• Published 6th Apr 2019
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Distant Reflections - David Silver

Equestria and Everglow have brushed against one another through the course of their histories, each time fleeting, but memorable to those involved. Many many years later, the unaging Twilight captains a space vessel to explore the universe.

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61 - Elsewhere 1 (The Call)

Remi ran her fingers over the watch, having scurried away from the others. "Right when I'm getting comfortable..." She reached for a panel in the hallway, rapidly typing something out. "Can't leave without saying something." Her email complete, she twisted the winding widget at the top of the watch with loud clicks, then promptly vanished with a strange rushing noise, leaving nothing behind to mark her departure.

She appeared in a darkened place. "Hello?" she called out, trying to pick something from the imposing blank slate. She could feel firm ground beneath her feet. Metal? "What is this about?"

"You knew this day was coming," spoke a male in that dark place. "Don't act all surprised. That watch isn't even yours."

Remi could feel her pulse quickening. The watch wasn't, by some standards, hers. Yet, she had gotten a lot of use out of it. "I didn't steal it!"

"Possession, law, you know the drill." The male didn't sound especially angry, given the situation.

"Look, hey, sorry." Remi held up her hands in the direction of the voice. "By the way, it's kind of dark in here."

"Is it? I thought you could see in the dark." A clop of hooves. Blindingly bright light washed over them, revealing... a pony. This pony sat in a chair in a very human way, with a fedora on, and clothing suited of an explorer. They were a darker cyan shade over most of their body, their tail having a tuft at the end, more lion-like than horse like. He tipped his hat towards Remi. "Charmed."

"I... was not expecting a pony," admitted Remi, looking over the stranger. "I'm Remington." She offered a hand. Maybe making friends would work better than arguing or begging, if her robotic friends had taught her anything.

"Tinker." The hand came forward, yellow, almost scaled? He shook her hand though. "And you owe me. Also, I'm not a pony, thank you."

Remi looked over the curious being. Well, they had hands, which were not hooves, and not furred. "You look like a bit of an off pegasus, truth told. I mean, no offense. Tell me what you are?"

"There is no time for that." He waved it off and spun in place, his tail swishing as he began working a console busily with those fingers. "You have a portion of me." His tail pointed at the watch. "Right there, don't even try to deny it."

Remi peered at the watch. "It let me hop around from place to place." Get into countless adventurers, maybe find some of the best friends she ever made, and lose them just the same. "Is there a piece of you in the guts of this?" That was morbid. "What are you?"

"Not a physical portion, barbarian." He scoffed as he stood up straight, smacking a button with authority. "You've gone and bungled things up by opening it, and binding a portion of my very essence to you. Before you offer, no backsies, so you hold onto that watch."

Remi's fingers closed around the watch. She hadn't wanted to let go of it, and apparently the stranger who owned it wasn't taking it from her. A small victory. "Alright, so." Her eyes wandered over the many spinning things, sparking things, and bubbling things. It was a mad doctor's lab. "Doc? What's going on then?"

"Not the doctor," complained the odd not-pony. "Hate that guy. Tinker. Tinker's the name, profession too! Remember that." He resumed typing busily. "And you're going to come with me and fix mistakes, mend the fabric of time and space, put things to right. You help me, we call things even, hm? Consider it something like community service!"

"Yeah, alright..." Remi scratched her cheek softly. "So you want me to help... fix... time and space? Pardon, but I usually fix mechanical things, sometimes electric things, not... timey... things."

"Then consider it free training." He tapped a final button, looking pleased. "I'm a hippogriff, by the by. Just so we're clear. Now, the first thing we'll be fixing is something you have a connection to. Figure we'll start slow. How's that?"

"All...right?" Remi followed him as he moved through the laboratory. "Are you sure I can help with this? Seriously. I'm a mechanic and a rogue, but not so much... What would you call this?"

"Sadly, nobody gave it a proper name." He huffed at the indignation of it. "First job, you need to steal a crown."

"Didn't I just finish saying I didn't steal?!"

"You also said you were a rogue." He turned to face her. "As they say, check and mate."

Remi let out a little sigh, but a small smile touched on her furry lips. "Alright, so, what crown, where?"

"Not where, really, when," he chastised. "Though I suppose there is some where to it too. They're often connected." He tapped his chin thoughtfully. "It involves someone I think is a friend of yours? Twilight was her name?"

"Is her name," chastised Remi with a frown. "What crown of hers? I don't want to knick her jewels. That ain't much a nice thing." Without her being present, she could still imagine Belle docking friendship points, sad music playing.

"Is, will be, was." Tinker shrugged as he gestured to a panel that showed the interior of a space ship. "Here we are. Recognize it?"

"Never saw it..." It was a bridge, she could see that. It wasn't the bridge of the ship she had just left. "Oh, there she is." There was a Twilight, bouncing idly in place, her hooves tapping, her expression bored. "What is this? When is this, I should ask?"

"You weren't? Hm." Tinker worked a new keyboard. "I could have sworn you were nearby. I must be off, maybe a few months or a year or two? Either way..." He gestured. "You recognize her, I presume?"

"Oh, yeah. That's Twilight. She's looking... listless." Remi leaned in closer to the screen, her ears pricked as she examined the image of a friend. "Hey, since we're here, where's Octavia?"

"You can find out, so long as Twilight leaves with that." He thrust a finger, tapping the display right at her crown. "My readings show that there's a good chance she puts it down and forgets to pick it up again, which makes later things awkward."

Remi frowned at the space princess and her crown. "She had it when I last saw her." Which made sense then that she had to come with it. The Everglow ship didn't have crowns to hand out, Equestria ones especially. "She doesn't know me yet. I'll need to be... clever."

"That's more the spirit I was hoping for." Tinker clapped his talons together. "Are you ready then?"

"For Twilight, I'll make sure she doesn't forget her crown."

"One thing." He raised a finger high. "They're about to get into trouble. I can't tell the specifics, but it will be dangerous. So, you know, be careful? Your death might throw other things off balance."

Remi raised a brow at the not-quite caring in that statement. "Got it. So how do I get there." She pointed at the panel.

"You have my watch." He crossed his arms with a little huff. "A little time and space jaunt shouldn't be beyond you."

"Right." She dug out the watch and began feeling over it. The only two things she could easily spot that she could fiddle with was the latch that made it open, and the winding mechanism. Winding it usually sent her flying to other places, so... "Just imagine the place I want to be?"

"Don't 'imagine' it." He took a firm step forward. "Step to it. Take the motion, let the watch lend a hand, it has three of them after all."

"Just a step..." She tucked the watch in her pocket. "First..." She fell forward, tail giving a lash as it became more hairy than furry. She was a pony, a little pony. A pony Spike had described as being on their ship, holographic, but without a purpose. "Ready!" declared Apple Bloom, who was actually Remi.

"How curious." Tinker looked over the little pony a moment. "Well, off with you then. Best of luck, not that luck is really involved."

"Right." Remi danced on her new hooves, fully transformed into a filly. "After this, can I go home?"

"Doubt it." Tinker raised a brow at her. "You owe me, expect to make up for stealing a bit of me away from me. Oh, before you get any ideas, that is still part of me, running away will be quite difficult. Be a darling and do your time, hm?"

Remi snorted in an equine way, practicing on her new hooves. "I already miss fingers... Alright, let's do this."

"That's the attitude I'm looking for." He patted his new conscript on the shoulder. "I'll be watching, if that helps. Call for me by name and I'll help if I can. No promises."

"Right." That sure sounded to her like she was mostly on her own. Still, at least the option of trying to get help. Better than nothing? She took a step forward, instead of imagining where she was going, she imagined twisting the clock, and stepping forward. She vanished.

"Hiya!" There was another little pony. Right, there were three...

"You look jus' like me," noted another that looked just like her. "Ahm Apple Bloom."

They were programs, all programs. Not even sapient programs, like Error or Glitch Harp. Well, that wasn't fair. They did think, and react, but they had no idea they were programs, and lived their little simulated lives. "Hi there," greeted Remi, looking over the three foals. Why did Twilight have them there? "Kinda funny, huh?"

"Ya tellin' me?" Apple Bloom sniffed at her doppelganger. "Ya here to play too?"

Remi danced back towards a door she could see that looked like a wooden door that didn't belong on a spaceship at all. "Actually, ah think captain Twilight's callin' me," she said, imitating the accent of the other Apple Bloom as best she could.

The unicorn filly tilted her head. "Oh, then you better go."

"Yeah, that explains it," stated the pegasus, as if everything odd about two of the earth filly just made sense. "Good luck!" They all started to wave eagerly.

Remi reached for the knob, just to remember that hooves sucked at that. She grabbed it in her mouth instead, clenching and twisting until it twisted open, revealing a proper space ship interior beyond the holographic illusion. "See you later." Remi scrambled out into the hallway, the door closing with a click behind her.

Apple Bloom snorted softly. "Ah think she ain't got a chance."

"Something go wrong?" argued the unicorn.

"No idea." The pegasus shrugged softly. "But not our problem."

Remi scurried down the hallway on little hooves, clip-clopping in a hurried flee from the filly room. "Spike, you made a map." Well, he made a model. There was not a lot she could get from peeking at it that would tell her which way to go. "Darn it."

But... Wait. "Computer?" A soft chime implied she was being listened to. "Great. Can you show me the way to..." She trailed off, realizing she wasn't sure which room to visit. The bridge worked. Twilight would be there. She had the crown. Maybe just making sure she didn't forget the crown would do that job?

"Show me the way to the bridge, thanks."

The computer chimed, the hallways lighting up along the bottom of the hallways, leading her along towards the bridge. "This is possibly the worst security ever..." Of course, Equestrian folk didn't think too hard about security, so the computer had no programming to not obey the commands of some new person.

If she were not their friend, she could cause so much trouble. Fortunately, she happened to like Twilight and Spike, insane space travelers that they were.

She was passing by a hallway when she came to a halt. There was an earth pony glancing around with the nervousness that didn't match a hologram following its program. There was Octavia.

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