• Published 20th Aug 2012
  • 9,848 Views, 475 Comments

For I Have no Friends, and Must Scream - Richardson



Trixie's life hangs in the hooves of Twilight Sparkle after an encounter with a cockatrice.

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Stars

Void was all that she knew, the inky blackness of oblivion having swallowed up all her senses. She floated there, not even the sound of her own breathing distracting her as she tried to do something, anything to lighten her situation. Trixie gathered every scrap and iota of her power that she felt she could grab to project her mind out, to do anything but lay there an eternity waiting to be eroded away.

'Hello, anypony! Please hear me... I- I saw a cockatrice. I- I can't move, please help.'

Flickers of light shone or a brief moment at the edges of whatever strange vision she was seeing, maddening her with how far away they were. She realized that she was most likely seeing the souls of the dead, seeing the beginnings of the afterlife for her. But there was no way in Tartarus she was just going to give up quietly. Trixie would swear that some great show of light highlighted her struggles to free herself, to do something. That she moved the heavens and Equis itself if it would give her just one moment to claw herself closer to safety and freedom.

But for all that she tried, the tiny pricks of light so far away winked out from her vision one by one; perhaps having moved from beyond her sight, or Trixie had been taken deeper into whatever hell she had been descending into.

'No... no. Trixie doesn't get to have somepony help her, apparently. No love, nopony to even say goodbye to her. All I want is somepony, ANYPONY!'

Her thoughts took on a more desperate swirl as she laid there, trapped and immobile in the dark. For how long she couldn't say. On one hoof it felt like mere seconds, and on another granite parody of a hoof it felt like she had been waiting for so long that the world itself had crumbled away. Whirlwind plans to prove she was 'merely' comatose and in a hospital, or that everything since she had found that wretched poster advertising that mockery of her mother had been a dream, or anything at all was happening crowded her mind as she fought off the crippling worries of her state.

She strained to hear something, anything as she shut down her manic thoughts. And immediately wished she hadn't, as a dread whispering filled what passed for a spirit's ears. A tongue nopony living understood grew in strength as a black void darker than death itself began to emerge before her. The virulent chanting grew ever stronger as it approached, a single set of words understandable to the trapped mare. Her name.

Trixie wanted to rear back, to fight it away as tendrils with an icy grip like a windingo's began to unfurl to clutch at her soul, drawing her into the morass. Some tiny, frightened part of her soul knew that the last bits of her would be erased, taken to an oblivion that would so utterly unmake her that not even the afterlife would await. A force built within her to oppose it as she struggled and raged against the darkness claiming her with a force unseen since the diarch of the moon fought with the nightmare of her own making.

And the darkness knew her Name.

It called to her, Trixie somehow understanding how it called her food, called her and demanded her unmaking so that it would live. She knew that it called her by her Name, that it had a lever with which to tip her soul into its maw.

Trixie screamed as she felt herself being drawn in, bits of her being pulled away as she tapped on every single force her mother ever taught her. Arcane and nameless energies arced from her soul into the abomination, lighting up geometries that shook her mind, and horrified her soul. Her fear gave her strength. Her strength gave her anger, and hate.

And with a cry of rage against the fate that was slowly devouring every trace of her, she struck against it with the fury of the sun and moon. 'Do you want Trixie Lulamoon? Do you? Frak off! My soul is my own!'

Void became white for a moment as she poured every last ounce of herself into the strike, an aurora-esque show of light shining between them as she taught it suffering. Tendrils were burned from her soul and her eyes glowed with the power of ages as for a moment, she touched the power of the sisters themselves. Force pushed the darkness back, drove it into whatever part of the void it had come from as Trixie taught it the full and terrible meaning of suffering so very well.

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Clouds swirled ominously over a fixed point in the forest. 'Storm is 'acoming' most had said. After a day of fruitless searching and far too many close calls for comfort, the consensus amongst the searchers was that the Everfree had swallowed the troublesome showmare whole. Even if she was somehow alive, between the fading trail and the worsening weather only luck would allow them to find her in a day or so. So, most had given up. But not all.

A lone mare looked up from the remains of Trixie's trail, staring concernedly into the stormy skies. The center of circulation crackled with lightning not far away, as thunder rumbled against the trees with elemental fury. The purple mare cautiously crept forward under magical shields, conscious of the danger that the storm was to her. Wind had begun to whip about beneath the canopy of raging storms; tree-branches clipping off the persistent tracker's shimmering purple barriers. Zecorra's hut wasn't all that far away, she wondered and worried why the showmare had not gone there for help.

Ionization crackled all about the mare as she carefully crept into the clearing at the heart of the storm and gasped at the horror before her. A terrible statue stood within the eye of the storm with a cloak of green scales covering her face. Trixie, caught in the moment of her last and utmost horror, displayed for all the world to see. The purple mare that had been tracking her down backed away in fright and cast a spell to protect her from the stare of the cockatrice as she tried to figure out how to remove the frightening and dangerous creature from its victim.

Before she could, her ruler-straight mane rose into the air as static built all about her; and the ghostly trace of light rising from the stat- from Trixie's horn was the only definite warning before the strike. A bolt seemingly from the sisters themselves struck from the heavens and smashed into Trixie's petrified form. The purple mare braced herself for the shockwave, grunting and groaning as the power of the lightning strike battered against her shields. In the confusion, she could catch only the slightest glimpse of the cockatrice flying through the air with a great trail of smoke coming from it's form before the dread being vanished into the trees.

"Trixie!"

The clouds were breaking up as their controlling influence ceased, and the persistent mare ran up to the petrified form to look for any sign of hope for the showmare. Magic flowed into the still, cold body as the rescuer poured a fail-safe spell into Trixie to try and break the fell curse upon her. And she poured, and poured every last little bit that she had; fighting against the curse that sought to forever trap the mare before her.

A cold numbness began to creep into the rescuer's hooves as the curse lashed out and began to strike at her. The magical link between victim and would-be rescuer broke with the shock of the change as the rescuer stumbled back in terror from Trixie. With no further link between the two, stone faded back to flesh just as the purple glow faded from Trixie's form.

Panting, she rested against the former showmare's flank and wondered what she could possibly do. She couldn't perform many experiments upon the limits of Trixie's curse within the dark heart of the Everfree. She needed information, and a safe harbor for the poor mare. And, maybe eventually, she might even figure out where that Tartarus bedammed voice was coming from!

Wait... What voice?

'Please! Whoever you are! I- I can see you, PLEASE HELP ME!'

'Trixie?'

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Trixie tried to swim, or fly or do something, anything to get closer to the brilliantly shining six pointed star before her. The mare behind it had a name that seemed strangely familiar to her as she grabbed ahold of the shining star in the black void, hugging it tightly to her chest.

'Gah! What was that?'

'Please, don't leave me. Everypony else leaves.' Trixie clutched to her savior with all her strength. She didn't know how she was doing it, as she couldn't see or move her limbs, but every one of her senses told her that she had a grip on the purple star. She dug in, immersing herself in the sole sensations she had received for what felt like an eternity, halfway burying herself in the warmth of it's presence.

The brilliant lavender light from the star pulsed, even twitched at that. 'I'm not going to leave you, Trixie. You'll die if I do.'

'I know. Everypony says that they'll always stay, but they never come back.' Trixie's mind pressed outwards against the darkness, trying to take strength from the mare that she clung to. The darkness swirled all about her, wicking strength from her mind. If it wasn't for the star of light she so helplessly clung to, Trixie was afraid that she might give in and rest, and who knew how that would turn out.

'I'm not going to leave you. I have a friend I'm taking your body to so it'll be safe. You'd probably like her if you could speak to her.' The star pulsed in Trixie's desperate grip once more, and it's glow filled the void with a purple light.

Trixie squirmed and itched as it tickled against her. Almost like how her mother's tickled her. 'Please tell me, err, tell Trixie you can change her back. Trixie doesn't want her companionship to be stars and voids forever.'

'What? No! I'll do everything in my power to get you changed back, Trixie. But the petrification spell you're under fought back against my failsafe spell, and nearly turned me to stone with you. So, it might take weeks, or months of research.' The star pulsed again, its warmth drawing Trixie deeper into its embrace. So warm, and loving, and sorry for what had happened.

Trixie wondered how a star could be sorry for something that happened. Thoughts danced in and out of her mind, fever dreams and questions about metaphysics and souls and- wait. 'Weeks to MONTHS? But... Trixie would go insane by then!'

'I'll think of something! Okay? But I need spells, information. Hang on, Trixie. Just, hang on.'

The showmare's spirit sighed, afraid of what was to come. She couldn't tell how long she waited in silence for whatever the star, or mare, or whatever she was was going to do for her. It felt like she was floating in a sea of purple, hugged from all sides in the void. Shining glimmers of something poked at her from all around, keeping her awake as a most curious sight unwound into view.

A rolling and unrolling ribbon of black, covered in a white glow. Little arrowheads dotted it's length and twirled all around it as it curled up into a tight spiral before the pair of them. And it sang, a strange, lonesome song that Trixie couldn't understand a second of. Incomprehensible, sung in an alien language and referencing concepts and events in a manner that the showmare couldn't hope to understand. The undulating spiral dizzied her, and made her wonder if a spirit could loose its lunch.

Beneath her, the star pulsed once more and spoke. 'Yes Zecora, this is Trixie. Or, what's left of her.'

All about Trixie, the purple glow vanished, taken back into the star. She shivered, fearful of the darkness that surrounded her and the strange new entity before her. 'Who- Who is that?'

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"-Be waived; but no victim of the cockatrice has ever been saved." Zecora raised an eyebrow as Twilight twitched and shivered at the touch of something. "Perhaps I should make some soup? You look as those you have inhaled a noseful of goop."

"What? Oh... when I tried to cast a failsafe spell on Trixie, I somehow created a link between my mind and hers. She's badgering me and she can somehow partially see you and she's hearing you in zebrican." Twilight shook her head and tried to focus on the conversation before her. Trixie insistently spoke within her mind, trying to keep abreast of what was occurring in the outside world. The poor petrified showmare's form sat propped against Zecora's table as the zebra kept a wide berth from her for fear or some other reason.

"Please tell me this is a joke! Such a link must be quickly broke!" Zecora's impassioned words caught Twilight by surprise, and she edged away from the zebra as the shaman began picking ingredients from her shelves.

"What? I'm not leaving her alone in there! I don't care if nopony else has ever been saved before, I'm saving her." Twilight stomped her hoof in outrage, standing taller as she rose to the presented challenge. She seemed to gather bits of shadow around her like a cloak as she slowly and steadily marched towards Zecora, and her glare dared the zebra to defy her on the matter.

"Twilight, it is for the best. Trixie must be laid to her eternal rest." Zecora sweated as she found herself backed against the wall under Twilight's intense gaze. Few beings had ever projected such a stare at her, and Zecora wondered if she should have let Twilight exhaust herself against the unbreakable curse before bringing up the correct course of action.

Twilight shook her head, denying it vehemently. Her mane flicked in all directions behind her as her eyes twitched at the thought. A gleam appeared in them that Zecora wasn't entirely certain that she liked. Twilight spoke, her voice cold and unyielding as she set her mind on one thing. "I refuse to accept that. And if you could hear her, neither would you. I am going to find a way to save her, even if it kills me."

As Twilight stepped back, Zecora swallowed the fear that had developed as she remembered Twilight's recent accomplishments. She wondered if the voice now within Twilight's head had left her immune to reason, with the way she had been acting so irrationally. "Be careful with such a jest; for a such words the universe does not rest. Despite your victory against Nightmare Moon, do not let its glory make your reason swoon."

Twilight shook her head again at Zecora's implication, having long before made up her mind. She wasn't going to give up on Trixie, not so long as she could still try. She couldn't see the mare's spirit, but she could hear it, and she could hear the desperation Trixie was gripped with. "No, I refuse to believe that there is no way to save her. She can hear you. She still has some senses left to her! There has to be some way to let her live again, no matter what workarounds I have to make in order to do it! Please, will you let me cast a linking spell so you can talk with her? She needs more company than just me."

Zecora shook her head, the zebra shaman slowly pacing around the frozen statue in her home. She didn't know where she could put the showmare so that she would not look up into a visage of horror every time she went for a drink of water. It was enough that she hosted Trixie in her home, she had no wish to further mire herself in the danger Twilight was putting herself in by linking her mind with the doomed showmare. "Nay, I think my mind is fine none the less; up in my head it is already quite the mess. Still I shall swear that under my roof, no harm shall come to Trixie by any hoof."

Twilight surprised Zecora by hugging her with surprising swiftness, tears gleaming in her eyes as she did. "Thank you! Please, keep her safe, she doesn't deserve what's happened to her."

Zecora nodded, apprehensive of the mood swings she had just witnessed. She feared the link with Trixie's mind might be more than either mare realized as the purple mare of magic let go of her, a slight tint of blue disturbingly visible in the small stars about her cutie mark. "Despite the gathering dark I wish not to tell you so, but is it not time to go?"

Twilight whipped her head around, looking out the window at the sky that was swiftly turning to night. Twilight straightened up and bolted for the door, taking a second to look back and say something to Zecora. "Thank you, and keep her safe until I get back!"

Zecora nodded, waiting until Twilight had shut the door before she moved again. A mask from her wall found itself hooked over the frozen showmare's horn and face, as a blanket disguised the rest of her form so that the shaman could find rest in her own home. As Zecora turned to her cauldron to brew something for her sleep and to put Trixie out of her mind, a blue mist crept and squeezed through the cracks of her windows. It swirled about Trixie for a moment, tendrils of it lovingly caressing her form before the cloud sucked itself back out the windows in a second. Zecora turned at the slight breeze, frowning as she saw nothing at all there.

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