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My Little Pony friendship Is Magic
Reharmonization Pony POV Series
Episode Title: "Pearl Necklace Part 2 of 5"
By Alex Warlorn

The light faded for the six heroes. All around them was Princess Gaia's throne room, complete with Fluttershy's now ruined tea set and the pony shaped potted plant in the corner.

Twilight shook her head, everything looked the same, including the blood stains, broken stained glass and piles of thrown stone blocks. She could still smell the dried blood and stench of decay, it made her feel sick to her stomach.

Rarity stood up ... finding the Element of Generosity had done wonders again and healed her, her broken bones mended perfectly, her mana reserves restored, the stab wound from her own scissors days before gone.

Right next to her however, Pinkie, Trixie, and AJ were still had deep lacerations and broken bones. So much for truth healing and laughter being the best medicine. Rarity touched her horn to Applejack and said, "In the name of Generosity: Heal." Nothing. "I guess we don't have this down as much as I hoped."

"Don't worry sugah cube, I can manage." AJ said, stirring. "I'll be fine, don't worry yourself none."

"Ya know that gets easier every time we do it." Pinkie Diane quipped springing up despite her wounds.

Rainbow Dash looked at her wings, "Hey! Do we have kick-flank tattoos now?"

Pinkie Diane checked, "Erm, nope."

RD grumbled, "Dang ..." Then her head cleared first of the magic-rush, "FLUTTERSHY!"

RD madly looked around and spotted a yellow shape with a pink mane. She flew across the room as fast as her wings could carry her.

Trixie was already next to the pegasus, but was at a total loss of what to do.

"Fluttershy!" Rarity, Pinkie, Twilight, and AJ all said in turn, overlapping each other as they fought off exhaustion and pain to hurry to their friend's side.

Rainbow looked distraught at the sight of her.

"But ... the Elements are supposed to make everything alright." Rainbow Dash whispered, perplexed and helpless.

Twilight kept her mouth shut. Trixie made room.

Rarity and Pinkie Pie were at her sides, worried any action on their part might somehow make things worse.

AJ just stared intensely at her with surprising pose and control.

There was Fluttershy, a pegasus, brightly colored, normal sized, just a little pony.

Around her neck was a metal ring around a metal ring with tiny spikes that pierced her skin. Thin metal rods skewered her legs and flanks, coming out the other side. Small metal rings pierced her wings chained together making it painful to move them without pulling on very sensitive feathers. Everything was scabbed over. Her entire body quivered with her eyes shut tight. She was crying.

But what drew their attention, was the beach ball sized red piece of glass she was clutching for all she was worth. Manacles around her hooves chained it to her. Around Fluttershy's neck, perfectly within reach of her hooves, and perfectly usable in every shape and form as the chain connecting it more than long enough to reach every one of the manacles, was a key obviously meant to fit the locks.

Inside the sphere wasn't an angry half-zombie filly, but shadows. Shadows of ponies crying. Shadows of ponies moaning. Shadow of ponies yelling. Shadows of Stallions hurting mares and mares hurting stallions. Shadows of stallions and mares hurting foals. Shadows of ponies laying about listlessly and miserable. Shadows of ponies hurting themselves instead of others. Every species, gender and age from elders to foals, pegasi, unicorns, and earth ponies. Twilight noticed distantly there was no shadows of Alicorns.

Fluttershy held onto the red sphere for dear life with all four hooves.

Besides Fluttershy, was a beautiful and mighty spiral unicorn horn that ended in a stump of dry blood, the horn looked older than old, but the power it radiated seemed to call to Rarity, Trixie, and Twilight like a lover (ignoring the Pegasi and Earth ponies utterly). Such power. Such might. Twilight closed her eyes and telekinetically threw it across the room not thinking of it again. Everyone's focus was on Fluttershy and the horn forgotten.

"When did this happen-?!" Rainbow Dash gasped, looking at her tortured friend in shock and horror.

Twilight flashed back to the purified Nightmare Moon, the Elements' rainbow washing away the Mare in the Moon and revealing a filly desperate for attention.

"I reckon this here is what Fluttershy was doin' all this time. The black magic and darkness just made it all fancy-like. Ah think the Elements just took away all the window dressin'." AJ said, once again, no one questioned her.

RD reached for the key, Fluttershy opened her eyes and tried to bite RD's hoof off.

"HEY! What? Fluttershy-?!" Rainbow Dash gasped pulling her foreleg back looking at Fluttershy in disbelief.

"Fluttershy, it's time to let go." Twilight said, in that strange border between firm and imploring.

"No no no! We can't! If we do then everypony in Equestria will start hurting again-we can't let go!" Fluttershy sobbed, every movement causing anguish from the torture devices. They finally realized her face was completely tear stained, like she had been crying constantly non-stop for a lifetime.

Rarity scoffed, "Fluttershy! If you think we're just going to leave you here all alone to suffer, then you are sadly mistaken!"

"I'm ... I'm a bad pony right? An evil dictator? That's what I am, right? So therefore I deserve to be alone and suffering right? So just leave me alone! I don't deserve to be anyone's friend after what I've done to you all! This way I'm at least doing good!"

Rainbow Dash spoke in the same flat tone she had once used with Pinkamina during the incident that shall not be named, "Yeah. Right. Not buying it. Fluttershy, stop being an idiot and stop torturing yourself!"

"I know I'm a-"

"I TOLD YOU, I SHALL NOT TOLERATE YOU SAYING THAT OF YOURSELF!" Rarity snarled out of thin air. "You are an intelligent, rational, and reasonable mare! You are most certainly not an idiot! Stop using that as an excuse! You're ... don't you know you're worth more than that?!"

"If I let go, all my foals are going to start having bad feelings again. As long as I'm feeling everyone else's bad feelings instead, the balance the Shadows Who Watch demand is kept happy! And it's just me whose sad and miserable! It's ... it's a good thing."

Then 'Shy looked into the reflective surface of the red sphere and said in a cool, calm but kind voice, "Fluttershy, you need to let go. You don't need to hurt yourself any more."

The others wondered for a moment if Fluttershy had gone crazy. But her tone, her language, her posture, her expression, it was like an entirely different pony was speaking.

Twilight remembered her incident when she had begun speaking to herself in a puddle, but this ... it was like two ponies on two sides of a mirror almost. That's when she noticed the transparent pony who'd helped them use the Elements was no longer present… What had the foal said just before the Elements activated? That she'd die? Had she been wrong?

"But I can't let go. If I let go, everyone ELSE will start hurting again. It's not right I make everyone else hurt just so I don't have to."

RD snapped, "What?! Just so you can just sit there and be miserable forever?!"

"As long as everyone else is happy and healthy, I don't care." Fluttershy said, distantly.

"We care!" Pinkie Diane snapped. "Fluttershy ... .Fluttershy ..." Pinkie Diane struggled to think what to say next. "Fluttershy, you're hurting US by doing this!"

Fluttershy sighed, her entire body shuddered again, "That's why I didn't want any of you to know. If I was an Alicorn or a Nightmare ... Either way at least no one questions the burdens you take."

And for the first time in her life, Twilight Sparkle wondered about the mantle her master and mentor carried, and the weight that came with it.

Rarity turned on her hooves and trotted several paces away.

"Rarity?" Twilight asked, confusion clear on her face.

"This is Fluttershy's choice. It is hers to give. Now that I know she's not possessed or under some evil influence, I can not in good conscience force her to stop. I will neither help nor hinder." Rarity didn't let them see the tear she shed.

"The One And Only Trixe ... I-I won't force her to change her mind." Trixie said sadly as she too turned away and trotted next to Rarity. She looked scared or unsure. Rarity, trying to keep her mind off what was happening, began tending to the unicorn's wounds as best as she could in the meantime.

"It's a logical system, right Twilight? The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few." Fluttershy whispered. The tears never stopped. The shudders of pain would never stop. Ever.

Feeling like she was facing an army of dragons, Twilight took several steps back but didn't turn her eyes away from her. She tried to find any small thing she could say to get it through Fluttershy's head what she was doing wasn't needed (it wasn't needed right?), but as much as she hated to admit it, it was a difficult thing to argue against. How do you convince somepony, who loves everything so much as to put themselves secondary to keeping the world happy, into opening Pandora's box all over again? And worst of all, Twilight couldn't stop her brain from thinking: yes, it WAS logical!

Rainbow looked at her friends in disgust. "Well! I've already MADE my choice! I said I'd save you from yourself and I'm gonna!"

Applejack took a step in front of her. "And how ya gonna do that sugah? How ya gonna keep her from trying this trick again? Hogtie'er and lock'er in a room someplace?"

"If that's what it takes!"

"So you wanna do something to her, she's against you doing to her, because it's for her own good? Because she's clearly not thinking straight and you MUST have the more rational perspective? So it's okay if you take away the choice from her? It's fine she says no because you say yes?"

"Well yeah of course but-" Realization crawled across Rainbow Dash's face, "But, but that's not like, but it isn't, no it isn't but-no, no, no." Rainbow Dash's wings and ears wilted as gravity seemed to increase several fold on her as she moved with her body lower to the ground.

Pinkie Pie looked at her friends and comrades. She sighed. Her hair became straight, but she didn't lose one trace of her color, she actually looked a bit brighter. And the look on her face held an odd serenity to it. She knelt before Fluttershy. "Fluttershy. All I want is ponies to be happy too. And I know that a good prank and a good game isn't as fun as when you see how it works from behind the scenes, and it's no good to reveal how a magic trick works ... but I wouldn't be a friend if I let you carry this burden alone. My Element is Laughter, let me balance out everything you're feeling please ... "

"No!" Fluttershy's eyes widened looking at Pinkie Pie.

"I can't lie Fluttershy, I LOVE everything I've seen and heard that you've made. And you were willing to try and fix the things that were going to make it empty on the inside ... And I'd be betraying my Element if I let that laughter die out from letting bad things back into Equestria ... let me share it with you."

Everyone turned and looked, most gasped, most reached to stop her, but far too late.

Pinkie Pie reached out and touched the sphere. She gritted her teeth, tears began to come down her face. Like they were living plants, spikes and chains snaked around Pinkie Pie, piecing her flesh. An inverted spiked collar formed around her neck and a key forged itself into being perfectly within reach on her.

"No." Fluttershy gasped out, doing what seemed impossible and crying more.

"I won't let you walk it alone ... Auntie ... Auntie Pinkie Pie … will be there for you."

AJ looked with horror, but she gripped to her Element, the one thing in the sea of suffering and dead-ends she had, her Truth. She grunted out, "So Fluttershy, you gonna tell her she can't do this?"

Even as Pinkie Pie shuddered in sorrow, Fluttershy's trembles became less.

The absolute agony within Fluttershy was now halved, and the other half now coursed inside Pinkie Pie.

Dashie leapt for Pinkie Pie and reached for the key around her neck.

"Don't you dare Dashie. I swear if ... if you don't stop, I'll break your wings off and make cupcakes out of them!" Pinkie Diane grunted, her entire body shuddering and burning under half the suffering of Equestria. Tears flowed unrestrained down her face. And she let out a small laugh.

Rainbow Dash gasped in shock hearing Pinkie Pie of all ponies threatening violence on anypony!

Rainbow Dash turned at the others intensely, snorting hot air. "If any of you so much as think of following Pinkie's example, I'll break all four of your legs and drag you back to Ponyville with them!"

And Pinkie Pie, as suffering ripped through her gullet and mind, managed to piece together the thought. 'Flut-ter ... shy ... was . . en-dur-ring ... twice ... this. This, whole, t-t-time?'

"Fluttershy, like Twilight said a bit ago, ya ain't an Alicorn. Yer not meant to take up this sort of thing. You're only a little pony. Scratch that, not even an Alicorn should have to take this up! Ya have the biggest heart in all of Equestria or ya wouldn't have done none of this!"

"Which is why ... why I have to do it." Fluttershy quivered.

"But Fluttershy, yer just takin' the pain! All these bad feelin's! Yer just holdin' onto'em! That's not right! Pain ... pain ... it's meant to be WORKED THROUGH sugah cube, more than that! It's meant to accepted, overcome, and let go. Pain ISN'T meant to be held onto! Ya ain't solvin' the problems, yer just coverin'em up!"

"But I just can't force THIS on everypony!" Fluttershy pleaded. The shadows within twisted and turned on themselves in their torture.

Twilight thought long and hard, trying to find something, ANYTHING, to break through Fluttershy's belief that she had to bear the grief of all ponykind on herself alone, hoping if she did, Pinkie wouldn't have a reason to either without needing to share Fluttershy's burden. How did you convince somepony to do something they didn't want to do? The worst part was the more Twilight thought about it, the more she dreaded Fluttershy was right …

Then her eyes fell on Fluttershy's Cutie Mark, the colors no longer inverted. 'Butterflies…' she thought, eyes widening. She let out a gasp of inspiration as she looked at them. A small smile crossed her face.

"Fluttershy… Do you remember what your Cutie Mark is?" Twilight asked softly, trying to be calm and relaxed. Fluttershy was silent. "It's butterflies, and do you remember how they work? They start out as little caterpillars that can only crawl around, doing nothing but eat. Then it enters a cocoon and comes out a butterfly," she explained, kneeling next to her friend. "Then, and only then, can they fly.

"It's a lot of work for them to build their cocoon, they've got to work hard and take their time building it just right. But if they don't, they never get wings. They'll never be able to fly," explained Twilight, looking Fluttershy in the face, trying not to cry at the sight of her friend in such torment. "Fluttershy, would it be mean to stop the caterpillar from making its cocoon and being able to fly?"

Fluttershy sniffled, agony tearing through her body from the simple act of moving her head to meet Twilight's gaze. "Of course it would! It'd be terrible to stop anything from flying if it could!"

Pinkie Pie lowered her head slightly as the image of pegasus wings flashed through her mind, mocking her.

Twilight said, "Well you are."

Fluttershy gasped. "But… But I haven't! I'd never do such a thing!"

"But you are, Fluttershy!" Twilight replied. "Keeping everypony foals forever is like keeping a caterpillar from becoming a butterfly! It's like Applejack said; if you don't let them endure and work through those bad feelings you're taking upon yourself, and learn how to deal with them and grow stronger from it, they'll never be all they can be! They'll be like caterpillars who never get to fly!"

Pinkie Diane grunted out through the torment, "T-Twilight ... some of t-those caterpillars? T-They just want to BE caterpillars ... t-they don't want to be butterflies. They w-won't f-find happiness as butterflies, because they've lost their wings."

Twilight looked at Pinkie Diane and tried not to break down in tears at the sight of her, "Their wings can be reattached," she stated, ignoring that was impossible with real butterflies. "All it takes is one other butterfly who cares enough to do it... I've done it myself," she said, looking to Trixie.

Rarity looked over he shoulder at what Twilight said. "... So have I..." she whispered, thinking of the little butterfly whose wings she tried to mend.

"And Pinkie Pie, so have you!" yelled Rainbow Dash, trying to glare at Pinkie Pie and failing miserably, seeing the party pony being slowly almost cut to pieces by the torture devices on her. Her face softened. "You AND Fluttershy did! You saved me! And let me tell you something, Pinkie! The 'you' who dumped all her misery on Pinkamena? She would've thrown a party or freaked out while I turned into a Nightmare! The Pinkie Pie who COULD feel everything SAVED me! All you're doing is being Pinkamena for everypony to dump their crud on!" she exclaimed, then looked to Fluttershy, bracing herself to not breakdown at the sight of her fillyhood friend in such agony.

"And Fluttershy…Sometimes to pull out a thorn, it's going to hurt a little, but it's better than letting it fester, and you're better for it after. The -actual- cruel thing for somebody to do would be to let the infection worsen rather than force it to the surface." said Rainbow, having trouble believing she of all ponies was saying something like that. "A really smart pony told me that once, and she was absolutely right! But how are people supposed to pull out thorns so they can REALLY heal if they can't feel them?!"

"Pain lets us know what's wrong so we can do something about it," sighed AJ, looking at her friends. "Now look, there's some truth in what you two are sayin'. But there's a lot more in what Twi and Rainbow just said. Let me put it this way; if all the apple trees stayed as cute little sprouts, they'd never be able to grow up and make big, juicy apples. They'd be nice and cute, they'd never risk topplin' over and hurting anypony, but they'd never grow any fruit. Ah spent a whole day running around Ponyville, reattaching butterfly wings and pulling thorns after Ah visited the Princess, but Ah had to get help pullin' one of my own to know how to do it. Fluttershy, Pinkie, it's time you pulled out a few thorns of your own so everypony else can get to work on theirs."

"My word Applejack, since when did you become such a philosophical dictorum?" Rarity asked.

"Came from hanging out with you gals too much, thank you kindly."

"I just wanted a world where violence, misery, and death weren't the rule, and harmony, happiness, and life were how things NATURALLY are. A place where life didn't need to feed off life as part of nature, instead of something we ponies had to do. A world of dreams couldn't work, a foalhood that never ended doesn't work ... Are ... are all livings things just MEANT to kill each other?! Are they just meant to be miserable and sad-?!" Fluttershy beseeched her friends, Luna, Celestia, Discord, Angel, the foundations of stone her castle were placed on, someone, anyone.

"Good things are worked for sugah cube, that's what makes'em so special, and just because there's sad stuff in the world doesn't make it a sad place."

"'Shy, please ... don't we have Cute-ceañera to plan?" Fluttershy looked at her reflection, or maybe it was her reflection looking at her.

"Cute-ceañera?" Pinkie asked, parties, no, celebrations still her special talent, even in the sea of grief.

"Yes, her's, Fluttercruel, she just earned her cutie mark, she ... it's only fair for her right?"

The ponies were completely jarred. The confirmation of the existence of the 'other Fluttershy' had just been dumped on them just a tiny while ago, apparently being the personality Discord put in Fluttershy, or at least one like it, and suddenly it ... she was talking Cute-ceañeras? ... They had all seen the cutie mark, among the rest of the havoc they were facing, but ... maybe they all needed to sit down.

"Pinkie Pie ..." Fluttershy whispered.

"Yes?"

"I think maybe this should end. Maybe it's gone on for a little too long."

"Okay. If that's what you really want."

Fluttershy didn't reply, she just reached for key around her neck and unlocked the shackles. Pinkie Diane looked at her, and did the same. Together, they let go of the red sphere.

A sound worse than any of the ponies had ever heard in their lives vibrated throughout the room. To call it a cry was to imply it came from something living, to call it a whisper would imply there was intent behind it, to call it a scream would imply it had volume.

The red sphere shattered, the pieces breaking apart into nothing. The shadows of ponies of all races from inside wildly fled from the container, their eyes and mouths empty holes, miming screaming, neighing, crying, shouting, grinding teeth, weeping, moaning, all flew through the walls, ceiling and floor like ghosts. The entire room darkened with their presence and the ponies felt a non-material wind so cold it burned! The ponies covered their ears to no avail. So alone!

And in a handful of seconds it was over. Light and warmth returned. There wasn't so much as a scar on Fluttershy or Pinkie Diane anywhere from the torture they'd endured, the torture harnesses gone. Only time would tell if Pinkie Pie's cuts from before would scar.

"My word!" Rarity gasped out first, otherwise at a complete loss for words.

"WHAT THE MOON WAS THAT-?!" Trixie exclaimed, eyes wide as saucers.

"Oh. We just released back into the world all the prejudice, depression, grudges, self-pity, malice, and self-deprecation that Fluttershy sealed inside herself using her own soul as the chains and locks: and are now free to scourge pony kind again." AJ said firmly, calmly, with full honesty, and a shrug.

Rainbow Dash tilted her head, sounding unsure, "Uh. We DID do the right thing here right?"

Twilight said sounding uncertain herself after witnessing the release first hand, "That's what we were doing our best to tell Fluttershy that it was."

"Everypony is gonna have'ta decide that for themselves sugar cube," said Applejack looking up at the ceiling and walls where the shadows had fled. "Some are gonna say we should have just let Fluttershy keep'em locked up where they couldn't hurt no pony, and others are gonna say we have have'ta deal with our problems for real and not act like they don't exist. And Ah think some will say choosin' whether or not there's sorrow in the world ain't a decision any mortal pony had the right to make to begin with."

Pinkie Pie didn't say which one she was, only looking where the sphere used to be.

"All the same, the One and Only Trixie... I think shall be leaving out the 'releasing of intolerance and sorrow back into Equestria' when she writes her memoirs."

"I do not think I shall be telling Sweetie about this part of this adventure until I am on my lavish rose petal death bed."

"If it's my choice, I'll accept releasing them as the right thing. I feel free." Fluttershy said with a surprising calm and firm voice. She wiped away from tears from her eyes. "But I can't change how I feel. I felt what everyone else felt. I guess ... I guess they'll always be with me."

"Trust me Sugar cube, Ah know how that is, but if there's a pony who can make good of it, ya can."

Pinkie Pie nearly mini-teleported next to Fluttershy and hugged her, Rainbow Dash being the fastest joined in next, Rarity joined in with the pony who she proudly called her best friend. AJ joined in next. And of course Twilight willing joined in.

"Thanks, Applejack… But I hurt you all so much… If you won't forgive me, I won't bla-"

"FLUTTERSHY OH FLUTTERSHY!" Pinkie Pie finally gushed, tears streaming.

"OH FLUTTER-GIRL IT'S SO WONDERFUL TO HAVE YA BACK!"

"Darling, do not, do not please, ever do anything so reckless again!"

"Fluttershy, you ... you ... jus ... it's just so great to have ya!"

"In case I've ever forgotten to say so," Twilight said simply, "You're my friend, Fluttershy, and I wouldn't have it any other way." She said the next part with as much self control and formality as she could, "And… Fluttercruel, if you're listening; thank you so much for helping us bring Fluttershy back." Twilight could swear she saw a sly smile cross Fluttershy's face at that for a brief moment.

Trixie looked at the sight. They looked like pieces of a puzzle, they fit together so perfectly. Trixie hated puzzles, couldn't every piece be beautiful and whole on its own? Then why did she want to be a piece right now so badly-?! Was this even her-?! It scared her so horribly.

Trixie trotted over almost puppet-like and her legs shaking raised a hoof and placed it gently on one yellow wing. "You ... you are a wonderful pony." When, when was the last time Trixie had ever praised anyone?

"Princess Gaia! Princess Gaia save me!" Screamed a terrified, raspy mare voice.

The double doors swung open as Angel, no longer dressed up like the White Rabbit, was bowled over inside.  

There was a mare, if it could be called that, her body burned flesh and black bone, traces of a green mane hanging from her skull. She prostrated herself on the floor at once before Fluttershy. "Princess Gaia! It's already taken everyone else! Please! Protect me! Save me!" She sobbed.

A distant echo resonated down the hall was heard, it sounded like two ponies drowning.

"Roneo!"

"Starlet! I still love-" Silence.

A chill rattled all their bones.

Nearly all the others backed away in horror, except Applejack, who somehow managed to hold her ground and keep a straight face (it wasn't easy).

No one noticed the potted plant fall over, lose it's cutie mark, and becoming a twisted pony shaped black mass of bones before black claws dragged it into the ground. Not even getting a chance to cry out, the claws being just a tad more vicious with him.

"It's not fair! The draconquus made us alive again, then the rainbow takes it away! Then Her Kindnesty lets me forget and now the rainbows take her away too?! It's not! Not fair! Not fair! Not fair!"

Snake like claws wrapped around her and began to pull her under like the surface was water, taking her back to within the limits of where she had died.

She madly mumbled to herself. "Please! We didn't know! We thought it was a curse! We thought it was evil! We thought it was the plague our grandparents told us about! We didn't mean to forget what the marks were! Please! We didn't know! I didn't -want- them to hurt her! It wasn't my fault! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! WE DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE! I NEVER HAD A CHOICE!"

Fluttershy blinked away tears. "I'm so sorry, Threeleaf. I'm so sorry!"

AJ really wished she had thought to bring a lasso, though she wasn't sure it'd have done any good.

The others were too paralyzed with confusion and fear to move.

Only most of her skull and front hooves were visible now as the black threads pulled her down, back to Sunnytown's ruins. "I-It's, it's, Ruby, I didn't think you-! I thought-, Grayhoof said-, PRINCESS GAIA!"

Fluttershy grabbed Threeleaf's still visible hoof and took to the air. Ignoring the freezing numbness in her forelegs, she flew backwards with all her strength. It wasn't enough. Threeleaf slipped beneath the floor.

"No." Fluttershy whispered, her forehooves feeling solid stone for any sign of Threeleaf. Angel came over and gently patted her on the side as if to say 'There, there.'

"I'm sorry Your Kindnesty, they still bury their heads in the sand and scream they're just victims of fate. They're beyond saving, and so am I." A young voice echoed like from a deep chasm.

The ponies looked up to see another undead pony, this one looked much more intact than the others, like her death had nothing to do with burning. The black threads snaked around her legs, she didn't try to flee.

AJ snapped. "Now didn't Ah tell you to stop with that hogwash?! Ruby's a friend of Applebloom! And a friend of a friend is supposed to be a friend! And no friend of mah little sister is gonna say she can't be saved!"

"Do I have to say it?! I don't want to be saved!" Mitta cried out.

"RUBY DOES! AND SO DOES APPLEBLOOM! NOW STOP BEING SO DAMN SELFISH!!!"

Mitta startled. The black threads continued to wrap themselves around her and ever so slowly drag her down.

Mitta asked unsure, insecure, "H-hey ... cutie marks? That's what they're called right? You get one for what makes you 'you', right? What do you think … my cutie mark would have been?"

"Maybe a shield," AJ suggested sounding like a mother almost, "Ya know, a pony who protects?"

"I did just the opposite." Mitta said sadly.

" ... And there ain't a pony in this here room, not in the whole wide world, who didn't do 'just the opposite' of what their cutie mark meant at one time or another, kiddo. We ain't puppets!"

Fluttershy shouted, "As your Princess! I order you not to give up! I order you to stop this!"

"I'm sorry, Your Kindnesty," Mitta lowered her head, the black threads wrapped around it, "That's a command I can't follow through. I deserve this just like the rest. Besides ... someone needs to be there to make sure the others don't hurt anypony else. I can't let go until those fools impossibly  realize their own sins ... wha?" Mitta felt a tingle, and every pony swore they saw a sparkle of something on her flank just before she was pulled under.

"Fluttershy," said Applejack, realizing what just happened. "Ah think maybe, just maybe, some good did come out of all this," she said, giving Fluttershy a small smile.

Before the others could ask questions- "While this experience I would not have chose, for it to happen again, I would not oppose."

"Zecora!" All the ponies said together except Trixie, for whom this was the first time seeing the zebra as an adult.

"I would have entered before. But that filly needed help more." She bowed her head to Fluttershy, "Greetings Princess Gaia, I think you have little to fear of becoming a pariah."

Fluttershy startled, "How did ... how did you know I was-"

"What kind of foot-zebra would I be to my queen, if her thoughts I could not glean?"

"Wait wait wait, you ARE free of the brainwashing right?" Rainbow Dash asked first, looking the Zebra over, her eyes were normal at least.

"If that is what you wish to call it, I will not object. And yes my mind is my own last time I checked."

"Then why all the 'Princess' stuff?" RD asked.

"No matter it's form, it is still love. And Fluttershy has the heart of a dove. What Princess Gaia did was foolish. But I shall not call it ghoulish. Although, I think it's best we go."

"Yes." Fluttershy nodded, "With my Contract of Omelas broken, Everkind and everything else that I altered instantly with magic rather than with effort is reverting."

Twilight, Trixie and Rarity all look -very- insulted at the biased idea that hard earned magic wasn't labor.

"Oh! I'm so sorry!" exclaimed Fluttershy, in her typical apologetic fashion. "I just meant that only the stuff that was changed manually stayed the same!"

"I don't get it." Pinkie Diane said, scratching her head with a hoof, "I mean, if Princess Gaia's magic is gone, why are Applejack, Trixie, and me are still covered in ouchies?"

Everypony took a step back from Twilight, knowing PRECISELY what Pinkie had just unleashed upon them all. The purple unicorn instantly began speaking standing up on her rear legs in absence of a soapbox.

"There's a difference between what's called 'permanent magic' and 'instantaneous magic.' Instantaneous means the spell is complete, over and done with once cast. Like teleportation, and fireballs. But many transmutation spells -cheat- and use 'permanent magic' that just superimposes a false form upon something that can be dispersed. An -instantaneous- transmutation spell means the new shape or form of the subject is their NATURAL STATE from then on.

"Permanent magic is useful in that the spell is still there, so you can still manipulate and change it however you like. But it's VERY IMPRACTICAL, not to mention downright dangerous to use for construction projects and medical treatments. Instantaneous spells ironically take more power to cast in spite of not lingering afterwards, this is due to them having a more direct effect on existence.

"I would surmise Fluttershy spread herself so thin that she barely used any instantaneous magic at all. Ironically if she had spread herself out slowly rather than going so quickly she'd have been able to slowly build up her influence and reality would have had no choice but to bow down to her revisions as natural. She had a great amount of power and a strong enough will to wield it, but no experience using it properly. Since much of it may have simply been undone by the Elements though would suggest-Uh, girls? Where are you going? Girls!"

~~~

The Sea Serpent looked around as the forest of Sunshine and Lollipops became again a Forest of Death. "That's it, I'm moving."

~~~
Healing Ponies POV Series!
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Next Chapter: [link]
Previous Chapter: [link]
First Chapter: [link]


Fanart of Diamond Tiara and Screwball. Yes, even bullies and loonies have loved ones. So close and yet totally apart. [link]

FANART OF NIGHTMARE WHISPER! CHECK IT OUT! [link]

BEHOLD: A dramatic reading of how this entire series started! [link]



Fanart of Mimic's iconic moment before her death. By the one and only Firedrake.
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YET ANOTHER tribute fanfiction has been written! CHECK IT OUT! This one takes a rather unique POV on the subject of Discording.
[link]

And a reharmonization you wouldn't expect! [link]

Discord's beaten, but invisible scars take the longest to heal for the mane six and all of Ponyville. Anyone can die, living is the actually challenge.

THIS IS THE END OF THE PRINCESS GAIA ARCH.


The series' very one TV Tropes page! Check it out! [link]

The series that started it all, Discord Pony POV series!
[link]


I never chose any music for this part. Though night on bald mountain might work for part of the ending.


Kendell2 wrote most of the arguments of Twilight and AJ with Fluttershy and Pinkie. So Kudos to him.

The fall of the Sunny Town Ponies, Suikoden V OST - Sadness [link]


This part was edited like crazy by Kendell2 [link]

MLP: FiM: Copyright Hasbro

EDIT: Edits thrown in to make things just a little bit smoother with help from Kendell2. I look foreword to when the rest of my editors catch up to here.

20120610 DracoDei edits.
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:iconitsfrompeople:
As we begin the story, the heroes notice how little did change around them, even the pony shaped potted plant is still the same. Rarity’s wounds, even the one inflicted by Diamond Tiara, were all healed by her own Element. Unfortunately she isn’t able to heal the others but maybe she will develop this ability later. Considering that she is Generosity, it would make sense for her to be able to cure others. Then Rainbow Dash realises in what kind of condition Fluttershy is. Immediately they all rush to her aid but are shocked to realize that the Elements didn’t fix all problems. Fluttershy looks like herself but she still holding on to all the suffering of Equestria. While the undead foal is missing, the red sphere and the torture devises remain and cause her unimaginable pain. The sphere still contains all sadness, hate, pain and self-loathing and the fluttering pony, despite having apparently lost all of her new powers, is still unwilling to unleash it back onto this world. It is also clear that the entire construction can be removed with a key any time the pegasus would want to do that. Next to her is the powerful artefact, the Elder Horn, that had increased her already great powers even further. The object calls to all unicorns in the room and in an impressive display of willpower, no one gives it a second thought and Twilight throws it away to concentrate on what it really important: Fluttershy. Twilight begins to think back to what happened to Nightmare Moon and how the Elements did reveal the insecure filly seeking attention under the guise of the self assure Nightmare about to plunge the world in eternal darkness. As the pragmatic Rainbow Dash tries to use the key to end this suffering Fluttershy starts to fight back. She knows what she is carrying for everyone else and now she thinks that she can atone for her actions as Nightmare Whisper like this. The fluttering pony tells her friends that she doesn’t deserve them anymore. When she is about to call herself an idiot again, Rainbow Dash almost explodes on her and screams that she is intelligent, rational, and reasonable. An idiot would have lost herself within seconds after obtaining the power Fluttershy wielded. She is still willing to shoulder all suffering for everyone else. After being saved herself, Fluttercruel tries to talk down her kind self. The intelligent Twilight almost instantly puts the clues together and understands who is talking right now. As Fluttershy is obviously not willing to end her pain for herself, Pinkie tries to remember her that her friends are suffering as well seeing her like this. The pegasus tells them that if she would still be the perfect Alicorn or the insane Nightmare nobody would question her choice and to avoid hurting her friends she had to keep up the illusion. For the very first time Twilight wonders what kind of burdens the seemingly perfect Celestia must carry.

Rarity is willing to accept Fluttershy’s choice. As her best friend she knows that it would hurt her even more if the white unicorn would tell her to give up the burden. She does even hide her own pain, just like Fluttershy did before. Trixie also doesn’t feel that she knows Fluttershy well enough to be able to convince her to change her course. The showpony wants to help her but has no idea how. Fluttershy tries to convince Twilight to accept this with logic, after all do the needs of the many not outweigh the needs of the few? Twilight is absolutely shocked, not only by the pure determination and self-sacrifice before her but also by the seemingly unbreakable logic. RD tries to force Fluttershy to stop these actions but the pragmatic Applejack reminds her that if she isn’t able to convince her friend to let go, it would never end and Rainbow would have to imprison her to stop Fluttershy from trying this again. Wouldn’t this removal of free choice almost exactly be like what Nightmare Whisper did? Meanwhile Pinkie Pie has made her own choice. She loves the world and her friend enough to share her torment with her. The others are too late to prevent it and soon the pink pony is tortured by the same devices. Fluttershy is wrecked with guilt but now the same logic she used against Twilight makes it impossible for her to tell Pinkie to let go of the suffering. And the plan of the pink pony does work and now Fluttershy must “only” care half of all the pain of Equestria. RD tries to open the lock on the pink pony but Pinkie Pie is able to stop her by threatening to make cupcakes out of her. In her desperation the only way she knew how to stop her friend from ending this was to talk about the things the version of herself, she hated so much, did. Now Rainbow in turn threatens anyone from following this example, she knows her friends enough to realize that they might try something like this. Pinkie Pie can hardly understand what kind of pain Fluttershy must have carried the entire time. The pragmatic Applejack tries to make her fluttering friend realise that this kind of pain isn’t supposed to be carried by one or two beings. Everyone has to carry it, lessening the burden for all the others and everyone has to try to conquer their own darkness. That is part of being alive. Fluttershy still argues that she can’t send all this evil back onto the world. Twilight is still struggling to think about what she could say to make Fluttershy change her decision. She knows that Fluttershy is the key, after that Pinkie Pie would let go of the pain as well. Then she looks at the now normal cutie mark of the pegasus and has an idea. She tells her to remember how Butterflies live. They start out as a caterpillar needing to gain as much strength as possible before they are able to form they cocoon and become flying butterflies. If Fluttershy would continue her actions they all would never have to endure the creation of the cocoon but they would never fly on their own. Pinkie tells her that some don’t want to become butterflies and have lost their wings, but Twilight quickly points out that with the help of others those problems can be overcome. Trixie was able to start conquering her own inner demons with the help of Twilight. It reminds Rarity on her attempt to heal Diamond Tiara. Rainbow Dash tells both suffering ponies that they saved her from becoming a Nightmare and that the constantly happy Pinkie Pie would have never been able to do this. Only the Pinkie Pie accepting sadness could understand and heal it. Then RD tells Fluttershy the same lesson she had told her some time ago. Sometimes pain and cruelty are needed to end or heal suffering, didn’t they all experience this? Didn’t they all become stronger after overcoming their own weaknesses and darkness? Applejack talks about her own experience and how she wasn’t able to help everyone by herself. Everyone is fighting their own battle and can only grow by the experience gained from it.

Fluttershy barriers begin to weaken and she laments the loss of her paradise. Neither the perfect dreams nor the eternal childhood did work, will life always mean pain and suffering? AJ tells her that a world with sadness and darkness isn’t a miserable world. Instead it makes the light all the more precious. It is Fluttercruel who manages to destroy the final barrier by reminding Fluttershy that they do have a Cute-ceañera to plan. The thought of a party is also enough to remind Pinkie Pie about what brings her happiness. By accepting this eternal torture, Fluttershy would also force Fluttercruel to share it with her, taking her chance to experience life after finally accepting being alive. The others have still trouble accepting and understanding this new being within her friend. Now both ponies are ready to let go and unseal the red sphere. Immediately the sphere shatters and within moments releases everything back into the world. AJ calms states that they have just unleashed prejudice, depression, grudges, self-pity, malice, and self-deprecation. There is doubt left if they did the right thing and one look of Pinkie Pie hints that she would have endured it all by herself, if it wouldn’t have hurt her friends. Applejack points out that this isn’t a simple matter of right or wrong, of sealing the evil or freeing it or of torturing a few ponies beyond comprehension for the peaceful existence of everyone else. Maybe this was a choice that should have never been made but mere mortals, but they were forced to choose anyway. Fluttershy is finally free from her torment and in an incredible heart-warming scene the first thing Pinkie Pie does is to hug her friend and everyone else (besides Trixie) join into. The fluttering pony tries to tell Applejack how sorry she is and that she would understand if she would never forgive her but the others don’t care. They are just too happy to have her friend back. And Twilight takes the first chance she gets to thank Fluttercruel for her help. Trixie watches the scene in confusion and wishes she could belong into this group as well and in the end she is able to walk over to the others, place one hoof on one of Fluttershy’s wings and tell her what a great person she is. The Great and Powerful Trixie could have never done something like this but the One and Only Trixie is stronger.

But there is a prize to pay. The inhabitants of Sunnytown are all reclaimed by the curse. As they turn back into the undead, they disappear one by one. Threeleaf begs Fluttershy to save her. She screams how unfair the rainbow is for taking away their healing twice. She doesn’t know that Discord just healed them to laugh in their faces when they return to normal. The curse still has an influence over them as long as they are unable to accept their own sins. And Threeleaf constantly screams that they had no choice. Despite the pain Fluttershy tries to grab the disappearing pony but she is unable to do anything for her. Soon the undead being is gone, back to her own eternal torment. Then Mitta walks inside and tells them that the murderers will always act like they are the victims and that they are all beyond hope. She has given up and as long as she keeps punishing herself her own curse will last forever. Now Applejack angrily reminds her that Ruby is suffering as well because of them and she should finally stop being so selfish. Now for the very first time Mitta wonders what her cutie mark could have been and AJ tells her it would be a shield a symbol for someone who tries to protect others. At first she denies it but her final words as she vanishes are about preventing the others from hurting anyone else. Again Fluttershy can’t do anything to help them. But just before Mitta is gone, something does change and she gains her cutie mark. There is hope left for them. Even after thousand years. Applejack manages to cheer Fluttershy up by pointing out that at least some good things did happen because of her actions. The now adult Zecora agrees with her. She still calls Fluttershy her Princess and assures her that not everyone will hate her for the Princess Gaia incident. Now that the magic stopped everything will soon return back to the way it was and Twilight enters lecture mode to explain everyone in detail why this is happening. The reason is that Fluttershy did spread her influence as fast as possible and to do that she had to use permanent magic, since this takes less mana per spell. The downside is that once the spell is over, the change disappears as well. But the others don’t care about the details and just want to move on. Just like the Sea Serpent who also decides to move as the forest is turning back.

Overall this is great chapter that continues the conclusion of the Princess Gaia arc. In the end just like Trixie the change didn’t come after a battle but after a talk between friends. Only thanks to their bounds were they able to convince Fluttershy to let go. The fate of the ponies of Sunnytown shows that not every problem was solved but there is hope left. And these events will have long-lasting consequences. But for now the group is finally reunited.

Keep up the great work.
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:iconpersona22:
"Their wings can be reattached," she stated, ignoring that was impossible with real butterflies.

Or pegasus that ate her wings while being driven mad by Discord...
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
Different kind of wings being referred to here of course. 
Reply
:iconpersona22:
How do you convince somepony, who loves everything so much as to put themselves secondary to keeping the world happy, into opening Pandora's box all over again? And worst of all, Twilight couldn't stop her brain from thinking: yes, it WAS logical!

Twilight, you're a Unicorn, not a Vulcan. Logic be damned! You better get your act together and talk some sense into Fluttershy!
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
She'll manage. 
Reply
:iconepileptictrees:
I like the philosophical theme of logical Utilitarianism (represented by Fluttershy) versus Free Will (represented by the rest of the Elements)
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
I wrote this hopefully so it can read more than one way, I hope. THank you for your thoughtful comment!~
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:iconyoshiegg64:
Wow after these last intense chapters, I was glad to see a little comedy at the end of this chapter.

I love your series!!!
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
"Wow after these last intense chapters, I was glad to see a little comedy at the end of this chapter."

Ditto. Personally I prefer these chapters to all the action chapters I end up doing.

"I love your series!!!"

THANK YOU! And it's far from over!
Reply
:iconcapri-chan:
Oh, God, I've been reading this entire thing all day, and now it's 3 AM. I...kinda forgot to eat for most of the day, because I didn't want to stop.

Thankfully, it seems like I've finally found a place where I can stop until morning without worrying about what will happen next.
Reply
:iconalexwarlorn:
Happy to know this series is still catching new readers. If I have one big shame, is that I wasn't able to keep the plot more simplistic.

And yeah, this is a nice place to stop and rest. For all ponies involved.
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