*The following story is simply a fan fiction based off of the hit TV series, “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic”, which rightfully and mainly belongs to Hasbro.
Any characters from the franchise that are used in this story rightfully belong to the show’s original creators and owners, and any original characters used in this story were created by me, saber360 of DeviantART.
No copyright infringement is nor was intended while writing up this story; it is simply created for entertainment purposes only.
Thank you, and please enjoy this story that chronologically takes place after the MLP: FiM movie, “Equestria Girls”, which if you haven’t seen yet I’d strongly recommend you watching first before reading this fanfic.
If you did see the movie first but did not enjoy it all that much, then perhaps you should not read this story.
In addition, I had gotten the inspiration for this story not only from the FiM movie and TV series but also from the “Ocean’s Dream Filler Arc” of the quite legendary anime series, “One Piece,” so I sincerely apologize in advance if there are any intolerable similarities between that and this story’s plots and characters.
In any case, if you do decide to read this story, I hope you enjoy it.
Friendship is Magic:
The Memory Thief
Chapter 1: Sidestep
It was a very nice, sunny day in the land of Equestria, particularly in the Crystal Empire. The citizens of the city, the Crystal Ponies, were all going about their daily lives and enjoying it together. Though, there were a few ponies in the city that were literally not so “clear as crystal”; Princess Twilight Sparkle, her faithful dragon companion Spike, and the rest of their group of friends known as the Mane Six had all come to the Crystal Empire together. Along with them were the Cutie Mark Crusaders: Applebloom, Sweetie Bell, Scootaloo, and even Applebloom’s cousin from Manehattan, Babs Seed. They were all carrying bags, backpacks, and suitcases with them as they all made their way to the Crystal Empire’s royal castle, where they were to meet up with Prince Shining Armor and Princess Cadence.
Now, you’re probably wondering why this is right? Well, believe it or not, Princess Cadence and Prince Shining had been working really hard, practically nonstop, running the Crystal Empire together: especially ever since the city was chosen to hold the next Equestria Games, not to mention since Twilight and Spike had both gotten back from their little adventure in the human world. In other words, the past few months had been a very interesting and somewhat invigorating, yet equally exhausting, experience for everypony. So one day, Cadence and Shining both decided that it was time to take just a few days off from work, or at least a weekend off, and go out to have some fun somewhere in Equestria. And of course, they just couldn’t enjoy such time off without all of their beloved friends and family. And there was one place in all of Equestria that the Royal Couple felt like a good place for anypony to have a vacation of any kind in…
“Neighagra Falls,” Twilight said to her friends, relooking over a map and brochure of the place, “One of the greatest spots in all of Equestria to enjoy yourself.”
“I still can’t believe we’re going to this awesome place,” said Rainbow Dash, “It’s known to have some of the hugest and most powerful waterfalls in the entire world. Not to mention that it’s smack-dab in the very center of a huge, mountainous forest.”
“I recon it sounds like a mighty fine place for all of us to rough it,” Applejack added.
“Not that I’m complaining, Twilight, ” Rarity said, “And I certainly don’t mean any offense when I say this, but… why on in the world would your family consider… camping… to be a vacation?”
“Aw, come on, Rarity,” her sister Sweetie Belle said to her, “Where’s your sense of fun and adventure? It’s obviously full of nature and wonder, and a perfect place for the Cutie Mark Crusaders to try and earn their Cutie Marks!”
“I’ll say!” Scootaloo added, her tiny wings fluttering as he jumped in the air, “This is gonna be so awesome!”
Applejack’s sister, Applebloom said to her cousin Babs Seed quite cheerfully, “I still can’t believe your parents agreed to let you go camping with us, Babs, and in Neighagra Falls of all places! This is gonna make the camping trip so much more fun!”
“Well,” Babs Seed began, naturally speaking with her big city accent and attitude, “When I overheard my Mom and Dad talking to Applejack on the phone that youse guys was goin’ campin’ with THE famous and great rulers of the Crystal Empire, I just had to beg my folks to let me tag along with you all. I mean, me missing out on this kind of awesome opportunity that comes around once – maybe twice – in an entire lifetime? Forget it about it, riiight?” She blew back her magenta mane with a cool grin on her face.
“Well,” Applebloom added with quite a courageous attitude, “I recon that this is gonna be the Cutie Mark Crusaders’ greatest adventure EVER!”
Spike then said to them cleverly with a bit of a smug look on his face, “Even better than the time you fillies got lost in the Everfree Forest and Fluttershy had to save you from that Cockatrice?”
This really took the Crusaders by surprise, but Scootaloo almost quickly responded somewhat plainly, “Details, details.”
Everypony couldn’t help but giggle a little at this, as Fluttershy then said, “Well… I for one just hope we don’t run into any… * gulp * Monstrous creatures in the Neighagra region…”
“Oh, come on, Fluttershy, it’s Neighagra Falls – not the Everfree Forest,” Rainbow Dash replied.
Rarity then added, “As much as it will take me some time to get used to all of the place’s… * shiver * nature… Rainbow is quite right, Fluttershy: there are no monsters or creatures anywhere near Neighagra Falls. If there were, then I highly doubt that it would be known as one of Equestria’s most wonderful places to explore. And as for the falls themselves, I for one am looking forward to seeing them in all of their natural and glorious beauty. * sigh * If only I had a very nice stallion to enjoy them with… I hear Neighagra Falls is supposed to be one of the most wonderfully romantic places in the entire world~”
“Speaking of very nice stallions…” said Pinkie Pie stated cheerfully, as she skipped right next to Twilight and said to her, “Twilight, before we leave the Crystal Empire to head for the Falls, are you by any chance planning on at least saying hi to-”
Twilight immediately knew what and who Pinkie was asking about, as the Princess’s face turned slightly pink and she quickly responded to Pinkie, “Uh, hey, look at that over there!”
Twilight had pointed out to the Crystal Empire’s most prized possession: the Crystal Heart. As the beloved, heart-shaped gemstone spun around giving off its magical energy to sustain the life force that the entire Crystal Empire had and was sharing with its crystal-like citizens, all four of the Cutie Mark Crusaders ran over to it and looked at it with adorably awestruck eyes.
“Wow…” they said together.
“It’s so beautiful…” Sweetie Belle said.
“Gotta admit,” Babs Seed added, “That there is definitely one heck of a gemstone.”
“Sure wish we had seen this back when we first visited the Crystal Empire,” Scootaloo added.
“You three have been here before?” Babs Seed asked them.
“Oh, yeah,” Applejack replied quite smugly, “when they and Spike had all accidentally got stuck on the train from Ponyville to here while trying to babysit all of our pets.”
This was of course much to Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Spike’s surprise, as they then saw that all of the Mane Six (except for Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie, of course) looking at them with pretty clever looks. The four little kids knew that they themselves had just let the cat out of the bag by accident, but they didn’t know that the grown-ups had known about it all along.
“You… you’ve known all this time?!” Spike asked them with a hilariously dumbfounded look on his face.
“Eeyup,” Applejack replied.
Twilight then added, “Or rather, NOW we know for certain…”
“Don’t worry, we’re not gonna punish y’all or anything like that,” Applejack replied, “Mainly because y’all did a mighty fine job looking after all of our pets and each other at the time… that and because Pinkie Pie told us all about it.”
“Wait, Pinkie Pie knew all along??” Scootaloo asked, “How?”
“Well, surprisingly, it took quite some time for my Pinkie Sense to pick it up,” Pinkie began explaining, “But on the train ride home that day, my shoulders were feeling pretty stiff, my hair was a little itchy, I had yawned with my eyes tearing up a bit, and my hooves were kinda shaky. The next day after that, I had told Applejack all about it and told her that that Combo I ended up having meant that three little fillies, a baby dragon, and a bunch of animals were all getting into all kinds of crazy shenanigans together without their families knowing about it, but in the end the four little kids had a really fun and safe day together without anyone getting hurt and in no way needed to be punished for it at all or ever. * squee *”
Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders all looked at Pinkie Pie with hilariously shocked looks on their faces and their mouths all gapping so far down that they were almost touching the ground; out of their mouths came the sound of a donkey.
Rainbow Dash looked at Pinkie Pie plainly, rolled her eyes, and said, “Once again, Pinkie Pie, you are sooo random.”
After all of that, they had finally made their way into the Crystal Empire’s throne room, where Princess Cadence was waiting for them. They all bowed respectfully before her.
“Hello there, everypony, I’m so happy you could all make it,” Princess Cadence said, as she walked over to them, hugged Twilight hello, and they did their trademark jingle, “Sunshine, sunshine, ladybug’s awake. Clap your hooves, and do a little shake.”
“Where’s Shining Armor?” Spike asked Cadence, noticing that the Prince wasn’t with her.
“Oh, he’s out in the training field right now,” said Cadence, “Having the Royal Guard finish up some last minute training sessions before he can officially be off the clock for the next few days with us.”
“Mind if you take us there, your Highness?” Babs Seed asked her, “I’d really love to see me some guards showin’ their tough stuff out on the field.”
“Ditto,” said Scootaloo, “It would be so cool watching them show off their awesomeness!”
“I suppose I don’t see why not,” Cadence replied, as she led them all to the training field, with both Scootaloo and Babs Seed eagerly walking right beside her. Obviously, both of the tomboyish girls were looking forward to seeing some warrior-like action before they all went camping, as did Rainbow Dash as she flew high above Princess Cadence.
Once there, they saw that the Crystal Empire’s Royal Guard were all running through a specially designed obstacle course that Shining Armor had created; the guards were running through the entire course one pony at a time. Some of them were doing quite well, while others… not so much. Nopony was really getting hurt too badly, but still getting hurt enough to be out for the rest of the day.
“Wow,” said Applejack, “Prince Shining Armor sure knew how to make one fierce obstacle course for the Royal Guard.”
“Well, that’s my BBBFF for ya,” Twilight replied, “Ever since we were kids, he’s always been tough but fair when it comes to at least trying to help bring out the best in others.”
“Yep,” said a cheerful Cadence, “All the noble discipline of a knight with all the kind-hearted nature of a real stallion. Now you see why I married him~”
“Alright, this is it!” said Shining Armor said to his soldiers, “Only one pony left to run this obstacle course and then we’re done until I get back. Flash Sentry, you’re up. You ready?”
A light orange Pegasus stallion with a blue and somewhat aerodynamic hair and pony tail, and a Cutie Mark of a dark blue shield with a lightning bolt streaked across it stretched out his limbs, got into position at the starting line, flapped out his wings, and said with a very determined look on his face, “Ready, sir!”
Twilight then said a bit cheerfully, “Hey, it’s Flash!”
“Sure haven’t seen him in a little while,” Spike added.
“Yeah,” Twilight agreed, as Rainbow Dash stretched out her neck towards the Princess from above her head and said with a very sly look on her face,
“Well, it has been a while since you were last here at the Crystal Empire, so it’s only natural that you would miss your boooooooyyyfriiiiiiiiiiiiiiend~”
Twilight’s eyes widened as her face turned red and she said, “Rainbow! Flash is not my-”
“WHOA, you have a coltfriend, Twilight?!” Sweetie Belle asked her, quite surprised to hear this.
“Well, I recon that Flash down there is kinda cute,” Applebloom said casually.
“Let me guess, Princess,” Babs Seed said to Twilight, “He drives you crazy, am I right?”
“Does he drive you crazy in a bad way?” Scootaloo asked Twilight, “Or does he drive you crazy like you loooove hiiiim??”
At this point, Twilight was really flustered as she said, “Will you all just-”
“Go!” Shining Armor called out, as the final run of the obstacle course began and Flash Sentry ran out with great speed.
Everypony in the area watched as Flash first ran and jumped over some standard track fences and blockades, then he had to jump over huge gaps in the ground from one small ledge to the next. Then, with a strong combo of speed and agility, he had to dodge some arrows and spears being fired at him from the other guard ponies.
That part really took Twilight and her friends by surprise until Cadence said to them, “Don’t worry: just for training purposes, every one of those arrows and spears are made completely out of plastic and rubber. Worst case scenario, Flash will be receiving just a few jabs.” They all sighed out of relief after hearing that, especially Twilight.
“Um, Princess Cadence…?” Spike asked her, as he pointed to something in the field, “Those are made out of plastic and rubber too, right…?”
What Spike was pointing to was what appeared to be giant hammers pounding into the ground in mechanized sequence.
“Kind of. Those are giant inflatables,” Cadence replied.
“Oh, great,” said a sarcastic Rainbow Dash, “For a minute there, I thought this obstacle course was seeming a bit too extreme for its own good… or anypony’s own good!”
“Look!” said Fluttershy, as she pointed to Flash Sentry just standing right outside the hammer part of the obstacle course.
Flash was obviously waiting for the opportune moment to run through all those hammers, as he took in a deep breath and said to himself, “Steady, Flash… wait for it… wait for iiiiiit…… NOW!!!”
Just then, Flash jumped into the hammer course, avoiding them as quickly as he possibly could. However, how he was going through that part of the obstacle course really took Twilight and her friends by surprise: Flash was avoiding all of the hammers with such great velocity that it looked like one split-second he was in a spot of that part of the course and then in another spot the next, as if he was a living yellow blur. He got out of the hammer track without so much as a small bruise on him.
“Well, that wasn’t so bad,” said Flash, as he took off into the air and started flying through the moving rings that were set up all over the field for the Pegasi Guards. The rings were pretty tricky, but Flash was trickier as he flew through them all with great precision and acrobatic skill.
“Oh, my goodness, he’s amazing,” said a pretty awestruck Fluttershy.
“Yeah, amazingly awesome!” Rainbow Dash said out of impression.
“Yee-haw! That’s showin’ ‘em, partner!” Applejack cheered out to Flash.
Even Spike and the Cutie Mark Crusaders were cheering out for him.
“I can see why you simply adore him, Twilight,” Rarity said to her.
“Well, I don’t about that, but…” Twilight replied, as he continued to watch Flash with a look of blushing enjoyment on her face, “He certainly is amazing…”
Flash turned to see who was cheering him on, and saw that it was Princess Twilight and her friends. He smiled and said, “Hey! Princess Twilight, long time no-” He crashed face-first into a tall, solid, mechanized pillar that came out from the ground below. This of course made everypony cringe painfully and say, “Oh…!” at the very sight of Flash ending up painfully face-planting himself into a solid pillar.
Twilight then said to Cadence sheepishly “Something tells me those pillars aren’t giant inflatables made out of plastic or rubber, are they…? ”
“No… they’re made out of solid rock,” Cadence replied just as sheepishly.
Flash got away from the pillars for a moment as he shook off the hit to the head he had just received and said, “That’s definitely gonna hurt my score- Ow! Oh… just like it hurt my face, oooh…”
Flash then went back to action as he dodged the pop-up pillars very skillfully, a couple of times using that yellow blur technique from earlier. After that, he made his way to the discus area of the obstacles course, as he hit a trigger hidden deep in the ground and green stone discs were fired at him from the ground.
“Wait!” Shining Armor called out to Flash, “That part is only supposed to be for the Unicorn Guards!”
“I know,” said Flash, as he began to dodge and hit the discs with incredible dexterity, “But any guard must be willing and ready to adapt to any situation they might find themselves in. I mean don’t take this the wrong way, sir, but I take it that’s pretty much what you have always wanted to teach soldiers like us ever since you yourself first became a member of the Royal Guard in Canterlot. Or at least ever since after what happened with the Changeling Invasion during yours and Princess Cadence’s wedding day. Right, Prince Shining Armor?”
Shining Armor was quite surprised to hear this from one of his soliders, and a rookie soldier no less, but he couldn’t help but smile at Flash while raising an eyebrow at him. As for Twilight, she couldn’t believe just how courageous and strong Flash Sentry really was. Once Flash was done with the discs, he flew right over to the obstacle course’s finish line, crossed it, and called out for his time. Shining Armor checked his stopwatch and said, “Wow, not bad, Flash: 2 minutes and 20 seconds! That’s almost a Royal Guard record. Almost.”
Flash smiled and saluted Prince Shining, “Thank you, sir… I think.”
Everyone cheered for Flash’s success, especially Twilight as she said, “WHOO-HOO! WAY TO GO, FLASH!!! YOU THE COLT!!! ”
This of course pretty much took everyone by surprise, as Flash then said with a bit of a sheepish smile on his face, “Uh… thanks, Princess Twilight.”
Twilight realized what she just said and how she said it, as she semi-squeed while smiling very embarrassed and her face turned a very deep, dark red.
Pinkie Pie then whispered to Princess Cadence with duck-like lips, “Awk-ward…”
Shining Armor then had his troops line up side by side like the soldiers they were and said to them all, “Alright, everypony, that was the last exercise of the week. Good work, all of you, and I’ll see you all again in a few days but in the meantime, no slacking off on your guard duties while I’m gone. If you do, Cadence’s handmaidens will let us know about it once we get back. Those ladies are in charge of running the Empire while we’re gone, so don’t disappoint them or us. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR, MAGGOTS?!”
“Sir! Yes, sir!” the guards replied in unison.
“Good,” said Shining Armor, “Dismissed!”
Flash then flew over to where Princess Twilight was and said to her as he bowed respectfully before her and Princess Cadence, “Hello there, your Majesties. It’s really great to see you again, Princess Twilight.”
“It’s great to see you again, too, Flash,” Twilight replied to him casually, “How have you been?”
“Oh, pretty good,” said Flash, as he then said somewhat cleverly, “Though it’s your typical routine of a guard pony like me: wake up, eat, train, then spend half of your nights looking for any sign of some punk who’s broken into the royal castle. So, compared to your lives of exciting adventure and luxury, it’s pretty much uneventful. ”
Princess Cadence couldn’t help but giggle a little as she said, “I think you precisely mean compared to the lives Twilight and her friends live just about everyday.”
“Eh, it’s more like every week or so,” Pinkie Pie replied, “Like a Saturday cartoon or something like that.”
“A cartoon about the adventures of ponies??” Spike asked her, as he rolled his eyes and said, “Pfft. Like anyone would really watch that.”
Twilight rolled her eyes as she then said to Flash, "You were really incredible out there, Flash. You were moving so fast that we could barely keep up with you."
"Yeah!" said Rainbow Dash, "I've never seen a Pegasus use that kind of speedy technique you used out there. You gotta teach it to me sometime!"
"Oh, that?" Flash replied, "Ah, it's nothing special, it's just a little something I like to call 'The Sentry Sidestep'."
"The Sentry Sidestep, huh?" Spike asked, "Dude, that has a very nice ring to it."
"And it's pretty catchy," said Pinkie Pie, "Sentry Sidestep, Sentry Sidestep, Sentry Sidestep, Sentry Sidestep..."
As Pinkie Pie went on, Applejack said to Flash, "So, Flash, I recon you bein' as quick as a mongoose is your special talent?"
"Yeah, pretty much " said Flash, "Every since I was little colt, I have always loved being the fastest I can be. I mean, the natural rush I get from being physically adrenal makes me feel like I have enough energy and spirit to do and accomplish just about anything."
"I know how you feel," Rainbow Dash said to him.
“Well, anyway,” said Twilight, “I’d love to talk about our adventures with you sometime, Flash, but I think we have to get going now. Our train for Neighagra Falls will be here and gone soon, but it was great seeing you again.”
“Actually, Twilight,” Cadence said to her, “you and your friends will have the entire trip to talk to Flash and get to know each other more, because I invited him to join us in Neighagra Falls.”
Twilight was quite surprised to hear this, as she asked Cadence, “Princess of Love say what?? O.o”
“What??” Cadence asked her, not knowing what the problem was.
“I’ll admit,” Flash said, “I was kinda surprised when Princess Cadence invited me to join you all on such a trip, but seeing as how going on a trip with the Princess and Prince of the Crystal Empire as well a great number of their well-known friends sounds like fun, I just couldn’t decline the invite. You all don’t mind if you have to make room for one more friend, do you Princess Twilight?”
“No, no, of course not,” Twilight replied to Flash sincerely, as she then looked at Cadence with a bit of an annoyed look on her face and said, “Though I do wish that somepony had let me know about this ahead of time.”
“Well, I kinda wanted to surprise you, Twilight,” Cadence said to her, as she then looked at Twilight with a sly look on her face and said, “Seeing as how you have apparently taking a liking to-”
Twilight quickly placed her hoof over Cadence’s mouth to shut her up and chuckled nervously as she said, “Uh, heheheh, would everypony here please excuse us for a moment? Thanks~”
Twilight quickly dashed off with Cadence to a very private area in the stands as she said to Cadence, “Cadence… no offense… but uh… Just what exactly in the name of Equestria are you trying to do?! * snort *”
“Look, Twilight, I’m sorry for surprising you like this,” Cadence said to her, “But I thought this could be a perfect way for you and Flash – a young stallion that you obviously like – to get to know each other better.”
“By trying to set me up with him?!” Twilight asked her.
“Of course not,” Cadence said to Twilight, “I’m the Pony Princess of Love, not Hookups. I only fix love problems, not create them.”
“Well, you’re certainly creating a problem for me,” Twilight replied.
“Twilight, nopony is saying that you and Flash have to be together just because you have a thing for him,” Princess Cadence said to her sincerely, “All I’m saying is that if you really do like him and want to get to know him, then you need to make an effort to. All I’m doing is giving you two a perfect opportunity to do just that: if you two like each other enough that you end up being a couple one day then great, but if it doesn’t eventually come to that then no big deal. If anything, I’m positive you two could become really close friends, just like you’re able to become close friends with just about anyone you meet.”
“Cadence, I understand perfectly what you’re trying to do for me and what you’re saying to me about relationships, and I really do appreciate that,” said Twilight, “But… well…”
“Is it… more complicated than that?” Cadence asked her.
“Yeah…” Twilight sighed a bit sadly, and with very good reason.
It wasn’t too long ago that Twilight had entered and alternate world where everypony including herself wasn’t, well… a pony, but instead a “human being”. There, she met and developed a very deep liking to a young man named Flash Sentry, who apparently liked her back a lot. But ever since Twilight had returned to her home world and encountered the pony version of Flash Sentry, she was still unsure if it was Flash the Pony she was liking or Flash the Human or actually both, considering the fact that the only key difference between the inhabitants of the Pony World and the Human World was really just a matter of biology and not personality. In other words, on an inter-dimensional scale, Ponies and Humans were practically one in the same, including all of Twilight’s friends and Flash Sentry.
Twilight had of course shared this kind of information with all her friends and family about a day after she had gotten back home from that alternate world, except for the part having to deal with her personal feelings towards Flash. Obviously, Flash had no idea about what Twilight’s inter-dimensional experience was like or anything about it, other than the fact that she had traveled to and from another world for the sake of Equestria. Even when it was all simplified like that, it was still pretty confusing on how to deal with this sort of thing, especially if you were in Twilight’s position.
Cadence placed a hoof upon Twilight’s shoulder and said to her, “Look, Twilight, I understand the feeling of uncertainty you’re going through right now, or at least I have some idea about it. And I truly sorry for not first asking you if it would be okay with you if Flash joined us on our camping trip before inviting him to do so. But again, nopony – least of all me – is forcing you to become his girlfriend as if it’s nothing at all; all I’m asking you is to just give Flash a chance on this trip and see where you and him go from there on out as friends, not as a couple. That part has to happen naturally between you two without any interference from anyone or anything whatsoever. And the very first step to becoming friends with someone is to at least let you yourself try to be friends with them, no matter what the circumstances are or may be. Okay?”
Twilight smiled a little at Cadence, sighed a bit contently, and said, “Okay, Cadence… and thank you.” The two close sisters-in-law hugged each other gently, and then they headed back to where their friends were.
“Oh, by the way, Cadence,” Twilight said to her, “I just realized something: what did Shining Armor have to say about this? I mean, when I told him about how the human version of Flash Sentry helped me out and how great he was to me, Shining was grateful to hear it… after suppressing out one of his ‘overprotective brother’ episodes… ”
“Well, Shining Armor wasn’t sure about it at first,” Cadence responded with a casual smile, “But after talking to him about it, he agreed to it. Although, I did need to persuade him a little.”
“Really? How?” Twilight asked her, as she then realized almost instantly what Cadence meant exactly when she used the term “persuaded”. Twilight’s face flustered, with a bit of a disturbed look on it, as she then said to Cadence, “On second thought, never mind, I do NOT want to know!”
Cadence couldn’t help but chuckle at that remark.