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fan fiction Equestria - The Year of Hell


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Equestria - The Year of Hell

Story Synopsis


Rarity dies in the fall to the ground from Cloudsdale

Rainbow is humiliated, no sonic rainboom

The closing music is “Rarity’s Theme” a sombre tribute to her

Later (below) the harmony of this is used in Sweety Belle’s song


Over A Barrel

war breaks out with the buffalo

Braeburn is killed

the orchard is wrecked

Applejack comes home depressed


Owls Well

Spike walks off into the forest and is killed by a dragon


Party of One

Nobody is in the mood for parties

Pinkie is depressed and loses her mind

She becomes a recluse


Twilight, Fluttershy and a reluctant Applejack attend the Gala

Fluttershy's antics with the animals is the only disaster

but she returns home convinced she has lost her abilities

and in considerable disgrace


Chaos stalks Equestria

Celestia sends to Twilight by pegasus guards (since Spike is dead)

Twilight has to compel Pinkie magically to come out

and neither Applejack nor Rainbow want to go

Fluttershy is not keen either

and of course Rarity is dead

"Maybe Priness Celestia can be the element of Generosity?" Twilight muses


With all these changes, some of the background ponies have come to the fore

including a background stallion

and Seafoam as a generous and always open friend

These two see the sad troop off to Canterlot

and wonder what they can do to help


Discord plays the ponies in the maze

but has no trouble turning Fluttershy

whilst Applejack is too low to give much resistance

He meets his match in Pinkie tho

who has already been turned

and in the end befriends her as an ally


Rainbow's betrayal has more to do with a chance to redeem herself by saving Cloudsdale

Twilight leads the rest arguing and fighting back to Ponyville

This time sans rock

and with Pinkie plotting with the enemy


She gets them into the library

but cannot get the book back off them

and only when Stallion and Seafoam come in

wondering what all the noise is

does Twilight find that the elements are inside it


She forces Applejack, Fluttershy and Pinkie to wear them

giving Rarity's to Seafoam and Rainbow's to the Stallion

and they go out to confront Discord


It is of course a disaster, but this time partly with Pinkie's connivance

Twilight goes into the library on her own and sinks into despair

going grey


The others go off

but Seafoam and the Stallion go to Rarity's closed-down shop

Finding Sweety Belle alone there

(some aunt is now her guardian but not home)

Sensing a chance to do something to help Sweety Belle runs off

and returns with Scootaloo and Applebloom

Seafoam decides that they will all go to the library and see if they can help Twilight


Discord and Pinkie are now sharing a throne

Floating in the air

and have headed off back to Canterlot

as reports reach them that Celestia is raising an army


Discord chaoses away an army of pegasi

and in a battle inside the Palace turns Celestia's magic upon her

and sees her turned to stone

He then has himself crowned Emperor of Equestria

and Pinkie as his Consort

Unseen and using magic to cloak herself Luna sneaks out and heads to Ponyville


Seafoam, the Stallion and the CMC find Twilight in a state of utter despair

and it looks like nothing can help to bring her round

Until Sweety Belle sings a song she has written in memory of her sister

which sees all the CMC crying, and Seafoam hunch down on the floor in sadness

But it has done its magic on Twilight

and she turns purple again

remembering that friendship is the thing, not the friends themselves

She says she has now got new friends, and can feel the strength in their unity


Everyone has a great shock when Luna walks in the door

but Twilight is able to remind them she is not Nightmare Moon anymore

and Seafoam asks if the princess would like to join them

which Luna quietly accepts


Discord has heard rumours that something is afoot in Ponyville

and he and Pinkie head there

with a guard of entranced pegasi

finding the library empty

and the elements gone

Fearing that Twilight is somehow reuniting the rest of the bearers

they head to Fluttershy's cottage

and find it under siege by animals

with Fluttershy barricaded up inside yelling at them to go away

as she hates animals


Confused, Discord heads to Sweet Apple Acres

but finds Applejack just hanging around

surprised to see him and Pinkie in their finery

but generally unbothered


He then Q snaps himself and Pinkie to Cloudsdale

but Rainbow is there

trying to get together and keep together a Citizens Guard

despite widespread derision aimed at her

They face off but it is obvious Rainbow is not leaving Cloudsdale

only all set on defending it


Twilight and her new gang have headed into the Everfree Forest

and gained the help of Zecora

With the mixture of powerful magic now wielded by them altogether

the group now numbering eight

makes it to Canterlot

to find the palace chaosified

and stone Celestia star attraction

that Discord's mishapen fans crowd around in laughter

including in their number Snips and Snails

now appointed officers in the palace guard

whilst Diamond Tiara and Silverspoon are also now ladies of Discord's court


Luna gets them all into the Tower unnoticed

but Twilight is beginning to sag again in spirits

the whole thing looking even more hopeless now they are actually in Canterlot

especially as Discord is not even there


In a little aside, Luna and Twilight sit by a window

looking out on the chaos

and Twilight asks her how she survived being cast onto the Moon

for a millennium

Luna is quiet at first, explaining that becoming Nightmare Moon was the result

and that its not really a lesson that is going to help Twilight

but Twilight reminds her that underneath the frightening mask

she still remained the Luna she is at heart

and gains some strength from the conversation


Scootaloo has disappeared

and everyone is beginning to fear the worst

when she returns with Philomena

who had taken refuge in the rafters

and is in all her fiery glory

Applebloom tells her she cannot see what good a phoenix is going to do them

but Scootaloo has a plan


Discord and Pinkie return to Canterlot

and throw a masked ball

enabling the others to come out of hiding

and mingle with the guests

Only Scootaloo and Luna are missing

along with Philomena


At the climax of the ball

Twilight puts her plan into action

Whlst Zecora uses her magic to hold down Pinkie

Twilight, Seafoam, the Stallion, Sweety Belle and Applebloom attempt to wield the elements

joined by Luna who steps out of a shadow that nobody had noticed

With Sweety Belle as Kindness, Applebloom as Laughter and Luna as Honesty

they attempt to see off Discord

but it still doesn't work


Discord and Luna engage instead in a battle of magickes

whilst Philomena swoops down on the entranced pegasi and panics them


Unnoticed, Scootaloo has snook up to the others

and begins to rearrange the elements

whilst in the chaos of battle nobody notices Philomena swoop down on Luna's

and drop it into Scootaloo's hoof

Sensing what she is doing, Zecora gives Scootaloo some wise words of support

and then goes with Seafoam to Twilight

to urge her to try the elemets one last time


Exhausted but not wanting to let her new friends down

Twilight signals the go ahead

and the power of the elements raise them all into the air

This time the rainbow of doom crashes down upon Discord

allowing Luna's magic to break him

and seeing him turned back into stone


As there are gasps and cries all round from the guests at the ball

Celestia turns back from stone

and crosses to stand next to Luna

Twilight is amazed and confused

but Pinkie who is now back to her bouffant self

starts to giggle and laugh, pointing to them all

"You're all wearing the wrong elements!" she cries in hysteria

and Twilight looks around seeing the truth of her words

and what Scootaloo has done to them


Back in Ponyville, Fluttershy embraces Angel now back to his normal size

and Applejack is reunited with Rainbow who leads her Citizen Guard down

to help in the rebuilding work.




The Year of Hell is of course a nod towards one of the very few watchable Star Trek Voyager storylines, but here whilst there is a happy ending its not a cop-out as was Voyager's and Spike and Rarity remain dead.


Which of Ponyville's stallions should play the role in the above storyline? Its definitely not Big Mac, might just be Dr Whooves but I was trying to avoid cross-over references so if it could be another named Ponyville earth pony it would work well. Who was the yellow one throwing spiders with Luna at the end of S2E4?


Apologies that this is only a synopsis; I might have time to write some of it in full next week, but I’m working on a client’s accounts at the moment and its taking all my time and driving me nuts!







Twilight kept telling herself that she couldn't be having flashbacks - she hadn't been there. She hadn't been there! But that only made it worse.


She hadn't been there to stop Rarity from falling to her death. She hadn't been there when the dragon had killed Spike. She hadn't been there when Braebrun was killed in the orchard. And she hadn't been there when Pinkie had thrown her party.


But none of this excused her from blame! It was her fault that Rarity had had her magic wings; she should have known her friend better! The fabulousness was bound to go to her head - she should have foreseen the tragedy, and been able to stop it. But she hadn't - and she could not. Only the Wonderbolts and Rainbow Dash had been in a position to try but nt even Rainbow's prodigious flying had been fast enough to save Rarity.


Twilight knew that Rainbow blamed herself for Rarity's death, and knew that her friend's failure had been compounded by her inability to reproduce the sonic rainboom - hardly surprising in those circumstances but t had threatened to break the pegasus. "Rainbow Crash" even the more friendly of pegasi called her, and after Rarity's death, how could she argue against it?


But Twilight knew that it was her own fault, and not Rainbow's. And that her friend's sadness and humiliation was also her fault. She may not have been the final cause of Rarity's death - like she had not been the final cause of Spike's - but she was the one to blame.


Oh Spike! How could she have ever driven him to leave? She had been so stupid - so insensitive! It was a dargon that had killed him...but Spike! She had brought him forth from dragon's egg in Canterlot, he had trusted her, loved her even, and she had driven him away! And all for nothing... After she had found Spike's body she had sent Owlicious off too. After that she was all alone.


The trip to Appleoosa had seemed like the perfect oportunity to make a new start. A train ride to visit Applejack's cousins. Honest Applejack! Even Rainbow had come out of it enough to chase the younger buffalo. But it had all gone wrong. Pinkie's song had driven a rift between pony and buffalo, and the buffalo stampede through the orchard had left the place in ruins and brave Braeburn dead. The journey back had been suffocating in its silence. She knew that everypony blamed themselves for the disaster - for once nopony blamed her. But nothing she could say could help matters. Nothing at all.


She had hardly seen Applejack in the weeks that followed, the earth pony spending all her time at Sweet Apple Acres, immersing herself in the business of the farm, not seing anypony, not doing anything but work, work, work. The one time she had tried to go there to see her, Big Macintosh had blocked her way and shaken his head. "Nope", he had said, and she could not fail to get the message. Applejack did not wish to see anypony.


And then Pinkie had thrown her party... Twilight had not been alone in judging it ill-timed, in bad taste, and not at all something she wanted to go to. But she had not expected everypony to react in that way. To be honest she had not thought about it at all. It seemed that nopony else had either.


It had been Mrs Cake who had come to the library not wanting to disturb her, but... Twilight had gone with her Sugarcube Corner, but Pinkie would not see her, had refused to leave her new friends. Mrs Cake had explained the nature of these "new friends" - a bucket of turnips, a pile of rocks... and Twilight had used her magic to break in. Maybe she had Pinkie out of it, but the once happy-go-lucky pony had hardly come out of the building since.


Pinkie had refused to go to the Gala with them - to tell the truth she had sent no word, only sending the ticket back by the mail. It had taken three days, the ticket mysteriously lost in the post, but Twilight knew not to ask why. It would only embarass the poor pegasus involved.


The Grand Galloping Gala - surely that would be the perfect turning point, a chance to rebuild her life back in the familiar surroundings of Canterlot. Business was business and Applejack had come along, still subdued and spending her time focused on Applebloom who had had Pinkie's ticket, one of the few blank flanks there. Rainbow Dash had joined them at the last minute, pulling their chariot herself through the clouds, whilst Fluttershy had been the only other enthusiastic pony, determined to see and befriend the fantastic animals of the palace garden.


Everypony had agreed that what had been Rarity's ticket should go to the friendliest pony they knew and after a series of twists and turns (*) it had been bestowed upon Seafoam. But the beautiful unicorn had not travelled with them, Princess Celestia sending two of her pegasus guards to fly her honoured guest to the palace.


The Grand Galloping Gala was the best night of the year - yes? Wrong! Although at the Princess' side, Twilight had little chance to talk to her, and had found herself sad and alone even in the midst of so much finery. Applejack had fared little better, sales being awfully low and had eventually let Applebloom loose on the unesuspecting customers. There had been a few more sales, mostly at apple-point, before eventually a unicorn prince had led his friends in and demanded they end their silly provincial games.


But Fluttershy had fdared the worst - and that had been the biggest humiliation of all! The bursting in of the palace doors, the horde of animals racing across the dancefloors, and the gentle loving pegasus roaring at the top of her voice "You are going to LOVE me!". Princess Celestia had got them out of it, but Twilight knew that everypony had viewed them as sent home in disgrace.


Seafoam, it seemed, had had a lovely time, feted by all as a special guest and taken under their wing, as it were, by Twinkle and Moondancer. She had been flown back to Ponyville by the royal pegasus guards, only vaguely aware of her friends' disgrace.


Twilight shook her head and sighed, looking across her room towards the window. Most nights she could barely sleep a few hours, and this promised to be one of those where she got no sleep whatsoever. No matter how much she told herself it was not all her fault, that she had not been there to help her friends, another voice leapt in and negated it, shouting that it was her fault, that she SHOULD have been there to help her friends. And alone at night, Twilight knew which voice she believed...


(*) In this timestream some of the episodes we know from late on in Season could not have happened, so "The Spirit of Generosity" as I would name the new episode where Rarity's ticket is given away to the friendliest pony in Ponyville, and that being Seafoam, is a major replacement episode.




Chapter Zero


Bang-Bang-Bang! - "Seafoam!"

Seafoam trotted across to the door and used her unicorn powers to open it. Since going to Canterlot, she had found that certain of her unicorn powers had become much...finer

"Oh hi Applebloom!" she smiled down at the filly, "How are you doing?"

"Er....fine!" Applebloom looked up at the skies and shook her head, lowering it again, "Cheerilee asks if you can come to the school hall for ...ah", she looked up at the pink clouds, "...an emergency meeting"


Seafoam looked where Applebloom was looking and her eternal smile froze upon her face,

"Oh..." she said, "That doesn't look good"

"Cheerilee says that the Mayor says that we must all pull together..."

"Yes", Seafoam looked again at the pink fluffy clouds, "I better get going"

"Yes!" Applebloom jumped into the air, "My first sale"


Watching Seafoam head towards the schoolhouse, Applebloom skipped and jumped and ran off towards the next house.

"Bon Bon! Bon Bon!" she yipped, leaping up at the door


Behind her, Seafoam trotted down the street, joined by a throng of other ponies roused by fillies sent out by Cheerilee. Equestria was going crazy, and there was to be a meeting about it. How civilised could you be?


In the shadow of a house a thunderous flash, and a moment passed. Then two fillies, cutie marks bright upon their flanks, trotted into view.

"Diamond Tiara. This is our time!"

"Oh it is!" she bounced left then right, "Silverspoon we cannot let them stop this!"

"They don't understand!"

"They are stupid!"

"We need to stop them"


Another flash. Another moment passed. Then the two older fillies exchanged hooves and galloped off into the night. There was a lot to do, and pies were rising towards Heaven. What the morning would bring, they would help to design, but the night was time to plot and scheme, and they knew just the colts to aid them...



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"Thank you, Twilight; thank you all" Princess Celestia paced at the top of the red-carpeted stairway, looking down at the five ponies who had come bursting into the palace, effusing over the strange phenomena overtaking Equestria.


"Come with me" she commanded, leading them into the palace gallery, no walls hung with paintings, but rather stained glass windows telling the story of the most momentous events of the last millennium, or more.


The ponies listened in shock and awe as the Princess outlined the history and power of the once-vanquished Discord, whose might it seemed had once more come to light. Explaining how she and her sister Luna had once, a thousand years ago, vanquished the draconoquist, turning him into stone, the Princess was enthused to see the energy and life this information breathed back into Twilight's sullen friends.

"Alright princess!" Rainbow Dash exlaimed, whilst even Pinkie Pie seemed interested in her surroundings, eyeing the many images of Discord with curiosity, and listening to the tale with an open ear.


And then somehow the images of Discord had come to life, ennervated by his resurrected spirit to become him, and to twist and tease with the princess, and the other ponies. -

"Twists and turns are our masterplan, then find the Elements back where you began." he had said, and with the Princess' blessing they had rushed out, for Equestria, for the Princess, for their own bruised sense of worth.


And here they stood now, before the entrance to the palace maze, flags fluttering in the chaos wind, the hedges stretching seeming impenatrably into the distance.

"Will we..have to go in there?" Fluttershy stammered, her refound belief in herself shattered by the imposing faced before her.

"No!", Rainbow Dash strutted herself before her, before them all, "Dopey Discord forgot about these babies!"

Flapping her wings and uttering further exhultations, the bright pegasus leapt into the air.

And time stood still...


A moment later, sans wings, Rainbow fell back to the ground, her landing heralding the appearance of Discord, flashing himself from pony to pony as he weaved his magic upon them.

"Ach!" cried Fluttershy as her wings also vanished.

"Your horn!" Applejack shrieked as Twilight lost the shining protuberance.

"My horn....aghhh!" the one-time unicorn yelled back, stamping her hooves.


"This is the first rule of our game - no flying, and no magic", Discord flashed to Twilight and stroked her face before moving off.

"The...first...rule?" ejaculated Rainbow, still disorientated from the loss of her wings.

"The second rule is", Discord replied, suddenly almost recumbant upon the not-pegasus' back, "Everypony has to play, or the game is over...and I win!"

He clapped his claws, rose into the air and laughed

"Good luck everypony!"

Then he was gone, leaving five confused ponies milling about in his wake.


"Come on" Twilight tried to chivy them along, "We've still got each other"

"Blah blah blah!" Pinkie bounced into the entrance of the maze, and looked back at the others, "I'm off to find my element!"

"Me too!" Rainbow barged past Twilight and tore off into the distance.

"Er...together!" Twilight tried one last time.

Fluttershy squealed and bolted, and Applejack sidled up to the not-unicorn,

"Do you suppose we can find a sixth pony in there?" she asked, returning to the conversation they had had upon landing.

"Never give up!" Twilight admonished her.

"If ya say so"

The two ponies entered the maze side-by-side.


- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *


"I don't think so!" Pinkie Pie faced off against Discord in a large clear area of the maze.

A moment earlier she had exploded the balloon garden that had resided within it,

"I don't like balloons!" she had said

Now she was responding to Discord's reply, and the draconoquist seemed to be phased by her reactions.

"But Pinkie Pie" he stared down into her eyes, "Your very cutie mark screams party!"

"Balloons" she snapped and circled around upon herself, as if chasing her tail - or her flank, "I hate balloons!"


Discord reared up as if to attack the strangely staid pony, then lay down beside her,

"Oh Pinkie Pie" he said, reaching an eagle claw out to stroke her beautiful flat mane, "Pinkie Pie is what you are. Everything else is a painting put upon you!"

"Pinkamina" she snapped, then raised her head towards where his was hovering but inches above, and looked enquiring into his eyes.


"Pinkamina" he said in a voice that was all agreement, "What say you to our having some fun together?"

"Do we get to hurt somepony?" she smiled thinly

"As my Pinkie...my Pinkamina wants..."

"Do we get to laugh at somepony?"

"Oh!" he did a quick backflip, ending up where he began, "We get to laugh at anypony we want!"

"Then I say yes!"


"Yes!" he soared into the air, dodging a passing pie, "Pinkamina, she say yes!"

"Then let us hurt them!" she snapped, whipping the straight lines of her mane over her shoulder, "Let us hurt everypony!"

"And then we will laugh", even Discord seemed a little disconcerted by these words, but he tried hard.

"We will laugh as they cry", she skipped about, "I am Pinkamina Diane Pie!" she exclaimed to the very air.

"Pinkamina, my beloved" Discord managed to catch up with her, "Let us go to rain chaos!"

"First we must destroy the ponies in this maze"


"Destroy their hope!"

"Destroy their hope" he agreed, and snapped his fingers, vanishing from her sight


- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *


"What is happening to everypony!" Twilight shouted as Fluttershy flipped Applejack with her tail and they left the passageway snapping and arguing.

What had become of Rainbow or Pinkie nopony knew, and Applejack's worries about the lack of a sixth pony was seeming ridiculous when they could not even get a fourth or fifth pony, and when even the three of them were arguing and fighting as none of them had ever done in their lives before.


"Twilight Sparkle!" Discord flashed into being beside her

"Woah Nelly!" Applejack backed up, "There's nothing wrong", she caught herself, "Nothing wrong at all"

"Twilight, spirit of Magic" Discord flew before her eyes, one moment still, the next circling the space before her

"Discord!" she put all her anger into her voice, "You won't get away with this!"


"This is the princess' maze, not mine, though I am sure I would have devised something this devious if I had lived these last thousand years - and NOT been turned to stone!"

"You asked for it" Twilight rounded upon him in loyal defence of the princess,

Flip-whip! Fluttershy walked on by, crashing the one-time unicorn to the ground with her tail as she did so,

"A present - without asking!" the wingless yellow pegasus said, laughing hollowly


"Oh this is priceless!" Discord wet himself, "You ponies are just so much fun!"

"Discord!" Twilight shook her head clear of distractions, "What have you done to my friends?!"

“What have <em>I</em> done?” Discord laughed, “Why only released their true natures, free of dreary Celestia’s mores”

“You mean free of civilized values!” Twilight snarled, lowering her head, until she remembered that she was lacking of horn.

“Civilised?” Discord reared up with laughter, “Oh how funny you ponies are!”


And with a snap of his fingers he was gone. Twilight looked across to where Fluttershy sat sulking on her haunches, and Applejack stood in the gap in the hedges, looking one way then the next with her shifty eyes. Defeating Discord was definitely not going to be easy.


- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *


"I've got you now <em>Element</em>!"

Rainbow Dash rushed down the labyrinth's corridors, dashed down them if you will, chasing the flashing lightning bolts as they rounded the corner. Streaming round it, she skidded to a halt. Where there had a moment before been the element, now there was Discord! Laying back upon a bed of clouds, strung between two trees. Beneath him, Pinkie Pie lay curled up, her straight bright locks hanging forth over her head as she watched her sometime friend stagger to a halt, and rear up hooves at the ready,

"Put them up, Discord!" she yelled in typical defiance.


Discord laughed and looked down at Pinkie, then back at the multi-coloured, and currently wingless, pegasus

"Come to join your friend, Rainbow Dash?"

"Pinkie wouldn't stand the sight of you if you hadn't enchanted her!"

"Oh, you think so, do you?" Discord laughed, "Pinkamina, my dear?"


"Come on Dashie", Pinkie said in a soft but friendly voice, "Join us - have some fun!"

"You're betraying the princess - <em>I'd</em> never do that!"

"Equestria is not only Celestia" said Pinkie, and then giggled quietly at her wordplay.


"Rainbow Dash", Discord rose to his full height, hovering in the air, "I'm here to deliver a message..."

"I've got a message for you too!" Rainbow, reared up again, hooves flailing, punching at the air, just waiting to engage with her foe.

"Listen closely", Discord continued unabashed, "this is <em>important</em>", he flashed away then appeared by her side, "A weighty choice is yours to make - the right selection or a big mistake. The wrong choice you choose to pursue, the foundations of home will crumble without you."


In horror, Rainbow looked into the vision presented by Discord - the clouds of Cloudsdale melting away, the pegasi fleeing in terror, the destruction of the eternal city of the skies in but bare minutes...

"Cloudsdale...crumble <em>without me</em> ?" she gasped.

And at the same time, in her mind played visions of the hurt and humiliation she had suffered since Rarity's death - Rainbow Crash they now all called her, apart from a few, a friendly few, or a ditzy few, the latter unaffected by the mood swings of the majority. If she could but return as their saviour, surely there would be redemption?


"You can be Protector of Cloudsdale!" Pinkie looked up from where she lay, "Have everypony fall in line behind you!"

At that moment, Discord magicked before the rainbow-coloured one a sparkling box,

"That box contains your wings - you can take them and leave the game, or you can carry on aimlessly wandering this maze - your choice!"

And Discord had to do no more than speak, for Pinkie's words were already resonant in the mind of the pegasus. Cloudsdale would be hers to defend, its citizens would look up to her, look towards her for everything.


There could be no doubt as to her decision.


- * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - *


“Well, lookie-there, Rainbow Dash is flying away. She’s abandoning us!” Applejack stopped in the center of the track, surrounded on both sides by towering hedges, a stone vase of flowers rearing away in an alcove to one side.

“Now I know <em>that’s</em> a lie!” Twilight Sparkle snapped, looking over at her friend, concern spread across her face. Was Applejack really a liar ? Now? Her true nature, as Discord had said?


Above them a roaring flash told of Rainbow’s flight, soaring up as close to the vertical as she could, her colours diminished but still flashing in the uncertain light of the labyrinth.

“Huh?!” Twilight gasped, “How can it be?!”


At that moment, triggered by the pegasus’ breaching of the rules of the game, the entire maze began to collapse in upon itself, storm clouds raging above, and the high edges crashing down and into the ground to leave the three ponies crouched down in a dustbowl of dirty brown earth, whilst Discord and his faithful Pinkamina flashed into being in front of them.


“Pinkie!” cried Twilight, trying to surge forward, but Discord flashed across to block her passage, pointing up at sky with an eagle’s claw

“Some pony broke the no wings, no magic rule” he intoned, whilst snapping his fingers and restoring the horn to Twilight and her wings to Fluttershy, “Game’s over my little ponies – you didn’t find your precious elements!”


Twilight stared as Discord laughed, and Pinkie came over, nuzzling up to him, eyeing her former friends with a malevolence surpassing even that which had driven her near to madness back in Ponyville. She stuck her tongue out

“Splurrrrr!” and hunched down to the ground, raising her rump, her hooves pawing the ground.

“Pinkie!” Twilight cried again, “No!”


She turned her attention to Discord, pirouetting before her,

“What have you done!” she demanded, “Put her back the way she was!”

“Where’s the fun in that?” Discord demanded, then shook his head, “And anyway, Twilight Sparkle, I didn’t do anything to her - <em>you</em> did!”



Discord laughed again, and thunderheads rolled around them

“I win, my little ponies!” he cackled, “Looks like we’re in for a big old storm of CHAOS!!!”




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