• Published 5th Jun 2012
  • 8,435 Views, 224 Comments

Twidark - Isseus

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Beyond The Wall Of Sleep

Twilight had barely exited the library, when she was approached by a mint-colored unicorn.

"Excuse me, Miss Sparkle?"

"Yes? Uhh ... Lyra was it?"

Nopony calls me ´Miss Sparkle` unless they want me to do something for them. So much for getting to the Town Hall on time. And could someone PLEASE shut off that light? Oh ... it´s just the sun. Hey! I could write to Princess Celestia, and ask if she´d be nice enough to take the sun down for a moment. How can my brain actually hurt so much when I´m not even doing magic?

"So nice of you to remember me. I don´t think we´ve ever even had time to talk."

"Nonsense. I remember we met at one of Pinkie Pie´s parties only a few weeks back."

She had slowed her pace to a steady trot, so they could talk while on the go. For some reason standing still felt like a really bad idea.

"Well people often confuse me with other ponies. My friends always tell me I just seem to fade into the background."

"I distinctly remember a unicorn that looked exactly like you at the party, though. You were standing on your hindlegs and juggling as I recall."

"Oh. You got me there." She looked a bit ashamed as the slightest of blush spread on her face. "I might have had a few too many muffins that night. Bon Bon always tells me I shouldn´t eat too much sugar."

"I think it was a nice act. Shows you´ve been practicing a lot." Looking at her empty forehoof where a pony might keep a watch, she continued: "Well then. It was nice to meet you Lyra but I really must be off. I´m already late for an appointment with Mayor Mare."

"Umm ... I´m sorry but ..."

Here we go. Twilight to the rescue! I should never leave my Twi-Cave without my Mare-Do-Well costume, it seems.

"Well it´s a bit silly really. My neighbour´s cat is stuck in a tree and we can´t get her down."

"And you´d like me to help, is that right?"

"Oh yes please. The poor thing has been stuck there since last night, and my neighbour is really worried and—"

"Well we can´t leave the kitty-witty just hanging now can we. Let´s go rescue her!" She might have skipped the heroic pose, but it felt obligatory. "Just one question though ... why don´t you," she casually tapped her own horn, before continuing: "you know?"

"Well see ... that´s why I had to come to you, Miss Sparkle"

"Just Twilight is okay, please."

"Twilight ... um ... the fact is I tried to get her down myself, but she´s holding on to the branch with her dear life, and I couldn´t dislodge her."


"... and I can´t thank you enough Miss Sparkle!"

"Just Tw—"

"Miss Fluffykins was out all night and we couldn´t get her down. We even had help from the CMCVFD, but they couldn´t get her down either."

"Yes. Well. No trouble. No trouble at all. Happy to help a neighbour. Ehehe. We´re all a big family here at Ponyville aren´t we?"

If Lyra´s neighbour, old lady Milk Saucer, wasn´t already almost deaf, she might have heard the audible "plop" that Twilight´s ear made every few seconds now.

"Oh deary me! Are you sure you don´t want a band-aid for those cuts? I know Miss Fluffykins is VERY sorry for scratching you like that arentyoumissfluffykinsofcourseyouare."

"No. No. Not at all no. Thank you. No. I must be off. Mayor Mare must already be furious that I´m late for our meeting."

She started slowly backing away from the old mare, trying not to make eye contact.

If she invites me over for tea and crumpets, I´m done for. Although a little tea and cookies would do wonders for me. Make that a lot of tea. Or coffee. Coffee would be good.

"Twilight?"

"Everything sorted. All good. Cat saved. Only took an hour. Bleeding already stopped. Won´t cause scars. No problem. Happy to help."

"Well I´m really sorry for taking up so much of your precious time. I couldn´t believe the little kitty would resist even your magic for so long. It was a nice idea to finally saw the branch off and I´m sure that Mr. Greenhoof won´t mind his greenhouse, after we explain that it happened under dire circumstances. But yes I had something for you ..."

She rummaged around in her saddlebag for a moment, producing a small bag with an image of a sweet on it.

"Bon Bon made a big batch yesterday, and left some for me. But like i told you, i think it´s better if I avoid sugar for a while, so ... would you like to have some? They´re double-chocolate coffee-and-coconut beans. It´s her favorite recip—"

The bag had been appropriated by a purple glow as soon as the C-word had been uttered. Popping one in her mouth Twilight actually felt like she had used the cloud-walking spell again. Only this time on solid ground.

"Mfese re demificius! Meminf me fo asf fo mo fom Bom-Bom," she muttered while ramming a few more of the sweets into her mouth.

"I´m sure she´ll be pleased you like them."

Gulping down the first few sweets, Twilight turned to leave for her now late-afternoon meeting with the Mayor. Something was still bothering her, and she spun rapidly back, startling Lyra.

"STOP! One more thing! I heard something about some CMCFDV or something?" She was closing on Lyra, causing the minty unicorn to back away. They were almost close enough for their horns to touch.

"Oh you mean the Cutie Mark Crusader Volunteer Fire Department? They were the cutest little bunch! They even had their own ladder and siren and all"

"Cutie Mark Crusaders? Siren!?" Lyra felt her rump collide with the wall behind her. There was no escape from the bewildered librarian.

"Oh yes. That cute little Apple girl, what´s her name, kept running it all the while they climbed to Miss Fluffykins. They couldn´t get the kitty down either. That orange pegasus filly even threatened her with a little hatchet she had with her, telling her to come down or ´he was gonna get it`. Too bad they had to leave for some errands. I´m sure they would have succeeded!"

"So ... the Cutie Mark Crusaders were trying to rescue a cat from a tree by blaring a siren at him and threatening him with an axe?"

"Yes ... Aren´t they the cutest, though? So energetic and—"

"YES!. Energetic. Very. So nice to hear they´re so HELPFUL. Yes. Have to go. Mayor. Bye."

"Bye!" Lyra happily waved after the librarian. She´d heard some strange things about Twilight Sparkle but the purple mare seemed like a really nice pony. She´d even liked her juggling. And very friendly. Always smiling.


Next night Lyra woke up screaming and crying, scaring her marefriend Bon-Bon terribly. All she could say through her tears was: "The smile ... The smile ..." over and over again.


After helping Pinkie pull out a burning cake from the oven, opening a stuck lock on a chest for Mr. and Mrs. Cake while catching a falling Pound Cake, holding a two hour lecture at the school about the history of Equestria (specifically about the border tensions between the indigenous Buffalo tribes and pony settlers), helping Fluttershy shop at the market without getting ripped off and fixing Big Macintosh´s cart that had lost a wheel, Twilight decided to take a detour.

After avoiding or outright fleeing from the few ponies she met at the back alleys, she finally arrived at the Town Hall.

Take care of this meeting [ ]
Go home [ ]
Sleep [ ]
Wake up early [ ]
Start helping with the dam [ ]

No problem. Everything´s just ... PERFECT. Except for the bag of sweets she´d had earlier. It had disappeared somewhere. The bag had a warning of only eating a few per day so it was might´ve been just as well. I need a clear head for this meeting.

"Miss Sparkle! I´m so happy you could make it!" The gray mare had been outside the Town Hall, conversing with some muscular earth ponies. Twilight was proud of noting that her cognitive functions were still running at full speed when she cunningly deduced that they were a part of the dam repair crew. Really, it was too simple. One of them even had a powertool cutie mark!

"Mayor Mare. I came as soon as I could! I´m sorry if I´m a bit late—"

"Don´t worry about a thing, Miss Sparkle. I met up with that delightful friend of yours. She told me all about what happened at the library this morning."

"She did?" Luckily her purple coat could hide a small blush, before it was apparent to everyone else around her.

"Yes. Imagine that the tree roots could break all those pipes at the same time! I heard it was the worst possible coincidence."

"Pipes. Broken. Leaking pipes. Water in a library. Bad." Twilight was smiling and thinking very hard if she´d missed something as bad as this when leaving.

"I fully understand that you had to remain behind and help with the repairs and securing the valuable books. I always said that books are the backbone of education and knowledge. Having Princess Celestia´s personal student here, running our beautiful library with such dilligence! I couldn´t think of a better person for the job."

"Well. Thank you. Mrs. Mayor. I´m ... honoured?"

"Please Miss Sparkle. The honour is ALL ours! I mean, to have the Element of Magic here at our little town has brought us so much prestige. They even have a fan club for you I hear. And we ar ... THEY ARE thinking of getting you a statue!"

What is she talking about? Clubs? Didn´t she just tell Vinyl Scratch not to try converting Sugar Cube Corner into one in the weekends? And why are we talking about music? Shouldn´t I be fixing the pipes at the library? Maybe these two stallions could help me with the repairs? They must be hoofy with tools. How does one find out that powertools are their destiny anyway? I thought foals weren´t supposed to play with them until they got older.

"Mrs. Mayor," the light brown earth pony with the power tool cutie mark cut in before Twilight could catch up with her train of thought. Or more likely stop it before it ran off a cliff. "We should really begin the meeting, Yerronor. We still have lots to do today and the day ain´t getting any younger."

"Quite right Mr. Drill. Twilight Sparkle, I´d like you to meet Impact Drill and Iron Girder." Both stallions nodded their heads. "They are in charge of repairing Ponyville Dam."

"Ehhehehe"

"Ahem! Miss Sparkle?" Mayor Mare asked, with a well practiced cough of a true politician.

"Excuse me. Sorry. I was just thinking about the library."

"Maybe we can give you a helping hoof there lil´lady." This was the first Twilight had heard the steel-grey pony talk.

"We have a plumber on our team. Won´t be needin´ him much tomorrow, so we can lend him to you. I could ask him to come even tonight if it´s urgent? He´s from Germane but I hear he´s very good at what he does."

"Thank you. NO! I mean. No. Thank you. I´m sure my assistant Spike has everything under control by now. He´s very good with things like that. Pipes! With pipes."

"If you say so, Miss. Now should we move to the construction site? Our boys have been settin´ up there since mornin´."


They´d arrived at their destination, and were standing on a small hill overlooking the dam operation. The two stallions were staring at Twilight with slack jaws. She didn´t seem to notice, as she was scanning the construction site.

"So YOU´RE the mare who repaired the dam earlier?" Impact Drill was unsurprisingly surprised about the fact that Mare-Do-Well was actually standing in front of him.

"Well we did find it best to withold that information publicly. Just to protect the identity of our benefactors. You understand how it goes, Mr. Drill."

"Of ... course Mrs. Mayor." He still seemed quite incredulous about the fact that this twitchy little mare, cute as she was, could do anything, except maybe hold a quill. "So you´re actually—"

"Yes yes. Element of Magic. Princess Tia´s star pupil. Saved the world three times. Part-time superhero. Brother´s the Captain of The Royal Guard." Feeling that this wasn´t enough, she added: "I like books."

The collective gasp went unnoticed by the oblivious unicorn squinting at the dam.

"When do we start fixing this thing? What´s even wrong with it?"

"Is she always like that?" came a quick whisper to Mayor Mare´s ear.

"Mr. Drill, I believe that sometimes it is better to allow some people their few eccentricities. To keep the ball rolling, as it were."

"Got it."

Returning to a normal speaking volume he carefully approached Twilight.

"So Miss Sparkle—"

"PleasecallmeTwilight!"

"Allright . Twilight. Before we begin, is there anythin´ I could get you? Maybe a drink?"

"Coffee please. Big cup. Didn´t sleep well last night. At all actually."

"I see ... well ... the only thin´ us workin´horses can offer is the canteen dishwater that our cook calls coffee..."

"Perfect. Just. Perfect. Oh and do you have anything for headache?"

"I´ll see what I can do."

After a few minutes Twilight Sparkle´s brain was up and running again. She´d taken double the dose of the painkillers she´d been offered. That was bound to make them work twice as fast, right? Her head was about to split. And then split again. The coffee had been just as bad as it sounded. Twilight´d had seconds.

Now she and the two workponies were seated at the small canteen tent acting as a makeshift conference room. Mayor Mare had excused herself for the evening. She´d given a short pep talk to the few workers still present, and happily trotted off.

"Sooo. Dam right? What´s wrong with it?" Twilight asked, approaching the caffeine dosage that made her almost coherent. "And why isn´t Mayor Mare staying?"

"We already managed to go over the boring paperwork and legal mumbo jumbo while we waited for you." Impact Drill explained while looking at several blueprints laid out on a canteen table. He pointed to some calculations that the unicorn immediately recognized as integrity assessments.

"Well you did fix the dam up real good, but it was broken real bad. You used some hefty magics on it, but unfortunately that magic won´t hold for too much longer. Magic doesn´t hold as well as cement on the long run."

"Yup," added the other stallion.

His partned continued: "That´s why we have to take it down, and build it up again almost from scratch. That´s where you come in. We believe that you can hold the waterflow back long enough for us to work safely. Breaking the dam down won´t take much work at all. Our resident unicorn tells us that the structural integrity is already very low, so even a small amount of magic could break the whole dam down. We want to do it in a controlled fashion."

"So blast the dam and watch out for the bits." With a worried glance, Impact noticed that the purple unicorn had found a quill and ink, and was busy making a checklist on a napkin. "Next?"

"Well next comes the tricky part. We calculate that we need to staunch the waterflow for at least 12 hours. We use a special quick-drying mixture that´s designed for such operations, but usually we have time to lower the water level a lot more than what we can do here. If we could, we´d wait for several days before starting, but now it´s not an option. We are running out of time."

"So keep a few million gallons of water back for half a day. Next?"

"Are you sure you can manage this? I mean we´ve already recruited several other unicorns to help you with the task so you can take regular breaks and grab a bite to eat."

"Don´t worry. I can do it PERFECTLY fine on my own. No need to bother the other unicorns in the town. I´m sure they are busy busy BUSY with their own work and chores. When do we start?"

"Well we´re ready to start as soon as you can come here tomorrow. I´ll have my team get everything ready by, let´s say, 6 o´clock?"

"Fantastic! So did we have anything else on the agenda?" Twilight´s eyes were bright and clear and her voice was steady.

"That´s about it I think. So we´ll be seeing—"

"First thing tomorrow morning. Yes. Well I still have a few things to take care of today so have a NICE evening."

"You too Mi—"

With a loud buzzing noise and a flash of purple light, she was gone.

After a long silence, it was Iron Girder who was able to talk first.

"So she´s gonna hold the river off for tomorrow? Alone?"

"Yup."

More silence

"Did you notice how her eyes and ears kept twitching all the time?"

"Yup."

Some more silence

"We´re royally bucked aren´t we?"

"Yup." Feeling that this was not quite enough he added: "That we are. But I did check our insurance and we´re all covered if things go South."

"Don´t you mean "when" Impact?"

Going over their meeting with the Element of Magic, he really couldn´t find an answer.


Twilight Sparkle had happily crossed out one more box on her mental checklist. Now all she needed to do was go home, fall in bed and ... something. For some reason the landscape in front of her was rolling gently from side to side, making her think of being on a boat. Or maybe a see-saw. Or both. It had started right after she´d done her second Sparkle-Step. Walking was probably a good idea for now.

Seems Princess Celestia received my letter and is now putting the sun down for me. She´s so nice. I have to make sure I send something nice to her as thanks. Cake maybe? Or Spike? Spike is nice. I think I´ll take the path through the woods. It´s cool and nice there and I´m sweating like a horse. Must be all the excercise I´ve done today. It´s nice to hear the birds sing in the forest too. They think it´s evening because Celestia is putting the sun down a bit early for me. They´re not too smart. Not like me. Birds are nice though. So organized. Can´t have quills without birds. And they keep mosquitoes away from me.

Walking along the path, she heard three very familiar voices from somewhere close-by..

"Ah told y´allready Scoots! We can´t keep bein´ the Cutie Mark Crusader Volunteer Fire Department on account o me having ta return this here hatchet to ta farm."

"Well can´t you borrow it again tomorrow? I think I´m real close to getting my firefighting cutie mark! I can feel it!"

"We haven´t even fought a fire yet. How could we get a mark for something we haven´t even done yet."

This caused a sudden silence to descend upon the trio. The kind of silence that is for adults what a calm sea is for a sailor.

"You know I think I have some matches somewhere, and the forest is full of dry wood—"

"Well ah know that if ah don´t get home five minutes ago ah´ll be grounded again. And ah just got out! An all becos o that lil´ incident at—"

"HI GIRLS!"

The three fillies turned slowly toward Twilight, who had found her lovely smile again.

" *gulp* ... Twalaight´s."

"Did I hear you were going to make a fire? In the forest? In the middle of the driest season of the year?

"Well Scootaloo was just joking, weren´t you Scoots?

"Yeah, like, of cou—"

"Can I help?"