• Published 15th Jan 2013
  • 5,784 Views, 155 Comments

Countdown to Crisis - RainbowDoubleDash



Twilight Sparkle, on the run for months, is cornered in a small town. She escapes by teleporting - teleporting far further than she had ever intended

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2. Enter Twilight

Falling…falling…falling through time and space, then past time and space, between time and space…she was falling, falling, and she didn’t know how fast or far or for how long…forever…forever…forever…past the innumerable possibilities of existence, through the threads of probability, through the cracks of the between-space…falling, falling, forever, forever…

Thud.

---

Once in her life, Twilight Sparkle had been drunk, and so it followed that once in her life, shortly thereafter, she had been hung over.

This felt a lot like that.

Twilight opened her eyes, decided it was the a mistake to do so, and closed them again, rolling over and burying her face in the pillow. She was in a bed. She didn’t remember crawling into a bed, but then the same held true for when she had woken up hung-over some years ago. Perhaps there was a benevolent, kind-hearted spirit in the world that saw to it that all suffering from hangovers were deposited into beds. More likely she had been carried there by…

Twilight’s head shot up as everything that had happened came crashing back to her, her eyes snapping open. She was in a bed, a white bed, a white wall behind her and surrounded by white, translucent curtains. It looked suspiciously like a hospital bed, and the fact that she was wearing a hospital gown strongly supported that theory, though she could not for the life of her identify most of the medical instruments she was surrounded by…

The curtains parted behind her, Twilight turned to look, and she let out a shout of surprise as a griffin strode in. She instinctively recoiled to the edge of the bed and set her horn glowing as a dangerous warning.

The griffin stopped his pace, holding up his two front claws and wings flaring in a natural reaction of his own. “Bitte, bitte! Ich bin Arzt!” he insisted. “Beruhigen Sie sich!”

Twilight paused a moment, before realizing that how she was reacting was incredibly rude, especially seeing as, on second glance, the griffin was wearing a white coat and had a stethoscope around his neck – he was a doctor. Twilight settled down on the bed slowly, horn’s glow dying down as she forced herself to ignore her headache and instead try to dredge the very, very small amount of Griffin she knew. “Ich…um…ich nein spreche Greife,” she said, slowly and haltingly, her pronunciation and syntax probably terrible.

The griffon nodded. “I thought not,” he said, his Equestrian thickly accented but leagues better than her own meager attempts at Griffin. He kept his distance from the panicked pony, even as he made sure the curtain was closed behind him. “I apologize, Fräulein. It should have occurred to me that you vould be startled on waking up. Any pony vould be on seeing einen Greif.

Twilight nodded, though she blushed slightly. “Where am I?” she asked. “Who are you? How…how did I get here?”

The griffin offered a reassuring smile. “I am Doctor Siegfried. As for vhere you are, you are in the Siegfried Memorial Hospital in Federschau.” His smile grew slightly. “The hospital is not named for me, of course.”

Twilight offered a slight smile of her own at that, as Siegfried continued. “You were found passed out in an ally in Federschau,” he said, “and brought here. Fortuitously I know something of unicorn pony anatomy – it is a hobby of mine – und I was able to determine that you had overchanneled. After that it vas a relatively simple matter of requesting ether potions from Equestria und feeding them to you vonce they arrived.” The griffin stood up a little straighter. “It is lucky you vere found vhen you vere, Fräulein, else you might have been unconscious for veeks. As it stands, it has been three days since you came here.”

Twilight’s eyes widened at that. “Three days…?” she asked. All at once, it felt like much less time had passed, and at the same time much, much more.

Ja,” Siegfried answered. “Now, if you do not mind, Fräulein, I should like to examine you und see that you are recovering.”

Twilight shifted slightly, but nodded. The doctor approached gently, taking a thermometer from a bedside tray and placing it in her mouth, testing her reflexes, and even using some device that Twilight had never seen before to measure how much magic was even now running through her body, her ‘cruising speed’ of magical might. Unsurprisingly, the device, calibrated for typical unicorns, had its needle nearly spun off of its holder when examining her.

“Vhat were you doing in Federschau?” Siegfried asked as he plucked the thermometer from her mouth, and seemed satisfied with its results.

Twilight glanced at the griffin, licking her lips. “I, um…it was an accident.”

“An accident?”

“Teleporting accident.”

“Ah…” Siegfried said, nodding. He seemed to take the knowledge in stride, but then, he had mentioned that the study of unicorn ponies was his hobby. “Ich verstehe.

“If…if you don’t mind, and I’m sorry, but I’ve never heard of Federschau…and given that I was teleporting…”

The griffin smiled. “You’re wondering how far you are from Equestria? Not to worry, Fräulein. Federschau is right on the border, no more than a half-hour’s trot.”

Twilight blinked at that. Equestria and the Griffin Kingdoms were currently at a high point in their relationship, but they had been enemies in the past – and the principal duty of the Viceroy of Latigo, Twilight’s father, was to watch and maintain the border, just in case the griffins ever attempted to invade. As a result, Twilight, herself, had a fairly complete knowledge of all the towns and cities of the Kingdoms that bordered Equestria, and Federschau was not among them. “Does…does Federschau have a different name in Equestrian, do you know?”

The griffin doctor put one claw to his beak as he thought. “I think…” he said, “Poniszawa?”

Twilight stared. “Poniszawa?” she echoed.

Ja…well, maybe. I believe that it vas vonce a pony city, but then there vas the treaty, Lederland vas divided in half…”

Lederland was a griffin name that Twilight recognized – it was their name for Latigo. “Divided in half? Treaty?” Twilight demanded, hopping out of the bed. She stumbled, hooves unsure after not being used for three days, but they must have been the most eventful three days in the history of Equestria if what the griffin said was true.

The doctor was swiftly at Twilight’s side, claws wrapping around her barrel to steady her. “Bitte, Fräulein,” he insisted, “you must remain in bed!”

Twilight stared at the griffin. “When was the treaty signed?” She demanded.

Was?

“That…that treaty you mentioned! When was it signed?”

Siegfried looked confused. “Maybe…siebenhundert Jahre?

“I don’t speak Griffin! What treaty? When was it signed?

“Seven hundred years ago. Bitte, Fräulein, I must insist that you get back into bed immediately!”

Twilight stared in shock, before resolving that she knew exactly what she had to do: buck around a few times like a bronco, causing Siegfried to stumble away, though she avoided hitting him. Then she was off, diving out from behind the curtain and running through the hospital’s halls. It looked much like a hospital in Equestria might, save a presence of griffins and a lack of ponies, but as Twilight ran she was once again struck with just how many medical tools and equipment she did not recognize. Stranger, too, were the overhead lights, set into the ceiling but obviously not glow-gems, instead being a series of long, glowing tubes…

Two orderlies appeared from nowhere – large, burly griffins in medical scrubs, wings flared and ready to stop her. Before Twilight could even think of what she was doing, of how bad an idea it was to even try magic right now, her horn glowed, and…

Pop.

Thud.

Twilight lay still for a few moments on the ground beneath her, which was dirt. Her headache had returned, and she needed a few moments to recover. Eventually, however, she opened her eyes. The lavender unicorn found herself on a road, pine forests on either side. The air was cool, though not too cold, while there were traces of melted snow here and there –

…wait, what? Twilight knew that the Griffin Kingdoms were colder than Equestria on average, being further north, but even they did not get snow in June. Twilight forced herself to her hooves, looking around. The landscape was intimately familiar – this was Latigo, certainly, and in fact, she was fairly certain that…Twilight galloped several paces along the road, up over a ridge, and found herself looking down at Latysława, the provincial capital…

Twilight stared.

That was not Latysława.

---

The road signs, and the ponies that Twilight asked as she trotted, cautiously, into the city after conjuring a hooded cape to cover herself with, disagreed with her initial assumption. Indeed, at a glance, Latysława looked the same as it always had – but looking deeper…

It was little things. The gas streetlights were gone, replaced by filament light-bulbs, a passing pony she had asked told her. They ran on electricity, itself not an alien concept to Twilight, but seeing it utilized on such a large, casual scale was. The Latysława that Twilight was familiar with, further, was built of wood and plaster with cobblestone streets, but not this one – this one was built of concrete, and brick, most of the buildings appearing to be no more than two decades old, three at most. The last time Twilight had been in her hometown, her father had been fighting with the city council against replacing the old, iconic buildings…apparently it was a fight that he had lost.

But lost in three days? This looked more like the work of fifty years!

The thing that had changed most, however – the thing that made Twilight freeze in place – was something that had changed, at a glance, the least. In Latysława’s central park, in its very center, there was supposed to be a statue of Princess Luna, hewn from obsidian, standing tall and proud, gaze lifted slightly as she looked towards the future…

…here, that was replaced by a new statue, one of white marble and of a different alicorn, taller, with a longer horn, wings spread wide and rearing into the air with one hoof held high, almost as though she was trying to direct the heavens, even as she smiled beatifically down at the ponies that passed on by. Twilight crept closer, staring with wide eyes as she took in this changed, alien monument. The statue’s mane and tail flowed like Luna’s, but were striped as though to suggest a rainbow – and her flank was adorned not with a crescent moon, but an eight-armed sun.

Twilight recoiled in horror when she noticed the sun. “Corona!” She whispered harshly as she stumbled backwards. A few ponies gave her sidelong, curious glances; she collected herself quickly.

This was a statue of Corona. The mane and tail were wrong, and this statue showed Corona with actual, full eyes, not the blank, glowing orbs that she was supposed to have – but no other pony had a cutie mark of a full sun.

Twilight put a hoof to her chest as she stared. Corona…these ponies in their alien city, so unlike the Latysława that Twilight knew, followed Corona, glorified the Tyrant Sun, the mad alicorn who would be Queen of Equestria. How could they? How could they trot along on this wintery day – for indeed the day was wintery, against all logic – happy and feeling content?

Something was wrong, Twilight knew, something was so very wrong…she began trotting, then broke out into a full gallop through the not- Latysława, looking for something familiar, anything familiar…and, Luna be praised, she found it: set between two brick buildings Twilight didn’t recognize, was Latysława’s library, unchanged from the one that Twilight knew so well, which she had spent so much of her foalhood in.

Twilight charged headlong into the library, nearly bowling over several ponies as she raced up its steps, through its familiar mahogany doors, and into the one thing that could possibly still comfort her. Only at the last moment did she realize that the interior might be different, wrong – that there might be a statue of Corona in here, too, or perhaps these ponies, with their electricity, didn’t even use books anymore? Twilight didn’t know what she’d do if that was the case.

But, fortunately, it was not. Inside, it was the same building it had always been, save for the electric lights, and some kind of punch-card machine at the front desk. But the layout seemed the same, the walls, the floor, and the books – thousands and thousands of them, spread out across three floors and a basement. Twilight breathed a huge sigh of relief – relief that was swiftly tempered by a look at a calendar, a calendar that read November despite the fact that it was supposed to be June.

Still, it was otherwise a bastion of familiarity – a safe haven in a sea of utter, low-level wrongness that existed outside. Twilight nevertheless spent a few moments looking around the library, wondering where to even begin.

“Well,” she said at length, in a low voice as she began to trot. “Just like everything else…begin at the beginning.”

---

“Once upon a time, in the magical land of Equestria, there were two regal sisters who ruled together, and created harmony for all the land. To do this, the eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn; the younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Thus, the two sisters maintained balance for their kingdom and their subjects, all the different types of ponies.

“But as time went on, the younger sister became resentful. The ponies relished and played in the day her elder sister brought forth, but shunned and slept through her beautiful night. One fateful day, the younger unicorn refused to lower the moon to make way for the dawn. The elder sister tried to reason with her, but the bitterness in the young one's heart had transformed her into a wicked mare of darkness: Nightmare Moon!

“She vowed that she would shroud the land in eternal night. Reluctantly, the elder sister harnessed the most powerful magic known to ponydom: the Elements of Harmony. Using the magic of the Elements of Harmony, she defeated her younger sister, and banished her permanently in the moon. The elder sister took on responsibility for both sun and moon, and harmony has been maintained in Equestria for generations since.”

Twilight stared, wide-eyed, at the story she’d just read in the book of fables. She was sitting in the foal’s section of the library, having decided to start at the beginning and work her way forward, and she meant the beginning: the simplest of history books, and the earliest. As far as she could tell, everything was the same at first: the first ponies, the revelation of the Alicorns, the troubled times before the first Hearth’s Warming Eve, the event itself when the pony tribes came together to found Equestria. It was simplified, of course, this being the foal’s section, but for every book she’d finished, she’d cross-referenced with more advanced books pulled from the adult’s history sections. She was beginning to be surrounded by a small fortress wall of books, and the various foals – not to mention the library staff – were staring at her oddly, but she paid them no mind.

This book, a tale of fables and legends of the past thousand years, was the first difference she had encountered…and it was an amazingly huge difference.

“This is wrong,” she said, setting the children’s book down and levitating over an adult tome. “This is…Luna wouldn’t…Luna couldn’t do that! She’s the Princess!” Twilight shook her head even as she turned to “early-modern history.” Finding the chapter, she found it subtitled.

Early-Modern History, 1,000 Years to Present Day: the creation of the Mare in the Moon and the shaping of Modern Equestria under Princess Celestia.

Celestia. That was the name the books kept using for Corona – not her more modern name, but her archaic one, the one referring to the Princess before her fall. There was no mention of a Tyrant Sun anywhere…and information on this ‘Nightmare Moon’ was scarce at best.

“What about Latigo?” Twilight demanded, putting the book aside and flipping through a second, then a third, looking. She didn’t find much information, but she did find maps. One year, Latigo was a sovereign nation…and in the next map, it had disappeared, the Griffin Empire (Empire, Twilight noted – not Kingdoms, plural, but Empire, singular) and Equestria itself having absorbed it. She’d probably need to find a specialized book to better understand what had happened.

For that matter, this Equestria, this sun-worshipping, Celestia-ruled, electric-powered Equestria, only barely resembled the Equestira she knew. It was swollen, having absorbed Paardveld, Heststed, Pferdreich, Cavallia, Caballeria, Hippopotamia, even the island nation of Etalonia. For that matter, the Griffin Empire was larger than the one she recognized as well…and several minor nations were completely missing, absorbed into Equestria, the Empire, or some other state. Most notable by their lack were two nations – the Hippogriff State, and the Crystal Empire. Even more unnerving was the sheer amount of unclaimed territory – the Griffin Empire and Equestria may have grown larger by absorbing more states, but the empty land of the Skyshaper Peaks, as well as the Wilderlands to the west, were larger.

Twilight tapped a hoof to her mouth in worry. This Equestria was larger – and seemed to have become so by gobbling up its neighbors. Was it a warlike empire? Her visit into the Griffin Empire seemed to suggest otherwise, given how easily Doctor Siegfried had appeared to acquire ether potions for her…and the ponies outside didn’t seem like they were living in a police state.

But there had to be differences…Twilight stood, looking around, before trotting over to the social studies section, levitating out a few books on this Equestria’s government and flipping them open.

At the very top of the government in Equestria sits Princess Celestia. The Princess rules all the ponies of Equestria wisely. She also raises the sun every morning, and raises the moon every night!

In order to help her keep Equestria running, the Princess has created the Ministries of the Sun. Each ministry is run by a Head Minister. The most important ministries are the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Weather Control, the Ministry of Magic, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of War. However, there are many more ministries, each with its own special function!

“Many more?” Twilight echoed. “How many ministries do you need?”

Twilight shook her head, adding the book to her pile of books to look over – but at a glance, this benevolent Corona’s government looked like it was a bloated whale of a thing, probably far larger than it needed to be. Glancing through another book, she saw no mention of a Court, a forum where the duties of each ministry could be condensed. Indeed, it seemed like, although the various ministries ran things on a day-to-day basis, to make any long-term plans or goals they needed to consult with and get the direct approval of Corona. Without looking into this Equestria’s deeper laws, it seemed like all the power here was firmly in the hooves of the Princess, with no true check – that, at least, conformed to Twilight’s expectations.

Twilight trotted back over to her pile of books, resuming reading on all she could. Now that she had a point of divergence, she could see what had happened here…it all began with Corona, or Celestia as she was still called here, banishing Luna - or Nightmare Moon - into the moon a thousand years ago, instead of the other way around. In Luna’s Equestria, the one Twilight knew, the first few hundred years following the banishment of Corona had been a period of rapid expansion and consolidation, lightning-quick games of move and counter-move with the enemies of Equestria until Equestria was surrounded on all sides by ‘natural,’ easily-defended borders of hills and mountains and mighty rivers. But with the annexation of Latigo, Equestrian expansion had ended, and the game had changed. Luna had focused more on setting up friendly regimes in nearby lands, or destabilizing the regimes of unfriendly lands. There had still been wars, but not for territory, but rather in defense of an ally or to preemptively stop the rise of a dangerous enemy. And the exarchies had been created – the nation-states technically independent from Equetria, but with leaders who bent knee to Luna and acknowledged her as their liege. The exarchies allowed Luna’s Equestria to remain safe behind its borders, surrounded by a wall of friendly nations, while those said friendly nations were seeing to their own defense and their own taxes without any money having to leave the Equestrian coffers.

Here, it was different. Celestia’s Equestria had expanded at a slower, more measured pace. Its interests seemed to be primarily internal, building roads and cities and infrastructure. When foreign nations were mentioned at all, it was because they were doing something to threaten Equestria. The wars were less frequent than the Equestria that Twilight was familiar with, but Celestia’s Equestria seemed to be often taken by surprise – they were defensive wars, wars that Equestria had always won, but at a higher cost than had probably been necessary if only Equestria had struck first. And little attention was paid to natural borders: this Equestria, judging by its history, instead seemed to be looking towards species borders, a sort of manifest destiny geared not towards geography, but rather culture and race. It wanted to absorb every pony nation. To its credit, it did so peaceably every time, moving in when royal families died out or when asked to by the native populace – but the point was that defense and safety seemed to be only secondary concerns – important still, but not as important as the apparent goal of Celestia's Equestria ruling over all ponydom.

The lack of concern for external affairs had further been what had allowed the emergence of the second Griffin Empire, born from the ashes of the first, as well as the enlargement of the camel state of Naqah. The presence of a strong Griffin Empire explained the lack of a Hippogriff State, but Twilight still couldn’t figure out what had happened to the Crystal Empire.

Getting up and finding adult books on government, Twilight found that she had been right: this Equestria had a huge, unwieldy government that seemed designed to specifically be able to keep things running but not actually moving without the direct input of Celestia herself. There were dozens of ministries, and scores of sub-ministries, each of them reporting directly to the Princess, and often with a significant amount of overlap in their duties. There was no central forum like the Night Court, no true nobility class – one book mentioned that the nobility still existed, but their positions were ceremonial, with no temporal power and a significantly condensed hierarchy.

Twilight was glad to see, at least, that on an individual level, the rights of ponies seemed untouched. Speech, assembly, the press, right to trial by peer, all these guarantees from the world she knew, were still guaranteed here.

Twilight leaned away from the books. By now, her ‘virtual’ book fort was not ‘virtual’ at all – she was surrounded by a wall of paper and binding, and the various staff of the library were giving her dirty looks at the thought of the re-shelving they would have to do, when they could see her past all the tomes. She wanted to smile sheepishly, but she couldn’t, because everything she had read – all this data, this information – all of it pointed to one thing.

“That wasn’t a teleportation spell I cast,” she said softly. “It was…was some kind of world-hopping spell. I’m not in my Equestria anymore…I’m in some completely different one. One where Luna went mad a thousand years ago, and Celestia stayed sane.”

Twilight blinked as her mind, inevitably, started getting metaphysical at that thought. Was there another Twilight in this world? Had she made the same mistakes that Twilight had? Brought chaos onto a town over an imagined slight? Screwed up her first meeting with the Element of Magic?

Twilight’s eyes closed, as she reached out to the books around her. One by one, they started blinking out of existence, re-appearing in the shelves where she had pulled them from. It wasn’t a hard spell – far from it, she’d practiced it so often over the years that casting it was practically second nature. It didn’t interrupt her thoughts at all as she stood once the last book disappeared, and she left the children’s section of the library, looking instead for the public records – the newspapers. As near as she could tell, despite the more advanced technology that this world seemed to possess, the same amount of time had passed since the banishment of Nightmare Moon in this world, as had passed since the banishment of Corona in her own. It had simply advanced a little faster, is all, but that little bit had added up over the years. Although, on the other hoof, they seemed to have a few holes in their technology – none of the books she’d looked at had made any mention of telegraphs, for example.

Still, the point was that, if she was right, she’d be able to look through the newspapers and see if there was a Twilight Sparkle in this world, if she had screwed things up…it took several minutes of searching through the old newspapers, looking through articles of a periodical called Equestria Daily, until she finally found a mention of a small town called Ponyville…an Ursa Minor running loose…and a pony named Twilight Sparkle saving the day.

Twilight blinked as she looked at the old paper.

PONYVILLE – This small town was ransacked in the early hours of the morning as an Ursa Minor, disturbed from its sleep, wrecked havoc through town. Nopony was injured, but several thousand bits of property damage were dealt before the beast was safely sent back into the Everfree Forest by none other than Twilight Sparkle, the personal student of Princess Celestia and rumored Element of Magic –

“What?” Twilight demanded at the top of her lungs. She didn’t even hear the ‘shh’ that came from everypony else in the library as she continued reading.

Ursa Minor…town saved by Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Celestia…among the damages was the wagon of that up-and-coming showpony, the Great and Powerful Trixie…Twilight Sparkle, rumored to be the Element of Magic…

Twilight’s mind shut down for several moments. When it started up again, she found that she was looking through older newspapers, looking for the articles concerning the return of Nightmare Moon

PONYVILLE – After one thousand years of banishment, Nightmare Moon has been destroyed by the Elements of Harmony, and Princess Luna will be returning to Canterlot in order to resume her duties as the Princess of the Night. The Elements were wielded by six ponies, although the Crown has insisted on keeping their names secret in order to ensure privacy for these extraordinary young mares and/or stallions who have…

Twilight blinked a few times. There was another Twilight…and she was a hero? She was possibly the Element of Magic? How would that even work? Wasn’t it supposed to be Trixie Lulamoon? Wasn’t there some kind of…of destiny thing? Twilight had been about to presume that she was wrong, that Trixie did deserve the Element…but what if she was right? What if, in her world, Trixie was a fraud?

Or – she had to acknowledge the possibility – what if, in this world, things were just different? What if Twilight really was the Element of Magic here, not because of any kind of predestination, but rather simply because this Twilight had happened to be in the right place, at the right time?

It…it was too much to think about – far too much. Twilight put the newspapers back, and left the library, trotting out into Latysława and back towards the Corona – no, the Celestia – statue. The white marble alicorn seemed to be smiling down at Twilight, knowingly.

Element of Magic…personal student of Princess Celestia…in this world, Twilight had everything. In her world, she was a wanted criminal, but only because of her own actions. This world’s Twilight…was she even the same mare? Could she even be the same mare? With the world she grew up in so different, so alien from the one that Twilight knew, could this world’s Twilight Sparkle even be considered, in any way, the same pony? What if Twilight went to meet her? Ponyville was located in roughly the same place – only a train ride of a day or two to reach. What would the other Twilight have to say if she met her? What would she say to the other Twilight?

What could be said? Would they even be able to relate to each other? And, what would the other Twilight – Twilight the hero, Twilight the Element of Magic – think of the one that had brought a space bear into an unsuspecting, undeserving town?

Twilight shivered, and not simply because of the cold. She let out a long, pained sigh as she closed her eyes, set her horn glowing, even as she thought of the universe-hopping spell. She’d had her fun – she’d learned of this alternate world – but enough was enough. It was time to go home.

Twilight poured her everything once more into the universe-hopping spell, and popped from reality.

---

Then, she popped back.

Twilight frowned, blinking a few times. That…was much less of an experience then her first go at planeswalking – she soon saw, however, that this was because she hadn’t. Looking down at her was an identical Celestia statue, still smiling beatifically.

Twilight frowned. She tried planeswalking again – and one more, appeared in exactly the same spot, a moment later. There was no sensation of falling, forever, hitting everywhere at once. There was no sensation of blackness coming from all around to claim her. There was just…

Pop. Twilight disappeared.

Pop. Twilight reappeared.

Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop. Pop…

Twilight stopped, breathing heavily. She was certain she was getting the spell right – and she was certain that she had recovered enough magic that she should have been able to cast it. This should not have been a problem – she should have been home by now.

Instead, she was here, on a cold November day, as a white marble statue of Celestia smiled down at her. Twilight stared back. Her lips moved of their own accord, uttering two words she did not want to hear right now.

“I’m…trapped.”

Twilight stared at the faux Celestia. “I’m trapped,” she repeated. She shook her head, trotting in place back and forth as she ran numbers and calculations through her head. The power was right, the spell matrices in her head dutifully memorized, her presence in this alternate world proof enough of that. Something was missing…something was wrong. But she didn’t know what. She couldn’t know what: she didn’t know anything about travelling between worlds. All she had was one inescapable truth:

“I can’t go home.”

Comments ( 101 )

Well, Part 2 certainly came up fast, which is great because waiting was torturous. Can't wait to see what comes in the actual Crisis!

Well, L!Twinks, you've screwed up yet again. Hopefully this time it'll be less 'rampaging bears' and more 'friendship and adventures'.



Aw, who am I kidding? Putting two Twilight Sparkles together is like mixing ammonia and bleach. A good idea.

My lawyer has informed me that I'm no longer allowed to tell people to mix ammonia and bleach. It's dangerous. Don't do it.

Do it.

oh man........


I do like the fact that Twilight knew that she probably shouldn't meddle in this other worlds affairs. Too bad it looks like she'll be forced to. And I do like how you talk of the differenced between governments(though admittedly the mention of Ministries made me think of Fallout Equestria....well, that and Fina Fantasy XI)

Bets are being placed on Twi's being swapped and that It's was a freak convergence of both spells that caused this.

Though I'm not betting on that, because that's obvious.

Hmm........Without the Great Game to attract M!Trixie's attention, there's no real mystery why she became a showmare here. Also, leave it to a Twilight to realize what's wrong when there's nothing she can do about it yet.

Also, thank you for explaining WHY nopony in the Celestiaverse knows who the Mane Six are. The same impulse that caused Celestia to let the Nightmare Moon incident get swept under the rug made her protect her little ponies for receiving due credit for their efforts.

sequel. that is all.

:facehoof: why didn't I follow this fic, :facehoof: I gave it a thumbs up and forgot to fave it! :facehoof: I almost missed the update! :facehoof:
The opening line just brought me to my knees giggling that was hilarious.

I really like Twilight waking up around griffon, and confusing medical equipment, it makes sense considering where she teloported form and griffons with German accents works so well for some reason. I'm still confused how griffons can smile, though I admit I lie this doctor. :scootangel:

I liked Twilight exploring the "new" location and her sense of disconnection and that general feeling on unreality, interesting that electricity sorta exists in L!verse too. Great work with Twilight's confusion and horror regarding how different the city is, and of course Corona her fleeing in the hopes of something familiar was amazingly done. ah Twilight always checking books for everything, though in this case that's not a bad idea, though I am curious how the time frame works.

Twilight's shock, horror and indignation on Luna's behalf was also well done. I like her with a fort of books it works. Loved the take outs form the books and Twilight wondering if it's a war like nation or a police state. fascinating divergence and differences between the two government style of Celestia and Luna and how they ally & rule their lands, it fits very well with what we've seen in the show I especially like the take on why Eqauestria is so internalized.
I like the idea that Celestia and Luna have developed some different type of technologies as opposed to one just being behind. I will say I'm a little surprised that Twilight seems to be handling it all so well I kinda expected mroe conclusion jumping.
I really liked Twilight jumbles thoughts on whether she was meant to be the element of magic or trixie, I do feel she figured everything out to easily especially the right place right time thing, but her reaction to her hero self and just wanting to leave that world was excellently done.

Great cliffhanger with the I can't go home line I am so looking forward to crisis! i'd give you more thumbs up if I could. Looking forward to mroe develops in your writing to come.
Also this fic worked really well for setting up crisis it probably would have been a little odd to start crisis with these two chapter, but you managed to get the gist of world travelling and a great deal of world building out of this fic along with a good line of character development for twilight.

I am so looking forward to seeing how Twilight decides to imperil this reality.

And if she can talk some sense into herself. :twilightangry2:

I enjoyed the fact that while Twilight observed the differentiating tech levels, it was more on a matter of scale than having no familiarity with the tech. After all, in our own world we had a working knowledge of electricity long before we were putting it to any practical everyday use, so a scholar like Twilight shouldn't have all that much trouble grasping the concepts. That said, I'm not entirely sure if I believe M!Equestria (as seen on the show at least) actually use electric lighting, most of the light sources we've seen have either been candles or lamps filled with fireflies... then again our principle example is small town on the edge of civilization, so that could make a difference.

Other than that I enjoyed the exploration of divergent history and culture. Most notably the government you laid out wherein Celestia delegates individual responsibilities to various ministries, but those government bodies operate independently of each other and mostly only in a maintenance capacity, with Celestia herself being the only one making important and long lasting decisions. (Gives me a sort of Civ2/SimCity vive)

1968695

I'm still confused how griffons can smile, though I admit I lie this doctor.

Well, Equestrian ponies clearly have hooves that are more flexible than real world equivalents, so the same might be true for Griffin beaks. Also, if you pay attention in Griffin the Brushoff, Gilda's mouth extends back past her beak giving he a limited amount of facial musculature with which to be expressive even if we were to presume the beak itself is completely rigid.

Other than that, once upon a time I might have agreed with you about Twilight coming to grasp with the situation so quickly, but then again, there was her reaction to meeting her own future-self in It's About Time. So seeing as here she was given the opportunity to immerse herself in her comfort zone – BOOKS -- to learn everything she could, I'm not terribly surprised she'd be able to cope pretty well. I suppose I might have expected this Twilight to be more eager to meet an her alternate-self, especially one that affirms the idea that she's the more worthy Element of Magic, but then again this is also a Twilight who was nearly on the verge of admitting how wrong she was, so perhaps the last thing she wants is to meet a potentially superior (if only by virtue of happenstance) version of herself as it might only hammer home just how badly she's screwed up her own life -- that is to say, while this isn't the way I'd have written it, I can't say there's anything wrong about it.

"Hey, I'm you from another dimension. Things aren't going so well at home...can I crash with you for a couple days?"

1968855
I think I've seen light switches within the T.V series but I can't remember where, though I know they have lamps which seem to work like normal pull string lamps form out world.

Excellent points about griffon anatomy, the more you know. :raritystarry:

Fair point about time travel, but M!Twilight herself wasn't thrown completely out of her comfort zone so much as someone a copy, intruded into it and this version of Twi is a little less stable and in a far more more harrowing situation that M! Twi was, to me at least.
I like it I can understand Twi not necessarily wanting to visit her alternate hero self, considering how badly she screwed up her life if she hadn't dropped the space bear I'm sure she'd be excited but this version of her in this alien world would probably just show her everything she could be but never will. But it really comes down to personal taste and the mental state of the character. If she felt it was a matter of destiny yo get the elements I could see her going to alt Twilight to ask for help in "retrieving" her "stolen" element from the "usurper"
wow that was a lot longer than expected. :twilightblush:

1968912

Excellent points about griffon anatomy, the more you know.

That's what happens when I spend far too many hours analyzing scenes from the episode as research for my own fic (double so since, "Can I validly use words like smile, frown, and sneer to describe Gilda's facial expressions?" was actually something I thought rather important at the time). :pinkiecrazy:

1968931
Totally understandable. :pinkiehappy:

Well look on the bright side Twilight, you could have wound up locked up in the basement of your counterpart like what happened to the New 52 version of Mr. Terrific when he met the New Earth2's Mr.8.:raritydespair:

I'm liking the interesting portrait you painted of the 2 Equestria's politics, geography, culture and alliances(I'm probably going to have to back track through a few stories to get some of those, Hippopotamia:pinkiesmile:), so L-Twilight's hometown of Latigo is the M-verse's version of East/West Germany(just more friendlier and no berlin Wall).
I am so stoked to see how this spins into a "Crisis".:twilightsmile::pinkiehappy::trollestia:

Don't normally do this but...

when the pony tribes can together to found Equestria.

That should be "came"

Comment posted by ultra8 deleted Jan 16th, 2013

1966432>>1968912
You've thought this through I see.:duck::trixieshiftright:
Reminds me of how they did it for Phineus & Ferb just minus the couchs.

1968967

East/West Germany(just more friendlier and no berlin Wall).

Actually it's a bit more like Poland. Poland was once a very powerful nation, but even by the 1500s it was decaying, and it was partitioned three times between Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Prussia until eventually it ceased to exist. In this case, Latigo is Poland.

Which is interesting because I originally wanted it to be a bit more like Czechoslovakia and Konja to be Poland, and all Latiganski names were supposed to be in pseudo-Slovenian, but then for some reason I went with Polish, probably because I got to use that neat little L with a line through it.

L!Twilight should know better than to go to M!Twilight for help, or we'll wind up with *both* Twilight's being in the wrong universe :facehoof:

The die has been cast and now reality as we know is crashing down around us. Only one mare can fix what has been started. That mare is Twilight Sparkle.

We are so bucked...

...hey, is it just me, or are thenames of the chapters(or rather, the order the names are in) a reference to "Enter Sandman"?

Get ready for universal implosion.

Oh that's a relief. Was quite afraid you were going to make Twilight here have entirely the wrong impression and try to tear the evil Corona off her throne and that was going to be the impetus behind this story and the ones to follow, perhaps even with this Twilight summoning Nightmare Moon early or something. That not being the case is nicely refreshing indeed as now it looks like this will be a logical thought out Twilight approaching this rather then the more unhinged version we had before. Everything did indeed seem nicely believable though perhaps Twilight having a spell to alert her to others whose presence might attack or effect her before she had went to sleep might have been a bit better considering who she was and how long she was successfully on the run.

Overall though this looks like it'll be a really good event. Can't wait to see the meat of the thing since it really seems like Twilight here is a lot more sane then I expected. Very nicely done indeed!

It's good to see Twilight-L using common sense, considering that things might just be different, and that she shoudn't meddle in the other world's affairs. I expected her to have a "I knew I was destined to be Element of Magic!" breakdown, and try to bring together the FIMverse Mane Six to take down the Lunaverse Mane Six.

ERROR: DIVISION BY ZERO

Lost in a strangely unfamiliar land, immediately start researching. That's definitely Twilight. And she even managed to pretty much draw all the correct conclusions, even the introspective ones – I was briefly worried that she would decide she much be the actual Element of Magic in her home universe if her copy in this universe was, but no worries there it looks like.

I do like how M'Equestria has gone more tech compared to L'Equestria that has gone more magic (I'm guessing), that a nice background difference. And the much different (but not necessarily better or worse) approach to foreign policy is very interesting.

One thing I'm confused about. How did it change from June to November? Did Twilight somehow transport herself forward in time along with going to the other universe?

1969797
The suggestion is that the Lunaverse is asynchronous with the Maneverse by (about) half a year, or in other words the Maneverse is actually roughly half a year ahead of the Lunaverse. They don't perfectly match up.

Well... I do have a concern or two. I am really hoping it's more L!Twilight's perspective on things that paint such a negative picture of Mane-verse Equestria. And I would like some confirmation on that, please.[/legit] Because right now my left hand is curling into a fist.

Hey, Twilight? Your Night Court is a den of snakes and your father a spiteful son of a *****.

It was cool to see the differences she noted. Although again, Mane-Verse Equestria is being painted in far too a negative light for me. I hope it's simply her and we see some refuting of her viewpoints. Again, confirmation would be nice.

1969824

Negative? I never noticed any real negativity. Just the fact things are different.

1969911 That the government is more bloated, that it's more insular and not aware of outside threats as much. That the Night Court is somehow better.

1969824
Part of it is perspective, yes...but not all of it. Celestia's Equestria really is larger than Luna's, but we've known that for months and months now, ever since I posted the back-to-back maps. And the difference really is in priorities: Luna would rather have natural borders and a "wall" of vassal nations, while Celestia would rather Equestria is a united state of all ponies, regardless of border. Luna's Equestria is more concerned with external affairs; Celestia's, with internal ones. Luna has favored preemptive strikes and propping up allied nations or allied factions within enemy nationsc, which means more wars but fewer casualties; Celestia has preferred to leave other nations to their own affairs and not meddle in them, but this has lead to Equestria occasionally being blindsided with fewer wars but more casualties. Being more concerned with external affairs, Luna's Equestria needs to have a strong, centralized government, at the cost of corruption; being more concerned with internal affairs, Celestia's Equestria needs an expansive, compartmentalized government, at the cost of efficiency.

The Night Court is better if you're looking to be able to deal with foreign nations on a regular basis and want to construct a government that can function on its own without needing to run to the Head of State whenever something major happens. But the Ministries of the Sun (ooh, I like that term; that term is an official term, now ) are better if you're looking to see to the day-to-day needs of your people and want to construct a government that can't easily fall into corruption unless the Head of State herself flips out.

They're two halves of a whole, basically. Neither sister is as good as both sisters.

1969916 I know there are differences. But I do not want Mane-verse Equestria to be ultimately termed or deemed 'inferior' outside of Twilight's warped perspective.

1969933
It's not. Even Twilight herself admits at several points that Celestia's government has good points over Luna's.

It's different. It's better in some areas, but worse in others. That's all, or at least that's the intention.

1969933
Oh, there is one more major difference that I had intended to mention here, but didn't get a chance to due to the way the narrative worked out: in Luna's Equestria, the most important classes in schools tend to be history and social studies, while in Celestia's, they tend to be math and science.

1968398
And from being mobbed by strangers and people trying to benefit from their fame. Remember, as much as Rainbow Dash and Rarity would enjoy the publicity, Fluttershy would probably suffer a mental breakdown. Like, needing to be put in an institution and watched by doctors type of breakdown. Pinkie Pie would continue being Pinkie Pie. Not saying it would be all bad if Equestria at large was aware of their exploits, but there are drawbacks (as seen in other Lunaverse stories, where the EoH are treated as political pieces to gain power and influence in the Night Court).

Ohmygosh Ohmygosh Ohmygosh!!! Crossover with the main universe? This is too freakin' cool!!! As hyped as I am for At The Gala and its conclusion, I cannot wait to see this!!!

The Doctor: Twilight Sparkle! Dang unicorns, destroying the multiverse again...great.
Twilight: :twilightblush:

Its kind of weird to find out that Celestia became an expansionist with such peaceful ideas.

Well, it's finally here. Twilight has done goofed this time. I'll be watching where this goes closely.

...Very closely.

......Very, very closely...

.........Ignore that cold breath on your shoulder. It's probably nothing... :pinkiecrazy:

1971046
...no comments about Twilight being out-of-character? No decrying the way I've set up Celestia's government? No objections raised at all? Just eager anticipation?

I shall have to write this in my diary.

i50.tinypic.com/2rojgvs.png

:derpytongue2:

Well, here we go. :pinkiehappy: Dis gon b gud.

I really like the comparison of the Equestrias, and how you wrote Twilight's culture shock. :twilightsmile:

1969953
What? Really? That's an odd statement. I'd kind of imagine Luna as the more artistic and open minded sister. And Celestia would be the one who'd look more to the past and be more careful about treading new ground. I mean their military policies seem to reflect that. I suppose you're looking at canon for inspiration on that and I can see where you're drawing it from with canon Luna being less open, but that's a Luna cut off for a thousand years. Don't think that's fair. I'm not saying you're hypothesis doesn't have merit or that it doesn't work in the story, just strikes me as off with the personalities that the L-verse had established.

1972178
Consider that the ponies of the Lunaverse have displayed a much larger working knowledge of the world around them then the ponies of the Maneverse.

History and social studies are what I'd associate with the arts more than math and science, anyway.

Comment posted by RainbowDoubleDash deleted Jan 17th, 2013

1972210
Yes those are traditionally considered more of the arts classes. And Luna obviously is a great patron of the arts considering her school teaches music as well. She also obviously wants her ponies to be more up to date on history and the world...And wants them involved in her government too. It's that kind of self-reliance kind of thing that makes me surprised by your statement. Growth in science, math, and magical theory has to increase their self-reliance further so since she pushes self-reliance in that way wouldn't she also push that in her educational curriculum? So a very balanced field of study with no programs really pushed more then any other makes sense. Also makes sense if she's more hands-off then Celestia in education as well since you outlined she lets others run more government programs then Celestia.

Again, not trying to say you're wrong at all as I understand where you're coming from just confuses me a little.

it sounds like ponies in the Lverse probably feel like they could make more of a difference, become real VIP types so they'd focus on stuff that gets gov't positions. Meanwhile Celestia's gov't probably employs tons more engineers, surveyors and all.

How were the identities of the Mane 6 kept quiet after they were celebrated for stopping Discord. Of course that would be a later paper than the one LTwi read.

I want to see more of L-verse Twilight before everything hits the fan. It'd be a great way to look at canon Equestria's media. "Princess Celestia's student Twilight Sparkle, Best Young Flyer Rainbow Dash, former Supermodel Fluttershy, plus three others led the ponies in a song celebrating the Grand Galloping Gala and what it stands for. These six, including Rarity Belle, a fashion designed who recently caught the eye of Hoity Toity, Applejack Apple, proprietor of one of Equestria's largest apple farms and Pinkie Pie would end up being the cause of the most eventful Gala in recent memory."

She sees the announcement of the Royal Wedding; which MTwi missed because she stopped reading those parts of the newspaper when someone accused Celestia of touching her in inappropriate places as a filly; and she's like "they met while she was serving as my FOALSITTER!!"

sees an old ad involving Fluttershy, cause Supermodel pictures are always used in ads. "is that Duchess Posey? Is she a model? The colors are a little off.., maybe the rumors about a reclusive Posey are true?"

Love to see her reaction to the Crystal Empire just popping back up.

I also recall the forum thread where it would be the former Corona calling Luna's gov't a bloated whale. Is that changed, or is that just how some ponies from each side would view the other

Looks promising. Though all of a sudden I'm really curious as to how the Maneverse equivalents of the Lunaverse 6 are going to be portrayed (if they really show up enough to matter) in the upcoming Crisis story. Quite a few of the characteristics they have in the Lunaverse are basically just adaptations of fan speculations about them in the Maneverse (e.g. Dinky being Ditzy/Derpy's daughter is common in fanfics but outside of the fact they look similar, doesn't come from anything canonical like the cartoon, comics, or even the trading cards), and makes me wonder to what extent those will carry over to their presentations in the Maneverse. Personally I'd prefer if it tries to stick with what's canonically established about the characters rather than bringing in those fan speculations so it feels like a crossover with the Maneverse rather than "crossover with the Maneverse that has a bunch of fan speculations in it". That might just be me though...

Regardless, really looking forward to Crisis. Hope you get the Gala story finished soon so we can leap into it, as I'm a lot more interested in Crisis than the Gala.

This is really good, can't wait for Crisis!
Question, since when does Equestria have electricity?

1978561

Applejack uses an electric sewing machine in the Apple Family Reunion.

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