Nightmare Moon is Coming to Town!
A “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” Fanfiction
Written by Jade Dawn
“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” is owned by Hasbro. I own none of the characters or locations except the ones I have made for this story.
It was a very nice day in Perkinsville, New Jersey. The late-afternoon sun was shining brightly over the little town, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, there was an ever-so-slight breeze in the air...
And best of all, Anthony Miller thought as he strolled down a path in the town park, it's spring break. No school from here until next Monday.
Anthony was a fourteen-year-old kid with brown hair and glasses, and a great love for the outdoors. Whereas most of his fellow ninth-graders would spend their free time on a couch playing on their laptops or their PS4s or whatever form of electronic entertainment they owned, Anthony would be outside walking through the park or taking a stroll through the town. It was just his thing. Right now, Anthony was doing the former, and throughly enjoying the fresh air and the fact that there was no homework that had been assigned to keep him from enjoying himself.
As he rounded a bend in the path, he noticed a park bench a few feet ahead. Sitting on the bench was Matthew Richardson, one of Anthony's classmates. He was around the same age as Anthony (perhaps older by a few months), with short, blonde hair and light freckles. Right now, he was idly twiddling his thumbs, as though bored.
"Hi, Matt!" Anthony called out.
Matthew looked over in his direction and nodded back. "Hi, Anthony," he replied.
"Mind if I sit down?"
Matthew shrugged. "Help yourself." He moved over to one side, and Anthony sat down beside him.
"So what're you doing out here?" Anthony asked.
Matthew sighed. "Dad made me come out here. He said a boy my age shouldn't spend so much time on the computer, and that I should be more 'active'." He made quotation marks with his fingers to emphasize his statement.
"Making the most of it?" Anthony asked.
"You know, it really isn't that bad being outside. I've heard the sun's a really good source of vitamin D," Anthony replied.
Matthew snorted. "Yeah, and it's also a good source of UV radiation."
Anthony shrugged. "Well, I suppose that's why God invented the ozone layer."
"I guess." Matthew gave out an annoyed sigh. "It's just so boring out here! There's nothing to do, nothing going on!"
"Well, do you want something interesting to happen?" Anthony asked.
"Yeah!" Matt replied. "Something, anything to keep this day from being a total bore."
"Hmm," Anthony replied. "Be careful what you wish for, though. You just might get it."
The timing of it all could not have been more perfect. It was as though Fate itself had been eavesdropping on the boys' conversation, and decided to pull a horrifically cruel prank at Matthew's expense.
With literally no warning whatsoever, a bright sphere of blue energy whizzed down from the sky and smashed into the ground at least ten meters away from the bench. There was a brief flash of light, and the entire ground shook violently, throwing Matt and Anthony from their seats.
After a moment, the shaking and the light died down, and the two boys picked themselves up, coughing and dusting themselves off. "Wha–? What on Earth was that?!" Matthew exclaimed.
But Anthony wasn't listening. He was looking at what lay directly ahead of them. "Good grief," he whispered numbly, pointing to the object.
Matthew turned his head to look, and instantly was filled with a sense of awe.
A huge, twenty foot crater had been punched into the ground near the bench, and there was scorched grass and torn earth all around. Heavy smoke poured out of the crater, which was dimly lit with a blue glow that was steadily dying down. There was some kind of odd shape within the crater itself that could not be seen clearly through the smoke. Anthony and Matthew could catch glimpses of some kind of silvery blue material through the wisps of smoke.
For a moment, the two regarded the scene in an understandably stunned silence.
"Oh. My. Goodness," Matt whispered. Then his voice turned to one of surprised excitement. "It's...it's a meteorite!"
"Uh...Matt?" Anthony said, a hint of worry in his voice.
But Matt was too caught up in his excitement to hear him. "That's what it is! A meteorite! It must be made of some rare metal that only comes from outer space! Look at that color!" he shouted, gesturing wildly to the mysterious object.
"Um...Matt?" Anthony asked again, a little more insistently this time.
"I'll bet you can't find that stuff anywhere else on Earth! It must be worth a fortune!" He gasped as an idea popped into his head. "We could sell it! Yeah, that's what we'll do! We'll sell it to NASA, or the Smithsonian, or the museum in New York City! Whadda' you say, Anthony? We'll split the dough 50-50, and then–"
"Matt, it's moving." Anthony said, his voice now shaking with fear.
Matt gave the object a second look, and discovered that Anthony was right; something was indeed shifting around and making an effort to stand up in the crater.
Anthony and Matt gave each other a quick glance, realized they were both thinking the same thing, and ran behind the bench, crouching down behind the backrest. They both peeked over the edge to see what was happening.
There was no mistaking it now; a living being was slowly standing up in the crater. The first thing the boys noticed was its size; it could easily tower over even the tallest human being. It had a startlingly horse like build, although the body was thinner and smaller, and the head was more rounded in shape. The body was a jet black color, with a long mane and tail that was a mixture of pale blue and purple in color and shimmered with a glow of its own, and more resembled a cloud or a nebula than an actual mane. The eyes were almost unbelievably wide, taking up a fair portion of each side of the head, and having turquoise irises. A long horn sprouted up from between the eyes on the top of the head, and a pair of huge, feathered wings slowly unfurled from the sides of the body. On the flank was an odd splotch of dark purple, with a gray, almost white, moon shaped symbol over the purple section (Kind of an odd place for a tatoo, Anthony thought to himself). The head, chest, and hooves of the creature were covered in armor made out of that silvery blue metal that Matthew had pointed out earlier.
The creature stood slowly on its hooves and shook its head as if in a daze–which kind of made sense, considering how it had arrived in Perkinsville in the first place. As it tried to recover, Matthew and Anthony gave each other nervous glances.
"Should...should we try to talk to it?" Matthew whispered.
"I don't know," Anthony whispered back. "Let's wait and see what–" He was cut off by a sound that the creature was making.
A laugh. A low, malevolent sounding laugh, slowly growing louder in volume.
Now, the boys were already pretty scared up to this point. Which is understandable. Who wouldn't be terrified at the sight of an alien being crash landing a few feet away from you?
But now, Anthony and Matthew's levels of fear were reaching new heights after they heard that laugh. They crouched down further behind the bench, while still trying to look at the terrifying spectacle unfolding in front of them.
The creature continued to laugh in some unknowable, sinister triumph. Finally, it stopped and began to talk to itself.
"At last!" she shouted (it was definitely a female voice). "After 1,000 years, I am free! Free of my prison! Hahahahahaha!!! Oh, I cannot wait to see Celestia's face when she realizes that she failed! That I have returned to plunge all of Equestria into an eternal...night?" She trailed off as she started to take in her surroundings.
"Wait a minute," she said, her voice now taking on a tone of concern. "This doesn't look like the castle. Either Celestia has really let the place go over 1,000 years, or..." she shook her head at whatever thought had passed through her mind. "No! Impossible! I couldn't have miscalculated! My escape was perfect!"
She looked around again, and sighed disappointedly. "So where is this place? I might as well find an inhabitant of this land and ask for directions." She slowly started to walk away from the crater, in the opposite direction of the bench, muttering to herself all the while. "Imagine that. The Mare in the Moon being reduced to begging for directions like some kind of peasant tourist. What a way to come back after 1,000 years."
As she walked off, Anthony and Matt dared to peek out from behind the bench a little more. Their hearts were pounding in their chests, and they were sweating like crazy.
"Holy cow..." Matt whispered, his voice a mixture of awe and pure terror, but mostly the latter.
"Look at the size of that thing!" Anthony whispered back. "She's gotta be like ten feet tall!"
Matt glanced over at his friend. "Should we try to leave?" he asked.
Anthony thought for a moment. "I think we can get away. She's going in the opposite direction from us. I think we can get out of here and call for help."
"Who are we even gonna call?" Matt asked.
"We'll worry about that part later; let's just get outta here. Slowly though; try not to make any noise."
Slowly and carefully, the duo rose from behind the bench, turned around, and started tiptoeing away. There was a grove of trees and bushes directly ahead from them, and Anthony was pretty sure that they could get under cover in–
The boys gave a loud yelp and nearly jumped out of their skins. They turned around, and to their horror, the being was looking right at them.
It was only then that Anthony got a really good look at her eyes. The pupils were slitted and catlike, dilating and contracting depending on the light level.
They were the eyes of a predator.
Anthony hoped to God that they weren't her prey.
"Y-y-y-yes?" Matt stammered, a nervous smile on his face.
"Come over here," The being said. "I wish to talk to you."
For a moment, neither boy moved. They exchanged nervous glances and silently wondered what would happen if they complied.
"I said come here," The creature said, her voice taking on a harsher and more authoritative tone. "That was a command."
The two boys decided that it would probably be best if they obeyed. Slowly and nervously, they walked back towards the alien, finally stopping about five feet away from her. They tried desperately to keep their shivering to a minimum.
"That's better," she said, giving the two a brief look-over before continuing. "Now. You two are clearly not ponies. What are you?"
"Oh. Um..." Matthew stammered. "W-we call ourselves h-humans. Or human b-beings. Whichever one you like."
"Humans," the being repeated to herself, as if thinking it over. She looked over at Anthony. "You're shivering," she said.
Anthony's heartbeat suddenly got even faster. "S-s-s-sorry. It's j-just that I..."
The being smiled, and put a hoof under Anthony's chin, raising his head so she could look him in the eyes. Anthony shuddered at the cold touch of the smooth metal of her hoof armor. "You needn't fear. I shan't hurt you," the creature said. Her voice was soft, sweet, alluring even...but somehow that only made her scarier.
"Y-you won't?" Anthony asked. Somehow, he didn't quite believe her.
The creature shook her head. "No. As long as you obey me, no harm will come to you," she said with a grin, showing off her sharp teeth.
Oh, good grief, she's got fangs! Anthony thought. His levels of terror were through the roof by this point, and he was sure that Matt was feeling the same way.
The creature removed her hoof from Anthony's chin, and spoke again. "Now, for my next question: where am I?"
"Um...Perkinsville, New Jersey. In the United States of America. On Earth." Anthony said.
"United States of America?" the creature repeated. "I've never heard of that land. I know of every nation from Yakyakistan to Hippogriffia, and this America isn't..." She stopped suddenly. "Wait a minute. The name Earth. Is that what you call your planet?"
"Y-yes." Anthony replied.
For a moment, the creature was silent, as if thinking that over in her head. Then she turned away with a huff and pounded to grass with her hoof. The ground shook for a second, and Anthony and Matt were almost thrown off their balance.
"Drat!" the being exclaimed. "I overshot! I'm on the wrong planet!" She gazed up at the sky, a mixture of anger and disappointment on her face. "And I don't even know where Equestria is supposed to be from here. And even if I did, a teleport of that distance and magnitude would soak up all my magic, maybe even kill me..." She trailed off as she started to once again observe the land around her, gazing at the park and the buildings beyond the tree line.
Slowly, a devilish grin began to form on her face. "Well..." she began, her voice now taking on that sinister tone from earlier. "I may not be able to have Equestria, but this place seems to be better than nothing. And no Celestia to stop me, either! I may have an eternal night yet!" She looked back at the two boys. "One last question: this village, Perkinsville; who runs it? Who is the leader among you?"
Anthony wasn't entirely sure if he should answer. He wasn't going to at first, but then he remembered her fangs, and decided to comply. "Um...that would be Mayor Prescott. He kind of runs the town." Off to the side, Matt was trying to signal Anthony to stop talking while also trying to stay out of the creature's notice. It wasn't working though.
"Mm-hmm. And where can I find this Mayor Prescott?"
"U-usually at this time of day, he's in his office. At town hall."
"I see. Thank you for your help. You may go. I have some business to attend to." She was just starting to turn away when Matt piped up.
"Um, ma'am?" He asked. "I don't mean to keep you from your, uh, work, or anything, but...who are you exactly?"
The being looked indignant. "Who am I?" she repeated. "Who am I??" She suddenly stopped as a thought went through her head. "Oh. Of course, I almost forgot. This is a different planet." She unfurled her wings to their full span (easily fifteen feet total), stood erect, and began in a firm, confident voice.
"I am Nightmare Moon," she declared. "The Mare in the Moon, ruler of the Dream Realm, and rightful Queen of the Equestrian Night." That devilish grin came back. "And soon...I shall be Queen of Earth's Night as well." The started to turn away again, but this time was stopped by Anthony.
"Wait a minute," he said. "What do you mean 'Queen of Earth's Night'? And what did you mean by 'better than nothing'?"
Nightmare Moon gave an annoyed sigh. "Have I not made myself clear? I'm going to take your world for my own, and create an eternal night for all to enjoy."
At that moment, Anthony and Matt both thought the exact same thing:
"W-w-well," Matt said. "I mean, why do you want to rule over us? Do you have any idea how chaotic we are? How often we fight over little things? People come to blows over Twitter posts these days! Trust me, Miss Moon, you do not want to have to put up with–"
"Excuse me," Nightmare Moon said, her voice low and threatening. "But when you refer to me, you will say 'Nightmare Moon', or 'Queen Nightmare Moon', or 'Your Highness', or 'Your Majesty', or 'Your Worshipfulness', or anything else along those lines. Have I made myself clear?"
"And if the people of this world are truly as disorganized as you say, then all the more reason why they need me to lead them."
Now it was Anthony's turn to protest. "B-but what about that eternal night thing? Is that even physically possible? A-and even if it was, there's the environment to consider; I mean, you take away the sun, and–"
Nightmare Moon raised a hoof. "Peace. You talk too much. And you really should work on that stuttering," she finished with a mocking smile. "Now, I must go and have a little chat with this Mayor Prescott." With that, she unfurled her wings, and took off into the air, disappearing over the tree line.
For a moment, the two boys stood silently as the events of the past five minutes sank in.
Finally, Matt turned angrily toward Anthony. "Nice going, Anthony. Now she's gonna kill the mayor or torture him or something terrible like that!"
"Well, you were the one who was wishing something interesting would happen today!" Anthony shouted back.
"But you shouldn't have answered her questions! If you'd just kept your mouth shut, maybe we could've had more time to think of something!" Matt retorted.
"Dude, did you not see those fangs?! You honestly think I'm gonna tick off a creature with a smile like a great white shark?!" He looked like he was about to continue, but then reconsidered. "You know what, this is gonna' get us nowhere. We need to get into town and try to warn people."
Matt sighed. "I suppose you're right. Let's see if we can get there before she does."
The sun was dipping low behind the west horizon, painting the sky pink and the clouds crimson. It was a very beautiful sight to behold.
But the sunset wasn't the only item of interest in the skies above Perkinsville. Now there was also the dark silhouette of Nightmare Moon, flying high up in the air and gazing at the town below with her keen alicorn eyesight, staying just above the cloud line to avoid detection by the locals.
She had expected that finding the Mayor would be relatively easy. But looking down at the people in the streets, she could see no one who looked or dressed like some kind of leader.
So either he's not around right now, or he's dressing up as a peasant for a cheap thrill, Nightmare thought to herself. Celestia would do that sometimes when I was still that pathetic pushover Luna. Ugh! I could never understand why she'd do something like that. So degrading. Anyway, perhaps I should announce my presence to the masses. Perhaps that will get this Mayor Prescott's attention.
She backpedaled in midair, hovered for a moment to pick a landing spot, and then dove straight down at near maximum speed. She slammed into Main Street with a terrific crash, cracking the pavement and shaking the ground in the nearby vicinity.
Naturally, this did not go unnoticed in the slightest. Pedestrians who were walking nearby shouted in alarm, and turned to see the cause of the crash. Cars screeched to a halt in the road, their occupants rolling down their windows to get a good look at the invading alicorn. Shoppers in the stores and other nearby buildings rushed out to see what had happened. Some of the younger members of the gathering crowd pulled out their iPhones and began snapping pictures & selfies (from a safe distance, of course) of the former Mare in the Moon and sending them to their friends. Within mere moments, they were the top trending images on the Internet.
Almost without missing a beat, Nightmare Moon drew herself up to her full, ten-foot height, took a deep breath, and addressed the confused and frightened people around her.
"ATTENTION, CITIZENS OF PERKINSVILLE AND ALL OF EARTH!", she shouted, blasting the crowd with humanity's first hearing of the Royal Canterlot Voice. People all throughout the town square covered their ears, trying to reduce the volume of the sound. The ones directly in front of her were actually knocked back a good three feet or so, and more than one hat went flying. "I AM NIGHTMARE MOON, FORMER MARE IN THE MOON, RULER OF THE DREAM REALM, RIGHTFUL QUEEN OF THE EQUESTRIAN NIGHT, AND THE FUTURE RULER OF THIS WORLD!"
A chorus of frightened murmuring rose from the crowd. The more timid members began turning and running down the street. Nightmare Moon payed them no mind, and continued with her monologue, although now in a lower volume than previously. "And as my first act of conquest against your kind, I demand to see your leader, someone you call 'Mayor Prescott'. Tell me where he is, and I shall–"
She was cut off by the sound of a honking horn. The crowd to her left parted, and a large black car pulled up nearby. Three men piled out; two wearing dark suits and sunglasses, and a third who appeared to be in his mid-forties, with a receding hairline and looking like he could use a small loss in the weight department.
"What is the meaning of this?" The man asked in an authoritative tone. "I get some loopy teenager running up to me, babbling about a 'space horse', and–" He and his aides froze as they caught sight of Nightmare Moon.
The alicorn brusquely trotted up to the newcomers, halting a few feet in front of them. "I assume from the presence of your bodyguards that you posses significant importance here. Are you Mayor Prescott, or at least associated with him?"
"Um, y-yes I am," the Mayor stammered. "Mayor Rodger Prescott, ma'am, uh, chief official of this town. I'm actually running for reelection next month...w-who are you?"
A look of disbelief crossed Nightmare Moon's face. "Did...did you not just hear my introduction not more than thirty seconds ago?" she said, almost aghast at the notion that the Royal Canterlot Voice had passed over somebody in the immediate vicinity.
The truth was, the Mayor had been engaged in an important business call when everything started to go downhill, and he actually had no idea what was happening until he got out of the car, but he didn't think his aggressor would understand that. So instead, he went for old reliable:
Nightmare Moon sighed. "No matter. It never hurts to reinforce a point. I am Nightmare Moon, former Mare in the Moon, ruler of the Dream Realm, rightful Queen of the Equestrian Night, and the future ruler of this world. And as such, I have one very simple request for you."
By now, the Mayor was struggling to keep his knees from knocking together. "Aaaaand..." he began slowly. "That is?..."
Nightmare Moon smiled, and made a lowering motion with her hoof. "Bow."
A collective gasp went through the crowd, and a look of surprise went through the Mayor's face. "What?" he asked, confused.
"I am taking over your world," Nightmare Moon explained. "Starting with Perkinsville. Surrender it and all of its citizens, including yourself, and swear loyalty to me, and I promise to treat you and your subjects as fairly and mercifully as possible."
Now the Mayor's fear was painfully obvious. Behind him, his aides had started slowly backing away. "W-w-well, I..." he stammered.
Nightmare Moon gave an annoyed huff. "I would rather not use force upon you, but if you're going to be like this..." She started advancing on her victim menacingly.
Suddenly, the loud wail of a police siren cut through the murmuring and Nightmare Moon's ultimatum. From the same street that the Mayor had arrived from, a police car bearing the logo of the Perkinsville Police Department pulled up nearby, and four policemen emerged, fanning out away from the car. The lead officer, a man with slightly graying hair and bearing the badge of a police chief, gave Nightmare Moon a quick look-over, suppressed his shock, and started to speak.
The chief was cut off by Nightmare Moon's almost annoyed voice. "And who might you be?" she asked. Off to her side, the mayor and his two aides fled to a safer distance a few blocks down the street.
"Charles Hansen, Chief of the Perkinsville Police Department," he said in a gruff, firm voice. "I'm going to have to ask you to get away from the crowd and stand down. Now, who are you, what are you, and what are–"
Nightmare Moon's face fell again. "Did you not hear me earlier either?"
"No, ma'am, but..."
Nightmare face-hoofed. "Oh, my goodness, just how deaf are you creatures?!" She huffed, and then for the fourth time in the span of an hour, began to introduce herself. "I am Nightmare Moon, former...you know what, I'm not even going to bother with the other titles. All you need to know is that I am taking over your world, starting with your town, and that I demand that you cease this pointless opposition and surrender."
For a moment, Chief Hansen did nothing. Then he reached back into the squad car, and came out a moment later with a shotgun. The officers behind him drew their pistols from their holsters, holding them at the ready, while the crowd slowly began to back away, fearful of the oncoming battle.
"Listen, Nightmare, or whatever your name was," Hansen warned in a no-nonsense tone. "I'm not fooling around here. You're endangering the people of this town, people that I've sworn to protect with my life, and I will not–"
"If you care so much for them," Nightmare interrupted, her voice a threatening growl. "Then you should think very carefully about what you are doing. I do not take kindly to insurrectionists." She caught a glimpse of Hansen's shotgun, and eyed it inquisitively. "What is that weapon you carry?" she asked, now focused solely on the object of her curiosity.
"It's what I'm going to have to shoot you with if you don't come quietly. Now–"
"Let me see that," Nightmare said. Her horn shimmered with a turquoise aura, and suddenly the gun was yanked from Hansen's hands, wrapped in the same glow.
The crowd gasped anew, awed and terrified by this display of arcane power. Even Hansen lost his composure, his face contorting with disbelief. "How...how'd you do that?" he asked numbly.
But Nightmare Moon wasn't listening. She was too preoccupied with inspecting his weapon, which she turned over and around repeatedly in an attempt to understand it. More than once, the barrel of the shotgun was inadvertently aimed directly at one group of people or another, who shrieked and ducked for fear of it accidentally going off.
Finally, Nightmare seemed to find the trigger, and poked at it with the tip of her hoof. The gun went of with a loud bang, and the nearby citizens screamed in terror and dropped to the ground. Fortunately, the shotgun happened to be aimed straight up at the time, but it made little difference.
Nightmare was amazed. "Well, I'll be..." she cracked open the barrel of the gun, and peered inside.
All at once, her face lit up with an excited understanding. "I see! There's an explosive device in there, and then you pull the trigger...what an ingenious weapon! Remind me to stock my army with these once I conquer this planet." Abruptly, she threw the gun aside and turned back to Hansen and the other officers, returning to her threatening voice. "And speaking of which...I must insist that you give up this uprising. You don't want things to become violent, now do you?" she warned in a sing-song voice.
By now, Hansen had drawn his own pistol, and was aiming it right at Nightmare Moon's armor-clad head. "L-last warning!" he shouted, still shaken by Nightmare's telekinesis display. "If you don't stop this, we'll open fire! I mean it!"
Nightmare Moon rolled her eyes and gave an annoyed groan. "Why can't they ever just submit? Must I always have to use force? Oh, well..." Her horn glowed again, but this time a thin beam of bright blue light shot out and struck Hansen's pistol. The gun suddenly turned red hot and began smoking. Hansen screamed in pain and dropped his now melted weapon in alarm.
Nearby, in front of the Mayor's car, one of the cops raised his weapon "Open fire!" he shouted to his teammates, and he proceeded to do just that.
Nightmare Moon was faster though, and she had erected a magical shield around herself before the deputy even had a chance to pull the trigger, and the bullet bounced away across the pavement. "Is that how it's going to be?" the evil mare asked. "Very well, then." Her horn lit up once more, and a surging shaft of energy sprung forth.
Shocked, the deputy leapt out of the way, and it missed him completely. The Mayor's car wasn't so fortunate, and the ray hit it right in the hood. Instantly, the car exploded, and melted and charred parts came raining down upon the street.
The cops began shooting wildly, their bullets being continually bounced away by Nightmare Moon's shield. She took aim at Chief Hansen, and fired a weaker energy beam than the previous one, that sent him flying backwards and crashing into a lamppost, knocking his gun away in the process.
Around them, the crowd had finally lost their collective marbles. They were screaming louder than ever before, and stampeding in different directions to escape from the deadly alicorn. There was no shortage of people accidentally trampling each other in their mad rush to what they hoped would be safety.
Among them, the Mayor and his aides looked back at the twisted, flaming pile of metal, plastic, and other assorted materials that had once been an automobile. "M-m-m-m-MY CAAAAAAR!!!" Prescott screamed, his voice wrought with anguish.
"Well, look on the bright side, sir," one of his aides said, trying to sound cheerful.
"The 'bright side'?! Is there a bright side right now?!" Prescott shouted back.
"Well, you signed up for Geico, so they'll cover that; plus, you'll be able to save up to fifteen percent or more on that insurance," the aide explained.
"Well, yeah, but...still..." the Mayor said, despondently gesturing to the destroyed vehicle.
"How much longer do you think we have to run?" Matt asked, panting heavily. "I'm out of breath, man!"
Running along beside him, Anthony shook his head. "We've gotta' find her and make sure she doesn't hurt anybody!"
"How are we even gonna' stop her?" Matt asked. "She fell from outer space and just shrugged it off!"
"We'll think of something," Anthony reassured him. "We just–" He was cut off when a woman ran right into him, shook it off, and continued running down the street. "Hey! Watch where you're–"
"RUN!" The woman shouted. "JUST RUN!"
Anthony and Matt both turned toward the street ahead. More and more people were coming from that way, and the sounds of gunshots, explosions, and energy blasts resonated off the buildings.
Matt turned to Anthony, his face filled with dread. "Do you think she...?"
"I don't think so," Anthony replied. "I know so."
The two continued down the street, dodging past fleeing civilians. When they finally got to the end of the road and turned the corner onto Main Street, the scene was about as bad as they feared it would be.
The three remaining police officers were still firing at Nightmare Moon, their bullets failing to break through her shield and bouncing away. Most of the pedestrians were able to avoid being hit by the ricocheting projectiles, though, with the exception of one old man who got a bullet right in the southern hemisphere. Every once in a while, the former Mare in the Moon would fire off an energy blast at her opponents, blasting them backward and disarming them. Down the street, Chief Hansen was struggling to get to his feet, his back still aching from being thrown into the lamppost. And over all, the smoke from the Mayor's destroyed car blanketed the air with a sooty gray cloud.
Matthew put his hands over his head, his jaw dropping in horror. "Holy–"
"–shoot!" Anthony finished. Then he gave his friend a questioning glance. "You were gonna say 'shoot', right?"
Matthew shook his head. "Uh, no?"
Anthony gave him an indignant look. "Dude! People have kids here!" he scolded, gesturing to the panicking crowd around them. "Keep the language down!"
"Well, sorry," Matthew replied sarcastically. "But when our town is being destroyed by an alien horse with super powers, I'm not exactly gonna' be thinking about–"
"GET DOWN!" Anthony screamed, grabbing Matt by the shoulder and flinging the both of them to the ground as a stray energy blast whizzed over their heads and struck a deli in the street they had just come from, anhillating it instantly.
"We can't stay out here!" Matt wailed. "We're gonna get vaporized or something!"
Anthony frantically looked around for a place to hide. A few blocks away was a sporting goods store that looked more or less intact. "In there!" Anthony shouted, dragging Matt to his feet and pulling him into a run. "Get inside there!"
Meanwhile, Nightmare Moon sent the final deputy flying backwards into a wall with a crackling bolt of magical blue energy, knocking him out cold. She was just starting to turn away in triumph when a new set of sirens made themselves heard over the chaos.
Five new police cars pulled up and came to a screeching halt about twelve meters away from the dark alicorn. The deputies inside leapt out of their vehicles and aimed their weapons at their opponent. "Surrender now or we'll shoot!" the foremost of the cops shouted, her voice loud but betraying an obvious fear.
Nightmare Moon glanced over at Hansen, who was still struggling to his feet. "The persistence of your troops is most admirable," she said to him. "However, I also find it very annoying." She turned back to her new set of opponents, and fired a bright blue beam from her horn. Upon contacting the car and the four officers clustered around it, the beam instantly sealed the targets in translucent blue crystal, freezing their looks of terror on their faces.
"Wha...What did you do?!" Hansen cried out in alarm.
"Oh, relax," Nightmare replied, waving him off with her hoof and nonchalantly deflecting the oncoming hail of bullets. "That crystal is air-permeable; they can still breathe. It'll shatter in a few hours, and they'll be just fine..." she gave him a wicked smirk. "Until I punish them for their insubordination, that is."
She returned her attention to her new set of opponents, blasting magic rays at them and sending them dodging. The new group of officers had about the same luck as the first; their weapons simply did nothing against the magic shielding.
Nightmare Moon, on the other hand, was doing extremely well ("well" being a relative term in this case). Now she was alternating between attacks, knocking back the police one moment, blasting a building or vehicle the next, encasing someone in crystal...it kept going on like that in a repeating cycle.
In fact, it was getting to the point where she was actually getting bored of it. She gave a loud yawn, and said to herself, "This is becoming too monotonous; how about I shake things up a little?" With that, she telekinetically grabbed the sole surviving police car, effortlessly lifting it into the air, and hovering it over a group of cops.
"Run!" One of them shouted. "She's gonna' drop it!" And it turns out he was right. As the cops scrambled to get out of the way, she slammed it into the ground with a loud crash, then lifted it up and brought it down again in another spot. And so it went on like that for a while, with the evil mare slamming the car at the cops like a flyswatter. It was a miracle that they were able to avoid being crushed by it, sustaining injuries from tripping or bumping into things.
Finally, after about a minute or so of that, when the car was crushed to the point of falling to pieces, she threw the remains absentmindedly through the air behind her, paying no mind to the loud crash as the vehicle went through the roof of some building a few blocks away.
By now, Chief Hansen had finally staggered to his feet. He surveyed the destruction around him, and then slowly, reluctantly, took out his radio and clicked it on.
"All units," he said into the radio, his voice weary. He sighed before continuing. "Stand down. I repeat; stand down."
The few cops who were still shooting stopped, unable to believe their ears.
Nightmare Moon gave Hansen a smirk. "A very wise choice, Mister Hansen. You have just spared the lives of countless so-called 'innocents'." Her attention was suddenly drawn to something stirring underneath a smashed shop window nearby. Striding over the debris that now littered the street, she lifted up the remains of the window, revealing Mayor Prescott (who had gotten knocked down during the exodus and pinned under the window) holding his hands over his head and whimpering like crazy. When he caught sight of Nightmare Moon looming over him, he shakily tried to get to his feet, only to be restrained when the mare lightly put her hoof on top of his head.
"Ah ah ah ah," she said in a cruel, sing-song voice. "Stay down. And stay like that until I tell you. Although I have half a mind to just freeze you like that as an example to anyone else."
The Mayor gave out a frightened little squeak at that notion. Nightmare Moon chuckled, and then turned away, leaving the Mayor still on his hands and knees behind her.
When she was in the center of the street, she shouted out in a loud voice, "Attention, people of Perkinsville! Come out and listen to what you're queen has to say!"
Nothing. For a moment, there was silence. Nobody came forward or said anything.
Nightmare Moon made a grimace, then lit up her horn. "Shall you come to me, or shall I have to raze every building around me?" she asked.
Slowly, fearfully, the people who had taken refuge in the stores and buildings came out. The majority of them were covered in dirt and soot, and a good many had cuts and bruises. They gathered around their conqueror, but made sure to keep their distance, both out of respect and pure, unadulterated terror.
Nightmare Moon smiled. "That's better. Now...from this day forth, I shall be your ruler. Obey me, and I will make sure your lives are happy and fruitful in the eternal night that I shall bring to this world. Defy me..." she gestured to the remains of Main Street around her. "...and it shall be like this day a thousand over. Dwell upon that, my subjects. Now for your first task under my reign: send runners to all your neighboring cities and villages. Tell them to spread the message that Nightmare Moon shows no mercy to those who–"
Suddenly, a dazed and ridiculously funny look was plastered on Nightmare Moon's face, cutting her monologue short and ruining an incredibly tense and terrifying moment. The crowd gasped as she fell limply to the ground, her tongue hanging out of her mouth.
She was out cold.
Behind her unconscious form stood Anthony and Matthew, grinning in triumph and relief, each carrying a baseball bat that they had picked up from the sporting goods store where they had taken refuge.
Hours later, night had finally come over the town of Perkinsville, New Jersey. Or rather, what was left of it.
Main Street had been absolutely demolished by Nightmare Moon's rampage, and a good deal of the surrounding property had been damaged by stray shots and such. The police department was in shambles. Fortunately, no one had actually been killed during the attack, even when the wicked mare had started slamming the police car down. There were plenty of injuries, of course, but no fatalities.
And that's probably the most important part of all, Anthony mused. He was walking down the same path in the park that he had treaded earlier that morning, trying to walk off the residual tension from the day's events.
When he had suggested to Matt that they try to get a hit on Nightmare Moon while she was delivering her ultimatum, he had thought he was crazy, but he went along with the idea anyway. "What do we have do lose?" he had muttered as they were picking out their weapons. "She'll probably kill us anyway."
But lo and behold, they had actually succeeded in bringing down the most terrifying threat Earth had ever seen with nothing more than a couple of baseball bats, precise timing, and an insane amount of luck. And if any one of Perkinsville's citizens knew just how much havoc Nightmare had wreaked upon her own world, then the praise showered upon the two boys would be even greater than it already was. Mayor Prescott had already given them the Key to the City, and rumor had it that he was trying to persuade the President to give them Medals of Honor for their actions.
As he rounded the bend in the path for the second time that day, he once again found Matt sitting on that very same park bench. Of course, there were a few differences this time: for one, it was night. Also, Matt was now looking upwards instead of twiddling his thumbs idly. And finally, there was still that big, blackened crater where they had first encountered their nemesis.
Anthony smiled "Seems to me we've done this before," he called out to Matt.
Matthew turned to him and smiled back. "Wanna have a seat?"
Anthony shrugged. "Why not? As long as nothing else comes from outer space to kill us."
Matt laughed as he moved over to make room for his friend. When Anthony had got himself comfortable, Matt continued.
"Did they cart her off?"
"Mm-hmm," Anthony replied. "Some people from the Pentagon came up a little while ago and loaded her into an armored truck. They wouldn't say where they were taking her, though. They said it was 'classified', or whatever."
Matt shrugged. "Well, I personally don't care where she's going right now. I'm just glad she's out of our lives," he said. Then turned his attention back to the sky.
Anthony regarded him curiously. "What are you doing?"
"Well," Matt began. "Remember how Nightmare Moon said that once she took over Earth, she was going to put the whole planet into an eternal night?"
"How could I forget?" Anthony asked, shuddering a little at the memory. I'm never gonna' get that smile out of my head..., he thought.
"Well, I was just trying to figure out what's so special about the night that someone would want it to last forever."
"Oh?" Anthony replied. "And what did you find?"
Matthew pointed upwards. "That."
Anthony followed where his finger was pointing, and took in the sight above.
The night sky was crystal clear, and the stars in all of their celestial glory shone like glistening jewels in the dark void of space. Ordinarily, the lights from the town drowned it all out, but since a lot of buildings had been destroyed, there was a significantly less amount of light pollution.
It almost took Anthony's breath away.
"You know," Matt began, his voice filled with wonder. "I've never really looked at the stars this way before."
Anthony nodded. "Me either."
Matt looked over at Anthony. "Do you think that's what the problem was? That Nightmare Moon just saw things differently from everyone else, and got tired of nobody understanding how she saw the world?"
Anthony shrugged. "It's possible. Doesn't excuse how she went about it, though."
"Of course not," Matt replied. "But it does kind of make sense, in a way. It really is a cool thing to look at." He gave Anthony a smile. "In moderation, of course."
"Yeah," Anthony agreed. He thought about it for a moment, and then added, "You know, now I'm actually kind of sad that we'll probably never see her again. We'll never know what was really going through that head of hers."
Matt nodded, but didn't say anything. He just continued to look up at the night sky, and soon Anthony followed suit.
And so the both of them remained in silence like that for a long time, gazing at the heavens in all their glory.