• Published 27th Dec 2012
  • 619 Views, 15 Comments

Breakdown - Xz Hacker

Twilight learns the truth behind everything while investigating a series of strange events.

  • ...

Chapter One: “The Signs”

Chapter One: “The Signs”

Twilight Sparkle was having another day of tending to the library, with the aid of Spike. They had both just finished cleaning and organizing the library for the third time this week. As Spike pushed the last book into place he sighed and then fell to the ground in exhaustion. “Twilight, that's the third time this week, don't you think we have got it clean enough yet?”

Twilight gave Spike an annoyed look. “No Spike, I don't, Something still doesn't feel quite right.”

“Well maybe if we took a break you could figure out what was wrong, rather than rearranging the place everyday.”

“Spike, we have only done it three times this week.”

Spike cocked his head to the side. “You know it's Monday right? You started this last night and haven't really taken a break since.”

Twilight stopped and thought for a second. Spike was right, they had been at this for almost an entire day straight. “Oh, I'm sorry Spike, something just isn't right. Maybe your right, maybe if we take a break it will come to me.”

Spike sighed with relief, and then realized just how hungry he had become in the long hours of cleaning and rearranging. “Maybe we could grab something to eat while we think?”

Twilight nodded, feeling her own hunger for the first time in hours. “Yea, that's sounds like a good idea too.”

The both of them went out to the nearest restaurant to eat. As they were preparing to order, Spike saw Rarity siting at a nearby table slouched over, staring off into the distance, looking quite depressed. “Rarity! Want to come eat with us?”

Rarity perked up her head to look over at the two of them. She smiled slightly, and slowly walked over to them. “How are you two doing this evening,” she asked with as much warmth as she could muster in her current mood.

Twilight and Spike could see that something was wrong. Twilight decided to be the one to ask. “Are you OK, Rarity? You seem a little sad.”

Rarity dropped what little of a fake smile she had been trying to hold. “Yes, I am a little out of sorts. Last night, I was making a dress for a client and for the life of me I couldn't get it right. I spent hours redoing that dress, but no matter what I did I seemed to be getting something wrong, and I couldn't quite place my hoof on it.”

“Well that's odd, Spike and I spent all of last night and this morning doing almost the same thing to the library. I can't explain it, but something just wasn't right with it.

Rarity nodded in agreement. Spike rolled his eyes. “What is this some kinda unicorn thing, where all the unicorns get obsessive over something on the same day?”

Despite the obvious sarcasm in his voice, Twilight took the statement literally. “Don't be absurd Spike, it's just a coincidence that both me and Rarity are having these troubles on the same day.”

Before Spike could explain that he was kidding, the chef of the restaurant burst from the kitchen doors yelling. “No! This is unacceptable, I refuse to work in these conditions any longer!” At that he stormed out of the restaurant, head held high.

The restaurant owner came running after him. “Wait, come back!”

Twilight and Rarity both looked at each other in confusion. After several moments the owner drug himself back through the door. “Um, well... I seem to be short a chef ladies and gentlecolts, I apologize but it seems as if we need to shut down early today.”

There was a considerable deal of mumbling as the patrons of the store slowly made their way out. Half of them were confused, the other half annoyed. Once outside Rarity looked at Twilight and Spike with a curious expression. “Darling, do you think that our dear Spike may have been on to something, that chef was a unicorn, and was well known for taking pride in his cooking.”

Twilight got a small frown on her face. “Like I said before, it's just some coincidence, three unicorns having a bit of a bad day is no proof of some weird conspiracy theory.”

Spike shook his head, having changed his mind about the seriousness he meant his previous statement to have. “I don't know Twilight, it seems a little weird to me , I mean there aren't that many unicorns here in Ponyville.”

Just then Pinkie Pie walked up. “Oh yeah, there are like...” She paused for a minute, “ten at most.”

Rarity looked at Pinkie. “Yes Pinkie Pie, don't you know everypony? Exactly how many unicorns are there in Ponyville?”

Pinkie Pie blinked a little. “Well, there is you and Twilight, and...” she trailed off and sat for several seconds staring off into nothing, before finally getting an annoyed look on her face. “There's... no... it's... I can't remember anyone else!”

Twilight and Rarity both sat dumbfounded. After a few moments of silence Twilight spoke. “Really Pinkie? You can't think of any other unicorns? That isn't like you at all.”

Pinkie Pie's look of annoyance slowly turned to one of panic. “Twilight! When is your birthday?!”

Twilight nearly jumped back in surprised at this random outburst. “What do you mean? You know when my...”

Pinkie Pie cut her off. “NO! I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYPONY'S BIRTHDAY!”

Twilight and Rarity stared for around ten seconds as Pinkie Pie nervously shifted her weight from one set of legs to the other, desperately trying to remember all the facts about people that just yesterday she knew. She finally got too impatient with her own memory. “I need to go!” At that she took off into the distance.

Rarity turned to Twilight. “Well I would hate to use Pinkie Pie as an example of odd things occurring, but even you must admit that was quite strange.”

Twilight nodded, “that was more then a little strange, even for Pinkie Pie, maybe we should follow her.”

They began walking in the direction she ran. After a few minutes they found her laying next to the side of a two story building, surrounded by several ponies. Twilight rushed over to her. “What happened?”

One of the many ponies in the crowd quickly offered an answer. “She was running along, and a pot fell from that window ledge and hit her on the head.”

Twilight looked the mare who had said it directly in the eyes with a questioning glare. Twilight knew that Pinkie Pie had a natural way of avoiding that type of danger, but she didn't have time to question her any further, instead she turned her attention to the now unconscious Pinkie Pie. “She seems to have been knocked out by the blow, we need to get her to a hospital soon, hopefully she doesn't have a serious concussion.”

With the aid of several of the members of the crowd that had surrounded Pinkie Pie, Twilight manged to quickly and safely get Pinkie Pie to the nearby Ponyville hospital. After getting her checked in, Twilight and Rarity began waiting for the news on their friend. After about an hour nurse Redheart came out and began talking with them. “Are you two friends with miss Pie?”

Twilight nodded her head. “Yes, how is she nurse?”

“She is going to be fine, in a few days she will be totally back on her hooves. However I must say of all the ponies in Ponyville I'm quite surprised to see her here.”

Twilight nodded again. “Yes, usually her...” she hesitated to use the phrase, “Pinkie sense, lets her avoid things from falling on her.”

Nurse Readheart shook her head. “I don't even mean that, I've looked through her medical records, the only other time we have ever seen her is for food poisoning. Other that that she has been in perfect health most of her life. Not only that, but we Earth Ponies have the ability to heal quite quickly, and knowing her, she probably would heal faster than me.”

Rarity nodded. “It does seem a lot of odd things happening lately.”

Nurse Readheart looked back and forth for a moment, and quietly began to talk. “Yes, it seems that a considerable deal of Unicorns have been hurting themselves recently. Of course there are so few here that we haven't had any incidences, but the word is that in Canterlot, the accident rate has spiked in the last month or so.”

Twilight, Rarity, and Spike all looked at each other, each knowing that they were all thinking roughly the same thing. Rarity decided to not torture Twilight. “Twilight dear, would you like it if I stayed to wait for Pinkie, while you investigate these strange happenings?”

Twilight nodded thankfully. “That would be perfect Rarity, keep me updated on how shes doing.”

Twilight and Spike walked out of the hospital. Spike had been racking his brain since Rarity said the word investigate. “Twilight, how are we going to look into these weird events, I mean, they seem kinda unrelated for the most part.”

“I'm sure Princess Celestia is already aware of some of what is happening, although I think we should tell her about Pinkie Pie's accident before we do anything else.”

Spike hopped off Twilight's back and pulled out some quill and parchment. “Ready!”

“Dear Princess Celestia, my dear friend Pinkie Pie has had a terrible accident today. She just happened to have a pot fall on her head when she was passing by a window. The incident seems quite odd and I have recently learned of a spike in accidents, mainly magical ones in Canterlot, over the last month. I'm not quite sure how, but I have a suspicion that these incidents are related. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.”

Spike finished the letter with a flick of his wrist on the last letter. “Done!” He raised it in the air before him and blew fire on it as he normally would. When the fire hit the paper, however, instead of being magically whisked away as it always had, it burned to a crisp, and the ashes fell to the ground before them.

They both stared for several seconds at the ashes before the wind caught them and blew them away. “Spike! Why did you do that?”

“I didn't do it on purpose! The spell didn't work!”

Twilight's eyes grew wide. “You mean that... that can't be, Celestia's spell that links your fire to her has never failed us before.”

Still upset over being blamed Spike continued to defend himself. “I swear Twilight it was the spell I...”

Twilight cut him off. “I know you didn't mean to Spike, it's OK. I'm sure there is a logical explanation for this.” Twilight stood there for a moment thinking. All that came to mind was that the Princess could be hurt or ill, and neither of those thoughts were very appealing. “Maybe we should go tell Celestia in person, since it seems we can't contact her by ordinary means.”

Spike nodded and was about to climb back on Twilight's back when she stopped him. “Wait, you better go explain to Rarity what we're doing, so someone knows where we're going and why. When your done meet me at the train station, I should be able to buy us tickets by the time you get there.”

Spike nodded once again and rushed back into the hospital to talk with Rarity, while Twilight headed straight for the train station.

Twilight wasn't entirely sure what to make of the odd circumstances she had seen in just the last few hours. She just couldn't shake from her mind the thought of Celestia being ill. Could that be the cause of all these problems? No that couldn't be right. Before she knew it she found herself at the train station.

She slowly walked up to the ticket master, still quite distracted with her owns worries. “Excuse me, could I get two tickets to Canterlot?”

“Sure miss, that'll be one hundred twenty bits.”

Twilight began to pull out the money when the amount he had asked for actually registered. “One hundred twenty bits?! Since when did tickets from Ponyville to Canterlot cost so much?”

“Ever since half of our trains are down for repairs, they've been dropping like flies over the last few weeks, not a lot of trains means not a lot of space, which means pretty expensive tickets.”

Twilight hesitated, but reluctantly paid. She really needed to see Celestia, and soon, high ticket prices or not. Just as she was turning around Spike ran up. “I finished telling Rarity, she said she would make sure everypony else knew where we were going.”

“Oh good, and you got here just in time, I just finished paying for the tickets, the train should be leaving here in less than five minutes.”

Twilight and Spike got on the train, and departed right on time.

An hour later the train ride had been going smoothly. Spike was sleeping on the way to compensate for the huge loss of sleep due to cleaning the night before. Twilight probably would have also succumb to exhaustion if it wasn't for the worries that kept playing through her mind. As she was once again going through all the facts about recent events in her head, she suddenly got a worried look on her face. She began looking around with an unusual expression. Everyone else on the train didn't seem to notice. She moved over to Spike and shook him gently. “Spike! Spike! Wake up, can you feel that?”

Sleepily Spike opened an eye. “Feel what Twilight?”

Before she could open her mouth to explain the entire train lurched violently. Spike flew out of his seat and straight into the back of the one in front of them. Twilight barely managed to hold herself up. The train began to make a loud screeching noise as it slowly came to a stop. Twilight got up and headed for the train's engine. The rest of the train's passengers either were worriedly talking amongst themselves, or looking out their windows. When Twilight arrived at the engine the conductor was kicking the engine angrily. “Dern thing! Shoulda never switched from the old uns!”

“What do you mean?” Twilight asked as she entered the room.

The conductor looked up in surprise, but didn't bother protesting her presence. “Oh I, uh, well, the old models ran just fine, then they uh...” the conductor hesitated, “they replaced most of them with these new fangled Unicorn devices.”

Twilight nodded. Now she understood why the conductor was hesitant to explain himself. He, as well as many of the other Earth Ponies that work in fields that Unicorns are beginning to revolutionize, are quite angry at the new devices, and how only Unicorns can fix them. “Would you like me to take a look? I know a considerable deal of magic.”

“Yeah do what you want, can't make it any worse than broke.”

Twilight opened up the console which contained the main components used to keep the spell running that operated the new trains. She stared for several moments taking in the intricacies of the devices, and looking for the fault. “Well this is just strange.”

The conductor made a grunting sound in question. “Well, the devices seem to be running just fine, as a matter of fact the whole thing seems to be operational, it's just that, well, it is as if the spell that kept it moving isn't powerful enough.”

“Whada ya mean? This train has been moving for the last hour asn't it?”

“Well that's the thing, if the mechanical part isn't damaged, there is no reason for the spell to deteriorate at all.”

“Well if your done poking around, I need to get word to base to get a mechanic out here.”

“How long will that take?”

“We're pretty far out miss, it will take my boy Joey about five hours to get back to Ponyville, and then another hour to get here with all the parts they'll need on another train.”

“Oh that's no good, I need to speak with Celestia soon.”

“You're going to see Celestia? Oh wait, you're Twilight Sparkle ain't ya? That's where I recognized you. Well I'm afraid there ain't much I can do to help ya. Canterlot is an hours run from here, but they won't have the parts we'll need. It would take three hours to walk there.”

“That's better than waiting here for five.” She began to turn and walk out, “and thanks for the information.”

“No problem, you take care now!”

She walked back to where Spike was sitting. Spike had already gone back to sleep. “Spike! Wake up!”

Spike snapped awake. “What? Where are we?”

Twilight put her hoof to her face. “We are on a train, we were going to Canterlot, remember?” She asked in an irritated tone.

Spike squinted a bit, trying to remember. “Oh yeah, but why isn't it moving?”

“Did you hit your head or something? The train broke down, remember?”

Spike sleepily nodded his head. “Oh yeah that, can I go back to sleep now?”

Twilight rolled her eyes, and then levitated him onto her back. “Come on you lazy dragon.”

She walked out of the car and began the long walk to Canterlot. She trudged alongside the railroad track for the next hour and a half straight. Spike somehow managed to sleep the entire way. When she finally got up the mountain she sighed with relief. “Spike, wake up. We made it!”

Spike merely shifted his weight on her back and mumbled something incoherent.

Twilight rolled her eyes. She wasn't going to fault him for being tired, after all, they did stay up practically all night working. On top of that, today had been pretty stressful. Thinking about it, she realized just how tired she was, carrying him all this way. Would Celestia really mind if she waited till tomorrow to talk with her? There wasn't anything urgent to discuss, just several strange events that had peeked her curiosity. Pinkie Pie will be feeling better in a few days, that's not an immediate concern. The spell between her and Spike can be fixed anytime. She supposed those were the only real problems she had to report, all her other suspicions were mere conjecture.

While she was busy thinking about all the things she had slowly walked to her old house, or she should probably say her parents house now. When she got there she looked at it for a minute. There wasn't any real rush, and she was really tired after that walk.

Without much more consideration, she went in to surprise her parents, and ask for a place to stay for the night. They were of course thrilled to see their little girl after all this time, and were more than willing to let her stay in her old room for the night.

As she laid Spike down on the bed next to her, she couldn't help but feel at home again. She liked having so many friends in Ponyville, but this room, in this house, here in Canterlot, this will always be her home. Those were her last thoughts before she drifted off to sleep.