Gearwork was a little cautious because felt as though somepony or something was following them. He knew what Dusk-Shadow was after and it was up to them to stop her. But her reaction to seeing Midnight, like he was when he faced her long ago, still stuck in his mind. "It's not possible. He should have crumbled to dust long ago. How can he still be here?!" he remembered hearing her say that. "She must be waiting for us to find him so she can try and destroy him." he thought to himself.
"Quit it." Gearwork heard a young filly's voice muffled under a pile of supplies. "Do you want us to get caught?" he heard another say right after. He rolled his eyes and walked over and telekinetically lifted the pile only to find Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo underneath it. They looked at him and then at Applebloom, "Nice going Applebloom. They now know we're here." Scootaloo said.
"Applebloom!" Applejack said in worried voice. "What are you doing here?"
"Sweetie Belle!" Rarity said in an annoyed tone. "Why on earth would you follow us?"
"We thought we could help you find Midnight." Applebloom said.
"It would be an adventure." Sweetie Belle said.
"It might be a chance for us to earn our cutie marks." Scootaloo said.
"It's all well to try and find your cutie marks, but you shouldn't put yourself in harms way to do so." Applejack said.
"I agree." Gearwork said. "It's all good for you to want to find you cutie marks, but to throw yourself in the face of danger to do so is not courageous, it is reckless. But enough with scolding you. You are already here, and we can't go back at this time, so you're going along for the ride."
"Yay! Cutie Mark Crusaders! Go!" The three fillies shouted and jumped in the air.
Gearwork then headed back to the window and started to go over the fight with the Leo Minor and what had happened before with Midnight trying to regain his memory. "Midnight may have teleported the Leo Minor, somewhere it could have been out of Dusk-Shadow's magical reach." He thought to himself. Some time had passed when the group had arrived in Appleloosa and Gearwork stepped out and he immediately shaded his eyes with his hoof.
"Welcome to Appleloosa!" Somepony greeted them.
"Howdy, Braeburn." Applejack said "How've you been doing?"
"It's been really good since you were here last. The buffalo have been quite agreeable since we opened that path for them to stampede."
"That's good. We were just wondering, has there been anything strange happening lately?" Applejack asked.
"Now that you mention it. The buffalo have been saying that they've seen some strange things lately, especially at night." Braeburn replied.
"That's where we should start." Gearwork said. "Let's split into two groups. One group stays here and asks the townsfolk if they have seen anything strange recently and the other group goes and asks the buffalo what they've seen recently. I'll ask the buffalo, along with Trixie, Aznoth, Spike, Twilight, and Rainbow Dash. Applejack, you and the others stay here and ask the townsfolk. It that okay with you?"
"Applejack." Braeburn walked over to her and asked "What's really going on? Who is that stallion telling you to split up? Also, what's with all the odd questions?" Applejack looked a little nervous when confronted about it and she didn't want to lie, she was the bearer of the Element of Honesty after all.
Gearwork saw this and decided to step in and answer Braeburn's questions without giving too much information. He didn't want all of Equestria to know and cause a panic, it was best that they stay under the radar. He walked over to Braeburn and did his usual greeting and said "Sorry I didn't introduce myself, I'm Gearwork and I'm a new friend of Applejack and her friends. As for your questions, we're here because another one of our friends went after an Astral creature and we're here to find him. We found out he was around here and that's why we're here to get him."
Braeburn looked at him for a moment trying to see if Gearwork was telling the truth, and for a moment it looked like he wasn't going to believe him. Gearwork was always horrible at lying and one could immediately tell if he was, but he wasn't lying about what they were doing and he could keep a straight face. Braeburn face relaxed and then said "Nice to meet you Gearwork. I hope you find your friend and wish you good luck."
Gearwork then turned to the others and said "Let's get going, and remember try to avoid suspicion when asking questions. We need to stay under the radar, we can't have everypony know what we're doing, it will end up causing a panic and it will hinder us."
The group split up and Gearwork's group (Gearwork, Aznoth, Trixie, Twilight, Spike, and Rainbow Dash) went to meet with the buffalo, and Applejack's group (Applejack, Rarity, Zecora, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo) stayed in town to ask questions.
Rainbow Dash led the way to meet with the buffalo, she seemed a little annoyed that Gearwork and the others weren't in a big rush, she would fly ahead and then fly back to the group. After about her doing this about ten times she finally had enough "Can't you guys hurry up? I thought we were in a hurry to find Midnight. Why are you taking so long?" she asked.
Gearwork looked at her and said "We'll be there soon, don't be in such a rush. Usually when you're a rush, you overlook many things and they are usually important."
Rainbow Dash looked at him for a moment and then scoffed and said "If it's important, I'll see it. I always do, I'm amazing like that."
Gearwork's eyes flashed and he immediately responded in a very annoyed tone "You'll see it, huh, you noticed the statues that caused Rarity to split into two, or when we were training and you were almost electrocuted. You noticed those dangers, oh wait, you didn't. If I recall both those times you were oblivious to them and you were held back by Aznoth and pushed out of the way by Foxfire. You're amazing all right, amazingly oblivious and arrogant."
Rainbow Dash landed on the ground, looked at Gearwork and sat there with an open mouth, speechless. The others looked at Gearwork stunned by what he said to Rainbow Dash and after a few moments Twilight finally said "That was uncalled for, Gearwork, you should apologize to Rainbow Dash."
Gearwork gave out a long sigh and went over to Rainbow Dash and placed a hoof on her shoulder and said "Rainbow Dash, I'm sorry for what I said it was uncalled for, but you should be more aware of your surroundings." He then left Rainbow Dash to think about what he said.
A few minutes later Rainbow Dash joined them and walked in silence, and Spike was curious about why Gearwork said what he said to Rainbow and asked Gearwork "I've never seen anyone say anything that went through Rainbow Dash like what you said, how did you do it and why did you say it?"
Gearwork looked at Spike and said "What caused me to say what I did was her saying how amazing she was, that arrogant remark just made me snap. I don't usually say anything nasty about somepony, but when I do, because I observe how they act over a period of time, I will say something that will go right through them."
Spike leaned over to Twilight and said in a low voice, so Gearwork wouldn't hear, "Remind me to never to get on Gearwork's bad side." After walking for a while the group found the buffalo's camp and Spike jumped off Twilight's back and ran into the front of the group and motioned them to stop. He then said "Let me go in first, since they know me they will let me in, I will let them know that you're with me so they won't feel like we are intruding." Spike then walked into the camp and started talking to a young buffalo. After a few minutes he motioned the group to come over and they walked into the camp.
Spike introduced the young buffalo as Little Strongheart and she greeted the group pleasantly and asked why they were there. Gearwork told her about what he heard in Appleloosa and he wanted to learn more about it. She looked at him and started telling him that in the last few days the buffalo have seen and odd greenish glow that moved at night and slight rumbling when it did. She also said that along with the glow there have been brief flashes of dark blue light and odd noices that sounded like somepony's voice in the distance and whenever they heard the voice the ground itself seemed the ring for a few moments afterwards. Gearwork looked at the others and they all said "Midnight" at the same time. He then told Rainbow Dash to get the others in town and once they arrived they would head out that night to find the source of the light. Rainbow Dash nodded and flew off towards Appleloosa.
Little Strongheart asked what was going on and who or what "Midnight" was and why they were heading out to find the source of the greenish light. Gearwork explained what had happened in ponyville and that they were there to find their friend. Little Strongheart sat quietly for a little while before insisting that she come along so she could tell the tale of what happened afterwards to the tribe. After pleading to come along after he told her no, many times, he finally relented and allowed her to come along.
Applejack and the others joined Gearwork's group as soon as they could and Gearwork told them what was happening and what they were planning to do. They listened to what Gearwork said and they agreed with what they were about to do, even Fluttershy did after coaxing her, they then sat down to eat and rest until it was time to head out. Gearwork was able to get some sleep by being away from the others in the shade of a small cave on the outskirts of the buffalo camp. A few hours after sundown he awoke to the sound of a roar and the rumbling of the earth. He ran to the others and they all looked at each other and then at the approaching green light, they nodded and ran towards it.
As they ran towards the green light, Gearwork took out four light stones and had them hovering above his head and out of his vision, Rarity took out a ruby and a diamond and had them above her head as well. Trixie's and Twilight's horns glowed as they prepared to cast a spell when they confronted the Leo Minor. Applejack had some rope and Rainbow Dash was right next to her to help Applejack lasso the beast. Pinkie, Zecora, Fluttershy, Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, Applebloom, and Spike were in the back ready to take cover if they needed to.
As the Leo Minor came into view, Gearwork prepared to create a barrier around the Leo Minor with the light stones, when all of a sudden a small slightly armored figure ran in front of the creature and unleashed a spell that caused the beast to be thrown back. Gearwork looked at the figure and recognized the cloak as Midnight's, but the small amount of armor he wore was something new, but the details on it seemed familiar. As the Leo Minor got up a second figure wearing a metallic cloak and wide brim hat stood on a large pile of boulders and unleashed a flurry of spells that caused the Leo Minor to run away.
The two figures then headed to meet Gearwork and the others, and he immediately recognized Midnight as did the others. Trixie's eyes started to tear up and she ran and gave Midnight a large hug and said "We thought you were gone, only Gearwork knew you were still alive."
Gearwork walked up to Midnight and placed a hoof on his back and said "It's great to see you, I'm glad you're okay. I see you were able to get a few pieces of armor, that's good." he face then grew serious and asked "What happened after you disappeared and why did you do that?"