• 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: Savior

Silence reigned. The collected group of survivors and dimension hoppers stared at the ascended pony. In contrast, the stallion looked behind him, fluttering his wings slightly.

“How...” Gilda trailed off.

“But…” Golden Gem stuttered.

“How come you look like my dad, but you’re all princessy an’ stuff?” Rhapsody asked as she trotted forward, and cocked her head to the side, “Does this mean I’m gonna grow wings too?”

“No little one,” Big Macintosh smiled slightly, “It is getting late, and the beasts prefer to roam at night. If you would accompany me back to my accommodations, we may talk more.”

“If you want us to keep up, we need help wi-”

The group vanished from the area, leaving the shattered remains of timberwolves, and scars of battle behind.

---

Blinding light filled the area, depositing the group on the ground.

“-th our wounded.” Coco blinked. The mare smacked her lips, and ran her tongue against her teeth, “I tasted that.”

“Best not to talk when teleporting,” Golden Gem replied, “I did that once. You have no idea how hard it is to describe what the word “Wait” tastes like.”

“Ain’t this Missus Zecora’s place?” Rhapsody asked.

The group stared at the hollowed out tree, as Big Macintosh pushed open the door.

“It was.”

The stallion entered as the others stared at him.

“Can we trust him?” Gem turned her attention to Gilda.

“I... I don’t know.”

“Probably not changeling. Bad disguise choice.” Wild Fire wheezed, “Must make choice soon. Lost plenty blood.”

“…I don’t think we have a choice,” Temporal responded, “Fantasia, Sweet, get Pound, Bonbon and Wild Fire in first. Oscura, you and Pumpkin go in with her, just in case.”

The ponies nodded as they carried the wounded into the house. Temporal turned to Bellona.

“What do you think?”

“…Why are you asking me?” the hybrid responded.

“Prince Lunatique mentioned that he can sometimes sense if there’s a different magic involved with things.”

“…Well, I do feel something familiar.”

“Which is…?” Temporal trailed off.

“The Alicorn Amulet.”

“…Damn.”

The two fell silent and remained seated, thinking as the others entered the shelter.

“…So what, you want me to try and grab it?” Bellona finally asked, “I’ve done it before, just ask Gem about the whole Alicorn Amulet Trixie thing.”

“Wait and see what happens.” Temporal responded.

“You commin’ in or what?” Big Macintosh called out, “I set up wards that prevent folks or critters from commin’ in after a certain amount of time.”

The two rushed into the shack and looked around: the shattered remains of Zecora’s caldron were pushed to the side. Scattered through the room were crudely built beds and benches for the ponies to sit and rest on. In another corner of the room, a pot boiled over a fire. Big Macintosh’s magical aura removed the remains of his tattered cloak, and placed them onto a broken board that served as a makeshift coat rack.

“First off, anyone with wet clothes, get’m off. I’ll wash them later. Second, pull that tooth out of Bonbon’s leg. The healing spell doesn’t do well if you keep things like that in.”

Bonbon swore as Gilda yanked the tooth out of her leg, “Next time warn me about it!”

The injured ponies found themselves engulfed in an opaque aura. Big Macintosh trotted over to his kettle and pulled it off the fire. As the stallion worked, Temporal looked over him: his coat the same brilliant red, her mane the same orange. The stallion’s wings were tucked away at his sides, and the horn sparkled with a bright blue aura. His cutie mark had been significantly altered, instead of the simple green apple, it was replaced with what appeared to be the same green apple, cut into the shape of a seven pointed star. A simple tattered black neckerchief was tied around part of his neck, obscuring it.

“I don’t have many cups, so I oughta ask, who would like tea?”

“I would.” Gem responded. Oscura, Fantasia, and Temporal raised a hoof.

“Right then, four.”

Rhapsody hopped off her seat and trotted over to the aura surrounding the injured ponies. The filly poked at it with her hooves, trying to move it aside to look inside.

“Don’t do that,” Big Macintosh scolded her as he passed out the cups, “If you interrupt the healing spell I’ll have to do it again.”

“How come when I get hurt my mom makes me put on bandages an’ stuff?” Rhapsody asked, “How come she can’t just do that?”

“Because the spell is technically illegal,” Big Macintosh smiled slightly as the teapot floated towards Fantasia, “Cost just a little of the target’s lifespan.”

“How exactly did you learn something like that?” Fantasia asked as the floating teapot poured tea into her cup.

“Books I’ve scavenged from the ruins. There were some here and what’s left of the library are a decent source,” the ascended pony paused, “Haven’t tried the remains of the castle, but I don’t think there’s much left there.”

Big Macintosh sat, staring at the group of ponies.

“Now, I know you all ain’t from around here,” the stallion paused, “Who are you and what’s your story?”

“…My name is Golden Gem, and my father is Big Macintosh.”

“I’m Stratos Apple, and my father is Big Macintosh.”

“My name is Oscura, and my father is Big Macintosh.”

“Bellona.” The others stared at her, expectedly. The hybrid shrugged, “Oh, because I’m totally going to say my father is someone other than what you all said.”

“Princess Fantasia Mi Amore. My father is also Big Macintosh.”

“Golden Sweet. Dad’s Big Mac.”

“…” Big Macintosh closed his eyes in thought, “So it worked after all.”

“What do you mean?” Temporal responded, cutting off Gem’s reaction.

“…I think for you to understand that, I need to start from the beginning.”

Big Macintosh shifted his position, settling down.

“This is… must have been twenty years now? Maybe twenty-one? Either way, it was during the battle for Ponyville…” the stallion sighed, reliving the memory, “At this point in time, Princess Twilight was confirmed dead, Fluttershy was on life-support and no one really knows what happened to Pinkie. We found out later, but that’s not the time or story for that.
The nation’s forces were spread thin, and most of Ponyville had to join the militia…”

“From what I have read, Militias rarely do well in times of combat,” Oscura distastefully replied, “They depend too much on their leaders.”

“And we were. They put Colonel Ramrod in charge, but that’s the thing ‘bout Ponyville,” Big Macintosh chuckled, “They ain’t too good at followin’ orders, but most of you should know that ‘cause of Winter Wrap-up.
Anyway, when you have a bunch of green troops that know their enemy was able to kill at least two princesses on their lonesome, mixed with anxiety, uncertainty and plain ol’ fear…you got a recipe for disaster.

The battle started off on th’ farm. I was part of the second wave of troops, meant to move in after if needed… and we were needed. We got sent in the middle of a slaughter.”

Big Macintosh paused for a moment, regaining his composure, “How did they expect us to fight? I saw folks I grew up with, and ponies that I saw grow up an’ marry get killed in front of me.
I couldn’t take it, I ran. I went as far as I could, and I ended up here. I don’t even know how, everything after I saw a changeling rip out Rumble’s stomach was a blurr. I woke up to find that Zecora had dragged me into her hut and was healing the injuries that I didn’t even know I had.
I don’t know how long I stayed there, but the Changelings found us again. They ambushed us when we were working in her gardens.”

Big Macintosh shook his head, “She didn’t make it. I managed to get to the door, and almost made it into the house. But one of them sunk its teeth in my leg and I fell to the floor. More of them started swarming me, and one of them knocked over this jar Zecora had.”

Big Macintosh’s aura flared up, untying the neckerchief. The cloth flittered to the ground revealing the Alicorn Amulet, embedded in Big Mac’s flesh.

“That is what was in the jar, and that’s what saved me. I grabbed it, hoped it would do something, and then I blacked out. When I came to…” Big Macintosh fluttered his wings slightly, “I had these.”

“The amulet shouldn’t be capable of that sort of power,” Temporal cut in.

“True. I think there was more involved than just the amulet, but I don’t know.” Big Macintosh agreed.

“…The gem is the wrong color.” Bellona pointed out, “That one is blue. The one we took from Trixie was red.”

“…It was red when I grabbed it,” the stallion replied, “I honestly don’t know what happened. After that, it took some time to-”

“It’s not the Alicorn Amulet.” Oscura interrupted.

“What?”

“It’s the Gem of Gorgar,” Oscura paused, “It is a very powerful artifact that does amplify one’s magic to the point where they can easily challenge the princesses and beings of similar power. The problem is that it turns the wielder evil.”

“Like I said, I don’t know much. I salvaged what I could from the hut, the library and Twilight’s Castle, but even then I don’t know what I’m doing,” Big Macintosh continued, “I stay here now. Sometimes go into what’s left of town for things, but I spend most of my time farming.”

“…I have a theory.” Golden Sweet spoke, “When did the magical interference start?”

“…Sometime after Princess Luna and Discord went missing.”

“It’s possible that either one of them, or both, are being used to mess with the fundamentals of magic in this universe,” Golden Sweet paused, “It means messing with the limitations of magic and potential drawbacks it has. The Big Macintosh of my universe is the Element of Generosity, and it’s reasonable that everypony has some affinity to the Elements, but some are stronger in certain universes.”

“…You’re basically saying that he turned into an alicorn because the fundamental principles of magic are messed up in this universe?” Fantasia asked.

“Basically. Outside of levitation, no other spells you’ve tried using works, and Bellona’s own chaos magic is countered, which would imply that there is a degree of Chaos magic at work in the interference.
Your ascension violated them again, allowing you to manipulate it normally.”

“…An interesting theory, but we have no way of proving it.” Oscura stated, “Regardless, why are you here, rather than trying to help chase out the changelings?”

“That’s what I would like to know,” Bonbon grumbled as the aura dissipated and the mare sat up, “When you ran off, it started a panic in the line. How do you think I got this?” the mare waved her stump, “Some idiot with an axe nearly killed me.”

“…Why do you think I’m here?” Big Macintosh sighed, “I’m not worthy of doin’ anything. I could have done something, but I ran. I don’t expect anyone to forgive me for doing what I did.
My cowardice got me here, and I don’t feel worthy of this.”

The room fell silent again. Rhapsody hopped off her seat and trotted over to Big Macintosh.

“I don’t get it. You look kinda like my pa, you talk like my pa, but you don’t act like him.” The filly plopped down, “My pa wouldn’t give up, he’d just keep goin’. He knows what he gotta do and how he’s gotta do it.”

“Child, there are situations where even that can’t help,” Big Macintosh sighed softly.

“He doesn’t care though. That’s why he’s got my mom, Aunty Applejack, Aunty Applebloom, Uncle Rumble, Aunty Babs, Mrs. Rarity, Mrs. Rainbow Dash, Aunty Pinkie and all the other ponies back in home.” Rhapsody paused, “He has plenty of ponies ta help him out and he’s got me.”

“…Sometimes you make mistakes that even you can’t fix.” Big Macintosh replied.

“I know. It’s like that time he forgot about mom’s birthday an’ she made him sleep out in the barn.” Rhapsody giggled at the memory, “But he did everything he could to make up for it.”

“Mac, no one’s going to blame you for what happened,” Gilda paused.

“Right. Bad strategy, bad odds. Not at fault.” Wild Fire added.

“But that’s the thing. You have to forgive yourself first.” Gilda stood up and went over to him. The griffon embraced the alicorn, much to the surprise of the dimension travelers, “Please.” She whispered.

“That explains why we didn’t have a hippogriff,” Bellona muttered. Oscura jabbed her empty scabbard into the hybrid’s ribs, “Ow! What?”

“…You’re right.” Big Macintosh conceded, “I can’t spend the rest of my time here. Whether it was an accident or not, I can at least help one town.”

“I see why you brought her with you now,” Stratos whispered to Gem.

“That was unintentional.” She whispered back.

“That still doesn’t explain how we ended up in a different dimension,” Golden Sweet replied, “That happened eighteen years ago.”

“It’s possible that the circumstances surrounding his ascension, sent out some sort of disruptive wave that temporarily weakened the barriers between universes and plucked those who shared parts of his genetic code with him.” Temporal responded, “Who knows really?”

“…Wait, what?” Big Macintosh and Gilda looked at them, “What happened?”

“About eighteen years ago, we all ended up in a different universe, and we had no idea how that happened.” Gem replied, “We had some adventures, and we went back after we learned we were damaging parts of the multiverse. But all of that’s pointless now, since the device I built to transport us around isn’t working due to the magical interference.”

“You wouldn’t happen to know a dimension hopping spell, would you?” Stratos asked. Big Macintosh shook his head, “I thought so. We’re stuck.”

“Actually…” Oscura smiled as she pulled out her signal generator, “We might not be. This transmitted a beacon that would let those in my dimension know exactly where we are.”

“….Why didn’t you tell us that?” Gem snapped.

“You never asked.”

“…So how will we know i-”

Rhapsody’s question was cut off as something slammed against the ground outside. Gilda snapped up both of her pistols as Big Macintosh stood up. Bellona looked out the window.

“There’s a carriage out there.”

“What?”

The alicorn trotted over to the window. He was greeted by the sight of a metallic, six-wheeled carriage with an exposed engine, sitting in the ruined remains of his garden.

“…Well so much for my pumpkins.” He muttered to himself.

Before he could do anything else, the door of the carriage was kicked open, and Lyra burst out of it, wielding an axe, sword, and spear. The mare quickly scanned the area, her eyes hard, focused and determined.

“…Lyra?” Big Macintosh’s eyebrow rose, “But she’s…”

“Hi Mommy!” Rhapsody bounced out of the front door and into the window view. Lyra dropped all her weapons and embraced the filly.

“Oh thank Celestia! I was so worried!”

“I was safe for most of the time,” Rhapsody replied, “’Cause Stratos and Temporal kept an eye on me all the time.”

Lyra released the filly, and held her out at leg’s length, “Never do that again, do you understand me? You got lucky once, you might not be again.”

“…Fine…”

Big Macintosh pulled himself out of the carriage, stumbling over the step and landing face first on the ground.

“Need a hoof?” a voice asked him.

“No,” Big Macintosh got back onto his hooves, dusting himself off. “I’m… fine?”

Big Macintosh found himself face to face with a pony that looked exactly like him, save for the doppelganger’s horn and wings.

“…Big Macintosh, Owner of Sweet Apple Acres.” Rhapsody’s father held out a hoof.

“Big Macintosh. I don’t really do much these days, but that’s gonna change.” The alicorn took his doppelganger’s hoof.

“…Seriously?” Lyra stared at the alicorn version of her husband, “This is ridiculous.”

“You have no idea,” Gilda chuckled. The rest of the dimensional travelers poured out of the house, towards the carriage.

“…Your back-up, I assume.” Temporal responded.

“Eeyup.” Oscura smiled.

Gypsy’s head popped out from inside the E.D.A.M.A.M.E., and scanned the group, “Is that everyone? Let’s get going then. Plenty of places we need to go, many people to drop off.”

“Alright then…” Oscura turned to the ascended Big Macintosh, “Good luck.”

The group entered the E.D.A.M.A.M.E. as Gypsy watched. After the last pony entered, Gypsy turned her attention to the remaining couple, “You might want to step back.”

The door slammed shut and the engine roared. The E.D.A.M.A.M.E.’s tires squealed and the transportation vanished in a flash of blue light.

“…So now what?” Gilda looked at Big Mac.

“Well, you got folks that want to save the town?”

“Some. Lots of ponies don’t really get along with Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy is in charge of your group?” Big Macintosh asked, surprise in his voice.

“The end of the world does weird things to ponies, Mac.” Gilda chuckled.

“…True.”

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