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Similar Deviations
Living, breathing, organic life.
Warriors, blood, death sacrifice.
Pain, wounds, tears, and scars.
Love, strength, courage, will.
Swords, guns, fists, and speed.
Kalee, homeworld.
Sheelal, dreamer.
Practice, battles, victories, triumph.
Kummaar, friend.
Close, protect, heal, sense.
Beach, death, shock.
Sadness, denial, depression, heartbroken.
Dillusion, grief.
Anger, rage.

Jedi.      Separatists.

Return, different.
Disturbed, vengeful.
Negotiation, agreement.
work exchange, aid.
Dishonor, unfaithful.
Plans, tactics.
Loyalty, permanent, bomb

Mission, shuttle, martyr.
Boarding, unaware.


Taken, separatist, kept alive.
Surge, unconcious.
Tank, floating.
No arms, no legs, no mouth.
Life support, table, robotics.
Lifeless, careless, blunt.
Blood, slaughter, guts.
Body parts, replacements.
Transferred, tampered, tortured.
Grotesque, cruel.
Wires, drills, parts.
Cold, lifeless, metal.
Brainwashed, controlled, used.
Cheated, lied.

Rise, reborn, new.
Loyal, general.
Droid, cyborg.
Empty, shame, disgrace.


Lessons, teachings, combat.

Formidable, dangerous, evil, malevolent.

Anger, hate, rage, revenge, personal.
Sadness, change, memories.


Eyes, organs, stomach.
Remains, plated.
Faceplate, chestplate, talons.
Cape, symbols, bodyguards.

             No honor.
             No thoughts.
             No feelings.

        Half-life, respirator, wheezing, coughing.


This is the life of General Grievous told through...uh.....poetry, I guess.
Most likely. Well, it was reeeaaallllly easy for me to write this, and I enjoyed writing it too.

Did this last night on my iPhone.

I try to find the raw emotion that can express the pain that Grievous went through.

I might do more of this for other characters in SW and maybe some from POTC.
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A carpet of silence crept over the jungle as Fang delicatly perched herself on a tree branch, the Jugle Goddess resting herself after her earlier ordeal. What was supposed to be a simple check on a troop of apes turned into an utter riot as a rival troop attacked without warning and as far as Fang saw it, without cause. She rubbed the deep scratches on her well toned arm as she thought about the issue from a philosophical prospective, trying to understand the need for such wanton violence in her jungle. The thought was lost on her, but not the irony, afterall she did resort to such extreme measures to bring the now uneasy peace that would last as long as she was around. That last realisation brought a  slight smile to her crimson lips, while it may seem hyprocritical, Fang was at ease with herself; she did not condone violence but knew it had its place. Having endured the deafening shriek of the fight, the resting Godess began to enjoy the silence, yet her selfless side began to grow concerned; her owl like hearing could not make out a howel of a primate or even a single bird song. Fang was the this jungle's sacred protector, while she could not interfere with life's natural cylce, this silence was anything but natural. However just as concerning was Fang's location, she couldn't pinpoint her position, could she be lost? Indeed this jungle was vast but having spent life times here she knew almost every tree, at least she thought she did. Curiosity began to mix with concern as Fang dismounted from the branch, dislaying the finesse and grace of the most felixable feline as her lithe body landed with but a rustle of leaves. The jungle seemed far darker here, as if a foreboding presence was trying to ward her away. As a Goddess Fang was beyond any mortal, but she did share some human weaknesses; afterall this was her jungle and with that thought Fang's arrogance got the better of her. She continued to glide through the thick undergrowth like a ghost, trying her best not to disturb whatever lay here.

The uneasy feeling that Fnag had experienced was seemingly amplified by the lingering silence as she ventured ever deeper into the unknown. Her arrogance was soon humbled and subdued as the Goddess respected that whatever was here was not meant to be disturbed, but her curiosity kept her going; the more it drove her away the more she wanted to know what it was. Her eyes suddenly widened as she felt a faint near by presence, her finely tuned senses detecting what was most likely something hostile. Her muscles tensed as she readied herself for a confrontation, her injuries from the incident with the apes were light, and would be of no consequence to her fighting ability. Afterall it was logical, true the palpable unease was a formidable defense in its own right, but there had to be something else, prehaps this was responsible for the silence. Distracted by her thought, Fang lost track of the faint presence, with her sight blocked by undergrowth she had to rely on her enhanced hearing and sense of smell; but there was nothing. No, Fang was certain she detected something with her, were her senses being dulled? Before she could think of anything else, the beautiful Jungle Goddess spun around on the spot as the presence she had felt momments earlier was now behind her. Already expecting a fight, Fang ducked as a massive object raced above her head, obviously trying to lung at her. As she leaned heavily to the side, her long black hair wisped against the dark smooth form of her assailant; a giant python. This was nothing new to Fang, afterall her companion was such, though like so many others this one obviously had a hostile intent.  As Fang side stepped the striking constriction she uttered a stern warning that she was not to be trifled with, but there was no reply from the snake. Thinking she had put enough distance between herself and the python, Fang was caught by surprise as she felt the cool scales of the snake against her bare back. There was nowhere for the Goddess to move to as a foot  thick coil quickly rolled istelf around her torso, pushing itself under her amble chest  as it squeezed her ribcage and well toned stomach. The sudden squeeze forced a grone from between Fang's lips, to her shock her arms were pinned to her sides; the vice like grip giving her no room to even wriggle. The python's head slowly turned to face her as it replied to the warning she gave only a second before. The python did not seem to be phased at all, its voice was calm and from what Fang could tell, female, but the theat was one of death. The Goddess looked on as a second coil quickly slipped around her waist and hips, there was no malice in the python's voice, no evil intent, only truth. As Fang tired to make out what has happening the python squeezed her again, with only two contractions of her coils, this python proved far stronger than anynoe the Goddess had perviously encountered. Even Violet's unnatural strength was no real comparison. The python repeated her threat in the same calm tone as she kept squeezing and Fang was begining to believe it, her breasts were pushed up uncomfortably as the coil beneath them corkscrewed inwards around her ribcage, grinding against her. The huge snake effortlessly lifted Fang into the air, entwining and embracing her shapely legs in two thick coils of scaled muscle. Physically resiting this serpent was proving impossible, not helped by the fact her arms were securely clamped against her sides. Fang began to plede to her attacker, wanting to at least know what crime she had been found guilty of to deserve this treatment. Usually the Goddess would use force to triumph such perils, but she had to now rely on diplomacy and her skills as a negociator. It was obvious this python had no intention of devouring her, so to Fang she could be reasoned with, but the relentless constriction made concentration difficult. Huffing and panting the Goddess began to process of explainging herself, hoping the python would listen, at first the only answer was another round of squeezing as the coils wrapped so firmly around her inched inward. Not knowing how long she could sustain this kind of pressure, Fang doubled her efforts and to her relief the python faced her as she began to listen.

Fang grimaced as she clenched her ribs, though she was extremely greatful to have survived her most recent ordeal, her pain ridden face soon easing to a relived smile. It was not everyday Fang encounted a being as old as herself, or as powerful; yet what impressed Fang the most was that the guardian was willing to listen to reason rather than just mindlessly killing her. The only disapointment was her curiosity remained wanting, while her position as a Goddess of this jungle was enough for the guardian to spare her, it was not enough for fang to learn of whatever secret lurked in that forbiden zone. Despite the lingering questions Fang would honor this satus quo, afterall not keeping her word would go against everything she stood for. Yet somehow Fang was happy how things turned out, yes she was Goddess of the jungle, but this humbling experince gave her a perspective that the jungle, her home, demanded her greatest respect.
A short story and long over due for :iconzorzathir: featuring his character the Jungle Goddess Fang.

I don't really have much to say about this one as the plot mainly came from the top of my head. Though I do hope I followed :iconzorzathir:'s guidelines I did want to put Fang into a situation where she couldn't rely on force alone. Plus everyone enjoys reading about a buxom jungle girl, well Goddess, getting a nice tight squeeze. :XD:

Fang belongs to :iconzorzathir:
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Part Two:  The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Much to Twilight's chagrin, Dewdrop Dazzle was not gone the next day. Nor the next. Not even the next. The new arrival had divided her time between constantly following Twilight about with a constant barrage of questions; and vanishing off into Ponyville without a word. Despite the peace and quiet, Twilight had found Dewdrop's absences to be even more worrying than when she was hanging about the house.

This was one such moment. Dewdrop had skipped out of the house at the earliest possible moment, not that Twilight had complained. However, the thought of what the strange blue pony could be up to had been gnawing away at Twilight's mind, and so she eventually decided to venture into the town to track down her 'guest'.

The sky was still littered with grey clouds, but patches of blue was breaking through, and the air was fresh and crisp as Twilight wandered through Ponyville. Dewdrop was nowhere to be found. Perhaps she –

"Howdy Twilight!"

Twilight gave a smile as she saw one of her actual friends. "Applejack, hey!" She galloped happily up to the orange pony. "How are you? Don't worry, I've not forgotten I was going to help you with the apple bucking this week! It's just been busy busy back at mine!"

"Ah..." Applejack pulled a face and glanced away. "Don't worry Twilight, it's all done now. There's always next time though!"

"Oh." Twilight's face drooped. Though apple bucking was hard work, she did always enjoy helping out her friends. "I suppose Rainbow Dash dropped in to do it? I did mean to I promise..."

She trailed off, a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach as Applejack replied. "No, your friend Dewdrop Dazzle popped by yesterday. She was great, managed to pick way more apples than I could'a managed! Hope you don't mind!"

"Of course I don't mind!" lied Twilight. "Why would I mind, it's your orchard, it's all in a good cause! Besides, it's for the best, I've got a lot on this week! I promised Cheerilee I'd teach a class on magic at the schoolhouse some time!"

"Well that's mighty odd!" Applejack retorted. "Apple Bloom said they'd had a class on magic just the other day. I guess they're really pushing that curriculum, eh?"

Twilight's eyes narrowed into slits, glaring at Applejack as if this was her fault. "I don't suppose a certain pink and blue unicorn was teaching it?" she hissed.

Applejack seemed to miss any malice in Twilight's voice, and just nodded brightly. "Yup! Your friend is certainly turning out to be quite helpful about town! She's a goon 'un!"

Twilight stomped the ground with a hoof, feeling the twitching in her eye returning. "But... but that was MY class!" she hissed. "I was supposed to do that, she's copying me!"

Applejack gave a look of concern as Twilight became more and more agitated. "Now sugarcube, don't be getting' all jealous an' all, it's good to have friends with similar interests!" But it was no use. Twilight had already turned to gallop off. She had to find out what else Dewdrop Dazzle had been getting up to.


"But Spike, I'm me! I've put a lot of work into being me!" Twilight sat angrily glowering in her front room, staring at her little friend who didn't seem to realise the gravity of the situation. She had spent the remainder of the day racing around Ponyville, to discover that Dewdrop Dazzle had somehow already completed every single task she was about to carry out. "She took my place helping out Rarity with her dress making, she'd already helped Fluttershy to feed all the rabbits before I arrived, and she's been reading you bedtime stories!" This last sentence was said with a slight hiss at Spike, as if 'bedtime stories' rhymed with 'traitor'.

Spike sighed heavily. "You're being ridiculous Twilight. She's just being friendly. Besides, you hate reading me stories!"

Twilight huffed. "That's beside the point Spike, it's still what I do! She's trying to take over, why can't anyone see it but me? It's not right!" Paranoid thoughts started to swirl in her mind. "And how does she know what I'm planning? She's got to be spying on me! How else could she know?"

Spike shook his head admonishingly. "You could just talk to her you know, rather than being all passive-aggressive about it. Perhaps she doesn't realise what she's doing?"

"Oh, she knows!" Twilight hissed. "And I'm not being passive-aggressive! Now help me with this!" Twilight motioned to the front door, which was covered in planks of wood which were haphazardly nailed across it. With a few knocks of her hammer, she fixed the final bar in place. "Let's see DewDRIP DRIZZLE get in now!" Twilight rubbed her hooves together, a wicked grin on her face.

"Hello Twilight!" said Dewdrop Dazzle, clambering in through the window, smiling happily as if it was the most normal thing in the world.

"Hello Dewdrop," Twilight growled darkly, "wonderful to see you."

Dewdrop simply nodded brightly. "Thanks! I've had a wonderful day with all my Ponyville friends, and I'm just off to see Zecora to get some tea! Did you want anything?"

Twilight looked as if she was about to leap at Dewdrop. Luckily Spike had grabbed her hooves to restrain the tetchy unicorn. "No, I'm good thanks" she snapped, struggling in Spike's grip. "Good luck, be careful of the Everfree forest, it's very dang-." She paused. "No, wait, scratch that."

"Twilight!" Spike gave a disappointed cry at his friend, before calling after Dewdrop. "Look after yourself Dewdrop!" But Dewdrop had already scrambled out of the window.

Twilight was already inspecting the window. "We could bar the window, and... no; she'd find a way through. She could tunnel in! Spike, fetch me some concrete!"

Spike shook his head. "No!" he said in the most rebellious tone he could muster. "Twilight, you're getting carried away again. She just wants to be your friend; besides, ponies are allowed to have friends that aren't you!"

"Yes, yes, you're right!" Twilight had stopped trying to work out ways to barricade the house, and was now pacing up and down. "It's just... it feels like she's trying to take over! I like being me, I don't want someone else to be me! And I'm spending so much time worrying about it that I'm falling behind on my work, I've not even sent a friendship report to Princess Celestia in over a week! I hope I won't get in trouble."

"Eh-heh." Spike coughed at this, scratching the back of his neck, eyes darting about the room, trying to look anywhere but at Twilight.

Twilight stared at Spike. "Spike? What's the matter?"

"Nothing!" Spike blurted out. "Nothing's the matter, it's all fine!" At that very moment, fate took an inopportune hand in events, and Spike found himself belching out a plume of green magical flame. A scroll with the royal seal appeared from the ether, but before Spike's little hands could grab it, Twilight used her magic to snatch it away.

She looked at the scroll in concern. "It's from the Princess!" she gasped, opening it. "I bet she's wondering why my report is delayed! I'll have to get working right away..." She trailed off as she began to read, a horrible, cold sinking feeling in her belly.

My faithful student,

I must admit that I feared you had been neglecting your studies; that your latest reports had lacked the insight and depth to which I had become accustomed to. I was worried you would not reach the heights of your potential. I must apologise profusely for these thoughts.

The report you sent last night was so rich and deep in its insight about the nature of friendship that I was taken aback. It is truly gratifying that your studies have at last borne fruit, and I look forward to hearing more in the coming weeks.

Your devoted teacher,
Princess Celestia

Twilight stared at the letter for what seemed to be an eternity. She rolled around the words in her head. "Last night..." she muttered, and then her gaze snapped up at Spike, who was cowering in the corner, arms splayed in front of his face as if to protect himself. "Spike..." she growled, steam starting to rise from her ears. "Spike... would you care to explain?"

Spike coughed. "It's like this Twilight..." He trailed off as he ran as fast as he could for the door. Unfortunately the door was still nailed shut, and he slammed into it, falling back in a giddy heap. He started to fidget wildly and then blurted out breathlessly: "Uh, I mentioned to Dewdrop you'd been having trouble thinking of a new report to send to the Princess, so she wrote one, it was really good and I didn't think you'd mind, and I'll go stand in the kitchen now!" Spike hung his head and trooped to the kitchen to stare at the sink for another hour, leaving Twilight alone and fuming.

Twilight just stood there, before sending a bolt of magic to combust the letter. "No! No! NO! That's MY job!" she shouted to the skies. "I'M the Princess's student, not her!"

Eventually, she settled down to spend the evening in a sulk, her thoughts full of a certain blue pony, and the ways in which she could get rid of her. Eventually, an idea surfaced.


Twilight stood in the bathroom brushing her teeth and staring at her reflection in the mirror. It was definitely her own reflection this time, she had checked.  The rumble of thunder echoed throughout the house as Ponyville was once more lashed by a ferocious storm.  Dewdrop hadn't returned from her trip to the Everfree Forest that evening; there was a part of Twilight that hoped she had run into some of the dangerous wildlife that lived there. It was a cruel thought, and Twilight buried it deep within her mind with a shudder.

Twilight's eyes darted about the bathroom. She hadn't noticed earlier, but there didn't seem to be any toiletries belonging to Dewdrop there. Perhaps the annoying blue unicorn had decided to leave already, perhaps...

"Hi Twilight!" Dewdrop chirped happily as her head bobbed round the corner. "Hey, you finished with that?" Her horn glowed, and Twilight's toothbrush was levitated out of her grasp and towards Dewdrop, who started to merrily brush her teeth.

Twilight's cheeks bulged as she suddenly felt rather sick. Tomorrow she would burn that toothbrush. Right now though, she had to put her gambit into play. She grinned at Dewdrop, who had finished brushing her teeth, and was happily combing her hair with Twilight's comb, whistling happily.

"So Dewdrop..." Twilight began with what she hoped was a friendly grin on her face. "You're planning on staying in Ponyville for a while, right?"

Dewdrop turned round, wide-eyed. "Oh! That's a great idea, I think I will!" she grinned merrily. "Thanks Twilight!"

"I... no, no..." Twilight trailed off in slight confusion. She shook her head and continued. "I mean, you can't stay here forever, can you." Dewdrop stared blankly back, and Twilight pressed the matter. "You need to get your own place."

Dewdrop shrugged her shoulders. "I'm okay here thanks" she replied.

Twilight stopped to think for a moment. This wasn't going as planned. "But Dewdrop..." she eventually stated. "If you don't have your own place... how could I come round and visit you?"

Dewdrop's mouth dropped into an 'o' shape, and she started hopping excitedly about the small bathroom. "Oooh yes, you're right! I need my own place so you can come over and we can have parties together and hang out."

Twilight gave Dewdrop a 'friendly' hoof-punch in the shoulder. "Yeah! And you should get a job too, so you can... help out Ponyville more." And, of course, Twilight noted to herself, keep Dewdrop busy and out of her way.

Dewdrop seemed very excited by these ideas, and so Twilight left the blue unicorn hopping about in a happy tizzy; returning to her bedroom and making sure to lock the door security. Twilight hadn't needed to use any locks before, but she had bought one especially. Actually, she had bought half a dozen, which were all fixed securely to her door frame to ensure her privacy. She turned around.

Someone was in her bed.

"Oh. Of course. The window" she glowered, glaring at Dewdrop. Dewdrop peeked out from under the bedcovers, having somehow made it from the bathroom to her room without her seeing, an impressive feat under any other circumstances.

Dewdrop nodded to the window. Outside the rain was pouring down, and lightning blazed through the sky. "Storms scare me!" she whispered hoarsely. "Do you mind if I sleep in here."

"Fine" Twilight stared back, unbolted the room, and walked out of the door.

"Twilight, where're you going?" Dewdrop called back after her a worried tone in her voice.

"It's a surprise, Dewdrop. A surprise." Twilight trotted slowly down the stairs. "Don't worry, I'll be back!"

Twilight spent the rest of the night lodged in the kitchen cupboard, with a saucepan for a pillow. It was the once place she was sure Dewdrop wouldn't think of looking.


Twilight rose happily the next morning. Sleeping in the cupboard was probably the best night's sleep she'd had all week, apart from the horrible crick in her neck. Dewdrop was once more nowhere to be seen; according to Spike she'd gone out at the crack of dawn to carry out the mission Twilight had given her. Twilight had promptly sent Spike upstairs to disinfect her room; she still hadn't forgotten about the little dragon's betrayal.

Twilight sighed in contentment as she sat down in her favourite chair to read her favourite book.  If Dewdrop managed to find a job and a place to live, then she could easily avoid her. Life could get back to normal and she'd never have to see Dewdrop again, barring a few chance meetings in the town square.

As if on cue, Dewdrop bounded back into the house, a look of giddy excitement on her face, beaming with pride. "Twilight, Twilight, guess what!" she called out joyfully. "I got myself a job here in Ponyville and a place to stay!"

Twilight's reply was for once, genuine. "Dewdrop, I'm so happy for you." A tear of joy fell down Twilight's cheek. "I can get Spike to pack your stuff up for you right now; it's no problem at all. I insist!" She was already starting to push Dewdrop out the door, as Dewdrop continued to speak.

"So I thought, how could I get a job that would help Twilight? See back in Canterlot, tales of your love of books had inspired me to take my library exam so I became a fully qualified librarian even though there weren't any library jobs going there, but I talked to Ponyville's Mayor and she said since you weren't a qualified librarian, I could run the town library as long as I was happy for you to live here too, and that's FINE because you're my best friend!" Dewdrop blurted this out breathlessly, and Twilight stopped pushing her, a look of horror and confusion on her face.

"What the... what?" Twilight gibbered, twitching, a cold sinking feeling deep within the pit of her stomach.

Dewdrop didn't seem to notice anything was wrong, cheerfully revealing a scroll with the official town seal, using her magic to float it over to Twilight and proudly display it. "Now we can work and live together and we'll have such fun!" She clapped her hooves happily. "Maybe we can have a party with all our friends to celebrate!"

Twilight's face started to turn red as barely restrained anger steadily built up. "Y-you're letting me live in my own house?" she stammered out.

Dewdrop nodded, as if completely missing the tension in Twilight's voice. "Yup! Of course! You're my bestest friend in the entire world!"

Twilight's hair had taken on a dishevelled look, her eyes bulged wildly, steam escaped from her ears with the sound of a kettle, and her face flushed bright red with rage as if it was about to pop. "W-wait right there!" she uttered, before racing into the kitchen and slamming the door.

There were smashing and crashing and screaming noises for a solid ten minutes.


That night, Twilight tossed and turned restlessly. Events were spiralling out of control and there was no telling where Dewdrop would stop. Would she be happy with just having Twilight's job and house and friends? Would she want to take over her life completely? Did she –

Her thoughts were interrupted by a scraping noise. Twilight looked up to see Dewdrop Dazzle pushing her bed across the landing into Twilight's room, cutting a gouge in the wooden floor as she did so.

"I thought I could put my bed in here so we could be roommates!" Dewdrop brightly remarked in the darkness. "I hope you don't mind!"

"Sure" Twilight bitterly retorted. "Go ahead. It's your house after all." She pulled the covers over her head and began to plot. Something had to be done to sort out Dewdrop Dazzle, and fast.
Part Two: The Sincerest Form of Flattery

Twilight finds the attention she is receiving from Dewdrop Dazzle to be more than she can bear. How much can Twilight be pushed before she starts to push back?

Part 1: [link]

Part 2: [link]

Part 3: [link]

Part 4: [link]
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Part Three: Dewdrop Dazzle Must Die!

Twilight had woken early the next morning just as the sun was rising. She had managed to sneak out of the house without Dewdrop waking up, or so she had hoped. Ponyville looked beautiful as the sun reflected off the glistening water left from last night's storm, but Twilight had no time to appreciate it. She was on a mission.

Carefully making sure she wasn't followed, Twilight had trekked to the far outskirts of Ponyville, to a mountainous, treacherous region just outside of the Whitetail Woods known locally as the 'Rocky Mountains' despite technically being a collection of rocky hills. Ponies generally never ventured this far out – there was nothing interesting for miles save for craggy rocky spires and stony mounds where nothing would grow. It was here that she lifted the spade she had brought and began digging.

The ground was hard, and even though Twilight was using her magic to lift the spade, it still took a good few hours until she had dug a decently sized hole. It was deep enough that a unicorn wouldn't be able to use teleportation magic to escape, but not deep enough that they would hurt themselves falling in. Twilight had been feeling slightly guilty as she worked on the hole, and so had tested this last hypothesis out by flinging herself into the hole several times to check that it wasn't too dangerous. The battered purple pony had then hauled herself out using a rope ladder she had brought, and when satisfied at the hole's effectiveness, had used her magic to carefully position twigs and leaves over the top, and then as a finishing touch placing a small paperweight she had taken from home in the very middle.

The trap was complete.

The construction of the hole had taken nearly all day, it was tiring work and Twilight had half expected Dewdrop Dazzle to pop up behind her at any moment and ask what she was up to. Thankfully this hadn't been the case. The hole was now perfectly disguised, just another part of the rocky landscape.

Twilight smiled to herself, and then went home. At least, it would be her home again soon.


"Hi Twilight!" Dewdrop looked up brightly from her book as Twilight entered the house. Spike was sitting next to Dewdrop, listening to the blue pony intently. "I was just reading Spike a story; do you want to listen too?"

Twilight simply continued walking across the room. "No Dewdrop, and I need to talk to Spike. Spike, kitchen, NOW!" she snapped, marching into the kitchen. Spike hung his head with a whine of protest and followed her in, sure that more washing-up related punishment would follow shortly.

As Spike entered, Twilight slammed the door shut and rounded on the little dragon. "So Spike!" she said, a bit too loudly. "It turns out that an evil cursed idol is causing all the storms!"

Spike stared back, confused. "B-but I thought it was the Pegasus Weather Patrol, Rainbow Dash said they were supposed to-"

Twilight continued over Spike, talking very loudly and clearly, just in case anyone was listening in on the other side of the door. "No Spike, it is an EVIL CURSED IDOL doing it. It is just outside the WHITETAIL WOODS, near the ROCKY MOUNTAINS."

Spike blinked, looking around in panic. "But that's awful Twilight, we should go and sort it out right now!"

Twilight shook her head. "No Spike, I'll do it TOMORROW. TOMORROW I will have an adventure and defeat the idol and be a HERO to all of Ponyville. Not tonight, TOMORROW."

Spike was very flustered by this turn of events. Twilight turned to go, opening the door. Dewdrop Dazzle was standing on the other side, a bit too close for comfort. Twilight closed the door quickly and opened it again, and Dewdrop was suddenly back on the other side of the room as if nothing had happened.

"Night Dewdrop!" she smiled sweetly. "Are you coming to bed, roomie?"

Dewdrop looked up from her book and blinked, shaking her head. "No no Twilight, I thought I'd stay up for a bit."

"Good." Twilight gave a grin and climbed the stairs.

Outside, the rain was starting to fall again. Another storm was brewing.


Twilight hadn't gone to sleep of course. She had sat upstairs until she heard the front door slam, and could see Dewdrop Dazzle making her way through the wind and the rain outside, towards Whitetail Woods. There was a part of her that didn't believe she would fall for the bait, but at last things were going her way.

She picked up her book and began to read. She'd give it an hour before following to make sure the next part of the plan was successful.


The wind and rain had really picked up by the time Twilight had decided to venture out after Dewdrop. It had been a struggle to make it through the town of Ponyville, let alone further into the dark, muddy area of the woods.

Caked in mud, wet and exhausted, Twilight finally made it to the Rocky Mountains. In the dark, the landscape looked even more oppressive. Tall piles of stone reflected the flash of the lightning bolts as they arced through the sky, the wind howled like a banshee, and the rain pelted down, making the ground slick and slippery.

From a distance, Twilight could see that her trap had worked – Dewdrop had obviously been convinced the paperweight was a cursed idol, and tumbled into the hole it was concealing. The covering of leaves and twigs had fallen away; she only hoped that it wasn't a stray animal or curious pony who'd fallen for it first. Gathering up her courage, Twilight moved closer to the hole to peek in.

She recoiled in shock. Dewdrop Dazzle's face was a metre from hers, wide-eyed and terrified, soaked through as she hung by her hooves for dear life onto a root that had protruded near the top of the hole.

"Twilight!" Dewdrop called up in a panic, a shake in her voice. "The ground just gave way, I-I've been hanging here for ages! I knew you'd save me. Twilight...?" Dewdrop trailed off, quivering slightly as Twilight stood above her motionless, silhouetted in the gloom. A flash of lightning broke across the sky, to reveal Twilight's face for a split second, set in a mask of contempt.

"Why Dewdrop" Twilight smiled sweetly with a rictus grin, lowering her head to be closer to the pony struggling in the pit. "So nice of you to hang around for me. I'd help you, but..." she paused, shrugging her shoulders "if you're me, and I'm up here, then you're fine. Nothing to worry about."

"B-b-but..." tears started to well in Dewdrop's rain-streaked face as she looked up at Twilight, trembling and struggling for dear life to hold onto the root.

"This is tough love, Dewdrop" Twilight snapped down. "You brought this on yourself! I'll come back for you in the morning when you've learnt your lesson. Don't hang around."

Twilight's horn glowed, and the root Dewdrop was so desperately hanging on to shrivelled in her grasp. The last Twilight saw was Dewdrop screaming as she vanished into the inky blackness of the pit. Twilight stood there for several moments with just the roar of the storm for company before turning wordlessly and leaving for home.


Twilight trudged back into her house silently. The initial elation at getting one over on Dewdrop had quickly faded, leaving only a sickly, guilty feeling in the pit of her stomach. There was a voice whispering in her head that she'd gone too far, that Dewdrop hadn't deserved that, but she buried such thoughts.

"Hey Twilight!" Spike called happily, a chef's hat on his little head. "Taking a stroll? I thought you were in bed!" He waved a wooden spoon in Twilight's face. "Have you seen Dewdrop, she said she'd bake some cookies with me!"

"Dewdrop's popped out Spike." Twilight stared back. "Go to bed."

Spike's face fell. "But I was hungry, and she said she'd-"

"Spike, go to bed." Twilight was not in a confrontational mood, and she certainly didn't want Spike to make her feel worse than she did already. She'd done the right thing, she knew it. Dewdrop wouldn't take the hint; she had to be taught a lesson. It would all be better in the morning.

That night, sleep came harder to Twilight than ever before. Every crash of thunder, every flash of lighting, reminded her of the little blue pony who had looked so confused and hurt, alone in the bottom of that dark hole. That little blue pony who had spent last night whimpering about the storm, even tucked up in the safety of her house. That little blue pony who she last saw vanishing in terror into the black clutches of a pit.

"Tough love" she whispered to herself, in her very empty room. "Tough love."


Twilight rose even earlier the next morning, racing out across the glistening landscape as it recovered from the storm, the rays of the sun breaking over the horizon. Try as she might, she couldn't escape the heavy, gnawing feeling of guilt that had been eating away at her, even though she knew what she had done to Dewdrop was a fraction of what the interloper had done to her.

She would haul Dewdrop out of the hole, Dewdrop would be upset but realise how much she'd hurt Twilight, and either leave or tone it down. Everything would go back to normal. Twilight laughed to herself; there was always a chance Dewdrop had somehow escaped from the hole and would be sitting at home  cutting out photos of herself to stick in Twilight's photo album or whatever weird stuff she did in her spare time.

This thought abuptly died in Twilight's mind as she cleared the wooded area and reached the Rocky Mountains. A sickly feeling bubbled in her stomach and twisted as she surveyed the scene: where rocky hills had once risen like craggy fingers reaching for the sky, there was now nothing. The entire landscape had been blasted flat by the storm; a smooth level plain of rocks was all that remained, stretching as far as the eye could see.

Twilight galloped onto the new plain, scrambling about in an attempt to get her bearings. She couldn't even work out where her hole had been, and didn't even want to think about Dewdrop at the bottom when it had all caved in. "Dewdrop!" she cried out wildly. "Dewdrop! Can you hear me?"

"Hey Twilight!" Twilight leapt out of her skin, but the initial sense of relief was quickly washed away when she realised it wasn't Dewdrop who had responded, but a blue Pegasus pony, hanging casually upside-down in the air, a hard-hat covering her rainbow mane.

"R-rainbow Dash" Twilight gasped to her friend. "What's going on?"

Rainbow Dash simply grinned. "Did you see that storm last night? Boom! Crash! Pow! We really went for it this time! Now the Princess gave us that renovation grant, we can get a proper mountain built here, not that rubbish little thing we had!"

Twilight's mouth hung open. "R-renovation? But Dewdrop was here last night!"

Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes. "Don't be ridiculous, no pony would be out here, its way too dangerous. Besides, I was telling Dewdrop about our lightning demolitions the other day. She'd have to be crazy to come here."

'But she is crazy!' Twilight's inner voice wailed. But then crazy or not, Dewdrop DID have a good reason for going into danger; she thought she would be saving Ponyville from a terrible, if fake, idol. The colour drained from Twilight's face as she resisted the strong urge to dry heave. She leapt at Rainbow Dash, shaking the Pegasus until her hat fell off.

"Dewdrop DID come out here last night, and it's all my fault!" she cried, shaking. "Y-you've got to get help, we have to find her while there's still time!"

Rainbow Dash just stared back wide-eyed a she took in what Twilight was saying. "O-okay" she croaked, and in a flash took to the skies to summon aid.

Twilight stood there alone, looking out across the wide, lonely plain. And then she did the only thing she could. She started to dig.


Twilight looked up into the sky as another wave of Pegasus ponies roared overhead. The search and rescue team had been out all morning. In fact, nearly all of Ponyville had turned out to look for Dewdrop but there was just too much ground to search and Twilight had been reluctant to divulge any more information, especially the fact that Dewdrop had been trapped in a hole of Twilight's own devising.

Twilight had attempted to retrace her steps, but this had proved impossible given how thoroughly the storm had flattened the land, so she had been left to methodically dig holes at regular intervals in an attempt to get lucky. She was currently at the bottom of her fifth such hole, and was having no luck.

"This is impossible!" she sighed as she continued to pick at the rocky earth, her head throbbing and whirling with guilt and self-loathing. She had tried to assure herself with the idea that Dewdrop would be waiting for her at home; that she would look up and Dewdrop would be staring down from the top of the hole Twilight was currently standing in; that everything would work itself out in an hilarious series of misunderstandings and comic pratfalls which they could all laugh about later. Wasn't that how things usually transpired?

Such ideas swiftly left with a sickly certainty as Twilight's spade hit something soft amongst the rocks. It was a little blue hoof, battered and bruised.

Twilight immediately scrambled into action, digging and pulling and tugging in a desperate attempt to unearth Dewdrop. "HELP!" she called up out of the hole. "SPIKE! RAINBOW! ANYONE! HELP!" But there was no reply forthcoming.

With a heave, Twilight pushed a worryingly heavy boulder out of the way, to reveal Dewdrop Dazzle, lying there filthy and tattered, her mane a mess of hair, and her body covered in scratches. There was none of the usual impossible energy about her, she simply lay there a floppy mess, looking up at Twilight.

"I knew you'd come!" she croaked out weakly, her little chest struggling to rise and fall. "I knew you'd save me."

Twilight panted out, guilt and relief flooding her veins at the sight. "Don't worry Dewdrop!" she fussed, clearing away more rubble. "Everything's going to be okay."

As Dewdrop's head lolled to one side and she gave a rasping croak, Twilight froze in panic. Everything wasn't going to be okay. Dewdrop's eyes had closed, she had stopped breathing, and a check of her hoof revealed no pulse.

Dewdrop Dazzle was dead.
Twilight's Best Friend Part 3

I know this part gets a bit dark, but trust me on this! One more part to go!

Part 1: [link]

Part 2: [link]

Part 3: [link]

Part 4: [link]
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Aliyah eyed the reticulated python curled up in cage in the corner of her room nervously; nervous because this was her first attempt at snake dancing, nervous because she'd heard the stories of how bad it could go, but most of all nervous because she could have sworn the massive constrictor was eyeing her back.  Its gaze sent shivers down her spine.

She'd been belly dancing for seven years now, and at the encouragement of a friend, had decided to one day try working a snake into her routine.  That day had come when she'd seen this particular python for sale.  The thing was practically being given away, and sure she would never see a deal like that again, Aliyah bought it without hesitation.  She still remained slightly apprehensive however.  The whole thing seemed just a little too good to be true.  Not to mention she was alone in the studio, but that was her own doing.  Though a professional belly dancer, Aliyah remained firmly self-conscious.  She didn't like anyone seeing her work until she was ready to show them.  She looked back over to the snake and the pile of coils before finally sighing.

"Not going to get anywhere by just sitting here, are we?" she asked it, standing up and walking over to the cage.  With a grunt, she hefted the massive snake up out of its cage.  It was longer than it had looked, and frighteningly thick.  After much struggling and maneuvering, she managed to drape the thing over her shoulders.  Its sinuous body drifted lazily around her; curling up against her legs, hugging her hips.  All in all though, it didn't seem very concerned or even interested, and she took that as a blessing.  Her steps a little unsteady under the weight on her shoulders, she made her way over to the CD player, flipping through the CDs until she found the one she wanted and popped it in, selecting the right song before returning to the center of the studio.  She turned to look into the mirror, at her petite figure surrounded by the powerful, writhing mass of coils, and took a deep breath.

"I love thisss sssong," the python suddenly hissed, sliding his head around in front of her, a wicked smile on his face.  Aliyah's eyes widened.  That was her first and probably last mistake.

"What?  You" she began to drawl, her speech slowing as she found herself suddenly enthralled by the swirling colors in the snake's eyes.  She blinked, slowly and deliberately, as if trying to clear her eyes of the dancing rings of color now reflected there.  It was as though the world was spinning, and those colors were the only stable thing left in it.  That was her last clear thought before her mind clouded over and the confused, frightened expression on her face relaxed.  Kaa chuckled, a sharp, staccato hiss, looking over his newest toy.

She certainly was a sight to behold.  She'd simply pulled her hair back into a bun for practice, but this must have been a dress rehearsal, as her olive skin was clothed in a beaded kiwi green bra and skirt.  "Well," Kaa said, admiring his prize.  "Don't jussst ssstand there, girlcub."  He titled his head, and she followed suit.  "Ssshow me what you can do."

Somehow, the music reached Aliyah through the haze of her mind, and she raised her arms.  They wove throw the air ahead of her, her hips and stomach moving as fluidly as the deadly serpent draped over her.  Even under Kaa's hypnosis, ever single movement was perfectly controlled, smooth and elegant.  Kaa smiled, his coils around the girl's hips rocking in time with her movements, dancing with her.  She mirrored every movement or his head, following his weaving eyes with her own, and as pair twisted their way around the empty rehearsal room, it quickly became unclear exactly who was leading who.

Her bare feet scraped against the woven mat as she pivoted slowly, unconsciously winding herself right into his coils.  Three thick bands of muscle wrapped her from waist to chest, but still she danced for her master, oblivious of the mortal danger she was in.  That is, right until the coils started to close.  She coughed as the air was pushed out of her lungs, blinking rapidly and drifting in and out of Kaa's trance.

"Awww," Kaa hissed teasingly, once again drifting around to stare into her eyes.  "Isss sssomeone fighting back?"  All Aliyah could manage in way of a response was a strangled gag, the coils corkscrewing tighter around her.  It didn't really matter to Kaa whether she broke free of his spell or not.  It wasn't like there was anything she could do now.  As it was, her hands shifted from their slow, elegant weave to grip the living corset around her.  Another powerful squeeze brought her to her knees, and the one after that sent her world spinning.

Aliyah tipped over slowly, landing on her back and into the cushion of coils.  She panted in quiet, hitched breaths, each exhale  drawing the coils in tighter around her.  She writhed slowly in Kaa's unbreakable grip, feet moving restlessly over woven mat.  Kaa's head slithered up to hers, his tongue darting out to taste the sweat on her cheeks, leaving behind a thin trailed of saliva.  Again, he let out a hissing chuckle, and slid up out of her field of vision.  Her eyelids fluttered as the coils cinched suddenly in rapid succession, forcing the last of the air from her lungs.  The last thing she felt before passing out was a wave of hot air against her face, and the strange sensation of the snake's mouth working it's way over her head.

Less than a few minutes later, there was no sign of the girl.  All that remained was her would-be dance partner, curled  comfortably up in one corner of the room, a large bulge in his stomach and a smug smile on his reptilian face.
Trade with awesome people! [link]

I fear it pretty much sucks. That's what I get for writing at 1:30am.
Apologies :(

EDIT: What song was she dancing to? BZAM! [link]
DOUBLE EDIT: Wait...should I mature this?
TRIPLE EDIT: Mwahaha...proof-read'd.
QUADRUPLE EDIT: Totally looking for critique, BTW. I'm pretty sure I kinda suck, so tips on fixing that from all you far more talented people would be awesome :)
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Part Four: Ponies Don't Fear The Reaper

Twilight sat at the bottom of that dark pit cradling Dewdrop's body for what seemed like an eternity, though it couldn't have been longer than a few seconds. She shook constantly, sobbing into Dewdrop's matted, dusty hair.

"You stupid, silly pony" she whispered hoarsely to Dewdrop as she held her in her hooves, though she wasn't sure if she'd aimed that at Dewdrop or herself. Her head was awash with angry, guilty thoughts, her stomach was a boiling maelstrom and she wanted to be sick.

"There's no such thing as 'evil'" Princess Luna had once told her. "No pony gets up one morning and decides that they're going to go out and do bad things. They do bad things thinking that they're the most reasonable and logical reactions to a situation." Was it true? Had Twilight really gone too far? Was it more than just a terrible accident?

Not even Princess Luna in her darkest of hours had ever killed another pony. It was unheard of. Inconceivable. And yet there she was, Princess Celestia's star pupil, the best and brightest of Equestria, holding the body of a pony whose death she had caused.

The only sound in that cold, lonely hole was Twilight's ragged sobbing.

No pony had seen her; no pony knew she had sent Dewdrop to her death. Twilight could always leave her for somepony else to find. She rolled the thought around in her mind, knowing that there was an alternative. That she could escape this situation, run and hide in her own guilt.

"No!" She straightened up, her face set in determination as she laid Dewdrop onto the cold ground. The little pony looked so small and pathetic sprawled out on the ground, her eyes closed, body getting colder by the second. "No!" Twilight shouted again. "This isn't how it's supposed to be! I won't let it!"

She leaned over Dewdrop, pressing her hooves against the pony's chest, and pushed hard. Again. "Come on Dewdrop! Don't you dare do this to me!" she hissed as she put all her weight on the pony's ribcage, rhythmically compressing it. Her knowledge of Equestrian first aid was fuzzy at best; she remembered vaguely that a pony could last for up to three and a half minutes without a flow of oxygen. There was still time. There had to be.

Dewdrop hadn't moved. She was still cold and unbreathing. Twilight used her hooves to clamp shut Dewdrop's nose and hesitantly pressed her lips against Dewdrop's, breathing in one full breath, before starting compressions again. "Come on! Come on!" she wailed, her face a mixture of despair and resolve. She knew there were medical unicorns in Canterlot who could use magic to restart a pony's heart, but she'd never even thought of taking her studies in that direction.

She'd never even passed her basic first aid training.

The theory was simple enough, but in practise you were supposed to push down hard on the chest – really hard, and Twilight was uncomfortable enough doing that on the dummies provided, let alone the kiss of life. But there was no-one else, and no matter what she'd done, Dewdrop didn't deserve this.

"Hi Twilight, have you – oh, awkward!" Spike's head had popped over the edge of the hole and retreated almost as quickly as soon as he'd seen Twilight giving Dewdrop mouth to mouth.

"Spike!" Twilight's head jerked up, her eyes red, her cheeks stained from tears. "Spike, I-I think she's dead. Get help!"

Spike froze and scampered off. Twilight was alone again.

She crumpled next to Dewdrop, defeated. It was no good, Dewdrop was still lying there lifeless, and it was all her fault. In despair, she pressed her hooves together and, looking up, prayed to the heavens.

"Oh Princess Celestia!" she wailed, "I didn't mean for this to happen, please believe me! Please let Dewdrop be okay! I promise to be good to her; I won't get annoyed at her ever again, she can stay as long as she likes, forever!" Twilight sighed and broke off. It was useless. Silence reigned in the pit.

Suddenly there was a sharp intake of air and Twilight leapt back, terrified out of her wits. Dewdrop Dazzle sat bolt upright, her hair frazzled in all directions, staring wildly ahead. "WAS SOMEPONY KISSING ME?" she blurted out.

Twilight coughed and stared up at the sky. "Uh... backsies?" she offered.


Twilight Sparkle was a hero.

She wasn't a hero of course. All the other ponies were treating her like one, as she hauled Dewdrop out of the hole having saved her life. They didn't know she'd been the one to put it in danger in the first place, and Dewdrop hadn't said a word. She had fallen into a deep sleep as soon as the rescue team arrived.

Apparently Pinkie Pie was holding a celebratory party but Twilight had declined to attend. She'd made excuses about needing to make sure Dewdrop was all right, and that was true, but mostly she couldn't face being congratulated for having nearly killed the one pony who trusted and idolised her above all else.

Twilight sat next to Dewdrop, who was now sleeping soundly in her bed. Twilight had found a crudely sewn little cuddly toy of Twilight which she'd placed in Dewdrop's hooves as she slept. Normally such a discovery would have crept Twilight out, but right now she was just glad that the little pony was still alive. Nurse Mercy had been round to check on her but she still hadn't woken from her slumber. The house was very quiet. Twilight had a lot of time to think about things.


Dewdrop's eyes were open, and she weakly stared up at Twilight from the bed. "I did it!" she whispered. "I didn't want you to be in danger so I went out and I found that idol and destroyed it, but then I fell into this deep hole!" Her eyes misted over slightly and she choked. "A-and I'm sorry. I was hanging there for ages and I think I started seeing things because I thought you were there pushing me in, but that couldn't be true because you're the nicest, most wonderful pony ever, and I feel awful for thinking that about you even for a second!"

Dewdrop looked up at Twilight wide-eyed, and Twilight gave a nervous gulp. "Dewdrop, listen" she softly replied.

Dewdrop pressed her head into the warmth of the pillow and continued, now staring up at the ceiling. "It was awful in Canterlot, you know" she spoke out, and Twilight wasn't sure if she was talking to her, or just to herself. "They say it's the place of opportunities, but that isn't always true. I worked copying manuscripts in one of the palace outbuildings. There were hundreds of us, at desks all day every day, just writing down word after word. Then I'd go home and I'd eat and sleep, and then I'd go to work again, then eat and sleep. The same thing, day after day, a grey life in a grey building."

Dewdrop let her head flop back towards Twilight, and she could see tears in her eyes. "And one day I read about you. About your life and your friends and your magical adventures. You showed me a different way of living, a better way, and I never said thank you."

Twilight just sat in silence, taking this in. It was impossible for her to feel more awful than she did already, but her mind was doing its level best to achieve that. "Dewdrop..." she finally said, simply. "It's good that I inspired you, but you can't live your life trying to be somepony you're not. No pony is perfect." She paused. "Apart from Princess Celestia. But I'm certainly not. I'm insecure, I do stupid things, and I find confrontation hard."

Dewdrop looked as if she was about to deny all this, but Twilight continued. "It was me, Dewdrop. I set a trap and made you fall into that hole because it was easier than just confronting you about how uncomfortable you were making me. It was stupid and cowardly of me. You shouldn't be looking up to me, you're a braver and better pony by far, you just need to be yourself."

Dewdrop shrunk into the bed, pulling the covers up as she looked at Twilight wide-eyed in shock, her faith shattered at the revelation. "B-but... you're Twilight Sparkle!" she whispered.

Twilight hung her head. "Yeah" she said bitterly. "I'm Twilight Sparkle. Just another silly pony. And I let things spiral out of control because I couldn't pluck up the courage just to talk to you. I think I know what my next report to the Princess will be about." She looked over at Dewdrop, who hadn't moved. "And you, Dewdrop?"

Dewdrop nodded in a disheartened manner, her eyes cast down. "Yeah Twilight" she replied sadly. "I've learnt a lesson too."

Twilight gave Dewdrop a friendly if awkward punch on the shoulder. "Look Dewdrop, I'm really sorry about everything that's happened. If you want to go, I'd understand, but I'd like to get to know the real you too."

Dewdrop simply nodded, and turned over to go to sleep.

The next day, Dewdrop was gone. All that remained to show that she had even existed was a scruffy, much loved cuddly toy shaped like Twilight Sparkle, tucked up neatly in bed.


The storm raged over Hoofington, but to the Great and Powerful Trixie who was safe at home practising her magic tricks, the rumble of the thunder sounded like the applause of a grateful crowd.

"Yes, yes, I am rather wonderful!" she purred into the mirror, as she levitated a spoon. The thunder tapped in appreciation.

Only it wasn't the thunder. Trixie turned in annoyance as the tapping turned into banging, coming from her front door. She threw her mane in disgust. "The Great and Powerful Trixie does not appreciate being disturbed in the middle of her rehearsals!" she announced loudly, even though the room was empty. Angrily, she threw open the door.

A streak of lightning arced through the sky, illuminating the form of a blue and pink unicorn, caked in mud and utterly drenched. She was clutching a battered yellow suitcase.

"Hello!" chirped Dewdrop Dazzle, already pushing her suitcase past a confused Trixie and into the house. "I'm Dewdrop Dazzle. Can I come in?"
Last part! I hope you guys all enjoyed it, any and all feedback is welcome, nay encouraged! I was going to hold off on posting the last part, but I didn't want to leave people hanging too much.

Also bonus points for spotting the Doctor Who and Father Ted references!

Part 1: [link]

Part 2: [link]

Part 3: [link]

Part 4: [link]
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"See now the flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire."

Chapter One: Twenty Years Later

Winter came early that year, bringing with it a piercing and frigid wind. The cold ate through anypony caught in its path, and even Daylight's thick wool sweater did little to hold back the chill.

In an effort to be as quiet as possible, she had used her magic to open the front door of her house before carefully stepping out into the darkness, and managed to shut it behind her with naught but a barely audible squeak. With any luck it would not disturb her Aunt, who was curled up in her bed with the deep sleep only elderly and very young ponies could really manage.

Daylight breathed a sigh of relief as she relished the relative safety of the open night. She had spent a great deal of time memorizing the layout of the house she and her Aunt Applejack had always (as far as she could remember, anyway) shared so that she could navigate in pitch darkness. Any light, even the faint shimmer of a glow spell, would have immediately given her away to the Spectators placed on the main wall of every room.

The small devices looked almost exactly like living eyes, and disturbed Daylight in a way that she couldn't quite identify. She wasn't entirely sure what purpose the Spectators served, but was reasonably certain that it was a transmitter; the eye snapped open at the slightest sound or movement, pupil locked on everypony in view and seemingly content with simply watching.

In the dark and quiet, however, the Spectator was as good as blind.

The bright yellow pony closed her eyes and took a deep breath of the clean, chill air before beginning her nightly walk around the neighborhood. These walks were her only way to escape, at least temporarily, from the grey dominance of the rigid city. She gazed at the starlit sky in wonder as she trotted—what were they, really? What brought them out at day's end? In her mind she saw them as a billion tiny candles hovering high above her head, flickering in the wind.

A drifting cloud brought her attention to the Moon, and she slowed to a canter. The silvery orb seemed almost like another world. The schools had never taught her about the heavens. Whenever she asked her Educators, they always said that the useless expanse above was not important and that no pony should bother asking such ridiculous questions. They told her that she must commit herself to things more pertinent to her immediate life, such as finding new and better ways to serve the State. Daylight never took much joy in doing the bidding of the State, but she had eventually learned to do as she was told. There was no other way to live.

As Daylight passed the numerous houses and bungalows lining the dimly illuminated street, she noted once again their obvious states of disrepair. Only the odd few seemed almost brand new—and probably were—but most were semi-rotten, overgrown with scraggly weeds. It wasn't a big mystery why the houses had been abandoned, though.  When the town really began to take off twenty years before and started to become a full-fledged metropolis, the State had begun levying high taxes on the outer-city buildings in an attempt to entice ponies to spend all of their time and money in the city's center. Many ponies outright abandoned their houses in favor of moving to the far more affordable inner-city housing units. The buildings had stood vacant ever since, their once gaily painted exteriors faded to dull pastels.

When the shift had happened, however, Daylight and her Aunt Applejack had stayed right where they were. Thus, their house could be freely counted as one of the nicest of the still-habitable dwellings in the outer city divisions. Applejack had a penchant for yard work and gardening that helped to keep their small plot of land trimmed and well-kept, and she even managed to produce the occasional fresh vegetable in spite of the city's infertile, dry soil. Daylight doubted that she could manage as well even with the help of her magic.

The Change apparently happened during Daylight's early fillyhood, but she couldn't remember any of it. There seemed instead to be a huge blank in her memory, almost as if somepony had broken in and erased it. Every time Daylight tried to ask Applejack about the time period of her missing memories, the aging earth pony would abruptly change the subject. If Daylight wasn't so sure that Applejack was losing some of her mental facilities in her old age, she would have thought that there was something that her aunt didn't want her to know.

Daylight followed her usual nightly route, humming a patriotic State tune that synchronized very well with her hoof beats upon the street's river-rock cobblestones. A small yellow drop-box drew her attention as she reached a crossroads, and she slowed as she passed it. The container hung on an iron post, just below a lantern containing a magical blue flame illuminating a single, bold word painted across its metal housing:


The Department of Public Safety had set up a number of the boxes several years back to help, as they said, 'curb the rising tide of dissent among the citizens of the State.' The objects were simply known as Information Boxes, and it was there that ponies were to submit the names and photographs of anypony they thought to be suspicious or subversive. Daylight shuddered as she remembered the tales of what happened to ponies whose names were submitted to the innocent-looking yellow boxes.

Some said that the ponies were simply banished, or that they wound up imprisoned in a secret dungeon the State had hidden in the mountains to the North. Others, however—particularly the younger ponies—were convinced that they were taken away to be killed and ground up in the Haylent factories as food, to be distributed to all the ponies within the State's numerous cities.

Daylight, however, was far more inclined to believe the official story that the Department of Public Safety had posted. The DoPS stated that ponies reported through the Information Boxes were first investigated thoroughly and fairly. If they were found to be of a criminal mindset, they were taken away temporarily to Re-Education Camps. 'No pony has ever been harmed in the execution of the system,' Daylight had been told by an Official Representative of the Department, and that was good enough for her.

Daylight was snapped out of her thoughts by a familiar feeling, such as she had when she was being watched. She spun around in a burst of adrenaline, intent on seeing if anypony was behind her, to be met with nothing but an empty street lit with the dim blue flicker of the Information Box. Worry gnawed at her stomach—she had always known that these walks of hers were dangerous. Nopony was ever supposed to be outside after curfew without a Pass; if the Peacekeepers found her or if anypony ever spotted and reported her, she would be arrested on sight. Even being on the streets during the day without a Pass was a surefire way to land oneself in a heap of trouble.

Reluctantly, Daylight turned her back on the empty street and continued her walk. Her three-kilometer loop was almost complete anyway, so she might as well finish it. However, she hadn't gone a hundred meters before the eerie feeling began anew, prickling at her scalp. It suddenly felt as if a sixth sense was telling her that somepony, or something, had been right where she was standing not a minute before… almost as if a ghost was keeping perfect pace in front of her, invisible yet still there. Suddenly the fur on the back of her neck stood on end, forcing her to turn to check behind herself once more. Nothing.

Her heart pounded noisily in her ears as she slowly turned back around, and she let out a sudden yelp of surprise and fear as she came face-to-face with another pony not ten centimeters from her nose, leaning forward with a huge grin plastered on her face as if she had been waiting for Daylight to turn around. Scrabbling backward, Daylight took half a second to size up the new pony. The stranger was a unicorn, like herself, who sported a coat of grey. Both her mane and tail were blonde and styled somewhat messily, and a small pair of rectangular spectacles perched crookedly atop her nose.

"Well Hellooooo!" The intruder sang.

"Er… hello?" Daylight backed up apprehensively, preparing to bolt.

The grey mare took notice of her fright almost immediately. "Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't mean to scare you." At the sign of no change from Daylight she continued reassuringly. "Don't worry, I won't turn you in."

Daylight eyed the newcomer suspiciously before speaking uncomfortably. "Who are you and what are you doing out here? "

"Well, the same thing as you I s'pose!" There was a short silence.

"…walking?" Daylight asked, still unsure.

"Of course!" the grey unicorn said in a voice just a bit too loud for Daylight's comfort. "I come out here every night to clear my mind. I see you every night as well, but I've never said anything before now. I guess I was just worried that you might, well, you know. Because of where you work and all. But then I realized that you were just a pony like any other and that maybe I should get to know you. After all, we seem to have similar tastes," she winked.

Daylight simply met the odd unicorn with a disbelieving stare.

"So, what do you say, want to talk?"

"No," Daylight said simply and quietly, beginning to trot away.

"Whoops, I just realized that I forgot to introduce myself! I'm Dinky. Dinky Hooves. My mother and I just moved here, so I guess that makes us neighbors. Isn't that great?" Dinky seemed to be following Daylight, still intent on talking.

"Yes. Great," Daylight replied, obviously annoyed.

"Say, I didn't catch your name." Dinky eyed Daylight inquisitively.

Daylight sighed. Responding now might only encourage Dinky, and she really didn't want company. One pony wandering about the neighborhood might go unnoticed, but two was asking for trouble. On the other hoof, if Daylight acquiesced this one time, perhaps Dinky might leave her alone in the future. "It's Daylight Sparkle," she finally replied resignedly.

"Daylight Sparkle," Dinky repeated, "That's a pretty name! So what do you do at the Department, anyway?"

Daylight rolled her eyes. The walk back home was going to be a long one. "Paperwork," she told Dinky, "I'm a secretary."

"Ooh, sounds neat," Dinky replied, genuinely interested.

Daylight raised an eyebrow. "Not really."

"Well, it's better than the job I've got."

"Why, what's yours?"

"I'm a food distributor… at the Rations Dispensary. Mind numbing, to tell you the truth," Dinky shook her head, "I really do wish that we could choose our own work. I think that ponies might be more productive that way."

Daylight frowned. "Well that's just not how things work, Dinky. They've never been that way."

"Well, I heard that ponies used to be able to choose for themselves only a little more than two decades ago! And not just their jobs, they could choose—"

"Stop," Daylight said plainly, cutting off Dinky's excited voice. "You know that's not true, Dinky. Whoever told you that was lying, trying to get you hurt or in trouble."

Dinky looked down, and then kicked at a pebble with her front hoof before saying quietly, "My mother told me that. She's never lied to me."

"…Oh." Daylight couldn't think of anything else to say. Why would somepony's own mother tell such a blatant lie? How could a parent care so little about their own flesh and blood to feed them falsities that would surely put them in danger? It didn't make any sense. She looked at Dinky again, and the light of the moon reflected in the unicorn's amber eyes. Dinky seemed so sure of herself, so certain that what she said was true… some part of Daylight, buried deep down inside of her, almost wanted to believe her. She'd have to ask Applejack… if anypony knew, it would be Applejack.

"Well, I have to go for tonight, this house is mine," Daylight told Dinky as she finished her walk, indicating a small yellow bungalow with her hoof.

"Okay! Good night," Dinky said, "And oh, just so you know, I live two houses down. I hope we can be friends."

Daylight sighed softly and pulled the door open with her magic as silently as possible. She stepped inside and pulled off her sweater, reveling in the warmth of the house. Before heading to bed, she checked to make sure that the Spectators hadn't taken notice of her and that Applejack was still soundly asleep. Even once she reached the safety and warmth of her covers, though, sleep eluded her restless mind.


She dreamed of an ancient, gnarled oak tree more than fifty feet tall and that not even ten ponies, hoof to hoof, could have wrapped their forelimbs around. The tree's interior had been hewn into a spacious abode filled to the brim with books and scrolls. She saw herself inside the tree perusing the books… but the moment she moved to touch the first one it burst into flame. The fire spread, further and further, dancing across the shelf and engulfing book after book. It surrounded her, licking at her coat and slowly enveloping her form in its fiery maw.

Her fur was burning—searing fumes wafted up from the char, choking her lungs, suffocating her. Within the flickering flames before her there was suddenly new movement: a great eye blinked into existence, wreathed in the very flame that was destroying her. As it watched her wither away, its terrible gaze locked with her own horrified stare.


The next morning Daylight awoke to the sun peeking through her window, casting is radiant warmth through the frosted windowpane. She yawned widely—she hadn't been able to sleep much, given how her mind had kept spinning in circles chasing traitorous thoughts, and the little sleep she had been able to attain had been troubled by vivid nightmares. With another yawn, she shuffled out of her room and into the kitchenette, eyes squinted against the offending light.

Her mind briefly wandered back to her nightmare, but she mentally smacked herself. Dreams didn't exist. They meant nothing. Her thoughts echoed back to her Educators' lessons; the nonexistence of dreams was one of the first things she could remember being taught. The only existence was the here and now, in service to the State. Even offhandedly mentioning a dream could get a filly sent to the Thinking Room.

Applejack was already up and about, fixing a warm breakfast for the both of them and filling the air with the pleasant smells of burning firewood, apples, and baked goods. The elderly pony looked up as Daylight slouched to her place at the small table.

"Mornin' sugar cube!" she cheerfully said, intently monitoring something in the wood range, "Ah thought you'd never wake up; almost figured I'd hafta eat this apple cornbread all on mah own!" The earth pony chuckled at her own words.

"Cornbread? " Daylight asked, a bit confused, "Where the hay did you get cornmeal?"

"Remember that patch o' corn ah managed to sprout last summer?"

Daylight nodded, perturbed. "Yes, I remember that we didn't eat any of it."

"Well, that's 'cause ah dried and ground it up, an' it's been here in the cupboard e'er since!"

Daylight's eyes drifted as she rested her head on the cool grey surface of the kitchen table. Her attention jumped from Applejack's worn-out hat to the drab white cupboards, the icy window, and finally a tiny, plain wall clock that Applejack had hung above the table just a week before. The hands read eight forty-five, and Daylight narrowed her eyes. Something about the clock just didn't seem right.

She felt a gaze on the back of her head, and turned to see the kitchen's Spectator peering at her intently.

"Say, Daylight," Applejack hummed, pulling the fresh cornbread from the oven, "Don't ya have work ta'day?"

"Oh no!" Daylight sat bolt upright, immediately awake, and looked back to the clock: eight forty-seven! She was supposed to be at the Department no later than eight thirty! Her sweater and hard-sided briefcase were almost forgotten in her scramble to get out of the door and thoughts of hot, moist apple cornbread completely flew from her mind. "I gotta go!"

Applejack stood alone in the kitchen as the front door slammed closed, an entire steaming apple cornbread in front of her. She smacked her lips as she looked down. "Well shoot, ah guess ah will have ta eat this all by my lonesome after all! Oh, well!"


Racing at full speed, Daylight managed the ten kilometers to the Department in just under fifteen minutes. She stopped outside of the threatening basalt skyscraper for a second to compose herself before shoving her way through the revolving door. In reality the building was only ten floors, yet had been constructed in a roughly trapezoidal shape, playing on perspective so that the polished black erection—devoid of any windows—looked almost three times taller than it actually was.

The building's sterile interior had been brightly lit, and the glare reflecting off of the clean white walls, floor and ceiling momentary blinded Daylight. The unicorn pony—whose normally cheerful yellow coat even took on an artificial quality under the intense illumination– was forced to squint until her eyes adjusted. Her hoofsteps echoed as she walked through the large, silent lobby and up to a lone slate desk where a single disinterested earth pony sat. The old grey mare didn't even glance up as Daylight signed in before passing through the heavy metal door behind her.

Past a cramped, dim hallway lined only with a dull green rug was yet another metallic door—this time leading to a small silver room. As Daylight stepped inside the door automatically closed behind her, and spectral voice echoed in from all directions: "Floor?"

"Ten," Daylight tapped her hoof impatiently as the room began to glow with magical energy before surging upwards at incredible speed. Daylight widened her stance unconsciously, a habit formed by long practice, as the room accelerated faster and faster until it lurched to a halt at the top floor. The door of the lift clunked open, revealing a hallway almost identical to the first. Daylight turned and walked to the right, passing rows of evenly spaced black doors until she reached her own office.

The lock was swiftly opened with the key and a small burst of her magic. She set her briefcase down on the desk, relieved at not encountering any of her coworkers on the way up, but the feeling quickly evaporated as she noticed a note written in a disturbing red ink on her desk. It read, quite concisely: Miss Daylight Sparkle, please see me in my office when you arrive. Signed, Chief Interrogator Redsky. The rest of the thin white parchment was blank.

In addition to being worryingly short and vague the message had come directly from the Chief Interrogator, a pony that you rarely ever saw—and never wanted to see. Stiffly, she turned left out of her door and walked down the hall she had just come from. Chief Redsky's office was at the very end, thirty doors down, and time seemed to slow to a crawl as she approached the only white door in the hall. There was no ornate woodwork, no handle, and no hinges. The only discrepancy that it bore was a painted image of the Eye, staring lidless, forever open and watching.

An enchantment caused the eye to flicker and follow Daylight as she swallowed her fear and trepidation before nervously lifting a hoof to knock. Before she had even raised her hoof an inch, however, a deep voice resonated from the room beyond.

"Come in," it said as the door swung open of its own volition, "Do have a seat."

The office that Daylight found herself looking into was almost as plain as the lobby downstairs. A red-furred Pegasus sat behind a mahogany desk and, behind him, rows and rows of filing cabinets lined the wall. The drawers were labeled with the letters of the alphabet, and Daylight knew that they contained the names and vital records of every citizen in City Seven.

Chief Interrogator Redsky beckoned her towards a single wooden chair positioned directly in front of his desk. He wore no uniform—only a pressed white collar and tie. The door shut silently behind her as Daylight took a seat.

"Well, Miss Sparkle," Redsky said in an unnervingly cold tone, "You're late." He reached out a hoof and rotated a silver desktop clock to face Daylight. The timepiece read nine o' clock exactly.

Daylight was shaking slightly as she answered, hoping that her meager excuse would be enough. "Well, I, ah, got held up."

Redsky sat motionless, eyes boring dangerously into Daylight. "Here at the Department of Public Safety, employees are never late. Do you know why, Miss Sparkle?"

She shrunk in her chair, terrified. "No…"

"Because ponies who are late must be… how shall I put it? Let go, " Redsky told her. He paused for a moment to let his point sink in, and then continued, "I trust that this is a one-time occurrence, and that it shall not be repeated?"

Daylight nodded with relief, "Yes sir, it won't happen again, sir."

"Make sure that it doesn't. " He motioned for her to leave, turning his attention back to the files on his desk.

Daylight hadn't needed to be told twice—she was out of the door as soon as he had finished talking. She returned to her desk quickly, intent on make up any work she might have missed in the half hour she had not been at work.


Apart from the brief but terrifying encounter with the Chief Interrogator, her day could hardly have been considered eventful. Daylight had gone through countless files, pulling the names of specific individuals for various Departmental sections. She had also spent a great deal of time revising news articles, redacting certain tidbits of information that the State would consider dangerous. That afternoon, she put in half an hour of overtime to make up for her tardiness in the morning and signed out at precisely six o' clock.

The warmth of the day rapidly waned on her walk home, the sun's brilliant fiery yellow dimming first to a soft orange and then a smoldering red. Behind her, however, the Department reflected none of the sunset's brilliant colors—a black void in an otherwise sun-washed cityscape.

Daylight shivered slightly as a chill wind brought with it the promise of another cold night and quickened her pace, hoping to reach home before nightfall. Usually she made it home well before the State curfew, but today she was very concerned that she might not be able to make it. Her commuting pass was only good until sundown, and she didn't want any more trouble today than she'd already dealt with.

As she rounded the corner onto Lane Twelve, however, her thoughts were interrupted by a loud ruckus in front of an aging warehouse. Four Peacekeepers, three unicorns and an earth pony all dressed in their trademark white suits and black bowlers, had surrounded an elderly grey Pegasus with an uncanny similarity to Dinky. The Peacekeepers snatched the Pegasus' satchel as they accosted her.

"I've seen this one before!" One of the Peacekeepers, the earth pony, grunted to the others, "She's that courier with the eyes, the one I was telling you about. I don't like her!"

"Oh, let me handle this one," a second Peacekeeper told the first. He turned to grin wickedly at the Pegasus. "Just what do you think you're doing on the streets without a Pass?"

The frightened grey Pegasus struggled to speak. "B-but… but sir, I have a pass…"

"Oh, do you?" The Peacekeeper magicked a worn scrap of paper from the bag and made a point of examining it closely before casting a fire spell. The pass fluttered to the ground as it was slowly consumed by the flames. "Well—Mrs. Derpy Hooves, is it? I don't see any pass in here. Perhaps it's at the bottom?" With a spark of magic the satchel was upended, sending dozens of letters scattering into the wind.

"My mail!" Derpy yelled, mouth agape as she made a futile attempt to catch the postage before the other two unicorn Peacekeepers grasped her wings in their magic.

"You're not going anywhere, freak eyes!" The earth pony Peacekeeper lifted a baton in his mouth, and the unicorns followed suite with levitation spells. Derpy looked at them, eyes wide in terror.

"Wait, don't—!"

Her words were cut short as she was struck harshly against her spine. The unicorns released the magic holding her, allowing her to fall hard to the ground under a hail of blows. Her pitiful screams for help echoed down the street as she curled into a fetal position, attempting to make herself as small a target as possible.

Daylight watched the onslaught in abject horror. Yes, she had heard of the Peacekeepers doing things like this, but frankly she had never believed it—such reports were obviously just disparaging remarks made by dissenters to mar the image of the Department and the State. Yet here, right in front of her, a group of Peacekeepers was fixing to murder an innocent Pegasus. Agitatedly, she pawed at the ground with her forehoof. She couldn't just stand by and watch her die—she had to do something!

But these were agents of the State. If they thought that something was right, then it was right. That was how the world worked. It was how the world had always worked. She shouldn't even be considering this matter at all! She should just walk away and forget it had ever happened. This was just a glitch, it didn't matter.

When she tried to do just that, however, she found that she couldn't. Her body was rooted to the spot like a tree, her mind caught in Derpy's voice wailing, crying, pleading for help. The sound stuck in her ears, playing over and over like a scratched record. Derpy hadn't done anything to warrant this attack!

Maybe… maybe the Peacekeepers… were wrong?

No. No, stop it, Daylight, she thought to herself, trying to block out the quieting screams, It's treason to even think like this! It'll just get me in trouble too! She ground her teeth in frustration, thinking frantically. What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Then, without thinking, she spat out her briefcase's handle, lowered her head, and charged at the nearest of the Peacekeepers. The earth pony was hit with enough force to be hurled right into the first unicorn, the wind knocked from both of them. All four of the Peacekeepers froze, taken by surprise—they'd never encountered resistance before.

Even Daylight herself was surprised—and shocked, and horrified—by what she had just done.

"What the—?" the lead unicorn began, "Oh, a little foal wants to join in the fun! How 'bout it, boys?" He stood up and raised the magically glowing baton high in the air before sending it crashing down at the base of Daylight's skull.

Stars exploded through her vision, and she dimly felt something warm and wet run down the back of her neck. She stumbled, head swimming, unable to think straight as blackness encroached on her field of view. Groggily, she inserted herself between Derpy and the Peacekeepers—as Applejack used to say, 'As long as you've already bitten off more than ya can chew, why not eat tha whole pie?'

Oh, I can think of a few good reasons, she thought blearily as she saw the baton rise back into the air, ready to strike again. She shut her eyes, anticipating the impact…

…but the blow never came. All at once, a flash of light and a miniature clap of thunder overloaded her vision and ears. Head spinning, she looked up at the twilit sky—the stars were certainly dancing tonight—and then around herself in amazement. She was no longer on Lane Twelve, but was lying flat on her back in the street before her house. The only explanation that she could come up with was that she apparently must have somehow teleported through the use of her magic; before now, she hadn't even known that such a feat was possible.

She stood shakily and found Derpy crouched on the pavement, head beneath her hooves, quietly sobbing amidst several crumpled letters and bloodstained feathers that must have been caught in the teleportation's slipstream. Daylight nearly fainted outright as she saw the amount of crimson blood matted into the Pegasus's fur and draining out onto the cobblestones. Derpy's left wing hung limp against her side, missing most of its flight feathers and obviously fractured.

As Daylight's senses began to return over the growing pain at the base of her skull, her mind started racing. So many things had to be thought about. Where she had once been so sure of her beliefs, she was suddenly beginning to doubt them. This atrocity had been committed by the very ponies whose job was supposedly to protect the citizens of the State. But protect them from what? she wondered, never having actually thought about it before, An elderly Pegasus? She was no threat to anypony.

Her head was throbbing, and not just from her concussion. She turned to Derpy, extending a hoof. "Come on, let's get you home."

Derpy looked up at Daylight, cheeks ruddy from tears and eyes swollen. "You—you saved me," she said, disbelief evident before moaning mournfully, "They'll want you now!"

Daylight grasped Derpy, hauling her back to her hooves. "I don't think they got a good look at me." She supported Derpy's weight as they limped the few yards to Dinky's residence.

Dinky's home wasn't anywhere near as well-kept as Daylight's. The numbers painted on the door had long since been worn away by the weather, and the cracked stepping stones led through a yard overgrown with weeds.

Derpy winced in pain as she fumbled for her key, and Daylight helped her manipulate the key with what little magical energy she could muster. The door clicked like a dying beetle before swinging slowly inward, revealing a small and sparsely decorated room. An alcove containing a small table sat opposite to the door and the chipping paint was brighter in telltale shapes on the alcove's walls, giving Daylight the impression that they had once been covered with book-filled shelves. Dinky sat hunched at the table over something that Daylight couldn't quite see.

At the sound of the opening door, the blonde-maned pony frantically shoved the object into a drawer beneath the table and whipped around to see who had entered.

"Oh, Mother!" Dinky cried in shock at seeing Derpy, and quickly rushed over to take her from Daylight, "What happened?"

Derpy made no attempt to reply; instead, she only ambled over to a far corner of the room and settled down on a soft red futon propped against the wall. She shut her eyes and hugged a tattered yellow doll that had been left there.

Dinky looked towards Daylight as she began tending to her mother's wounds. "Thank you, for helping her get back home. What—what happened, exactly?"

"It was the Peacekeepers. They were attacking her. I… I intervened."

A forlorn expression washed over Dinky's face. "I was afraid that would happen again."

"Again?" Daylight couldn't believe what she was hearing. "This has happened before? "

"Yes, twice before," Dinky sighed, "We used to live in City Two until she was singled out by the Peacekeepers and nearly beaten to death. We applied for a transfer to City Five, and it was granted. We moved as soon as possible, but not a week after we arrived it happened again. Worse that time—she came within an inch of her life. So we transferred again. To City Seven, thinking that we'd be far enough away from the State center that this wouldn't happen anymore. I see now that we were wrong. She got lucky this time; comparatively, she's not too badly hurt. If you hadn't come along…" her face screwed up in anger.

"But why? Why would they attack her?" Daylight asked.

"Because she's different, that's why! She's defected, according to the State. Inferior! And they say that she's bad because of it! They say that I'm bad because of it!" Dinky ranted furiously, quickly losing control of her temper. Her ministrations became a little rough, and Derpy squeaked in pain.

"Dinky?" Daylight fidgeted slightly as she noticed a flicker of movement on the main wall.

"It's this State that's defected! They say that they want to bring happiness, but they don't mean it! They thrive on our pain! All they care about is themselves! " Dinky clenched her teeth and dropped the roll of bandages as her anger made it impossible to concentrate on her levitation spell.

"Dinky! You need to—" Daylight was quickly cut off by Dinky's tirade, and began backing slowly towards the front door.

"Avarice! That's all it is! What happened to love? To compassion? Where'd it all go? It's burned. Burned with all the books. Burned with all the ponies who ever spoke out against them! I'll tell you who needs to burn—HIM! Oh, you know who I'm talking about! Even the Eye itself! "

"Dinky, please stop! " Daylight keened frantically. The Spectator was wide awake, eye fixated upon Dinky. Daylight had backed to the door now, trying desperately to remove herself from the Spectator's view.

"Why, I'll do it myself if nopony else will!" Dinky shouted obliviously.

Dinky was going to get them both caught, and that was enough for Daylight. She turned, and with all haste threw the door open and bolted through. She galloped away, attempting to put as much distance between her and Dinky as possible.

Dinky stamped her hooves on the floor and snorted, "I can't take any more of this! This place is… this place is…" her outburst died down when she noticed the open front door and Daylight's absence. "Daylight? Where did you…?" she froze.

Her gaze turned to the wall and the lidless eye staring into her. A tiny red light blinked into existence below it and began flashing to a hellish tempo.

Cold fear slithered over her, rapidly turning to horror as she realized what she had done.



Make sure to hit the button, so that you get indentation.

And now... Chapter One!

And the real story begins.

Main info can be found in the Prologue description, and as always, if you notice any spelling, grammar, or glaring bits of discontinuity, then by all means, tell me so that I can fix it. I don't need nasty mistakes festering on my page. Yuck. Anyway, critique is also welcome.

I would like to thank my beta-reader and editor, :iconarchaeidae: for her particularly outstanding work in helping me to smooth out the rough edges, as well as for the creation of the incredible poster that you see above.

Prologue: [link]
Chapter One: Here
Chapter Two: [link]
Chapter Three: [link]
Chapter Four: [link]
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Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Moveset:

Gender: Male

Species: Evil Spirit/Sword

Game Series: Soul Series

First Appearance: Soul Edge (1995)

Health: 1,050,000 HP Points

Voice Actor: Patrick Ryan

Power Ranking (Out of 7)

Intelligence: 3
Strength: 7
Speed: 5
Stamina: 5
Energy Projection: 5
Fighting Ability: 7

Assist Alpha: Soul Edge Guillotine (Direct, Tilt Down)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion
Assist Beta: Soul Edge Spear (Direct, Front)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion
Assist Gamma: Soul Wave (Direct, Instant)
Assist HC: Soul Explosion


There was a time when a man named Siegfried Schtauffen took control of the Soul Edge, becoming powerless under the power of the blade. He eventually was able to retrieve his mentality and used the power of the holy blade Soul Calibur in order to save his body. He was separated from his Nightmare form and became the new wielder of Soul Calibur, while Inferno made a pact with Zasalmel, who made him a new body of his own. Thus…Nightmare was born.

Entrance: Nightmare will have his back turned to his opponent. Then, swinging Soul Edge over his head, he'll turn around and get into his fighting stance.

Entrance Quotes:

#1: Give in to the Dark Abyss of Despair!

#2: Taste Fear!!~

#3: Tremble within my Darkness!!

#4: Your soul will soon become mine!

#5: My Power is absolute!

Against Ryu: Warrior of Legend…your soul shall be mine!

Against Akuma: Your soul is like that of my own…

Against Sentinel/Zero: Soulless being, be gone from my Sight!


Attack Layout:

Ground Level

Standing Light: Sword Handle (51,000)

Standing Medium: High Kick (64,000)

Standing Light: Nightmare Gauntlet (80,000)

Standing Special: Soul Edge Upper Swing (90,000)


Crouching Light: Low Kick (49,000)

Crouching Medium: Low Gauntlet (65,000)

Crouching Hard: Low Soul Edge Sweep (78,000)

Air Attacks

Air Light: Straight Kick (57,000)

Air Medium: Soul Edge Slash (70,000)

Air Hard: Soul Edge Slash #2 (80,000)

Air Special: Soul Edge Axe (90,000)

Unique Moves

Straight Stab (F + H) (85,000)

Nightmare Smash (F + M) (70,000)

Special Moves

NightMare Punch (Qcf + L) (90,000)

Charged with the powers of Soul Edge, Nightmare will do a straight punch charged with dark energy. The attack can stop fireballs if timed properly.

Soul Edge Guillotine (Qcf + M) (100,000)

Nightmare will bring down his Soul Edge on the opponent, the attack causing an OTG bounce and can stop projectiles.

Soul Edge Spear (Qcf + H) (110,000)

Nightmare's reach at its best. Nightmare will stick out his sword straight at the opponent. This attack can smash through any projectile in the game and takes up 2/3 of the screen in distance.

Knight Crusher (Dp + A) (140,000)

His standing Mashing Y/Triangle combo from SC4, Nightmare will smash down his sword a total of three times, the first two times causing a possible hit decay while the third strike causes a ground bounce.

Soul Crusher Side Slash (Qcb + L) (95,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will swing his sword sideways, sending the opponent flying back. The attack can cancel out fireballs.

Soul Crusher Uppercut Slash (Qcb + M) (115,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will uppercut his sword and the opponent with it. This attack can be air comboed into if the attack is timed right.

Soul Crusher Drop Kick (Qcb + H) (120,000)

Charged with electric blue soul power, Nightmare will do a double leg drop kick at the opponent, causing a wall bounce upon connecting with them.

Soul Wave (Down + Down + A) (100,000)

Nightmare will build up a large amount of energy within his body, then expelling it outward in a barrier-like burst. This attack causes an instant Wall bounce upon contact, even from the other side of the screen.

Hyper Combos

Flaming Souls (Qcf + AA) (300,000)

A quick one-hit armored Hyper combo, Nightmare will take Soul Edge in both hands and the blade will alight on fire. Nightmare will then lunge forward and uppercut it into the air, This attack has 2 hits of hyper armor and the flame lengthens the amount of distance on the hyper combo. This attack cancels out all projectile attacks and can even cancel out high priority hyper combos like C.Viper's Emergency Combination.

Soul Explosion (Dp + AA) (285,000)

Nightmare will charge Soul Edge with negative energy and do a lance stab with the sword, large amounts of dark energy flying around the sword as he does so, causing a large amount of combo damage.

Soul Destroyer (Down + Down + AA) (280,000)

A counter hyper combo, Nightmare will charge up a very large amount of energy within his body. If the opponent attacks him as he does so, he'll expel the energy outward in a shockwave, sending the opponent flying and causing a wall bounce.

Level 3: Critical Finish (Qcb + AA) (450,000)

Nightmare's Critical Finish from  is now his level 3 Hyper combo. The attack begins with an uppercut sword slash. If the attack connects with the opponent, Nightmare will throw his sword up into the air, which will air combo the opponent before bringing them back down into the ground. Soul Edge will then cause a giant area of dark energy to appear around the opponent as it combos them and explodes, ending the hyper combo.

Victory Pose:

Nightmare will take the Soul Edge in both hands, then raising it above his head, the sword shooting off Red Lightning from its tip into the air.

Victory Quotes:

#1: The Nightmare…will NEVER END!!

#2: Blood…Darkness…Come Unto Me!!

#3: Your souls…were rather good!

#4: Your Meager Souls are WORTHLESS!!!

#5: The Darkness is everlasting!!

#6: The near!

Against Ryu/Akuma/Wolverine: Warrior…your soul shall surely satisfy me!

Assist Quotes:

Call Partner:



"Tremble in Fear!"

Last Person Switch Out:

"The Darkness is coming for you!!"

Color Scheme:

#1: Dark Blue

#2: Black

#3: Dark Red

#4: Dark Green

#5: Dark Brown

#6: Dark Purple

I hereby give Capcom full rights over this moveset and are welcome to use this in any way/shape/form that they desire.

*Ahem* Well...I've been playing alot of Soul Calibur 4 lately and...well...I was tempted to make a moveset for possibly one of the best and coolest game villains ever, Nightmare from the Soul Calibur . This guy is one of the reasons I hope they expand to Namco vs. Capcom after Street Fighter X Tekken is done, for I'd use a team of Felicia and Nightmare (And Wesker if it's 3 vs 3) and be completely unstoppable! >8D

Anyways...enjoy everyone. :3
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Fallout: Equestria
Broken Steel


Stable 88, a control Stable constructed by Stable-Tec over two hundred years ago to protect over five hundred ponies from a Mega Spell Disaster. It did its job, it saved those who made it into the Stable when the call came out, but it also sealed the fate of them all too. When the bombs fell and the giant steel door rolled into place and was driven in by the mechanical arm, it broke. No pony had ever found out what happened but they say that the vibrations from the bombs damaged a vital internal component that jammed the steel door's locking system in place, permanently sealing the Stable from the outside world.

For two hundred or so years the huge Stable continued life, everypony lived and died as the years passed. The Stable was supposed to house six hundred but when the door closed, only five hundred and fifty two made it in. Despite this, the Stable was said to house enough genetic diversity to allow the populace to live in the Stable for at least a thousand years. As the years passed, that number began to drop. The math was sound, but nopony really expected to live their entire existence in a giant underground bunker. This caused problems.

Ponies never believed they'd be locked in the Stable for that long, but as the years went by ponies began to panic. Within the first ten years at least a hundred ponies died, many of them being the elderly. It wouldn't of been odd if not for the sheer number of them so quickly. The doctors and nurses diagnosed their deaths to be related to the panic attacks that ponies had been having frequently. Granted it wasn't the panic attacks themselves that killed the ponies but it was the heart attacks and strokes brought on by the panic attacks that did so they classed their deaths as Panic Attack victims.

At least two hundred years later, the Stable's populace had more or less stabilised around about four hundred and sixty ponies. Being born in the Stable and only knowing the Stable was what it took to stop the panic attacks.

My family had always run this Stable, from the day Stable-Tec put my ancestor in charge as the Overmare. It seemed the daughter of the Overmare would inherit their mother's position as Overmare.  I was a bit mythed to why nopony tried to change that but I guess my family did a good job at running the place.

I was born premature by a couple of weeks that didn't seem bad but my birth was the most unusual thing that ever happened in Stable 88. When I was born, everpony didn't expect me, not because I was born a Unicorn, not because I am a girl, but because I was totally white. I was so damn white I almost light up the room. The doctors and nurses did tests on me to see if I was ok and the only thing they found was that I was born an Albino. Nopony knew what that meant apart from the eggheads of the Stable, including the doctors and nurses so to most other ponies I was like an alien to them.

My mother, spent hours reading up on what an Albino is. Ugh, I am just a totally brilliant white unicorn with pale skin and to top it off, bright red eyes. My mother also had trouble trying to name me too. A tradition with my family was that we were usually named after a desert or a sweet. My mother was called Blueberry Muffin because she was a dark blue Earth Pony with soft brown eyes and a brown mane and tail. She struggled trying to name me because I so white. In the end she just named me the first sweet thing that came into her mind and that was Appletart.

With my name and my condition, you can say I didn't have much of a good childhood. I was the centre of attention…for bullies. First off, me being an Albino didn't help, I was teased constantly about my brilliant whiteness and my bright red eyes. Name calling was constant, twenty four seven. I couldn't escape it, there was nowhere to hide in the damn Stable. I was commonly known as Ghosty for my total whiteness but the name that hurt the most was "Tart" or "Slapper".

It turns out the first couple of Overmares had a bit of an over active sexual life style. They said to care more about sex than running the place and it was no surprise that one of them had the largest number of children born by a single mare. The fillies and colts of my age group were quick to learn this about my family and used it against me. Making me feel like I was just like my ancestors. Hell, I was a damn kid, so were they so why the fuck would they go on about my ancestors' sexual life styles?

After many years of this abuse I learned to ignore it but it still didn't stop the tossers. I couldn't care anymore until these bullies picked up on something else. And that would be that I was the oldest filly in my age group to not have her cutie mark. Even when I was older than the average age when a cutie mark appears I was still blank. Again my accursed white coat made it damn easy to see I was bare. Being a blank flank hurt more than being made out to be a sex mad loony. I was pushed out of ever social event my age group took part it, I was being isolated.

My mother was the only friend I had in the Stable. Even she was concerned about me still not having a cutie mark at my age. She tried to teach me everything she knew, even starting my Overmare training earlier than expected to see if that could help my cutie mark appear. Unfortunately not even that seemed to bring it out, even me learning to make apple tarts didn't do it, even when I seemed to be able to make them so damn well too. It was looking like I'd be blank forever.

Well, things were gonna get a shit load worse before they got better. One day while my mother was teaching me about running a community meeting the emergency alarms started blaring. We were already in my mother's office and on the many monitors on the back wall we saw a large group of horribly dressed ponies outside the Stable door. Several of them carried a huge device which to our horror was cutting through the door. Once the ponies had cut through the door and pulled out the thick cylinder they had cut free the Stable's automated defences activated to repel the invaders. Unfortunately they did fuck all, as these ponies were armed to the teeth, literally.

Seeing how the defences were failing to repel the bastards my mother hit the panic button in her office. This opened a secret room in the office, she dragged me inside and then ran out to help the stable. I was locked inside the room, it was designed to seal itself until the threat had passed. I cried for my mother to come back, to stay with me. But she was locked outside, I could hear the gun fire and the screams, oh dear sweet Celestria, the screams. I was stuck in that room for two days, within the first twelve hours the screams had stopped, I guessed the Raiders had finished slaughtering everypony. The panic room didn't open until thirty six hours after the attack when everypony was dead and the bastards responsible were long gone. I emerged to the most horrific sight I had ever seen.

I walked down the corridors of the Stable, my Eyes-Forward-Sparkle active as I moved. I was horrified to see that my EFS was showing nothing. No red marks, no white marks no nothing. Everypony was dead. Everywhere I went the floors, walls and even ceiling had blood splattered all over it. As I cried seeing how everypony I had ever known lay dead, my fear and sorrow started to give way to an anger I didn't think I had. I looked through out my Stable for my mother, to find her, to make sure she was ok even though I knew she was dead like everypony else. I stopped and sat on my hunches as I came to the door that lead to the Stable Door. Closing my eyes I stood up again and used my magic to push the door control to open it and with a soft whir of the motors the door slip open and laying in a pool of blood by the stairs leading to the hole in the door of the Stable entrance was my mother.

My mother was laying flat on her belly, her legs spread out from her sides and her head on the floor with a pool of blood around her. I noticed her rear was badly scratched and bruised and lot of dull white liquid coming out of her private area. I suddenly saw red, my anger boiling over as I realised what had happened to my mother. The fuckers raped my mother, repeatedly, before they killed her. Using my telekinetic magic I picked up my mother's limp body and floated her behind me as I did the long trek to the lower maintenance levels of the Stable. I came to the furnace room where most waste was incinerated. I opened one of them and pushed my mother's body into it and activated the furnace to cremate my mother, giving her a decent send off. Looking through the door at my mother as her lifeless body burned, tears running down my cheeks I cried out loud "I love you".

After I watched my mother's body turn to ash in the fire, the feeling of rage came flooding back and I stomped all the way into my mother's office and stopped and sat looking at the wall with the huge circular glass window over looking the atrium. On the wall to the right of the window was a display case that had a magical lock that could only be opened by magic. Inside the case was a black shiny lever action repeater rifle with a custom attached scope. The weapon is a family possession passed down to generation to generation. I reached out to the display case, letting its magical lock get a feel for my magic and with a soft click it unlocked itself as it recognised me as part of the family.
Inside the box the rifle sat on a stand and behind it in the corner were two boxes of ammunition. I held the weapon in my magic and my PipBuck beeped as it added the weapon to my inventory labelling the weapon as "Overmare's Fury". I was amazed that my wrist mounted device knew its name when I did not and the fact it could tell the weapon was loaded with seven rounds of .357 Magnum Rounds. I slung the weapon onto my back on top of my saddlebags and picked out the two boxes of ammunition. My PipBuck even knew what they were as it added forty rounds to the .357 Magnum Round count in my ammo tab.

I spend a little while packing my saddlebags with essentials like food and water before I headed to the Stable Door. I stood at the huge hole cut into the three foot thick hole in the door, looking out into the dark stony cave like corridor leading away from my old home. Closing my eyes and with a deep sigh I left, my life officially over as Appletart the Stable Blank Flank.

I pushed open the wooden door that lead to the outside world, I was immediately hit by the foul smell of the dead land and before I could take it all in I saw two red marks appear on my EFS. I became more focused on them that I missed the four white marks moving slowly towards me on my right. The two red marks were directly ahead of me. I had to climb up onto a rock to see where they were. I could make out two ponies down the hill a good distance away that I couldn't quite tell who they were. I reached behind me with my magic and pulled Overmare's Fury off my back and levitated it so it was pointing out towards the marks, resting the butt of my gun against my shoulder and peered down the scope to get a better look of the ponies and I saw red again. I recognised the ponies I was seeing, they were part of the Raiders who attacked and killed my Stable.

I seemed to go into auto-pilot as before I knew what I was doing was aiming the weapon at the first pony I saw, the red dot of the cross hairs floating up onto the head. While I was busy getting my aim I failed to notice the four white marks were getting closer to me. I was totally unaware of four large armoured ponies heading towards me. The lead pony had seen me, hard not to too when you stick out like a sore hoof amidst the gloom of the dead world around me. They must of noticed me holding a weapon and pointing it at somepony and they watched while still moving towards me.


I fired and my shot struck the first pony in the eye which exploding on impact and showering the other Raider in gory mess. The four armoured ponies stopped for a moment as they must have seen my shot. The second Raider turned his head to my direction as I focused on him and fired again. My second shot struck the Raider in between the eyes and blowing his brains out over his back before he crumpled to the floor in a twitching heap. "Eat that you fuckers" I said out loud to myself as I slung my rifle. Sighing with some satisfaction I turned and was nose to nose with one of the armoured ponies and like a real girl I screamed.

"That was some impressive shooting girl" One of the armoured ponies said with a deep gruff but feminine voice.

I sat and blinked at them, I was feeling scared of them but when one started talking to me I didn't know how to react.  As I looked at the four armoured ponies I soon began to recognise them, I had learned during school about armoured ponies the Ministry of Wartime Technology created, the Steel Rangers. I also noticed that one of them, the one who spoke had three V shaped stripes on her shoulder armour which told me she was a sergeant.

"Where did you come from?" a much deeper, male voice rung out from one of the other Steel Rangers which made me cringe and wince.

Shakily I pointed to the open wooden door which one of them quickly trotted over too and peeked inside before calling back to his comrades "Stable 88 ma'am".

If I could see the Sergeant's face I would of thought she had a look of amazement on her face as she looked from me to the two raiders I had took down. "two minutes out of the stable and already killed two Raiders with a bullet each to the head, impressive" she said as she looked at me and noticed my blank flank "And a god damn filly at that…..very interesting. I think you may have some potential"

Before long I was walking between the four Rangers heading towards their base of operations which as it started to come into view looked like an old abandoned Sky Chariot Port. The place was surrounded by rows of high chain link face and razor wire all over the top of it. The building had seen better days as it looked like somepony had been bashing it with a sledge hammer for years. It was covered in cracks and crumbling concrete and bricks.

I was presented to this group's elder who didn't seem impressed nor happy that his Rangers brought a sniffling scared filly into his base. The sergeant explained what she saw back out in the wasteland and in detail explained how I put a bullet into the heads of the two Raiders. The Elder looked at me with a raised brow and looked back to the sergeant before looking back at me. The sergeant requested I be trained, saying my skills would be very handy for the Rangers. It took a little convincing but finally the Elder agreed to have me trained unless I could prove myself which meant me being dragged down to the shooting range that was built into the Sky Port's many large underground rooms that used to be for sorting luggage.

The tests were simple, shoot the target. I did exactly as I was told, to hit the targets at various distances. When I was looking down the scope, all my fear and nervousness disappeared as I entered tunnel vision as all I could see was what the scope could see and shot after shot on the targets that appeared my .357 rounds struck the head of the dummies each time. I felt slightly proud of myself with my good aim but the Elder wasn't convinced yet. I was later dragged outside to do one last shot.

Outside almost all the base's Steel Rangers had gathered to watch. The mid ranged scope on my Overmare's Fury made it hard to get a good view of my target as the red dot in the middle of the cross hairs was larger than the head of the target I was aiming for. I was told to take all the time I needed, I wasn't being rushed so I relaxed the best I could as I stared down the scope. After ten minutes of aiming I finally pulled the trigger. I let out a squeal of relief and excitement as I saw the head of the target dummy explode in a shower of fabric and wool.

As soon as that target dummy's head exploded, there was a flash that consumed my flanks and I finally had my cutie mark. My mark resembled the cross hairs of my Overmare's Fury. The Elder was finally convinced of my worth and agreed that I should be trained. It seemed I was destined to be a sniper.

Indeed it was as the years passed and I fulfilled my training in power armour and being a Steel Ranger, I was trained in various long ranged weapons and I had little difficulty in using them but none of those were suitable for the Battle Saddle I received. My battle saddle was a rare one, it had ports for interchangeable weapons with ammo feeders on the top that rested against my armoured back. I asked the quarter master if there was any sniper rifles designed for this battle saddle that I could use but unfortunately he didn't have any. However he did tell me he had a special weapon that could be used as a sniper but it wasn't working and so made me a deal. If I could fix it I could keep it.

Over the years I realised I loved guns, I think it was the kick they had when they fired of the sound they made when you pulled the trigger but when I saw the weapon the quarter master had in the back of his armoury I nearly wet myself with glee. Sitting on a table was a huge 50 Caliber Anti-Machine Sniper Rifle. It was one of ten, well, four. The other six were not finished before the bombs dropped and their components were lost over time from ponies stealing them or that they had not finished making them all.

I went to work, my telekinetic magic peeling the gun apart as I found its fault, strangely without reading the manual on this thing. It turned out that the firing mechanism was damaged and it was a simple fix, again I didn't read the manual but I was able to fix it as if I've always known how. Before long I had a huge weapon mounted to one side of my battle saddle which has a gun barrel sticking three feet in front of me. I guess I made some Steel Rangers jealous of my weapon as many kept staring at me as I trotted by.

This weapon was so damn powerful I couldn't believe it. I tested it greatly, nearly having an orgasm from its roar and kick and the sheer joy of using it. The weapon had the power to punch through anything solid that I fired it at, even old Steel Ranger armour. It seems nothing solid like armour or material like stone or concrete could stop a bullet from it. Its recoil would send me flying onto my back if I wasn't wearing my armour and its roar of a boom would deafen an unprotected pony as it was that damn loud. I even tested firing it next to an intact pane of glass that shattered as soon as it fired. Even with this beast I was still hitting my mark on my targets. By the time I had finished my training I was known as the best sniper pony in this regiment of the Steel Rangers and I received the title of "Longshot".

During the celebration for completing my training I was still getting those looks from ponies at my brilliant white body like back in 88. Being a mare old enough to make my own choices I decided to do something about this and visited the resident barber pony who had cut my mane and tail short into a buzz cut. I got her to dye my mane and tail the same bright red as my eyes to make myself look more normal and it worked.

A few years later when I started going out on missions I was finally happy to be doing something but that happiness soon faded at the things we did, at what I did. I killed ponies along with the other Rangers when we went on missions. Taking technology or exterminating locals because they sat on something the Rangers wanted. At first I did it to fallow my orders and didn't think much about it but as time passed I began to see this was wrong. I continued to follow my orders despite it tearing me apart as more innocents died from my shots or theirs for things that seemed unimportant. I tried to tell them we should be helping them rather than killing them for shit. But they wouldn't listen.

I was on patrol one day with the sergeant who found me outside Stable 88. I had already lost my faith in the Rangers for the things they did. I didn't know what to do about it until then. We heard a scream from a mare and I thanked Celestria that we could finally do some good. We found a Raider raping a mare no older than me. The mare saw us and screamed for help and my sergeant opened fire, shooting a dual rifle shot from her battle saddle and killing the Raider before he could run. The mare shakily got up and started to trot towards us, crying in happiness as she screamed thank you to us and then she dropped to a twin rifle shot to the head as my sergeant shot her too. As I watched her body fall, I filled with the anger and the fury I felt after my Stable has been destroyed by the Raiders and the fact they killed my mother. That was it, I had enough of the shit. As my sergeant turned around she found herself looking down the barrel of my 50cal.

If I could see her face I would of seen a look of sheer terror behind that visor and helmet. I didn't say a word, in fact I basically just pushed the barrel further against her armoured snout. "Appletart, wait" she bellowed before I fired, the boom from the muzzle of my gun was swiftly followed by the explosion of her head as it blew up in a shower of blood, bone and shrapnel as the powerful 50cal tore its target apart.

"NO MORE, NO FUCKING MORE" I screamed in pain and fury.

The Steel Rangers would have noticed that the sergeant's power armour signal had disappeared which usually means the ranger in that armour had died and immediately called me.

"What the hell is going on out there Longshot? What happened to Sergeant Nightingale?" Came the voice of the Elder.

"I killed her"


"I killed her asshole….No more will the Steel Rangers kill innocent ponies for your own gain. I have had it. I will kill every Steel Ranger I see doing bad, anypony hurting the innocent. This world has seen enough of that shit" I told him before I severed my link with the Steel Rangers, my signal to them died. They wouldn't be able to contact me or track me now. They would likely want to kill me now but they would have to find me first.

I looked down at my dead sergeant and shock me head "I'm sorry Nightingale, I really am" I said to her headless body before I began to run, getting away from the area before any other Steel Rangers came in search of me.

I decided I would dedicate myself to helping anypony who needs it, something the Steel Rangers should have done to begin with. As far as I'm concerned now, they are nothing more than more organised and armoured Raiders.

Now I start a new life, a rogue Steel Ranger.

For the hell of it found a stone wall that was virtually blank and using my armoured hoof I started to scratch onto the wall.

"I am Appletart Longshot, wrong doers will face the wrath of my 50cal Anti-Machine Rifle"

I found a tallish building that looked fairly intact and after checking my EFS for any contacts and luckily there was nothing inside. I stepped inside and closed its door. The building had been long since been looted leaving nothing useable and the walls and floors were a mess with all sorts of crap and deteriorating furniture and decorations. I climbed up to the highest room of the building, there were two windows and a door that lead onto a balcony that gave me a good vantage point.

Looking around I found an old bed. Using my magic I started to disconnect my armour. Stepping out of my open armour I cringed at the rotten smell of the old room. I sighed softly to myself as I lay down onto the bed and laid my head down onto my fore hooves and soon drifted off to sleep.
This is the start to my Fallout Equestria fic of my rogue Steel Ranger, Appletart Longshot.

I couldn't think of a good title for this so if anyone has a better idea please let me know.

Also, forgive me, i'm not much of a writer so i'm sorry if it sucks.

Revised version here [link]
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"Simply the thing I am, shall make me live."

Prologue: Lost in the Fire

Thrumming rain and thrashing leaves overwhelmed the usual silence of the mid-afternoon air. The library was dark, much too dark for anypony to see properly. The tall, book-filled rooms were usually flooded with sunlight, which on most days would pour through the great tree house's numerous windows and spill onto the floor like an overturned barrel of Sweet Apple cider. Today, however, there was no sun to be spilt—at least none that could be seen by the unicorn filly that crept through the shelves of the library in search of a family treasure. Apparently, the building's resident dragon had not cared to light even a single candle.

The Pegasus ponies had set up a regular tempest, something that they had to do every so often when a scheduled drizzle was skipped. That seemed to happen quite frequently lately, though no pony was entirely sure why. Lightning arced across the sky, connecting with the magical lightning rod atop the tree. The living wood of the building uttered a gentle creak as it accepted nature's electric fury.

Most any filly would have been scared witless by the sheer power of the storm that was crashing its fists down upon Ponyville, but this filly was on a mission that no amount of scary thunder could deter. Her mother was out of town visiting the royal city of Canterlot on what she called "Official Business," and would be back later that same day. The filly couldn't care less what her mother called this errand of hers; all she was concerned with was the fact that her mother wasn't there. More specifically, that her mother wasn't there to tell her off for what she was about to do.

…That was, if she could even find what she was looking for.

She stumbled about in the dark, tripping over rugs and piled books that her mother had left strewn about the floor after yet another night of intense studying. Her blind gait eventually ran her right into a telescope tripod set up next to the window—the instrument wobbled precariously before proceeding to fall directly on top of the little filly, who quickly covered her head with her hooves to protect herself. The tripod and its load fell over with a mighty crash that almost rivaled the thunder outside.

"Ouch!" she yelped, and then instantly froze. Spike had probably heard the commotion and would surely investigate: dragons had good hearing. At least, that's what she had read in one of the library's bestiaries. After about a minute and a half with no sign of an impending investigation, she sighed with relief. Spike was likely napping deeply, as he tended to do on rainy days.

Deciding that she needed some light after all, she gave her magic a try. Squeezing her eyes shut, she concentrated as intensely as she possibly could. Though she strained and clenched her teeth, nothing happened. After stopping for a few deep breaths, she began her trials anew and with increased vigor. Her horn fizzled and popped, showering a few amber sparks onto the floor. The magical residue danced and skittered around like living creatures before fading away. Finally, her horn sputtered to life and gave off a bright glow from its tip—the light illuminated the room as much as any candle, and it was more than enough for a pony so young to find what she wanted.

The room was as it had always been: shelves lined the walls, crammed full of manuscripts, books and scrolls on every subject imaginable. Along one wall sat the small bed where her mother slept, the covers patterned with the night sky. She winced as the light revealed the telescope she had knocked over, lying on the floor among shards of broken crystal and glass. Her thoughts quickly turned back to her goal.

It has to be here somewhere, she thought, But where?

A search of the bookshelves came up with nothing, as did a thorough examination of the jewelry cases and armoire. She finally sat down with a frustrated huff.

"I know it's here somewhere," she sighed as she lay down for a moment to rest. The moment her head hit the floor, however, she spied something under the bed: a simple wooden box. She snatched it up and held it close to her face, so that her glow spell could shed some light on the mysterious object. This must be it! She thought excitedly, blowing the dust off its lid.

The box was small, only about the size of a loaf of bread. Its faces were largely unadorned save for a perfect facsimile of Twilight Sparkle's cutie mark painted atop the polished mahogany lid, and a shimmering padlock decorated with a fiery magical symbol clunked noisily on one side. She set it down on the floor as she fumbled for something she had stashed in her mane; the object fell to the floor with a sharp metallic ping.

The object was, in fact, a tiny silver key that she had surreptitiously "borrowed" from Twilight's key ring before she left. Taking the key carefully between both hooves, she slid it down into the lock on the box. The instrument stuck momentarily, but with a light jimmy it slid smoothly into the keyhole. Once she was sure that the teeth of the key were perfectly seated within the pins of the lock, she rotated it forty-five degrees clockwise and was rewarded with a satisfying click. The lock abruptly fell off the box with a soft clunk. She lifted the lid delicately, marveling at how effortlessly it moved on its oiled hinges. Inside, she found surely the most beautiful piece of jewelry that had ever been created. Reverently, she picked it up to examine it.

The subject of her search was a tiara, crafted from the finest gold and with nine small sapphires set into its front. Intricate patterns carved into the gold wove about and around the gems, but it was the apex of the tiara that truly caught her eye. A gem cut into a six-pointed, faceted star lay set into the marvelous golden lattice, catching the glow from her horn and sending sparkles of purple flying to all walls of the room. In the dim light, it shone like a veritable beacon.

She knew exactly what it was that she held in her hooves. Her mother had told her about her adventures when she was younger: about how she, auntie Applejack, and their friends had saved Equestria from the eternal night of Nightmare Moon many years ago. This was THE Element of Magic. The jewel atop the pinnacle, Twilight had said, acted as an amplifier for a unicorn's innate magical ability. It allowed one to cast spells beyond the power of imagination, and could even allow a non-unicorn to cast magic. There were few who could activate this power, however; only the gem's harmonizing spirit—currently Twilight Sparkle—and Celestia herself had ever been able to access its true potential.

But, perhaps, could she activate its power? After all, she was descended from the Spirit of Magic—perhaps it might work for her as well? Intense, burning curiosity overcame her and she moved ever so warily to place the tiara upon her own head. What spell would she cast? How would she even activate it in the first place? Her many questions, though, were cut short before she even had a chance to place the artifact upon her tiny head by the sound of the front door to the library open and almost immediately slam closed again due to the gale outside. Her little heart raced.

"Daylight!" Twilight called happily from downstairs. "I'm home, Day, and I've brought you a treat!"

A cold bead of sweat dripped from Daylight's brow as she hurriedly put the element back into its case. In a panic upon hearing the sound of hoof-steps upon the stairs, she slid the box and lock back under the bed and snatched up the key. She'd put it back on the key ring later and Twilight would never know that it had gone missing, but for now it was nestled safely in her hair. Lights came on all around the library as Twilight ignited the candle flames with her magic. A single strand of grey shone dully in the purple unicorn's mane.

"Oh! There you are, Daylight." She smiled at the filly as she finished illuminating the bedroom, but then frowned once she noticed the mess. "What are you doing here in the dark? And what the hay happened to my telescope?"

"I was… I was, uhh… hiding from the thunder," Daylight lied nervously. "I kinda sorta knocked over the telescope in the dark…"

To her surprise, Twilight chuckled and gave her a loving look. "It's alright, Day, especially seeing as Spike couldn't be troubled to turn on any lights. I have just the spell that will fix that telescope right up. And I also have just the thing to cheer you up after such a dark and gloomy afternoon."

Daylight perked up immediately as she was given a pink bag from Sugarcube Corner, opening it with gusto. "A Double Chocolate Super-Sprinkled Frosted Donut! Thanks Mommy!" She smiled, excitedly biting into the sugary treat.

"You're welcome sweetie," Twilight replied, giving her daughter a playful nuzzle.


The storm cleared out later that evening, leaving the sky open for the stars to shine. Each one winked into existence as the moon climbed into the sky, dragged there by the ancient magic of its caretaker. A lone wisp of cloud snaked its way through the otherwise pristine expanse, blotting out a few of the fainter stars, and a cricket chirped in the wet grass as it was dully illuminated by the warm light from the windows of the library. Inside Twilight sat with her Number-One Assistant after finally getting Daylight her dinner and tucking her into bed.

Spike had grown a great deal in the years that Twilight had known him. She still remembered the day when she hatched his egg—the same day that she gained her Cutie Mark and became the protégé of Princess Celestia. She smiled at the memory. Spike was now slightly larger than herself, and he sported a pair of lovely reptilian wings that had just recently finished growing in. He wasn't too terribly used to them yet, however. Rainbow Dash had given him numerous flying lessons, but he still flew like a clumsy, one-winged owl.

"So, ah, what exactly did the Princess want, Twi?" Spike asked. He had inquired earlier, but she had told him to wait until Daylight had gone to bed. "And why couldn't you have talked by scroll? Why did you have to go all the way to Canterlot? Seems like an awful lot of trouble just to talk…"

"Whoa, slow down there Spike, one question at a time," Twilight said. "The Princess didn't want any written acknowledgement of what's going on is all, so we had to talk face to face."

"But about what?" Spike insisted.

"About something that's going on. I'll assume I can trust you not to breathe a word of this to anypony?" Twilight asked.

"Absolutely! I am still your Number One, after all. You can trust me!" Spike puffed his chest out rather proudly.

"Good. Well, there's a group of ponies that have been gathering near Ponyville. They call themselves 'The New State.' We're still not entirely sure what they're about, but the Princess has reason to believe that they may be radicals who have designs on gaining political power—possibly even overthrow the diarchy. She said that they are fairly widespread, and have even shown up in Manehattan and Cloudsdale over the past few weeks in addition to their other haunts. The Princess wants me to be on the lookout for them, as Intelligence reports that they may have something big planned. We just don't know what or when."

Spike looked puzzled. "Why would anypony want to overthrow the Princesses? Things are great the way they are! Aren't they happy?"

"Who knows?" Twilight sighed. "Some ponies are never happy. They rebel just for the sake of rebellion. They take up a grand cause even when they don't truly understand the implications of what they are doing."

"But what could possibly be wrong with the diarchy? Celestia and Luna are both some of the most caring ponies in Equestria! They do nothing but good for us!" Spike wondered, disturbed by the situation.

"It's hard to say. You or I may not see anything wrong with the diarchy, but not all ponies think the same. Perhaps they see something that we can't. And this is still just idle speculation; we don't know for sure what they're trying to do. They could be entirely harmless," Twilight said, somewhat hopefully.

"Well, I still don't—" Spike yawned, "—still don't…" and promptly fell down right where he stood, snoring loudly.

Twilight shook her head; Asleep all day, and quick to fall asleep at night. That was a dragon for you. She turned from the room and climbed up the stairs to check on Daylight. The filly lay in her bed, fast asleep. She was neither small nor weak like Twilight had been when she was her age, but rather was well-built, and her father's deep green eyes looked at Twilight every day.  However, an unexpected trait had turned up when she was born that surprised her parents: Day's fur turned out to be bright sun-like yellow, inspiring her name. In hindsight, though, it wasn't entirely surprising. Her father's side of the family had a fair amount of yellow genetics, but Twilight had never seen a pony of that color before. It even almost seemed to glow when the light struck her just right.

Twilight smiled sadly, then continued up the stairs to the very top of the tree. Ponyville lay stretched out before her through a small porthole window. A few lights flickered in the distance in houses and stores alike, and Rarity's Carousel Boutique was brightly illuminated as always. A great dark shape loomed at the edge of the horizon: the mountains, she thought to herself, and perched atop one of them a small speckle of light that marked the city of Canterlot.

Putting a hoof to her forehead, Twilight felt the thin golden ring at the base of her horn. She looked off in the distance, in the direction of what once had been Sweet Apple Acres. No light had shone there for many seasons.

"Oh Macintosh," she whispered, a single tear forming in the corner of her eye. "Why did you leave me?"


"HEY TWILIGHT!" A high-pitched voice echoed in Twilight's ear, rattling the treetop windowpane she had apparently fallen asleep leaning against.

"Wha—Pinkie?" Twilight awoke with a start to see the familiar face of her old friend staring at her through the window.

The fourth-floor window.

"Aha! You're awake! Open up, silly filly!" Pinkie said merrily.

Twilight rubbed the sleep from her eyes. What time was it? The sun was rather high in the sky, so perhaps she had overslept. Her joints gave a few pops as she stretched, lifting herself to all four hooves. She unlocked the latch of the window and swung it open, sticking her head out to see how this early-morning greeting was even possible. Pinkie was standing on what had to be the four tallest stilts Twilight had ever seen a pony wear. It almost seemed impossible, but she knew better. This was Pinkie Pie, after all.

"So, to what do I owe this unexpected visit?" Twilight yawned.

Pinkie Pie beamed a huge smile and took a deep breath—

"So I was trotting off to the mill to get some more flour for Sugar Cube Corner because we're out of flour and you can't make cupcakes without flour so anyway I was trotting along when I noticed some new ponies that were all dressed the same way and that I hadn't seen before so that must mean that they were new to town and if they're new to town then I thought that I should throw a welcoming party so I jumped over to greet them and tell them that I was going to throw a super-duper-mega-extra-fun party for them and that they could make all kinds of new friends here in Ponyville and they told me that that's exactly what they were here to do and that I didn't need to throw them a party because they were going to throw us a party although they didn't really call it a party but what else could it be oh I bet it's a surprise party so that they can get to know us all and they also said that I should spread word to everypony that I could so as to make sure that everypony is there so they can enjoy the party oh and the party is going to be at eight o' clock sharp at the fairgrounds tonight!" Pinkie finished, gasping for breath but still smiling.

Twilight raised an eyebrow. New ponies, all dressed alike? This sounded suspiciously like what Celestia had been talking about. She needed to know a bit more about them, though, as she didn't want to bother the Princess with a false alarm.

"Pinkie, I need to ask you a few questions about these ponies," Twilight stated.

"Well okee-dokey Twi! What do you want to know?" Pinkie asked, grinning.

"First off, how were they dressed?"

"Huh, well, I wasn't paying too much attention to that because the party sounded so exciting," Pinkie confessed, abashed.

Twilight frowned. "Well, I need you to tell me what you did notice about them. It could be important, Pinkie."

Pinkie thought for a moment. "Well. Like I said, they were all dressed the same, wearing white coats, and there were six of them and they all had this emblem of a creepy eye or something embroidered on their sleeves." She paused, and then seemed to remember something more. "Oh! And they were all unicorns."

Twilight nodded, going to retrieve parchment and a quill from a small desk to take some notes. "Okay, did you get any names, perchance?"

"Nope, sorry Twilight, they didn't really say, but I did ask. Though they did call their creepy eyeball club something…"

"Yes? What was it?" Twilight pressed urgently.

"Um… it was something like 'The Blue Date'… I dunno, I didn't really hear that well. What's all this matter, anyway, there's going to be a party! And guess what? They said I could join their club! I bet it's fun! Yay!" Pinkie shouted in pure elation.

Twilight stared hard at the notes, not really paying too much attention to Pinkie.

"You okay, Twilight?" Pinkie asked, concerned.

The unicorn looked up, distracted. "Yes, I'm fine," she said and then, in an effort to get Pinkie to leave, "I've got some things I need to check up on; why don't you go tell the others about it?"

"Okee-dokey-lokey!" the pink earth pony replied happily as she teetered off towards Fluttershy's cottage on her wonky stilts.

Twilight hurried downstairs, where she found Spike and Daylight sitting at the table for breakfast. The purple dragon was heating up two bowls of oatmeal with his fiery breath. They both looked up as Twilight entered.

"Well there you are, Twilight. I was wondering where you were, it's nine o' clock after all. You're late," Spike stated, with a certain degree of smugness.

"No time to talk now, Spike. I need you to send a letter." Twilight said hurriedly.

"A letter? Now? But I haven't even had a single bite of my oatmeal yet! Can't it wait?"

"No. I mean now, Spike!" Twilight said hotly.

"Okay, sheesh, I'm coming." Spike resignedly followed Twilight into the upstairs study.

"Get this down: 'Dear Princess Celestia, I have reason to believe that The New State ponies have come into the open in Ponyville, just as you warned they might during our last meeting. They are planning some sort of gathering for 8:00 pm and are trying to get as many ponies to attend as possible. I know of six of these ponies so far, all unicorns, and bearing the emblem of an open eye. It is possible that more could be either present already or on their way. Their motives are as of yet unclear. Please advise on how I should proceed. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.'"

Spike rolled up the scroll and burned it with his searing green dragon fire, sending the magical ashes through the air to Canterlot. He looked towards Twilight, an expression of fear on his face.

"You think they're here? Now?" He asked.

Twilight looked him in the eye. "I don't think that they're here, I know that they're here," she said. "I want you to keep a close eye on Daylight. Don't leave her side. I'd feel a lot better knowing that a big strong dragon was here to protect her while I'm out."

"Of course!" Spike replied, basking under the compliment he had been given. His face screwed up momentarily as he let out a loud sputtering cough, followed by a belch, and spewed green flame and ash into the air in front of him. The ash swirled around before coalescing into a slightly crumpled and hastily rolled piece of parchment—not at all what Twilight was expecting, given the pristine condition in which Celestia's letters usually arrived.

Spike unrolled the parchment and began to read. "Ahem. 'No time to talk—busy. Problems. Investigate NS meeting. Report back. –Celestia.'" Spike turned over the paper to see if there was any more on the back. "That's weird, I've never seen a letter like this from the Princess. The writing is barely even legible!"

Twilight stared off into space, deep in thought. "All the more reason to be worried," she said in a hushed voice.


Twilight locked every door and window in the library that evening, giving all of her keys to Spike for safekeeping. Parchment, ink, a spyglass, and a quill were all thrown into a saddlebag, which was hastily slung over her shoulders.

She turned to Spike, giving him instructions. "Don't let anypony you don't know in tonight. In fact, don't even open the door unless it's me. Understand?"

"Yes, ma'am!" Spike saluted diligently.

Daylight stood impatiently to his side. "But Moooooom, can't I come with you? I promise I won't be any trouble!" She mewled piteously.

Twilight looked fondly at her only daughter. "No, Sweetie, I'm sorry. Where I'm going is no fun anyway, and it probably isn't safe."

"But I heard Pinkie say that it was a party and that everypony was going! I wanna go too!" Daylight whined.

"No buts, Daylight. Stay here with Spike, be good, and maybe I'll bring you home another donut. Would you like that?"

"I guess so," Daylight said, resigned.

"Good," Twilight said, and gave Daylight a kiss on the cheek. "I'm going now. Lock the door behind me."

As she stepped out into the cool evening air, Twilight heard the door close and the latch shut behind her. She waited a second, until she heard the sound of a sliding bolt to indicate that the door was, in fact, completely locked.

Reassured, she began down the dirt path that led around the outskirts of Ponyville. The path would take her around to the south, where the Fairgrounds were located. Every autumn a traveling carnival would set up there, its towering Ferris wheel the center attraction. The carnival was Daylight's favorite event of the year, more so than the Winter Wrap-Up or the Summer Sun Celebration, even though she'd only been to the fair once.

Twilight spotted a bunch of other ponies heading in the same direction—almost enough to qualify as a crowd. She scanned their faces, finding that she knew most of them personally: Lyra with Bon-Bon close by her side, Derpy with Dinky in tow, Cheerilee, Lightning Bolt, Colgate… and a lot more that Twilight didn't know quite as well. It seemed that whatever these New State ponies were planning, it would be big.

Perhaps it would be better for her investigations if she wasn't seen; that way, she couldn't influence the proceedings. Stepping off the path, she concentrated on casting a concealment spell. Her horn glowed momentarily, and she immediately knew that the spell had worked. It didn't make her invisible, per se, but it did make it so that any casual observer would overlook her… provided that she remained silent.

Twilight chose to stay off the path, keen on avoiding any direct attention. The fairgrounds opened up in front of her, a large field of grass trimmed and kept nice by a year-round groundskeeper. She took up a position in the woods to the west, giving her a prime view of the proceedings.

An elevated platform sat in the middle of the field, surrounded by tables set up with all kinds of food and drink. All were brightly illuminated by an unseen magical source. The moment it seemed that the last pony had arrived, one giant white banner was unfurled behind the platform. It bore the visage of an enormous, lidless eye. Some sort of enchantment made it seem as though the eye was gazing directly at you, no matter where you were. Twilight shuddered.

Nearly the entire population of Ponyville, just shy of two hundred ponies all told, was present and partaking in the refreshments while they waited for something. After eating from the table, each pony turned and lined up in front of the stage. What were they waiting for? Extending her spyglass, Twilight peered more closely at the ponies. Most of them were sitting, all facing the banner as if entranced. Pinkie Pie was seated in the front center, perfectly still. Upon seeing her, Twilight knew instantly that something was very wrong. Pinkie was never  motionless or perfectly concentrated.

Just then a silvery-blue unicorn in a pristine white coat and tie took position at the front of the platform, flanked by five cohorts dressed in identical suits. Opaque silver glasses completely covered his eyes.

He began to speak, magically projecting his voice. "My friends," he began slowly, in an oily voice that seemed to slither into one's ears, "You are about to witness the most important event of your generation—nay, the most important event in the history of Equestria!"

What was this unicorn talking about? Twilight listened further, writing down his words as he spoke them.

"Tonight, you shall be part of a revolution. Tonight, my friends, we shall throw off the shackles of royalty. We will cast the chains of the diarchy aside and erase it from history. And in its place we shall be erect a new establishment, a brand new state, governed by you and I. We will erect a grand empire that shall last a thousand years and beyond!"

Twilight didn't like what she was hearing—Celestia's fears were right, and she must be told as soon as possible! The Royal Guard would take care of these usurpers!

The speaker continued. "All who stand opposed will be crushed by our iron hooves! My friends, look now, gaze into the abyss of the Eye. The Eye can show you everything and anything. The Eye will show you happiness and love, like nothing you have ever known before." The speaker paused, making sure that every pony present was looking into the banner. "Trust, kindness, honesty… these are all burdens that weigh us down. No doubt it was these very things that brought you here today. They give you a heavy heart, and in the end they bring unhappiness. Cast them into the abyss! Give them to the Eye, so that you may be free of them! Join with me, and we shall have our way at last! Tonight, we come out of hiding and seize control!"

The speaker stood silent for a few moments as the congregation gave themselves completely to the Eye. A wisp of black smoke coiled down from the sky, reforming into a bleach-white scroll that unfurled in front of the nameless speaker. He read it over, and the scroll theatrically burst into flame and vanished.

"As we speak, the six artifacts that have held you for more than a thousand years of tyranny come into our possession. We have taken them back from those who acted to hold you in bondage. They have been sent to the storm front, where they shall be used by five of our finest magi and myself to spearhead the assault and finally free us all!"

The congregation burst into cheers as Twilight sat numbly in the bushes. This couldn't be happening. Nothing like this had happened in a thousand years. Why now?

"My friends—" the speaker began anew.

Sudden realization hit Twilight like a sledgehammer. These artifacts that he talked of—there was only one thing that they could be: the magical focuses for the Elements of Harmony! If they had stolen all of them, then that would mean that they had gotten hers. She kept it under the bed, in a magically locked container. How could they have gotten to it? A sick feeling crawled into her stomach. If they had taken it, then they would have been in the library.

The very library where her daughter and best friend were hiding.

"Oh, no…" the words left her lips before she could stop them. Despite being barely over a whisper, it was enough to break her concealment.

"I see now, the Eye shows me our troops are marching through the gates of Cant—" the speaker stopped. His ears twitched, and he turned as if seeking out a sound.

Twilight held her breath.

"Ah, my friends, it seems we have a spy in our midst. Find her."

Immediately as the command was uttered all of the ponies, previously entranced by the Eye, sprang up and dispersed, looking for the interloper. It was only a few seconds before Twilight was found.

"Over there! Look! In the bushes!" A voice that could only belong to Pinkie Pie shouted, causing all of the ponies to immediately surge toward Twilight in a colossal mob.

Panic rushed over Twilight, and she instinctively knew what to do. Just as the ponies were almost atop her, a thunder-crack rent the still night air. In a flash Twilight had vanished, leaving the ponies grasping at nothing.


Twilight materialized in front of what was left of the library door. It lay there on the ground in front of her, ripped from its hinges and cast down from its frame. Dread weighed down upon her hooves as she took a few wary steps inside.

"Day? Spike?" she called out into the darkness. There was no response.

She illuminated the room with her horn and found it largely untouched. The books still sat in their places on the shelves and dirty oatmeal bowls sat on the table from that morning, still unwashed. Whoever came here must have known exactly where to look—perhaps they could even sense the energy of the crystal.

Her hypothesis was confirmed when she climbed the stairs to her bedroom and found the wooden box on the floor, unlocked and open. Its magical protective seal had been removed with its key—her key. It was the only way possible to penetrate the enchantments that she had meticulously placed upon the box to protect its contents. It must have been left opened, and she knew who must have been responsible.

"Oh Daylight, you can't even know what you've done," Twilight said slowly, her head bowed in frustration. Her crystal was gone; the one thing that could possibly focus the power of the Elements of Harmony was now in the hooves of the New State thugs. Only a being such as Celestia could conjure that much raw power. She sincerely hoped that Celestia would be able to hold off the New State—who could tell how powerful they were now that they had the Element of Magic? And what if they had taken the other crystals as well? She didn't even dare to think of that. The Princess had warned her, the day that Nightmare Moon had been defeated, of what could happen if the crystals fell into the wrong hooves.

Somepony was in the room behind her, she could sense it. She spun around and shot a beam of magical energy at the intruder, knocking it off-balance and pinning it against the wall by its neck.

"Twi! No! It's me! Spike!" it gasped through the magical stranglehold.

Twilight let Spike fall to the ground in horror. She could have killed him! "Oh, Spike! I didn't hurt you, did I?" she asked worriedly.

Spike gasped for breath. "No, not really," he croaked, rubbing at his neck.

"Where's Daylight? Is she safe?" Twilight asked frantically.

"Yeah, she's safe. We both hid in the basement when some uniformed ponies broke in. They didn't even go down there. Twi, they stole it," he said.

"Yes, Spike… I know. Where is Daylight now?"

"Oh, she's still in the basement. Want me to go get her?" Spike asked.

"No… not yet. I need you to send a note to Canterlot as fast as possible. I cannot describe the urgency, so write quickly," Twilight replied.

"Okay!" Spike said, quill quickly ready in his claws.

"Dear Princess Celestia, I have observed the meeting of the New State ponies. They hypnotized the town, but I'm not sure how. Maybe a drug was placed in the food they consumed beforehand, or perhaps it had something to do with what they called 'The Eye.' Regardless, the focus crystal for the Element of Magic has been stolen from me by thieves working with the New State.

"I fear that you and Princess Luna may be in grave danger. I do not know if the other five focus crystals have been stolen as well, but it is a safe bet that they have. Whoever is behind this knew exactly what they needed. They mean to dethrone you, most likely through violent means! Please respond poste-haste, your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle
" Twilight finished. "Send it now," she said flatly.

Spike rolled the parchment and wrapped a red ribbon around it before breathing a burst of dragon fire. The note vanished in a puff of green smoke. They had to wait only about a minute before a response came. Spike doubled over, and retched out a cloud of ashes that became a note. This one was odd; it was a completely different kind of paper. It was thin and pasty white, not like the thick ivory parchment that Celestia favored, and had been neatly folded rather than rolled.

"That's weird…" Spike said as he opened the note. It was not written; rather, it had been typed by one of those fast new typing machines.

"What is it, Spike?" Twilight asked, looking over Spike's shoulder.

"This isn't from the Princess. Here, listen—'Mrs. Sparkle, I regret to inform you that this warning of yours came too late. Only moments ago, rebels stormed the city and overran the castle defenders. They were led by six unicorns, each wielding one of the stolen focus crystals. Their magic was amplified by the crystals to the point that the Royal Sorcerers were powerless to stop them.

"We don't yet know exactly what went on in the throne room, but we have confirmed that Princess Celestia is missing, and Princess Luna has suffered a mortal puncture wound to the neck.

"The New State has forced a retreat of the remaining Royal Guards and myself to a safe location. Casualties cannot be estimated at this time. Major damage to the city includes the destruction of the Royal Records Office and the burning of the Royal Library. Princess Luna is with us now, but our medical staff does not believe that she will make it through the night. The magical failsafe for the Sun and Moon has been tripped, which will keep the celestial cycles in motion for the time being in the Princess's absence.

"Our covert agents, who have been monitoring the dragon fire networks, have informed me that the New State believes you to be a major threat, most likely due to your connection to Princess Celestia. You must remove yourself from Ponyville immediately to ensure your safety.

"Our scrying devices also show movement of New State rebels in your area and estimate that they shall be upon you within ten minutes. Signed, Maj. General Stouthoof, Commander of the Royal Military Forces of Equestria,'
"Spike said, his voice wavering.

Twilight could not find any words; spoken language momentarily eluded her. Her fear suddenly became a grim resolve when she realized what she had to do. She galloped downstairs and seized a book from the shelf nearest the shattered door. Rushing back upstairs and snatching the quill from Spike, she hastily wrote a short letter before folding it and placing it in an envelope.

Twilight touched her forehead, feeling the cool trace of gold at the base of her horn. Forgive me, Macintosh, for what I'm about to do. With loving care, she slipped her wedding band off of her horn and placed it in the envelope with the letter. Twilight sealed it with wax and wrapped it with the book in brown paper. The little bundle was then thrown into her saddlebag, which she handed to Spike. She then wrote a second note with as much speed as she could muster.

"Go and get Daylight for me, I need to talk to her," Twilight commanded with deep sadness in her voice.

"Sure thing, Twi," Spike said disconcertedly and ran off to do what she asked.

Spike rushed back with Daylight in tow. The little filly was disheveled and almost in tears. "Mommy!" she shouted happily at the sight of Twilight. "I was so scared! Who were they, Mommy? Why did they break the door?" the filly asked as she affectionately rubbed up against her mother.

Twilight looked down fondly at her daughter. "That's not important. I need you to listen to me carefully, Daylight, and do what I'm about to tell you to. Can you do that for me, Daylight?" she asked.

"What is it, Mommy?" Daylight asked nervously.

"Can you do that for me, Daylight?" Twilight repeated.

"I s'pose…" Daylight responded, after a pause.

"Okay, I'm sending you to visit with Aunt Applejack for a while; I want you to do everything she tells you to. Give her this note when you get to Appleoosa." Twilight handed her the second note.

"You… you will be coming, right?" Daylight asked.

"I have to stay here for a little while sweetie, there is some unfinished business that I have to deal with before I can come. Spike will fly you there safely," Twilight said in a soft tone.

"I want to stay with you, Mommy! I don't wanna leave!" Daylight said in a fuss, tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

Twilight leaned down, giving her daughter a firm hug. "I'll be with you every step of the way, sweetie. Don't you worry."

Daylight sniffed. "Promise?"

"Promise. Now, you must go," Twilight said, placing her daughter carefully on Spike's back. She leaned in to whisper in his ear, "See her to safety, Spike. I'm counting on you."

Spike gave a weak smile. "Anything for you, Twi."

Twilight gave Daylight one last embrace. "One more thing," she told her.

"Yes Mommy?"

"Don't look back," Twilight said. Before Daylight could reply, Spike was out the door and surging forth clumsily into the dark summer night.

If she was so important to these rebels, then they would follow her. She was far too exhausted to teleport them all to safety. Even if she could have, they would have come at her again. If these ponies had already done this much damage and they wanted her dead, then they would never stop chasing her. At least this way, her daughter would be safe.

They'd be here any second now; she could feel the massive vibrations of many hoof beats on the dirt road. Daylight and Spike had gotten out just in time, it seemed. The hoof beats stopped abruptly. Twilight stood as tall as she could when the speaker from the fairgrounds trotted through the open door and took a place in front of her, his cohorts standing close behind. None of the brainwashed ponies followed. That was good.

"Twilight Sparkle, I presume?" the slimy voice said, "I am Maleve. I don't think we've had the pleasure of a proper introduction."

Twilight looked at him hard, and though she could not see his eyes, she stared directly into them. She said nothing.

"Oh, come now," Maleve said, as if taken aback. "Have you nothing to say to a pony of such eminence?"

Twilight ignored the unicorn's words. She simply stared at his invisible eyes, beaming hot sulfurous hatred into his soul.

"Well, I do admit, I had hoped for a philosophical conversation, having heard many things about your intelligence from a certain elderly tyrant. What was her name again? Oh, I remember now. She called herself Celestia. That was of course before I killed her, personally I might add. It was a pity that I couldn't have finished the blue one off, but I think she will not recover. That wound of hers was pretty nasty, after all. It's a shame, really—she would have made a powerful ally if she had taken me up on my offer."

Twilight met him with silence.

"You're wondering, no doubt, how I did it," he continued, "Wasn't I at the rally and not in Canterlot? Oh, that is quite true, I was in Ponyville, but I was also in Canterlot. Come to think of it, I led the revolt in Manehattan as well, and took down the bastion of Cloudsdale with my own two hooves and horn. Yes indeed, I was in many places at once. I can split myself, you see, with the magic that the Eye has given me. The Eye gives me the ability to do many things. But now, I am all here." His voice dripped with morbid sincerity. "I have come to extinguish the spark."

Twilight blinked.

"That is, unless you would take me up on my offer," he said pensively. "The same offer that foolish Luna did not accept. I am in a position to offer you a powerful place in the new order. A position that would grant you many things, indeed. Oh, don't try to hide it—you want power. You crave power. This is your chance to have it. So now I ask you, and I will ask you only once: will you join the New State?"

"No," Twilight stated boldly. "I could never be party to such horror. No, I will not join you." She looked at Maleve coolly. "You have extinguished nothing today. All you have done is ignited a flame in the heart of Equestria that I know will never be put out. It will burn forevermore, only growing in strength and intensity as time goes by. It is something that can never be tamed by you, or by any pony."

She gazed about the library one last time, remembering everything about it, drinking in the moment. She relived in a fraction of a second all the long nights of studying, the surprise party that Pinkie Pie threw here on her first day in Ponyville, her first sleepover with Rarity and Applejack, the many sleepless nights of weeping until she fell asleep, thinking of her husband Macintosh and how he'd never come back. She took her memories of life and stored them away, somewhere deep inside herself. Somewhere she knew that they couldn't ever be forgotten, no matter what happened.

As Twilight finished her sentence Maleve made as if to move against her, but hesitated ever so slightly as if unsure about her. It was all the time she needed. Her magic welled up within her, growing into a flame and quickly matching the ferocity she felt within. Every door and window snapped shut and magically sealed, the smashed front door suddenly repaired and bolted. Maleve turned to see it with a start, realizing that there would be no escape.

Twilight's eyes began to glow with a piercing light. The wreaths of flame that she had felt envelop her heart began to snake out into reality, blossoming like flowers in the morning sun. Curling tongues of fire spread from her mane and lapped at the books around her, igniting their weathered pages—each one the summation of a lifetime of knowledge and each one vanishing in a cloud of smoke and ash faster than one could blink. Greedily, hungrily, the flame spread outward faster and faster. It consumed everything it touched, changing soft fabric to black dust, charring and burning fur and skin alike until it was wholly unrecognizable. The inferno melted glass from the windows that began to drip down like a hellish, terrible rain.

A hurricane wind whipped itself into being and stirred the roaring conflagration. The wind fanned and blew the flame in a mighty firestorm that spread throughout the entire tree. She saw the ponies surrounding her succumb one by one to the flame. Maleve was the last to fall, his own magic having protected him thus far. But not even magic of his ability could stand forever against this raw, primal outburst of fury.

The light inside the tree was blinding… almost like standing on the surface of Celestia's magnificent sun. Twilight shut her eyes as her own magical fire turned against her. As she felt the sting of the heat and the weight of the world collapsing in upon her, the light faded from her eyes.

I'm sorry Daylight, that I couldn't keep my promise.

I'm sorry Macintosh, for everything.

I'm so sorry.


She looked back.

Daylight had promised that she wouldn't look back. But she did anyway.

As Spike climbed higher into the night air, she saw the flash of light within the library as it seemed to shrink. She saw the flames climbing higher within what used to be her home. The ponies of the town raced about aimlessly in the flickering firelight, like a trail of ants cut off from their queen.

Soon the entire tree was illuminated both inside and out, like a dreadful beacon, sending a wordless message to the world. Smaller and smaller the tree looked, with every passing minute. Would she ever come back? Would she ever see her mother again? The questions hung like lead in her heart.

The light from the flames reflected off of the billowing pillar of smoke, ash, and intensely heated air, giving it an almost supernatural glow. Her last glimpse of the tree was as it collapsed in upon itself before the light receded over the eastern horizon.

The only light that shone upon the duo now was the silvery light of the stars and the moon.

She cried openly upon Spike's back, until she found her way into a fitful sleep.



Make sure to hit the button, so that you get indentation.

Well okee-dokey,
I got an idea for a My Little Pony fan-fiction a few days ago and have been writing on it since, so here's its prologue. This part is setting up the story for a sort of dystopian future that you'll see beginning in chapter one.

This story is also a not-so-subtle homage to several dystopian novels which I am quite fond of. Kudos if you recognize the references. If you don't, then you need to read more books, you silly little filly.

As always, if you notice any spelling, grammar, or glaring bits of discontinuity, then by all means, tell me so that I can fix it. I don't need nasty mistakes festering on my page. Yuck. Anyway, critique is also welcome.

I would like to thank my beta-reader and editor, :iconarchaeidae: for her particularly outstanding work in helping me to smooth out the rough edges, as well as for the creation of the incredible poster that you see above.

Prologue: Here
Chapter One: [link]
Chapter Two: [link]
Chapter Three: [link]
Chapter Four: [link]
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