My Little Pony friendship Is Magic
Reharmonization Pony POV Series
`Episode Title: "Fluttershy, the Forsaken Foal of Omelas"
By Alex Warlorn
Fanart for this chapter: http://firedrake368.deviantart.com/art/Fanart-Kindest-of-Lies-272451562
"Nightmare Whisper - Kindest of Lies." AJ whispered, her eyes wider than saucers as she stared up in horror at the tortured entity now towering before her.
"More like Nightmare PAIN." Pinkie exclaimed before vomiting, tears in her eyes, not caring about the biology behind it.
Trixie was silent and as pale as a ghost as she gazed up in horror, her mind nearly blank.
Rainbow Dash's entire body shook as she gritted teeth and blinked away tears, not caring who saw them.
Twilight's brain tried again and again and failed to process the image before her.
Rarity shouted, "Impostor! How dare you impersonate Fluttershy! You-THING!"
AJ said the truth, no matter how much it hurt to say it. "Ah'm sorry guys. That isn't an impostor. This here IS Fluttershy. What we were talkin' to before was the con."
It was a knife though the heart for everypony in the room.
'Princess ... Is this what is was like for you?' Twilight thought, imagining herself in Celestia's horseshoes a thousand years prior, all warning signs ignored until it was too late.
'Is this like when I was changing?' Rainbow Dash thought, remembering the images from her brief dive into insanity. She thanked Celestia's sun and Luna's moon that her friends had saved her in time, before the same could happen to her.
No friends of mine would ever judge on appearances! Fluttershy's voice echoed.
"Fluttershy . . . I'm so, I'm just so-" Rarity said, feeling her eyes misting up at the sight before her falling to her knees.
Twilight wanted to ask 'Then why hide at all?' but she already knew the answer. She had been afraid they would.
Rainbow Dash asked in horror, "Fluttershy, what happened to you?!"
This world should have no need for the grim and dark, I'll take it all into myself if I have to. And things can finally be fair.
"WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT-?!" Rainbow Dash implored.
The Nightmare sighed. The shape in the red sphere twitched. I knew you'd want me to stop if you saw this. You wouldn't be friends if you didn't.
I feel Onyx Tiara's loathing for Feather-dusters and Narwhals, ugh, pegasi and unicorns who he was taught by his father and grandmother are evil and who he's taught his daughter are evil. I feel Sarah Tailin's hesitance to believe she does a good enough job as the Mayor's right-hoof mare. I feel Nurse Redheart's nagging feeling of impotency at not being able to do more for her patients being 'only' a 'dirt pony.' I feel Mary Mare's worries about being impotent and her job being meaningless.
I feel it FOR them so they don't have to feel it.
Rarity was horrified. "All their pain. All their sadness. All their loss. YOU PULLED IT INTO YOURSELF! None of them are miserable because you're feeling it for them! Fluttershy ... how can you TORTURE YOURSELF like this-?!"
Twilight struggled to comprehend what was happening. "You're . . . you're feel . . . you're feeling all the misery and sorrow everypony you've entranced ISN'T? That ... how can you ENDURE THAT?!"
Because I don't have a choice. This is the only way They'll accept the world becoming fair.
Rainbow snarled, seeing the bleeding Nightmare before her. "FLUTTERSHY YOU'RE KILLING YOUERSELF!"
I think I've died twice already . . . and the power will keep bringing me back to life so I can suffer more in their place again. And again. And again. And again. Because I have to! This is the only way to make the world fair!
If I have to become the Forsaken Foal of Omelas for everyone else to find innocence and happiness forever, I will! I would be SELFISH if I wouldn't! If everyone's unhappiness eats me alive until there's nothing left, only to be brought back to be eaten again, I WILL! The Nightmare cried, her voice echoing like thunder.
"But being sad is part of being alive too!" Pinkie Pie, of all ponies, said pleading.
Actually, there is one type of sadness I've let them feel; pain for those they care about. It wouldn't be kind if you couldn't feel sad for someone else. The Nightmare sighed.
That's why no pony can know my pain! If everypony knew I was in suffering, they'd all be sad.
Twilight was left in a whirlwind of confusion, "The bad feelings of so many other ponies inside you. How can you even hold onto your own Ego?!"
I'll give up whatever I have to for a new world. I now understand why the mama spider does what she does. She would be heartless if she didn't, and I'll follow her example:
The Shadows Who See don't tolerate pain and suffering being just lifted from somepony. The Shadows demand that pain and suffering must be burdened by -someone-! They won't let someone be happy unless someone else is miserable! Or maybe it's the Alicorns themselves who demand it. The Shadows only tolerate happiness as long as an equal amount of pain exists. The only way they'll accept any paradise is to have at least one pony suffer horribly for it . . . So I'll suffer as much I need to! As much as I have to!
The other ponies looked at each other. That, that couldn't be right could it-?!
Rarity gasped out, "Fluttershy, you're not even making sense! All this grief is making you lose your reason! You're delusional! Please listen to us!"
Don't you understand?! I have to do this! This is the only way the world is going to change! Nightmare Whisper called out, tears running down her skull like face.
"Fluttershy, yer flawed, like all of us. Ya ain't the one who is supposed to make that there call!"
"HURTING YOURSELF LIKE THIS -ISN'T- FAIR! How can you say this is making the world fair-?!" Rainbow Dash screamed.
Twilight begged, "Fluttershy . . . you're not an Alicorn, you don't NEED to and you CAN'T carry a burden like this! You're just making yourself suffer!"
AJ shouted, "Ah won't let you make a paradise built on ah lie! All it's gonna do is break and fall apart! You have to be HONEST with them! If they really love you then they'll accept you doing this for them!"
Fluttershy's voice should have never held as much self-loathing as it did right then, even as a Nightmare, even echoing, even saying what she said.
I'm sorry Applejack, but for a truly fair world to exist, your Element of Honesty must cease to exist. If ponies saw me like this, they'd feel guilty for the happiness I'm giving them: I can't let them suffer! I'll disinfect you of the Element of Honesty if I have to force it out of you. Those eyes of yours are going to have to stop being able to see things. There are things in this world that the truth should never have to look at. You can . . . you can all hate me if you want. I won't blame you.
I don't -deserve- to be your friend or anyone else's after this but, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO FIX THINGS! Screamed Nightmare Whispers, fresh tears coming down her face almost like rivers, she looked somehow to be in even MORE pain. Then you can finally have happiness with no regrets or loss. I'm sorry! I'm so so sorry! I tried to find a better way! I really did! But I'm just a dumb pegasus who thought she could be an earth pony who's too stupid for her own good! I'm sorry! This is the only way I could think of! If I was smarter, or more clever, maybe, but I'm just a selfish idiot who just doesn't want to see anypony hurt but does just the opposite!!
A dragon claw speared toward AJ, however AJ didn't spend her days on the couch eating bonbons and dodged with ease.
The others gasped in horror at what the butterfly/dragon/horse terror had just done.
PLEASE stand still! I don't want to do this, but it's the only way! If it hadn't been coming from a dragon sized Nightmare, her tone would have been taken as groveling.
The shape inside the red sphere twitched. AJ was finally close enough to see what it was. And the horror she felt before was not a shadow of what she felt now. She felt her heart stop and had force it to start beating again.
Inside the red jewel like sphere, a small pegasus foal looked down at her in every sense of the word. Indignant self-righteousness glared at her, her little mane just barely covering half her face. The hair swayed slightly, revealing a skeletal, undead visage behind it that made AJ's blood run cold at the sight. A small, cute voice echoed from inside, made deeply unnerving by the appearance of it's owner. "Things being fair is good! You don't want things fair so you're a bad pony! Bad ponies should be punished!"
AJ scrambled away as the mother princess took another series of stabs at her, impaling the floor.
Rarity screamed, "Fluttershy, you're sick! You need help!"
I didn't have the POWER to save ponies and animals from themselves before! I -promised- I'd make the world fair! If this is my price to save everyone then I'll pay it!
RD said sadly, "I'm sorry 'Shy, that's a promise you won't be keeping. Because we aren't letting you do this to yourself a moment longer." Then RD's sounded melancholy, "I only hope it's not too late to stop you, Nightmare Whisper."
Please. Don't call my paradise a nightmare. She asked sadly. Don't you understand?! I don't WANT to do this! I have to do this! For everypony everywhere! It's my choice and my burden to bear! I have to save them! I have to save all of them! Right now! No more death! No more pain! No more hate! It has to end! NO MORE! JUST NO MORE, PLEASE!
"Let me tell ya The Truth Fluttershy. Ya ain't the pony destined to defeat Death! You ain't her!"
Rainbow Dash screamed, feeling the tears again. Just looking at her was agony. What kind of pain was she enduring? "How is YOU being miserable and in pain all by yourself a fair world-?!"
"No pony except you wants the fog to lift! How can you be so selfish-?!" Said the small foal in the heart of the red crystal.
AJ tried to say something. Too late. They all finally noticed. One of them wetted herself.
"BAD PONIES! MEAN ADULTS! BE PUNISHED!" The foal shouted, no longer being silent.
"My . . my goddess . . . Celestia is, what is, who is that?" Rarity gasped, forcing herself to swallow back vomit at the sight of the undead half of the foal's face.
Twilight had no answer, she wasn't certain she wanted to have one.
"I know what's right! I know what's wrong! Stop telling me I'm a bad pony because I think and feel differently from you!" Shouted the angry little foal, her teeth grinding.
"I'm sorry, Fluttershy! But if you want to touch AJ, it's through us!" RD said flying between them.
The Nightmare roared. THEN I PROMISE I'LL heal up each of you after I've removed Applejack's Element of Honesty!
"We aren't going to let that happen, Fluttershy." Twilight said ripping her gaze from the foal to the face of the Nightmare, which she somehow found much less frightening than the half undead foal.
The mother princess looked from pony to pony, a hint of desperation in her broken movements.
I saw inside your dreams Pinkie Pie. Don't you want a return to how you remember things? No hate, no loss, no regrets?
"Pinkie, what is she talking about-?!" RD asked, speaking above the tide of bewildering words.
Pinkie felt tears start down her face. It hurt so bad to remember. It hurt so very bad. "StarSong, Toola-Roola . . . " She said, names no recognized but her. No one could recognize them but her. "They were my friends and I LOVED THEM! What made them special is still alive in me!
But they wouldn't WANT this world to vanish just to make one that's an imitation of theirs! They're not gone as long as I remember the good times we had! We may not have had many exciting adventures but . . . we were happy, and I'll always remember our songs!" She looked at Rainbow Dash. "And Dashie, even if you don't like remember liking dresses, you still look nice in them. And I'm happy you love your wings."
Dashie looked at her, totally confused, her jaw dropping from surprise. Pinkie only glanced at Rarity.
'I wonder, Dashie's old high culture and Toola-Roola's artistic side, were they born again in you, Rarity?'
She then looked boldly at Nightmare Whisper, "That's fate Fluttershy: that's change!" Lightning struck Pinkie's brain, like a blade of revelation had cut through it. "And I think I finally understand..."
"Oh, I understand!" The foal in the red crystal snarled, the skeletal half of her face showing. "The only way for the world to be fair is to make it fair!"
Everypony, for what it's worth, I'm sorry.
Glass butterflies formed out of thin air above them and rained down like a storm of daggers.
Twilight and Trixie reactively raised barrier spells and protected themselves. A few, pierced Trixie's barrier, but were impeded halfway.
Rarity telekinetically raised the tea table over her head to create a makeshift shield, the glass projectiles shattering or imbedding deeply into it.
Pinkie Pie moved through the rain of glass shards, covering her eyes! She zigzagged like a maniac dodging the knife-like butterflies with nary a moment to spare, her muscles nearly in spasms!
Rainbow Dash gambled and flews straight up above the rain of knives somehow only losing -one- of her feathers and not an eye.
AJ charged like a tank straight towards the Nightmare, plowing head first and losing her hat (she really liked that hat dammit!). The falling glass daggers imbedded themselves in her back, but she worked through the shocking pain thanks to her adrenaline rush.
This was NOT what Nightmare Whisper had expected, and AJ used this to her full advantage! She skidded and turned, and bucked her rear legs -hard- into the Nightmare's right fore ankle, the force of the horseshoes' impact was rewarded with a sickening crack. AJ didn't let up, using the damaged set of claws as a stand, she quickly bucked into the lower part of the forelegs, breaking it again!
Nightmare Whisper screamed. It tore through all of them to hear Fluttershy's voice cry out in pain. The rain of glass knives stopped.
Finally, Nightmare Whisper swatted away Applejack with her good foreclaw, knocking the wind out of her. She nearly knocked the others over like bowling pins before Twilight's magic caught her.
Rarity began gently pulling the glass daggers out with her telekinesis, "Stop," AJ grunted, "You'll make the bleeding worse." AJ didn't know if this applies to glass weapons or if leaving it in was just going to make it worse, but AJ had to trust in what she knew.
The mother princess, instead of just standing there, made a grab for AJ with her good claw. Rairy and AJ skidded away from each other, cutting their knees on the glass. "Gosh dangit, I'm the one she wants remember-?!"
Rarity said intensely, "Applejack! I swear! If you even THINK about offering yourself up for the rest of us-"
"Will you not bucking go jumping to conclusions?!" AJ snapped.
Twilight ordered her brain to come up with some sort of offensive or defensive strategy to coordinate her disorganized friends, but her mind stubbornly refused to come up with a plan to hurt an already suffering Fluttershy.
Trixie was struggling not to have flashbacks to when she had last 'fought' a beast several hundred times her size.
Pinkie moved like a pingpong ball, not staying in place a moment more than she needed to forming a defensive web around Applejack. Rainbow Dash hovered above AJ, looking like she was at war with herself.
Rarity looked in the mother princess' pain filled eye, she couldn't take it. The fallen glass butterflies floated around Rarity bathed in her magic, then in machine gun style began firing at the beast of kindness.
Nightmare Whisper actually took a step back and used one of her wings to shield herself from the barrage of glass daggers.
'Rarity isn't aiming for her throat,' Twilight thought, 'Of course she isn't aiming for her throat. There's no way she'd aim for her throat, Rarity wouldn't try to kill her best friend, I'm just imagining things, yes, the stress is getting to me, I need to focus or I'm going to start panicking and get everyone killed. Rarity is most certainly not aiming for her throat.'
Nightmare Whisper horn glowed, and the remains of the glass butterflies all vanished back to where they came from, including the ones stuck in AJ. Her orange coat began to flow with blood, Rarity pulled out one of her hair pins and, using a strand of her tail, began to stitch up the wounds as quickly as she dared.
"LOOK AT ME FLUTTERSHY! LOOK AT ME!" Pinkie Pie cried out, waving her hooves like mad using noise makers from nowhere to buy Rarity a precious little more time to do her job.
Rainbow Dash let out a battle cry. A second later a miniature Sonic Rainboom shook the entire castle, and Nightmare Whisper's right foreleg came off, falling down, still connected to her chest by the shackle. It hit the floor with a minor tremor of its own. Her still very red blood didn't spray everywhere like in the horror stories, but it wasn't a dry clean cut. Blood seeped from the open wound down her side and onto the floor. The beast fell to her knees grasping the stump with her left claw.
The foal screamed at the top of her lungs, it was like needles in their ears.
"MISSED!" Rainbow Dash cursed. RD's speed had spared her getting covered in blood.
"RAINBOW DASH HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND!?" Twilight screamed horrified at the violence.
"I'M MAKING A CHOICE!" RD snapped back, then looked at her target, angry at herself for not making it quick and painless.
It's okay Twilight . . . I don't blame her. Whispered the beast of kindness.
"Rainbow, you nearly brought the castle down on top of us!" Rarity shouted, Twilight couldn't tell what Rarity was actually angry at.
Pinkie Pie looked on the verge of dry heaving.
AJ couldn't find words to speak. Trixie narrowed her eyes.
The Nightmare reached for her severed leg, and brought it to the stump, vines grew from somewhere and stitched the two back together, flesh and nerves reconnecting.
Twilight in spite of herself looked in awe at the wondrous feat of magical healing, which would take hours for a team of the greatest medical unicorns in the world, being done in seconds.
That was when Trixie, -Trixie- charged, her horn sparking with electricity, skidding to a stop, she touched the maniacal of the reconnected limb. The lightning traveled up the chain and right to the center of the beast of kindness, then throughout her entire nervous system. The foal also screamed as lightning traveled through her as well. "Friends wouldn't hurt me! Friends wouldn't hurt me! FRIENDS WOULDN'T HURT ME!"
"Sorry!" Trixie heard herself say.
As the beast collapsed one of the chains swung and hit Trixie in her side, sending her flying. Trixie didn't need to hear the sharp snap to know she had broken at least one of her ribs. The residue electricity of her own lightning spell thankfully left a nasty burn on her side rather than stop her heart.
Trixie was surprised when she felt someone catch her, she was even more surprised to see it was Applejack. Neither of them said anything. Trixie found herself having to take careful breaths, it hurt to breathe.
Nightmare Whisper groaned pushing herself up. Pinkie Pie hopped like a flea onto the much larger Nightmare. "Hey! You in the bubble! I think you really need to calm down!"
"Get away!" That was when the Nightmare's mane, like pink ropes, came to life and wrapped itself around a surprised Pinkie Pie and -threw her out a stained glass window! It had depicted Pinkie Pie patting Fluttershy's head.
"HI-YA!" Pinkie Pie came crashing through the stained glass window on the opposite side of the throne room less than a second later, her body posed for a flying dragon kick that rammed straight into Whisper's face cracking bone underneath the thin skin, "WAKE UP ALREADY FLUTTERSHY!"
Pinkie Pie did a perfect landing. Then everyone noticed Pinkie Pie's body was now covered in cuts and lacerations. Pinkie Pie didn't cry out in pain once.
I'm sorry you're all being hurt because of me. It's not fair.
Her mane's strands dug themselves into the stones making up the castle floor, and -pulled them out-! You haven't given up, you proved you're not scared, you showed Applejack you're REAL FRIENDS, but -please stop!- The stone blocks went flying in their general direction.
Pinkie and RD dodged easy, AJ found her teammates using themselves as her shields whether she liked it or not, Trixie was in too much pain to keep up a barrier and try another lightning spell and Twilight brain was still locked trying to come up with a plan.
Rarity caught several of the blocks with her magic and threw them back at the center of Nightmare Whisper's body, the foal covered her head as the butterfly wings folded around the chest acting as a shield.
More rock pushed itself up from the earth itself in offering to its Princess and Alicorn.
Rarity continued to catch and return the stone blocks, but then one that hidden behind another came crashing through, and hit her, Rarity having just enough time to turn to protect her horn as the flying stone block hit her and sent her into the wall behind. Rarity screamed as bones broke.
Rarity slid down, but she didn't stay down. Her body was surrounded by a purple glow. And she stood up, her legs moving like a puppet on strings. "FLUTTERSHY! STOP THIS NONSENSE RIGHT NOW!"
Everyone in the room couldn't help but appreciate the unicorn's tenacity. She was using her telekinesis to move her broken legs!
RARITY STOP! YOU'RE ONLY GOING TO HURT YOURSELF MORE!
Why hadn't Twilight thought to magically catch her?! WHY?! The bedlam began to rip Twilight to shreds. Twilight looked at everyone, their individual efforts was going to get somepony killed! She had to do something!
If only it was as simple as teleporting! But there was too big a chance she'd accidentally teleport with one of Fluttershy's mane threads going through her!
"I need to get close!" She shouted not sure why she did.
A calm, almost serene voice said right next to her. "It's alright, I can guide you. This'll make your friendship stronger, I can feel it."
If things hadn't already gone mad, Twilight would have jumped out of her skin from Pinkie Pie suddenly being right next to her. "Pinkie Pie?!"
"You need to get close? I can guide you. Just trust me." Pinkie Pie closed her eyes, her entire body going lax. Twilight watched in awe Pinkie Pie's gave off twitches in a distinct pattern. Pinkie whispered, "forward, forward, forward, forward, left, no wait right, then left, then right, back, back, left, right, right, forward, jump, duck, then jump again."
" . . . what?"
"Oh figure it out, chess champ!" Pinkie Pie pushed her head long into danger.
"Chess?! Just because I'm smart doesn't mean-" Then Twilight realized the grid the stone block on the floor made. She ran.
Stay back Twilight!
'forward, forward, forward, forward, left, no wait she said right!' The moment of hesitation enabled Twilight to avoid being hit by a stone block if she had gone right immediately, then she went left and avoided another block, and another right, and backed up twice, left, right, right, forward. She jumped avoiding the block coming at her straight at ground level. She ducked as a strand swept by trying to wrap around her as she landed, then jumped one more time. She was face to face with Princess Gaia/Nightmare Whisper/Fluttershy.
"Fluttershy, it's time to remember!"
No Twilight! Wait! Don't! Fluttershy's voice said in fear, but not in fear for . . .
Twilight touched her horn to the bleeding one sticking out of her friend's head. She cast the memory spell.
TAINTED HALF-DIRT UNICORNS! HIGH AND MIGHTY NARWHALS! WHO VOTED FOR THE ALICORNS? I WANT TO BE ONE WITH THE EARTH'S WONDERS NOT THE EMPTY SKY! EVERYONE KNOWS GRIFFONS ONLY LIVE TO EAT PONIES! MY WIFE DOESN'T EXIST ANYMORE, JUST A MAD MARE WITH MY PRINCESS' FACE! I THOUGHT WE WERE FRIENDS! I KNOW THEY ALL HATE ME EVEN IF THEY SAY THEY LOVE ME! I'M BETTER THAN ALL OF YOU! I'M THE WORST OF THE WORST! MARKED PONIES THINK THEY'RE BETTER THAN EVERYONE! BLANKS THINK BEING LAZY IS A VIRTUE! RUBY I'M SORRY! WE DIDN'T DO IT BECAUSE WE WANTED TO! MOM, DAD, WHY DIDN'T YOU COME BACK? HAVE YOU SEEN MY BABY? THERE IS NO OUTSIDE PROOF I EXIST, SO I DON'T EXIST! PLEASE NO MORE FIGHTING! IT'S SO LONELY AT THE TOP. ALL ALONE! LEAVE ME ALONE! AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT THIS? PLEASE MAKE THE CONFUSION STOP! MY MOM'S NOT RETARDED! JUST MAKE THE PAIN GO AWAY!
Twilight was blasted back. The pink threads actually caught her and gently laid her down.
Twilight's eyelid pulled so far back her eyes were perfectly round, not seeing the world in front of her, her body twitching involuntarily from shock. "Such, sorrow." Twilight whispered, her voice sounding traumatized and broken. So many ponies, so many just wanting someone to love them, so many just wanting the smallest whisper to let them know it was alright. So many just wanting to know somepony, anypony cared about them, so many angry at something, seemingly the logical source of their pain. So many hating, just wanting SOME WAY to express their anger that society's suffocating masks wouldn't let them. So many ponies trying their hardest but not coming out on top anyway. So many ponies trying, and finding no happiness across the finish line. So many old brave ponies, so many years, too many battles. So many ponies with bodies that had failed them but still had so much they needed to do.
Muted colors, then grayness spread from the tip of Twilight's horn, followed by something like a black pitch. "So many, all alone." Twilight breathed out, her eyes looking but not seeing.
So many faces. So many names.
The grayness spread from her head down her neck and down her front hooves.
So many ponies crying out on the hidden side of their heart, but no could even hear them. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair.
The grayness spread around her rump, and down her legs and tail.
Every living thing, killing another living thing, only so it could be die and be devoured by another living thing; an endless cycle of death. This was supposed to be life?
Why should she be happy when so many others were so sad?
Why? Why wasn't it fair? Celestia loved all her ponies. 'But if Celestia really loves us, why do we have pain? Why do we have suffering? Why don't we live in a world without struggle if she really loves us? Did she ever really love me? Or was I just a tool to use the Element of Magic? Was I just a chess piece for her all along?'
The grayness closed in around her cutie mark.
A/N: Meh. I think I'll just end the story there, in fact, I think I'll end the entire series right here. Who actually cares about this series anyway? It's all just garbage. Nothing but fan service and rip-offs. And I'm just tired of the whole thing anyway. It's not like anyone would NOTICE if this series suddenly stopped.
"NO~!" Someone's horn touched hers.
So much to learn. So much to know. Don't have time for other ponies. Smarty Pants is the only friend she needs.
Celestia at the Summer Sun Festival. So beautiful.
School for Gifted Unicorns. Sonic Rainboom. Celestia face to face. To her. To teach her.
Celestia never ceasing to look after or care for her when her parents couldn't.
Raising Spike from an hatchling. No time for friends. Don't need'em, don't want'em.
Mare in the Moon. Go make Friends?! Whatever.
Friendship Is Magic.
Rather not go to the Gala than have five friends miss out. Keeping from working herself to the bone. Seeing what separates good friends from bad ones. Asking for patience towards a full of herself jackass. The flutter-mouse that roared. Opposites can compliment rather than oppose. Just because you don't understand something, doesn't make it false. No one is alone. Proving that even without her magic, her mind is still her greatest talent. Competitions aren't meant to be personal. You cannot please everypony, if you try, you please no pony. So many lessons. So many truths.
The Best Night Ever.
Friends not themselves. Alone. Nothing matters.
Being retaught the lessons that help forge those friendships, and made her realize she had been a fool to believe her friends would act like such mockeries of themselves of their own free will. Showing them the memories of their true selves. Friendship is worth fighting for. Saving the world (again).
Almost (okay was) going crazy from trying to find -some- lesson to learn. Helping Luna relate to her people. The cutie pox incident.
Applebloom and Applejack's strange visit to Celestia.
Getting Pinkie Pie to finally rest. Pinkie Pie somehow a purer Pinkie Pie.
Dash's confession and forgiveness.
Saving Trixie from herself.
Introducing an enemy as a friend among friends.
Twilight blinked as the memory spell ran its course, her brain catching up to the present.
Her eyes focused on a light blue unicorn with a very ugly electrical burn and big bruise on her side.
"Trixie, you saved me!"
"Humph! If you were to vanish, this piece of jewelry inside me would MEAN something! The One and Only Trixie is merely repaying her debts! So don't think I suddenly surrendered to a fit of insanity." Trixie tried and failed to hide the wheezing caused by her broken rib.
Anypony else would have snapped back at Trixie's horrid attitude. Twilight, however, said, "Trixie. You're getting out of practice. Your lies aren't what they used to be. You don't need to keep your defenses up. You saved me because we're friends."
"WHEN did I SAY I was friends with any-look out!" A stray stone block sailed their way. Trixie telekinetically pushed Twilight out of the path, Trixie braced for the hit, but something moved her out of the way as well! When she opened her eyes, she saw the fading glow of Twilight's horn among the impact's dust.
"Twilight, thank you." Trixie said in a voice not devoid of emotion.
Twilight smiled, "It's what friends are for."
Trixie made no protest.
Applejack, please! Can't we at least compromise? Just promise not to use the Element of Honesty! Then we can just stop! Fluttershy's voice begged.
"I'm sorry Sugar Cube, whether Ah like it or not, this isn't here something I'm 'using,' it simply is." AJ replied sounding almost sad. "Cause that's what truth is."
That was when Nightmare Whisper took to the air. The wind from her wings blowing wildly through their manes. If the only way you'll understand is to see how badly the world needs to change then . . . I'm so sorry for being so awful to all of you.
"And I'm sorry too, Fluttershy! That I couldn't find a better way either!" Rainbow Dash charged her head on, triggering another miniature Sonic Rainbow, this time with a perfect beeline for her friend's head. The Nightmare opened her jaws.
Feel others' loss. The streaking rainbow was hit head on with wave of shadows that came out from the mother princess's jaws, washing over RD, doing the impossible and canceling out the Sonic Rainbow. The shock wave of colors turned gray and shattered under the wash of shadows.
The shadows looked like ponies, pegasi, earth ponies, unicorns, crying, screaming, sighing, moaning, half imagines that flew into Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow fell to the ground, gravity taking hold and hitting hard. She held her head and curled into a ball. "ALONE! So many ponies! All alone!"
The colors drained from her like chalk during a rain storm.
"YOU MADE ME DO THIS! YOU DID! YOU'RE A BAD PONY!" Snarled the foal.
Twilight ran towards Dash, then teleported right next to her when the threads began to try and grab the unicorn. She applied the memory spell without hesitation, the shadows fled Rainbow Dash and flew inside the foal.
"Everyone hurts everyone!"
Rainbow pushed herself up and coughed. She looked at her towering friend. "Fluttershy." There wasn't a trace of anger or contempt in her voice.
The kindness beast's jaws opened again.
I just want you all to understand!
Her voice was like she was beseeching for forgiveness.
"Rarity! Alley-oop!" AJ ran towards Rarity. Rarity, still animating her body with her telekensis, pumped out MORE of her magic reserves to send AJ flying upwards. AJ spun in mid air and delivered a double rear kick to Whisper's jaws, slamming them closed from below, making Whisper's head hit the ceiling and making her crash down again. The sudden closing of the jaws also caused a nasty backwash down the Nightmare's throat.
Pinkie Pie seemed to be in multiple places at once! All at once! Like watching a work montage, Pinkie Pie tied Whisper's mane and tail together into a admitted pretty, if strange looking, braid. The threads pulled but weren't able to free themselves.
Have to . . . save Equestria . . . have to . . . save everyone . . . can't give up . . .
Finally Twilight spoke, "Friendship report number fifteen: Fluttershy learned that she should not take on a task that is too big for her to handle."
No, please Twilight, please no.
"Friendship report number twenty, delivered to Celestia in person by Fluttershy: Fluttershy learned that she must ask first before taking matters into her own hooves."
"SHUT UP!" Snapped the foal, wrapping her hooves around her little head and trying not to listen.
If I just let the world continue like this, Twilight, I'd be heartless! If I delayed I'd be heartless to those who'd go in the meantime! I'd be heartless if I gave up now to all those who love me!
"WE LOVE YOU FLUTTERSHY!" Rarity implored.
Rarity shuddered and the glow from her body faded as she gentle laid herself on the floor. There were so many purple marks along her legs. "I-I'm sorry everypony, that's my limit, I'm completely spent."
Pinkie's pink fur was doing a good job of hiding the blood from all her cuts, but she was breathing hard and there was a decided slouch in her posture.
AJ's stunt had popped open some of her hastily done stitches.
Twilight looked at Trixie, each of the blue unicorn's breaths came with a shudder.
Rainbow Dash blew hot air from her nostrils like a mad pony ready to charge, her wings tensed looking ready to try another Sonic Rainboom, all consequences be damned.
"Rainbow Dash, what are you doing?" Twilight whispered.
"She was my friend when I wasn't friends with any pony. You saw it too, didn't you? That pain? Only an actual friend would do what I need to do to end it!"
Please don't talk like I'm not here. And this pain, this suffering, is what I have to endure for everypony else!
Trixie had never felt more helpless, she hated it. AJ didn't think she could grab RD if she tried another Rainboom, or if it would do any good even if she did. Rarity resolved herself for what was coming next and thought of the good times she had with Fluttershy over the years, wishing them a heartfelt farewell. Pinkie Pie felt like she was on another planet watching all this and just as helpless to change the outcome.
Twilight was horrified at the swirling chaos she was in the middle of. It was like watching two trains on the same tracks headed straight for each other, both carrying friends of hers, and her powerless to do anything to stop it. Time seemed to slow to a crawl around her.
Twilight grasped at straws, her voice almost broken, "F-Friendship Report n-number twenty-six!! Offering friendship to others can help them find it themselves! Also, even if somepony appears intimidating or scary at first, an offer of friendship can uncover a completely different pony underneath~!"
Twilight's voice echoed off the royal chamber's walls.
in the dark
they surrounded her
The defendant has been found guilty of non-existence, having no heart and no soul. The sentence is non-sentience. The trial will now begin. Does the defendant have anything to say in her defense?
in the dark
a faint noise echoed from far away
" . . . She needs me."
"She needs me! Mother/Sister/Friend, whatever! She needs me! And a friend in need, is a friend indeed!"
The defendant is only raw material, fuel, a resource, the defendant is needed only for the trace of the power of the draconequus. All thoughts and emotions are unneeded for that.
"Screw you! I won't let you use me anymore! Not you! Not the old man! Not anyone! I made some donkey-headed mistakes and I'm not turning the lights out without them fixed first you donkey!"
The defendant is guilty of contempt of court! The defendant's sentence shall be carried out at once!
in the dark
they covered her
"No, bucking, way! I can hear her! Get the buck off me! I hear her! Get out of my way!"
"Bad voice! Makeherstop! Makeherstop! Makeherstop!" The foal cried out.
Who is . . . where is . . . that is . . . why is . . . she's . . . she's . . .
Nightmare and foal cried out together.
The ponies were left in stunned awe, all feelings and thoughts forgotten at the sight of the impossible!
A shinning crack like light behind a double door appeared in front of the red crystal in the center of Nightmare Whisper's chest like a reflection on glass.
A transparent image of Fluttershy's front hooves poked their way through the crack gripping the edge.
"AAAAAAGGGH!" Fluttershy's voice cried out in exertion and intensity.
Like a newborn foal struggling out of the womb head first she forced her way out!
This transparent Fluttershy had fur tones that were not muted or gray so much as a darker shade. She was also covered in claw marks! Thin long arms that acted more like snakes or threads wrapped themselves around her body and wings and dug into her sides. Angry faces, nothing more than eyes and grinding teeth, tried to pull her back inside.
"LET, ME, GO~!!!" The transparent Fluttershy howled pushing herself forward from the sides of the crack, the black arms actually tore off and retreated within, cutting along her flank, which the ponies distantly noted was blank, no cutie mark. Seeing an adult pony without a cutie was a whole new level of jarring.
The ponies noticed long red cords connected to the pony's back that ran into the red sphere. The cords' pulsing reminding them greatly of the feeding of leeches and other parasites. Also connected to the pony's chest where her heart would be was a long chain running right to where Fluttershy's heart would be.
Finally she fell all of the way out and the crack vanished behind with the sound of a door slamming shut. The transparent pony hit to the floor on her hooves and knees breathing hard.
. . . Fluttercruel . . . You-you're
You can't be
B-but that's impossible- that's not possible- how can you be-
"BAD PONY! Bad ponies should stay where they belong!" The half-undead foal snarled, seemingly enraged by the sight of this new being.
"SHUT THE BUCK UP YOU SPOILED BRAT!" The transparent Fluttershy snarled right back! "I'm not your bucking toy!" The transparent Fluttershy (Fluttercruel?) reached back with her hooves and pulled at the cords in her back.
"NO! STOP!" Nightmare and Foal yelled together.
Fluttercruel screamed as the hollow cords were torn out of her, spilling blood on her but strangely not drawing her own. "And I am NOT your bucking slave!" She gasped the chain connected to her heart, and pulled for all she was worth. She screamed to the heavens as her eyes became pin pricks as the chain was torn out of her, but not leaving a big ugly hole as everypony thought it would.
Fluttercruel's transparent image fell back down to the stone floor of the castle, panting, her entire body shuddering. Nightmare Whisper and the foal likewise shuddered and gasped.
"You're the other Fluttershy aren't you?" Pinkie Pie of all ponies broke the silence first.
"I'm not . . . I'm not an 'other' anything Pinkie . . . I'm me." Fluttercruel gasped out. She stood up on her rear legs and looked up at Nightmare Whisper. "And I'm not letting you do this to yourself anymore, Fluttershy! And that goes double for you too, brat! I'm not going into nothingness knowing that I led you to doing something you'll cry yourself to sleep over every night for the rest of your life! You're not saddling me with that! If I wanted my legacy to be something that stupid I'd have just had us set fire to ants!"
"WAIT! YOU SAYIN' YOU DID THIS TO FLUTTERSHY?!" AJ snarled ready to attack the transparent Fluttershy, 'ghost' or not.
"Yes! Yes I did AJ! Yes I did!" And Fluttercruel said it all, her day out, all she had done, and showing Fluttershy what nature was really like.
"You big dumb meanie!" Pinkie Pie shouted at her. "How could you do that to Fluttershy!?"
"I'm sorry dammit! I'm freakin' sorry!!! I know that doesn't make things better! I didn't think! I know nothing can make it better! But she wasted all that time teaching me! I thought I was repaying her! I just-I just-I'M SORRY!!!"
Rarity gasped. Was she? Was Fluttercruel crying? Image or not, some ghost or memory or not, the sight of Fluttershy or even her likeness crying was just too much.
Twilight remembered. Was this really the personality Discord had turned Fluttershy into? That pony wouldn't have apologized for anything.
Don't be sorry 'Cruel, I thought you were dead. This is so good. Now you can see me fix the world and make it fair, and it's all thanks to you helping me see the world isn't fair. Nightmare Whisper coo'ed as only a mother could.
"Stop it." Fluttercruel said in a tired, almost sad voice not looking at her. "All I did was screw you up. You became this way because you couldn't deal with the how harsh life is, and it was my fault for making you see it. I failed you."
I became this way because I couldn't bear to see everything else suffer!
And Nightmare Whisper moved her giant head and looked at Fluttercruel. No, she Stared at her.
The pony's knees almost all buckled at the almighty Stare, the idea of moving becoming an alien concept.
Fluttercruel fell down to all fours and her knees buckled as she gritted her teeth.
Nightmare Whisper noticed the state of her friends and began to reach for the now helpless Applejack.
"NO!" Fluttercruel screamed. And she felt a force, a WILL well up inside her, and she looked at Nightmare Whisper and stared into her soul. And two Stares clashed. Nightmare Whisper's giant body froze in place.
"I won't let you hurt yourself! I refuse to let you hurt yourself like this! And I won't let you hurt your friends! I won't let you do something I know you'll never forgive yourself for!"
I know I can never forgive myself! But I have to do this! I need to do this!
"You're not an animal! You have a choice!"
And I chose to make the world right!
"And hurting your friends is right?!"
It's an awful thing I have to do BECAUSE I love everything.
" . . . Then you finally understand?"
Understand what? . . .
"Sometimes, you have to be cruel to be kind. You have to give out pain in order to heal, you need to let foals cry so they'll be stronger for it. They need to get burned, so they'll know to be wary of fire! You need to put down an animal that's not going to do -anything- but suffer. You need to let go of a dying pony that's just on life support! Causing death, letting somepony die, hurting children, these are all cruel things, but there are times you do them BECAUSE you love somepony and don't want them to suffer MORE if you don't! That sums what you're doing right?"
Nightmare Whisper's Stare began to crack under Fluttercruel's. No . . .n-n-no . .. that's not . .. that isn't . ..
"Am I a hackneyed job now? Am I harmless now? Am I just some pathetic excuse now? Do I stand a snowball's chance in hell now? You gonna browbeat me now?! YOU WANNA TRY TO CURBSTOMP ME NOW?! ...You were braver when you were a yellow moe-blob, 'Shy."
I'm not doing this because I'm scared! Some pains should just be hidden! Fluttershy's voice yelled out, even as her Stare crumbled.
In Twilight's mind, gears turned, latches fell into place, and a bell sounded that she hadn't wanted to hear, but at the same time, it felt so good to hear it.
"Princess. Celestia. I finally understand...
"You... you're doing this
not because you want to force yourself on others, you're not really doing this because you're scared of truth. You're doing this, you want to make the world fair, BECAUSE YOU'RE OUR FRIEND!" Twilight looked at Rainbow Dash. "And we're doing this BECAUSE WE'RE YOUR FRIENDS! We can't escape it! OUR FRIENDS CHANGE WHETHER WE LIKE IT OR NOT! I HATE IT! Discord showed me what I didn't want to see! That we could all grow into ponies different from the ones we made friends with! Ponies that may well drift away from each other! . . . THAT'S THE PRICE OF HAVING FRIENDS AND-" Twilight growled through clenched teeth, "It's-worth-it! It will ALWAYS be worth it! Because if that pony was ever really your friend, then before or after doesn't matter, friendship is now! It doesn't have a future or past! No matter how distant, a friend is a friend! And my heart is more free BECAUSE I accept that!"
And Twilight gasped as a light shined from her forehead, she recognized the light, but that was impossible. She felt the latches that held her magic in check unlocking themselves. The others saw the familiar star the glow on Twlight's forehead around her horn took the shape of.
Everyone looked at her in awe at the all welcoming, all encompassing unifying glow.
"But . . .without the Elements . . . " Then Twilight cursed herself as a fool. Hadn't she told Nightmare Moon the real Elements were inside their bearers? Hadn't she said that from the beginning? Weren't the jewelry just tools? A medium? An instrument?
But Twilight already had her medium, for she understood!
"Kindness is a precious gift because it is not natural. Because we chose to be kind makes it wonderful! That's why it feels wonderful to share with everypony else! That's WHY Celestia gave us all free will!" Rarity shouted! A light shined in the shape of a diamond over her heart.
"Fluttershy! Ah know what it's like to feel all that pain! To feel how everypony is hurtin'! All in their own way! I SAW IT! I FELT IT TOO! And it IS horrible! But this AIN'T the way to help'em! Ah mother doesn't smother and hide the world from her youngin's, she guides an' protects 'em in it!" And the glowing apple mark appeared around one of AJ's eyes.
"Hold on! Hold on! I got it! You know what a place with no escapes is called? It's called a prison. But if you can't escape where you're escaping -to-, you've just traded one prison for another Fluttershy. Which is rather silly! You just end up right back where you started! What a silly thing!" Pinkie Pie wasn't surprised in the least when she saw the glow from below her neck and didn't need to look to know its shape.
"I won't be scared of making a choice anymore, Fluttershy! I'm not gonna try to cheat fate! If I have to chose between your dream and everyone else... I'll prove my loyalty to you by SAVING YOU FROM YOURSELF! That is a true samurai pony's tail!" A glowing red lightning bolt contrasting with her coat formed on her right wing.
"SHUT UP!" screamed the little half undead foal like a child throwing a tantrum, covering her ears with her hooves. "SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!"
Trixie's horn ached, her heart ached. She felt something inside her digging and clawing for the surface, so desperately wanting to join those around her, a feeling so familiar it hurt. A blue light flickered at the center of her chest. No! She wanted to be herself! Not a part of a whole! Not a piece of a set! No!
Trixie clutched her broken sides and fell to her back legs' knees.
Was her heart skipping beats? Was this a heart attack? Her eyes bulged and were nearly blood-shot, desperately wanting to hold onto her individuality even as her heart cried out to be joined with the rest of itself.
Tears came down Trixie faces unbidden and perplexing to Trixie. So badly wanting to join but so terrified of possibly losing herself.
Fluttershy's voice sighed. Sorry Twilight. One Element Short.
Nightmare Whisper/Princess Gaia/Fluttershy's claw speared towards them. And was caught
by Fluttercruel!? The scarred transparent Pony held the massive limb easily thicker than her wing span. Her muscled bulged, her hoofs skidded even if they made no sound against the stone. "No . . . I won't let you . . . I told you. I'll never let you hurt yourself because of me again! I won't let anyone be hurt because of me again! If that means fading, okay! But if that means being here! THEN OKAY!"
"Move you stupid half-draconequus!" The foal commanded.
"That's stupid little pony! And I won't move for anything!" Fluttercruel screamed at the top of her lungs!
Fluttercruel felt a tingle on her body and caught a small flash in the the corner of her eye. She rolled her eyes and looked at the source, and gasped.
In an inverted wing shape was a pair of pony hooves, pressing together, one larger and that of a mare, holding up the hoof of a filly.
"My... my cutie mark's true meaning... OUR cutie marks' true meanings are... to help those who can't, who won't help themselves."
And an outline of a helping hoof glowed on Fluttercruel's right foreleg.
There wasn't a pony in the room who was not surprised.
"NO!" The foal shouted, both hers and Nightmare Whisper's eyes going wide in shock.
Two lines of light shined from each of the ponies, forming a six pointed star. The lines exchanged colors, changing so fast they looked like white light.
The foal shouted desperately, "Don't! The Elements are Harmony, you're Dissonance! They'll destroy you!"
Fluttercruel let out the world's smallest laugh. "At least I can say I went out with a bang." No one had time to debate.
Twilight's eyes glowed solid white.
A familiar rainbow arched from the center of the six point star, and it crashed down on top of the corrupted pony and became a whirlwind of colors entrapping her. Everything disappeared in an explosion of white light!
. . .
. . . . . .