Alcor and the Mane 6 walked, or in Rainbow Dash and Alcor’s cases, hovered, alongside Daisy Stream on their way back to Ponyville. Fluttershy, who was now walking alongside the group, had regained consciousness a few moments earlier, and had been brought up to speed on what was going on.
“Sooo…” said Rainbow in a cautious sort of voice. “If this toy company really is making a mint off of us and our adventures, and you can hop between dimensions and shit, do you think you could warp us all back to your world so we can get our share of the profits?”
Alcor laughed. “Figured you’d ask me something like that,” he said, his head swiveling around on his neck to face Rainbow, causing Rarity and Fluttershy to have expressions that suggested that they were uncomfortable with that. “First off, inter-dimensional travel is a very risky business, and one that I haven’t exactly mastered handling just yet. Secondly, and here’s the important one, I might add, the fortune you’d get from Hasbro wouldn’t be worth the paper it’s printed on in this dimension.”
“So, you use paper money for currency in your world? Interesting…” said Twilight thoughtfully.
“Yep. Always have, probably always will,” said Alcor, his head swiveling back to its normal position as he spoke.
Rarity looked a little nervous as she spoke to Alcor. “Erm, Mr. Alcor, if you haven’t mastered the ability to jump between worlds, then how did you arrive in our world?” she asked.
“It was a freak accident with a feedback loop that brought me here,” replied Alcor. “You know something, though? You ladies are way too damn trusting of strange creatures who just blew in here from another dimension. Something like that could end up being your downfall one day, and I speak from experience when I say that.”
“And what in the wide, wide, world of Equestria makes ya’ll think we trust ya?” asked Applejack.
“Well, you didn’t attack me when it looked pretty cut-and-dried that I’d just hurt Fluttershy,” said Alcor. “I don’t know about you, but that seems a lot like trust to me.”
“Well, we didn’t need to keep fightin’ you after you agreed to come quietly, did we now?”said Applejack. “That, and we know how Fluttershy gets when she gets herself spooked. And she spooks easily.”
Alcor thought about what Applejack said for a moment. “Eh, fair enough,” he finally said.
The journey continued on in silence. Finally, the ensemble arrived at Ponyville, which was not a small relatively peaceful village, but rather a large bustling metropolis of a city with cars and ponies zigzagging every which way.
“Well, Ponyville’s nothing like what I thought it’d be at all,” commented Alcor.
“And what exactly did you think it’d be, just out of curiosity?” asked Twilight.
“In a word: smaller,” replied Alcor. “Now, if you ladies will excuse me a moment, I need to get changed.”
And with that, Alcor closed his eyes in concentration. His long pointy ears began to shrink, as did the bat wings that were growing out of the small of his back. When Alcor opened his eyes again, not only were the black of his eyes white, but the wings were gone and his ears were back to a normal shape.
“There we go,” said Alcor as he floated back down to the ground as each of the Mane 6 did a small double-take.
Twilight was the first to regain her composure. “Right then,” she said. “Alcor and I will meet up with you girls later. I’ll show him around town before taking him back to the library to run some test on him.”
“Ya’ll sure you and mah drake can handle him?” asked Applejack.
Twilight looked over at Alcor, who was starting to draw the stares of several nearby ponies. However, he merely smiled, waved, and tipped his top hat at them.
“I’m sure of it,” said Twilight.
“Well… all right, if you say so,” said Applejack. “Catch ya later. Oh, and can ya tell Spike that next Thursday at the Hayloft is perfect?”
“Sure thing,” said Twilight.
And with that, Rainbow, Rarity, Pinkie, Fluttershy, and Applejack departed for their own destinations, leaving Twilight alone with Alcor.
“Well then, shall I show you around?” asked Twilight.
“Go right ahead, Miss Sparkle,” said Alcor.
And with that, Twilight Sparkle began the tour of Ponyville. During the tour, Twilight showed Alcor Sugarcube Corner, City Hall, Rarity’s shop, the Joke Shop, and so many other things. However, there was only one thing Alcor was really interested in.
“‘VampFlare Home For Orphaned Foals. Current Headmistress: Miss Cinch,’” Alcor read aloud on the sign posted outside. “Well, if this isn’t a gold mine for clients, I don’t know what is. Nearly every orphanage ever is a hellhole. Why orphanages are always hellholes is beyond me, but…”
As Alcor looked through one of the windows and watched the silhouette of a familiar looking pegasus getting chewed out by what Alcor could only assume was Abacus Finch, Twilight looked at Alcor in confusion and maybe a little concern. “What are you talking about? What do you mean ‘clients?’” she asked.
“Well… let’s just say creatures like me are skilled in the art of business, especially when it comes down to cutting a deal,” said Alcor.
Twilight’s look of confusion turned to one of uncertainty at this response. “Okay…” she said slowly. “We’re not far from my home, so let’s keep moving, shall we?”
Alcor nodded and followed Twilight back to her place… but not before giving the orphanage one more look.
Inside the Golden Oaks Library, a young purple and green dragon wearing a purple hoodie with a green t-shirt underneath, blue jeans, and socks was lounging in a chair reading a comic book. This was Spike, loyal assistant and adoptive son of Twilight Sparkle.
Spike looked up from his book as his mother entered the house with a strange creature wearing a black suit and top hat. “Uh, Mom? Who and what is that creature?” he asked.
“My name is Alcor. And you must be Spike, Twilight’s slav-er, I mean, Twilight’s adoptive son, right?” said Alcor.
“Uh… yeah,” said Spike suspiciously, having detected that Alcor had just tried to cover something up.
“Well, now that we’re here, I think we can start right away. So, if you’ll follow me into my lab, we can begin,” said Twilight.
“Okay, then,” said Alcor as he and Spike followed Twilight into the library basement, which had been converted into a fully equipped laboratory, where she sat down in one of two chairs that were facing each other.
“Where did you get all this stuff? Is there a website or something?” asked Alcor.
“Well, actually, Princess Celestia gave it all to her, so she could continue her educational studies while she worked on her friendship studies,” explained Spike.
“I see…” said Alcor, shaking Spike’s hand before he sat down in a chair while Spike grabbed a quill, ink, and paper before doing the same.
“Well, now that everyone’s settled, we can begin,” said Twilight. “I’ll start with the big one. What are you exactly?” she asked.
“I’m...a dream demon,” said Alcor.
“YOU’RE A WHAT?!” yelled Twilight and Spike in surprise and fear at the same time.
“I’m a dream demon,” said Alcor. “A monster that specializes in mindbending, reality warping, and demonic contracts. Back in my dimension, I had many names, like The Dreambender, the Twin Star, and at least two different cults dedicated to me. I was the most powerful creature in my world, and quite honestly, I’m probably the most powerful creature in this world too. But, I wasn’t always like this. I used to be normal. I used to have a family.”
“Really?” asked Twilight as Spike wrote everything that had just been said down. “Well, what happened to make you like this?”
“Well… I usually keep that bit of information to myself. Unless, of course, you and I strike a bargain,” said Alcor.
“No way, Jose! I’ve seen the movies, deals with demons never end well for anyone!” said Twilight.
“Do you always believe everything you see in movies, Twilight?” asked Alcor.
“Well, no… but I’ve read plenty of books where the deal backfires on the idiot who struck a deal with the devil,” said Twilight.
“Twilight, I think you’re just afraid that I’ll double cross you and turn you into a deer or something,” said Alcor with a laugh. “Well, you need not worry. The only people or ponies I double cross are those who summon me in a bid for power or who use human, or as long as I’m here, equine sacrifices. So, you have nothing to worry about.”
“I don’t know… it seems awfully dangerous… and I don’t really know if I can trust you…”
“Oh, will you stop? All I want is some cupcakes from Sugarcube Corner,” said Alcor.
Twilight raised an eyebrow. “Really? That’s it?”
“Yep. I just want a baker’s dozen chocolate cupcakes. In return, you get to hear my origin story. Sounds like a fair deal, doesn’t it?” asked Alcor.
“Well… okay, if you say so,” said Twilight.
“Perfect,” said Alcor, his hand erupting into blue flame as he shook Twilight’s hand. As Twilight shook Alcor’s hand, she felt a feeling that she could only describe as a connection within her very soul. “Well, shall we go get those cupcakes?”
After a quick trip to Sugarcube Corner to buy some cupcakes, Alcor lounged on the chair he’d been sitting in earlier, munching on a cupcake. “Okay, I guess it’s time for me to hold up my end of the bargain,” Alcor finally said, straightening up in his chair.
“It’s about time,” muttered Twilight as Spike picked up his quill and parchment
Alcor shot Twilight a glare before he began. “I was born many centuries ago to a normal family. I was once a creature known as a human being, a species I’m sure you’ll be very familiar with in due time, and I had a twin sister who was a lot like Pinkie Pie named Mizar. Mizar and I had a fairly standard childhood. We did almost everything together. I was the brains of our Mystery Twins outfit, while Mizar brought the charm and the personality. Then, one summer, our parents shipped us up to a sleepy little town called Gravity Falls to stay at our Great-Uncle Stan’s place in the woods,” he explained, before he looked down at the ground.
“That was the summer that my life changed forever. My Grunkle Stan put me and Mizar to work in his house/tourist trap, The Mystery Shack, and quite honestly, the only real mystery of that shack was why anyone came in the first place, the exhibits were all tacky, the place smelled like formaldehyde, and Stan did everything in his power to wring every last cent out of the tourists who were dumb enough to show up. One day, Stan had me hammering up signs to promote the shack in the spooky part of the local forest. It was then I discovered a spooky old journal marked with the number 3. Contained within the journal was information on Gravity Falls’ secret dark side, crawling with all kinds of creepy monsters and supernatural creatures. But the worst of them all was an evil dream demon who’d plastered his face all over history named Bill Cipher.”
“Wait, wait, wait a minute,” said Spike. “This creature’s name is Bill? An evil demon with the power to warp reality and possibly drive millions insane… and his name is Bill?”
Alcor chuckled. “His name isn’t even the funniest part about him. Here’s what he looked like,” he said, snapping his fingers and causing the image of a yellow triangle with one eye and small stick-like arms and legs with a cane wearing a black top hat and a bowtie.
“THAT’S Bill?!” said Twilight and Spike.
“Yep, that’s the evil triangle guy,” said Alcor.
A moment of dead silence passed by… before both Twilight and Spike burst out laughing.
“He looks so terrifying, I’m so scared!” laughed Spike.
“What harm could that nacho in a top hat possibly do to anyone?” giggled Twilight.
“Oh, nothing much, really, just a spell that he’d spent billions of years perfecting, all so he could merge the spectral and material planes and cause a full-on Weirdmageddon,” said Alcor as he made the image of Bill vanish, his words causing Twilight and Spike to stop laughing quite abruptly. “Thankfully, me, Mizar, and a rag-tag group of our friends were there to stop him, and actually managed to stop the spell from succeeding. The backlash of the botched spell almost killed Bill, a feat that is nearly impossible because of him being an immortal demon. In sheer desperation, Bill tried to possess me without a contact in a desperate attempt to save himself. I fought back with everything I had, and I won. Bill Cipher was dead.”
“However, I didn’t get my happily ever after. It turned out that a portion of Bill’s power remained inside me, and as a result, it turned me into a dream demon myself.”
“Well… that actually sounds kind of cool, now that I think about it,” said Spike. “You get awesome superpowers and you get to live forever. Doesn’t sound like a bad trade-off to me.”
“I understand why you’d think that. In theory, it wouldn’t sound all that bad,” admitted Alcor. “But, picture this: you’re immortal and can live forever, never aging nor dying with infinite power at your fingertips, or in your case, clawtips. But, can you say the same for those you love and care about? Can you say that for their descendants, and THEIR descendants?” Alcor smirked at the look on Spike and Twilight’s faces. “I thought not. It’s a fate worse than death, watching those you’ve grown to know and love grow old and pass away, while you live on, forever young, with no hope of joining them on the other side. Losing Mizar felt like what was left of my very soul was being tortured in the most painful ways imaginable.”
“I understand how that’d feel,” said Twilight sympathetically.
“It doesn’t matter. Mizar’s death is just another scar that’ll never truly heal. You get used to them in this line of work,” grumbled Alcor.
“So… what happened after this Bill Cipher was defeated and you became… like this?” asked Twilight, desperate to move on from this topic.
“Well, I’m glad you asked,” said Alcor. ”While Bill’s spell had failed, it was able to unleash the weirdness of Gravity Falls upon the rest of the world, in the events known as the Transcendence. Admittedly, it took quite awhile for the humans to accept that the world they now lived in was the one they had to get used. A year after my...accident… I started making deals with people, and I became somewhat famous to both humans and monsters alike, and truth be told, that came to bite me in the ass in a highly unusual manner. I don’t want to get into specifics, though. And although I was the subject of many a girl’s crushes, I never really wanted to have a romantic relationship, seeing as how A, I’m immortal and B, contrary to what movies and books say, demons and devils can’t splice with other creatures, supernatural or otherwise. And truth be told, I don’t want to be responsible for siring another Bill Cipher, and I don’t want to adopt a mortal being, so I decided to just stay out of love forever.”
Twilight glanced at Spike, who smiled and shook his head as he jotted down Alcor’s words. “Alcor, that’s not how love works. You can’t control if you fall in love with somepony or not. And seeing as you’re an immortal demon, I’d say the life without love you’re trying to get back with is almost worse than death itself,” she said.
“Well, I’d like to think it’s worked for me for the past few hundred years, so I think my choice will work out just fine,” said Alcor, although a tinge of uncertainty was beginning to enter his mind.
Twilight just smiled and shook her head. “Whatever floats your boat. In any case, I think that’s enough for now. Tomorrow, we’re going to begin the more physical and psychological testing tomorrow,” she said as she, Spike, and Alcor stood up. “You can stay on the couch upstair until we find a more permanent place for you to stay.”
“Joy,” said Alcor as he made his way back up the stairs to the main floor of the library, Twilight and Spike watching him go.
“Poor guy… he’s certainly been through a lot, hasn’t he, Mom?” Spike asked Twilight.
“It certainly seems that way… Spike, you head on upstairs. I have a letter that I want to write Princess Celestia myself,” said Twilight.
Spike nodded and did as he was told, leaving Twilight alone in the basement.
It was almost midnight, crumpled-up sheets of parchment littered the floor, and Twilight Sparkle had finally finished the final draft of her letter to Princess Celestia. She looked over the finsihed letter, checking it for any mistakes she’d made.
My Dearest Teacher,
While investigating what had seemed to be an explosion of some kind, I encountered a strange creature who said he was a dream demon named Alcor. However, he told me and Spike that he hadn’t always been a monster, and that he used to be a creature called a “human being.” After he told his how he came to be what he is now, it showed me another side of immortality. While most ponies see living forever as such an amazing thing, it’s easy to overlook that while you never die, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those you love and care about will never die. Have you or Luna ever had any experiences with something like this? In any case, I would appreciate it if my friends, Alcor, and I could have an audience with you as soon as possible to discuss what exactly we’re going to do with this Alcor now that he’s here.
Twilight smiled as she read the letter. It looked pretty good to her. Twilight rolled up the parchment and tied it off with a ribbon using her magic before making her way upstiars to her bedroom. She would have Spike send the letter tomorrow, but for now, it was time to get some sleep.
Meanwhile, on the sofa, Alcor couldn’t stop thinking about what Twilight had said about his decision regarding his non-existent love life. Maybe his decision not to fall in love wouldn’t actually work. He did spend half a summer trying to ask Wendy Corduroy, a beautiful redhead teen he’d once had a massive crush on out back when he was Dipper Pines, after all.
Alcor shook the thought of a love life out of his head. Get a grip, Dipper. You can’t go worrying about finding a fair maiden to fall for now. You’re in a whole new dimension now. It’s a fresh start for you, your business, and your reputation as a demon. You need to start finding clients who can be convinced to strike a bargain with you, so you can be seen as a good man, not a devil with a shifty contract. And hopefully not have anymore books like those Twin Souls stories written about you, Alcor thought to himself before a grin crossed over his face.
And speaking of clients… I know just the filly to start with.