The Hotel

by Skijarama

A New Guest

What happened?

This was the first of many questions Twilight Sparkle would ask this day, and it would be one of only two to go unanswered. She felt groggy and confused as she began to stir beneath a warm and fuzzy blanket. The mattress beneath her was soft and molded to fit her shape perfectly, not even squeaking as she gradually woke up. With a small wince, she opened her eyes, trying to recall what had happened to her last. She didn’t recognize where she was, though it strongly resembled a hotel room, and a luxurious one at that.

There was only the one bed, queen sized, dominating the center of the room. Along the inviting green walls were numerous pieces of furniture. Name a desk, a few chairs, a bookshelf and a dresser. There was a small coffee table with a couple of finely carved wooden chairs off in one corner. On the wall to her right was a tall window, letting in streams of pale sunlight. Curtains hung in front of them, diluting the light and blocking her view of the outside. Next to the bed on either side were end tables, one holding a lamp and the other holding an alarm clock.

5:32 PM.

Still dizzy and disoriented, Twilight cautiously slipped out of the bed. She reached a hoof up to her head and took a deep breath. “Where am I…?” she mumbled, thinking back. She remembered all of her friends getting their cutie marks switched when she recited an old and incomplete spell written by Starswirl The Bearded. She recalled watching them trying to do the jobs of others, only ever failing and bringing misery to themselves and the ponies around them. She remembered making use of the elements of harmony to restore them to who they were supposed to be. She remembered returning to the library and finishing Starswirl’s spell. She remembered a flood of light and color. She remembered meeting with Princess Celestia in some kind of magical pocket dimension.

She remembered Celestia telling her that it was time to fulfill her destiny. She remembered another flood of light, a surge of power…

And then she awoke here. Twilight blinked and rubbed a hoof over her face. “What happened…? She spoke her repeated thought aloud before slowly and shakily making her way for the window. She pulled the curtains aside and peered out of the window, trying to figure out where she was. Her eyes widened, her ears stood to attention on top of her head, and her breath hitched in her throat.

There was nothing. Just… white. Just a white void beyond that window. Slowly, Twilight backed away, her heart rate increasing. “What in the world?” she stuttered out to herself before turning and spotting the door on the far side of the room. With her breath swiftly coming in more and more panicky gasps, Twilight hurled the door open with her magic and sprinted out.

The hallway she stepped into was long in both directions, left and right. There were more doors along the walls, each one with a number next to them. The carpet was blue and of the finest quality. The walls were an inviting green with yellow lines making up simple yet intricate and abstract patterns, breaking up what would otherwise be a very monotonous hallway. Support beams ran up the sides of the wall, crafted in a very artistic manner from richly colored wood and finely polished. Light fixtures hung from the ceiling, illuminating everything in a bright but warm glow.

“Princess Celestia?!” Twilight called out nervously, her words echoing around her in the empty hallway. There was no answer. A bead of sweat began to form on Twilight’s brow. “Rainbow Dash?!” she tried again. And again, there was no answer. Slowly and with a tremble in her movements, Twilight gradually made her way down the hall, her teeth chattering as her anxiety built up even more.

This place very strongly resembled a hotel. If it was, where were the ponies in their rooms asking her to be quiet, or checking to see what the problem was. It was all too silent and Twilight felt her mind going into overdrive. “Somepony?! ANYPONY?!”

After a time, Twilight came to a dead end. The only thing that decorated this wall was a window. Her ears fell and she turned around again to gaze down the hall she had practically been galloping down. She took a deep breath, trying to calm her frayed nerves before trying again. “Rarity? Fluttershy?” she called out, trying to keep her fear under control. “Applejack? Pinkie Pie?”

Once more, there was no answer to be had.

With a sigh, Twilight turned around and looked out the window again. She propped herself up on the sil to get a better angle. Just like last time, there was nothing beyond this window but an empty white void. “Where am I…?” she whispered, a shiver running down her body.

For a good minute she just stood there, looking out the window. She tried various angles and strained her neck to make sure she was actually seeing through the window and not just looking into a pale screen. As she was able to spot the sil of another window to the sides and above this one, she deduced that she was indeed seeing out the window.

A slow creaking noise reached her ears. Twilight yelped in surprise and whirled around, her horn flaring to life. What she saw caused her to lean back in mild confusion before relaxing slightly.

It was a mare, maybe a little older than Twilight was. She stood in a doorway to Twilight’s left, having opened it only enough to look out. She was green in color with a darker green mane and tail. Her mane was pulled back and tied into a ponytail. Her eyes were a vibrant shade of purple, looking into Twilight with pity. “...Are you new?” she asked, her young voice sounding empty and disimpassioned. Her eyes looked Twilight up and down, analyzing her.

“New?” Twilight echoed while looking around in growing confusion. If nothing else, she was glad that there was somepony else here. Maybe they had answers. “What are you talking about? What is this place? Where am I? Who are you?”

The mare’s eyes lowered and closed. She exhaled softly and shook her head. “I’m sorry…” she managed before closing the door with a soft click.

Twilight blinked and recoiled slightly before cantering up to the door and knocking softly. “Please, can you tell me where I am? I don’t know how I got here.”

“I don’t have any answers for you.” The mare answered, her words muffled by the door. “Please just go. I’m sure the others will want to meet you…”

“Others…?” Twilight breathed before glancing down the hallway. She hesitated and then turned her attention back to the door. “Can you tell me your name, at least?”

“It’s Kale Sow.” The mare, now identified as Kale, answered. Her voice carried an edge of finality to it. Twilight knew she would get nothing more out of her right now and backed away from the door.

“Thank you.” She said before turning and beginning down the hallway once more. She made sure to take note of the room she had awoken in and it’s number. 317. Gradually, as she went, she lowered her gaze slightly and started trying to figure out what had happened to her. The last thing I remember was Princess Celestia telling me that I had proven I was ready and then casting some sort of spell on me… could it be that she sent me here? Wherever here is.

As she pondered her situation, a new voice cut through her thoughts. “Oh my… I was right.” it was a young, lightly accented voice. Twilight looked up and saw two other ponies approaching her from the hall. One was an old and grumpy looking stallion with a dull red colored coat and a mane and tail of gray, betraying his age. His eyes were a vivid orange. On his flank was a cutie mark depicting some kind of weird contraption made up of scrap and rusty parts with a hammer lightly tapping against it’s side.

The other pony, the one who spoke, was a bright orange unicorn that looked to be only a little younger than Twilight was. His relatively long mane and tail were evenly split between a deep, rich red and a brighter shade that was almost pink. His eyes were a deep shade of violet, his brows furrowed in a mix between elation and pity. His cutie mark was of a red crystal, possibly a ruby, with an ancient rune in front of it. It had been him that spoke. He turned back to the old red pony with a small smile.

Said red pony gave him no chance to answer. “I never said I doubted you, boy. I just didn’t want to be dragged along for your little adventure. I’ve seen it all before,” he grumbled out, his voice a rough and gravelly one. He turned an irritable eye on Twilight and then humphed. “If you wanna show her around and explain the situation, be my guest.” he then turned and began to trot away, leaving Twilight and the orange unicorn alone.

The unicorn in question sighed. “Ugh… I hope you can forgive him. He’s always like that, the crotchety old fart.”

“Who are you?” Twilight asked simply, her eyes narrowing slightly. “And where in Equestria am I?”

The pony cringed and closed his eyes, looking for the right words. “Ah, well, my name is Topaz Rune, and that ancient charmer that just left us is Rust Bucket. As for where you are…” Topaz shook his head and opened his eyes, looking into Twilight’s own with that same look of pity that Kale had given her. “...Well, that’s the question, isn’t it?”

“Huh?” Twilight asked, confused. “What does that mean?”

Topaz looked down and frowned. “...I don’t know what this place is. None of us do,” he then looked back up to Twilight. “And none of us know how we got here, either.”

Twilight just looked at him, not sure what to make of any of this. She shook her head and put a hoof to her head. “I… I don’t understand.”

“None of us do,” Topaz said in resignation. “And to be blunt, we all gave up trying to understand.”

Twilight took a long, deep breath. “Alright… alright, okay… how many of you are there?”

“Well, until just a few minutes ago, there were five of us. Now there’s six.” he said matter of factly. Twilight looked at him disapprovingly.

“I have no intention of staying here. I have to get back to Ponyville!” she snapped before starting forward. “How do I get out of here?”

Topaz stepped aside, his eyes shifting with a trace amount of unease. “...You don’t.”

“What the hay is that supposed to mean?!” Twilight demanded, spinning around to glare at Topaz. “Is somepony going to stop me?”

“No, no, it’s just that… gah… how do I put this lightly…?”

Twilight growled before closing her eyes and taking a deep breath, trying to calm down. “Put what lightly?”

Topaz ran a hoof through his mane and looked at Twilight with eyes that bespoke a sorrow and pity that made her pause, a chill running down her spine. “...Have you met Kale Sow, yet?”

“Huh?” Twilight asked, caught off guard by the change in topic. She found herself quickly enough, however. “Yes, I have. She didn’t say much to me. Why?”

Topaz put a hoof on his chest and closed his eyes. “...Kale has been here the longest of any of us. She’s… been here for over three hundred years.”


Twilight felt a twitch in her eye. “Wh-what?” she breathed out, before shaking her head. “No… no way, that’s impossible! She looks only as old as I am! What kind of twisted joke is this, huh?!” she began yelling before turning and breaking into a gallop for the end of the hall.

Topaz couldn’t help the heavy sigh that left him. “You won’t find a way out, miss. There isn’t one…” he breathed before looking at his hoof, studying it. “No matter how much we wish there was…"