• Published 31st Jul 2012
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Clockwork - 71NYL-5CR4TCH

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A Lifetime Of Knowledge In No Time At All

I blinked rapidly as my mind took the time to process what she had said.

"I don't think that'll be much help. I've read every book in Canterlot. None were too helpful."

It wasn't a lie. I had read every single book in Celestia's public library. Along with her private collection, forbidden books on dark arts, and every privately owned book in the city.

I did so on April 8th, 4 years ago, at 4:48 and 31 seconds in the afternoon.

It was a particularly nice gap.

"You've read every book on art in Canterlot Library?!" She exclaimed, "that's...that's nearly 2,000,000 books!"

"Well, yes. There are 1,946 books on art. But I have read all 4,893,210 books in Canterlot."

She offers me an annoyed expression. It makes me sad, thinking I had upset her. I only wish to be helpful.

"All the books. Right. Look, I told you what I can about what you came here for. Unless there's something else I can help you with, perhaps it is best you leave."

This upsets me greatly. I haven't left the library in a very long time. I haven't forgotten what it is like outside yet, but I have before. I tend to favor the indoors.

"What is your name?" I ask.

"I...beg your pardon?" She raises an eyebrow at me and recedes a bit, raising her right hoof.

I pause.

I have not seen her this way before. It intrigues me quite a bit, to see all these new emotions. I can analyze many things in her face.

Confusion.

Annoyance.

Surprise.

Slight disgust.

Before she has been nothing but cheery, a smile adorning her muzzle. Helpful, enthusiastic.

This is very different, though.

I don't want to draw her this way.

But her eyes...

Her eyes still glimmer the same way against the sun.

And she is still so beautiful.

I resume, if only in hopes for an answer.

"Your name. What is it?"

"Oh...it's Twilight...Twilight Sparkle. Why do you ask now?"

She seems merely confused now. I like this more. It is easier to fix confusion.

"I wanted to know your name." I offer. Confusion is often very easy to fix.

"I know, but why now?"

I said often, not always...

"Oh...well, um. I suppose this was when it occurred to me I didn't know your name. It isn't terribly important to know somepony's name right away." I hope this will suffice.

"It seems pretty upfront to me..." She counters, her gaze analytical and scrutinizing.

I am uncomfortable. Normally I wait. I wait in the gaps until I can think of a good response to a question, or an argument.

But I don't want to wait.

I don't want to have to think while she continues to stare at me with such hostility.

"Well...it really has nothing to do with whom a pony is. Really, it's the least important thing about a pony. They don't even choose what it is."

"I...suppose that's true...in a really...weird way. Well, what's your name?"

"My name is Clockwork. It is nice to meet you Twilight Sparkle." I am happy to know her name. It is one more thing I could capture that a photograph could not.

"Just 'Twilight' works." She respondes, relaxing a bit. "It's nice to meet you too, Clockwork."

"You have a beautiful library."

"Thanks...read all the one's in this one too?"

Her voice alteres slightly in a way that would commonly indicate sarcasm, but I am unsure.

I stepped within the gap and looked around. There aren't too many books here. I could read them all I suppose.

So I do.

I meander the library picking up book after book, reading through shelf after shelf. There are many books on the sciences and history. Some fiction novels which I find amusing. I come across one particularly large novel which I assume will take much of no time at all to read. Instead, it is hollow, containing a beautiful set of golden jewelry, 5 necklaces and a tiara. I make note of this to discuss later.

There are no books on the art's which I admire. Perhaps I truly am the only one who can appreciate the gaps.

I return to my conversation.

"Yes." I answered with a smile, "unfortunately, you do not have any helpful books either."

She narrowed her eyes at me, "Really. You've read all these books when? When I wasn't looking?"

"In a way." I answer.

It is the truth.

She smirks, narrowing her eyes, "In my library I have a very old copy of a very rare story tale. Who kills the Evil Hydra in Violet Fog?"

"The frog." I answer. I remember this book. It was fragile, and the parchment had yellowed from age. Time, however, had been kind enough to it's print to allow it to contain it's meaning. Books in other languages were particularly annoying for a while, especially those in the dead languages. Until I learned the other languages, and the dead ones. Now they fill my gaps the same.

She stops, apparently caught off guard by my quick an accurate answer. "How did-"

"He jumps in the Hydras throat, choking it, but killing himself. The moral was sacrifice for a greater cause." I answer again.

She stares at me, wide eyed. "Ok, while unlikely, it is possible that you read that somewhere else. There is one book in my library unlike any other. Which one is it?" This time, she shows less skepticism, but more befuddlement.

I believe I know this answer.

"Is it the one with the 5 necklaces and the tiara stashed inside? I have never seen another copy of The Elements Of Harmony with such things inside."

She stares at me now, her jaw slack and eyes wide.

"Is this correct?" I ask again. I often seek validation. I like to know when I am right or wrong. I ponder in the gaps when I do not know and it causes my mind to feud too purely.

"I...yes...but, how?" She asks in disbelief.

"I tried to read the book, but those were inside instead."

"No, how could you have read them?! All of them?! There are thousands in this library!"

"4,561." I specify.

"I don't even know if that's right!"

"I read your library records too."

"GAH!!" She shouts, confused and angered, "How many times have you been in here?! Reading books while I'm gone?! I've never even seen you before! SPIKE's never even seen you before and he never leaves!"

"Hey!" a tiny voice protests from up the stairs.

"I...I would think not. I have never been here before today. I read all your books 33 seconds ago."

I always try to introduce people to the concept of a gap with proof.

It always makes them more skeptical when you present the idea first. They expect it, and are therefor, less amazed, and do not appreciate it's beauty. It has become a prepared magic trick.

But if you use a concept as an explanation...

Suddenly the only option is to believe it.

"What do you mean 33 seconds ago?" She is still enraged, but now even more confused. I do not like this, and I hope I can fix it.

"I read all of your books 33 seconds ago." This is the best explanation I can give until she herself begins to put the pieces together.

If you allow someone to figure out a puzzle themselves, they are much more likely to believe their conclusion is correct.

Inception, if you will.

"In one second?"

"Less, actually. In a gap."

"A what?"

"A gap, between seconds. I stopped the world and took the time to read all of your books."

"That...that would have taken weeks! Months!" She exclaims.

"On the contrary, it took no time at all."

"So, you just, stopped time, is that it?" She raises an eyebrow again, clearly skeptical.

"Essentially."

She dead-pans, but offers a reply,

"Horse Manure."

It appears I will have to go deeper.





























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