• Published 23rd Jan 2014
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Across the Multiverse - dramatic_spoon



Big Mac's alternate universe offspring search for answers

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Hello cruel world: Are you Experienced?

Golden Sweet stopped in front of the table, staring at the scene in front of her: Bellona’s head sunk into the table, leaving only the tips of her mane visible.

“What happened to her?”

“She found out that in our universe, Princess Luna married Discord,” Temporal responded.

Golden Sweet blinked, “what?”

“Ignore it, it’s not important,” Oscura interrupted, “I take it that they also were rather hard on you.”

“I am not going to overthrow the kingdom and establish a democracy,” Golden Sweet grumbled.

“And I am not going to overthrow the current Princess so that I may rule in her place,” Oscura smiled, “I have my own kingdom waiting for me.”

The doors to the throne room opened, as Cadance, Fantasia and Maud walked through them.

“I have decided that Fantasia will join you on your quest,” Cadance paused, “the experience will be one for her benefit, I believe.”

“Thank you, your majesty.” Golden Gem bowed.

“However, I have something to give you before you leave.”

Big Macintosh trotted forward, pulling a rack of weapons behind him.

“While I have no idea where you are going, it is best to be safe,” Cadance motioned towards the rack, “Take some.”

Temporal’s eyes flickered to her spear, “I’m good.”

“As am I.” Oscura nodded.

“I got these,” Golden Sweet pulled out a pair of gauntlets. “Use to be dad’s old spare legs. I had Aunt Rarity and Flim turn them into gauntlets.”

“….Really?” Bellona pulled her head out of the table, “do I look like I need weapons?”

Stratos trotted over to the rack, examining them. Reaching down, he picked up a pair gauntlets, “I’ll take them.”

Gem rolled her eyes and picked out a glaive, “I do not think this is necessary…”

“Can I have the axe? Rhapsody poked her head up.

“No.” Everypony in the room responded.

“Please stay safe,” Cadance reminded the group as Fantasia stepped forward to join them.

“Not a problem, Princess,” Gem smiled as the corner of her left eye twitched; “We’ll be fine.”

A bright flash of light engulfed the room. A moment later the light vanished, leaving behind Big Macintosh, Maud, Cadance and Silver Spoon.

“…Princess, are you sure this is wise?” Silver Spoon frowned.

“I have confidence in Oscura and Golden Sweet,” Cadance replied. “I had my doubts, but I believe those two will keep everyone safe.”

===

The group looked around at their new surroundings: a dusty, ruined building. Counters and tables were smashed, rendering them unrecognizable. Shattered glass littered the floor, and the door hinges remained precariously attached to the frame, the door itself torn off.

“Where are we?” Stratos asked.

“Let me see…” Gem looked at the transporter strapped to her hoof. As she read what it said, she frowned.
“Give me a moment, this can’t be right.”

“What does it say?” Stratos asked as he peeked out of the shattered window.

“It says this is Ponyville.”

The assembled group did a double take, staring at Golden Gem.

“Are you sure this is the right universe?” Fantasia asked.

“Universe two-one-four-nine,” Gem frowned, “But something isn’t right…”

“Is it broken?” Golden Sweet asked. Behind her, Stratos motioned for Oscura and Temporal to go over to the broken window.

“I don’t think it is,” Gem shook the hoof with the device attached.

“…Otherwise it worked, but the world we ended up in one that has had some catastrophic disaster,” Fantasia shook her head.

“Possible,” Gem shrugged. Behind her, Stratos and Temporal turned away from the window, and rushed towards Rhapsody, weapons out and ready.
“Rhapsody, I want you to close your eyes and don’t open them until I say so, alright?” Stratos ordered.

“What are yo-” Gem trailed off as the air filled with the sound of beating wings, “what the…”

“CHANGELINGS!” Oscura grinned as her blade flew out.

The first of the Changelings threw itself through the window, as Golden Sweet fumbled to put on her gauntlets. As it shrieked at her, Golden Sweet slammed an unarmored hoof into its face, shattering its snout. A second blow sent it crashing into the wall.

“Where the hell did they come from?” Golden Sweet finished fastening her gauntlets on, and slammed another hoof into a lunging changeling.

“Don’t know, but it explains a lot, doesn’t it?” Temporal smacked a changeling in the forehead with the butt of her spear.

“But how could Changelings defeat the elements?” Gem dodged another changeling attack.

“We can figure that out, after we finish this.” Fantasia replied as she thrusted her war hammer’s head into a changeling’s face, “In the meantime, Bellona?”

The Hybrid grinned as a group of changelings barreled towards her. Dramatically lifting her hand, she snapped her fingers.

The changelings continued to run towards her.

“What are you doing?” Stratos slammed his hoof into a changeling’s side as Temporal slammed the spear’s haft into the same changeling’s head, “Do something!”

“I am trying!” Bellona stared at both hands, “But it’s not working!”

“Great,” Temporal sighed, “Rhapsody, stay with Stratos. Oscura, give me a hoof here!”

“Hah!” Oscura smiled as her blade cleaved the forelegs off a changeling, “A moment…” Oscura quickly drove the blade into the changeling’s forehead, leaving it to weakly skitter and collapse. As she spun around, she drove the blade into the back of another changeling’s head.
“Nothing but mindless drones, sent out to seek food.” Oscura scoffed.

“I am still uncomfortable with the idea of killing things,” Temporal responded, as she flung a changeling into the wall.

“We have different priorities. The Sisterhood of the Sun and Moon continues to exist and threaten my kingdom. It is expected that the Princess should know how to fight,” Oscura grinned.

“…I believe it would be prudent to agree to disagree,” Temporal responded as the two reached Bellona.

The princess shrugged before turning her attention over to Bellona, “Can you actually fight or have you relied on your magic too much?” Oscura asked.

“I learned a thing or two about fighting dirty,” Bellona responded as she kicked a Changeling in the groin, to no effect.

“They do not possess reproductive organs,” Oscura rolled her eyes, “Drones.”

“…Well, fuck.” Bellona jabbed two fingers into a changeling’s eyes, forcing it backwards. She grabbed a chunk of a shattered table, smashing the wood over the same changeling’s head.

A soft pop caught Stratos’ attention, momentarily leaving him open. Seconds later, Stratos staggered backwards and fell onto his rear. The stallion reached up and rubbed his head, only to smear something around. Bringing his hoof back down, he found his hoof covered in blood. The changeling licked the blood off its lips and lunged forward towards Stratos. A louder bang rang out, and the changeling collapsed mid-lunge, dropping to the ground. The body continued to slide forward, eventually bumping into Stratos’ hoof. The stallion looked down at the body: a small, neat, round wound in the middle of its head.

“You goddamn idiots,” a gruff, female voice scolded Stratos. The stallion looked up, as a one-eyed yellow unicorn mare scowled. The mare’s orange mane was tattered and matted with grime, and a rifle of an unrecognized make levitated near her.
“Sugarcube Corner is infested with those damn things, what the hell were you thinking?”
The mare smashed the butt of the rifle into another changeling’s face, “Nevermind, get your people together and follow me.”

“Gem, we need to get out of here,” Stratos yelled.

“What?” Gem quickly glanced back and performed a double take, “Who the hell is that?”

“My name is Pumpkin, and if you idiots want to live, then you’re going to follow and listen to me!” the mare barked, “Right now, move back towards me and let’s go!”

Stratos scrambled back onto his hooves, as Rhapsody crawled out from under the shattered remains of a table.

“You’re bleeding.” Rhapsody stated as Golden Sweet picked her up and placed her on Stratos’ back.

“I know, just don’t get it on you,” Stratos chided her, “Temp, Come on!”

“Oscura, as much as I hate to interrupt your fun, we’re going to have to go.” Temporal nudged the mare.

“I agree,” Oscura’s sword lashed out again, “Please inform the others, and I shall cover you all until the last moment.”

“Now means now, Princess,” Temporal snarked back.

“Fine.”

The two ponies turned around and joined the others, as more changelings surged from out of the ruined stairway.

“That’s all of you? Then let’s go.”

Pumpkin whirled around, taking aim with her rifle. Two shots rang out, sending the two nearest changeling tumbling to the ground. The mare spun around and began to run, as the group followed her.

“Follow me, there’s a safe zone nearby.” Pumpkin barked at them.

The group continued to run, as Pumpkin glanced behind her. Satisfied, the mare slowed down, and moved towards a ruined building.

“Come on, into the boutique.”

A startled Gem paused, looking up at the building: under the shattered windows, peeling paint, and crumbling walls, it was unmistakably the Carousel Boutique.

“No…” she breathed.

“What are you doing?” Bellona’s voice snapped Gem back to reality, “Come on before they get here.”

Gem trotted in after the hybrid, slamming the door shut. Pumpkin pushed aside several tattered, ruined mannequins and storage chest, revealing a trapdoor. Unlike the rest of the house, the door hinges possessed a dull shine. Pumpkin motioned for Golden Sweet to open the door as she stood guard.

“What the hell have you gotten us into?” Temporal hissed.

“…I don’t know.” Gem whimpered.

“Wait, wait, wait…” Bellona held out a hand, “You expect us to go down some random-ass hideaway? Just who the hell do you think you are?”

“The Pony who just saved your ass..” Pumpkin responded, “Listen you have no idea what is going on here, do you?” Pumpkin looked at the others.
“Do any of you?”

“…No, we don’t.” Fantasia responded.

“I have questions, but those can wait until you meet the boss,” Pumpkin motioned towards Fantasia and Bellona, “ ‘Specially with Discord’s spawn and Princess Cadance’s daughter there.”

Temporal and Oscura exchanged suspicious glances, “How did you…”

“It’s not hard kid. You got Rainbow Hair, Princess over there got the same mane as Cadance, and how many other ponies have fingers?”

“…point taken.” Temporal responded. “Lead the way.”

“No, you all go down first. Let me keep watch.” Pumpkin motioned towards the door, “Hurry up.”

Stratos and Rhapsody headed down the hole first, followed by Fantasia and Bellona. Golden Sweet began her way down, before pausing and looking back at Gem. The unicorn remained catatonic, staring at nothing.

“Oscuara, she’s not going to move, do you mind?”

“No, I can do it.”

The sickly purple aura surrounded Golden Gem, as Golden Sweet continued down the path. Oscura and Gem quickly disappeared down the hole, leaving Pumpkin and Temporal.

“…You’re taking an awfully big risk with this,” Temporal casually stated.

Pumpkin shrugged, “You aren’t changelings, I know that. But, you aren’t from around here. That said, most of you seem to recognize me… The boss can sort it out.”

Temporal shrugged as she trotted down the stairs. Pumpkin quickly followed her, slamming the door shut. A moment later, the ruined mannequins and trash covered the trapdoor.

Stratos landed on the floor of a hollowed out tunnel. The stallion looked around as Rhapsody’s grip tightened around his neck

“I’m scared” she whimpered.

“I don’t blame you, but everything is going to be alri-”

“HI THERE!” a new voice called out from behind them.

Stratos and Rhapsody screamed in horror, as the stallion reared up and spun, launching a right hook. The punch missed, slamming into a wall. The newcomer, a cream colored pegasus looked at the dent left by Stratos’ punch.

“Not bad, really.” The stallion turned his attention back to the two. He flashed a wide, bright, cheery grin, revealing several chipped teeth and two metal replacements.
“Anyway, like I was saying, Hi there! My name’s Pound Cake, but most ponies either call me ‘Shut the.. oh there’s a foal here, I can’t say that nickname, but as I was saying, they either call me a name I can’t repeat in front of your little sister, or ‘Betty’.” Pound paused, “Not sure why they call me Betty, but it’s better than poor old Truffle Shuffle’s nickname…”

“I heard screaming.” Fantasia landed on her feet behind Stratos, “What happened?”

“Oh more company,” Pound Cake grinned, “Are there more of you or is that it? Oh who cares, I can introduce myself aga-”

“Pound, stop talking.” Pumpkin trotted out of the stairway along with the other ponies, “Take them to the boss.”

“Are we talking the boss or the Boss?” the pegasus moved his hooves in emphasis, “Because the Boss doesn’t want to be bothered, and no one is sure where the boss is.”

“Scratch that, you go check if the boss is in. Find out and come back here to get us.”

“Fiiiiiinnnnneee…..” Pound rolled his eyes and flittered off. Pumpkin turned around and looked over the group.

“Now then, I want answers. Who the hell are you and what are you doing here?”

“If we told you, you probably wouldn’t believe it.” Bellona grumbled.

“Try me.”

“Fine…We’re all alternate universe counterparts to one another and we’re here to figure out why we got pulled together.” Bellona rolled her eyes.

“I’m not,” Temporal added, “I’m just here to see what happens.”

Pumpkin blinked, “You’re fucking kidding me.”

“I told you that you wouldn’t believe it,” Bellona threw her hands in the air, “But no one listens to me.”

“Why should I believe that?” Pumpkin continued on.

“Because it sounds ridiculous enough to be true,” A new voice stated, “And I know it was.”

The ponies turned around to find the source of the voice. Gilda stepped out followed by Pound Cake. The griffon’s beak had a metal plate fashioned over a huge crack, and a mess of scars, scratches, bite marks and gouges peppered her neck, face and limbs. A pair of single-action flintlocks, and a chipped, scratched blade remained strapped to her side. The griffon grimaced.

“I was part of M.L.P. before this all happened,” Gilda shook her head, “Didn’t realize interdimensional travel was so… flaunted these days.”

“…Why should we believe you?” Oscura frowned.

“Kid, I’m the only one here who doesn’t think you’re crazy. Don’t throw that chance away,” Gilda shook her head, “You got yourselves into a hell of a mess…”

“…We were not aware of the situation within this dimension,” Fantasia replied.

“…So spill it,” Gilda responded.
“Tell me how the hell you all got here and why.”

Oscura, Golden Sweet and Stratos exchanged glances and sighed.

“Well,” Golden Sweet began, “It all started about… eighteen years back…”

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