• Published 24th May 2020
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Up to Fate - Onomonopia

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Broken

"Are you ready to go, girls?" Twilight asked her friends.

"Of course ah am Twilight," Applejack replied with a smile.

"Can we hurry it up already? We're going to be late," Rainbow sighed, flying circles around her friends.

"Now now, Rainbow Dash. A lady is never earlier or late. A lady always strives to be right on time," Rarity pointed out.

"I'm about as far from lady as you can get."

"I hope there's not a problem with the train again," Fluttershy said. "The last time we tried to ride the train we were hours late because of a group of wolves that were on the tracks."

"Oh don't act like you didn't love every second you spent playing with those wolves," Rainbow replied. "We were almost even later because we had to get you back in the train."

"There were cute wolves."

"Did you find a sitter, Pinkie?" Rarity asked. When Pinkie didn't answer, all five of her friends turned to look at her. Pinkie was staring at each of them, a look of confusion on her face. "Pinkie, darling, whatever is the matter?"

"You...you're all my friends? My best friends..." Pinkie muttered.

"Of course we are, darling. We've been best friends for nearly two decades now," Rarity replied.

"Are ya feeling alright, sugarcube?" Applejack asked, pressing her forehead against Pinkie's. "Ya don't have a fever do ya?"

"No...no, I'm fine," Pinkie replied, shaking her head. "Sorry, my mind was all confused for a moment there. I was thinking about being chosen by a golden helmet, Tirek taking over the world...y'know, what if and all that."

"Ya might need to cut back on the sugar there, Pinkie," AJ warned.

A whistle cut their conversation and the group of friends looked up to see the train approaching the station. Twilight smiled as she used her magic to lift her's and her friends luggage, moving it into the train when it came to a stop. "Alright, provided there are no more animals on the tracks, we should make it in time for the party! Now come on girls, it's time to rock Canterlot once again."

The six ponies all cheered out together as they rushed for the train, nothing on their minds but thoughts of what the night would bring.

'Pinkie.'

Pinkie stopped dead on the station and turned around, looking around for who had spoken her name. "Sugarcube, come on. If we're late again Twilight might just rip her mane out once and fer all."

But Pinkie didn't hear her friends voice. Friend? She didn't know anypony named Applejack. Her only friend outside of her husband and son was Star-Swirl and....and...Nabu? Was that the beings name? What being? She had know Applejack and her friends all nearly all her life. They'd done so much together. Finding the Elements. Twilight becoming an alicorn. Stopping Tirek when he tried to take over the world.

Tirek. The being Tirek served. The Maestro. She remembered fighting the monster. A being whose power possibly dwarfed Nabu's. They fought and...and...she lost.

Pinkie let out a yell as she clutched her hooves to her head, memories of two lives swirling through her mind. Five ponies she had never met yet she could say with certain were her closest friends. A god name Nabu who had chosen her to defeat Tirek, even though he was long since beaten. The were such different lives, too different, too different to reconcile.

Yet even as the memories swirled in her mind, there was one constant. Cheese Sandwich and Lil' Cheese. They existed in both sets of memories. A little different, but them all the same. And Pinkie grabbed onto those memories like a lifeline, using them to drag herself out of the vortex of lives that she saw swirling before her. She grabbed hold of her family's memories and forced herself to focus only on them. And then, for a moment, all was quiet.

'Pinkie. Wake up already.'

And then she awoken.

The pain woke Pinkie up faster than cold water or an alarm clock ever could.

Pinkie heard a weak cry escape her lips as she awoken, her eyes flickered open. With her entire body burning the pink pony sat up, the burning pain thudding through her body. She tried to move her forehooves, but the spike of pain put a stop to that. Figuring that moving was a bad idea, she started to look around at where she was.

Sand. That was all that greeted her eyes. For miles and miles around in any direction, all she could see was sand. But unlike the sand she was used to, the sand was all white. Pinkie figured that during the day the light reflecting off the sand would be blinding, but, as she looked at the heavens, she saw it was night.

Aside from the sand, the only other object around her was a makeshift tent that was pitched around her, an old and decrepit temple that crumbled not to far behind her...and the crushed helm of Nabu.

"Nabu," Pinkie whispered. She reached out for the helmet, ignoring the agony her muscles felt, and lifted the helm. It was hard for her to look at. She could make out where the Maestro's fingers had crushed the helm, but the physical destruction was nothing compared to what Pinkie noticed was missing. The golden sheen that the helm always had was gone. The sense of power and strength that she had turned to take comfort in was no more. And the voice of one of the most powerful beings she had ever known was silent. She looked at the devastation for a moment before she gently placed her forehead against the helmet.

"So you've finally awaken."

Pinkie whipped her head around, her body reminding her why swift movements were a bad idea, to see Tirek standing behind her. He was considerably shorter than he had been in the throne room, but he still held an aura of power around him. In his hands was a sack which Pinkie saw water dripping from and in the other was a cactus.

"Tirek?" she asked in confusion. The centaur grunted before throwing both objects at Pinkie's hooves. "What am I doing here? What are you doing here? And where is here?"

"Allow me to answer those in order," Tirek said as he sat down next to her. "As for what you are doing here. You lost. Bad. Maestro...gods, I thought that if anything had a chance of defeating him, it would be the magic that you wield...or rather, wielded. You could not. I now see the helm was the magic power that I had sensed. Had I not grabbed you and the helm to get you out of there, you would both be dead. Though, from the looks of things, it seems one of you already is."

"Wait a moment...what about Star-Swirl?" Pinkie asked. "Did you grab him too? What happened?"

"My guess? Dead. Maestro put him through a wall," Tirek replied. Pinkie's eyes went wide with horror. "Even if he somehow survived, trying to grab him would have gotten me killed along with the rest of them. Which brings me to your second question. What am I doing here? Simple. I'm hiding. In a place that hopefully the Maestro can't find. Though I wouldn't bet on it."

"Okay, that would bring us to my third question..."

"We are at my home. Or rather, my true home," Tirek replied. He turned to look at the temple behind him, a sigh escaping his lips. "This is my home. My home on the true world. The Equis that was supposed to be."

"I'm...confused."

"I used my power to save a fragment of the old world. A fragment of the world that was supposed to be here before the Maestro arrived," Tirek answered. "This temple...is where me and my brother lived for a long time. And despite everything...it was the only part of the old world that I couldn't let go. I've used everything I have to hide this place from Maestro, to make sure he wouldn't notice it. For the time being, he hasn't. We are safe...for a moment."

"You look...smaller," Pinkie pointed out.

"That is because I used a good amount of my power to save you. You were all but dead when I brought you here. Speaking of, eat," Tirek grunted. He kicked the cacti and the water to Pinkie, who gingerly picked it up.

"Okay, I have a new question. You saved me. Why?" Pinkie asked before taking a sip.

"You saved me. You stood between me and the Maestro. I owed you my life. So when I saw the chance to repay my debt, I took it," Tirek replied. Then a bitter smile crossed his face. "Of course, I also made sure that grab that helm of yours also. I had hoped that maybe I could eat the magic that was within it. But there's nothing in it now. It's just a bent piece of metal."

Pinkie once again looked down at the helm, hoping that anything would happen. The light would return, Nabu would scoff at her...anything. But the helm remained dim and there was no voice to speak to her.

"Well...thank you for saving me," Pinkie said. Tirek grunted in reply. "So what now? What do we do?"

"Wait to die," Tirek replied. Pinkie gave him a look and he smirked. "Your magic was the only chance we had. Now that it is gone, there is nothing that can stop the Maestro. Any moment now he's going to erase this reality like he had always planned to do. It's all over."

"No...my family...my world," Pinkie whispered. She gripped the helm with all of her might, tears streaking down her face as she realized just how badly she had failed. "I failed them all."

"Oh cease your crying, I bear as much as the blame as you do," Tirek snapped at her. She raised her eyes to him in confusion as Tirek looked up at the sky. "I couldn't even stop a single mare. Even after all the terrible things I had done. Celestia and Luna betrayed me. Can't believe I didn't see that coming. I was weak. And because of that, we will all cease to be."

"...he always planned to erase this reality?" Pinkie asked. Tirek nodded. "Then why didn't he? With that kind of power...I don't think there was anything that could have stopped him. So why didn't he?"

Tirek response was to snarl at Pinkie before resuming staring at the sky.

"When Maestro first appeared, he said something about how you had entertained him. Were...were you the reason that Maestro didn't erase our reality?" Pinkie asked. Tirek didn't reply. "The way you acted around him...it was like you knew who he was...that you had seen him before. And his power. You also saved a section off..."

"Tirek? Are you from the world that was supposed to be?" Pinkie asked.

"...yes," Tirek said after a long moment of silence. "Yes, I am from the other world. I am the only being to survive it's erasure."

"I thought Star-Swirl and Twilight..."

"They had memories of the old world, but they are not the same ponies. Maybe they managed to protect their minds? Doesn't matter. Both are gone. Nothing more than stray thoughts to a being like Maestro. And like all stray thoughts, they are gone a moment later."

"How did you survive?" Pinkie asked. Tirek didn't answer. "How did our reality survive? Because according to you, Maestro was just going to erase everything. But he didn't. And, if there is anypony who knows, it you. So please Tirek, tell me what happened."

Tirek looked up at the stars for a long time, long enough that Pinkie realized the moon wasn't moving. Then he finally sighed before turning to look at Pinkie.

"I was imprisoned in stone at the time. Me along with Cozy Glow and Chrysalis. But I was still aware of everything that was happening at Canterlot. So I was there. There when the Maestro appeared on Equis."