• Published 11th Dec 2017
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Pony-Me™ - TheMajorTechie



What happens when you realize that your life is a simulation? Well, you put the headset back on.

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...Or go on.

Author's Note:

Timeline split!

The upcoming chapters will likely have more to deal with worldbuilding and internal character development than this chapter. This one serves more as a bridge between Part 1 and Part 2, as evidenced by the several hundred words copied over from the chapter "Go home..."

And yes, Samantha's persona will eventually resurface in future chapters. I'm planning on writing another bonus focusing squarely on Samantha and Pinkie again. ^_^

"...Goodbye?" Lisa mumbled, staring towards the floor. "...Already?"

Professor Argall shook his head. "Lisa, wasn't this what you wanted?" He began, "What about your friends back in the simulations? What about everyone you've left behind?" He paused for a moment, staring down to his phone's screen. "You've made an amazing, beautiful world for everyone, Lisa. You deserve to experience it with the ones you love."

The girl glanced towards Samantha and Timothy. The former of whom continued to wreak havoc on her pancakes. "But I-- I'm not sure if I'm ready to go back yet. There's just so much that I want to learn about this world still..."

"Twilight, you have to go back. For Equestria." Timothy said, taking Lisa's hand. "C'mon. I know that I'll be going back now. Aren't you? Don't you want to see the rest of the girls again?"

Lisa sighed. "I don't know, Timothy. I just--"

"Twilight." The boy cut in, "Did you... did you just call me Timothy?"

Lisa groaned. "Spike, Spike. Yeah, I know... just, sorry, okay?" She turned towards her friend. "Samantha, you?"

"Please don't call me that again, Twilight." Samantha grumbled in return, the light in her eyes seemingly fading with each word. "I don't... I don't want to think about it anymore. It's fine coming from Argall, but from you... just don't. Okay? The Professor doesn't know, but you do. It's different coming from you."

"Say," Argall began, "I never got around to asking you about how things were going... uh, Pinkie, was it?"

Samantha nodded enthusiastically, flinging sticky bits of pancakes from her hair with each movement. "Yup! I've made it my goal to meet and make friends with everypony I meet! You should've seen Twily's face when I threw her a 'Welcome to Ponyville!' party! She was just all 'Waah!' and 'What?!' and stuff! Right? Remember that, Twi--"

"Woah there, girl." The Professor cut in, "I meant as far as the project. Lisa, erm... Twilight and I were discussing the days back when the two of you worked on the simulations yourselves. I just wanted to know if you'd like to talk about it."

Samantha shook her head. "N-nope!" She stammered, "Don't remember anything! I-I definitely don't... know... wh--what..."

Lisa pat her friend on the shoulder. "It's fine, Pinkie. You don't have to answer." She turned towards Professor Argall. "Sorry about that. She's kinda... touchy on that topic. It'd be best if we don't talk about it."

Another beep echoed through the room as the Professor immediately turned his gaze back to his phone.
"C'mon, Lisa. You're gonna miss the bus back to Snowbush if you don't go soon. I could come with you if you'd like. Just, y'know, talk over things one last time before you reconnect and all?"

Right... The girl thought, turning her attention to the brightly-lit windows, I've been living here in Mountain View for a while now, haven't I?

"Well, Twilight?" Timothy urged, tugging at the girl's hand, "Aren't you going? Pinkie's probably going to be there already by the time we're back. She'd probably throw us a 'Welcome Back to Equestria' party, even!"

Lisa sighed, laying her head on the table-- and her pancakes. "I'm not sure if I'll ever be ready to go back. I've grown to love my life in this reality just as much as Equestria. I don't want to give up either of them, not when there's so much to lose by choosing one or the other. This world is still so unfamiliar to me... even if I did originally live here-- there's so much more that I want to learn about. How did the world change while I was away in the simulations? What other simulations are there? Who is my real family? Yet, at the same time, I've still got everything that I know and love back in Equestria."

Timothy folded his arms. "So? What's so hard about choosing? We've always got things going on in Equestria as well, y'know." He turned his attention to Samantha. "Pinkie, what about you?"

Samantha shrugged. "Wherever Twilight goes, I guess. I don't want to miss out on anything fun that she might run into!"

Beep.

"We've got half an hour before the bus leaves with the other volunteers." Argall flatly stated, "Lisa, you've got to make up your mind soon."

"I..." The girl began reluctantly, "I don't think I can go back yet..."

The Professor nodded. "Alrighty then, I'll send a message to put your simulation machinery into hibernation mode then." He said, glancing down once again to his phone. "After all, there's no point in leaving the darn thing running when there's nothing for it to do, amirite?"

"Well I'm going back then." Timothy cut in, standing up at the table with a huff. "One of us needs to make sure Equestria's safe."

"Spike." Lisa began, "Are you sure about that?"

Timothy said nothing, instead idly grumbling to himself as he left the room with the slam of a door. For a brief moment, the stunned remaining occupants of the room could only stare at the empty seat in bewilderment.

Samantha blinked, turning back to her friend. "Now what?" The girl deadpanned, turning her attention down to the empty plate before her, "You're staying, but Spike's gone now. Do you think he can do it?"

"Do what?"

"Y'know, what he said when he decided to go back." Samantha answered as she fidgeted with her fork, "Making sure that Equestria was safe."

Lisa shrugged. "I'd certainly hope he can do it. I mean, he did kinda save the Crystal Empire and all, but--"

"No, no, silly!" Samantha continued, flinging specks of pancake crumbs from her fork, "I mean without you, Twilight. You've always been there for him, but now... well, we're here, he's there, and wherever he's gonna be in Equestria, he's gonna be there without you..."

"Or, perhaps," Lisa countered with a chuckle, "He's just going to spend the entire time I'm missing with Rarity. I'm sure we all know what he has going for that mare."

Professor Argall raised a hand. "Girls," He flatly stated, "Do I have any part in this conversation?"

Lisa and Samantha simultaneously shook their heads.


The three strolled along the tranquil streets of Mountain View, an eerie silence since fallen over the city as its inhabitants one-by-one reconnected to the familiar simulations they had once lived. Lisa groaned, running a hand over her hair again as a stray gust of wind sent her locks fluttering across her face.

The Professor looked at the girl with curiosity, then turning his attention to her long, uncut hair. "Y'know, Lisa," He joked, shoving his hands in his pockets, "There's this really nice haircut place I know of out in... ahem, the real world."

"Ah, you don't have to rub it in like that, Professor!" Samantha squeaked, skipping ahead of the two, "Besides, we are gonna be leaving these creepy little 'cities' anyways, aren't we?"

Another burst of wind answered for Lisa, who only grumbled in response.

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