# Probability: A Glitter Of Hope

## by Jumpitydude

### Light of day

Glitter opened her eyes. When she sat up, she looked out the window, to see if something had changed.

It was still night.

The everlasting night.

Farmers were relying on magic to keep their crops growing. There was always a clear sky, though Glitter wondered why they needed clouds in the first place. But in all of her 16 years, she never knew anything else. Only night, though she knows there was a time that the sun would rise every day, even though she never saw the sun. Her mother vanished two weeks ago, leaving her with her mother's best friend.

Today, however, the best friend, Eve, had something to show Glitter.

She walked down the stairs to see a very familiar face. A very serious face. "Glitter, please sit down next to me," Glitter walked over to Eve and laid down next to her. Eve got a little smirk, "That's not sitting, Glit, that's lying." They shared a soft giggle. Glitter was used to Eve's sense of humor. But something about the way Eve giggled made Glitter a little uncomfortable, like one of them was about to die, and Eve knew it.

Glitter took her mind off of it by looking at the book Eve had brought with her, "Probability: A Look Into Alternate Realities. Our world get too boring for you?" Glitter let out a little laugh to show she was joking.

Eve, however, didn't look too interested in humor at the moment, "No, but this is a terrible world to be living in. This book has three major points, as well as several theories about those points: Paradoxes, Parities, and Probabilities. Paradoxes are the most well known of the three and something you already know about." Glitter nodded,

A positive and a negative that create an infinite loop of impossibility.

Eve resumed, "Parities are not common knowledge. They represent occasions where two things that should never meet do. It is unknown what happens, but the most common theory is that one of the two is wiped from existence, likely the one that shouldn't have been there in the first place."

Glitter pondered for a moment, "Like if you met a version of yourself. I prefer to think that when something goes back in time, it becomes a part of the timeline it goes to. Let me guess, Probabilities are the alternate realities themselves?"

Eve gave a smile similar to one a teacher would to an A student, "Yes and no. Yes, that's the general concept behind it. No, because it's used in a special context. And that context is when one goes back in time to find their perfect world." Eve flipped the book open to a page that only had a seal and some of Eve's own writing.

Glitter was wide eyed, "What is that?"

"It's a seal that sets a temporal beacon, useful for setting it where things go wrong, and going back to an earlier time to fix them. Probability 0 is this world. Probability 1, you set the beacon, and then you watch to see what you can change. Probability 2, you go back before the beacon was set and try to change things for the better. Therefore, it takes at least two Probabilities to get your good ending. This does not mean that you will take only two tries to get things right, or that you only have two. That's just the least amount of time it takes. You get as many tries as you need. Sometimes, that's a good thing."

Glitter was starting to worry. From the way Eve was talking, it sounded like-

"I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. But your mother and I agreed that the best thing for you is for you to go back and change your future."

Glitter couldn't believe her ears, "WHAT? No! No, no, no! No! Why? I love this life!"

Eve cut her off, "That's why you need to go back. This is a terrible life. Livestock shouldn't have to be grown with magic. Clouds are more than just platforms for Pegasi. But you love this life. It's the only life you know. You'll love the life I used to live even more than this life."

"But why do I have to go?"

"Parity, dear. If anyone else goes back, they'll be killed or worse."

"But what about Songbird? And Astral Bliss? And... and... And Cutlass Raid?"

"They'll be there. We'll all be there, just a bit younger, and with different names. I already asked everypony, and they all want you to go back! And it has to be you because of Parity. If anypony else here goes back, they might get erased from time itself!"

Glitter finally started crying, "But I... I never knew my daddy!"

Eve held her close, "it’s okay, Glit. Because I'm proud of you! You always cheered me up! Because I... I..." Eve broke down crying herself, confirming what Glitter already suspected,

"Because I'm right here, Glitter. I never left you! It may have been a spell, but you're still my child."

Everything Eve did suddenly made sense more now! Even this was starting to make sense. "Okay... I'll go. I'll make you proud, daddy."

Eve smiled as she wiped the tears from her cheeks, "You already have. I guess we shouldn't make this goodbye longer than it needs to be. That seal on the ground will take you to the time that things went most wrong. Once you set the beacon, your magic should be more than enough to get you back before the beacon to fix the past. There should be six mares there, one for each element of harmony. The ones with pink in their manes are alright, but the others need your help."

"To guide them down the right path. So you send me there, I place the beacon, determine what I need to do, and then go back as many times as I need to fix it. Sounds so simple, it's going to turn wonderfully complex."

That got Eve to chuckle, "Unfortunately, that sounds about right. Let's get started."

Glitter stepped onto the seal on the ground, as Eve got her packed and ready.

"One more thing, before you go,"

Glitter turned towards Eve as she set the saddlebags on her back, worried about what Eve might say next, "Once you get your perfect world, don't worry about us. At least don't let it get in the way of your new life. Just keep moving."

Glitter felt a tear roll down her face as she nodded. Eve's purple horn lit in sync with Glitter's golden one. The seal soon started glowing as well. The glows got brighter and brighter with each passing second, until there was a blinding flash of light.

When the light faded, Glitter was gone.

"Goodbye, my child. May fortune light your path."

Probability: 1

There was a bright flash of light as Glitter arrived at her destination. She looked around to get her bearings. "Everfree forest? Why here? Is there some significance? Or... OH YEAH!" She almost forgot to place the beacon! Not long after she concealed it (which was silly in hindsight, since it was a temporal thing that can't be ruined without actively trying), she heard some ponies traveling nearby. Staying as well hidden as she could, she looked for the nearby ponies. Finding them wasn't that hard, she just followed their voices. Keeping hidden, however, was hard, especially given whom they were.

The one at the back was a fashion designer, and Songbirds older sister. She also recognized Applejack, the apple farmer, and Cupcake, the hyperactive baker, immediately.

The other two nearly made her lose her composure.

They were her mother, Flora as she remembered somepony call her once, and Eve, her "father". She almost stepped out on the road when she remembered there was supposed to be somepony else to round out the elements. Fearing that they may be on the road the rest of them already passed, she waited for them to pass too.

"HEY!"

Glitter was scared. Had her cover just been blown? The new voice came from above her, so it was very possible.

Thankfully, she wasn't found out yet.

"Have you girls heard the rumors about this place?" Glitter did, however, feel her heart drop. The voice belonged to the last member of the group, who was the last pony she expected.

Nightmare Moon's top lieutenant.

Except with a rainbow mane and without her signature flight suit.

Shadow Dash often challenged other pegasi to races. If she won, she would force them into the Shadow Bolts, Nightmare Moon's personal servants. If she lost, she would break their wings, saying they, "have too much experience," forcing them to be grounded with incurable injuries. But there was something about seeing her that comforted Glitter;

She joined just before Nightmare Moon sealed her victory, and she didn't take off her flight suit ever since joining. This meant that Glitter was before NMM took over! She had a cha-

"AHHHHHHHHH!" Glitter was pulled from her trance by an earsplitting scream. She immediately checked the situation. There was a new, huge gap, and Eve and Applejack were on the wrong side of it. Worse, there was something in Eve's eye, preventing her from seeing the platforms that she could use to get across. Applejack hopped across easily, leaving Eve to wonder what happened on the other side of the gap. Glitter moved swiftly and silently to where the other five were, figuring one of them would-

"Come on! Let's go!"

"No! We need to help her!"

"Oh, Fluttershy. What a naive fool you are."

Glitter's heart sank. They were going to leave her?

"NO!" Flora, or, as her friends called her, Fluttershy, was loud. "I'm not going without her!"

"Fine. I'll go carry her across." Shadow Dash was already on her way to Eve when she said that.

"Woah! What the-?"

"Don't worry Twi. I've got ya."

"Thanks Rainbow Dash," Eve said, "You're loyal even to ponies you don't know that well."

Dash didn't look at her, "Yeah, sure am, Twi."

If only "Twi" knew what would happen. If only she knew.

Glitter followed them, making sure she was well hidden, to check who needed to be fixed. Remembering what Eve said, she figured that she needed to help Dash, Applejack, and the dress maker, Rarity. The other three, her mother (Fluttershy), Cupcake (Pinkie Pie), and Eve (Twilight), all had pink mane. Or at least, Eve had a pink stripe.

As she watched them, her mother calmed a Manticore, of all things, just by talking to it, Cu- err, Pinkie pie dispersed an illusion by laughing at it, and Rarity came close to calming a water dragon that lost half his mustache by complimenting the rest of it, but slipped up a bit and instead got him mad (Is that why she went missing? Glitter wasn’t sure.) before he vanished.

She kept watching as they got close to the old castle the elements of harmony were in before they were destroyed. The bridge was out, so Dash flew across with the severed rope to rebuild it. Glitter didn't need to see the rest, it was pretty obvious, but she couldn't quite pull herself away. She watched as the Shadowbolts arrived to offer her a position as their leader. As she kept watching, she saw Dash nod at them.

What happened next scared her to the core.

The three Shadowbolts dissipated into some sort of miasma, then enveloped Dash. When the miasma vanished, Rainbow Dash was Shadow Dash. Glitter couldn't handle any more, and vanished into the forest.

As she started the spell to sling her back, she ran through what she had to do:

She had to give Applejack a reason to be honest,

Rarity a reason to be giving,

Dash needed something to be loyal to.

Deciding to start with AJ, she figured nine years would give her enough time to fix her. She set her sights on nine years ago, and cast her spell.

"If you change the past, then find reason to go back again, your changes will find a way to happen, no matter how unlikely it may be."

Probability 2

After some words from the book about probability echoed through her head, Glitter found herself blinded. All sixteen years of her life, she never saw a light this bright. She could barely see! She promptly ran in an undefined direction, hoping th-

*WHAM* "Owww..." WELL! That hope was shattered in record time.

Glitter chanced opening an eye. Luckily, she was in a well shaded area. She let out a heavy sigh. She needed to rest and let her eyes adjust to the new light levels. She just hoped that the rest of her adventure would go much better.

*SPLOOSH*

"GAH! WHAT THE HECK IS THE WHATTHEWHATTHEWHAT-?!?!?"

Glitter was woken up by a sudden cold feeling rushing over her. All her mind could come up with at that moment was, 'WATER IS WET!' After a moment, her mind started processing things normally again. Starting with the apple red colt holding an empty bucket right in front of her. He was so large and intimidating, she couldn't help but fold her ears back from being intimidated (duh).

"Sorry 'bout that, but ah've gotta find out why yer on tha family farm. Ah assume it was a complete accident, and yah didn't know yah were trespassin',"

His voice was soothing, but Glitter didn't feel safe yet. She simply nodded, not feeling like explaining everything to somepony she just met. He held out a hoof to help her up, and then started towards his barn. They were silent at first, having just met and all. Eventually, the stallion broke the silence.

"So, how did you find this place?"

"I was just wandering around when I felt tired and decided to go to sleep. I didn't know it was your property, or anyponies, for that matter." She felt it unnecessary to tell him that the wandering was through time. "So what's your family like?"

The stallion thought for a moment, "Well, there's me, Macintosh, mah sister, Applejack,"

Applejack! Glitter thought, She's his sister! I hope I still have a chance.

"Mah pappy an' momma, an' Granny Smith. Momma is expectin' tah have another child, but ah kinda hope she doesn't."

"Huh? Why not?"

"She's growin' weak. One more could... And if she does go, dad's gonna make his own town, in the middle of nowhere, probably. Own rules, own style, probably no family, though. Ah wanna keep this farm runnin' fer as long as ah can."

Glitter quickly realized that one of Astral Bliss' friends, Apple Carver, Applejack's younger sister, was completely unmentioned, and Applejack's and, by extension, Macintosh's mother had died during childbirth about nine years before Glitter was born. Maybe she could give just a bit of...

No! I shouldn't change the past more then I have to! I need to try to avoid changing anything more than Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Rarity. No more! She decided that talking more about the town his father was planning on making would take her mind off of things, "So your dad wants to start his own town, huh?"

"Eeyup,"

"What does he want in it?"

"Dunno, maybe a sheriff’s office,"

"Saloon,"

"Wild-west dancers,"

"'Mild'-west dancers,"

Mac chuckled, "Apple orchard,"

Glit also chuckled, "Horse-drawn carriages,"

Mac smirked, "Horse-drawn horse-drawn carriages,"

Glit laughed, "We could go all day with this,"

Mac laughed, "Yes we could,"

"Wha'choo talkin' bout?"

Mac and Glit were both shocked to hear a young filly suddenly talk to them. They both turned towards the orange filly, red bow resting in her blond mane.

"Applejack, I presume?"

"Mac! Ya'll said ya wouldn't get a filly-friend till ah was older than you!"

Mac cringed. Glitter laughed and patted the filly's head, "That won't happen. You both age at the same rate, so the only way for you to be older than him is for you to be born before him, and it's kinda late for that."

"Shhhh!... He don't know that."

Glit and Mac shared a smile, then Mac spoke up, "Did ya say somethin', sis?"

"Nope! Nuthin'! Not a word!" Glit laughed out loud at Applejack's apparent unawareness at the red stallion standing right there,

"Honesty is the best policy, AJ. Why not tell him the truth?"

"Well, sis?"

"No! Nothin'!"

Mac rolled his eyes. Glitter, however had something in mind. She trotted up beside the filly and leaned in close.

"Have you heard of the monsters that eat apples and liars? Because they would just love to eat you!"

Applejack looked like she had seen a ghost. She looked at Glitter, who stared back with a blank face and a raised eyebrow.

"Well?" Applejack rubbed the back of her head, blushing.

"... Okay, ah did say sumthin', but it's private girl stuff! Ah ain't sayin' anythin' else!"

Mac was genuinely surprised. Almost nobody got her to act different than normal, "... Alright. All ah needed tah know."

After finally getting Applejack to go back to her room, Glit and Mac finally had a chance to talk in private. At first it was just idle chatter, something Glitter had appreciated, with a joke or two thrown in every once in a while. But as they talked, it became apparent that something was bothering Mac.

Eventually, Glitter couldn't handle knowing something was wrong, but not knowing what, "Is something wrong? You can tell me."

Mac looked her right in the eye, "Why are ya here?"

"Sorry, what?"

"Ah know ya ain't normal, unicorn or otherwise." Glitter froze. Had she blown her cover? "Ah saw ya teleport in, an' it looked like ya never saw daylight before. Where are ya from?" Glitter opened her mouth to reply when, all of a sudden, the door to his room swung open.

Standing in the doorway was a deep orange stallion with an apple red mane. Behind him was Applejack, watching with a blank expression. He looked like he was about to kill them. "Ah can't believe ya, Macintosh. Ah didn' want ya ta be with a uni-freak,"

Uni-freak? Does he hate us that much?

"Or such an ugly one at that. Didja cast some sorta spell on mah son?" He started closing in on Glit, "Didja promise some great reward? Or did ah really raise such a failure?" Once again, Glit opened her mouth to speak, only to get cut off.

"Leave her outta this, old-man!"

Mac's father looked at him, "Ya standin' up for your, 'Master,' son? Ya jus' that much of a failure?" Mac held his ground, "Ah thought ya'd be a good, hard workin' stallion, LIKE AH AM!"

"AH'M NOT YOU!" Mac actually seemed to scare his father, "And ah never wanna be."

The older stallion glared for a moment, and then walked out the door, glaring at somepony just out of sight from Glitter. Once he left view, the mystery pony stepped into the room; a golden mare with an orange mane. She looked weary, like she was about to drop dead at any moment. Glitter didn't take long to figure out who she was.

Mac spoke up first, "Momma, ah'm sorry-"

"It's alright, Mac." She stepped closer to him, and cuddled his neck against hers, "I'm glad you found it in you to stand up to him."

Glitter smiled at the scene before her, but knew that the inevitable was coming. She sighed.

She trusted him,

but it would still be hard to explain.