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

The Broken Watch - Nazkan



Derpy and The Doctor attempt to save Equestria.

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Memories and Watches

Diamond was awoken by a sharp pain jabbing into his side. He clenched his eyes shut harder and rolled over, hoping the pain would go away. He was tired and whatever he was laying on was soft, creating a comfortable bed for him to sleep on. The pain continued to persist however and he slowly heard a voice pierce the silence of his rest. It sounded panicked.
"Doctor Diamond, please wake up. The beach ball is gone but now things are a little weird. Wake up."
Diamond rolled back over, not even bothering to open his eyes, a hazy memory of a blue box outlined his thoughts. "Ditzy, five more minutes, I'm really tired right now."
A louder voice went through the room, waking Diamond up fully, "Diamond, you will wake up right now, and explain just what is going on!"
The brown pony opened his eyes quickly. The first thing he noticed was what he was lying on. It was a kind of thick slime, which appeared to glow light blue, but was actually dark green. The slime had the texture of a cloud and rippled slightly as Diamond jumped up onto his feet, wiping furiously to get any that had stuck to his face. Glancing around, he determined that he was in a tunnel of some kind. One side of the tunnel ran around a corner further into the cave, while the other side was blocked by a large, fleshy door of some kind. Mushrooms grew in several dark corners and ooze hung down from the ceiling, causing small puddles to form under them. Diamond then took note of the other ponies there with him, a fish-eyed grey pegasus and a blue pegasus wearing a full suit of royal guard armour, save for one of his shoes. Diamond rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn't dreaming, before cautiously asking, "Where are we? How'd we get here?
Solar looked at him as if he was an idiot. "That's what we wanted to ask you, seeing as you're the one who brought us here."
Diamond stepped sideways slowly, trying not to step in any of the slime accumulated on the floor, "I did?"
Solar tried to respond, but Ditzy stopped him by speaking first, "Well, yea. You did a thing with the magic wand and saved us from the beach ball!"
"Wait what? What's so dangerous about a beach ball?" Diamond asked, eyeing the roof cautiously.
"Diamond, don't you remember? You turned Celestia into an alien and teleported us here using Celestia knows what."
Diamond scratched the back of his head. "Is this some kind of joke? I'm sure I would remember something like that."
"Doctor Diamond, don't you remember? The running and the lightning and all the broken windows?" Ditzy said, her concern growing.
More memories fell into place at the mention of the Doctor. "Ditzy, all I remember is Celestia throwing you in that tiny closet. Then I came down and confronted her. After that, she started to think I was a doctor, and all these thoughts flowed into my head. It was like a dream, an endless dream full of danger and adventure. I think I may have passed out halfway through it all." Diamond said, annoyed, "And I'd really like to know which way the exit is, so I can get out of here!"
"Well you won't be getting any help from us until you answer some questions." Solar said. "Who are you? Are you Doctor or Diamond?"
Diamond stepped back as more thoughts flooded his mind, "I'm Diamond. I grew up here in Canterlot. I lived on Horseshoe road. I'm fully Diamond and always have been." He said, attempting to stem the flow of memories.
Solar continued, "What is this 'magic wand' and how did it take us here?"
Diamond walked over to it, and carefully pulled it out of the pile of sludge it was resting in. Placing it on one of the drier places, Diamond examined it. "Don't quote me on this, cause frankly I have no idea what this thing is, but, assuming that these numbers mean X,Y and Z co-ordinates, I guess we followed the elements to whatever this machine Celestia asked them to power up is. As for what this is, I still can't answer that."
Solar glanced at the screen, before looking back up at Diamond. "What machine?"
"Oh, Celestia said something about a machine before that green thing showed up. It was out of power." Ditzy said helpfully.
"When we arrived, Celestia was talking about a machine to defeat an army called the Sontarans. However, without the elements, the machine wouldn't have enough magical energy to function." Diamond elaborated.
Solar stood in silence for a while, connecting two and two together. "But that wasn't Celestia." Solar drew his sword and advanced towards the obstruction in the tunnel. "You two stay here, I don't care if you somehow manage to help. I'm trained for this and you two are still just civilians. Whatever that thing was planning, I don't think it's going to be good. So I'm off to find the elements and warn them of this potential trap. Don't. Move. " With that, Solar stabbed his sword into the door, causing it to slid into the floor. He stepped through the opening and gave the duo a quick glance before the door closed again, cutting him off from the others.

Diamond sat against the wall, trying to ignore the feeling of liquid running down his back. He looked up at Ditzy, who was playing around with one of the mushrooms growing in the corner. He noticed the mushroom got brighter the closer she moved to it, which had succeeded to amuse Ditzy for the time being. He wasn't sure how long had passed since Solar left to warn the others, though he wasn't really keeping track in the first place. He decided to take this opportunity to ask Ditzy a question that was still floating through his mind.
"Ditzy," He asked. Ditzy stopped messing around with the mushrooms and turned to face him, the tunnel growing darker as she did. "Who am I?"
Ditzy didn't hesitate, "Diamond Polish, silly."
Diamond quickly retorted, "Then what happened in the palace? Why did I ask you to call me The....well, you know? And why won't these darn thoughts leave my head?" He grabbed his head with his hooves.
Ditzy opened her mouth to respond, but Diamond continued, "And this magic wand, how did I know what to do? I mean, I know I'm Diamond, but these thoughts, they're so vivid. I close my eyes sometimes and HE'S there, a brilliant mastermind fighting the odds, but always coming out on top, and he's beckoning me to remember. But remember what? What if I actually am this Doc..Doc..Pony. Would I be a lie, would anything I do or did matter, or is my entire existence just a transport for this...this...thing?"
Diamond lowered his hooves and stared at the ceiling, tears running down his face. Ditzy walked up to him and placed her hoof on his face, wiping away the salty water. "Diamond, I don't know the answer to those questions. Hell, sometimes I forget the answer to everyday questions, like, what time is it or how are you, but I know one thing for sure. Even if you are this Doctor, you are still Diamond. You are the colt who traveled all the way to Canterlot, befriended a royal guard, snuck into an important military meeting and stood up to the Princess Celestia of all ponies, all because you wanted to learn more about a piece of metal with a shiny rock on the tip. Even if you turn out to be The Doctor, you will still be Diamond, because YOU were the one who made those choices, YOU were the one that I traveled to Canterlot with and YOU are the pony sitting in the corner crying over little things that he can neither control nor stop, because only Diamond would make the decisions that led you here."
Ditzy removed her hoof and walked back to mushrooms, the tunnel glowing a little brighter, "And that is how I know who you are, Diamond. And when you're ready, we are going to travel deeper into this cave and discover who you truly are. Diamond Polish, the brave and confused pony who traveled great distances to sate his curiosity and who won't let a little thing like this stop him, or The Doctor; the mysterious and dangerous colt who stands up to giant beach balls and any other monster that dares to show its face outside of whatever hole in the ground it lives in."
Diamond breathed in, trying to soothe his nerves. With a great smile, he lunged to his feet. "Thank you Ditzy. You truly are smarter than you look." Diamond looked around, seeing if there was any switches or buttons for the giant door. Seeing none, he spun around to face the turn in the tunnel. "And as Diamond, I declare that we will discover who I am. Ditzy, lets go." Diamond sprinted around the corner with an unstoppable enthusiasm, not even bothering to see if the mail pony was behind him. Galloping down the tunnel, mushrooms lit up on his left and right, showing the way forward. Diamond headed down the tunnel, determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Diamond and Ditzy trotted carefully through the tunnels. They had already met with several dead ends, along with many rooms filled with dark blue crystals. One or two would occasionally shot a bolt of lightening into the air, but they didn't seem to pose any danger. At the moment, the duo had reached another dead end. Another large door stood in their way, mocking them with its presence. Ditzy lowered her head sadly, "Another door, let's head back, I think I saw another tunnel about three turns ago."
"No wait," was Diamonds response, "There's something here. I need to know what it is." Diamond walked towards the door, pushing against it with his hoof to test its strength. With a smile, he spun around and delivered a powerful kick with his back legs. His feet sunk into the door, and he pulled them out with a loud sucking sound. He kicked the door again, harder. With a shudder, the wall of flesh sunk into the ground, opening the way for the two ponies.
Diamond was disappointed when he saw what was on the other side of the door. A normal wall, similar to the ones around him, was now in front of him. Looking around frantically, his eyes caught onto something a different colour from the rest of the cave. Suspended in the middle of the wall was a dark blue door, with the words 'Police Box' painted across the top. Diamond walked over to it and placed his front hooves on the door. For some reason he felt immensely happy. It showed as he let out a cry of pure joy, even though he didn't know why. Pushing the door open, Diamond rushed in, stopping as soon as he noticed two very important things.
The box was bigger on the inside. That was the first thing he noticed. Diamond took a step out of the box and examined it's side, checking to see if there was any kind of secret passage that could allow this. Upon wasting several minutes with this, he decided that some things weren't important at the moment and wandered back in. The second thing he noticed brought him to his knees. "It's not right!"
Ditzy carefully flew into the room, apparently unsurprised by the change in dimensions. Landing next to Diamond, she asked. "What's wrong Diamond, what is this?"
"Look around Ditzy, what do you see?"
Ditzy took that moment to examine her surroundings. She appeared to be in a circular room and dark red light shined out of every available surface. A metal grate connected the door with a large metal cage in the middle of the room. On the other side of the room, Ditzy could see another grate heading deeper into the machine. She pulled her attention to the engine in the middle of the room. Through the bars, Ditzy could see a control panel of some kind. There were dozens, maybe hundreds of levers and buttons spread across the surface of the machine. A glass display extended into the ceiling and she could see some kind intricate glass structure in the middle of it. Vines also spread across the panel, connecting all the controls together and wrapping themselves around the glass tube. Taking another glance around the room, she noticed that the vines weren't restricted to just the middle of the room, as they also wrapped around the pillars placed strategically around the room. Besides the vines though, Ditzy couldn't see anything that appeared to be wrong with the machine.
"I give, What's the problem?"
Diamond pulled himself to his feet and snapped angrily, "Everything! None of this should exist! How can you not see this? This entire place is a paradox waiting to happen. It hurts my eyes just looking at it."
Ditzy replied slowly. "Well, I guess, maybe."
"I'm sorry Ditzy, I don't know what came over me. Let's just leave. Wherever we are, I don't like it, and I fear if we stay any longer I may get angry again."
Ditzy wasted no time flying out, leaving Diamond alone in the TaRDiS. Before he traveled through the doors, he felt something well up inside him again, and released it carefully, with hesitation.
"Don't worry, Sexy. Doctor's here now."
With that, Diamond jumped through the door, the new words weighing heavily on his mind.

Wandering aimlessly back through the cave, the two ponies made several bad decisions before Ditzy started to notice something. "Diamond, it's changing. The floor is different."
"Huh." Diamond looked down and confirmed that the ground had changed. Instead of a squishy green substance, patches of hard metal had begun popping up, creating temporary havens against the slime.
"Maybe we're getting closer to the exit?" Ditzy said hopefully.
"Or maybe we're just walking deeper into the belly of the beast."
As they continued, the ground changed more. Before long, they noticed that the ground was more metal than ooze, and the walls had begun to take on a more metallic look. A minute passed in silence, until they were confronted by another door, different from the others. This door was smaller, just large enough to fit two ponies standing side to side. A hole in the wall sat next to it, flashing lights surrounding it. Diamond pushed against the door, attempting to force it open. After several tries, he redirected his attention to the hole.
The hole was large enough for a pony to fit their hoof in, if they wanted, and appeared to wrap around the door into the room beyond. Diamond was cautious about putting anything in the hole, but, seeing no other alternative, he decided to stick his hoof in. He felt a sharp electric shock, and jumped backwards, shaking his front hoof rapidly.
"You won't get in like that." A voice called out from behind him. Diamond turned quickly.
His smile vanished as he saw the speaker. A dark red pegasus with an orange mane was standing in front of him, standing on her back legs. In her front legs, she held Ditzy, holding one of her hooves in her mouth to stop her from talking. Her other hoof was shoved roughly into Ditzy's side, and occasionally glowed with unused power.
"Dmmmnd" Ditzy tried to call out, her voice muffled by her captives hoof.
"Put her down." Diamond said calmly.
"That's it, Doctor? No questions? Demands? Final requests? That's a shame, we wished to know you a little more before the end. Still, let's cherish what little time you have. We are Cinder, also known among the Rutan as the Hive Mind."
"What do you want?" Diamond asked, his patience sinking.
"There's the Doctor we know. We just want you to listen. We need your help." Cinder said, extending her wings to balance herself.
"I refuse. From what I've seen, you Rutan aren't the most friendly of people."
"Careful Doctor, let's remember who's holding the cards here." She said, pushing her hoof into Ditzy harder. "Despite our methods, we don't want anyone to be harmed. Once we are done, I promise we will leave this planet to whatever inhabitants survive. Their sacrifice is tragic, yes, but needed. But you could save many with your knowledge."
"So what? I help you and ponies still die? Where's the point in helping at all?"
Cinder stepped forward, pulling Ditzy along with her. "Let us finish. As you know, this land is governed by two sisters of immense power. Currently, we are using one to finish construction of the machine. If she is not replaced soon, the sheer power of the knowledge she possesses will destroy her from the inside. You are the only one who can replace her in time. Would you doom the survivors to live in a land of darkness for the rest of their lives, because you were too selfish to save them?"
"There shouldn't be survivors in the first place! How can you go through with whatever you're doing knowing you'll hurt so many?"
"Because we must Doctor. The hive commands it. Even if we cannot hear it."
Cinder shuddered, a shock running through her body. Slowly, she released Ditzy, letting her fall to the ground in front of her. Walking towards the hole in the door, Cinder ignored the two ponies currently embracing each other, and placed her front hoof into the hole. There was a large crackling sound, and the door was pulled into the ceiling.
"Before you go and make your decision Doctor, we would advise you come listen to our tale. Perhaps then you will be more adamant to our plight. Doctor."
With the mention of the Doctors name again, Diamond collapsed, new memories flowing into his head. He'd been fighting the effects since the start of the conversation, finally failing at the last moment. "No, not now." He thought, rapidly losing conciousness. He blacked out, only to quickly wake up again.
"Right, of course," said the Doctor.

The Doctor and Ditzy followed Cinder into the newly opened room, Ditzy nearly tripping as the floor became full metal. This room featured a huge open window, sitting in front of various more holes built into a metal stand. The metal stand was thoroughly broken though, with many wires sticking out the bottom. A kind of rounded chair sat near it, bolted into the floor. Through the window, all they could see was dark brown dirt, confirming their suspicions that they were underground. More blue crystals lines the walls, glowing brightly and illuminating the entire room. A strange green pod was built into the wall, probably for the purpose of helping Rutan's fall asleep. Cinder stopped in front of the window and turned to face her guests. "We will assume by now, you already know the reason we are here. To create an army, completely untouchable by our enemies. The sole Drone and myself were chosen for this task. The original plan was simple, we would absorb the thunderclouds of this world, using their energy to split ourselves repeatedly, creating this army."
The Doctor looked around the room. There was something off about, but he couldn't quite see it.
"However, things didn't go that way. Upon arriving in this world, our connections to the Host were severed. We had no guidance, no leader to tell us what to do, no idea about where to go or what to do. In desperation, we clung to our plan like drowning mice cling to a straw, crash landing on this planet. But even this was doomed to fail, as the electricity of this world is different, and hurt us. At that moment, something amazing happened, Doctor, we thought."
Cinder smiled happily, laying her eyes on each of the crystals laying on the walls.
"Without the orders of the host, our minds were free to do what no other Rutan mind had done. We asked, why? Why go through with the mission, if it will just fail without connection to the host? It was then we decided two things, I would become the new Host, Hive Mind, and that we would find another way create this army. If we followed the original plan at this point, our duplicates would also have the ability to think, and ordering them as one would become impossible. A way was found eventually, at the cost of this planets inhabitants."
The Doctor stomped his hoof, "And then what? You and all your Rutan buddies just float through space forever. Searching for an enemy that doesn't exist."
"Let me finish. As we went through the steps needed to bring our plan to fruition, we found ourselves impersonating the wife of one of the royal guards. One day, he wanted me to go outside and experience some kind of festival with him. We declined, but he was incessant. Apparently he had been planning it for weeks. Eventually we were forced to accept. At this festival, we found ourselves fascinated by this planets culture, with all it's colours and music. We experienced new feelings, happiness, joy, fun and finally, guilt. We thought deeper then. Why follow the plan at all? Our scans showed no sign of Sontarans in this universe, and an army was no use to us if there was no one to fight."
The Doctor took a step back, surprised. "So you're against this? Then why do it? Accept my offer, let me take you away from here."
"By the time we realized this, it was already too late. You were on you're way to the chameleon arch, and when you arrived, we would finish the final stage of the plan."
"But you can stop this! Tell Drone the plan's over and let me help you. You don't need to do this."
"This choice is not yours to make, Doctor, nor even ours, This decision shall fall to the inhabitants of this planet." Cinder faced Ditzy, and stared deep into one of her eyes. "Tell us, Derp eyed Ditzy, if you were the last of your kind in the universe, and were given a chance to save your race, would you seize it?"
Ditzy shuffled uncomfortably, but still replied honestly, "I would."
"What if you had to commit acts others would consider evil? Would you still take it?"
"I would." Ditzy said, surprising those gathered.
"What if you had to sacrifice your friends for this chance? Your family? Maybe even your life. Would you still take this chance?"
Ditzy took in a deep breath and responded. "There is not a power on this planet, or any other, that would make me betray my friends. Even if all became darkness and all hope was lost, NOTHING, will make me turn my back on my family. I would rather fade away and disappear than be remembered as the one who saved her race, if betraying my friends was what was needed."
Cinder stepped back, taking in all of what Ditzy said, before responding gladly. "Thank you Pony. We know what must be done."
She turned to the Doctor. "Doctor, we accept your offer. There is much to be done beforehand though, starting with stopping this plan and returning your watch. After all, can't have you change back to Diamond halfway through our flight."

"So tell me, what was this plan I've heard so much about?" The Doctor asked, curious.
"Deeper in this ship is a room, similar to this one. Inside, is a rudimentary time machine we built using a combination of your memories and Princess Celestia's input. After the elements powered it up with their magic, we would turn on the paradox machine made out of your ship, and pull our past selves into the present. The huge number of Rutan would descend on this planet, taking the form of whoever they could find. This would allow them to utilize the electricity of this world and duplicate, doubling our numbers until we were ready to defeat the Sontarans." Cinder said, walking across the room.
"Hang on, you built a time machine? From scratch?" The Doctor asked.
"We had help, of course, your memories, trapped inside a pocket watch."
The Doctor shook his head, "But that's impossible. You can't just build a time machine. If you could, many races would have figured it out years ago. Even if you did know how, it would still be impossible. Where would you even get the parts? You need an eye of harmony, and I know for a fact that you can't pull a star from the heavens."
"That is why we needed your help. To make sure the machine worked. We were just building from vague descriptions.
The Doctor opened his mouth, but decided against arguing and walked back to Ditzy.
"Now sit still, communicating with Drone can get...difficult...at times. But, as the Hive Mind, he must follow my orders."
Cinder sat down and raised her front hooves to her head, a green electricity radiating outwards from her forehead. Inside their minds, Ditzy and the Doctor could hear the conversation clear as day.
"Drone, send the elements home. We don't need them anymore."
"Why," was the response, echoing inside their heads.
"It's over, Drone. The Doctor has convinced us not to go through with this. There are no sontarans in this world, and no need for an army. So take the elements to the telepad, take the watch off of Celestia and meet us outside the paradox machine."
"No."
"What was that?"
"The Doctor is an enemy, any words he says are surely lies. We said no."
"Drone, the Doctor is a friend, come talk to him and we'll see. This world is worth saving, we can't just destroy it to advance our own devices!"
"No. We've seen how this world truly works. The shady underside beneath its surface. This world is not worth saving. The plan will continue."
"As the Hive Mind, we command you to follow orders."
"You were right, Hive Mind, I should do this thinking thing more often. I think I'll start by referring to myself as an individual and finishing our plan. Good bye, Hive Mind."
The conversation disappeared and The Doctor shook his head to clear his mind. "Well, that could have gone better." He said.
Cinder looked crushed. "We...Us...I don't understand. How did he defy my command?"
The Doctor looked around frantically, trying to catch whatever was annoying him about this room. With a jolt, he realized what it was. "I think I know."
Cinder looked up at him, her mane standing up from her short conversation. "What?"
The Doctor looked around confirming his suspicions, "Tell me, you said you came here with Drone."
"Yes." She said.
"So why, is there only one of everything?"
"Huh?"
"Because, if I was going to send two aliens through a gap in space, and I might have at some point, I would at least make sure both participants were comfortable. So why is there only one of everything?" The Doctor said, examining the metal stand. "One steering wheel, one bed, one place to sit. Doesn't seem like this place would fit two people at all. Why only one?"
Ditzy walked up behind Cinder, and placed a hoof on her head to calm her down.
"I know why. They only sent one Rutan in the first place. This Rutan, upon losing connection to the host, went insane from the sudden loneliness. In desperation, It duplicates itself, draining what little energy it has. The two Rutan then keep each other company while they attempt to create an army, and the entire affair is forgotten in the moment. And both of them assume they were the original, never questioning the orders of the other." The Doctor lowered himself down to Cinder's level, and looked her in the eye. "Drone can disobey your orders, because Sole Drone is you. Or at least enough of you to develop a consciousness separate from your own."
Cinder closed her eyes. "I need to rest a moment, Doctor. We can't handle this right now."
Ditzy removed her hoof, "We can't rest now, the mean beach ball is doing something evil!"
Cinder stood up, drawing energy from the urgency of the mission. "You're right. Drone must be stopped. Doctor, down the halls and a couple of lefts you'll see the door to time machine. If you can stop the elements from powering up the machine, Drone will be powerless, and I can deliver the final blow. Here, you'll need this." Cinder walked across the room and pulled a small metal tube out of one of the holes in the wall. Passing it to the Doctor, she remarked. "It teleported in here around the same time you did. Keep a closer eye on it this time."
"Brilliant." The Doctor said, making his way towards the door. When a new voice echoed through the room.

"What did I tell you two? STAY. HERE. So what do you do? Go and wander deeper into this place, completely oblivious to the danger." Solar walked into the room, his armour dirty from walking around out in the slime. "Who know's what could be in here? The air could be poisonous for all you know, what in Celestia's name were you....." Solar stopped talking, and noticed the dark red mare in the room with them. "Cinder?" He asked nervously.
"I'm sorry, Solar," She whimpered out.
Solar walked closer, confused, "Cinder, Honey, What are you doing here? How did you even get here?"
"I'm so sorry," she said quietly.
Ditzy put the dots together quickly, and let out a nearly silent, "Oh no."
"Honey, we need to get you out of here. Diamond, Ditzy, you too. I found an exit a while back. Didn't find the elements though, guess they must be deeper inside." Solar reached out his hoof and attempted to grab Cinders.
"Solar no. You don't understand," she said, pulling her hoof away.
Solar looked around, hoping one of the other ponies in the room could help him understand. But the Doctor and Ditzy kept silent.
With a feeling of rising dread, he asked nervously. "Cinder, you're acting weird. Please tell me, are you.....are you one of them?"
Cinder could only nod her head.
Solar felt anger well up inside, but kept his cool. "Where's my wife? Where's Cinder?
"Rutan must kill to impersonate."
Solar sat in silence, and no one dared break it. Finally he asked, "How long has she been dead? HOW LONG?"
"Two months."
"So it was actually you at the sun festival? Me and Cinder planned that day for weeks, and you just came along and killed her! THEN, you went a step further, and stole her entire life." Solar yelled. With a furious spin, Solar raised his back legs and delivered a powerful kick into Cinder's side. "I didn't even get to say goodbye." He said softly.
Solar felt his anger returning, and didn't even try to stop it. Tears sprang up in eye's, obscuring his vision. Drawing his sword, he lunged at the fallen pony. "I'll kill you.
"Solar, no!" The Doctor screamed, running forward in an attempt to stop him, but everyone could see it was a futile effort.
With one quick movement, Solar buried his sword into Cinder's side, causing a large charge of electricity to run up the blade, blasting Solar away in a large explosion. Cinder's disguise failed as she lay there. The transformation was quick, and a large green blob sat in the room by the time the Doctor reached Cinder.
"Nooooooo. Don't worry, Hive. I can fix this." The Doctor said, reaching for the sword poking awkwardly out of Hive Mind.
"Don't, Doctor. There's too much power. Touching the weapon will only end in your demise."
Ditzy wandered over to Hive Mind, "Oh no, The good beach ball's injured."
Hive Mind moved slightly, and one could only assume it was looking at Ditzy. "Ditzy, with mane of yellow, it's too late for me. But I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for what you have done for me. I can die happy, something which is new to me, because I know that ponies like you are going to lead this civilization to be one of the greatest in all the universes. But that can only happen if you leave now, and stop Drone before it's too late. I won't be able to tell you this later and it's important, so listen, there is something I was saving behind the console for when we this was over. Take it, I won't be needing it."
The Doctor trotted over to Solar, and begrudgingly checked his life signs. He was fine, if a little burnt. "Solar, when you wake up, you and I are going to have a VERY serious talk about what you've done."
The Doctor picked up his screwdriver and walked towards the door. "Coming Ditzy? We've got a meeting with the elements of harmony."
Ditzy sat over Hive's body, still uneasy about what to do. With a heavy heart, Ditzy flew over to the console, searching for whatever Hive had meant. One of her eyes spotted a pile of cloth, and Ditzy recognized it as the hood Cinder was wearing when they first met. Reaching into one of it's pockets, she pulled out the muffin she had given her yesterday, along with a scrap of paper. Opening it, Ditzy read.
"Dear Ditzy Doo, Even though we know now might not be the best time, with the rumours of strange green monsters on the towns outskirts and whatnot, but we were hoping, maybe you would like to meet up later? We heard about this great new bakery that's opening up here in Canterlot, and maybe you would like to visit it with us? You can even bring your kids along, I'll bring my husband, it'll be a fun little thing.

Dearly

Cinder."
Ditzy put the letter back down slowly, and carefully trotted over to the Doctor. There was one thought on Ditzy's mind, blocking out all the others. "Sole Drone will pay. And Solar had better start running while he had the chance."

Upon leaving the room, the Doctor collapsed again, the memories of Diamond filling him once more. Standing back up, he asked Ditzy, "What'd I miss this time? Anything important?"
Ditzy glared at him. "Cinder said we need to stop Drone before he kills everypony. Also Cinder's on our side and also can't help us. She also said we need to stop the elements before they power up a time machine."
"Wait, why can't she help us?" Diamond asked.
"I'll tell you when on the way. At the moment, we don't a minute to lose." Ditzy said, ending the conversation by moving deeper into the cave.
"Alright then," he responded, catching up to her.

A slight squeaking noise was heard through-out the cave as the two rushed through it, determined to reach the elements before it was too late. Turning another corner quickly, they were faced with a door. Diamond wasted no time, kicking it open with ease. Once it was open, they could hear muffled voices. They listened while they waited for their eyes to adjust to the light.
"This is soooooo disgusting, why did Celestia have to build this thing in the middle of a dank, smelly cave?"
"Quit complaining. You 'aven't touched the ground since we got 'ere. Besides, it ain't so bad."
"Applejack's got a point Rarity. And I don't think Rainbow and Fluttershy can carry you forever."
"I could carry Rarity twenty times longer than Fluttershy."
"I...I just want to go home."
"Why? This place is super duper fun, I mean, the mushrooms glow here! I hope we never leave. Though I suppose we would have to some point."
Ditzy smiled with delight, "That's them, we're not to late. Hurry Diamond."
Diamond and Ditzy entered the room, jumping suddenly as they heard a voice closer to them. The voice traveled around the room, and neither of the ponies could figure where it came from. "No, no, no, no, no. It's like a banana, kind of curved. Except not like at that all and in a straight line."
Ditzy gathered her courage and called out, not realizing that this was probably a bad idea. "Is anypony there? We don't want to hurt you, we're just passing through."
"No, no, yes. Guests? I like guests. No, wait, guests are bad. Or was it good? Doesn't matter, go away, wait, come closer. Look at this."
Diamond walked into the room first. It was mainly circular, like the others, except this room had a large table positioned against the wall. Along with this, the walls were covered in white chalk, spelling out several advanced theories on time travel. Sitting at the desk, writing furiously on a scrap of paper, sat a mare, shrouded in darkness.
"Um, who are you?" Diamond inquired.
The mare sat there quietly, before responding. "I'm the Doctor! No wait, not the Doctor. The other one, The Master? No he's evil. The Monk! No, he's missing." The pony shuffled uncomfortably. "You know, that pony. That important one, L..L.. Luna? No, her sister. What's her name? Celestia, that's it! Princess Doctor Celestia. Except without the Doctor part.
Ditzy moved closer, the room becoming brighter as she did. "Are you alright, Princess? You sound weird."
Celestia spun around, knocking over the desk as she did, and the problem became apparent. Tied around her neck was an open watch, and running up from it into her eyes was a brilliant gold light. Tendrils of the light would occasionally break of into the air, but rejoined with the glowing mass quickly. This obviously hurt, as Celestia's mouth as stuck in a permanent grimace. "Never worse! Or better. Wait, no. Opposite that. In danger, there's the word. Did you know 90% of all unicorns rely on their horns for basic tasks? I do. Or did, maybe. Not that it's relevant."
Ditzy looked at Diamond nervously, and asked, "Should we remove the watch? Is that's what's causing this?"
Diamond tried to shrug, "I don't know, but if what you told me is true, we don't have time to waste standing around like this."
The both glanced at Celestia again, trying to reach a decision, "Remove it. Wait, don't remove it. Wait, do remove it. Is this a game? Don't remove it."
Ditzy looked back Celestia. "I'm going to at least close it for her." Ditzy flew up to Celestia's neck, and carefully nudged the watch with her hoof. The lid of the watch swung close and the light was contained back in it. Celestia collapsed onto the ground, gasping for breath. Taking his chance, Diamond pulled the watch off of her, and held it in his hoof. He could a feel a power contained in it it, burning both his hoof and his mind.
"Hive Mind said something about a watch, would opening this turn me into the Doctor? Do I even want to be The Doctor?" he asked no one in particular. It was a hollow question. He already knew exactly what would happen if he opened the watch.
Ditzy motioned to a door on the other side of the room. "Come on Diamond. I'm sure she'll be fine. Come on."
Diamond placed the watch around his neck, "Right, of course. Let's go."

Twilight examined the strange machine in front of her. It resembled a large black box, with silver lines running down the sides. Twilight couldn't see any kind of wires or buttons anywhere on the machine. It just sat there, looking ominous.
Rainbow Dash was the one who spoke first, "This is it? It looks like it could fall apart at any moment."
"I think this is it. The map led us right here. Plus it matches the picture." Twilight said, spinning the scrap of paper in front of her around so she could see the illustration on the front.
"I guess I just expected something, cooler, you know?"
Rarity spoke next, her high pitched voice grating against the ponies ears. "Let us be done with this then, and leave this horrible place."
"Careful, Sugercube, we need ta be sure this here's the right machine. Right Twi?" Applejack said, shooting a glance at Rarity.
"Applejack's right. We should wait until Princess Celestia get's here before we do anything."
"Okey Dokey Lokey." Pinkie Pie said, while contemplating whether the slime falling from the roof was edible.
The group could hear hoofsteps behind them, and turned to see Celestia emerging from the tunnel. A green glow escaped from her horn as she entered the room, causing a large door to pull upwards from the floor, closing the entrance to the tunnel behind her.
"What seems to be the problem, Twilight? Why isn't the machine ready?"
Twilight responded nervously, "We weren't sure whether this was it."
Of course this is it. Didn't you see the picture?" Celestia responded, a sharp undertone in her voice. "Once you're done, I'll take you home and you can leave the rest to me."
"Thank you Celestia." Twilight gave each of her friends a stern look. "Ready girls?"
They all nodded their heads in unison, so Twilight began the spell. Energy spread forth from her horn, rebounding between each of the necklaces of her friends. A white light surrounded the group and Twilight closed her eyes to concentrate more. The six mares started rise into the air, when the door to the room started to rattle. It sounded like someone was kicking the other side, trying to get in. Twilight stopped the spell suddenly, dropping the six of them harshly.
"What's that noise?" She asked.
Celestia shuffled nervously, before suddenly jumping over to the door. She pushed against it with her body, attempting to keep whoever was on the other side out. "It must be the Sontarans! Quickly, Twilight, finish the spell!"
Twilight spun back towards the machine and, despite Fluttershy curling into a scared ball and Rainbow continually glancing back to the door, recast the spell. Energy spread out from her horn again, slightly less than before. The light surrounding them spread outwards, and they started to float back into the air. Twilight closed her eyes again, and when she opened them, they were glowing with the same light as the one around them. Focusing her magic, she released it upwards in a giant rainbow, which started to fall towards the machine. At that moment, the door collapsed into the ground, and Celestia fell onto her side. A pegasus flew into the room, and attempted to tackle the nearest pony, who was Rarity. The light stopped her though, and sent her flying back towards the wall. The pony hit the wall with a painful crack and fell to the ground, unmoving. Another pony entered the room. This one was dark brown. He just watched in horror as the rainbow descended on the black box. "Noooooooooo" He cried out.
With a flash, the rainbow hit the machine, and was quickly sucked in. The six ponies fought against the pull of the machine, falling to the ground when the device was finished. With a loud grinding noise, the box began to function. It sent a wide beam of green light into the air, through the cave roof, high into the sky.

Far away from all this, a military encampment was resting. Guards were set up along the outskirts of the tents to warn of any possible attack. Two ponies sat in the middle of the camp, laying on their backs, staring at the empty sky. Though both wore the armour of the royal guards, one could clearly see they were different. One was a bright yellow, with a blue mane. The other was a light green, his mane cut nearly bald as to hid the colour.
"Sir, why are we here?" The yellow one asked.
"It's one of life's great mysteries isn't it, private; why are we here? Are we just the product of some cosmic coincidence or is there some sort of god beyond the Princess, who put us here with a purpose to fulfill? I sure don't know. Make's you think though."
"Wait what? No, I meant out here. It's been nearly a week and we haven't seen any sign at all that there are other ponies here. It's just been us, on a large open plain, all alone, for a week. Where are these Sontarans we were warned about?"
"Oh, I thought you meant....Anyway, I probably shouldn't tell you this, since you're just a private and all, but I don't see any harm in you knowing. Me and the other higher ups have decided that if we don't find evidence to prove there are other things here, we're gonna pack up and head home. Tell the Princess she was wrong."
"Can you do that? Tell her she made a mistake?"
"Yea, I do it all the time. Well some of the time. She's usually right."
"Won't she, like, send you to the moon or something?"
"Nah, everybody makes mistakes. She's just making sure nopony gets hurt. She doesn't usually mobilize the army though."
"You know what the funny thing is? Solar, Rain, Shock and the others are sitting back at the palace, wishing they could be here with us defending the kingdom. Knowing the palace, nothing interesting has happened for the last week, and everypony's just sitting around bored, imagining all of us fighting for our lives."
Their conversation was cut short as a large explosion rocked through the camp. Jumping to their feet, they noticed something strange. Above the field, hundreds, maybe thousands of large green jellyfish were appearing out of thin air. A couple had appeared right above the camp, and started to blast it with lightning from one of their tentacles.
The sergeant faced his soldier. He spoke bravely, trying to make the fear in his voice, "I'm not certain, but I think you might have just jinxed us, private."

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