• Published 3rd Oct 2015
  • 4,543 Views, 141 Comments

The Dragonfly Effect - Ichiro Sato



When Spike went to bed, he was a 162 year old dragon, war veteran, twice widower, and living on the outskirts of Ponyville. This morning, he wakes up to a voice he hadn't heard in decades on the eve of the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration.

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Chapter 4: The Fading Light

“Time’s are changin’, ain’ no denyin’ that an’ no stoppin’ it. It’s just a fact o’ life. Still don’ understand why in the hay we need any o’ these new gizmos an’ tall buildin’s just to git along.”
-Applejack on her return to Ponyville in 47RoH

“So, when Princess Celestia came to check in on all of us, the entire lab was destroyed, Moon Dancer and Twilight got their muzzles glued together, and Lyra’s spine was permanently altered changing the way she sits.” Spike had just finished recounting a little tale from Twilight’s school days, leaving out a few of the more amoral and horrific (in hindsight) details. And the crowd goes wild and a few eyes turn to Lyra for confirmation, sitting in a trademark, belly up slouch.

She took a sip of her drink and shrugged. “Hey, it’s not all bad. Check this!” She said, setting her drink aside and producing some balls and proceeding to juggle with her forelegs. While cheating with her telekinesis.

And she still fumbles and drops them.

It only got another round of laughter out of the crowd and her.

“Canterlot sounds like such an interesting place.” Shoeshine marveled.

Pinprick nodded, bouncing his wavy locks and smiling. “I know, I thought Canterlot only interested politicians and socialites like Rarity.”

Roseluck shivered and shook her head. “It sounds horrible if you ask me.”

“Damn straight.” Redheart took a drink from her punch. “Are you really saying our Princess let CHILDREN experiment in dangerous magic?”

The dragon and Lyra were quick to clarify. “Celestia didn’t approve of the experiment. Aaand we all got in big trouble for it afterwards.” The minty unicorn defended.

“And Twilight and Moon Dancer were trying to find a cure to muscle ossification. And even if the experiment was bust, they did make some new discoveries that brought a cure closer to reality.” Spike insisted.

“I just can’t approve of some things, among them include practicing medicine without a license and kids playing doctor.” The white mare shook her head and slugged back her drink. “But to Tartarus with it, any other crazy stories?”

Spike scratched his chin when Lyra jumped up. “Oh, who wants to hear what happened when Spike volunteered for dragon blood magic experiments!”

Even if the memories were more than a hundred fifty years old, Spike remembered them clear as day, namely “Lyra, we all swore to never talk about those again.”

The unicorn’s ears flattened in despair. “Come on, Spike. The mutations were temporary and not that horrible.”

Spike’s claw found his face while the crowd blinked.

“The wings were cool, I felt like an evil princess!” Lyra defended.

Before she could make the situation more awkward, Spike was captured in a lavendar aura of magic and pulled from the table to a rather tired looking Twilight.

“Hey, Twilight! It’s me! Lyra! Remember? From Canterlot?” The golden eyed mare began hopping up and down excitedly.

With a groan, Twilight reluctantly acknowledged her fellow alumni. “Hey, Lyra, look, we’ll catch up later, okay? We need to talk to Spike.” She explained and began to drag her dragon to a backroom.

“We?” Spike echoed curious (though he had a feeling who) and found it confirmed when he met Rainbow Dash and Applejack waiting. When he also saw Pinkie, Fluttershy, and particularly Rarity, Spike was forced to once more consider how his sheddings might taste with some crushed rubies after being boiled in a vegetable/emerald stock. “Ah, ‘we’.” He nodded numbly, wondering just how out of control things would be getting from here.

“Partner, Twiligh’s been talkin’ an’ says you know somethin’ ‘bout all this Nightmare Moon business, even that you got good authority - Celestia authority this is gonna happen.” Applejack tried to ease him gently into the inevitable accusations while preparing her lasso.

“What she mean is why the hey do you know so much?” Which Rainbow Dash quickly vetoed with her bluntness. “Are you a spy?”

Spike was about to take a seat but found Twilight still held him suspended in the air, and now was securing Applejack’s rope around him.

“And more importantly, I want to know: where is Spike, my Spike and who the heck are you?” Twilight’s eyes narrowed with menace, something screwed up since the dragon in question need only glance just behind Twilight to see Pinkie interpreting this as a party game and trussing herself up with a blithe smile.

Things were already out of hand by this point, Spike couldn’t help but feel whatever grand destiny game Celestia played last time was now coming to a massive six engine trainwreck that would end when the arcanodynamic accumulators went up in a massive explosion that would take out the entire station. So what was making more passengers board the wrecked cars, especially when they had already purchased their tickets.

Taking a breath, he decided to break it to them the same way they were breaking this to them; with an audacious bluntness. “My name is Spike Dracula ‘Dash’ Sparkle. I am a veteran of the Necromantic/Equestrian War. Former co-CEO of Orochi incorporated along with Professor Vanguard Sparkle. I am one hundred sixty two years old. Twice widowed. And when I went to bed last night, it was the eleven hundred and fiftieth Summer Sun Celebration.” He said to the increasing confusion of everyone in the room except for Twilight who put one whoo in front of him and one on her face.

“Stop, please, just stop. If you’re not going to take this seriously, then just shut up and let me brush up on Necromantic rituals and pry the truth out of your soul.” She said turning to the bookcases in frustration.

“Um, what did any of that mean?” Fluttershy asked Spike, the only one in the room who seemed to follow any what Spike said as more than just a stall tactic.

“It means I’m from the future-”

“Which is impossible!” Twilight shot back.

Spike shrugged in his binds. “Yes, I know. I’ve also been wondering if maybe all of you are the spies using the guises of people from the past to draw out information from me! Or maybe I’ve gone completely insane and begun hallucinating.”

Twilight seemed to have forgotten her search for the black arts in a rural public library (along with everyone else) and pressed her muzzle to Spike’s and narrowed her eyes. “Oh, no! Don’t try to turn this into some kind of existential introspection on the nature of reality! I know what’s real and what’s just an illusion. I scored top marks in illusion and conjuration. I wrote my entire thesis on ‘objective reality’! This is it!”

“Wasn’t that the one your professor say it was ‘well-researched and well-worded but lacked anything to give it actual backing’?” Spike quirked a brow and searched his memory.

“What does he know, his original subject was philosophy!”

“Twilight, dear. Breathe.” Rarity placated.

Applejack scratched the back of her head. “Yeah, we’re gettin’ off topic. Maybe we should try askin’ if he knows how to stop this than why.”

“Alright, but-” Spike was about to explain when the door burst open and smashed him against the wall.

“Twilight, come on!” He could hear Lyra’s muffled voice. “It’s time to watch the sunrise!”

In a less bound state and slightly dazed state, the dragon might have done something or at least opted to shout his answer through the thick oaken door. But instead, he was only able to let out a sort of bubbling noise from his throat while he could hear Twilight and her friends be urged off to the sunrise by Lyra and apparently Pinkie Pie.

Had this been this morning, he would have been grateful for the chance to avoid further explanation even with the pain that came with it. But right now, he just wanted to at the very least relive a bit of his past and not be in bondage to do so.

As the door gently swung shut, the nascent dragon fell to the nostalgic, season-ringed floors, and with a bit a struggle worked to free himself from the binds. It wasn't a monumental effort, owed both to Spike being a dragon and Twilight being lousy with knots, but it still took enough time that Spike found himself making a mad, exhausting dash (damn his literal infantile stamina) to town hall just as Mayor Mare was finishing her introductory speech to the crowd.

The energies were contrasting, the entirety of Ponyville and then some seemed electrically charged with excitement, Twilight, Spike, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, and Fluttershy wore their faces with growing apprehension and anxiety.

“And now, it is my great honor to introduce to you; the ruler of our land,”

Would it go alright this time too?

“The very pony who gives us the sun and the moon each and every day,”

Was destiny going to see the Element Bearers to victory again, or has his mere arrival in the past created ripples sufficient enough to be as much as hand in Night Eternal as Nightmare Moon herself?

“The good, the wise, the bringer of harmony to all of Equestria,”

The Princess’ wisdom was forgotten, and Spike rushed to Twilight, wading desperately through the crowd of Apple clansponies, desperate to finish the information she had tried to grill him for.

“Princess-”

Scrambling up Apple Fritter’s backside, he called out, only two meters away from her, even catching her attention “Twilight! You’ll n-” but Apple Fritter took no appreciation of his sudden molestations and bucked him off to a far wall.

“-Celestia!” The mayor finished, like a count down reaching zero, Spike felt terribly confused.

Behind the current Rarity drew back was the princess of the dawn herself. Smiling as bright as her heavenly body, and her sleek, alabaster coat radiant as her wings flared and horn began to glow with magic.

The room filled with awe, even Twilight seemed to forget her troubles in this moment and remember the sight which had enkindled her love of sorcerery.

The expressions though turned to horror when the sun would not rise, and Celestia’s magic was snuffed out around her horn as the shadows which had framed her on the balcony began to engulf her. She made no fight despite the shadows consuming her, only a few tears rolled down her face as she vanished completely from view.

“Uh, party trick?” Pinkie Pie suggested when a familiar, thundering laugh filled the hall and the temperature dropped enough to see the breaths of each pony present. The shadows shifted, swirled, and coalesced on the balcony, sending the fashionista above into a panic and backing away as far as she could.

Collecting himself, Spike rushed over the crowds again, this time no one fought him, only yelps of surprise as his tiny claws made contact with them or buckling as he made his final leap when screamed and realized she had run out of solid ground only to be caught by the tiny dragon just as his dive began to decline allowing the two a rough, but safe landing.

The sense of victory was short lived when the Fallen Princess manifested in all her umbral glory. A coat as black as a void in the heavens made by dying stars, no light reflected off of it, giving her a surreal appearance. A miasmatic mane and tail like some distant nebula, dissipating into nothing than promising new life.

And her eyes and wings were like no pony, they reminded Spike of dragons in their darkest moments, of him in at his most primal.

Spike suddenly had a fairly good idea why he had fainted the first time he saw this.

“Oh, my beloved subjects.” Nightmare Moon spoke in that leaden, heavy voice filigreed with a silken smoothness. “It’s been it’s been so long since I’ve seen your precious, little, sunlight-loving faces.”

“Where’s Celestia!” Rainbow Dash shouted, her voice shaking but her will steady. Spike’s memory suddenly warned him, something was wrong with this set up.

Applejack was too far away to stop Rainbow Dash from charging Nightmare Moon. Dozens of voices screamed for her sanity but the being the fastest flyer in Equestria had it’s drawbacks. So fast even Nightmare Moon could not react to the hard kick to her face, sending her sprawling to the wooden deck.

The room fell silent, some in awe at Dash’s valor and strength others at her recklessness and stupidity. (Spike fell into that latter category)

“Piece of cake.” The rainbow haired pegasus boasted, crossing her forelegs, her confidence faltering as Nightmare Moon began to twitch and spasm erratically.

“No! No no no no no no no no!” A softer voice denied in mantra.

“Yes… She has laid hoof on us!” Hissed Nightmare Moon’s as she stood up so suddenly, no one could recall if she had actually moved her body to do so. Her helmet had cracked, face twisted, a blotch of midnight blue had formed on her coat from where Dash had kicked her, spreading around her eye, rounding the pupil.

“No! This isn’t right!” Spike could hear Luna’s voice protest before the ‘bruise’ vanished beneath the ebony and eye returned to narrow slit.

“She will suffer!” Nightmare Moon spoke, drowning out the traces of Luna and flooding the room with a blast of magic, freezing every pony in place.

This certainly did not happen last time.

Nor was Rainbow Dash’s halted form pulled level with Nightmare Moon and held spread-eagle and still while a void opened in the air near the dark mare’s head, swirling and concentrating into a black, oily spear aimed straight for the pegasus’ heart.

“Thou hath lain thine hoof in anger upon thy queen…”

Screams trumpeted from stopped mouths and Spike’s heart sank for a moment. Shutting his eyes and focusing his will until he could feel his arms and legs again and broke free from the aetheric binds. He wasted no time finding his path into the air.

“For this crime of treason, thou shalt be sentenced to immediate impalement, thus saith the queen!” Nightmare Moon hissed and launched the black lance for the bracing pegasus’ heart.

Putting all his power into his rebounding lunge, Spike saw it never came. Knocking the pagasus out of the air, he felt a bit of satisfaction he was two for two on rescues of former loves that morning. The feeling faded when he felt something pierce the back of his right arm and shoot through into his wrist. The force the blow sending him spinning as he fell to earth, catching glimpses of the horrified looks all around.

Even on Nightmare Moon.

“Well…” Spike thought to himself as he looked at the sizable piercings through his shoulder and arm, as well as the prickling and increasingly painful sensation radiating from the wounds in a visible infection of ichor. “That just figures.”

He landed hard on the ground with a thud, his vision continued to spin after his body had stopped, blurring slowly from the center of his sight, creeping towards the edges. Voices echoed and boomed distantly, heard only faintly over his heartbeat.

Free from the freezing curse, Spike felt himself be cradled in the magic of a crying Twilight. “This wasn’t supposed happen!” He blinked, and faintly saw a distraught Nightmare Moon. “They were supposed to rejoice! This wasn’t supposed to happen!” He blinked again, and she was gone with a smoky wisp of darkness while Twilight called his name.

“Twilight,” Spike struggled. “Find the Elements of Harmony in the Everfree Castle. Find the elements within your friends. Stop Nightmare Moon and save the Princesses.” He tried to tell her as his grip on her foreleg weakened, but the pain and poison clenched his throat and he barely got out a sixth of that, and which he couldn’t tell.

He tried to repeat it, but he was beginning to forget what he wanted to say, the haziness in his sight has become a darkening, the pain fading into a cold numbness.

And then; oblivion.

Author's Note:

And thus, future Spike's journey came to a swift end for his meddling in the past.

It's been a fun ride, folks, hope you all enjoyed this and see you in my next story: Fallout: Equestria: Van Branburn.

Whoa! Hey, I'm kidding! It's not over yet! Get back to the edges of those seats, because the future as we know it for our little ponies is now spiralling off the rails.