Chapter 10: Dreams of an Absolution
“I’m sorry for this unusual way of meeting.” Silver said to Twilight. “But I don’t want to cause any disruption. I mean, I’m… not exactly supposed to be here.”
“What are you talking about?” Twilight asked confusedly, her voice somewhat irritated. “And what do you mean you’re not supposed to be here? Are you some sort of criminal? And what the heck is Sol Umbrae?”
Silver shook his head. “No, nothing like that. I mean, I’m not supposed to be in this timeline. You see, I’m from the future. Three hundred years in the future to be exact. A future where our worlds were both broken by Sol Umbrae. You see, Sol Umbrae is the destroyer, the one who dooms our worlds to the suffering we live through, and it arose because of the events happening now.”
“So, why ask me for help?” Twilight asked. “What can I do?”
Silver shuffled awkwardly. “I was… always a big admirer of you in the history books. Your legacy inspired me to become a hero and fight against Sol Umbrae.”
“And you want me to help you? How?” Twilight asked.
Silver held out a hand towards her. “Come with me, and I’ll show you. Perhaps together, we can find a solution.”
Twilight looked skeptical. But she had had experience with time travel before, and Silver was even younger than her, so she didn’t feel threatened.
“All right. If you think you can help us, then I’m not going to turn down this chance.”
Silver looked incredibly relieved. “Then let’s go.” he said, pulling out a strange-looking jewel.
“Where are we going?” Twilight asked.
“To the future.” Silver replied.
He held the jewel in the air. “KRONOS CONTROL!”
Twilight suddenly found herself standing in an arid wasteland. Nothing but dry, cracked soil, barren rock and some sparse dead trees surrounded her. The sun was red above them, and it beat down on them, baking them with its light.
Silver immediately pulled Twilight into a ravine, where some shade could be found, but even there, it was roasting, and Twilight could already feel herself sweating heavily.
“Take this.” Silver said, offering her a golden ring. As Twilight touched it, it disappeared with a tinkling sound, and she felt the strength-sapping heat less.
“That will protect you from sunstroke or sunburn.” Silver told her. “Now, how’s your flying and teleporting?”
“Okay, I guess.” Twilight replied. “I’m still learning to fly, but I’ve pretty much mastered short-range teleportation.”
“Good.” Silver said. “Now follow me, and keep to the shadows. Stay out of the sunlight as much as possible. We don’t want Sol Umbrae to see us.”
A bluish-green glow surrounded Silver, and he floated into the air. Twilight flapped her wings and took off, trying to keep up with the white hedgehog as he soared along.
“So, what is up with this Sol Umbrae thing?” Twilight asked, too confused to question how the hedgehog was flying. “Where did it come from?”
“Dunno.” Silver said. “All I know is that an evil force got hold of the Sol Emeralds.”
“Mephiles.” Twilight muttered to herself.
“Keep your eyes out!” Silver shouted back. “Sol Umbrae’s minions could be patrolling, and there are monsters lurking all over! Ever since Tartarus was opened, even the shadows are dangerous!”
“Wait, Tartarus?” Twilight asked in surprise. “I thought that was in Equestria.”
Silver gave her a rather sad glance. “I… think there’s something you should see.” he said.
Soaring up a cliff side, they landed underneath an encampment of rock which shaded them.
“So, what is it I should see?” Twilight asked.
Silver silently pointed out onto the horizon.
Twilight stared out, and gasped. Before them, the scorched land stretched for miles. And high upon the mountainside, were the ruins of a city. And not just any city.
It was Canterlot.
“Bu… but I thought this was Mobius!” Twilight spluttered. “No… how could this be?”
Silver sighed. “Many Mobians were born in Equestria. All I know about Mobius is that it was destroyed centuries ago. The world where the Sol Emeralds hailed from crumbled when the Sol Emeralds were stolen and never returned. As for Mobius, it was shattered when the Sol Emeralds and the Chaos Emeralds were kept in the same world for too long, during Sol Umbrae’s takeover. Any Mobians who survived fled to Equestria.”
Twilight flopped down on her rump, staring at the ruins of Canterlot. “This… this is the future?”
“If we can’t change it.” Silver replied, shaking his head. “Now we have to get going. You need to meet the others.”
“Others?” Twilight asked.
“Yes.” Silver replied. “The Chaos Fighters. We are a resistance group, who strives to fight Sol Umbrae, although hope isn’t something we have. The best we can do is survive.”
He turned to leave. “We have to get to the rendezvous point. From there, we’ll be able to reach our base.”
As he soared down the cliff, Twilight followed him, lost in a daze.
“They should be near that ridge.” Silver said, pointing a finger. “We should try and avoid being seen. Stay out of the sunlight.”
With a blur and a zip, Silver appeared behind a large boulder. Twilight teleported next to him.
“You can teleport, too?” she asked.
“It’s not teleportation, per se.” Silver answered. “I use my telekinesis to send my molecules across space at high velocity. Only works at very short range.”
“You have telekinesis?” Twilight asked with surprise. “Are you part unicorn or something?”
“Not that I know of.” Silver said, giving the first smirk Twilight had ever seen him give. “I don’t actually know how I got my powers. When I was little….”
Suddenly Silver grew stiff. He motioned for Twilight to be silent, and pointed down the ridge. As Twilight looked, she saw a group of frightening beasts. They came in all shapes and sizes, some like giants, some like birds, some like wolves, but all were made of fire and hardened lava.
“What are they?” Twilight asked in a whisper.
“Minions of Sol Umbrae.” Shadow replied. “They’re everywhere.”
“Can you teleport past them?”
“It’s not teleporting, but I might be able to.” Silver answered. “I trust you can?”
“It shouldn’t be a….” Twilight’s voice trailed off.
“Twilight?” Silver asked, turning about.
Then he stopped cold. Twilight was staring at a fiery bird which hovered above them. They had been spotted.
The bird let out a screech. Silver raised his hand and threw the bird into a rock wall, where it burst into flames and disappeared, but the damage was done. The other fiery beasts were coming their way.
“Go, go, run!” Silver shouted, soaring into the sky.
Twilight was beside him in an instant. They zipped through the sky, a phalanx of fiery birds on their tails.
They dove towards the ridge where the rendezvous point was. As soon as he landed, Silver spun about, raising his hands. From around him, dozens of rocks were lifted into the air. He hurled them past Twilight as she landed, striking the flaming birds.
“Nice work!” Twilight panted.
“Not over yet!” Silver shouted, pointing towards the other fiery beasts that were in rapid pursuit.
He and Twilight dashed down a gully that ran alongside the ridge. Both of them used their telekinesis to send boulders crashing behind them, in hopes of slowing up the enemy.
Suddenly, they reached a dead end. The only thing there was were a bunch of boulders and a sheer, mountainous rock wall.
“Silver, I thought you said this would be the rendezvous point!” Twilight cried, spinning about in the direction of the incoming monsters. She could hear them storming through the gully already. “This is bad! We can’t keep running forever!”
“Don’t worry.” Silver assured her.
“Don’t worry?!” Twilight screamed. “I haven’t been here for three full hours and I’m about to die! And you expect me not to worry?! How could things get any worse?!”
Suddenly, one of the boulders near Twilight moved, rippling and standing up. Hooves took shape, and it changed from a sandy red to black. A pair of large, blue eyes opened up.
It was a changeling.
Twilight froze as boulders all around them shifted into changelings. Her horn sparkled with magic as she prepared to defend herself.
But to her amazement, the changelings paid her no attention. Dashing past her, they began to attack the fiery monsters as they rounded the corner of the gully.
“Come on!” Silver shouted, grabbing Twilight with his telekinesis and pulling her along. “We’ve got to go!”
Suddenly, a hole appeared in the ground in front of them, Silver dove down, dragging Twilight with him.
They began to run through the tunnel. Silver seemed to be following a third figure who loomed ahead of them, hidden in the shadows.
After a while, they reached a small cave and stopped. Silver set Twilight down. She lit up her horn, illuminating the cavern. Her experience had just totally shocked and traumatized her, and now she had a piece of her mind to give to this Silver the Hedgehog.
“What in Celestia’s name are… AAAAUGH!” she screamed. The light showed the third figure’s identity.
It was a diamond dog.
“AUGH!” the diamond dog screamed.
Silver stepped up, holding his hands up between them. “It’s okay, it’s okay.” he assured them. “Scraps, this is Twilight Sparkle. Twilight Sparkle, Scraps.”
Twilight stared in amazement. “Y… you’re a diamond dog!” she cried.
“Twilight Sparkle?!” Scraps shouted. “She went to the Summer Lands centuries ago!” He narrowed his eyes. “Is this one of your changeling friends making some sort of joke? Because I don’t find it funny.”
“This is no joke.” Silver assured him. “I finally was able to find the gem that gave me the power to travel back in time and bring her here!”
“You’re a diamond dog!” Twilight shouted again.
Scraps snorted. “Insightful little filly, isn’t she?”
“You’re a diamond dog! And th-there were changelings outside!” Twilight shrieked. “What in the wide- wide world of Equestria is going on?!”
“Calm down!” Silver told her. “There have been some pretty big changes since Sol Umbrae took over. You’re going to have to adjust.”
“Oh, this’ll be rich.” Scraps chuckled. “If she’s scared of me, wait until she meets the others.”
“What others?!” Twilight shrieked.
The three of them came out of the small cave and into a large tunnel. Waiting there for them was a small steam locomotive, carrying some cars.
“Okay.” Twilight said, trying to keep her calm. “Let me get this straight. In the future, the diamond dogs and the changelings are helping everypony?”
“Well, there’s a stereotype if I’ve ever seen one.” Scraps said, hopping aboard the train. “Not all dragons are bad are they? Nor griffons? So why should all diamond dogs be bad?”
“Well, I haven’t actually seen very much of you.” Twilight admitted, as she and Silver also took their seats. “And the few I did see kidnapped my friend once. I didn‘t mean to be judgmental. I just… well, I have very bad memories about that.”
“I admit, the diamond dogs aren’t exactly known for good behavior.” Scraps agreed. “I suppose we were still at odds with ponies back in your time.”
“But changelings?!” Twilight cried. “They drain pony’s love to feed! How could they be nice now?”
“Who said we’re all nice?” Scraps asked, raising an eyebrow. “I said we’re helping ponies out. I never said any of us were nice.”
“Sol Umbrae forced us to join together.” Silver explained. “Good, bad, that wasn’t important. Old wars and conflicts suddenly didn‘t matter. The only thing which mattered was survival. As we say here now, friendship is survival.”
“Oh, that junk.” Scraps said, rolling his eyes.
“It’s not junk.” Silver stated firmly. “If it weren’t for friendship, we would end up like most of the dragons did. They refused to join with us. Look where that got them.”
“Whatever.” Scraps snorted. “I hear a buzzing coming down the tunnel. Looks like the cavalry’s back.”
From around the corner, a small cloud of changelings came swarming out of the tunnel they had just come out of. They all landed in the train’s cars. Some of them were wounded. Twilight couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge in her heart as a changeling set his injured comrade down beside her. After all, they had saved her life.
“Here, let me see that.” she said to the injured changeling. She examined him, looking at his back legs, which had been hurt by a falling boulder.
“Not too bad.” she said kindly. “The muscle has been bruised, but I think I can deal with that.” She touched each leg with her horn, and the bruises slowly faded.
“Take it easy.” she told the changeling. “It will still be pretty stiff for a while. I only wish Zecora were here with some of her potions.”
The changeling gave her a thankful smile, and despite its frightening face, it warmed her heart.
“Maybe I can learn from this.” Twilight thought as the train started up. “It looks like there are a lot of lessons on friendship I could learn here.”
When the train finally stopped and everyone got out, Twilight looked around in awe. Huge underground caverns rose all about, with arches and towers and doorways and stairs and passages every which way. Surrounding them all were enormous, beautiful crystal structures.
“Where are we?” Twilight gasped.
“This is the base and home of the Chaos Fighters.” Silver said. “We all live here.”
“But what was it?” Twilight asked. “I mean, it seems familiar.”
“I think it was the lower levels of the Crystal Castle.” Silver stated.
Twilight looked around in surprise. “So, we’re in the Crystal Empire?”
“Technically, yes.” Silver said, leading Twilight down a series of passages. “Nowadays, it’s called the Madlands.”
“Why is it called that?” Twilight asked.
“Because here things tend to be a bit… chaotic.” Silver explained. “Not so much down here as on the surface. This is one of the few places we are safe from Sol Umbrae.”
“So what did you bring me here to see?” Twilight asked.
Silver shrugged. “I hoped that you and our leader could work something out together.” he said. “I told him that I had a plan to go back in time and see if you could help us, and he seemed more than willing.”
“Just a few more questions.” Twilight asked, as they stopped in front of two huge doors. “What happened to the princesses? And why are you called the Chaos Fighters? Is it because of the Chaos Emeralds?”
Silver looked uncomfortable. “I… think my teacher is better equipped to answer those questions.” he replied.
As he pushed open the doors, Twilight gasped at the room beyond. Grassy hills rolled across the ground as waterfalls streamed upwards into the rolling sea that made up the roof. Miniature floating islands were tethered to the ground with chains, garlands, and streamers. Neon signs, trees, and oversized lollipops sprung out of the walls.
As Twilight stared in utter shocked confusion, she felt a droplet of rain on her nose. A few more droplets fell on her fur, as thunder began to rumble.
As the puddles began to form, Twilight suddenly felt a cold shock in her heart.
She looked up at the clouds, at their fluffy pinkness. And at the brown liquid streaming from them.
“No. Not him. Anypony but him.” she cried.
The thunder pealed. Twilight turned about to run, but the door had gotten up and ran away.
“So eager to leave, my old friend?” a familiar voice asked. It was both mocking and persuasive at the same time. That might not make sense, but Twilight knew that nothing about this person made sense.
She turned to look at the sky, to face this madman.
“Discord.” she growled.
With a flash, a familiar figure appeared on a throne in the middle. A figure who looked like a mishmash of a dozen different animals. On his head was a sombrero, in his hand was a glass of chocolate milk, and on his face was that familiar, smug grin.
“Red alert.” he chuckled.
Twilight whipped about, turning towards Silver. “This?! This is who you’re all working for?! He’s insane! Worse than that, he’s EVIL!”
“Oh, now that stings.” Discord said sadly, appearing beside the two of them. “I thought you were there when I turned over a new leaf!” He sighed. “It’s the wings. Make somepony an alicorn and suddenly they forget their old friends.”
“You were never my friend!” Twilight shouted. “That was Fluttershy’s idea, and I’m still not sure it was her best!”
For the slightest hint of a moment, Twilight saw Discord’s eyes grow steely. In them, she saw something which reminded her of Shadow’s eyes; filled with grief and rage. Then Discord blinked, and the moment was gone.
“Fluttershy’s trust might just have saved Equestria from meeting the same fate as Mobius.” Discord replied casually, his cocky demeanor quickly returned. “After all, I am keeping everyone safe here, and I was the one who evacuated Mobius.”
“Princess Celestia and Princess Luna could have handled that!” Twilight cried.
“My my, for someone who talks so much about friendship, you sure are being unfriendly.” Discord said nonchalantly, pulling out a nail file and sharpening his claws in a bored manner. “Temper, temper, mon capitane.”
Twilight wanted to scream, but instead, she took a deep breath.
“You’re right. I’m sorry.” she said, although she could barely believe she was speaking these words to this person. “I should uphold my ideals of friendship, even towards someone like you.”
“That’s the spirit!” Discord cried. “Oh, how I’ve missed you. It just wasn’t the same with you gone. I suppose I still had Jean-luc and Catherine to visit, but they never actually managed to give me the challenge you did. And you are always so adorable when you’re angry! No wonder the bronies love you!”
“Look,” Twilight said, ignoring Discord’s confusing comments, “I need to know why you brought me here!”
“Ah, eager to learn, as always!” Discord laughed. He snapped his fingers, and suddenly the room was a tropical resort, although the world seemed to curl like a corkscrew.
“I brought you here because you need to do something.” Discord stated, now wearing swim trunks and a Hawaiian shirt. “Sol Umbrae is out there causing chaos.”
“Isn’t that what you do?” Twilight asked.
“Yes, but I have a creative flair.” Discord replied, picking up a piña colada from a nearby drink stand. “And I’m a spirit of chaos, not destruction. Scorching the world into a desert is amusing, I admit, but for three hundred years straight? And fire monsters?” He squished his cheeks with his hands, and assumed a sarcastic voice. “Ooo! that’s soooo original!”
Discord rolled his eyes, taking a sip of the glass and leaving the piña colada intact. “There was I time when chaos was fun, for goodness sakes! Now I’ve got to spend all my time protecting Equestria just so I can have some place to create chaos! Ugh! It’s all work and no play!”
“Is that all you care about? Your fun?” Twilight asked angrily. “Lots of ponies, and Mobians, and whatever else, are depending on you!”
“Oh, don’t worry, I look after them.” Discord said in a bored tone. “Like I said, I’m a spirit of chaos, not destruction. Anyone kicking the bucket just means one less person to play with. That’s why I made things a little interesting for everyone.”
“Interesting in what way?” Twilight asked suspiciously.
“I believe he means the Chaos Heroes.” Silver spoke up.
“The who now?” Twilight asked.
“Well, I don’t know where I got my powers from,” Silver went on, “but a lot of others here have special powers Discord gave them, to help them in the fight against Sol Umbrae.”
“Then why not just give everypony powers and attack Sol Umbrae together?” Twilight asked.
“Not so simple.” Discord replied. “Believe me, I’ve done that.” He grinned at the memory. “Now that was a sight to behold. A battle charge of thousands of superheroes, each with a unique and chaotic power! Cheese vision! Antigravity sneezes! Extending tongues that turned into snakes! Oh, it was fabulous! But we ultimately failed our goal, and had to retreat. Even all our might wasn‘t great enough to win.”
“So what about the princesses?” Twilight asked. “I’m sure they didn’t just sit by and do nothing!”
Discord shook his head. “Ah, the tragic period at the beginning. Luna did her best to save us. Poor girl. Banished to the moon again, this time for good. I have been trying to find a way to get her back, but… well, it pains me to admit it, but Sol Umbrae’s magic is beyond even my capability to counter.”
“But what about Princess Celestia?” Twilight asked fearfully. “She’s the most powerful alicorn ever!”
Discord gave a grin, but this time it held no mirth. “You really are naïve, aren’t you?” he said. “I thought the great Twilight Sparkle could do better.”
He leaned in close to Twilight. “Fiery beasts. Scorching light. The sun itself, the very light which sustains our world, becoming our greatest threat….”
He stared at Twilight, and for once, his face was grim. “Haven’t you figured it out? Celestia is Sol Umbrae.”
Twilight stood in utter shock.
“N… no. No! That can’t be true! Princess Celestia would never give in to Mephiles!”
“Oh, of course she wouldn’t.” Discord replied. “Tia was always such a goody-two-horseshoes. But she was also very, very foolish.”
“Hold on.” Silver asked. “Why didn’t you ever tell us this before?
“Well, I didn’t tell you because it didn’t really matter until now.” Discord replied offhandedly. “Now, will you please let me finish so I can explain it?”
Discord cleared his throat and went on. “Celestia might be very wise, but she does a terrible job of keeping her eyes out for threats she doesn’t expect. Didn’t she tell you that the humans stole something from her?”
“She did mention something about that.” Twilight admitted.
“It was a small sample of her blood.” Discord replied. “Now, while Celestia knew her magic well, she never bothered to study Mobian science. You see, at the time the humans stole the blood, they thought they could use it for some magical ritual. But over time, they learned that they could use science to do something even greater.”
Discord turned towards Twilight. “You know the basics of genetic, correct?”
“Of course!” Twilight replied. “I’ve known them since before I even came to Ponyville.”
“Well,” Discord went on, “Equestria was wise enough never to go beyond simple study. But these humans decided to try the impossible. Using a mixture of cloning and genetic engineering, they tried to create their own sun god. A being they called Solaris.”
Twilight was aghast. “S-Solaris? That was… you mean… that was made from Celestia?”
“Yes, the being Iblis was a product of an attempt to clone your sun goddess. And it was only a fraction of her power.” Discord answered. “Imagine Sol Umbrae.”
“Who’s Solaris?” Silver asked. “And who’s Iblis?”
Discord gave a sigh. “Oh, by the way Twilight, want to try your memory spell on Silver here? It might make things easier for you later on.”
“Wait, a memory spell?” Silver asked. “You mean I have suppressed memories?”
Discord laughed. “Oh, more than you could imagine. You really don’t know who you are, do you?”
Discord appeared at Silver’s side. “The time-walker. The hero of the future. You have relived your life over and over again, each time only to go back, erase it, and start again. In most cases, your past remains the same, and your future is the only thing that changes, letting you remember your deeds. But there was a time when the name Iblis, and how to destroy it, was all that filled you mind.”
“Wait. Silver was there during the Solaris incident?” Twilight asked.
Discord gave a bored sigh. “Yes, yes, of course he was. ‘Destroy the Iblis Trigger!’, ‘It’s no uuuuse!’ and on and on. He had the same angry dedication that Tia tends to get when I show up.”
Discord disappeared, reappearing in front of them in a flash of light. He snapped his fingers, and suddenly they were back in his chaotic throne room.
“Now, once you perform the memory spell, you’ll have a very important mission.” Discord stated. “You see, Nightmare Moon, or Mephiles, or Sol Umbrae, or whatever you prefer to call it, only could possess Celestia and have her might because of the Sol Emeralds, everyone knows that. But what they don’t know is that this Mephiles only managed to do so by drawing power from a direct source of Celestia: the blood samples. That was the only way he could be accepted into her body, and keep her from being able to resist him. Your task is simple: destroy those samples, and all research on the Solaris project. That might give just enough of a chance for Celestia to be able to resist this shadow being and prevent this terrible future.”
“B-but I’ve tried changing the past before!” Twilight cried. “It doesn’t work! I just came back to find I had already done what I had set out to do!”
Discord smiled. “But you already have, Twilight Sparkle.”
Twilight looked confused. “But… then shouldn’t the future have changed?”
“It hasn’t changed because you haven’t won.” Discord replied with a grin. “The past may be fixed, but the future is always in motion.”
Twilight looked confused. “But… then… do you even exist? And aren’t I just your past?”
“Some things are destined to be.” Discord replied. “From what I know, there isn’t a future in Mobius where Silver isn’t born.”
“But….” Twilight struggled to understand.
The entire throne room had begun to crumble, and debris was streaming upwards into the sky as Discord leaned close. “There are other forces in this world, Twilight Sparkle, beside the will of evil. Silver was meant to find you, and that also means you were meant to help him. And that is an encouraging thought.”
Twilight sighed. “This is like that day with Pinkie Pie and her Pinkie sense, isn’t it?” she asked as the world began to crumble upwards around her. “I don’t understand. I just need to have faith.”
“Have faith?” Discord asked. “Interesting choice of words, Twilight Sparkle. I believe you’ve just solved your own problem.”
Discord laughed, riding into the crumbling skies upon a cloud of cotton candy.
“What do you mean, I’ve solved my own problem?” Twilight called after him. “That doesn’t even make sense!”
She could hear Discord’s voice just as clearly as ever as it echoed about her. “My dear, for the first time in ages, I am making perfect sense. You just don’t know it yet.”
Then everything disappeared with a final flash of brilliant light.
Twilight Sparkle and Silver suddenly found themselves in a place Twilight didn’t recognize. But Silver did.
“Wonder why he transported us to my apartment.” Silver mumbled. He sighed, walking into the kitchen. “Okay, now you’ve met the master, and my teacher. And let me just tell you, don’t try to make sense of what he said. It will either come to you in time, or it will never make sense. Would you like a drink?”
Twilight was still a little dazed by what had just happened, and was trying to figure things out. “Then the future… and the past… but then… or maybe….”
“Twilight, I told you, forget it.” Silver said. “Believe me, if this whole time stuff is confusing you, Discord’s description probably won’t do much good. Just do like you said. Have faith. Now, we have apple juice, wheat juice, chocolate milk….”
“Wheat juice will do fine.” Twilight replied, flopping down on a couch. She suddenly noticed how unusual the pleasant settings were, considering the circumstances the world was in.
“One great thing about us Mobians coming here is that you pony folk have a talent for making the best of a bad situation.” Silver explained, seeing her confused looks. “Back in the early days, the Spirit of Generosity did wonders for our morale, helping us make homes in these caverns. She always furnished them well, stating that the battle for hope and morale was just as important as the one we were fighting up on the surface.”
“Rarity?!” Twilight exclaimed, taking the wheat juice as Silver handed it to her telekinetically. Then she smiled. “Actually, I’m not surprised. The world’s ending, and she’s still focused on style. And yet it appears that it was a wise choice. Although I never knew Rarity thought of style with that kind of depth. I always thought that it was merely because she liked it, but it sounds like she’s found something very important in style and fashion. She did it for the betterment of others. Giving of herself as usual. Suddenly all those free outfits she gives away make sense.” Twilight sighed, taking a sip of her wheat juice. “Generosity indeed.”
“Care for a snack?” Silver asked. “I’ve got potato chips, cheese doodles, pretzels. If you want I have some crackers and cheese paste, or an apple or a banana. There’s also some leftover pizza I could warm up, and there’s some salad and coleslaw and… I think I have some of those cupcakes Maraschino Cherry gave me.”
Twilight’s stomach growled. She hadn’t eaten since she had left for Tails’ lab to meet Blaze, and now she was starving.
“I wouldn’t like to impose….” she said.
Silver waved his hand dismissively. “Discord creates food storms all the time for us. Chaos for him, meals for us, so everyone’s happy. We still make some of our own foods, but supplies aren’t easy to come by. Thank goodness the changelings don’t really eat food.”
“How do you feed them?” Twilight asked. “Draining love is kind of… well, it’s not exactly something anyone would want to happen to them.”
“Well, the changelings usually get married, or find a friend, or something.” Silver said. “That way, the love is directed at the changeling themselves, so they don’t have to steal love . It’s supposedly a purer, better taste and healthier when it’s genuine. And it doesn‘t hurt the person they get it from.”
Twilight looked surprised. “You know… I wonder if we couldn’t find a way to do that in Equestria back in my time.” she mused. “We might be able to actually have peace with the changelings, then.”
“Well, friendship is survival.” Silver stated. “Especially for a changeling. Now, I could try and make a new pizza. I have the ingredients, and I’ve been told I make good pizza.”
“Well, if I’m not imposing.” Twilight accepted.
“What kind of toppings?” Silver asked
Twilight thought for a few moments. “Bell peppers and olives.” she said. “If you don’t have them, I could probably use a transformation spell to make them.”
“Nah, I got ‘em.” Silver replied, pulling them out of the fridge. “It’s Hawaiian for me. Care for anything while you’re waiting?”
“I guess I could go for some of that coleslaw.” Twilight said.
Silver raised his hand, pulling a bowl out of the cabinet with his psychokinesis, then pulling the coleslaw out of the refrigerator, while with his hands he was rolling out the pizza dough. Twilight watched as Silver accidentally spilled some as he poured it into a bowl.
“You know, a spoon might work better.” she suggested.
Silver blushed. “I’m… not too good at moving things with great accuracy.” he explained. “I can throw a boulder the size of a house, but I have a hard time making a spoon scoop something out of a bucket.”
“Maybe I could help.” Twilight said. “Once this is over, we could….” Her voice drifted off. “If you change the past… will you remember me?”
Silver looked sad. “I… don’t know. I remember some of my past adventures on Mobius. I mean, because of my method of time travel, I tend to retain the memories, and not receive new ones from the life I supposedly led. So even if I change the future, it doesn’t change my past. I tended to think it was always like that. But what memories do I have that I can’t remember? How important were they? Most importantly, who did I forget? Did I forget friends or loved ones?”
“Only one way to find out.” Twilight said, gesturing with her hoof for him to come over to her.
Moving away from the half-made pizza, Silver gingerly approached her.
“What if the memories are bad?” His voice showed a touch of worry.
“You’ll never know unless you try.” Twilight replied.
Silver sighed and closed his eyes. “All right. Do it.”
Twilight touched her horn to Silver’s forehead, and a spark of magic shimmered.
Silver looked dazed for a moment. Then he caught his head and suddenly sat down on a nearby chair.
“Blaze.” he whispered. “How could I… forget?” His eyes were teary.
“You knew Blaze?” Twilight asked in surprise.
Silver smiled. “She was like a sister to me.” he replied. Suddenly he did a double take. “Wait, you know Blaze, too?”
“I met her not too long ago.” Twilight replied. Suddenly her eyes opened in realization. “Wait. She talked about a friend of hers named Silver! You mean… but I thought that you were from centuries beyond her time!”
“It’s a long story.” Silver sighed. “Suffice to say, I’m not the only one who has traveled through time before.”
“Well, when we get back, you can see Blaze again!” Twilight said brightly.
Silver’s eyes grew all teary. Suddenly, to Twilight’s surprise, he leapt up and hugged her.
“Thank you. So much.” he said with an emotional smile. “I… the last time I saw Blaze, I thought I would never see her again.”
Suddenly feeling awkward about his affectionate display, Silver drew away and awkwardly scratched the back of his head.
“So, um… I guess I’ll get to work on that pizza!” he said, suddenly looking as if the weight of the world had fallen from his shoulders. He glided into the kitchen, and as he began to work, Twilight smiled, for she heard him humming.