• Published 25th May 2018
  • 2,295 Views, 989 Comments

Little Consequences - Skijarama

Princess Rainbow Dash and her friends have found themselves in the newly restored Crystal Empire, and now struggle against the forces of Queen Chrysalis and the enigmatic King Sombra in an effort to reclaim Canterlot and save Equestria.

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An Empty Stare

Three Weeks Later…

The golden glow of the setting sun cast orange stripes of light across the far wall of the infirmary, creating gentle shimmers that added to the already serene atmosphere of the room. All was silent, save for the occasional turning of a page in a book next to the bed that held a still comatose Twilight Sparkle. Rainbow Dash sat by the bed’s side with Spike leaning against her, both of them looking into a fiction book procured from the library to pass the time.

It was written in a very archaic form, with far too many ‘thees’ and ’thous’ and the like, and the story itself was bland, slow-paced and uninteresting by modern standards. But if nothing else, it was better than staring blankly at a wall or at a face that couldn’t look back, Rainbow figured. Turning to the next page, she briefly glanced down at Spike to see that he looked just as bored as she did.

They had been here for a few hours, now, having set aside the time in advance when the doctor notified them that Twilight had been showing signs of waking up. She would stir every so often, let out quiet moans or groans, and her new wings periodically twitched on her back, reminding Rainbow and Spike that they were even there. They could tell she’d awaken soon… but how soon remained to be seen.

Looking past the book at Twilight, Rainbow could only offer a silent prayer that she wouldn’t have to wait much longer. She stared at the purple pony for a while before returning her attention to the book and starting to read the next chapter. Time continued to pass in silence, and she found herself grateful for Spike’s presence. His smaller body pressed against hers allowed their shared body heat to stave off the gradually growing cold. To amplify this, she gently draped a wing over him and pulled him closer to her side. The golden glow of the sun was steadily turning to a shade of red as Celestia moved it lower towards the horizon from somewhere in the Palace.

Rainbow’s eyes lost their focus on the book when the thought of her mother graced her mind, and she glanced out the window at the sun. She saw that the moon was starting to rise as well. The alicorns who controlled those great masses would not be in the city for much longer, she knew. They had been gone from Canterlot for too long already, and so they were scheduled to go back tomorrow morning. Rainbow, with a quiet exhale, shifted her gaze back to Twilight. “Come on, Twilight… wake up. Mom and aunt Luna really want to see you before they have to go.”

But, as with every time Rainbow had sent that silent request, Twilight did not wake. She shifted in place with her forehead wrinkling, and a quiet breath left her lips, but she otherwise did not react in any way. Unsurprised, Rainbow looked back down into her book.

Another minute passed, the reddening glow of the sun starting to grow dim.

Twilight shifted again. Rainbow didn’t look this time, expecting it to be more of the same. As such, she was completely oblivious when Twilight opened her eyes. She screwed them shut almost immediately as the light pierced her retinas, sending a small needle of pain through her skull. She gave off a quiet hiss of pain, and at last, Rainbow and Spike looked at her again. They watched her for several seconds, holding their breath as her eyelids and brows twitched from how tightly shut they were. She took a deep breath, then tried to open them again, slower this time. Bit by bit, her eyes were revealed to the world, and she began to groggily look around in confusion.

“Twilight?” Spike called gently, the book being completely forgotten. He stood from Rainbow’s side and scampered up to the bed, where he then hauled himself up onto the edge with his claws. Rainbow gave him a boost with one of her hooves, having joined him by the bedside. Once he was up, the two looked eagerly at Twilight with expecting, excited eyes. “Can you hear me?”

Twilight blinked a few times and looked at Spike in confusion. After a moment, she shook her head to clear away the cobwebs and put a hoof to her temple. “I...uh… y-yeah, I uh… I can hear you…” she mumbled before a long, loud yawn worked its way through her. “What happened to me…?”

Rainbow’s smile couldn’t have been any bigger even if she wanted it to be. She had to actively restrain herself from jumping into the air, flying in backflips and screaming to celebrate. Instead, she settled for reaching out and taking Twilight’s hoof in her own with a tender smile. “You saved my life, Twilight… we were all really worried about you,” she said with tears in her eyes. “Oh, I’m so glad you're awake…”

“Should I go get the other princesses, or…?” Spike asked hesitantly while pointing at first himself, then the door. Rainbow chuckled and shook her head.

“Nah, Spike. We’ll tell them in a little bit,” she replied without taking her eyes off of Twilight. The two looked at each other for a few moments, and during that time, Rainbow’s smile began to fade. Twilight was clearly confused, and a sinking feeling began to form in Rainbow’s gut when she started looking around at everything with wide eyes and a hanging jaw. After a moment, Rainbow cleared her throat. “So, Twilight, how are you feeling?” she eventually asked in a soft voice, drawing Twilight’s attention back to her.

“I’m confused more than anything. I still don’t understand what happened to me... Where are we?” she asked while her hoof returned to the side of her head to quell a rising headache.

Rainbow and Spike shared a nervous glance for a moment before the latter cleared his throat. “Uh… ahem, you’re in the infirmary of the Crystal Empire’s Palace. You were moved here to recover after you… uh…”

“Saved my life,” Rainbow finished for him with a nod. “You’ve been out for three weeks, almost four. It was a close shave...”

Twilight’s brow furrowed, and she slowly sat upright. She took a few more deep breaths while looking searchingly down at her hooves. Then, after a few more moments of silence, she looked at the two again. Spike slowly shuffled forward and took one of her hooves in his claws, drawing her eyes up to him. He smiled softly. “You sure you’re okay?”

“I’m… not sure,” Twilight eventually replied while the wings on her back ruffled anxiously. Twilight then blinked and looked back. Her eyes then widened in shock, and both of the feathery limbs sprang all the way open on instinct. “What the?! I have wings?!” she shrieked, tearing her hoof out of Spike’s claws to pull one of them down so the tips were in front of her eyes.

Rainbow couldn’t help but chuckle. Of course, Twilight’s first course of action was to study her new limbs. “Yeah, you do. I’ll teach you how to use them just as soon as we’re back in Ponyville,” she acknowledged with a smirk.

Twilight continued to study her wings for a few more seconds, then released the one she was holding to look at Rainbow in confusion. Her face twisted with concentration. That feeling in Rainbow’s gut only got worse when Twilight’s ears drooped. “I’m sorry, but… What’s Ponyville?”


Spike and Rainbow looked at each other, then at Twilight in confusion. “Uh… it’s Ponyville. C’mon, Twi, you know what that is,” Rainbow replied slowly, that horrible feeling becoming almost nauseating.

Twilight shook her head. “No, I don’t…” she said sadly before looking up into Rainbow’s eyes. “Who… are you two?”

Spike visibly wilted the moment that question was asked and took a few shaking steps back. “Wh-what?” he asked, his voice starting to shake. “Twilight…?”

Rainbow’s eyes quickly narrowed, and she put a hoof on the back of his head while shooting Twilight a very disapproving frown. “Twilight, that’s not funny,” she stated in a cold, warning tone. “Stop fooling around. We’ve been worrying about you too long for you to start off by cracking jokes like that.

Twilight recoiled and shrank back at Rainbow’s glare, her ears drooping. “I’m s-sorry, but I’m not joking. I don’t remember you… or…” she froze, her eyes slowly going wide. Her expression began to change from one of confusion panic. She leaned up slightly, her pupils shrinking as the realization hit her. “Anything... I can’t remember anything!”

Rainbow stared at her in shock for several long seconds before snapping out of it. “Hey, calm down,” she urged in a far gentler voice. ”We’ll figure this out. Just take a deep breath and concentrate,”

Twilight gulped down a massive lungful of sweet, sweet air, and steadily began to calm down. One of her hooves still found its way to rest over her rapidly beating heart. Rainbow gave her a slow, reassuring nod.

“Okay, you good?” a nod. “Alright… now, you gotta remember something. Just… just think, okay? You’re sleepy or something, or maybe it’s painkillers messing with your head, but you gotta remember us,” she said, trying to keep her voice calm. However, she was not able to keep it from twisting with nervousness. She put her hooves on her own chest to identify herself. “Come on, it’s me, Rainbow Dash! You know, the awesome one of the group, the fastest flyer in all of Equestria? The one you grew up with? Your...” she hesitated for a moment, her face falling. “Your… best friend?”

Twilight just stared at her with empty, unrecognizing eyes. She slowly shook her head. “Nothing…” she whispered guiltily before looking down at her hooves, which were new tightly curling up in the sheets. “I’m sorry…”

Frantically, Rainbow reached out and gave Spike a hard shake, eliciting a weak, startled yelp from him. “What about Spike? You remember Spike, don’t you?! You hatched him when he was an egg, you raised him, and the three of us grew up together! Come on, throw me a bone, here!” she pleaded, tears starting to form in her eyes. Twilight didn’t respond, just looking at her hooves and shaking. Finally, after many long seconds of waiting, Rainbow slumped and released Spike, who slowly sat down with his back against the footrest to stare at Twilight. Rainbow looked down at the floor for several moments before opening her mouth to speak again. “Okay… what do you remember? There’s gotta be something in there.”

Twilight stayed still for a while yet, considering her response. She slowly lifted her eyes to look at the two, then started talking. “I… uhm… I remember being somewhere dark…” she began, shivering fearfully at the memory. “I was cold and alone. I couldn’t see or hear anything, and there was something crawling on me… it slid over my skin and into my mouth... It was like I was suffocating. I wanted to cry, and scream, but I couldn’t find the air. I felt lonely and afraid. I had no idea what was happening or where I was…” she shuddered and pulled her sheets a little tighter against her. “I thought I was going to d-die there…

“Then I heard a voice calling out. I could just make myself look, and I saw…” Twilight paused, her muzzle scrunching as she searched for the right words. “Somepony… I can only describe her as an angel. She was trying to take my hoof, calling out to me. She looked scared and desperate, but determined. I reached out grabbed her hoof. Suddenly, I could breathe again, and she hefted me out of the darkness. I tried to make sense of what I was seeing, but before I could, I saw this… ‘light’ spring out of my chest. It lifted me higher into the air, and I felt warm and… relaxed. There was a flash of light, and…” she gestured vaguely around herself. “And now I’m here…”

Rainbow sighed quietly on the completion of Twilight’s tale. She gave a slow nod. “Well… that ‘angel’ was probably my mother, Princess Celestia. She was your teacher… and she saved your life. She’ll…” Rainbow turned and slowly began to make her way for the door, dragging her hooves the whole way. “She’ll want to know that you’re awake… Spike, keep her company, would ya?”

Spike merely nodded and kept looking at Twilight with sad eyes even as the door closed behind Rainbow Dash with an echoing thud.

Perhaps an hour later, Rainbow Dash, Cadance, and Luna were all sitting in a lounging area somewhere else in the castle. Celestia and Spike were both with Twilight at that moment, as was the doctor assigned to take care of her. Luna and Cadance had been with them not long ago, having both given their best effort to help Twilight remember something, anything about herself, or the ponies around her.

All of their efforts had proved fruitless so far, and Twilight had begun to feel overwhelmed from all of the attention. The doctor had subsequently asked some of the ponies present to leave, leading to Luna and Cadance both excusing themselves. They had then made their way to the room they were in now and had been utterly silent on arrival. Now, Luna sat next to Rainbow on a sofa, while Cadance rested in a reclining chair to their left with her eyes looking distantly up at the ceiling.

Finally, Rainbow broke the silence with a heavy sigh, drawing the eyes of the two alicorns in the room. “So… no luck helping her?” She asked quietly, shifting in place and locking her eyes onto the floor.

Luna shook her head in apology. “I am afraid not, my niece,” she replied in a quiet and gentle voice. “My sister should have more details of Twilight’s amnesia when she comes to us, though.”

“We’ll find a way to get her memories back,” Cadance said with a gentle smile and encouraging nod. “I promise.”

Luna shot her a warning look, her gaze hardening with disapproval. Cadance flinched slightly at the look, appearing both intimidated and confused. “I, too, would love nothing more than to help Twilight Sparkle recall who she is, but please Cadance… do not make promises before we know if we can keep them,” Luna said slowly, making Cadance wilt and look at the floor.

“I… I’m sorry.”

Before any further discussion could be had, the door of the room swung open with a low creak, allowing Spike and Celestia to solemnly step into the room. Rainbow perked up and leaned forward in her seat to greet them, a hopeful spark in her eyes. “Did you get her memory back?” she asked without hesitation.

The guilty look she got in response was the only answer she needed. The spark in her eyes fled, and she sat back with her ears falling flat against her head. Luna saw this and gently draped a wing over her back to offer her whatever comfort she could. Celestia looked between them all for a time, her gaze settling on Spike as he waddled up to the sofa with Rainbow and Luna. He pulled himself up before laying down by Rainbow’s side and under Luna’s wing, curling into a ball.

Celestia took a deep breath, then spoke. “Twilight’s gone back to sleep for the night, and the doctor plans on running a few health checks in the morning. She’ll need to stay in their care for a few more days before she’ll be cleared to leave. Being out for as long as she has, her body has grown weak, and so physical therapy has been planned to get her back on her hooves-”

“Sister,” Luna cut her off gently before nodding towards Rainbow. “That’s… not what was asked of you.”

Celestia hesitated, then sighed. “Yes, of course… I am sorry, but I am afraid that Twilight Sparkle’s memories are beyond my power to restore…” she explained solemnly while closing her eyes and lowering her head. “In the time she spent... dead, her soul was beginning to dissolve. Many of her memories and the links that held them together became undone. They crumbled into dust, leading her to have no recollection of ponies, places, or events in her life. She has managed to retain some very basic and rudimentary knowledge about the various races of ponies and their abilities, though, as well as her own name.”

Cadance sighed quietly, her shame from a moment ago getting worse. “So… she’ll never be able to remember?”

Luna pulled Rainbow closer to her side when she felt the pegasus shaking. “Not quite,” she stated before looking at Cadance and Celestia. “If what you have said is true, Celestia, then Twilight’s memories are still in there, in her mind. The links that connected them may be gone, and they themselves may be broken into formless pieces, but they are still in there. It is possible that, with time, they may come back together on their own. But it is beyond any of us to restore them… it must happen on its own.”

“Why?!” Rainbow suddenly asked sharply, her head snapping up and her eyes boring into them all. Spike shuddered next to her, and she briefly winced before taking a deep breath. Once she was calmer, she continued with her question. “Why can’t you? Mom, you saved her from death. Getting her memories back should be child's play for you, shouldn’t it?”

Celestia took a step back, her ears drooping. “It’s not so simple, Rainbow. Restoring even one memory would be an incredibly long and difficult process, much less her entire life’s worth, and doing so without harming her psyche in some way is practically impossible.”

Luna nodded grimly. “The mind is a very fragile and exceedingly complicated thing, Rainbow. If we were to try, it would take only one errant twitch to cause irreparable damage to Twilight’s mind and psyche. It would be as if she had died all over again...”

“So we’re just supposed to wait and hope?” Rainbow asked, her eyes starting to shimmer with fresh tears.

Cadance rose from her seat and swiftly moved to be near the trembling pegasus. She sat down on her haunches in front of Rainbow and looked deep into her eyes. “Listen, Rainbow... I know that this isn’t what any of us wants to hear,” she began in a gentle voice while reaching out to run her hoof over Rainbow’s mane. “But right now, it is all we can do. She’ll remember someday, I know it. She’s gifted, strong, and smart. She’ll come back from this. You just need to be patient.”

Rainbow took a few more deep breaths, her emotions slowly simmering down. Then, with a withering sigh, she gave a nod. “Fine… but what are we supposed to do in the meantime?” she asked in a choked voice, taking some comfort in Spike and Luna clinging to her.

It was the princess of the night who spoke. “The best thing you can do for her right now is to take her home as soon as she is ready,” Luna said with a small smile. “Teach her about the world, and about herself. And above all…” she gave Rainbow a squeeze and nuzzle. “If her old memories never come back, make sure her new memories are worth the sacrifice she made to save you. Do not let the loss be in vain.”

Rainbow pondered her words for a moment, then nodded slowly. She snuggled closer to Luna and Spike and closed her eyes, allowing their combined body heat to seep into her chilled muscles. She heard Celestia drawing closer, and a tiny, weak smile spread on her muzzle when her mother joined the embrace. Even Cadance joined in. At that moment, Rainbow committed Luna’s advice to heart.

“I promise, whether she remembers her old life or not, her new ones will be worth it. I’ll make sure of it…”

With that solemn vow burning brightly in her heart, she allowed herself to zone out and take comfort in the shared embrace of her assembled family.

Author's Note:

One of the largest consequences of Twilight's premature ascension to being an Alicorn alongside the extreme circumstances of the event has made itself known. Twilight Sparkle is now an amnesiac.

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