Equestrian Darkness: Friendship's Requiem
Chapter 1: The Discovery
Author's Note: Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem is owned by Nintendo and developed by Silicon Knights. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is produced by Hasbro Studios and DHX Media Vancouver (formally known as Studio B Productions) and is based on the My Little Pony toy line by Hasbro.
In the dim candlelight, the darkness seemed to smother Twilight as if there was no reality beyond Twilight's writing desk. Ignoring the sudden sounds of the creaking library, Twilight wrote down her latest report to Princess Celestia, her quill writing feverishly along the paper.
She jumped in surprise as she heard a loud thud. At first, Twilight dismissed it, but then the noise occurred again, louder and closer this time.
"Is that you, Owlowiscious?" cried out Twilight. Knowing that owls normally do not make noise, Twilight decided to investigate for intruders. Holding the candle aloft with telekinesis, she traipsed along into the main library, her eyes darting back and forth with freight.
As she entered the room, she spotted Spike in the shadows, his back toward her as he stared out the black window.
"Oh Spike, it's just you," said Twilight with a nervous chuckle. "What are you doing out of bed this late at night?" She approached Spike, but the little dragon did not respond, continuing his vigil of the night outside. She put a hoof to his shoulder, and as she turned him around, she screamed at the sight of Spike's face, mangled and rotted.
Spike stared at Twilight with white orbs for eyes. He let out a soft wail, exposing gums black with decay. Spike slowly advanced upon Twilight, his claws outstretched.
As Twilight backed away, her mouth flopping agape with fright, she saw other figures trudging into the light of her candle. The figures lumbered toward her, groaning and hissing. Twilight stared wide-eyed at what appeared before her to be walking pony corpses. Each one was a skeleton with black rotted flesh clinging to their bones. Their exposed equine teeth grinned with hungry intent. Their empty eye sockets seemed to glow with an alien light.
Twilight ran from the monstrosities—her candle levitating behind her like a balloon on a string—and into her bedroom, slamming the door shut and locking it.
As Twilight frantically searched for a way out, she saw a blue mist materialize before her. She rubbed her eyes in disbelief, and when her vision cleared, she saw an earth pony or at least a likeness of one.
The pony was a mare with long curly hair and wore thin round glasses. She wore a vest of some kind and her Cutie Mark was a telescope. She approached a wall next to the bookshelves. Twilight gawked at the apparition in stunned silence, watching the ghost as she withdrew a book from the shelves. In the library, there were many books that were left behind, a lot of them Twilight had never read. The book the ghost withdrew was one of those books and it bore the title The Whisperer In Darkness written in Equestrian script. The ghost opened the book, and found an old key within its pages. Picking up the key with her teeth, she placed it inside a keyhole fastened to the wall, a keyhole Twilight did not remember seeing there before. With a quick turn, the wall retracted and slid aside, revealing a stairwell descending to a floor below.
Twilight jumped in alarm as she heard the zombies banging on the door. Bone and hoof scrapped against the door as the unearthly beings tried to force it down. She turned toward the ghost as if pleading for her safety, but the ghost—seemingly unaware of the monsters outside—picked up what appeared to be a piece of red chalk in her teeth and carefully wrote a message on the wall.
The bedroom door burst open with a loud creak and the zombies rushed in, swarming Twilight, their jaws snapping.
Twilight turned to the ghost again, but she had vanished. The ghost left behind a simple message written in Equestrian script. In translation, it only spelled a short caveat:
The Darkness comes.
Twilight woke up in a cold sweat. Only the dim moonlight shinning through the window chased away the darkness of her dreams. As she got out from underneath her blanket, she looked at the clock overhead reading 3:33 AM, too early to get up but Twilight was too tense to go back to sleep.
"Twilight, is something wrong?"
Twilight turned her gaze toward Spike who sat in his little bed, staring at her with a worried expression on his face.
"I'm fine. I'm just having another nightmare."
"Again? That's the third time this week. Maybe you should see a doctor."
"No, I'm fine. They're just dreams. Go back to sleep."
"Okay, Twilight, if you say so."
Although Spike managed to fall asleep within minutes, Twilight stood awake for the rest of the night.
Twilight was nothing if not curious. Eager to learn more about her dreams, she entered the science section of her library after breakfast, pulled out a book on the subject of dreams, and took it into her bedroom to read in private. She was so engrossed in her book, she barely noticed as her friends entered her room.
"Hey Twi, are ya listening?" asked Applejack.
Twilight did not respond.
"Hello, Equestria to Twilight. Do you read me?"
Twilight finally snapped out of her thoughts when she saw Pinkie wave her hoof in front of her face.
"Wow, when you have your nose in a book, nothing seems to distract ya," said Applejack in jest.
"Did you forget that we were suppose to help Applejack with her harvest today?" asked Rainbow.
"Sorry," apologized Twilight with a nervous laugh. "I forgot." She let out a loud yawn.
"Darling, I hope you didn't stay up all night reading," said Rarity. "A lack of sleep is not good for your skin."
Twilight sighed. "I know. It's just that I haven't been getting enough sleep the past few days."
Spike walked into the room with a stack of books in his hands. "Twilight has been having bad dreams lately."
"Ya don't say. Twi, have ya been reading a lot of horror stories lately." Applejack kept one hoof on the stack of books, helping to keep it upright as Spike set it down on the counter.
"No, it's not that, but for some reason I've been seeing these monsters in my dreams."
"What kind of monsters?" asked Fluttershy.
"I mostly see zombies."
"Z-Zombies." Fluttershy shook with fright. "You don't think zombies are out to get you?"
"Don't be ridiculous," said Twilight. "Zombies don't exist."
"Ha, if I saw zombies in my dreams, I'd kick their butts." Rainbow stood up on her hind legs and started throwing punches in the air.
"Oh really?" Pinkie, in her usually playful mood, also stood on her hind legs. "Oooooo, I'm a zombie. I'm coming to get you, Dash." Pinkie started walking toward Rainbow with her hooves outstretched.
"Don't worry, Twilight, I'll save you from the zombie." Rainbow threw mocked punches at Pinkie.
"Stop roughhousing," said Rarity. "This isn't a joke."
Rainbow got on all fours and gently bucked Pinkie backward. However, Spike, who was setting down another pile of books, so happened to be behind Pinkie. Upon colliding, the two stumbled backward and went crashing through the wall, spraying dust into the air with a muffled thud.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," said Rainbow. "Are you two hurt?"
Pinkie giggled as she brushed herself off. "I'm fine. That wall didn't even hurt."
"In fact," Spike spat out some pieces of the wall out of his mouth, "it tastes like Styrofoam."
As Pinkie got up, bits of the wall crumbled around her head, revealing something behind the wall.
Twilight examined the damage with astonishment. She gasped, shaking her head in disbelief. "Wait, this is a fake wall." With her hind legs, she started bashing it in. As the material came down, it revealed a door-sized rectangular indentation. In the center was a metal keyhole.
"What do ya'll reckon this is?" asked Applejack.
"Th-This is the same door I saw in my dreams," announced Twilight.
"But that's impossible," said Fluttershy.
Rainbow hovered over the keyhole, examining it like a specimen under a microscope. "Did your dream tell you how to open it?"
"Well, there was a key in an old book entitled The Whisperer In Darkness."
"Here it is," said Pinkie as she pulled out an old book from a shelf. While she held the book in her teeth, she kicked up some dust, causing her to sneeze. She dropped the book and when it hit the floor, a key fell out of the pages.
Twilight stared at the key, wide-eyed as her scientific mind tried to explain away what she was witnessing. "This...is impossible."
As the prophetic nature of Twilight's dreams began to become clear in everyone's minds, there was an uneasy silence as everyone stared at the key. Even Pinkie was quiet and serious.
"I guess some pony should open the door," suggested Rarity.
Pinkie nudged the key as if to test if it was real. Convinced that it was, she gripped the key with her teeth, inserted it into the wall, and turned it.
There was a loud mechanical click followed by the screech of rusty metal as the door slid open. Behind the door was a stairwell leading down to parts unknown.
Despite her scientific mind casting shadows of doubt, Twilight could not deny the reality of what she saw before her. As if drawn by an invisible force, she approached the stairs, staring blankly into the darkness as she slowly descended.
Her friends followed close behind as they walked down. The stale air of the room irritated their noses, but no one dared to sneeze as if afraid to awaken whatever waited for them. By the time they reached the foot of the stairs, the ponies were blinded by the blackness.
"Okay, I can't see a thing," complained Spike.
Twilight cast a light spell, conjuring a bright glow from her horn, one strong enough to illuminate the entire room. What they saw were papers and pictures either scattered upon every flat surface or hung up on the walls. Everywhere they looked, there were images of strange symbols, some arranged in circles or patterns.
"Oh my..." squeaked Fluttershy, examining the pictures.
Several pictures, particularly on the walls, depicted drawings and photos of ponies who were mutilated either by unnatural monsters or other supernatural means. The ponies searched the room, staring in hypnotized fascination at the strange display of the macabre. Every picture that had monsters drawn on it was sketched with uncanny detail as if the artist saw the monsters up close. The sight of every claw, every tooth, every eye, and every indefinable limb sent shivers down their collective spines.
"Heavens to Betsy," said Applejack as she examined a photo of a decapitated pony, "this is horrible."
"If you think that's scary, look at what I found," said Rainbow, her voice low and serious.
Everyone's focus was drawn to a single object tucked into a corner. It was a glass bell jar with a wooden bottom. In the jar, they could see a charcoal black heart, highlighted with putrid purple. It was suspended by nothing and beating as if alive.
Twilight and her friends stood paralyzed with fright, feeling the evil within the artifact.