Twilight Sparkle ignited a magical flare as she emerged from what seemed like the longest natural corridor she had ever travelled through; she had been walking for what seemed like hours in an attempt to discover what lay at the end of this mysterious cave structure. Her mind drew a blank as she tried to recall exactly what she had come here for in the first place, all she knew was that it was important that she made it to the end.
The room was gigantic, seemingly impossible in size. It was dank and mossy; as nobody had been down here for hundreds of years which was understandable considering how far down this was. Not many Ponies- even the bravest of archaeologists- would have the head to endure this place. Most Ponies would have passed out by now due to the scarcity of air alone; but Twilight had prior training in dealing with the claustrophobia, she couldn’t recall when but she knew it had happened some time in the past.
Twilight’s magical flare gave off very little light but she had just barely enough to see what was directly in front of her. She wished that she could cast a more powerful spell so that she could see the entire room; but a natural cave this far under ground, that had been untouched for so many years, would be incredibly unstable and she would rather not take the risk of a cave in.
The walls around her were notched with what seemed like lettering or runes of some sort, she walked over and began to run her hooves along the wall to try and determine how long they had been here. Whatever language it was, it was certainly not one she had ever encountered before which- given how much time she spent studying ancient civilizations as a filly- was very peculiar.
The writing was a combination of hieroglyphics and what looked like some sort of lettering, almost as if two languages were being weaved in and out of each other.
She moved clockwise around the room, taking notes of as many different letters as she could. It seemed as though the text was leading her to the back of the room and- sure enough- the text stopped dead in the center of the room.
The flare had begun to dim and Twilight was having a hard time figuring out exactly what the text lead into; she focused all the Magic she could into the flare to get a better look. The new found brightness revealed that the etchings on the walls went up far further than Twilight had imagined.
Twilight gazed longingly upwards as the walls seemed to go on forever; there was no ceiling in sight. It was times like this she wished she was a Pegasus just so that she could get a better look at the area that surrounded her. If she didn’t know better she’d say the ceiling went on for miles, but that would be physically impossible. She snickered at the thought. Her studies had lead her to believe that the impossible was mearly a state of mind employed by those who did not want to take the time to understand their respective phenomenon.
Her train of thought was cut short as the room plunged into darkness. Twilight groaned as she fruitlessly attempted to ignite a second flare; magical flares were notoriously hard to maintain and the additional stress of suddenly being plunged into darkness surely was not helping. Suddenly being struck with fear, she began furiously shooting off flares in every direction, desperately trying to get one lit so that she could find her way out of there. She knew that she shouldn’t have come down alone.
Twilight was panicking now, no amount of of training could have prepared her for the horror of true darkness, it didn’t feel natural in the slightest. In Ponyville the nights were dark but Canterlot always emitted enough light at night to keep the area at least slightly lit. There was literally nothing she could see; it was like the area was devoid of all life and movement, so much so that her eyes began to play tricks on her. It felt like the walls were closing in on her, like she was never going to escape from the room. Twilight curled up and began to weep; she wasn’t ready for this, why hadn’t she waited for her friends to be ready to join her? This whole situation could have been avoided. Gradually, Twilight began to lose of her magic. She was distracted by her predicament, so much so that she didn’t notice the powerful spell that was building up around her.
The spell built to it’s full capacity and it finally unleashed, sending Twilight flying backwards and slamming her into the clear part of the wall. The ground beneath her feet began to shake and she could feel dirt and dust begin to fall onto her face, she panicked thinking that the cave was beginning to collapse. Jumping to her feet, she began to sprint to where she thought the door was but an unseen force was holding her back.
One-by-one the glyphs on the walls began to glow a fiery red and the room gradually illuminated. Twilight got to her feet and stared up in amazement, it seemed that the walls did indeed go up for miles; and what’s more there was a glyph on every inch! Her mind was telling her to run but her curiosity would not let her, she had to examine this new phenomenon.
In the corners of her eyes she saw another glow, a different color but still consistent with the rest of the room. Slowly she turned around and looked upwards. A new image was gradually revealing itself on the wall, the unmistakable shape of Canterlot Mountain. Twilight stammered backwards, still gazing upwards. All this was far too much to take in at once; it was like the cave was toying with her somehow, it knew she was afraid and it was trying to exert her for all the emotions it could do.
She couldn’t take any more; she had to get out of there. She quickly turned to run but hit her head on something, falling down once again she glanced up. At this point she was ready for anything. Floating above her was a a green gem stone. It was magnificent, the sort of jewel that Rarity would absolutely die to get her hands on.
For a moment she pondered what to do, it was obviously booby trapped but the magnificence of the gem was overcoming her better judgement.
She rose on her hind legs and grasped the jewel in her hooves, grinning manically she tossed it into her bag and began to trot out of the room. Not a second passed and the room was once again plunged into darkness and the tremors resumed but with a far greater magnitude, the drawing of Canterlot mountain was still illuminated and she could see dirt falling all around her. “Oh my gosh” she muttered “What have I done?”
Light began to shine all around her, this time it looked natural. Looking up she saw that the ceiling was beginning to give way; as it crumbled she heard screaming amidst the chaos and in the distance she could hear a voice echo in distress, “Pinkie Pie, no!”
Twilight awoke with a startle and tumbled out of bed as the door of her bedroom came crashing down knocking several books off their shelves. “Twi-li-ght!” a cheery voice came from the doorway. Twilight groaned and arose to her feet, rubbing her head in pain.
“P-Pinkie Pie?” she mumbled “What on earth has gotten into you?”
“She’s just being Pinkie Pie” grumbled Spike who had followed her in and was trying to clean up the mess she had made. Pinkie was giggling manically as was her way.
“Oh-ho! I don’t want anything, I just wanted to come see my bestest ‘pal in all of Equestria!” Pinkie grinned, clearly oblivious to the problems she had caused.
Twilight kept her anger to herself and began to magically lift and sort through her books “Just help Spike put the door back up, would you?” she grumbled.
“Okey-dokey-lokey” Pinkie chimed, haunching the door onto her hind legs and kicking it up “Easy peasy!” Spike rolled his eyes and climbed onto Pinkie’s back so he could begin screwing the door back in.
“What are you looking for, Twilight?” Spike asked.
“I just.. Had a weird dream. I think it might have been some sort of...” Twilight trailed off in thought “Spike, can you grab Equestrain Etymology for me please?”
Spike poked Pinkie in the back of her head and pointed to the other side of the room, ordering her to move there. Pinkie glared for a moment then giggled as she begun to hop up and down in place, Spike screamed as he clung to Pinkie’s mane for dear life. Gradually she moved to the shelf, getting higher and higher with every jump forward. “Pinkie!” Twilight yelled, she was clearly already getting frustrated with the antics of her friend. Hanging her head, Pinkie trotted to the bookcase beneath Twilight’s bed where Spike removed a book from the top shelf and tossed it to Twilight. Twilight magically caught it in mid air without so much as glancing at it. Putting down the book she quickly skimmed the pages, following her hunch. “Oh no” Twilight muttered “This can’t be; Spike, we need to-” “Boo!” Pinkie Pie pounced into Twilight’s Eyeline wearing Twilight’s Duvet as a cape and concealing her face. “PINKIE PIE!” Twilight snapped “Give it a rest! This is important!”
Pinkie’s hair sagged as she trotted away from Twilight Sparkle with an uncharacteristic frown on her face.
Twilight turned to talk to Spike when the ground began to rumble “Oh no, please no..” Twilight mumbled. “Ouch!” Pinke exclaimed, she had taken up a position in the corner as to stay out of Twilight’s way and books were beginning to fall on top of her. The tremors were growing ever more violent and Twilight was starting to get worried. “Get out of the house!” Pinkie perked up and hopped out of the door while Spike clambered onto Twilight’s back “We need to get into the open where nothing can fall on us” stated Twilight as she sprinted out of her tree house.
Twilight emerged from the house and was blinded by the morning sun. “Looks like everypony else had the same idea! It’s like a party over there!” Pinkie grinned as she started to trot towards the town centre “Can’t that Pony take anything seriously?”
As Twilight ran down the cobblestone road the familiar blurry shape of Rainbow Dash appeared along side her. “What’s all the commotion?” demanded Rainbow Dash, Twilight gave Dash an awkward glance “You didn’t feel it?” questioned Twilight, “The earthquake that happened just a few seconds ago” said Spike sarcastically.
Rainbow Dash turned backwards and pointed towards her cloud home “Ye-heah, I don’t live on the ground, ‘member?”
By the time Twilight and Rainbow Dash reached the town centre the tremors had stopped but there was still a conglomeration of worried Ponies gathered around waiting for some sort of official word on what was going on.
“Twilight!” A voice called from the distance, it was that of Applejack. “Mornin’ Twi’” said Applejack as she trotted over “You got any idea what in th’ hay is goin’ on here?”
“Oh, good morning AJ.” Twilight replied “No, I’m just as clueless as- Well.. I mean.. I have an inkling but I’m not totally sure.”
Ponies from all around Ponyville had gathered in the town centre to discuss the situation; even Zecora was lurking in the background as not to scare anypony, but it seemed that most Ponies were too pre-occupied to even notice her. Most of the fillies were gathered behind their Schoolmasters who stood off to the sides of the crowd so that they could keep an eye on the children.
The air was growing thin and the weather increasingly gloomy; this did truly not bode well. Everypony was growing ever more frustrated and impatient.
“This simply is not on.” boasted Rarity from within the crowed as she shoved her way through.“We’ve been out here for half an hour and there has been no word what-so-ever from the Mayor or anyone else for that matter!”
“Take it easy, Rarity” Twilight replied “I’m sure she has a good reason.” “She is keeping us in the dark on purpose, look at my mane! I left it at only thirty-five brushes this morning just so I could get down here and hear what was going on!”
Applejack rolled her eyes “Is that really important right now, you prissy foal?” Rarity lunged backwards “Prissy!? Is this really the time for name calling!?” “Nobody cares about the way your mane looks, especially not when Ponyville could be in peril!” Applejack and Rarity locked gazes as they often did, Twilight sighed. Something had to happen soon to break this up or at least update the crowd.
“Spike” Twilight whispered “try and keep them calm, I’m going in.” Spike grunted in reluctant agreement as Twilight begun to cast a spell to teleport her into the Mayor’s office.
“Mayor!” Twilight yelled as she manifested in the office “What is going on, exactly? Everypony is getting extremely restless down there.”
“Ms. Sparkle? How did you even get in - Oh, what’s the use. I sent for word from Canterlot but I haven’t heard back yet. I want to update everypony but I just don’t know what there is for me to say.” The Mayor sighed as she lay her head upon her desk.
The Mayor’s office was very formal; in front of Twilight was a large Oak Wood desk coated in paperwork. Surrounding her were a number of book cases each filled with political knick-knacks and books which Twilight was ninety-nine percent sure were just there for show. On the walls were pictures of the Mayor with various famous Ponies including Princess Celestia as well as numerous certificates.
“I just don’t know what to do, Ms. Sparkle.” The Mayor murmured “It might have just been a fluke; but what if I send everypony home and it happens again? I’ll look a complete foal.”
“With all due respect Mayor; I think that everypony just wants some assurance, even if you just- What are you...” Twilight trailed off; the Mayor was just staring at the space behind her. Twilight turned to see the painting on the wall moving. It was happening again.
Gradually the tremors grew more and more violent, far more violent than they had been previously.
“No, no.. NO!” Twilight shouted and ran to the balcony “Everypony clear the courtyard! Now!” The Ponies paid no heed to Twilight’s warnings instead choosing to run around the courtyard, screaming.
“GET. OUT. NOW!” Twilight’s voice boomed, this time echoing for miles and causing the Ponies to stop in place and stare at her.
It was just as Twilight had predicted, the ground beneath the feet of the Ponies began to give way. Chaos ensued as the ponies screamed and ran away; some ponies were left stunned and began to fall. “Pegasus Ponies, on me!” Rainbow Dash boomed, there was no way she was going to let those Ponies fall.
Following Rainbow Dash’s charge several Pegasus Ponies swooped down the newly formed hole to collect the falling Ponies. Dash was all but a blur at this point, she hardly stopped to drop the ponies safely on the ground before swooping down to pick another one up. One-by-one they manifested safely and ten seconds later so did an exhausted Rainbow Dash.
“Did we get them all?” she panted “Is everypony safe?” It seemed as though nopony was missing. “That hole goes on forever, it’s impossible” she fell to the ground and closed her eyes. Slowly, Ponies began to edge around the hole and gaze down into it. What was once their delightful market square was now a horrific and deadly hole in the ground. A lot of crying and muttering could be heard in the background as the ponies pondered what to do next.
“Pinkie Pie, no!” Rarity shouted in dismay, Pinkie was jumping between the edges of the newly formed hole with a gleeful giggle “Wee-hee! You guys should try this, it’s good fun!”
“Be careful you foal, you’ll trip!” Twilight yelled from the balcony.
“Trip?” Pinkie stopped mid air and plummeted, screaming.
“Pinkie Pie!” Rainbow Dash suddenly perked up and followed her down the hole as fast as she could. Building up more and more speed; she was right before, this cave went on forever.
Rainbow flew as fast as she could, deeper than she had ever been. The cave was growing ever darker in front of her and she could no longer see her hooves in front of her face, she couldn’t even tell how close she was to Pinkie Pie but she couldn’t give up. Memories of all they had done together fueled her further, all the times they had shared and the bonds they had formed. They were friends for life, the bearers of the elements of friendship. She couldn’t let Pinkie down, no matter how hard and how fast she had to fly.
“I won’t let you down Pinks, I won’t...” She thought to herself as she pushed harder and harder, but fatigue began to set in. Even the best flier in all of Equestria couldn’t fly at that sort of speed for this long while fighting against the sound barrier itself. She slowed down too much and was flung backwards, screaming in dismay “Pinkie! I’m so sorry...”
Rainbow Dash awoke surrounded by the residents of Ponyville staring down at her, awaiting news as to what had happened.
“Rainbow!” Twilight pushed her way through the crowd as Applejack helped Rainbow Dash to her feet.
“What happened down there-” Twilight stopped mid sentence as she examined Rainbow’s body language; in disgrace she had hung her head with eyes shut. She was hardly supporting her own weight as she trembled in fear.
“Oh, no...” Twilight’s eyes welled up. She knew Dash well enough to see that something was incredibly wrong. “Rainbow, please tell me she’s okay, tell me you just couldn’t carry her all the way back up. Tell me she’s safe.” Rainbow peered up and slowly opened her eyes as she looked directly at Twilight. In all her time in Ponyville, Twilight had never known Rainbow Dash to show sadness without trying to cover it up. The fact that Rainbow was actually embracing this emotion meant that something horrible had happened. The crowd began to let out exclamations of empathy and dismay; by now most everyone had worked out that Rainbow had not caught up to Pinkie in time, however nopony wanted to believe that Pinkie was gone.
“Rainbow...” Twilight pushed as Applejack and Rarity gathered behind her awaiting news.
“Just tell us ‘hon, we ain't gonna’ be mad.” Applejack forced a sympathetic smile as she made eye contact with Rainbow. Rainbow Dash hung her head again.
“I wasn’t fast enough.”
The crowd gasped and silently began to mourn their loss; Pinkie Pie was possibly the most liked Pony in all of Ponyville and the news hit everypony hard. She was a friend to everyone, never selfish or mean and always willing to lend a helping hand to anypony in need. The idea that they would possibly never see her again affected them all.
Rainbow Dash began to panic, the voices of everypony around her combined with her own emotions was just too much for her to cope with. It wasn’t like her to be self conscious in any way or form, but recent events would get the best of anyone.
Noticing Rainbow’s dismay, Rarity snapped to action. Someone had to put a stop to this and give Dash some personal space so they could figure out exactly what had happened.
“Alright now, that’s quite enough!” Rarity bellowed, “can you not see the poor dear has had more than her fair share of grief for the day!? Everypony go home. Go on, get! We can mourn Pinkie Pie once we have figured out exactly what is going on here!”
The crowd quietened down and glared at Rarity as they began to disperse. Rarity sighed.
“Well someone had to say it. Come along now, let us go figure out what is happening.” Rarity began to lead the way back to Twilight’s Library, however Rainbow Dash seemed reluctant to move. She had instead edged her way to the hole and was peering down it. Turning back, Applejack noticed this and went to her side to comfort her.
“C’mon sugar cube” she smiled at Rainbow Dash and extended a hoof. “We’ll sort this mess out, don’t you worry ‘hon.” Dash gave her a glance of acknowledgement and turned to slowly make her own way to Twilight’s house. Applejack sighed, they all wanted to mourn the potential loss of Pinkie Pie but now was not the time. For now they had to put on a brave face because it was clear something bigger was at stake.
To the west of Twilight’s Library the sun was beginning to set, casting it’s dim orange glow across all of Ponyville. The warm Summer night air was beginning to creep in carrying with it the distinctive smell one would only experience a few times a year.
Inside Rarity and Twilight Sparkle were discussing the situation, Applejack had gone to deliver the bad news to Fluttershy while Rainbow Dash- who had not spoken since the incident- lay outside in quiet contemplation. In the distance Dash could hear the sound of construction work being performed to make the town centre safe again.
In her head she had gone over the event a hundred times and was starting to come to terms with what had happened, she wanted to cry but that wasn’t her in any way. Cool, calm and collected. That was her, that was Rainbow Dash. She felt like she had to always be that way and could never let her true emotions shine through, even now she was grossly aware of the fact that her friends knew she was distressed; but she was too tired to care at this point.
She had come up with at least twenty different ways she could have changed the outcome of the situation, if she had let another pony fall for just a few seconds longer so that another Pegasus could have picked them up she might have had enough energy to reach Pinkie Pie. She couldn't help the feeling that something had held her back though, it was like she was flying through a loop where as Pinkie had broken out and was falling for real.
Rainbow sighed and lay her head on the ground, being trapped in thought like this wasn’t like her, she stared up at the sun in the distance and realised she could just fly away like she normally would without a care in the world, but this time she felt like she had to stay and face up to the consequences.
Rainbow Dash glanced up as she heard the clip-clop of footsteps approach her from the road, the looming figure of Applejack had appeared over her. She was casting a sympathetic stare and forcing a smile in an attempt to provide some sort of consolation. Rainbow sniffed and closed her eyes again.
“Still not talkin’, ‘eh sugar cube?” Rainbow Dash grunted in acknowledgement. “I know it’s hard, ‘hon. I mean, don’t you think it’s hard on me too?” Applejack begun to tear up and her voice began to quiver as she joined Rainbow Dash on the floor.
“W-We all just have ta’ put on a brave face for now and stick it out, we don’t even know for sure that... That... “ Rainbow Dash looked up to see that Applejack was stifling her crying and trying to save face, Rainbow rose to her legs and silently extended a hoof to help her up. Applejack smiled and accepted Rainbow Dash’s hoof. “It’s okay ‘hon, everything will be okay.”
“There!” Twilight slammed a book on the desk as Applejack and Rainbow Dash crept their way into the library “The Elemental Bindings - A guide to the Myth.”
“Applejack!” Rarity interrupted “How did Fluttershy take it? Is she okay?” Applejack shook her head.
“She ain’t takin’ it well, but she asked to be alone for a while... Well, one of her lil’ critters kicked me out but I got the message.” Applejack surveyed her surroundings, nearly every book from Twilight’s expansive collection had been flung to the ground in her search and the entire room was in disrepair.
“This book tells the tale of Equestria’s creation, at least one of the many myths. I won’t bore you with the details yet but it says that at the creation of the world there was a great war between the elements which lead to their eventual trapping in Crystal Prisons around Equestria so that they could never cause harm again.” Twilight pondered the situation for a few moments. “What if one of the Crystal Prisons has been broken, and that’s what caused the earthquake?”
Applejack snickered “Twi’, I think you’re lookin’ a bit too far into this. It was jus’ an earthquake.”
“No..” Twilight sighed “It was something more, believe me. It was like I was there when it happened. I had a dream last like and it was like.. The events playing out from under ground. I even heard Rarity’s call for Pinkie Pie and saw her..” Twilight stammered and wiped a tear from her eye. “I know something is wrong, okay? Please just trust me on this.”
Rarity approached Twilight and put an arm around her “I believe you, Twilight. Far stranger things have happened to us since you got here.” Applejack rolled her eyes and joined the two.
“Alright, fine. I’ll go along with this. But the main thing here is figurin’ out what in th’ hay we can do about it. If the elements truly are being unleashed against us then it’ll take a Pony far stronger than us to stop them. I think th’ best thing for us to do right now would be to get some rest and discuss it in the mornin’.”
“You’re right.” Twilight smiled, “You’re all welcome to stay here if you like. It’s a bit late for you to be walking home now and, honestly, I think we all need a bit of support at the moment.
As the other Ponies prepared for bed, Rainbow Dash stayed put in the corner. She didn’t quite understand it, how could her friends be so cold and withdrawn at a time like this? It seemed like the only other one who was reacting badly to the loss of Pinkie Pie was Fluttershy, did nobody else care about her? Why was she the only inconsolable one? They should all be in hysterics right now but for some reason, it seemed, she was the only one who cared.
“Rainbow, ‘hon?” Applejack was looming over Rainbow again casting the same sympathetic stare. “Why don’t y’all come on up to bed? You don’t need to be alone at a time like this.”
“Hello?” She called out in distress. Her voice echoed through the hollow halls that surrounded her; the room- wherever it was- was pitch black, not a glimmer of light shone around her.
She was panicking, more than she had ever panicked in her life. She couldn’t remember how she got into this situation, she just remembered the darkness.
The pony rubbed her head, at some point she was sure that she had fallen a considerable distance... Either that or she was a Unicorn... Was she a Unicorn? She couldn’t remember.
Slowly she stammered to her hooves, the ground below her feet was uneven and extremely hard to stand on for someone so light headed and drowsy. Waving her hooves in front of her face she could feel nothing so she began to stumble forward. In the distance she could hear the echos of the wind howling through the darkness, every now and then she thought that she could hear voices but she convinced herself that it was just her mind playing tricks. Right now her top priority had to be escaping this darkness.
The hours felt like years as she pushed onwards through the pitch black tunnels with only the sound of the wind occasional passing mouse to keep her company. She was shivering all over, at no point in her life had she ever been so afraid. It felt like she was going to be in this darkness for the rest of her life. Her memory was still incredibly fuzzy, she could just barely remember her home, at least a fuzzy outline of it. However she still had no idea who she really was, what was her name? She just remembered a rainbow, a rainbow that defined her. She rubbed her head again, it was in absolute agony. It felt like she had been hit by a train... Oh, she knew what a train was. That’s good, at least she remembered something.
Voices, again? Closer than ever before, they echoed through the halls and into her mind... At least she thought she could hear them. Maybe she was going mad. Maybe she was already mad, was she mad before this? Yes, she distinctly remembered being utterly and completely mad, at least other people regarded her as such, that wasn’t very nice of them. I mean they never called her out on it or anything but she could see they thought that she was mad from the way they talked to her and looked at her. That was it! She could remember her friends, but what had triggered that memory all of the sudden... No, it couldn’t be... Why were her eyes starting to water? Crying, but she wasn’t sad. She was happy, so very happy. Her subconscious knew something she didn’t!
She saw a light coming down the corridor, slowly creeping towards her. A wild grin began to spread across her face as the area around her began to illuminate and four Ponies approached from the newly illuminated area.
One of them called out in joy, “Pinkie Pie!”
Twilight slowly awoke and rubbed her eyes, it was still the early hours of the morning but her sleep had been seriously disturbed by her second vision. The room around her was illuminated a deep blue by the moon that hung high in the west, the morning birds were eerily quiet considering the position of the moon but Twilight was too pre-occupied to notice fully
Twilight sat up as she pondered what she had seen for a few minutes, trying to recall who’s voice she had heard before the end and what they had said...Pinkie Pie? Pinkie Pie!?
“PINKIE PIE!” Twilight leaped out of bed and yelled out in absolute joy and began jumping on the guest bed, knocking everyone out of it.
“Holy moley girl, what’s gotten into you!?” Applejack sat up rubbing her head and glaring angrily at Twilight, Rarity raised to her feet and helped Rainbow Dash up.
“Pinkie Pie is alive! I saw it, I saw her!” Twilight gleamed, still completely enthralled in her display of aerobatics.
“What!?” Rainbow Dash instantly perked up and joined Twilight on the bed “Oh my Gosh!
How do you know? Where did you see her? Where is she!?”
Twilight halted as the reality of the situation hit her like a ton of bricks, “I... Have absolutely no idea. I saw her in my dreams, I had another vision.”
Rainbow stopped mid jump and hovered in mid-air “You.. Dreamed about her? You DREAMED about her!? So let me get this straight, you woke everyone up and got all of her hopes up because you DREAMED about her? We probably ALL dreamed about her, Twilight. We just lost a friend, you stupid mare, of COURSE we’re going to dream about her!”
Twilight was left stunned by Rainbow’s sudden outburst, the whole room was looking at her in anger and disappointment.
“But... It was a vision, the same as I had last night about the earthquake.” Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes and hovered over to the window.
“Rainbow...” Twilight frowned “I’m sorry.” Rainbow silently sniffed back her tears, ignoring Twilight’s pleas for forgiveness. Twilight sighed and turned to Rarity and Applejack.
“So, you both dreamed about her too?” Applejack and Rarity looked at each other and nodded in unison.
“It was so strange” Rarity replied “It was like I was her, I was so scared and so horribly confused. I had lost my memory and I-”
“You were wandering hopelessly through the darkness in hopes of finding the light?” Twilight interrupted, completely flabbergasted by what Rarity had just said.
“Now hold on!” Applejack yelled “Thas’ exactly what I dreamed!” Rainbow Dash suddenly stopped crying and zipped over to the rest of her friends, “That’s what I dreamed too...”
The tension in the room was severed like a knife through hot butter by a sudden knock at the door, everypony jumped at the sound and rushed to the door. With the vision of Pinkie Pie still fresh in their minds they burst through the door, breaking it down and landing on top of each other outside.
“Miss.. Sparkle?” A gruff voice boomed from above them, she sighed in disappointment and looked up to see two of the Princesses Royal Guards looming above her, staring at her with an awkward gaze.
“Uh, Miss Sparkle. The Princess has requested your urgent presence in Canterlot.” They gestured to a small golden chariot behind them, “We are prepared to escort you and one other there but I’m afraid your.. Friends.. Will have to stay behind.” The guard glanced at his partner with a chuckle. Twilight smiled an awkward smile and bucked her friends off her.
“I don’t know about you ‘gals but I’m too tired for a trip to Canterlot, I’m goin’ back to bed.” Applejack rolled her eyes and went back into the house, Rainbow Dash yawned and followed her inside.
“Oh- I- But.. I need my beauty sleep if we’re going to- Oh, fine.” Rarity whipped her mane back and trotted towards the chariot. “I guess I’ll just have to accompany you to Canterlot. Don’t say I never do anything for you!”
Twilight smiled “I’m sure this will be excruciatingly difficult for you, Rarity.”
Just under an hour had passed and the weary duo had finally arrived in the gardens of Canterlot Castle. Following the path up to the castle, the area seemed eerily quiet. Twilight was unsure of the time but it was clearly early morning, however the critters that Fluttershy loved oh-so-much were strangely silent and there was no activity surrounding the glistening white castle save the guards standing firm at their posts. Twilight had been here many times in her life and she had never seen it so quiet, given recent events she thought the place would be positively buzzing. An earthquake in Equestria was completely unheard of and one of such a catastrophic magnitude should have given the leaders of Equestria some serious cause for alarm, so why was nobody reacting? Rarity was completely unfazed by their situation, her mind was occupied by the beauty and splendor of Canterlot. Though she had been here before she had not had the time to truly take in her surroundings, but now by the light of the full moon as she approached the gates of the castle she felt she finally had time to appreciate the beauty and splendor of the place she was in.
The duo were halted at the doors of the castle by a gruff looking guard in battered armor; he was unlike the other Royal Guards in that his coat was a dithered grey, his eyes were tired and his mane was messy and grey. He gave Twilight and Rarity a brief glimpse of acknowledgement before returning his gaze forward, “The Princess awaits you in her bedroom, Miss. Sparkle. Up the left stairs, turn right and down the corridor. Second door on the right.” Twilight smiled and proceeded up the stairs; last time she was here Princess Celestia was in a completely different part of the castle, but she never was one for staying in one place too long.
Rarity sighed in bemusement as the two proceeded through the corridor “Oh, this place is absolutely magnificent. We weren’t allowed up here during the Gala!” The halls were adorned with magnificent paintings from the greats, magically lit chandeliers hung from the ceiling and the floor was carpeted with purple velvet. “Truly Regal! The princess has such fine taste.”
Twilght smiled as she approached the door to the Princesses bedroom, she hadn’t seen Princess Celestia since the night of the Gala and it would be nice to get some clarification as to what was going on. Without a forethought she opened the door to the Princess’ bedroom and chimed “Princess Celestia!”
Rarity coughed an awkward cough, “Uhm, Twilight? That’s not...” Twilight opened her eyes to reveal a discontented Princess Luna. Twilight gawped for a few seconds before opening her mouth.
“P-Princess.. Luna? Where is-” Princess Luna smiled awkwardly and interrupted,
“I’m so sorry, this must be a bit of a shock.. I mean we haven’t seen each other since...” Luna turned her head and stifled a tear. “Since that night.” Still with a tear in her eye, she snapped to attention and re-gained her regal stance “Twilight, I apologize, but I feel we must dispense with the pleasantries for now as we have a far more important matter to speak of. You see, my Sister she has... She has..” Luna couldn’t hold her tears back any more and she began to weep.
“Oh, you poor dear.” Rarity guided Luna to a sofa situated by the fire place.
“Now, now. None of us hold what happened against you, right Twilight!?” Twilight was still not totally sure what had just happened, she was looking to the door expecting Princess Celestia to appear at any moment. “R-Right, of course not.” Twilight smiled in Luna’s general direction and approached the sofa. Of course she didn’t hold anything against Luna, if it wasn’t for her Twilight may never have made her true friends and still be stuck in a dusty library here in Canterlot.
“T-Thankyou.” Luna stuttered as Rarity presented her with a cup of tea and sat down beside Twilight. “Could you excuse me a moment please, girls?” Luna got down and approached the window. “Normally Celestia and I do this together, but I guess...” Luna sighed as her entire body began to be engulfed by a dark blue magical glow which resonated with a pleasant hum, her eyes were affixed on the night sky and her body was shaking from the pressure of the magic she was controlling.
Twilight gasped, she knew exactly what was happening but she had never had the pleasure of seeing the entire process before. Slowly but surely the aura around Princess Luna turned from dark blue to a bright orange, the resonating hum quickly became higher pitched and the room began to slowly illuminate as the Sun began to rise.
“Oh my!” Rarity gasped with the sudden realisation of what was happening before her. There was sudden and loud burst of energy throughout the room and the spell was complete and Luna staggered backwards with a yelp.
“I’ve never.. Had to do that by myself before, normally Celestia and I share the burden.”
Twilight was stunned “That was some seriously powerful Magic, how on earth did you control it?”
Luna returned to her seat and smiled “Oh, years of practice. Centuries, really.
“I must admit” Rarity interrupted “I always thought that was an old Pony’s tale and the ceremony was just for show. But really, we must get to our business.”
Luna looked at the ground with a sigh “Business, yes.” She turned her gaze to Twilight Sparkle “You see Twilight... I’m sure you’ve already figured this out, but Celestia is... Missing.”
Twilight gasped, “No! It can’t be true... I mean, okay it’s pretty obvious now you’ve said that. I was wondering why she didn’t reply to the Mayor’s call for help or my letters.”
“You don’t seem too... Distraught?” Luna asked, eyes still fixed on Twilight for any sign of emotion. Twilight snickered and grinned at Luna.
“Distraught? I’m mortified! Celestia was like a sister to me, I don’t know who I would be without her... Why am I not crying?” Twilight looked around in panic “I didn’t cry when I thought Pinkie had died, I’m not crying now that Celestia- my mentor and one of my closest friends- is missing. What’s wrong with me!?”
Twilight didn’t know what to think, this thought had been building up inside her since yesterday. Why wasn’t she sad? She should have been sad, she should have cried like everyone else, but her mind was going a million miles a minute and she couldn’t stop it to process the sad thoughts, she was forced to see everything logically and it seemed to her that there was no reason to be upset because she knew- she just knew- that both Pinkie and the Celestia were safe.
By the time Twilight snapped back to reality Rarity and Princess Luna were engaged in a new topic of conversation.
“Twilight was saying that this could be related to an old creation myth, something to do with a battle between the elements that occurred long ago?” Rarity glanced to Twilight “Ah, back with us now are you? Do try to pay attention dear, this is important.” Luna chuckled and sipped her tea. “The story may be a bit fanciful but I’m afraid a large part of it is quite true.” Luna’s horn glowed as she begun to cast a spell to bring a book from her shelf towards her. “Twilight, exactly how much do you know?” Twilight tried to recall what she had read the previous night.
“I know there were four Elemental Lords who fought over the fate of Equestria and were eventually imprisoned within Crystal Prisons for their crimes.”
“Aether, Incensus, Tellus and Lacus” Luna interrupted “Yes, I’m afraid that part is completely true, they were imprisoned thousands of years ago- even before I was born- and they do remain there to this day.” Luna set her book down and paced slowly towards the window as if she was trying to create a sense of tension, Twilight continued.
“The Creators couldn’t have a negative effect on the Mortal world so they attempted to reason with the Elemental Lords, all declined except Tellus.”
“Yes” Luna intervened “Tellus was trying to protect the land all along, she did not want any harm to come to the Creator’s creatures. It was with this that the Creators declared that the elemental lords were unfit for service and with the assistance of Tellus they imprisoned the lords for all eternity. That’s a very abridged version but accurate.” Luna turned to face the duo, “Technically I am not allowed to tell you anything about how the world was created but I can at least say the part about the Elemental Lords is true. And I’m afraid Ponyville- and potentially the rest of Equestria- is in grave danger.”
“Oh, no...” Twilight suddenly realized where all this had been leading up to “You can’t possibly mean-” Rarity suddenly stepped in “Ponyville was built on top of one of the prisons?” Twilight and Luna gawped at Rarity “Come now girls, do you truly think my brain to be full of hay? I may be a Lady but I am not an air head.” Twilight and Luna looked at each other and smiled, they had both been thinking that the entire conversation was going totally over Rarity’s head but the sudden realization that she was not only keeping up but staying a few paces ahead of them gave them both a good chuckle.
“What caused the earthquake was someone tampering with the prison of Aether.“ Luna sighed, ”each Elemental Lord had his bindings separated into two different prisons. Someone is trying to free the Elemental Lords. Twilight, it is up to us -and your friends if need be- to stop whoever is doing this. Aether’s Bindings come together then the Plane of Air will be unlocked and Aether will again control the winds.”
“But that doesn’t explain what happened to Celestia!” Twilight questioned.
“I’m afraid it does.” Luna replied “You will understand in due time, Twilight. I can’t tell you how or when you will understand, but you will.” Luna grinned, she sort of enjoyed withholding information from Twilight to keep her guessing. It was vitally important information and it would take a lot off her mind but ancient laws from the dawn of the world prevented her from revealing this.
“Just trust me.” Luna added, “I know that’s a lot to ask considering out past but-”
“I trust you.” Twilight smiled.