• Published 12th Dec 2013
  • 9,590 Views, 562 Comments

A Friend In Need - sopchoppy

Something has happened and Twilight finds herself in a strange and dark new world. The Bipeds here have strange magic, advanced technology, and a lot of problems. She needs a few friends, and they just might need her. WORM crossover.

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3 - Realizations

Twilight rested her fore hooves against the window and stared down at the street below. News vans with huge dishes on telescoping poles filled it for no reason that Twilight could fathom. It had been two days since the press conference and they had all been told she wouldn’t be doing any more interviews.

They had flown her to a city called New York. This made her add, “Where is original York?” to her ever growing checklist of non-priority things she wanted to know. Nearly the entire trip had been through the air, in a succession of marvelous aircraft that used nothing but mechanical engines and aerodynamics to achieve lift. Without an iota of enchanting or magical assistance they had flown her from the roof to a large paved airfield just outside the city. From there they had boarded a “jet” which traveled at a truly astounding speed and when it had landed they herded her onto another “helicopter” to finally arrive at a place called the United Nations.

It had all been quite nerve racking. She didn’t understand the politics but apparently finding out that the United States, which she discovered was the name of the country she landed in, had been talking with her had upset the other countries. Not wanting to cause any problems for the people that had been so nice to her, she asked if there was anything she could do to help.

Helping had consisted of meeting what had felt like everypony on the planet and telling them all the same thing. That she had arrived here by accident, that she had been treated very kindly, that she hand’t signed any treaties of any kind, that even if she had she wasn’t a diplomat so they wouldn’t have been binding. She had assured them the Princess Celestia was a kind and benevolent ruler and if a way was found to establish contact she would probably be very happy to talk with each country in turn regardless of where her student had ended up. She didn’t think all the people she talked to had believed her.

Her horn still throbbed from recasting the polyphonic spell so many times, but the Americans had told her that talking in each country’s language was one of the things she could do to make them less upset. Finally late in the night they had setup a small room with a podium and several of their motion cameras. She gave a short speech telling the people of the world that while she wanted to get home she was grateful for the welcome they had given her and hoped that they could learn a lot from each other during her stay. Afterwards she had requested to be taken back to the room they had setup for her in Brockton Bay. This had elicited forced smiles from some of the diplomats, but she had been far to tired to care at that point.

When she had woken up the next morning she had found her door guarded by two knights in blue armor called “Peacekeepers.” What looked like a guard station and what the humans called a “check point” had been assembled at the end of the hall was manned by more knights in various styles of armor and clothing. Asking why all of this was necessary had not led to any satisfactory answer. When they tried to stop Vista from visiting her this morning she had to put her hoof down and tell them very clearly that she had been enjoying their company and the Wards were to be allowed in at any time, thank you very much just the same.

The whole thing was frustrating and annoying on so many levels. Now people wanted to speak with her all the time about things she either didn’t know or didn’t really care about. She was not a diplomat, she could only be considered a representative of Equestria in the loosest terms, and all of this was cutting into her research time! With a huff she settled back on all four hooves and turned away from the window to look at her whiteboard.

The biggest discovery she had made in the past few days was the humans near complete lack of knowledge about magic. Only the barest fraction of them could use it and when she observed those that could it had felt wrong and obscured somehow. Something about it had almost pulled one of those elusive memories up from the depths before she lost her grip on it. From an early age she had been able to see a spell cast and have a near instant intuitive understanding, if not skill in it. Twilight didn’t understand these parahuman spells nearly so well and it bothered her more than she cared to admit. She remembered the befuddled or annoyed looks of the other unicorns in school when she had explained something and felt a newfound empathy with them. The confusion went both ways as even the humans that could cast seemed completely blind to the field. Both the humans and the machines they had used to try and detect it. She had struggled to explain the details to ponies that felt it and had been immersed in it from birth, how was she supposed to explain it to the humans?

She imagined it was like trying to teach a blind person to paint. If the blind person didn’t speak the same language and was also required to supply their own materials. It didn’t help that she suspected some of the people she talked to didn’t really believe her. Not that she particularly blamed them for that. The more she tried the more holes appeared in her translated speech. Every way all around on every front it was frustrating. The last attempt had sent the newest parahuman researcher she had been speaking to fleeing from her room when she had accidentally incinerated one of her notebooks. That had been when she decided to take a break and look out at the city for awhile. She looked again at the white board then sighed. Her mind was too cluttered right now to focus on it.

She wandered out into the hall and walked down to the check point. The guards in the castle had always been friendly and if they were going to be spending so much time together she should at least try and get to know them. When she approached she noticed that four of them had gathered towards on end of a desk and were listening to a radio with interest.

“Hi guys, whats up?” Trying her best casual and friendly voice. They were so serious all the time that is was hard to tell how they were feeling at any given moment. Lieutenant Matthews, who she had been informed was the day shift commander, answered her question.

“Someone’s robbing a bank.”

Twilight cocked an ear towards the radio as her eyes widened, wondering if maybe her translation spell had an error. ‘Robbing a bank? In a major city?’ She tried to wrap her head around the idea. While Equestria certainly hadn’t eliminated crime, petty theft and burglary still happened even in Canterlot, pony on pony violence was rare and usually confined to newly settled frontier towns and wild lands. Pony communities tended to be tight knit, interconnected, and interdependent. They responded quickly and decisively if someone visited violence on one of their number. The idea that this huge modern city with it’s knights, guardsmen, and infrastructure had a bank that was being robbed in broad daylight boggled her.

Details about the robbery started to come in. It sounded like a number of bank employees and patrons were being held hostage in the building by an unknown number of criminals. The newsman speculated that the robbery had been planned at this specific time to take advantage of the Protectorate being outside of the city today. Parahumans were suspected to be involved and a general alert had been sent out. Some of the local wards had arrived on scene and PRT squads were being dispatched. The man on the radio kept speaking, but she didn’t process much beyond “local wards responding.”

Twilight had initially categorized her encounter with Lung as a monster attack, both from his appearance and his actions. He hadn’t come off as a rational being and the unicorn had plenty of experience with magically enhanced wildlife purposefully or accidentally threatening a town or city. However this new information clicked into place along with several things she had heard in passing to form a disturbing new picture. Lung was less like a beast from the everfree and more like an evil unicorn. Correspondingly this world’s society was less like modern Equestria and more resembled the three tribes era. During that time not only had the three tribes fought each other, ponies of the same tribe had fought amongst each other for power and resources. Twilight shivered as she overlaid what she was hearing on the radio with this image of the world. Her new….friends, were out there in a dangerous situation probably facing hostile magic cast by someone like Lung, or worse.

“Lieutenant Matthews, Is the bank nearby?” A slight waver of worry in her voice. Matthews looked at her with a puzzled frown before responding in a reassuring tone.

“It’s about three blocks north of here, but don’t worry. Their not likely to cause any trouble here, and if they did you have the PRT below and us up here to protect you.” Twilight paused to consider this, looked at the knights around her and then at the radio again.

“It’s your mission to protect me right?” Twilight asked and Matthews nodded. “I think I understand more now about why you were assigned to me, and why knights of so many different orders are part of my detail. So I just want to apologize in advance.” The Lieutenant stiffened and moved his arm as if to reach towards her. “But the wards have been really nice to me, and I’m going to go help them.” With that Twilight glowed purple for a fraction of a second and winked out of existence.

“Fuck! O’Brian, Khan, Lee - We’re moving out. Adams maintain post and wake up night shift, I want them on scene as soon as possible.” With that Matthews slung a heavy backpack with a hose attachment onto his back and ran for the stairwell, the others just behind.


With a bright flash Twilight materialized on the street just in front of PRT headquarters and two dozen telephoto lens from the media contingent tracked in her direction. The sound of camera shutters was starting to fill the air as Twilight oriented herself and then flashed out of existence once again.

Twilight Sparkle reappeared on top of a parked car a half block from the bank. Chaos reigned. Rubble was strewn everywhere and a unnatural darkness covered the road in front of her. Twilight could sense the field being twisted there and while the mechanics of the spell eluded her she could tell it was altering light and sound in the area under its influence. Beyond the effect she could see Kid win using a levitating platform and casting some sort of beam at the street below. Then she noticed what he was shooting at. Two huge mutant dogs had their jaws locked on Aegis’s arms and legs and were shaking him violently between them, blood sprayed in an arc from the dogs mouths and splattered onto the street around them.

“Aegis!” Twilight shrieked in horror, her horn glowing before she finished his name. She was horrified at the sight, but didn’t lose her focus. She needed to be careful in order to avoid hurting Aegis even more than he already was. With slowly increasing force she Telekinetically pried the dog’s jaws from him and only once the teeth were clear did she give into her first instinct and hurl the animals down the empty street. Twilight heard an enraged yell come from the direction of the bank just before she was enveloped in a dark miasma.

Twilight suddenly found herself unable to see or hear and the world threatened to tilt from under her without a frame of reference. Trying not to let the lack of sensation distract her she closed her eyes and focused on what she had seen before being blinded. The placement of the cars and rubble, bystanders and combatants. Carefully rebuilding the street in her mind she pictured where she wanted to go and mentally crossed her hooves that her mental landscape was close enough. A few seconds later she appeared by Aegis side. “Oh Aegis,” Twilight moaned in despair as she looked him over. She had never seen a pony as physically injured as he was. She knew basic first aid and that knowledge seemed woefully inadequate even had Aegis been a pony. The unicorn nervously shuffled from hoof to hoof as she started to construct small fields of pressure over the largest wounds. “Don’t worry Aegis, don’t worry we’ll get you to a doctor and it will be alright, it will be alright.” A hysterical tone creeping into her voice as she worked.


Information officer Marian May and Director Piggot sat in the PRT’s ops center and stared at images of the ongoing battle.

“I think we just found the flaw in the idea of socializing Twilight with the wards.”



Kid Win, no longer needing to worry about hitting his team mate, raced by and started to rain more beams down on the dogs as they attempted to get back to their feet. Aegis mumbled incoherently with a voice shaped as much by liquid as air. Twilight knew that you were not supposed to move someone that was as injured as he was, but she felt way to exposed in the center of the street between the darkness, the bank, and the dogs. Gently she levitated Aegis to the side of the building across the street from the bank and sheltered by a set of stone stairs. After easing him back to the ground she was shocked to see Aegis try to struggle into a sitting position and ignore her efforts to keep him still. With the arm that hadn’t been quite as mauled he gestured to the cloud of darkness and gurgled what sounded like “Vista.”

Twilight worriedly shifted her eyes from Aegis to the darkness covered street. She shuddered again at sight of the wounds, the unicorn wasn’t even sure how he was still conscious. She was afraid if she lost her concentration and didn’t keep up the telekinetic pressure on Aegis’s injuries he would die before any other help arrived. On the other hand she had no idea what was happening to Vista in that miasma. She didn’t know what to do! If she had a little time to stop, to plan, but she didn’t and her friends were going to die and it would be her fault for not being good enough or smart enough to save them. Her heart ached in some unremembered sympathy that compounded the feeling.

A few seconds the decision was taken from her when the front doors of the bank burst open and another mutant dog barreled directly towards her.

The giant dog heading straight for Twilight didn’t give her much chance to think, and she was already casting several small fields of telekinetic force so it was no surprise that her instinctive reaction was to continue that spell. A twenty foot square shimmering plane of force materialized directly in front of the charging mutant. With a sicking crunch it collided with the field and collapsed to the ground. Before the animal could recover Twilight rolled the plane into a half cylinder and then shaped that cylinder into a dome barely larger than the dog and anchored it to the ground around it.

Kid Win seemed to being doing alright holding the other two dogs at bay, although Twilight noted that the property destruction around him was starting to reach new heights. The facades of several nearby buildings were little more than rubble at this point. She heard some yelling from inside the bank, but for the moment nothing was trying to eat her so she turned her eyes on the dark miasma that Aegis said Vista was trapped in. Twilight knew how disorienting it was having only been inside it for a few seconds, but she didn’t have time to examine it and fashion a proper counter spell. Hoping that Vista was simply lost inside and not injured Twilight began to craft a solution.

Given the ongoing battle and the fact she was maintaing a dozen telekinetic fields of varying properties and strength it wasn’t the easiest thing she had ever done. Remembering the weightless feeling she had experienced she guessed that it applied a moderate lessening of gravity. As it was easier to augment an existing effect than counter it she slowly strengthened the antigravity portion of the spell until pieces of rubble and gravel started to tumble out of the east side of the cloud. Twilight gasped in relief when a scuffed but intact Vista rolled out accompanied by the patter of rubble and litter from the street falling back to the ground.

The distance between Vista and Twilight shrank down to a few feet and were this another time and place Vista would have been subjected to an hours long interrogation on the details. As it was she was to relieved and to busy being hugged by Vista to process it.

“Twilight was that you?! I was about to lose my mind in there.” Glancing past Twilight Vista saw Aegis laying behind her. “Aegis!” She shouted uncomfortably close to Twilight’s ear before stepping past the unicorn to kneel next to him. While Vista looked over Aegis the dark cloud dissipated, leading Twilight to assume whoever controlled it could sense that no one was left inside. She turned a suspicious glance towards the entrance of the bank. ‘Why hasn’t the human controlling the cloud recast it? Have I convinced them it won’t work, or are they plotting something new?’ When a shrill whistle came from the bank and the two dogs fighting Kid Win broke off and sprinted towards it, Twilight suspected the latter.

Kid Win pursued them raining destruction down onto the dogs and the street while the distance they had to travel lengthened dramatically as Vista stood back up and focused. Deciding that whatever the criminals in the bank had planned it was better if they didn’t have the dogs as well, Twilight quickly spoke to Vista.

“You have one of those miniature radios right?” When Vista nodded Twilight continued. “Tell Kid Win to stop chasing the dogs and when I give the signal reduce the space between the dogs and bank as much as possible.” Vista looked puzzled, but began murmuring into her headset and the glowing nimbus around Twilight’s horn started to increase in intensity again. Kid Win stopped and without his harassment the dogs increased their pace to try and cover the distance faster than it could expand.

“Now!” Twilight shouted as her horn flashed and the dogs barreled full speed into another plane of force that had appeared at the base of the steps. Twilight’s mental state was currently layered like a cake. An icing of calm crisis management was running the show for now and covered a spongy mass of worry and hysteria which itself rested on top of the other parts of her personality. Distantly she felt a smidgen of embarrassment bubble up from down there. Twilight prided herself on her knowledge and skill in a multitude of magical arts. Yet so far all she had really done was swing telekinesis, the simplest and most instinctive spell known to unicorns, around like a hammer. The dogs had no time to react and like the one she had captured earlier, crumpled at the base of the field. Twilight sighed as she began enfolding them in another force dome, ‘Celestia did always say there was beauty in simplicity.’ Not having moved, but now much closer, Kid Win flew over and hovered beside them facing the bank.

“Wow, ok, so first, Twilight, Vista, that was very cool. Second, we were all strictly forbidden from encouraging you to come along on any shenanigans so when Director Piggot asks I never said any of this. Third, thanks for coming, it was looking a little dicy there for a minute.” He said with a smile as Twilight alternatively looked relieved and embarrassed. She didn’t want to really think about the ramifications of her coming, but a deeper feeling in her chest when she looked at the three humans told her it had been the right decision regardless of the consequences. Vista slung around Twilight’s neck and the three of them contemplated what to do.

Twilight was just about to purpose retreating to a nearby roof and waiting for help when one of the bank doors slammed open and Bitch and Grue emerged. Bitch was standing in the partially opened doorway with one of Grue’s arms wrapped around her waist. She was screaming incoherently, kicking, biting, and was desperately trying to reach the dome nearest to her. Kid Win aimed his beam devices and Vista let go of Twilight and tensed beside her. Twilight cocked her ear and could make out sirens and helicopters heading in this direction. She had a feeling that if she didn’t act now something very bad was going to happen.

Then it did. A white blur descended from the sky and crashed into the bank’s front steps, before anyone could react she lifted Grue by his shirt and hurled him directly towards the Wards and Twilight. The unicorn had a moment to see Bitch start to run down the steps and the new girl rip one of the bank doors off its hinges before the high speed human projectile collided with Kid Win, knocking him off his board, but hardly slowing Grue before he slammed into the brick building behind them with an audible thump. Kid Win had landed on Twilight before she had even processed the whole event.

Screams came from inside the bank as Twilight drug herself from underneath Kid Win and back to her hooves. Kid Win wheezed beside her as she looked him over. Given how fast Grue had been moving and where he had hit Kid she suspected he had a couple of broken ribs. There was nothing she felt safe doing about that at the moment so she added it to her growing pile of worries to deal with later. She trotted over to Grue, he was a mess. One leg and both arms were visibly broken and he was likely only alive because of the helmet that was part of his costume. Again Twilight was at a loss and could do little more than check him for bleeding. Not feeling right about it she left him there and walked back up to Vista who was staring at the scene in front of her and looking just as lost on what to do as Twilight had.

Bitch was pounding frantically on one of the force domes while the dogs inside whined and tried to claw their way through it from the inside. People Twilight assumed were hostages were starting to flee from the bank and broke to either side of Bitch like a stream flowing around a boulder. An armored vehicle rounded the corner a block down the street and skidded to a stop. This seemed to snap Vista out of her indecision and she spoke rapidly to Twilight.

“I don’t know what set her off, but that was Glory girl that just crashed the party. I need to go inside and see if I can help her and make sure the hostages all get out ok.” Twilight gave her an emotion filled look and Vista hugged the unicorn quickly before continuing. “Don’t worry, Glory Girl’s a real powerhouse, any bad guys still in there are probably wishing they weren’t. I’ll be safe. When this is over we’re going to find a box of ice cream and a mindless movie to watch in your room. Keep the boys safe.” With that she crossed the distance in short power compressed hops to avoid the people on the street and ran into the bank.

A door opened in the side of the armored vehicle and it disgorged Lieutenant Matthews followed by the rest of his team. Two split off and ran towards the hysterical Bitch who only seemed to notice their presence after they had her mostly covered in what looked at like fire suppressant foam. The others raced over and bracketed Twilight between them. Matthews spoke into his radio and a knight she didn’t recognize stepped out of the transport with a large bag. He walked briskly in their direction and after looking Twilight over for a moment stepped past her to knell next to Aegis.

Twilight’s heart rate started to come down as she saw the knight open the bag and start to bandage Aegis’s wounds. And the calm she had managed to maintain during the battle started to break up and give way to the emotions beneath it. ‘Everything is going to be ok now, I didn’t fail, they are all going to be ok.’ More and more people and vehicles started to fill the area and slowly sought to establish order. Twilight trotted over to the medic that was attending to Aegis.

“Is he going to be ok? I did my best but I haven’t had any time to study your anatomy and all I could really do is staunch the obvious bleeding. Should we get one of those helicopters to fly him to a hospital? What about Kid Win? I’m not sure but I think he has some broken ribs.” The medic didn’t turn from his task of wrapping a bandage around Aegis’s torso and shot him a stern glare when Aegis looked to try and respond himself.

“He’s going to be fine, His power gives him extensive physical redundancy and an accelerated rate of healing. He’s still going to feel like he’s been chewed up and spit out for a couple of days, but other than that there is nothing to worry about Ms. Sparkle. After I finish this bandage I’ll check Win, but his breathing doesn’t sound like he has a punctured lung, so he’s probably ok.” She closed her eyes and “looked” at Aegis again, and did indeed find subtle flows of magic working through his body. Twilight took a deep breath and slowly released it letting herself calm down further as her biggest worries was settled. She felt an itch to start a checklist to note down all of the things she had been worrying about and make sure they were taken care of even as new ones were being added. Like the fact that Matthews hadn’t said anything to her since he arrived and she found herself unable to come up with something to say to him beyond what she had said before she left.

Vista walked back out of the bank along with the Girl that had thrown Grue and a shorter dark haired girl. Glory Girl looked furious while the dark haired girl looked frightened and nervous. Once Vista was close enough she hugged Twilight again and filled her in.

“Well, Tattletale and Regent escaped, but all the hostages seem ok and we got two of the jerks. I’m declaring this a victory. Celebratory sleepover tonight!”

A throat cleared behind her and Twilight took a steep back as she turned and saw the look on Director Piggot’s face. The Director pointedly swept her gaze over the entire street before speaking.

“Victory.” Piggot’s voice made the word sound like a curse. “I believe it is time we all made our way back to PRT headquarters, don’t you Ms. Sparkle?”


At the edge of her awareness Twilight had the idea that someone was trying to get her attention, but what she was watching was clearly more important so she ignored it without conscious thought. They were in a large vehicle heading back to PRT headquarters and Panacea was currently “healing” Aegis after having taken care of Kid Win. Twilight’s eyes were open but most of her attention was being paid to a sense that wasn’t sight, “watching” the complex and delicate dance of magic inside Aegis’s body. It was on the fly permanent transmutation inside a living being happening at the direction of someone that didn’t appear to be interacting with the magic at all.

Twilight ignored the latter part for now, as she had already seen this anomaly in everyone that cast magic in this world. Cells were repaired, tissue reconstructed and seamlessly attached to undamaged areas, organs put back together with nary a seam to show that anything had ever happened. Theoretically of course it was all possible, but only in the wildest fever dreams of pony kind. If Twilight transmuted something into an orange, it might look like an orange, it might taste like an orange, if she did everything right it might have the nutritional value of an orange, but on a molecular level it would look nothing like an actual orange. Instead of the natural organized chaos and diversity of real biological product, you would have the same structure replicated throughout, and getting the patterns and formula down to do even that was one of the most mentally taxing applications of magic in existence. What Panacea was doing would require the manipulation of a billion ever changing variables while simultaneously using enough force to ensure the altered matter retained its new pattern and didn’t revert. She wasn’t even breathing hard.

Without realizing it Twilight had started to pull more and more magic into alignment inside and around her as she unconsciously used it to “see” more, to quicken her perception of time, to watch the impossible and beautiful show as close as she could. Her mane and tail started to shift as if in an unseen breeze while her eyes started to glow with an ever increasing brightness. More unimportant voices called out at the edge of her perception as loose items started to levitate and orbit around her. Suddenly the dance stopped and Twilight was thrown off her hooves as the vehicle skidded to a violent stop.

Shaking her head to clear it she pulled her legs up underneath her and stood up. Glory Girl had unbuckled herself from her seat and stood protectively in the aisle between Panacea and Twilight. Two of Twilight’s guardsmen were standing between Twilight and Glory Girl each with one hand gripping a strap attached to the ceiling and the other holding a weapon that was aimed in Glory Girl’s direction. Behind her she heard more safety straps being unbuckled and voices of Kid Win and Vista raised in concern. Twilight was still trying to catch up and figure out what was going on when Lieutenant Matthews spoke calmly and authoritatively in a voice loud enough to carry over everything else.

“Everyone calm the fuck down and take a seat. Whatever that just was, and I’m sure Twilight will be happy to tell us once we get back to PRT HQ, no one was hurt and we are all on the same side here. Glory Girl, if you would kindly take your seat and direct your glare away from Ms. Sparkle my men could return the favor by holstering their weapons. It’s not my area, but I suspect your on thin enough ice already today without the addition of assaulting a diplomat.” Glory Girl gave a belligerent shrug and sat down looking like she wanted to burn a whole in the side of the vehicle opposite her. O’Brian and Khan holstered their weapons and Matthews thumped on the wall behind him that separated the driver from the rest of them. The Carriage started with a lurch and they were rolling again.

“Jesus Christ Twilight what was..” Twilight heard Kid Win exclaim before he was cut off again by Matthews.

“Why don’t we all sit quietly and keep our thoughts to ourselves.” Everyone seemed to silently agree to this leaving a still bewildered Twilight with no idea what had happened. A short time later found them next to the elevators in the underground vehicle bay Twilight had first seen a few days ago. No one seemed to want to break the uneasy silence that had carried over from the rest of the ride here. The right hoof doors opened with a loud tone and Director Piggot spoke up.

“Twilight, the wards, Glory Girl, Panacea, and I are going to go down to medical, get checked out, and talk about what happened today. After we’re done we will want to compare that with your perspective, until then if you would kindly stay in your office, it would be appreciated.” Twilight nodded and took the request for the order it was. The six of them filed into the open lift and Vista gave her a half hearted wave and a crooked grin before the doors of the elevator shut.

A few minutes later Twilight let out a relieved sigh as she closed the door behind her and escaped the weighted quiet of the guardsmen, none of them had returned the few tentative smiles she had tried on the way back to her room. Twilight knew they had a good reason to be upset with her and she had always been sensitive to disapproval. She had in a way betrayed an implicit trust when she had left to help the wards and she knew it would take a long time to rebuild it. Though it saddened her to think about Twilight wasn’t sure if she should even try. She would do the same thing again, and if her suspicions about this world were accurate she would probably have to.