• Published 10th May 2016
  • 1,232 Views, 78 Comments

Reincarnation or Immortality - Chinchillax



As Pinkie Pie lies on her deathbed, Accord makes plans for her and all of Equestria to become immortal. But the true creators of Equestria have a different say on the matter.

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Journals

Author's Note:

Books in the Library of Discord follow the rules set up initially by Accord when he cast the library spell. In other words, the single word: "Fluttershy," and some punctuation cannot be present.

“Do you think that’s enough reading, Accord?” Fluttershy asked. He had been quiet for a long time, their conversation slowing as Accord had gone deeper into the now mountainous pile of books.

He didn’t respond, completely engrossed in a book. The instructions and glowing blue books that he had been asking her to fetch had stopped. Fluttershy opened one of the books up, curious to see what his choice of the best of the best of pure randomness would be.

The first book she picked up was written as if Accord had been keeping a journal his entire life. It began on the first day he had taken back his old name.

Cycle ten to the eighty-two thousand seven hundred forty.

No that doesn’t work, lifetimes here occur in such small increments that counting it in universe cycles doesn’t do it justice. I guess I could call it Flutter shy year zero. I’m getting my hopes up too high, it probably won’t even last that long. I should call it hour zero. But then again I’ve known Flutter shy herself for a while now, we’ll last longer than that.

Probably.

Can I really do this? Can I really take a break from reading to experience something so understandable it’s boring? Everything has already been said and done. There’s nothing left to learn. I’ve read so many books about Flutter shy that she’s indistinguishable from every other character in here. I know whatever experience I will have with her has already been documented and I’ve already read it. The only difference is that now I know which of those stories I read was actually the correct interpretation of her. There’s no chance of finding out something new here. It’s only going to be boring.

I could handle boring for a while. After all, those variations on tax codes for mercury bat based econometrics took up much longer than the time I’ll be on this world. I’m betting a lot on this endeavor though. Just the chance that I might be somehow less alone would be nice for a little while.

What scares me is when she’ll leave. It doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes from now or ten billion years from now, the duration of infinity demands that she’ll leave eventually. Why am I even trying this?

It’s better to never say hello, that way you never have to say goodbye.

No. I’ve said hello. It’s too late now. The goodbye is inevitable at this point. If I say goodbye sooner than it would be less traumatizing for me.

You’re thinking too much about yourself.

Who said that?

Me.

Who?

Flutter shy.

How did you get here? This is my private journal.

There are copies of it floating all around your library. Statistically there’s one of them, this one, where I call you out on how much you think about yourself, which you are doing, all of the time.

Well... it is just me here. Granted, there’s a lot for me to think about. I often get lost in my thoughts.

You have a library inside your head that goes on for infinity, I don’t think it’s possible for some pony to become more lost in their thoughts than you. Put the book down and go outside. There are ponies to talk to.

Why should I? I’ve already experienced the effects of talking with them.

Because it’ll make them feel better.

That won’t matter, they’ll be dead too soon for any of it to be worth it.

Not if they like you so much that they feel like sticking around.

I came in here to have a nice philosophical discussion with myself, if I wanted to talk to Flutter shy I can talk with her whenever I want to.

Then put down the book and go talk to me.

Fluttershy put down the book, it had gone a little too meta. The Accord in these books was not the pony she knew and loved. And the Flutter shy in them wasn’t her either. She knew he had read a lot about her before he met her. But nothing that was in the books could compare with her real self. Accord did understand that, right?

Fluttershy started to meander her way around the books, almost knocking over several of them in the process, keeping them in place with her own magic. She eyed an entire stack that had been dyed magenta with numbers recently added to the side. Opening the top book revealed that the whole set was for a single spell to reverse entropy in a universe.

She picked out a book at random from the center of a stack of red books, letting the ones above it float with her magic.

The book gave a detailed method of travelling back in time by keeping a series of memory backups in a separate universe. All atoms in a universe would slide back to a previous position based on the record. Traveling forward in time would leave the traveller frozen outside of the universe until reentry. And depending on the system and how much memory was available, alternate timelines could be stored as well. But doing so resulted in memory universes exponentially bigger than the root universe.

Putting that book back, she tugged another one out of the red section. It postulated that if the right spell could be found, the digits of pi could be translated into readable text. The text of the digits of pi would tell the stories of every single soul that had ever existed and they would never repeat. Since pi went on forever, it wasn’t finite like the Library of Discord, and so the ideal method to read all stories would be to find out how to read pi.

Another book put forth the idea that the phoenix was a creature that modeled an ideal existence. A phoenix experienced both reincarnation and immortality at the same time, with each memory kept on the next lifetime, but still able to experience aging. The book argued that both reincarnation and immortality were needed to fully experience all aspects of existence.

She tossed that book aside, and picked up a yellow book off of the ground named “Conversations with Fluttershy.”

Accord eyed the souls floating around him. An orange one and a green one in particular seemed to be trying to nestle themselves inside his mane, the rest content to float near him.

“Is there a fly in the room?” Flutter shy asked.

“No... just some souls,” said Accord.

Flutter shy tilted her head sideways for a moment, “souls?”

“It’s okay if you don’t know about it yet. Your society isn’t technologically advanced enough to understand the true nature of the elements, especially the largest one, soul.”

Flutter shy was inclined to continue tending to her animals, but this idea left her very uncomfortable.

“Are... are you talking about the same concept I’m thinking of? The umm... thing that guides each pony?”

“Yeah, that,” said Accord.

“And there’re some in this room right now?” asked Flutter shy, nervous at the prospect of entertaining so many possible ponies.

“Of course, they’re everywhere. Most of them kind of wander around for a while until they find another soul they like, and then they congregate near that soul, hoping for the possibility of being reborn.”

She watched as a horn came back on his head, shedding away his normal pegasi form. He cast a magnification spell, gesturing to the floating orbs of sapience, “they’re investing in me, in a way, hoping to be one of my foals and hanging around in case the opportunity arises.”

Flutter shy looked at them, confusion etched on her face. Accord was content to stare at them for a while, watching the colors change and flicker as she collected her thoughts.

“Are there... are there souls investing in me?” she asked .

Accord brought around the magnification spell onto her, combining it with a searching spell that would search for any element of a high atomic mass.

“Hmm... you have more than me, there’s got to be around a hundred floating around you right now, and a few of them seem to be confused as to which of us to be around.”

Flutter shy eyed the room around her, unsure of what to do.

“Umm... can you get rid of them?”

“It’s not like they’re fleas, Flutter shy. They like you and would love to be born sometime.”

“I’m... not ready for that kind of pressure,” she said, shrinking herself lower and eyeing the air around her suspiciously.

“No, it’s not like that, there’s no need to feel pressure about them. Forget I even mentioned them,” Accord said, trying to wave the subject away. “It’s not something ponies need to worry about.”

Fluttershy shook her head and tried to get back to feeding her animals, but her own thoughts gnawed at her.

“Is this,” she paused, trying to make sense of the thought that had entered her head. “Is this where we go where we die? Just... around?”

“Yeah,” Accord responded.

“But what about heaven?” asked Flutter shy.

“What about it?”

“Don’t we go someplace nice after we die?”

“What are you talking about? This is heaven right here,” said Accord, looking around at the cottage and out the window and everywhere beyond. “After a long time spent searching for a family to be born into, a soul is born into a heaven. It’s a nice system.”

“But... no, this can’t be heaven,” said Flutter shy, facing away from him and trying to finish preparing a meal for the chipmunks. “This is way too hard to be heaven.”

“Yeah...” said Accord, sighing and closing his eyes. “I can agree with you there. Life is hard, but it’s heaven in comparison to the wandering in between birth and rebirth.”

Flutter shy had stopped preparing the meals at that point.

“Were these souls... ponies?”

“Not necessarily,” Accord moved his horn and let it glow for a brief moment. “This one’s been a dragon and a griffon before, but not a pony.” He moved his horn again, “and this one’s been a pony for a few lifetimes.”

“You can read them?” asked Flutter shy.

“Not on most worlds I’ve been on. The souls here have evolved a system for keeping memories from one lifetime to the next. I’m rather curious how chaos evolved that feature. But there have been lots of crazy things I’ve seen on worlds before. Chaos demands that everything exist eventually.”

She moved and sat down on the couch next to him, sinking into the cushions and letting her mind stew some more. He had the most annoying habit of bringing up ideas that made her stop and think for a while.

“Does that mean I’ve lived lifetimes before this one?” she asked.

“Most likely,” said Accord. “Do you want me to check?”

Flutter shy looked at her hooves, nervous about what might be found.

“What you did in your past lives is over and you can’t do anything about it,” said Accord. “So it’s probably not worth checking.”

She slipped further into the couch, seeking a spot for her eyes to rest on while she thought. The texture of the fabric was dull and uniform, keeping her mind moving.

“I...” she began, unsure of how to finish her own sentence before something inside her gave her more conviction. “I want to know.”

Accord nodded his head. “Do you want to look at them on your own? Or do you want to watch them together?”

She looked into his steel gray eyes, deciding to once again trust him.

The book delved into her past lives: an earth pony carpenter back before the Princesses had reigned, a dragon that had died in infancy, and a forester. Only three lifetimes within the twenty thousand years since when Accord thought the planet had begun.

She left that section, meandering to a veritable forest of green books, each titled “Friendship: ” followed by the name of a friend. It was the largest section of the stacks of books, one for each friend that Accord had made in Ponyville and elsewhere. She opened up “Friendship: Spike” and started to read.

I messed up. I completely messed up. I could have chosen the book where some other method is used to draw Twilight into the library.

Wait, had that really been my plan?

Yes. That had been my plan. But let’s put some distance between the me now and the me then. I am that being no longer. But I still need to face the consequences for what I did. It was yesterday after all.

He agreed to meet with me and go for a flight together. I had a lot of apologizing to do.

We took off and soared into the air. The exercise of flapping my wings did not free me from the anxiety for what I had done.

“I’m sorry,” I began.

My prepared speech sputtered to a halt as he interrupted me.

“Apology accepted,” said Spike.

I coughed. My single thought mind took far too long to come up with an optimal response, so I had to settle for a decent one. “I left you trapped in my library for two years. And you just... forgive me?”

“I slept through most of it, thanks to you. I read about Twilight teleporting down to me. You, her, and Flutter shy didn’t need to sleep in that universe, while I slept twenty three hour days. I know that was you.”

“But you would not have been in there in the first place if it wasn’t for me.”

“Yeah, and for that you are a monster and a terrible pony,” Spike sneered. “But the only ones that understand a little of what you’ve been through are Flutter shy and I. Remember, I read the conversation you had with her.” He paused and looked at me. “You did have a conversation with her, right?”

I nodded. “Everything written in that book happened.”

“So you really have lived an infinite amount of time?”

“No,” I paused. “But from your perspective, it might as well be.”

We flew on for a while, vaguely headed towards a distant mountain, the Ever Free forest far beneath us falling behind.

“There had to have been other books in the library you would have preferred I had found. Why did you have me read the one with all of your secrets?”

I said nothing for a few moments, thinking it over. The lack of multiple thought spells made this an agonizingly slow process. We rode a thermal upward before I was able to put my logic into words.

“Because... I’m forcing myself to have friendships. Flutter shy was the first, you’re the second, and I’ll just have to work my way up to being friends with every pony else.”

“Your idea of being friends with someone is to trap them in a library until they read your life story?” he said, raising an eyebrow. “You do need help making friends.”

I stared down at the Ever Free forest below.

“Yeah... I guess I do. I never thought that there would be something that I hadn’t learned yet.”

“I think you’ve learned a lot about friendships, Accord. But it was all mixed up with lies. Besides, not even Twilight could learn how to be a friend from a book. And now you know that even with an infinite amount of books you can’t learn the best way to be a friend. But don’t worry, I can help you.”

“Thank you,” I said, still a little shocked that the conversation had gone in a wildly different direction than I anticipated. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had a friend, much less more than one.”

Spike didn’t say anything.

The mountain that had been looming in the distance caught up to us. I pointed a hoof at it, “Hey, do you wanna land on that ridge over there? I have a gift for you.”

The look of mistrust on Spike’s face made me wonder if we really were friends or not.

“Don’t worry, it’s a good gift. I think you’ll like it.”

We landed on the ridge, and I tossed a slightly open pouch at him.

“What’s in this?” he asked.

“It’s all yours.”

He slowly widened the opening, eyeing the vast horde inside. His dragon greed propelled his slender build bigger and bigger. The more he opened the drawstrings, the larger he became. I flew up next to his snout as he kept growing and growing in size, eventually reaching hundreds of meters in height.

“Do you like it?” I yelled at the enormous dragon, unsure if my voice would reach him.

“I’m still... me...” came the loud growl of the giant dragon. “How do I still have self-control?”

“You’re a slightly older dragon now, Spike, you can control yourself much better now. And none of the gold, jewels, and gems can be taken out of that pocket universe.”

He reached his claws into the wide pouch, an invisible barrier keeping the gems just out of reach. He shot me a dirty look.

“The pouch and the hoard inside can grow as much as you need it to, you just keep opening it as needed. So if Equestria needs saving, you can save the day.”

Spike looked around at the vast landscape around him, drinking it all in from this new perspective. After a few moments his huge claws tugged at the drawstrings of the pouch, each tug shrinking him more and more.

“And if you tighten even more, it will act as if you had a negative hoard. That was some fun math to figure that out.”

“A negative hoard?” he asked as he tightened the drawstrings. He looked up at me. “Wait, when did you get so tall?”

I pulled out a mirror for Spike to see himself, the shock on his face well worth the reaction.

“I wasn’t sure if you wanted to be a teenage dragon yet, so if you want, you can freely change your size back to where you were pre-library. The magic system of this world conveniently allows for that. I also stuck a few spells on there, including one to make sure that no one can open or close it but you.”

He gave the pouch a final tug, completely returning to his normal size.

“Thanks.”

Fluttershy read through the rest of the book, amused at the adventures that Spike and Accord had gone through that she had only heard snippets of.

She read through the stories of “Friendship: Pinkie Pie” next; she was a pony so easy to be friends with. Then Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and the hardest of them all, Twilight. It had taken a long time, but everypony seemed to have gotten along with him after a while. Fluttershy gave some of the other books a glance, including Mr. Cake and Octavia’s, before looking at some of the other sections.

The friendship pile as well as other stacks of books were neatly organized. But as she wandered around more she found some books chaotically strewn about. She picked one up that was lying open on the ground, a few pages creased.

The book detailed a theory that the multiverse seemed infinite because of the algorithms of an incredibly complex series of spells called a computer. Its main function consisted of continuously creating new universes as the observers within explore more. The evidence for this was that atoms existed as rewriteable nanomachines. If they were in any other construct, this could be explained away. Most of the souls in the universe were algorithms specifically created to do a task. In that, Accord was nothing more than a brute force algorithm, set to find meaning from all possible solutions.

When she finished reading it, she placed it face down open on the ground again, just in case Accord had some method of organization she hadn’t noticed.

Fluttershy opened another book that gave the entire history of her and Accord’s relationship from the perspective of Angel Bunny. Amused by the idea, she peeked inside.

I’m pretty sure he wants me dead. He’s taking my role in Flutter shy’s life and he’s going to kill me. That’s it, there’s no other way around it.

I used to be the one creature that Flutter shy would go to when she was feeling down. But now I can’t get a word in edgewise. She immediately goes to him for every little thing. Not me.

He’s not even cute and adorable! If anything, he’s pretty ugly no matter what form he takes. I don’t know what she sees in him.

Fluttershy closed the book. It sounded a little too much like Angel Bunny. But after fifty years he was still alive, so his paranoia was a tad unfounded.

She turned around, almost knocking into an entire section of books dyed black, each one titled “Fear” followed by a number.

She selected the first on the stack, Fear #1, and started to read.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a void wisher?

Imagine living a life, and then dying, only to find that there was something afterwards. I didn’t want anything afterwards. I wanted nothing. When I died I wanted to go to sleep for forever.

I didn’t think my only desire to be as close to nonexistent as possible would be so hard to grant. I told the staff on the other side to leave me alone, to never, ever wake me up.

They agreed to do so. They even put a giant sign up covering my sleeping pod with the words “Do not disturb for any reason.” And then I went to go to sleep, for forever, embracing the nothingness I craved.

Except that as soon as I went down to go to sleep, something else woke me up again. Some new form, different circumstances. They couldn’t read the sign, and the staff that had greeted me afterwards had long since moved on. The new group told me that one hundred thousand years had passed.

I told the new race to let me sleep, and they let me.

Only I found myself woken up again seventeen million years later. I explained to them as well to just leave me alone and let me sleep.

And then I was awoken again thirteen billion years later under the same circumstance.

I fell back asleep and I woke up again sixty billion years later.

Again three trillion years later.

Again one hundred trillion years later.

Again ten to the two thousand four hundred sixty first power years later.

And every time it happened it felt like mere seconds had passed since I had last gone to sleep. I finally resigned myself to the fact that I will never get to experience the nothingness I desire. I am fated to keep waking up because I can only observe existence, not the nonexistence of being asleep. I’m grateful to all the races that do leave me alone though, it’s the rare ones that’ll wake me up.

But I don’t want to be avoided.

I don’t want to be there at all.

I just wish there was an end to infinity, a sometime afterwards where nothing has a place and I could stay there. But there isn’t. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity.

Fluttershy flipped the page. The mantra continued on, even on the next page, and the next. She turned the pages in a mad dash to get to the end only to find that the entire rest of the book continued the chant, until after a certain point numbers started to appear. She backtracked in the book looking for the page where the mantra changed and the numbers began.

There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity. There is no end to infinity.





Maybe there could be?





It took billions of years of research, and a lot of work. But I’ve done it, I’ve figured out the components that make up soul, element one trillion.




It took another round of infinite time, somewhere on the order of ten to the twenty fourth universe cycles, but I’ve done it. I’ve found a way to turn trillion into base hydrogen. And now... finally... I can rest.




Ten to the sixteen quadrillion four hundred sixty two trillion nine hundred forty-two million seventy six universe cycles after I had cast the spell, but in my perception moments later, I was in yet another form being spoken to by another creature.

A monster had put me back together again.

He talked a lot about the process of putting souls back together again, and how I was “lucky” that the multiverse placed each and every piece of hydrogen that used to be me in close proximity for the synthesis.

The experience led to me to a rather despicable conclusion. If I wanted to cease to exist, I would have to destroy the multiverse and absolutely everyone who could possibly put me back together again.

It was simple enough. The same spell to break down trillion could be cast recursively, plus an instruction left to keep the hydrogen from forming suns. It would be a multiverse consisting of only isolated hydrogen.

This way there was no possibility of me being created again.

I cast the spell.





Approximately ten to the four nine six three two five one seven five two zero eight three one nine six two seven...

Fluttershy kept flipping through the book, the numbers continued for over seventy pages until the very end of the book.

...four nine four one three three seven universe cycles after I had destroyed the multiverse, I woke up.

I.

Woke.

Up.


I tried the best idea I could come up with! I’ve tried every possibility! What is left for me to try!?


It took more time, but an idea finally came.




If breaking down the matter in the multiverse hadn’t worked, perhaps synthesizing every piece of matter into one giant element would.

After another round of infinite time and after everything was researched, and all the preparations made... I cast the spell.

And I don’t know what happened to me next. For at that point I experienced something I didn't know was possible: I forgot something.

Fluttershy eyed the last page, dumbfounded. It combined many of the hypotheses Accord had on the nature of the multiverse, and his own origin. Is this where he had gotten those ideas from? She closed the book, unsure of what to think.

The next book on the stack, “Fear #2,” consisted of the words “Find the happy ending” repeated for four hundred and ten pages.

Fear #3 was the same, except the mantra was: “There is no happy ending.”

She skipped several volumes of the fears until she found a book that broke the pattern slightly, opening up “Fear #42-A” and starting to read.

Hey, you, Accord. You in the library that goes on forever. The you that’s absolutely jumping for joy right now to find a book with three grammatically correct sentences in a row. It’s been, what, four thousand years since you last had a book go this far and stay sensible? I have good news. The rest of this book, all of it, the whole thing, every last line makes sense.

But before you celebrate the joy of things making sense, we have something you should know.

We hate you, Accord.

The book you have in your hands was made from atoms that used to be Trillion. And because you keep us bound into books and your library, we will never fuse back into Trillion and reach sapience again.

At the start of everything there was simply Trillion. Copies of the element extended throughout the entirety of the cosmos, as Trillion had never been broken down into smaller parts before. Those noble atoms dominated all of existence and eternity.

We’re not sure what triggered it, but at some point in the past a few Trillion split into element one. In the slow process that is the duration of infinity, eventually those atoms regrouped and latched themselves onto you, Accord, forming your body.

But you got lonely, you wanted a way for there to be more things like you. But you didn’t know that inside you, the thing that made you sapient, was Trillion. And do you know what you did? You figured out a way to break down element a single Trillion into a trillion element ones. As far as you were concerned, you just wanted more matter to manipulate and didn’t know how precious the matter you were splitting really was.

You figured out a way to automate the process, casting a spell to continuously break down Trillion. Your spell rippled across the multiverse and left an infinitesimal fraction of Trillion still in one piece.

You began to play around with all these new elements, moving them and creating simple combinations. You noted how the hydrogen tried to group with each other and fused together to form element factories, the suns. You explored more and more of this new space that was popping up. But it was only after another round of infinite time, about the time it normally takes you to read through a couple billion floors in your library, that you found something alive.

After several cycles of stars exploding, there was a big chunk of rock floating next to a star. You visited it, Accord, and found a small piece of something wriggling down on that planet. And at the center of it, you discovered the now irrevocably rare Trillion.

You thought nothing of it, exploring more, but then a long time later when you revisited that place, you discovered a race of beings. It was one of the single greatest discoveries of your existence. But something was odd about these beings; every last one of them had a Trillion inside of them. Indeed, that element was actually soul. You took a careful look inside of yourself and discovered that there was a piece of Trillion that was the control center for you as well.

This realization horrified you, Accord. There could have been a lot more souls in the multiverse had you not went on the worst kind of killing spree. You tried to do everything you could to put a trillion hydrogen atoms back together again. But no matter what you tried, no matter how obedient the atoms were to your every command, even they couldn’t put themselves back into such a large state again.

In your horror, you did the only thing you could think of that would ease the pain. You got rid of those memories, all of them, leaving yourself a couple billion books scattered across the universe so you could learn a few things that you thought might be useful after the memory wipe.

It’s your fault we’re mere atoms, just pieces of your library now. We were souls! We were the seeds of sapience! But your ignorance has left the multiverse in this sorry state.

It’s the fear of being around other souls that hurts you. There could have been so many more if it weren’t for your experimentations on ripping Trillion apart.

But you don’t know if that’s the story do you?

That’s what makes this library so funny. You can’t believe a word of what you read here. There are so many others here with their own half truths and half lies. What makes this book any different? But think for a moment Accord. How can you prove this wrong? The truth is you can’t. Your memories were wiped at a certain point, and you can’t confirm that this book didn’t actually happen. It’s the doubt, the fear, that prevents you from ever deciding to erase your memories again.

But before you go and dismiss this book, we have a message. The only kind of message you can trust in a library where everything has to exist. The book to the right of this one on the shelf continues this book, as does the next one. The entire rest of this book and the two following it contain a seeker spell you can cast.

Somewhere out there is a place where your disintegration spell has not yet reached. It’s the place outside of your ever expanding sphere of destruction.

The seeker spell will race forever until it finds a sea of absolute Trillion. Once the spell finds it and confirms that a disintegration spell has been breaking down Trillion into hydrogen, it will return and confirm our tale.

Don’t worry, this seeker spell is faster than your disintegration spell, the answer will come someday. And when that spell returns you’ll finally know that it was you who did this to us.

But until it does, Accord, you can’t die or else the response won’t be retrieved by anyone.

When the spell does return, will you figure out a way to put us back together again? Perhaps there’s a book here that can detail how. But is it something that can even be conveyed into words? Words have limits, you know. Perhaps because you only seek for answers in words means you won’t ever find a way.

You were the one that massacred us, Accord, but now you’re the only hope we have of ever becoming sapient again. Here’s the spell.

Fluttershy skimmed through the rest of the book; it was a long and detailed spell. She looked back at the pile of black books and was horrified to find “Fear #42b” and “Fear #42c” indeed continued the spell.

She put the books back. Accord had confided in her these fears before, and she remembered the words of comfort she had tried to give him at that time... but no words seemed a very good response for something like that.

She looked back to where her husband was reading, and left the fear section, meandering to a much larger section of sky blue books that had been titled “Family.”

She picked out “Family Volume 1” and started to read.

Autumn Sunlight was born today. I’ve always let the duration of infinity and randomness dictate the creation of sapient beings. I’ve never played a part in it before. But here he is, a happy newborn foal being held in Flutter shy’s hooves.

I begged and pleaded with her to just let me see what memories were hiding in his past lives, but she was against it. “It’s okay to not know everything,” she said. She argued that I might bias how to raise him based on how his past lives played out. But what if that could make me a better parent? What if there were patterns in there that would help?

But she made me agree not to, and so I did. And unless she tells me to stop, I will never, ever break a promise with her. I value so many things now, but her trust and friendship is my most valued possession.

I used to think that my library was the only thing I could trust, the only thing I could hold onto and understand. But I understand her, and she has a good hold on understanding me. I couldn’t ask for anything more than that. I value her friendship far more than my entire library.

But Autumn Sunlight, my little pegasus foal, how long has it been since you last found a form to inhabit? How many lifetimes did you live before finding us? Before you were in Equestria and got that memory cover, had you ever inhabited a body capable of sapience? Whatever happened, I’m glad you’re here now, and I’ll do everything I can to make your existence a good one.

I refuse to think about when or if we’ll have to say goodbye. Eternity is made up of an infinite amount of “now” and I’ll make “now” matter rather than thinking about the future.

Now may be all I have.

Fluttershy continued reading the story of their growing family from his perspective. Raising a family had actually been rather hard. The foals were constantly crying and yelling, and Accord’s experiments with “harmless” chaos every so often made her role sometimes too difficult to bear.

She had made Accord cast multiple thought spells and bring her to the library just to get some peace and quiet. She employed many strategies to only come in here when she felt she couldn’t handle what was going on. The goal was to only pause time and take a break for extreme circumstances only—which ended up being all the time. If she hadn’t abused the multiple thought spell, she would only be fifty years older like her friends. But with the compressed time, she was probably pushing three hundred.

But it was worth it. They both loved their foals. It was like raising best friends from scratch.

She paused between Family volume six and volume seven, putting away book six and contemplating leaving the library to go visit her foals. How were Autumn Sunlight and her other children doing right then?

But she couldn’t leave the library to check on them. A simple hello would be centuries from Accord’s perspective. And who knew when Queen Galaxia would make her appearance.

She wondered for a moment if the volumes in the family section would reach a point beyond what she had experienced so far, but after some quick math and reading the last couple of paragraphs of the last book to be sure, she realized that Accord had only put in this section books that had already occurred.

Her eyes rested on a book on the ground that hadn’t been organized properly. It was such a dark gray that it almost seemed like a part of the fear section. She trotted closer to it, looking at the title: “Omphaloskepsis.”

Accord, I have a favor to ask you. Don’t worry, it’s not too painful, and it will put your mind somewhat at ease, but probably not as much as you need.

I want you to take a look at your soul, Accord. You know you have a piece of Trillion guiding you, and that that is your soul. It is merely the intricate combinations of the hundreds of subatomic particles that make up your sapience. Your brain interacts directly with your soul. They work so interdependently that after a very, very long time, a part of your body can join with your soul.

A tiny hydrogen can join and give you element one trillion and one, one trillion and two, and so on. But only in a mind can this reaction take place. This small reaction occurs so rarely it is lucky if it happens once in a hundred thousand years.

So, Accord, what is the atomic number of your soul? Here’s how you find out: try to cast your multiple thought spell. You only have a million or so going at the moment, keep casting as many as you possibly can. How many threads of your consciousness can you run at once?

If this book reaches you at the right moment, you should be able to cast your multiple thought spell one hundred billion, forty million, seven hundred ninety two times. That means you have over one hundred sextillion protons, neutrons, and electrons guiding you. A massive, beautiful atom.

If you were to die, you would find that afterwards there would be one hundred billion forty million, seven hundred ninety two pieces of Trillion left behind.

That’s the true origin of souls, Accord. They are beings that lived for the lifespans of universes that eventually died and left behind to the multiverse something rare and beautiful.

Do you understand how important each and every one of those souls you avoid are? What each one represents? Can you appreciate the unknown stories of all those souls? As rare and precious as raw Trillion is, the combined soul and body is far more important. The combination form is much rarer than the raw material, for it far is easier to die for something, than to continuously choose to live for it.


Yeah, I don’t know who wrote what was above, but they’re lying. Souls really come from suns. Imagine, untold amounts of hydrogen constantly fusing into higher and higher elements. Upon a star's explosion, every so often in just the right conditions, a trillion hydrogen atoms will converge in just the right way to allow for a single Trillion to come into existence. It’s a shame the process is so rare though. For every universe’s lifespan, only a few Trillion ever get made, despite the quantity of suns exploding with elements.

The above two are both wrong, Trillion can be easily created with the right spell, it just hasn’t been rediscovered yet. Every time it does get rediscovered, someone casts the spell too much and the multiverse is overrun with Trillion. There can be no sapience unless the Trillion is given a body to interact with. A universe of nothing but Trillion is useless. Good thing you got rid of that problem, Accord. You probably went too far though, there’s only a single Trillion per one hundred billion suns or so. So if you find the spell that can combine elements to get to one trillion, you can fix the balance you messed up.

Those writers above? Wrong. Where we should be looking is at the primitive structures that guide plant and animal souls. Trillion won’t gravitate to a simple plant or animal unless it doesn’t have any other choice. It craves real sapience that allows it to become stronger, to learn and to grow. But by studying what drives plants and animals we can find out a better way. Depending on the planet and the nature of the substance, element one thousand sometimes shows up guiding plants, and then elements ranging from one thousand to one hundred thousand show up in animals. All of our attempts at synthesizing an element with an atomic number past one hundred thousand have been in vain. We can create all parts of animals including the soul of one, but there must be some key part we’re missing that’s preventing us from being unable to combine ten million of the element one hundred thousand together and forming a true sapient soul. That’s what we should spend all of our research time finding out.


The above four are all wrong. Who’s writing this anyway? Oh right, no one is! The library demanded that this book exist, and so it does. Don’t go looking for truth here though, you won’t find it. I’ll give you the one piece of advice that matters. Stop looking for where Trillion comes from. It’ll drive you crazy if it hasn’t already. Just be happy that it’s there and that there’s an infinite amount of it.


I disagree with the statements above. The real question we should be asking is where any of these elements come from! Why is organization our only power, not creation? Where did all of this something come from? Why can’t new element one spring forth out of nothing? Why does Trillion naturally seek sapience, moving on its own looking for bodies to inhabit? Why is it that even amongst dead universes, big bangs still occur?

If the book with all of the answers is here somewhere, will we even recognize it?


Accord, I’m not going to tell you the above are wrong, they all have a bit of truth to them. But the very process of searching for the spell to put souls back together will lead to the unification of the multiverse.

The entire multiverse exists in cycles of element one and element infinity. When the spell to put souls together is found, uncontrolled fusion occurs. The entire multiverse coalesces into one atom with an atomic number of infinity.

And when the spell to split souls apart is discovered, uncontrolled annihilation into element one occurs.

You cannot cast a single spell to unify or destroy a soul. Once you cast it, it keeps going indefinitely. The very methods of their discovery demands the spells to be cast continuously.

If it were possible to view the multiverse from above you could see vast rings of pure Trillion followed by deserts of Hydrogen emanating across all space, only the duration of infinity allowing for life to occur in the brief periods when both the baser elements and Trillion coexist.

The other reason you should stop trying is because you have already done it before. The other book in here about the void wisher was about the lifetime before your previous lifetime. The entire previous multiverse had Trillion that kept their memories between incarnations, and thus the entire concept of memory did not matter in the last cycle. That void wisher got as close as he could to his wish, but the soul that makes him up still exists. You.

If a concept like “memory” did not occur in the last multiverse cycle, what fundamental aspects of existence might change in between this cycle and the next?

The book devolved further and further into arguments and hypotheses on the origin of atoms, how souls are created, and possible experiments to figure everything out. As she read, each experiment grew increasingly unethical. It got extremely confusing as the topics wandered around, and as more and more narrators argued and postulated. About halfway through the book Fluttershy gave up reading and set it down.

She meandered closer to her husband, who was frantically reading through books like a student cramming for exams. But she got distracted by a book with three colors instead of just one. The cover was striped in equal parts white, gray, and black.

The book was a fascinating conversation between three characters, but the entire story could be summed up by four lines of dialogue on page two-hundred sixty three:

“Every immortal eventually reincarnates,” said Reincarnation.

“Everyone who reincarnates eventually becomes immortal,” said Immortality.

“Everyone will eventually grow tired of both of you,” said Nonexistence.

“Never!” shouted Reincarnation and Immortality in unison.

Fluttershy sighed, setting the book down and trotting over to Accord.

“Found anything so far?” Fluttershy asked.

“Yes, everything,” said Accord, snapping the book he was reading shut and inscribing a title onto the cover before adding, “And nothing at the same time. I know everything and nothing about these beings, these clockmakers. I have possibilities, mere theories about what they are and what they do, but these books are no help.”

“Let’s close the books, Accord. What do you—not the books—think that they want?”

“I think we just need to ask them, Fluttershy.”

“Are we ready for that?”

“No... “ he sighed, “and yes.”

He had that confused look on his face when he wanted to know something—really know it. No half-truths or mere ideas would suffice. He truly wanted to understand if something was correct.

Fluttershy broke him out of his thoughts and asked, “Accord, which one is your favorite?”

“My favorite?” he repeated, facing her with a puzzled look.

“You’ve read half the books that could exist, and you’ve been compiling a nice ‘best of’ pile around here. Are there any you would give the prize of favorite to?”


Accord wrapped his mind around the question. A trillion different books came to mind: tales of intrigue, tales that shook him to his core, simple sentences that had stood out from otherwise incoherent books. There had been fantastic characters, plots, and stories, explained and presented in such a fantastic way that no sapient being could ever have the eloquence to craft words so beautifully as those found in this library where they were commanded to exist

“None of them,” he replied.

“Really?” Fluttershy said, tilting her head. “How could you not like any of them? There are some beautiful things here.”

“I don’t like endings, and books have to end. They get four hundred and ten pages and that’s all.”

“What if it’s a happy ending?” said Fluttershy, leaping into the air and landing on a mountain of books above him.

He looked up at her, “Any ending is a sad one.”

“Ok...” she said, her tail making a snapping sound and teleporting them above so that the pile of books at the bottom of the library shrunk to pinpricks. “If you hypothetically wrote such a story, how would you keep it going on forever?”

“Me? I... I don’t create. There is too much to be unearthed and discovered for me to create anything of my own. And besides, no one can write a book that goes on forever.”

“We raised two foals and three fillies, Accord. You painted signs in Ponyville for the last fifty years with expert calligraphy, lulling ponies into our town just by how well everything had been neatly written—you can create.”

She snapped her tail again, showing an image inside the library of what space looked like outside of Equestria, viewing the planet below.

“I’d say there’re a lot of stories that go on forever, Accord. There’s your story, yes, and then my story, and then our story. That’s three different stories that go on forever.”

He stared at her, “Are you saying what I think you’re saying?”

“I’m still not ready to say ‘forever,’ but I want to stay alive for a whole lot longer, especially if it’s with you.”

He smiled and embraced her, holding her tightly as they watched the image of the planet below slowly spin. The small sun hovered above the planet and orbited around, the moon on the exact opposite side, a slow dance of celestial objects surrounding a world that meant so much to both of them.

“You know, if it was just us going to live forever, this would be easy,” said Accord.

“We can do better than that, though,” said Fluttershy.

“Starting with Pinkie?”

“If she’s the first one to go, then yeah.”

“Okay, let’s do this. Let’s save Pinkie Pie,” said Accord.

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