• Published 15th Jan 2012
  • 1,835 Views, 20 Comments

The Broken Watch - Nazkan

Derpy and The Doctor attempt to save Equestria.

  • ...

Archaeologists and Summons

Today seemed different. Maybe there was something in the air, maybe the sun seemed to shine a little brighter, maybe the birds sang a little louder, the day just seemed different. Flying through town, Ditzy seemed to be the only one who noticed this. Most ponies just went through their daily tasks, completely oblivious to whatever had changed. Ditzy probably would have slowed down at that point to wonder what exactly had changed, but that thought was far from her mind. She was late, and had to focus. Speeding just above the ponies in the street, Ditzy arrived at the small building that was the Ponyville post office. Pulling down and landing with a crash, she took a moment to gather her bearings before pushing open the door and entering. She worried slightly that someone might notice the dirt marks covering her grey coat, or the clumps of mud stuck in her blonde mane, before shrugging the thought off.

Ditzy ducked her head quickly, barely avoiding a collision with another pegasus who managed to squeeze out the door before it closed. She looked through the room, searching for her mail bag. Two large tables with matching chairs sat to her left, and a small wooden door stuck out of the wall across the room, leading to her bosses office. A desk was set up to her right, for the purpose of accepting letters. Thankfully, no one was sitting behind it at the moment.
Her mail bag was sitting on a table across the room, next to a vase of flowers and the door to the office. She glanced around to see if anyone else was in the room before sneaking forward. She reached out and grabbed her bag, attaching it to her side. She spun around and headed back towards the door. If she could just get out before...
Ditzy flew upwards in shock, banging her head against the roof and falling back to the ground, landing on her head in an incredible display of acrobatics. A familiar pain began to spread outwards from her collision, but she fought it down. She looked up at her boss, a dark brown pegasus with a faded yellow mane and cutie mark of a large cardboard box, and mumbled weakly "Oh, hello sir, how was your day?"
Her boss looked down disapprovingly, and replied sternly, "Ditzy, this is the third time in a row you're been late, you can't keep doing this."
"I know but...." Ditzy replied weakly, getting cut off by her boss.
"And I've already got complaints about that accident last week."
"But that wasn't my fault! The bowling balls just slipped!" Ditzy said.
"I'm not blaming you, just be glad nopony was hurt." He said, helping Ditzy get off the floor, "But Ditzy, it's becoming an increasing risk to keep you on staff. If you don't focus up and start paying attention, I may be forced to, uhh, let you go."
Ditzy took a step back, "But what about my daughters? I have a family to support!"
"Don't panic, just step up your game and we'll both get through this. I don't want to fire anypony, remember?"
Walking towards the door, Ditzy looked back, "Right, sorry. You just see, though, I'm gonna be the most focused mail pony this town has ever seen. Yep, dependable, focused Ditzy."
Her boss yelled back sharply, "Umm Ditzy, watch out for the....." He ended his sentence as Ditzy wandered into the wall next to the door, smacking the side of her head against it. She simply looked back sheepishly and muttered to herself, "Doors over there, gotta remember."
Ditzy's boss sat there and watched as she pushed the door open and flew out. Turning back to his office, he said to no one in particular, "Poor girl, amazing she can even fly with eyes like that."

More ponies had worked their way into the street by now. Ditzy huddled up next to the post office and started searching through her bag, learning who needed deliveries.
"Let's see." she remarked, shuffling through the envelopes. "R.D, P.P, L, and T.S." Ditzy cheered up a bit. Even though there were less people than last time, that meant she could finish faster.
Placing the letters back into her bag, she flapped her wings and ascended into the sky. Staring around, Ditzy saw Rainbow Dash's house floating over an empty plain outside Ponyville. Ditzy started to glide over to it, muttering to herself, "Focus Ditzy, don't get distracted. Stay focused, and keep an eye on Rainbow's house. Keep focused Ditzy."
One of her eyes rolled downwards, it's attention caught by something shiny. Ditzy snapped her eyes forward again, and closed them so she couldn't be distracted. She started chanting to herself again. "Stay focused, don't get distracted. You can investigate later, just focus."
Another pair of wings started to emerge against her words. Ditzy kept her eyes closed and kept flying, knowing if she opened them she would get distracted again. The crowd beneath her began to shout and Ditzy fought the urge to open her eyes and see what the problem was. Nothing was going to distract her today.
More ponies started shouting and Ditzy responded by speaking to herself louder. The noise beneath her increased and she couldn't help it anymore. Ditzy's eyes sprung open, giving her about three seconds before she crashed into another pony flying towards her.

The two ponies tumbled out of the air, nearly crashing into one of the ponies in the street. The letters exploded out of Ditzy's bag, mingling with the contents of the other ponies bag. Letters and personal belongings littered the streets. Some nearby ponies started to gather up the items as Ditzy pulled herself up onto her hooves. She turned to the pony she had crashed into and prepared to apologize. The pony herself was a dark red colour, with a plain orange mane. She was wearing a hood which ran down her back and covered her flank and cutie mark. Due to being smaller than her, Ditzy felt slightly intimidated, but pushed through this to apologize.
"Oh, are you ok? I'm so so so so sorry! Please don't be hurt. Here, have a muffin."
Ditzy grabbed a muffin off of the ground near her and offered it to the pony. The pegasus responded by putting the muffin into one of the pockets in her hood and greeting Ditzy.
"We're fine, thank you very much for the muffin. But are you sure you're ok? Your eyes seem a little.....disfigured."
"What, these things?" Ditzy remarked, gesturing to her eyes. "They've always been like that, you don't need to panic. I'm real sorry for crashing into you Miss....?
"Cinder. And the accident was totally our fault. We should have been looking where we were flying, instead of focusing on...other business." Cinder said, lowering her voice to whisper near the end.
Ditzy looked shocked, "No, it was all my fault, I was flying with my eyes closed. Again"
"Why in Equestria would anypony do that?"
"It's embarrassing now that I think about it." Ditzy said shyly.
"Come on, tell us!" Cinder responded.
"No, I really don't want to."
"TELL US PONY!" Cinder snapped. Ditzy jumped backwards in fright and started explaining.
"Well, I need to stay focused today and I figured that if I didn't see anything, than nothing would be able to distract me. So I closed my eyes and blindly flew forwards."
Cinder cocked her head to the side and tried to process this logic. She sat there for a few minutes before pulling her head straight and replying.
"Well, we guess that makes sense, though we probably would have just stared at the sky or something instead."
"Can I ask you a question, Cinder?" Ditzy said, "Why do you keep talking as if there's more than one of you?"
Cinder stared at Ditzy, thinking deeply, before replying, "It's tradition to use the royal we when speaking to commoners. That should explain, correct?"
The two ponies conversation was interrupted when a light blue unicorn with a multicoloured mane interjected, "Excuse me, Cinder, was it? I believe we have some of your things." She said, before placing them in a neat pile in front of Cinder, "Here."
Cinder carefully placed the pile of junk into separate pockets and thanked the pony.
She flapped her wings and started to take off, when Ditzy yelled out. "Bye Cinder, We should get muffins sometime."
Cinder looked back down and responded sadly, "We'd like that..."
"Ditzy Doo!" She answered.
"Well, Ditzy Doo, here's to hoping we meet again!" She said, flying off.
The unicorn holding the letters put them back into Ditzy's mail bag. Ditzy gave a small smile before flying off hurriedly, to make up for the time she lost. Unnoticed, a small item slipped through the letters and settled comfortably on the bottom of her bag.

After delivering an expensive Wonderbolt poster to Rainbow Dash, and listening to her repeat the phrase, "So awesome" for several minutes, Ditzy took off and headed towards Sugercube Corner to deliver the next letter.
The mare stopped for a moment and looked through the clean shop window. An impressive display of delicious looking treats lined the other side of the glass. Ditzy tried to pull away, but was too entranced by the sight. Cupcakes of every size and colour sat wedged between piles of candy, cakes and most deliciously, muffins. She made a mental note to buy some of those after she delivered the mail.
Entering the shop, the smell of fresh bread hit Ditzy's nose. She took a deep breath of the pleasant smell and headed towards the counter. Mrs Cake, a turquoise coloured pony with a light pink mane, called out to her.
"Hello, Dearie, what can I get you?"
"A muffin.....No wait, I just need to deliver this letter to Pinkie." Ditzy replied.
"Well, she should be around here somewhere, try checking the kitchen."
"Okay, Mrs Cake."
Walking past the counter, Ditzy gave Mrs Cake a little nod and wandered into the kitchen. The sight caused her to gasp in shock. Flour covered nearly every inch of the counter, a pile of eggshells sat in the corner of the room and a thick puddle of melted chocolate slowly dripped off the table and ran across the floor. Bouncing near the sink, seemingly unconcerned with the mess she was making, was a bright pink mare. Her mane and tail were a darker shade of pink and puffed up like cotton candy. Ditzy called out from the other side of the room.
"Pinkie, Mail."
Pinkie spun around and, seeing Ditzy, gasped deeply. She hopped backwards and disappeared behind the table. Ditzy took a few steps forwards, trying to avoid the chocolate while she went. Pinkie's head appeared again, poking out of Ditzy's mail bag. In her mouth was the letter Ditzy was trying to deliver. Before she could process what was happening, Pinkie dived back into the bag, and walked out from behind the table, the letter firmly grasped in her mouth.
Ditzy tried to form words, but only managed to muster a weak "What?" before raising her hoof to her head and sighing sadly.
Pinkie didn't notice Ditzy's confused state and proceeded to open the letter right there.
A pile of multicoloured beans flowed out of the envelope and Pinkie said, "Oh, just what I needed, BEANS! Why didn't I think of it before? I've already tried salt, cinnamon, ice-cream and don't even get me started on oatmeal! BEANS, It's so obvious. This is going to be the best cake EVER!"
Turning her back to Ditzy, she poured the beans into a bowl that was in front of her and started bouncing again. Ditzy rubbed her a eyes a little before walking out of the kitchen, passing Mrs Cake on her way.
"Are you all right, Dearie? You look a little frazzled."
"Pinkie Pie's so random." Ditzy replied, leaving the shop.

Soaring over Ponyville, Ditzy spotted the next person on her mail list. Pulling down, she prepared to land comfortably on the dusty ground. However, she misjudged the distance and another painful crash told her she'd missed, rolling to a stop in front of a mint coloured unicorn and a cream coloured earth pony. Ditzy stood up quickly and nearly fell over as the world kept spinning. She called out weakly,
"Hey L, catch......Kira yet?" The world started to spin faster and Ditzy fell over sideways.
"No; I...Wait who?" Lyra said, looking over to Bon Bon, concerned.
Ditzy shook her head from side to side quickly, before responding, "Who what? Oh, I have mail for you." Ditzy spun her head over to her bag and whipped the envelope out.
A soft glow surrounded it and Lyra pulled it over to her, holding it above her head. "Thanks Ditzy. Good luck with the rest."
Ditzy nodded, "Okay, shouldn't be to hard. Only Twilights next."
Bon Bon spoke up at the mention of Twilight's name. "Oh, be careful. I heard she has a guest today. You'll want to make a good impression."
"Thanks for the tip Bon. Well, I better fly off. The sooner the better." Ditzy announced. "You two be alright, ok?"
"Oh, we will Ditzy." Lyra replied.
Ditzy took this moment to fly away, leaving the two ponies alone. Lyra turned and stared at Bon Bon, giving her a sly wink. Bon Bon responded by shuffling uncomfortably and staring at the ground.

Ditzy floated forward lazily. With only one person left she was free to slow down and relax. Her mind drifted to earlier, when she first felt something was different. Try as she might though, she couldn't place her hoof on it. It sat just out of reach, teasingly close but just out of reach. She thought harder to herself, "Everything's the same, isn't it? Wake up, eat breakfast, drop Dinky off at school, go to work." Ditzy pulled her hooves to her head, "So what's changed?"

The Ponyville library came into view and Ditzy landed carefully, making sure not to crash. She gave a hard knock against the wood and waited again for someone to answer. A purple glow surrounded the door as hoofsteps moved closer, signalling the person behind it. With a rusty creak, the door swung open quickly. Twilight was standing in the doorway, an embarrassed look on her face. Behind her, Spike and another pony were talking to each other, too entrapped in their conversation to notice the mares at the door.
"Hello Twilight! How are you today?"
"Busy. Again. There's a new pony here, visiting, and Pinkie won't stop trying to throw him a party. Sometimes I wish she would take a break but, she is Pinkie." Twilight looked back at the pony and asked Ditzy, "Do you have a moment? I could introduce you to him."
Ditzy thought for a moment before replying enthusiastically, "Sure, I have time."
"Well, come in then, apparently it's rude to keep people waiting."

Ditzy entered the gigantic tree. Rows of books lined the walls and a large table, made out of a tree stump, stood in the middle of the room. A wooden staircase was built out of the tree on the other side of the room, leading to the second story of the house. Near the stairs, two creatures stood. One was a small purple dragon Ditzy recognized as Spike, and the other was a light brown pony, with a dark brown mane that spiked backwards and ran down the back of his head. Ditzy could see his cutie mark was a painters brush next to an old, cracked vase. Nervously, Ditzy approached the pair,
"Hello, my name is Di..."
"Not now, I'm busy." The pony said, not bothering to look at Ditzy, "How could I be wrong about this, I MET the dragon!" He practically shouted at Spike.
"And I AM a dragon! And I just know this. I mean, what dragon wouldn't?" Spike retorted.
"Race is not a substitute for knowledge. I've spent many months researching this, I'm not wrong."
"Well, I'm not wrong."
An uncomfortable silence filled the room. Twilight tried to summon up the courage to break the silence, but failed, and moved over to a teapot on the other side of the room. A minute passed with no one speaking, before Ditzy decided now would be a good time to introduce herself. She placed herself between the two debaters and said clearly.
"Hey, I'm Ditzy Doo. Umm, why are you two arguing? Maybe I can help."
The pony replied to Ditzy's question, "Well, Miss Doo, I am Mr Diamond Polish, esteemed archaeologist and traveler of Equestria, and HE," He pointed at Spike, "is an ignorant hatchling who doesn't know his history."
Spike threw his hands up in the air and wandered over to one of the bookshelves, shouting back, "Fine, we'll look this up and then you'll see I'm right."
"Umm, you still haven't said what the problem is." Ditzy said nervously.
Diamond took a step back, a look of exaggerated shock on his face, "Of course, forgive me. Mr Diamond Breath over there thinks that the oldest dragon in existence is two thousand, six hundred and fifty seven years old. I, on the other hoof, argued that such a dragon would cover half the sky, and would have had to survive both the founding of Equestria AND the rule of Discord. Which is simply impossible. Recent evidence suggests that one thousand, five hundred, would be the ABSOLUTE age that a dragon could survive too. Besides, it's common knowledge to those of HIGHER stature, that the oldest dragon is currently living well beyond Equestria's borders."
Ditzy raised a hoof up to her head, and thought for a moment, "Well, that's silly, everypony knows the dragon saint of muffins is the oldest dragon, at one thousand, seven hundred and thirty six. Or was it forty six? I can't be sure." Ditzy said, as if quoting an encyclopedia.
Diamond placed his hooves on his head and shook his head from side to side. "There IS no saint of muffins."

At that moment, Twilight Sparkle stepped forward, floating a tray of tea in front of her. "Let's just talk about something different. Want some tea?" She asked.
"Mmm yes." Diamond said, grabbing a cup of tea and placing it on the ground. "So, Ditzy was it? Have you considered seeing a doctor yet?"
"What for?" She asked confusedly
"Your eyes, dear, surely such a display can't be a good sign for your mental health."
"Just what is that supposed to mean?" Ditzy snapped.
"Despite his brashness, he does have point," Twilight said, sipping her tea, "What did happen to your eyes? You've never told me. If it's personal I can understand, but still..."
Ditzy shuffled nervously, "Well, you see, the thing is..."
A loud crash ran through the room and everyone gathered quickly turned their attention to the source of the noise. A large pile of books clumped together on the floor in front of an empty bookcase. A small dragon poked his head out of the pile, and pulled himself out, causing several books fall out of the pile. He grasped a thick book in one of his hands and purposely made his way over to the group of ponies. Flicking through the pages of the book, he stopped when he found what he was looking for.
"Right here, Smart Guy. Page 394, paragraph 3, 'The oldest recorded dragon is the Dragon saint of Plenty, who, at the time of writing, is currently one thousand, seven hundred and thirty one years old.' You were way off." Spike jeered.
"What? Let me see that!" Diamond snatched the book out from Spikes hands and slowly scanned it. His face gradually dropped as the realization hit him. He was wrong. "Well Spike, I guess you win. Or at least, lose less. Congratulations."
"Let it never be in doubt." He said smugly. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go restock books before Twi has another one of her breakdowns."
As Spike headed back to pile of books, which had seemingly grown bigger since they talked, Diamond apologized to Ditzy, "Ditzy, It appears I owe you an apology too. You're smarter than you look and I shouldn't have made assumptions based on your looks."
Ditzy cheered up slightly, "Don't feel bad, I'm used to it by now." She faced Twilight, "By the way, I've got a letter for you."
Ditzy pulled the letter out of her bag, and motioned to Twilight, who took it with her magic. Before she could open it, Ditzy reached back into her bag and pulled out a strange device. She simply starred at it, confused. There was no mailing address and no signs about who had mailed it in the first place. "I must have missed this, Twilight, is this yours?"
Twilight took it with her magic and brought it closer to inspect it. The machine resembled a long metal pen, with a small blue tip. Several buttons poked out the side and the whole thing was unlike anything Twilight had seen before.
"No, it's not mine. I'll hold onto it for you, though. Would that be any trouble?"
"Don't worry, I'll just take it back to the post office and we'll figure out where it belongs."

Diamond Polish stared at the machine as Twilight slowly spun it around in front of them. He felt something build up inside him, something bigger than himself. He fought to keep it down and nearly succeeded, before it exploded out of him, "Actually, it's mine," he shouted.
Twilight looked at him, astonished. "Are you sure?" She said, passing it over to him.
Diamond quickly responded, "Wait sorry, I've never seen this before. I must have mistook it for something else." He stopped for a moment to stare at the device. "I would like to study it further, though. Usually I specialize in the old, but I may make an exception for this."
"Well, I can't just give it to you. But come by the office and I'll see if we can find the owner for you!" Ditzy said.
"If you need help I'll show you the way to post office tomorrow." Twilight interjected, taking another sip of tea and opening the envelope.
"Thank you Twilight, it would be mo..." Diamond remarked, stopping suddenly as he was showered by hot, brown droplets.

After the pain subsided, Twilight gave a quick apology before rushing past him to talk with Spike.
"SPIKE!" Twilight shouted, "Are you feeling alright? Do you feel sick? Tired? Don't bother with the books, go take a nap."
"Relax Twi, I'm fine. What's got you so worried?"
"This letter's from Princess Celestia and if she didn't send it by fire, something must be wrong!"
"Maybe she's just having horn troubles? Have you read it yet?" Spike inquired.
Twilight's face turned a slight shade of pink. "Well, no."
Diamond walked up to Twilight while drying himself with a towel he found. "So, what's so important about the letter that it was worth drowning me in tea?"
Twilight ignored him, ripping the envelope open and lifting the letter out of it. She held it out in front of her and started to read.

"My Faithful Student,
Twilight Sparkle

It is with a heavy heart that I must request your presence at the palace as soon as possible. A terrible threat has revealed its face and is making its way towards us as I write. I have dispatched the royal guards, but I fear they won't be enough. Bring the other wielders of the elements of harmony. Time is of the essence, so I will allow you one day to gather your friends before I send a chariot for you. I trust you will come prepared for this matter and I pray that you and your friends won't be needed for this most dangerous task.

Princess Celestia."

Twilight placed the letter carefully on the ground. She lifted her head and looked over to Diamond and Ditzy. "Well, it seems I have work to do. Sorry I couldn't be a better host, Mr Polish." She said clearly.
"Nonsense, you were wonderful. I'll let myself out, I wouldn't want to slow you down." With that, Diamond trotted over to the door and pushed it open, walking out onto the street.
Ditzy walked over to the door too. "I should probably go too. Dinky will be coming home soon." She mumbled, flying out the door. She held the metal tube in her mouth as she left.
Twilight took a look at Spike, then back to the pile of books. Letting out a sigh, she trotted towards the door as well, "Come on Spike. Lets go tell everypony. And don't think you've gotten out of cleaning this mess."
Spike's response was a quiet groan.

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