Let's keep trying this thing out. Christian's back, but he's on a different road this time.
Cruce's story will keep rolling out as well. This episode will shoot back to Cruce, but will have a summary of what Christian accomplished in the would be "Episode 2".
Basically, those little summaries at the end of each episode will be what the characters refer back to in the following episode.
(Rainbow Dash is with me... We're both badly hurt, but our Crossblades give us enough power to pull through. I'm with her all the way. We have to drive Darkness from this world, somehow... I might need to harness Maaya's power, from Danielle. Vesse's told me that Maaya is a sister Ruinous. If I can take Danielle out, I'll be that much closer to amassing the Ruinous.
I still haven't figured out where Safiri could have gone, and I've got no clue what's going on with the other groups. We've been thrown off into a tangent, but it's not like we're getting anywhere with Darkness hurling its elites at us at every turn.
And it's no better that those elites happen to be Dash's friends.)
[Hurrying back to the gloomy woods, Cruce and Rainbow Dash come to a brief halt, catching their breath. Rainbow appears to have a crippled wing, a black scar showing across it. She is battered and bruised, while Cruce is injured, but faring much better. His physical form remains unchanged, being that of a black colt, a blue mane and tail. The hat which Rarity crafted for him has been lost. He, however, has kept hold of the black, torn scarf.]
Rainbow Dash: [Breathing heavily.] Did... did we lose 'em...? [She looks back.]
Cruce: I hope... [His head hangs low as he attempts to catch his breath in this precious, brief moment.] If... if we're... going to take Darkness anywhere, it should be here. Not Ponyville, not Canterlot...
Rainbow Dash: I'd like to see... them try to... find their way through this place
Cruce: I'unno Dash, this is their element. They operate... pretty well in these sorta places.
Rainbow Dash: [She looks back at her damaged wing.] Ohhh... This is really bad. This is really really bad. I can't fly at all!
Cruce: How's the pain? You managing okay?
Rainbow Dash: It's nothing I can't handle. What I can't handle is not flying... C-Cruce... what do we do? I don't know what to do!
Cruce: Hm? What do you...?
Rainbow Dash: Do we go after those Darkness guys? Do I help Twilight and Impulse with the Star Ponies? What do I do?! [She lowers herself to the ground, covering her head with both hooves, a look of despair in her face.]
Cruce: C'mon now, take it easy. Safiri went through this too, and things turned out fine.
Rainbow Dash: Safiri?! She left us! H-how's that supposed to be fine?! What kind of friend does that, Cruce?!
Cruce: Hey, she's got a lot to worry about too! She's only here because of me. She's got friends that need her too, but I... just... It's 'cause of me...
Rainbow Dash: ...[She settles down, still covering her head, albeit closing her eyes in a calm manner.] That... stupid blade thingy of yours... That caused all of this. Now it's going to clean this up. [She stands, shooting a glare to Cruce.]
Cruce: [Escapes her gaze, looking away in shame.] And Reigh just so happens to use the Crossblade...
Rainbow Dash: Cruce? We're finding Safiri, and the three of us are going to blow that Shade girl away, and put those Star Ponies in their place! Then we can save Rarity and Spitfire.
Cruce: [Looking back up to Rainbow Dash, he nods.]
???: I apologies, but I must interrupt your plans. [This deep, familiar voice is accompanied by a fiery glow within the damp forest.]
Rainbow Dash: [Quickly spins around.] Huh?! [A few feet from her manifests a burning giant; an armored stallion, towering over she and Cruce. Rainbow freezes, recalling her flight being hindered, and fails to make space between her and this massive figure.]
Cruce: You! You're that... th-that knight?! How'd you--...how'd you even find us?!
???: We have recorded this day through the eyes of the Star Ponies, as they are always watching. We have used this to our advantage.
Rainbow Dash: [She steps back, standing beside Cruce.] You're with the Star Ponies...?
Canis Majoris: ...[He does not answer immediately. Rather, he looks away, face concealed by black metal, as if bothered.] My name is Canis Majoris. I am the Star Pony of Despair.
Rainbow Dash: So... you are...
Canis Majoris: Indeed, I am, Miss Rainbow Dash. I am a Star Pony from the near future. I fell to this world when the Strayer Void was first introduced to the skies. Many of my brethren did the same. However, we do not seek the destruction of this land, and we know that you have sent many a pony to stop us. We, you see, have come to stop the destruction. And the destruction is you, Mister Cruce Maximilius. [He watches Curce closely.]
Cruce: How...? [Shakes his head, angered by this accusation.] How?! What am I doing wrong?! I'm only doing what I can do to help these worlds!
Canis Majoris: [Again, he does not answer...] ...The boy named Reigh came to this world only after learning that the Strayer Void could be summoned from here. His actions branch from you, Mister Cruce Maximilius.
Canis Majoris: We have subdued Reigh. We have taken him back to our time in the future. He has told us why he sacrificed the Elements of Harmony to the Void. It is to quell the Storm. His goals are ours. He wished to save this world, as do we. Sadly, we have failed, leaving us with no other option but to travel back in time. While the Elements of Harmony may have delayed the coming of the Storm, they will be here soon. And it will be because of you, Mister Cruce Maximilius. This is why I am here to take you from this time, so that you and the Crossblade do not cause the obliteration of this world. Your intentions may not be as ugly as this sounds, I understand. I misjudged you the first time... But you cannot be allowed to remain here any longer. I will not fight you this time, but let this be your final warning... Equestria's final warning. Please, come with me.
Cruce: [He looks to Rainbow Dash, who is looking away. She sighs through her nose. Cruce glances back at Canis, speechless.]
(Vesse: Go with him, Cruce. You will not be harmed. Let them do what they feel they need to do. I have a plan. I will watch over Rainbow Dash.)
Cruce: (Vesse! ...I don't know if I like this, but...) Dash?
Rainbow Dash: [She says nothing, only giving Cruce a light frown.] ...?
Cruce: [He approaches Canis, looking back to his friend.] It's all you. Save the world... [A smile crosses his face.] I'll get back to you sometime.
Rainbow Dash: [Steps back, blinking.] !! Cruce?!
Canis Majoris: If this is your decision, then you are wise. I thank you. The world thanks you, Mister Cruce Maximilius. Please, do take care, Miss Rainbow Dash. I am sorry to have troubled you. [Faint rings of fire pick up around Cruce and Canis. These rings multiply, until the two can no longer be seen. They cave in, and flicker out, leaving nothing but heated air behind, and the sickening silence of the woods...]
[...and what's more... a purple mist mingles with the murky air of the forest, slowly making its way toward Rainbow Dash.]
Rainbow Dash: Cruce... why'd you... go? Huh...? [She notices this purple mist surround her.] What the--?! [The aura gently seeps into her body. She panics, flapping her wings in an attempt to escape. She winces at the pain of her wounded wing's motions.] A-aah! No, stop! What's happening?
[...The mist is gone...]
(Vesse: Rainbow Dash? Are you hearing me?)
Rainbow Dash: Wh-whu...? Who's talking to me?! Is someone there? [Overcome by the series of events, she shuts her eyes tightly, gritting her teeth and hanging her head low.] No more! Please, stop!
(Vesse: It is okay, Rainbow Dash. I am only here to help you...)
("Yes. I am the one who Darkness is after. I am the one assisting Cruce in his journey to amass my Ruinous brothers and sisters." wink
"But how come you let Cruce go like that? He was supposed to help clean up this mess!"
("That duty rests with you and I, and the ponies of Equestria. I will give you strength, Rainbow." wink
"I don't think I trust you. If Darkness is after you, that means they'll be coming for me. What do I do about that?"
("You will fight. You will defend this world from the evil that has encroached upon it. You must hurry back to your friends. Cruce will return in due time. I am sure of this." wink
[Twilight and her friends, accompanied by Shining Armor, Rush, and Impulse, are spread thin around the town, seeking to aid the other ponies in any way they can. Commotion has stirred up in Ponyville, however no one is capable of finding why. The groups themselves are concerned more about Rainbow Dash's team, which has gone missing.]
Twilight Sparkle: [Pacing her way down one of the main lanes through the town. She is currently with one of her teammates: Fluttershy.] I don't get it, Fluttershy. What happened to them? It's not like them to keep us waiting for this long.
Fluttershy: [Standing still, watching as Twilight paces back and forth.] Do you think that... maybe... n-no, that wouldn't make any sense... Oh, but maybe... n...no... [Shakes her head, looking away.]
Twilight Sparkle: Hm? Did you have something in mind?
Fluttershy: Uh-huh. But it just feels so unlikely. What if... they got stuck up at Canterlot... Because... [Her eyes shift back to Twilight.] The Star Ponies went there instead... Because... [Her eyes shift away again.] That's where the scary red portal was...
Twilight Sparkle: Hmm... [With one hoof, she scratches at her chin.] That's not a bad theory, buuut we were given areas to work with, like the Everfree Forest, or that Ragnarok Range place. But still... it would make sense. Gaaah! I can't help feeling like we're not being told something. Isn't it bothering you, Fluttershy?
Fluttershy: Uhm... Well I--
Twilight Sparkle: I know! It's so annoying!
Fluttershy: Y-yeah, I guess it--
Twilight Sparkle: [She rambles on, attempting to make connections about various topics concerning the Star Ponies, getting nowhere...]
???: [Standing directly beside Fluttershy. He is slightly smaller, completely white, with only a yellow lambda as his cutie mark, and golden eyes. His tail is short and spiny, and his mane merely consists of a couple short strands of hair sticking ever so slightly up.] ...Psst.
Fluttershy: [She screams, hopping into the air and taking flight shortly after.]
Twilight Sparkle: Fluttershy?! [Turns back to Fluttershy, shocked to see someone else standing in her spot. She notices Fluttershy hovering high above.] What are you doing up there?
???: [He speaks quickly.] That'd be my bad whoooooops. [Rolls his eyes.]
Twilight Sparkle: [Blinks a couple times.] Who are you supposed to be?
Neutrino: C'moooon! You seriously don't remember me? Ah, the laughs we didn't share, it was great, you and I. It's me! Neutrino!
Twilight Sparkle: [Fluttershy hovers beside Twilight.] What?! Neutrino?! I had hoped we'd all seen the last of you after you got the Elements of Harmony confiscated from us!
Neutrino: Oh, and that. That happened too. You probably didn't recognize me without the robes on. It got HOT in those! You know how hard it is to pass through walls with clothes on? It just. Doesn't. Work!
Twilight Sparkle: [She steps forth, glaring at Neutrino.] Among other things, like you being in the way! We don't have time for your games! You or your band of thieves!
Fluttershy: Please tell me they're not here with you...
Neutrino: But then I'd be lying, Flutterberries! And really, what fun would it be without the gang? Speakin' of which, why don't you come see us? We're in town! Lots of stuff happening on this fine day, right? Keep up if you can! [His mark flashes bright. Within a fraction of a heartbeat, he is standing atop a small home.] You probably can't! Just sayin'! [Another flash. He is gone.]
Twilight Sparkle: [She growls.] Come on, Fluttershy! We're going after him! [Her horn glistens. Within a fleeting light of her magic, she transports herself to the same location as Neutrino moments ago.]
Fluttershy: Oh, do we have to...? [Reluctantly, she flies after Twilight.]
[Twilight and Fluttershy end up in front of the Golden Oaks Library, Neutrino nowhere to be seen.]
Twilight Sparkle: [She comes to a stop.] Oh shoot! I was sure he went this way...
Fluttershy: Maybe he decided it was too harsh to fool us again...?
Twilight Sparkle: I don't think so. Something tells me he didn't change much since the last time we saw him.
Applejack: [Approaching.] Over yonder, Pinkie! [With Pinkie Pie in tow, she gallops up to the front of the library.] Ah-ha! Twilight, Fluttershy, quick! Ya'll ain't gonna believe this. Nebula's come back!
Pinkie Pie: The Nebula from that horrible, terrible, awwwwwful no goody jerkfacey thievery group thingy! She went this way, but... I don't... see her...
Twilight Sparkle: Nebula too?! We were chasing after Neutrino! What in the world are they up to?!
Applejack: Nothin' good, I reckon, and at a time like this, I sure couldn't imagine things gettin' worse.
Twilight Sparkle: [She leans to the side a tad, checking for company.] Applejack? Pinkie? Where'd the others go?
Pinkie Pie: Spike's with Shining Armor, and Rush and Impulse think they might've seen Safiri.
Applejack: Did Rainbow's group ever make it?
Twilight Sparkle: [She shakes her head, frowning.] No, I haven't seen them anywhere.
[Three ponies, within rapid succession of one another, materialize before the entrance to the library. First, Neutrino flashes into being. Then, Nebula's souls congregate, forming her shining, ghostly body. Lastly, a crimson pillar of fire spews from the earth, giving rise to a third pony. He is a scarlet unicorn, a wild mane of yellow and orange, and a blazing, razor tail. His mark appears to be a sideways V.]
Fornax: [The unicorn scoffs at the sight of the four.] Short a pegasus and a unicorn.
Neutrino: As expected!
Twilight Sparkle: What do you mean "as expected"?! This is some kind of trick, I know it!
Nebula: Oh, Twilight, Dear... You cannot even begin to understand.
Pinkie Pie: Oh yeah?! Try us! We can understand... a-anything!
Fornax: [He sighs, a small ember leaving his mouth.] To start, the three "thieving scoundrels" you see here--
Neutrino: The same ones that laughed in the face of that "friendship is magic" mumbo buh-jumbo--
Nebula: The very same ones who severed your ties, causing Celestia to take back the Elements of Harmony.
Fornax: [Interrupted, he pauses, looking back at the two momentarily.] ...I think they're aware of that. What they aren't aware of is that we're Star Ponies.
Twilight, Fluttershy, Pinkie, Applejack: [In unison.] WHAT?!
Twilight Sparkle: You can't be...
Neutrino: But we are! Neutrino, Star Pony of Rebellion.
Nebula: Nebula, Star Pony of Tragedy~!
Fornax: And, whatever, you know my name. Star Pony of Apathy. Look, we're not here to mess with friendships. We're here because of that big hole in the sky.
Nebula: Yes, we are. The Star Ponies refused to join us, simply because they think we are renegades.
Neutrino: They're outta their minds! The coming of this Storm business is good for Equestria! It's good for the whole world! This place needs to be destroyed, wiped clean, taken OUT! As Star Ponies, we're only doing our duties to make sure THAT becomes a reality! Let this world blow up! Let it go out in a boom like you've never seen!
Fornax: And we've discovered just the freak show that has no problem helping us light the fuse. If not the other Star Ponies, we'll take this awesome opportunity that's presented itself to us!
[At this moment, the shadows of buildings appear to drip, releasing smaller shades which scamper through the dirt. These small shadows amass, coming together to form a small militia. They rise from the blackened soil, detaching from the earth entirely and taking flight in the form of small imps.]
Twilight Sparkle: What is all of this?! What's happening?!
Pinkie Pie: Eeee!! What are those things?!
Applejack: You done did somethin' mighty low this time, you thievin' varmits!
Fornax: So you've noticed. [He walks to the head of the imp militia, standing beside one.] These guys here aren't from around Equestria, or anywhere beyond that. They're from some place that'll make your heads spin, so I'll spare you the trouble of thought. All you need to do is stand still and let us take you away. Sound good?
Twilight Sparkle: Not a chance, Fornax! We don't care what new tricks you have. We can take whatever you throw at us, right ponies?!
Applejack: You ain't need'a say that again! I sure ain't ready to give up here!
Pinkie Pie: [Yells over them.] YEAH!! We're gonna kick your butts SO HARD this time that you won't be able to sit on ANY PART of your ANYTHING!
Fluttershy: Um... I-I'm actually... feeling sick to my stomach, guys, uh... [Cringing and lowering her head, she trembles at the sight of the imps.]
Fornax: [He sighs, shaking his head.] Huuuh... Y'just had to stand there! You girls can't even do that! Whatever. Get 'em, Nightmares!
[On the other side of town...]
Rush: Darkness! I'm sure of it! [One one knee, his hand brushes along the soil.] They found a way here. [Standing, he does not take his eyes off the spot on the ground.]
Shining Armor: Darkness? What're you talking about, Rush?
Impulse: [He faces the direction which Applejack and Pinkie Pie ran off to.] Shouldn't we be worried about those two? They up and scrammed like the sky was falling.
Spike: [Scritching at his chin, facing the same direction.] Hmm... What could be so important that it's worth chasing after like that?
Impulse: Everyone in town is acting strange. Maybe it's gotten to them.
Shining Armor: Do you think it could be Star Pony activity?
Impulse: I doubt it. The Star Ponies don't like to lurk around. They make big entrances. If Star Ponies are around, they're playing the game a mite different than others. Rush, what's this Darkness you're looking at?
Rush: Darkness is a legion of world-crumpling savages that tear through lands, harness power, manipulate souls, that sort of thing. I don't know much about this Darkness, but they're... t-they're bad.
Shining Armor: What? Why would this Darkness ever attack us out of the blue? Are they here for the same reason the Star Ponies are?
Rush: I've no clue. I don't know what those maniacs want. I don't know how they even got here! [Shrugs.] The only way they could've come here is through the Strayer Void, and I hope they just didn't. Darkness is hiding around here. This could be what's got everyone in a panic. These guys are the mind-game masters. If, for some paralyzingly horrible reason, the Star Ponies team up with 'em, we're in for it.
Impulse: I can't see the Stars doing that. There's no way we would...
Spike: There's no way we would what?
Shining Armor: ...There's some other reason you know so much more about the Star Ponies than everypony else, is there?
Impulse: ...N-no, I... I just... I'm sorry, in my studies of the Stars, I may have gotten a bit involved... I-it's all behind me now, long story—erm...
Rush: Ah, don't worry about it. Studies do that. We were on Safiri's trail before Applejack and Pinkie ran off, and before I started smelling the stench of Darkness. Maybe Safiri actually knows more about it than I do. She went off on her own for some reason.
Shining Armor: Then let's find her. I wouldn't want anything called “Darkness” endangering Ponyville.
Impulse: 'Guess we'll have to be on the lookout for Star Ponies as well, yeah?
Rush: Should. [He nods.] Let's head to the edge of town. [He starts off, Shining Armor and Impulse following shortly after. Spike hesitates for a moment, looking back...]
Spike: Hmm... I-I'm sure they'll be fine... [Face evident with concern, he catches up to the others...]
“Danielle, Ice Princess...?”
“That would be me.”
“What are you guys?”
“We are Darkness. We are the pinnacle of disaster. The scars we leave upon worlds are forever.”
“And... why are you here?”
“I have come searching for someone. I and my army of Nightmares will tear this land apart if need be. Now, out of my way, peasant. I've no interest in your pursuits and questionnaires.”
“We'll help you find who you're looking for. I assure you, we are the best of the best. No one will stop us.”
“You would give yourself to Darkness... without knowing Darkness?”
“We want destruction. Nothing more, nothing less. No one will accept us... But you... you'll give this world destruction, won't you?”
“I assure you, devastation will come. If it is devastation you seek, and if it is I you are willing to assist, then how is a Shade to resist?”
[Rainbow Dash gallops through the ghastly woodland, the combined power of her Crossblade and the newly absorbed Ruinous revitalizing her, restoring her to her prime. Her wing, however, remains severely damaged.]
Rainbow Dash: [Inexhaustible, she pushes forth.] I've never been able to run like this before!
(Vesse: You're quite welcome!)
Rainbow Dash: (You weren't lying... You really were helping Cruce.)
(Vesse: Yes, and it is because I believe he can save this universe from a grim outcome. His capacity for might is unlike any warrior I have ever battled with—I have ever heard of. He does not realize this. He was sent to this realm with a hidden potential. But, he has much to learn. That is why I guided him here. He must learn to share his power. He is doing well.)
Rainbow Dash: (The Crossblade thing is his power, right? Well, I have it now. Does that mean...?)
(Vesse: He has shared his power with you. And you, in return, will only grow stronger. For now, you are weak from your battles. You may not feel weak, however!)
Rainbow Dash: (No way! I feel like I can fly a hundred marathons! But I can't fly... Can you please please pleeease fix my wing, if you're the one healing me up?)
(Vesse: Oh, Dash, your wing has been wounded by a spawn of Darkness. Were I to attempt to cure you, it would only corrupt your body. I am Darkness myself, after all, and should I overstep my boundaries on a lesser being, that being will soon become intoxicated with my aura.)
Rainbow Dash: (Wh—lesser?! ...C'mon, please?! I have the Crossblade, and Cruce did, an-an-and you were with him! I'll be fine! I promise! I need to get back to my friends right away!)
(Vesse: I am sorry, Dash. You will have to let your wing heal on its own.)
Rainbow Dash: (Come ooooooooooooooooooooooooon...!)
(Vesse: !! Very well, very well! By Tartarus, how has your kind even developed legs with such a craving to be airborne? I will heal your wing. However, I warned you. You will feel quite a bit different...)
“You will know it when you see it.”
“Okay, so, who's the dude again?”
“His name is Cruce Maximilius. He is one of your kind; a black colt with dark blue hair.”
“Additionally... There is another with him who has adopted such power beside him. She is a pegasus—light blue, with a mane of many colors. Rainbow Dash, if I recall correctly. Quite devoted to her friends, that one. Very explosive.”
“...Heh... Yeah... Rainbow Dash. I know her pretty well. I think we can use that spicy attitude of hers to our advantage.”
Breakthrough, episode 2:
(I'm on Soren now. 'Portal puked me out in the middle of nowhere.)
(I turned into a Sorenian. Didn't realize it, 'cause I was laying on my back, staring into the sky, which is apparently blue on this world. Maybe I should've figured out that whatever papery substance I was laying on was attached to my back. Wings. Couldn't help but notice the boobs as well. I forgot that I was a girl on this world. Nauseating how quickly everything went from shitty to pretty.)
(I got lost on the Star Range, or whatever the crap it's called. 'S where the portal threw me out. I managed to find signs of activity in the area though. Didn't think it was the Fairies, and, knowing how this world worked, I didn't want to be caught by the Dragons. Maybe Illusions, or Cyborgs. Not the Dragons. Enough sex swapping for one day.)
('Guess who caught me? Dragons. They didn't mess me up or anything, as they soon found out I wasn't a normal "Fairy"--turned out I was actually not from Soren. Who would've thought? In truth, I told them the whole story--not who I am, just that I'm from Earth, stumbled across the portal laying around--someone should really clean that up--and that I came here. The Dragons were courteous enough to tell me how this region of the planet worked. Four factions vying for territory and soldiers. Once you're shot with whatever crazy-a** technology they have here, you become a part of that faction. The conflict between the Fairies and the Dragons involved a lot of gender bending, as it stands. Some kind of fresh hell. It's a good thing I've been here before.)
(I'm not sure why the Fairies and the Dragons hate each other's guts. Dragons are kinda nice. A few of 'em escorted me off the premises, 'cause they couldn't stand a Fairy aimlessly wandering around. They were suspicious. I overheard that I looked "too natural" to be from Earth. I just couldn't help but look pretty. The couple guys who walked me out of the Dragon's Den decided to take me all the way to Castle Blossom, the Fairy headquarters. They told me it was pretty dangerous out here, now that Darkness had allegedly lost their minds. That and this Riot guy. I remembered him.
Castle Blossom is where I'll find the Eclipse of this world: Kutzu. Now that I'm here, I'm finding it a lot harder to believe that I'm the one who has to kill them all. But if I really love them as much as I do, I'll go through with this... Whatever I'm here to prevent, it must be painful.)
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