• Published 2nd Nov 2013
  • 7,660 Views, 342 Comments

Alienation - Longtooth



I am not Twilight Sparkle. We share one body, one past, but not our souls. I do not know why I am here, or why I have done these terrible things. This is my story.

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Maudlin

And here we are again. You know I’ve always loved the nights up here. The air is… clearer than it is down the mountain. At least, for the purposes of looking at the stars. Actually, I should say that Twilight has always loved the nights up here. It’s accurate to say that I do too, but it’s for entirely different reasons.

Today wasn’t a good day, but it wasn’t a bad one either. The good bits were very good, and the bad bits… well, things went about as I expected them to. They bought my balloon trick, thankfully, but the fact that it was a ruse was well known by the time I woke up. Yes, I’m sleeping through the day so we can have these meetings at night. I suppose I could come during the daylight hours, but, honestly, why take the chance? The night is so much easier to hide in, and I need to hide now. And the stars are so very beautiful up here.

Sorry, rambling a bit. I’ve been thinking about what I’ve told you so far, what I want to get out of this whole thing. I can’t say I expect your help. Or, not much of it at least. Is it truly just for myself? To grasp at what pale catharsis can come of sharing my tale with another?

I think it is. I think my reasons for doing this are as shallow and empty as they can get. A distraction to keep me from doing the things I swore I would do. Yet… I am not certain. I know that there is a possibility that there could be more to this, that this isn’t some venal impulse, but an act of meaning. I’m very big on acts of meaning right now.

I don’t know. Is this the hoof of destiny guiding me, or just my own desire for dramatics?

What is this impulse that we ponies have to share things? I don’t mean things like food and water and space, that’s just reasonable behaviour. I mean things like what I’m telling you. Stories about our life. Rambling, boring, tangential… no. I was going to say ‘meaningless’, but I know that it isn’t. Not to me. That’s the answer, then. So simple, and all I had to do was voice the question in order to come to it.

If only everything was that easy.

...Not as profound as you were looking for, huh? I’d apologize, but I don’t think it matters. I’ve been thinking about these things for a while, running them in circles through my head. Nopony to talk to about them, nopony to care.

Damn, I’m getting maudlin. I was going to tell you about the good parts of the day. Well, after I woke up and did a bit of my usual scouting, I discovered a bunch of my targets all gathered together and hunkered down in a bunker under one of the antique shops in the Sidesaddle Market. Seems they hadn’t gotten the memo that the balloon thing was fake, lowered their defenses just enough.

Let me tell you, that adds a certain spring to my step. It’s some forward motion, a bit more of my purpose fulfilled. I am practically walking on moonbeams.

On the downside, the next group isn’t going to be as obvious. Too bad, but I can put in the effort. I don’t mind. It’s dodging the damn Guard all the time that is torquing me off. I need to come up with a permanent solution for that. I’d ask you for advice, but… yeah.

In any case, I’m going to continue my story. I believe we left off after my disastrous meeting with Twilight’s parents.

***

Picking a club from Spike’s list wasn’t easy. They all had some tantalizing features to recommend them. Yet… I didn’t know if I was capable of handling some of the things Spike had talked about, coded as they were. I was savvy enough to recognize some of what had been said, but Twilight’s memories were woefully unable to provide the meaning behind some of the phrases. For instance: a ‘salad bar’? I didn’t think the literal meaning was intended, but I had no clue what foul deed it was truly referring to.

I found out later. A salad bar is where the dancing mares are given vegetables and they… okay… yes… right. Sorry. Extraneous information. It’s not the only term of its kind that was in there, but I’m just using it as an illustration. I had no idea what a lot of them were. Heck, some of them actually could be as innocuous as Spike thought they were. I had no idea. At the time. I’ve learned a lot since then.

With this lack of knowledge in mind, I chose the most innocuous place I could that still might be fun to explore myself with. In honesty, I don’t think ‘exploring myself’ was more than an excuse at this point. Those first few nights at Heather’s were absolutely informative and necessary. Maybe a few more daring forays into the Canterlot nightlife would have been educational. But the whole list? Pfeh, no. That was… immature rebellion, I suppose. More attempts to set myself against Twilight and see where we split from each other. Maybe an attempt to force the issue. She would never have gone to any of these places, so I would make myself go and like it.

Hmm. Actually, now that I dwell on it, that might not have been so fruitless for my purposes after all. Well, pointless in itself, but in the resolution to do these things I was asserting my own character. Still couched in terms of opposition, of course, but actually asserting something individual.

Still, it was a negative assertion. I could have used the time better by looking for positive associations. Really trying to get a fresh perspective instead of repeating the rounds of drunken self-discovery that had already grown stale after less than a week of life.

...No, I’m not stalling. But I am trying to think of how to word this properly. The night itself was fun and memorable and interesting, but the most important event happened at the tail end of it. A truly pivotal moment in my life. Something… something I actually wish I could take back.

Some ponies, when speaking of morality and ethics, talk about a ‘slippery slope’ effect. They say that once you take the first step down a course of action, especially a negative one, it becomes easier to take the next, and the next, and eventually you go so far down a path that it becomes nigh-impossible to return to where you began. This is generally applied to the spread of evil. You start by stealing a little bit, or telling white lies for convenience. Eventually you’ve become so callous you are robbing banks, or are lying all the time to just to cover up the previous lies. It’s meant to show ponies that it’s a bad idea to even start on these behaviors.

It’s how tyrants are made. Sombra didn’t start as a psychopathic monster. Luna didn’t just turn into Nightmare Moon overnight. A few steps down that slippery slope, and before they knew it they were barreling downhill faster than they could comprehend.

Well, I’d started at Heather’s. A single step, a tentative hoof on the first, gentle slopes down to utter depravity. By the end of the night at that club, I’d pretty much leapt off that slippery slope and embraced my fall wholeheartedly.

Well, not precisely, but we’ll get to that. I didn’t find my purpose that night, but it gave me the tools to carry it out. It showed me that I had the power and the will to make it happen.

I kind of wish I had found out another way.

Look, I’m going to give you the context, so you can understand why I was in the position I ended up in. I’ll give you the short version, but that’s still got a bit of telling to it. So relax.

It all started with a pony named Vinyl Scratch...

Author's Note:

True word count: 19,874. Days 1-13 covered.