Dame Cheerilee, Captain of Princess Gaia's Royal Guard
Hello! It's been a long time since you interviewed me, hasn't it? You'll be leaving Ponyville for your own country soon? I understand, I hope you've had a wonderful time with all of us and our different stories.
You won't believe what happened! Well, maybe you will, given that we're right in front of you.
Miss Fluttershy reawakened as Princess Gaia! Yes, we already know, it's impossible for us to not know. She might have taken back her essence from Spike and the others, but she never took it from us, her faithful, and as long as it remains with us, there exists a bond between us and Miss Fluttershy that cannot be broken.
= Butter-Fly - Digimon (English Cover by Sapphire) =
Me, Zecora, and Cupcake... yes, I sensed them too, through Her. Our contracts reawakened, our barding reformed along with our platinum butterfly necklaces and the wondrous butterfly wings Her Kindnesty gave us. Well, Zecora had turned into a foal during the time of Nightmare Whisper, but her gift stayed with her.
We even got back the power of those exploding glass daggers with the flashing red sphere as the pommel.
I'll admit, as soon as I changed I shouted out, "I AM CAPTAIN OF PRINCESS GAIA'S KNIGHTS!" Heheh, let a mare have a little fun, won't you? And I could sense it, my Princess was in the thick of battle. "Don't waste your energy, we can fight them," I proclaimed, even though she probably couldn't hear me.
I'll admit, more than a few ponies were freaked out at the sight of me. I heard some of them wonder aloud if Nightmare Whisper was back, but I didn't let any of that weaken my heart.
I spread my trembling wings, raced into the sky and FLEW... and it truly felt like I'd woken from a dream! I indulged in some corkscrews, delighted in how the air rushed around my wings and fur. Pretty good for only my second time flying in my life! Except that the first time, I'd only used this power to fight Rarity, now I'd fight with my friends.
I found our soon-to-be Royal Tutor Zecora outside Coffe Swirl's shop.
"Tell Zipzee she's the best!" shouted Sweet Berry next to Coffee Swirl. I wish that mare would just kiss him already.
"You have been a wonderful host,
but I go to fight for my goddess and that's no idle boast," Zecora said.
Cupcake arrived soon after, flying over from Ponyville's hospital. Her magical wings were the most majestic and beautiful I'd ever seen that didn't belong to an Alicorn.
"Be warned, Cupcake of Cloudsdale. Even with the Elder Wings, there is no promise you will accomplish anything great in battle."
"That's fine, as long as I have a crack at the chimera freak someday, that's enough. I NEED IT to move on, whether I win or not! I can't find my freedom in a support role."
"It won't help you, little pony. We've had battles we thought would free us of our past sufferings. But they didn't change our burden at all. You won't find it there."
"Is this one of those 'freedom is found within' lessons?"
"It is certainly not found within our enemies."
I also had a bad feeling that the Cutie Mark Crusaders were involved in this mad affair. Those foals always seemed to find their way into trouble, but a serious life or death battle against Discord? Not while I was around! My teammates and I would protect and heal. This was Princess Gaia answering my prayers!
I knew Fluttershy; she would NEVER let us just protect her, she'd want us to protect the foals and heal her friends. What kind of follower would I be if I didn't even know my own goddess?
We could sense where our goddess was, she was a Romare Candle shining in the darkness. We'd have flown like mad to the statue garden. Not from obligation, and certainly not from brainwashing, she was our Princess, and we would absolutely protect her.
But before we could leave Ponyville's airspace, we ran into an impassable roadblock. Queen Tiamat herself wouldn't have stopped us, but one little white rabbit on a roof could, precisely tossing three carrots like ninja daggers to bonk each of us precisely on the forehead.
Angel. Yes, Angel, in his own special way, told us that there were already so many fighting the enemy that anypony more and it might become impossible for Gaia and her comrades to fight as a coordinated herd without everypony getting in each other's way.
Our duty would be to protect Ponyville and New Friendship Gardens as long as we were able. This was what our goddess asked of us.
Insert By Princess Luna
"We know how it is, Gaia, holding our loyal guards back from foes who are far too mighty for them. ‘Tis always painful."
"I really wish you'd call me Fluttershy."
"And Cadenza prefers Cadence. Thou art going to have to deal with it."
"Not for long," Gaia said, and she was right, we could sense it already. Her puppet show had cost her meager reserves dearly, and all of Bon Bon's candies were going to the gifted unicorns to sustain the seal on Discord's power. Even if Princess Gaia's knights came to help lessen the burden, they'd only last so long before they became liabilities who needed to be protected, and we already had little Silver Spoon to worry about.
You have no idea how much I wanted to ignore Angel and have all three of us rush to the Statue Gardens ANYWAY to help, whether we crowded things or not! We could pretend we never heard what Angel told us. After all, we weren't formally part of Equestria's Guard, we weren't legally bound to obey orders.
"It's not fair for you to be brushed aside, is it? I'll give you an enemy to fight."
"... D-Diamond Tiara?" I gasped. Even after a year of absence, I recognized her voice coming from the filly-sized mass of darkness. It floated before us, in the shape of a small Alicorn with glowing white eyes. "Is... that you?"
"No, merely one of her shadows. The real me is busy right now. You wanted to fight evil in Princess Gaia's name? Here I am. Take aim."
"I didn't sign up to fight a little girl!" Cupcake shouted, then did a double-take at me. "Wait, you know her?"
"She's one of my students." I answered.
"Wielding Gaia's power gave me cause to rejoice,
But fighting a filly would not be my choice."
Angel pulled back a sharpened carrot on a rabbit sized bow, but I stopped him from firing with a wing. Zecora, Cupcake, and I nodded to each other, and flew in formation to confront the shadow directly.
"Diamond Tiara... the year you were away, you became a Princess?! Your parents will be so proud of you! But first we're going to have a long talk about you running away like that," I said in my best 'the teacher is your friend' voice.
"... I became a monster. The Diamond Tiara you hoped would become somepony better no longer exists. I helped destroy the world."
Cupcake paused a moment, eyes shifting from side to side. "No offense, dear, but the world sure looks fine to me."
"It got better."
"I don't believe you," I said.
"That it got better?"
"That you destroyed it."
"Why would I lie about that?"
"Because," I said, "even at this distance, even through a reflection of you, I can tell you're hurting."
"And you couldn't tell I was hurting before?" Her cold voice for a moment took on a darker tone, and her hooves shook.
"... I'm sorry I didn't try to help you more, Diamond Tiara! But you tried so hard to push everypony else away from you. You didn't want to be helped! I'm sorry I couldn't think of SOMETHING!"
"Cheerilee, I did nothing but make you miserable. Remember how much of a brat I was? Don't you want to give me a good spanking for it?"
"Yes, I remember, and I forgive you."
"You forgive me! This again?" My eyes narrowed as the shadow rolled hers.
"Yes, this again, little filly! Now listen to your teacher! If we don't forgive you, how can we expect you to learn to forgive others?"
"There is no mockery in her ruth,
Dear Cheerilee speaks the truth."
"Enough. I'm going to cause a lot of pain here in Ponyville unless you can destroy this shadow. Be the heroes you want to be and stop me." She... she spoke without any feeling. I couldn't tell if she was lying or not.
"No, Diamond Tiara! Even if this is just an extension of you, I know enough about basic magic to know you'll feel everything that this you feels. No. You like to think you're the dark queen of the world, but at heart, you're just a little girl."
"But then you'd just have to stand aside as I fought your teammates? At least you won't feel sorry to see me gone after this next part."
Her shadow moved so fast it left a trail of afterimages. I turned, but it was already behind me.
Then she whispered in my ear, so soft only I could hear it; a set of cold hard facts that I couldn't deny. My heart stopped as if stabbed by an ice dagger. My entire body went limp, I felt the air flap around me as the sky got further away. I landed suddenly, but unharmed on one of Ponyville's antiquated straw roofs. I saw and heard, but I couldn't bring myself to move. The horrible truth she'd whispered...
Zecora flew besides me, keeping me safe. Angel was drawing his bow again.
"Look up in the sky!"
"What is that thing?"
"I dunno but it's creepy-looking!"
"I couldn't hear what it and Cheerilee were talking about!"
"I think it said something about giving pain to Ponyville!"
They couldn't tell this was the heir to the Rich estate, good. Cupcake faced Diamond Tiara's shadow alone.
"You wanted to fight a foul evil and unleash your fury at a wasted year of your life? I am your evil."
I began to black out, it would only be a few minutes before I woke up. Cupcake and Angel will have driven off Diamond Tiara's shadow by then. And Princess Gaia's Guard would be known as protectors against evil instead of pawns of a mad pony.
Her words echoed in my mind even as the knowledge faded as I lost consciousness.
Big Mac is destined to choose another mare, not you.
= Your Best Nightmare - Undertale =
(Half-Light Dawn's Notes: Is it really-
(Ha.) (Hahahah!) (EHEHEH!) (BWAHAHAH!) (Heheheheh!!!)
(HO-HO-HO-HO-HO!) (Nyanyanyanya!) (Blblblblblb!) (Ha. HA!) (HA-HA-HA!)
(Half-Light Noon's Notes: Mother of crud, this isn't good! Everypony-)
(SHUT UP! SHUT YER PIE HOLE! HA!) (HAHAH! I COULD GO FOR SOME PIE!) (Or some FUN!) (Don't ever say that word again!) (Sad! Sad! Sad! Sad! Joy!)
(Banana!) (Revenge!) (AHAHAHAHA!) (HEH-HEH-HEH!) (NE-ENE-NE-NE-NE-NE!)
(Half-Light Dusk's Notes: Diamond Tiara, you have gone beyond insane, you can't have-)
(BOR-RING!) (Ehahahaha! Ehahahahah!) (HAHA!) (Show time!) (Oh! Um. Hi? Nice to meet you.)
(AT LAST!) (I can't believe our debut got delayed for so long!) (It's because of that stupid wedding!) (And because the idiot couldn't figure out how for the foals to fight each other and the adults to fight Master Discord at the same time or some nonsense he couldn't even figure out, moron.) (Nobody cares!!!)
(Yeahyeahyeah-yeeeeeeah-yeah!) (Let me at 'er!) (I wanna see the look on her face first!) (I want her to cry and beg!) (I want her to go into a speech and break her jaw!)
(Let's force-feed her cupcakes until she's a ball of lard!) (And then play soccer with her!) (Equestrian or Isle of Pony?) (Let's do both!) (Joy! Joy! JOY!)
(Sound off, sisters!) (But aren't some of us parents too?) (Who says we can't be both!) (That works for me too!) (Forty-five!)
(HAHAHAH! FORTY-SEVEN!) (I'm Forty-Eight, actually I'm negative six months!) (We all are! Forty-Nine!) (And that leaves Number Fiiiiiifty!!!!)
(Interview's Notes (Earth Pony): Stop, please stop, you don't want to-)
Oh shut up!
I'm the Second Born, I'm the oldest present, so I guess I'll speak for my herd!
The look on 0's face, and those of all her heartless and selfish friends, it was priceless!
I bet none of them were expecting a wall of forty-nine us grinning back at them, all of us wearing one of our savior Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s feathers.
What? You still haven't figure out what that 'jumble' says? You really are idiots. OH, DON'T GIVE US THAT LOOK! We know you got that reference! Oh wait, the bigger idiot messed it up, he's always been the biggest idiot, no wonder you weren't getting it before. It's Nightmare !$*(!@(!( not Nightmare !$*(!@(! Now figure that out.
OH, WHATEVER! Hey, I told you I'd see you all again, REMEMBER?
~See You Again, Pinkie Promise, cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Wait a minute! That can't be! You guys were rescued by-)
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Notes: Did you idiots really think
Puzzlemint would be scared of Alicorn Pinkie Pie?)
As one, the shadows all looked one in the same direction at once, gasped, and fled as fast as shadows did before a light source. Puzzlemint looked up from the hole she was in, gasped, and covered her head, not moving an inch, her eyes closed.
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Notes: I recruited them from the beginning. We needed an army.)
There was a battle still goin' on at the base of the tower, but Ah was so high up Ah couldn't tell a zebra from a buffalo. The saw Most Ah could make out was a buncha little pink dots zipping everywhere, but Ah couldn't tell what they were. From up here, Ah saw the dirty pink sky all up-close and personal.
What do you think those pink blurs were that fought the changeling and bat-pony armies and kept them busy all that time, THE TOOTH BREEZIE?!
We were called in after the changelings and bat ponies finished off the Random Monster Encounter army, and Nightmare !$*(!@(!( needed more time to finish her business with her playmates alone. She didn't want any armies getting in the tower.
Master Discord told us we were supposed to be a 'secret weapon' or something. Nightmare !$*(!@(!( said he was worried us facing Mini-Rainbow Crash, Mini-Applesnack, and Mini-Blarity and Button Smash alone would make us want to give up.
The 49 of us together took down that Hercules Beetle changeling.
The pinkie Pegahorn asked calmly and casually, "Hello little ponies, . . . would you like a job? I need some messengers."
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Notes: Did you think that lowercase 'pinkie' was a typo?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Noon): I... I did... )
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Notes: You're like Rainbow Dash... an idiot all around.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Dusk): Don't you dare talk about my family, little Nightfilly.)
EXCUSE ME! THIS IS MY HERD'S MOMENT! We got delayed and delayed, and now it's finally time for OUR show! THIS WAS PLANNED FROM THE FREAKIN' BEGINNING! BUT THAT STUPID CYCLOPS-OCTOPUS WANTED ALL THE
FUN JOY WITH THAT NAG FOR HIMSELF! HE RUINED EVERYTHING!... We got delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, and delayed, AND DELAYED!!!!
But it's okay now. Because now it's our turn! AND IT'S ABOUT TIME! YOU PROMISED!
(Discord's Notes: My goodness, you girls are feisty. I only promised you a recognized existence outside of Mother's belly as my yokai. Revenge was only an 'if the opportunity presents itself' sort of thing. Speaking of which... don't you think maybe, after all, perhaps there's really no need for-)
Not happening. This is the only way we can get the closure we want.
(Discord's Notes: Now that I actually THINK about it, my little filly and I can introduce you to some versions of her who actually deserve-)
Why go to whole other universes for a copy of what's right in front of us!?
(Discord's Notes: Well! I... hope that Ratatoskr was a good host! How is my little squirrel doing? He's had nothing to do but dust the left-triangles and feed the green Smooze for a few thousand years, you know.)
(Number #50's notes (we call her Dreamy Pie): Oh yeah, he was really fun!)
20, 32, and 45 take out cameras and take snapshots of the looks on the jerks' faces! We're gonna be treasuring those! They look ready to go crazy! They don't get AT ALL what's going on! Well, most of them don't!
We see Mommy's eyes get larger and larger. She knows, oooh, she knows! That Nag still doesn't have a clue.
A baby half pony/half chaos spirit appeared on the back of Super-Buttershy. Oh right, this was the real form of the mean brat who said all those awful things to her Daddy.
"THIS IS YOUR TRUMP CARD, YOU BASTARD? A BUNCHA CHEAP COPIES OF YOUR STALKER CRUSH?! You didn't even do that good a job! I mean, who could mistake these things for the real Pink?! Did they pick all different mane styles themselves, or did you just play ‘hairdresser' with your ‘dollies,' sicko?"
"Shut up! You should feel honored to be the filly of such a generous and honorable spirit!" Shouted #49 (We call her Sugar Pie).
"Are you a sockpuppet or are you THAT brainwashed!?"
"Maybe you're the one who's brainwashed!"
"Girls, please stop," Super-Buttershy said super nice like.
"Okay," said Sugar Pie and Mini-Buttershy together. Mini-Buttershy vanished.
"Calm down, Fluttercruel," That Nag said, "These things probably aren't even alive. They're just constructs like the puppets from before."
How dare she. How DARE she!
"YOU GAVE THE LIVES OF PARASPRITES MORE RESPECT THAN US!" I roared.
That wiped the smug look right off That Nag's face. "What? But..."
"We were executed for the crime of living, what kind of justice is that?!" #3 (Spice Pie) added with as much acid on her tongue as she could manage, I wish she could add more.
"Wha... no... how can... that isn't... this isn't... how can any of you even be here?!" 'Mother'/0 said with tears in her eyes. Now she feels sorry? Ooooh, hoooow noooble. "That stuff hasn't even happened!"
"Your Equestria is REALLY behind the times compared to ours."
"Wait a minute!" Barity stamped her hoof. "Are you saying you're Pinkie Pies from OTHER Equestrias?! Other universes!? That's science fiction nonsense!"
"Yeah, I'm gonna have to agree with Rarity on this one!" Rainbow Crash added. "That's comic book stuff!"
Princess Sunlestia began the 'innocent whistling' routine. Princess Bluena coughed.
Mini-Applesnack trotted past the other Mini-ponies and tried to get past the regular sized ponies, but regular sized Applesnack wouldn't let her.
"Ah'm sorry... Ah couldn't fix anythin' outside my world... Ah'd have helped ya if Ah could've."
"Apple Bloom, what are you even talking about?" The dragon asked, tilting his head.
"She's apologizin' fer stuff that ain't her fault!" snapped regular-size Applesnack. "She does that sometimes! Ah can see the truth of ya. Ya ain't quite normal, even by Pinkie Pie standards, but Ah can tell yer no puppets or golems!"
"Trixie is very very confused right now!"
"Discord! How did you even do this?! How COULD you do this?!" Bluena shouted.
"Please, hold your applause until the end! With my little Diamond's talent for not being noticed, and my charming personality, it wasn't impossible to sneak into Mother's stomach and recruit some used and tossed ponies that were gathering dust on the discard pile!"
"Diamond, how can you bring others into this?" asked her Mini-Pony with glasses.
"We're in this of our own free will!" said #40 (Rice Pie).
"How sure about that are you?" asked Mini-Rainbow Crash.
"Diamond Tiara and Discord are both very good at getting others to do what they want and have them think it's their own idea," added in Mini-Barity.
#35 (Pinky Pie) broke from the group, letting the ponies see her special face, the one from the age of Dreams. Some reared back from the sight of her, others' eyes widened in shock. "Are you going to kill us for being different again?" she asked That Nag, not angry, poor girl, just scared. We gave 'er a hug. We didn't expect her to fight, we just wanted her here to get some closure.
"I'VE NEVER KILLED ANYPONY!!!" The Nag lies at the top of her lungs in her copy of the Royal Banterlot Voice.
#44 (Square Pie) stepped in front of Pinky Pie and waved her forelegs in the air. "ENOUGH with the subtlety horseapples!" Square Pie pointed at us. "We're from the Equestria which all Equestrias are copies of! You!" She pointed at Mother. "Wanted to be everywhere at once... you made us! But we were 'too much trouble.'" She air-quoted with her hooves, then pointed at That Nag. "So YOU banished us to nowhere! But Nightmare !$*(!@(!( and Master Discord saved us!"
The Brat snorted, "'Master,' huh? What are they, your harem?"
"What's a hair-rum?" Pinky Pie asked.
"You will never suggest that again young lady!" Master Discord sounded... I think the word is, indignant?
I told the Nag, "You could call us Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Knights! But you can just say goodnight!"
Like an equine tidal wave, we all hopped one after the other, dodging Barity's magic couch as it went down the line.
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): It's a chaise longue.)
Shut up. Twitch-Twitch-Twitch.
As a herd, we pull out sunglasses and put them on just as Super-Buttershy Glared at us, somehow able to look at all of us at once in spite of having only two eyes.
That Nag conjured up a storm cloud, and Rainbow Crash kicked it, making lightning go everywhere.
We danced and bopped around the spots the lightning would've struck us.
We turned the little nob on our sunglasses, flipping a reflective layer on them as Applesnack looked at us. Our rescuer made them from a mirror in our rescuer's dream world she melted down after she had us get it for her.
"That's... " That Nag wavered. That look on her face was sweeter than a million creamy candies. "That's not... how are... that isn't... you're just..."
"Pinkie Sense," 0/Mother said.
"Didn't ya hear what Ah just said, Twi?! These Pinkie Pies ain't dolls!"
"But I haven't done anything like what they're accusing me of! I WOULDN'T do anything like that!" the Nag lied.
Master Discord sighed, shaking his head sadly. "There's no limit to what one pony will do to another, if they don't believe that pony is even a real person."
Rainbow Crash didn't look so cocky now. "Twilight, we can take on 49 Pinkie Pies, right?"
Number 10 (Round Table) giggled. She was right behind Rainbow Crash, having snuck behind out of frame, poking her in the back with her hoof.
"HA-HA-HA!" Round Table pulled back out of frame and slipped back into frame on our side. "See!? You couldn't do a thing to stop us, even if we didn't have these!" She hefted a gleaming black spear. All of my sisters were pulling their spears out... from their hair, from behind their backs, even from ‘off camera.' "These spears can make it so a pony was never even born!"
"No..." whispers Blarity, horrified. Heh, that's funny. I thought they'd need more convincing.
"Y-You're bluffing!" Rainbow Crash gasped out. "If you really are from another Equestria, there's only one of, I mean, that kinda thing doesn't exist!"
"Ever bought some Wonderdolt junk, and only found out later that it was bootleg? Sometimes even a cheap knockoff will do as well as the original!"
I would have laughed aloud. Pointy sticks that could make a pony never-born? Absurd. One might as well have been afraid of Pinkie brandishing a squirt gun and calling it a death ray. I would have laughed... last year that is.
Princess Celestia herself once told myself and Rainbow of a weapon like this, and I very much doubt that she is in the habit of making up fairy tales! The weapon that caused Black Hearts and Hooves Day. One glance at the Princesses is enough to convince me that they are taking those black spears very seriously indeed. And when Princess Celestia looks back at me, I recall the reason why she summoned Rainbow Dash and I to that discussion, a short time after we healed Nightmare Whisper, and my blood runs cold.
She told us that we are different. That we had resolved to... to kill in defense of our friends and homeland, and that we might one day do so again...
I don't want to do that, darlings. Not to anyone, not even to Discord, however much he might deserve it, but a part of me can't help but wonder, now. How far would I go? Who would I try to make never-heard-from-again, if there was truly no other way? Discord? The clones, each one with the face of a dear friend? Diamond Tiara herself? No! I'll take that burden if I must but I am FAR from done exhausting my better options!
(Discord's Awesome Ideas: My little diamond, not that I'M concerned for ponies' well-being... but uh, aren't you concerned? About what those replica spears might do?)
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!('s Word: We agreed to give them those.)
(Discord's Radical Insights: Well, yes, but that was -BEFORE- I... ahem.)
(Nightmare !$*(!@(!( Word: Pfft. You worry too much.)
(Discord's Awesome Thought: ... There is something very wrong, my dear, when somepony is telling me that!)
(Pinkie Pie's Insert: So then I thought of mentioning how Discord offered for me to be his queen, which would technically make me their mom! Only not really, because I didn't actually say yes or no but I might be so they should listen to me anyway but... that wouldn't change what's happened to them.)
"We can't return to our Equestria ... so we'll have to settle for getting revenge on this Twilight Snapple instead!"
"It's... It's Twilight Sparkle."
"... Hurting somepony over the crime of resembling somepony else? Aren't you being just as bad?" Super-Buttershy asked.
"You shut up too!" I shouted, gripping my spear tighter.
The Brat popped out again. "Don't tell my mother to shut you-"
(Discord's Really Fun ...
(Quartz Pie's Rebuke: DON'T USE THAT WORD!)
(Discord's Slightly Apologetic Cool Notes: (SORRY! My goodness, things have gotten tense. I'm starting to think that maybe, it's just vaguely possible that I haven't entirely thought this part through. Well, not since before Bon Bon made me feel guilty! The girls are just a teensy bit overpowered and vengeance -crazed... I mean, who hasn't been at one time or another? Not my fault! Mostly not my fault? Half and half?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Do you take responsibility for ANYTHING?!)
"WAIT! STOP! TIME-OUT! I'M THE ONE YOU WANT!" Mother cried.
HUH?! Everypony, and I mean everypony just looked at her!
Mother was in tears, but her mane didn't go super flat. She stood on her hind hooves, and had her forelegs wide apart.
"Hit me as much as you want. I won't try to dodge or fight back or anything. If you need to hate somepony, please hate me! Just Pinkie Pie Promise you'll leave my friends alone. Twilight didn't know what she was doing. I made you. You're my responsibility."
"WHAT?!" Master Discord grabbed his own head. "You can't!... Because... You're an important part of my scheme!"
Completely startled, my sisters and I all erupted in debate.
"I say we go for it!"
"No, we can't!"
"There's nothing satisfying about doing it to her!"
"We can't hurt mother!"
"She let us die!"
"Maybe this was a mistake?"
"I say do both!"
All of Mother's friends formed a protective circle around her. Like that could stop us.
"Pinkie Pie, have ya flipped yer lid again?!" Applesnack snapped.
"It was my selfish choices that brought them into the world, and then those same selfish choices that took them out of it for no fault of their own. This is the only way they can find freedom."
"That was a DIFFERENT Pinkie Pie! Not you!"
"Pinkie Pie.... no," That Nag said, her ears drooping.
"But if things hadn't changed, if we had stayed connected to the Heart World, I would have made those same selfish choices! I can't-"
Applesnack put her hoof down. "BUT YA DIDN'T MAKE 'EM! Just like Ah refused to run away after all Ah got was third and second places in the Canterlot Rodeo! Ah made mah OWN choices! And so did ya!"
"You're crazy if you think I'm letting you do this!" Rainbow Crash shouted.
"Sister... if those are really replicas of that weapon..." Princess Bluena whispered to Princess Sunlestia. "And they have all of Lady Pinkamena Diane's abilities, then mercy can't be afforded."
"... All the more reason that if we can avoid this fight, we must."
"If you need somepony to be angry at why not just be angry at him!" Rainbow Crash pointed at Master Discord.
My sisters all start talking at once.
"We'll be loyal and true!"
I had to blow a whistle just to get a word in edgewise. "Why would we turn on the one who freed us from our eternal imprisonment of icy nothingness?" I suggested.
Crash looks flustered. "Um... because Discord is super evil? You've GOTTA know he's just using you. Yep, he'll probably betray you any minute now! That's what always happens in Daring Do!"
"Only when Daring faces a villain who's an equine and she can't in good consciousness put down, and so the ancient evil the villain unleashes does it for her," That Nag lectured, standing on a soapbox that wasn't there before.
"Guess I don't count as equine then," said our Rescuer Princess, a dark aura flaring around her for a second. "Good."
"Hey!" Mini-Blarity said, "Which one of you is the real Pinkie Pie?"
"Um... Technically, that would be her!" I pointed at mother. My herd all started nodding.
"What!? But, you're supposed to turn on each other, banishing each other until Pinkie Pie gets the jump on the last of you or the last two of you finish each other off."
"Sweetie Belle! Is that something Chrysalis taught you?!" demanded Blarity.
Sweetie shuffled her hooves awkwardly. "Actually, I read it in one of Scootaloo's comic books."
"I should have known!"
Spike raised a claw. "Maybe they have a limited lifespan, and they'll just go poof if we wait long enough?"
Super-Buttershy gasped. "SPIKE! That's a horrible thing to say!"
"Sorry! It was... just an idea?"
"Well, it's a bad one!"
#30, Thorny Pie, shouted, "Look! We get you don't see us as ponies! You don't even see us as alive! We've had to deal with that horseapples since the moment we were born... but will you stop talking about us like we aren't even here!? Number Zero? Thanks for the offer! But we're here for revenge!
"Master was gonna give us all our own private pocket worlds where we could have lives, but still visit each other, but some selfish brats had to ruin it for everypony!" Three of Minis cringed, glancing at each other. "We have no world we belong to! This revenge is all we have left!" She stabbed the air with a hoof, pointing straight at the purple unicorn. "There's literally nothing you can do to stop us from getting our justice on That Nag!"
"You'll have go through me first," Mother/0 said.
"This... this is crazy... this... doesn't make sense... this... can't be real... " The Nag blathers.
"Twili'! Calm down and get yer head together!" barked Applesnack, grabbing The Nag's face and forcing her to meet eyes with her. "We need ya!"
"You know," our Savior Princess says, "my power is what's allowing them to exist in this world, so if any of you want to try and take me down to save your precious Twilight Sparkle, please go right ahead." She regarded That Nag and her ‘friends' indifferently.
#31 (Root Pie) said, "Don't worry, Nightmare !$*(!@(!( . That won't happen! We'll protect you! You and Master saved us, we won't let you down!"
"No need to get your hooves dirty ladies!" said Master Discord. "I think it's about time I step in."
"Oh, don't worry about it!" I said with a smile and a wave. "You've done so much for us! We gotta pay ya back somehow! You can just sit back and watch! This won't take long."
Applesnack looked at Princess Bluena, whispering to her like she expected nopony else to hear, we leaned in from the other side of the frame to hear her. "Luna... these Pinkie Pies... were they born the way... the way Majesty's fillies were?"
"... In a manner of speaking, but my sister tells me it's been a long time since that was used."
Why did Master slump like that meanwhile? "You're too kind Quartz Pie, Diane would be proud, I'm sure."
"Welcome!" I said.
(Apple Bloom's Insert: Ah can't remember if Ah had any plans for this or not! Ah was in charge of everything in this world, but these mares ain't from this world! Ah don't know if Ah even COULD plan for 'em!)
Princess Bluena reared up and spread out her wings, her shadow getting bigger and bigger. "If thy weapons are what ye claim, then they are fearsome indeed," she shouted in the Royal Banterlot Voice. "While ye hold them with hostile intent, ye place us in dire peril, and that is why ye should be terrified of us!"
"BRING IT ON!" I shouted.
Interview of Twilight Sparkle
I... I don't know.
I actually don't know. And not in a way that makes me excited to learn.
Even with everything Her Momjesty, Princess Celestia told me, with everything I read in Bon Bon The First's diary? I don't know. And it's kinda scaring me.
I thought I really understood the rules of magic, what worked, what didn't work, all the basic underlying principles, but, well...
Imagine thinking yourself an expert in literature, and then being told there were letters in the alphabet you'd never even heard of. Part of the same language, yet separate.
And soon before my discovery of Pinkie Pie's gift I ended up almost thinking curses were real instead of smoke and mirrors thanks to the Poison Joke in our first encounter with Zecora.
So I hope you appreciate why I was being so skeptical about Pinkie Pie's ESP when I first encountered it, I didn't want to look like a fool twice by almost buying into something false again. Just because something applies to one situation, doesn't mean it applies to another. Just because I didn't understand the rules about something, doesn't mean what made sense to my friends was false. That's what I learned. And Pinkie Pie is able to sense future timelines.
Oh, and it turns out curses are real too, there's even one that can slowly turn a pony's body into crystal (inanimate, it mentions that in particular for some reason) if not cured in time. Yes yes, the famous 'soap box curse' of the Sparkle family too, no need to go on about it!
Yes, I'm trying to avoid thinking about what's going on right now! I know we're fighting ghost Discord allied with a Nightmare of Diamond Tiara, with Discord and Fluttershy's 'foal' on our side, but this beyond even that level of insane!
Forty-nine (!) Pinkie Pies, all claiming to be from the same Equus, all armed with copies of a weapon they say can erase ponies from history?!
Princess Celestia told me so much, and we read so much in Bon Bon The First's diary... and I've been plunged into a horrible whirlpool of not knowing, not understanding, and feeling my frame of reference completely skewered.
They want to make me never-heard-from-again, because of what another Twilight Sparkle did to them? And they say they can't go home ever? So I'm just a replacement revenge, a target dummy for them to take their anger out on?
And Pinkie Pie wants them to blame her instead because of something another Pinkie Pie did that she SOMEHOW knows about?!
If those weapons do what they say they can do... it could be a bluff, but there's no way I can take that chance when Discord and a Nightmare with unknown powers are involved. If they used them I'd never even KNOW if I'd lost a friend! It's a circular argument, but I can't ignore it. And the looks on the Princesses' faces make it clear this is no joke.
This is all insane! This is all beyond insane! It all makes no sense! There are too many pieces of the puzzle missing for me to make sense of any of it! I can't understand it!
If they all have Pinkie Pie's abilities, and armed with weapons like that... I don't like the red glow in Princess Luna's eyes.
Think Twilight! Think! It's what you're good at! More than anything! Observe the situation! Determine your objective. And consider your options! Think about what matters!
I can't take this anymore. Every time I think I'm finally done with having to fight my own friends, after they've been mind-controlled, corrupted, tricked, there's another Rainbow Dash, another Rarity, another Pinkie Pie I have to battle, again and again. Chrysalis using the face of my sister-in-law-to-be to break me and turn me into her minion, me fighting those I love with a smile on my face. Death Stalker shape shifting into my friends as we fought. Made to play 'board games' of conquering Equestria with Nightmare Whisper until we had to fight her too. Discord's sick games.
I know they just look like my Pinkie Pie. I know it sounds like they were just created 'from' Pinkie Pie or something. But I don't care. I'm sick of this. I'm done with this.
I love my friends and I am sick of fighting them! No more!
= G Gundam Music - Saiyou no Shou ~ King of Heart =
Word of Master Kenbroath Gilspotten Heathspike VII
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?! Are you kidding?! You didn't see that!?
It was like nothing I'd ever seen! Okay! Maybe a few things! I've seen a lot of things living in Ponyville and being right next to Twilight Sparkle most of my life!
So it looked like we were zero point something seconds away from fighting an army of angry Pinkie Pies. I'm happy I never had a nightmare like this, one in-your-face perp-sweating Pinkie Pie was enough. A nightmare like this, forget changing the sheets, we'd have to burn them!
And I couldn't decide if that was more scary than Twilight herself right now. For a moment I was worried she was going to 'go Nightmare Moon.' Her eyes glowed white, like when she used the elements. Her armor shined bright too. She lifted a bit off the ground. Yep, magic surge!
But even this and hearing her speak in the Royal Canterlot Voice wasn't the freaky part.
And it wasn't how Luna and Celestia were just, I dunno looking at her, nor how Fluttershy was acting like she'd forgotten to be the timid one and was just looking too!
The others were crowding close to the foals to shield them. No, Trixie didn't use me as a buckler, if anything, she was mine.
The freaky part was, when she spoke, it was, I dunno, maybe I just imagined it, a ghost, an afterimage, something, it's like there was an Alicorn version of her overlapping her.
Princess Twilight Sparkle? Heh. Naw. Twilight wants to be a librarian and a scientist, not royalty.
"Stop! I command it! There will be no battle here!" Her magic pulled the black spears right out of the hooves of the forty-nine Pinkie Pies, and twisted the spears into a ball! "I am Twilight Sparkle, Apprentice of the Sun, Magic incarnate, descendant of Twilight the First of Dream Castle, Clover the Fortunate of the Age of Wonders, and Clover The Clever, and reincarnation of Minty Of the Age of Dreams. And I decree, you shall not kill nor be killed! THERE WILL BE NO KILLING HERE!!! Nopony, NOBODY DIES HERE!"
And the big black lump of twisted metal fell to the ground with a thud, leaving a perfect impression in the Crater That Has Existed Since the Dawn of Time... I'm just kidding! There's no such thing! Geeze, you guys thought I was serious? Stop being so freaked out, okay, okay, no need to shout, 'Don't joke about that!' okay, I got it.
Twilight floated back down to the ground, and the big scary glow left her. She swayed on her hooves woozily.
The Pinkie Pie army didn't seem to know what to make of that, but armed with evil retcon-spears or not, an army of Pinkie Pies was still an army of Pinkie Pies.
The Pinkie Pie Discord called 'Quartz Pie' said, "You wanted to scare us? Fine! We're scared. Too bad we don't have anywhere to retreat to. We have no family, no place to go home, no past. This battle is all we have, so we're not going anywhere... but you are!"
The army took a trot forward.
Princess Celestia put a wing on Twilight's shoulder. "You've done well, my faithful student to... open a dialogue, but I believe your words alone are not enough. They do not trust you as I do." Celestia looked at the pink army. "Is there any among us at all whom you will accept parley from?"
The Pinkie Pies glanced at each other, then huddled talked for a few seconds, a couple Pinkie Pies standing lookout. I sure hope you still have plenty of magic candies left Moon Dancer.
Uh-oh. When the huddle broke, they all pointed at-
"You!" They pointed at me.
"Huh?" Diamond Tiara blinked.
"M-me?" I adjusted my glasses in case my eyes were playing tricks, but when I looked again, my friends and the adults and all the Pinkie Pie copies were still looking at me, cornering me with their stares.
Silver Spoon's Diary
"You're our rescuer's best friend," said Quartz Pie, "and you're the only one not here because of That Nag, or That Nag's friends. We'll only trust your word. If anypony just tells you what to say, we'll know and all bets are off! Yes, even you. You there, watching this right now." Why did she look over my shoulder at thin air when she said that?
The Pinkie clones all lifted their hooves in unison, each pointing to her left eye, then her right. ‘We're watching you!'
(#03 Quartz Pie's Warning: Yeah, and we meant you ponies reading these interviews right now too!)
And what they said catches up with me. Best friend... I'm nervous, have butterflies in my stomach, and right now I wish I could teleport to Neighpon... but I actually felt hope snuggle inside me. Best friend. Diamond Tiara didn't object. They just said I'm still her best friend.
"Very well," Princess Celestia said. Eep! "Silver Spoon's words shall be her own. She shall be nopony's mouthpiece."
"Princess!" Miss Rarity said, followed by Miss Twilight, Sweetie Belle, Spike, Scootaloo, and I think just about everypony. "You can't be serious!"
"A slim chance to avoid tragedy is better than none," the Princess said. Uh-oh. I tried to take a few steps forward, but my legs rebelled on me.
I was magically lifted in a golden glow, carried through the air, and placed gently in front of my friends and their big sisters and friends. My Crusader friends were all too scared to say anything, no, not scared of them, scared for me!
Princess Luna nuzzled me, "Believe in yourself, little filly. We have great confidence in you understanding their hearts."
I swallowed, and with herculean effort I dragged my hooves closer to the army of Pinkie Pie replicas. None of them looked like they were here for fun. And behind them still stood my best friend turned into something awful, and the monster that tortured me and twisted my family for giggles.
Quartz Pie pushed me into a wooden chair beneath a hot interrogation lamp. "So, you're ready to talk, huh?" Maybe there's still some humor left in them, even if it's grim humor. "Tell us exactly why we shouldn't fight the fight that's the only thing we have left?"
I didn't dare look at my friends. "Well, how can you say it's all you have left?"
"What else is there? Our lives? Sorry, but those aren't worth the cardboard and plastic from the bargain bin."
"No... Each other." They startled. "From where I stand, each of you has forty-eight other reasons to move forward."
= Mommy Still Loves You.. - Pony POV Series =
"There is no 'forward!' Haven't you been listening?! What part of 'no home to go back to' didn't you hear?"
"Can't you just make a new home?"
"We did have a new home made for us! And it got ruined!"
"There is no 'again'!"
"You're all still together aren't you?"
"Almost all, Diane, the first of us, isn't here."
"Our Equestria, she got away, we didn't."
"We're not, she gets a life at least."
"And you think she wouldn't want you to to?"
"Of course she would! But we can't!"
"You keep saying that."
"Because it's true!"
"Because we don't belong! Literally! Without your best friend's magic, this world would notice we're a bad fit and boot us back to the cold nothing we were banished to!"
"That's it? Having to rely on somepony?"
"How'd you feel about...-" Quartz stopped, and began to chose her words carefully. She was making sure not to reveal something important she's worried we'll use against them. "-having to be super careful your whole life, knowing that one little slip-up means it's curtains for you? Freezing black forever-curtains!"
"... You're right, I don't know how that feels." I take off my glasses and the world becomes a mass of smudges. "But I do know how it is to always have something with you no matter what, whether you like it or not."
"It's not the same."
"No it isn't. But I can imagine... If I could never take my glasses off, because I needed them to see something that wanted to eat me? That's scary. I don't know if I could take it... But I'd at least TRY first!" I put my glasses back on. "If not for me, then for those who care about me!... You care about each other right?"
"Of course we do!"
"Then how can you say hurting somepony for having the same name and face as the pony who hurt you is all you have left?"
"It's what Master Discord wants!"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure he's having second thoughts about that!" I hear the others gasp behind me. I pointed at the thing that had corrupted my best friend. "He's been fidgeting this whole time, and even gave you an excuse not to do it."
"Well, obviously I want you ponies for myself."
"Whatever!" I barked. I looked at Quartz Pie. "Life isn't fair! You're angry, but hurting somepony who never hurt you is what bullies do!"
"She will eventually! Like That Nag of our own Equestria! It's just a matter of time!"
"No it isn't!" I don't know the first thing about this 'other Equestrias' nonsense. But I remember my nightmare, seeing me still the parrot of Diamond Tiara's bullying. "The future isn't set in stone! I made my own future. YOU CAN'T JUDGE PONIES on what they 'could have done!'"
"SHE ALREADY SAID THAT WE 'AREN'T ALIVE!' She showed her true colors then and there! I bet she's thinking of blasting us all to oblivion right now!"
"If that's all she wanted, she wouldn't have stopped you from fighting with the Princesses and everypony!"
"She's just scared of us giving her what she deserves!"
"Seriously? You think that entire display was just for show?!" I wasn't going to admit that I might have wet myself seeing Miss Twilight Sparkle like that!
"You think bad guys can't make themselves look good for everypony?"
"... If her only goal was to wipe you all way, why didn't she just stab you with your own spears when she grabbed them?"
"Meh, she's not Blarity, I bet she couldn't have done that if she wanted."
Think, Silver Spoon! How do you reason with them when they're this convinced that Miss Twilight Sparkle is a snarling she-Tirek? How do you do it, Silver Spoon? Is there a way?
"You shouldn't let who hurt you control you like this. And revenge won't make you feel better. I hated Chrysalis for brainwashing Spike and Sweetie Belle... But when I saw her dying, all I could think about was how scared I was something like that could happen to Diamond Tiara." Diamond Tiara didn't flinch, on the outside. "This revenge won't make you feel better, it'll just be one more thing those who hurt you have control over."
When this is over, I'll tell dad it's okay for him to go by Silver Axe again. I'm tired of being afraid of what that puzzle monster did. And he shouldn't let what that monster did to him control him. He can't control us anymore.
"This is about making sure what That Nag did to us, this version of her can never do to anypony!"
"Don't give me that. You admitted you were doing this because you need something to act out your anger on! And it won't make it go away!"
"She already showed she'll do the same thing!"
"What's in it for her? If she doesn't care about you that much, then WHY make a show of it? ... Did... did... " I shuddered. "Did anypony at all feel sorry for you in your Equestria?"
"That would include your Miss Twilight Sparkle's friends?"
"Then why would she put on a show for them if they were as bad she is? And if they're different, why can't you accept she's different?"
"We told you already! She said it! 'these things aren't alive', they pulled their punches more against parasprites than us."
"And she was wrong, that doesn't make her evil! I... " I slumped. "Because I just went along with all of Diamond Tiara's teasing, because I never objected to it, because I did it all with an obedient smile. After I made more friends, I liked telling myself I had been the worst Equestria had to offer, I was so ashamed. But it doesn't work like that. We just go along, thinking we're always in the right. I just smiled and nodded through everything, if I was told to it, then it was the right thing for me to do it. That's no excuse."
"What are you getting at?"
"I said it already! Twilight Sparkle was wrong about you! But being wrong and being evil aren't the same thing! And she realized she was wrong BEFORE something bad happened! Don't waste that! Or you're siding with your bullies! You want to show you're not just things? Prove it by living!"
They looked at each other.
"Girls, huddle!" They debated again for a few seconds before breaking.
"Okay, we voted."
"If Master Discord doesn't want us to fight you, and ... there's a chance that your Great Destroyer isn't bad... So... the majority vote is to wait and watch. So we'll withdraw back to Master Discord's Chaosville... BUT!" Quartz Pie made a 'don't you dare break a Pinkie Promise' face. "If we see you hurting any innocent clones..." She slipped her hoof across her neck. Then she made an 'I'll be watching you' gesture with her hoof to her eyes and then to Twilight.
The monster almost let out a sigh of relief. "Tell Ratatoskr his Master says hello!"
( Thoughts of Nightmare !$*(!@(!(
If you're undone, won't your domain and everything in it cease to exist too?)
(My dear, that's if I'm erased. Dying is just having your spirit toss off the sausage suit and head off for the spirit realm.)
"We'll be waiting for you, Master Discord!"
"... Don't wait for me."
"Stay strong Princess! We'll be cheering for you!" Said the one with the odd face. Diamond Tiara didn't react.
Using whatever trick it was Pinkie Pie used to get from Point A to point B, the army of 49 Pinkie Pies was gone, and they took the giant black metal ball with them.
"Bye girls... Come back and visit alternate-mommy after we save the world!" Pinkie Pie waved. "hope to see you again some day." She wiped a tear away.
"WHAT THE HECK JUST HAPPENED? TRIXIE DOESN'T GET IT AT ALL!"
Spike said still on her back, "In Ponyville, if it's Pinkie Pie, it's better you don't think about it too hard."
Trixie let out a long sigh. "Trixie should've known this by now." To which Spike patted her sympathetically, tension I didn't even notice was there going away.
"Well, that didn't end in gratuitous violence," the monster muttered. "I'm not upset. How odd."
Miss Rarity and Miss Rainbow Dash both gave a guarded sigh of relief. They'd looked scary for a bit there, like cornered Timber Wolves.
"Ya alright, sugarcube?" Miss Applejack put a hoof on Miss Twilight's shoulder.
"I... I will be."
Princess Fluttershy nuzzled her.
I let go of tension I'd gotten so wrapped up in that I'd almost gotten numb to it. I almost melted into the ground, I breathed through my mouth. I just now realize how much my heart had been hammering in my ears. I wipe the sweat from my fur. I think I just prevented a battle. Does that make me a diplomat or something?
"Silver Spoon!" Miss Pinkie Pie suddenly hugged me! "I just want to say, thank you very much! You did a very good thing there! A very good thing!"
"You're, you're welcome."
My three filly friends rushed and gave me hugs as well. I hugged them back. None of us was sure what to say, just grateful that we'd dodged a cannonball, and I'd been in charge of steering.
"You did well my little pony," Princess Celestia praised. Princess Celestia, the sun herself, just told me I did well. I feel stronger.
"Getting ponies to let go of their pain is no easy feat little filly, you have accomplished what some mares can not." Princess Luna said too. I'd been praised by the sun and the moon. Just imagine what mom would say! If I can get an army of strangers to let go of their hurt...
I looked at my best friend square in her dead eyes. "Diamond Tiara, you felt pity for those other Pinkie Pies."
"We needed an army."
"You already had one. You didn't NEED to help them, but you did."
"I didn't need to destroy the world either."
"Well it all looks fine to me now! So how about we let bygones be bygones?!"
"Father,, don't you have a promise to keep?"
"What? ... Oh right. ... so now, as promised..." Discord grinned darkly, kneading his paw and claw while storm clouds turned the sky dark. "You'll fight 'me.'"