"Twilight, I can't see…"
Dash tilted her head and tried to gaze through the crack in the curtains. Twilight and her six friends had slowly and cautiously approached the side of the house. They were now crowded around the curtain-covered window on the house's side. There was a very small opening between the two drapes, which the group was trying to look through with much difficulty.
Above, in the sky, the sun was approaching the horizon. The blue sky and the clouds would be changing to fiery reds and purples within minutes.
"Hush, Dash! I'm trying to listen."
Twilight was peering directly through the crack in the drapes, but she couldn't see very much beyond a couch and the floor. She could, however, hear faint voices talking inside. Carefully, she pressed her ear up against the glass.
"Yes. The tome said success will be guaranteed if we use this."
"All right, shouldn't be much of a problem."
"The issue is that we have to do it outside."
"Exactly. We can't have anypony interfering."
"But we have all night, right boss?"
Twilight turned to gaze at the inquisitive looks of her friends behind her. She spoke in a harsh whisper. "Sounds like they're planning something. Doesn't sound good."
"What do we do now?" Pinkie whispered back.
Twilight was silent for a moment as she formulated a plan of action. "I wish we could see more…"
"Come on, already," Dash whispered impatiently, "Let's just go bust down the door and find out what's going on."
Twilight eyed Dash dubiously. "Seriously, Dash?"
"We can't do that. What if they're armed criminals? Or worse, what if they're an innocent family?"
"Well we have to do something, Twilight," Rarity chimed in, "We can't just sit here and wait for something to happen."
"Yeah, Twilight," Pinkie whispered, "What if they're doing something totally evil?"
"We need more information…" Twilight muttered. She looked at the ponies that were gathered around, looking up to her as a leader. She could see that they were all ready to do whatever needed to be done and that they were all counting on her. The problem was that she couldn't think of what to do next.
She then noticed Spike on Applejack's back. He was clutching his stomach and appeared nauseous. "Spike? Are you okay?"
He moaned in discomfort and held a claw to his mouth.
"Spike, what's wrong?" Twilight whispered, growing worried. The others cast concerned glances to each other.
When he made no further response, Twilight was about to step towards him. However, at that moment, Spike reached his limit and let out a loud belch, spewing green flames from his maw which swirled in the air and materialized into a scroll tied with a regal ribbon.
Twilight immediately panicked. She quickly turned back and put her ear against the window again. The voices were talking, concerned, and there were hoofsteps leading towards the front door.
"Crap!" Twilight whispered harshly, "They heard that. They're coming!" Her mind worked quickly in her panicked state. "Go to the back! Everypony, go! Behind the house!" As the group turned to leave, she stepped in front of Rarity. "Except you. You go to the front and distract them. Pretend you're lost and you're trying to find, I dunno, Trottingham."
At first, Rarity seemed apprehensive to the idea, as was evident by her expression. Before she could protest however, Twilight whispered again. "You're the best actress out of all of us and you can be very convincing when you need to be. Go! We'll be there if you need us!"
Without awaiting a response, Twilight turned and scrambled to join the others behind the house. Panting heavily she took a quick headcount and saw that they were all there, nervous and hiding.
"Oh! There is somepony home. Hello there!"
Twilight and the others could hear Rarity's voice speaking on the other side of the house.
"Who are you?" came a rough, accusing voice. Twilight winced.
"I'm terribly sorry to bother you, but I am completely lost. I was on my way to Trottingham, and I thought I was going the right way. I seem to have wound up here. You know, my friend Flitter kept saying to me, Take the map! You might need it! but did I listen? Nooo…"
"Oh reeeeally?" the male responded, scepticism heavy in his voice. Twilight held her breath.
"Shut up, you," said another voice; this one lower and smoother.
"Now then, miss…you're looking to get to Trottingham you say?"
"Yes," Rarity spoke, "I thought I was going the right way, but I found the Everfree Forest directly in front of me and I thought, That's not right…"
"Where were you coming from?"
"Oh, I'm from Little Horn, it's a little town in the middle of nowhere." Twilight felt relief that Rarity had used an actual location instead of simply making one up.
"Little Horn?" the low voice responded, "And you ended up here?"
There was a pause in which Twilight assumed Rarity was shrugging. "Quite so. Why? How far off the beat am I?"
"Well, for one thing, you're going the wrong way," the low voice said, chuckling.
Twilight sighed, confident that Rarity had the situation under control. She turned to face the others. "Okay, let's work fast. Fluttershy, stay where it's safe. Run into the forest if things get bad. Dash, AJ, keep watch at the corners. Spike, stay here."
Spike jumped off Applejack's back and the two nodded before swiftly moving to the two corners, where they cautiously peered around the edges.
"Spike," Twilight continued, her horn lighting up as she lifted a scroll and quill from her saddlebags, "quickly write a letter to Princess Celestia. Write that we need her to come here and help us right away, but don't send it yet. Just have it ready."
"Okay, but…" Spike whispered back, "where is 'here'?"
"Umm…we're about four sixths of the way from Ponyville to Trottingham, right along the Everfree. Tell her to look for the single house."
"Right then…" Twilight used her magic to open her other saddlebag and lifted out a medium-sized book.
Spike glanced up from his writing. "A book? Seriously? You told everypony to pack the essentials and you brought a book?"
"Hey, it's an important book. It has spells in it that I'm going to use right now to help us," Twilight responded, indignant.
"Um…like what?" Fluttershy said in a barely audible whisper.
"Like a see-through-walls spell," she replied with a smile, "I'm gonna have a look through this wall."
Fluttershy, Pinkie and Spike gave quiet exclamations of wonder as Twilight quickly flipped through the pages of the book with her magic. With no-one talking, she was able to hear Rarity's conversation again.
"…don't quite buy it. We heard a noise back there," the gruff voice was saying.
"Oh." There was a pause. "You heard that? Oh gosh, this is so embarrassing. Yes, that was me. Like I said, I didn't know anypony was home. Oh my goodness, that is so unladylike of me!"
"Here it is!" Twilight whispered, indicating a page in the book.
Fluttershy looked at it, bewildered. "Oh my goodness, you can understand that?"
"Yup…Okay, I got it." Twilight stood up and glanced at Applejack and Dash. Both were still keeping watch and hadn't moved. "Okay, here goes."
Twilight closed her eyes as her horn began to glow. She slowly and carefully formed the spell, following the book's directions, before casting it and letting the magic wash over her head. When she opened her eyes, nothing at first appeared different. Following the book's next step, she concentrated on the wall before her, pouring a small amount of magic outward and into it. After a few seconds, the wall seemed to fade away before her.
"Is it working?" Spike asked anxiously.
"Yeah…I can see," Twilight responded.
"What's in there?" Fluttershy asked.
"It just looks like a really small room…one door…a weird rug on the floor." She paused, carefully examining the contents of the room before an idea struck her. "Spike! Rip off a tiny piece of parchment and blow blue fire on it. Hurry, before the spell falls apart."
Twilight kept her gaze fixated on the wall to prevent the spell from failing as Spike reached into her saddlebags. She heard a small tearing sound before Spike carefully exhaled a small blue flame onto a tiny slip of parchment. She watched as the tiny fire flew forwards, through the wall that was now invisible to her, and straight down through the rug.
At that moment, the strain of keeping the spell active was too much and Twilight let it fall, closing her eyes and holding a hoof to her forehead.
"…think you'll have to explain it one more time, I'm afraid," Twilight could hear Rarity saying on the other side of the house.
"Seriously, lady?" the gruff voice replied, "How could it get any simpler than that?"
"I'm so sorry, I must be having an off day."
"All right," Twilight said, determination heavy in her voice, "We're going in. We have to get into that room because there's something in there. Everypony get close. Pinkie, stay out here in case Rarity needs help."
"You got it, Twilight," Pinkie whispered back.
"Spike, stay with Pinkie too. If things get bad, you know what to do, right?"
Spike held up the scroll he had written a minute ago. "I'll send this. Don't worry Twilight, you can count on me."
Twilight saw Dash and Applejack gallop over to her, so she turned and faced the wall. She closed her eyes and pictured the room she had seen beyond the wall a moment ago. Her horn began to glow as an aura of magic projected from it, enveloping all the ponies that surrounded her. She concentrated, keeping a clear image of the room in her mind. A few seconds passed before the whole group disappeared in a small flash.
Twilight blinked and shook her head. She was met with a vision of near pitch darkness. Reaching out with her magic, she quickly scanned the walls and found the light switch, turning it on. The bright illumination revealed the two slightly bewildered ponies standing before her.
"Sorry," she whispered, "Teleporting and all that…"
Applejack held a hoof to her eyes. "Land sakes, Twi…"
"Welcome to my world…" Dash muttered.
"All right, no time to delay," Twilight whispered, taking charge, "You two keep that door blocked. Don't let anypony through. Don't say anything, though. Just pretend there's something blocking the door from opening."
However, Applejack and Dash weren't looking at her. They were fixated on something behind Twilight. Giving them an inquisitive look, Twilight turned around. Her jaw dropped in perplexed exasperation.
"Fluttershy?!" she whispered harshly.
The pegasus standing before her cringed at her tone.
"What are you doing here?!"
"Um…sorry," she mumbled, "You said, 'Everypony get close'…I, um…I thought you meant me too."
Twilight shook her head, trying to formulate a response but ultimately failing. Her frustrated and frantic state of mind combined with the shock and exasperation of seeing that Fluttershy had teleported in as well nearly caused her to scream.
"Sorry…" Fluttershy said, shrinking and hiding behind her mane.
Twilight paused and took a very deep breath, letting it out slowly. "All right, whatever," she whispered, trying to sound calm although the aggravation in her voice was still clear.
"Just teleport her out," Dash suggested from behind her.
"We don't have the time and I don't have the energy," Twilight replied, "Just…stick with me, Fluttershy."
"Okay…" she said meekly.
Twilight sighed. "Block that door, you two."
"You got it, Twi," Applejack whispered.
Twilight turned her gaze to the floor, where the rug she'd noticed earlier was laying. "The flame went straight through the ground, so there must be a way down." She reached down and grabbed the rug with her mouth, flipping it up and throwing it to the side. Underneath, the wooden door with the brass handle was revealed.
"What's that? A cellar?" Dash asked.
"Could be," Twilight muttered, "but I've got a feeling it's more than that." Twilight gripped the handle with her magic and slowly pulled the door open. She tried her best not to make any noise, but the door was quite old and the hinges squeaked as they moved. Applejack and Dash braced themselves against the door in case anypony heard.
The space beyond the door contained a stone staircase and a heavy metal door. The four ponies gazed in surprise at the stone construction of the stairs and walls. Wasting no time, Twilight began to descend. "C'mon, Fluttershy."
"Oh, um…okay…." The pegasus quickly followed her downwards.
Navy Shield was getting both suspicious and very annoyed.
The white unicorn before him was currently babbling on and on about things that were simply unimportant. He had noticed that she had an incredibly infuriating habit of getting off-topic. He shook his head, deciding that enough was enough.
"Look, miss. We've told you at least four times how to get to where you're going, so I suggest you be on your way," he said to her in a low, even tone, "We are quite busy, and so would appreciate it if you would depart." She opened her mouth to speak, but he cut her off. "If you get lost, there's bound to be a small village or a couple of houses nearby. You'll be fine."
The mare looked around at the three impatient and angry faces surrounding her. "Oh, dear me, you're right. Look at me, taking up your valuable time. I am so sorry. I shall be on my way immediately. Again, I am very sorry. It's just such a hassle travelling by hoof and getting lost. I really should have hired a hot-air balloon to take me there, but their rates are simply outrageous. You know my cousin needed to cross the Mareing Strait by balloon and it cost her nearly 800 bits! Absolutely ridiculous, if you ask me-"
"Miss…please…" Navy spoke, plain and simple. Comet and High glared at her intensely, but Navy kept his face emotionless.
She glanced around. "All right, I see you're really busy. Again, I am terribly sorry for the disturbance, but I shall be off! Goodbye!"
With that, the unicorn finally turned around and began to depart. The three watched her canter down the path for a while before turning to each other.
"Celestia help that filly…I don't think she's got a double digit IQ," Comet said in exasperation.
"No kidding. How brain dead can you get?" High said, vexed.
Navy said nothing. He lifted his gaze from the two standing before him to look down the path. The unicorn mare was no longer in sight. He stood in silence for a few minutes as the two other stallions continued to mock their visitor.
"Come," he finally said, turning and heading back into the house, "It's a good thing we have all night for this, or she might have made us late."
The two followed behind him as they entered the house.
"Right," Navy spoke, "High, grab the shackles and restraints. Comet, grab the rope."
Navy watched as the two saluted and entered the back rooms of the house to retrieve the items. The final moments of their operation were going to be the most difficult. According to the ancient tome, the slaying of Nightmare Moon had to happen outside, during the night of the new moon. He had already pulled some strings with the Canterlot weather team to make sure that this night would have clear skies.
The problem was going to be transporting their prisoner out of her cell and into the open, where ponies could possibly see what they were doing. Since Nightmare Moon was an ancient foe from over a millennium ago, they were going follow the tome as close as possible and use a knife to defeat the demon. Navy would refrain from using his firearm unless it was absolutely necessary.
The two returned with their tools with which to restrain her. Navy nodded to them and turned to enter the room with the trap door. He reached up with his forehoof and pressed against the door.
It didn't budge.
Perplexed, he tried again. Still, the door would not open.
"Sir?" Comet asked, concerned.
"The door won't open," Navy said quietly.
"It won't?" Comet stepped forward and also tried to open the door, with similar results. "The hell?"
"Comet, what did you leave in there?" High asked in an irritated voice.
"I didn't leave anything in there!" Comet shot back indignantly, "What do you think I am, an idiot?"
"Well, there's obviously something blocking the door, and I didn't leave anything in there. Obviously, it was you."
"I didn't leave anything in there, dumbass!" Comet shouted, "Maybe the door's jammed."
Navy was not listening to the argument. He tried pushing the door open a couple more times, carefully feeling how the door reacted to the force of his hoof. Something was off. He wasn't quite sure what, but his brain was telling him that the door wasn't reacting properly. It didn't seem firmly locked in place, it was just refusing to open. He pushed harder and the door moved inward perhaps half an inch. When he stopped, the door subtly moved back into the doorframe.
His eyes shot open as the realization hit him.
"There's nothing wrong with the door, you foals! Somepony's on the other side blocking it!" Navy's cool, collected attitude was gone in a flash. Panic and anger now meshed together to form a frightening visage on his face.
"What?!" Comet and High shouted simultaneously.
"Don't just stand there like morons!" Navy shouted back to them, "Push with me! All at once! Hurry up!!"
The two stepped to either side of Navy and raised both front hooves to the door. They began to push as hard as they could.
"Did she get out?!" Comet exclaimed.
"If she got out, she'd probably try to kick our asses," High replied, "She wouldn't be barricading herself in there. There's no way out!"
"Shut up and push!" Navy shouted thunderously.
On the other side of the door, the earth pony and pegasus wore pained expressions as they gritted their teeth, kept silent, and tried their best to hold the door closed.
Twilight quietly moved down the steps and approached the door at the bottom. Fluttershy followed delicately behind her. The door was heavy-set and made of a thick, dark metal. It was strikingly out-of-place with the rest of the house, as were the walls of this passageway. They were too fortified for a simple, small home.
"Wh…what is this?" Fluttershy whispered, a tremble in her voice.
"I don't know…" Twilight responded, "It doesn't look like any cellar I've ever seen."
"What do you think's inside?"
"Well, we won't know until we go in. Make sure you stay quiet."
She grabbed the door's handle with her magic and twisted it gradually. She was moving slowly and quietly, just in case there was somepony on the other side of the door. Once the handle was twisted all the way and the latch was free, she pushed the door open. The pace was agonizingly slow, even for her, but she was rewarded with complete silence during the task.
In the already dismal light of the cramped stone staircase, the room beyond held little to see. It was bathed in complete darkness. Twilight analyzed the situation. If there were anypony in the room, it wouldn't make sense for them to be there with the lights off. So, she reasoned that there was a high probability that the room held no enemies.
Although this was not a sure thing. Still moving slowly and quietly, she began to step through the door and into the room. She winced as her hooves made a quiet clopping sound on the stone floors. She paused, but heard and saw nothing. Cautiously, she continued to enter the room.
The darkness was overwhelming. She turned to look behind her, but could barely see a vague silhouette as Fluttershy entered behind her. It seemed to be swallowing up the light, like a black hole. It was a little disorienting. She felt as if she were blindfolded.
Once again reaching out with her magic, Twilight telekinetically felt along the walls beside the doorway. The wall was rough and made of stone, but for a while Twilight couldn't find anything. Eventually, however, she found what she was looking for and used her magic to flip the switch. A single, pitiful lightbulb hanging in the middle of the room sparked to life, bathing the room in an odd, almost unearthly glow.
Twilight and Fluttershy winced at the sudden illumination. When their eyes had adjusted they glanced to each other and then turned to look at the room around them. Slack jawed, they marvelled at what they saw before them. It was an old, forgotten prison cell block. Desolate and decaying cells surrounded them in what was a fairly long underground hallway made of sturdy stone.
The cells immediately near them were all empty. They turned to face the end of the hallway, but the angles wouldn't let them see into the cells at the end.
Still trying to keep as quiet as they could to account for all possible situations, Twilight turned to look at Fluttershy and gave her a perplexed look. Fluttershy mirrored her expression. This is unbelievable… Twilight thought, What's an old, ancient cell block from a prison doing under this house?
They stood in silence for a few moments, but no sound or movement reached them. Slowly and treading carefully on the old, weathered floor, Twilight trotted towards the other end of the hallway. The single lightbulb cast eerie shadows across the walls, playing with the fallen stones and the bent bars of the cells.
The two froze as they heard movement. There was the sound of shuffling on the stone floor, accompanied by the sound of metal. Still there was no voice and no sign of movement. Since there was nopony visible in the hallway, Twilight realized that whatever had made the sound had to be inside one of the cells. Her pulse raced with the sudden realization of who it could possibly be.
"Hello?" she called out. Her voice echoed eerily in the underground environment.
A female voice gasped. "Hello?! Who's out there?" it called out frantically.
Twilight immediately recognized the voice. Her heart fluttered with excitement as she broke out into a huge smile. Without wasting any more time, she quickly galloped down the hallway to the cell at the very end of the block, Fluttershy hot on her tail.
She skidded to halt before the last cell in the room and excitedly turned her gaze inwards. Her smile only grew even more.
Inside the cell, the deep blue alicorn stared outward in disbelief, which soon turned to joyous relief. "Twilight Sparkle!" she exclaimed, getting to her feet and rushing as far forwards as the chains would allow her.
Fluttershy gasped in astonishment. "Oh my goodness! Princess Luna!"
"And Fluttershy too! Oh, thank the stars you're here!!"
Twilight ran up to the bars and placed her forehooves up against them. "Princess Luna! I can't believe it's really you! I…we all…"
Tears were on all three's faces as they smiled in barely contained joy. Words did not need to convey the relief they all felt upon seeing one another. It was a surreal experience for Twilight and Fluttershy. They had thought Luna had died, and had even gone to her funeral. To them, it was almost like seeing somepony being resurrected from beyond the grave.
Fluttershy openly wept in happiness. "Princess," she said through her tears, "I'm…I'm so happy you're all right! We…everypony thought…"
"You have no idea how happy we are to see you," Twilight said.
Luna reached forward with her chained hoof, trying to reach out to Twilight but failing to reach her. "You came…all this way to rescue me. Even after…after everything they told me. Thank you. Thank you so much!"
"Of course we came to rescue you!" Twilight replied, also reaching out her hoof, "As soon as I noticed something wasn't right, I got straight to work!"
Luna chuckled. "I suppose I should have expected such dedication from you, Twilight. I should've known I could count on you."
"Luna, everypony thinks you're dead," Twilight continued, "What happened?!"
"Oh, Luna…" Fluttershy bemoaned, "You look terrible. What did those awful ponies do to you?"
Luna glanced down at herself. "Do I really look that bad?"
"You must be starving!" Fluttershy said sympathetically.
"What's going on?" Twilight asked, "Why are you tied up down here?"
Luna grimaced. "Those ponies out there…they believe I'm still Nightmare Moon. They plan to kill me."
Twilight and Fluttershy gasped in horror.
"They were going to do it tonight," Luna continued, "You came just in time."
Twilight gave a brave smile. "That's good to hear."
Fluttershy was still crying. "I just…can't believe it's really you! When I first heard the news…that you'd been …I was just so sad. I was probably crying for a whole week. I couldn't stand the thought of you not being around any more."
Luna was touched. "Aww, Fluttershy…"
The pegasus gave her a tearful smile. "Thank the stars you're okay."
Luna returned her smile. It was then that she noticed Fluttershy's bandaged wing. "Oh, you're hurt! What happened?"
"Oh! Um, I fell and broke my wing…"
"Dear me…Are you okay?"
"Oh, yes…I'm fine now."
Luna could not help but feel unbelievable gratitude for these two ponies. Even though Fluttershy had gotten hurt, she was still here, willing to help her escape. "Thank you…Thank you both."
"Rarity, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Spike are here too."
"Twilight Sparkle…You and all of your friends have saved my life. I shall forever be in your debt."
A noise from the upper floors refocused their attention to the task at hand.
"We've still got work to do. We have to get you out of there," Twilight said, stepping down off the bars and moving to the cell's door.
"You must hurry!" Luna said urgently.
"Don't worry. Dash and Applejack are holding the door closed," Twilight responded. She gazed at the lock on the door. Lockpicking was definitely not something she was experienced in doing. However, since she wasn't confident she'd be able to bend the bars with her magic, she got to work on the lock. She was positive that she would be able to figure it out fairly soon.
"Um, oh dear…um…" Fluttershy mumbled, pacing back and forth.
"Don't worry Fluttershy, just let me handle this," Twilight said, reaching out with her magic to examine the inner workings of the lock, "I just need a few minutes…"
"Um…all right then. Um…Don't worry, Luna. Twilight will have you out soon."
"Thank you, Fluttershy," Luna replied, smiling at the pegasus.
"Oh dear…You need food. You're so…thin." She glanced up to the alicorn's face and eep'd as she realized who she was talking to. "Um, I mean, um…sorry…"
Luna chuckled. "I feel a lot worse than I look, Fluttershy. They barely fed me anything." She held up one of her wings and examined it. "I really do look terrible…"
"And those chains…Do they hurt? What's that thing on your horn?"
Luna scowled. "This thing is the reason they have me contained at all. It blocks me from using magic."
"Ah, yes," Twilight said, not looking up from her work, "They've started using those in unicorn prisons now. You'll be fine once I get it off."
Luna smiled. "Thank you Twilight. You have no idea how much it means to me to see you two here working so hard to save me."
Fluttershy sniffled. "Everypony misses you…" she said quietly.
"I miss them too…" Luna said with a sad smile. Then, her jaw dropped as a thought suddenly occurred to her. "My sister! How is Celestia?! Is she okay?"
The two frowned. "She's, um…" Fluttershy muttered, "She's not handling it very well, I'm afraid. She's very depressed, and she misses you dearly. Her mane is all grey."
Luna's expression fell. "Oh no…Oh, Tia…" she lamented, "Just hang in there, Tia. I'm coming…"
Fluttershy couldn't help but smile. "I can just imagine her face when the two of you are reunited…It's going to be the happiest moment ever."
The cell's lock cluttered under the influence of Twilight's magic. She cursed under her breath. "Stupid lock…"
"Hurry, Twilight! We have to get her out of there!" Fluttershy said, actually raising her voice above a murmur.
"I'm working on it, Fluttershy…just give me a minute."
Fluttershy, unable to help, sat upon the stone floor and fidgeted nervously.
Twilight sighed and grit her teeth in determination. They had all come so far. Luna was indeed still alive, and they had found her trapped and locked up down here. She was within hoof's reach. They couldn't lose now after everything they'd gone through.
Right now, it was all up to her.
Pinkie Pie, with Spike riding on her back, had swiftly manoeuvred herself back to the side of the building. She stood in front of the window Twilight had been gazing into earlier. Now she too was propped up against the window trying to see through the crack in the curtains. She had grown concerned when Rarity's distraction had effectively been ended. Now she was desperately trying to see and hear what was going on inside.
Shifting her view slightly, she was barely able to see the two unicorns and the pegasus pushing with all their might against a door that wasn't opening. They were struggling and pushing, anger upon their faces, but the door was not yielding to their efforts. With a gasp, Pinkie realized that the door must lead to the room Twilight had teleported everypony to. She immediately pressed her ear up against the glass.
"Whoever's in there, open up!"
"You're trapped in there, so you might as well give yourselves up!"
"We know you're in there!"
"Push harder, you foals!
"Ugh…boss, I don't think it's her. Whoever this is, they're much stronger!"
"Well who the hell could it be?! We never saw anypony get in!"
Pinkie stepped back and turned around to Spike, who was gazing at her with a tense, worried expression.
"What's happening?!" he whispered harshly.
Pinkie Pie frowned anxiously. This wasn't good. This was definitely not good. Her eyes drifted to the scroll in Spike's claws.
"You'd better send it, Spike. Right now," she whispered to him.
Spike's eyes shot open wide. "Why? Are they in trouble?!"
"Not yet…but the mean, bad ponies know they're there."
Spike gulped nervously, but wasted no time. He held up the scroll before his face as Pinkie stepped back from the window so his flames would not be visible. Spike took a deep breath and exhaled green flames across the scroll, igniting and incinerating it. The flames flew off into the distance towards Canterlot.
Pinkie frowned as she watched them go. "I hope she hurries…"
Pinkie whipped around, half-expecting to see Celestia standing behind her. Instead, she saw Rarity.
"Rarity!" Pinkie whispered, stepping towards her friend.
"Ugh, I had to cut around and through the forest to get back here," she replied, "Is my mane okay? It feels like there's a twig stuck in there."
Before either mare could say anything more, however, there was the sound of a door being slammed against a wall. What followed was mayhem.