The Ballad of Twilight Sparkle
Chapter 3: Warp Holes and Revelations
Rarity hummed cheerfully, her horn glowing with magic as she worked on her latest design, pencil moving by telekinesis and sketching smooth, flowing lines on a small canvas. The drawing was expertly taking shape, revealing her next sure-fire success in the world of fashion. The elegant unicorn chuckled lightly, 'It won't be long now before Hoity Toity's Galleria will be made up entirely by my designs!'
It had been a lazy and slow afternoon at the library, something that afforded Rarity with the chance to continue her design work, despite the presence of the energetic Cutie Mark Crusaders, who had spent the first two hours at the Library bouncing off the walls and generally sowing discord and disharmony wherever their little hooves trotted. It was a small wonder they had quieted down and settled in the basement to play by themselves. 'Thank Celestia.'
Rarity looked to her side, where a tuckered-out Spike sat on a high stool watching her work, a content smile plastered on his face. Rarity smiled right back at him—the little dragon had been ecstatic at seeing her arrive with the Cutie Mark Crusaders, 'He must've been feeling lonely, the poor thing,' she guessed, remembering that the purple reptilian had stayed at her side all afternoon, watching her sketch and helping her curb the CMC's overflowing enthusiasm. “Such a helpful young dragon you are, Spike.”
Spike nearly fell of his stool, caught off-guard by the compliment. That simple line was enough to lift his spirits and make him forget the hardships he'd endured in the past 24 hours, cleansing him of all he'd seen and heard from his drunken owner. He gave Rarity a goofy grin. “Shucks Rarity, I—”
“THERE'S TH'VARMINT!” shouted Apple Bloom from across the room, head peeking out from the basement door, before doing a forward roll and striking a pose. The filly was wearing a metal buckler on her back.
Behind her, Scootaloo leapt from the basement and took her place to the left of Apple Bloom, an oversized sword sheathed around her back, dragging the tip on the floor. “CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS: ROYAL GUARD: DRAGOON SQUADRON: SPECIAL OPS; TEN-HUT!”
“For Equestria! For FREEDOM!” shouted Sweetie Belle, taking her place in between her two other friends, the tip of a halberd tied around her horn. “My sisters! Tonight we earn our Dragon-slaying Cutie Marks or die trying—FOR THE PRINCESSES!” she declared, lowering her head and pointing her bladed horn in the general direction of Spike.
The only dragon in the room gulped. “D-Dragon-slaying?!”
Rarity heaved a tired sigh as she put away her sketching tools. 'I suppose 15 minutes of quiet was stretching it a bit.'
- - - - - -
The Great and Powerful Trixie had seen many things and many locations in her young life, the result of her nomadic lifestyle. Sure, she may have added certain embellishments to the more boring aspects, but as a whole, the blue unicorn felt she was a worldly pony.
The folds between dimensions, however, did not count towards her sum of worldly experiences considering they were quite literally out of this world. Looking at the lavender pony whose hooves she was currently holding, The Great and Powerful Trixie began to wonder if she was even supposed to be conscious for this part of whatever spell Twilight Sparkle was currently casting; the dark-maned mare seemed to be currently unresponsive, except for her pupil-less, glowing eyes and shining horn.
As far as Trixie could tell, they seemed to be traipsing through this not-space at a fairly good clip, despite the fact that they were both just... floating there. Turning her head and scanning the void of nothingness and everything, she suddenly came face-to-face with two big, blue, smiling eyes. Trixie was sure she developed arrhythmia from the scare.
“HI! HIIIIIII!” the pink pony waved, standing too close for comfort. “I know you! I know you!” the pony shouted, hopping with excitement. “Do you remember me? Of COURSE you do! I know everypony, so that means that everypony knows me!”
The blue unicorn felt that the arrhythmia may have also given her an aneurysm, because her brain was trying so hard to understand what was going on, but it just wasn't happening. Truly, she couldn't brain right now.
It was at that point that Twilight's horn sparked, suddenly shooting out a beam across the infinity of the aether. The pink earth pony's form stretched infinitely in the opposite direction of the infinity that lay ahead of the two unicorns. “Aw phooey! You guys are leaving already? No fair, Twilight never stays here for more than two or three shakes! At least tell me where you're going!”
Shakes? As in milkshakes? This was ridiculous, Trixie surmised—clearly a dream. “The Great and Powerful Trixie will be at the Clydesler Building if you need her, Dream Pony!” Trixie waved, deciding to play along.
“Whuh... what?” Trixie asked, getting up from the tiled floor of the Clydesler Building’s main lobby.
A light orange unicorn pony regarded her with a very unamused face, her yellow eyes glowering. “I was asking, Miss Trixie, if you were quite done trying to destroy this production with your little stunt out there.” the pony's dark red mane had a straight cut that fell to both sides of her head and neck. Her cutie mark, a quill and inkwell, had always made Trixie wonder.
The showmare decided to ignore the fact that Twilight Sparkle had apparently teleported them inside for now, because that was ridiculous and frankly quite impossible. She regarded the orange mare with equal annoyance. “The Great and Powerful Trixie would like to remind a certain Miss Spelling that The Great and Powerful Trixie was not the pony that called this... this ruinous interloper here!” Trixie huffed, facing away from the orange unicorn and pointing an accusatory hoof at the lavender pony lying on the floor.
Twilight Sparkle slowly got back on her hooves, wobbling slightly like a newborn foal. Teleportation always left her feeling a bit out of sorts, and for some reason, everything always tasted blue for a while afterward. She shook her head and focused on the two unicorns in front of her, seemingly in some sort of argument.
“Is that so?” Spelling used her magic to adjust her rimless glasses. “Well, The Miss Spelling would like to remind The Great and Powerful Trixie that without The 'Ruinous Interloper', The Great and Powerful Trixie's film will never see the light of day.”
Twilight wondered what in Equestria they were talking about, but at the moment she was too busy staring at the admittedly fancy floor, wallowing in utter shame at how she had reacted when she saw Trixie. 'What got into me? How could I have jumped her like that!' Twilight heard the discussion quiet down around her, and she looked up to find Holly Diver standing in front of her, holding Twilight's saddlebag.
“Miss Sparkle, your luggage.” said the professional pegasus, stone-faced except for her eyes, which trembled with barely-contained mirth.
“Oh, thank you, Ms. Diver...” she said, numbly grabbing it from the other pony. 'She looks like she wants to laugh... Oh Celestia, I can't believe I cast all over Trixie's face like that!'
The orange unicorn used her magic to materialize a checkbook. “Holly, would you care to do some overtime work for me?” she asked as the checkbook floated over to the dark pegasus. “I need you and your crew to find each newspony that witnessed Trixie's episode and persuade them to give up their cameras and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement.”
Holly Diver grabbed the checkbook with her mouth, and raised a knowing eyebrow as she pocketed the powerful object in her coat. “The usual amount?”
Miss Spelling brought a pensive hoof to her chin. “Hmm, make it triple for the two ponies that got turned into floral arrangements.” she answered, waving her hoof dismissively. Inwardly, Miss Spelling wondered how many more bits Trixie’s antics were going to cost the studio.
“Right.” Holly nodded, “Well, if you'll excuse me, Miss Spelling, Ms. Trixie,” she turned and winked at Twilight. “Ms. Sparkle.”
Trixie rolled her eyes as she watched the insufferable chauffeur leave; she did not like how friendly the hired help was being to Twilight. 'They'll hire anypony these days.' Casting a sidelong glance at Twilight Sparkle, The Great and Powerful Trixie deduced that the Interloper seemed to be knee-deep in shame-wallowing. She felt a pang of... empathy? Trixie had to chuckle internally at her mind's suggestion that she should feel anything like that towards this pony of destruction. 'Still, I suppose if we're going to get her to sign, she should be in at least better spirits.'
“You go on ahead, The Miss Spelling, for The Great and Powerful Trixie refuses to attend this meeting unless she is looking her best!” she said, giving Twilight a light shove. “Come, you little cry-filly, we must clean you up lest you make The Great and Powerful Trixie look bad by association.”
“H-hey, please stop shoving!” complained Twilight, being completely ignored as she got pushed into an elevator by the blue unicorn. Twilight watched as Trixie used her magic to press the button to the top floor and curiously enough, the door-close button at the same time; then Trixie proceeded to stand next to her and look straight ahead at the now-closing elevator door. As the lift began its slow ascent, Twilight began fidgeting, the silence deafening and only helping her mind to fester in its bad thoughts. Each barely-audible 'ding' made her flinch a little, so consumed she was in her embarrassment. 'I have to stop thinking about it, Trixie hasn't even mentioned it... Maybe she didn't notice?' Twilight psyched herself up with false hope, and decided to break the cacophony of quietude. “So.. Uh... A movie...?” she asked, awkwardly.
'Well of course she would be an elevator talker.' Trixie sighed. “If you must know, yes—one of The Great and Powerful Trixie's shows has finally caught the eyes of a very prominent Hollyhoof director.” said the magician haughtily.
Twilight couldn't help to be impressed; Trixie had made the jump from roadshow pony to screenplay writer in half a year! “And which show?” asked the studious mare, feeling strangely uplifted at Trixie's apparent success, “Let me guess, does it involve a Great and Powerful pony vanquishing an Ursa Major?” she asked playfully, already feeling better.
Trixie blushed, then harrumphed indignantly. “Yes, as a matter of fact it does! But The Great and Powerful Trixie is no one-trick pony!” she continued, challenging Twilight with her eyes. “The Great and Powerful Trixie's new show has even impressed the highest ponies of the Canterlot court!”
Twilight blinked. 'Celestia never mentioned this to me!' The elevator reached the 81st floor, and both unicorns exited. The lavender mare followed the blue magician down a stately hallway, exquisitely decorated, comparable to the decor down the halls of the castle back at Canterlot!
Trixie felt a certain elation at the amazement plastered so openly on Twilight's face. “Obviously as the genius visionary behind this cinematographic tour de force, The Great and Powerful Trixie has been granted the use of this very exclusive penthouse.” Trixie giggled, “An amazing apartment for an amazing pony, don't you agree?” she asked as she produced the penthouse's card key, apparently hidden in her mane.
Twilight felt a pang of sadness. “Trixie... I'm happy for your success, I really am but, must you be so boastful?”
The Great and Powerful Trixie flinched slightly as she stepped through the door, “I-It's not boasting if it's true now, is it?” the azure pony went into the beautiful kitchen of the apartment.
Twilight's gaze traced around the apartment—it really was quite royal. “Look, Trixie, I've been meaning to talk—” SLAP. A wet towel to the face. “Whuh...!”
“Wipe your face. You look like you've been crying and drooling and roasting in an oven.”
Twilight blushed as she did what she was told; she hadn't realized that all of the day's events could be so easily read on her face. After wiping her face and singe marks, 'When did I get those...?', Twilight watched as Trixie walked back to her, a soft brush floating by her magic. “Hey...!” she complained after the magician used said magic to push Twilight onto a chair.
Standing behind the seated unicorn, Trixie hovered the brush over Twilight's mane, contemplating it. 'You have no right to look so good with bed-mane!' Trixie frowned, feeling somewhat jealous at Twilight's effortless looks. “Really, the second most-powerful unicorn in Equestria, and yet you squander your life away sleeping... Just look at this mess you call a mane.”
'Ohmygosh she's brushing my hair!' She thinks I'm powerful! She thinks I'm... a slacker?' Twilight was blushing for a number of reasons right now. “I do not s-squander my life away!” Twilight turned her head to face Trixie, but the blue mare used her magic to gently turn her away again.
“Stay still while I try to work on this disaster.” Trixie explained, smoothing out the librarian's mane.
Twilight fidgeted a bit, suddenly feeling completely flustered under Trixie's gentle ministrations. “I... I just had a late night out...” she explained shyly.
Twilight yelped in surprise at the sudden forceful tug Trixie gave the brush she was using on her mane. “A... Late night out?” Trixie felt something of a lump in her throat, and a sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach. 'The Great and Powerful Trixie does not care what some silly mare does at night or with whom!' Trixie internalized, “The Great and Powerful Trixie didn't take her mortal enemy for that kind of pony!” she goaded, digging for answers.
Twilight quickly spun and faced Trixie again, blushing brighter than ever, before Trixie once again turned her away. “What kind of pony are you talking about? I was just out drinking with my friends! I'm allowed to do that! I'm not a little filly anymore!” Twilight's voice was defensive and somewhat petulant as she flailed her hooves, “And mortal enemy? Why am I your mortal enemy?” she tried turning around again, but Trixie had been expecting it, and held her in place.
'Out with her friends...' A weight was lifted from Trixie's back as she released a breath she didn't know she had been holding. The Great and Powerful Trixie was instantly feeling quite a bit chipper than she had been ten seconds ago. Smiling broadly, the azure unicorn spun Twilight to face her, and was met with an adorable sight—that of a blushing, pouting, annoyed Twilight Sparkle. Playfully brushing Twilight's locks down over her eyes, Trixie beamed at the bookworm.
“That's what we are, you simple filly—that's why you're here; there's a character based on you in my movie,” Trixie explained as she floated the brush away to a nearby table. “and we need you to sign off on that, you know...” Trixie walked back to the kitchen, ducking down behind the counter. “...Give us permission to use your likeness, not sue us for damages or defamation; it's just a formality, really...” Trixie produced a bottle of clear liquid. “You'll be properly compensated for your consent, of course- The Great and Poweful Trixie is as benevolent as she is amazing!” the unicorn declared, excitedly kicking her front hooves before quickly settling down.
Turning to face the stunned Twilight Sparkle, Trixie smiled broadly. “Vodka?”
End Chapter 3