“Are we there yet?” Pinkie giggled.
“No” Applejack groaned for the tenth time.
“Are we there yet?”
“Are we there y-”
“Pinkie!” Rarity interrupted, “I happen to know for a fact that you are only asking that question to annoy Applejack, and in the process you are also succeeding in annoying everypony else in the train car.” She gestured further into the car, revealing numerous ponies giving annoyed looks at Pinkie.
Pinkie just giggled “Wow, I’m even better at this game than I thought. Are we there yet?”
Applejack grabbed Pinkie’s shoulders and shook her in desperation “Pinkie, for the love of Equestria, stop! We are not there yet!”
“We’re here!” Twilight called from a nearby window. Applejack lowered her hat over her face and groaned loudly in both frustration and relief.
After the doors of the train opened, Applejack quickly stood up “Let’s just get out of here.”
Pinkie giggled and bounced past her, “Okie dokie lokie.” She bounced out the door and turned to face the train.
The others exited the train, with Twilight in the lead, “Okay, I’ll go talk to Celestia, you girls head for the archives. I’ll meet you there after I finish speaking with Celestia.”
“Very well Twilight,” Rarity nodded, “we’ll be sure to get a head start on the research by the time you get there.”
Twilight smiled “Thanks, Rarity, I knew I could count on you girls.”
“Well then,” Applejack added, “since we’ve got the plan figured out, let’s get going.” She started walking to the archives, with Rarity and Fluttershy by her side. Twilight spread her wings and flew toward the top of the castle.
Pinkie Pie bounced happily next to Applejack and asked “Are we there yet?”
“AHHHHHHHHH!” Applejack yelled, causing everypony within several blocks to jump.
The doors to Celestia’s throne room slowly opened as Twilight stepped up to them. She walked through the doors and made her way across the room to Celestia, who greeted her with a smile, “Hello Twilight, it’s so good to see you.”
Twilight gave a small smile, “It’s good to see you too, Celestia.” She lowered her head sadly, “I just wish we were meeting under better circumstances.”
Celestia stood up and walked toward Twilight, “From what Spike told me in the letter last night, you need information from the royal archives, correct?”
“Yes Celestia,” Twilight nodded, “my friends are on their way there right now.”
“Why aren’t you there with them, Twilight?” Celestia inquired.
Twilight looked up and explained “Because I needed to tell you why we need the information in the archive. You see, yesterday I was helping Rainbow Dash perform a stunt, using my magic to give her a boost, and she just… vanished.”
Celestia raised an eyebrow, a concerned look on her face, “Vanished? You mean she teleported?”
“I don’t know,” Twilight frowned, “I was only using a spell to make her fly faster; I wasn’t even thinking of a teleportation spell. I don’t know what happened, whether she teleported somewhere, got vaporized, was abducted by aliens, or WHAT!” with each speculation, her speech became more frantic, and by the time she finished speaking she was hyperventilating.
“Twilight!” Celestia placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder to calm her down, “You need to relax and think straight if you’re ever to find out what happened. I will be more than happy to help you search the archives and consult with you on your findings, but if we want to make any progress I need you not to worry so much. You and I both know Rainbow Dash, she’s strong, confident, and resilient; I’m sure whatever happened to her she’s okay.”
Twilight took a few moments to catch her breath, and smiled warmly at Celestia, “You’re right. If we’re going to save Rainbow Dash, we’re going to need to believe in ourselves. Funny,” she gave a small chuckle, “that’s exactly what Spike was telling me last night.”
Celestia smiled, “It sounds to me like Spike knows really knows what he’s talking about.” She placed a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder, “Now, I believe we have some research to do, don’t we?”
Twilight looked up and nodded, “Yeah, time to go help the others search.”
“Very well then,” Celestia replied as she began to walk to the door. She walked out and waited for Twilight to leave after her, then used her magic to close the door.
By the time Twilight and Celestia arrived at the archive, the entire place looked like it had been hit by a twister. A fluffy pink twister, to be exact. “Nope, not here,” Pinkie threw another book over her shoulder and immediately reached for another.
“Ow,” Fluttershy rubbed the back of her head after getting hit by yet another flying book. “Um, Pinkie,” she turned around to face the pink pony, “do you think you could please be more careful? You’ve already hit me with three books, Applejack with four, and Rarity with three.”
“Ow!” Rarity whined from the next aisle over.
“Oh, make that four,” Fluttershy squeaked. Pinkie continued to grab books, skim them over, and throw them over her shoulder until she was raised in the air by an aura of magenta magic.
“Hi Twilight!” Pinkie giggled as she was levitated over to Twilight.
“Pinkie,” Twilight started, “we’re supposed to be looking for clues that can get Rainbow back, not destroying the library.”
“I know that, silly,” Pinkie smiled innocently, “that’s why I’m looking through the books so super duper quickly.”
“I appreciate your eagerness to help,” Twilight replied, “but you’re leaving books all over the place and possibly giving our friends brain damage.”
Pinkie blinked and turned her head slowly, only now taking in the full extent of the damage she had cause, “Oopsie,” she laughed. “Don’t worry, Twilight, I’ll be more careful and put the books back on the shelves this time.”
Twilight gave a content smile and released Pinkie from her magical grip, “Good, now let’s both do our best to find something that can help.”
Pinkie saluted, “You’ve got it, Twilight.” She happily bounced off to another wing of the library, the librarian shivering in terror at the thought of having to completely reshelf another wing.
Celestia watched Pinkie in confusion, “My, she sure is enthusiastic about finding Rainbow Dash.”
Twilight nodded, “She and Dash have plans for April Foals Day, so she wants to get Dash home in time.”
Celestia laughed a bit, “An interesting motivation, but I suppose we shouldn’t complain as long as it works.”
“I guess so,” Twilight responded as she started trotting into one of the currently vacant wings of the library. She took a seat and grabbed a dozen books in her magic, stacking them next to her. As she opened the first book, she quietly mused “I still wish she had better self control, though.”
Celestia’s eyes widened when she heard this, and she promptly turned to face Twilight, “What did you just say, Twilight?”
“Huh?” Twilight looked up from the book. “Oh, nothing important. I was just saying I wish Pinkie had better self control.”
“Twilight,” Celestia slowly replied, “I think you just solved the mystery.”
“What?” Twilight dropped the book, stood up, and ran up to Celestia. “How is that the solution to the mystery?”
Celestia rubbed her chin in thought, then inquired “Twilight, when you used your spell on Rainbow Dash, what were you trying to do?”
“Well,” Twilight answered, “I was trying to make Rainbow fly faster.”
Celestia nodded, “And why exactly were you trying to make Rainbow fly faster?”
Twilight thought for a moment, before it hit her, “Because I wanted to help Dash reach her goal.”
Celestia smiled knowingly, “You didn’t cast a spell meant to make Rainbow Dash fly faster; you cast a spell meant to help Rainbow Dash accomplish the feat she was attempting.”
Twilight gasped, “Breaking a new barrier of speed.”
“That’s right, Twilight,” Celestia continued, “as you know, Rainbow Dash has already broken the sound barrier, and it is impossible to break the light barrier. What your spell did was give her a new barrier to break, one which was more difficult than sound, but not impossible like light. All we need now is to learn just what that barrier was, and what the result was of her breaking it.”
“I understand, Celestia,” Twilight nodded as she trotted out of the isle. “Girls,” she called, “we’ve found the answer.”
“Not exactly, Twilight,” Celestia interrupted, placing a hoof on Twilight’s shoulder. “You’ve only figured out the answer to the first part of the question. We know the cause now, but we still need to know the full extent of the effect.”
“Twilight,” Applejack trotted up to the princesses, followed by Fluttershy, Rarity, and Pinkie Pie, “ya say ya found the answer?”
“Sort of,” Twilight answered, “we’ve figured out what happened. You see, when I cast my spell on Rainbow Dash, it caused her to break through a new barrier of speed, somewhere between sound and light.”
“The Space Barrier,” Pinkie added.
“Yes, Pinkie,” Twilight nodded, “the Space Barri- WHAT?!?” She turned to Pinkie with wide eyes, “You knew?!?”
Pinkie giggled, “Of course I did, silly? Don’t you remember?” She reached her hooves behind a bookshelf and pulled out a white screen, then held up a remote. She clicked the button on the remote and a projection appeared on the screen.
Twilight raised an eyebrow “Um, Pinkie, I’m really sorry about your blender, but there’s an emergency. Rainbow Dash vanished into thin air this morning and I have no idea why! I used a spell to make her fly faster, but when she was using it she just vanished!”
Pinkie blinked, paused for a moment in contemplation, and suddenly gasped “I knew it!”
Twilight’s mouth dropped “Y-you did?!? But how?!?”
“It was my Pinkie sense, silly,” Pinkie giggled, “when my ears flop, my tail twitches, my left hind hoof skips and I hiccup, it means somepony just got sent to another dimension.”
The projector stopped. Twilight turned to look at the back wall, then whispered to Celestia “I didn’t know there was a screen and projector in here.”
“There weren’t,” Celestia whispered, equally confused.
“See, Twilight?” Pinkie asked as she pushed the screen away, “My Pinkie sense was right again.”
Twilight facehooved, “Pinkie, if you knew what happened to Rainbow Dash, why were you digging through the archives like a madmare?”
“I was looking for a cook book,” Pinkie smiled, “but all I found were boring physics books like ‘Astrophysics for Morons’ and ‘Theory of the Space Barrier.’”
“The space barrier?” Twilight asked, her mouth agape. “That’s exactly what we need, why didn’t you tell me you found it?”
“You didn’t ask, silly” Pinkie giggled.
“I-but-I” Twilight started twitching uncontrollably, but then stopped abruptly and collapsed, completely out cold.
“Um, Pinkie,” Applejack started, “how about you go grab that book you mentioned while we carry Twilight back to the train station?”
“There won’t be any need for that,” Celestia spoke up, “you’re free to stay in the castle as long as it takes for Twilight to get Rainbow Dash back.”
“Really?” Rarity beamed, “We get to stay at the castle?” She began joyfully hopping in place.
“Yeah, yeah, it’s real excitin’, Rarity,” Applejack rolled her eyes, “how about some help with Twilight?” There was no response. Applejack looked over to Rarity, who had apparently fainted from excitement, “Oh for Pete’s sake!” She turned to Fluttershy, “’Shy, looks like you’ll need to carry her while ah carry Twilight.”
“Oh,” Fluttershy reached down and picked up Rarity, struggling a bit with her weight, “okay.”
Applejack leaned down and picked Twilight up, draping her over her back, “Let’s go, Pinkie.”
Pinkie hopped up to her, holding the physics book, along with about a dozen cook books, “Look what I found. They were under C.”
Applejack deadpanned, but decided to learn from Twilight’s mistake, “Nice job Pinkie, now let’s get on out of here.”
“Okie dokie lokie” Pinkie hopped in place, somehow not dropping the books.
About twenty minutes later, the group finally made it all the way up to the tower where they were going to be staying. Both Applejack and Fluttershy were gasping for breath as they set Twilight and Rarity on the floor. Celestia entered the room after them, followed by Pinkie Pie. As Pinkie set down the books and started jumping on one of the beds, Celestia walked over to Applejack and Fluttershy, “You know, you didn’t need to carry them all the way up here. If you wanted I could have used my magic.”
Applejack and Fluttershy’s jaws dropped, and Applejack stuttered, “Wh-why didn’t you tell us before?”
Celestia smiled and answered “You didn’t ask.”
Both Applejack and Fluttershy, stared at each other dumfounded, and then passed out. Celestia turned to Pinkie Pie, “I believe I’m starting to enjoy this humor of yours.”