The Last One Standing
Applejack and Rarity found themselves hiding behind the same rock as the last battle they fought inside of Sweet Apple Acres, each one of them holding the other for comfort, “Come out, come out where ever you are!” they heard Zeral call out. He turned his head, using his new thermal imaging to search for them. Looking at the rock, he saw nothing, and moved on by, “You cannot hide!” he said as he kept moving on.
Rarity and Applejack kept quiet, there hooves against the rock and waiting for him to pass. Rarity vanished in a flicker of light, and lifted her head to see if the villain had moved on. She ducked back down, and reappeared, “I believe he is gone.” she whispered and came out from behind the rock. “What do we do now? He can see you no matter what.” Applejack asked in a whisper. “SHHH!” Rarity suddenly shushed, and crept by the orange pony, “We’ll leave him wandering the orchard while we go and get Twilight!” she suggested. “Yah, good idea!” Applejack said in a nervous smile, and the two froze as they heard a malicious laugh. “You creatures truly are incredible, and so much fun to hunt.” Zeral called out, “I turn my back for just a second and you’ve both disappeared and gained some kind of confidence. A belief that I can be defeated.” at the last of his words, he reappeared, the light rippling around him as he leaned against a rather thick apple tree, a sick grin being carried on his voice. “Run Rarity!” Applejack called out, and the two turned around before they ran as quickly as they could. “Run, run as fast as you can!” Zeral taunted, “I can catch you no matter how large the land!” His voice echoed in their ears as they ran, driving fear throughout their souls.
Rarity and Applejack ran faster than either of them had run before, yet no matter how quickly they went, it was as if Zeral was just right behind them, his laugh echoing in their minds like a darkness that haunts a soul. Rarity let out a squeal of a panic, “I’m too young to die!” she cried as she ran. “There!” she heard Applejack call out, “The barn, we’ll use it to rest and make a break for it when he tries to enter.”
“That won’t slow him down!” Rarity called back. “It’ll stall him for a few seconds, enough time for us to find the others and make our way back to Canterlot.” the orange earth pony told her. “I can’t run that far!” Rarity admitted. “Actually, Ah’m not sure Ah can either.” Applejack said in response. Zeral’s laugh echoed through the orchard again, pushing the two ponies even faster. Finally they made it to the animal barn, ducking into the empty building and burying themselves into the hay. Rarity poked her head out, holding her breath as she looked around for the madman. When she didn’t find him, she walked out of the pile, and breathed in a sigh of relief. Applejack soon followed, “That man is crazy!” Rarity suddenly breathed out. “Yah, Ah know.” Applejack said in response. The orange pony walked up to the barn doors, and peeked out, “It’s way too open out there.” she said, “We’ll be picked off within seconds.”
“So this is it then, this is where we make our last stand.” Rarity said as she joined Applejack at the door. “Whatever happens, we do our best!” Applejack said as she turned to her friend, “You’ve been a swell partner Rarity, and an even better friend.”
“To you as well Applejack,” Rarity told her, “I’ve been fortunate to have you as my friend.” Rarity said, and within a second, the two ponies found themselves in the top rafters, lying atop a pile of hay with nothing except their elemental necklaces on. Both of them blinked, and lifted themselves up to look down. There at the door stood there armor, and inside looking back at them, two ponies that looked strikingly like them respectively. Tremor had a much darker shade of orange, almost brown fur on her head, and bright blond freckles on both cheeks, yet like Applejack her mane was bright blond and pulled into a tail. The hat she wore atop her head was just like her own. Sapphire had a sapphire blue fur coat with a dark purple mane just like Rarity’s the twinkle in her sea green eyes showed the same kind of mischievousness that she would show on occasion. “How…?” Applejack asked, and was interrupted by Rarity. “Just what do you two think you’re doing?” she asked. “You two go, maybe ya’ll can get to her in time to keep him from destroying Equestria.” Tremor said. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you with that dress we wanted to make.” Sapphire apologized, “The heat of the hay will keep you hidden. As soon as we leave to distract him, the two of you should make a run for it. Don’t attract his attention.”
“Ugh, Excuse me?!?” Rarity scoffed and was about to continue but was shushed by her own NanoPack. “He’s here!” Tremor said, and looked to her friend, “Y’all ready fer this?” Sapphire simply nodded and the two of them darted out of the doors, breaking them open and entering into a volley of laser fire. Somehow they dodged the blasts, causing Zeral to reveal himself. Applejack pushed Rarity into the hay, hiding her from view as the armored madman ran in front of the open barn doors. Zeral didn’t even notice it when the two of them dropped to the ground and ran out the back, running for all their worth towards Ponyville.
Tremor and Sapphire ran as quickly as they could away from the barn, yet both of them knew that even that wasn’t fast enough. The smiles on their faces showed both tears and happiness at the same time, and when Zeral’s scythe slid through them, the smiles never left disappearing only when the two of them exploded, the shock of the blasts sending Zeral backwards and to the ground. With a growl, he sat back up and turned to the beam of the Genesis Ark, finding it stalled in mid air.
Valkyrie pushed as hard as she could against the blast of power, her shield cracking all around yet somehow holding up against the incredible power of the cannon. She turned her head when she heard the voice of Twilight Sparkle, “Fluttershy!” the pony asked, and when Valkyrie looked to her, she noticed all of the differences, “You’re not Fluttershy!” she said, and they both heard the Blade as he called out to his friend, “TWILIGHT!” he shouted and waved his hoof on the air from his place near the Everfree Forest. Twilight took off towards them, landing within a single second, “Fluttershy!” she called out and wrapped the pony in a hug. “THE CANNON!” the Angel called out suddenly and Twilight turned just as the shield on the Valkyrie shattered, the beam engulfing the NanoPack entirely. “Valkyrie!” Fluttershy called out in tears and Twilight zoomed in underneath, allowing the six pieces of her wings detach before connecting themselves end to end in a circle. Twilight quickly reached into the circle and pointed the device up at the blast, all six of the barrels fired all at once, easily over powering the Ark Cannon, and pushing the beam into the barrel of the cannon. Her own blast pierced straight through the Ark itself, and with the power causing Twilight to trip backwards and cause the beam to slice clean through the empty sectors of the Ark.
Inside the Ark, a red light began blinking and the entire ship shook, right before the other six sectors split off of the ship and rocketed towards the vast reaches of space letting the two dead sectors and the core, explode in a bright flash of light.
Twilight let go of the trigger that allowed her beam to continue and stared in awe as the Ark exploded in space. Zeral also watched in awe as the sky lit up with the falling pieces of what he once called home. “No.” Twilight whispered to herself, “I killed them!”
“Twilight!” the Angel called out, just before she was forcefully retracted into her owner’s mane.
“Her power is growing!” Zeral growled, “Herrrrr! I should have destroyed her when I had the chance!”
“Twilight.” Riida whispered as she watched the sky. She turned towards the book left for her while she rested, and closed her eyes, using her magic to teleport herself to Ponyville.