The Road of Courage - Chapter 5Chapter 5: Taking ActionThe seven ponies stand before the door to the room. At this point, they knew the truth and they need to act now."Ok, everyone. This is it..." Twilight took a deep breath before opening the door and letting her friends and herself in.When they got inside, they found him: Johnny, who was laying on the hospital bed with his arms bandaged and several medical stuff attached to him like a breathing device and a liquid to stop him from losing blood.Dukey's heart cracked at the sight and he felt the ache again, however it felt more painful than before. Applejack was the first one, who noticed they hybrid clutching his chest with tears."What's wrong?" The southern mare asked."It's...it's really painful to see my best friend like this...fighting for his life..." He wiped his tears away, when Fluttershy hugged him."We feel the same thing, friend. It's really tragic that he did it...all because of those terrible monsters..." she responded with her voice cracked."I..I swear if they come for you guys, then I will give them a taste of my wrath.." Rainbow Dash hasn't recovered ever since she read the blue diary."Same here, pal." Applejack agreed.There was no opposition from the other ponies, considering that Johnny's story of pain and abuse shocked everyone. So much so, that they feel no sympathy towards the people responsible for Johnny's misery.Rarity was wiping her tears and the wet mascara with a tissue, when she said: "Those people are despicable...despicable!""They're a bunch of nasty party-poopers!" Pinkie Pie added."Normally, we forgive someone, who feels remorseful after what he or she did. But what they did was unacceptable and unforgivable, because of their remorseless behaviour!" Twilight was just as outraged as her friend.Even Fluttershy, the quietest pony and the sweet Heroine of Kindness, snapped:"They...they...THEY ARE A BUNCH OF ROTTEN MEANIES!" she yelled.When he saw the Mane 6's reactions to the story as well as Spike's tears, Dukey felt something, he never felt before. He felt...touched."Those ponies...They're...concerned about him as much as I am...Normally, in my former world, nobody gives a single shit about him...But this isn't the case for the ponies in Equestria..." He remembered the time in his old home, where people never give a single shit about the issues and only care of what they expect him, rather his true nature. However, ever since they arrived in Equestria, the reactions from the 7 were more genuine and actually real.He walked towards them, before they can let their anger out and spoke to them:"Girls, please! I know, that you are concerned and outraged about the whole mess. But let's face it: Johnny and I left our original world and everything else for a good reason. We should stop thinking about the past or the future and instead focus on the here and now, in order to change it!"Twilight was moved by Dukey's words and told to her friends: "He's right. We have to be strong this time. We handled situations with a broken heart before, but this is serious. We have to do it together and get our friend out of the darkness!""Yeah!" her pony friends and Spike agreed.Then they heard groaning and looked at the black pegasus, who slowly opened his eyes."Johnny! Thank god, you're alive!" He hugged his friend with tears of joy in his eyes.But something about him was off. His hair is still covering one of his eyes and the eyes itself looked blank, like all of his emotions being taken away, therefore feeling empty. Plus, he had a somber expression on his face."It seems like, the pain broke him completely." Twilight said with a sigh."Why are you here...?" Even his voice became quiet like Fluttershy, but without the spark of joy or any positive emotions."Johnny, this is serious. You need stop lying and destroying yourself." Said the hybrid with a serious look."We found out about your story, thanks to your diary." Twilight added and showed him his diary.The black pegasus looked away in disgust. "So, you came here to laugh at my misery?"The prismatic mare snapped and yelled at him. She said: "What are you talking about!? We're not gonna laugh at you! Seriously, there is nothing to laugh about your pain! We're not heartless like those jerks! You really need to lay it off and just listen to us!""Okay okay. Thanks for your words, Rainbow, now it's our turn." Twilight told to the blue mare and ushered her to the others. "Listen, we're not gonna laugh at your misery, because it feels very wrong to do so. Instead, we're trying to help you to get out of the darkness.""It's too late..." he replied with a lowered head."No, it's not! There is still time, so don't give up just yet!" The purple alicorn replied,"We were shocked by your story...I couldn't believe that they broke you so hard, you lost your spark! We really feel sorry about you..." said the white unicorn."Those people really brought you down to an abyss. But we're not like that! We are concerned, that you lost your smile!" Pinkie Pie added."See, Johnny? There ARE people or in this case, ponies and a dragon, who genuinely care about you." Said the stallion hybrid.However, Johnny didn't answer anything and looked away. This enraged the blue pegasus mare and hit her hoof to the wall hard."HEY! We are literally trying to help you and you just ignored it!" she yelled, causing the young pegasus stallion to shiver in fear."Rainbow Dash!" Twilight scolded, but Dukey stopped her."Let her. I'm pretty sure, she is just as upset as I am." he responded."You've been hurting yourself all the time, without anyone knowing! Yet you decided to hide it, in hopes that it will be over! It doesn't, if you keep faking yourself! You seriously need to face the music and accept our help for once!" the prismatic mare continued.The black pony shivered more and more in fear, as the ponies around him are looking for him. They want his confirmation or in other words, the truth."Johnny...you have to admit it...please.." Fluttershy begged.However this caused the black pony to move erratically and tried to get out of the hospital room, however Twilight and Rarity used their magic to restrain him."Let me go!" He yelled."Johnny, stop it! If you keep doing this, then your would scare anyone away and you will be forever alone!" Twilight yelled back.The words "forever" and "alone" made him stop in shock and lower his head in silence. He really hated those two words, as it caused distress.Dukey sighed and said: "It's no use... he would continue doing it..."The pegasus stallion feels shaken from the words from his own best friend."We should leave now.." said Applejack. The other ponies lower their heads, since their attempts led nowhere.But before anyone can leave..."Please wait!"They heard a yell and looked back at Johnny, who at this point, was in tears. The pressure had given in and showed them his true colors: Broken and helpless."Don't leave me..." said the pegasus with a weak voice. "I confess...I confess...""Is it true, that you've been suffering?" the southern earth pony asked. There is no point of lying and faking any longer. They knew his story and now it's time to wake up from the delusion and confess the truth."Y..yes... It's true... The times, I smiled was all fake! My whole facade before was all fake! And I did this, so nobody would see my true self... Those damn idiots hurt me so much, that I started to despise them! That's also why I didn't bother to come out, because they will not respond to my cries for help and only make the pain worse! And to add insult to injury, they always tell me, that I'm responsible for the chaos, when in reality, they started my downfall! It's no wonder, why I decided to move to this world, but even then...They would still follow me... That's right, they would still follow me even after I left that stupid world! They're the reason for the constant nightmares each night, the constant pain throught the day and the paranoia and distrust all the time!"Tears were still streaming down his face, when he looked at the ponies and expected the same results like the people from his old world. But it wasn't the case, when he was pulled in to a hug by Fluttershy. Soon, Dukey and Rainbow Dash joined in. and later the others. He was given something, that he lacked from the majority back in Porkbelly: Care.This caused the black pegasus to be extremely emotional and started to cry very heavily. It sent chills in their spines, as his cries echoed around the hospital room. Soon, the mares and the dragon feel a painful ache in their bodies, like their hearts being broken by his story. The same painful ache, that Dukey felt, back when he first heard about the agonising tale of abuse and pain in the apple orchards."It's alright...we're here." The yellow pegasus mare said softly to the broken stallion.As the stallion kept crying, the pain got worse and the gravity of the ache got heavier. For Dukey, it was really painful. For years, he always has been by his side, helping him, doing fun activities and having a good time, even if the whole world are against him. For Johnny, he is the anchor to keep him sane. And after the hybrid ran away, the guilt had overwhelmed him and without his best friend, Johnny became vulnerable for mental attacks and the constant guilt and pain, he had, made him to do that suicide attempt. The hybrid felt guilty. Hadn't he run away and stayed by his side as always, then the suicide attempt would have never happened. He placed his paw on his head with tears in his eyes."L-look. I know, that you are in pain...But b-believe me...There are ponies, who g-genuinely care about you... And we can...help you to...to.." Unfortunately, the earth pony hybrid couldn't finish his sentence, as he couldn't hold his emotions any longer. The guilt and sadness, he surpressed, became too much for him to handle and he soon starts to cry alongside his best friend. Similarly, Rainbow Dash also couldn't hold her emotions any longer, but this time, it was due to the horrible story making her messed up and she too cried as well."Oh, you poor, poor thing..." The sorrow caught up to the yellow pegasus mare and sobbed quietly."It's really sad to see a broken pony cry, especially from the horrible treatment, he's given..." Rarity's makeup was ruined again, because of the tears, but at this point it didn't matter anymore."I know...It's really tragic!" Even Pinkie Pie, the most joyful pony in Equestria, couldn't hold her tears any longer.Eventually, they joined with the five ponies in the crying session. Meanwhile, Twilight, Applejack and Spike couldn't help but watch the sadness unfold. Soon, Spike felt like, he is about to cry."Come here, Spike." The purple alicorn hugged the tearful dragon, who started to sob quietly.The pain felt real and Twilight was so close to let her tears out. But then something prevented her to do so: Her will. She took a deep breath and had a serious expression on her face. Applejack did the same thing. They knew, that it's time to take action."Girls, come with me. We need a plan." She said to her friends.Eventually, they stopped crying and came to Twilight, Spike and Applejack. Then the Princess of Friendship gave them a speech:"Listen, everypony. We've been through intense situations before. Chrysallis, King Sombra, Tirek, Discord. They tried to tear our friendship apart, but in the end we stayed together and defeated them with the magic of friendship. We also helped ponies , who fell victim from the vile actions of evil. Guiding them to the light and helping them regain their spark of life. But Johnny is different. He is not a victim from any of the vile creatures in Equestria. I mean, he didn't originate from Equestria from the start. He is only a victim from his own personal demons and the monsters, who broke his spirit. The reason, why he and his friend moved here, is because they want to escape from their horrible world, where he was tortured. He thinks, he can't be saved and it's too late, but it's not. There is still a chance and he needs help. We must get our friend out of the darkness and into the light! The light of guidance, friendship and hope. It's time to take action!"Her friends nod. Their friend is stuck in the darkness of sorrow and despair and they need to help him now."Dukey, stay here and guard your friend. Make sure, he wouldn't do it again." Twilight told to the hybrid and he saluted and said: "Got it!"And thus, the Mane 6 and Spike exit the hospital with a mission: Get Johnny out of the darkness.When arriving at Twilight's castle, they got together around the Cutie Map, thinking for a plan."So, how are we gonna help him?" Rainbow Dash asked."How about a giant party?" Pinkie Pie suggested."I'm not sure, if this would help him, Pinkie." Rarity replied."Rarity is right. We need something more than just that. However, before we can think of something, we have to get help." The purple alicorn used her magic to get a paper and a writing feather, in order to start to write a letter to someone important. Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash and Applejack were thinking about some suggestions. And so do Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Spike and Fluttershy. How can they help him? That's a good question.While this was going on, the lavender unicorn mare went to them."Hey, girls. I learned some things about friendship and...uhm...What's going on?" She was confused about the mares thinking."Starlight, we are busy finding a way to save someone." Twilight replied."Who?" Starlight asked, not knowing about the story, in which the Mane 6 told her about the whole story about their friend being stuck in despair due to painful experiences from the past."Oh my gosh...I'm speechless.." She was just as shocked as her friends."We all are. And that's why we have to act now." said the purple alicorn as she finished writing the letter. She gave it to Spike, who used his fire breath to send the letter to someone important. "We are currently thinking of a plan.""Can I join? If it means to help a friend, then I'm willing to help." The lavender mare told to her friends."Sure, Starlight!" Twilight agreed.The purple alicorn went to her library and used her magic to get some books about pony psychology, trauma, depression and visions. She started to read them, in order to understand the subjects and learn on how to help a pony suffering from something traumatic. This was all done, in order to find ways to help Johnny."Why are you reading books?" Spike asked. In which the purple mare answered: "It's because, I have to know about those subjects first before we can spring into action.""I see." the young dragon understood.Meanwhile, her friends came to her."We have discussed each other for a while and we came to a conclusion, that we should give him the best day full of love and care." Rarity reported."I was thinking about performing a Sonic Rainboom in front of him, so at least he can appreciate the colors and the awesomeness." Rainbow Dash suggested."So far, we have some good ideas. But we still have to think about an effective way. That's why we have to learn about the subjects, what Johnny mentioned and felt, first." Twilight replied."Why not doing it now?" Rainbow Dash asked in an impatient tone."That would be risky." Starlight replied. "We have to prepare first, then act."Meanwhile in Canterlot...The two alicorn sisters were sitting on their thrones and doing their duties as usual. However, Luna couldn't stop thinking about the nightmares, as she recently saw another one. Princess Celestia was also thinking about the nightmare and the mysterious boy and the unknown pony, who had those nightmares. Then she saw the green flames and it turned into a letter. Using her magic to hold it, the princess began to read it:Dear Princess Celestia,the reason, I wrote this letter is because there is a serious problem.The pony in question is named Radiant Thunder, who's been suffering from depression and trauma, all thanks to the horrible abuse and humiliation of the monsters in his original home world. This is also the main reason, why he decided to move to Equestria. However recently, he was seeing visions of those demonic creatures and couldn't sleep because of the nightmares. And the worst part is, he attempted suicide. Thankfully, he got resuscitated and is currently recovering in the Ponyville Hospital. But I'm afraid that if he got released, he would likely do it again.That's why we need to act fast. We need to get him out of his darkness, where his inner demons reside and bring him into the warming light of friendship, love, hope and happiness. However, we are currently thinking of a plan on how we can do this. We need your suggestion.Sincerely,Princess Twilight SparkleShe also saw a photo attached to the letter. A photo of how the pony looks like. Princess Luna saw the picture and gasped. The mane looks suspicially familiar to the hair of the boy. He also had blue eyes, just like him. After some logic thinking, she connected two and two together: The pony and the boy are the same and it's this pony, who has those nightmares!"Oh my gosh..." Luna was shaken to the core."I know. What Twilight described of him, it would make sense with these nightmares." Celestia answered."Do you have any ideas on how we can approach this issue?" the blue alicorn asked.The princess of the sun took a deep breath and replied with:"Since we are dealing with a pony with a broken soul, who recently atttempted to end his own life because of the horrible trauma from his original world, we have to gather everypony.""Are you sure?" Luna asked."Yes. Since the trauma is so severe, that he has trust issues, it wouldn't be surprising, that he would end up isolating himself, turning over to the dark side or even worse...doing it again. We have to prevent this from ever happening! That's why we have to gather everypony and give him the most love and trust, he needs. It's so far the most effective way to save him." The white alicorn replied and used her magic to write letters to Twilight and the ruler of the Crystal Empire.The first letter went as follows:Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle,I recently got your message and it was loud and clear. We have to do something.I suggest to gather everypony around Equestria and inform them about the situation, so they can be ready to help. And as for your friend, I will send some of the royal guards to keep an eye on him, so he wouldn't do it again.Sincerely, Your MentorPrincess CelestiaAnd the second letter:Dear Princess Cadence,I decided to write the letter because of an urgent emergency. It's about a pony with a broken heart and soul. Please come to Canterlot immediately.Sincerely, your auntPrincess CelestiaThe messengers were called to send the letters to the two other princesses.Back in Ponyville, the Mane 6 received the letter from Princess Celestia. At the same time, Dukey came back from his visit."Hey. The reason why I came back is because of some guards visiting Johnny." he said."Those are the royal guards from Canterlot. Princess Celestia sent them to guard Johnny and preventing to kill himself again." Twilight answered."Oh. I suppose, that would make more sense, I think." He was unsure. Normally, he would be taken to a mental hospital, but then again the rules in Equestria are probably different from their former home."Wait a minute. You look...familiar." said Starlight after she saw the dog/pony hybrid. "Aren't you the one, who bumped into me a while ago?""Oh...You see, I was in a hurry. To help my friend and all." he scratches his head with a nervous smile."It's ok. Now that I learned the whole truth and since you are his best friend, I forgive you." the lavender unicorn smiled.Meanwhile, Twilight calmly stated to her friends: "Okay, everyone. Princess Celestia wrote back with a suggestion, which would help him to get him out of the despair. We have to gather everypony from Ponyville and beyond and helping us on this mission.""Everyone?" the hybrid asked."Yes. Everyone." Twilight replied."Now that you mention it, it would be very helpful, since thanks to the trauma, he would have a hard time coming out in front of everyone, in fear of making the pain worse and assuming, that they're just like those scums. However, after you heard the story, you felt worried and wanted to help him. So I assume that, if we can gather everyone and tell them about his story, they can prove him wrong by showing him affection and care!" Dukey expressed his opinion about the suggestion."Exactly!" Spike agreed and so did the mares.Then he reached his arm in the front. "So, are you ready?" The ponies put their hooves on his paw."Of course!" said Rainbow Dash."We are ready." Applejack added."Ready, when you are!" Pinkie Pie responded with her chipper attitude."We have to do this." Fluttershy agreed."We will save him." Rarity also agreed."Let's do this!" Starlight was determined."For Johnny's sake." So does Twilight."Yeah!" And also Spike.With determined looks on their faces, they went out on a mission. A mission to get everyone in Equestria.Rarity, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie went around Ponyville and the Changeling Kingdom to tell everyone to gather on the centre of Ponyville, while Applejack, Starlight Glimmer and Fluttershy went to the Crystal Empire and the Dragonlands to gather them to the goal. Twilight, Dukey and Spike went to Canterlot to do the same thing and also went to the castle to meet up with the royal sisters. Upon arriving, they saw the sisters alongside Princess Cadence waiting."Cadence!" Twilight was excited to meet her sister-in-law again."It's so good to see you again, Twilight!" And so was the Princess of Love. It's been a while since they met last time. They hugged each other in joy.However, while this was going on, Dukey felt dizzy for some reason. Around the same time in the Ponyville hospital, Johnny was still laying on his hospital bed, looking depressed, while being watched by the royal guards. Inside of his head, the demonic creatures were still taunting him and hurting him relentlessly. As if his soul wasn't weakened by them enough, it took a toll on his body. He tried to escape, but one guard, who is a unicorn stallion, used his magic to restrain him to the bed, preventing any escape. The taunting voices became louder and louder and his sight fading in and out. Soon, he felt sick in his stomach and his heartbeat began to speed up. All of those factors and the continuous mental torture made the black pegasus pass out. Meanwhile, Dukey's body felt weaker because of Johnny's mental condition taking a toll to his body and when the pegasus stallion passed out, the hybrid soon lost consciousness and collapsed on the floor."Oh my god! Dukey!" Twilight immediately rushed to him, followed by Spike and the Princesses."What happened to him?" Cadence asked."Guards! Get him to the infirmary now!" Celestia called her guards.The guards immediately picked up the hybrid and carried him to the infirmary, all while the ponies wondered, how it happened. It seems like, there are more unanswered questions, they need to answer and they followed the royal guards.To be continued...In the next chapter, the princesses will soon find the answers about Dukey's link to Johnny and why he collapsed, while the ponies and other creatures enable their plan to help Johnny. Find out next time in Chapter 6: Operation: Healing Light!
The Road of Courage Chapter 2: Pulled like GravityChapter 2: Pulled like GravityOn their way, the four ponies exchanged small talk.„So, you guys want to find a new home, huh?“ The blue pegasus mare asked, as she was curious.„Yeah, seems like it.“ Johnny replied, after a yawn. „Guess, sleeping in a barn wasn’t a good idea after all…“„Still weird, that y’all chose to sleep there.“ Applejack was not amused.“Still better than sleeping in the woods though.” The black pegasus made a point.After a while, they’ve arrived in Ponyville. They saw ponies happily chatting with each other, doing their jobs and playing each other. The fillies can be seen running around with happy families. That sight made Johnny pause in silence. It made him think of….“No! Forget it, Johnny! This is not the time to be moody! You came here to be happy without them, so this is the chance!” His inner voice can be heard in his head, while thinking.However, his thoughts are interrupted by Rainbow Dash, who was calling his name and tapping him.“Johnny, you there?” she said.Immediately snapping out, he replied: “Yeah, I’m fine. My mind went elsewhere.”“I must say that this place is quite peaceful.” Dukey was impressed by Ponyville’s serenity. It felt..peaceful. Applejack however responded: “Well, most of the time. Equestria has been targeted by a bunch of bad apples, but we did stop them.”“Well, good thing. I really don’t want to imagine what this place would’ve been like had they took it over.” The brown stallion was relieved.During the way there, the stallions saw more ponies having good times. Eventually, they stopped at their destination: A big house, decorated with sweet stuff like whipped cream and sprinkles. Waiting in front of the entrance are three ponies: One being a white unicorn with elegant and curly purple mane and snow blue eyeshadow, another one a bright yellow pegasus with long, graceful pink mane and finally a purple alicorn with dark blue mane with purple and pink streaks. Those were Rainbow Dash and Applejack’s friends. The white unicorn is known to be as the Heroine of Generosity, Rarity, the yellow pegasus as the Heroine of Kindness, Fluttershy and the purple alicorn as the Heroine of Magic and the main leader of the group, Princess Twilight Sparkle.,“Sup, girls!” Rainbow Dash greeted them.“Hello there, darlings.” Rarity replied.“Hi….” Fluttershy replied in a shy tone.“Hi, Rainbow Dash and Applejack!” Twilight replied. “I’m surprised that you met those new ponies. One of them looks….pretty funny.““Thanks for the reminder..” Dukey was slightly annoyed.“Yup. We’ve met them at mah farm no less.” Applejack replied.“Well, we needed a place to sleep somewhere.” Johnny added.“Oh my.” Fluttershy was quite surprised.“But hey, it’s still better than sleeping in the Everfree Forest anyway.” Rainbow Dash shrugged.“What’s that?” Johnny and Dukey asked in unison.“I would not recommend going there, since the place is filled with the most dangerous creatures ever known in Equestria.” Twilight warned.“Ok, I’m not going there!” The brown stallion was immediately scared. “I would rather be sleeping in the barn alive than sleeping in the forest being endangered!”“Dude…” Johnny sighed.“Anyway, Rainbow Dash, who are they?” Twilight asked.“Girls, those guys are Radiant Thunder and Coffee Paw! However you can call them Johnny and Dukey, if you want to…” Rainbow Dash was about to laugh.“Rainbow Dash…” Applejack was not amused.“Sorry, couldn’t help it.” Rainbow Dash apologized.“I’m Rarity. It’s really nice to meet you.” The white unicorn introduced herself.“I’m Twilight Sparkle, it’s an honor to meet you as well.” said the purple mareHowever, the yellow pegasus looked away a bit.“And you are..?” Johnny asked.“Uhm…….Fluttershy…” she said quietly.“Say wha?” He didn’t understand what she said. In which Rainbow Dash told him: “This is Fluttershy. She is quite shy towards new ponies.”“You don’t say?” The stallions said in unison. Then they hear stomachs growling.“Since we are all gathered here, let’s go inside.” Said Twilight.They went inside the building and to a table. The stallions were amazed about the amount of tasty cakes, cupcakes and several treats on display.“Does this place serve coffee here?” Dukey asked. The only response from the girls was Twilight saying: “Not really. But Canterlot has it.”“I see.”Then they heard a voice. A voice full of energy and life: “Ok, everypony! It’s ready!”“About time! I’m starving!” said Rainbow Dash.“So am I.” Johnny replied.Then they see the treats being carried by a pink earth pony with poofy pink mane and a bright smile. Johnny groaned a bit, since pink is not his favorite color.“Great, as if seeing pink is not bad enough, I’m pretty sure, she would be an eyesore for me…” He thought to himself.However, he met with annoyed looks from the others.“Damn...I suppose, that was not really subtle...” He thought to himself again.“Alright, everypony! It’s time for a-” However, her sentence was interrupted, once the pink pony saw the stallions and shrieked in excitement. She immediately dashed to the two, leaving a big cloud of dust around her.“Hi there! I’m Pinkie Pie! You must be new here! I’m so excited to meet new ponies like you! I have prepared a song, just for this occasion!”They couldn’t understand, because she spoke too fast. The pink pony pulled out a big music box and pressed a button, in which instruments come out and play a tune.[Pinkie Pie]Welcome welcome welcomeA fine welcome to you!Welcome Welcome welcomeI say how do you do?Welcome Welcome welcomeI say hip hip hooray!Welcome Welcome welcomeTo Ponyville today!Wait for it!“Okay, I’ve seen crazy introductions before, but this tops everything!” Dukey was speechless.“Yeah. Totally crazy..” Johnny agreed.“That’s Pinkie Pie for ya!” Applejack replied.The mares giggled, yet the guys still looked puzzled.Then Dukey remembered a question, he wanted to ask, back in the Sweet Apple Acres.“The thing is, Applejack and Rainbow Dash left because of a friendship problem. What’s this all about?” he asked.Twilight explained: “You see, my friends and I are tasked to spread friendship to other worlds and occasionally, solve friendship problems. Rainbow Dash and Applejack went there, because they were chosen this time.”“Then why did their symbols on their sides glow?” he asked.“Well, they were called to go to my castle. Think of it as a meeting. Then the Cutie Map will tell where the next friendship mission is and who will go there. There are times that the whole group goes on a mission because of a big emergency.” the purple pony added.“Really strange way for those thingies on the...uhm..” The black pegasus was struggling to find words, when he looked at the symbols on the sides of the mares. It wasn’t until Twilight knew what he’s wondering.“Those symbols are known as Cutie Marks. They define a pony’s destiny on what they do. They also reflect a pony’s special talent as well as personality. My cutie mark represents my destiny in magic, while Pinkie Pie’s cutie mark represents her destiny in spreading laughter and joy.”They looked at Pinkie’s cutie mark, which has 2 blue balloons and one yellow balloon. They look at the other cutie marks before looking at their own. Johnny’s cutie mark is a yellow radioactive symbol with a light blue lightning bolt, which fades to a bright light on the tip and Dukey’s cutie mark is a dog paw with a cup of coffee.“Speaking of which, what do our cutie marks mean?” Dukey asked.“Hmm...That’s a good question…. I’ll think about it later.” Twilight replied.“But now, we have to celebrate for a victory!” Pinkie Pie shouted and gave the tasty treats to all of her friends, including the stallions. Everyone was excited. It didn’t take long for Johnny to immediately bury his face to the slice of cake. His eyes sparkled with joy, because it tastes really good.“This is awesome!!”“Yes, but what you did was neither polite, nor fancy.” Rarity was not happy about his manners.“Hey, give us a break. We’re guys. Besides, we are pretty hungry.” Dukey disputed her claim, which earned him a glare from the white unicorn.“Relax, Rarity.” Rainbow Dash replied. The ponies laughed and eventually, Rarity laughed with them.Time has passed and the ponies exited from Sugarcube Corner after a party. It seems like they all had fun.“That was fun!” Pinkie Pie said it in excitement.“You can say that again, buddy!” Rainbow Dash replied. She flew up in the skies.“That’s cool! I wish I could fly too!” Johnny was starry-eyed with excitement.“Johnny, you’re a pegasus AKA a winged pony. Shouldn’t you be able to fly automatically, as soon you spread your wings and such?” Dukey pointed at the black pony’s gradient wings.“Oh yeah. I forgot. Heheh...” He scratched his head in embarrassment.The young stallion went to a spot, where he can get into a starting position. “Alright, here I come!” With a smirk, he spread his wings. However, this caused the mares to gasp in shock, especially Twilight.“What? Is it because where I stand?” The pegasus was confused. Twilight immediately teleported to him and looked at his wings in utter shock.“H-h-h-HOW DID IT HAPPEN!?!?!? A pegasus with alicorn wings!??! That’s impossible!!”“Uh, can you just back off?” Johnny started to get uneasy with Twilight.While that was going on, they heard a voice: “Hey! Twilight!”They looked at the source of the voice coming to the purple alicorn. It was a little purple dragon.“Okay, that’s new.” Dukey was quite surprised.The purple alicorn went to the dragon, who has some scrolls. “What is it, Spike?” she asked. The dragon replied: “Well, I received letters from Princess Celestia.”“Who is this little dragon?” Dukey asked.“Oh. Sorry. This is Spike, my assistant.” Twilight replied.“It’s nice to meet you, even though you look strange.” Spike was confused about the brown stallion’s appearance.“Geez, can you girls and Spike stop commenting about my weird looks?...” The stallion hybrid was annoyed.“Sorry, it’s just, I’ve never seen this before.” Spike apologized.While the conversation was going, the black pegasus was ready to fly. He jumped up into the air and began flapping his wings. However, he only managed to stay afloat for a while, before falling to the ground. He was quite annoyed.“Ugh! This sucks!” he yelled in the air. Rainbow Dash flew to him.“Is this the first time you attempted to fly?” she asked. In which Johnny replied: “Yeah..”“Don’t worry, I’ll teach you the basics on how to fly and do it awesomely!” the blue pegasus mare encouraged him. “However, it would be a bit difficult with those kinds of wings, so I’ll ask Twilight for help.”“You do? Cool!” he was excited.“Girls? It’s getting late..” Fluttershy reminded everyone. As the ponies witnessed a beautiful sunset, they knew that it’s time to go.“Welp, time to rest, everypony.” Applejack told everyone.Dukey yawned and said: “You know, a bed would be nice.”Twilight came to them and replied: “Perfect timing, because we have to go to my castle first.”“Wait, you have a castle?” Johnny asked. In which Twilight replied: “Yes. You see, I’ve been crowned as Princess of Friendship.”Dukey was confused: “Wait, a Princess of Friendship? I’m not gonna offend you, but the title sounds...strange.”“You’ll learn about it tomorrow.” Twilight replied.The group of ponies walked for a long time until they arrived at a castle, resembling a crystal tree.“This place is huge!” Johnny was surprised.“You can say that again.” Dukey agreed.“Welp, it’s time to go!” said Applejack.“Wait, you’re leaving?” Dukey replied in a shock.#“Yes, because we have to go to our homes. Besides, Twilight and Spike live there.” Rarity answered his question.“However, I do have some guest rooms available for you two.” Twilight assured them.“That would be nice. I mean, I really want to go to bed now, considering I didn’t get much sleep last night.” The brown stallion yawned.“Well, it’s time to say goodbye..” Johnny looked down.“Hey, don’t worry. Tomorrow will be a new day!” Rainbow Dash replied enthusiastically.“Yeah.” The black pegasus smiled a bit.“Good night, Twilight! Good night, guys!” Pinkie Pie shouted and with those words, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy left.“Follow me, I’ll show you your room.” Twilight reminded them and went inside. They followed her. After a while, they reached the guest rooms, in which Twilight opened the doors.“Is there a way to sleep in one room? I mean, as a trusty dog/pony mix, I have to be close to my best friend, just in case of emergencies.” Dukey asked Twilight.“Hmmm…..” She used her magic to rearrange one of the rooms. “There, it’s possible now. But make sure that there is no hanky-panky!”“Sure.” The stallions replied.“Good night, guys.” said Twilight.“Night, Twilight!” the guys replied.Somewhere, Johnny, in his human form was in a black void. Everything was dark and cold.“Where am I??” he shouted.Suddenly, he heard voices from angry people.“You’re a monster!”“You caused it again!”“Look at what you’ve done!”They echoed throughout the void, making them loud and clear. Johnny covered his ears in fear.“Johnny? We have some unfinished tests with you!”He looked back to see big and frightening versions of his sisters.“Leave me alone!!” He began to run away. The sisters began to chase him.“Run while you can! You can never escape!” The voices began to sound more demonic. At the same time, he saw his dad, also big and frightening like his sisters.“Young man, we need a talk about your actions!!”“Damn it, leave me alone!!!” He sounded scared. No matter how fast he ran, it seems like they were catching up with him. As the distance got closer and closer, Johnny’s expression changed that to absolute fear. Eventually, they got so close, that everything around him went black. When he opened his eyes again, he saw many angry faces. He tried to run again, but he couldn’t. He was paralyzed, making him unable to move. They got closer and closer, as tears formed in his eyes. The voices get louder and more painfully evil.“No! NO!! GO AWAY!! STAY AWAY FROM ME!!!!!! STOP!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!”He screamed really loudly and suddenly he opened his eyes. He was still in the guest room. He looked around to see Dukey looking at him.“Geez, Johnny! What the hell??”He saw Dukey in that pony/dog mix and looked at his reflection on a mirror. He was still a pony, albeit a very sweaty and frightened pony with his hair being messy. His heart was racing with fear, he looked…..shaken.“Dear God….” he sounded shaken. Tears are forming on his blue eyes.“Johnny, did you have a nightmare?” Dukey asked.“Yes!! And a horrible one indeed… That pain….It’s still there!!! Why can’t I be just happy for once?!?!” Tears were dropping from his face.Then Dukey felt that breaking in him again.“It happened again..Why do I feel a painful ache in me, everytime when I see Johnny in despair?....Unless…” he thought to himself.Dukey was thinking about himself about the connection. It happened all the way back in the orchard. He witnessed Johnny having a mental breakdown for the first time and comforting him. He then remembered something: He too was emotional, as tears were on his eyes too.“We are connected...But how?” He was asking himself. He then placed a paw on Johnny’s head.“Let’s just go to sleep, okay?” he told the black pegasus.“I’m not sure….I couldn’t sleep well last night for the same reason.” Johnny looked down.“Hmm...We will talk about this tomorrow in private, okay?” Dukey replied.The black pegasus silently nodded, went to his bed and fell asleep. Dukey was looking at the sealing, thinking about several unanswered questions about the connection a bit before he too fell asleep.Meanwhile….Somewhere, a dark blue alicorn was standing on the balcony from a castle. She had flowing blue mane that sparkle like the stars in a night sky and royal regalia with a moon symbol. She looked worried.“I have a bad feeling about this…”To be continued….
The Road of Courage - Chapter 1: Broken Shards "There is a world, called Equestria. A world, where ponies and other creatures, like Dragons, Griffons and others, live in harmony.
It is ruled by two royal sisters: Princess Celestia and her younger sister, Princess Luna. The two are alicorns, a mix between an earth pony, a pegasus and a unicorn. Those pony species control the land, weather and magic respectively.
Both sisters were tasked with two important jobs: Princess Celestia would raise the sun and bring the warm days, while Princess Luna raises the moon to bring the cool nights. One day, a conflict between the two sisters happened. It was due to the ponies admiring Princess Celestia more than Luna. The built up hatred had changed her to a horryfiying being, known as Nightmare Moon... Unable to reason with her, Princess Celestia had no choice but to banish her sister to the moon with the Elements of Harmony.
After that, Princess Celestia ruled this world alone....Until thousand years later, Nightmare Moon returned.. She was o