• Published 5th Feb 2015
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TD vs Equestria Girls - BronyWriter

TD from TD the Alicorn Princess pretends to be a Canadian exchange student and infiltrates Canterlot High

  • ...

The Other Side

It's funny how an act so simple can set off a grand adventure.

Okay, so maybe an evil ex-student of Celestia's stealing the Element of Magic for the purpose of creating a zombie army of acne ridden teenagers to take over Equestria doesn't count as a "simple" act. However, given everything that I'd gone through in the past two years as a human turned princess of Equestria, it actually turned out to be very low on the scale of "terrifying things that happened to me."

I picked the best country to mostly involuntarily rule.

Well, like many things, this particular adventure happened when I experienced something new. That is to say, visiting the Crystal Empire with the Elements of Harmony and my fellow princesses. Of course in the past two years I had visited the Crystal Empire, but only to visit Cadance and introduce myself to the ponies. I didn't technically rule them, but they would follow any orders I gave, just by virtue of the Empire being an Equestrian protectorate. But that was just small stuff. I hadn't gone to their fair, or anything like that. In this particular instance, us four princesses were meeting for a summit to discuss a bunch of various boring princess-y stuff. Foreign policy, taxes, relations between the Empire and Equestria, stuff like that. Twilight came along seeing as her brother and sister-in-law Cadance live there, so Twilight never misses an opportunity to see the two of them. Her friends tagged along because of course they did.

An interesting change in their travel plans was that the group now carried their Elements around whenever the six of them got together. Ever since Queen Chrysalis attacked Canterlot during the wedding (something that, yes, I was there for, but that's another story for another day) Celestia wanted the girls to carry them around at all times when they were out of Ponyville doing something that might be dangerous, especially when they were hanging out with multiple princesses. In this case, they were going to the Crystal Empire, which had already been attacked by Sombra, on top of the fact that all four princesses were there, which was just asking for potential trouble.

But I hoped that nothing would go wrong.

Well, relatively speaking, anyway.

* * * *

"... So I can hope that once we finish up here, we'll start the master plan." Celestia closed the folder in front of her and deluminated her horn, powering down the magical power point thingie that she had been showing us. Luna, Cadance and I closed our own folders, and I leaned forward, resting my head on the table with a groan.

"We done yet?" I grumbled. "It's eleven at night, and we gotta get up and do this tomorrow, too."

Luna chuckled and condescendingly patted me on the back of the head. "Come now, Antares. As an alpha alicorn, you do not need sleep."

"Yeah, well, as a beta alicorn, I do." Cadance yawned and stood up from her chair. "Same time tomorrow, ladies?"

"I guess so," I muttered.

I stood up and followed Cadance out the door of our meeting room, where Captain Blaze and Lieutenant Rapids stood guard. The two bowed to the line of princesses filing out of the room. I stopped in front of them and watched the other three go to their respective rooms. Once they left, I sighed and began rubbing one of my temples.

"That was wretched," I groaned. "Sixteen hours of boring logistics stuff and taxes and just... blegh stuff that goes with running the most prosperous nation on the planet. I think I might have really saved Twilight's plot by ascending instead of her. I don't know if she could do those kinds of meetings."

"Yes, I suppose so, Princess Antares," Captain Blaze said. "I would imagine that being around other ponies whom you can talk to and joke around with and have your every whim catered to would be a lot worse than standing as still as a statue with only the screaming recesses of your own twisted mind as company for the five hours of crushing boredom."

"I completely agree," Lieutenant Rapids said solemnly. She looked over at her companion. "Hey Burning, do the dark voices in your head tell you to gnaw the face off of the next pony to walk by just to shake things up a bit, or is that just mine?"

Blaze shook his head. "No, no, mine tell me to do that too."

I rolled my eyes. "Yes, I know your days can be boring when you're just guarding meetings," I grumbled, "but the worst of it is over for now, so we can get some rest. I'll get Sergeant Stones and Sergeant Force to split some of your shifts tomorrow so you can have a little informal leave, okay? Go see some of the Empire for an hour or two tomorrow, or something."

Lieutenant Rapids shrugged with her wings as the two of them began following me down the hallway of the castle to the bedrooms. "Sounds like it could be relaxing. The voices did tell me that I needed to find an offering of candy and origami frogs to appease the dark goddess Seratna before the sun sets, or else death and destruction will rain down upon the world. It's probably just talk, but it doesn't hurt to be careful, right?"

"Hmm..." I looked down at her with a raised eyebrow. "Maybe you shouldn't be listening to these voices of yours, Lieutenant Rapids. They seem to not be aiming very high when it comes to sacrificial materials to stop the apocalypse."

"Now don't judge, Princess Antares," Rapids admonished. "They're just starting out."

As we turned the corner to the hallway of bedrooms, we saw a group of familiar ponies all standing outside one room and chatting it up. Specifically the Mane Six, all of whom stopped talking when they saw the three of us coming down the hallway. They all smiled at me and walked up to meet us.

"Hello, TD," Rarity said, inclining her head. "How were the meetings today?"

I made a noise of disgust and stuck out my tongue. "Horrible. Absolutely awful. You try talking about taxes and tariffs on corn imports or whatever for two thirds of a day and see how sane you are afterwards." I shrugged with my wings. "How about yourselves?" I motioned to the Elements of Harmony that each one of them were wearing. "You didn't have to blast any monsters today to make sure we weren't interrupted, did you?"

Twilight chuckled and took the tiara off of her head. "No, nothing like that. We mostly just toured the city and got a better look at everything now that we're not trying to save this place or plan a giant fair."

"Sounds pretty good," I admitted. "I'll probably do that kind of thing tomorrow evening and maybe some of the next day. I have to get more exposure with the ponies here."

And I can't do anymore meetings. I just can't do a day like today two days in a row. Even as an alicorn I don't have the mental capabilities.

But I could put off dealing with that for another ten hours or so. There was no real need to think that far ahead when I had a nice warm bed waiting for me. I bade my guards and the Mane Six goodnight, and walked into my room. I took off my torc, tiara, and shoes, and tossed them haphazardly on a chair, not really caring when one of my shoes and the torc slipped off of the chair and clattered on the floor. It's not like they'd get scratched up, or anything. I trudged over to my wonderful, comfy, inviting bed, and slid underneath the covers, letting the stress of the whole day melt away from me as I sunk deeper into the soft mattress. I fell asleep a few moments after my head hit the pillow.

* * * *



Groan. Buzz off, Luna. Just five more freaking minutes, okay?


"Antares, the time has come to awaken! We have matters at hoof to discuss!"

I sighed and cracked one eye open, groaning again when I discovered that I couldn't see a single ray of sunlight. She woke me up in the middle of the night. I grabbed a second pillow in my magic and put it over my head, making an Antares head sandwich with pillows. Or something. Look, it was the middle of the night and I didn't feel like being awake, okay?

"It's still nighttime, Luna!" I shot back. "Unless Celestia is raising the sun in two minutes... okay, even then, I'm not coming out of here for anything! I don't care if I don't need sleep. I want it" I squeezed my eyes shut and flattened my ears to try to drown out her inevitable retort. "So shoo, night horse, shoo!"

I heard Luna's long-suffering sigh from the other side of the door. "Antares, We have no patience for your games. This is an important matter!"

"Luna, you know that when you say 'we' you're not just saying it for you and Celestia, but also for me?" I allowed myself a small smirk. "Given that I am part of your 'Royal We' and thus have a little say, I say that there is patience."

"Twilight Sparkle's Element of Harmony has been stolen."

My mouth creased into a slight frown. I didn't really feel that I heard that right. I slowly pushed the pillow off of my head and raised my ears again.

"Er... care to repeat that?"

"Twilight Sparkle's Element of Harmony has been stolen, Antares. We must discuss its retrieval."

Me dammit.

I slid out of bed and walked over to my door, not even bothering to put on my regalia. I opened it up to see Luna on the other side with a serious, yet vaguely annoyed, expression on her face. I sighed and rubbed one of my temples.

"Well, I guess we'd better get that back then, yeah?"

* * * *

After collecting Captain Blaze and Lieutenant Rapids, who were sleeping in the two rooms on either side of me, Luna led us down the corridors of the Crystal Palace into what looked like some kind of storage room housing a giant mirror, where Celestia, Cadance, Spike, and the Elements all waited. When I walked in, Celestia looked over at me and nodded.

"Excellent. We are all present and accounted for, then."

"Willingly or otherwise," I grumbled. I know I was complaining, but seriously, I did not like being woken up in the middle of the night after a long day.

"Yes, I realize that this is a burden for some of us," Celestia said with a slight roll of her eyes. "However, I'm sure you are all aware of the grave importance of this matter." Celestia grimaced and put a hoof on Twilight's back. I noticed that her ears were flat and her legs shook. Whomever took Twilight's Element must have really done a number on her.

"If we do not get the Element of Magic back, Equestria will be without its primary form of defense. I cannot understate how harmful that would be to our nation. I suspect that if we went on without it long enough, the power of the other Elements would begin to fade out as well, and Discord might be released from his stone prison."

"And there's no way that four princesses all working together on all cylinders would be able to stop him without the Elements," I said with a sad sigh. Celestia gave me a slight glare, and I raised a hoof as if to ward it off. "I know, I know, we need to get it back. Where is it, and how do we get it back?"

"I was sleeping in my room when it was taken," Twilight said, nuzzling up to Celestia for comfort. "Somepony came in and took it off my nightstand and tried to replace it with a fake one. I guess so I wouldn't notice until it was too late. I guess she tripped, or something, so I woke up. I chased her down the hallway when she came into this room. We fought over the Element, and it went through the mirror. She followed after it."

"Wait..." I frowned and walked up to the mirror. "Through the mirror?" I raised a hoof and reached out to it. "So this thing isn't..."

The second I touched the mirror, my hoof went straight through it, causing the mirror to begin rippling like water. I felt some strange force pulling at my hoof as if wanting the rest of my body to come through the mirror as well. I pulled my hoof out and the mirror snapped back to a normal state.

"Weird," I muttered.

"That mirror is no ordinary mirror," Celestia said, walking up beside me. "It is a portal to another dimension. The pony who stole the Element is named Sunset Shimmer. She was a former student of mine, whom I took in not long before I made Twilight my student. She abandoned her studies for reasons I would rather not disclose at the moment." Celestia's face kept the same neutral quality it usually did in stressful situations, but I had gotten good at reading her. I could see great sadness in her eyes, almost like the same kind she got when talking about Luna as Nightmare Moon. "I kept this mirror in Canterlot Castle, because I suppose I hoped..."

I gently put a wing on her back as she bowed her head and slowly reached out to the portal. After a moment, though, she shook her head and straightened up, which I took as the cue to take my wing off.

"It does not seem to have worked out the way I wished. She has the Element, and nothing good can come of that. We must get it back before she completes whatever plan she has set in motion with this theft."

"Sounds like a plan to me." I turned to the Mane Six and saw that the other five had all gathered around Twilight to comfort her. "So I assume that Twilight and the Argonauts are going out after her, then? Off on another grand adventure in another world?"

To my slight surprise, Celestia shook her head. "No, I'm afraid not. Too many going across the portal may upset the balance of the world. I do not wish to cause damage in that universe trying to save our own. This needs to be done with by preserving as much normalcy as possible."

I frowned and tilted my head. "So what's on the other side, then? It's not a pony world, I take it."

Celestia nodded this time. "You are correct, Antares. The species that populates the world beyond the mirror is very little like our own. I only went over to the other side once, and the species there... there..."

I raised an eyebrow when a look of pure horror crossed Celestia's face. She actually flattened her ears and slumped her shoulders, almost as if trying to make herself look smaller.

"And what?" I poked her side. "What's over there?" I frowned and poked her again. "Celestia? What's the species over there like?"

I looked back at Luna who only shrugged. I returned the shrug and turned my gaze to Rapids and Blaze. They looked just as confused as I felt. Only for a moment, though. After a second, I saw Lieutenant Rapids' face break out into a wide, toothy grin, and when Blaze saw it, something seemed to click for him as well, and he copied it.

"No," Blaze whispered. "No. Way."

I tilted my head before looking back at Celestia, who had actually collapsed onto her haunches. "Celestia? What's the species on the other side of the--"

It hit me right then.

"Hmm..." I took a slow, deep, deliberate breath, and my stomach clenched when I saw Celestia put her hooves over her eyes. "Celestia... the species on the other side of the portal. They wouldn't happen to be... humans, would they?"

Every eye in the place was fixed on Celestia as we waited for her answer. The fact that she refrained from answering right away confirmed it for me, but I wanted to hear her say it, just to be sure.

"TD..." She took a shaky breath in. "It is not your world. I must stress that. I did not even think about the mirror portal when you came here. Not in that context. I only thought of it as the place where my student had gone. Please believe me."

"Uh-huh." I clicked my tongue and ran my hoof through my mane. "Yes, I see. That makes... makes sense."

Celestia raised her head to look up at me, her eyes wide. "Are you angry?" she asked in a small voice, which I found weird to hear.

"Uh..." I tapped my hoof on the ground in thought. "I... I might be later. But for right now, I think I know what needs to be done." I faced the portal and flared my wings out. "I'm going to go get the Element back."

Celestia gasped quietly and shot to her hooves. "TD, I do not think that would be a very wise thing to do! That portal is not open at all times! It only opens for a few days every thirty moons before closing again. If you found yourself on the other side once time ran out, Equestria would be without one of its princesses!"

"Okay, firstly, nobody says 'thirty moons' except maybe Luna. Just say two and a half years like normal ponies." I leaned my head closer to her. "Secondly, if they're anything like Earth humans, then I know their culture, how their world works, and how to act natural there. If anyone is going to blend in and not cause too many disruptions it's me." I leaned closer again. "And thirdly, three and a half years!" I jabbed a hoof into Celestia's chest and twisted my face into a snarl. "I have not seen another human in three and a half years! Heck, I haven't been a human for two and a half! Now you're telling me, just when the opportunity to do just that is upon me, that I can't! That I can't even taste the world I once had again. No, I'm going, Celestia. I'm your equal, not your subordinate. If I get stuck there, I know how to handle it. If Twilight gets stuck there?" I scoffed. "I don't even know if she'd survive."

Celestia stared at me, and I could see the sadness in her eyes. However, I could also see the gears working in there, too. She had to know I was right. A world I was likely far more familiar with would be a lot safer for me than Twilight if one of us got stuck there. Besides... humans! And heck, I might even turn back into a guy when I went through the portal. That would be pretty cool, too.

"TD..." Celestia's gaze trailed down to the floor. "Very well. I do not suppose that I can stop you at any rate."

I shrugged. "Not really. But you know, I'm glad that I have your support anyway." I turned away from Celestia and walked up to Twilight, who looked at me with wide eyes. She still seemed shaken, but I think now that it was because of Celestia and I. I gave her a warm smile and put a hoof on her shoulder. "I'll get it back, Twilight. You have my promise on that."

She returned my smile with a shaky one of her own and put her hoof on mine. "Thanks, TD. I know you can do it."

"I won't let you down."

With that, I took a deep breath and cracked my neck before turning to face Celestia. "Alright, I'm going to need to do some packing. I think all I need will be a bag with a hundred five to ten carat diamonds in it." Shouldn't be too hard of a request, given that I know Rarity has roughly that just lying around in her shop. Diamonds are worth a lot less in Equestria than on Earth.

Celestia raised an eyebrow and tilted her head. "Really? What would you need that for?"

I grinned and waggled my hoof. "Now, now, now, let me worry about that. I'll return whatever I don't use, of course." I turned back to Rapids and Blaze, both of whom were looking at me curiously. "And I know Celestia talked about upsetting balance, and all, but it still would be best if one of Equestria's alpha alicorns had her two best soldiers along for the ride with her." I walked between them and put a wing on each of their backs. "What do you say? Will you follow me to the end of the world and beyond?"

"Even farther than that, Princess Antares," Captain Blaze said, saluting me. "The two of us would follow you wherever you lead."

"I never doubted it."

* * * *

Three hours later, all of us stood in the storage room in front of the mirror once more. I had a backpack with the diamonds hidden inside an unbreakable case, which only I had the key to, slung over my back. My valuable soldiers stood on either side of me, both out of their armor, just as I wasn't wearing my regalia. I didn't think that it would do for them to come over looking like they were either geared for war, or attending some medieval fair. Not a good first impression. Besides, Celestia told us that when we came over, we'd be wearing clothes anyway... somehow.

Not sure how that worked, but I didn't question it.

But... with all of that settled, we were ready to face the alternate human world.

"Now I must warn you all to be careful," Celestia said. "Since Sunset has the Element in her possession, I don't know what she will do with it. You must be prepared for anything. Do not underestimate her. She is a very smart and crafty pony. Once she finds out why you are there, she will do everything in her power to stop you."

"Eh, I'm not too worried." I smirked at my guards. "I think we can handle her. After that nonsense with the griffins sacking those towns, she should be easier."

"Famous last words, Antares," Luna said with a smug grin. "W... I look forward to hearing about your setbacks."

"Uh-huh. Should be a short conversation." I took a deep breath and nodded to my guards. "I think we're ready to go. I'll go first, you follow after me the second I disappear, okay?" The two saluted me, and tilted my head to them before looking over at Twilight. I could see the unease in her face at the task before us, so I gave her another confident smile. "Don't worry, Twi. We'll be back before you know it."

"I hope so, TD." She stepped forward and put a hoof on my foreleg. "Stay safe, alright?"

"I'll do my best."

With that, I turned around and stepped through the portal.

Okay, so I mentioned earlier when I put my hoof through it that I felt some force pulling on it. Well, now that I had gone through entirely, I felt that times a million. In every single direction. I felt like my body had turned into a slinky that someone was gleefully pushing down some stairs over and over again. I had no concept of time. All I could see was some psychedelic trippy... something that wouldn't be out of place in the final scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

So I couldn't really count it as the weirdest thing that had happened to me since ascending, but I could sure put it up there.

Somehow the trip took forever, and somehow no time at all. Before I knew it, the LSD lights faded away, and darkness overtook me completely. Not the kind of darkness that comes from being in a dark cave, but more like... when your eyes are closed. I felt my senses slowly return to me, and I realized that I was laying on what felt like concrete. I groaned and rubbed my head before opening my eyes to see the closest thing to my world that I had come to in over three years.

"Holy me."

The first thing I noticed was Captain Blaze and Lieutenant Rapids waking up next to me. Instead of looking like what I would consider normal, they kept their coloration from when they were ponies. However... yeah, they were humans. Or at least, close enough. The proportions still struck me as odd, specifically their faces. Both had just the tiniest noses, as well as eyes closer to the size of their pony forms than a normal human. Their mane colors and styles stayed the same. Guess it'd be called hair now. But on the whole, I couldn't deny it: my two most loyal soldiers were now humans.

"Dude, I haven't gone through anything that weird since grade school," Lieutenant Rapids muttered as she rubbed her forehead with her fist. I suppose that she failed to realize her fingers yet.

"You're telling me," Captain Blaze said as he sat up. "I mean, I don't know if I--"

He opened his eyes, and instantly his pupils shrank to pinpricks as he saw me sitting in front of him. His jaw dropped, and he began stuttering out nonsense words. Now, I know that he knew I used to be a human way back when, but since I had no public pictures taken of me that I knew of, I doubted that he knew exactly what a human looked like. Ergo, this must have been quite a shock to him. I looked down at my body and began examining myself. Yep. Peach colored skin, just as expected. I was wearing a plain black t-shirt with my cutie mark on it, and a pair of blue jeans. A quick check told me that my shoulder length hair was the same shade of red as always. I looked back to my soldiers, noting that Lieutenant Rapids had woken up too, and now stared at me in the same way as Blaze, and gave them a confident grin.

"Lady and gentleman, welcome to your new human bodies." I slowly got to my feet and stretched out. I could feel the backpack on my back. Good. I'd need that. "This may take some getting used to, but with me as your guide, I think you'll find this world easily navigated."

"Uh..." Captain Blaze looked down at his body, clad in a gray shirt bearing his cutie mark with tan cargo pants, and began wiggling his fingers. "This is... new."

"Blaze, dude, you don't have your horn anymore," Rapids said, her eyes growing wider.

Blaze gasped and brought his hand to his forehead so quickly that I could hear the sound of the two colliding. I could see true panic beginning to build up, so I walked over and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Captain Blaze, please relax. I don't have my horn either. Nor my wings. Lieutenant Rapids doesn't have her wings either, so it's--"

"WHAT?!" Rapids shrieked, clutching at her back as if desperately hoping that her treasured wings would pop out if only she wished hard enough. "Wh-wh-where are my wings?!"

"Lieutenant Rapids, this isn't the time to panic." I walked over to her and extended my hand. "Just calm down, and everything is going to be okay. Like I said: I don't have my wings either. It's just part of being a human. You'll have them back with no problem once we go back through the portal. Until then, I need you to calm down and focus, okay? We need to focus on getting the Element back from Sunset."

Lieutenant Rapids groaned and rubbed her back once more, but once she realized that her wings weren't coming back, she took a deep breath and grabbed my hand, allowing me to help her up. She lost her balance for a moment, not used to being on two legs, but I held onto her until she got her bearings.

As I helped Captain Blaze up, she examined her new body, starting with wiggling her fingers.

"These are so weird," she whispered. "They're like minotaur hands. Nothing like hooves at all." She looked down at her body, which was clad in a white shirt bearing her cutie mark and a jean skirt that didn't even make it down to her knees. "And these..." She poked at her... chest area, something that made me blush a little and look away. "What the Tartarus are these? I mean, they looks like udders, or something, but that can't be right." She looked to Captain Blaze who simply shrugged, then to me. "What are they?"

I was a fool to realize that there weren't going to be some awkward parts about all of this.

"Those are... um... powerful male mind control devices, only to be used in the gravest of circumstances. You are not to show them to anyone." Lieutenant Rapids raised an eyebrow in disbelief, and I gave her a nervous grin in response. "Trust me. That's all I want to say on the subject."

She continued staring at me for a moment before slowly nodding her head. "Er... okay, Princess Antares. Whatever you say, I guess."

Princess. Princess Antares?


"Hold the phone..." I turned around and felt around a little bit. Yeah.... yeah it was there! I spun back to face my soldiers, a wide grin on my face. "I'm a dude!" I squeed. "I got turned back into a dude when we went through the portal!"

Captain Blaze smirked at me and nodded. "Nice."

"Do you have any idea what this means?!" I said, throwing my arms around both of their shoulders. "I... I can pee standing up again now!"

"Er... what?" Lieutenant Rapids said, scooting away from me.

"You can?" Captain Blaze responded, giving me a curious look. "So does that mean...?" I grinned at him and nodded, and he began tapping his chin. "Interesting. Very interesting. This world might be better than I thought."

Lieutenant Rapids sighed and rolled her eyes. "Stallions," she muttered.

"Men, "I corrected. "We're called men here. You are called a woman. Plural form is women. Singular of men is man."

"Right. Fine. Men, women, whatever." She crossed her arms frowned at us. "So what now then, Prince Antares?"

"Well firstly, I don't think that we should use that name for me. I think you two should stick with TD while we're here." The two nodded in agreement. "Secondly, if Sunset came out of the portal here, then she's probably close by, unless she had some mode of transportation which enabled her to get far away fast, which I don't see as too likely. Ergo, we should probably check to see if..."

I decided to turn around just at that moment, and my gaze landed on something that I'd recognize anywhere. Something that I never really cared for in my youth. Even in this alternate world, it was unmistakable.

Sunset had led us to a high school.

As I continued staring at the building in front of me, one of the entrance doors opened up, and two kids, who I presumed were students, walked out. Something about them gave me an uneasy feeling. Almost like...

I looked back to my guards, then back to the students. My eyes widened when I made the connection. Not only had we gone through the portal, but... now we were high school age as well.

"... No."