• Published 17th Jan 2018
  • 1,249 Views, 156 Comments

The Hotel - Skijarama

"How long have I been here? How long have I been here with everything I need to survive... and despised every waking moment of it? How long have I lived in this hotel with no way out?"

  • ...

The Front Door

This isn’t right. None of this is right! Twilight thought to herself while frantically galloping down the spiral staircase that she had found at the end of the hallway. I’m not staying here. I have to get back! A second door presented itself after a few seconds and she wasted no time in shoving her way through. Beyond the threshold was a large hallway. It’s roof was significantly higher than that of the previous hallway Twilight had been in, and the entire length felt spacious and open. To her immediate left was another stairwell leading down another floor with a bright and flashing door labeled ‘ARCADE’ next to it. Meanwhile, to her right was a pair of double wooden doors. Further down the left side of the hall, there was a massive archway that looked to lead onto a balcony, possibly overlooking another room. Mirroring it was an enormous window that permitted a limited view of sophisticated playground construction, by the look of it.

Two large windows cut into the otherwise immaculate surface of the wall on either side of the fancy double doors, allowing Twilight to see past them and behold the absolutely marvelous looking restaurant inside. There were at least a dozen circular tables, each one covered with a fine white cloth and surrounded by four immaculate chairs, each. At a glance, it appeared to be empty.

Then came the dark teal pegasus mare who trotted into view, gazing out the window curiously at Twilight, presumably after having heard Twilight’s abrupt and forceful arrival on the floor. Their eyes met. For a moment, both remained still before the mare’s light blue eyes widened in shock while a hoof shot up to cover her hanging jaw. Twilight shook her head, mostly to herself, and resumed her journey. As she continued down this spacious corridor, she hooked a left and galloped out onto the balcony. As she had predicted, it overlooked a lobby fit only for the finest of establishments. The floor was covered in a lush red carpet, artistic patterns were deftly carved into the richly colored wooden walls, and a long reception desk made of what looked like mahogany spanned the left side of the room.

Twilight didn’t care about any of that, though. What she cared about was the front door. Seemingly made of glass and structurally sound wood. Long beams of pale light streamed in through the door from the empty void outside. With a grunt of effort, Twilight leaped off of the balcony edge before catching herself in her magic to slow her decent. She thought, for a moment, she heard the doors of the restaurant slamming open behind her.

The second her hooves met the carpet, she resumed her sprint. Her horn sparked to life yet again, trying the handle. When it didn’t budge, like she feared it wouldn’t, she grit her teeth and screwed her eyes shut, picking up even more speed. With a shout, she hurled her shoulder and the entirety of her weight against the door in an effort to bash it open and get outside.

The impact was jarring, and pain exploded across her shoulder. Twilight gasped as she crumpled backwards to the floor, her good hoof reaching up to her now very sore shoulder. Jeesh! What is this door made of?! She thought while writing on the ground. It hadn’t even given a little bit to her slam. Fearing for a moment that it might have been one to open inwards, she took a look. A frustrated groan slipped out of her when it dawned on her that the hinges of the door allowed it to swing both ways.

“Oh my… excuse me? Miss? Are you okay?” a mare’s voice called from overhead, sounding concerned but also shocked. Twilight groaned again while gradually sitting back up.

“I’m fine!” she snapped, her horn sparking to life again. Yet again, the handle wouldn’t budge under her efforts. Her face contorting with agitation, Twilight stood and tried instead to work her magic into the mechanisms of the lock itself. She bit her lip before her magic flickered out. The lock rejected her magic outright; there was no way for her to dissect it from here with what she had.

The teal mare from earlier set down gently with a few flaps of her wings a few feet away, looking at Twilight with a sympathetic look on her face. “...You're new arrival, aren’t you?” she asked softly, one of her hooves gently poking at the carpet.

“Not for long,” Twilight replied before marching up to the door and trying the handle with her hoof. As before, it didn’t budge. “I’m leaving. I’m going home!” she grit her teeth and pulled on the door as hard as she could.

The mare sighed gently. “I’m sorry… but we’ve all tried that door more times than I care to count. You’re not going to get out that way.” she offered before stepping forward.

“GUH!” Twilight shouted in frustration before backing away from the door and glaring spitefully at it. “Well, what ways have you tried?”

The mare shied away from the ire in Twilight’s voice. “Um… all of them.”

“Then how are you still here?!” Twilight asked, backing away and scowling. “If you’ve tried everything you’d have found a way out by now!”

The mare paused before sighing. “Well… we can get outside, sometimes, if there’s a fire. We use a fire exit in that case. But they just send us back here in the lobby while the hotel’s fire alarms and fire extinguishers do the trick. Outside that circumstance, however, the fire escapes don’t open.”

Twilight took a deep breath. Then another, and then another. “That can’t be… this can’t be happening… my friends! Princess Celestia! I have to get back!” she said, her voice quiet and unsteady. She went to go for the door again before the teal mare’s hoof gently put itself on her chest, stopping her.

“Hey… my name’s Sweet Breeze. What’s yours?” the mare asked, shrinking away slightly. It was only now that Twilight paused to actually examine the pegasus before her in more detail. Her mane and tail were long and elegant, despite being a little unkempt. They boasted the colors of bright mint green with strips of pale blue. Her cutie mark was of stylized swirling lines, similar to the lines used in old pegasi artwork to depict intense winds. Along these wind lines were flower petals, drifting along in the breeze.

Twilight sighed before slowly sitting down on her haunches, taking another deep breath, trying to get her rampant nerves under control. “I’m… I’m Twilight Sparkle.” she finally managed to say in a low mutter.

“It’s nice to meet you, Twilight,” Breeze smiled softly. “Uh… would you like to meet everypony else? Since, you know, we’re probably going to be around each other a lot.”

“I don’t plan on staying here… but sure,” Twilight finally relented before getting back up. “Maybe some meeting and greeting can help me calm down and think.”

Breeze smiled warmly. “That’s the spirit! Uh, have you met any of the others yet, by chance?” she asked curiously while turning to lead the way.

“Uh… I met Kale Sow, Topaz Rune and Rust Bucket.” Twilight said after a moment of thought.

Breeze cringed. “Rust Bucket, huh? I’m sorry.” she said, though there was a very slight hint of mirth in her voice when she mentioned the grouchy stallion’s name.

“He wasn’t pleasant.” Twilight deadpanned, shaking her head in exasperation.

“You get used to it. He’s a crotchety old pony, to be sure, but he means well.” Breeze replied before beginning out of the lobby at a slow trot. Looking past them, Twilight noted that the lobby sort of split into a t-intersection. On the wall directly opposite to the front door of the hotel was a pair of sliding glass doors. Past those, Twilight could see a large and truly impressive waterpark. To the right was a wide and very spacious path that ended in a thick wooden door. There was a golden-colored plaque labeling it, but they were too far away to really make it out. As they turned down the left hall, Twilight noticed another restaurant in a food-court layout off to left side. It looked significantly cheaper and more casual than the fancy place she had seen on the second floor. Meanwhile, to her left, was what looked like a hobby shop. Numerous shelves were stocked with boxes for models, all to scale, that one could assemble. There seemed to be painting and drawing supplies as well, among other things, but they were moving past it and for the spiral staircase headed back up before long.

“So…” Breeze began awkwardly while they ascended the stairs. “I overheard you mention Princess Celestia back there. Do you know her?”

Twilight nodded. “Yes, I’m her personal student.” she answered simply.

Sweet Breeze gave an impressed whistle. “That’s got to be the most impressive sounding occupation out of everypony here.”

“Not really. I mainly run the library in Ponyville and help out across town with all sorts of things. Organization, sorting, planning. One time I was asked to give a lecture on magic for the local schoolhouse, but that’s hardly a common occurrence.” Twilight answered somewhat dismissively. Her ears fell somewhat as she thought back on her teacher, how delighted she had seemingly been before Twilight awoke here…

“Hey, it’s more impressive than my old job. I was a gardener in Cloudsdale.” Breeze answered while they reached the top of the stairs. Ahead of them, Topaz could be seen stepping out of the stairway that went up to the rooms. He locked eyes with Twilight for a moment, before the latter looked away.

“Tried the door?” he asked gently, to which Twilight merely nodded.

“I was just taking her to meet Daymist. You gonna come with us?” Sweet Breeze asked politely, nodding to Topaz.

“Of course. You know where he is, then?” Topaz asked while falling into step next to the two of them.

“Yeah. He was playing around in the water park, flying around the waterslides and stuff. It’ll probably be a lot easier to get his attention from that balcony there.” Breeze replied while the three of them made their way for that fancy restaurant.

“Makes sense,” Topaz nodded before looking to Twilight regretfully. “I’m sorry, by the way. None of us asked for this and I know it’s a lot to take in.”

Twilight didn’t answer right away, her eyes still glued to the floor.

“...What’s your name?”

“Twilight Sparkle.”

Topaz stopped, his eyes going wide and his jaw hanging open. “Oh, THAT’S why you looked so familiar!”

Twilight stopped as well and looked over her shoulder at him. “What?” she asked, bemused.

Topaz shook himself a bit. “Ah, right. I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m actually a crystal pony,” as he said this, Twilight noticed the distinctly sharper edges to the reflections of the light in his eyes, as well as the reflective quality of his mane and coat being far greater than her own. “You and your friends came to the empire just after we returned to Equestria. You’re… ah… Spock? Was that his name? What was he, again? A wyvern?”

Twilight blinked. “Uh… you mean Spike? He’s a baby dragon.” she said with a raised eyebrow.

“Right, right! Sorry… been here for thirty years myself. Some details of home are a bit… well, they’ve faded with time-”

Thirty years?!” Twilight asked in a raised voice, her jaw hanging open. “You mentioned that Kale Sow has been here for centuries! How is that even possible?!”

Topaz winced and looked away. It was Sweet Breeze who answered. “We don’t know… I’m sorry. What we do know is that we don’t age here. I mean, I’ve been here for about seventy two years myself. I was twenty three when I came in and my body hasn’t aged a day.”

Twilight felt her brain kick into overdrive once again. “How… how is any of this possible…?” she whispered to herself, zoning out.

“Well, uh… if it makes you feel any better,” Topaz began with a small smile growing on his face. “We do have a library. I can show you around it in a while, if you’d like.”

Twilight blinked before looking back up at Topaz, a small shine returning to her eyes. “Did you say a library?”

Author's Note:

And the story continues!

Fun fact of the day: this story concept was actually taken from an old forum RP I set up over on the MLP brony forums some time ago. It kinda fell flat after a while due to personal issues on my end, but I saw how much potential for character driven storytelling there is with such an abstract environment, so I adapted it for here on Fimfiction.net after a time.

Do let me know what you think, and keep in mind that I am very open to suggestions for potential plot events, scenes or even arcs if you want to suggest anything. :P Even if I don't use a suggestion, it may well inspire something else in me to keep this mystery engine chuggin' down the tracks.

Also, here's a map of the Hotel.

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