• Published 3rd Nov 2012
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The Maker - kovabomb



Creation is a work of art. But what if the creation could contact the creator?

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"From My Perspective"

Hello

The word hung in the air, both figuratively and literally. Under any other circumstance, either the Princess of Friendship or the most sociable mare in Ponyville would have responded quickly and affably to such a simple greeting. But faced with such a bizarre greeter and method of greeting, one could easily forgive the silence that briefly ruled the room.

Do you read me?

The mirrored words strung themselves one letter at a time across the white box, forming a line below the initial greeting.

“Oh! Um, Yes! Yes, we can read what you’re writing,” Twilight stuttered with a shake of her head. “Um, can you hear us?” Though still trying to wrap her head around what was happening, the Alicorn mare had the presence of mind to pursue this strange conversation.

Yes, I can see and hear you. This may not be the quickest way to talk, but it’s better than nothing.

“I’ll say!” Pinkie Pie piped in. “It might be funny, but it’s hard to read something backwards. Do you always talk backwards?” Trust the Element of Laughter to turn a weighty moment on its ear. Spike snickered while Twilight brought her hoof to her face.

Backwards?

Twilight couldn’t quite put her hoof on it, but… was that a faint whiff of surprise and confusion she sensed in that word?

Stay focused. Answer possibly-omnipotent-being’s question first, puzzle over conundrums later. “I hope you’ll excuse my friend here,” Twilight said, “but yes, the words we’re seeing are backwards. It’s like they’re reflected in a mirror.” Twilight sincerely hoped this Observer wasn’t easily offended.

There was a thoughtful pause. Again, Twilight could almost feel a hint of emotion emanating from the Observer’s window. Were these the vibes Pinkie had been going on about?

What exactly is it you’re looking at? Can you describe what you’re seeing?

It finally struck the young Alicorn: Why would an omniscient being ask these kinds of questions? Shouldn’t an all-seeing entity know exactly how it appeared to pony eyes?

The researcher’s thoughts were interrupted by Pinkie’s animated description. “It’s a see-through-but-solid rectangle of magical something floating in the air that we can’t see unless we touch it and it has a white rectangle in the upper-right corner of it that has backward words written on it.” Twilight was impressed. It was a rather good description and she had said it all in one breath. Then, with a sudden splash of what Twilight could only describe as “understanding,” the observer responded.

Hold on a second. Let me try something.

The energy field abruptly spun around, back to front. The comical image of a sign spinning on its post came unbidden to the lavender mare’s mind. But this was no signpost, as Twilight was surprised to see that the window of text was now correctly facing. The white, opaque field should have hidden the words printed on its face when the transparent pane turned away. The words weren’t cut or stamped through the white surface, a fact shown by the flashing vertical bar to the right of the text, yet it seemed that the black letters and white surface intersected each other on the same plane. Was this some kind of regenerating image projected onto the energy field? Like a motion picture or an illusion spell?

Is that better?

Twilight again shook herself. “Yes, thank you,” she replied, trying to hide her befuddlement.

Good. I might be looking at the wall right now, but I can still hear you just fine.

It was very faint, but Twilight couldn’t deny the feeling of relief and satisfaction trickling from the Observer’s vantage point. Yet another score in the Pinkie Sense’s favor, as these had to be the elusive Vibes the pink confectioner claimed to feel in an Observer’s presence. That she was also feeling them was a fair indication of how strong and clear they were.

Wait a minute…

There was a reason Spike was Twilight’s Number One Assistant, for he voiced Twilight’s thoughts before she could speak. “Why are you looking at the wall? Can’t you see out of either side of that thing?” the dragon queried.

There was a pause, the Observer apparently considering its answer. After a few seconds had past, the words on the white field vanished and new words began to form. As Twilight watched beside her friends, she noticed something about how the words were being written. They were formed one letter at a time, the words formed tidy lines beneath each other, and there were points when the black bar would erase a few words and form new ones in their place. It was like the Observer was writing with a typewriter.

Finally, the message was finished:

Imagine that the “floating rectangle” is like a screen. Then, picture me sitting in a chair on one side of it. To you, it looks like the screen is transparent. To me, the screen is opaque, has the image on the front, and is blank on the back. I’m looking at the side of the screen that has these words facing forward. That means that, from my perspective, I’m looking through the screen at the wall.

“I knew it!” Pinkie cried, springing into the air excitedly. “It’s like you’re looking through a window watching a bunch of ponies playing hoofball on a Sunday afternoon, isn’t it Mr. Watcher. Like you’re sitting in a cinema, and you’re the audience to a cool show about us ponies! Only it’s real life! You like us so much you want to watch us learn and grow and have fun and… PARTY! You like my parties, don’t you Mr. New-Awesome-Watcher-Friend?”

There was no response from the entity for a while, a mixed air of surprise, alarm, and certitude radiating from it. It seemed like Pinkie’s observations had caught it off guard, yet it had somehow been expecting such a thing from the sugary mare. Twilight could sympathize. Finally, there came a response.

First: Yes, that’s very much what it’s like, Pinkie. Second: I do like your parties. Third: Call me Stephanie.

Pinkie Pie let out a squee of delight as she bounced about the room. “Oh, this is so splendiferously great! I’ve made a new friend who likes my parties and knows my name and….” She stopped abruptly as a look of chagrin plastered her face. “Wait! Your name is Stephanie?! Oh, fudgesicles! Here I am calling you mister when you’ve got a girl’s name and everything! How did I miss that?”

Nearby, Twilight Sparkle stood quietly with a conflicted expression. The wheels in her mind were trying to process the wrench this exuberant exchange had thrown into her theories. Before now, Twilight had assumed that the Observers were a group of higher beings, all-seeing and all-powerful yet non-interfering. But this conversation and interaction had disproved that hypothesis. It was clear that this Observer who called itself Stephanie did not know everything. She (if indeed it was a she) needed explanations, time to form thoughts, could make mistakes and be taken in surprise. And with that part of the theory debunked, the rest fell with it. If the Observers were not omniscient, then there was no basis for them being omnipotent.

So what did that leave? Clearly these entities were powerful, but to what extent? They knew who Twilight and her friends were, but how much did they actually know and why them in particular? How did they know where she and her friends were and when to watch them? And above all, what did they ultimately want? The science-minded royal was drifting in the unknown. What facts she had seemed to conflict and confuse rather than enlighten. She needed more data. And she needed support.

“Excuse me,” Twilight called out. The one-sided stream of questions and babble issuing from Pinkie Pie came to a halt as the Alicorn took a step forward. “I hope it’s not too much to ask, but would you mind if I took some notes while we talk?” she asked the Stephanie entity. “This is the first time I’ve ever met something… or someone like you and I don’t want to miss anything.”

Of course, Twilight. I don’t mind. I can imagine the questions a pony like you would have.

“Thank you,” the Alicorn said, seizing her notepad and quill in her magic and immediately beginning to write. “Spike!” she said in a neutral tone as her urgent hoof furtively gestured the dragon to her side, trusting that all the Observer was seeing was a blank wall. She flashed him the message she had scrawled out as she said, in a conversational way, “Could you go and get us some tea and toast? We may be here for a while.”

Spike took in both her spoken words as well as her written request. “You got it,” he winked. He turned and made for the door as Pinkie commented on the awesomeness of a Get-to-Know-You Party, even if it wasn’t a Welcome-to-Equestria Party.

Once outside the lab, instead of moving toward the kitchen, the adolescent dragon jogged to the library. There he opened the writing desk and drew out two scrolls, each sealed in a different colored wax. As quietly as he could, he drew a breath and sent a roll sealed in green on its way to Canterlot. The other roll, sealed in a blaring red and marked with the words “Open Immediately,” he tucked away with the writing supplies he always carried. That task done, he then went to the kitchen to start on the tea and toast.


Gently, ever so carefully, the minds of Celestia and Luna probed the mysterious bond they had discovered at reality’s foundation. The billions of individual strands it consisted of made the cable strong and sturdy. The whole of it was firmly anchored to the dimensional wall, unyielding to the cautious tugs the two Alicorns exerted on it. But what was most intriguing was the power that flowed through it.

Running down each individual strand of the cable and into the Equestrian world was an energy that was primal and raw. When tentatively sampled by the two rulers, it inspired within them a distinct feeling of passion and appreciation. It sang with positive feeling. It also bore a resonance that was similar yet decidedly alien to Equestria, suggesting that it and the connection its self did indeed have their origin in a different universe. Yet, despite the many differences between them, the sisters couldn’t help but think that this strange energy was somehow akin to the magical power that made up the life blood of their world.

Stranger still was the power which ran up the strands and into the other reality. This energy was undoubtedly similar to the first and the royal sisters understood how one could lump the two powers together. However, this returning stream bore an Equestrian resonance and instilled a desire to create. Where did this power come from? Was it being drawn from Equestria, or was it being fed into the neighboring realm?

Before these thoughts could fully mature, Celestia felt a familiar pull from her magic and carefully withdrew her awareness from the ethereal plane and back to Canterlot. She had only experienced the Ethereal Bends once and she intended to keep it that way. Luna followed after her sister as the two Alicorns opened their physical eyes and took note of what had interrupted their investigation. It was a roll of parchment, sealed with green wax and carrying the marks of magical dragon flame; another letter from Twilight Sparkle.

“Most fortuitous,” Luna said as Celestia took the scroll in her magic and unfurled it. “Perhaps Princess Twilight will be able to enlighten us concerning these observing creatures.”

“Not by much,” Celestia replied. She read the letter aloud.

Dear Princess Celestia,

This letter is to inform you and Princess Luna that peaceful contact has been made with The Observers. They have revealed themselves with no ill will and I will likely be talking with them as you read this. You can expect a full report of the encounter once it is concluded. I will contact you immediately if there is an emergency. Wish me luck!

Your Fellow Princess,

Twilight Sparkle

“Indeed. Not very informative,” Luna nodded. “But we at least know they can be reasonable and civil.”

“That remains to be seen,” Celestia said gravely. “A pre-written notice doesn’t leave me with much confidence.”

“Then why not go to Ponyville ourselves and discover the truth?”

“You don’t know how tempted I am to do just that, Luna. But I’m afraid of what our sudden arrival would do in this situation. We know so little, there’s no telling what would happen, good or bad.” A mixed look of concern and confidence lit the Diurnal Matriarch’s face. “I think it’s best that we wait until Twilight contacts us herself. I trust her and her friends to act in our best interest.”

Luna quietly appreciated her sister’s restraint. Knowing how much Twilight Sparkle meant to her sister and to Equestria, the Nocturnal Matriarch was impressed that Celestia didn’t take to the skies that very moment. Yet, Luna agreed that jumping to conclusions and sticking a hoof in where it wasn’t needed could only cause distress. Besides, there was much the two of them had to talk about.

“Then let us leave them to their own devices for now and discuss what we have learned,” Luna suggested.

“Yes,” Celestia nodded, determination replacing her doubts. “Yes, we should. There’s a lot we can learn about these Observers by their power and how they use it.”

“Agreed,” Luna affirmed. “Their power is unique, yet I can’t help the feeling of familiarity it has. You felt the underlying similarities it had to our own magic, I’m sure.”

“Similar, but only in the most basic ways,” Celestia conceded. “It’s like raw emotion. Our magic may have once been like the Observers’ magic, but theirs hasn’t matured like ours has, if at all.”

“And yet there was a similar power flowing from our world into theirs,” Luna reminded her sister.

“True.” Celestia paused a moment, considering she and her sister’s discoveries. “Do you think it could have been the power of the Observers cycled back through the hearts of our little ponies?”

Luna was thoughtful for a moment more. “Perhaps, but I think not,” she finally replied. “Considering that the two forces had distinct magical resonances, coupled with the positive nature of both the incoming and outgoing energy, I’m inclined to think that both sides of the connection are contributing to the flow.”

It made sense. Celestia smiled her approval. Though Luna was still a very passionate mare, Celestia was happy with her sibling’s improvement with emotional control and critical thinking skills. Plus, it was fun to watch the younger Alicorn mull things out in her mind.

“What’s more,” Luna continued, “it isn’t just Twilight Sparkle and her friends that are being touched by this presence. There were billions of strands branching from that connection, enough for each and every creature in this….”

The eyes of both the Lunar and Solar Regents met as the implication struck.

“Luna, are you suggesting that you and I might be bound to this… thing?” Celestia asked incredulously.

“There is one way to know,” Luna replied anxiously.

The Princesses shut their eyes and reached into themselves, searching for what they had seen in their subjects. After a moment, the two of them withdrew their inner sight and looked at each other in bewilderment.

“’Tis there, my sister. Plain as thy day,” Luna whispered, momentarily lapsing into archaic speech.

“In both of us,” Celestia confirmed.

“How did we not see this before?” Luna asked, visibly bothered by the revelation.

“We weren’t looking for it before,” Celestia replied soberly. “The link is very subtle, buried deep within our souls. And the flow along it is very small. We wouldn’t have seen it within Twilight or Pinkie Pie were it not for the presence of the Observers. And if anypony had stumbled over it before now, they likely would have seen it as part of the magical web of life.”

Silence descended on the tower, the Alicorns stewing in their thoughts. Celestia berated herself for her blindness. She felt violated. Had she and her own sister, the ancient rulers of Equestria, the stewards of the sun and moon, two of the most powerful beings in the world, been influenced by these Observers in the past? She knew it was a blind assumption that these strands within herself were the strings of a puppeteer. Yet the proposition that her life might not be hers to live, however irrational and unfounded that thought was, filled her with outrage.

“Sister,” Luna intoned. Celestia snapped from her ruminations and regarded her younger sibling. “How does this strike you? Magic is the veritable life-blood of our world. We have discovered a connection that links us to another world or entity. Magical powers consisting almost entirely of emotion, a component of our own magic, flows both ways along this cord. The flow seems almost symbiotic. It is rooted to our very life force. Consider a moment and tell me: Is not the umbilical bond between a dam and her unborn foal similar?”

Celestia swore she heard a click as the cognitive piece fell into place. The comparison was almost perfect. Two entities bound together and sharing their life-force across a barrier that ensured the safety and separation of the two. She was surprised that she, the one to whom so many looked to as a second mother, had failed to make the correlation.

But while the metaphor was sound, it stirred a whole new range of questions. If the relationship between Equestria and the Observer’s world was that of a mother and a foal, which world represented which? Considering the level of influence the Observers had already displayed and what they potentially could do, Celestia was loath to admit that her world may very well be the offspring. And from there it was easy to make the logical leap that the relationship could be parasitic, one way or the other. Darker and darker possibilities presented themselves within Celestia’s mind, though she continually tried to see the brighter solutions. It was not easy.

In the centuries that Celestia had lived, she had learned to school her feelings very well. A precious few could claim that they had seen the princess truly overcome with emotion. But she was still very much a pony, complete with instincts and inborn tendencies. And at that moment, both the Mother and the Protector within the Matron of the Sun were squabbling with her.

Celestia finally answered her sister’s question, her voice solemn. “Yes, my sister, they are similar. In many ways, our two worlds are like a mother and foal. It well could be that one world begot the other. And like a mother and child, it would appear that there is a love and respect between our two realms.”

Luna’s ears twitched. At a time like this, it was a sure sign of agitation when Celestia lapsed into formal tones.

“But we do not yet know the intent of these Observers,” the Sun Mare continued, her multihued mane billowing in the ethereal wind. “And while we have yet to find any ill about them, we must be prepared for all contingencies. While I sincerely hope it is not so, we may yet find that the mother and child could be more akin to the master and slave.”

Luna was genuinely surprised that her positive and sunny sister would come to such a conclusion. Yet she could see the track that train of thought had run. “I admit, the same did occur to me,” the Moon Mare said. “As you say, we have not yet detected any malevolence from these beings. And if either of us were to recognize darkness within a creature, it would be myself.”

It was a painful memory for both of the Royal Sisters, one that had been put behind them and learned from.

“Nevertheless, your caution is not unwarranted.” Luna’s expression was infused with steel and the stars in her mane shimmered. “We are Equestria’s leaders. Her guardians. And we are faced with the unknown. We must take care to not offend a possible ally, nor to fall prey to a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Celestia’s face had also become hardened, but it was also touched with pride and appreciation in her sister. With a controlled fervor, the Guardian of the Day spoke out, her mane and tail whipping about her and a gleam in her eye. “Well said, my sister. If given the opportunity, we will gladly extend the hoof of friendship. But if these Observers show themselves to be Usurpers, then by the Sun and by the Heavens they will feel the heat of my wrath!”

"By the Moon and by the Tides as well, my sister!" the Guardian of the Night proclaimed, her power rising up to match her elder sibling. “If enemy they are, they shall find no sanctuary in the shadows! They shall know the displeasure of those who sit on Equestria’s thrones.”


The one who had called herself Stephanie sat at her desk engaged in a conversation she had never expected to have. Though she couldn’t see them from the “camera’s” current position, the fact remained that it was Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie, and Spike she was talking to. And as that exciting fact percolated through her mind, she was struck with another sobering realization: she had to be extra careful. Depending on her actions, here and now, she could either befriend the ponies or make them her enemies. If she messed this up, she got the distinct impression that there would be dire consequences.