Mind Games

Being loyal to your friends

Inside Zecora’s hut, deep in the Everfree forest.

After flying for what seemed like forever, Rainbow Dash finally arrived at the zebra’s hut. She slowly trotted through the door, and collapsed on the floor once she got inside.

“Please set them down there, for this brew I must prepare.” Zecora told Rainbow Dash and Apple Bloom, as she walked over to her cauldron.

“Sure thing Zecora.” Apple Bloom replied, laying Spike down next to Twilight.

After a few minutes, Zecora moved away from her cauldron, holding a small cup in her hoof filled with a powdery substance. She walked up to the sleeping Twilight and Spike, and blew the powder in their faces. After a few seconds, Twilight and Spike began to regain consciousness, as they started to look around the room.

“Where…where are we?” Spike asked, rubbing his eyes.

“I think we’re in…Zecora’s hut.” Twilight responded, still trying to open her eyes all the way.

“It is good to see that you are both alright. Though I’m sure my actions caused you quite the fright.” Zecora told Twilight and Spike.

“So, you really know these two Zecora?” Apple Bloom asked Zecora.

“Indeed I do. Are they really still unknown to you?” Zecora replied.

Apple Bloom stared at Twilight and Spike for a minute, squinting her eyes to try and concentrate.

“No, ah can’t say that Ah remember them.” Apple Bloom told Zecora.

“Something about them seems familiar to me. Is that pretty close?” Rainbow Dash asked Zecora.

“Yes it is my pony friend. Much time with these two you did spend.” Zecora replied.

Rainbow Dash looked over at the Unicorn and dragon, whom had finally woken up all the way, and had noticed her staring. She tried to see if she remembered them, but like Apple Bloom, nothing came to mind.

“You don’t remember us either do you Rainbow Dash?” The Unicorn asked her.

“No, I can’t say that I do, but I feel like I might remember you from somewhere.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Now then Twilight, allow me to instill, what has happened since you two left Ponyville.” Zecora told Twilight.

Twilight’s focus immediately snapped to Zecora, as she turned to give her full attention.

“Yes please Zecora! Why is it that everypony seems to have forgotten us? Why is Discord free again? And what’s this about Queen Chrysalis being ruler of Equestria for seven years!?” Twilight asked one after another.

“Calm yourself dear Twilight, you mustn’t let your mind take flight.” Zecora told Twilight, holding up her hooves to calm her.

“Okay then.” Twilight replied, as she thought about what she wanted to know first. “Tell me the first thing you remember happening a week ago.”

“Very well, I shall begin, the tale of how in this mess I was wrapped in.” Zecora started to tell.

Not long after you two departed, was when the strange things had started.

First came the comet, which I watched from a summit.

As it passed across the sky, a peculiar green glow caught my eye.

Soon thereafter, my vision turned black, and I awoke to the yelling of Apple Jack.

On her farm I had been found, with apples scattered across the ground.

To her, I was some kind of thief, much to my own disbelief.

I tried to tell her that I was a friend, but she just wouldn’t comprehend.

Instead, I ran back to my hut, passing somepony with an amulet.

She told me in a peculiar way, that in Ponyville I shouldn’t stay.

Once I returned to my room, I discovered little Apple Bloom.

She seemed lost like every other, asking me if I was her mother.

I couldn’t convince her otherwise, so I said yes, and used it as a disguise.

I then spent the next two days in bed, due to the pain I had in my head.

It was then I learned of your return, and knew I must tell you of what I did learn.

I spent my day making a powder for sleep. In case you wouldn’t willingly come to my keep.

That is all I remember up till now. At least as far as my know-how.

Zecora finished, sipping on some tea that she had brewed for everyone as she told her story.

“Well that explains what happened to you, but what about everypony else then? How come neither Apple Bloom nor I remember who we are yet? Are ya sure that we’re not the ones who are normal, and maybe you just forgot who you are?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“But then how do you explain how Spike and I know you Rainbow Dash? According to you, we’ve never been here before, but I can name everypony and every place in Ponyville.” Twilight responded.

“I don’t know. Maybe whatever affected her memory gave you some kind of superpower to read ponies thoughts. That would be so cool!” Rainbow Dash said with a gasp.

“Don’t be silly Rainbow Dash. Superpowers only exist in comic books like the ones Spike reads.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“Hey don’t knock’em till ya try’em. Some of those superpowers really are pretty cool!” Spike replied.

“Whatever, let’s just get back on track here. So Zecora, you said that after the comet arrived, you saw a green glow, and then didn’t remember anything till you woke up on Apple Jack’s farm. Correct?” Twilight asked.

“As the sky is blue, this is true.” Zecora replied.

“Okay, so perhaps it was some kind of memory spell that affected you, and every other pony. I’m not sure though how Chrysalis ties into all this though. When she took control of my brother, it was only when she was close by, and after she had zapped enough love out of him. For her to do the same thing to everypony in Ponyville, and without getting caught, it just doesn’t make sense.” Twilight spoke.

“Okay, so what if it was some kind of memory spell? Big whoop. If that’s the case, then how do you explain all the other ponies from across Equestria that were all at the Friendship council the other day?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Friendship council? What in Celestia is that?” Twilight asked.

“Only the best thing to happen to Equestria EVER! Everypony from around Equestria gathers in Canterlot, so that we can all join in the friendship of being together. Queen Chrysalis started it years ago, and we’ve be going to it every month since.” Rainbow Dash told Twilight.

“Every month since? Rainbow Dash, the Princesses have been the rulers of Equestria for centuries. Chrysalis only tried to take over Canterlot once, and failed. THAT was a while ago.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“Well, they might have been the rulers before, but they stepped down seven years ago, to hand the throne over to Queen Chrysalis.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“Now THAT’S ridiculous. The Princesses would never hand the rule over to somepony like Chrysalis. She’s evil!” Twilight replied.

“Hey! Watch what you’re saying about my Queen!” Rainbow Dash responded, getting in Twilight’s face.

“Will you two knock it off!? You’re supposed to be friends, stop fighting amongst each other.” Spike told the two of them, pushing them apart.

“You’re right, I’m sorry Rainbow Dash, but we should still try to figure out what’s going on here.” Twilight replied.

“Eh, fine. Just watch it okay.” Rainbow Dash told Twilight.

“Deal, but where do we go from here? I’m still so confused.” Twilight spoke.

“Well, what about how Rainbow Dash seemed to find us familiar? That’s gotta mean something right?” Spike spoke.

“I suppose, but it’s probably because we’re one of her closest friends. She probably just naturally feels connected to us, even if she can’t remember us.” Twilight told Spike.

“I agree, but we must still find a way to set her mind free.” Zecora spoke.

“Hmm, do you remember any of our friends Rainbow Dash?” Twilight asked.

“Well, I don’t know about any friends that you and I supposedly had, but my friends are the Wonderbolts.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“I’ve been wondering about that too. At first I thought maybe you had passed initiation, or that you were just practicing in the uniform, but given Zecora’s story, I think you actually believe you’re a Wonderbolt.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“Hey! What did I tell you about watching what you say!? I’ve been a Wonderbolt for years! I work directly under Captain Spitfire, and I’ve been training Scootaloo to be a future Wonderbolt too!” Rainbow Dash replied, a slight anger in her voice.

“Scootaloo? A Wonderbolt? She can’t even fly yet. And what about Soarin? Isn’t he a Wonderbolt too?” Twilight asked.

“I’ve been helping to teach Scootaloo to fly for a while now, it’s just…taking a lot longer than I thought it would. As for Soarin, he’s still not ready to be a Wonderbolt yet, at least according to Captain Spitfire.” Rainbow Dash told Twilight.

“Soarin’s not a Wonderbolt!? Now I KNOW that there’s something more going on than just a simple memory spell. If Chrysalis really is behind all this, then she’s not only managed to fool everypony, but she’s also found a way to plant false memories into everypony as well.” Twilight spoke.

“So you really don’t remember Apple Jack, Fluttershy, Rarity, or Pinkie Pie either?” Spike asked Rainbow Dash.

“Well, I wouldn’t say I don’t know them, but Fluttershy is the only one of them that I pay any attention to.” Rainbow Dash replied.

“And why’s that?” Spike asked.

“Because she’s the COOLEST! She’s tough, doesn’t take any gruff from anypony, and she’s in charge of all of Appleloosa! Oh, and she’s been trying to take care of all the buffalo out there as well.” Rainbow Dash replied giddily.

“Aside from the buffalo part, it sounds like Iron Will came to town again.” Twilight spoke.

“I’ll say. He was the only one to change Fluttershy into a pony like that before.” Spike added.

“Who’s Iron Will?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Never mind.” Twilight and Spike said in unison.

“Well, getting back to Fluttershy. It would make sense that you would feel a connection to her as well. She’s also one of our closest friends.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“WHAT!? You mean I was actually friends with Fluttershy before!? That’s so awesome!” Rainbow Dash said, letting out a little scream of joy.

“Well of course you were Rainbow Dash. We’ve all been friends since the Elements of Harmony brought us together. Fluttershy is the Element of Kindness, and you’re the Element of Loyalty.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“Loyalty huh? That sounds pretty cool.” Rainbow Dash said aloud, chuckling to herself.

In that instance, something inside of Rainbow Dash’s head clicked. Her eyes began to glow white, and she slowly floated up into the air. Everyone gasped around her, as a white line began to form around Rainbow Dash’s neck, and suddenly her necklace of Loyalty appeared around her. Her eyes then stopped glowing, and she slowly flapped her wings, bringing herself down to the ground once more.

“Rainbow Dash, are you alright!?” Twilight asked, moving over to her friend.

“Uh…Twilight? What’s going on? Why are we in Zecora’s hut?” Rainbow Dash asked, looking around.

Upon hearing Rainbow Dash say her name, Twilight wrapped her hooves around her friend, giving her a hug.

“He…hey! What are you doing!? Surprise hugs like that are so un-cool.” Rainbow Dash told Twilight, escaping from her hug, and flapping her way into the air.

“You really remember us Rainbow Dash?” Twilight asked Rainbow Dash, almost with tears in her eyes.

“Well of course I remember you guys! Why wouldn’t I? What’s going on anyway? And why am I wearing a Wonderbolt uniform? I haven’t even gotten accepted into the academy yet.” Rainbow Dash spoke, noticing that she was wearing the uniform.

“Why doesn’t she remember where she is Zecora?” Apple Bloom asked.

“It would appear the spell came undone, when she regained her element little one.” Zecora replied.

“Will somepony tell me what’s going on!?” Rainbow Dash asked aloud.

“I’m still not sure myself Rainbow Dash, but I think I might have an idea of how we can get our friends back.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash.

“Get them back? What’s wrong? Where are they?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“They’re all in Ponyville, but Fluttershy is out in Appleloosa for some reason, and…” Twilight started to speak, before she got cut off.

“Appleloosa? What’s she doing way out there? We should go get her if she’s in trouble.” Rainbow Dash told Twilight, before zipping out of Zecora’s hut, and flying off.

“Rainbow Dash come back!” Twilight called after Rainbow Dash from the door, but she was already too far away for her to hear.

“She’s probably already half-way to Appleloosa by now Twilight. We should catch the closest train and head after her.” Spike told Twilight.

“You’re right Spike. Sorry Zecora. I still have so many questions, but now that I have an idea of how to help our friends remember themselves, I need to make sure they’re alright.” Twilight spoke.

“Go after your friends and have no fear. When you return, I’ll still be here.” Zecora replied.

“Thanks Zecora. Come on Spike.” Twilight spoke, before running out the door.

“Hey! Wait for me!” Spike called after Twilight, running as fast as he could.

Zecora waved goodbye to her friends, before turning back around to find a sad looking Apple Bloom.

“What is wrong Apple Bloom? Why do you look so gloom?” Zecora asked.

“Well, if what they said is true, then does this mean that you’re not my ma after all? Apple Bloom asked, a deeply sad look on her face.

“Come now little filly, you shouldn’t say things so silly. Even if we aren’t family, that doesn’t mean you aren’t important to me.” Zecora told Apple Bloom, wrapping a hoof around her to comfort her.

Apple Bloom soon stopped her tears, and rested her head on Zecora.

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