• Published 1st Dec 2017
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Welcome Home - Trick Question

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The Fourth Remove

You are Princess Luna.

You stretch out on the imaginary bed stationed within your own false dream, and you close your eyes for a moment to focus. Like many ponies, you have developed the ability to remember dreams. But unlike other ponies, you can do this not only with your own dreams, but also with the streams of consciousnesses who enjoin with yours. You are aware of the constant stream of minds that enter your consciousness and become you, as well as the constant stream of you splitting off into other minds.

You can feel the minds which merge with your own, frequently from states of altered consciousness such as dreams, but most commonly from death—when the physical basis of a conscious pattern cannot support the pattern, so the most likely leap is somewhere else, such as within another pony waking from a nightmare. This happens to everypony, but unlike most ponies you are intuitively aware of the probabilities. At any given moment, every possible mind enters yours with some probability, but some connect with much higher probability than others—and those provide you with details.

Just now, a very curious stack of high-probability consciousnesses became you. It is not unusual that the past three came from death (that is very common), or even that they all came from Equestria (also common, since you live there and tend to daydream about it). What is unusual is that all three came from the same reality, the same time period, and beyond all reasonable measure of probability, fell victim to the same, shared event.

The odds are simply impossible. But impossible things happen everyday, so you just smile and feel the warmth of life inside you.

Welcome home, you think to yourself, and you embrace the collective pasts flowing into your consciousness. You hope they do not mind being a princess for a while, but you are rather certain they would not. Besides, they cannot mind: they are already you, and you currently do enjoy being who you are.

However, the situation still feels tragic to you.

It was a preventable disaster from a plausible future directly connected to the world in which you currently dwell. Yes, you could visit Ponyville and take steps to ensure such a tragedy should never occur, and you shall do that in the morning. But that feels too impersonal. Each of these three lives were on the cusp of a promising future. It feels like a waste of potential, even if you do enjoy being you.

Aha! You have an idea. You are most pleased with yourself!

Perhaps you cannot alter such probabilistic circumstances yourself, but you do know somepony who can, and you have a special way to send a message to your friend. You lay back onto your imaginary bed, close your eyes, and carefully imagine that you are that pony.

Most of you (including the lives who have joined you) shall remain Luna. However, a very tiny probabilistic piece of yourself will end up becoming your mentor, and in doing so, your memories will send a clear message that you would like this event to be properly patched up, if it would not be too much trouble.

As your mind fades into a dream-within-a-dream, you idly wonder if, against the odds, you shall end up being the Luna who becomes him. You allow your mind to drift...

...and what do you know? You are that Luna! (Though not so much anymore, of course.)

But who are you?

You chuckle to yourself. What a silly thing to ask of oneself! As questions go, it's virtually meaningless, no matter who one thinks oneself to be. But, if one must put a label upon it...