Original story by Pen Stroke
“Rainbow Dash Presents” by FiMFlamFilosophy
Twilight Sparkle was not a happy mare. She sat scowling on a blue stool, grumbling about having better things to do. “Why am I doing this again? I thought I told you I’m never doing another one of these with you,” she said with more than a hint of irritation in her voice.
The blue pegasus named Rainbow Dash sitting in the plush red chair next to her blinked a few times. She thought a moment, and then replied, “Because Celestia told you to or else she’ll pluck all your fur out one hair at a time until you do?”
“Oh… right…” Twilight said, the hint of irritation in her voice replaced with a hint of dread. “Well, let’s get this over with.”
A lone unicorn stallion sat in front of a candlelit pond deep in the Everfree Forest. It was really dark, ‘cause it was night, so I guess the candles would be useful, though they might be mostly for ceremonial purposes. Unless they’re those scented ones. He is, after all, sitting there quietly, so maybe it helps him relax. Still, it seems kinda silly to have scented candles outside. I mean, a breeze could pick up and carry the smell somewhere else before you can smell it, and that’s if it doesn’t blow the candles out entirely…
Where was I? Oh, right. Ahem. It was winter, so the place was very cold. Maybe he wanted the candles for warmth? But candles don’t give off that much heat, unless you try to touch them. One time, when I was a little filly, I-
Oh, fine. Ahem. In the flickering candlelight, one could see the stallion wasn’t wearing whatever his usual colors were. He had dyed everything black, and I mean everything: his mane, his tail, his coat, and even his cutie mark were black as night. Well, not this night, because it was lit up a bit by the candles.
“Will you shut up about the candles?!”
Sorry. Anyway, as he sat there taking in the total silence, he heard hoofsteps approaching. It was another pony whose name we don’t know. “Nexus, we’re ready when you are,” the mysterious pony said.
The unicorn, whose name we now know is Spell Nexus, replied, “I’ll be there in a moment.” After the other pony was gone, Nexus used his magic to pick up a bunch of things. He looked up at the moon and said, “O queen, guide me tonight, for it is beneath this full moon that our plans come to fruition.”
The items he carried with his magic started circling around him. They weren’t going around very fast— certainly not as fast as Rainbow Dash could go, but she’s not there right now, so that doesn’t really matter. The objects he held were pieces of armor. Not like the armor you see in stories like King Arthur or the kind worn by guards. These were special fancy-looking pieces of magic armor.
The stallion carried the armor through the woods and into another clearing. He then started putting the armor on. The armor, plus the body paint, made him look really scary. It was one of the best cosplays the Everfree Forest had ever seen. Of course, there aren’t usually that many cosplayers in the Everfree Forest, unless you count the one time Pinkie and I went exploring dressed as Daring Do, and she left me in the middle of the forest with a broken wing. It took me days to find my way back, and when I did, she broke my other wing because I was late for her tea party. She patched me up afterwards, so I like to think she was sorry.
“Nightmare Moon, let me bear your mane, as purple and sparkly as the sky,” Nexus began to chant. “Let me wear your armor, which make you pretty and tough. Tonight, you will no longer have to share your body with a foal, for you shall have your own body, and never have to fear the Elements of Harmony again. Tonight, Nightmare Moon, you shall rise, and the tyrant princesses shall fall!”
He admired his reflection in the pond’s surface for a while, and then headed out into the forest. He followed a trail that lead to a clearing filled with all kinds of ponies who ran around everywhere making sure their work was done right.
“When do I come in already?”
“In just a minute. He’s heading right towards you.”
The ground had been cleared of snow, and everywhere you looked, there were wooden bowls filled with various oils and powders, and various pegasi worked in the sky to cover the place in clouds to obscure it from prying eyes. How they managed to get the proper permission paperwork filed without rousing suspicion is beyond me, though.
All the ponies were dressed in various costumes, making it look like some kind of convention. There were some dressed as Batmare, a few Final Fantasy characters, and, of course, some Stormtroopers from Star Wars and Klingons from Star Trek. None of them dressed as Nightmare Moon, though. That honor belonged to Spell Nexus. He headed over to a group of three ponies and asked, “Are you done yet?”
“Almost, sir,” the pegasus mare named Night Wind answered. “We finished the clouds, so the pegasi just need to get to their bowls.”
Spell Nexus then turned to an earth pony stallion and asked, “Stonewall, did you bring the things we need this time?”
“I haven’t even let them out of my sight,” he replied.
He then turned to another pegasus and asked, “Do you have our guest, Gray Gale?”
The pegasus answered, “Yeah, but can we hurry up? She’s getting pretty cranky; even with the anti-magic brace, she’s a real hoof-full.”
Spell Nexus nodded. “It is time,” he said. The ponies then approached a shrine of some sort. Stonewall began setting up the items while Night Wind and Gray Gale took some torches into the sky. See, why couldn’t he have used those by the pond? Torches give much more light than candles. Wait, I’m getting off track again, aren’t I?
Nexus then approached a purple unicorn who was hog-tied in the middle of the clearing. “I’m so happy you could join us tonight, Miss Sparkle.”
“Been there, done this. Another day, another cult trying to sacrifice me in hopes of bringing back some creature of darkness that will ultimately fail in its quest to remove Celestia from the throne,” Twilight sighed with a roll of her eyes.
“Ah, but this time, your brother won’t be here to rescue you,” Nexus replied with a sneer.
“What did you do?” Twilight asked, with a hint of trepidation in her voice.
“I gave him the key to your liquor cabinet. By now, he’s probably passed out drunk from all your booze!” he laughed.
“You monster! Do you realize how much all that stuff cost?!” Twilight screamed.
Spell Nexus simply laughed evilly and tied Twilight’s mouth shut. He then picked up a knife and cut Twilight’s leg. It wasn’t a big cut— a little sticky bandage or a mommy-kiss would be all it needed to get better, but she didn’t have either of those things in the Everfree Forest. He scraped up the small amount of blood with the blade and put it in a bowl that also contained pieces of Nightmare Moon‘s remains. That’s kinda gross, if you ask me. He carried the bowl to his shrine as the other ponies gathered close. He began to speak to them. “Brothers and sisters, for two years we have worked behind the backs” Or would it be butts, since our backs are on the tops of our bodies? “of the tyrant princess and her guards. Countless amounts of time, money, and candles have been put forth to bring us here. Tonight, we, the Children of Nightmare, shall give Nightmare Moon her very own body!” The ponies cheered in response. “Now, let us begin the spell, so that Nightmare Moon may be reborn!”
The ponies gathered in a circle around him. The unicorns started using their magic, causing the paint to glow a deep blue color. See, why couldn’t he have used magic paint like that earlier? It’s not a fire hazard like candles or torches, and less likely to be blown out. But then, it might be bad for the environment…
As the unicorns were doing this, Stonewall went around the painted circle with a torch and lit several oil-filled bowls that lined the ring of blue paint. I could say something about the pointlessness of that, what with the glowing paint and the torches already there, but Twilight’s giving me this look that says, “Hurry up or I’ll beat you to within an inch of your life,” so I think I’ll move on.
Meanwhile, the pegasi held similar bowls in a similar pattern up in the air. Gray Gale and Night Wind lit these bowls, much like Stonewall was doing on the ground.
When the trio was done lighting the bowls, they joined Spell Nexus on the ground. He waited until the air was filled with just the right amount of magic. Then, he pulled the fire out of a bowl and put it into the one that held the knife and evil alicorn body parts. The burning blood and body parts rose up and swirled with the smoke and torches and magic and stuff. Something began to form out of all of that…
BOOM! A lightning bolt shot down into the spell and caused a huge explosion! Pow! Pssssh! Krakoom! Whaboo- Mmmph! Ptoo. “Twilight, that wasn’t very nice.”
“Stop with the sound effects. We get it. It was a big explosion. What’s next?”
A white blur dived out of the sky and landed in the middle of the clearing. It was Princess Celestia, and she did not look happy. “Thought you could steal my candles, did you?” she sneered.
“RUN AWAY!” a voice yelled. The gathered ponies ran all over the place in a panic. Celestia laughed with her
Amid the panic, Spell Nexus slipped away into the darkness, whispering, “You’ll pay for this, Celestia!”
As the smoke cleared, Celestia looked with satisfaction upon the destruction she caused. “That’ll teach ‘em.” She then turned to her guards, who had just arrived. “Round up any stragglers and bring ‘em to me,” she ordered as she flew off. The guards scattered to search the forest.
“Hello?” a tied-up purple unicorn called out. “A little help here? Could someone please untie me? Hello?” There was no response. She was completely alone. “…Ugh, typical.”