Forging Friendship

by flame phoenix

First published

Fluttershy is greatly affected by Twilight's death; but can she face the Crimson Mare?

Fluttershy is now an Alicorn and is greatly affected by Twilight's death; will she and her friends be able to face the mysterious Crimson Mare, or has Twilight died in vain? *Sequel to Fading Friendships*

Twilight's Clue

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"FLUTTERSHY!" Yelled Rainbow Dash, hammering at the flimsy cottage door; "You've been in there for three WEEKS! We need you! You are the only pony who knows how Twilight died!"
"Sugar-cube, ah'm sorry but we're gonna knock down your door if ya'll don' open it!" Applejack shouted through the key-hole.
Fluttershy whimpered; "Please don't knock the door down, you'll scare all the small creatures in here!"
Pinkie bounced up to the cottage. "Ooh! Ooh! I know! We can-" She whispered urgently to Rainbow and A.J.
"I dunno, Sugar-cube, sounds a bit un-safe, ya'll know?" A.J. scratched her head.
"I'll take it! This is desperate, but we ARE desperate!" Rainbow rubbed her hooves together.
"YAY!" Yelled Pinkie. "On the count of cupcakes! ONE, TWO, CUPCAKES!" A pink explosion full of streamers and balloons was heard all the way in Canterlot.
A lot of sparkles and pink smoke was still about after five minutes; a lot of coughing and spluttering followed. "YAY! IT WORKED!" Pinkie pie yelled happily.

The flimsy cottage door was blown off it's hinges, but amazingly that was all that happened to the cottage. Fluttershy stood shivering on the door step, one foot higher than the others and wearing a straw hat similar to A.J's. Bits of cake and streamers were in Fluttershy's mane, and she looked completely zonked out.
"PARTY GRENADES! Buy one get one free! Three varieties to choose from: Pineapple cake, base-ball cup-cake, or pink surprise deluxe!" Pinkie shouted.
"I'm guessing that was the pink surprise?" Rainbow laughed.

"Horse-apples! Are you okay, Flutters?" A.J waved her hat in front of Fluttershy; she just stared ahead without blinking. "Darn! Ah think we over did it; she's in shock!"
"Never mind that, how come she's so tall? And her wings are bigger!" Rainbow stared enviously at the cream mare.
"Not fair! She got a straw hat just like you, A.J! I've been wanting one of those for AGES!" Pinkie frowned.
Pinkie reached for the straw hat; "Pinkie! Don't touch it, it hurts!" Fluttershy finally snapped out of her trance and slowly moved backwards.
"Fluttershy! Oh, heavens ta bettsy! Thank god ya'll alright!" Applejack wiped the sweat of her brow;

"No! Applejack, Rainbow, Pinkie: get away from me! I'm a danger to myself, but I don't want to hurt you guys! Please!"
Fluttershy kept moving backwards until she stumbled over something. The straw hat fell of her head, revealing her horn.
"Okay, what the HAY is going on?!" Rainbow stared at Fluttershy. "First you close your self off from the rest of Equestria, then we see that you have a fake horn on your head, and you declare it hurts. What the buck is going on?!"
Fluttershy collapsed to the floor; she was shivering as if she had a bad case of chills and tears pouring from her face.
"She told me to! *sob* I had to *sob* and I didn't stop her *sobsobsob* I couldn't do it! I failed! I'm a failure!" This sudden change of emotion stunned Applejack back to her senses.
"Sugar-cube, Ahm sure it wasn't yer fault." She glared at Rainbow Dash; "Pinkie, can ya get some apple juice from Big Mac? Tell him it's fer medical purposes."

Pinkie, who had been mysteriously silent the whole time, hopped off without a word. Some thing told Rainbow and A.J she knew some thing they didn't.
Fluttershy got up weakly; "I owe you guys an explanation. Living room, if you please."

"So," Rainbow said slowly, "Are you telling us that a two billion year old mad mare that killed Twilight is actually the Crimson Mare? Dude, that is NOT cool."
"Well, that's also why the Wenigos were up in the sky; the Mare carries a aura of hate and spite, which causes the Wendigos to take to the skies." Fluttershy nodded.
"That's all mighty fine, but why didn't Twilight decide to tell us?" Applejack asked.
"She said that if she did you'd do something stupid to stop her, you know, commit suicide. She-she-" Fluttershy collapsed again in tears.
"Fluttershy, don't take it so hard; I heard Spitfire almost killed herself while in a dive, said something about Twilight death being her fault. Trust me, I don't have enough party equipment to do another TWO parties!" Pinkies hair had regained most of its bushiness, but her curls hung lank, as if they had given up.
"Th-thanks, Pinkie." Fluttershy sniffed. "Oh, by the way, where's Rarity?" A.J, Rainbow and Pinkie exchanged dark looks.

"She, um, abandoned us," Rainbow hung her head.
"SHE WHAT?!" Shouted Fluttershy;
"She abandoned us, Flutters." A.J answered.
"I know, she even set her place up for sale!" Pinkie exclaimed.
"Your kidding!" Fluttershy started shaking. "You have to be kidding!"
"Sugar-cube, ahm sorry but its true!" Applejack lowered her hat.
"Alright, guys, listen up: we HAVE to find Rarity! We just have to! Hasta La Vesta, girls!" Fluttershy swung on a straw sun hat and vanished in a 'poof' of pink smoke.

"She could give Celestia lessons!" Rainbow shook her head.
Applejack was stunned; "What in the hay just happened?" she asked her expression blank.
"Wow, that was dramatic!" Pinkies eyebrows were now hidden by her mane.
The flimsy cottage was silent for ten minutes before any pony finally realised they were allowed to talk. Angel face pawed; he started tugging at Applejack's hoof, then ran out of patience and tugged at her mane.
"What in- oh, it's ya'll Angel." The white rabbit pointed at Applejack, then the living room door, then imitated reading. When A.J didn't respond, he just dragged her to the door. "Ya'll want me to leave, Angel?" The bunny shook his head and pointed at a piece of paper stuck to the door.

Applejack gingerly tugged it off the door; Angel pointed at the piece of paper and mimed reading. Again. A.J took one look at the paper before collapsing in a faint. "Applejack!" Rainbow zoomed over, concerned.
"She's fine, just fainted, don't worry. But I wonder what caused her to faint?" Pinkie gently took the note from Applejack. "WAAA?!" She tumbled over shaking like a leave.
"What is it?" Rainbow snatched the note out of Pinkie's grip, just in time to notice a curly signature being drawn by a quill, suspended in mid-air.

The message was not written by magic, because there was no sign of the sparkly cloud that usually encased the object being suspended. When the quill finished, it dropped to the floor, a normal quill.

Dear Friends,

I'm sorry, did I frighten you? Applejack looks, well... any way, straight to the point:

my sources tell me that Rarity is missing, correct? Fluttershy is already on the case,

as you know. Sorry for the inconvenience and the fright I gave you!

By the way, you can write to me via Spike; I know he is still in hospital, but you

ask him to send me one when he is better.

Your good friend,

Twilight Sparkle.

The Hiding Place

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"You're a tough one aren't you? What about another dose of pain?" A scream of agony filled the dimly lit chamber.
"Please, have mercy, I trusted you, I helped you-" Another scream echoed across the chamber. "I loved you as a sister!" The Princess of the sun sobbed.
"Celestia, if you really loved me, would've I killed Lilly?" The Crimson Mare idly looked at her hoof. "Now really, I'll have to try Luna if this is the result I get!"
"NO! Not Luna, please, have mercy, have mercy!" Celestia screamed as another shock of electrocuted magic charged through her body.

Celestia was no longer her previous version of grace, royalty and honour; the Princess was reduced to a shivering wreck: her once flowing mane was now tangled and paled, her before graceful and impressive figure now horribly thin and weak; she crouched before a black marble throne, for once in her life looking downright fearful and afraid.
"Now, I ask you one more time: Why are you still alive, who are the Elements of Harmony and HOW can I find them?!" She shouted the last two words.

"Won't tell, gave my word, Twilight, Luna, Lilly..." Celestia murmured to herself.
"I said ANSWER ME!" Yelled the Mare, her slitted pupils widening with rage;
"Kill me then! Like I give a buck! Kill me, if you are so great and not afraid of any thing! Because I don't care! This is what I think of YOU!" Celestia spat at the Mare's feet, her eyebrows contracting in hate. "Feixing loved you like a daughter! He took you in and raised you, when no pony else could! He loved you so much, and look what you give him in return! What do you think he would say now, when you destroyed so many innocent lives? Luna and Lilly loved you, and so did I! What do you think Lilly would say if she was here?
When you were fatally ill, who took tare of you when no hospital would? We did! Lilly made you a life saving medicine, Feixing was always there for you! Luna raised the stars early so you could see them for the last time in case you didn't make it! I gave you a gift of a hug and a warm place to stay! And how did you repay us?"

"ENOUGH!" Screamed the Mare; "ENOUGH!"
"Oh, so the Mare of Crimson hates her past? I thought she wasn't afraid of anything! My turn to ask questions: why did you kill Lilly, huh? What did she ever do to you?!" Shouted Celestia, sweat trickling down her back;

"STOP!!!" Screeched the Mare sending another bolt of magic into Celestia; Celestia whimpered as she was silenced. Her only hope was to scare the Mare into submission. Her plan failed.

Regaining her chilled, delighted self, she talked; "Celestia Light-Iris; your last words?"
"Oh yes! Just wanted to tell you that while you tortured me I had enough power to produce one last spell: the spell of spirit channelling."
"WHAT?! But I put spells that prevent you from doing magic all over the place! How-"
A pink light shone from Celestia's horn; "You actually fell for that one? You're exactly the same as you were one billion years ago. When an Alicorn or Unicorn loses concentration, the spells that they cast are weakened."

A pearly white transparent Unicorn slowly glides through the chamber, marvelling at her hooves and body; realisation hits the Mare. She now knew her big mistake: believing Celestia.

"Twilight Sparkle. Go back where you came from." The Mare looks at the Unicorn in fear; she was just like she was in life, except that she had no injuries and was clean. And was also a spirit.

"No." Twilight's word echoed across the chamber in a frightening way; "I will stay here until I see you take your own medicine. Water-lilly will love to see you sometime soon."

The Mare paled; "L-lilly?" she choked; "You've seen Lilly?"
"Of course I have; along with all the other poor souls whose life you took. I know you strengths and your weaknesses, Hope Flight-Feather; fear me like you would the Stead-Reaper."
"S-stead-Reaper?" Squealed the Mare in horror. "He doesn't exist!"
"Trust me, Flight-Feather; Feixing and him are good friends, as I trust you know."

Twilight grinned evilly; "I believe I have some friends to help." With that she vanished.
"Celestia. You. Will. Pay!" The Mare said through clenched teeth; Celestia just smiled weakly. The spell had sapped most of her remaining strength.

A last piercing scream could be heard.

The servant hurried down the vast stone corridor, shivering at the cold; the walls were draped in silk posters of the Crimson Mare's symbol: a skull in the midst of a dark blue vortex.
The servant hated his job, but he had to do it if he wanted his wife and children to be alive; he gingerly opened to the chilling dungeon door.
The sight was horrifying: fillies and colts were all over the place, clutching photos, toys or blankets; Most of them didn't even have a cutie mark.

The servants hoof shook as he pointed at five foals; "C-come here, please." He managed to say. The first to obey was a cream filly with a brown mane, holding a filthy teddy as if it was her life source; tears welled in the servants eyes when he saw that she didn't have a cutie mark. "Sir, where are my mummy and daddy?" she asked, her crystal blue eyes looking upon the brown stallion.

"I-I don't know. I really don't." The servant gave the frightened filly a sad look; "I really don't."
Lighting his horn the stallion led the foals into a foul chamber with stone grey walls and a throne of black marble set in the centre.

"Servant." acknowledged the Mare of Crimson.
"Bring the- ah- life-taker." The young foals faces paled when the servant brought fourth a metal contraption; the stallion set a metal hoop around the Mare's horn, adjusting it so it fell snugly onto place. The servant moved aside, and the Mare's horn began to glow dark blue; she closed her eyes an the runes carved into the metal hoop started to give off a red hue.

A minute passed before the servant heard the tell-tale sign of the Mare's satisfaction: the clatter of the foal's bones.


Authors note: Good lord, sorry for the ridiculous wait between this chapter and the last. And also sorry about the grim-dark sort of ending of this chapter. (No foals were hurt in the making of this chapter, I assure you.)