“We are almost there! Its just through that door and across a few more hallways,” The brown alicorn declared.
“We have made it this far…I am ready for anything!” Twilight also declared.
Courageous and Twilight galloped on ahead. The other five were ready to gallop with them, when suddenly the floor beneath them disappeared. Applejack, Rarity and Fluttershy fell down the hole, while Pinkie Pie tried to avoid it by grabbing onto Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, Rainbow was surprised by all this and could not stay in the air with another holding her down. She fell along with the pink pony down the hole.
The five mares fell fast through the trapdoor and found themselves sliding down a slide through the dark. Unable to see where they were going, they all screamed as they went downward…all except for Pinkie Pie, who saw all this as exciting.
“Wheeee!!!! This is so fun!!!” She screamed.
“How can this be fun?!” Rarity hollered.
“I’m scared!” Fluttershy muttered.
“Hang on ya’ll!!” Applejack instructed.
“To what exactly?!” Rainbow Dash retorted.
As they slid down at great speed through the dark, the ride finally came to an end when they landed at the bottom and ended up in a pile.
“Aww, its over?” Pinkie complained. The others rolled their eyes and decided not to answer that.
The girls all got up off the other and looked around. They were standing in a cave of some sort, surrounded by crystals all over the walls and floors. After examining their surroundings, there appeared to be no way out.
“Where are we exactly?” Rarity asked her friends.
“A’ think we are in that cave Twi told us about. Ya know, the one she got trapped in during that there weddin’?” Applejack informed.
The other mares did recall Twilight telling them about her encounter in the cave during Shining Armor and Cadance’s wedding. The only thing different this time was that the way out was not where Twilight said it would be; the girls saw that they may be trapped.
“Well that’s just great! We came this far only to be trapped in a cave with no exit!?! Could this get any worse!?!” The fustrated Rainbow Dash asked.
Suddenly, the sound of laughter was heard echoing throughout the cave…coming from somewhere nearby. Immediately, the four mares glared at Rainbow, for she just had to say that and make the situation worse.
“A’ think it just did,” Applejack snorted.
“Where is that coming from?” Fluttershy asked as she tried to hide herself behind her friends.
“Huddle up, everypony! If there be somethin’ here, we need ta’ stay together and face it!”
The girls all gathered together and tried to locate what it was that was making the laughing. Suddenly, Pinkie pointed over at the crystals in front of her, “There it is!”
“No, there it is!!” Rainbow argued when she saw the same thing on her end.
“No, its right there!” Rarity confirmed from where she stood.
“Its all around us, but who or what is it?” Applejack questioned.
"Who indeed?” I’ll give you three guesses.” Came a voice from nowhere.
The girls all gasped and easily recognized the voice, “Discord!!” They all shouted at once.
“Correct! But I guess that was too easy and obvious, Hahaha!” The creature mocked as he finally appeared from out of a crystal and levitated before the five mares. He looked the same as he always did, except for one thing: his eyes were dark and empty, just like every other evil creature throughout Equestria.
“Oh No! Discord! What happened to you...!” Fluttershy asked sadly.
“Oh, Come now! Isn’t it obvious, my dear Fluttershy?” Discord retorted.
“You bet it is! You are a servant of Tirek now, right?!” Rainbow shouted.
The wicked draconequus clapped his hands slowly and nodded, “Bravo, Rainbow Dash. I guess not all of you are as dumb as certain ponies here,” He insulted, refering to Fluttershy.
“Hey dere! Don’t you be sayin anythin’ cruel to my friends!” Applejack warned.
“Ooooo, I‘m sooooo scared!” Discord teased, “Please, without your Element of Magic or Champion, the five of you hardly pose a threat to me.”
“That’s fine by us, cause we can take you without Twilight or Courageous!” Rainbow Dash sassed the annoying creature.
The girls all stood together, ready to face him. While Fluttershy disliked the idea of fighting a friend, there was no choice as long as he was being controlled.
“Oh dear! Five againt one! Whatever shall I do?!” Discord pretended to be helpless, then snapped his fingers, “Oh yeah…THIS!!”
The girls all gasped as the crystals around them started to show reflections of themselves, only in vast numbers. The reflections came out of the shining rocks and what stood there were copies of the five mares, only they were completely gray.
“I reckon ya’ll have a chance against us…” The gray Applejacks lied at once.
“Everything you have will soon be MINE!!” The greedy Rarity clones screamed.
“Friends are nothing, and so are all of you!!” yelled the disloyal Rainbow clones.
“You not bowing to the Master makes me so angry!!!” The angry Pinkies stated.
“Know whats helpess and will never win?” The cruel Fluttershys asked, “YOU!!”
Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash could not believe it, but they were in the presence of what Discord turned them into long ago during their first encounter with him. Each one of these clones were the exact opposite of what the five mares stood for.
“Now, let the game…BEGIN!!” Discord announced. He snapped his fingers again and his pony clones charged at the five mares. The evil Master of Chaos and Disharmony sat back while levitating and would enjoy every minute of this.
Meanwhile, the battle of Ponyville was not going so well for those of the army of the Light that were still conscious and trying to run away from the attacking Hydras. Although some hydras were brought down, the majority of them were still tearing through the town, knocking over every building in their paths, smacking every little creature with their head as they swung low, and mocked them with laughter just to show there was no way to defeat them.
“What are we gonna do, Chief? We cant keep dis up much longer!” Braeburn shouted to the Buffalo leader.
“We must keep fighting! We have to give Courageous and the others more time!” He responded.
“I agree with you, Thunderhooves,” Subira supported, “Let us keep fighting until our situation improves!”
The buffalo chief smiled and blushed at the zebra archer, who returned his expression with the same. These two leaders felt ready to fight on until they both could no longer.
But before anything could be done, a Hydra charged right passed them, while chasing some other ponies, and knocked Thunderhooves high into the air and right onto the roof of a house. Upon impact, the heavy buffalo ended up falling through the roof and into the house, from the second floor and right down to the first, landing hard onto the floor.
Subira, Braeburn and Little Strongheart all gasped and ran towards the house to help him. The young colt and buffalo were able to get on ahead of the zebra archer, who was trying desperately to reach the chief. Suddenly out of nowhere, Subira was knocked down by an unknown attacker.
Braburn and Little Strongheart opened the door to the house, only to see the chief lying on his back on a broken table.
“Are you alright, Thunderhooves?! Please be alright!!” Braeburn hoped.
The buffalo mumbled and sighed, “I’m…okay…” As he tried to get up, a vase from above rolled across the floor and down the hole, onto his head, “No…I’m not.” Thunderhooves was out cold, just like that.
“Oh no…” The young buffalo muttered sadly as their strong and fearless leader was out.
Meanwhile, Subira rose back up to face her attacker. She reached for her bow only to see that it was broken. Weaponless now, she turned to see who it was who dared to stop her from trying to aid Chief Thunderhooves, only to gasp when she saw who it was.
“No, not you…it cannot be true,” Subira muttered in shame as her own sister, Zecora, was standing before her, ready to charge.
“We meet again, here in the Master’s domain!” The evil Zecora snorted.
Subira was wise enough to see nothing she could say or do would bring Zecora back to her senses. Tirek was responsible for this, and this angered the archer even more. She reached behind her and pulled out the only arrow she had left: a sleeping arrow, “Come to me, sister dear. Let us end this, now and here!”
Zecora stomped her hooves and charged at her twin sister. Subria places the arrow in her mouth and galloped towards her sister as well. The two glared at each other as they were getting closer.
Once she was within range, Subira leaped into the air, which surprised Zecora greatly. The zebra tribe leader came down on her sister and hit her on the head with the arrow, causing the powder to explode on them both.
Braeburn and Little Strongheart managed to pull the unconscious Chief Thunderhooves out of the busted house and back into the open, near a tree. They tried to wake him, but he was still out cold.
“Look, over there,” the young buffalo pointed over yonder to where two zebras were lying on the ground, sleeping.
“Not Subira too…” Braeburn pleaded as he shook his head.
With both Chief Thunderhooves and Subira out, the battle would soon be over: the other ponies, zebras, and buffalo were just running around trying to avoid or fight the massively large Hydras. Without leaders to guide them, defeat would only be moments away.
Deep underneath Midnight Castle, where a cavern of many crystals resided, the five mares did battle against the grayish clone ponies Discord conjured.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash fought against the disharmony clones of Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, for they were the meanest of them all. As tough as they were, the two athletes were able to hold their own for a while.
Pinkie Pie spent her time running from the clones of Rainbow Dash. They were anxious to beat her up for finding the happy pink pony so annoying.
Rarity ran from the clones of herself, “I want that necklace!!” They all shouted as they gave chase to the screaming and terrified white unicorn.
Fluttershy avoided the fighting, but had to put up with the lying Applejack clones, “You know ya don’t stand a chance. Givin’ up is always easier.” They continued on with their lies. The annoyed Pegasus was able to crawl away when she had the chance.
Discord was still in the air, laughing so hard it hurt his stomach, “Oh this is priceless!! You ponies are just too much!!”
Rainbow Dash grew more and more fustrated with all this and noticed there were a few crystals above Discord. She flew high up to them when she had her chance, and kicked them hard. One broke off and fell down towards the still laughing draconequus.
Discord moved a little to the left, out of the path of the falling crystal just in time, “Really? That was your plan?” He rolled his eyes, “Seriously, I thought you were smarter than that.”
Suddenly, Discord was struck in the head with a crystal from behind; Fluttershy managed to grab one and hit him while he was distracted. She hated to do it, but her fustration was too great to ignore and so she had no choice. Discord was in a daze and fell onto the ground. Weakened by the blow, the disharmony clones of the five mares disappeared immediately. As he laid there, he muttered a few words, “Well…played, Fluttershy….well…played….” He then fell unconscious.
“Game over!” Fluttershy stated proudly. The others were proud of the little Pegasus for bringing an end to all that.
“Oooo, look!” Pinkie shouted to get their attention and see where she was looking.
A few crystals on the wall over yonder disappeared, revealing a stairwell leading up.
“A’ think that must be our ticket out of here!” Applejack assumed, “Come on ya’ll!”
Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity followed Applejack up the stairs, not knowing where it may lead. But it was without a doubt a way out of the cave and back up to the Castle, where their friends were waiting.