Rainbow and Applejack sat there, eyes wide and mouths agape in shock as Sunset and Twilight recounted their journey with the Talisman. After a moment, their plates of pancakes arrived, which Sunset and Twilight began to eat almost immediately. It felt like it had been forever since they had eaten anything and the pancakes with the warm syrup tasted so good.
“You know, I’ve never really done pancakes any other time than breakfast, but I have to admit they’re just as good at lunch,” Twilight said as she munched away.
As they ate, Sunset glanced up at Rainbow and Applejack, who still hadn’t started on their food. “Look, I know that’s a lot to take in, but you guys asked for the whole story. It may not have been every detail, but it was close enough.”
Applejack’s mouth slowly closed as she gave her head a small shake. “Right. O’course. That sounds like one humdinger of an adventure y’all have been takin’.”
“I mean, that sounds so crazy, but so awesome at the same time! You’re traveling to a bunch of alternate universes, meeting yourselves, different versions of all of us, and you’re doing it with someone you care about!” Rainbow exclaimed as she snapped out of her own stupor and began eating.
Twilight and Sunset looked at one another with a smile.
“Yeah, I guess it is pretty awesome,” Twilight said, twirling a lock of hair in her finger. “Spending this time with Sunset has been nice…”
Rainbow nudged Applejack with her elbow and chuckled. “I don’t think they’ve crossed into relationship territory yet.”
Sunset coughed as she heard Rainbow say this, but as she was about to speak, a portal opened up near them. Out of the portal stepped a rather tall woman dressed in black. She had her jet black hair slicked back and tied into a high ponytail, and she was wearing what looked like sunglasses faintly glowing with an odd red light.
Applejack and Rainbow looked at the oddly dressed woman, then looked to Twilight and Sunset.
“Friend of yours?” Rainbow asked.
Twilight and Sunset turned at this point to look at the woman. Whoever she was, she had a somewhat intimidating air about her. She wasn’t something they’d encountered yet, but they both knew it probably wasn’t good.
“Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. You’ve violated the laws of multiversal travel. You are hereby required to come with me for summary judgement and punishment.”
Sunset looked over to Twilight whose eyes were wide in what could only be described as horror. With a sigh, Sunset stood up and squared off against this person. “What kind of punishment are you talking about?”
Sunset narrowed her eyes. “We’re just trying to get home. We don’t mean to keep popping up in random places. We just can’t seem to find the right place. Give us a chance.”
“Unacceptable. You’ve been causing disruptions in several other worlds. These disruptions will have profound effects on the futures of those universes. You will comply or I will make you comply,” the woman said.
“Sunset...I-I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for anything like this to happen…” Twilight said as a tear fell down her cheek.
Sunset clenched her fists as she continued to stare down the woman. “Who are you? Who do you work for?”
“My name isn’t important, but if you must know, it’s Aeon. I’m part of a task force dedicated to catching those who travel the multiverse with no regard or care for what they do or who they might affect,” Aeon said.
“Can’t you just lead us home? This doesn’t need to come to anything as drastic as death,” Sunset said.
Aeon sighed. “No. I’m afraid that isn’t possible. Now, enough stalling. Come quietly or I will force to come with me.”
“Sunset...Let’s just go with her. We don’t have much of a choice,” Twilight said, grasping at the Talisman which was laying on the table.
“No!” Sunset said angrily. “We’ve been through too much to let this person take us and kill us. I won’t let her.”
“Then you’re a fool,” Aeon said as she raised her hand. A blast of red energy shot forth from her hand and slammed into Sunset, sending her into wall at the far end of the diner.
“Sunset!” Twilight exclaimed, standing up out of the booth and running to her. “Are you okay?”
Sunset managed to get up to one knee and glared at Aeon. “She isn’t taking us Twilight. I won’t let her. Is the Talisman ready?”
Twilight nodded. “Yeah. It’s ready to go.”
“Good. Be ready to use it when I say,” Sunset said. When Twilight nodded in acknowledgement, Sunset got to her feet and dashed forward at Aeon.
Aeon laughed as she easily sidestepped Sunset’s charge, and followed up with another blast of red energy. Now she turned her attention to Twilight and began walking toward her. “Give me your device and come with me. No one else needs to get hurt.”
“Hey! You can’t hurt our friends like that!” Rainbow said, lobbing a syrup-coated pancake at Aeon.
Aeon whipped around as she felt the pancake smack sloppily against her back. “Your insolence is unacceptable. However, my dealings are not with you two. You will wait outside,” she said as she raised a hand and blasted both Rainbow and Applejack through the diner window.
“Now, Twilight!” Sunset called.
Twilight activated the Talisman, and a portal opened up behind Aeon.
Aeon turned her attention back to Twilight. “What are you doing? Do you think to escape me? I’ll find you—”
“Shut up and leave us alone!” Sunset called, pushing Aeon through the portal, which promptly closed.
Twilight looked up at Sunset. “I’m not sure how that’s going to help us… If she can travel the multiverse without getting lost, she’ll find us again. I’m not even sure if we can leave here now. The TPT may be out of energy again.”
Sunset held her hand out for Twilight, who took it and was pulled to her feet. “It doesn’t matter. If she has anything similar, we’ll at least have a chance to leave the diner. Now let’s go check on AJ and Rainbow. I hope they aren’t hurt…”
As the two ran outside, they saw Rainbow Dash helping Applejack to her feet. Both had a few minor cuts, but otherwise they seemed to be okay.
“What in tarnation was that? Y’all didn’t tell us about some superpowered multiverse cop,” Applejack said, pulling a piece of glass out of her hair.
“We haven’t run into her before and something tells me it won’t be the last time we do. Are you guys okay? I mean... she did throw you both through a window.”
Rainbow and Applejack exchanged a glance.
“We’ve done worse,” Rainbow said with a snigger.
“Well, Twilight and I might-” Sunset was cut off by a sobbing sound from behind her. When she turned around, she saw Twilight kneeling on the ground. “Twilight?”
“This is all my fault. Aeon was right to want to take us back with her. What would have happened in this world if AJ and Rainbow had been killed when she pushed them through the window? What if we aren’t just affecting alternate realities, but the time streams in those realities as well?” Twilight said, rambling somewhat.
Sunset pulled Twilight to her feet and placed a hand on her cheek. “We’re going to find a way back home. If it takes us altering a few timelines, so what? I’m not letting Aeon take us when she finds us again.”
Twilight wasn’t very comforted by that, but she managed to force a smile. “Okay. Then I guess we should start planning for what to do when Aeon inevitably shows up again.” Twilight looked at the Talisman now and tried activating it. When the portal didn’t open up, she sighed. “We’re stuck here until it recharges. Let’s hope Aeon doesn’t show back up before it recharges.”