• Published 3rd Feb 2014
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TiM: The Truth in Meanings - Twidashforever



TiM #1: If you had the power, how far would you go to save a friend, and would they hate you for it? Would you hate you for it? Actions have consequences and we are not always the ones who pay the price.

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Define: Remorseful Suffering

Chapter 23 Define: Remorseful Suffering

Tunnel of Love

Never in a million years did Twilight ever think she would be on a love ride with a marefriend… Rainbow Dash of all ponies. Had somepony told her that morning this would happen; she would have ordered the guards to drag him to the psychiatric ward for immediate treatment. Yet, here she was, in a heart shaped boat, snuggling up with the former cyan pegasus. It was everything she had ever dreamed of, but better. For this was not a dream, the two were together, sitting together, simply enjoying each others company with the most cliché music and images going by them. Although, Twilight did enjoy one song, she would have to remember it for later.

‘Can you feel the love tonight’

“Hey, Rainbow?”

‘You needn't look too far’

Rainbow stared into her marefriend’s eyes, “Yes, Twilight?”

‘Stealing through the night's uncertainties’

“Thank you, for everything I mean. I cannot begin to repay you for everything you've done for me. Although I promise, I'll spend the rest of my life trying.”

‘Love is where they are’

“Twi, you are the smartest pony I've ever met, but you are also the dumbest. Don't look at me like that. Listen, my life was going nowhere, the Wonderbolt thing, that was a joke, a silly dream by a silly filly. Before you moved to town, my only real friend was a shy pegasus that was afraid of heights. I was loud, obnoxious, and annoying. I know I still have some of that to work on, I probably always will. My point is, you rescued me from the one pony that was truly killing me, myself.” Brushing a rogue hair out of Twilight’s face, Rainbow whispered, “Twilight you make me want to be a better pony, you make me want to put aside those juvenile expectations that I set for myself. All for the chance to see you smile. You've already repaid me for everything and more, it is I who cannot repay you enough.”

Twilight was blushing, those words that Rainbow spoke, she knew that each one of them had been from the heart. Something fundamental had changed in the black pegasus, something that had caused her to put her ego aside and think only of Twilight. Truly, Twilight was honored beyond words. She renewed her vow to live only for Rainbow, whatever that may lead to.

“Discord showed me Twi, he showed me what happened the day of the attack. I saw the pain you went through, the suffering my death caused you. When I made that pinkie promise; I didn't know, but looking back on it, it was the most important vow I have ever made, and I renew it now. Twilight Sparkle, in order that you never feel that sort of sadness again, that you never lose yourself to the grief of me leaving you, for any reason. I pinkie promise to always stay by your side. From now, until forever.”

Twilight lost herself in those words, she snuggled up to the black pegasus even tighter, enjoying the warmth and company she would forever have. Rainbow knew that Twilight did not take those words literally; Twilight knew she was immortal, Rainbow was not, and even if... if they found someway to return everything to normal, Rainbow would eventually die. Twilight would be left alone. Rainbow would break her promise.

Rainbow did take the vow literally, if Twilight could become immortal so could she. They would be together, whatever the cost, Twilight would never feel the way she had on that dreadful day ever again.

Before either realized it, the ride was over. It had not ended back where it began. It ended at a docking station somewhere inside the ride itself. Twilight crawled out of her rainbow cocoon and left the boat, Rainbow soon followed, missing the warmth that Twilight brought her.

“Hey Twi, when this is over, and we get back… the next fair that comes to town… do you want to do it again?”

“Dashie, I would love to.”

They embraced one more time, enjoying the feeling of each others body pressed against their own, their tongues found the other's, engaging in an intricate dance with each other.

After five minutes, they broke apart. Missing the warmth of each other but they did have a mission to complete. There was only one set of doors leading out of there, opening it with her magic, Twilight was not surprised by who waited on the other side for them.

In union they both spoke at the same time, “So Discord you did lie to us, or should we call you Chaos.”

“Hey. After all we've been through, I still haven't earned your trust?”

“NO!”

Discord thought, ‘It's cute how they speak in stereo like that’.

“Very well, don’t believe me, but I didn't lie.”

“You said we would meet Chaos here and you said you aren't Chaos. You are the only one here, if you are Chaos that is a lie, if you are not Chaos that is a lie. Either which way you slice it, you lied.”

“Unless there is a third option, Twilight Sparkle.”

“What third option could there possibly be? You either are, or you are not, Chaos. That doesn't even make sense.”

“Once again I need to remind you where you are, HELLO. You're not in Equestria anymore my dear princess. You're in the Realm of Chaos. The only thing that doesn't make sense here, is making sense.”

Rainbow recognized that eye twitch Twilight now had, she needed to interject and quickly. “So you both are, and are not Chaos. Does… does this have something to do with the Occulous?”

Bells and whistles started going off everywhere, “DING. DING. DING. We have a winner folks, Johnny tell the lovely mare with the golden wings just what she has won.”

A second Discord appeared, taking the form of a game show announcer. “Well Discord, Miss Rainbow Dash has just won a meeting with the first of the Primordial deities: Chaos!”

Both Discords merged back together in a flash of light, one so bright Rainbow had to shield her eyes before being blinded. When her vision cleared the strangest pony she had ever seen was standing in front of her.

The Chaos pony lived up to every meaning of his name. His coat seemed to have more colors than Rainbow’s mane, each vying for supremacy over every spot of his body. His cutie mark was a big question mark that did not seem content staying on his flank. Right now it was enjoying some afternoon tea with his left and right leg. His mane and tail seemed to be a perverse mixture of Celestia’s and Luna’s, never quite settling between one or the other. In fact, the only constant one could nail down about this pony was there was no constant. He went from pegasus to earth pony, to alicorn, To unicorn, and back to earth pony. Sometimes being multiple of the four without ever being one or the other. If it had not been so unsettling, Rainbow would have been impressed. Twilight soon interrupted her train of thought.

“Hang on, it cannot possibly have anything to do with the Occulous, Discord has been around for at least a thousand years. Tartarus’s Occulous has only recently been broken!” Twilight seemed pleased with herself, ‘Ha, explain that one!’

“I never said it involved my dear brother's Occulous.” When Chaos spoke it was in a singsong voice, one that seemed to be a perverse mixture of all voices at the same time, yet somehow sounded sweet and innocent.

“Then what?”

“I'm sure you know most of the story, but when Tartarus figured out how to create an Occulous, do you really believe the rest of us did not also?”

“Wait… so Discord is your Occulous?”

“You really are smarter then you let on Rainbow Dash, Yes I figured out a few tweaks to the spell, my Occulous is unique, he is me and vica versa.”

“Why?”

“Twilight Sparkle, I know you already know the answer to that question.”

“...Vow two.”

“There you go, you see that was such an annoying vow, I am the God of Chaos after all, not being allowed to play with such amusing toys, it was a crime. As such I found a ‘loophole’ if you will. If I cannot directly interfere with mortals, I can indirectly interfere with them, as long as I don’t break vow one that is.”

“But Discord was trapped in stone for a thousand years.”

“I'm afraid I got a little carried away. As you already know the Occulous grant their user phenomenal godlike power, but when you go the route I chose, it is not quite as powerful, my sister's Occulous was much, much stronger than my own. I paid for that; that is part of the reason I let Fluttershy reform me. Don’t get me wrong her friendship is well worth it, but being trapped in stone, it is so boring.”

“So the Element’s of Harmony are the Occulous of one of your sisters. Who? Eros?”

“Oh so close Rainbow, and you were on such a roll too. Remember the Elements came from something else, and wrong sister by the way, although she does have the last piece of Tartarus’s Occulous.”

Twilight spoke up, “So the Tree of Harmony is Gaia’s Occulous?”

“There you go. I knew you would get it, eventually.”

“So I know Tartarus and Gaia did not do as you did, but does Eros exist as an Occulous?”

“No, my dear sister the ‘Goddess of Love’, did create an Occulous mind you, but she also created something else, something better. Something she has only shared with Gaia, she learned how to create an Avatar.” There was a hint of annoyance in his voice at that revelation.

“What's an Avatar?”

“Ah the million bit question. I could answer that, but it would be meaningless without knowing why it is so important. You see, or rather you will not see Rainbow, Twilight will in a few hundred thousand years. Once you are immortal, things get boring, quickly. How many times can you see the same ‘friendship problem’ play out? A hundred, a thousand? You know the answer to any problem ever, simply because you've seen it a million times before. You've looked at it from every conceivable and inconceivable angle. It's boring. I'm ashamed to say Eros figured it out and I have not. She figured out how to enjoy things again, at a level beyond simply causing chaos for the sake of chaos. That is where her invention, the Avatar came into play. Using this, she can ‘forget’ everything she knows, she merges herself with a living soul and lives out a normal everyday life, from birth to death. The side effect being an almost complete loss of power and self for the duration, but to feel such satisfaction again.” He stared off into the distance, a dreamy look in his eye.

“Why didn’t she share how to do it with you?”

“Oh she’s still mad about the whole 'Titan' incident. Maybe one day she'll let it go, I can be patient, After all, what else is there to do?”

“So where can we find Eros, her Avatar I mean?”

“Yes. That, well I'm afraid that I cannot tell you exactly who she is, a side effect of the Avatar, it makes you seem like a normal mortal to other gods. But, I can tell you, approximately, where she is.”

“And that is where, exactly?”

“Right now, she is somewhere near Equestria’s northern border, I believe you call it, The Crystal Empire.”

Rainbow’s impatience got the better of her and interrupted Twilight's concentration, “That’s nice and all but ‘you’ said you'd give us your part of the scythe, you still have it right?”

“Of course I do, the damn thing wont shut up.”

“Then fork it over already!”

“If you insist.” With that, he transformed himself back to Discord, the draconequus proceeded to take off his head and toss it to the other end of the room. After a new head regrew on his body, he directed their attention to the first head, one that was reforming itself as a skull with a broken hilt coming out of the bottom. Discord stretched his neck over to Rainbow and whispered into her ear.

“Remember what I told you earlier, Rainbow. Such power comes with benefits and drawbacks. You know Twilight has such power and I think you finally appreciate what that means.”

Rainbow simply nodded, what Discord/Chaos had said was not wrong, she just was not sure how that was relevant at this time. Rainbow walked up to the second piece of the Occulous, ready to add it to the first.

Hello, my new bearer.’ That was odd, the voice in her head was not her own.

Yes, you are a fine specimen, we shall be quite happy together.’

‘Who are you?’

Why bearer, I'm hurt, you have been carrying around a piece of me this entire time, and you don’t recognize me when I'm right in front of your face.’

Rainbow stared at the skull hilt floating in front of her, ‘so that’s what he meant by wont shut up'.

Yes, Chaos was never much of a conversationalist, at least not with me.’

‘Why did you call me your bearer? I'm not the one who will wield you.’

Laughter sounded through her skull, ‘Yes you are, you just don't realize it yet. You see, I'm the answer you seek, your marefriend over there, the one that broke me. I know what she is, as you are learning. Did you not make a vow just a few minutes ago? A vow that you would never leave her side, never cause her such pain as she experienced before. Allow me to let you in on a secret, there is no way to become immortal, I reap everyone, eventually, I reaped Celestia and Luna’s parents. I will reap the sisters one day, although not for a few thousand years more, and I will reap you. Only four beings have no fear of me and you are not one of them.

‘If only four beings do not fear you, how can you help me fulfill my vow?’

As my bearer, you have no fear of me; you will be around forever, with her. Is that not what you wanted? Is that not what you promised her?

‘Ha, I bet your last wielder was fed the same line of BS. Besides why would I want to go around looking like a sack of bones?’

No, he was not. When he first picked me up, I showed him when he would die. He knew that was his fate, he was happy to go. Yes that is an eventual side effect but the process takes millions of years to get that far. Tell you what, I will show you your fate with me if you wish to see it.

Rainbow thought about this for a while before answering, ‘Show me’.

Visions played out before Rainbow, millions of years played out in the blink of an eye. Visions of her resisting the options set before her, they could fight this future, but it changed nothing. Fighting it was pointless, the result was always the same, she saw that much. Every possibility played out before her. including visions of her playing the role of reaper, she would reap everyone, she saw herself reaping: Celestia, Luna, Applejack, Cadance, Pinkie, all of them… But never Twilight.

However, she did see Twilight, every few years she would return to the immortal alicorn; they would not embrace, they would not speak, it was pointless. Rainbow could not speak if she wanted to. But they would be together, after a fashion, forever.

In all those years, not once did Twilight look happy, not once did Twilight smile, however, she never went through the pain of losing Rainbow. Not once did she cry as she had the day Rainbow died. It would hurt her; Rainbow saw that clear as day, Twilight would never fully get over it. However, that pain was nothing compared to the loss she felt on that dreadful day. Or the loss she would feel when Rainbow passed on.

The choice is yours Rainbow Dash, I cannot force you to accept me, my wielder must be willing. So I ask, what suffering will you inflict on the one you love, an eternity without you there, or an eternity with us by her side?

‘Shut up.’

As a single tear fell from her eye Rainbow glanced back to Twilight and sent two words into the wind, soft enough that they should have never made it to their intended target, yet against all reason, Twilight heard them anyway.

Twilight watched as Rainbow started to walk towards the Occulous. ‘Only one more piece to go’, her happiness at being this close to finishing soon turned into confusion. Rainbow paused halfway there. It seemed as if she was having a debate with herself about something. It only lasted an instant before she turned and glanced back over to Twilight. A single tear fell from Rainbow's eye.

“Rainbow?”

I’m sorry.” The voice on the wind hurt worse than her heart being ripped out.

It was barely a whisper; Fluttershy could not hope to be that quiet, yet, when she heard the words it chilled Twilight’s very bones. “No.” it was too late, by the time her brain processed what it had heard, went through the checklist and gave the appropriate response, Rainbow had grabbed the Occulous. Twilight was too stunned to do anything but watch what occurred next.

When Rainbow reached out and grabbed the Occulous she was instantly taken in by its power. Dark energy wrapped around the mare tightly, eliminating the final physical traces of Rainbow Dash, her cutie mark vanished before Twilight’s eyes. The skull head connected with the piece on Rainbow’s back, transforming itself into a staff, one that floated around the black mare. 'Tisk… tisk… whatever shall we do about these wings? They simply will not do for my new wielder, now will they?'

With that, more black energy floated out of the staff head, surrounding Rainbow, the energy squeezed the wings on Rainbow's body, until… with a sickening pop… they were gone. The magic pressure put on them too great for even those beautiful wings to withstand. It broke Twilight’s heart; she had spent countless hours under those wings. It had been like a gift to Rainbow, something that they both shared and now, with a sickening finality, they were gone. Never again would they share that bond.

Twilight collapsed on the ground, tears flooding from her eyes. She did not want to watch anymore of this. So many had warned her that this would occur. Yet seeing it in real life, seeing it actually happen and so soon after they had finally found each other. Twilight would have rather spent the rest of her days in Tartarus then have this for a memory. It was a hell unlike any she could have ever known.

The darkness finally receded enough for Rainbow to see again. The second transformation was over; she had access to more power than ever before. ‘Is this how Twilight feels?’ Thinking about the alicorn caused Rainbow to glance over to her marefriend. Twilight was distraught, lying on the ground weeping like a newborn filly. Rainbow saw all of this, yet she saw their future too, both the current one they were on and possible ones, none of them had Twilight suffering less than their current path. The pain Twilight was feeling now was nothing compared to what she would otherwise go through. Callously, Rainbow dismissed the fallen alicorn, she would have to sever these bonds, do anything else, and it only hurt Twilight more later. Looking around she noticed that her wings were gone. Not even the stumps remained.

My wielder must look the part after all.’

She did not care, but she did notice that her cutie mark was also gone.

‘So when do I get my new one?’

As soon as I'm complete, and your destiny is fixed.

‘Then we should get moving.’

Yes.’

Rainbow walked over to the God of Chaos and spoke to him in a dry voice, one devoid of any real sign of life.

“Chaos, we're ready to acquire the last piece, open the portal.”

“As you command, master.” Discord gave a VERY sarcastic bow and reply.

Twilight stood up, something in her would not let this be the last of it. She knew that Rainbow would be able to finish it from here, but this was her quest. She would finish it and she would rescue Dash in the process.

She did not exactly believe that last bit anymore.

“I'm coming too.” She knew that Rainbow was not referring to her when she said ‘we', however; she was not going to be left behind in this endeavor.

For a fraction of a second a smile appeared on Discord’s face, it was gone just as quickly but Twilight was sure she had seen it.

“Do you have the tickets?”

Twilight blinked away her confusion, “The garbage you gave us?”

“Yes those, I said you would need them to leave.”

“Hang on.” Twilight reached out and teleported the objects to her, she figured something like this would happen and did not want to risk losing them. As such, she had stored the two pieces of trash in a magic portal, one easy enough to withdraw from, if you knew where it was that is.

The two pieces of trash appeared in front of Discord, a banana peel and a half-eaten tangerine. Grabbing the banana peel with his hands, Discord pulled and stretched it into a banana boat. Flipping it upside down he picked up the tangerine and squeezed several gallons of juices on the bottom of the boat. With a snap of his claw, the wall opened up, revealing a tunnel, one whose floor was covered with a substance that reminded Twilight of wax.

Discord picked up the boat and deposited it in the entrance of the tunnel, with a gesture of his claw the two ponies got in the boat.

“Careful you two, the path forward is a bit, waxy.” He pushed the boat forward, causing them to speed off down the tunnel.

On the way out, Discord’s voice spoke to Twilight one last time. "Remember; the universe IS chaotic in nature, I should know, I built it that way. I don't know how, but you can still find a way."

Twilight started crying again, this time, she did not know if she would ever stop.

"Thank you."

Author's Note:

And with that Act 3 comes to a close.

Rainbow made her choice, what would you have done?

BTW if you hate me, you are in good company because I hate me for writing that.

Ch 24, the start of Act 4 should be posted on Sunday/Monday…

Thanks to Shielded Myth for healping edit.

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