With the hurried departure of Princess Twilight and the Elements, Ponyville gave a final salute to the last bit of light as their leaders changed the celestial bodies for Equestria. Everypony went to their homes to settle in for the night and prepare for the coming light upon Celestia's return of the sun. Little did the townsponies know that they were not the only ones preparing for the following day.
"The best way we can get to Canterlot is by train."
The five Pokémon were still gathered in the branches above the library, using the soft glow from Whisper's markings to see each other while Elena outlined her idea. "The tracks from here in town lead on towards the mountain, and if we are lucky, up it as well. It helps as well that the spell that…"Elena paused, a tiny twitch in the corner of her mouth, "She used on us gave us the ability to read their language. There is a train that leaves in the morning that will only take a few hours to arrive."
"We cannot necessarily walk right on to it, then the ponies could send a message on ahead and ready to ambush us soon as we step off the train." Maria interjected, wrapping her tail around the base of her branch to remain steady.
The Lucario nodded to her, "Correct, that is why we need to cause a diversion sneak aboard."
Terra argued, "We all know you got alotta patience, but we seriously aren't waiting till morning are we?"
"There is a time to wait and then there are times to act." Elena stated as she met Terra's eyes. "Luckily we as a group have the right skills to take this time to act." Elena took this time to regard each of her friends. Though the position in this world is not one most would favor, they will play with the hand they were dealt and rescue the one person missing from their group. "I have a plan to get us on that train and to be enroute to Canterlot within the hour.
At the train station, two conductors stand at opposite ends of the station, keeping an eye on the clock for the scheduled departures and arrivals. With so little light anywhere but the centre of the station, something may happen to the conductors when they wander a bit too far off the side.
A still rather deflated, physically deflated, Haunter gave a weak affirmative.
"How would you like to put on a one-man show?"
That put enough wind in the gas pokemon's sails to pop him back up with a smile.
Time Turner was having a rather slow evening, and it certainly did not help that he was doing another nightshift at the train station. Whenever he takes the graveyard shift at the Ponyville station, he always sleeps through the strange occurrences in that tend to happen on nearly a weekly basis.
Parasprite invasion? Had to make sure the 2:00 AM train from Manehatten arrived with the desperately needed supplies for Princess Celestia's visit. A show-and-snack with ballerina buffalos and cotton candy clouds? No, was busy the previous night because some crazy unicorn ordered overnight shipping on a book of spells called, Problem? Magic is Always The Answer. Zecora came to town to socialize? Was busy making sure that all ponies got off the 5 AM Express from Fillydelphia so that they don't end up into Griffin country by accident.
Actually he did not mind that last one, that was when he actually was able to work up the courage to ask Ditzy out on a date.
Still, he was missing so much that happens in the "Weirdest Town in Equestria". Time Turner could not but stare at his watch, imagining his eyes forcing the hands to move quicker so the last train for the night could leave and he could go home.
"Hello friend." Chuck Choo, the other conductor was making his way to Time Turner on the platform. The young stallion watched Chuck taking unsteady steps toward him like a newborn foal. His hooves kept tripping over one another, his long white beard dragging on the ground every second step, like he has not walked anywhere with his four legs before.
"Oh, hey Chuck. Is your break over so soon?"
"Oh yes it is my friend. You are my friend yes?" ``Chuck`` inquired with one very large, very open eye. While the other was squeezed shut.
"Of course, who else would I talk to on these long nights?"
"Then you should follow me over there, you know away from the open train cars that can fit a lot of po-, I mean pe-. Poke-" ``Chuck`` paused. "I like trains. Let us look at the passenger cars and talk about trains."
Time Turner looked at the old pony oddly, before he shrugged it off. "Whatever you say, though you may want to think things through before you say it. Is your speech impediment coming back?"
"You aren't the only one telling me."
"Not to worry right behind you…" Chuck took a quick glance at the other pony's flank with his flank to him. As if trying to remember something about it. "Time."
While the pony and…odd acting elder, trotted over to the engine, the former not noticing four oddly shaped figures, that made their way into the one of the box cars before sliding the door to a close softly with a ka-chunk.
"We should call it a night Timmey buddy. May as well send the train back to Canterlot now because no one else will show up tonight."
Curiously befuddled, Time Turner thought, Chuck Choo never does anything that isn't scheduled. What is he up to? "Sounds good Chuck. I will let the engineer to start up the train."
Chuck smiled widely with very large cyan eyes. "And once you're done, head home early today you earned it for being a great employee and a valuable friend and coworker."
Time Turner mentally shrugged, I won't complain to going home early, no matter how he acts. The pony smiled to himself as he thought of having a night of actual sleep with a full day tomorrow. Time Turner headed up to the front of the train to give the engineer the news, leaving Chuck Choo by himself on the edge of the platform.
He may actually be able to get up at a decent time and see something interesting!
Like a ghost leaving the older conductor's body in a slumped pile on the train platform as the locomotive gave a loud whistle for its departure.
Several hours later, the train chugged to a halt, jerking the pokemon off their feet and paws in the cargo car. The various boxes and bags slide forward, tightening the already limited space for the large group. "What the heck?!" Terra exclaimed.
Quiet! Maria hissed, mentally slapping the loudmouth Mawile. I can sense ponies outside. So please do keep quiet, or do you want to end this rescue prematurely? Now HIDE.
The various creatures scurried and hid themselves among the baggage before the door to the car shimmered in a silver glow. Sliding open to reveal two pegasus-like guards though their appearance was drastically different from what they could see from their hidden spots.
Lavender armour covered their dark grey coats. Piercing, silted eyes scanned the car, glowing eerily in the dark. The two ponies stood within the darkness, seeing nothing out of the ordinary, they shut the door and continue their inspection.
Maria emerged from her hiding place behind a crate, as did her brother and the rest of them, minus one Haunter.
Elena looked around, noticing the lack of one semi-gaseous form. "Where is Moriarty?"
A loud pop could be heard, "I'm right here!" His misshapen head appeared, with a highly pitched distorted voice. Moriarty sounded like a Ratatta, his body compressed in a small vase. Or what they hoped was a vase. Whisper huffed, and looked away from the ghost type in both mirth and shame.
Noticing the stern looks, Moriarty wiggled his head around the mouth of the container, allowing his hands to slip out with a quiet squeak as they levitated upwards near his head. "What?"
Maria spoke, "Must you hide there?" The Espeon Flashed the room showing that it was not just a vase that housed the gaseous pokemon, rather an urn. Specifically a rather fancily decorated funeral urn.
"Well you all can't have it; it is currently occupied by moi .Its fresh and clean, and its sooo roomy near the bottom. Whoever kicked the bucket ain't having this sweet pad. I can stash all my assorted goods in here-"
As he continued to ramble on about his new home and the large storage capacity and how he is not desecrating someone's ashes, Elena stood close to the door, straining both her ears and her Aura sense to find out how far the guards were so they could leave the train and plan their next step.
The door then slid open.
The two pegasuses from before had returned, hearing voices from the previously checked car. They were rather surprised to see the strange creatures they were ordered to be on the lookout for from Princess Twilight. Before they could take wing, Whisper gave urn a swift kick, lifting it off the ground and into Elena's paws.
Elena pointed the open end towards the Night Guards, as the purple rings of Hypnosis trapped them into a sleepy daze before falling to the ground in a deep sleep with a clatter. Elena placed the vase onto the floor and turned to her comrades. "Now if we are done with the incessant talk, we have a trainer to save." The Lucario leapt from the train car and headed towards the walled city. The rest of them soon followed, except for Terra.
She stopped and stared hard at the urn tapping her foot impatiently. A wisp of purple mist was drifting from the slumbering stallions and towards the still-occupied vase. "Oh sod it." Terra lifted her jaws high and smashed down onto the urn, shattering it to pieces, revealing Moriarty with a bendy straw as he attempted to use Dream Eater on the slumbering guards.
He scowled at the interrupter of his evening snack. "Well that was rather rude."
Terra whacked him on the head, knocking the straw out of his mouth and said, "First we rescue the Boss, then you can snack." She raised her fist threateningly, "Or so help me Arceus, I will knock you so hard, that the gooey mess that will be left over from the beating will turn ya back into a Ghastly."
And with those words spoken, Moriarty moved rather quickly to catch up with rest of pokemon. Terra smiled, then ran to the others now waiting for her.
Sticking close to the immense marble walls of the enclosed city, so not to fall off the edge of the many cliffs that overlooked the bountiful realm of Equestria, the Pokemon tried their best not to look down. Maria and Elena kept their eyes and senses trained on the sky, watching for any pegasi that could try to stop them. The lush green grass kept their paws silent as they made their way to a section of the wall, free of any guards.
"I've always wondered," Terra said, while taking an appreciative look at the hundreds of feet between them and the ground, "Why the Boss never caught a flier? Being on the edge of the world up here really makes ya think of the lack of a safety plan."
Elena's masterful footing was something to be in awe of as she continued to watch the night sky. "We only need to get far enough where the patrols are thin enough for us to sneak through and to head for the palace. That is most likely where…Twilight…is keeping him." A small drip of venom was heard with the pony in question's name.
The Espeon's eyes flashed white for only a briefest of moments. Opening her psychic sense to see what her eyes cannot. "Stop. There is an opening right above us, and there are no immediate patrols nearby. How exactly are we getting into the city?" Maria then continued, "Since I am quite sure that Moriarty cannot move us all up there, it would take far too long."
"And Mister Strong-and-Silent here," Moriarty pointed at Whisper, "Is no Sandslash, so digging through the wall or this lovely ledge is out of the question for you living types."
Whisper scoffed in agreement.
Elena removed her trainer's backpack and pulled out a long rope.
"We can't exactly climb a wall with an Escape Rope. We need a grappling hook of some sort." Maria said. She then got a glint of deviousness in Elena's red eyes, smiling at the known thought running in the Lucario's mind. Both turned to the Mawile using the marble walls to sharpen her teeth absent-mindedly.
Noticing the grinning pair, Terra simply said, "What you two staring at?"
The rope was tossed up the wall, the improvised grappling hook struggled to find a strong place to grip.
The toss missed a strong enough target. After the hook screamed rather loudly as it fell back towards the paws that gripped the rope tightly, it was tossed up to the top of the wall once more.
"Ow-Ow-O-oh thank Arcerus!" Terra exclaimed after her jaws locked onto one of the battlements on the interior of the wall. She felt Elena giving the rope a good, strong yank that felt completely unnecessary, before she could feel the combined weight of her fellows climbing up the rope. Minus one Haunter that was floating just above her head with a wide grin.
"Why the heck did they not just have-uh-ya float up here and-uh-secure the rope?" Terra grunted accusingly at Moriarty.
The Haunter stroked his chin as he pondered the question. "You know, I asked Elena the same thing after she tossed you up here."
"And-uh-what she say?"
Moriarty flipped his hands up as he "air-shrugged". "Its better this way."
Better this way my arse. Terra thought, as she felt Elena reach the top of the wall along with her two passengers.
Both Maria and Whisper jumped off her shoulders and onto the wall. Both appeared to be quite happy to be free of being baggage to the Aura pokemon. As Terra undid the rope around her waist, Elena was explaining the next step in the rescue plan, ignoring the Mawile giving her the stink eye.
"Now that we are inside the city, we need to cause a distraction so that Whisper can sneak into the castle and break our Master out."
"Aww, why just him?" Moriarty interrupted, looking a little downfallen.
Elena met each of their eyes, "We are outnumbered and possibly outgunned by the amount of guardsmen that the purple menace put onto high alert. This is a stealth operation and Whisper is the best of us when it comes to silence. "Now then, the signal will be a Psybeam shot into the air. Get close and wait for it." Two pairs of red eyes met, "It's up to you to rescue him from their dastardly clutches."
Whisper nodded in confirmation. His eyes unblinking as he matched the Lucario's stare with his own steadfast determination. He jumped off the wall without hesitation and into the blackened alleyways away from the light of stars and streets. Mastering his emotions and fading into the shadows, without his glowing pattern lighting the way.
Elena continued "As for the rest of us, we need to cause a slight commotion in the city in order to make his infiltration into the castle easier and to give him time to lead the way out for Master. Who knows what horrifying torture and experiments those fiends have done to him over the last two days." She shuddered at the thoughts of harm that they must have surely done to him.
Speaking up, Maria said "The four of us could causing a problem should be relatively easy."
"And fun!" Moriarty added with a smile, that was joined with a sinister grin from Terra that broke her scowl at Elena.
"No harming anyone. We need to cause distractions, not give them reasons to go on a witch hunt. " Elena cautioned. She turned to the city, the darkened homes bearing no light for the slumbering occupants, unaware at the group of determined individuals making their move on the capital city of their peaceful nation.
"Make your move in a half hour. Move out."
After both Maria and Moriarty made their way off, it left both Terra and Elena alone on the wall. Terra stared at the Lucario with anger radiating off her in waves. Elena could feel it in the Mawile's aura, but she simply said rather aloofly, "Yes Terra?"
"What's the deal with using me a grappling hook?"
Without looking at her, Elena stated "Payback for this entire mess."
"Oh? Well how ya figure that?"
Elena turned around and let cold anger creep into her voice. "You used me, without even thinking of the consquences. For all we know, they are putting him through some twisted method torture to get him to talk about us. Especially after my talk with The Purple One."
Challenging the taller pokemon's stare, Terra lipped back, "Please! These pansies wouldn't dare touch him. Especially after that little show at the library. They needed to know what they are messing with."
"You put him into danger."
"And you worry too much."
Two pair of eyes clashed in a battle of wills. Recklessness meeting caution and both sides refusing to budge. Finally Terra looked away, "Fine I'm sorry I pushed your buttons."
Elena did not need her Aura sense to know how fake her sincerity was.
Terra turned and walked towards the stairs leading off the wall. "Now hurry your fuzzy butt so we can get this party started."
Whisper waited patiently in the darkened gap between two large buildings near the castle grounds, eyes locked onto the night sky waiting for the signal to shine into the starry night. Among the numerous patrols of the armoured ponies, both golden and the bat-winged fliers, he found the calmness in one of the largest cities of the country quite peaceful. So different from the various cities in his travels. And certainly welcomed after the hostility between Elena and Terra.
Without their trainer, it was only a matter of time before two let their rivalry become physical. Terra losing her patience, while Elena uses force to try to keep her in line. If it was not for the years of working together, they would have just devolved into a straight fight. The first rays of dawn were beginning to shine, Whisper begaun to tense up, knowing that his window for slipping in is getting smaller by the minute.
The Umbreon only saw the briefest of rainbow light shot into the sky, and turned his eyes to the castle. Armoured squads of ponies streamed through the large open gate heading towards the beacon of unknown light. Whisper watched silently, his eyes scanning for anywhere where he could slip in unseen before the light of the sun bathes the city.
A single unicorn guard caught his eye as he sprinted into the formation to the chargin of his fellows. Whisper tracked his path and saw his way in through what should be a side entrance. The uniformed marching of armoured hooves paraded loudly in front of the castle, overriding all sound, if any could be heard among it all.
Sticking to the wall and in the shadow behind the guard post, Whisper slinked past the marching column heading into the city and made way to the side door. Once inside, his paws felt the elegantly engraved tiles of the floor, but soon dismissed the castle's decorative interior as he shut his eyes and strained his nose for his trainer's scent. Whisper started to smell a hint of ketchup and chocolate beneath the layers of cleaning solutions and the flowers hanging in the higher windows. He followed the sugary smell, his ears alert to the sound of any approaching hooves.
Memorizing the twists and turns, he made found his way to an old door leading to where the smell was strongest. Whisper, wanting to make sure that this where he was did the most sensible thing to check who was behind the door.
Whisper scratched the door.
"Uhh~Wzzat? Who's there?" A sleepy, definitely not his trainer's, voice answered. The sounds of slightly unstable hooves were approaching the other side of the door, horseshoes clicking against masonry flooring. Whisper slipped behind the door as the stallion opened the door and walked a few feet out of the dungeon.
"Hello, anypony need something? Dang recruits bugging a pony on jailer duty. You foals need to stop being a pain in my flank!" He called out into the empty hall, his voice growing in volume as he continued to berate the invisible newbies. In his sleepy state, he failed to notice a black fox-like creature slip into the dungeon and shut the door quietly behind him with a soft click.
Dust coated every surface in the dungeon of Canterlot Castle. Even some of the cells had the iron bars that have rusted away to the point of breaking apart under just a small bit of force. Beneath the stench of old age and rotting wood of centuries old furniture, the smell of ketchup and chocolate emanated from one of the cells that looked like someone spruced it up and replaced the gate to keep the occupant.
Only a single ray of sunshine shined through the small opening near the top of the cell at the back wall, the sun had not raised enough to lighten up the dark cell. Whisper could hear slight breathing coming from the darkened corner of the cell.
Whisper backed up, knowing the best way to wake up the occupant. He raced forward and tackled the bars, sound stirring what could only be his human.
"Finally! Is it breakfast time? I swear if you brought me those same pancakes from yesterday, I will sing like a canary just for a taste of that sweet, delicious honey you had those things coated in-"He paused as he opened his hazel eyes. "Wait a sec,-Whisper!" He exclaimed happily. "I've been so worried! When I fell through I tried to make sure you guys would stay safe. If you're here, then that means the others aren't far behind."
Whisper cocked his head in confusion.
"Oh yeah, the jail cell. Well you're no Terra, so you can't exactly eat your way through the bars…Oh well we'll go with the flashy option."
"Whisper use Hyper Beam."