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Author’s Notes: This is my first attempt at a FiM fanfiction and I hope to do the Mane cast (and all other characters justice). If anypony thinks I’m portraying somepony out of character, please please please let me know - I’d rather be called a dolt and told how to do it right than not do it right at all.

As per usual, all characters and places remain property of their respective owners.

Just a pre-warning to any would-be readers: This fanfic will contain humans, but with a certain (and slightly-grimdark) twist. I have no intentions of doing any shipping, especially not with any of my OC characters.

If you are not comfortable with having humans in your Equestria, then I won’t mind if you close the page.

Other than that, I hope you all enjoy the story.

Death & Rebirth - A MLP:FiM Fanfiction

Chapter 1: The Dead Sun / The Day The Skies Rained Red

The world consists of many layers – everypony knows this. However, not many know that the final layer has never been seen since the beginning of time, and for good reasons.

The Core – the heart of any world. Without it, time would cease. If exposed to the wrong elements, it could destroy entire timelines, such is the power locked within its pulsating heart.

Once in every universe’s timeline, a powerful and devastating event will take place – one that can either destroy the course of history for all eternity, or unlock dangerous secrets of the other realms.

No documented case exists in the entire multiverse, such it is only theory. But even theory is based on some facts...and the facts point to devastation to both Pony and Human kind. When two timelines merge, the resulting shock wave can be felt across the entire multiverse and indeed, whole timelines are erased and altered.

For the death of two timelines will always birth new ones in their place, even if they are horrid, distorted dreams of their former selves…

**  **

There was something odd about that morning that Twilight Sparkle couldn’t quite place.  It seemed like any normal day, the pegasi ponies had done a beautiful job in clearing the skies, Princess Celestia’s own sun compounding the beauty of that day. Everypony trotted around, chatting happily and going about their daily business, without a worry in the world.

The purple unicorn couldn’t quite place the odd feeling. It was almost as though a great and heavy creature had just walked over her grave, and that somewhere, somepony else felt the same way.

A sky-blue pegasus pony with a multi-coloured mane and tale landed next to her. “Hey, Twilight! What’s up?” Rainbow Dash asked. “You seem a bit…different this morning?”

“Oh, hi Dash!” Twilight said, jumping in surprise. “I didn’t see you there.” The unicorn shook her head, trying to clear it. “I was just thinking about something. I see you’ve done a good job with the clouds today,” she said, trying to change the subject.

Rainbow Dash hopped into the air, doing a loop-de-loop. “As always!” she stated confidently.

“I’d love to chat, but I’ve gotta dash, Dash,” Twilight said. “You know, library business.”

“Hey, no prob. I’ll catch you later, Twi!”

The two went on their separate ways, Twilight resuming her thought train. No matter what she tried, she couldn’t shake the odd feeling resting on her back. Deciding a good walk would help clear her mind, the unicorn strolled towards Sugercube Corner, hoping Pinkie Pie’s random antics would distract her.

As expected, the pink earth-pony was concocting some amalgamation of sugar, candy and various other ingredients in a large mixing bowl, giggling madly.

“Hey Pinkie, what’re you doing?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, hi Twilight!” she answered brightly. “What brings you here?”

“I thought I’d just pop in and say hi.” Twilight glanced suspiciously at the bowl in Pinkie’s hooves. “Say, what are you mixing up there?”

“It’s a new super-duper secret formula to boom sales for Sugercube Corner!” Pinkie declared, grinning. She held out the bowl to the unicorn. “Wanna try some?”

Twilight shrugged. “Sure, why not. What’s the worse that could happen?” She dipped the tip of her hoof into the mixture before tasting it. “Hey, this isn’t so – so – sah – AH – AHHHHH! HOT!”

“I call it ‘Time-Bomb Muffins!’” Pinkie stated, seemingly oblivious to the agony that Twilight Sparkle was now in. “They lure you in with sweetness before WHAM! They kick you with that extra-special tasty surprise at the end!”

“Water!” Twilight panted weakly, her throat suddenly dry. “Water! Please!” She galloped to the nearest faucet, practically dunking her head under a stream of water as she noisily gulped down the liquid.

“Oh, silly! Water only makes it worse! The only cure is some of Mrs. Cake’s Shotgun Shoguns!” She continued as though musing to herself, “Though we’re trying to get it so regular muffins work, too...”

Tears were practically flowing from Twilight’s eyes, her entire body shivering from the pure suffering ravaging her mouth and throat. “Anything!” she wheezed, “Please! Anything!”

Pinkie temporarily abandoned her mixing bowl, rummaging around behind the counter. She pulled out a pitch-black muffin, a deathly aroma coming from it. Knowing Pinkie, it was likely laced with some unknown concoction specifically made to cause suffering and giggles.

At least, that’s what Twilight was thinking. Hesitating, she took it gingerly in her hooves. She didn’t know which was worse: the scorching pain or the putrid smell of the muffin. Gulping, Twilight held her breath as she almost swallowed it whole, feeling like a lump of coal grinding down her gullet.

In seconds the pain subsided to a throbbing memory. Twilight Sparkle gasped at the pink earth-pony, “Pinkie, that is the last time I ever eat something you’ve made.” Thinking about that black muffin, she continued. “Say, what was in that muffin you gave me?”

“The Shotgun Shogun?” Pinkie asked, continuing before Twilight could answer. “It’s a special treat made for Spike – apparently he likes coal.”

“Charcoal? Something that’s been burnt to a crisp?”

“Nope! Just plain, simple old coal!”

Twilight gagged, trying not to throw up; at least not in front of Pinkie or Mr. and Mrs. Cake. Reluctant to try more water in case there was some sort of after effect, she moved towards the door. “My, look at the time, I simply have to get going!” she said, smiling sheepishly.

“Okey-dokey-lokey!” Pinkie said cheerfully, resuming her mixing of the bowl.

Upon exiting the confectionery shop, the sinking feeling returned. Glancing around, she searched for any form of disturbances but found nothing. The sky was still crystal clear, the air fresh, the grass greener than ever and everypony happy as a daisy.

She wandered past the Carousel Boutique, almost double-taking when she noticed it was closed. That’s odd…Rarity didn’t mention any plans and it wasn’t the weekend or a public holiday…

Twilight knocked on the door. “Rarity? Are you home?” She called out. The unicorn let out a small ‘eep’ when the purple-maned mare stuck her head out the door, a frightened look on her face.

“Quick! Get in!” she hushed, grabbing Twilight and dragging her into the building. All the lights were off creating a hushed and dark atmosphere.

“Uh, Rarity? Are you feeling okay?”

“Can’t you feel it?” the white unicorn replied in a hushed whisper.

“Feel what?”

“Something is…odd.” Rarity said, her eyes darting around the room. “I don’t know what it is but I can feel it and it’s been here since this morning.”

Twilight’s eyes widened. “If you’re feeling it too...” she almost gasped. “Maybe only unicorns can feel it?” She let out another gasp as a realization hit. “I haven’t seen a single unicorn out today!”

“Maybe because they’re all hiding inside?” Rarity suggested.

“Oh no, this can’t be good,” Twilight said, feeling a deep, sinking feeling build up in her chest. Now her suspicions had been confirmed: something bad was definitely going to happen.

Suddenly a magical surge of energy pulsated from Twilight’s horn, bathing the room in a mystical purple glow. Trying to cut the flow of magic, a searing pain entered her mind, whiting out her next few moments.

Faintly, among the deafening white, she heard a small echo of a whisper:

‘The Death of Two

Although said and sad

Brings about the birth of New

With thousands done bad

In final swiftness, comes

Unknown deeds, done.’

Twilight awoke to a worried Rarity peering into her face and the faint sound of ponies screaming.

“Oh thank goodness, you’re alright,” the white unicorn breathed, helping Twilight to her hooves.

“W – what happened?” Twilight moaned, rubbing her head as a throbbing ache pulsated.

Rarity didn’t say anything, instead walking to the door and opening it. Twilight’s jaw fell open as she slowly trotted to examine what had happened. Outside was utter chaos and panic as ponies ran around, screaming in fear as they tried to get indoors as quick as possible. The once-beautiful sun had completely disappeared, instead replaced by a constant deep-crimson hue across the entire sky, bathing the entire world in its eerie glow.

“Oh, this can’t be good…” Twilight whimpered.

Author’s Notes: I wanted to continue with the chapter to the main plot-twist but I simply couldn’t help myself and end it where I did. I’m such a sucker for cliffhangers.

I’m getting the feeling my chapters may be a tad short. If you prefer it longer don’t hesitate to let me know either via email [moses24(at)gmail(dot)com] or through the Equestria Daily comments section.

Chapter 2: Action

 After practically ordering Rarity to stay locked indoors, (“But Twilight, dear, you might need my help!”) Twilight bolted back to her library. Stealing a glance above confirmed her earlier suspicions: the sun was completely gone, erased from the sky in its entirety.

The crimson hue replacing it had cast haunting shadows across the land. Her first thoughts were of Princess Celestia; since she controlled the sun, having it suddenly disappear could prove…

Twilight shook her head, not wanting to even imagine the possibilities. Right now she needed to concentrate on finding out what was going on. Practically bursting through the library’s door, she called out for her dragon assistant. “Spike! Spike? Where are you?”

The purple baby dragon sat huddle in a corner in the foetal position, rocking back and forth. Twilight walked up, nudging him gently with her nose. “Spike, are you okay?”

Spike yelped, jumping into the air before his panicked eyes settled on Twilight. “Twi? Wh – what’s going on?”

“I don’t know, that’s why I need you to take a letter,” the unicorn said hurriedly. Spike hesitantly grabbed a quill and parchment before Twilight cleared her throat. Just before she was about to speak, the dragon coughed and belched green fire, a letter materializing in his hands.

Spike looked at the sun-emblem sealing it. “It’s from Princess Celestia.”

“Well, what are you waiting for? Read it!”

Opening it, it was Spike’s turn to clear his throat. “’Twilight. You are needed in Canterlot immediately along with all members of the Elements of Harmony. Chariots are already on their way and should arrive in the hour. More will be explained upon your arrival. Signed Princess Celestia.’”

The dragon looked up at Twilight. “It’s the real deal; her hoof-writing and everything. Wow, sounds really serious.”

“Spike, I need you to go to Sweet Apple Acres, Sugercube Corner and the Carousel Boutique to fetch Applejack. Pinkie Pie and Rarity,” Twilight commanded.

“Are you crazy?” Spike blurted out. “I’m not going out there!”

Twilight let loose a frustrated sigh. “We don’t have time for this, Spike. This is an emergency!”

“B – bu – but what if the sky swallows me whole out there?” he stammered nervously, eyes darting to the crimson horizon outside the window.

“I’ve never seen you so scared of anything before, what’s wrong with this?”

“I – I don’t know. It’s just…like something deeper inside is telling me that the red sky is bad. I mean really bad.”

Shaking her head, Twilight sighed again. “Fine, I’ll do it. Just start packing my things. I expect everything to be ready by the time I get back.”

***   ***

Twilight was galloping towards Fluttershy’s house as fast as her legs could carry her. Rarity was on her way to fetch Pinkie and Applejack. Almost hammering her hoof on the door, Twilight called out. “Fluttershy! Are you in there? It’s an emergency!”

The door cracked open, a sea-green eye peeking out between the tiny gap. The yellow pegasus hushed Twilight in before securely closing the door behind them.

“Oh my, Twilight,” Fluttershy meekly said. “I’m so sorry for not recognizing you earlier. It’s just that all the animals are so frightened.”

“It’s okay, Fluttershy,” she said. “Gather your things; Princess Celestia has requested all of the Elements of Harmony in Canterlot.”

“But I can’t!” Fluttershy exclaimed in her whisper of a voice. “The animals are so scared of whatever’s happening! I’ve tried everything to calm them down!”

Twilight raised an eyebrow at the pegasus. “Everything?” she asked suggestively.

Fluttershy averted her eyes, a slight blush brushing her cheeks. “…yes…”

“Even the Stare?”

Fluttershy nodded.

“It’s an emergency, Fluttershy. Celestia has requested all of us there. The chariots are already on their way.”

“But – but…” Fluttershy looked around at the hiding spots the critters had chosen. They seemed even more scared with Twilight there – probably because she was an unfamiliar face.

Twilight sighed. “I could try a sleeping spell to keep them calm through this crisis.”

“…if you’re sure they won’t get hurt,” the yellow pegasus sighed, closing her eyes. She looked back up. “Just leave Angel Bunny awake, please. He’ll need to look after all the others.”

 Nodding, Twilight concentrated on a wide-area spell that blanketed Fluttershy’s property. A few seconds later she was sure that everything save Angel and themselves were now in a quiet and peaceful slumber.

“Fluttershy, I need you to fetch Rainbow Dash and come to the library.” Twilight turned to leave. “And be careful – I don’t know what the skies are like out there.”

***  ***

Twilight had briefed everypony on Celestia’s letter once at the library and the crew was now on their way to Canterlot. Rainbow Dash had said the skies were safe, although unnerving. The Royal Guard Ponies immediately escorted them to the central court where Princess Luna awaited them.

They all knelt before the night-blue alicorn before Twilight spoke. “Princess Luna. Celestia has requested for us.”

“I know, Twilight Sparkle. My dear sister is currently trying to hold off the magical side of the crisis by the central spire.” Luna had come a long way since being freed from Nightmare Moon’s influence, her confidence as a co-ruler had grown considerably.

“What sort of magical problem?” Rarity asked.

“Neither of us knows but the red sky is definitely magical in nature,” Luna continued, turning and trotting to the balcony, gazing at the unnatural horizon. “And it seems that the magical anomaly is threatening to rip this world apart.”

“Is that why the Princess is keeping things together?” Rainbow Dash asked, taking a step forward.

“You are correct, little one. But she is fighting a losing battle.” Everypony gasped, prompting Luna to continue. “I will brief you on your mission. We believe we have located the source of the problem.”

“If it’s magical in nature, why can’t you and Celestia try and properly contain it?” Twilight asked.

Princess Luna sighed, turning back to the six. “Because it’s not that simple. Yes, my sister and I have unmatched magical prowess but we simply do not understand the finer laws and subtleties underlying it.” She pointed her hoof at Twilight. “You, however, have studied magic your entire life. If anything you understand it far better than we ever could. Plus, we need to stay here in case anything else happens.”

Twilight blushed but still pressed on. “Then why all members of the Elements of Harmony?”

“Because you are the most powerful force in the history of Equestria.”

Twilight nodded, not questioning it further. Applejack then spoke. “Well, where are we going then? And how do we fix this problem?”

“Into the depths of Old Canterlot.”

“Old Canterlot?” Applejack interjected. “I dun’ never heard of such a place before.”

Twilight looked pointedly at the apple-farmer. “That’s because it was decommissioned centuries ago and now serves as an archive of all written works from the birth of Equestria till now.”

“Correct,” Luna added. “What awaits you down there I do not know. You will all depart tomorrow morning – so rest up and gather whatever supplies you need.”