• Published 17th Jul 2014
  • 777 Views, 20 Comments

Weird - FreedomFiend



Twilight Sparkle experiments with a new spell for interdimensional communication. How different can two beings be?

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Epilogue

College Park, Maryland, six months later

"... And so, two particles can be inversely correlated in behavior, regardless of the distance between them. However, that is all the time we have for today, class. Enjoy your weekend, you are dismissed." Charles turned off the projector and packed up his teaching material, occasionally answering questions from any student who hadn't already left. He took his time, as this was his last class for the day and he had no other pressing engagements.

With his briefcase tucked under his arm, Charles stepped out into the hallway. "Hello, professor!" Recognizing the familiar Slavic accent, he turned to the call and smiled at his friend.

"Hey, Dimmy, don't call me 'professor,'" Charles responded, "you're not even a student." The two chuckled over the good-natured teasing as they began walking. "By the way, thanks again for the ride. My car should be out of the shop tomorrow."

"It is no problem, my friend. Besides, we share the same route. It would have been wrong for me not to take you."

"So, what's up with you?"

"Oh, nothing much," Dmitri replied. "I am worried I will have to fail one of my students, though." Charles knew how personable his young peer was, and how good of a teacher it made him, but it also played against him when dealing with such situations. The older man mulled for a minute, trying to think of something encouraging to say.

"Well, don't worry too much about it," Charles said after a moment. "Applied Physics isn't for everyone. I'm sure he'll find something else he's better suited to."

"To which he is better suited," Dmitri corrected matter-of-factly. Charles scowled at him, but couldn't keep it up as they both burst out laughing. They continued their small talk as they reached the offices, putting their things in their respective places. After some brief paperwork, Dmitri spoke up. "Charles, before I forget, do you need a ride home?"

Parting the blinds with his fingers, Charles peeked outside, just in time to see a silver Tesla sedan pull into the university parking lot. He grinned to Dmitri, saying "That won't be necessary, pal. My ride's arrived."

Dmitri beamed and waved in response. "Well, I will see you on Monday, my friend!" Charles waved back as he left the office, making his way to the parking lot. As he passed through the double doors leading out of the building, he saw that the car's driver had parked next to the curb and was standing there, waiting for him. She was a middle-aged woman, only slightly shorter than him with a comfortably thin build. A thin, grey streak ran down the part in her straight, light brown hair, which hung in a ponytail down to the middle of her back. Thin lines framed her hazel eyes and freckled cheeks, but as far as Charles was concerned, they only accentuated the smile she wore. The modest, burgundy dress she wore contrasted nicely with her fair skin and matched her short-heeled shoes. They caressed for a moment when Charles reached her, planting a soft kiss on her cheek.

"How was your day, darling?" the woman asked, as she made her way to the other side of the car. Charles clambered into the passenger side of the roomy sedan while she slipped into the driver's seat.

Charles shrugged. "Nothing special. At least, not until my sweet Lenore came to pick me up," he said with a wry smile. Lenore chuckled as they made their way off the premises.

"Oh Chuck, you're such a charmer." They drove in comfortable silence, at least for the first few minutes. Charles noticed Lenore seeming more distressed as she drew out a sigh. However, before he could say anything, she spoke up; "Charles, I'm sorry. I wasn't thinking clearly when I wrote that letter. I don't know why - I mean, I should have written that I was just going to visit my brother for a few days... If I hadn't been so careless, maybe -"

"Shh, shh, it's okay," Charles interrupted. "You've already said it, and there's nothing for you to be sorry for anyway. If anything, I should be the one saying sorry. What you wrote was true; I'd put my work before our relationship. Besides, I'm the one who overreacted. I could have figured out easily enough that you hadn't left me. But you know me, just a regular drama queen," he said with a dry chuckle. Lenore looked to him, her eyes glistening, but her mouth turned up into a smile. "It's all behind us now. We're together; that's what's important, and I'll do well to remember it," he stated staunchly. Lenore returned her eyes to the road, but reached over and took Charles' hand. The simple contact comforted both of them as they made their way home.


Later that evening, Charles laid awake in bed, his wife sleeping softly beside him. Staring at the ceiling, he recalled the events of the past few months. After only a couple of days, Lenore had returned, shocked to find him in a desperate and disheveled state. After much apologizing and comforting on both sides, they worked on restructuring their lives and relationship. Not long into that, he received a report from the Navy's R&D department - along with a stream of requests from many prestigious science and technology universities.

As it turned out, his experiment had been a success; although not readily perceptible at the time (especially given both his and Dmitri's state), he had, in fact, been displaced in space several inches. Dmitri expressed concern over the results having been altered, mentioning something one of the government agents said, but after checking their own copies of the experiment's notes, all worries were wiped away. Unfortunately, they had both been suspended from the project given their explicit breach of work ethics, but Charles suspected that they'd be invited back on immediately after their year was up. In the meantime, they would have to settle with one of the professorships they'd been offered.

Rolling over, Charles frowned as he thought about that dream he'd had after the experiment. Somehow, the unusual dream had stuck with him, allowing him to recall it with nearly perfect clarity. Had the teleportation somehow messed with his mind? But that didn't explain the strange, earthy smell his kitchen had acquired for several days after the event. Lenore had posited that he may have tracked dirt into the kitchen at some point, but that was disproven when they found that no room with a door leading outside smelled similar. He wondered if he'd climbed through the window while sleep walking, but that was quickly dismissed when Lenore pointed out that the lock on said portal was as thoroughly jammed as it had been for years.

Turning to his other side, Charles dismissed the train of thought. It wasn't important. What was important was that he had his life back together, he'd be returning to his research before long, and most importantly, his beloved Lenore had returned. He had, of course, sent a letter mentioning the possible mental side effects of physical displacement. That being said, the dream hadn't been unpleasant; if anything, he felt like he was discovering some unknown world. Perhaps, if it was proven to be harmless, he could try teleporting just to see if he could replicate the dream.

Rolling back to his back, Charles drifted off into sleep, his head filled with the possibilities the future held.



Ponyville, three years later

Twilight stepped through a pair of double doors, flanked on either side by her friends. She took a deep breath and sighed happily; while the ponies in the psych ward of the Ponyville Medical Center had taken good care of her, being so dependent on others had been rather degrading. She looked up to the clouds, and in them say a writhing mass of-

With a blink, Twilight banished the thought. She knew she would never be free of the damage that monster had caused to her mind, but she could control it and live with it. Turning to look at her saddlebags, she adjusted a flap, briefly peeking inside as she did so.

Feeling a pair of small arms wrap around her neck, Twilight turned and knelt slightly to accept the hug, wrapping a leg of her own around Spike. It was the fifth one she'd received from him that day, and it was no less appreciated than the ones before it. She recalled how he had effectively saved her life; she made him promise not to follow her into the basement, but that didn't stop him from going and getting all her friends in the middle of the night. If not for that, who knows what harm would have come to her? "I'm so glad you're coming back home, Twilight! The library just isn't the same without you."

"Nothing's the same without you, darling," A white unicorn with a well maintained, purple mane said, "and no one, for that matter. Poor Spike; for those first few months, we could hardly get him out of the house."

Twilight leaned into her friend, giving her an affectionate nuzzle. "I can't thank you enough for letting him stay with you, Rarity."

"Oh, think nothing of it. After all, I couldn't leave my poor, little Spikey-Wikey alone in that old library, all by himself! Especially not after... What happened."

Everypony except Twilight winced at Rarity's words. Twilight took a breath and smiled in an attempt to calm her friends down. However, before she could say anything, a blue pegasus with multichromatic hair flew in front of her to get her attention. "So what was that Thing, anyway? Some kind of evil squid-pony, or something?"

"Rainbow Dash!" The orange mare to Twilight's right shot out. "You know better'n that! Whatever that thing was ain't meant to be seen by ponies, and you should know what talkin' about It could do to Twilight."

Rainbow Dash landed, looking away sheepishly. "It's alright, Applejack," Twilight interceded. "I'm well enough to talk about It, at least a little." She put a hoof on the earth pony's withers, bringing her down from her righteous anger. "And to answer your question, Rainbow, it looked something like... This." Using her magic, Twilight took a small, wooden figurine out of her saddlebags. It was about four inches tall with five extremities. Two of them, set at the bottom of It's twisted, pear-shaped body, were long and thin, both ending in five stubby tentacles. They supported It's stooped form on a simple pedestal. Another two, curled up in front of It near the top, were similar to It's legs, but smaller and with longer tentacles at the ends. The last one, placed on the top of the body, was much shorter and stouter than the other four. On the front of the head-like appendage were drilled three holes, set up as the corners of an inverted triangle, with a short spike extending from the triangle's center. Around the sides and back of the head was a wreath of very thin tendrils.

"Oh... Well, I bet I could still take It..." Rainbow Dash said weakly.

"Well, maybe you think so, Dash," Applejack replied, "but ah know ah certainly wouldn't wanna tangle with that Thing."

"Oh, I don't know," a yellow, pink-maned pegasus said quietly, "It may not look nice, but maybe It was just lost and confused."

"Yeah, what Fluttershy said!" A bouncy, pink mare replied. "Maybe he came here by accident and was reeeally curious. He could've just been looking around!"

"Pinkie Pie, don't be preposterous!" Rarity retorted. "Just look at It! It has tentacles... And spikes... And no sense of poise whatsoever!"

"Actually, they may be right." Twilight ignored the incredulous gazes her friends gave her. "In my correspondence with the Princess Celestia, we discussed It's behavior. Despite how... Harmful... It was, nothing It did seemed to be overtly malicious. At most, it left some deep footprints and destroyed a fan. Given how easily It resisted my magic, we think it could have very easily shrugged off my mental commands if It had so chosen."

A sudden silence fell as the significance of what Twilight had just said fell on each individual. After a moment, Spike spoke up. "Well, at least It can't come back... Right, Twilight?"

Twilight paused for a moment, thinking briefly. "Yes, Spike. It's gone now, and It's not coming back." She spoke with conviction, but if she had been looking into any of their eyes, they would have seen a flash of doubt. With the subject settled, they made for the library, their conversation dissolving into friendlier talk.


After the girls helped Twilight get settled in (including a relatively calm "welcome home" party by Pinkie and the ensuing clean up), it was getting late, and her friends made for their respective homes. Standing in the doorway for a moment after waving her friends good-bye, Twilight breathed a sigh of content. She was happy to have such good friends on whom she could rely. However, there was one task she felt she must do on her own, and with Spike in bed and her friends on their way home, now was the time to do it.

Quietly retrieving her saddlebags, Twilight removed the wooden figurine, along with half a dozen more that were identical to it. Turning it over in her magic, she recalled her time making them; after a few months in the psych ward, she had been cleared for group activities, and chose to take up wood carving. She was still being plagued by waking visions of the Monstrosity and alien whispers at the time, but much to her surprise, she found that trying to depict them actually reduced their effect on her. She remembered the scores of statuettes she made, none matching what she saw but each a little closer than the last. Conversely, which each she made, her own mental image of the Abomination became less horrifying. Finally, she had made these last seven in only the past couple of weeks, each as uncanny as she could recall the Horror being, and yet real enough for her mind to comprehend.

Twilight began placing the figurines strategically around her home. One behind a book that was seldom ever touched by any other than her, one in a kitchen cupboard, and so on. As she was placing one behind her desk in the common room, she heard a creaking on the stairs. "Twilight? What are you doing with those things?"

"Spike, what are you doing up? I thought you'd gone to bed."

"I had, it's just... Sleep doesn't come as easy to me as it used to." Twilight averted her eyes, full of regret. "I-it's not your fault, Twilight!" Spike quickly amended. "Um... I'm certain I'll get better with time. Especially now that you're home." Looking to him again, Twilight saw him wearing a sincere smile, and returned one in kind.

"Alright. And to answer your question, these figurines are effectively helping me stay sane." Twilight turned somber as she continued. "What that Thing did to me skewed how I see the world. Sometimes, I'll look at something perfectly normal, but it will seem weird and twisted. Looking at these statues helps me rationalize what I'm seeing."

"Well, if it helps... But do you have hide them around the library? They give me the creeps."

"I may not need them someday, Spike, but for now, they need to be nearby in case I have an episode. Don't worry, I'll put them out of sight."

"But I'll still know they're there..." Spike mumbled under his breath, as he made his way back up the stairs. "Good night, Twilight."

Twilight reciprocated the remark and returned to setting the statuettes. After putting one in her room (after Spike seemed to have gone to sleep again,) and leaving one in her saddlebags, she headed to the last room she felt would need them: the basement. The fan had been removed and the footprints It had left had been filled in with fresh cement, leaving white patches where the Horror had walked. Feeling that this room would need a little extra support, Twilight placed both of the remaining carvings in plain view, one where the portal had appeared and one where the fan had been.

Having finished her work, Twilight took a breath and appreciated the cleanliness of the room. Despite what had happened, Spike had kept the library immaculate, including the basement. The computer was still covered in sheets, but after quickly checking under them, she saw that it had still been dusted regularly. She was relieved that It had taken more interest in the fan than the priceless, multi-ton collection of hardware.

As Twilight turned to make her way out of the room and back to bed, she noticed a book sitting on the pedestal. But not just a book, the book. She thought Spike would have returned it to Canterlot, but on closer inspection, she saw it was caked in dust; it seemed that he hadn't touched it, and she couldn't blame him. Fortunately, this also meant that she would be able to get everything done tonight, or at least within the next couple of nights.

After finding her notes from that night (also covered in dust), Twilight blew them off and opened the book to the appropriate page. After collecting more writing supplies, she took a deep breath, preparing herself for what she was about to do. While merely copying a spell was fairly simple (for her at least), reverse-engineering one was a much greater challenge. The fact that she'd have to do it in secrecy only made things even more difficult. But with a look of fierce determination, she started writing. Twilight now knew the suffering that could be caused by that reality-defying Abomination, and this fail-safe counterspell would ensure it would never happen to any being in Equestria again.

Author's Note:

*Whew*

Sorry about the long wait. I was going pretty strong for a while, but then I hit a brick wall. Something about setting up dialogue for newly introduced characters seems to do something to me, and the fact that I introduced the rest of the M6 and Lenore in this chapter really took it out of me.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to comment and tell me what you're thinking; I really appreciate it! I've got a few other ideas brewing, and your comments may very well influence them.

Until next time!

Comments ( 7 )

...oh...that's not good.

If Twilight's spell is successful, and those scientists try to recreate the experiment to show their work, it'll most likely fail and they'll be reduced to laughing stocks.

So...sequel?

I'd like to see one where they manage to punch through and fully materialize in Equestria.
I feel like the whole reality destroying abomination thing is a side-effect of crossing over.

Their deformed appearance for instance could be due to simply being out of focus as if one were looking at them through a sheet of water.

Once fully over, they'd snap into focus and look pretty much normal and be safe to touch.

Of course such a thing would just be another generic HiE story then.

The eldritch abomination angle is what makes this story unique.

tfw this all happened because humans live in 3 dimensional space, while ponies live in 2 dimensional. So we are extra dimensional being by default, which is basicly equals insanity fuel.

6042918
Actually, the device is only meant to teleport things through a single universe, kind of like a Stargate. It was successful because it teleported Charles by several inches in the laboratory. Also, remember that he didn't visit Equestria until several hours after the experiment was done, and he got there through his fridge. It's entirely possible that his experiment had absolutely nothing to do with his dimension hopping, and it was all Twilight's fault with her summoning spell. Alternatively, Twilight's spell may have been too weak to actually accomplish something of that scale, and the fridge portal was a temporary fracture in reality caused by the teleportation device. Or it may even be that neither of them actually caused the portal to appear, and the stars just happened to be aligned just right.

A sequel is unlikely. That being said, I may right a bonus chapter, if I feel up to it. We shall see.

6043023
theboola.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/thumbs-up.gif

6559950
This is an interesting topic you bring up, because depending on how you define a computer, they've been around during, and even before the 1900's. The first mechanical computers were built in the early 1830's and are still used even today, usually in the form of analogue vehicle consoles (speedometers, RPM meters, odometers, etc).
thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/vintage-car-dashboard-1861085.jpg
However, the more interactive types, such as adding machines, fell out of use with the invention of the electronic pocket calculator.
hpmuseum.org/americ.jpg
The first computer to use electricity was the Harvard Mark I, designed in 1937. It was actually a mechanical computer that used electric relays and switches as part of its process, allowing it to be both smaller than a computer of similar computational power and larger than a typical mechanical computer (it is classified as an electro-mechanical computer). The five ton machine had to be operated by a 5hp electric motor. It was instrumental in the development of the atomic bomb, as it could perform calculations with greater speed and accuracy than a human, even with a complex adding machine.
cs.auckland.ac.nz/historydisplays/FifthFloor/LogicAndSwitching/HarvardMark1/HarvardMark1A.jpg
The first computer that was digital, programmable, and electronic came about in 1943, in the form of the Colossus. It was used during WWII to decode heavily encrypted German messages.
i.ytimg.com/vi/knXWMjIA59c/maxresdefault.jpg

Anyway, this is the machine that I was referring to when I mentioned Twilight's computer:
i.ytimg.com/vi/d5GP5-gLYZI/maxresdefault.jpg
By the looks of it, I'd say it's probably an electro-mechanical, or possibly even a digital (albeit by some type of alternative circuitry) computer of some type.

Comment posted by FreedomFiend deleted May 2nd, 2016

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By the looks of it, I'd say it's probably an electro-mechanical, or possibly even a digital (albeit by some type of alternative circuitry) computer of some type.

It actually looks electronic, but most likely quite analog. In order to read anything as finicky as brainwaves using digital circuitry, you'd not only need to process a high-frequency signal with generous amounts of noise twice (once DA, once AD), but you'd also need fairly hefty processing power (well... relatively speaking).

In contrast, this thing seems to run purely on analog, and it looks more like a fairly straightforward converter machine - I suspect there's a fair amount of discrete components inside, but they're mostly intended to tune to a specific frequency and then adapt the output band towards it, I guess.

At least that's what I get just from how it looks. I also assume that, despite its seeming advancement, it still probably runs on some form of magic, at least in the key areas (like the dome) - wherever the technology is simply not advanced enough. I mean, if there's one thing they do well, it's magic.


Funny story, too... When computers were just becoming a thing, they were sometimes considered far inferior when contrasted with more mature technologies, most (if not all) in the analog area. I mean, it took something like 50 years before digital computers could process analog signals just as well as contemporary purely-analog systems. Like it or not, analog was fairly mature at that point, and we knew what we were doing. Digital - not so much... ;)


So, um... I know you're not around right now, but I'd love to see a sequel to this. For starters, Charles could avoid opening doorways, and could instead (on Dimitri's advice? he seems to see things at their simplest, it looks like) focus on some sort of remote-sensing. I mean, they already have something common (ie. "2D-enough") between them - moving pictures. And I'm sure Twilight would relish actually being able to communicate, especially when there's no real danger of eldritch abominations (to ponies, anyway) passing through and making everypony insane...

Also, first contact math sounds like something they'd both enjoy...

And I have to admit, that bit about Twi getting checked into a mental institution was just sad... Twilight's mind is a natural resource, if not an outright national treasure* - seeing it damaged in any way brings this profound sense of loss that I can't quite shake. So, with that in mind, I'd actually like to see her somehow mend what was broken - perhaps with a little bit of "the more I understand Earth, the less I understand Equestria" to it?

If she could examine objects from our 3D world, maybe she could learn to wrap her head around it? Something as simple as a rock would do. I mean, anything from over here would be "3D enough"... They'd have to solve the issue of "shit from your universe is melting shit in mine" first, though... Actually, I never picked up on why that happened, either - differing laws of physics?


* +1 Internets to those that can figure out the reference here ;)

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