When Gearwork and the others arrived at his workshop, he turned around to them and said, "Wait here one minute, I have to grab a few things that will help Twilight and Rarity train." He then went inside and few minutes later he came back out with six tall silverish staff-like contraptions with three legs each. On the top part of them stood a whitish-blue crystal and just below it were three prongs that surrounded the crystal but were higher than it. Gearwork placed these contraptions around the others in a circle.
"Ooh. What does it do?" asked Pinkie as she approached it with enthusiasm.
"Pinkie, I wouldn't do that if I were y--" Gearwork said just as Pinkie got struck by a bolt electricity from the staff that she was near, causing her mane and tail to crackle with static for few minutes after being shocked.
Pinkie then opened her mouth with smoke coming out and said "Spicy!"
Rainbow Dash and Foxfire started laughing hysterically after seeing that, and even Gearwork couldn't help but laugh a little at Pinkie's reaction. He then helped her up and brought her over to the side of his workshop, while Applejack, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Foxfire and Spike followed him, Twilight and Rarity shortly followed. Gearwork then walked back into the circle and said "As what Pinkie just showed us, I figured that you now know what these things can do. These are actually charging stations for some of my first creations for the mines. My creations originally used electricity, but as you just saw, there were. . . incidents. Too many ponies got electricuted and were injured, so I had to change my designs, so that they wouldn't get hurt anymore. Pinkie was close enough to trigger its defense mechanism and got shocked. These stations had the nasty habit of malfunctioning and shocking anypony who got near."
"So you brought us out here, just to elecricute us?!" yelled Rainbow Dash and charged at him. Gearwork dodged her and then saw that he shouldn't have, she was heading right for the same station that shocked Pinkie. The station started charging and was just about to strike Rainbow, when all of a sudden, a blue-green blur slammed into her causing her to move out of the way just as bolt of elecricity was released. The bolt flew straight towards Gearwork, and struck him.
The others gasped as they saw it strike him, except Rainbow who was still stunned by how fast Foxfire had flown to intercept her and that she had almost been electricuted. She looked at Foxfire who was not looking at her but was looking it the direction of Gearwork. She then turned her gaze to what the others were looking at, and what she saw scared her a little, there stood Gearwork, but his expression was not his normally calm expression, but a face twisted in anger, but it was his eyes that scared her the most. They were no longer that light metallic grey, but black, black as the darkest abyss. His body crackled from the electricity, and he moved very jaggedly as if he were a puppet being pulled by strings. He then looked at the contraption that had electricuted him, and then roared, his horn then glowed and the station then was thrown into the air, and Gearwork then followed it already holding a ruby telekinetically. When he reached the contraption he let loose a jet of fire that engulfed the machine and it fell back to the ground and landed in a smoldering and crackling, jumble of molten metal.
He then landed and walked over to Rainbow Dash and before he could get any closer Twilight let loose a spell that would stun him, but Gearwork saw it coming and deflected it with one of his dark iron wings. He approached Rainbow, who was now scared of what he would do but Foxfire seemed perfectly calm which frightened her even more. He opened his mouth and Rainbow expected him to roar and attack her, and closed her eyes, but instead he spoke in a calm voice if not somewhat annoyed tone saying "You're lucky that Foxfire saved you from being struck, it would have almost killed you, Rainbow Dash. I saw it coming and grounded myself and but still took quite a bit of damage. I'm sorry that all of you had to see that, I figure that you're quite frightened of me. There is no need for that, that reaction was quite unexpected even to me, but I only react like that if I get hurt, badly. That station had to be destroyed anyway, it was discharging electricity that was stronger than last and it would have killed one of us if it released another bolt and hit us."
Gearwork headed back into his workshop and brought out another station and placed it where the other once was. "I augmented these things to send out small bolts of electricity to help us learn how to deflect spells and other projectiles. They will only shock you, and it will feel like you've been struck by static elecricity, not lightning. Let's begin." Twilight and Rarity approached Gearwork cautiously, but when they saw the look in his eyes they relaxed. "Ready?" he asked. They nodded and Gearwork's horn started glowing and the stations started humming. The bolts started firing at a slow steady rate and were being deflected easily. Gearwork's horn glowed again and the machines started firing at a faster rate and at different intervals. He made the machines fire faster and faster and at random intervals over time and by the end of the day both Rarity and Twilight were deflecting the spells with ease and were able to predict were the spells were to be coming from and deflect or dodge the bolts of electricity.
It was near sunset that Gearwork ended the training session and started putting away the stations and again apologized about reacting like he did. The others excepted his apology and they started heading back into town to grab something to eat and try and find Midnight and Trixie. He knew Twilight wanted a rematch, but he was more interested in what he might have found out while they were training.
as the group looked around they suddenly heard someone fast approaching, they turned and saw Trixie, she was running, in total panic
"Help help help." she stopped just short of hitting twilight.
"Trixie what's going on what happened to Midnight?"
"I don't know, we were at the door, Midnight said he knew how to open it now he knew about dark Iron, the an the door was opening he teleported me and Aznoth away, Aznoth won't let me go back. I think something happened but I don't know."
"What door? I never saw a door made of what did you say Dark Iron?"
"It's in a deep part of the caves Midnight used spells to hide it from all the ponies here even you Gearworks, He said your ancestors must have built it and you can get in and handle so,me sort of guardians, but I don't know for sure."
Trixie was Panicking she was behaving like she had lost her teacher, and her best friend.
"I don't know what to do, Midnight taught me how to reach the door through the caves but I don't know why he forced me and Aznoth away."
"What did he do? Enter one of the Vaults?!" Gearwork cried, while put a hoof to his face. "What was he thinking? I'm pretty sure that using a shout or other spell to open it would trigger any sort of defense mechanism that my ancestors created. Did you just say, guardians? That's even worse, why would he do that?" He looked at Trixie who was clearly freaking out and put a hoof on her shoulder. "I know your worried about him, I am too, but I need you to calm down and take us there. We still have time. We don't know what we're going to face, but we need stay calm and focused."
Trixie started to calm down and then said "I don't know what happened, he told me about how Dark Iron resonates and he started to perform a shout. The tunnel then started to shake, that was when Aznoth teleported me."
Gearwork looked at her thought of what could have happened. "We need to get to the mines, I need to grab a tunneler, just in case there's been a cave-in." Trixie started to shake, thinking that her mentor could be in grave danger caused her to almost collapse. "Trixie. Midnight will be fine, I promise you. I'll make sure of it." She nodded, and the group rushed towards the mines.
When they reached the entrance, Gearwork ran in and shortly came back out with a large drill on his back, and had many pieces of metal coming out of his saddlebags and said "I have what we need. Trixie can you take us to where you and Midnight were?" Trixie nodded and started walking towards the entrance to the tunnel, when she stopped she was standing by what looked like regular rock-face, but she walked right through it and disappeared. Gearwork quickly figured that it was a cloaking spell 'Smart move. One wouldn't normally think that the entrance would be cloaked' he thought to himself. He followed Trixie, but he noticed that Aznoth seemed quite apprehensive and was looking all around him. The group soon reached the gate and found Midnight, unconscious, and the gate sealed tight.
Midnight stirred awake
"Oh that was a stupid idea."
he admitted rubbing his head.
"Midnight, what happened?"
"I had hoped opening the door would have been as simple as casting a spell, but apparently there are defenses in the way, My shout was turned onto me."he shook his head, the force had severely thrown off his balance.
"My only guess is that the door requires some sort of specific phrase, And some sort of key. oh, I am truly suffering the price of foolishness, many tales tell of a wizard being foolish with magic one story is my favorite, it shows how one should never be too bold."
Gearwork smiled as he saw Midnight stir himself awake, and smiled even wider when he heard Midnight express great humility. "Great spellcasters always know when to show humility, and they learn from their mistakes." Gearwork said calmly. "Let me take a look at this door, I might be able to figure it out." He then walked over to a small panel and closely looked at it. He took out everything that he grabbed earlier when they first arrived at the mines. He then took out the scope from his saddlebag that he had grabbed earlier before they even headed out to Canterlot and looked at the mechanisms of it. He then turned towards the others while moving the scope from his eye and said "This is the lock, not what Midnight used. That is a decoy in which is meant to distract most ponies. See how well hidden this is, barely noticable."
Gearwork then pulled out his amulet and placed it in the lock, and it conneted with and audible "Click". Gearwork's horn then glowed and the cavern started to rumble with the sounds of tumblers and gears moving within the walls. After a few minutes of this the gate started to slowly open, and after it fully opened the amulet dropped onto the ground. Gearwork picked it and put it back on and said "It takes both the key and an affinity to move metal to unlock these gates, or at least this one anyway. I suspect that opening the others might not be as easy as this one." Gearwork walked over to Midnight and asked "Are you all right?" Midnight nodded and Gearwork responded in kind.
With that the group headed inside.
they entered the Vault, Midnight took great caution, he knew of the older tales, The power of shouting was immense, it could control ponies, animals wind and weather.
the walls of the chamber were covered in pictures, carved into the walls.
"Amazing this is a record of their history told through elegant images, each image serves as multiple symbols." Midnight observed, he came to one, it depicted two of each tribe, and from the heavens were coming to ponies with horns and wings.
"The coming of Celestia and Luna, but it would seem a detail that many have neglected is intact."
Twilight, wasn't pleased at Midnight calling the many texts flawed
"What details? there's the council," she gestured at the six
"and around in the back is many subjects"
"Yes but notice these 5"
he gestured to 5 unicorns around the background, they all had simple hooded robes, midnight recognized them from the vision in his dreams.
"The masters of ancient magic, and look on of them looks like he's hiding something."
sure enough one of them had a scroll but was trying very hard to conceal it.
"This is the official welcoming of the sisters, so then that means."
he trotted along and soon found a massive portrait, this one showed what was definitely discord ruling over the ponies, Midnight was able to see the many pictures.
"As Discords cruelty continued the ponies became desperate, they begged for help," he pointed at the robed unicorns who were listening to several ponies,
"They likely knew that no shout existed that could stop discord, but these scrolls show the creation of, oh my."
"The Shout needed to be tested, the council was of 5, unicorns have 4 legs and one head, and they have 5 sense, 5 seemed special."
they all nodded
"However does not every pony posses a tail? and aren't they're rumors of a supposed sixth sense?"
"ooh oooh like my pinkie sense."
"Yes there is a secret 6th member, a long running tradition, the council renews itself, and the master of the five becomes the new master of the new six. they live in seclusion contemplating their power."
"what does this have to do with Discord and the shout they made?"
"Everything, a Grand-master is highly gifted in the way of the voice, they alone in their mastery can create a shout, and proving your worthy to surpass them involves being able to surpass them, your only advantage being if you did make a shout they have no knowledge of it. Look here, the Master comes telling he needs to create a new shout to help, but the Grand-master refuses, the master could not surpass him in his power over shouting, as we see though, the Master soon learns the Grand-master's secret, this Grand-master hasn't been surpassed in centuries, he learned the grand-master's new shout was one that bestowed immortality."
"So it was created by a pony to stay in power." Gearworks said, he didn't approve of this grand-masters actions.
"Yes, The master practiced hard and put together the words of power, and when he used it the Grand-master's Immortality was taken away, the master, realizing his error made peace."
Midnight was pointing at a picture of one hooded pony shouting, the older unicorn was overpowered.
"They recorded their history, showing the rise and fall of shouting, They sealed the magic away.
Midnight came to an altar, statues of unicorns stood tall, their faces appearing stoic.
"The power of shouting has been sealed away, and sealed from those like Dusk-shadow who use their power for personal gain."
"So how do we get the scroll?" asked Trixie
"This vault hold history, it retells of the old ways. Back then they would share knowledge, words of power were shared, neither asking for anything in return."
Midnight sat, he was truly stumped.
"Altruism and generosity." Gearwork said. "It tells us that we must learn to overcome any sort of desire for power, knowledge, wealth, anything that could corrupt us. Look at Dusk-Shadow and Dark Eclipse, ponies that desired power and would do anything to achieve it. We must learn to give and not to recieve. Oh, I sound like a holiday card, but in all seriousness we must learn to do that." He took out the scrolls that he found in the canister and handed them to Midnight, Twilight, Trixie, and Rarity. "We must give knowledge and not ask nothing in return."
Gearwork looked at the statues, elegant and ancient, but he noticed something, more like sensed something about them. They weren't just statues, but in fact these were the guardians, the watchers of the vaults. He walked slowly past them and towards the scroll. Just as he was about to touch it, he saw one of the statues eyes flash.
The others saw Gearwork walk up to the scroll, and they saw the statues' eyes flash. Afterwards he was just standing there as though he were frozen in place. Gearwork found himself no longer in the cavern with the others, but instead in a large council hall and in front of a group of 5 unicorns. They were each wearing a different colored robe, and with different symbols on them.
Who are you? Why are you here? The middle pony bellowed. Gearwork noticed that this pony had the most decorated robe and realized that he was the groups leader.
Gearwork put his right hoof to his left shoulder and bowed slightly, as it was his way of greeting anypony, royal or otherwise. He then rose and said "My name is Gearwork Hastemaker," As soon as he said that the other members of the council started to murmur to each other. Gearwork continued "I've come with my friends to retrieve a scroll with words of power and a piece armor that will aid us in keeping Equestria free from tyranny."
Back in the cavern, Midnight decided to see what happened to Gearwork, and as soon as he approached, he too, was suddenly frozen as well.
The head unicorn face was no longer stoic, but instead had an expression of sheer annoyance. He then bellowed at Gearwork "Ignorant, arrogant, foolish pony! How dare you! You suddenly appear out of nowhere, and then claim that you and your friends, by the way I might add, nopony is with-- The head pony's face suddenly was no longer looking at him, but Midnight who had suddenly appeared behind him.
Midnight bowed low.
"Greeting ancient guardians, I come with little knowledge."
"And I suppose you believe we shall give it top you freely?"
"Those were the ancient ways but I shall in turn give you a gift
"A gift? and what would that be?"
Midnight focused he had studied one of the carved images, one that had depicted ancient unicorns sharing words of power.
Gearworks saw a stream of magic exit midnight horn and enter one of the statues eyes
"I give you the Clear Skies shout, freely."
the guardians bowed their heads low and before midnight a scroll appeared. whats more a dark black fluid covered Midnight's hoof, it formed into a piece of Armour and solidified. then they were back tin the vault.
Gearwork looked at Midnight, impressed and said "That piece of armor is yours, you earned it. I thought that I had to share knowledge with everyone that came with us, but it was knowledge that had to be shared with the guardians. There was something about that head unicorn that seemed familiar, I didn't like the way he looked at us. Also, when I told them my full name, the other guardians seemed converse positively amongst themselves. The head unicorn seemed to get hostile more towards me, afterwards." Midnight walked towards the group, but Gearwork couldn't help but turn back towards the guardians to get a closer look at them. "I have to check something out, the head unicorns face, there is something familiar about it and I can't quite place it."
Gearwork looked at the statues and memorized their faces, the four that were around the head unicorn had calm and stoic faces, clearly kind and wise ponies. But, the head unicorns statue's face had an annoyed if not angry look to it, this one was not kind whatsoever, and there was familiarity to it. He then placed it, and the answer made his blood run cold.
This was Dusk-Shadow's father or grandfather, possibly even her brother. It made sense now, how she was able to become immortal, how she knew shouts, and her magical ability. She was descended from one of these guardians.
Midnight looked at the piece of armour and scroll, something in the back of his head was buzzing something was bothering him.
When Gearworks revealed the statues likeness and relation to these guardians Midnight began to ponder.
"These Guardians, they were keepers of words of power, Dusk mane, yes she may have been one of the guardian clans."
he was deep in thought, he observed the effigies, they had been carved thousands of years ago, but were still in fine detail.
"Let's move on, I feel like we shouldn't stay."
he walked at a brsik pace, Something was bothering him, he didn't know what though.
Gearwork followed Midnight out of the cave, but not without grabbing the pieces of the drill that he brought with him. He dropped the pieces back at the entrance of the mine, and rejoined the group shortly afterwards. He saw Twilight looking at one of the scrolls that he gave to her, before he met the guardians.
Gearwork looked at Midnight, who seemed troubled by something, but also had a look of puzzlement on his face. Gearwork walked up to him and heard a slight ringing noise and asked if he could see the piece of armor and the scroll quickly. Midnight obliged and handed him the scroll and then the piece of armor. The scroll was like any other, except it did radiate some magical energy. But when he touched the piece of armor, he immediately dropped it. It held a strange charge to it and it made his head ache. He then pulled out the original copy of "Elements and Armor" and quickly looked through it. He then found a passage that could explain why he felt that way when he touched it.
It read: "As crystals hold certain energies that are akin to some ponies and other beings, so are pieces of Dark Iron. Dark Iron is a metal that is created when metal is merged with the energies of gems, and as such retains those energies. Each piece has an energy that matches the personality of certain beings, and repels others that don't match it."
Gearwork knew immediately that even though Midnight passed the test to recieve it, it wasn't akin to his energies, nor was it akin to Gearwork's. Gearwork knew how some stones had vastly different energies, and he remembered how some gems would crack, break, and there were even a few that exploded when he tried to use them. Even though he carried many differnt gems with him, he had chosen each of them carefully.
He then saw Twilight, who was still reading the scroll that he gave her, step and kick it. But something odd occurred when she hit it, it didn't move very far and it seemed to be almost magnetically attracted to her. She looked away from the scroll and picked it up without any reaction and offered it back to Midnight.
The ponies returned to Midnight's observatory, Midnight was intrigued by how the armour itself was particular to certain individuals this gave him reson to beleives the pieces of armour had a specific purpose much like the unrefined elements.
"There's an interting occurnce in shouting, as you learn words of power your shouts slowly gain in strength, Dusk-shadow, is likely only more powerful inshouting due to her ancestral training. she is one of the few with the ancient tribe in her blood line.
"What about you midnight?'
"I haven't found a shred of evidence towardsa my lineage, I was an orphan, My parents I never knew, I simply know about shouting by my research. My scroll was with me when I was put in the orphange, I remember getting angry and in doing so I unleashed the power of ancient magic, afterwards They made me promise to nevewr try it again."
Gearworks looked at midnight, he now realized Midnight was a lost soul, he had no parents to guide him.
"the only family I have is the family I made with Aznoth Trixie and you guys. Your all the family I need."
Gearwork smiled at what Midnight said. Gearwork very rarely ever had any friends growing up, and his family was small and scattered to the wind. He never had any siblings, but he was such good friends Foxfire that he had considered her his sister, and would look out for her.
"Midnight," Gearwork said "Before this storm showed up I never really knew much about you, and I considered you an acquaintance. Yet, as we traveled I truly saw your true self, and I became friends with you, so much so that I have considered you a brother."
Midnight started to do some research on the armor, and Gearwork was interested and researching on how to make Dark Iron. He took out the scroll on how to make it and saw that it would take more than one pony to create it. He asked Rarity to join him and see if she could help him try and create a piece of Dark Iron. Twilight decided to join and watch, to see something possibly be forged that hasn't for over a thousand years. Gearwork took out a few pieces of iron and steel and started to mold them. Rarity had different stones hovering above her, they started to glowing, and the energy merged with the molding metal. The metal changed color and Gearwork suddenly felt the energy of the raw Element of Harmony stone in his pocket surge. He took it out while still creating the Dark Iron, but he immediately stopped, Rarity did the same. The stone's energy was much stronger and glowed with an intense brightness, and it started to dim as soon as he stopped working on making the Dark Iron.
Gearwork put the stone between both him and Rarity, and started to work on creating the metal. As before the stone started to glow brighter and brighter, and Gearwork tossed a pair of tinted goggles towards Rarity, who put them on, he then did the same. After a little while Gearwork knew that he had created the metal but found it much easier to mold and shape with the stones giving energy to it, and he decided to create a chest plate based on the vision that he saw, slightly augmented, but almost the same.
As soon as it was almost complete, the unrefined Element, suddenly launched itself directly into the armor and lodged itself in the center of it. As it did, the stone itself started to change its shape and formed into the shape of a gear, and the area around the stone also changed color. Instead of the area being the color of Dark Iron, it had now turned silver.
Both Gearwork and Rarity looked at each other in silence, both knowing what had happened. Twilight was in puzzlement, unable to determine what had just happened, and beside her stood both Trixie and Aznoth.
Midnight was looking through his books, He knew how to enter the many vaulkts and they had much knowlegde not just the shouts but their own hostory, this was important, using words of power required an understandiung of words, however one way to obtain this was to look at the context it was created in. this was what troubled him in Deus rend, he knew that this shout was made using hatred and fear, this was most dangerous to fill yourself with that kind of hatred was to risk closing your heart, the clear skies shoput was used to preserve the beuty oif the sky asnd bring joy, To use a word of power you filled youirself with the emotions in the shout.
Midnight readied his saddle bag filling it with neccesary supplies, he prpeared several extra bags, he knew his friends wouldn't let him go alone, besdies he would need the help of someone who knew the ever free forest.
sorry I've been away for so long Moving and getting internet up has been crazy
Gearwork looked at the piece of armor, with the stone lodged in it. "Just as I thought." he said, thinking out loud.
"Thought what?" Twilight asked, still a little confused by what happened. "And why does it look like an Element of Harmony?"
"When I first got the stone, I thought about the Elements of Harmony. How they each represent a different positive aspect of somepony's personality. They are: Altruism, Kindness, Loyalty, Honesty, Laughter a.k.a. Joy, and Magic, which is more of a metaphysical core that binds them together. Those are the main elements, but I started thinking about how there might be other lesser known elements. These ones are based more on positive mental aspects of a pony. I've thought about what they might represent. I believe they could be Wisdom, Knowledge, Invention/Creativity, Humility, and that's all I can think of right now" Gearwork replied.
Gearwork looked at the stone in center, in shape of a gear. The metal around the stone and collar were a platinum color, whilst the rest was Dark Iron. Gearwork also noticed that the stone had change color once again. It was no longer an orangish-silver, but now it was almost the same color as the metal surrounding it, except that it glowed slightly.
midnight came over as the others were admiring The finished piece.
He was curious by the element, it was in a refined form but it lacked its full power, the elements were bound by ancient rules and one of them was that without the other elements and people who truly embodied them, they were in a sense worthless.
"Impressive work, I think I've located our next target their is likely a Vault beneath the palace of two sisters that is now in the everfree forest."
"we have to go there, but its so ---scary."
"It's all right sugar cube it'll be safe" said applejack patting fluttershy on the back.
Aznoth looked at the element, Midnight could see Aznoth very much wanted to snatch it so he could hide it somewhere. but Aznoth had been carefully resoned with to not do such a thing, he usually only did it with things like food, as beholders could go months without eating.
"Agreed" said Gearwork "That should be our next destination. Don't worry Fluttershy, we'll be fine, and besides you know the Everfree Forest better than I do, and I'm not afraid. I'll just be more observant while we're there. Based on how I dream, I really doubt that there will be anything that will really make me scared, maybe nervous but not scared."
"W-w-what d-do you mean by h-how you dream?" Fluttershy asked. She starting to tremble, but Applejack placed a hoof on her shoulder to help calm her down.
"Yeah?! What do you mean by that?!" Rainbow Dash said in a somewhat hostile tone, who was suddenly in Gearwork's face. "Why did you say that? Are you just saying that to scare Fluttershy?!"
Gearwork suddenly gave Rainbow Dash a look that made her immediately back away a few feet. He then closed his eyes and sighed, opened his eyes and looked at Fluttershy and the others. "I don't dream like most ponies," Gearwork said in a very morose tone "Many of my dreams are quite macabre, not exactly nightmares but very bizarre. I have seen things in my dreams that you would probably consider a nightmare. I have experienced these dreams for so long that they are now what I consider a normal dream now. Many of my inventions are based on what I've seen in them. I did not mean to frighten you, Fluttershy."
Gearwork gathered his things and walked to Trixie's caravan and waited for the others to join him.
Sorry I haven't posted anything for a few days, I was studying for finals.
Midnignt had his possesions packed into the caravan, aznoth was bu his side but Midnight had never taklen his faithful pet out of hoofington.
Midnight had brought anything they may need including the scroll they had obtained in the Hoofington vault.
Trixie was preparing the caravan for a dangerous journey into the forest, there were many dangerous creatures there
Twilight and Midnight began to survey a map of the ofrest
"we should visit Zakora, she may know something about these shouts."
"I somehow doubt it though she mnay have some insight on our dilemma I also wanrt to get away form any town
"wjhy's that?" asked Gearowrks who had come to join them
"Dusk shadow is still huinting for us, we saved hoofington from Dark eclipses storm machine but I fear the Leo minor may be a bit more dangerous, especially since we may not have the power to send it away."
As the caravan headed towards the EverFree Forest, Gearwork thought about what Midnight said about the Leo Minor, and knew that everypony in the group had to be prepared. He also knew that what they were to face was a cub, and if he knew how young cats act, it might be easily distracted.
He decided to make a few small machines that could act as distractions so the group could have more time if they needed it. He decided to make it look like something he saw in one of his dreams. It looked like a spider, but had a few extra pairs of legs on its back folded up. It also a small pair of wings made from incredibly thin sheets of metal, which were also folded up. There were six slots for gems to be fit in it and a seventh slot that would be on the inside.
He needed to put small gems in it to act as a power source as well as sensors, but realized he didn't bring any of those tools with him, they were too big and too noisey. He then saw Spike, who looked extremely bored because everypony was doing something else and he didn't have anything to occupy his time. Twilight was studying, Midnight was going over his scrolls. Applejack was coaxing Fluttershy, trying to convince her that everything would be okay. Rarity was practicing with some gemstones trying use their abilities. Rainbow Dash and Foxfire were flying around the outside of the caravan, while Pinkie Pie watched with her out the window. Trixie was driving the caravan.
"Hey, Spike." Gearwork said in a hushed voice.
"What?" Spike replied in a bored tone.
"I could use your help with something, I need your help with some gems."
Spike upon hearing the word "Gems" immediately went over to Gearwork and asked in an eager tone "What do you need help with?"
Gearwork showed Spike his creation and Spike shuddered upon seeing it. Gearwork then said "I know it looks creepy, but it is going to be used as a distraction of some sort if we need to get away from the Leo Minor. What I need your help with is for you to trim down some gemstones so I can put them in the few of these that I'm making." He handed Spike several different stones and showed him the slots so he knew how big the pieces needed to be. Spike immediately went to work trimming the stone he grabbed, a ruby, and handed the pieces to Gearwork put them in the slots. After putting the six stones on the outside, Gearwork pried the machine open and put in a small crystal that he took out of his saddlebag. He had several of those small crystals, but he needed help with the larger gems.
As soon as he put the crystal in and resealed the outside of the machine the gems started to glow and the machine came to life. Gearwork dropped it and it started at scuttle around the caravan, it approached Fluttershy, who yelped and was suddenly hovering in the air to get away from it, but it suddenly took to the air and Fluttershy dropped and was hiding behind Applejack, trembling. It moved in the air for another moment before landing, this time on Rarity's head. She screamed "There's something in my hair! Get it away from me! Get it away from me!"
It jumped down and started to scuttle across the caravan dodging everything being thrown at it. Suddenly it was struck by a magical blast from Twilight, which flipped it over. It lay there for a moment with its legs moving in the air, but it suddenly rose on another pair of legs and started moving around again, this time towards Pinkie Pie. It jumped in the air to land on her back, but she suddenly turned her head in it was suddenly on the middle of her face. She started to swing her head violently to get it off her face, but it only caused the machine to latch on tighter to her face.
Gearwork looked at Spike who trying not to laugh at the scene before him, but was failing at it. Spike suddenly burst out laughing and Gearwork couldn't help but join him. After a moment Gearwork collected himself and walked over to Pinkie and said "Pinkie! You have to stop moving."
"What?!" she said in a panicked tone, while still swinging her head "Don't you see this thing on me! I have to get it off!"
"Your moving is causing it to stay on your face, please just try it."
Pinkie finally did stop swinging her head and the machine climbed to the top of her head and jumped down and moved towards Gearwork and climbed onto a hoof that he held out as it approached. As soon as it was on his hoof his horn glowed briefly and the machine folded up and the stones stopped glowing. He then put it away in his saddlebag, and looked up.
Twilight was looking angrily at him, "What was that?! Was that your idea of a joke?! Unleash a machine that causes everypony to freak out?! Did you think that funny Gearwork?!" she yelled.
"But, Twilight." Spike pleaded "We were-"
"-Not now Spike!" Twilight interupted "Don't think that I didn't know that you played a part in this! I saw you laughing!"
Spike looked defeated and he lowered his head in shame. Gearwork knew he had to say something. He approached Twilight but was suddenly hit with a magical blast that sent him flying out of the open window of the caravan. Trixie saw Gearwork fly out of the open window, and slowed the caravan to a stop. Twilight jumped down from caravan and charged towards Gearwork. Spike yelled towards her "Twilight, you have to listen to me, it wasn't a prank!" Twilight didn't hear him but the others did.
"What do mean, Spike?" Applejack asked.
"Gearwork was planning on making several of those things to help us out if we can distract the Leo Minor. He asked me to help him make some of his gemstones smaller so he could put them in the machine. He put a small crystal inside the thing and sealed it up, but it activated and started jumping around before we could do anything." Spike explained.
"We have to stop her from attacking Gearwork." Midnight said and headed towards Twilight, with the others following.
Gearwork was getting up from his fall from the caravan, he was a little stunned and very sore, but otherwise he thought he was fine. He saw Twilight charging him, but he couldn't move very well. He was struck by another magical blast, and thrown into the air, he activated his wings and started moving through the air. 'I have find a way to make her listen' he thought to himself. He then saw the others running towards Twilight, with Midnight and Spike in the lead. "Oh, good, they're going to try and calm her down."
Midnight and the others ran over to Twilight and started to defend Gearwork. "You have to calm down, Twilight. What happened was an accident. It wasn't a prank." Applejack said.
"It still shouldn't have happened." Twilight replied, already calming down. "What exactly happened?" she asked. Spike told her what happened and she immediately looked embarrassed. She and the others then saw Gearwork crash.
Gearwork saw her calm down and he started to land, but as soon as he put down his front right hoof he felt immediately an intense pain and he lost his balance and crashed. He got up and hobbled his way towards the others who were racing towards him. "Are you okay? That was a nasty crash we just saw happen." he heard Rainbow Dash say.
"I'll be fine." Gearwork said in pained tone "I think I injured my front right leg from that fall from the caravan. I'll be able to heal myself up once we get going again." He then looked at Twilight who looked upset and said "I want you to know that what happened in the caravan wasn't a prank, and I don't blame you for what you did. You were upset and you were defending your friends. Don't blame yourself, I'll be fine." Gearwork then headed towards the caravan and got in.
It started moving again, and Gearwork took out two emeralds and started to heal himself. It took a few minutes but he was able to heal his leg, and was able to move around without any pain. He then started to work on more of those machines, but this time he was going to make sure that what happened with the first one didn't happen again.
Midnight was less than charitable
"Twilight, that type of action could have caused serious injury, to gearworks or anyone else in the caravan, I need everyone in their best so for the time being IU'n taking extra precautions against uyour powerful magic.
the little beholder descend form his perch at the top of the Caravan, Beholders preffereed a higher vantage point and Aznoth had seen everythiung
"I want you to the keep the ye on twilight if she starts to lose her temper again, yopu know what to do."
"Wait what eye what will he do?" Twilight said not liking iow Midnight was treating her like a filly.
"When I was teaching trixie, if she tried anything snealy behind my back Aznoth Knew a spell that he cast from one of his eyes, the spell render unicorns unable to cats magic, it was a good way to teach her when not to use magic. "
"I'm not in the mood for excuses." He snapped, Twilight hung her head and Midnight went back to his scrolls, he wasn't trying to be cruel but he had to take on a role of leadership.
Gearwork saw Midnight scold Twilight, but he knew that it was necessary. She had lost her temper when one of his creations ran amok, and thinking it as a joke had attacked him. He was still a little sore from the fall from the caravan, but he had healed any serious damage that occurred from it. He had already told Twilight that he wasn't angry at her for doing it, but he knew that she should learn to try and keep a level head even when angry. He had learned to control his anger and use it for constructive means instead of destructive. He had also learned to listen to what the other had to say for an event that they may have caused before rushing in. The consequences of not listening had just occurred with Twilight.
He went back to work creating those spider-like machines, and had made four so far. Each one used different gemstones for sensors. There were four gems on the side part of it and a gem on both the top and bottom part, which was to make sure that it could, technically see in all directions. The stones he had used were: ruby, emerald, sapphire, and diamond. The fifth stone he used was onyx, and the light that seemed to emanate for it once activated was a strange greyish black color, almost invisible. He decided that this one would be good for acting as a sentry and warning device while they were in the vaults. He also wanted to test how well detectible it would be when it was moving, but he also didn't want to cause another incident like before.
"Everypony, I would like to test one of these devices to see if this could act as a sentry and warn us if somepony is approaching while we are in the vaults." Gearwork told the group. "I have noticed that one of these devices doesn't seem to create much light, as opposed to the others which will act as distractions to buy us more time from the Leo Minor, if we need it. This one though, I would like to see how well visible it could be in dark tunnels leading to the vault. I need a spell that can create a dark shadow around us to see how detectible it could be."
"Twilight, I know you know a spell like that." Spike said.
Twilight seemed a little nervous to cast a spell, after the warning from Midnight. She looked over at Midnight to see what his response might be, in which he then nodded to show that it was okay to cast a spell. She relaxed a little and said "Move back, while I do this. Oh, and cover the windows." Once the windows were covered, her horn started to glow and a shadow started to cover the inside of the caravan until it was almost pitch black.
"Thank you, Twilight." Gearwork said "I want all of you to try and detect this after I activate it." He put the device down and activated it. "It's now activated."
Gearwork waited for any response from the others and after a few minutes none of them had detected it. He knew now that this was a successful test, and said "You can disperse the spell now, Twilight. It seems that we now have a sentry, to warn us while we are in the vaults." Twilight dispersed the spell and the light returned to caravan and saw that the device was near the unfinished Dark Iron wings for Midnight and Gearwork couldn't help but feel like an idiot, because he had forgotten about them. He then telekinetically grabbed both the device and unfinished wings and brought them to him. He deactivated the device, which had folded up to make it easier to carry and put it away. He then started to work on finishing the Dark Iron wings and wanted them complete before they had arrived at the EverFree Forest.
It was about an hour and a half until Gearwork had completed the wings, and he was quite tired from molding the Dark Iron. It was somewhat easier to mold it after the new element was created, but it still exhausting. He figured that with enough practice that eventually he would be able to shape it with ease, but for now it tired him out. He gave them to Midnight and told him about the compartments that would hold scrolls and not hinder him whatsoever. Midnight thanked him and Gearwork decided to see if he could try and get some rest before they arrived. He went over to window and sat down, he then took out one of his personal crystals and placed it in one of his hooves and closed his eyes.
He did get some rest, but it wasn't exactly sleep. He was completely aware of the others around him, but to them he looked sound asleep. He knew that Rarity was training some gems, but he became aware that she was experimenting using different stones at the same time. He knew she was using a sapphire, but he had also noticed a slight change in the air circulation. 'She must being practicing with a diamond as well' he thought to himself, because he knew that a diamonds hidden ability was able to create and control wind. No pony knew that he used the diamonds ability to control some of the air flow in Hoofington mines, especially in the deeper chambers where air flow was limited. He then felt a sudden change in the temperature and immediately opened his eyes and watched as a small cloud of shimmering frozen water vapor forming around Rarity, who seemed a little awestruck at what was occurring kept using her magic.
"Not good." Gearwork said aloud and was already on his feet. He quickly took a ruby and took control of Rarity's sapphire. He then combined its ability with the ruby and the water vapor quickly turned to steam and disappeared.
Rarity looked at him with a look of confusion and annoyance, but it quickly faded to just confusion. She saw that Gearwork's face was that of panic, and did not know why. She regained her composure and asked "Gearwork, why did you react like that and take control of the stone I was using?"
Gearwork looked at her and sighed, "It's mostly my fault, I had forgotten to warn you that you should be careful when combining different gemstone abilities. I seem to have underestimated your skill in using them and thought that you wouldn't be combining their abilities so quickly." He handed the sapphire back to her and said "There are some gem combinations that you should never use in confined quarters, unless it's absolutely necessary. A diamond and sapphire combination can create ice, and if I didn't counteract it with the sapphire and ruby combination which can create scolding hot water or steam, could have frozen you and/or the caravan solid." Rarity looked mortified by what she had almost done, but Gearwork walked over and placed a hoof on her shoulder and said "Don't blame yourself. You didn't know what could happen, mainly due to my own forgetfulness. I just want you to be more careful the next time so that will not happen. I will tell you what different stone combinations are, if I know what they are, and teach you how to use them."
Rarity smiled and nodded "I will be much more careful when doing that, and I greatly appreciate your guidance concerning such matters." she added.
Over the next few hours Gearwork explained to Rarity how to use different combinations, and how to control the amount of magic to use for each stone to achieve different results. He also told her what combinations not to use, for the results were always negative. She took in every word and remembered what he told her. "As soon as we can, I'd like to help you create and practice these combinations but in an open area." He said to Rarity.
"Maybe when we get to Ponyville, if we have any time." she replied. She looked out the window and then added "Which appears that we are almost there."
The caravan soon arrived in Ponyville and parked in a somewhat secluded and hidden part of town. It would be too noticeable if they had parked in the town square, and it could be a problem especially if Dusk-Shadow decided to destroy the town looking for them. It would also be too obvious if the caravan was parked right by the forest, and it could be destroyed, leaving the group without reliable means of transport.
When the ponies Carefully parked their Caravan they then made plans on how to prepare for the everfree. Midnight though could have sworn he saw several starnge figures sneaking around the edge of the forests, The others took this as a reason to stay cautious they entered but could hear the telkltale signs they were being FOllowed
"Thosse cowards, I'ell tell them to show themmsleves or else." applejack took a breath to shout but Midnight stopped her.
"They haven't been able to get a good look at us so they mopst likely don't know our numbers or appearences."
"what's your point? asked Rainbow dash."
"Me and Aznoth have a special spell that was used during the time were the tribes were hostile it was a spell for unicorns to spy without ever being caught."
"Wait how could they do that? Unicrons have no wings and a horn, you can't just put a cap over ypour head and hope they don't notice." Asked Applejack.
"Not normally but there was a spell it's complex, I need Aznoth to perform it, but its effect allows you to change your form so you highly resemble a member of the group your trying to infiltrate."
Midnight's horn glowed dark blue, Aznoth focused all but one of his eyestalks on Midnight the one he reserved for Twilight. a veil of shaodws covered Midnight, they could see his apperance change but it looked like he was getting shorter.
when the veil lifted Midnight had became a yopung colt, his ape and tunic hadn't shrunk with him and he didn't have his reading glasses, but strange was he had a red cape with a blue insignia on it trhe undersideappeared to be gold, and his Cutie mark had disappeared.
"What in the name of Luna, I didn;t cast an age spell!" he looked at himself
"And even if it did, How come I don't have my cutie mark? I got my cutie mark when i was younger than this!"
"Maybe it's just an effect from the spell." suggested Twilight, she was suprpised by the poower of the spell."
"No form what I've researched the spell is very specific it changes your appearnce only when a spefici feature is common amongst the group, liek this cape, apparently they all were a starnge cape that tow people clearly worked on."
Rarity, who was almost certain she knew why the spell changed midnight and in so knew who was following them but was curious about his statement about the garment.
"What do you mean by that Midnight?"
"Simple the golden cloth that lines it is so fine only an expert in the craft could have made it."
Rairty blushed and suppressed a laugh
"But the top side, with it's crude stitching, the clumsy emblem, and crewd ties which seem to be made by just cutting them inti the very fabric, leads me to think that someone stole the gold lining to try and mask how incopotant they are at Clothwork."
"Hey!" came a high pitched voice from the bushes, followed by rustling of someone appraoching a little white unicron filly emerged along with a yeollow filly with red hair and a large pink bow in her hair and an ornage pegasi with purple hair, theyu all were wearing Cutie mark idnetical to the one little Midnight was wearing
"I spent hours on those capes!" the little unicron said
"Sweetie Belle!" Cried raiirty dissapointed
"Apple Bloom" Said applejack sternly
"Scootaloo" shouted Rainbow Dash
"What are you doing here?" they all asked
The three filly's hung their heads in shame
"SOrry sis, but you took so long coming back, we got worried."
"Then we saw you with those strange ponies and we decided to find out."
The three looked at each other.
"Well we appreciate your concern, but You should go home, it could be dangerous."
"But what if following you helps us get our cutie marks?"
"It's too dangerous, you could get hurt." stated Applejack
"Wait a moment whos that and how did he get a cape liek ours?" Asked Applebloom pointing at midnight
"And for that matter why is he allowed ot go with you but we can't"
Midnight stepped forward to explain but sadly he leanred a sad turth when your littkle often older ponies ignore you."
"This is midnight he's actually all grown up but when he heard you sneaking areound he cast a spell to look like you."
"Why would he want to do that?"
"Well uh-" Applejack could quite explain, Midnight seized on her hesitation
"OI thought you were someone else tyriung to spy on us so by taking on a lokk like yours I would have been able to convince you I was one of your group, however I didn;t realize we were being followed by a grou[p of fillies." Midngith smiled thinking they'd see the humour but instead they felt he was mocking them.
"So what if we're young we still followed ya?" Apple bloom aslked in dismay.
"Look thats enough distractions you already delayed us enough go home, Midnight may as well change back."
"Uh yeah about that." Midnight laughed nervously.
" The spell is complex and dropping it isn't menat to be easy otherwise it could be dropped at a time when the user doesn''t want it to. especially since back then the tribes knew of ways that forced unicrons to cast spellls."
"What are you trying to say?"
Midnight hung his head
"I have no idea how to drop the spell, the spell relies heavily on the situation, in this case I changed into a mark less COlt so I Could infiltrate these girls and trick them into thinking I was going to help them follow you so they could help us and get their own cutie marks, Dropping the spell could require anything, but in general the spell was maent to fade when the subject didn't need to hide."
"But you don't need to they're not coming and that's final." stated Applejack
"But Sis, what if you do need our help?"
"Girls you may not understand this now but we just want you to be safe."
Gearworks was watching this he noticed how Mifnight was wathing the behavior of the three older ponies treating their younger sisters. then Twilight walked over to Midnight
"Do you want to ride on my back? we maight have a long way to walk." Something then got to Midnight.
"Ok Stop right htere."
he stated a little bit louder than he expected. every one turned to him.
"I took the shape of a young colt for barely minutes and already your treating me differently."
"What do you mean sweety? We're just trying to make sure ou'll be ok." she said patting midnight on the hoof before realizing what she was doing and pulled her hoof away and giving a weak smile.
"Now I understand that unlike these three I am actually and adult but have shrunken but perhaps they can help us,"
he stopped Applejack."
"These three are young but they have spirit, they want to prove themselves, I know as their older sister your compelled to protect them, but there are things we have to understand, we aerein a desperate situation, we are tryin gto complete a difficult task, and to turn down these three's spirit to help could become a drastic miitsake, and iif that sounds too risky let me remind you, if we fail at our quest, then while they will be safe now who will protect them later?"
Gearworks was worried at Midnights tone.
"Whatare you tryuing to say?" he then realized klike thew others that aznoth had put a cone f silence of the young fillies so they wouldn't hear midnight.
"I'm saying that If we fail then we might not come back, and even if we do there could be no ponyville or hoofington to go back too."
Fluttershy whpo at the prospect of this almost turned to flee but then as midnights words came to her she realized, even if she ran then it would only be a matter of time efore their home was lost all of her creature friends, including her dear angel bunny, she couldn't stand teh idea of losing them.
The three looked at each other then anoth raised the cone.
"You can come with us." stated applejack
"but." interruptied rairty
"You have to do everything we tell you, and you have to stay close to us and be careful."
the three nodded.
Midnight looked at his little body the spell was complex and it couldn;t be removed easily not even spells meant to cancel spells wopuld work but it would fade his, he could see some of the this taking effect because his cuite mark appeared, it was unlikelty the spell would dissappear any time soon, he just hoped the others could resist treating him liek a child.
Trixie packed his tunic galsses and cape into one of her saddle bags, Midnight had packed smartly so his noptebooks, tomes and scrolls were light enough so his little body could carry them but one vital book was too heavy, it had been heavy before but now being shrunk it was impossible.
"I hate to ask but could someone handle this for me? its way to heavy for me now."
Applejack smirked and lifted it to find the book was indead heavy."
"holy smokes, this thing is heavy."
"its a very old book the paper is thick and the cover is made of dense wood."
Gearworks now notied Midnight's cuite mark, he hadn't seen it that much before due to Midnight wearing a cape. but now he could see the light bue moon and five silver starts and inside the moon an open eye. the stars were outside the moon and formed a sort of upside down pentagon except the bottom star seemed a bit further out then the other stars.
Twilight was also curious as was Trixie.
"That's a strange mark, and there's somethign familiar about it."
"I feel like I've seen it somewhere before while researching."
Gearwork saw the reaction of Midnight when he was transformed into a young colt and the reactions of the younger sisters and couldn't help but find it somewhat amusing, until he saw how the others started to treat him differently. It was though he wasn't Midnight anymore, but a young colt instead. 'He's still Midnight, in mind but only his form has changed. He should still be treated as the group's leader, and intend to behave as such.' Gearwork thought to himself.
He then saw Applejack lift Midnight's spellbook and was having trouble, when he thought of something that could easily hold the book for them. He took out quite a bit of metal and gems and started to work on a transport vehicle that could hold the book and keep along side the group. The three young fillies saw him creating this and were quite curious at what he was doing.
"How are you doing that?" Sweetie Belle asked. "Is your ability to be able to create machines.
"Something like that." Gearwork replied focusing on what he was doing.
Scootaloo then noticed the Dark Iron wings folded up around Gearwork like a cloak, "Look at this, he has wings, he can fly!" She told the others excitedly.
Applebloom responded "But he's a unicorn, if he has wings that makes him an-"
"Stop it right there." Gearwork said while looking at the young fillies with a glare. The machine he was building was about three-fourths completed. He then realized he said it a little too harshly, and his look changed. "I apologize for saying that, but I'm not an alicorn. I'm a unicorn, I will explain my abilities after I'm done with this machine." He then started working back on the transport vehicle for Midnight's spellbook.
When it was finished it was a six-legged podium, that had clamps on the back that would hold the spellbook securely. He than asked AppleJack if she could bring it over, and she slowly made her way over. The weight of the book was getting to her, when she made it over, Gearwork activated the machine which then lowered it's height to make it easier to move the book onto it. As soon as the book was placed, the clamps on the back moved and secured it in place. It then rose back up and started to move around easily, as though nothing was placed on it.
Gearwork then turned to the three young fillies, who had remained quiet after him telling them to do so. As he was about to say something he heard a familiar hoot and saw an owl flying towards him and the group. "Coo, there you are. I'm surprised that you followed us all the way here." The large grey owl then landed on top of Gearwork's head, Coo then looked at the three young fillies who were a little startled upon seeing the mechanical parts of its face. "Don't be afraid of Coo here, he's my pet/assisstant." Gearwork then really noticed the capes they were wearing and saw the badge that had the initials "CMC", and he wanted to know it could have meant. "I was wondering what does "CMC" stand for?" he asked the three fillies.
"Oh, we're the Cutie Mark Crusaders." Applebloom said proudly.
"I wanted to say it." Scootaloo cried out, annoyed that she didn't say it first.
Gearwork seeing a potential argument beginning to start, interupted before it could develop anymore and said "It doesn't matter who said it, it's over and done with, maybe next time you'll be able to say it first. I was only wondering, there is no need to fight about who gets to say it first."
He started to head into the EverFree Forest and saw the others beginning to follow him. The walking podium moved along with the rest of the group with ease. After a few minutes Gearwork walked along side the Cutie Mark Crusaders and told them about his magical abilities, and what had recently happened to cause them to be here. He was careful by leaving some details out of his story, so he wouldn't scare them. He saw Twilight leading the group with the young version of Midnight on her back, who had a very annoyed look on his face. Gearwork knew that Twilight knew where she was headed and let her lead the way.
A short while later the group seemed to have reached their destination. It was a hut made the inside of a tree, and there were masks along the outside of it. Twilight and Midnight walked up to the door and knocked, a moment later a zebra opened the door.
"Ah twilight you it is good to see
but who are these new folk in your company"
"This is Midnight and the other is Gearworks, oh and Trixie."
"The little ones may I presume are friends with Applebloom?"
"The little fillies are friends that is right" said Midnight
but this shape of mine is meant to fool the sight." he smiled talking in rhymes was catchy
"Allow me to briefly show you
the form of me form that is most true."
this was mostly just for a laugh but he didn't realize what power he was tapping into uisng the power of his voice.
he took on his old appearance a young stallion, however instead of his cape and tunic he had a different outift this one was a form of armour, dark iron pauldorns and a plate on hios chest, a circlet full of enchatned gemstones he looked like he was was ready to enter a battle the armour was strange the styles were as if it was thousanbds of years old but this set looked like it was made recedntly, however Midnight's confusion masde him lose the needed concentratiopn to maintain thew spell, so he soon reutnred to looking like a filly.
"OK Before you ask about that armoured gear Don't I have no idea where that came from."
"we can investiagte later, Zecora right now we ned to ask if you know anything about the temple of the two sisters?, or about ancient unicorn magic?"
Zecora looked at them.
"ancient magic? does this by any stretch of imagination
have to do with the storm in hoofington?" (just pretend that rhymes shhhhhh)
"yes it does."
twilight relayed the story to zecora, who listened patiently.
Gearwork still couldn't wrap his mind around the form that Midnight had taken. It was an almost perfect duplication of what he had seen in one of his visions just before the group entered the storm. It disturbed him up a little, because it was so close to what he had seen.
He unfurled his Dark Iron wings and took out the blueprint of the augmentations of the armor that he was planning on adding to allow them to fly. He was also wearing the Dark Iron chest piece that had the Element in it, he was not planning on leaving it behind if he needed it. He had also found that creating things came much more naturally when he was wearing it. He had formed a spot on the armor above the stone where he could attach his amulet to, so he could get to it easily. He took the amulet off and looked at the markings on it, they seemed to match the markings on the armor that surrounded Midnight for that brief time. It made sense that the creator of these items would leave markings as a sort of signature. Gearwork did this to many of his creations, including the Dark Iron wings.
Gearwork then realized that the form Midnight took was the form of his armor was going to look like. The circlet of stones was in the shape similar to his cutie mark.
As soon as Twilight finished the story, heard Zecora say "Interesting tale you have told me. The past repeating is coming to be."
"What does that mean?" asked Rainbow Dash.
"It means history is starting to repeat itself." Gearwork answered immediately still looking at the schematics of the augmented armor. "It also means that if we don't recover the pieces of armor, things will not end like they did last time."
Zecora looked upon the element that Gearwork was wearing and walked over to examine it further. She looked at and then asked "It is an Element that you wear. What aspect do you bear?"
Gearwork felt a little uncomfortable being studied, but quickly got over it. "I bear the Element of Creativity, but I like to call it Invention." He replied.
"Cool!" he heard Scootaloo say.
"How is that possible? I thought there were only six Elements?" Sweetie Belle asked.
"That is what I thought as well until I accidentally created a few of these." Gearwork answered, while taking out another unrefined Element and showed it to the crusaders. "I then started thinking that there had to be different Elements that represent different positive aspects of a pony. These other Elements represent mental aspects."
"Huh?" Applebloom responded and tilted her head.
"How do I put it? Ah! The Elements you know focus on good personality traits, these other Elements focus on good mental traits."
"I get it." Scootaloo said.
"I do too." Sweetie Belle responded.
"Me, too." Applebloom said.
Gearwork looked at young Midnight and saw that he was still puzzled by the form he had somehow conjured for a brief moment, and walked over to him. "I think I figured out what you became for that short time." He told Midnight.
Midnight looked at him with a look of concern. "What do you think it was, because I don't." he asked.
"You know how the EverFree Forest seems to have a different magic around it than other places. It has its magic, and that may be because there probably was a battle here ages ago. The land seems to have absorbed some of ancient magic that was used during that battle, I can feel it. It's similar to the residual magic that you emanated after using that shout to clear the storm. When I was healing you, I had to let the magic flow through me and into the emeralds which then created these unrefined Elements. What I believe happened was when you conjured that form, it was either what you will look like when you wear the armor later on, or you may have taken one the form of one of your ancestors. I believe the latter is more likely, because it looked like one of the original sets I saw in my vision." Gearwork explained. He suddenly felt an uneasy feeling in his gut, and he knew the group had to hurry in retrieving this piece or something bad would happen. He turned to the others and said in a worried tone "We need to get out of here and get to that vault as soon as possible."
Little Midnight listened to Gearworks. it was interesting theroy but he wasn't quite certain if that was the cause.
"let's proceed to the temple, I don't know why buit I feel the answer is there."
"Young stallion before you go
there is something you should know." stated Zecora.
"the answer to your wquestions may be within a cranny or nook
but perhsaps inside you should look."
Midnight sighed how generic, you know trhe answer yiou just dont know you knmow, he didn't see why twilight revered this zebra so much he trottede out withoutr a word.
There was somnething bothering him though, he had seen that armour before, images of it on ancient unicrons and he had seen the design was similar to the royal guards of canterlot, this had confused him as how these to groups met was beyond him.
Gearwork had the young Midnight on his back as the group walked towards the temple, he didn't do it to treat him as a child, but he saw that Midnight had something on his mind. Gearwork knew it was what Zecora had said, and he thought about it too. He also had somewhat figured out what it was, that even though the group may find the answer they were looking for hidden away, the true answer may be revealed when one looks inside themselves. "Finding your true self." Gearwork said, thinking out loud.
"What did you say?" young Midnight asked.
"Oh, sorry. I was thinking out loud. But since you ask, I believe what Zecora meant was that the answer you may be looking for is in you, buried deep within your subconscious mind." Gearwork explained "I can also clearly tell that something else is on your mind, can you tell me? I might be able to help."
Midnight told him how he saw similarities in the design of the ancient armor for unicorns and the armor for the royal guards, but couldn't figure out how the two groups fit in together. He then whispered to Gearwork saying "I can't figure out why Twilight puts so much faith in this zebra. Her answers are always mixed. You don't know the answer, but you also do know it. I don't get it."
Gearwork couldn't help but chuckle a little at how straightforward Midnight's mind was. Midnight glared at Gearwork for laughing at him. "I'm sorry, Midnight, it's just a little amusing. I meant no insult towards you." Gearwork told him. "I think the reason you have such a hard time understanding Zecora is because you don't think abstractly. With what I've seen you tend to think very straightforwardly, anything abstract tends to slip by you. I mean no offense to you, but you have to learn how to think abstractly, if only a little. If you do that, many things will start to make sense to you. For the similarities in the armor for the royal guard and the ancient unicorns, it makes quite a bit of sense. The ancient unicorns who wore the armor were quite powerful, and were seen as such. When you see the royal guard dressed like that, some tend to feel like they are more powerful than they really are. I believe that it is meant to copy the image of power that the original sets of armor created."
The group soon arrived at the temple and Twilight asked "Where to now?"
"Since the armor was hidden away before Celestia and Luna began to rule, it's probably hidden underneath the temple itself." Gearwork replied.
"How do we find the vault, now that we're here?" asked Rainbow Dash.
Midnight was thinking about this, he suddnly had an idea
"Gearworks you got acute hearing right? Dark Iron resonates much stronger than most metals especially to pony shouts."
Midnight trotted to around the center and raised his head, Gearworks cleverly covered his ears.
Midnight began to use his voice a low but powerfull note the whole temple began to shake it wasn't much but the others could feel it.
Gearworks listened after the shouting and heard a distinct ringing of Dark Iron.
"Good work Midnigt we can follow the sound though the tunnels."
Gearwork followed the reverberation around the temple and the others followed. The sound started to fade but he could still feel the vibrations. He then took out an onyx and focused his magic on it. He was then able to see the location the vault was through the onyx and was able find the passage leading to it. The passage was located in a very hard to access spot and there were gigantic boulders blocking most of the entrance and the rest of it (that wasn't Dark Iron) seemed like it had caved in centuries before.
"Now what do we do?!" exclaimed Rainbow Dash.
"Uh, let's forget it's here and move on." Fluttershy said, barely audible.
"No, we're not leaving this behind." Gearwork said catching Fluttershy's comment. "Rarity, I'm going to need some help with opening this tunnel."
Rarity walked up and looked at little distressed at the amount of earth that stood before them. "Eew, look at all that dirt. I hate dirt." she said. Gearwork raised an eyebrow at her for whining about getting dirty. He didn't like getting dirty very much either but it was nowhere near Rarity's attitude. She saw him look at her, and then said "Alright, fine, but after this I'm going to the spa."
Gearwork rolled his eyes and handed her an onyx. She took it and focused her magic on it, while Gearwork did the same on his onyx. The stones began to move slowly but surely, and after a few minutes the boulders were out of the way. Rarity was a little winded afterwards and so was he, it took alot of magic and focus on moving those boulders. He then looked at the caved-in area and mentally kicked himself for not bringing the excavator that he had grabbed when Midnight tried to open the previous vault, but left it behind when they left town. "Well, there was no room for it in the caravan. No reason to fret over it now, it's over and done with." he thought to himself. He let Rarity catch her breath before asking "Ready?" She nodded and they focused their magic on clearing out the debris from the cave-in. It looked like alot but it was actually quite minor, only the first 20 feet was covered in debris, after that the Dark Iron reinforced tunnel began.
Gearwork took out a lightstone and led the group down the tunnel. Unlike the previous tunnel this one had glyphs formed into the metal itself. It showed a pony before an entrance to an alter with two fully armored sentinels guarding it, but there was something odd about them. Each sentinel looked as though two ponies were split into two halves and one pony's half were merged with the other pony's half. They looked like they were perfect reflections of each other. The next image shows the pony entering but is then hit with a magic spell. The next image shows with what looks like a pony forming into two ponies, but while the original looks the same, the duplicate is strangely a photo-negative and is also shown with dark flames surrounding it. The next image shows a different pony walk past the sentinels and is hit with the same spell, but it shows the pony start to split, but the duplicate then merges back with the pony and the final image shows the pony on the altar with a piece of armor.
"What do you think these strange images mean?" Twilight asked.
Gearwork looked at the image and he knew what the images meant, but couldn't quite place how to explain it. The words to explain seemed out of his reach, and it really bugged him, like knowing something but then it suddenly disappears when it is time to remember. "I-I can't quite explain it." he said worriedly "I know what it means, but it the words, the words." he stammered. "I can't remember the words to explain it. I know them, but it seems like something doesn't want me to understand them." He looked at the others quite distraught with what was happening to him. He then remembered a word that seemed strange to occur to him right now, but it just stayed there. "I don't know why but the word "Balance" is just all I can think of. I don't know why." He then unlocked the vault's entrance and led the others inside.
What Gearwork was trying to find the words to, was that the images were a warning about what they were about to face in order to retrieve the scrolls.
Gearworks stared at the odd markings then remembered how Midnight had been able to read these images before.
"Hey Midnight what can you deci-
He realized little Midnight was no longer on his back.
The ponies began to worry looking around
Trixie was upset at Aznoth, having multiple eyes he should have noticed,
The sweetie bell tried to get Rarity's attention.
"Not now Sweetie Bell."
"I'm a little busy right now."
Gearworks stomped his hoof loudly which got everyone to stop.
"I want to hear what the filly has to say."
"Well I and Apple Bloom thought we saw Midnight get off your back to look at statues but we couldn't stop to ask him because our big sisters wanted us to stay close."
The ponies went down to the side tunnel they mentioned and sure enough Little Midnight was staring at a set of statues of unicorns some of them were in very simialr armour to the set midnight's 'true form' had been wearing.
there were five statues each on a cylindrical stand, all of them were arranged into pentagon, though oddly there was a similar stand like there was supposed to be a statue this is what Midnight was staring at.
"What's wrong Midnight?"
"Does this look familiar?"
"It can't be," she looked through one of her books, and sure enough a picture depicting these statues but there was a difference, the middle stand had a statue depicting a young unicorn stallion, Midnight showed them a rather interesting detail, on the stand they had carved an image that was identical to the pony's depicted cutie mark and the empty stand had a cutie mark a moon with fauve stars around it and an open eye in the moon, the exact same one that Midnight had.
Midnight was almost devastated by the truth.
"I was turned to stone over a thousand years ago, that why I have no memory of my family, or where I came from and that's what zecora meant, I know shouting because I was trained to do it firsthand."
Midnight was on the ground tear welling in his eyes, he was ancient, he had been turned to stone for thousands of years, and he didn't even have a clue why.
Gearwork walked over to the young Midnight and kneeled right beside him. He gently put a hoof on his shoulder and said "Don't fret, my friend. I understand your pain, but think of all that you have experienced while being with us. You have been living in Hoofington for many years, even before I moved there 5 years ago. You have an apprentice who cares quite dearly for you, and you have made many friends while on this journey. Your past may be unknown to you, but that is quite alright, just remember all the good times you have had while being around us. The past can help shape who we are, but we are always changing, evolving into something else with each new experience we gain."
"I agree with Gearwork, it is quite true." Rarity said as she stood near Gearwork.
The others all nodded in agreement with what he said.
Gearwork then turned his attention to the statues and saw the armor in the center, but he also noticed the two sentries that were depicted in the mural in front of the vault, they were hidden away in the far ends of the vault cloaked in shadows. "These five statues are just that, statues. This test is supposed to look like the test in the Hoofington vault, but it is a ruse. The real threat is from those two sentries, but how do we pass that test, and what does "balance" mean." he thought to himself. He was just about to warn the others about the two hidden sentries, when Rarity started walking towards the piece of armor. "Rarity, I would stop there if I were you." he said to her.
She kept walking towards it and turned her head and "What did you sa-" just as two beams of magic hit her and she let out a scream.
"Rarity!!" Sweetie Belle yelled worriedly and started to run towards her sister. Gearwork held her back.
"What are you doing?!" Rainbow dash yelled "Rarity needs our help!" Before Gearwork could even say anything or cast a spell she was already approaching Rarity, but Aznoth telekinetically grabbed her before she could be struck by the beams.
"What's happening to her?" Twilight asked worried.
Gearwork then finally found the words to describe the scene and he said in an almost ethereal voice "Duality."
"Duality. You see what is happening, how there seems to be another pony forming around Rarity." Gearwork looked over at Rarity with concern, and saw the same scene that the mural depicted. There was another mare magically forming near Rarity, it looked like her but instead of a white coat, and blue mane this mare had a black coat and red mane even the cutie mark was red. It looked like Rarity, but was a photo-negative of her. It completely formed and it touched the ground and sneeringly looked at Gearwork and the others.
"Oh, my head. What happened?" Rarity asked. She then saw the new pony that looked almost like her. "Who are you?" she asked.
The negative looked at Rarity with a smile that even gave Gearwork the chills. She then replied with a sinister version of Rarity's voice "Why, I'm you. (Sinister laughter) How could you not tell you unsophisticated foal."
"Unsophisticated? Unsophisticated!? How dare you call me unsophisticated! I'm one of the most sophisticated ponies in town."
"My point exactly, that town is barely coherent let alone sophisticated. Look at the Apple family, talk about simple."
"What did she just say about my family?!" Applejack asked angrily "I'd like to show her how wrong she is."
The negative made herself look scared and then returned to normal and said mockingly "What are you going to do, Applejack, lasso me? Throw apples at me? I'd like to know."
"That's enough!" Rarity interjected. "Applejack may not be one of the classiest ponies, or well-mannered, and she can be quite rude at times. Yet she is my friend and I would appreciate that you would not talk about her like that."
"Thanks, Rarity. I mighty appreciate you sticking up for me like that, I think." Applejack said. She then turned to Gearwork and asked "Could you explain what the hay is going on with Rarity and that dark copy of hers?"
Gearwork thought about the mural and the word "Balance" and figured it out. "I think I know how to explain what that other Rarity is." He told the others "That copy is the negative version of Rarity, both in appearance and attitude."
"Everyone has a darker side, one that is not normally seen by others, yet everypony has one. Those sentries somehow cast a spell that can physically create that darker half. I believe that only one who is mentally balanced with their darker half can actually get past those sentries without splitting. I believe I might be able to." Gearwork's eyes changed to a dark green and a sly smirk appeared on his face as he started walking towards the armor. He looked at the others and said in his normal voice but also with a deeper voice "Don't worry, we'll be fine." He was then struck with the magical beams and he froze in place for a split second before slowly starting to move towards the armor. He felt his darker half trying to break free but he knew that it wouldn't. "Remember our agreement darker self." He thought to himself as he walked forward. He soon made it to the altar with the armor and the spell around him faded. He reached for the armor and his Element glowed and a field of magic developed around him.
There was bright flash and Gearwork found himself in another place. This place looked very similar to the throne room of Canterlot Castle but was quite a bit larger. There were murals on the wall depicting battles and major events. The figures in the murals were mostly unicorns, but there were a few earth ponies all of them armored. He then saw three unicorns, two stallions and one mare each with a solemn expression on their face standing in front of the same council that he first encountered in the Hoofington vault. The two of the unicorns looked familiar, but the third one took him by surprise, it was Midnight, but he and the unicorn mare were in shackles. One of the unicorns looked a lot like Gearwork himself, but instead of shackles he was enveloped in a field of magic. "Oh. That's not a good sign." Gearwork said out loud, but nopony heard him.
He then heard the head of the council start speaking. "Midnight-Gaze. Where have you placed the scroll that grants immortality?"
Midnight responded with a firm voice "I have destroyed it. Nopony should ever have created a spell like that. It was created out of greed and lust for power, and the fear of death. It was a spell that has tremendous consequences and would do more harm than good."
The head of the council's eyes narrowed and he scowled. "You destroyed it!" he then stomped his hoof down in anger and the floor around him cracked from it. He then turned his attention onto the other two unicorns. "Metalmind and Silverhoof. Why have sided with this traitor, and where have you hidden the sets of armor that you created?"
Metalmind looked at the head of the council and then the other members and slowly shook his head and spoke with a voice that seemed very metallic and seemed to be everywhere at once. "Silverhoof and I have sided with Midnight because he is still noble and wants to help the other tribes, unlike this council who have become corrupted with power and seek to make themselves immortal and rule over the other tribes and withhold knowledge to even their own kin. The council was created to help the other tribes and be the guardians of ancient and powerful spells and artifacts. You have come a long way from being that to what you are now you are as bad as Dark-Eclipse and that rebel daughter of your head member's Dusk-Shadow. As for the armor I have scattered their pieces all across Equestria in vaults that are protected by the very spells and artifacts that you had once watched over. I have also made the vaults out of the same metal as the armor so they can withstand the power of your shouts. You will never be able to retrieve those sets of armor. They will be safe from your corruption and others who wish to misuse their power."
The council looked stunned and quite upset at Metalmind's accusation, but the head of the council looked like he was about kill Metalmind. He roared and slammed his hoof into the floor several times and it caused the entire floor to shake. He then composed himself and then declared "Midnight, Metalmind, and Silverhoof. You have been declared traitors and your punishment is to be encased in stone for all eternity."
Silverhoof's horn flashed and a beholder appeared. It cast a spell and the magic surrounding Metalmind disappeared, as soon as it did his horn glowed and the shackles on Midnight and Silverhoof opened. They started running for the exit, Silverhoof shouted at the beholder "Aznoth, get us out of here!" Just as it was about to teleport the three and itself Midnight was struck by a shout that the head of the council generated. Midnight looked horrified as he started to turn to stone, and then he disappeared with Metalmind and Silverhoof.
Gearwork then found himself in a vault but not one he had been to. He then saw Metalmind, Silverhoof, Midnight and Aznoth appear. Silverhoof then said "Aznoth, get me that chrono-stone." Aznoth made a spell and the stone that looked similar to the unrefined elements, the one that Gearwork received when he talked to his mother, appeared and Silverhoof took it and started to focus her magic into it. The stone casing that was appearing on Midnight which was halfway across his torso slowed its progress. Silverhoof was putting all her magic into the gem but the stone casing was still growing on Midnight. "I'm sorry, Midnight, I can't reverse the process" Silverhoof said through clenched teeth.
Midnight sighed and looked at Metalmind and Silverhoof, and said "It's alright, I understand. I accept what is happening to me. I only wish that I really was able to destroy that immortality spell."
Metalmind looked confused and asked "You said you destroyed it, but what really happened to it?" his face then changed to concern. "You didn't use it on yourself, did you?"
The stone casing was now creeping to Midnight's upper chest and he replied "No, I did not use it on myself, I want that spell destroyed. I couldn't find it, Dusk-Shadow hid it before we defeated her and Dark-Eclipse."
Metalmind looked at Silverhoof, who was almost unconscious from exerting her magic on the chronostone, to slow the process of the stone encasing Midnight. He turned and looked back at Midnight and said "Don't worry my dear friend, Silverhoof, Aznoth and I will try to find a way to free you from that stone. I also suspect that this is probably the last time that you will see of Silverhoof and I, but we will ensure that Aznoth will watch over you and will help free you once we have found a way."
Midnight looked at his friends and Aznoth and said "Thank you, I will always appreciate what you have done for me." After he said that he was completely encased in stone.
Metalmind and Silverhoof bowed their heads for a few moments before turning to Aznoth and Metalmind said "Please watch over him, even after he is free from this stone prison. We suspect that he might not be able to remember after he awakens. Being turned to stone is quite traumatic and it can damage one's memory. Also we might not be able to find a spell to free him, but we will be looking, and we want you to continue searching after we are gone." Aznoth made a gesture that said that he would.
There was another flash and Gearwork found himself back in the vault with the others, and was holding a piece of armor and a scroll. He saw that Rarity was still facing off against her negative version. Gearwork walked back to the group and looked at Twilight. "You must know a spell that can return everything to normal, am I right?"
Spike then remembered "Your fail-safe spell, remember Twilight. You tried to cast it right after Discord escaped from his stone imprisonment."
"That's right! I forgot about that spell. Let's hope this works." Twilight replied and her horn started to glow.
The negative version of Rarity saw Twilight casting that spell and shrieked "Nooooo!" and started to charge at Twilight, but Applejack already had her rope out and lassoed the negative Rarity before she could reach Twilight.
Twilight cast the spell and the negative Rarity started to fade, and the original Rarity walked back over to the group and said "Many thanks, Twilight. Now let's get out of here."
"Agreed, we have what we came here for and I have some interesting information on Midnight's and my ancestor's past I'd like to share, but once we're back in town." Gearwork said. He then turned to Zecora and asked "I'd like you to join us as well, we will probably need your help in the near future."
Zecora replied "That would a delight, to share my insight."
Gearwork picked up Midnight and placed him on his back and retrieved his spider-like invention in the tunnel and he and the others started to head back towards town.
Once they entered the town they stopped at a restaurant to grab something to eat as well as discuss what happened in the vault. Gearwork told them what he saw after he grabbed the armor. He explained how Midnight knew his ancestors and the reason why Midnight became encased in stone. He looked at Midnight who was in shock over finding out how and why he was encased in stone so long ago. He put a hoof on Midnight's shoulder and said "You said it before that the council in the later years started to become a grasp for power and how they created spells that would only do more harm than good. You and my ancestors were remnants of a nobler era. It also makes sense how when we were in the Hoofington vault and when we encountered the council the head of it looked quite angry at my statement that I was Metalmind's descendant and when he saw you."
Twilight then said "Well, that explains how Midnight was turned to stone, but you didn't explain how you were able to get past those sentries without splitting and what did you mean when you spoke with two voices and said and I quote "We'll be fine." What was that"
Gearwork slyly smiled and his eyes changed to dark green and started speak with two voices his normal and the deeper voice "Why it's quite simple, Twilight Sparkle, we are an example of somepony who has achieved balance." His eyes then returned to their normal shade of metallic grey.
Twilight and the others looked at him with concerned and slightly horrified looks. Only Midnight and Zecora remained unfazed by Gearwork's statement. Twilight who was a little shaken by how Gearwork spoke said "You're insane."
Gearwork chuckled and then spoke with his normal voice "Yes and no. I am somewhat insane but I also have a handle on what I say or do. Years ago, I started to feel myself start to split into two separate selves. One was my normal personality, but the other was my darker self, the insane version of myself. I tried to fight it and was slowly losing. Just as my normal self was about to collapse from exhaustion it decided to face the darker half and made a deal with it. It allowed the insane version to have some free reign but only when it is appropriate. You have seen it take control of me on a few occasions, such as the training incident."
Twilight shuddered when she remembered how Gearwork acted after he was struck by the electric bolt from the malfunctioning power station, how he roared and viciously destroyed it afterwards. "I'm glad that you have been able to control that side of yourself." She said in a grateful tone.
Sorry about not posting anything last week, I had to do some cleaning around the house.
Midnight was processing and knowing why he was turned to stone could better handle it, Aznoth came close and he affectionately nuzzled the little beholder
"Aznoth old friend, you've been watching over me for so long, I feel bad for forgetting silver hoof and Metal mind, at least I met my old friend's ancestor."
"Hey Midnight if we can store your memory then maybe you were taught some words of power"
"Possibly but not many." then he pondered on his old actions and started to laugh
"What's so funny?"
"I was turned to stone because of the ignorance of the unicorn council"
"Well duh, they were just a big pile of meanies" stated pinkie pie
"No no, I mean they believed me when I said I destroyed the scroll."
"Well you sounded like it was true."
"but it couldn't be true, the scrolls can't be destroyed, I can be destroyed you can be destroyed even the very ground can be destroyed but the scrolls are not the same, even if you destroy their physical form the words will transfer into a new vessel, if I had destroyed that scroll the word would have forced me to become their new vessel."
But they didn't know that they thought it was true, even metal mind and silver hoof thought it was so, shame they tried to find it"
"Wait how did you know that? That wasn't in the vision."
"My memory is returning and being turned to stone doesn't prevent me from hearing and seeing what happens around me though it does make turning my head for a better look a challenge.
Gearwork thought about how Midnight was beginning to remember. "All you needed was a trigger." Gearwork said.
"A trigger?" Spike asked "A trigger for what?"
"A trigger for memory. A trigger is something that helps somepony start to remember something after they have forgotten it. We all have experienced something like that one time or another. An example of this is you decide to go somewhere you haven't been to in years, and after arriving you start to remember something you did there years before, but forgot about it."
"That makes sense, I suppose" Twilight said.
Gearwork then went into his saddlebag and took out the scroll and piece of armor that he retrieved in the vault and started to look at the armor. It didn't react to him like the other piece of armor did, in fact it felt quite comfortable. It was a piece that went over the eyes, but it didn't have any eyeslits to see with, Gearwork covered his eyes with it and saw the world quite differently. He saw everypony in the group but they did not look the same, instead he saw them in a thermal form of vision. He then touched a small switch on the side of it and saw the others, but not quite normally, he couldn't exactly put the words to it, but he knew that this was to see things that were magically cloaked. He touched the switch again and saw everyone in the group normally. "Interesting." Gearwork said as he took it off.
"What did you see?" Rarity asked.
"I saw everypony in a thermal form of vision. It was quite interesting, but there was another form that I can only explain that it is meant to see things that are magically cloaked. I was then able to see you normally. This would be quite valuable when fighting unicorns, because I know there are invisibility spells and this can see things even if they are cloaked." Gearwork said. He then turned to Midnight and handed him the scroll "Here, Midnight. I also retrieved this and you know how to use it."
Midnight took the scroll in his hoof, He did in fact remember how to absorb the words of power using magic he opened the scroll, uttering the word of power for Open.
The scroll released and strange lights swirled around Midnight's head.
When he opened his eyes they flashed briefly, he smiled.
"Efficiamini Mei veram formam" he spoke and with a glow he returned to his original body, no longer a little colt.
Trixie gave him back his tunic and clack Midnight looked at the rather showy purple cloth with bright gold stars.
Suddenly Gearworks realized.
"In my vision that cloak was different."
"Of course it was, Aznoth likely changed it, he knew if I realized the truth it would be traumatizing so he helped hide my identity."
Midnight's horn glowed and the cloak changed, it was now a swirling black and dark blue with tiny silver dots it looked much more like the night sky.
"Let's keep moving, I may be regaining my Memory but if I'm really as old as Dusk-shadow then it's only a matter of time before she remembers me."
"What's so funny?" asked Twilight?"
"Let's just say, she won't be happy to learn the only pony to ever surpass her in magic has returned, especially if said pony could teach others his superior magic"
Gearwork was glad that Midnight had returned to normal, and he liked the cloak that Midnight was now wearing. It gave him a look that was quite noble. The group paid for their meals and headed out. Gearwork looked at the others and said "I'll be joining you in a little bit. I need to get some more supplies before we leave."
Twilight, Rarity, Applejack and Pinkie agreed that they had to do the same and they headed off in the direction their homes. Gearwork looked around for a metal shop and didn't find one, but he did find a hardware store. "Perfect. I could use some tools." he said to himself and walked in. The clerk who was a brown middle-aged stallion who greeted Gearwork and asked if he needed any help. "Yes, do you have any drills, cutters and other tools that could be used to cut gems and metal?"
The clerk rubbed his chin for a moment and replied "I have a few drills and a couple different types of saws, but if you want something that can be used to cut gems and some types of metal, I recommend going to the jewelers down the street." He then noticed the mechanical wings folded up around Gearwork and asked "Where did you get those wings? I've heard rumors that there is a pony that builds them but has only given a few away to rich ponies who can afford them. How did you come to acquire them?" Gearwork tried to resist smiling but found it was quite impossible "I'm surprised that I have a reputation, I've tried to keep that from happening, I don't want the fame." Gearwork thought out loud to himself, he then looked at the clerk who was still in awe of seeing the wings suddenly shake his head and snap out of the trance he had somewhat entered when looking at the wings. Apparently he didn't hear what Gearwork had said and asked the question again. This time, Gearwork still wanting to remain somewhat unknown replied "I, uh, inherited them. My grandfather had bought them a couple of years ago and when he passed I was the one who received them. They're more for decoration than actual use." Gearwork mentally kicked himself for thinking out loud, admitting he built the wings, but was quite grateful that the clerk didn't hear him. The clerk helped Gearwork find some tools that he could use and helped him bring them to the counter.
"How will you be paying for these things?" the clerk asked.
"With this." Gearwork pulled out a small piece of one of the gems Spike had broken off when he was making a gem smaller for Gearwork's insectoid machines. The clerk looked a little shocked at what Gearwork was paying with but he accepted it and thanked him and pointed to the where the jewelry shop was.
Gearwork entered the jewelry shop and noticed a few familiar pieces of jewelry, they looked like some of the pieces that his mother had created. "Well, she did sell a few of her pieces to other jewelry stores, though it was like pulling teeth" he thought to himself. He then met the jeweler and he asked about some of the tools they used and asked to see a few of them. The jeweler was a little puzzled by Gearwork wanting to looks at the tools in the back instead of the jewelry itself, but he showed Gearwork a few of the tools. Gearwork saw a few interesting pieces of machinery that he could use back home in Hoofington, but were far too big to bring with him now. He then spotted a piece that he really could use and be able to carry it with him. It was a machine that could drill holes in metal as well as cut gems and was quite small. Gearwork showed some interest in it and wanted to buy it from the jeweler, but the jeweler seemed a little hesitant to sell it to a complete stranger. Gearwork seeing that the jeweler didn't want to sell it understood why and didn't really push it. He did memorize how it looked and worked and already had made a blueprint in his head and as soon as he could get the pieces of metal he needed he would make one, with slight modifications though.
Gearwork left the jewelry store and headed over to where Rarity headed and arrived at her house and saw a large pile of suitcases and saw Rarity rushing in and out with the suitcases. Gearwork chuckled and slowly shook his head and said "Better stop her before it gets any worse." He met Rarity and stopped her asking what she was bringing with her. He was astonished at how many scarves, hats, boots, coats and other accessories she decided to bring with her that he started to laugh at how comical it was. Rarity was quite cross with Gearwork laughing and told him that. Gearwork gained control of his laughter and apologized, but he told her that it was ridiculous to bring so many things when there was limited room in the caravan. "I know you want to be prepared for any type of environment and still look fashionable, but now is not the time. I recommend that you bring things that could be used like a few cloaks, scarves, and boots with you, not much else."
Rarity looked at him for a moment and sighed before saying "I suppose your right, I'll need to put these things back. Could you be a dear and help me?"
She gave Gearwork a pouty look, he just looked at her and raised an eyebrow. "Giving me a look like that doesn't affect me, I'm immune to those sort of forced expressions. I had a cat when I was little who was incredibly cute, but whenever he did something wrong he tried to be cuter than he actually was. He would give me that look and I knew he did something bad and I would not fall for it. I will help you carry these inside, but because you asked, not because you gave me that look." he said to her and started to bring the bags in. After a few minutes all the bags were inside and Gearwork was finally able to look around and was quite impressed by what he saw. There were designs for dresses and fabric everywhere, it reminded him of his workshop which had designs for inventions and the material needed to create them everywhere. Gearwork then saw some fabric that interested him, it was similiar to the color of Dark Iron and it would change the shade of color depending on how the light hit it. Gearwork looked at it for a moment and Rarity noticed and asked him why he was looking at it. "It looks very similiar to the color of the cloak that Metalmind was wearing in my vision. I was wondering if we brought this with us could you make me a cloak?"
Rarity thought about it for a moment and said "If we do bring this with us, I need to bring a few other things with me, measuring tape, scissors, needles and thread, possibly a sewing machine."
"I think that those will probably be fine, so grab them a head back to the others." Gearwork said.