• Published 28th Apr 2016
  • 7,114 Views, 235 Comments

Clean the Slate - Earth Galvanising

Time is a priceless commodity, and an even greater weapon. As one pony stumbles through fate blindly, with no clue on how to solve the jigsaw of his destiny despite Celestia's aid, how will he fare against the Flow of Time in his second life?

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4. A Sparkling Birthday

He hadn’t slept well, ever since that day. Each night, Bryan found himself lying in the cot at the Herring Manor, staring. The ceiling, the walls, hell; even the pillow and mattress below him. He wasn’t sick, no, he was fairly sure of that. No fever, no sniffling or nausea. He just felt, well, empty. Seeing the princess had forced some sort of effect on him, being in her presence had stirred something within him, but now, when he wasn’t with the sun goddess, everything felt dull.

And I don’t have a damn clue why.

He sighed, it was late; familiarly late. The same sort of late it was nearly a year ago, when he first decided to take his ‘retry.’ The small alicorn had tried to slip into a night’s rest, he’d tried counting sheep, tried running himself tired, nothing worked! Each time he took his mind off of any task of his, Bryan found his mind wandering back to the princess of the land, and wondering why he felt such a strange connection with her.

The quiet wind blew gently into his room, and Bryan curled up slightly tighter than before. The frailty of his infant body was a bother sometimes; small chills feel like the fuckin’ arctic winds to me. He rolled over, his eyes drooping. Maybe now he’d get his long deserved rest? His mind drifted to the recent days since the visit. Twilight’s birthday was getting ever closer, and Bryan had bought his present to her a while back. Magic for Beginners: Ages 3+ was the tome that caught his eye, and the ex-human briefly remembered the enthusiasm for giving the gift. A soft smile drew across his face; she was sure to love it.

Bryan’s eyes drooped further, almost closed. The alicorn foal resigned himself to the arms of Hypnos, and the colt drifted into unconsciousness.

”Princess,” Hegese bowed before the steps to the throne, the strangely rigid goddess of the sun stood stiff in front of her claim, “I shall be returning to my duties at the end of the week; thank you very much once again for the extended leave,” The younger pegasus of the family of three lifted her head, and smiled at her ruler. “Also, I’m happy to introduce you to my son, Princess.” The alicorn colt behind her took awkward hoofsteps toward the steps. The young pony avoided the princess’ gaze. “His name is Quantum, though, it is surprising for him to have been born an alicorn.”

“A-ah,” Celestia rasped, cleared her dry throat, and smiled weakly at the three before her, “Yes, it is a rare occurrence for an alicorn to be born, indeed. I hear he has his mark…?” The goddess trailed off, somewhat anxious to see the mark this foal supposedly had. She’d already seen the picture of it; yet, for some reason, she very desperately wanted to see it for herself.

“Oh!” Hegese brightened up and puffed her chest out in pride; oblivious to her ruler’s awkward behaviour. “Yes, he was born with his cutie mark, here, take a look,” She trotted towards her son and nudged him forward, encouraging him to ascend the stairs. Bryan’s eyes fixed themselves to the floor below him, not wanting to gaze at the princess in fear of the feeling emanating from his chest. To his displeasure, however, each step he climbed only intensified that tugging sensation on his front, making him feel like he’d be dragged across the ground were it not for his resistance. What is making me feel like this?!

Celestia felt the pull as the foal slowly walked towards her, too. She forced down the urge to embrace the colt, not wanting to act out of order in front of her subjects. Each step closer, she felt as if she could hear a strange whispering. At first, she put it down to Hegese and Rouge; standing awfully close and conversing with each other as the foal made its way up, but then she realised; it was a male voice.
Just what the hell is going on with me? Damn chest.

The voice, she recognised. It was younger than the last time she heard it, yes, but it was unmistakable. The ‘foal’ before her had a secret he was hiding, and Celestia felt a pit open up in her stomach as wild theories flew around in her head. She responded. ’Do you mean that pulling feeling, young Quantum?’

The colt froze. His head slowly rose to meet her eyes. His face was a mix of fear and surprise. Despite the situation she was in, Celestia couldn’t help but smile with mirth; it was liberating, she hadn’t smiled like this in a while. ’Well? Are you just going to stand there? Or are you going to show me this cutie mark of yours?’ The child’s muzzle opened and closed uselessly. Unable to even think of a response to the now invading voice in his head; Bryan just turned around, with even less grace than before.

’H-How is this possible? Are you telepathic?’ The colt stumbled on his thought speech; before quickly adding a ’P-Princess’ at the end of it. The goddess let out a melodic laugh, mentally of course. Bryan loosened up slightly; he liked that laugh.

’No, child. I’m not telepathic. You, however,’ Celestia quirked her brow at the colt, who had since fallen uselessly on her flank. ’You have quite the secret, hm? I do wonder what your story is, colt. Bryan spluttered out loud, before quickly silencing himself. To increase the time she had with the young alicorn; Celestia walked towards him, still donning the intrigued smile, and inspected him from all angles.

In response to her statement, however, Bryan’s metaphorical dam broke, and he gushed. About everything: Earth, his old life, his want for a retry, his past year on Equus. Celestia took all of his story in, and as he went over certain topics, she felt parts of his emotion; his elation at seeing the parents he had on Equus, yet, an unfathomable amount of loneliness when he spoke of his desire to have a retry. Her vision flashed a sickening crimson, briefly, and the implication set dread in her heart. When he finished his tale, Quantum just stood there, before speaking in his head again. ’…I just said all of that, didn’t I? Bryan felt like he’d just fucked up, well, royally, and started backing away down the steps. His mental voice grew quieter for Celestia. ’I… I should go. Sorry, you, uh, probably think I’m insane or something. Haha… Whoops.

The colt galloped down the steps to the bewildered Hegese and Rouge. Celestia wanted to go after him; to keep hearing his voice. The alicorn foal made his way behind his family members, and his himself from view. The goddess stood in shock; unable to fully comprehend the reality of his story. Even so, his voice was enough to make her desperate to never leave it again, and yet, she stood as still as Discord.

“I, um, apologise Princess, he’s not usually like this,” Rouge bowed her head as she spoke on behalf of the confused mother and rather shaken up foal. As Hegese tried to coax her son back out, Celestia remained still. The tale that the foal had told her was convoluted, and downright impossible; yet, words spoken eons ago rung in her head.

”I curse you to a life of isolation and despair, now weep!”

The evil grin of a malevolent being that once roamed Equus flashed in her head. The fate it had foretold so long ago forced her to believe the colt’s words. She needed time; and unfortunately, it was one of the things she didn’t, and couldn’t, have at the moment. The goddess of the sun watched the family of three hastily bow, before fast-trotting out of the throne room.

With the doors closed once more, she sighed and slumped back in the immaculate furniture behind her.

As Quantum woke up from his dream, he mentally grumbled about his subconscious constantly reminding him of his blunder in the throne room only a few days ago. The sun peaked from behind the curtains of his room, and Bryan absently noted that Twilight’s birthday was in two days. Sitting up, Bryan looked outside, the ever-bustling city of Canterlot. Despite the early hours of the day, the streets were still awash with the colourful pony river, all shapes and colours mingling into a colourful mess. His eyes roamed the town, taking in its oddly shaped buildings, how their looks clashed yet complimented each other in the strangest of ways; the city seemed unified. Bryan’s eyes settled on the grandest building of all, the castle just looming overhead. Once again, he found himself reminded of the events that occurred during his visit to the monarch. It left a bitter taste in his mouth.

Frankly, he just wanted to forget the visit ever happened. Unfortunately, his subconscious wouldn’t let him, and with a parent actually working as the princess’ advisor? No chance.

Bringing his eyes away from the window, the ex-human surveyed his room for the umpteenth time since arriving on Equus. It wasn’t really interesting; the room lingered with a smell of fresh paint; clearly in anticipation for his birth, the room had been redecorated. This made the foal wonder what the room was before his arrival; Probably nothing important, actually.

Teal irises (i mean, they look teal in the mirror) fell on the ornate clock hanging above his head. It’s rhythmic tick-tocking putting Bryan at ease. Clocks had always put the foal at peace, in his old life, there’d always been a clock in his room, right from an early age. Most people (ponies now, i guess) were distracted by clocks when they tried to concentrate; if anything, it actually helped Bryan focus. Even when on holiday when there was no clock in my room, Dad wou-

A sharp pain in his head, images flashed by, the foal hissed uncharacteristically and drew in a deep breath, as he swore he could smell that familiar coppery scent.

Bad memories; that wound is still open then, huh, the alicorn’s eyes clenched shut, I don’t really think it’ll ever close.

The tiny pony flopped back in the cot, willing to let sleep take him again. He sighed tirelessly before the dreamless rest found him, and Bryan fell to slumber.

In the distant city of Manehattan, a brown coated pony, with a silver grey mane grumbled incoherently as he fiddled with two small objects floating just above a steel bench. The objects were illuminated in an aura not too dissimilar from the unicorn’s coat, if not slightly lighter; his horn glowing a similar colour. The one of said objects was a cotton pad, soaked in what seemed to be cleansing alcohol. The second object was vigorously scrubbed by the pad, trying to remove dirty marks and rust.

Yes, Philips Driver, or Philip Herring as he was once called, was working on a very special project. Since following his recently rediscovered nephew to the world of Equus, Philips had established himself as an inventor; a job actually quite similar to the role he played on Earth. The two screws on his flank meant he was incredibly good with mechanics and fiddly objects; like many screws could be. His name, Philips Driver, was enough to suggest his occupation to the outside world, and yet, for the first years of his new life, the unicorn felt no end of aggravation at possessing the title. Because he was essentially Philips Screwdriver. Never knew that reality had a sense of humour until that day, he grumbled internally.

As time went on though, he warmed more and more to his new name, like he did many things in this world. He eventually saw Philips Driver as an in-joke that only he would understand, and now, he supposed his nephew (twice-over) would, too.

Besides, being an inventor isn’t really all that difficult when you have a whole other planet’s worth of knowledge and experience in your head.
Philips paused in his scrubbing, midway through pulling his object through the cotton pad. Surprisingly, he didn’t often think about Earth, or his old life, anymore. It felt like memories of a distant childhood. In fact, he actually only thought about his old life in reminiscence of Bryan, before, but now that he’s here, I don’t really have any reason to think about those days that much. Besides… The door to his workshop creaked open.

“Hon’? You workin’ at these unholy hours for a reason or…?” Cinders ‘Cindy’ Elem the Unicorn stood in the doorway, leaning against its arch. She fixed a gaze at her coltfriend of three years, working tirelessly once more. She’d been woken up by his grumbling. An endearing feature of his. He grinned with baggy eyes at the mare before him.

…My life is infinitely better here. Philips concluded his thoughts.

“Ah, right, sorry. Did I wake you up?” Cindy nodded, he winced, “Sorry, I just wanted to…” the unicorn rolled her eyes, and trotted up to her seated lover, and flung her arms around his back, leaning her head just next to his. He chuckled slightly.

“S’fine. What’re you workin’ on anyway? This ain’t like your usual stuff,” she inspected the object in question, picking it up with an orange aura, and bringing it close to her face. She squinted at it “What even is this, anyway? Looks a little small to be a necklace, and I don’ think this is bracelet size, either,” the object was a simple chain of gold, small circular links running a thin line making the piece; it had a few burn marks, it seemed, on different areas. Philips smiled a bit.

“It’s a present, for Br- My nephew, Quantum,” he began, berating himself for the slip-up. If Cindy noticed, she didn’t comment, “I’m fitting it with a size modification charm, later, but I’m busy cleaning off all the black marks at the moment,” He then pointed a hoof to an even smaller object on the bench; an earring with an Onyx stone in—but it didn’t even have a part to actually stick it in the ear! Cindy tilted her head, obviously confused. She didn’t bother asking, though, she’d seen her coltfriend churn out some downright crazy stuff in the past few years, after all. Better to leave him to it.

Quantum though, she’d missed the chance to meet the foal the past few times that Philips had gone. Work got in the way, and there wasn’t much she could even do to help it, work as the chief of the Manehattan Fire Brigade was a demanding job, after all. But the foal was approaching his first birthday, and she’d booked a holiday for the event. No way was she missing this, not at all. The city’s fires could just not for a day.

Gently, she placed the chain down next to the not-earring, and tugged her special somepony to his hooves.

“C’mon, I’ve got a few hours before I have to get to work proper, and I kinda really wanna just hunker down into bed for a bit,” So, Cindy dragged Philips out of the workshop, and into the bedroom that she emerged from. She muttered slightly as the bed had long since lost its heat, but it didn’t really matter, because now there was a stallion pillow next to her.

Mhm, Philips sighed, his lover’s head on his chest, definitely better.

Celestia stepped into her chambers, having raised her sun and lowered the moon that didn’t belong to her, the princess
unceremoniously flopped back onto her massive bed. Comfy though it was, it hadn’t helped her sleep a decent wink the past few nights. The meeting with him had done little to clear her mind, and had offered such a small amount of closure that it may as well have actually made her longing worse. Each time she closed her eyes, the goddess would see one of two things. It was either:

A, the images of the tale that the young foal had told her. The raw emotion that passed from him, to her, and the absolute despair that flowed from him during that scene. Every time she went through it, they got a little more detailed, and her a little more horrified at what the foal had experienced. The worst part was easily the fact that Celestia had a feeling that the younger alicorn had little to no idea how much it played his emotions, or at least, the magnitude of which it did.

Or, she would see:

B, ’The Root.’

Celestia had made, doubly, triply sure that all mentions of that had been erased through time. Nobody needed to hear about it; else the same mistakes may be made. The image of that sneering face, it sickened her, and shook her core.

The princess’ eyes drifted towards a calendar hanging on her wall, just besides the dresser. A day, not long away, was circled. It was the day she’d have to go and see the Herring’s, again. Some things needed explaining that those ponies needed to know; it wouldn’t be fair to let her beloved subjects, especially her most trusted advisor, worry themselves into a rut because their son started creating-

Celestia let out a long breath, only just realising how short her breathing had been. No, she merely needed to sort her head out. Luckily, the courts wouldn’t open for a good few hours; so she had time to pick up some breakfast (Some pastries really would hit the spot, right now) from the kitchens and have another conversation with a certain statue. To Tartarus with his beauty sleep, I need to vent, Celestia grunted internally, It’s not as if he’s sleeping, anyway. He keeps turning the grass pink!

With that final thought, Celestia donned her usual royal metal, golden slippers lightly clinking as she casually trotted down the grand hallway, making noticeable effort to speed up past the door with a large crescent moon on. Luckily, the guards were trained to not ask questions about their monarch’s actions.

It didn’t mean they couldn’t wonder about the other two doors in the chamber corridor, and exactly why they were always locked.
Celestia knew they wondered about the doors; that’s why she gave specific instructions to never, ever go near them, let alone try to unlock them. It probably helped that she put ignorance wards beyond that part of the corridor; only particularly strong unicorns could notice the doors nowadays, anyway.

Entering the dining room, Celestia sighed inwardly at the absurd amount of food that the chefs had prepared. The long banqueting table was filled with pretty much every breakfast food known to pony-kind; it was like they were trying to make her fat. She sniggered, though. I’d like to see them try! Benefit of Immortal Body Number One: Forever a perfect physique.

She ignored how forced her internal cheer was at the mention of ‘immortal.’

Taking about a dozen pastries all for herself, the Goddess of the Sun made way to the gardens and plonked herself in front of the Draconequus Statue. Celestia cast a powerful ignorance spell around herself, the statue and the majority of the gardens; after dismissing all the guards, of course. She didn’t really want them to see her conversing with an enemy of the whole country.

Celestia proceeded to cast a mental communication spell (privy to her spell repertoire only) on the statue, and lifted a cinnamon swirl to her muzzle, before taking a bite.

”Princess, this is unexpected, yet again. What’s it been, nearly a year since you last visited me? Surely you don’t plan to make a habit of these things.” Discord’s voice rang in her head, with definite mock sadness in his tone.

“Oh, quiet you, I really needed someone to vent at,” Celestia began, speaking out loud in a rather casual tone, “Most of the time, the guards just stand there, nodding silently for a bit before asking something rather abrupt, such as: ’Oh, Princess, it’s nice to hear about the current state of affairs and the stress it’s having on you, but would you like a servant to fetch you some tea?” she breathed in, “Of course I don’t want tea, I want you to give me a substantial response; honestly, it should be a topic they cover in the academy.” Discord’s voice sniggered in her head.

”What, How To Deal With A Moody Little Sun Goddess 101?’ For some reason I truly feel as though that wouldn’t even come close to preparing them.” The god of chaos laughed at her plight.

“You’re right, the requirements of such a heavy task must be daunting. Just to be an adequate listener, you must be an entombed enemy of the kingdom, trapped in stone in the royal gardens, and incapable of running away. Luckily, I have one I made earlier,” Celestia mocked the trapped God with just as much force, taking great pleasure in hearing him tut.

”Or, you could just be a very handsome alicorn stallion with a very large-” Celestia rolled her eyes and sighed at the God’s immaturity. ”What? I was going to say very large horn… That, may or may not, be compensating for something!” Celestia facehoofed, but hid a grin from the God’s ‘sight.’

“Well, I suppose that he did have a very large horn, I can’t fault you there,” the grin on her face gained a much more impish quality, “It wasn’t so much compensating per se, more, a match.” She stared directly into the statue’s eyes. Discord spluttered.

”Celly! I’m shocked and appalled that you would even speak something so vulgar. Has two thousand years really changed you so much?” Discord’s playful question hit her harder than expected, and she sighed, gaining a melancholy stare, grin dropping in the process.

“I suppose it has,” She began, thousand-yard stare piercing through the stone figure, “I’m curious, though, I really expected more violent threats and insults at this point, something the matter, Discord?” The Goddess was sure she heard a quiet sigh from the God of Chaos.

”Well, it seems one-thousand years in stone has… Subdued that part of me,” The God imagined the crazed, power hungry and chaos wreaking being he usually was, “Or maybe it’s his presence again, you know how much it helped.” Celestia nodded in thought, understanding on her face.

“It wasn’t fair, you know, what that… thing did to you,” Memories of days long gone flashed by her mind, there one second, gone the next, “I don’t think anybody deserves what happened to you, not even Sombra.” Celestia heard a soft growl from Discord, the mention of the entrapped King setting him off.

”He was just lucky that I was stuck in here; I’d like to see him deal with a Crystal Empire of Chaos,” The God let out a sigh, ”Of course, you haven’t had an easy ride, either, missy. Nor did Luna, especially Luna,” Celestia could almost feel the stare of the Chaotic being on her, “Let’s not forget him either. I assume by this point you have an idea of his ordeal; I felt his presence at the castle a few days ago.”

“I don’t know the whole story; more like one percent of it,” she paused, “Maybe not even that, but if what I know is any indication of what he’s been through… Then, yes, it’s quite um,” She paused, looking for the right phrase, her ancient vocabulary failed her, so she settled with a simple and powerful, “Horrifying.” Celestia relayed what she saw to the Draconequus, the overwhelming loneliness, rage, sadness. The crimson she sees every time that scene crops up. The statue took it all in, saying nothing until she finished.

”That is quite,” Discord drew a breath in, possibly just because, ”Foreboding. I can see why you’re nervous.”

“Isn’t it just, Discord, isn’t it just,” Celestia stared up at the sky, it shimmered with the magic of her ward just in front of her, “And, you know the burden of Time Mages, perhaps more so than I.”

”Very true, Princess. Very tru-“ Discord grunted, seemingly out of pain, and Celestia shot the statue a concerned stare. ”It’s… Fine. I’m not quite at the point where I can hold on for too long,” The Goddess took note of the seeping venom coming into the God’s voice, strange inflections on words briefly hinting on what was coming. She sighed, So time’s up.

“I shall be leaving now, Discord,” her voice held no amicable tones like they had, and she leveled a royal, stoic gaze at the statue. The grass slowly turning different colours beneath it.

”Of course, Celly,” he chuckled darkly, “Just… make sure you keep Equestria nice and warm for me; I’ll be coming for it in just two decades! Toodles~!”

Celestia sighed; well, at least she got a decent conversation out of him this time; a year ago he wouldn’t even lasted a tenth of what he did then, and even so, that part of him always came up in the most abrupt way, the only warning being a headache.

Despite her conversation being over, Celestia sat there for a while longer, contemplating the statue, and the seemingly two different personalities within the stone imprisonment. Several times, she had researched ways to split one from the other; it was impossible, it required Time Magic, the one thing that she absolutely could not perform, she didn’t want to, nor was she able if she did.

Like mentions of ‘The Root,’ Celestia had erased all records of Time Magic, and either secluded it in the Starswirl Section, or The Vault.

The guards slowly returned to the garden, and paid no notice to the Princess sitting before the Draconequus.

The birds sang as usual, and the grass felt cool beneath her. Celestia finished up her dozen of pastries and rose to her hooves.

She dispelled her charm and mental link, and made for the throne room, the court would be starting soon anyway.

The party was in full swing. The Mi Amore’s and the Herring’s were all gathered at the Sparkle Manor; Night Light and Velvet welcoming one and all to their abode. Everypony wished the birthday filly a happy birthday, and gave her various wrapped gifts and boxes, eventually burying Twilight under a pile of good will. The unicorn had happily gone about with her brother, Shining Armor, going around and offering baby noises to allow his translations into ‘Thank you’ or ‘Enjoy the party’ and sometimes even ‘The toilet is over there.’

Twilight had been particularly excited when a certain multi-blue toned alicorn colt trotted through her door, zipping past and full on dragging him away. The families had cooed and chuckled at the young filly’s antics; but nobody thought to reprimand her for her excitable nature; it was her birthday party, after all! So the families, extended families, family friends all gathered and chewed the grass, while the younger ponies went and did whatever they wanted to be occupied. Quantum had been coaxed into playing the role of ‘Scary Monster’ (at least, that’s what he referred to it as; they kept talking about a Dis- something, but he didn’t hear it) in a strange game of rescue the princesses. Shining Armor played the role of valiant knight, but was gentle enough to not hurt the younger alicorn in an attempt to ‘rescue’ Twilight and Cadence.
While the lavender filly hung from his neck, Shining was clearly making lovey eyes at Cadence.

I swear, I will stab myself in the goddamn hoof with my own horn if those two don’t hook up down the line, was Bryan’s first proper coherent thought of the night; a splitting headache had been ruining his mood for the last day and a bit. It started off as just a little annoyance; but soon blew into a full on migraine, which wasn’t really fair, considering is position of ‘infant.’

That being said, he did find time and thought to inspect the Sparkle household. It was adorned everywhere by stars, of all colours. The main themes in the house seemed to be the purple and blue spectrums with white and similarly coloured stars. Bryan remembered hearing that the Sparkle’s had always been talented magic users, some of the most powerful came from their bloodline; with more than a few Archmages to their family name.

Twilight’s walls were adorned with literature; shelves of short stories and novels you’d expect younger ponies to read, but not so much infantile ponies. Many, Bryan recognised, as titles she’d read in his presence.

Before long, the adults had called the younger ponies down again, and they all sang happy birthday to Twilight. As Twilight Velvet trotted in, levitating the cake just in front of her, as she made her way to the centre of the room, where a table was set up with Twilight, Quantum, Night Light, Shining and Cadence all sat. Unfortunately, things never quite go to plan; even the simplest of them. As they collection of party goers continued to sing, Velvet never noticed the stray gift on the ground, having fallen off the pile.

Walking forwards, Velvet caught her front hooves on the rather long present, and tripped forward. Everything slowed down in front of Twilight. She saw the cake fly out of her mother’s aura, her concentration having completely gone. She looked at where the large treat was going to land – it was on a direct course for Quantum! The lavender unicorn, fearing this could hurt her best friend, sprung from in front of her father Night Light and into action. The cake grew ever closer to the alicorn, still somewhat in shock, and then she felt it.

Her will flew from her, and the cake stopped in mid-air, enveloped in a purple aura. The room was stunned silent, ponies looking towards the filly in shock, while a look of strain and complete focus donned her muzzle. With utmost concentration, Twilight flipped the cake the right way up, and placed it gently on the table, before flopping back into her father’s forearms.

Everypony broke into loud cheering and congratulations, while Twilight basked in the acknowledgement that was being hurled her way. She was especially pleased about the hug that Quantum had given her as thanks. As he started to pull away, she almost missed it with all the congratulations, but she could’ve sword she heard a soft:

“…Thank you…”

Twilight stared at Quantum, it was her turn to be wide eyed. The colt didn’t say anything else, if he even said anything at all. She brushed it off, but the unicorn would find herself being bugged by those two simple words for years to come.

After dividing cake and opening presents, Twilight tiredly bid goodbye in foalspeak to all the leaving ponies, donning a replica of Celestia’s crown on her head, and a dress-up robe on. She felt like a princess, and was absolutely beaming. The day had been great, and aside from the near disaster with the cake, the now one year-old unicorn was over the moon with how the day went. Especially with Quantum. His book, Magic for Beginners: Ages 3+, was perfect, and she planned on reading it immediately; or at least, whenever she could. Twilight really wanted to learn more magic! Specifically because, in a week’s time, the birthday would happen all over again, but this time for Quantum, and she was dead-set on showing him what she learnt from her present.

The week passed uneventfully. There were a few rumbles and odd bursts of light from the Sparkle household, but a certain ex-human really couldn’t care less.

11:55pm on the night before his eighteenth/first birthday, Bryan lay in his cot, his headache absolutely screaming. Ever since Twilight’s birthday party, his headache had got progressively worse. The alicorn foal ended up having to force himself to tire out in the day, just so he could sleep at night; and even then, he’d wake up early with an even worse migraine than before.

The progressively bad affliction brought him to where he was now; in his cot, physically unable to sleep but completely exhausted. His head felt like a WWE match had just been fought in his skull; and there were so many terrible celebrity cameos in that fight that it was honestly jus-
He let out a shaky breath, not wanting to go off on another long winded and arse backwards analogy.

Bryan’s resolve was starting to cave; he needed medication, and he needed it now. There was no way he’d survive the whole night without a pain killer of some description, which was a shame because he was really looking forward to seeing his Uncle P when he arrived in the morning. Deciding to be proactive, Bryan clambered out of his cot with practiced semi-ease, and began moving towards the door, left open ajar for easier access by Bow and Hegese. Stepping out the door, Bryan collapsed on his stomach, instantly regretting his idea and wishing to just get back to bed and work on surviving the night.

As he trotted towards the stairs to the landing, a clock’s chime knocked him straight off his hooves.

And into the air.

He floated for a while.


Everything droned out. He could hear the clock in his room.


He started to panic; he wasn’t coming down.


The foal let out a blood-curdling scream, and Quantum’s world went white.


Author's Note:

Woo. This was a doozy to finish.

I apologize for the late update; I had a grand idea when I started this, being "Oh, let's start a fanfiction just before my fucking exams."

That, unsurprisingly, made things difficult to update. Normal schedule should be coming back after the 14th of June, but until then, I'll see what I can do.

A bit rushed and jumpy here and there; like I said before, I'm eager to get into the main section of this story, everything at the moment is more like setting the stage.

As always, leave comments, thoughts and criticisms in the comments, and I'll get back to you ASAP. I try to respond to everybody if need be, so don't be shy to call me a penis or something.

...Speaking of, did you like that lil' innuendo?