She sat on the edge of her bed, staring out at the bright and sunny day outside. It had been a few days since she'd been told the terrible truth about Sombra. And even after all this time, Twilight could not get her head around it, or even accept it. As far as she was concerned, Sombra was a monster. A creature without pity or remorse. The mere notion that he had the same blood as one she admired so much was anathema to her. But she knew Celestia would not lie to her like that. Sombra was her son. But Twilight knew that whatever bond between them there might have been died many centuries ago.
Maybe he was indeed a happy and friendly unicorn once. But that part of him was no more. All there was left of him was green and bitterness and cruelty. That cruelty had hurt her personally, and it had hurt those around her. She knew that he would have to pay for his crimes. But the more she considered this, the more she wondered if she'd actually be able to act against him. As much as she hated him, he was still Celestia's son. Could she really bring herself to fight against him?
The rational part of her mind tried to convince her that she could. After all, she had been willing to fight Luna back when she was a threat to Equestria. Back when she was Nightmare moon and on the verge of bringing eternal night, Twilight had been more than willing to fight her. But, another part of her mind argued, that was before she knew Nightmare WAS Luna, or that she and Celestia were sisters. if she'd had that knowledge beforehand, she might not have been so willing to fight her.
Needless to say, this was all rather depressing for her. And on top of that, it was all speculative on her part. After all, Sombra had been powerful enough to forge the alicorn amulet. Any unicorn who could do that was beyond anything Twilight could muster, especially now that she wasn't an alicorn anymore. As she considered that, she remembered something. Her friends had told her that Trixie, a unicorn she and the others had conflicted with in the past, somehow knew that she was in trouble. She'd suspected that perhaps there was a connection between her and the alicorn amulet she'd used once.
And so, getting up off her bed, Twilight ran downstairs and, for the first time since her transformation back into a unicorn, left the library. The sun was bright for her, having holed away in her home for so long. But it didn't take long for her eyes to adjust. And when her vision cleared, what she saw on the other side of the street was indeed a welcome sight. For there, standing outside and waiting expectantly, were five, very happy-looking, mares.
The moment they saw her come out, they raced towards her, having apparently waited there for a long time. Once they reached her, they stopped, all bearing concerned looks on their faces. Rainbow spoke first.
"Twilight! Are you okay? We thought you'd never come out of there!"
"Indeed darling. Are you feeling alright? Is there anything we can do?"
"Yeah! It's no fun without you around!"
"I knew you'd find it in ya to get out here Twi. You're tough".
Then finally Fluttershy.
"I'm so happy you're out again Twilight.!
Twilight, in spite of the seriousness of the situation, allowed herself a smile and a moment of happiness. She was truly blessed to have friends like these. She'd never been one for close pony friends outside of her brother before coming to this tiny little village. Now, she couldn't imagine her life without any single one of them. Appreciating the gesture, Twilight moved forward and embraced all of them in a group hug, much to the surprise of all of them. But it wasn't long before they reciprocated and hugged back.
After a few moment of this, they broke away from each other, Twilight still smiling.
"Tanks girls. I really appreciate this. And you don't need to worry, I'm fine. I spent most of my life being a unicorn. Going back to being one isn't going to stop me."
The group all looked at each other, unsure of whether or not she truly meant that. But, in the end, they decided to take her word for it, and smiled back at her, pleased that she had managed to recover from what Sombra had done to her. But then,. Twilights' expression became more serious as she suddenly remembered why she'd come out here in the first place.
"Girls.....is Trixie still in Ponyville?"
They all looked at each other again, this time confused at her request. Then Fluttershy spoke.
"Um....yes. After we got you to your house to recover, we asked her about how she knew you were in trouble. She just said "she just knew", and told us she wouldn't talk to anypony about it except you."
Twilight considered this. If Trixie wanted to talk to her, then she probably had the same suspicions as her. Fluttershy continued.
"I er.....I offered to let her stay with me until she'd spoken to you. She's there now if you want to talk to her."
So she was at Fluttershy's cottage. Twilight nodded, her face filled with determination. She gave her friends a look of appreciation before heading off without a word. The other anted to follow, but the look on Twilight's face when she parted from the made them realise that it was probably best that they didn't. And so she ran off towards the outskirts of Ponyville, where Fluttershy's cottage sat just outside the Everfree Forest. Having been there many times, it did not take long for Twilight to reach the house.
And sure enough, there she was. Trixie the unicorn. She was sitting down next to the small pond outside the cottage, staring down into the water. The last time Twilight and Trixie had met, it was not the happiest of reunions. However, at the end of it all, the two had reconciled their differences, and while they may not have been friends, at the very least they weren't enemies anymore. Trixie had always been so self-confident and sure of herself. To see her so quiet, just sitting down like this, was almost disturbing in and of itself.
As Twilight approached, Trixie heard the sound of hoof-steps and turned, seeing her. Her eyes widened a little with surprise as she got up, the two now facing one another. There was silence for a while, neither knowing what to say. But eventually, the silence was broken by Trixie.
"Twilight. I'd heard you'd finally woken up. I'm glad to see you weren't harmed."
Hearing such concern from Trixie was not what Twilight had expected, but she was appreciative of it.
"Thank you. But.....there's something important I need to ask you." She said.
Trixie nodded slowly. It was clear she knew what was going to be asked. So much so that she said it before Twilight had a chance to.
"You want to know how I knew you were in trouble, correct?"
Twilight did not respond, but merely nodded her head in agreement. Trixie sighed before answering.
"I'm not quite sure how to explain it. But.....some time ago I started having.....visions. Hazy images in my dreams, images from somepony else's eyes. I saw......."
She then looked directly at Twilight, her expression a disturbed one.
".......I saw through HIS eyes."
Twilight's suspicions were confirmed. Trixie could indeed see what Sombra was doing. This could serve as an important tactical advantage. But the look on Trixie's face made it obvious that the blue unicorn was not happy about this in the slightest.
"I saw him do things. Terrible things. I saw him enslave a dragon. I saw as he came face-to-face with the leader of the changelings. An, sometimes, I could even hear his thoughts. They were filled with....anger. I have been angry myself many times, but never like that. It was an intense desire to do harm to others. That's how I knew he had bad things planned for you. Your name appeared in his thoughts many times. You were a target for him. A step in his plans."
Twilight was saddened by this. She knew first hand how much it disturbed her to have Sombra mess with her head. He'd been in her mind not long ago, twisting her thoughts and violating her memories. It was a sickening feelings. But here, she could see that Trixie had been through it for far longer.
"Trixie. Can you hear his thoughts all the time?" She asked.
Trixie shook her head.
"No. I think he has a great deal of control most of the time. But whne he's angry or feeling some intense emotion, his thoughts sort of....bleed through into my own mind. Like when he brought down the dragon or....."
A look of disgust came onto Trixie's face, piquing Twilight's curiosity.
"What is it?" She asked.
Trixie shut her eyes tight.
"Let's just say he's been doing things with the changeling Queen that I'd rather not think about."
Twilight suddenly felt her own sensation of disgust and tried desperately to remove such thoughts from her mind. Trixie was able to hear Sombra's thoughts, that much was certain. So Twilight decided it was time to let her in on her theory.
"It was the amulet."
Trixie turned to face her, her own face now showing a degree of confusion.
"The....the alicorn amulet? What about it?"
Twilight walked over to her and sat down next to her as she started to explain.
"Princess Celestia told me. Sombra was the one who made the alicorn amulet, as a means of increasing his own power. Part of him is in it, so when you used it, it must have opened your mind to his. As for why you've only heard him recently, my only guess is that since he's only come back recently, your mind was safe from him."
Trixie looked away, a look of guilt on her face. Twilight didn't take long to figure out what she must have been thinking. Trixie had shown genuine regret over having used the amulet in the violent way that she did. To have her use of it come back to bite her like this must be like rubbing salt to and old wound. But as she looked on at Trixie's guilt-ridden face, something happened to it. The guilt washed away and was instead replaced by a look of sheer terror.
"......He has it." Trixie said.
Twilight began to look worried.
"Has it? Has what?"
Trixie looked up at her, her eyes filled with fear.
"The amulet. I can feel it. Sombra has it back!"
Twilight's jaw dropped at this news. Sombra had the amulet. This was perhaps the worst new she could have received. He was bad enough on his own, not to mention the fact that he had the entire changeling hive backing him. But to have the amulet as well? Whatever plan Twilight might have come up with to counter him soon shattered once she heard that. She'd seen first-hoof the power of that thing. If Sombra deployed it in battle, who knows what devastation he could cause with it.
"We have to stop him." Twilight said adamantly.
Trixie looked at her with a mixed look of disbelief and amusement.
"Stop him? Are you insane!? Nopony can stop him now. Not with that abomination around his neck. It's all over for us."
Twilight looked at her angrily.
"No! It's not! My friends and I have faced evil before and we've always defeated it. I do not intend to stand by and let this tyrant just walk right over us. I don't care how powerful he is. Doing something is better than nothing."
Twilight got up and began backing back and forth by the pond, with Trixie watching her. The purple unicorn was thinking, trying to come up with some way to beat Sombra. But as much as she hated to admit it, his sheer power he now possessed meant that he would no longer have need for working behind the scenes, or biding his time. He could simply strike at his leisure. But then, she stopped, and a small smile crept onto her face as she suddenly remembered something. She looked at Trixie, who was confused over her now happy expression.
"Sombra forgets that we too have objects of great power. The elements of harmony! If we can bring them into the field of battle and use them against him, we might still stand a chance."
Trixie's look of worry from before lessened somewhat, but it still remained.
"Do you think it will be enough?"
Twilight shook her head.
"No. We'll need another edge against him. And that's where you come in."
Trixie now locked mortified. She got up from her sitting position and backed away from Twilight.
"What? Me? ……..No! I…..I can’t! I can’t do something like that!”
Twilight walked up to her.
“Trixie…..why did you come to Ponyville to warn the others about me?”
Trixie opened her mouth to respond, but hesitated for a moment, as though embarrassed by the truth. Eventually though, she finally got her words.
“Well I……it’s just that……you gave me a chance. Back when I was last here, I did terrible things to you and your friends. And not only did you free me of the amulet’s corruption but you were willing to forgive me for it. I came back here to warn you and the others because……I felt that you deserved that much. You helped me and…..I wanted to repay you for that kindness.”
Twilight gave her a small smile.
“You see Trixie. You’re a good person. And I know that, deep down, you gave it in you to take a stand against evil people, just like me and my friends.”
Trixie could tell from Twilight’s expression that she was being sincere about this. She’d half-expected her to mock her over what she’d just confessed to, but seeing that it was not only accepted, but also appreciated, helped to make her less apprehensive about speaking to her. And it was fortunate that she did because she decided to get back to the matter of Twilight’s plan.
“Thank you….but still, you can honestly expect me to try and FIGHT him do you?"
Twilight walked up to her and put a hoof on her shoulder, trying to calm her down.
"Relax Trixie. I'm not planning on having you fight him. We don't need your magic here.....but your mind."
Trixie regained her look of confusion, prompting Twilight to explain.
"When the amulet opened your mind to Sombra, it was like a door being opened. Through it, his thoughts passed over into yours. But like nay open door, it can be passed through both ways."
Trixie considered this for a moment. She'd never considered trying to go into Sombra's mind. He terrified her too much for her to even think about it. A concern she was more than willing to tell Twilight about.
"I don't know about this Twilight. Do you really think I can do this?" She asked.
Twilight paused for a moment before finally shaking her head.
"No, I don't."
Trixie looked at her, shocked. Twilight, despite not knowing Trixie that well, knew exactly what was going on in her mind. Sombra was, perhaps, the most powerful unicorn in Equestrian history. And Trixie, despite having more than the average pony in terms of magic, was nowhere near his level. And he'd beaten Twilight without even breaking a sweat. And here she was, trying to thrust her into fighting him, in mind if not in body. She couldn't really blame Trixie for her apprehension. If their roles were reversed, she'd think Twilight were insane for even suggesting it.
But Twilight had a plan. All her past attempts at forming a plan against Sombra had all fallen flat due to the sheer magical force he possessed. But now, with Trixie's help, they stood a chance. But there was one part of her plan she had yet to share with her. But then she saw Twilight develop her smile from before, as her next words sparked a glimmer of hope within her. A hope that maybe.....just maybe, they could really pull this off.
"But......how do you think he'd fare against TWO minds?"