Even with the numbers that remained, plus the Elements of Harmony, it would not be enough and would only lead to a quick defeat. The Elements had the power to vanquish any lesser evils as they did before, but without the Light, they were now rendered useless.
As all the creatures discussed away, the five mares found a spot away from the group so they could talk more privately. Most of them had Twilight on their minds and started to wonder if they were wrong to dismiss her and the claims of her dreams being real.
“Do you think…we were too harsh on her?” Fluttershy asked.
“A’ don’t know, sugarcube. A’ just don’t know…” Applejack replied with a sigh following afterward.
“Whether she was telling the truth or not, that doesn’t matter right now!” Rainbow Dash argued.
“Rainbow Dash is right. Everypony over there is deciding on how to flee our home…and I must say it’s not something I would be in favor of.” Rarity explained to her friends.
“I don’t want to leave Equestria. It’s our home…” Pinkie muttered sadly.
The five little ponies were at a loss: they did not know who to side with at this point, but in the end it was obvious the Darkness would just take them eventually. The real question was would they fall fighting…or fleeing?
Before anything else could be decided, the entire town shook once an enormous crack of thunder was heard overhead. They all gazed up into the dark sky, only to see the clouds forming a vortex.
Many ponies and creatures panicked; something bad was going to happen, and could only fear what it was. The young fillies and colts were taken inside, protected by their parents. The rest stayed where they were, for they have nowhere else to run to. The wind picked up speed and blew through Appleloosa, causing barrels and tumbleweeds to roll over everywhere.
“Oh, dis here cant be good at all!!” Braeburn claimed.
“I agree. I’m scared…” Little Strongheart admitted as she stayed close to her friend while the vortex continued to spin from above.
The mighty chief of the buffalo, along with the zebra tribe leader and the wisest of the dragons all gazed up into the clouds, watching every second of this event. The expression on their faces could be seen by some nearby.
“What is tarnation is goin’ on?” Applejack asked as she and the others galloped over to the group.
Chief Thunderhooves snorted and shook his head as he watched the vortex, “He…has come!”
“W-What do you m-m-mean?” Fluttershy asked, only to cower in fear once another thunder crack was heard.
“He-That-Brings-The-Spread-Of-Shadows!!” He is here!!!“ The Buffalo chief stated firmly.
Shock and terror feel upon all the citizens and visitors of Appleloosa once they heard this. Although there was nothing by a massive dark vortex forming above, it would no doubt be followed by something much worse. As lightning and thunder struck, along with the howling of the cold wind, something was coming out of the spiraling dark clouds. They were small but great in numbers.
What soon appeared was a group of pegasai, but not just any normal ones. These were wearing a sort of dark purple uniforms and flew in a well organized formation. They appeared before the town of Appleloosa and chuckled wickedly towards all who panicked from the mere sight of them.
“The Wonderbolts!?!” Pinkie Pie cried out.
“No…the Shadowbolts!!” Rainbow Dash corrected sadly. She knew those uniforms and expressions well, for she had encountered them long ago. The only difference this time was that these were no illusion; these were the actual former wonder bolts, only corrupted and wearing new uniforms. Over thirty Shadowbolts surrounded the town to prevent any from running away. Leading them was none other then the captain, Spitfire, and her second-in-command, Soarin.
"This can’t be happening…” Rainbow Dash denied, for the sight of her idols now her enemies was too much to bare.
Once the ponies and other creatures were trapped inside Appleloosa, a massive shadow came forth from the vortex. A cruel and wicked laugh could be heard coming from this dark energy, as it arrived on the ground and started to take shape. The Shadowbolts all kneel once the dark entity took form into that of a massive demonic centaur, with long horns and black armor that covered most of his body. Around his neck hung an amulet, while in his hand he held a long scepter with a red orb that burned with dark powers.
As he stood there, glaring out at all the creatures that he viewed as insignificant and weak, he could not help but laugh at their pathetic attempt to flee from him. He stomped his hoof and spoke. “SO, THIS IS WHERE I FIND YOU…ALL OF YOU!!” He snickered with amusement and disgust, “FIRST YOU THOUGHT TO CHALLENGE ME, AND NOW YOU ATTEMPT TO RUN AWAY!?!”
Every pony, zebra, dragon and buffalo were too afraid to reply to this evil being, and they have the right to be; his power was too great and standing up to him would only lead to further trouble.
“I CANNOT BE STOPPED! I AM ETERNAL, AND THERE IS NO WHERE IN THIS WORLD YOU CAN HIDE FROM MY POWER!!!” Tirek yelled in anger and pride.
As the frightened creatures cowered at the demon centaur’s shouting, it become clear that they were doomed, and would soon become that what they feared the most: loyal servants of this dark monster. Suddenly, the galloping of hoof steps was heard from the distance, making way through the town and towards the demon, “Out of my way!!” Came a familiar voice.
“Twilight!!” The green and purple dragon named Spike called out in excitement, but only to see her charging towards Tirek.
Twilight Sparkle had managed to slip passed the Shadowbolts and was able to build up enough courage to challenge the demon in front of her. She charged forward, without proper thinking, and while powering up her horn with the strongest magic she could conjure, she fired at him.
The creatures all around were surprised and shocked to see this little pony foolishly attempting to drive back the Master of Darkness. Twilight did not care at all what they all thought; they were doing nothing to protect their home and loved ones, so if she were to be the only one to stand up to Tirek, then that was just fine by her.
Tirek the Supreme shook his head and laughed in amusement as Twilight’s spells hit his armor, only to be reflected off. Even after multiple attempts, nothing got through; Her efforts were in vain. Twilight used up so much strength and magic that she quickly become exhausted. Tirek raised one of his hooves and stomped onto the ground, causing a shock wave that knocked the lavender pony back a ways.
“Oww…” Twilight moaned once she came to a halt. She tried to get up, but the effect from the blast hurt her a little.
“Twilight!” Spike cried out as he came to his best friend’s aid, “Are you alright?!”
Twilight gave a simple nod and smile at her dragon as he helped her up and back on her hooves. Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash rushed over to them as quick as they could.
“By golly, sugarcube. You have got ta’ be da most crazy pony I have ever known!” Applejack stated with a chuckle.
“Yeah…you are by far more daring than I am, Twilight.” Rainbow confessed.
“That was the most super-duper-awesome-most-incredible thing you have ever done!!” Pinkie cheered.
“That was quite the tomfoolery, my dear Twilight. But I am thankful you are alright,” Rarity announced.
“Oh yes. But please be more careful next time. We were so worried,” Fluttershy explained.
Twilight could only give a warm smile to the five ponies and one dragon that were before her. At first she thought they gave up on her and dismissed her claims, but now all that did not matter. She was so thrilled to be with them again and to know they were worried about her.
The smiling, tearful unicorn threw her arms around her best friends, and was so happy to be with them again, “I love you girls so much. Thank you!”
“We love ya too, Twilight. You are our best friend, now and forever.” Applejack smiled.
The five mares all gave Twilight a warm and welcoming group hug. Whatever happened before was a thing of the past. They were reunited once again, and would never let anything come between them this time.
Their happy moment was quickly interrupted by the demon who was disgusted by their strong and loving friendship. He growled and snarled at them, “FOOLISH PONIES!! YOUR FRIENDSHIP MEANS NOTHING IN THIS WORLD THAT I WILL SOON RULE!!”
“You’re wrong, Tirek!” Twilight Sparkle argued, “Our friendship got us this far, and it will see us to the end…your end that is!”
Every pony and creature within Appleloosa were amazed by these six mares and their courage and strength to stand up to this great evil. Although that very courage began to grow in them, the fear of challenging something that could not be defeated was still present inside them all.
Tirek laughed once more in amusement, “THOSE WILL BE YOUR LAST WORDS…” He held out his hand at them as began to build up energy that would soon turn them into his minions, “…AS I OBLITERATE YOUR PRECIOUS HARMONY ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!”
The Mane six and Spike closed their eyes and flinched as they awaited for the Darkness to finally turn them into servants of evil. If this was to be the end, they would fall standing together, forever believing in the Magic of Friendship.
Tirek chuckled as he was ready to inflict his corrupting power upon them, but halted once he saw a few ponies gathering around those he was targeting.
“WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?!?!”
Twilight opened her eyes to see Braeburn, Little Strongheart, and Silverstar standing in front of them, shielding them.
“You want them, ya gonna have to go through me!” Braeburn stated to the demon.
“Me too!” The young buffalo added.
“Same here!” The sheriff of Appleloosa snarled.
Subria the zebra tribe leader joined them, along with Chief Thunderhooves, “You want to get through, you will have to go past me too,” She declared in a rhyme.
“And me as well…Tirek!!” The brave buffalo chief said the demon's name for the first time in all of their history, now that he had the courage to stand up to this wicked monster.
The Wise One, although knew all that they were doing was futile, joined them as well, “I may be old and I know when it may look hopeless, but I will not go down cowering in fear, while I still have some fight left in me!!”
Twilight and the others were amazed at what that eyes beheld: ponies, zebras, buffalo and dragons were all standing together for the last time, showing the strength to stand against the Darkness and its Master.
Tirek growled in anger at what he saw. All the creatures that once stood against him were united and standing together again, even if it would only be for a short time. His frown turned back into a grin. “FINE THEN!! YOU SHALL ALL FALL, TOGETHER!!!!” From his hand, the power of Darkness shot towards the group of united creatures, soon to corrupt and change them forever.
As they closed their eyes and flinched together, Twilight was the only one would watched as the dark energy was nearing. In her mind, she quickly recalled all the events of her life that led to this, and soon remembered all the good times she had with her friends and family. The last thing on her mind was the very special pony that she dreamed of since all this started, and wished she had the chance to tell him how she felt. With his name and memory on her mind as the Darkness was mere seconds away, she threw her head back and yelled up into the sky:
“COURAGEOUS!!!!” Twilight screamed the name of the one she loved.
Suddenly the dark power that was about to reach and corrupt the group, had vanished. Twilight and the others all looked up and saw that they were still the same, untouched by evil. But Twilight then looked at the demon centaur and noticed his amulet glowing with a bright light; but not just any light…the Light itself. This was soon followed by a voice coming from it, one Twilight knew all to well.
“Twi…light!!! Came the voice that everypony in Appleoosa could hear.
“WHAT!?!” Tirek bellowed as he noticed it as well, “NO!! IT CAN’T BE!!”
Twilight gasped as she quickly realized what was happening. she jumped out from the group and stood before Tirek, “Courageous!?!” She knew it was him, and it was obvious what was going on: Courageous Heart was trapped inside Tirek’s amulet.