• Published 10th Jun 2020
  • 1,132 Views, 40 Comments

Splintershard - TheMajorTechie

Once upon a time, Equestria flourished. That time is now long-gone.

  • ...

3|1 ◈ This Quest

Author's Note:

And so the nation fractured.

Twin factions arose.

Both legitimate.

Neither legitimate.

And the old Empire of the North,

Faded into obscurity.

"Well, I guess we're screwed then," Emily sighed. "Hey Star, you wanna teach me how to turn myself back into a human and open a portal home yet?"

"No. You can't just give up like that! Think of what's at stake here! I started this mess, and I'm sorry for having to drag you into it, but we still have a task at hoof! Also, you're talking to me out loud again."

Man. Well, if Star wasn't willing to do the whole portal magic stuff, then might as well follow along.

"You really are a doormat sometimes. You know that, right?"


"Are... you--" Flurry Heart reached out with a hoof.

"I'm fine!" Emily blurted. "Everything's fine! I was just going over plans with Star on how to handle what we think is happening!"

Flurry Heart raised a brow.

"We were... well, we were talking about how it could be possible for copies to be mass-produced if the protection spells really were broken. Do you want to discuss as well?" She narrowed her eyes. "And you are with us, right?"

"Yes. I do believe you have convinced me of the dangers posed by the continued existence of these scrolls."

"Good. So anyway, we've only really got three options, not counting running away from here before anything bad happens. We can either track down and destroy the remaining copies, figure out whether or not it's possible to maybe disable, or at the very least block the use of those scrolls..." a smirk grew on Emily's face. "Or, Starlight could use the scroll you're set to receive to travel back in time, and prevent the scroll from being copied in the first place!"

"If I could cringe at that last suggestion, I certainly would."

Thanks, Star. Great moral support.

"I aim to please."

"But anyway," Emily continued, "I think the most sane option would be to track down and destroy the copies, including the original scroll if it still exists out there somewhere. Man. Never thought I'd be on some magical quest to find some pieces of paper."

"That sounded incredibly forced, Emi. Are you sure you know what you're--"

"Sure I'm sure!" Emily blurted again. Flurry Heart cringed at the outburst. "I'm just... frustrated. That's all. I was hoping that this would be easy. Y'know, one-and-done. Boom, bang, world's saved. Would've been nice if finding that scroll was as easy as finding stuff back home. Just saying. All I'd have to do is type in, oh, I don't know, 'ancient scroll that poses incredible danger to everything we know and love' or something and click on the search button, and then I'd have a nice list of--"

Starlight's groan rattled through her head. "Listen, Emily. Tonight, we talk. Just you and me. Right now though, you're only making a fool of yourself in front of what could very well be our only shot at ending this mess once and for all. I'll take it from here, whether you like it or not."

Fine. Do what you want, Star. Emily relaxed, letting that same old loss of sensation wash over her once more. Starlight cleared her throat.

"So. Excuse me... us for the odd turn in our conversation. As Emily was saying, we believe it'd be best to carry out a search-and-destroy operation on the copies of the scroll. Would you know, by chance, if there was ever a tracking enchantment applied to each copy? It would be the logical thing to do, given how desirable such a copy would be to the Old Guard."

Flurry Heart furrowed her brows. "Yes, that would indeed be logical. However, such spells are normally untraceable by anyone other than the original spellcaster. What use would a tracking enchantment be if you are not the tracker?"

"Reverse-engineering." Starlight smirked. "Don't forget, you're talking to the mare who modified that very same scroll before you were even born. Once that new copy of the scroll arrives, I'm getting to work."

For a moment, Emily swore she saw the faintest hints of a smile on Flurry Heart's face.

"What was that?" Starlight slammed the door open. "Emi, you could've blown it back there! Do you think Flurry Heart has time to hear you complaining?"

"Whuh..." Aero rubbed an eye. "Oh hey, you're ba--"

"Listen--" Starlight sat down. "--Emi, I... know things have been harsh for you, especially in these past few days. Heck, I've already lost track of how long it's been since we arrived in Equestria! But that isn't the point. You've got to hold it together just a little longer, alright? You talking about how you would've searched for things back home sparked an idea. If things go the way I hope they will, then I promise you--we can turn our full attention to getting you home."

That's easy to say. And what if things only go further downhill? What if that tracking spell Starlight talked about doesn't work, or what if it doesn't even exist in the first place? What then? And if the Ashen really do have so many copies, then what's stopping them from making more at this very second?

"I... don't have an answer for that. For any of those."

Exactly. This world faced an existential threat, and what were they? Just a dumb girl and her unicorn friend. What power did they have over something that not only had the ability to erase reality as they knew it, but had also been mass-produced? Like it or not, they were facing an unstoppable force, and they were far from being an unmovable objected.

Starlight sighed, retreating back to the depths of the girl's mind. "Okay. So first off, I'm sorry. For all of this. For dragging you into a war that I should've ended ages ago. For pushing what you want far down the line. For being the reason why any of this is happening in the first place. But we can't just give up now! Think of how many lives would be lost if a full-on war breaks out again? Or what if a scroll is fully activated, and our very timeline is erased from existence? You've become tied to this world just as much as I was, Emi, from the moment you jumped through that portal. We have a quest to complete, and the world relies on us."

And that's the problem! Since when did she become the protector of the world? This wasn't what she wanted--this wasn't even close to what she wanted! Why'd she have to jump into that stupid portal, anyway?

"How about this. It'll take a couple of days at the very least for the new scroll to arrive, anyway. I'll... teach you how to open portals in the meantime. I can't help you regain your human body, though. The best I can do is a cloaking spell to disguise you. You can go home for a day. Get your old life back, even if it's just for a little bit. Just as long as you promise you'll help. Please."

Fine. Deal.