• Published 29th Jun 2013
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The Pinkie Paradox - SpaceCommie



When one of the duplicates, not Pinkie Pie, passes the test and remains in Ponyville, she's forced to lie to everyone. Well, almost everyone.

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Chapter 6

As if the situation wasn’t bad enough, Twilight Sparkle had fallen rather painfully on the floor. Exhaustion had gotten the best of her, it seemed. The pain didn’t do much more than snap her out of her sleepy reverie. As she laboriously pulled herself off the floor, she stared mistrustfully at the papers on the desk.

Pinkie...

Twilight broke down, the tension of the past weeks coming out in shudders that wracked her whole body. She breathed in uneven gasps, and grabbed the desk in an attempt to steady herself. Twilight somehow found herself curled up into a little ball on a chair. She began sobbing uncontrollably, albeit softly. Her mind was quiet for once: no longer analyzing, pondering, thinking. Twilight wasn’t sure how long she stayed there, crying until the tears no longer came.

Twilight had at least been able to live with herself when she had believed that she was responsible for Pinkie’s disappearance. It had been an emergency, and she made a mistake in the process of saving the town. It was an enormous mistake, but there was no real malice behind it. The last thing she wanted to do was cause anypony pain.

This was different. Twilight hadn’t made a single attempt to treat her as a real pony, never mind a friend. She had failed. I’ll make this up to you, I swear, Twilight thought. And so she crept quietly into the spare bedroom and gently laid down a stack of books. To this she added a note:

I’m sorry.

“I’ll explain everything tomorrow,” she promised, looking guiltily at that face she knew so well, now relaxed in sleep.

---

I’m thoroughly confused. Somepony left some books, pens, and a maddeningly inconclusive message in here last night. I asked Spike about it.

"Some stuff got put in here last night. You have any idea who did that?"

“Oh, I wouldn’t know anything about that,” he said. “I was sleeping like a rock. Twilight had me moving papers all day.”

“Figures,” I said. It stands to reason it was Twilight. Doesn't explain why, though.

“You’re chatty today," he noted.

“By my own rather limited standards, I’m nothing if not a social butterfly,” I deadpanned. “Talk to me, Spikey. What’s Twilight been up to? Something weird’s going on.”

He looked suspicious. “Why do you want to know?”

"Curiosity. Really, Spike, what could I possibly do?"

He shrugged. “You never seemed like much of a threat to me.”

I beamed at him. “So?”

"She’s working on some psychology project today. I don’t know what, exactly. She doesn’t tell me everything- not recently, anyways.”

“Huh.” My working theory for right now is that she’s undergone a sudden and disturbing attack of conscience, and is now consulting with Equestria’s leading minds to hurriedly develop a cure.

“That’s your question. Now I get one,” he said.

"Eh, why not?" I said magnanimously.

"Are you happy?" he asked.

I guffawed. “You’re gonna waste your question like that? Why would I be happy?”

He shrugged. “Why was Pinkie always happy?”

“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not her. My guess is that it was a front. Nopony can be that happy. It’s not possible.”

“Besides,” I continued, “what would be the point? There’s got to be more to life than personal happiness.”

“Oh. In that case, what else is there?”

“Heck if I know. I’ve been alive for what, four months? How many opportunities do you think I’ve had to discover the meaning of life?”

“Point taken. See you later, Diane,” he said. I tipped an imaginary hat at him. I like that dragon.

---

So, Rainbow Dash came to, ah, ‘visit’ me today. I’ve been dreading it. She’s one of Pinkie’s best friends, fond of Derpy, and just had what I can only assume were a couple of weeks wasted either looking for me or being debriefed by the Royal Guards. So yeah, I knew she wouldn’t be in a good mood whenever she decided to come see me. So naturally, when she came in, I decided to make the situation even worse.

“Dashie! Why don’t you pull up some floor and take a seat?” I said, patting next to me.

“I’ll take something,” she threatened vaguely.

My eyes widened in mock surprise. “Really, Rainbow Dash! Your offer is flattering, but I'm afraid I’m not that kind of girl.”

I paused theatrically. “Oh, wait, you didn’t mean taking that."

Rainbow Dash nodded, almost involuntarily.

"Come on, Rainbow Crash, you can be honest with me. You had some pathetic conceit of coming here to kill me, didn’t you?”

I would have facehoofed if the situation were less tense. Shit. I would have preferred not to give her ideas. But it looked like I had judged her correctly. She kicked a hoof agitatedly.

“It’s not your life,” she muttered. “You took it from Pinkie.”

I turned on her, my calm facade abandoned. “Do you think I wanted this?” I hissed. “You think I wanted to lie to you? To live somepony else’s life? I did what I had to do to survive. None of you even gave me a chance!”

“You hurt Derpy, too.”

“And what, do you think I’m some sort of sociopath? I’m buying her muffins. I want to make it up to her. But no, of course you wouldn’t think about that, wouldn’t think about any of this. You don’t need to, because you’re not just a hot-headed idiot who can fly really fast. No, you’re Rainbow Dash, ultimate arbiter of right and wrong!”

I leaned in conspiratorially. “Because we all know how good your judgment has been through this insanity.”

“Shut up,” she said through gritted teeth.

“Like when you dragged me into town hall,” I continued, “even though it should have been painfully obvious that I wasn’t Pinkie. Brilliant move, Dashie. Your friend might have made it if—”

She flew across the room and knocked me to the floor. I tried to get up, but she began to pummel me with her hooves. I had screwed up badly. She straddled my prone body, breathing hard, a hoof pressing against my throat.

I chuckled humorlessly. “Do it, filly. You won’t.”

We stayed like that for a while, her hot breath against my face. Slowly, the hate in her eyes faded. She lifted off me, and sat on her haunches.

“I’m not a murderer,” she said hoarsely. “Your crazy deathwish is none of my business. “

I sat up, coughing.

“If that’s what it’s like inside your head,” she continued, “I can’t think of a better place for you.”

There was a familiar voice at the door. “Ahem.”

Rainbow and I froze where we were. She sat listlessly on the floor, caught somewhere between rage and despair. I left off massaging my throat, clutched the bed frame for support, and desperately wished I had never existed.

“Sorry to break up whatever the hell’s going on here, but I need her for a while,” Twilight said tersely to Rainbow. “And you better have a damn good explanation for this when I get back.”

“Come on,” she said to me.

---

“I’m so sorry about all this, Pinkie. I didn’t-”

“My name is Diane," I said, fuming.

Twilight suddenly looked very tired. Ain’t no rest for the wicked.

“Diane. Diane, this will be difficult for you to hear, but try to bear with me. I’m guessing you know where you are?”

I glared at her. “The Mirror Pool.”

“Right. I’ve been using this apparatus to scan for-”

She paused; I had rolled my eyes. Twilight continued, albeit a bit annoyed. “The point is, I’ve been looking for the real Pinkie Pie for a very long time. It’s literally impossible for me to have missed anything. She’s not in there.”

I chortled inappropriately. "You could have asked me about that. There’s nothing in the Pool! You killed her!”

“I didn’t- it couldn’t- Princess Celestia told me that there would be an imprint if she had been sent here.”

"And you trust her?"

“With my life.”

“Well, who am I to argue?” I asked mockingly. “You trust the Princess with your life! That doesn’t exactly explain why I’m being expected to trust you with mine.”

“Diane,” Twilight said with some difficulty, “is there any way you could have gotten brain damage that first day? Head injury, exposure to certain chemicals?”

“I hit my head on the ceiling of Carousel Boutique pretty hard...” I said, frightened. “Why? What the hell are you trying to get at, Sparkle?” I yelled, undoubtedly in a very calm and balanced way.

“I think you might have retrograde amnesia,” Twilight explained. “You can’t remember anything before that, can you?”

“Not really,” I said, now thoroughly unnerved. “So I’m...”

No. It was impossible. Not a chance.

“You are Pinkamena Diane Pie. Or at least you were. I don’t really know what to make of it.”

I paused, sure that I was missing something. "What about my cutie mark? If I were Pinkie Pie, wouldn't that still be there?"

"Probably not; you've forgotten your special talent. It's not surprising that your cutie mark faded away."

“I’m not Pinkie!” I bellowed, but the volume came more from doubt than certainty. “Do I sound like Pinkie Pie? Think about it, Sparkle!"

"I'm so sorry," Twilight said quietly.

“So am I,” I said distractedly. “You said there was something I needed to do?”

I looked at Twilight expectantly. She was blinking back tears. Despite myself, I felt a pang of pity for her. “Uh, Twilight...”

“I’m sorry,” she said again.

“Sorry about what?” I said, trying my hardest to sound cold.

“Listen, Diane... I can heal the brain damage. You’d remember who you are.”

Responses ran through my head. Who the hell was she to do this? I know who I am! She had no right to—

“I’m not going to force you to do it. If you’re not willing to go through with this, you’re free to go as far as I’m concerned.”

Damn it, Twilight. Why won’t you let me hate you?

“I think I need some time alone,” I said.