Yep, that's right! You guys asked for it! So here's Ch. 1 of the REAL sequel to The 7th Element!
You wanted Ace back, so I'm giving him to you. I gave up trying to explain to you all that Ace will not be coming back in A New Dawn on The Horizon because it is an INTERMEDIARY sequel that is from the POV of Blazing Dawn.
Since you all wanted Ace back so badly, I'm going to give you all chapter 1. This is the ONLY time I will cave in to my fans like this! There will NOT be a next time where I answer demands like this. Love you guys, but you can't rush me or Henry like this.
As for when this story will update, in honestly depends on how I feel when I sit down to write and if Henry needs my assistance for what I should've been working on tonight, A New Dawn on The Horizon.
So please, do not rush me. It does not help. ESPECIALLY with this syndrome I have. This is all I'm giving you for now of The Return of the 7th Element.
Enjoy chapter 1.
The Return of the 7th Element
Written by Thunderhawk
Edited by Henry Anthony Courtler
The 7th Element series started before the synopsis leak of the first season 3 episodes of the show, in which they have confirmed there will be a seventh Element of Harmony. These stories are in no way associated with changing the actual direction the show is taking, and are original stories of the author's design. Any similarities between these works and the show's season 3 episodes are purely coincidental and in no way intended to take an idea from Lauren Faust and her crew.
Chapter 1: A Day In the Life
March 17, 2027, 3:17 P.M.
Los Angeles, California.
It was a cloudy, chilly day over the human metropolis of Los Angeles. A gentle breeze was blowing over the downtown area of the city, cars were speeding to and fro along the busy streets of the city, the people inside going about their usual business. People on the sidewalks were bustling to and fro, busy as always. All was as it should be in the human city...
Save the man sprinting down a nearby alleyway, his black windbreaker flowing out behind him in the breeze.
"Crap crap crap crap!" The man shouted as he ran, looking behind him as if someone were chasing him, "Gotta get outta here...gotta get away...I was in way over my head this time!"
The man was in his early thirties, with medium length, clean-cut, brown hair that was styled with his bangs off to the right. He had a five o'clock shadow and finely toned facial features. Aside from his windbreaker, he wore a blue tee-shirt underneath, with dark-blue jeans. His golden eyes gleamed brightly as he stopped running and crouched behind a dumpster up against the alleyway wall. From under his jacket he produced a .44 magnum pistol. He slammed a fresh clip into the hilt and primed the weapon. He leaned against the dumpster, gun at the ready, panting heavily.
"He went this way, guys!" A gruff voice echoed from down the hall. This voice was followed the sounds of several other voices behind him; footsteps reverberating down the alleyway. The man in the windbreaker gulps as he heard weapons, namely assault rifles being brandished and primed. "Don't let the bastard get away!"
The man sighed, "Okay...you've got this..." He muttered to himself as he gripped the weapon tightly in his hands.
"Find him!" The voice reverberated again, and the footsteps slowed down and sounded more far apart. They were spreading out, attempting to find him.
In an instant, the man was out from behind the dumpster. He opened fire on the men down the alleyway that were looking for him, the sound of the gun discharging thundering around the tightly closed walls.
Three shady-looking men, all in black hoodies and sunglasses, were all felled by the man's bullets, crying out as they were hit.
A man near the back of the group of about twenty men, dressed like the rest, but wearing a bulletproof vest, pointed at the man and yelled, "THERE! OPEN FIRE!"
"Shoot!" The man yelled, turning around and sprinting again, this time towards the street. He started blind-firing behind him as he ran, and smirked as he heard the dying cry of another goon.
His gun clicked. He was out.
"Crap!" He yelled as he pulled another clip out from under his jacket, still sprinting. The goons chasing him took advantage of his cease fire to break cover and chase him full-throttle, opening fire on the man as they did.
The man covered the back of his head as he ran for protection, bullets whizzing past him as he ran.
As he approached the street, he barked, "MOVE! MOVE! GET OUTTA THE WAY!"
The confused pedestrians only stared at the man quizzically as he ran out of the alleyway into the street. That is, until the sounds of guns being fired were heard. The pedestrians on the sidewalk freaked out, and started scattering, men and women screaming alike, running for cover.
The man was struggling to slam a new clip into his magnum as he ran, still running in a serpentine style as to avoid any bullets that came his way.
"GET HIM!" The gruff voice sounded from behind him again, more bullets whizzing past him. He winced as a man in a suit was struck in the back by a bullet as he ran by. He uttered a silent prayer for the man as he ran towards a nearby intersection.
"Gotta get outta here!" The man huffed tiredly as he ran straight into the middle of the intersection. A horn honked and a car skidded to a halt. The car was a sleek black Audi sports-car and the man had stopped and was aiming the gun through the windshield.
"GET OUT OF THE CAR, NOW!" The man roared, cocking the weapon.
The man inside nodded furiously before diving out of his car. The man quickly leaped over the open door of the car and jumped inside, slamming the door and zooming off down the road.
Inside the car, the man breathed a sigh of relief and laughed a little to himself as he drove, "Idiots didn't stand a chance in-WHOA!"
To his shock, several bullets flew through the Audi's back windshield, shattering it in a shower of glittering glass.
This caused the man to veer off to the left and almost crash head-on into a semi truck. He cried out and yanked the steering wheel to the right, narrowly avoiding an imminent death.
When he recovered, he looked in his rear-view mirror and swore. Several black SUVs were swerving through traffic behind him, men leaning out of the windows with guns aimed at his car.
"Let's kick this up a notch..." The man muttered annoyedly before shifting the car into a higher gear and swerving around oncoming traffic and turning left onto an oncoming one-way street.
The man swerved expertly around the cars barreling towards him, as he drove, and laughed when a driver of an SUV behind him was not so fortunate and slammed headlong into a minivan, causing the SUV to flip into the air and land upside down in a shower of glass and shrapnel. The other two SUVs swerved around the wreckage and gave chase.
The man picked up his magnum and blind-fired out the window as he drove, still keeping a hand on the steering wheel and swerving around oncoming traffic as he did so. He smiled as a tire on one of the SUVs popped and it to swerve to the side violently, causing the whole vehicle to tip over and roll down the street, crushing it.
"Yeah! Suck it, bitches!" The man laughed and he swerved around a corner and back into same-way traffic. He narrowed his eyes and the one SUV still following him swerved around the corner as well and was gaining steady ground. It wasn't long until the the SUV was neck and neck with him on his passenger side.
The man growled, rolled down the window, and started shooting at the SUV. He hit the man in the back-seat that was aiming an assault rifle at him and he fell back into the car. In response, the driver of the SUV, the man in the bulletproof vest from earlier, wrenched his steering-wheel towards the man's Audi.
The man braced for impact and the SUV rammed into his Audi, sending it flipping through the air and into a nearby telephone pole, landing upside-down.
The airbag slammed into the man as he tried to unbuckle his seat-belt. Annoyed, he grunted and blasted a bullet into the airbag to deflate it. Quickly, he scrambled out of the totalled Audi, pushed past some men that ran up and asked if he was okay, and ran into the nearby office building. As he entered, he heard the screech of the SUV's tired and the shouts of men as they ran after him.
"Everybody, get down!" The man shouted as he ran into the lobby, shooting a bullet into the air. This caused everyone inside to duck and cover as the men chasing the golden-eyed man entered and started opening fire, the thunderous sound of bullets being discharged drowning out the screams of civilians. The man leaped over a desk and turned it on it's side as he did so, taking cover behind it.
He exhaled, leaned over the top, and started returning fire to his pursuers, taking down two more of them.
His gun clicked again, and his pursuers heard it. Swearing, the man dropped his gun and dove out from behind the desk, making for the stairwell. He ran up about five flights of stairs before he came to cafeteria looking place, where employees screamed in shock as he entered. He was obviously interrupting their breaks from work.
He looked around quickly and swore. There was no way out. There was only a large plexiglass windows overlooking the road below on the wall in front of him.
As he turned to go, he heard guns click from the door.
"Don't. Move." The gruff voice from before said.
The man sighed and slowly, but surely, rose his hands above his head and looked his pursuers, who finally had him pinned, directly in the eyes.
The gruff-looking man stepped forward, taking off his sunglasses, still aiming a pistol at the golden-eyed man. The men behind the gruff man were still aiming at him as well.
"Here we are at last, driver..." The man chuckled, staring down the golden-eyed man, "You've been causing us too much trouble for far too long..."
"Bite me." The man said, spitting in the eyes of the gruff man. The gruff man responded by inhaling deeply and reaching his fist back, and swung it forward with the intent to punch the golden-eyed man.
The golden-eyed man responded by blocking the gruff man's fist, twisting it around. A snapping sound was heard, and the gruff man cried out in pain. He whirled the gruff man around and held him by the throat, using him as a human shield for the other men that were aiming guns at him.
"I bid you all, adieu..." The golden-eyed man smirked before snapping the gruff man's neck, letting his body fall lifeless on the ground, and sprinting towards the window. Before any of the goons could open fire on the man, he had jumped through the window, sending broken glass everywhere.
The man fell five stories, straight down to a taxi cab parked below.
"AAAAARGH!" The man yelled, bracing himself for impact.
The man instead, however, landed on a big inflatable pad. It made a hissing sound as air escaped as he impacted from his fall.
"AND CUT! THAT'S A WRAP!" A voice reverberated around the area. A bell rang and several people emerged from behind cameras that were placed around the area to film the event.
Several people with headsets on approached the pad as the man fumbled around in it's depths, trying to get off.
"Mr. Sessions!" One blonde man said, extending a hand, "Are you okay?"
The man laughed as he jumped down after grabbed the man's hand. He smiled and brushed himself off, "Never better, Chris!" He brushed himself off, "That was a really fun scene to shoot!"
It was true. Dan had realized his dream of becoming a famous actor. Since elementary school, and being in his first play, Dan had developed a love of singing and acting. After some disappointments in the politics of high school theater, Dan went on to study theater at a well-renowned university under the writer of several musicals. After moving to Los Angeles, he worked as an extra on TV shows for awhile, voice acting in cartoons and video games as well, before catching his big break and being casted as the next protagonist in the new Transformers movie. Since then, he had acquired several large parts and had accumulated quite the acting career.
In high school, he wanted to give up his dream because of getting the shaft so much from his teachers. But something happened during that time that made him change his mind...
But what it was; he couldn't remember for the life of him. Whenever he thought about it, he racked his brain trying to think. He had since decided it was a powerful talk his mother had given him, being an actress herself before becoming a professor of literary arts.
Whatever happened back then, he found himself continually praying about for whoever was responsible for encouraging him to chase his dream.
"Haha!" The man in the headset known as Chris laughed, "I will never get how you do it, Dan...doing your own stunts, and all..."
"Practice, Chris. Lots and lots of practice..." Dan started walking behind the cameras, pulling off the black wind-breaker and accepting a grey zip-up hoodie from a stage hand that had walked up, "So, how long do I have until I'm due for Leno, Chris?"
"Forty-five minutes, Dan..." Chris said, checking a clipboard, "It's okay to be late, though. It's not exactly filmed live."
"True enough..." Dan sighed, pulling on his hoodie and zipping it up, "I can make it."
The stagehand Chris stopped short and cocked an eye, smiling, "Lemme guess...your Corvette?"
Dan turned and winked, "Oh, yeah..."
"Hello, everyone! And welcome to tonight's episode of the Jay Leno Show! With a musical performance by Maroon 5! And we go behind the scenes of the new Fast and Furious movie with the star Daniel Sessions! And now, here's your host, Jay Leno!"
The studio audience went wild as the big-chinned man himself stepped out from the backstage area of his studio, the studio band playing catchy jazz music. He was much older and wrinkled, but still healthy and going strong for all intents and purposes. he waved and blew kisses at the studio audience before sitting down behind his desk with two comforter chairs sitting next to it and trying to calm the crowd as the music stopped.
"Thank you!" Jay said, waving his hands in a downward motion, "Thank you! Ladies...ladies, please. You are too kind..."
The crowd laughed and some girls in the audience screamed when he said that, but ultimately, it got the crowd to quiet down.
Jay pointed at the ladies and said, "I'm old enough to be your grandpa, young ladies...please..." The crowd laughed again before Jay cleared his throat and began to talk, "Well, folks, we have a special treat here tonight. Not only do we have a performance from the age-old classic pop rock band Maroon 5..." The crowd cheered and Jay had to wait awhile before they died down again, "But, we have, on the set, the star of the new movie in the Fast and Furious franchise! Ladies and gentlemen, please give a rousing round of applause..." The crowd burst out into cheers before Jay could finish as he gestured off to the side, "To Dan Sessions!"
The crowd went even more nuts and the ladies screamed even louder as Dan made his way from the backstage, waving at the crowd and smiling as he walked. Jay stood up and shook hands with Dan as he sat down. Eventually, the crowd quieted down and Dan looked over at the audience with a quizzical look, "Am I that popular, Jay?" Dan looked over at Jay with a cocked eye, which caused laughter from the audience and Jay to chuckle, "I'm honestly not that good at acting..."
The crowd laughed again and Jay leaned forward on his desk, "You sing, too, right? Maybe that's it..."
"I don't know what you're talking about..." Dan sang in a high clear pop tenor voice, that caused more cheering and screaming from the crowd.
Jay laughed, "Haha! What a heartbreaker!" He looked over at a chuckling Dan. He gave Dan a contemplative look before a small smirk crossed his features.
"So Dan, why don't you gives us an...inside scoop on the new Fast and Furious film!" Jay finished with an excited cheer, riling up the audience once again.
Dan leaned back and sighed heavily in his chair, "Well, Jay, as we're still in production, there's not a lot I can say, really..." The crowd gave a disappointed "awww" noise as he shook his head, "But I can give you a brief...eh...plot synopsis...if you will..."
"Do tell my friend, do tell."
"Well, as you all know, Dom, Vin Diesel's character, was killed in seventh movie. This movie is the ninth, and it introduces my character, whose name I will not disclose..." Dan leaned back and smiled. "Basically, I play this driver that's in waaaay over his head...you know, getting into trouble and involved with shady characters that he should never have gotten involved with..."
"Sounds to me like you were way in over your head even thinking things wouldn't backfire on you, eh?" The host jested sarcastically, getting the audience to roar their approval in laughter. Even the drummer of Maroon 5, Matt Flynn banged out a classic comedic beat to follow up on Jay Leno's joke.
Dan laughed and shook his head, "Oh, yeah, yeah, lemme tell you." The audience laughed again, "Yeah, well, the ex-FBI guy, Brian O'Conner, played by my good friend Paul Walker, took over for the past movie, but he finds my character in this movie, and we go on this adventure to steal some money from a local kingpin in L.A., all the while getting chased down by..." He leaned forward, "The Rock..." The audience laughed as Dan feigned being horrified.
"You sure 'The Rock' is still cooking? I mean, the man is pushing sixty and he can still keep up chasing after youngsters like you!" Everyone in the audience roared in laughter, "Hell, I'm surprised he isn't chasing after you with a cane and barking 'you young whippersnappers best be giving up or else!" The entire audience was in a riot; none could stop from laughing.
Dan bent forward laughing, clutching his stomach. He inhaled deeply and sighed, "Oh, he's still very much in shape, trust me. I wouldn't wanna mess with him. He'd probably stab that cane through my skull, or something." The crowd laughed again and Dan gave Leno a coy look. "Besides, I'm not that young. I'm 32!"
"Good grief, boy, what's the secret to looking that young? I could swear you were just barely out of college." Girls in the crowd whistled at Dan, who, in turn, blushed slightly and waved.
"Well, truth be told, I don't really know." Dan crossed one leg over the other, "I mean, I haven't really changed much since college..." He stroked his facial hair, "Though I do enjoy stroking my facial hair when I'm deep in thought..." The audience laughed again and the girls whistled again.
"Look at all the ladies out there in that audience! They're all just dying to be with you!" As he spoke, the camera did a quick pan around the audience, filming many of the female attendees cheering loudly in Dan's direction, "Don't you have a special someone, Dan?" Jay Leno questioned.
Dan blushed slightly again before adjusting his hoodie and stroking his chin again. "I don't actually." He nodded at Jay, "I've never really gotten into a serious relationship since...grrr..." He bent over suddenly and rubbed his temples, "Well, it's hard to remember. I...I can't really remember when I was last in a relationship." He paused, "Sometime around high school, I think." He shrugged, "Something just...kept me from really dating anyone. What it is, I...I don't know."
Jay Leno looked at him with a sly grin, "Is that because you have a...family?" He said with a suggestive tone of voice. The crowd made a big "ooooohhh" noise as they all stared Dan down.
Dan laughed and shook his hands in front of him defensively, "No, no! Haha!" He turned towards Jay. "It's not like that, Jay. It's-"
Suddenly, Dan's eyes widened and he stared into space.
"Dan?" Jay said, leaning over his desk. He waved a hand in front of Dan's face. "You...okay, there?"
The crowd started whispering about what was going on, while inside Dan's head, he could hear voices suddenly. Voices that sounded...incredibly familiar. So familiar that Dan couldn't place them, but—
"ARGH!" Dan leaned forward suddenly, clutching his head. Jay stood up, worried. He called a stagehand to bring Dan a water bottle.
Dan's memory was chaotic. Not only had the voices started thundering through his head, memories started flowing in. Memories he didn't recognize that came flooding back in like a torrent of waves from a tsunami. He saw...ponies? And a small rural town with thatched roofs. One particular pony stood out. A blue one. With a rainbow mane. Smiling at him.
The memories kept coming back. He was singing...in a club, full of ponies? He witnessed himself catch the blue mare as she sped through the air, rainbows trailing behind her. He was...flying? He could feel her on his back as he carried her home. He could feel the kiss he planted on her cheek.
He was flying through the air, attacking a...a dragon! He was catching the falling rainbow-maned Pegasus as she was injured by the said dragon. His chest had a splitting pain as he lay in a crater...kissing the mare.
He was...holding two glowing swords and fighting...fighting a monster with an axe and shield. He...shared a passionate night with the mare. He was holding her as she was dying. She leans up and whispers.
"Your son...he needs his Dad..."
"Ggrrrr...son? I have a son?" He muttered so quietly, no one heard a word of what he said.
He was holding a foal. A unicorn. No, a Pegasus. No! It was both! An...an...
"He's an alicorn. He needs protection and guidance from his father..."
He was singing to the baby, stroking its mane. Then, he was racing through a canyon alongside the mare, who survived. Then...a telescope? One last kiss. Then...
He clenched the side of his chair intensely.
"R-Rainbow...D-D-Dash? B-Blazing D-Dawn?"
His eyes snapped open.
"Rainbow Dash...Blazing Dawn..." He whispered to himself as he looked up at the stagehand that was holding a bottle of water in front of his face.
"Mr. Sessions?" The stagehand asked, "Are you...feeling better?"
Dan stared at the stagehand for awhile before nodding slowly and accepted the water, "Yes...thank you..." He unscrewed the cap and took a long drink. He exhaled after taking the drink and put the water down on Jay's desk.
"Dan?" Jay said, "Can you...continue talking?" He looked concerned.
Dan stared into space for a moment longer before turning to Jay and shaking his head slowly, "I..." He looked down, "I have to go..."
"Wait, Dan!" Jay held up a hand to stop the actor. It was too late. Dan had already exited off stage the way he came and was walking towards the back door where he came in from.
Dan pushed past another stagehand who came asking what was the matter as he attempted to make a quick exit towards the backdoor.
Dan turned and saw the old Jay Leno come running after him. He panted heavily as he finally caught up and said, "Hey, look, Dan. I'm really sorry if I hit a touchy subject..."
"Oh, no, Jay." Dan nodded a little, "You are...totally fine...I just..." He sighed, "I need to go."
"Do you have a family?" Jay asked again as Dan tried to leave, stopping the actor in his tracks.
He shuddered, looked down, and wiped away a tear that had emerged from his eye, "Y-Yes..." He turned and looked at the friendly talk show host, "I...I do..."
Jay folded his arms, a concerned look still on his face, "How long has it been since you've seen them? You seemed like you just remembered them and...well, truth be told, it looked like it hit you like a brick."
Dan sniffed and looked down sadly, "Fifteen years, Jay." He looked up at Jat again, his golden eyes glowing brightly, "Fifteen years...since I've seen them."
"Holy mother of—" Jay shook his head and stepped forward, putting a hand on Dan's shoulder, "Well, son." He smiled, "I think it's time you go visit your family then!"
Dan looked down and off to the side as Jay said this. This disheartened Jay, as he was trying to encourage Dan, "I wish I could, Jay..." Jay's mouth hung upon with shock as Dan said that. Dan looked back up at Jay, "I wish I could..." Dan repeated sadly, sniffing.
"Why not?" Jay questioned.
"It's...complicated." This was Dan's only response.
Jay removed his hand from Dan's shoulder and sighed, "I understand, Dan." The talk show host thought for a moment before looking up at Dan again, "I...I won't air this broadcast, ok? I'll get the audience and Maroon 5 to sign waivers saying that they will not disclose anything they heard and saw here on the set." He pointed at Dan, "Can we have you back to try again next week?" He smiled, "Maybe we can delve more into the new Fast and Furious by then..."
Dan smiled weakly and nodded, "Yeah, I can do that..."
The two stood in silence for a few more moments before Jay waved his hands and Dan in a shooing motion, "Go. It's clear you need some alone time."
"Thank you, Jay." Dan turned to go.
"And for what's it's worth..." Jay continued as Dan walked towards the door, "I hope you feel better. You're a good man..."
Dan pushed open the door halfway and turned slightly to acknowledge Jay, nodded in thanks, and stepped out the door.
It had started to rain outside in Los Angeles. Dan threw up the hood on his hoodie and shoved his hands into his pocket as he walked to his Corvette parked behind the studio.
He unlocked it from the key in his hoodie pocket and opened the door, got in, and slammed it shut. He leaned back in the car for a moment and sighed, listening to the pitter-patter of the rain on the roof of his car.
"I can't believe that I forgot..." Dan sniffed again and leaned forward, resting his head on the steering wheel, "I feel...I feel like...ARGH!" He slammed a fist into his dashboard, "Like such as ASSHOLE!" He started crying slightly as he stared at the floor of his car, "D...Dashie..."
He sat there crying for a few minutes before sitting up, sniffing, and pushing the ignition button on the car. The powerful engine in the Corvette hummed to life and Dan shifted the car into reverse, pulling out of his parking spot. He turned on the windshield wipers as he pulled out of the parking lot, past the security gate, and out into the road.
As he drove, he continually had to reach a hand up and wipe away a stray tear here and there. He needed to get his mind off of the fact that it had been fifteen years since he had been to Equestria. Fifteen years since he promised Rainbow Dash and his newborn son he would be back soon. Fifteen years...and he had forgotten all of it for some reason.
"That's why I didn't give up on acting and singing in high school..." Dan shook his head, "That's what I've been forgetting all these years..."
As he drove, he remembered he was due back on the set of the movie in a half an hour. He shook his head and frowned, "Screw that..."
Dan expertly pulled the blue Corvette onto the onramp of the freeway through L.A. The rain intensified as he sped the car up, and Dan turned up the windshield wipers.
"I don't even know anymore..." Dan thought sadly as he reached down and turned on the radio. A song by the famous singer Regina Spektor came on as he drove.
It started out as a feeling...
Which then grew into a hope...
Dan's eyes widened. This wasn't Regina Spektor singing. He knew her voice. This voice was...a familiar raspy tomboy voice that sounded adorable as she sang.
Which then turned into a quiet thought...
Which then turned into a quiet word.
"Dashie?" Dan muttered, holding a hand to his forehead, which was pounding in pain.
And then that word grew louder and louder...
'Til it was a battle cry!
You'll come back...
When they call you...
No need to say goodbye.
More and more tears streamed continuously out of his eyes and he gritted his teeth as he reached over to turn off the radio. The song still continued as he took an exit off the freeway. It was in his head.
"Dashie..." He wiped his eyes and he pulled over to the side of the road the led off the freeway, "It's not my fault! Please!" The song continued in his head anyway, Dashie's tomboyish voice reverberating through his head.
Just because everything's changin'...
Doesn't mean it's never...
Been this way before.
"Dashie! Please!" Dan cried out as he grabbed the sides of his head and leaned forward in his seat, "It hasn't been this way before! It's not my fault!"
All you can do is try to know who your friends are...
As you head off to your world.
Pick a star on the dark horizon...
And follow the light.
Dan sat up and continued to drive, pulling up beside a bar he used to frequent in L.A. when he was working on TV shows. He was continually trying to stop the voice ringing through his head.
You'll come back...
When it's over...
No need to say goodbye...
"There was a need, Dashie..." Dan muttered, wiping away more tears and stepping out of his Corvette into the rain, "Because I would never see you again..."
He pulled his hood tighter around his head and brushed some of his bangs down over his golden eyes and he walked into the bar as to avoid anyone recognizing him. He sighed in relief as the sounds of the music in the bar and the joyous bar patrons drowned out the song ringing through his head.
He took a seat at the bar and looked up through his bangs and the rough and tumble looking bartender, who was wiping down the bar, "What'll it be, pal?"
"Good...he didn't recognize me..." Dan thought.
"I'll have a cherry coke on the rocks..." Dan said in a much lower register, changing his voice, "Please..."
The barkeep looked at him funny and nodded, "Sure thing, buddy." The barkeep pulled out a soda squirter from underneath the counter and sprayed some cherry coke into a glass for the distressed actor, "You sure you don't want some alcohol? You looked trouble, friend."
"No thanks..." Dan lifted a hand, "I don't drink alcohol..."
"Suit yourself..." The barkeep put the coke down in front of the disguised Dan, who in turn grabbed it and took a small sip, "You look troubled..."
"I am..." Dan muttered, still speaking in a lower register, "Just..." He sighed, staring at his drink, "Family issues..."
"I should be..."
"Ah, so you knocked up a broad then..."
Dan wanted to much to slam his fist into the barkeep's face for calling Dashie that, but he restrained himself.
"I...I did..." He sighed, "And...I was going to stay with her, but...well, circumstances forced me to leave her...I haven't seen her or my kid in...fifteen years..."
The barkeep whistled and continued wiping down the bar, "Damn...you might wanna see if you can track them down..."
"I wish..." Dan muttered, "There's nothing really I can do at this point..." He stopped himself, paused for a moment, then looked up. His golden eyes glinted through his bangs for a moment, "I've got it!" He reached into his pocket and slammed some money down on the table, "Thanks for the drink, bro." Dan got off his still after barely touching his drink, and walked hurriedly out.
"Don't mention it..." The barkeep said awkwardly, picking up the money. He gasped. It was a 100 dollar bill.
"Hey mister!" The barkeep called out to Dan, but it was too late. Dan was already out the door. The barkeep sighed and looked down at the 100, "What a strange guy...oh well..." The barkeep shoved the 100 in his pocket and whipped the towel over his shoulder. "Who am I to argue with a 200% tip..."
It was now nine o'clock in the evening in L.A., the last rays of sun disappearing over the horizon. It was still raining heavily as Dan rode the elevator up to the top floor of a condominium complex, where his penthouse was. The door opened and he stepped out, his wet shoes squeaking on the marble floor as he walked. In front of him was a set of double doors with a key card key slot.
He took out his wallet and took out the key card in question and swiped it. The red light above the slot turned green and the doors opened automatically. A male computerized British voice rang through the hall, saying, "Welcome home, Dan..."
"Thank you, Wheatley..." Dan muttered before turning around and closing the doors behind him.
"How was your day on the set, Dan? Kill anybody? Snap any necks?" The computer voice said.
Dan chuckled slightly, "Actually, yes. Good guess, Wheatley..." He remembered when he bought that personal AI from Valve after enjoying Portal 5 so much. They made AI's for all the computers in the game, including Wheatley.
"Oh, good. That's great. That's jolly good!" The computer's voice said as Dan walked through the luxurious living room and straight to his bedroom with a king-sized bed, "So, what would you like for dinner? I can call those pizza drones again..."
"Actually, Wheatley..." Dan took off his hoodie and hung it up in his closet, "I'm not...hungry, tonight..."
"You're...not..." The computer asked, confused, "What an unexpected turn of events..."
"Bite me, Wheatley..." Dan muttered, sitting down on his bed and kicking off his street shoes, "Look, can you shut down? I need..." He sighed, "I need some alone time..."
"Did you piss off the Rock again?"
"What? Gr... NO!" Dan shouted, "Just...shut down. I'll talk to you in the morning..."
"Suit yourself, grumpy gus..." In a powering down sound, Dan's AI system shut down for the night.
Sighing, Dan got down on the floor and kneeled in front of the bed, resting his elbows on the bedspread and clenching his hands together in front of his face. This is how he prayed, every night. This is how he prayed like clockwork for those beings he referred to as "them" whenever he thanked his God in Heaven for them.
This time was different.
This time, he knew who he was praying for.
He closed his eyes, rested his head against his clenched hands, and
"Dear Father in Heaven..." Dan said in a low, reverent voice, "I know I come before you every night...to thank you for the good events of each day...and my good fortune...and to thank you for my parents and ask for their continued health and safety..." Dan gulped, a tear welling in his eyes again, "And I always ask for a special blessing upon those...those beings who I forgot about and to bless them with protection..."
He shuddered and heaved in an unsteady breath and he started crying again, "But tonight, Father, I know who they are. And I know what I am thankful for." He sniffed sadly, and inhaled to regain his composure slightly, "I know not, Father, if you have jurisdiction over the land of Equestria..." He gulped and paused to wipe away a tear, "But, if somehow you do, then I ask that you place a special blessing upon...upon Rainbow Dash and...and my son, Blazing Dawn..." He inhaled sharply here and there and he continued crying, "I've been so...so stupid...to forget them like that, Father...they are the most important peopl—" He paused, and sadly chuckled. "Beings I know along with my parents. I ask...forgiveness...for forgetting them, Father." Tear stains started appearing on the bed spread as more tears started falling from his eyes.
"I come before thee tonight, Father...to...bless them with protection if you can..." Dan was shuddering still as he continued. He lifted his head up and looked out the window at the stars in the sky. Tears staining his face, he pleaded with his God one last time:
"Please...protect Rainbow Dash and my son...and somehow...let them know..." He leaned his head against hands and closed his eyes, "That I...am sorry I forgot...and..." He sighed, "And that...I love them..."
He waited a few moments in silence before uttering "Amen" and looking back up outside. He felt a sudden warmth inside of his body, as if the sadness had been lifted from him. Slowly, he stood. He stepped out onto his balcony as the rain was just letting up. He leaned on the wet railing and gazed up at the stars, remembering Dashie's song that rang through his head.
"Pick a star on the dark horizon..." Dan muttered quietly, sniffing sadly. He searched through the air until he found a brightly glowing star in the sky. He rested his chin on his hand as gazed at the star, and started singing the song he sang quietly to himself on his backyard balcony all those years ago after returning to Earth. Only he adjusted the words to fit the situation.
She's all laid up in bed with a broken heart...
While I'm drinking coke all alone in my local bar.
And we don't know how...
How we got into this mad situation...
Only doing things out of frustration.
Dan clenched the railing with his other hand as he stared at the star, singing out with all his heart.
Trying to make it work but, man, these times are hard...
Dan dropped his hand from his face and clenched the railing with both hands, looking up and singing, tears streaming down his face.
She needs me now, but I can't seem to find the time...
I've got a new job now on the latest flicks,
And we don't know how,
How we got into this mess...
Is it God's or Celestia's test?
Someone help us 'cause we're doing our best...
Trying to make it work but, man, these times are hard...
Dan stepped back from the railing and lifted his hands up towards the star he was looking at up in the sky as he continued to sing, the lights on his balcony reflecting off of his tears.
But we're gonna start by...
Drinking old cheap bottles of pop...
Sit talking up all night...
Saying things we haven't for a while.
A while, yeah...
Dan smiled as he relished the thought of visiting his lover from another world after those years. He wondered what she would be like now, "Probably a Wonderbolt..." He chuckled, "I wouldn't be surprised..." He continued to sing as he walked back inside to his room.
We're smiling but we're close to tears...
Even after all these years...
We just now got the feeling that we're meeting for the first time.
Dan walked through his bedroom to his living room as he continued to "Oooo". He plopped down on the sofa in front of his fireplace, which he turned on with a remote. Suddenly, the room started vibrating with the speakers set up around the living room with the instrumental backup for the song he was singing.
"Thought I'd back you up, Dan..." Wheatley's voice rang through.
Dan shook his head with a smile, not surprised that Wheatley had not really shut down. He wiped his eyes and leaned back, staring up at the fireplace and continued to sing.
She's at work with the Wonderbolts...
With her head held high...
While I just finished the shoot but,
Didn't lose my pride.
A platter descended from the ceiling with a champagne glass with a few cans of Mountain Dew next to it. Dan nodded up at the ceiling in thanks and cracked open a can, pouring the soda into the glass. Still crying a little, he continued to sing.
But we both know how,
How we're gonna make it work when it hurts.
When you pick yourself up...
You get kicked to the dirt.
Trying to make it work but,
Man these times are hard.
The AI sung along before asking, "Do I know this girl?" Wheatley asked curiously.
Dan shook his head, taking a sip as the music continued to play, "No..." He chuckled sadly, "I'd have a feeling you two would get along..."
"Is she as rude and sarcastic as me?"
"Exactly." Dan nodded and continued to sing, tears still staining his face as he gazed at the fire.
But we're gonna start by...
Drinking old cheap bottles of Dew.
Sit talking up all night...
Doing things we haven't for a while...
A while yeah...
We're smiling, but we are in tears...
Even after all these years...
Dan stopped singing and gazed at his glass of Mountain Dew. He shuddered and looked up, singing with more heart than ever before.
We just now got the feeling that we're meeting for the first time!
As Dan continued to "Ooooo'" to the music, Wheatley dimmed the lights so that only the light of the fire illuminated the penthouse.
"For what it's worth, Dan..." The robotic voice sniffed, "I hope you feel better..."
Wheatley then shut down for real, though keeping the music on at a low volume as Dan leaned back on the couch. he found himself with the urge to yawn and his eyes fluttering closed. This day had exhausted him and he hadn't realized it until just now. Through his drowsiness, he continued to sing.
Oh these times are hard...
Yeah, they're making us crazy...
Don't give up on me, baby...
He sang this phrase over and over again until the song ended. By then, the depressed actor was fast asleep, curled up on the luxurious couch.
The glass of Mountain Dew he was holding splashed to the floor from his tired hands as his eyes fluttered closed and sleep overcame him, a stray tear slipping down his cheek.
A bright flash of light caused Dan to sit up and rub his eyes. He looked around. There was nothing but whiteness in every direction.
"W-what in the...!" He uttered and he struggled to stand up, his feet making sounds as if he were standing on marble.
He put a hand to his head, growling from the pain of a massive headache, "Hello?" He looked around, "Is anyone there?"
Hearing no response, he swore, "I'm dreaming, then..."
"GAH!" Dan fell down from shock of the thunderous voice that reverberated around the area he was in, "What on Earth?" he stood back up and looked around furiously. He knew the voice well, "Celestia?" He scrambled around furiously, trying to find the source of the voice, "Celestia, talk to me! Please!"
"Dan...I am not physically present...I am in Equestria..."
"Fan-freaking-tastic!" Dan yelled, stomping his feet angrily, "What do you want?"
"You have remembered us...and, because of this, you are needed again in Equestria..."
Dan laughed sarcastically, "Oh, well, great! I'm needed again!" He growled, "This is just a dream! A guilt dream brought on by the Dew! And because I'm an IDIOT for forgetting!"
"This is no dream, Dan..."
"Aha! Right there!" Dan pointed up in the voice's direction, "That PROVES this is a dream! You said that the FIRST time we met..."
"Dan...you are needed again in Equestria, whether you believe it or not...when you get the chance, come see me and my sister..."
Dan nodded sarcastically, "Oh, yeah. And while I'm at it, how about I go kill a huge-ass drago—"
In an instant, a feeling a fatigue passed over Dan and he collapsed on the hard white floor of the area he was in.
"Ugh..." He groaned, trying to lift his head up. The blackness overtook his eyes and his head fell back. He was out again.
Dan could hear his heart beating in the darkness. His eyes fluttered open, "Ugh...what?" He found himself staring up at a cloudy, dreary looking sky. The slight smell of smoke was in the air as his eyes fluttered open more, "Where-?"
Before he could say anything else, the sound of buzz-saws were heard from behind him. The sound shocked Dan so much that he jumped to his feet and turned in the direction of the sound. As he turned, he found himself instinctively moving some muscles in his back and hovering in the air.
"What the heck!" Dan shouted as he touched down. He looked down.
Hooves. A navy blue pair of hooves.
He turned his head around.
Wings. Longer and more developed wings than before. Navy blue as well.
"I...I can't be..." Dan muttered before looking around furiously. He saw a puddle of water nearby on the road. He galloped over it and looked at the reflection.
He gasped, "I AM!"
He was his pony-self again, only much taller. His mane wasn't as long as when he was in Equestria last, and matched his hair that he had in his human form. He had a small goatee underneath his muzzle, which he slowly rose a hoof up and stroked. As always, his golden eyes glowed fiercely in the reflection.
"I'm back..." He saw a small smile appear on his face in the reflection, "I'm...I'm back!" He pasued, "My cutie mark!"
He turned around and looked at his flank. Sure enough, the Bass clefs were there, But, they had a white outlining around them now.
"I look a little different..." He observed outloud, but was startled again by the sound of buzz-saws.
"What in Equestria?" Dan used his wings to jump around again and gasped at what he saw.
Where the border to the Everfree Forest used to be were stumps where trees used to be. Countless amounts of stumps. The forest was still there further away, but ponies carrying chainsaws of all things and wearing hardhats were walking amongst the trees and cutting them down. Strong stallions were hauling the fallen trees away shortly after they were being cut down.
"This looks like Brazil all over again..." Dan muttered, sniffing. He gagged. The smell of smoke still wafted through the air. He turned around and his eyes widened at what he saw.
Ponyville no longer looked like the peaceful rural town he remembered. It looked urbanized, with modern looking 50's style houses stretching out for as far as he could see. Sweet Apple Acres was still there, only Dan could judge by the houses started to brush the border of the apple orchard that the city had gotten much MUCH bigger. In the background, he could see factories. Factories with smoke-stacks puffing smoke into the air. What they were producing, Dan could not tell.
"Dear Celestia above..." Dan muttered as he hovered above the ground, taking in everything he had just seen, "I need to catch up..."
With that, Dan, happy that flying was no more than an instinct to him after being gone for so long, took off towards the city of Ponyville to search for the answers he wanted.
"A lot's changed since I've been gone..." Dan muttered as listened to the harmonious beats of his wings as he headed towards town.
And that's it for now!
Like I said, I posted this first chapter out of the goodness of my heart to give you fans who needed closure about when Ace returns what you wanted. However, this may not have been a good thing, as many questions will undoubtedly arise as to how Ponyville is like this, or how Blazing Dawn (who you see on the cover on FiMFiction) got his Cutie Mark.
Keep in mind, you asked for it.
When this updates again, I will not know for sure. We will see. But for now, my main focus is ANDoTH and my requests. This syndrome I have only allows me to do so much.
Thanks again for all the support.