• Published 3rd Apr 2013
  • 37,250 Views, 6,994 Comments

Five Score, Divided by Four - TwistedSpectrum

As a fan of the show, I always loved Rainbow Dash and her cutie mark, but I never wanted it to appear on my leg! Now that it has, all sorts of things are getting weird around here. I'm a guy, not a mare! Cartoon ponies aren't real... right?

  • ...

23. Aftermath.

Chapter 23: Aftermath.

I pace around the living room. Twilight and Dash haven't called back yet, and I'm stuck here in Canada with no idea of how things went. Why didn't they call? Did something bad happen? I told them to call the police and use them as a distraction to rescue the mares, but then Dash laughed and said they gave her an even better idea. She thanked me for the advice and hung up, telling me she would call in an hour or so when the rescue mission was completed. That was almost two hours ago!

Should I call them? No, what if they are sneaking by the guards and the incoming call makes a loud noise and gives them away? I can't risk it! Gah, this is maddening, what if something terrible happened to all of them?

I pause and lick my lips for a moment. No, nothing bad happened. I would have felt it if something went wrong, that's how Shining Armor works. I smile, for once being happy that I am this pony. I know Shining can tell when his family and close friends were in danger. I'm not feeling that now, so it must mean they are safe! Phew, so everything went swimmingly down there, that's a huge relief, I was worried shit might have hit the fan. I trot over to the TV remote and grab it with my magic to turn it on. TV should help me relax while I wait for them to call me...

CHAOS IN WASHINGTON STATE, the headline reads as the screen shows a row of houses in flames and armed personnel carriers moving down a street. A reporter yells into her microphone, “It's a war zone out here John, earlier in the evening there were reports of the terrorists hiding out in this block of the projects in northern Seattle. While police and counterterrorism forces were en route to the scene, a series of massive explosions rocked the night, presumably set off by the terrorist faction.”

My jaw slowly drops open and the TV remote falls from my magical hold. The studio news anchor adds commentary. “Susan, is this in any way connected to the missile scare from earlier in the evening, as you know several towns in northern Washington State are currently in a state of emergency and citizens are being told to stay in their homes. We have reports of fighter jets being scrambled in the area and the AP is reporting that US forces around the globe are being put on high alert. Do you have any information on these developments?”

The images on the screen show aircraft carries and jets taking off into the night, then goes back to show a helicopter view of the city block with a dozen houses on fire and military trucks and police cars filling the streets. The reporter yells back into the mic, “I'm not sure John, there's a lot of confusion here on the ground, but we have seen US Special Forces assisting the FBI in raiding the complexes here. The firefights have been minimal so far and most of the terrorists appear to be surrendering, hopefully this is the just the first step in a series of measures to slow the escalations of tensions that have been rising the past few days.”

My eyes are as wide as dinner plates as I flip through to other channels. Nearly every channel had the same news story, often accompanied with the headline 'Emergency Bulletin' or something of that nature. One channel mentions the President and Vice President being rushed to undisclosed military locations, another one mentions China and Russia raising their military alert status and launching jets of their own in response to escalating US military activity.

I facehoof, “God damnit Dash.”


The three mares follow behind me as we make our way through the brush trying to get more distance from the scene of the crime behind us. We hadn’t really spoken since we left that place. I think the only thing said so far was when I told Twilight "We really gotta move.” But that was like 15 minutes ago, I mean come on, how has no one said anything yet?!

Finally, I can’t take it anymore. I pause under a tree and look back at them. “No one’s gonna say it, huh?” They all look at me confused, so I throw my hooves in the air. “Hey, Rainbow Dash, you’re so awesome! You just single handedly took out like six armed guards, literally dodged a bullet, made the guy surrender his keys, and successfully broke two ponies out of a heavily armed compound! Wow, Dash was so badass back there!”

The other ponies exchange looks with each other and Twilight rolls her eyes. I sigh, “Really? Nothing?”

Rarity smirks slowly, but nods. “Yes, thank you Rainbow Dash. Your egotism aside, we do sort of owe you for saving us.”

Pinkie pokes her hoof in the dirt. “Yeah, thanks for saving us all from Pinkie’s giant screw up.”

Rarity turns and raises Pinkie’s chin with a hoof, “Dear, we all make mistakes, the important thing is we’re all safe now.”

Pinkie nods, “Yeah, thanks for coming Dash, we owe you one.”

Rarity turns to me and holds out a hoof. “We haven’t really met before, have we? Well, as you can see, I am the pony named Rarity.”

I shake her hoof. “Charmed to meet you. I’m Rainbow Dash.”

The Earth pony trots towards me, showing a little more enthusiasm and she hugs me, “I’m Pinkie Pie, my old name was Harry though.”

I look into her blue eyes and smile. I always liked Pinkie in the show, she was pretty much best friends with Dash. "I look forward to getting to know you again Pinkie."

She tilts raises an eyebrow. “Again? Have we met?”

I nod obviously. “Well, yeah, you know, past life and all. Like twenty six years ago.”

Pinkie tilts her head, her eye twitches as she almost connects the dots.

Rarity laughs, “She's only 25 darling, same with Twilight and myself.”

“Right...” My eyes glance at all of them and land on Twilight. She’s looking around, uninterested in the dialog. Did none of them catch the reference to how we were all in Equestria 26 years ago? They do know the truth about that, right?

The sound of a helicopter overhead breaks my thoughts, and the four of us hide under a tree until it passes. Morning is out in earnest and the sun is really shining now. We desperately need to get to some better cover for these daylight hours. We had moved a good distance away from where we started, but we wouldn’t really be in the clear until we got out of the city. Ah, buck, I just realized we have to rendezvous with Shining Armor before we catch a train headed east. I should probably call him up and tell him we’re okay.

I put a stylus in my ‘universal cuff’ and tap away at my smartphone, sending Shining a quick text: “All four of us escaped the building; 100% of us are safe and accounted for. Are still working to get clear of the city sector. You should find a car and leave Vancouver ASAP. Head south so we can meet.” I hit send and sigh, we’re going to need a car too.


My phone beeps with a text message and I use my magic to levitate it before me as I read it. Holy crap, way to go Dash! She actually did it! International incident and front page news aside, she saved Rarity and Pinkie. Damn, I owe that mare a drink.

I read the rest of the text and sigh, not looking forward to this next part. She suggests I steal a car? Urgh. I’m really not one for theft, but I guess I have no choice. I mean, I can’t stay here. Hmm, where can I steal one from? I tap my chin with a hoof, maybe I can get one from the apartment garage? Surely at least one car there has to have the keys inside, right?

I trot towards the front door and leave, letting the door close behind me. At first I panic as I realize I don’t have my keys and this door automatically locks behind you. But then I pause and laugh for a moment, I can teleport back inside whenever I want. I smile wide, hooray for no longer needing apartment keys!

Now, about that car. I make my way to the elevator and ride it to the basement garage. Hopefully this place should be deserted, it’s like 7am on a weekend. I step out of the elevator and immediately wince at the sound of my hooves. The sound hard hooves make on an indoor concrete floor is practically deafening, so much for being sneaky.

Well, if I can’t do things quiet, I’ll do them fast! I canter down the aisles of cars, using my magic to tug on every door handle I pass. I just need to find an unlocked car and then check if there are keys inside.

“Mommy, mommy! What is that thing mommy?!” Some kid yells.

I freeze, and my ears swivel to locate the source of the sound. A second later I find him, some five year old standing by himself right where the path turns a corner. He’s pointing at me and I hear footsteps from around the corner start to accelerate. “What is it Tommy? Do you see what’s making all that noise?”

Buck. I glance left and right, I’m in the middle of the aisle the cars drive down. There is no cover to speak of in either direction and I only have about two seconds before that adult turns the corner and sees me. Um, um, um... think!

A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. I let out a long breath. Phew... that was a bit of a close call. I’m back up here, but I’m safe and no one saw me. I open my bedroom door and leave my apartment once more. “Well, let’s try that one again, shall we?”


The four of us mares reach a dead end. We were headed back to the hotel but the brush ends right here, and it’s too risky to go out through the streets in broad daylight with these helicopters all over the place. I check my smartphone’s maps, hmm, I guess we can head parallel and get to that connecting park...

A hoof pokes me in the side. “Dashie, you never told us how you got here. You’re not from this area, are you?”

I take one last look at the digital map then turn to Pinkie. “Hmm? Well right now I sort of live with AJ, Big Mac, and Fluttershy on a small farm in Iowa.”

Twilight trots closer, “And what brought you here?”

The noise of a helicopter makes me look up, and I track it with my eyes as I answer her question. “Long, long story short, us Iowa ponies realized that since the MLP cartoon accurately described the sorts of ponies that we now are, and since the show followed Twilight Sparkle around, we figured maybe Twilight Sparkle worked for the show. So, eager to find more ponies like us, we looked through the show credits. Since every pony we knew of so far turned 25 on May 1st of this year, we just started checking the birthdays of everyone who ever worked on the show to see if any of them were like us.”

Twilight raises an eyebrow, “That’s... actually pretty clever.”

I nod. “No luck on show staff birthdays though. We then figured that maybe she was just uncredited or something. Since the show was made in Vancouver, we figured she had to be living there. So, after quite a bit of digging around we found property listings and compiled a list of city residents, then used voting records to obtain their ages and birthday. One quick filter later and we had a tentative list of people in Vancouver who turned 25 on May 1st of this year. We ended up with about a dozen humans that fit that criteria, so we went with it and I started checking them out one by one.”

Rarity gives me a surprised look, “Wait, how did you get there? What, you just flew from Iowa to Vancouver?”

I laugh, “Heck no, that’s a crazy amount of ground to cover. I did it the lazy way, I took a train.”

Pinkie laughs, “Just like the ponies in the show!”

I smirk, “Well, not quite. I was more of a stowaway. It was actually really easy for me, being a pegasus and all. I flew over to the train yard, landed on top of an express freight train, and just napped for about 1900 miles as the train moved towards the coast. Whenever it was going through a city, or stopping for fuel, or going through border customs I would just fly up and hide in some clouds. Then when it started leaving I would fly back down and get my roof top spot back. Not a bad way to travel to be honest.”

Rarity nods, “One advantage to being a pegasus I suppose. So what happened when you got to Vancouver? How did you know to find us in Seattle?”

I shrug, “I waited until nightfall in Vancouver, then started flying around the city and checking out each address. There were fourteen addresses, and twelve of them were normal places with healthy looking human families. This one other one appeared abandoned, and I thought about stalking that one out, but then I saw your apartment. Wow. Broken windows, signs of conflict, and the entire inside of the apartment smelled like horse--.”

Rarity crinkles her nose, “We don’t smell that bad, do we?”

I ignore her, “In any case, since the windows were broken I flew inside and decided to wait 24 hours to see if anyone would return. And then, three hours later, Shining appears.”

“Wait, Shining is in CANADA?!” Rarity exclaims.

I take a step away from her, “Uh, yeah? At about 4:30am he was sobbing in the room near me. Actually not sure how he got into the apartment, I was watching the door the whole time.”

Pinkie looks very confused, and Rarity’s mouth drops open. Twilight looks over at them, “Pinkie, Rarity, where did you leave him? Why did he go to Canada?”

Rarity looks over at Twilight with wide eyes. “He was captured with us. Shining was locked in the cages with us... at 4:30.”

I scratch my head with a forehoof. “No, he was in his apartment then...”

Twilight’s pupils dilate widely, “He teleported!?

Rarity nods slowly, “I did see him cast a spell and then he vanished. I thought he turned invisible or something. Where did he learn how to teleport?”

Twilight shakes her head slowly. “I have no idea, that’s not in the show notes.”

I cock my head. “Show notes?”

Twilight rubs both her hooves in front of her mouth. “Teleportation. Actual teleportation. This is the greatest discovery of the past ten thousand years. Transit, the energy crisis, diplomacy, war, this changes literally everything about what mankind can do!”

“Ponykind.” I correct her. “This has nothing to do with humans, and it really doesn't affect them.”

Twilight gives me a strange look but drops the subject. I bite my lip, what’s up with these ponies? Isn’t it obvious that humans have nothing to do with us anymore?


I trot over the hard pavement as I approach the target car. I had found the car door unlocked, now I just have to look inside and hope that the keys are in there! I jump into the drivers seat and look around. Hot diggity! The keys are in the cup holder! Grinning like a banshee I pick them up with my magic and turn on the ignition. I look behind me to see better so I can reverse out of the parking spot.

“Mmmpf, hey, what’s going on?” A tired female voice speaks up from the backseat.

I look at the source of the noise, then facehoof. The owner of the car is apparently sleeping in the backseat, and is wondering why her car just turned on. She rubs the sleep from her eyes and looks at me, a unicorn pony sitting in her driver’s seat. I groan loudly, “Oh come on!”

A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. I swear as I realize I have to start over AGAIN. This is seriously like a really shitty video game, and it has only one checkpoint that I can restart from. I’ve gone into that garage about 7 times now, but I keep having to teleport back and start the whole thing over. I sigh and make my way back to the elevator. “Stealth run, trial eight, here we go...”


We continue making our way through the brush, moving from park to park, green space to green space. The police are everywhere this morning, and I can’t find any way to get back to the motel. No matter which side we approach from, we would have to cross like 10 blocks of urban city with no cover. Any normal night and that was fine, but it is 8am, the sun is shining, and police are parked on every corner. There’s no way we can get past them as ponies.

I stop walking abruptly, and a second later I feel someone trot into my backside. The feeling of fur on fur a little too close to my private region makes me jump in the air a few inches.

“Egah!” Rarity screams from behind me, and I turn to see her backing up and wiping her face with a white fetlock. “Ah, Dash you really need to change how you do things! My face almost touched your, urgh...” She wipes her face again and blushes as she walks back a few hoofsteps.

I shift my weight, “Sorry, don’t walk so close behind me I guess.” I look back at her and offer an apologetic smile.

“Oh, it’s not that, it’s...” Rarity breaks eye contact. “Darling, you’re wearing all that self tailed clothes, but your back is open! Everyone can see, well, everything back there.”

I squint at her. I was baffled earlier when we were escaping and Rarity paused for a second to grab her underwear off the guard table. Then, once we landed, we all had to wait a minute while she put it all back on. But you know what, I let that slide, I figured Rarity was Rarity and I should allow it. But this? Now she makes fun of what I'm wearing? I grit my teeth. "This isn’t clothes, it’s tactical gear. I’m not wearing this to cover myself, it all has practical stuff for me. I mean, come on, why would I need to cover up fur?"

Twilight, who, come to think of it is wearing a skirt for some reason, sighs and looks at me. "Can't you just add a skirt to your “tactical gear”? You know, for the rest of us?"

“Okay, first off, no because ponies don’t normally wear clothes.” I spit off to the side. “And a skirt? No thanks sister, not in a million years. I was a guy you know. Unlike you ladies I’m not used to this whole ‘girl’ thing. Thankfully, Rainbow Dash is so awesome that I don't mind the gender flip that went along with becoming this female pegasus, but come on, I'm not going to willingly wear girly clothing. I mean Rarity, you look amazing but as a long time male, I could never wear something like that.” I raise an eyebrow as my eyes go over her outfit. She was decked out in black lace and was even wearing a thong complete with a garter belt. I clear my throat, “As I was saying, sorry, but it takes a real girl to wear something like that.”

Rarity blushes through her white fur. “I uh... Dash, when I was a human, I was a guy.”

My eyes go wide and I stammer an apology, “Oh... I uh, I mean, I said... you, no, you see I meant to say--.”

Pinkie giggles, “Use your words Dashie.”

I bite my tongue and look for an escape, “Well Rarity, good for you. You are focused on becoming your old self, and everything that your old life entails. Good work.”

Twilight glances at me, “Old self? What are you getting at?”

I narrow my eyes, this is the third or fourth time that these ponies have gotten confused from me referencing the fact that we used to be ponies in Equestria. They can’t honestly be that in the dark, can they?

I chew my lip for a moment, then glance sideways at a mare. “Hey, Pinkie, do you think we’re going to become best friends once again?

Out of my periphery I see Twilight focus on me and raise an eyebrow. Pinkie tilts her head, “Again? Are you from Canada? I got high pretty often growing up, but I remember all my old friends. Who were you... before?”

I turn to stare at Twilight, making eye contact with her. “Before? I was Rainbow Dash.”

Pinkie laughs off to the side, “No silly, what was your name when you were born?”

Twilight’s eyes start to go wide and she follows my behavior. I smile slightly. “Way back when I was first born, my name was Rainbow Dash.”

Twilight takes a steps back in realization, “No.”

I nod slowly and take a step forward, “Twilight, the entire reason I came here was to find you. We figured you would know everything, and you would know how to fix all of this. And do you know why we all figured that?”

The alicorn takes another step away from me, her face full of confusion and shock, “No, I know what you’re thinking, but no. My name is Tess, I’m a human girl, I always was. I just wrote about ponies when I was a kid and that’s all. My name is Tess--.”

I stamp a hoof into the ground as I get closer, “That’s not your name Twilight. It never was.”

Her chin trembles, “No, ponies are just a story! I just made some sketches and told some people and they made a cartoon of it.”

I narrow my eyes, “You wrote about it as a kid because you had memories of it. Sure it’s a cartoon now, but it’s based on YOUR LIFE.”

She shakes her head, “No, no, we’re fixing this. We’re finding a way to change back.”

“Change back?” I spit, “We did that when we turned 25. Welcome back.”

Twilight loses her balance and falls back on her haunches, holding a forehoof over her mouth in disbelief. “No...”

Pinkie and Rarity appear at my sides, Pinkie looks at me, “I don’t get it. What are you saying?”

I lean into her and whisper deeply into her ear, “You’re a pony Harry.”

She giggles, “Well of course I’m a pony, I’ve been one for like a week now. How is that news?”

Rarity glares at me, “You’re not serious about what I think you’re suggesting.”

I nod, “Dead serious. You’re all actually supposed to be ponies.” I nod at the unicorn, and gesture at her lingerie “You’re actually dressed really well Rarity. You are supposed to be a girl, and you will remain one for the rest of your life.”

Twilight slowly turns to look at me, looking like a deer in the headlights as she speaks slowly, “So tell us why. Why and how.”

I take a deep breath. Hoo boy. “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your jimmies in the upright and unrustleable position. I've got a story for you, and you’re not going to like the ending.”


A spark, a flash, and I find myself back in my apartment. Gah, that was a close one! Old lady waiting for the elevator in the basement was swinging her purse at me, and actually got pretty close to hitting me. I trot forward, frowning at the fact that she called me a dog. Well, I suppose I got the last laugh, she’s going to go through the rest of her life telling a story about how she saw some white, unicorn dog, and then it just vanished into thin air. I laugh to myself as I make my way down the stairwell, as annoying as this situation is, it does make me feel good about my race. Teleporting is kind of fun, unicorns really do have it better than anyone else.


I finish my story, covering everything I knew about the last episode being 'true' and how Discord ruined everything and sent us here with the damned curse. As I talked, the ponies didn't say much, even Pinkie stood still and just listened quietly. Occasionally they would exchange glances with each other, but no one spoke. With my story now finished, I look around and judge their expressions. Pinkie is just staring off into space, Rarity is nervously chewing on her hoof, and Twilight has her brow furrowed and is staring at the ground. She looks up at me, “So... that’s it huh? My entire life as Tess...”

I nod, “...Was pretty much a prison sentence.”

Pinkie stares ahead. “Twenty five years. Wasted.”

I shrug, “Well, I would hardly say wasted. More like a vacation I guess. ”

Rarity just shakes her head and sighs, “So we’re stuck like this forever. Well, at least I have someone to spend it with. I don’t know what you girls plan to do, but if there really is no chance of changing back, I think I’m just going to find somewhere quiet and live out my life in hiding with Shining.”

I swallow hard. I remember that I have similar plans in place with Big Mac don’t I? We both agreed that if we were stuck like this, we would settle down and I would be his wife and give him a family...

I shake my head, no, we can still fight this, there are still options. I clear my throat and speak up, “Well, let’s all get to Iowa first where the other ponies are. Once there, we can decide what to do and if we should just give up. We have a farm there and plenty of food, so if we do decide to just live as ponies, that option will be on the table.”

Twilight nods. “Well before we head there, we need my brother. You still got that phone?”

I turn an ear to face her. “Yeah, take the headset.” A second later I feel the strange glow of her magic on the bluetooth piece and my headset floats towards her and settles in her ear. She nods at me and I tap the phone and call Shining.


I am about to leave the apartment for the 17th time when I hear the phone ring! Finally! Oh god I hope it’s Rarity, I really need to hear her voice right now. I magic the phone over to me. “Rarity?!”

Twilight replies with a laugh, “Afraid not brother. It’s me. Anyway, what’s this about a teleport spell?!”

I laugh, “Ah, yeah, long story.”

“I got time.”


I check my watch, Twilight’s been in that phone call for 15 minutes now. Sheesh, she does realize this is an international call, right?

I turn back to Rarity and Pinkie, busy in some deep discussion. Rarity, shakes her head. “No Pinkie, look where we just came from! I don’t want that to happen again!”

Pinkie rolls her eyes, “Rarity, he’s a good guy! They both are! Dashie said we need a car to get back to the motel, they can get us there in their car!”

I trot closer, raising my eyebrows as I once again see Rarity’s outfit. I really want to ask why she's wearing such revealing bedroom clothes out at night, but decide to just let it slide. Not really my place to ask. I clear my throat. “Hey ladies, what are we talking about?”

Pinkie smiles, “I know who can give us a ride back to the hotel!”

My eyes brighten, “Oh? And how do--.”

A bright light cuts me off and I see Twilight charge a spell. I’m about to ask what the hell she’s doing but then there’s a scorching flash and she blinks away into thin air, the bluetooth headset clattering the ground where she stood.

“No, Twilight, don’t leave me here!” Rarity trots towards where the alicorn was standing a moment ago.

I tap on the phone to disable the headset, then hold the speaker to my ear. Shining’s voice comes through at a distance. “What? Twilight? Why did you come here? You said you only wanted to hear about the spell because you were curious! Oh great, now two of us are stuck in Canada!”

I shake my head and sigh with disappointment. Great, now I’m stuck here with Pinkie and Rarity. I look up to see Rarity already complaining out loud about being the last unicorn and now the only pony within 100 miles who has the decency to cover herself in public. I sigh. Pinkie, I can deal with, but being stuck with this Rarity? Urgh.

Author's Note:

Sorry for the super short chapter. I had a busy week (moving back into apartment for school which is starting back up in a few days here.)

To be honest, I wasn't even going to publish anything this week, but I thought hey, why not a mini chapter?

Anyway, the second story arc is not done. The third (and final) arc begins next week!

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