His Book of Gears

by Tower of 0

Market History

Justin had more or less been tossing and turning most of the night, probably due to him laying on the hardwood floor. Not like he'd fit on the bed, just that he gave it up for Twilight despite her insisting about it. He soon sat up and looked to the wall clock. 12:55 Justin groaned a bit at it going to be a long night.

Morning had finally hit, some warm sunlight peering into the window, hitting Twilight. She softly shifted under the covers and stretched out. Her eyes scanned the room only to find Justin slumped over the desk on the wall. The candle was just barely keeping life and a quill intertwined in his fingers. She slipped out of the bed and walked over to the desk, seeing what he had been doing.

It looked like Justin had been writing out letters. Twilight inspected the papers more closely, and they were pages of notes. Diagrams accompanied the several pages of notes. She stopped being nosey beyond what she saw and blew out the candle. Justin snorted and his body jumped a little. Smacking his lips as he raised his head.

He looked over to his side to be greeted with Twilight's face. "Oh hey, Princess Sparkle Butt."

"Good morning to you also, jackass." Twilight retorted back. "Did you sleep well?"

"Hardly." Justin then yawned out, sitting back in the chair. "Picking up on human language, are we?"

"Only from the best." She smirks at him and he does the same.

"Guess me appearing once a month is doing some rubbing off." The human just ruffled his hair some then stood to attention.

"You can say the same about Fudge."

Justin just smirked again and started to clean up the papers. Twilight just looked at his face; he was tired and looked like he had a rough night. She patted the shoulder and nudged him. It wasn't something she did herself normally, but something was telling her he needed it. Once the duo got everything gathered up, they headed out. Their eyes were met with a sight they never seen before: A busy street in Ponyville.

Ponyville was a good sized town from where they were, but the streets were never this busy before. Stallions and Mares bustled throughout the way, headed in all directions. Twilight and Justin were fortunate enough to squeeze in. Then they started to weave their way to where they thought the market might be.

Justin had been looking over the crowds, having this eerie feeling as he took notice of something rather odd. The Ponyville he was used to was abundant with diversity of all three types. He noticed a distinct lack of unicorns here. Something didn't sit right and he'd have to find out, after they got that book back first. Not before long, the market was reached, and to their luck, a wide and open area to walk around in.

"We should divide and look for the urchin." Justin said to Twilight as he was about to walk into the crowd.

Twilight looked at him and tugged on his shirt. "Urchin?"

"That foal who stole our book. Just look for any of them that has the book, no doubt they'd be trying to sell it for some quick bits."

Twilight nodded and split away from the human. Both of them were getting a few odd looks here and there. Nothing new for the human, and sometimes Twilight. Justin stopped to take a look at one of the stalls. The stall was a spice stall and the owner was looking at the human with a tilted head. Justin paid no minds as it looked at some of the spices.

"Hey, buddy." The trader called out quietly.

Justin looked up at him.

"What are ya?"

Justin smirked a little at the pony and chuckled. "What? Ain't you ever seen a hairless Minotaur before?"

The trader looked baffled for a bit but didn't get the chance to say anything else. Justin had walked away from the stall and somehow disappeared into the crowd. The human was looking around, having this strange feeling of being stared at by... something. His eyes continued to scan across the crowds. Looking at each head and each pair of eyes. That was until he locked eyes with it. A masked unicorn, only a few real feet away from him, stared right back.

The unicorn looked off to the side and Justin let his gaze follow the direction the hoof was pointing and saw it. A search that would've taken hours now only a few minutes with the help of this one mysterious figure. He turned back to thank the unicorn only to find Twilight standing there instead, looking at him, worried.

"Did you see that?" He asked, only for her to shake her head.

"Is there something wrong with you?" She asked, steeping a bit closer to the human. "You just had this really strange stare I saw from across the crowd."

Justin shrugged his shoulders and knelt down to her level. "I.. I don't know Twilie. Since waking back up again, I've been feeling this anger I can't explain. Like that I just want to destroy."

Twilight just looked at him, lifting her forelegs and placed her hooves on his shoulders. "Justin, what all do you remember from last night?"

"Just losing the book and waking up this morning."

Twilight brought him close and hugged him. "If there's anything you need to talk about, you always have a friend in me."

Justin gave her a weak smile, hugging the alicorn tight, "Thanks Twi, you being here with me means a lot."

The two departed from the hug, smiling at eachother. Justin had a sudden moment of realization as his eyes looked beyond Twilight. Seeing that the ponies behind her were still, frozen time like they were on ice. Twilight noticed the same behind Justin, her eyes a bit wide as they both scan the crowd. A small ding being heard and visible light bulb appearing over the human's head, leaving Twilight to pass through the crowd.

Twilight stayed silent, only watching Justin as he got the book and headed back. "Justin." The only word she could manage to speak.

"I know..." Justin replied with a sigh, the world around them moving again. "I have something and I want to get to the bottom of it."

"Well... " Twilight glanced at the book, "I am rather curious about this version of Equestria, its a marvel really."

"Yeah, going from magic to technology and steam. It's... rather interesting." Justin said back to her.

"Well, we are in Ponyville still-"

Both finished in unison, "So the library must be in the same place!"

The two left the marketplace in such a flurry, the ponies just looked at them in judgement. They were there in only minutes, somewhat due to Twilight attaching herself to Justin's shoulders, feet leaving the ground. The human felt like a kid, more or less, having to see this old sight anew: the perspective of a pegasus.

After landing in front of a rather familiar sight, the sign still read the same. Golden Oaks itself had a bit of a change inside however. Fine portraits hung from the walls, each of the ponies that were subjects of the paintings are finely dressed and bore neutral expressions. Furniture in the room adorned brass or copper trim and cushions with vibrant colors and had patterns of floral or industrial nature.

Twilight was looking up at the ceiling, "Celestia's sun isn't up anymore."

"Celestia ain't been around for a while, kid." An old earth mare spoke up as she rounded to the front desk. "Neither has any royalty been around Equestria for centuries."

Twilight took a double take on the mare, noting some odd features on her. Justin soon stood next to the alicorn, a finger pointed at the mare. Even thought her mane was faded, there was a distinct dark navy blue with a pink stripe down the middle, her coat a light lavender and the same star cutie mark on her flank.

"Don't you know its impolite to point?" The mare sneered at Justin.

Justin brought his hand down and leaning over toward Twilight's ears, "Hey, Twi, I think that's you." He whispered to her.

"I see that." Twilight quietly responded before coughing to speak up. "We're terribly

sorry to bother you miss-"

"Sparkle," the mare interrupted, "You and your friend there aren't interrupting anything, nopony comes in here anymore."

"Right..." Twilight coughed a bit in embarrassment, "..well, we were wondering if you may have am Equestrian history book we can take a look at."

Miss Sparkle's eyes lit up some but then lost it when she looked at Justin and pointed a hoof at him. "Your friend's nose is bleeding.'

"Wha?" Justin brought two fingers up to his nose to touch his upper lip, pulling them away in a daze to see the touch of red on his tips. "Oh, thanks."

The mare just nodded then her head disappeared behind the desk, Soon appearing again and dropping a dusty book on top of the surface. Both of them stepped up to the counter and started skimming through the pages. Most of the history was the same, that was until they discovered a different section labeled "The Fall of the Spirit of Chaos"

When the Spirit of Chaos know as Discord first rose, so did a being in a cloak to challenge him. At first, Discord humored the being, letting him be challenged to a game. The being, however, possessed otherworldly knowledge and championed over the spirit, leaving Discord to begrudgingly hand over his powers of Chaos to the cloaked figure. The figure wielded his new found abilities with an honor Discord had not, and assisted the royal sisters in ushering a new era of peace for all of Equestria.
Pg. 95

Peace in Equestria was then brought to an abrupt end when the cloaked figure had a change of heart. War soon broke out between the Royal Canterlot Guard and the Cloaked Figure. The figured was never touched by any unicorn magic, only to have it absorbed. The Figure waged a mighty battle against the sisters until they fled, leaving Equestria for good.

Cloudsdale was the next to challnge the Cloaked Figure, only to have their entire city brought down. In one show of great magic, the figure pulled the great metropolis out of the sky. It's factories and buildings crashing to the ground around the Figure. In the years that followed in the city's fall was of great technological advancement.
Pg. 142

Earth ponies soon found value in steam power, thanks to a pair of Unicorn twins. Equestria flourished once more as a great power and center of technological advancement, nether having to rely on magic nor weather crew once again. Cityscapes soon changed to house factories of great size, airships to transport high value goods and high class ponies. Trains saw great improvement, not having to rely on teams of earth stallions to pull them.

Justin looked up at the mare. "Do you know where this 'Cloaked Figure' might be?"

"Noone's seen that man for years, some say he's disappeared, others claim to see him around the Cloudsdale ruins. Depending on who ya ask, the answer varies." The mare replied.

"Well!" Twilight shot up a hoof to stuff the human's mouth before he could say something. "I guess we should be getting out your mane since you're rather busy!"

The human was soon ushered out of the library quicker than he had seen Twilight move.

His head poked back in through the door. "What's your name again?"

"Twilight Sparkle" The mare replied, getting a good look at the man, "You know, you look just like him."

"Like who?"