63w, 4dThe GREAT and POWERFUL TRIXIE
When she was talking Trixie always controlled her pace, not too fast or too slow. A magician’s speech had to be hold special magic of its own, even when speaking in front of the alicorn princess. When she faced her humiliating defeat, her voice stayed the same, the unchanging confident tone. She was Trixie, after all. She had to be Trixie the Great and Powerful.
This time facing the sun princess, however, she added a little twist of her usual enigmatic manner, rendering her words into simple speech as one would speak without any adornments. Not much fancy rhetoric this time: most part of the incident she would reveal. Unpleasant memory it may be, to understand and to solve her problem it was not going to help to push it away to the dark corners of her mind. She should not be afraid. She would expose her shame if necessary, for she was the Great and Powerful Trixie.
“And regrettably Trixie had to run away, for at the moment she could not do much. Twilight’s spell was not very spectacular in itself. But Trixie knows-she has to know-that her use of skills and wits was truly admirable. She would make a fine magician.” Trixie quickly gulped down the liquid. Speaking of one’s past mistakes always made her mouth dry. “Trixie knew she left the scene in a hurry. She realized, after rushing through the forests, that she left her carriage behind. Later she returned to find it smashed into ruins. Nopony was there. Just the wanton scene of destruction, the sight of her trailer smashed beyond repair. What could Trixie do? She-she just sat there and cried.”
Trixie stopped. She took a short breath, while taking time to observe Princess’ Celestia’s reaction. She was listening, her face closer to Trixie, the usually tall stature of an alicorn reduced almost to a unicorn’s eye level. Trixie pondered what thoughts were going inside the sun princess’s mind. But the alicorn’s eye remained enigmatic to Trixie, its serene eyes reflecting only a mild degree of pity and care for her subjects.
“Were you angry?” When Princess Celestia finally spoke, her voice almost became a whisper, like a telepathy coming from the deeps of Trixie’s mind. “To Twilight Sparkle. Did you?” An inquiry it was, though the menacing tone was completely absent.
The sun princess was waiting for her response. And Trixie would answer. She would confess it anyway, for it was a very important matter to clarify the issue. What really mattered, what was Trixie’s problem? She had to know if she wanted to get back at the lavender unicorn, to show what Trixie was really capable of. The sacred idiom acquired its own voice inside Trixie’s mind. Mastery before manipulation, clarification before control.
“No.” Without hesitation Trixie spoke. She did not have to work out her magician’s mind to produce the reply. It was, among many illusions and tricks and lies she possessed, few-or many depending on the situation-truths she could say it without even thinking.
“No. Trixie knows she must, one day, prove that she is a better magician than the lavender unicorn.” She looked at the alicorn’s eye. What emotion did it display of the princess’s mood? Was she surprised?
“Oh? How so?” Princess Celestia looked at her. Still the princess’ face displayed the benevolence of the benign ruler. This time she needed not to fall back behind the curtains. No hiding behind her veils, displaying only her shadow. Now was the very moment-as the magician’s saying goes-to reveal one’s trick, to pull down the curtains, and to open the mystery box and see the inside of it.
“Trixie commands her emotion. She is her master. The one and the only.” Her look, calm but full of conviction, was not one of many masks she feigned to possess. It was the genuine look of a magician who would take her rightful position as the Great and Powerful magician. “She was angry at herself, to be more exact. For not being Great and Powerful enough.”
“I see.” Whatever she was thinking, Trixie thought she would keep it to her own. And like Trixie she seemed to be interested in more immediate problem. “So what happened when you got back? Your cottage was destroyed?”
“Precisely. Among the ruin, however, Trixie found a mirror.” She quickly glanced over the sun princess’ face. Maybe she could get some information out from the observation.
“A mirror?” The Princess’ look finally changed. It happened so sudden, and only stayed for a brief moment of time. A look of uncertainty, of realizing something she knew but was unknown to others finally revealed. Subtle one at best; yet Trixie saw it happen, her eyes catching whatever she could identify. Perhaps Princess Celestia indeed knew something. Perhaps. Or maybe not. The possibility was there, and that was enough for Trixie for the moment.
Depressing as it was, Trixie’s story did provide her some information to work on. Already her mind began to analyze the data bits by bits, trying to salvage any piece that she could utilize to identify her situation.
One small mistake to ruin it all; one tiny coincidental happening was all that needed to drag down Trixie from her show. No elaborate plan or cunning scheme was required. Sometimes it was the ignorant and the insignificant that broke the most powerful spells and illusions. She knew it well. Too well, having experienced many incidents where her carefully constructed plans failed in a way that she least expected. A magician expected the unexpected, expected that there were inherently some things she could not expect, hidden deep in the future course. Trixie’s mind worked as Trixie commanded it to be, handling calculations, producing possible results, picking out her thoughts, and eventually finding the thread of reality. She needed to see beyond the shadows of doubts which often stayed within her.
Trixie inside the mirror was her. But Trixie’s carefully constructed expectations, born out of her hours of research and analysis, could betray her best expectations. Infinite worlds-which one among myriad layers of falsehoods was real? Which Trixie was real? Was she the Trixie?
Trixie looked at Trixie and Princess Celestia. Back in her world there was still Trixie. Nothing was essentially wrong. Trixie was Trixie, belonging to the place she should be. Trixie was a magician, and always she would be, ever since she found her talent was magic itself. The crescent moon with the blue star wand testified her for that matter: Trixie was going to be a magician. And she loved the fact. She willingly embraced the path that was set out before her. It was as if her desire for manipulating things manifested into her very cutie mark.
The blue unicorn inside the mirror who was outside of the mirror in the beginning-she was Trixie, the Great and Powerful. She was her own self. There was no doubt. She was talking like her, acting like her, and from her manner, thinking like her. Trixie was Trixie.
But why were they different? Why was Trixie inside the mirror put into much worse fate then that of a street magician, forced to accept her humiliating defeat, eventually cast out from her show? Arrogance somepony would say. Could it be? She expanded her flow of thoughts on the issue. During the magician’s show, nopony should interrupt the illusions she was creating upon the stage. It was the sacred rule.
There were always those pesky neighsayers, who wished to debunk the pompous layer she put on which like her attire, wishing to strip the clothing of a magician, to forcefully reveal what was beneath the Great and Powerful Trixie. Some have wondered what she really was. And Trixie would show them alright; she would willingly accept the challenge from the foolhardy. A magician’s trick she mastered, a devious one it was. She could put into many uses, slipping from various restrictions that constituted the world as she knew of.
It was most unfortunate of Trixie to fall upon bad luck, though she did chuckle at the thought of her two trustworthy assistants being such ‘asses’ (as other Trixie said with strongly disapproving manner) in some another reality. Reality-yes, or, well, maybe, she told herself. Both Trixies were contemplating on the issue. Two heads, as ponies said, were better than one. But really, this was Trixie who was thinking right now. One head, actually. Clarification had to be made.
“Uh, Trixie finds the task intolerable.” She blinked her eye for a second. Her mind, as usual, stemmed a branch of thoughts even in that moment. If she closed her eyes and open again, maybe, maybe she would be back in her own world. No, not really. Her own voice reverberated clearly inside her head. Reality in Trixie’s opinion was always more magical than the magic itself. The whole world was filled with the most powerful spells she could hardly harness it to her will. A magician, she believed, merely twisted the flow of magical energies to do her bidding.
She could summon images to her own will, any fantastical creatures registered in her mind. Inanimate objects she pretended to give them life, controlled by her. But her spells could not make Trixie wake up in a foreign world that was so similar from her own world.
Trixie inside the mirror talked of the mirror, indicating the possibility of the particular object being magical in nature. She for herself was not altogether new with the idea. There were stories of mirrors projecting anything but one’s own reflection. Only in stories, that is. Of many mirrors she saw, the strangest one was just presenting severely distorted images, deliberately constructed to the very purpose of doing so. Her memory did not yield any information of magic-infused mirrors actually in existence. They were inside stories and myths, but not in her world, of reality as she knew it.
Not in her world. Her world. The idea was not entirely new. Her process of thoughts from time to time naturally led to exploring the possibilities of another world. As a magician she could create a world. A world created with magical energies, temporary in nature, consisted of fantasies and illusions. They were not real. In truth they were fakes, just a copy of the world she knew. It was based upon reality. They were hers actually. She commanded it. Inside she was the master.
A whole world, now that was a different story. She still kept the possibility of this world being her dream. She would wake up eventually-or was it? Even in the most magical dreams she did not saw her place replaced by another Trixie. At least till now there was only one Trixie regardless of the place she was. Two Trixies-dreams were not capable of doing that.
Different but same Trixie. Her story of how a magician fell in shame because of unexpected happenings. She pondered what would the princess say to the other Trixie. Perhaps she would know the answer to this extraordinary happening? She decided to wait. The conversation between Trixie and Princess Celestia was not over yet. Trixie talked again, this time of the star bear. Trixie vanquished the giant star bear. But she also did not. Twilight did not too. She merely put Ursa Minor back to its nest. So who was the pony that actually vanquished the star-bear?
Few minutes have passed since the princess has asked of her of the lavender unicorn, subsequently asking of the mirror. Then the sun princess excused herself from Trixie to exercise her royal duties-which was actually partaking in the scene from the other side of the hall.
“We shall continue to discuss this matter. However, I consider for the time being it would be best for you to be Trixie as the hero of the Equestria. It would be quite strange for her not to join the celebration honored in her name.” That was what Princess Celestia said to Trixie.
Of course the princess could not appear overtly suspicious on the Grand Celebration Day by talking only to her for an extended time period; and Trixie herself too, for she was essentially the hero who deserved all the honor and fame. Trixie had to play her role in this show she was on.
This was not a dream-that was one fact Trixie deduced from her musing over the situation. It was like a dream; she ‘woke up’ from her ‘sleep’ and found herself inside the mirror-world. She still left a faint possibility that this was indeed a dream, but it was unlike any dreams she had. Her memory clearly attested for the fact.
Even if she was really dreaming, there seemed no way for Trixie to get out. It was like another reality. There was Trixie, there was Twilight Sparkle and her friends. Everything Trixie knew was here, inverted in a strange way, but still recognizable to her.
She was now the only one left in the table. She stood up. From her table she moved, stepping on to the ‘stage’, a place where all the ponies have gathered after the main feast was over. This part of the hall was cleared for this very night; there were tables, but they were meant for light snacks and drinks, more suitable for light conversation rather than a full meal. The crowd of ponies Trixie saw earlier seemed to be here. There were also the bearers, her ‘friends’; she saw Pinkie Pie waving her hoof at her from the distance, of which she responded with a fake smile that was real enough. At least the pink one did not dare to challenge the Great and Powerful Trixie, and she could at least show some degree of appreciation for that.
“Good to see you finally deciding to come here, master.” The thick accent she quickly learned to belong to her two ‘assistants’. It was Snips this time. For some unknown reason he had a mustache. A very odd one, Trixie thought, but she quickly dismissed it as one of her lesser concerns. “Perhaps there is some trouble in your mind? If I may voice my own thoughts, Snails and I were not able to find you for when the main feast was over.”
“Trixie just took an audience with the princess; that is all. Nothing to worry about.” If Trixie was indeed Trixie, that is. But she had to hide it-her magician’s instinct told her that talking to Princess Celestia was enough.
“If such is the case, then I am glad. I will now withdraw until the master needs of my service.” Trixie wondered whether this was the result of the magic of the mirror-the two unicorns which brought her ruins were the ones Trixie found to be strangest. The lavender pony was not much different from what Trixie knew of her: skilled in magic, representing the element of magic, for instance. The neighsayers too, the only difference they had from their counterparts was the fact that they were not overly hostile to the Great and Powerful Trixie. But those two, Trixie thought they were quite out of place even in this world inside the mirror.
This was just not the usual world she was in. Everything was familiar, yet so new, inverted in a strange way that she could only expect that it was completely unexpected. Her wits and quick reflexes till now allowed her to play the show. There were few moments where she was on the verge of slipping her true self. Inside the mirror there were certain changes; even normal ones did not exactly copy of the object in front of them. Trixie inside the mirror, even without magical energies, were adjusted to a slight degree.
But there was just so little information, so many questions unresolved for Trixie. Even the mind of the Great and Powerful magician could not keep up under the massive pressure it was under. Trixie figured it was best to be Trixie of this world.
She looked around the hall, wondering if Twilight and her friends would come back. The sun princess knew who she really was now. But Trixie was Trixie, as it had always been. The world inside the mirror she could recognize it with ease. It did not take long for her to talk in her natural tone even in the presence of the lavender unicorn and the neighsayers.
The scene was the height of the afterparty. There was the sound of music and loud cheering from the other side of the hall. Very few ponies were sitting on their table. A thought occurred to Trixie whether others would think strange of her to remain in her seat talking with Princess Celestia. Among the heat of the situation small things went unnoticed. She wondered what time was it now. The sky’s color seen from the window near the ceiling was still semi-dark. The real night was yet to come.
And she would have to be Trixie. She put up her grin and took a step. One, two three. She was now Trixie the Great and Powerful, back to her old self, but feigning her new identity. She was Trixie.
“Creatures of Everfree Forest are best not to be messed with. In the end, it was a good thing for Snips and Snails-and for everypony else and for the sake of Ponyville-to stumble upon the lesser of the star-bear family. And my student, Twilight Sparkle, as always, never fails to surprise me with her abilities.” She stood up and turned her head towards the gate, as if looking for somepony. Trixie soon followed her gaze, wondering what could have prompted the alicorn princess’ action. “So that is the end? Is it? Looking at the mirror to find yourself, and waking up to be Trixie in Canterlot Palace?”
Back with the conversation, back at the table. Time seemed to flow in a non-sequential way, Trixie’s mind registering its presence in bits and pieces. The world she was in, to her it changed in scenes rather than one gigantic continuum. She was talked with the ponies at the hall. She talked with the bearers-she had to compliment her on holding so well, looking so natural. Back to her problems, breaking away from all the illusions-or realities-she were immersed with.
“Yes.” Trixie was fast to reply, her thoughts once again focused on more immediate issues.
“Which in turn, becomes a starting point for the Trixie’s story as we know it.”
“We?” It was a second. Or maybe shorter than a second, a moment that vanishes whenever one thinks about it. Her mind, her magician’s mind, was working vigilantly to detect any implications of the princess’ speech. The time seemed to stretch into an infinite rubber band, forever stretching and never making a snap. But then the snap happened after billions of imaginary non-existent time scales have passed as the sun princess spoke.
“We all have heard Trixie’s deeds, of her role among the bearers. Naturally you heard the gist of it from my sister. But the full tale, I believe it is best to hear from the very witnesses of her show.” She turned her face towards the door. Trixie followed her gaze-and found the lavender unicorn just entering the hall, surrounded by the neighsayers of whom Trixie was quite familiar with. “Some were lucky enough to see what she actually did. Some saw how Great and Powerful Trixie could be-as she always said.”
The princess’ uttering of the title came like a piercing strike to her; but she knew what she had to do. To make sense of the situation, to fully know who really was Trixie. “The bearers.”
“Yes.” The implications Trixie did not miss.
“So she will have to tell them her story again.”
Princess Celestia nodded. And then she smiled. It was a strangely comforting sight, easing her a bit. But at the same time her mind wondered whether the alicorn princess back in her world outside the mirror would be like her. Inside the mirror, Trixie was a magician. Outside, she was also one. Trixie was Trixie, she equaled herself. But things were really different. The simple equation was really deceptive and cunning. Like the very magic she put into use.
To cast away her cloak, to be Trixie as she really was, could she really do that? Trixie asked herself. This time the dissenting voice inside her head did not respond. She would have to find it out for herself. Knowing oneself was, even for a magician-or perhaps because she was a magician, was a very demanding task. She gulped. She cleared her throat. She had to be ready, to be calm as she usually was high above the stage when she would meet the lavender unicorn and the neighsayers.
“Twilight and her friends will surely come back. We shall wait them here.”
Trixie slowly savored the taste of the rose tea. "As you wish, your highness."