• Published 2nd Nov 2013
  • 8,207 Views, 346 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.

  • ...


Canterlot. What can be said about this city that hasn’t already been said a million times over by every poet who ever decided to say anything about a city? I don’t know, I’m not that big on poetry. I know that Twilight lived here all of her life until she moved to Ponyville, and she hadn’t seen a quarter of what the city has to offer. I know that in what time I’ve spent here that I’ve barely expanded on that knowledge, though I have dug a lot deeper than she ever did.

Canterlot is a jewel. Not a rough one, either, not some gem freshly pulled from the ground, but a polished, cut, shaped and beautifully set jewel. It gleams. It shimmers and glistens and glows from the side of the tallest mountain. In the day it is a brilliant white star, in the night it is a sea of a thousand lights, each a compliment to the eternal glory of its resident princesses.

Radiant. That’s the word for it. And it’s no accident that it was built where it is, no quirk of fate and economics that saw it become what it is. No, Canterlot is the result of deliberate and concerted action by Celestia over a thousand years. It is her city, one she built to share.

And like her, its brilliance casts some of the darkest shadows. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Seeing Canterlot growing larger and brighter as the day faded and the chariot came closer, I felt a deep surge of emotions. It was like a still pool that was suddenly swirled into motion. Hope and fear and joy and anger all flowing together and washing through me. I felt dizzy with it, giddy and groundless.

Celestia took note of my shifting mood, and she stepped closer to me, draping one wing around me. Peace. Fears fell away and excitement remained. I looked to the glowing city ahead of us and smiled.

I felt like a foal. I kept flashing to that memory of Twilight’s, the first time she saw the summer sun celebration. There had been so many ponies. She felt lost. Shining Armor had vanished when she hadn’t been looking, enthralled by a display of marching guards, probably. Her parents… I don’t know. Maybe they were still watching her, but I can’t remember. It was dark, and she was lost. So many strange faces, so many new things. Always precocious, she thought that she could be on her own. She was wrong, and she was scared. She had been up all night enjoying the festival with her family, and she was tired. The tiredness fed the fear, they made cackling monsters of laughing ponies. It was… heh. It was nightmarish, I guess. But it didn’t last. A little bit at first, but with growing speed and power the world began to get brighter. Bit by bit, the sky lost its stars and the ponies around her lost their terrifying aspect. She went to where the light was coming from, instinctively seeking the source of the comforting glow.

I saw that stage and I just had to get closer. I wormed my way between ponies, through long legs and swishing tails to the front of the crowd. Then I saw her. She was glory itself, the farthest thing from the imagined monsters of before as could exist. She stepped up onto that stage and I was nothing but wonder in a filly’s form. Overwhelmed. Then, she rose into the air, an angel of light and power, and the sun rose with her. I saw her, burning, glowing, bathed in the light. It was like some gate had opened and it wasn’t only the darkness of the world that had been banished, but a darkness inside of me that I hadn’t even known was there. I knew, then, what I had to do.

Or, actually, Twilight knew. But that was the moment I was looking for, that instant of absolute clarity in which I could find my reason to be. I looked at Canterlot, and I was filled with the certainty that it was coming, and soon.

After that moment of flying glory, landing and going to a room for the night is kind of mundane. Sure I said a few things to Celestia, but it wasn’t important. Idle conversation. I didn’t see Luna anywhere, but I’ve come to realize that that’s hardly unusual. She has been described to me as ‘barely present’. Nothing I’ve seen in Canterlot has contradicted that summation of her impact on the city.

In any case, the night went by. That morning I did what any good daughter would do and visited Twilight’s parents.

Ugh. That was a hard visit. They were worried about her, certainly. But… I couldn’t connect with them. I’ve had that problem a lot, but it’s heightened for the people closest to Twilight. Spike, well, he’s one thing. Her friends in Ponyville are another. I thought I could handle her parents just as well, but… no. No, I couldn’t.

I sat down with Twilight’s mother and father, and I couldn’t for the life of me care anything about them. They were there, throughout Twilight’s memories, but they were… out of focus. I don’t know how to really describe it in a way that doesn’t seem crazy or callous. They were background in Twilight’s life. A lot of things were, especially after she found her calling. She was dedicated to her studies, absolutely focused with only a few intrusions by very select ponies and one dragon that made her take note of them. Her parents were supportive, but that support took the form of letting her do what she was going to do. That doesn’t lend to them being terribly important in forming her into the mare she became.

Don’t get me wrong, she loved them, and dearly. But me? No. The whole problem is that I have her memories but am divorced from her emotions. The clearest example of this might be in my reaction to her parents. I’m not going to bore you with the nitty-gritty details of it. Essentially, it went like this:

Me: “Hello, parents. I would like to inform you that while I am technically in a bad way, emotionally, I need no help from you and am going to be okay.”

Them: “Are you alright?”

Me: “As I have previously indicated, I am not alright, but I shall be given time alone to do my own thing.”

Them: “How can we help?”

Me: “Again, as previously indicated I do not require your assistance. Thank you for your understanding.”

Them: “Are you doing okay?”

Me: “I just told you.”

Them: “What can we do to help you?”

Me: “Are you even listening?”

Them: “How have you been feeling?”

Etcetera, etcetera, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I admit I screamed at them. I might have thrown some things, then stormed out. I might have broken their door on the way out, before teleporting halfway across the city to get away from them. I certainly didn’t make a good exit, and I know I failed utterly to convince them that I was going to be okay and that I needed to be alone.

I wonder how it must have seemed from their perspective. I mean, I was essentially acting like a teenager, rejecting their help and wanting them out of my life and insisting I could do it all on my own. At least, acting like teenagers Twilight has read and heard about. She didn’t have a lot of direct experience with teenagers when she was one, and my own interactions with them haven’t exactly been in a manner that would promote my understanding of their home life and familial relationships.

Twilight had never been a rebellious teenager. She had been a neurotic, study-obsessed, anti-social mess, but never rebellious. Shining Armor had a bit of rebellion in him, but he was also desperate to get into the Guard, so he had a lot of discipline to go along with it. Did they even know how to deal with somepony like that? I don’t know.

Maybe I am a rebellious teenager. Or was. Maybe I was growing up very fast and very strangely. It wouldn’t surprise me. I changed a lot in those first few weeks.

Well, no matter what I was or am, I was not a good replacement for their daughter. They knew something was wrong, they knew I wasn’t admitting it. They knew that they were never going to get any answers from me. Which is why they called in Shining Armor and Cadance, which is what eventually led directly to the predicament I’m in right now.

I didn’t know that was what they were doing at the time, of course. I was too busy venting my frustrations on terrified library clerks who were trying to keep up with the demands of a rapid-teleporting favored student of Celestia’s while she looked up the most obscure volumes on possession, mental illness and shapeshifters they had. I didn’t find anything I didn’t already know, but that was okay. I was determined to keep up the research until I did find something that explained my existence.

I was also looking forward to that night, and crossing one of the items off of Spike’s list. I didn’t know a lot of things then. I didn’t know who I would meet at that club. I didn’t know where that would lead me. I didn’t know what I would do that night. If I had… I probably would have gone ahead with it anyway. I have my regrets, and big ones, but I have learned so much.

Well, for the moment it can suffice to say that I was about to get myself into a lot of trouble. But the sun’s going to be up soon and I can’t be sure that trick at the docks is going to throw them off enough. I’ll be back after sunset, if I’m not caught. Wish me luck.

Author's Note:

True word count: 18,510. Days 1-12 covered.