"Ugh Why does Celestia's sun have to be so intense right now ?" Rainbow Dash groaned in her sleep, waving a hoof in the air before snuggling back into her cloud. At least she thought it was a cloud; she was actually lying on a grass-covered hill, the leaves waving softly as a light breeze blew through Rainbow Dash's mane.
Slowly, the gears in the rainbow-maned pegasus' head started to turn as she slowly woke up, beginning to remember what had happened before she blacked out. Suddenly, her eyes snapped open and she shot up, exclaiming, "Twilight!" She quickly looked from side to side, only to realize that she was all alone. Calming down slightly, she looked around again and asked, "What the hay? Where am I?"
Around her, Rainbow Dash could see palm trees, several different types of flowers (including fully grown sunflowers), totem poles, stone carvings, and pieces of land that had checkerboard patterns on their sides. Looking down at the grass, she realized it alternated between light green and dark green, almost like a stripe pattern. Looking up again, she could see more landmasses farther away in some directions, some of them even having waterfalls rolling down them. She knew what all of these things were, and yet she had never seen any of them before, at least not anywhere she had been in Equestria.
Rainbow Dash spoke, "Okay, this is seriously weird. Where am I? Where are
" She stopped herself in mid-sentence as she remembered the creature that had appeared above Ponyville. She growled, "That thing took my friends! And then it stranded me here, wherever here is!" She spread her wings and flapped them, lifting off the ground. As she hovered in the air, she said, "Well, I'm not just going to sit around here! No matter what it takes, I'm going to find that thing and get my friends back, or my name isn't Rainbow 'Danger' Dash!" She then took to the skies, flying above this 'green hill' area as she tried to get her bearings.
Sonic's eyes opened to a world of white. To his right, all he could make out was his right hand; everything else was complete white. He shifted his fingers a bit and began to move his head as he shook off the last bits of unconsciousness. After a minute, he pressed both hands against the ground, pushing himself up off the ground. He then shifted his weight to his left foot and right knee, holding himself up as he held his right hand to his head. "Uh
Where am I?" he asked. Shaking his head, he stood up and looked to his left and then to his right. Still he could see nothing but white.
Turning around, he finally saw something interesting. "Is that a tree
house?" he guessed as he looked at it. The tree in question, aside from appearing to be mostly white and gray, had multiple windows sticking out of it, what appeared to be an observation deck at the very top of the tree, a balcony, and some kind of sign in front of it. Nodding to himself, he ran towards the tree, coming to a stop in front of it.
Looking at the sign next to him, he muttered, "'Ponyville Library'
? Huh, that's interesting. I've never heard of a place called 'Ponyville' before." Looking towards the front door of the tree, he noticed it had a lit candle carved into the middle of it above two door handles. Shrugging to himself, he reached his right hand out towards the left handle and wrapped his fingers around it. He then gave it a tug, the door easily pulling open.
Stepping inside the tree, Sonic saw that the sign was absolutely correct. In the middle of the room was a round table with a bust sitting atop a raised spot in the middle, but lining the walls were bookcases full of books. "A library inside of a tree
Interesting concept," he murmured. He then shook his head, "This isn't the time to be reading! My friends have been kidnapped by some weird monster! I've gotta find them and help them!"
The blue hedgehog turned to leave and was about to step outside when he thought he heard something. Turning back towards the interior of the library, he muttered, "What was that? It sounded faint, but
" Closing his eyes, he focused on the library's air for a moment, listening. After a minute, he heard it again, a kind of pulsing sound. Opening his eyes and stepping slowly across the library floor, he kept his ears open, continuing to listen for the sound as he searched for its source.
His ears eventually led him to what appeared to be the library's basement. Pushing the door open, he stepped through it and looked down. Down below, he could see what appeared to be a white portal nestled against one of the walls, the portal pulsing softly as it floated there. Sonic quickly ran down the winding staircase to the ground below and walked up to the portal. Peering inside of it, he could see checkerboard patterned hills with green grass growing atop them, palm trees, flowers, and blue skies. "Hmm
That place looks kind of familiar. I've gotta check this out!" he said before leaping headfirst into the portal.
Sonic's feet soon touched solid ground and he looked around. The portal had transported him to the place it had shown him; he was now standing on a grass-covered checkerboard patterned hill under a blue, mostly cloudless sky. "Yeah, this place definitely feels nostalgic. I guess it couldn't hurt to look around," he mused. He then took off, running atop the hill, over a bridge, and, after a bit more running, down a slope and through a shuttle loop.
As he continued on past the shuttle loop, he saw something red up ahead and looked at it carefully. "Is that a
Motobug? I thought Eggman stopped using that particular Badnik a long time ago," he muttered. His suspicions were confirmed when, upon getting closer, the ladybug-like robot tried to take a swipe at him with one of its scythes. Sonic easily leapt over it and came to a stop before calling back, "Now that was rude! You know, I wasn't planning on hitting you, but now
Taking a quick look around, he saw that there were several more Motobugs around him, all of them pointing their scythes at him threateningly. Sonic just smirked, "Oh, it's a Motobug jamboree, huh? Hate to break it to you, guys, but the party's over." One of the Motobugs came rushing at him, but Sonic easily responded by kicking it in the face with his right foot, breaking it apart and sending its scrap metal flying. Another rushed at him from behind, only to have Sonic do a back flip over it and then strike it with a Homing Attack all in the same jump. The rest of them came after him, but they fared no better and soon, Sonic was standing next to a pile of Motobug remains. He grinned as he continued on his way, "Man, I forgot what pushovers those things are! Felt good all the same, though!"
A short while later, Sonic was still exploring the Green Hill Zone, going up and down the hills and stomping on old Badniks all the while. As he exited a cave, he sighed to himself, "Ah, this feels great. I totally remember this feeling." After running through a corkscrew loop, he looked to the side as he muttered, "Still, I have no idea what's going on here. What was that monster earlier? Where are my friends? And what's going on here?"
Sonic kept looking off to the side as he ran, which, unfortunately, meant he wasn't paying attention to the path in front of him. This meant he didn't see the rainbow blur in front of him, rapidly getting closer and closer to him. All of a sudden, the blue blur collided with the rainbow blur, both blurs sticking together for a moment as both of their tailwinds blew past them. They came apart as the wind died down, Sonic falling down on his back while a familiar cyan pegasus mare landed on her back with her wings outstretched. Sonic sat up after a moment and rubbed his head, groaning, "Ow
What hit me?"
He heard a female voice say, "That's what I want to know. Whatever that was, it had to have been going like
well, me." Sonic looked up at that and looked on in surprise as the rainbow maned pony sat up on her haunches, pressing her right hoof against her forehead as her wings drooped at her sides.
Sonic leapt to his feet and, after taking a moment to make sure he was seeing things right, said, "Whoa! I've never seen a pony with wings before!"
While rubbing her forehead with her hoof, Rainbow Dash muttered, "This guy's never seen a pegasus pony before? What cave has he been living in?" She soon lowered her hoof and looked up at Sonic, her eyes going wide at the sight of him. They quickly narrowed, however, and she leapt to her hooves, bending her knees as she glared at the blue hedgehog and bared her teeth.
Sonic held up his hands, "Whoa, take it easy! I'm not gonna hurt you!"
Rainbow Dash growled, "You expect me to believe that, especially after you got in my way just now?! I don't even know what you are! I mean, I'm not exactly the pony to talk to when it comes to animals, but I can usually recognize them when I see them!"
Sonic jabbed a thumb towards himself as he said, "Hey, I happen to be a hedgehog, lady! And I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention and I ran into you, but clearly you weren't looking forward either or it wouldn't have happened!"
Rainbow Dash stood up straight, but continued to glare at Sonic as she said, "Okay, maybe I was looking off to the side just a tiny bit, but that doesn't matter! Everypony I know knows to watch where I'm going, so why didn't you?!"
Sonic shrugged, "I don't even know you!"
Rainbow Dash held her head up high as she said, "Well, then there's your problem right there! I don't know where you come from, but you clearly don't hear the news much or else you'd know
Sonic suddenly noticed something behind and above Rainbow Dash and cut her off, running towards her while exclaiming, "Look out!" Before Rainbow Dash could say anything more, Sonic grabbed her and dashed forward, the sound of something exploding against the ground filling the air.
Rainbow Dash looked at Sonic as he came to a stop and set her down on her rump. "Hey, what's the big idea?!" she demanded. Sonic simply looked back at where she had been standing and pointed. She followed his finger and realized that there were three burnt patches of grass right where she had been standing. "Oh," she muttered. Looking back at Sonic, she asked, "What did that?"
Turning his head back around and looking up, the blue hedgehog replied, "Buzz Bombers." Rainbow Dash followed his gaze and saw three bee-like robots hovering in the air, looking down at the two of them. As they looked, the three Badniks charged up the lasers in their stingers and fired at them. Rainbow Dash stood up and both she and Sonic leapt back to avoid the shots, both of them sliding back a bit across the grass when they landed.
Looking back up at the Buzz Bombers, they saw the robots beginning to fly towards them while charging their lasers again. Clenching his fists, Sonic said, "I've got this." He leapt up towards the Buzz Bombers and performed three consecutive Homing Attacks, taking them all out. The hedgehog landed as lightly as a feather on the grass while the remains of the Badniks landed a little more noisily.
Turning back to Rainbow Dash, he saw that the cyan pegasus was staring at him, her mouth hanging open. She soon closed it and admitted, "That was
actually pretty cool."
Sonic replied, "Oh, uh, thanks. So what were you saying before? What am I supposed to know?"
Dash looked back at him for a second before she remembered their conversation. She spoke, "Oh, right! Well, what I was saying was
I mean, what I was going to say was
My name's Rainbow Dash," she said lamely, her anger and cautiousness having mellowed out in the last minute or so.
Sonic nodded, "Cool. It's nice to meet you, Rainbow Dash. Where are you from?"
The cyan pegasus replied, "I was born in Cloudsdale, just like most other pegasus ponies, but I live in Ponyville now."
Sonic held a hand to his chin as he said, "Ponyville? You know, I got here through some kind of portal in a place called the Ponyville Library."
Rainbow Dash gasped, "Ponyville Library?! Was it in a hollowed out tree?!" At Sonic's nod, she flew up to him and asked, "How's Ponyville doing?! I'd never leave it hanging, but I don't know where we are!"
Sonic replied, "I don't know. All I could see was the tree that the library was in; everything else was completely white. I couldn't see the town anywhere."
Rainbow Dash dropped down to the ground and groaned, "Oh no
First I can't save my friends from being ponynapped by some creepy monster that makes portals and now
Sonic cut her off, "Wait a second! Your friends got taken by a monster?" Rainbow Dash nodded, so he asked, "Did it have a really creepy-looking smile, narrowed eyes, and the rest of it was being covered up by something?"
Rainbow Dash nodded, "Yeah! How'd you know?"
Sonic answered, "My friends were taken by the same thing!"
Rainbow gasped, "No way!"
Sonic nodded, "Yeah
" After a moment, he spoke, "Listen Rainbow, we may not know what's going on, but clearly we're both looking for the same thing. What do you say we work together? At least until we have a better idea of what's going on?"
Rainbow Dash looked down and thought for a moment. She then stood up and said, "Okay! We'll stick together, uh
Sonic grinned sheepishly, "Oh yeah, I never introduced myself, did I?" He then said, "I'm Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog."
Rainbow nodded, "Okay then, Sonic, you can count on me to stick with you!" She then bumped her hoof against his fist. Afterwards, she asked, "So where were you going before we ran into each other?"
Sonic pointed his thumb behind him and said, "I was just following this path, seeing where it goes, you know." Lowering his hand, he asked, "Why, were you checking something else out?"
Rainbow replied, "Not really. I've been trying to figure out where I am ever since I woke up."
Sonic nodded, "Well, why don't we see where this goes first?"
Rainbow Dash replied, "Okay, but I've got one question for you, Sonic. If we're going to stick together, do you think you can keep up with me?"
Sonic smirked, "Oh, I'm sure I can keep up just fine. I think the real question is can you keep up with me?"
Rainbow Dash smiled and spread her wings, flapping them so she hovered a short distance above Sonic's head. She then smirked, "Well, I guess we'll find out, won't we?" Sonic nodded and turned around, getting into his pre-running position. He then took off, Rainbow Dash flying alongside him.
Rainbow Dash watched Sonic out of the corner of her eye as they continued on through the Green Hill Zone, noticing how fast his legs moved. She spoke, "I guess you are pretty fast, Sonic. Is that as fast as you can go?"
Sonic glanced at her and said, "No, I can go much faster if I want to." Turning his attention back to the path, he grinned, "In fact, if you want to see how much faster I can go, I see a great chance to show you."
Rainbow Dash followed his gaze and her eyes widened. They were approaching a shuttle loop, this one much bigger than the first one Sonic had run through. "You're not gonna
go through that, are you?" she asked. Sonic just grinned at her and pulled away from her, accelerating. The cyan pegasus could only watch as he started up the loop, his feet never slowing as he went completely vertical to the ground and then went upside down as he reached the middle of the loop. Still keeping up the pace, he quickly finished the second half of the loop, sliding to a stop once he was back on a horizontal surface again.
Rainbow Dash flew up to him seconds later and said, "Wow! Okay, I admit it. You really are fast!"
Sonic smiled, "Thanks. Same to you, Dash."
Rainbow Dash glanced behind Sonic and noticed another Badnik. She pointed, "Hey Sonic, what's that thing?"
Sonic turned and looked where she was pointing, seeing a red crab robot scuttling across the ground. "Looks like a Crabmeat," he said.
Rainbow Dash laughed, "Crabmeat? Is that its name, seriously?"
Sonic shrugged, "Hey, don't look at me. Ask the 'genius' who created it." Looking back at the Crabmeat, he asked, "You wanna take this one out?"
Rainbow Dash blinked, "Huh?"
Sonic smiled, "Sure! Just go and give it a good knock! Or would that be a good buck in your case?"
Rainbow glanced back at the metal crab, which finally seemed to notice them, and said, "Eh, I don't know
" Suddenly, the Crabmeat opened its pincers and fired two missiles at them! Both Sonic and Rainbow leapt out of the way and, after landing, the cyan mare growled, "Oh! You are SO gonna pay for that!" Before the crab could even react, Rainbow flew up to it and, in one swift motion, turned around and bucked it with her hind legs, sending it flying into a hill where it was smashed into pieces.
Sonic clapped his hands and then held up a thumb as he said, "Nice! I hope that's not your only trick."
Rainbow Dash grinned, "Oh, I know plenty of tricks! Well
okay, some of them are just flying stunts, but
Sonic waved his hand, "No biggie. I like pulling off aerial stunts myself. Anyway, let's keep moving." Rainbow nodded and they continued on their way.
A short while later, the blue hedgehog and cyan pegasus were coming up on a dead-end after avoiding being crushed under a giant, falling totem pole. Rainbow Dash laughed, "Ha ha, that was fun! I've never tried to get out from under something that big before!"
Sonic grinned, "Yeah. That was tight, all right. Now
" Looking ahead, he saw two figures up ahead at the dead-end, standing there. "Hey, who's there?" he wondered, Rainbow turning her head to look too.
As they got closer to the dead end, the two figures became clearer to the two speedsters. Rainbow's eyes widened, "That's
!" They both came to a stop as they reached the dead-end area, both of them running over to the figures a moment later.
Both the two-tailed fox and lavender unicorn were seemingly frozen, both of them completely white and their faces stuck in a look of shock or fear. Sonic snapped his fingers in front of Tails' face while Rainbow ran a hoof back and forth in front of Twilight's face. Neither action had any effect on the two frozen friends. Rainbow looked over at Sonic and asked, "What happened to them?"
Sonic looked at her and shrugged, "I have no idea." Glancing back at Tails, he said, "They're completely white, just like the library. Is this because of that monster?" He placed his hands on Tails' shoulders and gave him a shake. As he did, something rolled out from behind the fox and Sonic quickly noticed it. "What's this?" he asked as he bent down to pick the object up.
Rainbow Dash looked back at him and asked, "What's what?"
Sonic held the object up, the light from the sun reflecting off of its polished surface. He spoke, "It's a ring. I wonder
" After looking at it for another moment, he tossed it up once and then tossed it forward, the ring flipping over in midair during the second toss. Suddenly, with a *PHVWOW*, the ring became much bigger, a shimmering surface appearing within its hole!
"Whoa! How'd you do that?" Rainbow asked.
"It's a Warp Ring. These things can be used to travel long distances or get to otherwise unreachable locations. Lucky for us, this one's been charged," Sonic replied. Walking behind Tails, he placed his hands under the fox's arms and said, "Come on. We can use this to get back to the Ponyville Library. It should be a good place to leave both Tails and, uh, Twilight until we can figure out how to get them back to normal." Rainbow nodded and grabbed Twilight with her hooves, pulling her towards the Warp Ring while Sonic did the same with Tails. The portal within the ring closed after they stepped through it, the ring vanishing shortly afterwards.