Mind Games

A difficult choice

Presently, along the streets of Canterlot at night.

“It’s about time we got here, that train ride took forever!” Rainbow Dash spoke aloud, as she flew above her friends.

“At least it didn’t take too terribly wrong, from the looks of things, everything still seems to be alright in Canterlot.” Twilight replied.

The trio continued to make their way through the fancy streets, until they finally came upon the Royal Palace gates.

“Here we are. Beyond these gates, Chrysalis lies in wait, somewhere inside.” Twilight spoke.

“Alright! Let’s get going then!” Rainbow Dash said aloud, preparing to bust through the gates.

“Hey, uh…does anypony notice something?” Spike asked.

“Notice what?” Rainbow Dash responded, stopping herself mid-charge.

“Where are all of Celestia’s and Luna’s guards?” Spike asked.

The trio looked around the grounds outside the gates, and above along the walls, but there indeed wasn’t a guard in sight.

“You’re right Spike. I haven’t seen a single royal Canterlot guard since we arrived. And even though Chrysalis has taken over, I haven’t seen a single changeling either.” Twilight replied.

“So, what is that supposed to mean?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“I’m not sure, but we better hurry.” Twilight responded.

The trio then made their way through the gates, and inside the Royal Palace.

Inside the palace walls, the Princess’ continued their search for both Queen Chrysalis, and her captor, Trixie.

The two sisters met up with each other once more in one of the hallways, hopeful that the other found one of the ponies.

“Any luck Luna?” Celestia asked her sister.

“Nay. We were unable to find neither her majesty, nor the whelp that doth took her.” Luna responded.

“This isn’t good. We’ve searched almost the entire palace. Where could they have gone?” Celestia asked.

As the two sisters pondered further, they started to hear the sound of hoof beats approaching. They turned to face down the hallway the sounds were approaching from, until eventually a pony came into view at the end of the hall. The pony they saw was one that Princess Luna recognized quite well, as it was the same Pegasus that she had just banished to the cells beneath the palace.

“YOU! We thought we banished thou to the depths of the cells below! How did thee escape!?” Luna yelled at the Pegasus in her Equestrian voice.

However, before the Princess’ had a chance to get an answer, the Pegasus quickly turned around, and ran back down the hallway he came from.

“Halt! Thou shall not escape us again!” Luna yelled at the pony, as she chased after him.

“Luna!” Celestia called after her sister, holding out a hoof, as if to stop her.

After reaching the end of the hallway that the Pegasus had just occupied, Luna looked down the other hallway, and saw a flash of green around the next corner. Luna gathered her magic about her, before teleporting to the end of the next hallway, and releasing her magic upon reappearing.

Around the same time; Twilight, Spike, and Rainbow Dash continued to make their way through the halls of the palace, looking for the love poison.

After checking a few rooms each along the way, the trio met up at one of the hallway intersections.

“Any sign of it yet?” Twilight asked her friends.

“Nope.” Rainbow Dash and Spike said in unison.

“I wonder where it could be? We still have about half of the palace to go, and I still find it strange that there are no guards around.” Twilight spoke.

“No clue, but we have to keep looking.” Rainbow Dash replied.

The trio continued down another hallway, leading into one that split left and right.

“Okay, you two go…” Twilight began to say, until something on her right caused her to stop.

Quickly glancing over her shoulder, Twilight could see what looked like a giant beam of dark blue magic heading straight for her. Before Twilight could speak again, Rainbow Dash reacted to the situation, and pushed Twilight and Spike into a dark room along the wall in front of them. She closed the door just in time, as the beam of magic passed outside.

“What was that!?” Spike asked aloud.

“It looked like a beam of magic, and judging by the color, I’d say it came from Princess Luna!” Twilight spoke.

Twilight ran towards the door, opened it, and was about to stick her head out to call to Princess Luna, when Spike and Rainbow Dash pulled her back in.

“What are you two doing? We need to let the Princesses know about the love poison.” Twilight told her friends.

“Remember what Rainbow Dash said? When Chrysalis took over, the Princesses stepped down and let her rule. That probably means that she was able to control the Princesses as well.” Spike explained.

“Don’t be ridiculous Spike. The Princesses could never be overpowered by Chrysalis, not if they’re together. They must just be playing along, waiting for the right opportunity to stop Chrysalis.” Twilight replied.

“I don’t know. If that was the case, don’t you think they would have done that by now?’ Spike asked.

“I hate to say it, but I’m with Spike on this one Twilight. I mean, remember back during the wedding, when Chrysalis took down Princess Celestia? Luna was nowhere around, and Princess Celestia was out of commission until Princess Cadence and Shining Armor stepped in. If she took on the Princesses one at a time, then maybe she really did control them both?” Rainbow Dash added.

“But still, I…” Twilight started to speak, until Spike cut her off.

“Shh! Listen, do you hear that?” Spike told the ponies.

The three of them listened carefully, until they could hear what Spike was referring to. On the other side of the room, they could hear the muffled sounds of somepony trying to speak.

“Who’s there?” Twilight asked aloud, as she made her way towards the sound, lighting a little bit of the dark room with her magic.

“Where are we anyway?” Rainbow Dash asked, walking along with her friends.

“Looks like the dining hall. Good thing too, I haven’t eaten anything since the train ride from Rainbow Falls.” Spike replied, rubbing his belly.

As the trio grew closer to the pony, an outline came into view. Upon getting even closer, Twilight’s light finally revealed Soarin, his hooves tied together, with an apple jammed in his mouth.

“Soarin!?” The trio spoke in unison.

Twilight used her magic to pull the apple out of Soarin’s mouth, giving the stallion a chance to speak again.

“Thanks. I’m glad somepony finally found me. I thought I’d be trapped in here all night, and just when I got out of that dungeon.” Soarin told the group.

After the Unicorn used her magic to set Soarin’s legs free, he was finally able to stand up again, giving his wings a stretch as well. As his eyes began to adjust to the light from the Unicorn’s horn, he soon recognized his saviors.

“Whoa! You two!? I thought that Zebra took you two away?” Soarin told the Unicorn and the small dragon.

“So you remember them Soarin?” Rainbow Dash asked the Wonderbolt.

“Rainbow Dash?” Soarin spoke to the Wonderbolt. “What are you doing here? Why are you with them? Did they capture you or something?”

“What? No. They didn’t capture me, they’re my friends. Duh. What are YOU doing here?” Rainbow Dash responded.

“Friends? So, you befriended them? I thought they caused the flood in Ponyville?” Soarin replied.

“What!? They wouldn’t cause a flood in Ponyville. What gave you that idea?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Soarin found himself having a hard time trying to wrap his head around what was going on, until he came to a conclusion that made him laugh.

“Ha ha ha! Ah, good one Rainbow Dash. You really had me going there for a minute.” Soarin told Rainbow Dash.

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Oh, you and your sense of humor. You’re obviously just pretending to be their friend, and turning them in to the Queen herself. Good plan.” Soarin spoke.

“I’m not turning them in. They’re my friends. I would never do something like that to them.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Wait, are you serious?” Soarin asked.

“Look, we don’t have time for this Soarin. There’s a love poison hidden somewhere in the palace, and if Chrysalis drinks it, then all of Canterlot could be in danger. Plus, we need to try and stop Chrysalis ourselves, she’s taken over Equestria!” Twilight told Soarin.

“Poison? Taken over Equestria? What are you talking about?” Soarin asked the Unicorn.

“Yes, tell us.” A voice spoke from behind the group of ponies.

Turing around to the voice, all of the ponies stared into the darkness, but couldn’t see anyone. Suddenly, two teal eyes appeared, and the form of Princess Luna began to emerge from the shadows themselves.

“Princess Luna!” All of the ponies spoke at the same time.

“Our patience is growing thin. All of thou hath three minutes to tell us; WHO thou are, and WHAT thou art doing here.” Princess Luna told the group of ponies, an annoyed and angry tone to her voice.

“Princess Luna please! There’s been a HUGE misunderstanding, and…” Twilight began to tell the Princess, until Soarin cut her off.

“Princess Luna! These two caused a flood that tore through Ponyville! I think they escaped from the Zebra that captured them. As for me Princess, I already explained that Captain Spitfire sent me here to be evaluated by the Queen to become a Wonderbolt. I wouldn’t lie to you.” Soarin told the Princess.

“We would believe thine story, if we doth not find it so humorous and preposterous.” Princess Luna responded. “Besides, even if we could ask her majesty, we cannot locate her at the moment. However, we believe that thine lot hath something to do with her capture. Thou and Lulamoon.”

“What!? Chrysalis isn’t here!? Then, what about the love poison? She didn’t drink it already, did she? We need to stop her Princess Luna! She’s taken over Equestria, and has everypony under her mind control!” Twilight told Princess Luna.

“Thou hath two minutes remaining.” Princess Luna responded, unmoved by the Unicorn’s story.

“This isn’t looking good.” Spike spoke.

“Please Princess! I swear that I didn’t have anything to do with the Queen’s disappearance, and I don’t know anything about a love poison, or whatever they’re talking about!” Soarin pleaded.

“Princess Luna please stop! We need to get to the bottom of all this. Where is Princess Celestia? Maybe she can help?” Twilight told Princess Luna.

“Thou hath one minute remaining.” Princess Luna spoke. “We suggest that thou start speaking the truth.”

“What about all of our friends!? Are you just going to let Chrysalis have her way with them!? There’s no way I’m going to let anypony hurt our friends, even if they are royalty!” Rainbow Dash told the Princess.

“Twilight. If Chrysalis isn’t here, then we don’t have much to go on. And if we don’t know where the love poison is, then we’re even more lost. We should probably get out of here.” Spike told Twilight.

“Thine time is almost finished.” Princess Luna told the group.

“Please Princess Luna, I’m telling you I had nothing to do with anything!” Soarin pleaded once more.

Frustrated that she wasn’t going to get anything from the ponies; Luna began to gather her magic once more, and levitated herself up into the air, her eyes beginning to glow white.

Twilight chattered her teeth nervously, unsure of what she could do to resolve the issue at hoof.

Spike held on tightly to Twilight, scared out of his scales.

Rainbow Dash started dragging her hooves across the ground, ready for a fight.

Soarin continued to cower, backing into a corner.

“Thine time is up! For refusing to answer our questions, and for the endangerment of our Queen and our wondrous night; we hereby banish thee to the great prison of…!” Princess Luna began to tell the group in her Equestrian voice, until something cut her off.

“STOP RIGHT THERE YOU BIG MEANIE PRINCESS!!!” A loud, yet quiet voice yelled from outside the nearby windows.

Everypony in the room turned to see Fluttershy flapping in the air outside the room.

“Fluttershy!” Everypony except Princess Luna called out.

Fluttershy then made her way in through one of the open windows, and flew straight up to Princess Luna, meeting her eye to eye.

“Now you listen here! If you so much as harm one hair, or one scale on their little heads, then I’ll give you a talking to so bad, that you’ll wish you had stayed in your comfy little bed!” Fluttershy quietly yelled to the Princess, catching her off guard.

Seeing the opportunity of the Princess being distracted by Fluttershy, Spike pulled on Twilight’s tail, trying to get her attention.

“Twilight, we should probably use this chance to get out of here.” Spike told Twilight.

“What!?” Twilight replied, a surprised look in her eyes.

“Yeah, what about Fluttershy!? We can’t just leave her here!” Rainbow Dash added.

“If we don’t get out of here now, then who knows where Princess Luna will send us? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not get front row tickets to the moon.” Spike answered.

As the group argued about what to do, Fluttershy started to lecture the Princess, whom was still brimming with her magic abound, equally as angry.

“Thou wish to defy thine Princess!? Thou art the highest of fools!” Princess Luna replied to Fluttershy, before she started yelling again.

“How are we sure that’s even where she’d send us? We should just…” Rainbow Dash began to responded, before Twilight cut her off.

“No, Spike’s right. Fluttershy came here to give us a chance to get out of here, so that we could try and figure out what’s going on. As much as it pains me to leave her here too, we need to go.” Twilight replied, looking back at Fluttershy sadly.

“What!? Are you kidding me Twilight!?” Rainbow Dash spoke.

“I know Rainbow, and normally I’d more than agree with you, but with the way Equestria and everypony is right now, we need to be more careful with how we handle things. We can’t very well help everypony if we’re banished to the moon, and we’ll need the rest of our friend’s help if we want to fix all this.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

Not wanting to be un-loyal to her friends, but knowing that Twilight was right, Rainbow Dash was torn between herself, unsure of what to do.

“There’s a big enough bush outside this window. We should be safe if we jump down to it!” Spike told the two ponies.

“Please Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy will be fine the way she is right now. I know it seems hard, but she’d want us to be safe.” Twilight pleaded.

Rainbow Dash brought her hooves to her head, unable to decide.

“It’s now or never!” Spike spoke, before jumping out the window to the bush below.

Rainbow Dash looked back and forth between Twilight and Fluttershy, shaking her head.

“I…I can’t…!” Rainbow Dash yelled, closing her eyes.

Twilight looked out the window to Spike waving below, then back to Rainbow Dash, still holding her head. Twilight then jumped up and grabbed Rainbow Dash by the tail with her mouth, before using her magic to teleport both of them outside to Spike.

“Hey! What!?” Rainbow Dash spoke, before she was teleported.

Soarin had been watching the ponies and dragon argue, as well as the Princess and Fluttershy the entire time, but couldn’t find the strength to move until he saw the two ponies disappear in a flash of magic.

“Hey!” Soarin called out, as he finally stood up from his corner and flew towards the window. “Wait for me!”

Between her being lectured by the Pegasus mare, and realizing that the other ponies had escaped; Princess Luna released her magic in a fit of rage, causing a shockwave that sealed all of the windows shut, just before the Pegasus stallion could escape as well.

“ENOUGH!” Princess Luna yelled, as she released her magic.

Soarin banged on the now closed window, looking down to the ponies below.

“Hey! What about me!? Don’t leave me here Rainbow Dash!” Soarin called through the glass, but to no avail.

Feeling the surge of her sister’s magic, Princess Celestia quickly made her way towards her sister, following her magical trail. When she reached the door leading to the dining room, she found that she couldn’t open it with her basic magical use. Celestia then gathered her own magic, and teleported herself inside, where she found her sister confronting Fluttershy, and noticed the other Pegasus looking out a window.

“Sister! What is going on!?” Celestia called to her sister.

“THESE WHELPS SHALL NOT FOOL US AGAIN!” Luna yelled in her Equestrian voice, her eyes still angry and glowing white.

“Oh no you don’t! You’re not going after my friends!” Fluttershy yelled at Princess Luna, putting her face against Luna’s.

In a fit of anger, and before Celestia could intervene; Luna teleported both Fluttershy, and herself away, leaving Celestia alone with the other Pegasus.

The two reappeared in a bright white and barren wasteland. They then separated from each other, flapping their wings to keep themselves in the air, but found it surprisingly easier to do so now.

“We doth not recognize this place, but it seems like a fitting location to banish one such as thou!” Luna told the Pegasus, as she looked around.

“You really think a place like this could hold me!? I’d like to see you try Princess Moonbutt!” Fluttershy yelled in response.

“Insolent whelp! May this land of solitude be thine prison for all eternity! ‘THE PRINCESS OF THE NIGHT HATH SPOKEN!’” Luna announced, before gathering her magic to teleport once more.

“Oh no you don’t!” Fluttershy yelled, charging at the Princess.

Fluttershy almost managed to reach the Princess, before she disappeared in a flash of her own magic, and Fluttershy found herself alone in strange place. She looked around, trying to find anypony else, or anything that could help her find where she was. However, she found nothing, nothing except a small blue sphere up in the black sky.

Meanwhile, just after Luna had disappeared with the Pegasus mare; Celestia approached the Pegasus stallion still in the room.

She looked down upon the stallion, whom still hadn’t noticed her. He was still staring out the window, tears forming in his eyes.

“Hmm?” Celestia tried to get the stallion’s attention.

“She left…she actually left me…after all we’ve been through…” The Pegasus spoke.

“I guess she didn’t view you as much of a friend.” Celestia spoke softly to the Pegasus, a sad look on her face.

“She left…she left me here…” The Pegasus repeated again.

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