Twilight stood facing her fellow unicorn with a devilish grin on her face. Rarity just stared back at her former friend in disbelief. The fashion expert got to her hooves quickly, trying to comprehend what had just occurred. One moment she was standing in front of Twilight Sparkle, asking her what she wanted, and the next moment, she was slumped against her bedpost with a sharp pain in her muzzle. She hadn't even seen Twilight move.

"What do you mean, 'round two?' Leave my room at once!" She demanded.

"One moment," Twilight stated flatly.

The purple unicorn activated her magic once again, surrounding the inside of the room with an aura. Rarity recognized the spell as the one she used the night that she went to "visit" Twilight. Once the soundproofing spell was complete, Twilight turned to face her former friend again.

"I'm sorry, were you saying something?" She asked in a mocking tone.

"Get out of my room this instant!" Rarity shouted.

"Make me!" Twilight retorted snidely as she took a step forward.

Rarity's eyes narrowed as she took a low stance. She had not been prepared to get into a fight in the wee hours of the morning, but her blood boiled with rage. Any grogginess or tiredness she felt melted away at the sight of Twilight's arrogant smile. She was fully awake, almost trembling in anger as she took a low stance.

"Are you sure you want to go through with this? You do remember last time, don't you?" Rarity seethed.

"Oh, you mean when you surprised me, and I let myself get beaten up out of a misplaced sense of guilt? I do, as a matter of fact! Let's see how you do in a fair fight! No surprises and no magic! Just you and me! That is, of course, unless you're scared!" Twilight yelled.

Rarity stomped her hoof at the accusation as she held her ground. She couldn't believe that she had actually felt regret over her previous actions. She spent so much time mulling over the incident that occurred the night Twilight mysteriously came back. The unicorn had spent almost that entire night in the shower. She kept washing herself over and over in a vain attempt to metaphorically scrub away the deed. She kept questioning whether she had made the right decision, or if she instead had a massive lapse in judgment when she committed the act of beating Twilight Sparkle to within an inch of her life. Any doubts the unicorn had about what she did that night disappeared as she looked into Twilight's eyes, seeing nothing but superciliousness. Twilight's apparent over-confidence sickened her.

"Me? Scared? Hardly! I agree to your terms, if only to get this over with faster!" Rarity screamed, as she galloped forward trying to surprise her former friend.

Twilight's smile only widened as she quickly sidestepped the unicorn, extending her back leg, tripping her opponent. Rarity grunted as she landed face first against the door. The seamstress got up, not wasting any time. She turned to face her aggressor once again. She could feel a small trickle of blood leave her nose, and drip to the floor.

"Come on, Rarity, you can do better than that, can't you?" Twilight taunted evilly.

Rarity had never been angrier in her life. She hated being mocked, especially by a former friend. Even though she herself had the reputation of being opinionated, she despised outright arrogance, and right now, Twilight Sparkle was the most arrogant being she had ever come across. She did not think it was possible to become more enraged than she already was, but Twilight's snide inquiry sent her over the edge. She saw red as she charged her fellow unicorn once again. She let out a battle cry that would have made a royal guard proud. However, instead of sidestepping, Twilight raised her right hoof and struck the indigo-maned mare across the face. She could see Rarity's eyes widen with surprise. To Twilight, the fashion expert's attacks moved in slow motion. Rarity crashed to the ground, grunting at the sharp pain now in her cheek. Twilight stood above her, smiling wickedly, her pride growing with each passing second. She bent her neck, using her teeth to take hold of her fellow unicorn's mane, and flung her across the room. Rarity screamed as her back smashed against the wall, her body crumpling to the ground in a heap. Twilight slowly stalked towards her former friend. She clearly outclassed the fashion expert and decided to savor the moment.

"Oh, are you alright, Rarity? That was quite a tumble you just took," Twilight remarked sarcastically.

Rarity just groaned as she tried desperately to get to her hooves. Her vision as well as her mind began to blur as she attempted to find her bearings. Before she could regain her composure, however, Twilight once again took her mane in her teeth, and forced the fashion expert to her hooves, slamming her back against the wall a second time with a sickening thud. She could have just let her drop. It would have been so easy to let the fight end right there. However, Rarity had taken something from her during their first encounter. She had stolen Twilight's dignity. Rarity had reduced her to a begging, mewling mess, and she was here to return the favor. Before Rarity could collapse, Twilight brought her left hoof up. Turning it to the side, she pressed the flat end against the unicorn's neck, causing Rarity to let out a guttural croak. The unicorn felt her back hooves begin to leave the ground. She tried to push on Twilight's leg, but it was no use.

'H…How could she have gotten so…strong?!' Rarity thought to herself, her back hooves barely touching the floor beneath her.

The unicorn was almost dangling, as she was held against the wall. She squirmed and kicked, but the pressure on her neck was too much, and her attacks were much too weak to cause any real damage. Twilight smiled as she reared back her right hoof slowly. She wanted to take her time, soaking up every moment of the experience. In a flash, she lashed out her hoof striking Rarity in the stomach, causing a terrible thumping noise. Rarity tried to scream but could only choke as the wind left her lungs. Twilight became fascinated with the reaction, and swiftly struck again, her hoof entering her fellow unicorn's soft belly. Rarity struggled valiantly, but she was beginning to weaken. After two more thunderous blows to her midriff, Twilight allowed her would be rival to crash to the floor again. Rarity coughed and choked, struggling to catch her breath, as she attempted to crawl away from her attacker.

"Oh no you don't! You're not getting away that easy!" Twilight hissed.

The purple unicorn struck Rarity's side with her front hoof, knocking the mare onto her back. Before she could react, the former element of magic straddled her, pinning her front hooves at an upward angle. Rarity resisted fiercely as she squirmed beneath Twilight's grasp. Suddenly, she felt a searing pain as Twilight used her hind legs to force Rarity's knees to the ground, spreading her legs apart. Rarity wasn't flexible; at least not that much and she could feel the muscles in her groin begin to pull unnaturally. Twilight's smile grew as she saw her former friend wince in pain. She was winning. This was part of the sensation the purple unicorn's body demanded of her. She wanted more, however. As she searched her mind for any information from old pony biology books she read in the past, she giggled as the answer came to her. With one swift motion, Twilight lifted her right back knee off Rarity's pinned leg and slammed the appendage into her former friend's marehood. The reaction was unlike any she had ever seen or heard from a pony before. Rarity's eyes widened and she let out a loud, otherworldly scream, as her hind legs tried to come together. Twilight was too quick, however, and before the fashion experts legs could close, Twilight held them open with her back hooves.

"What's the MATTER, Rarity? Am I too MUCH for you?" Twilight asked as each inflection brought another strike to her fellow unicorn's nether regions.

Rarity screamed at the top of her lungs as she took each hit, unable to recoil for even a little relief. Each blow weakened her greatly, as the fight started to leave her body. With a few more strikes, her screams turned to sobs, and her squirming began to cease. Twilight sensed that the end was near for her former friend.

"Do you give up?" Twilight whispered in her fellow unicorn's ear.

"N-No!" Rarity shouted defiantly.

Another quick blow between her hind legs had her seeing stars, as Twilight spoke up again.

"How about now? Do you give up?"

"I…I…" Rarity stammered before another blow sent a howl of pain from her throat.

"Say it!" Twilight hissed.

"I GIVE UP, I give up, please, please…" Rarity cried out, tears streaming down her face.

"I'm sorry, could you say that again? I had trouble hearing you over your incessant whimpering," Twilight asked mockingly.

Rarity looked up into her former friend's eyes. She had lost. Twilight had soundly defeated her, and without breaking a sweat. She was humiliated, her spirit broken. She had no other choice but to once again announce her submission.

"I…I give up! Pl…Please, Twilight, please don't hurt me anymore, I surrender!" She stammered out between sniffles and hard breaths.

Twilight closed her eyes, as she arched her back, still keeping Rarity in place. Her ears took in the words her fellow unicorn just spoke. Victory. It was the sweetest nectar she had ever tasted. Her smile widened, confidence bursting forth like a river through a dam. The feeling became a part of her like the very blood flowing through her veins. She didn't want the feeling to stop.

"Who is the better unicorn?" She asked.

"You are," Rarity offered without hesitation.

"And who is better with magic?" Twilight inquired.

"You are," her former friend cried.

Over the next few minutes, Twilight rattled off more questions for Rarity to answer. It was as though joy itself was underneath her hooves telling her how great she was.

"And who is the better mare? Princess Celestia's student whispered.

For the first time since the exchange began, there was silence. Rarity hesitated at answering the question. Twilight was enjoying herself to much to let such hesitation slide. She decided to use the move that won her the fight once again. She brought her knee up between Rarity's crotch, eliciting another scream from the seamstress.

"And WHO is the better mare?!" Twilight bellowed, kneeing her former friend again.

"GAAHH, YOU ARE, YOU ARE! Oh, please, Twilight, please stop hitting me! I've had enough! You win! I submit!" Rarity blubbered in between tears.

'Submit.'

The word echoed through the now concretely triumphant unicorn's mind. Whatever doubts were still in the air about who was in control of the situation, they dissolved after that last statement. Rarity's submission was total and complete, and they both knew it. What came next? Twilight had never been in a position like this before. All she knew was Rarity's words and their recent actions excited her. It reminded her of science in a way. The one thing in science she had always loved was experimentation. The stage in which after everything was set up, she could begin her manipulations of whatever chemicals she had made ready. Underneath her hooves was a mare that was hers. She could do whatever she wanted to her, and no one would know. The thought should have terrified her, but instead it excited her. Having only science as a reference point, she began treating Rarity like a test subject. She took her right front hoof and gently poked the seamstress's cheek where she had delivered a knockdown blow. Rarity just lay there, wincing as the hoof made contact with her wound. She dared not move, lest she anger her conqueror. The response fascinated Twilight. She did it again, getting the same result. What else could she do? How far could she go? Twilight's mind raced. A plethora of thoughts filled her brain as she started down at the beautiful mare.

'Beautiful.'

Another word that echoed through her head. It astonished her, really. Even in this state, Rarity still maintained her beauty. From the time they first met, Twilight had always admired Rarity's looks. She wasn't really jealous, but she would admit to being just a tad envious. She always looked perfect. Her mane, her coat, even her hooves exuded nothing but pure grace. Now here she was, underneath the dark-coated unicorn. She had never looked so gorgeous. Whatever modicum of rational thinking or reason Twilight had left vanished, as the thought of Rarity's exquisiteness took over her mind.

"You know, Rarity, I have to say, you really do amaze me. Even pathetic and beaten under my hooves, you're still so pretty," she whispered.

Rarity's eyes widened at the statement. Where was she going with this? She didn't know what to expect, but she did know that anything less than total obedience would only cause her more pain. She decided to keep silent, only responding to direct questions. Twilight just stared into her azure eyes, not saying a word. What was going through her head? Twilight licked her lips. One portion of the night had been satisfied. It was time that the victor of the contest attends to her next order of business. She hadn't expected to feel this way so soon, but she couldn't wait any longer. Rarity's beauty coupled with her words of submission sent Twilight's libido into a frenzy. Rarity's eyes widened as the unthinkable happened.

Twilight kissed her.

She moaned with delight and passion as she forced her tongue down her defeated rival's throat. Rarity's eyes widened again, as she groaned in a feeble protest. She was too weak to do anything about it, however. She ached all over, and was in so much pain, she couldn't even use her magic. The conquered unicorn whimpered at the force of Twilight's kiss. She was being smothered as Princess Celestia's pupil explored her mouth. Without warning, the victorious mare broke the kiss and began to nibble on her former friend's neck. Rarity was forced to tilt her head to the side as she felt Twilight's teeth cut into her skin and fur surely leaving marks. Each bite lacked any tenderness whatsoever. Twilight was like a hungry wolf devouring a fresh kill, and there was nothing Rarity could do about it. Minutes passed as Twilight continued the ravaging assault. The defeated unicorn winced and whimpered every few moments as the kisses increased in power. She could not believe it. Twilight was having her way with her.

'How…how could she do this to me?! W…We were best friends!' Rarity's mind screamed as she accepted the assault obediently.

Suddenly, Twilight stopped, licking Rarity's ear. She began to whisper.

"You are mine tonight, and I'm going to do whatever I want to you. If you try to resist, I will hurt you more. Do you understand?" She whispered coldly to her fellow unicorn.

Rarity was shaking. She had never been more scared in her life. What was she going to do to her? She hoped and prayed as hard as she could to be anywhere else, but she knew it was fruitless. She answered quickly, not wanting to anger the former element of magic.

"Yes," she whispered back.

"Not good enough, Rarity. I want you to say it. I want you to say that you will do anything I want," Twilight whispered again.

Rarity gulped before complying, "I…I will do anything you want, Twilight."

Twilight breathed deeply and smiled. She had never felt like this before. She felt so alive, so invigorated, by all the words of submission. After being in a place where time stood still and hideous creatures took away her freedom and hurt her repeatedly without remorse, her soul felt revitalized by being in control of someone else. No one would ever control her fate again. From now on, she would be the one in control-the dominant force. She wouldn't be weak or comply with the requests of those who were. They would comply with hers. She would say that she finally felt like herself again, but that wouldn't be true. She felt better than herself. She would take what she wanted, just as the demons did. When she came back, those who she cared about the most, those who she longed to have even a glimpse of, as she was being torn apart over and over, had treated her like a piece of garbage. Who were they? They weren't perfect, anything but! She had accepted them, she had depended on them, and they let her down. Twilight knew she played her part in this, and she was punished for it. Now it was their turn. Her loins began to ache again as she stared at the beautiful unicorn under her. Rarity couldn't even look her in the eye, not that it mattered. Twilight kept their bodies in contact as she used her front hooves to pull herself, sliding her body against Rarity's.

'Wh…What is she doing?!' Rarity thought to herself as her muzzled slid against Twilight's stomach.

The purple unicorn quickly hooked her hind legs underneath Rarity's front legs, pitching herself forward. Rarity shuttered at the sight of Twilight's marehood above her. It then dawned on her what her former friend was about to do.

"Tw…Twilight, please stop! Please don't make me do this, I'm begging you!" Rarity stammered.

The seamstress looked up at her former friend. Twilight just gave her an unfeeling stare. The beaten unicorn looked deeply into her eyes, and saw nothing. They were black as night. Whatever spark of light, of decency Twilight Sparkle once had was gone. She was like a wild animal from the Everfree Forest. No morality, no compassion or respect. Just a machine made of flesh operating with a twisted pathos.

"To the victor go the spoils, Rarity. Now, satisfy me," Twilight stated, her voice as cold as ice.

Rarity hesitated. She wouldn't do this. She couldn't do this. Twilight spoke up again, with an emotionless voice.

"You don't want me to hurt you again. Do you?" The conquering unicorn whispered.

Rarity shook her head softly but quickly, whimpering as she did.

There were no more words spoken. Twilight lowered herself onto Rarity's muzzle slowly. There was nothing she could do. The fashion designer had no choice but to comply with the winner's sick demands. She wanted it to be over. She wanted Twilight to leave her alone, but it was clear what she sought. Although it made her sick to her already bruised stomach, she obeyed the given command as her tongue left her mouth and entered her former best friend.

Twilight gasped in ecstasy, as she arched her back. Her hindquarters began to move in motion with Rarity's servicing. It did not take her long to climax in the state she was in, and soon she lifted herself off her vanquished foe. She stood in the dark room, breathing heavily, as she started down at her would be rival. Rarity was taking in gulps of air herself, but she hadn't moved. She wouldn't dare. She was completely subservient. A grin appeared on Twilight's face as she slowly walked over to the fashion designer, placing a hoof on her chest as a symbol of her victory.

"I always knew you had a talented tongue, Rarity. As good as that was, though, it's no substitute for the real thing. What to do, what to do…" She pondered.

Rarity was visibly trembling. It was like a nightmare that she couldn't wake up from. She wanted to scream. She wanted to run, but her body and her fear wouldn't let her. She turned her head away from the unicorn whose hoof was solidly planted on her chest. She couldn't bear to look at her, and she hadn't even heard what Twilight said. Twilight was in need of some inspiration, and she found it when she looked at the curtains that framed the bed in the posh domicile. As she looked closer, she found what she was looking for.

Rope.

Smiling, she activated her magic and untied the ropes that held the curtains in place. Finding a decorative couch, which was in the corner of the room, she used her magic to lift the beaten unicorn and throw her back first onto the ornate seat. Rarity groaned as her aching form slammed into the couch. Even the cushioned piece of furniture offered little leeway since her body was in such a tender state. Twilight wasted no time in tying Rarity to the couch. She hooked her front hooves behind the back of the plush seat and used the limited rope available to secure her back hooves with her front lining each of them up respectively. She giggled as she finished the knot that attached the right front hoof to the right back hoof. Rarity winced as her back arched from the unnatural position she was being forced into. Celestia's prized student made her way to the front of the couch to admire her handiwork. All of Rarity's legs were tied together, forcing her belly and chest forward. Her head just hung there as she sniffled lightly. Twilight brought a hoof to her chin lifting the defeated mare's face. Rarity kept her eyes shut tightly. She couldn't look; she was too scared as she shuddered at Twilight's touch. The darker coated unicorn leaned in and began to whisper.

"I think I know exactly how to end our time together this evening. I'm going to find that stallion you fancy. I'm going to bring him back here. He and I are going to make love, while you watch. Do you understand?" Twilight said.

Rarity found new energy as she forgot about her pain. She began to protest, but was quickly silenced as a hoof stuck her horn causing her to scream again. Before she could recover, she found a rope quickly tied itself around her mouth. She grunted wildly trying to speak through the rope, but it was no use. Twilight's final blow had caused too much pain in her horn, as she struggled in vain to activate her power.

"I can't have you using your magic before I get back, now can I?" Twilight said playfully.

As the stallion marched down the dark corridor, he had to stay focused. It took all of his self-control to remain professional, and not break into a mad gallop towards his lover's quarters. Finishing his rounds in the other hallways, he was convinced that everything was secure. Even though he was on the night watch, he still took his duties seriously. If the past was any indication, Equestria could find threats in not so obvious places. Therefore, it was every soldier's duty to keep a watchful eye for anything out of the ordinary. There were times when it became difficult to keep from getting complacent. The invasion had changes that, however. As much as he liked to muse on the past, he was somewhat preoccupied now. He could not help but let out a small smile knowing that each step lead to a night of passion with the most beautiful mare he had ever laid eyes on. At first, he couldn't believe that a mare as captivating as her would even look at him twice. By now, however, a true love affair had begun to blossom.

'I can't help but wonder what she meant last time when she said 'experimentation,'' The armored stallion thought to himself as his smile grew wider.

Turning the corner, he heard a door close, ever so quietly. His training kicked in as he reverted to his assigned duty. He quickened his pace as he was about to announce his presence. He came to an abrupt halt, as he eyed the mare now in front of him.

"Ms. Sparkle? Is everything alright?" He asked in a curious tone.

Twilight had just finished closing the door, as she turned to him with a sultry grin on her face.

"It is… Now that you're here," she whispered suggestively.

The stallion only had a moment to eye her curiously before the dark-coated unicorn's horn started to glow. Before he could react, a spell hit him, as his mind went blank. Twilight smiled as the "Want It, Need It" Spell took effect. The Royal Guard's eyes glazed over as his lips curled into an inane smile. Twilight leaned in kissing the stallion passionately. She quickly broke the kiss and began whispering in his ear.

"Mmm, you taste delicious. Now, come with me… Sir," she purred.

Twilight turned back around and opened the door trotting in with the soldier right behind her obediently. Rarity just let her head hang, not noticing the new arrival.

"Get on the bed, sweetie. I'll just be a moment," Twilight ordered.

The stallion complied quickly, jumping on the bed and turning to face his master. He waited patiently a giddy smile still plastered on his face. Twilight activated her magic, moving the couch her prisoner was secured to over to the foot of the bed. Princess Celestia's student nudged Rarity's face roughly, as she began to come to. She muffled her protest as her eyes finally opened. They began to water at the sight of Twilight's wicked grin in front of her once again.

"Guess who I found right outside your door, Rarity? It looks like your stallion was about surprise you. Oh well. I hate to disappoint such a handsome guard, but I think I'll be able to make it up to him. After all, I am the better mare, aren't I?" She asked in an authoritative tone.

Rarity's eyes stung with a mixture of tears and hatred. She was powerless to stop what she knew was about to happen. She knew Twilight couldn't keep her here indefinitely. Once she was safe again, she would go straight to one of the Princesses. For now though, she was at a loss. Her fellow unicorn would force her to watch the sick show, with no recourse. Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain in her belly, and as her head pitched forward, she came face to face with Twilight's right hoof buried in her soft flesh. She let out a small yelp as her conqueror pushed her hoof harder into her stomach.

"I am the better mare, aren't I Rarity? Answer me when I'm speaking to you!" Twilight barked.

Rarity complied as she shook her head up and down indicating a 'yes.' Twilight continued as she took her hoof from her former friend's midriff and placed it under her chin, lifting her face.

"Now I'm going to show you how the better mare pleases a stallion. I'd tell you to take notes, but you seem a little…tied up at the moment," she whispered to her would be rival.

Twilight turned around and tackled the stallion, bringing her mouth to his. As the lovemaking began between the two, all Rarity could do was sit and watch, the moonlight shining through the ornate windows, illuminating the lustful dance of the winner and her prize.

"BUT AH WANNA COME WITH YOU!" Applebloom screamed, as her tantrum continued. Big Mac rolled his eyes and sighed as he brought his large hoof to his face covering it. He was beginning to tire of this. Every week, without fail, Applebloom would argue, pout, and use any other means she could think of to tag along with her big brother on his trips to Canterlot. He explained to her repeatedly, that her sister was ill and needed help, and that she was too young for him to delve any deeper into why their sister wouldn't be around for a while. Stubbornness certainly ran deep in the Apple family, and the filly was no exception. He thought he just had to keep telling her 'no,' that eventually she would tire of the constant arguments, and would just accept it as a part of their life right now. Each week, however brought a renewed energy to the bow-haired youngster, as she would come just up to the line of literally throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming. The stallion's patience was starting to wear thin.

'Ah wonder if Sweetie Belle's parents have to go through this with her,' he mused as he approached the angry filly.

He had tried so hard to protect her. When the princess and Applejack explained the things they saw, even he became disturbed. He knew there was no way he could give his little sister the gory details of what happened that night, but he was running out of ways to make these arguments stop. He had talked to her, made up excuses, threatened her with punishments, and had even came though on those threats, as he had grounded her more than a few times. Each time they backfired horribly, as all they did was increase the tension in the already apprehensive household. He needed a different tactic. He would have to tell her the truth without telling her the truth. It was a fine line that he had been trying to avoid even approaching, but his sister's unwavering resolve to see their sister finally brought the situation to a head. He admired it, in a way. He knew that the siblings had a strong relationship, and he was proud of the fact that Applebloom would move Equestria itself just to make sure her big sister was alright. If she just wasn't so young.

"Applebloom, come here and sit with me a minute. Please?" The farmer asked.

The filly complied as her gaze softened. Her brother had asked her so tenderly that she could not begrudge him his request. After sitting down next to him under the shade of one of the many trees in the orchard, Big Mac put his saddlebag on the ground and sighed as he continued.

"Applebloom, do you know what the word 'traumatized' means?" He asked delicately.

The youngster thought for a moment. Vocabulary wasn't her best subject. Finally, she shook her head advising her brother that she didn't know what the word meant. His tone however, made her quite curious as to where he was going with this.

"When somepony is traumatized, it means that something happened to them that was so… horrible… that it…it changed who they are inside. That's what happened to your sister, Applebloom. She… she saw something so bad…so terrifying…that it's hurt who she is… inside. Ah'm… Look, Ah know yer worried about Applejack. And Ah'm proud of you that you are. It shows character that ya wanna look after yer family like that. But ya gotta understand. Ah'm just trying to protect you. Ah already have one sister traumatized. A'h… A'h just don't know what Ah'd do if the same thing happened to you. 'Cause yer mah sister…and Ah love you," he said.

He closed his eyes tightly as he thought of Applejack, and everything that she's gone though. The nightmares, the cold sweats, barely being able to talk about what happened without bursting into tears, starving herself because the mere sight of food made her want to vomit. He opened his eyes again when he heard soft sniffling coming from his side. He looked down at his little sister. She was crying. Not the over exaggerated wails from before. These were honest and quiet tears.

"Ah'm…Ah'm so sorry, Big Mac! Ah'm just so worried about AJ and here Ah am makin' things harder on you! Ah'm sorry!" She cried as she hugged her big brother tightly.

Big Mac reciprocated the hug, embracing his youngest sibling. He let her cry for a few minutes before pulling away and speaking up again.

"It's alright Applebloom. Ah know yer worried, and when yer older, we'll tell you everything, Ah promise. But fer now, ya gotta trust ol' Big Mac, ok?" He whispered.

She nodded, as she wiped the tears from her face and smiled. After a few moments of silence, Big Mac was satisfied that the tantrums would cease, at least for the rest of the day. He would be traveling to Canterlot in the morning, and he hated parting with his youngest sister on such bad terms. He stood up, nuzzling his sibling softly, before taking to the fields again to get some more work done. Applebloom just stood there watching her brother trot away. She had felt horrible for hurting him like that. How could she be so selfish? She kept saying that she was worried about Applejack, and she was, but deep down, what made it so frustrating was the fact that no one would tell her anything. She felt insulted and angry at the same time. She knew she needed answers, and that she couldn't ask her brother for them anymore. She had hurt him too much with her actions. Maybe her fellow Cutie Mark Crusaders would have some ideas. She gasped as she suddenly remembered there was a club meeting scheduled for today. Taking off as fast as she could to the tree house, she started to think of ideas she could share. It didn't take her long to get to their makeshift clubhouse. As she walked in slowly, she took in the sight of an uninterested Sweetie Belle sitting in the corner, staring off into space. A worried look crossed Applebloom's face as she made her way over to her friend.

"Um…Hi, Sweetie Belle. Everything ok?" She asked tentatively.

The unicorn filly just let out a huge sigh as she turned to face her friend. Things had been hard on her as well. Her parents seemed indifferent to the whole thing. It was as though they either couldn't or wouldn't comprehend how devastating the events were that sent Rarity to live in Canterlot so that she could "heal." Her father and mother went through their normal routines as though nothing had happened. Whenever Sweetie Belle would try to bring up the subject, her parents flat out ignored their daughter's inquiries. It infuriated her. She had delusions about her age. She knew that she was just a child, and that parents often hush children when they do not want to discuss certain issues. What hurt Sweetie Belle the most was the fact that she couldn't tell if they were honestly naive to the situation or if they were just trying to protect her from something. Either way, Sweetie Belle wanted answers. The rest of the town was no help. She had tried to bring it up at school once, and Miss Cheerilee had almost given her a week's detention just for mentioning it in class. The Cakes were just as bad, completely ignoring any questions raised regarding Pinkie Pie and her friends. Didn't anyone understand? This was her sister! She was searching for the truth, and no one would help her. It made her feel sad and helpless. At least with her friends, she didn't have to go through this alone. When she saw Applebloom's face, she knew that she was feeling the same thing.

"Applebloom, I don't know how much more of this I can take! It's been months, and my parents still won't tell me anything! How about you? Have you had any luck with your brother? He's still going to Canterlot once a week to see Applejack, right?" She asked in a hope filled voice.

The farm filly's head just drooped as she shut her eyes. Sweetie Belle was at her side immediately, and put her hoof on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her.

"Ah…Ah can't ask mah brother anymore, Sweetie Belle. Ah think Ah hurt him with all the yellin' and screamin' Ah've been doin'. Ah think we are gonna need to find another way to get information on what happened," She said dejectedly.

"But how do we do that? It's not like we can just hop on a train to Canterlot!" The young unicorn said in a discouraged tone.

They both sat in silence for a few minutes, trying to think of a way to gather more intelligence on the situation. They were stumped. How were they ever going to find out anything if no one would talk to them? To Applebloom, the task ahead was clear. They needed to find someone who would be willing to share the story with them. Obviously, a firsthand account was out of the question, since their sisters and their sisters friends were all in Canterlot receiving some sort of treatment. Who could they find? Applebloom thought hard, going over every little thing she'd heard about the incident. There wasn't much, just what she was able to pick up in whispers. She remembered a pony talking about another pony that was there that night. It was said that she suffered a horrific injury. The pony didn't go on, as she was visibly disturbed by said wound. Although it scared her to think about it, her desire for answers about her sister outweighed her trepidation. She closed her eyes, trying to place her mind back at that scene where she overheard the conversation. She suddenly remembered a name mentioned. Before she could speak up, however, Scootaloo burst into the clubhouse excitedly.

"Hey guys! Guess what?! A travelling carnival is coming to Appleloosa! Applebloom, isn't that where your cousin lives? Maybe we can go there to visit and take in the carnival! What do you girls think?" The small pegasus asked excitedly.

Scootaloo had a rough time at the beginning of the whole ordeal. At first, she thought that Rainbow Dash had gone with her friends to Canterlot, just to make sure they were alright after the incident. She didn't think there was anything in the world that could hurt her fearless mentor. After a conversation with Big Mac, however, her perspective changed. The stallion had confirmed that Rainbow Dash was receiving treatment just like the other elements of harmony. It was a devastating fact for the young flyer, but she got over it quickly. As much as she admired Rainbow Dash, she was her idol, not her sister. She wasn't blood like Applejack and Rarity were to Applebloom and Sweetie Belle. Therefore she made it her mission to do the only thing she could. She attempted to cheer her friends up at any turn. It rarely worked, but she wouldn't give up. After all, if she did, what would Rainbow Dash think?

"Ah'm sorry, Scoots, but we need to find out more about what happened to our sisters. This is no time to be thinkin' about a silly carnival!" Applebloom answered with a scowl.

Undaunted, the young pegasus trotted forward, laying out the pamphlet in front of her fellow crusaders. There were write-ups and pictures spread along the sheets.

"Oh, come on! The two of you have been so down in the dumps, it's about time you we got out there and had some fun for a change! Just look! There's going to be games, food, prizes, and a show with the terrifying, the scary, the shocking… Three Legged Monster Pony!" Scootaloo exclaimed in the most dramatic voice she could muster.

Applebloom and Sweetie Belle sighed inwardly as they both looked at the brochure, if anything just to placate their friend. What Applebloom found, however, caused her eyes to widen. In one of the pictures was the so-called "Three Legged Monster Pony."

She looked closer as she studied the "monster's" cutie mark. Suddenly, a flood of memories came back to her, as she vividly remembered the conversation she had overheard a few months ago. The name of the mystery pony came to her instantly, echoing through her mind. She looked up from the pamphlet with a look of renewed hope on her face, which confused her friends. They got even more curious at the name she uttered just above a whisper.

"Trixie."

Hi Everyone! I hope everyone is having a great holiday! So, another chapter in the books. I hope everyone enjoys it. Please let me know what you think!