• Published 24th May 2020
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Up to Fate - Onomonopia

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Within the Helm

From the way Tirek had spoken to her, Pinkie had gone into his home expecting death traps at every corner and riddles behind each of the traps. Yet as she walked by a spear trap that pitifully tried to jut out of the wall and over a pitfall that had filled up with sand from years of not having maintenance, she realized that maybe Tirek hadn't been in here for a while. Still she kept her sense on alert as she walked through the large temple.

The history of Tirek and his family was written on the walls, with art depicting the acts of his father, mother and brother. Each of them had contributed to the world in some way, from befriending the ponies, to showing the ancients how to move the sun and moon, and many more. Pinkie didn't see any with Tirek in them. For a moment she felt bad for him.

"I can't dawdle. I need to find...something," Pinkie muttered. She looked around the ruins as she walked, hoping to find some of the artifacts that Tirek had mentioned. She found plenty of pedestals in one room, a number of empty bookshelves in another and a room that looked perfect for a cauldron and candles. But there was nothing within the temple ruins that she could consider a source of powerful magic. She was starting to wonder if Tirek had come in here at all since his return.

She searched room after room, and room after room disappointed her. There was nothing. Maybe Tirek's family had hidden all of the magical items so that he couldn't use them if he ever returned. Maybe Scorpan took them all when he went to fight the Maestro on behalf of the ponies. Pinkie didn't know. What she did know was that there was nothing. Her Pinkie Sense was picking up nothing, her very limited magical abilities couldn't sense anything remotely magical and there was so much dust in the room that she was starting to sneeze. The temple was a bust.

That was what she thought, until she came across the final room. The room wasn't that large and didn't have that many objects in it, but what it did house within more than made up for it. There was a single stain glass window with a multitude of colors in the wall, creating a circle of light that shone on the floor. In the center of the floor was a single, small pedestal with nothing on it. And all along the other walls were strange carvings. There was something about this room. Pinkie could feel it in her very soul.

"Is this the place?" she asked the helm. When Nabu didn't reply, she smiled softly before walking into the middle of the circle of light. She felt her skin prickle as she entered, her Pinkie Sense telling her something was there. She sat down and placed the helm on the pedestal, making sure that it was looking at her. She then closed her eyes and reached out with a forehoof, placing it upon the helm.

"Nabu, if you are in there, speak to me. We desperately need your help," Pinkie whispered. "Maestro is going to erase everything. All of my allies have fallen to him. I was saved by Tirek. That's how bad things have gotten. Please, if you are in there, I need your help. Answer me."

Silence. That was all that answered her. The same silence that she had come to loathe in such a short time. Pinkie let out a small sigh before she creased her brow, tightening her focus before she tried something else. "Alright, so you don't want to come out of there. That's fine. You just got beat, which probably has never happened to you. You're probably scared. But don't worry. If you don't want to come out...I'll just go in after you."

Pinkie muttered incantations under her breath, hoping this would work. Star-Swirl had taught her a few basic spells in case she got separated from Nabu, but nothing too advanced. And she had a very low magical strength herself, nothing like what unicorns and alicorns used. But magic was based on faith. And she needed to believe. Believe in Nabu. Believe in Star-Swirl. And believe in herself. So she willed herself to enter the helmet. And so she did.

Pinkie opened her eyes to see if the spell had worked. And when she did so, she thought that she had gone insane.

The sky around her was in the shade of a cosmos made of giant heads, planets that varied from the size of pebbles to larger than universes. A serpent made of thoughts snaked through the cosmos above her, while butterflies made of sound silently flapped by. Pinkie ripped her eyes from the heavens and looked around her, not finding it any better.

There were millions of stairs that went every which way. Up down, left right, forward back. Some of them went into infinity, others looped back into themselves. Then there were the doors. Thousands of them, of all shapes and sizes. Some of them were large and imposing. Others had legs, wings and other assortments of appendages and moved around freely. The only object that Pinkie could see that looked somewhat normal was the pyramid that floated over everything else. A beam of light shooting from its peak into the heavens.

"Pyramid. That looks like a good place to start," Pinkie muttered. "Only place that makes sense in this place. I found Nabu in an ancient tomb, so maybe he'll be in this one. Only one way to find out."

Pinkie took off towards the pyramid, forcing herself not to look around too much. There was too much...insanity here. Even for somepony like her. "Why would a god of order like Nabu allow his mind to be such a disorganized place? Unless this was all caused by the damage Maestro inflicted upon him. If that's the case, this is worse than I thought."

Creatures of all shapes and sizes ran, swam and...existed around her, but she didn't give any of them more than a passing glance. Some, like a few dragons, she could make sense of. Others she couldn't. And a few she didn't dare. She was aware of their eyes on her as she raced by, but they never made a move towards her. She raced past them, trying to put as much distance between her and them as possible. Some of them reached out to her. Others noticed her passing. Not that her efforts mattered.

"Not...getting...any...closer!" Pinkie wheezed. The Pinkie pony came to a stop and took a second to catch her breath, looking up to find that she was no closer to the pyramid that she had been when she first started running. "This isn't working. Nothing makes sense here! He's a Lord of Order! So why isn't this place...?"

Then Pinkie felt something. A small twitch in her tail. The same twitch that she felt whenever she was around danger. The same twitch that she had felt when she saw Nabu for the first time. Pinkie narrowed her eyes before looking to the left, feeling the twitch lessen. Then she looked to the right and felt it increase.

"My special sense. Follow what makes me special. Okay Nabu, I see what your game is," Pinkie muttered. She then took off, following the twitching in her tail. She followed it past twists and turns, past doors and paths...once even over a certain drop that turned out to have an invisible bridge...or something. But her instincts always led her true and, eventually, she found herself at the base of the pyramid. She smiled as she looked up at it, taking a moment to collect herself.


Pinkie looked to her side to see a truly pitiable creature laying against the side of the pyramid. The being was like a monkey, but with longer limbs and no fur. It had white hair and a long beard, both of which worked together to cover its face. A dirty cloak was all that covered it's body and even then not by much. But it was the arms that it extended towards Pinkie that she truly took notice of. It was practically skin and bone.

"Are you okay?" Pinkie asked. Stupid question. It clearly wasn't.

"Please...spare something...anything..." the creature begged.

"I'm sorry, but I don't have anything on me," Pinkie said as she ruffled through her mane. Somehow her son had gotten ahold of the snacks she kept in there. He learned quick. "I have nothing but..."

Then she pulled out the only item that she carried with her at all times. The only item she could never have parted with. A ring made of solid gold. The ring that Cheese Sandwich had proposed to her with. Something she cherished more than almost anything else, the bronze medal just below her husband and son. It was a promise of happiness. Of love. And a family. Then Pinkie looked at the creature once more.

"Here. Maybe you can sell this for some bits," Pinkie said as she dropped the ring in the creatures hand. For a moment her heart ached. But then she shook it off. She still had Cheese and her son. Losing the ring wouldn't change any of that. And it was just a ring.

"Now then," she muttered as she gazed up at the pyramid. "How the heck am I suppose to get in there? Is there a test or a lever or..."

"So you are the one he chose, are you? He chose well." Pinkie spun around to see that the beggar was now standing behind her, a smile on his face as he looked down at her. "You understand, don't you?"

"Understand what?" Pinkie asked.

"What really matters. What must be held onto. What is worth protecting," the man (the word entered Pinkie's mind) said to her. "Maybe you can do it. What no other host was able to do. What my father needs."

"Excuse me?" Pinkie asked.

The man waved his hand and the pyramid suddenly had an entrance. Pinkie looked at the entrance in surprise, before she turned back to look at the man only to find he was gone.

"Save Nabu and in turn you will save your world. But it is more than Nabu's helm that needs saving. Can you do what could not be done by anyone else in the course of thirteen billion years? Can you save him?"

"I don't know. But if my friend needs help, then I will do whatever it takes to help him," Pinkie promised.

"Then I leave it to you. Save him. And discover then you shall discover your greatest power. Your True Fate."

Pinkie turned to the pyramid, only to notice that her ring was now laying on the ground next to her. She smiled as she picked it up, placing it back inside her mane. "Don't worry, Nabu. I'm coming to help. No matter what you face, I'll face it with you."

Pinkie raced into the pyramid. There were no side passages, no traps or curses. Just a straight path to the center. A single, wooden door was all that awaited her at the end of the passageway. She pressed a hoof against it and pushed it open, ready for whatever was on the other side.

It was a room. A large, circular room with a purple carpet, floating tables and a number of strange, but wonderful, artifacts. A mirror that Pinkie suddenly knew could peer into other realities. A crystal ball that could answer any question. All sorts of magic. "What the...where is this?"

"This, Pinkie, is the tower of fate."

Pinkie turned to see Nabu, or at least a very ghostly image of him, shimmering in and out of existance. His form was barely there, his eyes were soft and lacked their power and he seemed...small. Smaller than Pinkie thought possible.

"This is my home."