The sun was halfway through its morning routine, casting its light upon Ponyville behind some small cloud cover as Twilight lifted the quill and began to write the letter. Next to her, looking upon her shoulder, Lyra spied her, amazed.
“You can write letters directly to the Princess! That is, like, one of the most amazing things ever!”
The purple unicorn sighed internally. “Yes, Lyra, it is. Now, let’s see…”
Dear Princess Celestia
In a trip I made to the Everfree Forest, I found a strange statue in the path. Going by the legends that can be found in some books, and specially by the illustrations found in one book you lent me, I can only assume it is a human. However, it seems to have become a stone statue. I suspect a cockatrice was responsible to it. I want to study this creature, but I realized it would be better to inform you of it.
Your faithful student
Once she delivered the letter to Spike for sending, she turned to her side, in annoyance at being poked in the ribs by the musician.
“Um, Twilight…” Lyra pointed to the outside to the library. The librarian turned her head to look around.
“You’ve got to be kidding me…”
Applejack and Fluttershy arrived to the Library’s door to find that the building was full of ponies, a truly rare sight. Outside, Rainbow Dash and Rarity spied through one of the windows. The earth pony approached the peeking mares.
“What’s all this ruckus goin’ on in here, girls?”
“Well, darling, seems like Twilight's new discovery has attracted the attention of the whole of Ponyville. One would ask what kind of free time these ponies have... By virtue of being here I’m already losing good work time, but one must simply know.”
Applejack looked at her, smirking. “Uh, Rares, ya’ll remember the Gabby Gums incident, don’t cha?”
The white unicorn glared at her, before Pinkie Pie suddenly jumped between them. Rainbow screamed. “Gee, Pinkie Pie, when are you gonna stop that?”
The earth pony turned to look at her friend. “Oh, but Dashie, that just wouldn’t be fun, would it?” She then shifted her attention to the whole group.
“Hi, girls! I saw you all were reunited in here and I was asking myself what was going on and I just had to come here and isn’t that Twilight's library full of ponies? Was there any party I wasn’t invited to?”
The other girls rapidly corrected Pinkie’s assumption hastily in their attempt not to bring her other self out again and explained to her the true cause of the crowd. The bubbly earth pony adopted a serious expression, supporting her chin with a hoof, scratching it with other two. Nopony bothered asking how that could even be possible, turning their attention back to the inside of the building.
Inside of the Ponyville Library, Twilight, Spike and Lyra were surrounded by what the librarian and her assistant summarized as “The Pony Hordes”.
Twilight always wished they would get more visitors, but didn’t want them to come for such a reason. They were at a loss about what to do. Then, Lyra climbed to a table and whistled hard, gaining everypony’s attention.
“Listen, colts and fillies. This is a place of order. You are disturbing it, and you all have seen the statue by now. There’s nothing more for you to see here, so please make a line and exit orderly if you don’t have any business in here!”
Following the musician’s words, the crowd began to evacuate the tree based construction, some sighing heavily, throwing furtive looks at the interesting statue.
Once the local was almost deserted again, inside were only left Twilight, Lyra and Spike. The Mayor Mare and Bon Bon were the only ponies that did not leave. Right there the door opened and the group was completed by Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy.
“That was some crowd you had there, Twi”
“Good morning, Twilight, Mayor. Lyra! It is truly delightful to see you here!”
Rarity beamed at the green unicorn, who bowed at the greeting, a sheepish smile in her face. Twilight looked from one to the other, a confused look etched on her face.
“You two know each other?”
Rarity used one of her high class little fake laughs. “Oh, Twilight, Lyra is one of the most talented musicians this side of Equestria. I’ve been to several of her concerts. She is quite the talented mare, indeed.”
The musician blushed, trotting around in embarrassment. “Well, thanks. I love playing the lyre, that’s all.”
While the three unicorns conversed, the other ponies, including the mayor, approached the statue and studied it. Applejack whistled, looking up.
“So it's this what has the whole town all worked up? Ah admit is a new thing, but ‘s nothin’ to blow yer hat off for…”
Fluttershy spoke softly. “But it’s so weird, Applejack…”
“You say this is a human, Miss Sparkle?” asked the politician, looking at the scholarly unicorn. Twilight turned to look at her, already having heard quite enough about the musician.
“Well, all the signs point to that, so it’s the most plausible theory. I wrote to Princess Celestia already, asking for her advice. If possible, though, I’d like to study it for a little longer. Lyra, Spike and I are looking in the books for possible de-petrification spells to reverse the effect and be able to talk directly to it. “
“Could I see it too, when it is freed from the stone? Being Mayor is so boring sometimes, and you and your friends are always in some exciting adventure…”
Twilight hesitated. “Well…” The elder mare battled her eyelids at her, and the lavender unicorn sighed.
“We could arrange something.”
“I appreciate that, Miss Sparkle. I will take my leave now.” The politician left the Library. Twilight bit her lip and turned back to her friends, who were watching Lyra and Bon Bon discussing something in the corner.
“You know very well I need to finish that batch today, and you promised to help me!” The earth pony mare was flushing red, directing her flaming anger towards her unicorn friend.
“Yes, Bon Bon, but these are humans, you know! Humans!” Lyra gesticulated wildly, pointing to the statue in the center of the room. Bon Bon turned to look at if, and scoffed..
“Well, that ‘human’ isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so you can come with me!”
“Aww, Bon Bon…”
“There’s not ‘Aww’, Lyra!”
The other mares inside the library only watched the scene. Some embarrassed, others highly amused. Upon realizing they were being watched, the cream colored earth pony smiled apologetically.at them.
“I’m sorry about causing this ruckus in your library. Lyra promised to help me with my business and so she will have to leave now. If you excuse us…”
Bon Bon bit Lyra’s tail and dragged her all the way to the Library’s door. The green mare let out a small sigh before smiling and waving with enthusiasm to her recently acquired lavender unicorn friend.
“I’ll be back later, Twilight! Take care!”
Both mares disappeared, leaving the remaining ones looking at the closed door in astonishment. Even Pinkie Pie was silent.
Rarity was the first to recover.
“Well, that was certainly something new…”
Rainbow Dash confronted her studious friend.
“Well, now that the whole circle is in the house, how about if you explain it all properly, Twilight?”
Five mares gathered around, while Pinkie was looking all around for the circle. Twilight relayed the story to them, such as it was written down in the book. By the end of it, all her friends had their mouths open. They all considered the implications of what the story said.
Rainbow Dash held a frown on her face as her mind flashed to memories of a certain path in Ponyville that led to a slope finishing up in literally nothing. She and her friends had always wondered just how did such a seemingly useless and dangerous road came to exist, but now the thoughts of it being a subtle but effective ‘suggestion’ Chaos implanted in the mind of some pony architect were filling her head.
Twilight recalled as well, her ears dropping a little and she seemingly shrinking in size, her loss of control that led to the Smartypants incident.
Pinkie’s hair deflated as she remembered her own sanity slippage during her birthday. They all remembered certain events, and they all came down to the same conclusion, looking at each other, without the need to speak. Twilight was the one who gave voice to their thoughts.
“All of these weird happenings around Ponyville… They have become stronger after Discord appeared. But he is sealed now…”
“Didn’t yer book say that Chaos was its own entity, tho?”
”Yes, Applejack, it said that. And I’m worried about what that would mean for Ponyville. And for Equestria…”
The six friends looked again to the statue. It was immobile in the middle of the library, and its expression was far from menacing, but the things they had learn about it caused them to feel extremely nervous around it. They all slowly exited the library, wishing Twilight goodbye, after having agreed to wait for the Princess’s answer to the letter. The studious unicorn gazed at an open book, her eyes circling back and forth as she passed the pages aimlessly.
“It can be that bad. We stopped all of those incidents, and the death rate in Ponyville is quite low, right?”
Lyra Heartstrings and Bon Bon shared a two story flat near Ponyville’s Park. The first floor contained Bon Bon’s Candy and Pastries’ Shop, as well as the kitchen-dining room and a room where both supplies for the shop and house items were stored.
Adjacent to the kitchen were the stairs. Next to the stairs was Lyra’s room, followed by a bathroom and Bon Bon’s room. In the other side, a small study was used by Lyra as her music room.
Bon Bon’s bedroom was a simple space. A small, cozy bed, accompanied by a bedside table, a closet containing formal clothes next to a window which watched over the street in front of the shop and a medium size mirror that hung on the opposite wall.
Lyra’s room, on the contrary, had her clothing messily thrown in a trunk below her equally messy bed. Posters depicting famous musician ponies were posted all around the walls, leaving almost nothing bare.
In the music room, several instruments were lying around in their cases. A desk pressed against a wall guarded Lyra’s music sheets, ink and paper. Such was the disposition of their shared, rented apartment.
Downstairs, a stressed earth pony mare mixed ingredients and prepared copious amounts of pudding, as her unicorn friend levitated what was needed from the storage room. The next day, the Ponyville School would be holding a PTA meeting and they had requested large amounts of pudding. Ponies loved eating pudding.
Lyra sighed, watching the outside as Bon Bon went from one side to the other, checking pots and mixing batter. The earth pony chided the unicorn.
“Quit whining, you owed me from cleaning the mess left by your last practice. You can have the leftover when I’m done!”
This seemed to animate Lyra as her ears perked up and her tail swatted around.
“You’re the best, Bon! ” The earth pony smiled, as the unicorn’s face lighted up. She trotted over to her friend. “Hey, Bon, could I take one cup of pudding to take to Twilight?”
“Yeah, sure, but take only one, ok?”
Lyra nuzzled Bon Bon’s cheek, almost making her drop a tray she was carrying.
“Mind yourself, Lyra!”
An hour and a half later, the work was finally over. Both ponies were resting at the table in the dining room, drinking cold orange juice. Lyra finished first and took her glass to the kitchen. Her head appeared in the doorframe as she walked past.
“Hey, Bon, I’m going over to Twilight!” The unicorn waved goodbye
“Sure. Just don’t be out too late, remember that you have to practice tomorrow and a concert on Sunday.”
“Yep, I’m on it! Bye!“
The unicorn sped like a flash out of the shop, leaving behind an earth pony with a small smile on her lips.
Lyra trotted happily in the path to the Library. The dessert floated by her side, wrapped in a lemony yellow glow, while her mind was occupied with thoughts of humans and their wonderful secrets. She sped up, covering the rest of the distance quickly. She knocked at the door, being answered by an annoyed voice.
“Come on! Gee, when will these ponies learn that this is a PUBLIC library?”
Lyra pushed the door, to find Spike the small dragon at the other side of it. A small sweat drop fell down her forehead.
“Hey, Spike, want pudding?” said her, hopeful
“Oh, sure, thank you!” Spike reached out with his arms; Lyra levitated the small dessert into his claws. The treat disappeared in a split second.
“You’re welcome! Where’s Twilight?”
“Oh, I think she’ll come back soon, she went to Sweet Apple Acres.”
“Right. Do you mind if I sit over there?”
“Suit yourself,” answered Spike, going back to his task of organizing books. “You know, that pudding was awesome. It was as good as...”
Just before he could finish his sentence, a pink blur manifested in the middle of them, and Spike found himself turned on his back, and with Pinkie Pie’s forelegs on his chest. The pink Earth Pony looked at him, a marked frown in her face.
“Do you think Bon Bon’s sweets are better than mine?”
The small dragon hesitated. “Um, I think they’re both very good.”
She looked at him with the same expression during some more seconds. Then she lowered her forelegs and freed Twilight’s assistant, who stood up hastily.
“I’m going to challenge Bon Bon to a pastry contest!” declared the earth pony with a chirp, before going out of the tree with her particular bounce, as if nothing had happened there. Lyra looked at her leaving in confusion.
“Just what happened here?”
“Don’t ask me. She’s Pinkie Pie.”
As Lyra pondered this, the door opened again and Twilight came inside.
“Oh, hello, Lyra, nice to see you again,” said the lavender unicorn with a wide smile. Her green counterpart smiled as well, brushing any thought about Pinkie out of her mind.
“Good to see you too, Twilight. I brought you a dessert, but I gave it to Spike, sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it. Spike deserved it.”
“So,” said Lyra as her tail flipped around “are we going to study the human now?”
The purple unicorn looked at her. “Well, about that. I don’t think it’s such a good idea right now, Lyra.”
The musician’s lip formed a pout, as she approached the librarian. “But why not? I’ve been waiting so much for this! Come on, Twilight!”
Twilight bit her lip, looking at the other unicorn. Finally she summoned a book that was on top of the desk.
“Come here, Lyra. I have something to tell you.”
The clocks around the village made exactly one turn just as Twilight’s briefing to Lyra of everything about Discord and the general situation came to an end. The green mint unicorn, despite her flighty nature, paid attention to everything. At the end of Twilight’s long exposition, a single word came out of Lyra’s lips.
Twilight looked at her, flabbergasted. “What do you mean ‘and’?”
“Yes. Are we going to turn the human back to normal now, or what?”
“But… didn’t you just hear me? That is a very dangerous step. It could be an agent of Chaos. Who knows what could befall upon Equestria!”
The musician fell down, sitting upon her haunches and looked at Twilight as if looking at a very slow pony who needed to have things explained thoroughly.
“Don’t the stories say that humans did exactly nothing but live in Equestria for the time they were allotted? Sure, they got here because of a rift caused by chaos, but they themselves caused nothing!”
Twilight could only look at Lyra as the musician ranted on.
“And even if something happened, aren’t you the Elements of Harmony who purged Nightmare Moon out of Princess Luna? Aren’t you the bane of Discord himself? Didn’t you participate in the battle at Canterlot Castle, and freed me from the Changelings’ control? What’s one measly human compared to you, huh? Don’t be a coward. Do it... For science!”
As she pronounced the last few words, she rose up, standing on her hind hooves; her forehooves lifted up. The sunlight didn’t accompany her, but it was a very inspiring sight indeed. Or so she would have hoped. She came back to stand on four legs and looked at Twilight, who kept looking blankly at her. Until the lavender unicorn showed a bit of a smirk, which soon morphed into all-out laughter; she rolled on the floor until running out of air, at which point she stopped, gasping.
“That was incredibly silly, Lyra,” said Twilight as she regained her footing, dusting herself and trotting over to the spell books. She began levitating them out of the shelves, placing them on one of the tables.
“But you’re right, we need to study them to really understand what they are. Come here; help me find some spells…”
Outside of a certain pastry shop, a pink pony came to a halt. She called out to the pony inside.
“Hey, Bon Bon, could you come out here a moment, please?”
The called earth pony trotted out, looking at her visitant. She smiled at seeing Pinkie Pie.
“Hey, Pinkie. What does bring you around….”
Bon Bon fell silent when she found Pinkie’s hoof pressed to her snout.
“Hey, Bon Bon. Do you feel like having a contest with me to see who’s the Premier Pastry Pony in Ponyville?”
“What do you mean?” asked the confused cream colored mare, looking at the wild pink blob in front of her.
“I challenge your desserts with mine, of course. And the winner will have her pastries made by the loser for a whole month!”
Bon Bon looked at her, incredulously. “What kind of insane thing is this, Pinkie?”
The pink pony retorted. “Just say if you accept or not.“
The other earth pony sighed and accepted the challenge, if only because of having heard the rumors about the pink mare.
“Very well, Pinkie. I’m on.”