Summer has always been an active time of year for Ponyville. The fillies were out of school by now and could be heard within their houses, laughing with friends, or out and about with them, having a good time. Older ponies were around to, having places to go and ponies to see. Some were fixing up the outside of their homes, others on their way to buy groceries. Applejack had her apple stand set up in the town square with all sorts of apple goodies, from red delicious apples to apple pies and everything in between. Sugarcube Corner had the sweet smell of cupcakes emanate from the open windows as Pinkie Pie baked a batch for Mr. and Mrs. Cake. And the clouds were being swept away as Rainbow Dash practiced a new stunt she was attempting to learn. The leaves of the trees, especially the library's, had a vibrant green color to them. And inside the library, Twilight Sparkle, curled up on her bed, was reading yet another book. She wasn't sure why she liked this particular book so much. It had just caught her eye when looking through the library yesterday. It was an interesting read too, with a lot of eccentric, but gratifying information. She liked it.
"Spike?" she called out to the floor below. "Has my number one assistant found the book I was looking for?"
"I have it right here Twilight," a male, but child-like voice replied. Up the stairs came a small, purple dragon. He could've been no older than six or seven years old. "Why did you want this book anyway Twilight?"
"I'm not quite sure. I think it's an interesting topic to read about. I just found this book in the library the other day, when Fluttershy was here looking for a book. I came across it while searching for her book, and brought it up here to read. It talks about alternate universes, universes different from our own. It says there may be different kinds of life in these universes. Some ponies have even claimed to have travelled to these different universes."
"Twilight, these books are a whole bunch of mumbo-jumbo," Spike says, rolling his eyes. "There's no such thing as an alernat, alterna
"I don't know Spike. We've said that about other books before, but we were wrong," Twilight said, flipping a page over with her magic.
"But what about that forcefield spell you wanted to learn? You told me you wanted to learn it as soon as you could!" Spike continued, trying to persuade her to get her to do something else.
"I'll get to it later Spike", Twillight said, tersely.
Spike just shrugged. It was obvious to him that he wasn't going to change her mind. Arguing about it wouldn't do anything, so Spike turned to leave. He takes a few steps forward, but stops. His cheeks puff up, in a way that he seems to need to burp or vomit. Twilight looks up from her book for the first time since breakfast, now a little concerned.
"Spike? You okay? You don't look too good," she asked him. His reply was with a loud burp of a green flame. The flame formed into a scroll and landed on the floor, causing Twilight to grin and giggle and Spike to rub the side of his head.
"There seriously needs to be a better way of sending these things
" he sighs, causing Twilight to giggle more. Using her magic, she takes the scroll from the floor, brings it towards her, and opens it. She immediately starts reading it aloud.
"My dearest, most faithful student Twilight. I'm sending you a chariot for Canterlot. I need you and all of your friends here immediately. It's about the Elements of Harmony. Your teacher, Princess Celestia." Twilight scratches her head with her hoof at the very vague letter. "What could the Princess want that concerns the Elements
? Spike! Go find Fluttershy and have her find Rainbow Dash! This needs to be done immediately before the chariot gets here!"
Spike turns back towards Twilight. "You can count on me Twilight! Your number one assistant is on the job!" Spike says proudly, turning again and running down the stairs. Twilight rolls her eyes and giggles. She closes the first book and places it on top of the second book. She then hops off the bed and carefully gallops down the stairs. She heads towards the front door, where her pet owl, Owloysius, was clinging onto the doorknob with his feet. He shifted his body over to turn the doorknob and open the door.
"Hey Owloysius. You can watch the house while I'm at Princess Celestia's castle, right?" Twilight asked her pet.
"Hoo?" he asked.
"Prince- Ugh, I don't have time for games! Just watch the house!" Twilight groaned, rushing through the open door and closing it with another dose of magic.
Twilight dashed through the small town towards the town square.
"Since Spike is getting Fluttershy, who will get Rainbow Dash, I guess I'll get Applejack first," Twilight thought to herself.
She got closer to the square and Applejack's apple stand came into view. The stand had a large, orange umbrella attached to it. Looking at it made Twilight realize the heat and humidity of the day, but just for a brief moment. Luckily for her, Applejack was not in the midst of a sale.
"Hey sugarcube, where's the fire at?" Applejack asked as Twilight approached. Twilight skid to a halt in front of Applejack's stand, panting a little bit. The large umbrella shielded some sunlight from Twilight's head, which helped a bit. She took a large gulp of air, preparing to speak quickly.
"Princess Celestia wants to see us right away! She sent me a letter asking to gather everypony at her castle in Canterlot and that she's sending a chariot for all of us right now! And she sai-" Twilight was cutoff however. Applejack had stuck a mackintosh apple in her mouth, with a quizzical expression on her face.
"Easy now Twilight. Slow down a little bit. Applejack can't follow you with your fast talkin'," she told Twilight. Twilight bit out of the apple and let it fall into her hoof, swallowing the piece she bit off. The purple pony took another deep breath.
"Okay, I'll put it simply. Princess Celestia wants to see us right away and is sending a chariot for us to go to her castle."
Applejack's expression didn't get much clearer. She just tilted her head. "You sure 'bout that Twi?" Twilight responded with a simple nod. Applejack then stepped on something at the foot of her stand. The umbrella retracted and the whole stand folded into a simple cart. There wasn't a trace of anything apples on it. It was spotless.
"Oh, Rarity built some contraption for me to make cleaning up easier. She definitely helps being organized easier, y'know? Speaking of Rarity, I suppose I'll go find her for ya."
Twilight smiled. "That would be helpful. Thanks Applejack. Meet me back here with Rarity, okay?"
"Got it," Applejack replied, smiling as well. She got behind the cart and began to push it in the direction of Rarity's house and store. Twilight turned away and began to gallop towards Sugarcube Corner, at a slower pace than when she was running towards Applejack's stand. Sugarcube Corner wasn't too far from here anyways.
She turned a few corners and Sugarcube Corner quickly became visible. A trail of steam was flowing through an open window from the cupcakes, cookies, and various other goodies being baked inside. Twilight quickly made her way towards the store and went through the open store door. She walked inside, the smell of cupcakes quickly overwhelming her. The smell of cupcakes can make anyone's day. Twilight went up to the counter, ringing the bell that was resting on it. From the kitchen, Pinkie Pie walked in, balancing a tray of pink-frosted cupcakes on her head. She seemed to be balancing the tray rather easily, but was still muttering "Easy
" to herself repeatedly for good measure. She bent down a little and tilted her head slightly towards the counter. The tray slid off her head and came to a rest on the counter.
"Perfect!" she cheered, celebrating her own personal success. She then looked up at Twilight. "Hey Twilight, what's up? Have you seen any cupcakes around town? We had a bunch of cupcakes here on the counter this morning, and now they're all gone!"
Twilight told Pinkie she hadn't seen the cupcakes and also explained to her the same thing she explained to Applejack. She told Pinkie Pie about Celestia's letter, about her wanting to see all six of them and about her sending a chariot to take them to Celestia's castle. Unlike Applejack however, she continues to smile her usually Pinkie Pie smile
"Okie dokie lokie! I'll just tell Mr. and Mrs. Cake I'll be going!" she told Twilight, and bounced back into the kitchen. Some chatter could be heard, but what was being said was inaudible to Twilight. Pinkie Pie then bounced out of the kitchen and past Twilight.
"Let's gooo!" she said bubbly. Twilight giggled to herself and followed Pinkie Pie out of the store.
Twilight walked next to Pinkie Pie as they made their way to the town square again, Pinkie bouncing buoyantly next to the unicorn. They turned a few corners, opposite of what Twilight turned to get to Sugarcube Corner, and found their way back to the town square. Upon the square becoming visible, Pinkie and Twilight could see their friends sitting in the chariot waiting for them. The chariot was being pulled by two of Celestia's Pegasus guards.
"Come on you two slowpokes! We ain't got all day!" Rainbow Dash yelled impatiently.
The two ponies quickened their pace a little and got onto the large chariot. As soon as they were on, the guards took a running start and spread their wings open. They lifted themselves and the chariot off the ground and began the journey to Canterlot. The ponies greeted one another as they took off. Twilight told them that Celestia wanted to see them all about the Elements, but wasn't sure why. The remaining ponies started making crazy stories and theories as to what may have happened to the Elements. These tales and theories were short-lived however as the chariot quickly approached Canterlot and the castle.
The chariot touched down in front of the castle and the guards brought it to a halt at the entrance to Celestia's residence. The six ponies disembarked from the chariot, and approached the large castle doors, still quietly chatting amongst themselves. As they approached, the large doors opened and revealed the interior of the castle to them. The door led straight to the large lobby, with a set of stairs leading straight ahead, with two more sets diverging to the left and right of the main set. At the top of the first set stood Princess Celestia, as she had when Discord returned. She was slowly pacing, waiting for them. The six ponies quickly made their way inside the castle.
"Princess Celestia!" Twilight called. The Princess stopped pacing and looked towards the ponies, whom had stopped at the bottom of the stairs. "We came as quickly as we could!"
"Thank you girls
" Celestia said.
"What do you need to see us for? Did something happen to the Elements?"
Celestia levitated the box that held the Elements of Harmony inside them in front of them. She opened the box, revealing only one of the Elements inside. The Element of Magic.
"As you can see
The Elements have all disappeared
Except for yours Twilight
" She brought Twilight's Element forward and placed it on her head. "I've received many complaints from all over Equestria. Ponyville, Manehattan, Appleloosa, Canterlot
At first a large majority of the complaints came from just Ponyville, so I believed that some lowly pony was just robbing all of these residents
But more and more came from other towns and cities, in the matter of days. This couldn't have been the work of just one pony, so I decided to have everything checked over in the castle to make sure nothing was gone
Everything seemed to be in order
Until I checked the Elements
The six friends all had disbelieving expressions on their faces.
"So what happened to them?" Twilight asked.
"I have a theory
I had some senior students studying about the stories and possibilities of alternate universes, and they had reported they had found a spell that could open a passage to another universe. Combined, these unicorns attempted to use this spell, but it went awry. The spell caused random objects all over Equestria to disappear, including five of the Elements. Their combined magic was even enough to overcome my magic
"So what're you sayin' Princess?" Applejack asked.
"I need you to travel to this alternate universe and retrieve the Elements, and maybe retrieve any items you find that may have been lost as well. Twilight, your Element will help you find the other Elements. It will guide you to their location."
Applejack gave Rainbow Dash five gold coins.
"But how would we get there if no one knows a spell to travel between these
universes?" Rarity then asked. This caused Celestia to sigh.
"I actually know the spell to travel between universes. I didn't want to hide it from these students because it would probably make them more curious. The spell had less than desired results obviously. They had the correct idea, but performed the magic incorrectly."
"S-So how would we get back
?" Fluttershy asked, quietly.
"Once the Elements are together again, they should be able to open a passageway back to Equestria."
The ponies all looked at each other, then nodded simultaneously.
"You can count on us Princess!" Twilight announced proudly and Celestia smiled.
"I knew I could
Now, I suggest you all get some rest for today. You can set off on this journey tomorrow." Celestia told the six ponies. They all bowed to her, showing their reverence for the Princess. "Twilight, you can keep your Element with you. I have faith it's in better hooves."
Twilight bowed to Celestia again and thanked her. As the six friends all turned to leave, all of the ponies thought retrieving the Elements would be as easy as counting to ten.
What they didn't realize however is that the world they would be entering had just finished a third world war.