• Published 23rd Nov 2014
  • 14,135 Views, 846 Comments

(Mis)taken Identity - MythrilMoth



Twilight Sparkle investigates the strange events at Canterlot High School.

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A Sunset Long Gone

The three girls and Spike sat in Sunset's living room. "Nice place you got here," Spike said.

"Thanks." Sunset set out drinks for herself and the two Twilights, then put down a bowl of water for Spike. "So, umm...where do we even start?"

Princess Twilight frowned. "Do you have that picture I sent from Equestria?" she asked. "That might make this easier."

Sunset smacked her forehead. "Duh! Of course." She walked over to her bookcase and pulled out a photo album, which she laid on the table.

Twilight leaned in with interest as Sunset flipped through it, stopping at a page with only one photograph. She stared blankly. "It...looks like something out of a storybook for little girls," she said. "Horses don't come in colors like that. Unicorns don't exist. Neither do pegasi. Why do three of them have horns and wings? There's...a dragon?" She shook her head. "What does this have to do with anything?"

"Look closer," Princess Twilight said. She tapped a finger against one particular pony in the picture. "Look very close. Open your mind. Think."

Twilight frowned and took another look, adjusting her glasses. The pony Princess Twilight had her finger on looked...

"This is me," Princess Twilight said.

Twilight blinked. "What?!"

"Equestria is another world, parallel to this one," Princess Twilight said. "Inhabited by ponies, not humans. Practically every person in this world has a counterpart in my world." She pointed at each of the ponies in turn, rattling off names. Some of the names—especially Celestia, Luna, and the names of the Rainbooms—were familiar to Twilight. "And that dragon is Spike," Princess Twilight finished.

"Spike?" Twilight asked, looking uncertainly at the little purple dog.

"Yeah, I'm a dragon back home," Spike said. Twilight shuddered.

"This...this is crazy. This isn't possible! You are not possible."

Princess Twilight giggled. "Boy, does that sound familiar..." She sighed. "Look...Twilight...everything I'm telling you is the truth. I'm you from another world. A world where I'm a pony princess. Sunset Shimmer is also from Equestria."

Twilight looked up sharply; both Princess Twilight and Sunset could see the gears turning in her head. "That's why you look exactly like that dead girl..."

Princess Twilight frowned. "Dead girl?"

Sunset sighed. "This world's Sunset Shimmer died a long time ago," she said. "As soon as I realized what this world was and how it worked, I went searching for my counterpart." She wrapped her arms around herself. "She...she had almost the same accident I had when I was three."

"Accident?" Princess Twilight asked, eyes wide.

Sunset looked down. "I was born in Baltimare," she said. "When I was three years old, my parents decided to take a trip to Canterlot. We took the train...we were almost to Canterlot. We were in the Foal Mountains...there was a rockslide."

Princess Twilight gasped.

Sunset's eyes brimmed with tears. "My parents used their magic to protect me...they weren't worried about themselves...the train was knocked off the tracks. The cars were being...crushed by the rocks. We were very close to Canterlot...the Royal Guard was on the scene in minutes. By the time they got there, my parents were...already dead.

"I was barely alive. If we hadn't been so close to Canterlot, I would have died. The guards almost didn't get me to the healers in time." Sunset shuddered. "I was in the hospital for two whole months. After that..." She shook her head.

"Sunset Shimmer..." Princess Twilight said, tears spilling from her eyes. She wrapped her arms around Sunset and held her.

Sunset sniffled. "The Sunset Shimmer in this world...her family took the same trip, only by car instead of by train. The brakes failed...they went off a cliff. They all died."

"That's...that's terrible," Princess Twilight whispered.

"Yeah..."

"Do the two of you seriously expect me to believe there's some alternate universe where everyone is a horse and magic is real?" Twilight asked.

"I know it's...hard to understand," Princess Twilight said. "But it's the truth. We're from another world. We're ponies."

"And what, you turn human when you come to this world?" Twilight asked.

"Pretty much," Sunset said. "Never did figure that one out."

Princess Twilight sighed. "I understand your skepticism," she said. "After all, I'm you. I'm a skeptic too. I've been in a lot of situations where things would've been a lot less complicated if I'd just taken some things on faith. But...I also know myself well enough to know that's not going to work here." She sipped her drink. "So...there's only one way we're going to prove everything we're saying is true."

Sunset stared at her. "You're not serious."

"Can you think of a better way?" Princess Twilight asked.

Sunset frowned. "I..." She sighed. "Well...you'd know yourself better than I would."

"Stop saying you know me!" Twilight snapped. "You're not me! You don't know anything about me! I don't even know who you are!"

Princess Twilight flinched. "I'm sorry," she said. "You're right. You're not me. You're you. We haven't had the same lives, the same experiences...the same friends." She tilted her head. "Do you have friends, Twilight? Other than Spike? Shining Armor doesn't count."

Twilight frowned, looking at her lap.

Princess Twilight sighed. "So this is how I'd have turned out if Celestia had never sent me to Ponyville..." Her eyes were moist with unshed tears. "I feel so sorry for you..." She stood and held out her hand. "Come with me, Twilight. I know...I know you don't trust me. Or Sunset Shimmer. But...please, just...let me show you something, alright?"

Twilight looked up at Princess Twilight, face unreadable. Finally, hesitantly, she stood. "I'll...I'll go along with you for now," she said. "I do still want answers. Whatever it is you want to show me...I'll figure out what's really happening. You can count on that."

"Wow, she's worse than you on a bad day," Spike commented.

"You know, you're lucky your Spike doesn't talk," Princess Twilight quipped, throwing Spike a sour glance.

The sheer absurdity of the comment made Twilight giggle.

* * * * *

Twilight found herself standing in front of the horse statue in the courtyard of Canterlot High School for the second time that day. The sun was low in the sky. She frowned. "Okay, so...what are we doing back here, exactly?"

"We're doing this," Spike said. Without fanfare, he walked straight into the base of the statue, which rippled and shimmered as he disappeared right into it.

Twilight crossed her arms. "You know...the vanishing cabinet trick doesn't impress me, even if you're using a pretty advanced hologram generator to dress it up. There's a trap door or an elevator inside that statue that goes someplace else."

"Wow, you're a tough sell," Sunset said. "So, got an explanation for the talking dog?"

"Still working on it."

Princess Twilight facepalmed. "I really hate running into annoyingly stubborn alternate versions of me."

Sunset raised an eyebrow. "You say that like it happens often."

"Well...no, actually this is the second time," Princess Twilight admitted. "Which is still two more times than it happens to most ponies."

"True enough," Sunset nodded.

Princess Twilight tilted her head, looking at Sunset. "Umm...I think maybe...you should come with us," she said.

Sunset blinked. "Back...to Equestria?" She looked down. "I...I don't know..."

"Just for a few hours," Princess Twilight said. "Or maybe like, a day. You haven't been back in a while. Trying to steal my crown doesn't count. Wouldn't...wouldn't you like to...just for a little while?"

Sunset's brow furrowed thoughtfully. "Hmm..." She smiled. "Yeah. Yeah...I think a little trip back to Equestria might...might be nice." She frowned. "Oh, but...maybe I'd better call the girls first. So...so they don't worry about me."

Princess Twilight nodded.

Sunset pulled out her phone and called Rainbow Dash. "Hey, Rainbow? Yeah. Look, I...something's come up. I'm uhh...I'm going to Equestria for a little bit. I might...I might miss school tomorrow. Tell the others, okay? Don't worry, it's nothing like...it's not a big crisis or anything. It's just a little...yeah. Yeah. Okay. Yeah, I will. No no, I'm sure she'll still be coming here for a visit later. There's just a thing here we've gotta take care of real quick. Yeah. I'll tell her. Okay, bye." She put her phone away and looked up. "Okay, let's do this."

Princess Twilight nodded. "Sunset, why don't you and Twilight go through together? I'll be right behind you."

"Right." Sunset grabbed Twilight by the elbow. "Come on, let's go." She guided Twilight to the statue and, with only the slightest hesitation, stepped into the base.

Twilight's world turned into a blinding kaleidoscope of shifting color. A strange sensation of stretching and twisting overtook her. She tried to cry out, but couldn't.

And then, just like that, she was on a cold, glassy floor. She tried to stand up, but her legs felt wrong. She tried to push herself off the floor, but her hands felt...

She looked down the length of her arms. Instead of the sleeves of her jacket and the slim purple hands she'd always had, she saw bare, hairy limbs that ended in bright purple hooves.

"Wh...what?!"

She heard a soft clopping noise, and bright orange hooves stepped into view in front of her. She looked up...and saw a light orange pony in a black leather jacket, with teal eyes and a huge, wavy copper-and-gold mane.

"Welcome to Equestria," Sunset said. Her horn glowed, and Twilight felt herself lifted off the ground, her hooves arranging themselves beneath her, allowing her to stand on the crystal floor.

There was a bright flash of light; Twilight instinctively turned around and nearly ended up flat on her face again.

A tall lavender pony with a long, tapered horn and broad, feathery wings stepped out of a mirror.

Twilight stared at Princess Twilight. Princess Twilight smiled at her.

"Are you ready to believe now?" Princess Twilight asked.

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