Time to wander around Ponyville.



[Cruce, worn from his previous ventures, has returned to Ponyville alongside Safiri and the six pony friends, Rainbow Dash included. Her attitude has reached a low point. Before Cruce may talk to her, she parts from the group, headed to her home in the sky...]

[Twilight and Spike are no longer present.]

Cruce: [Still in his earth pony form, he stands in the center of the town, head raised to the sky.] (Dash's bothered by something, but I'll never be able to know what it is if she keeps flakin' out like that... Ah well... I'd better find something to keep me busy. Something tells me I'll be here for a while.)

Safiri: [Nudges at Cruce.] Hey hey, should we be trying to figure out how to get back to Safa?

Cruce: [Looks to Safiri.] I'm pretty sure Vesse wants me to stay here for some kind of training. Otherwise I'd be all for it.

Safiri: [Crosses her arms and huffs.] Hmph...

Pinkie Pie: So Maxie and Safie, how long are you two gonna stay around? 'Cause you totally need to see the rest of Ponyville, because it's great, because the people are great!

Cruce: Y'know, that's a good idea. Yeah, I'm up for it. How're you feeling, Saf?

Safiri: I'm feeling okay.

Pinkie Pie: So let's get started meeting everypony!

[Quicker than Cruce or Safiri can object, Pinkie Pie takes them to her place of work, the Sugarcube Corner; a colorful bakery.]

Cruce: Well that was fast. [Blinks, observing his surroundings.]

Pinkie Pie: Welcome to your taste budses' most wonderland-i-ful wonderland. I give you: [Stands on her hind legs.] The Sugarcube Corner!

Safiri: Oh.

Pinkie Pie: This is where I live, and also where I [Sudden badass change of tone] apprentice [revert to casual tone] under Mr. and Mrs. Cake!

Cruce: Yeah, if I stay in here any longer, I'm going to drool. I smell brownies.

Safiri: What's a brownie?

Pinkie Pie & Cruce: [Both look at Safiri.] WHAT?!

Pinkie Pie: You don't know what a brownie is?!

Cruce: Jeez, Safiri! Pinkie, we need to remedy this right away.

Pinkie Pie: I'm on it!! [She dashes to the front counter, ringing a customer service bell like it's her last day on this world.] HEEEEEEY!!!

Shop Owner: [From a distance.] Oh dear, she's back already.

Shop Owner: I'll handle it. My, what could that girl be up to now...?

Pinkie Pie: [Continues ringing the bell.] Heeeeelllp!!

[A blue mare with pink, frosting-like hair approaches the counter from behind. She sighs as she sees Pinkie Pie ringing the bell.]

Mrs. Cake: What is it, Pinkie?

Pinkie Pie: [She freezes as she sees Mrs. Cake.] ...Listen, it's an emergency! This poor little bunny's never even HEARD of... [Her eyes shift to the right, then left.] Brownies...

Mrs. Cake: [She gasps.] I say!! Honey! Quick! This poor girl needs a brownie, pronto! This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill!

Mr. Cake: [A stout, yellow stallion with a white and orange cap, as well as a vest of similar colors. He walks into the scene, quickly setting the tray of brownies down.] Normally, I'd agree with you, dear, but... [Notices Safiri.] She appears to be a woodland creature.

Pinkie Pie & Mrs. Cake: That's no excuse!!

Cruce: Hoi, those look great... [He smirks, taking in the scent of the freshly baked treats.] Safiri, prepare yourself.

Safiri: ... Uhhm...

Pinkie Pie: [Promptly reaches onto the tray and grabs a brownie, immediately stuffing it into Safiri's mouth.] Here!

Safiri: Mrrp!! [Blinks a few times, chewing slowly... Her eyes widen.] ...

Mr. & Mrs. Cake: [Both watch in anticipation...]

Safiri: ...[With her cheeks stuffed, she smiles wide...]

Cruce & Pinkie Pie: [They high-hoof one another, still watching Safiri.]

Safiri: [She finishes chewing.] ...I feel reborn...

[The Cakes gasp.]

Mr. Cake: Wh-wha-what did we put in those brownies?!

Mrs. Cake: Why, do you know what this means? We've created a magical recipe that lets us speak to wild creatures! This is fantastic!

Mr. Cake: I can see it now... The many critters lining up to send their taste buds on a journey, followed by intelligent conversations one after another. It's magnificent.

Safiri: Uh, hehe, wait a sec. I could always talk before this.

Cruce: Yeah, sorry. False alarm.

Safiri: But that was still the best thing I've ever tasted!

Mr. Cake: Well, we can dream, can't we?

Mrs. Cake: We're glad you enjoyed it. You sure had us worried. Someone who has never tasted a brownie? Unheard of!

Mr. Cake: I'm still quite stuck on the fact that she speaks. Say, I've never seen you around here either, young man. [He smiles at Cruce.] What are your names, you two?

Cruce: I'm Cruce Maximilius.

Safiri: And I'm Safiri. We're new to the town!

Pinkie Pie: Cruce and Safiri and I met a little ago! They're so cool, you should see them in combat to the DEATH!

Mr. Cake: Heavens!!

Pinkie Pie: ...[Grins nervously.] Sorry~!

Mrs. Cake: Well, it's a pleasure to meet you two. We're the Cakes! We own the bakery here. Feel free to drop by any time you desire when you're craving something delightful!

Cruce: Noted. Safiri, you should keep this place in mind. I'm sure their brownies are that good, they'll be able to impress you and I both with anything else.

Safiri: There's actually more?

Pinkie Pie: Well sure, silly! How could there not be? We have a whole world of treats here! Well, more like a whole corner... But a big corner. [Spreads her arms out.] Like this big! But bigger! And that's not even the end of the tour around Ponyville. It's barely the start! Come on, there's still tons to show you!

[Again, Pinkie Pie takes them from location to location. They end up in a flashy, round building of sorts. It's reminiscent of a fashion designer's shop...]

Pinkie Pie: And here we are! Our next stop in the Wonderful World Tour!

Cruce: World tour? When was it called that?

Pinkie Pie: I'unno, I just made the name up now!

Cruce: Well alright, but just a fair warning, I don't think I'll be able to join you for a tour of the entire planet here...

Pinkie Pie: That's okay! Because that's not even possible... Oh, or is it...? Oooh, I wonder if you can tour the whole world in one day... Maybe a pegasus can! [She gasps.] I gotta ask Rainbow that the next time I see her. Did I ask her that already? I think I did. I think it was yesterday.

Rarity: [She approaches the three.] What is going on here?

Cruce: Uh... hey Rarity.

Rarity: Cruce? Safiri? ...Pinkie, are you giving more tours?

Pinkie Pie: ...Maaaaaybe.

Rarity: Darling, you should really ask permission before coming into someone's abode... But I'll let this slide because of your impeccable timing.

Safiri: Huh?

Rarity: [While speaking, she walks around Safiri and Cruce...] Oh, how the days have been filled to the brim with adversity as I searched for new motivation--a new style to adorn my creations with. You two have brought such unusual elements to Equestria. Come this way, and be starstruck!

[Upon leading them into her own private designing quarters, Rarity reveals unto them her most recent works, which she unveils as a sort of showcase for the audience of Pinkie Pie. Curtains reveal Cruce to start.]

Rarity: [She speaks for Cruce as he stands out, now wearing a sharp black fedora with a blue stripe running through it, as well as a seemingly torn, thin black scarf.] Cruce, the colt of mystery. Anyone would mistake him for a casual citizen, given by his modesty. But he is more than meets the eye. This dark hero strikes from the shadows of a new incognito. He is out of this world. He is the secret warrior.

[The next to be revealed is, obviously, Safiri. Instead of her typical flower, she is now wearing two pink flowers at near her ears, ribbons appearing to flow downward form these flowers. A similarly colored sash, lined with tiny flowers, is wrapped around her waste.]

Rarity: Safiri, a most unusual friend--a most unusual being to walk our little world on two legs, as she seems to be the voice of our wildlife. So gentle, yet so striking. She captures the eye, she captures the ears, she is a civilized young lady with otherworldly passion, quite literally, might I add! Yes, I give you the future of Carousel Boutique!

Pinkie Pie: [Claps!] Woohooo~! [Whistles for the two.] Looking good, Maxie! You too Safie!

Cruce: [Adjusts his hat.] Well thanks... Dang, Rarity, you made this quick. We were only here for like, how long, some minutes?

Rarity: Oh, it was a teensy project, really. Besides, anything's possible with a little magic! [Her horn sparkles.]

Safiri: Hee... I feel pretty and whatnot~. Cruce, am I pretty? [Smiles innocently at him.]

Cruce: You're frigg'n cute. [Chuckles.] Yes, you're pretty as well. What about me? I feel like a badmutha.

Rarity: Excuse me?

Cruce: A uh... A bad... N-never mind. This is neat. You weren't kidding when you said fashion extraordinaire. I've always been interested in this look.

Safiri: What?! Cruce, you weren't a pony to begin with...

Rarity: I'm so glad you enjoy it, the both of you! You've helped out more than you know. I always love the exotic taste of new faces in Ponyville, especially those of whom come form worlds afar. Such a grasping concept! If only I could see what your true forms are.

Pinkie Pie: Ooh! Ooh ooh! Where to next, guys?! WAIT! I got it! [She wraps her arms around Safiri and Cruce, hugging them together with her head in the center.] Sweet Apple Acres!


[Before they know it, Pinkie Pie has lead the (whilst hopping, of course) to the lush range of Sweet Apple Acres. The farmland is aglow with life and care of responsible owners.]

Pinkie Pie: [Bounces while she speaks.] This is Applejack's home! She's such a hard worker! Y'see, she bucks a bunch of trees and a bunch of apples fall down and her family does a bunch of things with those apples! They've made all sorts of cool sweets 'n stuff that even match up to brownies! So Safiri, you know what that means?

Safiri: There's more here than my appetite can handle, Pinkie.

Cruce: Which means it's probably my turn to be the taste tester.

Applejack: [She is laying up against a tree, her signature hat shading her eyes. Upon hearing the voices, she lifts her hat to see the visitors.] Well lookee here.

Pinkie Pie:' AJ! Hi!

Applejack: Well howdy there, fellas. Diggin' the hat, Cruce. [She gives him a rather confident wink.]

Cruce: Thanks! Courtesy of Rarity!

Applejack: Generous one, ain't she? What brings ya'll down to Sweet Apple Acres?

Pinkie Pie: I was taking Cruce and Safiri on the Supertastic Pinkie Pie Tour!

Safiri: [Tilts her head.] I thought it was called the Wonderful World Tour.

Applejack: Well since ya'll are here, [She stands] why don't I show ya around?

Pinkie Pie: Now it's the Supertastic Pinkie Apple Tour. Or is it Supertastic Pinkie Jack? Apple Pie? Mmmm! Apple Pie!

Applejack: Uh, right. Let's git a move on, folks!

[Applejack now leads the three to the house on the farm. Everyone else seems to be outside. An elderly mare sits in a rocking chair, while a large red stallion tends to the appearance of the front porch, tidying it up. This stallion is wearing a yoke.]

Applejack: Afternoon, everybody!

Elderly Mare: [She speaks slowly.] Oh, is it afternoon already...?

Red Stallion: [He speaks with a uniquely deep voice.] Eeyup.

Applejack: This here's the family, fellers. That's Granny Smith [motions to the green mare], and that's my big brother over yonder, Big McIntosh!

Pinkie Pie: But that's not all! The Apple family is big! [Spreads her arms out wide as she stands on her hind legs.] Like this big, but only bigger! You should come see sometime during one of their family reunions!

Applejack: Speakin' of family, where in tarnation is Apple Bloom?

[A loud crash is heard near the barn.]

Applejack: Never mind.

Pinkie Pie: Uh oh! Sounds like trouble on the field of battle! [Puts on a random soldier's helmet.] Hit the deck everypony!

Applejack: I don't think it's that serious, Pinkie. Unless... Oh shoot! Bad Beef! I'll handle this! [She gallops off to the barn with haste.]

Cruce: Bad... Beef?

Pinkie Pie: C'mon! Let's see if she needs help! [She gives chase, followed by Cruce and Safiri.]

Granny Smith: Confound it... That Bad Beef's sure bad news.

Big McIntosh: Eeyup. [Nods.]


[Applejack and company arrive at the scene. A fence has been toppled over. A young, bright yellow pony appears to be holding onto a raging bull who is swerving about haphazardly, trying to buck this filly off.]

Applejack: Ah-ha! Same old story, is it now, Bad Beef?! Hold on, Apple Bloom. Big sis is a'comin'! [She removes her hat temporarily, using one arm to hold it while she pulls a small rope out with her mouth. Returning her hat to her head, she rushes ahead, twirling the rope around until it forms a loop. Given the right opportunity, she flings the lasso at her sister.]

Apple Bloom: Whooaawhoa!! [Trying to control the mad bull, she is suddenly lurched from its back, pulled down beside her sister.] Whaa...? Whoooa... my head... [As she is set down, she wanders from side to side, seeing stars.]

Applejack: [Returning her rope to its proper place.] Now to calm that beast of a cow down.

Cruce: I got this. [He races off.]

Applejack: Huh?! W-wait! [Holds out an arm.]

Cruce: [Perhaps overestimating the situation, he conjures the Crossblade in his mouth quickly, only before hurling it at the raging bull. It lands a few feet in front of this bull, startling it.]

Bad Beef: [Freezes, stepping away from the Blade.]

Cruce: [Using familiar sorcery, he teleports himself to the Blade, standing tall before the cow and in front of his weapon.] 'Sup.

Bad Beef: [Steps back once more, frightened at the effect of Cruce's teleportation.]

Cruce: Chill, a'ight? You almost hurt an innocent little girl. That's not alright.

Bad Beef: [Looks away, ashamed.] But... she was bothering me.

Cruce: Still no reason to go ape on her. Let it on her easy if she's bugging you. Or else I'll have to use that Blade for something a bit more creative.

Bad Beef: I'm-I'm sorry! Please don't! I'll-I'll-I'll--look, I'll even fix the fence! Just don't hurt me, warrior pony!

Cruce: See, doesn't that suck? Overreacting isn't the best answer. Look, I won't hurt you. Just take it easy.

Bad Beef: [He nods silently, walking back to the barn.]

Cruce: ...(What the... heck...?) [Shakes his head rapidly.] (Well that was awkward...)

Applejack: ...Whooowee! [She gallops up to Cruce, leaving Apple Bloom speechless.]

Apple Bloom: [Her jaw is dropped about as far as it can go.]

Safiri: [Rolls her eyes, speaking under her breath.] Showoff...

Applejack: Cruce! That sure was somethin'. 'Never knew you could round up so easily, 'specially not a bigg'un like Bad Beef. He's a new feller--been causin' us all kinds of worry. Now, he's gotten better, but he ain't like to be bugged so much... [She faces her little sister.] Apple Bloom! You know not t'mess with 'ol Baddy here. What were ya doing here anyway?

Apple Bloom: I was uh... [Distracted with Cruce, she mumbles incoherently.] Chores... for... herding... needed... work done...

Applejack: Uh, beg your pardon?

Cruce: Heh, I think she's a little curious. Hey there, kiddo, my name's Cruce.

Safiri: [Standing near Apple Bloom.] And I'm Safiri!

Apple Bloom: Whoa! [Jumps, startled by the fact that the rabbit can speak.] Y-you can talk?!

Safiri: 'Course! [Smiles warmly.]

[Two young ponies join the scene, calling for Apple Bloom. One of the fillies is an orange pegasus with a sharp, dark pink tail, while the other is a white unicorn with a cloudy, bright purple mane and tail. The pegasus appears to be wearing a helmet and riding a small scooter.]

Fillies: Hey Apple Bloom!

Apple Bloom: Oh Scootaloo! Sweetie Belle! [She trots up to her friends.]

Scootaloo: [The pegasus.] You won't believe what we found in the Everfree Forest today. It was awesome!

Sweetie Belle: [The unicorn.] We thought it'd be fair to drop by and give you a full report... since you were busy today.

Apple Bloom: Awww, you girls had fun while I was getting my rear handed to me by 'ol Bad Beef.

Scootaloo: Ouch. Hey! If you're all done, let's go back to the forest together!

Applejack: Wait just a second. You ain't going back to the Everfree Forest! Don't'ch'yall know how dangerous it is there?! Why, we just saw some terrifyin' stuff happen in the deep woods. If Cruce weren't there, who knows what'd've happened to us!

Sweetie Belle: Cruce?

Scootaloo: Who's Cruce?

Pinkie Pie: [She pokes Cruce's side.] This is Cruce!

Cruce: Aa--uh... Yeah, that's me. I'd be alright with watching them if they want to have their fun.

Applejack: Oh, well... I... don't know.

Safiri: I'll come too. Not that that wasn't obvious. [Smirks at Cruce.]

Pinkie Pie: This sounds like fun! Count me in! We can visit Fluttershy's cottage along the way, and be that much closer to finishing the Spec-Tour-U-Lar!

Safiri: Again with the name.

Apple Bloom: Plleeeeaaase, big sis? I promise I'll be careful.

Applejack: Well... Well alright. But that should go for all ya'll. Be careful in there. The Everfree Forest's already a spooky place, but now we know it's got more secrets than a dragon's den in the dead of December!

Scootaloo: Yesss! C'mon! Last one to the forest has to be Rarity's personal servant for a day! [Without any more words, she is off.]

Sweetie Belle: Wh--hey! I have to do that every day! Wait up!! [She runs after Scootaloo.]

Apple Bloom: Hehehe! [Chases after her friends.]

Pinkie Pie: I'm not so sure Rarity wants me helping her out with stuff, buuuuut a race is a race! [She darts off.]

Cruce: [Trots along casually. He turns back to see Safiri standing still, humming to herself.] Hey, you comin'? Thought you wanted to like follow me or something.

Safiri: Oh, you go on~. If it's a race, I'll catch up. Trust me!

Cruce: Oh, right. Hah, well Applejack, was nice stopping by! Catch you later! [He runs off.]

Applejack: Take care 'o yerself now, y'hear? ...Aah, he's an interestin' one.

Safiri: Mmhm. [Nods.] Interesting. Among other things.


[The ponies race across Ponyville, Cruce in last place, Safiri aside, as he isn't taking the race as seriously as the others. He trots along, taking in the sights of the colorful town.]

Cruce: [Looking around.] (This place is pretty chill. It's a nice change of pace from Darkness wreaking havoc. Yeah, that and the whole alternate universe mumbo jumbo... So far, everyone here seems so friendly. At this rate, I hope I get to go to the fight, rather than it come here. I'd hate to see these people become victims of Darkness or whoever else.)

(Vesse: I fear that will not be the case, Cruce.)

Cruce: (Vesse...?)

[In less than a second, a yellow beam races by him. His eyesight barely registers this beam, let alone manages to keep up with it. The townsfolk are dazed by the speed of the light.]

Cruce: Ggh--!! 'The heck was that?! ...S-Safiri!! [He breaks into a sprint, chasing after the light.]


[Scootaloo is in the lead, however Pinkie Pie is quickly catching up to her. Apple Bloom is in third, while Sweetie Belle appears to be struggling.]

Sweetie Belle: H-hey, Scootaloo! This is... [Panting.] This isn't fair! Why don't we get scooters too?!

Apple Bloom: Hahah, I don't know about you, but I wouldn't wanna race Scootaloo in her own element!

[All of a sudden, the yellow beam surpasses all four of the ponies like nothing. The four overtaken racers grind to a halt, Pinkie bumping into Scootaloo, and Apple Bloom bumping into Pinkie Pie. Sweetie Belle manages to avoid this, passing them up with a giggle. The four look ahead, seeing a pale yellow bunny smiling, standing before a tall tree in this sylvan area.]

Scootaloo: Huuuh?! B-b-but... How'd you...

Sweetie Belle: Who... is she?

Safiri: My name's Safiri! Maybe I shoulda said something about my super speed before we started the race. [She shrugs.] Oopsie!

Pinkie Pie: That was wild! I didn't know you could do that!

Cruce: [Manages to catch up to the group.] Hugh, sheesh Saf. That was only hugely unnecessary.

Safiri: [Crosses her arms and turns her head away slightly.] Well, I only figured it was my turn to show off, Maxie. [Winks at Cruce.]

Scootaloo: [Groans.] Ohhh, if only... Rainbow Dash were here again...

Fluttershy: [Walking along, she tunes in on the conversation, not bothering to ask why the ponies are in a bunch. She is accompanied by a snow white bunny who looks rather impatient.] Oh, but she is.

Scootaloo: HUH?! [She stands, alert.]

Sweetie Belle: She's back?! When did she come back?

Cruce: Not long ago at all.

[The fillies face Cruce.]

Cruce: Dash is actually the reason Safiri and I are here. See, we're from beyond that big rift in the sky that appeared a while ago--it leads to Saf's world. Rainbow Dash was there with us all along. I managed to get her back home by opening that rift... I think.

Fluttershy: She isn't feeling very well right now. Angel and I were going to go pick some flowers and bring them to her as a welcome back gift. [She smiles down to her rabbit friend, who has been distracted with Safiri.]

Angel: [His eyes appear to be hearts as he stares at this mysterious rabbit girl, allured.]

Pinkie Pie: [Having stood up, she trots up to Fluttershy.] Fluttershy! Did you know Safiri had never ever even HEARD of a brownie before today!?

Fluttershy: Uhm... I... Um... No?

Safiri: Mmm... [Rubs her belly and licks her lips.]

Angel: [Appears to be at Safiri's side, holding a single yellow flower up for her.] ~?

Safiri: Oh... Hi there. [Grins at Angel.]

Fluttershy: Angel? We're supposed to be picking those for Rainbow Dash, not for Safiri. Oh, u-unless, uhm, you would like flowers too, Safiri, I didn't... I didn't mean that I don't want to give you flowers, but, uhm...

Safiri: Don't worry about it! [Points to the flowers in her hair.] Rarity already gave me some anyway.

Apple Bloom: C'mon everypony, let's go into the forest!

Fluttershy: Oh my, but isn't it dangerous...?

[The fillies are already off, galloping into the dark woods.]

Cruce: Ah, gotta run and watch after them. Take care, Fluttershy! [He rushes after the three.]

Safiri: [She looks at Angel.] Sorry, I gotta keep up with him! Buh-bye~. [She follows after Cruce.]

Angel: ... [Lowers the flower, glaring at Cruce as he leaves. Pinkie Pie races past him, his ears blowing with the wind she stirs up.]

Pinkie Pie: Wait for meeeeeeee!!


-Everfree Forest-

[The six are walking at a slow pace through the thick, gloomy forest.]

Pinkie Pie: Deja vu! Times a lot! I've lost count how many times I've come through the forest with friends. Oh! Oh! There was this one time where I came here by myself to be duplicated because I couldn't have fun visiting all my friends as one Pinkie Pie, so I had to be two, which turned into four, and then that turned into a whole bunch, and it was like this crazy Pinkie army that came to Ponyville, and--... [Notices the group staring at her funny...] ...Hehe, long story short, only one of you is always enough.

Safiri: [Smiles deviously at Cruce.] Tell me about it.

Cruce: ...Uh-huh. So what're we looking for again?

Scootaloo: Uhhhh... [Looks to Sweetie Belle as though she had the answer.]

Sweetie Belle: [Faces Cruce.] Well, we don't really know what it was...

Scootaloo: But it was cool!

Apple Bloom: It sure doesn't sound cool if you don't even know what it is.

[The fillies face each other.]

Sweetie Belle: Wait, what if it moved?

Scootaloo: I don't know, it looked pretty hurt!

Apple Bloom: Wait, ya didn't say it was a living thing!

Scootaloo: I didn't? I thought I did!

Pinkie Pie: Wait wait wait shshshshshshhh!! ... I think I hear something...

[They go silent. Footsteps are heard...]

???: [Groans weakly...] Oogh...

???: [Speaking with a cryptic voice. She speaks in rhymes.] Easy, easy, watch where you go. It will hurt more to fall now, you know.

Apple Bloom: [She whispers.] That sounds like Zecora.

Sweetie Belle: I wonder who that is with her...

Scootaloo: Could it be the thing we saw?

[They listen for more, however the two figures are now within eyesight.]

Zecora: [A zebra with a tribal influence, wearing multiple golden rings around her neck, as well as one leg, and large hoop earrings.] Ah, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, I see. What an odd reunion of you and me.

[The creature accompanying Zecora is far from a pony, or any other animal upon this world. A red Luxalan...]

Sweetie Belle: [She gasps.] There it is!

Scootaloo: Zecora found the really cool looking... living... thing!

Cruce & Safiri: [They face each other, shocked, before looking back at the Luxalan.] Rush!!

Rush: [Shakes his head quickly, eyes locked on the two who called his name. {For the sake of reference, Rush is a sharp fellow with a crimson red body. He is slightly shorter than the typical mare of Equestria. His hair is jagged and jet black, half of it covering his face. A crescent-shaped tendril folds down the back of his head. His attire is quite futuristic, consisting of devices such as jet boots and watches that do about everything but tell time. His body is very simplistic; that of a small red humanoid's, sans any evident ears.} What...? You already know me?

Cruce: Crap, did he follow us into the Strayer Void too?

Rush: [Steps forth, making a fist.] Cruce!! [Growls.] For the love of Aether, I didn't think you were stupid enough to actually summon the void, let alone pass through it.

Cruce: Easy, man. I had to get Dash back home.

Rush: I know, I know! And we were going to find a way to do that without tearing a whole in time-space itself! We don't need the Storm attacking our universe, we already have enough problems! You could've been killed going through the void, and then your mission would've been a huge setback for everyone... [Crosses his arms, looking away.] Not to mention... you could've lost someone you cared about, and I know how that feels... [Shakes his head.] A lot could've been lost. And it still could.

Safiri: Hold on, Rush! Cruce's Crossblade may have helped us out. I think he used it to pass through the void without bringing any harm. I think that's why you and I still have our memories! We went through the void with him! I-I mean, that's what I'd imagine. You're here, after all.

Cruce: The Crossblade...

Rush: [Sighs.] Saf, I'm guessing you tried to stop him too?

Safiri: Yep, but that didn't turn out so well... I think we should talk about this some other time. We're not being very polite.

Rush: ...Uh, sorry. Zecora here found me and healed me up a little bit with her herbs. She offered to show me out of this forest. I'm very grateful for your help, by the way. [Nods to Zecora.]

Zecora: It was no problem, my strange red friend. Your wounds were of no difficulty to mend.

Scootaloo: Aww, that's no fair. We found him first...

Sweetie Belle: Maybe we shoulda woken him up.

Pinkie Pie: [Pops up from behind Rush.] Waaaaaaait a minute!! [Swerves around him.] You're totally an alien for realsies! Is this what Cruce and Safiri really look like?!

Rush: N...Not really. I managed to stay like this because of my magic.

Pinkie Pie: Magic?! B-b-b-but...

Sweetie Belle: I thought us unicorns were the only ones who could use magic.

Rush: I've got a lot to learn about this world then...



[The group has returned to the brighter setting of Ponyville, Zecora having set off for her hut in the Everfree Forest once again.]

Rush: Hm. Change of scenery. I like it.

Safiri: That makes three of us.

Cruce: 'Less anyone else followed us through.

Apple Bloom: That was sure fun! But we have to get back to our clubhouse.

Scootaloo: We GOT to do this again soon! It's not every day we get aliens in Ponyville! This is awesome!

Sweetie Belle: Especially not aliens with magic. Oh, but we've never had aliens with magic visit us... Well, we'll be going! Bye-bye Rush!

Scootaloo: Yeah! See ya, Safiri!

Apple Bloom: G'bye, Cruce!

Cutie Mark Crusaders: [Simultaneously.] CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS, OUT~! [They raise their hooves together before galloping off.]

Pinkie Pie: [Still persisting with her tour thingy. She speaks dramatically.] Oh, to be young and adventurous again...~ Hehehe, it's a good thing we're that adventurous anyway! Or else I might go cuuuuh-razyyy! So! Where to next on the Tubular Tour?

Safiri: ...[Simply holds out a paw, curious.]

Pinkie Pie: Wait wait, I got it. Twilight would love to see a real live alien from outer spacey space! And she's gotta be done with that letter to the Princess! So let's go see her! [Just as she turns around, a blur nearly blindsides her, spinning her around.] Wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-wh-whoaa!

Twilight Sparkle: [Slides, coming to a stop. She looks back. She is talking quickly.] Ohhh, Sorry Pinkie, didn't see where I was going, in a rush. Princess. Trouble. Elements of Harmony. Aaaah!!

Pinkie Pie: [Trots up to Twilight.] What's the matter, Twilight?

Twilight Sparkle: [She takes a deep breath, recalling the events...] Not long after I sent the letter to Princess Celestia describing what exactly we saw in our investigation, I got a letter back. The subject was different, and it was grim. Her castle was attacked by an unidentifiable figure holding a cross-shaped staff. He had long, wingy ears and green spiky hair. He overtook Celestia in a magical battle, and stole the Elements of Harmony!

Pinkie Pie: [With her hooves at the side of her head, she screams.] Waaaaaaaaahh!!! [Shakes Twilight.] WE GOTTA DO SOMETHIIING!!

Twilight Sparkle: Aaahh, I know I know! I need to get us all together again so that we can go to Canterlot and stop this menace. Quickly!

Cruce: [He, Safiri, and Rush huddle up.] Hey, that's only mildly freaking suspicious.

Rush: "Cross-shaped staff"...

Safiri: Another Crossblade wielder?

Cruce: Maybe Rush wasn't the last one through the void after all.

Rush: I didn't see anyone behind me. And I'm sure none of us were aware of another Crossblade user on Safa at the time. With all of the mischief Darkness started on that planet, I wouldn't be surprised if some notable figures managed to get around under our noses.

Cruce: That was the point, if I remember. They were the distraction for something--for Xulfur, that Shade who tried to destroy Safa or something. The bad guy we killed, Saf.

Safiri: I remember. [She nods.] But what if there was something greater than that? Was there something he didn't tell you?

Cruce: Mmf... Yes... Yes, there was. He didn't tell me how he got to Safa in the first place. I was thinking they could just warp there, because they're a bunch of cheating bastards, but... another Crossblade... It makes sense... Maybe.

Rush: If Darkness got a hold of a Crossblade wielder, then we're in trouble. And if they're here, even knowledgeable about this world's powers, maybe this was where we needed to be.

Safiri: We don't know what they're up to, but with something as sensitive as the Storm on our minds, we really need to be careful.

Twilight Sparkle: Cruce! Safiri!

[The two offworlders lift their heads.]

Pinkie Pie: Oh, and the red alien's name is Rush! He's an alien!

Rush: ...[Rubs the back of his head, looking away...]

Twilight Sparkle: Thank you, Pinkie... Do you three mind helping us out?! I know it's kind of sudden, but--

Rush: Don't worry, we're helping. We have to. This person sounds like someone we need to be after--someone from our universe.

Cruce: One of them, anyway.

Twilight Sparkle: Thank you! Wait here, we'll round up our friends!

Pinkie Pie: Darn! I wish my Pinkie sense could tell me when imminent disaster was about to happen! I would've told everyone to come here...


[The two mares split up, hurrying to warn their friends of the dilemma.]


"But, Rainbow Dash, we knew you would come back..."

"Still, two weeks? What kind of friend am I to be so reckless and... ugh, I feel bad, Fluttershy."

"I know. But, uhm, if it makes you feel any better, you couldn't have known what was going to happen. It's not your fault. No one blames you.

"I blame me..."

"Now now... Don't be sad. Everything's o--"


"PINKIE?! How did you even get up he--"