• Published 30th Jul 2013
  • 5,099 Views, 685 Comments

Trixie vs. Equestria - PaulAsaran



Oh look, Trixie's life has come crashing down. Again. Is there any way she can get out of her cycle of success and failure? A certain Princess of the Night might have the answer, but first Trixie must catch her attention.

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A Stranger in the Twilight

Trixie followed behind Luna, excitement and terror mixing chaotically in her mind. At last she would get to face Luna’s dreams and meet her challenge! But what if she failed?

No, she was the Great and Powerful Trixie. She would never fail!

But what if she did? It could happen, right? Maybe she wasn’t ready for this.

Trixie was ready for anything!

But it would help to have an idea of what she was up against.

It didn’t matter, she could handle it!

Handle what?

Trixie paused to rub her forehead, cursing under her breath and trying to banish the competing voices from her mind. She resumed her walk, studying Luna in hopes for a distraction. She realized that this was the first time she’d met the princess outside her dreams, and somehow Luna didn’t seem so… intimidating.

She eyed Luna’s tail, which glittered like a starry night sky. It was such an appealing sight, so much nicer than Celestia’s garish multihued mane. She brought her eyes up to study the rest of Luna, though she couldn’t get a look at her face from the current angle. It was interesting that her main thought was of how pretty the princess was.

What a stupid observation! Trixie shook her head with self-directed disgust. She hadn’t come all this way just to ogle the royal hindquarters! It wasn’t as if she was interested in mares, anyway. Not that she really knew; Trixie had never paid any attention to romance. She’d had suitors – once upon a time before her career had collapsed – but she’d ignored them. Trixie had eyes only for Trixie.

Yet all that came with the uncomfortable situation of not knowing her own sexual orientation. Was that something that should bother her?

She whacked herself on the head a couple times. This distraction was too effective! She needed to talk to Luna, start trying to figure things out. “So what happens now?”

Luna didn’t bother to glance back. “Now? I’m going back to bed.”

Trixie stopped in her tracks, glancing out a nearby window at the sun that hadn’t quite reached its zenith. “Bed? But Trixie wants to face your dreams! Wait, do you need to be asleep for that? Will you have to teach Trixie your dream magic?”

A groan that could hardly be called stately rose from Luna's throat. “You have no idea what you’ve gotten yourself into, do you? In case Trixie has forgotten, Luna is nocturnal. If you want to talk, we’ll do it tonight. I suggest you rest up. You’ll be needing your strength in the days to come.”

Trixie hurried to catch up, moving so that she could look at Luna’s face. The princess stalwartly refused to look back. “Trixie will do as you suggest if you promise to explain things.”

At last Luna looked at her, her lips forming a sneer. “Fine, here is all you need to know for now: by defeating Rarity, the first of my former courtiers, you have started down a path that you cannot turn back from. Whether I want you here or not – and I assure you I do not – you will now have to face the others.”

“Others?” Trixie tilted her head. “What others?”

“The other ponies who have attempted to court me. There are five more, and you will have to duel them.”

What?” Once again Trixie stopped, gaping at Luna’s back as the princess continued without her. “Trixie never wanted to fight anypony! Trixie just wanted to meet your challenge and face your dreams. This is a mistake!”

“Too late for misgivings,” Luna replied, her tone haughty. “You should have investigated what you were getting into before coming here and fighting Rarity.”

Trixie caught back up again, panic filling her mind. “But… b-but Trixie was only defending herself! Trixie is not trying to court you, it never even crossed her mind.”

“I find that easy to believe,” Luna admitted with dry sarcasm. “What you wanted does not matter; you fought and you won. If you don’t go fight the others, sooner or later they will seek you out. It is only a matter of time.”

Trixie bowed her head and considered this. Five more ponies? She would actually have to duel five more? She was all for proving her superiority, but this was a bit much. “Y-you can call this off, can’t you? Trixie understands she was a bit hasty, but she just wanted to face your dream.”

Luna had a bemused glower on her face. “If that is really your desire, then you must face the other ponies in battle. Win and you get what you want. Frankly? I doubt you’ll survive past the third fight.”

That stung. Trixie ground her teeth and glared. “Trixie is not so weak as all that. Fine, if she has to face these ponies to prove herself, she will! Trixie will be expecting an apology when it is over.”

Luna paused before a tall set of double doors and gave Trixie a mocking smile, accompanied by a “Hmmph, of course.” She turned to the door, which Trixie now saw was engraved with Luna’s cutie mark. The doors opened quietly to the princess’ magic and she made her way inside with Trixie close behind.

Trixie had expected to find herself in Luna’s chambers, but instead another hallway greeted her. It was different from the rest of the castle; the marble had been tinted to a much darker shade, with long black curtains over the windows to keep the sunlight at bay. Clearly this was a wing wholly devoted to the Moon Princess.

Luna’s horn glowed dimly. “Mr. Stone,” she called, her voice carrying through the long hallway. Almost a minute later a pony appeared from one of the distant doors. He was a slightly chubby, white-coated stallion with a blond mane. As he approached, Trixie couldn’t help noting in surprise that he was an Earth pony.

“Yes, Luna?” Mr. Stone did not bother with a bow.

“This is Miss Trixie Lulamoon,” Luna informed him, her tone commanding. “She will be my guest for a short while. Please give her the room opposite my own and see to any accommodations she might require.”

Now Mr. Stone bowed. “Of course, Your Majesty. Will there be anything else?”

She walked past him with head held high. “Just one thing: I’m retiring to my chambers. This time I do not wish to be disturbed until nightfall, understood?”

“Understood.”

Trixie watched Luna leave with a solemn frown. She felt almost as if the princess had brushed her off... but she was going to be in a room in the castle. That was a perk, right? Even so, she didn’t feel comfortable about any of this.

“Alright, let’s go,” Mr. Stone ordered, though his tone was friendly. “A room across from Luna, eh? Guess that’ll make us neighbors.”

She watched as he turned to leave, not just a little perplexed. “You’re an Earth pony.”

He stopped and took a deep breath. When he looked over his shoulder at her, his friendly manner had been erased entirely. “Is that a problem?”

She reared back and waved her hooves. “Forgive Trixie, she meant no offense. It’s just that she heard non-unicorns were not welcome in Canterlot, so she is surprised.”

He sniffed, but his expression softened. “I guess I can’t blame you for that; it is unusual. Come on.” She followed him, feeling foolish for her tactless statement. He went on as they walked, “A lot of unicorns don’t like me being here. Celestia allows it as a favor to Luna and the unicorns in the castle won’t say anything, but make no mistake: they would use any opportunity they could to get rid of me.”

She studied him for a moment, but saw nothing special in his appearance. “Trixie wonders what role you play for the princess.”

“I’m Luna’s personal attendant,” he answered with pride. “Anything she wants, anything she needs! I am at her beck and call all day, all night.”

“That sounds like a most important role,” Trixie admitted, genuinely impressed. “How did an Earth pony land such a job?”

Mr. Stone paused before another tall door. “A little charm and a hell of a lot of luck. This is your room.”

Trixie glanced at the door, then turned to view the doors just opposite them. That was Luna’s room? She still wasn’t so comfortable about these arrangements. She felt as if sleeping so close to Luna might give ponies the wrong impression. What kind of impression she had no idea, but the thought lingered.

She turned to follow Mr. Stone into her room. “Do you know why Trixie must face Luna’s former lovers?”

He tripped and almost ended up on his face. He turned to her with wide eyes. “You mean you’re here to court the princess?”

She blushed, scratching the back of her head. “Er, no. That’s not why Trixie came at all, but somehow now she is expected to fight. All Trixie wanted was to face Luna’s dream and answer a challenge Luna had given.”

“I see. That’s unusual.” He sat at a round table near one of the covered windows and gestured for her to do the same. Once she was seated he explained, “I can’t tell you about Luna’s dream. I know it – intimately – but I’ve seen enough ponies go through this to know that she wouldn’t want me to share. If you want to find out, there’s only one way: fight. You’re here, so you must have fought Rarity already.”

She posed as best she could from her seat and shot him a smug grin. “Of course." Her grin dropped as she asked, "What happened between them?”

He waved a dismissive hoof. “There’s honestly not much to tell. Luna grew interested in Rarity a few years back, and they dated for a whopping three weeks. Luna decided that Rarity wasn’t right for her, though, and ended it. It crushed Rarity, who’s been desperate to prove herself ever since.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to fight,” he added. “Some of Luna’s exes are obsessed with winning her back. They won’t tolerate a new rival. Others are just pissed off because of what happened between them and will come after you just to get under her feathers. If you lose you’ll just end up joining their ranks. I’m sorry to say it, but you’re almost certain to.”

Trixie shot a steely glare at him. “What is that supposed to mean?”

“Nothing,” he answered quickly. “Just that some of these ponies are pretty powerful.”

She thrust back her head. “The Great and Powerful Trixie fears no pony!” Yet she dropped the pose quickly to look at him with worried eyes. “But this is all pointless. Trixie is not trying to seduce Luna, so why should Trixie be considered a rival?”

“Can’t help you there,” Mr. Stone admitted with a shrug. “All I can tell you is that you beat Rarity, so the others will be out for your blood. Some of them literally.”

Trixie sighed, resting her cheek on a hoof and sulking. “Luna was right, Trixie should be more cautious about the challenges she accepts.”

He yawned. “Sorry, but I’m a bit nocturnal myself. I need to get some sleep if I’m going to wake up in time to have the princess’ breakfast ready. You’re free to explore this wing of the castle; it’s only you, me and Luna here, so don’t worry about walking in on ponies.

"You can explore the rest of the castle too, if you’d like, but know that the nobles you’re likely to run into will be anything but civil, and you’ll find a lot of areas off limits. My advice would be to stick to the gardens. Most ponies don’t bother to go there. They’ve got a pretty cool statue of the Unknown Princess, if you’re interested.”

Trixie raised an eyebrow as he made his way for the door. “It’s only the three of us in the entire wing? Truly?”

“Yep,” he acknowledged. “I really am right next door. Feel free to knock if you need anything.”


“Trixie.”

She shifted and pulled the covers over her head.

“Trixie, wake up.”

She recognized the voice, but couldn’t place it. She didn’t care. It had taken her hours to fall asleep and she had no intention of getting up now.

“Trixie please, you have to get up.”

Somepony was pushing against her back. She grumbled in annoyance and tried to wave her visitor away. “Not r’dy yet…”

“Trixie, please…”

At last she turned on her back and tried to open her eyes. She scowled, wondering who would dare to interrupt her slumber. She was supposed to be resting as Luna recommended!

“Trixie?”

“Mm up…” she grumbled, rubbing her eyes. When she finally opened them her vision was blurred by something purple right in her face. She blinked a few times, trying to understand what she was seeing. She rubbed her eyes again and raised her head, her vision coming into focus… and found herself staring into a single violet eye.

Twilight!” She jerked under the covers, sprawled sideways and crashed to the floor. She struggled to free herself, terror filling her mind.

“Trixie, please, keep it down.”

Trixie kicked at the covers, her heart thundering in her chest as she finally broke free. She cowered beside the bed with her head buried under her hooves. “Please, Twilight, leave me alone! I learned my lesson, you don’t need to humiliate me again!”

She remained that way for some time, entire body trembling. Not Twilight Sparkle, anypony but her! But as her heart rate slowed and the initial shock wore off, she realized that Twilight hadn't done anything.

There was a blatant misery in Twilight's quiet voice. "Am I that bad? Really?” She broke into a vicious coughing fit that sounded very painful.

Trixie refused to look at her tormentor across the bed, preferring to stay hidden and shivering on the other side. “That bad? It took me a month to get the smell out of my coat. I had nightmares! How could you ask that?”

Another long pause. It gave Trixie a moment to think, and she automatically saw some strange things about this situation. Twilight was supposed to be in Ponyville, that’s where she lived! Then again, she was Celestia’s prized student. Perhaps she was here to visit? But why would she come to Trixie’s room other than to toy with her again?

That last thought stirred horrible memories. “P-please,” she whispered with closed eyes. “Just leave me alone…”

“I can’t, Trixie,” Twilight whispered. “Please, you have to listen to me. You’re the only pony who can help me.”

Help you?”

“Please, be quiet!”

Trixie had tears in her eyes. “Why would I help you? After what you did? I lost everything because of you. My reputation, my career, my way of life, and you want my help?”

Twilight coughed some more. It really did sound painful. When the spasm subsided Twilight spoke, her voice calm but full of regret. “Trixie, look at me.”

“I… I don’t want to.”

“Trixie, please.”

Trixie's entire body trembled. This was the unicorn who filled her dreams with humiliations! It had taken months to get over those nightmares, and every now and again she still awoke sweating and afraid. But even as Trixie lay there, hooves over her eyes and lips trembling, she knew she had to obey. After all this was Twilight Sparkle; who knew what fresh degradations awaited her should she refuse? So, with heart pounding and hooves shaking, she forced herself to stand.

It took several intense seconds for Trixie to force her eyes open. What she saw standing opposite the bed was a creature so wretched it knocked the air from her lungs.

Twilight… No, not Twilight. It couldn’t be the same pony. Trixie couldn’t resist gaping over the hideous features. The sealed eye, the twisted muzzle, the sickeningly flat leg. The shattered pony had so many scars it made Trixie wonder if she weren’t another pony dressed in a hideously-stitched suit made from Twilight’s skin. Each new feature forced Trixie’s stomach to churn a little more, but she couldn’t tear her eyes away.

Her gaze locked upon the wings, if they could be referred to as such. One was twisted back on itself, and the other…didn’t exist. It was little more than a scarred nub poking out of Twilight’s side, its tiny movements unsettling. Trixie had never heard of Twilight becoming an alicorn – something that surely would have called for national fanfare – but even now she could hardly take the title.

But nothing made Trixie’s stomach rebel more than Twilight’s forehead, where no horn remained. Instead, Twilight bore a shallow crater of a hole, hideous and scarred and standing out like the eye of a skull. The sight filled Trixie with a sickening horror that had her fighting down an urge to vomit.

All in all, Twilight looked as if she’d literally been beaten and tortured to within an inch of her life. Trixie could only stare in slack-jawed horror and wonder at what could possibly have done this. Twilight, face filled with despair, shifted under Trixie’s gaze and looked away in shame, her mangled and unkempt mane falling over her missing eye.

“T-Twilight, what in Equestria happened to you?”

The broken pony shook her head, still unable to meet Trixie’s gaze. “You wouldn’t believe me,” she whispered, scarred lips trembling.

Trixie leaned forward, setting her hooves to the bed for support. “D-does Celestia know—”

“No!” At last Twilight looked at her, her lone eye widening and pupil shrinking. “You can’t tell anypony I came here. The fate of Equestria depends on it, Trixie!”

Trixie walked around the bed to get a closer look, heart pounding in her chest at the hideous sight. Even if Twilight had humiliated her and ruined everything, nopony deserved… this. “But Twilight, you—”

Twilight set a cracked hoof to her lips, her expression the very definition of desperate. “Trixie, please. If they find out I came here tonight, they’ll hunt me down and kill me. They’ll probably kill you, too. Or exile you to Tartarus, like they did me. You have to believe me!”

Trixie stared at her old foe, her mind trying to grasp the situation. “I… I don’t understand.”

Twilight sniffed and chewed her ruined lip. “Don’t tell anypony. Promise me! You’re my last chance to make things right.”

Trixie didn’t know what she was supposed to accomplish by doing so, but she couldn’t ignore the horror in Twilight’s manner. “Alright… I promise.”

Suddenly Twilight broke down, wrapping her legs around the startled Trixie and sobbing quietly. For a few seconds Trixie could only stand there with wide eyes… but she finally returned the embrace and cradled Twilight with genuine concern. Who could have possibly done this? This wasn’t the same Twilight who had defeated her a year ago, it was impossible! Even if it was, Trixie could feel no hatred. How could she feel anything but pity for such a wretched soul?

“I’m so sorry,” Twilight whispered, her tears running down Trixie’s shoulder. “I just wanted to see it for myself, I was only there for a minute. I didn’t mean for any of this to happen, but it’s all my fault! All this suffering because of me. I’m so, so sorry!”

Trixie was beyond confusion. Confusion implied something could potentially make sense, but there was no making sense of this. She struggled to find something to say, anything. “Twi… I mean… Um… W-what? What did you do?”

Twilight pulled away from Trixie, wiping her face as she turned away. She took a few seconds to recover her wits before answering. “It doesn’t matter. It’s been done and it can’t be fixed. I’ve spent two years trying to find a solution, and there isn’t one. All I can do is try to make things right for the future, but I can’t.” She broke into another horrible fit of coughing, pressing a hoof against her throat and hacking in a manner that was genuinely worrying.

Trixie grabbed a glass and went to get some water from the bathroom sink. She offered it to Twilight when she came out of her spasm. Twilight downed the glass in one long, eager chug. “Th-thank you.” She wiped some blood from her chin. “I haven’t had pure water in a long time.”

Trixie set the glass aside and sat before her old nemesis, head and ears drooped. “Twilight, Trixie apologizes, but she don’t know what to do. What do you want from me?”

Twilight was silent for several seconds. She brushed her mane from her eye so she could focus on Trixie properly. “I don’t have long. A few weeks, maybe a month. I’m getting worse every day, I can feel it. I can’t do what needs to be done, it’s not possible anymore.”

“But what did you do?” Trixie threw up her hooves in exasperation.

“You won’t believe me,” Twilight repeated. “Even so, you’re my last chance. You’re going to fight Luna’s corrupted ex-lovers, aren’t you?”

That made Trixie pause. “What do you mean, corrupted ex-lovers?”

“I can’t explain it properly.” Twilight's voice came out hoarse. She paused to set a hoof to her scarred chest and coughed a couple times. When she spoke again her voice was back to normal. “It’s all so very complicated and if I want to get out of the castle alive I’ll have to leave soon. Please, Trixie, just listen to me.”

She reached into a small pouch on her miserable-looking saddle and pulled out a worn piece of parchment. She set it on the bed and gestured for Trixie to take a closer look. “These are the cutie marks of the ponies you will have to fight.”

Trixie blinked, surprised to recognize two of them. She pointed to the purple star in the bottom-right corner. “Isn’t this your cutie mark?”

Twilight turned her face away, but not before Trixie noticed the shamed expression. “It used to be.”

Uncertain of her meaning, Trixie glanced towards Twilight’s flank… and tensed at the horrible sight. Twilight's flank had been mutilated, jagged cuts and bumps making a huge, sickening scar where a cutie mark should have been.

“Holy horseshoes, Twilight, what happened to you?”

A faint whimper came from the shattered pony's throat. “J-just listen.” Twilight pointed to each cutie mark one at a time. “Honesty, kindness, generosity, laughter, loyalty and magic. Remember which cutie mark goes to which Element. Remind their owners of who they could be. Do that and maybe they’ll give you the power you need to succeed.”

Trixie studied the cutie marks and thought on the words. She eyed the cutie mark of gemtones, recognizing it to be Rarity’s. So she was generosity? “Trixie just doesn't get it.”

“You will. As long as you win the fights, you will. And take this.” Twilight reached into another pouch and pulled out a golden key, dropping it on the bed.

Trixie studied the item. “Where does it lead to?”

“The Canterlot Spell Library.” Twilight's voice was growing weak again. “I-it works… I tried it…” She began coughing once more, but the fit didn’t last so long this time. “Use it, Trixie. Go into the library and learn what spells you can. But don’t get caught! It’s a restricted area and Celestia won’t tolerate your presence there.”

Trixie’s eyes sparkled at the sight of the key. The Canterlot Spell Library! Thousands of spells that she might learn at her discretion! It was like a dream come true.

She turned to Twilight, who was staring at the cutie marks with a despondent longing. “Twilight, why are you giving Trixie this? Why are you asking her to do this? What is Trixie even doing?”

“Luna is the key.” Her old, shattered nemesis didn't seem able to look away from the tattered paper. “If you remind them of what they are – what they could be – then you can save Luna. If you save Luna, you save Equestria.”

Trixie sat and rubbed her head with both hooves. “Why won’t you just explain it from the top?”

But Twilight shook her head. She turned away from the paper with a jerk, tears welling in her eyes. “I’ve learned my lesson, Trixie. I learned it the hard way – my body is testament to that fact. If you want to know the whole story, you have to find it for yourself. If I offer it, you won’t believe and Equestria will never change.”

She wrapped Trixie in another hug, sniffing into her mane. “I’m sorry, I know it doesn’t make any sense. It will, I promise. Just remember what I’ve told you. Remember and win! I know you, Trixie. You’ve got the drive to do this. Please win, please save Luna! Correct my horrible mistake so I can die in peace.”

Trixie leaned back to stare into Twilight’s single eye. “Die?”

Twilight stepped back and made her way to the door, her one bad leg causing an involuntary hobble. “I have to go. Remember, don’t tell anypony I came here, or they’ll kill you and the salvation of Equestria with you.”

Trixie watched her go, unable to take her eyes off that crushed, sliding leg. “B-but… Twilight…”

“Don’t look for me, Trixie. Whatever you do, don’t look for me. I’m done. Look to the future. Remember the Elements: honesty, kindness, generosity, laughter, loyalty, magic.” She pushed the door open with visible difficulty, then glanced in either direction of the hall. She fixed a final, weak smile on her old rival. “I know you can do this. Just… keep being the Great and Powerful Trixie. Finish what you started, and you really will be the greatest of all unicorns.”

Trixie just sat there, staring at the open door long after Twilight had gone. She tried to process everything that had just happened, but no matter how she approached it nothing made sense. What had happened to Twilight? Who could have possibly done all that, and why? She was the personal protégé of Princess Celestia, so why hadn’t her condition made national headlines?! Surely there would have been public outrage, especially among the nobles.

And what did she mean, save Luna? Save Luna from what? How?

She turned back to the bed and studied the parchment left behind for her. She observed each cutie mark, unconsciously reciting the connections in her head. Apples for honesty, butterflies for kindness, diamonds for generosity, balloons for laughter, a rainbow bolt for loyalty and a star for magic. Twilight’s terrible condition was compelling, and Trixie couldn’t just ignore the request... but what was she supposed to do with the information?

Her eyes fell on the key, which lay innocuously by the parchment. She lifted it with her magic and studied the head, which was in the shape of an alicorn. The Canterlot Spell Library, which only a select few were allowed to access. If she could get in, she’d have the chance to study and learn some of the most powerful spells in history! It sounded far too good to be true.

She closed her eyes. A vision of the mangled and ruined Twilight came to mind. No, there was nothing good about this. How could it be good? Trixie wanted to talk to somepony about what had just happened, but who? Twilight had been adamant not to speak to anypony. Though she hated her, Trixie couldn't ignore a plea from a pony in such obvious distress. But surely she could confide in somepony she trusted. Was there a pony she trusted with this?

She blinked, her mind going to a particular name. She thought back on the strange conversation and couldn’t help smiling, albeit only a little. She reached up to press a hoof against her muzzle.

That would have been a lot of ‘gotchas.’

Author's Note:

We've moved well beyond anything 'Scott Pilgrim' with this chapter. Before anyone comes after me with pitchforks and torches, allow me to emphasize that this was never meant to be a parody. The story is mine, I'm just taking some concepts from Pilgrim as influence... and this chapter is completely me.

It's also the keystone of the entire operation, if you will. When I first conceived of this story it was going to be complete comedy/parody material. By the time I started writing I had abandoned that and went for something a little more serious. Then this scene came to mind and everything else fell into place. Once I had this chapter in my head I instantly knew everything I wanted to do with this story, and my excitement shifted into overdrive. Generally speaking, the scope of the has expanded a bit from my original intentions.

I failed to mention it before, but now we have two cameos of original characters from my other major story: Fine Crime and Nye Stone. Nye is probably going to get a number of appearances due to his job, but Fine's less clear. I might find more ways to sneak him in, depending upon whether I feel his role would have any real value to the story. The others may get cameos, too.

UPDATE 1/28/2014: Now edited with help from Cerulean Voice!