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BiE Bonus Story: Hope Burns Bright

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 01:22:03 PM

  1. =BiE Bonus Story: Hope Burns Bright=
  2.  
  3. >Year 3 in Equestria.
  4. >These damn seats STILL sucked to sit in.
  5. >You'd think that after a decade here and numerous trips you'd have learned how to sit in these in some manner of comfort, but apparently not.
  6. >You glance out the window at the rapidly falling snow.
  7. >The Crystal Kingdom was a good distance away, even farther north than the positively arctic city of Hoofswell.
  8. >If "Kingdom" was the proper term to use for a single giant city.
  9. >It had all started when Celestia had called Twilight in for some test.
  10. >She had also said it was your job as her friends to help her out with this "test".
  11. >Mous and her had argued that way they always did, but you were more than happy to go.
  12. >An entire "kingdom" centered around crystals would probably have loads of information that could help your research.
  13. >Not to mention your desire to help Twilight.
  14. >Mous strolls through the car and sits in the seat next to you, grumbling as he does.
  15. "What's your problem?"
  16. >"Stupid bathrooms are barely big enough to get in."
  17. "Or it could be that diet of yours finally catching up with you."
  18. >"There's what, a dozen sentient species on the planet? You'd think they'd design their bathrooms as all accessible."
  19. "Well, at least you got in before we got there."
  20. >"I didn't, actually."
  21. >You shoot him an incredulous look.
  22. "What, are you just gonna hold it the entire time we're here?"
  23. >Mous shifts in his seat. "I opened the door and went off the side."
  24. >You pinch the bridge of your nose.
  25. "Of course you did..."
  26. >"I had to go."
  27. >Uhg...
  28. >You're about to lay into him when a voice comes over the train car.
  29. >"Last stop on the Northern run: Glacia Station."
  30.  
  31. >The nine of you step off the train and look around the area.
  32. >Stretching out in every direction was a sea of white obscured by a sheet of snow pouring down.
  33. >Mous sums up the collective opinion on the area. "Well this sucks."
  34. >Twilight sighs and starts off into the snow. "Let's just move."
  35. >You pull the collar of your jacket further up and wordlessly follow her.
  36. >Slogging it through the snow goes about as well as you'd expect, with everyone's teeth chattering and a certain someone muttering a certain tune.
  37. >"I hate the snow, I hate the snow, I hate the rain and I hate the sleet, man I sure do hate the snow. My feet are froze and my toes are too, man I sure do hate the snow..."
  38. >Far ahead of you, a cloaked figure materializes out of the blizzard, putting all of you instantly on edge.
  39. >You might have attacked if Twilight hadn't run up to it and gotten a "Twily!" out of him.
  40. >You relax your guard as Shining Armor pulls up his goggles and reveals his smiling face.
  41. >The rest of you casually approach the embracing siblings.
  42. >"Nice get-up, Armor. Is Lord Vader just around the corner?" Mous asks.
  43. >Everyone else present turns to stare at him.
  44. >"Nobody gets me..." he says as he face falls.
  45.  
  46. >You pat your bros back as Shining draws the groups attention again.
  47. >"I'm glad you all came, but we should get moving. There are some things we don't want to find out here..."
  48. >Well that wasn't sinister...
  49. >As if on friggen cue, a pitch black haze sprung up from the blizzard.
  50. >"Vashta!" Mous shouts.
  51. >Shining Armor leaped forward and fired a magical blast as the haze coalesced into a massive horned head.
  52. >"Not that, it's King Sombra!"
  53. >Sombrero?
  54. >The shadowy head comes together and fires its own beam of magic, impacting directly on Shining Armor's horn.
  55. "Shit!"
  56. >Twilight shares your sentiment, it seems. "Run!" she shouts.
  57. >Don't have to tell you twice.
  58. >The ten of you haul ass in the opposite direction, trying not to be eaten in the process.
  59. >Here's hoping that things were better in the kingdom...
  60.  
  61. >Things really weren't that much better in the kingdom.
  62. >You had all run from the frozen wastes into the Crystal Kingdom and met up with Cadence.
  63. >She wasn't looking too hot. Bags under the eyes, frayed mane, less full skin.
  64. >Shining Armor said it was due to the strain of having to keep the shield spell going this entire time while Sombra assaulted it, and with his own horn damaged, he couldn't chip in.
  65. >You really need to find that Crystal Heart they mentioned and fast.
  66. >You and the rest of the gang were walking the streets, looking for any clues you could get from the Crystal Ponies. Right now you were walking alongside one stallion in particular.
  67. "So you really don't have any idea where it might be kept?"
  68. >The stallion closes his eyes in what looks like pain for a moment and shakes his head. "N-no. I don't know anything, I'm sorry."
  69. >The stallion increases his pace and walks away, leaving you in the dust.
  70. >You grumble in annoyance as Fluttershy flies up to you.
  71. >Despite the...weirdness of your first interactions, Fluttershy and you had become good friends over the years, with Sunshine and Thunderstrike mirroring that.
  72.  
  73. >"Oh, uhm...excuse me Anon..."
  74. >Still shy as a sack of newborn puppies, though.
  75. >"I was uhm...wondering...is there any reason that Rainbow Dash is acting so...rough?"
  76. >You glance behind you and spot your rainbow maned bride apparently attempting to box with a citizen.
  77. >"C'mon! Let's go! Put 'em up!" she cries.
  78. >You grimace and turn back to Fluttershy, rubbing the back of your head.
  79. "Yeah...she's been like that a while now..."
  80. >Flutters brings her hooves to her mouth. "Oh my goodness! She isn't sick or hurt, is she?"
  81. >You shake your head.
  82. "No, no...it's just..."
  83. >You lean forward and whisper into Flutter's ear.
  84. "It's -that- time of the month."
  85. >Fluttershy's eyes go wide in realization and a hint of crimson comes through her cheeks.
  86. >"O-oh..."
  87.  
  88. >A few hours after your little info gathering session and all of you are combating the evil escaped Dark Lord by planning a fair.
  89. >It made sense by Equestrian logic.
  90. >The girls were all seeing to the various tasks they knew best, each lending their particular talents to the fair.
  91. >It was already drawing in a crowd.
  92. >You weren't seeing any of that, however. You were helping Twilight with her work on the Crystal Heart.
  93. >You exhaled onto the shining crystal and rubbed it with a rag.
  94. "Nice job here, Twi. I can see myself in it."
  95. >Twilight still seems a bit nervous. "I just hope that it will help restore the hope of the Crystal Ponies..."
  96. >You step back and admire the Heart's sheen.
  97. "If not, we'll just have to come up with something else."
  98. >Hope sprang eternal, after all.
  99. >AJ and Rainbow seemed to think that was the perfect moment to come barreling in to your work area, almost knocking the heart over.
  100. >"It's the wrong Heart!" Rainbow shouts.
  101. >Oooooof course it is.
  102.  
  103. >Twilight reels back from Rainbow. "What!?"
  104. >You right the heart as Twilight pulls out her book and discovers a page torn from the back.
  105. >"Oooh, how could I have missed this!?" she cries with her hooves over her head.
  106. >You kneel down next to her and put an arm over her shoulder.
  107. "Twi, it's alright. We'll find a solution. Do you have any ideas where the -real- Heart might be?
  108. >Twilight ponders for a moment before removing her hooves.
  109. >"The throne room."
  110. "The throne room?"
  111. >Twilight jumps up from the ground. "Anon, we have to get to the throne room!"
  112. >You nod.
  113. "Lead the way."
  114. >Twilight magics a cloth over the fake heart. "We have to keep the Crystal Ponies away from the heart until we find the real one! Otherwise their hope could go lower than ever!"
  115. >Rainbow salutes and AJ nods her head. "You can count on us, Twilight."
  116. >You give Dash a quick peck on the head before racing off with Twilight into the palace.
  117.  
  118. -Mous PoV-
  119. >What part of your demeanour said that you would be good as a carny?
  120. >Was it your almost permanent scowl?
  121. >Was it how much you LOVED talking to people during a crisis?
  122. >Was it the big honkin' knife on your belt?
  123. >No. It was none of those things because you are not a good carny.
  124. >And why they thought it was a good idea to stick you at the craft tent was anyone's guess.
  125. >You tie off the head of the little figure and hand it to the little filly in front of you.
  126. >She takes it and gives it a quizzical look. "Uhm, what is it?"
  127. "A voodoo doll."
  128. >"What's it do?"
  129. "It do the voodoo that I do."
  130. >The filly cocks her head to the side and trots off.
  131. >You turn to Rarity and groan.
  132. "Please inform me as to how this is supposed to HELP."
  133. >Rarity's hooves are a blue as she finishes a hat and hands it to a mare. "It is supposed to help, Mous, by lifting the spirits of the Crystal Ponies so that they can fill the Crystal Heart and banish Sombra."
  134. >You lean out of the stall and look to the edge of the barrier where the black smoke was building.
  135. "And why are we throwing a fair instead of trying to solve the problem?"
  136. >"And how would you propose we do that?"
  137. >You shrug. [spoiler][/spoiler] "I don't know, violence?"
  138. >Rarity scoffs. "Not every problem can be solved so crassly, dear."
  139. >It worked on Discord, and the Dogfather.
  140.  
  141. >Rarity sighs as she hands out a particularly crap hat. "Come along, we need to meet up with the others. That was the last of our supplies."
  142. >Logistical problems too, brilliant.
  143. >You hop over the counter and follow Rarity back to the Heart.
  144. >To the fair's credit, the ponies along the way seemed in higher spirits than they were before.
  145. >Applejack and the others were all clustered around the Crystal Heart. Or rather, the Crystal Heart that was covered with a tarp.
  146. >What?
  147. >You and Rarity approach the farm-mare.
  148. "What's with the tarp, AJ?"    
  149. >She turns to you both, her eyes snapping back and forth like they did when she lied.
  150. >"Nothin'! Aint nothin' wrong!"
  151. >Well that just FILLS you with confidence.
  152. >Before you can get closer, AJ backs up and rear ends the Crystal Heart, sending it falling to the ground and shattering.
  153. >The citizens around you all gasp and reel back in horror.
  154. >"That's not the Crystal Heart!" one of them yells.
  155. >Within moments, the generally calm fair is one of panic and near riot.
  156. >Fuck.
  157. >Okay, time for a real plan.
  158.  
  159. -Anon PoV-
  160. >You hold on to Twilight's haunches for dear life with Spike dominating your field of vision as you slide down the inverted stairs.
  161. >You can't say this was part of your plan for tonight, directly opposing a fundamental law of the world.
  162. >Still, not the weirdest thing you'd done since you came here.
  163. >"Hang on!" Twilight shouts.
  164. >You risk a peek over here and see the floor rapidly approaching.
  165. >OHSHI-!
  166. >The three of you are thrown into the air as you reach the "bottom" and land in a heap.
  167. >You push yourself off the ground and rub your aching head.
  168. "Dammit Twi, I'm a scientist, not a crash test dummy..."
  169. >You get to your feet and see a large door in front of you.
  170. "Well...that's...something?"
  171. >Twilight slowly walks up to the door and examines it.
  172. >"Hmm...this has to be the way, there's no other door."
  173. >Twilight reaches up and opens the door, freezing the moment she does.
  174. >"Anon!" Spike cries.
  175. "I see it, I see it!"
  176. >You and spike rush up to Twilight and look her over, her eyes are lime green.
  177. >Okay, that's not good.
  178. >Twilight's eyes are rapidly shooting around as if looking at something on the inside of the pitch black door.
  179. >Spike shakes her as you check her eyes themselves.
  180. >To your surprise, shaking seems to work. Twilight blinks and returns her eyes to normal within moments.
  181. >Spike hugs and latches onto Twilight as she rubs her head with her hoof.
  182. >"Nnnnggg...the door..." she says.
  183. "The door...?"
  184. >You and Spike stare into the darkness of the door just in time to hear Twilight shout "No!"
  185.  
  186. >You come back to yourself in your house, Dash was flying around tossing things to and fro.
  187. >"All you do is spend all your time with Twilight, what am I SUPPOSED to think!?"
  188. >Uhh...
  189. "I'm sorry?"
  190. >Dash gets right up in your face. "Oh, you're SORRY! Well everything's okay now, Anon, because you're SORRY!"
  191. >Your eyes shift back and forth as you take in the scene.
  192. "Buh!?"
  193. >Dash flies away from you. "Well, forget you! I guess I just picked the wrong one when you two came through."
  194. >The front door of the apartment opens and Mous walks in clutching a letter.
  195. >"Hey broski, let's not make this any weirder than it has to be."
  196. >Dash flutters up and wraps her hooves around Mous as he holds the letter out to you.
  197. >"This was outside."
  198. >You open it and read its contents.
  199. >"Anon, I have written to inform you that your services are no longer required. Please clear your things out of the lab post haste. Sighed Twilight Sparkle."
  200. >...
  201. >Buhwha!?
  202. "Sorry, brah." Mous says. "Looks like there isn't much left for you here."
  203. >Okay.
  204. >Your confusion can't get any higher.
  205.  
  206. "You two..."
  207. >You look up from the letter at them.
  208. "Are acting WILDLY out of character. And since the last thing I KNOW I remember is that weird door...I'm gonna guess this is some weird illusion?"
  209. >Mous and Rainbow stand ramrod stiff for a minute before the sound of glass shattering in the distance sends your vision back to an inky blackness.
  210. >You come to watching Twilight and Spike hugging.
  211. "Uurrrgggg..."
  212. >Twilight's eyes snap open. "Anon! Are you alright?"
  213. >You grip your head and look up at the door.
  214. "Magic door? Shows you illusions?"
  215. >Twilight nods. "Your worst fears."
  216. >You think about the idea of either Mous or Dash acting that way.
  217. "Well it did a shitty job, let's get going."
  218. >Twilight smiles and nods.
  219.  
  220. -Mous PoV-
  221. >Everyp0ny around you is in a state of panic.
  222. >Meaning the entire city is in a state of panic.
  223. >You aren't worried.
  224. >Sombra had peirced the shield and is slowly making his way towards the castle, swallowing the countryside in a deep fog and converting the naturally beautiful crystals into jagged ones.
  225. >You are standing alone in the center of the main city street as the mass of fog creeps ever and ever closer.
  226. >A face collects at the head of the fog, its emerald eyes boring into you.
  227. >You shoot back with a cross-armed glare of your own, intent to make Sombra fight for every possible inch of space.
  228. >The rest of the girls were getting as many of the Crystal Ponies back to the palace as they could, leaving you as the only "defense" the city had.
  229. >As Sombra moved to mere feet away from you, you spring your trap.
  230. "Now!"
  231. >Applejack hits the stereo.
  232. >Sombra balks at the music as it starts to pick up into the strings that have carried you through many a tough time.
  233. >And no music is complete without a speech.
  234.  
  235. "CRYSTAL PONIES! LISTEN UP!"
  236. >The citizens hiding at the base of the palace peek out at you.
  237. "TAKE A GOOD LOOK! THIS IS ALL SOMBRA IS NOW! A BALL OF GAS AND AN ANGRY LOOK! HE CAN'T HURT YOU!"
  238. "THERE'S A WAY TO GET RID OF HIM FOR GOOD, BUT WE NEED YOUR HELP! SO ALL OF YOU, GET FIRED UP!"
  239. >More and more of the Crystal Ponies come out from behind the palace struts, pushing Sombra back a bit.
  240. >The Shadow King reared up again and scared some of the citizens, but a familiar voice draws all your attention upwards.
  241. >"I got it! I got it!"
  242. >Everyone looks up to see a small purple dragon holding a glistening crystal hoping down to the ground.
  243. "HA!"
  244. >You raise a fist.
  245. "IN FEARFUL DAY OR RAGING NIGHT, WITH BURNING BLOOD MY SOUL IGNITES! WHEN ALL SEEMS LOST AND YOU'RE FULL OF FRIGHT, LOOK TO THE SKY -- FOR THE HEART SHINES BRIGHT!"
  246.  
  247. >Sombra screams in pain as the light from the Heart charged with the hope of the citizens bathes over him.
  248. >Your victory is short lived as the ground begins to shake, more crystals jutting up from underneath it.
  249. >You see a particularly large one jutting out under the center of the fog.
  250. "Oh no you don't!"
  251. >You jump up and hang on to the rock as it sails into the sky with Sombra standing on the top of it.
  252. >You glance behind you and see Spike falling on a direct path with you.
  253. >Fuck.
  254. >Need a plan!
  255. >You grab Sombra by the hoof and drag yourself up to him, smacking the underside of his jaw with your fist.
  256. >Shit! Can't reach David when you're this high.
  257. >You grapple with Sombra as the rock rises higher in the air and try to keep him away from Spike.
  258. >At that moment, a pink missile shoots past you and grabs Spike.
  259. >You and Sombra look down to see Cadence gliding over the city with Spike and the Heart on her back.
  260. >You take the initiative and grab Sombra, tossing him to the ground.
  261. "Do it!"
  262. >Sombra struggles under you as Cadence lands.
  263. >"Noooo! That's mine!" he shouts.
  264. "Oh, cram it."
  265. >Cadence casts her spell on the Heart, sending a cascading wave across the city.
  266. >Sombra glows and cracks underneath you, eventually exploding in a torrent of magic.
  267. >You push yourself up from the ground and peel off your scorched clothes, silently adding another notch to the useful aspects of your magical immunity.
  268. "Heh, knew that guy had a short fuse."
  269.  
  270. >Some time later you were all back in Canterlot hanging outside Celestia's schoolhouse.
  271. >Twilight had ventured inside some time ago, leaving the rest of you out here.
  272. >Spike was being his normal panicking self, pacing back and forth and muttering about the things that could go wrong.
  273. >Anon and you were talking about the Crystal Kingdom.
  274. >"I can't believe he just CHUCKED her like that."
  275. "He's a guard captain who had is mind all fucked a few years back, I could see him doing it."
  276. >"Still man, he just...THREW her."
  277. >You shrug. [spoiler][/spoiler] "Royals."
  278. >The doors to the schoolhouse burst open with the force of a purple unicorn.
  279. >"I passed!" she shouts.
  280. >The group erupts into cheers of joy and celebration as the congratulate Twilight, Spike nearly faints.
  281. >All in all, a good day.
  282. >At least you avoided any impalement.
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