Writer's Block.

by xXCondemnedSoulXx

First published

Author in Equestria.

Warning: Anthroponies! Again if this displeases you, well that sucks.
Alternate version to It's always worth the price.
One night, John Dixon was working on a story for Fimfiction. He was about to hit the publish button when the most unexpected happened. What does one do when they become a character in their own story?

Dawn of a New World.

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John sat in front of his laptop writing his newest chapter to his story 'It's always worth the price.' The constant tapping on the keys, the music blasting in his ears, the coffee sitting next to him slowly growing colder by the minute. All these factors being necessary to the process of conjuring up his complicated and perplexing story. He stood at seven hundred and eighty nine words so far, three or four hundred more words to go. At this point in his story, the chapter spoke about Chrysalis and the guardian, Darkmoon. They were staring at the beautiful night sky laying on the warm grass. The light reflecting off the moon danced across the changling queen's silky mane, at this Dark's heart began to race. Warm smiles covered both of their faces, the mighty guardian began to pull Chrysalis in for a kiss then suddenly...

"Ok, I'll take a break for a moment." John pulled himself away from the screen and rubbed both of his hands across his face, dragging the palms of his hands down. He reached over to his nightstand and grabbed his coffee mug and downed the rest of his now cold and bitter beverage. Once he set the empty mug down, he turned his attention his alarm clock. It read,'7:20 pm' exactly. John thought to himself,'Well I thought it was later than that... ok, well I guess I can continue for now.'

As the story came into motion, Chrysalis' soft lips set upon Dark's. While they made out with much passion, a shadowy figure watched them from afar. John switched the point of view over to the mystery figure,"Dark, you think you and your family are safe. You’re supposed to be my family, you were meant to be mine! I'd kill myself for you.... I'd kill you for myself!" the figure faded back into the darkness of the forest.

"I love you Chrysalis, I hope you know that." the hooded guardian told the ebony queen.

She smiled and nodded,"I know love, you've told me that twelve times tonight alone."

Dark grinned and pulled the changling queen closer,"I know, I just can't believe that someone as amazing as yourself is mine."

"Ah! Come on brain! We can do this!" John became frustrated with this sense of where the story wouldn't spell itself out, now it was just stopping in its tracks. "Come on!" the native pulled himself away from the keyboard and put his hands against his face in frustration. The sensation of hunger filled his thoughts and motives,"Ok, maybe if I eat something.. that should get me back into the mood." John set his laptop onto the nightstand and got off the bed.

He made his way over to the kitchen area of his small apartment, he cracked open the fridge and scanned the small enclosed area for anything tasty. Sadly for him, he lost his taste buds seven years ago. Only things extremely spicy or bitter could penetrate his dull tastes. "And of course.... I'm hungry for everything that isn't available to me at home." he took a sigh in disappointment and continued to make his usual snack, two slices of bread, a slice of mozzarella cheese, some lunch meat and mustard. As he assembled his snack, his brain began to talk to him like usual.

"I got an Idea! We could..."

"No, We already tried that."

"Well then, how about..."

"Again... try again."

"Well, I didn't want to pull out the big guns but...."

"Sorry, but please try again." He sighed, him and his mind couldn't think of anything. The story was good, but inspiration seemed to be dying from a sever case of boredom. The story became more so work than anything else. It started fun but like all of the other things John did for fun became tiresome. 'Variety, it's the spice of life, but it's also a routine. Constant change is the only continuous loop in this strange world we live in.' John thought to himself.

As John munched on his sandwich, he gazed upon the clock for the last time that night. "9:13 pm... well, time just flew." He finished off his sandwich and made his way over to his front door. He twisted the lock into the Locked position and gave a quick stretch,"Maybe, i'll finish it off tomorrow." a large yawn overtook his mouth as he stretched. He turned his attention to his welcoming bed and strode his way over to it. As he pulled the covers over himself, a shock of inspiration struck him like a flash of lightning. He tossed the covers off and reached for his laptop on the nightstand. Once the page of fimfiction was on, he set his attention to continuing the next chapter.

"Dark, maybe we should... go to the royal quarters." the changling queen said in a flirtatious tone. Dark continued to hold her in his grasp as a spell conjured in his right hand. Once the spell was charged, he cast it and the two lovers were teleported to the royal chambers. He pulled her into a long and passionate kiss and began caressing her sides. She began to let out small moans of pleasure.

"Maybe I shouldn't... I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I'll just leave the clop scenes up to the betters. yeah." John said to himself. He saved his progress so far and switched over to see the word count so far on the chapter,"One thousand, three hundred and sixty seven words. That should be enough for a good chapter I guess, I'll just give it a quick read over before I publish it." True to his word, he gave the thrown together makeshift chapter a read over and only found a couple of spelling errors and two repeated words. "Not bad, at least I'm getting better at this writing thing."

He slide his finger over the mouse pad and the cursor was just over the publish button,"You were good kid, very good. But as long as I'm around, you'll always be second best, see?" John smirked at his lame Jim Carrey impression. His finger pressed down onto the mouse pad but the story wouldn't submit. 'What the...' John thought to himself.

Again and again, over and over, he continued to push on the mouse pad. Clicking the publish button, but nothing seemed to happen. "Well, great... Fuck." the male native leaned against his hands in frustration. He closed his eyes and took a few calming breaths. His eyes quickly opened and he squinted his eyes,"I am going to submit you. Tonight, tomorrow, or the next.. I am going to submit you. Save us both some time and just surrender." He lifted his index finger in a righteous fashion and spoke in a deep tone,"By the power of Celestia, you...shall...SUBMIT!" he threw his finger quickly towards the left click button but slowed down just before he slammed his hand into the keyboard, lightly clicking the publish button.

'Published.' John saw this word and leaned back against the backboard of his bed and sighed in relief. Out of nowhere, a strange feeling covered his right arm. It felt numb and tingly, soon the sudden sensation proceeded up his arm. "Umm... maybe I should go see the doctor... yeah." He stood to his feet and tried to move to the door, but the feeling of numbness quickly spread further through his body. His heart began to race from this feeling,'I can't move!' he thought to himself because his lips couldn't find the strength to move. Soon his body was but a lifeless and motionless husk, all John could do was think,'Am...am I... dying?'

He laid on the floor resting against the edge of his bed, powerless and helpless. The only part of his body with the ambition to move was his eyes, but he only wished it followed the same fate like the rest of his body. The reason behind this was the sight of his feet slowly fading away, leaving into oblivion, never to return. 'I'm sorry, all the people I've wronged. I'm so sorry.' he thought as a tear slid down his face. Soon the lower half of his body followed his absent feet, and shortly joined with his arms. Nothing left in this world but his torso and head. John closed his eyes and waited for the end, thinking his goodbyes to this lonely world. Hoping that his pleas of forgiveness were heard.

The numbness slowly began to fade away and john refused to open his eyes. The thought of only being a head or a set of eyes was frightening, but after a couple of moments of fear, he slowly opened his left eye.

He looked upon his body, everything was there to his relief. He took a deep inhale and gave a long exhale. He looked around to find his room was nowhere in sight. "You... have got to be..." He saw that he was now in Equestria, the world he thought and made stories within. "Fucking kidding me."

Welcome back, John.

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John sat there in his spot, awestruck by this random turn of events. From working on a chapter to his story, to waking up in Equestria, a land full of ponies.

"I.. I don't understand... what?" He slowly stood to his feet, he looked around. His surroundings were fields of grass and hills. Trees scattered here and there with small brushes branching out. The air was warm and comforting, the rays of the sun bouncing off his face as if it were giving him a hug. The sun was just rising into the sky to greet the day, and the moist dew on the strands of grass surrounding John left a small chill against his soft white socks. Quickly, they began to dampen as he made his way through the field. He began his search for civilization, but in what direction he asked himself constantly. He had no idea where he was, no idea where to go, and what would the ponies of this world think of a human? These questions plagued his mind as he crossed the vast seas of grass and dirt.

"Is that... holy shit, no way." he said to himself as if expecting a response. John laid his eyes upon the distance silhouette of Ponyville in the far distance.

He did get a response to his rhetorical question though. This brain thought,'How in the living hell did we get here? Stop where you are and let's think this through before you go any further.'

'Ok, what do you want to talk about.' He thought back.

'Glad to know you still use me, anyways, we somehow got here after some freak show in the bedroom, where you couldn't even feel your body, and you watched as you slowly began to fade away into nothing, only to wake up in Equestria, a fictional land in a show. A cartoon show nonetheless, not an actual world. You know how no one knows what happens after death right? What if we're...'

'Dead, yes, I've given this a thought or two already if you don't remember. If I were dead then, I've come to a place based off friendship. Some people call the 'Better place' heaven, I'd rather it here.'

John turned away from his thoughts and continued on his way through the fields of green.

////////////

After about twenty or so minutes of walking, John finally arrived at the anticipated town of Ponyville. He gazed around and saw the many stalls, stores, and houses, all occupied by the ponies that lived or worked in them. He slowly made his way through the streets and found his way to the central park of the town. The eighteen year old native got many looks from ponies,"They're anthro... That's amazing! Just like my story!" John exclaimed in excitement.

A very familiar pegasus known as Ditzy doo approached the awe stricken native and asked,"Dark, are you feeling alright? Some ponies around town said you were acting strange... did you get younger?" she raised an eyebrow and gave John an odd look. She seemed confused and John finally pieced it together.

'Since I'm the creator of the story, and the character was based on an older version of me, the universe canceled out the replica and switched me in his place. Then that means that I'm the main character then, and that means...' John thought to himself.

Ditzy continued to give the constantly thought ridden John looks of confusion,"Dark, are you feeling alright? You seem off from your usual... well... usual you." John turned away from his thoughts and looked the grey pegasus in the eyes.

"Ditzy, something is wrong. I'm not supposed to be here, I should be back home, in my world."

Ditzy took a couple of glances around then turned her attention back to John,"What do you mean? I thought you're supposed to be the guardian? You're supposed to protect us!" she said through whispers to keep the attention off of the two of them.

"No, Darkmoon's Crescent is supposed to, but I'm not him. I'm... my name is John Dixon."

"John, Dark, It's all the same. Everybody knows both your human name and your equestrian one already. You don't need to explain this to me."

John ran his hand over his face in frustration. "No Ditzy, I'm a writer, I am the Guardian of Equestria in a sense but not the one you know, the Darkmoon you know is based off of me and he's the main character in a story I was writing back on Earth. But since I came here, I'm guessing that the universe cancelled him out. And he will continue to not exist as long as I'm here, sure I love the thought of me being here and all, but.. I can't fill his shoes."

"So you saying that Dark wasn't real?"

"During the time you knew him, yes he was. But now... no." John wrapped his hand around the back of his neck.

John placed a reassuring hand on the grey mares shoulder and said,"Don't worry though, I will try my best to get him back. I just need to get back to my home, earth. Can you help me with this task?" The lazy eyed pegasus nodded and began leading John towards the direction of Darkmoon's house.

As the two arrived, they tried opening the door only to be rejected due to the lock. "Oh yeah, well that means..." John began searching nearby objects near the door until he cried out,"Found it!"

"Found what?" asked the mare.

"The key, Dark never carried his key and always used spells to unlock his door. I wrote one time that he finally decided to leave the key to his house inside the flower pot Rarity gave him." John wiped the excess dirt off of the silver key and turned to the lock. Once he inserted and turned the key inside the lock, the sound of a click was heard and the door unlocked. "Ready or not, Dark. Here I come."

Ruins and Relics.

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John and Ditzy walked into the living room, the house had dust and cobwebs lining everywhere. The native writer expected as much, given he never really used it in the story except for a couple scenes.

As Ditzy searched around the vacant house, John simply looked around admiring the figures and shapes he fashioned for Darkmoon's house. The grey pegasus looked to John and asked,"Um, what are we looking for exactly?"

"Well, I was actually hoping that I was wrong and Dark would have been here. The likeliness of finding the brave adventurer here were slim to none but I thought that I'd at least try." John walked over to the couch in the living room and sat down. He leaned forward and buried his face behind his hands and sighed.

"He could be over at the Hive." said the grey mare.

"That he could, that he could." John slowly pulled himself away from the couch and thought to himself,'If I were Dark, where would I put... why am I asking myself this, I know exactly where I'd put it.' the native walked down the hall and entered the dusty bedroom. Ditzy followed closely and watched as John slide open the closet door.

"What are you.."

John pushed numerous things out of his way as he rummaged through the closet. He continued to battle with the many objects obscuring his path to his goal. "There you are."

"There is what? John, you're starting to worry me. What did you find?" asked the grey mare.

John reached inside and began pulling out a small safe,"For this little number! It's something Dark bought, nice isn't it?" The little safe was no bigger than a crate and made of solid steel with a large number coded lock. "Dark kept something of Senior's back even he went and found the rest of his gear, It was pointless to him, but it's pretty useful to me."

"And how do we get to it? Didn't Dark only have the code?"

John slowly raised his hand to his face and closed his eyes,"Ditzy... I made Dark, I know everything he does."

"Sorry, this whole thing is really confusing."

"Much like the rest of my stories, don't worry, you're not the only one that's been through this." John turned his attention to the small safe and inspected the lock. After a quick pressing of numbers, the safe clicked open. "Darkmoon, you magnificent bastard. Thanks for keeping this." Out came a piece of paper and quill, they were the only things found inside the safe, but John had a smile on that explained that was all he wanted.

"All that for a piece of old paper and a half broken quill? Why?" Ditzy asked as if discouraged.

John turned back to the grey mare and smiled. "Ditzy, this may look like mere paper and a broken quill, but it houses immense power. And as for it's purpose, let me show you." John took the quill in hand and placed it on the paper.

After writing a brief sentence, the quill and paper faded into nothing and completely disappeared. "That was the most anti-climactic thing I've ever seen." said Ditzy. All John did was smile.

"Ditzy, what you just saw was the Scroll of dreams. I created it and it's purpose is to grant anything that's written."

"So, it's a one time use thing?" asked the pegasus.

"No, my dear Ditzy. What I wrote down was that it serves the same purpose, but it lingers and exists as a memory inside my head. This way, I can access it whenever I want to without the need to carry it around anywhere." John told the grey mare and all she did was nod, but the expression she held told him that she was still confused.

"Umm." Ditzy mustered.

"Here's an easier explanation, It's inside my head now and that's all that matters about it." Ditzy gave a nod accepting the simple explanation.

////////////////


The strange couple made for the street and proceeded towards the train station,"So where are we going now?" asked the grey mare.

"Well, first we should make for the castle in Canterlot, Celestia needs to know what's going on." John told her.

Ditzy looked to the native and gasped,"What? Are you crazy? Just how do you suppose your going to get in? If you want to see her or Luna, you have to at least book a meeting a few days prior. You can't just waltz in and ask to see her!" the words the grey pegasus spoke were true, and this put a damper on John's plans.

"Ok, well I'll be 'Dark' from now on. He's modeled after me and we do share some of the same traits, all I really need is the clothes and armor."

"And how do you suppose your going to get them? You don't have any money for the clothes and the armor's unique!" Ditzy stated.

"Well, it's simply really." John imagined the fragments of clothing and they came into reality.

"How did you do that?" Ditzy was in awe, with her jaw hanging in pure astonishment.

As John pulled the articles of clothing on, he said,"The paper and quill remember?" Ditzy's cheeks turned plump red. John then realized that he could have changed anywhere else but just decided to change right there in the middle of the street. John chuckled in embarrassment as he rubbed the back of his neck,"You remember when I said that Dark and I share common traits? yeah, I'm kinda.... different as well."

//////////////////


With the plans in motion once again, a smile appeared on John's face as they arrived at the station. He knew that this was going to be difficult but he'd rather go through the difficult process of returning home than sit back and do nothing. If this world needed a hero, a tenacious protector, a Guardian, then this dream was something John was willing to fulfill. He would bring back the guardian and return to earth, or die trying.

Crazy Maze Castle.

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Once the train came to a halt in the Canterlot train station, the strange pair departed for the castle. Ditzy began leading and parading John through the streets, stopping at every shop she found interesting. John couldn't find it in his heart to say no to the adorable pony. She lead John to a small kiosk on the edge of town near the castle and rummaged through the stall owners goods.

John looked to the castle gates and signaled for them to go in, but was interrupted by the grey mare with a tap on the shoulder. He turned to face her and to his surprise, her face was covered in blueberry splotches and muffin crumbs. He leaned to the side and gazed at the stall,"A muffin kiosk." He was greeted by a very irritated pony with a uniform on, the stall owner.

"That will cost you... a hundred and fifty bits." the owner demanded.

"What? Was it made of gold or something?" John asked.

"No, a single muffin costs two bits. Your friend here ate everything on the stand." John took a brief look at the damage and as expected, the stall was wiped clean.

The author looked over Ditzy as she looked around the area aimlessly. She was so thin, John wondered where she put it all. Ditzy noticed the natives constant stares and asked,"What are you doing? I know we just met but really, love at first sight?"

John was dumbfounded by her statement,"What? No! I was just.. you were.. Where did you put it all?"

Ditzy gave John a confused look and said with a chuckle,"Put what?"

"The Muffins! I owe him a hundred and fifty bits now." the author stated.

"Oh." Ditzy quickly turned around and began trying to wipe the excess crumbs and blueberry from her mouth. Once satisfied with her work, she turned back to face John. With a big, toothy grin, she said,"I don't remember eating any muffins..."

John stood there with his arms crossed with his right hand pinching his nose. "Ditzy."

////////////////////

After John had conjured up some bits and paid for Ditzy's muffin fiasco, they arrived at the front gate of the towering castle. John felt a little nostalgic, though he knew he needed to stay focused.

"Halt" cried the two guards at the entrance. "What business do you have here at the castle? If you wish to seek audience with the princesses, you first must book an appointment."

"It's me, Dark.. you know, Guardian of Equestria." Voiced the author.

"Dark? Is that truly you? Why are you so... young?"

John looked over to Ditzy and gave her a smile. He returned his attention back to the guard,"Well, funny story that. I was trying to cast a healing spell and over charged it. Not only did I heal my wounds, but rejuvenated my youth. Technically, I'm still thirty-two but look eighteen."

The guard gave the other a nod and opened the castle gates,"Darkmoon, princess Celestia wishes to see you. It's very important."

"I shall be on my way, let us venture forth dear Ditzy!" the over enthusiastic native gave a quick fist pump and paraded the pair towards the castle.

///////////////////

"So where are we going?" asked the grey mare.

John looked to Ditzy and smiled,"Well to Celestia of course."

"So.. Where's the throne room?"

"It is..." John looked down the ever stretching halls of the castle and drew a blank mind. "It's.."

"We're lost, aren't we." the grey mare put a hand to her face in disbelief.

"Hey, I know where we're going.. Just gotta.. yeah.." John could feel his enthusiasm cringe and die in the corner of his mind. He took a deep breath and smiled. "No matter, better start searching."

The two continued searching nearby rooms, trying to find their destination but to no avail. "Yep" Ditzy said. "We're lost."

John drew back a deep breath and placed his palm against his forehead. "Yeah..."

///////////////

After constant searching throughout the castle, the grey mare and the native author finally found a large golden door. This was a key sign that this was the throne room. "Aha! Finally. Now then, let's crack this puppy open and check it out."

John pulled on the door handle and with a great deal of strength, the door slowly creaked open. To their surprise, it wasn't the throne room but Celestia's royal chambers.

"You know what? No. Sundown's coming, so let's just wait till she comes here. I'm tried of being lost, and this building's a gigantic maze." John could feel exhaustion take over and figured he sit down on the chair beside the large oak desk. Just before he landed on the chair, it was removed from underneath him by a nervous mare. "Hey! What was that for?"

"Are you joking? This is Celestia's bedroom! Don't you know anything about privacy?" Her thoughts were quickly ended once she remembered John and clothing. "Never mind, but still. We should get out of here and find the throne room before she finds us in here!"

"Sorry Ditzy, not happening. Let's just wait."

Ditzy exhaled in defeat and spoke,"Fine."

The Raging Royal.

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The sun had begun to kiss the horizon and the sound of hoofsteps could be heard approaching the royal bedroom. John jumped off of the chair he sat on and waited, unsure if it was a guard or the princess herself. Each step closer made the author more skeptical by the second, each step felt like they rang through John’s ears.

He turned and gazed at Ditzy, she was quietly and calmly sleeping on Celestia’s bed. Underneath all the silken sheets, light snores could be heard. John gave the sleeping mare a small smirk as he saw the adorable lazy-eyed mare snoozing. He returned his attention to the door once he noticed that the hoofsteps had vanished. The large golden doors began to glow with a radiant yellowish tinge of magic and seemingly dissipated into thin air. A tall ivory alicorn strode through with a grand smile, which quickly faded as she caught sight of John.

“What are you doing here?” Asked Celestia. John gave a quick bow in respect before answering.

John looked up and gave the white mare brief nod,“Ditzy and I are looking to get me home. I’m not supposed to be here, and without Darkmoon here to...” The white mare launched a ball of light from her horn and he was struck to the ground, left wincing in pain.

“What have you done to Dark! Where is he! Tell me!” The white alicorn continued to cast these spells at John. Quickly thinking, the author leapt onto his feet and found cover behind objects within the room. He first hid behind a dresser but it was destroyed and turned into wood chips as the first blast impacted. The shock of the spell hitting the dresser launched John through the air and crashed him into the edge of the bed. He dove over top Ditzy as she slowly came out of her sleep from the sounds echoing throughout the room. He grabbed hold of the grey mares arm and pulled her over the edge, just as a spell came into contact with the mattress. The spell struck the middle of the mattress and it begun to catch fire.

The strange couple knelt behind the bed, finding security within it. “What’s going on?” asked the grey mare. John just gave her a simple explanation.

“She might be a little mad that Dark’s gone, I couldn’t tell her the rest.” The fire had begun to spread on the bed and he found opportunity in it. “Ditzy. Do you trust me?” John asked.

“Yeah, why? What’s going on?” asked the grey mare. He didn’t answer her and signalled her to follow him. John stood and faced the raging princess and took a deep breath.

“I’m just trying to get home!” screamed John.

“What did you do to Dark?!” replied the princess, followed by another powerful spell. John quickly took hold of the mattress and lifted it up to block the spell. As the spell struck the mattress, it seemed to absorb the impact and spread the fire further.

“What are you doing?!” asked the grey mare.

John gave her a quick look and a nod,”No, the question is ‘Where we’re going’. If you trust me, hold on. Tight.” The grey mare wrapped her arms around John’s body as he begun to push the flaming mattress. The further he moved the mattress, the greater his momentum became. He rammed the mattress into the balcony doors, nearly crashing into Celestia. As the duo rammed through the door, John leapt off the edge with Ditzy. “Ditzy! fly!” John yelled.

The grey mare spread her wings but they couldn’t support the weight of the two. Instead of gracefully landing in a nearby field, the fall was only slowed to a crash landing. As Ditzy stood to her hooves, she turned to face the towering castle in the distance,”We’re in so much trouble.”

John could feel a hint of regret smouldering inside his heart, but what he did was necessary. “Well, I tried to explain it to her but after I told her Dark was gone..”

“You told Celestia that Dark was simply gone? You do realize the two princesses brought him here to protect this land right?”

“Of course I knew that! I’m the one who created him in the first place!”

“Well then you should start wording your ‘Conversations’ better! Did you at least tell her what happened to Dark?”

“I couldn’t, once I told her that Dark was gone and that I was trying to get home, she started opening fire on me.”

She had an look of disbelief, the situation the two had been thrown into. Angering a princess and soon...an entire continent.”Well this is just fantastic!” Sarcasm, John didn’t realize the grey mare knew it. “What in Celestia’s name are we gonna do now? I can’t move to a new home, they’ll all be looking for us!”

John finally stood to his feet and dusted himself off,”I’m sorry Ditzy, for what I’ve done. But there is a silver lining on my black rain cloud.”

“What silver lining? What possible ‘good news’ could you have?” The grey mare was furious at John, and he felt that he deserved every moment of her anger.

“Their looking for me, the ‘supposed’ Guardian slayer. They won’t be looking for you.” He gave her a light smile. “If you want, you can return to your life. I promise you that I Will fix this, and I’ll bring Darkmoon back. You just have to trust me.”

“Do you really think.. that I could?” The anger had left her mind and her words were calm. “But I couldn’t just.. leave.”

John gave the grey mare a warm hug and looked into her eyes. “Ditzy, you’re a wonderful mare. But this is something I’d rather not drag you into... Goodbye for now.” And with those simple words, the grey mare vanished into thin air. John had sent her to Ponyville with the power of the quill. He could have used it to calm the princess, but the severity of the situation blocked all communication with it. As for his current situation, he couldn’t fix it on command because the damage had already been done. Soon everyone would be searching for him, and no place would be safe. He needed to find a place to stay until he calmed things down with the princess, but where? His train of thought was derailed once he found the best possible place.

He turned and begun walking through the field, heading towards the direction of Mystic Mountains. “Hope your ready for the real me Chrysalis. I know I’m not.”

Identity Unknown.

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With Equestria’s peering eyes soon on his tail, John needed to hide his identity, and his face. With the power of the scroll, the author summoned attire that wouldn't draw attention to himself. Blue jeans, black collar shirt, white socks and running shoes. He gave his disguise a quick look over and figured it wasn’t really a disguise at all, ’Dark would wear these in a heartbeat, I gotta wear something unpredictable...’ then it hit John like a ton of bricks.

“They’ll be looking for a slummed out character, not one that fancies himself out.. I know exactly what to wear! Not to mention bad ass!” John said to himself, he reached into his thoughts and summoned the robes of Ezio Auditore from Assassin’s Creed Revelations. He pulled the robes over his body and gave his disguise a quick stretch to ensure they fit. They were snug and comfortable. “You never touch me, you never feel me, you never see me again because I just become unseen.” He pulled the hood over his head to shroud his face in darkness. “Fuckin’ love Dio.”

The trip was a long one, the direction John traveled turned out to be the complete opposite direction of Mystic mountain. He traveled through city after city, asking directions to his destination. He was currently in Manehatten, and due to his story, the location of the Mystic mountains was nearby.

While traveling through the city, John entered a nearby shop for food and directions. He approached the store clerk and asked,“Hello, do you know in which direction the Mystic mountains are? I’ve been traveling for a long time and I wish to see them as soon as possible.”

The store clerk squinted her eyes on the hooded figure to catch a glimpse of strangers face,“Well, it’s located east of here and do I know you from somewhere? You seem awfully familiar.” She continued to scan the head of the hooded man.

“I’m new in town, but don’t plan on staying for too long. What do you have to eat here?” John asked.

She seemed to focus less on the hooded man and turned her attention to the chalkboard behind her, staring at the countless amount of words written across it. “Everything you see up there, we have or can make. Just pick your poison and it should be ready in a few minutes.”

He gave the chalkboard a quick read over, ensuring to hide his appearance in the process. “Well, I’ll have a...” John quickly shot into his thoughts,‘I forgot... no meat. Shit.’ He returned to reality and finished his sentence, not too pleased with his own answer. “I’ll have a lettuce sandwich and some hayfries.”

After a disappointed sigh, he proceeded towards the far back of the store. He retrieved a lone newspaper off an empty table and pulled up a chair. For the next few minutes, the hooded man flipped through the newspaper and studied the articles. One that mainly caught his attention read:

The death of a Guardian!

Late last night in the royal chambers of our beloved princess, Celestia, was found a strange man. He claimed that Darkmoon had been killed, and he seeks a clear way home. Outraged by his claim, our dear princess tried to fight off this monster of the flesh and tried to subdue him.

The author turned his attention away from the page and quietly said to himself,“That’s complete and utter bullshit, I didn’t “claim” anything. Subdue me? She tried to kill me.” John turned his attention back to the paper and continued to read.

He attacked Celestia and destroyed her room. He then rammed her mattress through her balcony window and with the help of an unnamed pony, and managed to escape. A large bounty on the head of this man, this monster. He is to be captured at all costs, dead or alive. A higher bounty will be paid if he is brought in alive, for the royal sisters wish to teach this monstrosity on what it means to kill.

The passing of our beloved and mighty Guardian Darkmoon will not go unsolved. We will capture this terrible person and have him face the justice that he deserves. In the name of Celestia, Darkmoon will be avenged.

~ The Canterlot times.

“Framed for murder, casted into the unknown... I thought this was a land of friendship. I’m all alone on this one but is it really any different? I’ve been alone for so long, in this world and mine. It doesn’t matter anyway, never needed them.” He sat the paper against the table and the store clerk exited from the kitchen in the other side of the room and approached John with a platter full of food.

“Here you go!” she set the platter down on the table and caught the sight of the article,“That was the most aggravating story I’ve read, the fact that this unnamed assailant is still out there, probably hacking up ponies in the Everfree or something.. the very thought just sends chills up my spine.”

“Yeah, when was this paper published? I thought the incident happened over a week ago?” Asked the hooded man.

“It was, this is just an old paper. I tell ya, I feel mighty sorry for Darks brother, Shadow. Everyone has to sleep, and everyone goes into his realm to dream. Eventually, Shadow’s going to catch this monster and make him pay.” voiced the mare.

“That’s true, eventually...” John himself hadn’t slept in little over a week himself in fear of this happening.

Insomnia took hold of him and made everyday life a living nightmare. He would constantly see visions, ghostly figures. One time during the night, John sat around the campfire and saw a ghostly image of Darkmoon, He had a worried expression and faint words were spoken,”John... Hide...Hive...” then the ghost faded.

John returned to the conversation he held with the mare and dug into his freshly made meal. Through a mouth full of food, he said,“Dish ish gowd, Fank oou.”

She let out a little laugh and sat beside the hooded man,“I aim to please, but you know this is a restaurant, right? Could you please take off your hood?”

John swallowed his mouthful and weakly said,“I’m sorry, but I can’t..” John trailed off.

She gave him a puzzled look,“Oh come on, I’ve seen bald ponies before. You don’t need to be so protective.”

“I..I’m not bald, I just.. I’m... different.” voiced John.

“Different? Different how?” asked the mare curiously.

After a large exhale, the author said,“I had an accident as a kid and tore muscles and skin on my face. That’s why I wear the hood, to mask my pain.” John pieced together a small lie to retreat the mares curiosity. To his disappointment, the stubborn mare continued.

“It’s alright, you don’t need to feel weakened by being exposed. I won’t fright away.” She tried to reach for the hood but he lightly grabbed her hands to stop her. John let go of her hands and stood from the chair. “I’m sorry, it just that.. well.. you’re the first to come here in quite awhile and I thought that maybe we could be friends. If you don’t wish to show me then I’m ok with this. Just please, don’t leave. Not yet.”

He turned to face the door but couldn’t find it in his heart to leave the lonely mare. He closed his eyes and took a deep and calming breath. The author gave a sigh and turned to face the mare. She looked to him with a saddened expression and tore John’s heart to shreds. He couldn’t leave her by herself, he already knew the result of loneliness. The product being himself. “I’m going to show you who I am, but please listen to me before I do.”

John stood in the middle of the store with his confidence slowly dissipating. “I’ve been traveling for a long time, and I’ve met a lot of wonderful ponies during my travels. I once lived here for quite a number of years, but in a different form. I was beloved by many and was proclaimed a hero to these lands. This is when my life changed around, I wasn’t real.”

“What do you mean?” Asked the store clerk.

“I never truly existed in this world, I was the star of a story I wrote sometime ago and traveled the land, conquering dungeons, saving lives, and risking my own for the safety of others. I was well known by all, and feared by many. I started a famous group of warriors that protected these lands beside me for many years. But time changes things, and people. Even people like me. When I lived in this realm many years ago, everyone called me,“Darkmoon’s Crescent.”.”

From the exclamation, the mare shot back in surprise. “But this is where things take a drastic turn for the worse. I never existed in this world, Darkmoon did. Darkmoon was the Equestrian embodiment of me for the story,’It’s always worth the price.’ I was working on a new chapter to continue the story and after I finished, I came here from my world, earth. With me here, Darkmoon doesn’t exist. I’ve been trying to return home and bring Darkmoon back to life. If I do return home, I can do this, but finding my way home is much harder to do when you’re constantly being searched for.”

“You’re.. you’re the..”

“My name is John Dixon, ‘proclaimed’ slayer of the guardian. I never killed Darkmoon, I would never do that to Equestria and it’s people.. ponies.”

She let out a large gasp and John could see tears festering inside on the mares eyes. He removed his hood and stood before her as she scanned his face and matched it to the picture in the paper.

“Oh.. Goddess..”

Good Friends, Past Acquaintances.

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The mare looked to john with terror in her eyes, a criminal standing before her. “I was blamed for what happened, and I didn’t do anything. All I’ve been trying to do is return to my world, so that I can bring Darkmoon back.”

“How do we return you back to your world?” asked the mare. John looked to her and shrugged.

“I don’t know, but I have this feeling that Chrysalis can help me. So I need directions to the Mystic Mountains.”

“If you’re trying to find your way around, and you need help.. I’m in.” the mare stated with confidence as she stood before John.

The author looked to her and smiled,“Thanks, but are you sure? If you’re caught with me, you could be arrested and sent to prison for helping a fugitive. All I need is directions.” John placed a hand on her shoulder to have her focus. “Are you sure you’re ok with this?”

She simply nodded and trotted into the back room, the author stood there and smiled. “It’ll be a nice change to have some company.” She returned shortly with a backpack and coat.

She looked to John as she slipped to coat over her,“Ready when you are.” The author let show a large grin and nodded. He pulled the hood over top his face to hide his identity once more and the two exited the building.

The hooded figure and the mare walked through the city, and something caught the mare’s eye. “Hey, check this out!” John looked over to her and raised an eyebrow.

“What is it?”

She lowered her voice as to not attract any attention,“It’s the newest newspaper. They found someone that helped you escape and she’s going to be sent to prison soon. It’s a grey mare.”

John snatched the newspaper out of the mare’s hands and gazed over the paper:

Big Trouble, Little Ponies.

This morning, a mare by the name of Ditzy Doo has been detained and is currently being questioned by authorities. She was caught associating with the Monster known as John Dixon the early morning just before the attack on the princess last week, and with the accomplice soon behind bars, the real monster will soon follow.

These will be trying times ahead for us all, my fellow ponies. But soon enough, John Dixon shall be caught and Equestria and her people can sleep easy.

~ The Canterlot times.

“Ditzy.” John looked to the mare and worry over took his face,“I need to save her.”

“And how do you expect to do that? She’s inside the Castle jails, and getting to her will be impossible.” the mare stated in a disheartening tone. She stepped back as John stomped on the ground angeredly.

“Ditzy helped me and believed in me, she thought that I could bring Dark back and if that doesn’t seem to be an impossible task, I don’t know what is. I have to save her, she’s a good friend.”

The mare looked to John and smiled,“Have a special somepony I see, that’s adorable.”

“She’s not my special someone, she’s just a good friend.” John could feel a slight blush overcome his cheeks.

“Sure, sure.”

“Shush you. I’m going to save her.”

She placed a hand on John’s shoulder to comfort him. “We’re going to save her. We just need to find the best time to find a way in.”

“This is true, I want to try get in without us having to fight our way out.” John ran his fingers through his hair and thought. “Is there any special events being held at the castle anytime soon?”

“Yeah, the royal ball. It should be happening in a couple days I think, why?”

A smile overcame John’s face as he thought out his plan,“Because that’s our chance, Come on. We only have a day to get to Canterlot castle.” John grabbed the mare’s arm and began to drag her down the street. She dug her hooves into the ground and looked to the hastey author.

“That does sound like a good time to get it, but there’s a flaw in this plan of yours.” She frowned as she said,“It’s invited guests only. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an invitation.”

John placed his hand against his face and sighed,“It’s ok, I’ll get everything ready. All you need to do is play the part.”

She raised an eyebrow,“And what ‘part’ is that?”

“You’ll be my date of course.” John returned his sights on Canterlot once more and smiled. He began to think to himself,‘Don’t worry Ditzy, We’re coming to save you.’

A deep shade of crimson washed over the mare’s face as she followed behind John,’Date? He doesn’t even know my name yet!’ She quickly trotted beside John,“I can’t be your date.”

“Why not? It’s not like it’s an actual date, sure it does sound like the ‘Ideal date’, taking your loved one to a royal ball and all that stuff, but we have to focus on the task at hand. If Celestia wasn’t looking for me, I wasn’t a wanted criminal, and Ditzy wasn’t in trouble, then yes. It does sound like a hell of a good time.”

The redness slowly left her cheeks, “Well, since we’re traveling together now, we should get to know each other. The names Dusk’s Shadow.” John stopped in his tracks and looked to the mare.

“That name rings a bell, why does that sound familiar?”

“My name? You said you haven’t been here long.”

“Yes, but.. wait. What’s your mothers name?” Asked the author, a hint of curiosity lacing his mind.

“Well, I never really knew my mom.” A frown overtook her face. She reached into her pocket and dug out a small picture,“All I know about her is that she looked like this.” She passed the picture over to John and as he set his eyes on the pony in the small photo, his eyes shot open.

“Moon Shadow.”

Intoxication and Sleeplessness.

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“I know your mother, I created her.” John was shocked that she had been living in Manehatten, and he had no knowledge of how she came to be there.

“What? How do you know my mom?” Dusk looked to John and worriedly looked at him.

“You remember when I told you that I’m not from this world, right?”

“Yeah.”

It took some explanation, and after a lengthy speech, he finally got her to understand his story. The mare looked to the author with aggression boiling in her eyes,“So you mean to tell me that everything that happened, all of the constant challenges that I had to go through, was all for a story? None of it really existed?”

“I’m sorry, if I had any idea that it actually happened in your reality... I wouldn’t have even started the story. I’m sorry for what I’ve put you and your family through. I truly am.”

She placed a hand over her face to cover the tears that threatened to fall. Her voice shook, but she tried her best to set the past aside,“It’s fine. Let’s just... We have somewhere to be, no one else is getting hurt. Not anymore.”

She grabbed John’s wrist and began to pull him the opposite direction to which they were traveling a few moments ago. John stopped her and held a questioning look,“Dusk? I thought Ponyville was that way.”

“You were going the wrong way, it’s best if you just follow me.” John pondered for a moment and just accepted her plan. He didn’t have any idea which way the town was, and with his luck, he would have lead them to the badlands.

////////////////

The day was beginning to come to a close and the sun had started to set. John and Dusk continued to walk through the dark of night, not taking a moments rest. As John paced beside the mare, he noticed that her eyes were starting to fade in and out, simple blinks taking longer to open, and her pacing had turned into a slow grudge. “Hey Dusk, you want to ride on my back? I can carry you the rest of the way. I can see Ponyville just across the field from here.”

She flung open her eyes and forcibly kept them open as she pushed the hooded figure away,“I’m fine thank you. It’s not that far.” She claimed, but after a minute of walking and their destination still quite the distance away, her eyes begun to sag once again.

Instead of speaking up, John watched her through the corners of his eyes. He watched as she begun to slow down and her eyes close for long periods of time. She slowly came to a complete stop and stood in place, her eyes were closed and her head hanging down.

John stood in front of her with his back facing her and lightly grabbed her arm as he wrapped them around his shoulders. He lifted her up and as she was lifted from the ground, she buried her nuzzle into John’s neck. Light snores could be heard and the sound of light breathing could be heard as they echoed inside the authors ear. John thought to himself,‘Come on, we’ll take a break at Dark’s house.’

As he carried the sleeping mare through the long stretching field of green, his brain began to talk to him once again.

‘John.’

‘Yes? How goes?’

‘Fine for me, but I suggest you get some sleep yourself. Ponyville’s only a short distance away, but you need some rest. ‘

‘We’ll sleep at Dark’s place. It should be only a few more minutes away.’

‘Think reasonably John, everyone is looking for you. Do you really think that a random hooded strange would just walk into the town with a sleeping mare on his back and walk into the guardian’s house?’

‘That is a valid point, but one aspect you overlooked was that, given the time, everyone’s sleeping. And with the power of the scroll, I can pull out another disguise if I needed to.’

‘What about the guards that patrol the streets at night?’

‘What guards?’

‘Those guards.’

John looked the the town that was now just within eyesight and seen a group of guards, donned in full armor, wandering the streets of the small town. He slowly approached the town and evaded the guards as best the author could. None of the guards seen as he passed by, and John asked himself,“Where should we stay? Dark’s house is crawling with guards, so where...” John trailed off as he set his sights on a building. “That is just too convenient, but it’ll do.”

As he pushed through the wooden doors of the building, he was greeted by a waitress,“Hello! Welcome to Tolsa’s Tavern. I’ll be your waitress this evening.”

“Hi, I’d like to get a room for the night, me and my friend here have been walking all day and we’re new in town. How much will that cost?”

“That’ll be ten bits a night.”

“Perfect.”

The waitress lead the hooded figure through the halls and up a flight of stairs. She opened the room door and signalled for him to enter. He strode through and placed Dusk down on the mattress and covered her in the silky sheets. “Will that be everything?”

“No, actually.”

“What else can I help you with?” she asked.

“Well, I’d like a drink, but it’d be easier for everyone if I went downstairs.”

“So, what do you need my help with?”

“Well, I’m expecting some guards. I’ve been called upon to join the royal guard and I need to be suited for their arrival. I’d like you to keep an eye out for me and tell me beforehand should they arrive here.”

“I can most certainly help you with that.”

“Thank you. Here’s the money for the room” John took out his coin bag and tossed her the ten bits. “And here’s for the lookout.” As he passed by her to leave for downstairs, the hooded figure placed a small bag of bits in her hands.

///////////////////

Some time had passed and John sat quietly in a booth drinking his tonic. “This is just how I imagined it, in the story of course.” He downed the rest of his drink and asked for another one of the strange black brew.

“Coming right up, but this is last call.”

John nodded and sat quietly in the booth. He thought to himself as he patiently waited for his mug,‘I should be sleeping, but I just can’t.’ Images of the poor grey mare being harmed in the dungeons of the castle sent chills up his spine and the author tried to keep him thoughts locked away, with the help of the brew. It served it’s purpose for the most part, but it wouldn’t calm his nerves. This feeling that something could happen to the mare if they weren’t fast enough to save her kept his mind on edge.

“Here you go.” The barmaid placed the drink on the table of the booth with a smile and John turned to her and nodded.

“Thanks.”

As John took a sip out of the mug and let the strong, black drink flow down his throat, he was tapped on the shoulder. He his attention away from the drink and focused it on the hand that prodded his shoulder,“Yes?”

“Sorry to bother you mister, but that group of guards you were waiting for is just down the street. They seem to be head this way, so you better get suited up.”

“Thanks, I’ll just finish my drink.” He tilted the mug and downed the rest of the full mug and placed the empty mug down on the table. He stood to his feet and bolted to the room upstairs, though the brew impaired his vision and stability, so he did stagger into the wall a points of his travel. Once he finally reached the rented room, John slid the window open and locked it in place. He quickly paced over to the bed and shook Dusk and attempted to wake her up. “Come on, wake up!” Her eyes remained closed and she was out cold. “Damn it, I guess I have no choice then.” He placed her on his back once again and turned to face the window.

“What is it with me and ledges...”

Distractions.

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John prepared himself to leap at a moments notice, he heard the waitress welcoming the guards in down stairs,“Welcome! He’s just upstairs getting ready.”

He could hear the guards as they questioned the mare,“And who would that be? We came here for drinks, we weren’t expecting to see anyone here.”

The mare replied to the guard,“He said that a group of guards were coming to pick him up for the royal guard offer, he told me to keep an eye out for you.”

After a moment of constant silence, the sound of clanking armor and rushing hoofsteps could be heard approaching the room. John readjusted Dusk on his back and prepared to burst out the window. “Fuckin’ windows.” He sprinted towards the slightly open window and slammed straight through it as the guards knocked down the bedroom door.

The author landed on the hard ground from the second floor of the building and fell to his knees with the sleeping mare on his back, and surprisingly the loud crash and the shock from the fall hadn’t woken her up at all. John’s feet hurt, but the inebriation from the drinks slowly eased the pain. They needed to keep moving unless they wanted to be caught, so John stood to his feet once again and took of in a full sprint down the street. As he ran with the sleeping mare on his back, John found himself becoming tired. Once they neared the public library, John stopped and thought about how to hide themselves from the guards. Then an idea popped in his head,‘The library.’

He knocked on the front door and and looked from side to side to watch out for the guards. After a moment of waiting, he was greeted by a very tired Twilight Sparkle. “I’m sorry but the libraries closed, if you wish to...” she trailed off as she gave a yawn and tried to wipe the sleep from her eyes.

As she yawned, John spoke,“Hello miss Sparkle, terribly sorry to disturb you at this hour but if you wouldn’t mind, I need to retrieve a book from your library. I really need it.”

As she finished trying to wake herself, she pondered the prospect. After a second of thought, she said,“If it is just one book, then I see no problem in it.” She invited him in and as he passed by, she noticed the sleeping mare on his back. “Wait, who’s that?” she questioned as she closed the door behind them.

“Oh, I’m sorry. This is ‘Dusk’s Shadow’, daughter of Moon Shadow.” Replied the author, it didn’t matter that she knew her, as long as John hid himself.

Twilight’s eyes shot open and a large smile plastered over her face,“I’ve always wanted to meet her daughter but after Moon disappeared, the chances of me meeting her flew out the window!” She jumped in joy and I could hear spike calling from his bed upstairs.

“Twilight! Baby dragon trying to sleep here.” Spike called out.

Twilight’s voice and prancing calmed down considerably, she whispered back to spike,“Sorry.” she turned her attention back to the hooded man with the sleeping mare on his back. “So what book are you looking for, mister...” She looked to the hooded figure and nodded to signal for him to speak.

“Oh, sorry again, I’m... Dark’s younger brother, Daylight’s Break. I was brought to this world by accident, and I’ve been here for quite a while now. I’m constantly on the road, so I haven’t nested down yet.”

“I wasn’t aware that Dark had a younger brother, besides his little brother Nicky.”

“We all had different fathers. I was living with mine and I suddenly came to this strange world.” he told the violet mare. She nodded as she accepted the pieced together lie and signalled for the hooded man to follow her.”So what are you looking for Daylight? I’m sure I know where it is.”

John thought to himself for a moment, a quick book to search for to distract the mare, giving them a bit of time to distance the two from the guards as they searched. Once a thought came into mind, John quickly said,“Guardian lore: The Ages Between.” John smirked to himself because he knew it would make it difficult to find.

“I know we have that one here somewhere, but where is it?” The violet mare frantically searched through the many bookshelves in search of the book in mention. John knew that Dark once borrowed it and didn’t return it, and a small ever present smile crept across his face.

Through all the rustling around the library, Dusk began to stir from her sleep. As she slowly awoke from her sleep, she kept her eyes closed and whispered into the author’s ear,“John? You didn’t need to carry me.”

He replied quietly to not alert Twilight as she searched,“If we have any chance of making that ball to save Ditzy, then we need to use our time wisely.”

“So, you’ve been up all this time?” The mare whispered back. John simply replied with a nod and turned his attention back on Twilight.

“I’m sorry Daylight, but I can’t seem to find it. Perhaps someone borrowed it? I’m not entirely sure.” The violet mare lowered her head in shame. “I was sure I had it here.”

John placed a tired arm on the mares shoulder to comfort her,“It’s quite alright miss Sparkle, I was mainly looking to read on it. It’s not crucial.”

She slowly raised her head and gave a weak smile,“Thanks Daylight.” She turned her small smile into a sad frown. “Have you heard about what happened to your brother Dark?” Twilight asked.

“Yes, when I heard about it, I was enraged by this. But I’ve come to terms with it. That’s what he would have wanted.” John told the mare.

She lowered her head once again and he could see teardrops falling to the floor. “That new guy... What did Dark do to him for him to take Dark away?” The mare buried herself into John’s chest as she started to sob. In her sudden movement, she pushed the hooded man just a bit too much and almost made him drop Dusk.

Taken back, the mare on his back made groans to signify she was waking from her false nap. Twilight still cried into John’s shoulder and Dusk continued to find ways to break her away from the author. John quickly thought to himself,‘I should be going, before I make this even worse.’ He place a hand on the sobbing mare’s chin and raised her chin to have her look into his eyes. “Twilight, I know it must be tough. But do you really think that Dark would have wanted this? He would want for you to be happy even though he were gone.”

She began to wipe the tears away and spoke through smaller cries. “You’re right, Darkmoon would’ve wanted me to stay strong.”

John slowly edged himself towards the door, trying to return to the task at hand: Rescuing a grey pegasus from the dungeons of Canterlot castle. Twilight caught site of this and quickly spoke up,“Oh, you’re leaving.”

“I must dearest Twilight, for I have an important meeting to attend to.” He balled his fist and placed it over his chest and gave a bow. “Farewell.”

Twilight gave a confused look,“Do all of Dark’s relatives bow like that?” John looked to her and shook his head. She turned to a bookshelf and grabbed a small book and tossed it to the hooded man. He caught it and looked to the cover:

Rules of the Multiverse, the hooded figure looked to the mare worriedly. He had feared that he’d been caught, but the unexpected happened. As she slowly trotted up to him, she tried to look into his eyes but was denied this by the hood he wore. “Do you believe in other worlds Daylight?” Asked the violet mare.

“Believe? I am from another world, there’s no need to believe.” The author stated with a smirk, causing the violet mare to face palm at her question.

"That's not what I meant, When I meant was that I believe that you're a newer symbol."

"Newer?"

"You are his brother, that alone would get you respect. You could continue work with the guardians in Dark's place. This is most exciting, I'll have spike write a letter to Celestia in the morning!"

With the worry of being caught set aside, John said farewell to the librarian and looked towards the horizon. The sun was beginning to rise and it told that it was the start of their time limit. They needed to reach the castle by nightfall and save the grey mare before further harm could become of the lazy-eyed mare.

As John continued to carry Dusk on his back, she whispered into his ear tiredly,“You know” She let out a small yawn and rubbed her eye as she continued,“That’s a good name for you, Daylight Break. Kinda like the opposite of Darkmoon’s Crescent.”

“Kinda just made it up on the spot, but yeah. Instead of John, call me Daylight from now on.”

“Alright Daylight, ha. That rhymed.”

“Not bad, not bad.” Daylight quick let out a small laugh,“But not good either.”

The Last Nightmare.

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The two boarded the train, they sat in the far back of the trolley and sat there quietly. Dusk watched as the buildings and structures flashed by as the train sped passed. Daylight simply sat in his seat, lost in his thoughts.

‘How do I get back? What if I can’t?’ The very thoughts of not being able to return back to earth and his previous life were terrifying. Sure, at one time in his life he thought living in the world of Equestria would be filled with happiness and smiles all year round, but since his arrival, he’s been accused of murder, and gone a week or so without sleep. The only thing that kept him from closing his eyes was the mission at hand, Saving Ditzy Doo. But in all honesty, that wasn’t the only reason.

He did fall asleep once, the night after the escape from the castle.

////////////////

As his body rested in the field underneath the constant glow of the moon and the radiant stars, his mind drifted away and crept into the realm of dreams. He awoke in a dark space and as he stood to his feet, the ground shifted and turned into a stone walkway. The area around him turned into a pleasant garden filled with flowers of all sorts, benches and wisps flying through the air. And that’s when he saw it. The Gazebo. It looked just as he imagined it in the story, white, wooden and classy.

He traveled down the stone walkway and slowly approached the gazebo, he noticed a horde of small yellow specks glaring down from every which direction. Upon closer inspection, they seemed to be eyes. Wandering eyes filled to the brim with hatred. Why they stared down on him in such a way was unknown, but he had a rising suspicion.

The author turned his attention back to the white gazebo and noticed a small glowing orb. Much like the wisps that fluttered through the air, but larger and brighter. It hummed with an uneasy tone and sent chills up the native’s spine. As he laid his first step on the platform, the orb burned brighter and grew in size noticeably. Unsettled by the sudden change, John took a cautious step back. It appeared to not make any form of difference as the orb grew into a blinding light, causing him to shield his eyes and wince in pain.

“If you were wise, you would try to find a way to wake up.” Stated a figure within the blinding light.

“What are you talking about?” John asked the figure.

He lowered his hand and squinted as he tried to focus and gain some vision back. As he looked back up to the figure, another stepped from behind the first. It was smaller in size, both in height and shape. ‘The first ones a male from what I can tell, but the other’s a... female?’ John thought to himself. “Wait a minute... Are you two..” he trailed off as he realized who they were.

“Yes, I am known as Shadow Kin, Brother of the fallen hero, Darkmoon.”

“And I am the Princess of the Night, Luna. I am the ruler of the Dream Realm, alongside my husband, Shadow.”

“Shadow.. fallen.. wait.”

“Yes, you should fear me, and my wife. For we are your demise and the end of your little cowardice story.”

John watched as they stood back to back, Shadow clenched his fists and a magical shield and sword faded into existence. Luna rose her hand and magical energy pulsated out of her gasp and spun around her arm as she began charging a spell.

“Do you have any last requests, Monster?” Shadow asked as he slammed his sword against his shield for the intimidation factor, and it seemed to work as John stood there silent. “Nothing?” he asked.

John thought to himself for a moment, pondering what he could ask.

“I say we end him right now!” Luna yelled to Shadow.

The equestrian counterpart of Darkmoon closed his eyes and reflected on his brother,“Dear, you know Dark would have at least waited, so we must do the same.” Luna lowered her head and sighed as she thought about the old guardian. “Speak then, you only have one wish. So make it a good one, you fiend.”

John tapped his index finger on his lips as he thought, pondering what to ask for. Then the best idea came to mind. “If I ask you to let me go...” he trailed off but was answered with the shaking of both of their heads in disapproval. “Damn.” He thought to himself once more, then the next best idea came to mind. “Anything but that is alright though, right?” He asked. The couple looked to each other and held puzzled expressions. Shadow lifted his index finger in the air to signify that they needed a second to discuss the matter.

‘Well, this could go one of two ways, hopefully it works.’ John thought to himself. The couple spoke in whispers but soon turned back to the author with satisfied smiles, Luna spoke up,“Any wish is yours as long as you don’t ask for us to let you go. Other than that, you may have anything you wish.”

“Alright, I’ve made a decision.” John stated with a smile as he slowly backed away from the angered couple.

Shadow slowly began to raise his glowing sword as a warning for John to stop. “And what have you decided on then, speak up.”

“I want to wake up.” He turned around and could feel the world around him starting to dissipate. He took off in the opposite direction of the couple to give himself enough time to wake.

“NO!” Cried the couple as they chased after him, Luna shot blasts of magic at the fleeing human and they just barely grazed him. Shadow whipped his shield at him but John dodged to the side.

“Ha!” John yelled as he ran as fast as his feet could carry him. Suddenly John couldn’t feel his body, he had been caught in Luna’s spell and though he couldn’t move his own body, the spell turned him to face the two.

“Yes, I’m going to enjoy this.” Luna stated with a sick and twisted tone. All Shadow did was glare into John’s eyes with evil intent.

“I do not know why you did what you have, but I will tell you this. You made dangerous enemies from what you’ve done, but fear not. It won’t be long before you’re dead. Just close your eyes and wait for your end.”

“Wait, what’s happening?” Luna asked in confusion, John looked upon himself and found his body was disappearing into the void. He was waking up and this was his only chance to fight for his life. He scrunched his eyes and tried to speed up the process. Shadow raised his sword and just as it came crashing down to impale the author, it struck the ground as John faded away. “Damn it!” Luna cried out in anger.

John shot up from his bed of leaves and grass and sat himself up as he gasped for air. His forehead was covered in sweat and his heartbeat was racing. Through heavy breaths, he said to himself,“Well... sleeps off the table from now on. Fuckin’ great.”

//////////////////

“Hey.” He turned to his side as he felt a nudge on his shoulder. There beside him on the seat in the back of the trolley was Dusk. She held a worried expression,“Are you alright? You’re being awfully quiet.”

“Ah, don’t worry about me. I’m fine, just lost in my thoughts is all. Thanks for worrying though.” Daylight gave a weak smile as he turned back to the window to admire the passing trees as the train sped by them.

Dusk looked to Daylight and gave a smile back,“No problem, that’s what friends are for.”

Daylights attention turned to the mare as he held a blank expression, he didn’t know what to feel. Friends weren’t a common occurrence for him, so it left him baffled. “You think of me as a friend?”

“Of course I do” She gave him a playful punch in the shoulder and chuckled. “And as your friend, I suggest you get some sleep. You look tired.”

“I haven’t slept in nearly a week or so, I’ve lost count. So if I wasn’t tired, I’d be surprised. I can’t go to sleep, not yet. Not right now, there’s too much to do, and so little time.” John’s focus was captured by the speaker in the trolley.

“Good evening fillies and gentlecolts, we’ll be arriving in the Canterlot train station in twenty minutes or so. Thank you for riding the Ponyville 233. Good night.”

Daylight turned his attention back to the window and looked to the ever-looming moon,“Almost there Ditzy, just wait.”

How far will one go to save those he cares for? What will he sacrifice to protect them? Why does one feel the need to help those looking to condemn him?

The answer is cold and bittersweet at the same time. There is no answer, just the feeling. The raw need to feel accepted. The need to help, and the price that one’s willing to pay to achieve these things, no matter what that price may be.

There is always a price, but sometimes... it’s worth it.

It Sends Hearts Racing.

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Daylight and Dusk grabbed what little baggage they had and exited the stationed train. “So where do we go first?” Asked Dusk, She turned to the hooded man and held a smile that presented itself across her face. Daylight rubbed the back of his neck as he thought to himself. They could go straight to the castle but that would be the fastest way to get caught. And getting into the ball without invitations would be a problem as well. Sure, Daylight could summon one out of his mind, but then he and Dusk would know about being invited. The guards and the checklist would quickly see through their ruse.

Daylight strode forward, looking straight ahead towards the Canterlot aerial raceway. “Well?” asked Dusk, rather puzzled by his actions.

“We’re gonna make a few quick friends.”

/////////////


As the two passed through the entrance of the raceway, Daylight gazed around the stadium in search of a particular pony, stallion to be in fact. “Who are we looking for? This would be a lot easier to find this guy if I knew who he was.” Dusk looked around the stadium as well, just seemingly aimlessly.

“No need, there he is.” Daylight claimed as he spotted the stallion he’d been searching for. He turned to Dusk and grabbed her by the wrist,“Follow me.” He lead her into the bathroom stall and he summoned two posh sets of clothes.

For Daylight, a purple suit with green linings and a green vest accompanied with a green tie. “Joker, for the win.” For Dusk, he summoned a matching dress and she slipped it on rather quickly. Daylight hid his eyes behind the sheet of his hands as a large blush came over his face.

“What’s wrong Daylight?” She asked.

“I know that Darkmoon adopted your mom, and that she grew up with him, and that you share certain traits as her, but you just changed in front of me.” Daylight stated with the a smile chuckle.

“Well, from what you’ve told me about this whole ‘Author’ thing, you made me this way. And what’s with all the blushing?” A small smile crept across her face. “Does my sexuality send ‘signals’ through your mind?”

Daylight’s blush slowly faded as a sinister thought slithered through his mind. “Well... I’d be lying if I said you weren’t all that I think about.”

Dusk started to stutter,“W-w-what?”

Daylight slowly began his approach on the unsuspecting mare,“Come on, we’ve been together for sometime now, and you’re a very entrancing mare. The way you swing your hips when you’re around me, the way you always stare into my eyes with that seductive gleam in your eye. It’s like you’re just dying for my attention.”

“I do... what?” Dusk was thrown into a fit of confusion, with an evident blush marked across her face.

“Imagine the stories I can tell our children, how their mother fell hard for the wanted criminal. That sounds like a good storyline actually. But sadly, a little cliché.”

“What? How?” Dusk asked herself as Daylight bombarded her with silly remarks. A prominent blush continued to reveal itself across her face as Daylight pestered her.

The once hooded man, now revealing himself, slowly approached the blushing mare and soon their faces were a mere inch away from each other,“I’ve felt like this ever since I first laid my eyes on you. I just knew you’d have to be mine one day.”

“Daylight?” Asked Dusk, her face was a deep crimson red and as Daylights eyes closed as he perked his lips out towards her she found herself doing the same. Just before their lips could touch, Daylight pulled himself away and ran his hand through his hair as he let out a small laugh. Dusk’s eyes shot open and she was standing there with her lips still perched. After she collected herself, she yelled at Daylight,“What the hell was all that about?”

“Well, as it turns out, you can’t resist my ‘sexuality’ either. I did it to prove a point.”

Daylight received a shot to the arm as Dusk’s blush tried to subside. As she finally calmed down, she gave Daylight a stare. “I see how it's gonna be...”

“You do? Good.”

“Yes.. good.”

“Agreed.”

“Likewise.”

“We should go get our stallion and hopefully get the invitation.”

“‘Our’ stallion? Ok, I didn’t think you swung that way but..” she trailed off jokingly.

Daylight gave a small playful smile and brushed his short hair to the side with his fingers,“Well, maybe he can’t resist me either.” Daylight gave a small chuckle.

“Hush you, let’s get going.”

Just before they left the peerless eyes of the restroom, Dusk noticed how Daylight’s tuxedo fly was still down and told him to correct that. The string that held her dress in place was a bit off, so she slide it up back over her shoulder as they left the door. As they stepped outside, they were met with two wide eyed stallions. “What?” Daylight asked.

The first stallion gave a small laugh,“You lucky bastard, I can’t even get my wife to do it in the kitchen, yet alone the raceway restroom.”

“Damn fine work son.” stated the other.

The spectacle all seemed strange,‘why would they assume we just..’ Daylight thought to himself but trailed off as he came to the realization of what just happened. As they left the restroom door, Daylight was zipping up his fly and Dusk was fixing her dress and her hair a bit. He pinched the bridge of his nose and decided to just roll with it. “You caught us, don’t worry. It won’t happen again.” He turned to look at Dusk and found her a deep shade of crimson once again. A small smile crept across his face as he grasped her hand with his. He turned to the two stallions and said,“Me and my wife shall be leaving now.”

She turned to daylight and whispered,“Wife?” He proceeded to nod and lead her up to the skybox to where he last seen the stallion they’d been searching for. He lead her up a flight of stairs and they were both stopped by a guard, blocking their entry.

“Hold it right there, this is a private booth, reserved by Fancy Pants and company.”

Daylight slyly summoned an invitation into his coat pocket as the guard continued to lecture him. He dug it out and handed it over to the guard with a look of irritation plastered over his face, he wasn’t actually irritated by merely acting the part. “Ok, this works. I’m sorry Mr and Mrs. Break, Here you go.” With that, he unhooked the velvet rope and gestured for their entry. Daylight gave him a nod and Dusk did the same. They proceeded up the stairs and strode through the glass doors and found a large company of mares and stallions crowding around their target, Fancy Pants.

Before they took their approach on the stallion, the author turned to Dusk and said,“I don’t see how he can put up with something like that. Personally if it were me, I’d have snapped. I’m a bit.. closterfobic.”

She turned to him and gave a confused expression,“What do you mean closterfobic? We had to pass through a cave on our way to Ponyville, you seemed fine there.”

“That’s different. I’m closterfobic when it comes to being surrounded by people.” Daylight gave a small gulp as he gazed upon the horde of ponies.

“Well, the ball is going to be just fantastic for you then, seeing as how the Royal Ball has many ponies from far and wide.” She seemed to put extra emphasis on the royal ball. Daylight turned to Dusk and thought to himself for a moment.

Once he returned from his thoughts, he smiled and sent Dusk into confusion,“Good. This should be a lot easier than I expected it to be.”

“And why’s this?”

“Because we’re going into the dungeon, not the ballroom.”

“But I thought... nevermind.” Her expression was fueled with distraught. She seemed to be frustrated with Daylight. “Let’s just get this over with.”

Daylight was at a loss for words and turned to face Fancy Pants. They sat down on the far side of the booth and waited.

////////////////

“So, let me get this straight. You and your wife have come all this way to only ask me a question?” Asked the blue maned stallion with the exceptional monocle.

“Yes actually.”

“It would be rude of me if I were to say ‘No’, so ask away my good sir. By the way, I love your suit. I find it rather interesting.”

“Thank you. The question is wish to ask is how does one get invited to the royal ball?”

“Quite simple really, should the princesses deem you worthy of appearing, you will receive a golden ticket. This is used at the front entrance to the castle. Don’t you already have one?” He asked, to which Daylight shook his head. “Well my good sir, that is just not acceptable.” He reached into his coat pocket and retrieved two golden tickets and handed them to Daylight and Dusk.

The author looked to the high class stallion dumbfounded,“You’d be willing to just hand over your tickets? Why?”

Fancy Pants looked to Daylight and gave a grin,“Goddess knows how I love the princesses and their entertaining events, but I actually wish to just stay home this time.”

“I can’t find the right words to thank you..” Daylight stated as he accepted the gift.

“I should be the one thanking you. You and your wife have given me inspiration for a new dress line, a dark side to clothing. I should get in touch with miss Rarity of Ponyville, I’m sure she’ll love it.”

“Thank you Fancy Pants.”

“The pleasure was all mine.”

“I’m sorry to cut this short, but my wife and I must take our leave. I hope to see you in near future.” Daylight stated.

“Before you go, I wish to give this to you.” He reached into his coat pocket once again and pulled out a small white card. Daylight accepted the card and gave it a read over. It was a business card with his number and address on it. “You and your lovely wife should give me a ‘ring’ sometime soon and Fleur de Lis and I could go on a double date with you. Let’s ‘catch up’ sometime, as they say.”

“I’d love to, thanks again Fancy Pants.”

“Call me,‘Fancy’.”

“A first name basis, nice.” Daylight gave a small smile and held his hand out for a handshake, to which Fancy accepted humbly.

After a moment of shaking, Daylight and Dusk said their farewells and turned to the exit and exited the booth. As they strode past the guard and made their way to the exit of the stadium, Dusk looked to Daylight and smiled,“He’s a lot nicer than most rich snobs.”

“So, what do you think?”

“About what?” Asked Dusk. Daylight held the business card up and raised an eyebrow.

“You want to meet up with him after we break Ditzy out?” He asked.

“Sure, it sounds fun.”

“Ok, then it’s a...”

“Date.” Dusk’s cheeks turned a light shade of red as she spoke.

Daylight continued through the hall with Dusk and a small smile and a continuous headbob presented themselves as Daylight said,“Yeah, it’s a date.” a slight sense of happiness rung through his head. “Not bad.”

Guessing Games.

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The night had begun to set on the land and it had come time for the ball to begin. Daylight was sporting his Joker costume suit and Dusk was filling out the matching dress quite nicely. They stood before the castle, just outside the castle gates and were in the process of planning out how to save the lazy eyed mare.

“Ok, the guards will be watching over the ball and making sure nothing bad happens. If they’re royal guard material, they’ll have keen eyesight. So slipping by them will be near to impossible.” Daylight told the mare.

“Encouraging words. Thank you.” Dusk stated with a light chuckle.

“I wasn’t finished. Since I have the power of the scroll, I can summon a distraction, something to keep the guards preoccupied while we slip by into the dungeon. This plan should run smoothly, but there’s one small setback.”

“What is it?” asked the mare.

“Well...” John began to rub the back of his neck anxiously. “Remember when I was telling you that I was closterfobic?”

“Only around large groups of people, yeah. Why?” asked the mare.

“Well, for the plan to work; we need to get into the center of the room so I can summon the distraction. And since the center of the ballroom is where everyone is going to try to be, this is a bit... problematic.” Daylight could feel his heart slowly start to race and his breaths became more frequent as the thought of being surrounded by ponies ravaged his mind.

His fears were sent into a complete stop as Dusk placed the palm of her hand against Daylight’s face. “I have an idea. Look into my eyes.” The author followed her order and stared into her eyes, and they seemed calming. As she stared back into his, she said,“When we enter the ballroom, and we’re making our way to the middle, just stare into my eyes and forget the world around us.”

“Ok.” Daylight looked to the front gate and gulped. He turned back the mare and let out a faint smile,“I’ll try.”

“Ditzy’s not going to save herself, come on.” Dusk stated.

“Right.”

The two strode forward towards the gate and there stood two royal guards. One with a checklist and the other with a big red box. Dusk and Daylight stood there and watched as a party of other ponies approached the gate.

The guard with the checklist spoke up,“Ticket.” he blandly stated. The first mare and stallion placed their tickets inside the red box and turned back to the guard with the checklist. “Name.”

The stallion said,“Mr. and Mrs. Wingsley.”

The guard signalled for them to enter and they strode through the front gates with their noses in the air. The next couple approached and followed the same procedure, but then a problem arose. “Name.”

The stallion spoke up,“Mr and Mrs. Sliverwing.”

“You’re not on the list.” Stated the guard.

“You could look past that if I were to say..” the stallion pulled out a large wad of cash and slipped a few bills in the guards armor suit. “How about now?” asked the stallion.

“You’re not on the list and I suggest you leave.”

“You do speak english, don’t you? If not, then money is a world known language. Now please let us pass!”

The guard drew his sword and he was soon followed by four other guards watching from a distance. “Leave now.” The guard said threateningly.

The stallion and the mare cowered in fear as they took off.

Daylight looked to Dusk and said,“Well, that could have gone better.”

“What about us? I don’t know if we’re even on the list!” Dusk whispered in a worried tone.

Daylight held his arm out towards Dusk,“We’ll just have to try.” Dusk wrapped her arm around Daylight’s and they proceeded up to the two guards.

“Ticket.”

The author placed both of the shining golden tickets inside the red box and turned back to the guard.

“Name.”

“Mr. and Mrs. Break, we’re filling in for Mr.Fancy Pants and Mrs.Fleur de Lis.”

The guard spoke up as he looked to the two before him,“Ah yes, The Breaks. Please, come in.”

“Thank you.” Daylight said, the sudden change of tone and attitude the guard was showing was odd, but welcoming. He lead the couple up to the front doors of the castle and signalled for the guards to open it. As they slide the solid golden doors open, Daylight was sent into a world of questions. ‘Why are they treating us like this?’ He thought to himself. Being cautious, Daylight made sure to watch out for any suspicious behavior from the hordes of guards that surrounded them.

The guard holding the checklist gave a bow and gestured for them to enter,“Mr and Mrs. Break, we’ve been expecting you.”

The doors slide open and they were greeted by the mass amounts of ponies, dragons, zebras, and many more influential individuals. Daylight retreated to his thoughts:

‘Run, run and don’t look back.’ Daylight’s thoughts said to him.

‘I can’t! I need to save Ditzy!’ The author thought back.

‘Those eyes, look away!’

‘Wait.. those eyes.’ daylight shot back to reality and turned to Dusk, he held her calm hands inside his, shaking. “I need your eyes.”

“Here.” She gazed into his eyes as he stared back, he could feel the world slowly fade away and everything seemed to calm. “Better?” Asked the mare.

“Much. Thank you.” He turned back to the crowd of ponies and creatures alike and felt contempt as he held Dusk’s hand. “Shall we?” He asked.

“Let’s.”

Daylight was lead by Dusk into the ball. Every pair of eyes seemed to be glaring down at them but with the power of comfort, Dusk. Everything was going better than expected. Daylight looked towards the dance floor and felt something come over him, the churning in his stomach began to spin again.

“I need to sit down.” Daylight stated. Dusk turned to him and nodded, she then lead him to a nearby table and sat them both down.

“Is something wrong?”

“I can’t seem to focus.” Dusk thought to herself for a moment and came up with a brilliant idea. She left the table and quickly paced herself over to buffet. Daylight sat at the table and held his head in his hand, he felt sick to the brim but needed to focus. That was when Dusk returned.

In one hand, she held a glass of wine and the other held a familiar black tonic. “This should calm you down.” She handed the mug of blackness over to Daylight and he took it into his shaking hands. “What does that taste like? I’ve heard that Darkmoon used to drink that stuff too but it looks a little too strong.” She asked.

Daylight turned to Dusk before putting the rim of the mug up to his lips. He took a quick sip and set the mug down on the table. “Well, I can’t exactly taste, and neither could Darkmoon. So the only way for you to know is if you try some.” He held out the mug towards Dusk and she retreated into thought.

“Wait, I got an idea. Try to drink about half of the mug.”

“Try? There is no ‘Try’.” Daylight shot down the entire mug and the tonic began to work its wonders. “Maybe I...” He was interrupted by Dusk as she planted a small kiss on his lips, she held herself there for a moment or two. As she pulled herself away, small squeals of delight came from behind the two. As they turned, they could see three small fillies. Daylight thought to himself for a moment,‘Wait a minute. Are those three the CMC? How did they get in here?’ and then the more important question popped into mind,‘Did Dusk just kiss me?’

He turned back to Dusk, her cheeks were pump red as she took a sip from her wine. “It’s pretty strong, I don’t see how you can’t taste that.” She let out a small cough as she tried to laugh. “So, you feeling calm yet?”

Daylight gave himself a quick look over, his hands were steady and his mind was just a bit clearer. He looked back over to Dusk and smiled,“Seems about right.” He leant forward towards Dusk. “Let’s get this over with.”

“In a moment.” She reached down to the table and grabbed a napkin. She dabbed it across Daylight’s lips and wiped away the foam that had seeped out of the mug. “Now we can go.” They stood from the table and made their way to the ballroom floor. Daylight took Dusk’s hand into one of his while he set the other on her waist. She rested her free hand around his neck, and a smile came across both of their faces as they spun and danced their way throughout the dancefloor.

Every moment seemed to carry on for an eternity but to Daylight, it would have been a blessing. They spun and twirled as they danced their time away. “Daylight..” Dusk rested against the author’s chest and closed her eyes.

“Yes?” Daylight asked the mare and he rested his head against hers.

“We’re in the middle, what now?”

Daylight lifted his head and looked around the room, during the time they’d been dancing, they somehow managed to make their way into the center of the ballroom. Daylight rested his head back onto the mares head and whispered back to her,“Now the plan starts.”

With a quick thought and a bit of summoning, out popped a small scorpion. He crawled up onto Daylight’s pant leg and crawled up to his shoulder. Once he reached his neck, he sat and waited for a command. “Can I ask of you something, dearest creation?” Daylight asked the small arthropod. The scorpion seemed to nod and Daylight continued,“I need you to cause a distraction. But I ask you that you please do not hurt anyone. Should things get out of hand, come find me in the dungeons down below, do you understand?” And with that, the scorpion nodded and slowly crept its way back down to the ground.

Dusk looked over to the doors leading down towards the end of the room in the far left corner and said,“Those are the doors to the dungeon. We need to get down there before everything turns into chaos.”

“How can you be certain?” Daylight asked. “You haven’t been to the castle yet, have you?”

She looked up into Daylight’s eyes and smiled,“You don’t know what it’s like to want to be a princess.” She let out a small chuckle and lead Daylight through dance down towards the doors. After a moment of dancing, they were only a bit away from the dungeon doors when suddenly a loud cry could be heard, soon followed by a large chorus of screams and cries of terror. The guards standing throughout the room began charging towards the source of the screams, even the guards blocking their way into the dungeons. With only a moment to step inside before getting caught, Daylight and Dusk slipped in the doors unnoticed.

“And how did you know these were the doors? Sure I get the whole wanting to become a princess aspect but how do you know the layout of the castle? Isn’t it supposed to be a secret?” Asked the curious author. Dusk turned to him and smiled as she grabbed a torch off the wall.

“Well, I may not be all knowing, but I did find some things that belonged to my mother. I may not have met her but I still have some of her things. There was a map of the Canterlot castle, ‘blueprints’ in a box Darkmoon gave me a while back. I studied it all the time, thinking of what I’d do inside the castle on lazy days but.. dreams are just that. Dreams. Dark used to keep in touch all the time, but then he disappeared. You know the rest.”

“Oh.. I’m sorry.” Daylight stated.

“No need, come on. Ditzy’s waiting.”

Daylight grabbed a mounted shield off of the wall and Dusk handed the torch to him. He held the shield in his left hand and the torch in the right as he slowly crept down the stairwell leading towards the dungeon. “What’s with the shield?” Dusk asked.

Daylight turned to her for a brief moment and said,“Well, if there are guards down here, a shield would do a hell of alot better at blocking a sword attack than flesh and bone.”

“Oh. I get it, carry on.”

They continued to creep down the stairs until they finally reached the room that housed all the inmates. Only a few unlucky ponies had been caged and sentenced to the depths of the castle. As they passed by the caged criminals, a few actually looked to the pair and questions began to echo throughout the room. “What are you two doing here? Breaking ‘Into’ Jail?” voiced one stallion. They ignored their questions and proceeded through the rooms in search of Daylight’s invaluable friend. All seemed to be lost when they couldn’t seem to find her and Daylight knocked on one of the inmates’ cell door to attract his attention.

“Yeah? What do ya want?” Asked the orange stallion.

“Do you know where they are keeping a mare by the name of Ditzy Doo at?” Daylight asked.

“The name doesn’t ring a bell, what’s she look like?”

“She’s a grey pegasus mare with a blonde mane and tail.”

“You mean lil’ wobbly eye! Yeah, I seen her. But information isn’t free ya know.”

“What’ll it cost? Daylight asked with a bit of irritation.

“The key’s ta’ mah cell.” He said with a smug tone.

Daylight looked around the room and noticed a pair of cell keys hanging on a large key ring that hung off a nail that had been pounded into the wall. “Can you go grab those for me?” Daylight asked Dusk, she nodded and quickly retrieved the keys and handed them to the author.
“Thanks.” He turned to the stallion once again and looked to him and asked,“Ok, where are they holding her?”

“She’s a ceilin’ decoration in the throne room, their keepin’ her in a cage and waiting for that John Dixon guy. Ok, I told you where they’re keepin’ her, now it’s time ya’ll set me free.”

“Ok.” Daylight put the key into the keyhole and twisted the lock open, he opened the door and as the prisoner tried to walk through, Daylight slammed a punch into the stallion’s gut, causing him to double over in pain. The author grabbed the stallion by the mane and threw him at the wall at the far end of the cell. He slammed the door shut and locked it.

“What the hell? What was that for?” Asked the stallion. “What about your end of the deal?” The stallion clamped his eyes shut as he held his face in his palms.

“I would have set you free, but no one. And I mean No one talks like that about her.”

“Somethin’s wrong with mah eye...” The stallion slowly opened his eyes and one seemed to be locked into place as the other shot around in different directions. “You son of a bitch! Ya gone an’ broke mah eye!”

“Wobbly eye.” Daylight retreated to his thoughts for a moment. He returned to reality with a smirk across his face. “Some people would call that poetic justice.” Daylight turned to Dusk and smiled,“To the throne room then.”

“Are you crazy? She’ll be waiting for you there!”

“If I can’t save Ditzy, what use do I have in making promises? If I need to face death in order to save Ditzy, then I’m just going have to.”

Daylight dropped the shield and handed the torch over to Dusk,“I don’t want you to die...” The mare trailed off.

Daylight turned to the mare and gave a weak smile as he planted a quick kiss on her cheek,“Stay here and hide. I’ll be back.”

Would he be back? To him, the answer was a mystery. There was only hope, and within hope, there are truths... and lies.

One Last Disguise.

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Daylight slid passed the guards without a hitch and met with the scorpion along the way. As he passed by the buffet table, his small friend was sitting and waiting for his master to return. Daylight noticed the scorpion and held out hand just below his arthropod. It jumped onto his hand and crawled up his arm and sat on his shoulder.

As they moved through the room, Daylight turned his attention to the scorpion,“Nothing to bad?” The scorpion motioned a nod. “Good.” After twisting and weaving through the crowds of Equestrians, Daylight finally made his way into the main hallway. “Now, I just need to find the throne room.”

The scorpion that had been laying on his shoulder stood to his feet and crawled back down to the floor. “Where are you going?” Daylight asked the little arthropod. As he watched it, it seemed to be trying to lead him somewhere. “Do you want me to follow you?” He asked. The scorpion nodded and turned back down the hall. As he quickly sped through the halls of the castle, Daylight followed in step. With only a few guard encounters and quietly slipping past them, Daylight and his creation had arrived at two very familiar golden encrusted doors.

The arthropod crawled its way back up to Daylight’s shoulder and rested once again. “Are you sure that this is the Throne room? This looks a lot like Celestia’s royal chambers.” He asked the scorpion. Once again, the scorpion nodded and resumed resting. “Ok.” Daylight gave himself a quick look over. He was still wearing the Joker costume suit but needed one last costume. He entered a nearby room and scooped out the area for any others that could be lurking in the shadows. Once the coast was clear, Daylight summoned his last outfit.

With a bright flash, the attire came into existence. He took the scorpion into hand and set him down on a nearby table. Daylight began to undress from his costume and could feel every emotion driving throughout his body. He let the coat drop from his arms to the floor in a heap. The next things to accompany the coat on the ground were the vest, shirt then tie. He slid off the dress shoes and pants and once he was finally undressed, he turned to his new suit.

He slid the dark blue jeans on, next to come were the greeves. Once done, he picked up the black and grey long sleeved shirt, next to come was the white collared overshirt. He rolled the dress shirt sleeves up and clenched his fists together in a test to see if he could move comfortably. He turned back to the rest of the attire and grabbed the shoulder pauldron. and strapped it to himself, followed by the chestpiece. He grabbed the right and left gauntlets and strapped them on. He laced the sword strap around his waist, and sheathed the sawn-off in its holster. Lastly came the hood.

As he pulled it over his head, he gave himself a quick look over once more and gave a small stretch,“It may not be the Dark’s armor, but it should be convincing enough.” He turned back to the scorpion and asked him,“How do I look?” The scorpion just stared at him for a moment and jumped onto the floor. He crawled back onto Daylight’s uncovered shoulder and rested once more. “It’s good enough, I guess.”

He left the confined room and strode up to the golden doors. He took a deep breath and placed his palm against the door and pushed, the door looked a lot heavier than it actually was. The door flew open and slammed against the wall. He quickly scoped out the room, it was indeed the throne room, and there were six guards standing in uniform, on either side of the walls of the room staring at him. Ditzy was standing inside the steel cage crying, the cage was hung from large iron chains that hung from the roof. Celestia was sitting in the throne, eyes wide open.

Daylight spoke up,“Tell me, why is it you do this?” He slowly began to approach the center of the room.

Celestia began to stutter,“D-Dark? Is that you?”

He began to near the throne,“You’ve resorted to something like this? Kidnapping and imprisoning a mare that did not deserve such a fate? And you have the audacity to hang her from the roof as if she was a prize to be won?”

“Dark, it’s not like that!” She stated.

“Stop calling me Dark, I am not him. But I am at the same time.”

“What?”

Daylight pulled the hood away and revealed himself. The room grew deathly quiet, but the silence was broken as Daylight spoke up,“My name is Daylight’s Break. I once lived in this land at a time, but through the eyes of another. You all cherished him, though you ridicule me and my companions. But no more. Upon arriving in this land, I sought freedom. A chance for a fresh start, but I was denied this pleasure by you and your stubborn ways.”

“My stubborn ways? What do you mean? We’ve never even met.” She asked.

“This wasn’t the first time we’ve met, princess. I once went by the name of John Dixon, but after our last encounter, you marked my face and name as a monster. A guardian slayer. All lies, and you know this to be true. Had you listened to my words and allowed me to explain, my life would have pleasant one. But you denied me all this by casting spells of fire and carving lies from the far truth.”

Celestia stood from the throne with rage building in her eyes. “I do not lie, you’ve slain Darkmoon and now you insult his memory by wearing his garments? Guards!” At her command, the six guards drew their swords and bolted towards Daylight but stopped dead in their tracks as they laid their eyes on the events to come.

“Sit down!” Daylight yelled, while the guards and Celestia were caught up in the excitement, everything seemed to stop as he drew the sawn-off and held it in his right hand with the end of the barrel pointed down at the regal figure. Other than the sound of Daylight’s voice, the only sound that could be heard was the hum of the sawn-off being powered by magic. In his other hand, he held his sword that was pointed toward the guards. Everything and everyone stood still until Daylight demanded,“Sit Down!”

At command, Celestia sat back down on the throne, and the guards seemed to back off. With the scorpion on his shoulder and ready to attack, Daylight turned to him and said,“I can handle this, you get up to that cage and try to open the lock. Do you understand?” As if already expecting such, the scorpion began crawling down his body and eased himself onto the ground. Daylight turned his attention back to the princess,“Now. I’m going to sheathe my weapons, and you’re all going to sheathe yours. Should any of you not comply, I am one click away from ending this negotiation.”

The guards slid their swords back into their sheaths and laid their cases and helmets down on the ground. Celestia spoke out,“Why are you doing this? Why are you such a... monster?”

“I am no monster, but forced to be one. Because of your little lie, I have gone without sleep for nearly two weeks. Fun fact dear princess, did you know that if one goes 72 hours without sleep, they are deemed mentally unstable? Insane even? I’m in a waking nightmare, and it’s all because of your sister and her husband. Should I go back to the dream realm, my life is thrown into forfeit. I’ve gone so long without what is a necessity that I’ve come to do something I would have never even considered.” Daylight sheathed the sawn-off and sword and stood before the sun goddess. “I’ve come here for Miss Ditzy Doo, I am leaving with her and you and your ‘friends’ will not move from your spots should you choose to live.”

A loud clank could be heard from behind as the lock struck the ground after it fell from the cage above. “Thank you.” Voiced Ditzy as she grabbed the scorpion and flew the both of them to the ground. “John? Is that really you?”

Daylight kept his focus on the princess but replied to the grey mare,“Yes kid, it’s really me. Come on, let’s get going.” He motioned for her to get onto his back and she did without hesitation. He looked to the guards and spoke,“If you were smart, you’d stay in your places.” He adjusted Ditzy into a position so that he could run.

As he made his way over to the door, the princess called out from the throne,“Daylight! I will have you found! I’ll get all of Equestria coming after you! Your end will be most unpleasant, and your story forgotten!”

Daylight stood at the door with his back facing the regal princess and said,“Do you honestly think I care? I’d rather be forgotten.”

As he made his way down the hall with his sawn-off drawn, he proceeded flawlessly as he scared each group of guards into submission with the power he held in his hand. Ditzy whispered into his ear as not to catch the attention of any other peering ears that could eavesdrop,“You’re not going to hurt anybody, are you?” Daylight shook his head and continued through the halls. After a while of walking, they finally arrived back at the ballroom. Every pair of eyes, glaring down at him. The churning began to settle in once again.

Thinking quickly, Daylight called out into the crowd,“Everyone, onto the ground and no one gets hurt!” With one swift motion, every party member laid down on the ground. Their faces buried into the ground and their eyes hidden behind closed lids. The sickening churning began to ease away and Daylight carried Ditzy over the crowd over to the far end of the room to the door on the left. The guards that stood at the door were standing with their swords drawn, ready for what was to come. “Stand aside.” Daylight said calmly but the guards wouldn’t listen. “I said stand aside!” his voice thundered throughout the room. One guard dropped his sword but quickly caught it and stood back into position.

“We’re not scared of you!” claimed the guard on the left.

“Yeah!” The other said through a shaking voice.

Daylight had begun to grow tired of their fruitless attempt and raised the sawn-off up to them. “Stand aside.” The guards dodged to the side and cowered for a moment. Within this small moment, the door was clear. A loud and thunderous shot went off and the once solid oak doors turned into toothpicks as the shot rammed straight through it. Cries of terror roared through the room as the shot went off and the guards sat themselves over beside the rest of the floor guests. “Stay there.” Daylight stated before descending the stairwell.

Once he reached the bottom, he called out for his companion,“Dusk? Dusk! Where are you?”

“I’m over here! Hurry!” She cried back.

Daylight quickly made his way over to the cries of his partner and found the mare on the floor trying to break free from the grasp of the orange stallion. He had managed to grab hold of her ankle through the bars and was trying to pull her inside his cell. “Com’ here.” the stallion said with lust in his voice. “I’m not gonna bite. Not yet anyways.”

Daylight was surrounded by darkness and it seemed that the stallion hadn’t caught sight of him yet. Rage was building inside Daylight as he watched as the stallion tried to pull Dusk in with him.

“You’ve got some fight in ya, I like that in a mare.” He slowly turned his gaze away as a sound came into his ear,“Eh? What’s that hummin’ sound?” He looked up and found the dark silhouette of Daylight with the barrel of the sawn-off directly pointed in his face. He let go of the mare and raised his hands in the air, an inch above his face. “I’m sorry, jus’ that I haven’t seen a mare in so long!”

Daylight focused on the stallion,“May the Dream realm be pleasant, for you’re gonna be there for a bit.” He readied his finger on the trigger.

“Oh please no!” Cried the stallion.

Just before Daylight pulled the trigger, he pulled his finger away and rammed the end of his knee into the stallions muzzle and he flew back. “you’ve gone an’ broke mah damn nose!” He was quickly silenced as his head was kicked against the wall, knocking him unconscious.

Daylight turned to the frightened mare and said,“Come on. We’ve got Ditzy, I’m tired of being here anyways.” He gave a small yawn and gave a quick smile. “Maybe just tired in general.”

The price of one’s actions, to be wise and observant of their surroundings and deal with a situation quickly and efficiently, or bold and brash, charging through the problem head on, hoping for the best. The action always has a price, and sometimes... other’s follow.

March of the Mercenaries.

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Daylight, Dusk and Ditzy with their small arthropod companion, made their way up the spiraling stairwell. As they reached the top, Daylight was the first to exit the shattered doors with his sawn-off drawn. Everyone laid cowering on the floor, waiting for the worst to pass. The guards still held their spots on the floor beside the ball guests, and everything was calm and quiet. The author signalled for Ditzy and Dusk to enter the room and follow closely behind.

As they edged themselves out of the room, a large group of sighs could be heard. Next, they had to make their way out of the castle. The small group paraded their way down through the halls with the small scorpion leading their way.

“He’s pretty helpful, maybe you should have brought him in earlier.” Ditzy stated with a smirk plastered across her face. Daylight gave a small chuckle as he reminisced on the past.

“What’s she talking about?” Dusk asked with a hint of confusion.

“I’ll tell you once we’re somewhere less hostile.” Daylight told the curious mare, to which she nodded and focused on the scorpion once more. Almost as if on cue, a chorus of cries could be heard coming from deep within the castle.

“What was that?” The mares asked in unison. Daylight looked to them with a dire look in his eyes.

He seemed to pick up the pace, taking both of their hands and leading them faster down the hall. “Nothing I’d like to deal with right now. Hurry.” The mares looked upon the seemingly frightened author. They listened in further and noticed the cries seemed to be coming closer by the hoofstep.

“Daylight, the screams are getting louder.” Dusk said as she looked to their leader. She slowed as she noticed that he stopped in his tracks. He turned to the two mares and began removing his gauntlets and weapons. He handed all of items to Dusk and gave a stern look to the frightened pair. “Daylight? What are you doing?” She asked as she caught the items that were passed to her.

Daylight turned to the small scorpion and gave a weak smile,“Dearest creation, take these two out of the castle. Hurry.” He turned his gaze from the arthropod to the two mares,“I need you both of you to listen, take these and make your way to the Hive. Tell the guards these exact words,‘The past sons of the land, rise again and reign.’. You need to say them exact, and they’ll protect you. Stay safe. If I don’t show up within the week... you know what’s happened. Now run.”

“But what about you?” Asked the two mares.

“I said run, now go.” Daylight snapped at them, both of the mares shot back and followed the scorpion down into the hall until they had disappeared from sight. Daylight closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he focused his hearing on the screams coming closer from down the hall. He stood in the middle of the hallway, waiting. If they had any chance of escaping, he needed to distract them for just a bit. Just enough for Dusk and Ditzy to leave the city walls of Canterlot.

As the sounds of the screams neared the author, they seemed to stop.“You all took just a bit longer than you should have.” Voiced Daylight as he opened his eyes to four very familiar characters. All were deeming enchanted armor, though a certain rogue wore enchanted leather armor. They all held the same expression, hate. They all held this expression, all except for one.

“We’ve been given the task of ending your miserable life. I honestly felt a bit happy finding out that you were still alive, I’ll feel even better knowing that your life faded away at my hands.” Voiced a very infuriated Terra Firma. The light was shimmering off of his armor and scales, the figure of a mighty hero, now pitted against an unworthy opponent.

“I feel the same, you’ll pay with your blood for what you have done to the guild master.” Sneered the one known as Night Strife. He was accompanied by the Oatsralian stallion by the name of Axton Gears.

“I’m not one for grudges, but the things you’ve done to these lands. These acts have been most monstrous, and I honestly would like to watch your head roll for what you’ve done.”

Daylight turned his attention from the three angered soul and focused on the last of the groups members. Pyromancer. The stallion held a confused expression,“Doesn’t he look a bit... familiar?” he asked the rest of the group.

“Does it truly matter?” Asked Terra, but he was quickly interrupted by the fiery maned stallion once more as Pyro strode over to the author. Pyro walked up to the author and gazed at him for a moment.

“Yeah, he seems a bit too familiar for my tastes.” He said as he stared at Daylight.

“What ‘Tastes’? We’ve all had your cooking. The only one that liked your cooking was..”

“Darkmoon’s Crescent. Ok, we get it, can we move on with this?” Asked Daylight with a hint of annoyance.

“Hold on there. How did you know that?” Pyro asked, the more the author spoke, the more he seemed to be intrigued. “Wait a minute.” He inspected Daylight a bit further and noticed his attired consisted of Dark’s gear, missing only a few choice items. “That’s who you look like!” He took hold of Daylight’s hood and pulled it over the authors head. As the light faded from Daylight’s face, the sight clicked inside the stallion’s head. “He looks like Dark, wouldn’t you say?” He asked as he turned back to the group.

“I know this is something you always do, but try to stay focused! All we’re supposed to do is end this poor sods life and head back, nothing more alright?” voiced Strife.

Pyro held an expression of disappointment,“Come on guys, what would Dark do in this kind of situation? He’d look further into it, and I may not show it all that often but I’m a bit of a detective myself, when it comes to things that fascinate me.”

“You’re interested by the one we’ve been hired to end? We’re not guardians anymore, so I say we lop off his head and be done with this.” Axton stated with a hint of irritation.

Pyro gave his friends a small laugh and turned back to the author,“So... What do I call you? hmm... you look like a... tom? No.. you look too much like Dark so.. wait. I think I got it. Is your name John?” Daylight nodded and Pyro clapped his hands together in excitement. “Ok, John. Tell me a bit about yourself.”

“I would, but your associates seem to be against the idea.” Daylight proclaimed.

Pyro turned to the others and seen that they seemed to be giving him dirty looks. “Lighten up guys, seriously.” He turned back to Daylight and spoke,“Don’t mind them, it’s just you and me.. for the time being. So continue.”

Daylight leant to the side and gazed at the others, all seemingly irritated with their current situation. He found this a great opportunity to stall, so he began to state how he came into the land. And everything he’d been through. The problems that arose on every corner and the constant chasing Celestia had been putting him through. As he explain his side of the story, the others seemed to become entranced by it, all except for Terra.

“And that’s how I ended up in this current turn of events, and that’s why I came here to save Ditzy Doo. I haven’t ever dreamt to hurt anyone here, but the reason this whole ‘Chase’ thing happened was because of Dark and Celestia’s Past.”

Terra stood silent as he listened to the authors explanation,“And do you have any proof that you did in fact ‘Create’ Darkmoon?” He asked.

“Yes, not many could say this, and you know this to be true. Darkmoon was the descendant from the Old Guardian blacksmith Firefist, to which Dark met as a ghost in the old fortress.”

“You shouldn’t know this.. we were the only ones there...” Terra stated, bewithered by Daylight’s statement.

Pyro cracked a smile and looked to the others,“Ok, so in the long run, I was right all along! Bam! Take that!” He began to headbob in satisfaction of his accomplishment.

Daylight spoke up to the crowd. “And Dark doesn’t need to be forgotten about, I can bring him back.”

“How?” Asked the group in unison.

Daylight looked to the group and cracked a small smile,“I just need to return to my world, earth.”

“You can’t, the portals been broken for years and there’s no way of repairing it. Believe me when I say that I’ve tried.” Voiced Terra with a disheartened tone.

“I don’t return that way, that leads back to Dark’s world, not mine. If I have any chance of returning home and bringing Darkmoon back, I need to get to the Hive.”

“Are you sure you’ll find your way back to your ‘earth’ there?” Axton asked.

Daylight hung his head and sighed,“I won’t be able to return right away from there, but I will be able to find answers. All I ask is that you four try to reason with the princesses about my current predicament. I know that you all work here now, so you’re trusted and reliable.” Daylight turned to Pyro and thought for a moment,“Scratch that. Three of you are trusted.”

Axton, Terra and Strife began to chuckle at the small remark and Pyro looked to Daylight with a angered expression,“Hey, I’m trusted!”

“And that’s why you didn’t make trainer.”

“I’m beginning to not like you.” Pyro turned away from the author and stood beside Axton.

Daylight gave a weak smile and said,“If it makes you feel any better, I can’t taste, just like Dark.” Daylight snapped his fingers as a thought came into his head. “And plus.. what was it... oh yeah.. Ginger, eight poison joke, twelve nightberries and two pieces of tree bark.”

“Wait.. is that..”

“Yep, it’s finished.”

Pyro shot out towards Daylight and embraced him in a hug as he leapt in joy. “Yes! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”

“No problem, I did make it up in the first place.”

The rest of the group spoke up,“What are you two talking about?”

Pyro turned to his comrades and grinned more than ever,“I’m finally going to perfect... pause for effect... My Traveler’s Soup!” He sung a little achievement tune and gave a small pose.

“Pyro, that’s strange. Even for you.” Strife claimed.

Daylight gave a small cough to attract the attention of the others and they heard it loud and clear as they turned their attention away from Pyro’s small dancing session and focused on him. “I have to be making my way, please come see me at the Hive once everything has calmed down.”

“Alright.” Terra called out. The rest of the group gave a small bow and turned back down the hall, but paused for a moment and called back to the author,“So, what do we tell her?”

Daylight called back,“Tell her I’m that I regret the things I’ve done, and everything I’ve told you. Keep it cool, Daylight.”

“What was that?” Axton asked.

“Umm.. nothing. It’s a force of habit. I’ll catch you later.”

Forgiveness, it’s located in the hearts of many but is forgotten by few. For the world to carry on, forgiveness must be remembered. But can forgiveness always be given? Even to those that don’t deserve it?

The Rising Sun.

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It took the adventurer some time, but he finally managed to get his way back to Manehatten. “I wish Dusk was here, I still don’t know where to find the right way to get to the Mountains.” He would ask pedestrians wandering the streets of the city, only to be rejected due to the fact none of them actually knew where this mountain was. “Don’t any of these ponies leave to visit other places? If their only about a two hour walk away, it shouldn’t be that hard to find.”

Daylight strode out to the field after grabbing some food to eat and patrolled around the city, he gazed out into the far distances of the city to find a glimpse of the Mystic Mountains. It took nearly an hour of searching but he eventually managed to catch the sight of the mountains. He strode back into the city and found a small shop and picked up some food for the travel. After gathering his supplies, he made his way out of the city towards the direction of the mountains once again.

As he marched his way through the field, Daylight could feel his heart pounding faster, and his vision started to blur and shake. ‘What’s going on?’ Daylight thought to himself. A sudden pain shot to his chest as he fell to his knees. As he grappled on his his chest and took deep breaths, he gazed back up to the mountain in the distance with blurred vision. ‘Why is... this happening?’ Daylight thought to himself. He collapsed onto the ground and the world he knew faded into blackness and his mind went blank.

///////////////

“uughh.. Where.. where am I?” He asked himself as he pulled his body off of the stone. His eyes were stinging from pain and his sight was shaking violently. It took a moment for Daylight to collect himself as he tried to focus. “My head.” He stated as he held it within his hands.

“And you’re back, I knew you’d return one day but...” The voice trailed off as Daylight tried to focus on on the figure the voice belonged to.

“Who are you?” Daylight said with his eyes closed from pain.

“Well, Daylight’s Break, You may call me Shadow Kin, Shadow for short. I was the other half to my brother, Darkmoon, but he was taken away from me after you arrived.” Shadow sneered at Daylight.

Daylight fell to his knees weakly. He took a deep breath and spoke as he kept his eyes shut,“I’m tired of running. I’m a deadman either way. I just thought I could do some good before I came back, and you know what? I did. I saved Ditzy Doo, made some pretty good friends and finally found my way towards the Hive. I might not have made it there, nor will I, but I feel like I’ve accomplished something. So spare me the lecture and just finish me right here, right now. I’m just so very tired.”

“I would honestly love to put you out of your misery, but it seems you’ve done it yourself.” Shadow said to the author.

“What?”

“Gaze upon yourself, If you truly are as you speak, you’ll remember what it means.”

Daylight opened his pain ridden eyes and gave his body some inspection. He was glowing an all too familiar black and purple aura, and he knew what he had doomed himself to.

“Sleep is a necessity, and now you’ll get plenty of it here.”

Daylight clenched his eyes shut and slammed his fist into the stone walkway. “No. Not now, I was so close. Too close.”

“I should feel happy that you’re here now, but I can’t seem to find pleasure in it.”

“If I’m in a coma, or dead, I don’t really think it matters. Do as you wish, I’m good as dead now.”

Shadow felt an inner sense of pity for the lone wanderer and knelt down beside him as rested a calming hand on Daylight’s shoulder,“At least you may rest in peace, Celestia and my wife, Luna, both have come to their senses due to the others, the guardians. Losing Dark was a painful thing, for all of us, but we have come to terms with it. Times change, and so do we all. We still have my strong nephew and niece to take his place.”

Daylight shot in and pushed Shadow’s hand away,“It doesn’t have to be like this! I can bring him back! Make everything right and... tell Dusk..” Daylight could feel a hurtful sensation building up from behind his eyes and his breaths became more frequent. “I.. I just.. need to..” He trailed off as tears begun to slip out from his eye’s grasp.

“Daylight, you’ve done many good with the time the gods had given you. All stories must end sometime, there is no continuous story here to be found. Death is inevitable, and we all must face it one day.” Shadow claimed with a light smile in an attempt to calm to sobbing author.

The author had an idea shoot into his mind as he wiped the tears away and let out a small smile,“That’s it!” Daylight stood to his feet and Shadow rose up with him.

“What’s ‘it’?” asked Dark’s equestrian counterpart.

“Death!” He looked to Shadow and placed a hand on his shoulder,“I ask that you lead me to Death’s Doorstep. I need you to.”

“This could only be a coma, are you sure you wish to meet with fate so soon?” Asked Shadow, to which Daylight shook his head in acceptance.

It took sometime but after a lengthy stroll down the ever present stone walkway, they finally arrived at the object they had been searching for. They stood in front of a large iron door with a large skull embedded into the formation. As they approached the door, it seemed to be giving off an all too familiar humming noise. Just arriving at the door filled Shadow’s body with a sense of dread and hopelessness, but as he looked to Daylight, he seen that it wasn’t an expression of worry or dread. The expression he held resembled a sense of... hope.

Sometimes, Death is inevitable, but that does not mean we can’t still fight for what we believe in. Should an unstoppable force meet with an immovable object, hell will be paid. And we must stand up and fight, to laugh in the face of Death.

Wake the Dead.

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Daylight slowly began his approach towards the door, his heart pounding within his chest. He grasped the door knocker within his hand and pulled it back. With a thunderous boom, the knocker clashed against the door. Again and again. It rang throughout the dream realm, even attracting some attention from dreamers as they visited the realm.

After knocking four times, the author took a step back and waited. He looked to the bottom on the door and seen the all too familiar smoke emanating from the cracks underneath the large iron door. As he gazed back up to the handle, he could see the door slowly begin to creak open. With the door opening, the smoke began to spill out and laced the ground with its dark smoke and small cracks of lightning. Then, out of the darkness behind the shadows of the door came a voice. The voice of the one Daylight had been seeking.

“Why is it you disturb my slumber, mortal?” Asked Death.

Daylight pulled his hood down and tried to focus on the tall figure shrouded in shadows. “My Name is Daylight’s Break. And I’ve come here to ask you something.”

“Ah, I remember you. Though we have not had the pleasure of meeting... at least, not yet. Your true name is John Dixon, from earth. Not the earth of this realm, but the next. Here, you are known as the creator, though your power is only small.” The door began to fully open and Death revealed himself at his full stature. “So I ask you this, John. Why is it that you seek my audience?” He gazed down towards the author and awaited an answer.

Daylight gazed upon the imposing figure and felt a twinge of fear, but he needed to be brave and began to speak,“I need to return to the realm of the waken, it is solely my own fault for not taking the time to sleep but I had good reason not to.”

“Then tell me, why is that?”

“I was being hunted by many and sleep would have been foolish, though it wasn’t the true reason as to why I hadn’t slept in nearly two weeks.” Daylight turned away from Death and looked to Shadow. “It was because of Shadow Kin and Lady Luna, they had made it their goal to end me as I slept, though I understand their reasons behind it. I too would have been furious if I were to be deceived by others into believing my brother had been murdered.”

Death turned his attention from Daylight and glared down at Shadow,“Does John speak the truth?” Shadow nodded his head and Death began to growl,“You know far better than to take action without learning the facts. Have you not learned any of the lessons I have taught you over these countless years? Leave us. I will deal with you later.” As the shadowy figure turned away and faded into the distance, Death turned to Daylight and spoke. “Tell me John, or do you wish to go by your other name? Why are you in these lands?” He asked.

“I’d like for you to call me ‘Daylight’, and as for how I got here.. it’s a pretty long story.”

“I have the time, but do you have the words?” Death’s curiosity convinced Daylight to explain his side of the story. How he arrived, and everything he’d been through, leading up to the very point they stood.

“...And I collapsed in the field, just outside Manehatten and woke up here.”

Death retreated into his mind for a moment as he gathered his thoughts. Once he finished, he spoke,“Daylight, your carelessness actions has lead you into my realm, but you were wise and sought me out on your own accord. As for sending you back into the waking world, I will. But you must promise me this, you’ll keep yourself healthy. Should you return to the realm of dreamers with the aura you bear, I cannot and will not send you back. Do you understand?” He asked as he stood to his feet.

With a silent nod, Daylight gave a small smile and a look of determination. “I promise, I will not fail you.”

“Good.” Death held out his hand and lifted his skeletal index finger and pointed it towards Daylight’s forehead. He gave a small chuckle as he reflected on the past,“Just like Darkmoon, aren’t you.” Daylight gave a small smirk and a shrug as he waited. “Return, and farewell... for now.”

As Death sat his finger against Daylight’s forehead, an overpowering flash of white light came over Daylight’s vision. Once the pain of the light faded, Daylight opened his eyes and found himself in the middle of a dark, calm and quiet field. As he gazed back, he found the city of Manehatten in the background with the light of the moon lingering just over heard. The author pulled himself up off of the ground and dusted himself off. A lone cart, drug by magic, could be heard coming from behind and Daylight turned to meet with a mysterious hooded figure riding the cart. He seemed to be an elderly man, around the age of fifty.

The figure called out from the magical cart,“Would you like a ride?” He motioned for Daylight to hop aboard the cart and scootched himself over to the right.

“I.. I think I’m ok.” Daylight stated as he tried to walk away but stumbled from still being weak.

The figure hopped off his cart and made his way over to the fumbling author,“I don’t think it’d be wise to leave you here all alone. Come on, I’ll take you anywhere you need to go.”

With a small sigh, Daylight pulled himself off the ground and followed the hooded figure towards the cart. As they both sat down onto the cart, the figure began channeling magic and the cart roared and pressed on its way. “So, where you are heading?” he asked.

Daylight pulled the hood off his head and ran his hands over his face,“I’ve been trying to get to the Mystic Mountains for the past few weeks now, but I’m pretty sure you don’t know where that is, much like everyone else.”

The figure gazed upon the face of the wandering author and began to laugh,“You remind me of myself when I was your age, impatient. Good things come to those who wait, but the bull headed, like us, just rush into things without thinking things through. As for the Mystic Mountains, I’ve been trying to head there myself for the past few weeks as well, but there’s some kind of force field keeping me away. I can take you there, but I’m doubting that you’ll be able to enter.”

Daylight’s eyes shot open,“You don’t know how happy I am that I’m finally meeting someone that knows where it is, other than Dusk that is.”

“Dusk? What’s her last name?”

“Her name is Dusk’s Shadow, she’s been living in Manehatten for the past while and she’s the daughter of..”

“Moon’s Shadow.” Daylight was cut off as the hooded figure spoke up.

“Yeah, wait.. how did you know this?”

The figure turned his head and looked ahead towards the path before them,“Just a hunch, anyways, I’ll take you to the mountains but getting past isn’t going to be an easy thing, with the barrier in place that is.”

“Alright, thanks. Say, since we’re going to be traveling together for the next little while, I should get your name. So, what is it?”

“Well, I’m not great at introductions. So, once I have yours, I’ll tell you mine.”

“Alright, my name’s Daylight’s Break, back on my home planet, earth, I’m known as John Dixon.” Daylight gave his head a little scratch and turned to the hooded figure. “Now that you have my name, I should be getting yours.” He stated with a light smile.

“I’d be glad to, but there’s a flaw in this introduction.”

“Why is that?” Daylight asked.

“Well, the point of an introduction implies the two parties haven’t met yet.”

“I haven’t met you before, have I?”

The figure turned to Daylight and removed his hood, as Daylight gazed upon his face for the first time, his jaw dropped in awe. The author continuously thought to himself in silence, trying to find the right questions to ask him but could only mumble. “Hello John, my name’s Darkmoon’s Crescent, but you may also call me John, if you wish.”

The rest of the cart ride would be a quiet one, but it would be a life changing experience for the both of them. What would you do, if you met with your past self? Would you try to guide yourself in the right direction? Or would you end your own existence for the acts you’ve done to others? Only Time... would tell.

Two Masks, One Whole.

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The two pieces to a whole puzzle sat there quietly, side by side on a magically drawn cart towards their destination. Daylight’s Break, and Darkmoon’s Crescent. There was a lingering tension, and a hidden rage buried deep within Daylight. The pressure wouldn’t calm, and then it manifested into a hideous and catastrophic anger. After awhile, he finally snapped.

“Where in the living hell were you!?” Screamed Daylight, he couldn’t seem to cap his rage, it only seemed to grow as he sat beside Dark.

“Well, let’s see. hmm..” The elderly Darkmoon sat thinking for a moment. “I’ve been on the road for sometime now, first, about a couple weeks ago, I was sent on a mission by Celestia and Luna, it was a more than personal kind of mission but nevermind. Then, I went up to the old Gildergreen Hallows, they’re pretty peaceful this time of year, then I tried going back to the Hive but this kind of shield has been keeping me away from my wife and children. It’s like I’m being kept away for a reason, but as to what? I have no answers. I only wish to see my wife, and my children.” Daylight felt a twinge of sympathy for the old guardian, forgetting his own problems.

“I only wish to go back home, I don’t belong here.” Daylight told Darkmoon, to which caused Dark to look at him suspiciously.

“Why not just stay here?” He asked curiously. “You seem fine here, why would you want to go back to earth?” He didn’t seem to comprehend the severity of Day’s situation.

“I’ll explain it to you, but it might take some time.” He told the elderly guardian, to which he nodded and smiled.

“It’s ok, we’ve got plenty of time.”

Time passed as did the miles, and after a lengthy explanation of his situation, Dark’s face seemed to be twisted by confusion. He was processing the whole scenario within the walls of his mind. Trying to solve the rubiks cube of a mystery such as this. After being told that he himself was a character in a fictional story, that if Daylight didn’t return to his own world, if he couldn’t continue the story, that he would cease to exist. He found security in his falsehood though. To Darkmoon, his world, his life and his family, they were all real within his mind and heart. Everything was real, and that’s all that mattered. But now, the old guardian had a new mission, to protect his creator, and to safely return him back to his own realm.

“So Day, where do we begin our search to return you home?” Dark asked with a confused tone.

“Well, the exact place we’re in the process of heading. I may not find the portal, or gateway back to my world inside the hive, but I believe I’ll at least find some clues as to where it is.” Daylight told the confused guardian.

The elderly man began to rub his chin as he contemplated,“That’s not going to be easy, with the whole force field keeping us away.” He exclaimed.

“I’ll figure it out when we get there, but for now..I guess it’s a good time as any to do this.” Daylight raised his hand and gave dark a shot to the arm. Dark gave a slight grunt in pain at the punch. “That’s for everything that’s happened since I got here!”

“How was any of that my fault?” He asked as he rubbed his arm.

Day thought to himself for a moment,“Well, if you had at least shown yourself to Celestia and the others, I wouldn’t have had to go through any of this and I’d probably already be back in my world by now, maybe even sooner!” Day snorted in anger as he finished yelling.

“Well, since you’re my “Creator”, you should already know why I don’t go around Ponyville all that often anymore, having a family and all back at the hive.” He stated with a touch of frustration.

“Still, it would have been nice to have been able to sleep. I’m just saying.”

The roads ahead were a constant warzone on that small magic drawn cart, but feelings seemed to ease as their destination continuously came closer as the wooden wheels turned and clanked. As they rolled overtop a small hill, the once far distant Mystic Mountains were finally within a few miles. The cart trudged along as Dark reached into his pack and began strapping his armor on. That was when a far forgotten memory kicked into Daylight’s mind,“Hey, I’m sorry I forgot to tell you this, but I just remembered it! I went into your house back in Ponyville and took the scroll of dreams. Yeah, thought I should tell you.”

Dark looked to him with a bit of confusion,“What did that actually do though? When I found it all those years ago, I never understood its purpose.”

“Well, it basically grants the user the ability to summon anything he or she desires at any given time, though for it to be summoned, it needs to be within a certain distance of the user. I made it this way because someone could summon something extremely hostile, this way they’d be in danger as well so.. it basically “Nerfed” the scroll. Originally, in the rough draft of my.. our story, the scroll was meant to be stolen by someone.” Daylight thought to himself for a moment and gave a small laugh,“Then again, I did take it.. huh.”

“So who was it going to be stolen by?” Dark asked with a hint of curiosity.

“Well, think about it, who else has access to your house, your safe and basically knows everything you know?” Daylight asked. The elderly guardian began thinking to himself momentarily. His eyes slowly opened a bit at the surprise of his answer.

“Oh.” Dark leant back against the seat as he finally finished strapping his armor on. “That’s a bit depressing. My own child.”

“Yep, but then again, original draft, this is not the original draft. This is the final draft. And, if I am correct and I hope I am, this is the part of the story where the guild has been disbanded and the last book is just in progression?” He got an odd look from Dark. “Oh yeah, you wouldn’t know. Well, the guild isn’t still... going, right?” Asked the curious Day. The guardian shook his head and Daylight returned to his thoughts.

Day placed his hands on his face, covering his mouth and began questioning himself,‘Alright, think. The guild’s been disbanded, the others are mercenaries, Dark’s spending a lot of time away from the cities. Wait.’ Day pulled himself away from his complexing thoughts and gazed over to Dark. He quickly reached over and grabbed Dark’s chestpiece and began unstrapping it.

Dark, taken by surprise, began questioning Day. “And just what do you think you’re doing?”

Day quickly responded,“I’m just checking something really quick.” He finally unstrapped the armor piece and drug his hand inside of Dark’s shirt, feeling his chest.

“What the?” The elderly guardian said worriedly.

Day gave a little laugh as he thought about what he was doing, it was actually surprising that even with his age, Dark maintained a well toned body. “Nice.” After he returned to the task at hand, he felt around for any weird markings. The moment dragged on, for both him and Dark, but he couldn’t be sure of anything at the moment. “Take your shirt off.”

“What?”

“Oh come on, it’s not like you have something I don’t.”

Dark gave this a thought for a moment, seeing as how they were technically the same person. “Hm. Ok, I guess. It’s still a bit odd though.” He undid his pauldron and then his shirt. With his chest exposed, Day examined in for a moment. He gave off a small ‘hmm’ and then told the elderly guardian to put his gear and shirt back on. “So? Find anything you were actually looking for?” He questioned.

“Thankfully, no. Other than the few cuts, scrapes and scars that come along with casual fighting, I didn’t see the ‘Seven’ scar. So that means the hive should still be normal.”

“Ok, I’m not sure what that means, but I’m going to just assume I shouldn’t question it.” Dark reassembled his clothes and gear then turned ahead. He saw that they were approaching the barrier that kept him away from his family for these past weeks. It shone with a bright yellow and orange, shimmering under the light of the moon that loomed over the two for these past few hours. “There it is, the barrier.”

Daylight looked ahead and seen it. It was a large sphere surrounding the entire mountain and the nearby hive. “I wonder, did Ditzy and Dusk get in?” The question rang throughout his mind and it almost began to worry him, but he pushed the thought away for the time being, assuming that they were safely inside the holds of the hive and the barrier.

“Dusk is here? You sent her to the hive?” Dark asked.

“Yes, I sent her, Ditzy Doo and one of my favorite creations there. Hopefully they made it inside, though I’m not sure if they are.”

Dark took a deep breath and smiled,“For the first time in awhile, I’ll finally be able to see my granddaughter.”

“About that..” Day gave off a few uneasy laughs.

“What? Is something wrong?” Dark asked.

Day placed his hand against his neck and rubbed it nervously,“Well, it could be considered that way, maybe.”

“What is it your not telling me Day?” Dark gave the author a confused glare.

Daylight took a deep breath and thought of the best possible way to explain his side of his story with Dusk. Their little moments, their fights, their laughs, their feelings. But as he thought of Dusk, his words became ramblings. He couldn’t seem to find the right words to express the way he felt for the mare. To him, she was almost indescribable. But there is never an easy way to explain to someone’s grandfather, that you’ve fallen for his adopted granddaughter. Sure, Darkmoon’s Crescent and Daylight’s Break were entirely different people, they were still considered the same person.

“I.. I.. I think I love Dusk.. and I think that I’d like to be more than her friend.” Daylight closed his eyes and awaited his punishment from Dark. Silence filled the air, the wind and the sound of the wheels chattering across the rocky path were the only sounds that occupied the air. There they sat, quiet and seated.

“I know I should refuse this, but from what you’ve told me. That you protected her from the stallion in the Canterlot dungeons, taken her on an adventure away from the lonely space of that small shop she worked in for years, exiling herself away from everyone and everything. How you’ve shown her so much within such a short time, I don’t think I have the right to refuse you. But I am an old fashioned man, and I like that you told me this, and have asked me for my grandchild. You have my permission, though it is not up to me to make the decision, it’s up to Dusk to decide.” Dark gave Day a smirk and happy eyes, and Day did the same.

They finally arrived on the brink of the glowing force field and the cart came to a complete stop. Both exited the cart and stood before the wall, examining it closer and further. But that was when Daylight noticed something, the reflection. The reflection was hardly noticeable but it was just clear enough to make out something lingering. Daylight pulled back and wiped his eyes to make sure this figure wasn’t real, but it was. He stood there, eyeing the figure, unsure as to why it was there, where it came from or as to why it had shown itself. It was something he’d met before, though it was through another’s eyes.

It was the Inner Demon. Smiling, waiting.

The Arrival.

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Daylight eyed the figure within the reflection as it gazed back with the same unrelenting look. The author couldn’t stand to look at the creature and turned away for but a moment and smashed his hand against the shimmering surface. As his fist made contact with the force field, it chimed with a grand echo that rung throughout its whole. Slowly, both the figure and the field dissipated into nothing, allowing access to the mountains and the Hive. Darkmoon shot his gaze upon the author and called out with a hint of curiosity.

“Hey, what the hell was that? Some kind of magic? I’ve been trying to get through this blasted barrier for the past two weeks and you just hit it and it fades away?” He crossed his arms and gave Daylight a worried look. “Something’s going on here Day, and I want to know what it is. Right now.”

Daylight looked towards Dark and irritably ran his fingers through his hair, trying to figure that out himself. “I don’t know.” He took a deep breath and tried pulling his thoughts together. At that moment, an idea popped into mind. He spoke to Dark, but he couldn’t fix his eyes on the elderly guardian as his eyes continued to wander as he walked in circles with one arm rested across his chest and the other rested upon that, his hand covering his mouth as he thought. “Maybe.. maybe it’s.. That must be it!” Day cried as he jumped with a essence of happiness. “Maybe that’s reason the barrier’s gone now! It must be because of me!”

“Well, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that it’s gone now, but ‘why’ is the question.”

“I know, I was just about to get to that but...you started talking.. Anyways.” Daylight shook his head as he tried to get back into his thought. “What I was thinking was that it wasn’t a magical barrier set by someone to keep you away, but a barrier that was created because I’m the writer!”

“What? That doesn’t even make sense...” He trailed off as he begun to think himself.

“It actually does, well. For me anyways. Here, let me explain it to you, well the best I can at least. The reason that I’m thinking the barrier disappeared is since I’m the author, the story can’t continue without, this is going to sound a little self centered, without me. Since reaching the Hive was always one of my main goals, basically a major plot element, and since I hadn’t arrived yet, the barrier was set. Now that I’m finally here, the story can continue, and thus the barrier’s gone.”

“I.. I think I understand.”

“Nevertheless, we have some people to meet with at the hive. Let’s get moving.” Daylight said as he climbed back onto the wagon. With the snap of Dark’s fingers, the cart quickly began rolling towards the direction of the hive. As they traveled along the side of the mountain, Day could see the remnants of the Guild. The untouched rumble of what once existed. He looked towards Dark and saw that the elderly guardian was also looking towards the fort, lost within his thoughts. Day spoke up,“Kinda sucks what happened, eh?”

Dark didn’t break his concentration away from the fort and sighed. “You know, I kinda felt that something like that would have happened. Maybe It’s a good thing it was stopped before things got too out of hand.”

The rest of the travel was a quiet one until they were about a hundred yards from the front gates of the hive’s walls. As Dark set his eyes upon the hive, Daylight could see a small glassy shimmer from the elders eyes. “I know how it feels Dark, missing home and all. At least you have family to return to.” At this Dark turned to Daylight with a confused look.

“What do you mean? I thought that was one of the reasons you were trying to return to earth for. Because of your family.”

“Well, yes and no. I want to return back to earth so I can see my family, but I don’t live with them. I moved away from my family many years ago, but me and my stubborn pride, I haven’t seen or spoken with them in years. Should I get back, maybe I’ll try make contact with them, but I’m not sure entirely.”

“Then stay.” Dark said as he looked to Daylight. The answer he gave Day made him look to him with a twinge of confusion and uncertainty.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

Dark let a small smile creep over his face as he spoke,“Think about it, sure, you get back to earth, back to your life.. but what then? You could go back to your family, but from way you tell it, you’re not certain of that yourself. If you were to stay, you’d have us. You’d have me, Chrysalis, Dusk, hell.. you’d have everyone.”

Daylight thought about this for a moment, and he began accepting the idea for a second. “That does sound pretty good, but then I’m a stranger to everyone. Well, to all those I haven’t met yet anyways.”

“That’s why we make you your own story. But does it have to be any different from the adventures you’ve had from the one’s you’ve had since coming here? From the little adventures you’ve told me along this ride, they’ve been good ones. You arriving here, you and Ditzy escaping Canterlot. The most interesting part was the extensive travels you’ve been on to get to the hive, only having to turn around and return to Canterlot to save Ditzy. One of the grim parts in your story was when you died in that field I found you in, meeting death. The last time I met him was... the last. And I don’t plan on seeing him anytime soon. Your story is an interesting one, so don’t change it.”

“Well, it’s been an adventure and a half, but I’m still a stranger.” Day said as he rested his elbows against his knees and leant forward, holding one hand in the other.

“And this is to be expected, we’re all strangers. I was a stranger once, then I met Archimedes, then I met Axton, then Terra, followed by Pyro and finally Strife. We formed the guardians. Strangers at first, but soon recognized as much more to everyone. You’re a stranger now, but I’m pretty sure they’ll warm up to you pretty soon.”

“Thanks. I.. I really needed to hear that.” A smile slowly crept across Daylight’s face as he looked up and seen that they were almost at the hive’s front gates. There stood four changling guards, doned in full battle armor, staring down at the cart with the two halves.

“Who goes there?” Called the guard from atop the tower.

Dark nudged Day and signalled for him to speak. Day looked to him and shook his head, refusing to speak. Darkmoon wouldn’t stop nudging the author and continuously pestered Daylight until he finally forced Dark’s arm aside and stood from the cart’s seat and spoke. “My name is Daylight’s Break and with me is Darkmoon’s Crescent.”

“Ah, Darkmoon, we haven’t seen you in some time. Come on in.” The guard from atop the tower turned to face other changlings that operated the gate controls and signalled for them to open the gate. The sound of heaving and grunts could be heard as a group of ten turned a large spinning wheel, slowly cranking the front gate open. After it finally opened, the cart began trudging its way into the holds of the castle yard, quickly followed by the closing of the front gates.

Daylight turned to Darkmoon and thought for a moment before he spoke. “If the Hive was under attack, and they had pegasi or other winged creatures, what would the point of having the gates there be?” He asked.

“Easy, if they have aerial soldiers, and should they send them over the walls to open the front gates for the ground troops, they risk losing those aerial troops.” He looked to me with a smile. “Not only are they out manned, but they are also foolish for even trying. Simple strategy my friend.”

Dark parked the cart over to the side of the castle training grounds and leapt out of the seat and stood to his feet, quickly followed by Daylight as he looked around the courtyard. “This is... this is just as I pictured it in the story. The black, spiked walls lined with some form of encryption along the entire wall. The numerous guard towers along the fort walls, the massive size of the training ground with all the equipment placed in their designated spots. Everything’s just so... where I wanted it to be. It’s amazing.”

“Well, like you said earlier, you’re the author.” Dark strode to the back to the cart and pulled off the green and blue tarp that covered the back. “Here, help me with this.” Daylight quickly sped to the back and was tossed two fairly large satchels and a large duffle bag. “Can you manage that?” He asked as he watched as Daylight almost lose his footing as he caught the bags.

He quickly placed them down and slung both satchels around either side of his torso, one after the other. Next was the large, heavy duffle bag. He took it into hand and lifted it around his back and held onto the strap. He looked towards Dark and grinned,“Yeah.” He said through a small grunt. “I’ve carried worse.” Dark looked to him and smirked.

“Alright tough guy, I’ll let you take a couple more.”

The Ending?

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A couple days passed since our adventurous masks arrived within the walls of the hive. While Darkmoon comforted his wife and children, Daylight met with Dusk, Ditzy and the small arthropod, which Dusk came to naming “Fidget”.

The author explained to Dusk his intentions on staying within equestria, instead of returning back to earth. Within a moments notice, she threw her arms around his neck and held him within her warm embrace. “I knew you wouldn’t leave me just like that, not after everything we’ve been through.” She simply smiled as they stood in the training ground.

But as time passed, Darkmoon approached Daylight and spoke. “Day, I need you to follow me.” He said in a quickened pace.

“What’s going on?” he asked, curious as to what Dark’s concern was.

Dark looked back and pointed over the hive walls. As Daylight’s eyes peered over the gate, he caught a glimpse of a flying royal chariot. His eyes widened as he laid his eyes upon it and looked to Dusk. “I’ll.. be right back.” He said with a great sense of uncertainty, to which she quickly caught up on.

She looked to him and gazed into his eyes, fear locked within them. “Don’t go.”

“I must. It’s my responsibility.”

“But you’re my responsibility!” She wrapped her arms around him tighter, unwilling to let her captive go.

Darkmoon looked to his lovestruck granddaughter,“Talk about a case of stockholm syndrome.” He gave off a small laugh and shook his head. “Alright. Dusk, we need to do this. Go see Horizon. Maybe she can occupy your time while Daylight and I finish things up.”

She looked towards Dark, then back to Day. After taking a deep breath, she turned towards the front doors of the castle and made her way inside. As the doors closed behind her, the sound of flapping wings grew stronger and soon the sounds of royal horn began to blow. Signalling the Princesses arrival.

Celestia and Luna both exited the chariot and stomped towards the two masks. Daylight looked to her and smiled as he gave a quick wave, but the smile slowly faded as his wave began to slow once he caught a glimpse of both Luna’s and Celestia’s expression. “Heeyyy... how’s it going?” he asked as he tried to keep a grin on his face.

“You! If it weren’t for the others, I’d have you slane right here and now, but.. they seem to believe you, and if you can truly return Darkmoon, then you shall have no problems from me.”

He took a relieving sigh as he rested his fake grin and replaced it with a genuine one. Dark was the first to speak, “That won’t be necessary. I’m right here, alive and kicking.”

Both princess’ darted towards Dark and wrapped him in a constricting group hug. Daylight stood there watching, slightly fascinated by the spectacle. He simply watched until he started to hear a bit of gasping coming from nowhere until he realized that it was coming from Dark himself.

“Girls... Can’t.. breath..” He managed to choke out. Instantly, both of the royals loosened their grip around him and eventually let go.

The white coated mare looked to him and asked,“Why haven’t you come back to the palace to report that your mission was over? And when were you going to tell me that you were coming back?” She asked. He looked to her and smiled.

“Well Celest, mainly for two reasons. For one, I wished to see my family before I returned but a kind of magical force field was preventing me from entering, until Daylight got rid of it that is. And two, you never asked.”

She shot him a cold look for a moment, but it faded as he continued to explain. “But it was mainly because of a creature I thought long since gone. As I returned to the hive and found the barrier in place, I caught sight of my reflection. But as I approached it, I found the figure contorting into a monstrous figure and as I looked into its eyes, I was thrown into a hypnotic state. It doomed me to wander out into the unknown regions of the world, but its plans were folded as I began to near something within a field near Manehatten. As I approached it, my mind slowly became my own again.”

“So, you’re telling me that you found him? In the middle of a field?” She asked, confused by the prospect.

“Yes , in fact, the very reason he was there in the first place was because of...” He trailed off for a moment and looked to Luna for a moment. “Because of your sister and my brother. They kept him from sleeping for an entire two weeks before he collapsed in that field and met with a... familiar friend.”

Luna’s face turned a light crimson as she tried to fake a smile, only to slowly turn away and stand behind her sister. “Sorry about that.” Dark looked back to Celestia and crossed his arms.

“And what was this I heard about you locking my granddaughter inside of a cage and hanging it from the ceiling in the throne room in Canterlot castle?” He asked, staring her down.

The ivory mare looked to Daylight and her eyes took on an angered expression,“You told him?”

Daylight placed the palm of his left hand on his chest, just over his heart and raised his left into the air. “I swear, I wasn’t the one who told him.”

Dark stepped in. “It was actually Dusk who told me. So. You have a lot of explaining to do but we’ll save all that for later. Right now I’d like you to make up with Daylight and end this whole chase.”

Celestia looked towards Dark and sighed. “Alright.” She turned towards the author and came within arms reach and held out her hand. “I am incredibly sorry for chasing you to the ends of Equestria and back, yatta yatta yatta and I hope you can forgive me.” Daylight took hold of her hand and shook it for a moment before letting go. “Now, it’s your turn.”

“What do you mean?” He asked,confused momentarily.

She narrowed her brow and glared at him. “You pointed that gun in my face and smashed my balcony window, not to mention breaking and entering.”

“Oh yeah. Sorry for that. Maybe this whole thing would’ve been different if I actually did as Dusk said, to word my sentences properly.”

“Yes you should have, instead of having me believe that Dark was dead.”

“To be fair, you could have let me explain the thing before throwing fireballs at me and Ditzy.”

Dark stepped in once again and looked to Celestia,“You did what?!”

Time passed and night was beginning to fall. Celestia and Luna decided to spend the night at the Hive with all the others, and they slowly seemed to grow on Daylight. It was music to Day’s ears as he heard the words,“I still don’t like you, but you’re ok.. I guess.” come from Celestia’s lips as they sat around the dining table. Everyone dug into their food and after their supper was consumed, it was time to call it a night.

Daylight rested within the guest room and while Ditzy got the actual bed, he got the carpeted floor. Though, with his lack of sleep for such a great period of time, he was able to get a good nights sleep but not before he came to a great realization, he now had a family. In his world. In this world. He had the love of his life, Dusk, a friend to the end, Ditzy, and now the greatest companion one could ever ask for. Darkmoon’s Crescent.

“I wonder if they would mind if I just called myself Condemned. Maybe we could have those awesome..” He trailed off as he took in a yawn. “..little fights me and him would have in the comments of my stories.” His eyes began to grow heavy and his mind began to drift off into sleep. “Yeah.. that’d be awesome.” His mind drifted and everything went blank.

“Agh. Finally done. Maybe I could make a mini-series out of this.” John thought to himself as he finished up typing on this laptop. “Keep it cool, Condemned.”