• Published 19th Sep 2012
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Seeing the Pattern - Aegis Shield



Using the Pinkie Sense, Pinkamina prevents the deaths of others and cheats fate.

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Pinkamina

Seeing the Pattern
Part 9: Pinkamina



Pinkamina awoke with a light flinch. There was something heavy and warm on top of her, and it wasn’t a blanket. Turning her head, she found her lover splayed over her with his chin rested on the small of her back. She smirked a little, staring at him for a long time. After everything that had happened, it was that precise moment that the pink mare decided she should keep him. Coltfriend, companion, whatever it was called. Now that she was in charge of her own life again, making a grab for a dependable stallion was high on the list. Bam, done. First thing crossed off the list. If only he didn’t smell so feminine. Ah well, nopony was perfect. Meh.

Stretching a bit until the bones in her neck popped loudly, she flopped down again with a sigh. Her movement made Lickity Split stir a bit. He looked at her, half-awake. There was a long silence. “It’s still me.” She patted the top of his head like he was a puppy. He smiled warily, but nuzzled her back anyway. When she finally worked up the energy, she rose and untwisted herself from the quilt. Flipping her mane behind her ear, she stretched again and flicked her tail playfully across his face, making sure to hit the bruise on his cheek as she mildly flashed him. He winced, but didn’t whimper. “I need to get some air.” She said, turning and peering out the window. “It feels strange to get up in the morning feeling rested.” She looked at him for a moment. “You know, being the alternate half for so long.”

He smiled his understanding, but didn’t leave the couch. “Those royal guards said I should take a few days to myself until this all blows over. I think I’ll stay inside, maybe clean up the parlor. There’s glass all over my floors.” Lickity Split smiled a little painfully when he rose. He wasn’t used to aching for so many different reasons. Getting tackled through a window hadn’t agreed with him, despite the ‘healing’ last night Pinkamina had helped him with (the tweezers, pervert, not that). It was only AFTER Pinkamina had left that he realized half the town had seen her get killed last night. Now she was wandering out into the street?

=-=-=-=

Five of the remaining mane six sat around a table at the library, very serious-looking apple juice boxes with bendy-straws sitting in front of all of them. Now and then one of them would sip, but they were deep in debate.

If Princess Luna had executed Pinkie Pie but Pinkamina was alive, was she technically dead? Should they hold a funeral with a body still walking around? Did that make Pinkamina a zombie? Would Luna return to correct the botched execution and freshly traumatize Ponyville again? Should they make friends with Pinkamina despite her abrasive ways? Was Pinkamina the new Element of Laughter (they quickly decided no on that one)?

The five mares chatted back and forth, talking over one another and bringing up point after point. The only thing they could seem to agree on was that the Pinkie Pie they knew and loved was gone, and that made them sad. But the new and complex circumstances had changed many things. Twilight was still a little rattled about the execution. Rainbow Dash was still frothing with anger, but had nothing to do with the proverbial ‘fist’ she’d raised against the innocent Lickity Split. Fluttershy had to be filled in on all that had happened after the pink mare that had been struck dead rose from the grave. Rarity had suffered Luna-themed nightmares and was complaining about them. Applejack was quiet, seeming deep in thought. “Hey Applejack, you haven’t said anything in a long time.” Twilight Sparkle ventured gently, drawing all eyes to the orange mare. “What’re you thinking so hard about?”

“Call me crazy, y’all, but…” Applejack’s eyes went from one side to the other, “Maybe this is how it’s supposed to be? Ah mean, how would ah feel if some alter-neigh-t personality took over Applebloom? Little filly that she is, then changin’ forever because’ah some accident?” Her friends had a moment to absorb her words before she continued. “Ah mean, iff’n Pinkamina was the original filly…” she trailed off, a little red in the cheeks after all her philosophizing.

“Then how can we blame her for getting her life back?” Fluttershy said softly, staring at her juice box with a look of deep concern. “Oh my, I feel terrible now.” There was agreement around the table. “I kept thinking she’d stolen Pinkie Pie from us, but… the truth is…”

“Pinkie Pie stole Pinkamina from the world.” Rainbow Dash finished for her, frowning and frustrated at her empty juice box. “Even if she didn’t know it.” A stony silence settled over the table, and they all knew what she’d said was true.

=-=-=-=

Lickity Split had worked a nice pile of glass bits into the center of his floor. The damage wasn’t as bad as he’d originally thought it was. There was a shattered front window, two broken tables, a dented cooler, a ruptured anti-freeze pipe, and a few other odds and ends. It would be months and months before his parlor ever made a profit again, but the place wasn’t unsalvageable as he thought it was. It just needed some love, and it would be back to normal before long.

A great black shadow blotted out the sun in the doorway, making him flinch and drop his dustpan. “Whossat?!” he said with a yelp, moving to hide behind one of his displays. He peered up at the intruder, over the lip of the still-whirring ice cream buffet bar.

A titanic stallion stood in the doorway, nothing but a black shape and eyes. Then, stealing the drama of the moment entirely, a little filly squeezed past him in the doorway. “Don’t stand in the doorway, Big Mac!” said Applebloom, cantering across the floor and rearing herself up to look at all the ice creams in the display case. “Wowww, lookit all that ice cream!” she said with huge, sparkly eyes. A stallion easily time-and-a-half larger than Lickity Split walked slowly across the tiles, avoiding the pile of glass. He peered in as well, a slow and easy motion.

Lickity Split slowly got back to his hooves. What were they doing? Hadn’t they heard the ‘stay away’ decree? Were they going to take something? Beat him up despite his proven innocence? It was hard to earn one’s reputation back in something like sexual assault, even when proven innocent. A mare’s pointing hoof was a powerful thing. “Uh-h, can I help you?” he said it slowly, curious about them.

“Eyuup.” Said the crimson stallion, bobbing his head a few times. Lickity Split saw the draft pony eyeing him up and down with a critical eye. The filly was entirely focused on the ice cream, peering back and forth at all the bright colors, but not he. There was some sort of sizing-up going on in the silent Apple’s mind. In truth, Big Macintosh had been there that night, in the crowd that was ready to lynch Lickity Split. Then later, he’d also heard he’d been proven innocent. The massive stallion wanted to get a good eye-full of him and decide for himself if he was trustworthy. Complex philosophical thoughts were running through his mind in silence, but it came out as a rather neutral stare. Lickity squirmed a little, looking away. He couldn’t take the pressure of a stallion a full head taller than he.

“You promised me an ice cream if we sold all our apples at the morning market, Big Mac!” Applebloom whined, still propped up against the machine on her back legs. “You promised!”

“Eyuup.” Big Mac nodded his assent, sweeping his eyes down to his little sister. Truth be told a grocer had come by, then Mrs. Cake, then a few other bulk buyers. Their daily stock had gone dry after only a few customers. He leaned and lightly pressed his nose to the glass, looking back and forth at the ice creams on display.

Lickity didn’t DARE say he wasn’t open to the mighty Big Macintosh. Slipping behind the counter, he prepped a scoop with hot water and then made sure his price sign was on display at the end of the counter. It was a modest business, running an ice cream parlor, but every bit counted and he wasn’t one to turn down a customer at a time like this. “Wh-what’ll it be?” Lickity ventured.

“Oohh, big brother! Lookit that one!” There was a mint green ice cream with chocolate chunks mixed right into it. The display read ‘mint cookie’, and it looked amazing. She poked the glass a few times, and Big Mac leaned lazily to study what his sister wanted. “Can I get that one? Can I?” she asked with big soft eyes.

“Eyuup.” Big Mac smiled gently, studying the price, and then pushing some bits across the bar. Lickity Split worked quickly and got a little bowl for the filly. Putting a plastic spoon in it, sticking straight up, he served it across the bar to her. Applebloom sat spinning on the little stool until her treat arrived. Squealing with joy she dug into it, getting ice cream on the end of her nose after precisely one bite. Smiling a little, Big Mac leaned back over the display. His dinnerplate-sized hoof lifted and he pointed to a bucket of butter pecan under the glass.

Lickity heat-prepped his scoop again, leaning down and serving up a new bowl for the stallion. “Uh, it’s on the house, mister Macintosh.” The stallion said with a smile. “It means a lot that you came in here after… what happened.” He said a little awkwardly.

“Nnnope.” Big Mac insisted with another little stack of bits, pushing them across the counter at him. He was far too big for one of the stools, so he elected to stand next to Applebloom instead. Lickity looked at the money. The crimson stallion had given him way too much for his ice cream, but no longer seemed interested in the money itself. Was it a gift? It seemed so. Perhaps to help repair the—!

Just then Derpy and Dinky Hooves poked their heads in. The wall-eyed mare rotated her head back and forth, trying to get a good depth perception and decide if the place was open. She spotted the pair eating at the bar and smiled grandly. “Oohh, looks like he’s open, Dinky!” Derpy said enthusiastically. The little filly squealed, rushing in much the same way Applebloom had to look at all the frozen treats. Then Doctor Whooves appeared at random. Then Carrot Top. Then Lyra and Bon-Bon. Then more ponies. Then more ponies after that. And then even more ponies after that! Soon they were lined up out the door. It seemed that just about everypony ignored the royal decree. Everywhere the story was the same, for word had travelled fast:

Lickity Split had done nothing wrong. His shop had been wrecked. The community owed him an apology for beating him, scorning his name, and then almost lynching him from a street corner lantern. What better way to say sorry than to give him business?

They stepped carefully around the shards of glass, herding foals around the mess to get in line like it was a buffet. The broken tables vanished, only to reappear hours later mysteriously fixed by the local carpentry ponies. Lickity Split sold more ice cream that day than he had ever done all at once. He found himself going into his freezer over and over to get new buckets of different flavors. It was practically a party inside and outside his little ice cream parlor. There wasn’t enough room for everypony to sit at the bar or at his tables, so they clustered outside to gossip and chatter amongst themselves. The stallion worked hard, and made way more bits than he thought he ever could in a day. Like Big Macintosh, some ponies gave a little extra out of the kindness of their hearts. It was a regular cash crowd! The stallion knew then that his shop would be okay, thanks to Ponyville's kindness.

=-=-=-=

Pinkamina stared at the wooden door of the tree library, then sighed and lifted her hoof. Knocking firmly, she waited patiently until Twilight Sparkle appeared in the doorway looking startled. “Pinkie… Pinkamina.” She said, wincing as she corrected herself. A quick glance over Twilight’s shoulder betrayed the presence of the others. “What’re you doing here?”

“More needs to be said, we had a night to stew on what I’d said so far.” The pink mare said. “Lickity is hiding at home, still a little traumatized I think. I came to speak with you all until everyone is satisfied.” There were mixed expressions around the table, but Twilight nodded wisely and invited her in. Pinkamina took her place at the table, and everypony sidled a little to make room for her. A fresh, chilled juice box made its way from a nearby cooler in front of her. “No thanks. I don’t like sweet things.” That sentence alone made hearts sink, and they knew Pinkie Pie was truly gone. “Meh…” Pinkamina sighed, grabbing the straw and taking a polite sip. This seemed to lift their spirits just a little. “Ask away. This is the part where you learn anything you don’t know already.” She said rather formally, her curtain-like mane falling over her eyes for a moment.

Rainbow Dash opened her mouth to launch into the first question, but another loud knocking at the door interrupted. Wondering who in Equestria that could be, Twilight went to answer the door and jumped back. A ghostly white mare with golden hair stood in the doorway. Next to her was Princess Luna herself, in full regalia, flanked by two lunar guards. Twilight fought the shriek that leapt up her throat, and she slowly closed the door in their faces. “We have… more company.” She said to the group. They turned to look, and Twilight quickly opened the door again. “Sorry, come in!” she said, and the ghostly pony bounced past her like she was made of rubber.

The blonde mare came to a quick stop next to Pinkamina, who’s eyes widened while her pupils turned into pinpricks. That mane! That face! That imbecilic expression! They could be twins! The goddess of the night bent a little so her horn wouldn’t get caught in the door frame, the lunar stallions taking up a position on either side of the door outside. There was a long silence, but it had only taken a few moments for everypony to make the connection.

It was Applejack who spoke next, a panicked voice making her shrill. “Oh mah Celestia there’s TWO OF THEM!” she pointed at Surprise and Pinkamina. “You made a SECOND Pinkie Pie are you insane?!” she rushed over to Princess Luna, tugging at her metallic cuff. “We could barely handle one and now there’s TWO of them! This could end civilization as we know it! Don’t know you know what she can DO!?” she was off on a rave, growing louder and more incredulous. “Seas and oceans boilin’! Tartarus’ mouth opening! Twen’ny years’ah darkness! CATS AND DOGS LIVING TOGETHER! TWO PINKIE PIES! MASS HYSTERIA---Yip!?” it was Fluttershy who had stepped forward and given Applejack a good slap to the face. Everyone winced. “H’oh… h’oh… thanks Fluttershy, I needed that.” Fluttershy smiled meekly, nodding a few times while she guided the farm pony back to the round table to rest a moment.

Luna’s expression was acidic, and she adjusted her cuff back to the way it was. “Well—” The goddess was interrupted while the mares looked Surprise over and murmured among themselves, sizing her up. She sure looked like Pinkie Pie, at least in the face and how she moved. She had four balloons on her flank, not three, and they were red. Very similar. The mane was blonde, but it was the same poofy-ness that Pinkie Pie’s mane had always had. It was as though someone had performed a color-swap on their friend and then only slightly changed the cutie mark. “This is—” Princess Luna tried again.

“You’ve been brought back from the dead!” They were pawing at her, as though to see if she was real.

“Yeah isn’t it cool I was totally about to move on to the great beyond but then I was like ‘nuuuu I have more to do’ and Luna was all ‘rawr you’re not all the way dead’ and then—” Rainbow Dash interrupted the bouncing white pony.

“So you are Pinkie Pie? Is that right? Our Pinkie Pie?” Rainbow Dash said, flicking her wings open to hover and examine Surprise from all different angles. “Well you sound like her, and you look like her, sort of…” she said, looking a little suspicious. “How do we know it’s not a trick or something?”

“SILENCE, LESBIAN!” Luna had had quite enough of being interrupted, and the Royal Canterlot Voice concussed like a blast of lightning. She slammed her massive hooves down, shaking the library on its foundations. Rainbow Dash’s face was scarlet. Her friends glanced at her. That was new information... There was a short silence before Fluttershy started giggling uncontrollably. “We have come back to inspect the strangeness of the half-soul we found in the space between spaces, and here stands the other half!” Luna gestured to the arch-browed Pinkamina. “What say you, pink one?!” she shuddered the window-sills with her thundering voice.

“You executed Pinkie Pie. I am innocent and told no lies about Lickity Split.” Pinkamina held up a pristine shield of words that struck the room into silence for a long time. “I am Pinkamina, you see…” She ran through an explanation about the split personalities. I shall not bore my dear reader with repeated information.

“Thy words are true, we suppose.” Luna said after some pause, her hoof lifting to stroke her chin. “Then, with all such facts exposed, there was no assault to begin with. THOU slept with Lickity Split, not Pinkie Pie. She merely awoke to find him in her bed!” Pinkamina nodded a few times.

Surprise was taking it all in, for it was new information to her. “Surprise!” She launched herself into the air like she had Torretes syndrome. “I’m totally glad I didn’t get date-raped or executed permanently can you be not-permanently executed I’m not dead just separated from my body which I gotta say looks really good with that long mane are we gonna be separate forever that’s prolly a good idea since now we know we’ve got two me’s to worry about and we’re so different while the—” The royal hoof came up and stuffed itself into Surprise’s mouth, making everyone sigh in relief.

“Surprise speaks the truth. There are truly two of you now, and it would do no good to combine you again. The strange cycles of sharing one body would start over.” The princess thought for a moment, very careful to NOT take her hoof out of Surprise’s mouth. “Suppose we left thou separate, could you both function as individuals?” The pink mare nodded. The white mare nodded (despite the giant hoof in her mouth). “Then it is settled. Both will remain separate, but equal!” she said with a flourish. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Surprise! You are the new Pinkie Pie!” The mane six cheered!




End of Part 9