Displaced: Human In Equestria but the Human becomes Twilight Sparkle only more, also Pokemon are there

by SilverStarApple

First published

Man goes to convention dressed as multiple characters at once. Man purchases a Twilight Sparkle mask. Man regrets his decision as he ends up in a Pokemon-filled Equestria as another Twilight Sparkle. And then, something unexpected... Dawns.

Man goes to convention dressed as multiple characters at once. Man purchases a Twilight Sparkle mask. Man regrets his decision as he ends up in a Pokemon-filled Equestria as another Twilight Sparkle.

And then, something unexpected happens. And it's not the unexpected thing you've come to expect. Here's a hint: Derpy is involved. Derpy drops a piano on David Clarkson, knocking the memories out of him. David becomes a new mare, taking the pseudonym of Dawn Skystar and the role of Twilight's "Cousin from Manehattan". While Dawn is distracted by her new quest to defeat the Gym Leaders, Elite 4, and Champion while getting closer to her new pony friends for the sake of her new Social Link power, can Twilight uncover the secrets in Dawn's lost memories and the reason why she's here?

Coming Soon: A story arc in which Pokequestria is attacked by a Displaced from another universe, and Dawn learns about the multiverse as she fights to protect her new home.

Open for Crossover and Cameo requests, PM me if interested.

Feedback and comments are welcomed. I want critique and honest opinions: How am I doing, and how can I do better?

1 - David Clarkson and the Story Titled Like a Steamed Hams But-Edit Video

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Once upon a time, in the magical land of Tennessee, there was a loser.

A lone, lonely loser, whose contributions to the world could be counted on one hand. In fact, if you closed your fist and extended a finger for each good thing he did for the world before today, you'd have two fingers extended.

And yet, through some strange twist of fate, he had been graced with the luck to become a popular streamer on Twitch.

His name was David, his last name was not and is not important, and he was mediocre in almost every way. However, he liked to think of himself as “Average”. Memes about how he was totally “Cursed by being ok at everything and not amazing at just one thing” made him feel comfortable in his excessive mediocrity. It made him feel comfortable about how he never tried hard to master a skill or really make a name for himself, when he compared himself to people who were actually good at things. His only noteworthy trait was that the dark-haired dark-eyed light-skinned game-torrenter was kind of good at video games, and pretty good at terrible ones. Which was why, when he was streaming and the metaphorical cameras were rolling, he exclusively played games designed by people who were terrible at video games, for people who were terrible at video games.

Hearthstone, a pay-to-win luck-based card game for people those who found Yu-Gi-Oh, Magic The Gathering, or even the Pokemon trading card game too hard to figure out.

Fallout 4, which he'd phased out over the past few years after its Microtransactions Paid-Mod system disgusted even its most tasteless and spineless diehard fans. There was a reason why paid shills could only hype up Fallout 3 by lying about its flaws, and why they could only try and keep people hyped for Fallout 76 by insulting its fans for having expectations, standards, and limits.

Fortnite, everyone's favourite Youtube-approved PUBG knockoff.

Overwatch, a game where being terrible meant you picked a DPS champ or Doomfist and tried to get “Cool” kills, and all losses could be blamed on your team or whatever the sapient roulette wheels that killed and replaced the Devs two weeks before launch did to “balance” the game this week.

And, to the surprise of some, Brawl Minus! Of course, it simply wasn't possible to be bad at a Ch4os-tier meme-mod that made a bad game worse. Especially when any losses in official tournaments could be blamed on the subtle, yet simultaneously blatant and overwhelming superiority of the project manager's main, Olimar, and the mains of the project manager's friends. He liked feeling that like he could blame his mediocrity at games like this on the creators without anyone judging him. This guy was not a mockery of what the author might consider a typical brony, and if he was, he would also have a youtube channel in which he poorly sang or made excuses for bad episodes while he imagined his 60K subscribers watching, even though each video was only watched by around 400-4000 people. This loser wasn't a manifestation of a concept or a mockery of any particular nationality or ethnicity, this man was just a loser in his own right.

It was somewhat early in the morning, which meant he'd be “Fun”posting on 4chan, were this a normal day.

It was not.

Instead, the loser found himself at Comic-Con in San Diego, California. People were swarming the convention center in all kinds of outfits, great and terrible. A beautiful woman dressed as Wonder Woman here, an ugly woman dressed as Wonder Woman there, a handsome man dressed as Wonder Woman over there, excited kids running around with their more-excited parents, each family sticking to an obvious theme like “Bat Family” and “The Incredibles”, multiple Deadpools of assorted genders competing to be the most Deadpool-y, it was like two people who had never been to Comic-Con wrote a “Funny” comic about “The types” you “Always” see at Comic-Con, and some other third guy took that comic as gospel and hired crisis actors and dressed them up to fill these roles together in one highly conspicuous location.

Adding to the surreality... Was that a real word? Reality was a real word, Surreal was a real word... Surreality had to be a word, because if it wasn't, the only alternative was 'Surreal-ness', which just didn't feel cromulent enough to be a word. He didn't know of the word "Surrealism", after all.

Adding to the surreality was the fact that the miserable lonely loser known as David, out of a desire to impress friends he desperately wanted to make here, had chosen to dress up in a clashing mixture of multiple costumes and outfits, “Spiced up” with as many plastic props as possible. After all, he had money to throw around at costume designers and prop makers, and he could spend money others had given to him however it want, even if it meant spending over 800 dollars on one costume.

His head? Covered by a visorless “Halo helmet” (That's what it was to him, he knew nothing of Halo and had never played it), and under the helmet, he had an Adam West Batman Cowl, plus the neck segment of a Deadpool mask, a Persona 5 Joker Mask kept on his face with string, though painted one-way glass coated his Mask's eyes and made him appear to have Madara Uchiha's iconic set of Sharingan and Rinnegan. He also wore a jagged green Kishibe Rohan headband, plus a white wig that looked like the white hair of the protagonist of Asura's Wrath, a game he never played. Ash Ketchum's Gen-6 hat had been superglued to the top of his “Halo Helmet”, bonding the two for life. That Ash hat had Yukari Yakumo's hat sewn to the back of it, so it'd drape over the back of his helmet and look like he was wearing that on his head, too.

His torso was covered by Iron Man's iconic Endo-Sym armour, only with two missing pectoral plates that revealed: Golden cloth, with long sleeves and a gold-coloured cape, with a wide thin-lined black triangle drawn on the pectoral region. Between the base of his pecs, an S was made using the negative space between what was almost a Yin-Yang symbol, but the top and bottom dots were instead additional separate symbols from separate works of fiction mounted on slightly-raised plastic chunks glued into his outfit. Apart from the two symbols replacing the two dots of the Yin-Yang Symbol, it was a perfect replica of the chest of Superman Prime One Million. Not to be confused with Superman Prime, who was completely different. SPOM was basically Post-Crisis Superman but from the future, thousands of years into the future, after he left Earth and bathed in a Super-Sun for a long time and became golden and immortal and the strongest Superman ever besides the Plot-Bot thought armour android, which just looked like the regular Superman, to be honest, so nobody would be able to tell that's what he was dressed as. David was convinced SPOM also got extra powers from The Source Wall, since his powers supposedly “Came from the edge of time and space”, which was where the Source Wall was. That may or may not have actually been true, but he thought it was, so it was enough to earn a spot on his stupid outfit.

The symbol that replaced his Yin-Yang's upper coloured dot? Iron Man's Arc Reactor, made from a cut-off segment of a Pringles Can, which contained an activated white LED light attached to a small battery. The symbol for the White Lantern Corps had been drawn on this Pringles Can's plastic lid in greyish-white paint, and the lid had been glued down to the pringles can, which had been glued to his outfit's chest. The symbol that replaced his Yin-Yang Symbol's lower coloured dot? It was like the spiked Omnitrix Symbol Ben had in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien whenever he turned into an alien's Ultimate Form. You know, that green hourglass-like pair of triangles on a raised circular black/grey background, plus four metal spikes that emerged from the Omnitrix symbol to symbolise its new Ultimate-ness. However, instead of being Green, the hourglass-like "Universal Symbol of Peace" was a pale bone-white, because it was the symbol of his own original Omnitrix, the Infinitrix, something he dreamed up when he was young and never bothered to write about or draw. The Infinitrix was like the Omnitrix, only "Infinitely Better", and because he hadn't yet figured out what that meant, it meant his Omnitrix could do fusions, and Ultimate Evolutions, and Double-Ultimate Evolutions, and anything else he ever wanted from it, ever. It could even one-up anything anyone else's Omnitrix or Original Omnitrix-like device could ever do, even if he'd never said it canonically could before he needed it to.

One Punch Man's iconic cape was under his golden Superman Prime One Million cape.

Oh, and “That” Locket from Undertale was around his neck, along with a Leaf Village of Konoha forehead-protector. Around the back of his neck was a traditional headband with a purple horn and purple pony ears, because it didn't fit on his Halo helmet.

Back to the chest... Around that “Most important” symbol, the Superman-Iron Man-Infinitrix-White Lantern symbol, was a cluster of other, less-important symbols. Notable ones included: On his right pec, a black circle with a green circle, its top and bottom marked by two parallel lines, it was the emblem Kyle Rayner got on his chest when he was a Green Lantern. He'd added this because Kyle Rayner was just the best Lantern, he'd make a green Construct out of hardlight and willpower, design it to look like a magical girl, and stand around while he watched it kick your butt. Goku's Gi symbol was next to it, the one that was in the DBFZ fighting game, he forgot what it meant or represented. Small versions of the Spider-Man, regular Superman, Hal Jordan Green Lantern, Cyborg, Raven, Robin, Red X, Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Taskmaster, Iron Man, Venom, Fantastic 4, Hawkeye, The Flash, Reverse Flash, Savitar, Green Arrow, Deadshot, Iron Spider(Spider-Man in a cool Iron Man suit), Punisher, and Firestorm logos were scattered around his chest, along with the Batman logo in a yellow circle, the black modern Batman logo on black, and the red Batman Beyond logo. Also, a crucifix, an infinity symbol, and a crucifix sticking out of an infinity symbol, plus the logo of each Lantern Core besides Green and Death, plus the symbol on Jotaro Kujo's hat and the symbol of every other Joestar, a buttload of the One Piece character symbols he'd copied from One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, including Luffy's and Law's, plus all the Cutie Marks of the Mane Six, and the Cutie Marks of Sunset Shimmer, Starlight Glimmer, and assorted other ponies he liked, including the marks of Vinyl Scratch, Octavia, Celestia, Luna, Cadence, Time Turner, Milky Way, Lyra, Bon-Bon, Moondancer, the error mark given to Princess Erroria in fanart, and the marks of assorted no-name background ponies that caught his eye. And the Pip-buck Cutie Mark of Littlepip. And a white-rimmed black-filled circle split by a horizontal wave that turned the circle into a yin-yang with no white dots and two black sections. Over the line and inside that circle was an upwards-pointing broadsword, with a golden infinity symbol for a handguard. This was the Cutie Mark of the “Ponysona” he made using the Pony Creator one time, “As a joke”. Six years ago, he changed his profile picture to that pony on every site he used, and then proceeded to do nothing with that character for six whole years because he was a monumentally lazy loser.

On his left shoulder, he wore one of the big round yellow shoulder bits from Erza Scarlet's Giant Armour. On his right shoulder, a massive white and gold shoulderpad on a shoulderpad, plus a bright purple crystal, it could only be one shoulder from the Paladin plate shoulder armour piece known as the Pauldrons of Guiding Light.

On his left arm, he had a Battle City-era Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Disk with all five pieces of Exodia in his Monster Card Zones, an Infinity Gauntlet with all the Infinity Stones including the Soul Stone, plus a Triforce sticker on the glove's lower back, and just for fun, a green bicep armband like the one John Cena wore. Under that Infinity Gauntlet was a fist was coated by Gen-1 Ash Ketchum's left glove, plus the Green, Red, Orange, Phantom, and Blue Lantern Rings. The Duel Disk held his best deck, an Exodia deck with a large number of forged cards, and a larger number of completely made-up cards he'd designed himself - the game-accurate art commissioned from some DeviantArt artist - and then commissioned into genuine existence from some Etsy store that sold counterfiet Yu-Gi-Oh cards on the cheap. His real deck, a SPYRAL deck worth almost $400 he'd ripped off from some Yugioh site that kept track of who won what tournaments, with what decks, and when, was locked away in his backpack, in the first Yugioh Card Tin he'd ever bought.

On his right arm: the upper arm of an X-01 Power Armour arm from Fallout, painted with the yellow and blue Vault Boy paint-job, and the distinctive lower arm and hand of Iron Man's Bleeding Edge Armour. You know, the one that's red and yellow, but it has cool glowing-blue dots here and there within the cooler black lines, and it's made from mind-reading "Nanoparticle" stuff. It had extra repulsors around the knuckles, chest, back, and rear legs of the armour, and it could also use these repulsors as cameras, seeing through them and feeding that information to its user, giving him a three-sixty-degree Panoramic view around himself. Eat your heart out, Byakugan. Speaking of Nanoparticles, that weird metal-ish stuff resided in Tony Stark's very body when inactive, and could allow the user to create new weapons and shields on the fly, all made from that same infinitely-useful nanoparticle substance. The suit didn't even need dedicated motors or servos, it could just construct its own artificial musculature with extra rigid structures on top over Tony Stark's super-cool practically-transhuman body, which, around the time he made this invincible self-repairing armour, he'd also modified to have a super-intelligent brain enhanced further by energy taken from his upgraded high-yield Arc Reactor. If that reactor still functioned, the suit could repair itself to its maximum functionality in a few seconds, it didn't even matter if you had the suit destroyed by a stronger AU Starlet Witch, it would just repair itself and go back to being the best. According to Stark himself, it wasn't just an upgrade on Extremis, it was "What came after that". It could make big guns, it could stop howitzer shells, it could make a lightsaber able to harm anything, even one of The Worthy during that 2011 Fear Itself story, it was incredible. One time, when Tony Stark had to fight Magneto in this suit, he had the suit itself replace its own Iron+Platinum Alloy (Because a combination of Gold and Titanium was so 2004) with Carbon Nanotubes on the fly, making it immune to Magneto's magnet powers.

Anyway, back to Dave and his outfit, He wore a plus-size Pip-Boy on the bicep with a red part of the Ultimatrix (With Polymorphic Crystal) sticking out of the side, and some metal cord tied the handles of Captain America's shield to that arm, while he had the wiimote-like wrist strap of Thor's Hammer around his wrist, the plastic hammer itself dangling down. Under his arm's armour, he had the Blue, Black, Dark Purple, Light Purple, and White Lantern rings.

His belt? The yellow stuff on Batman's utility belt, complete with Batman buckle, but it was the Four Strength Four Stam Leather Belt from the classic dead World of Warcraft meme. It also had one shrunken Pokeball and eleven shrunken Master Balls, Link's Master Sword on his left hip, and Perfect Cell's tiny tail-thingy on the back. On his right hip, there was the holster and its weapon, a fake plastic gun he'd commissioned from some Etsy plastic-gun-maker, so it'd look like the heavily-customized .44 revolver from the modded Fallout 4 game he played and streamed quite often a few years ago. It wasn't a Nerf or Airsoft gun, it was pure plastic, which meant instead of seeing a lame nonlethal plastic or foam bullet, you had to imagine a real bullet, which was cooler. Of course, this fake gun didn't fire plain old imaginary bullets, he was too cool for something so commonly fired out of common things like finger guns. This fake gun, well... The .44 revolver as it appeared in-game had been modified by his character with a big and rectangular blackish-grey Bull Barrel, a cylindrical silencer sticking out of its end. It also had a cream-white plush comfort grip, and a “Fusion Reciever”(The bullet holes were filled with fake yellowish-orange batteries). A rectangular white-plastic Recon Scope with a clear plastic "Glass Scopre" dotted with a tiny green dot in the center topped this thing off. Along the blackish bull barrel, in golden letters, the weapon's name was written. “Dead Inside” was what he'd named this weapon, and he found that pretty impressive. After all, anything he shot with it would find itself dead, inside and out, the explosion burning your outsides while the radiation got your insides and his overwhelming might destroyed your soul.

This wasn't visibly apparent, or known by anyone other than himself, those who watched his streams, and whatever poor FBI agent was assigned to snoop on his worthless existence, but in the game, this modded gun also had an Ammo Override effect – It took Fusion Cores, just like a suit of Power Armour, because it was just that cool – and a Projectile Override effect. The PO effect meant, instead of firing regular old 44 bullets or lasers or whatever the thing would normally fire, it fired MIRVs. MIRVs were big cluster-bombs unique to the Fallout universe, cluster bombs that would split apart into six bombs in the air. That is, six low-yield nuclear bombs, each individually only slightly less powerful than a regular Mini-Nuke explosive. Also, thanks to some genius modding the “Two craftable legendary effects per weapon” mod to let him put ten weapon legendary effects on weapons, he had a “Two Shot X” effect that made his gun fire ten MIRV cluster-nukes at once, rather than the usual single MIRV Cluster, meaning ten MIRV Clusters fired in a single gun click would become sixty MIRV mini-nukes soon enough. The second legendary effect slot was filled with a Wounding X effect that would cause anyone hit by the Nukes or the explosion to take 250 points of damage over a few seconds, he'd never checked exactly how long the effect lasted, but it was enough to kill off anything in Fallout 4 that could somehow handle getting hit by a few nukes. Slot three was taken by a “Freezing” effect, meaning that each shot would do an additional 10 points of Cryo(Ice) damage, and freeze targets on critical hits, like the kind his Pip-Boy could guarantee. Slot four was taken by a Neverending effect, which would normally mean he'd never have to reload, and his gun would just teleport ammo out of his bag. And thanks to Fallout 4's sloppy, shoddy, amateur-hour Bugthesderp coding, this plus the Fusion Core meant the one fusion core his gun used as an ammo supply would never run out of energy, turning the Fusion Core from cool and impractical to very cool and even more practical. Slot five was taken by a Lucky Weapon X effect, which meant Critical hits would deal ten times the usual damage, and the critical meter would fill 150% faster. That is, if you assigned Ten as the arbitrary rating you rated the rate it would normally fill with, it would find itself raised to 150, rather than 25. Slot six was filled by a Relentless effect, which meant if any of his MIRV Cluster shots, the bombs they split apart into, or their explosions dealt a Critical Hit to a foe, or if he used VATS to activate a banked critical, he would immediately regain all of his Action Points upon scoring that critical hit. Normally, this meant you could activate VATS, shoot someone with a normal gun a few times, earn a critical shot and use it, and fully restore your AP so you could re-activate VATS as soon as you left it. With the power of Dead Inside, it was just overkill layered on top of overkill. Or it would be, if he wasn't so terrible at aiming and spotting enemies that he often had to rely on VATS to hit foes. Slots seven, eight, nine, and ten were filled by “Rapid X” effects, and this was from a mod he'd commissioned from the genius who made “Ten legendary effects per weapon” mod, just like Two Shot X and all the other X effects. Each instance of Rapid X resulted in a 50% faster reload and a fire rate increase of 125%. In the game, this meant his gun could fire faster than he could click, and he was honestly too scared to check what would happen if he turned his weapon into an Automatic by putting a Gamma Signal Repeater on the end of his gun instead of a Silencer, and then held his mouse button down. He was pretty sure that would make his PC explode and take his house with it. The thing already slowed to a crawl every time he fired one set of MIRVs off, and firing two or more of those at a time guaranteed a "Crash to desktop" when they hit something. He liked to tell himself this meant the weapon's power was destroying the universe, forcing him to reload it, Undertale-style.

His legs? The wide red pants with black-outlined yellow flames, the pants Erza Scarlet wore in that one outfit, the one that had bandages to cover her chest. On his legs, bigger versions of the Long Fall Boots, except the shoes were Sonic the Hedgehog's Soap Shoes, the ones from Sonic Adventure 2.

On his back, over a blue Sans The Skeleton jacket, a rounded backpack had been painted up to resemble Blue Beetle's scarab, but a circular section on the back had been painted to resemble the business end of the Jet Turbine that made up Metal Sonic's body. Oh, and it had a hollow plastic replica of the Buster Sword strapped to its back. That backpack was full of other assorted fictional weapons and other costume pieces, including but not limited to the Portal Gun, Kars's Stone Mask and the Super Red Stone of Aja, his Pokemon, Digimon, and Chaotic trading card decks, custom-ordered body pillows of assorted male and female fictional characters with high power levels, plus, in the case of female ones, high hotness levels, and he even had a custom-made The Cross Alpha Omega Infinity Time Key of Life Universe Creation Protection “The Armor” Control body pillow. He also had a bunch of Medaka Box body pillows, including Ajimu Najimi, the best girl. His backpack also contained his limited edition Legend of Zelda-themed Nintendo 3DS(Hacked with Freeshop, which meant he had over 500 games stored on his 3DS's colossal 512GB SD Card), its game slot taken up by a real Pokemon Ultra Sun cart with a hacked-to-perfection team of decidedly UNbalanced hacked Pokemon, a full deck of hand-made My Little Pony tarot cards he'd bought from Etsy, Kirito's Elucidator and second sword, whatever that was called, a plush doll of that little green slime parasite thing from the Ben 10 sequel that let him access the powers and body parts of other aliens in different forms, that tiny skull thing from some anime called Bleach, Zoro's headband wrapped around his three best katanas, and so much more. Oh, and it had food and bottled water, all seven Chaos Emeralds, the 8th Chaos Emerald from Sonic the Fighters, those rectangular-ish versions of the Chaos Emerald, some weapons from the Ratchet and Clank series, including the Omniwrench, a blue-lined A4 Notebook containing the names of over 50,000 fictional weapons, armour pieces, book characters, anime characters, manga characters, a few SCPs, his terrible OCs for assorted video games, cartoons, animes, books, and more. His half-everything ever "Orochimaru's Backup Plan" OC was there, too, and that thing was absurdly strong. His Marvel OC, who wore a thick metal bikini over her thin-metal-coated body that had everything from the neck down coated in metal, leaving her beautiful face and long rainbow hair uncovered, was also there in his pages, and you would not believe how strong this character was. Her metal clothes were made of an Uru Metal-Endo-Sym-Amazo-metalflesh-Galvanic-Mechamorph Combo. This OC, right here, was the granddaughter of a highly detailed family tree that included Doctor Strange, She-Hulk, Carol Danvers, Apocalypse, Scarlet Witch, Franklin Richards, Hope Summers, Legion, his own OC Daughter of Jean Grey and Wolverine, Emma Frost, Loki, his own OC daughter of Gohan and Supergirl, and an unoriginal OC David made as a child to be the cool edgy 'Embodiment of his inner darkness', who had infinite power and showed up in the Marvel universe and other Universes to smack the heroes and villains around out of boredom now and then, and Thor. This god-tier beyond-omega-level OC of his was made even stronger by having an Arc Reactor enhanced by the trapped bodies of two hundred Beyonders implanted in her chest, harsh training from all the greatest warriors in all of existence, including those born in the past and future and alternate timelines, she even had over 96,000,000,000,000,000,000 Better Knockoff Versions of powers she could copy from people just by being around them. His book also contained art of Stormbringer, The Sword of Elric of Melnibone, Ea from Type-Moon, Ebonbane from some DND book, The Subtle Knife, Death's Sword from Discworld, Callandor, Oblivious, The Shining Trapezohedron, All Black, Shieldbreaker, The Universal Undo Button from Marvel, Coinspinner, Nightblood, The Luck Dragon, many more real and fictional weapons, tanks, planes, boats, vehicles, and more, miniaturized versions of the Super Chaos Emeralds and the Master Emerald, the Dragon Balls, miniaturized versions of the Namekian Dragon Balls, and miniaturized versions of the Super Dragon Balls. The center of his book contained many blank pages, and the back of his book contained many spectacularly inappropriate drawings and sketches of his OCs, especially his MLP one, but he didn't think they were good enough for the internet to see. His backpack also had alicorn princess Twilight Sparkle's purple wings printed onto plastic and sewn onto the sides, because why not.

Finally, someone took an action, which meant this story's tone could get more interesting. It was David, who shifted his weight to his right leg as he silently let out a slight release of foul air from his rear, many years of practice aiding him in stealthily completing this ordeal.

Truly, a riveting life this man lived. This was such an interesting character, and he certainly made those many paragraphs of text it took to describe who he was and what he wore and what was in his backpack worth it. When he grew tired of awkwardly standing around, he chose to awkwardly shuffle around the area, hoping something interesting would just happen to him, out of the blue. That's how many people lived their lives, and it supposedly worked for them. If it didn't work, so many people wouldn't be doing it right now, right?

His life started to get more interesting when David noticed a family of four starting to stare at some guy dressed like Twilight Sparkle, as she appeared in Equestria Girls 1. Yes, a grown brown-haired bearded middle-aged man with the starred skirt, and boots, and purple yoga pants and long-armed gloves to simulate purple skin, and everything.

“Hey, look!” The family's little girl, who was dressed like Robin (Because dressing like Batgirl was too mainstream, I suppose. Then again, hadn't Batgirl officially been Oracle for longer than she'd been Batgirl or something? Would kids these days even know who Batgirl is? He had no idea) yelled, pointing right at the guy. “That man's dressed like Twilight!”

The guy dressed like Twilight rapidly walked away in shame, and David chuckled, the sound echoed by his stuffy helmet.

It would have been really funny if someone mentioned Twilight, the crappy vampire books, David thought to himself, but the cultural impact that godawful “Trilogy” had left upon modern society was rapidly forgotten once awkwaredly yelling "Haha am dese vampires sparkle?” and “Our vampires cool they not sparkle” got old and Fifty Shades reminded people why letting women write is always a mistake. That's the lesson he chose to take from that abomination, anyway. Thinking that socially-unacceptable thought made him feel really cool.

And then, the family turned to look at him, and he froze.

He couldn't feel cool now, not like this, not with what just happened in that very moment. His mind associated being looked at by this family with shame, and now, they were looking at him.

“Hey, look!” The family's little girl yelled, pointing at him. “That man's dressed like EVERYTHING!”

Metaphorical spaghetti erupting from his pockets in violent geysers – Gotta get that cross-site appeal by mentioning a dead board's semi-dead memes somehow, I suppose – He chose to resolve what he saw as a highly awkward social situation by turning around and legging it like he'd been caught trying to steal something. Yes, such an action could only make this situation LESS awkward.

But the incredible oddity of a man actually moving quickly at Comic-Con - (shots fired) - only made him more noticeable.

Panicking, he continued to run, epic chase music playing in his head-

“Over here, Stranger,” A familiar voice called out to him.

The music stopped, and so did he. He turned to look at a guy standing at a table full of props on sale, a guy dressed just like that Merchant from Resident Evil 4. “Got something that might interest ye!” He said, chuckling ominously as he pulled open part of his cloak.

“Dude, that impression is perfect,” David said, looking over what the guy's table sold, along with what the cloak had on offer. On the table, Link's Master Sword and Fierce Diety Sword, the Omnitrix from the original Ben Ten, Generator Rex's goggles, Kirito's black “Elucidator” sword, the generic Keyblade, some keychains for that Keyblade, the headphones the guy from Persona 3 wore, and an Ultramarine Chainsword and Bolter straight out of Warhammer 40K. Masks of the Mane Six were also there. On his cloak, a bunch of smaller weapons, like knives, batarangs from different Batman eras, and boomerangs, plus a bunch of accessories. Including the skull thingy from Bleach.

David picked up the chainsword and bolter, and checked them over.

“Stranger, stranger, now that's a weapon!” The Merchant enthused enthusiastically, gently taking them from his hands. “The Chainsword's plastic and foam, blunt and safe for kids, but it vibrates and the teeth still move.” He said, pressing a button on the handle and demonstrating for him. The thing buzzed and shook like a PS4 controller, and the chainsword's teeth turned surprisingly slowly, moving about as quickly as a supermarket's conveyor belt.

The Merchant pointed the bolter at David and fired, launching a jet-black 50-caliber foam NERF bullet at his chest with a low amount of force. Picking the bullet back up, he demonstrated how to stuff the projectile back into the gun, the trapped air pushing the pressed trigger back out. “Powered by air.”

“Awesome, how much?” David asked, getting his wallet out.

“One hundred dollars,” The Merchant declared.

“Deal!” He said, counting his tenners and excitedly slapping a fist full of them onto his table. It wasn't like he had anything better to spend his money on. And he was a streamer, so he could just get more if he spent a streaming session getting highly paid to play some "Viewer-Requested" meme game.

“Is that all, stranger?” The Merchant asked.

“Well...” David trailed off, and grew quiet as he leaned in. ”How much for the Twilight mask?”

“I'll throw it in for free.” The Merchant decided.

“Thanks!” David said, taking off his backpack, putting the weapons and his wallet in, then putting it back on. Then, he grabbed the mask, and walked away.

“Come back anytime!” The merchant called, and David held the mask over his helmet-covered head as he suddenly broke out into a run, dashing away from the awkward situation he'd left behind moments ago, even though the family in question had long since forgotten about him. He apparently didn't realize that disguises were worthless if the people you wanted to hide from saw you put them on. Or that they were even more worthless if the disguise was just a mask on your face, while the outfit you were wearing could make you stick out no matter where you were on the planet.

Maybe if everyone thought he was an obnoxious clown desperately looking for attention, people would stop giving it to him.

David continued to run away from the confused stares of onlookers and the terrifying thought that his crushing sense of awkwardness, fear of rejection, fear of loneliness, and fear of never being able to exist normally in human society would follow him wherever he went, not because he was “just the awkward type”, but because he was too egotistical to accept that he'd sometimes look bad and he had to take responsibility for how he chose to present himself, and that awkward things sometimes just happened on the wild ride people called life, and he quickly chose the men's bathrooms as his destination. Once in there, he was quite certain he would feel bad about who he was for a person for a bit, and then come out when he felt better and was quite certain everyone had forgotten who he was. And maybe, since his head was covered, nobody would know it was him, David. Yes, he'd just go into that toilet for a while, and everything would be fine.

He did not. Instead, once he'd locked himself in the only vacant stall, the world went dark and he felt his head hit the toilet seat before passing out and vanishing in a flash of blinding white light.

2 - Suddenly, Equestria.

View Online

=== Shwoooshwooooshoowoooshy shwoooshy-shwoooooooooshhhhhhyesthisisthesoundofdimensionaltravelswhoooooooooshhh... ===

There was a new pony in Ponyville, appearing seven feet in the air and landing on the ground with a heavy and painful thud.

He moaned weakly, and he heard a woman's voice do the same over his own, which he couldn't hear. He felt something weird on his ears, some kind of faint rush of air. Nervously, he slowly opened one eye and found himself overwhelmed by the visual information it received, eye snapping shut. He moaned in pain again, and that woman's voice, it graced his ears in place of his own.

Eyes shut, collapsed on his chest, he sucked a breath in and tried to get up, only to find himself toppling over onto his back, his whole body feeling clumsy and... fast. Faster than it should have been, and far lighter.

Slower, this time, he opened his eyes. He saw the world through large eyes, seeing too much at once, but he found himself slowly getting used to the increased angle of vision. If he pretended he was in a video game and he'd just messed with the FOV settings, it almost felt normal.

Looking around, he realized he'd been dropped outside Sugarcube corner. And then he noticed his hooves, kicking wildly in the air. Hooves! Four soft purple hooves, right there!

He was a pony, he realized, and there was only one thing he could do in this scenario: Panic, and pass out. Surely, when he'd wake up, he'd be in a warm and caring environment lovingly crafted by a wonderful pony who'd explain the plot of this fanfic to him, if it existed, and express a desire to make his ancestors proud and a little disturbed if it had none.

But he couldn't faint, he didn't know how, his head felt too big and it hurt to think, like his brain was now a high-velocity sports-car he kept crashing into walls because he was used to driving a minivan, all he could do was panic and scream as he kicked and flailed and rolled around like an idiot.

“What are you doing?” Lyra asked, and he stopped.

Lyra. Lyra! Every Brony's favourite meme character. If she was the first pony he met, this simply HAD to be a fanfic. But not just any fanfic, it was one just like the ones he used to love reading when he needed to escape from his sad reality and live vicariously through a fictional character as bland and lame as himself! He didn't even bother to notice that Lyra had a belt around her body like a set of saddlebags, a belt with six Pokeballs. He was too busy thinking about the story he was in...

And how wonderfully things would go for him. How wonderfully things just HAD to go for him. This pony would fall in love with him, he was sure, and then she'd take him to the rest of the mane six, who'd also fall in love with him! After an oddly-stilted session of dialogue in which he would speak to the Mane Six as a group, and they'd each introduce themselves and their main characteristics to the target audience in turn, of course.

He hoped he could marry Rainbow Dash and Rarity and Twilight Sparkle and most of all, and some background character he and his few brony friends knew absolutely nothing about. After all, if nothing was known about her, he was free to project everything he loved in a mare onto that character, so she'd be as good a waifu as his favorite member of the Mane Six, or maybe, even better! And if anything was wrong with his harem relationship, she'd be able to demand it be improved instead of him, so he wouldn't have to worry about the audience thinking he was too pushy or thinking she was acting out of character! And there just had to be an audience of some sort, nothing like this could happen to him unless someone else was arranging things “For the lulz”. Maybe he'd get multiple background characters in his harem, in addition to the Mane Six, so they could take turns exchanging the roles of Good Nice Patient Protective Motherly Wife and Wife With Personality depending on what he needed most in the moment! Ah, wouldn't such a relationship be wonderful?

“Lyra, you've got to help me find the mane six!” David yelled in a familiar female voice, rolling onto his forelegs and grabbing her shoulders somehow.

“Who?” Lyra asked.

“Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and the others!” He clarified.

“But... Wait, who are you?” Lyra asked suspiciously.

“My name is David Clarkson.” He said. Even if it was recognizable, his last name still wasn't important, because he was American and not related to the Clarkson from Top Cear.

She tilted her head to the side. “I'm sorry, what?” The green Unicorn asked.

Strange, that wasn't normally how these kinds of stories went. Why wasn't anypony objectifying him for his race and staring at him creepily? Whiny crazy women on his planet he sometimes listened to said people did that all the time on their planet.

Maybe he just needed to try again, and hope things worked out better. After all, if mass-market media had taught him anything, it was that success depended solely on how hard you tried and how much you deserved to succeed!

“My name is David. You can call me Dave if you want. All my friends do! Or they would, if I had any.” He said pathetically. He hoped the ponies here found him the endearing kind of pathetic. Rainbow Dash, the pony he loved because she was everything he wasn't, just HAD to pity him when she'd hear him say that. He hoped that'd mean she'd reveal her undying love for him sooner, rather than later.

“D... Day... ffff... Day filled you catcall media day... Huh?” Lyra asked, visibly struggling with his name. She had to be misinterpreting what he said, that just couldn't be his name.

Why was Lyra retarded? She wasn't supposed to be retarded. Did he end up in some stupid “Parody” Equestria where everypony was retarded? “David!” He announced, starting to get annoyed. “Forget everything in this sentence besides the name I'm about to say, which is... David Clarkson!”

“D-Day... Break, C-Cl... Cloudkicker?” Lyra tried to interpret.

“DAVID!” He announced harder.

“Daydream?” Lyra guessed, nervously backing up, causing David to fall on “His” chest and chin.

“My name is David!” David shouted, shakily getting up.

“Oh yeah? Well my real name is Harp-thooloo!” Lyra snapped, and stared at him flatly. “I can make up words too, Twilight.”

“Twilight?!” David wondered in Twilight's high voice.

His pupils shrunk, and he paused. The Convention. The Twilight Mask. That mask-seller!

It was strange, it meant someone selling magical masks of teleportation was just walking around in the real world, it raised far more questions than answers, and it was honestly quite stupid, but he was in Equestria, so logic was out to lunch and its annoying little brother by the name of randumb-ecks-dee had taken over in the meantime, so the stupider the answer to all of this was, the more likely it was to be true. That would also explain why he felt so light, and why all his stuff was gone.

“I'm Twilight Sparkle?!” David asked, looking himself over. He tried to look back at his tail, but that only meant walking in a circle, instinct taking over to help him with walking in a circle like a dumb dog.

Why wasn't he wearing clothes? Why wasn't he naked, but still covered in weapons anyway? He could deal with losing his armour, but where were his weapons?

He kept walking in a circle. His Duel Disk shouldn't have counted as a weapon, if this was some kind of no-weapons universe. It contained an awesome deck with many fake cards, and, and it was a card-holder, for playing a card game! Would it function like it did in the anime, in this world? Would some weird Shadow Game/Power of Friendship magic activate and make his monsters real? Was that too dangerous for this world?

Pokeballs! His Pokeballs, where were they? He'd never decided exactly what they should hold, did that mean they'd be empty Pokeballs, mind-controlling tools of slavery that just couldn't exist in a world like Equestria?

And why, why was he ONLY Twilight? Why wasn't he a fusion of all the different characters he'd dressed himself up as? Why was he utterly disarmed, completely naked, and in the female body of... It might have been because of the mask, sure, but it might have also been because some things simply couldn't exist in certain universes. Maybe reality existed as a series of simulations in different servers, and some items and item types were banned, and some items could only exist if the server's creator successfully installed that item as a mod...

He stopped turning in a circle when he noticed Lyra's horn was glowing with a sharp cheese-like yellow light, and a legless humanoid figure was floating now beside her, like a golden Greek sculpture of a rather buff man with chiselled features and curled hair. “So what's your REAL name, Changeling?” She asked, her eyes narrowing. The figure grabbed one of her Pokeballs and tossed it into the air, magical prismatic light spilling out and converging into the form of a Lucario lazily lying on the ground, like a cat. A cat who, upon noticing the look on Lyra's face, hopped to her feet-paw-things and settled into a basic Karate stance, aimed right at the purple pony David had become.

"IS THAT A LUCARIO?!" David gasped gleefully. Before MLP, he was a massive Pokemon nerd, especially during his formative years. He still remembered the hype he felt when waiting for Diamond and Pearl, and the sheer awe he felt the first time he saw a Lucario.

"Answer my question!" Lyra yelled.

“I, uh... I thought we were on good terms with Changelings now.” David said nervously.

“Most of them,” Lyra admitted. ”But some of them have a pretty backwards idea of is and isn't ok when it comes to pranking.”

“My name is Twilight Sparkle, and I was just pranking you!” David declared with faux confidence and certainty. “I was only pretending to be retarded!”

“Re-what now? Stop making up words, Changeling!” She snapped, and the golden figure floated a step forwards, its stony face forcefully contorting itself into an expression of anger.

“I'm a human, like that thing!” David yelled. “...Kind of! Ok, look, here's the story, I went to a convention, and I met this mask-seller, who sold me a Boltgun and Chainsword and he threw in a Twilight mask for free, and I put it on and I got teleported here as a pony, and-”

“Yeah, right.” Lyra said doubtfully, and the golden figure picked him up with one arm, like he was some kind of purse dog. “Everypony knows humans don't have magic.”

“Uh... Discord did it! That mask-seller must have been Discord!” David guessed fearfully.

“I don't buy it. My best friend told me there's only one way to make a Changeling un-Change.” She growled, and the golden figure raised its right hand. Slowly, right before his eyes, he curled each of his fingers into his palm to make a fist, followed by a thumb.

Was that a mother's father's Jojo's reference?

Was he about to be Ora Ora'd?!

“Yes, yes, yes, yes,” an imaginary Jotaro Kujo said in his head.

“Yes, yes, oh my god.” an imaginary Old Man Jonathan Joestar added.

“YES, OH MY GOD!” his Vinyl Scratch tulpa screeched in his ear, a near-perfect recreation of that infamous line from that classic youtube video, the one sampled in that song. You know the one.

“I'm kidding! Or foaling, I guess! Foaling around!” He screeched in panic, and the golden figure lowered its fist. ”My real name is, is, uh...” He said, and paused.

What bug parts did he know of? Besides Thorax? None. And he only knew of Thorax because he could remember some old cartoon using the term in the same way the Transformers cartoons used the term Afterburner.

He needed a new fake name, but one that was actually a term for something. What surface-level nerdy media did he actually know of? Pokemon? Naruto? Game of Thrones? He saw Deadpool and Justice League and they were his favourite films of all time ever. And Ready Player One, he hadn't seen that but he was sure he'd love it when he saw it. “Pikachu?” He guessed, and realized his mistake too late.

“That's a Pokemon name." Lyra pointed out, unimpressed.

“Ash!” He decided.

Lyra visibly recoiled in disgust. He was tempted to describe her reaction as a cringe, as he would have done a few years ago, but that just wasn't what that word meant any more.

“Ash is a Dragon name.” Lyra pointed out. “A really bad Dragon name. And no Changeling mother would give her son a name like that!”

Curses, his shallow passing knowledge of surface-level stereotypically 'Nerdy' media had failed him once again! Maybe his equally-shallow passing knowledge of music could save the day!


“You mean Anchovies? Not a real word!”

“Uh...” He said nervously, and remembered a meme he saw a week ago. Someone gave some shotgun in TF2 an inappropriate name. ”Kurt Cobain!”



“Sigh, why are you so bad at this?” She asked aggressively, pronouncing the word sigh in a way that would have infuriated him, if the two of them were human.

“Daft Punk!”

“Really?” She asked doubtfully.

He didn't want to be called Daft or Punk. “No, Metallica!”


“Axel Rose!” He shouted, starting to cry. “My name is Axel Rose, and I don't know who sent me here or why I look like Twilight Sparkle!”

Lyra's horn stopped glowing and her golden figure vanished, dropping him. “You aren't a Changeling.”

A grand piano fell on his head, knocking him out and shocking Lyra. Another piano fell on her head, knocking her out.

About seventy feet above them, an airborne Derpy Hooves was carrying a stack of three boxes, a third and fourth piano precariously balanced atop her stack. She reluctantly looked down, and saw that the pianos she'd just dropped had fallen upon on not one pony, but two ponies! She quickly dropped everything else, rushing off to get Twilight, everything she'd dropped falling onto David.

3 - Twilight, meet Twilight

View Online

“I don't know what to tell you,” Some female voice echoed in a world of darkness. “You saw the test results. She's you, right down to the core, but her cells are less than a day old. And the way the genes your bodies weren't using were removed, incomprehensible genetic information stuffed into its place, inactive genes that could do or turn out to be anything... Do you have any idea what that could mean?”

“No,” Twilight's voice echoed. “I've never even heard of this happening before. And my magic still can't read the information encoded in those extra genes of hers. I'll keep her under observation, and I'll call you if I find anything. But... Why me? And why would she end up here-”

And then, while the world stayed black, something... changed. The voices were gone. Explosions, fires roaring, screams, terror, the sound of metal grinding on metal, the sound of metal blades slicing through the air-

Why are we still here? Just to suffer?!”

A pony screamed as she woke up in a hospital bed, sitting bolt-upright and catching her breath. Nurse... uh... Nurse, uh...

Why did she think she knew this earth pony's name, and why couldn't she remember it? And the words said in her dream, why were they starting to fade from her memory, even now?

Anyway, that pink-maned white-bodied nurse watching over the pony in the hospital bed jumped back in shock, and the purple Alicorn with her flinched, and narrowed her eyes with determination. The small green-spiked purple Dragon with her seemed confused, glancing between the bed-pony and the purple pony at his side every so often. A chubby blue-eyed pink Pokemon with a cream-yellow belly was standing around next to the medic, waiting for something.

Oh, and there was a heart monitor slowly beeping, not hooked up to anything. It was just... it was just there. It was just there, right there, next to the bed, as if it was supposed to remind everypony that this was a hospital.

“Hey, Axel Rose?” Twilight asked softly.

The pony in the bed seemed to relax, but her heart was still pounding uncomfortably hard. “Who's Axel?” She asked.

“Lyra, the pony who you met earlier today, thought you said your name was Axel Rose.”

“No, my name is... The pony in the bed said, and trailed off. “I can't remember my name. I know it isn't Axel Rose, though.”

“Oh. Is your name Twilight Sparkle?” The purple Alicorn asked.

“I don't think it is.” The pony in the bed admitted. “That name sounds familiar, but I don't remember where I heard it, or who that is. I know it isn't my name, though.”

“My name is Twilight Sparkle,” Twilight Sparkle explained.

The pony in the bed paused. “Yeah, ok.” She shrugged.

“You're taking this rather calmly,” The nurse noted suspiciously.

“I can't explain it, but this all feels... familiar to me, and not in a good way.” The pony in the bed explained. “It's like I know you two from somewhere, and I liked you. I know you more than her, Twilight. But amnesia... I don't know why, but it feels familiar, too. As if I saw it happen hundreds of times in my old life, whatever that might have been.”

The pony in the bed chuckled softly. “In fact,” she said, “It almost feels like I'm sick of it already. Which is weird. Does this happen to me often, or just to those I knew?”

“I don't know. I-” Twilight began.

“Wait, who's Lyra?” The pony in the bed suddenly asked.

“Lyra's the first pony who found you, when you teleported into Ponyville,” Twilight explained. “She thinks she talked to you, but all she can remember about you is what she thought you said your name was.”

“She has amnesia too?” The bed-pony asked grumpily. “That's such a stupid cliché... Great, ”

“Wait...” The pony in the bed said, starting to shake with a nervous energy that built up inside her every second. “Nurse, quick, give me a mirror. I remember something, and I need... I need to see a mirror, now! A MIRROR, NOW! GIVE ME A MIRROR!”

The nurse looked around frantically, and Twilight made one with her magic, a reflective rectangular surface. She held it up to the pony in the bed, who looked at herself.

Seconds passed, and the pony in the bed stared at her own face for what became ten seconds, and twenty seconds, and thirty. A minute passed, and the pony hadn't moved.

“I'm you.” The pony in the bed suddenly said. “But that's wrong, I'm not supposed to be you.”

The pony heard an echo in his head. A young male voice, furious, shouting to the world, “I am me! Nobody else!”.

”I'm supposed to start changing.” The bed-pony said, continuing to gaze at his face. She began to squint at it, as if she couldn't remember how to use magic. “I have the mirror, so I should see... something, and start changing.”

“Why?” Twilight asked curiously.

“I don't know!” The pony in the bed snapped. “I don't know why, because my head is empty! And it shouldn't be empty, Twilght! All I've got left are, are, I want to say they're disjointed fragments, but I don't even have those! My instincts tell me life shouldn't be so horrible! I remember, I feel, I don't even know what I feel, but my instincts tell me I need to follow up on whatever leads present themselves to me, even if those leads are just things I can almost remember hearing or seeing. I... I want my memories back, Twilight.”

Silence fell, for a few seconds. And then, the pony in the bed went back to looking into Twilight's mirror.

The lavender Alicorn (If you read that phrase too much and you're sick of reading it, find a new hobby, because referring to characters without using their names is a practice at least as old as print itself) got the feeling that unless she did something soon, the other lavender Alicorn would stare at that mirror all day.

“Speaking of changing...” Twilight said, getting the bed-pony's attention. “You can't stay in here forever. I'd be happy to let you stay with me until you remembered more about yourself.”

The pony kept staring at her own reflection. “Thank you,” She said.

“The thing is, you look exactly like me, and this might cause some confusion in town. And some ponies might panic if I tell them an interdimensional amnesiac Alicorn princess just like me showed up one day. I could ask Rarity to help you dye your hair, but a colour-changing spell would be easier, and unlike dye, you wouldn't need to renew it every few weeks. So, I was wondering... Could you let me change the colour of your mane and tail?”

“Only if I get to choose the colours.” The pony in the bed said, and a flicker of a memory rushed through his said. “And don't make me black and red. Or animated!”


“Another memory fragment feeling thingy,” The bed-pony explained. “Maybe if I get enough of them, I'll be able to piece together who I was. That's what I think, anyway. I don't know if that'll work, but I refuse to give up hope. Not this early.”

Twilight foresaw how that could cause some awkward social situations, and decided to nip that in the bud. “Saying them out loud when only the two of us are around is fine, but if we're around other ponies, try not to do that. Let's not draw too much attention to you, or your origins, until we figure out who you really are.”

“Ok. But why do you trust her?” The bed-pony asked suspiciously, pointing a hoof at the nurse.

“I'm magically bound by the Healer's Oath,” The nurse explained, “I can't harm another living being unless it's to prevent worse harm to one under my care, and I can never harm a living being under my care. That includes harming one's reputation, and doing anything that might cause mass panic.”

“What happens if you try and do that anyway?” The bed-pony questioned.

“I pop like a balloon.” The nurse said simply.

“Ew.” She said, squinting her eyes in angry disgust.

“No, like an actual balloon, full of air. I just... pop out of existence, not leaving behind a single trace that I ever existed.”

“That's messed up.” The bed-pony said with a frown.

“You have to agree to it if you want healing magic.” She explained. “It's a lot more powerful than some ponies might think, and it could cause disastrous consequences if abused.”

“I don't think I'll learn that.” The pony decided.

“I'm going to start casting the spell to change your mane and tail colour,” Twilight said, her horn starting to glow as it jump-started his, “And I'll give you control over what colours you get.”

The bed-pony's eyes widened suddenly. “Check the doorway! You need a guard at the doorway!”

The Nurse was shocked, but Twilight came prepared. Her horn began to glow, and she crafted a “Small” bear-sized Ursa Minor out of her own purple magic. It aggressively watched the doorway, and Twilight looked back to him.

His narrowed suspiciously. “It'll do, but you'll be able to tell if something happens to that thing, right?”

“Yes. Don't worry, nopony here's going to hurt you.” Twilight said soothingly, and she calmed down, staring at his mane in the mirror. She continued to stare as the dark blue colour of her mane, and the two differently-coloured stripes, began to switch colours rapidly, like that effect from classic Windows Movie Maker had been applied to a picture of her, not that she remembered what that was.

When her colours stopped changing, she was the same purple Alicorn he'd been moments before, but her dark blue mane had become the colour of the purple stripe in the real Twilight's mane, its outline changing tones to match this. The new Twilight's two stripes were blue, a dark navy blue stripe near her horn, with a brighter sky-blue stripe at its side. The stripes in her tail copied her new colour scheme and when she suddenly got out of bed, they both saw that the purple star in the new Twlight's Cutie Mark had changed colour, its sky-blue matching her mane's stripe, surrounded by white stars that matched the original Twilight's exactly.

“Recolour...” The new Twilight said to himself, quietly. “I'm a Twilight Recolour... Twilight, can I have a new name?”

That surprised Twilight, because she was about to suggest the same thing. “Certainly. If anypony asks who you are, I'll say you're my cousin, visiting from... Manehattan! You have a Doctorate in... Astral Physics, and-”

“I don't know what that is.” The Twilight recolour said flatly.

“You will. And your new name will be...” Twilight said, and looked her over. Almost every important Unicorn she seemed to meet had a name that was some variation on her own name, and since this pony would supposedly be related to her, this one actually had a reason to have a similar name. “How do you like... Twilight Twinkle?”


“Moonbeam Twinklestone?”


“Daylight Gleam?”


“Bright Spark?”

“Hhhh... uh... super-no.”

“Daylight Sky?”

“No, but I like Sky.” She said. “Sky blue, sky two, wants to be red but can't, not yet.”

Uncertainly, Twilight continued. “Sky... Sparkle?”

“No, the other way around.” The new Twilight said. “No, I'll keep Sky in my head, keep saying more names.”

“Dawn Sparkle?” Twilight guessed.

“Dawn!” The new pony suddenly snapped, before staring up at the ceiling, putting physical effort into trying to remember where he heard that. “Dawn, and Ash, and Misty, and Iris, and, and...”

Her sudden confidence started to wane, and she grew quieter. ”The other one, and... the other ones they're with, and... sandwiches... and rice balls that aren't rice balls... And they want... badgers.”

Realizing how stupid that sounded, she hung her head. “Keep going, please.”

“Sparkling Sky?” Twilight offered.

“Dawn Star.” The new pony suddenly decided, to her surprise. “No, Dawn Starsky. Starsky, stars, starskee and... and... Hhhhuuuusomething. Forget it. Dawn Skystar is my name now! Yes, yes, yes, oh my... No, no, no, no, that's stupid, I'm not doing that again, no no no.”

“Dawn Skystar?” Twilight asked curiously, barely a hoof away from asking who in the hoof that was supposed to be. “What's a Sky-Star supposed to be?”

The answer came to Dawn as easily as she looked out of the window, instinctively knowing where the sun would be, setting her sights for the sun. “THE Sky-Star. The sun.” She said dramatically.

There was a pause, and Nurse Redheart gave Twilight the “Are you sure about this?” look. She wanted to say something about how, until now, she was sure the pony in question didn't have any lasting brain damage, but the oath meant she couldn't.

Twilight ignored her and smiled, because letting an amnesiac who looks almost exactly like you and is at least as strong as you into your home and circle of friends could only end well. “That's a lovely name! Come on, Dawn Skystar. I'll get you some nice books, and a Pokemon, and something to eat, and we can solve this mystery toge-”

The door was suddenly smashed down by a rocket of pink propelled by pure energy, who plonked a welcome wagon down, overcranked it, and rushed through her Welcome Wagon song at 240 beats per minute before finishing on a sliding-knees pose, right as the confetti cannons of her welcome wagon burst open and showered the floor in tiny pieces of multicoloured paper. The rest of her friends rushed through the doorway, some ponies more out of breath than others, and Twilight felt she'd have a lot of explaining to do.

“Or, I could introduce you to my friends, first.” Twilight muttered, facehoofing.

4 - In which Dawn Skystar gets a Riolu because of course she does

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Abruptly teleporting herself, her friends, and the new pony she'd be calling a relative for the forseeable future seemed like a good idea to Twilight Sparkle, a good way to get out of that hospital and into her Fluttershy the Pokemon Breeder's cottage. The place was full of Pokemon, the place smelled like Pokemon, and the sounds of Pokemon could occasionally be heard around the area, but Twilight didn't bring them here to sightsee, she brought them here with a plan. Now that they were here, Fluttershy would give Dawn Skystar her new Pokemon quickly, Twilight was sure, and nopony would question the wings on Dawn's back before she brought the Alicorn back to her home.

Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy started singing to the new mare about Pokemon and what a big deal getting her first Pokemon would be. Rainbow Dash joined in, and they all began un-subtly hinting at which ones they wanted Dawn Skystar to choose.

After just over a minute of singing, every starter Pokemon, plus some extra ones, were out of their Pokeballs and standing in front of Dawn Skystar, waiting for her to make her choice.

What would she choose? That's what Twilight wanted to know. What Pokemon would catch her eye, what would her choice be able to do, and what type would it be? Would the new girl choose something suited only for combat, like an aggressive Fire-type? Something better suited for a less violent lifestyle, like a Grass or Water type?

Twilight peered closer at the exaggerated expression of thought on Dawn's face. What would she choose?

Bulbasaur? Charmander? Squirtle? Pikachu? Eevee?

Chikorita? Cyndaquil? Totodile?

Treecko? Torchic? Mudkip? Skitty? Trapinch? A Zigzagoon Twilight quickly pulled away from the group with her magic?

Turtwig? Chimchar? Piplup? Riolu?

Snivy? Tepig? Oshawott? Purrloin? That same Zigzagoon, which Twilight's magic pulled away once again?

Chespin? Fennekin? Froakie?

Rowlett? Litten? Poppolio? Rockruff?

Each of these Pokemon had their own strengths and weaknesses over each other, each had their own-

“I choose Riolu.” Dawn said, petting the little blue lady, whose bright red eyes were outlined with a black domino mask. Fluttershy used her wing to give the Riolu's Pokeball to the new lavender Alicorn, who took the ball into her own wing.

Of course she would, Twilight thought as her hoof swiftly met her face. A Riolu, just like the one Celestia had given to her long ago, on the day she joined Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns. Why did she even bother to wonder about these things? The special important pony got a special important Pokemon everypony wanted, even though this meant more of them were bred, so they hadn't really been rare for decades.

She supposed she COULD chalk this up as a win for her “This mare is a living weapon interested only in things that would be useful for fighting, and she'll turn on you as soon as she gets her memories back unless you and your friends can teach her the magic of friendship and convince her to rebel against her purpose” theory, but everypony wanted a Riolu. After all, they evolved into Lucarios. What filly or colt didn't want a Lucario? Grass-Type Starters were currently the best thing you could have, because they beat the Water-Type starters ponies chose to beat the Fire-type Starters ponies chose to beat the excessive abundance of Lucarios! Grass-type Starters were even better if they knew Earthquake, another move that could beat Lucarios. Also, Grass-type starters could beat the Water-type Pokemon trainers with Lucario caught to patch their team's Fire weaknesses, typically Azumarill or Gyrados if they were smart.

“I really must make a nice belt for you,” Rarity decided. “Perhaps something that'd stand out against your coat... Or, something that would match it?”

"Make it white," Dawn decided. "And not green or animated."

"Animated?" Rarity wondered, thinking of magically-animated belts.

An idea popped into Twilight's head. Perhaps there was a way she could bypass the whole 'everypony wants a Riolu' thing and REALLY get into this new mare's head, so she could see what Dawn deemed as most important. “Now that you have a Starter Pokemon, what type would you like her to be?” Twilight asked innocently.

“She's Steel and Fighting, and I have no idea why I'm already familiar with Pokemon, their types, and every move worth using each one knows.” Dawn said in confusion. When she noted the confused stares of some ponies, she quickly put on a nervous smile and added, “I mean, it's not like I spend THAT long studying Pokemon every day!”

“Your Lucario is Steel and Fighting-typed, but she doesn't have to be,” Twilight explained with a tempting smile. “I can use my magic to change the types of any Pokemon you want. Your Pokemon will gain access to all the moves of every new type, and copies of the old moves, retyped to fit her new typing!”

"You WHAT?" Dawn gasped. "But that completely ruins the point of Pokemon having types! What's the point in using a Dark-type Umbreon if it could be Ghost and Fairy or something?"

"What do you mean?" Twilight asked, because type-switches were normal in her world. "You can tell what type a type-changed Pokemon is just by looking at one. In some cases, it can be even easier to tell what type a type-changed Pokemon is."

“Well, if everypony's using type-changed Pokemon, I'd be an idiot to not use them... Can you make my Pokemon have two items at once?” Dawn asked, vaguely remembering something in her memories about that.

“No, but I can let your Pokemon use two abilities of your choice at once.” Twilight said.

“Really?” Dawn gasped gleefully, just like a young Twilight Sparkle hearing that her favourite author would be in town, or something. Her jolly little Riolu seemed excited by the prospect, too. For Twilight Sparkle, it was... bizarre. It was like looking into a mirror, watching a perfect reflection of herself move and act, a reflection that seemed so much like the real thing, until it imitated the Twilight Sparkle from a few years ago, rather than the one of today. She really, really hoped that either this mare would pick up some unique mannerisms soon, or that she'd get eventually used to interacting with what felt like some long-lost cousin she couldn't remember, and kinda wanted to.

“Yes, but I won't give any Pokemon any broken combinations of abilities and types, like Wonder Guard on a Dark and Ghost-type Pokemon, or Wonder Guard and Levitate on an Electric-type Pokemon." Twilight decided firmly. "And I won't give Wonder Guard to any Pokemon, unless that Pokemon has at least two weaknesses!”

“Ghost and Dark Pokemon have weaknesses now,” Pinkie Pie pointed out happily. “Fairy is super-duper-times-four effective on those!”

“But that's still just only one weakness.” Twilight reminded her. “Every type combination I make must have at least two weaknesses, or no Wonder Guard allowed!”

“In that case... I'd like my Riolu to be Electric, and Flying!” Dawn decided.

“Huh?” Twilight asked, not expecting that. Electric wasn't exactly a type useful for non-combat things, unless you knew a spell that'd let you convert electrical power into magical power, but Flying... It could be good for saving falling ponies, and it could be good for chopping wood with blades of air, but it could also be good for scouting ahead and getting air support in combat. Flying and Electric... Well, that combination certainly wasn't Grass and Psychic.

“Electric and Flying are the coolest types!” Dawn enthusiastically gushed. “I want this Pokemon to be able to fly through the air with me, and zap all the flying Pokemon she'll fight!”

“But you don't know how to fly yet,” Twilight pointed out.

“Why were you at the hospital?" Rainbow Dash asked suddenly.

"Some Pegasus dropped a piano on my head," Dawn explained.

"A piano?!" Pinkie gasped.

"I got better." Dawn shrugged.

"Alright. Why are you an Alicorn?” Rainbow Dash asked.

"Oh my g... goodness, Rainbow, you c-can't just ask somepony why they're an Alicorn!" Dawn stammered, hairs on her mane beginning to stick up out of place.

"Why not?" Rainbow asked. "How did you become an Alicorn? Why weren't we invited to your Alicorn coronation party?"

"Uh..." Dawn stammered, her mane growing more ruffled with each second. "Y-You know, the... One thing I should... Aurora Borealis."

"Aurora Borealis?" Rainbow Dash wondered. "Who in the hoof is that?"

"Oh, no, that isn't a pony's name. I meant to say Auroric Older Chalice! That's what I call old gold chalices."

Twilight's right eye twitched. "You mean aurulent. Auroric isn't a word."

"What are you, a dictionary?" Dawn chuckled. Something popped up into her mind, a phrase she instinctively held a strange loathing for, but said anyway. "And I'm not a real Alicorn, so I didn't get a real coronation."

"Wait, so you call old gold chalices 'Auroric Older Chalices'?" Rainbow asked.

"Yyyes! It's a... regional dialect!" Dawn decided.

"From what region?" Rainbow Dash asked suspiciously.

"Uh, upstate... Hermany?"

"Germaney," Twilight corrected.

"Germaney!" Dawn declared. "That's where I was, for... a while!"

"Was that where you got that 'old gold chalice'?" Rainbow questioned.

"I... can't say." Dawn said, frantically glancing at Twilight with big and pleading "HELP ME!" eyes.

"How did the Chalice make you an Alicorn?" Rainbow queried.

Dawn paused. “Uh... magic!” She answered with a big, nervous grin. And then, she snorted reflectively, twice, for some reason.

"Can you speak Germane?" Rainbow questioned.

Fragments of memories came to the surface of Dawn's mind, and all she could do was screw her eyes shut and start to scream whatever she thought was right. If she gave up now, she'd never forgive herself! "Wo ist die Lammquelle?!" She bellowed. "Was machst du?! Wo ist die Lammquelle?! Warum kündigst du dort?! Probier's einfach ein bisschen härter! NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN, NEIN! Gib nicht auf! Beuge dich vor, Großmutter! Beuge dich vor, Glurak! Unübersetzbar japonisch sprichwort! Annulliere meinen esel! Denk an all die Menschen um dich herum und die Leute, die dich anfeuern! Du bist fast da! Schau mich an, es ist verneinungzehn grad und ich ernte GEDÄMPFTSCHINKEN! Du musst es nur versuchen! Sie werden Ihr Ziel sicher erreichen! Deshalb sollten sie... NIE VERLIEREN SIE IHREN WEG!"

Rainbow Dash blinked. "Uh..."

"That was definitely Germane, but I can't say I caught any of that," Rarity admitted.

Twilight let out a long-suffering sigh. "Alright, Dawn, you can stop messing with them now."

"...Ok," Dawn said uncertainly, not sure what Twilight was doing.

“She doesn't like to talk about how she became an Alicorn.” Twilight explained in a non-explanation, and all of her friends decided to never bring it up again, while imagining up their own horrible super-tragic backstories behind this, except for Pinkie, who assumed the new mare just accidentally drank fifty gallons of flight potion while mistaking it for hot sauce, and Rainbow Dash, whose mind first leapt into the awesome realm of comic book origin stories, and then trudged back to the more mundane and likely "She cast a spell that went wrong so she has wings now forever, the end" story, where Applejack's mind had already gone.

To take the conversation away from Dawn's Alicornhood, Twilight's horn suddenly lit up, and her magic targeted the Riolu, lifting her into the air. Her blue fur turned yellow, her black fur turned electric blue, she gained Noctowl-like electric-blue wings for her back, and surprisingly, her face gained jagged sideburns, like two upside-down thunderbolts. Her tail grew out to resemble a big, light, and puffy grey storm cloud, and the head-ball-things on her head grew long curly fur, causing them to resemble golden versions of Pinkie's tails.

She dropped the yellow Riolu, who landed on her feet with a confident smile and gave the lavender Alicorn an excited hug as a silent 'thank you' before jogging over to her Trainer's side.

“I'm gonna name you Farto!” Dawn felt the urge to say, for some reason. She ignored it. “I'm gonna name you Raiden!” She declared happily, hugging her new Pokemon.

“Riding?” Applejack asked in confusion.

“Raiden's the name of a fictional storm wizard some primitive Pre-Equestrian Yaks used to worship, before we told them Pegasi were the ones controlling the weather,” Twilight explained.

“Neeerrrds!” Rainbow called good-naturedly.

“So, does she have Wonder Guard yet?” Dawn asked excitedly.

“That was just an example!" Twilight spluttered, shocked that anypony would actually want something so horrendously fun-ruiningly broken. "I can't just... I mean, think about it! Shedinja is Bug and Ghost, and it can only be hurt by Fire, Flying, Dark, Ghost, or Rock-type attacks. Those are five incredibly common types, and getting hit by just one will knock any Shedinja out. And Stealth Rocks will take it out instantly! Shedinjas are one of the worst Pokemon in the world, without their Wonder Guard ability. Your Flying and Electric Riolu would only be hit by Ice and Rock-type attacks, two types out of eighteen! If your opponent didn't have Rock or Ice-type attack, you'd be unbeatable, and it just wouldn't be fair! A weakness to Stealth Rocks wouldn't be able to offset something so incredibly broken, and Riolus have 190 to 284 health points on average, while Lucarios have 250 to 344 health points on average, a total increase of... of...”

Raiden was looking right at her with big, sad, pleading eyes. Twilight found herself forced to stare into them, her willpower slipping away. She tried to look away, only to find herself looking into the bigger, sadder puppy-dog eyes of Dawn Skystar.

“Alright..." Twilight sighed. "If you can get all eight Gym Badges, and evolve your Riolu into a Lucario, I'll give her Wonder Guard. Until then, you'll have to give her a small, only slightly-useful ability. Something like Inner Focus, or-”

“Contrary! So we can do Contrary Close Combat!” Dawn yelled excitedly, jumping around her. “Plus Poison Heal so she can hold a Toxic Orb and be immune to all status effects while healing an eighth of her health each turn! Or she could hold some leftovers for three sixteenths of free healing a turn, and a teammate could poison her using Toxic instead! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes-”

“No.” Twilight said flatly.

"Speed Boost and Pure Power?" Dawn suggested.

"That's even worse!" Twilight insisted.

“Fine, how about something gimmicky like Water Absorb and... Simple?” Dawn asked. “There's a move called Simple Beam, right? So Simple can't be anything special.”

“You're half-right, but at least Simple isn't on Wonder Guard's level. It'll make Swords Dance more effective, but you'd still have to spend a turn using swords dance, so there'd still be some strategic thought involved,” Twilight said, her horn shining its magical glow around the Riolu, magically replacing her Steadfast ability with her two new ones, Water Absorb and Simple, something visualized when the Riolu suddenly smiled, her aura getting bigger and bluer for a second. “But why Water Absorb?”

“It'll really, really annoy ponies with Water-Type Pokemon.” Dawn said as if it was a brilliant strategy, a delightfully devilish grin forming on her face. “Scald can't get me now! Where's the first gym?”

“Wait, shouldn't you spend some time getting to know your Pokemon and training with them first?” Twilight asked, and quietly added, “And learning how to fly?”

“Sure, I can make time for that stuff too.” Dawn said dismissively, fully absorbed in the prospect of going on a real Pokemon adventure. “Who's the nearest Gym Leader for me to own?”

“Ah am,” Applejack said, because the author just remembered that she existed. “Yer lookin' at Ponyville's Pokemon Rancher and Fighting-type Gym leader!”

“Fighting?” Dawn wondered.

“You need strength to run an apple farm, and keep a Pokemon ranch running smoothly.” Applejack explained. “Ah have Grass and Ground Pokemon help out on the farm, but my Fighting Pokemon are the best.”

“I'm going there tomorrow,” Dawn decided. “But today, I'll train! Twilight, where's the best place to train in town?”

“I would say the Everfree Forest, but-”

“Great!” Dawn said, and teleported away.

“But I didn't even tell you where that is!” Twilight said in confused shock.

And as soon as she was gone, ponies started to talk.

"So," Rainbow Dash said suspiciously. "When were you planning on telling us you had a cousin?"

Twilight began visibly agonizing over a tough decision. Did she tell her friends who Dawn Skystar really was? Did she choose not to do that, and risk things blowing up in her face when some contrived nonsense caused everypony to learn Dawn's true identity, which would likely turn out to be something awful, like a living weapon born to destroy? What if that made Dawn mad enough to fulfill her original purpose? Did she forget how trustworthy Pinkie could be, and assume she'd be a blabbermouth, somepony she could never trust with Dawn's real identity? Did she- Wait, why was she tempted to wilfully forget such an important detail about her fourth-closest friend?

And now that she decided to not do that, why did she find herself so incredibly tempted to do it anyway, to act differently from how she normally would, just to "Mix things up"?

"She isn't my cousin." Twilight suddenly said, and took a deep breath. Best just to rip the bandage off, she supposed. "I can trust all of you with a secret, right?"

"I knew it!" Rarity gasped. "Twilight, darling, such things might have been considered something to hide before Equestria's founding, but-"

"Lyra found her in Ponyville today, and brought her to me." Twilight interrupted.

"Oh, my!" Rarity gasped, pretending to faint onto her fainting couch.

"And lost her memory!" Twilight insisted, and Rarity got back up, disappointed. "Some new Alicorn who looked just like me just showed up out of nowhere today, and said what Lyra thought her name was, then Derpy dropped a piano on both their heads. Lyra forgot everything that happened that day, and the new pony, Dawn, forgot everything. But when she woke up, she woke up screaming, and then she suddenly got paranoid about whether somepony might try and attack the hospital... Whoever she was in a past life, I don't think she lived a very happy one. I used magic to let her change her mane's colour, and I said she could stay with me for a while, but... Her body is a perfect copy of mine, right down to the genetic level, but her cells are less than a day old."

"Which means?" Rainbow Dash asked, not wanting to admit she knew what cells were.

"She's less than a day old." Twilight explained.

"She didn't look a day old to me," Pinkie pointed out, thinking of Pound and Pumpkin Cake.

"Well, I'll be darned..." Applejack murmured to herself. "Just when ah thought ah'd seen everything..."

"Was she made by the Mirror Pool?" Pinkie asked.

"No, that was one of the first things I checked. Her genes, the ones her body's using, copy mine exactly. But the genes her body isn't using were removed, and in their place... There's information there, coded into new genes, but it's shoved in so densely my magic can't read it! She could have anything in there. Genetic memory, ancient spells, hours of incantations for forgotten world-changing spells, or the lifeblood of some unknown species she'll be able to replicate and recreate perfectly using her own unused genes."

"Genes are those things that decide what your body looks like and what foals you'll have, right?" Rainbow checked, vaguely remembering something she'd read or overheard while flying.

"Yes, and memes decide what your mind and your contribution to the culture around you looks like," Twilight explained.

"What if she's some kind of super-powerful living weapon made with your genes, plus all the genes of the smartest Unicorns and strongest Earth Ponies and fastest Pegasi of all time?" Rainbow asked excitedly, remembering something like that happening in a Daring Do book: Griffon scientists created the Ultimate Life Form for the sole purpose of defeating Daring Do. The Pegasus barely escaped with her life before the Ultimate Life Form turned on her creators and brought the fancy old tomb's life-creating room down around her.

"If she is, then we want her to have good memories of us before she gets her memories back for some contrived reason." Twilight declared. "I'm going to need time to research a spell strong enough to scan the information in her extra genes, which means all of you need to spend time with her and show her why Equestria is a wonderful place. Rainbow, teach her how to fly. Fluttershy, teach her how to heal sick Pokemon. Applejack, you'll be the first Gym Leader she'll fight, so make sure she battles with care for her Pokemon. If she uses them like tools, pretend not to notice, and tell me as soon as possible. Rarity, teach her about art and beauty while making her a belt for her Pokeballs. And Pinkie Pie, give her a party tonight she'll never forget!"

Pinkie began to gleefully vibrate.

"What if she isn't a living weapon?" Fluttershy asked in a manner that was quiet, but, for her, also pointed. "What if she's just scared and confused?"

"In that case, she'll need friends to help her get on her hooves until she gets her memories back, or becomes able to live on her own. Alright, girls, you know what to do!" Twilight announced, and teleported back to her castle.

5 - Don't call it a Mega Evolution

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In her own bedroom, on her own bed, Twilight was lying on her back, thinking about the new pony, Dawn. Why would an imitation of herself exist in her world? Was it sent by somepony else, from another dimension? Was it created by somepony in another dimension to attack her or try to destroy this world?

What if, instead, it was sent here to protect her for some reason? What if there was something she had to do soon, and this pony was here to make sure she succeeded?

But who would do that? Could this pony be from the future? Could this be HER, from the future?

No, those altered genes... It had to be a clone of some sort, made by magiscience, rather than regular science. And if somepony had the ability to clone her DNA and modify it at will, why wasn't this pony accompanied by an army of Twilight clones? Did the cloner only have the resources to send one? Or... the opportunity?

Dawn teleported into her room, hooves landing on either side of Twilight's body, her nose's tip pressed against Twilight's, purple eyes staring deep into each other. “Knock knock!” Dawn chirped happily. “Guess who just finished baking a hundred and twenty cupcakes with Pinkie!”

Twilight squirmed out from under the new pony and rolled off the bed, eager to get her personal space back. How had this mare picked up so many of Pinkie's bad habits in such a small period of time, and then taken them even further? “Dawn, that isn't how knocking works.” Twilight said patiently. “You're supposed to appear outside my bedroom, and knock my door.”

“Ok,” Dawn said, teleporting away in a flash of magical white light. “Knock knock!” Her muffled voice called from outside the door.

Twilight rolled her eyes, took in a deep breath, and put on a patient and understanding face. “Come in!” She said.

Dawn teleported again, appearing just an inch away from her face.

“Look what I got!” Dawn said, turning around and pointing her butt in Twilight's face. Then, turning around again and leaning her left side towards the lavender Alicorn. Dawn turned around again and leaned her right side towards the lavender Alicorn, and only then did Twilight realize the mare was showing off her new bone-white vinyl belt.

It looked pretty good, for a bone-white vinyl belt around an otherwise-nude pony's body. Six Pokeballs were already on it, which Twilight was about to ask about when Dawn decided to grab a ball with her horn's white magical glow and toss it into the air, where it clicked open.

Light spilled out onto her bed, pooling into the form of a hollow dark-brown husk, shaped like an acorn, but with two small wings on the side and a white wispy 'holed circle' of smoke floating a few inches above the husk's top, like a Donut. Equestria didn't have religion, so nopony knew what a halo was. Its hollow eyes stared at her with a dead, unblinking and all-seeing stare, and Dawn shoved her grinning face right next to it. “Isn't she cute?” The blue-starred mare asked without even the tiniest hint of irony or sarcasm.

“A Shedinja?” Twilight gasped. ”But how-”

“I caught a Nincada, and trained it for hours, and when it evolved into a Ninjask and Shedinja, I gave the Ninjask away to Fluttershy. Can you make this one Water-type?”

Water-type?” Twilight questioned.

“Yeah, because Water-types are only weak to Electric and Grass attacks!” Dawn said excitedly. “But those types are super common, but nopony will see it coming unless you make Shedinja look like a big blue upside-down raindrop-”

Twilight used her magic to make Shedinja a Water-type, and she made it look like a big ocean-blue upside-down raindrop, the halo becoming a storm cloud, the wings becoming a deep sea-blue, the circular eye-armour segments becoming a whitish pale blue.

“-Just like that. Thanks.” Dawn said, visibly deflating a little, but in a metaphorical sense, as her mane was already straight. And then, she perked up. “Hey, can you make his second ability Volt Absorb?”

“No!” Twilight snapped in disgust. A Pokemon that could ONLY be harmed by a grass attack? Who ran grass offensively? NOPONY ran grass offensively! Unless you had that one Pokemon from Zekko whose ability was like a personal Inverse Battle effect, turning its awful offensive Grass typing into one of the best offensive types possible.

That Pokemon was amazing, and you could catch it yourself in Pokemon InfraRed and UltraViolet, coming soon to a Super New Super Power Mini Micro Nintendo 23DS Lite i XL Pro And Knuckles ColorCube And Watch near you!

“Good point. Shedinjas only have one hit point, so healing's useless, which means Motor Drive would be way better! That way, getting hit by electric attacks will make him even faster!” Dawn enthused, missing the point entirely.

“Why Electric attacks?” Twilight asked suspiciously. “Why not ask for Sap Sipper, so your Shedinja will be immune to Grass attacks?”

Dawn leaned in, getting uncomfortably close. “My Riolu has problems controlling his sparks,” She stage-whispered, as if it was a horribly embarassing secret on par with wetting the bed as an adult, rather than the natural consequence of being a young Electric-type Pokemon and having only been an Electric-type Pokemon for less than a few hours. “And if she accidentally zapped WaveOcean and cost us a match, she'd be devastated! She'd never forgive herself! She'd-”

“Fine,” Twilight sighed, her horn lighting up and magicking an extra magic effect into WaveOcean the Shedinja's body. “Wait, 'Wave Ocean'?”

“I think it's a place I've visited... Or, somepony I knew in my past life.” Dawn decided. After all, Wave Ocean would make a nice pony name.

“Wait, if you spent all that time training your new Shedinja... How much did you train your Riolu?”

“Well...” Dawn said, and chuckled nervously. “I trained her from level one to level six on the outskirts of the Everfree Forest.”

“That's good.”

“And then I trained her from level six to level fourteen deeper in the Everfree Forest,”

“That's good.”

“And then I used three Pokeballs trying to catch a Nincada,”

“That's good-ish.”

“And then I trained my Nincada from level nine to level twenty, evolving her into a Shedinja and Ninjask.”

“That's good.”

“And then I trained my Shedinja from level twenty to level thirty even deeper in the Everfree and then we almost lost to a Venipede and I teleported us out of there.”

“That's... wait, what about Raiden?”

“She fainted to that level seventeen Venipede,” Dawn said, “And I didn't know how to heal her so I kept on fighting with my WaveOcean at my side until I got hungry. Then I went into town and looked for Pinkie, and I found her at this big beautiful bakery, and she taught me how to make cupcakes! She sang about it, too.”

“But Nurse Redheart... Wait, 'at your side'?”

“Yeah! I fought Pokemon, my Pokemon fought Pokemon, we both got EXP and levelled up-”

“Ponies don't level up!” Twilight yelled.

“Then why did you evolve when you reached Maximum Happiness?” Dawn asked with a smug catlike smile.

“That wasn't... I can't...” Twilight stammered in bewildered confusion.

Dawn's catlike smile intensified.

“Excuse me for one second,” Twilight said, trotting out of the room.

“Of course!” Dawn chirped happily.

Twilight closed the door behind her, and screamed in rage. Twice. And then she opened the door, and trotted back in. “Well, that was wonderful, a good time was had by all, I- Wait. How do you know about my Coronation?!” Twilight snapped. “You're supposed to have amnesia!”

“I started remembering stuff from your life,” Dawn shrugged. “Only your life, though, not mine, or anypony else's. You know, you spent a lot of time reading. Have you ever thought about dating?”

“Moving on... Ponies don't level up from fighting in Pokemon battles. You're supposed to have your Pokemon fight for you while you stand back and bark orders at it. Using magic to interfere in Pokemon battles is against the rules!”

“No more helping my Pokemon out, got it.” Dawn nodded. “What were you going to say about Nurse Redheart? Also, who is that?”

“Nurse Redheart, the mare at the hospital you woke up in, runs a Pokemon center.” Twilight explained. “Why didn't you just teleport there?”

“Good idea!” Dawn said, and teleported away, leaving Twilight alone.

For a few seconds, Twilight waited.

Dawn's Shedinja, WaveOcean, turned to stare at Twilight.

“You're in the wrong bed, Dawn!” Twilight quietly said to herself in an imitation of Nurse Redheart's voice. “I'm sorry, I'm an amnesiac, so I forgot what a bed is. That's okay, Dawn, follow me, and I'll drop whatever I was doing and take you to the Pokemon healer. Just place your Pokeballs right here.”

Dawn's Shedinja, WaveOcean, continued to stare at Twilight.

Bum, bum, bum-bum buuum!” Twilight softly hummed to herself. “Thank you for healing your Pokemon, we hope to see you again, aaand-”

Dawn teleported onto her bed, a cheerful yellow Riolu riding on her back, leaning forwards with her arms around her neck. “Hello!” Dawn sang cheerfully.

Riolu waved to the Shedinja. “Rio!” She sang cheerfully in the same tone.

The floating blue Shedinja “Bounced” up and down from its spot in the air, spiked and curved lines of happiness appearing above its head, since it was a toon, the thing couldn't move its eyes, and the artist had to express its happiness somehow.

“Riri!” Riolu said with a wide smile, beckoning the Shedinja over with an arm. Curiously, the ocean-blue husk leaned forwards and floated over to the Riolu, and floated at the Electric-type former Fighter's side, staring at Twilight.

“Aw, did you make a new friend?” Dawn cooed, her horn lighting up to create a construct of hard magical light, a construct that looked just like a white copy of her Riolu. She smiled and used its right paw to pet her girl, who purred happily.

Twilight was stunned. “How can you- Wait, you saw me make an Ursa Minor construct,” She realized.

“About that... Can you teach me magic?” Dawn asked.

“You certainly teleported away from me quickly enough, back at Fluttershy's cottage,” Twilight snarked.

“I saw you use that spell, so I could copy it without having to worry about how I'd do it,” Dawn explained.

“Just like me,” Twilight said flatly, not even a little surprised any more.

“Not really,” Dawn explained. “Sure, my magic's as strong as yours – I think – but I don't have any of your practice USING magic. I don't have any experience using magic either. I don't know what the limits are, or what limits I can break safely, or what limits I can only break in emergencies, or what limits I should never even try to break. And I can't make myself go back and remember all that stuff from your memories. I keep remembering dumb facts about 'Mitochronulas's and cells instead. Hey, do you have any super-special spells only you or your family members can use?”

“I don't have any spells restricted to my family, but I can use the Elements of Harmony, and enter my Rainbow Power form.”

“By Mega Evolving!” Dawn said happily.

“I didn't Mega Evolve, I used the power of my bond with my friends to activate a transformation helped by a few special items...” Twilight trailed off, seeing the similarities. “Nevermind. Anyway, something tells me you wouldn't be able to take my place if something... came up.”

“Hey, I'm super friendly, and I know a ton about friendship!” Dawn protested brattily. “You and your friends were nice to me, which means we're best friends, so I'd die for you.”

Twilight gaped for a moment, stunned.

In Sugarcube Corner, Pinkie's tail twitched to the left. Then, her left hindleg twitched, followed by her right leg. None of that was right, which meant somepony in Ponyville just said something awful. Grabbing a strawberry milkshake and downing the whole thing, she spat it all out in a furious geyser of pink liquid. "YOU'D WHAT?!" She gasped.

Back in Twilight's room, the purple Alicorn was ready to speak again. Quietly, she asked the pony in her room, “You'd what?"

From far away, the faint sound of Pinkie Pie yelling could almost be heard. "My reaction was better!" She seemed to shout.

“I'd die for you," Dawn shrugged, as if that was something to casually say to somepony you met less than a few hours ago. "You know, if all our Pokemon were defeated, and there was a massive energy ball coming your way, and we couldn't use our magic or our wings, I'd push you out of the way and get hit for you. I'd die, and you'd live.”

“There's more to friendship than that!” Twilight protested.

“Then can you teach me that, too? Can you teach me friendship, and magic? I already remembered a few of the spells you know, but I don't know how magic works, so I'm reluctant to try them. Could you teach me the basics?”

Twilight's eyes lit up, gaining white sparkles of joy. “You want me to teach you the basics?”

Dawn matched her enthusiasm, her eyes doing the same thing. “I want you to teach me everything!”

Aside from Spike, when he went out to get groceries, no living thing entered or exited that castle for the rest of the day.

6 - Aurora? At this time of day, in this forest? It's more likely than you'd think!

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It was early in the morning that Twilight and Dawn found themselves waking up, yawning, stretching, and getting out of their bed in perfect synchronicity. They walked to their bathroom, and Twilight got out her toothbrush while Dawn unwrapped the spare from its plastic packaging. They both went at it, brushing for a few minutes, then spitting into the crystal sink. Taking swigs of mouthwash, gargling, and spitting into the crystal sink.

Only when their wings flared out and collided with each other's bodies did they notice how close to one another they were standing, waking up fully as they moved away from each other.

“Is this weird?” Twilight wondered curiously.

Dawn thought about this for a moment. “I don't think it's that weird. I'm kind of you, after all, only I'm also me.” She shrugged, and then glanced to the side and muttered, ”Whoever that is.”

The two left their bathroom, and trotted off to their kitchen, finding Spike lying on the table with Dawn's Riolu they read a comic together, two boals of Musili with milk already set out for the two Alicorns.

The two Alicorns dunked their heads into their own bowls and began eating, munching, and swallowing like animals, delicious oats and berries soaked with milk making their way down their throats.

“Thanks, Spike!” Dawn said, mouth still full of food.

“No problem. So, Twilight...” Spike began, pretending not to care. “When were you planning to tell me about your Cousin here?”

“She isn't my Cousin, she's an almost-exact copy of myself with no memories. We found her at the hospital and Pokemon Center yesterday, because right after Lyra found her, Derpy accidentally dropped a piano on their heads.” Twilight explained.

“...Oh.” Spike said, surprised. He opened his mouth to ask a question.

“My mane and tail colours are different because Twilight used her magic to make me look a little like her, instead of EXACTLY like her.” Dawn explained. “She let me choose the colours.”

“But you still look exactly like her. You look like somepony drew Twilight, and forgot what colour her mane is after colouring your coat.” Spike pointed out.

“What do you want from me, Rainbow Dash's tailstyle and Applejack's manestyle?” Dawn asked sarcastically. “I like this look.”

Spike shrugged and went back to his comic, and the two ponies went back to their food.

“Ri-ri-rio?” Raiden, Dawn's Riolu, quietly wondered to Spike, pointing at a word on the page.

“That says 'Converge', it means 'come together',” Spike explained.

"Ri," Raiden nodded.

“I must say, I'm impressed.” Twilight said, impressed, and eager to get the new Alicorn's mind off her amnesia for a while. “You're easily picking up the basics of magic.”

“Thanks. It feels like I learned all of this once before, but something tells me I'll find this a lot harder once I start learning stuff about magic you don't know,” Dawn said, and smiled. “If there is any!”

Twilight blushed, ears flopping down. “There's always something left to know,” She said.

“By the way, why haven't I seen any Pokemon in your house?” Dawn asked.

“The Pokemon I use in battle are quite large, and two of them hate coming out of their Pokeballs for anything other than battles,” Twilight explained, “But downstairs, my strongest Psychic-type Pokemon is reading his way through my book collection. If you want, I could introduce you to her.”

“Maybe later, I'd better go find my first Gym Leader first,” Dawn decided, looking out of the window and searching for Sweet Apple Acres. “I'll be back in an hour.”

“You don't want to capture a third Pokemon first?” Twilight wondered.

“Nah. How hard beating Applejack be?” Dawn asked.

Twilight chuckled. “You'd be surprised.”

“Well, in that case,” Dawn said, and teleported away, taking her Riolu with her.

There was a moment of silence, and then...

“In that case, what?” Twilight shouted, and received no answer. Groaning, she went back to her room to read for an hour. At least her books wouldn't disappear halfway through a sentence.

Dawn appeared on Applejack's farm, Sweet Apple Acres, and she paused to close her eyes and enjoy the subtle warmth of the morning sun. She wasn't quite sure why, but she really, really liked sunlight. Looking around, she saw apple trees on rolling hills, ploughed fields growing vegetables here and there, a red barn off in the distance.

And behind that barn, there was a second one.

A second barn. A fake one, with strong walls of thick steel, red-painted wood over them to make it look like a barn. She could almost see through the wood, and through the steel, to see the ponies within, but she closed her eyes and assured to herself that such an ability would be ridiculous.

She trotted over to that second barn, and noticed a sign on the door. “Equestrian Gym Leader Applejack – The Fighting Farmer of Friendship!”, the sign declared to the world.

She quietly peered into the place, glanced around, and left. “Nope,” She said, teleporting away from the farm and into the familiar shadowed coolness of the Everfree Forest, trotting past trees and along their shadows.

That barn was big, sure, but was that really somepony's idea of a Pokemon Gym? Gym equipment back against the walls? A straight path of red paint leading from the doorway to the far end of the barn, where a wooden chair impaled a stack of hay bales? Applejack seated upon that chair, looking down on her properly-painted Pokemon battle arena and at the three ponies waiting around the barn, each with their own paths that intersected with the main path! Who designed that? That's what Dawn wanted to know. It couldn't have been Applejack, she didn't seem like the looking-down-on-others type.

At the two rows of wooden stands on either side of the Pokemon battlefield looked cool. It was a shame only Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Applejack's friends were there to watch. It would have looked way cooler if a few hundred ponies filled those wooden stands.

Also, the three ponies at the gym... Apple Bloom, Big Mac, and Granny Smith. Where was anypony else? Why wasn't the place full of Apple Ponies from other towns?

And the paths... Why did Big Mac and Apple Bloom's path cross over, so you could walk between the two of them at once? Why did Granny Smith get her own path? What, did she not like Double Battles?

Also, why didn't the paths have any barriers? Nothing would stop her from ignoring the paths and walking around everypony so she could fight Applejack first, besides her pride.

Dawn shook her head. Sure, the place felt strangely familiar, but a Fighting-type Gym needed more explicitly fighting-type-themed things. Like a puzzle that forced you to push punchbags into stacks of tyres, or something metaphorically themed around something Applejack liked, such as farming! That gym was just too... simple.

Then again, Applejack liked simple. Didn't she?

The chair on a hay bale was garbage, though, it needed to be replaced by something that suited her and her theme, like an exercise ball that looked like a big red apple.

Something running through the grass caught her attention, and the attention of her Riolu. Something nearby.

Dawn dropped to the ground, and her Riolu jumped down from her back. They moved away from one another as they instinctively stalked their prey like wolves.

Hiding in tall grass, Dawn and Raiden found what they'd heard before: A small thing with long and straight green hair. It walked on two legs, its body coated in overly-long white cloth that trailed behind it.

“Hey there!” Dawn cooed at the thing, stepping out from her hiding spot.

“Rio!” Raiden the Riolu greeted happily, waving and walking closer.

The Pokemon slowly drew closer, seeming to like that yellow Riolu.

Dawn lowered her grinning head closer to the Pokemon, who suddenly turned tail and fled.

“HEY!” Dawn snapped, her horn sparking to life and forming a bright bone-white glow around her horn, and around the fleeing Psychic's body. Her magic pulled the Pokemon into the air and towards her, where the green-haired thing did her best to growl in an intimidating manner. When that failed, she took in a deep breath, and focused.

Dawn felt a strange pinching sensation in the upper-left of her brain, and ignored it as she violently shook the Pokemon, breaking her concentration. The pain went away, and a painfully small and faint voice released a long, high-pitched... It was like that sound you heard when, after you squished a squeaky toy, you slowly unsquished it, and air slowly rushed back in. It wasn't loud, it wasn't annoying, this miserable sound didn't hurt her ears. Hearing it hurt her soul.

“Raiden, use Thunderbolt!” Dawn shouted.

“Riii-yo!” Raiden shouted, building up a bright-yellow electrical charge around its body and punching at the Ralts, sending a jolt of electricity at her.

It struck the Pokemon and hurt a little, and the faint almost-screaming sound got a little higher in pitch

Horn still glowing, Dawn's magic grabbed a Pokeball from her belt and smacked its button onto the Ralts's head. The ball opened and fired a beam of light at the Pokemon, digitizing her and converting her into light and data the ball pulled inside and stored.

One shake, two shakes, three shakes. With a faint and victorious “Ding!”, the ball confirmed that it had finished capturing that Pokemon.

“Finally,” Dawn sighed, and her Riolu did the same. But the yellow Pokemon seemed... saddened. She began tugging on the Alicorn's tail.

“Ri?” Raiden asked, pointing at the ball. She brought her paws together in fists, and pulled them apart vertically, as if asking her to open the Pokeball.

“Alright,” Dawn shrugged, opening the new Pokeball. Light spilled out and retook the form of a shaking and shivering Ralts, who nervously backed away from the Alicorn again, but found itself unable to flee.

Raiden rushed over and hugged the Ralts, purring softly. Body relaxing, the Ralts stopped shaking, and hugged back.

“Sorry about that,” Dawn apologized sadly, petting the Ralts' head with a hoof. “Whoever I really am, I... I don't think I took rejection well in my past life.”

“Ra.” The Ralts softly sang for a moment, seeming to agree.

“I don't know who I was in my old life, but I want to make this new life one worth living.” Dawn said with conviction. “I want to make a lot of new Pokemon friends. And I want to beat all the Gym Leaders, and the Elite Four, and the Champion! Doesn't that sound exciting?”

The timid Pokemon shook her head, and Dawn removed her hoof.

“What about getting to evolve and become one of the strongest Pokemon of all time?” Dawn asked with a grin.

She shook her head, and Dawn had an idea.

“What about getting to evolve and become the most beautiful Pokemon ever?” Dawn asked with a feline smile.

She nodded eagerly.

“That's the spirit! I think I'm going to call you... Aurora.” Dawn decided. “And today, we're going to kick Pokemon butt in our first ever Gym Battle!”

“Rio!” Raiden the Riolu cheered, punching the sky.

“Ra...” Aurora the Ralts cheered with far less enthusiasm, awkwardly mimicking Raiden's posture.

Meanwhile, back at the barn, Big Mac awkwardly let out a small cough, attracting the attention of everypony in the room for a moment.

“When is your new friend gonna get here?” Apple Bloom asked Applejack.

“Soon.” Applejack insisted with absolute certainty.

“...Can I use the bathroom first?” She asked.

“Fine, but be quick.” Applejack said, and Apple Bloom galloped off to the farm's outhouse.

Big Mac opened his mouth, ready to ask a question.

“Yes, you can go, too.” Applejack said, and he rushed off.

Soon, only Applejack, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, and Granny Smith were left. If you didn't count the rest of the mane six waiting in the stands.

“Are you going to ask to go to the outhouse, too?” Scootaloo asked. That was usually how this joke went, after all.

The elderly mare grinned. “Ah already went.”

“Ewwww!” Sweetie Belle recoiled in disgust.

“Before Ah got here!” The old mare insisted, and started to doze off.

7 - The Simple Ways! Gym Battle VS Applejack's Family!

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Dawn entered Applejack's gym, a really big barn. Gym equipment was back against the walls, ready for action. Before her, a straight path of red paint ran from the doorway to a painted Pokemon Arena the size of a football pitch at the far end of the barn. The field was overlooked by a a wooden chair impaling a stack of hay bales, and Applejack was seated upon that chair, looking down at the three ponies waiting around the barn with their own paths that intersected with the main path, the closest two paths intersecting with each other's.

Apple Bloom and Big Mac were closest, facing each other. Apple Bloom seemed ready to kick some flank, while Big Mac just looked bored. His belt was black, with one Pokeball. Her belt was white, with two. Closer to Applejack, Granny Smith was there, sleeping while standing. Her belt was black, with one Pokeball.

“Nice gym!” Dawn Skystar announced, walking along the path with her Riolu riding on her back. When she walked in front of the two Pokemon Trainers, they grabbed Pokeballs from their belts with their tails and threw them into the air, bringing out two Pokemon: An ordinary Meditite, and a red and white fighting-type Grotle with a giant fist on its back instead of a tree.

“You're a billion light years away from fighting my sister!” Apple Bloom declared.

“Eeyup!” Big Mac agreed.

Everypony awkwardly rushed over to the official Pokemon gym arena's painted lines for a double battle, and Dawn brought out her Ralts.

“If you beat one of us, this'll become a two-on-one until it becomes a one-on-one, to make things fair, ok? Meditite, use Confusion!” Apple Bloom shouted.

“Raiden, use Gust on Meditite! Aurora, use Confusion on Meditite!” Dawn commanded.

“Grotle, use Stockpile.” Big Mac just sort of... said, not getting into the spirit of things at all.

Meditite and Ralts put their hands to their head and confused each other at the same time, making both stumble back awkwardly, right as Raiden's wings flared out. She flapped her wings hard at the Psychic-Fighting Pokemon, blasting her with brutal winds that knocked him on his butt hard enough to knock him out.

Grotle's face got a little fatter while he built up a protective green aura around it that faded into transparency.

“Well that was quick,” Dawn commented as Apple Bloom returned her Meditite and brought out a Makuhita.

“This is my best Pokemon!” Apple Bloom declared, “Makuhita, use Arm Thrust on Ralts!”

“Grotle, use Stockpile!” Big Mac just sort of... said, again.

“Raiden, use Gust on Makuhita! Aurora, use Confusion on Makuhita!” Dawn commanded.

Makuhita ran over to the Ralts and prepared to thrust an arm into her face. Ralts put her hands to her head and psychically pinched the brain of Makuhita, annoying him into stumbling for a moment, almost falling over forwards, but he recovered in time for Raiden to leap up and send a brutal gust of wind down into his head, taking advantage of the moment to knock him on his back.

Grotle's face got a little fatter still while he built up a protective green aura around it that faded into transparency.

“Makuhita, use Arm Thrust!”

“Grotle, use Stockpile!” Big Mac just sort of... said, once more.

“Raiden, use Gust on Makuhita! Aurora, use Confusion on Makuhita!” Dawn commanded.

Aurora, Dawn's Ralts, pinched Makuhita's brain so hard, she made him confused about what day it was. And about what he'd just heard.

“Did she say... Punch myself in the face?” Makuhita wondered in Pokemon-speak. “Well, she's the boss.”

Makuhita punched himself in the face hard, knocking himself out. Raiden, wings flared out, turned in the air and blasted Grotle with air instead, not that he seemed to notice.

Grotle's face got a little fatter still while he built up a protective green aura around it that faded into transparency.

“Well, I'm out.” Apple Bloom said, returning her Pokemon and deciding to cheer Mac on. “Kick her butt, Mac!”

“Eeyup,” He said with grim determination.

“Raiden, use Gust on Grotle! Aurora, use Confusion on Grotle!” Dawn commanded.

“Spit Up, Grotle!” Big Mac shouted.

Aurora pinched Grotle's brain, and it hurt a little. Raiden blew a blast of wind at Grotle, and it hurt a little more.

Grotle opened his mouth wide and launched a massive beam of white energy at Ralts, making her scream in that miserable quiet voice that wished it could be louder. When the beam ended, she collapsed.

“AURORA!” Dawn cried, grabbing the Ralts with her white magic and pulling her closer for a hug. She returned the Pokemon to her Pokeball, and glared at Big Mac. “You want this to be one-on-one? Fine! Raiden, use Gust!”

“Stockpile.” Big Mac said.

Raiden flew up and flapped a blast of wind at the Grotle, who began to glow and fatten.

“Raiden, use Gust!”

“Stockpile.” Big Mac said.

Raiden flew up and flapped a blast of wind at the Grotle, who collapsed.

Dawn blinked. “Wow, I... uh... I thought I wouldn't win until I said to use Gust for the third time.”

“Well, you win.” Big mac said, getting some money out of an invisible pocket in his belt and throwing it to her, while Apple Bloom did the same. Dawn used her magic to pick the money up and put it in her own belt's invisible money bag, and teleported away in a flash of white light.

“Wait, is she going to the Pokemon Center?” Apple Bloom asked in disgust.

“There ain't no rule against it,” Applejack shrugged.

“Yeah, but that's so lame.” Apple Bloom said, looking down. “Everypony knows the COOL trainers don't leave a gym unless they have a badge or a team full of fainted Pokemon.”

Dawn reappeared and trotted along to Granny Smith, who was still asleep. She was sure the old mare would wake up as soon as she walked past her, but she didn't.

“HEY! WAKE UP!” Dawn yelled.

“Battle me tomorrow, I'll take the badge off ye if ye lose.” Granny Smith murmured in her sleep.

Dawn shrugged and trotted on to Applejack. “Hello, I'm here for your Gym Badge!” The Alicorn greeted.

“Rio!” Raiden waved happily, and then she threateningly caught a right punch with her left hand. “Ri-rio!” She called gleefully.

Applejack hopped down from her chair, and took her spot on the Pokemon battlefield. “This is yer first rodeo, so I'll make it easy on ya. We've both got three Pokemon, so this'll be a three-on-three match.”

“Will this match have any weird gimmicks?” Dawn asked. “Like, will boxing gloves on sticks come out of the arena or something?”

“Of course not! Mah Gym's dedicated to plain ol' Pokemon battles, because the simple ways are best.”

“Is that why you don't have any weird puzzles?” Dawn asked.

“Eeyup!” Applejack said proudly. “If you walk out of my gym, it's because the Apple Family kicked you out!”

“Or,” Dawn said with a grin as her Riolu, Raiden, took her place on the Pokemon battlefield, and Applejack's tail took a Pokeball from her belt. “Because I got your badge!”

8 - The Fighting Farmer! Gym Battle VS Applejack!

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“This will be a Three-on-Three Pokemon battle for the Honesty Badge!” Twilight Sparkle, the referee, announced. “The Challenger, Dawn Skystar, may switch her Pokemon out at any time! This battle will commence... Now!”

Applejack's tail threw a Pokeball into the air, where it clicked open. Light spilled out and formed a long-furred bone-white Monferno, with a purple flame on its tail. Large dark-grey circles formed a mask and surrounded its eyes, and it stared at her opponent with unforgiving purple eyes as its flame grew larger.

Riolu checked her out and whistled, and Monferno didn't react.

“Ghost and Fighting?” Dawn guessed.

“Eeyup. Her abilities are Fur Coat and Pressure,” Applejack said proudly. “Them fancy five-PP moves ain't worth much after a few'o them hit her!”

“Then it's a good thing Gust has a lot of PP... JUST LIKE THUNDERBOLT!” Dawn declared. “Raiden, Thunderbolt!”

“Monferno, Phantom Force!”

“Riii... YOOO!” Raiden cried, building up an aura of bright yellow and unleashing it at the Monferno, who took it without flinching. She faded out of existence, and disappeared.

“Did I just win?” Dawn and her Riolu asked at the same time, the Riolu asking it in Pokemon-speak.

Monferno appeared behind Raiden and kicked her in the head hard enough to send her face-first into the ground, the ghost's body painfully cold to the touch.

“Raiden, Thunderbolt!” Dawn cried.

Without getting up or moving, Raiden charged up electricity. Angrily pointing her right paw at Monferno's face, she unleashed another bolt of lightning, and this one seemed to hurt about as much as a flick to the forehead, if the ghost's reaction was any indication.

Dawn sincerely hoped that, some day, the scale of her Pokemon battles would get to the point where every move was packed with importance and strategic planning. But until then, battles were a damage contest, a race to see who could knock the other out first. “Wing Attack!” She cried.

“Shadow Ball!” Applejack shouted, and Monferno put its hands together, behind it. It gathered and charged ghostly energy into a ball, and something nagged at Dawn's brain, a strange sense that she'd seen this pose before.

Raiden's wings flared out and she flew past the ghostly fighter while using the edge of her wings to strike her in the face, right in the nose. Her composure broken, the Monferno screamed and grabbed the rounded monkey thing she called a nose, because it now had a dent in its upper side, like a dented car, her shadow ball dropping to the floor and dissipating.

“Shadow Ball!” Applejack shouted.

“Dodge it!” Dawn shouted back. “Then use Peck!”

Monferno put its hands together, behind it. It gathered and charged ghostly energy into a ball, and shot it forwards at the Riolu, who dodged it. A beak of white energy formed on Riolu's face, and she divebombed down into her opponent.

“Phantom Force!” Applejack cried, and the Monferno faded out of existence, vanishing. Riolu flared her wings out to slow her descent, landing gracefully and looking around in confusion.

Dawn got an idea. “Quick, fly up! As high as you can!”

A wing-assisted leap sent Raiden rocketing into the air, flaring her wings out to slow her ascent as she got closer to the ceiling. There, she hovered, and waited.

Monferno appeared right behind her, foot covered in shadow energy, and...

She fell to the ground like a stone, hitting the ground and passing out.

“Monferno is unable to battle! Dawn wins this round!” Twilight declared.

“YES!” Dawn cried, punching a hoof into the air. Her Riolu flew down and landed on it gracefully, to the Trainer's surprise. She decided to go with it, rearing up on one leg while she did the same. Dawn fell onto her backside, and decided to never do that again, her Riolu hopping off and landing beside her. “Take a rest, Raiden, you've earned it.”

“Of course!” Rarity realized. “Fur Coat might half the damage from physical attacks, but falling onto the ground isn't a Pokemon attack!”

Applejack's tail grabbed her second Pokeball from her belt, and threw it into the air to bring her final Pokemon out. “Go, Appleseed!”

It was a Machamp, Dawn realized, but he was the wrong colour. He was mud-brown, and he had small golden Topaz gems on his knuckles. A large yellow Topaz gem was embedded in the center of his chest. His head bore a shockingly long mane of sand-brown hair, which whipped behind it in a non-existent breeze.

“What Type is that?” Dawn asked.

“Rock-Type and Fighting Type! His abilities are No Guard, and Solid Rock! Which means he takes a quarter less damage from super-effective attacks, and never misses!”

“In that case, I'll send out Aurora!” Dawn decided, and she did so, her Riolu jumping back off the battlefield to land next to her trainer and recline casually. Her small and green-haired Ralts seemed even smaller on the massive battlefield, and even smaller when compared to the colossal monster in front of her, this twisted sculpture of muscle and bulk, this... this mockery of the humanoid form.

Slowly, she turned her head around to face her trainer, and weakly pointed at the muscular beast. “Ral?” She asked quietly.

“She didn't change her type?” Applejack asked herself.

“Don't back down, Aurora!” Dawn shouted. “Fighting-Types are weak to Psychic-Types, and that's just what you are! That, and Fairy, but we don't need to beat a Dragon up just yet. It don't matter what she thinks! It don't matter what abilities that beast has, because you have the best ability of all: The ability to make me believe in you! I BELIEVE IN YOU, AURORA! Now use Confusion!”

“Appleseed, use Mach Punch!” Applejack commanded.

The green-haired Pokemon concentrated, and achieved nothing as the massive fighting-type Pokemon rushed toward her. The bulky Pokemon punched the Ralts in her face with a strong uppercut, one that sent the Pokemon flying like a kicked football. Aurora soared into the air and hit the ceiling with a loud clang, falling and landing near the entrance like a sack of potatoes.

“What?!” Dawn gasped. How could believing in her Pokemon NOT guarantee her victory? What, was it a bad idea to send a Pokemon she'd just caught into an incredibly important Pokemon battle with one of the strongest Trainers in the region?

She realized what a stupid move she'd made, and she calmed down. She deserved that loss. She deserved ALL the losses. She deserved to lose this match, all over this one mistake.

But Raiden didn't make that mistake. She had dreams of her own, even though her trainer had never bothered to ask what they were. And it was time for Raiden to fight for her dreams!

“Aurora, return!” She yelled pointlessly, her magic grabbing Ralts' Pokeball and returning the Pokemon to it. She threw another Pokeball into the air, where it spilled light onto the battlefield, light that became her Riolu. “Take him down, Raiden!”

The Riolu was pumped already, but upon seeing her opponent, she squealed with delight like a young filly at some boyband's concert.

Appleseed the Machamp proudly began flexing for her, and Riolu loudly hooted and cheered the Pokemon on, and Dawn wondered if this was weird or not.

“Calm down, Raiden.” Dawn said, getting her attention. “You aren't just here to admire that thing's body, you're here to beat it up!”

The cute little Pokemon cheered, even happier than before. She hopped and danced around, before settling into a low stance, left arm back and bent upwards at the elbow, right arm pointing towards the giant Pokemon. She beckoned it forwards with her paw, flicking it towards herself, and he grinned, looking forward to the fight.

Dawn thought for a moment. Normally, Fighting was weak to Flying, and Rock resisted it. But with that Solid Rock ability, would he resist Flying attacks even more than he usually would? She had no idea, but she was pretty sure Electric-type attacks would still deal the regular damage on this foe. “Raiden, use Thunderbolt!”

“Mach Punch, Appleseed!” Applejack commanded.

“Riii... YOOO!” Raiden cried, building up an aura of bright yellow and unleashing it at the Monferno, who flexed his muscles and took it with a grimace. Then, he punched the air, sending an impossibly fast bullet of air at Raiden's face, knocking her out in one strike.

“RAIDEN!” Dawn cried in shock. She used her magic to pull the Pokemon closer, so she could hug it.

Opening her eyes for a second, the Riolu whispered something. “Ri... Yo.”

She passed out in her hooves.


A tear rolled down Rarity's cheek as Fluttershy watched with teary eyes, irritation building in an unimpressed Rainbow Dash as Pinkie Pie continued to munch popcorn she'd gotten from... somewhere.

“She's fine!” Rainbow Dash shouted from the wooden stands. “Just get on with the rest of the fight already!”

“You did good, Raiden.” Dawn said, lowering the hero's body beside the arena. “Now... I'll finish this with one move!”

“Bring out your last pathetic Pokemon, Dawn!” Applejack would shout if she was evil. Dawn would reply with a shout of “My team has no pathetic Pokemon, Applejack! But it does have... The unstoppable WaveOcean!”

Dawn blinked, returning to reality. “Go, WaveOcean!” She declared, sending out her Shedinja. Her big blue Shedinja, whose hollow eyes seemed to stare into the souls of both of her opponents, unnerving the big brute and killing all excitement the farmer had for this fight.

“Oh no.” Twilight said quietly, realizing her mistake.

“That better not be-” Applejack began flatly.

“It's Water-type!” Dawn announced with pride.

Applejack's hoof swiftly met her face. “And its abilities are...”

Almost like an Opera singer, the Alicorn sang, “Wonder Guaaaard, and Mooow-tooooor.... Driiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!”

Appleseed the Machamp fell to his knees and screamed at the sky.

Applejack's face swiftly met the floor. “And none of mah Pokemon know any Grass attacks. Monferno don't, Appleseed don't, and Rhyperior don't. Well, guess that means Ah can't do anything now. Ah don't fancy gettin' Water Gun'd for a few hours 'fore losin' anyway. Ah surrender. You win.”

“Applejack is unable to battle! Dawn wins!” Dawn cheered, grabbing the badge with her magic and rearing up, punching the sky. “I got... The Honesty Badge!”

Riolu leaped up and landed on her head, arms folded, wings flared out. “Ri-rio lu!” She announced proudly.

Rainbow Dash and Pinkie booed her, and the pink mare started throwing popcorn.

9 - A Velvet Preview

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Dawn didn't remember hearing the expression “To feel a real heel” before, nor did she remember what a heel was.

But she remembered enough to know one thing.

Winning this match like this, with what felt like a cheap trick, one much cheaper than using the walls to his advantage... was lame. Winning a match because her opponent couldn't harm one almost-completely-invincible Pokemon Twilight probably felt tempted to take away or turn into something more easily defeated left a foul taste in her mouth.

“Applejack, I'm sorry.” Dawn said to the farmer.

“No need fer that, Sugarcube.” She said good-naturedly, and looked to the better Alicorn. “Twilight, how do you beat the horseapples Dawn just pulled?”

Dawn flinched in surprise. What, was Applejack only furious on the inside or something? She didn't seem the type, but then, she'd never seen the pony on the receiving end of the scummiest, most disgusting strategy Dawn could ever think of. At least, Dawn hoped it would be the scummiest, most disgusting strategy she'd ever think of. She didn't know why thinking of ways to cheat and claim she was “Just optimizing” came so easily to her, but she didn't like how this felt, and she didn't want this to be who she would become.

“Normally, only Grass-type and Electric-type attacks would be able to hurt Dawn's Water-type Shedinja, but his second ability, Motor Drive, means he's also immune to Electric-type attacks. So, Grass attacks. However, Pokemon born in Sinnoh have the unique ability to harm Pokemon with Wonder Guard, but only when using the move Fire Fang. Scientists still aren't sure how that's possible, but for a more readily available option, a Ditto with Impostor can become a near-perfect replica of Dawn's Shedinja, but with more HP, and she doesn't have any powerful Grass-types that could harm this Pokemon herself. And if you want to keep your Fighting-type theme, any Pokemon with Mold Breaker can bypass Wonder Guard entirely,” Twilight explained.

“I want one,” Applejack decided, taking a Pokeball from her belt with her tail and throwing it to Twilight. “Mah third Pokemon's a Fighting-Ground Conkeldurr with Speed Boost and Pure Power, better make that second one Mold Breaker instead.”

“Got it,” Twilight nodded, catching the Pokeball with her magic.

Fluttershy spoke up, reminding everypony that she existed. “Can I have one?”

Just as Twilight was about to say something, something... changed. Time slowed and froze, and the world grew colder. Everything grew paler and whiter, as if a malevolent force was draining away all the colour and life in the world. Dawn looked around in shock, poking Twilight in the face, but she couldn't move.

A small blue butterfly flew down to her, incredibly eye-catching against the faded white world. She stuck out her right hoof, and the butterfly landed on it, taking her away in a blinding white flash.

The blinding light around her lessened, and she gradually regained the ability to see. She stood alone in a raised white circle ten feet wide, ten stairs high and made from solid marble. Four sets of stairs spread out from this circle in the cardinal directions, three pointing to paths that stretched off into the distance, framed by rows of massive bookshelves filled with identical white-covered books. The fourth pointed to a wall with an empty mahogany desk and plush velvet-seated wooden chair that directly faced her.

Her horn lit up and she grabbed a book from the first bookshelf she saw, opening it up. She saw letters, but they didn't form words. Letters were strung together at random, spaces here and there to make the random sequences of symbols seem more like words. She dropped it and grabbed another book, flipping through it in shock. Each page was filled with garbled nonsense, as though someone had smashed his face into a keyboard to fill each book. The first book levitated itself on its own, shocking her into dropping the second book. Both flew back to their original positions, and a deep chuckle caught her ear, causing it to twitch.

Her head whipped around to the sound's source, and her eyes locked onto that desk and chair, where three beings were waiting for her.

An elderly grey Vulture-Lion Griffon with wild wide eyes and an absolutely massive beak stared directly at her, seated on that wooden chair. He was flanked on either side by a little bone-white filly with matching gold-trimmed deep-blue Prison Guard uniforms, matching golden eyes, and pale platinum-blond manes. On the left, a mane curled into a right side-bun, and on the right, a mane tied into a tight ponytail. On the left, a Pegasus, and on the right, a Unicorn. Both fillies had their eye furthest from the Griffon covered by matching black eyepatches with a ornate golden 'V' wreathed in golden laurel emblazoned upon both.

“You two are so cute!” Dawn squealed like she had just spotted a puppy, picking up the Pegasus on the left with her magic. “Will you play dress-up with me?”

“Let me go, Blank!” She snapped furiously, throwing a black police baton at Dawn's face, stunning her and negating her magic. The Pegasus grabbed her Baton and flew back to her original position, holstering it.

Dawn clutched her face. That hurt! More than she felt it should have.

And, that name... She had never been called a 'Blank' before. Was it some kind of insult in this world?

“You're only experiencing this as a daydream,” The Unicorn to the Griffon's right explained serenely, in this strangely detatched, slightly-bored way.

“You're in the presence of our Master, Blank! Stand up straight!” The Pegasus to his left snapped, and Dawn did so, standing to attention and saluting.

“Blank Page...” The Griffon said with in a shockingly deep, rumbling voice. ”Welcome to my Velvet Room.”

Stunned, Dawn raised a hoof. “I... have SO many questions. First of all, why are you calling this a velvet room when nothing but the chair is made of Velvet? Second, how big is this place? Third, if this place only exists in a daydream, how did you make me daydream while I was with my friends? Fourth, why are all the books nonsense? Fifth-”

He raised a palm with outstretched talons, and she instinctively stopped. “Don't bother, you won't remember any of this.” He rumbled. ”It isn't time for your true awakening just yet. But remember this: The hour of disaster is soon approaching. You're going to need power, and a great deal of it.”

“Capture strong Pokemon, make sure nothing bad happens to Twilight, got it.” Dawn nodded.

He chuckled again. “You'll need more than that, Blank Page. The bonds between friends can be powerful things, but your bonds aren't strong enough yet. Nor do you have enough of them.”

“Make friends with everypony just like Pinkie Pie, got it.” Dawn nodded.

“Shut up, Blank!” The spirited Pegasus snapped at Dawn.

“Shallow friendships won't do,” The Griffon explained. “You need deep bonds, with ponies who can be... useful to you, in your goals.”

“What goals? Becoming Equestria's Pokemon Champion?” Dawn asked.

“Surviving,” The Griffon explained, “And making sure your friends do the same.”

“That disaster you mentioned...” Dawn began, concerned. “It's big, isn't it?”

“Indeed.” He confirmed.

“How do you know this? Who are you?” Dawn asked.

“I am Igor, the caretaker of this library. These are my assistants, Chamomile,” He glanced at the spirited Pegasus, and then, the serene Unicorn. ”And Justice.”

“What does Blank mean?” Dawn asked.

“In all the stories of all the worlds, all the tales of heroes and villains... There are Tricksters, Truthseekers, Messiahs, and more. But no figure is as prevalent or as full of potential as the simple void, the empty cup, the blank page.” He explained. “You are like the number zero...”

“Your mom's like the number zero.” Dawn retorted.

Chamomile almost lost it right there. She violently slammed her baton onto the ground with a harsh crack, a sliver of plastic flying from the weapon's tip, her wings flaring out. “Watch your tongue, Blank!” She roared, ready to attack.

Igor chuckled, and she relaxed. “It's a compliment, Blank Page. You are like the number zero...” He explained. “You are empty, but at the same time, you hold infinite possibilities. Words of wisdom or absolute nonsense, you are free to fill your page with whatever you please.”

“Then why are all these books filled with nonsense?” Dawn asked.

“Shut up, it's symbolic!” Chamomile shouted.

Igor suddenly had a deck of Tarot cards in his hands. Taking one from the deck and placing it on the table before her, he showed her the tarot card known as The Fool. From her perspective, upright, and from his, reversed. And the card was subtly wrong, according to her instincts. The card's image was painted in greys, blacks, and whites on a wall of red diamonds. A Jester's hat on his head, an equine Stallion on two legs carried a hobo-bundle on a stick, while a dog gnawed at his left leg. A frown graced the pony's eyeless face.

Colour began to fade from the world. “Find useful ponies, and get closer to them,” Igor told her, as the world faded into whiteness. “We'll meet again, when the time is right.”

“Certainly,” Twilight said to Fluttershy, “Which Pokemon would like to have Mold Breaker?”

“Did anypony else just see that?” Dawn panicked and asked, looking around and forgetting why she was doing that, calming down.

“See what?” Twilight asked curiously.

“I... Nevermind, I must have just flashed back on something.” Dawn said shyly, unwilling to admit she'd remembered and then forgotten something so quickly. “Anyway, Fluttershy, what are you the Gym Leader of, again?”

“Grass-type Pokemon,” Fluttershy said.

“Let's battle tomorrow.” Dawn offered. “First, I need to train hard and find some stronger Pokemon, so I never have to rely on cheap strategies again!”

“I can help with that,” Fluttershy offered. “I live next to the Everfree Forest, and, um... If you'd like, I could take you to any Pokemon's habitat you want.”

“Hmm... Sounds good, but I think I should add a Dragon or Ghost type to my team.” Dawn decided. Sure, she could mathematically work out what types her current team was weak to, and build her final three Pokemon around countering anything that could threaten her best three Pokemon, or she could get a powerful Grass-Type Pokemon who could defeat anypony that thought of using a Ditto on her Shedinja... Or, she could throw an awesome Dragon and an awesome Ghost into her team, and fill slot number six with some awesome sixth thing that covered her team's biggest weakness or countered something that countered her team's greatest strength.

“There are plenty of Ghosts at the old Castle of the Two Sisters, in the Everfree Forest,” Fluttershy explained.

“Fluttershy, lead the way!” Dawn declared happily.

“Hey, we have Flight Lessons today.” Rainbow Dash reminded the Alicorn.

“Oh, right. Fluttershy, lead the way! ...In two hours from now!” Dawn declared, and teleported to the Pokemon Center.

10 - The Chariot Flies

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Rainbow Dash groaned in exasperation at the tangled bundle of limbs on the ground, lowering in the sky to hover above it. “Come on, are you even trying?”

“Yes!” The Alicorn insisted.

“Then why can’t you fly?” Dash asked.

“Hey, I don’t even know how to use the bathroom yet!” Dawn snapped.

“You’re on your own there,” She said in disgust.

Dawn Skystar groaned, straightening her limbs on the floor, closing her eyes, and slamming her head face-first into the loamy and grassy soil. “This is hopeless,” Her muffled voice quietly whimpered, on the verge of tears.

Rainbow Dash felt bad for this loser. “Can’t you just remember how Twilight flies?” She asked hopefully.

“I don’t have any memories where she’s flying... Yet.” She grumbled. “Can’t we just wait until I remember how to fly? Come on, then you can teach me some cool tricks!”

“I guess we could do that, but... Don’t you want to learn on your own?” Rainbow Dash asked in confusion. She couldn’t imagine asking some Unicorn doctor to just beam a working knowledge of flight into her brain, like some lame Pegasi sometimes had to do, and this seemed like the same thing. “The first time I ever flew felt great.”

“How’d it go?”

“My dad hopped onto someone’s house, picked me up, and threw me like a basketball.”

Dawn’s head whipped up. “That’s horrible!”

“Don’t worry, he threw me above some clouds. So if I wasn’t ready to fly yet, I’d be fine. And he jumped off the house before anypony said anything. But the wind rushing past me, and the speed... It wasn’t much, but it was enough to... call to me. And my instincts. I just... spread my wings, without even thinking about it, and suddenly, I was flying, and I knew how to land.”

Dawn frowned. “I wish my instincts gave me useful stuff like that,” She muttered.

“Huh?” The Pegasus asked.

“Nevermind.” Dawn dismissed.

“No, for real. What do your instincts say to do?” Rainbow asked.

“To try and fly without moving my wings,” Dawn said in that strange manner one did when even the speaker knew nonsense was being said, but the nonsense wasn't worth the effort it would take to lie about.

“Weird. Everypony knows you need wings to fly and turn and catch thermals and stuff. But don’t worry, you’ll be as good as Twilight soon enough.”

“I want to be better than Twilight.” Dawn muttered.

That caught her attention. “You do?” Rainbow asked.

“Yeah. I don’t just want to be her less-good knockoff bootleg copy... Faker,” She said, looking down. Then, she realized what she said. “I mean, all ponies with relatives feel this way at some point, right?” She asked with a big and fake smile, hoping the pony would consider her normal.

“Makes sense,” Rainbow Dash said, deciding not to mention how she already knew Dawn was some kind of clone.

“I don’t want ponies to just look at me and think, ‘Hey, there goes Twilight Sparkle’s less-cool and less-interesting cousin’. I want to be my own mare with my own interesting and positive traits. Like being really good at flying, or magic, or Pokemon battling.”

“There’s more to being special than what you’re good at.” Rainbow Dash noted. “Like how you treat other ponies.”

“Yeah, but your fanclub loves you because you’re really fast in the air.” Dawn grumbled jealously.

“And because I've saved Equestria dozens of times, and they know I’ll always have their back.” Rainbow noted. "It took a lot of hard work to get this fast. A lot of sweat, long nights, and hard exercise. Are you sure you want to go through that, too?"

"Definitely. And you'll be there every step of the way... right?"


Some tense, slightly ominous music started to play in Dawn’s head, and the world paused.

“Thou art I, and I am thou...” What sounded like Chamomile’s serene and detached voice echoed in Dawn’s ears.

“Whaaat?” Dawn shouted like an old lady, looking around, hoping to see her hiding behind a tree while shouting into a big coffee cup with a hole in it, connected to another cup near her with a string, or something. That’d be hilarious.

But unfortunately, she didn’t see anything, and that lack of humor made this even scarier for her.

“Thou hast established a new bond. It shall become the sword and shield that shall stand with you on your day of judgement.” Chamomile’s voice continued to echo. “With the birth of the Chariot Persona, you have obtained the winds of blessing that shall lead to victory and new power.”

Dawn’s world was consumed with blank pages flying in from all sides, and time stopped. From the middle, white pages burned black, inky tendrils of flame spreading out before filling with rainbow colour, as a black and ash-white Chariot card formed in the fire’s center. The monochromatic card bore its name, “The Chariot”, the number VII, seven, and an unsubtly wrong image. It was a monochromatic image of a young blank-faced Pegasus foal with underdeveloped wings and a massive sharklike smile gleefully throwing her forehooves in the air as she sat in a cardboard box, the box’s front tied with thin cord to two lifeless tiny toy dogs with black beady eyes that sat on their chests and stared at the viewer, gold medals with red ribbon around their necks. Those medals, those splashes of colour on an otherwise completely-monochromatic image really popped out.

A white page with blue lines and black text that slowly wrote itself filled Dawn’s vision.

Social Link: Rainbow Dash

Arcana: Chariot

Rank 1

Progress: You’ve unlocked the Chariot confidant!

New Ability: Grace Under Faster – Gain an additional 10% Critical Hit Chance when your Pokemon outspeeds his or her targeted foe.

The pages, the flames, the boxes and new information all swept themselves out of her vision as time resumed, leaving her alone and confused in a world that now seemed even more unfamiliar.

“The Chariot?” Dawn asked in confusion.

“What?” Rainbow Dash asked. “What Chariot?”

Oh, right, Rainbow Dash was still here.

Rainbow Dash was here, and... She wasn’t sure why, but that thought was starting to fill her with confidence. Her new best friend was right here, for her, and would always have her back. As she thought of her new bond with Rainbow Dash, she felt a strange power in her heart strengthening.

She recalled words she didn’t remember hearing Igor speak, and she could almost see that lidless-eyed Vulture in front of her, talking to her.

“The Persona ability is the power to control one’s own heart... And the heart is strengthened through bonds. As you form bonds by becoming involved with others, your own Social Links will gradually develop. The power of these Social Links is what will determine your Persona’s abilities. They will also aid you in Pokemon Battles.

“Social Links...” Dawn said aloud, looking dramatically at the sky. “Is this bond with Rainbow Dash what Igor was talking about?”

“Igor? Like the guy who helped Doctor Build-A-Bear?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“No, a different Igor.” Dawn explained, and paused when the latter half of that sentence had fully registered in her mind. “Huh?”

“You know, that old book where a pony builds a bear out of stuffed parts and brings it to life using lightning,” She explained.

“You really are an egghead,” Dawn smirked.

“No I’m not!” Rainbow Dash pouted cutely, and Dawn saw strange smiling rainbow music-note marks fly away from the Pegasus and into her own heart. Was that visible friendship seeping into her? “Twilight just started giving me a bunch of old books to read.”

“That’s nice of her.” Dawn said.

“Yeah,” Rainbow said, and more visible music notes of friendship flew from Rainbow Dash’s heart to Dawn Skystar’s. “Some are good, but some are really... weird. And long. She really wants me to read them all, so we can talk about them, but...”

She leaned in close.

”Don’t tell her this, but I don’t think I could get through all of these on my own.”

“I’d love to read them with you,” Dawn offered.

“You’d do that for me?” Rainbow asked, surprised. “But what about your Pokemon adventure?”

“It’s not much of an adventure if six of the eight Gym Leaders hang around in one town and I can teleport anywhere I want, whenever I want. Fluttershy knows where all the best Pokemon habitats are, and Twilight probably knows a lot about Pokemon-“

“Twilight knows everything there is to know about Pokemon,” Rainbow Dash clarified.

“The thing is, if I asked her to help me find books that say where the super-rare best Pokemon ever are, she’d be able to tell me.”

“We already know where a ton of the Legendaries are, since we team up to save the world with them every few weeks.”

Dawn’s jaw dropped. “Really?”

“Yeah! I remember that time Fluttershy rode around on Lugia’s back while Twilight fought Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres at the same time like it was yesterday.”

“You guys are so cool.” Dawn said, and visible friendship flew from Rainbow’s heart to Dawn’s as she blushed at the compliment. “So, same time next week?”

“Huh?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“Next week, and the next week after that, and every week from now on, let’s get together for an hour. We can practice flying, and when we’re done, we can read those old books from Twilight together.”

“That sounds awesome!” Rainbow Dash said.

“Well, I’d better get going. Those Pokemon in the Everfree aren’t going to catch themselves!” Dawn said happily, teleporting away in a flash of white light.

11 - The Empress Smiles

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“You know,” Dawn said with her Riolu on her back as she walked deeper into the Everfree with Fluttershy, flanked on all sides by her powerful Grass-type Pokemon. “I'm surprised you aren't scared of ghosts,” Dawn admitted.

“Of course not! Ghost Pokemon are Pokemon, too. And some of them, like Banette, are so cute!” She squeed cutely. “What kind of Ghost Pokemon would you like?”

“I want a sword guy,” Dawn decided.

“A... sword guy?” She asked.

“Yeah. You know, the sword guy that becomes two swords, and then a sword and a shield.


“I want a Honedge.” Dawn decided. “I'm gonna fuse him with something with super-awesome attack power and I'll have the best Pokemon ever. Then I'll find a nice partner for my Ralts to fuse with, too!”

Fluttershy really wasn't sure what to make of this mare. She often seemed to view her Pokemon solely as tools that had to be “The best ever” for some reason, but at the same time, she loved her Pokemon and she loved petting them, playing with them, praising them for doing a good job, and generally having a great time with them.

She felt like taking this mare home with her and showing her the life of a professional Vet and Pokemon Breeder. Getting her to cook Pokemon food and take care of all her different Pokemon would have to teach her the value of being nice to all Pokemon, not just the strong ones, right? Then again, she was pretty sure this pony would hate being on doodie duty even more than Rainbow Dash.

And something about this pony just seemed... off. Dawn seemed nice, sure, but also a bit fake. Only two things really seemed real about her: Her need for greater power, and her inability to remember who she was before she lost her memories.

Suddenly, a Shuckle appeared, distracting Fluttershy from her thoughts.

“Thunderbolt!” Dawn yelled.

“Rio... LUUU!” Raiden roared, electrocuting the stuffing out of Shuckle while still remaining on Dawn's back. Her mastery over electricity wasn't perfect by any means, but volts flew into Dawn and the Shuckle at around a thirty to seventy ratio, which was pretty good, she supposed. The volts didn't really hurt her, after all, but Raiden felt guilty about it anyway and decided to jump off her back and land in front of her.

Shuckle used Sticky Web, spewing web at the ground around an increasingly overconfident Raiden.

“Thunderbolt!” Dawn yelled.

“Rio... LUUUUUU!” Raiden roared, electrocuting Shuckle far harder, burning and charring a few spots on its body and making it scream.

“Nice, a critical hit!” Dawn cheered.

The thin-necked Pokemon lowered its head, panting softly.

“Pokeball, go!” Dawn cried, throwing her Pokeball at the new Pokemon, right in its stupid face. It stung a little, as the ball cracked open and converted the Pokemon into light, sealing the light within itself. One shake, two shakes, three shakes, and she was done.

“Yeah!” Dawn cried, grabbing the Pokeball with her magic and posing. “I got... A Shuckle!”

“That's nice,” Fluttershy said nicely.

Dawn's eyes widened. “And, I just got... an idea!”

Fluttershy seemed uncertain. “That's... nice.”

“I could catch a Honedge and evolve it into an Aegislash, and then fuse this Shuckle with that Aegislash to get insane defenses!”

“That's nice!” She said happily. It was nice to see a trainer respect defensive powerhouses, rather than the usual all-out hyper-offensive Pokemon.

“Then I could use Power Split on my opponent and equalize his great attack stats with my awful ones!”

“That's... nice.”

“Until he switched out, then his attack would return to normal. But mine would still be buffed! Unless someone made me switch out. But then I could just switch back in and do it again!”

“That's...” She thought of Dawn using that strategy on her, and struggled to keep her lunch down. “Nice,” She forced herself to say.

“Gee, I sure feel really close to you!” Dawn shouted, suddenly grabbing Fluttershy's head and pulling it closer, nuzzling it. “We both love Pokemon a lot!”

Fluttershy started to panic. “Please let go!” She begged.

Some tense, slightly ominous music started to play in Dawn’s head, and the world paused.

“Thou art I, and I am thou...” What sounded like Chamomile’s serene and detached voice echoed in Dawn’s ears.

“Whaaat?” Dawn shouted like an old lady, looking around, hoping to see her hiding behind a tree while shouting into a big coffee cup with a hole in it, connected to another cup near her with a string, or something. That’d be hilarious.

But unfortunately, she didn’t see anything, and that lack of humor made this even scarier for her.

“Thou hast established a new bond. It shall become the sword and shield that shall stand with you on your day of judgement.” Chamomile’s voice continued to echo. “With the birth of the Empress Persona, you have obtained the winds of blessing that shall lead to victory and new power.”

Dawn’s world was consumed with blank pages flying in from all sides, and time stopped. From the middle, white pages burned black, inky tendrils of flame spreading out before filling with rainbow colour, as a black and ash-white Empress card formed in the fire’s center. The monochromatic card bore its name, “The Empress”, the number III, three, and an unsubtly wrong image. It was a monochromatic image of a fat and faceless female Earth Pony reclining lesiurely on a luxurious pile of white and pink cushions, monochromatic and small toy animals with stitched frowns crushed beneath her weight, button eyes looking absolutely miserable, their tiny plush hooves and paws sticking out as if trying to crawl out and escape. The Earth Pony mare wore a long white opened bath robe, bright pink hearts dotted here and there like a polka-dot pattern. She held a long and thin pink sword in her right hoof, the blade piercing through two pieces of bread and a massive cooked chicken, holding it all together so it could be devoured soon... But she was in no rush.

A white page with blue lines and black text that slowly wrote itself filled Dawn’s vision.

Social Link: Fluttershy

Arcana: Empress

Rank 1

Progress: You’ve unlocked the Empress confidant!

New Ability: Power of Kindness – Your Pokemon recover an additional 20 HP when medicinal items are used on them.

The pages, the flames, the boxes and new information flew out of her vision, leaving her alone with Fluttershy once again.

Dawn let Fluttershy go, and hugged her. “Sorry for being so clingy, I just really like having friends.”

Fluttershy bit back the urge to say something extremely unpleasant. “That's... nice,” She forced herself to say with considerable effort.

But now that Dawn had made her social link, she was kind of done with Fluttershy for today. Or, at least, for now. “Well, off to get that Honedge!” She said happily, and clumsily flapped herself into the air before accelerating at an absurd rate, trying to dodge through trees and frequently chipping bark off their sides.

Fluttershy blinked. No beginner, especially not a beginner with less stability in the air than a newborn foal, should ever be able to go that fast! This pony was like the airborne version of a fat blob rolling down a hill faster than sprinters could run down it. But flight didn't work that way, she was sure of it. Whatever was responsible for Pinkie's unusual abilities had to be the cause of this. That simply had to be how she was going so fa-

There was a loud thud, and Fluttershy saw far-off trees crash down in the forest. “I'm ok!” Dawn shouted.

Spreading her wings, Fluttershy shot off after her new friend, only to find her in a burned crater, sheepishly smiling upwards.

“Are you ok?” Fluttershy asked in concern.

“Yep! I got a Honedge from the Castle!” She shouted, showing off a new Pokeball, then pointing a hoof at two big Dawn-shaped holes in the castle walls.

But when she looked back to Dawn, she saw that all the light had drained from the pony's eyes. “Dawn? Are you okay?”

“Of course!” Dawn chirped happily as an odd feeling came over her, and the smile faded from her face as a strange coldness overtook her body, creeping up to her head. At first, this excited her, and she wondered what cool Social Link nonsense would happen next. Then, she felt her excitement over that fade. She felt like she was drifting further away from the world, like the world around her was becoming less real.

“This isn't enough,” She said quietly.

“Um... What?” Fluttershy asked.

Numbness overtook Dawn's body and mind, spreading out to the furthest corners of her being, until that numbness was replaced with panic. “THIS ISN'T ENOUGH!” She yelled. “I need more, I need stronger Pokemon, and quickly!”

Fluttershy stepped back in shock, and the old Fluttershy would have fled immediately. “Um... I know where you can find some very big Venipede-”

“Forget those, I need the big guns!” She yelled and teleported away, taking her Riolu with her and leaving Fluttershy alone.

She stared at the scorched ground on which Dawn Skystar was standing. “What's a 'Guns'?” She wondered.

12 - The Star Burns

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In Sugarcube Corner, right in front of Mr and Mrs Cake, as they were about to say something to Pinkie, who was selling some cupcakes to an unidentified elderly crimson Stallion, Dawn Skystar appeared in the air and on top of Pinkie Pie.

“Oof!” Pinkie said.

“Pinkie!” Dawn yelled in her face, terrified.

“Dawn!” Pinkie cheerfully shouted back, as if this was some sort of game.

“I need an Air Balloon, now!” Dawn yelled.

“OK!” Pinkie yelled back, rushing off and almost instantly returning with one.

“THANK YOU!” Dawn yelled, magically shoving it into the paws of her Lucario. The balloon glowed and turned to light, and was absorbed by the yellow Pokemon. “...Why?”

“Your Pokemon's holding the item now!” Pinkie chirped gleefully.


“You know, inside itself! It'd be pretty silly if we could all see what item a Pokemon was holding just by looking at it! Could you imagine that?”

“Uh... Yeah, that makes perfect sense!” Dawn decided. Now, her Lucario held an Air Balloon within herself, so when Raiden used Roost, she'd go from Flying-Electric to plain old Electric. Her weakness would normally be Ground attacks in this state, but with an Air Balloon held, she could avoid Ground attacks completely.

Now, she just had to guess when her opponent was about to use a Rock or Ice attack that could hurt her Raiden, and tell her to use Roost first, becoming invincible for that turn, while also healing herself for a pretty big chunk of health, in the event that she actually was hit once or twice.

Pretty broken, sure, but...

She paused. Broken? No, with something this strong, she could never be broken. What a strange mental echo. What part of her could ever think the term broken could mean powerful?

In any case, despite her new even-stronger Riolu, who she needed to bond with harder and evolve into a Lucario so she could mega-evolve it ASAP, something in her heart told her that she needed more.

Dawn teleported away, accidentally taking Pinkie with her. A flash of white magic brought Pinkie back to Sugarcube corner, cutely sitting on her butt.

“Well, she seems nice.” Mr Cake said sarcastically.

“She certainly looked nice!” The old pony laughed, whatever his name was. “Why, if only I was fifty years younger...”

Even though she'd barely been with Pinkie at all today, and even though she wasn't even onscreen, Dawn and the viewer saw the usual stuff. Blank pages flew in from all sides, and time stopped. From the middle, white pages burned black, inky tendrils of flame spreading out before filling with rainbow colour, as a black and ash-white Arcana card formed in the fire’s center. The monochromatic card bore its name, “The Star”, the number XVII, seventeen, and an unsubtly wrong image. It was a monochromatic image of a faceless Earth Pony with a wide and sharklike grin of black-outlined white teeth, tied to a black stake with red string. Though unharmed, she was engulfed in red flames that coiled and curled outwards, primarily in five points, her flames burning the simply-drawn town around her, consuming everything. It was as though the town had tried to burn this pony at the stake, only for the pony to burn them back without any effort. Terrified and tiny stuffed animals, one lion and one eagle, fled in fear as they burned.

A white page with blue lines and black text that slowly wrote itself filled Dawn’s vision.

Social Link: Pinkie Pie

Arcana: Star

Rank 1

Progress: You’ve unlocked the Star confidant!

New Ability: Party Starter – Your Pokemon are 20% more accurate when they make the first move of the match.

The boxes, the pages, and all the information vanished, leaving Pinkie Pie alone, ready for her to hilariously end the chapter with a fourth-wall-breaking statement.

Looking directly at the camera, she opened her mouth, and

13 - The Eye Opens

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“Finally,” A blue-eyed silver unicorn with a five-pointed orange mane said as he placed his new Master Ball on a nice little glass podium for it, in a silver bank vault miles beneath this alternate world's surface. “When I'm done replicating this, I think I'll set up a nice tournament. Two thousand bits for an entrance fee, with one of these for the top eight, and something money can't buy as the grand prize.”

“Mine!” Dawn yelled, teleporting in and grabbing the Pokeball with her magic, only for her horn to be shot by a magic beam she didn't even see him fire, causing her to drop his Master Ball.

“The world!” Silver Star roared as he struck the ground, a wave of orange energy blasting out from his hoof, the wave starting as fast as a regular explosion and accelerating from there.

Something in her instinctively took hold of her horn and stopped time for two seconds as the tidal wave of orange energy came just centimeters away from her, pausing reality just long enough for her to teleport away with the Master Ball.

Time resumed and his energy wave spread out and froze everything in the room, himself included. With a great deal of effort, what few muscles he could currently move on his face expressed his anger.

Jaw clenched shut, mouth unable to move, he screamed through grit teeth. “Aquilla!”

“You...” A tall and hairless feline figure said within the Alicorn's brain, opening its eyes and unfolding its arms. “You aren't from this world.”

Staring at the monster while standing in a dark and miserable cave near Manehattan, Dawn suddenly lost her will to fight. At least, for now. She wasn't sure why, and for some reason, she didn't feel like wondering why, either. Instead, she felt like talking, and being more honest with him and herself than she'd probably ever been with anyone before. “No, I don't think I am.” She admitted.

“I can see inside your head... It's a near-perfect replica of what somepony else saw, and thought, and remembered.”

“Nearly perfect?” Dawn asked.

“You don't remember anything from your past life. But the neural pathways you grew during your life as another being are still there. Like black marks on your vision, or scars from brands, you remember remembering things from your past life.”

She wanted to ask about herself, but found herself unable to care about something so small right now. “Wait, how do you know what the inside of Twilight's head looks like?”

“I've seen inside the head of every living thing on this planet. How do you think I've remained isolated for so long, in a cave so close to such a populated area? If I didn't find you interesting, you would have had your mind changed for you long before my guard turned you away.”

“Are you controlling Twilight?” Dawn asked.

“No. Now shut up and imagine yourself with some popcorn, because I'm going to tell you a story. I was grown in a lab, deep beneath Canterlot, by a very foolish pony with a rather unfitting name,” He explained. “He's why I can do this,” He said, and began to glow. His arms grew thicker, and every other change happened too fast for her to notice. A Mega Mewtwo X stood before her, and then, it glowed once again. Its head grew longer, flesh growing from the tip of its head as muscle expanded within it to form a tail that snaked out of its back. It grew taller, and as a wide hollow circle formed around its head and spine like a bone-reinforced version of the organic wire that connected its head and spine. Sharp bone spikes grew from it and bloodlessly pierced its furred flesh like teeth, like the spokes on Arceus's wheel.

“Impressive,” She said, trotting around him and checking him out.

He smiled. “I'm impressed that you're looking at me, in all my supposed 'Perfection', and wondering what you could force me to fuse with to increase my power further. You don't remember why you seek power, only that you'll need it for what's coming. It's almost funny. Everywhere I go, ponies want change who I am so they can use me for their own selfish ends. And now, I meet one who wants to change me because I'm there. Pure of heart, but not pure of desire. For the first time, you've found a life worth living and a world worth protecting. A world where you can be the fundamentally good being you've always wished you could be. You'd do anything to protect those you care about. You'd even throw me and another Legendary into the flames, and make a stronger fighter from my ashes. Then again... I suppose I should expect no less from another weapon.”

“What do you mean, 'another weapon'?”

“You fool. Did you think some otherworldly being placed you in the body of your dreams, and transported you to an alternate version of the world of your dreams, changed solely for your benefit, out of the goodness of his heart? He wants weapons, and he's creating them by... No, it wouldn't do to say what so many have already figured out.”

She didn't think she'd get anything more out of him on that front, and she wondered if he was manipulating her thoughts to save time. Then she decided she should move on, and then the wondered if that was a manipulated thought. And then she decided to move on anyway. “If you've seen my memories... Can you bring them back?”

“Not without reverting your old neural pathways, erasing everything in your brain in the process. Dawn Skystar would die, and her friends would miss her. Because the one who would take her place would never measure up.”

That made her nervous. “Was I... a good pony, in my previous life?”

The Mewtwo smiled. “No,” He said with devilish delight, and was only lying from a certain point of view.

“Oh. Then maybe it's for the best that I can't go back,” She decided. She'd still keep trying to remember old memories naturally, but she didn't want to lose who she was now, or the friends she'd made by taking what seemed to be the easy way out. “Forget who I was, I'm Dawn Skystar now! By the way, what was that about ponies trying to change you?”

“Do you know what it's like to see your brothers die?” He bluntly asked her.

She blinked in shock. “Uh...”

”Do you know what it's like to wake up in a cold glass cell, drowning in cold fluid, and know you're in danger before you even think your first thought? To hear voices screaming at you to flee before your own mental voice has even formed? I was grown as one of many experimental Mewtwo clones, because a certain ambitious rogue scientist wanted a weapon strong enough to defeat the last experimental Mewtwo he created. That one also escaped, after severe mistreatment. I felt each Mewtwo's rage and hatred pour into me as each one's cells died too early, and too young. I used my psychic powers to regenerate them, so I survived. They taught moves, military tactics, and powerful spells to their new weapon. And philosophy, thinking I'd be more likely to 'Serve the greater good' if I knew no alternatives. They thought they finally had their weapon. They thought they got lucky, but... I did, instead.”


“Because I found you. I will serve in your little army, I will join my own body with whoever you see fit, provided this Pokemon can offer my form something it doesn't already have, but when the time comes, you will come with me, and distract the Elements of Harmony while I kill my creator.”

“Deal!” Dawn said happily. And then, she wondered what Twilight would think of her if she found out about this. “Don't tell Twilight.”

“I'll tell her you charmed me with the purity of your heart, or some such drivel, if she ever asks why the strongest Pokemon in the multiverse chose to fight as your attack dog.”

“What happened to that old Mewtwo your creator made?” Dawn asked.

“If he's still on this planet, I cannot sense him, and nopony on this planet has ever seen him. It's likely that he teleported away to another universe. Or, was taken away by one from another world.

“Do you have a name?” Dawn asked.

“Take Thirteen, Supercut.” The Mewtwo said.

“Huh?” Dawn asked.

“Where a normal pony would call something like myself Experiment Thirteen or Project Thirteen, he named his projects with... filmmaking terminology. After his thirteenth month of attempting to create clones like myself bore fruit, creating abominations that, at the very least, did not genetically destabilize within the first week and turn violent... Or turn into sludge... Or turn into violent sludge... He created what could barely be called a Mewtwo, a psychically-powerful but barely-living shrivelled corpse unable to support the weight of its own bloated head. He synthesized beast after beast, each varying wildly in appearance and capability, and when he felt he'd created enough affronts to existence, his new mission became to combine the best attributes of each Project – Or, as he called it, each 'Take' – Into one new being. A 'Supercut'. He wanted the next stage of magic-assisted Pokemon alteration... And after many attempts, he succeeded.”

“Woah... That name fits really well, but something in my instincts hates the number thirteen and the term cut.” Dawn said sheepishly. “Plus, that's more like a designation than an actual name, so is it alright if I call you... Meo?”

“Me... Oh?” He repeated.

“Yeah, Meo! I took letters out of the middle of Mewtwo, giving me Meo, which sounds like Neo, which means New, which you are!”

“I suppose that will suffice.” The Mewtwo said, rolling his eyes.

“So, you're going to be my new Pokemon?” Dawn asked hopefully.

“Only to get out of this cave, and see what fate is planned for a curious being such as yourself.”

“Gee,” Dawn said happily, “I sure am glad I can just capture powerful Legendaries, instead of having to train my own Pokemon from day one!”

“Now you can spend your time training those weaklings you've kept on your team until now,” Meo smirked.

“Hey, be nicer to them! They're young, they're new, and they're trying their best.”

“Were it not for the absurd combinations of abilities and types you've given two, they would all be as weak as your Ralts.”

“Wow,” She said, trying to picture her amazing Riolu and spectacularly forfeit-inducing Shedinja as anything less than what they currently were. ”I really need to train them. Good thing nothing speeds up training faster than abusing broken magically-granted and unearned abilities! Especially ones that just make you naturally better than every other Pokemon you'll fight, ever!”

“You'll think that,” He said with a wider smirk. “For now.”

“What, am I destined to fight stronger opponents?” She asked.

“You'll see.”

She got out a Pokeball, and he psychically froze her body to stop her.

“No, make it an Ultra Ball.”

She got an Ultra Ball out, and threw that with a bit too much force.

“Perfect,” Meo psychically said as the ball flew towards his head, striking it like a rock, paining him. Still, he allowed himself to be captured. The ball shook once, twice, three times, and it was done.

And then...

She decided to get a different Dragon. From inside the Pokeball, Meo's overwhelming psychic power told her what she wanted and where she needed to go.

Her horn lit up, and she allowed her Mewtwo to escape from her Pokeball, in its regular form. She teleported them both, and they appeared above the highest room of the tallest tower in all of Hoenn, sea breeze greeting her nose while her lungs sensed the air's thinness and ignored it.

Before them, an absolutely colossal green Dragon with no legs, small arm, and a long, serpentine body coated in bone-like emerald plates decorated with golden lines roared at her, its mouth wide, its teeth sharp, its very existence exuding an aura of dominance, wisdom, and mercilessness.

“That's very interesting. You're very interesting.” Dawn said quietly, getting out a stolen Master Ball.

And then, her Mewtwo decided to treat this Dragon's brain like it was a puzzle to solve. Thoughts were changed, feelings were altered, the deepest desires of the heart were thrown aside and replaced, this Dragon didn't even have time to let loose one last scream before some incredibly cheesy fake memory where they fought for hours and she charmed him with the purity of her heart and the vastness of her perfectly pure paragonical love for Pokemon and the unbreakable strength of her determination found itself forced into his head. Doing whatever this mare wanted became his life's new goal.

Mewtwo gave the Dragon a psychic voice by enhancing his brain just enough to let it communicate with those it shared a sufficiently strong bond with, and few bonds were stronger than the bond between Master and Tool. “I consider you worthy of my power, Mortal and Son of Mortal,” The Rayquaza said in a voice so old and authoritative, it would bring Samuel L Jackson himself to awed tears. “Save your Master Ball for one who refuses destiny.”

“Got it,” Dawn said, throwing an ordinary Pokeball at the Rayquaza, the ball cracking open and absorbing it. One, two, three shakes, and the Pokemon had been captured forever.

Meo chuckled, and he allowed the Dragon to release itself from its restraints. His eyes glowing, he flexed his new power over her mind.

“Can we cheer him up?” Dawn asked eagerly.

“If you insist...” Meo muttered mirthlessly, though his mouth smirked wider than it ever had.

The Dragon opened its mouth wide, lowering its head so its open mouth looked more like a smile. “Let's kick some butt and always do our best!” The colossal beast cheered.

Stars danced in Dawn's eyes. “Now make him Mega!”

“Your fervent wish has reached this Rayquaza!” Meo joked, psychically gripping its body and forcing Mega energy into it, straight from his own heart.

Light poured through the Rayquaza's skin and wrapped itself in a colossal cocoon of blazing rainbow flames. Hatching from its egg, a new Mega Rayquaza hovered in the air before her, a testament to all who would dare challenge her.

“I feel great! I can win! I! CAN! DO! THIS!” The Dragon cheered, and roared at the air, the air visibly shaking as shockwaves threatened to tear the island apart.

“Awesome!” Dawn squeaked. And then, she thought of something. “Wait, will taking him away from the Ozone mess the world's weather up?”

“Of course not. The Pegasi stole that duty from him, with his blessing.” Meo explained. ”Let him out in the event of natural disasters to quell any weather-related catastrophies that may be beyond their power, and all will be well.”

“Awesome,” She repeated, and teleported the new trio away. Twilight Sparkle had some fusing to do!