After Tails opened up his radar and activated it, it almost immediately began to pick up a signal at the edge of Ponyville, right next to the Everfree Forest. Or rather, right next to where the Everfree Forest used to be. More of Ponyville had reappeared following Sonic, Twilight, and Applejack's encounter with Nightmare Moon, possibly due to the sudden appearance of the creature, but some parts of the town were still missing.
One thing they did notice when they stepped out of the town hall, however, was that more color seemed to have come back to the parts of the town that had already been there. Quite a few buildings now sported their proper colors, and so did the ponies that were occupying them when this whole fiasco started. The Mayor took it upon herself to go around to the buildings that had color and instruct all ponies inside to remain indoors until further notice. To anypony who asked about what was going on (and many ponies did), she would say that they were in the middle of a situation, but reassure them that it was being taken care of by a group of professionals.
The group of professionals, in question, was currently heading down a dirt path, trees flanking both sides of the path. Tails was looking down at his radar, monitoring the energy signatures while everybody else kept watch for anything out of the ordinary. Scootaloo, who was being allowed to tag along, eventually broke the silence, "So where's this portal thing anyway, huh?"
Twilight, who was bringing up the rear due to using a lot of magic earlier and was currently wearing two saddlebags, spoke, "We won't know until the signal tops out, but based on the path we're following, I'd say it's in or around Fluttershy's house."
Spike looked back at Twilight and asked, "Hey Twilight, why'd you want to stop by the library and get your saddlebags anyway? I can understand using one to carry the Elements of Harmony around in, but what do you need that book in the other bag for?"
Twilight looked back at her bags. The right bag held both Applejack and Rainbow Dash's necklaces while the bag on her left contained a brown book that she had picked off one of the library's shelves. She looked back at Spike a moment later and said, "I just wanted to have it with me in case I need it, Spike."
Rainbow Dash looked back at her with a raised eyebrow, "What are you going to need a random book for, Twilight?"
Applejack added, "Ah hope ya ain't plannin' on usin' it ta do research on wherever we're goin'. Ya can't possibly know where we're goin' before we get there."
Twilight replied, "Don't worry; I'm not going to hit the books in the middle of something like this. I might end up not needing it, but I brought it with me just in case."
Spike, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack continued to look at her oddly as they walked. "Oooookay then, Twilight. Whatever you say," Rainbow finally said.
Sonic had been listening in on the conversation behind him, but now that it was over, he looked over at Tails and watched him for a moment before turning back to the road. The two-tailed fox soon spoke, "Hey, we're almost there, guys!"
Sonic nodded, "You said it, Tails. Look!" He pointed up ahead past some trees. Tails and everypony else looked; sure enough, they were coming up on Fluttershy's cottage. Tails slipped his radar back into his tails; the group soon crossed the bridge over the stream that was currently frozen in front of the house. Sonic looked around and said, "Wow, that's a lot of birdhouses."
Rainbow Dash spoke, "Fluttershy really loves animals, Sonic. She's always taking care of birds, squirrels, her pet rabbit Angel, and a bunch of other stuff. She's kind of like a doctor to them. Oh, and she helped me pick out a pet of my own."
Sonic turned to her and asked, "Oh? What kind of pet?"
Before the cyan pegasus could answer, Tails pointed off to the side and asked, "Hey, what's that?" Everyone looked in the direction he was pointing and saw something green flying towards them.
Rainbow Dash grinned, "There he is now!" She called, "Tank! Over here!" The tortoise heard her call and flew towards her, coming to a stop in front of her.
"Whoa! Cool!" Sonic said.
"You attached a copter to a tortoise shell? Why? How does it even work?" Tails asked, looking at the contraption in question.
Rainbow looked at him and replied, "It's magic-powered. It lets him travel faster and allows him to leave my house whenever he wants. That way I don't have to carry him everywhere."
Scootaloo spoke, "You didn't mind carrying me earlier, Rainbow Dash."
The cyan mare shrugged, "Yeah, well, you don't weigh all that much, squirt. Besides, I was the one doing the racing, not you. You've still got a long way to go." Scootaloo looked a bit downtrodden at that.
Suddenly they all heard someone call, "Sonic!"
The blue hedgehog looked in the direction Tank had come from and saw a familiar figure approaching. "Knuckles!" he said. When the red echidna reached the group, Sonic asked, "What are you doing here?"
Knuckles explained, "I've been wandering around since I left that apple farm earlier, trying to find my way around here. While I was looking, I suddenly saw this flying turtle." He gestured to Tank at that.
"You mean tortoise. He's a tortoise," Rainbow Dash corrected.
Knuckles shrugged, "Whatever. I wasn't used to seeing one fly, okay? It looked so unusual that I just had to follow it."
Sonic asked, "You just got this urge to follow a flying tortoise?"
Knuckles rubbed his head as he said, "Well, it seemed a lot more appealing than listening to Amy go on and on about you. All that love and destiny stuff she talks about gets old pretty fast." He looked around and then asked, "So what's your excuse for being here?"
Tails explained, "We're still working on getting the color back to Ponyville. According to my radar, there's a portal like the one at Sweet Apple Acres around here."
Knuckles said, "I see. Can you guys handle it by yourself or do you need my help?"
Sonic replied, "Well, we won't know if we'll need your help until we actually find and see where the portal leads to, Knuckles. But
" He looked at Rainbow and the others and asked, "What do you all think? Do you mind if Knuckles wants to tag along?"
Twilight smiled, "No, he can come along if he wants!"
Applejack said, "Ah don't know, Twilight. He did take off shortly after he was brought back. How do we know he won't do that again here?"
Knuckles glared at her, "Hey, I left like that because I wanted to know where I was! If I'm not hunting for treasure or something else important, I don't like being in places where I don't know my way around! And when I'm with my friends, I don't go leaving them alone!"
Applejack got up in his face and said, "Yeah, it's probably the other way around! With a temper like this, Ah'll bet nopony else wants to be around you!"
Knuckles pushed back against her and growled, "I might have an attitude problem, but you shouldn't be lecturing me on it if you're getting angry this easily!"
Before either one of them could continue, both Tails and Twilight got up between them and pushed them away from each other, both of them saying, "STOP IT!"
Twilight looked between them as she said, "Please, this really isn't the place to be fighting! Fluttershy would be devastated if her home got destroyed!" Applejack's eyes widened at that, remembering that Fluttershy was indeed that sensitive.
Tails looked at Knuckles and spoke, "And we don't have time to be arguing like this! Everything's stable right now, but there's no guarantee that it's going to stay that way! We have to fix this problem as soon as possible!"
Knuckles rubbed his head as he said, "Uh, sorry Tails. I let my temper get the best of me."
Sonic spoke, "Hey, that's just one more reason for you to come along, Knuckles. You and Applejack can work out your differences together."
Knuckles sweat dropped at that, "Uh, yeah. That's a great idea, Sonic."
Applejack pawed at the ground as she said, "Ah guess we could give it a shot."
Rainbow spoke, "Well, come on, then! Let's find that portal!" Everybody nodded and then broke off, Sonic, Twilight, and Spike going to check inside Fluttershy's cottage while Tails, Applejack, Knuckles, Rainbow, Tank, and Scootaloo looked around outside.
Inside the small cottage, Sonic, Twilight, and Spike looked around the living room for a bit before splitting up. Spike went to check the bathroom, Twilight headed for the kitchen, and Sonic went upstairs to check the bedroom. Sonic checked in the fireplace (he couldn't help but marvel at how clean it was), the chest at the foot of the bed, and under the bed, but he didn't find anything, and he admittedly felt a little embarrassed about looking through somepony's things without them knowing.
He soon heard the sound of someone coming up the steps and looked up to see Twilight and Spike step into the bedroom. Sonic asked, "No luck?"
They both shook their heads. "I searched the whole kitchen, even looking inside all the cupboards and drawers, but I didn't find anything," Twilight said.
"Yeah, and there wasn't anything in the bathtub or the sink," Spike added.
Sonic crossed his arms and gave a thoughtful "hm". He then looked to his left and his eyes fell on the desk next to the bed. What caught his attention was the book sitting on top of it. Unlike the rest of Fluttershy's house, the book strangely had color. Sonic stood up and walked over to it, asking, "What's this?" Twilight and Spike walked over to him as he stood in front of the desk and picked up the book. He read the title, "'Hm
'Daring Do and the Kingdom of the Diamond Dogs'?"
Twilight immediately perked up at the name, "Oh, that's right! Fluttershy took it out from the library earlier this week since Rainbow Dash really wanted her to read it!"
Sonic turned around and asked, "What's it about?"
Twilight replied, "All the Daring Do books are about incredible adventures! The series is actually what got Rainbow Dash into reading in the first place." She then asked, "Do you like to read, Sonic?"
Sonic, as he looked down at the book and started flipping through some of the pages, said, "If I'm at home and nothing's going on, yeah, I like to curl up on my couch and pop open a good book. I don't get to do it often, since I'm usually traveling around the world and stopping Dr. Eggman, but when I'm able to, I enjoy it. I like reading, even when the books literally draw me into them like I mentioned before." He suddenly stopped flipping through the pages and stared at the pages in front of him. He then grinned, "Well, what do you know?"
Spike asked, "What, what is it?" He climbed up onto Twilight's back as she began to walk over to Sonic's side and they both looked at the book. They quickly saw what he was talking about.
On the pages in front of them was the portal they had been looking for. "Wow! One of these portals is in one of the library's books! That's amazing!" Twilight said.
Sonic stuck a few fingers between the pages and closed the book. He then looked at Twilight and Spike and said, "We'd better tell the others, huh?" Both Twilight and Spike nodded and they left the bedroom, going down the stairs and heading for the back door.
While they were going back through the cottage, the others were still searching the backyard of the house for the portal. At the moment, they were regrouping to report in. Rainbow Dash went first, "Tank and I searched the area near where the Everfree Forest is supposed to be, but there was nothing there."
Knuckles said, "I didn't find anything around that side of the house, and I'm sure Applejack didn't find anything either."
The earth pony glared at him, "Hey!"
Tails pleaded, "Come on, you guys
" He then looked around and asked, "Hey, has anyone seen Scootaloo?"
Everybody looked around at that, Rainbow's eyes soon moving back towards the Everfree Forest area. She flew over to the fence around the chicken coop and placed her forehooves on top of it. She soon heard rustling inside the coop and asked, "Is that you, Squirt?"
Scootaloo poked her head out through the opening and said, "Oh! Yeah it's me, Rainbow Dash!"
The cyan pegasus raised an eyebrow, "What are you doing in the chicken coop?"
Scootaloo rubbed the side of her head with a hoof as she replied, "Well, everypony else was searching and I wanted to help out. Nopony was looking in here, so I thought
Rainbow said, "Right. Come here; I'll give you a boost over the fence." Scootaloo came over and Rainbow lifted her up with her hooves, setting her down on the ground outside the fence.
Scootaloo smiled up at Rainbow, but then they both heard Tails call, "Sonic, Spike, Twilight!" They both looked to see the three of them coming out of the back door of the cottage and followed everybody else over to the trio.
Applejack asked, "Y'all find anything?"
Sonic held up the book and said, "We found this."
Rainbow Dash just about squealed, "Oh wow! So Fluttershy decided to check it out after all! I loved reading that one! It was different from the rest, but it was still awesome!"
Knuckles asked, "A book? You came out to tell us you guys found a book?"
Sonic smiled, "It's what's on the inside that counts, Knuckles." With that, he opened the book to his marked place, revealing the portal.
"Whoa! That's an interesting place for it to turn up!" Tails commented.
Rainbow gasped, "Does this mean we're actually going to go inside the world of Daring Do?!"
Sonic shrugged, "Probably not. But maybe it'll take us someplace worthy of an adventurer like her."
Rainbow grinned, "That works too! Let's go!"
Scootaloo spoke up, "Hey, can I come with you guys? It would be so awesome to work with you, Rainbow Dash!"
Rainbow turned around, ready to say something, but Sonic beat her to the punch, "Sure, you can come with, Scootaloo! I don't have a problem with that!"
Rainbow turned back to him and asked, "Are you kidding?! She can't come with us!"
Sonic raised an eyebrow, "Why not?"
Rainbow said, "She's still a little girl! If she gets in trouble, she won't be able to defend herself!"
Tails spoke up, "You know, when we were fighting Metal Sonic earlier, he managed to grab Spike and tried to use him against me. It worked because I didn't want to hurt him accidentally, but he managed to get himself free. And he's a young dragon."
Rainbow protested, "That's just it! He's a dragon! He's got those claws and the ability to breathe fire! Scootaloo can't even fly!"
Tails noticed that that bit of information seemed to hurt Scootaloo and he quickly stood up for her, "Well, I agree with Sonic! I think an experience like this would be good for her! It might even help her learn how to fly!"
Rainbow looked back at Sonic, Twilight, and Spike, hoping to find someone in her corner, but Sonic had his arms crossed, indicating that he was not going to change his mind, and Twilight and Spike looked like they weren't in the mood to debate with him. Rainbow finally threw her hooves into the air and growled, "Ugh, fine!" She then turned to Scootaloo and pointed a hoof at her, saying, "But you'd better stay close by us! No wandering off to try and find your special talent or anything like that! Got it?" The orange pegasus filly gave an innocent grin and nodded her head rapidly.
Knuckles looked at Applejack and asked, "You coming too, cowgirl?"
The orange earth pony replied, "Well, o' course Ah am! Ah might be a little tired out from fightin' with Nightmare Moon, but Ah can keep goin'!"
Twilight said, "Just be sure to let us know if you need to stop along the way, Applejack. We don't want to work you to the point of exhaustion in a place we're unfamiliar with." Applejack nodded in response, so Twilight used her magic to take the Daring Do book from Sonic's hands and held it up, saying, "Then let's get going!" Rainbow Dash quickly flew through the portal in the book, Tank following behind her. They were followed by Knuckles and Applejack, and Tails followed them after picking up Scootaloo.
Sonic took Spike off of Twilight's back and looked at her, saying, "See you on the other side!" Twilight nodded and then Sonic leapt through the portal with Spike in tow. Twilight turned the book around and was about to jump through the portal herself when she remembered where she was and looked around. After a moment of thought, she went back inside Fluttershy's cottage and went into the living room, going over to the couch and standing in front of it. After taking a moment to adjust the book's angle, she leapt through the portal. As soon as she went through, the magic aura around the book disappeared and it fell onto the couch, still open to the part where Daring Do located the ancient temple she had been searching for.
Twilight's hooves came into contact with soft ground and her knees buckled for a moment before she stood up straight. Looking around, she found that everybody else had made it through the portal okay and that there seemed to be tall trees all around them. "Where are we?" she asked to nopony in particular.
Applejack came over and said, "Ah think we're in a jungle or somethin', Sugarcube. Doesn't look like the Everfree Forest, that's fer darn sure." She then led the lavender unicorn over to the rest of the group.
Both Sonic and Knuckles were looking around the immediate area, as if they were trying to find something. Tails walked over to them and asked, "Hey Sonic, Knuckles, doesn't this place seem kind of familiar?"
While glancing around, Sonic replied, "Hm
I think you're right, Tails. I'm getting that déjà vu feeling again."
Knuckles nodded, "Me too. I remember some kind of temple being in a jungle like this. Maybe
" He walked over to a patch of bushes and peered beyond them. He then looked back and called, "Hey! Over here!" He stepped through the bushes and everybody followed after him. As soon as they stepped out of the bushes, they saw what had grabbed his attention: an ancient temple sitting in the middle of a grass-filled clearing.
Sonic pointed up at it and said, "Okay, that's DEFINITELY familiar."
Rainbow looked at him and excitedly asked, "Are we gonna have to go in there?!"
Sonic shrugged, "Probably."
Rainbow grinned, "Sweet!" She spread her wings and flew over to Applejack. "Gimme your hat, AJ!" she said, her hooves already reaching for the earth pony's Stetson.
Applejack immediately sat down and held both of her hooves up to her hat protectively. "Forget it, Rainbow Dash! Ah ain't givin' you mah hat!" she replied.
Rainbow whined, "Come on, Applejack! If we're going to be exploring a temple, I've gotta wear a cool hat like Daring Do does! I've got to look the part!"
Applejack snorted, "Ah'm sure ya do! Besides, Daring Do wears a pith helmet, not a Stetson!"
Rainbow replied, "So? I'll take what I can get!"
Any further argument was cut off when Sonic called, "Hey ladies!" The two mares looked to see that Sonic and the others had already climbed up the stairs in front of the temple and were now standing in front of the entrance. Both Applejack and Rainbow Dash shot each other a look before they both hurried to catch up with the rest of the group.
While they were hurrying to catch up, Knuckles rubbed his right hand against his forehead as he muttered, "This was definitely a mistake
Twilight looked at him sympathetically and said, "Just give them a chance, Knuckles. They like to go at each other from time to time, but it's mostly for fun." Knuckles didn't get a chance to respond before Rainbow Dash landed in front of the group and Applejack reached the top of the stairs. They all then entered the temple, Twilight taking a look around at the jungle before following the others in, an oddly-shaped shadow creeping along the ground behind her.
The interior of the temple was somewhat dark, but it wasn't dark enough that nobody could see what was in front of them as they walked down the gray hallway. The hallway soon emptied out into a larger room lit by torches along the sides of the room. At the other end of the room, a small waterfall was pouring out of a stone face. Everybody stopped in the middle of the room and looked around from where they were standing. Finding nothing else of interest in the room, they soon walked over to the waterfall, which had an opening leading further into the temple behind it.
As they continued onward, it began to get darker and darker. "Shoot, Ah can't see a hoof in front o' mah face," Applejack complained as they walked.
"OW! Who bumped into me?" Spike groaned.
"Sorry, Spike, that was me!" Scootaloo said.
Before anyone else could say anything, Rainbow spoke up, "Everypony, just stop where you are!" The sound of footsteps and hoofsteps silenced at her words, the only other sound being the sound of Tank's copter spinning around, the magic aura surrounding it providing a small amount of light in the darkness. Rainbow spoke, "Good. Now look, we're not going to get anywhere quickly if we keep wandering around in the dark like this. Twilight, can you give us some light here?"
The lavender unicorn replied, "I'll try." She spread out her legs and lowered her head, focusing her magic into her horn. After a second, her magenta aura surrounded her horn, though due to them standing in a corridor, the light it projected didn't go very far past or behind the group. Twilight sighed, "I don't think I can light this hallway up anymore than this."
Sonic spoke, "You may not need to. I think I saw a torch." He walked a little ahead of the group into the darkness and began feeling along the wall. His right hand soon bumped against something and he wrapped his fingers around it. "Ah, here we go," he said. He then walked back over to the group and asked, "Does anyone have any matches?"
Spike spoke, "Come over here. I'll light it for you." Sonic walked over to the baby dragon and moved to the side, holding the torch out in front of him. Spike released a plume of green flames from his mouth at the torch and it lit up with the same colored flames. It provided them with a little more light and, after working things out, Sonic, Knuckles, Rainbow Dash, and Tank moved to the front of the group, the torch lighting their way. Twilight, along with Spike, Scootaloo, and Tails, hung back to provide some light from behind while Applejack walked between the two sources of light.
As they continued onward, Sonic looked back at Tails and the others. Both Twilight and Applejack were concentrating on what was in front of them, though he guessed they were both listening to what Tails, Scootaloo, and Spike were talking in hushed voices about (Sonic thought he could hear Scootaloo mention something about her 'crusader work' at one point). Looking forward again, he noticed Knuckles had taken the lead, walking at the farthest point that the light from the torch reached. Glancing over at Rainbow Dash, he moved over to her right side, seeing as Tank was on her left, and asked, "So what's the deal with you and Scootaloo?"
Rainbow flinched, possibly because she was trying to be adventurous and didn't expect anyone to break her concentration, and looked at him, asking, "What do you mean?"
Sonic shrugged, "Well, she seems to want to be looking to either support you or get your attention whenever the opportunity presents itself. Not to mention she seemed to take the whole 'unable to fly' comment kind of hard."
Rainbow sighed, "Okay, maybe that was a little uncalled for. But it's true, you know; Gilda dropped her over the edge of Cloudsdale during our race, and while I did manage to perform another Sonic Rainboom and beat Gilda, I still had to rescue her because she couldn't fly."
Sonic said, "That's not really what I'm asking about. What is she to you? What are you to her? You can whisper it to me if you want; I won't tell anybody."
Rainbow looked away for a moment and then looked back at him, speaking to him in a hushed tone, "Well, she kind of looks up to me as, you know, a hero. She even started a fan club once. And, when she asked, I agreed to take her under my wing. She's a cool kid and all, and I like to help her out or teach her stuff, but I still stand by what I said. She can't fly, and she's kind of lacking in other things that could be useful to us at the moment. I guess I don't see why you and Tails insisted that she come along instead of staying where it's safe."
Sonic looked forward and said, "You know, when he was younger, people, especially the ones who used to bully him, used to ask me why I hung around with Tails and why I refer to him as my little brother."
Rainbow asked, "What did you say?"
Sonic replied, "I told them, 'you don't know him'."
Rainbow raised an eyebrow, "That's all you said?"
Sonic nodded, "That's what had to be said. Sure, the fact that he was the first person to be able to keep up with me and his love of machines impressed me when I first met him, but I could tell he needed a friend. So I became the first person to accept him for who he was, and I started letting him come with me on adventures. We're still the best of friends, but nowadays, he's got something that he didn't have when we were first starting out."
Rainbow asked, "What? And what does that have to do with me and Scootaloo?"
Sonic shrugged, "I don't know."
Before Rainbow had a chance to respond, Knuckles called, "Hey, hold up!" Everybody came to a stop and looked at him as he pointed forward and said, "There's a light coming from up ahead!" He began to lead the way again, everyone following behind him.
When they reached the source of the light, they found that it led them to a pipe-shaped hallway that was mostly light brown with darker shades of brown here and there. Before they started down the hall, Sonic spoke, "Hold up, everyone."
Tails asked, "What is it, Sonic?"
Sonic replied, "I'm pretty sure there are traps in this hallway."
Twilight asked, "Traps? What kind of traps, Sonic?"
Suddenly, a stone poked out of the floor of the hallway, flames surrounding it as it reached its full height. "That kind, mostly," Sonic replied, noting the spots where the floor, wall, and ceiling appeared to contrast with the rest of the hallway. He put out his torch and said, "Stay away from those spots that look different compared to the rest of the hall. They're the ones rigged to rise up."
Rainbow Dash laughed, "Ha! No biggie! I bet I can make it to the other end before any of them even move!"
Sonic grinned back at her, "Oh yeah? Wanna see if you can get there before me?"
Rainbow returned the grin, "You're on!" She then spread her wings and flew up before flying down the hall, Sonic running underneath her.
Knuckles groaned to himself, "I should've seen this coming
Tails smiled, "Ah, they're just having fun, Knuckles. Someone's gotta help keep everyone's spirits up."
Applejack patted him on the back with a hoof, "Well said, darlin'! Somepony's gotta fill in for Pinkie Pie 'til we can find her!" She shot a pointed glance at Knuckles, as if challenging him to prove her wrong, and then adjusted her hat and said, "Come on, y'all! Let's catch up with them!" She then dashed into the hall, Tails flying after her and everyone else following after him.
While Rainbow Dash flew straight down the middle of the hall, where most of the moving stones couldn't reach, Sonic ran underneath her, swerving around flaming stones and leaping over the ones that were beginning to rise up. After a minute or less, they reached the other end at roughly the same time and leapt down, landing in front of the entrance to another corridor. Rainbow looked at Sonic and asked, "Did you make it out first or did I?"
Sonic shrugged, "I don't know. I wasn't paying attention." Turning his head to look up at the hallway they just came out of, he called, "Everybody okay up there?"
Applejack soon called back, "Be with ya in a minute, Sugar-hog!" She, Knuckles, Tank, and Tails emerged from the hall soon after, Scootaloo and Twilight showing up afterwards. From the look of it, they all managed to make it through without getting burned. Satisfied, Sonic and Rainbow Dash took point, leading the way through the corridor in front of them.
After a few minutes of walking, they entered another room, where they found a large, stone snake head embedded in the wall. Its mouth opened as they approached it, revealing an opening to a large, circular chamber. The group was standing on one of the stone platforms attached to the wall, being about halfway to the top of the chamber. As they looked around, Scootaloo stepped closer to Spike, and suddenly the ground beneath them moved with a noise that seemed to cut right through the silence, startling both of them.
Moments later, the room began to rumble. "W-what's happening?!" Twilight asked.
Spike looked down and said, "Uh, I think we might have triggered a trap." Sure enough, seconds later, multiple hidden doors in the walls suddenly opened up and water started pouring out of them, beginning to pool at the bottom of the chamber.
Applejack looked back to see that the opening had closed up behind them, sealing them in the room. "Anypony got any ideas? Because we can't go back now!" she said.
Sonic pointed up at one of the platforms sticking out of the wall, "There's a door up there! The switches that open it should be in this room!" He turned to Tails and Rainbow Dash and said, "Tails, Rainbow, fly up there and see if you can spot the switches and how many there are! We'll start looking down here!" The two of them nodded and flew up towards the platform with Tank while the rest of the group split up, Sonic, Knuckles, and Scootaloo heading to the left along the platform while Twilight, Spike (now riding on Twilight's back), and Applejack went to the right.
The three flyers saw the door Sonic was talking about as soon as they reached the platform. Rainbow turned and called to everyone, "There are three switches! And one of them is over there!" She pointed in the direction Sonic, Knuckles, and Scootaloo were heading, the three of them heading for the spot she pointed towards.
Knuckles reached the switch first, thanks to his fists, and pressed down on it. The corresponding switch lit up above the door, but almost immediately the water began to flow faster, the water below approaching the quarter point. "The water's coming in faster now! Are we really supposed to press these switches?!" Scootaloo asked.
Tails called, "Don't worry, Scootaloo! It's probably a defense mechanism designed to keep intruders from getting deeper inside the temple! Once all the switches are pressed, the water should stop!" He turned and noticed that Twilight was having trouble getting to the higher parts of the room. To get to the upper levels from where she and Applejack were, as well as one of the switches, they needed to jump on top of the pillars that extended up from the middle of the chamber. The orange earth pony seemed to be doing okay, but Twilight was having trouble making the jumps, so she had given Spike to Applejack and was now trying to catch up with her. Tails spun his namesakes around and flew down, calling, "Hang on, Twilight! I'm coming to help!" When he reached her, he picked her up and flew up after Applejack and Spike.
Working together, the group managed to press the last two switches before the chamber completely flooded, the water stopping and the door opening after the last switch was pressed. Tails flew Twilight, Applejack, and Spike up to the door while Knuckles climbed up and glided over to it and Sonic carried Scootaloo as he leapt from one pillar to the next. They then hurried through the door, which had strangely begun to spew fog after opening. The fog was so thick that they didn't realize that there was another portal in their path