• Published 15th Oct 2012
  • 2,480 Views, 93 Comments

The Masterpiece - McPoodle

Twilight must step in to prevent Pinkie Pie's mental disintegration

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Chapter 5: Second Nightmare

The Masterpiece

Chapter 5: Second Nightmare

Master Pie had come to Ponyville.

He was wearing a gray cloak, and pulling an enormous cart containing a crate. In that crate was a truly infernal machine. Walking listlessly on either side were Inkie and Blinkie, Pinkie Pie’s elder sisters. The eyes of both were blank, as they were under Master Pie’s complete control.

Because of the setting sun behind him, he was only a shadow with eyes. Glowing golden eyes. As he walked down the main street of town, he would glance imperiously at one pony after another, and the result would always be the same: the pony would bend down low to the ground, and her eyes would become blank just like the Pie Sisters’. The lights in the homes and businesses also dimmed in his presence. Soon, Master Pie’s eyes were the brightest thing in Equestria.

He stopped before the miniscule form of Pinkie Pie. She looked exactly as she did right after seeing Dashie’s Sonic Rainboom, her frizzled mane as big as the rest of her whole body put together. “I’ve got my masterpiece ready for you, Papa!” she exclaimed, gesturing excitedly at the Town Hall behind her. Muted music streamed out from behind the closed door, and from the windows came the only warm lights left in town.

“That is no masterpiece,” growled Master Pie, in a voice like boulders scraping each other. “And you are no daughter of mine! Show yourself, Pinkamena.”

From the darkness stepped an adult version of Pinkie Pie, her mane hanging flat and her coat a distinctly darker tint than that of the filly Pinkie. “I have no masterpiece to present to you,” she said flatly. Anger burned in the back of her eyes.

“The masterpiece is you yourself, Pinkamena,” said Master Pie with a sinister smile, walking closer to the pair of pink ponies. “You are my present, my means of breaking the tyranny of the sun.”

“I don’t get it,” said Pinkie Pie, smiling widely and turning her head sideways in a vain attempt to put any kind of a happy expression on the cloaked pony’s face.

“And she never will, if I can possibly help it,” said Pinkamena. “Face it, Papa, your plan for me has failed. We came here, instead of Trottingham. We broke the prophesy.”

“And then the prophesy changed,” said Master Pie, peering intently into Pinkamena’s eyes. “The Summer Sun Celebration moved from there to Ponyville, with no explanation given! And how else can you explain the Bringer’s return to Equestria—it was we that summoned her! That is the Cult’s power made manifest!”

“But your cult’s plans failed!” insisted Pinkamena. “Your Bringer of Justice was herself overthrown, and Pinkie herself was a good part of the reason!”

“I just thought that Black Snootie needed to laugh a little!” added Twinkie Pinkie.

“Then our job is merely redoubled!” Master Pie replied. “Behold! For the Chosen Vessel has once again returned to this town!”

He pointed at the form of Princess Luna standing in the middle of the square. Her eyes were a glowing white and her jaw was slack.

“You have the power to reawaken the Bringer of Justice! You are the culmination of centuries and centuries of forbidden magic. With but a single touch, you can undo a million humiliating defeats! Do as I have trained you, Pinkamena Diane Pie! Fulfill your destiny!”


With the attention momentarily directed away from herself, a fearful Princess Luna released Pinkie Pie from her nightmare and fled back to Canterlot Castle.

She did not know if what she had heard in the dream was real. But it was a fact that Pinkie Pie had managed to completely immobilize her in the Dream Realm when her dream suddenly needed an immobilized Princess Luna in it. If the nightmare had been allowed to reach the point where Pinkamena was supposed to corrupt her into becoming Nightmare Moon again...

She wrote up a letter cancelling the next day’s appointment with Twilight. She wasn’t about to return to Ponyville until she knew a great deal more about the Pie family.

Twilight Sparkle was awakened from a very pleasant dream about actually being able to cook by an insistent banging on the library’s front door.

She looked over at her clock (a birthday present made by Doctor Whooves). It was a good four hours before dawn.

She turned over and tried to tune out the sound. Whoever it is, it can wait until the morning...

...unless that’s Princess Luna, she realized, and this is a Dream Emergency!

~ ~ ~

“Princess?” Twilight called out as she yanked open the door with her magic.

She was answered by silence. Several seconds passed before the dark shape in the doorway finally spoke. “I...I’m not the Princess, Miss Sparkle, and I’m sorry to have awakened you, but there are several questions I am in desperate need to have answered.”

Twilight leaned forward to try and get a better look at her questioner, which in turn caused the pony to lean back. She was wrapped in a cloak, she had a straight mane, and she didn’t have a horn, but that was all Twilight could make out. The voice was vaguely familiar, but Twilight was the first to admit that her ability to identify ponies by their voices was virtually non-existent—some days it seemed to her as if only a handful of ponies provided the voices for every single resident of Ponyville. “Come inside,” she said finally. “I’ll help you in any way I can.”

The visitor said nothing, and waited until Twilight had turned and walked a good way into the tree before warily following her. Twilight noticed that she seemed to hide in the shadows, a funny thing, since Twilight wasn’t aware that the ground floor of her tree had any shadows to hide in before now. “Can I get you something?” she asked over her shoulder. “Some coffee, or hot chocolate?”

“No...no thank you,” said the mystery pony. “I have no defense against caffeine.”

“O...K,” commented Twilight quietly. She glanced upward at a stray lock of her mane. “Oh, I am sorry about my appearance. Let me just go and—”

“No,” said the pony, stopping Twilight’s flight upstairs with a magenta hoof placed on her shoulder. The hoof was quickly removed before Twilight could get a good look at it. “I was the one who forced you out of bed, after all. If I couldn’t handle a little bedmane, then I shouldn’t have arrived at this unfriendly hour.”

Twilight sighed and settled herself down in a cushion at one end of the main chamber of the library. Unsurprisingly, the mystery pony took a seat as far from her as possible, with a bookcase to hide her face behind. “I am curious about your confrontation with Nightmare Moon last year,” she said.

Twilight Sparkle leaned back, examining the shaded form before her intently. “I received a good many questions on that subject from the residents of Ponyville in the days after the incident,” she said. “I take it that you’re new here?”

“Not really,” the pony answered with obvious discomfort. “I simply haven’t had the opportunity, or the inclination, to approach you before now.”

“Well, what would you like to know?”

“I remember...hearing...that you knew of Nightmare Moon’s return before it actually happened. Do you know how she returned to Equestria?”

Twilight raised her eyebrow. That was a very good question, she thought, the kind of question I would have asked if I wasn’t the pony in the middle of the whole thing. And she’s the first pony to have ever asked it. “Nightmare Moon’s banishment was for exactly one thousand years,” she said. “A cluster of four stars surrounding the Moon’s location at the precise end of that period were gradually pulled together using a fraction of the power that propels the Sphere of Stars, and the magic of that conjunction provided the energy Nightmare Moon needed to escape her prison.” She wondered if a non-unicorn could possibly understand that explanation. In fact, she wondered if a unicorn whose specialty was anything other than magic could possibly understand that explanation.

The cloaked pony nodded. Whether or not she was faking her comprehension, Twilight couldn’t tell. “I also heard that Trottingham was meant to be the location of last year’s Summer Sun Celebration,” she said, “but it was changed at the last minute to Ponyville. Do you know anything about this?”

Twilight frowned. “The location of the next Summer Sun Celebration is always announced the day after Winter Wrap Up,” she said. “There had been a long-standing rumor that the thousandth ceremony would be in Trottingham, based on some numerological nonsense that I was never able to wrap my head around, but that’s all it was—rumor. I am privy to Princess Celestia’s log book, where she plans out many of her public appearances far in advance, and I can tell you that Ponyville was selected as the millennial location long before I had even heard the Trottingham rumor.”

For a moment, Twilight froze, as she realized the entry confirming Ponyville as the location was written many centuries before there had even been a Ponyville. She hoped that the mystery mare didn’t notice.

“Thank you,” the cloaked pony said with satisfaction as she rose to her hooves. “It’s good to know that he was lying once again.”

“Who was—” Twilight began as she stumbled to her own hooves, to be interrupted by the other pony shaking her head.

“I must keep my secrets, Miss Sparkle,” she said. “Suffice it to know that truth and logic are my most powerful weapons against my enemy.” She turned, and without another word, walked out of the library.

“Wait!” cried Twilight, racing to the door and straining to make out the mystery pony’s form as it dissolved into the pre-dawn blackness. “Know that you are not alone! I will be here anytime that you need...a friend. Well horseapples, that could have gone better.”

“What could have gone better?” asked Spike, standing behind her. “And who was that?”

“Never mind, Spike,” Twilight said with a sigh. “And...I don’t know. I’m sure I know every pony in Ponyville, but I have no idea who that is. Maybe I should ask Pinkie Pie about her tomorrow. But for now, how about we get back to sleep?”

Pinkie Pie woke up the next morning feeling exhausted. Given how hard she had been pushing herself the past week, this was no surprise. What was a surprise was the pages and pages of paper covered with concise writing she found covering the floor. She picked a page up and tried to make sense of its dense convoluted logic, but that only gave her a headache.

Pinkie shrugged before beginning to collect the pages into an ordered document. This was a lot better than the piles of deathtraps she usually had to disarm upon waking up from nights like this.