All that glitters is not gold.
A group of male unicorns dressed in royal-style clothing (one blue, another red, the last yellow) advance upon a frightened Rarity as she slowly backs way while trying to maneuver a small white cart.
"Look guys, she's trying to make a break for it. Typical tease, they'll say nice things and show interest until they get what they what. Then they'll leave when the opportunity presents itself." The blue unicorn states as he flicks a flock of his yellow mane from his face.
Rarity glares at the blue unicorn. "Why would I sully myself with such immoral methods? If anything, you three resorted to such tactics in an attempt to gain my favor."
The red unicorn smirks. "It worked, didn't it? You were wagging your tail and following us around happily, like a cat in heat." He approaches the mare. "I bet if we would have kept at it you would have gladly gone to bed with-"
"Stop it! Stop it!” the white mare interjects. "Why would I ever degrade myself to do something so dreadful? You three may be in the upper class of society, but as far as I'm concerned, you are all no more than pieces of filth."
"What was that?!" The blue unicorn shouts. "You think you're better than us> HA! I see more class in bowl of the toilet every morning, before I flush. The only thing you are is a small town hussy, trying to act like she's not."
Rarity cowers as the words sink in and the three stallions advance. Closing her eyes to accept her fate, a sudden gust of wind ruffles her mane, followed by a loud boom as sound catches up.
Opening her eyes, the mare spots a certain blue hedgehog standing between her and the three unicorns, who don't seem pleased at the new arrival.
Sonic lets out an amused chuckle as he kneels down in front of Rarity "So this is where you ran off to. Everyone is out looking for you."
"Beat it, freak, this doesn't concern you," the red unicorn snaps as he approaches the hedgehog.
"Freak?" Sonic repeats as he thumbs the tip of his nose. "Haven't been called that in a while."
"What, do you have stones in your ears? I said beat it!"
The hedgehog stands and turns towards the three unicorns. "Oh, I heard you just fine."
"Then what are you waiting for?" the red unicorn snaps as his horn starts to emit a light blue light.
"I'm in a bit of a rush, so I'll make this quick," he states taking a step towards the red stallion. "To get to this lovely gal, you're going to have to go through me."
The stallion shrugs. "Suit yourself," he says, firing a bolt of energy aimed at the hedgehog from his horn.
Smoke billows as the magic bolt makes contact. The red unicorn grins. "That’ll show him. Now then..." he begins as he approaches the white mare.
"That showed who?" a familiar voice asks from nearby.
The red stallion whips around to find the hedgehog standing just behind him, holding a hand up to his head, peering through the smoke. "Impossible. Nopony could dodge that."
"You're going to have to do better than that, Sprinkles."
"Sprinkles!?" the red unicorn shouts furiously as he charges his horn for another shot. "I'll show you ‘sprinkles’!"
"Go ahead and try."
The red stallion fires a volley of energy bolts towards the hedgehog, who dodges them with ease as he bounces around the tight confines of alley.
He dodges a bolt aimed for his head. "Missed me!" Then another. "Nope." Another. “Sorry, but no banana.” Yet another. "Are you even trying?"
Gritting his teach in frustration the stallion turns towards his two companions. "What are you waiting for? Shoot him!"
The two nod and join in, creating a barrage of blue, green, and red energy shot, all of which missing their mark as the hedgehog continues to mock his would be attackers, finally bending down and smacking his rear. "C'mon, right here. I'll even give you a freebie."
Gnashing his teeth in rage, the blue unicorn charges his horn for another attack, only to notice Rarity hiding under her cart as she cheers the hedgehog on.
"He may be able to dodge, but she won't." The stallion grins as he turns towards the white mare.
"So he just left?" Twilight asks as she approaches the yellow earth pony.
"Yes'm, said to meet ‘em at the train station in case it took too long."
The lavender mare scratches her head with her hoof as she processes the information. "Well, Sonic has never let us down before. He'll bring Rarity back safe."
"You make is sound like Rarity is in some kinda trouble," Rainbow Dash states as she hovers around the unicorn. "This is Canterlot, Twilight. The worst she has to worry about is a deep mud puddle."
Twilight sighs. "I hope you're right, Rainbow."
"C'mon everypony!" Pinkie Pie exclaims as she bounces. "Knowing Spiky, he's probably already there waiting for us!"
"Pinkie's right, we're just making him wait," Applejack states as she starts for the station.
Fluttershy and Twilight both let out a collective sigh and follow behind the wheat earth pony.
Thin rays of red light radiate in every direction as a gloved hand clasps onto the blue unicorn's horn, negating his attack.
"No way!" The yellow unicorn finally says, flicking a lock of hair away from his face.
Sonic pulls his hand away from the stallion’s smoldering horn and delivers a devastating leg sweep, sending him flying out of the ally and crashing into a large stone wall. The stallion angrily leaps to his hooves, only to fall over a moment later.
The yellow and red unicorns look at each other, then back at Sonic, instantly darting in opposite directions as they leave there blue friend behind.
"Run, you cowards! I’ll see to it you're run out of town!" the blue stallion shouts as he stumbles to his feet and charges at the hedgehog. "Do you have any idea who I am?"
"Nope, and I don't really care, either," Sonic states as he turns away and kneels down to help Rarity from her hiding place.
"I'm the son of the wealthiest trader in-" the blue stallion is cut off as he is met with the face of an angered hedgehog.
"I. Don’t. Care!" he shouts pressing his nose against the pony's muzzle. "You got 10 seconds, no, 3 seconds to get out of my sight before I give you more than a bloody lip."
The blue stallion falls on his haunches at the hedgehog's proposal.
"One," Sonic counts, holding up his index finger. "Two.” He holds up his middle finger. "Thr..."
"Ok, Ok, I'm going. You’re lucky I never got your name or else I'd-"
"It's Sonic, Sonic the hedgehog and that was three seconds," he states as he charges at the stallion and forces him out of the alley, causing him to let out a girlish scream as he scurries away from the blue hedgehog.
Sonic lets out a heavy sigh and turns back towards the white unicorn under the cart. "You alright?" he asks softly, holding out his hand towards the mare.
"I should be asking you that." Rarity states as she motions towards the hedgehog's hand.
The blue hedgehog examines his hand and twiddles his fingers. "Nah, it’s fine."
Rarity's expression twists into shock. "How can you say 'it’s fine'!? You just held back a…" The mare trails off as Sonic peals back his glove, revealing an unscathed hand.
"See? Totally fine."
The other members of the group arrive at the train station and notice it is void of either Sonic or Rarity. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash scan the area while the rest stay by Twilight.
"He's not here," the lavender mare says nervously as she lets out a sigh and lowers her head.
"C’mon now, Twi. He'll be here." Applejack states in a confirming tone. "He wanted us to wait for him in case he didn't make it."
"But what about Rarity?"
"I'm sure she's fine. Knowing her, she's talking that poor critter's ear off."
Rarity lets out a loud snort as she blows a lock of hair way from her face. A small yolk wrapped in red cloth rests on the back of her neck and attaches her to the rest of the white cart. The mare stares daggers at the hedgehog walking next to her as he matches her pace.
"Why do I have to pull the cart?" the mare whines as she tries to adjust one of the straps.
"Because you bought it," The blue hedgehog states in a matter-of-factly tone as he crosses his arms behind his head.
"I know, but still."
Sonic says nothing as he continues to walk besides the mare.
Rarity smiles as she turns to the hedgehog. "You know, I never properly thanked you for helping me out back there. It wouldn't seem right unless I..."
"What did you do to set them off like that?" the blue hedgehog asks, cutting the unicorn off.
"Nothing, I asked if one of them if they would help pull my cart, and then-"
"Ok, fine." The white mare says with a loud snort. "I may have suggested that one of them was my type and that I was interested in..."
"So you led them on, letting them think you liked them only to shoot them down when they-"
"No no no, that is absurd, I never implied that I was interested in that sort of thing. If anything, I was the one that got taken advantage of." She frowns. "They must have figured that I was not from around here and was envious of the ponies that lived here."
"That, or they were just a bunch of-"
"Don't you dare finish that sentence. There is no way that I'd ever-"
"I was going to say 'pigs’."
"Oh. Yes, they were indeed pigs."
"Where is he?" Rainbow Dash complains as she lets out an exasperated moan. "The fastest thing alive, my tail."
Applejack frowns at the cyan mare's statement. "C’mon now, sugar cube. It’s only been a few minutes. No need for ya to be insultin’."
"Why do you keep defending him?" the pegasus demands as she lands in front of the wheat earth pony. "Even when we're joking, you’re always the first one to come to his defense. You're almost as bad as Twilight."
"Hey!" The lavender mare shouts from across the platform.
"Ah don't..." Applejack begins. "Ah just don't reckon it’s very kind a’ ya to say somethin' behind his back like that."
Rarity trots happily alongside the blue hedgehog as she continues to question him.
"So, on to my last question."
"Why did you go off like that? I've seen you handle much greater situations with a bit more, shall we say, chivalry. What made this one any different?"
Sonic turns to the white mare. "They were going to attack my friend." He smiles. "No one hurts my friends."
Rarity hmms at the statement. "Hmmm. Very interesting. I can see why Twilight was taken such fancy to you."
The hedgehog abruptly stops. "Uhh, come again?"
"Come now, you can't be that dense," she states as she trots past the hedgehog. "You've been living at her house for almost a month. Don't tell me you haven't noticed."
Sonic takes off in a light jog to catch up to the mare. "Can't say that I have."
"Really, then is it Rainbow Dash that suits your fancy?"
The white mare shrugs. "Then I am at a loss. You've certainly gained the attention of enough mares. Maybe you fancy the-"
"I think you're jumping to conclusions," the blue hedgehog snaps, quickening his pace.
"If you say so, Sonic."
The station starts to come into view, just as a large train can be seen in the distance, prompting the two to quicken there speed.
"Say Sonic, I have a bit of a favor to ask of you." Rarity says as she starts to run at a full gallop.
"Could you not mention to the others of what happened back there? They would only worry if I told them."
"Yep, but in exchange, stop with all this who-likes-who talk."
"I promise nothing."
"Ok, then I'm sure the others will be more then eager to learn about-"
"Fine!" Rarity snaps. "I won't press the issue again, but I know I'm not the only pony who’s noticed."
The train pulls into the station and lets out a loud hiss as it comes to a stop, releasing it passengers and opening its doors for new ones to enter. A few members of the group cringe at this, since it would mean that they'd have to leave their friends behind.
"Here they come!" Pinkie Pie shouts excitedly as she leaps from her perch on the roof of the train station.
"Finally." Rainbow Dash adds as she slides off the bench she was chilling on.
Twilight's ears perk up as Pinkie makes the announcement, glancing up from her book to see Rarity and Sonic enter the station, just as the train arrives.
The rest of the group eagerly runs up to greet the two.
"Hey guys, didja miss me? Sonic ask as he give the approaching group one of his trademark grins.
"I was so worried, are you ok?" Fluttershy asks, gaining a few odd glances from the group.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"Hey, I was worried too." Rainbow Dash snaps a she lands next to the yellow pegasus.
"But I was worried the most!" Pinkie Pie shouts as she suddenly glomps Sonic. Applejack tips her hat to the blue hedgehog, giving a similar response. Twilight waves happily from a distance, unable to get past the other ponies crowding the hedgehog. Rarity gives the hedgehog a smug looks as she passes, unhitching herself from the cart and placing her items on the train.
A few stragglers enter the train as it pulls away from the station. Closing its doors for the final time that day and heading for its final destination: Ponyville.
Sonic and Rainbow Dash sit in a set of double adjoining seats across from each other, both with sour looks on their faces.
"Oh, come now you two." Rarity says as she passes by the duo. "It's not all bad."
"I'm heading back home at the speed of paint drying," Sonic scoffs. "I can get out and run faster than this."
"Yes, but from what Rainbow Dash has told me, the rope bridge over Santana Gorge is out, so it would be quite impossible. Plus it’ll be getting dark out soon."
"No problem!" The cyan mare boasts, much to the white unicorn’s dismay. She lets out a heavy sigh, drops her head and begins to walk way.
"Can't you see what opportunity has presented it here?"
"What did she mean by that?" Rainbow Dash asks as she pokes her head into the aisle and watches the mare approach the opposite side of the train.
Sonic lets out an annoyed sigh as he lies across the double seat and closes his eyes. "You don't want to know."
Twilight uses her magic to remove the black scroll from her bag and looks over it once more. Doing a double take before finally sliding off the seal and reading its contents, revealing it to be written shining silver ink.
Dear Miss Twilight Sparkle,
If you are reading this, then we were successful in sending a letter to somepony, other than our sister. We write to first off apologize for the actions we displayed during our last meeting. Your friend was charming, and we mistook this as a display of interest, only to lash out at the two of you when we realized that was not true.
Also, we are informing you that we haven't told our sister of our last meeting. We wouldn't want you to be in any more trouble then you already are, but we suggest you tell her of your own volition.
Lastly, we request a report on what you've discovered about this 'Sonic' both in and out of the dream realm. This creature has piqued out interest, and we would like to know more him. Plus, we suggest you give us a report on how you were able to enter his dreams without his knowledge.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Twilight lets out an annoyed sigh before rolling up the scroll and placing it back into her bag.
Inside the stone gazebo, the last rays of sun turn the area around the statue a deep purple as the light seeps through the colored glass.
Suddenly, a loud creak reverberates from around the room as a set of heavy hoof-steps can be heard as they make contact with the marble floor. The hoof-steps stop as a large shadow appears over the statue. A green light begins surrounds it.
Small cracks suddenly appear as light starts to shine through them, prompting the visitor to make a hasty exit, leaving just as a few large cracks begin to form.
The train to Ponyville comes to a screeching halt as steam bellows from the transport. Sonic and Rainbow Dash are the first to exit the train letting out a heavy gasp, as if they were both holding their breath for a really long time.
"Finally! That was the slowest train ride I ever went on," Rainbow Dash states as she unfolds her wings and stretches out her back.
"C'mon Dash, it wasn't that bad." Sonic adds, twisting his torso from side to side.
"You try sitting next to a crying filly for two hours. Plus, you slept most of the trip."
"And missed a golden opportunity." Rarity adds as she trots by.
The cyan mare raises an eyebrow at the unicorn's comment. "What exactly did I miss?"
Sonic shrugs and steps towards the ticket counter. "I'll explain later."
Gathering the few things they purchased and their luggage, the group exits the platform and attempts to depart, only to see some different about Ponyville. An eerie music plays from some unknown source as colorful pillars jut out from the ground. Some depicted with strange carvings while others closely resemble a striped barber’s pole; except with different color scheme.
The once dirt path is now littered with patches of green, yellow, and red checker patters.
"It's can't be," Twilight says incredulously, looking at the twisted world around her. Suddenly, a pink cloud floats by, raining chocolate milk from it.
"What is?" Sonic asks trying to make sense of the area.
"Discord!" The ponies say in unison.
"What's going on… whoa!" Spike exclaims as he exits the train.
Sonic's expression turns serious. "Alright, split up. Make sure everyone… er, everypony is not in harm’s ways from... whatever this is." He points to the lavender unicorn. "Twilight!"
"Yes!" The mare jumps at the sudden shout of her name.
"You’re with me."
"Meet back at the library in 10 or if you find something you can't take care of on your own. Got it?
"Right!" The group says in unison and departs, leaving Sonic and Twilight standing in the middle of the chaotic town.
The mare gives the hedgehog an inquisitive look as she approaches him. “Ok, what are weEEEEEEEEEK!" Twilight lets out a shriek as she's suddenly picked up by Sonic as he makes a mad dash for an unknown location.
"Where…are…we…going?!" the mare shouts over the deafening wind, watching the world streak by before her.
"I need to check on something and you're the only one who can help me."
Twilight blushes at the comment. "I'm sure any pony could have helped."
The door to the Golden Oaks Library flings open as a blue hedgehog bursts through it. Setting the lavender mare down, Sonic starts heading towards the buildings' basement.
Twilight charges after the hedgehog, meeting up with him just as he removes the large chest that holds the Chaos emeralds from its hiding spot and prompts the unicorn to open it.
Numerous symbols appear on the chest followed by a loud pop as the lid flings open. Sonic frantically peers inside the chest, only to draw back with a look of surprise.
"What's wrong?" the mare asks, walking towards the hedgehog.
Twilight peers inside the empty case. "That's impossible, that seal should have held, unless..."
"Someone or something was able to take them out without removing the seal... but who?" Sonic adds, closing the lid.
The mare's expression twists with rage as she stares at the empty case. "WE HAVE TO WARN THEM, FOLLOW ME!"
"I SAID FOLLOW!" Twilight snaps, charging up the stairs.
The hedgehog blinks at the mare's outburst for a moment before shrugging it off and following her up the stairs.
Arriving on the second floor of the library, Twilight slides a picture aside and kicks a switch, causing a loud rumble to come from the roof as a large musical horn unfolds onto the balcony.
"You might want to cover your ears,” the mare suggests before taking a deep breath.
Sonic gives her a nod and covers his ears just as the unicorn blows into the large horn.
A loud hum reverberates from the horn, causing the entire tree to shake. Twilight blows into the horn again, causing a few pictures and trinkets to fall from their places.
The hedgehog cringes as he removes his hands from his ears. "What was that!?" he shouts, partially deafened by the noise.
"A warning, what we need should be arriving shortly!" Twilight shouts back as she darts past the blue hedgehog and down the stairs.
"We heard the call, what’s going on?" Applejack questions as she enters the library. "You don't think it’s..."
"Discord, and now he now has the chaos emeralds."
The mare's expression turns ridged. "Buck!"
Sonic says nothing as the other ponies arrive. Upon receiving the news each responds in a similar manner. Twilight motions for the 6 to follow her outside just as a large trunk appears, baring both the princesses’ cutie mark seals.
Flinging the lid of the mysterious trunk open, Twilight uses her magic to lift 5 necklaces from the truck, each bearing a gem resembling one of the Mane Six’s cutie marks and passes them to their respective owners, finally placing a gold tiara bearing her cutie mark on top of her head before slamming the lid closed.
"Discord has returned, and now he’s more powerful than ever. We must stop him before he turns Equestria into a land of Chaos."
Next Chapter Preview:
Celestia: "This is something that we've never faced before. It goes far beyond all of us."
Luna: "How is a power that we, the rulers of this land, once wielded as our own weakened when in reality it should be stronger than ever?"
Sonic: "Any idea where this 'Discord' guy is?"
Twilight: "Just one, and it's right up ahead."