Eggman’s deranged laughter echoed across the walls of his fortress. He’d done it. At long last he’d finally done it. His decades-long nemesis Sonic the Hedgehog was gone. Whisked away through an endless void in space. Now, there was nothing that could stand in his way. The world was now his for the taking. When his laughter finally subsided, the doctor quickly stepped towards the main control panel and clicked a few buttons. The force field deactivated with a quick hiss. Edges of metal rose up around him as his Egg Mobile lifted him into the air. With another press of a button, he sent a command out over the audio.
“All Badniks, assemble to fleet stations! We move to take Metropolis immediately!”
Shutting off the signal, Eggman reveled in his victory. Grasping a fist as an intensely wicked grin broke across his face. His conquest of Mobius would finally begin.
“Today Sonic… tomorrow the world!”
Eggman was so swept up in the joy of his victory, he almost failed to notice the sound of static crackling behind him. Turning, the glory the doctor reveled in quickly turned to frightened alarm. The miniature black hole that had spirited away his arch enemy had not disappeared. It still hung in midair, pulsing and sparking with energy. The control panel suddenly began to blare red as an electronic voice from the computer sounded.
“WARNING! WARNING! OVERLOAD IMMINENT! ENERGY CONTAINMENT BREACH!”
The emeralds shone brightly within their casing, as the malfunctioning device emitted yellow sparks of electricity. The power too great for them to contain, the glass starting to crack. The Egg Mobile’s propulsion systems started giving in to the vortex’s suction, the floating pod and its driver slowly being sucked towards the wormhole.
Wide eyed, Eggman rapidly hit buttons trying to shut down the process. His pod drifted ever closer to the powerful vacuum. But there was just too much energy to stop it now. Much like Sonic before him, he and his Egg Mobile were pulled headlong into the void.
Both hero and villain were now sucked away to parts unknown. And as the room shook and metal pieces tore from the floor and walls and flew off into the growing wormhole, all of Mobius could be next.
Robotropolis: At the city’s edge
The Robotropolis citadel imploded. The tower was simply pulled in on itself with great force. Steel cables and bolted beams were ripped and crushed like tinfoil as the growing black vacuum absorbed them, drawing in all matter caught in its ever increasing gravitational pull. The wormhole slowly engulfed the head-shaped command bridge, then half of the entire citadel. Soon buildings and rubble of the city itself began tearing out of the ground, being sucked into oblivion by the out of control tear in space. The reverberations from the gravitational anomaly could be felt throughout the entire city as the black hole pulsed and crackled with energy.
From a distant ledge overlooking Robotropolis, a figure that had arrived mere moments ago watched as half the city was torn asunder and sucked away. And the impulsive hedgehog that had taken off ahead of everyone was nowhere to be see. He spoke lowly to himself in a soft breath:
“Sonic, what have you gotten yourself into this time..?”
Suddenly the giant hole pulsed and warped, ceasing to grow any larger. For a few uncertain moments it remained its current, yet still enormous size. Then the wormhole began to shrink. Metal scraps and slabs of earth from the steel city around it began to fall from midair as the gravitational pull on them weakened. The rift was closing.
The figure’s left hand flexed briefly, hesitating as if a crucial decision had to be made in the next split second. Ultimately he clenched his first. His objective was clear.
A yellow streak tore through the city as he headed straight for the warp which was now less than half its original size. The closer he got, the smaller the tear seemed to shrink. By time he got within ten meters it was barely six feet tall, and closing fast.
He might not make it…
He put all his leg strength into a leap to propel himself forward, stretched out towards the now three foot hole, and…
Fhoop! His body disappeared through the hole right before it closed.
Ponyville Outskirts: Rainbow Dash’s Cloudominium
Rainbow Dash lay stretched out on a cloud overlooking the small town of Ponyville. Yet another day had come and gone, and the regular bustle of the residents died down into the evening. The athletic Pegasus laid on her belly and stretched out her wings as she thought about the events she had been through recently.
Just a few short days ago, tailing Spike on his “quest of self-discovery” had led to a crazy adventure through the dragon lands. Along with Twilight and Rarity, the journey had taken them all the way to some volcanic spot in the mountains. They’d seen their friend put through weird initiations by a group of teenage dragons that made the place their hangout spot during the migration. In the end they had rescued their friend from the drakes, barely managing to escape. It sure was a crazy time. But in the days that followed Rainbow Dash found herself looking back on the whole excursion with a strange sense of longing. In hindsight, it had been a breath of excitement for the young mare. In fact, the more she thought about it, the more she found herself craving exciting outings like the one they had.
She let out a breathy sigh looking out over the horizon at Celestia’s setting sun. For some reason she couldn’t quite put her hoof one, Rainbow Dash had felt a growing sense of apathy within her in recent weeks. She never exhibited these feelings in front of other ponies of course, keeping them concealed behind her usual bravado. Only in her most private moments like these was she unable to distract herself. Lately life seemed a little… boring. Repetitive. That big word Twilight used the other day that started with an ‘m’. The more Rainbow Dash sat and thought about it, she couldn’t help but think that something was… missing from her life. I mean, sure she hadn’t done too shabby for herself. One of the best flyers in all Equestria. A national hero. All with six of the best friends a mare could ask for? Nothing to sniff at, for sure.
But Rainbow Dash couldn’t deny she wanted more in her life. She needed speed. Adventure. Unpredictability! It was the whole reason she wanted to join the Wonderbolts. So she could fly with the best, be recognized as the best, and satiate her thirst for something bigger. Something beyond the ordinary life most ponies enjoyed.
And right now, it didn’t seem like she was any closer to achieving it. What did she even do all day when she wasn’t flying and napping? Push around clouds while waiting for her lifelong dream of joining the Wonderbolts to finally come true? Even when it came to that, the dream to which she placed all her hopes and aspirations, just the average days waiting for it seemed to just drag on the sometimes.
This couldn’t be all she was meant for… could it?
Sure, she and her friends were called on to save the day more than once now. But Rainbow Dash still felt like she needed more. Sighing again, Rainbow looked up towards the darkening sky, trying to push the thoughts out of her head. Luna’s twinkling stars were getting a little clearer by now.
Maybe she could talk to Twilight about it tomorrow. She was smart, she’d know something that could help her sort this all out.
Golden Oaks Library
The subtle sounds of a sweeping broom scratched as Spike went about tidying up the library. He never thought he would be so happy to be back doing chores for Twilight. After getting pushed around and mocked for half a day by a bunch of teenage dragons, gaining their acceptance via belly flop into lava, and dramatically escaping them after refusing to smash a phoenix egg, Spike had had more than enough adventure for quite a while.
And the cyan Pegasus just outside of town wasn’t the only one whose mind kept going back to their little excursion.
Ever since he stormed off from the trench leaving the girls behind, Spike began to see just how little he knew about his own species. And in some ways, how he didn’t even know himself. This identity crisis had lead him to seek out others of his kind. And when it was all said and done… he hadn’t liked what he’d seen…
“Spike!” Twilight’s voice called him from his daydream, his head snapping up. “Huh? Y-Yeah, what is it Twilight?”
The purple unicorn entered down the stairs carrying a yellow-covered book. Her typical busy-bee expression plastered plainly on her face. “Have you finished the floor? Make another note for tomorrow’s checklist to stop by Pinkie Pie. I have to return her recipe book for lemon loaf lattice. You know how she is about having her things back on time!” She said, gesturing her hoof excitedly before pacing over to a nearby shelf to scan for her scroll.
Spike just groaned under his breath. Same old Twilight. “Yeah, sure…”
Her young ward’s tone didn’t escape her notice. Turning her head she came back over to him, her face now mixed with concern. “Spike? Is something wrong?” She placed a hoof on his shoulder. “If there’s something bothering you, you know you can talk about it.”
The young dragon sighed. “I dunno Twilight… it’s just… well…” he began, looking up at her. “When I left to go find out more about myself... to see what it really meant to be a dragon, I thought I’d find something big and important when I got there! I thought other dragons would be… I don’t know, that they’d have something grander to them, you know? I thought they’d be proud, majestic, noble. But all I found was… a bunch of jerks and bullies? Is… is that really all there is to my kind?” He drew in on himself and hung his head, sitting and curling his arms around his legs. “I wanted to be more than a lame dragon… but I didn’t think the only other option was a cruel one…”
Twilight looked at her ward with a saddened and remorseful look. Her ears drooped against her head, as for once, she felt powerless to do much. The origin of her young assistant was one aspect of him not even she could answer, let alone fully understand. A pang of guilt overtook her when he said “lame dragon”. This was her fault as well. She was forced to admit to herself during that journey that she and the others pushed him to this with their teasing. That weighed on her heart ever since then. She should have known better. Of course he would be sensitive about such a topic. And she let her friends egg him on to the point that he left them behind. Her ward, her assistant, her longest friend… and she failed to support him like she should have… almost lost him.
“Spike…” Twilight sat down while folding her legs beneath her, touching her side to his back and gently leaning her head against his. “I don’t know… I only wish I had the answers you’re looking for. But, what I do know is that you don’t have to be defined by the rest of the dragons. What you found might not have been… ideal. But what you are doesn’t have to determine who you are. You’re your own dragon. What you are doesn’t determine whoyou are. You’re who you choose to be. No matter what you saw from those other jerky dragons.”
The little dragon’s eyes remained downcast while she spoke, her words rolling around in his mind. Eventually the pistachio colored orbs flickered back to her and he smiled gratefully, his spirits somewhat brightened. “Thanks Twilight. I needed that.”
“Of course, Spike.” She said with her own smile, nuzzling him. “Hey, I know! How about I make us some hot cocoa and we can read another one of your comics together?”
Spike’s face instantly changed to a bright smile. “Alright! I can show you the brand new Renewal series, updating the origin story of Fili-Second!”
Twilight chuckled at his nerdish rambling and trotted off to the shelf on the opposite side of the library. As Twilight left, Spike briefly returned to his own thoughts. In spite of her attempt to cheer him up, Spike couldn’t help but feel a little unsatisfied with her answer. It seemed too… dismissive of other dragons. Surely those rowdy teenagers and the aggressive brute he’d encountered in the Everfree Forest couldn’t be all there was to his species… could it?
Spike had no idea. But then and there, he made a silent promise to himself. To carry himself with decency, integrity, and honor. He would never let himself be overcome with greed or selfish abandon like what he saw. He would his own personal code of being duty-bound and chivalrous, holding himself up as an exemplary dragon. His own “dragon code.”
If there were no other better dragons, then he would be a better dragon.
A small blue jolt sparked in midair above the royal castle in Canterlot. Then another. Then another. The sparks grew larger and converged until a small mass of crackling blue bolts hung in the middle of the air. Soon the sparks of blue lightning soon generated into mass of twisting electric energy. The air around the sparking mass began to ripple, the very space itself contorting like the surface of water. As if gravity and space itself was being bent and contorted by some mysterious force. Then an indescribable sound of pulsing energy as a small black hole suddenly opened expanded from the generated lightning. The hole grew bigger, widening into a large circular void hanging horizontally in the royal castle’s air space.
Golden Oaks Library
“Twilight? Did you… feel something?” Spike said, his ears flickering and head lifting as a strange vibration rolled down his spine.
“Hm? What do you mean, Spike?” The unicorn looked over with a puzzled expression. “Feel what?”
“Mmm… nothing. Probably just my imagination. Now where’s that hot cocoa again?” He said gleefully.
Twilight chuckled. “Coming right up, Number One Assistant.”
Ponyville Outskirts: Rainbow Dash’s Cloudominium
A strong gust of wind blew Rainbow Dash’s “Huh?” Her ears perked up and she raised her head. The gust seemed to come from nowhere, and she could have sworn she felt some kind of vibration crawl down her neck. She turned her head in the direction it came from: east, towards Canterlot Castle. That’s when her keen eyes glimpsed some strange blue lights coming from Canterlot. She squinted her eyes and peered out towards the royal castle.
There was a sound. Faint at first, that grew louder and louder by the second.
And then a blue screaming mass came plummeting out of the wormhole. Sonic could do nothing to stop himself as he plummeted through the air. It was a long drop from midway in the sky to the ground. With his body turning and his arms flailing and spinning in circles, he could only watch the ground get closer and closer until-
SLAM! The hedgehog landed face first in the ground. His body and legs jerked still behind him for a few seconds upon impact, creating the comedic image of him nearly completely upside down with his face in the dirt. Another second and the rest of him would collapse onto the ground too. Picking his face out of the ground and pushing himself up to his knees, Sonic held his head with a pained groan.
“Augh… why is it always the face..?”
He picked himself up off the ground, still rubbing his head and trying to shake the cobwebs from his dazed vision. When suddenly a bright light shined onto him, impairing his still recovering vision. Grimacing he held out his palm to shield his eyes, attempting to get his bearings.
“Ah! Hey shut that off, would ya?”
When Sonic could finally open his eyes, they immediately widened, for a very unfriendly sight greeted him. He was surrounded by what appeared to be eight white miniature horses, slightly taller than he was, wearing gold plated armor. Strangely enough they also had wings on their backs. A fact that Sonic would be more focused on if not for the very stern glares they were all directing towards him. And the long, sharpened spears about half of them were carrying.
After another moment of warily glancing around at them, he noticed that source of light was coming from somewhere above him. Looking up, he was greeted by the sight of another horse creature, flapping a pair of large wings and casting light down on him from a horn on top of her head. This one was much larger than the soldier looking ones surrounding him, with a dark blue coat and an ethereal mane that sparkled like the stars in the sky. The glare she directed at him made the looks the guards gave pale by comparison. Her voice exploded in a thunderous volume that made the nearby windows reverberate from its force.
Sonic got the feeling he was going to be in for a long night.