Twilight Sparkle, personal apprentice of Princess Celestia, awakes with a start, her eyes flying open as she rises from her sleeping bag in a blind panic. Her pulse racing like a raging river and her body covered in a cold sweat, she awakens from a nightmare whose contents escape her lingering memories. After a few deep breaths the librarian once again gains her mental footing, her fever pitched heart slowing down to a normal rate as she takes stock of her surroundings. Cautiously, scanning the room around her, she suddenly becomes aware of her friend’s loud conversations, the six of them eating breakfast and planning their day ahead without any care in the world. Twilight flinches from the sight of her friends as if something is deeply wrong with the scene before her. Yet despite her unease the mare is unable to place a hoof on what is wrong, her thoughts turning inward as she tries to remember what brought her up to this point.
‘Wasn’t I somewhere else?’ the errant thought passes through her mind. ‘I was looking in the library and……. What happened after that?’
“Twilight!” Applejack turns to face the lavender mare as she hooves Twilight a mess tin filled with rations. “Well it seems like somepony was as tired as a bear in fall! Now hurry an chow down Twi, we’ve got a busy day ahead.”
“Yeah, egghead! I’m rarin’ to go today, so you had better not slow me down,” Dash comments as she shoves more of her breakfast rations down her throat.
“Yeah!” Pinkie digs into her tray of food. “It’s gonna be great! I can’t wait to see what happens this time!”
“This time?” Twilight cocks her head.
Rarity takes a fashionably small bite of her meal before turning to Twilight. “Ignore Pinkie, dear, she’s been acting strange ever since we got here. But then again, when is Pinkie not a doll?”
“Silly Rarity!” Pinkie complains. “I’m not a doll! At least not yet!”
Twilight rubs her head in confusion as she digs herself out of her sleeping bag. “Wait a second, what happened last night? I went out to look through the castle, I found the library and…..” Twilight’s head throbs, causing her to rub her horn.
“Um, Twilight?” Fluttershy asks, brushing her green mane out of her face, “are you alright? You seem a little off? I mean…...If you need to stay here and rest more, we understand. It was a very busy day yesterday.”
Twilight rubs her horn as the headache recedes. “Yes, Fluttershy, I’m fine, I must have just slept too long, that’s……” Twilight does a double-take, scanning Fluttershy’s pink mane. “….. All?”
“Well then Ah know what’ll cheer ya up and get energy in ya fer the day ahead.” Applejack places a large brown pastry on Twilight’s tray. “If you’re gonna be good yer gonna be better with some of mah Apple brown betties in ya! They’re perfect fer a long day of exploring!”
Twilight looks once at the pastry on her tray before scooping the brown betty into her mouth, moaning with pleasure at the rich apple taste on her tongue. With ravenous hunger the unicorn finishes the pastry in record time, downing the beaker of Apple Cider by her side. “Thanks, Applejack, that was amazing; I guess I was just hungry.”
“Well shucks, Twi, from the looks of it I figure yawl could sit here all day an eat those things.” Applejack smiles as she props her brown Stetson on her head. “Alright then, that’s it fer breakfast, yawl. Now let’s get on with it, and git down ta the brass tacks.”
“Applejack’s right, we had better start the search as soon as possible.” Twilight looks at the room around them with a newfound appreciation. “As nice as this place is, I want to find out what’s up and get back to Ponyville.”
“What’s the hurry?” Dash asks. “We’ve got all day! Besides, these Apple betties are delicious. Let’s just sit back and talk here. We have plenty of time.”
Twilight arches an eyebrow at Rainbow’s strange behavior. “Well I’m glad that you’ve learned some patience, Dash, but we need to get on with our jobs otherwise nothing will ever get done..”
Dash groans. “Alright fine, but I call looking from the air! In case you forgot……” Dash strikes a cool pose, putting a pair of sunglasses on her face only to take them off dramatically. “……flying is my specialty.”
“……Right….. Anyways……” Twilight looks to the rest of the group. “Everypony, huddle in.”
With almost clockwork precision and speed the six mares and Twilight sit down as they listen to Twilight’s plan. “Alright everypony,” The lavender librarian begins. “Yesterday, before we came to the palace, I was able to determine with the Strange Stone fragment in our possession, that the force that has been pulling all the Strange Stones and Red Stones into the Everfree is indeed near this castle’s location. However, the null stone that the palace is made of is interfering with the abnormality, so the plan is simple.”
Twilight reaches into her pack, pulling out small fragments of the Strange Stones, levitating a small piece to the hooves of every pony in the room. “We each will receive a Strange Stone and split up to cover more ground; the first pony to find the abnormality will call out for the others. Hopefully by day’s end we’ll have found the source of the abnormality and hopefully gained a better understanding of what these Strange Stones are.”
“Now, any questions?” Fluttershy raises her hoof. “Yes, Fluttershy? What is your question?”
“Um, I don’t mean to be a bother……..” Fluttershy asks meekly, “But……. Um, what was the plan again?”
Twilight facehooves. “I just told you, Fluttershy: we use the Strange Stones to locate the source that is drawing all these Strange Stones and Red Stones into the Everfree. It’s literally that simple. I don’t see how you could not understand it.”
“Oh, no. I mean…… um what are we after?” The yellow mare begins to blush a bit. “I mean, what are looking for the corpse fragments for? I mean it’s so dangerous here.”
Twilight opens her mouth to speak, to tell Fluttershy exactly why they are here, and exactly why they can’t chicken out halfway through, when her words freeze in her mouth. Twilight’s throat grows dry as a chilling feeling passes over her body, the feeling that, once again, something is very wrong, that everything is very wrong. However before she can voice her concerns her thoughts are cut off by an almost razor-sharp voice, a voice whose tone she can’t place.
“Ttttttttttwwwwwwwwiiiiiiiiiiiiillllllllliiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhhhhhttttttttttt?????? Are you Oooooookkkkkaaaaayyyyyy?”
The voice resounds through her mind like a gong, her thoughts becoming more sluggish with every syllable that echoes through her mind. A deep fog fills the unicorn’s head, her thoughts becoming dismissive of her paranoid concerns. “I’m fine, Fluttershy,” Twilight recites, as if reading the words off of a sheet of paper.
“It’s like I said before in the library,” Twilight says clearly and eerily. “The reason that we are looking for the corpse fragments is because we don’t know what they do. On the Night of Shooting Stars, the Red Stone fragmented across Equestria when we attempted to purify Princess Luna from the evil force that held her.”
Twilight looks at her hoof, amazed that she had forgotten her fur was purple. “We think it succeeded, so that’s good, but the Red Stones scattering across Equestria is very bad. We’ve spent our time gathering these Red Stones because of that, and these Strange Stones are just more powerful versions of the Red Stones. So it’s part of our job to gather them too.”
Oblivious to her own ranting, the purple unicorn drones on. “And more worrying, Celestia seems to have no idea that these Strange Stones even exist. So we need to find out what they are and how they work before we tell her about them.”
As the fog that had dominated her mind before begins to disappear, Twilight fiddles through her bag, handing small fragment of the Strange Stones to each one of her friends. “That’s why we’re investigating this phenomenon. This force pulling the Stones into the Everfree is a threat to the ponies of Equestria. Not only that, if we discover the source behind this phenomenon it can aid us in finding out more information on how these Stones work.”
‘Come to think of it…….’ A thought echoes through Twilight’s mind, ‘wasn’t there something important about Princess Luna that …….. nah. Twilight, quit being so paranoid.’
Applejack raises her hoof. “But why not tell Celestia? I mean, you’re her student, don’t you trust her?” Applejack remarks as she puts her Stetson back on her head.
“Of course I do, Rainbow Dash! She’s my mentor, my idol…….. It’s just……..” Twilight’s mind flies in circles, and this time it’s not from her situation but from her own mental turmoil. Applejack did have a point, why didn’t she tell Celestia about the Strange Stones? WOuldn’t it be easier to just ask her mentor’s opinions rather than drag her friends through the dangers of the Everfree to satisfy her own fears of having to confess to her mentor her own ignorance? It would be so easy to just tell the Princess, and she trusted her mentor with her life, so why didn’t she just come clean? Was it because she just didn’t want to turn in something half-finished and expect her perfect teacher to fill in the blanks? Or was it something else, something strange and surreal, some unexplainable vibe that made her head spin and her stomach ache? “It’s just that……. That…….”
“You just have your doubts,” a wise voice finishes. “You are a smart mare, Twilight Sparkle, and despite your love and adoration for Celestia it has not blinded you to the truth. Doubts are not always comfortable, Twilight Sparkle, but they must be shouldered if one is to face the truth with unbiased sight.”
The voice continues with a mixture of impressed gratitude and wary suspicion. “Perhaps I misjudged you, Twilight Sparkle; you are quite observant in addition to your mental prowess, it is no small wonder that Celestia chose you as her student. Methinks that you might become an ally yet, but for now I must be sure of your intentions. The powers that you are toying with must not fall into the wrong hooves.”
“Yes, that’s exactly it, Fluttershy; I just have doubts, that’s all. It’s nothing to be concerned about.” Twilight looks at her friends as she feels another headache coming on. Twilight rubs her head as if trying to remember a long lost lyric to a song from her fillyhood.
“Why did I say Fluttershy? That wasn’t Fluttershy’s voice, I’m sure of it,” the mare mutters under her breath. “I’ve heard that voice before. But from where?” Twilight keeps rubbing her head, trying to jog her memory. “Was it Canterlot? Ponyville? Where did I hear that voice? It sounded so familiar…….”
Twilight is suddenly snapped out of her mental fog by the calming touch of a friend. Twilight looks up to see Rainbow Dash placing a gentle hoof on her shoulder, her untamed mane flowing freely in the breeze. “Hey, Egghead, are you okay? If yawl need to stay here an take a break then we totally understand.”
Twilight smiles, realizing that she is a very lucky mare to have friends like these by her side. “No, Rainbow, I think I’ll be fine.” Twilight turns to the rest of the group. “Alright, everyone, you know the drill: scour the palace and its surroundings for any sign of the abnormality, and be back here in two hours.”
In perfect unison the entire group nods, each mare confirming their resolve to the task at hoof and their desire to see their task completed. That is, every mare except Pinkie, who blows the mother of all raspberries at Twilight’s boring speech. “PPPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTFFFFFHHHHHHHH, No way, Twilight, that’s way too boring!”
Reaching to a nearby stand of armor, the pink mare dons the plate mail with speed that would make a Wonderbolt shiver. “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m going to slay a dragon and eat ice cream until I explode! See you all later!” before Twilight can even protest the pink mare flips the helm down and jumps out the open window next to her, disappearing into a deep fog.
Twilight prepares to rush after the pink mare but is stopped by Dash’s cerulean blue hoof. “Let her go, Twilight. She’s just being more Pinkie than usual today, she’ll be fine.”
Twilight looks into Dash’s bright green eyes as the future Wonderbolt gives her a reassuring grin. Twilight looks between Dash and the window Pinkie jumped out of with skepticism. “Okay….. I guess you know her better than me, Dash. So I’ll trust that Pinkie won’t get into too much trouble. Alright everyone, you know the drill: scour the palace and its surroundings for any sign of the abnormality, and be back here in two hours.” Twilight repeats like a broken record as everypony in the group nods in unison.
Like a well-oiled machine the five mares leave the room by each of its five hallways, each one watching the Strange Stone in their hoof as they peel their eyes for anything out of the ordinary in the athernial floating castle.
“Alright, Twilight, no more pretending; something’s off here, I just can’t put my hoof on it.” Another flying fish passes the lavender mare as she looks through what must be the twentieth room she has checked today.
For what seemed like hours, but in reality was probably only a few minutes, the lavender mare had followed the Strange Stone spinning on her hoof into five dead ends, six secret doors, seven stone slides, and a very angry shopkeeper who complained when she crushed his cabbages. Twilight groaned heavily; this search, if it could still be called that, was getting her nowhere. Rather, she seemed to only be getting farther away from her goal as the stone in her hoof would periodically change directions as if on a whim, leading her around in circles. Suddenly, as if sensing the irony of the situation, the stone in her hoof turns precisely one hundred and eighty degrees around, leading her right back down the hallway she had been walking down for five minutes.
“GUAH!” With force that would surprise even her, the librarian chucked the stone down the hallway behind her, the sound of the stone clinking like glass echoing through the empty hall. The librarian pants heavily as she slowly but surely works out the anger that has been building in her system for the past hour. Every ragged breath lets out her frustrations and allows her to regain a semblance of her calm and collected self. “Okay, Twilight, pull yourself together. Things may not be going the way that you have planned, and you know something is wrong, but that’s no excuse for losing your cool. Breathe in…… and breathe out……….”
With great self-restraint the mare regains her sense of calm, her angry frustrated mood balancing itself out as her smile returns. “Now let’s see if I can’t find that Strange Stone. Hunh?”
Twilight turns around to find the way she just threw the Stone down obscured by a large door. “Okay, now I know that something is wrong. I’m sure there wasn’t a door here the last time I checked.”
Her hooves shaking, the lavender mare reaches tensely for the door handle, her nerves betraying her current condition. Finally mustering enough guts, she closes her eyes and bolts through the door, magical shield raised in preparation for any traps or surprises. After a few seconds of tense waiting she slowly opens her eyes. “Easy, Twilight. Look, everything is fine; see, the door is open, the floor isn’t burning hot or freezing cold, and there are no traps to speak of. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about……..”
Twilight’s eyes shoot open. “Wait, why can’t I feel the floor?” Twilight looks down as she realizes the horrible truth, that she is just standing on empty air. “Oh you have got to be kidding me!” The mare comically wiggles her hooves for a few seconds as gravity begins to kick in again. Yet Twilight Sparkle is nothing if not resourceful: her stand’s white hoof with black stars shooting for the ledge, allowing the mare to grab the edge with her Stand, pulling herself up with just enough force to pull herself out of the abyss she just walked off of and back onto solid ground.
Panting heavily from the exertion the mare flings the doors closed with her magic as she pulls herself up on her hooves. The mare breathes in and out once again, calming her fatigued body and mind as the mare assesses her situation calmly and clearly. “Will this madness ever end!?” Twilight screams, “What’s next?”
Twilight ducks instinctively to the floor as the wall beside her collapses into a heap of rubble, a large red sleigh crashing through the wall with the force of a cannon ball. Twilight coughs up a storm of dust as she looks up to see the medium-sized dragon that was pulling the sleigh lying unconscious underneath the weight of the half a ton red sleigh.
“What the…..” Twilight watches as the dust clears, revealing a bright-pink earth pony sitting in the bright-red sleigh. Decked out in a crimson hat, coat, and matching brown boots, the pink pony lets out a loud bellowing laugh as the lavender mare looks on with no small amount of concern.
“…….Santa Pie?” Twilight asks hopefully, praying to dear Celestia that she hasn’t finally lost her mind from continuous exposure to the force of nature only known as Pinkie Pie.
“♫ ♪ Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-dragon open♫ ♪ …..” The pink mare ceases her ditty to look down at the frightened lavender mare. “Oh, hey Twilight! What’s up? Did you want to go Dragon Sleighing with me? It’s really fun!”
“Pinkie……” Twilight gasps, “I’m almost afraid to ask but……. Where did you get the dragon, the outfit, and the big red sleigh? And how did you come crashing through the wall?!”
“That’s easy, Twilight, I thought it up! Everything’s easy when you can use your IMAGINATION.” The pink mare smiles as she conjures up a rainbow between her hooves.
“Right…….” Twilight rolls her eyes. “You made a slei gby thinking it up, And I’m Princess Celestia.”
“Oh that’s a great idea, Twilight! You can be Celestia and I’ll be her estranged lover that’s returned from the field of battle!” Ripping the red suit in half Pinkie reveals a smart officer’s uniform complete with war medals.
“Celestia, there was once a time in which I loved you,” Pinkie monologues in a tear-jerking performance, “But that time can never come again for a pony who cares more for the masses than her knight. A knight who has vanquished his evil sister to keep your dirty secrets.” Pinkie sheds a single tear before she turns back to Twilight, just as happy as before. “Alright, now you go!”
“GRGRH! Pinkie, I’m trying to be serious here!” Twilight shouts as she jerks her hoof out of Pinkie’s grsp. “Something is seriously wrong with, well everything! The rooms keep moving around, our friends aren’t acting like our friends, there are traps everywhere, and there’s…… something watching us!”
Pinkie crosses her arms in a spoiled fashion. “But I want to play!”
“Well I’m sorry, Pinkie, but playtime can wait until we are out of life threatening danger.”
“……Dashie would never pass up the chance to have fun……”
Twilight groans. “Well I am sorry Pinkie, but I’m not Dashie.”
A literal lightbulb appears over Pinkie’s head as a very mischievous grin crosses her face. “Well, you’re not Dashie now……” the pink mare creeps up on Twilight, raising her hoof just as the lavender mare turns her back on her.
“I’m glad you see reason for once. Now, do you think you can cut back on your silliness for half a minute and….” With expert precision and comic timing the pink mare pokes Twilight the instant she turns her head, causing the lavender mare to fall on her flank. “…..Ow! Pinkie, what the hay!”
Pinkie giggles as she walks up to the mare on the floor, fluttering her eyelashes. “So, Dashie……how’s it hanging?” Pinkie asks in a curious tone of voice.
“What? Pinkie, this is serious! First you bop me on the head……” Twilight grabs her snout in surprise, her eyes widening as she hears something very disconcerting. “…… That’s not my voice.” A blue blob fills her vision, and Twilight extends her hoof to swat it away only to realize that the blue blob is her hoof. “What the…….What’s going……”
Pinkie places her hoof over the now-panicking pegasus. “Shhh, your voice is perfect, Dashie……. just like your lips.”
“WHAT? Pinkie, I don’t know what’s going on but I’m not……” Pinkie points to the other mare’s flank, causing her to turn around, her vision coming face to face with a cutie mark of a single cloud pierced by a rainbow colored bolt of lightning. Twilight spreads her wings in shock as she realizes who she has been turned into. “…..Rainbow Dash.” The mare once known as Twilight utters with a squeak.
Pinkie leans against the stunned pegasus. “So….. Are you doing anything later? Cause if you weren’t we might finally be able to get that chocolate smoothie you owed me.”
Twilight’s mind screams in terror as her body freezes up. The mare does not know what is worse, that she was transformed against her will by one of her best friends, or what her best friend intends to do with her ‘Dashie’. Neither thought is very comforting. “Pinkie, wait!”
Twilight waves her hooves to ward off the pink mare. “I’m Twilight Sparkle! Your friend Twilight! I’m not really Dashie, I mean Dash! And I don’t want to play any games with you. At least not like this!”
“It looks like somepony is playing hard to ge-et!” Pinkie says in a sing song voice. “Well that’s okay, I know the real Dash has feelings for me so I know that you do to! This is just practice for the main event.” Pinkie smiles as she brushes back her mane causing it to take a curvy appearance as she flutters her eyelashes. “So ‘Dashie’ how do you want to start, with the direct approach or a more subtle one?”
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!” The newfound pegasus tries to escape only to find herself pulled directly into the arms of the strong party pony.
“Direct approach it is! That’s good, because being subtle never got me anywhere!” The pink mare extends her muzzle closer to the captive romantic interest as the now blue mare struggles to free herself from Pinkie’s grasp.
“Pucker up, Dashie!” The pink mare extends her lips, her eyes closed as the pegasus before her tries with all her might to free herself from her friend’s grasp.
However, before the dreaded kiss can land, with speed and precision born from a truly desperate situation, Twilight manifests her Stand, FRIENDS. Manifesting itself, the white androgynous unicron, with a jewel encrusted saddle primes it’s hoof and throws a strong right directly at Pinkie Pie. In less than a quarter of a second, the Stand’s blow connects with the pink mare’s muzzle, the impact not even denting her lips. Indeed, all looks lost, when all of a sudden the two mares’ minds connect in a flash of brilliant white light. Twilight’s false shape fades away as thoughts from the two minds flow into each other. Yet the difference between the two minds and the suddenness of the connection causes the bond to shatter just as quickly as it is made, both mares falling to their rumps in psychic shock.
Twilight stares at her hooves with a newfound perception as her brain begins to readjust itself, her prefrontal cortex humming with life and power. Her mind now awake, Twilight Sparkle, student to Princess Celestia, realizes the simple, easy to understand reason why the world around her seems to make no sense, the reason that everything that she does seems to have no bearing on logic whatsoever. “Oh my gosh, we’re dreaming.”
Pinkie leaps off the floor with all the enthusiasm that a party pony can muster, throwing a cloud of streamers in the air in earnest celebration. “Well, duh! Of course we’re dreaming, Twilight! See, I knew we were dreaming all along, ever since breakfast, cause Dash said she wanted to wait for you, and Dash never waits for anything! Plus I gave her a peck on the cheek and she didn’t freak out or anything so I knew that it was a dream.”
“Pinkie, you can lucid dream?” Twilight manifests her Stand, looking at its hooves. “I get it. When I punched you we mind linked for a split second, allowing your consciously-awake mind to link to my mind still trapped in the throes of sleep. That, and because I was able to recognize the fact that I was sleeping, I was able to wake myself from my own dream. It makes perfect sense!”
“Yyyyeeeeaaaahhhh, let’s go with that. Whatever floats your boat, Twilight.” Pinkie’s eyes bulge out of her head, as she realises something. “Wait, TWILIGHT?! As in the real Twilight? You’re the real Twilight?”
“You’re not a fake dream Twilight?”
Pinkie gulps heavily at the implications of what she just tried to do to her friend. “Oh my gosh, Twilight, I’m so sorry! I really thought that you were just a dream! I didn’t know that you were the real Twilight. I just thought that it wasn’t real and I was playing along and I’m so sorry if I made you uncomfortable and I understand if you don’t like me for what I did but PPPPLLLLLEEEEEAAAASSSSSSSEEEEEEEEE say you’ll still be friends with me! Cause it would be really awkward if we showed up and our friends asked why we weren’t friends anymore and I had to lie and say that Mmmpppphhhhhh!”
Twilight places her hoof on the pink mare not a moment too soon. “That’s alright, Pinkie, I forgive you.”
Pinkie wipes an errant tear out of her eye. “R-Really?
“Really, really. I know how crazy dreams can get from this experience, and you weren’t trying to be malicious or anything, so of course I’m still your friend. In fact, if it wasn’t for your……..” A cold shiver passes through Twilight’s frame. “…….advances, I wouldn’t have finally figured out this was a dream.”
Twilight steels her voice in a solemn assurance. “I’m not upset at all, Pinkie, I’m just surprised. I didn’t know that you and Dash were…… well, frankly it’s none of my business, but I wish you luck with asking her out on a proper date.” Twilight pulls the pink mare up to her muzzle, her eyes burning with righteous fire as she picks the pink mare off the ground in a telekinetic grip. “On the condition that what just happened never leaves your lips. On pain of death.”
Pinkie, either blind to Twilight’s threats or just ignoring them, salutes with a goofy grin. “Okey Dokie Lokie! My lips are sealed. That’s a Pinkie Promise.”
“I’m glad that we have an understanding.” Twilight promptly drops the pink mare. “Now we can work on trying to get out of this dream.”
“He he, silly Twilight, there’s no reason to try and escape from a dream!” Pinkie grabs the librarian in a sideways hug. “Dreaming is just your way of filtering through all those silly thoughts that go on through your head; there’s no reason to be afraid of dreaming. Dreaming is a natural healthy part of being a pony, even if it is a bit strange. I mean, what if you were scared of going to the bathroom? That would be really weird. And if you ever are scared of a bad dream or start to have a nightmare that you think is too much for your little self, all you have to do is give yourself a little pinch and you wake up just like that. ”
Pinkie reaches over to her flank. “See, just watch, just one little pinch and OW!” The party pony falls to her rump, rubbing the sore area cautiously as a burst of very real pain courses through her body.
Pinkie rubs her head in genuine confusion. “Humph, that’s never happened before……. I’ve never felt pain in my dreams before. Maybe if I pinch again I’ll OW! Nope, not that time, maybe if I pinch the other Pinkie cheek then OW! Okay Pinkie, no need to panic, maybe if I..…”
Pinkie’s frantic pinching is stopped by the hoof of Twilight Sparkle. “I’m sorry, Pinkie. I hate to break it to you, but I don’t think that this is a normal dream.”
“But I don’t get it! I’ve never felt pain in a dream before.” Pinkie turns to Twilight with a look of worry on her face. “I mean, this looks like a dream, it tastes like a dream, and it even SMELLS like a dream. See watch, I’ll imagine that I have a cone of ice cream and…….”
Pinkie extends her hoof, the look on her face one of intense concentration; however, after several seconds of intense eye crossing mare falls to her rump. “I-I-I don’t get it! It worked before! I just had to dream up a super cool sleigh and now……. what’s a dream without ice cream? None of my Pinkie Pie dream powers are working! Twilight? Do you know what’s happening, I’m starting to not like this dream…….”
Twilight closes her eyes in deep thought. True, everything Pinkie said is true. This is a dream, and she seemed to be able to change the dream before. So what was different now? If this was a normal dream Pinkie should have been able to wake up by now. So why, or rather, what, would be the point of depriving a pony of their ability to lucid dream and the ability to wake up? With razor sharp speed Twilight comes to one irrefutable conclusion. “It’s probably because this is a form of Stand attack. The Stand user is probably asserting more control over the Dreamscape so that we can’t interfere with her plans.”
“Stand attack?” Pinkie asks. “Oh, so you had a dream about Stands! Well then, there’s nothing to worry about, then!”
“No, Pinkie, not a dream about Stands, a Stand of dreams. It’s a Stand that possesses the ability to control our dreams!” Twilight grabs the party pony with her forehooves. “Think about it! None of our friends recognize that this is a dream and our minds are incapable of waking us up!”
Twilight waves her hoof, pointing to the world around them as if accentuating their situation. “This is the perfect opportunity for an enemy to attack us! Our bodies are helpless in the real world, and our minds are trapped in a space that’s under the complete control of somepony else. You couldn’t think up a better trap than this.”
“But this is just a dream right?” Pinkie rolls her neck to the side inquisitively. “I mean, it’s not like if you die in your dreams you die for real. If we just get hurt we wake up, right?”
Twilight leans her head against the wall to her left, breathing out in a long steady exhale. “I wish I could say that was the case, Pinkie… But from the way this Stand power works, we should assume that our opponent can inflict lasting harm on us here.”
Pinkie’s face pulls itself into a deeply serious expression as she pieces together Twilight’s argument. “But that means….. Oh No! Our friends are in danger! We’ve gotta find them and use the buddy system! Nothing bad can happen if we use the buddy system!”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, Pinkie!” Twilight protests with no small amount of exhaustion. “Even if the opponent can’t hurt us physically in here, if we can never wake up from this dream we lose no matter what!”
Twilight grabs the pink mare in her hooves. “We are literally trapped in the Dreamscape, unable to return to our own bodies. And if physical pain can’t snap us out of our dreams then we’re doomed to be trapped in our own minds for an eternity while Celestia-only-knows-what plays around with our physical forms!”
“But….. but I can’t sleep for an eternity! As cool as that sounds, I have parties to plan, and real ice cream to eat! And I still have to go steady with Dashie!” Pinkie grabs the lavender mare with her forehooves, her puffy mane beginning to straighten out as despair sets in. “What’s the plan, Twilight?! You’ve got to have a plan to get out of this, right? You always have a plan!”
Twilight looks up at the desperate mare before her and with shaking lips begins to utter the five words that she most hates, the five words she tries to avoid saying no matter what. “I-I-I don’t have a plan!”
“I’m sorry, Pinkie, but I can’t think up a way out of this! Dream magic is rare and very difficult unless you specialize in it, and I don’t know enough about the enemy’s Stand power, and……..” Twilight’s head slumps down in defeat. “Maybe if we were all together. If all our friends put our heads together, then we might be able to think of a way out of this. But as we are now…… I just don’t know, Pinkie.”
“……… So if you could find our friends you might be able to get us out of here? You would be able to come up with a plan then?” Pinkie asks with genuine curiosity, her fear evaporating as her mane begins to turn back to its poofy self.
“Well, yes. But Pinkie, you don’t get it.” Twilight looks down the halls of the dream castle. “They could be anywhere, and the fact is that the pony controlling this Dreamscape can change where they are in an instant by manipulating reality. Heck they could just manipulate the castle so that we spend the rest of eternity walking in circles!”
“Oh, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” Pinkie says dismissively. “Cause I already know where everypony is!”
“Then we’d have to……. Wait, what?” Twilight says with surprise, “Pinkie, you know where Rarity and the others are? Did you see them before you came here?”
“Nope, I’m seeing them right now!” Cutting off what would undoubtedly be another of Twilight’s rants on science and probability, Pinkie launches a rant of her own. “You see, there was this one time I went with my parents to the city of Baltimare for a rock farming convention. And let me tell you, Baltimare is a really big place, so it’s super easy to get lost, so me and my older sister Maud went and….”
“The short version, Pinkie,” Twilight demands with a cold stare.
The pink party pony nods her head in understanding. “Okie Dokie, Twilight! All you had to do was ask.” Pinkie clears her throat. “Anyway, remember when you were asking why there were all these little eyes on my Stand and I told you it was part of my super-secret power? Well, that day I got lost I found out that I had a super cool power that i didn’t even know I had! See, it was that pikie day when i saw that I could see out of those eyes even when I pulled them off my Stand!”
The pink mare begins to pace back and forth as she illustrates her point by manifesting her White Pegasus Stand. “So I thought to myself: Pinkamena Diana Pie, this is a great way to find out what’s going on around town at all times so if a pony is ever sad or needs a party you could rush on over and cheer her up! So I placed these little babies all over so that I could see what was going on all around town! That way whenever anypony would need a dose of Pinkie i could be there in a jiffy!”
Pinkie beams with pride as she removes one of the eyes holding it up for Twilight. “I call this little trick my ‘Pinkie Sense ‘cause it lets me sense when a pony needs a Pinkie. It’s how I know where my friends are! And since I loooove to be there for my friends,I placed one of my Pinkie Eyes on everypony I know, and that’s how I know where all our friends are!”
“Sooooooo you watch what every pony is doing. Every second of the day. At all times?” Twilight asks skeptically, an with no small amount of concen.
“Pfft No silly!” Pinkie waves her hoof. “That would be an enormous breach of privacy laws to see EVERYTHING ponies do at all times. I mean watching Mrs. and Mr. Cake’s special time would be really weird, even for me!”
Twilight cautiously backs up. “Uhhhhh that’s… good, Pinkie.”
“I know it’s good! ‘Cause thanks to it I was able to help a whole lot of ponies, avoid opening doors and falling objects, and things like that.” Pinkie continues her rant, getting more and more enthusiastic by the second. “And the neat thing is that If one of my ‘Pinkie Eyes’ (He He, Puns) is really close to me like on the other side of a door I can see what it’s showing like super easy! But the downer is that if one is like a really really long ways away I have to sit on my Pinkie bum (He He bum) and concentrate real hard to see out of it. That, and it’s really cool to see what everypony else is dreaming right now. I mean, I know that this is a serious situation, Twilight, but come on you’ve got to admit that dreaming is fun! Lookie, there’s the sticker I put on you!”
Twilight spins around to see a sticker on her cutie mark of a colorful eye, blinking back at her. With no small amount of creepiness the mare pulls the mark off of her. “How did I not see that?”
“Maybe you’re just horrible at finding things?” Twilight gives Pinkie a glare that could boil water. “What? Some ponies just aren’t good at finding things! It’s like….. You know that feeling when you lose your car keys and you waste all the time looking for them when they’re right in front of your eyes?”
“Car keys? What are…..”
“That’s kind of how it works!” Pinkie finishes. “You don’t know it’s there because you don’t know where and what to look for!”
“…... Okay, even if that was true, we’re in a dream, Pinkie! It’s not like the tags you put on our friends would carry into a dream,” Twilight states scientifically. “Right now we’re just mental representations of who we are in the real world, so physical matter can’t enter a dream. And even if they did, we’re in the Dreamscape where time and space are distorted, so it should be impossible to…..”
“Hey, I found them!” Pinkie shouts with her eyes closed, sitting on her rump. “And they’re all in one place! Isn’t that awesome? We can pick up all our friends at the same time!”
“……. You know what, I don’t even know why I try and be logical anymore.” Twilight looks over to the pink mare. “Alright fine, let’s roll with this; Pinkie, can you guide me to the others? We need to meet up with them before something else happens.”
Suddenly, as if awaiting a cue, the two sturdy stone walls fall, surrounding the mares and boxing them in the hallway from both sides. Before Pinkie can even say ‘that can’t be good’ the two walls start closing in on each other, their prison threatening to crush the mares flat.
“WHY?! Why did I have to say that!? WHY?” Twilight cries out as she summons a magical shield to block the walls from advancing. Yet, despite the unicorn’s best efforts the shield begins to crack as the walls advance mercilessly.
“URGH! Alright, change of plans!” Twilight cries out as her magic strains to press against the enclosing walls. “I’ll try and teleport us to our friends. Pinkie, where is everypony? Give me their exact coordinates and I’ll jump us there.”
Pinkie taps her chin as she begins to do the proper calculations in her head. “Let’s see. They’re forty Pinkie Pie bounces that way.” Pinkie points with her hoof at a slight angle downward. “And about three Pinkie Pie bounces to the left.”
“What?!” The desperate purple mare cries out. “Pinkie, your bounces aren’t a unit of measurement!”
“…….Are you sure?”
The shield keeping the walls from collapsing inward begins to crack as Twilight strains against the weight. “I need a real unit of measurement! Start by telling me the distance in yards to an area where there is a mass of empty space.”
“Um, okay, Twilight.” Pinkie salutes while still sitting on her rump. “Just one teeny tiny question: how long is a yard?”
The shield begins to crack around the two mares as Twilight starts sweating from the exertion; at this rate they’ll be crushed before she can get anywhere with Pinkie Pie. This leaves a drastic and faster way of communication. “Pinkie, listen to me, think calming thoughts.” Twilight manifests her Stand while straining against the weight of the crushing walls. “I’m going to use my Stand to mind link with you then I’ll know exactly where everypony is.”
“Okay?” Pinkie looks at the Stand before her. “But, Twilight! Won’t that just give you a headache? I mean, last time we tied that……”
“Last time neither one of us was about to be crushed to death!” Twilight yells over the din of the walls. “You just have to calm your mind and think only about the coordinates for a second, and then I’ll teleport us out of here. Just focus like you do when you use your Pinkie Sense and it’ll be fine.”
Pinkie looks between the lavender mare, the walls, and Twilight’s Stand FRIENDS, and closes her eyes in a moment of silence. Suddenly, the pink mare opens her eyes, her vision focused and resolute, and with a flick of her wrist manifests her own Stand, touching Twilight’s Stand briefly. Both mares’ eyes light up as their minds exchange crucial information, their Stands beginning to mesh into each other as the light from their eyes fills the shrinking room. Yet in focusing on the mind link, Twilight’s shield falters for the briefest of moments and finally collapses, the walls crashing together with a thunderous noise as a flash of lavender light fills the room.
Forty Pinkie bounces downwards ad three Pinkie bounces to the left, two mares come out of a teleport, neither of them worse for wear as the mind link ends. Lying on her back, Twilight looks around at the familiar forms of her remaining four friends as she wipes the sweat from her brow. “Whew. Not a second too soon. Thanks, Pinkie, I really owe you this time.”
“It’s no problem, Twilight!” Pinkie rises to her hooves, offering her hoof to help the lavender librarian up. “After all, what are friends for?”
Twilight smiles back as she grabs Pinkie’s hoof, pulling herself back up to her hooves. “Thanks, Pinkie. Now let’s hurry, we have to snap our friends out of their day-dreams before this dream weaver decides to throw us into another compact crusher.”
Now out of danger, the two mares give each other a curt nod as they turn to the four ponies in their midst finding her four friends trapped in a grand illusion of their own design. Fluttershy, once small and timid, now stands at a height that rivals Celestia, her body rippling with barely-contained muscles. Covered hoof-to-head in steel plate armor and a sword that is so large it would be a weapons crime to even possess, the barbarian Fluttershy stands talking amiably with her other friends at a Victorian-style tea table. Dolled up in a baby bonnet and bib sits a young filly around Applebloom’s age, her golden blond mane tied up in ribbons and her orange coat groomed to perfection, sitting at the tea table like a good little filly. Ignorant to her sudden reversal of age, Applejack sits talking with a Victorian-dressed Rarity, both of them of them wearing a jeweled broach of their cutie mark and sitting around sipping tea like proper ladies. And Rainbow Dash…. Rainbow Dash is sitting at the table wearing a large pair of thick-rimmed glasses and an oversized ‘Indiana Colt and the temple of Floom’ shirt that practically screams ‘nerd’ with its sheer ridiculousness. To her side sitting in a chair is a life-sized plushie of Pinkie Pie with the word ‘Waifu’ tattooed on its head, its large googly eyes always focused on Dash herself.
These four friends, completely oblivious to their own state, sit at the table with a content and happy look on their faces, unaware of the immense danger they are in. “HEY!!” Mustering her most authoritative voice the librarian lets out a loud cry that could not possibly be ignored, hoping that it will snap the four mares out of their illusion.
“Rarity! Rainbow Dash! Fluttershy! Applejack!” Twilight yells, the sound causing the four mares to turn their heads to face the panicking purple mare. “Listen to me! This is a dream, and you have to wake up now! You are all in incredible danger!”
All four mares look at each other and, for a moment, it looks as if they believe their friend. However, not ten seconds later the four break out into loud mocking laughter that causes all hope that Twilight was taken seriously to fade away.
The first to recover is Applejack, taking off her baby bonnet to wipe her teary eyes with. “Whohoah…….. Seriously, Twi? A dream? That’s yer excuse ta make us take a break? A dream?” Applejack places her Stetson back on her head. “Ah’m the Element of Honesty fer a reason. Ah think Ah’d notice if in Ah was dreamin.”
“Element of what?” Twilight blinks incredulously. “No, Applejack, listen to me, I’m being completely serious.” Twilight pleads as she attempts to reach her friends using well-founded logic. “You are all dreaming. We’re trapped in a dream where somepony else is in complete control! you have to snap out of it now before we’re attacked again.”
“Yeah, Twilight is right!” Pinkie states, reaching behind the lavender mare’s ear. “After all, if this wasn’t a dream, how could I do this?” With a single yank Pinkie pulls a long tied-bandana rope out of Twilight’s ear, the librarian straining her neck against the sudden force of having a long rope yanked out of her head.
Yard after yard of colorful, improvised rope streams out of the lavender unicorn’s ear as she winces in pain against the force of Pinkie yanking on her head. Finally, the end of the rope, along with a half-ton anchor, falls out of the purple unicorn’s ear with a loud thud and, seizing the moment, Pinkie bows to the audience. “TaDa! Look, see! I pulled an anchor out of Twilight’s ear, now you’ve got to admit there’s no way that this couldn’t be a dream!”
Releasing her sudden double negative Pinkie taps her chin. “Or is it ‘there’s no way you could believe this is a dream’? Or maybe ‘there’s absolutely a way in which you could believe this wasn’t a dream once upon a time’? Or maybe…”
“………Um, Pinkie,” Dash raises her hoof. “You do the impossible all the time, that’s just you being you! I mean, pulling an anchor out of Twilight’s ear definitely isn’t the strangest thing I’ve seen you do, even though it was pretty cool.”
Pinkie rubs the back of her neck. “Awwwww! Thanks, Dashie! You’ve gotta admit, The Great and Powerful Trixie’s got nothing on the Great and Funny Pinkie Pie!
“What? Were you guys even watching?” Twilight groans in agony as she breaks the cricks out of her neck. “Pinkie just pulled an entire anchor out of my eardrum! Do you think that’s all right?”
“Well of course it’s alright, Twilight. Pinkie is our friend!” Rarity scoffs at Twilight’s notion as she takes another sip of her tea. “She can pull as many anchors out of a pony’s ear as she desires!”
“Fluttershy the Brave agrees!” A large hulking monstrosity covered in plated armor booms. “Pinkie Pie is Fluttershy the Brave’s friend, And Fluttershy the Brave is Pinkie Pie’s friend.”
“That’s right!” Applejack says as she takes another sip of her tea. “Pinkie’s our friend, yawls shouldn’t discriminate about what’s possible an all that if in it makes Pinkie sad. That’s as cruel as a cactus stew!” Applejack takes another deep sip of her tea as Twilight gapes at her friend’s disregard of all logic. “Great tea by the way, Rarity!”
Rarity blushes from embarrassment as she pours Applejack another cup. “it’s quite alright, Applejack, I’m just glad that we’re together. More tea, Fluttershy the Brave?”
“Fluttershy the Brave would LOVE another cup!” The bulky monstrosity booms.
Dash fake-gags at the girly display before her as she squeezes a life sized plush of Pinkie Pie. “You guys can keep your fancy tea parties. Me and Pinkie are having a blast without your frou-frou cooties!”
Twilight groans at her failure as she rubs her head, her headache worsening as she watches the embarrassing display before her. “Are dreams always like this?”
“Well, my dreams always involve a lot of kissing and chocolate, normally in that order…….” Pinkie says as she looks at the display before her. “So yes, Twilight, dreams are really crazy. After all, I bet that you had some pretty weird dreams before.”
Twilight blushes fiercely as she remembers one especially embarrassing dream she had. She couldn’t look her teacher Celestia in the face for a week after that. “Nevermind that. So what do we do now? Pinkie, you’re the expert on dreams, do you have any ideas?”
“Well….. not really.” Pinkie shrugs as she looks at the ponies before her. “Normally the old illogical stuff works... actually I wouldn’t know if it works or not ‘cause I’ve never had a multiplayer dream before. That is, I don’t know if I had a multiplayer dream before cause all my dream-versions of you guys were AI’s. Or your dream versions were ‘you’ but I couldn’t tell because you can’t remember your own dreams so even if we had the same dream you wouldn’t remember it. Which, now that I think about it, is pretty good because most of my dreams are about kissing and chocolate…..” Pinkie takes a deep breath. “So what do we do now, Twilight?”
Twilight looks over to her friends as she gags from the sickening display before her. Logic didn’t work, illogic didn’t work either, and she was officially out of ideas. The worst part of the situation was that her friends were completely oblivious to the encroaching threat; either they didn’t believe Twilight or they just didn’t care. They were trapped in a prison of their own crafting, so as long as they were enjoying their ‘torment’ then they would never want to wake up and they would never snap out their delusional fantasies. If only there was some way she could shock them out of their delusions somehow, then……
Twilight stops, her sudden disappointment morphing into twisted glee as she dons the diabolical smile of a pony that has just stolen Christmas from an orphanage. Rubbing her hooves together like a cliché supervillain the mare manifests her Stand as she chuckles malevolently.
“Uh, Twilight?” Pinkie waves her hoof in front of Twilight’s face, the unicorn breaking out in a demented grin from the sheer evil coursing through her brain cells. “Are you okay? You sort of look….. evil. Do you have a plan now? What do we do?”
“Now.” Twilight gets off her hooves and trots over to the table where her friends are sitting, her Stand’s hooves primed to punch. “Now I think that it's time for a little shock therapy.”
Twilight cracks her Stand’s hooves as she comes to a stop before the four mares, looking straight at the white-garbed fashionista. “Hey Rarity, the joke’s on you! Me and Applejack have been going steady for a week now! Guess you shouldn’t have waited so long!”
Rarity’s mane explodes into flames, her dress around her disintegrates into dust as she shatters the tea table with the force of her rage alone. “WHAT?! WHY YOU UNFORGIVABLE HUSSY!!! I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW THAT….”
In an instant the ivory fashionista is flat on her back, the blow of Twilight’s Stand sending her senses reeling as Twilight turns to Applejack without missing a beat.
“Applejack,” Twilight says in her most serious tone of voice as she places a reassuring hoof on the young filly’s shoulder. “Bad news, a blight has struck Sweet Apple Acres! Your entire crop of apples is gone! But don’t worry, the blight can’t affect oranges so you can grow those from now on!”
Applejack’s calm demeanor is suddenly displaced by a face of pure hatred and rage as her sudden size-growth causes her bib and bonnet to rip in half. “AH’D RATHER STARVE TA DEATH AND ALL PONYVILLE WITH ME THEN GROW THOSE PUTRID PEELED….”
Twilight turns to Fluttershy the Brave. “Fluttershy can hardly fly!”
“W-W-W-WHAT?!” The titanic figure shrinks down as the yellow mare’s self-esteem collapses around her. “T-T-That’s not very nic…”
And with that the giant known as Fluttershy the Brave is slain, the gigantic figure reverting back to old Fluttershy as the purple unicorn narrows her gaze on her last foe.
“And Rainbow Dash…” Twilight smiles with a crazed look at the blue pegasus mare. “In the upcoming Indiana Colt movie, not only is Indiana Colt going to be played by Row-Boat Paddleton, but at the end of the movie you find out that Indiana Colt died in the previous movie and is only possessing his son as a ghost!”
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!” The blue pegasus screams to heaven as she rips off her Indiana Colt autographed t-shirt. “Why has Hollyhoof betrayed us!?!”
ORA! ORA! ORAAAAA!
And with that the four mares collapse to the ground, their delusions blown to pieces by the combination of purple mare’s Stand and having their happiness trampled to pieces like storefront window in a riot. For a few seconds all that the four mares are capable of doing is groaning in shock and nursing their shattered hopes and dreams, awaking from their realistic nightmares.
Rarity is the first to recover, rubbing her horn tensely as she rises shakily to her hooves. “Urgh, what happened?” Rarity groans, “I can’t remember anything. I was having a tea party with Applejack and…..”
“Yawl were what now?” Applejack asks, pulling herself off the floor and dusting her Stetson.
“Applejack!” The ivory mare instantly recovers. “I was just urm, I mean it was…… Twilight, now be a dear and tell us what’s going on!”
“What happened is that I snapped you out of your dreams,” Twilight says as she helps her fatigued friends up. “When I hit Pinkie Pie the mind link allowed me to realize that I was dreaming. I hoped that a quick mind link with each of you would do the same.”
The purple unicorn snickers. “That, and I hypothesized that the intense discomfort of mental shock like what I experienced with Pinkie….” The pink mare waves from behind Twilight as the librarian shudders. “…..could allow a pony a chance to ‘reject’ their dream, creating not only an opportunity to mind link but creating a strong subconscious desire to ‘wake up’.”
Dash rubs her head as she looks between the plushy she is holding and the real Pinkie Pie. “So we ARE dreaming? None of this is real?” the rainbow mare says as she quickly throws the life-sized Pinkie plushie away in a fit of embarrassment.
The yellow pegasus falls to her knees. “But……. But I liked being Fluttershy the Brave!”
The prone pegasus quickly finds herself wrapped in a genuinely caring hug. “And you still are, darling.” Rarity hugs the pegasus tightly. “You are just as brave as you always are, Fluttershy, you….. you just come in a travel-sized package.”
“You…. You mean that, Rarity?”
“Well of course I do, darling!” Rarity exclaims, “After all, one should never underestimate the power of a travel-sized accessory!”
Both mares laugh at the fashionista’s joke, each one forgetting the turmoil that they have been through. Suddenly Rarity’s eyes are pried from her friend as she looks back at Twilight, who has just finished her conversation with Pinkie. “Fluttershy, it has been marvelous dear. But if you excuse me, I have to talk to Twilight.”
“… So,” Rarity trots up to within whispering range of Twilight as she looks back at Applejack. “You and Applejack are…..”
“Hunh?” Twilight asks.
“I’ll admit that I did not see it coming, you and her….” Rarity says as she paws her hoof to the ground. “I have lived my life to insure Applejack is happy, I just thought that……. It doesn’t matter as long as she is happy then….”
“Rarity, what are you talking about?” Suddenly, Twilight’s own words from before come to the forefront of her mind. “OH! That! Don’t worry, Rarity, that was just to help you snap out of your dream. None of that was true,” Twilight says reassuringly. “Besides, I already know your little secret!”
“Oh, thank you, Twilight! Thank….” Rarity stops, her body breaking out in a cold sweat at the mention of the word ‘secret’. Rarity gulps heavily, trying with all her might to suppress her welling-up fear. “Wait, what are you talking about, Twilight dear?”
At this Twilight gives a coy smile. “Oh, don’t try and play dumb, Rarity, I know that…..”
“…… So,” Applejack nudges the ivory mare from the side, interrupting Twilight’s train of thought as a new pony intrudes on their conversation. “What’s this ‘bout forcing me ta attend one of yer frilly tea parties, hunh?”
The ivory fashionista goes as red as a tomato, her vocal chords short-circuiting from the tension. “Well, that is, I really wanted to ask you over for tea and……. Well would you look at the weather here! Rainbow Dash, did you work on the weather today?”
“……Rarity, we’re dreaming,” Dash says.
“Well that’s what I mean, did you manipulate the weather in the dream? It looks wonderful!” Rarity chuckles nervously as she tries to divert the conversation away from her past dreams if possible. “Don’t you agree, Applejack?”
Rarity eeps as the orange mare places her hoof over her shoulder. “Aw, come on there, Rarity. Ya think that Ah’m that slow? Now tell me all ‘bout this little get-together we had, maybe yawl can fill in some blanks fer me.”
“Applejack! There’s no reason to pick on Rarity like that,” Twilight says, “it was just a tea party.”
“Yes, Twilight’s right!” Rarity says, clutching the rope that she has been thrown. “I mean, it was just a tea party, there’s absolute no ulterior motives to it at all!”
“Besides, you shouldn’t read so much into it,” Twilight resumes as she cites a passage from ‘Dreaming and You’. “The Dreamscape is subtly influenced by the subconscious, the most random and unpredictable part of the psyche. And given the multitude of meanings and interpretations, anything can mean anything else. Rarity probably wishes that you had more culture is all.”
“……yes….. “ the crestfallen Fashionista recites with a downtrodden expression, “…. Just a coincidence…”
Applejack grows red with fury as she realizes something that slipped her mind before. “Now hold on! Ya think that Ah need more culture? Is that it?”
Rarity recoils from her friend’s accusations. “No, Applejack I like you just the way…..”
“Not you, Rarity!” Applejack points her hoof to Twilight. “You!”
“Yes, you!” Twilight flinches from the accusation. “So ya think that Ah need some fancy lessons, hunh?”
“What? No, Applejack, I think that you’re perfect just the way you are! I just thought that Rarity might think that you needed some lessons in etiquette.”
“I think no such thing!” Rarity scoffs.
“Rarity’s right, she would never think a prissy thought like that,” Applejack snorts. “But apparently somepony would.”
“Now hold on a second, Applejack, I didn’t mean it like that, I just think that some areas……. your use of southernisms perhaps, and your accent could use a little work. Somepony back me up on this!”
“Methinks that the farmer could use some assistance with her accent.”
“Ah do not have an accent, Rarity! It’s a perfectly normal way o’ talkin’.”
“Um, Applejack, I might agree a little with the mysterious voice’s sentiment, but that wasn’t me.”
“Oh really, Rares? ‘Cause I don’t see anypony else here with a fancy way of talkin like yours.”
Rarity’s eyes widen as her coat grows more pale than normal. “W-w-well then, D-darling, I think that you had better look behind you.”
Applejack sighs and turns her head behind her to humor her friend, yet the sight behind her stops the orange mare cold.
Applejack had only seen Celestia, the goddess of the Sun and ruler of Equestria, once in her life, at the Summer Sun Celebration in Canterlot. It had been one of the last things that she had done with her parents, and the memory of the benevolent and beautiful goddess had only made it more memorable. To this day, the mare could not forget the feeling of standing in her presence, no longer wondering why ponies revered her so much. ‘Forget moving the sun and the moon’, thought the orange farm filly. To be adored by all ponies regardless their of age, sex, or background, that was what made Celestia a true goddess.
Which is why it took so much out of the orange farmer to admit that the figure floating before them on the currents of the Dreamscape is genuine goddess in every meaning of the word. Her mane, an ethereal and flowing dark blue cloud filled with drops of starlight. Her coat, majestic dark cobalt, that seems to glisten against the light of the dreamscape. Her horn and wings, both long and pointed, each feather in its proper place, groomed to such perfection and detail one might think it was impossible. Her dark obsidian crown and regalia, masterpieces of metalworking that fit snugly on her hooves, signifying her will and divine right to rule over others. The ghostly figure behind her only accentuated the fact that this pony was divine, the Stand’s bright white eyes looking down on the ponies, as if it were sent from above. The Stand’s scaled silver armor reflecting all the colors of the sky, its silver braided mane, its armored hooves and its terrifying gaze. Being a mare of honesty, Applejack hated half-truths, however the foalish side of the mare wanted more than anything to deny something she had just discovered about the mare before her.
She is truly a goddess.
And she is truly terrifying.
And she is looking right at them, her eyes glowing white and her horn crackling with eldritch energies as a whirlwind of magical power circles around her. A goddess that was staring at her with an eyes filled with anger.