• Published 2nd Jan 2023
  • 6,433 Views, 548 Comments

Generational Divide - Boltstrike58

A tear in the time space continuum brings Twilight Sparkle and Sunny Starscout together.

  • ...

Chapter One: Unearthed

Maretime Bay

The mood of the seaside town in the months after Winter Wishday always seemed less...bright, in a way. Perhaps it was just that the holidays were over, and ponies longed for the cheery times once again. Maybe everypony was just tired out from all the holiday planning that had to be done. Whatever the reason, most ponies seemed a tiny bit downcast after the snow melted away.

However, this wasn't the case for everypony. Sunny Starscout certainly didn't let it bring her down.

The bright orange earth pony zoomed across the town on her favorite roller skates, towing a case of smoothies behind her as she went. While most of the ponies she passed had neutral expressions on their faces, even if they did wave to her, Sunny's smile stretched from eye to eye. For her, apparently, all was right with the world.

Sunny wheeled her way over to the sheriff's station, coming to a complete stop in front of the building. Here, she unstrapped her skates, and disconnected the cart from her barrel. She popped open the lid with one hoof, grabbed two smoothies, and strolled inside.

"Hey, everypony!" she announced as she pushed open the door. "I've got your orders right here!"

The station was neat and tidy, as was the norm. Hitch sat at his desk, doing some paperwork. Sparky lay on the ground behind his stool, occasionally swiping at Hitch's flicking tail. Zipp was parked at what used to be Sprout's desk, scribbling away at something, sporadically looking at her phone.

"Oh, thanks, Sunny," said the pegasus, grabbing her smoothie. "Mmmm, oopsie doopsie banana." She gave a small giggle at the name, but Sunny didn't even seem to notice. She kept the same wide smile on her face the whole time.

"Wow, you must really be in a good mood if being reminded of 'My Bananas' can't bring you down," said Hitch, taking his strawberry sunshine. "What's got you so happy, Sunny? Usually, even you're feeling the seasonal depression right about now."

"Well, for me, there's nothing to be sad about!" exclaimed Sunny, doing a little dance where she stood. "We just had our first holiday season as a united pony community, and it was a great success! Think of all the great holiday memories we'll be able to make over the next few decades!"

Hitch smiled. Sunny's joy was just that infectious. "Argyle would be proud of you, Sunny," he responded, patting his lifelong friend on the back.

Sunny's grin grew just a tiny bit wider. Looking at her, one would think her face hurt just from the effort. "Thanks, Hitch," she said. "Enough about me, though. What are you up to?"

Hitch rolled his eyes towards the form he'd been filling out. "Just another complaint from Posey that I've got to file. How many times do I have to tell her that unicorns and pegasi using their powers in public isn't an emergency? You know, she never whines about earth pony magic."

Zipp put down her pen and took a sip from her smoothie. "I'm still trying to figure out that message from Twilight Sparkle the Unity Crystals showed us. No luck so far, there's gotta be something I'm missing."

For the first time that day, Sunny's ever-present smile faltered a little. "I'm sorry, Zipp," she said, placing a comforting hoof on her friend's shoulder. "But you shouldn't take that entire burden on your own shoulders. Remember to take breaks, so you don't wear yourself thin."

"Don't worry. I won't." Zipp looked down at her research one more time." I just wish I knew what she was trying to warn us about. Who tried to take all the magic in Equestria? Why would they do that? What happened to them, anyway?"

"I'm sure we'll find out," said Hitch. "With the way we've become magnets for crazy magic stuff these past few months, if that pony is still out there, odds are we'll meet them soon enough. Assuming they're a pony, of course."

Sunny shivered, but her grin returned quickly. "Well, until then, we'll just take life as it comes, I guess." She trotted back out of the office. "See you guys later!" The door swung closed behind her.

Maretime Bay's beach had long been a hangout place for fillies and colts. After the reunification of the three pony tribes, the amount of foals hanging out there more than doubled. The massive congregation of ponies included the triplets, Peach Fizz, Glory, and Seashell.

Glory used her tiny wings to fly just above the surface of sand, her flapping occasionally kicking up clouds as she went. Peach Fizz and Seashell chased after her, laughing all the way. Then, as Seashell's hoof was coming down, it made contact with something hard beneath the sand. The small earth pony was thrown off-balance, and sent rolling forward, stopping a good distance from where she started, face-down.

"Seashell!" exclaimed Peach and Glory, rushing towards their fallen friend. Peach lit up her horn, straining as her magical aura surrounded Seashell, lifting her up and setting her back on her hooves. "Are you okay?"

Seashell shook her head, dislodging grains from her mane. "Yeah, I'm fine. I must've bumped into something."

"Something buried in the sand?" asked Glory, perking up. "Maybe it's buried treasure!"

"Let's find out!" shouted Peach.

The three fillies immediately retraced their steps, searching for the spot where Seashell had tripped. It only took about a minute before they found it. The surface of the object was difficult to see, as it was mostly buried, but a faint, bronze-colored line was just visible. Glory put her wings to work, blowing sand off the object and uncovering it.

The thing resembled a stopwatch, like the ones the three fillies had seen in museums. However, this one had a pair of pegasus-like wings stretching out on either side. The middle had three stars in an arc in front of a night sky background, and a large lid covering something below that.

"I don't think that's buried treasure," muttered Glory, the disappointment palpable in her voice.

"No, but it's kinda cool," replied Peach. She lifted the device with her magic to take a closer look at it. "I wonder if it does anything?"

"Hey! I found it!" protested Seashell, reaching for the object. She pressed the tip of her hoof against the surface before anypony could stop her.

Suddenly, the lid in the center of the device retracted, revealing what looked like a glass eye beneath it. The three fillies froze in fear, Peach releasing her magic grip on it, but it didn't drop. Instead, it floated of its own accord, and a white glow began to gather around it.

Then, there was a blinding flash of light.

"Eeeeew," groaned Pipp, dodging a crushed soda can. "Izzy, do we really have to dig through the garbage like this?"

Izzy stopped tossing pieces of trash out of the dumpster, and poked her head up.

"Come on, Pipp!" she said to the cringing pegasus. "You know the dumpster is the best place to find uni-cycling stuff! And I need more materials for everpony's upcoming birthdays!"

"Okay, I get that, but why am I here?" Pipp complained. "Ugh, I'm gonna have to take at least five showers to get the germs off!"

"Well, I can't carry all this stuff by myself! Even with my magic and my craft cart!" explained Izzy.

Pipp opened her mouth, likely to whine some more about how disgusting this all was, but she was interrupted before she could make a sound. That interruption took the form of a huge, invisible pulse of magic energy that washed over the entire town. Izzy shouted in pain as her horn began sparking like a firework. Pipp's wings started to glow, and she grunted as the sheer power forced her to her knees.

A crackle in the skies above Maretime Bay prompted both ponies to look up, where a giant ball of white light was forming. All of a sudden, a massive lightning bolt blasted from the bottom of the sphere, striking down in the town square with a thunderous boom. The impact was so strong it shook Maretime Bay to its very foundations. Pipp was knocked onto her side, while Izzy fell backwards into the dumpster.

"What the heck was that?!" exclaimed Pipp, climbing to her hooves once again. The glow that emanated from her wings, as well as Izzy's horn, had faded away.

"I don't know!" replied Izzy. "But we'd better go find out! Somepony might be hurt!" She climbed out of the dumpster.

Pipp nodded, all sense of disgust forgotten, and the two mares raced off to find the impact site.

Everypony in town had, naturally, hurried to the site of the bolt strike as soon as they could. Presumably, they all expected to find the area scorched and damaged, based on how powerful it had seemed to be. However, that wasn't what awaited them. In fact, the town square looked fairly undisturbed, save for one addition.

Where the bolt had struck, there now floated a bright, bluish-white hole in the air, levitating just above the concrete surface. The vortex, when viewed from head on, was an endlessly spiraling tunnel that had nothing at the other end. Or at least nothing that could be discerned.

Everypony stayed stationary, staring at the vortex in the air, terrified. Nopony dared to take a step towards it, for fear it would swallow them up like a wild animal. At the same time, nopony could pull their eyes away. A panicked muttering rose up from the crowd.

Within a minute, Sunny, Izzy, and their group of friends arrived. Seeing the beloved sheriff, several ponies rushed up to Hitch and commenced their usual bombarding him with questions, demanding to know exactly what was going on and if they were safe. Hitch, prepared for this, put his whistle in his mouth and blew it three times, silencing everypony.

"Everyone calm down!" he shouted. "Back away from the...whatever that is! PICK UP THAT LITTER!" He pointed to a rotting apple core on the ground. Sprout, being the closest, sheepishly picked it up and tossed it into the trash.

"Okay, what happened here?" Hitch demanded. "Did anypony touch it? Anypony go through?" Everyone hurriedly shook their heads. "Okay, good. Nopony do those things."

"What is that?" asked Izzy, tiptoeing closer to the strange void. Zipp grabbed her by the tail and pulled her back gently.

"Careful, Iz," she said.

"I'm guessing it must've come from that lightning bolt," said Sunny. "But...where does it go, if it is a portal? And did anypony else feel that pain in their hooves before it struck?"

"I did," replied Hitch.

"I felt it in my wings," said Pipp. Zipp nodded alongside her.

"I felt my horn sparking!" chimed in Izzy. "Like it did when magic came back!"

"Okay," Sunny continued, "so clearly, whatever we're looking at, it was caused by magic." She studied the spinning vortex for a few seconds. "It kinda reminds me of that hole that opened in the ground during the Maretime Bay Day Festival."

"But no ponies were being unkind or anything," said Zipp. "And this one happened all of a sudden. There was no magic storm buildup. So it can't be the same thing."

"Sunny, could you close it with your alicorn powers?" asked Pipp.

"Well, I can certainly try."

Sunny closed her eyes, reaching deep inside herself for the magic that was there. Soon, an ethereal horn and wings began to materialize on her body and with a flap of her wings, she lifted off the ground. However, before she could do anything, her horn and wings started glitching, and faded away, leaving her to drop to the ground once again. Fortunately for her, she landed on her hooves.

"Stupid, inconsistent alicorn magic," she grumbled. "I'm sorry, guys, I can't get them to stay for a substantial length of time. They've been...malfunctioning, lately."

"It's alright, Sunny," Izzy assured her friend. "We'll figure it out."

"So what are we gonna do?" Jazz called from the crowd.

"Something could come through that portal and eat us!" screamed Posey, stirring up others to freak out.

Hitch silenced them with more blows of his whistle. "We know nothing about what we're looking at!" he shouted again. "Everypony stay calm! We can figure this out!"

"Um, Sheriff Hitch?" said a tiny voice behind the group. The five turned around, finding Peach Fizz, Glory, and Seashell standing there, holding the stopwatch-like device. "We dug this up at the beach. That magic wave started when we touched it. I think...it might have opened that hole."

Hitch reached forward, taking the object in his hooves. He ran his hooves over the surfaces, but nothing further happened.

"What is this?" he asked. "Sunny, have you ever seen anything like this before?"

"No," replied Sunny, taking the device from him. "Not even in Dad's research."

"Uh, guys?" said Pipp, drawing their attention. "I hate to interrupt, but can anypony else hear those hoofsteps?"

Everypony quieted down and listened closely. Indeed, they could hear the faint "clop, clop" of hooves on concrete, yet nopony was moving.

"I think..." Zipp began, "it's coming from the portal."

Every pair of eyes turned towards the vortex. It was faint, but they could just about make out six silhouettes coming towards them. They were shaped like ponies.