• 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: Divulge Crux

Chapter 29 Define: Divulge Crux

The Crystal Empire

“Everything needs to stop.” It was a simple phrase, one shouted out by a mare who was on the verge of breaking down, one who was losing everything. In no way was her situation even unique, over the past few weeks several families went through very similar circumstances. Each wished they had some way of making the world stop, of delaying the disaster that was occurring just one more second. Sadly, not one of them was able. Each family had to deal with it in the same way as all the ones who came before and after. For there was nothing special about their scenario, they were normal ponies and as horrible as the situation was, it too was a normal part of life.

Twilight Sparkle was not a normal pony; she was not ‘normal’ in any meaning of the world. Even before these events she had a record of accomplishment that would make most adults question just what they had done with their own lives. Twilight was noticed early on and taken as a protégé by Princess Celestia herself, she came to fame by defeating the Mare in the Moon, Nightmare Moon, and restoring her to Princess Luna. She saved Equestria several times from threats ranging from King Sombra, Discord, and even several changeling invasions.

Yet all of these events where the effect of her being special, not the cause, what truly made her special was the fact that in addition to all these, Twilight Sparkle was the first Avatar to Gaia, God of Life and Magic. While there had been a hoof full of Avatars in the past, Twilight was the first one who tapped into the power of the God residing in her. So, when Twilight Sparkle shouted for everything to stop, the world obeyed, what choice did it have?

Several minutes after her impromptu shout it finally occurred to Twilight that something was wrong. Lost in her thoughts as she was, it was only after her sobbing died down that she noticed it. Her first warning was the complete and utter silence that assaulted her. Everything was quiet, ‘That’s not right, the doctors should be doing something’.

She lifted her head from her hooves and stared into the royal bedchambers. Twilight was able to see in the room easy enough, the doctors were still in there, as was her brother. Something was off though, something was fundamentally wrong. Twilight tried to stand, she was a little shaky on her hooves, but eventually she managed it all the same. She proceeded slowly back into the room.

Everypony was indeed very busy, several of the doctors looked to be attaching lines into Cadance, others were readying tools and blood vials for the ones actually working. Shining Armor was sitting next to his wife, out of the way but refusing to leave her side for an instant. Cadance, Twilight could not bring herself to look at her, there was just too much blood. None of this was what was wrong, well a lot of it was wrong on many different levels, but the thing that was fundamentally wrong was that nopony was moving. It was not just the ponies that seemed frozen, the liquid and various tools were all stuck in place. Gravity should have pulled them to the ground, yet nothing moved. It was almost as if someone was watching this and just hit the pause button.

Glancing out the window, Twilight saw that this was not the only room affected. Other ponies out in the empire just stopped, unmoving. A leaf was caught in the breeze, just hovering in the air. It was a little unnerving. Twilight reached out with her magic and forced the leaf to her. ‘It seems as if everything is frozen or more accurately, everything stopped. However, it seems I can still affect things.’

Twilight began wandering around the room, noting with disdain just how bad the situation was, while she had never practiced medicine before, Twilight knew enough to know that some of that bleeding needed to be stopped. Even worse case pregnancies should not have been this bad. Twilight paused and concentrated her magic on her sister, she could not stop the event from occurring when the flow of time started up again but she could make the doctor’s job easier. Focusing on her foal sitter, Twilight clotted several different internal bleeds. A task made infinitely easier by the fact that nothing could move; she doubted that she would have been able to do it otherwise. ‘Whatever occurs, at least Cadance will be alright. Although ‘alright’ might be subjective’. That last thought left her with a deep sense of melancholy.

Twilight left the room, whatever would happen there was beyond any knowledge she had to fix. Whatever paused the world, and she had a deep suspicion that it was her fault; she would try to use it to her advantage. If she could help Cadance, maybe she could help other ponies before this wore off? Assuming this wore off.

Her wanderings took her all over the palace, from bedroom to bedroom. Every scenario played out the same; she was the only thing that was not frozen. Even objects she picked up and dropped stayed where she let them go, ‘I bet Rainbow would have a lot of fun in this situation’. The thought came unheeded and unwanted. However, she could not take it back. It made Twilight long for the former pegasus. Their time together was the happiest in her life, but short, oh so short.

She blamed these Gods for this. Had Eros never created these Avatars. Had Gaia never become one, had Discord never made them go into that stupid funhouse. No, that was not true, even with all this pain, even with the loss of the mare she so loved, she would not trade their short time together for the world, those memories were too important, too precious. Between the pain of loss, and the pain of never loving at all, perhaps the pain of loss was not the greater of the two? Yes, had she never fallen for the mare she never would have suffered, but the fact she is suffering so, it was only because she had truly loved.

Her musings found her in the throne room, inside were all her friends, Applejack, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, and Rainbow. The former three seemed to be grouped up. Fluttershy was caught stealing a glance at the black mare. Applejack seemed to be whispering something to Pinkie. Not one of them looked happy. Twilight sighed, she would have to explain something to them soon, as they did deserve to know. She was eternally grateful that not one of them had brought up the conversation before she was ready to talk about it. However, they deserved an explanation. Rainbow was their friend too after all.

Twilight glanced at Rainbow; the black mare was as frozen as the rest. She had the same gloss eyed look on her face she had ever since picking up that damn second piece of the Occulous. Almost as if she was seeing something that the rest of them could not. There was something particularly odd though. The staff was moving.

The Occulous was floating around the black mare, it seemed unsure of what to do. As such, it resolved to simply protect its new master from whatever would occur. Twilight wanted to smash the damn thing in a million pieces and bury each piece a thousand feet under the ground at different points all around the planet. For good measure, she would send a few up to the moon. She wanted too and she could, she did have the power, yet she knew that would be the most counterproductive thing she could possibly do at this moment. Therefore, she let it be.

She needed someone to talk to. Applejack had always been a voice of reason, and she trusted that pony to always be honest, even if she was a little blunt about it. As such, Twilight walked over the orange mare and tried a few spells out to see if she could get her moving.

Nothing happened.

After her tenth attempt she stopped, there were a few ‘other’ spells she could try, but they had some nasty side effects if they did not work. The risk was too great. Yes, she needed somepony to talk to, yes she did not want to go through all this alone, but she would not endanger her friends for her own benefit. Twilight loved them too much to put them in unnecessary danger for her sake, she moved on.

More rooms went by, more frozen ponies and objects. In one room she checked, Twilight quickly blushed and shut the door, she just saw first hoof what the term ‘nooner’ meant. After ‘that’ event, she stopped checking every room one at a time and resolved to simply examine each with her magic vision from the safety of outside the doors.

The flow of magic had stopped. Everywhere she looked, every direction she looked, it was frozen, it seemed as if the energy of this realm was just as frozen as the physical properties of the real world. Looking around, Twilight saw two exceptions. The first was up and to the left. She could see the absence of energy moving around. Twilight assumed that was the staff flying around Rainbow, as that was the direction of the throne room. One other movement caught her eye. Down below, an object was spinning, this one was not the blackness of the staff, as this one gave off magic in waves.

Twilight blinked her normal vision back and ran, she had a distinct impression of what it was, but she wanted to make sure. Running past several frozen guards Twilight soon found one of the staircases going outside. She took the stairs three at time, jumping down to the landings separating the stairwells. Before long, she was outside.

As she expected, the Crystal Heart was still active. It was the legendary relic that she had seen moving. The Crystal Heart was still giving off magic. She sighed and walked closer to it. “This is Eros’s Occulous.” It was not a question; Twilight knew with a hundred percent certainty that the Crystal Heart belonged to Eros. The energy was too similar for it to be anything but.

She approached the Heart. The warmth it gave off was welcoming. Moving slowly up to it, least her very presence stop it from moving, she raised a hoof and went to touch it. Logically it should do nothing, yet Twilight and logic had a falling out as of late, and she did not trust logic all that much anymore.

When she reached up a hoof to the Crystal Heart two things occurred: One, it stopped spinning. This made Twilight gasp; it was the one event she did not want to happen. The second was a blade began coming forth from the heart. Twilight recognized it immediately; the blade to the scythe was sticking halfway out of the Crystal Heart.

She had finally found the last piece: Now they could restore the scythe, let all the poor souls that have died pass on, allow new foals to be born, allow her future niece or nephew to be born, and she would forever lose Rainbow Dash.

That last part made her collapse on the ground as she buried her face in her hooves, ‘I will forever lose Rainbow dash’. A knife stuck in her back would not have hurt so much. The warmth from the sun, the energy from the heart, none of it mattered at that moment. Her misery would not let her enjoy any of it. It was true what they say; misery loves company, not somepony or something trying to cheer it up.

Twilight’s resolve instantly took hold. "Fine if misery wants company, I will give it company!"

“Eros! Come down here! Join your sister!”

Twilight phrased the command with all the power she could manage, she did not know if it was even possible, but she had the power of a God, she stopped time for Celestia’s sake, something as simple as forcing another being out of its Avatar should not be that much more difficult.

After almost five minutes, Twilight was ready to admit defeat. 'Perhaps Gods cannot do everything?' Then, she was basked in the warm glow from earlier. Looking up, Twilight saw the heavenly energy of Eros, God of Love.

“So, you have accepted who you are.” It was not a question.

“Yes, I'm the Avatar of Gaia; no, more than that, I have become the living incarnation of Gaia.”

Eros just smiled at Twilight, “I see you have found the last piece, I'm sorry I was unable to tell you where it was before our conversation was ‘interrupted'. Thank you for saving my Avatar by the way. I have to admit, Princess Cadance has fast become my favorite, easily replacing the Crystal Princess. Her love of Shining Armor is one for the ages.

“Speaking of that, what happened? You seemed to have been in a quite a lot of pain.”

“As I told you Twilight, the God shares in all the experience of the Avatar, both the good, and the bad.” Her expression turned sober at that, as if remembering old pain from earlier lives.

“So what do I…”

A flash of bright white light interrupted her words.

“Now Twilight my dear, you go and do something like STOP TIME and you don’t invite me? I thought we were friends.”

“Discord!”

“Hello, brother.”

“Hello to you too, dear sister. I see our little Twily has finally found the last piece of the puzzle. Moreover, she also coxed our dear sister out of hiding as well. It truly is a time of miracles.”

“You see me as hiding? Are you not the one who seeks out my method of performing such hiding? Are you not the one who comes asking for such magic yourself?”

“Leave your logic out of my argument.”

“Dear bro-”

“ENOUGH! I get that there is a family dispute going on here, but I think we can all agree that there is something slightly more important to deal with.”

Discord and Eros just stared at each other, both knowing that the little pony had just upstaged two Gods but neither willing to make the first move to apologize.

Twilight turned and looked at the draconequus, a single tear fell from her eye. “Discord, Chaos, whatever the bucking hell you want to call yourself, I just have one question. Why did you do it, why did you force our love to the forefront like that?”

Discord looked down at the ground, then at his sister. Both of them glared back menacingly at the draconequus. They told him to answer the little fillies question, knowing what he knew, why did he break her heart?

“I didn't have a choice, I'm bound by vow one.”

“What does that have to do wit-”

“Now dear brother, I think the time for conversation is over, don’t you?”

A red flash appeared, cutting of Discord’s response to Twilight's comment. Tartarus had appeared at the edge of the impromptu circle the four had formed.

Discord hated what he had to do and he hated that Tartarus had forced his hoof. Discord transformed into Chaos, he ran up to the red pony and stared daggers into his eyes.

“I do not like this Tartarus, I do not like this one bit!”

“Brother, you do not have to like this, but you agreed to it, all of us did. We all have our parts to play in order to make sure such events, as ‘Titans’ never happen again. Or did YOU forget that?”

That seemed to get to Chaos, the pony backed of his brother with a hurt look in his eyes.

“Yes, that mistake is mine, yet that does not condone this brother. We are no longer playing with mortals, she is our own sister.”

“My sister is the Goddess of Life and Magic. That is not my sister.”

"Did you not call her Gaia when you first met?" Eros asked.

"Only because I did not realize Twilight had taken Gaia's power as her own," Tartarus replied.

“Then you truly do not understand Tartarus, would that you were not so ignorant.”

“Quite Eros, this is not for you to interfere with.”

“You play around with love, Tartarus, and you say it is not for me to interfere with?”

“Would one of you shut up and explain what the buck is going on!” Twilight had enough of the family bickering. The back and forth was getting them nowhere and if she was a part of this family like they claimed her to be, she had every right to know just what the hay was going on.

“She has the right to know Chaos, go ahead and tell her.”

“I suppose you are right Eros. Twilight, my brother’s Occulous has a few rules to it. The prominent one is that its bearer must be one who has escaped death,” Twilight nodded her head; she knew that rule. “The other rule is that its bearer must be willing, for Rainbow Dash to become the new reaper, she had to do it willingly.”

“I already knew that.”

Both Chaos and Tartarus mouth dropped, neither had expected that answer. Eros just looked on with a calm expression on her face.

“My question was why did YOU force our love to the forefront, not why it had to be done. I thought you were our friend.”

“I was bound by the first vow, everything that lives must die. My actions or inactions cannot break that vow. The only way Rainbow would allow herself to become the reaper is if she did it for somepony she loved. She loved you and you her, you just needed to admit it to each other. She would only sacrifice herself for the one she loved. I… I'm sorry”

Eros stared menacingly at her older brother, “You used their love against each other?!”

Chaos has been around since the beginning, as the first of the Primordial Deities, he was the one who created the universe that souls now inhabit, everything that exists has some touch of him to it. As the first God he had seen and heard everything, but this feeling was something new, ‘another first’. Chaos had never felt so scared in his life, the strength of love could cause mortals to perform superpony feats, and in a God, this was amplified millions of times over. Few knew of the true strength of the God of Love, the true fury she could deliver when one plays with her dominion, and to see it turned towards him. As a God he was immortal, but he never really put it to the test before, if he were ever going to die, this would be the moment.

“Calm down Eros. He was bound to it, he had no choice.”

“There were other ways Tartarus. He knew what he was doing, no one plays with hearts while I'm around.”

“Really, name one.”

“…”

“That’s what I thought, he was just the one who drew the preverbal ‘short straw’ it could have been any of us in that position. Anyway I think we've delayed here long enough, it is time to bring down the pony of the hour.”

With a blinding red flash, Rainbow Dash was teleported down; freshly animated, she looked around at the four Gods surrounding her. Her gaze finally settled on the Crystal Heart, or more precisely, the Occulous's blade sticking halfway out of it.

Tears began falling anew from Twilight's face, “Rainbow…”

Author's Note:

The stage is set, the characters are in play, all thats left is to see how it will all end…




Thanks to Shielded Myth for help editing.

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