• 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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Together We'll Cross the River

The air crackled and a sphere of light appeared in the middle of a barn. As it faded, Golden Gem was revealed in a patch of scorched earth. She quickly looked at the device on her leg, scanning a small screen.

“Universe Twenty-nine.” Golden Gem smiled as she looked up from the screen, “Stratos’ universe.”

A groan caught the mare’s attention and she began to scan the barn for the source of the noise. Gem’s confusion grew as she failed to pinpoint the origin of the noise. As her bag began to rustle, the older mare realized where the noise was coming from. Quickly pulling it off her back, Gem’s aura opened the bag. Rhapsody’s head popped out of the bag, as she continued to groan.

“…Your father is going to kill me,” Golden Gem shook her head.

“I said I wanted to come along,” Rhapsody pouted.

“I know… I can think of a couple of ponies who were the same way when I was your age…” Gem sighed, “Look, you can come along, but you better listen to what I say, alright?”

“Alright Miss Gem.”

“Drop the ‘Miss’ part, kid.” Gem grumbled, “And I’m holding you to that promise.”

The barn door creaked open and a zebra poked his head into the barn. Making eye contact with Golden Gem, the two stared at each other in awkward silence.

“!Gai tses,” Golden Gem finally managed to greet him. Rhapsody looked up at the older unicorn, confused at what she had said.

“I can speak Equestrian perfectly well, miss.” An amused smile crept onto the zebra’s face, “That still does not tell me why you both are here.”

“My apologies…Oareb, was it?” Gem waited for the Zebra to nod before continuing, “I need to see Stratos.”

“Stratos is… present. May I ask who is here to see him?”

“Tell him it’s Golden Gem.”

“Please wait here.”

The zebra withdrew his head and closed the door.

---

“Stratty, wake up,”

The bedroom door swung inwards. A red pegasus mare with a messy white mane and a cutie mark in the form of an apple made of clouds and a brown earth mare with a rainbow mane, brightly colored scarf, glasses and a cutie mark in the form of an hourglass, filled with rainbow grains of sand entered. The two ponies exchanged glances and turned their attention to the lump under the bed covers.

“You wanna do it, or should I?” the pegasus asked.

“You do it better.” The earth mare shrugged.

The pegasus crept towards the bed. As she stopped at the head of the bed, she gently tugged the blankets away from one of the lump’s end, revealing the head of a blue-hued colt, with his messy, sandy blonde mane covering his eyes. The pegasi grinned.

“WAKE UP!” she screamed, causing the colt to jolt awake with an equally loud scream. The pegasus backed off, as the other pony began to flail in blind panic, eventually falling off the bed in a tangle of sheets. The colt sat up, staring daggers at the other pegasi.

“Mornin’ Stratty,” the pegasus grinned.

“I thought mom and dad said not to do that,” he grumbled.

“You don’t wake up if we do anything else, Stratos.” The earth mare muttered.

“…Temp, why are you here?”

“Because a certain somepony was supposed to take his marefriend to lunch,” Temporal Spectrum muttered.

Stratos blinked. After several moments, realization kicked in and he sprung up, only to fall back over in the tangle of sheets.

“I forgot.”

“I noticed,” Spectrum snarked back.

Before Stratos could open his mouth and plead his case, Oareb stepped into the room.

“Stratos, there is a mare here to see you,” the zebra ignored the scene as he continued on, “She claims you know her.”

“Really?” Stratos untangled himself from the sheets, revealing his cutie mark: a set of storm clouds, “What’s her name?”

“She claims her name is Golden Gem.”

Stratos and Temporal Spectrum froze in their tracks, quickly exchanging glances.

“That’s not possible,” Stratos shook her head, “Are you sure that’s what she said?”

“Positive. She is at the barn.” Oareb turned around and left the room.

“…Stratty?” Cumulus frowned, “what’s going on?”

“Only one way to find out.”

---

Rhapsody continued to pace around the barn as Golden Gem tinkered with her device.

“Kid, stop doing that, you’re making me dizzy.”

“But I’m bored.” Rhapsody flopped to the ground and began to roll across the floor. As she rolled in front of the barn door, it opened. The filly stared up at Stratos, Temporal Spectrum and Cumulus.

“…Hi!” Rhapsody greeted them as she rolled back onto her feet, “My name’s Rhapsody, what’s yours?”

“Um… hi,” Stratos looked away from the filly and at Golden Gem, “Gem?”

“In the flesh.” The unicorn grinned back.

“…There’s a story behind this, isn’t there?” Temporal Spectrum muttered.

“Like you wouldn’t believe,” Gem grinned.

---

The kitchen door opened, as Stratos lead the group inside. Golden Gem and Rhapsody took a seat at the table across from the other three.

“So… start from the beginning,” Stratos demanded.

“…Gem, I’m hungry.” Rhapsody interrupted the unicorn’s response.

“…Me too,” Cumulus grumbled, “Stratty, I’m going to take Rhapsody here and get something to eat.”

Stratos looked over at Golden Gem. The unicorn shrugged.

“Take her, just don’t get into any trouble, alright?”

“Fine.” Cumulus rolled her eyes.

The younger ponies left the room, letting Stratos refocus his attention on Gem.

“Why are you here?”

Gem’s grin grew, “It started after we were sent back for good…”

---

“So…” Cumulus trailed off, “You’re Golden Gem’s cousin?”

“Um… I think so.” Rhapsody smiled, “We have a lot of relatives, it’s hard to keep track.”

“Yeah, I know that feeling,” Cumulus chuckled.

The pair continued their way down the street. A pair of pegasi stopped them and greeted them. The pair consisted of a white stallion with a thunderbolt cutiemark and a grey-blue mare with a silver mane and a cutie mark consisting of a lightning bolt in a bow pattern

“Hi cousin Ribbon.” Cumulus grinned, “Breezy.”

“Cumulus, I told you not to call him that,” the mare pouted.

“Its fine,” Golden Breeze chuckled, “I don’t mind. Who’s the little one?”

“Her name’s Rhapsody. Came here with some unicorn named Golden Gem,” Golden Breeze froze at the mention of the name, while Cumulus shrugged, “Stratty knows her, somehow.”

“Huh. I don’t-”

“White Unicorn with a Blonde mane?” Golden Breeze cut Ribbon’s response off. Cumulus nodded, and the stallion sighed, “…Never thought I’d see her again.”

“You know who she is too?” Cumulus frowned, “Nopony ever tells me these things…”

“It’s nothing,” Golden Breeze waved the thought away, “Don’t worry about it.”

“…Rrrriiight,” Cumulus remained unconvinced, “Anyway we’re going to get cupcakes, wanna come?”

“No, We’re going to lunch.” Breeze responded, “Later.”

The two pegasi waved good bye and continued on their way.

“Who’s that?” Rhapsody asked.

“Lightning Ribbon’s my cousin, and Golden Breeze is her coltfriend…” Cumulus shrugged, “Anyway, let’s go. Ever had a Donut-Cupcake with custard?”

“Once,” Rhapsody replied, “At my Aunty’s wedding.”

“well you don’t need a wedding to get these ones,” Cumulus grinned.

---

“…And that’s why I’m here.” Golden Gem concluded. Stratos and Temporal Spectrum exchanged glances and nodded.

“Give us a moment to figure out if we’re gonna accept.” Stratos informed her.

“Take your time.”

Stratos and Temporal Spectrum got up and exited the house. The couple paused on the porch, waiting for the other to start the conversation.

“So…” Stratos broke the silence, “What do you think?”

“She’s lying.”

---

Cumulus watched as Rhapsody gobbled down another cupcake. The filly beamed at the pegasus, frosting caked around her mouth.

“More?”

“…Kid, that was your fifth one, don’t you think you’ve had enough?”

“Nope! I didn’t get to eat breakfast, cause of traveling.”

“That’s a good enough reason in my book,” another voice called out. An Amber unicorn stallion with a wild pink mane, paper hat and icing splattered apron trotted out of the kitchen, levitating another cupcake with him.

“And I got a new one to test for the menu.”

As the unicorn set it down on the table, Rhapsody’s own aura surrounded it and yanked the pastry into her mouth. After a few quick chomps, the filly swallowed the cupcake and blinked. Rhapsody’s face turned bright red and the filly knocked over her seat as she rushed to the bathroom.

“…Creamy, what did you put in it?” Cumulus asked.

“Jalapeno Jelly, cacao powder, a little cayenne pepper, cactus jelly, and ghost pepper reduction.” The stallion listed off, “I’m going to call it Strawberry Surprise.”

Cumulus stared at the stallion, “…Why?”

“Because it tastes nothing like strawberries, and everything like pain,” He beamed.

---

“So we know she’s lying about something, but we still don’t know what,” Stratos concluded, “Great.”

“If she had more ponies with her, I’d have a better idea,” Temporal Spectrum shook her head, “But I think she planned for me to get involved.”

“So what do you want to do?”

“If we refuse, she’ll just go to whoever is next on her list,” Temporal Spectrum closed her eyes, “and then there’s Rhapsody.”

“There wasn’t any Rhapsody when I was there…I think she’s Big Mac and Miss Lyra’s kid.” Stratos shook his head.

“Which is probably another reason we should go,” Temporal Spectrum concluded, “I want to know more, and I want to keep Rhapsody safe.”

“I didn’t know you liked kids so much.”

“When you have to babysit Sparkler for so long, you get use to them.” Temporal Spectrum muttered.

“True.”

The two were interrupted as Cumulus trotted up, carrying a sickly looking Rhapsody on her back.

“What happened?” Stratos looked at the filly.

“She tried Creamy’s new Strawberry Surprise cupcake.” Catching the looks on both pony’s faces, Cumulus shook her head, “Don’t ask.”

“…Well, I guess we should let her know.”

---

Lyra and Big Macintosh skidded to a stop in front of the clock shop, only to find the door locked and a ‘closed’ sign on it.

“Mac.”

The stallion spun around and kicked the door, knocking the chunk of wall holding the door’s lock off. Pushing through the rubble, the couple entered the shop, looking for the employee’s office. Finding another locked door, Big Macintosh kicked it down, and entered.

Time Turner sat at his desk, looking at a strange device with multiple screens. Strapped to the stallion’s head was another contraptions; a miniature microphone by his mouth and a bud-like device in his left ear. The earth pony rolled his eyes, and continued to argue with someone else.

“Yes, I know what’s going on, and I am trying my best to figure it out, Lemony… No, we all are.”

“Turner.” Big Macintosh called out trying to get the other stallion’s attention. The agent of A.R.M.O.R. spun around glaring at Big Macintosh.

“The store was locked for a reason, Mr. Macintosh,” the stallion muttered, “No I’m not talking to you; Macintosh-one-nine-seven-four is here. Yes, I know it’s against regulations, but I didn’t invite him in…”
The stallion turned his attention back to Big Macintosh.
“Look, I’m really busy right now Mr. Macintosh. We’re having a bit of a problem right now…” Time Turner turned his attention back to the screens and other ponies.
“No, this is not something we can wait on, it’s bad enough that Sucre screwed it up that one time, this is more lik-”

“Golden Gem showed up and she took Rhapsody with her,” Lyra exclaimed as she stopped next to Big Macintosh.

Time Turner froze in midsentence before turning back to the couple.

“Look, a lead just opened up, I’ll get back to you all in a bit.”

Time Turner yanked the earpiece and microphone off his head and grimaced at the couple.

“Start talking.”

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