My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic presents
The Dark Stallion
Episode 06: Do I Wish To Remember? Searching For Sky Wind’s Lost Memories.
Last time on My Little Pony:
Following an attack on the Apple Family farm by the Shadow Clan, Ninja Star comforted Fluttershy and agreed to train her in self-defense. His training caused her to become obsessed with him and his culture, to the point where her friends hardly recognized her. However, as over-the-top as she acted, her training managed to pay off after she helped fend off the Shadow Clan during another attack. Does Fluttershy now have the power to help Ninja Star and the others defeat the Shadow Clan?
Rainbow Dash raced alongside Sky Wind as the two pegasi soared in the blue sky over Ponyville. They both laughed and giggled, zig-zagging past the clouds, sometimes even flying through them. Even though they were engaged in a friendly race, both remained determined to win, as each tried to fly ahead of the other. Sometimes Rainbow Dash was in the lead; other times, it was Sky Wind.
Sky Wind slowly inched ahead of Rainbow Dash. “I’m going to beat you!”
“Oh, no you’re not!” Dash replied, squinting her eyes as she flapped her wings harder and faster, pulling ahead of Sky Wind.
In the end, it did not matter to either of them who was winning. They really just enjoyed being in each other’s company and having fun with each other.
Which is why Sky Wind became distraught when Rainbow Dash vanished in a purple puff of smoke.
Sky Wind halted. Turning back, he saw only purple wisps where Rainbow Dash used to be.
“Rainbow Dash?!” he exclaimed.
The sky shifted from blue to red and became blanketed with black clouds that crackled with thunder and lightning.
Sky Wind shuddered at the sudden change in weather. His nose then itched at the smell of fire and brimstone. Looking down toward the earth, he gasped upon seeing all of Ponyville engulfed in flames. He flew toward the town where all the buildings lay smoldering in ruin. Aside from the debris, the streets were completely empty with not a single pony in sight. The only noise in the air was the loud crackling of fire.
This had happened so suddenly that Sky Wind could barely comprehend it. He began to hyperventilate, choking from the stench of fire and smoke.
“What’s going on?” He exclaimed. “Who did all this?”
A loud laugh erupted from the sky above, sending a shiver down Sky Wind’s spine. He turned to see the dark clouds spiral into a figure of a black alicorn.
“You of all people should know,” the stallion boasted in a booming voice as he looked down upon Sky Wind. “You’re the one who helped create this.”
Sky Wind shook his head frantically. “That’s not true! I would never do anything like this.”
“Oh, but you have,” the stallion replied. “And you will.”
Sky Wind closed his eyes and shuddered in fear. “No. No. NO!”
His eyes shot wide opened.
He had awakened on his cloud, upon which he had been sleeping.
Sky Wind inspected his surroundings. It was still nighttime. He took a few deep breaths before lowering his head, closing his eyes, and returning to sleep.
It was only a nightmare, and yet, to him, it felt so real. Too real!
At the library, Twilight grabbed a book from the top shelf using her magic and began flipping through its pages. “I know there’s a spell for recovering memories in here somewhere. I saw it in here last time, although that was about a month ago.”
She placed her chin on her hoof as she gazed upward. “Or maybe that’s a different spell book I’m thinking of.”
She glanced at one of the pages. “Nope. This is it!”
She placed her hoof on the page with the title “Memory Retrieval Spell.” She scrunched her face as she scanned its contents. “Says here that this is a very advanced spell that should only be attempted by experts. I’m sure I’m advanced enough to use it.”
She carried the book over to Sky Wind, who was sitting in an armchair with Rainbow Dash standing next to him. At a table at the far edge of the library sat Xander, who was quietly reading his own book.
Twilight placed her fore-hooves on the arm rests of Sky Wind's chair and leant over him.
“Are you sure this will work?” Sky Wind asked, nervousness being heard in his voice.
Twilight was scanning the directions to the spell. “Apparently, it has an 85 percent chance of success.”
“And the other 15 percent?” Sky Wind asked.
“You wind up in a coma!” Twilight replied nonchalantly, shutting the book and placing it down.
Sky Wind gave a heavy gulp and glanced at Rainbow Dash.
“Relax,” Dash consoled him, taking his hoof. “Twilight here is excellent with magic. She helped me and the others recover our memories when we were brainwashed by Discord.”
“Yes, but only because we shared the same memories,” Twilight added. “With Sky Wind here, I’m trying to recover memories neither of us have. So it’s not exactly the same thing.”
Twilight closed her eyes and placed her horn against Sky Wind’s forehead, which, upon contact, began to glow with a purple aura. Skywind gave a timid shudder as he felt the magic radiating against his forehead.
“Now just relax and think happy thoughts,” Twilight instructed. “Hopefully, some of them will be your lost memories.”
As Twilight’s horn began to glow brighter, Sky Wind felt energy surging into his mind, as if cold water was being poured into his skull. He soon lost control of his own thoughts as his mind began to recall memories without him thinking about them. Unfortunately, they were only the most recent memories he had since first losing his old ones.
“Are you beginning to remember anything?” Twilight asked.
“Nothing new,” Sky Wind replied. “No.”
Twilight’s horn glowed brighter. “How about now?”
Twilight’s horn glowed even brighter. “How about—”
Before Twilight could finish, she saw within her own mind the face of a dark mare with red eyes glaring back at her, hissing. Twilight yelped and fell backwards. The light from her horn faded away.
“Twilight!” Dash exclaimed, falling on her knees next to her fallen friend to help her up. “What happened?”
Twilight groaned as she massaged her temples. She was now suffering from the worst headache she had ever experienced. “I’m not sure. Some sort of mental backlash, I think. It’s as if there’s a magical barrier around his mind.”
Xander shut his book loud enough for everyone to hear. “Amateur.”
Everyone turned to him as he stood up and began walking towards them.
“Sounds like his missing memories are being repressed deep within his subconscious,” Xander said.
“Clearly it’s going to take more than just a memory retrieval spell to get them back.”
Twilight raised her eyebrow. “What are you suggesting?”
Xander stopped in front of Sky Wind. “A mind probe.”
“What’s that?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“A spell that allows one to retrieve memories from another pony’s mind.” Xander said, placing his forehooves on the armrests. “The military uses it when interrogating enemy combatants in order to retrieve intelligence from them, especially when they won’t cooperate.”
Twilight gasp. “That sounds like torture.”
Xander gave a smirk. “More like an enhanced interrogation technique.”
His horn began to glow dark blue as he placed it against Sky Wind’s forehead.
“I suggest holding your breath,” he said as his horn glowed brighter.
Sky Wind gave an exasperated grunt. He squirmed in pain as energy penetrated his mind like a hot blade. “I preferred it when Twilight was doing this.”
“Consider this the bad cop version,” Xander remarked.
As Xander’s horn glowed brighter, the pain within Sky Wind’s head grew more intense. Sky Wind was beginning to remember everything in reverse, starting from when he first entered the library that day, all the way back to when he recovered from his crash. The further back he went in his own memories, the harsher the throbbing pain in his head intensified. Before his memories could regress any further, the face of the dark mare with the red glowing eyes once again appeared, hissing within his mind and that of Xander’s.
Xander’s horn emitted a bright flash of dark blue light, which launched him backwards into one of the bookshelves, burying him under a mountain of books, while Sky Wind’s was propelled backwards in his chair. Both Twilight and Rainbow Dash were blinded by the flash and thrown upon their rumps.
“What the hay was that?” Rainbow Dash exclaimed, picking herself off the ground while pulling Twilight up with her.
“Another magical backlash,” Twilight said with a groan, rubbing her rump. “Stronger than the last one.”
Xander sat up from under the pile of books that buried him. “Tell me about it.” He picked himself up, and dusted himself off. “Whatever is keeping Sky Wind’s memories suppressed is clearly too powerful for magic.”
“So I’m never getting my memories back?” Sky Wind asked, still sitting in his chair on the ground.
Rainbow Dash walked over to the chair and set it up straight. “Of course you will. It just won’t be done with magic.”
“Or at least with a magic spell,” Twilight said, scratching her chin as she thought.
“What do you mean?” Rainbow Dash asked.
“Perhaps what we need is a magic potion,” Twilight said as she thought of a certain zebra.
Zecora peered into Sky Wind's mouth using a tongue depressor. Her flashlight caused his uvula to cast a shadow in the back of his throat. She then aimed her light into his right eye, causing it to dilate, allowing her to more easily peer into it.
Sky Wind sat on a stool within Zecora's cottage as she inspected him. Standing nearby was Dash and Apple Bloom.
"So you can whip up a potion to get his memory back?" Dash asked.
"Course she can!" Apple Bloom replied. "She has tonics that heal all sorts of ailments. Bad bones, bad back, bad breath...and amnesia, too. Right, Zecora?"
Zecora flicked off her light and nodded as she walked towards her brewing pot. From a nearby bookshelf, she grabbed a book and cracked it open.
"If amnesia is this young colt's ailment, then I know of the perfect treatment."
She flipped through a few pages before setting it next to her pot.
"This memory recovery potion I will brew, is sure to return your lost memories to you."
From the table next to her, she poured a bottle of blue liquid, making the contents of her pot turn purple. She stirred the pot with her wooden spoon before adding a few dashes of red powder, which made the brew send up a puff of green smoke as its contents also turned green.
"Soon, all you have lost, you will get back." She scanned the countless bottles in the cabinet next to her, but when she could not find what she was looking for, she gave a startled, "Oh! but it appears there's an ingredient that I lack!"
Sky Wind groaned. "Figures that the final ingredient to the potion for my missing memories is missing."
She picked up her book and showed it to the other ponies. The page she pointed to displayed a purple sketch of a flower.
"The forget-me-not flower, as its name implies, is the plant that will make your lost memories arise, from the dark recesses of your brain, and your former self, you shall regain."
Rainbow Dash nodded. "Alright! So what aisle of the grocery store are we going to find this in?"
Apple Bloom face-hoofed.
Zecora merely shook her head. "To the edge of the forest you must go, for that is where this flower does grow."
A few miles away in Froggy Bottom Pond, three shadowy figures traversed through the thick fog. As the fog dissipated, it revealed the three to be Squish, Swoosh, and Slash.
The kappa wizard led the tengu and giant praying mantis as they trekked through the mud and fought against the bramble and branches.
“So reminds me again why we’s is going through this gosh-forsaken swamp?” Swoosh asked as a branch smacked him in the face, and he promptly swatted it away.
“Because in this swamp dwells a creature of gargantuan proportions and even more gargantuan power,” Squish said as he led the three onward.
Slash slashed away the encroaching branches with his claws like a machete. “And why, pray tell, are we searching for this creature?”
“Because its power could easily be harnessed and utilized by the Shadow Clan to help further our cause,” Squish replied.
“But isn’t that what’s our shadow ponies is for?” Swoosh asked.
“The shadow ponies serve as faithful minions to carry out our bidding in some situations, but a beast of such magnitude could be even more beneficial in other situations,” Squish said, “or at least helpful for you two. I don’t really need that assistance. You two, on the other hand—”
His comments forced Swoosh and Slash to stop and glare angrily at him.
Slash crossed his arms. “You do realize that the both of us are capable of fighting our own fights?”
Squish stopped in his tracks and turned to face the other two. “As can I, which is why I do not need assistance from my shadow unicorns. I have sufficient magic on my own to fight my own battles and carry out my own task. I do not have to rely on them as the both of you rely on your shadow pegasi and shadow ponies.”
Swoosh likewise crossed his arms in anger? “Oh yeah, and if yous is so powerful, than who dos you need the two of us for this here mission?”
The three of them were too busy bickering with one another to notice that the fog was rolling back in—a green fog that reeked like bad breath. Also oblivious to the three of them was a scaly appendage slithering up around and behind them.
“I’m only stuck with you two dunderheads because the Shadow Mare herself ordered us to take up this mission,” Squish retorted, both arms upon his hip. “I don’t need help from either of you. I’m powerful enough to take that hydra down myself.
He gave a cough as the green gas filled his nostrils, the foul odor overpowering them. He did not notice as four scaly appendages rose from out of the mud behind him.
“Why, if I were to encounter it, I would easily incapacitate him as I would—I—I—”
Once more he let out a cough and rubbed his eyes as the gas burned it. When he was finished, he noticed that both Swoosh and Slash were gazing above him with horrified expressions. He then noticed the large shadow enveloping the three of them.
“I take it the beast is right behind me?” He asked, almost wishing for no answer.
Rising from out of the swamp, and towering over the three lackeys, were four necks, and attached to those four necks were four heads, each with jaws that showed their sharp fangs from which slithered their forked tongues, and each with snake-like eyes that glared down at their next meal.
The four hydra heads each let out a roar that caused the three lackeys to take a few paces back.
“Tells me again what yous was gonna do when you met that Hydra?” Swoosh asked.
Squish gulped. “Simple, really.”
He turned upon his heels and raced past his two companions, “RUN!”
The other two followed suit as one of the heads lunged towards them and nearly snap his teeth at them, failing to catch them.
As the three ran screaming through the swamp, the hydra followed in pursuit, roaring and gnashing its teeth as it chased down its prey.
Hidden within the crevices of the rocky crag overlooking the border between Froggy Bottom Bog and the Everfree Forest grew a small bushel of blue flowers. It were these flowers that were the fabled forget-me-nots. It were these flowers that were the final ingredient to Zecora’s memory potion. And it were these flowers that Rainbow Dash and Sky Wind discovered when they approached the base of the rocky cliff.
The two pegasi were standing right underneath the bushel from the ground as Sky Wind pointed in their direction. “There they are, the forget-me-nots.”
With a wiggle of her hindquarters, Dash leapt from the ground and flew up towards the blue flowers, catching them within her teeth as she flew by them.
She landed gracefully on the top of the cliff, where she could hold them up with her hooves for Sky Wind to see.
“Less than ten seconds flat!” she bragged. “Now let’s get these babies to Zecora so she can…”
Before she could finished her sentence, a sudden tremble from the ground caused her to nearly lose her footing and fall off the cliff. Fortunately, she was able to keep balance and avoid falling off.
Then came another tremble. And another. And another.
Sky Wind could feel the ground violently tremble beneath his hooves. He noticed as the small rocks and gravel surrounding him gave a slight bounce with each tremble. The rocks bounced higher and higher the more the trembles intensified.
Neither of the pegasi could tell what was causing the ground to shake. At first, they though it was an earthquake, but dismissed that possibility, as earthquakes were not this sporadic.
The trembling felt and sounded almost like footsteps, only louder and heavier, almost like they were those of a giant beast.
The two soon discovered the source of the ground shakes.
From the forest sprang the three figures of Squish, Swoosh, and Slash—all three scrambling and screaming in fear. Their sudden emergence from the forest were hardly surprising for either Rainbow Dash or Sky Wind. What was surprising to them was what was following the trio.
Looming over the treetops were four scaly necks, and attached to these necks were four equally scaly heads, the eyes of which were glaring down at the three racing lackeys, who soon found themselves cornered against the wall of the rocky cliff.
Sky Wind shirked back at the sight of the four-headed beast. He had never seen anything like it before in his life—which was mostly due to his amnesia.
“What in Celestia’s name is that thing?” he exclaimed.
“A Hydra!” Rainbow Dash answered, pointing at it. “Four times the heads. Four times the trouble.”
Sky Wind soon shifted his attention from the beast to the three lackeys cowering in fear against the wall of the cliff. He glared at them.
“You three,” he yelled at them. “Are you responsible for this?”
“Who cares!” exclaimed Squish. “Not my problem anymore. I’m outta here.”
He lifted the hand holding his staff and disappeared in a puff of purple smoke.
“Me too,” Slash said, throwing down his arms and also disappearing in a similar puff of smoke.
“And mes three,” Swoosh exclaimed, raising his staff in the air.
He looked around, confused. “Oh, wait! I don’t has a disappearing trick.”
The shadow underneath him began to grow. He looked down, then looked up, the eyes of the hydra looking back down at him in hunger.
“Uh oh!” Swoosh uttered.
Licking its lips, the hyrda lunged at the tengu, who leapt out of the way as the hydra’s head crashed into the cliff wall.
Both the impact of the hydra and the passing of Swoosh caused Dash to lose her footing once more. She still managed to keep her balance, but lost her grip on the flowers, which drifted down to the ground.
The flowers in his sight, Sky Wind dashed after them; but before he could catch them, they were caught by the talons of Swoosh.
“Well, well, well,” Swoosh commented as he inspected his catch. “What do we have here? A pretty bouquet of flowers?”
“Give them back,” Sky Wind exclaimed, lunging for them, only for Swoosh to pull them away from his reach.
“So yous wants this?” Swoosh asked with a cackle. “Well, then, yous have to gets them from me.”
With that, Swoosh darted away and soared over the cliff.
“Hey, give them back!” Sky Wind said as he flew off after him.
“Sky Wind!” Dash exclaimed as she rushed in pursuit of her friend, only to be cut off by a hydra head lunging at her, forcing her to stumble back onto the ground.
Raising her head from out of the dust, she looked up to see the hydra glaring down at her with all four heads, one of which let out a roar before lunging toward her with open maw.
Too dazed from her fall, Dash could only shut her eyes as the hydra lunged at her. She heard a sharp metal slash, followed by a painful cry from the hydra.
She opened one eye and saw as the side of the hydra’s face was slightly grazed. She looked down to see a kunai knife sticking out of the ground. Looking up toward the top of the cliff, she saw Ninja Star standing on its edge with Fluttershy at his side.
While the hydra was distracted, Rainbow Dash leapt up and flew to where Ninja Star and Fluttershy were standing.
“Thank Celestia, you guys came!” Dash exclaimed. “But what brings you two to this neck of the woods?”
“Ninja Star-kun and I were practicing our martial arts in the Everfree Forest,” Fluttershy answered. “The serenity of the forest allows for a tranquil place to practice.”
“Though things do not seem so tranquil now,” Ninja Star interjected.
The three gazed down upon the hydra as its four heads kept lunging at them, only to be kept out of reach from the height of the cliff.
“I’m afraid I am not familiar with this type of beast,” Ninja Star continued, scratching his chin.
Rainbow Dash pointed at the monster below. “That’s a hydra. Four times the heads. Four times the attitude.
Ninja Star drew his katana. “Well it’s about to have one head less.”
He leapt from the cliff and raised his sword above his head as he fell toward the beast.
Fluttershy reached out after him, screaming “No!”
Ninja Star gave one quick slash before landing on the ground, one of the hydra’s head landing next to him. He turned to face the beast and saw its other three heads writhing in anger and pain while its fourth neck flailed wildly.
“That’s one head down, three more to go,” he said to himself.
His confident expression quickly faded to shock as the freshly severed hydra neck split into two, with each sprouting a single head.
“Or make that five!”
The two new hydra heads roared in anger as they lunged at their attacker.
Ninja Star managed to leap away from their attack and onto their heads, spring-boarding himself back onto the cliff next to Dash and Fluttershy.
“Are you crazy?” Dash exclaimed. “You could have gotten yourself killed!”
“That creature grew two more heads!” was Ninja Star’s only response.
“You can’t cut off a Hydra’s head,” Fluttershy replied. “It will only grow two more in its place.”
“Yeah,” Dash added. “The only way to kill it is to cut off all of its heads at the same time.”
Ninja Star drew his sword once more. “I’ll take that as a challenge!”
Fluttershy flung her arm in front of him, stopping him from leaping down.
“No, you can’t do that!” she told him.
“I assure you, Fluttershy-san, my blade is capable of striking down multiple opponents, or in this case, one opponent with multiple heads.”
Fluttershy shook her head. “No, Ninja Star-kun, I mean you shouldn’t do it. That hydra may be attacking us, but it’s still a living creature, and every creature, great or small, deserves to live.”
“Uh, hello?” Dash exclaimed, motioning to the hydra snapping its jaws at them from below. “Maybe you should tell that to them?”
“That hydra isn’t evil,” Fluttershy insisted. “It’s only cranky because the Shadow Clan invaded its home. It doesn’t deserve to die.”
Ninja Star seethed his sword. “Fluttershy-san, your heart far exceeds your beauty. If you insist that this creature live, then we will consider an alternative plan to subduing it.”
Rainbow Dash scratched her chin as she gazed down at the hydra below, its four heads furiously trying to snap at the three ponies, but futilely as its four necks were a few feet too short to reach them.
Her attention was then drawn to the forest behind it. The trees near the outlier of the forest were mostly mangroves and cypresses, with massive roots that mangled and tangled wildly in either direction.
It was then that a light bulb flashed within her mind as a plan came to her.
“And I know just how to do that,” she said before whispering her secret intents to the other two.
After telling them of her plan, and ensuring that they understood, she dove off of the cliff and towards the hydra, who lunged one head with open maw at her but missed as she quickly diverted her flight path.
She flew right behind them and levitated in midair, placing her forehooves on her hips.
“Hey ugly, how come you have five heads but not a single brain among you?” she taunted.
This taunt angered the hydra as all five heads roared furiously.
Dash flew into the forest, and the hydra nearly followed her, but was stopped as both Fluttershy and Ninja Star each landed on one of the hydra’s heads before leaping off and landing in front of it.
Fluttershy flicked her tail and waggled her flank.
“Catch me if you can, big boy!” was her remark before she and her ninja companion raced into the forest.
This angered the hydra even more so as it roared even louder and took off in pursuit of the three ponies.
Rainbow Dash zig-zagged among the trees, with one of the hydra’s heads following close behind her.
Fluttershy did likewise as she wove through the trees and even their roots, another hydra head pursuing her.
Ninja Star, being an earth pony, leapt from tree branch to tree branch, from one tree to the next, with hydra head in pursuit, and in some cases snapping at the tree branch he last leapt off of.
The three ponies drew the hyrda heads through the forest until they eventually made a U-turn and exited the forest from where they entered.
The hydra lunged after them, but ended up stumbling upon itself. Its heads had been drawn through the trees and tree roots, causing its neck to be woven within them like a complicated stitch pattern.
The three ponies stood at the forest’s edge and watched as the hydra struggled to pry any of its heads loose from its tangled mess, only to fail.
With a satisfied look on her face, Dash glanced at Ninja Star and motioned toward the hydra. “How’s that for non-violent?”
Just then, the hydra gave one large tug with each of its heads, prying the trees out of the ground by the roots with it. It shook furiously, tossing aside the trees and dirt, and glared at the three ponies, who soon found themselves forced up against the cliff walls with worried expressions.
Ninja Star drew his sword once more. “Looks like we have no choice but to resort to violence.”
All five hydra heads lunged forward with mouths wide open, ready to devour the three ponies upon impact. Before any of their teeth could chomp down on pony meat, one of its head was hit with a bag full of purple powder, causing the five heads to become enveloped with a purple dusty cloud.
All five heads roared out in agony, but quickly became drowsy as they inhaled the purple dust. Soon the beast was unable to stand upon its feet and began to sway back and forth until it topped over, its heads falling limp to the ground with eyes closed tight and tongues dangling out of their mouths.
Standing boldly next to the beast was the pony who had thrown the bag of powder: Zecora, with Apple Bloom at her side.
“Good thing I rushed here in a hurry, or else the three of you would have been in its belly,” she said.
“And Zecora managed to have a bag of sleeping powder already prepared back at her hut,” Apple Bloom explained, bouncing up and down in excitement.
Ninja Star seethed his sword. “And the beast?”
“He should be in dream land for an hour or two, then when he awakens, back to his home he will shoo! I see the forget-me-not you all have found.” Zecora then scanned her surroundings. “But where is Sky Wind? He is nowhere around.”
Through the Everfree Forest soared Swoosh and Sky Wind. Swoosh remained in the lead, while Sky Wind lagged behind after him.
Swoosh flew fast enough to evade Sky Wind’s advances, but barely enough that Sky Wind remained on his tail. Likewise, Sky Wind flew fast enough to follow close behind Swoosh, but barely enough to catch up after him.
Sky Wind beat his wings to the point where they ached and burned and felt like they were going to melt off, but despite this pain, he continued to fly after Swoosh. He flew after him like his life depended on it, and in a way, it did—because if Swoosh escaped with the forget-me-not flowers in his clutches, then Sky Wind would lose the very thing he needed to regain his lost memories, and he would forever be condemned to a life of amnesiac haze.
The two darted past the trees, each one narrowly evading them. Swoosh would fly head long toward a tree, and before crashing into it, would turn out of the way by a hair. His sharp maneuvers should have forced Sky Wind to crash into the trees, but Sky Wind proved to be just as quick and sharp.
After minutes of zig-zagging within the forest, Swoosh rose sharply through the treetops. Sky Wind followed after him. Like dolphins breaching the water surface, so too did these two breach the forest canopy, launching themselves through the green leaves of the treetops, only to splash down back into them.
Once again, Swoosh soared through the treetops and out of the forest. Once again Sky Wind followed. Once again, the two rose from and fell into the forest canopy.
Swoosh tried one last time. Sky Wind followed after him. As he passed through the green leaves of the trees, he was suddenly bombarded by a violent gust of wind.
Swoosh had anticipated his pursuer’s actions. When he had escaped through the treetops, he turned a complete 180 towards Sky Wind and flapped his wings at him, creating the sudden gust, and forcing Sky Wind to tumble backwards.
Down Sky Wind fell through the tree tops. Down he fell through the branches. And down he fell onto the ground below, bouncing once before tumbling back several yards, kicking up dirt and grass in a skidded trail.
Sky Wind was not injured, but his body ached from the sudden impact. Fortunately, the forest floor was soft enough from moss and grass to cushion his fall.
He lifted his head, pounding from the impact, and slowly yet painfully lifted his aching, bruised body from the ground.
As his eyes opened and his eyesight focused, he could see through the rising dust Swoosh landing yards away from him, laughing as he landed.
“Youse seriously chased me all this way just so you can get your hooves on these here pitiful flower?” he asked, lifting his claw which clutched the wilted forget-me-nots.
He chuckled and cast the flowers at Sky Wind’s feet. “Youse can have them if you wants it so badly, Sky Wind.”
Sky Wind broke from his haze and realized that he was referred to by name. Not once did he ever mention his name to the tengu, who now laughed gloatingly at him.
“Wait, how did you know my—“was all Sky Wind could ask before Swoosh jumped into the air and began flying away.
Sky Wind dashed forward, but soon found himself limping from him fall, his legs and wings unable to move fast enough to chase after the tengu, let along fly after him.
“How did you know my name!” he yelled, standing as he watched Swoosh fly out of the forest and into the distance. “How did you know my name?!”
Sky Wind fell panting upon his knees.
Just then, Rainbow Dash flew up behind him. “There you are.”
She then noticed the forget-me-nots lying on the ground. She gave a quick “Oh!” before bending to pick them up with her mouth.
“I see you managed to get the flowers back, but you lost that tengu.” Dash shrugged her shoulders. “Oh well. We have what we need, so let’s get back to Zecora’s.”
Sky Wind looked at Rainbow Dash, then into the distance where Swoosh had flown off to, and then back at Rainbow Dash. He was still perplexed at how the tengu knew his name, but soon shrugged it off. Both he and Dash finally got the forget-me-nots back, so that was that.
“Sure,” he said as the two walked through the forest.
Zecora took the single forget-me-not flower and placed it in her pot. As she stirred it in, her pot’s contents began to bubble.
“That single forget-me-not was all that was required, to brew the potion that will your memories acquire.”
Her brew began to bubble rapidly and spew forth a pillar of purple fumes before simmering and changing its color to purple. That was when Zecora knew the potion was complete. She scooped out a ladleful of the potion and carried it over to Sky Wind, who, as before, was sitting on a stool, with Rainbow Dash and Apple Bloom standing next to him.
As the ladle was brought to his lips, Sky Wind took a big whiff of the steam rising from the potion. The foul stench it carried caused his nostrils to flare, almost as if fire was set to his nose hairs, and his stomach to churn in disgust.
The potion reeked with the unappetizing odor of gym socks that had been soaked in pond scum, boiled in spoiled milk, and left to rot in the sun for days on end. Sky Wind was forced to turn his nose and grit his teeth in disgust.
“If your memories you wish to regain, then this ladle you must drain,” Zecora chided him, almost like a mother asking her toddler to open wide and eat his baby food.
Sky Wind gulped. He accepted the potion as it passed through his lips and into his mouth. Sky Wind could not imagine having consumed anything that tasted worse. Bitter cough medicine would have had a more pleasant taste. The potion burned like hot sauce as it made its way down his throat and into his stomach.
Having finished the last drop, Sky Wind let out a disgruntled “bleh!” before his mind completely blanked. His eyes glowed with a white light as his memories began to flash within his mind.
Sky Wind began recalling memories without intentionally trying to remember them. It was as if he was watching a television whose channels were being rapidly changed by someone else.
His most recent memories were brought to the forefront of his mind. Him and Rainbow Dash retrieving the last forget-me-not. His last confrontation with Swoosh. Swoosh referring to him by name. Sky Wind demanding to know how he knew it. Him chasing Swoosh through the Everfree Forest. Him and Rainbow Dash meeting Zecora. Xander being sent flying across Twilight’s library.
Further and further back his memories came to him. Him and Rainbow Dash staring into the sunset. The two of them stopping a tornado. Swoosh taunting them along with the Shadow Pegasi. Rainbow Dash and him racing. The two of them laughing in the hospital. The two of them crashing into the market stalls. Rainbow Dash flying alongside him as he plummeted to the ground.
Then, the dark mare with the red eyes appeared once again, hissing.
The shock forced him to fly backwards into his chair and fall upon his back.
Zecora and Rainbow Dash quickly rushed to his side and picked him back up.
Sky Wind rubbed his temples at his throbbing headache.
“Sky Wind?” Dash asked. “Did it worked?”
Sky Wind shook his head to snap himself out of his daze, only forcing his temples to throb harder with his recently-acquired headache. He groaned as he looked at Dash in disappointment.
“Nothing,” was his only response. “I still can’t remember anything.”
“Maybe you just need to take another sip of that potion,” Dash suggested.
“I’d rather eat Pinkie Pie’s rotten muffins,” Sky Wind replied, almost gagging at the thought of drinking the potion again.
Zecora shook her head.
“That single dose was the only one recommended, to have your amnesia ended,” Zecora said. “Any more would be an overdose, and would only make matters worse.”
Rainbow Dash flung her hoofs in the air. “Great. Just great. Twilight couldn’t help. Xander couldn’t help. And Zecora couldn’t help. Nothing’s going to bring back Sky Wind’s memories.”
“Time is what I feel, will allow Sky Wind to heal,” Zecora replied.
Sky Wind smirked. “Yeah, what Zecora said: I’ll get them back eventually.”
His smile then drooped into a frown as he gazed down at the floor. “Though, to be perfectly honest, I don’t know if I want to get them back.”
Rainbow Dash raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
Sky Wind looked at her. “It’s only because I lost my memories that I met you and the others. Ever since losing them, I’ve been having so many adventures here in Ponyville. So…”
He gazed to the ground once more, still frowning.
“So what?” Dash asked.
Sky Wind returned his attention back to her. “So sometimes I wonder what will happen if I regain my lost memories? Will I end up losing my new memories? Will I forget about everything that I have done here in Ponyville? Will I forget about my new friends? Will I forget about…about you?”
Rainbow Dash thought for a second before giving a hearty laugh. “You? Forget me? C’mon! No pony can ever forget a great pony like yours truly.”
She put her arm around his shoulder. “Besides, even if you were to forget about everything, I would still stick by your side to make sure that you remembered once again. After all, if you regain your old memories, surely you could regain your new ones to.”
Sky Wind could not help but smile now that Dash assured him everything was okay. “I guess you’re right. There’s no way I could ever forget a pony like you. And there’s one more thing I will never forget.”
Dash raised her eyebrow once more. “And what’s that?”
Sky Wind showed his teeth as he smiled. “How I’m totally going to beat you in our race later today.”
Dash stopped smiling. “Well there’s no way you’re going to forget that, because it ain’t happening!”
With those words, the two pegasi dashed out of the cottage, leaving behind a laughing Zecora and Apple Bloom.
Back at the library, Twilight and Xander were cleaning up the mess that was created earlier. Twilight levitated three books from the floor and placed them on the shelf one by one. Xander used his magic to lift an entire stack of books and place them on the top shelf perfectly.
“Xander," Twilight said, placing the last book on the shelf.
Xander turned to her upon placing all his books on the opposite shelf.
"I assume that you had the same difficulty as I did trying to retrieve Sky Wind’s lost memories?”
Xander surveyed the remaining books and papers that littered the library floor. “If the current state of your library is any indicator, I seemed to have had a much more difficult time than you did.”
“True. But when you were delving into Sky Wind’s mind with your magic, did it ever feel like you reached a roadblock, almost like an impenetrable brick wall?”
“You mean something like an angry-looking mare with glowing demon eyes?” He asked.
“So we saw the same thing! But what do you think it means?”
“It means that Sky Wind didn’t get amnesia by accident. His lost memories are being suppressed through a magic curse. Someone—or rater, something—doesn’t want Sky Wind to remember who he was—or, perhaps, they don’t want anyone else to know who he was.”
“And I take it you have no clue why that could be?”
“Exactly, but whatever the reason, it’s clear that we’re dealing with some really dark forces here.”
Twilight: Hey, it’s me, Twilight. Xander, are you any closer to finding the amulet?
Xander: As a matter of fact, I may very well be. Finally, after all of these years of searching, I could be close to obtaining the very artifact that my late father spent his whole life searching for.
Pinkie: Woo! And we’re all going to go on an adventure to find it!
Xander: Wait, what do you mean “we”?
Twilight: Next time on My Little Pony: “At Last, The Amulet Of Purity Located!” Xander, you didn’t think we were going to let you go on a dangerous adventure on your own?
Xander: I don’t need any pony’s help. This is my life’s mission, and my mission alone!