• Published 14th Apr 2013
  • 2,061 Views, 54 Comments

Perhaps Death - WritingSpirit



The Doctor finds himself stuck in prison, unable to remember anything he had experienced prior to his awakening. With the help of his diary, enchanted with magic, he tries to piece his life back together, not knowing what might await him at the end.

  • ...
8
 54
 2,061

Where Have You Been?

1024 AC, ? Month, ? Day, ? h/min/s

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

It all never sat well with me.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Celestia... Luna... their antics.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Twilight Sparkle... my long lost friend.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Sorry there. You lot caught me in one of my more somber moments.

What was I doing, really? Well, matter of fact, I was pondering. Yes! Nothing but a good old pondering to exercise my brain a bit! Well, actually it really depends on what you ponder on about. I mean, if you ponder about being in a temporal zero motion stasis, then you technically would doze off. I, however, ponder on the more extravagant questions in life, some of them which may never be answered in this life and this life alone! That is how you keep things interesting in a jail cell!

One of the things, at least. I have other preferences.

There was not much of interesting going-ons in prison. Just the usual fight that would barely call for a bucket of popcorn and a light verbal exchange with the other inmates and maybe one or two of the friendlier guards. Sometimes, I do wonder if that was how I had to serve my sentence: wasting my days away rotting in a jail cell. Perhaps I am on death row already. Scratch that, it was a morbid joke.

Stranger than all that is my surprising lack of visitors compared to the week prior! Sure, I can have a better conversation with a wall than two stone-faced royal sisters but at least one side can give me the answers I need. Then there was the wild bunch that includes the sinister dentist friend of mine, probably the leader of the band, who would usually come over and remind me to floss daily. Her subordinates... accomplices maybe, include the wonderful Carrot Top, who would sometimes arrive with foodstuffs relevant to her name, and the crazy screaming mare whom I had not seen an inkling of ever since our first rambunctious meeting.

Then there's the third angle.

Twilight Sparkle.

A mystery yet to truly unfold, partially because my memories of her are sifting in and out and also because of her absence. Hey, at least the crazy mare showed up, you know what I mean? The one I considered my true friend, however, had never popped in for a little chat. Not even once! I appreciate at least dropping off a note to retain whatever sliver of dignity and decency. Of course, knowing her position in Equestrian affairs, I highly doubt Princess Celestia would even let her waltz in and breathe the same air as I do.

Tough luck.

Not me, oh no.

Tough luck for Twilight Sparkle.

A rattle of the jail bars shook me out of my streaming thoughts, the jingling of keys and the subsequent clack of the lock being the symphony of rejoice to my ears. With the groaning hinges of the swinging door as the crescendo, I finally marched out, being lead by my shackled hooves once again to another small, empty room that contains only a table that probably had seen better days.

"Her Royal Highness Princess Luna will arrive soon," one of the guard informed.

Princess Luna.

What does she want now? Yes, I am rather appreciative of her efforts to visit me despite our last encounter being the result of an unconventional means of communication -- by that, I meant invading my dreams -- but even then, she mostly spoke in riddles. Or Greek. Could be either, or perhaps even Greek riddles! I visibly shuddered at that thought, which unfortunately caught the eye of one of the more sensitive guards. Good comeback, Turner. Make it worth it!

"Weather's a bit chilly today, ain't it?" I quickly quipped.

Only a shrug.

Boy, aren't they active today.

I don't blame them; it wasn't the best comeback.

"All hail Her Royal Highness, Princess Luna!!"

The quartet of guards bowed at the calling, the honorary Princess of the Night stepping in with one of those admirable smiles on her face. With a nod, the guards relaxed yet stood firm, which shifted Princess Luna's focus onto me.

"Have you waited long, Doctor?" she asked with sarcastic innocence.

"No, Your Highness," I replied. "Though I believe the ennui in my incarceration tends to lengthen it so."

"Shame. One like me wouldn't understand your ordeal, however," she merely jibed back, words reeking with sarcasm. This time, Princess Luna. This time. "Well then, to the purposes of our... parley, one would call it. What have you remembered?"

"Twilight Sparkle."

"Ah, Twilight Sparkle. Certainly one of our finer subjects."

"You make it seem as though she was a commodity."

"I'm afraid I rarely associate with her," the princess simply stated, whether in defense or not, I don't know, nor do I care. "My sister, on the other side of things..."

"So I've heard," I replied, knowing their academic relationship. "Does she visit?"

"Attempts have been made, certainly, though my sister, on the other side of things..."

"Why?" came my suspicions. "What would a mere catching up of things do to her?"

"You have an influence on some ponies, Doctor. A powerful one too."

Perhaps there was an ineffable amount of truth in those words. Yes, I dare say I have quite an impact on the minds of those I've aided, those I've antagonized and those somewhere in between. You won't pass by any star system without hearing about the pony in a blue box. One might call it boasting, yet they would also know that there is no deceit in those words.

"Such an influence can be considered dangerous by many, especially by others who wield the same amount of power themselves," Princess Luna ascertained. "I find myself, however, amused at my sister's strenuous task, really. Handling Twilight Sparkle isn't raising and lowering the sun, to put into context."

I couldn't help but chuckle alongside her. "Indeed it isn't."

Once again, the tension between adversaries has been broken, the hopes of a more appealing conversation rising in the horizon. Princess Luna still held her smile, though it was a different one. Instead of abhorrence, there was sympathy; instead of contempt, there was sincerity; instead of-- oh, you get the drill.

"You need not worry about Twilight Sparkle. She's doing fine," she pointed out, perhaps to quell any fears. Still, I wouldn't harbor any; this is Twilight Sparkle we're talking about, after all. "What else do you remember?"

"Why the concern?"

"Why indeed," she mused. "I sometimes do wonder as much as you do, Doctor. But really, is there a need to ask?"

Princess Luna stood up with a ruffle of her wings, our conversation finally over, though I'm still left dumbfounded as ever. With a nod, one of the guards unlocked the door for her, leaving me only with her mysterious smile left to me as a parting memory. Once again, I was left to my own devices, not to be taken literally.

"My duties these days shall impede our chances of a conversation, I'm afraid," she finally said. "I do apologize if I rarely stop by in the future."

"No need to," I replied. Strange, for one such as her to apologize, even if she wasn't at fault.

"Oh, and Turner?" she turned back and spoke. "Be patient with Celestia. She has enough frustrations to deal with as of now."

"I'll take that advi... wait, what did you say?"

Princess Luna just turned her head back, holding it up high without another word.

"Princess Luna, how did you... how did you know my name?"

The alicorn finally stepped out of the room, the guards ready to close the door once again. I was about to spring from my seat had it not for the guards behind me. All I could do was look on in astonishment as she marched off. The burning migraine in my head started to settle in, my vision fogged by a sudden rush of fatigue.

"H-How did you know my name?" I yelled once again in a fruitless attempt. "Princess!! How did you know my name?!!"

The door slammed shut, leaving me without an answer.

I strained to keep myself awake, groaning.

Only to succumb to the darkness.
.
.
.


.
.
.

1005 AC, First Fall, 15, 07:55:11

It's a beautiful day.

Just looking for something fun to do.

Oh, don't bother me! Just singing a little jingle from some faraway planet in a distant galaxy. I did change a little bit of the words, but hey, makes it all the more fun, I would say. On the plus side of things, I managed to get a new bow tie! This one was brilliant, with red and white polka-dots on it! Amazing! I might complain a lot about how these Canterlot ponies are with their picky fashion sense, but this... this is what makes the fashion world count!

On the more serious note of things, I am on the verge of an incredible discovery here. Nothing new on my end, I suppose, but all the loose ends are being tied up as we speak. Both of my hearts are pounding with excitement at the prospect! You lot know what I'm talking about now, don't you?

The question.

A question from the beginning and end and went against all laws of time and space. For whatever reason, this question just popped up and started haunting me throughout my trips in the TARDIS. Something's causing it, yet I don't know why. Being in a realm of science and magic intertwined, there could be a thousand plus possible explanations for that. Luckily for me, the same amount would be said for the amount of ways to discover which one is the last piece of the puzzle.

I was in the Canterlot Park, looking down at this new gadget I've created in my spare time on the bench, with my TARDIS on standby right beside it. This thingamabob -- still working on a name. Don't worry, it'll come -- tracks down spatial anomalies and triangulates the results to inform me of their point of origin! Marvelous, Turner! A pat on the back for you!

All I need left to make the trip was my dearest companion.

Speak of the Tartaric three-headed cat, here she comes now.

The ever effervescent Twilight Sparkle. Look at her, just prancing down towards me, giving me her quirky little smile. On second thought, scratch that, I was imagining things. Still, she looked prepared and raring to go. I quickly beckoned her closer with her hoof, overly excited on sharing my new discovery with her.

"Just in time, Twilight!" I hollered. "I was afraid you might not make it in time for the greatest discovery that I, the ever benevolent Time Turner, has ever made in the history of all of the universe!"

"Turner, I--"

"Do you remember the question?" I asked her, which was a little silly of me. Of course she remembers the question! "I've been tracking down about its whereabouts this whole morning while I was here. Apparently, it seems each time it comes out, the signal is getting stronger and stronger. Nevertheless, they all came directly from the same source! Once we get the data from this gizmo, I'll transfer it into the TARDIS navigation system and we will figure out where it come from!"

"Turner, if you would just--"

"So Twilight, you want to do the honors?" I asked again. "You know, just flip the switch and go there. I know how excited you might be! We're finally gonna find the answer to it, for the first time! Why, who wouldn't be excited now, right?"

"I'm not going, Turner."

My pounding heart stopped. My excited hopping came to a halt. In a single moment, every figment of jittery joy was washed away, snatched by shock. I stood there, mouth open while my head pathetically tries to formulate some words. Fumbling about for a while, I finally stammered:

"You... you're not?"

"Do you remember the promise? That one where we travel around for a month to see how everything works out?"

"O-Of course I did... I... I remembered," I managed to speak. To be honest, it had already slipped off my mind. I mean, why wouldn't it? We were having so much fun already, I thought everything would all work out in the end. Sure, life-threatening, but where would the fun be if there wasn't any sort of danger on the other side? I was sure she had her share of the fun too, if I'm not mistaken. "So... you really thought about it?"

"Yeah, I guess I did," she replied uneasily. "I... I'm sorry, Turner..."

"No, no, we made a promise. You were never at fault."

"It's not like that, I'm..." Twilight stopped short. For a moment there, it looked like she has something else to say, but all thoughts of it were wiped away when closed her eyes and shook her head. Okay, not completely wiped away. In fact, it seemed a little strange, but I dismissed it all, for her sake. Letting out a sigh, she glanced up at me, trying her best to smile. "So... this is it, huh?"

"I... I don't know, really..." I answered, unwilling to let it pass just like that. "I was... thinking that we could go for one last trip. You know, to end it all with a bang."

"I can't, Turner, I have... things to do. You know that."

"Okay... then I guess this is it."

"Yes it is."

Took a little long, but she stepped up to me and gave me a small farewell hug. It was awkward, yes. Perhaps uncomfortable too, but at least it was as heartwarming as any hug would be. Slowly, we let each other go, which was terribly awkward as well from how we flail our hooves about a little. At least it was funny enough to make us both elicit a bittersweet chuckle. With a single clop against the dirt road, Twilight sighed quietly, straining her smile once more.

"Bye, Turner." she muttered.

"Till we meet again, Twilight Sparkle."

There she goes. My brilliant companion, the one I loved, trotting off into the distance. Don't get me wrong, of course it hurts to see her go and not reciprocate my feelings, but at least we parted on awkward terms. We could be worse off, if I had to say. At least, for now, I feel content despite it all.

"Now then," I told myself with a tinge of despondency, looking back down at my little device.

"Back to work."
.
.
.


.
.
.

1005 AC, First Fall, 19, 13:26:29

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

It doesn't make sense.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
It just doesn't make any sense.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Why wouldn't it work? Why wouldn't any of it work?
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Am... am I missing something?

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

All for nothing.

It was all for nothing.

I'm sure you lot know what I'm frustrated about, to the point where the steam coming out of my ears could easily boil eighty-six kettles of water. Okay, maybe only fifty-two kettles, but still, it would be unbelievable. Who would've thought that all this time, the device -- I had named it the Anomaly Tracer -- wouldn't work?

I tried everything! Really, I did! Banging it on the table, reheating its coils, charge it up with crystallized magic, zapping the power conduits, even rewinding the turnkey! No one ever tries rewinding the turnkey except yours truly! In the end, it was all zilch. So much for finding the answer to the legendary question that the whole world was trying to ask me. Perhaps there wasn't enough information, maybe too much, I don't know. All I know of is the question and that's just about it.

Oh well. At least Twilight was spared from such disappointment.

I sighed to myself, remembering our farewell just days ago. Awkward, yes. Bittersweet, yes. Biased, I would say maybe. What I believe then was my mind was split, my logical side wanting to push it away while my more outgoing, more fun and cheerful part just wanted her to stay. In all actuality, I just wanted her back. I just... well, wanted her to come with me again to another destination.

It's great when you have a brilliant destination.

It's euphoric when you arrive at it with a friend.

Sadly, all things shall fade. Relationships never forgotten, perhaps never even in reach. It bothers me, though not enough to push me off the pedestal. That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger, one of my old friends told me. Food for thought. Literally, in the sense that he was a poor lad, but after stamping a trademark sign on that phrase, he had enough food to feed a thousand Equestrias!

Looking disinterestedly at my little Tracer, I placed it aside, settling on my lovely little couch with nothing but fuddled thoughts and jumbled hypotheses in my head. Weaving through that intangible spaghetti is much more of a hassle than, well, swimming through a pool of real spaghetti. Really, there was this one planet that had pasta for water! Imagine, the wonders you would see!

Shame to see it alone, however.

Oh, look at me. Getting sappy and gloomy like that. What's the point of travelling if I still hung onto such mush and drear? Really, Turner, look what you've got yourself into this time. Then again, I don't really have much of a destination to go to. With all clues leading to a dead end, I have no where to go but outside the TARDIS, perhaps resuming my life as an upstanding citizen and head back to the classroom just to learn everything I know already.

"It won't be that bad," I told myself. "Who knows? You might find another companion along the way."

All those happy thoughts of mine were interrupted by a forceful knock on the TARDIS doors.

I was startled, of course. Really, who on Equestria would would come knocking on the doors of my dear TARDIS? Only a few beings I know would do such a thing, most of which are not of Equestrian origin. With a sigh, I trotted towards the doors and opened them, expecting a familiar face.

It was definitely a familiar face alright.

Albeit not one I ever expected at all.

"M-Mrs. Sparkle?"

"Turner? Is it... oh, thank Celestia, I found you! I finally found you!"

Standing before me was the enigmatic Twilight Velvet, mother to my former companion, Twilight Sparkle. She looked as if she had just ran in a marathon, what with her mane all tousled and unkempt like that. What struck me as queer, however, was her bloodshot eyes, with a faint dampness of a trail snaking out right beneath. No doubt, anypony that saw how much of a wreck she was would know she had been crying. About what, however, remains a mystery.

"I-I... I-I-I've been looking everywhere for you," she cried once she composed herself. "I've been to the foster home, I've been to the school, I just... I didn't know where you were... I thought I would n-never find you, I..."

"Okay, calm down, Mrs. Sparkle," I hushed her when she started squealing in tears. Gradually, her sobbing softened, yet the pain of watching it never subsided, as well as the flood of questions that came behind it. "Just calm down. Now... tell me what happened."

"Something... something's happened to Twilight..."

My face paled a little, heart beginning to race. "Wh-What do you mean? What happened?"

"I don't know!" she bawled out, resuming her sobbing. "Th-This morning, I was just... I don't know, she was taking a longer time than usual to get herself ready for her tuition and... and I thought it might be best to go check on her, just in case... and... and... everything... everything was a mess and..."

"What is it, Mrs. Sparkle? What?"

"Twilight's gone!"
.
.
.


.
.
.

1005 AC, First Fall, 19, 15:07:49

Twilight Sparkle has disappeared.

It was perhaps the most nightmarish sight, standing outside of the Sparkle household, guards left and right surveying the area and such. Twilight Velvet resumed sobbing in the corner, this time in the embrace of Night Light, her despondent husband. Twilight's brother was also there, looking more unnerved and at a loss than usual while his fellow partners combed the district. What struck me as terrifying, however, came the moment I stared up at the building.

One of the windows, presumably the one in Twilight's bedroom, was completely torn apart, wooden frames scraped and one of its panes hanging for dear life onto a single hinge, the other probably in Celestia knows where. Glass filled the pavement, threatening to harm those who dare enter the house. It was as if somepony, or something, just ripped it apart and snatched her away. The curtains were left fluttering in the breeze, its edges torn down. I could imagine her clinging onto it in vain at the last moment, her cries for help abolished, before she was forcibly whisked away.

"You called for his help?"

I turned towards Night Light, expression in a mix of utter spite and disbelief. It seems the family didn't take my last visit well. Self-explanatory, really; I made their daughter scream for me to come back at their doorstep, after all. "He might be the only one that could help us, Night," his wife explained. "Our daughter trusted him more than anypony."

"He hurt her feelings, Velvet."

"Look, Twilight is missing. She's missing and he's the only one who can bring her back."

With that said, Twilight Velvet gestured me into the house, leading me in. Ignoring the small glare her husband was giving me, I stepped inside their home, the nostalgic feeling of my first visit, as well as our eventual misunderstanding, all reeling back to me. Soon, I was lead up the stairs and onto the landing. My eyes gazed towards a door left ajar, with a pair of guards standing right outside.

"Twilight often spoke about you, Turner," she suddenly said, guiding me towards said door. "She mentioned you and her had some incredible adventures together. The way she said it... it was almost as if it was out of this world, like something out of one of my books. I really don't know whether to believe her, yet some part of me knew, just knew... she was telling the truth."

"She's a smart mare."

"Certainly is," Velvet chuckled, before letting out a sigh. "I don't know what it is you do with her, but when she became friends with you... I had never seen her so joyous in such a long time. Back then, she had her foalsitter and brother to play with, but now? Now, she only has you, you know that? You're a good pony, Turner. I know you mean well, even though you can come off a little eccentric and at times, a little arrogant and hot-tempered, but you mean well."

I gave an awkward smile, contemplating on those words. It is not everyday that you receive a compliment such as that. I was a stallion who was forced to make hard decisions that would be beyond the realm of imagination. Decisions that a normal pony wouldn't even dream of making. To be reminded by somepony that I'm a good pony... it's heart-wrenching yet heartwarming at the same time.

"I'll find her, Mrs. Sparkle," I firmly stated. "I promise."

"I know you will."

With a creak of the door, I soon find myself stepping into the bedroom of my former companion. It was close to what I've expected: a bed with a sheet that mirrors the starry nights, a simple cupboard, nightstand and lamp to boot, and even a plain purple carpet laid on the floor. On the other end of the room was a small bookshelf and a wooden study table built into the wall, with only a little stool for her to sit on and write her notes, perhaps. My attention, however, was not to any of the decor, but to another pony standing in the room.

"I've brought him here as you instructed," Twilight Velvet said with a bow. "Your Highness."

"Thank you. Leave us for now."

Her duties done, Twilight Velvet stepped out of the room and shut the door, leaving me alone with none other than the esteemed Princess Celestia. I was certainly surprised, to say the least. Bring me here as instructed... it would only mean that the princess wanted me to be here. Perhaps needed, if I may add. Nevertheless, I finally get to meet the ruler of Equestria for the first time.

At least, for the first time in this form.

"It's been awhile," she began. "Hasn't it, Doctor?"

"Yes, it has," I replied warily. "If I am to assume, it would seem that you requested for my presence."

"That assumption is correct."

"Would you care to tell me why?"

"It's easy, isn't it? Your companion has been abducted."

"She was my companion," I disclosed. "We decided not too long ago to finally part ways. If I clearly recall, she is most certainly your most prized student."

"Yes, she is. Most faithful as well."

There was something iffy about the way Princess Celestia was nonchalantly speaking to me. It would make sense; we were never at good terms with each other, no matter which incarnation I was. There were times where our intense rivalry would grow to earth-shattering proportions, to the point where it could be a much bigger threat than the entire Dalek fleet. The last time we met was one of the more bitter encounters I had with her, mostly because I did something wrong.

Something terribly wrong.

"She has grown quite fond of you, Doctor," Princess Celestia continued. "If only she knew what kind of a stallion you really are."

"I see you still hold the same grudge."

"You know I will never forgive you."

"An impetuous promise."

"If it is to keep my subjects safe, it shall be a necessary one as well," she growled. "Do you know why I asked for you, Doctor?"

Celestia knows why, in both a literal and figurative manner of speaking. I had hoped all our past disputes had been forgotten, but it seems it had been all but. All I could do was shake my head as a response. Even for complications of extraterrestrial origin, Princess Celestia rarely resorted to seek my aid, sometimes even marching into battle herself. She can be quite reckless and ruthless if she ever wants to be, which probably explains why she held onto her crown for so long.

"I asked for you because Twilight isn't abducted by any ordinary Equestrian creature," she answered. "No, this is something of foreign nature."

"You've dealt with this before, these... beings from beyond the stratosphere."

"True, but we both know this isn't about any ordinary being now, don't we?"

"What do you mean?" I questioned, clearly at a loss. "Why wouldn't there be no reason to abduct her?"

"You thought it was all over when she left, didn't you?"

A chuckle escaped the alicorn's lips. It was bitter and dark, almost morose. It stung me at my core, yet I could tell it stung her as well. Beckoning me closer, we trotted towards a door, which I guessed was the one leading into the study. With a whisk of her magic, the doors swung open, revealing to me a sight my eyes never imagined to see.

Hanging from every section of the ceiling were a maniacal network of colored strings, all leading towards the wall at the end. On said wall were random nooks and crannies ranging from photos to newspaper clippings. The darkness that shrouded the sinister spiderweb only served to glorify its sheer eerie brilliance. I could feel my pupils dilating in both shock and horror when I took a closer look; all of it seems to show our various adventures across time and space together in the past month!

Why... why would she do such a thing?

"No... impossible, I... it can't be..." my voice trailed off. "S-She told me! She told me herself that it was over! That she didn't want an adventure anymore!"

"You never learn, Doctor," Princess Celestia chastised, venom dripping in her words. "You think a mare like her, who has a chance of exploring the entirety of time and space instead of being cooped up in her study would just put everything behind and move on with her life? Twilight would never do such a thing in her entire life. Ever. She did this because it was never over. She was never done... and look what happened as a result of it."

Another whisk of magic, this time directed straight at the curtains. With a swift and fierce yank, Princess Celestia threw the curtains wide open, finally splashing some light into the room. The sudden glare made me blink a little, though as my vision cleared, what I saw before me... what I saw... written across my companion's wall of information...

What I saw horrified me beyond comprehension.

It was four words, slashed with red paint, scarring the decor and perhaps, to an extent, the mind of a bright, young unicorn.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Author's Note:

Where have I been indeed.

This chapter was long overdue, but it's finally here, as promised in my blog entry!