• Published 23rd Jan 2014
  • 1,225 Views, 63 Comments

Across the Multiverse - dramatic_spoon



Big Mac's alternate universe offspring search for answers

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Hello Cruel World: My Own Remorse

“…And that is why we’re here.” Oscura concluded.

“…You done fu…” Gilda glanced at Rhapsody. “…Screwed up now. Going around the multiverse without a damn clue about what you were doing.”

“To be perfectly honest, we all had our doubts about where we would end up, but ‘post-apocalyptic hellhole’ was not one of them.” Temporal shrugged, “Only one pony really knew what we were getting into, and she…” Temporal glanced back at Golden Gem, “Isn’t really talking.”

“…I didn’t know…” Gem whimpered.

Gilda sighed, “Kid, this is why you’re not suppose to mess around with things. You know how goddamn lucky you morons were that twenty of you ended up in a universe where things were alright. This? This is a nightmare, and now you’ve gotten into it.”

“We can still get out, Gem still has her…”

“It’s not working,” Gem interrupted. Every pony turned towards her, looks of shock on their faces. Gem looked up from her hoof, “I tried it earlier, but it’s not working. I think whatever is interfering with Bellona’s chaos magic is affecting this.”

“…WELL THIS IS JUST GREAT!” Golden Sweet slammed a hoof into the wall, gouging out a huge chunk, “Now what are we going to do?”

“…Well, there’s one thing you could try.” Pound cut off Gilda’s response, “there’s that super shadowy, mystery alicorn that’s-”

“Pound, shut up.” Pumpkin jabbed her brother in the ribs.

“…Mystery Alicorn?” Temporal cocked an eyebrow.

Before Gilda could answer, another voice called out, “Gilda? The boss wishes to see you.”

“…Dammit.” Gilda swore, “…Look, just wait here and I-”

“She wants to see your guests too.”

“….Look, promise me none of you are going to say something stupid, alright? The boss really isn’t one for small talk.”

“I will make no such promises.” Bellona stated.

“Figures. What about the rest of you?” Gilda asked.

“…I think we’ll be fine.” Oscura nodded.

“Then walk this way!” Pound beamed as he trotted down the hall. With some hesitance, Gilda followed after him, motioning for the others to join.

“Boss doesn’t like to wait.”

The group followed her down the winding path. As the moved along, Temporal glanced around: other Earth Ponies, Unicorns, Pegasi, Griffons and a few Diamond Dogs and Zebras mulled around. Some were maintaining their weapons, caring for foals, or carrying crates filled with root vegetables around.

“…Do you all live underground?” Temporal asked.

“Yeah. Surface isn’t too safe, with the Changeling hordes around.” Gilda responded, “We were in contact with a group in the Everfree, and I heard it through the grape vine that Appleloosa and Dodge made it out alright. We don’t know about everywhere else.”

“…What happened?” Oscura demanded, “For something like this to happen, something catastrophic had to have happened.”

Gilda looked down, “…The Changelings came back. Something was different about them though. Their queen was…more powerful and the drones she sent were even stronger than before.
Initially, it looked like everything would be alright, but it turned out she had drones infiltrate important places…”
Gilda let out a harsh chuckle.

“Even thought the Changelings invaded before, this time it caught everyone off guard. You want to know why we lost so badly? They neutralized the important ponies at a crucial moment.”

“What do you mean?”

“Changelings infiltrated the Crystal Empire, and…well…’ Gilda glanced at Fantasia, “Let me just say that no one saw it coming.”

“What about…”

“At the height of the war, Celestia and the Changeling Queen slayed each other,” Gilda stated, “Cadance was one of the first down., and no one’s really sure what happened to Luna and Discord.”

“What about Twilight?” Stratos looked over.

Gilda looked away, “I’d rather not talk about that.”

“What about the rest of the elements?”

“Like I said, we never saw it coming. Some of them were able to fight them off…”

The group paused in front of a heavy door. With a grunt, Gilda pushed it open, revealing a single occupant. The pony lay atop a small motorized cart, allowing her mobility. As the pony moved closer, the group noticed several things: the tattered remains of shredded wing graced her back. Patches of fur were missing, including a large chunk rendering her Cutie Mark nearly unrecognizable. Three of her limbs were missing, leaving her with only her left foreleg. The mare’s mane was cut short, keeping it out of her face. A wicked scar covered her glassy left eye, and wires connected to her throat lead to a small speaker box. The ponies winced as she smiled.

“So these are the ones that Pound mentioned,” Fluttershy wheezed through the speaker box, “Don’t look like much.”

“Pumpkin said she found them at Sugarcube.”

“Then they’re stupider than they look,” Fluttershy snapped. The mare looked over them, her gaze lingering on Fantasia and Bellona.
“Still, if they survived this long, they’ll do.”

“Do what?” Oscura asked.

“The resistance.” Fluttershy responded.

“…I thought you said Chrysalis was dead,” Temporal asked Gilda.

“She is. And after that, the Changelings became feral.” Fluttershy continued on, “Without her guiding influence and control, they’re little more than wild animals.” Temporal opened her mouth to speak, “No, they don’t listen to me. I don’t know what happened to them, but they can’t follow orders, and the stare doesn’t work.”

“…So?”

“My goal is to reclaim Ponyville, and move on from there,” Fluttershy stated, “And to do that, we need bodies.”
She looked at Fantasia, “I see at least one of you is an Alicorn, I don’t know how and I don’t care. The Princesses promised to take care of the land, and look where that got us. But as an alicorn you still walk in their shadow and you must live up to it.”

“What are we going to do?” Stratos hissed at Temporal.

“I don’t know.”

Fantasia opened her mouth to speak, only to be cut off by Oscura and Gem.

“We refuse.” The two mares spoke in unison, to every other pony’s surprise.

“What?” Fluttershy, Temporal and Fantasia stammered out.

“What exactly are the eight of us suppose to do?” Oscura pointed out, “The elements are gone, the Princesses are gone, and even Discord is gone. Eight more bodies will not guarantee victory of any sort, and most of them are not prepared for the type of warfare you are taking part of.”

“There is time.” Fluttershy countered.

“That there is, but you are worried about time, are you not?” Oscura continued, “You only have so many resources to waste, and this group brings very little to help.”
Golden Sweet shot Oscura a dirty look as the princess continued on, “It is in your best interest to let us go along with what we have come t-”

“I get it,” Fluttershy interrupted, “You don’t care. Now get the hell out of here. I see any of you again, I will have you shot.”

The mare used her remaining leg to nudge a gearstick, allowing the cart to roll away from the group. Gilda escorted the ponies out, and slammed the door behind them.

“What the hell was that all about?” Fantasia demanded.

“Do you want to be stuck in an alternate dimension for who knows how long?” Oscura countered, “As royalty we-”

“Are bound to help the people when they need it, and I certainly think these ponies need it!” Fantasia countered.

“We are bound to help our people. If you wish to go on a multiversal crusade to right wrongs and save universes, then it is something you should do on your own time, with those who follow you,” Oscura responded.

“And you can just turn your back on them?” Fantasia stomped a hoof to emphasize her point.

“Yes.” Oscura responded, “I am pragmatic about who to help. As royalty we have to know who and what will be sacrificed. Our kingdoms are not the same, yours lives in peace and prosperity, mine is one that struggles against cults every day.” Oscura smiled.
“So yes, I can say no.”

“What about you?” Fantasia turned her attention to Golden Gem, “Why not?”

“There are only a handful of us, Bellona’s chaos magic is useless and the three of us can’t use spells to our maximum efficiency….a few more ponies aren’t going to help at all.”

“The kids are right,” Gilda interrupted Fantasia’s response, “No point throwing your lives away here. I don’t know how you’re going to get out of here, though.”

“What happened to your technology?” Temporal asked Gilda.

“Destroyed it. Last thing we needed were superpowered changelings with access to the multiverse,” the griffon shook her head.

“What are the chances it can be rebuilt?”

“Pretty damn slim.”

As the two continued to discuss potential courses of action, Oscura’s aura flared up. Within her pouch, the dimensional transmitter flipped on.

“What about the thing Pound Cake mentioned?” Rhapsody interrupted Gilda.

“..What?” the griffon frowned.

“He said something about a lost princess,” Rhapsody continued on.

“…Oh, the mystery alicorn stuff,” Gilda snorted, “Forget it kid, that’s a bunch of bul… nonsense.”

“…What’s that all about anyway?” Temporal asked.

“Tch, some rumors about a mysterious hooded figure that goes around fighting changelings. No one really knows who it is, though.”

“That doesn’t sound very special.”

“Who ever it is, is capable of using magic that most ponies can’t use.” Gilda followed up, “They’re not affected by the distortion.”

“…And you never tried to find this pony?” Stratos stared at the griffon in disbelief.

“Survival was more important.” Gilda shrugged.

“Where does this pony live?”

“You can’t seriously be thinking about looking for it, do you?” Gilda ignored the question, “its nonsense.”

“…What better things do we have to do?” Temporal shrugged.

“It’s not the princesses, trust me on that,” Gilda replied.

“You said no one knows what happened to Luna.”

“You think if she was alive we’d be in this mess?” Gilda shook her head, “Look, I’ve seen a universe where Luna ruled, it had a lot of issues with the nobles, but it wasn’t a hellhole like this one.”

“…What exactly happened to the other Princesses?” Stratos asked quietly.

“…” Gilda looked down, “Like I said, the Crystal Empire was one of the first places infiltrated. Groups of them infiltrated the royal guard, and Chrysalis was able to disguise herself as Shining Armor.”

“…She was killed by Chrysalis?” Fantasia whimpered.

“Never saw it coming. Then the Changelings launched their initial assault, still disguised as Royal Guards, and Shining Armor was killed because Chrysalis let other ponies see her kill Cadance while she was disguised.”

“And then Ponyville?”

“Yep. Set up some kind of bomb that took out her castle. Most of the Elements made it out alright, but…” Gilda paused, “Shit, you really don’t want to hear what happened.”

“Just tell us,” Oscura rolled her eyes.

“…Celestia was given Twilight’s head on a pike.” Gilda calmly stated. Almost all of the ponies stared back with horrified looks on their faces, “What’s wrong with you?” Gilda pointed to Golden Sweet.

“…My universe’s Twilight isn’t exactly a nice pony…” Sweet shrugged, “She tried to kill dad, Uncle Turner and Aunt Rarity a couple of times.”

“…Kid, you got issues.”

“…So where does the mystery alicorn live anyway?” Gem asked.

“…The Everfree.” Pumpkin responded.

“...That’s not good.”

“Nope,” Gilda replied, “Look, even though Flutters doesn’t want to see any of you, you can stay for the night. It’s dangerous to go out at night, especially when you don’t have a damn clue about what you’re doing.”
Gilda sighed, “I’m gonna call in a few favors, and tomorrow we’re going to do this.”

“You don’t have to,” Gem cut in, “I got us into this mess, I need to figure out how to get us out.”

“I’m still part of M.L.P., even it it’s not official. Besides…” Gilda’s eyes flickered to the ground, “You need someone who knows what’s going on to help you.”

“…We’ll take your offer,” Temporal responded.

“Good. Pumpkin can show you to where you can stay for the night and where you can get something to eat.”

The unicorn shrugged and motioned for the others to follow her. The group followed her down the hall, until only Temporal and Gilda were left.

“You’re lying.” Temporal stated.

“…About what, exactly?” Gilda coolly responded.

“Your eyes briefly clouded up when you mentioned that we needed someone to help us. You’re hiding something specifically dealing with them.”

“…Heh,” Gilda chuckled, “Look, I’m willing to help them out because…”

“…Because you were with this universe’s Big Macintosh, weren’t you?”

“…Yeah.” Gilda fell silent, “look, don’t let them know, alright?”

“What happened to Big Macintosh?”

“…” Gilda looked down, “I don’t know.”

“…”

The two followed the others down the tunnel.

===

BREE
BREE
BREE
BREE
BREE

“Mrgh” the pony shifted around under her bed covers. The alarm continued to blare until it was abruptly cut off. Someone continued to mull around, and the sounds of ripping paper, tapping on buttons, and knocking on metal echoed. There was a gasp of surprise, and the sound of hooves on the stone floor. The wooden door flew open and slammed into the stone wall.

“Sis-ter! We have a sur-prise!” a female voice sung out.

“Gypsy, go ‘way, it’s too early.” The pony under the blankets muttered.

“It’s ten-thirty in the morning, you must stop sleeping in.”

“Shut up.” The pony shifted, sinking deeper into the blankets.

“Snake Oyl!” the voice demanded, “Get up!”

The blankets were torn off, revealing a groggy Snake Oyl. The mare rubbed her eyes and looked at the other pony: a unicorn mare, nearly identical to Snake, save for the beauty marks under each of her eyes. Snake sat up, still groggy and grumpy.

“What?”

“Princess Oscura’s device has ac-ti-vated!” Gypsy beamed, “The readings aren’t as strong as we thought, but they’re still traceable.”

Snake blinked, “Say that again.”

“Princess Oscura’s device is online, and we know where they are for sure.” Gypsy repeated.

Snake leapt to her hooves, “Go inform Queen Oscura and start getting the E.D.A.M.A.M.E. prepared to depart for Universe One-nine-seven-four.”

“Why there?”

“Because I have a pair of very angry parents who want me to find their daughter waiting for us.” Snake sighed, “I can deal with Multiversal threats, rouge dimension travelers and those damn ape things, but angry parents are not something I want to mess with.”

Gypsy shrugged and bolted out of the room. Snake slid up to her own array of screens and controls, flicking several switches. One of the screens flickered on, revealing an exhausted looking Time Turner. In the corner of the screen, Snake could see the sleeping forms of Big Macintosh and Lyra.

“Good morning Time Turner!” Snake smiled as the stallion on the screen jolted upwards, falling off his chair. As the thud sounded, Big Macintosh and Lyra stirred as well.

“I’m just calling to inform you that we are ready to go after them.”

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