• Published 25th Jul 2012
  • 7,160 Views, 275 Comments

Random Elements - Stryke



An alternate Mane Cast cross over into the normal Equestia, things go down hill from there.

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Chapter 3

Trixie wondered exactly what she’d done to deserve such a cruel and unusual punishment. It might have been a beautiful sunny day with the birds singing and the flowers out. Perfect conditions for the long trot through the Whitetail Woods, but Trixie couldn’t enjoy it. Trixie’s current mood had only one possible cure and that would be for this damned pegasus mare that she’d taken up with to actually stop talking!

From what Trixie could remember of the other Rainbow Dash, she had been rude, arrogant and utterly convinced that she was Princess Celestia’s special gift to pony kind. That of course was Trixie’s job.

Still, if Trixie now had to choose between that Rainbow Dash and her current traveling companion she’d have picked the Ponyville one now in a heartbeat. If she’d been physically capable of doing the journey to Ponyville at a gallop she would have done that just to get it over with all the sooner, but living as a homeless drifter and sleeping rough for months had put paid to that idea. Trixie had good enough survival skills after learning the hard way how to make the bits stretch when her shows hadn’t brought in enough money, or after those unfortunate but all too frequent times she’d been run out of a town with nothing. Even so she couldn’t deny that the last year had taken a toll on her, both mentally and physically.

If Rainbow Dash could just stop talking for one moment, if she just wasn’t so relentlessly happy about everything, if she could just omit one single detail of her life, then Trixie might have been able to cope. As it was though, Trixie was half hoping that the wood might be infested with manticores or something that might be able to put her out of her misery. At least that would be faster than this slow torture.

“...and Fleur, she’s a professional model you know and a very close personal friend! Of course this all happened before she got famous and now she’s married to Fancy Pants of all ponies. Such a handsome stallion and such a catch! But such a loss to every single stallion and mare out there when she went off the market, none of us could compete with her on the stage back in the day when Fleur turned on the charm, though we did try of course and we had such fun when the curtains went down and oh the things that mare could do with...” Rainbow Dash nattered away, cantering lightly through the woods without a single care in the world.

“Rainbow Dash?” Trixie said, interrupting the other pony's incessant flow.

“Yes, Trixie?”

“Oh, nothing.” Trixie couldn’t believe that had actually worked but she wasn’t complaining that it had. Now she was just bucking herself that she hadn’t thought of it sooner.

Completely knocked off her train of thought, Rainbow Dash actually trotted along in silence for a bit. Of course the blissful relief couldn’t last. “Hey Trixie, the sun’s shining!”

“Your point being, assuming you actually have one?”

“But Nightmare Moon said the night was the best thing ever, and she’s so hot and awesome and she works so hard on the night sky for us all, so the sun being up after so long is a bad thing, right?”

Trixie stopped up short. The other mare continued on for a bit before realising she was trotting along by herself and turned round to see what was up. “Right, this may come as a bit of a surprise and Trixie really doesn’t know why or how for that matter, but I’m not your Trixie and this isn’t your world. Nightmare Moon only came back for a single night, or so Trixie heard anyway.”

“So it’s been day instead all this time?” While she still wasn’t her type, Trixie did have to admit to herself, that Rainbow Dash did look pretty adorable with her muzzle all scrunched up like that. Her hat looked pretty good on the other mare too now that Trixie was thinking about it. She shut down that particular line of thought down hard.

“Well days and nights. Princess Luna raises the moon while Princess Celestia raises the sun.” Rainbow Dash actually winced at Celestia's name, which caused Trixie to raise an eyebrow.

“You’re not my special somepony?” Rainbow Dash pouted.

“'Fraid not,” admitted Trixie.

“Aww... ooh wait, idea! We could be special someponies too!” Dash began to advance slowly on Trixie, who was starting to really not like the way this conversation was going.

“Woah, slow down! You wouldn’t want to cheat on your Trixie would you?” Trixie asked desperately.

“Oh, she doesn’t mind! I like lots of ponies!” The other Rainbow Dash grinned widely, her eyes sparkling as she was getting worryingly close to invading Trixie’s personal space.

“I’d mind!” Trixie protested, so flustered that she managed to say something not in the thirdpony for once. After so long with nopony else to talk to other than herself, it had become a habit that she was now finding very hard to break. “How about you tell Trixie how we got involved while we get on to Ponyville? Trixie’s sure we can get some answers there.” Trixie set off at the quickest canter she could manage, hoping that this would work in distracting her again.

“Sure!” said Dash, mentally jumping rails once more with ease, and chased after Trixie to keep up. “Must have been five years back, you were doing one of your very first shows back down on the coast in Bridleton...”

Trixie remembered, after earning her cutie mark she had known she’d wanted to wow other ponies with amazing feats of magic never before seen by pony eyes, but first she needed to somehow break into actually being able to do it for a living. She’d been staying in Bridleton with her only surviving relative, her uncle Con Job. A thoroughly disreputable earth pony—from her mother’s side of the family—who had first got her interested in stage magic. That had been all thanks to the stories he'd told of his, probably highly embellished, exploits. He’d been the one who had convinced the pony in charge of the bookings by calling in some favours to give Trixie a chance on a stage set up on the pier itself.

“I’d been doing a whole bunch of bit parts, dancing and other background roles," Rainbow Dash said, somewhat wistfully as she trotted along beside Trixie. "Doing the rounds and trying to get a permanent paying gig myself, as I'd drifted from town to town and I happened to catch your show, well the other Trixie’s show I guess. She’d been doing some basic tricks, you know flowers out of her hat and stuff. She didn’t seem too confident though, the crowd were barely interested and that was when some drunks started making trouble.”

That had been the first time she’d said those fateful words ‘anything you can do, I can do better’, Trixie recalled. The first pony, a brutish unicorn, had been a professional duellist and Trixie had humiliated him by having his sword chase him around the stage. The crowd had absolutely loved it. Riding the waves of the applause, Trixie had called out pony after pony, until the applause and laughter had been positively rapturous. That had sealed the deal with the pier manager and Trixie had been a permanent fixture, until she’d saved enough for her caravan to take her show on the road.

“Well I thought, ‘I just bet I know something I can do better than you’ and flew up to join you. My Trixie asked what I did that was so special and then I kissed her.”

Trixie blushed; nopony had ever tried that with her. Which was probably a good thing, Trixie considered, as she doubted she’d have handled it very well.

“Eventually she got her wits back and after all the catcalls and howls of laughter from the crowd had calmed down. Trixie apologised to the audience, but she was finishing the set, right then and there, as she was conceding defeat and asked me if I wanted to go out sometime, like say right that moment. The following morning over breakfast, we came up with the idea of teaming up to combine our talents and created the Awesome and Stupendous Rainbow Dash. It took us awhile to perfect the act—with you backstage using mirrors and stagecraft to hide your casting and with me upfront as the star—but when we got it down we were making more than enough bits for both of us and eventually we left Bridleton and took the show all across Equestria.”

Trixie had to admit she was seriously impressed with her double. Most unicorns barely knew more than a single spell linked to their special talent. So Trixie with her jack-of-all-trades approach, along with of course, the all important presentation to came across as impressive to the ignorant yokels—which she preferred not to admit to herself—that made up most of her target audience. But a spell casting pegasus with the powers of a unicorn and showmareship on top of that too? Now that had the potential to be something truly special if it was done well and the other Trixie and Rainbow Dash sounded like they’d nailed it. That was the kind of show you could take to Las Pegasus, Manehattan or even Canterlot and have a chance of making the big time.

Rainbow Dash went quiet for a bit and appeared to be thinking about something, suddenly her wings extended sharply, startling Trixie and causing her to dread whatever she was going to say next. “So...” she said slyly. “If you’re another Trixie, does that mean there’s another Rainbow Dash here?”

“That’s right, well Trixie’s assuming she’s not now in your Equestria. That’s why we’re going to Ponyville so we can check,” admitted Trixie.

Trixie really didn’t like the way Rainbow Dash was grinning at that.

~~~

Pinkie Pie had finally nearly made it to the rock farm. It was a trip she made every couple of weeks to see her sisters given it was much faster for her than it was for them, even if it still made her... uncomfortable to stay too long.

Cresting the hill she took in the new building, nearly half fully constructed before she looked down into the valley, she saw....

She saw..

A migraine ripped through her mind. So painful it drove Pinkie to her knees. She cried out once as the pain took her, before collapsing into merciful unconsciousness.

~~~

Pinkie Pie woke up to a very familiar face, one that she saw in the mirror every day in fact, looking down at her.

“Are you alright?”

“...schup-schapes,” Pinkie Pie slurred, still pretty much entirely out of it.

“Sorry?”

“...not gonna be made inna cupcakes.” Or something like that, from what Pinkamena could make out from her still completely incoherent double.

Pinkamena prodded her double with a fore hoof, firmly though not unkindly, somewhat concerned that her double appeared to be delirious. The whole idea was silly anyway, given she’d really never got the knack of cooking and certainly wasn’t one for baking treats.

With a speed, that for any other pony would have been completely unthinkable if not impossible, Pinkie Pie leapt to her hooves her hair exploding outwards into its normal happy curls. Her earlier pain, along with what she’d seen that had knocked her flat, completely forgotten.

“Hi, me! Or me who is not me as I’m me, oooh do you want to be Pinkie One or Pinkie Two? You know what this calls for? This calls for a PARTY, Pinkie Two!” Pinkie bounced happily around her double.

“Why does this call for a party?” Asked Pinkamena slowly, still convinced that her double must have fallen down and hit her head to be suffering from such a terrible delirium.

Pinkie stopped, that was a tricky one as surely the answer should be self-evident to herself and why wasn’t her double smiling anyway? “Because there’s two Pinkie Pie’s and that means every pony will be my friend twice as much than they were before and that means where ponies would smile, smile, smile when they saw me before but now they’ll smile, smile, smile, smile, smile, and smile!” This was going to be the best thing ever! Pinkie was already imagining the happy faces as not one but two Pinkie’s bounced down the streets of Ponyville.

“I don’t have any friends, never really seen the need for them.” Ignoring the loud dramatic gasp from Pinkie, she continued. “Anyway it’s Pinkamena please if you don’t mind, Pinkie. It was the name our parents gave us you know.”

“Don’t have any friends, never, ever...?” Pinkie said, desperately trying hard not to believe something so horrible could possibly be true. Somewhere at the edge of her mind, she could hear a piece of lint and some turnips calling.

“Well acquaintances, business partners and I do love my family I suppose, but friends? No I’ve never really had the knack," explained Pinkamena. "Always seemed like a waste of time when I could be working really.”

“I’ll be your friend, Pinkamena! If I can’t be friends with myself then nopony can! Then we have to have a party as then we can make you lots and lots of friends, that’s what parties are for!” Parties would solve everything, they always had and they always would. Okay, so there had been Discord and there had been Black Snooty Pants... Pinkie wondered if Twilight Sparkle would mind them using the Elements of Harmony on her double if the party plan somehow failed to pan out.

“I hardly see what we have time for that given I need to return to my Equestria, I have obligations and responsibilities to fulfil and I can hardly do that stuck here can I?” Pinkamena pointed out.

“Oh...” Pinkie said sadly, how could Pinkamena not want to be her friend? She was her, so surely they just had to be the best of friends right? Maybe it was that stupid black ties fault and it was blocking the friendship from hitting her doubles’ brain. Memo to self: Steal the tie! Still while she waited for a chance to put her fiendish master stroke into effect, she probably should tell Pinkamena what was going on. “I was sent to get you. We need to go to Ponyville and then you can go back home.”

“There, that wasn’t so hard was it?” Pinkamena said, relieved that her other self was being sensible at last.

“No, I suppose not,” Pinkie replied mournfully, still struggling with the idea that she wasn’t allowed to be friends with herself. Clearly she’d just have to convince Pinkamena they could be the best of friends if it was the last thing she did!

“One moment, just let me say thank you to Inky for her hospitality.” The space that had just previously been occupied by Pinkamena was now empty of the pink pony that it should have contained. Pinkie looked around in confusion for where her double could have gone before hearing the sound of a bottle smashing coming from the farmhouse followed by a very surprised EEK! from her sister Inky.

Pinkamena stepped back out in front of her, completely out of thin air, “Have you talked to Inky about her drinking problem? She does seem to startle very easily, she seemed to get quite hysterical when my head came out of the sink.”

Pinkie had sat down to try to get a grip on this, but was failing badly. “How... how did you do that? I was looking at you... You can’t do it when ponies are looking at you, that’s... that’s not allowed.”

“You mean you can’t move like that?” Pinkamena asked with some surprise—she’d always known the things she could do weren’t exactly normal—but surely the two of them couldn’t be that different could they?

“Well yes, I think I can anyway but only when somepony is about to break a Pinkie Promise or I’m singing or somepony is hiding or it just seems appropriate at the time...” Pinkie tried to explain. It had never really been something she’d had much conscious control over or even really thought about it, but the way her double was casually doing it disturbed her on some base level she didn’t understand at all.

“Just follow me then.” Pinkamena disappeared. Pinkie had tried to follow it—having never seen it from the outside before—but it was too fast for even her to follow. One moment the other pony had been there and the next she was gone.

Barely seconds later, Pinkamena was back again. “You didn’t follow me to Ponyville, what are you waiting for? Mayor Mare’s still dying her hair I see.”

“But, but you just can’t, I couldn’t...”

“And why can’t I?" Pinkamena's eyes glowed with an inner fire as she spoke. "If I can go anywhere I like in Equestria in a blink of an eye, manipulate future events, or even create more of myself to work on tasks more efficiently, it’s just all far too useful not to use them to the very fullest, even if I’ve never seen another pony that can do what I can do. They’ve made me a small fortune of bits, but compared to the power and the control, oh the bits are nothing, Pinkie! Not compared to running a business coalition, neigh an empire, that started right here on a humble rock farm.” Really Princesses and Nightmares were completely irrelevant when compared to the cold-stern hoof that was modern pony business, as far as Pinkamena was concerned.

“BUT IT’S NOT FUNNY!!!” Pinkie yelled, completely incensed by her other self. To see herself so serious, so straightforward and using the way she was that even if she didn’t understand, she still knew somehow that exploiting it for her own benefit, just being able to consciously control it well it just wasn’t right! She tried to calm down a bit but she was so angry she was snorting in rage. “I don’t even want to be your friend now!” Pinkie gasped, she couldn’t quite believe she’d just said that.

Pinkamena cantered back a few steps, completely taken back by the sudden vehemence from her normally cheerful other self, whose eyes had turned golden and hair, somehow, was deflating and leaking air in a way that didn’t make logical sense.

“I’m sorry if I offended you, Pinkie, I promise not to do anything outside the normal any more if it upsets you.” She wasn’t that sorry, but for some reason her other self cared deeply about it and Pinkamena didn’t think the wise thing to do here was to start making enemies. Especially from a pony that was trying to help her get home. So if that meant she had to waste some time humouring her double, then she’d just have to grin and bear it. Well maybe not grin, it just wasn’t her style.

“Okey dokie! C’mon I’ll race you to Ponyville!” Pinkie bounced off completely back to normal already with a happy smile on her lips and a song kicking in to get them on their way.

Pinkamena followed at what quickly turned into a full on gallop as she struggled to keep up with the manic party pony, who seemed to be able to keep in front of her just by bouncing. Somehow she was getting even faster as Pinkamena was starting to feel her muscles strain and she was going full-out as it was. Pinkamena did wonder how this didn’t count as abusing their abilities, but if it got her home quicker she certainly wasn’t going to complain! She tapped deep into herself and the terrain began to flow beneath her hooves as two pink blurs shot towards Ponyville.

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