Chapter 8: SeesawNightmares
Chapter 8: Seesaw
"I've opened the city archives for you," Princess Celestia explained as she strode down the marbled halls of Canterlot's library with her faithful student in tow. "I'm afraid you'll be completely on your own in there, but I'm sure a student of your caliber won't be too overwhelmed." They came to a stop at a pair of huge oak doors; Celestia opened them up with a magic nudge and nodded inside. Twilight Sparkle's eyes went wide at the endless rows of shelves and cabinets, all brimming with scrolls, parchments, deeds, records, files... "If you know their names, at least you've got a place to start."
"Absolutely! Thank you, princess!" Twilight cried, gave her mentor a quick hug, and galloped into the archives.
Celestia smiled grimly. If Trixie had gone all her life with no word about her parents, even after she started to see a bit of success as a showmare, then the answers Twilight sought would probably not be happy.
Chapter 7: Boundaries, Part IINightmares
Chapter 7: Boundaries, Part II
It all started with a crash.
Rarity snapped awake. It was the middle of the night—2:30, said the clock—and if she was asleep, undoubtedly so were Sweetie Belle and Opal. That left only one possibility: a break-in.
It was not inconceivable that Carousel Boutique might be the target of thieves, where it was an open secret that Rarity made a fair bit of coin with her clothier business and occasionally got some very high-profile customers. But if someone wanted to rob her store, well, they would have to deal with her first. She shook out her curlers and rushed for the stairs.
Rarity landed with a thump and immediately lit up her horn with the brightest illumination spell she could muster. The room lit up like a bright summer's day and she caught some movement off to the side—right next to her gem chest. Something darted out from behind the chest, jewels spilling after it.
"Stop right the
Chapter 7: Boundaries, Part INightmares
Chapter 7: Boundaries, Part I
Research had phases. At some point in the course of your work, it was almost inevitable to reach the point where you had referenced a particular source so heavily that you no longer actually needed to look at it to know what it said. Its sections had been burned into your mind as if written by lightning. It ceased to offer up new information to you. Its referential use had expired.
Twilight Sparkle had reached that point with the various papers Princess Celestia had given her on how to deal with a Nightmare. She hated reaching this point, because it meant she could no longer fool herself into thinking that she would get something new out of these sources by rereading them again for the thousandth time.
That was the trouble with being a genius. Eventually you got too smart to fool yourself.
So defeated by the ultimately unassailable grip of reason, Twilight shoved aside the pages of the Codex Monstru
Chapter 6: Peace OfferingsNightmares
Chapter 6: Peace Offerings
Trixie's convalescence got off to an encouraging start with a daylight escape attempt from Nightmare Storm the next day. It was an "attempt" mainly because she couldn't get two steps from her bed without crumpling to the floor in a heap of pain and helpless rage. That hadn't stopped her from hurling invective and bolts of magic at her hosts, but one more suppression spell was all it took to send the Nightmare scuttling back into the recesses of Trixie's mind. And that didn't stop Trixie from at least hurling invective at her hosts, but she shut up eventually once Fluttershy showed up to massage away some of the pain in her legs—and once Applejack showed up and threatened to core her skull like an apple if she didn't knock it off with all that racket.
And so Twilight, Fluttershy, and Applejack wearily made their way back downstairs as Trixie pouted in bed. "Well,"
Chapter 5: Trust MeNightmares
Chapter 5: Trust Me
Nurse Redheart decided to dispense with the questions entirely once Twilight and her friends explained that the battered blue unicorn they'd brought with them had been found in the Everfree Forest. The damage made them all cringe, especially Fluttershy—four broken ribs, a few hairline fractures, some muscle sprains, some burns, and a concussion for the ages—but after being smacked around by an Ursa Minor, the Great and Powerful Trixie was lucky to still be in one Great and Powerful piece. So maybe that would settle her down when she inevitably woke up and got mad.
Or it would just make her angrier. Twilight couldn't tell which.
Now the work was left to an ancient unicorn healing spell, meant to do the hardest work of mending broken bones. It also conveniently left Trixie nice and unconscious, which was good, because they had to move her over to the library and Twilight did not really want t
Chapter 4: On the HuntNightmares
Chapter 4: On the Hunt
The dew still clung to the leaves and the sun had just crested over the horizon as Twilight Sparkle stepped gingerly through a shadowy path in the Everfree Forest. The nocturnal creatures of the forest were probably beginning to drift off to sleep about now, and the diurnal ones were probably beginning to wake up. But hopefully they would all be too groggy to get in her way—because she had important work to do.
Twilight picked her way down a slope and made for a relatively open space under the foliage, making a point to step on twigs and make as much noise as possible. "Where are you, Nightmare Storm...?"
Of course, they would have to bring Nightmare Storm down first, and that meant a repeat of the other day's furious battle in the forest. This time Twilight was prepared and she'd spent the chariot ride back to Ponyville practicing a variety of defensive spells—but half the bat
Chapter 3: Great and PowerfulNightmares
Chapter 3: Great and Powerful
It was no secret that Twilight Sparkle adored few things in the world more than research. To crack open a book and begin the process of absorbing the knowledge of all those ponies who came before her, wise and foolish and everything in between, and wrote down what they knew for posterity, was simply bliss. Following one chain of reasoning to its end, tracing the footsteps of illustrious thinkers before her, standing on the shoulders of giants, almost feeling a sense of camaraderie with the great minds of the past...it was a heady tonic.
It was also, however, no secret that nobody else in Ponyville shared anything even resembling Twilight Sparkle's love of research—which was why Twilight had only a bored-looking Spike for company in the vast, familiar halls of Canterlot's Royal Library.
It was probably for the best, though, because it wasn't as though her friends would have been any
Chapter 2: The Dark Side of MagicNightmares
Chapter 2: The Dark Side of Magic
The sight of Canterlot's marbled towers and high walls had a soothing effect on Twilight Sparkle, as she watched from the back of the chariot drawn by no less than four white pegasus Royal Guards, her friends clustered around her. The well-defended capital city of Equestria had always been safe—with a few highly notable exceptions—and right now, with the sounds of battle still ringing in her ears and her stiff muscles still protesting against any movement she made, security was what she craved most.
Spike's letter to the princess had gotten an unusually prompt and curt response, and just before first light the morning after the attack in the Everfree Forest, Twilight was packing her bleary-eyed friends onto a chariot that would take them directly to the castle. But this was no time for grumbling. Something dangerous was loose within Equestria's borders, and Twilight had a
Chapter 1: Nightmare StormNightmares
Disclaimer: My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is the property of Hasbro, DHX Media, and Lauren Faust, not me. I make no money off of this work. This is purely for entertainment purposes, and no copyright infringement is intended.
Note: I should say up-front right now that this story was written pretty much exclusively before any information became available about season 3, so it probably won't fit into whatever appears in the latest episodes.
Chapter 1: Nightmare Storm
Princess Celestia hated this room.
This room, with its high arches and long redwood table, was the War Room of the opulent castle of Canterlot—and as far as Celestia was concerned, it was just as well if she never had to open its gilded doors with the crossed spears overhead. It was where Equestria's soldiers would meet to plan their strategy, where they would brief her on threats at the kingdom