The Dark Sky's Path (Part Three of Three): The Truth of the Orbs
There is only one true dark sky, but the one true Fluttershy is three in one…
The Dark Sky members immediately got out of the train and ran over to Derpy.
"DERPY!" they collectively yelled with concern as they looked down at her. "Are you okay?!"
"I feel funny…" Derpy replied. "And by that, I mean I have a strange feeling this is someone's unusual idea of a joke…"
"That's the smartest thing I've ever heard you say." Robot Alicorn Pinkie complimented as she turned back into a pony. "Discord is laughing his ass off as we speak…"
R.A.P. went over to Derpy, picked her up, and began breathing into her mouth, inflating her back to normal. Afterwards, the group began to mingle.
"So we can't even die unless they want us too…" Ghost Rainbow Dash said with a groan. "Now I don't feel so special…"
"There was something off about the way all of that happened…" Dumb-bell theorized.
"...Huh?" a confused R.A.P. said.
"No kidding," Hoops added to the theory, "we didn't even get to actually fight that robot alicorn. It's almost like she gave up before the battle even began..."
"Well to be fair," Derpy chimed in, "we did kill the machine alicorn from the restaurant pretty quickly."
"That was different though." G.R.D. countered. "I helped out majorly in that fight. Fights should always be going pretty quickly if I'm helping out!"
"Wait a second…" R.A.P. interjected. "Why are you guys squabbling about what just happened like you don't the reason why it happened? I thought you already knew the reason!"
"Hmm, what?" Dumb-bell asked.
"You already know that Rarity and Discord control everything in this reality!" R.A.P. exclaimed. "That's why all these abnormal things that can't happen very often are happening for the sake of your progress! They want you to succeed in collecting all of the orbs so that they can get the L.O.W. project going!"
"Yeah, we know that…" Hoops responded. "We're just wondering why Rarity set it all up that way."
"Yeah, Rarity could've made that last part more interesting!" G.R.D. asserted like a fourteen-year old boy forgetting to spell his name right for a joke on an internet forum for kids. "Like, instead of making Derpy that stretch guy from the Fantastic Four and having Robot Alicorn Applejack being all EMO (frickin' poetry, seriously?), why not have me possess R.A.P. and fuse with everyone to form a huge Vulcan bot? Then when Applejack sees me, she starts begging for mercy (but she's really not, because she's a totally evil dickdouche!), and I'm like "HA HA, DIE! BOOM!" I fire my laser cannon at her and she's dead! And then all the guys she had tied up naked in the basement will be all like "Oh, Ghost Rainbow Dash, you saved us! We love you and we wish you had a hot body so we could touch it! Oh God, please come inside of us and jerk us off!""
There was a long moment of silence as everyone looked at G.R.D. with a blank expression on their face.
"I...guess at the very least that could've been more intriguing…" Hoops remarked.
"..." Score silently analyzed and gave his review of what G. Rainbow Dash said.
"Excellent critique!" Derpy lauded. "I wish that I had those opinions!"
"A Vulcan bot is a bit trite though," Dumb-bell threw in his two cents. "I'd prefer us to merge together to form a Vegito bot from Dragon Ball Z!"
"Ew...I don't like Dragon Ball Z because it's anime..." G.R.D. gave a sincere opinion with a smiley. "And I don't like anime because it's so cheesy, stupid, and unkawaii."
As Dumb-bell lashed back at her angrily and immaturely with a respectful counterargument, R.A.P. began to fume as she walked away from the group quietly.
"Hey, where is she going?" Derpy asked. "She's going to miss Brony Fighting Time!"
"You mean Otaku Fighting Time," Hoops corrected, "Brony Fighting Time comes on Tuesdays and Thursdays."
"I'll go talk to her and see what's up." Derpy said as she walked a few steps over to R.A.P. and touched her right shoulder with her hoof. "Hey Rap, is something the mat-"
"STEP OFF!" R.A.P. shouted as she shoved Derpy's hoof away angrily. This moment of drama was enough to disrupt the epic battle of the animeniacs, as all the Dark Sky members glared at R.A.P. in surprise.
"IF YOU GUYS DON'T LIKE ME AND DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT I DO FOR YOU, THEN DON'T HANG OUT WITH ME!" she declared with rage in her voice.
With that, she took flight and began to fly away towards a mysterious metal blue castle.
"DAYUMAMN, what is her problem?" G.R.D. asked.
"We were hanging out?" Dumb-bell said as he gave himself a head knock in his puzzlement. "I thought we were providing filler while we waited for R.A.P. to take us to the next part of the story."
"YOU DON'T HAVE TO REMIND ME!" R.A.P. yelled, her voice becoming audible to the group from a distance.
R.A.P. pulled out a mysterious scroll from where she kept her garoting string and began to chant something inaudible as she held the scroll up to her. Once she had finished chanting, a part of the sky turned dark and a hole opened up in it over the Dark Sky members. One by one, it sucked each of them inside. When it finished sucking, another dark sky hole opened up in the sky above the entrance to the mysterious metal blue castle and blew them out. They fell fifty feet from the sky and landed on the ground huddled together. A bat pony guard, who had been scouting the area for intruders from atop a perch, spotted them and ran inside the castle frantically.
"Sir!" the bat pony guard exclaimed as he went over to a blue cyborg pony who was sitting on a throne and sipping grape alcohol from a glass that covered their mouth. "A dark hole just opened up in the sky, and those guys came out of it! They're right outside the front gates! What should we do sir?"
The blue cyborg pony grinned as she pulled the glass away from her mouth, revealing it to be the mouth of...Robot Alicorn Rainbow Dash.
"We do what I wish I was programmed to do..." Robot Alicorn Rainbow Dash replied with a tone of excitement. "Show them a good time, sergeant…"
"Do you want me to initiate the castle's Cannon Party mode?" the bat pony sergeant asked.
"Nah, let's go for something more subtle." R.A.R.D. replied. "How about the Mystery Machine Mansion mode?"
"...Sure thing, sir!" the bat pony sergeant gave an obedient response as he pulled a blue button switch out of his wing pockets and pressed it.
With the press of that button, the metal castle began to transform into a mechanically spooky mansion straight out of a science fiction/horror flick, right when the Dark Sky members, each exuding an aura of shadow, were recovering from the case of lazyitis they were afflicted with after the fall from the portal.
"Man, those shadow powers really allow you to take this kind of thing lying down…" Dumb-bell referred to both the lazyitis and the severe injuries they didn't have from the fifty-foot drop as he got up.
"Aw, you guys didn't even need classic cartoon character powers to survive…" G.R.D. moaned as she rose to her feet in the air. "Ghost powers don't allow me to take poor self-esteem issues lying down…"
"What are you moping about?" Derpy asked as she just laid there on her back. "I always have poor self-esteem issues, and I can take them lying face up."
Ghost R.D. gave a bemused look as she flew over to Derpy and whispered something softly in her ear…
"..." Score imitated the sound of a laugh track silently.
"Okaaayyy…" Hoops said as he pulled Derpy off the ground to her feet. "That's enough joking around. I think we've provided this story with enough comic relief. We should be getting back to our mission now, I don't want us to completely forget about the plot like last time."
"You're no fun…" G.R.D. grunted with her front leg arms crossed. "I hate being the leader sometimes…"
"Oh," replied Derpy, "you mean the time when we were in "Fluttershy's" "dream"?"
"No," said Hoops, "I mean last time."
"Oh…" Derpy replied. "Man, why are these terms such a mystery to me?"
"Speaking of mysteries…" Dumb-bell intervened. "I think we have another one besides the shadow paladin now…"
"Yeah, I smell a rat about that R.A.P…." Hoops threw in his cents. "I thought at first that she was just put here by Rarity as a guide to aid us on our quest, but now…"
"I can excuse her behavior being anything but normal," said G.R.D., "but she acts nothing like Pinkie Pie would if she got turned into a robot alicorn in a different reality created by Rarity!"
"And let's not forget that she yelled a lot and had a scroll!" Derpy added.
There was a pause...and then Hoops thought over that bit of information.
"Wait…" he said as he came to a conclusion. "I think I've got it now! Derpy, you're as incredible as they say!"
"Aw, thank-wait." Derpy responded. "Who's they?! They better not be someone who thinks I'm stupid!"
"I give up…" a voice came from behind the mansion's new front door as somebody from inside opened it up. "Are you guys ever going to come inside?"
Surprised and curious, the Dark Sky members looked inside the castle and saw the shadow paladin on his horse, but not armed with his spear.
"Woah…" they said. "What are you doing here?"
"Who knows?" the shadow paladin replied as a familiar gray ball formed in his empty right hand. "Like you implied, I'm a mystery. The bigger mystery than me though is why you left this behind…"
"Oh yeah…" the Dark Sky members felt silly as they recognized the gray ball as the orb they got from R.A.A.. "We keep forgetting that those things exist. After all, the main reason we came here was to stop Fluttershy from collecting the orbs and learning the horrible truth…"
"And what is your main reason for being in this world now?" the shadow paladin asked as he began smiling, tossing the gray ball in the air and catching it for fun. "You've already rid this realm of two of its heathens, so I'm assuming that you've resolved to become warriors of Fluttershy…"
"Not quite…" the group replied. "Before we make a decision like that, we want to know more about you. Who exactly are you? You trusted us enough to give us your power and even told us your backstory, but you've still never shown us your face…"
"Precisely," the paladin replied. "But I assure you, it has nothing to do with distrust. My face is known to none who live, not even to my lord, Fluttershy."
"?!" the group went as the shadow paladin began to utter another...poem?
There was a friendly, but naive king
Who wed a very nasty queen
The king was loved, but…
The queen was feared.
Then one day, while he was strolling through his court
An arrow pierced the poor king's heart
He lost his life, and…
His lady love.
"Did you…" Derpy said. "Did you just speak a song as a poem?"
"Yes." the shadow paladin replied.
"You can't do that!" Derpy exclaimed. "Not only is it not even your song, you can't speak a song, that's like trying to sing a poem!"
"Ha ha, I love you guys." the shadow paladin said as he handed the orb over to Hoops. "Take good care of the orb. I know that with your strength and the clue I've given to you, you'll have no trouble defeating Robot Alicorn Rainbow Dash. Till we meet once again…"
"Wait, what are these orbs really for?" Hoops asked, just as the shadow paladin turned to flashing light and disappeared. "And...of course, he's gone."
"No shit, Sherlock." G.R.D. taunted. "He disappeared."
"Rarity (for now) help me…" Hoops said as he put his front hooves on his face. "Alright, how do you think we should traverse this castle to get to R.A.R.D., Leader?"
"It's simple," G.R.D. replied respectfully to her subordinate. "This is a mystery mansion, right? All we have to do to is stay together as a gang and look for clues that will help us solve this mansion's mystery!"
"But what is the mystery?" Dumb-bell asked.
"It's right over there." G.R.D. explained as she pointed to a puzzle. "There's two button switches over there on that wall below an emblem painting. The emblem painting depicts a shadow dressed in the armor of a king on the left side, striking a familiar changeling queen named Chrysalis over the head with a strange jar on the right. Both the switches and the emblem painting are above a staircase decorated with a green and brown carpet-"
"Uh, Rainbow Dash…" Hoops interjected. "You do realize we can see all that with our own eyes, right? You don't have to do our jobs for us…"
"Hey, don't look at me." G.R.D. replied defensively. "It's not my fault that SOMEONE got lazy…"
The group went up the staircase GHOST RAINBOW DASH was talking about. Upon closer examination of the wall, they found a note that SHE forgot to mention below the painting and taped to the wall. Score tore the note off the wall and read it out loud with silence…
The Right Switch
Welcome, strangers. You've done well to make it this far, to the painting of Chrysalis
The way to the robot alicorn will open if you press the right switch
The right switch will bring you fortune, but…
The wrong switch will bring you doom.
The clue to find the right switch is in the song, find what you must sing
Turn it into a poem, find what doesn't ring
Don't lose your hope, and…
Don't lose your lives
Out of curiosity, Score looked at the back of the note and found the song the shadow paladin uttered earlier written on it…
"What kind of poem was that?" Derpy complained. "The only words in it that truly rhymed were "sing" and "ring"!"
"Derpy!" Hoops exclaimed. "Not everything has to be a po- Wait...it mentioned a poem...what doesn't ring...and that song from earlier...could it mean what didn't rhyme?"
"But that can't be, nothing in that song actually rhymed!" Dumb-bell reminded them. "What, are they trying to tell us that king rhymes with queen, or something?"
"Wait, king...queen…" Hoops muttered as he came to a realization. "The painting! It's the left switch!"
"Oh yeah!" G.R.D. exclaimed as she came to a similar realization. "Because Queen Chrysalis is dead, all that's left is the king! And the king's on the left side of the painting! Good job, Hoops! Your guess helped me figure out the solution! Score, pull the left switch!"
"Actually, the way we were supposed to know was…" Hoops was cut off by Score pushing the left switch, which activated a resounding mechanism in the castle.
Meanwhile, on the top floor…
The bat pony sergeant was standing guard while R.A.R.D. was sitting on her throne, wondering what was taking the Dark Sky members so long.
"Man, what is taking those guys so long?" she pondered. "Either they came down with slacker disease, or that puzzle that new light dark knight recruit came up with was too hard for them…"
But the floor revealed that R.A.R.D. was wrong, for in it, a large hole was created right beneath her throne!
"Woah!" R.A.R.D. yelled as she jumped and flew up, watching her throne fall to the bottom floor through the hole. "I guess I got a third of that wrong...But hey, I finally get to fight-"
R.A.R.D. was interrupted as a spear shot up from out of a small hole in the bottom floor at lightning speed, piercing her through her left robot lung and impaling the wall behind her.
"GWAH!" she cried as she fell to the floor in pain.
"SIR!" the bat pony sergeant shouted as he immediately went over to the wounded cyborg.
"How did…" R.A.R.D. muttered, clutching her wound. "How did that hurt me? No ordinary spear can pierce my robot armor! Wait a minute, that light dark knight always carried a spear...could he have..."
Back on the bottom floor, the Dark Sky members saw what had happened there, and had overheard the commotion on the top floor, so they flew up there to see what had happened.
"Woah, so that's what happened here…" they said after a quick investigation of the scene.
"YOU!" the bat pony sergeant yelled. "You injured my master before her fight with you even began! How callous and cheap can you get?!"
"Wait, she actually wanted to fight us?" they asked. "Is she like Robot Alicorn Twilight, where she tried to rebel against Rarity and Disc Horde's plan?
"Fools…" R.A.R.D. said. "That was just an act...We all know everything about what Rarity and Discord are trying to do...they're just using us as a way to use you to revive the power of the orbs…"
"Fine by us, whatever that means." the Dark Sky replied nonchalantly. "Reviving the power of the orbs sounds like a good cause."
"Oh, you guys…" R.A.R.D. laughed as she tried to get up and stand. "I'm going to enjoy seeing how Rarity and Discord have planned for you to kill me…"
"S-sir!" the bat pony sergeant grabbed R.A.R.D. as she stumbled while trying to stand. "Right now, you're in no condition to fight!"
"Then you're going to get me in condition to fight…" R.A.R.D. said with a sneer as her horn began to glow. "It's time for us to merge…"
"But I'm not a cyborg like you!" the bat pony sergeant cried. "If we do that, I'll become lifeless metal! Please...NNNOOOO!"
R.A.R.D. cast a spell on the bat pony sergeant that caused him and her to fuse together, forming...a Scott Pilgrim bot from Scott Pilgrim.
"MWA HA HA!" the Robot Alicorn Rainbow Dash Scott Pilgrim bot cackled. "WHAT DO YOU THINK OF ME NOW?!"
"I think you're a disappointment, to be honest." Dumb-bell gave his honest opinion. "I wanted something out of an anime! Or at least a manga! Hell, even something from a video game would've been fine…"
"SHUT UP!" R.A.R.D. Scott Pilgrim bot bellowed. "I feel so powerful right now, I could take on the whole world! But I think I'm going to start small with you guys! Take this!"
The Scott Pilgrim bot retracted his right hand to open up a hole in his arm, releasing a sleeping gas cloud wearing boxing gloves. The sleeping gas cloud flew over to Dumb-bell and tried to knock him out like Mr. Dream from Punch-Out! would, but a shadowy aura exuding from Dumb-bell's body repelled him, causing him to dissipate. There were a few moments of silence as R.A.R.D. held a look of embarrassment on her face…
"Maybe I should have read Scott Pilgrim…" R.A.R.D. muttered in regret.
"You think?!" Hoops replied as he and Score had taken R.A.R.D.'s Scott Pilgrim bot back in her moments of silence, and both of them grabbed her arms. "Let's show them how it's done guys!"
Dumb-bell, Ghost Rainbow Dash, and Derpy then turned to shadow aura-exuding mist, and fused together to form...a shadow mist dragon from...Yu-Gi-Oh!, I guess (G.R.D. doesn't know that there's an anime of it)!
"For killing your own soldier, butchering the source material of a comic, and everything else…" the shadow mist dragon spoke as it charged up a fiery breath attack. "YOU SHALL BE PUNISHED WITH OUR WRATH!"
In desperation, R.A.R.D. tried to counterattack by pulling a pistol-like magnum out of herself and firing at the condensed burning shadow water, but it proved futile.
"AAAAAHHHHH!" R.A.R.D. Scott Pilgrim bot screamed as she was hit by the shadow mist breath and reduced to watery, dark pieces forming a pile of ash with an orb sitting on top of it. The orb, like the other two, had a strange lock on it, and also had black, orange, and gray colors in it.
"We did it!" shouted Hoops and Score as the other three Dark Sky members turned back to normal. "Now all that's left to accomplish our mission is to find Fluttershy!"
"Not so fast…" a voice from the shadows that just appeared in the throne room said. "Your mission is already complete…"
"Huh?" the Dark Sky members responded. "Wait a minute, that voice...Robot Alicorn Pinkie?"
"No…" the voice laughed as its bearer stepped out of the shadows. It was R.A.P…..holding a scroll and doing a reality bending spell to transform into Rarity in her ninja outfit!
"I knew it since before we stepped into this mansion…" Hoops said. "You were Rarity all along…"
"Partially correct…" Rarity replied. "I am actually an exact clone of Rarity made from a human being with Body Mind Soul summoning. Transformed into Rarity's body, mind, and soul, I share all of her physical features, thoughts, and inner feelings. When the real Rarity revived R.A.P., she fused her into my being with Body Mind Soul summoning, so that I can transform into her with a reality bending spell any time I want with this scroll."
"But why did she do that?" Derpy asked.
"Rarity became R.A.P. partly to help you, and partly to become closer to you guys…" Rarity explained. "But we all know how WELL that turned out...grr…"
"What about Fluttershy?" G.R.D. asked. "Celestia told us she came here with the Interdimensional Police Department…"
"That was a lie," said Rarity with a chuckle. "Fluttershy and the IDPD went to the World of Creation. The Rarity that is with them is also an exact copy of Rarity that was created from a human being with BMS summoning, but fused with Robot Alicorn Rarity. She's gotten herself in trouble with a crazy shadow bard though, so I was just on my way to give her some help. I'm not going to leave everything to that energy drink addict..."
"But why did Celestia lie?" Dumb-bell kept up the questioning.
"She found out what Discord and I were up to…" Rarity explained. "So she tried to use you three to steal three of the orbs for herself behind our backs. Unfortunately, Discord found out what she was up to in turn, and put locks on all of this world's orbs behind her back. Ha! Oh, if only she knew how powerful him and I really are…Speaking of Discord and I, we wish to ask you five of another favor concerning Celestia…"
"..." Score asked curiously.
"Huh?" Rarity responded. "Sorry, I couldn't quite make that out."
"I think what he meant was this…" Hoops intervened. "We'd be glad to do this favor of yours, but first, can you please tell us more about the orbs? Celestia told us that if Fluttershy and the IDPD got all six of them, they would be shown the way to their heart's desire, finding Chrysalis' killer. She promised us that if she got them, she would use the magic inside of them for her own personal reasons, preventing Fluttershy from ever learning who murdered Chrysalis and learning the horrible truth."
"Oh yeah, about the "way to the heart's desire"..." replied Rarity, "I made all that up. Everyone was in on that lie except for you guys, Fluttershy, and of course, Sky. It was exactly like the time I made up that stuff I told you guys to tell Sky back in the REAL World of Creation. But that's not important for now...what's important is that you guys know what those orbs are for. They are by far the most crucial part of the L.O.W. project's success, for they open the gateway...to the last remaining copy of...the trueFluttershy's soul."
"...Woah." the Dark Sky members said.
"I believe it's time we got out of this place…" Rarity said as she grabbed the orb that was lying on the ground and pulled a scroll out of her outfit. "When we come back, I'll tell you exactly what needs to be done...members of the Dark Sky."
After Rarity chanted a spell, the mission finally ended.
Enigmatic Words from the Cloud Dragon of the Mist
Congrats reader, you know what happened to The Dark Sky at the start of their path towards being the world's hope in the World of Evolution. But what have Fluttershy and her friends been doing in the World of Creation? Do you know? If not, you may wish to know for who knows the secrets of a brightly lit sky's stars at night…