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Episode The Beginning of the End - Part 1
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Twilight Sparkle: [panting]
Fluttershy: Oh, good. We're all here.
Twilight Sparkle: So everypony got an urgent summons to the castle with no explanation?
Pinkie Pie: Yup! I just love a good mysterious summons. What's it about? Do you think it's a surprise party? Hey! Why are we running?
Twilight Sparkle: Because something could be terribly wrong! Somepony turned bad? Another evil creature back for revenge?!
Applejack: Don't you think you're bein' a little paranoid?
Twilight Sparkle: Why else would the Princesses send scrolls in such a hurry?
Rarity: Good point. They know better than to make us worry.
Pinkie Pie: Plus, I like it when you run so fast, the walls get all blurry! Wheeee!
Rainbow Dash: Race ya!
[door opens]
Rarity: [panting]
Spike: [yelps]
Princess Celestia: Girls. Thank you so much for coming.
Twilight Sparkle: What's wrong?! What can we do?!
Princess Luna: That's just it. Nothing's wrong! Everything's perfect!
Applejack: Did y'all call us down here just to tell us that?
Rarity: With all due respect, majesties, you might want to save your urgent summons for matters that are a bit more... well, urgent!
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: [giggling]
Princess Luna: Well, there is more to it. Equestria is currently enjoying its longest period of harmony in recent years.
Princess Celestia: And it's all thanks to you, Twilight. And your friends, of course.
Spike: Who, us?
Rarity: Oh, pshaw. [giggles]
Rainbow Dash: It's about time you noticed!
Twilight Sparkle: Thank you!
Princess Luna: Because of your efforts, there's been less and less for us to do.
Princess Celestia: So, after much consideration, my sister and I have decided it is time for us... to retire!
Mane Six and Spike: [gasp]
Discord: Breaking news! The royal princesses retiring! I have so many questions! Who'll take over? Who will run Equestria? Will it be someone tall, dark, and handsome? Or will it be the Lord of Chaos?
[magic zaps]
Discord: Oh, fine. Go with the obvious choice.
Twilight Sparkle: [panicked noise]
[theme song]
Twilight Sparkle: You're retiring?!
Spike: Princesses can retire?
Princess Luna: [chuckles] Of course we can. I for one am looking forward to a little R&R. Maybe a trip to Silver Shoals.
Twilight Sparkle: And you want me to take your place?!
Princess Celestia and Princess Luna: Mm-hmm!
Princess Luna: With the help of your friends, of course!
Princess Celestia: We can't think of anypony more worthy. Over the years, we've watched you grow. You've faced task after task...
Princess Luna: ...challenge after challenge...
Discord: Countless adversities, yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it...
Princess Celestia: And you've always prevailed.
Twilight Sparkle: Thank you, but that doesn't mean that I'm— that we're ready to do what you do!
Princess Celestia: Oh, of course you are. I realize this is a lot to take in, but—
Rainbow Dash: Nope! Makes perfect sense. We're awesome! [gasps] Does this mean we get all your powers?! Ooh, ooh! I call dibs on showing up in everypony's dreams!
Twilight Sparkle: You can't be ready to step into their horseshoes just like that!
Applejack: Well, if the princesses think it's time to retire, we're not a bad choice. We always have Equestria's best interests at heart.
Twilight Sparkle: That's a fair point... which should be taken into consideration when we have a round table discussion—
Rarity: Well, I'm in! Darlings, we'll all need a complete wardrobe update! And I would love to pick your brain about mane maintenance when you have a moment.
Fluttershy: As long as we all have each other, I'm sure we can do it!
Pinkie Pie: Yay! "Protectors of Equestria" on three! One... two...
Twilight Sparkle: [sighs] If you're all on board, I guess I am, too.
Mane Six and Spike: Protectors of Equestria!
Twilight Sparkle: It'll be a bit of an adjustment, but I imagine the transfer of power will be a lengthy process, which will—
Princess Celestia: Actually, we just need a few days to put together a little ceremony.
Twilight Sparkle: [nervous laugh] A few days?!
Rest of Mane Six: [groans]
Twilight Sparkle: But that's so soon! Shouldn't there be some sort of training program that lasts weeks? No, months? If not years?!
Princess Celestia: Everything you've gone through over the years has been a training program.
Twilight Sparkle: Okay, but there's gotta be a guide or a rulebook!
Discord: Yes, I have it right here. "How to Rule Equestria", by Nopony McPretendsmith.
Princess Luna: The friendship journal you wrote yourselves is a better guide than any we could provide.
Twilight Sparkle: [hyperventilating]
Princess Celestia: We have the utmost confidence in you.
Princess Luna: And we hope you have the same in yourself.
Twilight Sparkle: [still hyperventilating, hyperventilates into paper bag]
Discord: Oh, I'm absolutely certain she does.
Twilight Sparkle: I am not confident about this at all!
Discord: Well, that's what I thought. I was being sarcastic before.
[spray bottle noises]
Discord: What? This is all so predictable. Now's the part where you all tell little Sparkle here that everything is going to be fine, but she won't believe you. Ugh. I don't need to be here for this.
Twilight Sparkle: It's just... I know I said yes, but then they said "in a few days", and there's still so much to figure out! It's all happening so fast! [hyperventilating into paper bag] I think I need some— [sips water, gulps] Okay! I'll feel much better—
Rarity: —once you make a plan?
Twilight Sparkle: Oh, wow. It's like you—
Spike: —knew you were going to react this way? We did.
Pinkie Pie: Classic "Twilight-ing".
Twilight Sparkle: "Twilight-ing"? You... You made me a verb?
Applejack: It's not a bad thing. We just know you have a... process.
Rainbow Dash: Stage one – you get big news and you're like "Nooooo!", but then you pace, and you chart, you worry...
Fluttershy: It's okay. You go ahead and "Twilight", and we'll be here for you.
Twilight Sparkle: You're all acting so calm! But this is a big deal! What do we do if something big happens and the princesses aren't there to help?!
Rainbow Dash: Um, if you think about it, they literally almost never help.
Applejack: Huh.
Pinkie Pie: And we still always win! Like when Sombra almost took back the Crystal Empire, or when Chrysalis pretended to be Cadance, or when Tirek came back and absorbed all the magic, or the other time Chrysalis tried to take over, or with Cozy Glow and the school! [inhales] Am I missing anything?
Rarity: Pony of Shadows.
Spike: Starlight when she was evil.
Fluttershy: Discord when he was evil.
Applejack: Do Flim and Flam count?
Rainbow Dash: See? We've almost always done things without the princesses' help! Which makes sense now, because it was all just training for you to take over!
Spike: And it worked! I mean, if you think about it, there hasn't been a single villain that we couldn't defeat.
Twilight Sparkle: Phew!
Queen Chrysalis: One day, you'll see! I will defeat Twilight Sparkle and her friends! [cackles] And they will pay for stealing my kingdom!
[magic zap]
Cozy Glow: Psst, Tirek!
Lord Tirek: It is Lord Tirek. And what is it now?
Cozy Glow: I just wanna make sure you can see my best friends rock sculpture from over there!
Lord Tirek: [groans]
[magic noises]
Queen Chrysalis: Lord Tirek!
Lord Tirek: A changeling? [to Cozy Glow] See? She gets it.
Queen Chrysalis: Chrysalis, queen of the changelings! Or at least I will be, when I'm restored to my rightful place! Why did you summon me? What do you want?!
Cozy Glow: [yelps] Oh, golly! We didn't bring you! I thought you freed us from Tartarus!
Queen Chrysalis: Tartarus? Whoever pulled you from there must have been somepony very powerful indeed.
King Sombra: [laughs]
Queen Chrysalis: King Sombra! You have returned? Why did you bring us here?
Grogar: He didn't.
Grogar: It was I. You may call me... Grogar.
Queen Chrysalis and Lord Tirek: [gasps]
Queen Chrysalis: The Grogar?
Lord Tirek: I thought that you were a legend!
King Sombra: I've heard of you.
Cozy Glow: Who?
Grogar: I assure you, I am very real. And you have all been brought here as part of my plan to rid Equestria of Twilight Sparkle and her friends once and for all. [laughs]
Cozy Glow: I am so sorry, but the name 'Grofar'? It just doesn't ring any bells.
Grogar: Grogar! I have been away too long if my name no longer strikes fear into the heart of one so tiny. Perhaps a demonstration of power is in order?
[magic zaps]
Lord Tirek: [kisses] Grogar is ancient and extremely powerful. The land that would become Equestria was a mere collection of farms and pastures until he declared himself emperor of all he saw. I remember hearing tales of his tyranny when I was young.
King Sombra: I have also heard of the first Emperor of Equestria. The "Father of Monsters".
Grogar: I gave life to the foulest of creatures and allowed them to run wild, taking what they wanted and destroying the rest. My reign was a glorious, fear-soaked epoch of darkness in Equestria.
Queen Chrysalis: Ha! Until Gusty the Great rose up and banished you.
Grogar: That fool believed taking my bell would defeat me! But she only weakened me temporarily.
Cozy Glow: Um, Tirek is really old – [to Tirek] no offense, you look great – [to Grogar] but if he knew about you when he was young, we have super different ideas about what "temporarily" means.
Grogar: Silence! I've spent millennia gathering power, biding my time, waiting for the perfect opportunity to seize control of Equestria! And watching all of you. I've seen each of your humiliating defeats at the hooves of six puny ponies. And do you know why they've always bested you?
Queen Chrysalis: Because they cheat!
Lord Tirek: Because they are annoyingly lucky.
Cozy Glow: I'm just a kid, so...
Grogar: It is because they work together. Where one is weak, another is strong, and thus unified, they are a formidable force! But we shall use their own strategy to defeat them.
Queen Chrysalis: What are you suggesting?
Grogar: I suggest nothing. I demand that you join me, and together, Equestria will be ours!
King Sombra: I don't do "ours". I only do mine. I will take back the Crystal Empire on my own, and I will destroy any pony who gets in my way!
Grogar: Such confidence. Go! Try to take back your kingdom. I shall send you there myself. If you prevail, you may keep it. But when you fail, you will submit to me!
King Sombra: And if I refuse this deal?
Grogar: Then I shall return you to the darkness from which you were summoned.
King Sombra: Fine! But this is a waste of time, as I will crush those who defy me. I will defeat all who get in my way! I'm—
Grogar: I advise the rest of you to prepare to work together!
Cozy Glow: Well, working together sounds an awful lot like making friends, so... you two are in luck, because I know all about that!
Starlight Glimmer: Twi! You in here? With the school closed for the summer, I didn't think anypony would be here—
[paper rustling]
Twilight Sparkle: So much to do, not enough time! No! I already did that! Wait, no, I didn't! Uggggh, not enough time!
Spike: [hushed] Help! She's spiraling! We're at the "my plan needs a plan" stage of a total Twilight meltdown!
Starlight Glimmer: [hushed] Oh, got it. [normal] Twilight?
Twilight Sparkle: Did I write down "eliminate redundant lists" on my School of Friendship to-do list or my personal to-do list?
Starlight Glimmer: Twilight!
Twilight Sparkle: Gah! Starlight! Oh, good, you're here! I need to talk to you.
Starlight Glimmer: Okay...
Twilight Sparkle: Hang on, I had "talk to Starlight" written down on one of these. Just let me find it so I can cross it off! [worried noises]
Starlight Glimmer: Wow, you are "Twilight-ing" hard.
Twilight Sparkle: You say "Twilight-ing", too? Well excuuuuse me! This is the first time I've ever been asked to run a whole kingdom!
Starlight Glimmer: Uh, you're right, you're right. [chuckles] So, what did you want to talk to me about?
Twilight Sparkle: Ah, here it is! I wrote it down. [reading non-stop] Starlight, you have blossomed into one of the strongest, smartest, most caring ponies I know, and I can't think of anypony better to leave in charge of my castle and the School of Friendship! So what do you think?
Starlight Glimmer: What?! You want me to take care of the castle and run the school?!
Twilight Sparkle: Yes?
Starlight Glimmer: Uh... I can't! I'm not ready! Remember what happened the last time you left me in charge?! And now you want me to do it permanently?! What if I don't do the right things?! [hyperventilates] What if—?!
Twilight Sparkle: Starlight, get a hold of yourself! You've risen to every challenge you've ever faced. You can do anything you put your mind to. You've got this.
Starlight Glimmer: Hah! And so do you. See what I did there? You just said everything you need to hear.
Twilight Sparkle: [sarcastic laugh] Nice try. But running a school and running a country are two very different things. Now, if you don't mind I have seven thousand, four hundred, and thirty-two things to take care of before I become the new ruler of Equestria! [hyperventilates, hyperventilating into paper bag]
Spike: It was a valiant effort.
[Crystal Ponies screaming]
[crystals cracking]
[magical zaps]
[metal clinks]
[crystals cracking]
[door opens]
Shining Armor: The guard says Sombra's breached the castle!
Princess Cadance: Hurry, Twilight! We need you!
Princess Cadance: Do you have Flurry Heart?
Shining Armor: I thought you had her.
Shining Armor and Princess Cadance: [gasp]
[door opens]
Flurry Heart: Mama!
Princess Cadance: [gasps] You won't get away with this!
King Sombra: Oh, but I already have.
Flurry Heart: [angry noises]
King Sombra: [laughs]
[crystals cracking]
King Sombra: With the Crystal Heart now in my possession, there is nothing to stop me from ruling the Crystal Empire!
[chains clinking]
King Sombra: Kneel before Sombra! [sighs] Long live the king.
[door opens]
Twilight Sparkle: Thanks for coming so quickly—
[magic zap]
Rest of Mane Six and Starlight Glimmer: [gasping]
Discord: Sure thing. But if you're gonna be the ruler of Equestria, you may want to work on your penmanship. This looks like it says, "Cadance sent an emergency message. Sombra's back, and he's taking over the Crystal Empire."
Twilight Sparkle: That's exactly what it says!
Rarity: But... But how is that possible?! I thought the Crystal Heart had dispelled him into the ether!
Twilight Sparkle: I have no idea! But he's back, and it's up to us to save the Empire and my family!
Fluttershy: Shouldn't somepony tell Celestia and Luna?
Discord: Ooh, good point! One of us should probably loop in the real rulers of Equestria.
Twilight Sparkle: No. If we're going to run Equestria, we'll need to handle things like this on our own.
Discord: Oh, Twilight! Could this mean that you finally have the confidence to ascend to the throne like the princesses believe you can?
Twilight Sparkle: Maybe? Unless you'd consider taking care of Sombra for us?
Discord: Oh, no-no-no-no! You're absolutely right! You need to learn how to handle these things on your own. Ta-ta!
[magic zap]
Applejack: Handlin' things on our own is all well and good, but last time we defeated Sombra with the Crystal Heart.
Spike: What if he has it already? How are we gonna stop him?
Twilight Sparkle: [gasps] With the Elements of Harmony! With those, we can defeat anypony! Even Sombra!
Discord: Ah, no-no-no. You didn't need the Elements the last time you defeated Sombra. And I'm not sure that using them still counts as "handling things on your own".
Twilight Sparkle: My family is in danger. I'm not taking any chances.
Rainbow Dash: She's got a point.
Discord: Ugh, fine.
Pinkie Pie: What's his problem?
Twilight Sparkle: Starlight, can you stay here and-
Starlight Glimmer: [cutting off Twilight] -take care of the school? I've got you covered.
[teleportation zap]
[magic twinkling]
[teleportation zap]
King Sombra: [chewing]
[magic zap]
King Sombra: It's cute that you think that will do anything.
Princess Cadance: It might not, but they will!
Pinkie Pie: Cavalry's here! [grunts]
King Sombra: [chuckles] How can I be surprised when I'm waiting to show all of you your greatest fear?
Mane Six: [gasp, groan]
Twilight Sparkle: Oh...
Princess Celestia: Oh, Twilight. How disappointing.
Princess Luna: Equestria was in your care, and you let it be destroyed!
King Sombra: You should all surrender! Nothing can defeat your own fears!
[magic sounds]
Twilight Sparkle: We didn't need to defeat them. We just needed to face them long enough to distract you!
[crystal cracking]
King Sombra: Nooooo!
[magic zap]
Shining Armor: [mockingly] It's cute that you think that'll do anything.
[magic zap]
King Sombra: [growls] You may have won the battle, but I shall win the war!
[magic zap]
Spike: Yeah! Whoo-hoo-hoo!
Rainbow Dash: We totally just wiped the castle with that guy!
Shining Armor: Thanks, Twily.
Pinkie Pie: That was fun!
Applejack: And easy.
Rarity: As magical battles go, that was a cakewalk.
Pinkie Pie: Mmm... Cakewalk...
Rest of Mane Six: [giggle]
Twilight Sparkle: We did handle this pretty well. On our own.
Spike: Does this mean...?
Twilight Sparkle: I still don't feel like I'm one hundred percent ready, but will I ever?
Applejack: Knowing you? Nope.
Twilight Sparkle: I have you guys, and we have the Elements. And together, we've never failed. We'll be okay.
Rest of Mane Six and Spike: [assorted cheering]
Twilight Sparkle: Once again, Equestria is safe.
Fluttershy: What should we do to celebrate?
Pinkie Pie: I vote for a cakewalk!
Applejack: What's goin' on?
Twilight Sparkle: I don't know!
Mane Six: [gasps]
King Sombra: [laughs evilly]
[to be continued]