Between a Rock and a Hard Place

by JohnPerry

Chapter 4: In the Shadow of the Moon

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Chapter Four: In the Shadow of the Moon

“How did we wind up in this again?” Octavia asked the world at large.

“I don’t even care anymore,” DJ Pon3 muttered.

The League of Fanons were standing aboard a massive flying apparatus that was floating softly above the Everfree Forest. It appeared to be constructed of metal and was roughly the size of a dirigible though more triangular in shape, and was currently hovering through the night air by what must have been some sort of magical power.

Rainbow Dash and Applejack had vanished shortly after the fight with the Legion of Gloom presumably to spend some time alone, which left the League of Fanons (along with Dinky who was still keeping close to her mother’s side) to come across Princess Luna, who led them to this strange ship that was being crewed by an assortment of ponies from across Equestria.

One of the said ponies entered the control room, where they were all standing and gave a short salute to Princess Luna. “Hail Princess Luna, the true ruler of Equestria!” he cried. “Long live the Lunar Resistance!”

“The Lunar what-now?” Derpy asked.

“The Lunar Resistance!” another pony cried, looking up from a control panel. “The fight to bring down the greed and corruption of the tyrant Celestia!”

There was a good deal of cheering at this from the other ponies in the room, who started shouting various things like “Yeah, down with the tyrant queen!”, “Power to the ponies!” and “We will not be silenced!” The members of the League of Fanons stared on incredulously.

“Have you ponies completely lost your mind?!” Octavia cried. “Celestia hasn’t been a troll for a day yet and you’re already starting a revolution movement?!” Fortunately none of the Lunar Resistance ponies heard her over their own cheering (at the moment they were all chanting “The ponies, united, will never be defeated!”) and the Doctor quickly motioned for Octavia to stop talking.

“I’m guessing these ponies come from some reality where Celestia is a tyrant,” the Doctor quietly explained. “Just go along with it for the time being.”

“Right then, Doctor!” Princess Luna announced, causing the Doctor to spring to attention. “What is this secret device you said would help us?”

“Ah, right…” the Doctor said. “Well, I know of a certain blue box that we can use to end this reign of the, uh…tyrant queen. But it was taken from us. I can use my sonic screwdriver to get a general sense of where it is, but I need a massive source of energy to pinpoint the location. Perhaps some sort of magical energy.”

“I could cast a locating spell,” Luna said promptly, taking the screwdriver from the Doctor and placing it on a table while her horn glowed.

“So this box…” one of the ponies spoke up. “Is it some kind of weapon?”

“NO!” the Doctor cried, looking highly offended. “I mean…no, it most certainly is not. It’s…difficult to explain.”

“I found it!” Luna said, her horn glowing softly while her eyes glowed white. “A massive source of energy due west of here, deeper within the Everfree Forest!” She turned to a large chair set in the center of the control room, facing away from all of them, instead turned towards the viewing window. “Captain Ahab! Set course!” Luna commanded.

“Captain Ahab?” Bon Bon asked. “Who’s Captain Ahab?”

Luna trotted over to the large chair and spun it around to reveal…an abacus.

“Fillies and gentlecolts, meet Captain AHAB,” Luna announced, gesturing towards the abacus. “AHAB, of course, short for Abū al-Hasan ABacus*, mathematician extraordinaire, Captain of this vessel The Eclipse and my dearest friend.”

“An abacus?” DJ Pon3 asked, one of her eyes twitching. “We’re being commanded by an abacus?

“Hey, look on the bright side, at least it’s an inanimate object on our side for a change,” Lyra pointed out, before grinning slyly. “But don’t worry, I’m sure he’s still shipped with somepony.”

“I think Captain Ahab is looking at you, DJ,” Bon Bon snickered. “Perhaps you’re the ‘white whale’ he’s been searching for?” Lyra tried unsuccessfully to suppress a fit of giggles.

DJ Pon3 glared in response. “I hate you all.”

“Say hello to our friends, Captain Ahab,” Luna commanded the abacus, before picking it up and waving it back and forth. “Argh, ye lily-livered rainbow-bellied land lubbers!” she growled, unconvincingly puppeteering the abacus while sliding beads back and forth. “Now now, Captain Ahab, be nice!” Luna gently scolded the abacus. The League of Fanons watched on with apprehension while the members of the Lunar Resistance didn’t even seem to notice.

“Mommy, is Nightmare Moon okay?” Dinky whispered to Derpy.

“…No, dear,” Derpy whispered back. “She’s not herself right now.”


The Legion of Gloom had marched into the chaos of Ponyville, visible to any pony that bothered to look but ignored by all, with everypony caught in their own little world. The Legion of Gloom entered the town hall where they found the Mayor, who apparently was too boring of a character for any fan to come up with some alternate version of her, and forced her to formally surrender the title of Mayor to them before letting her flee. Now they were sitting in their new office, casually redecorating the place to their whims.

“Right then!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie announced as she put the finishing touches on the nameplate she was redecorating with her name now on it. “The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Trixie declares herself the new Mayor of Ponyville!”

“GOOD IDEA!” Gilda shouted, still apparently oblivious to her volume level. “I call Mayor of Ponyville!”

“What-NO!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie shot back. “I’m the new Mayor!”

“You’re the blue layer?” Gilda replied. “I don’t get it.”

Grrrgh…no, you stupid half-breed…” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie growled for a moment before picking up the nameplate and gesturing vigorously at it and herself. “ME. I… AM… THE… NEW MAYOR. ME!”

Gilda looked at the nameplate for a second before catching on, but once she did she became angry immediately. “HEY! You’re already a princess, I think it’s about time I got something out of all this!”

“The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie decrees that she is Mayor! This is a royal order!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie decreed.

“Well fine, I didn’t want the stupid pony town anyway…” Gilda muttered. “But I still want to rule something! I’ve been busting my rump for you all long enough!”

“Perhaps we are thinking too small…” Prince Blueblood said, looking around at the humble office. “We need to think bigger.”

“I like the way this pony thinks,” one of the Diamond Dogs said.

“Yes!” another Diamond Dog cried. “We’ll rule…two pony towns!”

“No!” Prince Blueblood yelled. “Think bigger!”

“…Three pony towns?” the third Diamond Dog said, shrinking under the Prince’s glare. “…And a pizza place?”

“No…” Prince Blueblood sighed. “And why a pizza place?”

“Because I’m hungry again,” the Diamond Dog moaned.

“Listen, it’s time we looked to seizing power at the royal level,” Prince Blueblood explained. “With Equestria in chaos, nopony will notice us until it is too late, and we will rule Equestria!”

“How in Eqvestria do you suggest ve seize power from ze most powerful pony in all of exiztence?” Photo Finish said.

“We have the Elements of Harmony,” Prince Blueblood said, indicating the necklace he was wearing. “A power so great they defeated Nightmare Moon.”

“But we don’t know how to use these things!” The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie pointed out. “Don’t they require friendship or some junk like that? And The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie is certainly not going to be friends with the likes of half-breeds like her,” she said, indicating Gilda.

“I didn’t hear what you said, but I’m betting you’re going to regret it,” Gilda growled.

“We don’t have to use them,” Prince Blueblood said. “We merely have to threaten to use them. Princess Celestia knows of their power, surely she will not be foolish enough to risk defeat at our hands. She will meet our demands.”

“It iz brilliant!” Photo Finish cried.

“Yes, it is,” Prince Blueblood replied smugly. “I shall be crowned king, and you shall be my queen,” he said to The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie.

“Ah yes, the power of a queen would be most fitting…” the blue unicorn said. “But The Great and Powerful Her Royal Highness Princess Mayor Trixie prefers to retain her title of princess, to suggest her stunning youthful beauty!” she added, throwing her hair back.


“Here! We found it!” Derpy cried, hovering above a thicket of trees with Dinky clinging to her back. Princess Luna and the other members of the League of Fanons rushed over to find the TARDIS positioned in the midst of several trees, sitting there as if it had fallen out of the sky (which for all intents and purposes it may have). It was slightly tilted to the side, leaning against one tree and covered in dirt and leaves with vines growing along the sides.

“I don’t understand,” the Doctor said. “It looks like it has been sitting here for weeks, months even. What did Tom do?”

“Well let’s get in there and find out!” DJ Pon3 said, heading for the door.

“Wait,” Princess Luna said, holding out a hoof to stop DJ Pon3. “I would like to see this contraption myself, if you don’t mind.” Her tone was polite but slightly forceful.

The League of Fanons exchanged looks. They hadn’t counted on Princess Luna demanding to see the TARDIS, and now they were stuck in an awkward situation. Should Luna see the inside, they would probably have to explain that it was a time machine…which could lead to having to explain their plan to fix this reality, which would require explaining that they were fanons, which would require explaining that Luna didn’t belong to this reality, which would ultimately require explaining that nothing they were planning to do had anything to do with overthrowing Celestia. Somehow they weren’t sure this news would go over very well.

“Um…well…” the Doctor stammered. “It’s…complicated,” he finished weakly.

“Do you dare question our leader?” A group of members of the Lunar Resistance were standing behind them next to Captain AHAB. Luna picked up the abacus and slid a few beads back and forth, which clacked loudly in the quiet forest.

“Captain Ahab, really!” Luna cried. “I know you’re a sailor, but such language!”

Luna clacked a couple more beads quietly as if the abacus was apologizing before she put the abacus back down and faced the League of Fanons, suddenly stern-faced once again. Once again, the members of the Lunar Resistance took this all in stride as if it was completely normal.

“Um…well, it’s just that…it’s dangerous!” Lyra offered. “Really, really dangerous!”

“Yeah, that’s it, dangerous!” Bon Bon jumped in. “And, you know, we wouldn’t want our glorious resistance leader getting hurt!”

“Your concern is welcome,” Luna replied. “But I believe as one of the most powerful creatures in all of existence I can handle whatever is inside.”

“But…” the Doctor paused, desperately searching for an excuse that would be adequate.

Fortunately for him he never had to come up with one, for at that moment there was a terrific flash of light from overhead which caused everypony to freeze in their tracks. They looked up to see Princess Celestia hovering above them, leering down at Princess Luna.

“Hi, little sis!” Celestia said teasingly. “I thought I saw your little ship floating by!”

“IT’S THE TYRANT QUEEN!” several members of the Lunar Resistance shouted. They all began to draw swords, knives and spears out, looking at Princess Celestia with steely gazes. “For the glory of the Lunar Resistance!” one member shouted. “We kill the tyrant queen tonight! CHARGE!!!

However, the words were barely out of his mouth before Celestia cast a spell on all their weaponry, and the swords and knives they were holding turned to rubber while the spears were transformed into colorful marching band batons.

“Um…eh, heh heh…” the member who screamed ‘CHARGE’ was now nervously chuckling. “Uh…what I meant to say was, um, all we are saaaaaaying, is give peace a-“ He was cut off as another blast of magic from Celestia turned him into a beach ball. The other members of the Lunar Resistance ran around in panic but within seconds they were transformed into random objects as well. Celestia turned her gaze to Captain AHAB, only to be almost knocked out of the air by a blast of blue magical energy.

“YOU STAY AWAY FROM CAPTAIN AHAB!” Luna screamed, standing impressively before the sun princess.

Princess Celestia gave Luna a rather horrifyingly large mischievous and toothy grin with her eyes tightly squinted. “Aww…r u mad, Loony?” she said, adopting a tone normally reserved for when addressing newborn fillies and adorable animals.

Princess Luna charged at Celestia in response. In the midst of all this madness, neither of them noticed the League of Fanons slip inside the TARDIS and shut the door behind them.


* Real guy. Well, save for the abacus part...

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