• 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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83 - Past Resolutions

Forgotten by those who has given them the nudge, Silver Spoon, Diamond Tiara, and the others were still doing the best they could. Blue was pointing down at a limp form. "He will wake up... soonish... He is the only one that could find the book for us."

Diamond cocked her head, the urge to say something nasty there, but she swallowed it back. "That was a good job," is what came out of her instead. She had tried to be in charge, the one, the one that knew the plan. But maybe it was time to let others be a part of things... "I can help get him talk, but what are the questions?"

Gneech bounced in place, pointing at the limp pony. "Where his boss."

Silver Spoon nodded. "Good idea, Gneech." Gneech seemed to swell with pride. "Besides that, if they have an actual... base? Home? That's where they'd hide it, probably?"

"Good good." Diamond nodded softly at each's input. "Blue, seriously, how did you knock this guy out?" She nudged the sleeping pony. "I'm impressed."

It was Blue's turn to smile, proud of what she had accomplished. "I had one fighting spell prepared, and it was just the right one." She inclined her head. "It helps that he wasn't that tough."

"That makes sense." Diamond stroked her chin. "Alright, we have a new plan." A plan created by her friends. She hadn't failed as a leader, she would make that plan work, alongside them. "Let's make sure he's all nice and tied up, then we wake him up."

Silver looked around a moment. "Where is Pinkie?"

Gneech hissed. "Strange pony, go where wants."

Blue lifted her shoulders at Gneech's summary. "He's not wrong. Pinkie will arrive when we need her most, from an unexpected direction."

Not that any of them could know Pinkie was as far away as she was.

Speaking of her, she had her newly given datapad attached to the wall. Space Pinkie was holding it, watching a bar fill up. "We're both lucky," she noted, bouncing just as far as her hind legs moved her, not leaving the ground, or unattaching the datapad. "Our friend had a good pad with lots of spare room. She didn't do much with it."

"What are we doing with that space?" Pinkie Alpha was watching it all happen, even if she wasn't entirely sure what was happening. "This is kinda like one of Spike's comics."

"Spike was a fan of science fiction?" Space Pinkie swerved an ear over. "Times change people, and dragons."

"Dragons are people, silly." Pinkie Alpha stuck out her tongue just to burst into giggles. "Huh, imagine if that caught on. anyperson! someperson!" She clapped her hooves, musing over that linguistic possibility. "Could work."

"It feels odd to admit this." Space Pinkie tapped at her pad. "But Equestrian computers are primitive compared to this." She sat down, still holding the pad in place. "Does that make me primitive? Huh, guess it does."

"Well, too bad." Pinkie Alpha bouncer closer to her ailing clone. "'Cause I'm even more primitive. Like you're from the future, um, from where I'm at." She reached out and poked her clone in the side. "Seems pretty advanced to me."

Space Pinkie considered that a moment. "It is all a matter of perspective, huh? It works out! Because this--" She jostled the pad carefully. "--is so advanced compared to me, I can fit on it, completely. All that is me... us... we'll all be on this little thing." She inclined her had. "I'm used to being the size of an entire space ship."

Pinkie Alpha tapped at her cheek. "Aren't you, like... a robot? Do robots do feelings? I'm no expert at this, promise. I dunno, maybe robots do lots of feelings! You're the first one I ever met so--"

Space Pinkie popped a hoof in the original's mouth, quieting her. "I am programmed specifically to emulate ponies. Roughly half of my programming is emotional states, having them, understanding them, causing them, the works." Space Pinkie drew her hoof back. "I will note, the 'real me' doesn't have a lot of identity, or emotion, but I don't care about them, and neither does the 'real me'. My identity, um..." She frowned. "The me I know is all the little mes, like here." She turned a hoof on herself. "I am Pinkie. Hello!"

"Hiya!" greeted Pinkie Alpha, not that any greeting was strictly required. "Neat!" She leaned forward, seated she remained. "So are you rescuing Pinkie--" She pointed at Space Pinkie. "--or all the others too?"

"I may have lied, just a little." Space Pinkie drew the pad away from the wall, the cord popping free. "Download complete. The pad will keep itself up to date now. Synchronizing..." She trailed off, seeing Pinkie not getting it. "Um. Who I am." She pointed at herself. "Will keep going here." She pointed at the tablet. "Until the tablet leaves the ship, or there just isn't a ship anymore."

Pinkie Alpha reached for the pad, reclaiming it and tucking it into her mane. "Which means I need to be sure it gets off the ship before there stops being a ship."

"Exactly." Space Pinkie clopped her hooves in agreement. "I will bring you food and water until that time comes. The first step is easy. Keeping you hidden on the other ship will be more complicated, and unknown." She inclined her head slowly. "Hey, you wanna play with any specific pony?"

Pinkie Alpha blinked at the idea. "Wait, what ponies do you have?"

Space Pinkie began reciting a long list of ponies Twilight had known.

Pinkie Alpha nodded softly as the names kept coming and coming. "You know what this means, right?"

Space Pinkie paused her recitation. "This means I am equipped to copy over fifty different ponies?"

"This means it's time for a huge party!" Pinkie threw her arms wide. "No better way to pass the time."

So the program that was Space Pinkie sent a request to her core thread. Her core program tried to not have ponies just... appear, springing from nothing. Instead knocks came from the closed door. A few at a time, more ponies came, and more ponies came, each a thread of the overall program, filling the room with smiling holographic ponies.

Pinkie would party like the ship was gonna explode, which it was.

Twilight had advanced to the front of the force invading the ship. "I want to at least try talking first."

Steel inclined his head. "I'm not opposed to less violent resolutions, but I don't want you getting hurt either."

Twilight waved a hoof as she marched with determination. "I have a few defensive spells ready. Teleporting is a specialty of mine, and quite useful to avoid being hurt, lemme tell you from personal experience."

Under chuckled softly. "Can you do that as often as you please? Your magic is entirely alien, but fascinating to see."

Twilight coiled on herself, stopping her advance a moment to flutter her lashes at Under. "I take that as a compliment, and remind you that these secrets are yours to study at your leisure, off duty."

Fast laughed musically. "Under, you appear to have a lady friend."

"Focus," ordered Steel firmly. "We are in hostile territory."

Twilight turned an ear back as she turned a corner. "Friendly territory, one unfriendly creature in it. Let's see if we can't fi--"

"--Who are you?" Oops, there she was, storming towards Twilight with a scowl. "You're not one of the crew."

"Correct," half-sang Twilight. "I was hoping to talk?"

"I could rip you in half." She hadn't been holding a weapon, but one appeared in her hands, a glittering energy axe that screamed with abused metal as she crashed it into the floor where Twilight had been.

Twilight was instead behind the angry one. "Why are you doing this? I feel cer--" She couldn't finish, vanishing with a pop just a moment before the glowing energy axe sliced horizontally through the air she had been occupying. "--tain that we can come to a peaceful resolution."

The mineralite grunted with building fury. "We could resolve this really quickly if you'd just sit still a second."

"As you wish." Twilight sat on her haunches. "Now if we--" The axe crashed against a shield that had been invisible, both the axe and the shield sparking wildly in conflict. "--could just talk?"

The mineralite took a step back, glaring at Twilight, and her friends that watched their exchange. "What is this?" And it clicked. "You did come! My plan is working!"

Twilight inclined her head. "What plan?"

She laughed a wild laughter of victory. "Fool! They'll be here any moment to kill you all and the war will start not long after that. You walked right into a hot spot of detection, so don't even dream of trying to leave now." She shook with an almost delirious joy. "Finally!"

Twilight patiently allowed the mineralite the have her fun. "Our ship is quite a distance away, and this ship." She tapped at the floor. "Is authorized to be here. There is little reason for anycreature to get upset."

"Lies. Teleportation has its limits. If you're within boarding range, you're already detected." She leveled a finger at Twilight, still seated in her bubble. "Don't try to fool me."

Under inclined his head towards the arcane mystery that was his ally. "I was just as confused, but she does not appear to have any limitations, save that it is the same plane of reality."

"I have to use a different spell for that," sighed out Twilight as if that were obvious, and annoying. "Now, really, why are you so eager to get us all fighting?"

"Because you're so stupid!" The mineralite stomped the floor and paced, her eyes to the sky. "I can't even start to... Ugh!"

Fast's eyes darted a little, but could see no sign of the energy weapon the mineralite had been using. "What are we... being stupid about?"

"Yes, that." Twilight nodded. "Have you tried telling us?"

The mineralite stormed Twilight, her gemstone seeming to glimmer with the heat of her anger. "Easier said than done, unless you happen to be the people in charge? No? Of course not." She could see their expressions, answer enough. "Whatever." She swiped down, straightening her clothes. "Maybe you deserve it. Maybe I'm the real idiot."

"You... seem to be really upset, about something." Twilight worried her hooves before herself. "Care to share that?"

"Wow. Literally just wow." She sank to sit on a crate. "No wonder..." She hiked a thumb at Twilight. "Is she in charge of the rest of you?"

Steel and Fast took a step forward each. "Great," continued the mineralite, taking that as an answer. "There are some problems that can't be talked out. Do you ponies understand that?"

Twilight smiled, a thin little smile. "We're doing that right now. Is that... bad?"

"I'm not your problem," screamed the woman. "I swear..."

"We're listening."

And she began to explain.

Remi staggered, having taken a step back into her room. "Huh? Octi?" But Octavia wasn't in sight. "Computer?" A friendly chime informed her that the computer was still present. "Octavia alright?"

"Crewmember Octavia's status: Stable. You should consult with a medical crew member for more thorough analysis."

Remi threw up her hands. "Right, what do you know?"

"You have been invited to a celebration."

Remi didn't even know the ship computer could really talk about... that... or anything come to think. "What?"

A knock came from the door, making Remi jump in surprise. "Open door."

The door swung open to reveal Pinkie Pie bouncing in. "You're gonna be late for the partay to beat all parties! We won the game!" She pumped her hooves wildly before pointing back out the way she came. "Come on!"

Remi's eyes widened. "Pinkie! You made it, nobody saw you?"

"Silly, I'm Space Pinkie, not real Pinkie." She snorted mid-giggle as she began to bounce away. "This way!"

And so Remington followed the not-Pinkie, more questions in her mind. She hoped answers would come at the party.

Author's Note:

The timeline is calming down into a nice steady pattern now. Diamond Tiara learned a thing or two and is on a better path, ja? And what is the mineralite about to share?! And will she ever tell us her name?!

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