Two of the bigger dragons were escorts for their guests as well as the much larger one leading them: The Dragon Elder known as the Wise One. She was ancient, nearly eight-hundred years old but still had plenty of strength to fly and give assistance to the others. “By the dragons of old, I never thought flying this far would take so long, and be so tiring,” the large, faded red dragon complained.
“But, we have only been flying for fifteen minutes, “ Spike stated carefully and politely.
“Have we?” She asked out loud, “Been that long already? Usually I could go twenty minutes before tiring out. I must be getting old.”
Spike and his others just snickered a little, finding her statement hilarious.
“What was that? Did I hear you young ones laughing,?”
They quickly shook their heads and denied it. The Elder returned her attention to flying onward.
With the Wise One’s attention occupied, Twilight and Rarity whispered to each other and Spike:
“She is old, but she is simply magnificent. I only hope I will look as good as her when I reach that age,” Rarity quietly marveled.
“Oh Rarity, I doubt any pony could reach the age of eight-hundred. Its mathematically and scientifically…impossible,” Twilight corrected in her usual brilliant way.
“But what about Princess Celestia and Luna? They are over a thousand years old.”
“Rarity…,” Twilight sighed, “They are different. Besides, why would you want to be that old anyway?”
“I do not, my dear Twilight. I was merely acknowledging that I hope to remain as graceful and beautiful as I am now, when I reach that certain age,” Rarity proudly declared.
“I wonder if I will reach that age.” Spike pondered out loud.
“I don’t know Spike. You are already older now than you were a few days ago, no need to rush it further,” Twilight replied.
“I guess that’s true. I actually like how I am now. I’ve got wings, I’m bigger, and I look good too.”
Twilight rolled her eyes, but Rarity sighed, “You do look amazing, Spike, but…”
“But what, Rarity?”
“Well, I miss my little Spikey-Wikey. You were cuter as a baby dragon,” Rarity answered but quickly added, “Not that I don’t like what you are now! But…I was hoping you would stay the way you were just a little longer.”
Spike felt a little sad, at Rarity’s words as well as his current state. He started to wonder if he would like to be a baby dragon again, although this form was better in some ways to him. He even wondered if he could even revert back to his original form. These thoughts filled his mind, until he heard the Elder speak:
“There it is: Applelooca.”
“Uh…that’s Appleloosa, Wise One,” one of the dragon escorts corrected.
“That’s what I said!” She stated.
They all rolled their eyes and started their decent into the western town that was filled with what appeared to be lanterns, as well as ponies and other creatures that had gathered.
The citizens of Appleloosa became nervous and afraid upon seeing a few dragons approaching their town. But before a panic would break out, a few were able to spot two ponies riding on the back of one of them. This helped the settlers settle down and allow the dragons to land. Once the four dragons reached the ground, Twilight and Rarity hopped off and soon found themselves in the presence of their best friends, who galloped up to greet them.
“Applejack! Pinkie Pie!” Twilight cried out as she hugged the two earth ponies.
“Fluttershy! Rainbow Dash!” Rarity addressed happily as she received hugs from her favorite Pegasai.
“Twilight…Rarity, it’s so good to see ya’ll safe n’ sound,” Applejack assured.
“Yeah. Glad you made it back, though I’m sure flying here was much more relaxing then galloping, which the rest of us had to endure,” Rainbow annoyingly claimed, but was happy to see them nonetheless. She recently untied her braided hair and washed the paint marks off herself, not wanting the others to see or think she had gotten soft during their time apart.
“Thanks. Well, we have my number one assistant to thank for that,” Twilight announced and turned to face her favorite dragon, “Right, Spike?”
The other four were shocked to see that the dragon before them was none other then Spike. Unaware of what had happened or how he came to be with them again, they all rushed up to him and gave him hugs all over.
“Oh Spike, I’m so glad you are here. I’ve missed you,” Fluttershy said in a comforting, yet hushed voice. She was usually afraid of other dragons, but Spike was the one dragon she was never scared to be around, no matter what he looked like.
“Thanks, Fluttershy. I’m so happy to see you all again,” Spike replied with a tear in his eye.
“I missed you sooooooooooooo much, Spike!” Pinkie Pie cheered.
The large green and purple dragon was so happy to be reunited with the ponies he considered his family. The other mares felt the same way: this whole spread of Darkness forced them to separate in order to find help. But now, they were all together once more, they would never let anything drive them apart ever again…hopefully.
The six mares then spent the next while telling each other all that they went through after they separated: Applejack and Fluttershy explained their journey to Appleloosa as well as their encounter with Nightmare Moon from within their dreams. They also told of their search for the buffalo and the story told to them in song.
Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash told their tale of how they made it through the Hayseed Swamp, went through the trials of the Zebras to earn the right to be heard, and finally were given a party to celebrate their success. Twilight and Rarity explained their part, of the encounter with Spike and freeing him from the Darkness. Next came their arrival at the Badlands and the eventual quick flight to Appleloosa. Twilight left the part about her dreams out, to avoid them thinking the same as the dragons did.
As they all explained on, the ponies, buffalo, dragons and zebras were having some difficulty being in the presence of the other. While the buffalo and dragons were on good terms, the zebras were not with any of them. The settler ponies were friends with the buffalo, but the rest…not so much.
This lead to a commotion that drew the attention of the Mane Six. They all got up and went over to see what was wrong.
“Hey now, what in tarnation is going on here?!” Applejack shouted.
Braeburn approached and sighed, “Sorry, cousin. But our guests just wont seem to get along. They’re bein’ as stubborn as a mule,” The yellow colt then turned and said, “No offense.”
“None taken,” assured the mule standing nearby.
Twilight sighed and spoke up, “Well, can’t you do something?”
All Braeburn could do was shrug and point out to the groups of different creatures all around, arguing over who-knows-what.
Just when it was getting too loud, a massive roar came out that shook the whole town, silencing them immediately.
“That…is…enough!!!” Yelled the dragon elder, but not before coughing up a little smoke, “Sorry…shouting is not what it use to be. Anyway, I have yet to tell something to a few certain ponies who are unaware of something….uh…that I was going to tell…I think.”
Twilight and Rarity seemed confused, but then recalled that the Wise One was suppose to inform them of something that she would only speak of when they arrived here.
“You were going to tell us something important, right?” Twilight asked the elder.
“Oh yes, I was. Now I remember!” The Wise One stated, only to receive an eye roll from a few others, “Everypony gather around and listen well, cause I am not going to repeat myself.”
Twilight, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Spike and every other pony, zebra and buffalo sat down to listen to the elder, but sat apart from the others due to their dislike of them.
The Wise One then started from a certain part of the past that she could remember well:
“When the Darkness had nearly covered the entire world, and evil went unopposed, a group of buffalo, zebras, dragons, earth ponies, pegasai, and unicorns were gathered and united under the one pony who was to lead them against this evil: Courageous Heart!”
“Though their numbers were few, they had the Light as their guide, and the power forged from its very structure: The Elements of Harmony. Each of the six species wore the one that represent their kind. With an army of the united, the six bearers of the Elements, and the Champion of the Light to lead them, they stood ready to face the Darkness.”
“When the Supreme Master of Darkness and his army arrived, a great battle was fought. In the end, just when evil thought it was to be victorious, the Champion and the Elements of Harmony united their power. Together, they formed the one force that drove the Darkness away, brought the day again, and weakened the Demon centaur: The Rainbow…of Light!”
“They had won, but the Dark One was not vanquished. He was weakened, but was still there. Before the Champion and the Elements could call upon the Rainbow of Light to end this once and for all, the Demon stretched out his hand, and a dark vortex was summoned. Courageous Heart was pulled inside, and disappeared before their very eyes.”
“They lost their beloved leader, and without him, the Six Elements alone could not finish the Monster. Unable to remove him, and while weakened as he was, they placed him within a great prison, where he was to remain…forever.”
“Time went on after, and the creatures had their victory, but without their Champion, who was everything to them, the six went their separate ways. Most chose to eventually forget those events that transpired, while some kept that memory safe, and passed it on to those that would hear of it.”
The Wise One finished the tale of what she was told from the previous keepers of the story. She sighed and was glad to have finished, because her voice was starting to grow tired.
“So, that’s what happened?” Twilight asked.
The Elder merely nodded.
“You mean…your saying that…”
“She speaks the truth, in every detail,” Subira spoke up, “Without the Light to aid us, we cannot prevail.”
“But, there has to be a way. We have enough to take on the Darkness, and we have the Elements of Harmony to-”
“Didn’t ya’ll hear what she said, Twi?” Applejack interrupted her friend, “The Elements failed when we tried to use dem on…him, There aint much else we can do,” She dared not to speak his name, for it would upset the buffalo.
“Applejack…” Twilight was shocked to hear this coming from her most honest friend, “How can you say that?”
“I’m just bein honest, Twilight. I heard this very thing from the Buffalo’s song.”
“I heard it too,” Fluttershy added in.
“So did we, Twilight,” Rainbow Dash informed her friend, “Subira told us on the way here. As much as I don’t want to believe it, what she says is true. After all, she heard it from the Wise One as the others did.”
“But…but there has to be a way! There just has to be! Otherwise why did we all gather like this!?!” Twilight yelled.
“We gathered here to decided what to do, like I said. Even with our numbers and the Elements of Harmony, they are not powerful enough to stop the Dark Demon.” The Elder dragon informed sadly, “Our only choice now is to flee Equestria, or to wait for the inevitable.”
The other ponies and creatures all around knew that the Wise One was correct, since she was one of the only few creatures in the world that knew the truth. They started to mutter to each other, deciding which action was the best one.
Twilight however refused to accept either choice and yelled, “I can’t believe you all are just going to give up like this!!!” She turned to her friends and looked at them, but saw they were starting to agree with the others, “You guys can’t give up either! It’s our duty to protect Equestria! It’s our home!!”
“Twilight!!” Rainbow yelled back, “I would never abandon anypony, but if it’s hopeless, then there is nothing we can do.” Rainbow turned to the other mares nearby, “Right now, I need to stay loyal to my friends here…for whatever time is left.”
Twilight could see Rarity, Fluttershy, and even Pinkie Pie all had the same thoughts. She could not believe what she was seeing, but then she remembered her dreams and spoke up to the Elder.
“What about my dreams? I saw Courageous Heart in them!” Twilight said out loud for everypony to hear, “I know what you may think, but its true. I saw him there!”
The others started to mutter to one another again, wondering if what the lavender pony claims to be is true.
“No!” The Elder concluded, “Your dreams are nothing more than a trick set up by the Darkness to confuse you. Every one of us has had similar ones since His return: First they may appear friendly, but it becomes a nightmare...to scare us!”
Twilight shook her head and refused to believe that, “No!! I know what I saw, and they were real…he was real!” She turned to her friends, “You guys believe me…don’t you?”
The other five wanted to, but after what some of them experienced in their own dreams, they said nothing. Spike wanted to help to speak up and help her, but knew his support would mean nothing since he was formerly a minion of the Darkness.
“You don’t…believe me…?” Tears started to form in her eyes; her own friends would not support her, “Why…?”
“I’m sorry, Twi. But, we just don’t,” Applejack sighed sadly.
“Please, you have to believe me. I’m not lying,“ Twilight felt like crying, “We can’t give up! We have to stop Tirek!!”
Once she uttered his name, some of the creatures around her gasped and were upset, and even terrified.
“You dare speak his name?!” A buffalo cried out.
“You may have doomed us already!” Another shouted.
As the commotion began to rise again, the five mares looked at Twilight, with disappointment and distrust in their eyes.
“Its over, Twilight. Just…stop.” Fluttershy muttered, turning her gaze from her friend.
Twilight could feel her tears pouring in and her heart crushed by these very ponies she cared for so much. Shaking her head slowly, she cried out to them, in sadness and in anger, “I thought you were my friends!!!”
The moment those words reached their ears, they were shocked and did not know how to react. But before anything could be said, Twilight turned away from those that betrayed her and ran passed everypony and creature, and out of the town…crying the whole way.
Spike gasped and was about to go after her, but Rarity held up her hoof to stop him, “No, Spike…let her go. She needs some time to think about it.” Spike watched sadly as his dear friend was hurt and could do nothing but watch her run away.
Twilight ran as far as she could. Her heart was broken: her best friends were no longer the ones she cared for and trusted. All she could do was run, while crying her eyes out. Eventually, she tripped and fell onto the ground. Too weak and upset to get up and run again, she buried her face in her arms and cried her heart out, wishing what just happened did not.
She looked up into the skies, which were filled in the darkness of the storms, and then looked down upon the ground, and muttered weakly, “Somepony….anypony…” She sniffed, “…help." Twilight Sparkle reburied her face and continued to cry, wishing to be home again with her family and friends. But she was all alone, and nopony was there to help her. She cried on, until she finally drifted off to sleep.