• Published 5th Jun 2012
  • 8,474 Views, 224 Comments

Twidark - Isseus

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The Outsider

"See? Zecora helped me. Us. Whatever. The point is, you were wrong."

"I was? What makes you say that?"

"Well, she helped me out without asking anything from me in return."

"She actually gained quite a lot for a few reeds and roots. Did you ever think what Zecora´s life is like?"

"Huh?"

"She lives in the middle of the most unhospitable place in Equestria. All she has is a small cabin full of memories from her homeland, and hundreds of monsters right outside her door to keep her company. Did you ever think of why she lives there and not, for example, in Ponyville?"

"I always thought she liked the solitude, and I guess it´s a good place to harvest her plants."

"That´s true of course."

"But? I´m sure you´re going to say ´but`."

"BUT she´s also feared by everyone who meets her because of her different looks and ways. When you first met her, you believed that she was an evil witch casting curses. And you´re very level-headed and logical."

"And I had difficulties believing she was evil."

"And yet you did. Even you. You charged in her house and wrecked her whole place. And you´ve done it several times since, like when Spike decided to steal everything from her. You never though how many priceless items and heirlooms were destroyed in that mess?"

"No. I didn´t."

"And before you succeeded in convincing the town that she was not a threat, they all hid inside when they even as much as got a glimpse of her."

"Well that just goes to show that I managed to overcome my prejudice, and made her welcome as a part of our community."

"And what happens without you? If you leave Ponyville, what happens to her? How long does it take for them to turn against her again?"

"The people of Ponyville wouldn´t do that! They know better."

"Maybe. You´re the most level-headed pony in town, and yet you were on the bandwagon before she was proven innocent. You were ready to hurt her bad back then. You were lucky that Applebloom was there to stop you. How do you think normal ponies would accept her when even you couldn´t? Can she take the risk?

If she´d thrown you out today, and the people of the town heard that she didn´t help you? Remember, her not helping you might very well cause the destruction of large parts of the town. How would the people react to losing their homes? Would they blame you, the Prized Pupil of Princess Celestia, endlessly sacrifing herself to help the townsfolk? Not to mention who could easily just hurl them around the country with just a thought? Or would they instead turn on the single zebra from far away, who indirectly caused the problem?"

"That´s just silly. She has nothing to do with the dam or the disaster that it might cause."

"They know you. They know you´d never let anything happen to the town. So someone else would have to get the blame. They can´t face loss without blaming someone for it."

"So you say that Zecora helped me because I´m valuable to her?"

"You noticed how she looked at us. She clearly knew we were lying and just waiting for her to fix our problems."

"I wasn´t lying! Well ... maybe just a bit about not reading or straining my neck. And I really was going to cut down on magic."

"But you lied."

"I didn´t mean to!"

"Didn´t you also fail to mention that you were quite unstable in the head? As is evident from our little talk right now? Would she have given you some powerful zebra magic pills if you´d told her?"

"At least I had good reason to do so. To save the town."

"Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few?"

"That´s not—"

"The ends justify the means?"

"No I didn´t mean to—"

"It´s alright to cheat and lie and steal, as long as you don´t do it for yourself? That you don´t MEAN anything bad to happen?"

"Stop it. I don´t want to listen to you anymore."

"Who were you talking to again? You can´t just storm out the door and slam it shut behind you. I´d be there, waiting for you. And don´t think your moral compass is here to shut me up either."

"Please!"

"Why are you begging me? It wasn´t ME that decided to cheat a friend to get what you needed? To USE her for YOUR OWN BENEFIT, knowing full well that all she could do was OBEY? It´s in YOUR hooves to either let her live peacefully, or force her to run away from the angry mob that wants vengeance. It was all you. I even remember trying to talk you out of it, because I didn´t know what she was giving you?"

"But if I don´t use magic? If I don´t strain myself? Doesn´t it mean I didn´t use her?"

"The question is: What did you think when you lied to her and used her? It doesn´t matter what you say now, because what´s done is done."

"I. HATE. YOU."

"And?"

"AND ... and ... you´re right. Once again. I really DID use her for my own benefit. And I got what I wanted."

"And the worst part is?"

"I ... don´t even really feel guilty about it. I had to do it. For the town, and especially for myself. If I don´t save the town, the people will hate me and blame me. I´m not even supposed to be outside. I should be home, sleeping."

"Don´t I know it, sister. We could still go have a nice long nap. You´re really tired and weak."

"If I just discard everything I promised to do and just go to bed, I´ll get into even more trouble. I had to go to Zecora, because she was the only one who could give me what I needed. And I took it. I could have refused her aid. I could have said no, give up and walk away. I didn´t."

"And does that make you a ´Bad Pony`?"

"No. It is not wrong to do what I must."

"And who did you do it for?"

"Myself. So I wouldn´t get in trouble for breaking my promise."

"Did you do it for the town?"

"No."

"What do you think about the townsponies?"

"They are forcing me to use Celestia-knows what to give me an edge with my broken horn."

"Tell me more!"

"They are the reason I´m in this condition."

"Who? Tell me who!"

"The thankless greedy selfish townsponies who always expect me to fix their problems. It´s because of THEM I´m hurting like ... like BUCK."

"Such language! Do go on!"

"But if I don´t fix the bucking dam, they´ll be all over me and blaming me for the destruction."

"If it makes you feel any better, you´re also saving the library and your books. Especially that really interresting one in the basement."

"Which I´ll be bucking reading on my bucking bed with some bucking nice apple cider before this bucking day is over. "

"You go girl"

"I´m gonna take a ten hour bath and eat so much candy and cake I´ll be pissing syrup."

"Buck yeah!"

"Right after I kick that bucking little twerp of a dragon out, so I can have the whole bucking library to myself. "

"Who needs him anyway! You have yourself and don´t need anyone else!"

"And if my friends try to come and abuse me, I´ll throw THEM out too."

"Oooh yeah!"

"If bucking CELESTIA comes down from her Bucking-ham Palace I´ll RIP HER HORN OFF AND STUFF IT UP HER—"

"Hate to interrupt you there, but we´re at the dam site."


The construction site was silent. The workers had started early, made all the preparations that needed to be done.

Then they´d waited.

And waited.

It was a nice day for waiting, of course. It wasn´t like they´d be working in a bad weather — There were rules and regulations for that sort of things. The local weather team had been told to keep the sky clean and warm. All in all the stallions and mares at the dam were quite happy. They were paid by the hour, and getting paid for lying on the ground and basking in the sunlight wasn´t really a bad deal.

Some of them had taken out picnic baskets and quilts, and were enjoying themselves with some early lunch. Others were sitting at the riverbank, cooling off their hooves in the low water.

Only the unicorn mare next to the dam itself actually had anything to do. Even her job was just to probe the wall of reinforced concrete every now and again to see if it was going to go off. She was taking care of her work with all due dilligence, lying half-asleep on her back and listening to her portable stereo.

The only people that hadn´t relaxed yet were the two forestallions. They were sitting with worried expressions on their faces in the shade of the cantina tent..

Impact Drill, ever the talkative one, was preparing for a full on torrent of communications by coughing silently.

"´s getting late."

His colleague, in the majestically hunched form of Iron Girder, decided this comment needed his immediate attention.

"Yup."

Impact couldn´t let him get away with this, and intoned in words that would one day be recited all over the world as a testament to this day.

"Nice weather though."

After a short bemusement at these deep words of philosophy, Iron could only reply with a laconic expression almost unheard-off since the ancient classical era.

"Yup."

To accentuate the finality of this answer, he shifted the straw that was hanging from his mouth to the other side.

With their dialogue options depleted for the foreseeable future, they decided to return to the task of staring at nothing. They were good at it. It was one of the secrets of success as a professional in the construction business.

Don´t have anything to do? Stare at nothing.

Didn´t get the supplies you needed in time and the workponies were asking for extra bits for overtime? Stare at nothing.

Customer just complained that you had built his house upside down? Stare at nothing.

Mayor of the town was antsy because her whole town might need scuba courses soon? Stare at nothing.

It usually worked. After a while people tended to go complain to someone else who actually reacted in any way. If you started arguing, negotiating, trying to be all diplomatic, things would just get worse.

A good stare solved everything.

It was exactly this stare that brought into their attention the lone figure which had just come into their view. She´d rounded a copse of few willows, and was most definitely heading their way. This meant that they needed to take immediate action. Which they did after about a minute, with Impact Drill breaking first from the pressure.

"Oi! Lads an´ Lasses! Getchore gear in order. We´ve got work to do."

The forestallions started slowly trotting for the lone purple unicorn. They met her about halfway, and could almost swear she´d been cursing under her breath right before they were at a talking distance.

"Well good morning to you Miss ... erm ... Twilight wasn´t it?"

"... ning" followed the other suit.

The mare seemed only now to notice the two of them. The stallions tried to give her a reassuring smile, and waited politely for her to respond. She did so, but not in quite the way they expected.

"Shut the buck up. I don´t want to be here any longer than is absolutely neccessary, so why don´t you two do all of us a favor and cut the horseapples and tell me where to start."

To say that the muscular stallions were taken aback by the rapid verbal assault from the little unicorn was like saying that Princess Celestia might like a cup of tea every now and then. They weren´t used to being talked down to, especially by ladies that they had been told were quite respected around here. But they were almost as anxious to start this disaster as was the mare apparently.

"Alright. Let´s get to it then. We´re all set here so when you´re ready to start just take a spot you like and signal the unicorn near the dam. She´ll start weakening the structure slowly and you´ll be able to take it from there."

"Fine. Just let me take my medicine. Can´t do ´the magics` without my pills."

"Are you allright Miss? If you´re feeling ill I think it´d—"

"Last time I heard you weren´t told to think. Only work. Clock is ticking and I have a book to get back to."

Without waiting for a reply, she took out the small pill from her saddlebags.

"You sure about this? It could be zebra poison?"

"She wouldn´t risk poisoning us. And I sure as hay wasn´t going to try this without some extra power."

"Oh yeah. Right. You´re the boss."

She opened the wrappers around the pill. Inside the cloth was a small yellow piece of ... something. It wasn´t even really a pill, just a lump of something. The feeling it gave off was something else entirely. She could feel the energy pulsing from the small item in her hand. She tossed it in her mouth and took a small drink from the river to wash it down.

And nothing happened. She waited for a while and all she could feel was the small hammering of the headache starting to return from its trip to Zebraland. The sun was hot, and flies were buzzing around her ears, but that was about it. Then something caught her eye on the ground.

On the grassy field was now laid before her a network of white strands. Some of them only barely visible in the light, some as thick as her hooves. After the perspective adjusted she understood that the strands were actually underneath the ground she was standing on, some even a very long way down. She noticed one that was close to the surface, and with a few digs of her hoof dug it out. Not really expecting anything to happen, she pushed her hoof into the strand.

The effect was immense. She felt like someone had poured ice-cold molten metal into her horn, and then turned it inside out. The power she felt course through her was almost as strong as when she´d channeled the combined energies of the Elements of Harmony. As soon as the effect started, it dwindled away, taking the strand with it. She started scanning around the field for another, more powerful strand.

One in particular caught her attention. If her eyes didn´t deceive her, it was very deep underground, and yet it looked like it was one of the thicker ones. With a small pulse of energy from her horn she gently tugged at it, feeling it respond easily. She pulled the strand towards the surface, noting it growing larger and larger as it got closer. When it was just beneath the surface, right under her, it was almost the width of three ponies put side by side. She only hesitated for a moment before pulling it to the surface and stepping on it.

And then there was power. It made every hair in her body stand out like the spines of a porcupine. The feeling was overwhelming, making her lose all sense of the world around her. For a second she wondered who she was and what she was doing, almost losing herself in the absolute flow of the energy. With all her considerable willpower she was able to form a thought.

"My name is Twilight Sparkle, the strongest unicorn in Equestria. You are MINE!"

She willed the strand to lift her up from the ground and move her above the river. From her blurred vision she could only see the workponies stare at her in wonder. She turned her attention to the insignificant little construct that she was supposed to rebuild. It was time to get to work.

Twilight looked at the dam, noting every small crack and groove on its surface. She also saw the small thin strands of magic she had used before to keep it whole. She saw the insignificantly weak unicorn stand near her target.

"That mare is useless now. Once again I have to do everything all by myself."

She knew how brittle the lines of magic crisscrossing the concrete were, and despite the energy trying to overwhelm her, decided to start slow. Focusing her magic in her horn she opened the smallest possible pathway between her and the wall before her.


When the shockwave reached Applejack and Rarity, it was only strong enough to throw them a few feet into the air. The following low bass rumbling made the world dance around them, as the ground itself moved in waves as if it was water. They could only lay spreadeagled on the ground and shout in fear. They had no idea how long the quake lasted, but it felt like it´d never end. Once the road they were embracing eventually stood still, the duo finally dared to open their eyes.

In Applejack´s vision there was only darkness. The deep dark of midnight, with no light visible.

"Rarity! Y´allright there?"

"Things just COULDN´T be WORSE! My mane is a MESS and I have DIRT all over my beautiful coat!"

"That sounds mighty awful on ya but for some reason ah can´t seem to see ya. Or anythin´ else for that matter."

"Have you tried taking your hat off of your eyes, dahling?"

"Oh."

After she got her Stetson back in its proper place, she noticed that the whole world had turned gray. What caught her attention, though, was the pillar of dust that rose towards the sky from behind the hill they were circling.

"Ah guess we´ve gone an found Twilight. Let´s just hope we ain´t too late."

Rarity didn´t hear her words. She was already around the first bend, speeding toward the construction site.