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When the gray was about halfway up, however, the ponies suddenly stopped what they were doing and sat straight up, looking surprised as a brief flash, each one a different color, came from their neck area. Tails, Shining, Spike, Cadance, Discord, and Eggman looked surprised too; what just happened? As they watched, the gray began to recede until it vanished completely, despite Discord still giving off his magic. Rainbow Dash, having fallen onto her rump when she was released from the table, looked at the other ponies and asked, “Did you guys feel that…?”

Fluttershy nodded, "Y-Yes… Th-That sudden, like Twilight’s magic… I felt it…”

Rarity asked, “Do you suppose we can…?”

Applejack nodded, “It ain’t too late, y’all! Maybe… maybe we can still talk ta Twilight!”

Pinkie slowly said, “I hope so… I never said I was sorry for making fun of her and being a big meanie-bofeany mcmeanie pants when she needed us to have faith in her…”

Discord was initially angry when he saw that the Element Bearers seemed to be resisting his magic, but it quickly changed when he overheard what they were saying. He called, “You want to talk to Twilight? Be my guest! See how successful you are now that she’s turned her back on all of you and Sonic’s turned his back on everything he’s ever known!” He snapped his eagle talon fingers; in response, the s’more Sonic and Twilight were in started to melt like ice cream. As it began to shrink, something suddenly shot out from inside, breaking off a small part of the cracker on top, the piece beginning to slide across the ground on the melting marshmallow when it landed. Discord stared with a raised eyebrow, but as the marshmallow covering the thing flew off, he grinned widely while Tails, Spike, and the ponies stared in horror.

Sonic and Twilight were on top of the cracker piece, but they were changed. They were both completely gray; even Sonic’s red shoes and gold buckles had grayed out. The formerly blue hedgehog crouched over the unicorn with a fierce look on his face, pressing her down against the cracker with his right hand while his left hand held her Element of Magic crown. Twilight had a look of complete submission on her face, like she didn’t care about whatever Sonic was planning to do to her.

Discord laughed, floating up out of his Eggmobile and hovering in the air as he said, “YES! The other Elements may have resisted, but those two are still mine! Sonic will make a fine evil king, and Twilight will be my pet for all time!”

Shining whispered, “No… Twily, Sonic…”

Even Tails looked afraid at what Discord had done to his older brother and best friend. “He looks just like that copy that appeared when Eggman hit him with that weird beam…” he thought.

While Discord was laughing, Eggman was looking on in disbelief. “Impossible! I could see him being able to affect Twilight without messing with her friends like he did before, but with all the Chaos energy he’s absorbed over the years, Sonic is basically the element of chaos itself! How in the world was Discord able to affect him?!” He then noticed Discord was holding up his two-way mirror and looked at it. At the angle it was tilted, he could see that the reflection was showing Sonic and Twilight. And it also showed… He quickly put the pieces together from what he was seeing and glared down at Discord, “Discord, you idiot! Can’t you even tell your own magic apart from someone else’s?!”

While the draconequus, his henchbots, Tails, Spike, and the ponies looked up at Eggman in confusion, Sonic and Twilight both looked up in realization as they kept sliding. “Dr. Eggman’s already seen through the spell,” Twilight muttered.

“Well, it’s not like we were counting on fooling them for long anyway,” Sonic shrugged. He stopped pressing his right hand down on Twilight’s back, though he still held her Element of Magic crown in his left hand, and said, “Might as well ditch it now. This whole gray thing is depressing anyway.” Twilight nodded as she lifted her head up, her magic surging into her horn as it was surrounded by her magenta aura. A second and a brief flash later, her illusion spell was dispelled and both she and Sonic were restored to their normal colors. “Much better,” Sonic nodded, looking down at himself and then at Twilight’s lavender coat.

Spike, Tails, and the ponies looked relieved at seeing them, but Discord stared in disbelief. “WHAT?! That’s impossible!” he exclaimed as he floated back down into his Eggmobile.

“Oh please, Discord! You didn’t think your magic would actually affect Sonic, did you? Dark Gaia couldn’t mess with his head, and that thing’s a lot older than you are!” Eggman said.

Discord growled, slamming his lion paw down on the Eggmobile’s console, “Why, that little…!” A second later, the cracker Sonic and Twilight were on slid to a stop and they jumped off of it, Sonic following behind Twilight as she and the other Element Bearers ran towards each other. When they reached each other, Discord tried to order the Time Eater to attack them, but again it wouldn’t respond. He glared up at Eggman and yelled, “Get them! Get them now! I won’t stand for this trickery!”

Eggman held a hand to his chin, “Pipe down, Discord. I have my suspicions, but I want to see where this goes…”

Down on the ground, Sonic remained behind Twilight, still holding her crown in his left hand and opting to stay back until he was needed. Twilight looked at her friends, her eyes puffy and red and a few strands of her two-tone hair sticking up at the ends, unable to read their expressions.”Girls, I… I’m… I know you’re mad at me and… I’ve got something I need to say…” she started, trying to find the right words to say.

Applejack stepped forward, wearing a stern gaze, “We got somethin’ we need ta say, too.” She held her gaze for a moment before it changed to a solemn expression. Six breaths were taken at once…

“I’m/We’re sorry!” The Elements of Harmony chorused. Twilight stared at her friends in shock while they did the same. “What? Why are you sorry?” they sounded again in unison.

Twilight shook her head; this was starting to get silly, and to say she was surprised would’ve been a huge understatement. She asked, “Hang on; why are you girls apologizing? I’m supposed to be the one who’s sorry. What are you girls sorry for?”

Rarity quietly spoke for everypony, “For a lot of things, darling… things we should have recognized long ago and taken care of rather than letting them fester and get worse for you.”

“But… I don’t understand. What did you girls do that you’re apologizing to me for…?” Twilight asked.

“How about all those times we didn’t have enough faith in you! Like when you were looking for something to write about for a friendship report and we all brushed you off?” Rainbow asked, trying to keep from shouting (too loudly).

“Or when you met Future Twilight and thought a disaster was coming to Equestria. You wanted some kind of clue or reassurance or something and all I kept talking about was your birthday present and having fun. That’s just as bad as ignoring you,” Pinkie said sadly.

Fluttershy managed to speak up, “Um, a-also when your b-brother was getting married. Queen Chrysalis had him under his spell and he let his emotions get the better of him. We believed him over you based on some words, his a-anger, a-and how close you two are, and that was after ignoring you again the previous night. That was… really cruel of me… to walk away from you without even giving you a second thought…”

Rarity nodded, “That goes for all of us, dear. We haven’t… been very friendly towards you for some time now…”

Twilight shook her head, unable to believe what she was hearing. “But that’s not your fault! The Changeling Queen fooled everypony, and even without that… I was acting like a foal… just like all those other times you mentioned. I wasn’t doing things the way I should have because I let my emotions get to me! You had every reason not to listen to me!”

Applejack stepped back and said, “Twi, lookin’ back, it’s always obvious what shoulda been done differently. We ain’t exactly innocent of lettin’ our emotions take over either. But there’s definitely somethin’ we’ve always overlooked when lookin’ back on those moments: it’s that we never talked to you, before or after the fact. Heck, Ah never even said anythin’ to you after yer first Winter Wrap-Up, when Ah got mad at you for usin’ magic when you were just tryin’ to find yer place in it all. Somethin’ that simple fer somethin’ that, compared to everythin’ else we been through, really wasn’t as big a deal as Ah was makin’ of it. It was all mah pride talkin’…”

Rainbow nodded, “And if Applejack couldn’t do it for something that simple, then how could she, or the rest of us, know to do it for anything else? Applejack kind of sets an example that most ponies follow – not me, obviously, I only follow the Wonderbolts’ example – so we ended up going along with her without even thinking!” Her face fell, “Especially when you’re usually there to talk to us whenever we’re the ones who start acting like foals. Some Element of Loyalty that makes me…”

Twilight said, “But you did talk to me! You all did, and Spike too, and I still got wrapped up in my emotions!”

Fluttershy spoke, “Um, no offense to you girls, but… we didn’t do a good job of talking to you, Twilight. It’s… actually not surprising that you still got lost in your emotions because… we didn’t try as hard as you do. You always try your hardest to fix everything.”

Twilight protested, “I still got Discord’s riddle wrong, didn’t I? And that allowed him to mess with you all and again I let my emotions get the better of me!”

Applejack shook her head, “Twilight, don’t you remember what his riddle was? All that talk about twists and turns, THEN find the Elements? Sure, we found ‘em, but he intentionally set his riddle up so we’d be messed up by the time we found the Elements and be unable to use ‘em.”

Pinkie nodded, “And you’ve known Princess Celestia longer than we have, and you weren’t able to find out what Future Twilight was trying to tell you, and you noticed things that Queen Chrysalis was doing that we didn’t even notice, even if it wasn’t all exact evidence. The only time we listened to you was before Cerberus showed up in Ponyville, and that was only because you were addressing the whole town. Again, we were going along with everypony else.”

Rarity said, “You’ve always tried to be there for us, darling. But when you’ve needed us, we haven’t been there for you…”

Twilight spoke after a moment, “I still don’t see why you have to apologize when you’ve all done the same. It hurts, yes, but I know it’s my fault, as usual, and I’m being a foal for letting it get in the way of what we’re doing instead of being a grown mare and pushing it aside like the rest of you do with your experiences…”

Rainbow exclaimed, “Because it isn’t your fault! And we didn’t push all that stuff into the back of our minds! We think about all that too, but we also think about the talks that took place afterwards! And even with all that, we didn’t think about how you were feeling!”

Rarity said, “It’s not right that we fell into that sort of status, but it happened anyway. It’s just…”

Applejack took over, “When we have friends, Sugarcube, we just kinda plan that they’ll always be there. Ya know, Rainbow Dash has her stunts, Rarity complains about gettin’ her hooves muddy and all that, and that’s just the way things usually are.”

Fluttershy said, “We didn’t think that would ever change. We didn’t realize you needed our help, whether it was stopping the Changeling Queen or being reassured like this. It isn’t your fault.”

Twilight looked down. She’d been fighting against tears this whole time, but now she was starting to lose the battle. She finally said, very illogically, “Friendship… it’s made me not want to be the only one doing something, no matter what it is.”

Fluttershy asked, “Remember Hearth’s Warming Eve? Our play? We all had to do something by ourselves.” Twilight kept looking at the ground as she thought about that, remembering everything that happened before and during the play. While Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie had undoubtedly been the stars of the show (despite what Rainbow Dash thought), at the end, it was her, Applejack, and Fluttershy huddled together, thawing the ice that threatened to cover the land that became Equestria and serving as the quiet backbone for their three friends.

While she mulled over this, Sonic cleared his throat and, when the others looked at him, said, “Uh, I think I owe you girls an apology as well, since Twilight told me how she felt before all this.”

Rainbow nodded, “We know. Eggman showed it to us.”

Sonic replied, “Right… To be honest, I wanted to tell you or convince Twilight to tell you, but I didn’t think you would listen if I said it, and I figured if Twilight was pushed into doing it without knowing what to say, she wouldn’t be able to tell you. Besides, I basically promised her I wouldn’t tell, and you shouldn’t break a promise like that, right?”

Pinkie Pie finally cracked a smile, albeit a small one, “Nopey-dopey!”

Sonic nodded, “I thought so… I can’t help but think, had I said something, this all could’ve been avoided, but I won’t try to make any excuses for myself.” He walked up alongside Twilight’s left side and placed his right hand on her shoulder, the unicorn looking up as she finished thinking about what Fluttershy said. “So Twilight, do you think maybe you could stop making excuses for yourself and accept that everyone here who’s not a bad guy, except for Tails and Cadance, made mistakes before and will try to learn from them so that we can all just be friends instead of a bunch of scorekeepers?” he asked.

Twilight glanced down at the ground for a moment, fresh tears glistening in her eyes, before looking up and saying, “I… would like that. And unless Discord is involved, I could never stay mad at anypony.”

Sonic glanced down at his left hand, noticing a violet light shining from the jewel on the Element of Magic. “Then I’d say you’ve never deserved this crown thingy more than you do now,” he said, raising his hand and placing the crown on her head.

Rarity asked, hopefully, “So does that mean…?”

Twilight replied, “I might have been mad initially, but I never held anything against you girls. So if you don’t hold anything against me and can still call me your friend…” She trailed off, but it was clear what she was getting at. The other five Elements swarmed around her and Sonic, hugging and laughing like when Twilight refused to go to the Grand Galloping Gala without all of her friends or when they realized they had been BFFs since Rainbow’s first Sonic Rainboom, but it was still different. Again, they had proven their unshakable bond under the stress of having it broken by mistakes they had made and shown the healing power of friendship, proving once again that friendship IS magic.

Tails, Spike, Cadance, and Shining Armor smiled as they observed the scene in front of them. Up in the Time Eater, Cubot said, “Yo, I think one of those ponies did something to me! I feel funny for some reason!”

Orbot told him, “I believe your feels need an adjustment. As do mine.”

Discord glared down at them, “Oh, would you two shut up?! This should not be possible! No pony, no, nothing I turn my magic on can resist me forever!”

Cubot asked, “Uh, Mac, ain’t you supposed to be the Spirit that makes anything possible?”

Discord yelled at him, “Don’t you sass me, you oversized paperweight!”

Eggman spoke, “Oh, will you stop acting like an overgrown child, Discord? I already know you have no appreciation for science!” He held his hand to his chin, “To be honest, I’m amazed. Even with magic, I was sure they wouldn’t be able to hold their friendship together after they were all faced with their past mistakes, yet here they are, as close as ever. Science advances by being able to be proven wrong, and I was certainly wrong here. They’re still together.” He then lowered his hand and grinned widely, “And you know what they say: the more, the merrier!” He pressed a button on the console of his Eggmobile and a portal opened up next to the Time Eater, its left hand lifting up and going through it.

The group hug came to an end, everyone separating and smiling at each other. After a moment, Sonic said, “Come on, girls. We’ve got an Eggman to scramble and Discord to put in order.” A few ponies giggled at his joke.

Twilight nodded and faced forward, Sonic and her friends doing the same. “You tried to break us up, Discord and Dr. Eggman, but it didn’t work. We’re still going to fight for our friendship, and we’re going to fight you two!” The others nodded in agreement with her words.

Eggman called, “And I would be happy to do so, but it seems it took you a little too long to get to this point, so I’m afraid you’re a little too late! Lights out, kids!” Everyone raised an eyebrow at that, not knowing what he was talking about or noticing the portal he had opened earlier opening up above and behind them. As the Time Eater’s arm came through it, though, they heard the sound of the portal pulsing. They turned and looked up to see the hand coming down at them…

SLAM!

“NO!” Cadance and Spike screamed as the hand slammed down on top of the group, a purple shockwave spreading out from it when it came into contact with the ground, while Shining and Tails stared in horror and fear, respectively. The hand lifted off them, the arm going back to the Time Eater and revealing the group underneath. Sonic was lying on his front, his head turned towards Twilight, and Pinkie was on her back with her head turned to the right. Everypony else had been smashed onto their sides.

“I say! What a frightful show of force!” Orbot commented.

“Ooh, that’s gotta hurt!” Cubot agreed.

“Ah, that was deliciously deceptive, Doctor!” Discord grinned.

Cadance looked up at Eggman and screamed, “YOU MONSTER! HOW COULD YOU?!”

Eggman answered, “Oh, spare me trying to make your voice sound loud, Cadance. You’ve got a long ways to go before you get the Royal Canterlot Voice or whatever down. Besides, that was just to soften them up. Now they’ll meet their makers.” He snapped his fingers and the shield that had been holding Spike, Shining, Tails, and Cadance back went down, starting from the top and going down just like Twilight and Shining’s force field spells.

As soon as it had gone down past them, Shining and Cadance immediately ran towards the group. As if predicting this action, the Time Eater sent its lower right arm out and grabbed the couple in its right hand, Tails having grabbed Spike just as he was starting to run so he wouldn’t get smashed by it. “Stay away, unless you two want to go first! I have a Time Eater and I’m not afraid to use it!” Eggman said.

“YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO THEM!” Cadance shrieked.

“Oh? And what are you going to do about it, dear Cadance? Your aunts had no effect on the Time Eater; what makes you think YOU can do any better?” Discord mocked.

“Come on, you don’t need to do this! You’ve already made sure they can’t take you on right now! That’s enough, isn’t it? Just let them go!” Shining shouted.

Eggman held a hand to his chin, “Hmm… Well, I suppose I can be a good egg sometimes…” He looked up after a moment, “I’ll tell you what. If any of you have any last words you want to say, I’ll let you say them.”

Cadance cried, “What?! You can’t…! That’s…!”

Eggman growled, “You’re wasting my time and my patience. Either speak now or forever hold your peace!”

Shining gritted his teeth as he glared up at Eggman. This human… what gave him the right to do anything he had done? Why did this creature obey him without question? How could he do this to Twilight and her friends and then plan to completely change all of Equestria and Sonic’s world? At that last thought, his expression turned sorrowful as he turned his head to look at his sister and her friends. They were right there, at least ten feet away… and he couldn’t do anything to help them.

Do you know how it feels to see someone who means more to you than anything lying there in front of you hurt… and you can do nothing but watch them die?

As Shadow’s words echoed in his head, Shining felt tears come to his eyes. The situation was hopeless. If Celestia and Luna couldn’t harm the Time Eater, what chance did he have? The best he could do was cast his spell around them, but the Time Eater would eventually break through it with its other hands, and he couldn’t keep casting it forever. He wasn’t even entirely sure his sister and her friends were still alive. He couldn’t see any movement; was it too late already?

I think you’ll find that the things we say that we end up regretting the most are the things we say in our anger… because they’re often the last things we ever say to someone.

The tears began to fall as Shining remembered those words. He also remembered the Changeling Invasion and everything that happened before that. He remembered asking Twilight to be his Best Mare again after the changelings were repelled, but what else had he said? Did he apologize for his behavior at the wedding rehearsal or had it gone unspoken? He couldn’t remember; he couldn’t think straight. With the invasion, the real wedding, and the return of the Crystal Empire and King Sombra all happening in such a short amount of time, in his current state of mind, he found that he couldn’t remember if he had said he was sorry to his sister. And now it looked like it might be the last thing he’d ever say to Twilight…

Pressing his hooves down on top of the Time Eater’s hand, Shining tried to push himself out of its grip. Finding it to be holding him to hard, he looked towards his sister and cried, “Twilight, I’m sorry about what I said to you! I said such awful things to you because I was hurting! I should have known you wouldn’t have accused your old foalsitter without a good reason! I’m sorry I hurt you worse than any of the bullies you asked me for help with at school!”

Cadance whimpered, “Twilight… You can’t be gone yet… Please, get up!”

Shining desperately said, “Please don’t give up! I believe in you!”

A familiar voice called, “That’s right, buddies!” The voice was so sudden and unexpected that the Time Eater released Shining and Cadance, both of them backing up and stopping next to Tails and Spike, the four of them and Eggman and Discord looking around for the source of the voice.

Another familiar voice, this one female, exclaimed, “We know you can do it!” Tails, Shining, Cadance, and Spike looked up and off to the right, up at a piece of stone that was floating in the air. Standing on top of it was Amy, Big, and Knuckles!

“Come on, you guys, smack them!” Knuckles called while thumping his fists together.

Eggman turned and glared at them, “Grr! Not you!”

A flash of green appeared above another floating stone, from which Shadow appeared with his arms crossed. “You’ve got this, Sonic!” he hissed.

Rouge flew up and landed beside him, standing up straight and saying, “You can win, ladies!”

Omega jumped up and landed behind them, observing the scene below. “PROBABILITY OF TEAM FRIENDSHIP’S VICTORY IS… 0.6,” he monotonously said.

Discord stared in disbelief before demanding, “How did they get here? How did they find out about what’s going on?!”

Eggman glared down at him, “Who cares? They’re insignificant!”

One by one, more familiar faces began to show up, all throwing words of encouragement to the group, showing their belief in them.

“Come on, get up and put these lame-os in their place!”

“Tri- I am in your corner!”

“Stop lyin’ down, young’uns!”

“C’mon, y’all, show ‘em that Apple Family spirit!”

“You’ve got the power, team!”

“Focus your spirits as one!”

“We’re with you guys!”

“CUTIE MARK CRUSADER CHEERLEADERS! HEROES, YAY!”

“You may fall, you may falter, but we’ll be with you; that will not alter!”

“Yeah, butter their muffins!”

“I believe in you all!”

“Don’t give in, everyone!”

“I know you guys can do this… together!”

“C’mon now, y’all! You can do this! Ah know you can!”

“The land’s will is in your favor, not theirs!”

“Ponyville and all who it houses are behind you 110%!”

“Come on, Sonic! You’re not gonna let an egg and a mismatched freak beat you, are you?”

“Get up, everyone! Show them whose boss!”

“You’ve got what it takes! All of you!”

“Come on, mates! Your captain’s rooting for you!”

“Rainbow Dash! We believe in you and your friends!”

“Yeah, crack that Eggman wide open and make him feel it!”

As Princess Celestia landed behind him and Cadance and Princess Luna landed behind Tails and Shining Armor, Spike called, “You guys can figure out a way to win!”

Tails nodded, “You always do!”

Discord groaned, “Oh, GAG! What a sickeningly sweet and disgusting display! Can we just…” He stopped short as he noticed a glow similar to the earlier flashes beginning to come from Sonic and the Element Bearers’ bodies. “What’s this? Are they somehow using the Elements of Harmony?” Discord wondered.

“That’s not just the Elements of Harmony! That light’s coming from the Chaos Emeralds too!” Eggman said.

Omega spoke, “INITIAL PROBABILITY HAS… DOUBLED!” As he said this, the Chaos Emeralds floated out and formed a circle around the group, beginning to slowly rotate in a circle.

Discord smirked, “What, that’s all? No problem, then!” He held up his eagle talon, a yellow aura surrounding it that soon surrounded the Chaos Emeralds that caused them to stop spinning. The draconequus closed his eyes, sure they were going to be dragged to him like the Elements of Harmony were the last time he was free, but his eyes reopened when he felt something else. Looking down, he saw that the Chaos Emeralds were beginning to glow brighter. “Hmm? What are they doing?” he asked.

Down on the ground, Chip’s bracelet, which was still on Sonic’s left wrist, began to glow green, the same color green as the shield Chip created around Sonic as he sent him back to the planet’s surface. The same green appeared underneath the Chaos Emeralds’ glow as a voice whispered, as if in everybody’s heads, “Sonic…” With that, the green and the Chaos Emeralds’ glow suddenly overpowered Discord’s magic, dissipating his yellow aura completely!

“What?!” Discord shouted.

Eggman growled, “It’s a little late for that, Discord! The Chaos Emeralds have been listening, you know! And after all the friendship they’ve been hearing, they’re not going to listen to you anymore!”

The Chaos Emeralds began to rotate in a circle again. After a few seconds, they lifted Sonic and the Element Bearers off the ground, all of them turned in the Time Eater’s direction and floating on their stomachs. Sonic’s right hand began to twitch and then closed into a fist a second later as he opened his eyes. As Twilight and her friends regained consciousness and looked around in confusion, he said, “Come on, ladies! We got Chaos, we got Harmony! Let’s show these clowns the real power of Friendship!” The ponies looked at him and nodded with determined expressions. As they all puffed out their chests, a beam of yellow light seemingly shot up out of the ground, engulfing them and the Chaos Emeralds and forcing everyone else to look away. When the light had cleared and everyone looked again, everyone except Sonic’s friends and Dr. Eggman was surprised (at least) by what they saw.

While Sonic had changed to his usual gold/yellow, red-eyed Super Sonic form with his quills pointing upwards, the Element Bearers had had the Chaos Emeralds’ power channeled into their trinkets and then into them, their power changing them as they had changed Sonic.

Fluttershy’s yellow coat had become completely white, the butterflies that were her cutie mark having become a dark blue with aqua antennae and her eyes a slightly lighter shade of blue. Her mane and tail, while still pink, had flattened out, making them look almost similar to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna’s, though without the ethereal look and flowing. The biggest change, though, was her wings. They no longer looked like regular pegasus wings; instead, they looked like large bird wings, much bigger and longer than her normal wings.

Applejack’s coat had changed from orange to a dark brown, her cutie mark now changed from red apples to green apples. While the front of her mane looked like it always did, the hair in her ponytail had become spiky, as had the hair in her tail. Her eyes were now light blue and she still had her hat perched atop her head.

While her mane and tail were still pink, Pinkie Pie’s pink coat had changed to a deep red, her cutie mark now two yellow balloons with one blue balloon in the middle. Her mane and tail were still wild, though they had flattened out in places. Her eyes were now a bright green and part of her party cannon stuck out of her tail, the rest of it somehow contained within her tail.

Rarity’s white coat had become a dark blue, similar to the now-blue butterflies on Fluttershy’s flank, and her eyes were a deep purple, though her eyeliner was still light blue. The three diamonds that served as her cutie mark had changed from light blue to red, and her horn was slightly longer than normal. Her mane and tail had lost most of their natural curl, though they still had a slight curl in the middle and curled up at the ends.

Like Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash’s coat had changed from cyan to white, though she still retained her normal pegasus wings. Her mane and tail, however, were spiky and stuck up, similar to Super Sonic’s quills and her mane appeared to be on fire. In addition, the cloud on her cutie mark had changed from white to a black storm cloud and her eyes were now a deep red, similar to Super Sonic’s.

Twilight’s coat had gone from lavender to a gold-brown color, her eyes now a deep blue and, like Rarity, her horn was slightly longer. Her mane and tail had also gotten longer, now looking similar to Princess Celestia and Princess Luna’s, even flowing like there was wind blowing through them, though they didn’t sparkle like theirs. The six-pronged star in the middle of her cutie mark was now white and the smaller star underneath it and the five smaller stars surrounding them were now red. She also had what appeared to be magic wings, as the ‘wings’ on her back were the same magenta color as her magic aura, though her horn was not glowing, and they were composed of similarly colored diamond shapes on the inside.

As Twilight and her friends began to adjust to their new appearances and power, Discord stared in disbelief at what they had become. “Oh my chaos… The Chaos Emeralds did this to them?” he breathed.

Orbot looked up at Eggman and said, “Well, it’s been nice working with you, Boss.”

Eggman growled, “Grr…!” Slamming his right fist down on his Eggmobile’s console, he opened up a portal behind the Time Eater as he said, “Fall back!” In response, the Time Eater floated backwards, vanishing through the portal. Without a word, Sonic and the Super-powered Element Bearers flew up and looped around before flying in formation towards the portal, Sonic leading the team as they went through.

As she and the others watched as the portal’s surface began to change to look like a reflective surface, Celestia thought to herself, “You were right about me, Dr. Eggman. I’m not quite the same as I was a thousand years ago, and I do rely on Twilight and her friends a lot. But I am not as out of touch with her as you made me think, and I am good at rallying my ponies. That’s why Luna and I rallied up the family and close friends of Twilight and her friends, to remind them how much they’ve learned and that their friendship is not false. It is real, and like Sonic told me, the Chaos Emeralds have responded to it.” She narrowed her eyes, “Now that friendship will be your and Discord’s undoing.
Hoo, boy. This is a huge chapter with a LOT going on in it. No doubt this is going to be a bit of a lengthy explanation.

Let's see... first things first: Discord. As you can probably guess, based on this chapter, this story officially takes place prior to the events of "Keep Calm and Flutter On". I will reserve my judgement for how reformed Discord acts until season four comes around. As for this story, as you can now tell, Discord was posing as Nightmare Moon, the Shadowbolts, and Mephiles the Dark this entire time. In case you're wondering, Discord's presence in this story HAS been hinted at in prior chapters. Now that the cat's out of the bag, for anyone who wants to know just where this was hinted and wants to double-check it, here are the clue locations:

*The first place Discord was hinted at was during the Nightmare Moon battle. NMM's bent horn and muttering about Twilight spouting her bravado were minor clues, but the real clue here was when she said she wasn't going to ignore the ponies during the battle. If there's one thing that Nightmare Moon did that neither Discord nor Chrysalis did, it's that she paid attention to her enemies the whole time. Sure, Discord and Chrysalis did too, but once they thought their victory was assured, they immediately stopped paying attention to them and were blind when things started falling apart for them (seriously, is Discord colorblind or something?). Nightmare Moon, however, did not do this; even when she thought she destroyed the Elements of Harmony, she didn't shrug off what Twilight was saying. She just didn't think there was any way they could get the sixth Element. The point is, she paid attention the whole time; she never ignored the Main Six, and even Applejack noticed the discrepancy in what Nightmare Moon was saying.

*The next clue was the Shadowbolts themselves. Discord was posing as each of them, but he did not make perfect transformations; each one had one of his physical traits. The two male Shadowbolts had a full pair of Discord's mismatched wings while the leader had the sharp tooth that sticks out of Discord's mouth. When the group escapes back to Lost World, I mentioned that the leader's voice changed drastically; what I didn't mention was that it started to sound like a male's voice because that would give Discord away. However, (s)he did say "Oh, for goodness sake!"; what other villain in "MLP: FiM" has said that besides Discord?

*As revealed in this chapter, Discord was spying on the group as they were going through Frog Forest and Lost Jungle. When the group met up at the end, after Fluttershy used 'The Stare' on the giant alligator, Sonic noticed a white tuft poking up above some bushes. What he saw was the fluffy end of Discord's tail (which, interestingly enough, ended up affecting those beavers in "Keep Calm and Flutter On"). That's also why it disappeared so quickly before he could reach the bushes.

*As mentioned above, Mephiles the Dark was the last of Discord's disguises. He used this form to get close to Silver and brainwash him, Discording him. When the group first saw Silver, Sonic and Tails noticed something was off about him. This was noted because he was partly Discorded; he wasn't completely gray yet, but still gray enough to be noticed. When Sonic and Silver did the double Chaos Control, it had the same effect as Twilight's memory spell and undid the Discording. That's why it was noted that he seemed to look more like himself afterwards. Braeburn and Little Strongheart's mention of Mephiles' shadow was the giveaway here. Something that looked mismatched and straight out of a storybook... get it?

*Also revealed in this chapter is that Discord helped Eggman build the device that took control of Trixie's mind. That's why Tails said it didn't make sense that it was a mind control device; after all, why should Discord make sense?

*What Pinkie was going to say at the end of Sweet Mountain, before Sonic cut her off, was "There really are cotton candy clouds here!" If you recall, at the beginning of the level, Sonic mentioned there are no cotton candy clouds in Sweet Mountain, unlike in "Sugar Rush". Eggman hints that Discord forgot to take that cotton candy cloud with him when he left; it's the same cloud he pulled out from under the Eggmobile. What was he doing there? Heck, it's a world full of sweets and candies; why would someone like him need a reason to be there?

So... there you go.

The other issue I need to address is this story's sub-plot, AKA, that whole thing with Twilight this chapter. If you recall, during Frog Forest, Twilight had that worrying moment that was mentioned in Chun-Nan. That was also the thing Twilight was trying to talk to the others about during Sweet Mountain. This might just be me, but this is a part of the story I think some people will find controversial, and it comes almost entirely from the episodes "Lesson Zero", "It's About Time", and "A Canterlot Wedding", with some other episodes as well.

I'm sure we all remember those episodes: Twilight gets worried about something, has a bit of a breakdown, and everything turns out okay in the end. It's all well and good, right? Well, almost. If there's one thing that stuck out to me about these episodes in general, it's that nobody ever really talked to Twilight when all was said and done. Nobody was shown saying anything to her after Princess Celestia left, Pinkie Pie was being Pinkie Pie, and Applejack's attempt at an apology, while nice considering she was the one who suggested they go check on the fake Cadance in the first part, didn't exactly cut it for me. Except for the two instances that Pinkie Pie mentioned in this chapter, no one's ever really talked to Twilight, which I find odd because, five out of six times (Twilight obviously wasn't in "Putting Your Hoof Down", and I don't consider her interactions with Fluttershy in "Hurricane Fluttershy" to be significant), Twilight is there to talk with her friends. And, heck, everyone else gets talked to. The other ponies in the Main Six, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, Spike... heck, Spike got a break from Angel in "Just for Sidekicks"! These characters are all shown getting some kind of talk or forgiveness ON SCREEN, yet with Twilight, we're left to speculate whether or not anyone actually did.

Now I'm sure you're wondering, do I believe they never did? Of course not. In my headcanon, the other ponies and Spike probably did talk to her after the events of those episodes. Why didn't they show it during those episodes, though? Well, I think they suffered from time constraints. You know, they have almost half an hour to tell a story and wrap it up unless it's a two-parter; they may not be able to cover everything in that amount of time. With the exception of "Lesson Zero", I think they didn't have enough time to squeeze such a scene into these episodes. Therefore, we're left to assume everything's okay since Twilight's friends came through for her... at the last minute (Pinkie and Spike started getting worried before the Sun came up in "It's About Time").

But show time constraints aside, why didn't they show some form of the friends getting together or something? Well, to quote one of my Biology professors, "stuff happens" (okay, the word he used was a little more profane, but you know...). With everything that was going on at the time in those episodes, the thought of talking to Twilight probably slipped out. You know, they were worried Celestia was going to take her back to Canterlot forever for not having a report on time and wanted to keep her happy afterwards, there was the whole rush of searching through the Star Swirl the Bearded Wing for the scroll Twilight wanted and then her traveling back in time and suddenly reappearing, and of course preparing for Shining and Cadance's real wedding. They could have meant to do it right away, but other things came up. And by the time they were done, the thought was already gone.

As I said before, I do think they talked to Twilight after the events of these episodes, as in off screen, and I've found several fanfics that do this sort of thing or mention something happening like "A Former Esoteric Passion", "Like An Unexpected Song", "Canterlot Consequences", and "Miles to Go". These are all well-done stories that address issues that weren't properly covered on screen, and I think the writers did a great job addressing the issue. But disregarding that and my headcanon, let's ask ourselves:

What if they didn't? What if what we saw on screen was it? How do you think Twilight would feel or react? Is it a stretch to say that she might think her friends didn't think of her as a friend because she made mistakes and they never talked about them with her? Is it too much to think that she felt she had to work harder as a friend or else she would lose them as friends? I don't think so.

Nobody's perfect. No matter what they do, I don't hold anything against Spike, the Main Six, the Cutie Mark Crusaders, or anypony else on the show. They're all great characters and I like that they're not always perfect. But I still feel that, if Celestia, Shining, Spike, and/or Twilight's friends never talked to her, it's an issue that needs to be addressed, and some of the things that happened during season three made me wonder if Twilight's friends ever did talk to her. Up until about "Keep Calm and Flutter On", when I looked at some things a certain way, it felt like Twilight was still clinging to the mistakes she made during season two.

Not everything Eggman and Discord say represents what I think. While some of it does, a lot of what they say is part of their efforts to break Twilight and her friends up. Everything the girls say to each other is things I realized and/or otherwise saw other authors address and couldn't find any other way to word it because it's as true as it can be.

I'm not quite sure I said everything I'm thinking of above, but that just about sums up my reasons for including the Twilight sub-plot in this story. And just for the record, I HAVE read "Post Nuptials". However, it did not influence this chapter much. While it is indeed a very well-written story and realistic, I also feel it's a bit... heavy.

One last thing: I am NOT presenting Sonic as a seventh Element of Harmony. If anything, he's more like backup for them, which you'll see more of in the next chapter. He is not a true Element of Harmony, just so we're clear.

Now, onto the chapter notes.

Wanna know what happened on the way to Canterlot? Well, once this story is over, I might write about what happened.

The doors that seal off the tower where the Elements of Harmony are stored was partly based on the Thousand-Year Door from "Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door".

As mentioned, the pedestals for the Chaos Emeralds and Elements of Harmony look similar to the pedestals in the Gaia Temples in "Sonic Unleashed".

The box that held the Elements of Harmony being beaten up is a reference to the fact that, in "Keep Calm and Flutter On", the Elements were transported to Ponyville in a different box.

Can't have a fanfic featuring Discord without some "Star Trek" references, can we?

Originally, the scene where Nightmare Moon transforms into Discord was a bit more graphic. Specifically, there was going to be blood and a lot more sounds.

Discord's mention of the Forest of Leota is a reference to the "MLP: FiM" comic series. The second issue includes a map of Equestria. To the west of the Forest of Leota is a spot labeled as "Site of the Battle of Discord".

The screen that the Time Eater creates is based off the monitors that show how to do the combo moves in "Sonic 4: Episode II" and the monitor Eggman uses to reactivate Metal Sonic at the beginning of "Episode Metal".

When Discord calls Eggman "Robbie", he's referencing the line Classic Eggman said in the game about nobody calling him Robotnik anymore. It's also a reference to the Archie "Sonic X" comics. In Issue #20, Eggman posed as a mechanic named Robbie Nick in order to trick Sam Speed into his latest plot to defeat Sonic.

When Sonic and Tails team up to attack the Time Eater, their combined attack is the same attack Sonic and Knuckles do in the Sonic X episode "Map of Mayhem".

Eggman's controller is a reference to his Sega Dreamcast in "Sonic Unleashed".

Sonic mentioning that Discord using magic to take his speed away is a reference to the "SatAM" episode "Super Sonic", where a wizard DOES take Sonic's speed away with magic until he gets his computer of spells back from Robotnik.

The table that Discord creates to hold Rainbow Dash down is a reference to "Cupcakes".

Applejack calling the tree sap "mega muck" is a reference to the same gunk from the early Archie comics and the "SatAM" cartoon series.

When Discord says brown would work for Sonic when his fur is sticking straight up, it's an allusion to how Sonic looked in "Sonic the Comic" before he met Dr. Kintobor, got his Power Sneakers, and broke the speed of sound for the first time. That incident fused his quills together and turned him blue; before that, he was really spiky and brown.

Tails' thoughts about a beam creating a copy of Sonic is a reference to "Sonic Championship/the Fighters", where, when both players are the same character, Robotnik/Eggman shows up at the start and uses a beam/ray that, except for Honey the Cat, creates a completely gray copy of the character.

After Team Dark has said their piece and before Spike and Tails finish up, this is the order everybody speaks in:

Gilda

Trixie

Granny Smith (Big Macintosh carried her)

Big Macintosh

Vector

Espio

Charmy

Cutie Mark Crusaders

Zecora

Derpy

Cream

Blaze

Silver

Braeburn

Little Strongheart

Mayor Mare

Jet

Wave

Storm

Marine

Spitfire

Soarin

Yes, that was Chip speaking in everyone's heads.

I would like to thank :iconsuper-klonoa-gt: for giving me permission to use the Super designs for the Main Six that he and :icongeonine: worked on (which I hope is still good, since he gave me permission some time ago). They are completely their designs, and the links to them are found below:

Twilight Sparkle - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

Rainbow Dash - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

Applejack - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

Rarity - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

Fluttershy - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

Pinkie Pie - geonine.deviantart.com/art/Sup…

I think that's it. Kind of need to be somewhere, so I'll look this over later and see if there's anything I forgot. Have a happy Easter, everybody!

Music:

Arrival at Canterlot - www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOn-Xq…

It's Quiet... - www.youtube.com/watch?v=blbupi…

Here is the Map... - www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQcpVI…

The First Location - www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB-o0P…

Canterlot Tour - www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob5g2i…

The Combination for the Tower Doors - www.youtube.com/watch?v=krRNUV…

Regrouping - www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg2MYC…

Time for the Final Confrontation - www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDvKwT…

Eggman's... Allies? - www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rexts…

Eggman's Real Ally - www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-CwvH…

Eggman's Explanation - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChQFau…

The Time Eater - www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6Eha4…

Charging the Elements of Harmony - www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvSm4o…

Failure - www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6Pd4j…

Eggman vs. Celestia - www.youtube.com/watch?v=MMVMRe…

Ripping Out the Truth - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejoXeu…

Discord's Fun - www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNvYe1…

The Finishing Blow - www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiAcAn…

Last Chance - www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAvQNB…

Friendship is Magic - www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmbgCB…

The Crushing Defeat - www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlbJuf…

Never Alone - www.youtube.com/watch?v=pucnAv…

Chaos and Harmony, Unite! - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckBcVs…

Let the Final Battle Begin! - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld3JPW…
Add a Comment:
 
:icongojira012:
Gojira012 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Did you hear Tiny toons is on the hub
Reply
:icongreensonic21:
GreenSonic21 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Student Writer
Um... no.
Reply
:icongojira012:
Gojira012 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Well it is. Along with Animaniacs
Reply
:icongreensonic21:
GreenSonic21 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Student Writer
Okay.
Reply
:icongojira012:
Gojira012 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
In fact here's something I made for it

[link]
Reply
:iconpinkiepiethehedgehog:
Pinkiepiethehedgehog Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student Filmographer
in the part where shadow said you've got this sonic! Is it alike sonic generations?
Reply
:icongreensonic21:
GreenSonic21 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Student Writer
Um, yeah. I was kind of thinking of the actual game when I wrote that.
Reply
:iconshncv999:
SHNCV999 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Student Digital Artist
What do you you suggest of the release date of your final chapter of this epic crossover fanfic? I was even wondering like in that final battle of SG, the supporters will have any quotes, comments, or guides in that final battle!
Reply
:icongreensonic21:
GreenSonic21 Featured By Owner May 10, 2013  Student Writer
Ugh... Don't ask. But yes, there will be quotes and such during the final battle.
Reply
:iconshncv999:
SHNCV999 Featured By Owner May 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
(Parody from Donkey) Are you there yet?
Reply
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