• Published 29th Mar 2012
  • 5,863 Views, 406 Comments

Sideboard of Harmony - FanOfMostEverything



Because ponies and card games are too much fun to confine to a single story.

  • ...
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 406
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Fast, Fine, Fierce

Ponyville was started by farmers, and in many ways, it was still a farming community at heart. Many Ponyvillians still rose with the sun, Rainbow Dash notwithstanding. Ditzy Doo was one of them, a habit ingrained in her after years of early morning deliveries. Thus, she was already out and about when other communities would still be rubbing sleep out of their collective eyes, and when an increasingly familiar lyre arpeggio that only she could hear sounded in her ear, she could respond it with her usual alacrity.

She very carefully didn't stop. The thing about sensations that only one pony noticed was that since nopony else could detect them, nopony would understand any reactions to them. A fairly obvious lesson, one Ditzy had exploited in the past with selectively perceptible illusions, but one she'd been forced to relearn from the other end. The less said about how she'd ended up in that well on Spike's birthday, the better.

In any case, she betrayed nothing to the hypothetical observer, heading to Bonbon's Bonbons without haste or hesitation.

Ditzy opened the door, and here she allowed a bit of the facade to slip. Just enough to offer an apologetic grin to the mare behind the counter. "Hi, Bonbon."

"Good morning, Ditzy." Bonbon met the pegasus's grin with a weary one of her own. "Let me guess, Lyra asked you to come over today and forgot to tell me. Again."

"Well... yeah." It was technically true, thought Ditzy, just not in the timeframe Bonbon meant.

The confectioner leaned over the counter, ears flat with anxiety. "Ditzy, you'd tell me if you... if she were..." Bonbon looked down for a moment as she gathered her courage. Finally, she asked, "You two aren't... doing anything down there, are you?"

Bonbon wasn't exactly Ditzy's closest friend, but she was still had the grey mare's respect. As such, Ditzy managed to hold off for about five seconds before bursting into laughter.

"I'm serious!" Bonbon cried.

"I... I'm sorry," Ditzy managed. "It's just... oh, thank Celestia it's early. Imagine if you had customers."

Bonbon scowled. "Well, I wouldn't have asked then."

"Look, Bonbon, if you think I would do anything that would put my marriage at risk, then Lyra may not be the crazy one in your relationship." Ditzy winked as she made for the basement.

Bonbon sighed once the pegasus moved out of earshot. "Well, so much for that threesome."

In Lyra's subterranean lair, Ditzy groaned as she saw the agent's hangdog expression. "Oh, what now?"

Lyra sighed, lay back in her recliner, and rubbed her temples. "Where to begin..."

"The beginning?"

This got a smirk. "By now you should know it's never that simple in the ETSAB."

"Point." Ditzy pondered a bit further. "Okay, why is this so important? You only ever call me in when you need the big guns."

"Bear in mind that I'm oversimplifying to a hideous degree," prefaced Lyra. "If Executive Officer Ways ever heard what I'm about to say, he'd probably slap me silly, then die of shame.

"Anyway, we detected movement between two of the Zero-Zero splays, which are as fundamental as their numbering implies."

"Fundamental to what?" asked Ditzy.

Lyra swept her hooves out wide. "Everything. Zero-Zero-Alpha is, as far as we can tell, the baseline. The Equestria from which all other Equestrias are derived." She smirked. "Traveling there is totally forbidden, but since attempting to do so splinters off a new universe and shunts the traveller there, the only punishment is having to catalogue the new splay.

"Anyway, we've only identified the resonant frequencies of a few Zero-Zeroes besides Alpha. Kappa is largely similar, but accessible and somehow even more eventful for the Bearers. Sigma contains thriving seapony and hippocampus cultures. Gamma is..." Lyra's eyes narrowed, her upper lip curled, and her face folded itself into an expression of utter disgust. "We don't talk about Gamma. And then there's Epsilon."

"So what's that one like?"

Lyra lifted a book off of a bookshelf with her magic. To Ditzy's eyes, webs of golden light sealed it shut. The unicorn brought it in front of her and said, "Voiceprint confirmation. Heartstrings Lambda-Alpha-Four." The strands of magic unravelled and the front cover opened.

"What is it with you ponies and all the alphanumerics?" asked Ditzy.

Lyra shrugged. "Don't ask me, I just work here." She flipped to a page near the front. "Here you go."

Ditzy read the passage aloud. "Universe Zero-Zero-Epsilon. Summary: Dominant species quasihumanoid, roughly four point seven on the Shepherd Equunculus-Homo Morphology Spectrum." She looked up. "Meaning?"

"Very nearly human. The SEHMS goes from one to five."

"One being us, five being human?"

"Bingo."

"Just making sure." Ditzy continued reading. "Very strong morphic field restrictions force equinoid outsiders into this shape. Physical age shifted towards sixteen years old with logarithmic variation based on actual age. Initial scans indicate null magic environment. Technological development highly advanced to compensate for this. More details not available due to difficulty of agent insertion. Exercise extreme caution." She shut the book. "So, terra incognita."

Lyra shrugged. "More or less. Still, the reason we think it's null magic over there is because the first agents to go in were unicorns and they lost their horns upon crossing over. Ever since, the higher-ups have been too spooked to send anyone else over. No one wants to be responsible for stranding an agent in a no mage's land."

The pieces came together in Ditzy's mind. "But a consultant, they're okay with," she grumbled.

"Actually, that was my suggestion. For a good reason!" Lyra waited for Ditzy to calm down – and to settle her wings, which had flared with her ire – before explaining herself. "You basically violate all known understanding of how magic behaves. In theory, you should be able to use that weird geomancy land-bond power of yours even in Zero-Zero-Epsilon."

"In theory," Ditzy echoed, glaring at the unicorn. "You don't know?"

"We didn't exactly have a planeswalker available to test it. In any case, I won't be gating you there; I'll be reverse-summoning you."

"Meaning?"

Lyra frowned. "You don't know?"

Ditzy wingshrugged. " I know what unsummoning is, but this sounds different. Besides, unicorn magic was never really an area of focus for me. Not enough planes with unicorns."

"Oh. Fair. Well, you'll basically be on a timer. When your time runs out, you'll automatically come back."

"If it's that easy, why hasn't anypony else ever done it?"

"Eh heh, well..." Lyra's ears lay back as she found herself unable to maintain eye contact. "Reverse-summoning is by no means easy. I'm basically going to fire you through probability space at a target so far away that, if the math isn't correct to seven decimal places, you could go careening into an entirely different timeline. Possibly one that isn't capable of supporting life. Or you could just drift forever in the interstice." She perked back up. "There is good news, though!"

"Will the good news make this sound any less like a suicide mission?" Ditzy kept her expression neutral, but her tone made it clear that her patience was wearing very thin.

"Well, one, I'm good at math." Lyra waited to see if this got a chuckle out of the pegasus. It didn't. She moved on. "Two, since you're a planeswalker, you should be able to perform course corrections en route."

"Should." Ditzy was frowning at this point. "And what would I even be aiming for?"

"You'll know it when you see it. Besides, isn't navigating in way too many dimensions your special talent? You'll be fine!"

Ditzy sighed. "The Bureau's going to owe me when I get back."

"You'll do it?"

"Yeah, I'll do it. But only because the only alternative is to send Pinkie." Both mares shuddered at the thought.

"Just remember, this is one of the core timelines of existence. Try not to interfere with anything important if you can help it."

Ditzy quirked an eyebrow. "Define 'important.'"

Lyra sighed and threw up her forehooves. "I don't know! We barely know anything about this splay! Just... try not to jostle the hoof of destiny. Or hand, I guess." Her horn began to glow. "Ready?"

"What, now?"

The glow intensified. "Kind of a time-sensitive matter, Ditzy." Lyra spoke quickly, her eyes widening and looking up at her horn. Layers of golden light were forming over it, pulsing like a beating heart.

Ditzy recognized the signs of a spell that was going out of control because its caster hadn't expected it to be this easy. "You'll cover for me, right?" She got a frantic nod in reply. Resigned, the pegasus drew herself up with as much dignity as she could muster. "I just hope it's something like the Blind Eternities."

Lyra's reply was cut off by the torrent of magic streaming out of her head and into Ditzy's chest.


Probability space was nothing like the Blind Eternities. For one, it was only six-dimensional. Ditzy would've chuckled at the idea of "only" 6D were she not trying to make sense of the place. Her eyes kept trying to focus along axes that didn't exist. It was like trying to navigate an immense optical illusion produced on Discord's own loom, a maddening tapestry of impossible knots and tangled perspectives.

Eventually, a shining, golden hypersphere came into view in the center of her vision, seemingly fixed in place along height, width, depth, time, improbability, and subjunctivity. As Ditzy approached, she realized the golden globe was actually a bit left/likely/were-not of center. Thankfully, she was still on target, a paler, smaller cosmos adjacent to the more grandiose one. She closed her eyes and braced for impact, her little bubble of energy slamming into Zero-Zero-Epsilon like a drop in a bucket.


Space twisted itself in directions that didn't exist. Time branched into a trillion different possibilities and rejoined itself in less than an eyeblink. Ditzy Doo found herself sitting on a toilet.

"Well, this is inauspicious." Ditzy tottered to half as many feet as usual and stumbled to a row of sinks. Grasping one, she relocated her center of balance. Bipedalism was easier than it looked, so long as she didn't overthink it. Her body knew how to balance; her mind just had to trust it.

Ditzy looked up and found herself looking into a mirror. She examined her reflection. "Huh." It was her complexion more than anything. It was one thing to have grey hair. It was quite another to have grey skin. "I look like the scrawniest golem ever," she muttered. "That, or an underfed earth elemental, however that works." As she'd been warned, she seemed younger, too. Late teens if she had to guess. "Weird."

Next came the hands. Ditzy had seen them before, of course, but this was the first chance she got to use a pair of her own. She wiggled her thumbs a bit, then waggled her fingers. She kept waggling, feeling a stupid grin grow. "This is far more fun than it should be." She finally brought it to a halt by tangling the digits in each other.

Ditzy turned her attention back to her appearance, taking a step back for the bigger picture. That she was wearing clothes was a pleasant surprise. She'd been a bit worried about the nudity taboos that humanoids inevitably developed, so not having to scramble to cover herself was quite convenient. Still, the ensemble left something to be desired. The blouse and dress were nice enough, though the blue and green didn't exactly go together, nor did either match the incongruous yellow necktie. But that wasn't the worst of it.

"Socks with sandals?" Ditzy muttered. "It's like the universe treats my existence like some kind of joke." She considered this for a moment. "Oh. Right. It does. I'm a planeswalker, after all."

The former pegasus shrugged. Well, it wasn't that big a deal. She had more pressing issues to deal with. She rubbed her shoulders a bit self-consciously. "No wings." Ditzy knew she wasn't going to keep them, but that didn't mean she was comfortable with their absence. "No flight. Not without magic." She looked at the ground, hopped, and frowned when she came back to earth. "Gravity, you are a cruel mistress."

The thought of magic prompted Ditzy to check her mana bonds. Thankfully, she could still feel the connections. They were a bit attenuated, but not nearly as much as during her brief time in oblivion. She could still cast spells. "Well, that's an advantage."

"Uh..." Ditzy blinked. There was a lavender-skinned girl standing behind her reflection in the mirror, looking askance at the girl talking to herself.

The ex-pony turned and chuckled nervously. "Um, hi."

"Hi..." The girl looked as uncomfortable as Ditzy felt.

Ditzy took in the native's appearance. Honey-and-straw ponytail, lilac skin, similarly shaded eyes... "Cloud Kicker, right?"

The girl gave a slow nod, her lips drawing back in a nervous rictus grin. Oh, great, the smile seemed to say. The crazy girl knows who I am. "Uh, yeah. Hi."

Ditzy's first impulse was to say "I'm not crazy," but that would only convince the other girl of the contrary. Instead, she pulled a page from Pinkie Pie's playbook; if she was going to appear crazy, she might as well seem harmlessly crazy. Ditzy let her eyes drift out of alignment, stuck out her tongue, and winked. "Have a nice day."

Cloud visibly relaxed, her smile becoming more natural. "You too, Derps."

Now it was Ditzy's turn to wear a wooden smile. How did that damnable nickname follow her everywhere?


Sunset Shimmer strode out of an overlooked alcove of Canterlot High, having sent her dimwitted lackeys to gather dirt on Twilight Sparkle. The fool would make it easy for them; she didn't belong in this world. Nor did the Element of Magic, but at least that would prove useful.

She was so busy scheming, she didn't notice the other girl walking next to her. At least, not until the newcomer asked, "So, what does happen when you bring an Element of Harmony into an alternate world?"

Sunset stopped and spun, "Who—?"

Ditzy waved. "Hi."

"You!?" Sunset spat. "I thought I'd taught you not to interfere with me long ago."

Ditzy shrugged. "Who's interfering? I'm just curious."

"Well it's none of your business, Derpy." Sunset stormed off, or at least tried to. A surprisingly strong arm latched onto her own and kept her in place. "Let go of me!"

"It's funny, is all I'm saying." Ditzy's casual tone belied her iron grip. "How could you know something so esoteric about the Elements of Harmony? You know, the magical artifacts that were only half-forgotten legends until after you left Equestria?"

Sunset flinched back, shocked. "H-how did you—?"

"I have my ways." Like invisibly eavesdropping on the confrontation with Twilight, but Ditzy thought it best not to mention that. "But please, do share this information only you have about something that wasn't even physically incarnate when you were last under Celestia's wing."

Sunset sneered. "Oh, I see what happened."

"Do you? I wonder."

"You must be the Derpy from Equestria." Sunset snickered at this. "What, did you trip over your own hooves and into the mirror? There's no way Princess Celestia would send somepony like you."

Ditzy shook her head. "Poor, deluded little egotist. Did you really think there were only two worlds? That nopony paid any attention to movement between them? Your actions have attracted the notice of entities you cannot even begin to conceive of, Sunset Shimmer."

"Oh yeah?" Sunset scoffed. "Name one."

Ditzy smiled, allowing her eyes to fill with roiling, shifting, manamorphosing color. Mind to mind, she broadcasted a single syllable into the fugitive's head.

ME.

Then she let go.

Seeing evil flee before you, Ditzy thought, is its own reward.


Sunset Shimmer shook in the stall, struggling to catch her breath. This wasn't supposed to happen. She could handle Twilight Sparkle easily, but that... that thing that wore the village idiot's skin couldn't be destroyed through rumormongering and aliased e-mails. It wielded magic. It had the one advantage she was trying to get over these accursed apes, and it stood in her way.

"You know, running for the nearest restroom wasn't exactly the cleverest of escape tactics."

Sunset shot up from the toilet she'd been sitting on. "What do you want?"

"Well, for one, I'd like you to open the door. Otherwise, this conversation will be kind of awkward."

Sunset slid open the latch and slammed on the door, sending it flying open. Sadly, the grey-skinned monster stood out of range of the swing. It raised an eyebrow. "I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was just an overly dramatic entrance."

Sunset sneered as she stalked out. "I don't need your charity, freak." A little more...

"Wow. Name calling. I see your maturity matches that of your body."

"Yuck it up, Derpy. I—" Sunset stopped midsentence, making a break for the doorway. She slammed into a glowing blue barrier with all the solidity of a brick wall. "Ow."

Ditzy smiled just a little, since Sunset couldn't see it. "Please, stay a while. I'm in no rush, and I've chosen the least unpleasant means of keeping you here. I considered paralyzing you, but I've seen enough Kamigawan erotica to know that schoolgirls and tentacles don't mix. Er, never mind that last part."

Sunset spun, snarling. "What do you want?"

Ditzy leaned on a sink. "Information, as I said earlier. How do you know what you know about the Elements of Harmony?"

"And if I don't tell you?"

Ditzy shrugged. "I can wait."

Sunset squinted at her captor. "Why do you want to know?"

"I'm genuinely curious."

"Will you answer my questions if I answer yours?"

"Sure." Ditzy grinned. "By my count, you owe me four or five answers. Depends on whether or not repeating 'What do you want?' counts as a separate question. I'm feeling generous, so let's say it doesn't. So, where'd you learn all this Elemental arcana?"

"I was Celestia's student, you know," said Sunset. "She told me everything. Her sister's banishment, the stars moving into alignment, where and what the Elements were. She wanted me as prepared as possible. But then..." Sunset scowled. "She trusted me, but only so long as I danced to her tune. When I asked for more than she was willing to give me, when I strayed from her neat little timetable, she turned on me, rejected me. That was when I realized that her openness was a lie. She was just feeding me what I needed to know, shaping me into a tool, something disposable that she could use to cleanse her sister and toss to the side. I refused to be used like that. I found the portal to this world in one of the castle's sub-basements. I didn't know where it led, but it was outside of that nag's influence, and that was all I needed to know."

"And what are you going to do now?" asked Ditzy.

Sunset snuck a glance at the barricade keeping her trapped in the restroom before responding. "I'm going to make Celestia pay for her manipulation. My army will march upon Equestria, and I will rule ponykind with an iron hoof. Or hand. I'm flexible."

"'Army'?"

"You wanted to know what happens to an Element of Harmony in an alternate world? I'll tell you. With anypony from Equestria transformed into one of these creatures, the crown can't tell us apart. All it knows is that we come from the same world, and so it offers its power to anypony who claims it. With that power, I will dominate the students of this little school, and we will conquer Equestria!"

"I… see." Ditzy gave a dismissive wave of a hand and the barrier dropped. "You can go now."

"Wh— seriously?"

"Seriously."

Sunset slowly backed away from Ditzy. When no retaliation made itself known, she fled at a much faster clip.

Ditzy tried to count to ten before letting herself laugh. She only made it to four.


Snips snickered to himself. The new girl was almost making this too easy. The way she acted around the simplest devices, you'd think she was raised in a cave! He half-expected her to start licking the monitor next.

His phone began to vibrate in his hands. Stifling a confused sound, Snips opened the text message.

S&S Emergency Meet me @ locker 666 ASAP

Snips looked up and met Snails's gaze. Judging by the gangly boy's befuddled expression, he'd gotten the same message. Snips shrugged and headed for the library's entrance. Whatever Sunset wanted, Sunset got, and at that moment, Sunset wanted him.

Minutes later, both boys approached Sunset's locker. There, the queen of the school was pacing and muttering to herself, so lost in both activities that she hadn't noticed them.

Unusually, Snails spoke first. "D'you think Trixie still needs minions?"

Snips glared at him. "Dude! Trixie is yesterday's news. If we're going to be anyone's minions, it's Sunset Shimmer!"

"Well..." Snails gave Sunset a wary look. "It's just... she's kinda lookin' a little crazy."

Sunset snapped out of her fugue. Or maybe she just snapped. "Crazy? Who's crazy? I'm not crazy!" She blinked, seeming to only now recognize her flunkies. "Oh. You two. About time you showed up."

Snips saluted. "We've got plenty of dirt on this Twilight Sparkle girl, Sunset!"

"We'd have more," added Snails, "but, well, you wanted us here."

"Fine. Good. I'm sure you got enough. New job." Sunset snatched a photograph out of her locker and held it up for the pair to see. "Her."

Both minions contemplated the image for far longer than she felt was necessary. Finally, Snails asked, "Are you sure?"

This got him a pair of stares. "Of course she's sure!" shouted Snips. "She's Shunshet Shimmer. Um... You know what I mean!"

"She's dangerous, this one. Don't underestimate her." Sunset shook slightly.

"Well, I don't know about dangerous, per se. Certainly not intentionally." All three students looked up into the smiling, snaggletoothed face of Mr. Discord, head of the science department and principal emeritus. "Yes, Mrs. Punch's class was a bit more explosive than usual last year, but what's a little jump in entropy between friends, eh?"

He knelt down, putting him eye-to-bloodshot-eye with Sunset. "Now, Miss Shimmer, I do so hate to see young minds being needlessly stifled and constrained, so I've been discouraging my dear nieces from any unpleasant overreactions regarding this 'big woman on campus' attitude of yours. But, that being said, I'm sure you, Mister Escargot, and Mister Pirelli all have classes you should be attending about now. I would strongly recommend going to them."

Sunset steamed silently, biting on the inside of her mouth until she could bear to throw up the peppy mask she presented to teachers. "Right away, sir!" After a final dark glare at her lackeys, she sped away, Snips and Snails scurrying off as well.

After waiting a few moments, Ditzy dropped the illusion. "I always wonder how they fill in the blanks," she mused.


Ditzy watched the impromptu musical number out of the corner of her right eye. It was impressive work. The magic of Harmony was much weaker here. Song and dance routines couldn't just manifest when dramatically appropriate; they essentially had to be summoned. But the Bearers' analogues still did all of the preliminary work needed to get to get it going.

Still, it wasn't quite the same. Even walking along the edge of the performance, Ditzy felt no urge to join in. No words came to her lips, no movements to her limbs. She wasn't the target audience and the magic needed to snare her couldn't be spared.

At least it made for a neat light show for her magic sight. Especially Twilight Sparkle. "Yeah," Ditzy muttered as she sat down, "She's clearly not from around here..."

"Who isn't?"

"Twilight Sparkle. As far as I can tell, she..." Ditzy trailed off once she wondered who had asked the question. She turned and barely held back a gasp. "Well, I'm beside myself."

The other grey-skinned blonde giggled. "No kidding."

"You seem to be taking this awfully well."

The local Ditzy shrugged. "Eh, I read a lot of science fiction. So, are you a clone, a robot duplicate, what?"

Ditzy smiled. There was no way she was going to let herself beat her at nonchalance. "You from an alternate universe."

"Cool. So, what's different?"

"Well, for one, I'm normally a pegasus."

That threw the local, confirming that eye disorders transcended dimensional borders. "As in a horse with wings?"

"Pony, actually."

"So a tiny horse with wings?"

The planeswalker smirked, "Much in the same way you're a bald ape, yes."

"Point made." Local Ditzy's attention returned to the center of the cafeteria. The song had petered out at this point, but Twilight was still working the crowd. "So, same goes for the new kid, then?"

"No, she's a unicorn." Ditzy frowned and squinted. Something was off about Twilight's aura. It was... deeper, somehow. "At least, she was a unicorn."

"Now she's a pegasus?"

That was it. "No. Well, sort of. I think she's got wings and a horn. And vaguely defined earth powers."

"How?"

"If I had to guess? Shenanigans."

Local Ditzy frowned. "I shouldn't be satisfied with that answer, but it's funny enough that I'm willing to let it go."

"Um..."

Both girls looked up with disturbing synchronicity, making the speaker flinch back a bit. One noted that his skin and hair color actually fell within the possible spectrum of normal humans. The other smiled. "Oh. Hi, Norman."

"Hi." Norman looked from one Ditzy to the other, confusion mounting each time. "Um..."

"Oh!" The local Ditzy thought fast. "This is, uh..."

The other flashed a winning smile. "I'm Ditzy's cousin, Bright Eyes. Nice to meet you."

Norman opened his mouth, paused, and finally asked, "Cousins?"

"Yup."

"Identical cousins?"

"We both take after our grandmother."

Norman's eyes flicked about as he processed this. Finally, he shrugged. "Sure, why not? Nice to meet you, Bright. I'm going to go find a lunch table that makes sense."

"Good luck." Ditzy smiled at her analogue's wonderstruck expression. "Everyone has a threshold where things get so weird that they no longer care what's actually going on. It's a mental defense mechanism."

Local Ditzy smiled with a sound like a squeeze toy. "I am the coolest pegasus ever."


Mystic energy flooded into the world, pulled through the portal by the misappropriated Element of Magic. Electric guitars wailed from the Æther. The transformed Sunset gave a wide, fanged grin. "I am complete!"

Dash and Applejack expressed what all six friends were thinking. "Fuuuuuuuuck!"

Hot licks thrashed eardrums as Sunset crowed, "Yes, you are fucked! Shit out of luck! Now I'm complete and your thumbs you can suck! All worlds will be mine, and you're first in line! You've brought me the crown and now you shall all die!"

"Excuse me!" It was as though someone had pulled the plug on the cosmic amp. The rocking crescendo came to a stuttering halt. Ditzy waved as she emerged from the school's entrance. "Hi. I hate to interrupt, but, well, how exactly do you plan on conquering all of existence? One demon and infinite worlds just don't add up."

"This ain't no time fer fancy mathematics, Ditzy Doo!" cried Applejack. "Git outta here while th' gittin's good!"

Sunset chuckled, a sound like infant skulls bouncing on a giant xylophone. "No, no, she's right. I nearly forgot." With a gesture, Sunset crushed the doors of the building to rubble and lifted them out of the way. Dark power flared about the Tiara of Magic, culminating in blue rings of energy that flew towards the assembled student body.

Ditzy casually dismissed the mind control, but the other students weren't so lucky. Soon, the polychromatic populous stood stock still, their glowing eyes staring at nothing.

"With my teenage army," Sunset boasted, "Equestria will fall before me!"

"Snrk..."

The demon's head snapped down to Ditzy, glowering at her. "What was that?"

"Pfft… ha ha ha ha!"

"What's so funny!?" Sunset demanded.

"You!" Ditzy gasped. "You actually think a bunch of untrained, underaged mind slaves is going to have a fighting chance against a trained military!"

The demon's rage came to a full boil. Hellfire flashed to life in her hands. "Shut up and die!" Sunset screeched, hurling a mass of black flame at her heckler.

"Ha ha ha no." Ditzy held up a hand. The air shimmered before her, like a heat mirage. The ebon pyre slowed to a halt less than an inch from her palm, then abruptly reversed course.

Sunset's eyes bugged out for a moment, but she collected herself and screamed, the sheer volume disrupting the fiery mass before it struck her.

"Typical," Ditzy observed. "You don't get your way, so you throw a tantrum."

"I am not! Throwing! A TANTRUM!" Sunset dove at the blonde, claws outstretched.

Ditzy fell back on a tried and true tactic every planeswalker learned eventually: basically, run. As Sunset's talons sank into cement, she skidded to a halt by Twilight and her friends. "Hi, Twilight, hi, local analogues of everypony."

"Hi, non-local analogue of Ditzy!" replied Pinkie.

"Ditzy Doo?" Twilight gaped. "What are you… How did you—"

"No time. You and your Doppelfreunden here might want to—"

Ditzy's advice was cut off by a guttural roar and another blast of unholy flame.

"Crap." Two spells in quick succession had drained Ditzy's limited reserves. She couldn't dodge, as that would leave the others in the path. That left one option. Swallowing, Ditzy spread her arms and shut her eyes.

"No!" Twilight ducked under one arm and put herself before her fellow former pony.

"Twilight!" The five friends she reunited followed suit.


Lyra leaned forward, engrossed. "And then what happened?"

"Well, between their bonds of friendship with a girl they'd met the day before and being essentially the same people as the Bearers, five random teenagers were able to use the Elements of Harmony without the actual jewelry. But first, they sprouted pony ears, their hair doubled in length, and wings appeared where appropriate."

Lyra chewed this over for a minute. "No, seriously, then what happened?"

"That," Ditzy deadpanned. "It was every bit as stupid and glorious as it sounds." She grumbled an addendum. "Still can't believe I didn't get my wings back..."

"Huh. So, what happened to Sunset Shimmer?"

"Still in Zero-Zero-Epsilon, learning about the magic of friendship from those she sought to divide and conquer." Ditzy grinned. "It's actually a nice bit of ironic punishment. I think that Twilight's going to make a decent princess."


Meanwhile, at Canterlot High

Two girls sat opposite one another in the cafeteria, several pieces of cardboard arranged between them in some arcane formation. The blonde was explaining some part of the process to the redhead. "And after my end phase, it's your turn again. Same process as before: untap, upkeep, draw, and then the precombat main phase."

Sunset Shimmer scowled at the cards. "This isn't what I meant when I asked you to teach me this world's magic."

Ditzy Doo shrugged. "I figured as much, but I'm not secretly a pegasus from another timeline."

Sunset snapped up, staring at the grey girl. "H-how did you...?"

"Besides," Ditzy continued, smiling, "isn't it fun?"

Sunset considered her hand. Mind Control, Steal Artifact, Renegade Demon...

"Yeah," she admitted. "Yeah, it is."


Incite Controversy 1RW
Instant
Cast Incite Controversy only during combat before attackers are declared.
Separate all creatures attacking player controls into two piles. Creatures in the pile of that player's choice attack this turn if able. Creatures in the other pile can't attack this turn.
Some see an unforgivable mockery of everything they hold sacred. Others see a harmless joke. Both are correct.

Author's Note:

Chengar Qordath did the whole "crossover character intrudes on Equestria Girls" thing better, but then, he generally does that with any story he gets his winning mitts on.

These were the highlights, of course. The rest of the time, assume Ditzy is waiting for her lands to untap and trying not to wreck destiny.

As for the ending, well, don't forget the blurb on just about every piece of Magic packaging. "You Are A Planeswalker." If Ditzy is one, logically, that means EG!Ditzy plays the game. And so does that universe's Pinkie. Hmm...

Oh, I actually did come up with a model of temporal geometry. It's a big wad of mathematical technobabble and cylindrical coordinates, so I'll only post it if anyone's interested.