Mind Games

An old pony's tale

Inside Town Hall, Rarity and Derpy finally finished putting back all the books that Sweetie Belle and Derpy had taken out. Mayor Mare watched on as they had worked, a smile of satisfaction on her face. Her attention however shifted, as the main door to the hall opened up.

“Ah, it seems our little Cutie Mark Crusader has returned. How did everything go Sweetie Belle?” The mayor asked.

“I couldn’t find any ponies that needed rescuing, but that’s not even the strangest thing that happened.” Sweetie Belle replied, letting out a groan.

“Sweetie Belle! I’m so glad that you’re alright.” Rarity spoke, as she ran to hug her sister. “You really shouldn’t run out into weather like that young lady! What if you had gotten hurt? And what did you mean by strange things happening?” Rarity asked her sister.

“Well, let’s see. I ran outside, looking for anypony that needed rescuing, but I couldn’t find anyone. Then I met up with some other ponies and Discord that were looking to do the same thing. We finally did find a pony and a small dragon that I thought would need our help, but they didn’t look like anypony that I recognized. They then started talking like they knew each of us, and she seemed really scared of Discord for some reason, saying that he once made a lot of bad things happen in Ponyville before. Eventually though, the Gypsy Zecora from the Everfree forest showed up, put the two of them to sleep, and then took them back with her into the forest. Oh, and she had never heard of Queen Chrysalis either.” Sweetie Belle explained.

“Well, that really is some tale my little filly.” Mayor Mare responded, chuckling to herself.

“A pony with a dragon you say? Tell me more about them Sweetie.” Rarity asked.

“Well, the pony was a purple Unicorn, and the dragon was purple with green spikes on his back. I think they said their names were Starbutt and Spock?” Sweetie Belle replied, unsure of the names.

“Stars and sporks? That sounds like a funny name for a restaurant. He he!” Derpy spoke, giggling to herself.

Rarity thought to herself for a minute, before turning to speak to the mayor.

“Hmm, are you thinking what I’m thinking mayor?” Rarity asked.

“Yes, I believe I am.” Mayor Mare responded, nodding her head.

“What are you two talking about?” Sweetie Belle asked, a confused look on her face.

“The two that you described sound like the ones from an old pony’s tale in Equestria.” Mayor Mare told Sweetie Belle.

“An old pony’s tale?” Sweetie Belle asked, still confused.

“It goes that a long time ago, back when the Princesses were still the rulers of Equestria, that there existed an evil Unicorn with malicious intent. She wanted nothing more than to steal all of the love from ponies, and make them her slaves.” Rarity started to explain.

“She was described as one whose magic gleamed like the hours of twilight, and that she rode upon a massive dragon of the same colors you described.” Mayor Mare added.

“Her last heinous act took place during the marriage of two ponies whose names have faded with history, but whose love was said to be too strong for her to steal.” Rarity continued.

“Although, that’s not to say that she almost didn’t have her way. She managed to seduce the groom somehow, but once the bride returned, she was defeated.” Mayor Mare added.

“Their love shined as bright as the love of our beloved Queen does now. It was so strong in fact; that it managed to send both her, and her dragon, flying far away.” Rarity added.

“It should be noted though, that even the Princesses couldn’t stop her. As she somehow managed to overpower them, using the stolen love from all of the ponies that she had attacked.” Mayor Mare added.

“Wow…” Sweetie Belle spoke, her eyes wide with wonder.

“Yes, the love of those two ponies ruined her plans, and she’s been gone ever since. Why, I believe that story is around 700 years old now, but it’s a story that still survives today.” Rarity finished.

“Wow…but, wait a minute Rarity. How could the two that I saw be them then? Wouldn’t she have been really, really, REALLY, old looking by now? And wouldn’t her dragon be the same, instead of a little baby?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“I suppose not, but given that she fed off the love of others, it’s possible that she might have been using that love over the years to keep herself looking young. As for her dragon, well, perhaps she cast some kind of spell on him or something.” Rarity replied.

“It does seem a bit strange though doesn’t it? Although, our young filly here should be grateful. If the story is indeed true, and she did in fact meet the two from the story, then she should be glad to have escaped from them the way she did.” Mayor Mare spoke, giggling a little at the end.

“Yeah, I guess so. Even though she seemed confused, perhaps that was just lucky of me. I’m glad that gypsy showed up when she did though.” Sweetie Belle responded.

“Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to put my trust in that gypsy of a zebra, but as long as you’re alright Sweetie Belle, then that’s all that matters.” Rarity replied, pulling her sister in for another hug.

“Thanks sis.” Sweetie Belle told her sister, hugging her back.

“Well, now that all that of that is behind us, I think you should be thanking your sister a little more Sweetie Belle. After all, while you were gone, she had to help Derpy put back all the books that you two took down.” Mayor Mare told Sweetie Belle.

A look of surprise appeared on Sweetie Belle’s face, as she let out a nervous chuckle.

The next day, in Appleloosa. Fluttershy stood atop a barrel in the middle of town, as Braeburn attempted to critique the speech that she was planning to make to Queen Chrysalis.

“Okay…let’s try running through that again…” Braeburn spoke, trying not to sound negative.

“I still don’t see what’s wrong with it? I think my speech to have the buffalo tribes brought back from the Badlands is fine just the way it is!” Fluttershy yelled quietly.

“Well of course but…you really should try lowering your tone a bit, so you don’t come off as…” Braeburn tried to reason with Fluttershy.

“Come off as what!?” Fluttershy responded.

Fluttershy was about to give Braeburn “the stare,” but was interrupted by the sound of a pony screaming in the distance.

“FLUTTERSHY, WHERE ARE YOU!?” The voice called out.

Fluttershy and Braeburn looked off into the distance, and saw a blue Pegasus flying around.

“Huh? Oh you have GOT to be joking with me!” Fluttershy spoke, stomping her hoof on top of the barrel.

“Huh? She looks familiar? Did she do something wrong Fluttershy?” Braeburn asked.

“No, not really. She just knocked me out of the air when I was coming back from checking on the buffalo the other day. When I tried to “kindly” offer her help to get up, she slapped my hoof away and flew off!” Fluttershy responded.

“’Kindly’ huh? I can only imagine what that must mean” Braeburn replied, thinking the last part to himself.

“FLUTTERSHY, WHERE ARE YOU!?” The Pegasus called again.

“Humph! Addressing me like we’re equals. Who does she think she is anyway?” Fluttershy spoke.

Braeburn took another look at the Pegasus flying around.

“I think she’s one of the Wonderbolts under Captain Spitfire from Cloudsdale.” Braeburn responded.

“What!? You mean she’s not even the one in charge of the Wonderbolts, yet she’s speaking to me as if we’re friends!? Oh! I’m going to go give her a piece of my mind!” Fluttershy exclaimed, about to take off.

“Wait! Why don’t you let me handle this one Fluttershy?” Braeburn tried to stop her, holding up his hooves.

“What!? Why should I!? If she wants to talk to be so badly, then I’ll let her talk to me!” Fluttershy responded, beginning to take off.

Braeburn jumped and grabbed onto Fluttershy’s tail, weighing her down enough so she couldn’t fly off.

“Even though she’s not in charge of the Wonderbolts, she’s still a member of the team, and works under Captain Spitfire herself. If you were to go and rough up one of the Wonderbolts for no reason, then that probably wouldn’t sit right with her Captain, and we might have a big civil affair on our hooves.” Braeburn pleaded, as he hung onto her tail for dear life.

“No reason!? Oh, I’ve got a reason alright!” Fluttershy replied.

“Please, just give me a chance Fluttershy!” Braeburn pleaded one last time.

Reluctantly, Fluttershy finally accepted, and lowered herself and Braeburn back onto the ground.

“Fine, but you better give her a stern talking to in my place!” Fluttershy told Braeburn.

“I’ll be sure to do that. Hopefully she’ll be a lot more willing to listen though.” Braeburn replied, muttering the last part to himself.

On the outskirts of the town, Rainbow Dash continued to fly around, trying to find some trace of Fluttershy in the western pony town.

“FLUTTERSHY, WHERE ARE YOU!?” She called again.

She started to get worried, since she still hadn’t found her friend yet. However, her spirits began to pick up, as she saw a familiar pony wave to her from the ground. Rainbow Dash zipped down to the ground to greet the stallion.

“Braeburn, I’m so glad I’ve found you. Have you seen Fluttershy around? I heard that she was here in Appleloosa for some reason, and I wanted to make sure that she’s alright.” Rainbow Dash asked Braeburn.

“I’m not sure why you’d want to know something like that, since you already know the answer. What’s with the concern all of the sudden?” Braeburn responded.

“Look, I just want to know where my friend Fluttershy is, and if she’s alright.” Rainbow Dash told Braeburn.

“Friend? Heh heh, that’s stretching things a little bit, wouldn’t you say? I mean, I know you’re both Pegasi and all, but I’m pretty sure that doesn’t make you two instant friends.” Braeburn replied.

“Not my friend!? What are you talking about!? We’ve always been friends. Now are you going to tell me where she is or not!?” Rainbow Dash asked, stomping her hoof on the ground in anger.

“Whoa now! I don’t want any trouble. I’ve been getting enough of that as it is lately.” Braeburn replied, holding up his hooves to show he didn’t want a fight.

“Well you’re going to get a lot more if you don’t tell me where Fluttershy is!” Rainbow Dash told Braeburn, and she started dragging her hooves in place.

“What kind of stern talking to is this any way!? Just get on with it!” A pony yelled nearby.

“I’m getting there Fluttershy! …Fluttershy? Fluttershy, you’re alright!” Rainbow Dash responded, turning to her friend.

“Was I talking to you, you big blue pigeon!?” Fluttershy replied.

“I know, I know. I’m getting to it.” Braeburn responded to Fluttershy.

“Wait, what?” Rainbow Dash asked, looking back and forth between her two friends confused.

“Now look here. I’m just trying to find out what you’re doing here, and what business you have with Fluttershy. I don’t want any trouble, but I’ll gladly give you some if you don’t cooperate.” Braeburn told Rainbow Dash, trying to be more demanding now that Fluttershy showed up.

“Oh yeah!? Bring it on!” Rainbow Dash told Braeburn, as she pounced towards him.

Braeburn quickly jumped out of the way, and pulled out his lasso that he kept on his side. He tossed the end around Rainbow Dash, keeping her wings down.

“Now are you going to listen to reason, or do I need to hogtie you too?” Braeburn asked, speaking through the rope in his mouth.

“Just try me!” Rainbow Dash replied, before starting to buck about to make Braeburn let go.

Each time Rainbow Dash would try to pull at Braeburn, he would tighten his grip on the rope even more, until she decided to lose him by pulling him instead. Rainbow Dash took off into a run, and pulled Braeburn on the ground behind her. This continued for about a minute, until Rainbow Dash found herself being levitated up by a spell, surrounding her in a raspberry colored aura.

Braeburn let go of the rope in his mouth, glad to finally stop being pulled around.

“Thank the Queen that’s over with. Hopefully Fluttershy’s not too mad at me for that.” Braeburn spoke to himself, exhausted.

“Rainbow Dash what are you doing!?” Twilight called to her friend, still levitating her in the sky. “We’re trying to make sure that are friends are all okay, not dragging them around from a rope!”

“Hey, it’s not my fault! He’s the one who tried to rope me! I was just trying to figure out where Fluttershy is.” Rainbow Dash responded, still unable to move in the air.

“Oh boy, and here I thought I would only have to worry about one pony’s safety besides my own.” Braeburn thought to himself.

“And who might you two be?” He asked the Unicorn and dragon.

“I really wish everypony would snap out of it already Twilight.

Isn’t there a faster way to get everypony’s memories back?” Spike asked.

“I don’t know Spike. If we had Apple Jack here, then maybe she could try and talk some sense into him.” Twilight replied.

“Well we don’t, so maybe we could try talking to him like she would instead?” Spike asked.

“Worth a shot I suppose.” Twilight responded, levitating Rainbow Dash back to the ground, before confronting Braeburn.

“So uh, who are you two…” Braeburn started to speak, before Twilight got within an inch of his face and screamed.

“BRAEBURN! Why the…hay don’t yall…reckon…ize us? Huh, apple cube?” Twilight spoke to Braeburn, trying to sound like Apple Jack.

“Whoever you are, you’re not making any sense.” Braeburn responded.

“Well we’re trying to find our friends, so that we can go stop Chrysalis. We heard that Fluttershy was here in Appleloosa, and we could really use your help finding her.” Twilight replied, this time talking regularly.

“I think I can help you with both of those, that is, if you want it.” Fluttershy told Twilight, walking up to her.

Twilight, Spike, and Rainbow Dash all turned to see their usually shy friend walk up to them, a determined look on her face.

“Fluttershy!” They all cried in unison, as they leaped over to hug her.

Fluttershy quickly hopped into the air, causing the three of them to collide beneath her.

“I really liked the way you handled that Pegasus. It was a lot more forceful than SOMEPONY I could mention.” Fluttershy told Twilight, before glaring at Braeburn.

“Hey, I almost had her!” Braeburn tried to protest, before another glare from Fluttershy made him stay quiet.

“I don’t know who you are, and frankly, I really don’t care, but if you plan on getting back at that big meanie of a queen, then I want in.” Fluttershy told Twilight.

“Guess it’s no surprise that she doesn’t remember us either huh?” Spike spoke.

Rainbow Dash stood up and rubbed her head, a little dizzy after the collision.

“Uhh…my head…why do I feel like I should mention something about a helmet?” She said to herself.

“And further more!” Fluttershy spoke, before flying down to Rainbow Dash and landing hard on her back. “Who do YOU think YOU are, and WHAT makes YOU think that YOU can talk to ME like that!?” Fluttershy told Rainbow Dash, giving her “the stare.”

“Whoa there! Easy Fluttershy. No need to give anypony “the stare” like that.” Spike told Fluttershy.

“It’s almost like she really is the Fluttershy that Iron Will made her into.” Twilight spoke.

“Do you two know this big blue pigeon?” Fluttershy asked.

“I would advise saying no. It might help keep you two safe.” Braeburn leaned in and whispered to Twilight.

“Yes we do. She’s our friend, and she’s actually your friend as well Fluttershy.” Twilight told Fluttershy.

“I wouldn’t waste my time making friends with somepony who’s not even in charge of the Wonderbolts.” Fluttershy replied.

“Again with this Wonderbolts thing. I guess everyone knows each other in some other way now.” Spike spoke.

“Look Fluttershy, even though Rainbow Dash might not be a Won… I mean, the leader of the Wonderbolts, it doesn’t change the fact that she’s our friend. We’ll need her help, as well as the help of the rest of our friends, if we want to stop Chrysalis.” Twilight told Fluttershy.

“Yeah, and while we’re at it, then you can give her your two bits as well. Sound fair?” Spike added.

“Hmm, so who are you two anyway?” Fluttershy asked, looking the two of them over.

“It’s me Fluttershy, Twilight, and this is Spike. Don’t you remember? You’re one of our friends, and the Element of ‘Kindness.’” Twilight told Fluttershy, emphasizing the “Kindness” part at the end.

Fluttershy thought for a moment, unsure of whether or not she would get mad at somepony thinking she was the embodiment of “kindness.”

“Hmm, normally it would be a VERY bad idea to call me something I’m not, but for some reason, I feel like I can trust you two…for now.” Fluttershy told the two of them.

Twilight face hoofed herself, disappointed that just mentioning Fluttershy’s element didn’t work.

Braeburn looked on, his mouth agape at the sight that he just witnessed.

“Well I’ll be, they’re the first ponies to ever say something that could have made Fluttershy mad, and not get a pie tossed at them, or thrown out of a watering hole.” Braeburn thought to himself.

“So uh, about our friend you’re sitting on?” Spike asked Fluttershy.

“Oh her? I suppose we can bring her along, I mean, if you really want to. Just keep her away from me and out of my face.” Fluttershy responded, looking down at Rainbow Dash before lifting her chin up as if she were better than her.

“Right…” Twilight replied, before walking over and helping Rainbow Dash up.

“Ugh…it’s like the dragon migration all over again.” Rainbow Dash spoke, still rubbing her head.

“Braeburn, help the blue pigeon along and keep up. I don’t want to have to come back for you.” Fluttershy told Braeburn, before slowly starting to fly towards the train station.

“Well, I suppose it’s better than a pie to the face.” He said aloud to himself, before going over and helping to support Rainbow Dash up.

“Uh, you again…” Rainbow Dash spoke to Braeburn as he helped her along.

“Relax little missy. I’m not here to fight. I didn’t even want to in the first place, that’s more Fluttershy’s thing.” Braeburn told Rainbow Dash, as they continued along.

“So Fluttershy is alright then.” Rainbow Dash spoke.

“We should have handled that together Rainbow Dash. I know you care about Fluttershy just as much as the rest of us, but that doesn’t mean that you should go flying off like that all the time, and picking fights with other ponies.” Twilight told Rainbow Dash, as she walked alongside her.

“I think I can fly now.” Rainbow Dash spoke, as she moved away from Braeburn. “So where are we going now anyway?”

“If its Queen Chrysalis you folks want, then we should head to Canterlot.” Braeburn told Rainbow Dash.

“Canterlot? Did she try and take it over again?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Apparently she already has Rainbow Dash, and it’s up to us to stop her.” Twilight replied.

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