• Published 24th May 2013
  • 3,185 Views, 105 Comments

Duplicity - Bullet25



Lyra, an innocent young pony from Ponyville is suffering from strange visions of another world, strange creatures, and a whole different reality.

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Chapter One: Visions

There it was again; I thought that maybe moving to a small town like Ponyville would have stopped it, but no, it didn’t. It just seemed like it was getting worse. Thankfully though, it didn't seem to go on for more than thirty seconds.

“Again?” Bon Bon said. “Can’t you at least let me know if it’s happening so I’m not talking to thin air in the middle of town again? It makes me look like a crazy mare, Lyra.”

“Sorry, there is no way for me to know. It just sort of happens.”

“Still the same?”

“Yep, still a small town almost like Ponyville yet so different.”

“Well as I was saying before you had your little ‘episode,’ Carro–”

“Wait, you look like a crazy mare? What do you think I look like when I just stop moving?”

“Okay, you’re right, but I still look crazy too, talking to myself.”

“Let’s just drop it.”

We didn’t talk to each other the rest of the walk. I couldn’t really have cared less if anypony believed me or not. I know what I see. The only reason I even agreed to see this psychologist was to make Bon Bon shut up about it. I know she doesn’t think I’m crazy but why else would you even suggest for someone to see a psychologist?

~~~~~~

The main lobby of the doctor’s office was plain enough, off-white-colored walls, dark-blue waiting benches, and a secretary. She was a unicorn with a light-brown coat, cream-colored mane, light-blue eyes, and an inkwell and quill for a cutie mark.

“Hello there. How may I help you today?” the secretary said the moment we walked into the room.

“Hi, um, we have an appointment today with Dr. Psych.”

“Your name please.”

“Lyra Heartstrings.”

“Ah yes, you’re early, let me see if he is ready now. You can have a seat over there.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Bon Bon and I took a seat on the bench by the counter.

“Can’t you sit normally for once?” Bon Bon asked. I was sitting like I normally do, hind legs off the edge of the seat, back leaning on the wall behind us. “Do you want them to think you’re crazy?” Bon Bon's words slipped out, muffled as she drug her hooves down her face.

“First of all, I like to sit this way. Second of all, why would I need to go to a psychologist if I wasn’t crazy? Third of all, it was your idea.”

“Whatever. When they think you’re crazy, don’t go blaming me; that’s all you.”

“I’ll remember that when you visit me in my padded cell.”

“Who said I’d visit?”

“I… You… I hate you sometimes.”

“I love you too.”

“Shhh you, the secretary is coming back.”

“Dr. Psych will see you now. Down the hall, second door on the right,” the secretary said, taking her seat again at the front desk.

We entered his office, which was anything but plain. Two of the walls were lined with bookshelves, almost overflowing with books, and the third was reserved for a huge collection of photographs and certificates. This doctor obviously liked to travel, the photos that hung from the wall showcased his trips to quite a few different places, from Fillydelphia to Stalliongrad and everywhere in-between. One photo in particular caught my eye, a beautiful shot of the entire skyline of Canterlot.

“Let me guess… multiple personality disorder? Hmmm… no… wait, you think that you’re a mint-green unicorn,” he said while pointing at Bon Bon, “and you think you’re a space pony from Mars?” That time he was pointing at me.

“This has nothing to do with me,” Bon Bon retorted, tilting her head towards me. “This is all about her!”

“Drat, I was almost certain you thought you were a mint-green unicorn. Well am I right about you? Are you a space pony from Mars?”

“I wish, that might explain everything,” I replied.

“Well now, why don’t you take a seat and tell me why I’ll soon need some alien repellent.”

“Tell me Doctor, ar–”

“Please just call me Psych,” he said cutting me off.

“Okay. Tell me, Psych, aren’t you supposed to be serious? Also, if you asked Bon Bon if she thought she was me, why didn’t you ask me if I thought I was her?”

“Well, I can see someone here doesn’t have a sense of humor, am I right?”

Bon Bon giggled.

“Well, Lyra, to answer your questions, there is a time to be serious and a time for fun. From the moment you both walked in, I could see that neither of you are crazy and that you’re very nervous. That told me to try and loosen you up. For instance, both your friend and I are already sitting and we have been for a good two minutes now; you on the other hand are still standing.” He was right; I had been standing the entire time. I guess I was more nervous than I thought. “As for your second question, I just thought it would be funnier. Now please, take a seat.”

I took a seat on the couch that was in front of him. As I did, I heard Bon Bon sigh, and I saw that Psych was looking at me with an eyebrow raised in confusion.

“What?” I asked.

“Well maybe I was wrong; maybe you really are crazy. Do you always sit like that?” Psych still looked confused.

“Yeah, it’s comfortable.”

“Well, there’s a first time for everything.” Now it was my turn to look at him confusedly, as he got up and sat right back down in the same position I was in. After about a minute of sitting with his back against the chair and hind legs hanging off the edge, he got back up and sat down like he had been before. “Yeah, not feeling it.”

“See, Lyra, I told you it was weird. You’re the only one who sits like that,” Bon Bon said.

“Well if she wants to sit that way, then more power to her,” Psych replied “But let’s get back to why you came here in the first place.”

“I didn’t want to come here, but Bon Bon insisted. She was worried that I might get hurt during one of my episodes.”

Psych’s eyes widened and his brow scrunched. “Episodes? Hmm... well please tell me, what happens during these episodes?”

“I don’t really know. They’ve been happening since I was about five. Every once in a while, say maybe twice a month or so, I’ll be doing something, then suddenly I'm looking at a city that’s, almost the same but still... different. The layout of the town will be the same, but the buildings are different and there are these creatures that I can't seem to find any information about. Not a single thing. There isn’t a pony to be seen. It’s like I’m on a different planet, but they only last for a few seconds, at most thirty. Then when it's over, if I was with anypony, they ask why I was just standing there, like it was a daydream.”

“That is quite interesting. Did your parents ever take you to talk to somepony about this?”

“No, they always just told me to stop daydreaming.”

“So, when was the last time one of these episodes happened?”

“Actually about twenty minutes ago, when we were on our way here.”

“What did you see when it happened. Describe every detail.”

“I was walking here with Bon Bon, she was talking about something that happened in her shop yesterday. Then out of nowhere, no warning or anything, I'm just standing in that other town. The buildings are in all the same places, but they're different; a lot of them seem like they're taller than ours. There was one of those creatures walking a dog and then another thing zipped by on the road near me. It was so fast. That’s when I came to and Bon Bon asked me why I can’t let her know if it’s going to happen.”

“Describe the creature walking the dog.”

“It was about six feet tall, walking on only its hind legs with its forelegs holding the leash in a claw. It was wearing clothes and boots. With what little of itself was exposed, I could see it didn’t have fur. The mane was really weird; it didn't go down its neck, it was just on their head. And its face was like a pony's except it was kind of flat and the nose only came out a little bit.”

“And are these creatures always there? Are there a lot of them?”

“Yes, but here in Ponyville there is only ever a few, in Canterlot there were tons!”

“Do they all look the same?”

“Sort of. There aren’t as many color differences as ponies. I’ve only ever seen shades of brown and peach. Their mane, though, I mostly see blacks, browns, and blondes, but I have seen all different colors when I was in Canterlot. Not here in Ponyville though. There was this one I won’t forget in Canterlot. It was a shade of peach, but it had a spiky green and red mane. What was really memorable about this one was the metal it had going in and out of its ears, nose, and lips. There had to be five pieces of metal lodged in it.”

“That… That sounds horrible. Was there an accident? Did it seem to be in pain of any sort?”

“That’s the thing, it seemed fine.”

“Okay then… Tell me about the thing that zipped by on the road. Are there many of them?”

“Same as the creatures, there are less of them here in Ponyville than Canterlot. They move incredibly fast sometimes, and the creatures seem to be the ones controlling it. They are almost like our carts, but most are fully enclosed. Some don’t have tops and others only have two wheels like a bike but faster and louder.”

“You said the creatures of this world control these carts. Have you ever seen them use magic? Also, just how fast do they go?”

“It’s hard to say how fast they go but to guess, I’ve seen some of the bike type ones go around 50 or 60 kilohooves per hour.” Psych’s mouth fell open. It reminded me of the first time I saw one go that fast. Only the Wonderbolts would even come close to catching one. “As for magic, no. I’ve never seen anything to suggest they even know what it is. I’ve also never seen one with wings.”

“Well Lyra this is all a very interesting story bu–”

“It’s not a story! I see this stuff and I don’t know what it is! For Celestia’s sake, it’s bad enough that Bon Bon doesn’t believe me hal–”

“Bon Bon? Lauren, my name is Bonnie.” I took my hooves off my face to look at Bon Bon. To my surprise, I wasn't looking at the pony I remembered or a pony at all for that matter. I was looking at one of those things. Oddly she did look a little like Bon Bon. Two in one day? What is going on? Why can they see me this time? Why does she have Bon Bon’s voice? Why did she call me Lauren?

I looked around the room, and to my shock it looked like I was still in Psych’s office. Two of the walls still had bookshelves and one still had tons of photographs. Whoever this doppelganger of Psych is he also liked to travel. I recognized some of the locations, since I’d seen them before. There was the one of Fillydelphia, one of Baltimare and I even saw one of the Canterlot skyline, but it was different from when I last saw it. I got up from the couch and walked over to the photo and raised a hoof to it.

“Okay, I don’t know what is going on or why either of you two can hear me, but I don’t have long before I’m back in my world. It has been fourteen years since I have had an incident in Canterlot, the las–”

“Lauren if you’re talking about the city in that photo, it’s not called Canterlot. Its name is New York. Are you okay?”

“Anyway, the last time I saw ‘New York’ was fourteen years ago, and there were two huge buildings. What happened to them? Am I in a different word from the one I always see? Also, why do you keep calling me Lauren?”

“Lauren, do you remember where you are right now? Do you know who I am?” The thing that looked a bit like Psych had a look of concern on its face.

“No Psych I do not. One minute I am in–”

“Lauren, my name is Plomin.”

“Okay, no ‘Plomin’ I do not know where I am. One second I am in the office of a psychologist named Psych in Ponyville Equestria. The next I’m here, which looks the same except neither of you are ponies and the photos on the wall are different.” I threw my hooves in the air in frustration.

“Lauren, take a deep breath and listen to me. You are here in my office in Port Matilda, Pennsylvania. Lauren its okay you’re safe here. We aren’t ponies, we are humans. Look, ten fingers, two arms, two legs. Lauren, calm down, close your eyes, and count backwards from ten.”

Even though this was a so-called human talking to me, I did what it said. “Ten… Nine… Eight… Seven… Six… Five… Four… Three… Two… One…”

“Now, are you feeling any better, Lyra?” Oh sweet Celestia, he just called me Lyra. I opened my eyes and to my relief I was finally back in Equestria.

“I’m back…”

“Lyra, you never went anywhere,” Bon Bon said, confused.

“Bon Bon, I think she had another one of her episodes,” Psych said.

“But she had one less than an hour ago! She’s never had more than one in a day, and she has never acted like a different pony before! You hea–”

“Bon Bon, please stop,” Psych said. “Lyra, if you feel up to it, please tell me what happened in the last two minutes.”

Two minutes? Was it really that long? “Okay. Well, I was yelling because you weren’t believing me, and when I said Bon Bon’s name, I was cut off by one of those creatures telling me her name was Bonnie” Bon Bon looked like she was going to be sick. “Bon Bon are you okay?

“When you were screaming, I cut you off because you called me Bonnie.”

“Lyra, what happened next?”

“Well both of the duplicates of you guys were calling me ‘Lauren.’ When I went to look at the photo on the wall, I noticed something different about their Canterlot from the last time I saw it. The last time I saw their Canterlot, which they called New York, was about fourteen years ago. When I had that last episode, there were two huge buildings in the middle of the city in the photo he had on the wall there wasn’t. I asked what happened to them but he never answered me.”

“Why was that?” Psych asked.

“I don’t know. he tried calming me down and told me that I was in a place called Port Matilda, Pennsylvania.”

“Lyra I’m going to tell you what we saw happen. After you called Bon Bon ‘Bonnie,’ you got up and started looking at the photos again. You stared at the picture of Canterlot for about twenty seconds then said ‘You know I’ve always liked the way your New York looked compared to ours. The skyline is still the same as I remember it too.’ I asked you why you would make a statement like that to which you responded ‘About twelve years ago our city was attacked and two of the buildings, the trade centers, were destroyed’.”

"What are the trade centers? Like markets?" Bon Bon questioned.

"Not a clue," I responded, equally as puzzled. “But that explains one thing, I guess.”

“Lyra, you kept insisting that your name was Lauren and that ponies shouldn’t be able to talk. I told you that you’re one yourself, and you replied with ‘No. I’m still human.’ I asked you to count backwards from ten to try and calm down, and at the end you stated you were back.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Was he really suggesting that I swapped places with some human from another world?

“You know how crazy that sounds, right? Somehow I go from having visions of another world to swapping with somepony from there, who just happens to have the same visions of ours.”

“I know, and I would be the first to admit that anypony who told me this would be crazy but witnessing it first hoof…” He was lost in thought for a good minute before continuing, “I'm going to refer you to somepony in town who has some special equipment to measure brain waves and activity. She might be able to help you with this.” He went to his desk and started jotting down a note.
“Here take this to Twilight Sparkle maybe she can see what is going on here.”

I levitated the note into my saddlebag and thanked him.

~~~~~~

“Lyra, I really don’t think it’s a good idea to read the note it’s meant for Twilight, not you,” Bon Bon said, but I had already
made up my mind.

“If he didn’t want me to read it, he would have sealed it in an envelope.”

“Or maybe he thought you were better than this.”

“Well, he thought wrong.”

Twilight,

I am sending you another patient that I think might interest you and don’t worry this one isn’t the normal crazy I send to you, she is sane… at least I think… Let’s just say she is sane… Thank you for your help as usual.

- Psych

P.S. Lyra, didn’t anyone tell you it’s wrong to read other pony’s letters?

“P.S. Lyra, didn’t anyone tell you it’s wrong to read other pony’s letters?”

“What did I tell you?” Bon Bon said triumphantly.

“Let’s just get to Twilight’s.”

~~~~~~

Finally arriving at Twilight Sparkle's library, I was incredibly nervous and excited at the same time as I worked up the courage to knock on the door.

“Coming,” a voice replied from inside.

I was expecting a pony to open the door, but as the door opened I saw a baby dragon. “Yeah?” he flatly said.

“Hi, I’m here to see Twilight. Dr. Psych sent me,” I said, trying to be as nice as I can.

“Twilight, you got two more crazies here for you!” he yelled back into the library.

“Hey, I am not crazy!” I yelled back at him.

“Whatever you say, Crazo. Come on in, she’ll be down in a minute.”

Bon Bon and I walked into the library. Twilight promptly came down from the upstairs.

“Hi, I’m sorry for Spike. He doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut,” she said, glaring at the dragon.

“Hey, I calls them as I sees them, and I sees crazy.”

“Spike! What did I tell you about acting rudely in front of guests?”

“Fine, fine, I’m sorry I called you two crazy.”

“Apology accepted,” I said. Giving Twilight Psych's note I continued, “Twilight I have a note here from Doctor Psych.”

“I see. Well, if you will join me downstairs I have all the equipment down there. Also, did you read the note?”

“Maybe…”

Twilight just rolled her eyes.

As we followed her downstairs, I was amazed at all the machines down there. She must have had one for everything. I recognized some of them, like the monitors for a pony’s heart rate or blood pressure, but the rest were completely foreign.

“Okay, Lyra, if you would have a seat over here.” Twilight pointed to a bench by a few machines and I sat down. “Ummm… Could you maybe sit normally?”

Bon Bon facehoofed.

“Oh sorry.” I sat back down in a normal way. It wasn’t as comfortable.

“Okay, now I’m going to hook you up to a few machines; one to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure, one to measure your brainwaves, and another to measure your magical energy levels.” Twilight proceeded to hook a bunch of wires to my body, and then strapped a giant metal hat with a lot of lights to my head. “Now if you could tell me why you are here today.”

“I am here because Dr. Psych told me to come here,” I said, while all the wires started to itch me.

“No, why did he tell you to come here? What is the issue?”

I told her all about the visions and everything that happened in the psychologist’s office. She listened but kept her eyes on the paper coming out of the brainwave and magic machines. At the end, she just looked at me and said, “Wow… that’s a very interesting story…”

“For Celestia’s sake, it’s not a story. Why doesn’t anypony ever believe me?” I tried to take the tin hat off my head, but my magic wouldn’t let me. “Twilight… I think we’re… done here…” I said between attempts to remove the contraption.

“Lyra, stop. The dome is designed to dampen your magic so it can read it. You’re just going to hurt yourself.” I wasn’t listening anymore. I don’t even know why I listened to Bon Bon in the first place and agreed to do all this. All I wanted to do was get this stupid thing off my head.

“Lyra stop,” Bon Bon pleaded.

“No, nopony ever believes me, and I’m tired of it! I want to just forget all about this, so let me go!” I was screaming by that point, still trying to get the device off my head.

“Lyra, I believe you!” Twilight said. “Just calm down. Your readings are normal, and if you calm down, maybe we can figure out
the meaning to the visions you’ve been having.”

“NO!” I shouted and put all my energy into my horn. Suddenly there was a bright flash and then nothingness.

~~~~~~

I awoke several hours later, laying on the bench in the library upstairs. The light still hurt too much for me to open my eyes.

I groaned.

“She’s coming to!” Bon Bon yelled. “Don’t try and get up yet, are you feeling okay?”

“I guess so. What happened?”

“We could ask you the same thing. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light, and when it was gone, you were laying on the ground, unconscious. We carried you up here to rest,” Twilight explained.

Carried me? “Did the flash do something to your magic too, Twilight? Why couldn’t you just levitate me up the stairs?”

“Are you sure you're feeling fine? Because my name is Teresa... not Twilight.”

What did she just say? Teresa? I decided to open my eyes finally. “Oh... it’s you guys again.” I got up. “Okay that’s weird.” I took a look at my forelegs, or at least I thought they were my forelegs. “No hooves?!” I wiggled the strange little appendages around in the air. “Well this is nice. I think I’m going to go faint now.”