• Published 12th Nov 2013
  • 11,228 Views, 180 Comments

The Library of Discord - Chinchillax

Discord has trapped Twilight in a library that contains every possible book that could exist. Somewhere in the depths lies the one book that can teach her how to escape. But when every idea and story exists, how can she find the one book she needs?

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Chapter 2

Twilight had braced herself to see many things once entering Discord’s mind. A mind like Discord must surely be the most chaotic place in the universe. There would be chocolate rain; trees with fur instead of bark, dancing tutu’d starfish singing karaoke with arctic foxes. There would be absolute and complete chaos in the mind of Discord, and she was mentally prepared to face the onslaught of it all.

Twilight was not prepared for the library.

Books. Books everywhere! Books as far as she could see. More than she had ever seen in her life. She got a feeling of vertigo looking down a long corridor that didn’t seem to have an end. She peered down over the edge of the floor she was standing on. There was a main shaft shaped like a hexagon with floor space and bookshelves scaling the entire face of it. All faces of it. Every wall was completely filled with neatly arranged books of the exact same size, width and dull brown color. The main shaft didn’t end. It kept going down for… forever. Even though everything was well lit, the only thing Twilight could see was that far below reached a black vanishing point. “How big was this place?”

Twilight levitated a book from off the shelf. Curiously, there was no title. No title page, no table of contents or list of chapters or anything. Twilight opened up to the first page and started to read.

“Elevator magic phonologically misinformed ref, matriarchy and. Colloquialness dispatch demure understandability energetic gemologist. Mathematical hotel fjord…”

Twilight couldn’t read any more. It didn’t make any sense. It was just random words. She opened the next book and tried to read.

“Melancholic captain wallet conclusion unfortunate drape…”

Twilight frantically threw another book off the shelf and floated it in front of herself. She poured through book after book looking for a book that made sense, but none of them did.

She eyed one of the books and wordlessly tossed it down the hexagonal shaft and watched it fall. Surely when it reached the bottom it would make a sound. She waited and waited…. but heard nothing. Absolutely nothing but her own breathing and heartbeat. There was no sound in this perfectly quiet and still library but her own.

She grabbed books, quickly scanned them, and tossed them one by one over the side.

“What was this place?” Twilight pondered. “Why did Discord have a nice — surprisingly peaceful — library with books full of completely random words? Leave it to Discord to have a library in his mind that made no sense.”

“Welcome to my Library, Princess Twilight Sparkle!”

Twilight looked out across the divide to see Discord floating there with the books she had thrown down.

“I thought it would be a very, very long time before I ever saw you again.” Discord spoke nonchalantly, “Have you reconsidered turning me back into stone?”

“Discord! Where is Spike!?” Twilight shouted angrily. This library was just another one of Discord’s games and she didn’t want to waste another moment. “I’m here for Spike! Now what did you do to him!?”

“Spike… who was Spike again?” Discord asked as he played a balancing game with the tall stack of books on his tail.

“Spike! Spike the Dragon! My best friend, my number one assistant!” Twilight shouted.

Discord looked at her blankly and the stack of books teetered close to falling over, but Discord rebalanced them again.

“He’s a small purple baby dragon that I care about more than anyone else in the world! What have you done to him!?”

A flash of recognition briefly passed over Discord’s face. “Ah, Spike the Dragon. Yes… hmm… I’m sorry Twilight, but it’s been far too long and unless I know someone is immortal I usually don’t bother to remember them. I live far too long to allow something with such a short lifespan to affect me in any way.”

“Affect you!? What kind of monster are you? He’s a sentient pon- err… Dragon! He talks and cares and loves just like anyone else. How could you be so cold as to forget him? You were only turned into stone just yesterday!”

“Yesterday?” Discord looked inquisitively. “Being turned into stone again was merely yesterday? Hmm... that is rather interesting. So from your perspective I’ve only been in stone for a day?”

“17 hours ago to be precise.”

“17 hours…” Discord pondered thoughtfully, “That’s about 2 years here, Twilight.”

The shock on Twilight’s face could have electrocuted him.

“Twilight… I’ve been alive for a long time. But my mind has been around for what feels like even longer. This is because my mind is capable of thinking of millions of things at once. A long time ago, I cast a spell that would allow me to think of multiple things at once and I just kept recasting it over and over again. However, casting it over and over again also increased the amount of processing power my mind has. Because of how much I can think in a given period of time it feels like time passes by much more slowly to me.”

Twilight regained her composure and asked “I’m sorry you’ve been stuck here for so long, but please, can you tell me where Spike is?”

“Twilight,” Discord continued,” I don’t know where Spike is, the last thing I remember about him is that I made him look like a real dragon should and I got turned into stone. Forgive me for fulfilling a young dragon’s dreams. But I’m sure if you got together with your little friends and used your Elements of Harmony I could sort this all out on the other side.”

“You really don’t know where he is?”

“No. But please, while you are here, don’t ruin the shelves of books. I have a complete and perfect collection here, and I’d like to leave it that way.”

With one final bounce from his tail throwing the books into the air, and a snap of his eagle hand, the books Discord had been balancing moved back into position onto the shelves.

Twilight stared at him incredulously. He didn’t know where Spike was and now he was saying his library was perfect.

“Perfect!?” Twilight snapped, “How could you possibly call this library perfect!? None of the books here make sense! There’s no knowledge or anything of value in any of these books!”

“Of course there’s value to all of this, Twilight. Well…” he hesitated, “at least somewhere in this library there is. You see, this library contains a copy of every single possible book that could exist.”

“That’s impossible.” Twilight retorted. “There’s an infinite amount of books that could exist.”

“And that is where you are wrong, Twilight. For this library is not infinite. It’s finite in every way. It just seems infinite because every single combination of the 200,003 word language of Equestria exists here.”

“Every… combination?”

“Yes. All combinations of those 200,003 words exists here. There are books of nonsensical recipes. Every novel of Daring Do’s adventures. A book containing nothing but the word ‘lettuce’ repeated over and over again. A book on the theological implications of ants if they could perform magic. All kinds of uncomfortable fanfiction, all the great works of Star Swirl the Bearded, a book that’s completely blank, a book of spells, a book of panda related puns, a biography of everypony you know written from the perspective of their pet.

“This library really contains every book that has been written, will be written, could ever be written. Every spell checked book to be precise. I had thought about making a library that could contain every possible non spell checked book as well, but that was just a little too many books for my taste. The books are all also 410 pages long. But don’t worry,” Discord smiled, “Every book that would be longer than 410 pages will have a next volume somewhere in the library.”

Twilight tried to wrap her head around what Discord was saying. Every book? Every book ever? Every book that could exist!?

“No…” Twilight began, “ that many books would have be infinite.”

“My dear Twilight, there is no such thing as infinity. Everything has a beginning and an end. Infinity is a word used by those who cannot comprehend the vastness of their own existence.

“The term infinity that you use here actually has a number. The number of books in the library is the number of words in the Equestrian language raised to the power of the number of words in a 410 page book, or 200003^262400th power.”

In Twilight’s mind the number infinity was perfectly suited to the vague, daunting number, 200003^262400, that Discord had provided.

Twilight sat dazed for several moments before asking, “Why does each book contain 410 pages?”

“I’m not sure why I instituted the 410 page rule to be honest. However, one of the first comprehensible books I found in the library was a short story called ‘The Library of Babel’ by someone named Jorge Louis Borges. I have since found that same short story thousands of different times with different authors, but I’ll just pretend the first one I found was the right author. In the short story the main character is trapped in a library like this one and all the books have 410 pages, but each book is a complete jumble of random characters. At least my library is nice enough to spell check all the books first. Yeesh, that other way would have taken forever.”

Twilight was at a complete loss for words.

“So Princess Twilight Sparkle, are you going to free me or what?” Discord asked.

“No!” Twilight regained her wits, “I’ll never agree to free you, Discord!”

“Well then, we are at an impasse, because I won’t agree to free you, Twilight.”

“I can leave whenever I want to. Princess Luna taught me how to leave minds and I’m leaving right now!”

Twilight’s horn glowed as Discord stared at her with an amused look on his face. She set the spell in her mind to teleport 2 meters sideways, plenty of space to leave a mind. She cast the softening spell and teleported only to find that she was still in Discord’s library but 2 meters to the left of where she was earlier.

Discord smiled mischieviously. “You’re trapped here in my library Twilight, and unless you agree to let me out, you can’t leave either.”

“Discord!” Twilight shouted angrily, “I have friends outside and Princess Luna will come when they see I haven’t returned.”

“Yes, and she’ll be trapped too! And even if she does come, Twilight. If she waits the four hours before coming to rescue you, that’s months that you are trapped here.” Discord laughed maniacally. “Good luck, Twilight. Statistically there is a book inside this library that will explain how to leave. Perhaps you could find that book and escape. Good luck with that.”

Discord smirked and started flying away.

“Wait! You can’t just leave me here!”

“Yes I can, as you can see, I have a lot of reading to do. Call me when you’re willing to let me out!” Discord flew on and shouted, ”Goodbye Twilight!”