• Published 4th Jun 2013
  • 4,249 Views, 172 Comments

The Stone - Martian

Hard lives breed hard ponies, whether by choice or by need.

  • ...

Act 1 - Prologue

The pale glow surrounded the stone, enveloping the entirety of its surface in a glittering pink haze. It wasn’t going to be any sort of a challenge- matter of fact, it was going to be the single easiest thing she had ever done.

"Come on..."

She was focused, she was rested, she was empowered. There was nothing she couldn't do, nothing that could stand before her might. The very idea that anything could ever be so willful as to ignore her power was laughable, and Trixie would have indeed laughed had she not been so busy trying to catch her breath.

Hooves ground against gravel, teeth clenched hard enough to crack. Sweat beaded on her forehead, across her shoulders and flank as she bent every iota of her unmatched power and will to heaving the stone free from the shackles of gravity, to loft it up and away like it was a feather. It would speed across the sky like it was shot from a cannon, would cut through the high clouds and arch over the distant mountains to splash down in the sea a hundred miles distant...

The hoof-sized stone shifted slightly, then settled a bit deeper in the furrow it had spent several eons carving for itself. It had seen thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornados and hungry-eyed ponies looking for building materials, yet had not budged an inch in all that time. In fact, the last thing to ever have a say in just what the stone did was that upstart glacier some fifty thousand years ago, and even that had only managed to move it some ten paces. It has settled there when the planet was still a ball of burning sulphur and lava, has seen the first water fall from the first clouds, had felt the first snow from the very first ice age settle atop it like a gentle blanket...

Be damned if it was going to let some wild-eyed blue pony in a bad hat shift it now.

Trixie's horn flared and sparked as she pushed every last bit of power she had into it, forcing her will on the stone- outright demanding through magic that it get up and vacate the continent in the most expedient fashion possible, preferably while making a whoosh or fweee noise.

It displayed little interest in acquiescing to her request.

The magic flickered once, then died with an unceremonious and decidedly unimpressive fwizzle. Trixie slumped to the ground, eyes squeezed shut, belly heaving as she tried to catch her breath. She had been at this for hours, and she wasn't used to pushing this kind of power, and certainly not working so hard. Oh, that isn’t to say she had never sweated in her life; there was her time at the rock farm, after all... but that had not been at all pleasant or really befitting her stature and class, so Trixie glossed over that part of her memory, preferring to think of it as a bad dream that never really happened.

Imagine, the Great and Powerful Trixie, reduced to turning and cutting stones for a living...

She cracked open one eye and gave the rock a suddenly suspicious look, like she might have seen it before... like maybe it was a relative of that giant chunk of basalt that had been her inanimate nemesis for an entire week during that time that never happened.

If stones had eyes, this one would have been regarding the pony with one of those steady, unimpressed looks that could last all day.

Trixie was growing familiar with those looks. She had certainly been getting more than her fair share of them of late, and they were not a look one wanted to see when one is essentially singing for one's daily bread. Uninspired ponies as a rule don't give away their bits, and more than once had Trixie had to get by on a pittance and whatever she could scrounge up after a show.

Talentless hacks and mouth-breathing yokels, the lot of them. They had no idea the wonder they were privileged to, the incredibly rare opportunity to bask in the glow of Trixie’s magic and show-stopping perfection! Like it was her fault the magic just wasn’t obeying...

She sat up with a sigh, rubbing the bridge of her nose with one hoof. Her magic had be getting temperamental in the past few months, and even her admittedly superior talents with sleight-of-hoof could only go so far without that extra spark of magic to really make them shine. It was like something had been burnt out inside of her, ever since...

Since she had lost the amulet.

The memory sent a chill curling down Trixie’s back. As needful as she might be to prove she was indeed the Greatest and Most Powerful Unicorn in all Equestria, it was best that the amulet was no longer around her neck. She had been powerful, but there was no denying that trinket demanded a price even she wasn't willing to pay. With it gone though, Trixie could only remember the giddy, exalted feeling of weidling magic like it was a plaything, like she had done when a she had been a foal who had just discovered levitation spells. She had been able to do anything she wanted with the merest effort of will, and now...

She couldn't even lift a rock when she wanted to.

Trixie stared at that rock for a long time, no expression on her face. She didn't hear the wind stirring the springtime branches above her, didn't listen to the twitter and call of birds reveling in the warming sunshine, didn't even notice the way the shadows crawled across the ground as the sun made its ponderous way across the sky. The pot was boiling itself dry on her cookfire, unheeded. A thieving squirrel darted from her wagon's door with a mouthful of pilfered biscuits, unacosted. Trixie's world had shrunk to the size of one hard-hearted and uncaring stone: grey and dirty and utterly impervious to her will.

One hoof prodded the stone, disrupting some twenty thousand years of careful erosion that would have settled it perfectly flush with the earth. It would have to start all over again. Had it been anything other than a rock, there could have been a number of things it may have done to express displeasure about its work being ruined. Happily though, it didn't actually give a damn: it was a rock. For it, everything was sorted. It just had to sit there, quietly, for a few billion eons. It had all the time in the world to be a rock, and it was excelling at it.

Trixie was being outperformed by a random piece of geology.

The thought lit a sudden fire in the unicorn's heart. She was up now, all four hooves braced, her hat carelessly flung aside, letting her mane fall free in a messy tumble. The sun struck her glimmering horn just so as she willed the magic to life, glinting with a perfect theatrical flourish. The faint nimbus took hold of the offending stone once more, wrapped it in a pale pink glow that swirled and crackled with unfettered anger. Trixie grit her teeth hard, bent every neuron to her will, forced the magic up and out and into that rock. She willed it shattering into dust, willed it being flung to the moon, willed it being driven down to the very core of the planet to be boiled away into nothing by the ancient heat that had originally forged it.

The rock continued to do absolutely nothing. Worse, it somehow looked smug.

Trixie's exasperated cry startled a few birds from their perches, setting them to twittering as they darted off, the nervous chatter underlined by the slamming of the wagon door.

Author's Note:

But is it a shipfic? Trixie is about to meet Big Macintosh, and the tag at the top of this story is indeed 'Romance', but you may find that the movement in that direction is slow. I'm not just throwing Trixie and Big Mac at one another for the sake of seeing ponies snogging; there are deep character traits to be explored, and I should like to sound them and see if TrixieMac is a relationship that can actually work.

I think it can, and some of the headcanon I've built with the hep of a few other writers here on the site has brought me to several important conclusions into just why Trixie Lulamoon behaves the way she does. I'm not trying to redeem Trixie, but you may come to understand her, at least.

There is no plan for this fic; it goes where the characters take me. I am just along for the ride, much as you are. :twilightsmile: