• Published 18th Feb 2015
  • 571 Views, 2 Comments

The Fallen and the Forgotten - PCDenton

A broken dimensional mirror, a pony’s existence undone and another’s destiny at an end. Shouldn’t be a problem for a couple of Twilight Sparkles to fix, right?

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2. Recovery

Twilight shivered. Cool dawn air pervaded every square inch of her body. Grumbling, she curled up in an attempt to retain some of her remaining warmth. Her muscles protested at the unwelcome movement.

“Spiiiike,” Twilight wailed. “If you’re up get me another blanket. I’m not feeling very good and it’s freezing in here,“ Twilight moaned. She squeezed her eyes tightly closed, attempting to will herself back to sleep.

Her request was met with silence. Even the usual early morning song of the birds that drifted in through the window of her bedroom couldn’t be heard.

“Spike?” she called out again. The silence continued, unabated. Twilight reluctantly forced herself to open her eyes to take in the morning view. Hair from her mane obscured her vision. She pursed her lips together to blow the strands away, unwilling to employ her protesting muscles any more than she had to. Even that action proved to be difficult, every single tooth in her mouth felt numb and she was greeted with an unpleasant metallic taste in her mouth. “What happened last night?” she asked herself. Squinting, she saw that the sunlight from outside had just barely broken the horizon. The first rays of daylight cast, beginning to stream in through the window above her. Twilight’s reflex got the better of her and she let out a yawn.

Her ears perked up. The sound of claws against the hard floor bounded rapidly towards her. Whatever the source, it slid to a stop a few paces from her and began to bark, loudly.

“Huh, what!?” Twilight exclaimed, her eyes grew wide with surprise. Before letting panic take hold, she figured it had to be Spike goofing off. “Ha ha, Spike. Very funny,” she reached to her side with her hand to swat at the source of the obnoxiously loud barking to shoo her assistant away.

Twilight froze mid motion, the last remnants of sleep vanishing. She rolled onto her back and rotated her head in a single swift motion, turning her attention to her fore hoof, attempting to make sense of what she was looking at. It wasn’t the fore hoof that he was expecting, but an arm. A human one to be precise, complete with four fingers and an opposable thumb. She commanded herself to move the digits. Predictably, every thought translated into the appropriate action. It was most definitely her arm.

“I’m human? What?!” said Twilight, confused. She eased herself to sit upright, most of her muscles still actively protesting at the unwelcome activity. Staring at the fingers, she focused past them to the source of the barking. It was Spike. Well, Spike as a dog. The diminutive dog hopped forward, sniffing her outstretched hand cautiously. He seemed to decide that it was acceptable, enthusiastically licking at her digits.

“Ow!” Twilight recoiled in pain. The dog winced, taking a step back and cowering. She brought her hands to her temples, the sudden sharp pain persisting. A flood of memories rushed forth, everything that had occurred over the last week was fresh and vivid. The flash of memories was brief, the pain subsiding. She took a few calm, measured breaths. “Well that explains last night. How did I end up on this side?” she asked herself. She hastily took a look at her surroundings. A large stainless steel refrigerator with photos plastered all over the front door, an oven and stove that had a bright red kettle sitting on top of it, and a sink with a leaking faucet. Opposite the fridge was a wooden table and two chairs, a mountain of books stacked in the centre of the table. “More importantly, where is here, exactly?” Other than a dog that looked like Spike, she was by herself, sitting on the cold tile floor.

Twilight didn’t recognize this place. It didn’t match any of her friend’s houses that she had been to on this side. She craned her head to try and peer over the counter behind her. It was the window she mistook as her own. Fresh snow had built up on the bottom of the sill, frost along the bottom edge of interior side of the glass.

“It’s winter?” Twilight mumbled. She looked down to Spike, whom just tilted his head, inquisitive. “Sorry for the twenty questions, Spike. It’s not that I expect you to know any of the answers. With your witty remarks I’m guessing you’re not my Spike,” she said with a thin smile. She patted the small dog on the head. Spike excitedly wagged his tail, happy for the attention. “If you’re the equivalent of Spike on this side, that probably means…“ she trailed off. She looked towards the only doorway in the kitchen, where Spike the dog emerged from. She could hear another set of footfalls. Spike turned his head, not appearing to be concerned at whoever was drawing closer. Twilight’s shoulders tensed up, she had nowhere to hide.

“I’m up, I’m up. You can stop barking, Spike. I’ve got a big enough headache as it is. Ugh, I really need to stop using my keyboard as a pillow. My neck is a mess,” an oddly familiar voice grumbled from the mouth of the archway. The owner of the voice haphazardly slapped at the light switch on the wall next to the kitchen archway.

The overhead lights flickered on, draping the entire room in a warm white light. Twilight focused on the stranger. Her eyes widened, jaw dropping in shock. The other person stood before her. A young woman, familiar dark purple shoulder length hair, decidedly disheveled. A set of reading glasses nestled in the tangled mess of hair. It reminded Twilight of a tiara. She wore a plain white housecoat over her light purple pyjamas, along with matching pair of white slippers. The young woman rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands and let out a yawn.

Twilight could only think that the extent of the similarity was improbable, leaning closer to the impossible. But there she stood before her, a doppelgänger of herself.

The other Twilight lowered her hands from her eyes. Her vision focused and her gaze locked to Twilight, sitting on the floor, next to her dog Spike. She blinked, doing a double take.

Twilight’s duplicate snapped out of the momentary shock first, her eyes widening and a broad grin grew across her face. She started jumping up and down excitedly. “It’s really you, isn’t it? What am I saying, of course it’s you. Yes! Yes! Yes! I KNEW it!” she yelled. She stopped jumping mid fist pump, her expression instantly turning serious. “Hold on. What happened to your clothes?” she questioned.

“What do you mean?” Twilight replied, confused. She looked down, to her torso. Not even underwear. “Ah!” she exclaimed, her cheeks flushed bright red. She quickly crossed an arm over her chest, the other below. “Well, that explains the chill,” she laughed awkwardly.

“Here-” the other Twilight removed the house coat had been wearing over her pyjamas and tossed it to a still sitting Twilight, “-use this.”

Twilight clumsily caught the coat. “Um, thank you,” Twilight said, grateful. She hobbled to stand, her leg muscles protesting at the sudden movement and put the housecoat on. “So… Twilight?” she began.

The duplicate Twilight smirked. She stepped past Twilight, towards the sink by the window. She began to fill a kettle with water. “Light. Just Light. The only person that calls me Twilight nowadays is my brother.“

Twilight spun around, to watch Light place the water-filled kettle on the stove top. Light twisted the dial on the front edge of the stove, a blue flame sparked to life beneath the kettle. “I see. Well, I’m—” Twilight started.

“Twilight Sparkle. I’ve worked that out already,” Light cut her off.

“Well that makes things easy, no this Twilight or that Twilight business to deal with. For someone who has just seen an identical copy of my— er, yourself, you are handling this far better than I am. I mean, I did consider the possibility that there if there was version of almost everyone on this side, then there was a good chance there was an equivalent counterpart of myself here as well,” Twilight said. She brought a hand to her chin, mulling over the revelation.

Light reached up into a cupboard above the stovetop. Retrieving a small green box of tea packets, placing them carefully on the countertop. “If we are at all alike, you’d know you would be more curious of everything than being in a blind panic. To be fair though, you could say I didn’t handle it so well when I first discovered that you had appeared over a year ago at Canterlot High School. To put it simply, I was in shock. That, and your appearances coincidentally lining up with the reports of strange phenomena occurring in the immediate area kind of made me obsessed with discovering what your existence meant, exactly,” Light said. She scratched at her tangled hair. “Other than the fact you appeared in my kitchen without clothes, you probably aren’t a cybernetic time traveller from the future that looks like me sent back to end me.”

“I’m reasonably certain this isn’t time travel,” Twilight said, she raised an eyebrow.

Light shook her head. “Never mind that, you probably wouldn’t get the reference anyway,” Light laughed. ”Anyway, based on the information I’ve gathered I’ve come to this conclusion: You’re from some kind of parallel dimension where you have control over some kind of intangible magic. You’ve been here at least two times that I am aware of, and have played a part in preventing some very serious incidences from taking place. The friends you have here seem to have been affected by what looks like supernatural forces since the first time you arrived. That about sum it up?” Light finished, studying Twilight’s expression carefully.

“Surprisingly accurate,” Twilight said, nodding. Everything her counterpart rattled off was spot on and she was impressed that her she had managed to gather enough information to come to that conclusion.

“I knew it!” Light grinned. “Before you explain why you have appeared in my house without any clothes, would you like some tea?” Light asked, motioning to the stovetop. The kettle had started to whistle, hot steam billowed from it’s spout.

“…and after what I think was myself blacking out, I woke up here in your kitchen. Everything after that point, well, you know about,” Twilight concluded. She grasped her fingers tightly around the warm cup of tea in front of her.

Light sat across from Twilight, hanging on to every word that Twilight spoke with great interest. She placed the pen atop the journal she was scribbling detailed notes in and took a sip from her own cup of tea. “Fascinating, absolutely fascinating, ”she said exclaimed, the bright glimmer of excitement danced in her eyes. Light pushed the reading glasses she wore up the bridge of her nose. “You are actually from a world of intelligent ponies and magical arts is widely practiced? This is a lot of information to take in, let alone believable.“

“As bizarre as seeing everypony— I mean everybody walking on two legs and a set of those things?” Twilight outstretched her arms and wiggled her fingers. “The first time I crossed over I could hardly believe I looked like this. I still have difficulty knowing what I’m supposed to do with my hands when I’m not using them sometimes.“

Light couldn’t help but let our short laugh, “don’t get me wrong, I believe you are from another reality. The simple fact that you are here in front of me is enough to convince me of that. Between you and the story you have told has validated over a year worth of research.”

“What kind of research?” Twilight asked. She took a bite of the pastry she had taken from the dish that sat on the table between them.

“Understanding how and why you exist, of course. My research started out as studying unexplained seismic phenomena at the University. I discovered reports of unusual events that occurred at a local high school in the suburbs called Canterlot High, which eventually brought my sights to you,” Light pointed a spoon she held at Twilight. “After that, my studies turned towards to what some call ‘fringe science’.”

“So you’ve been watching Canterlot High since the front of the school was wrecked?”

Light nodded. “Correct, I believe a student named Sunset Shimmer was to blame for that incident if my research is correct. At first I dismissed it as an anomaly. After the second incident occurred, the musical event that a high school was hosting went sideways. After that I set up some hardware that acts as a sort of early warning system to log and notify me in real time if another event occurred around the school. A few other small scale readings where cataloged and after that I spent some time investigating on site at the campus. What I discovered was, well, you: a person that is a mirror image of myself who just so happens to appear at the epicentre of both of the recorded instances of unexplained seismic activity. The more I sifted through the information I had collected, the more invested I was in understanding the truth.”

“Well, I suppose with the front of Canterlot High getting wrecked, and the light show from the last time I was here I shouldn’t be surprised that didn’t attract more attention than it did,” Twilight tilted her head, in thought.

“Both the principal and vice principal of Canterlot High appear very persuasive. They somehow swept both events under the rug. Not much more than a footnote in the local paper.”

“They certainly are something special, even on this side,” Twilight nervously laughed. “When you discovered my existence, why didn’t you just approach my friends? Make your self known?”

“I had considered doing exactly that. In fact, I almost did,” Light said. She pulled at her tangled hair. “I was afraid.”

“Afraid of what?” Twilight questioned.

Light sighed, “I was afraid of what would happen if we ever met face to face, unsure of what would occur if such an event where to take place. How would you, or I react? What kind of unforeseen consequences would there be? I couldn’t answer that without more research, so I chose to observe until I could answer those questions with confidence.”

“I see,” Twilight nodded. “A prudent plan, observe and study before acting. I can’t fault that.”

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since the very first photo I saw of you. Now that I’m fairly confident the universe won’t collapse with both of us in the same place together, I don’t even know where to begin. What tests I need to run? Which categorized list of questions should I get you to provide answers for first?” Light tapped an index finger on the pen she had placed on top of the notebook, her expression became serious. “Before any of that, I should ask one very important question. What are you going to do now?”

Twilight thought about her counterpart’s query. “I’ll ignore the fact you want to run experiments on me for now,” Twilight said, shaking her head. “I need to get back to my side to make sure that Equestria is safe. I’m not sure how long I’ve been gone, so the sooner the better.“

Light masked her disappointment behind a gentle smile and a simple nod. “Understandable. I believe I can help with answering the question ‘how long’,” Light said. She shuffled the stacks of books and papers that where piled up on the edge of the kitchen table. The heaps of books, file folders and contraptions Twilight could only assume was some kind of scientific equipment didn’t seem to be in arranged in any particular order. “Ah! here it is,“ exclaimed Light. She gingerly picked up a small tablet sized device that had been wedged under a particularly thick stack of printed paper. Light turned the device on and flicked around on the lit up screen. Light spent a few moments finding what she was looking for on the diminutive device.

“Okay, so it’s been one hundred eighty six days. That’d be six months since the last seismic disturbance originating from ground zero, which I assume is where the portal is located. After that point, it looks like there was an extremely brief seismic event that occurred a couple hours ago but didn’t last long enough to send a priority alert. Based on your appearance here, that seismic event will likely line up exactly with the moment of your appearance here in my kitchen.”

“I’ve been gone six months… this can’t seriously be happening,” Twilight mumbled, her eyes widening in shock. “Six months would put right now around new years? That is assuming our calendars line up.“

“Correct. New Years is just under two weeks from now,” Light nodded. “Winter break from classes has begun. I think that’s even the case for the high schoolers.”

“Being gone this long makes getting home even more urgent. I have to go. Now,” Twilight abruptly guzzled the remaining tea in her cup and placed the cup on the matching saucer. She pushed the chair she occupied back away from the table and stood.

“I don’t think you are going to make it very far in a housecoat in this weather,” Light said, pointing towards the window. Even with the morning sun out in full, the liberal layer of snow that blanketed everything outside sent an involuntary shiver down Twilight’s spine.

“That does pose a problem,” Twilight said. Venturing out into the cold without a hint of where she was going would just be foolish.

“I could take you to Canterlot High, that’s not a problem,” Light replied, leaning back in the chair she was sitting in. “I do, however, have one condition.”

“Oh, and what might that be?” Twilight said, lifting an eyebrow.

“I would like to observe first hand this so-called magic portal with my equipment. I promise I won’t get in the way or interfere in any way,” Light leaned forward and resting her arms on the edge of the table.

Twilight silently considered the request for a moment before responding, “I get the feeling I don’t have much of a choice. It’s not like I know where I am right now or where Canterlot High in is,” Twilight said. “Don’t get any funny ideas about tagging along through the portal. I don’t know what’s waiting for me on the other side and having two of us over there isn’t something I want to deal with until I know it’s safe.”

“Excellent!” Light clapped her hands together, a wide grin spread across her face. She stood, bumping into the table and almost toppling a precariously stacked pile of books on the table. Spike sat up and wagged his tail vigorously, attentive to his owner’s animated display. “First thing we should sort out is get you ready for the weather. Come with me.”

Before Twilight knew what Light had in mind, she grabbed her by the arm and dragged her from where she stood. Light led Twilight down the hall and up the stairs to the second floor of the house. The sun had risen far enough that the morning sunlight illuminated the hallway with a warm yellow glow. Twilight caught a glimpse of a photo hanging on the wall that caught her attention. She stopped in her tracks, preventing Light from proceeding forward.

“Are those people your parents?” Twilight blurted out. She examined the photo, the woman in a beautiful long white gown, the man in a tuxedo. Both where on a dance floor, absolutely glowing.

Light turned to look at the framed photo Twilight pointed out, “Yeah, from the day they where married. That photo over there,” she pointed to the photo that hung to the right of it, “that’s myself and my brother, Shining Armor.”

Twilight looked at the other framed picture. A human that looked faintly familiar, with two shades of blue hair. He was pushing a younger Light on a swing, both of them looked like they where enjoying themselves. “Fascinating. I can see the resemblance to their counterparts on my side,” Twilight said. “Are you close? With Shining I mean.“

“Yeah. Growing up he was my best friend. Still is, even,” Light tugged on Twilight’s housecoat’s sleeve, to coax her on. Twilight continued forward. “He actually lives here with me.“

“He does?” Twilight replied, cautiously. “Won’t seeing two of us be kind of, complicated?”

“He is aware of my research but I can see that two of us here at the same time might be difficult to explain. Thankfully he’s coming back from a big business trip tonight and we’ll have you back home well before he’s back,“ Light added, “hopefully.”

Light dragged Twilight to the end of the hall, passing a partially ajar door to a bedroom, which Twilight assumed was Shining Armor’s. They reached the room at the end of the hall, the door wide open. Twilight stopped just short of the doorway, Light releasing the sleeve of the Twilight’s housecoat she flicked the switch next to the door on. Careful to not step on the many piles of books that lay on the carpeted floor, Light made a bee line for the closet at the opposite end of the room.

Twilight peered into the room from the doorway. Light’s bed was neatly made up, the sheets and perfectly folded and the blanket perfectly entered on top. With Light’s complains about a terrible sleep last night, Twilight assumed the bed didn’t get much use. Spike had a pillow at the foot of the bed, similar to the Twilight’s version of Spike slept in, color and all.

In the opposite corner of the room next to the window was a desk with neatly stacked piles of books. In the center of the desk a computer screen that had a screensaver with stars shooting across a simulated night sky. The keyboard in front of the monitor was pulled close to the edge of the tabletop, Light’s makeshift pillow no doubt.

The wall above the desk had a cork board with various clippings and printouts. Curious, Twilight made her way over to Light’s desk, careful to not knock over the precariously stacked books at the foot of the bed.

Twilight perused the contents of the items pinned to the board. It appeared to illustrate a spiderweb of events. A picture of herself and her friends from the Fall Formal dance was at the centre of the web, Twilight’s head circled in red ink with an question mark next to it. The strings pinned from the photo sprawled out to printed articles surrounding the events of both the event Sunset Shimmer caused as well as the Sirens, as well as detailed records of local weather, seismic activity of those days.

“Impressive amount of research,” Twilight said, her eyes still wandering over the massive amount of information.

“Oh that’s just high level fluff I use to keep my focus on the big picture. Most of the research is on my computer. I can show you the rest some other time if you’re interested,” Light said. “For now, pick something warm that you want to wear. You seem to be a little bit taller than I am, but we should be similar in size,“ Light said, chuckling.

Twilight turned her attention to Light, who had emerged from her closet with a pile of clothes draped over an arm. Twilight cradled the heap of clothes Light dumped in her arms.

“You’re free to use my bathroom if you want to take a shower, and bedroom to get changed. I’ll use Shining’s bathroom since he’s not home to give you some privacy. We leave in an hour,” Light said. She spun around, immediately making her way to the door. “This is so exciting! I still can’t believe I’m finally going to see results!” She continued to talk to herself. She turned into her brother’s room, out of Twilight’s sight.

Twilight sighed. She looked to her feet. Spike the dog sat in front of her, attentively looking upward at her. “It’s good to have you here, Spike. Even if you aren’t my Spike.”

Spike turned his head slightly to the side as if comprehending Twilight’s words. After a few moments he opened his mouth and barked once, wagging his tail.

Author's Note:

Took longer than I expected. I did work ahead a little bit in terms of story though, so the next couple chapters shouldn't take as long.


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