Discord has trapped Twilight in a library that contains every possible book that could exist. Somewhere in the depths lies the one book that can teach her how to escape. But when every idea and story exists, how can she find the one book she needs?
Discord has trapped Twilight in a vast, seemingly unending library. This library has a copy of every spell checked book that could possibly exist. Twilight's only way out of the library would be to find the book that explains how to escape. But when every single idea, story, possibility, and random book exists, how can she find the one book that can teach her how to leave this unfathomably large library?
This fanfic is a crossover based on the ideas presented in the short story, "The Library of Babel," by Jorge Luis Borges, and influenced by "A Short Stay in Hell" by Steven L. Peck.
Accord had run out of books to read. “How does one run out of books?” he thought to himself. There seemed to be a near infinite amount of books but he had read them all, twice. Life becomes really boring when there is an infinite amount of time but a finite amount of books. Such is the problem of being immortal.
“When did I cast that immortality spell anyway?”
It had to have been somewhere around the time Accord discovered the spell that would keep casting spells for him so he wouldn’t have to. He had made a nice spell that would find a book for him if he hadn’t read it yet. He cast it and a companion spell that would keep searching and searching throughout the universe for books he had not read yet.
He loved the influx of new books. New books were new ideas, new experiences, new perspectives. Books were everything. But one day his spell stopped bringing back books. He thought something must surely have gone wrong with his searching spell but he rechecked it and the spell was working fine. The reason his searching spell had stopped was because there were no books left that he had not read.
There’s something to be said of the sad feeling one gets upon finishing a good book. The sadness Accord felt upon realizing he had not finished one book, but all of them, was that feeling magnified to a degree he could not stand.
He had run out of books to read and that had to be fixed soon.
Well, a book is simply an assortment of letters on a page. Perhaps there is somewhere where there is every single book that could possibly exist. How many books could that be?
Accord pondered this thought for a while and came across a lot of math that he wasn’t prepared for.
“If there’s a 410 page book that has 40 lines on each page and 80 characters on each line then that would be… what exactly? 1,312,000 characters in a book. And how many letters are there in the alphabet… 26, and then we need some punctuation… so a period, 2 parentheses, a quotation mark, a comma and an apostrophe. Oh, and exclamation marks and question marks too.” Everything else he could do without. So all in all, 34 characters.
So 34 to the 1,312,000th power number of books.
How big was that exactly? Too big. Accord had an infinite amount of time to work with, but even that seemed like too much reading. Most of the books would be a jumble of random characters. He would be reading books that consisted mostly of phrases like “qpzns’ka,afou?qpow)nr,ydkl.hgout(had thdao”mkd” for eons.
No… there had to be a better way to get all of the books that could be written, and written intelligibly.
Accord adjusted his math problem. Let’s say there are 200,000 words in a given language. If there are about 5 characters for each word, for a 410 page book that would be about 262,400 words. So 200,000 raised to the 262,400 power.
Hmm… that still seemed like quite a lot. It was every book that could be written so Accord expected it to be a lot. He did have all of eternity to read... so the more books the better, right?
Accord got all of the arrangements prepared for the spell. Where would he put all these books anyway? A library seemed like the best fit. A library that could contain 200000^262400 books.
Like most things that Accord made, this library would go inside of his head. All the memories of the books he had read had been stored there already, why not the rest of all possible books there could be?
Having the library inside of his head would enable him to go back and forth and access the books and the library whenever he needed to.
He made some adjustments to the spell, the first letter of each sentence would be capitalized, and sentences would end with a period, question mark or exclamation point. To make the math easier he needed to add 3 more words to his dictionary. Mathematically, one book would be missing, but he’d make it afterwards to complete the library anyway. At last, Accord cast his spell. A spell to create every book ever, every book that could possibly exist.
Princess Celestia stared at the stone statue of Discord. “It’s exactly what I anticipated would happen,” Celestia sighed. “Thank you for taking care of this so quickly, Twilight.”
“It was no problem, Princess Celestia.” Twilight responded. “We saw Discord start rampaging as we knew he would eventually. It’s a good thing we were able to fix the problem so quickly.”
“I don’t see any effects of his spells still lingering, what exactly did he do?” Celestia asked.
“What didn’t he do? Let’s see... he turned almost every single blade of grass in Ponyville into bananas. At the same time he swapped the bodies of every single animal near ponyville — beavers were now squirrels, birds were turned into snakes — no animal stayed the same. And then Spike turned into a giant dragon with huge wings. And everypony in ponyville turned invisible, except for at night. Then Discord made it so there was a night and day cycle twice a second to the point everypony felt like they were under a strobe light.
Twilight sighed, “It was tough day.”
“Any other problems?” Celestia asked.
“It took us a while to get Fluttershy to use her element of Harmony. She had made a promise not to, but there was no stopping him and Fluttershy saw to reason eventually.”
“How did you reverse Discord’s spells?”
“We didn’t. Once we turned him to stone all the spells stopped.”
“Perfect. That sounds like a great report. Thank you Princess Twilight.”
“You’re welcome, Princess Celestia.”
“One last thing. Is everypony accounted for?”
“Well… everypony, yes, but it has been a while since I last saw Spike. I think he got lost somewhere while he was turned into a giant dragon. I was searching for him but I came when I heard word you had arrived. The others are still out looking for him.”
“How long have they been searching?”
“About 5 hours now, but I’m sure we’ll find him soon.”
“Twilight, I’m going to try to send a letter to Spike. He’ll be able to respond with where he is and you can rescue him faster.”
“Great idea!” said Twilight with gratitude.
Celestia procured a piece of paper and started to write a letter to Spike, asking him to respond with his location. Celestia’s horn glowed as she cast the spell that would send the letter out of Spike’s mouth. Halfway through the spell, the glow around Celestia’s horn flitted out and the letter fluttered to the ground.
“What’s wrong?” asked Twilight anxiously.
“I can’t deliver the letter. This has never happened before. The only way this could happen is if…” alarm crossed Celestia’s face. “No, it couldn’t be. Discord is evil, but he would never kill anyone.”
Dread flooded Twilight’s face, “What… no, that can’t be the case. Spike isn’t… there’s no way!”
“No, I don’t believe Discord capable of killing anyone” Celestia assuaged, “but Spike isn’t here. He is no where in this world.”
Twilight was in shock. Spike was missing. Completely missing. Not even a letter could reach him. What did that even mean? How far had Discord taken Spike as to leave Spike incapable of receiving letters? One thing was for sure though. “We need to wake up Discord. I have to confront him about what he did with Spike.”
“No, Twilight.” Celestia stated calmly. “It’s not safe to unleash Discord from his stone prison. I’m not sure what Discord did to Spike, but we don’t want to give him the opportunity to do it again.”
“Then… what can we do?” asked Twilight sadly.
“I must consult with my sister, Luna. She has experience entering the dreams of ponies. Maybe she would know how to enter the mind of Discord while he is still stone.”
A few hours later, Princess Luna had arrived, and Twilight sent word for her friends to gather at the library as soon as they could.
Before they arrived, Luna was presenting a small magic lesson for Twilight.
“I have been analyzing Discord’s mind and have been trying to figure out the best way to get inside of it,” Luna began. “Minds can be very, very complicated, and Discord’s is one of the most complex I’ve ever encountered, but I think I’ve found an entrance. Now, to use this entrance I will need to send you there personally. I would prefer to teach you how to enter minds so you can understand the mechanics better, but we’re running out of time and we need to know what Discord has done to Spike.”
“So what do I have to do?”
“You need to know how to leave a mind. You already know a part of the process as well.”
“Really? What is it?” Twilight asked.
“You simply teleport outside of it. Even though minds may seem incredibly large and complex, your physical location is inside someone’s head. By teleporting a meter or two in any direction you should be able to leave any mind safely. What makes this spell complicated is that there is a companion spell that needs to be cast at the exact same time as the teleportation spell. Even as a unicorn you were able to properly cast multiple spells at once, but now that you are an alicorn the process should be second nature to you.”
“Now, “ Luna continued. “The second spell helps make sure you don’t damage the mind in the process of abruptly leaving. Leaving a mind the wrong way can have bad side-effects on both the mind being left and the pony casting it.”
Luna taught Twilight the softening spell that would allow her to leave a mind with no damage to herself or the one whose mind she would be leaving.
“Now, we must put this into practice” Luna announced. “I’m going to summon you into my mind, and you will have to leave exactly as I have explained.”
“Okay.” Twilight agreed as the Princess of the night summoned Twilight into her mind.
Being in Luna’s mind was like floating in dark blue space. Twilight would have felt scared at the darkness, but the blackness here was actually incredibly calming. There were stars that covered the darkness and a beautiful waning crescent moon. It was a soft, peaceful place. It felt like a wonderful spot to stop and think, which it did a fantastic job of doing. It was, after all, a mind.
“Now, try to teleport, Twilight,” Luna thought inside of her mind, which Twilight heard distinctly.
Twilight would have liked to have spent more time there, but she coordinated herself to teleport two meters backwards and cast the softening spell at the same time. Instead of moving inside the mind backwards, she was brought back into the Ponyville library once more.
“Good job, Twilight. You should be able to leave Discord’s mind just as easily once you get there.”
“Wait — what are y’all doing!?” Applejack interrupted as she trotted in through the door of the library. She was followed by Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, and Fluttershy.
“Listen girls,” Twilight started to explain. “Earlier today, Celestia tried to send a letter to Spike, and the spell to send the letter failed. We don’t know what that means, but at the very least Spike is gone.”
They all looked at Twilight with concern in their faces.
“The only one who knows completely what happened to Spike is Discord,” continued Twilight. “I’m going to enter Discord’s mind and confront him about Spike.”
“Uhh… Twilight? Are you crazy!? That’s a terrible plan!” Rainbow Dash complained, “Who knows what you’ll find in Discord’s mind?”
“That doesn’t sound very safe,” Fluttershy contributed.
“I know it’s a long shot,” Twilight countered, “but it’s either that or release Discord again. We’re leaving that as a Plan B, which is why you all are here. If something goes wrong and we need to release Discord, I’ll leave his mind and we can free him. But plan A is for me to talk to him first.”
“I still don’t like the sound of that, dearie.” Rarity disagreed.
“It’s… “ Twilight struggled to find the right words to say. “It’s what has to be done. I have to know what happened to Spike, and Discord is the only one that knows.”
“As long as we’re coming with, I’m up for it!” Rainbow Dash asserted.
“I’m afraid that won’t be possible.” Luna explained. “Only the highest level unicorns or alicorns can safely leave a mind. I could send you there with her, but then you would be stuck there.”
“I’m sorry girls,” Twilight agreed, “but I need to do this, and I need to do this now.”
“Wait, now!?” Rainbow protested.
“Yes, now!” Twilight argued. “Just stay here, I should be out soon.”
“And if ya’ aren’t?” Applejack questioned.
Twilight hesitated. “If I’m not back in 4 hours, Luna, please try to rescue me. If that doesn’t work…” Twilight trailed off trying to think.
“You can’t use my element of Harmony without me, but maybe you can get Celestia to try to use my Element of Magic. Maybe then you could free Discord and find out what happened. But don’t worry! It won’t come to that, I’ll talk to Discord and I’ll be back soon.”
Twilight paused and looked around at each of her best friends one final time. One of them was missing. The one she cared about more than all of the others, and she had to find him.
“Ready Twilight?” Luna asked.
“I’m ready,” Twilight confirmed.
An aura of night from Luna’s horn enveloped Twilight as she disappeared from the Ponyville library and into the statue of Discord.
Twilight had braced herself to see many things once entering Discord’s mind. A mind like Discord must surely be the most chaotic place in the universe. There would be chocolate rain; trees with fur instead of bark, dancing tutu’d starfish singing karaoke with arctic foxes. There would be absolute and complete chaos in the mind of Discord, and she was mentally prepared to face the onslaught of it all.
Twilight was not prepared for the library.
Books. Books everywhere! Books as far as she could see. More than she had ever seen in her life. She got a feeling of vertigo looking down a long corridor that didn’t seem to have an end. She peered down over the edge of the floor she was standing on. There was a main shaft shaped like a hexagon with floor space and bookshelves scaling the entire face of it. All faces of it. Every wall was completely filled with neatly arranged books of the exact same size, width and dull brown color. The main shaft didn’t end. It kept going down for… forever. Even though everything was well lit, the only thing Twilight could see was that far below reached a black vanishing point. “How big was this place?”
Twilight levitated a book from off the shelf. Curiously, there was no title. No title page, no table of contents or list of chapters or anything. Twilight opened up to the first page and started to read.
Twilight frantically threw another book off the shelf and floated it in front of herself. She poured through book after book looking for a book that made sense, but none of them did.
She eyed one of the books and wordlessly tossed it down the hexagonal shaft and watched it fall. Surely when it reached the bottom it would make a sound. She waited and waited…. but heard nothing. Absolutely nothing but her own breathing and heartbeat. There was no sound in this perfectly quiet and still library but her own.
She grabbed books, quickly scanned them, and tossed them one by one over the side.
“What was this place?” Twilight pondered. “Why did Discord have a nice — surprisingly peaceful — library with books full of completely random words? Leave it to Discord to have a library in his mind that made no sense.”
“Welcome to my Library, Princess Twilight Sparkle!”
Twilight looked out across the divide to see Discord floating there with the books she had thrown down.
“I thought it would be a very, very long time before I ever saw you again.” Discord spoke nonchalantly, “Have you reconsidered turning me back into stone?”
“Discord! Where is Spike!?” Twilight shouted angrily. This library was just another one of Discord’s games and she didn’t want to waste another moment. “I’m here for Spike! Now what did you do to him!?”
“Spike… who was Spike again?” Discord asked as he played a balancing game with the tall stack of books on his tail.
“Spike! Spike the Dragon! My best friend, my number one assistant!” Twilight shouted.
Discord looked at her blankly and the stack of books teetered close to falling over, but Discord rebalanced them again.
“He’s a small purple baby dragon that I care about more than anyone else in the world! What have you done to him!?”
A flash of recognition briefly passed over Discord’s face. “Ah, Spike the Dragon. Yes… hmm… I’m sorry Twilight, but it’s been far too long and unless I know someone is immortal I usually don’t bother to remember them. I live far too long to allow something with such a short lifespan to affect me in any way.”
“Affect you!? What kind of monster are you? He’s a sentient pon- err… Dragon! He talks and cares and loves just like anyone else. How could you be so cold as to forget him? You were only turned into stone just yesterday!”
“Yesterday?” Discord looked inquisitively. “Being turned into stone again was merely yesterday? Hmm... that is rather interesting. So from your perspective I’ve only been in stone for a day?”
“17 hours ago to be precise.”
“17 hours…” Discord pondered thoughtfully, “That’s about 2 years here, Twilight.”
The shock on Twilight’s face could have electrocuted him.
“Twilight… I’ve been alive for a long time. But my mind has been around for what feels like even longer. This is because my mind is capable of thinking of millions of things at once. A long time ago, I cast a spell that would allow me to think of multiple things at once and I just kept recasting it over and over again. However, casting it over and over again also increased the amount of processing power my mind has. Because of how much I can think in a given period of time it feels like time passes by much more slowly to me.”
Twilight regained her composure and asked “I’m sorry you’ve been stuck here for so long, but please, can you tell me where Spike is?”
“Twilight,” Discord continued,” I don’t know where Spike is, the last thing I remember about him is that I made him look like a real dragon should and I got turned into stone. Forgive me for fulfilling a young dragon’s dreams. But I’m sure if you got together with your little friends and used your Elements of Harmony I could sort this all out on the other side.”
“You really don’t know where he is?”
“No. But please, while you are here, don’t ruin the shelves of books. I have a complete and perfect collection here, and I’d like to leave it that way.”
With one final bounce from his tail throwing the books into the air, and a snap of his eagle hand, the books Discord had been balancing moved back into position onto the shelves.
Twilight stared at him incredulously. He didn’t know where Spike was and now he was saying his library was perfect.
“Perfect!?” Twilight snapped, “How could you possibly call this library perfect!? None of the books here make sense! There’s no knowledge or anything of value in any of these books!”
“Of course there’s value to all of this, Twilight. Well…” he hesitated, “at least somewhere in this library there is. You see, this library contains a copy of every single possible book that could exist.”
“That’s impossible.” Twilight retorted. “There’s an infinite amount of books that could exist.”
“And that is where you are wrong, Twilight. For this library is not infinite. It’s finite in every way. It just seems infinite because every single combination of the 200,003 word language of Equestria exists here.”
“Yes. All combinations of those 200,003 words exists here. There are books of nonsensical recipes. Every novel of Daring Do’s adventures. A book containing nothing but the word ‘lettuce’ repeated over and over again. A book on the theological implications of ants if they could perform magic. All kinds of uncomfortable fanfiction, all the great works of Star Swirl the Bearded, a book that’s completely blank, a book of spells, a book of panda related puns, a biography of everypony you know written from the perspective of their pet.
“This library really contains every book that has been written, will be written, could ever be written. Every spell checked book to be precise. I had thought about making a library that could contain every possible non spell checked book as well, but that was just a little too many books for my taste. The books are all also 410 pages long. But don’t worry,” Discord smiled, “Every book that would be longer than 410 pages will have a next volume somewhere in the library.”
Twilight tried to wrap her head around what Discord was saying. Every book? Every book ever? Every book that could exist!?
“No…” Twilight began, “ that many books would have be infinite.”
“My dear Twilight, there is no such thing as infinity. Everything has a beginning and an end. Infinity is a word used by those who cannot comprehend the vastness of their own existence.
“The term infinity that you use here actually has a number. The number of books in the library is the number of words in the Equestrian language raised to the power of the number of words in a 410 page book, or 200003^262400th power.”
In Twilight’s mind the number infinity was perfectly suited to the vague, daunting number, 200003^262400, that Discord had provided.
Twilight sat dazed for several moments before asking, “Why does each book contain 410 pages?”
“I’m not sure why I instituted the 410 page rule to be honest. However, one of the first comprehensible books I found in the library was a short story called ‘The Library of Babel’ by someone named Jorge Louis Borges. I have since found that same short story thousands of different times with different authors, but I’ll just pretend the first one I found was the right author. In the short story the main character is trapped in a library like this one and all the books have 410 pages, but each book is a complete jumble of random characters. At least my library is nice enough to spell check all the books first. Yeesh, that other way would have taken forever.”
Twilight was at a complete loss for words.
“So Princess Twilight Sparkle, are you going to free me or what?” Discord asked.
“No!” Twilight regained her wits, “I’ll never agree to free you, Discord!”
“Well then, we are at an impasse, because I won’t agree to free you, Twilight.”
“I can leave whenever I want to. Princess Luna taught me how to leave minds and I’m leaving right now!”
Twilight’s horn glowed as Discord stared at her with an amused look on his face. She set the spell in her mind to teleport 2 meters sideways, plenty of space to leave a mind. She cast the softening spell and teleported only to find that she was still in Discord’s library but 2 meters to the left of where she was earlier.
Discord smiled mischieviously. “You’re trapped here in my library Twilight, and unless you agree to let me out, you can’t leave either.”
“Discord!” Twilight shouted angrily, “I have friends outside and Princess Luna will come when they see I haven’t returned.”
“Yes, and she’ll be trapped too! And even if she does come, Twilight. If she waits the four hours before coming to rescue you, that’s months that you are trapped here.” Discord laughed maniacally. “Good luck, Twilight. Statistically there is a book inside this library that will explain how to leave. Perhaps you could find that book and escape. Good luck with that.”
Discord smirked and started flying away.
“Wait! You can’t just leave me here!”
“Yes I can, as you can see, I have a lot of reading to do. Call me when you’re willing to let me out!” Discord flew on and shouted, ”Goodbye Twilight!”
Twilight levitated another book off of the shelf. Pure nonsense. All of it everywhere was pure nonsense. She continued to open book after book contemplating her predicament.
“No wonder Discord was so chaotic,” she thought to herself. He spends all of this time inside of the library inside of his head reading stories that don’t make sense. Somewhere in this library is a story where a young foal places his hoof on a hot stove and suddenly chocolate rains from the sky. Or he places his hoof on the stove and a tsunami wipes out a city. There is every possible consequence for placing his hoof on the stove, but the one correct consequence of being burned only happens once in the entire library.
This is no way to learn, this is not how to grow or experience or gain knowledge or to be entertained or anything. There is no value in a place where everything exists. There’s nothing to be gained in learning every random combination that can exist. Ponies… ponies matter. Sentient beings that can grow and change and learn. This is the most random, inefficient way of learning there is. Every lie exists at the same time as a single truth. If he spends all his time here trying to chase every idea that could exist, he will gain nothing.
Twilight almost felt sorry for Discord. With a completely skewed concept of cause and effect and what is or isn’t normal, Discord goes to the real world and tries to experiment to see which part of these books actually happen. Every time he actually experiences real life, he has to treat it like an experiment to see what affects the real world has in comparison with all the other possibilities he’s read.
She wanted to feel sorry for him, but she was stuck here. Her friends would take months to finally decide to help her. And what then? Not even Luna would have any experience of trying to escape a mind that wouldn’t allow her to leave, would she?
Twilights only option was trying to find the book that Discord was talking about. A book that contained the spell that would allow her to leave.
She pulled another book off the shelf. More nonsense.
Twilight started to examine the books, the bookcases, and the floor of the library. It all seemed to be made from the same kind of tree wood. She levitated a book in front of her, scrutinizing the brown material, the white pages, the black lettering with the exact same boring font as all the rest of the books in the library. She placed a horn against a bookshelf, examining it.
The floor was a light, uniform brown that despite feeling like wood, had absolutely no grain or wood pattern. She placed her horn against the floor, testing it.
The entire library appeared to have been made magically resulting in every book and shelf and wall looking the exact same. These properties enabled the books, the shelves, the floor, the whole library to easily conduct magic.
She stared back at the nonsensical books. If only there was a way to make a searching spell that would search the library for her.
“How would a spell like that work?” She started to think about the mechanics of how she could cast it. If she could have the spell search for a phrase in a book, maybe that could help her? She could try searching for the phrase “The spell to leave Discord’s library is: “ and maybe the right book would show up.
Twilight spent days trying to figure out the searching spell. There was no need to eat or drink in the Library, it was just books. Even sleep was something she didn’t have any desire to do.
She tried out a spell on a single book. “Search for the word ‘the,’” she commanded. Amazingly the book glowed magenta and the number “227” flashed into her mind. She had successfully managed to have the book search itself and give back the result. Excited, she searched for her own name, “Princess Twilight Sparkle” in the book, no results showed up.
Now… how to search more than one book at a time. All the books are right next to each other. Every book touched the shelves, and the shelves touched the floors which touched more shelves of books. If she could enhance her search spell to use the uniformity of the materials that made up the library, she could have it instantly search every book all at once for her phrase.
She cast the spell again, but this time to have her spell reach the end of the library and recursively show the locations of books with the phrase, “Princess Twilight Sparkle.”
In one moment Twilight felt as if she could feel and understand the locations of incalculable number of books in which her phrase existed in the library.
Twilight felt the location of the nearest book and went down the long corridor and into a side hallway to find the book glowing magenta. She opened it up and read:
“Yellow bamboo plus capital discombobulate princess twilight sparkle pencil aromatherapy broccoli.”
Which was entirely unhelpful.
Twilight began to understand how many possible locations her phrase could possibly exist. The only way to have her search spell actually do something would be to write a book herself. “How am I supposed to find the book that teaches the spell of how to escape if I need to know all the exact phrasing to even find the book!? That would be the same as knowing the book to begin with!” she thought angrily.
Frustrated, Twilight tried to write out a book to put in the search query for her spell. It would need to be a long book indeed to reach 410 pages. Perhaps in the first 200 pages or so the number of books would drop below the billions.
Twilight started to write the book in her mind, starting from the very beginning.
“Twilight Sparkle is an alicorn that was born in the year 1514 in the reign of Princess Celestia to her parents…” she tried to include all the details of her life she could.
“Her first best friend ever was a baby Dragon named Spike that Twilight has been friends with since she was a filly.” She wrote about her many adventures, on reading books, on learning spells, and how much she loved and appreciated each of her friends. She wrote about Discord going on a rampage, about how she lost her best friend, Spike, and about how much he meant to her. How much she missed him and wished that he was there at her side right then and there.
She wrote about how she was sick of being in this library searching for the book that would tell her how to leave. About how every book existed in the library. How insane this place was. How Discord could possibly learn all the truth and beauty the universe had to offer in this library, but how every lie was learned at the same time as a single truth. About how much she really did love books, but she understood now how much more powerful friendships and relationships are. She also wrote about how she wished she could find that book with the spell that would tell her how to get out of here.
While Twilight wrote her book, her search spell continued to find books. She liked watching as the number of books got exponentially smaller with every sentence she wrote.
One time her spell stopped working and it shook her up a bit. But then she realized that the name Fluttershy was not one of the words that fit under the 200,003 word limit. Every time she talked about Fluttershy or Applejack she had to spell their names out with two words. Once she did that, the number of possible books jumped back to the astronomical amount.
When she neared about 50 pages left of the book, she paused to reflect on the total amount of books left that had her full 360 pages of rambling about her life compared to the beginning. She stared at the unfathomable number. Even if she finished her entire book, she would only find the location of a book that didn’t have the spell to leave anyway.
The number she was staring at changed.
Twilight watched as the amount of books she was searching for increased by one and then decreased by one, increased by one, and then decreased by one. She watched the number rhythmically switched back and forth. She was dealing with a stupidly large number, but the fact that the very, very, last digit in that insane number kept changing positions unnerved her.
“Which book is that!?” Twilight exclaimed out loud. “What in Equestria is making it disappear and reappear?”
She could feel that the book in question was somewhere down, far, far below her.
“If only there was a way to see what it was that was moving that book all the way down there. But books don’t have eyes, they can’t feel, they can’t hear, they can’t do anything,” Twilight thought to herself. There was no mechanism for Twilight to work with that would even allow her to see who was holding her book.
She sat on the floor of the completely silent library contemplating what she could do.
“Maybe someone who had handled the book had done something to the cover?” she half-jokingly asked herself.
It was a stupid idea. But what else could she do? She could at least see if the person holding it had made some scratches accidentally while reading the book.
She edited her searching spell again, but this time to show what was on the cover of each of the books of the library. She saw the countless numbers of completely blank normal covers and hoped against hope she could see something, anything amidst the blank covers. She saw something that made her gasp in complete and utter shock and horror.
In claw marks, on the cover of one of the books far down below, were written the words:
“What was Spike doing here!?” Twilight’s mind raced. “How did he get here? How long had he been here? Discord had said two years had passed inside of his mind. Two years!? Had Spike been trapped here for two years!?” Twilight’s eyes started to water at the very thought. The sorrow she felt for how lost her best friend must feel completely consumed her until a small spark of anger ignited all at once.
“DISCORD!” Twilight screamed. She was suddenly filled with extreme rage. He had lied. He had to have known about Spike being in this library. “What kind of monster is he that he would leave Spike in this infinite prison for so long!?”
Twilight just stared at the cover of the book Spike had written on. She started breathing in and out trying to calm herself down. She had never felt this level of rage and this level of complete sorrow before, especially not at the same time.
She had to get to Spike. Now. Right then. As far as she could tell, Spike was far, far below in one of the branching hallways from the hexagonal center of the library.
Twilight galloped back to the hexagonal shaft in the center of the library and took a deep calming breath and prepared herself for her jump. It was going to be a long way down. She jumped off the railing and down the hexagonal shaft. Books flew past at astonishing rates, but the distance that remained between her and Spike didn’t budge. She tried to use a combination of falling and teleporting to the greatest distance she could see, but nothing changed the distance between her and Spike. The combination of falling and teleporting wasn’t helping at all. Nothing changed the perceptible difference.
Twilight slowed her fall and cast a centering spell that would position her in the exact center of the shaft. She analyzed the walls and plotted her teleportation trajectory. She was going to do something she had never done before, she would try to jump the length of a solar system in a single bound. It was a simple matter of editing how far she would set her teleportation distance in her mind. It scared her so much to go this far, so quickly. She gathered herself and made the jump.
When she made it out she was still in the center of the shaft of the hexagonal library. Only one of the books that contained her life story she had written had even changed position.
“How big is this library!?” Twilight shouted in frustration.
Twilight got into position again, thinking very hard about how to make this next jump. She was going to jump the biggest distance she could think of, a light-year, the distance light can travel in a year. It was a beautiful thing that her magic could move her faster than the speed of light. She didn’t take much time to ponder it too deeply, she had to get to Spike. “What had he meant by ‘I found the book?’”
She made the jump, a full light year, but there was still no change in the distance of how far away Spike was.
She was annoyed. She had to get to him, she set her teleportation spell for an even more insane number, 10,000 light years. She set the coordinates in her mind and made the jump.
She warped inside the shaft of the library 10,000 light years down. The location of Spike hadn’t moved.
Twilight had read once that the length of the perceptible universe was about 91 billion light-years. Could Discord’s library be greater than the size of the Universe? It was a number Twilight couldn’t comprehend. But she set herself up to teleport that far anyway. 91 billion light-years in the blink of an eye. How was simple unicorn magic capable of this? Perhaps no one had ever tried, or had a reason to ever try.
Twilight made the jump. No change.
She added 20 zeros to the end of the teleportation distance and jumped. No change.
She added 80 zeros to the end of the teleportation distance and jumped. No change.
She added another 100 zeros to the end of the teleportation distance and jumped. No change.
She added another 500 zeros to the end of the teleportation distance and jumped.
She stopped. There was something wrong here. Something was very wrong here. There was no way her spell should be this useless. She couldn’t keep making these ridiculous jumps. She didn’t know what would happen if she reached the end accidentally.
She flew to the side of the library and started measuring some bookcases and counting the books on each bookshelf. She conjured up a quill and ink into existence and started writing on the floor. She had some calculations to make.
Thirty minutes later — with the help of several obscure calculation spells she was now forever grateful Celestia had told her to learn—Twilight had the distance of the library.
Taking the size of the universe at 91 billion light years, the Library of Discord was the length of 10^463636 number of universes.
She just stared at the answer and hoped it was wrong. The number was over four hundred thousand decimal places long! And the unit of measure she was using was an entire universe!
“What.” Twilight could only say out loud in shock.
It did explain the lack of progress of her teleportation.
She had her number.
It was time to go.
She coordinated herself and set the jump for a thousandth the size of the library, 10^463633 number of universes.
The location of the book changed. Twilight could see the change! It was miniscule, but it was there!
She set herself to go a hundredth the size of the library, and jumped.
She was getting closer.
She jumped one tenth the size of the library, and saw the location of Spike get closer than she had ever seen it.
She made 2 more one tenth jumps before she saw that she had passed Spike.
She halved the amount for her jump and teleported up.
He was now below her again. She jumped down another half, down half of that, up half of that, up half of that, and then down half of that.
As Twilight kept jumping ever closer to Spike. She couldn’t help but be reminded by that math problem where no matter how far someone got by dividing by two every time, they could never technically reach zero. The thought annoyed her. But she did her best.
She jumped up 50 billion light years. Up another 25 billion light years. Jumped down 8 billion light years. Jumped up 4 billion light years. Down 3.5 billion. Up 300 million...
She warped closer and closer to Spike for a long, long time.
She was mesmerized in the jumping and adjusting until finally, after what seemed like forever, she landed on the floor that Spike was on.
He had been close to the hexagonal center, or at least Twilight thought he had been. She recast her searching spell. She was on the same floor as Spike, but now she had to get to him. The library had the same width and height and she was mentally exhausted from all the jumping, but Spike was more important than any exhaustion she was going through. She was a teleporting machine bent on one purpose. Get to Spike.
In the days it took to adjust and readjust to get herself closer to Spike, Twilight pondered on how fast teleportation had always felt to her. She could go anywhere she wanted to in the blink of an eye. Here in this library, even pure teleportation felt like an incredibly slow method of travel.
It took so long, but she was so close. So incredibly close.
She teleported one last time and she saw him. Her best friend, Spike.
He was older and taller than she was used to seeing him. His snout had grown longer and his face looked much more mature. He had grown large, strong wings. “A side effect of Discord’s magic?” she worried to herself. No, this was how Spike’s body would have grown on it’s own.
He was lying next to a bookcase, almost asleep except for the book he was balancing on the palm of his hand next to the floor. Everytime the book touched the floor the book would glow magenta, but every time the book only touched Spike’s hand the glow from the search spell would stop. “That’s how he had been changing the number of books,” she thought to herself. My spell only goes through the material in the library, not the air.
Twilight walked over to Spike and removed the book from his hand. “It’s okay… I’m here. You can stop signaling... I got the message.”
Spike’s eyes went wide and he sat bolt upright. He stared at Twilight sitting there on the floor of the library next to him, unable to say a word.
“Twilight…” Spike finally started to speak, ”is that really you?”
Twilight instantly took the chance and embraced Spike with her forelegs. “I’m here. I’m here. It’s really me.” Twilight could not let go, and neither could Spike.
They held each other for as long as they could. Spike started to sob and so did Twilight. They sat there for almost an hour hugging and crying. They had been through so much.
Despite the size she had grown becoming an Alicorn, Spike was now just a little taller than her.
“I… I found the book, Twilight.” Spike finally spoke up.
“The book, Twilight. The book that contains your life story as you wrote it. The book that told me I should keep tapping the book on the floor repeatedly. To write my name on the cover. The book with the summoning spell to bring Fluttershy here. The book that explains who Discord is and why he’s here in this library. The book.”
“I’m not sure I follow, Spike. What happened?” Twilight asked.
He took a deep breath and started. “Twilight, the last thing I remember before this library was Discord transforming me amidst all the other chaos that was happening back then. Somehow while you and everypony else were using the elements of Harmony to turn Discord back into stone, I was suddenly taken here.
“I spent so long here. Such a long, long time. And for that entire duration I had no idea what was going on. If Discord really had kidnapped me… why didn’t he at least visit me? Why I haven’t seen anyone for two years? Why wouldn’t he at least talk to me. Taunt me. It would hurt, but that’s just like Discord. But this…” Spike struggled to express himself, “this isolation for so long...”
Twilight sat there and listened to her best friend.
“I was so angry at everyone too, if I was here, why didn’t anyone try to rescue me? Where were you? Why had everyone abandoned me...?” Spike trailed off before picking up again.
“But then,” Spike smiled weakly, “A week ago I was flying down the hallway here and this book was glowing the color of your magic, Twilight.”
“My searching spell.” Twilight confirmed.
“Yes… it’s all right here. I was so happy to read your book, Twilight.” The warmth in his voice started to return. “It was the closest thing to comfort I’ve had in this cold, lonely, never ending library.”
“Spike…” Twilight began slowly, “I didn’t write that book.”
“I know you didn’t, but everything is written in this book as if you had written it. I know it’s a random assortment of words, but out of all the books I’ve gone through here, I found this one. I didn’t know if everything written here would actually happen, but I followed the directions of the story and wrote my name into the cover and kept tapping the book away from and close to a part of the library, and it worked! You’re here!” Spike wrapped his arms more tightly around Twilight. “You’re really here! Just like the book said would happen.”
“Spike,” Twilight thought about how she would phrase this without hurting the only hope Spike had clung onto for the last week. “I passed by a perceptibly infinite amount of books extremely similar to that one as I teleported down here to find you. Yes, the first 360 pages are what I was searching for, and so technically it’s my writing. But the last 50 are completely random, anything can be there.”
“That’s right, anything!” Spike agreed, “It just so happens that this is the one book out of all of them that will actually happen!”
Spike grew more excited, “The last 50 pages include a lot of stuff! Apparently using the spell written here, you can summon Fluttershy to this Library and talk to her. You tell her about Discord’s library, how he’s been reading these books for an unfathomable amount of time and how Discord needs a true friend to understand him and he’ll be able to finally live in a real world with cause and effect instead of the pure chaos he is used to. And then Discord comes and talks to Fluttershy and somehow everything works out.”
“Spike, now that I’ve found you, I want to get out of here. Let’s leave Discord to his books.”
“But Twilight, it all works out! You just need to summon Fluttershy with the summoning spell.”
“Or I could reverse engineer that summoning spell to get us out of here.”
“I don’t think you can, it looks a little too complicated for that, even by your standards.”
“Spike… this book shows just one possible future. Just because it’s written, doesn’t mean the events will actually take place. We don’t even know if the Fluttershy summoning spell will even work.”
“We won’t know unless you try,” Spike countered.
Twilight looked at Spike. He had been alone for so long. Twilight couldn’t fathom two years alone in the library. Two years and only the last week or so understanding what was going on. She stared at the cover of the book and reread the words one more time, “Twilight, I found the book, Spike.”
Twilight started to read the spell laid out in the book. She had accomplished a lot of complicated spells before, but this one was a level of complicated she had never seen before. It also confirmed one of her fears about this library. This spell wasn’t a spell to summon someone into a mind, it was a spell to summon someone from a separate universe entirely. “How did Discord have an entire universe inside of his mind?” she pondered. “How powerful was he?”
Spike and Twilight sat on the floor leaning against the shelves and each other while Twilight took hours reading and rereading the spell and the mechanics behind it. The spell was written specifically to summon “Flutter shy” and only “Flutter shy”. Any attempt of Twilight to reverse engineer the spell and summon someone else or to escape seemed incredibly difficult. Twilight kept reading and finally announced, “I think I’m ready.”
Twilight looked over the spell as she started casting it. Fluttershy was still standing outside the statue of Discord. If Fluttershy was standing anywhere but the spot Twilight was aiming for, or if the spell was just a random assortment of words — as should be the case — the spell wouldn’t work.
A pink aura flowed around Twilight’s horn. The strength of the magic coursed through Twilight as she followed all of the directions as written.
And with a flourish of light, a thoroughly surprised Fluttershy appeared in front of them.
“Ahh! A dragon!” were the first words out of Fluttershy’s mouth as she first tried to escape and run away. But as she turned around to flee, she saw that she was in a long, seemingly unending hallway and had nowhere to run to.
“Fluttershy! It’s just me, Spike!” he tried to reassure her.
Fluttershy looked at Twilight and then looked back at Spike, and then back to Twilight, and then looked at the long, neverending hallway behind them.
“Twilight… where are we?” asked a very nervous Fluttershy.
Twilight walked over to Fluttershy and wrapped one of her wings around her. Twilight sighed and started to talk.
“Fluttershy, we are inside the library of Discord. This library is the reason behind the chaotic mess that is Discord. Here, let me show you.”
Twilight levitated a book off the shelf and opened it up for Fluttershy to see. “Look at this book for a moment.”
Fluttershy started to read the book and a look of increasing confusion appeared on her face with each word she read.
“Umm… it’s just random words.”
“Every book in this library is like this. It’s every assortment of random words there could possibly be. So theoretically… and practically. Every book ever. All the wrong ones, all the right ones, and all the random ones.”
“Ok… but what happened to Spike?” Fluttershy asked.
“Discord is capable of thinking of millions of things at once,” Spike explained “a side effect of this is that his mind can think really quickly compared to the outside world, and so time passes by very slowly here. I’ve actually been here for over two years.”
“And somehow, you’re supposed to know how to get Discord to let us out of here,” Twilight explained.
“Wait… me? I messed up so badly. I broke my promise! I couldn’t possibly talk to Discord again. I’ve broken his trust!”
“You sure did,” said a soft spoken Discord as he turned visible behind Fluttershy.
“Discord! You are just the one we wanted to see,” Twilight said confidently.
“Am I? I’m glad at least someone wants to see me. What is it you want?”
“I want to know.” Twilight paused. “I want to know who you are, Discord.”
“Me? I’m the spirit of chaos.”
“But… how did you get that way? How did you make this universe inside your mind?”
“My dear princess, you cannot understand me at all. Asking me who I am is impossible. And besides, it doesn’t matter anyway.”
“It does matter, you know why? Because we’re going to be friends.”
The word, “friend” briefly unmasked the sneer on Discord’s face.
“Friends understand each other Discord. I want to be your friend. You’ve been alone for all this time, with no one but yourself to talk to. Please, please take this chance. Tell us who you are. Tell us why you live in this library! Why you behave like you do. Tell us so we can get to know you so we can be your friend.”
“You don’t want to be my friend! You don’t care about me at all, Princess. You are trying to manipulate me into letting you go, right? That’s what this is about. You’re trapped here and I won’t let you leave. Well, you know what? Fine! Leave!”
And with a snap of his lion hand, Discord opened up a portal right next to them. “Leave,” he repeated. “You found Spike. I was hoping that a few months in my library would leave you begging to get out of here enough to release me and I’d give Spike back to you as a present, but your searching spells and teleportation foiled that. You won, Princess, congratulations, now go home.”
Twilight was stunned at how quickly she got what she had wanted. She eyed Spike and Fluttershy and started to walk to the portal. Spike followed but Fluttershy stood rooted to her spot.
“Come on, Fluttershy. He’s a lost cause. We need to leave.”
“I’m staying, Twilight.” Fluttershy asserted.
A perplexed look crossed Discord’s face.
“What? Discord is crazy; he’s already betrayed us once. Let’s get out of here before he changes his mind about the portal.”
“No, Twilight. Everyone deserves a chance to have a friend, and I will be Discord’s friend. I’m willing to hear him out.”
“Twilight, let’s go,” Spike urged.
“Spike… we can’t leave without Fluttershy.” Twilight responded.
“Yes, we can.” Spike whispered. “It all works out.”
“Go on, Twilight, we’ll be there soon.” Fluttershy assured her.
With uncertainty all over her face, Twilight Sparkle walked into the portal. Spike entered the portal right after her, still holding the book.
Twilight saw all of her friends waiting on the other side, all except one.
Fluttershy and Discord were left alone in the hallway of the library.
“What are you still doing here, Fluttershy?” asked Discord.
“I… I want to be your friend, Discord.” Fluttershy responded.
“Why? You have no idea who I am, I’ve caused untold pain and stress to you. Why in the multiverse would you ever want to be my friend?”
“Because I know what it’s like to not to have friends.”
Discord stared at her.
“I… I didn’t know what I was feeling for the longest time. I was so alone. But I had always, always been alone. I thought that’s just what life was like. Just sadness… and fear of making a mistake and worry about the future and the fear of others. I had no idea what the feeling was, but now I can recognize it. It was loneliness. For the first time in my life, I now have friends. I never had any before, and now that I have them I understand why I disliked life and was so scared all the time. The feeling was loneliness, Discord. I couldn’t understand that I was feeling loneliness until I finally had friends to compare the feeling with.”
He stopped levitating above her and slowly sat on the library floor in front of her.
“You must be lonely Discord. You don’t know that’s what you’re feeling because you don’t know what not being lonely feels like. I didn’t either. It took me so long to see that there can be good in the world, and I look at you and see how much being lonely hurts you too. You don’t recognize it, but that’s the feeling.”
Fluttershy saw Discord do something she had only seen him do once before, his eyes started to water. Fluttershy took the moment to get closer to Discord and place a hoof around him.
“It’s okay, Discord. It’s okay.” Fluttershy tried to assure him. “It’s just us here. Please tell me about yourself. I’ve told you about myself. Can I hear more about you?”
“You would never understand, Fluttershy.” Discord softly argued. “You cannot comprehend all that I’ve been through. All the things I’ve experienced and read and felt.”
“Twilight said that time passed by differently here. I could stay here for a year and it wouldn’t matter.”
Discord was taken aback. No one had ever wanted to spend any time at all trying to understand him, let alone offer a year to understand.
“I’m willing to stay and listen for as long as it takes to understand and appreciate you enough to be your friend, Discord. I know how lonely life can be. I know how sad that loneliness can feel and I don’t want anyone to ever have to feel that way. Everyone deserves to have a true friend that they can talk to.”
She draped her left wing over Discord.
He looked at her, and then back to his hands. He sighed and tried to begin. But there was too much to say. He sat there for a few minutes before finally beginning his story.
“I’ve been alive for trillions of years. That’s something you can’t understand, you’ve only been alive for a few short years. You can’t comprehend the amount of time I’ve been alive. I… don’t know how to put the length I have been alive into something you can comprehend. 1 million seconds is 11 days. 1 billion seconds is 31 years. 1 trillion seconds is 31688 years. You can’t even understand the numbers I am talking about, Fluttershy. No one can. It’s just me. I’m the oldest living thing in the universe. Why? Because I’m not even from this universe.
“When a universe dies, the reason it does so is because there is too much chaos. The pure hydrogen in a sun will slowly fuse and fuse and fuse to ever more complex elements. When the whole universe has gotten to the point where all the hydrogen and smaller elements are gone, the universe is simply too chaotic to function. There are no suns to even support life anymore.
“I’m from one of those past dead universes. I’m completely immortal in every way and so I have witnessed the births and deaths of several new universes. But the old one’s still lingered. I collected those old chaotic universes. There were so many of them. There are still so many of them. I was their funeral director. I tried to get what information I could from those places. But there wasn’t enough. I’m too immortal, Fluttershy. I eventually take in so much information that I finish everything there is to know about a place.
“That’s when I figured I would create the library. I would take all these old chaotic universes and make them into a library that would contain all the information about those universes, as well as all information there could possibly be. Everything is contained in this library. All possibility and probability exists in some form here. I gave form to all those old dead universes and I’ve been reading all of it since I made the library.
“I’m about 45% done with my complete reading of the library. A lot of it is nonsense. But sometimes I find things that are truly beautiful. Sad things, happy things, everything is here. It’s why I like it so much. Because I am immortal and this is the first thing in a long, long time that has actually taken up my unlimited time. True immortality is a very sad thing, Fluttershy. Everyone dies. Even the so called immortal Princesses will die eventually. I can't imagine their immortality spells lasting through the destruction of the universe.
“Not me though, I’ll outlast this universe, and the one after it, and the one after that.” He sighed sorrowfully “I… I’m just so glad I have this library. It’ll take me the lifespan of innumerable of universes before I finish it. It’s the only place I know that will last so long. I just wish this library could last longer than I will.”
Discord started to cry. He had thought about what it would be like to tell someone his story, to tell anyone what he went through, what he continues to go through day after day. Eon after eon.
“I’ve run out of things to experience. That is the eventuality of being truly immortal. There’s nothing left to learn.”
There was no sound but the stillness of the library as Fluttershy tried to think of how to comfort her friend.
“Have you ever experienced being friends with me before?” Fluttershy asked.
This gave Discord pause. He had experienced nearly everything there was to experience, at least through books, that is. “I…” he struggled to find an answer “Well… no. I guess I haven’t.”
“Being with someone is not something you can read about, Discord,” Fluttershy expressed. “It’s something more than that. Ponies, sentient beings, living things are what truly make up life.”
“But… you’ll die someday. It hurts too much to try to get to know others when you’ll outlive them. Everything will die someday, except me.”
Fluttershy took this in and stopped to think for a few moments.
“Maybe if you are a good enough friend to me, I’ll agree to become immortal, like you. Then you could always have someone with you no matter how long.”
Discord stared at Fluttershy for several moments before finally softly asking. “You would really do that… for me?”
“I’m not sure if I could agree right now to stay with you forever. I still need to get to know you more. You’ve shared with me so much, and I didn’t understand all of it. But I think I understood enough to see that you have been lonely for a very, very long time.”
“TWILIGHT! AND SPIKE!?” Pinkie Pie burst into tears and rushed over to hug them.
Everyone was shocked at Spike’s appearance, but they came over to hug Spike and Twilight to welcome them back.
“It’s a little too early to celebrate, everypony. Fluttershy is still inside Discord’s mind,” Twilight reminded them.
“What are you talking about sugarcube? Fluttershy is right uhh…” Applejack looked around the room looking for Fluttershy, but she was gone.
“Where’s Fluttershy?” demanded Rainbow Dash, “she was right here!”
“I… I summoned her inside the library inside Discord’s mind,” Twilight admitted.
“Say what now!?” Pinkie Pie exclaimed.
“Don’t worry, everypony!” Spike tried to reassure them, “Fluttershy has everything under control. It’s all right here in this book.”
“What makes you so sure, Spike?” asked Twilight.
“Well… it would have been impossible for me to find this book in the library on my own, even with your searching spell making it glow. I think Discord must have given it to me, in a way. Every possible combination of your story existed there. But he gave me the one copy that I think he wanted to happen. He wanted Fluttershy to come. And that’s why everything is gonna turn out fine.”
Twilight stared at Spike.
“What in tarnation are y’all talking about?” Applejack wondered.
At that precise moment Fluttershy was teleported back into the room.
“Everyone!” Twilight had never heard Fluttershy yell so loudly. “We need to release Discord now!”
“What!? There’s no way we c-” Rainbow Dash tried to say.
“No!” Fluttershy interrupted. “We let him out right now. Please, everypony trust me.”
“Listen to Fluttershy. She knows what she’s doing!” Spike affirmed.
“Please.” Fluttershy repeated.
“Well… okay sugarcube. I hope this isn’t something we’ll regret.” Applejack complied.
The rest got into position and got their Elements of Harmony ready.
Discord had had to watch her leave. He had been with Fluttershy for so long and it was so hard to see her go. In the time it would take her to leave and convince her friends to let him go, days will have passed.
Discord had some time to think about what he had done.
The dragon knew almost everything. It was all in the last 50 pages of the book. It shocked Discord when he first discovered that book. The ending was unreal. One of the characters in the book, “Discord” was able to talk to his friend “Flutter shy” about all the pain of being completely immortal and the eventual lack of things left to experience. She had listened and somehow this thing called “friendship” was more powerful an emotion than the pain of immortality. And the happiness of friendship overcame the sadness of being immortal. In the end, Discord was able to be friends not only with Flutter shy, but good friends with Spike as well, and then eventually everyone else too.
It was a really good story. Discord had wanted it to be true. He had wanted so bad for it to be true. He had wanted it so badly he had watched this book after Twilight arrived and waited to see if it would really glow like the book said would happen. When it did he was surprised and excited that the possibility of this story happening actually existed.
He was so excited he teleported the dragon next to the location of the glowing book without him noticing and hoped the book might actually come to fruition. And it had… it really had happened. He had finally been able to tell his feelings to someone. Now that that was over… what was left to do?
His normal experiments in fun had always ended up with him being imprisoned in some way or another.
He stared outside of the library universe and into the room that held his statue. Fluttershy had barely even arrived.
He could simply escape the statue as he had done previously. It wasn’t difficult to do, but it didn’t seem like a very nice thing to do if he was really just about to be freed.
“If only there was a way to make the time go faster,” Discord thought to himself.
A thought struck him that he never would have considered, but it was the only real way to drop the speed of time back to a normal level like his friend.
“What if I only was able to think of one thing at a time, like Fluttershy?” The mental handicap made Discord shiver. But he thought about how much he liked her and wanted to understand her more. If he was going to participate in this universe instead of reading it out like he had the other ones, maybe he ought to experience life a little more like they did.
He experimented with one of his spells that had allowed him to think of two things at once. He stopped it. He stopped another, and another. He kept tearing down the enhancements until he could hear Fluttershy talk outside at her normal speed.
He had another thought he wouldn’t have dared considered before.
“What if I was in a form she found more familiar? Would she like me more?”
The rainbow magic coming from the elements of Harmony unshackled Discord from the stone that held him as he turned to see Fluttershy and her friends around him. Immediately, Fluttershy came and hugged him. Spike joined in quickly afterwards.
Pinkie Pie, who was never one to miss out on a chance to hug someone, jumped in as well. Twilight was a little aghast but joined in too. And then everypony else, including Princess Luna, joined in the group hug that didn’t make much sense to them, but it felt like the good thing to do.
Discord cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, everyone. I’m truly sorry for everything I’ve done. I shouldn’t have made so many mistakes. I will change. I want to change. I want to see what this ‘friendship’ thing is, because I think I like what I see so far.”
Twilight looked in Discord’s eyes and saw something she didn’t think she would ever truly see, complete sincerity. He really did want to change. She didn’t understand what all had happened, but if Spike was able to forgive Discord, she could find a way too.
“Now, if you’ll excuse Fluttershy and I, we have a conversation I wanted to finish.”
Fluttershy and Discord were walking through the woods near Fluttershy’s cottage.
“Fluttershy… would you like me better if I looked more like a pony?”
“Discord, I like you just the way you are. There’s nothing wrong with you.”
“I know… I just had a lot of time to think about how I could enjoy this world better while I was waiting to get released from stone.”
“I’m so sorry about that! I tried to be as fast as possible.”
“It’s completely alright,” Discord assured her, “I mean… I can change form really easily. Why don’t I just change and get your opinion?”
And with that, a flash of light enveloped Discord as he switched to a new form. He reappeared as a light gray stallion alicorn with a black mane and tail with white streaks in it. His horn had a small curve to it that was reminiscent of one of the antlers he had had. His flank emblazoned with the symbol for infinity.
The look of awe on Fluttershy’s face told him he had made the right choice.
“What do you think?”
“I… I like it. But you can be whatever form you would like, Discord.”
“I saw your face. I think I’ll stay in this form for a while. And you can stop calling me Discord.”
“Really, what would you like me to call you?”
“Well, okay, ‘Accord,’” she laughed silently to herself.
“I’ve made some other changes too.”
“Changes? Like what?”
“Well… I got so anxious waiting for you in the library that I stopped all of my multiple thought spells. I can now think of only one thing at a time.”
“Really, but wait… why would you do that?”
“I can only think of one thought at a time now, and I want my one thought to be you.”
The idea from this fanfiction is strongly based on the ideas presented in Steven L. Peck’s novella “A Short Stay in Hell.” If this book intrigued you in any way. Please check out his book. According to Peck in the appendix of his book, the library presented there had books that were 410 pages long, with 40 lines of 80 characters on each page. There were a possible 1,312,000 characters in each book with 95 characters on a possible keyboard. Resulting in a library with 95^1,312,000 number of books. Or a library 7.16^1,297,369 light years wide and deep.
The Library of Discord is based off of the question, “How many books would exist in the Library of Babel if someone were to simply spell check all of the books before adding them to the library?” The eventuality of such a task would be that all combinations of all the words in the provided dictionary would have to exist somewhere in the library. Given a dictionary of 200,003 words (estimates of how large the English language is is actually around 250,000 words. The 3 is there because a prime number was easier to deal with when creating the library). Dividing the number of characters in a 410 page book (1,312,000) by five (5.1 being the average number of letters per word in the English language) produces 262,400 number of words in each book. This results in a library with 200,003^262,400 number of books.
To put this number in perspective, according to Wolfram Alpha the number of books in the Library of Babel in “A Short Stay in Hell” is 2.45*10^1203781 times more than the number of books in the Library of Discord. (Spell checking is a wonderful thing).
Books were calculated as being 3 cm thick each, 40 cm to shelve vertically. Each shelf can fit 2000 books on each 60 meter long shelf. Each side has 8 shelves each containing 2000 books each. Or 32000 books in a cubic area of 4*3*60 (4 meters- height of the hallway, 3 meters width of hallway, 60 length of bookcase) or 720 cubic meters.
The number of books in the Library of Discord is 200003^262400 number of books. That number divided by 32000 would be the number of 720 cubic meter spaces that the library would need to have.
1.33 x10^1390989 number of 720 cubic meter blocks.
At this scale, only the number of digits matter.
10^463663 meter wide and deep library
Divide by the number of meters in a light year (9.46 x10^15 meters)
Resulting in a library 10^463647 light years wide and deep.
The universe is estimated to be 91 billion light years wide. So divide 10^463647 by 91 billion.
So in total size, the vertical, hexagonal shaft of the library of Discord is approximately 10^463636 number of universes tall.