Luna rushed forward as her elder sister, Celestia, fell to the ground. Just in time, she caught her before she collided with the stone ground on the balcony. She could not believe what she had just seen. Celestia had erected a powerful shield around the entire city, using some of the most potent magic Luna had ever witnessed. And with one attack, Sombra had shattered it. Smashed it apart as though it were nothing more than paper. Luna's expression bore a look of dismay and horror over this. Looking down, she saw her sister began to stir and regain consciousness over the shock of having her spell broken.
"What......what happened?" Celestia asked.
Luna felt no joy in explaining what happened.
"Sister.....Sombra has broken your spell. The city is unguarded!"
That snapped Celestia back to attention as her eyes widened with surprise. She knew her son was powerful, but for him to possess the kind of power to shatter her shield in one blow. That was a magic she'd never seen him use. There was no way he could have gained so much power, even with his restored body. But then, as she considered this, a terrible thought came to mind. Struggling, she got back on all four hooves as she looked down at her younger sister, a look of fear on her face.
"The amulet. He has it back!"
Luna took a few moments to understand what her sister was saying. When she understood, she looked dismayed.
"The alicorn amulet?! But.....how?"
Celestia shook her head.
"I do not know. But it matters not how he got it, but how we will stop him now that he has."
Luna looked from her sister and back towards the changeling swarm, which was still hovering just outside the city. Eventually, she noticed that the swarm was moving once more, approaching the city boundaries with great speed. Luna pointed towards the swarm, causing Celestia to notice the approaching force. The elder sister frowned, considering what to do now that she realised what power her son had brought down upon her city. She turned to Luna.
"Sister. Lead the city."
Luna turned to her sister, eyes wide with surprise."
"What? What about you?"
Celestia sighed before replying.
"I cannot lead our forces. Because I know.......he will come for me."
Luna opened her mouth to speak, but knew better of it. She knew her sister was right, as much as she did not like to admit it. Sombra would undoubtedly go straight for Celestia. And if her sister were amongst others, they would sure get caught in the crossfire. The two said nothing to each other, merely moving close and embracing each other, knowing that what was ahead for both would test them and harm them in a way they had not endure for a very long time. Turning away from her sister, Luna spread out her wings and flapped them hard, flying into the air, ready to command their forces.
Celestia remained behind, keeping her eyes on Luna until she was no longer in sight. Once she was gone, she turned and re-entered the palace, making her way down the stairs towards the front gates. She knew her son well enough to know that this is where he would come for her.
"Well Sombra.......here I am."
Had she been on the ground at the time, Lightning Dust's jaw would have been on it by now. She could believe what she'd just seen. Sombra, shattering Canterlot's protection as though it were nothing. Even when he'd given his big speech to their army, she stayed focused on the city. But that focus was soon interrupted by the sound of buzzing as hundreds of changeling drones immediately flew past her at break-neck speed. She kept her eyes on them as they raced towards the now-vulnerable city.
Not wanting to get left behind, she readied herself to try and catch up to them. But before she could set off, she saw Sombra's outstretched hoof bar her path. Looking at him, she saw his serious expression as he turned to face her.
"Not you Lightning. I have a special task for you." He said calmly.
Lightning tilted her head in confusion.
"What?" She asked.
Sombra lowered his hoof and turned to face the city once more before replying.
"I feel a great magical power near the city. One not of alicorn origin. It appears that the bearers of the elements of harmony have decided to intervene in my plan."
That news shocked Lightning. Twilight and the others had come to the city? She couldn't believe it. After what happened the last time the former princess faced Sombra, she was sure that she'd want to stay as far away from the guy as possible. For her to willingly put herself in his path again made her either very brave, or very stupid.
"What will we do?" She asked.
Sombra grinned and faced her again.
"Oh, it won't be we Lightning, but you."
She backed away a little in surprise over that.
"Me? By myself?"
"Indeed. I have full confidence in your talents. After all, it wouldn't be the first time you've put their lives in jeopardy. Now though, it will be intentional. Go down there, face the bearers, and stop them before they can interfere."
His tone was harsh, and Lightning knew that there was no negotiation on this. After everything she'd seen, she was terrified of Sombra, and what he could do. If she refused him now, at this critical stage, he could very well turn on her there and then. And so, reluctantly, she sighed heavily and nodded. Looking back towards the city, she spread her wings wide and launched herself forward, gaining speed as she was flying, and keeping an eye out for those six ponies who were now, at long last, enemies she would have to fight.
"What in was THAT?!"
Rainbow's shock mirrored everypony else's. The sight of a shield shattered in one his had, needless to say, astounded them. If ever there was proof that Sombra was dangerous, this was it. The shockwaves from the impact of his magic had knocked many of them over, but they'd quickly regained their composure. Twilight stared in horror as the changeling swarm rushed through the sky towards the city. But unlike their first attempt to take Canterlot, this time, the ponies of the city were ready.
Because, as the hoard approached, the seven mares saw bolts of magic shoot out from the towers and other high places in the city. No doubt the unicorns of the royal guard had been posted there to try and fend off the enemy. As hundreds of changeling poured out of the sky, it soon became utter chaos. Drones dodged and weaved to avoid being hit, sometimes rushing a unicorn on their post on a tower. But in many cases, the unicorns hit their marks. However, the swarm was so vast, and so numerous, that it was only a matter of time before they were overwhelmed.
Narrowing her eyes at this destruction, Twilight looked towards Trixie and the others./ They all looked at her and understood immediately what she was thinking. Although he probably didn't intend for it, Sombra's attack had benefitted them. With the shield down, they could now enter the city to help defend it. And so, without saying anything, the seven of them charged forward, entering the city. The sounds of magical blasts and explosions from above unnerved them, but they knew they could not falter. If they did not succeed here, their nation was doomed.
But things were still hard for them. Canterlot was a big city after all and it took a long time for them to get from one side to the other. They took the main streets, running as fast as they could. Sometimes a defeated changeling drone would drop out of the sky and land near where they were running, but they simply ignored it. But, as they were running, something happened that they could not ignore. The wind began to pick up, and soon it was blowing far harder that they expected it to at this time of year.
"What's going on?" Twilight asked.
Rainbow flew into the sky to get a better look around. After scouting the immediate area, her eyes widened with shock as she saw what was coming.
The other looked where she was looking. Sure enough, a massive tornado was approaching them. The ground began to run again, trying desperately to outrun the deadly tornado. Rainbow, having power over the weather, immediately charged the thing, circling in the opposite direction to where it was spinning, in an effort to undo it. But it was blowing hard and she struggled to keep in the air whilst circling it. She took comfort however in the fact that she was buying her friends time to get away from it.
That sense of victory soon disappeared however as, all of a sudden, something slammed into her side, halting her efforts and causing her to fall hard to the ground. It hurt to collide with the stone of the ground like that, but it wasn't the first time Rainbow had fallen like that, so she was soon on her hooves again and looking around to see what had hit her. She looked up and her mouth hung open with surprise. For there, flying above her, was a young pegasus she did not think shed ever see again.
Lightning Dust. Her former team-mate at the Wonderbolt Academy. She was looking down at Rainbow with a look of disdain on her face. Rainbow was confused as to why she was here, but put that confusion aside to get straight to the heart of the matter.
"Look Lightning, I don't know what you're doing here, but I don't have time to....."
She stopped talking when she suddenly felt that something was wrong. Realising what it was, she looked down at her chest and saw, much to her horror, that her element of harmony was missing. Frantically, she looked around in a desperate attempt to find it. And then something occurred to her. A thought that she did not like, but continued nevertheless. Looking up at Lightning once more, her fears were confirmed when she saw that the mare had, in her right hoof, Rainbow's element.
"Looking for this?"