• Published 6th May 2014
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After the End - Door Matt



Jason Wright, bitter after surviving his lowest point, will make a deal with the devil to get the answers he craves. Whether Ponyville is ready for him, or not.

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After Hour (Pt. 2)

I am here.

I am where I’ve wanted to be for so long. The residents of Ponyville. Twilight and her friends. They are all looking at me, finally. Not past me. Not down on me. At me. Knowing how I feel. Knowing what I am. What I can do.

And now Celestia, you’re here too, bearing witness to all of it. Always the ever watchful eye over your kingdom.

But not me.

I am here now. I don’t think I have it in me to forgive them for all the torment, the hushed whispers and acts of ignorance and lies. But I can make them see the light. Maybe I already have.

What about you Celestia? How noble can you be now, after the fact?

“Yeah,” I reply to her, still hovering far enough above the ground so no wayward hooves can sneak up on me. Just in case, I swivel around briefly; all the ponies from before are still there, watching and waiting. Some continue to look over the burn marks of their neighbours, others are too shocked to move, gazing in fear at their broken Ponyville.

The tornado might’ve cleared, but the devastation it wrought has left only the outermost ring of buildings still standing, and even those aren't in good shape. The centre of town has become nothing more than a filled-in crater, topped with charred wood, the scattered remains of household belongs and an awful lot of torn-apart books, just colourful dots from up here. I want to stare, to savour this panorama of a village that can do no more to damage me. But the moment can only last so long. Business needs attending to.

“Is that you? What in Equestria’s name happened to you?”

Her voice is perturbed, but still so calm, as if the owner has never lost temper in their lifetime. Maybe she’s all too experienced in situations like this. A lot can happen when you’re immortal, gotta kill the time somehow. Allies. Enemies. Friends. Villains. Family.

It’s easy when everyone adores you.

“Yeah...it’s me. How long’s it been huh? Three years?”

“Your mane, your clothes, who did this to you?”

“My...what?”

I look over myself briefly. All appears to be right, so why does she look and sound puzzled?

“It...cannot be…” Something shimmers in her eyes, and she proceeds to scan my entire body over. I feel as if I’ve stepped through an x-ray scanner. “Illusion magic of that order is beyond most unicorns. Who cast that on you?”

That’s surely impossible! How can she tell I’ve disguised my old appearance? I know she’s an alicorn, but so is Twilight, and she apparently didn’t pick up on it.

“Princess Celestia! It’s not just illusions! He has control over telekinesis and weather manipulation! My anti-magic barrier contained him, but it was blown away in the storm!” Sparkle joins her once mentor in the air, and almost immediately takes in the view behind me, somewhat hidden to her on the ground. “Oh...oh no...the library…”

“I know.” Celestia’s eyes have never left me. I’m started to feel a little bit awkward. It’s not that I don't like the look in her eyes, it’s that I can’t tell what’s she thinking at all.

Twilight’s tears return for a second and equally unwelcome appearance. Only now at the sound of her ex-student sobbing does Celestia look away from me, offering some form of comfort with an outstretched wing.

“You...you know…?” Twilight says between snivels.

“Everything that happened from the first attack. The shield warning spell worked, but we were not prepared for an assault of this speed and ferocity. I flew as fast as I could, but three guard squadrons are also on their way. Please, tell me no-pony was killed…”

“No...I don’t think so...as soon as the fires started...everypony ran…”

“If you’re about to try and paint me as the bad guy here, good freakin’ luck,” I say. “I mean, you can see what I actually look like, right Princess? Want to bet who caused that? Cause ding ding ding, you guessed right if you thought sad sack and her friends down there.”

“Shut up!” Twilight screams.

“I will come up there and end you human! Ah...ouch…” Dash rises unsteadily on four hooves before clutching her side again. Good. If I’m lucky, she’s suffering from a few cracked ribs.

“He will not try anything more. Not after I can speak to him. So please everypony, let me do so without any more interruptions.”

That is an arrogance from Celestia I never thought possible. I don’t want to humiliate one of the few ponies who has ever treated me with kindness in front of her subjects, but I damn will if she pushes me any further.

Turning her crown into liquid poop. That might be funny to watch. Drip drip drip, all through her mane…

“These powers are mine, how I got them doesn’t matter,” I say, pushing the tempting thought aside. I have to be careful now with my casting, in case they see some of it as Discord’s influence. “What I want you to know is how your precious student there is a prejudiced little runt. Her and the rest of them.”

Two raised eyebrows. That piqued her attention for sure.

“Talk to me Jason. Tell me why you are so different from that kind soul I had the pleasure to meet three years ago.”

A small ember tickles my insides. Was...was that a compliment? After all I’ve done here?

“You’re not mad? How are you not mad!? Look behind me! I’ve laid waste to all of it-”

“Ponyville can be rebuilt, in fact I’ve seen it done so a few times,” she replies loudly, impeding my speech. “What truly matters to me is why. Everything here was laid out for you…”

I no longer hear what she’s saying. Twilight’s crying becomes the dominant noise, as she struggles to maintain her aerial balance. Her tears drop down to the ground, where the other five are all watching and listening. Rainbow and Rarity might be listening to their princess but it’s hard to tell when they’re staring at me so vehemently. Even now, after I’ve proven to them their tactics are useless, they won’t give up hating me? They’re damn lucky I’m not a total monster and didn’t go after Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo directly.

Fluttershy and Pinkie, quivering behind them, either out of fear or anticipation. Pathetic. They should be scared of me now, but they had no reason to be when I was powerless. Taking orders from a friend doesn’t override common sense. Not if you had any sort of smarts, and these two clearly don’t.

And Applejack - she who runs at me like a girl possessed one minute and then tries to save me the next. She who wanted to listen at first, then looked for a way to take me down straight afterwards. I had so wanted to leave, I was done with this place, and she couldn’t even let me do that.

It’s a strange expression - ‘the red mist descends’ - but when it happens to you, all that pent-up energy just explodes from your mouth in a torrent.

“They all hated me! Everyone here! Twilight saw a bunch of bad humans once, and decided I was just like them! Without even speaking to me, she turned me away! And even worse, she spread that belief among everyone in town! Her, her friends, everyone here, all hated me! That’s why I look like crap Celestia, that’s what three years of living alone in a frikkin cave will do to you! Not that’d you know anything-

“Jason!”

“-about fending for yourself being in that bloody great castle all year round-”

“Jason stop!”

“I WAS READY TO KILL MYSELF PRINCESS! THAT’S HOW BAD IT GOT! TELL ME WHY I SHOULD STOP!”

“You’re burning up!”

I pant for breath, realizing an orange glow has appeared encircling my vision. Though I feel nothing burning, that tirade must’ve released some unintentional magic, as the top half of my body is literally on fire. Must make for a nice light show I guess. It takes only a few gusts of wind to sweep the flames into nothing, leaving my clothing thankfully untouched.

“Whatever. I’m sick of these ponies trying to play the victim card every damn time-”

“Please, calm down...”

“-just because they think they’re cute and able to get away with it-”

“I SAID CALM DOWN!” Celestia bellows right at me, and the shockwave is enough to send me momentarily spinning, as the words reverberate around my ear drums. Luna’s Royal Canterlot Voice was impressive. Hers is on another level entirely.

I right myself as Celestia shoots me a questioning look. “Are you done?” Thinking better of trying to vocally convince her, I simply nod.

“Thank you,” she says, turning to face Twilight. “Princess Twilight, if I do recall, you sent me two letters about Jason shortly after he arrived. The first said he was enjoying his stay, and in the second not long after, you assured me not to worry if I didn’t see or hear from him in a while, because he had found a work opportunity in Manehatten.” Sparkle visibly shivers and drops a few feet in height, as if withering under Celestia’s gaze. “I want you now to tell me that everything you said in those letters were true. Tell me you did not lie to me.”

Another few feet dropped.

“I...I didn’t mean....he...it all got so out of hoof…”

Celestia’s jaw actually drops. I think she almost loses aerial balance too.

“It is true!? Everything he said just now is the truth? Even that part about...well…”

“I-I don’t know about that part...I w-wasn’t there…”

“Applejack was,” I cut in. “She actually tried to stop me hang myself. Might as well ask her yourself since she can’t lie about it.”

Celestia looks past Twilight down to the earth pony below. I do too with a smug satisfaction, already knowing what she’s gonna say.

“Eeyup. He’s got me there,” she says grimly. “But if ah may Princess, that don’t mean he-”

“Thank you Applejack,” Celestia’s delivery is so loaded that AJ immediately shuts up, and the alicorn reverts her attention back to Sparkle. The look she gives her at that instance is so heavy and pained, that ‘cold fury’ doesn’t get anywhere close to describing it. I can almost see both of their hearts breaking. “So it is true. And you call yourself a sovereign of Friendship, Twilight…”

“You...you didn’t say Princess…” Sparkle’s body quakes and dips further as she almost loses her flight ability entirely. The trickle of tears has becomes a stream, staining the fur around her eyes.

“No. I do not see fit to call you by a title you have lost the understanding of. What happened? I sent you to Ponyville all those years ago because I knew you had the potential to be a Princess of Friendship. Everything you have done and been through was meant to guide you, not set you down a path of mistrust. We went over what you experienced in the mirror portal when you returned. Didn’t you put all that behind you?”

Her wings flat out give up, and Twilight tumbles the last ten or so feet down the earth, only saved from a rough landing by Applejack catching her. She slips off her friend’s back and hunches down on all fours, rocking side to side, muttering something or other that I can’t really discern. I think I hear “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” through her hooves.

“Twi, are you okay? Twi!” AJ kneels down beside her as Rainbow growls.

“That’s not fair! Can’t you see that she was right? Look at all this!” she waves at hoof in Ponyville’s direction, and then stabs it at her side. “I think he got one of my ribs, oof.”

“I most heartily concur!” Rarity chimes in. “Forgive me Princess, but it was not your sister who I had to drag away from our home, screaming, terrified!”

“I didn’t intend for that! How could I have known she was in there?” I yell.

“ENOUGH!” Celestia bellows forth, and faces the mane six. “This disaster happened because you all let revulsion cloud your inner judgements. The five of you should’ve known better. Twilight may be your closest friend but that is not an excuse to blindly follow her wisdom. She needed you to talk her out of this madness, but you let it pass. I especially expected better of you Pinkamena Pie, if you truly ignored Jason’s wellbeing.”

Pinkie looks devastated as it is, but after that bombshell, she seems tempted to join Twilight in sobbing her heart out. “Bu..bu..bu..but Twi said the best way I could make him happy was to let him explore on his own! And he was so happy anyway when he first arrived...I didn’t know! I’m sorry Jason! I kinda-sorta hate you for blowing up Ponyville but I’m still sorry!”

An apology? Honestly I feel a little bemused at that. It did seem as though Pinkie was doing absolutely everything possible to avoid me; at least I have a reasonable answer for that now.

“Anyone else in the mood for apologizing?” I say to the rest of them, particularly Twilight - hoping she can hear me.

“Jason.” Celestia flies right up to me. She trusts me not to try anything by coming this close. “Just because you have been wronged does not mean I will forgive you for destroying Ponyville. You have marked yourself as an official enemy of Equestria by your blatancy and desire for revenge. What was your end goal here exactly? Destroy the town, terrorize my little ponies, then what? Where will you go from here on out?”

“What...I…” I stutter. And then it hits me.

I don’t actually know.

There was no plan after making the ponies see the error of their ways. Obviously I can’t stay around here anymore. I’m no longer depressed enough to try suicide again. Where would I have gone? What would I have done?

“Listen to me. I know the Jason Wright I met in Canterlot is still in there,” She points a hoof at my chest, and something in her face lifts. “How do I? Because you held back. No-pony died here today because you have not fallen so far into the dark enough to not climb back out. That magic you have is potent, but you didn’t let it overwhelm you. Torture. Enslavement. Even murder, intentional or not. All these were open to you, yes? And you held back, because you still love this place as much as you did back then.

Lies. What nonsense. Can’t you see the deceit? The best students learn from their teachers.

A tiny ghost of a smile emerges on her face. I can’t do….I can’t think anymore. I don’t know how to feel. Is she right?

“I have seen many threats to Equestria in my time.” A ray of sunlight pierces through the clouds and refracts into her mane, creating a dazzling aura. “Once...just once I want diplomacy to work first, not have to resort to force.”

The whole world seems to crawl to a slow stop. Even across worlds, there are certain themes and standards that always remain. In this moment, it does not matter that she is effectively a talking horse, for she is truly beautiful.

“You...still like me? I’m...not an alien to you?” When did my voice get so quiet? And why is my vision suddenly blurry? My hand comes up to rub my eye, and comes away wet.

“No, of course not. We can re-build, both homes and hearts. Let me see to Twilight and her friends. And please, as a personal comfort to me, return that magic to whence it came.”

A chill sweeps over me. I find myself casting a nervous glance downwards.

“Why…? I can’t do that. What if I get attacked again?”

“Jason, that will not happen again-”

“You don’t know that! You didn’t know this time!” I shout, balling my hands into fists. “What if, Princess? What if-”

You need them. The time to be cruel, when they only share cruelty.

-”I need them? The times when I need to be cruel, when they only share cruelty to me?”

All traces of optimism are gone from Celestia’s face. So fixated, I haven’t noted anything the mane six have done all this time. Fluttershy stirs from the pack and launches herself briefly into the air, extraordinarily animated.

“Discord! Is that you? Princess Celestia! I think it’s Discord!”

Why you little…

How the hell does she know!? I haven’t used a single speck of chaos magic for over ten minutes!

“Oh my goodness, I think you’re right,” Celestia does the aerial equivalent of backpedaling three or four steps. “Didn’t he say he was vacationing in the frozen north?”

“He did, and um, I’m sure I saw him leave. He had a suitcase with him at least…”

“You tell us, Jason,” Princess Celestia asks. “Is that Discord’s magic?”

Lying won’t help me here. Hiding Discord’s influence had been my only safeguard. If they consider all the magic from before, it becomes a certainty that it was all his powers.

“And if it is?” I reply cautiously, probing for options.

“Then you have made a very foolish mistake. What he lent you in strength, he will take back from you tenfold. And I have no idea what lasting effects his powers will leave you on. His magic cannot be predicted, and it cannot be controlled. That is his nature. He is always looking for ways for us to play his ridiculous games. You are just another way for him to roll the dice.”

The distance between us increases. I don’t like the change of tone in her voice.

“Strip Twilight of her magic and her crown. We both know she doesn’t deserve them. Do that, and I’ll do whatever you want,” I say, fully intending to go along with it. I had similar plans for Twilight, but if Celestia does it herself, that is a sweeter justice - more than I could’ve asked for originally.

The monarch apparently ponders this, hovering just above Twilight, who is staring in shock at me. I can’t begin to imagine what she’s thinking right now. Then she locks gazes with Celestia. Whatever they say to each other just then, it isn’t with words.

“No.”

“So you are siding with them!” I yell, incensed. How can she do this to me now!?

“Do not make this into a choice between you and them.” Celestia sighs as my pulse races. “Whatever they may do, however misguided they act, I will always stand with my little ponies. It is my duty and onus both. Twilight will learn, but not in the way Discord is suggesting. That is his voice, not yours.”

“IT’S MINE!” I shriek, losing my cool again.

“You heard her! You’re not touching Twilight!” Dash shouts.

Even with her injury, she manages to stand in front of Sparkle like a shield. Rarity joins her, then Applejack. Pinkie brings up the rear, while Fluttershy hovers gently in the air, scanning me over much like Celestia had. But of course, didn’t she know Discord better than anyone?

“Please...Discord….if you’re in there...let Jason go...please…”

Time’s up.

“NO!”

The voice is not mine. My head suddenly pounds with pain, and I look out with terror as my body starts to slip away from me. Hands turn yellow. My teeth feel too big for my mouth. Two points on top of my skull stretch and contort, crippling my pain threshold. I yell out in fright, twisting and turning as my skeleton becomes fluid. Everything starts to look a lot smaller; or maybe I’ve become a lot bigger.

It’s too painful to think. Darkness encroaches the edge of my vision, like I’m falling back into myself. Two shapes - white and purple - flitter in the light. It’s all so bright. The pain...if I sleep...maybe it’ll be over...no more pain.

A flash, and then darkness.


I wake to snow and rubble, already walking.

The path before me is woodland, dotted with scattered stone pillars. The architecture reminds me of ancient temples.

Where is this place? How did I get here?

The snowfall is light, and atmospheric. Neither moon nor sun shine above, in fact it doesn’t look like night or day; some weird mix of the two instead. It’s not even cold here.

I’m so taken by the surreal beauty of the place that I don’t see what’s ahead until the figure is close enough to recognize properly.

Is that...me?

I tilt my head, and the other me matches it. A reflection? I draw closer and closer, until I am mere metres from myself. The trees, the ruins, myself, all one huge reflection. A mirror without a frame.

What the hell is going on?

“One regrets meeting you again under these circumstances.”

That voice, from above. A hazy blue figure among the trees.

“The magic of Twilight and my sister will not last for long, so I will be brief. This mirror is an a invasion of your dreamscape, placed by Discord. I can see his hallmarks all over it. Sloppy craftwork if I do say so myself. You must destroy it, and return to the waking world as one. Be quick about it! I sense he will notice our presence if we tarry.”

I’m tempted to fall over in the snow. A heavy sensation plagues my joints. But the mirror demands all my attention; I can’t even focus on the owner of the voice. Only a name, whispers to me, through the trees like a gentle breeze.

Luna.

One more fight. One last struggle. Will that end it? A raised fist. Yes...yes I am. The other me does the same. He looks so tired.

“I do not know of the specifics of what transpired today. I had assumed darkness would not touch you, much like I had assumed of myself. Though I have been proved wrong, know that you are forgiven. For I know all too well the temptations of the heart.”

Expecting to hurt my knuckles, my fist actually smashes through the glass easily, tearing the surface asunder. The other me falls towards me...and is gone. The air feels different now. The snow has stopped, and a red glow permeates somewhere in the sky.

“Well done. We have done all we can. I wish you luck, in case we do not meet again. Farewell, young Jason Wright, and for your own sake, rise above the calling of power.

There is no beyond the mirror. Everything’s….fading….

“Trust in yourself, and you will be free.”


A sudden breathe. Dirt and grass...under my fingers. Dry mouth. Sounds. Wind! Am I back?

Drowsily I attempt to get up, before something claws my head and drags me upright anyway by the hair. My skull courses with pain, within and without.

What the hell!?

“Let him go, Discord!”

“Hmm? What for? You’ve made it quite clear you no longer want him.”

I try to look up, past the brown body overshadowing me. There’s no mistaking anything about him. Discord is back, not even giving me time to reflect on what just happened while I was out cold.

All the mane six are on their feet. Celestia is with them, clearly on edge. Maybe even frightened.

“He isn’t yours to begin with ladies. I am the one who saved this poor soul from an untimely death, so surely that makes him my responsibility?” His voice drips with sneer. I think of a way to get him off me, but nothing happens. The powers are gone, and I am helpless.

“Were...you really...inside my mind?” I ask, suddenly feeling very unclean. He looks down on me with the sweetest of smiles.

“Oh my boy, you would have gone completely cuckoo had I not been there to guide you. These gifts of mine are not to be sniffed at you know, and what’s a helping hand between friends? You did something for me after all.”

“Friends?” Applejack scoffs. “The only friend you deserve is Fluttershy, she’s tha’ only one who can make ya see sense!”

“Sense? Ahahaha!” Discord breaks out into a sordid laugh. “I think I said something about how boring it is to make sense once. Are your little pony heads losing their memory?”

“Discord, please. Whether you saved him or not, release him. Don’t let your friendship with Fluttershy go to waste.” Celestia says.

Fluttershy whimpers slightly, until Pinkie nudges her in the side. “Oh um, yes. I would much appreciate it if you stop hurting Jason, please.”

“Ahhh, you see that?” Discord lowers his face right next to mine so we’re staring in the same direction - straight at Fluttershy. “There’s the soul that warmed this draconequus’ old bones. It’s little wonder anyone can resist!” He straightens up but keeps his grip on me tight. “My dear Fluttershy, you said once I should break out into the world and make friends of my own. Does this creature not count somehow? You wouldn’t deny me my very first own friend would you?”

Unbelievably, Discord is pouting. Rather more believably, Celestia looks on in repugnance.

“You expect us to believe that? More likely you sought revenge on Twilight, trying to discredit her as a princess.”

“Wrong wrong wrong wrong!” he sing-songs. “I solely wanted to test her credentials. And of course, Jason’s potential.”

“That’s...that’s….horsefeathers! Most of Ponyville is gone because of you two! I wish you’d just...disappear!” Twilight yells. I can’t even bear to look at her any more.

“Interesting. Well, I can satisfy half of your wish. But first, how about a parting gift, courtesy of one Jason Wright?”

Finally he lets me go, and I topple forward. Immediately I scramble to my feet, tempted to run. But there’s no use. He could catch up to me in a flash.

“Why have one friend, when you can have a hundred?” He smiles the wickedness smile I’ve ever seen on a living creature, and clicks his fingers.

Out of nothing, heralded by a loud coursing rumble, a great number of mirrors rise from the earth, all around us. One roars up right beside me, sparkling in the sunlight and shiny like glass. Celestia ascends, ready to charge.

“Is that the mirror portal from the Crystal Empire? How did you get ahold of that? What is this sorcery?”

“My dears, it’s time to test the limits of your friendship!” Discord says, arms spread wide in victory.

As one, to my absolute disbelief, humans walk out of the mirrors. One out of each. I see people from every nation, every ethnicity and gender. A few stumble from dizziness. Others quickly gaze around them in awe. Most surround us, like the walls of a city.

A much younger guy than me stumbles forward from the mirror nearest me. This can’t be happening...to see fellow people again after so long...

“What...how…who…” I splutter, incredulous.

“It’s a real wonder what one can do with a little shared knowledge between worlds Celestia. Perhaps I can be your new student of magic, if this is impressive enough for you?”

The princess ignores Discord, too stunned by the view around her. The mane six draw into a tighter huddle, with Twilight at the centre. They all look terrified.

“Alas, it appears our time together is ending Jason Wright,” he says, and holds a balled fist out to me before I can question him. “A parting gift for you too.”

His fist opens, revealing a strange claw-like object. Without thinking, I take it in my hands. It’s small, but still sharp against my skin.

“That is yours, no? You sent it here before your arrival, and who should it happen to hit on the head out of nowhere but little ol’ moi? I probably wouldn't have even known about you had I not endeavoured to find out where that came from. Funny how we are drawn to chaos, wouldn't you say?”

Sent before…

The memory rises up like the tide, forcing back all the more recent recollections. It’s the hook. From the fishing rod I’d used to first test the portal! This is where it had disappeared to!

“Yeah...this is mine...” I say, closing my own hand around it. A little piece of home I can touch again.

“Splendid. You need not thank me for saving your life, you have given me more than enough amusement for a lifetime. How fun you humans are! Now if you don’t mind, my new friends and I have some introductions to get through. Toodle-oo Mr Wright! Don’t forget to write!” A growl last parts his lips, and he places a strong hand against my chest.

“What-”

With an almighty push, my body is shoved backwards. Soaring, I spin just enough to see the guy near me reach out a hand to grab me as I fly past.

He misses my own hand by inches.

I yell but all I see is the world rushing past. Too late do I see actually where he pushed me toward - the nearest mirror. Still barrelling too fast, it’s impossible to grab the edges.

Past the point of no return, my body flings through the portal gate, into a terrene of nothingness. The door of light quickly shrinks to a pinprick, before it’s gone.

I don’t know if I’m sinking or still flying. Dimensions have lost all meaning. My stomach turns over, and I remember the sick feeling from the portal trip from Earth.

This time, I don’t know where I will end up. If I’ll end up anywhere at all. If time flows at all here, I don’t think it follows any rules.

I close my eyes, trying to comfort myself with one pure thought. My singular cause I had strived for for so long, now complete. Maybe I can rest now, knowing it’s done. I won't have to deal with those ponies any more. To hell with them.

I’d made it.

I’d made it out of Equestria.

Wherever I end up, can't be any worse...



Dear Princess Twilight Sparkle

My my, it seems there is never a moment’s peace in Equestria these days, for I have some unexpected news! A new species of creature managed to appear inside of Canterlot Castle earlier today! He claims that he used some form of magic to arrive from an unknown plane, and though he believes himself not to know where he is, I can tell from his eyes that there was some deliberate motive to come here.

Imagine a minotaur but much thinner and lacking fur, without horns too, yet with soft, round protrusions for claws. Mentally, he displays an intelligence at least equal to ours! A strange but most extraordinary soul. In fact, he may be a close match to those beings you described meeting in the world through the mirror portal. Perhaps they are related somehow? The similar appearance alone make for an improbable coincidence.

Now before you come flying over and crashing down my door to carry out some “research” (I know you are thinking it!), he has graciously agreed to spend some time in Ponyville, as he may have to settle down in Equestria for now. After spending the night in the castle, I shall send him by private train down to Ponyville in the morning. I would go myself but the royal schedule is burdened for the next few weeks and I simply cannot afford to deviate from it. As thrilling as this new discovery is, it sadly mustn't impact upon our recent diplomatic developments overseas.

The creature calls himself “Jason Wright”, and he is a truly genial fellow. I personally have no doubts he can seamlessly fit into life here, and I trust you will meet him tomorrow and show him that the magic of friendship is powerful enough to reach beyond even the borders of our visible realms. I did say once there is always more to learn!

I look forward to where this unforeseen meeting will take us. Already I can predict that he will unreservedly appreciate all that Ponyville has in store for him.

As Always, With Love

Princess Celestia

PS: Jason says he can’t wait to meet all of you.

Author's Note:

IT'S DONE

*pants for breath*

As always, apologies for the wait. Real life reared up to intervene here and there.
There's blog post I'm about to write with all sorts of info about this fic, something of a debrief. So check that out if you'd like. Some stuff I'd appreciate feedback on.

And of course. thank you for reading. Quite the ride, wasn't it?