Inside the time tunnel, Sonic, Rainbow, Applejack, and Pinkie saw the portal opening up in front of them, all of them getting ready as the Time Eater came through it. “The Doc’s back for more, huh?” Applejack grunted, thumping her front hooves together.
“Yay, Eggy’s back! Can we have more fun with him now?” Pinkie asked, shaking in midair with excitement.
Sonic looked at her, “Hold on, Pinkie, don’t go jumping into this right away.” He looked at Rainbow, “You want to take this one, Dash?”
Rainbow grinned back at him, “Duh! Of course I do! Everyone’s been waiting for this moment!” She turned and flew towards the Time Eater, the fire in her mane and tail trailing behind her as she went.
Orbot saw her coming and said, “Rainbow Dash is headed our way, Boss. Might I suggest another ‘strategic retreat’?”
Cubot, his head having been knocked against the back of the Eggmobile at some point, spoke in a Scottish accent, “We cannot keep fighting, Captain! She cannot take the strain!”
Eggman yelled, “Shut up, both of you!” He glared at Rainbow Dash through his screen, “You horrid ponies are more trouble than you’re worth! But I won’t go down so easily!”
Rainbow smirked, “Really? ‘Cause I think it’ll be pretty easy for me! Let’s see if you can handle all the colors of Harmony!”
Eggman pressed a button on his Eggmobile’s console, “I’m just getting started! Take this!” In response to his command, the Time Eater fired Homing Shots at Rainbow Dash, more than it had at any point before!
“That looks like a homing shot!” Soarin called.
“Move it, Dash, he’s targeting you!” Gilda yelled.
But Rainbow didn’t listen to her. Instead, she wound up her left foreleg like she was winding up a punch and, with a smirk, shot straight towards the Time Eater! As she approached the first Homing Shot, the shot coming up from below her, she swung her left front hoof at it, the hoof punch knocking the shot off-course! Not wasting a second, the pegasus spun around and swung her right front hoof into the Homing Shot above her! The rest of the shots closed in on her as she flew, but she kept spinning and swinging her hooves, doing a barrel roll as she deflected the shots and closed the gap between her and the Time Eater.
After stopping the last shot, Rainbow did one more roll and came to a stop just a short distance in front of the Time Eater, flapping her wings to remain in place. She grinned, “Did you actually think you could hit me with a move you’ve been spamming this whole time? Get real, Egghead!”
Eggman growled as he pressed another button, “How’s this then!” Three green energy orbs appeared in front of the Time Eater shortly after he pressed the button, growing bigger and beginning to glow brighter as they grew.
Rainbow smirked, “Aren’t you skipping over two, Eggman? Well, whatever; let’s see if you can hit me in the middle of a Sonic Rainboom!” She flew up as the orbs fired their beams straight ahead, Sonic, Pinkie, and Applejack moving out of the way as they flew forward to join Dash. Their pegasus friend reached the top of the time tunnel as the orbs disappeared and pulled a U-turn, flying straight back down, her hooves pointing in front of her.
As she flew down, the familiar, nearly invisible aura began to form around her hooves, though it was forming much faster than ever before, bar possibly the Canterlot wedding. In less than a second, her Sonic Rainboom went off, Rainbow flying down past the Time Eater as its green orbs began to form again and weaving around the time tunnel while leaving a flaming rainbow in her wake as it fired its beams. She kept flying around and dodging the shots from the Time Eater, practically filling the part of the tube she was flying around in with a rainbow as she flew.
While looking at the rainbow trails the pegasus was leaving behind, Orbot commented, “I can’t even see her anymore. How are you going to fight her when you can’t even see her, Boss?”
Cubot cried, “It’s no use, Captain! She has too much power!”
Eggman yelled, “I told you two to shut up! I don’t need your running commentary!” Turning his attention back to Rainbow Dash, he grunted, “If you think you can outsmart me this way, you’ve got another thing coming, Rainbow Dash! I’ll wipe you and your little fiery spectrum out in one fell swoop!” He pushed a button on his console while saying, “Burn!!!”
Suddenly, a large amount of pink energy began to build up in front of the Time Eater, a large sphere beginning to form. Sonic, Applejack, and Pinkie noticed it, but Rainbow didn’t, considering she was still flying around to confuse Eggman. “Hey Rainbow, heads up!” Sonic yelled.
While still flying, Rainbow called, “What, what is it, Sonic? I’m kind of busy getting ready to finish off walrus chops over there, so…” She didn’t get a chance to finish her sentence since the energy the Time Eater had been building up was condensed into a large beam that was fired straight ahead, dissipating all the rainbows that Rainbow had been leaving and sending the pegasus flying backwards!
Sonic and Applejack flew up and got behind Rainbow, Pinkie randomly appearing behind them as they caught the pegasus and managed to stop her in mid-flight. Sonic and Applejack grunted as they were pushed backwards by helping her stop, the former saying when they came to a complete stop, “That’s what. Care to try that again?”
Rainbow glared in the Time Eater’s direction, noticing all the remaining embers left behind by her destroyed rainbows. “That’s it! You do NOT interrupt me in the middle of a flying session!” she growled, blasting off towards the Time Eater once she was done speaking, Applejack rolling her eyes at Rainbow’s usual brashness.
Eggman grinned as he saw Rainbow coming, “Ho ho! You want some more, do you? It’s no use; give up!” He pressed the button on his console again, the Time Eater once again building up pink energy in front of it.
When she was about halfway to the Time Eater, Dash came to a stop and eyed the rainbow embers again. Looking down at her right front hoof, she held it straight up, trying to channel the Chaos Energy in her body into it and direct it towards those flames. After a moment, the embers responded; they began to float towards her hoof, being absorbed into it and causing her hoof to glow with all the colors of the rainbow while her necklace began to glow red.
Once she was ready, Rainbow thrust her hoof in the direction of the Time Eater as it unleashed its beam at her again, a large rainbow-colored beam being shot from her hoof when her leg pointed straight that collided with the Time Eater’s beam. Both beams pushed against each other for several seconds, each managing to move a short distance before being pushed back a few times before both beams cancelled each other out and a bright pink and rainbow-colored flash filled the tunnel!
“WHAT?!” Eggman exclaimed at this as he averted his eyes.
Not the least bit bothered by the flash, Rainbow shot forward, aiming for the Time Eater’s core. As she neared it, she brought her hind legs up in front of her and, when she was right in front of it, began kicking it at blinding speed. After a few seconds of this, she started to float backwards and then suddenly thrust both of her front hooves forward at the core, causing more cracks to appear and pushing the Time Eater backwards!
“Way to go, Rainbow Dash!” Scootaloo cheered.
“Keep it up, Dash!” Spitfire called.
Rainbow grinned as she looked at the Time Eater, still floating backwards, “Ha ha! Eat righteous pony dust, Egghead!”
Eggman managed to regain control of the Time Eater a second later and growled, “Grr…! Enjoy the feeling while it lasts, Rainbow Dash! You won’t have much to smile about soon!” Unsurprisingly, he then opened the black portal up behind the Time Eater and had it float into it, the creature disappearing once it was through and the portal closing afterwards.
Rainbow turned to look in the direction of Twilight’s group and called, “Twilight! Be careful!”
The three mares outside the time tunnel immediately went on the defensive at that, looking around for Discord. They’d seen and heard how angry Eggman was; would Discord be that angry as well? They didn’t know, but they weren’t going to let the draconequus take them by surprise, angry or not.
All of a sudden, Discord called, “Yoo-hoo, ladies~!” Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy tensed up at that; they could hear him, but he hadn’t appeared yet. Suddenly, one of the draconequus’ chocolate milk balls appeared right behind the trio! Almost as soon as it appeared, it exploded, pushing all of them forward and splattering them with drops of chocolate. After a few seconds, Twilight and Fluttershy managed to right themselves and spread their wings, slowing down and stopping, their wings getting in Rarity’s way and stopping her as well.
Almost immediately afterwards, Discord appeared some distance away from the mares. He grinned at them, “How did you girls like that nice warm milk, huh?”
While holding her mane between her hooves and working the chocolate milk out of it, Rarity scowled, “We didn’t. We prefer being able to drink our milk rather than it blowing up on us. And this shade of brown should only be used for accents!”
Discord smirked, “Should it now? Well, I’ll be sure to keep that in mind then, Rarity… and have more chocolate milk than ever before when I’m finished with all of you! It will be the perfect accent for EVERYTHING!”
Rarity glared at him, a furious expression on her face. “Ooh…! Why, you deplorable…!” she exclaimed as she lunged in his direction.
Fluttershy grabbed her from the side, wrapping her forelegs around Rarity’s midsection while the fashionista kept reaching her hooves out towards Discord, her horn pulsing with her magic. “Oh, Rarity… please, calm down…” the shy pegasus pleaded, her forelegs still wrapped tightly around the squirming unicorn. Twilight looked back at the two, Rarity still struggling in Fluttershy’s grip as she kept trying to calm her down to no avail.
Twilight looked back at Discord when the draconequus spoke, “Well Twilight, looks like it’s all up to you again. Your friends are fighting with each other, and you’re facing me all alone with power you don’t know how to control…” He smirked, “Does that frighten you? You’re shaking…”
The pseudo-alicorn glared at him, her mane and tail waving of their own accord, “Sorry… that’s just from excitement.” Discord raised an eyebrow at that. Twilight explained, “You think the rest of us just sat back and did nothing this whole time, Discord? Like you said, the Chaos Emeralds are giving us power we’re not used to. This whole time, even when we haven’t been fighting, we’ve been getting used to what we can do now. You’re going to see what I can do now… and I’m excited at the idea of being able to test it all out.”
Discord’s smirk returned, a chuckle emanating from his mouth. “So you think you’ve learned it all and are ready to show it off, huh? Well then, nerd… if it’s a test you want, you’ll get a test!” he mocked.
As Twilight readied herself, Zecora’s voice spoke to her, “You have been taught much, Twilight, but remember your focus! No noise, no sound, no din, no fuss!”
Shining called, “Twilight! Your friends all had to give it their all to attack Dr. Eggman and Discord! You have to do the same!”
Shadow spoke, “Agreed. This is no time to hold back. If you have to destroy all the debris around you to put that child in his place, do it!”
Discord overheard him and growled, “A child, am I?! Well, let me just remind you that this ‘child’ likes to play with big toys!” Indulging in his draconic traits, the draconequus reared his long neck back and then thrust his head forward, unleashing a large orange fireball from his mouth at the three mares! Rarity, now over her little fit over what Discord had said, stared along with Twilight and Fluttershy as it flew towards them.
Then, suddenly, Twilight’s horn lit up with her magic and then, less than a second later, there was a bright magenta flash, Discord’s fireball flying straight through it without hitting anything. When the flash cleared, Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy had vanished, but they reappeared a second later some distance away from where they had previously been, Fluttershy and Rarity looking a bit surprised but otherwise appearing to be no worse for the wear.
Twilight looked back at them, “Rarity, Fluttershy, are you both okay?”
Fluttershy was the first to respond, “Y-Yes, I-I think so, Twilight. Th-Thank you.”
Twilight sighed, “Good… My magic really does feel much stronger than it briefly was when the Secretariat Comet was passing over the Changeling Kingdom. Even though we all have the Chaos Emeralds’ power, I don’t want to have another magic surge and this time accidentally hurt you girls.”
Rarity reassured her, “Don’t worry about that, Twilight. Fluttershy and I are going to be close by you while we deal with these ruffians. And should a situation arise, I think Fluttershy and I will be safe.” She took her now-dry mane in her forehooves and stroked it with one hoof, saying, “My hair feels like fine silk right now, but there’s something about it… It feels as though I could make it as strong as the toughest armor or as light as the most beautiful dress.”
Before any of them could say anything else, Discord called, “Oh ladies~! If this is all you’re going to do, then it’s my turn again!” Twilight turned her head back in his direction, Fluttershy and Rarity looking as well. The draconequus raised his lion paw up and snapped his fingers; he instantly vanished and reappeared far away from where he had previously been.
As the three of them watched, Discord continued to snap his fingers, disappearing and reappearing in a different spot each time. “What is Discord doing?” Fluttershy asked.
“He’s trying to confuse us… I think,” Twilight muttered.
Suddenly, Discord appeared some distance behind the mares and called, “Ooh, I’m over here!” Rarity, Fluttershy, and Twilight turned around to face him, the former two nodding in Twilight’s direction a moment later. The pseudo-alicorn’s horn lit up at that and, a second later, they all disappeared and reappeared around Discord, surrounding him. Instead of getting nervous, or even seeming surprised, Discord simply grinned, “Ah, perfect! I don’t even have to strain myself!” In a sudden sweeping motion, Discord whirled around, grabbing Rarity with his eagle talon and Fluttershy with his lion paw!
“RARITY!” Spike screamed.
Twilight charged her horn up, pointing it directly at Discord’s back. “Discord, let them go!”
The draconequus grinned back at her over his shoulder, “Ooh, what are you going to do if I don’t? Blast me with your magic?” Twilight finished charging her magic as she prepared to do just that, but just as she was about to release it, Discord whirled around and held Fluttershy and Rarity in front of her horn, causing her to hesitate. Discord smirked, “What’s the matter, Twilight? I thought you wanted to fight for your friendship!”
Rarity and Fluttershy struggled in his grip, but neither one was in a position to attack him. Rarity soon yelled at Twilight, “Twilight, what are you waiting for?! Get him!”
Twilight looked at both her and Fluttershy, both at point-blank range in front of her, and stammered, “I… can’t do it!”
Discord grinned, “Looks like your friends are in over their heads because of you again, Twilight! Some friend and leader you are!” He quickly fired a fireball at her, sending the unicorn flying while he vanished with Rarity and Fluttershy.
After being sent backwards for a few seconds, Twilight managed to hold her wings up and slow herself down, righting herself shortly afterwards. Shaking her head and holding a hoof to it, she started to think of a plan to help Rarity and Fluttershy, only to have her train of thought derailed when Spike started yelling at her, “Twilight, what are you doing?! Discord has Rarity; you’ve got to help her! You’ve got the super powers or whatever now, so use them! Go get that…”
Whatever else Spike was going to say was seemingly cut off, as all Twilight heard after that was mumbling from him. She then heard Trixie speak up, “Twilight Sparkle needs a chance to THINK, dragon, and you are not helping her in the slightest!”
Blaze then spoke, “Twilight, the Chaos Emeralds have granted you great power, but anything you’ve gained from them may not be permanent. Remember, it doesn’t all have to be used to fight; you can use it in other ways as well and not lose it as long as you have the Chaos Emeralds’ power!”
Twilight thought about that for a moment before eying the shard wings on her back. “I’ve got it! Blaze, that’s perfect!” she exclaimed. Spreading her wings, she looked around for Discord as she prepared to fly.
The draconequus soon revealed himself, appearing far away from Twilight and still holding Fluttershy and Rarity in his hands as well as having two cotton candy clouds floating at his sides. “Oh Twilight~! I’m over here!” he called. The pseudo-alicorn turned to look at him and immediately started flying towards him. Discord grinned at this action, both of his cotton candy clouds rumbling with thunder and then shooting bolts of lightning straight at her!
Twilight saw this coming, though, and, as soon as she had heard the rumbling, she started channeling her magic into her horn. When the lightning was fired, traveling as fast as lightning normally should, she performed a short-range teleportation, reappearing past the lightning as it struck nothing. She then charged up her magic again and fired a beam at the cloud to her right, breaking it into fluffy cotton candy pieces.
Discord gasped (probably in mock shock), “Twilight! That was incredibly rude!” Twilight didn’t answer him and began charging her magic again. Discord smirked and made his remaining cotton candy cloud float in front of him, positioning it in front of Fluttershy and Rarity so Twilight couldn’t see them. “Go ahead, just try and do it again, Twilight!”
Twilight answered his challenge, but not in the way he expected her to. Instead of firing another beam, she used her magic to remove three shards from each of her wings and launch them at the cotton candy cloud! The left shard triplet hit the cotton candy cloud, causing it to break apart; the right triplet flew past where the cloud had been and struck Rarity. However, instead of hurting her, it grabbed her and pulled her free of Discord’s eagle talon, dragging her back to Twilight!
Once they were back together, Twilight said, “Rarity, those shards are like gems! Use them!” The fashionista gave her a determined glare and nodded, turning around and taking the shards still attached to her in her magic, removing them and sending them flying at Discord, the draconequus tightening his lion paw around the shy pegasus, almost choking her.
The shards struck and were embedded in his lion paw hand, causing him to yelp in pain and release Fluttershy! Shaking his paw to remove the shards, he grabbed Fluttershy in both hands and held her up to his face, growling, “I’m not going to let YOU get away!”
While Twilight summoned her shards back to herself, Fluttershy glared and said, “Oh… yes… you… WILL!” She then extended her left wing and swung it as hard as she could, slapping Discord along the right side of his face and causing him to release his grip just enough for her to slip out!
Recovering from the surprise wing slap, Discord turned to look at her as she flapped her wings to go backwards, only for Twilight to suddenly teleport in front of him with her horn and crown glowing brightly! Without even a word, Twilight concentrated all of her magic into her horn and fired a large, powerful beam at Discord, the beam engulfing him and pushing him backwards! The beam shot across the empty space of the Center of Time before slowly dissipating, Discord screaming all the while.
“Twilight… that was…” Cadance stammered.
“That was amazing, Twilight!” Silver exclaimed.
“Indeed. Simply amazing, my student. There are no words to describe how powerful your magic is now,” Celestia commented.
“SUCH DESTRUCTIVE POWER WITH SOMETHING SO ILLOGICAL… I LIKE YOU!” Omega said. Twilight’s eyes went wide at that, as if her eyes weren’t already wide enough at her own display of power.
She returned to normal somewhat when Sonic asked, “Where’s Discord?”
Twilight looked around for a moment before saying, “I don’t see him…”
Luna said, “Perhaps that blast finished him and we no longer have to worry about him.”
Shadow spoke, “I don’t think so.”
He was proven correct a second later as Discord suddenly appeared in front of Twilight, popping out of nowhere and startling her, Rarity, and Fluttershy back a bit. “Oh my, Twilight Sparkle! I have to say, that was quite a powerful magic display! Are you going to tell me that was the ‘magic of friendship’?” he questioned.
Twilight was about to say something when Rainbow butted in over the magic link, “Duh! What’d you think, huh? Even if we’re not alongside her, we’re able to support her and power up her magic, just like when she took down Queen Chrysalis!”
Discord chuckled, “Ah, that’s right. I remember seeing that among some of the, shall we say, windows to the past that the Time Eater opened up.” He then grinned, “So if you’re all connected by magic, Twilight, the way Rainbow Dash says you are…”
Before Twilight could react, Discord reached over and wrapped his lion paw around her crown. “Hey, what are you doing?!” she exclaimed. Discord didn’t answer her; instead, he began to channel his chaotic magic into his lion paw, his arm glowing yellow as it traveled down and into Twilight’s crown. A second later, a yellow glow suddenly wrapped around the other five Element Bearers’ necklaces and, in a flash, their necklaces vanished!
The five necklaces reappeared at Discord’s sides with a flash, all of them floating next to him. “And now…” Still gripping Twilight’s crown in his lion paw, he roughly yanked it off of her head, holding it up above him triumphantly! Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy immediately moved towards him, trying to get the Elements back from him, but he floated backwards away from them before they could get too close. “Sorry ladies, but the good Doctor likes fine jewelry. So I’m afraid I can’t just give these back,” he mocked. He then held up his eagle talon, “But don’t worry; I’ll give you something just as good!” With that, he snapped his eagle talon fingers and disappeared from sight once again along with the Elements of Harmony.
In the time tunnel, Sonic looked confused. “What did he just do?” he wondered. Suddenly, he heard a loud scream and some kind of explosion behind him and turned to look. His eyes widened; Applejack’s body was being controlled as if she was a puppet, Rainbow Dash’s eyes were unfocused, as if she was looking at something far away, her body shaking and her hooves on the sides of her face, and Pinkie Pie was trying to get her party cannon under control as it fired wildly on its own. Taking a closer look, he noticed they were all wearing necklaces that, aside from the necklace part being gray, looked exactly like their Elements of Harmony. Judging from what he was seeing, though, they were not the corrupted forms of the real Elements; they were Discord’s creation, specifically designed to mess with their heads for him.
“Okay, THAT is low!” Sonic growled to himself. Turning to look outside the time tunnel, he could see beams and lights in the distance, presumably coming from Twilight, Fluttershy, and Rarity. He guessed Discord had replaced their Elements and they were short-circuiting too. “This isn’t good… I’ve got to help them!” Turning to look back at Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow Dash, he grimaced, “But how am I going to get to Twilight, Rarity, and Fluttershy if I’m trying to hang onto Rainbow, AJ, and Pinkie while they’re short-circuiting? I can’t just leave them here!”
Suddenly, Sonic noticed a green glow coming from his left hand and held it up. It was coming from Chip’s necklace, its gem shining brightly once again. “What’s going on?” he muttered. He then remembered how, earlier, he’d heard Chip’s voice and felt the power of Light Gaia backing the power of the Chaos Emeralds. Ignoring the calls coming through his radio, Sonic turned to look at Twilight’s group again and muttered, “Maybe…” He held his left arm up, Chip’s necklace glowing brighter in response. Sonic gritted his teeth as he focused; he hoped this would work…
After a few seconds, he saw three green glints in the distance, which were coming from the green force fields that formed around Fluttershy, Rarity, and Twilight. A closer look revealed that they had seemingly calmed down thanks to the force fields, though it was likely that Discord’s fake Elements of Harmony were still trying to mess with them. “Yes! Just as I thought!” Sonic grinned. As the three mares began to gravitate towards the time tunnel, Sonic turned to the other three mares and did the same with them, Pinkie, Applejack, and Rainbow freezing and the craziness caused by their new necklaces being brought under control as the force fields formed around them and they floated towards Sonic.
Once both mare trios were floating near Sonic, their force fields vanished and the fake Elements of Harmony were unrestrained again. Before their full effects could return, however, Sonic grabbed all six mares in his arms and turned, flying towards a piece of debris that used to be part of a city street, slamming into it with his feet when it was at a vertical angle to him and righting it to a more horizontal angle. He then set the mares down a bit hard to make sure they didn’t start short-circuiting again and quickly yanked the fake Element of Magic off of Twilight, crushing it to bits in his left hand. He then looked at her and grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her as he said, “Quick Twilight, cast a spell! A force field, a dispelling spell, I don’t care! Just get rid of whatever Discord did!” Though she was dazed from the effects of the crown and having it removed so quickly, Twilight heard what he said and channeled her magic into her horn before she could lose focus, readying a spell. A bright magenta flash erupted from it a few moments later, obscuring everyone’s view of what was happening.
When the flash faded, Sonic opened his eyes and looked at the girls. He wasn’t sure what spell Twilight had used, but the other girls’ necklaces were nowhere to be seen and it seemed as though any lingering presence of Discord’s magic had been erased. As for the Main Six, including Twilight, they were all looking around in slight confusion, as if they weren’t entirely sure what they had been doing. It was likely those fake Elements hadn’t been exerting any mind control or brainwashing on them.
Princess Celestia’s voice broke the silence, “Is everypony all right?”
Applejack, while eying her fellow Elements, replied, “Ah think so, Princess Celestia… But what just happened ta us?”
Celestia answered, “I’m not sure… But when Discord stole your Elements and vanished, those fake Elements he created must have been intended to exhaust you all so you would be too weak to defend yourselves. Thankfully, Sonic was able to help you before that happened.”
Rainbow groaned, “How did he manage to take our Elements anyway? We were wearing them this time!”
Twilight looked at her, “I don’t think the Elements are safe from Discord on their own, Rainbow, especially when they’re not in that tower. Because of that, he was somehow able to use the connection between our Elements to teleport them all away from us.”
Sonic held his left wrist in his right hand, looking down at Chip’s necklace as he commented, “Guess that guy’s got a mind more like a steel trap than I gave him credit for.”
He straightened up at the sound of the draconequus’ voice, “Hah! That’s a mistake everypony makes!” Sonic whirled around while the girls looked to see Discord and the Time Eater emerging from the black portal up ahead, the six Elements floating above Discord’s eagle talon. With a snap of his fingers, the Elements floated over to the Time Eater, now hovering above the top of it.
“The Elements of Harmony!” Twilight exclaimed.
Eggman grinned, “Excellent, Discord! Without these trinkets, Celestia’s ace-in-the-hole is useless now!”
Fluttershy murmured, “A-Ace-in-the-hole?”
Twilight demanded, “What are you going to do with the Elements of Harmony, Dr. Eggman?!”
Eggman simply replied, “Fret not, Twilight Sparkle. These silly things won’t help me achieve world conquest, but as long as you and your friends don’t have them, you can’t use them against me and Discord!”
Rainbow asked, “What are you talking about?”
Eggman explained, “The Elements of Harmony are very closely connected to their Bearers, i.e., you six. They need to be in your possession in order to be used, and in order to use them, you all have to willingly come together and activate them. Even if I were to put you six into robots and make you obey my every command, you’d still need to use them yourselves; I wouldn’t be able to force you to. Therefore, they’re useless to me as a weapon.”
Rarity questioned, “Then what do you plan to do with them? Surely you’re not going to give them to that ruffian, Discord!”
Eggman replied, “Discord gave them to me as a gift! Giving them back to him would be just rude; I would be saying that I don’t like his gift! I’m sure I’ll find a use for them. Perhaps I could use them as part of a wrestling costume?” Sonic facepalmed and dragged his hand down his face at that, muttering something under his breath.
Discord heard his mumbling and teleported over in front of the chunk he and the Main Six were standing on. He grinned, “What’s the matter, Sonic? Can’t you just see the possibilities of that idea?” He held up his arms in a philosophical pose, “With the Elements of Harmony adorning his costume, Dr. Eggman will become the newest superstar of the wrestling world! But the world won’t know it’s their glorious leader! They’ll only know him as ‘El Gran Gordo’!”
Sonic put on a deadpan expression; he COULD just see that. Pinkie Pie, meanwhile, grinned, “Oh boy, that sounds exciting! When is El Gran Gordo’s next match?! We’ve totally gotta go see him! It’ll be so loud and exciting and flashy and…” She was cut off when Sonic reached out with his left arm and clamped his hand over her mouth, reducing her babbling to mumbling.
Rainbow Dash glared up at Discord, “That is SO not happening, Discord! Both you and Eggman are going down right now!” Before the draconequus could blink, the pegasus shot up at him and delivered a potent hoof punch to his face, knocking him backwards into a stalagmite! She was about to fly after him and attack again, but her wings suddenly wilted and she began to drop down. “Whoa… What the…?” she groaned as she descended.
Fortunately, she came down close enough to the ledge that Sonic was able to catch her and set her down. “What’s wrong, Dash?” he asked.
“I don’t know… I punched Discord in his face and now I feel really tired for some reason,” she said.
Applejack floated a couple inches off the ground and grinned, “C’mon, Dash! You wanted ta pop that spirit yerself! Don’t tell me Ah gotta do it for ya!” Rainbow shook her head at that and spread her wings. She tried to take off, but she couldn’t flap them fast enough to get off the ground. Applejack raised an eyebrow in concern.
The earth pony looked over at Twilight when the pseudo-alicorn asked, “Hey… why are my wings starting to fade?” Looking at the shard wings on her back, Applejack saw that they did seem to be slowly winking in and out of existence.
The earth pony set down on the ground seconds afterwards, suddenly unable to hold herself up anymore. “Hoo-whee… Ah’m startin’ ta feel it too…” she said.
Discord grinned at them from the stalagmite he was watching from and laughed, “Ha! Sounds like you girls are thirsty! Maybe you need to refill your tanks!”
Twilight looked at him and asked, “What are you talking about?”
Discord simply smirked, “Oh, so now you want to know all about my chaos, do you, Twilight? Well, too bad; if you need your precious Elements of Harmony so bad to balance out the chaos Sonic has given you, then I’m not helping you!” He then snapped his lion paw fingers and vanished from their sight.
Rainbow asked, “What the hay was he talking about?”
Tails spoke up from the radio, “I think I know what he meant, guys!”
Sonic pulled out his radio and clicked it on, “What is it, Tails?”
Tails responded, “Based on what Discord said, I think he was referring to how the power of the Chaos Emeralds is only temporary when they’re all used together! You’ve all been giving off their energy since you transformed, and Twilight, Fluttershy, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Rarity have been using a lot of it while they’ve been fighting, yet they’ve all been able to manage it as well as you can, Sonic!”
Applejack asked, “What do ya mean, Sugarcube?”
Tails answered, “Keeping Chaos energy under control is not an easy thing to do! Sonic’s first transformation was spontaneous, and he was able to remain Super Sonic just long enough to stop Eggman! The same thing happened with Shadow the first time he transformed into Super Shadow; he even said he had trouble maintaining his Super form! Based on what I’m hearing, it sounds like that’s happening to you girls now! The fact that it didn’t come up earlier means the Elements of Harmony must’ve been helping you somehow!”
Sonic asked, “So when Discord took their Elements and replaced them with those knockoffs, they ended up using a lot of energy while they were being messed with because they couldn’t control it?”
Tails replied, “I think so! The Elements of Harmony must’ve been acting like Shadow’s Inhibitor Rings this entire time! Now that Discord took them from their Bearers, it’s harder for them to control the energy and they’re tiring out because they’re running out of Chaos energy!”
Rarity gasped dramatically, “My goodness, is that true?! What are we going to do?!”
Sonic slid his radio back into his quills and looked at the girls and said, “I think it’s pretty clear what you girls are going to do. You’re going to stay here and try to conserve the Chaos energy you still have!”
Twilight asked, “You mean you can’t share some of yours with us?”
Sonic replied, “I could, but even though I’ve been hanging back all this time, I’ve still been using it. I don’t know how much I can share and still maintain my Super form, especially if any of you change back!”
Applejack asked, “Then what are ya gonna do, Sugar-hog?”
Sonic replied, “You girls are going to need your Elements to stop Discord anyway, and if you have them back, you should be able to control your Chaos energy better like Tails said.” He jerked his right thumb back over his shoulder in the Time Eater’s direction, “So I’m going to go pay the Doc a visit and get them back for you.” He then turned around and ran past Rainbow Dash, leaping off over the edge of the street chunk. As he started to fly away, he called back, “Just sit tight! I’ll be back soon!”
Rainbow called after him, “Hey, wait!” But Sonic kept going, his face hardened with determination. He was going to help his friends and had no intention of stopping until he did.
Rainbow turned to look at Fluttershy as she whimpered, “My wings… they’re starting to molt…” Sure enough, some of the smaller feathers on her larger wings were starting to fall out.
Rarity began to check her mane and coat frantically, asking, “Is something happening to me too? Am I losing my resplendence?!”
Pinkie Pie giggled, bouncing in place and seeming like her usual self. After a few seconds, though, she stopped bouncing and yawned. “Ooh, I feel kinda sleepy…” she murmured, laying down on her belly and tucking her hooves under her.
Twilight sighed as she lowered herself to the ground as well and cast a small spell to make sure the street chunk they were on didn’t flip over and knock them off. “Sorry Rainbow, but I don’t think there’s much we can do right now. Sonic’s come through for us before; I hate to say it, but all we can do right now is wait for him to return.”
Up ahead, Discord and Eggman noticed Super Sonic flying towards them, the latter grinning, “Ah! He’s finally stepping forward, just as I thought he would! I knew that gentlemanly attitude couldn’t last forever!”
Sonic came to a stop some distance away from the Time Eater and called, “Hey Eggman, Discord! Did I keep you waiting?”
Eggman called back, “It has been quite a while, hasn’t it, Sonic? Feels like it’s been ages since the last time we got together!”
Sonic smiled, “I gotta admit, I did miss kicking your wide behind while you were gone. It’s a good punching bag substitute.”
Eggman smirked, “How refreshing to know you didn’t lose your obnoxious streak while I was away.”
Sonic called, “Nothing’s changed, Eggman! Just give back the necklaces and crown and I’ll tussle with your monster for old time’s sake!”
Eggman replied, “Ah, ah, ah! After your little display of letting those girls go first, I’m worried about you, Sonic! If you want to earn an audience with me, you have to prove you haven’t gone soft on me!”
Beneath him, Orbot whispered to Cubot, “As if that could happen. Sonic isn’t the one who procrastinates when it comes to exercising, after all.”
Eggman glared down at his Eggmobile’s console, “What was that?!” Discord just chuckled to himself as he floated forward, floating in front of the Time Eater as it started to float backwards.
Sonic stared at Discord, the draconequus smugly smirking back at him. He then said, “Look Discord, I’m only going to say this once. I don’t want to fight you, so make it easier on both of us and just get out of the way.”
Discord continued to smirk, “Sorry, no can do, spineball. Your little pony pals may have surprised me with some of the chaos they can unleash now, but that’s it. It’ll take more than that to scare me off!”
Sonic growled, “Why would you side with Eggman for something like this? Why can’t you try being good for a change? You wouldn’t be able to cause as much chaos, but you’d be giving ponies less of a reason to turn you into stone!”
Discord chuckled, “Oh, it seems we really don’t have much in common, Sonic. Why would I give up some of my chaos when I could have all of it with a few changes?”
Sonic shrugged, “I don’t know. Maybe you’d actually make some friends that way, or at least some people who would put up with you if could control yourself?”
Discord laughed, “Ha, not likely! Like anypony would ever want to call me their friend! It’s never going to happen! The only good thing about friendship that I can see is that it allowed me to get Celestia’s beloved Elements out of the way! And I have no intention of letting you get them back!”
Sonic grunted, “So that’s how it’s going to be, huh? Okay, Discord.” He readied himself, “Hope you’re paying attention, dude! I’m going to show you some REAL chaos!”
Discord grinned, “Think you’re above the Spirit of Chaos, do you? Let’s see how you like wearing your hair short after I trim your spines!” Sonic shot towards Discord at that, ready to fight.
As she watched Discord start to turn his magic on Sonic, Luna noticed, out of the corner of her eye, the look on Celestia’s face. It was the look she got when she was in deep thought about something. She turned to look at her and asked, “Sister, what is the matter?”
Celestia’s expression didn’t change much as she looked over at Luna and replied, “Don’t worry, Luna. I don’t think there is anything wrong.” Looking back towards the portal showing the battle, she added, “Just thinking of some things that it would be better to think about at a more appropriate time.” Although confused, Luna gave a slight nod and turned to look back at the matter at hoof.
Back at the battle, Discord had summoned a pair of cotton candy clouds and was having them shoot lightning at Sonic. The super-powered hedgehog seemed to be held at bay by the lightning, but he soon said, “Ugh! Aside from annoy, your magic’s doing diddly, dude! Haven’t you figured out we’re practically invincible by now?!”
Discord growled, “I was toying with those ponies earlier! You think I was actually trying to hurt them?”
Sonic grunted, “Based on what you were doing earlier? Yeah! Anyone that didn’t have the right protection would’ve been hurt!”
Discord grinned, “And chaos is always good protection!”
Sonic replied, “So I guess for you, it’s all fun and games, even when someone gets hurt!”
Discord held both of his hands in front of him, “Well, YOU might hurt after this!” He then clapped his paw and talon together several times, a different sound being heard each time.
Sonic raised an eyebrow; what did he do? A second later, he heard Pinkie call to him over the link/radio, “Twitchy tail!” Remembering what that meant, Sonic quickly looked up… and his eyes widened as he saw something falling straight towards him!
He quickly shot forward, managing to get out from under it in time. Looking back over his shoulder, he raised an eyebrow, “Ice cream?” The object that nearly fell on him was a large scoop of chocolate ice cream, the scoop falling until it vanished somewhere further down. Sonic didn’t see it disappear since he faced forward and mentally shook his head, “I don’t even want to know what was in that.” He then found himself weaving around as he flew, as Discord was dropping more ice cream scoops on him, all different flavors!
Dodging around one last falling ice cream scoop (rocky road, from the look of it), Sonic shot towards Discord, saying, “Sorry I don’t have time to try all 31 flavors, Discord, but Eggman’s still got the Elements of Harmony and it’s time he gave them up!”
Discord, seeing that there was no more room to drop any surprises on the hedgehog with as close as he was, braced himself and smirked, “Yeah? Well, you’re going to have to go through me first!”
Sonic smiled, “Whatever you say, dude!” He kept flying straight towards Discord’s long torso.
Seeing this, Discord grinned, “Do you actually think you can bowl over me like one of Eggman’s machines? You won’t get past me so easily! It’ll take more than…” Before he could finish, Sonic reached his long body. As he came into contact with Discord’s fur, there was a brief yellow glow… and when it cleared, Sonic was behind Discord, still heading for the Time Eater! “H-Hey, that tickles!” Discord giggled.
Sonic grinned back at him over his shoulder as he flew, “Dude, even your insides are messed up!” He then faced forward; the Time Eater wasn’t far ahead.
As he saw Sonic approaching, Eggman said, “Impressive, Sonic! It looks like you still have it after all!” He then grinned and he typed in a command on his Eggmobile’s console, “But it’ll take more than that… to defeat us!” As he spoke, the Time Eater brought its left hand forward, charging up an attack before swinging its arm and unleashing the attack, revealing to be a Homing Shot!
“That attack will home in on you!” Mayor Mare called.
“Be careful, buddy!” Big warned. Sonic came to a stop in midair, watching as the shots came closer for a moment before curling up into a ball and shooting towards them. He hit the side of the first one and hit it, knocking it off course and bouncing to the next one. He continued this process until he was right in front of the Time Eater, looking at its core.
Suddenly, Little Strongheart called, “Look out, Sonic, it’s going to grab you!” Sonic glanced to the side and saw one of its hands moving towards him like the buffalo said. He quickly shot up, avoiding both hands as they came together. Stopping when he was up in front of the Time Eater’s face, he knew what he needed to do and curled up into a ball, shooting straight into the beast’s growling face. He managed to bounce up after striking its face and performed another Homing Attack, striking Orbot and Cubot’s cockpit and getting up to Eggman’s level.
After another Homing Attack, Sonic bounced back a short distance while the Time Eater was pushed backwards. Uncurling and looking forward, Sonic noticed two glints above and in front of the Time Eater; a closer look revealed them to be the Elements of Honesty and Laughter! He was about to go retrieve them before they were lost when he noticed Chip’s necklace glowing, just like before. He held up his left arm and focused on the Elements. A force field didn’t form around the Elements; instead, they glinted with a green light and shot towards Sonic, who caught them both in his left hand.
“Hooray!” Cream cheered.
“Way to go, Sonic!” Silver called.
Sonic grinned as he looked at the Elements in his hand, “All right! That’s two, so now- whoa!” The last part was an exclamation, as Discord suddenly appeared right in front of him and swung around, smacking Sonic with his tail. It surprised Sonic and knocked him backwards, but he held onto the Elements of Harmony tightly. Before he could recover from the hit, Discord grabbed him in his hands and held him up to his face as he flew away from the Time Eater. Sonic looked up at him, “Oh, hey there.”
Discord glared down at him, “Clever trick you pulled back there. Unfortunately, since you won’t behave, I’m going to have to cut you off right now.”
Sonic waved his right hand in front of his nose and said, “Yeesh! What was the last thing you ate? You could use a mint!”
Discord gave him a very sneaky smirk, “You’d like a little freshness, huh? That can be arranged!” He took his eagle talon off of Sonic’s shoulder and wrapped it around his left hand, around the Elements of Harmony in his grip.
“Hey, what are you -?!” Sonic exclaimed before stopping abruptly at the sight of some kind of black mist emanating from Discord’s eagle talon. As he watched, it began to spread out, surrounding him before it began to thin out around him.
Discord gave Sonic a very unnerving smile, “You might have been able to resist me before, but I am the master of the unexpected. Chaos is my nature, and no matter what you say about the energy within you, it’s still chaos. I have a feeling you’ll warm up to my view of things very soon.” Sonic gritted his teeth at that, glaring at Discord for a moment before he noticed a translucent, orange-red aura beginning to surround him and turned his head to the side to look at it. Discord’s eyes sparkled at this, “Oh! You see that? It’s starting~!”
Sonic continued to stare at the aura, not hearing the calls coming through his radio due to being in deep thought. “I’ve seen this somewhere before… but where?” he wondered. As he and Discord watched, a transparent hedgehog-like body began to form around him, Discord stopping in midair when he saw this. When the body finished forming, Discord grinned as his magic was nearing completion… and then something suddenly shot out from Sonic’s body and struck Discord in the face! The draconequus was so surprised by the sudden impact that he let go of Sonic as he reeled from the hit, the hedgehog being dragged down while whatever had attacked Discord rebounded off of him.
Tilting his head up to look, Sonic saw that Twilight was very carefully using her magic to push the street chunk that she and her friends were on towards him. They quickly moved to the sides as he got closer and flipped over, landing on his feet and skidding back a bit past them, dropping down onto one knee. Before anypony could ask what happened, something crashed down behind him, cracking the ground a bit upon landing. Sonic quickly stood up and turned around to look.
It was the transparent hedgehog body that had been forming around Sonic earlier, though now it looked solid and appeared to be in the shape of Discord’s Mephiles illusion. Everyone watched as it stood up, its whole body shaking while it tried to raise its head. As they watched, it began to change. Its shoes vanished, revealing indigo blue feet with a white stripe; the rings around its legs began to glow bright yellow; the fur on its legs turned to indigo blue… As it changed before their eyes, it muttered in a dark, almost ghost-like voice, “Rage, hatred, sadness…” As it finished changing and the aura from earlier began to surround it, the hedgehog raised its head, revealing its white, empty eyes as it moaned, “Shahra…”