• Published 3rd Feb 2024
  • 530 Views, 75 Comments

Starlight Glimmer Regrets Her Mistakes - MagicS

Now exactly how was Starlight supposed to know that a few changes to the past could cause the space-time continuum to collapse?

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Starlight Glimmer walked down the halls of the School of Friendship as another busy day came to a close. With Twilight having more or less given over the reins to her she had a lot more work to do than when she was just the guidance counselor. But it was the kind of work that was so fulfilling it didn’t bother her one bit. Whenever she saw the happy faces of her students as they ran on by it brought a proud smile to her face. She never would’ve guessed that in just a few years her life would go from what it was to this. Starlight knew how lucky she was, how blessed she was. There were some reservations she had in the past—some doubts about herself and her capabilities—but she had overcome them with a little introspection and a lot of help from her closest friends.

Now she was ready for the next step in her life.

That “vacation” she took a little bit ago to let out some stress also helped a lot.

Starlight still had a lot of good memories about that, even though both Twilight and Spike most certainly did not. And were not exactly happy with the way she fondly looked back on it.

But everything had turned out fine in the end, right? No harm, no foul. So there was really nothing to get upset about. She had even done a lot of good—helped out a lot of ponies—on that vacation.

That was all in the past now though and Starlight was willing to be mature about it, she promised nothing like that would ever happen again and she meant it. That promise being part of the reason she was where she was right now. If she ever wanted a vacation again it would be far more normal. But right now anyways it was just the end of a normal day and she was heading to her office to finish up a few things before heading back to the castle. Trixie was around here somewhere, maybe they could have dinner together? Or Sunburst. Or both of them if they were free too. That would be the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.

She did see quite a few of her other friends but they were all plenty busy with their own things after finishing up work at the school. Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Starlight greeted each and every one of them with a happy smile and hug when she saw them. Asked them how their day had gone—but she knew none of them could really join her at such short notice with everything else going on in their lives.

Everyone had become so busy.

And Twilight was getting so close to up and leaving Ponyville…

Well, no sense in getting sad about that either. It’s not like they’d stop being friends. It was just one more age in all their lives, a new path opening up. You couldn’t expect things to stay the same forever.

Starlight made it back to her new office just a moment later, silently and quickly going over everything once with her eyes to make sure everything was alright. Desk? Check. Papers? Check, Phyllis? Check. And so forth. She took a big stretch, cracked her hooves, and sighed before walking over to the desk. Now, privately, she could at least afford to show how tired she actually was. Sitting in her chair her eyes glanced over the numerous pictures on her desk facing her, one with just her and Twilight, another with her and Trixie, the big one that everyone took together when the school opened, all of them brought back good memories.

After smiling for a moment she levitated a pen up in her magic and prepared to get to work.

Before she could put pen to paper, her desk started to shake. Just slightly, but Starlight could definitely feel it. She looked around, surprised, and noticed the windows and walls of her entire office were shaking a little bit too. After just a few seconds though it stopped as quickly as it started. Starlight raised a single inquisitive eyebrow as she looked around, wondering if that was it.

“Earthquake?” She asked the air, as if putting her thoughts into words would get her an answer.

When nothing else happened she just shrugged and started to get back to work. Little tremors like that happened every now and then, nothing special about it.

Unbeknownst to Starlight though, if she had just happened to instead turn around and look out the window of her office she would’ve seen a bright crack appear in the sky above Ponyville for a moment before it mended itself once the quaking stopped.

At that same moment, a certain purple dragon was busy cleaning and reorganizing the library in Twilight’s castle. For not the first time lately. Twilight had been adamant that things needed to be absolutely perfect for when she left Ponyville. It would be rude otherwise, she couldn’t let a single book be out of place. Spike was more than used to that behavior and this sort of work though and was taking it in stride. Helped that it all became so much easier when he grew his wings—no longer having to rely on any ladders or step-stools. He was doing it on his own too, with Twilight busy somewhere else in the castle going over a seemingly endless checklist on what she needed to do between now and leaving.

However some of these books Twilight owned were so heavy they were a little difficult to carry on his own. One particularly old encyclopedia about some old magic that he couldn’t even begin to understand was gripped in his claws, waiting to be pushed into its slot between two other just as big and incomprehensible books.

That was when the bookcase and the rest of the library began to shake. Not enough to dislodge any books thankfully—or Twilight would end up having a really inopportune panic attack—but still enough for Spike to notice and have to wait until it was over. Once it was done he pushed the heavy book into the bookcase and scratched his head before flying down to the floor and starting to waddle on out of the library.

“Hey, Twilight! Did you feel that just now?” Spike called out.

Behind him, a crack appeared in the air in the middle of the library before closing right back up before anyone could even know it ever existed.

The next morning Starlight was walking through town on a few errands. She planned to surprise everyone working at the school with a big cake to celebrate the new jobs some of them had and make sure everyone knew things were going to be just as happy as when Twilight was in charge. Now trying to surprise Pinkie Pie, with cake for that matter, was exceedingly difficult so she had actually been spreading these errands out over the past few days. Buying just a few ingredients at a time, at different stores and not always the normal ones, doing her best to appear normal to her friend. It was tough.

And she wondered if Pinkie Pie didn’t probably already know what she was doing but still let her go on out of politeness anyways.

Either way she left Bon Bon’s place behind and was stealthily making her way back to the castle when something unusual happened. It wouldn’t have been that unusual, were it not for the fact that the same exact thing happened just last night.

The ground started to shake right under her hooves—it was just slight, but anypony out walking around would have felt it. Everything just seemed to vibrate for a moment and to Starlight’s eyes objects and the buildings in front of her even seemed to blur slightly for a split-second. She shook her head and looked again, everything appearing normal once more. After just a few more seconds the minor earthquake stopped as well and everyone around started talking with their friends or muttering in confusion. Starlight didn’t blame them, everyone in Ponyville had to have felt the one last night too.

The usual suspects you could always see around Ponyville like Octavia Melody, Strawberry Sunrise, Cherry Berry, Davenport, Roseluck, Filthy Rich, and quite a few rambunctious fillies and colts, were engaged in numerous conversations about the strange quake that just happened. If Trixie had been walking with her, Starlight would’ve certainly asked her if she thought there was anything strange about that too.

And probably would’ve gotten a totally flippant and disinterested reply, but still.

For now, since nothing else could be done about it, Starlight just shrugged and got back to her walk. It was just a little tremor after all.

“Hey, what’s that?” She heard a pony say.

Starlight looked over to see a fairly dismayed Berry Punch pointing at the sky.

She and most of the other ponies around followed her hoof up and up into the bright blue sky over Ponyville. When they saw what she was pointing at—many ponies gasped in shock and fear, the beginning of an all to familiar Ponyville panic was rising, while Starlight felt her eyes widen. Whatever she was looking at was not the familiar sort of Ponyville problem. This was something different.

A crack, a glowing white crack in the sky, was spreading out above Ponyville. Jagged and splitting off in multiple directions it just appeared there, rending reality and not seeming to care that it was in the sky and not on some physical surface.

Starlight lit up her horn just out of caution but before she could do anything the crack’s growth stopped and just as quickly it all closed back up and disappeared.

“What’s going on?” Starlight frowned.

A loud shriek from across town got her attention and Starlight looked to see another startled pony pointing at the top of Town Hall. When Starlight looked at it she saw a crack that had gone down like a lightning bolt, hovering in reality right above the building for a moment before it too disappeared. More and more started to appear, though none were as big or lasted as long as the first one in the sky had. But for each appearance, there was a shriek of surprise or terror to accompany it and ponies were starting to panic. Especially for the cracks that appeared right at eye-level or barely above the ground. She kept her horn lit and was about to spring into action—any sort of action at all—when it finally all ended for good.

No more cracks in reality or whatever they were appeared. That still didn’t exactly stop every pony from already being incredibly worried and confused.

Starlight’s frown deepened as Ponyville was on the verge of a mass panic and she herself felt a good deal of foreboding when it came to what she had just seen happen. “Well this all can’t be good.”

Running into the Castle of Friendship, Starlight threw the door open and yelled for the one pony she could always count on. “Twilight! Hey, Twilight! Did you see what’s happening out there?”

However, she quickly found that not only had the others gotten the same idea as her—but she was the last to arrive. The front hall was crowded with her friends, all gathered around Twilight Sparkle already. Seems everyone had the right idea. If there was something wrong in Ponyville, you went to see Twilight Sparkle about it.

“It was right over the farm, Twilight. This big crack just opened up in the sky right as the tremor was going on,” Applejack told her.

“Consider yourself lucky!” Rarity huffed. “I was at home, working on a new dress at my sewing machine, when not only did I accidentally mess up the stitching because of that little earthquake but then I see the air in front of me split apart! I thought I was going mad for a second there! It happened right in my work room.”

“Freaky,” Pinkie Pie said. “I was at Sugarcube Corner and Mr. Cake asked me why it looked like the ceiling was about to break apart. Couldn’t really tell him so I figured the next best thing was to come here.”

“It was the same for me...” Fluttershy quietly said. “It happened right above my cottage, I don’t know if it was that or the earthquake that scared the animals more...”

“Geez, talk about weird. I was asleep up on the clouds so I didn’t feel anything, but when I heard some ponies shouting it woke me up just in time for that big crack over Ponyville to disappear,” Rainbow Dash shrugged.

“That’s exactly the kind of stuff Twilight and I saw just a little bit ago too!” Spike said to the girls. “We were in the map room and then bam! Almost fell out of my chair, and then sssshhhhhk! The air started cracking left and right and it was super creepy!”

Starlight joined in, walking into the circle of friends. “I saw it too. And so did the rest of Ponyville for that matter. Do you have any idea what’s going on, Twilight?”

“Not exactly,” the beleaguered Alicorn said. She looked a little tired and there was an expression of concentration on her face as she went over the words from her friends. “I’m pretty sure I know what those cracks are—fundamentally speaking—but I don’t know why they’re appearing.”

Pinkie Pie, standing directly next to Starlight, sniffed the air and glanced over at her friend. “Do you have sprinkles in your bag?”

Starlight coughed. “No, absolutely not. Why would I? She grinned and turned back over to Twilight. “You were saying something, Twilight?”

“Yes, here, everyone come with me into my study,” Twilight said and led their usual group out of the front hall. It was a little crowded when they made it to Twilight’s study—but that was only half because of all the ponies and dragon. A big machine with vacuum tubes, paper rolling out of some slot in the middle, and all sorts of dials and screens on it was taking up a lot of space too. Twilight stood in front of it and faced the others. “I’m sure you all noticed that there was a small quake last night as well?”

“Yes,” most of them answered.

“No,” Rainbow Dash said.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Anyways—there was one. And I’m certain that right after it ended the first cracks, just like the ones today, appeared as well. I was first suspicious of something strange happening because after reading my copy of the Equestrian Seismic Journal last week I knew there shouldn't have been any earthquakes like that recently, minor or otherwise.”

“There’s a journal like that?” Starlight asked, tilting her head.

“I’ve had a subscription for the past few years,” Twilight smiled. “But that’s not important right now. I’ve been analyzing the quakes and the strange cracks in reality that have been appearing and I’m positive—they have the exact same magical signature as the magic used for the mirror portal to Sunset Shimmer’s world.”

“Hold on there-” Applejack said. “All of these cracks are portals to that other world?”

“No,” Twilight shook her head. “They have the same magical signature, but they’re not portals to that world, or even really portals at all. They’re rips in space-time itself. Thanks to… a few other events, I’m very familiar with space-time magic and spells. I’m positive that’s what these cracks are, but I’m not sure what their origin is. All I know is they started last night but either no one saw them until today or they thought their eyes were playing tricks on them yesterday.”

Rainbow Dash started to innocently whistle.

“S-So what do we do? Is this dangerous?” Fluttershy asked.

“It really doesn’t make me feel better knowing that a crack in space and time could reopen in my boutique at any moment, Twilight,” Rarity said.

Twilight frowned and placed a hoof on her chin, thinking. “I don’t want to cause a panic… but there certainly can’t be anything good about this. The problem is I have no idea why this started! Without knowing that I’m not even sure just how dangerous this is or how to begin to stop it.”

“Perhaps I can shed some light on that matter?”

The girls (and Spike) looked up at the ceiling only to see Discord grinning down at them.

“I happened to be in the neighborhood today and couldn’t help but overhear about your little problem,” the draconequus snickered.

“Discord!” Fluttershy cheered in joy and immediately flew up to hug him—an embrace he gladly returned.

Starlight smiled too, despite some pranks and arguments in the past she was always happy to see him like this. In his own way he was just as reliable as Twilight when something weird like this came up too. If he wasn’t the problem to begin with.

Rainbow Dash snorted and raised an eyebrow at him. “That’s a lie, you can always tell when something weird is happening and magic is involved. What do you know about this?”

“Please, Discord, if you can shed some light on this it would really be helpful,” Twilight said.

“Oh you’re all no fun, can’t even humor me for just a little?” Discord said as he slithered down to the ground and stood between them.

“Ehh… I would normally, but I’ve been distracted by the smell of sprinkles for at least the past five minutes,” Pinkie Pie shrugged.

“Come on, Discord, out with it,” Applejack said. “I’d prefer to get this all fixed before one of those space-time crack thingamajigs opens up and starts sucking up all my trees.”

Discord shrugged, a bored expression on his face. “Very well—though the core of the matter is something that only Little Miss Bookworm here will fully understand the gravity of.”

“What is it?” Twilight asked, a little worried now.

Discord breathed on his nails, turning them over and examining them. “Oh nothing, it’s just that the entire space-time continuum is collapsing.”

WHAT?!” Twilight Sparkle yelled.

“Uh, is that bad? It sounds bad,” Spike hesitantly ventured to ask.

“If the space-time continuum is collapsing then that means that the past, the present, and the future could all be erased. The whole world—all worlds everywhere—could be completely destroyed!” Twilight shouted.

“Oh. Yeah that sounds bad,” Spike blanched.

Starlight agreed.

“Then how do we stop it?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“And why is something so crazy happening right now?” Applejack asked Discord.

Discord smugly and proudly folded his arms over his chest. “Luckily, I can answer both questions.”

“Just please spit it out then...” a slightly agitated Twilight Sparkle asked.

“Fine, fine. To put it simply, the reason the space-time continuum is close to collapsing is because there’s an excess amount of unexpected chaos in it. It’s overwhelmed the harmony that normally keeps everything balanced,” Discord explained.

“And how exactly is there too much chaos out there?” Rainbow suspiciously asked, floating up to stare Discord in the eyes.

He nonchalantly shook his head. “Oh it’s not me. If it was I could easily fix things. No I’m afraid this problem is someone else’s doing. Someone you all know I might add, and you know the reason for why it’s all happening too. Just think a little bit.” He got a teasing twinkle in his eye as he glanced over at Starlight and grinned at her. “Now who among us here has recently done something that involves space and time and messing around in a bunch of alternate timelines and worlds, hm? Who could that be?”

All other eyes in the room slowly turned towards Starlight Glimmer.

From the blank expression on Twilight Sparkle’s face, to the tired one on Applejack’s, the oblivious smile on Pinkie Pie’s, and the “told you so” sort of look on Spike’s, they all bored into her.

“Oh,” Starlight blinked, feeling a rising heat in her face. She awkwardly smiled and lifted up her hooves in a shrug. “Oops?”

Author's Note:

Chapters will be released based on dramatic tension.