• Published 25th Jul 2012
  • 7,866 Views, 279 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 6

Applejack was back in Manehattan and from what she’d seen so far not much had changed. It was the same cramped, noisy and horrible urban sprawl she remembered from when she was a filly.

The ponies were just as pushy and rude as they’d been back then too. She was often jostled and shoved as she trotted down the city streets. Still this time round Applejack sure as darn tootin’ wasn’t a lil’ filly anymore and in her wake she left a trail of ponies with a significantly enhanced appreciation for personal space behind her. As she made her way down fifth avenue to get to her Uncle and Aunts’ home, Applejack had to admit she wasn’t entirely sure what she was going to do if the Orange’s hadn’t seen her double. Trying to find a single pony in this packed city would be like trying to find one of Rarity’s needles in one of the haystacks back on the farm. And wouldn’t it be nice being back there right now, Applejack thought to herself.

Applejack let out a rueful sigh as she trotted down the boulevard. She always got antsy away from the ol’ homestead. While the train made the trip quicker than when she’d made the journey in her youth; it had still taken an overnight train through Canterlot to get to Manehattan from Ponyville. Applejack also wasn’t exactly keen on this ‘Rock’ character now that she was thinking about it either. Sure she was technically the same pony as her more sophisticated friend, but she completely lacked the selfless generosity that made Rarity such a good pony to know. Rock—as far as Applejack was concerned—was blunt, rude and just ‘cause she could buck an apple tree like an Apple family member realy didn’t make her worth a damn.

~~~

After she'd knocked the door was opened by her uncle and aunt’s unicorn butler, Silver Platter. Applejack had never got on with Silver. He’d always been perfectly polite to her as a filly, though never actually warm, but something about him had never sat right with her. Even when she was young, she'd not been keen on the idea of serving staff having grown up on a farm where everypony pitched in. When she’d grown up and had visited the unicorn city of Canterlot she’d found the predominantly earth pony upper class’ obsession with having unicorn servants in Manehattan even more suspect.

“Applejack!” her aunty Orange trilled, positively delighted to see her niece after so long. “You’ve timed your visit most superbly! I know we Oranges are seen as the black sheep of our extended family, but you could have let us known you had such a delightful sibling. Appletini! Come out here, it’s your sister!”

And there she was, Applejack’s heart sank. It was even worse than she had feared. Her double had elaborately coiffed hair that looked like it had taken a team of skilled artisans all morning to create. She was wearing a necklace that contained more gems than even the average creation out of Canterlot Boutique and her cutie mark was some fancy cocktail. Probably got it for being a lush, thought Applejack bitterly. She was even wearing some light-but-tasteful makeup.

“Oh, this is simply smashing!” Her double giggled, seemingly without a single thought in her pretty head. “Aunty, Uncle, oh but would you look at the time! Remember you have tickets for the most enchanting soirée with the Cantaloupes!” Seemingly within moments Applejack and her double were left alone after the Oranges and Silver had been swiftly but skillfully maneuvered out the door.

Her double’s empty brain-dead smile shifted with just a few muscle movements into a genuine grin. “That pappy’s hat?” she asked, her eyes dancing.

“Those dem tail extensions I've heard about?” asked Applejack, beaming back with an identical grin of her own.

They both laughed before giving each other a quick hug. Applejack mentally bucked herself one for jumping to conclusions just based on appearances. Given her good friend Rarity she really should have known better.

“Appletini, really?”

“First thing I could think of when I got here yesterday,” explained Appletini. “Well this is perfectly pleasant, but still would you mind ever so much to let me know what in Celestia’s infinite mercy is going on?”

“Right,” said Applejack, getting down to the brass tacks. “You’ve worked out this ain’t your Equestria, right?”

Appletini gave her a look which implied exactly what she thought of such a blatantly silly question. “Why, I had no idea!” she drawled slowly.

“Okay, okay! Well y’all been brought t’ this Equestria by a spell. We just got t’ get on right back to Ponyville t’ get y’all back home.”

Appletini’s face fell. She cantered back a few steps slowly shaking her head. “Oh no no no, I... I just couldn’t!”

Applejack understood. She’d realised where she truly belonged when the sonic rainboom had happened, but there had been two big reasons for why she’d wanted to live as far away from the farm as physically possible and at the time being a city socialite had seemed like the perfect escape from her loss.

“You don’t have to go up t’ the farm, not if you don’t want to,” she promised.

Appletini's eyes glistened with tears as she whispered, “thank you.”

~~~

In the Ponyville Library tempers were fraying. It’d been agreed that they wouldn’t be able to properly have it out while Rock was working down at Sweet Apple Acres, so they’d all meet back here tonight so that they could discuss this all together. Then the Awesome and Stupendous Rainbow Dash had attempted to seduce her double by putting on a flawless—although incredibly over the top—Fancy accent. The regular but still very much awesome, Rainbow Dash had fled making excuses that she really had to see a stallion in Hoofington about a cloud. The other Rainbow Dash had followed, bouncing out the door and calling out outrageous declarations of affection to the target of her desires.

Pinkamena had left next, deciding she’d had more than enough of this insanity as she wanted to go out and have a look around. Mainly so she could investigate Ponyville for potential investment opportunities to go along with the Cakes while she was here, as it was not like she could do any other work.

This left Trixie at a bit of a loose end. She had just been wondering if she could persuade somepony to get her a sandwich when she noticed that her nemesis was glaring at her in a manner that Trixie really didn't care for.

"Do you want something from Trixie?" she asked, attempting to be polite to the pony that had cost her so much.

“So, have you learned your lesson yet?” Twilight Sparkle asked coldly.

“What, lesson?” Trixie hissed as the temperature in the room dropped by several degrees.

“How about the lesson to not be a boasting show-off, who humiliated my friends, before almost getting the entire town destroyed.” Twilight trotted up to Trixie while staring her down.

Trixie knew it was foalish to raise to the bait, but she just couldn’t help herself. “They started it! They were talking during Trixie’s amazing performance and then they started heckling Trixie!”

“Maybe if you hadn’t have been bragging—”

“It. Was. An. Act.” Trixie stated, not trying very hard to keep the irritation out of her voice. “You work in a library for Luna’s sake! Surely you’ve got to know about the concept of acting?"

“So you didn’t cause Snips and Snails to bring an Ursa Minor into town?” Twilight asked rhetorically.

Realising her rival was getting the upper hoof she flailed around the room for something that could help her. Ahah!

She let out a mock gasp as she pointed a hoof at the stack of books on the table. “Daring Do! So if a filly or colt hurt themselves attempting to emulate her, Trixie takes it you’d surely hold the author responsible, right? Trixie means it’s clearly all her fault for telling lies that you can survive falling off a mountain by being in a boat. Just to pick an example.”

“Well no...” Twilight trailed off.

“So who would you blame then?” said Trixie, tossing her hair lightly.

“The parents, I guess?” Twilight really didn’t like Trixie’s grin of triumph at that. After the two days she’d had she had been hoping that Trixie would be a suitable outlet for her frustrations, but Trixie was countering everything she had. How dare she be so reasonable?!

Trixie was getting angry herself, this unicorn had a roof over her head and she was speaking down to Trixie and was that a dragon... and a phoenix?!

“How do you have a dragon and a phoenix...? Trixie means, how do you even afford it running a library in a small hick town like this?”

“Well, the phoenix is the dragon’s pet and he’s my assistant.” Twilight explained.

“But how?”

“I got him after my entrance exam at the School for Gifted Unicorns in Canterlot.” Twilight said smugly.

Trixie’s jaw gaped open. “Only the foals of the nobility can possibly afford to go there!”

“Well I am a marquise—”

“Chevaleresse,” Spike corrected. “Remember, you were knighted during the Discord affair.”

“Why yes, thank you my number one assistant.”

Trixie was turning a bright red in stark contrast to her usual blue. Her uncle had always said Canterlot nobs were a useless bunch of parasites who’d be the first against the wall when the revolution came and Trixie was beginning to think he might’ve been right. How dare this, this Twilight Sparkle with all her wealth and privilege and dragon, rub it in Trixie’s face!

“Trixie is going to defeat you. Trixie promises she will humiliate you like you humiliated Trixie. You may have gone to some fancy school but—”

“Actually I got taught personally by Princess Celestia herself.”

“What.”

“And her foal sitter was Princess Cadance,” said Spike helpfully, enjoying how angry his adopted big sisters’ rival was getting.

“What.” Trixie shook herself. “So you may have been taught by the Princess, but somehow Trixie is still going to take you down! She's not entirely sure how... but still!”

“She’s the Element of Magic too!”

“Don’t care!” Trixie yelled, her horn flaring and getting right in Twilight Sparkle’s face.

Twilight Sparkle grinned, a most unfamiliar malicious smile was upon her lips. If Trixie had thought what had happened to her last time had been bad, well she hadn't seen anything yet! Oh she was going to enjoy this...

“Are you two going to kiss yet or what?” asked Fluttershy, from where she was still pinned to the ceiling.

The rivals sprang apart as if they’d been shocked. Their previous anger forgotten; the two unicorns blushed hard trying not to meet the other pony’s eyes.

Twilight Sparkle recovered her wits first and immediately felt guilty about what she’d been moments from doing. “Fluttershy, you know how to cook?” Not waiting for an answer, she ordered Spike to give her some lessons before disappearing them both into the kitchen.

Trixie was bashfully toying with her tail trying to get some of the larger twigs out when Twilight looked back at her. “Shall we try this again?” she said quietly.

“Trixie would not mind that.”

“Seven bits, Trixie. Seven bits. Was that really all you had?” Twilight asked, trying not to put too much pity in her tone.

“So you looked through Trixie’s caravan then? But yes, that was all Trixie had.” She slumped, all the energy that had got her this far had suddenly left her.

“But that’s barely enough for a meal...” Twilight was stunned. She’d kind of hoped that Trixie had other funds or some other ponies she could turn to. But it was becoming very clear that Trixie had fled Ponyville with nothing, not even her pride.

“Trixie had hoped to make enough in Ponyville to get her to the next town, but well, you know what happened. Trixie doesn’t suppose her hat and cape...?”

“Nothing but torn and dirty rags after the Ursa stepped on them, sorry.” Trixie slumped down even further feeling like she’d just been stabbed through the heart. She’d known they were gone but she’d had them from her first performance when she’d got a cutie mark as a filly and had them ever since. They really had been special to her...

Seeing Trixie looking so miserable, Twilight sat down beside the other mare. “Trixie, my friend Rarity’s a fashion designer and I’m sure she could whip you up a new pair in no time at all.”

“Which friend of yours was that?”

“Um... The one whose hair you turned green and then she ran off crying.”

Trixie looked down at the floor. She sure had burned a lot of bridges last time she was in Ponyville, she thought. Typical, normally I only get heckled by drunks and idiots. Just my luck in this town I had to take on ponies that were actually popular.

“I didn’t ransack your caravan by the way.” Twilight said, believing that Trixie needed to know this. “Some local fillies ran a story about you in their school newspaper. Snips and Snails must have told them what they’d found in your caravan after you ran away. The whole town knows how poor you were.”

Seeing Trixie’s expression that she really, really didn’t think that was a good thing, Twilight continued. “But you see, when you ran away nopony liked you at all after nearly inadvertently getting the town destroyed by that Ursa. You got badmouthed by even the ponies that had laughed and applauded when you humiliated my friends. After the Gabby Gums story though, ponies felt sorry for you—okay so some of them thought it was hilarious that you’d been living like that—but at least some of them thought it was terrible that you’d lost your home and all your possessions. Well, what little you had anyway.”

“So they think Trixie’s pathetic...”

“Some of them, yes. But now you’ve got a chance to make a better impression than you did last time. Before the story you’d have probably been run out-of-town if you’d have shown your face in Ponyville again. Now though I think that ponies will at least give you the opportunity to change their minds about what they think about you.”

Trixie’s face contorted repeatedly as she struggled to process this. It sounded like she owed a certain Gabby Gums a large hay smoothie with extra hay.

“You really think this Rarity would make me a new hat and cape?”

“Well, it wouldn’t hurt to ask.” Twilight smiled.

~~~

Rock was tired and leaving a haze of sweat and dirt behind her as she trudged back into Ponyville. The sun was setting over the town hall as she dragged herself through the streets to get to Twilight’s house. Rock really was beyond shattered. For a unicorn she was at the peak of physical fitness, but for the long haul—like for example spending an entire day, non stop, bucking for apples—she just wasn’t built right. She’d have been happy just collapsing in the barn on top of all that lovely hay and sleeping the entire night away, but oh no, she just had to go into Ponyville proper and back first.

It’d been earlier in the afternoon when she’d found out about the meeting. She’d still been in full flow when Rock had realised she was being watched, or to be more accurate, ogled.

The pegasus had been staring at her from behind a tree and peeking out from underneath of one of the most ridiculously gaudy hats that Rock had ever seen. Sure she wasn’t a fashionista like Rarity, but even she knew that sparkly stars had gone out of style centuries ago.

Upon realising she’d been spotted the pegasus mare had strutted over—as if she was the most amazing pony in the entirety of existence—before cockily introducing herself as the Awesome and Stupendous Rainbow Dash. Rock hadn’t been impressed, then the mare had crudely propositioned her, and Rock had jumped right into being royally pissed off. To her credit Rainbow Dash had taken the verbal tirade in response in her stride, and had apologised straight off for not using a bit more tact. Then she’d told Rock about the meeting later at Twilight’s before bouncing off, claiming that she was going to go look for some ‘fun’.

~~~

Finally having made her way to the town library, Rock pushed open the door to Twilight’s house with her face and promptly collapsed with a groan once she was in.

“Rock, are you alright?!” That had probably been one of the Twilight’s. Rock was far too tired to care which though.

“Sod off, I’m dying.”

Once Rock had been gotten a drink and agreed to stop being so overly dramatic, Twilight Sparkle tried to bring things to some kind of order. Present in the library along with her and Rock was Sparks who was wrapped up in a blanket and hugging a book for dear life. Rainbow Dash was looking mightily pleased with herself in her hat while the other Rainbow Dash was trying to keep as far away from her double as Rarity was from hers. Trixie was sitting next to Rarity, clearly attempting to work up the nerve to ask for her commission. Captain Fluttershy was perched on top of one of the bookcases, looking surprisingly comfortable for being curled up in such a precarious perch. Pinkamena just looked bored and Pinkie Pie was munching on some popcorn.

“Applejack should be back soon with her double hopefully. So I thought it might be a good idea to talk about how you can defeat Nightmare Moon when you get back!” Twilight Sparkle said happily, bringing out her reference guide to the Elements of Harmony.

Twilight Sparkle had been expecting objections from Fluttershy and maybe Rock. She was sure though that all together they’d be able to be convince the alternate elements to do the right thing for the good of Equestria! But the pony that spoke up first came as a total surprise to her.

“Sorry, but I can’t do that,” said Pinkamena. “I swore an oath to Nightmare Moon to not oppose her when she permitted the formation of my merchant’s guild. I’m a Pie after all. An oath is a promise, and a Pie keeps her promises forever.”

“Foreverrrr...” Pinkie Pie echoed, but her heart really wasn’t in it and she quickly trailed off.

Twilight Sparkle wasn’t sure how to respond to that and then the other Rainbow Dash pitched in. “Defeat Nightmare Moon?! But she’s awesome!”

“Rock?” Twilight asked, hoping that she might have changed her mind.

The unicorn slouching on the floor managed to move her aching joints into a noncommittal shrug. “Well, I ain’t totally against the idea, I guess. But I gotta look after my sis first and I don’t see going up against the Princess would be too clever considering that.”

Twilight only had to glance up at Fluttershy to see what she thought of all this. She was grinning.

A book flew across the room and hit the wall hard, breaking the spine and sending pages scattering everywhere. Twilight looked round as she gasped to see a book mistreated so. Sparks was on her hooves and gritting her teeth in determination.

“How can you all be so cruel?!” Sparks yelled, she paced on the spot as she raged ineffectually. “Why do none of you understand? We have to save everypony, I have to save everypony, I just have too!” She paused panting.

Rarity and Pinkie Pie started to move to get up to try to comfort her and get her to calm down, but it was far too late for that as Sparks’ eyes narrowed.

“You like Nightmare Moon so much?! Well you can all go and stay here then for all I care!” Spark’s horn glowed to blinding intensity. There was a crack of magic and she was gone.