The starless night continues on; The skies above are covered in storm clouds that flash with lightning, followed by the roar of the thunder. There is not a sign of sunlight anywhere; As long as the Master of Darkness continues to reign, the world will never see the light of day again.
Far out in the middle of the cold desert are two little ponies, following the railroad tracks west towards their destination: Appleloosa. The orange earth pony gallopes fast hoping it will not be much further, while the yellow pegasus is flying right behind her.
"What is it, sugarcube?!" she asks as she continues galloping, not caring how tired she is starting to become.
"Can we please…well…take a break?" Fluttershy nervously begs.
"Why in tarnation would we need ta' take a break? We're makin' good timin' at dis here speed!"
"Well…you see…" Before the timid little pony can say anything else, Applejack is already getting ahead of her. Fluttershy tries her best to keep up, but her wings are just not as strong.
Unable to go any further, Fluttershy's wings give out and she falls onto the ground. Applejack hears the sound of her friend's fall and stops. She turns around and runs back to pink-maned pegasus to see what is wrong.
"You alright there, sugarcube?"
Fluttershy looks up and nods her head lightly, but her mind and body are not feeling the same.
"Comon' Fluttershy. We still have a long way to go. No time fer restin'." Applejack tries to help the exhausted Fluttershy up, but she will not budge.
"I…I can't do it." Fluttershy mutters.
"What was dat?" Applejack asks.
Fluttershy speaks a little louder, "I said…I can't. I'm…I'm tired. Please…I need to rest."
"But Fluttershy…" Applejack tries to convince her friend, but once she sees the sad look on her face, the earth pony sighs and admits, "Alright. We have been running fer hours it seems, a' guess we can take a break and rest."
Fluttershy smiles a little, "Thank you Applejack."
"No problem…but at least lets find ourselves a better place to rest. Fer sum reason, bein' out here in the open feels mighty dangerous."
Fluttershy agrees and looks around: this night is darker and scarier than any she has ever experienced. The timid little pony gets up at last and follows Applejack to find somewhere safer to rest.
After searching a little ways away from the track, the two ponies come across a large rock formation surrounded by a few bushes. Applejack believes this will have to do, since it is too dark to explore further and doesn't want to risk either of them getting lost.
"Hope dis will be ok fer ya, Fluttershy."
"Its perfect, Applejack. Thank you so much," Fluttershy smiles as she sits down to rest her tired self.
Applejack is glad to see Fluttershy smiling again, "Yer mighty welcome, sweetheart." She then sits down next to her, "To be honest, I was feelin' tired myself, but I wasn't gonna let that slow me down."
Fluttershy's smile turns to a frown after hearing this, "I'm sorry. I…I know how much you want to get to Appleloosa…"
Applejack pats her friend's back to comfort her, "It's alright. I cannot be rushin' ya like this. It wouldn't be a proper thing ta' do to a friend."
Fluttershy's smile returns, "Thank you…that is kind of you to say."
Applejack nods, "We will be at Appleloosa in no time. I reckon we are already half way there, since this way is faster then from Ponyville." She then starts to wonder, "I just hope all my relatives and friends are still there."
"You think they ran away?"
"I can't be sure…but lets just hope our luck holds out." Applejack yawns a little and lays her head down, "Let's get ourselves sum shuteye. I'll letcha' know when it'll be time to wake and hit the trail."
Fluttershy smiles and lies down next to her friend. She then closes her eyes and drifts off to sleep.
Fluttershy sleeps peacefully for a few hours, until she finally awakens. After yawning a little, she looks around and finds herself in a grassy meadow, covered in beautiful flowers with the sun shining high in the sky.
"Where…where am I?" she wonders. Her question is soon answered when she sees all her little animal friend gathering over yonder. They all wave at her once they see her.
Fluttershy smiles with joy and flies over to them, "Oh…my friends…you're all here!" She says with excitement.
So much happiness fills her heart as she sits down to join her friends for a picnic. The weather feels so good; The birds are singing and the butterflies fly about. Fluttershy feels all those bad things that happened recently slip away as she enjoys spending time with all the animals she cares for.
Before the little pegasus opens the basket to pass out food for all her little friends, she sees a familiar critter hop towards her and right into her arms…
"Angel!" Fluttershy feels more joy seeing her dear little pet bunny again, "I missed you so much!"
Angel snuggles in her embrace, feeling the same way. After sharing a wonderful hug, the little bunny hops out and sits down next to her, ready to enjoy the picnic with her and the other critters.
Fluttershy opens up the basket and passes out something for her friends to eat: The birds receive birdseed, the bear gets a jar of honey, the squirrels are given some nuts, and the rest each get something that they will enjoy very much. Fluttershy gives Angel a nice, delicious carrot to eat, and in return he gives her a big, juicy apple.
"Oh…that looks wonderful. Thank you, Angel."
Fluttershy starts to eat the apple, while smiling at her friends as they enjoy their meal. All this is so perfect for her: a beautiful day and a wonderful picnic with all her animal friends.
After finishing her apple, Fluttershy notices that all the animals have finished theirs as well. They all smile at her, thanking the little pony for the wonderful picnic.
"Oh, I'm so happy we all got to spend time together. What should we all do now?" She asks them politely.
Before any of the animals can suggest something, the sky above starts to grow dark as the clouds roll in, covering the warm sun.
The animals are frightened, and once the sounds of thunder and lightning become present, they all jump up and run around in circles. Angel however jumps into Fluttershy's arms and tries to hide himself.
"Oh…please…don't be afraid…its just a…little storm…" She informs her friends, trying to calm them down. Unfortunately, the storm is starting to scare her as well.
"Whats going on?" She asks herself.
Suddenly, the next sound heard is that of sinister laughing, coming from out of nowhere.
"Who's…there…?" Fluttershy mutters.
"Oh…you don't remember me? Such a pity…" a mysterious voice replies.
"Wait…I do know that voice…but…it can't be…" Fluttershy remembers that voice...and sees a veil of shadows appear before her. It then starts to take form, becoming that of a pony with a black coat, along with wings, a horn, and a long flowing mane that sparkles like stars in the night sky. Fluttershy gasps once she recognizes who it is:
"Nightmare Moon!!" She screams in fear.
The wicked mare laughs at the frightened pony, "So you do remember me. How precious."
"What…what are you…doing here?" Fluttershy mutters, trying to keep Angel safe in her arms.
"What am I doing here? Ha-ha-ha-ha…why, to see that my Master's rule will be eternal!"
"Your…Master? Wait…you don't mean-"
"Correct, my dear! He has given me another chance, and I will not fail him this time! "Nightmare Moon explains as she enjoys watching the little pony shiver in fear at the sight of her.
"W-what…are…you…going t-to…do…to m-m-me…?" Fluttershy becomes more afraid.
"It is simple. Since I have the power to enter dreams, I am going to turn your peaceful little dream into something much worse!" Nightmare Moon rises into the sky, and as the thunder grows louder, the volume of her voice starts to rise as well, "Now I will show you the reason…WHY I AM CALLED NIGHTMARE MOON!!!!!"
Fluttershy does not know what will happen next, but she turns her attention to all her animal friends who have suddenly stopped running around. They all turn to Fluttershy and glare at her, with eyes that are as dark as the night.
"No…no…" Fluttershy shakes her head slowly as all the animal start to approach her, with an evil look on their faces.
"Please…don't do this. Oh Angel, what are we going to…" She looks down and sees the little bunny she holds in her arms glare up at her, with the same eyes that the others have, "Oh no…not you too…"
Angel hops out of her arms and joins the other animals as they near the frightened pony.
Fluttershy can not move; She is not only terrified, but hurt deeply seeing all her animal friends become evil. She tries to hide herself in her front legs and whisper to herself, "Please don't let this be real. Please don't let this be real. Please…don't let this be real…"
"Fluttershy!! Wake up!!" Yells a familiar voice.
The yellow Pegasus wakes up to the hollering of her friend Applejack, who is using her two front hooves to nudge her gently, "Are you okay, sugarcube?" The orange earth pony asks, but soon sees Fluttershy's eyes filled with tears.
"I…*sniff*…I..d-don't…" Fluttershy can hardly say a word; Applejack can tell she had a nightmare, and a very bad one.
Fluttershy continues to cry, for the experience she just witnessed hurt her inside. Applejack hugs her friend and tries to calm her down, "It's okay darlin'. I'm here for ya'. Ain't nothing' gonna hurt ya' now."
"But…But…it was…*sniff*…s-s-o…r-r-eal…", Fluttershy continues to weep, even while Applejack holds her close.
"Shhh…its alright, sugarcube. A' know how ya' feel. I had a nightmare as well."
Fluttershy sniffs and wipes her eyes, "Really?"
"Yep…" Applejack replies with a nod, "I was back on the farm, with my family. We were picking apples when a storm blew en'. Then out of the blue came Nightmare Moon. I saw my brother, little sis, and granny turn on me and…"
Fluttershy gently moves out of Applejacks embrace and looks up at her, "You…dreamed of Nightmare Moon too?"
"I sure di-wait! Did ya' dream the same, Fluttershy?"
Fluttershy gives a light nod.
"I doubt dis here be a coincidence." Applejack states, and starts to ponder on both dreams.
"What…what are you saying, Applejack?"
"I'm sayin' is that if we had the same dream, and with Nightmare Moon in it…then that can only mean…"
Both Applejack and Fluttershy gasp when they both come to the same conclusion.
"Gosh…I just cannot believe it…" Applejack sighs sadly as she removes her hat and holds it to her chest.
"Poor Luna…" sniffs Fluttershy.
"She ain't the Luna we know anymore…" Applejack informs, "She's now servin' that Monster, and whether we like it er not, she's our enemy now."
Fluttershy cannot accept that, but Applejack speaks the honest truth: Princess Luna has become Nightmare Moon again, and is using her powers to invade their dreams, "What are we going to do, Applejack?"
After placing her hat back on her head, Applejack ttakes in a deep breath, "I say break time is over; We have to get movin'. No tellin' what may happin' if we fall asleep again."
Fluttershy hesitates at first; Her nightmare is still fresh in her mind. Applejack notices and comes up to her, "Come on Fluttershy. We can't let what happened drag us down. We have to get movin'."
The little yellow Pegasus is still afraid, but Applejack speaks up, "Remember what ya' said to Twilight before we parted ways?"
"Well den show me that dere courage again! Yer not gonna let dat Monster win are ya'?!"
It takes only a few seconds for Fluttershy to realize that Applejack is correct. She gets up and stands tall; Her fears of just now have disappeared, "You're right. I wont let that Big, Bad Meanie get me like that again. I promised I would be strong, for all my friends…and I always keep my promises."
Applejack smiles proudly, "Dats the spirit, sugarcube!"
The two ponies find their way back to the railroad tracks and resume following them westward. Applejack gallops as fast as she can, while Fluttershy flies close by at the same speed. Those nightmares they had will not slow them down; They know what is at stake and cannot let their friends and families down.
Suddenly, Fluttershy sees something out in the distance and points out towards it, "I see lights way over there!"
Applejack looks out in the direction her friend is pointing at, and is filled with joy, "Well, pass me a mug of cider and call me Shirley! Dat there has ta' be Appleloosa!"
The orange Earth pony is right: It is still a ways away, but they can see lights coming from it. They have finally reached the home of Applejack's relatives.