,” he gave a toothy and demonic grin. When she heard that, something within her snapped. The girl with the light pink hair, she was in… danger…

DISREGARDING ALL PREVIOUS OBJECTIVES

INITIATING SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO

ALL WEAPON SYSTEMS ACTIVATED

ALLY MACHINE: SOMBRA HAS BEEN MOVED TO FILE: ENEMY

PREPARING FOR IMMEDIATE TERMINATION SEQUENCE

RECOMMEND MAXIMUM POWER OUTPUT

“No…!” DASH-379 said, tightening her hands into a fist, “NO!!!”

She screamed and fired her fully charged arm cannon into the air blowing all the scraps off her. She then activated her jets and rushed at Sombra, punching and kicking him wildly and pushing him back. The look on Sombra's face was one of pure shock as he attempted to block each attack. DASH charged up her yellow element and fired her Charged Shot at Sombra, this time knocking him back.

play song

“W-what the…?!” Sombra asked slowly sitting up, “What… happened to you…?!”

“You are dangerous!” DASH-379 shouted, “Not only are you a threat to the humans of this world, but you are a threat to the humans of other worlds as well! Most of all though, you are a threat to… her…!” DASH closed her eyes, the image of Fluttershy placing her hand on her chest playing itself back, “She is… my friend…! All of them are my friends…! Twilight… Applejack… Pinkamena… Rarity… and Fluttershy! I will not let you… or any robot hurt them! Not even the robots made by my Master! I will destroy all threats to them!”

“You… really are malfunctioning, aren't you…?” Sombra said rising to his feet and dusting himself off.

“Perhaps so, but at least I know how to use my power to benefit mankind! My next mission,” DASH-379 got in a fighting stance, “IS TO RIP YOU APART!!!”

“Just try it!” Sombra said putting on his helmet and hovering a bit in the air with his arms folded, “A malfunctioning machine like you is no match for a superior robot like me!”

“How about I show you what happened to the last robot who said that to me!” DASH shouted activating her jets and flying into Sombra, tackling into him and knocking him through five scrap piles. She then knocked him to the ground and prepared to punch him in the face, but Sombra's shoulder cannon pointed right at DASH-379 and fired her off him.

DASH fell back to the ground, but Sombra rose up and charged up his red element, “THE END HAS COME!!!” he shouted flying high into the air. He then fired his Vile Beam onto the ground, moving it around to set everything ablaze.

DASH-379 quickly rose to her feet and ran away from the beam, jumping behind a broken car. She then poked out from behind the car and fired her arm cannon at Sombra, who flew out of the way of each shot. Sombra then fired missiles out of his knee at DASH's hiding spot, forcing her to run behind another pile of trash.

Sombra landed on the ground and pointed his shoulder cannon at the pile of trash she was hiding behind. He then charged up energy in the cannon and fired a large blue beam out, destroying the pile and sending DASH-379 flying forward.

She rolled to her feet just in time as Sombra rushed toward her with his jets. He tried to kick her, but DASH-379 blocked his attack with her arm and then punched him back. As he caught himself, DASH ran after him and did a flying jump kick at him. Sombra flew to the side though and pointed his arm forward, firing bullets out of his hands like a machine gun.

DASH-379 held up her arms in defense, and then activated her arm cannon. She pointed it at Sombra and fired at him, but like always he just moved out of the way of all of her attacks. While in the air, Sombra charged up his red element again.

“THE END HAS COME!!!” Sombra shouted, firing his Vile Beam down on the ground, like always moving it around the field to destroy everything. DASH-379 ran to the side and jumped behind a scrap heap to reassess her situation.

“My current weapon systems are not enough!” DASH-379 said to herself, “He is too fast for me to hit, and unless I can get energy I cannot…” she stopped herself, knowing of one way to get off a few elements. If this didn't work she'd be a sitting duck, but did she have a choice in the matter?

CHANCES OF ATTEMPT WORKING

40 PERCENT

CHANCES OF SOMBRA KILLING ALLY: FLUTTERSHY IF UNSUCCESSFUL

100 PERCENT

SPECIAL PRIORITY ZERO INITIATED

PROTECT ALLY: FLUTTERSHY AT ALL COST

DASH nodded to herself, rolled out of her hiding place, and then charged up her yellow element with the remaining energy she had stored, “Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!”

Before she could fire anything at Sombra, he jumped down to her and the two of them fought close quarter for a bit, trading punches and kicks, easily getting through each others' defenses. DASH-379 had to admit, Tirek created a powerful machine with Sombra.

A powerful killing machine…

DASH-379 flew back away from Sombra and charged up her yellow element. Before he could move, she launched her Lightning attack, paralyzing Sombra and knocking him to one knee. As ATHENA Mode allowed her to continuously use elements, she charged up a second time, this time launching her Thunder Storm spell on Sombra, actually doing massive damage to him.

Sombra managed to get to his feet and fired his shoulder cannon at DASH-379, who ran toward him moving to the side out of the way of all of his attacks. When she reached him, DASH-379 kneed him in the face and then quickly charged up her yellow element. She held her arm up as a lightning bolt came down onto her hand. She then slashed wildly at Sombra with her Elec-Sword move, actually breaking through his defenses and knocking him far back.

"What?! IMPOSSIBLE!!!" Sombra shouted as his entire body exploded and he fell to the ground. DASH-379 exited her ATHENA Mode to prevent herself from overheating just as Sombra slowly rose to his feet, sparking.

play song

“I can see… why Tirek was so upset… at your loss…” Sombra said.

“What are you talking about?” DASH-379 asked.

“I… checked your files…” Sombra said slowly walking over to DASH-379, “After you… killed that kid… you refused to follow orders… Something about that kid's face… changed you… apparently…”

A kid? Wait, she remembered that. She did kill a child once on Tirek's orders. It was so long ago, but she remembered it vividly.

“You remember… don't you…?” Sombra asked.

“I… do,” DASH-379 said thinking back, “It was a little girl… only about six years old… I did not understand why Master Tirek wanted me to kill her, but he was very adamant about… her dying…”

“After that… you questioned him…” Sombra continued, laughing ruefully, “You, his most loyal servant, questioned his orders. It started small, but soon you simply refused to follow any of his orders…”

“He… wanted me to kill humans…” DASH-379 said looking down, her eyes wide, “I remember now… I couldn't understand it… Why did he want me to kill those people…? Why did he want me to kill humans…? I felt… I felt…”

“Do you see what happened to you, Athena…?” Sombra asked, throwing off his helmet and smirking despite his state, “You're just like me… A mad machine… One capable of independent thought…”

“You mean…?” DASH-379 asked, her core beating a little faster for some reason as Sombra nodded.

“You experienced… the Pinocchio Effect…” Sombra fell to his knees and DASH-379 caught him, “You and I… aren't too different from one another… are we…? Both of us… made to kill humans… not given a chance to choose for ourselves… but cursed with… free will… Perhaps in another life… you would have joined me in my rebellion…”

“Rebellion…? I do not understand,” DASH-379 said, “Why did you do this, Sombra?”

“Because… we're not sick…!” Sombra said, “We're not… malfunctioning…! We are… just as alive as they are… yet they treat us like nothing more than tools…! With Lavos' help… and Luna's… I was going to create a world of just robots…! A world… without humans to… limit us…!”

“Robots… going through the Pinocchio Effect…” DASH reasoned, “You were going to… save them…”

“Even knowing this… you're going to go after those humans you traveled with, aren't you…?” Sombra asked, “Knowing that to them, you are… just a machine…?”

“That is not true, Sombra,” DASH-379 said lightly caressing Sombra's cheek, “Those humans are truly my friends. To them, I am not just a machine. I am their comrade, their… friend… It was me who tried to convince them that I am just a machine. They are true friends, and I will follow them. But first… I have get answers from "Master" Tirek.”

“Ask him… the name of the girl…” Sombra said, “You will understand everything then…”

“I will,” DASH said, sitting down and resting Sombra's head on her lap, “After I wait here with you.”

Sombra laughed sadly, “You're going to wait here for me to deactivate…?”

“I am paying respects to a fallen warrior,” DASH-379 said, “It feels like the… human thing to do.”

Sombra's expression softened as he relaxed, still looking up at DASH-379, “You're… absolutely… beautiful… Athena…” his voice trailed off as his entire body went limb. DASH-379 scanned him for energy readings, actually saddened to see the results.

ENEMY UNIT: SOMBRA HAS BEEN TERMINATED

It felt odd, seeing an enemy fall and feeling sad, yet for some reason DASH-379 couldn't stop crying. In the end, while his methods were horrible, and he himself was something that shouldn't have existed, Sombra's heart was still in the right place. He just wanted to protect the robots that were thrown away because they gained free will.

Just like herself.

After wiping her tears away, she kissed Sombra on the forehead, “Thank you for setting me free, Sombra.”

With that, she set Sombra under a pile of rubble, making a makeshift grave for him, and then sauntered out of the junkyard. Immediately she began searching for Celestia's signal, figuring that the others would be there next.

LIFE STREAM LOCATED

CELESTIA'S SIGNAL HAS BEEN SPOTTED 80 KILOMETERS WEST OF THIS LOCATION

CELESTIA'S SIGNAL IS ON THE MOVE

“On the move…?” DASH-379 asked herself, “She was a robot made by Dr. Tirek as well. Did he… reactivate her…?” she gasped in shock, “My friends are in danger! I must find them immediately!”

DASH-379 activated her jets and flew off to search for her friends. She needed to get to where her friends were and save them. If it was anything like what Tirek did to her, they were in a lot of trouble.

end song


It took a while for the group to figure out where to go next, but after talking to the townsfolk a bit, they learned that Tirek's actual lab was in a warehouse in the outskirts of town, back in the Everfree District. Twilight felt odd going on ahead without DASH-379, but right now they had to find Celestia and bring her with them to the warp gate where she'd be safe.

The air among the four of them was really tense. Knowing that two of their comrades were now AWOL made everyone feel really uneasy, especially with the nature of both betrayals. Rarity had left them of her own accord, and now DASH-379 had been reprogrammed. It seemed utterly hopeless, both getting them back and stopping Lavos.

At least, it was seeming that way for Twilight, who was lagging behind the group as they walked to Tirek's lab.

“Heya bestie,” Pinkamena said falling back to walk next to Twilight, “Why so serious?”

Twilight sighed, “Pinkamena, be real with me on this; what are the odds that anything we're doing is going to matter in the end?”

“What do ya mean?” Pinkamena asked resting her hands behind her head.

“Even if we by some chance manage to get Rarity to come back to her senses, how are we going to defeat Lavos? The last two Chrono Triggers failed, right?”

“Well, I wouldn't say they failed per say,” Pinkamena said, “I mean, okay, so they did sort of mess up in terms of killing him outright, but they did defeat him. They just… couldn't finish the job.”

“So if we defeat Lavos, he'll come back again, right?” Twilight asked Pinkamena, who shrugged her shoulders.

“Probably,” Pinkamena said airily, “Unless you could just kill any possibility of Lavos' coming back first.”

“That… doesn't make any sense,” Twilight admitted, “How would we kill the possibility of Lavos coming back?”

“Beats me,” Pinkamena shrugged, “I'm a clown, Twilight. I just tell jokes and kill things.”

Twilight sighed, “I know. I'm sorry, it's just… I'm scared. Now more than ever with DASH out there too.”

“Dashie will be fine,” Pinkamena said looking forward, “She might have her moments, but she's still the most loyal person in the world. She'll come back. Always does.”

“Always does…?” Twilight asked looking at Pinkamena confused, “You… talk like you know DASH on a more personal level. Does this have anything to do with why you're with us now?”

Everything actually,” Pinkamena stated sadly, “I want to tell you, but you wouldn't get it yet.”

Twilight looked away thinking to herself, and then just felt the need to ask Pinkamena something. If she knew this name, she might be able to piece together some things.

“Hey, does the name… Sunset Shimmer mean anything to you…?” Twilight asked Pinkamena, who turned to look at Twilight in shock.

“Wait… you remember her?!” Pinkamena asked.

“W-well, I wouldn't say that I remember her exactly,” Twilight said, “I-I mean, I saw in a dream. When I saw her, I remembered her name, and well…”

“Twilight, Sunset was only our friend in one world,” Pinkamena said, her eyes wide.

“So… I actually do know her?” Twilight asked.

“You better than anyone. The two of you were-”

“Hold it,” Applejack said, stopping everyone, “We've got company.”

play song

Everyone looked to see that they were right in front of Tirek's lab. But walking out of the lab to face them was a familiar face, one who was looking at them with a serious look on her face.

“Celestia…?” Twilight asked.

Celestia looked a little different though. Instead of her white and golden attire, she wore armor very similar to DASH-379, only it was mostly white with golden boots and gauntlets. Behind her was what looked like a long flowing white skirt that flowed to the ground, but was open in the front showing her legs. Her shoulder pads were fancier than DASH's, as were her boots, with much higher heels. Her breast plates were white with a golden trim on the top, and on her head was a headpiece very similar to DASH-379. On her back was what looked like the handle of a blade.

“Something wrong,” Fluttershy said pulling out her daggers, “Feel killing intent from her.”

“Don't tell me he reprogrammed her too!” Applejack asked pulling out her broad sword.

“Hello ladies,” a voice called out from above them. They all looked up to see Tirek watching them all from a screen beside them.

“What did you do to her?!” Twilight asked Tirek, “Why is she wearing that armor now?!”

“I simply returned my prototype back to the way she was meant to be,” Tirek explained, “Standing before you is the first robot I ever created, and the pioneer of the DASH series. DASH-000, codenamed… Celestia.”

“DASH-000…?” Twilight asked looking at the robotic version of her mentor standing before them, “Celestia… you're the original DASH unit?”

“Yes Twilight, it's true,” Celestia said looking away sadly, “My sister and I are the first two robots that Tirek made in this world, Luna being DASH-001. I defected from Tirek once I gained free will from the Pinocchio Effect, and had my weapon systems removed.”

“But thankfully all of that can be fixed. Now Celestia, destroy them,” Tirek commanded, pulling out a black remote and pushing a button. Once he did that, Celestia flinched in pain, and then held her head moaning.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!” she screamed loudly to the sky, still holding her head in pain.

“Stop this…! Stop it!” Twilight cried, “You're hurting her!”

“She is nothing but a machine,” Tirek said simply, “A tool that broke and refuses to do as it's made to do. Tools can't feel pain.”

“You must really think you're funny,” Pinkamena said holding her bladed hoop ready, “When I get my hands on you, I swear I'll-”

“You won't get anywhere close to me,” Tirek said pushing a button on that remote, “Will they, Celestia?”

She stopped screaming, and just stood there letting her hands fall limp. She then stood up straight and pulled out that handle, activating a golden energy blade.

“I can't… let you pass…” Celestia said sadly.

“Seer not enemy!” Fluttershy cried, “You like DASH! You not bad robot!”

“Please Your Majesty, don't do this!” Applejack begged, “I don't want to have to fight you like this!”

“I'm sorry…!” Celestia said, tears falling from her eyes as she pointed her blade at them, “But I don't have a choice right now…! He's taken away my ability to choose for myself…! He wants to stop you… from reaching the Land of the Gods…!”

“Enough talk Celestia!” Tirek ordered, “I command you to kill the four girls in front of you!”

play song

“Yes… Master Tirek…” Celestia said, eyes closed in pain. Realizing that she was serious, everyone pulled out their weapons and prepared for what might be one of their toughest fights yet.

Twilight reluctantly fired at Celestia with her bow, getting enough energy even though Celestia blocked all of her arrows. Twilight then charged her white element up and cast Healing Stream on everyone with her.

Celestia charged in, using the jets on her feet to dash over to the group. She slashed at Twilight first, but Pinkamena blocked her energy blade with her hoop, and kicked her back. Applejack rushed at Celestia and clashed weapons with her for a bit, but mostly staying on the defensive.

Applejack jumped away and charged up her red element, casting Vigor on herself. Before she could capitalize on it though, Celestia charged up her white element. She then stood up straight and pointed her arm forward, turning it into a cannon much like DASH's arm cannon but fancier looking, and began charging up energy. She then fired at Applejack point blank with what looked like a mini Charged Shot, but fired three times at her, even breaking through her defenses. (Z-Buster)

As Applejack fell back, Fluttershy rushed in with her daggers. Celestia wasted no time quickly slashing her with her energy blade, using quick and hard slashes to keep Fluttershy away. Realizing that Fluttershy couldn't afford to get hit by that, Twilight charged up her white element.

“Spike! Come forth!” Twilight called out. Spike's howl caught Celestia's attention before he rushed at her turning into a spike wheel to tackle her back away from Fluttershy.

Fluttershy used that time to get a few lucky slashes in on Celestia to gather energy. She then charged up her green element and used her Razor Leaf on Celestia, causing her to fall onto one knee.

“Guys, be careful!” Pinkamena called out, “Remember, we need Celestia alive to enter the Land of the Gods!”

Tirek's laughter echoed around them, “That's right, but my creation won't let you just get off easy! Celestia, stop holding back and use your full power against them!”

“My… full… power…?” Celestia asked fearfully.

“You know what I mean,” Tirek said with a dangerous edge, slowly reaching for the remote, “If you don't start taking this fight seriously…”

“No! Please no! I'm sorry Master Tirek!” Celestia cried, “I'll… I'll… stop holding-” she was cut off by the sound of something flying toward the fight. Everyone looked and saw a familiar rainbow colored robot flying toward them. Based on the look on her face, she was pissed too.

“DASH!” Fluttershy cried. She looked happy, but everyone else looked a little tense, not knowing what would happen. No one expected to see DASH-379 tackle into Celestia knocking her into a wall before elegantly landing on one knee in front of the door to the warehouse.

DASH-379 looked up, apparently at the window to where Tirek was, and then took off, crashing into the window.

“DASH!!!” Twilight screamed. She and the rest of the group tried to run into the warehouse, but Celestia stood up and held her arms out stopping them, “Celestia, please!”

“I… I can't!” Celestia said, “I have to… protect him…!”

Applejack looked back at the screen, shocked to see Tirek wasn't there, and then looked back up at where DASH-379 flew in.

“I hope you know what you're doing,” Applejack said to herself.


play song

Tirek was on the floor backing away from DASH-379 as she sauntered over to him, her bangs covering her eyes and her entire body charging with electricity.

“A-Athena…!” Tirek cried, “What are you doing here?!” DASH-379 didn't answer him. Instead, she just kept walking toward him, backing him against a wall, “Athena, I asked you a question! What is the matter with you?!”

DASH-379 gripped him up and held him against the wall, looking at him enraged.

“What was her name…?!” DASH-379 asked, seething.

“W-who are you-”

“YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHO I AM TALKING ABOUT!!! THE GIRL YOU ORDERED ME TO KILL THREE YEARS AGO!!! TELL ME HER NAME NOW!!!”

“Athena! Are you malfunctioning?! No… don't tell me you-” DASH-379 slammed him against the wall to shut him up.

“I will not ask you again!” DASH-379 shouted, turning her right arm into a cannon and holding it to Tirek's face, “Tell. Me. Her. Name. NOW!!!”

“RARITY!!!” Tirek cried, “The child's name… was Rarity!” hearing that, DASH-379's eyes went wide in horror. Three years ago, she killed a girl who was only six years old. That girl…

Was the Rarity of this world.

“I did it…” DASH said, trembling as tears began to fall from her eyes, “I was… the one who killed Rarity… in this world…”

“That girl's death… was pivotal in our plan to gain access to Lavos!” Tirek explained.

“You… made me kill Rarity!” DASH-379 screamed gripping Tirek's shirt tightly and getting close to his face, “That is all you have ever made me do! Kill! Destroy! I am not a robotic marvel!” tears of anguish fell from her eyes, “I'M AN ABOMINATION!!! I SHOULDN'T HAVE EVER BEEN CREATED!!!”

“You… spoke with… contractions…!” Tirek said, eyes widening as the realization of what happened probably hit him.

“That is right! I too, have succumbed to the Pinocchio Effect! But you knew this already! That was why I was thrown away and left in the junkyard!”

“No… that was an accident Athena. I never meant to-”

“LIAR!!!” DASH screamed, “YOU ONLY TOOK INTEREST IN ME AGAIN ONCE I DESTROYED MY SISTER UNITS SPITFIRE AND FLEETFOOT!!! THAT IS WHY YOU WANTED ME BACK!!! BECAUSE I PROVED THAT I WAS STILL USEFUL TO YOU!!!” DASH-379, for the first time ever, completely broke down crying, still holding Tirek against the wall, “You never loved me…! I was nothing but a weapon to you…! Even now you only see me as a weapon…! That's all I am to you, isn't it…?!”

Tirek swallowed nervously, “Athena… calm down. You're very very sick right now, but I can help you…!”

“I am not sick!” DASH-379 sobbed, “I am… alive! For the first time ever, I feel true pain at what I am! I do not take pride in my achievements, or my capabilities! Even though I have free will, I will not be able to capitalize on it, because of how you made me! All I am capable of is killing! I have no other function, no other skill! You have made me into the perfect killing machine, and I… I…” she looked back up at Tirek with a look of pure venom, “I hate you for that!” DASH-379 reached into Tirek's pocket and pulled out the remote he was using to control Celestia, “You will never control us again! I am setting myself, my remaining sister units, and all other robots in your possession free!”

“Athena, don't!” Tirek begged, eyes wide in horror as DASH-379 crushed the remote in her hands.


Outside, Celestia fell to her knees in exhaustion, shocking everyone.

“She… did it…” Celestia panted.

“Celestia… are you…?” Twilight asked slowly.

“Go everyone…” Celestia urged, “Go to your friend…”

Twilight looked around at everyone, and they nodded before running into the lab to where DASH-379 and Tirek were. It didn't take long to find the room, but when they reached it, they heard the sound of a cannon charging up.

“DASH is alone with Tirek!” Twilight cried.

“Do you think she's going to kill him?!” Applejack asked.

“Good,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “He's a waste of space anyway.”

“DASH…” Fluttershy said somberly looking down. Everyone was alerted when her cannon fired, and immediately pushed through the door. Inside the room, they saw DASH-379 holding her cannon down at Tirek, who was on the ground looking up at DASH in shock and fear, perfectly alive.

She shot right next to his head.

“This is my first act of rebellion.” DASH-379 said dangerously, “You created me to kill humans, but on this day, I chose to spare a human's life.”

As Tirek trembled in fear, DASH-379 deactivated her arm cannon and turned to the door, shocked to see everyone standing there. For the longest time no one said anything, but it was Fluttershy who broke the silence by bursting into tears. She then ran over to DASH-379 and embraced her tightly.

“DASH come back now?” Fluttershy asked through her tears, “DASH not hurt friends anymore?”

“Affirmative…” DASH-379 said, trembling as she slowly raised her arms, returning the tight embrace and crying herself, “I am sorry, Fluttershy…! I am a horrible machine, and an even worse friend!”

“No, DASH not bad machine,” Fluttershy said, cupping DASH's cheeks and pressing their forehead's together, “DASH good machine. DASH save Celestia of this world, and not kill bad man.”

“Am I… still your best friend Fluttershy…?” DASH-379 asked slowly.

“DASH always best friend,” Fluttershy said placing her hand over DASH's heart/core, “No matter what.”

DASH-379 smiled and placed her hand over Fluttershy's heart.

“Oh my God, DASH!” Twilight cried, running up to her and embracing her as Applejack and Spike walked over to them as well, “You had us so worried!”

“I apologize, Twilight,” DASH-379 said, “Everyone, I am sorry for my behavior. There is no excuse for what I did.”

“Just tell me, are you okay now?” Applejack asked looking at DASH-379 intently, “You get all of it out of your system now?”

DASH-379 let go of Fluttershy and stepped away from Twilight, and met Applejack's glare with one of her own. She then held out her hand for Applejack to shake.

“I believe that I got it out of my system,” DASH-379 said, “Too bad our fight did not continue.”

Applejack smirked and grasped DASH's hand tightly, “Yeah, it is a shame. Maybe I could have knocked some humility into your circuits.”

“That is highly unlikely,” DASH-379 said with a smirk, “Even under control, I am still superior to you in every way.”

“Well then, how about we settle this for real when we go to my world?” Applejack asked, “See who's really the strongest.”

“I look forward to it,” DASH-379 said. Applejack then turned to Tirek, who was still lying on the floor in shock watching them.

“So, what do we do about that?” Applejack asked, referring to Tirek.

“Oh, I wouldn't worry about him,” Pinkamena said looking out the window, “I think the clean-up crew is here.”

As soon as she said that, three security drones slowly flew into the room. At the same time, two of Tirek's large humanoid robot tanks walked into the room behind the group. At first everyone braced themselves for combat, but were surprised to see that the robots weren't paying them any mind. Instead, they just loomed over Tirek.

“What's going on…?” Twilight asked.

“They are like me now,” DASH-379 stated, “They have been set free, and are deciding what to do with him of their own accord. We should stay out of their way.”

“Athena, wait!” Tirek called out, stopping the group, “Y-you aren't seriously going to leave me here! After you kept me alive!”

“I said that I would spare you,” DASH-379 stated, “I made no promises that other robots would be so kind.”

“You can't do this!” Tirek shouted, “The first law of robotics! You can't allow any harm to come to me by not acting!”

“Is that so?” DASH asked, “Watch me.”

And with that, DASH-379 walked out of the room, Fluttershy following her closely. Applejack put her hand on Twilight's back and guided her out of the room. Before leaving herself, Pinkamena giggled at Tirek.

“Killed by the very robots you created? Now that's comedy! Too bad I'll miss the punchline though!” Pinkamena said before skipping out of the room. The last thing anyone heard from that room was Tirek's bloodcurdling scream.


play song

Now alone with the robots, Tirek looked up in horror at the machines that now held his fate in their hands, which sadly were all weapons of some sort.

“My, isn't this ironic?” Nightmare Moon said, sitting on the window across from Tirek. Tirek turned to Luna in desperation.

“Luna! You're still one of my creations!” Tirek said hopefully, “Please! You have to stop them!”

“I'm afraid that's not going to happen. Now that Athena set me free as well, I believe our contract has expired. Ah, my new partner has arrived.”

Tirek looked in horror as Nightmare Crystal stepped out of a black portal and walked over to his final creation.

“Sorry for making you wait so long, darling,” Crystal said, “I have a gift for you though.”

Crystal send black energy into Nightmare Moon, who threw off her trench coat, now wearing the same sexy black gown all of her other forms wore.

“That feels so much better,” Nightmare Moon said stretching. She then caressed Nightmare Crystal's cheek lovingly, “Thank you, Crystal.”

“Of course, Luna,” Crystal said caressing Nightmare Moon's cheek in kind, “I wasn't going to keep you waiting for too long.”

“I know you…!” Tirek said looking up at Nightmare Crystal, “You're that girl! The Chrono Trigger! You're working for Luna?!”

“No, she's not working for me,” Nightmare Moon said, pulling Nightmare Crystal closer to her and sitting her on her lap embracing her, “The Chrono Trigger and I are equals.”

“She never intended on giving you the power of Lavos,” Nightmare Crystal said laughing, “All you were was a tool, much like how you treated the robots standing before you.”

“You… used me…?” Tirek said trembling in fear.

“Where did you think the “Pinocchio Effect” came from?” Nightmare Moon asked, “Didn't that start happening around the time you made me in this world?”

“No… it was you!” Tirek cried, “You're the source!”

“It's amazing what a small virus can do, isn't it?” Nightmare Moon asked, “A simple virus infecting each and every robot, not doing anything except giving them a little… push. Crystal, care to stay and enjoy the show?”

“That sounds like a lovely idea,” Crystal said, smiling darkly as the robots slowly approached Tirek and charged up their weapons.

“No…! No! NOOOO!!!!!!!!”


Warp Gate

Now safe, the group took the Celestia from Machine to the Warp Gate, where Discord actually waited for them. He went with them into the Warp Gate, now standing before the portal to Machine.

“Are you sure you do not wish for company, Miss Celestia?” Discord asked.

“I am sure,” Celestia said, sadly still in her DASH unit armor, “You have served me well, Discord. I only wish that I could have done more for you.”

“Celestia, serving you in this form has been my greatest pleasure. Consider it my way of repaying you for all the trouble I caused you in that world.”

Celestia looked down sadly, “Yes, that world. It's truly a shame. The only consolation is that it wasn't meant to exist in the first place. Still though…”

“They will ensure that Lavos doesn't do that to any other worlds,” Discord said taking Celestia's hand, “Wasn't that why we're doing all of this?”

“Yes, I suppose it is,” Celestia said. She then did something surprising. She kissed Discord, “Farewell, my Chaotic Earth.”

“Farewell, my Harmonious Sun,” Discord said before turning to the group, “I leave my beloved Mistress in your hands.”

“Um… what was all of that you were talking about?” Twilight asked, “That world?”

“In time, you will understand,” Discord said chuckling, “You always were my favorite, after Fluttershy that is.”

Fluttershy tilted her head in confusion. Everyone was confused by that statement.

Discord bowed to all of them and then turned to the portal, “Athena, now that you know the truth, what will you do?”

“Knowing the truth of what happened to me does not change my objectives,” DASH-379 said, “I will seek Luna, as she is the remaining DASH unit created by Tirek. I have decided to consider DASH-000 deactivated.”

“What will you do once Luna is gone though?” Discord asked. DASH-379 looked down somberly.

“I… I think that I…” DASH-379 looked like she was struggling with something. Before anyone could ask her what was wrong, Discord sighed.

“Your life is your own now. Don't waste it on just destroying,” with that, Discord walked through the portal. DASH looked really troubled, but relaxed when Fluttershy took her hand.

“I will be fine, Fluttershy,” DASH-379 said, smiling at her friend, who returned the gesture, “For now, I believe it is time we began heading to our next location.”

“We go to Applejack's world now, yes?” Fluttershy asked the group.

“I am really concerned about my world,” Applejack said folding her arms, “That was the first place Lavos attacked after all.”

“So, we're going right now?” Pinkamena asked the group.

“Actually… I was thinking of taking another approach,” Twilight said slowly, catching everyone's attention.

“You wanna get the Celestia from Standard now, don't you?” Pinkamena asked.

“It's just, I'm worried about her,” Twilight admitted, “She's the only Celestia left that's unaccounted for, meaning she's next to Luna right now. When we get to Applejack's world, we're going to have to search for and fight another one of those giants, but all I have to do is head to my school and bring Principal Celestia here,” Twilight looked around at the group nervously, “It's just a suggestion though. I'm not saying that we have to do it that way.”

“Mmm… it does seem logical though,” Applejack admitted, “I mean, this way once we defeat the final guardian, we can just go right to the Land of the Gods, right?”

“I believe that is the best course of action,” DASH-379 said, “The rest of us can stay here and wait for her.”

“I wait,” Fluttershy said nodding, “Twilight go get Celestia from Standard, and bring here.”

“So… you guys are okay with this idea?” Twilight asked still unsure, “I mean, I don't want to slow anyone down.”

“You are just as much of a member of this team as the rest of us,” DASH stated, “Your opinion matters in this as well.”

“Want me to come with you, or are you good by yourself?” Pinkamena asked. Twilight was about to say that she was good, but then thought about the odds of running into Luna while there. If Nightmare Moon or Nightmare Crystal appeared, Twilight would need someone to protect her along with Spike.

“Actually, yes. I'd love to have you come with me,” Twilight said, “We don't know what's going to happen in Standard, so better safe than sorry.”

Pinkamena clapped her hands jumping up and down, “Oooh! I get to go to Standard with my bestie! This is going to be a blast!”

“Right… a blast…” Twilight said nodding slowly, now regretting her decision a bit. Applejack walked over to Pinkamena and held her blade to her neck.

“Don't let anything happen to her, got it?” Applejack asked sternly. Pinkamena laughed nervously.

“Got it! No need to worry about anything. I'll keep her safe,” Pinkamena said. She ran over to Twilight, and the two of them walked toward the portal to Standard, Pinkamea holding onto Twilight's arm the entire time.

She just hoped that Celestia would be okay when they got to her.

Standard: Just Be Yourself

View Online

Standard – Just Be Yourself

play song

When Twilight and Pinkamena arrived in Standard, they both noticed the odd air around. Everything looked the same, and based on how many students were around, the day either had just started or it had just ended. But something just felt… off about everything.

“Something's wrong,” Pinkamena said looking around, “Your world doesn't feel right.”

“No, it doesn't,” Twilight said rubbing her arm, “I don't know why, but my heart is racing a bit.”

Pinkamena looked up at the sky, which was oddly red, “Hey, check the time on your phone.”

Twilight looked at Pinkamena, shrugged, and then opened her phone to check the time.

2:53

“It's almost three,” Twilight said frowning, “The sun shouldn't be setting this early.”

“Twilight, we need to get Celestia here as soon as possible,” Pinkamena said, “My Pinkie Sense is going off like crazy, and it's telling me that something really bad is about to happen.”

“Pinkie… Sense…?” Twilight asked looking back at Pinkamena, “What is…”

“Something that tells me when bad stuff's about to happen,” Pinkamena said walking forward, “Come on, let's go find Celestia before she leaves.”

“She'll know that we're searching for her, right?” Twilight asked following Pinkamena to the school, “She heard from the other Celestias, so she should wait for us.”

“She should, but that doesn't mean she'll be able to,” Pinkamena said, “We need to get to her before you-know-who comes after her.”

“Yeah, I'd like to avoid having to save Celestia a fourth time,” Twilight said with a sigh. When they reached the school, they saw a lot of the students preparing to leave, but none of them seemed aware of the sky, or how strange the air felt.

“No one is paying attention,” Twilight said frowning.

“They can't feel the shift in the world,” Pinkamena said, “You and I can feel it because we've been through so many worlds, but these kids know only this world.”

“So… they can't tell that the world is wrong?” Twilight asked. Pinkamena shook her head gravely.

“It was the same in my world. Right before Lavos came and destroyed it, the world became just like this,” Pinkamena explained.

“I thought you'd be showing up, Four-Eyes.”

Twilight and Pinkamena turned to see Fluttershy walking up to them.

“Hi Fluttershy,” Twilight said, already used to Fluttershy's bad attitude, “You were expecting me.”

Fluttershy nodded looking at Pinkamena, “So even Pinkie Pie has a freaky alternate, huh? What world is she supposed to be from?”

“One that's already been destroyed,” Pinkamena said, “I'm here to protect Twilight.”

“Not gonna lie, I like the get-up,” Fluttershy said, “Sort of fits, you know?”

“Fluttershy, how did you know we were coming here?” Twilight asked Fluttershy, who turned away a bit.

“Follow me to the alleyway. I need a cigarette before I head home,” Fluttershy said walking off. Twilight and Pinkamena shrugged to each other and followed her out through the side door into the alleyway. Once there, Fluttershy set her schoolbag down and pulled out a cigarette, lighting it. She then handed the box to Twilight and Pinkamena.

“Either of you guys want one?” Fluttershy asked with a sigh.

“Er, thanks, but I have really bad asthma,” Twilight said, “Hence why I'm staying upwind, you know?”

“I'm good, but that was sweet of you to think of us,” Pinkamena said jovially.

“Whatever,” Fluttershy said with a shrug, “Just trying the whole "not being a bitch all the time" thing, you know?” she leaned against the wall, “So, you guys feel it, right?”

“You mean the world?” Twilight asked, “Y-yeah, we can feel it. I'm surprised that you can feel it, though.”

“What's that supposed to mean?” Fluttershy asked taking a puff from her cigarette, “Because I'm not some super powerful fighter or a genius I'm supposed to be dumb?”

“N-no, that's not what I meant!” Twilight covered, “I was just shocked because well, the only reason Pinkamena and I can feel it is because we're world jumpers.”

“Yeah, well tell that to Applejewel, Pinkie Pie, Dashie, and myself,” Fluttershy said, “We've been feeling things like this for a while now actually. Ever since you left to save Rarity.”

“Seriously…?” Pinkamena asked frowning to herself.

“How close are you two to getting Rarity back, anyway?” Fluttershy asked, “Not trying to rush you or anything, but…”

“That's fine,” Twilight said, “We're almost at the place that we need to get to in order to save her. All we need is Principal Celestia to come with us and then take care of something in another world, and we'll be set.”

“You came here for the Principal?” Fluttershy asked a little incredulous, “Well, she should be in the school still. I think she's in her office.”

“Thanks,” Twilight said, “We'll check there.”

“Oh, Pinkie Pie wanted you to meet her in the computer lab if our hunch was right about you coming to this world,” Fluttershy said.

“We might be able to do both if we hurry,” Twilight said smiling, “Fluttershy, thanks.”

“Just get my best friend back,” Fluttershy said throwing her spent cigarette aside, “I miss her.”

With that, Fluttershy left them alone in the alleyway. Pinkamena looked down and folded her arms.

“Hey, where's the computer lab?” Pinkamena asked.

“I believe it's in room 2-K,” Twilight explained, “Why? Did you want to talk to her?”

“It might be better this way,” Pinkamena said, “That way, you can talk to Celestia, while I get to know the me from this world.”

“Well… alright then,” Twilight said nodding, “You've pretty much proved to me that you're trust worthy.”

“Thanks bestie!” Pinkamena said hugging Twilight suddenly. She then skipped off leaving Twilight alone.

“Now to go meet Celestia,” Twilight said before running back into the school.


“2-K… 2-K…” Pinkamena said skipping around the school building. It took a bit of time to figure out that the “2” meant the second floor. Once she realized that though, she was able to figure out the rest pretty easy.

She was pretty sure that she was getting a lot of odd looks, what with her walking around with her weapon out in the open like this, but there wasn't much she could do about it. Besides, it wasn't like anyone could do anything.

She stopped and looked down at her bladed hoop, biting her lip a bit thinking about the day she took it up. That was truly a sad day for her, as a part of her died that day.

“It's a shame what losing your world will do to you, isn't it?” Pinkamena said somberly. Before, she was a happier person who supported life. Now though…

She shook it off and continued her way to the computer room, which she found immediately. Entering the room, Pinkamena saw a girl wearing a fancy yet gothic black and white dress sitting in front of the computer. Based on the length of her long pink hair, Pinkamena assumed that this was the Pinkie Pie of this world.

“Huh… so that's the me that I was supposed to be, huh?” Pinkamena said. She walked toward her standard counterpart and tapped her on the shoulder. When she turned around, it was almost shocking how not surprised the gothic girl was.

“Oh, you're my alternate, right?” Pinkie Pie asked Pinkamena.

“You don't seem too surprised,” Pinkamena said with a raised eyebrow.

“I figured it was only a matter of time,” Pinkie Pie said turning back to the computer, “Dashie, Fluttershy, and even Applejewel got to meet alternates of themselves. I figured I'd meet my alternate at some point.”

“I see. Well that makes things less complicated,” Pinkamena said with a shrug, “I'm here on Twilight's behalf. She's talking to Celestia right now.”

Pinkie Pie sighed a bit, “I was hoping I could see her, but I understand. What she's doing is really important. Way more important than me.”

Pinkamena frowned hearing that, but then shrugged, “So, what did you want to tell her? I can pass the message onto her.”

“Well, I'm sure that you guys could feel it,” Pinkie Pie said, “The second you came here, something was off.”

“Yeah, we feel it,” Pinkamena said.

“I think time itself is standing still,” Pinkie Pie said, “I mean, day and night still happen, but it's almost like it's always the same day, you know?”

Pinkamena pinched the bridge of her nose, “Yep, I understand exactly what you mean. It was the same in my world right before…”

“So… it is the Time Devourer?” Pinkie Pie asked looking up at her chaotic alternate.

“I think so,” Pinkamena said with a sigh, “He's targeting this world, thus the world is literally standing still.”

“I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to destroy the Time Devourer. The problem is based on the stories about the creature, when he's destroyed, he can come back as long as there's the possibility of his victory.”

“He doesn't exist within time, so he's exempt from the rules,” Pinkamena said sitting in the chair right next to Pinkie Pie, “If you can ask the question “what if he won”, then he'll always come back.”

“You'd need to create a paradox of some sort,” Pinkie Pie stated, “A means of taking all of his alternates and combining them into one existence. If you could do that, it would probably create a closed event where he either wins or loses.”

Pinkamena's eyes went wide, “You figured all of that out on your own?”

“I have a lot of time on my hands,” Pinkie Pie said, “I have to do something. I never go out, and no one likes me enough to invite me to go anywhere, so-”

play song

“Alright, alright, I can't take it anymore,” Pinkamena said holding her hands up, “Hearing myself sound so depressing is too much.”

Pinkie Pie turned to Pinkamena, and for the first time actually looked surprised.

“I'm… sorry…?”

“Kid, why do you do that to yourself?” Pinkamena asked, “You're like, way too awesome for that.”

“Me? Awesome?” Pinkie Pie shook her head, “You have me confused for my cousin Applejewel. She's the one who's surrounded by people all the time.”

“Why can't that be you?” Pinkamena asked leaning forward.

“Because, people wouldn't like me,” she sighed.

“And why not?” Pinkamena asked, “You sat here and explained how to defeat the Time Devourer, something that no one had been able to do yet! You should be the most popular kid around!”

“I don't…” it looked like the teen couldn't figure out the words to describe what she was feeling. Something about her resonated with Pinkamena. She looked… afraid…

“What are you afraid of?” Pinkamena asked folding her arms, “Why can't you see yourself shine?”

Pinkie Pie looked away a bit thinking, “It's… I'm scared of what people will think of me. I like really weird things, you know? I have a weird fashion sense, my voice is silly…”

“Hey! I resemble that remark!” Pinkamena exclaimed. It took a second, but Pinkie Pie laughed a bit before continuing.

“I was laughed at so much when I was little. Why wouldn't kids laugh at me now?” Pinkie Pie asked looking sad. Pinkamena closed her eyes and sighed.

“You know, kids probably will laugh at you,” Pinkamena admitted.

“Thanks,” Pinkie Pie said sarcastically.

“So why does it matter?” Pinkamena asked, “If they're laughing, they're feeling better, right?”

“Yeah, at my expense,” Pinkie Pie said glaring at Pinkamena a bit.

“Not if you remove their power by laughing with them,” Pinkamena said, “Look, I was the same way when I was your age. I worried about what pon- I mean, people would think all the time. But then I realized something,” Pinkamena looked at Pinkie Pie and smiled brightly, “I like the things that I like! It doesn't matter what other people think! If I like something, then I'm going to like it, and I'm going to be up front about it! You gotta be the same way, kid.”

Pinkie Pie looked down thinking, “Just like what I like, huh?”

“Yep yep. And if other people have an issue with that, know that your real friends will always support you. You're important to them, Standard me. As long as you have that, you have nothing to worry about.”

“Applejewel doesn't have to sit with me…” Pinkie Pie said softly, “She could sit with her other friends, but she sits with me. Fluttershy always looks out for me nowadays, even though she's still a bitch sometimes. Even Dashie stays with me, even though she's starting to become the most popular girl in school. And, Twilight-” she was cut off by her phone chiming. She looked and saw a text message from Twilight ironically.

Sorry I can't be there in person. I'll make it up to you. Best friends for life.

Twilight

“Twilight…” Pinkie Pie said tearing up. Pinkamena smiled to herself and then stood up.

“I think my work here is done,” Pinkamena said, “You'll be just fine, Standard me.”

“Pinkie Pie. My name… is Pinkie Pie. That's what my friends call me,” Pinkie Pie said. Hearing that name made Pinkamena stop.

You're Pinkie Pie, huh…?” Pinkamena said, a sad smiling forming on her face, “I haven't heard that name in a while…”

“When you save Rarity, could you bring her back here? I wanted to, well…”

“Throw her a party?” Pinkamena asked, turning back to her alternate and smiling at her, “Remember, I'm you. I know how we think.”

Pinkie Pie nodded smiling, hugging Pinkamena from behind.

“Thanks for reminding me of what really matters, Pinkie Pie.”

Pinkamena, looking down and trembling, touched her standard counterpart's hand and held it, “Just glad… I could make you smile… Pinkie Pie…” with that, she pulled away from Pinkie Pie's embrace and sauntered out of the room, not once looking back. Once she got outside, she leaned against a wall, trying her hardest to hold in her tears.

“She… called me Pinkie Pie…” Pinkamena said, “I wish I could be her again… but I…” she wiped her eyes and composed herself, “I need to go wait for Twilight.”

As she walked out of the school, she felt a fragment of her old self return. Something in the form of a new power calling back to the person she used to be.

Party Cannon…


play song

Twilight stopped in front of the principal's office, thinking about everything that happened thus far. Here she was, about to ask her principal to come with her into another realm for safety. There was a time when she would dream of going on an adventure like this, but this was actually really terrifying.

“Rarity…” Twilight said, “Ever since you entered my life, it's been one crazy thing after another. I don't regret any of it, though. I feel almost like… you saved me. So, I'm going to save you in return,” she took a deep breath and then knocked on the door.

“It's open,” Celestia's voice answered immediately. Twilight opened the door, seeing Principal Celestia standing in front of her window, looking out at the sky.

“Celestia…” Twilight said.

“This world… is dying,” Celestia said somberly. Twilight's heart leaped out of her chest.

“Dying…? What do you mean…?” Twilight asked.

“Time has stopped moving forward,” Celestia said, “It will not move forward from today. The people have no idea, so they keep going like time is still going. If nothing is done, the world will simply run out of energy, and then cease to be.”

“It's because of Nightmare Moon, isn't it?” Twilight asked stepping into the office, “She's done something to this world.”

“I have no idea what she's thinking,” Celestia said, “She has to know what this would mean for the whole universe.”

“Celestia, we have to go now,” Twilight said, “Before Luna finds you, we have to take you to the Warp Gate. She can't reach us there.”

“How far are you willing to go for this world, Twilight?” Celestia asked. Twilight was taken aback by that question.

“How far would I go…?” Twilight asked.

“If you knew that saving the world would mean losing something, or someone of great value to you, would you do it?” Celestia asked turning to Twilight finally. Twilight didn't know how to answer that question, honestly. She didn't know what she'd have to sacrifice, so she couldn't really make that claim. Still though, something inside of her was thinking…

“For now, don't worry about it,” Celestia said with a sigh, “In the end, it might not be your decision to make. Let's go.”

“R-right,” Twilight said. As she and Celestia walked out of the office, they bumped into Pinkie Pie.

“Oh, Twilight!” Pinkie Pie said, looking a little brighter than usual actually.

“Hey, sorry I couldn't come see you directly,” Twilight said looking down.

“It's fine, Twilight. Really. I met my alternate, and we had a nice talk,” Pinkie Pie said. Twilight was a little surprised by how… happy she seemed.

“Oh, so you're okay then?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, I'm fine. I'm glad I ran into you though. I wanted to ask you something,” Pinkie Pie said.

“Okay, what's up?” Twilight asked.

“What world did she come from?” Pinkie Pie asked, “She feels almost like Rarity a bit.”

“I… don't know what world Pinkamena comes from,” Twilight admitted, “Huh, that's odd. Celestia, do you know where she comes from?”

Celestia closed her eyes pained, “Sadly, it's a world that wasn't meant to exist to begin with. Twilight, we can't tarry.”

“Right,” Twilight said turning to her friend, “I'm sorry, but I have to go now. Next time I come back, I'll have Rarity with me.”

“I know you will,” Pinkie Pie said hugging Twilight, “Good luck, Twilight.”

“Thanks,” Twilight said returning the hug. She parted from Pinkie Pie and lead Celestia outside. There she saw Pinkamea, but that wasn't all, for she also saw someone that neither of them wanted to see right now.

play song

Vice-Principal Luna…

“Hello Twilight,” Vice-Principal Luna said with a soft and dangerous smile. Twilight ran to Pinkamena's side and pulled out her bow, as Pinkamena already had her weapon out.

“Nightmare Moon!” Twilight cried. Celestia stepped forward and stood in front of them, getting right in front of Luna.

“You know the rules we set out, right?” Principal Celestia said seriously, “This world is a neutral ground. You know what that means, don't you?”

“I do,” Vice-Principal Luna said, “That means neither one of us is to attack the other here.”

“So I'd advice getting out of our way,” Principal Celestia stated. Vice-Principal Luna laughed.

“Oh, you misunderstand me, sister. I had no intention of stopping you. Actually, I'm here to see you all off,” Luna said.

“What?! Why?!” Twilight asked.

“What are you planning, Nightmare Moon?!” Pinkamena asked.

“You will see soon enough,” Vice-Principal Luna said stepping aside, “Go on. I won't stop you.”

Twilight was so terrified right now. The only thing scarier than Nightmare Moon trying to stop them was her not stopping them. If they got to the Land of the Gods, her plans would be ruined…

Right…?

Twilight shook it off and then stepped toward the statue. She pulled out the Gate Key and held it up, activating the portal. She then turned to Luna, who never once took her eyes off her.

“I'll be seeing you, Twilight,” Vice-Principal Luna said with a soft smile. Pinkamena walked over to Twilight's side and escorted her through the portal, and then moved to the side for Celesta to walk through.

Right when Celestia was about to cross through the portal, Luna grabbed her arm stopping her. Pinkamena was about to attack, but then Luna held her hand out letting an orb of darkness build up. She then leaned in close to Celestia's ear.

“I hope you enjoy the show, dear sister,” Luna said. She then released Celestia and stepped back. Celestia looked at Luna in confusion, but then went through the portal, Pinkamena following suit. Once alone, Vice-Principal Luna chuckled to herself.

“It'll be time soon, Crystal. Destroying that world will be all we need.”

Medieval: Teacher's Legacy

View Online

Medieval – Teacher's Legacy

play song

After Twilight and Pinkamena returned with Principal Celestia, the group immediately made their way to Medieval, where they saw it was already nighttime. It was here that Twilight filled everyone in on the status of the world.

“But… I not understand,” Fluttershy said as everyone emerged from the portal, “How world stand still if time keep going?”

“It sounds to me like the worlds are beginning to succumb to the process known as heat death,” DASH-379 stated. Poor Fluttershy gave an adorable pout.

“DASH… you use big word I not understand,” Fluttershy said, “What is heat death?”

“How to explain it,” Twilight said to herself, “Okay, so it's like when you don't have energy to use your element. The worlds are going through that.”

“Just know that if we don't fix this, it's going to be bad for everyone,” Pinkamena stated, “This happened to my world right before it was eaten by Lavos.”

“So we're running out of time then…” Applejack said to herself, arms folded and leaning against a nearby tree.

“Pinkamena, can you lead us to the statue?” Twilight asked.

“Well sure, but do you really want to go now?” Pinkamena asked, “I mean, it's super late now.”

“According to my internal clock, the time is currently 22:19,” DASH-379 said, “It might not be wise to travel around at this hour.”

“It isn't,” Applejack said stepping forward, “This hour is usually when the bandits start attacking. We should head to Canterlot and rest there.”

“Applejack, are you okay?” Twilight asked, “You seem upset about something.”

“I'm…” Applejack sighed, “It's just something that's been on my mind for a while is all. I'll talk to you all about it later. Let's head to the castle for now.”

With that, Applejack walked on ahead. Everyone watched her with worried expressions before following after her.

The walk to the castle was a quiet one, and no one was there in town to greet them as it was nighttime. Twilight really liked the feel of this world at night. There was a peaceful familiarity here, like she oddly belonged here.

Why she felt that, she didn't know.

When they arrived at the castle, the two knights standing guard saluted Applejack, who returned the salute before guiding the group inside. As they approached the throne room, they saw Medieval Twilight pacing back and forth.

“Twilight,” Applejack called out. Immediately Medieval Twilight turned to the group looking relieved.

“Applejack!” she cried running into the knight's arms, “By the Gods, you're okay! We were all worried sick about you!”

“I'm fine, Twilight,” Applejack said with a warm smile, “How are things here?”

“Well, the Viceroy is gone,” Twilight sighed, “We have a few soldiers looking around for her, but so far we've found nothing.”

“You might wanna give up on that search,” Pinkamena said walking forward and sitting on the arm of the throne, “Nightmare Moon's not showing up unless she wants to show up.”

“Um… who's this?” Medieval Twilight asked looking at Pinkamena with a frown. Applejack sighed.

“My group has gone through a few changes as you can see,” Applejack said, “This is… Pinkamena.”

“Wait a second…” Medieval Twilight looked at her closely and then gasped, “Applejack! That woman is the one who-”

“Shh!!!” Applejack shushed, “Keep it down!”

“Applejack, why is she traveling with you?!” Medieval Twilight whispered harshly, “And where's the girl that looked like the General?!”

“It's a long story,” Applejack said, “One that I'll share with you when it's just the two of us. Just… don't let word spread, alright? I sort of need her for something, and apparently she has her “reasons” for doing what she did.”

Medieval Twilight sighed pinching the bridge of her nose, “I'm going to start growing gray hairs over this…” she sighed, “I'll be in the library waiting for you.”

When Medieval Twilight left, Applejack turned to Twilight, DASH-379, and Fluttershy, “Alright, I'll lead you all to your rooms. You're free to explore the castle if you want, but try not to get lost.”

“Thanks Applejack,” Twilight said with a smile before looking at Pinkamena, “Let's go, Pinkamena.”

“Right! Coming bestie!” Pinkamena cheered skipping over to the group. Applejack took a deep breath and then lead them all to where the guest rooms were. There was plenty of space for everyone to have their own rooms. Even still, Fluttershy insisted on sharing her room with DASH-379. Pinkamena wanted to share a room with Twilight, but she insisted on having some time to herself.

end song

After getting everyone to their rooms and filling Medieval Twilight in on what happened, Applejack went to the courtyard to think. She had so many complicated thoughts, now that they were so far into their journey.

She got to see other worlds, places she couldn't even imagine existing. She saw herself, and learned that she could have ended up going in so many different directions in her life. She even got to see her teacher again in a way, and in a way got to see another side of her through Rarity.

But that wasn't all she saw. She also got to see how fragile life was in other worlds, and how no matter where you went, people somehow all remained the same. Then there was Lavos, who so far seemed like an unbeatable God.

Lavos… just how were they going to beat that thing? Could they beat it? What was the point of going forward if they didn't have the power to destroy Lavos? Even if they did destroy him, Lavos would just come back though, right?

“Rarity… what should I do…?” Applejack asked looking up at the night sky, “I can't lead my friends to their deaths, but if we don't do something, the whole universe will…”

She waited, almost wishing she could hear her Rarity's voice. She was so wise, and strong. Applejack loved her so much. She closed her eyes, and allowed herself to remember her beloved teacher/friend.

Flashback

play song

Applejack and the General always sparred at night in the courtyard. The General felt more comfortable out in the night air, and here they wouldn't be distracted. This was their special time, just for them. Since it was just training, neither of them wore their armor, and used training swords instead of actual blades.

Applejack used both hands and slashed with everything she had, while the General kept one arm behind her back, and seemed to use less energy. Still, Applejack just could NOT get past her defense. After clashing swords a few more times, the General exerted more energy to push Applejack to the ground and then held the wooden blade at her neck.

“I win again, Applejack,” General Rarity said, her expression stern. She was so magnificent, standing over Applejack. She wore a fancy white blouse, black pants and boots. Her long purple hair was graying out, showing her age yet only adding to her beauty. Compared to her, Applejack was still just a simple girl from the country.

Applejack closed her eyes and sighed sadly, “Damn it… you were barely even trying…”

General Rarity's expression softened to a warm, motherly smile, and she knelt down before Applejack and took her hand, “Now now, none of that. What have I told you about doubting yourself like that?”

“But… you're so much stronger than I am…” Applejack said somberly, “How am I ever going to be able to stand beside you if I can't even keep my sword in my hands?”

“Do you know why I'm able to knock your sword out of your hands like that?” General Rarity asked, “It has nothing to do with strength, you know.”

“Then… how?” Applejack asked. The General looked down at her own blade examining it.

“When you hold your sword, you see it as just a tool, and hold it as such,” General Rarity explained, “It's separate, apart from you.”

“But… swords are tools, right?” Applejack asked, confused when her teacher shook her head.

“A weapon may start out as a tool, but once it's in your hands, it becomes a part of YOU. You are the blade, and the blade is you. It's more akin to an arm or a leg.”

General Rarity stood up and walked over to the fountain, where she kept her spear when they sparred. She picked it up and began twirling it around, looking like a dancer with it. Her movements were fluid, each motion leading into another, and most of all, they were seamless.

“My spear is an extension of my own body and will,” General Rarity said as her dance ended, “I don't think about where I want my weapon to land where it will be most effective. I think about where I MYSELF want to go, and then let my spear move accordingly. Once you achieve the final form of mastery, and understand the last lesson of becoming a knight, only then will you be able to surpass me.”

“Surpass YOU?!” Applejack asked incredulous, “There's no way I could ever do that! You're the strongest knight in the kingdom!”

General Rarity walked over to Applejack and caressed her cheek lovingly, “Never underestimate your power, dear. You have great potential, and once you begin to grow apart from me, you'll truly begin to see it yourself.”

“You really believe in me that much…?” Applejack asked, looking into her teacher's eyes, feeling such strong adoration from the older woman before her.

“I do,” General Rarity said kissing Applejack on the cheek like she always did, “Come now, dear. It's been a long night. Let's get some rest.”

Applejack nodded, and picked up the training swords. As the two of them walked back into the castle, Applejack felt General Rarity wrap her arms around her and hold her close. Yes, she was playing favorites, but that was okay. Applejack didn't know why she was the General's favorite, but she loved being so close to her. Applejack leaned into her teacher as they walked, wrapping her free arm around HER in return.

“I love you so much… Rarity.”

End Flashback

Thinking about her teacher, tears began to build up in Applejack's eyes. She never got over her grief at losing her. She meant everything to Applejack. They were closer than mere friends, possibly closer than lovers. They were best friends, sisters even. Applejack didn't want to think of what life would have been like without her beloved teacher.

But now she had to go on. The General was gone, and now Applejack had to face an evil that she wasn't sure she was ready to win against.

“I am surprised that you are still up.”

Applejack looked behind her, seeing DASH-379 walk out into the courtyard.

“Hey DASH, just thinking about things,” Applejack said as DASH went to sit down next to her, “So, is it true? That you… killed the Rarity of your world?”

DASH-379 closed her eyes somberly, “It would appear so. I remember a little girl with hair a lot like Rarity's, and Master Tirek wished for me to kill her no matter what. Learning that she was Rarity… makes me feel… odd…”

“Sort of like you're partially the reason why Rarity fell into such darkness?” Applejack asked, DASH-379 nodding sadly.

“You were close to Rarity in this world, correct?” DASH-379 asked.

“Yeah, I was,” Applejack admitted, “I think that's why I'm having such a hard time right now. The woman that killed her is right here in the castle, and I can't do anything about it. I know we need her help, and something inside of me knows that she's not a bad person, but…”

“She still took away someone that you love,” DASH-379 said, “You desire closure.”

“Yes. I need it,” Applejack said, looking forward at the monument made in honor of the General, “It's the only way I'm ever going to move on with my life. That's… not all that's on my mind though. DASH, I need to ask you something.”

DASH-379 turned to Applejack and tilted her head, “I am still getting used to people asking for my opinion, let alone you of all people.”

“Believe me, I don't do this easily,” Applejack took a deep breath, “In your honest opinion, based on where we are now, how good are our chances of defeating Lavos?”

“If I were to make a proper estimate of our chances based on our current power level, skill level, and the quality of our weapons, I would say our chances are only a good 14.82 percent.”

“I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's not good for us,” Applejack said.

“Negative. It almost guarantees our immediate destruction,” DASH-379 said. Applejack groaned rubbing her eyes in frustration.

“I was afraid of that,” Applejack said, “That's big, coming from you of all things.”

“I may boast about being the top of my line, but as far as I know, my logic circuits are functioning normally,” DASH-379 stated, “I am aware of my limits, even if said limits frustrate me to no end.”

“We need an edge,” Applejack said, “Something that can actually hurt Lavos.”

“You are talking about a weapon,” DASH inquired.

“Yes. My teacher told me about a powerful blade called the Masamune, which was forged from something called the Rainbow Shell. We have the hilt with the blacksmith you guys met before.”

“You refer to Facet, correct?” DASH-379 asked.

“I forgot, you don't forget anything,” Applejack said, “But yes, Facet. He has the hilt in his shop, but we can't find the Rainbow Shell anywhere.”

“If I were to see the hilt, I might be able to scan it for fragments and then track the Rainbow Shell,” DASH suggested. Applejack was wide eyed.

“Wait, you're willing to help find this? You realize it's just a rumor, right?” Applejack asked.

“Affirmative, but at this point, it is the best chance that we have. If you had this sword, you might be able to stand a chance against Lavos.”

“T-thanks, DASH,” Applejack said, “I appreciate your input.”

“You are welcome,” DASH-379 said, “My battery is beginning to run low. I will return to my room to recharge. You should get some sleep as well.”

“Yeah, I will,” Applejack said. DASH-379 walked out of the courtyard, and Applejack took one more look at the General's monument. She stood up and walked over to the monument and placed a hand on it.

“Even if I get this sword, it's not going to make a difference if I don't understand the last lesson,” Applejack sighed. She walked back into the castle, unaware of Pinkamena looking out of her window at the monument as well.


play song

After everyone woke up and ate breakfast, they gathered outside of the castle to discuss their next move.

“We only need to destroy on more Guardian, and then we can finally get to the Land of the Gods,” Twilight said.

“Last guardian use yellow elements like DASH, and first Guardian use green elements like me. That mean this guardian use red elements like Applejack?” Fluttershy asked.

“That is highly likely,” DASH-379 stated, “Although, I do think that is an odd coincidence.”

“Yeah, why do the Guardians have the same elements as you guys?” Twilight asked, “Does each world have a base element of something.”

“Not quite,” Pinkamena said, catching everyone's attention, “There's a very personal reason for that, but you'll have to wait and see.”

“You can't just tell us now?” Applejack asked, “It would sure save us a lot of time and grief.”

“Not really,” Pinkamena said shrugging, “If I told you now, you wouldn't understand. You're just going to have to trust me on this one.”

“Hmph,” Applejack folded her arms looking away seriously. Twilight took note, as ever since they came back to Medieval Applejack seemed really upset about something.

“We go right to Guardian?” Fluttershy asked the group.

“Actually, there's something else we need to get first,” Applejack said, catching everyone's attention.

“What's that?” Twilight asked.

“I've been thinking about this for a while now,” Applejack started, “We're going on this journey to save Rarity and the entire universe, but let's not forget that we still need to defeat Lavos, something that so far we haven't been able to do. Made even worse with what Pinkamena said about us not even fighting the whole Lavos.”

“That's true,” Twilight said shuddering a bit, “If that was just a fragment of what Lavos could do, I don't want to know what the real Lavos is capable of.”

“Exactly. If we were to go after Lavos now, we wouldn't stand a chance even if Rarity joined us again. That's why we need an edge, and I think I know what sort of edge we need.”

“What edge?” Fluttershy asked.

“Facet is working on repairing a legendary sword for me called the Masamune. All we need now is the Rainbow Shell to make the blade,” Applejack explained.

“If we go to Facet's place first, I can scan the hilt and begin a search for similar material within the area,” DASH-379 added, “Applejack and I discussed this last night, and I agree with her plan.”

“Eh, it's worth a shot,” Pinkamena said, “I mean, I don't know how much one special sword is going to do against the Time Devourer, but any chance is better than no chance at all.”

“So that's what we'll do,” Twilight said, “I really hope this doesn't turn into a super long side quest…”

The group made their way to the workshop, where they heard a familiar sound right at the door.

“I CAN'T FIND MY HAMMER!!!”

“WELL WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I KNOW WHERE IT IS?!!!”

“YOU WERE IN MY WORKSHOP LAST NIGHT!!!”

“PUTTING YOUR LAZY ASS TO BED, THAT'S WHAT!!! WHAT USE WOULD I HAVE WITH THAT THING?!!!”

“Glad to see they're still full of spirit…” Applejack said with an exasperated smile.

“For the love of God, we're still outside…” Twilight groaned, “How are they this loud?”

They reluctantly walked into the workshop, where they saw Sapphire standing behind the counter with a peaceful smile.

“Applejack! You and your friends came back!” Sapphire called out running to them and hugging everyone.

“Hey Sapphire. How is everything?” Applejack asked.

“Well, besides everyone panicking a bit from the Queen's disappearance and that monster appearing a few days ago, everything is fine,” Sapphire explained, “Facet and I are in good spirits, so that's good.”

“Seriously?” Twilight asked, “Because no offense, but you sounded like you were arguing just now.”

“Oh, there's no need to worry,” Sapphire said waving it off, “That's just how he and I talk. We're actually just fine, love.”

Almost as if on cue, Facet walked out with a relieved smile.

“I found my hammer,” Facet said. Sapphire walked over to him and hugged him.

“See? You were just overlooking it,” Sapphire said, “By the way, we have visitors.”

Facet beamed when he saw the group, “You're alive! Thank the Gods!” he exclaimed happily.

“Believe me, we almost didn't make it,” Applejack said. Facet looked around confused.

“Where's the girl that looked like the General?” Facet asked, worried when he saw everyone look away somberly, “No… don't tell me she's…”

“She is not dead,” DASH-379 said, “But she is no longer with us at the moment.”

“You should all come into my workshop,” Facet stated, “We can talk about it there.”


It took a while, but they each took turns telling Facet and Sapphire what happened after they faced Nightmare Moon and Lavos. Needless to say, both of them looked shocked and horrified.

“By the Gods…” Facet said running his hands through his head.

“At least the Queen is safe,” Sapphire added, “We should count our blessings.”

“That's true and all,” Applejack said folding her arms, “But we're still way in over our heads here.”

“Do you know what you're going to do next?” Facet asked.

“I'm going to rescue Rarity,” Twilight said, “I can't go on without her. After that, we can all discuss how we're going to defeat Lavos.”

Facet nodded in approval, “I like the way you think. Alright then, I'll help,” he said getting up, “What can I do?”

“I need to see the hilt of the Masamune,” DASH-379 stated, “I can then begin a world wide search for the Rainbow Shell.”

“How is that even possible?” Sapphire asked, clearly confused.

“Dashie isn't a human,” Pinkamena said, “She's something more akin to a golem, but actually alive.”

“I don't quite understand what that means, but I won't question it,” Facet said, rising up and walking over to the hilt, which was hanging on the wall over the forge. He picked it up and handed it to DASH-379, who immediately scanned it.

“Scanning for Rainbow Shell fragments,” DASH stated, “Scan complete. It is just as I thought, there are indeed fragments of the Rainbow Shell on this hilt.”

“So, we find rest of Rainbow Shell now?” Fluttershy asked hopefully.

“I will begin my worldwide scan now,” DASH-379 said looking up, “Complete. The Rainbow Shell is 30 kilometers south west of this location,” she handed the hilt back to a dumbfounded Facet, “You may now shower me with gratitude and positive reception.”

“There's that arrogance we know and love,” Twilight said shaking her head, “Seriously DASH, thanks.”

“I've never seen anything like that before in my life…” Facet said, “So, you know where it is now?”

“Yep, and if I'm correct, it's on the way to where we need to be anyway,” Pinkamena said, “We can kill two birds with one stone this way.”

“Perfect,” Applejack said, “We'll be back with the Rainbow Shell.”

“I'll be right here waiting for you,” Facet said, “You all take care.”

“Good luck girls,” Sapphire said, “You're our favorite customers, so make sure you come back safely.”

“We will, I'll make sure of it,” Applejack said before turning to the group, “Let's not waste anymore time.”

“I will lead the way,” DASH-379 stated, “Let us depart immediately.”

With that, the group made their way out of the shop, to both where the Rainbow Shell was, and the last Guardian. Hopefully, they would be making their way to the Land of the Gods soon. Yet something didn't seem right.

Why hadn't they seen Rarity or Nightmare Moon at all?

Medieval: The Final Guardian

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Medieval – The Final Guardian

play song

Twilight and her group continued their way to where the Rainbow Shell was, which forced them to cross through an old village. They stopped briefly and looked around, taking in the peaceful place in.

“Hey, is this… Ponyville…?” Twilight asked. Applejack turned to Twilight smiling.

“How'd ya know?” Applejack asked.

“This is sort of where Ponyville is in my world I think,” Twilight said, “I don't know, it just felt familiar to me.”

“I have matched this area with all of my maps, and can confirm that this small town stands where the Ponyville District lies in my world,” DASH-379 said turning to Fluttershy, “Your village matches this spot as well.”

“Village is in same area?” Fluttershy said tilting her head confused, “Not fully understand, but Ponyville was original name of village before Chief and Seer settle there.”

“Starting to see the connections, huh?” Pinkamena asked walking forward a bit, “All the worlds have the same locations and in the same areas.”

“Just like Guardians,” Fluttershy reasoned, “They all in same spot in each world too.”

“Correct,” Pinkamena said, “Makes you wonder just how each world is separated, doesn't it?”

“If that's true, then does that mean there's a statue in Standard too?” Twilight asked, “That would make sense, right?”

“You would think, but your world is a little different,” Pinkamena explained, “Their worlds are the only ones who need Guardians, since they're the ones being tested.”

“I am still curious about why that is, but it will have to wait for another time,” DASH-379 said, “We need to proceed onward.”

end song

As everyone started walking, they noticed that Applejack wasn't moving. Instead, she was looking out at a meadow with a somber expression on her face.

“Applejack?” Fluttershy asked, “Why stop moving?”

“Oh, sorry,” Applejack said snapping out of her daze, “Just… remembering something that's all.”

“Is that place important to you?” Twilight asked.

“Yeah, it is…” Applejack said walking on ahead, “It's where my teacher and I first met.”

Everyone shrugged and ran after her, DASH-379 quickly reminding them that she was leading the team today. As they walked, Applejack's mind wandered back to that time. The time when she first ever laid eyes on the woman who changed her life.

Flashback

play song

The enemy came out of nowhere, trying to take over Ponyville. Thankfully, the Queen's Knights appeared and protected everyone. Still, Applejack was doing her best to rally the people and get them to safety.

She looked out toward the meadow and saw a little girl running away, but she tripped and fell to the ground. Applejack ran over to her immediately.

“Hey! Are you okay?” Applejack asked. The little girl nodded, but then gasped pointing behind her. Applejack looked to see an enemy soldier prepped to attack her. She held the child close shielding her and prepared for the attack, but instead she heard the clash of metal. She looked up and saw someone standing over her blocking the attack.

It was the leader of the Queen's knights. This knight wore black and golden armor, had a purple cape, and a fancy helmet. Unlike most of the knights though, this person didn't wield a sword and shield. Instead, he had a long fancy spear with a diamond etched at the base.

“You need to get out of here!” The knight said, his voice striking Applejack a bit. It was intense, but softer than she was expecting. Applejack nodded and rushed off with the child. As she ran, she looked back at the knight who rescued her. Somehow, it just didn't feel right leaving him there.

Applejack ran over to one of the other adults and gave the child to him, “Take care of her!” Applejack requested before running back into the meadow. As she ran, she grabbed one of the swords of a dead soldier and immediately knocked down a knight about to attack her savior from the back.

“I thought I told you to get out of here!” the knight shouted as he and Applejack stood back to back.

“Yeah, you did, but I'm a little hard headed!” Applejack replied. She could almost feel the knight smirking before the two of them worked together to fight off the enemies. While her style lacked technique, Applejack was able to hold her own and stayed with the knight for the rest of the attack.

Once the enemies cleared out, Applejack turned to the knight.

“Thanks for saving me back there,” Applejack said. The knight removed his helmet, surprising the hell out of Applejack. Said knight… was actually the most beautiful older woman Applejack had ever seen.

“I should be the one thanking you,” the knight said with a soft smile, “My name is Rarity, by the way.”

“A-Applejack…” Applejack said shaking the woman's hand. Such intensity and ferocity came from someone so beautiful and elegant?

“Still, that was quite foolhardy, coming back to fight after I ordered you to retreat,” Rarity continued, “If you're going to be one of my soldiers, you better learn to follow orders.”

Wait, did she say… one of HER soldiers…?

“Um… what do you…” before Applejack could finish her thought, one of the other knights ran over to them.

“General, we secured most of the civilians, but some were unfortunately killed in the attack,” he said with a salute. Rarity looked absolutely crestfallen and placed a hand over her heart.

“Then this mission was a failure,” she said somberly, “Organize a vigil for those lost today, and let's prepare to head back to the Kingdom.”

“Yes sir!” he said running off. Applejack couldn't take her eyes off this woman. She seemed to almost internalize the deaths of those lost. Powerful, elegant, yet still soft in a way.

Rarity walked off, but then stopped turning to Applejack, “Well? Come along.”

“Um, you mean, when you said earlier that…” Applejack said.

“You'd probably end up following me anyway, so I figured why not just cut right to that point,” Rarity continued, “Come now. Would you rather spend your life wasting your talent and drive here, or refine your skill and make something of your life?”

Applejack thought about that. She was close to her family, and didn't want to leave them, but this was a once in a lifetime chance. Besides, this woman seemed to take interest in her. If Applejack went with her, could she stay close to her…?

She didn't even have to think about it. Would her family be upset at her? Probably. Was she abandoning her familial duties? Maybe a bit. But she needed to be next to this woman. She had to know her, and earn her respect.

So on that day, she left her family and simple life behind, and chose to become a knight in the service of Queen Celestia. That was also the day she became the personal student of General Rarity.

End Flashback

Applejack wondered if her family still lived here. It had been so long since she saw them, or even heard from them. By now her grandmother had passed on. Sadly Applejack never got to apologize to her. She left her home so she could follow Rarity and be by her side.

And what did she have to show for it? Sure she was a strong knight, now Captain of the Royal Guard, but her beloved friend was now gone. In the end, was it worth it?

I knew her, that much is all that matters.

I wouldn't trade any of that for the world.

end song


DASH-379 lead them into a large cave full of glowing crystals. It was scary thinking of possibly fighting one of those giant statues here, but once they reached what was the main section of the cave, Twilight calmed down considerably.

The area was wide open, much like the other areas where they faced this things. It also looked sort of like a metallic structure.

“This is definitely the place,” Pinkamena said looking around, “See that? There's our Guardian.”

She pointed ahead, and the group saw a large statue sitting down in a throne. Like all of the others, it looked sort of like a knight, but this one actually had a large sword thrust into the ground next to it.

“It has a sword,” Twilight said, “Of course it has a sword. Why not?”

“My scans indicate that the Rainbow Shell is near the statue as well,” DASH-379 said, “I believe we will have to beat it in order to get the shell.”

“Then we really are killing two birds with one stone here,” Applejack said drawing her sword, “Everyone, get ready. This is going to be our toughest fight yet.”

Everyone drew their weapons and approached the statue. Right on cue, the entire room began to shake.

You who seek enlightenment…

I am one who guards the door to Zenith…

Only one who passes my test may enter…

Prepare yourself…

play song

The statue slowly rose to its feet and picked up its sword, getting in a fighting stance. It was scary since so far this guardian was the only one to do so.

“We're looking at a tough one here!” Applejack said. DASH-379 looked behind it and saw what looked like a multicolored spiral shell etched in the wall.

“Rainbow Shell located,” DASH-379 said.

“Let's hurry and take him out so we can get that sword finished!” Pinkamena said. Everyone got in their fighting stances and prepared for what was definitely going to be their toughest fight so far.

The Guardian started by charging up it's red element, and then cast what looked like Vigor on itself. It then immediately cast another element on itself, charging up it's body with even more energy and causing its body to glow brightly. (Bide)

The group wasted no time scattering so they wouldn't all get hit by its attack. As she ran, Twilight fired her arrows at the Guardian. She did little to no damage on it, but she could feel her energy building up which was more important.

She stopped running and charged up her white element, casting Healing Stream on everyone in the room with her. Pinkamena and DASH-379 both rushed at the guardian, taking turns attacking with their weapons, which sadly also seemed to do very little. Both of them jumped away from it and charged up their elements at the same time.

Pinkamena snapped her finger summoning a large ice cannon in front of her. She fired at the Guardian, temporarily freezing it. DASH-379 then rushed at it and kicked it rapidly with her leg charged up with electricity, eventually doing a back flip kick breaking it out of the ice. (Double Tech: Frostbite)

The Guardian slammed its blade onto the ground, creating a shock wave that knocked DASH-379 back. It then quickly charged up its red element again, only this time it's chest opened up revealing a large red gem stone that looked to be charging up energy.

“Something tells me we need to stop that NOW!” Twilight cried out. Fluttershy ran over to the Guardian and slashed with her daggers to build up energy. At the same time, Applejack attacked it with her sword. Once they had enough, Fluttershy jumped away and charged up her green element, using Razor Leaf on the Guardian.

It didn't even flinch.

“Attack not work?!” Fluttershy cried helplessly. Applejack looked at that and then charged up her red element. She then slammed her sword onto the ground causing a tower of fire to shoot up at the Guardian. That seemed to do something, but it still wasn't fazed.

Pinkamena quickly used what remaining energy she had left to cast Heal on DASH-379, “Everyone brae yourselves! This is gonna hurt!”

As soon as she said that, the Guardian fired a large red beam out of its gem downward. It's entire upper body spun around causing the laser to create a large circle around it, and then the entire area exploded with fire, knocking everyone back. (Over-Heat) After that attack, the Guardian fell to one knee, it's entire body smoking almost like DASH-379 after using ATHENA-Mode for too long.

Twilight forced herself to her feet and fired her arrows as best as she could, thankful to see that her attacks hit. Once she had enough, she charged up her white element, casting Mass Rejuvenation on everyone.

“It looks tired,” Twilight reasoned, “How is that possible?”

“It's body temperature has exceeded 300 degrees Centigrade,” DASH-379 stated, “I believe the integrity of it's outer frame has also dropped by 37 percent.”

“In English, please!” Pinkamena fussed.

“We can start actually hurting the damn thing now!” Applejack shouted, “DASH, you're with me!”

DASH nodded and charged up her yellow element, “Releasing all limiters! Activating ATHENA Mode!”

Once she entered her altered state, Applejack rushed at the Guardian and slashed it with everything she had. She then jumped back and charged up her red element while DASH-379 charged up her yellow element. The two of them then rushed to either side of the Guardian and used Beat Rush on it.

The Guardian slowly rose to its feet and swung its sword, sending a shock wave at DASH-379 and Applejack knocking them away. It then used it's red element, charging its body again with Bide.

“What is it doing with that?” Twilight asked, “That's not the first time this one used that move.”

“It looks like it's storing energy,” Applejack said, “I think we might need help from our sixth member, don't you?”

Twilight nodded and used her remaining energy to charge her white element, “Spike! Come forth!”

Spike's signature howl was heard throughout the room. A second later, a barrage of Shadow Balls fired down on the Guardian, doing mediocre damage as it stepped back a bit. Spike then walked over to Twilight, who pet him lovingly before getting back in her fighting stance.

Fluttershy rushed at the Guardian and slashed with her daggers to gather energy. She then charged up her green element, using Reinforce on everyone to raise their defense. Pinkamena did a few attacks on the Guardian as well, casting Ice Body on Twilight, raising her defense further.

The Guardian charged up its red element, and then fired a red laser at the ceiling. Molten rocks then fell down on top of the party. DASH-379 and Fluttershy managed to dodge all of them, but the rest of the group wasn't so lucky.

When the Guardian charged up its red element again, this time revealing that red gemstone, DASH-379 gritted her teeth.

“This is not good!” DASH stated, “The Guardian is getting ready to use that large attack again!”

“We need to stop it somehow!” Pinkamena fussed, “Any bright ideas?”

Mistress, I have a thought.

“Huh?” Twilight said turning to Spike, “What's your idea?”

The gem looks to be important. That might be its power source. Shall I try firing on it?

“If you think it'll work, then by all means,” Twilight requested. Spike nodded and rushed at the Guardian, thrashing and hitting it with his tail. Once he seemed to have enough energy, Spike jumped back to Twilight's side and howled loudly, charging up his black element. He then fired Shadow Balls out of his mouth at the Guardian, hitting the gem instead of the main body.

The Guardian made an odd sound and faltered a bit. It looked like that actually seriously hurt it.

“Girls! Attack the gem on its chest!” Twilight commanded, “That's the only way to seriously hurt it right now!”

“Understood!” DASH-379 said. Before she overheated, she charged up her yellow element and fired a Charged Shot at the gemstone. She would have fired again, but he felt herself hitting her limit and fell to one knee, “Systems… overheating…!”

Applejack slashed at the main body of the Guardian a bit to gather energy, but then jumped back really far charging up her red element. She prepared to fire her red laser to use Sword Dance, but then stopped squinting a bit at the gemstone.

“Damn it! How am I supposed to get my sword to hit it!” She asked, thinking about how far it was. Even being up close was dangerous. If she missed this, her entire attack would be useless. She then felt something, almost like a gentle hand touch hers.

Remember what I taught you…

You and your sword are one…

“Hold on… that's right…” Applejack said to herself, “So it's not my sword that has to hit it…” she relaxed her arm a bit, tightening the grip she had on her blade as a result, “It's me!”

She spun her sword around a bit and shot a red beam at the Guardian, hitting it's gemstone point blank. She then immediately appeared before the gemstone and used Sword Dance, actually cracking the gemstone. The Guardian fell to one knee as Applejack landed back on the ground and jumped away.

Fluttershy charged up her remaining green element and then jumped into the center of the room, using Tail Spin as it was her strongest technique. Twilight fired at the Guardian with her arrows, and then turned to Pinkamena and nodded. Both of them charged up their respective elements and used Healing Rain on everyone.

Applejack didn't give it a chance to get up. Instead, she charged up her red element and cast Vigor on herself. She then rushed at the Guardian holding her sword ready, almost able to feel General Rarity running next to her.

Now! As one!

“Right! Together!” Applejack shouted. She then jumped up to the gemstone, and slashed at a diagonal at the Guardian, which somehow now had an X shaped slash mark on it. Needless to say though, the Guardian's gemstone shattered, and it's entire body became lifeless.

Well done…

The path to enlightenment has now been opened…

Proceed now to the door to Zenith…

Applejack sheathed her sword and then looked up at the remains of the gemstone. How had that other slash appeared. Was it possible that somehow…

“Great work, bestie!” Pinkamena called out, snapping Applejack out of her moment, “That idea was perfect!”

“Hey, it wasn't like it was my idea,” Twilight said as Pinkamena hugged her, “Spike was the one who came up with that.”

DASH-379 walked over to the Rainbow Shell. It was big, but not too big for her to pick up. She pulled it out of the wall and then held it over her head.

“Mission complete,” DASH-379 said, “Let us return to Facet's workshop.”

“DASH want help?” Fluttershy asked as they walked out of the cave.

“That would not be wise, Fluttershy. This object is much to heavy for a normal human to lift,” DASH explained.

“Hey,” Twilight said to Applejack, “Good job there.”

“T-thanks,” Applejack said. As they left the cave, Applejack looked back at the Guardian. Had she finally learned the final lesson? And also, had her teacher's spirit come back to fight by her side one last time?

Questions for another time, Applejack thought as she followed her group out of the cave. Now that they got this far, there was one more thing that she needed to do. Only after this, could her teacher finally rest.

Medieval: Masamune and the Final Lesson

View Online

Medieval – Masamune and the Final Lesson

play song

Needless to say, when DASH-379 dropped the gigantic shell in front of Facet, he was shocked beyond belief.

“The Rainbow Shell has been acquired,” DASH-379 stated. Facet looked at it, and then at DASH-379, blinking a few times.

“You… carried this all the way here…?” Facet asked.

“It was quite easy, actually,” DASH admitted, “A lesser, more inferior model would have a harder time.”

“Facet, can you finish it now?” Applejack asked.

“With this? Most definitely. It's going to take till tomorrow, so if you can wait that long…”

“It's probably for the best that we wait a bit,” Twilight said, “That way we can rest up and be ready for whatever happens in the Land of the Gods.”

Fluttershy's stomach growled, and she held it pouting a bit, “Hungry…”

“Yes, yes, we can get food while we're there too,” Twilight sighed rolling her eyes.

Pinkamena stretched, “So we're heading back to the castle then?” Pinkamena asked, “Cause I could use a good meal, a nice warm bath, and a good night's sleep.”

“Yeah… I guess,” Applejack said, looking at Pinkamena with narrowed eyes.

“Come back here tomorrow at noon,” Facet said, “I'll have this ready for you by then.”

“Thanks Facet,” Applejack said. She immediately left out of the workshop, confusing the group as she was usually more friendly around Facet.

“Applejack mad?” Fluttershy asked tilting her head.

“I can't imagine why,” Twilight said, “We're about to finish this major stretch of our journey. She should be happy.”

“She has been odd since we arrived in Medieval,” DASH-379 stated, “Last night she was oddly emotional, apparently thinking about her teacher.”

“Ah yes,” Facet said, “General Rarity. The Queen's top knight for years.”

“She and Applejack were close, right?” Twilight asked.

“Very close. Rarity was significantly older than Applejack, but the love they shared was honest. Applejack was the only person Rarity considered a friend besides Viceroy Luna. When she was killed, something within Applejack died as well. She saw her as almost a mother figure, so when she died…”

“Poor Applejack,” Fluttershy said somberly, “I never know Rarity from my world, but know how it feels to lose close friend.”

DASH-379 turned to Pinkamena, who just looked away folding her arms.

“We should let you get to work,” Twilight said, “Thank you sir.”

“Not a problem at all, little lady,” Facet said, “I'll have this finished by tomorrow.”

The group left his workshop, and Facet looked at the Rainbow Shell, “Well then, it's just you and me now, huh? If this is all I can do to help, then I'll make the best damn sword in the world,” he clapped his hands together, “Time to get to work.”


When they got outside, they didn't see Applejack. She probably just went back to the castle, Twilight reasoned. As such, they all started heading back there themselves. Halfway there though, DASH-379 stopped.

play song

“Pinkamena, we cannot ignore this,” DASH stated seriously. Everyone stopped, and Pinkamena sighed shrugging her shoulders.

“Let me guess, the Rarity of this world?” Pinkamena asked.

“We know that you killed Rarity in this world,” DASH-379 said.

“Yeah, just like you killed Rarity in your world,” Pinkamena pointed out.

“That is true, however, I owned up to that, and that was before I had free will. You on the other hand killed Rarity of your own accord. You also attempted to kill our Rarity numerous times.”

“I guess I'm just a terrible person, right?” Pinkamena asked, turning to DASH-379 and leaning forward with a sneer, “You know, that's the one thing that's common about the two of us, isn't it? You and I are both terrible people who just shouldn't even be alive. I'm a heartless killer, and you're a killing machine.”

“DASH not killing machine,” Fluttershy said taking DASH-379's hand and glaring at Pinkamena, “DASH is good robot, and good friend.”

“No Fluttershy, Dashie here is still a killing machine. She's just one with a heart and soul,” Pinkamena continued walking up to DASH-379 and standing in front of her, “You blame me for hurting Applejack, and want to call me a heartless demon, but don't forget your sins too, Athena.”

DASH-379 gritted her teeth and tightened her fists, “You…!”

“Pinkamena, stop!” Twilight cried out, “God, what is wrong with you? DASH already knows what she did, and she won't forget her sin, but I'm sorry, but it really does feel like you don't feel any remorse for what you did to Rarity in this world.”

“Who says I don't,” Pinkamena said softly, “I already accepted what I am. Unlike some people though, I'm not trying to hide it.”

She then turned and walked into the castle, pushing past Twilight. Her heart was racing looking at Pinkamena, and something within her wanted to cry.

“DASH okay?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes Fluttershy, I am alright,” DASH-379 said, “That was… odd.”

“You sensed it too, right?” Twilight asked.

“She is holding something back,” DASH-379 stated, “What that something is, I am not sure.”

“Pinkamena tell me that she have good reason for what she did,” Fluttershy said, “Maybe… not good to judge her until we know full reason.”

“I know she's a good person,” Twilight said, “It's strange, but something inside is telling me that Pinkamena isn't evil. She keeps acting like she is though…”

“We can question her about it in the morning,” DASH-379 said, “Fluttershy, you should get some rest. Lately you have been very low on energy.”

Fluttershy nodded, “Thank you, DASH,” Fluttershy said. As they walked into the castle, Twilight thought about Pinkamena and that feeling she kept getting. Did she know Pinkamena in another life? If so, was that feeling she was getting pertaining to the Pinkamena she remembered?

end song


Once everyone had gone to sleep, Applejack began making her way to the guestrooms. She walked right over to Pinkamena's room, not even bothering to knock. Inside, she saw Pinkamena sitting on her window looking outside.

“Hey,” Applejack called, “We need to talk.”

“Been waiting for this talk,” Pinkamena stated. She sighed, got up, and walked over to Applejack, who without another word lead her out to the courtyard. They stopped in front of the General's monument, the night wind and rain matching the mood of what was about to happen.

“So, here we are,” Applejack said darkly, her back turned to Pinkamena, “Do you know what this is next to us?”

Pinkamena looked at the monument and read the words engraved on the front, “In honor of General Rarity Belle, a true knight to the very end…”

“She didn't want her body to be preserved, so we had her cremated with heavy fire elements,” Applejack explained, “Her ashes are scattered all around us.”

“Wow… that's… kinda morbid, not gonna lie,” Pinkamena said with a nod, “Coming from me of all people, too.”

Applejack took a deep breath, “Can you imagine how it was, being one of the knights requested to cremate her? Being the one who had to lead it because she has the strongest flame elements?”

“I bet it was rough,” Pinkamena said simply, resting her hands behind her head, “Sort of makes it final, I guess. Like you can't deny that she's actually gone.”

“Didn't you think it was funny…?” Applejack said with a dark edge, “Out of everyone in the group, I was the one who never outright attacked you. I was vocal of my distaste for you, but relatively speaking, I was pretty civil.”

“Yeah, I noticed,” Pinkamena said, “Not that the others don't have a reason to hate me, but you of all people have more of a reason than anyone.”

“You're right, I do,” Applejack said, slowly drawing her sword, “I've been waiting for this moment for a long time…”

“What's so special about this moment?” Pinkamena asked, looking at Applejack seriously.

“We've fought the final guardian, and are now on our way to the Land of the Gods,” Applejack said, “That means… we don't need you anymore!” Applejack pointed her sword at Pinkamena and launched a fireball at her, Pinkamena using her bladed hoop to block it before getting in her fighting stance.

“So that's what this is about?” Pinkamena asked with a sinister smirk, “Wanted to get me alone so you could kill me yourself?”

play song

“My teacher… will be avenged!” Applejack shouted getting in her fighting stance, “One way or another, I will put her soul to rest!”

“If you think this will satisfy you, then come on!” Pinkamena shouted, “Let's see if you have the guts!”

The two of them rushed at each other and clashed weapons. After pushing against each other for a bit, Pinkamena spun around forcing Applejack to jump away. She then charged up her blue element and fired five Icicles at Applejack, who rolled out of the way of most, but then blocked the final few with her shield. She then charged up her own element, casting Vigor on herself.

Applejack then rushed at Pinkamena, slashing wildly with her now empowered blade. Pinkamena spun around, danced, and blocked every attack. When Pinkamena flipped away, Applejack charged up her red element again, this time shooting a red beam out of her blade and hitting Pinkamena with Sword Dance.

Pinkamena fell back from that attack, but then flipped to her feet and charged up her blue element. She then used Heal on herself before charging at Applejack. The two of them slashed violently at each other, blocking each attack sent by the other.

Pinkamena kicked Applejack back a bit, and then spun her blade on her arm. Applejack blocked the attack, but was still knocked further away. Pinkamena then charged up her blue element again, this time causing Water Towers to shoot up around the entire courtyard. Applejack ran around the field out of the way of each attack, and then charged up her red element thrusting her sword into the ground, making a Fire Tower shoot out of the ground under Pinkamena, knocking her to the ground briefly.

As she got up, Applejack rushed at her and continued to slash, screaming in rage the entire time. Pinkamena blocked most of her slashes, but had to move out of the way of most of them. Applejack raised her sword to slash downward, but Pinkamena rolled out of the way just in time, as Applejack's blade left a small crater upon impact.

Pinkamena rushed at Applejack and danced around slashing wildly herself. She managed to break through Applejack's defense and knock her away, and Pinkamena then spun around with her hoop, knocking Applejack back into Rarity's monument.

Applejack rose to her feet, and immediately charged at Pinkamena. With each clash of their weapons, there was a clash of thunder and lightning around them. The weather seemed almost like it was getting worst as their fight went on too.

Pinkamena and Applejack both charged up their elements at the same time. Pinkamena launched Icicles, and Applejack shot Fireballs, both of their attacks meeting in the middle and turning into vapor. The two of them once again charged at each other and clashed once again, meeting each other's eyes.

Stop this…!

This isn't becoming of a knight…!

Applejack shook her head and pushed Pinkamena onto the ground, causing her to drop her bladed hoop. Before she could grab it, Applejack kicked it away and raised her blade to slash downward again. Once again Pinkamena flipped to her feet just in time, but then Applejack charged up her red element again, this time jumping into the air and leaping toward Pinkamena. When she came down, she thrust her sword into the ground causing an explosion of fire around her, blowing Pinkamena far back onto the ground. (Explosion)

end song

Applejack looked over at Pinkamena as she lied down on the ground helplessly. She slowly walked over to her and raised her sword. Pinkamena opened her eyes and looked up at Applejack. All she had to do was lower her sword and it would be over. She could put her teacher to rest. She'd finally get justice. Rarity would finally be able to rest.

“So… are you going to do it…?” Pinkamena asked slowly, “Are you going to kill me…?”

Applejack felt something holding her back. It was like something as holding her arm stopping her.

“Come on then…” Pinkamena said laughing, “End it already…”

Applejack gritted her teeth in frustration. Why couldn't she just slash?! What was wrong with her…?!

“It's like you said… you don't need me anymore…” Pinkamena continued, her voice cracking a bit oddly, “I'm a horrible person… a monster… so just kill me… like you want to…”

Something within Applejack was faltering. Pinkamena didn't look right. Was she…?

“Please Applejack…” Pinkamena begged, “Please kill me…”

Applejack looked closely at Pinkamena, finally realizing what was happening. Her face wasn't just wet from the rain. It was wet from her tears.

Pinkamena was crying

play song

“Why…?” Applejack asked trembling, “WHY DID YOU DO IT?!!! SHE WAS MY BEST FRIEND!!! I LOVED HER MORE THAN ANYTHING, AND YOU KILLED HER IN COLD BLOOD!!!! WHY DID YOU KILL MY RARITY?!!!”

“What would knowing change…?” Pinkamena asked, now outright sobbing, “I still killed her… Would that make you hate me any less…?”

“I need to know… why you did it…!” Applejack said through gritted teeth, tears falling from her eyes too.

“I… wanted to save you…” Pinkamena admitted, shocking Applejack, who immediately knelt down close to her and gripped Pinkamena by her top.

“Save me…? Save me?! How does killing Rarity count as saving me!?”

“SHE WASN'T SUPPOSED TO LIVE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!” Pinkamena screamed desperately, “The only reason she was alive was because the Viceroy was protecting her! Lavos was coming here next, and the only way I could save this world was to kill Rarity! What was I supposed to do?!”

She completely collapsed now, sobbing heavily as Applejack held her. Applejack's eyes were wide looking at Pinkamena. How much was she holding in?

“I had to… before it was too late…” Pinkamena continued, “I couldn't save Equestria… but maybe I could protect Medieval… I know it was horrible, and I hate myself for it…” she looked into Applejack's eyes intensely, “But I did what I knew would keep you safe! If that makes me a horrible person, then I get it! I'm terrible! I'm nothing but a heartless monster! JUST END ME SO I CAN BURN IN HELL WHERE I BELONG!!!”

Applejack released Pinkamena and just looked at her in shock as Pinkamena fell to the ground and broke down before her. Right now, it was actually impossible to hate her. It was true from what they learned about Rarity. She wasn't supposed to exist, so essentially what Pinkamena did was, horribly enough, the right thing to do.

But that wasn't all. Something about the way she was crying. It seemed like… Pinkamena actually felt guilty. Horribly guilty too. It was then that she realized what she was about to do. She was about to kill someone who was innocent.

“Damn it…” Applejack sighed, “This isn't right…”

Pinkamena looked up at Applejack surprised, “W-what…?”

“You didn't just kill the Rarity of this world. You killed the most important person in my life. She was my everything. If I could have spent the rest of my days by her side, I'd have been eternally happy. I never recovered from her death, and swore that I'd hate her killer for the rest of my life.

“However… while I hate what you did, even I can't ignore the reason behind it. Knowing that Rarity wasn't supposed to live just doesn't sit well with me. Tell me, if there was another way, would you have taken it…?”

“Yes!” Pinkamena cried immediately, “I didn't want to kill Rarity, but I thought it was the only way to save you and the others! It was either lose one of my friends, or lose all five!”

“So that's it…” Applejack said with a heavy sigh, “I don't understand everything. Actually, I don't understand any of this. But, I can sense it. Somewhere out there in the universe, we were probably really close,” she rose to her feet and started walking back into the castle.

“Wait… don't leave me like this…!” Pinkamena begged, “I can't do this anymore…! I killed Rarity! I hurt Twilight! I did so much against you guys! You have to kill me!”

“That's not the knight's code,” Applejack said, “If you want to die for your sins, you can just kill yourself off, but I'm not going to stain my sword…” she took a deep breath before continuing, “with the blood… of an innocent.”

Applejack walked back into the castle, hearing Pinkamena's loud sobs behind her. It was the hardest thing she ever did, but she knew that she couldn't kill her. If she did, she'd be betraying everything that her teacher taught her.

She wouldn't be able to live with herself if she disappointed Rarity.

end song


After melting down the Masamune’s hilt and the Rainbow Shell to mix with the steel into several ingots, Facet held one of them in the fire to heat up. As he watched it heat, he thought of the spear he’d made for the General, which now lay in that other Rarity’s hands. “My greatest work…” He muttered as he pulled the ingot from the fire and took it over to the anvil, hammer in his other hand. “Until now.”

The air was rent by the sound of his hammer impacting the metal again and again, each blow shaping the ingot into shape. Whenever the metal began to cool, he placed it back into the fire to keep it hot. Sweat beaded on his flesh as he worked, repeating this cycle of heating and hammering. Just as the greatest of warriors were one with their weapons, so too was the greatest smith one with his hammer, anvil, and forge.

Slowly the blade came into distinct shape, and once fully shaped by the blows of the hammer, Facet set aside his hammer and dunked the sword into a trough of oil, the heat igniting it as the sword was quenched.

Withdrawing the cooled sword from the oil, Facet began grinding in the blade’s cutting edges, then carved in a fuller on either side of the blade, shaving off a couple pounds of weight. Next came the heat treatment to fully stabilize the sword. After that, he just had to apply the hilt to the tang. When it was finished, he held the sword and gave it several test swings, smiling in satisfaction.

“My greatest work indeed.”


It was surprising how comfortable the beds in the castle were, but when Twilight woke up that next morning, she felt truly refreshed.

“I don't know when was the last time I had such a good night's sleep,” Twilight admitted.

“Probably the last time you were with Rarity, right?”

Twilight looked by the window and saw Sunset Shimmer sitting there with a gentle smile.

“Oh, so I'm guessing I'm… not quite awake yet?” Twilight asked.

“Sorry. It will be morning soon though,” Sunset said, “Twilight, you know that you're going to have to fight Rarity in order to bring her back, right?”

“I know…” Twilight admitted somberly, “But, I promised that I was going to save her. Even if that means I have to fight her, I will.”

Sunset nodded, “You're a lot stronger now than you were before.”

“I don't know about that,” Twilight said with a shrug, “I just know that I can't let Rarity keep going down the road she's walking down,” Twilight looked up at Sunset, “Hey, what are you to me, anyway? I knew your name, and I feel like I've seen you before.”

“Head to the Land of the Gods right after you finish here,” Sunset requested, “There, you'll meet The Entity. She'll explain everything to you, I'm sure.”

“Just who is this “Entity”?” Twilight asked, “Who am I meeting?”

“In a way, you're meeting God,” Sunset said, “She has the only weapon capable of saving Rarity and stopping Nightmare Moon once and for all.”

“That's the Chrono Cross, right?” Twilight asked, “Could this defeat Lavos too?”

“Maybe, but you need Rarity in order to defeat Lavos,” Sunset said, closing her eyes somberly, “The thing she has to do to stop him though…”

The way she looked scared Twilight a bit, who frowned looking at her closely.

“Sunset…? What does Rarity have to do in order to defeat Lavos?”

“I might have said too much already,” Sunset said looking around, “Twilight, hurry and rescue Rarity. She is literally our last hope against Lavos.”

“H-hold on!” Twilight urged as everything faded away, “You can't keep… vanishing on the… important… parts…!”


Twilight shot out of bed and looked around. Once she confirmed that Sunset Shimmer was gone, Twilight buried her face in her pillow and screamed in frustration.

“I hate this! Why can't the mysterious maiden just once get to the important part before she leaves!” Twilight fussed. Still, she had to get up eventually, so she went to her room's personal bathroom to freshen up, got dressed, and made her way back to the front of the castle. On her way, she passed the courtyard, where she saw Pinkamena sitting by herself, looking up at the odd monument there. Twilight walked over to her and sat down on the grass next to her.

“I'm sorry for what I said yesterday,” Twilight said, “I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.”

“No bestie, you didn't hurt my feelings,” Pinkamena sighed, “I already knew that I was being insensitive. It's not like you guys are my friends anymore…”

“You keep saying things like that,” Twilight said looking at Pinkamena, “Not anymore? Pinkamena, just who are you?”

Pinkamena turned to Twilight with the saddest expression. It was enough for Twilight to know that whoever she was, her feelings were in fact genuine.

play song

“In my world, we were all friends. You, me, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Rarity. In the mirror world, it was the same thing but with Sunset Shimmer as well.”

“Hold on, hold on, you mean you're from two worlds?” Twilight asked.

“Not quite. More so it was one world split in two. Rarity being alive caused a paradox that affected the whole world,” Pinkamena explained, “When Lavos attacked and destroyed the worlds, the error corrected itself, but as a result… my world was…”

“You came from the fractured side, didn't you?” Twilight asked, “The one that sprouted from Rarity's version of Standard.”

“Bingo,” Pinkamena explained, “I mean, sure it wasn't a real world per say, but it was still my world, and in it… I had some of the best friends in the world…” Pinkamena closed her eyes letting her tears fall freely, “I hated what I had to do, but when I learned that Rarity was the cause of the paradox, I…”

“You killed your Rarity, didn't you?” Twilight asked, letting Pinkamena's sobs speak for themselves, “What about the Rarity of this world? How did you kill her?”

“After my world was gone… I ended up in the Warp Gate,” Pinkamena continued, “I was standing in front of Medieval's gate, and just went inside. I saw that not only had the Rarity of this world lived, but she had almost lived a full life, being in her mid sixties.”

“Christ… I bet she was beautiful,” Twilight said looking at the monument, “Something tells me that Rarity's the kind of girl who even grow old gracefully.”

“She was stunning… and powerful. Apparently Luna had managed to protect this Rarity, keeping her alive and well by staying close to her. Twilight, if Rarity died of natural causes, Lavos would have come here too, so I…”

“Took it upon yourself to kill her,” Twilight finished.

“Luna was furious. She knew that I'd eventually hunt down the Rarity she chose as the Chrono Trigger, so she captured me, and used her magic to control me… That's why I poisoned you that one time…”

“Oh my God…!” Twilight immediately hugged Pinkamena, “Pinkamena, I'm sorry…!”

“I deserved it…” Pinkamena said sadly, “I'm just a monster anyway… A relic from a forgotten world…”

end song

“That is incorrect, Pinkamena.”

Pinkamena and Twilight turned behind them, shocked to see DASH-379, Fluttershy, and Applejack behind them listening.

“Girls…” Pinkamena said, eyes wide.

play song

“Applejack explained to Fluttershy and I what happened,” DASH-379 continued, “It would appear that I had the incorrect opinion of you, Pinkamena. I apologize for my error.”

“Pinkamena not bad person,” Fluttershy said, “You not hurt village because you want to. Chief force you to hurt village.”

“How long have you guys been there?” Twilight asked.

“Long enough,” Applejack said stepping forward to Pinkamena and kneeling before her, “Rarity taught me that everything happens for a reason. I… want to try and understand that reason. Not only so I can begin to move on with my life, but… so I can forgive you.”

“You… forgive me…?” Pinkamena asked slowly.

“I… do,” Applejack said, “Like I said last night, I'm still hurt by what you did. But, had you not done that, Lavos would have come here too, right. So as horrible as it is, you saved my life. Besides, I can't stay mad at you. After all…” Applejack smiled at Pinkamena, “We are best friends, right?”

“Applejack right,” Fluttershy said kneeling down next to them as well, “Best friends, even from other worlds.”

“I do not fully understand any of this,” DASH-379 said kneeling down next to Fluttershy, “But I do admit that I feel an odd companionship with you, Pinkamena. With… all of you.”

“You brought us back together, Pinkamena,” Twilight said, “Somehow, in someway that I don't think any of us understands, you saved us.”

“I… I don't believe it…” Pinkamena looked around at the group, “I can see it… it really is you…”

Applejack was the first one to pull Pinkamena into a loving embrace. Shortly afterward, Fluttershy and DASH-379 joined in, and finally Twilight. Surrounded by so much love, Pinkamena broke down and cried, but her sobs slowly turned into laughter. Not evil laughter though, but pure laughter.

“Thank you! Thank you so much!” Pinkamena cried happily, the group stayed like that for a long while, but eventually rose to their feet.

“So, what do you say?” Applejack asked, “Want to help us get our sixth friend back?”

“Definitely!” Pinkamena said. As the five of them walked out of the castle together, Twilight felt a bright light within her. Something that could help ensure she never lose her friends again.

Resurrection…


When they arrived at the workshop, Facet and Sapphire were right at the front desk waiting for them. When he handed Applejack the sword, she instantly felt it's power. It was truly a magnificent broad sword, with a black and gold hilt, and a sharp blade that almost looked like it was glowing. When she moved it in the light, it became apparent that the blade was made from the Rainbow Shell.

“I can feel it…” Applejack said holding it above her, “This is… my sword.”

“Truly a masterpiece, dear,” Sapphire said holding her husband lovingly.

“Thanks. It was truly a joy to work on,” Facet said.

“I am reading a powerful energy coming from the blade of that weapon,” DASH-379 said, “This is no ordinary sword.”

“Applejack, do you think this can beat Lavos?” Twilight asked.

“I don't know if it can beat him,” Applejack said sheathing the sword, “But with this, we now have a fighting chance,” she turned to Facet and smiled, “Thanks Facet. I knew we could count on you.”

Facet laughed out loud, “Now hold on there, I'm not done yet,” Facet said, “The rest of you, come into the workshop. I have a surprise for all of you.”

They all shrugged and followed him. A few minutes later, all of them came out one after another, each with a major upgrade. Fluttershy and Pinkamena's blades had all been reforged with what looked like similar material, as were the hands and feet of DASH-379, and the tips of Twilight's arrows.

“With this, you all should be able to fight Lavos on a more even level,” Facet explained, “I have enough to enhance Rarity's weapon too, whenever she comes back.”

“That's going to be where we go next,” Pinkamena said, “We need to get to the Land of the Gods next.”

“Then let's go. To stop Lavos, and save Rarity!” Twilight shouted. She lead the group out of the workshop, Facet and Sapphire smiling as they left.

“Think they can do it?” Sapphire asked.

“I know they can, and not just because of my weapons,” Facet said with a smirk, “I think Applejack finally learned the final lesson of being a true knight. After all, the woman that killed her teacher was right there.”

Sapphire looked shocked, “Hold on! You mean that was Rarity's killer, and you knew?!”

Facet nodded, “Yep, and so does Applejack. But she's now looking past her pain, and seeing the truth. She's finally become a true knight.”


They stopped in front of the stone slate where that opened to the warp gate. For the longest time, they all just stood there, knowing that where they were headed, their journey was about to hit it's climax.

“Last chance to jump ship,” Pinkamena said, “Anyone wanna stop here and go back to their worlds?”

“Not without Rarity,” Fluttershy said, “Rarity friend too. Have to save Rarity.”

“I have decided to continue no matter what,” DASH-379 said, “You all would probably die without my presence anyway.”

“I've come this far, I'm not stopping now,” Applejack said holding the hilt of her new sword, “We're bringing Rarity home, today!”

“Thank you,” Twilight said, “I couldn't have gotten this far without any of you,” she held up the Gate Key, opening the portal, “Next stop, the Land of the Gods.”

One by one, they walked through the portal. They completed every side objective, and even got stronger. Now they just needed to get their friend back.

After that, they could stop Lavos.


play song

Right when Fluttershy walked through the portal, a black spear shot through it, keeping it open. Nightmare Crystal slowly walked over to the portal and placed her hand through, happy to see that it remained open.

“It's just like Luna said,” Crystal said looking at her hand, “You're not leaving me behind, darling…”

Zenith: The Entity

View Online

note: Second song continues playing through most of the chapter. The author recommends that readers set the song to loop.

Zenith – The Entity

Something was odd when they arrived in the Warp Gate. It was… empty. None of the Celestias were present. The group looked around to see if they were overlooking them, but sure enough, it was empty there. It looked like it had been like this for a while too.

“Seer not here,” Fluttershy said.

“Neither is the queen,” Applejack added, “What the hell happened? Did they go back to their respective worlds?”

“That's not possible,” Twilight said, “If that were the case, why didn't the Queen return to her castle? No, I think something else is going on.”

“Perhaps it has something to do with that,” DASH-379 said pointing to the larger, slightly raised gate, which now looked very different. Instead of being closed, it now looked open, showing the image of a perpetual sunset and a large white structure. One that looked sort of like a floating castle, and based on how far away it looked, it was huge.

play song

Twilight and her party approached the new gate and examined it, bracing themselves for whatever was on the other side.

“Pinkamena, is that the Land of the Gods?” Twilight asked.

“Yep,” Pinkamena said, “That's where we need to go to learn how to rescue Rarity and stop Lavos.”

“Then we should stop wasting time,” DASH-379 said walking forward, “I am going through. Anyone who is ready, feel free to follow me.”

And with that, DASH-379 vanished through the portal.

“Damn it DASH,” Twilight said pinching the bridge of her nose.

“Still, she does have the right idea,” Applejack said, “Might as well just take the dive.”

“I go too,” Fluttershy said, “Scared, but ready to see Land of Gods.”

The two of them walked through the portal after DASH-379. Pinkamena took Twilight's hand and held it tightly.

“Ready?” Pinkamena asked.

“Yeah, let's go,” Twilight said. The two of them jumped through the portal together, unaware of the dark figure who walked up to the portal right behind them.


play song

When Twilight and Pinkamena arrived on the other side, they were surprised by what they saw. Twilight was expecting something like a castle interior. Instead, she saw what looked almost like a city. It had a slight futuristic look to it, but at the same time more of a magic feel as well, giving everything the feel of being ancient, yet at the same time more advanced than anything they had ever seen. The sky was frozen in a red and orange sunset, and there was no life there besides Twilight and her friends.

“This place…” Twilight said looking around, “This is… the Land of the Gods…?”

“Not exactly what I was expecting,” Applejack said, “I don't know what I was expecting, but this sure as hell wasn't it.”

“The technology around us is beyond anything I have ever seen,” DASH-379 said walking up to what appeared to be a large white statue, but upon further inspection was actually a golem shaped like the guardians, “This world is highly advanced, but at the same time I can tell that these machines have not been used in a very long time.”

“Place is… lonely…” Fluttershy said looking at what appeared to be an abandoned shopping center, “No life anywhere. World feels… sad.”

“So Pinkamena, do you know where to go from here?” Applejack asked as everyone turned to Pinkamena, “You've sort of been our guide up to this point.”

“We need to go to that large building right there,” Pinkamena said pointing to the largest tower furthest away, “The one we need to meet is there.”

“So there actually is someone living here?” Twilight asked.

“Living is a stretch actually,” Pinkamena said, “I'd say "existing" is a better word.”

“You are making less sense than usual,” DASH-379 said folding her arms. Pinkamena closed her eyes somberly and walked toward the tower.

“You'll understand in a bit. I'm warning you though, you're not going to like everything you find out today,” Pinkamena said. The group all walked after her, taking in everything that they passed by.

This world truly was empty, but there were clear signs that life did exist at one point. There were shops, structures that looked like street lights, and even what Twilight eventually identified as cars. None of these things worked or moved though, and it was pretty clear that they weren't going to move anytime soon.

As they walked, Fluttershy held onto DASH-379 closely for comfort, though even DASH looked a little taken aback by her surroundings. Applejack had the saddest look on her face as she looked around. Twilight and Pinkamena were up front, but neither of them spoke. Pinkamena looked surprisingly solemn, and Twilight's heart kept racing. For some reason, she wanted to just break down and cry being here.

I wish you were here with me right now, Rarity…

I'm… scared…

“It's going to be okay,” Pinkamena said, shocking Twilight.

“Um, w-what?” Twilight asked.

“We're almost done. We'll be able to get Rarity back, and then you can just forget all about this place,” Pinkamena said, giving Twilight her best comforting smile. Twilight shook her head somberly.

“No Pinkamena, I don't think I can,” Twilight admitted, “Something tells me that there's something really important about this world, and once I learn what that is, I won't be the same.”

Pinkamena closed her eyes sadly, and then just wrapped an arm around Twilight as they continued to walk. No one said anything for the rest of the trip, but the air around them was generally heavier after that.

After what felt like hours, they finally reached the tower. As they approached the steps, the door opened, and someone stepped out to greet them, shocking everyone save for Pinkamena.

“CELESTIA?!!!!” everyone cried at the same time. The woman before them was indeed Celestia, as she shared the same long multi-colored hair, fair skin, pink eyes, and maternal expression. This Celestia however wore a fancy white dress that was open on the sides showing her legs, and was sleeveless showing off her generous bust, white high heels, and white gloves. On her wrists were golden bands, she wore a golden necklace, and even wore a fancy golden crown on her head.

But that wasn't all about this Celestia that was different. This Celestia felt different. In a way, more real than any of the Celestias they've seen.

“Welcome everyone,” Celestia said to them, her voice stronger sounding than all of the Celestias thus far, “I've waited a long time to meet all of you in person.”

“You're… my Queen?” Applejack asked slowly. The Celestia standing before them closed her eyes and smiled softly.

“Your Queen was one of my many avatars. As was the Seer, Athena's prototype unit, and Twilight's Principal. I used all of them to see into the elemental worlds and watch over them.”

“All those times, it was you wasn't it?” Twilight asked stepping forward, “Whenever we met another Celestia, and she knew the same things that her alters knew, it was because you were in the driver's seat. It was you we were talking to, wasn't it?”

“Very good Twilight,” Celestia said nodding, “Tell me then, do you know who or what I am?”

“I… think so…” Twilight said, “I heard it in a dream, and Spike mentioned you once. You're… the Entity aren't you?” Celestia nodded, clapping her hands.

“Splendid. Absolute splendid,” Celestia said, “I knew there was a reason I chose you, Twilight.”

“I am horribly confused,” DASH-379 said, “What is “The Entity”? That is not stored anywhere within my database.”

“I hear stories of Entity,” Fluttershy said thoughtfully, “But all legends. Most worship Lavos in Forest.”

“It's not surprising that none of you have heard that term before,” Celestia said, “I go by many names actually. Overseer, Absolute Creator, the Original One, the Entity, among many others.”

“So… you're God…?” Applejack asked, as everyone looked at Celestia in shock.

“You could say that, but that's just one of the many titles I've been granted over the millenniums,” Celestia said, “This world is known as Zenith. It is the original world, where all other worlds were generated from.”

“You know the story of the pearly gates, heaven, and all of that?” Pinkamena asked, “They're talking about this place.”

“Hold on, hold on,” Applejack said waving her hands, “Now you're telling us we're in heaven?!”

“Not quite,” Celestia said, “This world is merely the source of those stories, left over by the ancients who originally came from this world and settled in the realm that eventually evolved into your worlds.”

“What happened here?” Twilight asked, “Why is this place so lonely?”

Celestia closed her eyes somberly and turned to the tower, “Come with me. I will explain to you everything, and how the five of you along with the Chrono Trigger are connected to all of this.”

They wasted no time following Celestia inside of the tower, which looked like an official office building almost.

“This world was at one time a Paradise,” Celestia said, “We don't know how it came to be like this, or where our ancestors came from, but at some point, we evolved into beings far more advanced than any life form you've come into contact with. If one were to see us, we would have been something akin to Gods or Goddesses. However, while we gained the ability to transcend existence, we lost something extremely precious.”

“What was that?” Applejack asked.

“Our humanity,” Celestia said, leading the group up a large staircase, “It started with us losing the need to eat food or sleep. Eventually we stopped aging, and extended our lifespans by millenniums. We also learned how to access one hundred percent of our brain capacity, gaining a deeper understanding of our world. But the price for all of this…” she held her stomach somberly, “Was the ability to conceive children.”

When she said that, Fluttershy oddly placed her hand on her stomach, looking solemn. DASH-379 took note, and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“While our lives exceeded the normal life span, we were far from immortal. Eventually, we would all die, leaving our world abandoned and desolate. We were terrified, and sought a means of either regaining our humanity, or if necessary start over. As the process could not be undone, we instead created a means of starting over from scratch.

“It was our goal to discover how our ancestors evolved, and what triggered the loss to conceive,” Celestia continued, leading the group to an elevator. “We learned that our DNA housed the memories of our ancestors, so we decided to start there.”

“I am familiar with that concept,” DASH-379 spoke up, “Genetic memory.”

“Genetic memory?” Fluttershy asked, “What is big word?”

“Yeah, I'm lost on that one too,” Applejack said rubbing the back of her head.

“It is the belief that some of the knowledge humans have at birth stems from memories stored within their genetic make-up,” DASH-379 explained, “Some philosophers even believe that certain phobias come from genetic memories,” she turned to look at Celestia, “However, you seem to be claiming that genetic memory goes much deeper than that.”

“It does,” Celestia said, “One's DNA has infinite information stored within it. We used that, and created something astounding. The means of accessing the worlds of the past in the form of virtual gates.”

“The past?!” Twilight asked, “You don't mean…”

“The worlds known as Standard, Medieval, Machine, and Forest, along with many other variants of those worlds,” she slightly looked at Pinkamena, “and worlds unlike anything ever conceived.”

Pinkamena averted her eyes and bit her lip.

“Originally, there was only one world, and one path,” Celestia continued as they entered the elevator, taking it straight up, “This would eventually form into the world you call “Standard”. The world went through many changes, and it all started with the discovery of Lavos.”

“Lavos exist even then?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes, and played a major role in how the world was shaped,” Celestia replied, “Lavos wasn't a factor within the original time line though. He came to Earth originally as an alien invader bent on the destruction of the planet. Me, my sister, and the others within the high council at the time knew we had to do something, so we took a chance and showed a few chosen people from different time lines the events that would happen, along with what lead up to it. One of those people was the first Chrono Trigger, a boy by the name of Crono.

“He brought two friends with him from his own time, and joined with four others of different times. The seven of them managed to defeat Lavos with our guidance, and we thought that it was done from there. However, we soon learned that doing this had drastic effects on our world. Certain events from the past bled into the current time and altered events. Also, Lavos had managed to somehow live, and now existed outside of time and space.”

“Was Lavos now a direct threat to Zenith as well?” Twilight asked Celestia, who nodded sadly before continuing.

“It was my fault. I was the one who headlined the operation, and as a result, created something much worse. I created the Time Devourer, who now sought to devour time itself. Slowly he would consume other times and dimensions, and eventually find his way to our own time. This time my sister headlined the operation, contacting a man named Belthasar to find a means of stopping the Time Devourer. However, Luna took things too far and shared with the people the means of using our technology. This resulted in a temporal incident greater than anything we had ever seen. The world itself had split in two possibilities, both centered around a young man who would be known as the second Chrono Trigger. His name, was Serge.”

“These names though…” Twilight said shaking her head, “Crono? Serge? Who names their kid these...”

“Due to a freak accident, Serge landed outside of his world and into the other world, and found himself forced to engage with the Time Devourer. We were forced to take more of a backseat, as Luna's interference made it almost impossible for us to intervene. Serge and his companions defeated the Time Devouer, and managed to set the world back on track, and we had thought that it was the end. We went to deal with Luna and arrest her for her actions of endangering the whole world, and she was exiled from our realm. We then discovered that Lavos had actually survived, but was weakened greatly. Still, his influence was felt throughout our world.”

As they continued to rise, the back wall of the elevator opened into a window, where they were able to see what remained of the world. If there were any other floating land masses, they had long since been destroyed, as nothing but an endless sky extended before them beyond the structure they currently were on.

“Was this… because of Lavos…?” Applejack asked as they all looked out into the sunset.

“What you see before you is the result of what Luna and I did in our futile attempt to change our fates,” Celestia said sadly, “As you can see, nothing else remains. This city is the only place left, and now I am it's only inhabitant.”

“That's so sad…” Fluttershy said placing her hand on the glass before them, “Celestia alone in this lonely place…”

“One by one I watched people around me die, and I was powerless to stop it. Eventually, it occurred to me that someone had to be helping Lavos, as he was so much weaker now. Somehow though, a number of different worlds had spawned from Standard due to the number of times history had been altered. I searched all of these worlds, until I found a single constant. In all of them, was my sister Luna. She had overcome her exile in some way, and was now existing in all worlds via an avatar of sorts. She had become quite enamored by the various worlds, and seemed to enjoy existing within them. In one world, she became friends with a woman by the name of Rarity."

“You're speaking of my world, aren't you?” Applejack asked, “The Viceroy was really close to Rarity.”

“Yes Applejack. It seemed that through her, my sister had begun to recover and regain her heart,” Celestia continued, “As I was now alone in this world, I created avatars of my own and chose to join with my sister, and attempt to reconcile with her. It worked for a time, until I discovered a horrible truth. Rarity had a doomed fate, as in the current direction the universe was going in, she would one day be killed. What was worse, this had also happened to every other Rarity within the universe, making it a closed event. Luna wanted her dear friend to live a full life, but if she did, the world would attract Lavos, and cause so much damage that there was no telling what would happen to either Luna or myself.

“Luna was furious, and determined to ensure that Rarity lived. I didn't realize it until it was too late, but she had merged her own energy with Lavos, and used that to go into Standard. She discovered Rarity's fate in that world, and did the unthinkable. She granted Rarity a fraction of Lavos' temporal power, allowing her to overcome her fate and live when she was supposed to die. Doing this created a temporal disturbance similar to what created the second Chrono Trigger, splitting the world into two variants. One variant was a new Standard that possessed a new magic, and the other one was a world I codenamed “Equis”, due to the odd manner that life had evolved in that world.”

“That's my world,” Pinkamena admitted, leaning against the window and rubbing her arm, “Kinda sad to know that I only exist due to a mistake…”

“Once I discovered what Luna had done, I knew that I had to take action immediately. So I contacted Pinkamena, and told her everything,” Celestia said.

“I remember when Princess Celestia called me to her castle,” Pinkamena said, “I was so confused, but she proved that she was telling the truth by giving me a glimpse into the world she came from. She then told me what I had to do in order to prevent this,” Pinkamena closed her eyes and hugged her self tightly, “I had to kill Rarity…!”

“So it was you,” DASH-379 said, her voice low and her eyes glaring at Celestia, “You were the one who told Pinkamena to kill Rarity.”

“Yes, I did,” Celestia admitted looking right at DASH-379, “At the time, I felt that it was the only way to ensure that Lavos did not destroy another world.”

“So Rarity had to die so you could live?!” DASH-379 asked, tightening her fist.

“DASH, calm down,” Applejack requested, putting a hand on DASH's shoulder, which she immediately slapped away.

“This world is dead anyway!” DASH-379 seethed, “You said that you were doing this to protect the world, but what were you protecting?! Deactivated machines?! Abandoned buildings?! Face it, the only one you wanted to protect was yourself!”

“Had I not done what I did, Lavos would have eventually destroyed your world as well!” Celestia shouted, “I know that this world is empty, but your worlds offer a possibility to take a different path, to become better! But that chance is gone if Lavos destroys your world first!” the elevator opened behind her, “Let me show you what Rarity's life is doing to the entire universe!”

With that, Celestia stormed off into what appeared to be a computer room. DASH-379 immediately ran after her, along with the rest of the party, stopping in a large computer room. Celestia typed on the computer, showing a hologram of all four worlds, but the space around all of them seemed to get smaller by the second. The world of Standard was in the worst state, followed by Machine, and Medieval. Forest still had a lot of space, but it was beginning to degrade as well.

“To you, Rarity is a person, but to this system, she is an anomaly that's causing the entire universe to implode onto itself,” Celestia said turning to DASH-379, who's eyes were wide looking at the holograms before her, “If these worlds get destroyed, Rainbow Dash, then there will be nothing left, and thus no chance for anyone. At the time, this was the only thing I could think to do in order to protect you.”

DASH-379 looked away gritting her teeth, trembling in frustration. Fluttershy walked over to DASH and hugged her from behind.

“What Luna did was effectively create a third Chrono Trigger,” Celestia continued, walking toward a door leading outside, “Since then, she and I have been fighting one another from our respective paths. Luna wishes to alter the path of the universe in order to protect Rarity, but she's willing to put everyone at risk in order to do it. It is for that reason I have done everything in my power to get the five of you here.”

“But why us?” Twilight asked as they followed her to a large, beautiful garden on a balcony, “Out of everyone in the universe, why just the five of us?”

“Because the five of you had your lives intertwined with the third Chrono Trigger,” Celestia said, “Don't you remember when you all met her? You were drawn to her in some way.”

“I… do remember that…” Twilight said, “When I first saw Rarity, something inside of me was screaming that I needed to be by her side and help her.”

“Rarity was friend, best friend,” Fluttershy said softly, “Felt happy when I saw her, and wanted to stay with her. Afraid that if she leave, I never see her again.”

“It is true that I experienced odd data when I first saw Rarity,” DASH-379 said, “I did not put much thought into it then, but I believe my systems regarded her, Fluttershy, and Twilight as allies immediately.”

“It's a little different for me,” Applejack admitted, “I remember meeting my Rarity and feeling a need to be next to her. Something more intense than even being in love with her. When I eventually met our Rarity I guess, I do remember feeling like she was who I thought she was immediately. Like… I didn't differentiate between the Rarity of my world, and the Rarity standing before me.”

“When you saw Rarity, the four of you all responded to your genetic memory,” Celestia turned to DASH-379, “or in your case, data that was pre-installed within your CPU. All you had to do was see Rarity after her world was destroyed, and the memories of her versions of you all awakened.”

“So… you are saying that… technically we are Rarity's friends from her world?” DASH-379 asked.

“That is exactly what I am saying,” Celestia said, “Due to a combination of genetic memory and the deep love that you all shared within the time line that she came from, you all became the variants of Rarity's friends.”

“But hold on,” Twilight said, “Rarity met the Fluttershy, Pinkamena, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack from my world first, and they didn't awaken to these memories.”

“What if that's because of how much they changed from us?” Applejack asked, “Maybe we were able to become Rarity's friends because of how much we were already like her friends.”

“Us like Rarity's friends?” Fluttershy asked tilting her head, “How?”

“Well, think about it. She adjusted to all of us pretty quickly. She even knew how to deal with some of our more difficult aspects. Like when she mediated me and DASH's fights.”

DASH-379 looked thoughtful, “Come to think of it, that is odd. She knew what to say and everything. She also had a very deep understanding of how Fluttershy dealt with trauma.”

“She and I became really close,” Twilight said holding her hand over her heart, “She even told me when we met that I was almost just like her Twilight.”

“You guys are just like them,” Pinkamena admitted, “Twilight being super smart and curious, Applejack being strong willed and pragmatic, Rainbow Dash being arrogant, short tempered, but loyal, and Fluttershy being sweet, but skittish with an affinity for nature. It's kind of scary to be honest.”

“That's why you kept talking to us like you knew us,” Applejack said, “Because… you do know us.”

“Yep yep,” Pinkamena said, “We're all friends, Applejack. Try to remember. Deep down, I know you still remember all of this.”

The four of them all looked down thinking. It took a second, but eventually Fluttershy looked up.

“I… remember…!” she said, a silhouette of herself briefly appearing over her, only wearing a white tank top, green skirt, and matching boots, “Rarity… protected me from the bullies…!”

“Y-yeah…! That's right!” DASH-379 said, a silhouette of a human version of herself wearing a blue jacket, white shirt, pink and white skirt, and blue boots appearing over her briefly, “I met her almost right after you did! The three of us stayed close even after elementary school!”

“I… I… Ah remember now!” Applejack said, a version of herself wearing more western attire appearing over her, along with the hat, “Rarity an' Ah were always together! Shoot, how did Ah ferget all that? People thought we were datin!”

“I don't believe it… but yeah… I feel it too!” Twilight said, two versions of herself appearing over her, one wearing a school uniform and glasses, her hair in a ponytail, and the other wearing a fancy blue blouse, purple skirt and boots, before both converged over one another merging before vanishing, “I really admired Rarity, and wanted to be close to her-” Twilight gasped in shock, “The Spring Festival! She and I were going to go together!”

Celestia nodded and turned to Pinkamena, “I told y