• Published 6th Jan 2014
  • 16,854 Views, 930 Comments

Contact - Digi

Mane six meets the Elements. Hilarity ensues.

  • ...

The Spell

Flying. Applejack never really did like flying. For the orange mare, there was something about being high off the ground just didn’t sit right with her. She always prefered the ground, feeling the earth beneath her hooves. Under normal circumstances, she would most certainly not be in a massive sky chariot, flying high above the ground. Unfortunately, today was anything but normal. Applejack realized this when Spike came running to her earlier with Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash hot on his tail.

Spike had quickly explained to Applejack that all of them were needed in Canterlot today. Apparently, Twilight Sparkle had made some kind of breakthrough in her work, and needed all of the Elements of Harmony to be present. In the hastily written note, Twilight hadn’t explained much else, but mentioned that a large sky chariot out was already on the way to pick up everypony.

That had been about an hour ago. Now the six of them were heading to Canterlot in a sky chariot. Up in the air, high above the ground. Applejack sighed. She readjusted her askew hat on top of her straw yellow mane, but it only provided little comfort. Honestly, she was feeling more than a bit nervous about the whole ordeal, but she kept her composure and didn’t show it. However, Rarity was a different story.

Poor Rarity. The white unicorn was trying her hardest to remain calm, but wasn’t having much luck. She was trying her best to stay in the center of the sky chariot, averting her gaze from the edge. To say that Rarity was feeling a bit frazzled would be an understatement. Even her normally elegant, perfectly styled purple mane and tail was getting frizzy from a combination of her nerves and the wind. Applejack noticed her out of the corner of her eye.

“Hey, Rarity, ya doin’ okay?” Applejack turned towards the poor mare, showing concern. “You’re shakin’ worse than a leaf in a thunderstorm.”

Rarity turned to face Applejack, who was resting in the back. She was secretly glad to have something to distract her from her fear of heights. “I… well, I’ll be okay whenever we land, Applejack. Everypony knows how much I detest heights, after all.” She shuddered at the memory of almost falling to her doom back at the Best Young Flyers Competition, with Rainbow Dash barley saving her in time. That was an experience she would care to never repeat.

Rarity cleared her throat, and steeled herself against her anxiety. She took a deep breath, and let it out. Then took another deep breath, and let this one out as a huff. It wasn’t very ladylike, but she didn’t really care right now. Besides, something else was on her mind.

“There’s something else bothering me, though.”

“What’s that, sugarcube?”

“Well, this whole… situation with Twilight, really. What would cause her to summon us on such short notice? It’s not like the fate of Equestria hangs in the balance again,” she paused tapping a hoof to her chin for a moment before continuing. “Well, I suppose she would mention something if that were the case. Wouldn’t she?”

Applejack nodded. “Ah don’t really know. But yer right, something just… doesn’t feel quite right. One of those gut feelings, Ah suppose.”

Fluttershy spoke up, barely audible over the wind of the moving chariot. Sitting in the front, the yellow mare turned around to face them, hiding behind her long pink mane. “Um, Applejack, if I may?”

Applejack nodded, letting her politely but in. “Um, well, I know we haven’t heard from Twilight for a few weeks, but it’s obviously something very important. She would have told us everything if she could have. Celestia must have asked her to keep things as quiet as possible for a reason.”

“It ain’t that sugarcube. Its just that Ah don’t particularly like bein’ left in tha dark. Top Secret or not. We’re her best friends fer cryin’ out loud! Surely she could have told us more than she did?” Applejack had to resist the urge to facehoof. Again. A whole month of more or less silence from Twilight had left Applejack worried, frustrated, and almost mad. “Ah swear, when Ah see that bookworm...”

Pinkie Pie gasped. She started bouncing in place, shaking the chariot. Rarity almost passed out. Fluttershy squeaked, and hid behind her mane. “Ooh ooh, did somepony say top secret?! Oh my gosh, does that mean we all get to be super secret agents? Or do we get cool gadgets, like a laser watch, or smoke bombs, or even a…”

Before Pinkie could cause anyone to fall off the chariot to their doom, Rarity quickly grabbed Pinkie with her magic and pulled her down, then put a hoof over the rambling mare’s lips, silencing her. “Pinkie! Don’t bounce like that, please. You’re scaring poor Fluttershy, and me, for that matter.”

“Yeah Pinkie! What Rarity said,” Spike pleaded, having been shaken awake from his impromptu nap. He had sat down in the front, and had fallen asleep minutes after the chariot arrived. The little dragon had worked himself to near exhaustion in Twilight’s absence. She had, for the first time, left him completely in charge of running the Library. Spike had done everything he could to make sure the library remained spotless in Twilight’s absence.

“Oh, I’m sorry everyone. I just got so excited, because I had so much fun the last time I did secret spy stuff with Twilight and Spike in Canterlot! I’d tell you more, but that’s top secret,” she added with a slight conspiratory whisper.

Spike merely rolled his eye’s at Pinkie’s statement. “It wasn’t that secret,” he said.

“It’s okay Pinkie.” Fluttershy came out from behind her mane and sat up, then fluttered her wings, a sheepish smile on her face.

Applejack let out a quiet chuckle at Pinkie’s antics. Then she returned Fluttershy’s smile with her own. “It’s okay sugarcube. We’ve all been a bit out of sorts since Twilight has been gone. Still though, just what in the hay has Twilight been doing for a month?” Applejack pondered that for a moment, then noticed Rainbow Dash splayed over the side of the chariot. To Applejack, it appeared that Rainbow was being lazy again. “Hey, RD! What do you think?”

Rainbow Dash was barely paying attention to the others. She was too busy being bored. (And sulking.) She let out a sigh, her wings twitching slightly in annoyance at having to ride in the chariot with everypony else. She’d rather be flying. Apparently, guard ponies didn’t appreciate the sky blue mare doing rather dangerous stunts in and around them, and especially in their flight path.

Applejack yelled at Rainbow again. “Hey, Equestria to Rainbow Dash! What do you think is going on with Twi’?”

Rainbow’s ears perked up, upon hearing her name. “Huh? Oh.” She shook her head, prismatic mane whipping in the wind. She looked back towards the others. “Eh, knowing that egghead, it’s probably something really, really boring. I mean, sure, Twilight can do some pretty awesome stuff with her magic and all, but she never does! She’s probably been cooped up in some massive library for the past month.” Rainbow smirked. “Heh, probably even built one of her book forts, just so nopony would make her leave at night!”

Applejack gave Rainbow a deadpan look. “Wait, what, a book fort? Really Dash? She said she only did that when she was just a filly, and-”

“That’s what she wants you to think, AJ.” Dash chuckled. “Heh, I bet if it wasn’t for us, her coat would be gray instead of purple, cause she’d be covered in dust from sitting around so much with her nose in a book!”

Applejack groaned, and facehooved at that. “Alright RD, that’s enough-”

“Oooh, I’ll bet Twilight is all done with her super secret ultra duper project and wants to show it off! I’ve never been able to throw a party for something like that before!” Pinkie interrupted, then started bouncing in place again. “Oooh, what if she-”

“Oops, sorry,” Pinkie apologized, trying to sit still and let the guards continue.

“It’s okay, just, no more bouncing till we get there, alright?” Spike continued. Pinkie nodded and sat back down.

Rainbow flopped onto her back inside the chariot, staring up at the sky, and let out an annoyed sigh. She then turned towards the rest of the group, specifically toward the only guy among them. “Hey Spike, what do you think? Any idea what Twilight has been up to for the past month?”

Spike scratched his head, trying to remember what Twilight had told him before leaving. He sat back up. “Well, before leaving, Twilight said something about this involving the Elements of Harmony, and didn’t tell me much else. I thought she meant you guys, but apparently she was talking about the actual artifacts.”

Spike continued. ”Celestia wanted her to keep everything very ‘hush, hush’ as she put it. Not to mention it was around 4am, and I wasn’t awake enough to remember much of what Twilight told me anyway. All I know for sure is that she couldn’t tell me anything yet, or send us letters with status updates. It was something about my dragonfire being intercepted, threat to kingdom/national security, yadda yadda yadda. Still doesn’t make any sense to me.”

“So what if we don’t know what Twilight’s been doing for the past month? It’ll make it that much more of an awesome surprise!” Pinkie happily chirped, and thankfully didn’t start bouncing this time. “Besides, like everypony said, we haven’t seen her in a month, and that’s like forever! I’m sure everything is fine. Besides, my Pinkie Sense hasn’t told me anything bad the whole month! You can always trust my Pinkie Sense!”

Applejack slowly nodded. She was conflicted. On one hoof, Pinkie was right. If something bad was going to happen, Pinkie would have gotten another one of those “doozies” of hers, then they all would have charged up the mountain to save Twilight and Equestria from whatever threat had presented itself again. On the other hoof though, Applejack still didn’t like how things had been going. Twilight had never left everypony in the dark like this before.

Applejack couldn’t help but feel that sinking feeling in her stomach intensify as she saw the the looming towers of Canterlot Castle slowly getting closer. She had good reason to feel wary, considering the group’s tendency to get into trouble, or have it come to them. Things like an ursa minor, parasprites, a hydra, not to mention Nightmare Moon, Discord and Chrysalis all attested to this.

Applejack laid down on her side and closed her eyes, tuning out everypony else. They were talking about something, but she was too tired to think anymore. They’d be there soon enough, and then she would finally get some answers.

Thankfully, the rest of the ride to Canterlot was uneventful, at least to Applejack anyway. The farmer sat up, and looked around. Rarity had finally calmed down, and was talking to Spike. Something about needing to go find more gems when they got back to Ponyville. Fluttershy was sitting next to Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash, who were planning their next pranking spree.

Before Applejack had fully woken herself up from her nap, she noticed everypony suddenly rush over to the edge of the chariot. They were waving at somepony. She too peered over the edge and saw a certain lavender unicorn waving back at them. For the first time in a while, Applejack smiled. Twilight Sparkle was waiting for them.

The chariot landed, and before even coming to a stop, Pinke yelled “Ponypile!” and flew out of the chariot with Rainbow Dash right behind her, tackling Twilight in a crushing hug.

“Ooof! Girls, can’t… breathe…” Twilight choked out.

“Oh, sorry Twi! We just, um, missed you and all.” Rainbow backed off and Pinkie eased her vice grip on Twilight, Rainbow cringing at just how sappy she was being. The rest of their little group joined them seconds later, with Spike offering a more reserved hug, which Twilight happily accepted.

“Oh my gosh Twilight we missed you so much! What were you working on all this time? Were you building some kind of super secret weapon to take over the world? Or was-”

Twilight chuckled and put a hoof up to Pinkie’s lips, silencing her. “No Pinkie, it wasn’t anything like that. But don’t worry, I do have something amazing to show all of you! Believe it or not, I’ve spent more time in a lab than a library the past month.”

Applejack smiled at that. “Sounds good ta’ me. Lead the way, Twi’.”

After everyone had calmed down enough, and caught up a bit on the past month’s worth of events in Ponyville, Twilight led everyone inside. Before she had even taken a step, Spike had hopped up onto her back, as he usually did. Applejack let out a quiet chuckle at that.

Once inside, Applejack noticed they were walking down a very long, wide, and fancy hallway. It wasn’t anywhere nearly as fancy as the rest of the castle from what she could remember; which really wasn’t much. She didn’t come to the castle that often. Usually, the only time she did come here was to help put down some new crazy world ending threat, like Discord. She shuddered slightly at the memory, again.

Applejack shook her head, clearing her thoughts. “Hey Twilight, now that we’re all here, would you please tell us just what exactly has been goin’ on? All we know fer sure is that Spike told us you said it was something ta do with our elements. You’ve left us in the dark fer a month.”

“I know I have, AJ, girls, and I’m sorry.” Twilight sighed. “But, since you are all here now, I’ll go ahead and fill you in.”

“Okay, where to begin...” She trailed off for a second, the only sound that could be heard was the clop of hoofsteps echoing in the large hallway. “Ah! Okay, well, Spike here was right about the elements being involved. Basically I… well, Princess Celestia, Princess Luna, and I have been trying to figure out just how exactly the elements work.”

“I’ve developed several theories about them since we first found them, and used them to free Luna from Nightmare Moon. Sadly, I didn’t get much of a chance to study them, other than that reference guide we read back at the library that night.”

Pinkie chirped up in a singsong voice, “Hehe, It was under EEeeee…” Pinkie broke out into giggles.

Twilight snickered. “Yes, I know Pinkie. Heh... But anyway, I had been compiling notes and doing what little research I could, up until last month. That’s when Celestia sent me a letter. She said that one of the theories I had proposed might actually work. I won’t bore you with the details, I’ll just show you instead.”

After a few minutes of small talk and walking, Twilight stopped at a very large set of doors. “Okay, here we are, but first, I need to mark everypony up with some magical runes for this test and-”

“Whoa whoa! Hold on a minute, a Test? You didn’t say anything about a test!” Dash exclaimed, flying right up in front of Twilight with a glare.

“Ooh! Ooh! 42!” Pinkie waved her hoof up in the air as if she was answering a question in a classroom. “The answer is always 42!”

Rarity, looked worried, but still giggled at Pinkie’s antics. “Pinkie dear, I don’t think that is what she meant.”

Fluttershy spoke up, sounding worried. “A test? Um… I don’t know if I like the sound of that… do we really have to…?”

“Twi’, just what in the hay are you talkin’ about?” Applejack asked with a raised eyebrow.

Twilight blinked, not registering what everypony had said right away, then facehooved. She let out a groan. “Ugh, I’m sorry girls. I keep getting ahead of myself. Let me explain.” She took a deep breath. “Okay, you see, the only way I can test this latest theory of mine is if I expose us to a specific magical experiment, a spell, or a test if you will. It’s probably the most complicated and largest spell I’ve ever built and, it took me two weeks to put together, even with both the princesses help.”

Twilight noticed all her friends we’re giving her an apprehensive look. “Now before anypony starts worrying, try not to. This test is perfectly safe. I triple checked my work, then had Celestia and Luna double check it after that. With the way the spell works, it’s literally impossible for any harm to come to us.”

Applejack looked back at her other friends. They all shared the same nervous look she had. “Ah don’t think we’re really worried about safety Twi’. We’re more worried about the fact you still ain’t telling us everything, sugarcube.”

Still hovering in the air, Rainbow backed up a bit to give Twilight soome room. “Yeah, what’s up with that anyway? Is it some kind of state secret or something?”

Twilight shook her head and sighed. “I’m sorry for not telling you before. I really wanted to, though! However, Celestia and Luna decided we had to make sure no word got out on just what exactly we were working on. Since we had the elements outside of their vault, we had to make sure nobody knew that. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been so busy researching and preparing for this day that well… you all know how forgetful I can be when I’m hyper-focused on something...”

“Yeah, that’s for sure.” Spike snickered, then hugged Twilight’s neck, still sitting on her back. “I’m guessing I don’t have to take part in the test, right?” There was a small bit of disappointment in his voice as he spoke.

Twilight smiled and patted Spike on the head. She knew when he was feeling a bit left out. Not surprising considering she had to leave him behind in Ponyville. “That’s right Spike, but I have a special job for you.”

Spike’s eyes lit up as Twilight continued. “Once my little experiment gets going, I won’t be able to really take any notes about what is happening outside. So, I want my number one assistant to take as many detailed notes as possible on what exactly it does.”

“You can count on me Twilight!” Spike beamed happily.

Everypony smiled at the exchange. Rarity walked up and gave Twilight a reassuring nuzzle, then pulled back. “It’s okay Twilight, we understand. Goodness knows I’ve forgotten more than a few things when I’m ‘in the zone’ as it were with my own projects. Though, I do have to ask, what exactly do you mean by ‘marking’ us?”

“Oh, right! Let’s see here…” Twilight turned back to the bag, her horn igniting and levitating out massive number of quills and ink pots. “These are specially formulated inks that are magically resonant. It basically allows us to fully harmonize with the magical equipment inside the lab. Without the ink, it would be much harder to find the correct magical freq-”

“Good heavens!” Rarity squealed in fright, and ducked behind Fluttershy, using her tail as a shield. Fluttershy didn’t even know what to think.“Twilight, do you even know just how much ink like that stains!? I can’t have my coat ruined like that! How could you even suggest such a thing?” Rarity peeked back out, not amused by Twilight’s suggestion in the least.

Twilight sheepishly smiled. “Well, to be honest, I didn’t really think about that.” She tapped her hoof to her chin in thought. “Hmm, actually, this is enchanted ink after all. It should come out pretty easily. If it doesn’t wash out, I could always use that one spell I know...”

“ ‘Sides Rarity, I’m sure you can deal with a little ink on yer fur for awhile,” Applejack snickered, then plucked one of the quills from the air and waved it in Rarity’s direction. She let out a Fluttershy-like eep, and went back to her hiding place in Fluttershy’s pink tail. “If’n I remember correctly, you didn’t seem to mind being covered head to hoof in mud for the Sisterhooves Social after all.”

“That was completely different,” Rarity replied, then cautiously came out from behind her hiding place behind Fluttershy. She looked between Twilight and the still hovering brushes. “Are you sure this won’t take long?” She brushed aside Applejack’s hoof, still holding the quill.

“Absolutely!,” Twilight replied, with a more genuine smile. “It shouldn’t take longer than a hour or so. Then you can go wash up right away if you want.”

Rarity sighed. “Oh, very well then, I suppose I can deal with having my immaculate coat ‘marked’ or ‘drawn on’ for you little project then Twilight. Doesn’t mean I will like it, but I’ll still do it.”

“That’s the spirit!” With that, Twilight started marking her friends with the magically resonant ink. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash put up the most resistance, if only for constantly complaining about how the brushes were ticklish. Fluttershy and Applejack didn’t seem to mind at all, and Rarity put on a brave face for Twilight. Once all was said and done, everypony was almost completely covered in strange runes and swirls. Only their Cutie Marks were left untouched.

“Hey, ya know what? This is actually kinda cool,” Rainbow commented, looking over herself, then the others. “I have no idea what any of it means, though. I once heard Gilda mention that some griffons would permanently dye their feathers. Wonder if I could do something like that with these?”

“Only you would think think of permanently dying one’s coat as a good thing.” Rarity grumbled, trying to stay calm despite the fact she was practically covered in ink.

“Well at least I don’t freak out at the first sign of a quill... Rarity!” Rainbow shot back, laughing.

Applejack rolled her eyes and ignored them, before looking over her own markings. In all honesty, looking at them for too long make her head spin. The markings, or ‘symbols’ as Twilight called them, almost seemed to be moving on their own, almost alive in some way. She knew that would be crazy, but made a note to herself to ask Twilight about that later. “Okay, now we’ve got all these crazy symbols all over us. What’s next?”

Twilight had just finished with the final markings on herself. Spike sat next to her, having been denied his favorite perch so that Twilight could finish. She looked up at Applejack. “Well, let me just show you. Behind these doors is one of the greatest magical constructs built in at least the past decade. Behold!” With a quick flourish, Twilight spun around and magiced open the massive double doors.

In the massive room sat one of the strangest looking structures that Applejack had ever seen. It was roughly the size of a house, and made of a dark blue material. It held four sides and a roof. But unlike a normal house, each part was just floating in midair, and was in no way connected to one another. The various walls spun slowly around a central point, with the roof rotating in the opposite direction. Gemstones of various sizes, shapes, and colors dotted the surface of each wall along with numerous symbols spread along the surface. She noticed that the symbols on the structures surface were quite similar to the ones each of them now wore. Applejack also noticed how they seemed to move too; she quickly averted her gaze before she got sick. Spike however was transfixed by the strange structure for an altogether different reason. Applejack could almost hear his stomach growling as he looked over each of the gems dotting the thing.

Pinkie gazed up at the structure in awe, almost speechless for once. “Oooh, pretty!”

Fluttershy was the next to speak. “Twilight… just what is that?”

“This device, along with the symbols you all are wearing, are part of what Twilight calls a ‘Trans-Planar Communication Spell’. According to everything Twilight, Luna, and I have studied, this spell will allow us to communicate with transdimensional beings.” Princess Celestia explained as she gracefully strode up to the group from inside the room.

“Do what?” Twilight’s friends said as one, even more confused than before. They didn’t even bow to Celestia in their confusion.

“No offense princess, but mind explaining that again, but in Equestrian this time?” Rainbow asked, scratching her head, trying to make sense of what the princess had just said.

“I think Twilight will be able to better explain it.” Celestia said as she put a foreleg around the now blushing Twilight. “She was the one who developed most of the theory we are putting into practice today.”

Twilight nodded. She then turned, slipping out of her mentor’s hug, and walked over to a large desk just inside the room, piled up with notes and books, her friends trailing behind.

“Wow Twilight, I knew you were busy and all, but this… this is amazing! This should definitely go in that magic trick book of yours!” Spike said in mild enthusiasm, his stomach still directing his thoughts. He never took his eyes off the structure.

Twilight lightly blushed again at the praise. “Spike, I don’t think there’s enough room in the book for something as complicated as this.” She gave Spike a quick hug.

“Even still, it’s pretty cool if you ask me,” Rainbow Dash said with a smile as she flapped about the room.

She looked back up at her friends and mentor and smiled. “Okay, I’ll keep it simple. Simply put, this device, along with all the symbols I’ve placed on us, should let us actually talk to the Elements of Harmony!” Twilight was giddy, almost bouncing in place.

“Silly Twilight, I do that all the time! I talked with Dashie last Saturday, Fluttershy last Tuesday, then I tried to hang out with AJ last Friday, but she was busy, then I-” Pinkie Pie started, before a zipper suddenly appeared where her lips were before, thanks to a quick spell from Twilight. Pinkie let out a muffled giggle.

“That’s not what I meant Pinkie,” Twilight deadpanned, resisting the urge to facehoof.

“Twilight, I’m sorry, but I thought we were the Elements of Harmony?” Fluttershy asked, taking a cautious step towards the floating construct.

“Well, we are, but only part of the greater whole that is the elements.” The other five elements, even Spike, stared blankly at their bookish friend. “Here, maybe this will help.” With her magic, Twilight pulled over a huge mobile chalkboard, filled with incomprehensible scribbles. “My attempts to study the elements lead me to some startling conclusions.” Twilight levitated up a pointer, aiming it at certain parts of the blackboard as she explained.

“Okay, first off, there are two parts to the Elements of Harmony. The first part is us, or the ‘Bearers’. The second part, are the elements themselves, or the ‘Artifacts’. Those are what we use to channel the power of the elements, or the power of harmony if you will.”

“Do you mean those wonderful necklaces that we received upon first using them?” Rarity asked, thinking back to the strange, but lovely jewelry that showed up after defeating Nightmare Moon, and cleansing Luna.

“Yes, however, those two components don’t account for everything. Here...” Twilight pulled over a second chalkboard with her magic still surrounding the first one. This one had a large diagram on it, representing multiple timelines that ended up converging at a single point. Applejack noticed that she could actually read this one.

“If one looks closely, you can begin to see patterns emerge. There are far, far too many coincidences involving the six of us for it just to chalk it up to random occurrences. The biggest one, of course, is Rainbow Dash’s first sonic rainboom that helped us all gain our cutie marks.”

“That was pretty awesome, huh?” Rainbow Dash put on a smug grin, unable to resist bragging about one of her biggest moments.

“Indeed it was Dash.” Twilight mentally rolled her eyes. “Not only that, but we all ended up in Ponyville. The one town in all of Equestria that was within a reasonable distance of where the Elements were located. Princess Celestia helped quite a bit with this. She has been noticing things much longer than I have. Also-”

“Twilight,” Applejack cut in while looking at the timeline. She noticed that everything came together right when the Summer Sun Celebration had occurred. “ah hate to say this, but this sounds just like some crazy conspiracy theory to me.”

“I thought so too,” Twilight continued, pulling out the last chalkboard. This one had detailed pictures of the five necklaces and crown, easily recognizable as the Elements of Harmony. “But the way the Elements behaved when we first found them, not to mention all the past occurrences that ended up bringing us to them, seems to imply some kind of external driving force.”

Rarity raised an eyebrow at that. “Twilight? Might I cut in for a moment?”

“Oh, sure. What’s on your mind?”

“Now I know I never attended a prestigious magical school like you did,” Rarity began looking over the newest blackboard. “But how are you certain that there is a specific driving force behind the Elements' movements? I mean, enough of a residual magical charge on an object can cause it to react to changes in it’s environment. Are you not certain that Princess Celestia's and Princess Luna’s magic didn’t simply have a longer lasting effect on their behavior?”

“That’s, well, that’s actually quite astute of you, Rarity,” To say Twilight was slightly surprised at her friend would have been an understatement.

“You’re as beautiful as you are smart Rarity,” Spike said, never wanting to pass up the opportunity to compliment the object of his affection.

“It would seem we have two gifted minds here.” Celestia chuckled at Twilight’s surprised expression.“Care to explain, Twilight?”

“Oh um yes,” said Twilight gathering her composure. “I had anticipated that actually, and I made sure to study both of the Princesses' magic extensively. The amount of time the Elements were resting in the castle would have caused any residual magic to fade away to nothing. Besides if there was some form of magical residue they would have reacted to either Nightmare Moon’s cyclone or my own magical tampering. Yet they only came to life when I made my own realization about all of you. I wasn’t even trying to cast any magic at the time and they reacted anyway. Plus simple, magical reactions for enchantment residue doesn’t explain how the Element of Magic behaved, nor where it was. Based on what Celestia told me, that element vanished all by itself shortly after the others went inert,” Twilight paused smiling at Rarity. Happy that she just learned of having something else in common with the fashionista. “I am glad you asked, Rarity, I didn’t think you were into magical theory.”

“Well, some of the principles you are talking about are similar to how I design and build my dresses,” Rarity said, “especially if I use several telekinesis spells at the same time. Perhaps after this you can give me some pointers on how to better link a complex series of telekinetic matrices?”

“Sounds like fun, Rarity I would be happy to talk ‘magic’ with you,” Twilight said beaming.

“Am I the only pony getting lost here?” Rainbow complained, waving a hoof in the air.

“No Dash, you aren’t the only one.” Applejack agreed with her. All this magic mumbo jumbo was giving her a headache. She decided to press on. “So let me get this straight. What you’re saying Twilight is this third part, as you call it, has been… messing with our lives, right?” Twilight nodded. “Then you made this spell to try and talk to them?”

“Exactly!” Twilight beamed, happy that at one of her friends understood. “Although I’m not sure if I’d say they were manipulating our lives, really...”

“Not to sound rude Twilight, but what exactly do you hope to accomplish by talking to these… beings? For all we know, they may not even wish to speak with us, or what if they even react harshly to us bothering them?” Rarity was feeling leery about this now, and wanted to get this over with or to just stop it so she could get all the dreary ink off herself.

“All I know for sure is that they chose us for a reason. I really don’t think they’d refuse a chance to speak with the very ponies they’ve been watching, no matter how you look at it. Besides, imagine what we could learn from this, from them even! We could glean information about the missing history during Discord’s first rule! Or even information about the princesses! Maybe things that even they don’t even remember. I’m sure both of them have questions they’d like to ask the elements too. Right Princess?” Celestia simply nodded with a smile. Twilight beamed, ”See?”

Twilight continued. “Besides, the worst that can happen is that we’re wrong, there’s nothing to actually communicate with, the spell fizzles out, and nothing happens. Even then, that will answer a few of my questions, and give me more data to work with. It’s a win, win either way!”

“Well, what are we waiting for?” Pinkie Pie bounced over, into the middle of the structure. “Let’s get this party started! Oooh, then I can throw a party after this one! This is gonna be great!”

“That’s the spirit Pinkie!” Twilight started to follow Pinkie, but was stopped by Applejack.

“Now hold on a second Twi. What if this damages tha elements somehow? You’re not exactly at yer best when you’ve been working on something fer this long. Have ya even been getting enough sleep?”

“Don’t worry Applejack. I’ve made sure to get enough rest, even if I kept an odd sleep schedule for the past month.” Applejack raised an eyebrow at that. “Don’t ask, aheh. But I’m good to go, see? Princess Celestia made sure of that.” Twilight then nodded at the now waiting Princess Celestia and Luna. The two princesses seemed to be busy checking the device up and down, seeing if anything was amiss. “I also set up several different failsafes that will cancel the main spell if something does go wrong. That will prevent any harm coming to the elements, or even us, for that matter. I took every precaution I could think of, including having the princesses add any defensive or protective spells that I wouldn’t be able to cast.”

“Besides, I won’t be the one controlling the spell. Princess Celestia and Luna will have to do that. They’ve got much more experience for one, and secondly, I can’t control it from inside.

Wait, Luna? Applejack briefly wondered just how she had missed the princess of the night so easily. However, even both princesses seemed small compared to the crazy structure. She rubbed the side of her head, a slight headache coming on from all this. “Okay Twilight, I trust ya. Just promise me that at tha first sign of trouble this whole thing gets shut off.”

“You have my word Applejack. Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye.” Twilight promised, making the familiar motions associated with a Pinkie Promise.

“Alright everypony, let’s get this over with,” Applejack started making their way towards the structure. Applejack had to admit she was less worried now, with the princesses there and all.

“I will be right with you girls, need to cover a few things with Spike for his notations, then I’ll join you,” Twilight called, turning back to her assistant.

“Aww yeah, I bet my element is going to be awesome!” Rainbow was next inside, landing on a stylized version of her own cutie mark.

After Twilight was done filling in Spike, she followed the others into the device and took her place in the center of a large circle of runes. “Okay everypony, I’ve marked a spot where I want each of you to stand. Just look for your cutie mark, like Dash over there.”

It didn’t take long for everypony to get into position. Applejack saw more of the crazy symbols on the floor, but at least these didn’t hurt to look at. Twilight had briefly tried to explain what to expect, but even she wasn’t fully sure.

“Okay girls, Celestia and Luna will be controlling the spell. All we have to do is to say something. Try to see if you can feel another presence. It’ll be different for all of us, I’m sure.”

Celestia called down from above. “Is everypony ready?”

A series of nods and affirmations spread around the group. “Good to go, princess!” Twilight called back up.

Applejack watched as Celestia and Luna flew higher and higher, until they reached the top of the structure. A bright golden and blue glow soon erupted from their position on top, funneling downwards into the rest of the structure. The floating walls around them began to glow brighter, their spinning also increasing in turn. An unearthly hum began to fill the room, causing everything, from books, paper, and even the ponies themselves to vibrate in tune with it. Applejack then felt her body begin to tingle and grow warmer, as the patterns on her coat began to glow orange. She also noticed the same thing happening to her other friends’ markings too, the glow matching each of their coats.

As the seconds slowly dragged on, the light from the from the floating walls, floor, and ponies grew brighter and brighter. Once the light and sound had grown to an almost unbearable level, Applejack could barely make out a voice shouting from above. She thought it was Celestia, but couldn’t be sure. “This is it, my little ponies! You should make contact in 3… 2… 1…”

Applejack was at first unsure of what had just happened. One moment, the spell seemed to be at it’s peak, with blinding light and deafening sound. The next, she found herself plunged into full darkness. She moved, tried to say something, yet felt nothing. In fact, she quickly realized that she couldn’t feel anything! Not her hooves, nor her mane. Not even the beat of her heart, nor the steady rise and fall of her lungs. It wasn’t as if she was numb; it was more like her body no longer existed. Did Twilight’s spell fail in the worst possible way? Was she dead? Did the others share the same fate?

Applejack did everything she could to remain calm. She remembered Twilight’s promise. If the spell hadn’t been cancelled, she figured she wasn’t in any immediate danger. Not yet, anyway. Yet the bizarre sensation of suddenly only being a consciousness was beyond unnerving.

After an undeterminable amount of time, Applejack noticed something else began to make itself known to her. It started out small, like the feeling one gets when being watched. For some strange reason, it wasn’t unnerving. It was almost like whatever this was, it was only curious. Applejack had no idea how she even knew that.

As the sensation grew, she felt herself being drawn toward something. She could only describe it as a presence. Something incomprehensibly vast, yet somehow very familiar and calming.

Applejack knew, this had to be it. At least, she hoped it was. Was it one of the Elements of Harmony, or even her Element of Honesty? She focused as hard as she could, trying to form a simple word and send it towards this other presence. “Hello?” she called out, not sure if it heard her or not.

All at once, the presence seemed to shift, then began to fall away. To Applejack, it almost felt like she was being sucked down a drain, falling away from the presence. She kept falling, farther and farther. Applejack began to suspect that she would never stop falling, not until…


Applejack lay flat on her belly, dazed and confused at the sudden impact with the floor, and abrupt return of her senses. Several more thuds echoed around her as the others were released from the spell. She tried to open her eyes, but instantly regretted it as the slowly fading glow from the structure burned her eyes.

“Did it work?” Twilight called out in a strained voice. Applejack was actually surprised that she could hear anything thanks to that deafening spell. She heard Twilight call out again, “Did anypony hear anything? See anything?”

“Holy guacamole!” Applejack knew that was Spike for certain, he sounded close but not very. Probably rushing back to Twilight’s side. “That was the craziest looking spell you have ever pulled off Twilight!”

“Whee! That was kinda fun!” Pinkie sounded bubbly as ever, and Applejack half suspected she was already hopping around the room. “At first I was like nowhere, then I was laughing along with this super duper big, um, thing! Then I started falling, like going down a huge waterslide! Can we do it again? Can we?”

“Ah still don’t know what the buck just happened,” Applejack groaned, slowly righting herself back onto her hooves. She blinked her eyes a few times, trying to adjust them to the fading glow.

“I… I didn’t hear anything,” Fluttershy mumbled, slowly righting herself. She was shaken up by the whole experience. “I’m sorry Twilight, I was too scared to try.”

“It’s okay Fluttershy.” Twilight finally picked herself up, and looked around. She seemed glad that nopony was hurt. “We were so close I could feel it!”

“Is everypony alright?” Celestia swooped down from the top of the structure, Luna joining her soon after. However, Luna seemed more concerned with the structure for some reason.

“Ah think so.” Applejack looked around, noticing everyone seemed okay. She felt a twinge of pain go up her spine. “Ooof, at last nothin’ ain’t permanently busted from what ah can see.”

“Oh thank goodness,” Rarity said in relief. “Those symbols would have taken forever to get out of my coat. Not to mention they would be dreadfully difficult to match up with an outfit.”

“Wait, what?!” Twilight exclaimed. She looked over at Rarity, noticing a distinct lack of symbols on her coat. Applejack watched as Twilight’s eyes went wide in shock. Twilight looked around the room and noticed the distinct lack of symbols on anything. None on the ponies, the structure, or even the floor. “B...b...but that’s impossible!” Twilight stammered out.

“What are you talking about, Twilight? I mean they’re just drawings, right?” Rainbow rubbed her head in confusion. Applejack also wondered the same thing.

“You don’t understand!” Twilight galloped over to the desk, her notes now mostly scattered around the room. “Those ‘drawings’ were magically enchanted. Even if the spell had been interrupted or just outright failed, the lines and symbols would have remained. The only way for them to be removed like that is if somepony else had redirected the spell, but that’s impossible as this spell was specially tailored to us. Not only that, it was tied directly to the construct itself! To get rid of the symbols, you’d have to take the spell with you, structure and all. Not even Princess Celestia and Princess Luna together would have the energy necessary to just completely change a spell like this instantly. It’s just impossible!”

“Okay… Well, what happened then?” Dash tried to sound interested, but she had a feeling Twilight was about to go into another long rant that she would barely understand.

Twilight shuffled through pages and pages of notes, even scribbling down some new ones. For a minute, her friends remained in silence as Twilight’s frantic scribbling slowed, and finally stopped. “I have no idea.” The unicorn turned back to her friends, slumping down to the floor in defeat. “Over a month of work, and it’s just… gone.”

Spike was the first of their little group to hurry over to Twilight, having gotten quite used to her little freak-outs. “Hey, its not that bad, at least you still have all your notes.”

Fluttershy walked over and joined Spike next to her friend, pulling Twilight into a hug. “You can just try again, right Twilight?”

“Yes but...” Twilight returned the hug. “First, I need to figure out exactly what happened. That alone could take a month of work. Then, I would have to remake all the symbols and calibrate them to make sure whatever just happened doesn’t happen again. Who knows how long that part is going to take either, and I have already been spending too much time away from you guys. I just got so absorbed into this,” She threw up her hooves in frustration. “Argh! Possibly the single greatest discovery in pony history and I just fall flat.”

“Well... you know what that means!” Pinkie shouted, bouncing around Twilight in a circle. “It sounds like you need a ‘sorry- your- super- duper- spell- didn’t- work- so- have- a- cupcake- with- your- friends- super- party’!”

“Pinkie has a point,” Spike began looking up at his dear friend. “We haven’t seen you in a month, you need a break.”

Twilight was silent for several moments as she met Spikes gaze, then she turned to look back at all of her friends. A small smile slowly formed on her lips, causing her friends to relax in turn. “You know what, you’re right, that does sound like a good idea,” Twilight said, her smile growing. “Maybe one of your signature pinkie parties will make me feel better. I could use a cupcake… or twelve.”

“Feel free to use the main ballroom for your party, Pinkie,” Princess Celestia said. “I'll make sure you and your friends have everything you need.”

“Yay! Cupcakes for everypony!” Pinkie hopped out of the room, eager to get started.

Twilight couldn’t help but smile a bit more as Pinkie’s boundless energy propelled her toward the castle ballroom.

“That’s the ticket sugarcube.” Applejack led the way out of the lab with Twilight by her side. “After that, you can get yerself a good night’s rest, then come back to this problem refreshed and rarin’ to go.”

“Hey, maybe Pinkie will even help you get some ideas for helping you talk to ‘transdimensional beings’?” Rainbow said, getting a laugh out of everypony.

With the events of the spell temporarily forgotten by the group of close friends, they happily trotted to what promised to be an entertaining night, each of them looking forward to what Pinkie Pie would do for this party. Applejack, however, couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched. Almost as if the presence she had felt hadn’t quite went away.

Author's Note:

Editors Notes

Okay, that took MUCH longer to get done than I would have liked. Way too long! I would have had my part done, oh, weeks ago, but school and everything kept getting in the way. Same with Digi, really.

Anyways, so this is the much, much improved version we started fretting over after Chapter 2 was released. I hope it reads much better, and fixes the glaring no Spike issue that was present. (I feel like fics, and hell, even the show to an extent, end up leaving poor Spike out more often than not.) I feel that I was pretty lackluster about a few other things with the older revision. Not to mention I was a bit rusty at editing in general.

Oh, interesting fact! The old version clocks in at just over 5,000 words, whereas this one comes in at just shy of 8,000.

Enough of my soapboxing, hope you enjoyed this much improved version!
--coppercore (Feb. 14, 2014)