• Published 24th May 2013
  • 3,187 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 Seven: Explanation

“What happened?” I asked.

“She hung up,” Bonnie responded. There was a new noise coming from the device, and Bonnie tapped another symbol to make it stop.

Teresa stood up, clapping her hands. “Well then, it seems we have ourselves our very own conspiracy. I’ll get the map and pins.”

Sam pulled her back down into her seat. “Slow down there, Nancy Drew. All this tells us is that she knows the name, and it’s enough of a trigger to make her panic. Why not call them back But talk to your dad this time?”

“He has a point. They are husband and wife, so she would have probably told him about this sort of thing,” Bonnie said. “Okay, take two.”

The phone started singing “All I want is a place to call my own. To mend–”

“What is it doing?”

“It’s Lauren's parents.” Bonnie tapped another symbol on the device.

“Hello?” said a familiar male voice.

“Hi dad,” I replied. “Wha–”

“Lauren, how do you know that name?”

“I wanted to speak to mom about this. Wait, why do you know that name?”

“I know more about your mother than you’d think.”

“Can I speak with her?”

“She’d rather not right now. Listen to me, you’re going to forget that name and stay away from whoever told you it. It’s not somebody your mother wants to think about.”

“Excuse me, but I will not forget my own mother’s name!” I yelled at the device.

There was a long pause, then a heavy sigh. “You’re not Lauren, are you?” Teresa was waving her hands at me.

Ignoring Teresa’s warning, I replied honestly. “No, I’m not. My name is Lyra Heartstrings, and Alma Maredie Heartstrings is my mother. I wanted to talk to Lauren’s mother to see if she knew how I could get back home.”

Muffled noises came from the device. “Who are you?” A female voice responded this time.

“Like I said a second ago, I’m Lyra Heartstrings, and Alma Maredie Heartstrings is my mother.”

“Impossible. Where are you from?”

I sighed. “Equestria. Born in Canterlot, moved to Ponyville about five years ago.”

“You’re lying. This is some sort of practical joke. Y-You started to remember things and now want to play a joke on me. Ha ha. There, joke;s over.”

“This isn’t a joke. What do I have to do to prove it?”

“There’s nothing to prove this isn’t all a joke.”

“I don’t know what you want me to say!” I sighed. “I just want to get back home.”

“Fine describe your mother then.”

“She is a teal unicorn with a long, curly fuschia mane and tail, although her tail is shorter. Her cutie mark is a purple outline of a violin with a yellow spiral around it. Sh–”

“S-Stop.” I could hear her crying. “T-That was me.”

“Was you?” I asked.

There was a long pause. “Yes, I’m not from here either. I was originally from Equestria also. I always wondered if the EBI would still be looking for me.”

“Don’t you mean the FBI?” Sam cut in.

“Who was that?”

Teresa slapped Sam in the back of the head. “Great going idiot, now she knows we were listening.”

“They’re just friends, Mrs. Hammonds,” Bonnie replied. Looking up at the two in question she continued, “And they can keep their mouths shut, can’t they?”

“Yes,” they replied in unison.

“Anyway,” Misses Hammonds continued, “the EBI is the Equestrian Bureau of Investigation. As it turns out, there are multiple universes. In Equestria, some ponies can apparently see into these other worlds. The EBI was always on the lookout for these individuals. They always wanted to learn new technologies from these worlds. Most are too different from ours to get anything useful, but occasionally they find one close enough that there is useful information. When that happens, they send an agent in. Well, I was one of these agents. I’m guessing you know this already though.”

“N-No,” I stammered out.

“Wait, the EBI didn’t send you to finally bring me back?”

“No, this is news to me.”

“Well, kid, I hate to tell you this, but you’re stuck here. Better get used to that body and quickly,” she said curtly.

“Why would the EBI leave you here?” Sam asked.

“They didn’t. At least, I hope they tried something. See, there was this device they created to open portals. I don’t really know if that is even the right word for it. Whatever it was, the pony with the visions would have this dish strapped to their head, and they would be told to focus their magic.”

“Fuck. This dish, would it have had lights on it?”

“No, but that was fifty-some years ago. It could have changed. I thought you said the EBI didn’t send you?”

“They didn’t,” I continued to explain what had happened over the last day and a half.

“It sounds like this Twilight found and repurposed one of those dishes, but without the other half of the device.”

“Not to interrupt this incredibly thrilling tale of everything I've already heard, but I want to know what the dish actually does.” He flinched as Teresa slapped him again. “Geez.”

“Right. Anyway, the dish only worked with unicorns, and they were asked to focus their magic into the dish. The dish was placed on the head of the unicorn and focused the pure magic into a big machine it was connected to. The facility was built at a place where certain ley lines intersected. Everybody assumed the ley lines helped boost the magic to a new level and allowed, or at least helped, the unicorn to open a portal to another world. Then, the agent would step through the portal and sometimes–like in the case of this world–our bodies would change while we passed through.”

“So, what if it opens near people?” Sam again cut in.

“Well, when that happened, we used stun crystals. We would throw it through, wait two seconds, and then walk through and go about our job.”

“How do you explain the pony version of you that is still in Equestria?” I asked.

“From my experience, when these portals would open near inhabitants in the world we were traveling to, we would often come out on the other side looking like them. We could never explain it, though we thought it had something to do with how the visions worked. When this portal opened, we saw the person on this side cooking. She must have seen the portal reflection in the window, but she still turned around and walked through it.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Honestly, I don't know. I went through the moment she came through our end. Most commonly, people just said they were curious, but sometimes, others said they were drawn to the portal. Either way, when our mission was over, their memory of the portal and any time spent in Equestria was wiped, and they were sent back through the portal.”

“Okay, two questions. One, if I’m understanding this correctly, I’m still Lyra, not Lauren. Two, why didn’t you go back?”

“First, your body is still Lyra’s. You just look like Lauren. Second, I tried. It turns out this world has almost no magic in it. The device I would have used to signal home doesn’t have any power. Without my signal, they would have assumed that I was captured by this world’s government, injured or even dead. They won’t risk a second agent going into the same world.”

“So, I’m stuck here. Great. And I can’t even do magic.”

“Not entirely. If Lauren can somehow learn magic and recreate the event, then she could reopen the portal. My girl is smart, and I have faith she’ll get it. Not to mention, she has unicorn DNA in her. Technically, both you and her are half-pony half-human. The worlds just had a way of making you look normal. And I didn’t say there was no magic in this world, just almost none. It took me thirty years, but I relearned how to do the simpler things. Oh, and the memory wipe spell, of course.”

“Why do you need to know a brain-wiping spell?” Teresa asked hesitantly.

“It can come in incredibly useful. For example, I used it on a cop the other day when he caught me speeding.”

"You what?" Lauren's father exclaimed in the background.

“That’s completely unethical,” Bonnie said.

“Eh, I can only hold enough magic to wipe the last five minutes or so. Anyway, if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to get back to cooking breakfast. Lauren's father and I will catch one of the next flights. Bonnie, I’ll call you when we land. You don’t mind picking us up, right?”

“I guess not,” Bonnie replied.

“Great. Bonnie, I'll catch up with you then. Lyra, I’ll try and reteach you some magic. Maybe you can help get my Lauren back. As for the other two in the room, I hope you can keep quiet about all this.”

“Yes,” Teresa and Sam replied in unison.