Chapter Two: Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey Stuff
The blue police box smashed through the ceiling and landed right next to Trixie’s bed, waking the azure unicorn with a jolt. She shrieked when she saw the hole in her roof and the offending projectile.
The police box door swung open, and out stepped a rather unremarkable looking brown earth pony stallion with dark, spiky mane and an hourglass cutie mark. “Sorry about that,” he said brightly – he sounded like he was from Trottingham. The brown stallion then pulled a pointer of sorts with a light at the tip out from… somewhere. He aimed the tool with his muzzle at the ceiling, and after a few seconds and a strange pulsating, buzzing noise, the roof repaired itself seamlessly. “Shonic shrew’riber,” he said with the tool still in his mouth, answering Trixie’s unasked question. He then stowed it away, probably into some invisible, hyperspace pocket. “Quite useful for fighting aliens, tying up loose plotlines, and home repair. Anyway, where are my manners? Hello!”
Trixie stared at the visitor, and it took her a moment to find her voice. “Um… hello? Can Trixie help?”
“No thanks, no. I just popped in to say hello.” The stallion held out a hoof to shake. “I’m the Doctor, how’d you do? I’m just doing my usual rounds at this time of year, showing misers the errors of their ways, that sort of thing. But of course I won’t be having any trouble with you, since you’re such a good pony, right? The ‘kind and generous’ Trixie, your neighbors call you.”
Trixie blushed in embarrassment. “Oh, Trixie isn’t any better than any other–”
“No need to be so modest,” the Doctor insisted. “You’ve earned that. You’re a fine mare, and quite a breath of fresh air from the ponies I usually deal with this time of year. Why, just down the street there’s a mare trying to scam her way into marrying a prince.”
“Oh dear. So tell me, how do you convince these ponies to change their ways?” the azure unicorn asked, still in her bed.
“Simple, really. I just take them on a trip in the TARDIS…” He launched into an incomprehensible explanation about the blue police box and ‘wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff.’ “…and I show them their past, or glimpses of their future. That usually scares them into behaving.”
“Wait, you’re saying you can travel through time in that box?”
“Of course! But as I said before, none of that will be necessary with you, Trixie. Oh no. I’m glad you turned out to be such an outstanding pony, considering your heritage. I had lots of trouble with them.”
“Really?” Trixie asked curiously. “What were they like? Trixie admits she doesn’t know anything about her ancestors.”
The Doctor gave her a knowing look.
“That bad, were they?”
“That they were,” the brown stallion said, nodding vigorously. “Some of the most foulest, connivingest ponies I’ve encountered… Tell you what, how about I just show you?”
“Oh, no. You’re a busy pony, and Trixie doesn’t want to waste your time on her behalf.”
The brown stallion laughed. “I’m a Time Lord. I have all the time in the universe! It would be my pleasure.”
Trixie’s curiosity got the better of her, and she agreed. What was the worst that could happen?
“Yes, it’s bigger on the inside,” the Doctor said, noticing the azure unicorn’s surprised look when she stepped into the TARDIS. “Remember, we’re here just to look. So don’t touch or say anything, and stick to me like a limpet. Good? Good.” He worked some levers and buttons, and the police box started shuddering. “Now, hold onto your hooves! Allons-y!”
A veritable blizzard raged outside the ancient unicorn palace. In one small room, an azure unicorn mare found herself cornered by her two bumbling servants.
“Come on, milady,” a short, chubby pale cyan unicorn colt pleaded. “Just give the cracker a little pull.”
“Yeah, it’ll be fun,” added his gangly, dull yellow companion. The two young colts wore shabby, faded tights and ruffs. “We saved up for this for months.”
The Sly and Guileful Lady Beatrix rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Fine.” She telekinetically took hold of one end of the winter solstice cracker and gave it a tug. There was no bang, but just a pathetic pop. The two colts flinched anyway from the anticipation.
“Yes, terrifying,” Lady Beatrix said dully.
“And look, milady Sly and Guileful Beatrix, there’s a present inside!” squeaked Shears.
“Yep,” said Slugs. “It’s a joke death warrant, and you give it to a friend. Funny, eh?”
Trixie crumpled up the tiny parchment and levitated it into one of her gown’s pockets. “Hilarious.”
“So, did you get anything for us, milady?” the two servants asked excitedly.
“It’s nothing, really,” said Lady Beatrix nonchalantly.
“Aw, thanks,” Slugs drawled.
“No, it’s really nothing. Beatrix couldn’t be bothered to get you two sluggards anything,” she explained. “Beatrix spent every bit on this stupid thing for the princess.” Lady Beatrix gestured to an exquisite painting of their monarch, complete with a deployable red velvet curtain. “She better well like it. She dropped enough hints. She’s about as subtle as an arrow in the kneecap. Now, stay here. Beatrix has a present to deliver.”
The Sly and Guileful Lady Beatrix covered up the painting with the red curtain and levitated the ensemble with her and through the door. A few corridors later, she entered the throne room, and was greeted by a scene of absolute chaos.
Princess Platinum was seated on her throne, shouting orders at passing servants, who busied themselves with tearing apart wreathes, banners, and other solstice decorations. Clover the Clever sat in the corner, face-hoofing.
“Good morning, your Highness,” Lady Beatrix said brightly. “Winter Solstice again, what joy. Don’t you just love this time of year?”
“No, I hate it,” Princess Platinum replied grumpily. “In fact, I’ve just abolished it! I’ve made a royal decree to plug up all of the chimneys, burn all the crackers, and execute anyone I see trying to curry my favor with presents.”
“Ah.” Lady Beatrix levitated her curtained portrait behind her in an attempt to hide it. “Well, Lady Beatrix just wanted to say hello, so now she’ll be off. Good day–”
“Beatrix!” the white unicorn princess said suddenly, pointing a hoof at the concealed painting. “What’s that?”
From long practice with her sovereign, the azure pony kept her cool. “Oh, this? It’s… it’s a window.”
“Yes, but you seem to already have one here, so sorry to disturb you, your Highness.” Lady Beatrix levitated the portrait and bid a hasty retreat out of the throne room.
She returned to Shears and Slugs, who were still in the waiting room. “Wonderful. There goes seventeen gold bits in the chamber pot.” She floated the portrait to the taller of her servants and smashed it over his head.
“Ow,” Slugs said. He then struggled to extricate himself from the large canvas that now served as an awkward and very expensive ruff.
A smug, immaculately groomed white unicorn stallion with a blond mane entered with his head held high. “Morning, Aristoprat,” Lady Beatrix greeted. “Beatrix hopes the solstice festival brings you the traditional mix of good food and violent flatulence.”
“And season’s greetings to you too,” Duke Aristoprat returned warmly with mutual hate. “May your stockings fall into your hearth and light your house on fire.”
“Oh, thank you, thank you. Now, Beatrix should warn you that the princess has banned the festivities, so you shouldn’t upset her by getting her any presents this year,” the azure unicorn warned.
“Thank you for the advice, Lady Beatrix. I will of course, consider it.” The duke returned an ironic little bow, and left the room.
Beatrix stamped her hoof on the stone floor and gave a shout of triumph. “Ha! Now he’s as good as dead.”
“Huh?” Slugs said, with the painting still stuck around his neck.
“Yeah, didn’t you just warn him about the Princess?” piped Shears.
“It’s called a double bluff,” the unicorn mare explained. “Aristoprat will undoubtedly do the opposite of what Beatrix tells him, get the princess an enormously expensive present, and queeeak!” She made a cutting motion across her neck with her hoof.
“So… he’ll turn into a duck?” asked her lankier young servant.
Beatrix rolled her eyes. “Yes…”
Later, the two unicorn nobleponies were in the throne room before Princess Platinum. Duke Aristoprat now wore a large cape that concealed an odd lump on his back.
“Welcome back,” the princess began, but then she noticed the bump in the duke’s cape. “Aristoprat, what do you have under there? You better not be hiding a present,” she growled.
The azure unicorn mare smiled. She was going to enjoy this.
“A present, your Highness?” said Duke Aristoprat. With a glow from his horn and a flourish, he pulled out a fabulous jeweled crown. “But of course!”
Their sovereign gasped. “Oh, that’s fabulous! I love presents!”
Beatrix face-hoofed with a little more force than was necessary.
“It’s wonderful! I’ve forgotten how much I enjoyed presents. I’ll have to give you lots of presents to reward you.”
She turned from the smugly smiling duke to a stone-faced Beatrix. “And what about you?” the Princess asked. “Do you have a gift for your Highness?”
“Erm…” Beatrix stalled.
“I want presents!” Princess Platinum demanded. “Give me something nice and shiny, and if you don’t, I’ve got something nice and shiny for you. It’s called an axe!” After a few more seconds without any response from Beatrix, the princess made up her mind. “Right! Do you have any last requests before I have you executed, Lady Beatrix?”
“Uhh… yes! There is one little thing,” she said, an idea popping into her head. She levitated a crumpled piece of parchment from her gown. “Lady Beatrix has always been a great admirer of your Highness, and you, Duke Aristoprat. It would be a great honor if Beatrix could have both of your autographs to keep her company in her final moments.”
They accepted, and scribbled their signatures where Beatrix indicated.
“Thank you. This means so much for Beatrix,” she said. Then, with mock horror, “Oh, oh dear!”
“What is it?” asked the princess.
“This piece of parchment your Highness just signed appears to be some kind of death warrant!” Beatrix said theatrically.
Princess Platinum gasped. “Is there a name on it?”
“Oh dear, so there is. It’s hard to read this terrible, foalish writing but it says… ‘Duke Aristoprat!’ That’s it!”
“WHAT?” the white stallion exclaimed. “It’s a trick!”
To his horror, the princess only laughed. “And a brilliant trick indeed. Say, Sly and Guileful Beatrix, I think I’ll execute Duke Aristoprat instead. And that means everything he owns is now yours.”
Beatrix, now Duchess Beatrix, curtsied elaborately. “Thank you, your Highness. You are too kind.” She gave a smug smile at Aristoprat and motioned towards the bejeweled crown he had purchased. The stallion glumly passed it over to her, and she gave it to the princess. “Season’s greetings to you, your Highness.”
Trixie and the Doctor were back in the TARDIS, and their bodies were now opaque again.
“Was gluing Trixie to your side all that necessary?” the azure unicorn asked, rubbing a sore spot with her hoof.
“I did say you had to stick to me like a limpet,” the brown earth pony stallion answered. “The invisibility wouldn’t have worked otherwise.”
“Quite. But anyways, that was quite… exciting!” The scene of Lady Beatrix’s trickery kept replaying in her mind.
“Exactly! A horrible pony, wasn’t she? The kind that gets your blood boiling.”
“Yes, but she was clearly a very clever and charming pony…” Trixie noticed the stern look on the Doctor’s face. “But, yes, you’re right. A disgraceful pony. Disgraceful indeed.”
The Time Lord patted Trixie’s shoulder with a hoof. “Indeed. But good thing you’re such a great improvement on her and all the others.”
“Others?” Trixie asked, intrigued. “So there’s more?”
“Why yes. Would you like to see…?”
And so Trixie and the Doctored hurtled through time yet again in the blue police box. The azure unicorn saw things that were amazing and inspiring – generations and generations of Trixies, all going by different names and monikers, but all scheming and backstabbing their ways to wealth, power, and glory.
“Horrible, horrible… but, she actually managed to steal Princess Celestia’s Hearth’s Warming presents?” Trixie asked, amused by the exploits of the last ancestor they observed.
The Doctor nodded. “Yes, I remember that well. Quite the shocker of the century.”
“So, there is something to be made out of being bad, isn’t there?”
The brown stallion shifted uncomfortably. “Well yes, being bad can lead to material success, but that’s not the point. What makes a pony is not riches or power, but the soul. And you’ve got one of the best ones I’ve seen,” he complimented.
Curiosity egged her on. “Trixie is curious, Doctor. What would the future be like, if Trixie wasn’t good? If she had been just like all of her ancestors you’ve showed me?”
“Good heavens, is that the time?” the Doctor said suddenly. “I’m sorry, but I really must drop you off and move on.”
“Please, Trixie would love to see Hearth’s Warming future!”
“Oh, no, no. It’s terribly grim and dark, and you’re better off not seeing it.” The Time Lord punched in the coordinates to return to the present.
“Doctor, Trixie insists. Please.”
The time traveling earth pony sighed. “Fine. But this is the last trip…”
“ALL HAIL EMPRESS URANIUM, SUPREME MISTRESS OF THE IMPERIUM OF PONYDOM!” Hundreds of voices reverberated throughout the cavernous throne room.
“And hail to you, underlings,” the white unicorn with the elegantly curled purple mane and tail answered. Although a dainty mare, the empress towered over all others by virtue of her gold powered armor as much as her tall throne. “I have summoned you here to Holy Equestria, to greet the return of our invincible imperial legions. Approach Grand Inquisitor, the Cruel and Merciless Megatrix!”
A massive pair of doors dilated open with clouds of steam, and an armored azure unicorn pony wearing a tall, wide-brimmed hat entered. She walked across the anti-gravity platform that spanned a nigh-bottomless chasm. Following her on a chain leash was a hideous, two-headed cyborg pony with jet packs on its back. Both heads were of unicorn colts: one was a light cyan and with chubby cheeks and beady little eyes, and the other was a dull yellow and with huge ears and a long neck.
“Greetings to you, your Omnipotent Imperial Majesty, on this hallowed Apogalacticon.” Grand Inquisitor Megatrix doffed her hat in salute.
“What news of the heresy in the P0N3–V1L sector?” Archduke Doolb Eulb sneered from a grandiose, but lesser and lower throne than the Empress’. The white, blond-maned unicorn stallion was an impressive sight in his armor, but Megatrix was far from intimidated.
“Good news,” the Inquisitor answered, addressing not the Archduke but the Empress. “Two hundred billion heretic souls begged for your forgiveness, so the Cruel and Merciless Megatrix gave them your compassionate, warm embrace of thermonuclear fire.”
“And what of the sinister, alien Eldeer, who instigated this heresy?” Doolb Eulb interrogated.
“Nothing a plague of Dire Squirrels couldn’t handle,” Megatrix answered coolly.
“Excellent!” cried Empress Uranium. “I was wise to trust you with our most dreaded weapons. Now, bring forth the gift with which you honor me on this sacred Apogalacticon.”
The Inquisitor bowed slightly and said, “Your Omnipotent Imperial Majesty, from a place where the stars begin and end, your servant Megatrix bring you this…”
The two rocket pods on the back of her cyborg slave parted, revealing a compartment. Out of it and towards the Empress floated an abnormal artifact that, save for its simultaneously shining and light-devouring coloration, was completely indescribable. “Woah,” both heads of RazorMollusk said.
“You dare to desecrate Holy Equestria with a xeno trinket?” raged Archduke Doolb Eulb, and hundreds of voices in the cavernous hall chorused their agreement. “I say you should be cast into the Warp!”
Empress Uranium held up a hoof, and the throne room went instantly silent. “What is it, Grand Inquisitor?”
“Well, how about Megatrix just shows you?” she said with a smile. The artifact pulsated and hummed, and there was a brilliant flash. Everyone in the throne room save for the Inquisitor and the Empress had vanished. Also gone was their armor, and the Empress felt strangely hot as the naked, azure unicorn mare waltzed up to her throne with confident strides.
“And now your majesty, Megatrix must respectfully insist that you hand over to her supreme command of the Galaxy, strap on some unnecessary lingerie, and join her harem this afternoon.” The Inquisitor was now nearly muzzle-to-muzzle with the Empress.
The Supreme Mistress of Ponydom’s blush turned to a sultry smile. “I thought you’d never ask…”
“Don’t ask me to do that again,” the Doctor said, breathing heavily. He entered the space-time coordinates to return to Ponyville. “I’m glad I remembered what that device did, otherwise I don’t care to think about what would have happened.”
Trixie was barely listening. “So let’s get this straight. If Trixie was bad, then her descendents would rule the entire galaxy?”
“Yes, but would you be happy? Being ruler of the galaxy is hard work – just think about all the paperwork and conferences! Now, I’m sure this little adventure through time points to a very clear lesson.”
“Which is…?” Trixie prodded.
“Which is that the rewards of virtue are spiritual, and all the better for it,” the Time Lord said with a smile.
“So you don’t think that the very clear lesson is that bad ponies have all the fun?” Trixie inquired, with sudden fire in her heart.
The brown pony didn’t miss a beat. “Nope! The advantages of virtue are infinitely superior. Why, just look at yourself. You have your own shop, two young assistants who look up to you like a mother, and the adoration of your entire town. Isn’t that something to be thankful for, and proud of?”
“Ah. Of course it is. Thank you so much, Doctor. You’ve given Trixie much to think about,” the azure unicorn said as the TARDIS materialized in the middle of her bedroom.
The Doctor patted her with a hoof, and then led her out the door and back into her room. “See? I’m glad you’re such an upstanding pony. It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Trixie…”
That night, Trixie slept better than she had in years. Her dreams were indeed sweet.