(I just met Reigh, a shaymin with the Crossblade. I'm not sure what to make of him. He's obscured. Just obscured. I didn't fight him because... I felt like I should just let him go. I don't know what he's thinking, but he wants to stop the Storm with this whole sacrificial thing. It sounds insane, but... I don't know, he's a Spirit Cross. We're both really just branches on the same tree. Excuse me for the crappy metaphor.

Everyone was thrown around by that blast when we destroyed the barrier blocking the way to Princess Celestia. It looked like Luna was with her at the time. One of the guards told me her name a bit ago, but... yeah yeah, anyway, everyone's hurt. We may have put too much into those attacks, or maybe that was just the cause of blowing up something that shouldn't have been blown up. All for naught, too. Needless to say, everyone's recovering, including the princesses.

We lost the Elements of Harmony. I'm the only one who knows that right now. I've yet to tell anyone else. Reigh sent them to get eaten, I guess, by the Storm. I didn't ask him if he was the same guy who helped Xulfur get to Safa. I don't think he is. He seems too busy with this psychotic adventure. And I still gotta figure out who that armored stallion was back in the Everfree Forest. This job isn't easy... but it feels good to have Safiri with me. 'Feels good to have all of them around, really.)


(Hm, you know... Ever since everything went to hell in Canterlot, the air's felt a lot different. Physically speaking.

I need to stop thinking so much. I'm supposed to be resting. 'Guess I'll just get some sleep now.)


[The next morning...]

-Everfree Forest-

[The typical dark mist of this eerie forest looms on its floor. A noticeable sensation now exists within this morning mist. It has led the mysterious resident Zecora to a location unknown to her...]

Zecora: [She is wearing a navy blue cloak, following her nose through the thick forest. She treads slowly, gingerly, wary of the dangers of her home...] ... Mm? [She feels at the soil beneath her hooves. It is unusually damp, even for a moist morning such as this. Zecora follows this soil to a mystifying clearing in the woods--a miniscule pond, having sprung up through the ground overnight. She lifts her head, looking to the foggy skies. A chill runs down her spine... Zecora steps forward until she is at the pond's edge. The surface of the water is not natural. It reveals a clear blue sky. Vexed, she looks up once again, noting that the sky is not visible here. She observes the water once again, slowly dipping a hoof in it. A gentle ripple is sent across the surface of the water. The zebra speaks in her native tongue, expressing fascination with the unusual puddle.]

???: [The young, female voice comes across to Zecora as though she is submerged underwater. This voice sounds from the small spring.] Whoa whoa, I think I saw a fish in there!

???: [This voice is female as well, although slightly more mature.] Are you sure? I see the water moving, but... fish can't live in here.

???: Uhhh, are you sure~?

???: Abso-positively. The waters in this delta have a high sulfuric concentration. That's why it smells so weird here...

???: Wait, I wanna take a look...

Zecora: [Even more perplexed, she leans in, staring into the clear pond.]

???: [She, too, leans in, attempting to look through the water. On her end, the pond is murky and gray, as if there was thick fog. There also appears to be a shady figure staring back at her. The figure is wearing a cloak, although her face is visible.]

Zecora: [To her surprise, a face greets her as the ripples clear. It is the face of what she could guess to be a squirrel; a squirrel that is not natural to this world, much like the puddle itself. Similar to Safiri, the young squirrel wears a flower near one of her ears.]

???: WAAAH!! Whooaaa--!! [Shocked at the sight of the other face, loses balance, falling forward into the small pond. Rather than sinking any amount of distance, she splashes through the surface of the water on one end, only to exit from the other surface, her world literally flipping upside down as she is spit out of the pond in the Everfree Forest, landing on her face with a loud squeak.] MMPH!

Zecora: [Backs away from both the strange squirrel and the pond.] Oh dear...

???: Riri!! Hang on, I'll getcha! [She takes a deep breath, sticking her head into the pond.]

Zecora: [Steps back once more as the head of a green boa constrictor {notably one with hair} sticks straight up from the water, her cheeks puffed out as if holding her breath.] !?

???: [Her eyes shift to the left and right a couple times, her breath remaining held... She slowly exhales. As she realizes the world has flipped, the remainder of her body is forced through the pond, landing beside her friend.] Aah!! Gnh!

Zecora: [Simply watches, knowledgeable of two languages and incapable to express her shock verbally.] ...?

Rilia: [Soaked, the squirrel lifts her head from the mud, spitting some of the foreign soil out.] Blthgh! Eck... [Coughs a bit, before gasping, her surroundings now different on a worldly scale.] S-S-Sl-Slianna!!

Slianna: [She is already up, coiled and watching her friend Rilia.] I'm right here, Ri.

Rilia: Oh. [Smiles at the snake before sitting up.] Hehe~. [Her hair falls over her eyes.] ...I don't like being all soaky...

Slianna: ...[Clears her throat, only to alert Rilia of the other's presence. She watches the zebra carefully.] Hello, ma'am.

Rilia: Wuh...? [Spots Zecora.] Eep!

Zecora: [Performs a series of double takes at the two beings and the unnatural pond.] ...I cannot put my awe into any one word. I see not one, but two of you--is there a third?

Slianna: [Looks around the clearing...] Uh, not that I know of!

Zecora: [Still dumbfounded, she glances at the mystical water...] Many strange things have happened to this land. New faces, new magicks, new conflicts, and...? [Turns to the two girls.]

Rilia: Rilia! Rilia's my name, and this is Slianna~.

Slianna: Abso-truly. Pleasure!



[The city is hardly standing. Only a few buildings remain; the dregs of the city. Piles of rubble litter the cliff side, which is unstable. Luckily for the remaining ponies, a large tower has withstood the storm. It and its grounds serve as a sanctuary for those who recovering, as well as those who are treating the wounded. Doctors and nurses from Ponyville and Cloudsdale have come to support the cause. Within this building, many stretchers have been lain out side by side, ponies sleeping to recover strength. Many of those who are awake are grieving for the fallen. Tears are shed far and wide...]

Rush: [He is awake, assisting the civilians outside. They are clearing the immediate area of any hazardous rubble, such as large fragments of glass, before cleaning up the rest of the ruin. Rush, however, seems to be distracted with the unnatural air... He stops what he is doing, looking back to the safe house with a frown...] Hm... [He approaches the building, entering it and searching for a particular room.]

Cruce: [He is no longer wearing his hat. It appears to be at the bedside. He sits on his stretcher, lost in deep thought about the mysterious Reigh....] (Reigh... who is that guy...?) ...Mm? [His ears raise as Rush stands at the doorway.]

Rush: [He is hesitant to speak, seeing as how many of the others are still asleep. Twilight's friends are in this room, Impulse included. A few of the beds are empty, however. Rush makes a motion with his head, insisting for Cruce to follow him.]

Cruce: [He nods, hopping down from the bed, grabbing his hat, and pursuing Rush into the hallway.] Hey man, didn't know you were up.

Rush: Yeah, I've been helping out with the cleanup out there. It's bad.

Cruce: [He overhears a mare crying loudly in one of the other rooms.] Tell me about it... What'd you need, by the way?

Rush: Well, two things--first of all, do you know where Safiri went off to?

Cruce: I didn't see her in the room. If anything, I was thinking she'd be with you, but you just answered that. I'unno, dude.

Rush: Damn. Alright, she can take care of herself, but we'll need to look for her. She's probably bothered by this next thing here, and... well, it's just the... the atmosphere. Maybe it's just me, I don't know. It feels wrong--nah, not wrong, it feels different--actually familiar in a sense.

Cruce: Yeah! Yeah, I know what you mean, I was feelin' it before fell asleep. I still am. 'The heck is it?

Rush: I'm being told it's Ecliptic magic...

Cruce: By what, exactly?

Rush: [He lifts an arm, revealing his wristwatch.]

Cruce: Oh, it can do that?

Rush: Unique technology. Lots of uses, one of which allows it to pick up Ecliptic properties.

Cruce: ...Is it Rainbow Dash?

Rush: ...Eh? What about her?

Cruce: Well, she passed through the Void without the Crossblade, and if the Blade's really the key to the void and it doesn't mess with us upon traveling through, Rainbow Dash should be the only one who is affected by all the crap the void does.

Rush: ...The Strayer Void will attach Ecliptic properties onto all who pass through it, essentially transforming you into food for the Storm. It will also erase your memory. You become a meal. That didn't happen with us... Maybe you're right. Dash was taken through the void to Safa. She is part Eclipse. But there is no way her Ecliptic aura is powerful enough to mess with my device, let alone my state of mind. I feel different... I feel like there's an Ecliptic Pull here now. I feel like I would transform were it not for my magic.

Cruce: [He and Rush leave the building. Cruce squints his eyes, greeted by the harsh sunlight.] I'm still a pony, as it goes. [Lowers his head, shielding his eyes with his hat.] I think it's whatever Reigh did.

Rush: ...What? [Raises an eyebrow, watching Cruce.] Who?

Cruce: ...The culprit.

Rush: Who's--what's his name again?

Cruce: Reigh.

Rush: Y-you actually saw someone there?! I thought that whole thing was a complete failure--no clues, no leads... nothing! But you saw the guy who did this?

Cruce: He's a shaymin. He really is a Crossblade wielder, one who can use other people's Blades or something. Besides, I wasn't the only one who saw him. Celestia and Luna fought the guy. I think we need to ask them about what happened.

Rush: ...Yeah, yeah alright. After that, I'm gonna look for Safiri.

Cruce: I'll help you out. Let's ask some people where we can find the Princesses.

[Rush and Cruce search around, asking guards and residents alike for the whereabouts of Princesses Celestia and Luna. They learn that most of the royalty was guided to a separate building overlooking the castle's formerly majestic gardens.]


[Within this building, many of the recovering individuals share a room with at most three others. Guards stand firm at the humble entrance. They identify two unusual characters approaching: Rush and Cruce.]

Guards: [They give each other an inquisitive look before facing the other two.]

Right Guard: Halt! What are your names? The Princess informed us to be on the lookout for three unusual warriors going by the names of Cruce, Rush, or Safiri.

Cruce: Oh, cool. I'm Cruce, and that's Rush. We had a few questions about what happened. Is it cool to enter?

Left Guard: [He and his fellow stand aside.] You may proceed. I believe the Princesses are resting in the room at the far end of the building. Please do not disrupt those who are still asleep.

Rush: Of course. [He and Cruce enter the lavish building, which is already being repaired and cleaned at a much faster rate than anything else in Canterlot at the moment. Observing their surroundings, they proceed quietly to the back of the cozy, cabin-like building.]

Cruce: [The end of the hall leads to two large wooden doors that are slightly ajar. Voices can be heard from within. Cruce taps lightly on the door... The voices stop for a moment.]

???: Come on in!

Cruce: [Slowly pushes the door open, peeking in.] Heyo. [Walks into the circular, comfortable room. It resembles a suite in a lodge. Two fireplaces are lit within the regal room.] Nice place.

Rush: [Follows after Cruce, closing the door gently behind him.]

Twilight Sparkle: Rush! Cruce! [She approaches them.] Are you two alright?

Cruce: Yep, we're alright. How's everyone here?

Twilight Sparkle: [She smiles, turning back to Princess Celestia, who is currently laying comfortably on a gaudy, padded carpet.]

Princess Celestia: I'm doing much better. My sister appears to be well too.

Princess Luna: [She stands by one of the windows.] I wish I could say the same for the poor ponies of Canterlot.

Rush: They're all doing their best.

Cruce: Cadance and your brother alright too, Twilight?

Twilight Sparkle: They will be. I talked to Shining Armor a moment ago. The two of them need their rest... Hey, where's Safiri?

Rush: That's a good question.

Cruce: She wasn't in our room. Her bed was empty. We were going to look for her, but we... Hrm, we needed to ask you some questions, Princess Celestia.

Princess Celestia: Is that so? Well. [She chuckles.] I'll do my best to answer them.

Cruce: Thanks. So uh... This guy who attacked... What was he like?

Princess Celestia: Oh, the small one. I've never seen a being quite like himself. Such a creature would be cute were he not so deadly. His power was incredible... Not even I could match the level of proficiency he battled with.

Princess Luna: Sister, did he not steal your power and use it against you? I recall him doing such a thing to me.

Princess Celestia: The entire conflict is a blur. I remember the moment you swooped in to assist me; an action I am most grateful for.

Princess Luna: It was nothing. [She looks away, frustration evident in her expression.] The only way this fiend could have outmatched any of us was with the use of our own power. He... cheated.

Princess Celestia: ...Quite, yes. The most troubling aspect about this boy was his devotion. There was no malice in his eyes.

Princess Luna: [Sighs, lowering her head.] You noticed this too, Sister?

Princess Celestia: I did. The boy fought with more determination than I have ever seen.

Cruce: That sounds like him. His name is Reigh...

[The Princesses gasp at the name.]

Twilight Sparkle: Wait, you actually know him?!

Cruce: I came to before anyone else, I think. I saw him still in the castle. I wanted to fight him, and... I would've had him, but... Something about this guy--Reigh, he told me his name--was just... I-I don't know, there was good in him. He would let nothing stop him, not even another Crossblade wielder, from accomplishing his ultimate goal.

Princess Celestia: And what would that be?

Cruce: To annihilate the ultimate evil: the Storm.

Rush: What?! [He quickly swallows spit as the room goes quiet, realizing the volume of his outburst.] ... Erm... Cruce, are you serious?

Cruce: He told me that...

Princess Luna: What is this "Storm" of which you speak?

Rush: [Shakes his head in disbelief.] The Storm is... the Storm shouldn't be. It's an ancient evil that was banished to a realm between dimensions long ago. I'm talking millions of years ago. The only way I know about them is through scriptures and teachings of Light, the legion I'm associated with. The Storm is considered to this day to be the greatest threat we have ever known. I say that having seen entire worlds crumble and fall apart.

Princess Celestia: My... This sounds dire. But the Storm is sealed away, no? Millions of years is a long time, Rush. If they have been banished for that long, would could possibly bring them back?

Rush: The opening of the Strayer Void.

Twilight Sparkle: The Strayer Void... That was the red vortex Cruce summoned, right?

Rush: Cruce opened the Strayer Void, but--and I'm just going to clear this up now--there's no way he could have disrupted the Storm. The void opened some time before he arrived. Now if what he says his true, well... Je--if there's actually someone trying to defeat the Storm, that means they aren't dormant anymore. I was worried about Cruce nudging them into a bad spot, but I don't think it matters if they're already awake.

Princess Luna: That would make sense. But what did Reigh even do to keep the Storm at bay? He caused more trouble in my eyes.

Cruce: He sacrificed the Elements of Harmony to them, using his own Crossblade.

Princess Celestia: [She gasps.] !! ... [She looks away, eyes closed.]

Twilight Sparkle: No... No no no... It can't be! How could that even happen?! P-Princess? [Turns to Celestia, panicking.]

Princess Celestia: This cannot be... Why would he do such a thing?

Cruce: I remember what he said right before leaving. He told me...

"About the Elements of Harmony: they're on Hypera, the center of Dreamscape. It's Storm's birthplace. Don't try and get them back. I fed them to the Storm for a reason..."

Cruce: And that's all he said...

Rush: That just sounds like he's helping them. He's insane. He didn't tell you the truth.

Cruce: ...I... I don't...

Princess Celestia: Mm... this bodes poorly. Without the Elements of Harmony, we are far more prone to disaster.

Twilight Sparkle: But there has to be a way to get them back! ...Princess, what exactly should we expect from this disaster?

Princess Celestia: [She glances to her sister solemnly, as if allowing her to answer.]

Princess Luna: [Hangs her head low.] The star ponies.

Twilight Sparkle: Huh? Star ponies?

Princess Celestia: An ancient race of powerful ponies who are shrouded in mystery. They are among the most esoteric, destructive beings known. I will explain...


"Long ago, I was very troubled with the decision of banishing my dear sister to the moon. The bitterness which became known as Nightmare Moon threatened to bring perpetual darkness to all of Equestria. It was a choice I had to make in order to maintain the balance. As you know, an old prophecy stated that, 'on the longest day of the thousandth year, the stars will aid in Nightmare Moon's escape, and she will bring about nighttime eternal'. There is a missing chapter in this tale. It's a chapter that even I myself am not certain about. It has much to do with the stars that helped with the escape. From what my sister has told me, these stars were actually a race of mystic ponies who were drawn out from their origins unknown by the negative emotions accompanying the imprisonment. We simply referred to them as star ponies."

"What Sister says may seem farfetched, but it is very true. Locked within the moon, I could still feel anger and sorrow, jealousy and bitterness. The emotions would not leave me. They would only build, until a breaking point was reached. That breaking point came with the star ponies, who released me from my prison upon the moon. Those who partook in this caused a chain reaction. More star ponies were drawn to this disturbance. Unlike the previous, these star ponies were represented by positive emotions. They were determined to bring justice to the others; a conflict which came very close to threatening Equestria with complete destruction. Luckily, they took their war far away, to a desolate land which became known as the Range of Ragnarok. Unluckily, they still did wage their war."


Twilight Sparkle: The Range of Ragnarok... Is that where we can find and put a stop to the star ponies before they cause trouble?

Princess Celestia: Of that, I am uncertain. It is known that the star ponies would return one day, but to where? That is the question which no one has the answer to... Star Swirl the Bearded is the only one to have kept records of their activities.

Twilight Sparkle: [Gasps lightly.] Oh no, the whole library...! Was it...?

Princess Celestia: [She closes her eyes, nodding.] Destroyed, most likely. However, that does not mean all is lost. Many of the guards are gathering scrolls and books from the ruins. I can tell you what I know from his works.


"Star Swirl was the only one with the ability to watch the star ponies from afar with his unparalleled knowledge of magic. He recorded strange activity occurring in the night sky. Many of the stars were 'dancing', moving unnaturally, as if alive. This was true. The stars were alive. Our prestigious sorcerer came up with a theory that, hidden in the dark of night, there was a secret world that housed these living stars. Back then, we all knew that Star Swirl was a few bolts short of your typical unicorn, but no matter how crazy his theories became, they were always true. He continued scanning the sky until, one night, an earthquake struck. During this brief period, he described the stars shooting down from the heavens above. Another night, there was a terrible storm. Wind tore through Canterlot. Lightning struck viciously. According to Star Swirl, he could identify falling stars brightening up the sky, despite the cloud cover and lightning."


Twilight Sparkle: It sounds like these "living stars" are attracted to natural disasters.

Princess Celestia: They are attracted to all kinds of disaster on only the greatest scales. Terrible tragedies must occur. Hopelessness must be felt. Despair and sadness must accompany the rising sun.

Twilight Sparkle: But that's... terrible. [Shakes her head.]

Rush: That's what happened here, right? The place got demolished by that Reigh person. 'Sun came up, and a lot of people around here aren't looking so good...

Princess Luna: A storm has stirred the stars. It was a storm that destroyed much of what we love.

Princess Celestia: It was a storm that showed us our greatest fears... are not what they should be.

Princess Luna: A storm, Sister, from out of this world.

Princess Celestia: And this is why the stars have surely awakened. The star ponies are here. I know it. Whether they are at the Range of Ragnarok, the Everfree Forest, or Canterlot itself, they are here.

Twilight Sparkle: Hmm... Without the Elements, stopping these star ponies won't be easy. But that's okay. As long we're together, the Elements of Harmony are still within us.

Princess Celestia: I could not have said it better myself. Twilight, be careful. You and your friends have never faced anything quite like this. I would assist, but...

Princess Luna: Sister, everypony needs you to give them spirit once again.

Princess Celestia: Yes, you're right... [She watches Cruce and Rush.] Cruce? Rush? Would you be so kind as to help my star pupil in her quest?

Rush: Absolutely, Princess. [He nods.]

Cruce: Yeah, we'll help out. Is that cool with you, Twilight? Don't want to get in your way and all.

Twilight Sparkle: Oh, please! It's a privilege to have you on the team. While we're searching for the star ponies, we'll see if we can find your friend Safiri. We've a lot to get done, you two. So let's get started right away. We can start by returning to the others and seeing how they're doing.

Rush: Alright, good call.

Twilight Sparkle: [She turns to both princesses and bows before them.] Thank you for the information. We'll do our best to keep Equestria safe.

Princess Celestia: I have faith in you, Twilight. I know you'll succeed.

Princess Luna: As do I. Good luck, all of you.



"The Elements of Harmony... These relics were left with the six ponies who saved Equestria time and time again. This was done to ensure that Discord, spirit of chaos, would nevermore become a problem. However, an incident which left the ponies questioning their friendship led these Elements back to Celestia's care. This event was triggered by three masked thieves who managed to outsmart the six at every turn, gnawing away at the fibers of trust and cooperation."



[Cruce and Rush, led by Twilight Sparkle, have made their way back to the "encampment" where their friends are recovering. The ponies remain crippled with sorrow.]

Twilight Sparkle: ...I just wish we could have come here sooner... This could have been avoided. All of this sadness, all of this tragedy... everything could have been so much better.

Rush: ...This is a fine example of the Seventh Law of Aether's Light. The law states that all warriors of His Light are not to interfere with the natural order of any given world--meaning we can't even set foot on some world--unless an outside force has caused a disturbance. That's where we come in... But this world rests beyond the Strayer Void, so...

Cruce: Where're you going with this?

Rush: I'm saying that the presence of Light is justified now. If Reigh is a shaymin, he can't be from this world. So... we're fair game.

Cruce: Yeah, but to get here, you've gotta open the big bag void.

Rush: And it's not like we don't already have enough worlds to rebuild... But I'm here, I'll do my best to make a difference.

Twilight Sparkle: Your help is appreciated, Rush. I'm sorry if this is pulling you from your duties...

Rush: No problem, these are my duties! Besides, you're not at fault here. Not at all.

Cruce: Yeah, that's probably me.

Rush: Partially. [He chuckles.]

[The three enter one of the sick bays; the room which Cruce had awakened in. Many of the ponies are now awake.]

Spike: [Among those who are awake, he is the first to spot Twilight and company returning.] Oh, Twilight! You're safe! [He runs up to her, greeting her with a hug.]

Twilight Sparkle: [She smiles, lowering her head to him.]

Applejack: Howdy, Twilight! Rush, Cruce, good to see ya'll're doin' well.

Rarity: Oh yes indeed! This is terrible enough as it is.

Twilight Sparkle: You can say that again... Just wait until you hear the news.

Rainbow Dash: News? What's up?

Twilight Sparkle: I woke up a while ago and gave Princess Celestia a visit. Princess Luna was with her. They're both doing well, but... [She looks back, focusing on Cruce and Rush.] I can't say the same for the Elements of Harmony.

Rarity: [Gasps lightly.] Whatever happened to them, Twilight?

Twilight Sparkle: They were apparently "sacrificed" to something called the Storm by the person who did all of this. That person's name is Reigh.

Applejack: What now...? How in the happy wide world did he do that?

Twilight Sparkle: I couldn't tell you. His power perplexed Celestia herself. Who knows what he's capable of?

Spike: Obviously nothing good... [Crosses his arms.] I knew we should've kept the Elements.

Twilight Sparkle: If only those evil thieves didn't get us in such trouble that one time, maybe this wouldn't have happened. But there's no time to dwell on any of that. There's still something even worse on the horizon!

Rainbow Dash: You've gotta be kidding...

Twilight Sparkle: I wish I was, but this is no joke. This disaster has awakened a race of ancient beings known as the star ponies.

Rarity: Star Ponies? They sound lovely. Oh, but they're bad, no?

Twilight Sparkle: They can be. They were the ones who aided in Nightmare Moon's escape a long time back. No one but Star Swirl the Bearded had ever noticed their existence. They're supposed to be drawn out during times of immense disaster.

Applejack: Well, plenty a disaster has come 'n gone. I ain't seen no star pony before. Golly, what're they like?

Twilight Sparkle: According to both of the Princesses, they are incredibly powerful. There are positive and negative star ponies, and... they have a poor habit of fighting. They've waged war on our world before--at a location called the Range of Ragnarok.

Impulse: [Having been silent this entire time, he speaks up, walking from his bed in the corner.] The star ponies are each associated with a "trait", a lot like how you and your friends represent the Elements of Harmony. Their personalities tend to revolve around that trait. An example of one may be the element of force; a star pony who will not take no for an answer, and will force another pony into doing something by means of persuasion or violence. That is a negative star pony. A positive star pony may be recognized with the element of, say, charisma. I'd think this star pony would be charming.

Twilight Sparkle: [Staring at the pegasus, rather surprised at his knowledge.] You know about the star ponies?

Impulse: Well sure! Star Swirl's findings are remarkable. No one seems interested in reading about the star ponies though.

Rush: I don't actually recall the Princesses mentioning that this Star Swirl fellow went into that much detail about them.

Impulse: Aaaaand maybe no one reads them because they're actually highly classified. Whoops. Perks of being an officer. With a big mouth. But Celestia told you about the star ponies. That means she, unsurprisingly, trusts you with that knowledge.

Rainbow Dash: Of course she trusts Twilight! 'Cause she's such a teacher's pet!

Twilight Sparkle: Oh, come on. I'm sure she would entrust any of you with information like this. Impulse, do you--... [Turns to Rainbow Dash.] I am not a teacher's pet...!

Spike: ...Rainbow's got you on this one.

Twilight Sparkle: [Groans.] Alright, fine... So Impulse. Do you think that the star ponies have been awakened because of this disaster?

Impulse: Normally, I'd pretend like I haven't a clue what you're talking about. But under these circumstances, I'll go with a big yes. The star ponies are here. They've got an insatiable curiosity.

Spike: Whaaaat makes you so sure?

Impulse: A-actually, I'm not so sure. This is Star Swirl's logic I'm going off of here, and... he's rumored to have been a little nutty. With all due respect, of course!

Twilight Sparkle: ...Hmm... [Watching Impulse suspiciously...] We'll need your help then. Someone as knowledgeable as you would speed up our search.

Impulse: That would be fine with me. I'd need to get permission, but I'd be more than happy to help.

Twilight Sparkle: We have a few things to do. First, we need to wake up Fluttershy and Pinkie. Then, we need to find Cruce's friend, Safiri. After that, the search for the star ponies can officially begin.


"I feel it, I feel alive again. My energies are back! I'm whole!"

"I feel you two here somewhere. Why're you here? How? I'll find ya!"


-Mountain Trail-

[The jagged, swerving mountain trail to Canterlot has not been disturbed by the storm prior. This trail appears to overlook a densely forested area. A bright yellow light blazes down this zigzagging path, performing sharp swerves with incredible dexterity, given that this light is alive.]

Safiri: [She darts down the mountain trail, utilizing her ability to travel at mind-bending speeds. She is a yellow blur, however, she manages to slide to a complete stop, the fires around her dissipating to reveal her form. She slides on all four legs, until ceasing motion at a fairly steep cliff. From there, she looks out to the gloomy forest.] ... (You guys...) [She has reverted into her natural, Safan vixen self--a bright orange fox with an apparent ponytail hairstyle, Rarity's flowers and ribbons still present, Her sash remains as well. Around each of her legs are ties, which hold a soft footwear tightly to her paws.] (You're here, I can feel it. The only place I know to check is the place I landed. So here goes!) [Analyzing the steepness of the cliff below to be slightly less so than the mountainside itself, Safiri hops into the slope, getting an initial foothold which allows her to break into a sprint, now descending the mountain with ease. At her speed, it takes mere seconds to reach the base of this mountain. She swerves around, over, and below obstacles on her way to the Everfree Forest...]


Safiri: [Unfamiliar with the environment, she slows her pace to a brisk trot, following her nose through the murky, eerie woodland.] They're closer... It shouldn't be long now, I just know it. [She carries on.]

-Everfree Forest-

[The canopy becomes thick, the darkness of the forest once again imitating that of night's. The persisting mist of the woodland drenches the air.]

Safiri: [She keeps a keen eye on her surroundings.] Mmf... [Frowns and flattens her ears, clearly uneasy with the location.] ...Nn... Hate it here... Hate it. [The air around her appears to glisten.] Mm? [She watches as this sparkling mist converts into different hues. It flows around her, becoming more present within the immediate area.] Wha...? [She backs away cautiously, watching this thick, colorful dust surround her.]

???: Oh hello there...! [The gentle, feminine voice emits from a source unknown.]

Safiri: H-hey! Is somebody there? [Spins around, continuously searching the area for any signs of life.]

???: Oh, not a body, my dear! No body is here, why oh no. Naught but a soul traverses these woods.

Safiri: What? Who--where are you? [She raises her head, scanning the trees.] Do you want something from me?

???: Yes, dear vixen. I would much enjoy the sight of your beautiful soul over your body. [The dust's light intensifies around Safiri.]

Safiri: Nngh... I feel... light... Cut it out! [In a flash, she conjures her floral Crossblade, ready to strike.]

???: Mmm... [The light of the mist becomes dimmer.] You are not of this world. Are you the Star Trigger, dear vixen?

Safiri: [Her ears flick up.] Mmm?

???: [The mist around Safiri retracts to a single source. The particles of this mist come together to form a radiant, transparent entity.]

Safiri: !? [Steps back, now facing the forming figure.]

Nebula: {A phantasmal pony, shining various hues at different times. Her eyes and cutie mark remain constant, eyes being a bright magenta while her animated cutie mark is a multitude of streaks ascending her flank. Her mane appears to be hued differently than her body at all times; wavy, and long as a spectacular array of ribbons. She has no legs. In place of legs, her body curves into a small, ghostly tail. That said, she is hovering, quite content without legs or a solid body to begin with.} Pleased to make your acquaintance. I am Nebula, Star of Tragedy.


"So, Impulse."

"Yes, Twilight?"

"What would happen if we were to confront one of these star ponies?"

"In battle, you mean?"

"Yes, if it comes to that. It's certainly dangerous, right?"

"You would be throwing your life away. A negative star pony will almost certainly plow through you like nothing."

"Ugh, I don't like the sound of these star ponies already."

"Don't worry, Spike. We all have each other. We're going to approach this as safely as we can. Hopefully, we can avoid getting on their bad side."

"Wait a minute, Impulse. How's it you know 'bout battling star ponies?"

"Just... more reading up on the old sorcerer's notes."


Nebula: What a lovely creature you are... [She hovers around Safiri, observing her alien features.] Your spirit must be immaculate. I feel your inner energies blazing true; stardust afire with an unbreakable passion. I feel it crying, begging to burst free from its cage. Will you not let it?

Safiri: [Shakes her head, growling at the ghostly pony.]

Nebula: I see... It's quite sad, dear vixen. You are not this husk. You are something greater. Why must you chose imprisonment over freedom? You could be something so much greater.

Safiri: [She commands the Crossblade to vanish. Briefly, she turns away, eyes closed.] ...I have no time for this. [Turns around, continuing on her path.]

Nebula: ... [Remains stationary.] Well, it would certainly help you find your friends...

Safiri: [She slows down, albeit still moving forth.]

Nebula: It would help you find your way home.

Safiri: [She stops...]

Nebula: It would help you find the one you have missed.

Safiri: ...[Turns back to Nebula.] You don't know anything about me, so... please stop acting like it.

Nebula: Oh, but I do know a thing or two about you, dear! Your spirit screams your identity. It cries for home--cries for your family and friends... It cries for... The Connector...?

Safiri: ... [She steps back a couple times.] Wha... How're you doing this? How do you know?

Nebula: Your soul is more alive than your flesh and bones. I see what you desire. I will not hold your paw along the way, dear vixen... But I can give you a gentle push in the right direction. I can make this impossible path you tread... possible.

Safiri: I'm not an idiot... I know the path I walk, and I know that it's possible.

Nebula: Poor girl, do you even know what the path is...? [A pause...] I am not your enemy. I promise you this.

Safiri: ...I appreciate the offer. But I'm perfectly fine with what I've been given, and what I'm doing.

Nebula: Your spirit tells me a different story... A lone fox, trapped on this world, brought into the commotion of matters unnecessary; her world, distraught and terrorized because of her absence... I see all of these things. And I can bring you closer to the ones you love.

Safiri: [She says nothing, only looking away...]


"What about mind tricks? Do the star ponies know any mind games? Will they mess with ya?"

"Good question, Rainbow. A good number of the negative star ponies will lure you into believing that their decisions are best for you. Something to watch out for is the random nature of that. No one's going to walk up to you on the street and offer you a free box of miracles. Some of these star ponies make that story seem likely, and even go as as far as befriending you. Before you know it, you've dug yourself into a hole that only a star pony can dig you back out of. That or Celestia, perhaps."

"If they're clever, that means we're dealing with brains and brawn."

"And magic. Don't forget magic."

"What exactly can these guys do?"

"Uh, just about anything they want, actually!"


[Rilia, Slianna, and Zecora have settled in a rather large, hollowed out tree trunk. This small hut is decorated with all manner of charms, exotic furnishings, and mystical plants.]

Rilia: Wowee wow~!

Slianna: You can say that again...

Rilia: Wowee wow~!

Zecora: An amazing feat of time and space, indeed; a large red hole in the sky as our only lead. I do not know from whence it came, but I know that it has a name. It is the Strayer Void.

Slianna: The Strayer Void exists here too... Our world must lead to this one then.

Rilia: 'S no surprise we don't know where it goes~. No one wants to open it. Too dangerous.

Zecora: The dangers of which you speak are unknown. But, my new strange friends, you are not alone. Three travelers have set foot upon this ground. I think it's best if they are, once again, found.

Slianna: Oh right. Safiri did kind of take off after Cruce and that blue pegasus. And Rush! We haven't seen Rush ever since then.

Zecora: Ahh... You are in luck. If it is Safiri, Cruce, and Rush whom you seek, then your challenge is not so unique. They could be in Ponyville, maybe. I can take you there, if you'd let me.

Rilia: That'd be fantastic~!

Slianna: You don't mind?

Zecora: Why, not at all, Slianna. It would be an honor. Come now! We would be wise to make use of the daylight in a place like this.

[The three head out, bound for Ponyville.]



[The large group has assembled outside, making their preparations.]

Cruce: ... [He is lost in though, not paying attention to the instructions given by Impulse and Twilight.] (Saf, where're you at? You're making me worry... I don't want to be worried about you, of all people here. You need to stay safe, your planet still needs you... Bleh, I wish I could just somehow steal her Crossblade again, so that she can warp to me.)

Twilight Sparkle: ...Cruce?

Cruce: Hm? [Faces Twilight.] What was that? Sorry, I'm... sorry.

Twilight Sparkle: Is something wrong?

Cruce: Nah, it's nothing, I'm sure she's... [Shakes his head.] I'm sure Safiri's alright.

Rush: Oh, Safiri can handle herself, man.

Rainbow Dash: Totally! She looks like a tough girl.

Twilight Sparkle: Even if you are worried, the sooner we get organized, the sooner we may be able to find her.

Cruce: You're right, you're right.

Impulse: So, everyone remember who you're with? Let's get into our groups now.

[Each of them meet up with the correct team members, organized according to Twilight's and Impulse's strategy.

{Group 1: Fluttershy, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, Spike.

Group 2: Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Cruce.

Group 3: Applejack, Rush, Impulse.}]

Rarity: [Observes her teammates.] ...Oh I must let you know now that I won't be handling too much of the dirty work, if anything happens to come to that.

Rainbow Dash: Oh, come on. Where's your team spirit?

Rarity: What ever do you mean? I have spirit! I just decide to show it in less barbaric ways.

Cruce: A lot's at stake here...

Rainbow Dash: That's right. We're doing this for Equestria.

Rarity: Of course. A lady can only do so much for herself when her home calls for more.


Impulse: [He approaches Applejack and Rush.] How're you two feeling?

Applejack: Not mighty confident, if I'm honest. These star ponies sure seem deadly as a diamond dog in the rough.

Rush: I don't know what to expect, but you seem to know a lot about the ponies we're after, Impulse.

Impulse: I'll do what I can to keep us situated.

Applejack: Mighty obliged for that knowledge of yours.

Impulse: It's... nothin'. [Smiles, looking away...]


Twilight Sparkle: Pinkie, Fluttershy. Are you two ready?

Pinkie Pie: Uh-huh! I'm more ready than ever! I have the jitters though! Whoa! [Violently shakes around Fluttershy.]

Fluttershy: Ohh... P-please tell me you're just nervous... And that's not your Pinkie sense.

Pinkie Pie: [Her voice is distorted with her shaking.] Yyyyyep! I'm just nervous!

Twilight Sparkle: Don't be nervous. Everything will be alright, so long as we stick to the plan!

Spike: Twilight, look! [Points at two familiar ponies.] Is that your brother? And Princess Cadance!

Shining Armor: [Standing with Princess Cadance. She gives him a brief nod.] Twily! [He trots up to his sister.]

Twilight Sparkle: Shining Armor? [She gives her brother a hug.]

Shining Armor: [He hugs back.] Listen, Twilight... Cadance and I agreed that I should come with you on this journey. I just... can't think to sit back and do nothing. This is my home, and it was reduced to nothing more than rubble and ruin. The only reason I could ever think to stay behind is to be with Cadance... [He turns back, smiling to his wife.] But she insisted that I go with you--that I finally pay you back for all the times you've helped us.

Twilight Sparkle: You don't have to pay me back. You never do. We all do what we do because we want to protect the Princess and Equestria. Returning home to the smiling faces of all of the ponies here... that's reward enough for me.

Shining Armor: I know the feeling. After seeing what we've all seen, I think it's time to do something more assertive.

???: You got that right! [Standing atop a tilted structure--supposedly a part of a building. She appears to be a yellow pegasus... This pegasus swoops down to ground level.]

Rainbow Dash: Whoa, Spitfire?!

Spitfire: [Smirks at Rainbow Dash.] Hey there, Dash! [Observes the separate groups.] Shining Armor's not the only one wanting to do something about this mess we've found ourselves in. Because of that evil scumbag, half of the Wonderbolts have been severely injured. A good chunk of us are flightless, thanks to this disaster. What's worse is... [She sighs.] Well, just look around you...

[Everyone appears to do so, once more reminded of the calamity.]

Spitfire: I'm lending my wings to the cause. Rainbow Dash? Consider us teammates.

Rainbow Dash: ...Feeling... lightheaded... [Dazed by the presence of someone she puts in high regards, she falls on top of Cruce.]

Cruce: Ggh!! [Having fallen to his belly, he stands back up, supporting Rainbow Dash as she lays over his back.]

Spitfire: Aaand, that's why you don't stand directly under a pegasus...

Twilight Sparkle: We're honored to have you aboard, both of you. This changes up our teams somewhat, but I think we can manage it all the same! If Shining Armor is with us and Spitfire is with Rainbow's team, that means our third team is crippled in numbers. Spike?

Spike: You want me to go with them? Aw, I dunno Twi. Aren't we usually, you know... A team?

Twilight Sparkle: Aww, Spike... We're always a team. [Spike hops off of Twilight's back. She turns to him.] Always. All of us are a team, even if we're not together in person.

Spike: Okay... [He nods, heading over to Impulse's group.]

Shining Armor: You've done an excellent job organizing everyone here. [Smirks at Twilight.]

Cadance: [She giggles, approaching Shining Armor.] Hehe, I'll say.

Twilight Sparkle: Cadance... Will you be alright? I feel bad for leaving you here.

Cadance: Don't feel bad! Some of us just have to stay and play our parts here, rebuilding Canterlot. I'll be fine, I promise. I'm more worried about you. I do have the utmost confidence in all of you, but...

Shining Armor: Star ponies are a different ballgame...

Cadance: [She gives Shining Armor a kiss on the cheek.] You come back in one piece now.

Shining Armor: [Chuckles, embracing his wife.] I will.


[{Group 1: Twilight Sparkle, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Shining Armor.

Group 2: Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Spitfire, Cruce.

Group 3: Applejack, Spike, Impulse, Rush.}]



"The Elements of Harmony... Magical relics of ancient times... The three thieves who divided the six representative ponies apart possessed unruly ambitions, as well as spectacular powers. Their purpose was unknown. They are called thieves due to their nature of stealing friendships, tearing the fibers of love apart through means of destruction. They had been encountered many times. They were never defeated. Frustration settled.

These thieves, in essence, stole the Elements of Harmony.

These thieves were the prophets of incredible disaster; a disaster in which worlds would collide."