• Published 5th Jun 2012
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Twidark - Isseus

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The Whisperer In Darkness

The short, cloaked figure slowly made its way up the hill. It dashed from cover to cover, only to stop from time to time to make sure it wasn´t followed. After it got to the crest of the hill, it looked back towards the waking town.

"Nobody has followed me. The stars are in their places and we are only a few moments away from the planetary alignment. It seems we are running out of time to find the last key..."

Turning around, he walked into a muscular palomino pony.

"Whell top o tha mornin to ya too, Spikester."

The little dragon fell on the ground and got caught up in his cloak, which turned out to be a dark blue tablecloth.

"Hey what´s with all the cloak and dagger stuff?"

The sound came from above the three ponies and the dragon. As Spike tried to quickly remove his makeshift cloak and pretend he hadn´t been caught doing something silly, the blue pegasus with the rainbow mane touched lightly down on the ground. Her eyes were still half-closed and she tried to stifle a yawn, unsuccessfully. She was hoiding on to a take-away cup of coffee from Star-Bucks.

"I don´t understand why I have to be here! Especially so early! Can´t we do this later? I have lots of important napping to do."

"RD! We´re here cos o Twalaight. How can ya be thinkin o nappin at a tahm like this?"

"Yeah yeah whatever. She´s just probably a bit stressed about some egghead thing."

"Be that as it may, Rainbow dahling. You DO remember what happened the last time she was ´a bit stressed` as you so quaintly put it? The incident with a certain doll and Princess Celestia?"

The look of sudden remembrance and fear on the rainbow-maned pegusus´s face told them that she did, indeed, remember

"And where did the famed Element of Loyalty go when I wasn´t looking..."

"HEY!" She took wing and shot towards the marshmallow mare.

"That was uncalled for Rarity! I´d never leave my friends hanging!"

"I apologize Rainbow Dash. That was uncivilized of me "

The white unicorn turned away from her friend, but soon turned back to look directly in her eyes.

"But you didn´t see Sweetie Belle yesterday after her little tete-a-tete with Twilight. I almost didn´t recognize my OWN DEAR SISTER!"

She shook both of her forehooves in the air, as if trying to grasp at something floating above her head.

"The poor thing was all grey from smoke and her eyes red from crying! Uggh it was just horrid! HORRID I tell you!"

She shivered all over and turned towards her audience. Going into a half-crouch she started creeping towards them and circling them slowly, like a feline predator. Whenever she put more weight on a word she´d snap her whole body towards one of the listeners, making them take a step back.

"She was all covered in CUTS! from head to hoof and could hardly STAND! And her mane was in SUCH a mess! And I´ve NEVER seen her so upset in my WHOLE LIFE! She couldn´t even tell MEEEE what was wrong."

Rarity clutched her hooves to her chest, as if cradling a small baby.

"Just clung to her Big Wiftew Wawity like she was dwowning!"

She stood up to her full height again with a hoof held on her forehead, silhouetting herself against the rising sun.

"Took me over an HOUR to get her calm enough so she could tell me everything. HOW COULD SHE! HOW COULD YOU TWILIGHT SPARKLE! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO ME MY FRIEE-HEE-HEEEENND! BWHOO-HOOOO-HOOOO-HOOOOO ..."

She was crying and shouting at the horizon at the top of her lungs, before collapsing dramatically to the ground, making sure to end up on the grass, and not the dry dirt.

Tears were also rolling down from Spike´s eyes in a torrent. It seemed like his small heart had been shattered by the tragedy her idol had faced last night.

"I´m so sorry Rarity ... I wish i coulda been there for you."

"Oh it´s alright Spike. Sweetie´s a strong filly. She´ll get over it."

For some reason Rarity was already standing again, with no sign of tears or emotional turmoil evident. Spike just stood there, looking at her confused.

The workhorse was next to speak: "Aye. Appabloom was jus like that too. When we found er that is. She din´t even come home yesterday, so we went out searching for her. Found her soon enough, hidin´ inside one o our barns. She was curled up on tha loft an wouldn´t even talk to me. Ah had ta carry her home an she jus kept tellin me how sorry she was for settin that fire at the library a few weeks back."

She was also looking towards the town and the giant tree at its center. "Ah´ve half a mind to go an give Twalaight a piece of mah mind myself. An tha other half agrees!" To accentuate her point she slammed her forehooves down hard enough to make the dry dirt under them crack.

From behind them a careful, perpetually worried voice began: "And ... uhmm ... Scootaloo spent the night at my cottage. I found her hiding in my umm ... chicken coop. She was really confused and scared and hitting her forehead on the wall."

"She was WHAT?"

The sky-blue pegasus shouted out again, while Fluttershy was trying to hide behind her pink mane from her voice. "Why´d she do something like that?"

"Well ... umm ... I kinda promised not to tell and I shouldn´t have said whatIjustsaidand ... ´msorry ..."

"Is she okay? She wasn´t hurt or anything was she?"

"Well .. a bit yes. She´d kinda fallen down in the woods. Several times. And—"

"Tell me Flutters! What happened? I gotta know!"

"Well ... she said she didn´t want you to know she cried ... and was hurting herself to stop the tears."

"WHAT?!" Rainbow dash was about to fly off, but couldn´t decide whether to go to the Library to shout at Twilight, or to Fluttershy´s cottage and her number one fan.

After a moments hesitation she landed back down, ready to explode.

"I´m gonna .... I´m SO gonna ... I dont know WHAT I´m gonna do but I´M SO GONNA DO IT!"

Was all she could say, not sure how to continue.

Spike was really alarmed about the things he heards from the ponies. This didn´t sound like Twilight at all. He felt like he needed to atleast try and defend her.

"Please, you guys! I know you´re angry, but I think we should try to help Twilight. At least before anything worse happens. You didn´t see her last night. I´ve never seen her so ... broken before."

The worry and shame in the little dragon´s voice was enough to calm the group of ponies down. At least a bit. Only one of them was able to talk to him though.

"Don´tcha worry Sugarcube. We´re gonna make sure that Twalaight is allright. An THEN we gonna shout at her." Applejack smiled at the little assistant. "Ah know we can fix this an get ev´rythin up an runnin again. Jus you wait Lil´ Spikester."

The dragon was a bit surprised about his new nickname, but it also helped him to wake up a bit from his slump.

"Yeah you´re right. Twilight´s in trouble and we gotta help her. That´s why we sent the letter to the Princess too. And she´s sent the reply already."

"Well aihn´t that the reason we´re all here? Ahll we need is for Pinkie Pie to get here."

"What did you want me to get here? Cake? Balloons? Cake floating on some balloons? BALLOONS INSIDE A CAKE? That would be SOO awesome! We´d just have to make sure the cake doesn´t float off before we get to eat it. And if we swallowed the balloon, we´d have to hold on to something so WE wouldn´t float of too. I´ve never floated away as a balloon before. Do you think I could float all the way to Canterlot?"

"PINKIE! This is serious business! And when did you get here?"

"Silly Dashie! I´ve been here all morning! Just waiting for you to talk about me so I could surprise you!"

The blue weatherpony could only plant her hoof firmly on her forehead in exasperation.

"Spike, dearie. Now that we´ve ALL arrived to our most clandestine meeting, would you be so kind as to read the letter from Princess Celestia?"

"Yes. Ahem. Of course Lady Rarity."

With just a little bit too much flourish he drew out the scroll from somewhere and broke open the seal.

"My Precious Little Friend Spike

I have unfortunate news for you today. A diplomatic situation at the Griffin Kingdoms has arisen, and requires my immediate presence. I truly wish I could come meet my Most Faithful Student and discuss her behaviour, but right now my hooves are tied. You must understand that I have to take care of all my loyal subjects without distinction. My heart is heavy because of this decision, but today the weight of the Crown of Equestria is even worse.

I have talked about the situation with my sister, Luna. She thinks very highly of Twilight Sparkle, and would be willing to come and help. If you would ask her, she could be there in a few hours. You know how to reach her directly with a letter.

And to the five other ponies that are no doubt present when you read this letter: You know My Student even better than I do. I hope that you trust in her and try to keep her from harming herself or others to the best of your abilities.

Princess Celestia"

"Princess Celestia can´t make it? This is THE. WORST. POSSIBLE—"

She was curtly interrupted by the anxious pegasus: "Yeah yeah, Rarity. We got it already. And she said that Princess Luna could come and help."

"Ah´m not one to say anythin disrespectful about tha Princess but are y´all sure we should be mixing her in all of this? Her way o fixin thin´s can be ... uhm ... what´s the word?"

"Bouncy? Electric? Mellow? Orange?"

"NO Pinkie ah was gonna say "Regal", as in Royally Pis—"

"That´s quite all right, Applejack dahling. Maybe we really SHOULD try to find Twilight first, and try and speak with her. Maybe we really shouldn´t have tried dragging the Princess into this immediately—"

"Don´t you guys remember the last time? We couldn´t do ANYTHING and just got caught up in that bizarre magic thingy she did."

"Ah know, RD. But tha Princess says she trusts us an that´s that. Let´s go find Twalaight."

After a short silence the yellow pegasus was able to open her mouth.

"Uhmmm ... Where should we start looking? Oh dear I hope I didn´t interrupt anyone—"

"Well this morning she said she was going to the dam construction site but I´m not even sure if she could get out the door."

"Then we go to the library, and I´ll bring some cookies and some punch and my party cannon and gummy, and we can hold a ´Twilight-we-love-you-even-if-you´re-slightly-crazy-and-would-like-you-to-stop-traumatizing-little-fillies-pretty-please?-party!` YAY!"


The ancient trees of the Everfree Forest were leaning over Twilight Sparkle. She walked underneath the canopy of branches and leaves, paying little attention to the sounds of predators and their prey around her. The only sound she could hear was the steady unpleasant howling in her ears. It had started after a she´d taken her first steps outside her library, and had gotten worse by the minute since. She had to stop every few steps to lean on a tree, or just droop her head down until the black spots went away from her vision.

With no sun to help her tell the time, and her internal clock stymied, she was not sure how long she´d been out of the library. After a while she didn´t even care. Putting one hoof in front of another took all her concentration. Only thing she´d figured out was that the old path she was walking on should lead her to Zecora´s hut, and hopefully to some remedies to her ailments. Zecora had never turned down anyone´s pleas for help, and she hoped the zebra wouldn´t start today.

"The Princess is pretty upset with you by the way. You know Spike sent her a letter."

"Who is that? Who´s talking to me?"

"Guess twice. I´ll give you a hint: There´s no-one else here and you´re talking to yourself."

"So ... you´re me?"

"Yay she got it on the first go. You sure are a genious egghead."

"Am I really this snarky?"

"Only when I can see how pitiful I am."

"Pitiful?"

"Yeah. You shouldn´t even be up and around, little less in the Everfree Forest, the most dangerous unlawful place in the existence. Well maybe not THE most unlawful, but it´s right up there."

"Why are you doing this to me?"

"Don´t you mean to myself?"

"Uggh. First person conversation is so confusing."

"You´re telling me? I´m just your hallucination. We could make this a bit easier on ourselves."

"I´m listening."

"Well you can be Twilight Prime and I´ll be Twilight Infidus. That´s scientific and all. And we won´t start mixing up who the original is that way."

"Sounds good. So, Infidus. How far gone am I if I start talking to myself, and don´t even think it´s weird?"

"Well I´m actually pretty impressed how calm you are. Your mind is shattering and you are hallucinating."

"Well I´m used to rational thought. Even if I´m going crazy, that shouldn´t be a reason to panic."

"Isn´t ´Panic` your go-to solution in stress, dear Prime?"

"Hehe. I guess you´re right there. Maybe this is what comes after the panic? Maybe I snapped"

"Sounds as good an explanation as any that I can think of."

"Do you think we´ll get more of us here soon? More personalities I mean."

"Nah. Well maybe there is one more coming, but I haven´t seen her around in a while."

"Oh? Who would that be."

"Well you remember the theories of that old kook Trotmund Freud?"

"Ah. That would make you my ... superego?"

"Yup. I´m your sense of right and wrong allright. BZZZZZ! Wrong answer. Miss Prime just lost 200 points. You wanna give up or go to the Double-Jepardy?"

"You´re not? Then—"

"Yeah. I´m your ID. I´m the little self-preservation instinct that you so often forget you even have. You try to use logic and cold facts and high morals on everything so you hardly have a use for me. Let me just say that the last few days I´ve seen more action than in the last few years combined."

"But if you´re my ID and I´m the ego, where´s the superego?"

"On a vacation it seems. I think she couldn´t handle the stuff that happened yesterday, and decided to go away. It´s just you and me here, sister."

"Do I still have to call you Infidus or is ID enough?"

"I don´t care. Ego does the choices. I just toss out ideas."

"I really thought that the ID was a nasty thing that only made me want to eat chocolate and sleep late."

"I´m not nasty or nice. I´m a part of you. I usually try to find the solutions that keep you safe and well fed. I don´t care about friends or working and all that stuff. That´s for the superego. You two usually get along so nicely that I hardly get to do anything. "

"Well ... that´s kinda nice to hear. Friends are important I think."

"Yeah right. Because friends are so important that you´re here, lost in a forest with your horn broken. You haven´t eaten anything but sugar and stimulants for the last three days. You think that you´re irreplaceable, and try to do everything yourself."

"But isn´t that what being a good responsible person is all about? Being able to put others before you? If I can help someone and choose not to, doesn´t that make me evil?"

"Do you really think that not doing something when you can is evil?"

"Of course! If someone is suffering or hurting and I just walk by, how could I ever look myself in the mirror?"

"Then why do you always sit inside, your nose stuck in those books of yours? Someone is always hurting somewhere. Why aren´t you there, looking for those less fortunate? Alleviating pain, curing the sick, defeating monsters with your Celestia-given magic powers? Aren´t you the most powerful mortal being in Equestria at the moment? And all you read is books."

"..."

"Truth hurts doesn´t it? It´s because you´re not the ´good little pony` that you think you are. You are just a normal person who has needs, and here´s the kicker: You have weaknesses. You aren´t all-powerful. You can´t help everyone, because there´s not enough Twilight Sparkle to go around for everyone. You´ve been trying your best, and congratulations for that. Maybe it´s time to think of yourself for a while?"

"But ... If I´m the only one who can help, am I not sentencing people to their doom if I just pass their problems by?"

"You didn´t cause their problems. Why should you be the one to solve them? Do you think that you even could solve all the problems in existence? Even the Royal Sisters can´t solve everything with their powers alone."

"How can you say that? Princess Celestia—"

"Was defeated ten–zero by an insect."

"..."

"You didn´t even realise? That seeing your Princess, your Teacher, your GODDESS get knocked down with hardly any effort from her opponent had such an impact on you? Aren´t you just trying to prove something to yourself?"

"Am I trying to save everyone because I think that I´m the only one who can? Now that I can´t even trust my mentor?"

"Sounds about right to me."

"But my friends are always by my side, helping me out. Together we can really do anything."

"Ughh ... I sound really childish when I spout foalish horseapples like that. Your friends are just using you. They´re just keeping you close because of your powers. They know that you´ve saved their flanks several times and without you they might be in danger again."

"They are my friends! They stand by my side in any situation."

"Side? Or behind you?"

"Same thing ... Isn´t it?"

"Are they expecting you to do everything for them, so they can congratulate you on a job well done? But when the apples hit the basket they abandon you if it´s in their advantage."

"They´d never abandon me!"

"Just like they didn´t abandon you at the wedding? Even the Princess walked away from you, when she could have stood beside you and face Cadance. But none of the trusted you or stood by you. They chose the glamour of the wedding, instead of the hardships of conflict. They wanted to save face and social standing while leaving you alone. Only afterwards did they side with you, when they had no other choice."

"Shut up."

"Make me. They left you to rot in the dungeons under Canterlot. You had to fight your way out while dragging your former foalsitter with you. Without you the Changelings would have taken over Canterlot, maybe even Equestria. And what did you get for it?"

"They apologized. They promised to trust me in the future—"

"Just like they promised to trust you with your problems after the Want-It-Need-It spell? How´d that go again?"

"I´m really nasty to myself."

"And you´re really thick-headed for an open-minded scientist. Why can´t you see that everyone just wants to use you. They don´t care about you. They pretend to be your friends as long as it´s in their advantage, and then they just discard you without second thought. Only if you once again become useful do they flock to your side, spouting their nonsense about loyalty and friendship. Just so they can make you do all their odd-jobs for them and save their hides again and again until you get terribly broken and used up. And where will your so called friends be when you´re hurting? I don´t see them around right now, do I?"

"You ... might be right. I´m hurting and I´m all alone, and I hate you, and I hate myself for it, but you might be right."

"You can only trust yourself. I´m doing this because I really care about you and want to protect you. That´s why I´m here. I´d never let any harm come to you."

"What should I do?"

"Do? Nothing. Just lie down. Sleep. Then when you wake up, we get a bite to eat, and take it from there. Maybe we could take a vacation somewhere where everypony is actually serving you and not the other way around. You deserve it. Trust me: Just take a nap and we´ll figure something out when you can actually walk straight."

"That sounds so good. Maybe I will lie down for a bit..."