Disclaimer:Do I really need one? Does anypony actually think I own MLP FIM? Then you need help. I suggest Doctor Whoof. He's got amazing credentials.
"And now the night shall reign eternal!" Nightmare Moon laughed manically before disappearing into the dark mist that made up her mane and rushing out of the meeting hall where the rest of the pony cowered in confusion. A blue and rainbow blur named Rainbow Dash raced after her to the edge of town screaming at her not to run away. And in doing so fail to notice a certain violet pony dashing out of the hall with a purple and green dragon draped over her back.
No pony would notice the disappearance of Ponyville's newest resident until it was far too late.
Twilight gently lowered Spike into his bed listening to him sleepily mumble about stopping Nightmare, She lovingly smiled as she tucked him in.
"Poor Spike, you've been up all night. You are a baby dragon after all." She quietly backed out of the small bedroom of the library and shut off the light. A second passed before a crash was heard in the main room.
"No no no!" Twilight exclaimed while using her magic to levitate random books to her in a panic. "Non of these have any thing to do with the Elements of Harmony! What to do, what to do!"
This went on for several more minutes before she lost control of one of the books and it smacked her in the face. Snapping out of her panic, Twilight took a deep breathe to calm her nerves.
"Ok, ok. Got to stay calm and go about this rationally. I won't find anything just looking about all willy-nilly. Lets look alphabetically."
Several tense minutes passed as she quickly scanned the titles of the books lining the walls of the library. She was through the middle of the "F's" when she came to a sudden halt, blinked rapidly, and zipped back to the "E's" to a majestic red book with golden trimming labelled Elements of Harmony, A Reference Guide.
Twilight carefully levitated the old book off the shelf and opened it.
"Ok, let's see... There are five known Elements of Harmony. Kindness, laughter, generosity, honesty, and loyalty. The sixth is a complete mystery. It is said that the last known location of the five Elements was in the ancient castle of the royal pony sisters. It is located in what is now the Everfree Forest."
Pleased that she had finally found a solid lead on the Elements Twilight smiled to herself.
"Great! And if I remember my geography lessons correctly, Ponyville is located only a few short miles from there! How lucky!" She almost rush the out the door before hesitating. Taking a quick peek into the bedroom she saw Spike still asleep, a bit of drool falling onto his pillow. She smiled sweetly and ducked back into the main room and writing a quick note to tell him what happened. Tucking the note where he will easily find Twilight lightly kissed Spike's forehead.
"Stay safe, my number one assistant."
She never noticed the dark mist that was spying on her.
Twilight gulped as she nervously stood at the entrance to the Everfree Forest. It looked far more intimating than the maps had hinted at. The whole place was even a different color than the rest of the countryside. The air itself felt heavy with ambient magic and chaotic danger.
Steeling her resolve, Twilight plunging into the strange flora, intent on saving her beloved mentor.
Her gallop slowly crept to a nervous walk as she went deeper into the forest. The place was creepy as all hoof, it felt like the entire forest was just staring at her, annoyed that she would dare enter its confines. It was everything she could do to keep putting one hoof in front of the other.
Eventually, she emerged from the trees onto a cliff overlooking the forest. Twilight looked on in awe, it was huge! The maps had always made the place out to be no bigger than a large city, but now, the reality of it hit her in the face. This was no large city, it was more of a small country! The strangely colored trees stretched on for as for as she could see in all directions.
Shaking her head to clear her thoughts, Twilight peered into the night, hoping to catch a glimpse... there! A tower peeking above the trees. At least now she knew which way to go but she still had quite the way to go before reaching it.
Before she could ever register the noise, the cliff under her hoofs crumbled away to nothing. Twilight screamed as she tumbled down the newly made slope. At the last second she was able to catch herself before falling off the new cliff the slope led to. Adrenalin surged through her body as she tried to pull herself up, but she couldn't get a hoofhold and could only hang there half off the cliff.
Peeking over her shoulder she saw the ground was still a good ways away. Feeling herself slipping, Twilight panically ran through every spell she knew, praying that there was someway to safe herself from a gruesome if quick death.
Screaming in fear, Twilight lost all hold of the cliff and fell into the open air. Driven more by instinct than conscious thought, her horn glowed as she repeatedly scream out,
Near the point of hyperventilation, Twilight barely noticed that her descent had slowed to a crawl. Now no more than ten feet in the air she glanced above and saw a giant bubble that had grown out of her horn was responsible for her continued existence. Relief swept through her violet body, unfortunately also breaking her new favorite spell, causing her to fall the last few feet and crash to the ground on her rump.
Picking herself up painfully, Twilight resumed walking towards the ruins she saw in the distance hoping that the worst of it was over.
The valley Twilight had fallen into ended at a small opening between the two cliffs that surround the whole valley, making it the only way out. That wouldn't have been a problem if the way wasn't blocked by an angry maticore that was pacing agitatedly to and fro. Twilight really didn't want to have deal with the angry winged cat, and knowing that its poison in its stinger could kill her very painfully in less than three hours really didn't help her gather her courage any faster.
Eventually choosing a plan of action that seemed relatively safe, Twilight took a deep breathe and closed her eyes in concentration. Her horn glowed brightly in the night as she began her spell.
The maticore gave a surprised roar as it was lifted bodily into the air. Twilight, after making sure it worked raced through the gap. Once safely on the other side, she look behind her at the monster that was flailing in the air and notice a giant thorn stuck in one of its paw pads. Feeling slightly giddy at getting through unscathed, Twilight used her magic to quickly pull it out hopefully leaving it creature in better mood.
The roar the maticore made when the thorn was pulled shocked Twilight into ending the spell, dropping the beast. Not wanting to test her luck anymore, Twilight dashed into the darkness of the trees, missing the speculative look the maticore threw her way before she disappeared entirely.
Her fast pace through the foreboding forest did not last as long as she had wanted, as Twilight quickly came upon a patch of forest so thick that it blocked out all light, forcing her to slow to a crawl unless she wanted to trip over something or run headlong into a tree.
"Geez," twilight grumbled as see carefully picked her way through the darkness, "The ruins could be right in front of my face and I wouldn't even know it."
"Oh gross." She tried to look down on her hoof, hoping that it was only mud she had just stepped in. Knowing there wasn't anything she could do now she looked back up.
Only to scream in terror at the sight before her!
She was surrounded! Everywhere she looked was the glowing red lines of horrible faces with sharp teeth and glaring eyes. Her legs failed her as she dropped to the ground and lay there, trembling with her front hooves covering her head.
She stayed there for quite a while before her curiosity got the best of her. Slowly lifting her hoof off her eye, Twilight peeked out to see why see was still alive. The same terrifying faces met her gaze, but she also noticed that they weren't moving at all.
Picking herself up on shaky hooves, Twilight saw that the faces, while horrifying, were nothing more than the patterns on the trees though she was clueless as to why they were glowing.
"Well..." She started walking as fast as her trembling legs would go. "At least I can see now..."
Twilight didn't stop again until she was totally clear of the scary trees and had arrived at a wide river. Finally letting her tense body relax a bit, she checked the stars above making sure she was still headed in the right direction.
"Great I'm still on track, now I just have to cross this river that looks fully of dangerous rapids. No big deal after that forest..." She trailed off as she heard a voice crying out not too far off. Curious to see who else would be in such a place, She peered through the bushes.
There, flailing in the water and sobbing his eyes out was a great water dragon, its scales a rich royal purple with hair the color of bright orange. Being the kind hearted filly that she was, Twilight stepped into the open.
"Sir? Whats wrong? Why are you crying?"
"Oh I don't know." Came the sightly sarcastic reply, the dragon's said in a voice that screamed fabulous. "I was simply minding my own business when a tacty cloud of purple smoke rushed past me and ripped off half of my beloved mu-stache!"The dragon paused shortly for dramatic effect while showing the shorn off facial hair. "And now I look simply horrid!"
The dragon flopped back into the water sobbing, causing a huge wave to completely soak Twilight. And while refreshing, she soooo did not need that.
Seeing that the river would be impassable while the dragon was so distraught, Twilight tried to think of anything that would help her get past this hurdle when she was suddenly reminded of a spell for growth that see had been meaning to practice with Spike. It should be able to fix the problem completely, as long as she remembered how to do it right.
"Um... sir? I may be able to help."
The dragon was right in her face faster than she could blink.
"Really? You could? How?"
"Its a spell I read about during my studies," Twilight nervously shifted from one hoof to the other. "Its a spell for growing magic. I've never actually performed this spell before, but theoretically if I apply it to your mustache it should cause it to grow instantly."
"Marvelous, simply marvelous!" The dragon shouted out, throwing his head back and his arms out dramatically. "Please you must try! I simply can not go on living like this!"
Rolling her eyes at his overacting, Twilight spread out her hooves to steady herself.
"Alright, stay still..."
Eyes closed in deep concentration, her horn glowed as she began to channel her magic into the correct pattern for the spell. For several seconds nothing seemed to happen as Twilight began to mumble to herself.
"...no that not...maybe...oh right...now just a bit more..."
The dragon's eyes widened as the stump of his poor mu-stache began to glow, dimly at first before quickly growing int brilliance.
"Its working its working!" He exclaimed, barely remembering to keep still in his excitement.
Encouraged by his enthusiasm, Twilight made one last adjustment and decided that it was as close as she could get without looking at the book again and activated the spell. A small poof sounded out and the glow disappeared.
Looking up in anticipation, Twilight winced at the results. Technically, the spell worked. His mustache was back to the right length, but... the color was way off. Instead of his bright orange, the new facial hair was her own colors. A deep almost black navy blue with a stripe of pink and purple in the middle.
Cringing, Twilight waited for the dragon's opinion.
"(Gasp) My mu-stache...its...fabulous!"
"Huh?" Twilight was confused. "But, I messed up. The color's all wrong...why are you happy?"
"oh the color may be a little off," The dragon assured her as he petted the new hair, "But I can easily dye it the right color back home. So why shouldn't I be thrilled with the return of my beloved mu-stache? Ooh how can I even repay you for this?"
Relief once more swept through Twilight's tired body as a pleased grin appeared on her lips.
"Thats ok, I'm just glad the spell worked at all. But I can't stay and chat I really need to get to the ancient ruins on the other side of the river."
"Of course, say no more." The dragon quickly dived under the water and made stepping stone across the river with his long body before his head reappeared on the opposite bank. "Allow me!"
Twilight quickly took him up on his generous offer and bounded over to the other side. Throwing a fast heartfelt thank you over her shoulder, she continued on running into the forest as the dragon waved goodbye to her and disappeared into the deep waters.
Back in Ponyville, the once happy and peaceful town was in a crazy state of panic. Ponies were searching endlessly for the missing princess and/or the cause of the problem, Nightmare Moon. But both searches were hampered by the simple fact that most of the poor ponies were dead on their hooves. Between the preparations, the party earlier that night, and staying up the whole night for the Summer Sun Celebration, most of them had been running around for over thirty hours, And now it was catching up to them. Even the guards Celestia had brought with her were still mostly out of it from the lightning bolts to the face earlier.
Rainbow Dash glided back to the Town Hall where the rest of the gang was trying to coordinate the search efforts, her energy level showing in the lack of her customary rainbow streak and the dark circle that was showing under her eyes. She was greeted by an equally tired looking Applejack, Rarity, and the Mayor while Fluttershy was busy trying to comfort the young ponies who had all been gathered into the corner of the Hall. Pinkie Pie was... being Pinkie Pie. She helping Fluttershy with the kids, being as funny and random as possible to take their minds off of current events. And of course, she didn't look even the least bit tired at all...
"Any luck Dash?" Applejack asked, sounding as if she could fall asleep right there on her hooves.
"There's been absolutely no sign of her at all." Rainbow Dash complained irritably. "We turned the whole village upside down. My guess is that stupid Moon mare didn't stick around long after I lost her earlier. Which I wouldn't have if you hadn't tried ta stop me!"
"Ah come off it Dash." Applejack replied, dismissing the issue. "I was jus tryin ta save ya from getting a bolt ta tha snout like them guards did."
Rainbow Dash snorted stubbornly but didn't continue.
"Oh I do hope this is sorted out quickly," Rarity worriedly looked to the moon. "If it going to be night time forever, I'm going to have to completely overhaul my wardrobe. Day colors just will not do in the night!"
"Um Rarity?" Applejack looked at her friend strangely. "We're gonna have lots more problems than just our clothes if this night is forever. If the sun don't come up anymore, we're gonna have a major food shortage on our hooves right fast, since plant don't grow in the dark. None of our winter food stores are anythin even close to being full, an even if they were, it would only last a couple a months at the most." She looked down, worry etched into her eyes. "I don't see how were gonna save Celestia, much less survive..."
"Lets not dwell on what we can not change for now," The Mayor said, trying to get their minds off such depressing subjects. "If worst comes to worst, there are spell to force plant growth. Its not as good taste wise but we could live off it." She looked back to the balcony where Nightmare Moon first appeared. "If only we knew more about this Nightmare Moon, we might be able to guess where she could have gone..."
"Heeey..." Rainbow Dash looked around, eyes narrowed in suspision. "Where's Twilight? She was the one who knew who Nightmare was. And I haven't seen her at all since... (Gasp) What if she was a spy!"
"Whoa nelly! Calm down Dash, she ain't no spy." Applejack said before Rainbow Dash could run off in search of the 'spy'. "But she did know what was goin on. While the rest of us were all confused an stuff, Twi had a down right terrified look in 'er eyes."
"I'm sorry but who is this Twilight?" The Mayor look on confused. "I know everypony in Ponyville, but I don't believe I've ever met a Twilight."
"She's from Canterlot," Rarity replied, "She was sent to check on the preparations for the festivities. She was the pony that Pinkie Pie threw the welcome party in the library earlier, in fact I think thats where she was staying with her little dragon friend, what was his name...Spike. I wonder what happened to them. I've seen neither hoof nor scale of either since this all began."
"Oh you mean Twilight?" Pinkie Pie asked as she suddenly popped up behind Rarity, Fluttershy not far behind. The kids all had fallen asleep. "She ran out of here in a hurry right after Moony disappeared. She was carring Spiky since he had fainted. Maybe she went back to the library. Hey the library might have something on Moony and we should at least go check up on her and Spike. We should bring cupcakes, everypony loves cupcakes! Besides no pony should be alone right now."
"Right, you five go and check up on this Twilight." The Mayor ordered. "I'll stay here to keep order. Go."
The pony gang stopped at the door and turned to the voice. It was one of the pure white guard pegasus who had finally climbed back to his hooves.
"I shall accompany you. Lady Twilight is the most favored of all Princess Celestia's students. If anything were to happen to her on my watch, I would never be able to forgive myself."
"Alright, cmon!" Rainbow Dash zoomed out of the Hall with renewed energy. "The library is this way!"
'There it is! The Ancient Castle of the Royal Sisters!'
So close to her goal, Twilight excitedly pushed her tired body into a run, not noticing the bridge was out until the last second when she was already half over the cliff, flailing her front legs wildly trying to get some kind of hoof hold. Eventually she was able to catch the first plank of the fallen bridge and stopped herself from tumbling into the misty abyss below.
Adrenalin pumping, Twilight was able to quickly push herself back to safety. Snapped back into full awareness from the near death experience, she went over her option at this point.
'I could just teleport over, that would be the fastest, but I don't know what its going to take to activate the Elements of Harmony, and if I'm too tired to teleport back I'll be stuck there for a while. Guess I'll try to levitate the bridge back into place. While it's tiring as well, at least I'll have a way back.'
Steadying herself, Twilight began raising the bridge. It wasn't as heavy as she feared, and the cords had plenty of length to retie them on the other side. The task was over quickly but afterwards she still slumped to the ground, the day's and night's events weighing her down.
'No!' Twilight violently shook her head, trying to throw off the weariness. 'I can't stop now! I'm so close, I have to save the Princess! I can't stop. I won't.'
Twilight forced herself to her hooves and started across the newly erected bridge. Her body aching and weary, but her steps steady and sure. In her eyes was a hard, angry glint.
AN: Whoa... I actually made a real chapter. Thats a first! But then again my muse won't shut up about this one, but no I have to beg and plead to get any thing for my other stories that are coming along so slowly it truly and physically hurts. Anyway onto the story... Twilight arrives at the ruins alone and almost dead on her feet, the others only now realize she's missing and Nightmare Moon is laughing evilly in the background. Will Twilight be forced to face her alone? Will the rest of the gang be able to come to her aide in time? Why did I add in one of the Royal Guard ponies?
...because they need to earn their keep damn it.
Find out next time on MLP FIM: The Spark chapter 2-Ignites a Flame