MLP and characters created by Hasbro & Lauren Faust
Random references by lots of other sci-fi and fantasy
Friendship is Epic is taken from random craziness in pony-chats across the internet. I have collated them into a story - but the ideas in general are fueled by the casual comments of dozens of random anonymous fans.
MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS EPIC
by Noir deSilhouette
Twilight Sparkle was wedged into the side of the Scootbuggy, squeezed in next to Scootaloo as the white leather-wearing pegasus propeled this metal cart - this 'dune buggy' - across the barren wasteland. Doctor Whooves was wedged into the far side, his brown mane blowing back in the wind. Derpy was flying along overhead, seemingly unconcerned about the devastation around them that once had been the green and bountiful hills around Ponyville.
She couldn't believe how big Scootaloo was - heck, how big the rest of the Cutie Mar- ... The Crusaders were. Older. More solemn. More serious. She had to believe it - that little blue shed of Doctor Whooves' really had brought them forward in time. Now she knew what the hourglass of his cutie mark meant.
Sweet Apple Acres wasn't where Twilight remembered it - they instead rode towards where Fluttershy had lived. Towards ... the Everfree Forest. As they crested a hill, she saw it - also not as she remembered. The dark, foreboding forest had swollon, had spread, a dark forest spreading out for miles and miles further than it had in her own time, out to the horizon. And before her, a tiny little patch of bright green, dotted with red. Buried into the edge of the Everfree Forest, where plants grew without magic, was the new Sweet Apple Acres.
"Well, now, that's clever," Doctor Whooves said approvingly. "Wonder who figured that one out?"
"Thankee kindly, sugahcube," Apple Bloom replied cheerfully.
It was smaller than the one from her time, and not as open. Like the town behind her, this was surrounded by a large wall, though this wall was of solid wood, not rusty and spiky metal. The ponies on lookout on the wall were normal colors, too - bright, shining colors. Twilight had no idea how much the drab surroundings had been affecting her till she felt the rush of joy at seeing the bright colors.
A white pegasus flew by overhead, wearing a brown leather flying cap and goggles, his rainbow-tinted white mane trailing in the wind, possibly one of the prettier, handsomer stallions she'd ever seen. Like the others, he was dressed neck to tail in white leather, but it just seemed to look better on him. "Everything all right?" he called down.
Apple Bloom nodded, and called back, "Shore as shootin', Starlight! Saved three norms from the Nightrider Herd! Hoofcutter was angry as a long-tailed cat in a roomfulla rockin' chairs!" Twilight felt a bit disoriented as she realized that the flying pegasus stallion up there was a tiny, adorable little fluffball that still couldn't fly, back in her own time period.
Starlight let out a laugh as his wings flapped lazily, the pegasus gliding along overhead, he and Derpy circling round each other curiously. "I'll let Dawn know he needs to greet a couple newbies!" he replied, then leaned forward and zipped towards the apple tree filled compound.
Scootaloo sighed happily as she looked upwards, her wings still lazily buzzing along as she propelled the Scootbuggy. "I could watch him fly all day," she said dreamily.
"Wasn't flying y'all were doin' last night!" Apple Bloom teased, and Scootaloo blushed, but smirked and gave the buggy a little jostle. Twilight let out a soft 'eep' as she grabbed hold of the crossbar more tightly.
Sweetie Belle blushed even more. "You two are so crude!" she harrumphed embarassedly.
Apple Bloom snorted. "Like y'all haven't done th' same with Dawn?"
Sweetie Belle's blush just deepened. "A lady does not discuss such things!" she said haughtily, trying to regain her composure.
Twilight, on the other hand, stared in horror. They were just little foals back in her time! She couldn't listen to this!
They slowed down as they approached the big gate at the entrance, which swung slowly open to greet them. Scootaloo pushed the buggy through the opening and parked it just inside. Two big earth ponies closed the door shut again right behind them, then lowered a massive crossbar into place. Before them, a tall white unicorn stallion with a golden mane came trotting up. He, and a few of the other ponies in the compound, didn't seem to be wearing nearly as much white leather, and Twilight could see the silver, sun-shaped shield he had for a cutie mark.
"This is Dawn Valiant," Sweetie Belle introduced them politely, "Captain of the guard. Dawn, you might remember them - this is Doctor Whooves, Derpy, and -"
"Twilight Sparkle!" Dawn breathed in amazement. "You ... you're back! You're here! Where've you been?"
Twilight couldn't answer. How could she even explain? She didn't know what'd been going on, where everyone was. "Is ... is anyone else here? Applejack? Rainbow Dash? Big Macintosh?"
He looked sad at the first two names, but then angry at the third. "No," he said sharply. "They're all ... all dead. Applejack and Rainbow Dash, and Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie, too, all died saving us foals from the mutants."
Everyone within hearing distance lowered their heads sadly, but Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle looked especially sad and angry. Only Twilight was close enough to hear Doctor Whooves quietly say, "Those five, hrm? Curious, curious."
Twilight just stared, horrified, a hollow ache in her chest. Dead? How ... how could they be dead? Just... just an hour ago, she'd seen Applejack in the market. She had never said good-bye to any of them ... never thought ...
Dawn Valiant raised his head again a fire alight in his eyes. "But they said that you'd come back! That you'd bring the Elements of Harmony and turn everyone back to normal again, just like you did with Princess Luna! We've been waiting for you!"
It was just one blow after another for Twilight. Her? She was supposed to fix ... all this? How?
"That's enough, Dawn," said a mare's calm voice. Twilight turned to see a pink pony with a purple mane, a thin white stripe coming down one side of that mane. She looked over Twilight with a serious expression. "You'd better come with me, Twilight." She had a calm aura of assurance about her, and Twilight followed after quietly.
"I never expected to see you again," said the mare. "I thought you were dead, like the others. But the rest all believed, it gave them hope. Kept them going. They'd recite it at night, like a litany. Twilight will come back. She'll bring the Elements of Harmony. And the world will be bright once more. But here you are, after all."
Twilight followered her away from everyone. "Are you ... really ... Diamond Tiara?" Twilight couldn't believe it. That haughty little stuck-up foal had grown up into such a serious-looking adult!
Diamond Tiara gave a small chuckle. "Oh, yes," she said, glancing at Twilight with a little understanding smirk. "I suppose you would be surprised. Last time you saw me, I was a spoiled little brat of a foal." She laughed softly. "I miss being a spoiled brat. I had to grow up awfully fast - faster than the rest of them."
She looked over to Twilight. "I knew from the moment I got my cutie mark, my special talent is being in charge. It sounded a lot better when I was a foal, let me tell you. Unfortunately, that means I have to consider the really bad ideas ... like ... knowing you can't fix everything."
Twilight shook her head. "The elements need all six of us to work. I don't even know where the stones are anymore... my tiara was in the library. I don't know where everyone else kept their necklaces. And we'd need the right spirits to connect with them."
Diamond Tiara nodded. "Don't tell any of the rest of them, all right? Give me a chance to think about this. After all - the mutants don't know, either."
Twilight grimaced. "What happened? How did all this ... just ... it's horrible!"
The pink pony peered closely at Twilight. "How could you not know? It's everwhere, isn't it?"
Twilight grimaced. "It's ... complicated. But I don't know anything that's happened since I disappeared, until today."
Diamond nodded. "So ... all right. Then I need to tell you about the muffins."