• 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 8

“You lied to me,” said Cheerilee. Her voice raised angrily as she pushed Rainbow Dash away.

Rainbow Dash brushed herself down from where she’d landed. She quickly took the chance to retrieve her hat from Cheerilee’s head, before the other pony could protest, and returned it to it’s rightful place. Last thing Rainbow Dash wanted was for something bad to happen to it. For some reason angry romantic partners always seemed to want to take it out on the hat.

“I didn’t technically lie!” Rainbow Dash protested. “I extrapolated. That’s totally different!”

Ignoring Dash’s glazed over look as she really hadn’t followed that at all, Cheerilee sighed. “Such a waste,” she said, as she gazed wistfully at the two identical pegasi. “And to think I’ve had dreams that started like this.”

“What’s she getting at?” asked Dash, to nopony in particular. She really was not entirely sure what the flying feather was going on with the looks that Cheerilee and her double were giving each other.

“Sorry, Dash. I told her that while I was flattered of course by the offer, but I had to turn her down because you’re with Fluttershy, but she said that the Fluttershy thing was so over. Then she kissed me! She’s pretty good at that actually,” Cheerilee explained while blushing hard.

What Fluttershy thing?” Dash growled, beginning to lose her temper at both her double and Cheerilee.

Cheerilee gave her a knowing smile. “It’s okay, really. I know all about how you and Fluttershy have been seeing each other on the sly. Blossomforth told me when I asked whether you were seeing anypony at the moment. I had no idea you were so romantic, Dash.”

Dash’s cheeks flushed bright red as realisation finally began to dawn. “Wait... Blossomforth told you that me and Fluttershy were special someponies? But, we’re just friends and for that matter; we’re both mares! Okay so I might have kissed her once, but we were fighting a horde of changelings at the time! Tensions were running high, it’s like sports y’know, things happen!” Dash was actually beginning to hyperventilate as she was rapidly running out of her ability to cope. She was also really going to have a very annoyed word with Blossomforth next time she held a weather team meeting.

The other Rainbow Dash patted her other self gently on the back between her wings. “There, there, it’s not that bad.” Then not being able to help herself, started to rub, knowing exactly how sensitive she was there. Dash jumped away from her with a squeak at the very unfamiliar feeling that was setting off butterflies in her stomach. She whipped round glaring at her double.

“What is she anyway?” asked Cheerilee. “A twin sister you’ve kept quiet, a changeling, or just Twilight Sparkle’s messed up a spell again, what?”

“Weird is what she is. She’s some kind of totally un-awesome other me from an Equestria where Nightmare Moon—”

“How about if I could be yours?” answered Rainbow Dash smoothly, as she butted in and swept Cheerilee off her hooves again. After, of course, cocking her magician hat to the properly rakish angle. “Look, I really am a Rainbow Dash as other-me said. If not the Rainbow Dash that you might have wanted. You told me that you’ve had a thing for me for ages and now you can at least have a me!”

Cheerilee kissed her. If this was the closest she was going to get to her fantasy mare; then this was a more than acceptable substitute. At least as far as this school teacher was concerned anyway. To be fair it had been a while. Closest thing I’ve had to some action was a love potion induced date with a pony of the wrong gender, thought Cheerilee ruefully before letting herself enjoy the moment.

“Um... Okay, I’m gonna look for Sparks... elsewhere.” Rainbow Dash said, looking anywhere but at what the two other ponies were doing together. “Yes, very much elsewhere. You two keep an eye out for her here, okay?”

Rainbow Dash and Cheerilee really weren’t paying attention to anything by now other than each other, as they rolled around in the grass. Still Dash took whatever they were doing as a definite yes and fled from the thoroughly confusing scene as fast as her wings could carry her.

~~~

In Hive Chrysalis, a changeling was loudly complaining. “Seriously we just don’t know what went wrong!” It morphed into Pinkie Pie again to make a point. “C’mon, how could she have seen better?”

Its compatriot clad in the armour of a changeling brood-guard shook it’s head after inspecting for obvious flaws like patches missing in the coat or holes still in the legs. “Well, we can’t tell the difference.”

The Pinkie Pie copy buried her face in her hooves and moaned pathetically in a most un-Pinkie Pie like manner. “We know! It’s a perfect copy. It’s not like we’re some freshly hatched nymph proud that they’ve got the right number of limbs.”

“Cutie Mark is slightly too small and it’s lopsided too, you don't smell anywhere nearly strong enough of cake frosting and your hair is ever so slightly the wrong shade of pink.”

“Errr... thank you, that’s very helpful.” The changeling shifted back out of it's pony disguise and looked around to see what changeling had given such good advice.

“No problem,” replied Pinkamena. She ducked back and disappeared into a small hole in the hive wall. When the two changelings investigated the pony was nowhere to be found.

~~~

Rock had made it all the way into the main square of Ponyville when her body finally gave out completely, as the effects of the adrenalin of the moment had finally worn off.

Twilight Sparkle had split off from Rarity and Rainbow Dash to cover more ground between the three of them. Spotting the wheezing unicorn collapsed against the town fountain Twilight instantly teleported over to her.

“Rock, you don’t look so good,” she said bluntly.

Rock coughed as Twilight helped her up. “Sorry, Twilight. I’ve had a very long day and I overdid it a bit with the applebucking I guess. I know I shouldn’t have galloped out like that, but I just couldn’t let that foal take away my sis.”

“It’s okay, Rock. You wouldn’t really have killed her, would you?” Twilight asked, concerned about what kind of pony exactly she was helping now.

Rock hung her head. “Well, I ain’t ever killed anything on the surface before and I wouldn’t want to start. Still can’t promise I wouldn’t have tried to buck some sense into that thick skull of hers.”

Twilight Sparkle figured that she could live with that. If she was being honest with herself she’d been tempted to do that to her double since the moment that she’d met her. Then she felt guilty again that this double of her was bringing bad depths to the surface that she'd previously been entirely unaware of. “We can find Sparks without you, I think. Especially in the state you’re in. C’mon where were you planning on sleeping tonight?”

“Applejack said I could sleep up in their barn—”

“Done.” Twilight Sparkle concentrated hard as she adapted the fiendishly complicated teleport spell for both the extra pony and the distance involved. A flash of purple magic later, and the two ponies were standing in the Sweet Apple Acres barn.

Rock collapsed happily on the nearest pile of hay. “Twilight Sparkle... I just want to say, thank you.”

Within moments Rock was asleep. Twilight stopped for a few moments as the sight of the white unicorn sprawled on the hay brought her up short. Now that Rock was asleep her face had softened and she looked so much more like her friend Rarity. Well if Rarity would ever willingly be that filthy and wear a rag like that around her head.

Twilight Sparkle shook herself, she had a missing pony to find after all. She concentrated to build up the magical energies in her horn and she was gone.

~~~

“I hate you!” Diamond Tiara as true to her usual form—when she had to do something that she didn’t like—was complaining. "I could be spending time with Silver Spoon, but nooo, Daddy insists I spend some time with you."

Screwball floated around her, occasionally spinning her beanie propeller absent-mindedly and kicking herself off again every time it looked like she was going to crash into a wall.

“I don’t know why I have to keep you company anyway!” Diamond Tiara stamped her little hooves in a well-practiced display of utter petulance. “It’s not like you’re really my sister anymore!”

Screwball thought about this, or at least she had a fair attempt at it. She half remembered—through a head stuffed with cotton candy—that she’d been normal once and she could well have had a sister that looked a bit like this filly. The nice stallion, Fishy Risk or something like that, wasn’t here though and Screwball missed him. He always let her sleep on the ceiling or wherever. He had stopped the bad ponies from taking her away to the boring place with the soft white rooms and gave her any combination of food that she wanted. Aniseed and watercress sandwiches being a definite favourite. Still she didn’t mind too much that she was like this. After all, what fun was there in making sense?

Ooooh, now what’s this? Screwball dived down, grabbed Diamond Tiara into a hug and pulled her over to the empty fireplace.

Ignoring her sister’s protestations, Screwball said, “okay, now say it with me! One, two, three, and surprise!” Screwball had timed it absolutely perfectly. So that the very moment Pinkamena popped her head out down out of the mantelpiece, she was met by a maniacally grinning violet mare with eyes spinning like pinwheels and a filly trying desperately to get away from her.

Pinkamena screamed. Then screamed again, this time in pain as she inadvertently smacked her head on the back of the fireplace. In all her years popping in and out of places nopony had ever managed to spot her coming before and she was now feeling profoundly freaked out. This was not helped that the filly in the tiara was now screaming too at the pink pony who had appearing out of nowhere.

Just a little touch of chaos and there, perfect!

“Your hair is pretty now!” said Screwball. She helpfully pulled over a mirror with a spare hoof while still hugging her struggling sister.

Pinkamena stared at the mirror to find that her hair had gone completely and utterly mad. Somehow it had been styled just like Screwball’s, and for that matter, fairly similar to her double’s. This absolutely would not do. Still priorities, getting my mane back into shape can wait. Find Sparks first and then I can find a brush!

“You don’t like it?” Screwball pouted, then giggled as she forgot why she’d been upset.

“It’s lovely,” Pinkamena said diplomatically. “Now, I’m sorry but I really must be going. Y’know places to be and ponies to find.” She pulled her now aching head back out of the room.

That was fun! Screwball so rarely got visitors and that polite pink pony had been far more entertaining than most. Diamond Tiara didn’t seem to have enjoyed it so much though given she was shaking and actually hugging her sister back. On the plus side she had finally stopped whining.

~~~

Rarity was wandering through Ponyville by herself. She'd lost Twilight Sparkle after the other mare had started teleporting and she'd lost Rainbow Dash after getting fed up with her stopping to chat to every single pony that they passed by. Ponyville was an open friendly town, but still barging into pony’s homes unannounced was most definitely rude. So Rarity had decided on a strategy of looking in through the windows for signs of Sparks while trying not to get too judgemental about some of the frankly appalling choices of drapes.

She'd only planned to give Sugarcube Corner a cursory look as the Cake's had closed up for the night, but on spotting Pinkie looking down in the dumps and half heartedly playing with Gummy, Rarity just had to find out what was going on.

"Pinkie!" she said after letting herself into the shop. "I thought you were out looking for Sparks?"

"I'm sure she'll find her, so why bother." Rarity didn't have to ask to know who she was. Still Rarity was concerned for her friend. She hadn't seen Pinkie look this put out since that whole unfortunate Tom incident.

Mentally filing that once more more under something to never ever think about again, she asked, "Pinkie, whatever possibly could be the matter? This really isn't like you."

Pinkie crossed her forehooves and sat resting against a sack of flour. "Don't you think I don't know that?"

"Is your double really that awful? I'm sure that just because she doesn't want to go up against Nightmare Moon it doesn't mean that she's a bad pony."

"It's not that!" Pinkie said quickly. "If she made a promise to Black Snooty then she made a promise. I..." Pinkie Pie's voice got quiet. "I don't like her," she said, her expression betraying her horror at such an unthinkable idea.

Rarity gasped. Gummy just sat there with his usual inscrutable crocodilian expression, but Rarity was sure that he was probably shocked to.

“It’s just that I can’t believe, no I don’t want to believe, that I could have turned out like that if it hadn’t have been for Dashie. She’s just so grey and boring and flat and aggravating and businessy—”

Rarity put a hoof in front of Pinkie’s mouth. “Okay, okay, I get the picture. I’m sure she’s not that bad if you get to know her. Rock might have a distressing lack of elan, but she loves her Sweetie Belle. Just as much as I do my own sister and she does have a good heart. Even as buried deep as it seems to be on occasion.”

Pinkie Pie sniffed, then grinned as her mood bounced back. “If you can make friends with your double, then I can make friends with mine! Thanks, Rarity. I needed that. I will get Pinkamena to smile! Just you wait.”

~~~

Spitfire sank back into the water of the hot springs firmly convinced that this was the life. Not many pegasi got to relax in heated specially imported mineral water in the sky city of Cloudsdale, but then the Wonderbolts weren’t any normal pegasi.

Her relaxation was shattered when one of her teammates shrieked. Looking over Spitfire was shocked to see that a pink mare head had impossibly risen out of the sponge bucket and was looking around. Spitfire was used to the paparazzi, but this was ridiculous!

No Sparks, yet again, Pinkamena grumbled to herself. This was getting annoying, her hair was all messed up and there was still so much of Equestria yet to search. Then she noticed that amongst the angry scowls and panicked faces at her presence; a white mare with a yellow mane was grinning widely at her with a knowing expression on her face. For some reason she looked incredibly familiar to Pinkamena, but she just couldn’t put a hoof on why.

That mystery can wait though. I’ve still got to find Sparks, she thought. Pinkamena hauled herself out of the sponge bucket and jumped into the pool. There wasn’t a splash, but Pinkamena was on her way yet again.

~~~

Trixie trotted around the library, just generally taking the time to fully explore every nook and cranny of Twilight’s treehouse. She looked out the windows to make sure everypony wouldn’t be coming back anytime soon. Then she checked the bedroom and sure enough Spike was asleep under his blanket. Trixie trotted back down the stairs into the main room of the library and sat down a few feet away from one of the bookcases. She stared hard just off to the right of a vase of flowers.

“The others are all gone. You can come out now.” Trixie said in the most gentle tone she could manage.

Nothing happened, other than an ex-great and powerful magician sat all alone and seemingly talking to a wall.

“Trixie doesn’t care what you do, but she feels for some reason that you might want to talk about this,” she said cocking her head to the side.

Sparks dropped her spell, revealing herself to Trixie in the exact place that Trixie had been looking. “H-How did you know?”

“Trixie might be a jack-of-all-trades, but you know what Trixie’s always been good at?” Trixie smiled triumphantly. “Illusion magic and having an eye for detail. Trixie has heard of ponies who can pull of an invisibility spell; including herself apparently...” Trixie had been paying attention to at least some of the waffle that Rainbow Dash had been going on about during the trip through Whitetail Forest after all. “Never seen it, or as the case may be, not seen it done myself though until now.”

“But how did you know where to look? Or that I hadn’t teleported like my double can?”

Trixie tossed her hair back. “A good magician never reveals her secrets!” It wasn’t like Sparks needed to know that her command of the invisibility spell wasn’t perfect and had left a faint shadow revealing the unicorn’s position. Luckily for Trixie; not only had her own double had exactly the same problems perfecting the spell, but that Rainbow Dash had told her all about it yesterday, so that Trixie had known exactly what to look for.

“Oh...” Sparks frowned. “So why didn’t you tell the others then?”

Trixie laughed. “You could put it down to pettiness probably, but talking through a performance really is incredibly rude. Don’t you think?”

“Um... yes, I guess?”

“So, not only does Trixie get a bit of harmless payback on two of the three ponies that wrecked her performance, as they run about looking for you. But Trixie does honestly want to see if she can help, Sparks.”

“Why do you want to help me?” Sparks looked down at her hooves despondently. “Nopony ever wants to help me.”

“Well Twilight wants to help you too, but Trixie doesn’t think she can from what Trixie’s seen so far. She worries and then she gets frustrated and isn’t helping anypony getting like that. Everypony else is gone now and so we can talk this out now that we’ve got some quiet. Why were you getting so worked up anyway?”

Sparks got up and started pacing about the library. “I just want to help ponies! Is that really so bad? The rest of them may have it alright with Nightmare Moon in charge, but why can’t they think about Princess Celestia? Nopony knows what happened to her. Not only that, but I think of all the fillies and colts growing up and never seeing the sun and it makes me want to cry. It really does!”

“No offence, Sparks,” Trixie said looking Sparks right in the eyes so that she could see that she was serious. “But Trixie has talked about this to Twilight earlier. Well, listened to her complain anyway. You’re not helping anypony sitting alone in your library all the time.”

“I... I do go out sometimes,” Sparks confessed. “That’s what I learned the invisibility spell for, so I could help out without anypony getting mad at me and shouting.”

Trixie fought the urge to facehoof. “That’s not exactly healthy behaviour.” Trixie was well aware that was coming from a mare that had spent nearly a year drifting after one bad day—not to mention the whole compulsively talking in the thirdpony thing—but still the point did need to be made.

“I know that!” Sparks protested. “But I don’t know what to do, my brother’s the captain of the royal guard and I’ve done nothing my whole life..."

Trixie raised an eyebrow at that. A member of the nobility, a dragon, a phoenix, the Element of Magic, one princess as mentor, another used to be her foal-sitter AND a brother who is the captain of the royal guard?! That’s just beyond ridiculous! Even so, Trixie does totally get where Sparks is coming from.

"I'm a failure and everypony knows it," Sparks said, looking thoroughly miserable. "Even my double knows. I can see it in her eyes every time she looks at me. I bet it was because she got in to the school of gifted unicorns. My parents knew I was so pathetic at magic that they didn't even let me apply."

“Trixie doesn’t think you’re that bad. There’s not many unicorns who can pull off an invisibility spell after all. Trixie doesn’t even think that your double, for all her power, knows that one,” she said, giving Sparks a winning smile causing the other unicorn to blush.

Sparks looked in a better mood to Trixie so at least she was being some help to somepony for once. Still Sparks was going to have to go back to an Equestria ruled by Nightmare Moon by the way everything was going with the other ponies. There was a chance that the hayseed double in Manehattan might be more sympathetic, but still two at best wasn’t enough to bring back Princess Celestia from what Trixie had been told. That was when Trixie came up with an idea. You owe me for this one other me. After all Trixie’s always wanted a glamourous assistant. Plus Trixie has to admit that in this Equestria, she’d be the one having to wear the sparkly leotard and not the magician’s hat.

“Just out of interest, but have you ever considered becoming a showmare?”

“What.”

To say Sparks was unconvinced initially was an understatement. For somepony so reclusive the whole idea sounded like madness, but Trixie persevered. It would get her out of the library and meeting new ponies. It would also keep her from being found easily if a certain yellow pegasus wanted payback and as Trixie pointed out; who would think to look for a pony like Sparks in a travelling stage show? There was a lot to be said for hiding in plain sight. Still it was hard going, but Trixie was both persuasive and persistent. When Trixie had cause to fully turn on the charm not many ponies could manage to keep up.

“So do you really reckon this other Trixie would let me join up?” asked Sparks nervously hiding behind her forehooves.

“Oh trust me, you’re exactly the type of unicorn that’s she’s been looking for,” Trixie said with a wink. She wasn’t exactly in the habit of playing matchmaker on behalf of another version of herself. But Trixie was also sure her other self could do one hay of a lot better than a brainless pegasus that couldn’t stay true to her.

Sparks was about to ask exactly what that meant when the two unicorns were both interrupted by a loud thud of a body hitting the floor.

Pinkamena had appeared out of nowhere and was now lying by one of the bookcases groaning in pain. At least Trixie guessed it was Pinkamena rather than Pinkie Pie from the tie the pony was wearing, even if it had been shredded in half, but she couldn’t tell for certain as the cutie mark was covered in blood...