The League of Friendship Haters gathered in their secret hideaway, deep in the bowls of the land known as Ran’Dom. This was no ordinary gathering; thousands of grunts and minions followed their bosses to this meeting. Yes, today was the Day, the Day in which it would all end, the Day in which the Ponies would be destroyed forevermore.
The creatures that headed the League were strange creatures that stood on two legs. They wore black business suits and appeared identical to each other. None of them had any unique or identifying features. Their faces all had the same exaggerated smile seemingly etched in stone. Their eyes were blank holes in their faces where nothing was visible. They spoke incessantly, spouting a strange language that writhed with hate and anger. The creatures often turned on each other, bringing this verbal embodiment of pure hate and anger down in unbearable concentration onto themselves. This should have hurt them, if not physically, at least emotionally, but they continued as if the confrontation never happened.
The massive room in which this meeting took place had only one table, yet it stretched beyond sight. Seated here were more of these uniform creatures, yet the calmness of these seated here stood in stark contrast to their minions. Yes, these were the true danger. The minions would never work together without someone to direct their hatred and wrath. One of them rose, raising a massive hammer in his right hand. The being swung it down onto the table twice, the sound echoing into the room. The gathered masses drew quiet as they slowly turned to face the table.
“We have gathered here for a great and ceremonious day!” the being called out. A brief cheer came from the masses. “Long have we lived here in Ran’Dom, content to bicker amongst ourselves. We have always been content to leave the rest of the world alone. Occasionally, some foolish people interfered with our ways, incurring our wrath. We brought them down as easily as an axe can fell a tree. We then resumed our ways, content to again exclude ourselves from the world. But now… Now we face a great threat, unlike any we have ever seen!”
The crowd broke into a hideous roar of anger. The being with the hammer struck the table again and again to quiet the masses. When all was still again, he continued. “We discovered a land called Equestria several months ago. It was filled with all things despicable; peace, love, friendship, and ponies.” This last word was spoken with so much hate that even a few minions stepped back from the table. “We thought that despite the evils of this land, we would be fine to ignore it. It would never affect us. And it was something new for our ancient and sacred art of trolling. But we did not expect things to turn out this way.”
“One of us travelled there. He watched the ponies go about their lives. And he recorded it. He calls his creation ‘My Little Pony.’ He preaches our antitheses now. He heralds peace and love and friendship. We all know him now as Hasbro. We cast him out from our lands, but the damage was done. Look at our numbers. We were once a numerous and mighty race, and now it is just us few.” The masses murmured in agreement. If the numbers here were all that was left of these beings, just how many had there been to begin with?
“A prophecy was written long ago. It speaks of a great evil that will cripple our numbers. And we shall unite and the Day shall come. That time is here. That time is now. Today is the Day! And we will fulfill the prophecy! For on the Day, all shall fear our wrath as we wage war and destroy our enemies!” The masses roared to life, chanting with an abhorrent fervor.
“Death to Ponies! Death to Ponies! Death to Ponies!”
Pinkie Pie slowly opened the library door. Any faster and it might squeak. Twilight should really fix that squeak in the door, she thought. She slipped through the door once it was just wide enough for her to fit in. Twilight had been studying all morning and hadn’t come out yet. Pinkie had a nice surprise for her. She had bought some slippers from Rarity; she said that they would never make a sound. Sure enough, Pinkie’s hoofsteps were impossible to hear. Spike was putting some books up on some higher shelves, balancing himself on a ladder. Pinkie crept around it, careful not to bump into anything. She walked up the stairs as Spike descended the ladder.
Pinkie peered over the clearing. Twilight was engrossed in a book, oblivious to the world. Pinkie wore a huge grin now. One hoofstep at a time, Pinkie got closer and closer to Twilight. The distance closed slowly, and Pinkie grew anxious. If she rushed Twilight, the surprise wouldn’t have the same effect. She was almost there now. Just a little bit closer. One more step. Pinkie was now looking over Twilight’s shoulder.
“SUR-PRISE!!!” she yelled. Twilight jumped, almost clearing a meter off the ground. Books could be heard crashing downstairs; Spike must have been on the ladder again.
“P-Pinkie! Don’t sneak up on ponies like that!”
“But if I didn’t sneak up on you then it wouldn’t be a surprise, right?” Pinkie had a satisfied smile now.
“T-then don’t surprise ponies like that!” Twilight’s heart was racing. She thought it would run off without her, though she knew better than that. “Do you need something, Pinkie?”
“Do I need something? I don’t, but Mayor Mare does. I was going to throw a party tonight and I was going to use the town hall for it, but Mayor Mare interrupted me. She told me I couldn’t have apartyinthetownhallbecausetherewasanimportantmeetingtonightandthenshestartedgoingblahblahblahandthenIwaslike-“
“Yes, did you need something?”
“What does the Mayor need?” Twilight sighed mentally. She didn’t feel like suffering through one of Pinkie’s rants.
“I don’t know. She just wants to talk to you.” Pinkie’s nose was almost touching Twilight’s. Twilight blushed as she backed away.
“I’ll go see her in a little bit. Just let me finish reading this page.” Twilight levitated the book in front of her, reading the last few lines of the page she had left off on. Pinkie looked over Twilight’s shoulder, reading some of the book. It was some sort of prophecy. Out of the corner of her eye, she caught a rainbow zooming past the window. Pinkie said goodbye to Twilight and Spike and left to chase down the rainbow haired flier.
Twilight watched her leave, setting the book down on a table. Mayor Mare and Twilight had not actually had that much interaction with each other. Twilight wondered what she could want. “Spike, I’m going to the mayor’s office. Make sure the library is clean by the time I get back, okay?”
“Alright,” sighed Spike. Twilight left her cozy library for the mayor’s office, trying to think of what the mayor would want. Maybe it was something she had done? Doubtful, Twilight could not remember doing anything that might have drawn the Mayor’s ire. And she would have heard from Princess Celestia herself if she had come to visit. That pony that stopped in Ponyville that one time though, Trixie, could it be her? What could the Mayor want? She was approaching the town square now. Stallions in guard’s attire stood in front of the mayor’s office. The guards were those of Canterlot, Twilight realized, dressed in their unique golden armor. She ran up to the door, before being stopped by them.
“I am sorry, but no one is permitted entry right now. I ask that you please come back at a later point in time.” One of the stallions stood in front of Twilight, blocking the entrance.
“I am Twilight Sparkle, Princess Celestia’s student. The Mayor sent for me.” The guard maintained the same look on his face. A few seconds passed before he silently stepped aside, permitting Twilight to enter. As she cleared the door, it closed behind her. Inside were gathered only a few ponies. Among them were Mayor Mare, Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna. Twilight could not help but show her look of puzzlement.
“Ah, Twilight Sparkle, my beloved student, I am glad that you came.” Celestia radiated a motherly love towards Twilight. No one caught the brief look of jealousy in Luna’s eyes. “Before you ask, there is indeed a reason why you were called here and why Luna and I are present. Please take a seat and I shall explain the unfortunate circumstances that bring us together today.”
In the land of Ran’Dom there is no night or day, nor even a sky. A strange steel barrier looms over the land, sealing away the creatures inside. Even the greatest walls, however, eventually crack. One adventurous creature slipped through the crack, tearing the black suit it wore. It screamed in agony, scaring those who had followed. The screams continued; the creature’s voice hoarse with pain. Inside the wall, those who followed ran, leaving the creature to die. Outside the wall, light beamed onto the creature from the sun, burning its pale flesh. It desperately tried crawling back through the wall to no avail. Realizing this, it stood and ran, turning its head back and forth, searching for a place where it could hide from the sun.
Long minutes of running bled together, the landscape just a passing blur. A forest was approaching from the distance. The creature ran harder, desperate to end the pain. Slowly but surely the creature came closer and closer to the edge of the forest. When the shade from the trees hit the creature, it almost collapsed from the relief. It kept running though, scared of these new surroundings. Finally the creature’s body gave out, leaving it alone and weak in a strange new world. Within a minute the creature passed out.
The creature opened its eyes. Small speckles of light broke through the forest canopy in random spots far from each other. It looked to the side, taking in the view of the varied plants that comprised the underbrush. With a considerable effort the creature sat up, fighting the pain in its body. The suit it wore was shredded in many areas, revealing skin so pale that it seemed translucent. The creature’s face was covered in crack, chipped in several areas. Burns covered what skin had been exposed when the creature first ventured into the sunlight.
It surveyed the forest, searching for the path that led it in this far. There were no signs that the forest had ever been disturbed. With no other choice, the creature stood up and simply walked forward. The creature remained an icy sculpture on the outside, however chipped and tarnished it was, but on the inside fear gripped it. Where was it? What had it done to deserve this? These thoughts paled in comparison to the slow realization that this creature had no name, and that the rest of its kind would never miss it and come to find it.
The forest never seemed to change. Trees and underbrush stretched endlessly in all directions, disappearing into an eerie darkness. Colors were dark here, usually in shades of green and brown. Strange hoots and howls cried out sporadically, each time eliciting a glance in that direction from the creature. Sweat soaked its tattered suit. The creature removed its tie, simply leaving it behind. With the shirt and coat loosened, it slowly began to feel cooler. It continued walking, and still the scenery seemed the same.
Eventually the creature tired of walking. It sat down, pulled off its coat and used it as a pillow. Sleep came quickly and relieved the creature from its conscious nightmare. The creature woke several hours later, rested but hungry. With no knowledge of foraging and no food on its person, the creature expected it would die of starvation. Despair slowly set in as the creature continued its journey into the forest.
Several days passed in this manner, the creature stopping more and more often to rest. It finally collapsed in a small clearing, filled with flowers. The creature lay there, still conscious but too weak to raise itself off the ground. It was looking at a plant that was in front of it. The plant was a small bush, with small blue fruit hanging off of its branches. The creature stared at it for what seemed an eternity before the realization that the berries might be edible struck it. It shakily reached for a berry, struggling to free it from the limb of the bush. When it did, and it tasted the sweetness of the berry, a strange energy flowed within the creature. It quickly rose from the ground, grabbing and eating as many berries as it could.
Another night passed, and when the creature woke, it felt wonderful. It took off its coat again, using it as a makeshift bag to carry more of the lifesaving berries. The creature was vastly different now. Its skin was starting to fill with color, and the mask-like face was broken in many places, revealing skin beneath. One eye was still hidden in darkness, but the other was an earthy brown. When it had plucked all the berries it could find, it continued on its path through the forest.
Several days of travel passed, and the creature left the forest. In the distance he saw buildings, the signs of a small town. It ran toward the town, exhilarated. At the outskirts, it noticed a large amount of ponies here. They were every color imaginable, and often in every combination of colors possible. They all had unique marks on their haunches, looking like tattoos to the creature.
The creature had not been noticed by the ponies yet. It stuck to the shadows, watching them prepare for some sort of celebration. The creature continued its watch until they gathered in a large building in the middle of the town; most likely the town hall, the creature thought to itself. It followed the ponies and watched their celebration. One pony, somewhat older than the others, announced the arrival of the ponies’ beloved ruler, Princess Celestia. A curtain on a balcony was pulled back to reveal her, but the balcony was empty.
Ponies murmured amongst themselves, asking where Princess Celestia was. A sudden crack resonated in the air accompanied by a dark purple smoke. Several ponies screamed in fright as the smoke cleared. On the balcony where Princess Celestia was supposed to be, there was a tall, black pony with wings surrounded purple smoke and a long horn. The town hall broke into chaos as many ponies ran, others cowered, and a few brave pegasi, members of the Royal Guard, tried to confront the mysterious pony. Those few pegasi were struck down by magical light conjured by the dark pony, who laughed malevolently.
Part Three: The Raven Never Brings Good News
“I’m sorry Princess Celestia, but what does this have to do with anything?” Twilight spoke when the princess had stopped to sip at some tea. Celestia sat quietly with her eyes closed. Twilight thought that she would be ignored when Celestia spoke.
“Have patience, my little pony. I’m sure you know the tale from here.” At this, Luna looked away from everypony, her eyes moist. Silence took control of the situation, and most of the ponies looked around nervously. Twilight was the first to speak up. “So this creature followed us?”
“Yes, Twilight. Not only did he follow you then, he has been watching you and your friends for quite some time. Every lesson about friendship that you have learned, he has learned.” Twilight sat quietly, trying to swallow the fact that something had always been watching her since she came to Ponyville.
“Now back to my story. This creature was changed by what it went through. He went back to his land of Ran’Dom and told his kind about ponies and friendship. They humiliated him and did unspeakable things to him. He did not break and they eventually exiled him on pain of death. I was going for a stroll when I met him.” Celestia looked at a remarkably dark corner, and nodded at it. From the shadows approached the creature, no longer in a business suit. Twilight thought it was some sort of ape, though it was far taller than she knew apes to be.
“Hello. You can call me Hasbro.” The creature’s new face gave off a friendly smile, and the creature had tears in its eyes. “I have waited for a long time to finally be able to introduce myself. Unfortunately, these are soon to be bad times. My people have a prophecy, one they seek to fulfill.”
Twilight was still quiet. She had read many books on all kinds of subjects, but she didn’t think she had ever read of this type of creature. It stood on two legs and had two arms ending in five-fingered hands. By all rights, this creature sounded like the mythical human, a race that was supposed to have gone extinct hundreds of thousands of years ago. There was no other explanation, at least not that Twilight could think of.
“The prophecy is old, probably older than Ran’Dom itself. The prophecy goes something like this:
Rue the Day when it comes
Cast away the one who speaks
Praise the Night’s arrival
The Day shall draw closer
On the Day, speak not of love
On the Day, speak not of friends
On the Day, gather and prepare
The Day is the End
And the Day will come
Under a false guise
Rue the Day, rue the End
They plan to come here and destroy all of ponykind. I should have never gone back, if I hadn’t, none of this would have ever happened. Please forgive me, I’ll help in any way that I can.”
Silence once again reigned supreme in the room. The prophecy was vague in some areas, though Twilight thought that she could see how the creatures in Ran’Dom interpreted the events that Hasbro related to his people. The prophecy also seemed to imply a need to avoid sunlight, or at least Twilight thought it did. Regardless, if the prophecy is followed and the creatures of Ran’Dom follow it… Twilight didn’t want to think about that. A sudden thought sickened Twilight to her core: Was today the Day in the prophecy?
“Hasbro… When did you over hear your kind’s meeting?” Twilight tried to still the shaking in her back legs.
“The League, an alliance of the most powerful of our kind, met this morning.” Hasbro fell silent. Nopony seemed willing to ask, but it needed to be said. Twilight swallowed hard, fearful of the response she would hear.
“When will they be here?”
“They’re probably already in the Everfree Forest.”
My first update since it showed up on ED. I hope you guys like this and enjoy it.
Part 4: Living in a Farmer's Paradise
Applejack woke up at her usual time, about an hour before dawn. She could hear Big Macinstosh stirring in his room. The two of them were the only ones who did the morning chores. Applebloom and Granny Smith had a luxury known as sleeping in. Applejack straightened her man and tail, and then went down to the kitchen to prepare a hearty breakfast for Big Macintosh and herself. Big Macintosh arrived in the kitchen as Applejack finished cooking. The two ate in silence and Applejack wrapped the leftovers for Applebloom and Granny Smith.
Big Macintosh left for the far reached of the orchard. Some trees had been uprooted by a surprise storm that had blown in from the Everfree Forest the day before. Applejack watched him walk off, coils of rope hanging from his yoke.
“Be careful now, ya hear?” she called out. Applejack thought she heard Big Macintosh’s iconic “eyup,” though she wasn’t sure.
Chores were done soon enough. Applejack looked at the sun, her hat shading her eyes from its glare. Judging by the sun’s position, she determined that it was about five hours into the day. It was midsummer and the heat was picking up fast. Applejack decided to wait until evening to water the trees; it would just dehydrate them if they were watered now. She set off for the Apple house at a trot after a quick look over the chores she had done.
Granny Smith was in the kitchen preparing to make some pie for the afternoon. Applebloom was nowhere to be seen; Granny Smith explained that she had left with Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo earlier. Applejack assumed that they had gone to the old clubhouse. Those little fillies were such a handful, yet she could not help but feel happy for them. They enjoyed their time together so much even with their constant lamentations over cutie marks. Maybe a surprise visit would be nice, Applejack thought to
herself. She left Granny Smith to her baking and headed towards the clubhouse.
Applejack was walking through the orchard, taking a shortcut to the clubhouse when a fog bank rolled in. She silently cursed the Everfree Forest and its freak weather. The fog obscured everything; the trees were little more than vague shadows. Applejack’s hoofsteps echoed mutely in the fog. Rather than scared, she was slightly irked. Two days in a row bad weather had hit Apple Acres coming out of Everfree Forest. Shadows passed Applejack slowly and there was no sign of the clubhouse.
“Ah should be close to the clubhouse by now,” she mused aloud. The fog was just so thick now. There were no trees here, at least not that Applejack could see. Where was she? She did not think she had left the orchard. She walked around slowly, searching for any indication of where she might be. It did not take Applejack long to find something. Several shadowy lumps lay on the ground in front of her. She approached the lumps slowly, cautiously. The shadows slowly took form. Big Macintosh lay amid a broken and shattered apple tree.
“Big Macintosh! Come on, wake up, big brother!” Applejack dove to her brother’s side, trying to wake him up. She saw blood trickling from a gash on Big Macintosh’s head. Applejack renewed her efforts to awaken the massive stallion. She was crying now, scared to death that her brother was dead. Applejack nudged him, rocked him on his side, everything she could think of to wake him up.
Some pegasi had arrived and cleared away the fog. Applejack never noticed them. The sun beamed onto the scene in the clearing, revealing the full extent of Big Macintosh’s injuries. His entire body was covered in cuts and blood. His yoke was a shattered mess around his neck, a few small pieces of it sticking out of Big Macintosh’s neck. His mane and tail were matted with blood and twigs. Applejack was covered in her brother’s blood. Many of the pegasi turned away, either unsure of what to do or sick to their stomachs at the sight of so much blood. One pegasus approached Applejack slowly, the pegasus’s rainbow colored tail twitching nervously. She alone tried to pull Applejack away. Applejack kicked and screamed, sending the rainbow maned pony flying.
The pegasus stood up. Big Macintosh was alive, albeit barely. He was far too big to be moved quickly and safely. The only way to save him was to bring a doctor to the clearing.
“Applejack, he’ll be fine! I’ll be right back with a doctor!” Rainbow Dash took off, straining against the sound barrier. If she could just get to Ponyville and back fast enough, then that would be enough. Rainbow looked forward, seeing the hospital just a few moments away. She was coming in too fast; she would have to start slowing down now. She glided the rest of the way through Ponyville before finally landing in front of the hospital. With little more than an “I need you,” Rainbow lifted up the doctor and flew back to the Acres.
Applejack could not cry anymore. She was tired and scared. Rainbow Dash had arrived with a doctor some time ago; the doctor was now tending to her brother’s wounds. He was alive and that was all that mattered. The sound of hoofsteps slowly approached Applejack; she looked up to see Rainbow Dash, a bandage wrapped around her head. Applejack felt horrible.
“Dash, Ah’m sorry I got ya hurt like that. Ah was just scared, y’know?”
“It’s okay AJ, it really is. I probably would’ve done the same thing if I had a brother.” Applejack glanced at the ground while Rainbow Dash pawed at the ground with her hoof. Neither pony seemed sure what to say next.
“…Uh… If you need anything, just let me know, ‘kay?” Rainbow Dash turned and walked away. Applejack wanted to say something, anything to make her stay, but she could not bring herself to speak. She felt so alone right now and it hurt her. Big Macintosh was going to be taken to the hospital after the doctor finished treating some of the wounds. Applejack’s heart sank; she had completely forgotten about Applebloom. The pain and loneliness that kept from talking to Rainbow Dash left her.
“Rainbow Dash, Ah need t’find Applebloom an’ her friends!” Applejack called out. Without waiting for a reply, she took off for the clubhouse.