• Published 1st Jul 2012
  • 10,784 Views, 346 Comments

Do Not Serve These Ponies - Thanqol

Lyra intends to prove that humans exist no matter how many museums she has to destroy

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Chapter 2: The Rift

Chapter Two: The Rift

By Thanqol

Nothing cut short a tirade about the secret conspiracy to hide the origins of the world quite as effectively as the two words of power.

“Stop, thief!”

“I’m no thief!” Lyra said as she turned to face the incoming guards.

“You stole the Cape of the Horsferatu!” countered the lead guard. “You’re wearing it right now!”

“The Horsferatu are a myth propagated by the government to distract you from the true nature of our world!” Lyra said as she backed up against the balcony.

“That's what they all say,” said the guard

"Actually, I've never heard that one before," said his partner.

"Either way, that's museum property!" said the first, lunging for Lyra.

“Ownership is relative, man,” Lyra said, diving aside. Her horn crackled and sparked – and there was a flash of light of the screaming pyromaniac variety. She reappeared on the first floor amongst the school ponies, spinning and smouldering slightly from the transition.

“Oh hey, you’re that pony who was stuck in that window!” said Applebloom helpfully.

“I wasn’t stuck!” Lyra said. She put her hoof out to lean on Cheerilee while she recovered. Cheerilee was not remotely impressed by this. “I was learning.”

Learning was what we were trying to do before you got here,” Cheerilee said, trying to move out of the unicorn’s way. Lyra somehow clung on to her and remained upright.

“I can prove it!” Lyra said, grabbing Cheerilee’s head and staring directly into her eyes.

“You can what?” Cheerilee said amidst a wave of nostalgia for the idea of personal space.

“This week. You know it as a meteor shower. It’s really the human space fleet, coming to check up on the progress of their planet. I’m going to capture one of their ships, and that way, everypony will know the truth.”

“Sure. Good luck with that,” Cheerilee said, still trying to escape.

The three doors to the room burst open, security guards in each one. The class was thoroughly surrounded. “Miss Heartstrings! Take off the cape and nopony gets hurt!” bellowed an earth pony with an impressive moustache. Genuinely impressive; Lyra wondered if carrying that much facial hair with your lips hurt at all.

“Miss Heartstrings!” repeated the guard. Lyra realised she’d zoned out for a bit.

“Oh right!” Lyra paused to get her thoughts in order. “I’ll never surrender to the gormless puppet-soldiers of a corrupt government imposed upon Equestria by the whim of hostile alien overlords.” She smiled at the end to show that there were no hard feelings.

It didn’t seem to work. Armed gormless puppet-etc closed in on her from all directions.

“You seem to think I wasn’t prepared for this,” Lyra said, “but you have overlooked one crucial detail.”

“And what’s that?” said the fascinating moustache.

“And what is that?” repeated the moustache pony when it became apparent Lyra had zoned out again.

“Oh! You assumed I came alone,” Lyra said.

There was silence in the hall. The children looked around in all directions. The security guards nervously adjusted their uniforms.

“That’s your cue, Bon Bon, dear,” Lyra said after a moment.

“What the chickenspit do you expect me to do against ten armed ponies?” came a slightly hysterical shout from the upper galleries.

“I don’t know. I thought you were good at planning?”

“Where in Equestria did you get that idea?”

“Because you were always talking about conspiracy?”

Imagine, if you will, a lioness with a stomach ulcer being smacked across the rump with a cattle prod and attempting with all her might to make no sound. Perhaps there was some kind of cash incentive involved, or maybe she did not wish her small cubs to pick up bad language this early. This was the not-sound that exuded from the upper gallery. If there was a dog in the museum have no doubt that it would be howling.

“So, you going to give it up, Heartstrings?” asked the moustache. Lyra thought about it. She had a few spells that came to mind but none which she particularly wanted to cast while standing in the centre of a crowd of small children.

“Well I suppose –“

It was at this precise moment that Bon Bon bucked the giant creepy monolith as hard as she could. It wobbled, toppled, and fell. As it fell, it screamed as only a stone that knew too much could scream. The screams of the flesh-and-blood ponies paled in comparison as they fled in all directions, leaving the monolith to fracture on the marble floor.

Lyra ran.

The museum distorted. Space stopped being a meaningful frame of reference. One step took Lyra through a gallery filled with pictures of the broken monolith as sad violin music played. Following this she found herself attending a wake full of enormous, creepy rune-carved monoliths wearing black suits. She was pretty sure that one was a hallucination. They were oddly cheerful about it, though – maybe the broken monolith was a bit of a jerk as monoliths went. And then she was running from the dimension of unending nightmares as it chased her on nine slender limbs, ninety-nine mouths chewing on concepts that Lyra was fairly sure she liked. Concepts like blood not being sentient.

And then they all piled out into the lobby in a tangled, terrified, garbled heap. Some of the ponies sported minor mutations. One of the security guards had snakes instead of hair, but she seemed oddly happy with this change. The schoolchildren seemed mostly all right.

Lyra straightened herself up. Cleared her throat. Picked up the rather stunned Bon Bon from the floor. “What’s a little cross-dimensional vandalism between friends?” she said cheerfully.

A camera flashed.

Lyra caught a glimpse of Bon Bon’s photograph being added to the DO NOT SERVE board just before the door slammed shut in their faces.

“I’m banned. I can’t believe it,” Bon Bon said, still stunned. Lyra found it puzzling how she was more concerned with being barred from the museum known to store arcane ur-horrors than the direct interaction with said arcane ur-horrors. Maybe she hadn’t seen the nightmare dimension thing. Maybe that had been just her.

“I’ve never been banned from anyplace before!” Bon Bon said. “What if... what if somepony asks me to go to the museum one day and I have to tell them I can’t because I... because I...”

“Damaged the fabric of spacetime,” Lyra supplied.

“What if I have to tell them I damaged the fabric of spacetime! What if I have to explain how? They’ll ask. I’m an earth pony, I have no business with spacetime!” Bon Bon cried. “No business whatsoever! Spacetime has its monoliths and I have candy and that’s the way I like it!”

Lyra tried to console her friend. “Don’t worry. There are plenty of other museums in Equestria! There’s a lot, actually. I’ve had to keep finding them because they keep banning me...”

“That’s not the point! I’m a criminal! I can’t believe I let you talk me into this! I’m going to be banished, I know it!”

“It’s only a little eensy-weensy fracture in the barrier between dimensions,” said Lyra. “I’m sure somepony is already on their way to clean it up.”

“What kind of pony... ‘cleans up’... something like that!?” Bon Bon asked in shock.

“Hello,” said Rainbow Dash.

“Ah. And the oppressor shows her true colours. And it’s all of them,” Lyra narrowed her eyes. “All the colours are oppression.”

“I’ll show you some oppression in a minute!” growled Rainbow Dash, surging forwards.

“Easy there, R-D,” said Applejack, yanking on her overzealous comrade’s tail. “You know as well as anypony that Lyra ain’t quite right.”

“Ah, Honesty. The greatest tragedy of them all that you truly believe what you are saying,” Lyra said.

“Look, sugarcube,” Applejack said to Lyra, “you got your beliefs an’ that’s fine, but you can’t use that as an excuse to go around kicking holes in the cosmos.”

“Yeah. We live in the cosmos,” Rainbow Dash growled.

“Actually, Lyra didn’t –“ Bon Bon started, but Lyra cut her off.

“You live in a cosmos. It is one limited by the boundaries of your perception.”

“Yeah but if I ain’t mistaking, a hole like this’un is present no matter which reality ya'll identify yourself as belonging to?” Applejack said, "Don't its transdimensional nature cause it to supersede your attempt at relativism?"

“The hole is omnipresent, the methods used to close it are likewise infinite. There is no need to rely on the tools of the enemy.”

“Yeah, yeah. Look, this is your last warning, okay?” Rainbow Dash said. “If I get dragged out of the bath one more time to deal with one of your freaky messes, I swear to Celestia –“

“I will not do it again,” Lyra said, putting a hoof over her heart. Rainbow Dash glowered, and then stormed off.

“Come on, Bon Bon. Let’s leave the Elements to their work,” Lyra said, ushering her away.

As they walked down the street, Rainbow Dash tentatively opened the door to the museum. Immediately a dozen black tendrils lashed out and dragged her through the threshold, leaving only a few blue feathers and a brief scream to mark her passage. Applejack stood in the doorway and shouted advice into the void – Lyra briefly heard “Ya'll can bite it but don’t swallow any! Remember what happened last time!”

“Thanks,” Bon Bon said to Lyra.

“Don’t mention it,” said Lyra.

“They didn’t seem all that bad, actually,” Bon Bon said after a moment.

“No they didn’t."

"Why'd they let us go so easily?" Bon Bon asked. "I was sure we were going to be -"

"We've got a system." Lyra shrugged.

"A system?"

"Yeah. I breach the dimensional veil and they mail me the details of my community service. Saves everypony time."

"How did you manage that?"

"You know, I used to be in the same school as Twilight Sparkle?” Lyra said dreamily. As her audience vanished she was returning to her normal unfocused self.

“You did?” Bon Bon wondered if her question was being answered or if Lyra was misdirecting. It was hard to tell.

“Yeah. She was really good at duck duck goose,” Lyra said. This earned a blank stare, so she added, “She learned how to teleport first. I thought it was cheating. Then everypony else started doing it.”

“But you only learned to teleport today.”

“Yeah, because back then I researched a spell to stop everypony else teleporting instead,” Lyra said.

They walked in silence for a little longer, and then Lyra said, “I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay,” Bon Bon said, “I didn’t want to spend today on the couch anyway.”

They walked home in a content kind of silence.

Behind them, in the museum, Applejack was busy walking the path of broken distance backwards, which would help with closing the dimensional rift. Rainbow Dash had managed to hurt the Intruder so much that it decided that unity with the nightmare dimension was a preferable alternative to sustained existence in the presence of these technicolour ponies. The broken pieces of the monolith were gathered up, shipped to a secure facility, and then shipped to an arts and crafts workshop due to a clerical error. There they were carved into a set of extraordinarily possessed tupperware. It would take four horror novels and a Daring Do adventure to finally rid the world of it all. The fire in the museum bathroom burned down two toilet stalls before running out of combustible material and going out, quiet and forgotten.

The sun shined down on a world that may or may not have existed at the whims of omnipotent aliens. Life went on as if the question was irrelevant.

And as night came, Lyra went up to the abandoned observatory outside town to prepare her spell. She took an awful lot of magnets and coffee up with her. And, in a stunning lapse of judgement and pattern recognition, Bon Bon tagged along.