• Published 18th Dec 2014
  • 1,951 Views, 91 Comments

Double Trouble: The Flaws Within - Masterius



Two Twilight Sparkles are not better than one, especially when each are stranded in the wrong world! With the Crystal Mirror broken, is there any way for them to find the way back to their respective homes?

  • ...
4
 91
 1,951

Chapter 5

Chapter Five

“No way!”

“You’ve got to be kidding!”

A low, soft whistle, then “Whoo‑ee!”

Road trip!!

Everyone turned and stared at Pinkie Pie. “Ah, ‘road trip’?” Applejack carefully repeated.

“Well of course, silly‑billy!” Pinkie Pie enthused. “Now that we know where she lives, let’s go there and see what we can find out!”

They’d been busily passing around to each other the billfold Velvet Sky had discovered, looking—well, gawking, actually—at the driver’s license displayed within. Well, not so much at the license itself as at the photo of Twilight Sparkle, comparing that image to the real one standing with them. Or the real one…at the moment…from the other world.

It was rather mind‑boggling to be honest.

Even more so for Twilight when it was her turn to examine the small, laminated rectangle, feeling peculiar as she scrutinized the rather familiar face looking back at her. After all, it was one she saw every time she looked in the mirror—in this world, anyway.

Upon closer examination, there were small, subtle differences. That Twilight Sparkle wasn’t smiling. In fact, that sober, serious face looked as if it seldom, if ever, smiled, and her grooming and demeanor were ascetic and severe. Twilight had the oddest impression of a person who had distilled their very essence, pared away and eliminated anything frivolous and extraneous, removing everything that might potentially impede her purpose.

That might seem a great deal to deduce from a mere photo, but something about that image resonated inside Twilight. Is that how I would have turned out, she wondered, if I hadn’t met my friends?

She handed the billfold to an impatiently dancing‑in‑place Pinkie Pie, and jumped when, seconds later, she’d enthusiastically yelled out her suggestion.

The remaining four—Twilight, Applejack, Wiz Kid, and Velvet Sky—turned their heads and looked at each other. “Ah,” Applejack diffidently began, “Pinkie Pah, Ah’m not sure if y’all are aware of it, but that’s a bit of a trek t’ go hoofin’ over thar. It’s all th’ way ‘cross town and miles outside,” she finished, tapping the address on the license for emphasis.

“So?” Pinkie Pie shrugged. “We have the address, and we have the van. And we have the keys!” she brightly chirped.

“Jes’ missin’ one thing thar, Pinkie Pah,” Applejack noted.

“What’s that?”

“We don’t have a driver.”

“Sure we do!” Pinkie Pie beamed. Rooting in her pocket, she pulled out a rectangular card of her own. “Me!” she bounced.


“Ah’m sure Ah’ve done stupider things in mah life,” Applejack softly muttered. “Ah jes’ can’t remember any of them at th’ moment.”

“It’s not that bad, is it?” Twilight asked.

The two of them were carrying the last of the devices back to the van, unwilling to abandon and leave them behind, especially since they were likely to be needed at some future point. They’d already said their goodbyes to the rest of their classmates, since the van wasn’t big enough to carry everyone that had, so far, remained behind. Besides, even if it had been big enough, there weren’t that many daredevils and lunatics present to have volunteered coming along once they’d found out who was driving!

So the current group remained at Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Velvet Sky, and Wiz Kid. Applejack was actually of two minds about including the latter two, feeling uncomfortable having them risk themselves with Pinkie Pie driving, but accepting they were the most likely to make any sense out of whatever scientific stuff they might find at this Twilight’s home.

The inside of the van was extremely neat and orderly, even the pens and pencils precisely racked and stored. As all of the apparatus they’d hauled back had their own stowage, the only extra item they had to store was Pinkie Pie’s bicycle.

The only extra item, anyway.

The van was equipped for function, not for comfort or passengers. It had two bucket seats in front and a wheeled office chair in the back. Obviously, the office chair wasn’t intended for use while in transit, which meant only two of the five would have actual seats. Pinkie Pie—naturally, as the driver—took one, which left one. Wiz Kid and Velvet Sky volunteered to sit in the back. Applejack wasn’t too sure about that until seeing them hunkered down under the sturdy worktable, bracing themselves against that and each other. It wasn’t ideal but it would have to do.

“Go ahead, Twalaight,” Applejack stifled a sigh as she motioned to the passenger seat. “Better you than me belted up and safe.”

Twilight actually looked excited. “This is only my second time in one of these, you know!” she enthused as she sat down.

“Let’s just pray it ain’t yer last time, too!” Applejack muttered.

Seeing Pinkie Pie buckling up, Twilight looked about her own seat. Finding an identical harness arrangement, she examined it, quickly deducing how it worked. Pulling it across her lap and snapping the buckle in, she asked, “What’s this for?”

“In case of an accident, it’s t’ help keep from gettin’ hurt,” Applejack explained from the rear of the van, where she was settling herself in for the ride.

Twilight blinked. “Really? It doesn’t go that fast, does it?”

“Have mercy on us all an’ pray that it don’t,” Applejack implored the heavens.

“All set?” Pinkie Pie asked, keys jingling as she inserted one into the ignition. Various degrees of affirmative enthusiasm answered, with Applejack clasping her hands together and murmuring something just under her breath.

“Huh,” Pinkie Pie muttered, turning the key several times with nothing happening. “That’s strange. It should be starting.”

“Whut’s th’ matter, Pinkie Pah?” Applejack asked.

“It’s not starting. It’s like the battery is dead or something.”

“Better th’ battery than us.”

“Hmmm?”

“Oh, nothin’. Nothin’ a‘tall.”

Pinkie Pie leaned forward and peered down. “What’s this third pedal for?”

Applejack yelped.


“Well, here we are!” Pinkie Pie caroled as she pulled into a parking space. “Toldja no problemo!”

Applejack cautiously cracked an eye open. “Seriously? We made it?” A moment later, after a chagrined, soft cough, “Ah meant, ahh…we made it…there?”

Pinkie Pie had already turned off the engine and hopped out. “Unless you told me the wrong address we’re sure there. C’mon! Ummm…Twilight? You OK?”

Twilight made a strange gargling sound, her hands white‑knuckled where they’d been gripped almost into the dashboard. She’d never before in her life moved that fast unless she’d been flying, and once they’d reached the highway she’d been petrified with terror. Perhaps if they’d been the only carriage contrivance on the roads she might have been more relaxed, but they hadn’t been the only ones, and Twilight couldn’t see any rhyme or reason that explained how those others were performing. There had to be some sort of order, otherwise they’d all wind up in one big pile…then again, Applejack had said this seat belt thing was for accidents. So…just how often did accidents happen?

Pinkie Pie had just kept chattering away like a sugar‑rushed magpie the entire trip, acting as if this was no big deal and something she did all the time, so Twilight told herself to just relax and trust in her friend. She’d actually managed relaxing quite a bit during the drive. But then they had entered what Pinkie Pie had called a “parking lot”…

Twilight decided she’d rather have her pinions plucked out, one at a time, than ever again endure a parking lot. People just walked in and out and willy‑nilly all about, paying no heed to traffic, while other cars pulled into and out of their line-painted stalls with grim abandon to common sense or safety.

Hearing Applejack muttering what sounded like under-the-breath prayers from where she sat in the rear hadn’t helped settle Twilight’s anxiety.

Velvet Sky and Wiz Kid slithered out from beneath the bench, idiotic grins on their faces. Applejack didn’t know whether to envy them or whack them upside the head as she unkinked herself and stood up.

Unbuckling the belt, Twilight opened the door and stepped out, then barked out a laugh as Applejack knelt on the pavement and pantomimed kissing the ground.

“Awww…c’mon Applejack!” Pinkie Pie pouted.

Applejack stood back up and grinned, but that smile faded as she saw the hurt look on her friend’s face. Swiftly closing, Applejack gave Pinkie Pie a tight hug. “I was just teasin’,” she apologized. “Mostly,” she grinned again, winking. Then she stiffened and pointed. “Although y’all might want t’ put th’ parking brake on,” gesturing to the slowly backwards‑rolling van.

“Eeek!”


After double‑checking the block address was correct, the five of them headed towards the long brick building in front of them. Three stories high, constructed with warm, red brick, green ivy traced its way up the face, a broad lawn in front with neatly trimmed shrubs immediately bordering the outside walls, and several tall oaks providing shade during the day, presenting both functionality along with welcome.

According to the information they’d gleaned from the license, registration, and some bills inside the backpack, they needed to find room 112. The front door to the dorm was locked, but Velvet Sky had also found Twilight’s school ID card. Taking it in hand, she stepped up to the door then swiped it through the attached reader, and was rewarded hearing a soft ‘click’.

It was very quiet inside, especially once the door closed behind them. A hallway extended both left and right, and a staircase going up was off to one side. Wiz Kid glanced at some wall plaques then motioned to the left. “This way,” he said before heading off that way.

Room 112 was at the furthest end of the hallway. Unlike all of the other doors, which had notes, letters, and other things fastened to them, this door was scrupulously clean, almost sterile. “Well, here goes nothing.” Since Velvet Sky had found the key—as well as the other all‑important items—no one challenged her as she stepped up to open the door.

The lock turned smoothly, without a sound. The door opened silently, without a squeak of complaint from the hinges. They cautiously started creeping inside, the room as quiet as a tomb. Until…

Loud, piercing barks echoed deafeningly in the room. Darting out from somewhere to the front and left raced a small dog, furiously barking at the intruders, jaws snapping, eyes flashing in anger.

“Ack!” “Eeek!” “Whoa, Nelly!” “Look out!” “It’s a cute doggie!”

Quickly backing out the door and closing it, they stared at each other, while from inside could still be heard furious barking.

“Now whut?” Applejack whispered, although why she was whispering when that demon dog was raising all sorts of cane was beyond explanation.

I don’t know!” replied Twilight. “I wish Fluttershy was here. She knows all about animals. She could probably get it to calm down.”

“Ummm…Twilight?” Pinkie Pie started.

“Huh? Yes? What is it, Pinkie Pie?”

“This is where you—well, your other you; the you that’s you when you aren’t here. You know?”

Trying to follow that made Twilight’s eyes water. “Um…ah. Sure. I guess,” she faltered. “So…this is where I, what, exactly?”

“Oh! Yeah!” Pinkie Pie wriggled. “Well, if this is the place that the other Twilight lives, and if she’s like you, and you have Spike, and Spike becomes a dog when he’s here—and that’s definitely a dog barking at us, yessireebob, no foolin’!—than that’s probably Spike in there, too. Just a doggy Spike and not a Spike‑dragony‑Spike. Knowhutimean?”

It took a few seconds to decipher what Pinkie Pie had said but, once she had, an excited look spread across her face. “You’re right! That’s got to be Spike. Well, the dog‑Spike that is, and not my baby dragon Spike.” Twilight quickly shook her head before she fell into the same alliteration as Pinkie Pie.

Cupping her hands and placing the resulting ‘tube’ against the door, Twilight softly called out. “Spike,” she announced. “It’s just me: Twilight.”

The barking abruptly ceased, a soft whine now heard from the other side of the door. Twilight looked over her shoulder at her friends, a triumphant look on her face. “That’s right, Spike. Easy now. It’s just me and some friends. Just shush now, OK? We don’t want to bother anypo— anyone.”

“No. No, we don’t want to be bothering anyone. Do we, Miss Sparkle.”

Everyone spun around at the snide, frosty voice coming from behind them, not the least of which because it was a very familiar voice at that.

All five felt their jaws drop as they stared at the person who had just walked up on them unnoticed.

“Sunset Shimmer??

Author's Note:

Revised 02/08/2020