The Adventures of Doctor Whooves: Series 1

by Time Pony Victorious

First published

The Doctor, fresh off his regeneration, sets off in this strange world with ponies and mythical creatures with his TARDIS onwards and upwards to see the universe.

Edited by the lovely PhiliChez

Now with a TVTropes page!

A strange blue box crash lands in the middle of the Everfree Forest to be discovered by Twilight and Spike. The Doctor stumbles out of it and makes the shocking discovery that he's accidentally traversed to another universe entirely! Ready to test his new four legs in this universe, the Doctor does what comes naturally to the renegade Time Lord; jumps cutie mark first into danger.

With Twilight Sparkle and the other Elements there to make sure he doesn't do anything too stupid, the Doctor with his TARDIS goes off to explore everything this new universe has to offer. New adventures and historical ponies await the crew as they continue to go onwards and upwards.

Cover art by:

Brilliant isn't it? Check it out! (slightly NSFW)


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Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville, Equestria

25th of Summer, 8:02am, 1002 C.R.

Spike, the dragon, had his work cut out for him. He scrambled all over the library, catching stray books that were practically sentient with their seemingly random parabolic trajectories which called for sporadic, serpentine inspired movements from the tiny reptile. Twilight ran through all of the books in her library at dizzying speeds, levitating them past her for a sparse glance before tossing it over her shoulders.

Behavior like this from the more-than-eccentric unicorn was hardly a surprise, Twilight Sparkle would be able to go weeks incredibly idle before jumping into a fervor; running around like a mad pony with no purpose.

This was hardly the result of her ever-changing moods, however. Catastrophe had fallen upon Ponyville. Not one in the same vein of Twilight losing her favorite quill, it was a real, legitimate concern amongst the ponies that could end in absolute disaster. Twilight had promised everypony that she would be able to produce a solution in no time, but, so far, has come up short of a solution; although she found a riveting recipe for fat-free muffins.

"No, no, no, no, no!" Like mantras she muttered to herself as dozens of books floated past her. Groaning in frustration, she threw all of the books in her possession back; Spike was lost in a mountain of literature.

"None of the books I own can explain what's being going on!" she bemoaned. "It doesn't make any sense! Spike!"

The dragon was unresponsive under the mound of books, and after a few moments, a single claw poked itself from the pile and dug out the reptilian. Spike rolled his eyes and grimaced at the massive pile of books that he would undoubtedly have to clean up before getting to his feet and dragging himself to Twilight.

"What? If you expect me to clean all of this up, you're nuts Twi. Well, nuttier than usual," he snickered at his little joke but Twilight was hardly in a joking mood.

"Are you sure there is no reference of this in the Big Medical Book of Medicine?" she asked impatiently.

"For the hundredth time, yes I'm sure! We ran through that book a billion times, I'm pretty sure I can recite the pony bone structures by heart at this point!" he answered with just as much impatience as she demonstrated.

"I'm sorry to be so short with you, Spike, but this is important! We have a crisis on our hooves!" Twilight reminded him before going back to her medically relevant books for more research.

"Why not just contact the princess then?" he asked.

"Because, she's on very important business in the Arctic North. Even if we could get a letter to her, she might be too busy to respond," she answered, throwing back The Anatomical Systems of Quadrupeds which found purchase dead-center on Spike's face.

Spike mumbled something, but with the book in his mouth, it came out was unintelligible grumbles (which it most likely was) but Twilight brightened at his unheard words. "You're a genius Spike!" she cried, suddenly levitating him toward her and embracing the tiny dragon. "Zecora might know the answer. Come on, let's see her now!"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," he started, pushing himself away from Twilight but still caught in her magical hold. "I like Zecora and all, but she lives in the Everfree Forest you know?"

"Yeah, and?"

"That place is creepy Twi! What if we get mixed up with something weird there?" He shook his head furiously, apparently ignorant to the fact that he was a dragon, part of the toughest species out there.

"Come on Spike, this is no time to get cold claws. This is an emergency and you know it. Zecora will definitely be able to help us!" Twilight insisted, ignoring the dragon's cries and pleas to be left behind. Without another word of argument, Twilight dragged Spike outside and made her way through Ponyville, toward the outskirts and, eventually, the Everfree Forest.

Considering the time, it wouldn't be a surprise to see nopony out and about in town, but in Ponyville things were a bit different. Everypony knew each other and the community was incredibly close-knit which typically allowed for early mornings and late nights in the rustic little village. At the crack of dawn, there were some ponies already up and walking around the town, businesses would even be open at that time.

Therefore it was a surprise to see nopony out.

The only sound in the tiny little village was that of Twilight's hooves as she half-ran, half-trotted toward the outskirts. Even Spike piped down to marvel at how absolutely tranquil and eerie everything was.

"It's like a ghost town," he remarked, glancing over Sugarcube Corner which normally would be brimming with excitement from the residential party pony but was absolutely desolate.

Twilight only nodded grimly. It had only been three days since this silence fell upon the village. The sickness fell upon a few ponies, then it had eventually, and inevitably, spread. Soon, there was virtually nopony left. There only remained a few, Rainbow Dash was sent off to Cloudsdale to find a solution at the hospital and Rarity was off to Manehattan to search for help, but that was two days ago and there hasn't been any response. It was so strange and foreign to see Ponyville in such a depressing state, but Twilight shook her head and focused at the task at hoof.

She promised a solution for everypony, and if it took months, she would find it. The only problem is she doesn't think she has days to spare, much less months.

The trip to the Everfree Forest was quicker than usual, thanks to the lack of traffic and idle gossip amongst the villagers; they got there in half the time. It gave Twilight a chance to check up on Fluttershy's cottage. Ever since the shy and demure pony was moved away, her pet animals were left to care for themselves. Being good friends with the pegasus, however, ensured that the pets would be watched over.

Though it was evident that the same amount of care that Fluttershy applied to the animals could not be replicated from Twilight, when she emerged from the cottage, her mane ruffled and face red from tiny scratches, like she got in a fight with a rosebush.

"They're fine," she relayed to the barely contained dragon. Then, they made their way into the forest.

No matter how many times she would go into the forest, she could never get used to the foreboding sense of fear that nearly froze her legs. It was only her sense of responsibility that made her cross that border every time.

Spike, however, was having a harder time coping with his fear as he shivered on Twilight's back.

"D-do we really have to go here? I mean, couldn't we just send Zecora a letter or something?" Spike asked, fear apparent in his voice.

"Get a grip Spike," Twilight lightly chided, trying to keep her own fear out of her voice. "I've been here dozens of times, and nothing bad has happened yet."

"What about that hydra?"

"Well, that was--"

"And that giant bull?"

"You can't just--"

"And the harpies and the monster mice and the--"

"Okay!" she interjected. "So, this place is dangerous. But it's fine. It's only a short walk to Zecora's place and then we can leave, okay?"

"Fine. The less time I have to spend here, the better," Spike consoled miserably.

But, they would never make it to Zecora's place. Halfway into the dense forest with strange foliage and stranger animals, they were able to hear it; something completely out of place with unnatural ambiance of the forest. It was an almost lyrical gust of air coming from above. It was nothing an animal would make, and certainly nothing pony-made.

Twilight and Spike looked to the skies, where they saw an impossible blue box suddenly materialize into reality falling to the earth. As if things weren't crazy enough, there was a pony hanging from the edge of the box, laughing almost manically as the box suddenly dipped and crashed into the forest.

"Was that…" Spike dared not to finish his sentence, for fear he had gone mad. But Twilight nodded silently, causing the dragon to swallow back his fear nervously. It seemed that no break would be given to the downtrodden assistant, as instead of acting upon the most rudimentary logical faculties, Twilight had opted, instead, to run toward the box's direction.

Spike, not particularly keen on staying in this horrid forest, had no choice but to follow. Through the dense foliage and thick roots that sprawled outward from the unnatural trees, a clearing suddenly opened up. Mist clung to the ground like shadowy wisps, the grass was tall but dark and brown, and in the middle of it sat the impossible box. It was on its "back", if it could be called that, but Twilight was able to notice the actual doors on the top of the back that opened inward. Smoke bellowed from the box, like an ill dragon's cough, and it glowed eerily.

"T-Twi, what is that?" Spike asked, gripping at Twilight's legs nervously. Twilight needed to tilt her head to look more carefully at the box. In big bold letters, "Police Public Call Box" could be read.

"I don't-"

"Ah! Hello!" a pony popped his head from the box. A bright smile graced the stallion's face as he stared quizzically at Twilight and Spike.

"Do either of you have any experience in operating a multidimensional quantum entanglement regulator?" he asked with a certain flourish in his voice, in tandem with his accent – which was possibly Hoofington – gave the impression that he was either brilliant or properly insane.

Twilight and Spike both shook their heads dumbly. The impossible stallion frowned and jumped out of the box, a large metallic device was holstered to his back with dozens of cable spilling from the end and connecting deep inside the blue box.

"That's perfectly fine, I don't know how to use it either," he admitted with a cheery smile. "But don't worry! I'll figure out how it works eventually."

"W-wait!" Twilight tried to protest as the stallion pulled off the device from his back and handed it to her. "What is this thing? Who are you-"

"No time for silly questions, no, I think I'll be free at three-thirty, you can ask silly questions then. But now, we need to work!" the stallion insisted, randomly flipping switches on the device before pointing at the large red button on top of it. "See that? Keep that pressed down, it should keep the TARDIS sustained. For some reason, she's unable to maintain her form in this place, which is why we crashed and certainly not because I forgot to engage the brakes again, astronavigation one-oh-one, the brakes are useless anyways!"

The stallion turned back to the blue box, muttering in his rapid-fire method of talking. He looked like he had been through the fight of his life! His coat and mane was ruffled and charred black, and his outfit was absolutely tattered and ruined. The only thing that was left untouched was his cutie mark; a golden hourglass.

"The fall through the Abstract Plane was worse than I thought. The TARDIS already deleted thirty percent of the rooms! I spent ages on the labyrinth! Mind you, finding a giant mechanical bronze bull was not an easy task, especially when you've got half of the 23rd Lunar Regiment after you. Am I going to have to redo everything now?" He moved about excitingly, waving his legs irregularly to punctuate his rant.

Finally, Twilight had had enough of his nonsense, she dropped the device and trotted up to him. "Listen mister- whoever you are, what is that thing and who exactly are you?"

"No, no, why did you drop it!" The stallion ran past Twilight and picked up his strange apparatus which sparked and fumed smoke. "Not good, not good, very much the opposite of good! Why did you drop it?!"

"I didn't-"

"Oh, blast! It's malfunctioning!" He dug into his pockets and produced a large metal wand-like object. Wand firmly between his teeth, it whirred to life as he ran it across the device. "I think I can get it to work. I need to boost the signal-"

The device caught fire. Yelping, he dropped it suddenly and it exploded. Twilight leapt back to avoid the sparks and the stallion cursed as he ran toward the box, which began to disappear from existence.

"No, no, no, no!" he cried. "She can't anchor here! She's phasing!"

He jumped back, aimed his wand at the box and it activated, accelerating the box's dematerialization and within seconds it was gone. He glanced at his wand and laughed triumphantly.

"Yes! I managed to activate the emergency protocols! She'll enter in temporal stasis and repair, once she is able to, she'll hone in on my sonic screwdriver, fantastic!" His happy attitude deflated, however, once he spotted Twilight and circled her, like a vulture around dead meat.

"And you! Miss Purple-Unicorn-I-Think-I'm-So-Smart, why'd you drop my sparky box?!"

"I thought it was a multidimensional something-or-other regulator!" countered Twilight.

"Yes, it is, but that name is too long! It's a box that was very sparky, therefore: sparky box! Why'd you drop it?" he asked again.

"You're the one who suddenly dropped out of the sky in a blue box! What's a police box anyways?"

"It's a TARDIS, Time And Relative Dimension In Space. It happens to be one of the most advanced piece of technology in the universe, and another thing, why is everyone so concerned about it being a police box anyways- AGH!" He staggered back as his entire body glowed bright gold.

Twilight stepped forward but the stallion merely looked up and coughed. Gold dust, it seemed, came out, it was like dancing glitter as it flew up and dispersed in the air.

"Who… are you?"

The stallion smiled brightly as he looked down at his forelegs, which glowed briefly. "I'm the Doctor, and apparently, I'm a horse now!"

Just as quickly as his hyperactive antics started, it immediately crashed as the Doctor's eyes rolled up and he slumped over, face first into the dirt, unconscious.


Ponyville General Hospital, Ponyville, Equestria

8:30am, Same day, 1002 C.R.

Ponyville General Hospital is, without the usage of over-generalities and redundancies, a hospital in the same way a confectionery is a military armory; though, with consideration of Pinkie Pie's recent pie-cannons, that statement may be more accurate than one would think.

With the small town's population being a dwindling few hundreds, with the occasional sudden increase due to tourism for the Running of the Leaves, the hospital hasn't had much attention or practice with how little injuries and illness can occur. There are exceptions, of course, with several bruises and cuts from the more than enthusiastic Cutie Mark Crusaders and general escapades of Rainbow Dash, the residential daredevil, but, on average, attendance at the hospital is slim, at best.

Consequently, not much funding has gone into the hospital. Mind you, the grounds are pristine and the pinnacle of modern innovation. Medical techniques and technologies have been, however, dwarfed as a result of this deficit in funding. Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests are performed by unicorn experts rather than machines, and some X-Ray machines are so old their function is more damaging than beneficial.

An epidemiologist and sociologist may observe that due to this sudden illness that has struck the grand majority of Ponyville funding would exponentially increase. They would observe it, if they weren't in the hospital themselves.

Nasty cacophonies of panicked orders from nurses and doctors alike mixed with the symphony of coughs and hacking from the attendees. Everypony wore hospital masks, which made everything eerier as faceless ponies milled about, either deathly ill or equally concerned. There were not enough rooms for everypony and those who weren't given rooms had to stay in the lobby, this was no longer a peaceful hospital who would bandage every rowdy filly and colt, this was a field hospital at the brink of absolute chaos.

Doctor Stable nearly pushed over a nurse trying to get to Exam Room 1. Muttering an apology, he made it out of the lobby but not out of the chaos as dozens more of the ill filled the hallway. He tried to appeal to everypony that begged for water or painkillers, the trained keen medical mind that he possessed was scrambling for answers. The symptoms presented by these ponies were all the same, meaning this wasn't a random occurring incident, also meaning that it was possibly an infection. It was also highly localized, there were no reports of anywhere outside of Ponyville of similar symptoms.

Coughing, fatigue, dehydration, fever, inflammation of the throat and lungs, darkening of the coat; to list a few of the symptoms. Each of those symptoms is easily treatable by themselves, but nopony thus far have been responding to treatment. Broad-spectrum antibiotics have been moot, and even if it could work, the hospital had a limited supply, certainly not enough to provide for the growing number of sick ponies.

Worry and fear gnawed at the back of Doctor Stable's mind. Would Twilight, the esteemed student of Princess Celestia and all-around know-it-all, be able to find a solution? He stepped through the door to Exam Room 1 and found the pony in question, sitting as she considered a pamphlet on adolescence pony hygiene (something she pushed heavily for the hospital to provide) with Spike half-asleep beside her and a strange stallion on the bed; unconscious.

They all donned medical masks, which looked silly on the usual goofy-looking dragon. Twilight put her pamphlet down and smiled under her mask.

"Oh, Doctor Stable, we have a… problem," she said awkwardly, looking toward the unconscious stallion.

It took all of Doctor Stable's willpower not to roll his eyes.

"If you hadn't noticed, Twilight, a problem is all we have," he replied with obvious restraint. Quickly glancing over the stallion, he hadn't recognized him.

The stallion was handsome, he supposed, his near black mane and tail were naturally curled which gave him a sort of exotic impression. But from there it was just strange! His lime-green jacket and sky-blue shirt were tattered as if he picked a fight with a disgruntled lawnmower; even his coat was ruffled and unkempt. The only thing left immaculate, however, was his bright red bowtie and cutie mark, a curious hourglass that shone proudly.

"Now, if you don't mind, I've other patients." Stable turned to open the door, stopping from Twilight's exclamation.

"No, I mean, this pony is… peculiar," she sheepishly admitted. "He hasn't presented with any of the symptoms, yet, he just collapsed."

Doctor Stable exercised years of honed restraint to not sigh and walk away. "Where did you find him?"

"In the Everfree Forest"-- to which the good Doctor raised a skeptical eyebrow-- "I'm serious! He sorta… dropped out of the sky."

Spike's snickering and Twilight's quiet resignation nearly turned the good Doctor into a misanthrope. "Perhaps it is the fall that has caused his current status?"

Not one to be outdone in the art of sarcasm, Twilight rolled her eyes. "No, not like that… well, it's complicated okay? But he won't wake up and I'm worried."

"What is his name?"

Twilight suddenly found her hooves interesting.


"He called himself the Doctor."


Twilight and Stable did their best to imitate birds at flight when they jumped back, startled by the Doctor's sudden revitalization. Curiously glancing at Twilight with an innocent expression, the Doctor chuckled at their reactions. "Did someone call me?"

"I thought you were unconscious!" accused Twilight, as if the worst thing he could do was not be unconscious.

"Well, I was, but I thought, 'This is a bore, eh? I've done it all before. Regenerate, pass out, wake up with imminent danger at my doorstep, do something clever, befriend a giant dog.' Why not mix it up, don't you think?" the Doctor rambled excitingly through his medical mask. "Oh!"

The Doctor blinked at Twilight, and then slowly looked at Spike, then at Doctor Stable.

"Do you lot know that you're unicorns and a dragon!" he gleefully asked. "Unicorns! Brilliant! Love a unicorn, though my last encounter with one taught me a very important lesson: don't play leapfrog with unicorns. Lovely chap though, I'll tell you about him later if I- oh, OH!"

He laughed almost manically as he looked at his forelegs. "It wasn't a dream? I'm a horse! No, wait"-- he pulled his mask down and licked his hoof-- "Pony, I'm a pony! That's new, I wonder if that would make a horsey Time Lord, or a-"

"What are you talking about?!" Twilight interrupted a potentially hazardous rant from the stallion. "Time Lord? Are you crazy or something?!"

"I'm gonna go with nuts," offered Spike. "You two would get along well."

"A talking dragon!" the Doctor squealed. "Did you know you could talk Mister Dragon?"

"It's Spike," the dragon corrected. "And of course I did-"

"Wait!" the Doctor suddenly leapt from his bed and pressed his hoof against Spike's mouth. "A hospital… which means…"

The Doctor's eyes widened as he pushed past Doctor Stable and out of the room. Everyone took chase and was quickly at his hooves as the Doctor ran through the hallways, approaching patients and quickly examining them. Examination may have been too strong of a word; however, as the Doctor merely looked at everypony's mane, hooves, and opened their mouths, he never took a pulse or even asked them questions.

"What are you doing?!" demanded Doctor Stable.

"You're a doctor, figure it out," the Doctor remarked surly. "Something is wrong with these ponies."

"Wow, wonder how you came to that conclusion," muttered Spike.

The Doctor tore off his medical mask and brandished his wand, but, like a foal, he dropped it from his hooves. Biting back a curse, the Doctor grabbed the device with his mouth and ran it over more ponies before glancing at its side.

"Don't take off your mask! It's highly contagious!" chided Twilight.

"No… it isn't, because you know what?" He clasped his device awkwardly with his hooves and gave them a brilliant smile. "This pony is thirsty."

"Of course he's thirsty, he is ill," countered Doctor Stable. "Now, then Doctor, if you don't mind, now we have to move you to quarantine as you have been exposed."

"Local water supply," the Doctor said to Twilight, ignoring Stable. "Where is it?"

"Oh, um, the town's reservoir. Why?- he-hey, let me go!"

The Doctor pulled Twilight toward the entrance, but Stable intercepted, blocking them. "You cannot go out, you'll run the risk of infecting others! You must stay here!"

"I don't do 'stay' very well, but I can roll over and speak if you'd like, perhaps later, I'm being brilliant at the moment so if you don't mind move!" His usual cheery demeanor melted as a resolute glare replaced it. Stable winced under the Doctor's glare; his eyes were so old… "Attend to your patients, doctor, do what you do best. But while you do that, I'll be outside engaging in otherwise reckless or potentially dangerous shenanigans to help you all. Doctor's orders."

With a grin and a pep in his step, the Doctor dragged Twilight outside leaving Stable and Spike behind, left to ponder about this strange pony.

Halfway across the street Twilight decided that physically struggling against this pony's unusual strength was pointless and teleported away from him, with an annoyed expression on her face.

Anypony who remotely knew of Twilight would recognize her current expression and stance as her "lecture mode", something so fearsome that she was able to subdue even the most fearsome of monsters… supposedly.

But the Doctor frowned impatiently at Twilight. "Well? Come along, er, purple unicorn miss."

"Oh, drop out of the sky, make me carry you all the way to the hospital and drag me out of it without having the courtesy of asking my name?" she snapped angrily

"Yes, that's usually how it works," he said.

Twilight rolled her eyes. "My name is Twilight Sparkle."

"Twilight Sparkle?" the Doctor mused with a small smile. "Interesting name, but you don't look like a Twilight Sparkle. You look like a Dawn or Majesty… or Debby."

"And you don't look like a doctor," she countered.

"Of course not, I'm a pony, keep up Dawn!"

The Doctor ran off relatively awkwardly. He stumbled and tripped over himself several times, it was all Twilight could do to not laugh at his clumsy walk… that is until he fell and kissed the ground lovingly.

"What's wrong with you?" she asked, trying not to laugh.

"Motor skills are off, hate when that happens," he grumbled.

"But you were walking just fine a while ago."

"I'm still in the middle of my regeneration, my body isn't working properly. One moment I'll be walking normally, another I'll spontaneously combust!" Twilight raised a skeptical eyebrow. "Don't worry, I'm sure it won't happen, not like last time..."

The Doctor rolled to his hooves and shook his head. After grumbling about not being ginger, he turned to Twilight again. "Right then, water source, where's it at?"

"The biggest one is the by the Twin Lakes," Twilight answered. "But if you're thinking it's caused by a bacteria, I've studied the water, there isn't anything wrong with it."

"Of course there isn't anything wrong with the water," the Doctor agreed quickly. "That's silly."

"Then what's the issue?"

Without answering, the Doctor ran his wand over Twilight, the small device whirring like dozens of cicadas buzzing at once.

"What is that thing anyways?" she asked.

"Sonic screwdriver," answered the Doctor flippantly. "Hm, oh that's how your horn works huh."

"Doctor. There isn't anything wrong with the water," she repeated wearily. "Why are you so interested in it?"

"Because the only way for this, whatever it is, to have gotten around so quickly it would need to be present in the water. There's no way that it can be airborne, that wouldn't make too much sense. Plus…"

Grimacing slightly, the Doctor pocketed his screwdriver and turned to Twilight with a wide smile.

"Don't worry, I'm sure we'll stumble over the answer eventually," he promised, taking notice of Twilight's worrying expression. "We should press on!" he grinned madly and left Twilight with more than enough trepidation to run back into the hospital and commit this pony into the psych ward. Her better sense of responsibility prevented her from doing so, and besides, she wanted to see what the Doctor had up his sleeves and if he could prove his brilliance.

She took him to the lakes as promised, but the walk was lengthy, at best, and dull at its worst. The Doctor became stranger and stranger the longer Twilight was acquainted with him. He was fascinated by everything around him, he went about smelling the flowers, licking the trees, and, more frequently than she would have liked, tripped over himself and face-planted. But his mood never deflated during this walk as he babbled on and on about the mundane peculiarities he observed.

"Earth-like gravity and similar atmospheric pressure! Brilliant! It's almost like a duplicate really, well, not really, this place is much cleaner with its ozone intact. I suppose ponies won't have much use over cars, that's a silly thought, ponies driving cars. With hooves, I guess it'd be hard for anyone to drive a vehicle."

"Anypony," Twilight corrected, interrupting his long-winded rant.

"I- excuse me?" the Doctor frowned, properly perplexed by Twilight's insistent terminology.

"The proper word is anypony. Anyone isn't grammatically incorrect, but in context it makes more sense. It started with the unicorn nobles in the First Royal Court. They didn't like being referred on the same level as underclass ponies and developed the nobility vocabulary, where the nobles received 'advanced' terms of reference like Nobili Caballio, which then became somepony. But when the First Royal Court dissolved, those noble terms were tossed away but the insistence on words like anypony are used today because of traditional grammatical views so-"

"You talk a lot," remarked the Doctor with a certain arrogant flourish. Twilight flushed and opened her mouth to berate the hypocritical stallion, but he beat her to the punch. "I like that! Usually, I'm the one doing all of the talking, it's so nice to see peopl-, er, ponies who have something to say! Anypony huh, I'll have to remember that."

"You talk as if you aren't a pony, and you say things that don't make a lot of sense." The Doctor smiled rakishly, as if she were complimenting him. "And you called yourself a Time Lord… who are you?"

"I told you, I'm the Doctor."

"Doctor Who?"

"Oh, wouldn't you like to know?" he smiled as if the matter was dismissed and trekked on, leaving Twilight with less answers and more questions.

The Twin Lakes was a misnomer. There weren't two lakes, completely identical to each other; there was only one large lake with a little section blocked off by a miniature dam. The lake was pony-made and has been here since the founding of Ponyville. The dam created the reservoir which was then filtered into an underground station ran with magical apparatuses that treated the water. Work ponies would then take several tons of the treated water and bring it back to the town's Water Tower for local distribution.

Twilight naturally had tested the water as this was her first suspicion, but, as she mentioned to the Doctor, there was nothing wrong with it. It wasn't mutated and didn't carry any bacteria. But the Doctor was adamant at seeing the water himself.

They stood on the dam. The Doctor trotted up and down the bridge, scanning the structure then the water itself. He frowned when he turned back to Twilight.

"See, nothing wrong-"

"What is that over there?" he pointed behind Twilight to a dense forest. They were near the outskirts of Ponyville and relatively close to the Everfree Forest and, in fact, close to the crash-site of the Doctor's TARDIS.

"Forest," she bluntly answered. "We're close to the Everfree Forest, where you crashed."

"I think, I think, I may have forgotten something. That's the thing with regeneration, you never quite know what you're going to get and post-regeneration is always a nightmare, whew, thank goodness I didn't wake up in a military base! Jumping rope may be difficult this time around. Anyways, I missed something, something that was staring me right in the face, come along Nighttime!"

Breaking out in a full sprint, the Doctor made his way into the forest with Twilight directly behind him. "It's Twilight! And wait!" she called out. "What did you miss?"

"The Everfree Forest, it's much stranger than the vegetation in town, why is that?"

"It grows on its own, without the assistance of ponies. The clouds move on their own, animals take care of themselves, and the same goes for plant life," she answered. "It's unnatural!"

"Really?" he quipped with humor in his voice. "In my home universe, that sort of thing was a common occurrence."

Stopping right outside of the Everfree Forest, the Doctor randomly began scanning everything with his sonic screwdriver. He worked like a possessed pony, often muttering to himself and chuckling as if he made a really clever joke. An outside observer would note how well this eccentric Doctor would get along with the socially reclusive Ponyville librarian, to which she may respond with a swift kick to the head.

"The area has been disturbed recently," he muttered to himself, entering the forest with little trepidation. Twilight headed him off, this pony, as strange as he may be, hardly deserved to be mauled by whatever sinister creature laid in the forest.

"Wait, Doctor. Beyond here, there's gonna be loads of crazy monsters and weird plants!" Twilight said, recalling her encounter with the less than cordial Poison Joke plant.

"So, you're saying it'll be dangerous?" he asked innocently.

"Uh, yeah."

"Good!" he smiled madly. "What a good way to test run this new body. Nothing like a little danger to break her in, eh? I wonder what awaits me, horrible mutations or aliens!"

"But you could be killed!" she protested.

"Probably," he admitted. "But I could also not be killed, did you ever think of that Miss Smarty-Pants? And besides, that's little consequence to you. Go ahead, run along and leave all the danger to me, unless—" he turned around with his infuriating confident smirk and playful eyes. "—You'll help?"

Twilight considered her options. It was either tag along the crazy pony that claims he isn't a pony, or stand around the hospital being as useful as a bump on a log. The Doctor looked absolutely content jumping into dangerous situations, as if he enjoyed it, although he knows what he's talking about… and Twilight had more questions for him, she hated not knowing something.

"Sure, I'll come along," she finally answered.

"Fantastic!" he laughed. "Allons-y!"

He trotted into the Everfree as if he owned the place, with unflappable swagger and confidence brimming… until he tripped over his own hooves and face-planted.

"You okay?" she asked as the Doctor awkwardly got back on his hooves.

"Steering is still off… I'll get the hang of it eventually… hopefully. Anyways, Tally ho and what have you!"

Although Twilight lived in Ponyville for quite some time and became acquainted with the place to the best of her ability (which is considerable, mind you) it only took ten paces before she decided they were lost. The Doctor, however, disagreed and walked as if he knew where he was going, scanning the surrounding area and making off-hoof remarks.

"Lovely plant," he muttered. "Looks like a rabbit has been through here, or a rhino, can't tell…"

"Doctor, what exactly are you looking for?"

"Something out of place," he answered, still searching the area for some microscopic error. "Something that doesn't belong. Something…"

"Like that?" Twilight pointed at a pair of tall trees that were warped and bent entirely out of shape. The trees were bent outward and away from each other, so they formed a semi-circle, at the points where it was bent the bark was severely damaged and cracked; as if something tore right between the trees with tremendous force. "Something… crashed through there."

The Doctor leaped through the trees, following the trail as Twilight lagged behind. "Something big!" she continued.

"Well, you're half right," the Doctor muttered, stopping in the middle of a large ditch with an awful grimace on his face. He knelt and looked at a singular pod in the center of the ditch. Twilight flanked the Doctor, the two inquisitive ponies staring intently at the pod.

"What, that? It's empty," she remarked. The pod was open forming a perfect sphere within, but, as she noted, it was entirely empty. "But, it looks like it was opened from the inside."

The Doctor scanned the interior of the pod, glanced at his readings, and frowned. "Whatever was in here got out in a hurry," he confirmed.

"Is it some sort of space container?" Twilight asked. "Like, holding some form of alien monster inside it?" Entirely incredulous, she laughed at how ridiculous her suggestion was, but the Doctor's expression made her laughter end with a terrified squeak.

"It's a plant pod," he answered. "From space, yes. And what was in it is a nasty piece of work, let me tell you."

"You've seen these things before?"

"A few times," the Doctor admitted. "It's called a Krynoid, the weeds of the universe. It's best we find the plants as quickly as possible before it can do any serious damage."

He shivered at the thought of Krynoids being unleashed upon this tiny little village. Although he has only been here for a little while, in unexpected conditions, he wouldn't wish it upon anyone to suffer a fate by Krynoid.

"What I don't understand is, where is the other pod?" he stood and looked around the forest, as if searching for a neon sign that pointed out any hostile alien shrub hell-bent on wanton destruction. "They always travel in pairs."

"Wait, Doctor, are these… Krynoids responsible for what's happening in Ponyville?"

"Probably." He shrugged, completely reassuring the paranoid unicorn. "There's a chance the two are connected, though I can't see how. Krynoids, you see, latch on to living victims; humans. And transform them into grotesque monsters to carry on their purpose."

"Which is?"

"To overrun the entire planet." Twilight shivered, she wasn't exactly sure which was scary: the fact that the Doctor knew so much about these plants or how swiftly Ponyville has been infested by them.

"First things first," the Doctor started, leaping out of the ditch looking around the forest. "We need to find the second pod. If we're lucky, then the pod hasn't hatched yet, but I'm not exactly known for my luck. With these lukewarm, swamp-like conditions, the second pod thawed out by now."

Rustling in the forest drew Twilight's attention. The Doctor, as weirdly attentive as he was, was ignorant to the noise. Twilight stared deep into the forest to spot movement, but whatever was moving was either too fast or too far.

"Doctor…" she called.

"Krynoids don't work like this," he muttered. "They infect whatever living thing is around them and feed off their nutrients, eventually assimilating their genetic code and possessing them entirely."

"Doctor," she tried again, more urgently.

"And they definitely don't go off by themselves, but there isn't any trace of a second pod. Did it land elsewhere?" He ran a hoof through his mane, scratching his head in utter bewilderment. "Or maybe the second one didn't survive the crash—"


The stallion tilted his head in confusion and gave Twilight a perfectly innocent expression. "Um, yes?"

"You do realize we're in a forest right?"

"Yes, and?"

"And that trees happen to be living things, right?"

"I don't see what this has to do with—" his eyes widened as he turned a full three-hundred sixty degrees as if just noticing how many trees were around them. "Oh! Oh! Stupid! Look at me, so old and so stupid! Ha! Regeneration, ho," he chuckled bitterly. "You don't know what you're going to get."

The sound of leaves in motion struck through the forest. They looked around, but none of the trees were dropping any leaves.

"Which tree could it be?" asked Twilight as she frantically looked over the dense forest. The Doctor cursed under his breath and aimed his screwdriver over the forest, scanning it, but after a glance at the readings he swore once more and huddled closer to Twilight.

"Not sure, the entire forest is giving off weird readings, it can't distinguish between normal trees and the Krynoids."

"Doctor, what do we do then?"

More rustling. The sound of leaves dropping violently increased until it sounded like a hurricane was passing through the forest.

"You do not belong here." Twilight covered her ears as this new voice suddenly spoke inside her mind. The Doctor winced as the voice spoke to him as well but continued to scan despite it.

"That voice, it was in my head!" Twilight cried.

"Low level telepathy," answered the Doctor. "It's transmitting its thoughts into your mind as a way of communication. But that isn't how it works! The Krynoid takes a human host and speaks through them, not through telepathy!"

"Whatever the case is, the Krynoid is disappointing you in a lot of ways Doctor. What do we do?!"

"You do not belong here," repeated the voice that echoed in their minds like wind coursing through so many trees.

"That's me! Trespassing and dropping in uninvited, Napoleon certainly didn't appreciate it, but he always was a little short with me," the Doctor snickered as if he were sharing a private joke. "But enough about me, what have you done to this town? It's a nice place really, the unicorns are a bit rude—"

"Hey!" protested Twilight.

"—but otherwise a lovely village!"

Tree branches creaked and moaned as if under a great weight. Shadows skirted within the forest and dashed from tree to tree like an enthusiastic filly playing a game. They knew, however, that whatever was in there was certainly unfriendly.

"We fell. Fell from our world and into the Abstract Plane, until we fell here. To a world so warm, so hot and brimming with life," the voice answered chillingly.

"Listen, I'm the Doctor, I can help. You don't need to overrun this world. I can take you to another planet, one that's uninhabited and you can live there in peace, you don't have to hurt anyone."

A rhythmical noise shook through the forest, the howling of wind in tandem with the falling of leaves and breaking of bark. Twilight realized with a chill that it was laughter.

"Ignorant beast," it chided. "You have the gall to command the Krynoid?"

The Doctor shrugged and smirked toward the talking trees. "It's for your own good. Consider this your first and only warning, leave this planet and I'll forgive what you've done to this town."

Silence. Twilight shuffled closer to the Doctor as a subconscious response for a need of safety. All that answered him were the calls of the local wildlife. Something felt wrong, however. Twilight tensed and felt something moving inside the forest, it may have been nerves or fear but every muscle in her body was screaming at her to run.

As quick as thought, Twilight shoved the Doctor down just as the massive tree branch swung at him. She was successful in keeping the Doctor out of danger but failed to dodge the incoming assault and flew ten meters from the impact.

A monstrous beast broke through the forest; it looked like the thing of nightmares. It stood, bipedal, a meter or two tall. Covered in millions of leaves and wore bark over its body like armor. Its "feet" were gnarled with hundreds of roots sprawling from the base and its face was just as grotesque; fixed in a permanent scowl, its eyes were hollow sunken holes in its tree-like face and within it were not pupils but glowed green. The Doctor thought of a jack-o'-lantern when he looked at the Krynoid's grimacing expression, but thought better of it when he turned toward Twilight who groaned and cursed to his far left.

"You will die in your arrogance!" the Krynoid roared as it lunged at him. Swift on his hooves, completely betraying his previously awkward gait, the Doctor dodged the feral haymaker, rolled and expertly recovered.

"Maybe later! I've only regenerated ten minutes ago and I rather not do it again, especially not from some glorified overgrown weed!" The Krynoid lunged once more but the Doctor leapt, avoiding the strike, and turned mid-air to perform an extremely unorthodox move. With his right hindleg, he spun his body perfectly and swung his hindleg at the Krynoid's face stunning the beast and causing him to recoil.

"Whew, glad I picked up a few things during my time with the monks," the Doctor muttered before breaking out into a sprint toward Twilight.

He found her trying to dig herself out of debris and helped her to her hooves. "Twilight, are you okay?"

"No, Smarty Pants, the biology homework is due tomorrow," Twilight slurred with a dazed expression.

"Good enough, come along Twilight, here comes my favorite part." The Krynoid roared angrily and rampaged toward the ponies. "Run!"

Twilight dazedly got up but the Krynoid was advancing too fast. Aiming his screwdriver at it, the device whirled to life and buzzed incessantly, at first there was no real affect until the Krynoid came within five meters where it staggered backwards and roared in pain. Glancing at his readings, the Doctor laughed triumphantly before pushing Twilight away from the stunned beast.

"We need to head back into town!" the Doctor said, jumping over fallen logs.

"You want to lead the hideous monster into town?" Twilight screeched, weaving past a warped tree.

"The second Krynoid isn't nearby. He must be in town then!"

"And how do you figure that?"

"Deductive reasoning."

"So, you're guessing?!"

"Oh, shut up!"

Trees exploded behind them as the Krynoid took chase, pushing aside everything as if it were a minor annoyance. Sudden the trees began to fall from the sky and land in front of the racing ponies. Yelping, the two maneuvered past by falling debris while maintaining their speed, Twilight thanked Celestia she read How to Run: A Beginner's Guide.

Ponyville General Hospital, Ponyville, Equestria

9:00am, Same Day

Doctor Stable attended to his patients as quickly as he could. It seemed that within minutes of the Doctor's and Twilight's departure everypony got worse at the same time. Vitals were dropping like bags of bricks and all of the attendees raced to help.

The best they could muster, however, was maintaining their vitals by a hair's breadth. There weren't enough rooms to help everypony and dozens were being kept in NICU and pediatrics to make up for the lack of space.

Stable made his way to the main lobby when Nurse Nightingale, a spry blue unicorn, stopped him.

"Doctor," she called but did little to impede the Doctor's impressive gait.

"Walk and talk," the Doctor absentmindedly responded.

"Doctor, the patients—"

"Yes, I am well aware of their declining condition," he impatiently interjected. "Some good news would be nice for once."

"Well, Doctor, the patients, they're… well—"

"Out with it Nightingale! I hardly have time to waste in case you hadn't noticed."

"They're green."

The good Doctor turned around with an incredulous expression which morphed into an exasperated look. Shaking his head, he found it unbelievable that a well-trained and seasoned nurse was so easily subjected to stress. "It's been a stressful day, Nightingale, and we all need a little rest, but—"

"No, Doctor, I'm serious. Look!" She pointed at the patients all around them that laid on the floor coughing and groaning as they had been all day. Stable followed her hoof and took a good look at them, and for the first time in his twenty years of medical practice, he was rendered speechless.

Everypony was sickly green. Underneath their motley chromatic fur their circulatory system was literally glowing green, as if chlorophyll ran through their veins instead of blood.

"That's… impossible…" He extended his hoof to touch a young filly but her head snapped up, startling the nurse and Doctor, and she stared at them with empty eyes.

"Doctor…" the filly muttered. "Kill the Doctor."

Doctor Stable staggered back against the wall. "What is she—"

"Doctor…" everypony in the lobby droned in the same emotionless voice. "Crush the Doctor."

"S-Stable," stammered the frantic nurse. "Are they talking about… you?"

All at once, the patients looked at Stable and tilted their heads as if they were just recognizing his presence. "The Doctor…"

Like soldiers they all marched toward the Doctor and nurse as they cowered, too stunned to run or retaliate. They all raised a single foreleg at the Doctor, trying to grab him, and walked up to him… and continued right past him toward the exit.

None of the patients paid any mind to Stable and the nurse as they droned, "Doctor, find the Doctor," like possessed cattle.

Which is good because Stable fainted and needed a Doctor to tend to his trauma.

Ponyville Proper, Ponyville, Equestria
At the same moment

The Doctor tripped and crashed right into Twilight Sparkle and both earth pony and unicorn went tumbling head over hooves before stopping suddenly with Twilight sprawled on top of him.

"Ugh, sorry, still getting used to hooves," the Doctor groaned completely oblivious to Twilight's profuse blush.

She helped the Doctor up and brushed herself off. "Doctor, what are we going to do?"

"I've got a few ideas, do you ponies have any ultrasound machines in the hospital?" he asked, taking another look at his screwdriver.

"Yes, of course we do."

"Good!" he grinned madly. "Then this should be easy, which is a shame because I expected more of a challenge, but what're you going to do right? I mean, the Krynoid are a thick lot, they're plants after all!"

Twilight took a look behind the Doctor and her eyes widened to dinner plates. "Uh, Doctor…"

"What I still don't understand is what they've done to this town," he muttered, running a hoof through his mane, obviously confused.


"Sure, get a bunch of ponies sick and then what? Rule the world with one town incapacitated? A little extreme, I mean, no offense, but I haven't seen much of a defense network here so why go through the trouble of giving everyone the sniffles?"

"Doc—" Pushing his hoof on Twilight's mouth, the Doctor gasped with a wide grin on his face.

"That's it!" he cried absolutely giddy. "They established a psychic field when they contaminated the water, and anyone that drank the water immediately became infected! Oh, that's brilliant! We've got to go to the hospital and detox them before the psychic link is activated!"

"It's a little too late for that!" Twilight chided, pushing the Doctor's hoof away and turning him around to point him at the crowd of ponies slowing marching toward them.

"Oh… why didn't you say anything Glitter?!"

Twilight rolled her eyes and refused to grace the Time Lord with a response. Brandishing his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor ran up to the crowd and scanned one of them.

"Doctor, what's wrong with them?" Twilight asked, dodging a very slow-moving hoof.

"It's the water, the Krynoid rooted themselves in the forest and got into your water system. Infecting the water supply with their spores that managed to establish a psychic link to everyone that drank it."

"Wait, then why aren't I infected? And Doctor Stable?"

The Doctor grinned before scanning Twilight's horn and showing her the readings. To her it was just a jumbled mess that made as much sense as the Doctor, but he looked as if it was the simplest thing in the world. "Unicorn horns. They have several psychic inhibitors that block powerful psychic forces, clever design really. I think the redundancies are to prevent any major feedback from your magic, but if you take a look at this—"

"Doctor! We have more important things to attend to!" Twilight pushed his screwdriver away and gestured toward the crowd.

"Right, right, sorry! In any case, these ponies are fine, they've just been possessed but here's the weird thing about it. The psychic link the Krynoids established is very weak, so, it hasn't done any real damage to their minds."

"Why not just break the link then?" Twilight's horn glowed briefly before the Doctor jumped and bowed her head.

"No! Even if the link was weak, if you tried to break it you could cause catastrophic damage to their higher brain functions, leaving them as vegetables!"

"Oh… that would be bad," she squeaked.

"The only ones that can break the link would be the Krynoid. So, let's have a little talk with them!" The Doctor turned around, toward the forest, but was grabbed from behind from a pony. "Oh, right, forgot about them."

More ponies began to mob around the Doctor as he struggled within the sea of ponies. Twilight charged up her horn but hesitated. She couldn't go around blasting these innocent ponies, it wouldn't do anypony good to hurt them.

"Doctor! Hold on!" She began to push through the crowd, wading her way toward the Doctor. But before she could reach him, a ring of rope wrapped around her waist and pulled her out of the crowd.

Before she could even react, she was hogged-tied and left on her back with such expert skill that she knew there was only one pony that could do that. Looking up, she saw Applejack looming before her, like the other ponies, she glowed green and had a lifeless expression.

She choked back a sob. "Applejack!"

"Get th' Doctah," Applejack droned as she turned right around to apprehend the Time Pony.

"Oh, no you don't!" Twilight's horn glowed and the rope unraveled instantly and snaked toward Applejack. For better or worse, Applejack's reflexes were incredibly sharp and she instinctively dodged the rope. Turning around, the workpony faced Twilight with a sneer.

"AJ, I know you can hear me—"

"Her higher brain functions are being blocked by the psychic link! Although it is like Schrödinger's cat, most likely she isn't able to perceive your voice!" The Doctor corrected in the middle of the mob.

Twilight rolled her eyes. "All right, fine. Sorry about this AJ."

A blast of magic shot out of her horn and zapped the earth pony who stiffened and fell over. Then with a crackle of light, Twilight disappeared and teleported beside the Doctor, wrapped her leg around his neck, and teleported away.

They reappeared in front of Sugarcube Corner and Twilight slumped over, tired from her overuse of spells.

"What was that? Transmat?!" cried the Doctor, a little disorientated from the spell.

"Teleport spell," she answered. "Can't your screwdriver do that?"

"Oi!" he chided, pointing the screwdriver at her. "Don't knock the sonic!"

Twilight chuckled, content with having this brief moment to catch their breath. "Doctor, the hospital is crawling with these infected ponies. We'll have no way to get inside safely, and even if we did—"

A primal, guttural roar interrupted Twilight as the two ponies looked toward the source and saw the Krynoid from earlier standing amongst the crowd of ponies.

"The Krynoid will have spotted us," the Doctor finished grimly.

"Doctor, what're we going to do?"

"Okay, okay," he paced in a circle momentarily, smacking his forehead in frustration. "Let's consider our assets. Sonic screwdriver, a powerful, yet rambunctious, unicorn, considerable wealth of knowledge—"

"Oh, why, thank you."

"I was talking about me."

"Oh… thanks."

"And let's consider our opponents. Giant plant monsters that have moderate psychic abilities and have control of a hundred or so ponies and we have"— He consulted his watch and grimaced— "about ten minutes before the change is permanent."

"Wait, what? What change Doctor?"

"I forgot to mention? Right, well, considering how much control the Krynoid has over the ponies within ten minutes the damage to their minds becomes irreversible and they'll remain pawns forever." He tried for a brave smile but Twilight looked at him with an absolutely shocked expression.

"How could you have forgotten to mention that?!"

"Busy day! I've only just recently turned into a pony, I can't be bothered to keep track of all the details! Wait, wait." Placing a hoof on Twilight's mouth, the Doctor muttered madly to himself while grinning foalishly. "We have the most valuable asset with us, Twilight. And that's my sonic screwdriver!"

She pushed his hoof away and silently complained about how badly it tasted. "What's that going to do?"

"Oh, plenty! Is there a high vantage point we can get to?"

Twilight nodded and pointed toward the Golden Oaks. "My house. You can gain access to the top from the second floor."

"You live in a tree?" he asked incredulously.

"You live in a box," she countered.

"Touché." He smiled broadly which was made all the more insufferable by his care-free attitude, but it was contagious and Twilight found herself grinning idiotically as well.

"Now, then, tally-ho!" The Doctor ran out and took only three steps before realizing that the pony mob and the Krynoid were racing toward them. "Ooh, right, forgot about them."

The two race for all they were worth to the library. The Krynoid's control over the ponies had notably improved, as they were not the slow-moving cattle they were before and were instead running at full speed. Twilight figured that it was only because they had such a great head start that they were able to make it to the library without being overrun.

Magically opening her door, the Doctor ran inside with Twilight right behind him. As the door shut, Twilight's horn glowed fiercely and a giant magical barrier surrounded the entire library, stopping the mob dead-cold.

"Magical forcefield," the Doctor chuckled. "I love unicorns!"

"The barrier won't stay up forever," reminded Twilight. "Now then, what's your plan?"

"Two phase plan. Part 1: evade the zombie ponies and Krynoid and get to safety."

"Good, what's part 2?"

"Work in progress."


“Does this place have any offensive capabilities?”

“What? No, it’s a library! The only thing my house has is a magical lightning rod, to prevent it being from destroyed in a thunderstorm!”

“Blast, well, do you have any technology more advanced than bookmarks?”

"Yes, in the basement, why?"

"Show me."

"Hey, Twilight—"

"AGH!" screamed Twilight and the Doctor as they brandished a magical horn and a screwdriver at the sleepy dragon that approached them.

Spike clutched his heart, as if fearing it was ready to jump out of his chest, and the two ponies relaxed. "Why are you screaming?!"

"Don't sneak up on us like that!" chided Twilight before running past him and toward the basement.

"Oh, sorry, uh, wait, what are you guys doing anyways?" Spike scratched his head as Twilight worked furiously.

"Running from giant space plants and zombie ponies while trying to save this planet from certain destruction!" The Doctor answered as he ran down in the basement before emerging back with a ton of equipment on his back. "All with a spunky unicorn, a sonic screwdriver, and a whole lot of genius!"

Spike raised a skeptical eyebrow and tried to ask Twilight for more information but the unicorn was far too busy as she and the eccentric Doctor piled on equipment. Instead, he figured a snack was in order and went to the kitchen.

The Doctor worked furiously, tinkering with all sorts of machinery, tearing it apart and combining it to form some strange contraption that was essentially a really big metal box with an abundance of loose wires poking out of it and a small dish protruding from the top of it.

He ran his sonic screwdriver over the box and its many LED lights blinked on. "Haha! Excellent!" he laughed.

"What.. is it?"

"Harmonic Frequency Circuit, designed to amplify the volume and frequency of my sonic screwdriver! Basically, it is very loud box." The Doctor placed the box on his back and ran upstairs to Twilight's room.

He opened the window and without missing a beat began to climb out. "Wait!" Twilight protested. "What're you doing?"

"The box will be able to amplify my screwdriver, but I'll need to be at an elevated point. Don't want to run the risk of the Krynoid catching me and I need to make sure the sound carries throughout the entire town!" He answered while scaling the tree. "Oh, and you might want to cover your ears when I give the signal."

"What's the signal?"

He chuckled and turned to look at Twilight before flashing an oh-I'm-being-clever smile. "You won't miss it!"

Halfway up the tree, the Doctor quickly consulted his watch: three minutes left. Time flies. Chuckling to himself, the Doctor wondered where that expression came from, after all, being a time traveler that has seen the beginning and end of the universe gives him some rights over the domain of time.

Two minutes were left by the time he reached the top and looked down at the mob below. The ponies attacked the barrier with all they had while the Krynoid roared and joined their attacks. The Doctor could see the barrier failing as it flashed in and out of existence with each hit, any time soon they'll overrun the entire library.

"Oi!" he called in his loudest voice. As expected, everyone stopped and stared at him. "You lot! What're you doing? Smashing magical barriers and disrupting the peace! Not very neighborly if you ask me."

"Doctor!" the Krynoid hissed telepathically. "Come down here and get destroyed like a pony!"

"Lovely offer, but here's a better one. Let these ponies go, surrender and this won't get messy." His cold eyes quickly replaced the care-free, silly expression he formerly wore. But the Krynoid was unimpressed as it laughed darkly.

"You and this pathetic planet will fall," it countered.

"This planet is under my protection."

"And how do you intend to protect it? With a sonic probe?"

"You really shouldn't underestimate my sonic screwdriver," he grinned, brandishing the device and pointing it at his box. "Because if there is one thing it's good at, it's making noise."

The sonic screwdriver came to life and its iconic whirring sound echoed throughout the entire town. The Krynoid howled in agony and in mere seconds began to fall apart from the stress; being reduced to debris. Fortunately, the Krynoid was defeated quickly because the feedback from the box was too intense and the sonic screwdriver sparked and exploded in the Doctor's hoof and he dropped it.

The pony mob collapsed, but from up there the Doctor noticed that their green veins disappeared. Laughing to himself, the Doctor celebrated briefly. "Defeating overgrown weeds with a sonic screwdriver, ha! Fantastic!"

Climbing back into the tree, the Doctor was tackled by Twilight who embraced him. "You did it!"

"Had I? Ah, hadn't noticed, good of you to tell me," he joked, laughing giddily. "Come along, we should make sure everyone is okay."

"Everypony," Twilight corrected with a smile.

"Don't tell me you're going to get hung up on that?"

"As long as you keep messing up, yes."

The Doctor swore never to make such a blunder again and ran outside. They checked the ponies and to their relief, they were perfectly fine. Their symptoms had disappeared and they were uninjured. "Normal brain function, no sign of the psychic field, they'll be right as a trivet in no time!"

"Good," Twilight said while attending to Applejack. "Will they remember any of it?"

The Time Pony shrugged but gave a reassuring smile. "Nah, when the psychic link was established the ponies were put in a hypnotic state. Like sleepwalking. They'll wake up and think it all a dream."

Twilight nodded, she wouldn't want Applejack to recall any of what happened. The earth mare would feel absolutely terrible about being subjected to intense mind-control and forced to hog-tie one of her best friends.

"We should get them home and—oh! Look at you," he groaned as he picked up his charred sonic screwdriver. "I liked this one! Blimey, running through sonics like they're out of style."

"Doctor, what I don't understand is where is the other Krynoid? You said they traveled in pairs, right?"

"I'm not sure. And with my sonic out of commission, it'll take a while to find it if it intends to hide," he muttered, pocketing the destroyed screwdriver in his coat. "First thing's first, these ponies."

"AHHHH!" The Doctor and Twilight hopped to their hooves and looked toward the tree as the blood-curdling cry from the residential dragon tore through the library.

Before they could make for the library, the ground rumbled and shook, causing the ponies to stay absolutely still. The Doctor pulled Twilight back as she fought against him and tried to answer Spike.

"Your house…" he said in a deadly calm voice. "Is a tree…"

The many branches of the Golden Oaks Library shook unnaturally, the entire tree slowly began to turn and wiggle at the base, as if it were trying to uproot itself. The branches suddenly pierced the ground and pushed against it, and the entire library began to glow a poisonous green.

"Doctor… the second Krynoid… it's…"

The Doctor said nothing as the tree became animated, its windows now glowing bright green and looking at the ponies like a giant regarding an ant. The door shut just in time for Spike to press up against it, silently screaming and pounding away at it.

"Die Doctor!" the Krynoid screeched, swinging a large branch at him. The Doctor pushed Twilight away and took the entire brunt of the force, flying into a nearby building and crashing through the window.

"Doctor!" Twilight screamed. She heard no response from the stallion and turned toward her former house and glared so intensely she swore that her eyes were glowing like the Krynoid's.

"You think you can come to this planet, infect an entire town with some weird spores, put everypony in danger, possess my house and attack us like that and stand there as if you did nothing wrong?" Twilight asked with venom in her voice. "You seemed to have forgotten one thing, though," she smiled coyly while charging up her horn, "The magical lightning rod."

Before the Krynoid could retaliate, Twilight shot a burst of magic at it which was instantly directed to the lightning rod and magically electrocuted the entire library, covering it with a purple aura. She heard the Krynoid wail through its telepathy and with a start prayed that the inside was magically insulated; she'd hate to fry her number one assistant.

Her magic decimated the Krynoid which, unfortunately, resulted in her home taking heavy damage from it. The Krynoid's green aura disappeared and Twilight felt its telepathic presence fade, the tree stiffened and returned to its stationary, and less hostile, position. The tree bark was smoking and charred black from the magic, thankfully nothing caught on fire, but she couldn't care less about the condition of her home as long as Spike was okay.

Twilight ran inside and found the little dragon in the lobby facedown. A chill went up her spine and dread filled her heart. Turning over Spike, Twilight was at the verge of tears until she heard snoring! Taking another look, she saw that Spike was asleep.

"He could sleep through anything…" she muttered with a smile. Then she remembered the Doctor. "Oh, no."

She ran through the building he was thrown into with the Doctor laying in the middle of the living room. Unlike Spike, the Doctor looked to be in a terrible state. His clothes was nearly torn off, scratches and bruises covered his body and face and his usual charismatic and handsome expression was replaced with one contorted in pain.

"Did I just get hit by your house?" he asked with some humor in his voice.

"Sorry about that," she chuckled sheepishly. "But don't worry, I took care of the second Krynoid. I think."

"Good, good. I knew I chose well."

"Excuse me?"

The Doctor gave her a brilliant grin. "My companion, of course! I knew I was right in choosing you."

"Companion?" she repeated. "Isn't that a bit old fashioned?"

"I'm an old fashioned pony," he admitted.

Twilight couldn't argue with that. Despite how young the Doctor looked and acted, there was something about his eyes. They were so old in comparison to the rest of him, like an ancient pony inside a youthful body, Twilight only saw that look in one other pony.

The Doctor tried to sit up but Twilight stopped him. "Wait, don't you're hurt."

"This? Nah, I had nastier falls before, this is nothing!" To demonstrate his point, he stood up fully and smiled at her.

"Still… we should go to the hospital, to make sure you're oka—" The Doctor's body glowed gold as… dust began to envelope him. It only lasted for a brief moment and when it ended all of the Doctor's wounds healed! "H-how did you?"

"Residual regeneration energy," he answered. "I'm still within the first fifteen hours of my regeneration, so, there's a lot left over."

"Okay… Anything else I should know about you? Do you have an extra head or something?"

"Nope! Extra heart, but otherwise, I'm a perfectly normal pony."

"Right, well, come on Doctor. We've got quite a bit of cleaning up to do." A buzzing sound rang from within the Doctor's coat. Pulling out his mutilated screwdriver, Twilight noticed that the little green bulb was pulsing weakly.

"Ah! The TARDIS! It's returning!" The Doctor cried happily as he sprinted out of the shop aiming his screwdriver at the sky. "Come on, I'm right here Old Girl, lock on!"

Twilight didn't have a chance to ask what he was muttering about because a familiar noise came into existence. It was somewhere between a screeching noise and a lyrical "whooshing" of the air. The Doctor pushed Twilight behind her as a blue box started to materialize in front of them.

The TARDIS stood proudly (and if Twilight didn't know any better arrogantly) before them, as if she needed to make as grand an entrance as the Doctor had.

"What have you got for me this time?" he asked under his breath. He ran up to the door, opened it quickly, and pushed his way inside. And just as quickly as it appeared, it disappeared.

"Doctor?!" Twilight yelled at the vanishing box. "Doctor, what're you doing?!"

But it was no use. The TARDIS and the Doctor was gone.


Golden Oaks Library

26th of Summer, Midnight, 1002 C.R.

Twilight put away the final book and smiled proudly. She had finally managed to clean everything up! It took ages to clean up the mess the Krynoids made and get everypony affected home before they could wake up. When they finally did wake up, they had no recollection of anything that happened. Her friends that left the town came back and Twilight had no problems convincing them that the mysterious illness was suddenly cured all at once.

They didn't question her, after all, there was no evidence supporting the contrary. Twilight scanned the water over and over again and found zero abnormalities in it. She wasn't sure if the water was uninfected but after conducting a few experiments she concluded that it was drinkable.

Surprisingly enough, even Spike, who was awake for the whole thing, was convinced that what happened with the library was just a dream. And, strangely enough, when she approached the other unicorns that were unaffected by the Krynoid's psychic powers, she found that none of them had any recollection either.

She didn't argue but found the entire thing bizarre. But what distracted her presently was the Doctor.

The strange pony that fell out of the sky, ran around doing amazing things before disappearing again! Without so much as a goodbye! Twilight couldn't help but feel miffed at him and would give him a lashing when he comes back.

Absentmindedly dusting her shelves, Twilight frowned. What if he didn't return? It all felt like a dream, to be honest. She couldn't believe what the town was put through and felt she would have more difficulty explaining it to Princess Celestia.

Twilight slammed her duster on the table. "The least he could've done was say goodbye! That stupid, irresponsible, foalish stallion! Ugh! If he were here now, I would say—"

"What?" A familiar cheerful voice flourished with that strange accent asked behind her. When she turned around, the Doctor stood there, in front of his TARDIS that somehow materialized silently, with his brilliant arrogant smile. "What would you tell me?"

Twilight trotted up to the stallion and punched his shoulder. He yelped in pain but Twilight wasn't in a sympathetic mood. "You know how much trouble I went cleaning everything up?! Where were you?!"

"Sorry about that," he said calmly, but his smile betrayed his apology. "Took the TARDIS on a test run. I was aiming for the moon, but I ended up somewhere in pony Europe. And I went to change!"

He extended his forelegs and showed off his new outfit. He wore a gray tweed jacket, which matched his coat, with a white shirt underneath and an extravagant blue bow-tie. His mane was curly and moderately lengthy, it was so dark it looked black, and it hung over his forehead in a small fringe. His tail was just as curly and wild as his mane and right before it was his Golden Hourglass cutie mark. In his breast pocket sat a brand new sonic screwdriver, one much thicker and bigger than his previous one but the bulb and overall design hadn't changed. A band with a watch was around his right hoof.

"Much better than the raggedy, eh?" he asked with arrogance and pride.

"Maybe, except the bowtie," Twilight remarked.

"Says the purple pony with a horn sticking out of her forehead," he countered. "Besides. Bow ties are still cool."

"You must be alien to think that."

"I suppose in your universe, I am the alien in this situation. But I'll get to that later. No one was hurt, right?"

Twilight shook her head. "Nopony remembers any of it. But the ponies that were uninfected didn't remember either."

"Oh, that was me. A bit of memory scrambling to make sure that the unicorns wouldn't be asking too many questions, it's always difficult to explain to them that a transdimensional plant alien tried to rule the world."

"What about the water? Is it safe?"

He nodded as he brandished his screwdriver and glanced at the readings. "I managed to get rid of the spores, vibrated the molecules until they collided and destroyed each other. I even managed to track down the Krynoid pods, I still don't understand how they got here. They must've followed me through the Abstract Plane."

"Will there be more of them coming?" she asked.

For a moment, Twilight saw a twinge of worry and fear in the Doctor's face, but it disappeared when he put on his best smile. "Probably not, but that won't matter as long as I'm around."

"Wow, a bit arrogant aren't you?"

"I'm the Doctor, I invented arrogance," he proclaimed with that wild look in his eyes.

"So, um, what exactly are you doing here?" she asked carefully. The Doctor raised an eyebrow and Twilight raced to correct herself, "Not that I don't want you here. But—ah, no, I mean" —she shook her head and took a deep breath— "that… TARDIS. It can travel anywhere, right? So, why stop here? You could see the world."

"That's exactly what I was thinking," he smiled madly. "Wanna come with me?"

"Me? Why?"

"Who cares about the why, Twilight? When you've got the when and where to worry about?" The Doctor answered, opening the door to the TARDIS and beckoning Twilight to follow. She hesitated however, she couldn't just go off gallivanting throughout the universe with a pony she barely knows, what about her studies?

"I… can't. I've got an entire life here in Ponyville and my studies and my friends! I can't leave them." To her surprise the Doctor frowned and looked disappointed but didn't argue.

"Okay, I understand," he said, opening the TARDIS door and stepping inside. The door shut and it began to disappear as that beautiful noise filled the library.

Suddenly, it stopped, the door opened and the Doctor poked his head out with his "yes-I-am-definitely-brilliant" smile. "Oh, I always forget to mention this bit. The TARDIS is a time machine too."

Twilight Sparkle, the prestigious pupil to Princess Celestia and local librarian, broke out in a huge smile and entered the impossible box with the impossible stallion and for the umpteen time today was rendered speechless.

"Wha—that's… impossible—" she muttered looking around the room before her that was probably twice the size of her library!

"Anything to say? Any… passing remarks?" he asked with his insufferable smile.

"Is that a couch?" she asked, pointing at the large blue couch by the console.

The Doctor's face dropped slightly. "Well, that's new." Shaking his head, he gleefully hopped up the stairs and looked down at Twilight from there. "Here she is! My TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimension in Space. She can go anywhere in all of time and space, the whole universe at my beck and call," he paused to look at Twilight, his eyes were mad with glee. "And she's all mine."

The TARDIS was definitely beautiful, Twilight decided. The room was massive, the walls were a beautiful gold with large panels depressed within it and large strange symbols etched into them. The staircase in front of her led to the main console and on that obsidian black platform were four more staircases that spiraled in all sorts of directions. Surrounding the platform were large branch-like structures that were snow white and as wild and crazy as the trees of the Everfree Forest.

The console itself was a wide array of buttons and switches that all glowed and beeped cheerfully creating an almost disorientating cacophony of sight and sounds, but the Doctor danced around it as if it were music and art. Everything was adjusted for ponies, the levers and pedals were large enough for the Doctor's hooves and a large bulky box interface with dozens of keys were resized to fit him. And in the middle of it all, towering above everything, was a column with a blue bulb inside of it. It danced up and down as the Doctor worked the console.

"New universe," he said with unbridled enthusiasm. "With no way to navigate properly, let's see where she takes us!"

Twilight joined the Doctor at the console and she was overcome with fillylike glee that she hadn't felt since the day the Princess asked her to be her student. The Doctor pulled a lever, and the TARDIS shook as its song echoed everywhere. Twilight took a holding at the console as it shook. "Talley-ho! Hah!"

Space-Time Trouble

View Online

The Solar Court, Canterlot Castle, Equestria

27th of Summer, 7:01am, 1002 C.R.

Sunrise was an hour ago, but it didn't excuse Sunny Side being late. As the Lead General Manager for Princess Celestia, his duties were simple and concise that even the youngest and most naïve foal could follow. He was to arrange for the Princess's breakfast, usher in the Head Assistant to provide her with a list of today's duties and expectations, get the maids and servants to begin cleanup, convene the Noble Court, and gather the data from the Logistics Department for further interpretation and extrapolation.

Perhaps they weren't as simple as one would assume, but they were something Sunny Side completed with dignity each and every day. However, he was late this time. Forty-two minutes and thirty seconds late. It was that mess in Ponyville that caused a backlog in Logistics. Apparently a deathly illness had fell upon the entire town and it was not reported to the Province Office, before the Royal Guard could be deployed, however, they received word that everything had gotten better!

Sunny Side grimaced. It must have been some form of a prank; he could hazard a guess on who would be behind such an elaborate ploy. Suddenly, Ponyville is under literal quarantine, and then all of a sudden everything is better without outside intervention? Much too convenient and absurdly contrived to be taken seriously and with everything going on in Ponyville, things came to a grinding halt in Canterlot.

Sunny Side needed to make numerous calls to Manehattan, Fillydelphia, Trottingham, just to reassure everypony that everything was okay. When national emergencies occur and get cleared up fairly fast there is a lot of cleaning up that needs to be done. It isn't as simple as dismissing the issue, paperwork needs to be done for every occurrence that the Royal Guard are deployed! Even if it is just to the coffee place down the street!

And considering it was a potential threat to the State involving an unknown disease, the provinces under Canterlot were panicking out of fear that this disease would spread. Sunny Side worked his tail off to make sure everypony was calm and rational, he even needed to send a few gift baskets to quell their fears.

Right now, Sunny Side needed to head over to Princess Celestia's room and profusely apologize for his tardiness and offer his life as penance. Princess Luna would be heading to bed at this time which was a good thing because she was scary, scarier than her sister because at least she was subtly terrifying; the moon princess would much prefer to be straightforward about her disappointments and had no qualms about using the Royal Canterlot voice when voicing them.

Halfway up the Sol Tower, Sunny Side glanced out of the many windows that lit up the corridor. The entire city of Canterlot was in view here, he could see his house from here! It was beautiful and Princess Celestia, as always, produced an amazing sunrise.

Sunny Side lingered for a little bit and that's when he noticed something odd…

On the west side of the castle he saw something flying. It was much too big to be an animal or a pegasus and it was… blue.

Sunny Side practically pressed his face against the window, squinting to identify the UFO.

No, it couldn't be.

It was a blue box!


TARDIS, in Transit

Same time

Nothing was going right.

Even though the adjustment the Doctor made to the TARDIS was working perfectly on takeoff, everything was going horribly wrong when she entered the Time Vortex. The Time Lord ran around the console, pulling levers, pressing buttons and spinning regulators to maintain the TARDIS.

Sparks exploded in front of him and the TARDIS tilted causing the Doctor to fall off his hooves and rolled around the platform and down the stairs.

"Oh, come on!" he yelled, hanging on to the railing as the TARDIS became entirely inverted. "Microgravity on!"

The TARDIS whined and rumbled as it failed to follow the Doctor's request. The Time Lord was never one to give up, however, and he began to climb the railing to attempt to get back to the console.

"I don't understand, you have plenty of power and fuel!" he complained as he brandished his trusty sonic screwdriver and aimed it at the console, causing the device to whirr to life. He glanced at the readings and frowned. "That's odd, there's something pulling you here, but what—ah!"

It shifted once more and the Doctor slipped and fell toward the door. Quickly thinking, he grabbed onto the railing once more and violently stopped his descent. He felt his luck turn against him, however, as the TARDIS doors somehow opened in spite of the gravity against it.

Glancing down the open doors, he noticed he was now floating above what appeared to be a giant castle.

"No, no, this isn't good," he muttered. "Very not good. Come on, close!" He aimed his sonic screwdriver at the console again to access the door controls, but the TARDIS exploded once more and he dropped the screwdriver in surprise.

"Going from not good to increasingly horrible," he remarked as he noticed the screwdriver fall through an open window.

"I wonder if this world has any airway defense networks. Hah, that would be very bad to be shot down, the shield integrity dropped along with the orbital regulator, so, I'll be entirely vulnerable… I should really stop talking to myself."

As if responding, the TARDIS whined once more before the Doctor's grip around the rail loosened. "Well, I did want to drop by the ruling sovereign, but not literally. Haha! Talley-ho!"

Deliberately, the Doctor released his grip and dove head-first toward the castle.

The Sol Tower, Canterlot Castle, Equestria

Same Time

"No, no, that's the…" Sunny Side's face blanched as he realized where the pony fell into. No, it wouldn't matter anyways, there was nopony there! Princess Luna would be in bed and Princess Celestia would be in her room!

He shook his head and thought of the terrible implications if he were somehow wrong.

Sunny Side ran toward the Royal Bath.

The Royal Bath, Canterlot Castle, Equestria

Ten seconds earlier

Princess Luna took a deep breath of relief as she felt the warm water cascade down her back, relieving the tension in her wings and back. Last night was particularly stressful for the Night Overseer, first off, her Hoofservant Nighttime was inexcusably late in waking her up, so the moon was risen a good five minutes late, then her requested meal was served to her cold, cold! Was that supposed to be some sort of joke?

The Royal Tongue would never be violated by a cold meal! It was inexcusable and quite frankly very stressful. Ponies don't recognize the difficulty in exerting oneself to produce the Royal Canterlot voice. It may seem all fun and games to them, but speaking in such high volumes could do wonders to one's voice, Luna would never be able to live down that time she went to karaoke with Celestia.

Thankfully, however, Sunny Side was quite diligent to wake up Celestia on time for the sunrise as scheduled, so Luna had plenty of time to relax before heading off to bed.

Princess Luna exhaled once more, closing her eyes and enjoying the soothing sensation of the hot water immersing her body. The Bath was far too big for the princesses, it looked like it was designed for six ponies in mind; and it was far too extravagant for Luna's taste.

The floors and walls were gold-plated with a multitude of stone dragon heads mounted on the walls, spewing out water that poured into a canal that lead into the main bath. Even more ridiculous were the alicorn statues scattered throughout the circumference of the bath, all posed elegantly and wielding bows and arrows, like the Cherubs of Old.

A simple bathtub would have done fine for Luna, although she would never voice her complaints to the crafters. Princess Luna learned that architects designed everything in such an extravagant and superfluous manner to appease their princesses and that anything simple and rudimentary would be "unworthy for Royalty!" as one pony put it when Luna questioned the size of her bed.

Luna and Celestia opted to keep everypony happy by feigning joy when the billionth artisan produced another statue of the princesses' likeness for the Royal Garden.

So, she sat back and enjoyed the bath.

Her magical mane and tail were plain and dowdy as its usual translucent quality was lost and replaced with a purple thick color that didn't flow like unstill water. To the average pony, however, they would still be awe-struck by how naturally beautiful her mane was as it produced the quality of silk when running down her back.

In fact, the average pony may have been struck dead by Princess Luna's appearance even now in her most private moment.

Princess Luna's eyes opened suddenly when a strange noise echoed through the bath.

It was like air being pumped through a mechanical device except it had a lyrical cadence to it. It was beautiful and alluring to listen to, like a Siren's song.

Plop. Curiously, Luna leaned forward and looked at what had landed in the water. A large metallic tube with a bright green bulb surfaced.



The water before her exploded, splashing the Moon Princess and temporarily submerging her under the water. When she resurfaced, she saw a curious stallion with a wild expression, a goofy smile, and a ridiculous bowtie.

"Wow!" he cried in his eccentric, slightly sophisticated, accent. "Hell of a fall! Good thing this pool got in the way, I would not make a pretty puddle had I impacted asphalt, but seriously, how many times will I end up wet today? Getting this suit dry is no easy feat I'll tell you that—oh! Hello there, I'm the—"


A burst of magic detonated within the bath and the entire structure exploded.


Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville, Equestria

27th of Summer, 12 noon, 1002 C.R.

Twilight Sparkle emerged from basement absolutely soaked. Her mane was matted down and covering her forehead, it barely contained the expression of absolute shock and undefined anger she wore.

"That. Was. Horrible," she said, punctuating her sentence with a rough stomp.

The Doctor joined her from the basement and, like her, he was completely wet. His clothes hung on his body slovenly and his mane was matted down his neck and forehead. Unlike the unicorn, however, he was grinning madly from ear to ear.

"Really? I thought that was brilliant!" he remarked joyfully.

"You crashed in the middle of the Ponytail Ocean!"

"I think 'crashed' is a bit too harsh of a word."

"I'm not sure it's harsh enough! The TARDIS literally smashed right into the ocean! We nearly drowned!"

"But we didn't Twilight!" the Doctor informed casually, "And I already explained to you that this new universe is a bit different from mine. I was aiming for the future but the coordinates must've been inputted improperly."

Twilight trotted across the room and grabbed several towels, one of which she threw at the Doctor. The unicorn began drying her mane and coat and grimaced at the Doctor's explanation. "You have a machine that's bigger on the inside that can travel through the infinite expanses of time and space and you can't drive it?"

"Oi! I can drive the TARDIS just fine!" he corrected indignantly. "Sure, I may have failed the piloting exam several times and the TARDIS technically requires six pilots, I can pilot it just fine, thank you very much!"

"Let's recap. You fell out of your universe and into ours somehow and crashed in the middle of the Everfree Forest, then shortly after, you got lost on your way to my house and then you crash us into the ocean!"

The Doctor wiped his face with his towel, quickly snatched it off and glared at Twilight. Obviously the Time Lord wasn't very used to getting teased about his piloting skills, at least from ponies.

"New universe, new rules! It'll take me a while to get my bearings here, because everything is so different! What's today's date, for instance?"

"The Twenty-seventh of Summer, year 1002 C.R.," she answered automatically.

"C.R.? What does that signify anyways? Centennial Revolution? Circa Relative? Carmel Riveting? Cave Rogers? Cccc," he drew out the letter uncertainly. "Coping… Rolls?"

"Finished?" asked Twilight.

The Doctor cleared his throat awkwardly and nodded.

"C.R. stands for Celestia's Rule and the years denote how long she's been in power," she explained eloquently. "We started measuring the years like that after the Chasers invaded the Griffin Settlement in the Precursor Era."

"I'll have to recalibrate everything," he muttered. "Then after that, everything should be fine. The TARDIS has traveled in enough points in this universe to get a general map going. Then boom! Bob's your Uncle and we can go anywhere!"

"Right…" Twilight mumbled, taking a brush and untangling her mane. "Well, while you're doing that, I have some work that needs to be done."

"No, no, what? Why?" he protested passionately, jumping in front of Twilight with a devastated expression. "Come on! It'll only take a little while! Don't you want to take a ride in the TARDIS?"

"Doctor, it's only for a little while," she promised. "We'll have all day to go anywhere, so, relax."

Twilight walked past him and toward the library and began to remove some books. The Doctor frowned and ran a hoof through his curly mane. "Fine, fine," he muttered. "I guess I should get to work."

"Mhm," responded Twilight.

The Doctor went down to the basement and approached the TARDIS. The proud blue box that stood before him that stood the test of time, literally. His most reliable and oldest companion, the Doctor was unable to contain his goofy smile. "Look at you Old Girl, still holding on after all this time. Let's see what this universe has in store for us."

As always, he ignored the TARDIS's basic instructions and pushed the doors open, strutting inside and up to the console.

"Still, though, I can't believe you modified the template again," he said as his hooves danced on the console. "I was liking the last one. Well it did blow up… twice. You must like this place, huh?"

He looked around the TARDIS to note the nature theme she had picked out. The controls were modified to compensate for the Doctor's lacking of fingers and even the smells were different. A simple spring breeze danced throughout the TARDIS, gracing the Time Lord with scents of trees and flowers.

"And don't worry, dear, I'll get the navigation done after a little bit." He pulled a lever and the TARDIS hummed. A psychic wave of concern and trepidation washed over the stallion's mind and he frowned. "To be fair, this new universe works strangely! It isn't my fault."

A coy and doubtful psychic response, the physical equivalent of an eye roll, graced the Doctor which made him laugh quietly. "All right, I'll take forty percent of the blame. You never take me where I want to go anyways."

The Doctor looked up from the console with a slightly concerned expression. "Oh dear, talking to myself again. Should really stop that… starting now."

He trotted over to the scanner and consulted the readings. "That can't be right…" he tapped the scanner a few times to make sure it was registering correctly, the readings remained unchanged. "You're losing power? But isn't there enough artron energy? Unless…"

The Doctor entered a fit of uncontrollable passion as he ran down the stairs and rummaged through the crawl space underneath the console platform. In a few moments of grumbling and tossing away a few trinkets, he pulled out a large chest, opened it and began throwing objects over his shoulder.

"Where is it… I haven't used it in a while, but it should be right…" The Doctor tossed a rubber ducky out. "Ah! Here we go."

Producing a large metallic device that resembled a small hose crossed with a television that he held awkwardly in his hooves. It was designed for nimbler phalanges instead of awkward stumpy hooves, but the Doctor managed to turn the machine on and it grumbled as the motor ran.

"Right, I should be able to check the energy readings with this and see what the actual problem is. I really should stop explaining this aloud with no one around, I'll work on it. Talley-ho!" Running out of the TARDIS, the Doctor made his way upstairs and into the library.

Twilight jumped when the Doctor emerged from the basement wielding his strange device. He scanned everything and frowned at the readings. "That's not good."

"Doctor, do I want to know what you're doing?" Twilight asked with an incredulous look.

"The TARDIS is running low on power, which is strange because she can just recharge by herself. I'm just checking why she can't and take a look at this Twilight!" he turned the device toward her, pointing at the tiny screen attached to the side of it. The readings didn't make sense to the unicorn, but the Doctor looked at it as if it were written in plain Equestrian, "There's plenty of artron energy around here, but it's incompatible!"

"Is that why the TARDIS has been acting weird?" asked Twilight.

"Among other reasons, yes," he answered quickly.

"How are you going to fix it?"

The Doctor turned to Twilight and grinned wildly. "I've got a few tricks up my sleeves."

Twenty minutes later, Twilight Sparkle grew increasingly worried about the Doctor. He had locked himself in the basement for all that time and all she heard from there were loud mutterings and small explosions.

She wanted to go down to check on him, but wasn't sure if she should. Shaking her head, Twilight collected her thoughts. Why was she so eager to jump on board with the Doctor? She'd seen how dangerous he could be, with a few pieces of scrap metal and a sonic screwdriver he killed an alien plant! Every logical bone in her body screamed at her to report him to Princess Celestia, she'd know how to deal with him and besides being around the Doctor was unnerving.

Whenever he'd smile arrogantly and talk in his machine-gun manner, anypony would think he was just an eccentric pony. But there was something hidden underneath that smile and that arrogance, a type of sadness and seclusion that Twilight couldn't identify.

It made her nervous because she felt that the Doctor could just as easily do terrible things. He was on the brink, the very edge that divided his heroic nature and all of the dark acts he could easily commit. If he could take down an alien monster with bits of scrap metal, what could he do with more?

Another explosion from the basement shook the floor slightly and Twilight rolled her eyes as she heard the Doctor swear. It was a good thing she had sent Spike away before he had a chance to see the Doctor again, she wasn't sure the little dragon could handle the strange pony.

The Doctor swore more and yelped in pain. Twilight put her book away and went downstairs.

He completely remodeled everything, in the middle of the room, right next to the TARDIS, was a large metallic spire that was attached to the ceiling and parts of the wall as huge pipes branched out of the device going everywhere. The Doctor was at the base of the spire working on some wiring, he wore thick black glasses and squinted at the open panel that held dozens of little flashing buttons.

"Wh—you've. What is this?!" Twilight screamed, startling the Time Lord slightly.

The Doctor looked at Twilight and smiled. "I've redecorated! You like it?"

"No! What have you done to my basement?!"

"I need to recalibrate this, Twilight, go around and you'll see an open panel with more flashy buttons, tell me the color of the buttons," he ordered, completely ignoring the unicorn's protests.


"Now! Otherwise this thing will blow and you'll have to reconsider living somewhere else, maybe a giant pumpkin?"

Twilight obeyed and ran around the spire to the panel in question. As he mentioned there were dozens of buttons that flashed an impatient red.

"They're all red," Twilight relayed.


"What does red mean?"

"Uh, that the system is overloading with artron energy the feedback is beginning to tear into the whole of space."


"Hold on, hold on!" The Doctor pulled out a data pad and fiddled with the buttons. Satisfied, he pointed the pad at the spire and after a few moments the buttons began flashing green. "Haha! There we go!" He pointed the pad at the TARDIS and the light at the top began flashing.

"What's that? What's it done?" she asked impatiently.

The Doctor removed his glasses and grinned at Twilight. "This is an Artron Energy Converter, it uses your entire house as a transmitter, absorbs all of the artron energy around us and transmit it back to the TARDIS converting it into useable energy! Brilliant if you ask me! It uses that magical lightning rod of yours as a great big magnet, ha! Magical trees, love a good magical tree."

"So, the TARDIS will be fine then?"

He tilted his head and frowned slightly. "Well! Yes, and no. She can recharge from this transmitter but won't be able to stay too far from it. I still can't figure out why she can't recharge on her own and because of that…"

"What?" she asked, unnerved slightly by the Doctor's sudden pause.

"Well, because of that I'm pretty much anchored here. I'll have to keep coming back here every trip and it also means I'm stuck here." His smile faded and frowned, Twilight swore he could pass for a pony twenty years older than he looks with that frown. "I won't be able to make it back to my own universe, the TARDIS simply can't use that make power to make the trip, she barely survived landing here the first time. I'm stuck here for good."

Although he mentioned before that he was from another universe entirely, Twilight had difficulty believing that until she heard how ragged he sounded. He sounded completely devastated that he was stuck here, his voice so anguished and his eyes so old. Twilight wanted to console him but the lump in her throat left her mute.

"Well! It's not all that bad, look at me!" He grinned cheerfully holding up his hooves. "I'm a pony! Never been a pony before, love a pony! I may be stuck here but that just means a whole new universe to explore, new worlds and a brand new history as well. I'll have to read up on your history then, good thing I'm living in a library then huh?"

"W-wait, what?" She stopped his excited monologue and the Doctor visibly deflated. "You're… living here?"

He ran a hoof over his curly mane and shrugged. "No choice, really. Like I said, the TARDIS is anchored here from now on, I can't afford to stay anywhere else."

The ponies remained silent for a bit, the Doctor awkwardly shuffling his hooves and Twilight gripping that idea in her mind. The Time Lord cleared his throat and showed Twilight his sonic screwdriver. "I'm a hell of a handyman, or, rather handypony. I've never had to live in a… house before, but it'll be fun!"

Twilight imagined the Doctor wearing a proper toolbelt and grinning madly as he tried to put up new bookshelves. The idea was so silly and absurd that she broke out in laughter. The Doctor's smile faded and he burrowed his eyebrows. "What's so funny?"

His quizzical expression was hilarious and left Twilight in absolute stitches. She tried to explain why she was laughing in between breaths but it came out as awkward stutters that progressed into more giggles.

The Doctor, an impossible Time Lord with a time machine that looks like a blue box, living in a house?

"O-okay"— Twilight stuttered, trying to catch her breath— "You saved this town and me, you staying here is the least I can do to repay you."

The Doctor broke out in a smile that could rival Pinkie Pie's and hugged Twilight. "Fantastic! Oh, it'll be fun Twilight."

"Do you need a room?" Twilight asked.

"Nah, the TARDIS is enough for me. You don't happen to have mortgages, right?" He pulled back from the hug with an absolutely serious expression. Twilight shook her head and the stallion, satisfied with her answer, stepped back and bounded for the TARDIS.

"Now then! A little test run, huh?" He ran around the console throwing switches and pressing buttons as the TARDIS hummed to life. "Let's try for the moon. It'll be a beautiful sight, plus I hardly ever go to the moon without being chased down by a bunch of rhino aliens. Come along Twilight!"

Twilight Sparkle, however, stood by the door and smiled weakly at the Doctor. "I've got a bunch of work to do," she admitted.

"It's a time machine," reminded the Doctor. "One trip to the moon and back and I can drop you off five minutes after you left."

"I'll sit this one out, besides, you're a lousy pilot," she quipped coyly.

The Time Pony frowned uncertainly, fiddling with his controls like a chided colt. Twilight was quick to reassure him. "I'll be here when you get back, all right? Just don't crash into any more oceans, okay?"

With that, the stallion's enthusiasm returned with a perfect smile as he threw another lever. "I can't make any promises," he replied excitingly. "Come on then Old Girl, let's not miss this time."

Twilight smirked at the sight of the goofy stallion with his box, walked out and closed the door behind her in time to see the TARDIS disappear before her. That beautiful sound echoing in the basement as the box disappeared completely.

Like Clockwork

View Online

Throne Room, Canterlot Castle

27th of Summer, 7:20am, 1002 C.R.

The TARDIS missed. As the Doctor was being dragged away by the Royal Guard, he went through the calculations in his head. He considered the helmic regulators being uncalibrated for this universe but it shouldn't have thrown him this far off the mark. If this universe was moderately parallel to his old one, then a trip to the moon should be the simplest thing in the world!

"Excuse me," he said to the guard holding his left foreleg in a vice-like grip. "What year, day, and time is it? I must've put the wrong coordinates."

No response from the large pegasus. The Doctor sighed and mulled over the events again. The TARDIS was thrown off her heading and put her by an outside force; it was like something made her gravitate here, something insanely powerful.

Then again, it could be the TARDIS being cheeky again. Over a thousand years of travel made the Doctor very wary about his beloved TARDIS, she took him to places he didn't want to go but she thought he needed to go.

He rolled his eyes and smiled, oh, he'll have a few words with the TARDIS when he gets back.

"But why here?" he muttered aloud. "Looks like a regular ol' castle, oh, don't mind me boys, I talk to myself a lot, everyone tells me to stop but I can't help it! I'm such an interesting block to talk to."

The guards offered no response to the Doctor's mutterings and sat him in front of an empty throne. Brandishing rope, they then tied up the Time Lord. "Oh, come on! Do we need the rope? I won't move, I promise, come on, you can trust me!"

"The guards err often on the side of caution, after all, you broke into the Royal Bath while Princess Luna was there." A calm majestic voice spoke from behind them. The Doctor noticed the guards visibly straightened when they heard her voice.

"You must be the queen!" the Doctor deduced, unable to turn his back to confirm his findings due to the rope. The guards turned to the trapped stallion and pointed their wings at him as they unsheathed with an audible shing!

"At ease," she ordered with the sort of calmness and tranquility of a mother offering a bright-eyed child their favorite dessert before dinner. The guards instantly dropped their wings as she walked in front of them and faced the Doctor.

The Doctor didn't have a very clearly defined sense of physical aesthetics in this universe (though he would admit he looks quite dapper as a pony) but beautiful came to mind when he saw her. Unlike every pony he came across this universe thus far, she was the only one who remotely looked like an actual horse. Though frankly, she was quite slim and trim in a way someone would remark as curvy and vivacious. She had snow white coat with a magical mane and tail that held a multitude of colors. A horn protruded out of her forehead and was much longer than the unicorns he came across, and large majestic wings were furled on her sides.

Not only that, but the Doctor felt sheer power from this mare. It felt like standing in front of an unstable nuclear reactor, brimming to explode, and he felt that with a wrong word she'd detonate.

"Oh, look at that! Wings and a horn, you must be very special aren't you? What are you then? A winged unicorn? A pegacorn? Qilin? No, no, definitely not, I met a qilin once, not a happy chap I'll tell you that."

"Leave us," she told the guards who stared strangely at her. She merely smiled politely at them and the guards instantly obeyed and left the room without complaint. "I apologize for my guards, they tend to be overprotective."

"Oh, no, that's fine," the Doctor dismissed jokingly. "Lovely fellows, really. I can see why you hired them, fascinating personalities."

She said nothing and maintained her calm neutral smile that made the Doctor a bit nervous. However, he has had experience defusing these types of situations. "I'd shake your hoof, but I'm a little tied up at the moment."

"Ah, yes, I apologize." Her horn glowed and the rope unfurled around the stallion and piled up neatly beside him.

"Whew, appreciate it, I try not to get tied up this early in the day. Hello, I'm the Doctor!" He extended his hoof but stared at it for a second. "Hm, shaking hands will be difficult now."

"It's princess, by the way," she corrected coyly.

"Excuse me?"

"Of course you are excused. I was simply correcting you, in that I am the Princess, not queen. Semantics, you see, play a great deal in Equestria. I am Princess Celestia, and I must ask why you broke into the Royal Bath?"

The Doctor chuckled and shrugged. "I sort of had a problem with my… vehicle, faults on both sides, we can agree, and to be fair, you ponies don't normally wear clothes."

Princess Celestia smiled humorously. "True. Back in the old days, it was considered a level one heresy to view the princesses bathing."

"What was the punishment?" The Doctor extended his hoof and grinned. "Hopefully, just a slap on the hoof?"

"To be honest, I'm not really sure. It was such an old rule and besides, there hasn't been a pony daring enough to chance punishment," the Princess looked up for a moment, considering. "Well, the last pony in recent memory was Starswirl the Bearded."

"Lovely chap, I imagine."

She nodded in agreement and looked at the Doctor with slight concern. He recognized that look, he's seen it on hundreds upon thousands of people; a disapproving look, one that told him to grow up and consider the consequences of his actions.

Unfortunately, the Doctor was never really good at following orders.

"Who are you?" she asked.

"I told you, I'm the Doctor. Well! That's what everyone calls me, not really sure why. Well! I call myself that too."

The Princess looked unaffected by the Doctor's strange and eccentric rambling, she looked like a mare with infinite patience and could sit through the Doctor's long-winded rants for years if need be.

"I know the names of everyone, pony or otherwise, in Equestria. I don't recognize you, so, what is stopping me from imprisoning you for your crime and suspicion of saboteur?" She spoke with such calm regality that it felt like she was asking for more tea and not threatening the Doctor.

He couldn't help but smile arrogantly. "There isn't a prison in the universe that can hold me, trust me, they tried."

"Then, we come at an impasse." Princess Celestia smirked and leaned forward, resting on her crossed forelegs rather comfortably. Posing as if she were ready to take a nap, the Princess didn't seem bothered that her regal image was effectively ruined in front of this strange stallion.

"There is no impasse," corrected the Doctor.


"You won't lock me up. I know you, well! I know what you're like anyways, you're too nice to do something like that."

"And how have you come to that conclusion, Doctor?" Her tone was so polite and light, it only reaffirmed the Doctor's finding.

"Pictures," he answered before standing up and gesturing around the throne room. "This is your throne room! Yet, there aren't any images of you. What kind of monarch would do that? One uncomfortable with the attention royalty garners. You aren't egotistical, you're too nice."

"Excellent deduction, Doctor," she complimented. "You have granted me several considerations. So, I must grant you a few of my own."

The Doctor sat down in front of her and smiled kindly.

"You don't belong here." Her tone was kind enough but the Doctor felt unnerved at her words but maintained his calm expression. "You are not from this world, and although you look like a normal pony, you are obviously not. You don't appear hostile, that much I can sense, but still can impose a problem if left unabated. Which leads me to correct you. I am nice, Doctor, but do not mistaken that for good. If you resemble the slightest threat to this world or anyone on it, I will not stand by and let you go on."

The Doctor looked at the princess for a moment, trying to get a read on her. He knew she wasn't lying, that much was certain, but she was so unreadable it frustrated him. He tried to keep his poker face up, but his pony anatomy betrayed him as his large impressionable eyes spoke volumes of truth.

She recognized that look in his eyes. The look of an ancient pony hiding his weariness as far down as possible, after all, she's practiced the look for years.

As a quickly as a coin switching sides, the Doctor's goofy and care-free smile appeared on his face. "Don't worry, I don't intend to be anything but help. And besides, I promised Twilight a trip, and it's the least I can do really."

For a moment, Princess Celestia's mask faltered and the Doctor was able to register a slew of emotions in her eyes; anger, worry, resignation then neutrality, going by so fast he thought he may have imagined it. She raised an eyebrow. "Twilight Sparkle?"

"Yes! Lovely little unicorn, saved her life and Ponyville against this giant alien plant, which by the way wasn't my fault. I promised her a trip and I'm nothing if not a pony of my word. Why, do you know her?"

She wavered briefly, and the Doctor resisted the urge to grin broadly. She nodded and sat up straight, a dominant position, make oneself as big as possible. "Twilight Sparkle is my personal student and the wielder of an Element of Harmony. She is an exceedingly powerful unicorn."

As always, the Princess's polite and calm speech was perfectly maintained, but her eyes spoke a different story: If Twilight comes back with a hair out of place, I'm holding you responsible twice.

"Oh, yes, I know. Very clever, too. She's currently helping me out in my predicament. Well! I wouldn't call it a predicament. I like this world, very calm, very nice. If I had to be stuck anywhere, I'm glad it was here."

Princess Celestia considered for a moment, years of wisdom expressed on her face as she sized up the Doctor. She nodded affirmatively and with the gentlest smile she had, she said, "If you are planning a trip, may I make a suggestion?"


Canterlot Castle Courtyard, Canterlot, Equestria

27th of Summer, 8:00am, 1002 C.R.

Princess Celestia led the Doctor to the courtyard where, amongst dozens of statues of ponies and beautiful foliage, sat the TARDIS in the middle of everything. The light on top flickered impatiently and the Doctor swore she was cross with him, but couldn't resist smiling when he sauntered up to her.

"Ah! There she is, cheeky little girl really. Threw me here when I was aiming for the moon!" He laughed as he patted the side of the box and Celestia wondered who exactly this eccentric pony was.

"She is your vehicle?" Celestia asked.

"Yep! The TARDIS, the best ship in the universe!"

Princess Celestia chuckled, "She's made of wood."

"I know," he turned toward her with that brilliant smile. "Isn't she great?"

Celestia laughed to herself, a small reserved sort of noise that would've made any stallion swoon over her, but the Doctor was so enamored and distracted with the TARDIS that he hardly noticed.

"Oh, I never did get an answer to my question. When is it? Time, date, year? I'll need the proper coordinates to jump back to my time."

The princess relayed the date and the Doctor gaped before scowling at the blue box. "You sent me three hours back in time? Ooh, you cheeky little—"

"I'm sorry, are you saying that it's also a time machine?"

His anger quickly subsided as he looked rakishly at the princess. "Like I said, best ship in the universe."

He opened the door and quickly stepped inside. "Anyways, best be off! Don't want to get pummeled by that other pony, what was her name again?"

"Princess Luna," Celestia supplied.

The Doctor shook his mane as if he had a sugar rush and frowned at the TARDIS's interior. "Oh, she thinks she's really clever hm? Hardly the point, anyways, I'll get out of your… magic mane, and thanks for the advice, oh, and you might want to stay around. You'll love this bit."

Entering the TARDIS entirely, the door shut and almost instantly Celestia understood what he meant. The box began to fade out of existence producing an almost mechanical sound, like air being filtered with a lyrical rhythm behind it. It was uplifting and mind-blowing that the Princess couldn't contain her smile when the box disappeared completely.


Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville, Equestria

27th of Summer, 1:00pm, 1002 C.R.

The Doctor emerged out of the basement in time to see Twilight composing notes at her desk. Adjusting his bow-tie, he approached the unicorn with a great big smile.

"Oh, you're back," droned Twilight who busily scribbled a few more words down, not turning to face the stallion. "How was your trip?"

"Didn't go exactly how I planned, ended up traveling three hours back in time and landed in a great big bath, nearly got arrested, but I made a few new friends! I think."

Twilight didn't respond, only nodded and muttered more under her breath, leaving the Time Lord questioning his choice in companions these days.

"Um, what exactly are you writing?" The Doctor asked, sneaking up behind Twilight and looking over her shoulder.

Twilight's ears perked up and she turned around with a smile that worried the Doctor as she levitated the notes to his face. "Homework!"

20 minutes later

"Okay, go through it one more time."

"Awww, why?!"

"You need to get your story straight!"

The Doctor pouted and crossed his forelegs across his chest as he slumped on the chair. Like a teacher whose patience is running thin, Twilight Sparkle rolled her eyes at the surprisingly foalish Time Lord.

"I'm over two thousand years old! I don't need to be treated like a child," the Doctor snapped.

"Apparently, you do," she retorted walking past him with exasperation apparent in her expression. "Now, go through it again."

Rolling his eyes, the Doctor ruffled his mane up from sheer boredom, but did as Twilight asked. "I'm Time Turner—actually, can I change that name?"

Sighing heavily, Twilight rubbed her now aching head. "Why?"

"Because I sound like a little trinket! I'm a Time Lord—"

"Oh, yes, I know, how impressive," drawled Twilight.

"—A pony that can turn entire armies away at the mere mention of my name!"

"Ooh, scary."

"I certainly don't need silly names like Time Turner!"

"Then what do you want?"

The Doctor considered for a moment. "John Smith."

"I already told you, no, you can't use that name!"

"Why not? I happen to like John Smith!"

"The name simply isn't common here, you'll stand out if you start calling yourself that. Now then, Time Turner is a perfectly good name and it fits your cutie mark!" They had being doing this routine for the whole of twenty minutes; Twilight trying to get the Doctor to be more or less normal and the Time Pony reacting like a foal that had his favorite toy taken away from him.

"Fine," he conceded. "I'm Time Turner, from Trottingham. I'm twenty-seven (really, though, I look much younger than that) and am a clockmaker."

"Good," smiled Twilight, it was nice to have the Doctor properly cooperating. "What are your hobbies?"

"Multidimensional temporal-spatial manipulation and extrapolation"— Twilight's glare intensified —"That is to say… I read and make soufflés."

"Excellent!" She grinned, turning around, unaware of the Doctor's condescending and juvenile expression. "Now, then, what about your work?"

"Hey, Twilight," called Spike as he walked through the door, he carried a dozen scrolls in a stack so high that his little body was comically hidden underneath it. "Where do you want these?"

"Oh! Spike!" The Doctor cried suddenly, causing the dragon to stumble and yelp at the stallion's outburst inevitably tripping and spilling the scrolls.

"What?!" he cried in surprise.

"You appear to have dropped your scrolls," the Doctor pointed out.

"Oh, gee, thanks, I would have never been able to figure that out if it weren't for you," quipped Spike.

"No problem at all!" grinned the Doctor. "But didn't you promise me a little trip around Ponyville?"

"I- what?"

"Yes! Remember? You were so excited to show me around, well, I'm sorry for taking so long to get ready. But we should go, see the sights, smell the flowers, maybe invade someone's personal space," he rambled on, undeterred by Spike's abject confusion.

"Wait, Doctor, I was going to show you around first," interjected Twilight. "And besides, we still have a lot more to study up on. I mean, your family history, where you went to school and such."

"As riveting as that sounds Twilight, poor little Spike has been dying to show me around." Before Spike could protest, the Doctor swiftly picked him up, cupping his cheeks, and presented him to Twilight to demonstrate his point. "And it isn't like me to keep a dragon waiting! So, I guess we'll have to do this a little later. Raincheck?"


"Oh, thank you so much for understanding Twilight, you're a lovely unicorn and I'll bring back some jelly babies for you when we get back!" The Doctor, with Spike in tow, ran out of the door before Twilight could ask what a jelly-baby was.

"Gee, Doc, subtle enough?" Spike asked as the two walked down Ponyville proper.

The Doctor ran a hoof through his mane uncomfortably. "I'm sorry Spike, it's just she was giving me homework. Me! Doing homework? Ridiculous, really."

"I know what you mean," Spike nodded sympathetically, aware of how controlling and demanding the librarian was when in a particular mood. "She made me memorize the Hoofy Decimal System in an hour when we moved to Ponyville."

The Time Lord raised a curious eyebrow at the little dragon. "Hoofy Decimal System? Really?"

"Yeah? Why?"

He shook his head. "No, nothing. I suppose I should get used to this pony world and the idiosyncrasies along with it, still, shouldn't be too bad. Not anymore worse than my dinner with Atilla the Hun, Benjamin Franklin, and Johnny Cash, I suppose."

Spike scratched his head at his otherworldly obscure references, he tried to decide who was the more eccentric, Twilight or this Time Lord. "Right. Where'd you say you were from again?"

"Gallifrey. But enough about me, you should show me around this lovely town. I didn't have much time to take in the sights when running away from psychotic omnivore alien plants. For example, who is that pony running toward us at incredible speeds?"

Before Spike could consider a response, a pink blur tackled the Time Lord and tumbled for ten meters before stopping suddenly with Pinkie Pie pinning him to the ground smiling broadly.


No normal pony would be able to understand Pinkie Pie's off-the-wall method of speech, it is fortunate, therefore, that the Doctor is anything but a normal pony.

He chuckled at her eccentricity before returning her smile with one of his own. "I'm the Doctor—er, or rather, I'm uh, blast what was my name again? Oh, I'm Clockwork! Yes, that's who I am, Clockwork, just a clockmaker. My favorite sweet? Hm, I'm not really sure but I was really fond of jelly babies several lives back, and my least favorite vegetable? Again, tricky question, maybe asparagus?"

Pinkie giggled. "Doctor Clockwork? That's a great name! Are you good at fixing clocks? Oh, I think we're going to be great friends!"

"Oh, I'd like to think so— AGH! Much, Ms Pie, but I won't be any use to you with my lungs shattered!" He groaned under the earth mare's strength. She dropped him and apologized profusely.

"Hey, Pinkie." Waved Spike. "I was just showing, heh, Doctor Clockwork around town."

"Ooh! Idea!" Jumped Pinkie before stretching her foreleg to impossible lengths somewhere out of sight and snapping it back with a lightbulb in hoof and holding it over her head. "We should go to Sugarcube Corner!"

The Doctor's eyes widened at Pinkie's blatant disregard for conventional physiological functions and turned to Spike to voice his concerns but the dragon was indifferent to her strange actions. "How did you… Sudden elasticity of your foreleg with your structure intact and retaining its shape, but, that's impossible."

He brandished his sonic screwdriver and scanned Pinkie's foreleg in question. She giggled as the probe ran over her leg. "That tickles! What is that doohickey?"

"Sonic screwdriver," he answered absentmindedly. "Hm, that's strange, no physical abnormalities... but how then?"

"What's Clockwork talking about?" Pinkie asked in the middle of giggles from the sonic screwdriver.

Spike shrugged. "Just nod when he thinks he's being clever. Anyways, let's go to Sugarcube Corner, I'm starving!"

"Yay!" Pinkie wrapped her forelegs around both Spike and the Doctor, in another physically impossible feat, and pulled them toward the revered confectionery.

Pinkie Pie went into the back to grab treats for her guests, leaving the Doctor and his scaly friend alone for the moment.

The place was as the Doctor had expected, relatively normal with an assortment of treats on full display before them. Everything looked scrumptious and its effect showed as Spike could hardly contain himself in front of these treats. The Doctor chuckled to himself as the phrase; "Child in a candy store" came to his mind.

"Are there any other dragons around here, Spike?" he asked, stopping the reptilian from snatching a cupcake off a shelf.

"Yeah, but not around any pony civilizations," he answered, keeping his eyes on the revered treat. "Dragons aren't taken well by ponies. We're kinda dangerous."

"Oh, I know the feeling," remarked the Doctor enigmatically.

"Why do you ask?"

The Time Pony pointed at Spike's scaly claws. "You, so far, are the only creature I've seen with opposable thumbs. Which begs the question, how would hooves be able to get the filling inside these cakes."

"Oh, well, that's an easy answer, Doc. You see they use—"

"And here we go!" Pinkie trotted into the room with a large plate of assorted cupcakes sitting on her back. "Cupcakes! My favorite flavor, cupcake-flavored!"

Spike happily welcomed the interruption as he took a cupcake and began to eat, the Doctor acted with more hesitation, however, as he considered his hoof and the cupcakes in question. Fine manipulation would be obviously difficult for hooves, but Pinkie arched her back suddenly, sending a single cupcake flying, and caught it with an expert swipe of her hoof.

"How did you… ugh, I'll never take hands for granted if I ever get back home," the Doctor grumbled, awkwardly taking a cupcake and immediately dropping. "Great, heh, The Oncoming Storm defeated by a pair of hooves. Appropriate, really."

"Here, do it like this!" Pinkie bounced once more and caught the cupcake perfectly with the flat of her hoof. "See! Get it?"

"Not really," he mumbled, rolling his eyes as Pinkie bounced the cupcake off her shoulders and forelegs before catching it in mid-air with her mouth.

"Why can't you use your hooves Clockwork?" she asked innocently.

Spike chuckled. "It's his first time using them, apparently. It's a little funny to watch, to be honest."

"I'll get the hang of it eventually," the Doctor quipped, taking one of the cupcakes awkwardly; precariously balancing it on his hoof before eating it entirely.

"So, Doctor Clockwork, how are you liking Ponyville so far?" Pinkie asked.

"Lovely little place, I'll admit. I think I'll enjoy it here," he answered with a sincere smile.

"Got any plans for a job? We're always hiring at Sugarcube Corner."

The Doctor involuntarily shuddered at that job, the serious implication of him being employed in any manner was rather terrifying. Restrictions, limitations, parameters, all big nasty things that the Doctor abhorred, he wasn't much to abide by most rules anyways.

"No, thank you. I'll be working on a small time clock repair shop here," he said, completely aware of how hypocritical it was using Twilight's contingencies but felt it was easier than explaining outright that he was a Time Lord. "As it shows on my cutie mark, I can be considered a master of all things… timey wimey."

Pinkie Pie was ready to cheerfully respond when the cries of babies interrupted her. Turning around, Pinkie ran into the next room and emerged, seconds later, with two foals in carriers. Pumpkin and Pound Cake gurgled impatiently at the pink earth pony as she ran around reaching for bottles.

"Oh, look at that, foals!" The Doctor remarked happily.

"Yeah! Pumpkin and Pound Cake! The Cakes left me to foalsit them for a while! Ah, here you go!" Pinkie fed the twins their bottles but the foals pouted and pushed the food away. "Aw, aren't you hungry?"

"Actually" —The Doctor leaned into the foals, listening to their gurgles and cries— "They want to be changed, and would much rather you give them the turtle rather than the lion, whatever that means."

"How did you know that?" Spike asked.

"I speak baby, sorry, didn't I mention?" Pumpkin Cake fussed lightly causing the Doctor to frown. "No, he's Spike. Really, you should learn their names Pumpkin first, you can't keep calling him the Purple One."

"The Purple One?" repeated Spike.

"Ooh, you can understand them? That's so cool!" Jumped Pinkie, unable to contain her excitement. "What do they say about me?"

"They call you" —he consulted Pound Cake— "The Loud One. There is also a Quiet One, Whiny One, Apple One, Flying One, Other Purple One anddd... Weird One. Oi! Bowties are not weird."

"No, but time-traveling aliens are," Spike muttered under his breath, careful to not let Pinkie hear.

"Anyways, I think they'd better get changed before something really bad happens," advised the Doctor as he pushed the foals toward Pinkie who nodded in agreement.

"You're right Clockwork! Be right back!" Pinkie Pie ran out of the room only to come back with a large yellow bag thrown over her back.

"Do you really think this is a good place to change diapers?" asked the Time Pony with some concern toward the treats she had brought in.

"Oh, right!" With a sudden flourish, Pinkie stretched her foreleg toward the treats, grabbed them in a single swoop, and threw all of the cupcakes into her mouth.

Again, the Doctor was absolutely baffled by Pinkie's display of impossible dexterity of her body, being able to contort and stretch any part of her in ways that should not be physically possible. Normally, his curiosity wouldn't be this overwhelming, either this must be a new perk of his new incarnation or part of his ponified mind.

"That shouldn't be possible!" he cried, turning to Spike in hopes he would understand the Time Lord's concerns. The little dragon, however, cared less. "You just can't… but ponies don't work that way!... said the talking pony to the baby dragon…"

Pinkie giggled at the Doctor's outburst, her hooves, however, had minds of their own as they scrambled to change the foals' diapers in a flurry of movements lost in a pink blur. "What's Clockwork on about?"

"Beats me, just nod when he stops for a breath," answered Spike.

In mere seconds, Pinkie stepped away from the foals with a pair of dirty diapers of which she cleanly, and neatly, disposed of.

The Doctor was hardly impressed by Pinkie's quick work on the foals, smacking his forehead with his hoof. "How?! Your hooves don't have the dexterity and nimble form that would allow you to change diapers so easily, much less at the speed you accomplished it! It is impossible for anyone—"

"Anypony," corrected Spike.

"Oh, don't you start," quipped the Time Pony. "I don't need another Twilight correcting me."

"Oh! Hey, you guys wanna see something cool?" Pinkie asked with an unnerving bright smile that resembled the grin mad scientists wear.

"Uh, sure?"

The Doctor wasn't sure whether to express surprise, uncontainable glee, or baffled confusion when he was shown Pinkie's "gift from Lyra Heartstrings." A twenty foot Medieval trebuchet stood in front of the trio, parked right in the middle of Ponyville Park. The Doctor wasn't sure where, or even how, Pinkie got this trebuchet or why no one was disturbed by the fact that an ancient war weapon sat in the middle of a park.

"How… did…" Was all the Time Pony was able to say coherently.

"Lyra was really happy to get it off her hooves, not sure why, don't really know what it is anyways but isn't it cool?" asked Pinkie as the earth pony jumped all around the catapult, kicking its sides and pushing down on the sling.

"Pinkie, you are aware that this is an ancient weapon, right?" The Doctor asked with some concern in his voice.

"Ohhh, is that what it is? I thought it was a catapult!"

The Doctor nearly face-hoofed. "It is, it's used to sling projectiles at fortified bases, usually knocking down walls in a rather rude way. Last time I saw one this old was with the Vikings, loud lot but really friendly once you get to know them."

The Time Pony shook his head as he realized how badly he was getting distracted, he'd really need to work on his attention span this incarnation, ooh, butterflies. He shook his head again. "No, wait, where did you get this Ms. Pie, a catapult isn't something anyone—"

"Anypony," corrected Spike as he considered a pair of cupcakes in each claw.

"Anypony," the Doctor amended. "would have. Now, wait, what are you doing?"

As the Doctor spoke, Pinkie Pie, apparently either uninterested in what the Doctor was saying or as easily distracted as he was, was getting on the catapult, neatly fitting in the sling. She looked at him, grinned, and bounced slightly in the thick hammock-like drape. "Trying to see if it'll fire!"

"No, no, it'll never work like that. The counterweight is all off." The Doctor walked over to Pinkie, taking her off the sling as best he could with his awkward hooves, and headed to the side of the catapult. Grabbing two spare sandbags, he readjusted the counterweight and pulled the sling back properly. "There! Perfect, you simply squeeze into the sling and release the counterweight, and off you go!"

Pinkie Pie gasped in awe at the Doctor's hoofwork, but grimaced when she looked at the sling. "It doesn't look like it can launch anything heavy, though."

"Oh, don't be silly. This thing can launch projectiles twice my weight! Here," The Doctor slipped into the sling. "It'll be able to fire me for up to three hundred feet, simply release the counterweight—"

"Like this?" Pinkie placed her forelegs against the side of the catapult and pressed down on the mechanism keeping the counterweight in check. A sudden snap rattled the trebuchet and the Time Pony's eyes widened as he realized what was coming next.

"Wait! Wait!" Before he could attempt to get out, the sling shot into the air, launching the Time Pony far beyond the distance he wished to travel today.

"Oh… oops."

Next Stop, Everywhere

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Fluttershy's Cottage

27th of Summer, 2:00pm, 1002 C.R.

Angel Bunny was enjoying a lovely salad that Fluttershy had gracefully made. Although he would never admit it, it was times like this where he could just relax with Fluttershy and not worry about impending danger taking her away from him. After all, Fluttershy was the only one who could fluff his tail properly.

"How are you enjoying the salad?" Fluttershy asked, gently hovering over the bunny. Angel looked at her with a moderately indifferent expression and waved his paw in a shaky manner; so-so.

"Oh, well, I could always make another one if you don't like it," she offered timidly.

Angel shook his head and pulled his bowl closer. He could never fully express himself in front of her properly; he has an image to uphold.

He was, as the fillies would say, a bunny who couldn't be honest with himself.

"Well, I'll just get out of your way. The chickens need feeding." Fluttershy picked up a bag of chicken feed, smiled warmly at Angel proceeding to head to the door. She stopped when she heard the noise. Angel heard it as well, his ears perked as the distinct sound of somepony screaming suddenly grew louder and louder until… An explosion detonated in the backyard. Fluttershy jumped at the noise, dropping her bag. "Oh my," she gasped, "What was that?"

Angel didn't know, but he was intending to run whatever it was out so he can enjoy his salad. The pegasus and the bunny ran to the backyard.

The entire chicken coop was absolutely mangled, Angel was wrong in his assumption that it was an explosion as the coop still stood where it was except now it had a huge hole on the roof and all of the chickens ran around frantic.

"Oh no, Ms. Cluck, please don't run away, oh, Sir Feathers-A-Lot it's okay, you're alright." Fluttershy flew around the place, grabbing chickens and trying to calm them down, but Angel had little interest in the clucking little menaces and headed for the coop.

He heard coughing and groaning in the coop, so, Angel armed himself with a chicken feather; whoever was here was going to get tickled to death if they don't cooperate. Entering the dusty coop, Angel was practically blinded by the shower of features from the panicking chickens.

"Well, that was new, never been launched by a catapult before." A lilting voice rang out with a distinct accent, Angel didn't recognize it but it sounded just as arrogant and pompous as the Diamond Flank's accent.

Angel Bunny squeaked out a few accusatory swears at the intruder, stated his hostile intent and demanded to know who the intruder was.

A stallion poked his head out the smoke and darkness and revealed a bright smile, a wild mane, and eccentric eyes as he looked at Angel with curiosity. "Oh! A bunny! You are a cute one, aren't you?"

Angel wasn't one to be swayed by compliments, so, he pointed his feather at the stallion and demanded, once more, his identity before death by tickling.

The stallion chuckled and scratched his mane. "Fine, fine, if you want to know so badly, I'm the Doctor, sorry about your chicken coop but I decided to… drop in."

The bunny stepped back, confused. Could this stallion understand him? Impossible, nopony can understand him, save Fluttershy of course.

"Well, of course I can understand you!" The Doctor said in response to Angel's squeaking mutterings.

Angel shook his head and stared at the Doctor with disbelief.

"Oh my, Angel are you in here?" Fluttershy timidly called from outside. Angel simply stood there, stunned that this Doctor could speak to him.

The bunny squeaked once more at the Doctor, furious yet curious to see if he wasn't hallucinating.

"Actually, if you don't mind, it's just the Doctor," he answered humorously with a great big smile that Angel quickly learned to hate.

"Who is that?" Fluttershy entered the chicken coop and gasped as loudly as she could—so essentially louder than an insect buzzing—as she saw the Doctor with Angel. "Oh my, are you—I mean, how did you—why…"

She looked helplessly to Angel for moral support, but the bunny looked at her with an equally hopeless expression, for once, Angel was left speechless.

"So sorry!" the Doctor flashed out his psychic paper, showing off the Canterlot Royal Seal along with a list of credentials from places Fluttershy had never even heard of! "Royal Domestic Animal Lodgings Inspector! Dropping by to check if everything is in order with this chicken coop and I have to tell you, there's a fault in this one."

Angel jumped at this chance, throwing out a torrent of swears that would make a sailor blush. The Time Lord quickly patted the bunny on the head and scratched underneath his chin with such remarkable finesse that Angel was silenced instantly and went cross-eyed with pleasure.

"Oh my, what's the fault Mister…"

"Oh, I'm the… um, Sepia Tock! I'm Sepia Tock, yeah, that's my name. And don't worry about the fault, nothing major just the fact that there is a huge hole in the roof. I'll get somebody to fix it. We should get inside though, and I'll be more than happy to discuss this issue with you."

"Sepia Tock" grinned happily exuding a cheerful demeanor that Fluttershy felt more than obligated to get along with; though she still acted with trepidation, leaning back slightly, allowing her mane to fall over her face and averted her eyes even as she led him out.

The ponies walked through the backyard, amongst the chaos of the chickens. Fluttershy stopped to calm them down to no avail, but the Doctor whistled once and declared with a commanding voice to calm down. As if by magic, all of the chickens became docile and went off clucking quietly. It was as "Sepia Tock" could communicate with them at a level Fluttershy was unable to.

Grinning at the shy pegasus, the Doctor nodded and allowed her to led them into the cottage.

With how eccentric he was, the Doctor reminded Angel of Rainbow Dash mixed with Pinkie Pie, a mixture of arrogance and carefree personalities that when combined created this stallion that the bunny couldn't stand.

As typical of his owner, Fluttershy avoided eye-contact with the Doctor who was blissfully unaware of the pegasus's shy personality.

"By the way, I didn't catch your name," the Doctor said upon entering the cottage.

Fluttershy nervously shuffled her hooves and frowned. Mentally, she counted to ten, mustering up enough courage to answer him. "I'm… Fluttershy."

"Fluttershy?" he repeated curiously. "Brilliant! I think I'm getting used to the naming conventions of this universe, certainly not like back home, well! That isn't entirely true, but still, Fluttershy? Ha! I'm beginning to like this place more and more, is your last name Shy or is that just one name? Flutter would be a strange first name, well then again my first name is Sepia! Isn't that funny? Sepia!"

His little outburst startled Fluttershy. She jumped back slightly, giving him a wide berth for the Doctor's antics and gestures. This strange pony reminded Fluttershy too much of Pinkie Pie, in fact, if she looked hard enough she could practically see her bouncing pink mane on him.

"What a lovely little place, plenty of animals here but isn't that a little weird? You know, a pony taking care of animals? Oh, do you have any tea? I could really go for something to drink, perhaps some biscuits if you've got them?"

A few minutes later

It took Rarity a full twenty minutes to get from her place to Fluttershy's cottage. Mind you, it wasn't for lack of trying, the walk was only about five minutes with a brisk pace. The reason it took so long was because of how difficult Opalescence was behaving. It was time for her bi-weekly grooming and since Fluttershy was the only pony brave enough (and kind enough) to deal with the pampered cat, she was the first choice obviously. But, Opal never did take to being stuffed in her carriage so roughly and she certainly didn't take to Rarity's coaxing either.

That resulted in several unseemly scratches and a bruised ego for the fashionista and a less than cordial cat.

Still, the walk did Rarity well; she did enjoy visiting Fluttershy although her animal company left plenty to be desired.

In her carriage, Opal hissed when Fluttershy's cottage came into view.

"Now dear, don't be like that," Rarity said. "You love Fluttershy, don't you?"

In response, Opal banged against the carriage, nearly jostling her way out of Rarity's magical grip.

"Well, hopefully your mood will improve once you come out all pretty and prim." Rarity trotted up to the door and prepared to knock when she heard a voice coming from inside, it wasn't Fluttershy it was… a stallion?!

Rarity practically became one with the door as she pressed her ear against it, she was never one to eavesdrop (on accident that is) but the implications set by this situation! Fluttershy; Ponyville's shyest resident and the sweetest mare Rarity has come to know alone with a stallion in her home? The pegasus never showed any romantic interest, for so long in fact Rarity began to suspect that Fluttershy was…

"… ah, how did that happen?" The stranger's voice said, muffled considerably by the door though Rarity was able to identify an exotic accent; Hoofington?

"Oh my, are you okay?" came Fluttershy's quiet voice, so inaudible that Rarity only caught the last bit of that sentence.

The conversation became indistinct as Rarity strained to catch what few words were exchanged.

"… tight fit," said the stallion.

"… gentle, please," asked Fluttershy timidly.

Rarity's cheeks burned crimson red.

"It'll be fine, just lift your legs up like that. Good, and here we go."

Grunts of exertion.

"Nope, definitely tighter than I anticipated. Hm, let's try this then…"

Fluttershy gasped as quietly as she could. "Oh my, it's so big."

"With this I'll loosen it up." A strange whirring noise echoed, followed quickly by Fluttershy's vibrating voice.

"Right, now one more time."

Another grunt of exertion.

"Blast, still too tight…"

"W-what now?"

"Have you any butter?"

Rarity burst through the door, cheeks flushed and with Opal in tow right behind her. "What is going on here?!"

She happened upon Fluttershy and her stallion guest standing in front of her… with Angel Bunny held between them, the poor bunny's head was trapped inside a large pickle jar and the two ponies were attempting to free him. Fluttershy nearly dropped the jar in surprise, shrinking away from the fashionista's sudden outburst.

The stallion, however, grinned at Rarity with genuine kindness. "Oh, hello! Angel's got himself in a bit of a pickle, do you mind lending a hoof?"

"W-what… who are you? A-and—"

"Oh my"—Fluttershy glided toward Rarity, placing a motherly hoof on her forehead— "You're absolutely red, are you feeling well?"

Rarity shook her head, stepping away from Fluttershy for a moment to regain her composure. "Y-yes dear, I'm perfectly fine. I must've… misunderstood."

"Misunderstood what?"

"Nothing, nothing." Rarity coughed, feigning disinterest before turning back to the Doctor. "My apologies. I am Rarity, what, ah, are you doing in Fluttershy's cottage?" Alone, she wanted to mention.

"Hello! I'm Sepia Tock, I'm here to investigate Fluttershy's chicken coop."

Rarity gave him a sideways glance. "Chicken coop?"

"Oh yes, it is in severe disarray. It'll need some patchwork, that gaping hole will need some filling, after all."

Another furious blush returned to Rarity's cheeks. She turned to Fluttershy for some form of explanation, but the peagsus merely nodded affirmatively.

"Complete shambles!" continued the Doctor. "Looks like it receives maintenance every month or so."

"Oh no. I take care of it every week. Big Mac even comes by to check it out," Fluttershy asserted.

"Really? From the state of it, I'd say it hasn't been checked out in a long time!"

Under normal circumstances, Rarity wouldn't have so blatantly misconstrued conversation like this, but after hearing their exchange from before it was quite easy to produce perverted images.

"Still, it's what I'm here for. Don't worry Flutterbutt, I'll have your chicken coop sorted out," he promised with a hearty grin. Rarity faced the oblivious stallion and slapped him right across the face.

Well, considering her hooves it wasn't as much of a slap as it was a vicious left hook. The Doctor staggered back, whimpering pathetically. "Ouchie kadoodles! What was that for?!"

"I'll have you know that regardless of Fluttershy's interest you will not refer to her with such vulgarity!" Rarity snapped. "She is a lady and I will expect you treat her as such!"

"But… I was just talking about her chicken coop!"

Rarity gasped, outraged that he would again refer to her… "intimate parts" with such a flippant attitude and slapped him once more. "Well, I never!" She huffed as she took Opal and stormed out.

Fluttershy, who remained shocked and mute at Rarity's passionate display, could only gaped as poor "Sepia" nursed his cheeks which remained bright red from the assault.

"Are you okay?" she timidly asked.

"Lovely friend you have," he snapped impatiently. "I hope she didn't leave a mark…"

"I'm not sure what got into her," admitted Fluttershy. "It's probably a big misunderstanding."

"No misunderstanding here, it's all quite clear to me," he declared dramatically. "All unicorns are crazy!"

Horseshoe Pointe

Ten minutes later

"Uh, Ah don't know about this Scootaloo," chimed Apple Bloom as the three fillies treaded at the very edge of the cliff with just a large hang-glider to keep them from tipping over.

"Oh, come on! What's the worst that could happen?" asked the pegasus with confidence in her voice that was betrayed by slight fear in her eyes.

"Horrible maiming and debilitating pain that could leave us bedridden for months?" supplied Sweetie Belle.

Scootaloo waved her hoof and blew a small raspberry at the unicorn's concern. "I don't know the meaning of half those words."

"Ah really don't think we should do this," tried Apple Bloom again. "We tried for our hang-gliding cutie mark before you know?"

"Yeah, when we crashed into that maple tree? I didn't even know Sweet Apple Acres had maple trees!" recalled Sweetie Belle.

"We don't, we landed far away from Sweet Apple Acres," corrected Apple Bloom.

"Quit being chicken," snapped Scootaloo. "I figured out the problem. We weren't high enough!"

"Ah think we're plenty high now," remarked Apple Bloom gesturing toward the cliff and the expansive forest under them with only a sheer 300 foot drop separating them.

"Blah, blah, blah, words later, cutie marks now!" Scootaloo pushed at the hang-glider and sent the three of them flying off the cliff.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders took to the skies as delicately and expertly as you may expect; screaming all the way down to earth.

The Doctor walked around the forest, slightly lost. After promising to send a few workers to repair Fluttershy's chicken coop, he managed to get directions back to Ponyville but lost his way there in a few minutes. He wasn't sure how he got so hopelessly lost in a manner of minutes, he usually had a terrific sense of direction! But still, the walk was invigorating as he trotted on the cobblestone path passing many trees and many woodland animals along the way.

He's never had a chance like this to simply slow down and take in his surroundings with Zen-like calmness and a larger appreciation of nature. No danger, no aliens threatening to destroy the planet, no wicked beings aiming laser guns at him. Just him, the forest, the birds chirping, and screaming.

Wait… screaming?



The fillies tumbled into the Time Pony, rolling violently while wrapped up in the hang-glider, off the path and into the dense forest in front of them. "My legs! My head! My legs!" complained the Doctor before they came to a grinding halt smashing into a large oak tree, thankfully, the Doctor cushioned the impact considerably.

"Well!" The Doctor poked his head out of the wreckage, dazed and confused. "Not as dangerous as a Cybermen fleet, but awfully close to it."

The three fillies crawled out of the wreckage, groaning and complaining, they stopped to examine their flanks to find… them blank as per usual.

"So much for that idea," moaned Scootaloo.

"Uh, girls," Applebloom said, pointing at the Doctor. "Ah think we can add assault to our charges."

The Doctor rubbed his head and quickly checked his body for any life-threatening injuries: no bruises on his barrel, legs were fine, his hooves were still fantastic, nope! Perfect.

He looked at the fillies with a severe expression and they shrunk in the sight of his scrutiny, bowed slightly with their ears visibly down. They waited, expecting a lashing on how reckless they were with a severe punishment to go along it.

"Lift up your forelegs," the Doctor ordered.

Confused, the fillies looked at each other, then at the Doctor and finally complied. The Doctor ran his sonic screwdriver over the three fillies, glanced at the device, and said, "Now then, 'ahhhh'."

They mimicked him, opening their mouths as wide as they could. The strange stallion glanced at them for a moment then leaned back, and grinned widely. "Well! No visible injuries, save perhaps a bruised ego, good, good. Now, on the case of your glider."

They winced and expected the scolding any second now.

"The design isn't anywhere near close to compensating for your combined weight, and along with your rather exaggerated point of descent, it'll never carry you like it should! As soon as you drop, the thing will collapse on itself! No, no, no, it won't do, it won't do at all!"

Again, the three fillies looked at each other with absolutely astonished expressions. Why wouldn't this adult, who was supposed to be the mature responsible one here, punish them? And most importantly, why is he repairing their glider?

Although the glider was in complete disarray upon the crash, he managed to make it much bigger and much more support with a few sticks and waves of his device.

"Wait, mister, what are you doing?" cried Scootaloo, unsure whether to be offended or frightened at this stallion's ridiculous behavior.

"Please, call me the Doctor, and what I'm doing is readjusting your wing loading, it was too high for you three, and now with this you'll be able to reach the optimal running speed!" He looked at the three with a perfectly manic smile. "Let's give this a test run, shall we?"

In a matter of moments, the four ponies were on top of Horseshoe Pointe, underneath the Doctor's adjusted glider. The Crusaders were unsure on whether they should be ecstatic that they get to try again, or fearful that this was some form of trick by the Doctor to get them into more trouble!

The Doctor's behavior, however, reassured them that he wasn't playing any sort of trick. His goofy smile, the excited silly look in his eyes and his thousand-mile-per-hour ramblings promised that this Doctor wasn't like normal grown-ups, he was as reckless and juvenile as the Crusaders.

"Wait, Doctor, are you sure this is going to work?" asked Sweetie Belle.

"Seventy percent sure. I haven't factored in my additional weight, so, we might end up crashing and burning faster," he answered without hesitation.

"Wait, what?!" cried Scootaloo.

"Geronimo!" The Doctor interrupted, pushing the glider forward and forcing the Crusaders to run right alongside him, screaming helplessly as they jumped off the cliff and took to the skies.

They soared over the forest with a certain expertise that didn't seem apparent in the eccentric stallion. Instead of the usual formula of crashing horrifically, they were flying majestically as they overlooked the forest, so close to the clouds they could practically touch it.

The fillies stopped their screaming and became mute; awe-struck at what they had accomplished. Sweet Apple Acres could be seen in the far north, and the entire town over to the left, everypony looked like insects from up here! Scootaloo whopped excitingly, as this was the first time she was this high in the sky without the threat of impeding injury upon her.

The Crusaders looked over at the Doctor who was laughing and smiling proudly. "Not bad for a test run huh? Now then, we should probably get down, this is going to fall apart very fast."

"What?!" they cried.

"I know!" The Doctor said gleefully, laughing as they finally descended back down to earth.

The landing, albeit bumpy, was a lot better than what the Doctor had originally envisioned.

After ten terrifying minutes, the Doctor managed to land the blasted hang-glider with everypony intact. Once down to earth, the Doctor jumped off the glider and laughed victoriously.

"Ha! That was great wasn't it?" he said, turning toward the dizzy fillies with the exception of Scootaloo who jumped with enthusiasm matching the Time Lord.

"Yeah! Let's do it again!"

"No!" Applebloom and Sweetie Belle cried, feeling as though they were the only sane ones in this party. Scootaloo pouted and turned to the Doctor who she hoped would agree with her.

"They're right, you lot should be heading home. I'll handle the glider, but no more dangerous stunts." He flashed a severe look while wagging a disapproving hoof at them. "You could get hurt doing them, so avoid pitching yourselves off cliffs, got it?"

Confused at the Doctor's sudden change in attitude, the Crusaders nodded regardless. The Time Lord, satisfied, sent the fillies on their way, but not before they ducked behind a tree to spy on him… curious at why a seemingly responsible adult would condone their actions before scolding them for attempting it without proper supervision. Silently, the three agreed on a new method of earning their revered cutie marks; Cutie Mark Crusaders Private Investigators.


Ponyville Marketplace

Around the same time

Rainbow Dash sighed for the twentieth time as she trudged alongside Applejack, lugging a dozen or two apples on her back with a sour attitude. The cyan pegasus was not looking forward to this. Applejack had managed to rope Rainbow Dash into helping setting up her apple stand today, it wasn't very difficult, Rainbow was distracted by her Daring Do books to pay attention to the earth pony.

Naturally, Rainbow didn't hesitate in assisting Applejack (even if she can't remember promising to assist to begin with) being the Element of Loyalty has its downfalls. Lounging around, pulling pranks and flying sounded a lot more fun than selling apples, but a promise is a promise and Applejack is a friend even if she was overly enthusiastic about this.

"Thanks again for offerin' to help Rainbow," Applejack said as she stopped beside Roseluck's flower stand and began to set up shop.

Rainbow grimaced. "No prob, happy to help, but, uh, how long will this take?"

The earth pony happily put up her Sweet Apple Acres sign over the stand and began setting the apples beside them, grinning as the fruit gleamed in the sun. "Ah hope to sell everything we brought, so, that might take a while. Why? Got somethin' to do?"

The pegasus considered for a moment, refraining from mentioning that she wanted to get back to reading and shook her head. "I guess not. But AJ, I don't think we can sell everything today." She looked at the apples she brought, in total there were at least a hundred apples, and it would take Flim and Flam to be able to sell everything here.

"Can't hurt to give it a try," Applejack responded cheerfully. "Apples here! Fresh apples from Sweet Apple Acres!"

Her demanding voice and Southern twang caught the attention of everypony there. Applejack may not be the most business savvy and may not have the wealth of knowledge that Twilight has, but her charisma and energy was more than enough to attract everypony to her stand.

Soon enough, there were plenty of customers practically throwing bits at Applejack for her produce. If her famous reputation for her grade A apples weren't enough to lure customers, her charisma would be more than enough.

Rainbow Dash's duties were easily outlined by the farm pony. She was to assist in bagging the product and reload the canisters when needed. Rainbow originally figured that this process would take ages considering the lackluster population of Ponyville, but there were ponies buying apples by the wagonful! This would be a cinch!

Applejack kindly thanked the batch of ponies for their patronage and prepared to deposit the bits when another customer had approached already.

"Howdy there!" Applejack turned to the pony with a friendly enough smile. The stallion wore a smug smile that went perfectly with his ridiculous bowtie and coat. He didn't say anything to Applejack and instead tugged his bowtie off his neck and showed it to the mares.

"That proof enough for you?" he asked with a voice barely containing his excitement.

Before Applejack could muster a response, Rainbow beat her to the punch. "Uh, what're you talking about? You gonna buy something or what?"

"In a bit," he answered before trotting away.

Applejack turned to her winged friend for some plausible explanation, the only response she received was a shrug and a bored expression. Ponyville was nothing without its eccentric residents, after all.

"Ooh, look at that apples! Love a good apple." Directly behind Rainbow Dash stood that same pony, curiously eyeing the basket of apples before him. Rainbow and Applejack stared incredulously at the stallion.

"Ya gonna buy something this time?" Applejack asked.

"Excuse me?"

"You came by like ten seconds ago, took off your bowtie, and just walked off without buying anything," supplied Rainbow impatiently.

"Why'd ya do that anyways?" the farm pony asked.

He looked confused for a moment but smiled brilliantly all the same. "Oh, I'll explain later. I'm Time Turner, by the way, how much for a few apples?"

"Time Turner?" Applejack repeated, staring intently at his face. "You… look familiar, haven't Ah seen ya around before?"

"Not me, no. New face." He opened his mouth as if to show her his teeth. "Twelfth one."

Applejack grimaced slightly, trying to place him in her memory but to no avail. Finally, she shook her head and answered him, "Five bits for a bushel."

"Bits huh?" he mused. "Strange currency, but what can you expect from ponies huh?"

"You say that like you aren't a pony," remarked Rainbow.

"I'm afraid I don't have any, heh, bits on me," he said sheepishly.

Applejack's hospitality disappeared instantly, frowning at the strange stallion who wasted too much of her time, still, it wasn't like her to snuff a pony regardless of how they acted. "Oh, well, thank ya for yer interest but we take cash only."

"Oh, but ah, I'd like to know your names of course. I'm new here, you see, opening up a much needed clockwork shop and such and it'll be beneficial if I become neighborly," he said, stopping Applejack from leaving the conversation.

"I'm Rainbow Dash, this is Applejack," offered the pegasus, sensing Applejack's impatience. "Clockwork shop huh? Might be nice having a clock, I guess."

Applejack scoffed lightly. "Not like it'll make you any more punctual Rainbow. Yer always late to Pinkie's parties, not to mention keeping up with the weather schedule."

"Fashionably late," Rainbow corrected. "It's something cool ponies do, you wouldn't know about that AJ."

"Heh, sure," amended Applejack, wary of her defensive nature and impulse to argue. "Now, is there anythin' else ya need Time Turn—" she looked around to find that he was gone.

"Or not.."


Golden Oaks Library

Sometime later

Twilight was barely finished her letter to Princess Celestia when the Doctor came strolling in. The arrogant Time Lord wore a smug expression with confidence she could practically see radiating off him. "What's got you in such a good mood?"

He chuckled as he ran his hoof through his mane. "Nothing much, just took a little stroll through town, lovely place. I met some ponies along the way, several of which, I believe, are your friends?"

The Doctor recounted his experiences with Twilight, delighting upon his explanation of his encounters with her closest friends. Although Twilight was happy with how well his day went – with a few exceptions – she was admittedly jealous of how easily he was able to encounter all of them, as if guided by some external force conveniently meeting everypony.

"Oh, Twilight, have you any place where you can gather all of your friends with no one else around?" he asked suddenly.

"Nopony," Twilight automatically corrected. "But, yeah, why?"

"Personally, I think one needs a flair for theatrics. One's entrance should be exciting, but one's exit should be just as equally as exciting." The Doctor gave Twilight his best mad-pony smile. "And I can't wait to see the looks on their faces when I show up."

Practically squealing, the Doctor ran off to the basement and within moments left with his TARDIS. Twilight sighed, unsure of how to interpret all of this. She's been through so many things after moving to Ponyville, but this was on another level. Glancing at her letter from the Princess, Twilight almost reconsidered for a moment but quickly made up her mind.

Making her way to the door, Twilight thought of who to see first when it opened and Spike stepped through with a few cupcakes in his claws.

"Hey, Twi, I brought you a cupcake—whoa! What's the hurry?" He dodged her as she nearly barreled right over him. "What's the hurry?!"

"Nothing, gonna meet up with Pinkie, is she at Sugarcube Corner?"

"Yeah! Why?"

Twilight grinned to herself, ignoring Spike's question and running off to the confectionary, elated at coming events.



Horseshoe Pointe

The Doctor certainly did have a flair for theatrics. He had her waiting here for hours before delivering a note indicating his arrival. Twilight scoffed, annoyed and intrigued at the Doctor's fascination with the number twelve, maybe it was an ego thing.

Still, the ponies arrived on time. Twilight could hear their conversation as they came up the considerable hill; Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie and Fluttershy walked together up the hill while Rainbow hovered above. Once they spotted Twilight, their expressions didn't improve, save Pinkie's who bounded toward her like an excited dog.

"Ooh, is this a surprise party or something? I didn't bring any snacks but I've got this!" She shook her head madly and a few bits of candy fell out of her mane. Twilight chuckled, declining the mane-candy, but placated her by saying she could have it all.

"Twi', why in the name of Equestria did ya bring us up here?" Applejack asked straightforwardly.

"Though I don't mind the view so much, this is cutting into my beauty sleep, darling," added Rarity.

"Don't tell me you brought us out here to show us another one of your encyclopedias?" groaned Rainbow Dash. "I told you Twilight, it's cool that you know every constellation, but you don't need to remind us every week."

Fluttershy timidly reassured Twilight that she didn't particularly mind being brought here, but Twilight turned to the group in total. "I've got something important to tell you, it's… big."

"Ooh, bigger than your discovery of Daring Do's lost volume?" asked Pinkie.

"Yes," Twilight said, a bit embarrassed as she remembered her overreaction when she found those books.

"What is it darling?" asked Rarity.

"Are you okay?" worried Fluttershy.

"I'm fine… I think. I need to show you girls something, before he gets here."

"Who?" Applejack asked.

Twilight ignored her and produced a letter from her saddlebags. Although the girls didn't receive correspondence from the princess as often as Twilight had, they still recognized the Canterlot Royal Seal and Princess Celestia's writing.

Dear Twilight,

My most faithful student, I've come across some news of your encounter with the pony who calls himself 'The Doctor'….

It only took a minute to read the letter in its entirety, but it felt like an eternity for Twilight. She wasn't very sure why this letter made her nervous, but the fact that Princess Celestia had met the Doctor already made Twilight feel guilty, as if she were caught doing something bad.

"I don't understand," said Rarity finally. "Who is this Doctor?"

"Ooh! I know him!" cried Pinkie. "He's Doctor Clockwork, right? I met him earlier right before I sent him flying with my catapult!"

"That weird pony with the bowtie?" asked Rainbow Dash. Pinkie nodded fiercely. "Yeah, we met him too, he called himself Time Turner."

"He told me his name was Sepia Tock," added Rarity with a nod from Fluttershy.

Twilight chuckled. "I guess he took my advice. Sorry girls, those are obviously fake names, he calls himself the Doctor and—"

"And Celestia is askin' us to foalsit him?" interrupted Applejack, who stubbornly shook her head. "Ah'm sorry Twi, but Ah don't get it. Is he dangerous or something?"

"N-no, well, yes, but—"

"But, why is she asking us? If he's so dangerous, why isn't he locked up or something?" Rainbow asked.

"It isn't that simple, he's just—"

"He didn't seem dangerous to me. He was funny! And he can talk to foals too!" insisted Pinkie.

"Girls!" Twilight cried, preemptively squashing the ensuing argument. "He's dangerous, yes, but, he's a good pony. Just a few days ago he stopped an alien invasion lead by monstrous trees!"

Everypony responded with a resounding "Huh?"

"Look, that doesn't matter. Thing is, the Doctor is an alien. He isn't from this universe, he somehow dropped here by accident and has no way to get back."

"An alien?!" Applejack chuckled skeptically. "Now Ah've heard everything."

"It's true," insisted Twilight. "He may look like a normal pony, but he is far from normal."

A murmuring of agreement answered her.

"Supposin' we believe you," started Applejack. "What's that gotta do with us?"

"The Doctor is alone here, trapped in this universe with no way to return home. I think we should help him. Can you imagine that? Being so far away from home with no way to go back? Being so alone? He must be so sad."

The girls didn't respond, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with Twilight's thoughts on the eccentric Doctor. Applejack felt, however, that this sympathy toward the Doctor was triggered because of how much he reminded Twilight of herself before she came to Ponyville.

The only difference was now the Doctor had Twilight to look after him.

"I dunno Twi," Rainbow muttered. "When he showed up in front of us, he didn't look very lonely."

Before Twilight could respond, Fluttershy, of all ponies, spoke first, "He did to me." Suddenly aware of all the unwanted attention on her, however, Fluttershy shrank slightly. "I-I mean, I could see it, the loneliness I mean. In his eyes, didn't you notice? They were so sad."

"I suppose if Fluttershy says so, I can't help but agree," said Rarity.

"So, what? You want us to be his friends?" asked Rainbow.

"We should definitely throw a party for him!" interjected Pinkie.

"Well, yes, hold the party though Pinkie. You girls helped me so much when I came to Ponyville, and it might be too much to ask, but I'd really appreciate it if you'd help the Doctor in the same way."

Applejack chuckled, slightly put off by Twilight's ambiguous request. "If ya wanted us to be his friend, all ya had to do was introduce us to him. No need to bring us all the way out here."

Twilight looked up at the night-sky with a concentrated expression. The girls looked up to try to find whatever she was looking for but to no avail, until a gust of wind blew through the hill, nearly sending Applejack's revered hat flying.

"Oh, yes, I did AJ," answered Twilight with a rakish smile disturbingly resembling the Doctor's. "Where else would the Doctor park?"

"Park?!" cried Rainbow and Applejack as the wind became to violently churn over them. A lyrical noise thundered over the hill, like air being pumped through a mechanical exhaust. It was so indescribable and enchanting that everypony watched in shock as a large blue box materialized in front of them.

The air became still and everything was silent. They weren't even very surprised when the doors opened and the Doctor stepped out with his smug smile.

"Hello!" he beamed at the ponies. "I bet you lot have several questions in mind, don't worry, I'll cover it all in a bit. I hope Twilight has explained to you who I am and my situation here, but just in case she hasn't, I'm the Doctor and this is the TARDIS!"

He jumped out of the TARDIS, spun around and spread his forelegs in perfect showmanship to display the magical box. "Time and Relative Dimension in Space, best ship in the universe and hopefully you'll agree in a little bit."

"Wait, wait, wait, you really are an… alien?" asked Rainbow, still skeptical despite the fact that he literally appeared out of nowhere.

"In this case, yes, I am the alien in this situation, though my body is that of a pony's. Well, except the fact that I've got two hearts and a highly evolved immune system. But first I want to propose something to you. A question, a simple one really, probably the most important question in your entire lives!" Twilight rolled her eyes with a smirk as the Doctor yammered on dramatically, this pony may be an alien but he loves to show off.

"Want to see the universe?"

"And what do you mean by that?" asked Rarity with some composure in her voice.

"You see, after sending you lot through my rigorous screening program—"

"Rigorous screening program?" parroted Rainbow.

"—I've decided to take you on as my companions!"

"Companions?" echoed Fluttershy.

"Blimey, is there an echo here? Yes. To take you to see the wonders of the universe, to every supernova that ever was, every black hole, everything in the infinite expanses of time and space!" He looked out to the star-struck expressions of everypony and couldn't suppress his growing smile.

"In a blue box?" asked Applejack.

"Brilliant isn't it?"

"It looks a little cramped mind you," remarked Rarity.

"Oh, don't worry, there's plenty of room for us. Come and see." With that the Doctor turned right around and stepped inside the TARDIS.

Unable to contain her excitement, Rainbow was the first to step forward, ready to follow him when Applejack intervened. "Wait! Ah don't know about this."

"Oh, don't be a wet blanket," sniped Rainbow. "If the Doctor is everything he says he is, then this is gonna be awesome!"

"Don't tell me you actually believe him," Applejack countered.

"If you have doubts, then follow him in and find out for yourself," said Twilight with a mischievous smile. She entered the TARDIS, closing the door behind her leaving everypony else.

"If Twilight trusts him, then we would be foolish not to. She's never led us astray, after all," Rarity said.

Applejack grimaced, finding it difficult to argue with that before finally nodding. And, as a group, the ponies opened the doors and walked right through.

To stop right inside and gaped at what opened up before them. They stepped into an entirely different world it felt like as this impossible box opened up much bigger than physics should allow. Twilight and the Doctor stood at the large console atop the platform, grinning impishly at the group.

"Impressed?" asked the Doctor.

Nopony could say anything but stare wide-eyed at everything. Moments past before everypony – save Fluttershy who stood there completely mute and Pinkie who jumped around the platform excitedly – ran right outside and circled the impossible box.

The Doctor chuckled wistfully as the mares returned into the box and muttered those famous words, "It's bigger on the inside!"

"Really? Smaller than usual…" he off-hoofedly remarked as he operated the controls.

"Y-you weren't lyin'…" muttered Applejack.

Everypony made their way up the staircase to meet the Doctor who was busy at the controls. Rainbow could hardly contain her excitement as she flew right behind the Time Lord, asking about the function of every button and lever she could see. Rarity remarked about the possibility of such technology implemented to her closet while Pinkie wondered if there was a bakery inside.

"Don't press that," he warned Rainbow. "That will blow up the sun. Sorry Rarity, afraid we can't make your closet bigger on the inside for your own needs though we do have a considerable wardrobe below. And… I'm not sure actually Pinkie… never needed a bakery before."

"What're you doing?" asked Twilight as Applejack finally joined the group.

"Now that I've shown them the place, I figure it's time for demonstration!" he laughed. "Where do you want to go first? Any time or place you want!"

"Whoa, whoa, this is a time machine too?" Rainbow asked.

The Doctor's face broke up in an infinitely mischievous smile. "Yep."

"Prove it."

"I thought you'd ask that." With a flip of the lever, the entire TARDIS shook, throwing everypony, save Twilight and the Doctor, off their hooves and tumbling all over the place. After a few moments, the movement stopped and the Doctor giddily jumped down the stairs.

He excited the TARDIS and came back only ten seconds later. He threw his bowtie at Rainbow and Applejack both of which fumbled with the piece of fabric, staring at it dumbly before recognizing the significance behind it. "B-but that was hours ago…" muttered Applejack.

"No way! That was you back then? No wait, just now… I mean… Ugh! Time travel is confusing!" cried Rainbow who was beginning to develop a headache over the implications of time travel.

"Confusing, yes. Dangerous, definitely yes. Crossing personal timelines and established events is forbidden," he said solemnly before breaking out in a wide smile. "Except when you've got to make a point or for a laugh."

"Wait, why us?" asked Rarity, breaking the mood severely. "I mean, Twilight I can understand, but why are you showing this all to us?"

"Why not?"

"You're asking us to travel through time with you," insisted Rarity. "There must be a reason."

The Doctor fiddled with the controls for a moment, recalling the conversation he had with the princess so long ago…

"Elements of harmony?" he echoed as the Princess led him toward the main room. All around them in full display were large glass-stained windows depicting ponies throughout history. He recognized Princess Luna and Celestia in a few but as they continued to the modern age there were more ponies in the art, including Twilight Sparkle. "Like knights at the roundtable."

"Something of that sort." Celestia nodded toward a particular window which had Twilight surrounded by five other ponies blasting another pony with magic. "They are powerful artifacts which draws the magic of friendship in its wielder to produce monumental magic. Twilight and her friends are the current wielders of the elements."

"Why are you telling me all of this?" asked the Doctor warily, after all, it felt suspicious that Celestia would just explain everything about her arsenal after threatening him.

"No need for suspicion," she placated. "I admit, knowledge of the Elements of Harmony isn't exactly common, so, my explaining it to you may come across as strange. But, I have my reasons."

However disarming Celestia was behaving, The Doctor never dropped his guard.

"I'm still unsure of your intentions, Doctor, no matter how charming you may behave. And while it would be simpler to place you under lock and key, my solution is beneficial to all of us. I will place you under the watchful eyes of the Elements of Harmony."

"What? Like baby-sitters?"

"Nothing of the sort," Celestia promised. "More like… insurance. I'm not sure where your travels will take you, but I can tell that you come a long way and you intend to travel far from Equestria. In the event I am unable to act, the Elements will act in my stead."

Although her words were neutral, the Doctor could tell that she was talking about acting against him, if need be.

"I'm sure you'll find them as worthy companions. They are all brave in their own right."

"They're always brave…"

The Doctor shook his head and plastered on a comforting smile. "I choose my companions wisely, and you fit the bill perfectly. Isn't that reason enough?"

Rarity was about to voice her concerns again when he bounded toward the staircase and faced all of them. "Well then? You've got all of time and space to choose from, where do you want to start?"

Phoenix Island

View Online

The Carousel Boutique
32nd of Summer, 8:00 am, 1002 C.R.

"I can't believe I agreed to this," the Doctor muttered, trying his very best to remain still as Rarity went to work. Pins and fabric flew in a hurricane of color and awfully pointy things aimed at the Time Pony. Rarity gave a small smile as she went to work assembling the outfit as naturally as the Doctor would a timey-wimey device with all the expertise without the technobabble.

"Just a little more, darling, now hold still won't you?" Rarity set another fabric against the Doctor's cutie mark and he yelped as the pin went in a bit deeper than expected. "Oops, apologies."

"Honestly, Rarity. I am not a dress-up doll for anyone—"

"Anypony," Rarity corrected coyly.

The Time Pony rolled his eyes as the constant reminder of the equine themed lexicon was thrown against his face once more. He had initially figured that it would only take a few days to get used to the plethora of pony puns, seeing as he's mastered a billion languages and the advanced comprehension of multi-dimensional travel.

Obviously not.

Some words were just so unbelievable that the Doctor refused to acknowledge them, names of cities or towns, for example, were so bad that the thought of them made him cringe. He refused to believe a place called Trottingham actually existed, despite having claimed to hail from there as a front.

The girls were kind enough to correct him whenever he made a mistake and were infinitely gracious enough not to poke fun at him because of it.

"It is high time you learned how to speak like a regular pony, Doctor. We can't have you running around like a foal, now can we? Somepony who can traverse through time and space and can't remember a few idiosyncrasies is an embarrassment to travel with."

Most of the time.

"I'll have you know Rarity that I've seen things you wouldn't believe! The Lost Moon of Poosh. The Medusa Cascade. Demons' Run. Raxacorci—MMPHF!" Before the Doctor could continue his predictably long-winded rant, Rarity stuffed a pin cushion in his mouth and hummed as she continued her work.

"Yes, yes, very impressive Doctor," she absentmindedly said, uninterested in the stallion's attempt to woo her. Once she got in the zone, she was nigh impossible to detract. "I must thank you for volunteering. It isn't every day I get a model of your… physique. Big Mac would be an appropriate stallion model if not for his bulky figure. I've never meet a stallion with such a svelte figure. It would be a crime not to take advantage of that."

The Doctor would've corrected her on numerous things had he been able to speak. One, he hadn't volunteered as she suggested. Twilight tricked him into accepting the task in order to prevent the love-stricken Spike into offering all of his time at the Boutique as he always did. And two, he wasn't svelte, he was trim and well kempt.

Two more pieces were pinned against the Doctor's barrel and Rarity stepped back to take a look at her work. With a satisfied smile, Rarity levitated the pin cushion from his mouth, to which he gracefully spat out disgustingly. "Well? Some of my best work, obviously."

He took a hard look at the many mirrors that circled him and grimaced. It was very strange how many parallels this universe had from his home universe despite the equine populace. Although the differences are grand, the similarities are almost strikingly equal. Therefore, the very Victorian inspired dress that the Doctor now wore was so similar to the customs of the era in question that he suspected they were absolutely authentic.

He wore a black Victorian coat, with many exaggerated white frills under his neck. With a red waistcoat and proper cuffs, the outfit only reminded him of his eight life and the horrible fashion sense he apparently had back then. Honestly, what was he thinking?

"And you mock the bowtie?" sniped the Doctor. Rarity only frowned, she wanted to avoid the argument because it only had one possible outcome. With the Time Lord whining and complaining and Rarity having apologize and conceding to the fact that he "pulled it off well!"

She once made the mistake of poking fun at his eccentric choice of accessories and she never heard the end of it. She held up her hooves in surrender. "We're not getting into that Doctor, I've said my piece and that's that."

"But bowties are c—" She stuck a hoof in his mouth, stopping in his track. If she heard that dreaded statement once more she'll blow a gasket.

"No. Just… no. And anyways, I believe this looks quite dapper on you. For some reason, it just looks right on you," Rarity appraised the outfit on the admittedly suave Time Pony. She had expected him to take the compliment but he only made a face and tried to claw the outfit off.

"Maybe in my younger years, but retrospectively speaking I must've been half-blind back then. No, no, no, certainly not for me Rarity. Now, can you get this blasted thing off me?" He tugged at his clothes as if they were constricting him, like a foal would when wearing their school uniform for the first time. Rarity rolled her eyes and levitated the clothes off.

A few moments later, and the Doctor was redressed in his "normal" clothes. Adjusting his bowtie and fixing his wild curly mane, he smiled at his reflection. "Are you sure I can't adjust your ensemble a little bit? Your, ah, 'brainy specs' don't go with that coat." She wanted to mention the bowtie, but the Doctor was fiercely loyal to it.

"No, thank you Rarity," he answered quickly. Wiping a bit of unseen dirt off his lapel. "Traveling through time and space, you need style! And I'm chock-full of it!"

"Well, you're chock-full of something alright…" she muttered putting away her materials. Thankfully, the Doctor either wasn't listening or didn't hear.

"By the by," Rarity began. "I saw Rainbow Dash dropping by the library this morning, any particular reason?" The somewhat famed pegasus was well-known for her athletic ability paradoxically in tandem with her laziness and her self-proclaimed dismissal of books and anything "egghead worthy". So, the fact that she would visit the library very early in the morning was both a sight to behold and a mystery.

"Research!" The Doctor answered with a rakish grin.

"Researching what?"

The Golden Oaks Library

The Same Moment

To say Rainbow Dash wasn't categorically chaotic and inconsiderate toward Twilight's beloved books was like saying Spike only has a minor crush on Rarity. Using her esteemed pegasus speed, Rainbow flew around the library like a miniaturized tornado throwing books by the dozen off their shelves.

This mishandling of her precious books made Twilight cringe every time she passed another shelf.

"No! That's biographies!" Twilight tried to cry as the Volume of Influential Ponies fell to the ground.

Rainbow, thankfully, stopped for a moment with six books stacked on her back and a madpony smile on her face. Twilight was a bit thankful that her friend decided to visit the library for a change other than asking for assistance for a trick, but this was ridiculous.

Looking around at the mess, Twilight grimaced. "Got what you needed?" she deadpanned.

"Yep!" quipped the pegasus as she sat down with all of her books and began to run through them. "I wanna go somewhere awesome this time. I mean, no offense Twilight, but your choices haven't exactly been… oh, what's the word… fun?"

Twilight huffed. The witnessing of the 52nd Summer Sun Celebration was plenty fun! The only thing better was when they went back to see the writing of Magical Mysteries and Aliments. Sure, the author took thirty-two hours to write the foreword and eventually lost his copy in a bizarre fire and both the Doctor and Rainbow ran off and got in trouble with the Royal Guard but still!

Even though a number of comebacks have been carefully calculated by Twilight, she said nothing and began to clean up as Rainbow got to work studying. It was slightly weird to think just how much the Doctor has changed things around here. Rainbow would never drop by the library for the sake of studying up on history if the prospect of actually dropping by the see the events wasn't possible. And the fact that time travel has become so… commonplace for the mares that they actively plan their next adventure as easily as one would plan a vacation was a bizarre thought.

Although the trips haven't been as perilous as the first day the Doctor arrived, Twilight couldn't help but feel an undertone of danger. Whenever she stepped into the TARDIS or even talked to the Doctor every cell in her body screamed, "Danger! Get away from him!"

There was so much about the Doctor that none of them knew. He talked a lot (even more than Pinkie Pie) but he never really said anything.

She couldn't shake the feeling that he was infinitely more dangerous than anything she'd ever encounter. But, at the same time, she felt so safe next to him. It was complicated. Twilight hated when it was complicated.

"Ooh, how about when the Wonderbolts were first formed to combat an F4 storm?!" Rainbow suggested, joyfully shoving the book in Twilight's face. She considered for a moment and honestly didn't have a proper answer. Time travel always came with consequence, whenever they traveled, the Doctor always made sure they made little to no contact with important historical figure and often times refused to take them to certain places like the day Princess Luna became Nightmare Moon.

Even though it had been only a few days since that fateful night, it was still clear in her mind.

Horsehead Nebula glowed before them in a brilliant display of cosmic wonder as the vastness of space looked ablaze from inside the TARDIS. With some assistance from the Doctor and Rainbow Dash everypony took turns flying around the miniaturized atmosphere shell around the TARDIS, gaping in awe at the sight of deep space. Even the usually timid Fluttershy was rendered speechless from wonder rather than fear.

"The TARDIS is still acting up," the Doctor muttered to himself as he fiddled with the controls. "I figure it would've been safer to take you up here rather than the moon, she won't go there properly for some reason."

"Still, it's beautiful," Twilight said, trying to keep down her joy.

The Doctor gave her a brilliant smile: smug, arrogant, and way too confident. "I know!"

Excitingly, the Time Lord, with librarian in tow, ran down the stairs and poked his head out the doors. Just above the TARDIS were the mares floating gleefully in open-space, hooves hooked together so they wouldn't careen too far with Rainbow holding on to the TARDIS as a tether.

"My little ponies!" he called. "I need you all to come down here for a bit."

They obliged. Within a few minutes, they stood before the Doctor all chattering about the possible implications with this wondrous machine and its brilliant pilot. The Doctor, although sharing their excitement, wore a serious expression trying to calm them down.

"Now, it's been a while since I've addressed a group this big, so, bear with me. But there are a few ground rules I'd like to go through first."

Rainbow groaned, obviously annoyed at the prospect of restrictions.

"Don't worry, nothing too major, but with a time machine there must come some sense of responsibility and diligence."

Twilight rolled her eyes but didn't bring up the fact that he abused time travel only a few minutes ago to show off for them.

"One: no messing with established events. See, with time travel things can get complicated very fast and I try not to interfere too much; it's a rule that I've always stuck with and it's worked out so far. Now, with time there are events that must always happen; fixed points. Time is always in flux and history can be altered around it, but fixed points can never be altered, trust me, it isn't pretty."

The group listened intently, humor and mirth lost as the Doctor explained. As goofy and care-free as the Doctor appears as it was easy to tell that he took these rules seriously, as if he witnessed the consequences and didn't want them to happen again.

"Two: I'm in charge. There will be no arguing that, this is my time machine after all. Follow my orders and anything I say in our travels and everything will be fine, oh, and try not to wander off. And three, the simplest one that I know you all will follow. No matter how scared you get, no matter how dark and hopeless everything may seem, never run when you're scared." The Doctor smiled at them, it was such an honest expression that it was incredibly contagious and eventually everypony shared his goofy smile. "Trust me."

Whenever the Doctor explained time travel, it always gave Twilight a headache but she tried her best to follow. She wasn't sure what the implications were in some scenarios, like, what if the founding of the Wonderbolts was a fixed point in time? What if it wasn't and only occurred because they traveled back to influence the event? What would happen if the storm didn't? If one little thing was off in one major event, everything could change. She always deferred to the Doctor with stuff like this, but considering him a serious and responsibility chaperone was difficult.

"Maybe, but I don't know Rainbow. That sounds like a pretty major historical event, I'd hate to imagine what would happen if we interfered too much," she finally answered.

Rainbow made a face and looked at the book. "I guess you're right, but still Twi, isn't this awesome? We've got our own personal time machine!" She saw Twilight expression and quickly corrected herself. "Well, not ours but still! All of time and space available for us? Ha! Next stop anywhere, am I right?"

Twilight couldn't help but smile at her friend's enthusiasm and decided to help her out a little. She took a seat beside her and tried to pick out every sensible destination possible.

Ten minutes later, all of her suggestions were immediately rejected.

Twilight groaned and slammed her head against the table. Twenty-three suggestions were even considered by Rainbow, as soon as Twilight held up a book Rainbow immediately shook her head and suggested an outlandish location. It was frustrating! Twilight felt like she was dealing with the Doctor whenever he got fussy like not bothering to lower the TARDIS's shields before landing or just sauntering off to find trouble.

It dawned on her how dangerously similar Rainbow's taste of adventure was to the Time Lord.

"Ooh, what about this?" Rainbow slid a book toward Twilight. It wasn't a history book, she could tell from the cover Mythological Mysteries. Twilight resisted the urge to roll her eyes. This wasn't a credible source of information, it was a book of fantastical myths romanticized by very bored authors with overactive imaginations. Admittedly, some places and ponies mentioned in the book did exist in some form or another but nothing was ever concrete. Twilight, the paragon of logic, considered a book like this to belong in the fiction section of the library.

The page that Rainbow had opened to depicted an island covered in a rainbow hue of colors. Phoenix Island the picture's title ran. It was a lost island that adventurers sought for centuries, with impossible treasures and beautiful scenery. No such island ever came up during Polo Pony's worldwide exhibition and according to the myth, a massive tidal wave sunk the island to the depths of the ocean.

Very convenient.

"A mythical island that nopony has ever found? That sounds as plausible as an island filled with dragons," Twilight dryly remarked. Rainbow, however, wasn't deterred by her negativity and only maintained her powerful smile.

"What if it is real Twi? Then we can be the first ponies in history to find it!" she said, pumping her legs up in excitement. Twilight needed to think up of a counterargument, this type of impossible adventure was right up the Doctor's avenue. He's the first pony in line to argue that history was wrong about something and that he's right, like as always. He'll be drawn to this goose chase like Pinkie Pie to sugar.

"Think about it though, Rainbow. The island can't exist, otherwise we would've discovered it a long time ago. I mean, look"—Twilight flipped through the book and opened up another page - "This book also says that changelings originated from the moon. You can't exactly take a book like this seriously."

"Twi, I'm not sure you realize but we're now best friends with a time traveling alien with two hearts who has a box that's bigger on the inside. I think we're allowed to broaden our horizons a little bit," Rainbow argued.

"Still, it doesn't mean we should accept every little thing this book suggest about mythical islands and creatures that don't exist. All I'm saying is that we should maintain a little doubt and rationalize the situation rather than let our imaginations run wild."

Rainbow made a face and Twilight knew she had won the argument. Hopefully, this will get Rainbow to reconsider and choose a plausible destination rather than listen to idle mythical gossip.

"The Doctor will agree with me," Rainbow said.

Twilight's eyes widened. The conversation is going in the wrong direction. He will agree in a heartbeat and then Twilight will have to tag along to be the voice of reason but will inevitably be ignored by the excitable ponies. "We shouldn't waste the Doctor's time with this and we can't afford to use up any fuel the TARDIS doesn't have to spare."

"Pfft, you're just scared that you'll be wrong for once. I'm going to show this to the Doc and see what he has to say about it." Rainbow made for the door but Twilight teleported in front of her, stopping the pegasus in her tracks.

"No, that's fine. I'll take it to him. Just hand it over to me," Twilight kept the panic out of her voice as best she could but Rainbow arched an eyebrow in suspicion.

"That's fine, Twi. I can do it." Rainbow settled on her hooves in front of her, though her words were friendly enough her body tensed as if preparing to flee quickly.

"Rainbow, I insist."

"I don't want to bother you, Twi, it's okay."

"It's no imposition, just hand me the book."



Out of the corner of her eye, Rainbow spotted a large book in the corner. Hm, maybe… "Oh, what's that? The cover for that book is frayed!"

As expected, Twilight turned to where Rainbow was pointing and for a split second she was perfectly distracted. Rainbow leapt with all of her strength and took flight the fastest she was capable of. In a powerful gust of wind, Rainbow disappeared from her spot, flew over Twilight, opened the door and made her way outside.

Twilight cursed her weakness for a book's integrity.

She took chase.

The Doctor walked down to the library with Rarity at his side blabbering at his usual 900 mph rate of talking. Rarity did her best to keep up, but when the Doctor got rolling you'd need a translating to catch whatever he was saying.

"Then, the Cyberking stood from the Thames and I met him with the TARDIS, well, not the TARDIS exactly but still, and figure I didn't have much of a choice so I had—"

"Ah, Doctor. As engaging as that story is, I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you're talking about. What is a Cyberking?"

The Doctor pursed his lips and gave Rarity a severe look. He didn't very much enjoy repeating himself especially when he has explained things in such a simple manner that a baby could understand! That's one of the things that bothered him with his companions, it felt like whenever he spoke no one listened or looked at him with bewildered expressions.

"Never mind, not like that story was life or death," he grumbled sullenly.

"Darling, all of your stories are life and death," Rarity reminded him. "Now then, where have you planned our next adventure?"

The Time Pony raised an eyebrow. Rarity wasn't one to be interested in traveling in the TARDIS, sure, she had enjoyed it as the other mares had but she hadn't expressed where she wanted to go or any interest in wherever anypony else wanted to go. She was just around for the ride, so to speak. Still, enthusiasm like that should never be ignored.

Unless, of course, there's a pegasus racing toward you at remarkable speed.

The Doctor didn't have time to react as Rainbow smashed into him. The two rolled for a good while in a wild dust cloud of rainbow and brown manes before they finally stopped with Rainbow sprawled over a dazed Time Pony. Shaking her head, she looked at the Doctor under her and grinned. Pulling out her book, she showed him the Phoenix Island page. "Hey Doc, figured out where I want to go."

Poor Twilight Sparkle was unable to deter the Doctor's ecstatic mood once he had read all about Phoenix Island and sprinted for the library with her and Rarity in tow. By the time the unicorns reached the TARDIS, the Doctor was already dancing around the console, throwing levers, hammering buttons and toggling switches.

"Oh, horsefeathers," Twilight grumbled, she recognized that adventurous expression in the Time Pony's face. That's usually when things went horribly wrong.


"Phoenix Island!" cried the Doctor as he ran about the console, throwing switches and levers which made the TARDIS churn in response and jostle slightly. "An apparently mythical place that was said to be the pinnacle of technological advances of its time. Explorers had searched for this place to no avail and in the early years of Celestia's reign the island was said to be engulfed in a horrible wave sinking it to the bottom of the ocean."

Rainbow nodded, ensnared in the romantic depiction of legends and myth, while Twilight rolled her eyes skeptically. The Doctor was the type of pony who hated not knowing something so Twilight offered a few books and he ran through them so he could brush up on Equestria history. Naturally, Twilight expected the Doctor to pick something out of proper history, not chase myths and treasure maps.

"It's just a story," Twilight said. "No such island exist, Doctor."

"That's what they said about Atlantis," returned the Doctor. "Lovely place, don't try the fish. Ah! Here we go!"

He threw another lever and the overhead scanner blipped as it ran with data inconsequential to Twilight but disappointing to the Doctor as he grimaced and smacked the scanner. "Hm… navigation is still a bit off…"

"See?" Twilight quipped, a bit of satisfaction obvious in her tone. "Even the TARDIS agrees that the island isn't real."

"Hard to find does not impossible make, Twilight Sparkle, rule fifty-seven. We just need to adjust the settings. The book doesn't mention any helpful space-time coordinates, but no matter! Look at the date of publication and correspond with historical events the author mentions, that'll put us at about one-oh-two Celestia's Reign. And wide-range scanner!" He threw a lever and the TARDIS groaned and tilted, nearly throwing everypony off their hooves but they were already used to such a bumpy ride.

"Ooh, the TARDIS doesn't like that," the Doctor mumbled, running his hooves over the controls to stabilize the flight.

"Then why are we continuing? If she doesn't like it, there's probably a good reason we should go looking!" Twilight argued.

"Oh, come no Twilight, where's your sense of adventure?"

"I think I left it back in our time period…"

"Twilight is right," Rarity interjected. "The TARDIS sounds like she knows what she's doing, shouldn't we listen?"

"Oi!" The Doctor poked his head around the console to look at them properly. He pointed at his face and said, "I'm 1302 years old, I think I know what I'm doing!"

Twilight was happy that Rarity was sensible enough to agree with her. With her, it was now two against two, maybe she could convince Rainbow to agree and the Doctor will take them back.

Suddenly, a wave of emotions splashed against Twilight's mind. It wasn't her own, it felt like it resonated off the console and into her mind. A mixture of emotions ranging from resentment, annoyance, and confidence registered to Twilight. She shook her head to get rid of that sensation, but as she looked at Rarity and Rainbow, she realized they felt it too.

"Ha! See, the TARDIS agree with me," declared the Doctor with a proud smile.

"That… that was the TARDIS?" Twilight asked.

"Telepathic circuits, it's sort of her way of communicating. Upgraded them last time a, ah, friend got in an argument with her and she locked her out."

"Wait, the TARDIS is alive?" Rainbow asked, running her hooves through her mane as if to get rid of that odd sensation.

"Yep. But don't worry, she's nice, you'll get along with her. Told you, best ship in the universe. And now that she agrees with me, that's three against two, we're going!" The Doctor flipped another lever and the TARDIS careened into existence, jumping out of the Time Vortex.

Everypony grabbed hold to avoid being thrown everywhere. The Doctor wrapped his legs around the console and looked at the scanner. "Oh, dear. Brace for impact, we're falling fast!"

"Can't you control it?" Rarity demanded.

"No one likes a backseat driver!"

"Nopony!" snapped all three mares.

"Now? You want to do that now?!" The Doctor slammed his hoof against a button while simultaneously pulling a control and the TARDIS's descent slowed but not fast enough to soften the fall.

The TARDIS slammed into the forest canopy, scattering all sorts of wildlife and no doubt announcing their location to every living thing in the vicinity. Although the exterior was barely scratched, inside everypony could've been a little better.

Twilight was hanging against the railing, groaning and cursing. Rainbow was flush against the doors, equally dazed and annoyed while Rarity had somehow landed on top of the Doctor. Although he would never say this aloud, Rarity could stand to lose a few pounds.

"I-is everyone alright?" the Doctor asked.

"Everypo—ugh, my head," groaned Twilight.

"Fine over here," announced Rainbow.

"I'm fine as well, landed on a very comfortable couch," Rarity said.

"Yeah, good for you. Mind getting off? This couch is getting achy." The Doctor stood after Rarity got off and assessed the damage.

"Not bad," he grumbled looking at his console. Patting it affectionately, he smiled at the Time Rotor, glad for the TARDIS's reliability and dependability. "Whew. Well! That was some trip, huh?"

"Not the words I'd use to describe that, but yeah, sure," sniped Twilight. "Where are we?"

"Scanner is down, but we don't need it, that's the point of being explorers! We go out and see where we are. Smell the air, taste the water, feel the alien earth underneath you, isn't that exciting?!" The Doctor grinned proudly and joyfully that Twilight felt compelled to return the smile but she wasn't like him. She didn't jump into the unknown as easily as he did, she studied the unknown until she knew everything about it then she carefully trots into it.

Still, it was difficult to not get excited by the feeling of the unknown. That just right outside those doors is a world nopony outside this group will ever know. The companions straightened up and followed the Time Pony outside the doors.

An impossible jungle opened out before them. Trees twice as tall as the trees of the Everfree Forest surrounded them, the sweet almost sickly scent of a multitude of flowers hit them. Birds and wildlife chattered all around them, it was hard to tell if they were on Phoenix Island or even on an island entirely! The forest was so thick, they were unable to see ten feet into it.

"Doctor, you didn't mention anything about heat!" complained Rarity, fanning herself with her own personally embroidered fan.

"How are we sure this is actually Phoenix Island?" Twilight asked.

"We aren't. Well, come on then!" The Doctor sauntered off, leaving Rarity to her complaints before she was forced to jog to catch up.

"Stay close," the Doctor warned Rainbow who looked eager to take flight. "I'm not sure what kind of wildlife we'll find here. Judging by the environment, I'd hazard to guess we'll encounter relatively primitive locals. Maybe not the technologically advanced Phoenix Island but still something at least."

As if trying to disprove them, hoofsteps broke through the forest and a dozen armored ponies jumped into view, quickly surrounding the group. They wore silver armor, billowy capes, large helmets and wielded large guns with their sights firmly fixed on the intruders.


The Doctor and the girls raised their legs in surrender. "Well, I have been wrong before."

Twilight almost face-hoofed when they were taken to these large vehicles of sorts. It reminded her of the Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000, except it was able to fit at least twenty ponies and was silver instead of the extravagant red the Flim-Flam brothers had. Primitive locals, she thought, primitive my right hoof.

But there was something off about this. The Doctor mentioned that they were in the year 102 C.R. but the technology these ponies had were hundreds of years beyond her time. Had the Doctor made a mistake and took them to the wrong time or an alien planet?

She looked at the guards, quietly appraising them. Nope, they looked like regular ponies with multicolored fur sticking out from their armor and a hint of cutie marks somewhat concealed. As far as she was concerned, these were absolutely normal ponies.

But they looked at Twilight and the others as if they were the weirdos.

"It's true," she heard one of them whisper. "Actual ponies!"

"Probably runaways from the Tower," returned his partner.

"Can't be. Why are they… naked?"

Twilight blushed in spite of herself.

"Lovely ride!" quipped the Doctor with a smile. "Never have I been taken captive in such a nice vehicle! Amazing design! Though, the silver isn't my thing, what do you think Rarity?"

Rarity looked as comfortable as Twilight felt but she said, "A bit tacky if you ask me."

None of the guards reacted, but they looked at the Doctor strangely, as if they could recognize that he was the leader of this group.

Throughout the twenty minute ride, the Doctor rambled on and on trying to elicit responses from the stoney-faced guards to no avail. Twilight had regained her composure finally, that is until she saw the city.

Plopped in the middle of a massive bowl-shaped canyon sat the silver city, its buildings towered and dwarfed the gigantic trees and it gleamed proudly under the evening sun. Massive domed buildings side by side with skyscrapers ringed the city. From here, Twilight could see the rail system encircle the perimeter of the city and leading outside into the forest. When they got closer, she could see the force field. A silver, practically invisible, bubble covered the entire city and the rails. It reminded her of Canterlot's defense system but it was much larger in scale.

"The Lost City," one of the guards said. "Enjoy how it looks from over here, it'll be the last you can see it like this."

"Lovely," muttered the Doctor.

They traveled into the city which was starkly different from the rugged and wild forest. Modern streets and advanced technology betrayed the untamed outside world they were just in moments ago. Fillies and colts played on the streets dressed modernly and fashionably which, again, made Twilight feel very self-conscious.

They weaved through small streets and alleyways until they reached the center of the city. It was a building that wasn't as tall as the surrounding structures but was nonetheless impressive. Like the city from the outside, it was a large domed shaped building with a transparent bubble surrounding it and showing off some of the interior structure.

Twilight was pushed off the vehicle and prodded to enter the building with the Doctor right at her side and Rainbow and Rarity off the either side. Although she felt fearful, she also felt excited to see what was inside.

"So! Fantastic place! I love what you've done with the place, though, I'll admit, the chrome theme is a bit hard on the eyes. Still, much better than I thought, still, inappropriately named don't you think? Phoenix Island? More like Silver Domes Island," the Doctor remarked.

One of the guards screwed up his face in an expression of disbelief. "Pardon?"

"Phoenix Island, that's what this place is called isn't it?"

The guards chuckled. "No," another answered. "Not sure where you got the name from. This isn't Phoenix Island."

"You got it wrong?" hissed Rainbow.

"Where are we then?" the Doctor asked, ignoring the pegasus's death glare.

The guards stopped and gestured to the right of the city. From there, they were able to see the sun beginning to set but just before it would disappear into the horizon of the forests it hit the force field that surrounded the city. A massive rainbow exploded into view, so large it no doubt could be seen from anywhere in the city.

"Welcome to Rainbow Island."

The Impossible Island

View Online

The Observation Tower, The Lost City, Rainbow Island
32nd of Summer, 7:03pm, 102 C.R.

After the guards had conveniently and, quite frankly, dramatically revealed the name of the island to the Doctor, he collected his thoughts and produced a perfectly coherent and eloquent response.

"Not exactly winning any awards for creativity any time soon," he said before placing a bright smile on his face. "Still, lovely place. I'm especially enjoying this hostage situation we're in. Never had I had polite captors, well, on more than one occasion the Master could be cordial."

Once again, the stony-faced guards didn't react and the Doctor sighed under his breath. For once he'd like it if his abductors weren't expressionless mooks and for some fun and originality! Would it kill them to be a little more engaging?

The Doctor took a moment to admire the "Tower" as the armed and dangerous ponies informed them that this was. Despite being called a tower, this building was, in fact, the smallest of the tall skyscrapers with a large semi-transparent dome over top he felt as though he was under observation (which he generally was). There were a number of things that were off in this situation. In no particular order, this was the island he was aiming for, he hadn't gotten that wrong but according to the ponies it was called Rainbow Island.

The Time Pony made a face and glanced over his shoulder to look at Rainbow Dash. The cyan pegasus returned with an inquisitive expression and the Doctor looked away. He wanted to make a quip at how Rainbow had the honor of having an entire island share her name but he wasn't sure if she'd appreciate that.

Next, the technology was far too advanced for this time period. He had spent a few days in Twilight's time period and found no uses of any technology higher than ovens but the city had amazingly contemporary architecture and the guards themselves had guns! Guns! Something the Doctor figured would be very difficult for ponies lacking opposable thumbs but they had been modified to fit their hooves.

The entire situation was fishy or the Doctor's name was Lucille.

And it's not.

They were led through the main lobby and other than a few strange looks the trip was perfectly normal. Twilight felt uneasy as they were herded into the elevator and felt the car rise several dozen stories to Celestia knows where. She wanted explanations. If this wasn't Phoenix Island then what in all of Equestria is Rainbow Island? Twilight never came across the name in her books before.

As they ascended the Doctor struck up a conversation with Rarity. It was an odd relationship, the fashionista and the alien Time Lord. But, they both had that air of sophistication and maturity and that in rare moments they behaved like adults and could maintain a serious conversation. Still, both of them had their quirks, Rarity could be hopelessly vain and picky while the Doctor would just ramble on and act like a complete foal when he didn't get his way or when he was moody.

Twilight did think it was disconcerting to see just how easily the Doctor got along with everypony, however. At first she was a little worried that the Doctor wouldn't be received well amongst her friends but that was completely tossed aside when he essentially became best friends with them!

She should feel relieved, or even happy, by this but she felt slightly unnerved. Twilight couldn't shake this niggling little feeling in the back of her mind. That tiny little voice that keeps screaming at her to stay away from the Doctor.

There are so many unexplained things about him, that bright smile is a façade; he's hiding something.

"So!" the Doctor began, snapping Twilight out of her thoughts. "Where are you taking us anyways? You haven't explained much and I think we've deserved the right to know."

One of them looked over their shoulder at the Doctor and glanced away. The Time Pony figured it was just a standoffish personality but he realized that the pony was wary, maybe even nervous about them.

"You… shouldn't be here," the guard explained.

The Doctor said nothing for a moment and glared at the guard. The pony realized his mistake and quickly amended his words. "The city is a haven. Beyond the barrier and into the Wild is much too dangerous, nopony lives out there because of the creatures that lay in wait. You… I've never seen you guys before but there is no way that you could've lived in the Wild all this time."

"We're visitors then," Twilight amended.

"Yes, here to enjoy the sights of this Rainbow Island," Rarity agreed.

"Shame it wasn't the island we were looking for," Rainbow muttered, glaring intently at the Doctor.

All of the guards turned and looked at the mares strangely, as if they began speaking a foreign language. Twilight figured they had said something wrong which may reveal that they truly weren't around here and began to panic. She was never a great liar and in this situation, well, what could happen? They were in the past, hundreds upon hundreds of years before her own birth, what if they were killed or imprisoned?

She'd be stuck so far from home.

That thought was as scary as failing a test.

"Visitors?" repeated one guard.

"That's impossible. You're either from the city or you somehow survived in the Wild, another impossibility," explained the leader.

"Impossible is my middle name," said the Doctor with a sly smile. "And enough beating around the bush, why is it impossible? You're an island right? It's entirely feasible that visitors can come, right?"

"You really don't know?"

"Know what?!" snapped Rainbow.

Then, the elevator doors slid open without a sound and the mares gasped as they stepped out to survey the room. Well, room isn't a good word to describe this. It was immense and domed shaped with windows as tall as Twilight's library surrounding them. In the middle of the room was a large console with an assortment of high-end equipment that vaguely reminded Twilight of the TARDIS's console. Dozens of ponies milled around, working on computers and other lab equipment as hundreds of experiments were being conducted all around them.

In essence it was heaven for Twilight but it made the Doctor growl as he looked at the familiar setting. He was instantly reminded of faux-militant groups like Torchwood or, to somewhat a degree, UNIT when he looked at the scientists and gun-toting ponies working. Not only that, but when he looked out the window he saw why it was so impossible that they were traveling visitors.

A line of clouds gathered several kilometers underneath the island and when they broke through a vast blue ocean was seen even further down along with entire continents. Mountain ranges could be seen in the nearest continent, Equestria, the Doctor guessed, and just the smallest hint of cities and tiny villages that dotted the landmass.

Rainbow Island was a sky island, just as impossible as the Doctor and his companions being there.

"That's…." Twilight wanted to say impossible but after seeing the TARDIS she couldn't finish that thought.

"Whoa, are we really, you know, floating?!" Rainbow cried with an impressed tone.

Rarity shot Rainbow a look and huffed. "You used to live in Cloudsdale, Rainbow and your house is made of clouds."

"Yeah, but this is an entire island!" Rainbow protested. "That's… huge!"

"The amount of power required to suspend this entire island in the troposphere would be massive," the Doctor muttered, obviously disturbed by this sudden revelation and the implications that went along with it. "Antigravity technology is well beyond this time, not to mention being able to stabilize an entire island producing a self-replenishing atmosphere. There's something off about this, and I intend to find out what." He ran a hoof through his mane and scowled, despite how potentially disastrous this situation was, Twilight couldn't help but feel amazed at the fact that they were currently on an island floating above the earth like a cloud!

"A pony of science, then?"

A stoutly earth pony appeared in the opposite end of the room. The guards stiffened, assuming military decorum and stood at attention as the pony approached. Like most of the ponies they had encountered in the city, he wore a dark purple cloak that obscured cutie mark. Unlike the guards, he didn't seem particularly interested in the group and focused mainly on the console, checking its readings before finally approaching the Doctor who managed a polite enough smile.

"You could say that," the Doctor agreed, beaming at him. "And you?"

He nodded with a proud smirk of his own. "Professor Circuit," he said. "In all honesty, I'm not sure what kind of scientific authority you purport to be, but I can assure you that all of this is perfectly safe."

"Enough authority to know that this type of technology is dangerous on a scale like this," the Doctor answered, all amusement lost in his tone as his expression became set in what Twilight liked to call his 'frowny face'. "If left unattended, the damage this could wreak would be catastrophic, Professor. Where did you get this technology from? Who gave it to you? I can guarantee that whatever they promised they will not follow through."

He raised an eyebrow at the Doctor before glancing over at the mares. Twilight couldn't help but not feel intimidated by this portly pony in comparison to the Doctor's own youthful, trim appearance.

"I'm sure I don't know what you are talking about. And in any case, I have more pressing matters to attend to," the Professor stepped forward and the guards quickly sighted the time-traveling troupe with their weapons. The mares huddled closer to the Doctor as he stood there, impassive and calm. "Who are you?"

"Doctor," Rarity whispered. "Now would be a good time for a plan."

"Yeah, what's the plan?" Twilight asked, running a number of offensive spells through her mind as she calculated the best countermeasures against the guard ponies.

"Twilight, momentai," the Doctor answered.

"Mo- what?" Rainbow asked.

"Calm down, take a breather," he explained. "I've got an idea, of course."

Twilight sighed a breath of relief, as silly as the Doctor can behave sometimes he was always dependable in the worst situations. Then, the Doctor took a step, adjusted his bowtie, and reached in his coat pocket, no doubt to grab his trusty sonic screwdriver.

He produced a black wallet and flashed it to the Professor and the guards with a bright smile. "You've got us! It's certainly hard to get anything through you lot, brilliant job! I'm the Doctor, this is Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash, and we're from Equestria's Orbital Welcoming Committee here to extend our hooves to you, inhabitants of Rainbow Island!"

Twilight nearly fell on her face at how completely ridiculous that lie was, there was no way they would fall for that! But they merely stared at the wallet, eyebrows raised, the guards lowered their weapons uneasily and the Professor tensed, a frown forming on his face.

"During one of our localized atmosphere examinations, we discovered an anomaly in sector G and upon extending our scanners, we found this island," the Time Lord smoothly explained with a flourish in his voice and a bright smile. "Naturally, the Canterlot elite went into a bit of a frenzy, surprised to find a massive floating island just off the coast of Equestria. Then, they sent us."

He moved to Twilight's side, wrapping a foreleg around her shoulder and patting her rather roughly. "Twilight Sparkle, my head scientist and scholar!" Just as quickly, he appeared by Rarity's side, surprising her considerably but the unicorn managed a weak smile. "Rarity! My personal fashion designer, in charge of decorations!" Then, finally, he wrapped a leg around Rainbow's shoulder and hugged her closely. "And here's Rainbow, personal guard, captain of the pegasi defense force and the toughest pegasus this side of Equestria!"

The guards wavered, unsure whether to lower their weapons or fire. Looking over at Professor Circuit, they tried to get a reading on his expression only to find it was as conflicted as they were. For a moment, Twilight feared they wouldn't pull this off but Circuit's aghast expression changed into a small smile.

"A-ah, is that so?" he asked trying to maintain his formerly confident tone.

"Yep! We then got on the nearest chariot and Rainbow flew us all the way up here to pop off for a visit."

Rainbow leaned into the Time Pony's ears, concerned about being put into the spotlight so suddenly. "Even if I could fly up this high without overexerting myself, dragging along a chariot filled with three ponies is impossible, Doc!"

"Yes," the Doctor muttered back, still maintaining his diplomatic smile. "But they don't need to know that."

"Well… I suppose your papers are in order then," Circuit mumbled sullenly. The Doctor stepped in quickly to prevent any further questions and wrapped a friendly leg over the Professor.

"Fantastic! Glad that everything is in order, now then, will you show me to the antigravity pulsars? I'd love to see how they work!" the Doctor led the poor Professor toward the main console as the worker ponies dispersed, allowing the two stallions to near without provocation.

The guards, finally, stood awkwardly at attention and merely watched the rest of the mares with slight concern. Obviously the lie hadn't taken well, no matter how good the Doctor's psychic paper was.

"Here are the main readings," the Doctor muttered, scrutinizing a monitor that displayed dozens of numerical values that fluctuated every second and meant nothing to Twilight but disturbed the Doctor. "That's…"

"What?" Twilight asked.

"Look here." He awkwardly pointed a hoof at one monitor to a display that resembled a graph. There were a dozen green bars that ranged from all sorts of heights, again the values meant nothing to Twilight but she saw that as the graph continued the bars extended to the full height of the monitor, completely off the charts.

"That's the main power cells, whatever is generating the power required to maintain the antigravity technology is massive, impossibly so. But here it is! A giant power source that somehow hasn't gone critical, keeping the island afloat!"

Professor Circuit shrugged the Doctor's leg off him and cleaned himself off. With something of a sly expression he smiled at the Doctor, who returned with a smoldering glare. "Critical? Impossible, I am maintaining the power fluctuations."

"So, you admit there have been fluctuations? Whatever you're using as a power source is obviously unstable, you have to shut this down before it collapses and your entire island falls to the earth," the Doctor warned. To his surprise, however, Professor Circuit laughed heartily.

"Doctor! You certainly are amusing, the fluctuations are nothing, tiny spikes that rarely occur. It is being managed, I assure you, there's no need to worry, everything is under control."

"Not for long," the Doctor argued. "You don't have a grasp on this technology, I'm not sure how you've managed it so far, but trust me you'll be out of your depth soon enough and everyone will suffer."

Twilight cleared her throat, "Everypony."

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, a simple effect that would've made him seem more mysterious and charming around his tenth life but only served to make him look innocently inquisitive. "Really?"

"Sorry, force of habit," admitted Twilight sheepishly.

"He might have a point," Rarity said. "After all, there's nothing wrong at the moment, is there?"

"No…" admitted the Doctor. “But—"

"Yeah, plus, isn't it kinda cool Doc? I mean, a sky island! I've only read about these in stories," confided Rainbow.

The Professor bristled for a moment, confused about whatever those mares were talking about but smiled as the Doctor was being outnumbered by his own associates. "See? Your friends understand, we've everything under control."

The Doctor shook his head, unconvinced. "Show me the power source, I have to at least know what you're working with."

Professor Circuit considered for a moment, it would be very easy to decline and send these strange ponies on their way but the Doctor was so adamant about all of this and if he could see what the island was being powered by… maybe he would understand.

"Fine," conceded Circuit. Reaching over to the console, he pressed a button and pulled a lever. A hiss emitted from the console, the core of the machine began to shift as the monitors silently slipped under the frame. The Doctor's eyes widened as the central pillar opened up. "Be careful, it is said that the sight of it drives ponies mad."

A singular orb hovered in the middle of the pillar. It rotated and whirled as tiny pieces of debris circled it and fell into it, like a drain. Black light shone from the orb, surrounding the light were reddish flames and beautiful purple clouds. No, as the Doctor looked closely, he noticed that the clouds weren't clouds… they were miniature galaxies. All falling into the orb and with a shudder he recognized it. A black hole.

"I-is that…" Twilight started.

"No, it can't be," muttered Rainbow.

"It is awfully hideous for a power source," mused Rarity. "But perhaps the color combination might be something to look into."

"Rarity," the Doctor's tone was clipped and almost strained as his mind grappled with the ramifications of this being here. "This, my little ponies, is a miniaturized black hole."

"A black hole?" echoed Rainbow.

"That can't be right," argued Twilight. "Black holes are dense, massive! They eat up galaxies! This can't be a black hole."

The Doctor reached into his coat, procuring his sonic screwdriver and ran it on the black hole. He grimaced as he looked at the readings. "No, it is. A black hole, suspended in a triple-circuit logic matrix overlaying a compression field. This is a black hole, but trapped." He looked at Circuit with a horrified expression. "And this console is feeding off the energy produced from it, am I right?"

The Professor hid his surprise at how quickly the Doctor figured out the black hole energy source but maintained a calm expression. "Yes. It feeds into the antigravity pulsars and maintains our force-field which—"

"Produces an atmosphere within the city, probably to the whole island, that's brilliant. That's…." the Doctor's face fell as he remembered the number of times a simpler civilization was taken advantage of when presented with superior technology.

"Thank you, Doctor," smiled Circuit. "Now, if you don't mind." He pressed another button and the black hole disappeared under the shifting pillar and the console was restored. "I suppose the next issue is what to do with you next."

His tone was dangerously edged, realizing how intelligent this Doctor was and recognizing the threat he has become. If this isn't taken care of, it might spiral out of control and all of his work would be undone. "I suppose a celebration is in order!"

"Excuse m—" the Doctor clamped a hoof over Rainbow's mouth, to her dismay and surprise, and beamed at Circuit. "Of course! What better way than to extend pleasantries! That'd be lovely, wouldn't we enjoy that ladies?"

Twilight wanted to protest but when she noticed the Doctor's desperate expression she nodded firmly. "Yes! I… love parties you know."

"Really?" drawled Rarity. "As I recall, you—"

The Doctor clamped his free hoof over Rarity's mouth and strained his smile. "Love parties! So do I, it's been a while since I've danced, so we have that to look forward to. Will we be shown to our quarters then?"

The Professor looked over the strange group for a moment, as if reconsidering… before nodding and turning around, preparing to leave. "The guards will show you to your temporary quarters. Enjoy your stay at Rainbow Island."

When he finally left, the Doctor released the poor mares earning an icy glare from the unicorn and a swift kick to the shoulder from the pegasus. "Oi!"

"What was that for?!" Rainbow shouted.

"You really need to wash your hooves, Doctor," remarked Rarity, wiping the taste of dirt from her mouth.

The Doctor looked over to the guards, who stood stoically by the entrance uninterested in their conversation but he leaned closer to the mares. "We have to stick around for a little longer, this type of technology… it can't possibly exist here. It isn't only centuries beyond this time but it is also alien. Wherever they got the technology from, I can promise it wasn't from anyone friendly."

"Anypony," Twilight corrected automatically.

The Doctor rolled his eyes, "Fine, anypony."

Rarity made a face, ignoring the Doctor's inability to keep up with pony lingo. "But, what harm could it cause Doctor? It's keeping the island afloat, keeping all of these ponies alive. What if the technology was designed to protect them?"

The Time Lord glanced over at the guard's weapon as it hung from their armor. He looked at Rarity and shook his head. "In my experience, aliens willing to give technology to the indigenous species aren't friendly or interested in their protection."

"… Then what does that make you?"

Twilight's expression morphed into one of shock, even gasping for effect as she took a half-step back. "Rarity, what're you—"

The Doctor lifted a hoof, interrupting Twilight and gave Rarity an even expression. He didn't look angry or disappointed by Rarity's words but his eyes were so sad… so old. "I've lived for so long, Rarity. I've seen things you wouldn't believe. I've… fought creatures so evil and have beaten them time after time, all for the sake of the universe." He took a deep, shaky, breath. "That makes me one of the good guys. You have to trust me, Rarity. I've seen this type of thing before, if I don't stop it then the whole island will go down."

There was a moment of silence as Rarity became downcast, ashamed by her own accusation. However eccentric and mysterious the Doctor may behave, his actions are sincere enough. Rainbow nodded, determination fierce in her eyes.

"So, what's the plan now, Doc?" she asked, excited to jump in the fray.

"Now… We take in the sights."


The guards escorted the group into the city, heading toward an inn called The Morning Light for some rest. Although the mood was calm enough, Twilight still felt as though she were their prisoners. The Doctor, on the other hoof, was excited as the motor-chariot went down the streets, passing through amazing skyscrapers that resembles those of Manehattan.

"This looks like twenty-fourth century architecture from earth! What an amazing parallel. You ponies have a lot more in common with humans than I thought, well, I guess that's obvious considering your naming conventions. Canterlot? I can't take that name seriously, you know," the Doctor rambled.

"Doctor," Twilight said, keeping her voice low. "Why did you tell them we were from Canterlot anyways? What'll we do if they find out?"

The Doctor ruffled Twilight's mane, producing a murderous glare from the librarian but he shrugged it off. "Oh, Twilight, you should pay more attention."


“This is obvious a massive anachronistic problem considering the level of technology here. It’s the stuff of conquerors and war fleets, yet they haven’t done anything.”

"Otherwise, we'd see this type of thing in our time period, right?" Twilight finished, the Doctor nodded with a smile.

"Yeah? So?" Rainbow asked. "This is a floating island you know, it isn't like anypony in this time period could have the means of getting here."

"But think about it," the Doctor said, almost excitingly. "Why hasn't anyone—"

"Anypony!" Twilight interrupted.

"I'll get it eventually!" he snapped, rolling his eyes. Temporal anomalies were easier to catch on than this. "Why hasn't anypony here gone down to Canterlot? They have all of this technology, a localized and artificial atmosphere, motorized vehicles, weapons and apparently space-travel since that is the only way they could find and capture a black hole. Unless, of course, they could create their own black hole but that would be a bit of a stretch."

"They could simply not be as interested as you assume," Rarity offered. "This is a wonderful city, Doctor. Why would they go down to begin with if they have all of this?"

"I can think of a few reasons," the Doctor muttered. "Conquering a technologically inferior land, for one thing."

Twilight shook her head. "I don't know how it is like in your universe, Doctor, but war isn't all too common here. In Equestrian history there has only been a small number of major battles that ended fairly quickly (though in other cultures like the Griffins or Dragons, that's a bit different). Ponies don't normally go around conquering land."

"Then why do they have those weapons?"

The mares stayed quiet for a moment, considering the Doctor's question. It was true what Twilight had told them, war simply wasn't a pony thing unless pushed far enough. Weaponry, therefore, barely evolved beyond offensive magical spells and rudimentary tools for the earth ponies and pegasi. Twilight had never seen the weapons these guards held but she had seen the Doctor's disapproving glare when he noticed them, it's safe to assume they are as dangerous as they look.

"So far," the Doctor continued, interrupting Twilight's train of thought. "I've seen unicorns and earth ponies here, no pegasi. A bit of a strange coincidence, if you ask me."

"You think that has something to do with this?" Twilight asked.

"Probably, never ignore a coincidence, I always say." The Time Lord shrugged and smiled amusingly. "Unless, of course, you're busy then feel free. Any society that is advanced enough to utilize technology of this scale focuses on weaponry, well, that's a combination that I tend to avoid."

"Still, Doctor. You must entertain the possibility of the technology being there to protect these ponies. Is it unreasonable to think that a flying sky fortress that is a technological haven should need protection?" Rarity asked. "We infiltrated their island quite easily."

Before the Time Lord could offer his opinion, Rainbow interrupted, shaking her head. "Like I said before, there's no way any pegasus could fly up here and still manage to make a proper landing on the island. Much less toting a chariot."

"This island is impenetrable," Twilight summed up.

The Doctor chuckled under his breath, earning a hard look from the librarian. Shrugging, he extended his legs, as if in apologies. "I never liked that word: 'impenetrable'. After all, we got here, didn't we?"

"Yes, but that's because we have the most powerful ship in the universe," Twilight answered, reciting the Doctor's previous description of the TARDIS.

"Speaking of which, we didn't we bring the TARDIS here? We basically left it in the middle of the forest, wouldn't anypony notice?" Rainbow asked.

Their vehicle crossed another district, the night sky cascading through the force-field creating a dim twilight shower across the city. In this light, the semipermeable bubble could be seen, covering the entirety of the city like a glass dome. The weary Time Lord sighed, remembering his home universe. Remembering home.

"It'll be fine," he answered, enthusiasm lost. "The TARDIS can keep herself hidden, it's called a perception filter. Basically hiding in plain sight, and even if she was found there isn't a force in the universe that could get in. Besides me, of course. Rule twenty-eight, you should write these down, never take the TARDIS into battle."

"But Doctor," the purple unicorn began. "Why not simply take the TARDIS back in time, before this island gained this technology and stop it from happening if you're so worried."

The Doctor shook his head. "It isn't as simple as that. I've become part of established events, going back to interfere would have detrimental effects. Besides, even if I could somehow pinpoint the exact moment when all of this began getting there would be a bit trickery than it sounds."

"So, what, we're just going to stick around then? And do what?" Rainbow asked.

The Time Lord looked at Rainbow with a bright grin, eyes filled with renewed excitement. "Momentai, Rainbow. We're just going to enjoy our stay here!"

Party Time

View Online

The Morning Light, The Lost City, Rainbow Island
32nd of Summer, 10:01 pm, 102 C.R.

To say Twilight was worried was around the same vein as saying the Doctor wasn't normal, so large an understatement it might be bigger than the TARDIS's interior.

She paced around the, admittedly lovely, accommodations the guardponies were kind enough to bring them to at gunpoint while everypony milled about normally as if jumping into the distant past on an impossible island was routine!

Well, perhaps for the Doctor.

Twilight spared a glance at the Time Pony who was happily recounting past adventures with Rainbow Dash while running his sonic screwdriver at everything that wasn't bolted down. The seemingly happy-go-lucky Time Pony went about his business unabated, pretending as if his previously gloomy mood was a distant dream.

The unicorn librarian was continually wary about the alien pony however charming and disarming he may appear to be. Staring intently at the earth pony, Twilight was still unable to get a proper read on him. Rarity once joked that if ponies were books Twilight would be able to tell everything about them from a single glance due to social awkwardness.

Ridiculous, thought Twilight. Book were far more straightforward than ponies could ever be, save Applejack.

The Doctor noticed Twilight's unyielding stare but thought she was looking at his alien device. "Impressed aren't you?" he beamed goofily. "Sonic screwdriver, a bit cooler than your unicorn horns and a bit more user friendly."

To prove his point, he pointed the screwdriver at Twilight's horn and a loud ringing noise pierced her ears as colors danced in her vision. Backing away from the Doctor, she shook her head to rid of the disorientation and glared frostily at the Doctor who sheepishly pocketed his device.

"No, not really. I was wondering what the plan is, Doctor. We could get to the TARDIS and leave, the longer we stay here the more danger we invite." Twilight reasoned to the Doctor's unimpressed expression and Rainbow's equally disapproving frown.

"Leave?" echoed the cyan pegasus. "Why would we do that?"

"One: to stay out of danger!"

"Counting is stupid," Rainbow interrupted.

"They don't believe your story, Doctor and I don't want to stick around to see what they do to invaders. It's best for us if we just leave."

"Probably." Shrugged the Time Lord. "But as I mentioned, there's something going on here and I intend to find out what. Twilight, if we leave now then whoever gave them this technology will be free to do whatever they want with it."

As much as the Doctor had a point, Twilight still couldn't shake the feeling that they were way in over their heads. Nightmare Moon, Timberwolves, the Crystal Empire, they all seemed like cupcakes compared to this.

"Is there an actual plan?" Twilight reiterated. "Because it feels like you're making all of this up as we go along."

"Oh, Twilight you know what I always say about plans."

"What's that?"

"Who needs them?"


"Ta-da!" Rarity stepped out of the closet with a flourish and Twilight realized she had been there for the good part of thirty minutes. Like a well-versed model (which Twilight supposed she was) Rarity struck a pose which showed off her beautiful dress.

Wrapping around her lithe form was the brilliantly done red dress sequined with glittering stones that, upon closer inspection, Twilight realized were diamonds. Matching red cuffs topped off her hooves and her mane was done in such an extravagant manner you'd think it was put together with power tools, which considering Rarity is probably close to the truth.

Blinking, Rarity looked at the three of them in disbelief. "Are you seriously going like that?"

The Doctor glanced down at his own outfit and frowned. "Yes."

"Yep," agreed Rainbow.

Rarity wrinkled her muzzle at the Doctor and was about to comment on his choice in accessories but decided against it, apparently.

"You're not seriously going to this party, are you Rarity?" Twilight asked.

Rarity turned to a vanity mirror and with a small brush began to correct microscopic mistakes on her face. "Of course I am, Twilight. We are important ponies after all, Equestria's Welcoming Committee."

"No, we aren't," insisted Twilight. "That's just a story the Doctor made up, they don't believe us, I'm two-hundred percent sure this is a trap. Right Doctor?"

Unfortunately, the Doctor was too preoccupied with Rarity's strange look to back Twilight up and stood beside the fashionista adjusting his bowtie.

"I think I look brilliant!" the Doctor said. "Well, now that I don't have that chin, blimey it's like you could land an airplane on it."

"I'm telling you, Doctor. There are quite a few ponies who can pull off a bowtie, and you—"

"Do it brilliantly?" the Doctor grinned, straightening his bowtie.

"Sure, whatever you say," smiled Rarity. "And… what's an airplane?"

"Am I the only sane pony in this room?!" yelled Twilight in utter disbelief at how calm everypony was behaving despite the danger that presented itself.

Everypony stared at Twilight as if she was the one who gone mad, except Rainbow who swallowed her apple and said, "Nope. I agree with you Twi, it probably is a trap."

"Thank you Rainbow, it's nice to know somepony here has the good sense to—"

"Which is why we gotta spring our trap first!" Rainbow hovered slightly in excitement, sharing the Doctor's mad grin.

Twilight face-hoofed.

"Well said Rainbow!" laughed the Doctor.

"As long as this dress isn't wrinkled," muttered Rarity, smoothing out unperceivable wrinkles on her dress.

"This… isn't going to end well…"

The Observation Tower, The Lost City, Rainbow Island

Same time

The Professor glanced at the energy-output data and adjusted his glasses. They had increased fifteen percent within the last hour, this could prove to be a problem. His hooves ran through the controls and he expertly rerouted the power to the auxiliary engines. A slight tremor ran through the room and, eventually, throughout the whole island as its elevation would be increased slightly to compensate for the energy spike.

Circuit then placed the remaining surplus energy into the atmospheric shell as the air would become thinner with the elevation increase. Good, readings read normal but the Professor still felt the tinge of doubt in the back of his mind. He couldn't keep increasing the elevation every time the energy levels spike, there was a limit to how high he could take the island.

There needed to be a long-term solution.

Professor Circuit shook his head. No, the energy spikes would level out eventually, there was nothing wrong with the system it was perfect, that's what she promised him.

"Worried?" a soothing voice wrapped in liquid nitrogen asked. The ambient temperature definitely lowered a few degrees as the Professor recognized her cold presence behind him.

"Of course not," he muttered, pretending to check the readings while he calmed his erratic heartbeat.

"You were always a terrible liar." He could practically hear her smile.

"The energy spikes are becoming more frequent," confided the Professor. "There's only so much I can do to adjust, and we aren't any closer to a solution as we are to the ground."

Her cold presence washed over him like a fog, intangible yet all around him. "I promised you that the system will not fail. Do you have doubts?"

"O-of course not, but—"

"Then worry not."

The nervous earth pony swallowed the lump in his throat and frowned at his readings, pretending to observe them closely. The Mistress always intimidated him, which was part ridiculous, part justifiable as she didn't have a corporeal form.

"Ah. I see. The energy spikes are the least of your concerns, you are worried about… him?" A purple mist blanketed the console in front of him and the Professor jumped back in surprised as the mist shifted and changed until it resembled an earth pony… with a distinctive hourglass cutie mark.

"You… know him, then?" the Professor asked shakily, still unnerved by this strange concept of "magic".

Her heavy presence appeared to his left and he shivered. Looking to his left, he saw nothing but felt some magnetic force, like all the iron in his blood became magnetically attracted to her.

"An old friend," she admitted with a sense of distaste yet with a respectful undertone. "The Doctor is a meddlesome pony, the old Time Lord was always sentimentall."

"Time Lord—"

"The Doctor is dangerous, incredibly so. He will likely interfere if he has seen this console" – the Mistress paused for a full second – "Ah, he already has. He will have plans to break in and observe the blackhole up close tonight. You will be able to catch him off-guard, you can dispose of him."

The Professor didn't say anything for a moment. Why was the Doctor such a major issue to the Mistress? She never regarded anypony with such… respect yet with a careful undertone, as if she feared him somehow? He quickly dismissed that thought, the Doctor didn't appear dangerous whatsoever, but why would the Mistress take such an interest in him?

Plus, she called him a Time Lord… as if he wasn't a pony.

"He will not be an issue," the Professor promised. "He is merely a simple pony."

The Mistress materialized across from the Professor, still partially shrouded in darkness so that only her impossibly bright purple eyes, fixated with a look of almost monstrous ferocity yet with a gleam of a true chessmaster. Her white teeth were fixed in a sadistic smile that matched the look in her eyes, as if the Doctor manifested the most basic of instincts of dominance in the Mistress.

"He is hardly a 'simple pony'. The Doctor is the perfect equivalent of a mighty army, easily capable of toppling your entire world, Professor," she explained with the calculative tone of a lecturer addressing her class. "If you let him go, if you underestimate him or try to anger him, he will return with a force you can't hope to combat; like throwing rocks at a storm."

A storm? The Professor thought, that didn't seem to be an apt description of the Doctor based on his first impression, but he didn't press the issue and merely nodded meekly. If the Mistress felt so strongly about the Doctor, it would be suicide to question her.

"Good," the Mistress said, as if reading his thoughts. "I expect you to have finish the Doctor post-haste, Professor. Do not fail me."

Her intangible body and spooky face disappeared, the chill left the room and the warmth tentatively returned. The Professor took a deep breath, not realizing he had been shivering the entire time and began his work on the calibration of the gravity matrix.

"The Storm, hm?"

Party District, The Lost City, Rainbow Island
33rd of Summer, Midnight, 103 C.R.

Pinkie Pie would've loved this place. Not simply because it was named the Party District but of how… Pinkie-like it was. Throughout the entire district the huge skyscrapers glittered in a multitude of colors, flashing seemingly without rhythm, massive banners and streamers were strewn about the block and party music (which, for some reason, eerily resembled the polka music Pinkie Pie was famous for) played so loud that Twilight couldn't hear herself think.

The ponies apparently were ready for the occasion as well. They wore a strange variety of bright clothing that barely matched (as noted with a huff by Rarity) but whose intended purpose was to stand out just as much as possible. It was so disorientating to look at the crowd before her, as all Twilight saw was a sea of bright colors, glowsticks, dancing ponies and strobelights.

"Lovely place," the Doctor remarked with a smile.

"What?!" yelled Rarity, covering her ears from the music that played.

"No, I don't see any snacks yet, Rarity!" shouted Rainbow.

The Doctor seemed to be the only one unaffected by the loud music, he smiled and bobbed his head in perfect rhythm to the discordant sounds. When the Time Lord asked their hostage-ta- er, sorry, escorts, if the Party District was this active as a result of their visit they scoffed and shook their heads.

"No, nopony other than us, really, knows about your presence. The Party District is like this all the time."

"Every day?"

"Well, except Sunday."

"Why is that?"

The guardpony stared at the Doctor as if he was mad. "Well, they've got to eat sometime, right?"

Wading through the crowd was harder than Twilight had expected. She figured that the presence of two armed ponies would demand some respect and command, but nopony seemed very interested in the guards or even the fact that strange ponies had visited their island. Some of them danced out of the way, others jokingly embraced the guardponies in some drunken haze, and others stayed firmly in place, refusing to move out of the way.

Rarity huffed as she dodged another stray mug of apple cider. "These ruffians better not get one stain on this dress."

"But no one is even paying attention to you, Rarity," remarked Rainbow as she hovered just above the group.

"Obviously, they are blind to true fashion," Rarity snapped as another drunken pony giggly slumped against their guardpony, he was quickly disentangled and left to giggle to himself.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," the Doctor smugly said. Twilight looked over her shoulder and noticed a bunch of the party ponies approaching the Time Lord, examining his bowtie with such revere and interest that it made Rarity red with frustration. The fashionista huffed, stuck her nose up and sped up slightly to match the guardponies pace.

They were led to the most centralized location of the Party District, a respectable looking building that appeared out of place in comparison to the more colorful and excitable-looking abodes nearby. It was tiny, square-shaped, and colored a plain-looking silver. It also looked the oldest building here, its foundation was slightly cracked, some of the paint looked chip, and there was evidence of remodeling.

The building must've led quite an impressive history as none of the party ponies got within twenty feet of it, it was untouched by party streamers and lights and other forms of vandalism.

"The Main Ball Room," the guard pony said.

"The Party District was built around it, but before the district was raised this was the place to be for all the parties, hm?" the Doctor said.

Everypony, save Rarity who was far more concerned with her dress, stared at him quizzically.

"Yes…" the guardpony hesitantly said. "How did you know that?"

"Bit of an easy guess, come on then, let's head inside before Rarity has a panic attack." Without waiting, the Doctor was the first to approach the building.

Twilight wasn't really sure what she had expected from the Ball Room, given how old it looked on the outside she half-expected a decadent interior. But Rainbow had summed it up when they had entered. "Whoa."

The Ball Room looked bigger on the inside as an entirely different world seemingly opened up to them. A dome ceiling not apparent from the outside covered the room and beautiful imagery were delicately painted inside the dome that depicted angelic-looking ponies with fancy dresses in an eternal dance. The whole room glittered with silver and gold complemented by the red carpet and drapes and gilded columns. Dozens upon hundreds of ponies in dresses as fancy as Rarity milled about respectfully, talking, eating, enjoying the gentle orchestration of the small band playing on stage.

It wasn't just the pony elite, however, there were several party ponies about who still wore their crazy mismatching attire, but they were rambunctious as the party ponies outside. These party ponies mingled as the elite had, some of them were dancing off-beat to the music provided by the band but none of them apparently bothered the pony elite.

"Social status is irrelevant in a party," the Doctor told Twilight, answering her unspoken question. "As long as they enjoy the party, who cares how they look. Brilliant, wouldn't you say?"

Twilight nodded. She of course knew how judgmental the party ponies could be, plenty of ponies from Canterlot or Manehattan had a nasty habit of snubbing anypony that didn't meet their standards. It eventually led to a fiasco between Rarity and these elite who expressed their distaste toward the girls from Ponyville. There were exceptions, naturally, like Fancy Pants and, to a greater extent, the Princesses. But the majority were quick to dismiss anypony that hadn't met their standards.

"A lovely, quiet, soiree," remarked Rarity with a small smile, brushing a streamer from her shoulders.

Rainbow landed beside her with a wild grin. "A bit too quiet, in my opinion. I think it's time to liven this party up! It's what Pinkie would've wanted right?"

Before Rarity even had a chance to offer her opinion, the cyan pegasus took her by the foreleg and led her into the dance floor and made a beeline to the stage, no doubt to suggest music more excitable than what was playing. The guards ran off to follow the mares, leaving the Doctor and Twilight alone for a while.

"Notice anything strange, Twilight?" the Doctor suddenly asked.

Twilight looked around the Ball Room. The ponies were still mingling, still dancing, still eating, and not paying the excited Rainbow Dash or the huffy Rarity any sort of mind but other than that nothing out of the ordinary stood out.

"No, not really, everypony is acting, well, normal you know?" Twilight answered.

"Exactly," the Doctor grimaced, his ancient and experienced eyes scanning the room frequently. "The Professor was just visited by four strange ponies from the world below and he hadn't taken it upon himself to inform anypony about us? Giving us comfortable accommodations and even leading us out to the Party District."

"He's up to something," Twilight agreed. "He isn't even here to keep an eye on us, the two ponies he left to watch us didn't appear to mind leaving us to our devices."

"Which is exactly what I plan to use." The Doctor turned to leave but Twilight intercepted his path.

"Wait, Doctor. I should go with you, to help. You don't know what the Professor is planning."

"Which is what I'm intending to find out, Twilight."

Twilight shook her head fiercely. "Doctor, it's smart to take back-up, let me go with you."

"You need to stay here with Rainbow and Rarity, I'm don't have any doubts of Rainbow capabilities, but I'm not too sure about Rarity. You'll have to help them in case something may go wrong," the Time Pony insisted.

"But Doctor—"

"Rule three, Twilight," the Doctor said with a smile. "Trust me."

Twilight bit her lip and nodded. The Doctor radiated confidence, warmth, and leadership that it was sometimes difficult to go against his wishes, she knew the Doctor was more than capable of taking care of himself but still that niggling fear in the back of her mind made her wary. But Twilight stepped out of his way and he strode through.

"Don't get caught or anything, remember, you're our ride home, Doctor."

"Momentai, Twilight, and don't worry, I am as stealthy as a ninja." The Doctor took a step backward and bumped right into a vase knocking it on the floor so fast neither of them were quick enough to react. The vase sounded expensive as it shattered into a million or so pieces. The Time Pony grinned sheepishly. "That didn't reassure you, did it?"

"Just… go before I change my mind."

It took twenty minutes to get to the Observation Tower from the Party District. The Doctor would've been faster hadn't the party ponies impeded his progress. By the time he got out of the sea of ponies, he was wearing a necklace of glowsticks and a fez. He discarded the necklace and broke out into a sprint toward the Tower.

Too many things hadn't added up about this island. The fact that it was capable of flight was probably the reason it was never found, but according to the stories he read the island had come crashing down in a massive wave of fire with a huge rainbow trailing it. That was what the Doctor called a "rubbish day".

There were too many inconsistencies, who was this Professor? Why was he so well-trained in this antigravity tech? Was he an alien in disguise? No, the Doctor would've caught on to that real quick. No disguise was apparent and he was unable to detect traces of a chameleon arch.

Which left the Doctor with a few options: some highly advanced alien dropped to the planet, capable of advanced antigravity, levitated this island and armed the ponies. But why? What purpose could be served in arming a few hapless ponies? Warfare? The Doctor initially thought so, but after seeing the Party District he wasn't sure. This island wasn't a police state, it was a fully functioning society, ignorant of the world below them and going about their lives.

Option 2: this island is merely the result of a few ponies hard work and dedication and there is nothing malignant about it whatsoever.

The Doctor scoffed, in all of his years, in all of his lives he has never encountered anything so naively easy.

He reached the Tower in good time, he was barely winded from the run either. It was partly due to his insane adept running ability and partly due to this new compact and high-performance equine body. Perfect for running, rubbish for anything involving hands or fingers. Still, he couldn't complain, at least he had a face and a functioning brain.

Approaching the door, the Doctor instinctively flicked his screwdriver to sonic the door to find it was unlocked. The Time Pony wondered who would be here in the middle of the night. His suspicions didn't comfort him.

The Doctor pocketed his screwdriver and entered casually.

He followed the path they took to the black hole console, as he had found with the door, everything was unlocked and unguarded. Either they had a sturdy security force where alarms were unnecessary or he was walking right into a trap. The elevators opened with a pleasant ding and the Doctor entered the console room.

The console stood as it had before, tall, imposing and completely alien. It was apparently active, rather than running on low-power as it should with no one around to maintain it, it was running on full power.

Someone was here recently.

The Doctor flicked his screwdriver and began his customary scan of the room, trying to detect any high electromagnetic signals or radioactive emissions. Nope, nothing. Nothing alien had been in this room recently.

"Well," the Doctor muttered, approaching the console. "Except me."

Beginning his work without hesitation, he began to run diagnostics again on everything. Ah, password protected. Flicking his sonic on the display screen the former security protocols disappeared in the sight of the screwdriver and he was granted access to everything.

The Doctor searched for ways to shut down the black-hole generator, there was nothing that wouldn't consequently endanger the island. He searched for a way to disable the gravity matrix, nothing, triple-redundancy ensured that it would restart upon shut down.

If he had disabled one aspect of the machine, there was a backup. There wasn't any way to properly turn everything off, save by force without regard to everyone on this island.

"Blast!" the Doctor kicked (or was it bucked?) the console in frustration.

He was so caught up in his own thoughts that he was unaware of the pony approaching him from behind, so silent and unseen that the Doctor jumped in fear when a hoof touched his shoulder. Turning about face with his forelegs held in an improvised Venusian aikido stance.

"Oh my, I'm so sorry for startling you, it's just… you aren't allowed to be here, um, if you don't mind leaving of course." Her timid voice and soft cadence reminded the Doctor of Fluttershy but this mare didn't resemble the shy pegasus whatsoever. First off: she was an earth pony, like him, with a cream colored coat and a long blonde mane and tail. Her eyes were ice-blue but were tinged with innocence and inhibition. She wore a simple brown vest which showed off her cutie mark of an old-fashioned bookmark.

The Doctor gathered his wits in an instant and smiled confidently, straightening his bowtie and blowing his mane out of his face.

"Sorry about that, you startled me. As to your insistence that I don't belong here, I beg to differ"—with a practiced flourish and casual indifference, the Doctor flicked his psychic paper at the mare which read his extensive credentials in particle physics. But he pocketed it before she could get a good look at it—"I'm just running diagnostics, you know, making sure everything is fine. I'm the Doctor, by the way."

He said all of this in one breath without hesitation or uncertainty, something about his calm smile, bright eyes and commanding posture led her to trust him entirely. She nodded almost apologetically for interrupting his work. "I'm Echo, sorry for interrupting you…"

"It's quite alright, Echo," the Doctor promised with a smile, patting her on the shoulder. "Everyon-, er, everyponymakes mistakes. I'll be sure not to mention this in the report or to your superiors."

Echo nodded vigorously, grateful for the Doctor's kindness. "Oh, thank you. I wouldn't want to be fired, I've only had this job for a month."

"What job might that be?"

"Oh, I'm in charge for keeping the gravity matrix level and the black hole compressor stable." She pointed at the controls which accomplished those tasks. "That's what I was here for, I just went off for a little break, oh, please don't tell the Professor I left the console. He won't forgive me."

The Doctor smiled and shook his head. "I think we can keep this a secret from the Professor, don't you?"

Echo nodded and the Doctor clapped his hoof on her shoulder, leading her toward the other side of the console.

"Now then, the black hole power levels over here, what can you notice about it?"

She took only a moment to glance at the readings before frowning with uncertainty. "The spikes are increasing in both frequency and volume. But that's impossible, our energy cap should be keeping the energy levels stable."

The Doctor searched the system again for the energy cap, ah, there it was. It's designed to keep the energy levels from raising to critical levels but it bypassed the cap ages ago and it is still rising.

"Echo, how long have these spikes been going on?" the Doctor asked as the two of them worked to adjust the energy cap.

"It's been gradually growing for about three years, but before that the system was absolutely perfect, no flaws or anything. But the spikes just… came out of nowhere, the compression matrix began to fail and we had to implement a dozen backups for it."

The Time Pony ran a hoof through his curly mane. He rummaged through his coat briefly and put on his brainy-specs to scrutinize the data better (and to look smarter). "All right, Echo, I'll need you to head into the library and fetch me the schematics of the console, I need to take a look under it."


"Please." He looked up, his eyes were so serious and so impossibly old that Echo felt compelled to both continue staring and to look away, it was like staring at the sun. She nodded meekly and went off to the library.

The Doctor frowned as he flicked a switch and the lights came to life. Surrounding the room were a dozen or so armed ponies and the Professor leading them.

"Don't blame Echo for letting me stay," the Doctor ordered them with a grim expression. "It's not her fault."

"I think I'll be the judge of that, later," the Professor said with a wry smile.

"What she said was true, though, your system is growing out of control until eventually you won't be able to contain it." The Doctor stepped in front of the console casually, facing the Professor with arrogance. "Well, you already can't contain it, can you? You're scrambling for a solution because you know what's coming next."

"Who are you, Doctor, really?"

"This entire island will go down and it will be your fault. Work with me, let me help you. Or, I'll just do it by force."

The Professor smiled but it resembled a wild animal baring its fangs. "Such arrogance, Doctor."

"It isn't arrogance if it's true," the Doctor countered with a grin.

"She warned me about you…"

"She?" the Doctor took a step forward but the soldiers raised their weapons, fixed on the Time Pony. The Professor, however, approached the Doctor without fear.

"She compared you to a storm, the storm no one is able to see coming. Who are you, Doctor? You are not a simple pony, it seems, but… A Time Lord." The Doctor blanched and fixed the Professor with his icy-cold glare that would freeze the very sun.

"How did you know that?"

"But I don't fear you, Doctor. After all, even if you are a storm you are still surrounded."

The Doctor felt a blunt force against the back of his head and darkness enveloped his vision.

The Professor watched with disinterest as the Doctor fell, slumped to the ground after his guard bludgeoned the back of his head, a clean knock-out. "Dump his body in the river, we will let the Wild have him."

The guards nodded, picked up the Doctor and dragged him out of the room. The remaining guards stood at attention when the Professor looked at them. "And the girls… take care of them. We will not have any interruptions."

With a crisp salute, the remaining guard ponies made a beeline to the Party District, weapons armed.

Fires of Life

View Online

The Wild Frontier, Sector G32, Rainbow Island

20 minutes ago

Strong Side and Snowflake were the ponies shouldered with the task to dispose of the Doctor, literally. Strong Side groaned as the earth pony's weight suddenly shifted to him, nearly toppling over from the imbalance. The Doctor was a rather slim pony, a bit lighter than he looked but he moved too much, even while unconscious! Almost as if he was ready to spring into action.

"Why did we get assigned this? This is a load of bull," Snowflake muttered as he shifted to ease Strong Side up a bit. The Doctor nearly slipped from their grasp but the trained ponies moved underneath him to keep him still.

"Seriously, why is it always us?" Strong Side groaned. The Doctor's coat was awkwardly draped over the two ponies, his wild curly mane making it a habit to poked them in the eye or graze their mouths. Why was one simple earth pony so much trouble to get rid of?

"Well, I know why it is always you. I don't know why it's me, though," Snowflake countered. Strong Side stopped abruptly, nearly causing Snowflake, the bigger pony, to topple over under the Doctor's weight. Strong Side merely glared at his comrade and frowned.

"What'd you mean by that?" he demanded.

Snowflake shrugged, an act so casual but detrimental that the Doctor almost face-planted. "You're always getting into trouble, even when we were in the Academy. Always getting lost, misplacing the weapons. Remember the time you accidentally primed the Dragon's Breath? Half our squad had their manes singed off because of that."

"It was an accident," Strong Side insisted, looking away as he remembered how annoyed their SO was and the month-long punishment that went along with that. "Besides, if I remember correctly, you got into more trouble than me."

The two began their walk again, Snowflake chuckling at his friend's implication. The two had decided to carry the unconscious Doctor with his body horizontal on their backs. They had taken some precautions, tying up the Doctor neatly, but he moved so much that it made walking more difficult than it already was. They had been going about this for quite some time, bantering amongst each other to stave off the boredom.

Neither of them had, however, understood why the Doctor was considered such a threat he was to be thrown into the Wild Frontier, it was a fate nopony deserved. They traveled to the edge of the city on hoof as to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

Trekking their way through the dense forests, they opted to travel down toward the nearby waterfall. The 40 ft waterfall led into a small river that eventually went off into the main arteries of the forest. Where the water went was a bit of a mystery to Snowflake, nopony was brave enough to chart the entire island, so their guess was as good as any.

They had reached the Green Leaf River which led into the waterfall. Strong Side exhaled, shifting the Doctor right off his shoulder and letting him slump on the ground.

"This good enough?" Strong Side asked, hoping his friend wouldn't disagree but judging on how tired he looked that wasn't very likely.

"Yeah, just uh, push him in," Snowflake said.

Strong Side rolled his eyes. "Why me?"

"Just do it, okay?"

Strong Side approached the Doctor and rolled him awkwardly into the river. The earth pony fell in and was immediately taken by the currents. Without a question, the two left.


The Doctor's eyes snapped open as the freezing water seeped in through his dense clothing and froze him to the bone. His manic eyes quickly scanned his surroundings, several facts registered within the first half-second of his preliminary scan.

He was tied up, dumped in the river of the Wild Frontier, fez was missing, one of those ponies was named Snowflake.

The Time Pony went under again and when he submerged he took huge gulps of air, panic paralyzed his limbs, not that he could do anything about it considering he was currently tied up. Memories from his last life flashed in his eyes: Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, plastic Roman soldiers and a dozen more races who hated him trapping him in the Pandorica.

He was only in the box for a few minutes (well, according to Rory) but it felt like an eternity, something he was familiar with being a Time Lord. The Doctor remember the panic closing his throat, the fear of being trapped in that tiny box, the thoughts that plagued him: "You aren't getting out, you're going to be in here forever."

The helplessness that all of his plans, all of his cleverness was lost, sealed behind an impossible box under Stonehenge. It was only because of Rory and how perfectly human he was that he survived (Well, the Doctor gave him a hand with that, but still).

The Doctor never let it go on, but he hated being confined, to be trapped. Like being trapped in a universe he wasn't familiar with, being unable to go home… It's just like being in the Pandorica.

The Time Pony cursed himself as he snapped back to the present, berating himself for getting lost in past memories when the current problem at hand took priority.

He tried to reach into his coatpocket but the ropes were too tight, strapping his forelegs to his chest. Desperately, the Doctor bit down on the ropes, either trying to cut them or loosen them enough to escape. No such luck, the sloshing movement of the wild river made it difficult to get a proper hold.

The waterfall neared, and the Doctor didn't know what to do. So, he took a deep breath and shouted, "GERONIMO!" as he fell over the waterfall. Then a second sun bloomed midway through it, enveloping the Doctor.

Party District; The Ball Room, The Lost City, Rainbow Island

Present Time

Twilight Sparkle had attended parties, she had been to the Grand Galloping Gala (a formal that ended poorly due to the girls', not Twilight of course, overestimation of how the Gala would proceed), she had been to dozens upon the hundreds of parties held by Ponyville's own pink party pony, she even attended a sleepover with Rarity and Applejack, but none of that prepared Twilight for the Party District.

Midway into the casual formal held in the Main Ball Room, the party ponies outside had swarmed the rustic, yet elegant, building. The music which had once been a quiet, if bland, classic symphony, changed into a loud, bass-heavy near cacophony of techno-disco that DJ PON-3 would've been proud of. The mingling which had been humble, reserved and contained morphed into excitable shouts, wild dancing, and a colorful display of neon-lights which made Rainbow's mane monochrome in comparison.

The Party had come to them and Twilight wasn't sure if it was a good thing or not. For one, she lost track of their assigned guardponies, but she had also lost track of Rainbow and Rarity who were swallowed in the sea of dancers.

Twilight maneuvered through the crowd as best as she could, dancing past a few drunken-looking mares, and stepping on a few hundred hooves and consequently mumbling apologies to them. She made her way to the other side of the room where she found Rarity in the very corner, staying away from everypony as if they carried diseases.

"Rarity!" Twilight shouted over the music. "Have you seen Rainbow?!"

"What was that, darling?!" Rarity shouted back.

"Rainbow Dash! Have you seen her?!"

"Who is Chainrow Crash?!"

"I said 'Rainbow Dash'!"

"Silvercrow Sash?"


"What?!" Rainbow materialized beside Twilight wearing an assortment of decorative ornaments around her neck, her rainbow mane was braided with flowers and lightning-bolt shaped hairpins. It was such a shock to Twilight, she nearly jumped out of her skin, blinking at the cyan peagsus.

"Where have you been?" Twilight asked.

Rainbow shrugged. "Dancing," she answered simply, pointing at the dance floor.

Twilight rolled her eyes, only Rainbow could somehow relax in a potentially dangerous situation. Twilight turned to Rarity who was smoothing her dress out to rid of a microscopic wrinkle. "Rarity, have you seen the guardponies anywhere?"

Rarity shook her head, a movement which looked impressive under the dimmed lights punctuated by rainbow strobe-lights. "I lost track of them when the party ponies arrived, perhaps they left?"

Twilight considered for a moment, the three of them were under surveillance there was no way they would let them go so nonchalantly. Perhaps they noticed the Doctor's disappearance and decided to follow him? Her blood turned cold at the thought but she took a deep breath to compose herself, approach this logically and solve the problem at hoof.

Rainbow poked Twilight. "I could fly, get a bird's eye view."

Twilight shook her head. "At best we should assume they lost sight of us, let's not give them something to look for."

"Then what do we do?" Rarity asked.

"We could leave," Rainbow suggested. "The Doc left a while back, he's taking a long time to return. We should look for him."

"Or we should stay put, the Doctor knows what he is doing, he can handle himself. What we can do is keep out of trouble, this is a public place, darling, nothing can happen," Rarity chimed in.

Twilight frowned, considering her options. Rainbow was right, the Doctor has been gone for too long, what if something happened to him? None of them could fly the TARDIS, if he was gone then they would be trapped in the past on some sky island! Twilight took a deep breath and calmly exhaled, as Cadence showed her plenty of times.

Rarity was right, the Doctor can handle himself, he's a 1,000 plus years old. But they couldn't just sit here, waiting for him to return, they needed to do something too.

Her eyes flew open as her idea sparked in her brain. "A library!"

Rainbow groaned, face-hoofing, and Rarity discreetly rolled her eyes. Patting her shoulders, Rarity looked a bit concerned but smiled weakly. "Darling, that can't be your solution to everything. Like I said, we should buckle down and wait for the Doctor."

Twilight shrugged Rarity's hoof off and grinned at her friends. "No, don't you see this is a great solution! We shouldn't be sitting around doing nothing, and you're right, the Doctor is probably fine so there's no need to find him. But we don't know a thing about this island, neither does the Doctor. We should go to the library, dig up some info and find out more about that machine."

Rainbow looked the least enthused by this idea, scratching the back of her head awkwardly. "I dunno, Twi, that sounds like something an egghead would say."

"Takes one to know one," Twilight countered with a pout.

"What makes you think you can navigate this city, Twilight?" Rarity asked. "It's twice the size of Canterlot."

"Trust me, if there's anything I know, it's how to find the library," Twilight promised.

The two mulled it over some more, there were obviously only a few drawbacks to this plan. The biggest being if they could even find a library or if they would get caught somehow. But Twilight had to try something, she couldn't sit around waiting for the Doctor.

Before anypony could decide anything, the music abruptly stopped and the party ponies groaned in disappointment. Looking over to the DJ station, Twilight gasped as the two guardponies assigned to watch her were the ones responsible for stopping the music and were scanning the crowd looking for them.

The mares quickly blended in the crowd, Rarity and Rainbow, however, stuck out easily with their respective beautiful dress and colorful mane but they weren't spotted yet. The doors bucked violently open and more guardponies poured in, armed and incredibly dangerous, they were looking for the girls.

"Suddenly, I'm liking the library," Rainbow whispered.

"I second that," agreed Rarity.

"Come on, this way!" Twilight turned, heading for the back of the building when they heard "FREEZE!"

The guardponies spotted them and broke into a chase. "Run!" Twilight ordered.

Rainbow tried instantly to take flight, but Twilight magically pinned her tail down preventing her from doing so. She snapped a frosty glare at Twilight. "They have guns, you'll be an easy target, come on!"

They ran toward the stage, even Rarity managed to keep up well despite her constricting dress. Thankfully, the party ponies were so abundant that they heavily impeded the guards, giving the mares ample opportunity to escape. Managing to make it to the back of the building, they found a backdoor and exited.

Bursting out into the street, Twilight looked around for a possible landmark. The street was long and empty, shrouded in darkness, the buildings weren't marked so she couldn't tell what anything was. Frustration boiled and Twilight had to bite her lip from screaming in anger, she needed to think otherwise they could be captured… or killed.

Twilight tried to think logically, where would she put the library at if she were designing a city like this? Presumably, it'd be at the most centralized location, easy to access and easily distinguishable. Where was the center of the city?

Looking down to the west (after making a few minor adjustments to her calculations considering the stars above weren't the ones she normally saw) Twilight decided that would be the place she'd put the library at.

"Come on, it should be this way," Twilight said, beginning to make her way down the street.

"What makes you say that?" Rarity asked, huffing at how torn her dress was but otherwise ignored it.

"Deductive reasoning."

"So, you're guessing?" Rainbow asked.

"Oh, shut up, come on."

They were forced to take the back alleys instead of the surface streets. Five minutes into their walk, a dozen or so guardponies poured out into the streets searching for them. Twilight saw the Professor with the guardponies and he wasn't happy. "FIND THEM!" he ordered. "They are simple mares you imbeciles! Find them and end them, so that they will join their precious Doctor."

Twilight had to bite the inside of her cheek to stop from shaking. The Doctor wasn't dead, he can't be. Twilight saw him withstand an attack from her possessed tree-house (long story), he could survive some pudgy old professor.

She continued to lead west. Every so often, Rarity complained about the state of her dress and how muddy her hooves were becoming. "It is ruined!" she moaned. "So much hard work…"

"Rarity, I dunno if you noticed, but I think this situation is a bit more important than some dress," Rainbow countered, finally undoing the work done to her mane.

"Please," Rarity scoffed. "Just because you don't care for looking fashionable doesn't mean I should."

"What's that supposed to—"

"Girls!" Twilight snapped. "I understand tensions are a bit high, but arguing about little things like this isn't helping."

"Little?" asked Rarity.

Twilight turned around and faced her two friends. "Point is, focus on us, we're okay, safe! Focus on that!"

"But, the Doctor…" Rainbow trailed off.

"The Doctor is fine, I didn't tell you this but he saved the town from an alien invasion. I saw him defeat two massive tree aliens and nearly get killed by the second. If he can handle that, he can handle anything. Remember rule three?"

They nodded hesitantly. "Trust him, it'll be fine, momentai. But right now, we need to get ourselves to the library and try to assist, we don't know anything about this island. If we can find anything out, well, that might be a clue to all of this."

The girls seemed to calm down and Twilight sighed in relief. Twilight led them to the street and was unable to contain her goofy grin as the library presented itself before them. It was a somewhat tiny building, pure silver and square-shaped, rather bland but simple. A huge marble statue of an open book stood in front of the library with a sign that read "GRAND LIBRARY".

"Oh, thank Celestia we found it. Come on."


The Doctor's eyes snapped open and he sat up weakly. First thought that came to his mind: Ah, I'm alive, I love it when I do that. Second thought: Where am I?

He looked around, he was at the base of the waterfall in the nearby forest. He wasn't sure how he survived the fall but his clothes were dry, the ropes that were on his body were gone. He leaned down and licked his hoof where the rope used to be.

Recoiling at the taste, the Doctor frowned. He could taste the rope but it was burned with tremendous precision, vaporized easily. Something must've saved him.

"But what…" the Doctor stood up and looked around. There wasn't any sign of ponylife nearby much less wildlife. It seemed he was alone.

Then it burst from the forest. It resembled a sun as it suddenly flew out of the dense trees, zipping past the Doctor with speeds he'd only seen Rainbow accomplish. The bird then stopped in the middle of the river, glowing so bright and with such heat that the freezing water underneath it steamed.

She was a tiny bird with bright red and orange feathers and a majestic wingspan. The Doctor didn't have to guess too hard on what it was as flames erupted from her wings and tail.

"A phoenix," he said, brandishing his sonic screwdriver and scanning it from afar. "Yep, definitely a phoenix."

The phoenix did nothing but floated above the river, her hawklike eyes were intimidating and old… "Thank you," the Doctor said with a smile. "You're the one who saved me, right? Your molecular structure is the same as whatever it was that burned off my ropes."

She nodded sagely but again did nothing.

"Why did you save me?" he asked. "I'm sure a bird of your stature would have more important things to do than saving random peo- er ponies."

"Because, Time Lord, life is precious no matter how alien," the phoenix spoke telepathically. The Doctor only laughed at her method of communication and barely reacted to her knowing his ancient title.

"Impressive psychic abilities. You can access my mind while maintaining your mental block, clever bird," the Doctor said with a grin. "But you can't see everything, am I right?"

"Your mind resembles a labyrinth, so intricate and vast… who are you, dear Time Lord?"

"I'm the Doctor."

"Ah, the Doctor, a name obscuring the truth, hiding something so dangerous even you would fear its release."

"And you're nameless, very old, however, as old as this island!" The Doctor explained with a smug grin, feeling the phoenix's memories transfer to him psychically. "Ah, you've forgotten your name you're so old. I'm sorry, I really am."

He felt the phoenix run through a number of emotions: confusion, fear, humility. She shook her entire body, as if shivers ran through her body from the psychic experience. "It is true, I have forgotten my name after so long… but how did you override my psychic block, Time Lord?"

"A door, once it's open, can be used in either direction," the Doctor explained. "But enough about that, there's another reason why you saved me, right?"

The phoenix flew away from the river and sat in front of the Doctor, the heat from her body simmer down to normal pony temperatures, which was nice since the Doctor wasn't in the mood for getting his eyebrows burned off.

"There is a threat to the island that cannot be ignored, Time Lord. We need your help," she explained.


"The rest of the phoenixes, they reside elsewhere, ignorant of the doom that has blanketed this flying island. But you know Doctor, you know what will happen to it, correct?"

The Doctor ran a hoof through his curly mane and frowned. "Well, yes. But it'll be difficult to return to the city, I haven't a clue where I am."

"I will help you return, but first I must take you to the other phoenixes."

"And why is that?"

The phoenix paused, the Doctor swore her cheeks looked a little redder (or if that was just her own personal fire). "To convince them. They do not believe me and ignore my warnings, but if you talk to them, maybe they will assist."

The Doctor nodded. "All right, fine but we need to make it quick. Twilight, Rarity and Rainbow have been left alone. They're capable but I need to help them."

The phoenix smiled (at least it looked like a smile) and flew onto the Doctor's back, she was a lot lighter than he expected. "All right, let's go."

"Well, first you need a name. What am I gonna call you? Hm…. How about Philomena?"

She considered for a moment before affectionately pecking his mane. "That is acceptable."

The Doctor laughed and trotted along. "All right, tally-ho then Philomena!"


"How about Advanced Mechanical Engineering With Twin-Matrices?" suggested Rainbow.

Twilight shook her head, frustrated because that was the 20th book Rainbow brought up that was the least bit helpful. "No, Rainbow. I told you, look in the history section, try to find out anything about this island. The origin of the technology, the beginnings of the city, stuff like that."

Rainbow frowned and tossed the book over her shoulder, irritated and impatient given they've been at this for a good twenty minutes. Twilight understood her frustration, with the sense of impending doom lingering in the back of her mind it made it difficult to focus on looking for books. Rainbow already had little patience for libraries and the Hoofy Decimal System but with life or death on the balance here, it taxed what little patience she had.

Rarity was, surprisingly enough, the most focused of the three. She went about her task with machine-like focus and concentration, she was the least vocal about her growing frustrations. Twilight looked over at the fashionista and still couldn't believe her eyes.

Her dress was torn to shreds, muddied, her mane was undone in an unattractive, unflattering manner, but Rarity didn't appear to care at all. She had her glasses on and read through a large pile of books with patience and a calm, almost eerie, demeanor. Rarity looked up and glanced at Twilight, raising an eyebrow.

Twilight looked away, blushing, as she realized she was staring. She knew how focused and driven Rarity can become when she dove into her work, but Twilight assumed that was exclusive to dressmaking and fashion. It was nice to see Rarity in another light.

"Ah, how about this, darling?" Rarity levitated a book over to Twilight.

It was a dusty old tome, nothing remarkable about it except its title, it ran: Of Rainbow Island: The Beginning.

"Perfect!" Twilight took the book and opened it. Rainbow and Rarity gathered around her as she read aloud.

"'It is difficult to ascertain the beginnings of Rainbow Island, so excuse my nonsensical, incoherent drivel as I attempt to work out the facts I have spent a lifetime gathering. The common myth and tall tale of our island is a simple, if not extravagant, creation myth. It is said a rainbow colored mythical bird dove to the earth from the sun – its birth place – and wept as she saw the ponies engaged in war. Her tears landed upon an unremarkable piece of land, which birthed The First River.

"'Which, in turn, fashioned an island of peace and beauty. The rainbow bird loved the island of tranquility and did not wish anypony to interfere with it, so she shielded the island with her multi-colored wings and sent it to the heavens, away from the war and destruction.'"

"I'm liking this rainbow bird," muttered Rainbow Dash.

"It seems like a simple old mare's story," remarked Rarity. "Is there any truth behind it?"

Twilight continued reading.


"So! Philomena, how much of this island do you actually remember?" the Doctor asked as he continued through the forest, following the phoenix's directions.

"Not much, I am afraid," she answered. "Only that this is the birthplace of the phoenix."

"Well, that explains that island's name."

"It is said that the first phoenix was a rainbow colored bird, daughter of our Sun. That she created this island and lifted it to the skies with her wings. Upon doing so she was so exhausted she laid to rest on her island and her feathers, when they fell, created her phoenix offsprings."

"What happened to this rainbow bird then?"


"'When her children were in the numbers of millions, the rainbow bird was laid to rest by the First River, her remains creating the lush forests that her children inhabit.'" Twilight read. "'It is said that from the last feather from her body, she created the first civilization of ponies. The Rainbow Ponies.'"

"Okay, cool and all, but does it say anything about the black holes or the machine we saw at the Tower?" Rainbow asked.

"It just keeps going on about the phoenix-kind. But, do you think that's true? That there are phoenixes here?"

"Spike told me about the phoenix eggs he found when he went on the dragon migration," Rarity offered. "There were a great number of them. I heard that the phoenixes were born alongside dragonkind, born from the same Flame, so to speak."

"If this book is correct, it suggests that the phoenixes came from here and that they're probably a lot older than dragons," Twilight said, consulting the book. "But why haven't we seen any phoenixes since we got here?"


"We used to thrive amongst ponykind," answered Philomena. "Until they became consumed with greed and began to capture us and use our feathers to maintain the island's antigravitation machine."

"Why did they need your feathers, how did they maintain the island's flotation to begin with?"

"Our Mother's magic had maintained the island for hundreds of years, but it began to fade over time and as it faded it was slowly descending the island to the earth."

"What goes up, must come down," the Doctor muttered.

Philomena nodded. "But ponykind wished to stay in the heavens, so they harvested our feathers as it holds Our Mother's original magic. So we hid away from ponykind, diving into the forest far from their city. Ponykind did not have the courage to follow us, so we lived in peace for many years."

"Do you know how they developed the antigravity technology?"

She shook her head. "It is hidden from Our vision, Doctor. Like something has gone and blocked the last two hundred years for Us."

The Doctor considered who would be capable of doing something like that, nothing good came to mind. He was able to hide his life from Philomena with a simple psychic block, but who else would be able to do that?


"'Phoenixkind has hidden away from us, and hope was dwindling. Little by little our island descended to the earth, threatening to take as away from the clouds, our home. There was seemingly no way to prevent this outcome. Then she arrived.'"

"'She'? The Rainbow Phoenix?" Rainbow asked.

"I don't think so," Twilight muttered.

"'She arrived in a golden cloud that consumed our city. In her wisdom and majesty, she granted us the knowledge to maintain the island. In her infinite maw, she held our solution, an ever gluttonous void which consumed worlds. She ensorcelled the void and held it at the point where the Rainbow Phoenix was centered'"—Twilight gasped, nearly dropping the book.

"What?" Rarity asked. "Where was it at?"

Twilight tried to steady her voice as she read the next lines she hoped wasn't true. "'Her heart, the Void was suspended on top of her heart, drawing her original magic and enhancing it.'"


"Even if it is true, you told me that she died, giving birth to you lot," the Doctor reasoned. "How could her heart remain?"

"When a phoenix loses all of her feathers, she is reborn in a powerful flame. A new life as we rise from the ashes," Philomena explained. "Much like you, Doctor, we are reborn in the flames of life."

The Doctor nodded. "Except I get a new body, a new face, a new personality."

Philomena chuckled, a light, casual sound that was reserved for close friends. "The flames of life flushes out everything we were before and creates something new. We may have the same body, but our mind certainly changes."

The Doctor remember his Tenth life, how terrified he was of regeneration, how he equated the process to killing everything he was. He was much too fond of that body and mind, to the point where he almost ran from his death. To where he considered leaving the old soldier in that glass chamber.

Ridiculous, the Doctor thought. He was still the same Time Lord as his Tenth life was, he might look different but all of what the Tenth was still lived on in him now.

"So, you think she's alive?"

Philomena nodded quietly. "She is. She never died, she merely changed form in her flame of life. Her tears became the river, her feathers became the phoenixes and ponies. Her body—"

"Became the forest," finished the Doctor. "Which means…"

"Everything this island is… is Our Mother. Her heart is the pony city, now in eternal combat with the Endless Void."

"The other phoenixes don't believe you?" he asked. "That's why you want me to convince them."

"Yes, Time Lord. You have seen the Void yourself and determined how dangerous it is, only you can convince them."

"But here's what I don't understand, how do you know about the black hole if no phoenix has entered the city in a long time?"

Philomena paused, she shook slightly on the Doctor's back as if shaken by fear trying to remember. "I snuck into the city a long time ago, I followed the scent of the Void until I found it. I saw the Void, it was endless and horrible, swallowing everything. Light, time, gravity, until nothing remained… And I felt her. I felt Our Mother under the Void, screaming in agony, in eternal pain thanks to ponykind."

"What happened after that?"

"I… don't remember. I only remember being discovered and chased through the city, ponykind has developed weapons… so dangerous. I nearly lost my life."

"Tell me about it…"


"You think it's true?" Rainbow asked.

"It kinda makes sense," Twilight insisted.

"Well, my dear, 'kinda' isn't something you'd use to support a belief. You seem to be listening to instinct, rather than reason," Rarity remarked.


"Scientifically speaking, there isn't anything that explains why the black hole is becoming unstable," Rarity continued, levitating the book from Twilight and continuing on from the passage she stopped. "'She fights the Void, the Phoenix. The two are trapped in an eternal bout, technology over magic. Her heart weakens the Void, but the Void will prevail.' Not exactly scientifically sound."

"Back then, nopony understood that level of technology. Honestly, I can't fully understand it, of course they wouldn't be able to explain it scientifically," Twilight countered.

"If it is true, then that means this entire island is the body of the phoenix," Rainbow observed. "She's being tormented by that black hole."

"It is quite a stretch," Rarity reminded them. "To believe a mythological story."

"It's the only thing we have. Besides, pony explorers called this island Phoenix Island for a reason, right?" Twilight asked. "This is the best explanation we've got."

"So, now what? We waltz up to the Professor, read him this story and convince him to turn off the machine?" Rainbow scoffed. "He'll arrest us on sight for either believing us but not wanting to give away the technology or thinking we're nuts!"

"We find the Doctor," Rarity suggested.

"Great, if only we knew where he went!" Rainbow muttered.

"Rainbow is right," Twilight said.

"Yeah!" Rainbow paused, touching her hoof to her chin. "Uh, right about what?"

"If the Professor knows about this, which he probably does given how defensive he was of his machine, he'd probably arrest us on sight if we tell him what we know."

"Or execute us," Rarity chimed in.

"But that's the only way we can get close to the machine and try to disable it ourselves." Twilight finished, shutting the book for dramatic effect.

Rainbow's wings fluttered nervously and she shook her head. "Whoa, whoa, Twi, I'm all up for a direct attack, but they have weapons. We exactly do we have?"

"One: the element of surprise," Twilight said with a grin. "Two: we've got magic."

"Well, you've got one thing correct." The lights of the library turned on all at once and the guards swarmed in, surrounding the mares instantly. The Professor smiled as he approached the trio. "You've got magic and I only have a dozen or so armed ponies."


Philomena led the Doctor to the Phoenix's Alcove, it was behind a cliff-face that required anyone who wanted to enter the power of flight. Philomena carried the Doctor into the alcove and when they walked past the initial cave entrance a small, tranquil world opened up.

A single red oak tree stood in the middle of a thick brush of trees and foliage. Compared to the rest of the forest the Doctor figured that this place was the oldest… it hummed with a sort of aura that invigorated him as if someone injected him with caffeine.

Oh, there was also the matter of the phoenixes.

Hundreds of huge birds flew all around the alcove, even the Doctor was unable to keep track of them. They looked like Philomena except they were much bigger and their feathers resembled actual flames, almost intangible. There were also blue phoenix birds, except instead of fire they emitted a freezing aura. Where they flew their contrails froze the air around it.

"Ice phoenixes," the Doctor muttered. "That's new."

Suddenly all eyes were on him. A hundred different phoenixes aimed their burning glares on the Doctor and he felt as though their collective force was the equivalent of the Sun (trust him, he's had bad experiences with malevolent stars). But he did not waver under their glares, Philomena, however, shrunk slightly, hiding behind the Doctor's mane.

It seemed she was used to this negative attention.

"Hello, I'm the Doctor," he said with a confident smile. "I suspect you lot are the daughters of the Rainbow Phoenix."

A wave of ice washed over the Time Pony as an ice phoenix flew up to him, she was twice the size of the Doctor and felt like the world's largest refrigerator on max power. Her eyes were cold and unforgiving, unlike Philomena's warm, trustful eyes.

"A pony?" she hissed, her psychic voice freezing like nitrogen in the Doctor's mind. "How dare you bring him to our haven, Traitor."

"Traitor…" whispered a hundred phoenixes.

"Her name is Philomena, if you don't mind," the Doctor interjected with a cool glare of his own.

The ice phoenix recoiled slightly, as if surprised he could hear her. She sat in front of him but her frosty glare did not falter. "You are different. But you are, in the end, a greedy pony."

"You'll find that you are so hopelessly wrong." He took a step forward, unafraid of this bully phoenix. "I'm anything but a pony. Sure! I may have four hooves and a bushy tail, but I am so much more than a pony."

Whispers rippled throughout the phoenixkind, confusion and unease began to set in. Despite how inhospitable they were behaving it was all talk, they feared the ponies and the Doctor just admitted he was probably something worse than a pony.

"Right now, however, what I am doesn't matter. I'm here to help this island, it will fall and be destroyed if I don't do anything."

Cold laughter came from the ice phoenix. "Such arrogance. You claim you are not a pony, yet you speak as one."

"He is not!" Philomena squeaked. "He is a Time Lord, and he can help us, please Frost, listen to him—"

"No!" snapped Frost, turning her glare to Philomena. "Year after year you claim to hear the voice of Our Mother, you claim to have seen her—"

"I have!"

"Why would she speak to the likes of you?" Philomena winced. "And here you are, consorting with a pony, adopting a pet name! Philomena, hmph, it certainly suits a tiny bird like you."

"Oi!" the Doctor snapped, drawing his sonic screwdriver and activating it. It's sonic frequency causing the phoenixes to shake their heads in discomfort but shutting them up effectively. "Whatever problem you lot have with Philomena doesn't matter, what matters is what will happen to this island, to your home!"

"Why should we believe you? You won't even tell us your name, Doctor. Doctor Who?"

"My name, my real name, that isn't the point!" He insisted. "You just need to trust me."

"Trust a pony?!"

A light exploded in the middle of the alcove and everyphoenix, save Philomena and Frost, dove for cover. When the light dimmed, an image was displayed. It was of a strange feature, his face was pink and flat, with a small nose, relative to his face, and wrinkles on his forehead and cheeks denoting an elderly age. His pure snow-white hair was combed backwards, revealing a prominent forehead. A fierce intelligent and madman glint was apparent in his experienced eyes.


"My past lives," the Doctor explained as the image changed into a somewhat longer looking man with ink-black hair styled in a rather ridiculous bowl-style and a mad grin. It changed again to a man with curly white hair, then faster and faster running through all of the Doctor's past faces. Each of them barely resembled the last but all of them carried the same features; a coy smile and an impossible aged intelligence in their eyes.

"All of them me," he continued as the image paused on one of the youngest looking faces with soft brown eyes, wild brown hair and a youthful attractiveness; his 10th face. "I am allowing you to see into some of my memories as a sign of trust. "I'm the Doctor, I'm not a regular pony, I'm a Time Lord from a place so far from here, and I'm here to save this island."

The image changed to his most recent face, a man with a crazed smile, a strangely posh haircut, an obnoxious chin, and a ridiculous bowtie. It changed to the Doctor's 12th form before fading away.

"There is a black hole strapped to an impossible machine in the center of this island, it is on the verge of going critical and if that happens this entire island, no, this entire world will be destroyed. I've tried to reason with the ponies that live in the city but they won't listen, you lot need to help me then."

"Why should we take orders from you?"

"Because you know what I'm capable of." The Doctor stepped forward and Frost stepped back. Images of the Doctor's life flashed. Cybermen, Daleks, Sontarans, aliens of all shapes and sizes appeared before them, and time and time they were stopped: defeated by the Doctor. No matter what face the Doctor had at the time, he was there to stop them. "Because you know how clever I am, tapping into your psychic network, hijacking your frequency, child's play! You know how valuable I am as an ally… and how dangerous I am as an enemy. Make the smart choice, Frost."

From the Ashes

View Online

The Grand Library, The Lost City, Rainbow Island

33rd of Summer, 3:00am, 103 C.R.

The Professor sneered as the three mares surrendered without putting up a fight. They stood, unflinching, at the sight of his armed ponies with their sharp and frosty glares. He had expected more crying and begging for their lives, but these ponies were different… they had a certain fire in their eyes, a certain defiance as if they had been accustomed to danger.

“Well?” he asked with a smug grin. “Where is your precious magic? Or are you incapable of it unless your precious Doctor is around.”

That elicited a response. Twilight’s glare became twenty percent fiercer and she took a step forward, ignoring the armed ponies sudden twitch as if eager to discharge their weapons. “What did you do to him?”

“I am afraid he is quite disposed, my dear. But worry not, you will soon join him.” He took a step back and allowed his ponies to take aim, but before he could give a command, Twilight took another step forward. The Professor growled as the tiny unicorn made him take a step back unconsciously, what had he to fear from this mare?!

“You knew about this,” Twilight said, levitating the book to show the Professor and the guards. “You knew about the Rainbow Phoenix and what your machine is doing to her?”

He took a quick look at the book and scoffed at the title. “I am a pony of science, my dear, hardly a believer of the fantastical creation myths we have conjured up.”

“But it’s true, isn’t it?” Rainbow asked, joining Twilight. “The whole story, it’s completely true. The Rainbow Phoenix dying, her children running away from everypony, the machine draining her, right?”

“Ha, please—“

“She’s right,” added Rarity, with a certain flair to her usual flourish. “The moment the Doctor became interested in your machine was the moment you went on the defensive. Because you knew the harm your machine was causing the phoenix!”

“Your Doctor is—“

“She’s left screaming in pain under your machine, and you refuse to help!” Twilight continued. “She’s the reason why you’re experiencing energy spikes, right? Her magic is creating an imbalance that will eventually cause your blackhole to go critical, destroying everything! How long has she been trapped under there? How long was she ensnared in your prison?”

“ENOUGH!” snapped the Professor, in such a violence all sound died down to mere whispers in the large, imposing library. The mares maintained their defiance, glaring down their executioners without any sense of fear. Who were they? “Even if that mythical book was true, so what! If we hadn’t maintained the machine, the antigravity, this entire island will fall to the earth and everypony will die. I am doing what I can to protect the island you FOALS!”

“There’s a way to fix it, there’s always a way out,” Twilight told him, her anger dropping slightly to a degree of sincerity. “The Doctor, he can help. He’s got this—“

The Professor laughed bitterly. “Even if he could, I already told you, your Doctor is dead and you three are next.”

For the final time, the guards took aim and closed their semicircle inward toward the three girls. They stepped back and huddled together, their previous confidence wavering as they realized they were completely out of options. They couldn’t talk their ways out, they couldn’t fight it much less run!

Twilight looked around the library in desperation, looking for something, anything, to get them out of this. She wouldn’t be able to fight them all, teleporting out of there would take a second or two to concentrate, it would take even longer since she had to teleport Rarity and Rainbow as well.

She needed something, an idea, a miracle!

Books on the shelf farthest from them began to move… rustled by a small gust of wind…

Twilight smiled.

“You may think so, Professor,” she said suddenly, grinning ear to ear. “But I already told you, we have two advantages in this situation!”

The Professor sighed wearily, part-annoyed, part-respectful of their continued tenacity at a despairing situation. “And you’ve lost one advantage already: surprise. Your magic will be no match for our weapons, my dear.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” Twilight wrapped her foreleg around Rarity who, in turn, brought Rainbow closer as well. “My magic is a little stronger than you’d think, and not because I happen to be the Princess’s prized pupil—“

“In about 900 years,” mumbled Rainbow.

“But because of what my… no, our particular magic can do.” The wind picked up more and more as she spoke, the guards, and the Professor, being captivated by Twilight’s supposed last words were ignorant to this. “Our magic can get through any situation, any type of trouble because we’re together. We’ve faced Nightmare Moon, elements of chaos, Changeling queens, and you think you’re any sort of danger? Against our magic, you’re cupcakes compared to us!”

“You have failed to demonstrate this wonderous magic, you insufferable mare!” snapped the Professor. “You are words and words.”

“You’re right,” admitted Twilight with a slight frown. “This magic can’t be talked about, no, no, you’re right! It can only be shown through actions! But you won’t be able to see it because you’re so blind, Professor. Blinded by your arrogance, by your science, to see the most powerful magic of all.”

“And what would THAT be?!”

“The magic of friendship!” The wind blew violently, pages and thick volumes covered the library in a literary hail. Some pages blinded the guards while the heavy tomes smashed into their heads, knocking them over. The guards that were unaffected by the paper-storm prepared to fire… only to wince and cry out as a bolt of light shot from Twilight’s horn, exploding into a miniature sun blinding those who hadn’t looked away.

A deep, lyrical sound filled the library that drowned out the soldier’s cries of pain and sea of swears. The Professor was the first to recover, blinking the dots from his vision. “FIRE! KILL THEM!”

But it was too late, a blue box began to materialize around the three mares, stunning everypony into submission as within seconds the box became solid and the girls disappeared inside it.

“Ha!” the Doctor shouted with glee as the girls appeared beside him at the console. “Just in the nick of time, love a unicorn! Brilliant spell, Twilight. Quick thinking really, couldn’t have done it better myself“— The Time Pony’s rambling was abruptly interrupted as Twilight tackled him with a rough pony-hug.

Her previous bravery and defiance under duress disappeared as she shook under the Doctor’s hug. Her voice was as shaky as she was. “He said you were… dead. I thought…”

“It’s okay,” promised the Doctor, patting the unicorn’s back. “I’m alright, we’re alright. You were fantastic, Twilight!”

Rainbow and Rarity weren’t one to be left out of a hug, as they quickly surrounded the embrace and hugged the duo from either side of them, more out of relief and joy if anything. They held the hug for a few seconds before Twilight took a deep breath, broke the embrace, and socked the Doctor right on his shoulder. Wincing, the Time Pony rubbed his aching shoulder with an appalled expression. “OW! I think I enjoyed the hug more, to be honest!”

“Where did you go?!” Twilight demanded. “We thought you had been captured!”

“I was!” the Doctor sheepishly admitted. “The Professor got the jump on me and tried to kill me by dumping me in the forest, luckily, I made it out fine, got back to the TARDIS and was able to lock on to your position.”

“He tried to what?!” Rainbow cried.

“But how did you—“

Dull metallic sounds pinged off the TARDIS’s exterior, drawing the Doctor toward the scanner and ignoring Rarity’s unfinished question. The Time Pony chuckled as he gestured to the display, the soldiers recovered enough to open fire on the TARDIS but it was as effective as throwing pebbles at it.

Moving toward the controls, he flicked a switch and tilted a device that resembled an old phonograph toward him. “Oh! So sorry, Professor, thought I drop in and crash the party, though this is a library so be quiet!”

The Professor drew back in outrage. “DOCTOR?!”

“Doctor who?” The Time Pony joked with an arrogant grin. “Really, Professor, if there’s one thing you’re going to learn about me is that I am very hard to get rid of.”

“Wait, Doctor, how did you find us anyways?” Twilight asked.

Flipping the communicator off, the Doctor turned to Twilight with a bright smile. “Well, I had a little help from a friend.”

“A friend?” echoed Rarity.

“Oh yes!” He turned toward the many realistic tree pillars that surrounded the console deck and gestured toward the largest one. Atop the tree sat Philomena who studied the mares warily from afar. “Darling, if you don’t mind, come and meet my friends, they are very friendly!”

After a moment of hesitation, Philomena jumped from her perch and glided down to the console, landing on the Doctor’s back as she nervously looked at the girls. “Twilight, Rarity, Rainbow, this is my friend, Philomena the Phoenix!”

“It is a pleasure, a friend of the Time Lord is a friend of mine,” Philomena spoke psychically but the girls weren’t bothered by that and instead reeled at the mention of her name.

“Wait, Philomena?!” squeaked Twilight.

“It can’t be,” said Rarity.

“But this is the birthplace of the phoenixes!” insisted Rainbow.

“But it can’t be, you know, our Philomena,” Twilight asserted.

“Um, what are you lot getting riled up about?” the Doctor interjected calmly.

“Yes, is the name the Doctor gave me offensive to you? I could choose another if you’d like,” suggested Philomena.
Twilight’s eyes grew to the size of dinner plates. “You named her?!”

“Well, yes, she had forgotten her name and I decided on Philomena. Why, don’t you like it?”

Twilight was ready to voice her complaints when the dull sounds of gunfire morphed into heavy, monotonous banging. They consulted the display and found the Professor had decided to arm his ponies with makeshift battering rams to try to force their way inside.

“Always the battering ram,” the Doctor muttered with a grin. “Now then, why don’t we get out of here and save this island, hm?”

Throwing a lever with a triumphant laugh, the TARDIS began to disappear right before the Professor and in a matter of moments the tall blue box was completely gone, as if it were never there.

The Doctor worked furiously to control the TARDIS, punching in coordinates in the most unorthodox manner. The TARDIS shifted and groaned, giving its customary lurch before finally settling as the coordinates were set.

“Right then! I managed to figure a few things out on my end,” the Doctor announced proudly. “Philomena here took me to her… nest, so to speak, and everything was explained, you see—“

“A mythical rainbow phoenix gave birth to this island,” interrupted Twilight.

“Er, yes, and—“

“She was the one who gave the island the capability of flight with her magic,” interjected Rarity.


“When she died, the island was gonna fall right outta the sky!” chimed Rainbow.

“So, the pony inhabitants tried to harvest her phoenix offspring for their feathers in order to maintain the island,” added Twilight.

“But the phoenixes ran, so the ponies were left with little options,” said Rarity.

“Until some weirdo mysterious thing dropped by and gave them the black hole and the technology to hook up the black hole to the island to keep it afloat,” continued Rainbow.

“Thing is, the black hole is killing the Rainbow Phoenix, who is probably the reason for the energy spikes. We’ve got to somehow disable the black hole and save the phoenix!” finished Twilight.

“But if we disable the black hole, the island will crash upon Equestria,” argued Rarity.

“Yeah, and if we don’t, the Rainbow Phoenix will be left in agony and probably cause the black hole to go critical and take out the entire planet!” countered Rainbow.

“We need to find a way to disable the black hole while protecting the island,” reasoned Twilight. “But how are we going to do that, Doctor? Uh, Doctor?

The girls looked around to find the Doctor was no longer with them and on the other side of the console, working at the controls with his brainy specs on. “Hm? Oh, you girls are doing fine, go on, please. But you’re right, all of you. If we disable the machine, the island will fall, if we leave it going, the entire planet will be destroyed. So, which is it girls?” He stepped away from the controls and approached the girls, all mirth and playfulness gone as his ancient eyes took on a more severe glint. “Which would you pick, a tiny island or your entire planet?”

They didn’t even have to think about it for a second as all three of them spoke at once, “Both!”

The Doctor broke out into a huge grin and laughed, he always loved how much his companions cared for others. They were always the ones with the strongest morality, they were always brilliant, unwilling to leave anyone behind. Ponies and humans… they may look different but they’re exactly the same.

“Brilliantly said!” he said throwing another lever. “Then that’s what we’ll do, because if there’s one thing you learn while traveling with me, girls, it’s this… we never walk away.”

“How will you accomplish this?” Philomena asked curiously, both invigorated by their enthusiasm and curious as to who exactly these strange ponies were. “You are unable of doing one thing without affecting the other, how will you save everyone?”

“Oh, that’s easy, Philomena!” The Time Pony turned back to the console and glanced at the scanners as the TARDIS began to settle and land. They had arrived. “I’ll just talk to her.”


The TARDIS materialized right beside the antigravity console. The room was still very much empty save the large blue box and her eccentric passengers as the Doctor and the girls spilled out of the box as quickly as they could without trampling each other. Approaching the console gingerly, the Doctor began to get to work on the controls, attempting to find some form of an override.

“I can hear her!” whimpered Philomena. “Oh, Doctor, she is crying!”

“Not to worry, Philomena, I’ll save her. If she dies then I’ll have to change my name because I won’t be the Doctor anymore, no, no, not this time!” He smashed a button and the console opened up, revealing the miniaturized black hole underneath. “Rainbow, Rarity, go make sure the exits are locked, we don’t want any surprise visitors.”

Without question the girls complied, running off to the elevator and descending to check on the entrances. Twilight approached the Doctor, eager to help. “Doctor, what can I do?”

“I heard it last time I was here, but I couldn’t place it,” he rambled under his breath. “I’m getting too old, I thought I was hearing things. I heard her when we were here last. I need to establish a link with her.”

“A link? What do you mean?” Twilight asked.

“Phoenixes have a small, low-level psychic field which is how they are able to communicate from long-distance since they’re incapable of speech. The Rainbow Phoenix falls under the same field, Philomena is able to tap into it and I should be able to as well,” he explained in his rapid-fire manner. “If I can talk to her, I can try to help!”

“Alright, what do you need then?” Twilight asked again.

“Some resistant psychic medium, something powerful and able to concentrate under heavy duress.”

Twilight grinned, lighting her horn up with her customary magic. “You mean something like me?”

“Exactly!” the Doctor turned to Philomena, placing a hoof gently on the side of her head. “Philomena, I’m going to dive into your psychic field, it won’t hurt a bit but a few memories will probably resurface, is that okay?”

“Will we be able to speak to her?” she asked.

“Probably,” he admitted. “Or, we’ll be driven insane by the attempt.”

“Then you have my permission.”

The Doctor took Twilight’s hoof and the three of them closed their eyes. Instantly Twilight felt the psychic rush of Philomena’s memories. It was a completely foreign sensation, the best she could equate it to would be as if the very heart of the sun exploded in her mind, its burning heat spreading to the rest of her body.

She saw when Philomena first rose from the first feather that fell from the Rainbow Phoenix. Twilight saw Philomena grow up in the den of the phoenix, playing with the others and watching the sunrise and set every single day. Then she saw it, something so terrible and cold it reminded Twilight of Nightmare Moon. It blocked out the sun and came down to the island in a heavy fog, her eyes were freezing cold and evil. She held the black hole in her magical grip…

The memories shifted again and she was in a white room. Looking around she saw no end to the nothingness of this memory… until she looked down.

The Rainbow Phoenix was the most beautiful thing Twilight saw. She looked as advertised, a rainbow colored wingspan that went on just as infinite as this place was. Strangely enough, her colors weren’t like a traditional rainbow, it resembled an aurora borealis.

It felt like she was standing right next to a thousand suns… Twilight only felt this sensation from Princess Celestia.
“The Rainbow Phoenix,” the Doctor said, startling Twilight as she finally realized the Time Pony and Philomena were right beside her as well. They stared at her with such concern, such heartbreak, Twilight wondered why they were so sad. She looked again and gasped, tears forming in her eyes.

On her chest, right where her heart should’ve been, sat the ever oscillating black hole, absorbing everything, everything from this existence. Time, space, even color, everything except the phoenix herself. She was the only thing keeping the black hole from consuming existence in itself.

“Mother!” Philomena cried, her voice becoming tangible and not a psychic echo. “Mother, can you hear me?”

“My daughter… You have arrived, finally.” Her voice was strained and ragged, as if this was the first time she spoke in a very long time.

“I apologize I am so late… I was only able to come here because of the Doctor.”

“I know you, Time Lord,” the Rainbow Phoenix said, now fully addressing the Doctor. “I can feel your hardships, the pain you endured in your long, endless life… The Lonely Time Lord, you are so far from home… you do not belong here.”

“Listen, we’re going to get you out of here,” the Doctor said, ignoring her concerns. “I can find a way to disable the black hole, but this entire island will fall when that happens.”

“Do not despair,” she soothed. “You are wondering if I, once freed, will abandon this island, letting it fall, correct?”

The Doctor didn’t say anything, merely giving her the subtlest of nods.

“This island is the product of my love and care, if I am able, I will not let it fall under harm. This I swear.”

Twilight let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. The Rainbow Phoenix suddenly groaned in pain, twitching violently as the black hole began to expand slowly. “You are running out of time, Time Lord!”

“Alright, talley-ho then—“

“No!” the Rainbow Phoenix interrupted. “You must heed my words, Doctor. Your life is wrought with danger at every corner, even now your past cannot escape you. Terrible danger awaits you, Doctor. The Mistress will see to your destruction and your greatest enemy will wreak chaos. Time Lord Victorious”—A lump of ice formed in the Doctor’s gut – “You have not avoided your fate. Trenzalore… it still awaits you!”

Before anypony could say anything else, the Rainbow Phoenix cried out in agony and the psychic-link was broken, snapping all three of them out of it. Breathing heavily, Twilight hadn’t realized she was sweating and shaking. “Doctor… what—“

Twilight fell to the side as the entire island shifted to the right, the building creaked and groaned, the large glass panes shattered instantly and everything that wasn’t nailed down, save the TARDIS, fell out of the now-opened windows.

“I think the falling sky island deserves our attention, don’t you agree?” the Doctor groaned as he held on to the console to prevent falling out of the window.


Rainbow flew in with Rarity in her hooves. “Doc, what’s going on?!”

“I’m not exactly an expert, but I’d say the island is falling!” the Doctor scrambled to get his hooves on the controls, smashing buttons, throwing levers, anything to try to stabilize the island. “Rarity, Twilight, get into the TARDIS and try to get her into flight mode.”

“You want us to pilot the alien machine that you can only barely fly?” Rarity asked.

“Oi! Don’t knock the designated driver!”

“Fine!” Twilight interrupted. “What do we do?”

“Get inside and right beside the wobbly lever you’ll find a compartment underneath. There’ll be a disc--“

“What’s a disc?!” Rarity squeaked.

“It’s a circular— oh, just look for the round plastic thingy! You’ll find a slot right beside the lever, insert the disc and the instructions will play!”


“Just go! I’ll send you further instructions once you’ve done that.”

Rainbow lowered Rarity by Twilight who took her in her forelegs and with a flash of purple lightning the two teleported beside the TARDIS. With some difficulty, the two managed to climb inside and shut the door behind them.

“Alright, Rainbow, you and I have the harder job,” grinned the Doctor.

“Harder than piloting the TARDIS?”

“We’re going to pilot an island.”


The TARDIS’s specific gravity was slightly disorientating. Rarity and Twilight climbed inside the TARDIS and upon entering they fell on their side. Suddenly right-sight up, the unicorns got to their hooves and ran for the console.

Which wobbly lever was it?!” Rarity asked, scrambling to look through all of the levers the TARDIS had to offer.

The two ran all around the TARDIS at least twice before they found it. It was as the Doctor said, right underneath was a compartment. Opening it they found a bunch of junk inside, old devices that resembled the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver but it was smaller, silver, and had a blue bulb on top. Twilight tossed back an old pair of red and blue paper glasses and found the disc! Inserting it in the slot, they looked to the display for the instructions… only for a hologram to materialize in front of them.

It was a hologram of the Doctor. He faced the door with a sort of empty expression but it was definitely him, his cutie mark and bowtie matched.

“Voice interface enabled,” he said in a robotic sort of voice. “Enabling fast-return emergency protocol.”

Controls began to work by themselves, levers were flipped, buttons were pressed, and the displays ran a number of readings that made no sense to Twilight. The TARDIS lurched slightly as they began to dematerialize. “Wait!” Twilight interrupted. “The Doctor instructed us to pilot the TARDIS, he told us to get it into flight mode.”

The hologram rippled with static for a moment. He turned to Twilight and nodded. “Flight mode enabled.”

The TARDIS became still as it began to fly just above the falling island, it tracked the island automatically, descending alongside it.

The Doctor’s image changed was replaced by a real-time image of the Time Pony. It was an image of his face as he tried to work the antigravity controls while simultaneously focusing on Twilight.

“Good! Got her into flight mode, next you’ll have to—Rainbow! Hold that switch down! Next you’ll have to lower the shields temporarily, diverting thirty percent of the power toward the retrostabilizer! Rainbow, throw that lever! Then activate the TARDIS’s laser-guided tractor beam to tether it to the island!”

“What?! How will that—“

“You’re going to steer the island over the ocean,” he quickly explained. “It’s going to fall, but we can’t let it fall on land!”
The image faded before Twilight could complain and the Doctor’s hologram reappeared. “Now then, let’s get started,” it said with a grin.


The Doctor shut off the screwdriver and turned back to the black hole readings. It was fading fast, but not fast enough, they would crash before the black hole was turned off completely. “Rainbow! Hold on to the red lever on the other side, we’re going to flush out the excess power from the black hole into the shields!”

Rainbow quickly complied, undeterred by the sudden shift in orientation from the island as she easily flew over to the other side and held the lever down as told. The Doctor’s hooves expertly worked the controls, diverting all of the power from the antigravity engines to the shield that surrounded the city.

The island fell even faster as the Doctor’s commands went through. The orientation shifted again, the Doctor falling from the console, toward the ceiling, as the island turned completely 90 degrees and dipped downward.

Rainbow caught the Doctor before he could impact the ceiling. “Doctor, we need to get out of here!”

The Time Pony shook his head and pointed at the console. “No! Not yet! Philomena, I’ll need your help now!”

Philomena, who was flying in the corner, flew up to the Doctor and nodded. “What would you have me do?”

“Find your friends and ask for their help.”

“Doctor, they declined you before, how can I convince them?”

“Because you have to. You have to or let this island be destroyed, this is your moment, Philomena. Make what you say count, for the sake of everyone.”

The phoenix hesitated for a moment before nodding and flew out of the building like a meteor. Rainbow took the Doctor right down to the console and the two went right back to work. The Doctor threw the switches that controlled the antigravity capabilities.

Four earth-shattering explosions shook the entire island. Destruction rippled through the entire city, the roads cracked and split open, buildings shook and windows shattered. Ponies, who were miraculously able to stay on their hooves, ran away from the ensuing chaos. Their world has literally become hell.

The Doctor’s grip on the console failed and he flew down toward the open window. Rainbow dove down, grabbed the falling Time Pony, and flew right back up on the console.

“What the hay was that?!” Rainbow cried.

The Doctor laughed as he looked at the display readings. “The antigravity engines exploded!”

“Why is that a good thing?!”

“The explosion from the engines made us jump about two-hundred thousand kilometers closer to the ocean!” He pointed at the displays which rattled off a number of readings Rainbow didn’t understand. “We need a soft landing!”

With the antigravity capabilities now completely nil, this island will never fly again, that’s one less thing to worry about. One less problem out of about a million. The Doctor’s mind raced at about the speed of light, trying to come up with a good way out to end this entire problem.

“Doc, the black hole, look!” Rainbow pointed at the exposed black hole which was slowly becoming bigger, the miniaturization was fading.

The Doctor growled as he slammed on the controls, he needed to contain the black hole quick! He worked on the controls with one hoof and with his free hoof he aimed his sonic screwdriver on the part of the console he couldn’t reach.

What if…

The Doctor threw two levers and the console lit up brilliantly. The gravity was suddenly fixed properly and Rainbow and the Doctor fell awkwardly to the floor. The Time Pony laughed as he disentangled himself from Rainbow and glanced at the readings.

“Doc, what happened to the gravity?” Rainbow asked, shaking her head.

“The island has its own specific gravity now, ha! I managed to increase the capacity of the city’s shields so it covered the entire island. Then I used the remaining power for minor environmental effects, gravity, atmosphere, air, ooh, I am brilliant!”

“So, what now then? It’s still falling, you know.”

Before the Doctor could answer the elevator doors opened with a pleasant ding! And guardponies swarmed in, weapons trained on the Doctor and Rainbow. “FIRE!”

“Now, we run!”


Twilight and Rarity had to scramble following the hologram Doctor’s instructions. The hologram Doctor lacked everything that made the Doctor fun, he was straight-forward, hyper rational, and bland, Twilight wasn’t sure if she appreciated him like this.

Twilight jumped on top of a lever as the hologram instructed and Rarity began to adjust a wheeled-device. “Calibrate to four degrees north, Rarity,” the hologram told her. Rarity’s magic held the device and adjusted it as so.

“This is impossible,” Rarity remarked with a huff. “We’re only barely able to keep up, Twilight. What if we are unable to do as the Doctor instructed?”

“Then all hope is lost,” Twilight admitted grimly. “Which is why we can’t fail, Rarity. Not only do we have an entire island filled with innocent ponies depending on us but we have our future to worry about. What if we do mess up and this island falls, right on Canterlot?”

Rarity tried to think of the temporal ramifications but they simply confused her. If they were unable to save the island and obliterate Canterlot would that mean the Princesses, who are possibly down there, would perish in the destruction? If that is the case, Twilight would never have become the pony she is today and never would have met the girls.

“I’m not an expert on time travel,” Twilight said, breaking Rarity’s train of thought. “But let’s just say it’s bad.”

“Maintain the flight pattern,” the hologram Doctor spoke. “Enable the tractor beam.”

Rarity nodded and pressed the large red button beside her. The TARDIS shook slightly, whining, as the tractor beam engaged and attached itself to the nose of the island. The world lurched sideways as the undertrained pilots of the universe’s best ship were unable to stabilize and the TARDIS careened downward, faster toward the earth.

“Danger, collision imminent. Probability of survival zero percent,” the hologram recited. “Divert power to engines, maximum thrust.”

Twilight cranked the rotors as the hologram instructed and the TARDIS stabilized, properly pulling the island toward the sea. The descent of the island greatly decreased but it was still much faster than the TARDIS was able to accelerate.

“We’re towing the island!” Rarity cried.

Twilight consulted the scanner. There were still about a dozen or so readings she didn’t understand but what she did know was that the island was still falling too fast. The TARDIS needed to go faster. “Doctor, we need to put more power into the engines!”

“Inadvisable,” he said. “Power levels critical, twelve percent and dropping.”

“If we don’t, the island will be destroyed!” Twilight countered.


“You useless, stubborn stallion!” Twilight berated. “We have to try it at least, because it’s what you would do! Throw caution to the wind, forget the rules, much less listen to anypony. Please, Doctor, we have to try!”

The hologram stood there for a moment, unflinching, aloof and disinterested. Twilight’s heart fell, if she couldn’t do this, then there’s nothing they can do.

Then, the hologram faced Twilight and broke out in a brilliant smile. “Blimey, Twilight, twist my leg why don’t you.”

“Doctor…” her voice failed her from sheer relief.

“Diverting power, brace yourselves.”

The TARDIS accelerated so quickly, Twilight and Rarity were thrown off their hooves, rolling, head over hooves, toward the door. The island quickly followed suit, accelerating forward and straightened out… until it cleared the continent below and finally flew over the ocean, somewhat safer than before.

“Yes! We did it!” Twilight cried, hugging Rarity.

“But what of the Doctor and Rainbow?” she asked. “They’re still on the island.”

“They’ll be fine,” promised Twilight. “Because the Doctor is the best at running.”


The Doctor tripped over his hooves the fourth time and nearly fell to the ground. It couldn’t exactly be helped considering earthquakes still rocked the city and the Doctor wasn’t having much luck staying on his hooves. Rainbow had it easier, flying overhead, she was able to maintain herself with her wings. For a moment, the Time Pony wished he would’ve regenerated as a pegasus.

“Rainbow, we need to get off this island,” the Doctor told her.

Duh!” Rainbow rolled her eyes.

“How fast can you fly?”

Before she could answer the Professor, along with the guardponies, quickly surrounded the duo. The neverending earthquakes still shook the island something terrible and the Professor looked as though he took the brunt of it.

His robes were torn off, his mane in disarray and he was completely covered in soot. Cuts framed his face and body as he bled slightly but he ignored his injuries and glared so darkly at the Doctor it was like he was trying to kill him with his mind alone.

“You… You did this!” he spat out. “You have doomed us all you FOOL! NOPONY WILL SURVIVE THIS! AND IT WAS BECAUSE OF YOU!”

“Hey! It’s because of the Doc that you guys have a fighting chance!” Rainbow argued. “He’s trying to save this island!”
“By taking away the machine that has enabled us to live for so long?!”

“By warning you,” the Doctor answered, pulling off his brainy specs and pocketing them. “I told you this wouldn’t end well for you, and you didn’t listen. If we had worked together we could’ve prevented this, but I had to resort to plan B.”

“Doc, what’s plan B?” Rainbow whispered.

“This.” Brandishing his sonic screwdriver he aimed it toward the tower and let the device ring out. A large blue pulse of energy erupted from the tower and shot toward the sky, to the edge of the dome that now covered the entirety of the island. Everypony stopped and stared at the pulse of energy as it wrapped over the dome, layering it with a second ring of energy.

“Rainbow, NOW!” The Doctor cried. Rainbow reacted faster than anypony could. She wrapped her forelegs around the Doctor and took flight, racing toward the edge of the dome at top speed. “The dome will only be open for a few seconds, you have to make it before then otherwise we’re trapped here!”

Rainbow didn’t respond and only poured on the speed as she neared the edge of the dome…


“You moron…” A bright blue pegasus with a snow-white mane muttered to her brother, a somewhat larger electric yellow pegasus with a fiery red mane with a lightning bolt cutie mark to her pair of wings in motion cutie mark. “I told you Canterlot was a lost cause, the unicorn elite are interested in a pair of pegasi stunt-fliers.”

“Wunderwings, we coulda did something in Canterlot, you know,” Mercury Bolt sighed. “We just need to tighten up our routine, that’s all.”

“Merc, we ran our drills like a hundred times, my wings are exhausted!” Wunderbolt complained.

The twins Wunderwings and Mercury Bolt comprised the first-ever pegasi duo stunt fliers, “The Fabulous Wunder-Bolt Fliers” and have been regularly playing their shows all over Equestria. The predominately unicorn elite population had, however, stifled their plans to hit the big time. Pegasi fliers weren’t appreciated for show and were barely appreciated for their growing weather manipulation powers.

All the unicorn elite had cared about were their definition of entertainment which usually consisted of poetry, classical music, and art, all generally done by unicorns to begin with. Pegasi and earth pony routines would never get anywhere in the upper classes and would be doomed to remain stifled in the lower class circle of entertainment.

Mercury, the most ambitious of the twins, rolled his eyes as he approached Wunderwings, patting her on the shoulder. “We won’t get anywhere in life, sis, if we don’t push ourselves to the limit. Those wings being sore isn’t what’s stopping you… you are.” He punctuated his point by prodding Wunderwings gently on her forehead.

Wunderwings smirked and bucked Mercury on his shoulder. The brother playfully feigned a hurt expression as Wunder stuck her tongue out at him. “No, I think it’s my wings stopping me. Seriously, Merc, it hurts.”

“You’re such a foal,” complained Mercury. “Come on, don’t you want to do this? Don’t you want to be somepony?”

“Of course I do!” Wunder snapped. “But I’m telling you, nopony cares about a pegasi routine! It’ll be impossible to reach the top, Merc!”

Mercury scoffed, turning around and heading toward the very edge of the cliff, looking out toward the wild and untamed sea before them. “That’s what they said about Stormfeathers and Lightning Streak reversing a tornado. That’s what they said about Silver Jet taming a wild lightning could. But they all did it! Impossible things happen every day, Wunder! Nothing is impossible!”

“Well, this is!”

Mercury’s rebuttal died in his throat as a deep lumbering sound echoed throughout the seaside coast. The wind changed rapidly, cascading in pure gusts toward the twins threatening to send them careening into the ocean. That’s when it came from the skies. A massive island broke through the clouds descending at breakneck speeds eastward of the twins, right into the ocean.

A few hundred kilometers before its impact, a second sun exploded underneath the island. As hundreds upon thousands of what appeared to be miniature suns came from the island itself, dove underneath the wayward trajectory and pushed up against it. The impact was minor, compared to the size of the island, but they had buffeted the bottom of the island enough to slow their descent just a little bit.

The island was cushioned by the tiny suns as it landed into the ocean, but the impact was still hard enough. Water exploded, producing a massive wall of water that if it had been closer would have flooded the mainland but crashed right there.

As the water fell another explosion shook the twins’ ears. Impossibly so a rainbow suddenly erupted from the edge of the island and like a contrail shot as far away from the sinking island at the speed of sound.

In a matter of moments, the miniature suns disappeared flying away from the island and up toward the sky. The island’s sudden crash was much too detrimental and had no chance of buoyancy. The large waves it produced upon impact covered the island and pushed it downward… farther and farther until it was no longer in sight…

So stunned were the twins at this incredible act, Mercury had to close her mouth as they were left completely awe-struck by the impossible island.

“Alright, Merc… let’s run our routine a few more times…”


Rainbow Dash became fevered with exhaustion as her wings ached, screaming in pain from their exertion. It is one thing to perform a sonic rainboom to save a friend, but it’s another when she had to outrun an island falling at terminal velocity.

Her breathing became ragged and hoarse as she tirelessly maintained altitude while the Doctor, under her forelegs, directed her with his sonic screwdriver. The Time Pony held up his screwdriver as it whirled, clicked, and glowed. He had been tracking the TARDIS for some time and Rainbow had the wonderful job to fly all over this place looking for it.

“The tractor beam must’ve broken off before the island crashed,” the Doctor explained, grimacing at his sonic screwdriver. “With a little luck, she’s probably crashed it nearby.”

“Yeah, I don’t know if you noticed, Doc, but we aren’t exactly famous for our luck,” Rainbow groaned, hefting the slim, yet paradoxically heavy, Time Pony.

“Without luck,” the Doctor continued. “She’s at the bottom of the ocean.”

“What about Twi and Rarity? Will they be safe if that’s the case?”

“Of course,” he answered immediately. “But they can’t pilot her, so she’ll sink the ocean. They’ll stay there, protected for the rest of time if we don’t her.”

Rainbow said nothing and continued flying, well below the clouds and over the wild forests above. In about 900 years this would be the far corner of Ponyville, the Everfree Forest. Over to the west would sit the tiny village, where Rainbow would be eventually.

That thought made Rainbow’s head hurt. Time travel was way more complicated than she thought, and scary, nothing she had to deal with before compared with this adventure with the Doctor. Parasprites, Minor Ursas, she would’ve preferred them over this. Now that everything was over, the implications of what she went through sunk in.

She helped save an entire island that flew in the sky. She nearly died like a dozen different times this adventure alone. Was this a normal day for the Doctor? Was Rainbow okay with being around him, much less helping?!

Rainbow shook her head. If it wasn’t for the Doctor, the entire island, probably the entire planet, would’ve been destroyed because of the black hole. He hadn’t caused any of that to happen, it wasn’t his fault.

But why did Rainbow still feel an impending sense of doom? As if this was only the beginning?

“Ah!” the Doctor cried, his sonic screwdriver lighting up perfectly. “There we go! She’s over there, Rainbow, down at the peninsula!”

Rainbow nodded and glanced down at the peninsula the Doctor pointed at. She could see it easily from here, the TARDIS stood imposingly at the end of strip of land, completely unscratched and immaculate. Rainbow never felt so happy to see a wooden book before.

As fast as she could, Rainbow dove downward, headed straight for the TARDIS. She all but collapsed when they landed, running on whatever adrenaline she had left. The Doctor laughed, running up to the Old Girl and hugged her. “Beautiful as always!”

Rainbow chocked back a sob, silently agreeing. It was weird how quickly she felt such an attachment to an old blue box, but it was the best box in the universe.

The Doctor fumbled with a small key, dropping it twice before he managed to unlock the doors and push it open. The two stepped inside, greeted by Rarity and Twilight at the console, they looked battered and exhausted but smiled wide enough to give Pinkie a run for her bits.

Ten minutes after the group hugged and quietly recuperated, grateful for their warmth and tearfully happy they had saved the islands with their lives intact, they all sat around the console recapping what happened on their respective ends.

“The phoenixes last gift was what saved the island,” the Doctor summed up. “They cushioned the fall so the island could survive on the ocean, they should be fine. Before we left, I disabled the antigravity engines, that island will never fly again.”

“But Doctor, the island… it sunk to the bottom of the ocean, right? Doesn’t that mean—“

“They’ll be fine,” the Doctor promised, interrupting Twilight. “Before we left, I enhanced the city’s environmental capabilities and spread the shield to the entire island. I burnt up the black hole doing so, but the island will be safe under the sea for a very long time.”

"And Philomena?" Rainbow asked. "Doctor, she's Princess Celestia's pet bird in our present time. Well, at least she should be considering the names are the same."

"Which means you're the reason she meets Princess Celestia," explained Twilight. "If we hadn't come here, this island would've gone down and Philomena..."

The ramifications of Twilight's explanation laid like a heavy blanket over the ponies, even in the TARDIS the weight of their actions burdened their shoulders. The Doctor shifted slightly, more than a little uncomfortable, before nodding at Twilight. "Well, either way, Philomena is a clever bird, she'll find her way to the Princess and hopefully won't be keen to gossip."

“What about the Rainbow Phoenix?” Rarity asked. “She was trapped under the black hole, now that it is gone, do you think she escaped?”

The Doctor smiled, standing up and approaching the console. The power was dangerously low, enough for one more jump. Setting the coordinates for back home, he looked over to Rarity with his coy smile. “Momentai, Rarity, she’s a caring mother, she wouldn’t leave her children alone like that.”

The Golden Oak Library, Ponyville, Equestria

34th of Summer, 10:30am, 1002 C.R.

“Twilight, come on, wake up!” Spike shouted from the first floor. Twilight groaned under her covers, mumbling curses at her reptilian alarm clock, and ducking back under the safety of her blankets. She slept as if inflicted by a party-pony induced coma.

It was hard to believe only two days passed, two days of crazy death-defying adventures with danger at every corner. For Twilight it felt like a month had passed, the only one who got out of that experience perfectly fine was the Doctor.

Immediately after landing back home, the Doctor flashed a grin and went to work repairing the TARDIS, stuck under the console working away as he always had. Spike informed Twilight that the Doctor barely responded, he wasn’t able to drag the Time Pony away from his precious TARDIS. Which was fine for Twilight, a little peace and quiet was nice.


Poking her head from the covers lazily and blinked at Spike. The little dragon stood in front of her with a grumpy expression, he wore his white and pink apron which would’ve made Twilight laugh but she was too tired.

“Alright, I’m up, I’m up,” groaned Twilight, rolling awkwardly out of bed.

Spike mumbled a few complaints before dutifully getting to work fixing her bed. Twilight tiredly walked down the stairs. She looked toward the kitchen, considering breakfast… but then she glanced at the basement…

Twilight still had a dozen or so questions about what happened. About what the Rainbow Phoenix told the Doctor, about the dangers that he would face… about Trenzalore…

He didn’t show it at the time, but he was shaken up about her words. Twilight wondered if it was right to even try to bring it up… but she wanted to let him know that she was there for him. Twilight wasn’t lying when she explained that the magic of friendship was the most powerful she’s known. She knows the effect it can have on others, she’s seen it firsthoof on Nightmare Moon, Discord, Chrysalis.

If she can help the Doctor, she will, without question.

Twilight headed down her basement.

The TARDIS stood there as it always had, Twilight couldn’t help but smile when she saw the box. It was such a wonderful box, saving her life on that island and it can’t speak! Twilight gingerly touched the box, her psychic reverberations echoed through her and feelings of warmth and happiness bloomed in her chest.

“Can I help you?” Twilight jumped looking toward the TARDIS’s doors where the Doctor stood with an impassive, yet curious, expression on his face.

“Oh, Doctor I was…” Twilight took a deep breath, unsure on how to approach this. “Doctor… when we talked to the phoenix, she said a lot of… well, scary things. She said you’re in danger.”

The Doctor exhaled deeply, stepping out of the TARDIS he placed a comforting hoof on her shoulder. “Are you scared? Of me?”

Twilight blinked. His question came out of nowhere but it felt like something that was on his mind for a long time… maybe something he feared even before he met Twilight…

She thought about what she’s seen the Doctor do. What the TARDIS could do, how much of an effect he had on… everything. He dropped into this world and completely turned it upside down, she’s seen so much and this was only the beginning. There were probably countless worlds out there, all of time and history to comb through… and Twilight was going to be there for the ride.

“I am scared,” Twilight admitted. “But not of you. I’ve seen what you can do and how much you help everypony… No, I’m not scared of you, Doctor. But I worry, there are dangers out there, Doctor, dangers nopony could fight. The book I read… it said some force same to the island and brought with it the black hole. What could be capable of that, Doctor?”

“Honestly, I’m not very sure. Whether it was a mythical creature or something… real is beyond me. History is always complicated, Twilight. It sometimes isn’t completely accurate, filling in the holes with speculation and exaggeration, who knows, Twilight?”

Twilight chuckled. “As I thought, you’re always the first in line to argue with history, right?”

“Of course,” grinned the Doctor. “Otherwise, where’s the fun in it all?”

“Also Doctor, what about the books we have explaining about the Rainbow/Phoenix Island, it said that it sunk to the bottom of the ocean in a massive tidal wave… did it only say that because of us?”

“I told you, Twilight. History is complicated, time travel is infinitely complicated.” The Doctor walked away from Twilight to approach a nearby table with a dusty old book on top of it, Twilight didn’t recognize it (a fact that annoyed her). “We may have influenced history in one regard but our affect… it’s rippling, like dropping a pebble in a pond. It can change everything, for good or bad, now, I try to focus on the good… like this.”

He took the book and handed it to her. The title read: The History of the Wonderbolts. Twilight opened it to the page the Doctor had bunny-eared bookmarked. The passage read about the founders of the Wonderbolts and their initial inspiration for founding a stunt-flier group.

Wunderwings and Mercury Bolt, twin pegasi stunt-fliers, were practicing their flying techniques on day nearby Ponyville when they witnessed… a large lump of land that was later speculated to be a comet or meteor crash in the ocean in front of them to have a large flock of phoenixes emerge from the comet and a trail of a large rainbow what was later described as a Sonic Rainboom.

The mythical Sonic Rainboom inspired the twins to hone their flying technique, to this day the fabled trick is considered impossible to replicate.

Twilight’s eyes widened as a huge smile appeared on her face. Rainbow Dash was the one who inspired the founders of the Wonderbolts with her trick that she read as a filly as impossible?!

“What we do, Twilight affects everything in the grand scale. We can have a large impact on history, on time, because you know what we are?”


The Doctor grinned. “The stuff of legends.”

The Prank That Went Wrong

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Sweet Apple Acres, Ponyville, Equestria

40th of Summer, 7:20am, 1002 C.R.

Applejack sighed in content as the morning sun drifted into her room, washing over the farmpony slightly. Rather than face the sun, however, Applejack dove back into her covers for a few more minutes of rest. Quite unlike the early-bird farmpony who would often be up long before the sun even rises, but last night took quite a bit out of her.

Her mind drifted to the crazy events that happened last night, being accidentally made queen and dueling a raging dragon, and solving a kingdom-wide dispute was definitely not what Applejack had expected from a “nice vacation to see the first Apples”.

The Doctor had intended to bring Applejack and Pinkie Pie to see the very first apple bucking day of her, and recently decided Pinkie’s, family. He had—what did he say… “Overshot” it by about 500 years. They ended up in some archaic small kingdom in the middle of a civil war. Pinkie Pie somehow became a Lady of Sugar of the Commonwealth and tried to end the war with civility and cupcakes but it only ensued, eventually ending because of Applejack’s and the Doctor’s intervention.

Applejack felt a bit uncomfortable being named the queen and wanted the Doctor to take the credit instead. But the Time Pony refused, stating, “I haven’t had a great deal of luck in positions of power. President, King… etcetera.”

Her reign had, however, come to a decisive end after she was destroyed in a conflict with the local dragon, at least according to history. In reality, the Doctor had accidentally stumbled into a dragon’s lair and in the confusion blew up the whole mountain (no dragons were harmed in the process, the Doctor promised).

They were taken home and Applejack instantly passed out the moment she touched her bed. Her ears still ringing from the earth-shattering explosion by the Doctor but fondness in her sleepy smile and newfound lethargy. It was a hectic adventure, life-threatening at certain points… but Applejack wouldn’t have traded that for anything.

It was certainly odd how quickly Applejack had taken to this eccentric Doctor. His air of sophistication and intellectuality would’ve typically created a barrier in front of the seemingly simplistic Applejack. True, Applejack didn’t speak all fancy-like but she was far from dull. She could appreciate the complexities of most things that would keep Twilight and the Doctor prattle for hours, it’s only that farm life composes most of her time to be able to enjoy such things.

But at the same time, the Doctor seemed paradoxically out of her reach similarly a normal, down-to-earth pony. He’s an apple-bucking alien for one thing, with a mind that rivals Twilight’s, the smartest pony Applejack knew, and he’s probably older than Princess Celestia and Luna. But at the same time, whenever you see him smile madly or even look sad… he isn’t an alien anymore, he’s a regular pony with regular emotions.

The whole thing made Applejack’s head hurt, even more than the intricacies of time travel and the TARDIS’s interior, but she didn’t like to dwell on such things. It wasn’t because the simple farm pony couldn’t handle complex things, no, it’s because it’s as simple as an apple. She and the Doctor were friends, that’s that, it doesn’t really matter who he was. She couldn’t understand time travel or even the Doctor’s biology, what she knew best was friendship, and any friend of Applejack is a friend indeed.

Applejack smiled contently as she snuggled back into her blankets, ignoring little Applebloom’s wake-up calls downstairs.


The Doctor tinkered with his device with a slight grimace. “Is it ready?” Pinkie asked, practically bouncing from excitement.

Sparks flew from the book-shaped device, slightly singing the Doctor’s recently sensitive hooves. “Just nearly,” he answered. “Now shush, Pinkie. And get down, you don’t want to be spotted.”

Pinkie complied, appearing uncomfortable at unable to express her jubilance which instead went to her perpetually wagging tail. “Will it work?”

The Doctor scoffed, shooting Pinkie a hard look which went unnoticed. “Of course it’ll work, I made it.”

“Are you sure?” she asked. “You remember that last thing you built, right?”

“How was I supposed to know it would control the weather?”

“Still, a big red threatening button is a good indicator!”

You pressed it!”

“I like red buttons,” Pinkie mumbled sullenly.

The Doctor kept his comments to himself, not wanting to express his own personal joy in big red buttons and continued to tinker away. The two have been standing by the apple trees for something of an hour, dutifully preparing for this excellent prank that Pinkie thought up. It only took the Doctor half an hour to whip something up to Pinkie’s tastes. It’s taken longer to perfect it.

“Where is she anyways?” the Doctor asked. He looked to where Pinkie was only to find a perfectly empty spot.

“I dunno!” she said from the top of the tree they were taking refuge by. “She’s usually up by this time!”

“What if she isn’t home?”

Pinkie giggled, “She’s always home, Doctor! Oh, oh! I see her in the kitchen!”

The Doctor squinted at the house and sure enough spotted the kitchen window with a sleepy-looking Applejack just arriving. She was uncharacteristically slow-moving and not even wearing her iconic Stetson, the Doctor chuckled softly, the last night must’ve taken a toll on her.

Although last night was crazy, even by the Doctor’s standards, both Applejack and Pinkie Pie seemed perfectly ecstatic by what they had accomplished. Normally, the Doctor would’ve been fine with continuing the adventure onwards and upwards, but the two mares were normal earth ponies, with hardly the stamina of a Time Lord. Against his better judgment, he had recommended sleep.

Pinkie Pie was the quickest to rebound, waiting in front of the TARDIS when the Doctor left to start the day. The hyperactive pony, apparently, was very quick to exceed the Doctor’s expectations. It was there she had suggested an innocent prank to pull on Applejack, to help jumpstart her day. Pinkie Pie must’ve had the same concerns the Doctor did.

His device buzzed to life and the Doctor took notice of the readings; erratic but stable. He nodded to Pinkie. “It’s ready.”

Pinkie grinned broadly, pulling out a large tuba (from who knows where) and blowing a discordant but loud note. The effect was near instantaneous. Applejack stepped out of her house, searching quickly for the offensive noise. The Doctor activated his device with a wicked smile of his own and it activated as loudly as Pinkie’s tuba.

Light shimmered around the tree they were standing around and before their very eyes, the prized apples of this proud orchard disappeared into thin air. The effect traveled throughout the entire orchard, every single tree suddenly losing their precious apples with a shimmer.

Applejack’s mouth dropped the moment she saw her apples disappear in the blink of an eye. All of her apples, all of them were gone! She then heard the perpetrators before she saw them. Giggling came from the tree closest to the house and that’s where she saw the Doctor and Pinkie Pie laughing their flanks off.

Growling, Applejack adjusted her Stetson. “You… WHAT HAVE YA’LL DONE TO MAH APPLE TREES?!”

“Uh oh,” muttered the Doctor, toying with his device. “It isn’t reversing the process.”

“Wait, what?” asked Pinkie, jumping down from the tree.

“Basically…” the Doctor looked up to see Applejack charging them with a rope in her mouth. “Run!”

Dropping his device and grabbing Pinkie by the hoof, the two ran away as fast as they possibly could whilst Applejack took chase. They were out of the orchard when the Doctor’s device malfunctioned and reversed the invisibility it placed on the apples and all of her fruit reappeared like magic, it’s a shame Applejack never got a chance to notice it.

The Doctor and Pinkie ran straight into Ponyville, the intrepid Time Lord and incredibly hyperactive party pony had no problem outrunning the admittedly athletic farm pony. Still, they both knew how stubborn Applejack could be so they only poured on the speed despite not seeing Applejack for quite some time.

“Quickly, to Twilight’s place!” the Doctor said.

Pinkie giggled, bouncing perfectly to the Doctor’s sprinting gait. “Boy, Applejack sure is fast, huh?”

“What do you mean?” the Doctor asked, looking over his shoulder to find nopony chasing them. “We lost her.”

“Nuh uh, look!” Pinkie Pie pointed toward the rooftops to their right… to Applejack leaping from building to building without missing a single step and perfectly keeping up with the duo.

“Blimey, she’s sensitive about her apples!” the Doctor cried.

“You should’ve seen the last prank we pulled on her apples,” Pinkie explained with a smile. “She tied Rainbow and I up to an apple tree for a few hours!”

“I got plenty of that from River, thank you,” he grumbled.

Applejack dropped from the rooftop, landing perfectly in front of them with a snarl that could scare a full-grown dragon. “Finally caught ya’ll…”

“Hey, Applejack!” greeted Pinkie. “Did ya like our prank?”

“Applejack, before you do anything you might regret, first let me say, HEY LOOK OVER THERE!” Pointing off behind Applejack, he was so loud and sudden that she couldn’t help but spare a glance over her shoulder for just a second… to turn back around to find the pranksters gone.

“Dangnabit!” she cursed, sprinting toward the library.

The Doctor burst into the library with Pinkie right behind him, he raced his way to the basement but Pinkie hesitated for a moment. “Where’s Twilight?”

“Canterlot business!” he answered quickly, opening the basement door and running down to it. “Come along, Pinkie!”

Pinkie followed just as the Doctor entered the TARDIS and stepped inside. The Doctor shut the door behind her and ran to the console. “Ah, good. Nothing in the universe can get inside the TARDIS, well, except me. We should be safe…”

His hooves worked at the console so quickly and randomly that even Pinkie had trouble keeping up. She bounced in place, watching the Doctor work. No, it wasn’t work, per se. To Pinkie it looked like a dance, an intimate, if sporadic, set of movements shared between two partners, an eccentric Time Lord and an equally eccentric police box that exists within all of space and time. Flurries of passionate movements in which the partners know how the other ticks, how they move, flex, and bend.

It looked reminded Pinkie of baking. Something wild and untamed but full of passion and affection toward the end product.

“Where are we going?” Pinkie asked.

The Doctor looked up, his expression somewhat confused but it quickly morphed into a goofy smile. He flicked a switch and his scanner quickly changed from undiscernible readings to an outside view of Twilight’s library. “Oh, ah, anywhere you’d like, Pinkie. Where do you want to go today?”

“Hmm…” Pinkie tapped her chin, but before she could answer the sound of the TARDIS door opening and closing interrupted her.

“How ‘bout back to mah farm where you can fix all of mah trees!” Applejack answered, standing by the doors completely out of breath but just as angry.

“What?!” the Doctor banged the console. “You were supposed to keep her out!” he muttered to the time rotor, but the TARDIS only hummed coyly.

“AJ, your trees are fine,” Pinkie promised with a small grin. “It was only a prank.”

“Oh yeah? Prove it! Take me back.”

“Fine, fine, just, momentai, Appleja”—the TARDIS lurched, throwing the Doctor off his hooves and rolling into Pinkie. The duo tumbled down the stairs and slammed right into Applejack, bouncing everywhere in the suddenly out-of-control time machine.

They disentangled finally, right before Applejack nearly slammed into the railings. “Doctor! What’s going on?!”

“The TARDIS is going out of control!” he answered, crawling his way back to the console. “She’s been a bit… ornery lately, but this is new! She’s taken off by herself.”

“To where?” Pinkie asked, giggling as she bounced perfectly around the TARDIS console.

“I don’t know!” laughed the Doctor.

“Perfect!” complained Applejack.

Finally, the violent movements ceased and the TARDIS settled… wherever she decided to land.

The Doctor steadied himself on the console and glanced at the readings, very incomplete and failing to indicate exactly when and where they were. He laughed under his breath, a sound that both filled Applejack with dread and excitement.

“We’ve landed…”

Applejack got to her hooves and brushed off her hat. “Ah may not be an expert in driving the TARDIS, Doctor. But even Ah can tell we’ve landed, question is, where?”

“Or when?” chimed in Pinkie, somehow dangling upside down the tree-like structures to the far walls of the TARDIS.

“Want to find out then?” the Doctor asked with a completely maddening grin on his face, the wild smile of an adventurer aching to see what lay beyond those doors… sentiments shared by the unimposing farm pony.

“Five minutes,” answered Applejack. “Then yer taking us back to make sure mah trees are okay.”

“Cross my hearts,” promised the Doctor as he bounded down the stairs and toward the coat rack to pull off his gray wool coat and throw it on. “Come on then, let’s see exactly where the Old Girl has taken us!”

Applejack was unable to contain her smile as she stepped out of the TARDIS with the madpony and Pinkie… Only to instinctively duck to the cover as explosions rang out all around them.

The three hugged a piece of debris, Applejack winced at every gunshot, at every explosion and the gruff commands and barking curses from the ponies. Where were they?!

“Pinkie, get down!” the Doctor pulled Pinkie down and beside Applejack. He stared at the two of them, his sense of adventure disappeared from his eyes and was replaced by a grim, aged look… something that made Applejack think he was used to scenarios like this.

“Stay here!” he ordered.

“Where are you going?!” Applejack had to yell over the ensuing chaos.

“To be a Doctor,” he answered grimly.

Before Applejack could protest, the Doctor brandished his sonic screwdriver and ran straight into the fight.

In the instance of moving from cover to cover, the Doctor noticed at least twenty ponies on one side, firing toward the Doctor and the TARDIS but not particularly aiming at them. Dread filled his hearts as the inevitable conclusion came to his head.

Their enemy was behind them.

But he couldn’t focus on that too hard, he examined the long, metallic corridor they were in. It wasn’t an open battlefield like he expected, they were inside a vacuum sealed corridor, the taste of artificial air was bitter against the Time Lord’s tongue. He felt the familiar tug of artificial gravity on his back, which meant the gunfire and explosions could pose a threat to the vacuum sealed environment.

No, wrong. He took another look at the walls, they were incredibly thick and no doubt resistant to the chaos it contained. Where were they?!

The Doctor aimed his screwdriver at the walls, there was a control panel nearby, no doubt they controlled the walls. A massive wall of steel collapsed in front of the Doctor, cleanly separating the firing ponies from them… but that just left the enemy.

Turning around, the Doctor wasn’t fast enough to react to dodge the first strike. It landed on top of the Doctor, disarming him of his screwdriver and pinning him down perfectly. He got a good look at the creature.

It was ashey-gray but so white its skin looked like the color of snow. Tough scales covered its bodies and bug-like transparent wings fluttered aggressively on its back. A jagged gray piece of bone sprouted from its forehead and its green bug eyes blinked a second set of eyelids.

“Listen, I’m the Doctor, I’m here to help. Just talk to me! There’s no need for violence, I promise I won’t hurt you!” he said in one breath. The bug hesitated for a moment before roaring at the Time Lord, its mouth opening up as if ready to eat the Doctor whole…

But it flew off the Doctor violently, bucked strongly off by Applejack who glared at it grimly before helping the Doctor up.

“What was that for?!” the Doctor demanded. “You didn’t have to hurt it!”

“Doctor, you don’t understand. That’s a changling!” Applejack argued. “Although, Ah’ve never seen one that looks like that…”

“Watch out!” Pinkie dove, tackling the two of them flat to the ground as the changling swooped over them.

“How can those wings support that body…” the Doctor muttered.

The changling came down for another sweep and Applejack prepared to buck it right out of the air… when it was suddenly tackled mid-air and came crashing to the ground.

The Doctor stared, mouth agape as their savior wrestled with the changeling briefly. Her golden mane was tied in a tight ponytail but didn’t appear to impede the formidable pony’s movements. Her coat was tanned, very crisp and clean with an almost militaristic decorum which perfectly matched her forest green camouflage fatigues. A silver sphere with a multicolored interior that beautifully resembled a galaxy sat on her flank as her cutie mark, the Doctor instantly recognized what the cutie mark represented.

“That’s impossible,” the Doctor gasped, in complete shock.

“Doctor, you know her?” Applejack asked.

Well, she’s…”

The mare fended off the changeling with expertise one would expect from a perfect soldier. She turned and grinned at the Doctor.

“Doctor…” Applejack prodded.

“She’s my daughter.”

“Hello, father,” she grinned.


“Wait, daughter?!” Applejack cried.

It made sense after all, her cutie mark was that of the Source. The “breath of a goddess” he had encountered so long ago…

Jenny, the Doctor’s Time Lord daughter, grinned proudly at the Doctor, her eyes glinting with excitement. “So… what kind of trouble have you got for me this time, Father?”

The Doctor's Daughter

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“Daughter?” Applejack asked for the 12th time.

“Yes,” answered the Doctor, quickly losing his patience.

Applejack nodding, taking that information in carefully and considering her next, no-doubt well thought out, question. “Really? Daughter?!”


“As in, the birds ‘n the bees?”

The Doctor blushed slightly, turning away and subconsciously adjusting his bowtie. He glanced at Jenny, the impossible pony, with Pinkie Pie, laughing and talking. Jenny met his gaze and gave him a gentle smile, there was no doubt about it; it was her.

She may have been a pony, but she was still a Time Lord, the Doctor is able to sense these things and as soon as she showed up her presence brushed up against his mind. Definitely her. So, why did he feel so much dread?

“Well, no, not really,” the Doctor finally said. “It wasn’t like that.”

“Then how was it?” Applejack asked coyly, leaning up against the Time Pony with grin. “Ya didn’t tell me you were a father, Doctor.”

The Doctor sheepishly brushed a hoof through his mane. How could he explain that Jenny was born from an instantaneous progenation machine that took a sample of his DNA, splitting up his cells so many times until Jenny was born fully grown with military tactics burned into her mind for the purpose of fighting, and winning, wars.

“It’s complicated,” he admitted. “And I was a father before. Well, before Jenny, a long time ago…”

The faraway look in the Doctor’s eyes made Applejack a bit uncomfortable, as if she were stepping into foreign territory. “Well… she’s beautiful, Doctor, why do ya look at her like ya’ve seen a ghost?”

Sighing, the Doctor took another look at the tan-colored mare, giggling as Pinkie made another joke (probably about pastries). It was too good to be true, way too good. But then again… Gallifrey…

“She can’t be here,” he answered. “It’s impossible, I saw her…”

His voice choked up as he recalled that terrible day, the terrible war that took her from him. He saw her dead, no regeneration, as an old friend put it, she wasn’t Time Lord enough.

Applejack took his hoof, startling him out of his thoughts. Her eyes, perfect green emeralds that looked either sea-green or granny smith green (the apple, not the old pony). “She’s here, Doctor. That’s all that matters.”

The Doctor sighed, grinning weakly at the farm pony. It was funny how often his companions claimed they depended on him when in reality he depended on them a lot more. “True. Although the how and why still interest me… Jenny,” he called, his daughter looking back at him with a grin. “How on earth did you get here? I only arrived after a violent regeneration and the TARDIS accidentally falling out of the universe.”

Jenny looked uncomfortable, shuffling her hooves slightly. “I’m not really sure, to be honest… There were cracks in time, Father.”

A grimace set in the Doctor’s face. “Cracks in the fabric of reality…” she continued. “After my… well I woke up after you left, I’m not really sure how, either. I didn’t regenerate, I don’t even know if I can, but I stole a ship and flew off, to see the universe, to find you.”

She grinned, a grin the Doctor knew, the madcap smile that he saw every time he looked in a mirror. It was definitely her. “I had a little trouble, a run-in with the Judoon on Mars, meet up with an… interesting Time Agent, I stole his vortex manipulator but missed and landed in 1960’s London. A lovely lady found me and fixed my vortex manipulator, I tried to use it again but… I flew into the crack and fell through…”

Jenny shrugged, frowning and gesturing to this place. “Then, I woke up here, and saw you. I instantly recognized you, Father, I think it’s a Time Lord thing.”

The Doctor smiled, throwing a leg around Jenny, hugging her. “Of course!”

Pinkie bounced in-between the two Time Lords, giggling and happy as always. “So, it’s true? She’s really a Time Lord like you?”

Reaching into his coat, the Doctor pulled out a stethoscope and after getting Pinkie to sit still long enough, he placed it over her ears and pressed the chestpiece against Jenny on one side… then the other. “Binary cardiac system,” the Doctor said. “Two hearts, she’s a Time Lord, through and through.”

“Yay!” Pinkie cheered, hugging the father-daughter duo. “That means we’ve got to throw a ‘Time Lord Welcoming Party’ and a ‘Welcome Jenny Party’!”

Jenny giggled. “I would love that, Pinkie.”

“First, we gotta figure out what’s going on here,” Applejack intervened. “I mean, where are we, Doctor?”

The Doctor pulled his stethoscope off Pinkie and placed it on his ears, bounding toward the closest wall and pressed the chestpiece against it, listening. “Excellent question, Applejack! Now then, listen to that. Nice electrical flow, environmental controls, but that’s hard vacuum on the outside. It’s a base of sorts..”

“Lunar Base One,” Jenny continued with a smile. “Pretty easy to tell, Father. Take a look at the tracks the Changelings left behind.” She pointed at the white covered hoofsteps. “Moon dust, we’re on a moon, not sure where though.”

“Ah, finally landed on the moon and right in the middle of a war,” the Doctor muttered. “So, these Changelings can survive on the moon’s surface then, hm.”

“Are ya’ll trying t’ say the Changelings are… Moonlings? Aliens?” Applejack asked, completely flabbergasted.

“Their tough exoskeleton allows them to survive in vacuum,” the Doctor said. “No doubt their internal systems helps out with that as well.”

“They are buggy,” Jenny chimed in. “But who knows if they really originate here?”

“We’ve got Changelings on Equis,” Applejack explained. “We had a problem with ‘em a little while back, they tried t’ crash a weddin’.”

“Yeah, they were mean!” Pinkie added. “The Queen tried to marry Twilight’s brother, she was a really good singer though.”

The Doctor and Jenny tilted their heads in unison, apparently experienced in crashing weddings from alien monsters. “So, why the war?” the Doctor asked.

“Maybe the pony colonials pushed into the indigenous Changeling population?” Jenny suggested. “And they’re just trying to reclaim their home?”

“Excellent reasoning,” praised the Doctor. “But it’s a grievous mistake to theorize without having facts, Jenny.”

“You do it all the time!” she countered.

The Time Pony grinned widely. “True, I made a bit of a career out of that.”

“Let’s get back to the TARDIS,” Applejack suggested. “Check this thing out from a bird’s eye view.”

Shaking his head, the Doctor gestured to the giant wall that he dropped. “It’s going to be difficult, the TARDIS is right through there and it’s deadlock sealed.”

“So!” Jenny continued, grinning madly. “We’ll have to do it the old fashioned way. With a whole lot of running and talking!”

“It’s a bit of a shame the changeling from earlier ran away,” the Doctor muttered. “We could’ve gotten more insight on whatever’s going on here.”

“What makes ya think the changeling would’ve talked?” Applejack asked. “I know changelings, they’re nasty, dangerous an’ don’t exactly listen t’ reason.”

Jenny rolled her eyes. “We don’t know that for sure, Applejack. Not until we learn all the facts, they could just be defending their homes for all we know, we can’t make assumptions.”

“Exactly!” the Doctor patted Jenny’s shoulder. “So, here’s the plan, find either the changeling leader or the pony leader, listen to their stories, stop the war and get home back in time for tea!”

“An’ how exactly are we going t’ do that?”

“We’ll do a thing!” Pinkie answered.

“Don’t question the thing,” Jenny continued.

“Brilliantly put!” the Doctor praised. “Let’s get going then, eh?”

“Allons-y!” Jenny agreed.

Team TARDIS headed down the corridors in the only direction they could go. The Doctor theorized that since the pony soldiers came from this direction, they would undoubtable head toward their base. Applejack secretly hoped that’s where they were headed, she wouldn’t mind running into a base filled with armed and dangerous ponies than to a Changeling hive.

No matter what the Doctor and Jenny said, Applejack knew the Changelings were dangerous, the war must’ve had a good reason behind it. After all, the changeling that attacked them didn’t seem too keen on talking. She couldn’t tell them this, of course, out of fear of getting the Doctor’s disapproving eyes now doubled with Jenny around.

At first it was a bit hard to believe Jenny could possibly be related to the Doctor but she was starting to see the resemblance. They looked nothing alike but they both had same fancy-pants accent, both talked excitingly with a bunch of technobabble, both had the same crazed look in their eyes that made AJ wonder if they were insane or geniuses.

Still, the way Jenny described arriving here… it unnerved her, as much as it unnerved the Doctor, apparently. When she described the cracks in time, whatever that was, the Doctor looked like he was going to be sick.

“What is it with you and wars?” the Doctor asked jokingly.

“I could ask you the same thing, Father,” Jenny replied just as coyly. “I heard all about your exploits when I was on earth. Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Daleks, it’s usually you in the middle of a fight.”

“Well, you know the life, eh? You’ve gotten yourself into quite a bit of trouble. Judoon? And that Time Agent? Sounds a lot like Cap’ Jack, to me.”

“Oh, that was his name!” Jenny exclaimed. “He was a bit… flirty.”

“Yeah, good thing you stayed away, eh?”

“Well…” Jenny tilted her head, smiling and blushing.

“No…” the Doctor stopped. “No! No, he didn’t!”

Jenny laughed, gently pushing him. “Nah, he tried but that’s when I swiped his vortex manipulator.”

The Doctor scoffed, letting out an inadvertent whinny that made Jenny giggle. It was odd, seeing the Doctor like this, a proper father worrying about her daughter getting into misadventures. Even the Time Lord can be doting parent it seems. It was odd to think that a war could reunite a family.

They came to a crossroads with four different corridors leading to nowhere it seemed. The Doctor frowned, looking at each corridor with curiosity. “Hm, now where…”

Before he could do anything, Jenny licked her hoof and held it up in the air, pointing at each corridor before finally settling on the corridor to the farthest right. “Over there, half a mile away there is a military encampment, lots of ponies with lots of guns,” she announced. “But I can’t sense the changelings…”

Applejack was silently grateful but the Doctor seemed bothered by that. “Alright, I’ll head off this way”—he pointed to the corridor opposite to the one Jenny indicated— “Try to get a lock on the changelings, maybe talk to their leader.”


“Ah can’t let ya do that, Doctor,” Applejack interrupted. “What if they ain’t as friendly as ya think?”

“It’ll be fine,” he promised with a grin.

“But Doctor!”

“Then come with me!” he said. “Just come with me as… backup. Pinkie and Jenny can head toward the ponies, we’ll deal with the changelings.”

Pinkie seemed absolutely ecstatic at the idea, warming up her singing voice and considering which peace-loving song she should sing. But Applejack and Jenny were the only ones bothered by it. “Father, but what if the ponies attack?”

“Don’t let them,” he answered simply. “You lot are ponies. Well, mostly, they won’t attack.”

“Then what about us?” Applejack asked. “They might not be as keen t’ see us.”

Momentai ,” he said. “I’ve got an idea.”

Ten minutes into the walk, Applejack decided the Doctor was absolutely insane. “Yer kiddin’ me.”

The Doctor shook his head, grinning broadly. “Oh, Applejack, you should know me by now, I never kid.”

“We can’t just show up and expect ‘em not t’ attack us!”

“Sure I can! I do it all the time, doesn’t work out as well every time… But we might get lucky!”

Applejack sighed, only just now realizing that she’s literally walking with a madpony into a trap that’ll get them both killed but the odd thing was… she wanted to go anyways. She wanted to help as much as she could to save everypony because she knew that was what the Doctor did.

They spent most of the walk in silence, often times the Doctor would point out something interesting in the corridor’s design and rattle off facts that would’ve been fascinating to Twilight but it all sounded like techno mumble-jumble to AJ. Not that she couldn’t appreciate it, mind you.

The metallic walls were the color of pure silver and large enough to be able to hold her farm twice over. There weren’t any windows so Applejack couldn’t see if they were truly on the moon or not, but if the Doctor said it, they probably are.

“If this is a moon base, what makes ya think them changelings will be ‘ere?” Applejack asked. “They could all be livin’ on the moon’s surface, fer all we know.”

The Doctor stopped. The corridor opened up to a large room that looked older than the rest of the place, it was darker, the walls and floors were worn down and ragged and there was a thick smell of musk that reminded Applejack of bad eggs.

“No…” the Doctor answered. “I don’t think so…”

“Whaddya mean?”

“Look.” Applejack couldn’t see where he was pointing until her eyes adjusted, he was looking straight up and when she followed his gaze her heart froze. Dozens upon hundreds of changelings clung to the ceiling in green sacs that Applejack recognized, it was what they used to keep Princess Celestia immobilized.


One of the changelings shifted in its cocoon, his horrible eyes opening up and staring at Applejack. Bursting out of the cocoon, he let out a horrible wail, waking up the rest of the clan.

The Lost Hive

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Lunar Base One, the Moon

Time Unknown

Jenny stared at the bouncing, bounding pink mare beside her with interest. Despite being thrown into a desperate, dangerous situation, Pinkie Pie maintained her bubbly demeanor and happy-go-lucky smile. It was as if she had grown accustomed to such situations or that her enthusiasm was incorruptible; or, perhaps, both.

Pinkie giggled when she met the Time Lord’s eyes. “Whatcha looking at?”

Jenny blushed slightly, Pinkie’s smile was horribly contagious and she couldn’t resist that smile that bubbled underneath. “I’m just curious as to how Father came to meet you. You don’t seem the type to go gallivanting around the universe.”

“Oh, silly. I’m not gallivanting anywhere, I’m just a traveler!”

Jenny wanted to correct herself, but Pinkie continued. “But as to how we met, I accidentally launched him toward the Everfree Forest with my trebuchet!”

“Oh, of course.” Jenny tapped her chin. “Wait, what?”

“Don’t worry, once we get back to the TARDIS and to Ponyville, the girls will explain everything!” Pinkie beamed. “We’ll take you along for our rides and it’ll be super fun!”

Pinkie jumped on a piece of debris. “Seeing the universe! All of time and space, everything that ever was or will be, where to?”

Jenny smiled, sharing a laugh with the hyperactive mare. “That would be lovely, Pinkie.”

Pinkie tilted her head in a manner that reminded Jenny of a confused puppy. “’Would be’? You say that as if you aren’t coming along.”

She blanched slightly at the faux pas. Jenny shook her head, raising a hoof and trying to a smile but it came out weaker than expected. “No, no, of course. I meant to say it will be lovely. Sorry, jumping through cracks of time tends to wear on the mind a bit.”

Pinkie said nothing for a moment and Jenny’s hearts got caught in her throat. Finally, she grinned and leapt off her makeshift pedestal. “Oh, okay! Come on then, how much longer do you think we have?”

Jenny didn’t answer, she only dutifully followed Pinkie and considered that question. The corridors looked the same, it was difficult to determine where exactly they were. She looked over her shoulder and could only see an endless giant corridor, the intersection where they parted from the Doctor and Applejack was long gone.

How would they be able to find the ponies? Were they even going in the correct direction? It would be difficult, if not impossible to navigate through these corridors without getting lost. Jenny’s hooves were beginning to ache. These ponies are smart, they flew to the moon and built a base around it! There must be a way to travel a lot faster…

Jenny noticed the damaged remains of a vehicle. Hmm…

Approaching the vehicle, she lifted it up and grinned. It was big enough to carry the two of them, but it was severely damaged. “Ooh, is that a bike?” Pinkie asked, bouncing up to Jenny.

“Something like that,” she answered. Jenny ran a hoof through her many pockets and brandished a familiar device.

“You have a sonic screwdriver?!”

Jenny nodded. “Swiped it off this lady with crazy hair. Melody something.”

She ran her sonic screwdriver over the bike. “The bike is damaged but the antigravs and the engine are still functioning,” Jenny muttered, psychically reading the sonic’s diagnostics. “I just need to..”

With a roar, the bike came to life, floating a foot or so off the ground. Jenny grinned and patted the bike. “So! Wanna go for a ride?”


The Doctor tackled Applejack as the first changeling swoop down, threatening to chomp them up. Applejack blushed immediately by the close proximity and tried to push him off. “G-git off!”

But the Doctor didn’t budge, instead grimacing at the changelings overhead. For some reason, Applejack’s legendarily strength failed her, she could’ve easily shoved the Doctor off but something about him pinning her down felt…

The Time Pony looked down at Applejack, his expression determined and almost fierce. He leaned in closer and Applejack forgot how to breathe. “Applejack, these changelings don’t mean us any harm.”

Wait, what?

“W-wait, what?” Embarrassment and uncharacteristic shyness manifested as a fierce blush on her cheeks. “They’re clearly attacking!”

“Notice how they aren’t actually attacking us!” the Doctor argued, pointing at the changelings that glided above them, as if uncertain. “They’re just trying to scare us away.”

“Oh.” Her voice was as small as Fluttershy’s, but as soon as she remembered that the Doctor was still on her…

“UGH!” the Doctor flew off Applejack and landed like a sack of potatoes, rubbing his cheek where Applejack cleanly decked him.

“Of all th’ nerve…” Applejack muttered, standing up and cleaning off her Stetson. The Doctor muttered something about crazy mares and somepony named Jackie, but Applejack didn’t pay him any attention. She looked around, the changeling nest was awake but it was as the Doctor said, none of them were attacking.

The changelings fluttered nervously around them, chattering amongst themselves and staring at the duo warily, as if they were waiting for the two of them to pull out some weapons and start shooting. “We come in peace!” the Doctor announced, before shooting a glare at Applejack. “Well, relatively speaking.”

Applejack pulled her hat down to obscure her blush. “Ya’ll can git down now! We ain’t here t’ fight!”

But none of the changelings moved, they stayed up in the air, staring at them nervously. “Maybe they don’t speak Equish?”

“Maybe…” the Doctor agreed. “Or maybe they’re waiting for their leader—wait, Equish? That’s what the language is called?”

“Ya’ve been here for how long, Doctor?”

He shook his head, stifling a laugh about pony puns. “Anyways, what did ya mean about their leader?” she asked.

“Every military has a leader,” the Doctor reasoned. “Their general! These lot must have one.”

“Last changeling leader Ah met was a queen,” Applejack explained. “She was kinda like Princess Celestia but a whole lot angrier.”

Applejack stared at the gathering of changelings and shuddered at the thought of Queen Chrysalis. She was a nasty thing, not even because of her plot to rule Equestria but the fact that she could so easily invade Shining Armor’s life by impersonating Princess Cadance. What kind of pony could just pretend to be somepony else without remorse?

That’s the major reason Applejack had such an issue with the changelings. During the wedding, while defending Canterlot from the changeling invasion, Applejack and the girls had to face off with some of the changelings who quickly morphed into them during the brawl. It was downright creepy watching some creature turn into her and viciously attack her friends.

But looking at these changelings… they were different.

Reluctant and nervous, to be honest, they reminded Applejack of Fluttershy the way they timidly flew just from their reach.

“We come in peace!” the Doctor announced in his best diplomatic voice. “I’m the Doctor, this here’s Applejack. We have no quarrel with you lot, we only wish to see your leader to try to calmly figure out what’s going on.”

As Applejack expected, however, none of the changelings responded. They hissed amongst themselves, sounds that Applejack considered hostile but they sounded panicked and confused. It reminded Applejack of Vampire Fruit Bats when you clang pots and pans near them, they fly around dazed and confused, no clue where they were.

These changelings… they’re looking at them as if this is the first time they had seen ponies in a very long time.

“Th’ Doctor’s right!” Applejack announced to the changelings.

“I am?” asked the bowtie wearing Time Pony.

Applejack nodded, barely concealing her embarrassment. “We ain’t here t’ pick a fight, we’re here t’ help!”

But they still refused to budge. Applejack bit her lip, there was something going down here and it was up to them to get to the bottom of it. It wouldn’t be easy if these changelings wouldn’t cooperate. Applejack removed her hat, showing her face and tried for a kind smile.

Fluttershy explained that animals sometimes get intimidated by the lack of expression, you have to show that you aren’t a predator by weakening the muscles in your face. She wasn’t really sure how similar these changelings were to the little critters Fluttershy took care of, but it was worth a shot.

“Ya’ll can trust us. We just want t’ talk.”

For a few seconds nothing happened, the changelings continued to stare at the duo and Applejack felt her hope crumble in her throat. Then they looked at each other and hissed in their strange language, she couldn’t understand them, weirdly enough, but they didn’t seem hostile. One by one the changelings descended from the ceiling and landed before them.

None of them dared to near the duo, however, they stayed at a respectable distance. Their posture was still wary: back arched, ears down, wings fluttering, but it was a start. Applejack took a tentative step forward.

“Take us t’ your leader, if ya’ll don’t mind.”

Nopony reacted for a moment until the group parted slightly and a slightly bigger changeling approached. He wasn’t like the others, he was bigger than them but still small enough for the lankly Doctor to tower over him. His tough shell-like body was a lot darker than the traditional gray, his buggy eyes were a deep cyan. He looked more like the changelings Applejack encountered in Canterlot.

He stuck out his tongue slightly, resembling a snake. Smelling them, maybe? Applejack wasn’t sure, it could’ve been a nervous tic for all she knew.

“Applejack... and, the Doctor?” he said in a raspy voice, as if he hadn’t had a drink of water in centuries.

“In the fur,” grinned the Doctor.

“… Come with me…”

Good, they were getting somewhere. Applejack hoped that Jenny and Pinkie had just as much luck as she had.


Jenny and Pinkie stared down the many rifles they were fixed on them. The two mares, far from intimidated, calmly held up their forelegs in surrender as the leader stepped forward and aimed her gun at Jenny.

“State your name, rank, and intention,” she asked the Time Lord.

“Pinkie Pie! Party Pony Planner and fun!”

Jenny, the Time Lady

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The Changeling Hive

Time Unknown

The Doctor and Applejack strode into the changeling Hive, which was filled with renewed energy as dozens upon hundreds of changelings milled about, staring at the pony strangers but not daring to get any closer. These changelings literally appeared from nowhere, as if they were a part of the architecture itself, which wouldn’t be too hard to believe. The deeper they ventured into this Hive, the older and more… organic the corridors became.

The walls resembled aged moss that slithered and crawled. There was even a peculiar scent, oddly enough it didn’t coincide with how gross everything else seemed, the scent was more like a bountiful bouquet of flowers, a strange smell to find on the moon. The Doctor looked around, like in the first room there were pods filled with dozens of Changelings hanging from the ceiling. A shudder rolled down his back, the image of the upside down Changelings disturbingly resembled the Silent.

There were a few things the Doctor noticed as they walked down these halls. The Changelings weren’t nearly as aggressive as Applejack had suggested from her last encounter with them. They were lankly, thinner than even the Doctor. Their faces were sunken in and their buggy eyes protruded more than usual. They didn’t look like a race that was accustomed to war.

From Applejack’s description, these lot were supposed to be a “take-no-prisoners” type of creatures. If someone threatened an entire kingdom, concocting a convoluted plan that involved tricking and seducing a guard pony that more than earned the right to be called dangerous and cunning. But these Changelings were quick to accept the Doctor and Applejack rather than kill or even assimilate them.

According to Twilight, the Changeling’s shapeshifting capabilities were beyond unicorn magic. They could shapeshift after touching somepony, a powerful Changeling, like Queen Chrysalis, could shapeshift after a single glance. It would’ve been easy for a shapeshifting race to infiltrate the pony’s ranks and destroy them from the inside out.

So why hadn’t they?

The Doctor glanced at Applejack. Despite how uneasy she was at the prospect of diplomacy with the Changelings, she seemed quite comfortable. She walked with confidence, unafraid to look the Changelings in the eyes. But a perceptive pony could notice the slight tremor of her lips, the subtle hesitation in her step, how she uneasily shifted her gaze.

She was nervous and she had a perfect right to be.

Patting her on the back, the Doctor offered her a small smile.

“Brave heart, Applejack,” he said.

Applejack frowned, tilting her head. “What does he 'ave ta do with any of this?”

The Doctor shook his head, stifling a smile. “Never mind. Quite a lovely place, don’t you think?”

He gestured around the corridor. It was no longer metallic and ponymade, it turned green and purple as they walked in. The floor was soft and wet, like trudging through a swamp, the walls pulsated with a sickly greenish light. They weren’t in the moonbase anymore, that’s for sure.

Applejack looked around, stifling a shudder and a disgusted frown. “Yeah, if ya like creepy, Ah s’pose.”

The Doctor kept his comments to himself as they advanced down the path. It was getting progressively darker as they continued, the only source of light was the dim natural light produced by the organic material they were walking on. He wondered how Changelings could adapt to an environment like this, but as he looked at their bug-like eyes he reasoned that their vision was highly advanced.

Finally, they entered a large dome shaped room. Dome was perhaps the wrong word for it, as the Doctor looked around he was reminded of being inside of an egg. The room was slightly indented in the middle so it sloped downward and led up to what appeared to be a throne. The throne was made of the same stuff the room was and was shaped like a chair that a tiny pony could fit. As the Doctor looked closer, he saw that all of this organic stuff was coming from the chair.

It crawled at a snail’s pace away from the throne and into the walls and floor as if adding layers upon it. The throne itself created all of this, which probably meant they were standing on a sentient membrane. Great, that didn’t make things any less creepy. But the Doctor was fascinated by the very concept of it, a great big smile spread across his face as he neared the throne, brandishing his sonic and brainy specs.

“This is brilliant!” he grinned, scanning the throne. “How does this work exactly? Nanomachines? Psychic cells? Ooh, perhaps a neurokinetic bioreceptor, haven’t seen that in years!”

He glanced at the readings, they were frustratingly jumbled and incomplete. “Ah, magic,” he muttered with disdain. “Always difficult to get a clear read on, like Twilight, really. Well, she’s always difficult to read, blimey. Doesn’t matter what universe you’re in, women are still a mystery.”

“Doctor…” Applejack said.

“Fine, fine. The men are quite mysterious as well. Honestly, it’s ponies in general, I could never truly understand you lot.”


“Now, Martha would call me a rubbish human, which I was for quite a time. Clara would agree in a heartbeat.”

“Doctor!” Applejack yelled.

The Doctor looked back at his ornery companion and noticed their Changeling guide looked sickly. He nearly collapsed if it wasn’t for Applejack singlehoofedly supporting him. The Doctor ran to help but the farm pony had already moved him away from the throne room.

As soon as they were a few steps away from the room, the Changeling managed to step on his, er, claw-hooves. He shook his head and blinked several times in confusion.

“You alright, mate?” the Doctor asked, scanning the Changeling. “How many hooves am I holding up?”

“Ah’m not sure that’s a sound diag’nostic test, Doctor,” Applejack remarked.

The Doctor blinked, staring at Applejack with a blank expression. “Of course it is, Applejack. Don’t be ridiculous!”

“I-I’m fine,” the Changeling answered. “The throne has that effect on us.”

“Why?” the Doctor asked. “Isn’t it a part of you?”

The Doctor flicked his sonic and glanced back at the readings. “You’re giving off the same biological signature as the throne. So, why does it make you ill?”

“Because of our Queen.”

“Speakin’ of which, where is she? Ya’ll got a fancy throne and a comfy place but no Queen,” Applejack remarked.

“That is because she’s dead. She died over 5 years ago…”

Lunar Base One: Command Center

Jenny glared at the commander as she sat on her haunches with Pinkie beside her. She knew that Pinkie was having a lot of trouble staying still, her hooves jittery tapping the floor while her excited blue eyes looked everywhere as if she wanted to absorb the entire room into her eyes.

The military compound wasn’t very impressive, to be honest. It was the command hub for the entire moonbase. There were dozens upon dozens of ponies milling about the controls, nearly all of them were armed which didn’t make Jenny feel very welcome. In the middle of the room sat a console with a holographic projection of Equis, perhaps in case they got homesick?

The leader of this group was a red-haired mare, her coat was the color of milk and she was wearing a formal military officer uniform with dozens of medals pinned on her chest. Her cutie mark was obscured but Jenny wasn’t looking at her flank but at the gun that was pointed at her face.

The plasma pistol floated in her magical grip and was fixed right between Jenny’s eyes. This wasn’t a very good situation to be in, especially with Pinkie Pie barely able to contain herself.

“Woww,” Pinkie gasped as she looked at the projection of Equis. “That looks so pretty! Except you got the details wrong. Equis isn’t perfectly round, it’s more like an egg, like my head!”

To demonstrate, Pinkie placed her hooves on either side of her temple and gently squeezed, morphing her head to resemble an egg. “See!” she grinned as her head returned to normal.

The soldiers looked uncomfortable at Pinkie’s blatant disregard to her anatomy but the leader didn’t bat an eye.

“Who are you?” she asked again. “Runaways? From the pacifist lot?”

“Jenny,” she answered with a smirk. “You already know Pinkie.”

She gestured at her friend but Pinkie wasn’t there anymore. She was standing on top of an apparatus that looked like a communications array, she stood on top of the antenna on one hoof, balanced precariously like a dancer. Jenny wasn’t sure how Pinkie could support herself on the antenna, it was charred and damaged it seems beyond repair.

“Hey!” she called, pointing at the large screen to Jenny’s right that displayed a real-time image of Equis. “I can see my house from here!”

The soldiers ran off to apprehend her but Jenny didn’t seem worried.

“Now then, what’s your name?” Jenny asked.

“Commander Slipspace,” she answered. “First pony to go into space, well, aside from the princess.”

Pinkie was being carried by the soldiers but she wasn’t complaining, even as they roughly put her on the floor next to Jenny. “You guys are really strong!” she giggled.

“You wanna explain why you’re moving in on Changeling territory? Declaring war with them?” Jenny demanded, maintaining her cool glare.

Slipspace scoffed and pocketed her pistol. “You must be from the pacifist group.”

“I won’t be if you don’t answer me.”

Slipspace raised an eyebrow, impressed by Jenny’s sass and took a seat. “We didn’t declare anything,” she answered. “The Changelings attacked first.”

Jenny blinked in confusion. “What? This is their home, why would—“

“Why would they defend their home so aggressively? Gee, I don’t know.”

Jenny glared harder at Slipspace but the commander didn’t seem bothered. “We didn’t want to fight them, we didn’t even know they were here! We tried to come to a diplomatic solution, but the Changelings became aggressive and the Queen attacked us first. She took down our communications array and we were forced…”

“Forced to do what?” Jenny asked.

“We had to kill her, otherwise she would’ve killed every pony here.”

Pinkie gasped, staring at Slipspace with a mortified expression. “But you can’t do that!”

“She’s a Changeling!” Slipspace argued. “She can shapeshift, if we hadn’t, she would’ve laid waste to everypony here. There aren’t just soldiers here, there are scientists and engineers, and they didn’t deserve to die at her hoof.”

Jenny’s face blanched which didn’t damper her glare. “Go on.”


“I am Ki,” the Changeling answered. The Doctor, Ki and Applejack were huddled around in a circle as he began to explain what had happened. Applejack was grateful for the Doctor’s proximity but still felt uncomfortable in this place. It felt like she was walking inside an artery.

“And this is the Hive,” he said, gesturing at the corridor. “Thousands of years ago when Princess Luna was banished here, it had a violent impact on the moon. She crashed on the surface, her magic exploding and spreading throughout the moon as Princess Celestia’s spell bound and trapped her under the surface.”

Applejack tried to imagine Princess Luna crashing here, writhing in pain and tied and chained up by powerful magic underground. The thought was hardly comforting.

“Her magic, or should I say, Nightmare Moon’s magic disrupted this place. And from there the first Changeling was born, it was a thing of anger and magic but hardly a corporeal form. Thousands of years had to pass until the Changeling evolved into our Queen. In that time, all of the pain and agony went away and she focused on being better. She created her throne which became the center for the Hive and from the Hive the Changelings were born.”

“Wait, ya’ mean those pod thingy-a-bids are fresh Changelin’s being born?” Applejack asked.

Ki nodded. “Yes. Our Hive is connected psychically, so every new Changeling is taught the history of their kind before they even wake up.”

The Doctor nodded as if it made sense to him and didn’t gross him out. “A Hive mind, like the Ood.”

“Th’ what?”

“I’ll explain later.”

The Doctor motioned Ki to continue.

“Years had passed and our kind grew and prospered here. We were happy, peaceful. Then the ponies arrived… They came here with tidings of peace and kindness, and at first we received them well. But then…” Ki frowned.

“What happened?” the Doctor asked.

“The Queen offered her help, in an attempt to reach out diplomatically. The ponies were here for scientific research and had no interest in us, supposedly. She was led into their base when…”


Ki shook his head, his expression became dazed. “That’s funny, I can not remember exactly… I remember explosions, the ponies began firing at us and we were forced to retreat. I ran right through the ponies to get the Queen and then I saw her by some sort of machinery.

“They had called a communications array. The ponies were firing at her and with the last of her magic, she destroyed the machine but died in the fiery blast.”


“She did it to herself,” Slipspace explained. “We were setting it up to establish a connection to our base on Equis and she went nuts! Attacking us and eventually blowing it up! It’s taken us four years to repair it.”

“Why hasn’t there been any help?” Pinkie asked, tilting her head. “I mean, there at least should’ve been a ‘yay-you’re-on-the-moon’ party from them.”

“As far as they know on Equis, it’s perfectly safe up here,” she answered. “There is an automated signal being emitted from this base, letting them know we’re fine and it can’t be disabled. Without our communications array we have no way of warning anypony.”

“So you’re calling for help?” Jenny asked.

Slipspace nodded.

“Then why continue this war on the Changelings?”

“We aren’t! We only explore the tunnels for supplies that can be salvaged, each time we try we get attacked by them. We’re only defending ourselves!”

“You could just talk to them,” Pinkie suggested. “Or I could throw a party and sing for you to stop this fighting!”

“They’re ruthless, uncaring, and monstrous,” Slipspace insisted. She took her hoof and pulled her collar down slightly, revealing a horrible green scar on her neck going down to her chest. “They don’t want to talk.”


“They disturb our living arrangements and drive us away with their weapons,” Ki explained. “We are forced to retreat closer and closer to the throne, which is causing us to get sicker.”

“But why?” the Doctor asked. “You’d think the birthplace of your species wouldn’t be poisonous to you lot.”

“The magic that is radiated here is far too dangerous for our skin,” he answered. “It causes us to grow ill, even die if we stay close for too long.”

“Whoa, magic radiation?” Applejack echoed. “Doc’ Ah don’t know ‘bout you, but Ah ain’t interested in being irr’adated. What if Ah grow a second head?”

“The radiation is harmless to ponies,” Ki said, backtracking and blanching at his mistake. “If the Queen were here, she could insulate the place making it safe for us.”

“Yep, that’s a problem,” the Doctor muttered. “Your species are at risk of being extinct by both the ponies and your own home! Certainly new for me.”

“Sympathy, Doctor. Yer s’pposed to feel bad,” Applejack muttered.

“Ah, sorry,” the Doctor said sheepishly. “But ah, what about your shapeshifting?”

“Shapeshifting?” Ki repeated.

“Applejack explained that the Changelings on Equis could shapeshift to perfectly resemble another pony from the inside out,” he said. “Since you predate them, you could very easily shapeshift, correct?”

Ki shook his head. “I have never been able to shapeshift, Doctor. None of us can.”

“Stranger and stranger,” the Doctor muttered.

“What do ya think?” Applejack asked.

“Probably something relevant, probably important, but I’ll get to it later. Right then, that just means we have to find the ponies, explain the situation and get it all sorted out.”

The Doctor stood, ready to storm into action but Applejack blocked his way. “Wait a minute, Doctor. Ah trust ya judgment an’ all, but what makes ya think we can trust Ki? Or even believe ‘im!”

“Oh come on, Applejack,” the Doctor said with a smile. “You’re the Element of Honesty. Can you honestly say that he wasn’t being honest?”

Applejack looked at Ki. The little Changeling looked so exhausted, so weary, so ready to end this stupid conflict. From a glance, she could just instinctively tell that he was being sincere with his story.

“Well, no, but—“

“That settles it!” he laughed. “Let’s go then. Time to meet up with Jenny and Pinkie.”

“Ah hope they’re safe…”


Jenny had to pull Pinkie’s hoof to keep her running. Gunfire exploded behind them, rounds whizzing past Jenny and barely missing Pinkie. The mares poured on the speed as more and more soldiers burst from the rubble of the compound and charged for them.

Pinkie waved goodbye to the soldiers even as they continued to fire and Jenny, once again, pulled Pinkie closer and sprinted as fast as she could.

Man, that was a stupid idea.

Queen Aurelia, of the Changelings

View Online

The Moon, Horseshoe System

120 L.R. (The Republic of Princess Luna) [5 year ago]

Queen Aurelia stood at the edge of the abyss. Before her was the endless yawning hole within the lunar surface. It was the mythological place where the very infamous Nightmare Moon was imprisoned at. It is said when she crashed upon the moon she created a meteoric crater that forever scarred this beautiful place.

There was still an abundance of dark magic that radiated from the crater, so much so that the other Changelings feared getting close to it. There are rumors that claim that when Nightmare Moon escaped her prison that she left a piece of herself behind here. That it forever remained, chained, writhing in eternal agony here and that the leftover magic was actually her crying out for help.

Queen Aurelia scoffed and turned away from the continent sized crater. She was as delusional as her Changeling following.

“Madam!” Ki-Gar called, scurrying before her. He was a tiny Changeling in front of her, then again, she dwarfed every-ling here thanks to her statuesque size. “Ponies have emerged from the vessel!”

That wasn’t good. Queen Aurelia narrowed her eyes in deep consideration. “Have they said anything?”

“Just one message… ‘We come in peace’,” he relayed.

She looked to the west and instantly spotted the impossible structure the ponies had brought. It looked like a glass dome but was so impossibly huge that it made Queen Aurelia anxious. Closer to her was the Changeling hive, a pulsating purple organic structure that breathed life. They had landed only a few meters away but it was still too close.

“Then we shall greet our pony cousins,” she said finally as she began her approach. “What could possibly go wrong?”


Lunar Base One, Corridor B

125 L.R.

Everything went wrong for Jenny and Pinkie. After cleverly deducing that the reason behind the Changeling’s rampage was Lunar Base One’s communications array, Jenny tried to calmly and rationally explain to Slipspace but she wasn’t listening. Even though Jenny was making perfect sense, the Captain was obstinate. She wanted to turn the communications array back on because they had managed to repair it but Jenny was against it.

“If you turn it on,” she had said. “It’ll make the changelings go crazy like last time! Just keep it off and I can get help, somepony to back me up!”

“How do you know so much about the changelings anyways?” Slipspace had asked. “You’re just a pony like us!”

She didn’t want to listen, they needed help as soon as possible and they weren’t going to stop because of one random mare crying wolf. So, Jenny did what she had to do. She sabotaged the communications array and disabled it with an EMP. Of course that didn’t exactly play out well with the ponies. As soon as the communications array went down, they took aim at Jenny and Pinkie and opened fire. They ran for it but not before realizing her EMP was a bit stronger than she realized because the communications array exploded.

Not one of her best plans, but it was good enough to keep the ponies off her back and to delay the activation of the array. If they turned it back on, the changelings would go nuts and this war would merely escalate. That was something Jenny refused to allow happen. She poured on the speed, trying to get back to where they had split up with the Doctor and Applejack.

“Hurry, Pinkie!” she yelled, looking over her shoulder and noticing that the ponies began to catch up, opening fire. Jenny had to dodge and weave to avoid the bullets, but Pinkie merely maintained her bouncing gait the bullets were magically missing her as if they weren’t particularly interested in her.

“Turn right!” she yelled, veering around the corner, nearly bumping into Pinkie but crashed right into Applejack. The two mares rolled awkwardly head over hooves and finally landed with Jenny laying on top of her, dazed and muttering incoherently.

Applejack groaned in pain as she looked at Jenny who was laid splayed over her. “Like father, like daughter…” she muttered as the two of them got up.

Jenny shook off her disorientation and grabbed the Doctor by the shoulder. “Father, we need to get out of here, the ponies will be here soon and—“


A dozen armed soldiers fixed their sights on the group and while the mares put their forelegs up in surrender, the Doctor merely smiled coyly. “Oh, hello there!”

“I said freeze!” barked Slipspace as she approached the front of the group. “I don’t know who you think you are but—“

“That’s quite simple, actually,” he said with his overconfident tone. “I’m the Doctor…”

Suddenly, he brandished his TARDIS key from his coat and it began to glow brightly. The sound of the TARDIS engines igniting to life filled the corridor and before anypony could do anything, the TARDIS began to materialize around the group. The ponies opened fire but the TARDIS had already solidified and deflected the bullets easily. Finally, the Doctor and the girls were standing in the middle of the TARDIS console room.

Applejack gasped, astonished by the TARDIS’s technology, it felt like a spell by Twilight but the Doctor did it with ease! The Doctor put away his key and approached the console, throwing switches and pressing buttons. “If you could do that this whole time, why’d wait so long?” Applejack asked.

“I had only put in that feature recently,” he answered absentmindedly. “It takes a while to recharge, every 400 years or so.”

“What’s the plan then?” Pinkie asked, bouncing on the red couch by the railing.

“First, we meet the Changeling Queen, stop the war and head home for tea.” The Doctor flicked on the switch to his scanner and scrutinized the readings, it must’ve been bad since he frowned so deeply Applejack was surprised the scanner didn’t burst into flames.

“But you heard Ki,” Applejack said. “T' Queen is dead, remember?”

“Not exactly…” he muttered. His expression was ghostly in the dull light of the TARDIS, Applejack never really considered that he was more than a thousand years old but in this light he definitely resembled his age.

“What do you mean?” Jenny asked.

“This.” He threw a lever and the console room buzzed loudly for a moment the entire place darkened save for a blue spotlight that appeared over Jenny. She jumped slightly, her eyes widening in fear.

“F-father, what is this?”

“Doctor? What’re you—“

“It’s a containment field,” the Doctor coldly answered. “A bit of stolen tech from the Tesseractia, nice chaps, I’ll introduce you one day. They used it to capture and punish war criminals throughout time…”

“Why d’ you have it on yer daughter then?” Applejack asked.

“Because she’s NOT my DAUGHTER!” he yelled, slamming his hoof against the console, startling Applejack and Jenny.

“O-of course I am!” she insisted. “I remember the Hath, brave Martha Jones and Donna Noble. I am your daughter, Fathe—“

“DON’T call me that!” The Doctor was practically frothing at the teeth when he stormed up to Jenny and glared at her with eyes so baleful and dark. “You gave me hope… made me believe I wasn’t the only one here… but that was a trick, just a trick… Ooh, I’ve got to give you credit, your technique is much better than a shimmer…”

“Doctor, what’re you talking about?” Pinkie asked, bouncing into frame. “You said she’s a genuine Time Lord. You checked!”

“She’s no Time Lord…” he muttered through gritted teeth. “Just a false echo.”

He walked over to the console and flicked a lever. The blue light changed into a red one and Jenny’s form began to change. She was taller, about the size of Princess Celestia, with a long, beautiful purple mane. Instead of fur there were tough, hardened black scales that resembled armor. Her eyes were kaleidoscopically colorful, shifting between blue and green and brown like it couldn’t decide what it wanted to be. A black horn jutted from her forehead, resembling an alicorn’s horn, and dragonfly-like wings sprouted from her back. Unlike the Changelings Applejack were familiar with, she didn’t have any holes through her body.

To top it all off, sitting, nestled at the base of her horn, was a golden tiara with glowing white stones on it. The Changeling Queen bowed her head, ashamed, as Applejack and Pinkie gasped at this new form.

“Meet the Queen of the Changelings,” the Doctor said with a tone that could freeze a volcano.

“Y-yer a Changeling?” Applejack gasped. “But—“

“Your mane is really pretty!” Pinkie said, grinning.

But the Doctor ignored his companions and approached her again. “Well? Care to introduce yourself?”

She remained quiet for a few seconds before taking a deep breath. “My name is Aurelia, Queen Aurelia. Yes, Applejack, I am a Changeling, the very first one.”

The Doctor huffed and turned back around, angrily making his way to the console. “W-wait, what’re you doing?” Aurelia asked.

“Taking you back to your hive,” he answered as he inputted some data. “Where you belong.”

“Doctor, wait, we can’t just leave ‘er like that!” Applejack yelled.

“Yeah, what about everypony else? They’re stuck fighting and they don’t even know why,” Pinkie agreed.

“Please, Doctor, you must help—“

He slammed his hoof again, angrily glaring at everyone. “I don’t have to do anything. No one has the privilege to tell me what to do!”

Silence fell upon the TARDIS as they looked at the Doctor with crestfallen expressions, partly scared, partly disappointed. The Doctor couldn’t bear to see those expressions so he focused back on the console.

Pinkie approached the Doctor from the left and gently touched his hoof. He looked up and saw her sky-blue eyes welled up with concern and sincerity. “You know this isn’t right, Doctor,” she said, uncharacteristically gentle. “You would never run when somepony needs help.”

The Doctor bitterly scoffed and turned away. “Then you clearly don’t know me.”

“We do know ya, Doctor,” Applejack argued. “Ah don’t know what you thought all of this was, but it’s called bein’ a friend. That’s exactly what we are t’ ya, whether you like it or not.”

The ancient Time Pony didn’t say anything and kept his eyes on the console. He could feel the TARDIS psychically speaking to him. Unsurprisingly enough, she agreed with Applejack and Pinkie Pie. He pursed his lips together and took to the count of three.

“How did you assume Jenny’s form then?” he asked, still maintaining his glare on Queen Aurelia. The Queen looked ashamed but didn’t waver from the Doctor’s glare, meeting his gaze with a softened one.

“Psychic link,” she explained. “Normally, I am able to shapeshift once I get a tactile sample of whomever I am trying to mimic, but a psychic link is enough for me, especially considering it’s from your memories, Doctor.”

The Doctor’s glare hardened as he recalled that past life so vividly he had to convince himself he wasn’t the same person anymore. “It wasn’t invasive, of course,” she promised. “Just a glimpse. I saw many faces in your memories, Doctor. But she stood out. The hero who lost her life in a war.”

Don’t,” he warned venomously. “Don’t talk about her like you know her. You don’t know the first thing about her!"

“You’re wrong…” she said with a sad smile. “Whenever I shapeshift, I am not merely assuming their physical form, I become them. From memories so powerful they are brought to life in this new body, I still retain my personality but it lives in duality with the subject. When I was Jenny, I really was her for that brief time.”

The Doctor angrily rolled his jaw, finding it hard to look at her without breaking out in a fit of rage. “And your sonic screwdriver?” he asked.

“Simple psychic technology,” she answered. “It isn’t difficult to mimic, but again it came from your memories.”

To demonstrate, Aurelia raised her hoof and it morphed into a sonic screwdriver but it was different from the Doctor’s. It was smaller, purely silver with a blue bulb on it. It morphed back to her hoof and she set it down.

“All to convince you of who I was,” she concluded sadly.

“For what?” he growled. “You played games with me, don’t think you’re capable of something like that again, don’t ever think for a second—“

“It was to ask you for help!” she cried, tears welling in her eyes. “You’ve seen my Hive. My kind is slowly dying, close to extinction and I would do anything to save them. Surely, you would understand.”

The Doctor looked away, anger and sadness burning in his eyes. “You didn’t need to pretend to be someone else…”

“I was… afraid,” Aurelia admitted. “Afraid of what you were capable of… Which is why I couldn’t be myself, but please, I didn’t mean any harm. I just needed you—“

“To what?” he turned around, smiling crookedly. “To destroy the ponies? To be the Oncoming Storm that you’ve seen in my mind? To win this war your way?! Well no thank you, not today. I will not become something I am not, the Daleks, Cybermen, the Master, I will not turn into any of them!”

Queen Aurelia took a step back, her face in complete shock at the Doctor’s accusation… which quickly turned into anger and frustration.

“Do you really think that little of me? Fine, I have deceived you, all of you, and tricked you into assisting me but do you really think I would do something like that? I have the power to transform into anypony I wanted, I could’ve shifted into Slipspace and destroyed her operation from the inside out. Or caused dissent amongst the ranks, or just done away with my opponents in the cover of night but no, instead I chose to become the daughter of the Doctor. The Pony Who Heals, the Protector. So look me in the eye and honestly answer, do you really think I would ask you to do that?”

The Doctor didn’t say anything for a moment. Looking away and meeting Applejack’s eyes. The Element of Honesty had pulled off her hat and nodded earnestly at the Doctor, making it obvious that she more than believed Aurelia. Even Pinkie had the grace to mutely nod as well.

“I don’t need a hero or a soldier,” Aurelia continued. “I need a doctor.”

He looked back at the Queen and for the first time grinned broadly from ear to ear. He flicked a lever and the lights of the TARDIS came back on, the containment field had disappeared around the Queen. “Right then…” the Doctor adjusted his bowtie. “The Doctor is in.”


Guns were useless on this thing, as the Commander found out quickly. They emptied magazine after magazine into it and didn’t leave even a scratch! So, the Commander had left a few soldiers posted here while she and the rest of the company returned to base.

As expected, Tenderfoot was ordered to guard the stupid box. His commanding officers had left him behind while they went to “investigate” really they were going to go faff about, leaving him with the most boring job here. Still, it was better than running meaningless drills and besides Tenderfoot enjoyed this peace and quiet he had with this strange box.

Looking at it gave him a bit of vertigo. He felt a bit ill but with excitement, trepidation and most importantly… curiosity. Not the vicious curiosity expressed by his peers but the wide-eyed innocent type that a foal would have. The urge to want to see more, to jump over the edge and into the unknown just to see what was out there.

But no matter how hard he tried, the doors didn’t open. He tried to picklock it but the lock morphed with every single effort, he tried bargaining with it even pleading it to open, but nothing. So, Tenderfoot opted to just sit down, laying against the blue box, and waiting until his superiors returned if they ever did.

Then the strangest thing happened. There was a sound in the air that huffed and whined, it reminded Tenderfoot of somepony catching their breath as they witnessed a miracle… suddenly, the wall behind him was so solid and he nearly fell through. Tenderfoot jumped to his hooves and stared, mouth agape, as the amazing blue box disappeared, vanished into literally thin air accompanied by that strange sound.

Horsefeathers, what was he gonna say to explain this?!


“Pop quiz!” the Doctor yelled over the rattling of the TARDIS as he scrambled to regain control. “What’s the best way to end a war?”
“Singing!” answered Pinkie.

“Out maneuvering th’ enemy?” suggested Applejack.

“A strongly worded letter!” chimed Queen Aurelia.

The Doctor threw another lever home and the rumbling stopped. He stood in front of the staircase with his wide, charismatic grin. “Wrong, diplomacy!”

He ran down the stairs with the girls in tow and burst through the door… right into a squad of soldiers who fixed their guns on them. They had landed smackdab in the middle of their base and Applejack muttered a curse as she awkwardly raised her hooves in surrender.

“Nice flying, Doctor…” she grumbled.

The Doctor maintained his grin even under the pressure of those guns. “Why thank you, Applejack. It’s nice to see a bit of honesty, eh? NOW THEN! Lunar Base One, nice accommodations, a bit Spartan if you ask me but, ah, to each their own eh?”

As he spoke, the Doctor strode fearlessly around the base and the soldiers moved their guns to keep him in the line of fire. He strode with such confidence, such arrogance that it wasn’t hard to believe that he could be the General of this group.

He ended up at the second level, nearing the communications array but Commander Slipspace stepped in front of him, glaring at the Time Pony but he didn’t pay it any mind. “Could do with less guns,” he absentmindedly continued, looking around the base. “A splash of color, maybe some balloons? What do you think Pinkie?”

“Oh yay!” she agreed with a grin. “This place definitely needs a makeover.”

The Doctor chuckled. “Don’t let Rarity know.”

“What do you think you are doing?” Slipspace finally asked. “You are harboring the Queen of the Changelings, she’s dangerous and—“

“I’m trying to put an end to this before you do something you regret, Commander,” the Doctor answered solemnly, fixing his ancient gaze upon her. “Just let me explain…”

“That Changeling attacked us, attacked all of us!” Slipspace argued. “We’re just trying to call for backup!”

“Something you don’t need guns for,” he quietly retorted. “Just put them down and we can explain this whole situation.”

“I think I’ve got the situation all cleared up, thank you. You consort with the leader of their enemy, get her to sabotage our equipment then threaten me?”

“I’ve seen their home. It’s in shambles…”

“And we will put an end to it if need be.”

The room got a few degrees colder as the two stared down, trying to get the other to relent with sheer willpower alone. “You’re talking about genocide.”

“I’m talking about victory…”

“Not when I’m around!”

“Then we’ll have to put a stop to that.”

As quick as thought, Slipspace brandished a Taser and electrocuted the Doctor. The Time Pony convulsed violently as electricity lanced up and down his body. Applejack and Pinkie tried to run to help but the soldiers kept them in place.

“Doctor!” they shouted.

The Doctor collapsed. Slipspace pocketed her Taser and glared at the others. “Arrest these lot and get our communications up.”

“Ya can’t!” yelled Applejack.

“It’ll hurt the Changelings!” chimed in Pinkie.

“Then get it back up faster…” she growled.

“Pinkie we need to do something! We—wait, where’s Aurelia…”

Queen Aurelia morphed into a pony soldiers and jumped into the ranks. The ponies jumped back startled and tried to spot her but it was like finding a needle in a haystack. They wildly aimed their weapons, half of them searched while the other half screamed not to fire.

Slipspace growled as chaos rippled through her ranks. “There she is!” she yelled, pointing at the only pony that charged her.

The soldiers turned and took aim. “Pinkie!” Applejack yelled and the Party Pony understood. She brandished her party cannon seemingly out of nowhere and pulled the wick. It wasn’t armed with anything dangerous but the ponies scattered as it shot out a ball of confetti that took out the first half-dozen ponies.

Applejack bucked a soldier away from her, pulling out her rope from within her hat (it helps to be prepared) and lassoed up five more. Aurelia was nearly there but Slipspace was already pulling out her taser…

Pinkie blasted more ponies but even she wouldn’t be fast enough to help. Applejack shoved a few more ponies out of the way and sprinted as quickly as she could up to the Queen and leapt just as Slipspace fired off her taser… which embedded deep within Applejack’s side.

Applejack twitched and jerked as the electricity burned her body from the inside out. Queen Aurelia watched with horror as her newly formed friend collapsed, still twitching.

The Queen roared in anger and her horn lit up with magic. Everypony, save her friends, were lifted by her magical aura, wrapped with a ghostly green magic and they twitched and shuddered. It felt like they were being crushed by her magic.

Pinkie rushed to Applejack’s side to check if she was okay… Applejack shuddered and let out a pained groan. Pinkie sighed in relief and looked up to Aurelia who began to take flight in her fury. “Aurelia! Applejack is okay, let them go!”

Queen Aurelia looked at Pinkie… but her eyes were glowing green, her expression contorted into pure anger. “These ponies insist on a war, let me rain one down on them!”

“Don’t…” the Doctor coughed. He weakly got to his hooves. “Queen Aurelia, you can’t, otherwise you’ll be no better. Be the one who wouldn’t! Please! You’re better than this!”

She hesitated for a moment… but then the communications array beeped to life. Its lights turned on and a loud, yet unheard, frequency pierced the mind of every Changeling… including the Queen. Her eyes reverted to normal as she let out a bloodcurdling cry, gripping her head and dropping the ponies hard on the ground.

The Doctor sprung to action. Getting up and ignoring the burning scent of his fur as he approached the communications array and got to work. “Oh, that’s not good, that’s very much not good…”

“Doctor!” Pinkie yelled. “What about Applejack—“

“Shush, I’m trying to be clever!” he growled as he pulled out his sonic and tried to override the controls… nothing! It would take five minutes to finish the hack and considering the Queen… that was four minutes too long.

“Queen Aurelia!” the Doctor yelled at her, waving his hooves madly. “Listen to me!”

The Queen turned her glare on the Doctor which was magically enhanced because it felt like the gravity was notched up a hundred times stronger than usually but his Time Lord body resisted it… but not for long.

“I know you’re scared, I know! You feel alone and terrified of the world in front of you, but you don’t have to!” he said with such sincerity it nearly broke Slipspace’s heart. “Trust me! I know how you felt… but you don’t have to feel that way! I’m here, ready and willing to help… Ready and willing to be your friend…”

His golden eyes spoke volumes of kindness and sincerity… that went unnoticed as Aurelia began to lose control and charged the Doctor. He stood there, unflinching as the rampaging Queen approached him… but then Applejack jumped in front of him and raised her forelegs to shield him.

“DON’T!” she shouted, wincing in pain. “Ah get it, Aurelia. But you can do this, just listen t’ me! Ah know you can hear me, Ah know you’re in there! Please... don’t do this…”

Queen Aurelia paused, just maintaining her vicious glare at Applejack for a total of ten seconds… before floating back down to the floor, her glowing eyes dissipated and she shook her head in confusion. “Wha--… Applejack?”

Applejack tackled Queen Aurelia with a hug so fierce her hat flew straight off. “Ah knew you could hear me! Doctor, it worked! Ah broke her out of the rage and—“

She turned around to see the Doctor grinning as he leaned up against the communications array that was now deactivated. “Sorry, am I interrupting something? While you were doing the whole.. power of friendship bit, I decided to turn off the communications array, it was getting a bit annoying don’tcha think?”

The soldiers gathered their wits and jumped to action, aiming their weapons at the Doctor who smugly waved them aside. “Please, aim a gun at me if it makes you feel better…”

Commander Slipspace stood and dismissed her soldiers, staring warily at Queen Aurelia as if waiting for her to rampage again. But then her expression softened. “Okay then… Explain.”

It only took ten minutes to explain the whole situation to them, it took thirty more to repair and modify the communications array because the Doctor refused to follow the manual provided by tech support.

“The only time I’d follow a manual is to do exactly the opposite of what it suggests,” he snapped, bopping the poor tech pony on the head with said manual. After much time electrocuting himself and disabling the antigrav, the Doctor managed to fully repair it and alter it so it had no ill effect on the changelings.

“Low frequency resonance,” the Doctor explained. “It inhibited the Changeling’s higher brain functions, turning them into mindless drones. I… shifted the frequency a bit but there you go!”

He pressed a button and the PA speakers buzzed with scrambled chatter from the ponies planetside, asking if anything went wrong. Tech support immediately explained the situation and requested back-up… for the native Changelings.

Queen Aurelia awkwardly apologized (for the 100th time) to Slipspace about the incident so long ago but Slipspace waved her hoof dismissively. “I apologize as well. If I had known it was our device that had caused that… Anyhow, know this. You and your kind have our full support, if need be.”

Applejack and Pinkie smiled as Aurelia chocked up with tears. Commander Slipspace held out her hoof to shake but Aurelia pulled her in for a tight hug which was awkwardly returned by the stalwart pony.

The Doctor strode over to Applejack and ran his sonic over her face. He glanced at the readings then cupped her cheeks, getting a good look at her eyes. “D-Doctor, what’re y—“

“Are you sure you’re fine?” he asked for the billionth time.

Applejack pushed his hooves off her. “Ah told you, Ah’m okay. Just a bit… shocked.”

But the Doctor’s worried expression didn’t fade. “Ah. Sorry then.”

“Fer what?”

“Getting you into this you and Pinkie,” he answered grimly, heading toward the TARDIS. “I’m taking you home.”

“Wha--, wait, Doctor.”

“Doctor, are you leaving?” Aurelia asked.

He spun around and placed a broad smile on his face but Applejack knew he was still fuming over Applejack’s injuries. “'Fraid so, places to see, people to go, you know the drill. I will, ah, be dropping by later on to see how you lot get on. Behave, no more wars, eh?”

Commander Slipspace promised to keep that in mind but Queen Aurelia called out again. “Wait, Doctor, there is something I must tell you.”

He tried for another smile but it was strained, like his patience began to wear but he listened patiently. “Yes?”

“I may be able to shapeshift due to psychic links, true. But only when the pony is alive…”

The Doctor’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “What’re you saying?”

“I can’t assume the form of anypony dead, it doesn’t work like that…”

Applejack whispered to Pinkie. “Maybe that’s why, Chrysalis left Princess Cadance alive?”

“The pony has to be alive and well… I only tell you this because, well, that means your daughter Jenny is still alive. And, if I know her, she’s probably here somewhere, searching for you.”

Applejack and Pinkie cheered, patting the Doctor on the back, expecting him to respond happily but his grim expression remained. “Thank you… But we really must be going.”

Without waiting for a response, the Doctor entered the TARDIS leaving Applejack and Pinkie baffled as they followed him in.
“Doctor,” Applejack called as she walked up to the console where he worked. “Why aren’t ya celebratin’?”

“Yeah!” Pinkie laughed as she bounced in-between them. “We can go find her and throw a party for her! It’ll be great!”

“Because she isn’t alive,” the Doctor grumbled. “I saw her when she… Queen Aurelia was wrong, she can’t be alive.”

“Ya can’t decide that on yer own, Doctor,” Applejack argued.

“Oh, yes I can,” he answered, striding over to the other side of the console. “Time Lord, TARDIS, I can decide anything I’d like. Just decided that now.”

“Like deciding to take us along?” Pinkie asked.

“Or being our friends?” Applejack chimed in.

“That was… It doesn’t matter now, you’re going back home. I shouldn’t have brought you here, you could’ve been hurt,” he decided
“Yeah, well too late fer that!” Applejack walked over and slammed her hoof into his, stopping him from flipping his lever. “Ah already did but it wasn’t yer fault. Ah made that decision t’ jump in front of Aurelia, not you.”

“Applejack, let me go—“

“This friendship thing may be a game to you, Doctor. But it ain’t t’ me or Pinkie or th’ other girls. We’re in this fer t’ long haul, whether you like it or not.”

“And when does that end, hm?” the Doctor snapped back, his golden eyes becoming steely and cold. “Where I stand over your broken body, wondering where it went wrong? Today it’s a taser, but it could be something far worse tomorrow, Applejack and I can’t let that happen!”

Shocked and flabbergasted, Applejack released the Doctor’s hoof but all of his energy was drained from him. He looked away and tried to swallow that lump in his throat.

“That’s the thing, Doctor…” Pinkie said quietly. “Friendship isn’t something that ends like that. It lives in inside of us, even if we aren’t here… we’ll still be with you because that’s what friendship is.”

“Pinkie’s right,” Applejack nodded. “Just cuz things get a bit scary don’t mean we’d rather be somewhere else. We’re stayin’ Doctor, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.”

To prove her point, Applejack and Pinkie sat down on the couch and crossed their forelegs over their chests. The Doctor chuckled at the humanistic behavior… it didn’t matter if these ponies weren’t human, they had way more in common with them than the Doctor gave them credit for.

He rubbed his eyes and ran a hoof through his mane. “You lot, always telling me off, hmph. Fine then, if not home, where do you wanna go next?”

“Someplace fun!” Pinkie cheered.

“And quiet, Ah think Ah had my fair share of loud noises for mah lifetime,” Applejack suggested.

“Fun it is!” the Doctor laughed throwing a lever, activating the time rotors which lit up the engines. The trio stood by the console, eyes brimming with excitement at the prospect of their next journey, completely unaware of the purple magic aura that wrapped around the console and dove into the time rotor…


View Online

He was late. Oh, he was so late!

The sound of clopping hooves against a marble ground was the only thing that filled the desolate hallways. It was a beautifully designed corridor with gilded columns that resembled ancient structures of old combined with advanced technology as lights and glowing pieces of data radiated from them. Large oil paintings covered the wall to his left and it showed off images of a large domed city against a red backdrop or ancient pony civilizations just bursting out of their caves and into the light.

From another angle, it looked like the paintings were three-dimensional…

But Shortstop didn’t have time to admire the paintings. He ran as fast as he could around the curving corridors, heading immediately to his class. Oh, he can’t be late on his first day! Shortstop nearly tripped over himself running as his long rust-red robes nearly tangled on his hooves but he managed to keep his balance.

He’d reach a foyer. It was a large round room with intricate circular patterns carved into the ground and ceiling. All around the room were large windows that overlooked the red hills and silver trees and brilliant two suns that blazed in the sky. From here he could see Mount Perdition glistening in the sunlight, the heat warped the landscape so that it looked like the mountain bent in the distance. The River Lethe stretched from the base of the mountain and toward the Capitol, a brilliant stretch of water that glowed green.

Shortstop might’ve been late but he approached the window almost in a trance. The silver trees, the orange skies and glowing rivers and lake were too beautiful to ignore. With a smile, Shortstop readjusted his headwear, an elaborate golden design that resembled the innards of a watch. The design may have seemed like art to some, but it was the picture-language that Shortstop knew and loved. The translation wasn’t as amazing as the design, it simply read his name but he wore it with pride knowing the labor his mom went through to make it.

He turned around from the window and sprinted back down the corridors.

The Citadel, Junior Time Lord Academy, Gallopfrey

9:00am, 1100 T.R. (Time of Our Lord Rassilon)

Shortstop burst into the classroom, Time Travel 101 and felt all eyes on him as he stood in the front awkwardly. A dozen or so students stared at him with a mixture of pity, indifference and expectance, waiting for him to be chewed out by the teacher.

“You’re late,” the teacher remarked curtly.

“I’m sorry, sir,” Shortstop said, looking down at his hooves.

The teacher turned and faced Shortstop. He was a big, lankly pony with a wavy brown mane and a curly-q tail. He wore a simple blue four-button pinstripe jacket with a loosely fitted red tie over a white dress shirt. His golden colored eyes didn’t match his coffee-brown coat but went along perfectly with his Golden Hourglass cutie mark.

Shortstop expected to be berated by the teacher but instead he grinned broadly. “Well, what’re you waiting for then? Off to your seat.”

Shortstop raised an eyebrow. Apparently the rest of the class was confused as well, as if they were expecting a grand show from his tardiness but this substitute teacher was stranger than they thought. He awkwardly bowed and headed off to his seat. The teacher faced the class from his desk with his broad smile.

“Well you lot, hope you’re ready for this class. It’ll be fantastic!” Behind him in a neat hoofwriting of white chalk was the teacher’s name: THE DOCTOR.

The Citadel, Junior Time Lord Academy, Gallopfrey

10:05am, 1100 T.R. (Time of Our Lord Rassilon)

The Doctor grinned as he exited the classroom, having taught the intricacies of time travel and 11th dimension space exploration (he was corrected multiple times by his student when it came to the paradoxical implications from the interference of the casual nexus) as he was assigned and he enjoyed it more than he thought he would.

The Time Pony was the first to leave the class after assigning homework on the calculations of temporal displacement that the TARDIS normally completes when they travel. He met Applejack by the door, she was examining a large book on the history of the Time Lords. Normally she wouldn’t have been able to read the High Gallopfreyan the book was written in, but she and Pinkie were given a few liberties when they arrived at the city.

“This Rassilon feller seems like a pretty big deal,” Applejack remarked, looking up from the book and smiling at the Doctor.

He glanced at the section she was reading and frowned. Waving a dismissive hoof, he took her book and stuffed it in the bag of a passing-by student. “Don’t worry about him, we never really got along well. For some reason, he didn’t like me.”

Applejack gave him a coy smile. “Can’t imagine why he wouldn’t, given yer an upstandin’ Time Lord, right?”

The Doctor looked away, slightly embarrassed as a blush tinged his cheeks. He draped a foreleg over Applejack’s neck, pulling her close for a half-hug. “Never mind that. Enjoying the place so far?”

The farm pony nuzzled close to the Doctor before they broke their hug and walked down the hallways. Applejack watched as dozens of little colts and fillies ran down the hallways with their formal Gallopfreyan robes and backpacks that were stuffed to the brim with books.

She nodded as she gave a passing student a warm smile and the subtle tip of her hat. “It sure is pretty, Doctor. What took ya so long to bring us here?”

“Oh you know, been busy!” he answered with a smile. “Seeing the universe, having a bit of fun, it was all in good time, Applejack.”

“Why did ya ‘ave t’ teach? You don’t seem like th’ type t’ ‘ave a job,” she asked.

The Doctor shot her a hard look and straightened his tie. “Of course I have a job. I’m brilliant at jobs.”

Applejack rolled her eyes. “Yeah, right. If ya ‘ave a job, then Ah’m a pegasus.”

“No, really,” he insisted. “I have a job. You just saw me do it!”

But Applejack just chuckled under her breath, incredulous to the Doctor’s claims. He huffed and toyed with his mane a bit. “There is a reason I was teaching, however. It was a favor to the Lady President.”

“A mare president. Ah like th’ sound of that,” Applejack remarked with a puff of her chest and a smile.

“She helped me out a bit with the Matrix and in return I was supposed to teach the classifications of the Type-97 TARDIS,” he continued.

Applejack frowned. “But, Ah heard you. Ya taught them about time travel, not about th’ TARDIS.”

The Doctor gave her a knowing smile and held a hoof up to his mouth. “Don’t tell Romana that, she gets a bit lecture-y when she’s upset.”

Applejack promised she wouldn’t and the two shared a laugh, walking down the hallways of the academy until they reached the exit. A large courtyard opened up before them. Dozens upon dozens of Gallopfreyan ponies milled about on this beautiful sunny day. Earth ponies, unicorns and pegasi Gallopfreyans enjoyed this wonderful day without a care in the world.

The courtyard was equally beautiful. It was large circular area with a park surrounding it on all sides, silver trees and mercury-colored grass stretched out before them. The city opened up in front of them; tall, imposing spires that reached the skies with large vehicles they weaved around the buildings at speeds that would make Rainbow Dash jealous.

The two suns glinted in the sky, the larger of the two burned a golden red color that when it caught the spires it made it look like it was on fire. The sweet scent of flowers assailed Applejack even though she couldn’t see any in the park. It looked like a wonderful place to live in, Applejack wondered why the Doctor didn’t like coming home.

She looked at the Doctor who looked perfectly content in his suit even though it was a hot, summer day. “Ain’t ya hot in that suit, Doctor?”

He blinked and reflexively fixed his tie. “Not at all, Time Lords are built differently. The heat and cold aren’t much of an issue to me. Besides it was Romana’s suggestion. Apparently, she didn’t like the bowtie and suggested this.”

The Doctor gestured to his suit with a frown, like he didn’t enjoy it. Applejack looked at it, it was a bit strange on him, it seemed a bit tight in some areas. She realized she was staring and looked away. “Not sure what my past self was thinking. Don’t worry, once we get back to the TARDIS, I’ll change.”

Applejack wanted to protest and say she preferred that outfit than his mad-cap, grandpa look but kept her comments to herself. “Where’s Pinkie anyways?” she asked, scanning the courtyard for her. “She should’ve met up with us a while back.”

The Doctor walked down the courtyard, shrugging. “Who knows, hopefully she didn’t get into the TARDIS repair center. Woo, that would be a nightmare.”

But Applejack kept looking for her friend. When they had learned that the Doctor had to teach a class, the mares had opted out of it, explaining that they were on the Doctor’s homeworld and they wanted to see as much as they could of it and not sit around in a classroom. Reluctantly the Doctor agreed and Applejack explored the school while Pinkie Pie instantly disappeared the moment he said yes.

She was sure that Pinkie wouldn’t cause trouble but it was hard to tell with her. One moment, Pinkie could be sitting quietly doing nothing in particular and the next causing perfect chaos that would make Discord blush.

Applejack felt a bit happy that she and Pinkie had the privilege to see the Doctor’s home. Whenever they brought it up to him, the Doctor would always look away and claim he didn’t want to go home because it would be boring. But looking at him now… he was very happy. Smiling and laughing with the Gallopfreyan fillies and colts. It was nice. But she felt like an outsider here.

The Doctor explained that regular ponies weren’t normally allowed in the city, that it would cause a bit of trouble but that this time there was an exception. Given he was supposed to teach, he was allowed to bring a few friends, which was nice of him to include her but she still couldn’t shake this discomfort that loomed over her head like a particularly heavy apple basket.

There was this niggling sense of anxiety that prodded at the back of her mind. Like saying she wasn’t supposed to be there. Applejack chalked it up to being nervous at the prospect of meeting the Doctor’s kind, but it still remained.

“Ah! There she is!” the Doctor exclaimed, making Applejack jump.

Pinkie was over to the west playing with a bunch of children. She was at a large silver tree while a dozen Gallopfreyans ran around her, wrapping her up in red and orange ribbons, giggling as with each rotation Pinkie got more and more constricted. It didn’t seem like a game Applejack would enjoy but Pinkie laughed as they ran around her.

The duo half-jogged to reach Pinkie and by the time they reached her she was completely wrapped up to the tree. The Gallopfreyans giggled as they marveled at their work.

“Pinkie?” Applejack asked as she approached the tree. “Can ya hear me?”

A muffled response came from the mummified Pinkie, eliciting more laughter from the children.

The Doctor approached, patting one of the colts on the head and brandishing his sonic screwdriver, pointing it at Pinkie and activating it. It buzzed and whirred and the ribbons that encased Pinkie unwrapped and spilled to the ground, freeing her.
Pinkie smiled broadly at the Doctor. “Gee, thanks, Doctor!”

“Pinkie what were ya doing?” Applejack asked.

“Well, I was pretending to be the Corsair when she was captured by the Cyberponies and had to wrapped himself up in their armor to fool them into thinking she was one of them,” Pinkie answered. “Why, what did you think I was doing?”

The Doctor raised his eyebrows, impressed. “Blimey, you took to our history fairly well, Pinkie.”

Pinkie laughed and patted the Doctor’s shoulder. “It’s really not that hard, Doctor. The Corsair was here and explained the whole story to me!”

The Doctor’s eyes shot open and he ran up to Pinkie, patting her body and parting her mane to look through it. Applejack blushed at the proximity the Doctor was at to Pinkie but the party pony only giggled as he poked and prodded her.

“She was here?” the Doctor asked, checking her face. “Did she do anything? Did she take anything? Pinkie, don’t tell me you played Blind Pony’s Bluff with her.”

Pinkie shook her head, still smiling. “No, silly! She just talked to me, she recognized me, apparently, and asked about you! I told her you were in class, teaching, and she walked off to her TARDIS and promised she would return later! There was something she wanted to investigate at the end of the universe, she said.”

The Doctor sighed and pocketed his sonic. “Whew, okay, that’s fine.”

“Why, what’s wrong with her?” Applejack asked.

“The Corsair is nice enough,” he promised. “But she has a tendency to pick-pocket if you aren’t looking.”

Applejack raised an eyebrow. “Uh, Doctor. Neither of us are wearin’ clothes. We don’t ‘ave pockets.”

The Doctor’s expression changed from worried to embarrassed. “Ah, right! Forgot about that...”

Applejack suppressed her laughter and tried not to mind the little colts’ meek stares as they shyly looked away from her flank. The Doctor had explained that while it was perfectly acceptable not to wear actual clothes here the act wasn’t widely done and if anypony did actually walk around nude they would get stray stares.

There weren’t many ponies who stared, Applejack figured it was because she wasn’t a Time Lord or a Gallopfreyan and literally flew under their radar, but it still made her self-conscious. Still for a supposedly conservative society, the Gallopfreyans were awfully nice and cordial, treating Applejack nicely and being perfectly accepting of her.

It was only when she mentioned the Doctor that they gave her strange looks. Apparently, the Doctor had earned a reputation on Gallopfrey for being a rather eccentric pony amongst them and given their culture that was saying something.

“Where are we going now?” Pinkie asked with a broad grin. Only Pinkie Pie could feel perfectly content on another planet so far from home.

“Not sure,” the Doctor mused. “Perhaps Arcadia? It’s always lovely this time of year!”

“Sounds good!” beamed Pinkie.

They looked to Applejack for any interjections but the farm pony merely smiled and nodded, pushing away her waning feeling of discomfort. “Come on then, I parked in the TARDIS bay. The Old Girl has been itching to see her sisters again.” The Doctor led them inside the school and Pinkie followed without a word.

Applejack was going to follow but then a cold feeling washed over her. She shivered as the cold feeling ran up her back and she looked around in a panicked manner. It felt like something was watching her, not somepony, something. But the courtyard was as it had been, ponies walking around and enjoying the sunny day, nothing out of the ordinary… then she saw it.

It didn’t look like anything. It was just a dark mass in the distance standing by a large tree as schoolponies ran around it playing with miniature toys of various TARDISes. Nopony seemed to notice it, they just walked around it like nothing. It didn’t have a distinct shape, it didn’t even look like a pony. It was just there, this imposing figure… but Applejack couldn’t help but think it was staring right at her.

The Doctor stepped in front of Applejack’s line of sight, obscuring her view of the figure and Applejack blinked in surprise. “You alright, Applejack?” he asked, his golden eyes fixed with worry.

Applejack managed a smile and nodded, the cold feeling that crawled up her back subsided. “Y-yeah, Ah’m fine. Sorry, Doctor.”

He frowned but seemed content with that answer and nodded. “Right then, come along, AJ.”

The Time Pony grinned and walked off and Applejack looked to the distance at a large tree that had a bunch of schoolponies playing around it. She smiled as she watched them play, pretending to pilot their TARDISes through the infinite expanses of time and space. Applejack turned to follow the Doctor but couldn’t help but wonder if there was something she was forgetting.

Despite it being the middle of the day, the school was near deadly silent. The students sat in their classrooms quietly and calmly and Applejack smiled at the prospect of the Doctor being in one of those classrooms when he was young. He certainly didn’t seem like the type to be able to sit still during a lecture, he probably slacked off and threw paper-airplanes. Rainbow Dash and him would’ve gotten along well in school.

Applejack looked into some of the classrooms to see what they were studying but it didn’t make much sense to her. In one class the students sat in a circle and in the center of the room was a large holographic display of a solar system with a supernova erupting to the side. In another the teacher was showing off projections of various ponies wearing regal Gallopfreyan robes, they wore similar clothes so Applejack surmised it was a history on former Presidents of Gallopfrey. One of those Presidents had a wild chocolate-colored curly mane, mad eyes and an almost crazed smile. He wore those robes too but had a large colorful scarf around his neck which didn’t fit his outfit but seemed to accommodate his personality.

Applejack pressed on and moved through the long hallways in search of the Doctor and Pinkie. She looked around for them but couldn’t help but be distracted by everything she saw. Brilliant displays of galaxies and planets decorated the walls along with the strange Gallopfreyan language that translated slowly for Applejack.

Turning a corner, she finally saw them at the end of the hallway. The duo practically skipped together and before Applejack could call out to them, they rounded to the right and was out of ear-shot. Applejack sighed and moved to follow them when she bumped into a mare.

She was a tiny mare compared to Applejack, but it wasn’t like the farm pony was big to begin with, so that was impressive. She had a brown mane that cascaded down her neck and stopped just before her shoulders. Like everypony else, she wore Gallopfreyan clothes but it was slightly modified. A red top covered her body with punctuated Gallopfreyan bronze designs on her shoulders. Rust-colored collars on her hooves and a strange cutie mark of a mixing bowl with a whisk in it on her tanned flank.

“Oh, Ah’m sorry!” Applejack said, helping the earth pony with her stuff, picking up her various books and handing it to her. But the mare didn’t seemed bothered, she just smiled warmly at Applejack.

“Oh, it’s no problem at all,” the mare said, her accent instantly reminded Applejack of the Doctor’s. Then again, all Gallopfreyans had an accent like that. “I wasn’t watching where I was going. I tend to do that, daydream that is. My mum used to say one day I could walk right into a building without realizing what happened.”

Applejack nodded as she handed the books back and looked at her. She had really pretty brown eyes and a warm smile that felt familiar. “Used t’? Applejack asked before catching herself, it was probably rude and impulsive to ask that but her eyes distracted Applejack so much she forget herself.

The mare’s smile weakened and she nodded slowly. “She’s gone now. Lovely mare, you would’ve liked her. Probably. Not sure, really. But she liked everypony and would talk their ears off for hours on end, just prattle on and on, mostly ‘bout cooking. She loved to cook but enjoyed baking more.”

Applejack listened but the mare spoke so quickly that it felt like a machine-gun firing off words at her. She wondered if she could talk faster than the Doctor.

“Mah ma was like that too,” Applejack said with a small smile. “She could talk fer days about apple-pickin’ and farmin’ techniques. Granny Smith said she would talk in her sleep about apples sometimes.”

The mare nodded and smiled warmly. She didn’t intrude on Applejack’s explanation like some used to. It was nice, the sentiment, but it always felt false and hollow. Even from her friends who all had their respective parents.

“I think I would’ve liked her,” the mare said kindly. “You aren’t from around here, are you?”

Applejack chuckled. “What gave it away? Mah accent?”

She giggled which was nice to listen to. “It’s a Time Lady thing, we can sense it.”

Applejack remembered the Doctor explaining that one time. That Time Lords can sense the presence of another Time Lord, they had some sort of psychic connection, and they just instinctively recognize them. It sounded pretty cool but she didn’t get it when the Doctor prattled on about psychic links and all that jazz.

“Ah’m from Equis,” Applejack explained. “Ah’m not really sure where that is, t’ be honest.”

“I’ve been there once,” the mare confided. “It’s really beautiful.”

She looked like she wanted to say something else but the mare just played with her mane and looked off to the hallway as if she was looking for someone. “Anyways, sorry again, but I’ve got to go. I’ve got a class in temporal mechanics to teach.”

“It’s no prob’,” Applejack promised. “Ah’m Applejack, by the way.”

The mare smiled and shook Applejack’s hoof. “Lovely name, you should keep it. My name is Clara Oswald.”

“Strange name for a Gallopfreyan,” Applejack remarked.

“My mum was a strange pony,” Clara answered with a grin. “When I was a filly I used to get teased for talking a lot and asking loads of questions that they nicknamed me Echo. Because you could always hear my voice in school.”

“Echo,” Applejack repeated. “It fits ya.”

Clara did a curtsey and laughed. “Why thank you. Anyways, it was lovely meeting you, Applejack. Hope to talk to you again.”

She walked off to the direction Applejack came from with a spring in her step. Applejack grinned from her meeting with that strange mare and walked off to where the Doctor and Pinkie went. She wondered if the Doctor would know Clara and wanted to ask him when she got a chance.

Applejack reached the TARDIS bay and found the Doctor and Pinkie admiring the other time capsules. Unlike the TARDIS’s blue police box appearance the other TARDISes had a simplistic silver metallic shell that seemed sterile and Spartan to Applejack. She always thought it was weird that the Doctor’s TARDIS looked like that but next to these metal pods she was beginning to appreciate the blue box.

“Ah, look at her!” the Doctor exclaimed, brushing off his TARDIS with a rag and a proud gleam in his eyes. “She’s quite excited to be with her sisters.”

The TARDIS just stood there, immobile as ever, Applejack didn’t notice anything different about her but the Doctor laughed and patted the doors as if trying to calm the box down.

“Really?” Applejack asked, raising her eyebrows. “Ah can’t tell.”

“Yes, completely excited,” the Doctor answered with a grin. “She can hardly contain herself.”

“Can’t you hear her?” Pinkie Pie asked, sitting on top of another TARDIS. “She sounds so happy!”

Applejack strained her ears to listen but didn’t hear anything. “Uh, no, Ah can’t.”

The Doctor gestured broadly, patting Applejack on her shoulders and led her to the TARDIS. “Ah well, point is, she’s never been this excited. I almost feel bad taking her away.”

Applejack looked at the TARDIS and the same cold feeling from earlier creeped up to her back. She felt uneasy and anxious, almost terrified really. There was something in the back of her mind screaming at her to leave.

“Then why don’t we leave her ‘ere?” Applejack suggested, the words tumbling out of her mouth and she blinked in confusion. Why did she say that? “Ah mean, Arcadia ain’t that far off, right? We can just hoof it.”

The Doctor frowned for a second, like the prospect of walking somewhere bothered him. But he broke out in a grin and nodded. “Of course! Brilliant idea, we can take the scenic route. Just give us a mo’.”

The Time Pony opened the TARDIS doors and stepped inside, closing it behind him. After a few minutes, the Doctor came out in a different outfit. He was dressed as his usual self. A dark purple coat over a black waistcoat with a dark red bowtie around his neck. He ran a hoof over his mane, spun around, and grinned at the mares.

“Well? How do I look?” he asked.

“Funny!” Pinkie answered, breaking out in laughter and falling off the TARDIS she sat on.

“Like cousin Marzipan,” Applejack remarked.

The Doctor frowned and straightened his bowtie, which just made Pinkie Pie laugh more. “Everypony’s a critic…”

He led them from the TARDIS bay and within a few minutes they were out into the courtyard and into the city. He walked briskly but slowed whenever Pinkie stared at the buildings and asked what it was. The Doctor calmly answered each one of her questions with the patience of a Saint. They stopped at a food vendor at the corner and grabbed some snacks.

It looked good enough, the Doctor had bought them a golden colored pastry filled with what looked like jam. “The jam is made from the grove at the base of Mount Solace,” the Doctor explained. “Only grows once a year every 5 years. Quite rare.”

She ate and a plethora of flavors exploded in her mouth. So much was jammed pack in that pastry that it felt impossible to stuff so much in there. “Bigger on the inside,” the Doctor said with a wink. He didn’t eat and was content with a white bag filled with gummy-candy. Pinkie enjoyed her own pastry, commenting on adding this recipe to her own chimmy cherry changas.

Applejack finished her pastry and considered the techniques for her own baking ventures. She looked at the Doctor and frowned slightly. There was something she wanted to ask him but it just slipped her mind. It seemed a bit important. The image of a long brown mane came to mind but it faded.

“You alright, Applejack?” the Doctor asked.

Applejack blinked and looked at the Doctor. “Yeah, sorry. It’s really good,” she told him, unaware that the question evaporated in her mind. “Now then, which way t’ Arcadia?”

They had arrived in Arcadia twenty minutes later. The Doctor hailed a taxi that flew them over the city. From above the domed city looked amazing. It completely blew cities like Canterlot and Manehattan out of the water in terms of awe. Applejack wasn’t exactly the biggest fan of the hustle and bustle of the big city life. Having gone to Manehattan when she was a filly, pretending to be some aristocrat with the fake accent and everything, she hated it.

Everything about it bothered her. The loud noises, the crowdedness, the musk of the city. The buildings felt like it crowded here until she was in a claustrophobic closet and couldn’t breathe. The open air of the farm, the rolling fields of her orchard, the sweet scent of nature, that was something she’d felt comfortable with. Arcadia, however, was different.

The way the city was set-up felt organic and open-ended to allow for plenty of space on the ground and enough room to breathe. The buildings gleamed silver in the sunlight, pulsating with blue lights underneath as the advanced technology of the Time Lords enhanced the architecture. It all looked sleek and neat but there were rustic parts of the city as well, meshed in together with the lustrous feel of the city like a steampunk design smashed with advanced tech.

It was amazing to look at.

“Safest place in Gallopfrey,” promised the Doctor with a grin. “It’s protected by four-hundred sky trenches that prevent invasion from the atmosphere.”

“What’s a sky trench?” Pinkie asked.

“Imagine the scales of a dragon wrapping around his vulnerable flesh or a pony wearing chainmail armor,” he offered.


“Right, and forget that, it’s nothing like that at all,” the Doctor said, waving a dismissive hoof.

Pinkie jokingly poked the Doctor in his stomach, laughing. Applejack looked down at the city and enjoyed the sights but still couldn’t shake her discomfort.

“No more…” she muttered.

“What was that?” the Doctor asked.

Applejack blinked, confused, and shook her head. “Nothin’,” she promised. “Nothin’ at all.”

Will Rise

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The City of Arcadia, Gallopfrey
12:22pm, 1100 T.R. (Time of Our Lord Rassilon)

Pinkie Pie loved the city of Arcadia, almost as much as she loved her friends and family; and that’s saying something! Pinkie grinned as they stepped out of the cab; the Doctor swiped his psychic paper over a machine and on the display blinked an infinite symbol next to the currency indicator. She didn’t really understand what that meant, but the driver’s mouth dropped and he thanked the Doctor for his generosity.

They looked upon the city square with awe-struck expressions and eyes brimming with wonder. Pinkie couldn’t believe her eyes but they always told the truth so it doesn’t seem right to sudden assume they’re lying. In the last chapter, Pinkie had spent the entirety of it playing outside with a bunch of school-ponies and having fun in the city.

She had asked them a bunch of questions about Time Lords and they asked her a bunch of questions about life in Ponyville, it was a really nice time, even after she saw that scary thing in the back of the park. Pinkie didn’t like to think about scary things, Granny Pie always told her that the scary things aren’t as scary as they seem and they shouldn’t get to her. Pinkie tried to keep Granny Pie’s wise words in her mind but found that she couldn’t. When she looked at the scary thing, it felt like everything she knew and remembered disappeared from her mind.

It wasn’t like a pony, or anything, it was just blob of darkness that briefly reminded Pinkie of that gelatin recipe the Cakes recently came up with. In fact, that gelatin was really good; so good Pinkie couldn’t stop smiling that whole day. Well she always liked to smile but it wasn’t a gelatin-induced perpetual smile. Anyways, where was she. Oh right, the scary thing. It just stood there by the school, although it didn’t have any hooves, Pinkie wanted to assume it was actually standing instead of levitating.

Nopony paid any attention to that thing and some ponies could walk right through it! But Pinkie froze when she saw it. It didn’t have a face but Pinkie swore it was staring right at her, pulling every happy thought from her eyes and absorbing them like a black hole. It made Pinkie want to run and hide, to duck under her blankie where things were nice and safe… then again, that thing gave her an irrational fear of the dark.

Before she could do anything, the creature disappeared like it was never there and Pinkie couldn’t actually remember what it looked like or what she was looking at. It was weird; every moment that passed her memory of the creature disappeared more and more. Pinkie feared that everything she knew would fade like that monster had…

“Lovely isn’t it?” the Doctor asked, wrapping her foreleg around Pinkie and smiling broadly. Pinkie blinked and smiled cheerfully at the Doctor, his smile was so infectious she just couldn’t help but grin back. There was this weird feeling in the back of her head telling her she’s forgetting something but she ignored it.

“Yeah, it’s super pretty!” Pinkie answered. “Rarity would love this place!”

It certainly was. There was a myriad of Gallopfreyan designs in their circle language decorating the window panes, illuminated in a brilliant spectrum of colors that blinked and changed between colors periodically so the whole square lit up magically. Gallopfreyans walked down the streets wearing clothes the ponies at the Citadel wore but the intricate designs were different in a subtle manner. For example: Arcadian ponies had Greek words on their robes whereas the ponies in the main city didn’t.

The tiniest differences, Pinkie thought, set them apart by leagues and she quite enjoyed it. Everypony had their own way of expressing themselves, whether it is overt like Pinkie’s antics or as subtle as Fluttershy’s gentle voice and soft-speaking tone. These ponies may have been Gallopfreyan but they were also Arcadians which set them apart in terms of culture, sociopolitical influence, even architectural designs.

That kind of stuff always intrigued Pinkie. Sure, she didn’t seem like the type of mare to care about the impact popular culture may have on susceptible ponies but she certainly did. After all, a party pony needs to have a good base knowledge on everything, how else can she come up with creative themes for each celebration?

Twilight could talk your head off about the implications of the business and political spectrum affecting the populace, even Rarity could lend in a hoof about cultural bias. It was all very interesting but it was difficult to pay attention to them when they talked a lot. Pinkie couldn’t help it! She tries, really hard to listen but her eyelids get heavy and her brain is like Hey, time to go to sleep!

Thankfully, her brain wasn’t anything like that right now. It was wide-awake, processing everything she saw and responded with a rainbow colored spectrum of happiness. Pinkie glanced at the Doctor and noticed he was smiling as wide as she was, which made her smile more!

“If only Jenny could see this,” the Doctor muttered. Then he frowned like he should’ve remembered something… something really important. Pinkie frowned as well, her head started to hurt, like it was trying to grapple a ghost of a memory.

Flashes of images came to her mind. Ashy-gray creatures, a domed military encampment, a blonde mare wearing camouflage fatigues…

But they disappeared in an instant and then confusion set on Pinkie’s face. For a moment she wondered why she was so upset a second ago but again passed it off as maybe a tummy ache or something. The Doctor shook his head in confusion, when he met Pinkie’s eyes he looked so sad, so lost for a moment. His golden eyes looked like rusted tin. But then it brightened like he remembered to be happy.

“I wasn’t from here, but Susan loved to visit Arcadia as much as she could,” the Doctor said, walking forward, through the grand city.

Applejack frowned as she followed. “Susan?” she asked.

“My granddaughter,” the Doctor answered. “Oh, you lot would’ve liked her. Very clever.”

“Where is she?” Pinkie asked, looking around as if trying to find her.

“Oh, she’s off with her coltfriend. She—“ the Doctor frowned. “Hm. Where is she…”

“I didn’t know you were a grandfather, Doctor!” Pinkie exclaimed with a giggle. “You don’t seem that old.”

“Ah, don’t let the cool gear fool you, Pinkie. I’ve got quite a bit of mileage,” the Doctor smiled wearily and patted Pinkie. “Now then, how’s about a trip to the museum?”

Normally, museum would’ve sound boring to Pinkie. Don’t get her wrong, the buildings themselves are usually really pretty and cute but it was so quiet and so boring! Walking around, looking at weird pictures of the bones of ancient animals wasn’t Pinkie’s idea of a good time (Gummy sure liked it though!)

But this museum was a bit different, the Doctor explained. It was more about the history of the individual Time Lords.

“Even you?” Pinkie asked.

The Doctor nodded. “All of my lives, ready for you.”

To be honest, Pinkie was very interested in learning about the Doctor. She knows that someponies prefer to keep to themselves and enjoy the prospect of solidarity and silence, Cranky taught her that. But come on, this is the Doctor! This Time Pony is mystery incarnate!

She’s wanted to know more about him since they first met. What his real name was, where he was from, what his favorite snack was (to this day, Pinkie still doesn’t know what jelly babies are). It didn’t help that every moment she was with the Doctor he did something amazing that blew her mind!

It’s like her mom gave her this really cool toy and told her that she can’t press the red button that was on its head. That no matter what the situation, she cannot touch that button. So, of course, all she wanted to do was press the button! And every five minutes or so, the cool toy randomly did something really cool like rockets appear on its back or it dispenses cake.

That’s what the Doctor was, this really cool toy that dispenses cake… in fact, could he dispense cake?

Pinkie was going to ask the Doctor if the TARDIS had a kitchen but then the wall glowed and a red light emitted from it, showering the Time Pony in a crimson hue until he looked almost timeless. The display on the wall showcased the Doctor’s expression; he was making a silly face, sticking his tongue out and crossing his eyes so he looked like Ditzy.

The museum looked like every museum Pinkie’s ever been to. It had white, sterile walls and paintings set up everywhere of amazing, realistic landscapes or famous ponies with regal poses; staring off into the distance like, What is that?

Pinkie had expected some sort of grand exhibit for the Doctor but they had stopped in front of a blank wall with a single display on it and it took his picture. His goofy expression remained on the screen as pieces of data whizzed by it, so fast even Pinkie couldn’t read. She only caught a few words like Skaro, Eight-Legs, black hole, and Valeyard.

Eventually, the wall shifted until multiple displays lined it. Each display winked to life and the picture of different ponies appeared on it. Pinkie thought those were his family members because although they looked nothing alike, they had the same crazy look in their eyes, like a genius hopped up on too much sugar.

Then she noticed that underneath every stallion were their names: The Doctor.

“From 1 to 12,” the Doctor explained. “That’s me.”

Pinkie honestly thought the Doctor was playing a joke because the first 4 Doctors were, well, older-looking than he was. The First looked like the eldest, with snow-white hair, a wizened expression and a crotchety gait. It was only the 5th Doctor that it began to fluctuate and you couldn’t tell how old he really was. She looked up to the 11th, a dark coated pony with a wavy mane and sad eyes. The current Doctor was right next to 11 and although they looked the same, the Doctor’s golden eyes looked perpetually happy.

She decided that she liked 12 the most out of all of them.

“Ya got a lot of faces,” Applejack remarked. “But what about that one?”

Applejack pointed to the display between the 8th and 9th Doctor. Pinkie hadn’t noticed it before but all it showed was static, flickering on and off as if it was trying to grab that piece of data but either it wasn’t there or it simply couldn’t.

The Doctor frowned and placed his hoof on the broken display. His expression looked conflicted like he too was trying to grasp a memory that simply wasn’t there. “Must be a glitch,” he decided but he didn’t seem very convinced.

“Ooh, is that your granddaughter?” Pinkie asked, pointing at the 1st Doctor. Underneath his portrait were a few other ponies in a group picture. One was a handsome looking stallion with a neatly combed brown mane and a nice blazer with a dark tie beside a lithe mare with a big hairdo and flower-print dress. The smallest of them was a tiny mare with a pale coat and a short-cropped brown mane and meticulously brushed tail. Her eyes were dark but shared the same ingenious light the Doctor’s had and her cutie mark was like his: a Golden Hourglass but it glowed bright yellow, like the sun was right behind it.

The Doctor looked at the picture and nodded. A sad frown came to his lips as he looked at Susan. “Susan,” he said, his voice ragged. “She was always clever…”

“She’s quite pretty, Doctor,” Applejack remarked.


“Hey, who’s that, Doctor?” Applejack asked.

The Doctor and Pinkie looked at what Applejack pointed at and instantly a wave of nausea washed over her. Pinkie felt dizzy, like the world around her turned upside down. She felt her skin go clammy and her knees shook as she looked at the picture.

Right underneath the 11th Doctor was a portrait of several ponies: a red-haired mare, a stallion in Roanen armor, a mare with a big frizzy hairdo, but the very last one made Pinkie sick. She wanted to throw up, run away, hide under her bed and cry, all at the same time.

The last one was a tiny mare with a tanned coat. Her chocolate brown mane was beautifully straightened and draped over her neck comfortably. She wore a dark coat that made her look a bit tough and didn’t match her warm eyes and pretty smile that brought a tear to Pinkie’s eyes. But what made her so scared was her cutie mark: it was a strange blue mixing bowl with a whisk in it.

It was a strange cutie mark, admittedly, but it fit this particular mare. Pinkie knew that cutie mark, she’d never thought she’d see it again. She almost began bawling because that particular cutie mark and particular mare was her Granny Pie—

The City of--------REDACTED

Pinkie Pie smiled as she shared a Popsicle with the Doctor. Well, share may be a grievous overstatement. She took the half piece of Popsicle that the Doctor held in his hooves and happily chomped on it. The Time Pony gave her a curious expression but said nothing as he continued with his own Popsicle.

Applejack was content with her own Popsicle and sat to the Doctor’s right. As expected from the farm pony she bought the apple-flavored Popsicle and was rather surprised at the high-quality flavor that washed over her tongue. The Doctor had a regular watermelon Popsicle while Pinkie opted for the blue bubblegum flavor. But Pinkie had finished her Popsicle relatively early and “asked” the Doctor for half of his.

The city of Arcadia splayed out before the trio as they watched the suns set on the horizon. The Doctor took his TARDIS and floated above the city while the three of them sat off the edge, just barely fitting, Pinkie was very much aware of her hindleg against the Doctor’s.

“Eventful day,” the Doctor remarked with a smile. “This is my favorite part, though.”

“Two mares on either side of ya as we watch th’ sunset? Yeah, Ah can imagine why this is yer favorite,” Applejack said with a chuckle.

The Doctor shook his head, unbothered by Applejack’s implications and pointed at the sunset. “The way the suns shine their last bit of light on the city,” he said just as they dipped below the horizon. “It makes the whole city glow.”

On cue, the last bit of light from the suns caught the large spires and refracted off the reflective surfaces and a rainbow exploded over the city. Pinkie Pie caught her breath because it looked like a sonic rainboom, glowing with a magic that couldn’t be explained very well. The rainbow was only there for a few seconds and when it faded the city fell into a sleepy darkness.

The Doctor looked at Pinkie Pie with a slight smile. In the dim lights of the TARDIS he looked like those knights Pinkie read about when she was a filly, brave, strong and timeless. His 14-carot eyes glittered playfully and Pinkie felt heat rise up to her cheeks as he leaned in close. She was frozen in place as the Doctor gently kissed her lips and fireworks went off in her head—


Explosions obliterated the AA-gun and the pony manning it was vaporized instantly. Pinkie dove and pushed herself to the ground as much as she could as the Daleks dive-bombed for another run, just barely missing her as their Z-Neutrino energy blasts tore the ground up behind her.

Chaos erupted in her ears that only barely drowned out the perpetual ringing she heard. Screams of fillies and colts and innocent ponies burned into Pinkie’s memory. Orders were being barked by officers around her, trying to get some order into this mess but it was pointless.

Pinkie looked up at the sky. The once beautiful blue sky was blood-red with black clouds; the suns were blocked by the massive Dalek fleet that seemed to cover every square-inch of the upper atmosphere. She could see the sky trenches holding steady but the continued onslaught from the ships would destroy them easily.

Another explosion to Pinkie’s left jarred her back to reality. She rolled away as the heat washed over her and jumped to her hooves. Grabbing her weapon, Pinkie growled as it powered up and aimed it at the Daleks as they flew overhead, bombarding the bomb shelters like it was nothing.

She let off a barrage of energy bolts that collided with a Dalek. The first few only glanced off its shield but the next caused it to explode. Pinkie had to roll out of the way as the debris from the Dalek’s destroyed husk nearly crashed into her.

The Gallopfreyan armor felt bulky on her but Pinkie didn’t dare take it off. The armor was designed to absorb a few shots from a Dalek’s fully charged blast, afterward it would crumble like aluminum foil. Her earpiece buzzed with confused chatter and panicked distress calls; it seemed that this chaos was everywhere.


The radio line buzzed loudly, popped, and went dead. The ground rumbled under Pinkie’s hooves. She glanced to the west and saw the sun… No, it wasn’t the sun. A rust-colored mushroom cloud bloomed in the distance and Pinkie’s hearts dropped. A second later, a shock wave shook the entire city, shattering every window on every building and even knocked down a few skyscrapers.

Pinkie held her breath, staring out in horror as she watched the city of Delphi disappeared in an instant. She looked up at the sky, tears falling from her eyes as she angrily fired at the Daleks, yelling so loud all she could hear at the moment was the blood roaring in her ears. She didn’t hear the Dalek fire at her but felt her entire body burn as she was launched in the air and slammed into a building.

Her hearts ached with pain and her body felt like it was slowing down… she was dying but couldn’t feel her body regenerate as it should.

Pinkie’s eyes closed, falling into a deep sleep by the chorus of “EXTERMINATE!” by the Daleks.

No More

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“No more.”

“We're positioned at equidistant intervals around the globe. Equidistant. So grown up. “

“What you do in your regeneration is your own business.”

“It’s nothing… Just a wolf.”

The Doctor struggled to keep his mind together. It felt like it was splintering into a million pieces, like glass, shattering against the ground. Thousands of years of memories blazed through his mind, going out of control like a tornado of grief, terror, and destruction.

He let out a horrible wail as his mind was invaded again, it felt like a burning hot piece of metal pressing against his head.

“Whatever you are, you better hope this kills me. Otherwise, YOU’LL REGRET IT!” he roared.


The 11th Doctor walked down the street, trying to shove his irritation for the so-called Paternoster Gang to the back of his mind. Once again they went about their monthly antics to convince the Doctor to “snap out of his sulk and get out there” and they failed for the billionth time. The thought of them trying to somehow “cure” the Doctor of his depression was both aggravating yet sweet and considerate at the same time.

Still, the Doctor was perhaps the most adamant person in the universe. Well, save Amy of course.

A deep frown set on his face as he could practically hear her Scottish brogue chiding him.

Oh, come off it, Grumpy-Face. What’s skulking ‘round gonna help?

“I’m not skulking,” the Doctor muttered under his breath.

Right, chimed the voice of Rory, the Centurion, Funeral clothes in Victorian London while you sit up on your cloud? Nothing wrong with that picture.

The barest foundation of a smile set in on the Time Lord’s face as he pictured those two so vividly in his mind he could almost touch them. Then the harsh reality set on him, weighing his shoulders down as if the sky was suddenly set on his back. With his shoulders hunched downward and his eyes downcast, the Doctor sullenly continued his path through the alleyway.

“Did you make this snowman?”

Without hesitation or breaking stride, the Doctor curtly responded, “No.”

“Well, who did? ‘Cos it wasn’t ‘ere a second ago. It just appeared. Out of nowhere.”

The Doctor turned around slowly, feeling his curiosity rise and prod the back of his mind like a sugar-crazed child with the attention span of a goldfish. He glanced at the woman who spoke: pretty, he supposed, with a somewhat homely dress that seemed to burst with fiery defiance.

Something compelled him. Something powerful like a gravitational field, perhaps it was the way this woman spoke or just the genuine interest in the self-creating snowman. Either way, his mind wasn’t in control as he approached the snowman and the woman, pulling out his glasses and throwing them on.

He glanced at her for a moment. There wasn’t fear in her eyes but a bright intelligence that seemed to challenge the Doctor like, Go on, try to figure it out if you’re so clever.

The Doctor suppressed his smile and reached out to touch the snowman. “Maybe it’s snow that fell before,” he started. “Maybe it remembers how to make a snowman.”

The snow felt like regular snow. It was a bit denser than usual but on the surface there wasn’t particularly abnormal about this snow. He was merely saying that to hopefully coax the girl away and to stave her interest in imaginary snowmen.

“Wot, snow that can remember? That’s silly,” she said with a smile.

“What’s wrong with silly?”

Nothing, still talkin’ to you, ain’t I?” This time a full, proper smile appeared on her face with the slight cock of her head. A smile so infectious the Doctor couldn’t help but smile back.

“What’s your name?” the Doctor asked as he pulled his glasses off.

“Clara,” she announced with the stately tone of a queen.

“Nice name… Clara,” he repeated, as if feeling out how the name sounds in his mouth. He turned around and quickly disposed of Clara’s name from his memory. “You should definitely keep it.” He rounded the corner, mentally chiding himself for hanging around. “Goodbye!”

The Doctor only made it halfway down the alley before he heard Clara half-jog after him. “Oi!” she called but didn’t break the Doctor’s pace. “Where you goin’, I thought we was just gettin’ acquainted.”

Instantly, memories flooded back into his mind. Sassy Rose, brave Mickey, brilliant Martha, important Donna, little Amelia, and heroic Rory appeared and doused him like a cold bucket of water. Thousands of years of grief and loneliness manifested in those big sad eyes as he turned around and smiled so morosely, Clara could’ve easily imagined him in a funeral.

“Those were the days…”


The Doctor jogged up the stairs up Powell Estate, following the psychic directions transmitted from his sonic screwdriver. There was only one bit remaining from that Nestene Consciousness that had somehow survived the… fiasco from last night.

Honestly, he wasn’t expecting his little explosive to cause that much damage. He might’ve gotten the calculations wrong but really can he be blamed? He’s only getting used to this body and he can’t expect all the synapses to be firing off right out of the gate.

He’d probably need to leave some money to compensate for the repairs…

Anyhow. The sonic led him here, why a piece of plastic with a hivemind intelligence would venture out all the way here was beyond the Doctor.

Following the signal to the correct door, the Doctor heard some noise behind it. Carefully, he listened and heard two distinct voices, one was shrill with a grating cadence while the other sounded eerily familiar.

“—I know she’s Greek, but that’s not the point. It was a valid claim!” came the first voice so loudly, the Doctor had to recoil from the door to prevent his eardrums from rupturing.

“Blimey, I’m gonna regret this ain’t I?” the Doctor muttered as he tried the door. Ah, locked. Perhaps the sonic could—

“Mum, you’re such a liar. I told you to nail that cat flap down! We’re going to get strays!”

That voice sounded really familiar at this point but he couldn’t peg it down.

“I did it weeks back!” shouted the first woman.

“No, you thought about it.”

Looking down under at the cat-flap the woman was talking about, the Doctor was about to open it when it rattled by itself. He stared intently, waiting, perhaps it was the Nestene disguising itself. Ooh, it was going to get it now.

The flap opened and a blonde was staring back at him. Well, that was different.

She gasped, staring at him like he was a ghost and snapped to her feet. The Doctor calmly got up just as she was opening the door.

“What’re you doing here?” the Doctor asked, frowning like it was her fault he couldn’t find the Nestene.

“I live here,” she snapped back with an incredulous expression.

The Doctor furrowed his eyebrows. “Well, what’d you do that for?”

“Because I do,” she argued but the Doctor wasn’t paying attention at this point. He brandished his sonic and listened to it, nope, the signal corresponded here. “I’m only ‘ere ‘cos someone blew up my job.”

“Must’ve gotten the wrong signal,” he muttered, listening to the sonic buzz. He looked up at the woman again, seriously, it felt like déjà vu looking at her. “You’re not plastic are ya?”

He didn’t wait for her response, leaning in, he tapped her forehead twice and felt the familiar skeletal structure resonate from his invasion of personal space.

“No, bonehead.” He backed up slightly and smiled a bit, preparing to leave. “Bye then!”

But she reached out and grabbed his coat, yanking him inside. “You. Inside. Right now.”

She slammed the door behind him but he just stared at her like she just evolved from pond scum to a sapien right before his eyes. He pocketed his sonic and looked around the flat. Lovely if a bit small and restricting, he felt like he walked into a closet.

“Who is it?” the first woman asked from the other room.

Blondey walked off to answer and the Doctor just remained there, half-thinking about the Nestene and half-wondering about where he saw her before. Ah! Last night, at the store. Rose. That was her name, how he could forget that?

No, but it felt like he knew her from somewhere else. Somewhere a long time ago…

Rose walked forward and the Doctor followed just in time for the first woman to all but shout out, “She deserves compensation!”

The Doctor smiled derisively, having no clue what she’s on about but went along with the joke. “Ha. We’re talkin’ millions.”

The woman blushed slightly and fidgeted in her spot but the Doctor just grinned stupidly, looking around the room and trying not to grimace at the overbearing assault of offending odors of cheap perfume. She straightened up slightly and the Doctor finally turned his attention back on her.

“I’m in my dressing gown,” she pointedly remarked.

The Doctor maintained his cheerful expression. “Yes, you are,” he told her, unsure if she had regenerated recently considering her apparent confusion over her clothing options.

“There’s a strange man in my bedroom,” she said next.

This time the Doctor tilted his head a bit but nodded, deciding that he was, yes indeed, strange and a man. “Yes, there is.”

“Well, anything could happen…”

He finally took a look at her. Sure, she was pretty and obviously Rose’s mother but her sudden attraction to him was both confusing and alarming. “No,” he decided, leaving the room and following Rose to the sitting room.

“Don’t mind the mess,” Rose tells him, beginning to clean up slightly. “Do you want a coffee?”

The Doctor thought about it. He wasn’t sure if he liked coffee. Did his last regeneration like coffee? Probably didn’t have a lot of time to try it. “Might as well,” he decided almost reluctantly. “Thanks! Just milk.”

“We should go to the police. Seriously, both of us.” Rose continued as she made her way to the kitchen. The Doctor wanted to scoff, what good could the police do in the case of a sentient, megalomaniac race of living plastic?

He kept his opinions to himself as he grabs and flips through an unremarkable magazine. “That won’t last,” he mutters. “He’s gay and she’s an alien.”

“I’m not blaming you,” Rose continued, ignoring the Doctor’s quiet musings while working on their drinks. “Even if it was just some joke that went wrong.”

Picking up a small book, the Doctor flipped through it, reading it all instantly. “Hmm. Sad ending,” he remarks, he hated endings like that.

“They said on the news they’d found a body,” said Rose as the Doctor glanced at her mail.

“Rose Tyler,” he read, enjoying how her name sounded in his voice but still unable to shake the feeling that he’d heard that name from somewhere before.

Finally, the Doctor looked up and noticed a mirror at the wall. He frowned. Short, military-cropped hair graced the top of his head, his face was older than he was accustomed to considering his last two regenerations, but he looked grim and stoic. Bleh.

“Ah, could’ve been worse,” he joked, playing with his earlobes and remembering his previous face’s desire for smaller ears. “Look at the ears!”

“All the same,” Rose said. “He was nice. Nice bloke…”

Picking up a deck of cards, the Doctor successfully trick-shuffles it. Ooh, it’s been quite a while where he’s had a dexterous body. “Luck be a lady.”

“Anyway, if we are going to the police. I wanna know what I’m sayin’,” Rose called from the kitchen.

But suddenly, the cards spill from his hands, flying everywhere. Blimey, Houdini would laugh at him.

“Maybe not…”

Scuttling rapped at the back of the room. The Doctor quickly turned his attention toward it. It was tiny, considering how loud it was, about the size of a household pet. “What’s that then? You got a cat?”

“No,” Rose answered.

The Doctor looks over the chair, smiling, expecting a friendly little cat but a plastic arm flew up and clutched his throat so tightly you’d think it was a professional arm-wrestler than plastic. The Doctor shot back, choking from the arm’s iron grip.

“We did have, but now they’re just strays,” Rose explained, entering the room with two mugs of warm coffee. The Doctor gave her a desperate look of panic but Rose took no notice, scoffing under her breath. “I told Mickey to chuck that out. You’re all the same… Give a man a plastic hand. Anyway, I don’t even know your name. Doctor… what was it?”

The Doctor, through sheer force of will and brute strength, pulled the arm away from his neck and it flew backwards but stopped in mid-air. It turned, finding a better target, and shot through Rose, wrapping its hand over her face.

Rose flinched and tried to pull the arm off. The Doctor leapt to action, his body recognizing the sensation of danger and adrenaline. He grabbed at the arm and tried to pull it off but Rose moved with it, it was stuck on there tight!

He kept pulling, Rose pulling away from him, but they had no such luck. He pulled hard but the two of them flew back and crashed on the coffee table, obliterating it. Ignoring the pain, the Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and activating it. Leaping up, he grabbed the arm again and finally yanked it free from Rose’s face. Holding it steady, he toyed with his sonic.

The sonic pulsed and a slew of psychic commands were ready at his command. He needed to find the right frequency for a hivemind intelligence, pressing the button and psychically entering different commands, it buzzed differently with each pulse. Finally finding it, he pressed it against its palm and the fingers went slack.

Sighing in relief, his shoulders relaxed and the adrenaline subsided. “It’s all right,” he promised. “I’ve stopped it. There you go, ya see? ‘Armless!”

He tossed her the arm and she jumped in surprise but as the Doctor said it was harmless. “D’ya think?” she smacked him in the arm with the arm and he feigned a hurt expression.



The Doctor twitched and took a huge gulp of air like it was his first time inhaling in a thousand years. Past memories and faces wash over his mind and for a moment he had to convince himself that he wasn’t fighting a plastic arm with a blonde, spunky girl. He was a pony, freezing, and afraid.

The TARDIS’s cloister bell rang off and chimed somberly. The room was absolutely freezing, so cold, another memory reappeared in his mind. Victorian London, the Great Intelligence freezing his body from the inside out.

He shook that memory away, refusing to indulge it by letting it consume him. He would not pass out.

The Doctor couldn’t move very well, it felt like a mountain was sitting on him, pinning him down. He looked around the room desperately, trying to remember who was here with him. His hearts froze as he saw Pinkie Pie and Applejack slumped on the ground.

He wanted to cry out and call for them but then he noticed their midsections were moving. Thank god, they were breathing.

Then a malevolent force washed over him and a shiver ran up his back. It caressed him gently, like a mother soothing her troubled child, but it only made him more alert, sitting up and trying to spot this evil force.

On a scale of 1 to Dalek, this thing was a very good contender for Cybermen level of evil.

“The lord of time approaches,” a voice said. It was female, deep and sultry, as if she were trying to lull him back to sleep. She pronounced her words carefully and slowly, with the prose of a poet. “His fortification of mind, will not withstand my terror. Awaken, Time Pony, rise! Before me… everything dies.”

“Oh, great, a poet,” the Doctor grumbles trying to blink his pain away. “Spare me the theatrics and you might as well tell me your plan so I can stop it.”

The Doctor could sense a ripple of amusement run through the voice. He could imagine a wicked smile, like the grin of a murderer. “He weaves words pedantically. Hoping to poke and prod. To what end, I wonder. Your tongue, like a sword… Strike me Time Lord, you may try to strike a chord.”

“You’re trying to possess me,” the Doctor guesses, feeling the intrusive feel of this malevolent creature against his mind. “And the TARDIS, you’ve shut her down. Why, who are you?”

“You… cannot hope to know me. The never-ending darkness, malice, evil, corruption. They may call me the Devil. But the truth, you will know soon, for I am the Nightmare Moon.”

Panic seized the Doctor’s throat. He had heard of Nightmare Moon from Twilight Sparkle. Apparently, it was Princess Luna’s alter-ego when she betrayed and attacked her sister, Princess Celestia. He had heard Princess Luna speak before, she did not sound like this, although there were similarities.

Both Luna and Nightmare Moon spoke archaically, with a degree of severe intelligence and wisdom that accumulated from thousands of years.

Looking back at his companions, he noticed they shuddered from Nightmare Moon’s freezing presence. The only reason he wasn’t developing frost-bite was because of his durable body, but those two… who knows how long they can last.

“Let Applejack and Pinkie go,” he demanded. “They’ve no part in this!”

“Brave souls for braving you, yes?” Nightmare Moon mused. “As long as they are with you, forever they will suffer. A shared grave for the Doctor.”

Anger bubbled in the Doctor’s voice and he sat up straighter than ever, ignoring how his entire body and mind burned. With the command of thousands of years of experience at disposal and the anger of a million suns, he roared, “I said RELEASE THEM!”

“Strong words, so bold from the Time Lord, so old. I will have your mind, Doctor,” she laughed quietly. “Yours is something I have not encountered in many eons. Even the Night Princess paled before you.”

His anger dissipated as it was replaced with realization and fear. Nightmare Moon latched on Princess Luna’s jealousy and anger… if she would try the same with him

“Your guilty, murderous heart… will take this universe apart,” Nightmare Moon finished.

The Doctor blinked away his confusion and focused intensely on Nightmare Moon’s voice. Pain seared his mind, peeling it away until only raw nerves remained that caught ablaze from Nightmare Moon’s influence, but it allowed him to focus on what was important.

He stared, dazed, at the TARDIS control room once so full of life remained desolate and despondent. The lights were off and so were the engines, a deep psychic wave washed over the Doctor and for once he understood. The pain he felt against his mind was not his own, it was the TARDIS transmitting all of her pain to him.

That’s the only reason he woke up. Because the Old Girl forced him awake with a metaphorical bucket of cold water. Despite how dark and cold the TARDIS had become there was a bright, purple light shining around the console.

The Doctor paled as he realized what it was. It was a billowy purple smoke that wrapped around the time rotor like a snake coiling up. It was only smoke but it radiated a type of freezing cruelty that only the Doctor could recognize. When it shone against the reflective rotor, the Doctor could see the barest images of a mare’s face. Dark purple eyes, wicked fangs, a black coat.

The smoke coiled around the Doctor, threatening to overwhelm him but it hadn’t, as powerful as she may be she still couldn’t possess him so easily.

“I could regenerate,” he threatened weakly, his hooves shining gold. “Blast you out of my TARDIS with so much regeneration energy not a single molecule would remain.”

“Combust in the flames of life, dear Doctor,” suggested Nightmare Moon. “But what of your companions? Would they be safe in such close proximity? I doubt your claimed ability.”

“Do you?” he growled, the gold dust now covering his entire body and a brilliant light bursting from his eyes. “That’s one thing you shouldn’t do, lady.”

But his threat didn’t go as planned. Instead, Nightmare Moon laughed wickedly a sound that eerily reminded the Doctor of Davros’s evil cackle. The purple smoke flowed from the console like a shark and circled Pinkie and AJ. The Doctor cried, “NO! Stop!”

But the smoke jabbed at the mares’ backside and they twitched and convulsed horribly, the Doctor felt like his hearts were being crushed.

Applejack sat up suddenly and opened her eyes but they glowed ghostly purple. She looked sickly as Nightmare Moon’s magical aura surrounded her. “Try, try, Doctor,” Applejack spoke but it was in Nightmare Moon’s iambic prose. “To expunge me. You will find it not to be easy!”

Pinkie twitched and sat up as well, her eyes just as lifeless as Applejack’s. “The Time Lord’s heart lay bare, such a weak fool. This semblance of kindness will be your doom!”

Immediately, the Doctor ceased his regeneration, the gold dust dissipated and the light around him died. He glared at Pinkie/Nightmare Moon and didn’t try anything else for fear of putting his friend in danger.

“When I get out of this, and I will, I’ll put an end to your plan,” the Doctor promised as the ghostly smoke came out of Pinkie’s mouth and the mare slumped over asleep again. The smoke went over to the Time Pony and wrapped around him. “You’ve only got one shot at this, Nightmare Moon. For your sake… don’t miss.”

Nightmare Moon laugh, a sound that reminded the Doctor of a monstrous purr. “Sleep, sleep, my little Time Lord,” she whispered and the Doctor’s eyelids became heavy. “For this will be over soon. You’ll be the next Nightmare Moon!”

Her magic shadowed over him. The Doctor resisted the sleep magic for a moment but found it would be useless if he tried so he slumped his head and fell to a deep slumber. His mind buzzed as past memories resurfaced, memories he tried so hard to forget, stirred by this evil creature.


The Doctor worked to maintain his TARDIS as it sparked and creaked erratically. He growled as the TARDIS tried to resist his flight pattern. “Come on, Old Girl,” he mumbled. “I know you don’t want to be here, but it’s my fault this is happening.”


The Time Pony looked up and noticed his granddaughter, Susan, staring back at him in desperation. Her dark eyes were wide with fear as she worked on her side of the TARDIS console. “She wants to leave! We should go…”

The Doctor shook his head, waving his dark curly hair from here to there, and stared back at the controls. He hated that Susan was here, she didn’t deserve to endure this horrific war, but the silly mare insisted on enlisting. She wore her standard Time Lady military grab while the Doctor kept his dark coat marred by years of fighting.

Her large and bulky armor dwarfed her already tiny size, so she looked like a filly wearing her father’s clothes. Her black mane was usually well-done and fashionably sensible, but the years of war and the indifference toward personal aesthetic left it a tangled mess. Even her eyes which used to be so full of life and curiosity were cloudy and sullen.

“We can’t my dear,” the Doctor answered, running over to her side and hugging her reassuringly. “We’re responsible for this, it is our duty to stop it.”

Susan returned his hug but she was shivering, taking shaky breaths like she was about to go into shock. When they broke the hug, Susan gave the Doctor a brave smile which warmed his hearts. This was only his 8th body but it was young and virile. The start of this life was so traumatic and dark yet he ended up with a loveable, romantic personality.

War quickly broke that aspect of his personality.

“I think she’s calming down,” Susan remarked, pointing at the display.

The Doctor looked at the hectic Gallopfreyan writing and decided she was correct. Perhaps even the TARDIS knew how dire this situation was. “Park her at a safe distance,” the Doctor ordered. “There’s no need to get any closer.”

Susan nodded and began to work the controls while the Doctor trotted to the other side and brandished an old-fashioned telephone that was connected to the console. With the phone in his magical grip, the Doctor ran for the door and pulled them open.

They were somewhere in deep space, he didn’t recognize where exactly because the constellations around them blinked out of existence and back in sporadically. Right in front of the parked TARDIS was a swirling black vortex comprised of starlight and pure destruction about 3 times the size of Gallopfrey. Energy pulsated from the vortex that brushed against the Doctor’s skin making his skeleton feel as stable as gelatin.

He looked over to the right of the TARDIS and saw the massive fleet that flew closer and closer to the vortex. Their circular, saucer-like crafts brought the Doctor’s hearts at a standstill. The largest of the ships led the fleet of a few million. The Daleks were getting closer.

“Susan!” the Doctor shouted over the deafening hum of the vortex. “Open communications, put it on the loudspeaker!”

“Yes, Grandfather!” Susan shouted back, throwing a lever and a loud shriek played over the speakers.

“IN-COMING TRANSMISSION!” cried a Dalek commander through the speaker.

“DAVROS!” the Doctor yelled into his phone. “Turn around! It will destroy you!”

“Ah, Doctor,” hissed the low reptilian cadence of Davros. “Have you come to witness my transcendence?”

“The Nightmare Child isn’t what you think it is, Davros,” the Doctor warned. “It isn’t a weapon. It’s alive and it will consume you!”
Susan joined the Doctor at his side, staring in horror at the vortex only now comprehending what she was seeing. It wasn’t a vortex, it was the incalculable maw of the Nightmare Child. Its “teeth” were the mangled remains of Galaxy ships that ran along the perimeter of its mouth. The energy it radiated was its breath as it inhaled and exhaled, pulling the TARDIS in closer and pushing it away.

The Time Pony pair had discovered the Dalek’s plan to utilize the Nightmare Child in this grueling Time War. According to legend this eldritch monster came from the beyond the depths of the universe but was locked away by Rassilon close to the creation of Gallopfrey. They believed the Nightmare Child was a weapon but the Doctor figured out it was a sentient monster bent on consuming the entirety of the universe.

Susan’s hearts fell as she remembered the moment when the Nightmare Child was released. It was her fault, the Doctor took the blame to make her feel better but it didn’t help. She was begging the Time Lord council to increase the defenses around the Citadel but they refused, completely overconfident in their abilities.

Then she did one of the stupidest things in her life. She took the Doctor’s TARDIS and broke into the Gallopfreyan Vault to find a suitable weapon to protect her home, but she accidentally released this monstrosity.

In her panic she ran and the Doctor came to her rescue but it was too late. The Nightmare Child was released and left Gallopfrey. They cornered it to this desolate part of the universe but the Dalek fleet got here first. Susan wanted those nasty Daleks to fall into the Nightmare Child’s mouth, to disappear from the face of the universe like they deserved! She remembered when she first met those horrible tin-cans…

But the Doctor refused. He still believed in helping them, he wanted to stop the war peacefully but Susan wasn’t as optimistic. She knew this war would end with one side completely wiping out the other, and she’d prefer if she were on the winning side.

“We do not fear the Nightmare Child’s power,” Davros responded smugly, the Doctor could imagine the sneer on his face. “Not like you. You were always weak.”

“Stop it, Davros,” the Doctor said, ignoring him. “You’ll die!”

“And why does that concern you, Doctor?” Davros snapped. “The pony who tried to exterminate our entire race!”

“Because I’m not part of this war!” he yelled. “I’m trying to save everyone! Including you.”

“Your false kindness is not welcomed… All ships, maintain course.”

The Doctor wanted to protest but the Daleks cut their transmission off. The Time Pony cursed under his breath and watched as the Dalek ships continued to fly into the infinite darkness. Susan secretly hoped they would be destroyed but didn’t voice those concerns.

Then the Nightmare Child roared. It was a horrible wail that echoed throughout the entire universe, so powerful Susan had to cover her ears. The TARDIS rocked violently from the galaxy-sized shockwave. The Doctor was thrown back from the blast but Susan held on to the doors, watching as the Daleks fell into the Nightmare Child… and vaporized instantly.

They crumbled into a million pieces but were reduced to ash in a millisecond. Millions of Dalek ships were obliterated. The Nightmare Child reveled in its meal and inhaled deeply. It sounded like the universe’s biggest vacuum.

The TARDIS console sparked and exploded as it resisted the Nightmare Child threatening to eat her, but Susan wasn’t prepared for it. Her hooves lifted off the floor and she fell right out of the TARDIS… but stopped short as the Doctor grabbed her hoof.

He had a rope tied around his body and anchored off by the console and held on desperately to Susan. “Hold on, Susan!” the Doctor yelled.

Susan felt weightless as the Nightmare Child tried to swallow her. It felt like all of the iron in her blood was being magnetized toward it. “Grandfather!” she cried, tears falling from her eyes.

“Just hold on!” he ordered but Susan could see the tears in his eyes. “Please!”

Susan swallowed the lump in her throat and managed a sad smile. “I’m sorry, Grandfather…”

“No, don’t!”


Susan pushed off the TARDIS and wrenched herself free from the Doctor’s grip and fell. She closed her eyes as she zipped toward the Nightmare Child’s mouth. Gold dust materialized around her as the regeneration energy began to pour out of her body. If she was going down, she would take this monster with her.

She fell into that horrible maw just as her regeneration energy exploded. The monster roared then yelped like it got something caught in its throat. Light intensified in and around the Nightmare Child as it roared in pain until it finally exploded.

Heat washed over the Doctor as he was knocked back and slammed the back of his head on the floor. Susan’s last words echoed in his mind as he slipped out of consciousness.

The Oncoming Storm

View Online

The barren desert of Skaro stretched out for miles and miles. The blazing sun beat down on the landscape like something terrible but the Doctor wasn’t concerned with it. No, he shouldn’t call himself that anymore, he isn’t any sort of Doctor, not now.

His dark brown coat matched his dusty, rusty-colored leather coat and chestnut mane that stuck up wildly. His eyes were a deep silver and expressed exhaustion and weariness beyond his years. A massive plasma rifle was strapped to his back, jerry-rigged from a Dalek’s weapon and Time Lord technology, as a reminder that he refuses to stand on either side of this war. On his flank was his cutie mark, an Hourglass that’s been cracked with the golden sand spilling out.

He walked through this desert for hours but it felt like thousands of years. Memories of when he first visited this planet flooded his mind, it didn’t exactly fill him nostalgia either. Glaring at the horizon, he finally spotted what he was heading to. A massive structure in the shape of a Dalek stood tall, reaching the skies, it was their base of command.

Naïve to put it so easily accessible, but the Daleks probably figured no one would be stupid enough to walk right up to it. Just in case, however, the Doctor brandished a device shaped like an egg with a red button on top and pressed it. It buzzed to life and hummed quietly, it was designed to shield his presence from the Daleks. Sneaking up to the Daleks in a TARDIS was suicidal, even more than on hoof but the TARDIS is immense and difficult to shield. A simple unicorn, however, wasn’t.

“Right then,” he mumbled in his gravelly voice. “Let’s go visit those lovely Daleks…”


Dalek Caz attended to the communications array, instantaneously receiving a million transmissions from a billion, billion Daleks, and sorting them out, sending them to the proper sub-channels so they could be attended personally. If the Daleks could feel emotions one simple and powerful emotion would be surging through his subroutines: anticipation. Their plan was going exceedingly well, at this rate, the whole of Gallopfrey will be exterminated.

Caz focused back on his job and less on his newfound emotion. Daleks are the purest of the pure because of their lack of emotion and technological supremacy, delegating even the slightest bit of emotion would go against everything Dalek Caz knows. Looking back at the readings he did a brief soundcheck with the patrolling Daleks of sector 1-G, the first story of the command module.

Dozens of green lights winked in acknowledgement to his soundcheck and Dalek Caz went to move on to another task when a hesitant amber light appeared on his board. Looking back at it, Caz noticed it was one of the meager security drones designed to guard the main entrance (although that was unnecessary given no one would be stupid enough to come here).

Caz opened communications with the lone Dalek. “DAL-EK CAZ RE-PORTING,” he warbled over the relay. “WHAT IS THE ISSUE, SECURITY DRONE?”

An amber light in any situation indicates extreme danger or an insurmountable threat to the Daleks. No Dalek would ever use the light in jest, it would always be investigated no matter what. But nothing responded, only dead air. Caz clicked the transmission again but the line died. He rebooted the system. There were triple redundancies in Dalek technology, protocols to prevent infiltration or destruction but none of them helped the communications array.

When the system started up again, the line warbled and hissed and popped, “EMERGEN-CY, EMERGEN-CY!” the Dalek cried, there were a dozen more confused, panicked voices screaming in the background. “THE DOC-TOR IS HERE! REQUEST DE-PLOYMENT OF Z-NEUTRINO BOMB!”

Caz was about to answer back but an explosion tore through the radio line and it went dead. Looking at his board, dozens upon dozens of lights flared up and turned off. Checking the schematics for the command base, Caz almost trembled in fear when he realized those Daleks on guard were all dead.

“OPEN TRANSMISSION!” cried Dalek Ren, Caz’s commanding officer. “DISPLAY, DISPLAY!”

Caz obeyed and opened the security feed on the large display before them. When it blinked to life, it showed the first floor of the command base in complete shambles. There were piles and piles of debris and rubble from the twisted and charred husks of the former Daleks that stood guard there. Smoke and fire still raged there and in the middle of the room stood a lone unicorn.

“EN-HANCE!” Ren ordered but there was a microsecond of hesitation in that command.

The image enhanced and focused on the pony. His dark mane stuck up messily, his gray eyes shone with murderous intent and the gun in his magical grip still smoked. His cutie mark of a cracked Hourglass was displayed on his flank. Alarms rang as the sprinklers went off on the first floor, dousing the pony.


“I am no Doctor,” the pony quietly remarked, effectively silencing the Daleks. “Not anymore. Not since you took away everyone, I vowed not to be the Doctor… but to be your reaper.”

The Time Pony sighed as he strapped his weapon to his back again. “Of course you lot wouldn’t understand that concept,” he grumbled. “The idea of being hunted by someone whom you deem inferior…”


The entire regiment chanted that phrase over and over again until the entire base resonated with that insidious mantra. The Doctor chuckled under his breath and for the first time smiled. “Are you now?” he asked.

Behind them the elevator opened and a group of Daleks entered but Caz and Ren did not look away from the Doctor. “Then how would you explain this?” he continued, brandishing a large device from his bandolier and pressing the button on it. The four Daleks that entered buzzed loudly, their eyestalks changing from icy-blue to fiery-red as they targeted every Dalek in this room.

Explosions and energy blasts racked the room, Daleks were decimated in the firefight leaving only the damaged hull of their armor. It only took a few minutes but when the firefight ceased, only one Dalek remained, Caz. His eyestalk was badly damaged but his optical circuitry was still operational so he could just barely see the Doctor in the screen.


“How will they be able to do that?” the Doctor asked, twisting his device slightly and pressing the button again.

Explosions thrummed beneath Dalek Caz’s hull and above him. More Dalek screaming over his radio as they experienced an incendiary end. The entire base rumbled from the mass of the detonations, it was just on the threshold of falling apart. Then it stopped. Everything stopped. Dalek Caz couldn’t hear anyone on the radio, just dust and whispers.

“E-EMERGEN-CY,” Caz whimpered.

“I’m afraid you’re correct…” Caz looked to his left and saw the Doctor standing beside him. He didn’t understand emotions, as a Dalek, but when he saw the Doctor’s eyes he didn’t see any regret… only hatred and satisfaction. “Your base has been put down.”

“WEAPONS SYSTEMS DISABLED!” Caz shouted but the Doctor paid him no mind. The Time Pony got up and worked on the console. “MOTOR SYSTEMS DISABLED! H-HELP! EMERGEN-CY!”

“There will be no one to help you,” the Doctor said.

“… M-MERCY!”

The Doctor turned around, his eyes burning with barely contained anger. “Pardon me?”

“MERCY!” Caz cried.

“After what you’ve done?” the Doctor snarled. “You expect mercy?!”


“Check those records again,” he growled. “And I’ve already told you, I’m not the Doctor.”

He threw a lever and the base rumbled. Levitating the burned remains of Caz, he and the Dalek walked out of the structure just in time to see what he had done. From the top of the structure a massive beam erupted and shot toward the sky. Dalek Caz watched in horror as the beam of light completely vaporized the Mother Ship above. The blast was so strong it destroyed Skaro’s atmosphere, boiling it away but not before condensing and collecting above them.

A massive storm roared overhead with arcs of lightning crackling in the air. The storm was as big as a continent and it drifted off to the west. It destroyed everything in its path, the cities, the other Dalek bases, everything. Nothing was spared. Except him.

“S-S-STORM…” Dalek Caz muttered.

“Whatever strikes your fancy,” the Doctor answered as he entered the TARDIS with his new Dalek in tow. “Anything but Doctor…”

Placing Dalek Caz on the console, the Doctor began to hook him up to the TARDIS. Dalek Caz could feel the intrusive psychic force against his mind, the TARDIS was incredibly powerful in that regard but Caz had to be resilient!

“CEASE AND DE-SIST!” Caz screamed as the TARDIS began digging through his mind. “OR YOU WILL BE EX-TERMINATED!”

“I very much doubt that,” chuckled the Doctor. “Considering how heavily damaged you are… Ah, there we go.”

Caz could feel his memory banks deplete as the TARDIS drained them so quickly it was almost terrifying. “There’s your formation,” the Doctor continued, pointing at the display. “Thank you, for your valuable information.”

Dalek Caz screamed in agony as the TARDIS continued to ravage through his mind. His body sparked violently, jolts of electricity arced off him, and he shuddered and convulsed. It felt like a supernova exploded in his mind!

“S-STOOOP!” Caz begged. “M-MERCY!”

“There, that’s everything,” the Doctor said. The TARDIS had taken everything from the Dalek, everything the Doctor could use to turn this war around. “Who knew a Dalek could be so helpful.”

“Release… me…” the Dalek warbled, no longer screaming. His voice seemed weakened, afraid, and exhausted.

“I don’t think so,” answered the Time Pony, throwing a lever which started the TARDIS engines. “Since I’ve no use for you anymore and there’s no good reason to let you go…”

The Doctor brandished a tiny knife with a silver tip to it. Psychic, of course, and stabbed it at the center of the Dalek’s “head”. The Dalek screamed again in bloody murder and more sparks exploded off him but finally its light dimmed and it was silenced.

Pulling out the knife, the Doctor grimaced at the remains of the Dalek in disgust. He walked over to the doors and opened them. They were in deep space, far from the war in a region untouched by it. It looked so peaceful here, the Doctor almost wanted to stay but instead tossed Dalek Caz right out. The Dalek floated off in weightlessness, the alien looked graceful like that, but then again, the dead often do.

He closed the doors behind him and headed back to the console, ready to review the information he stole. Glancing at the display, the Doctor noticed the Dalek’s last thought…


A smile filled the Doctor’s face. “Indeed you should…”


Applejack remembered this day. It was before she got her cutie mark, before she even left for Manehattan, it seemed like ages ago but it was about two months before all of that happened. She was sitting on a pier overlooking a glittery, perfect cobalt blue lake with her Ma’ and Pa’ beside her.

They were teaching her how to fish for the sport of it. Whenever they caught something, they always immediately let it loose and back into the lake. Applejack inquired as to why that was and Ma’ just smiled and said, “Well, we wouldn’t feel right takin’ that poor critter away from their Ma’ ‘nd Pa’.”

Applejack nodded, not entirely understanding her reasoning but feeling like she could relate. She’d hate the idea of being taken away from her family, so it’d make sense not to impose that on some other critter.

They watched the sunset over the horizon, making the lake look like it was on fire, and Applejack yawned contently, leaning against her Pa’ and nearly dozing off to sleep.


That jarred Applejack up. She sat up and realized she wasn’t at the pier anymore. She was at Ponyville at Rarity’s boutique. The fashionista had offered to spruce up her old works duds into a nice formal dress but Applejack wasn’t terribly enthused by the idea.
“I promise you darling, you’re going to look absolutely fabulous!” she promised with an almost schoolfilly glee.

Applejack managed a smile from Rarity’s enthusiasm and handed her the clothes. “Ah’m not too keen on the whole frou-frou thing, Rare,” she told her. “Just make ‘em look presentable-like.”

Rarity frowned at the clothes and looked at Applejack appraisingly, as if imagining her in the most frou-frou dress she could make. “I shall endeavor to do my best.”


Applejack turned around to the source of the voice but there wasn’t anyone there. She was going to turn around and ask Rarity if she had heard someone yell her name but she wasn’t at the boutique anymore.

She was standing on top of Horseshoe Hill when the Doctor dropped them off from their first trip. Applejack’s mind still buzzed at the images she saw up in space, the kaleidoscopic nebulae, the raging supernova, Equis from orbit. It made the farm pony shiver with excitement. Apparently the others were feeling just the same as they could barely keep their smiles off their faces.

“That was AWESOME!” squealed Rainbow.

“That was super-duper-fantabulous!” agreed Pinkie.

Applejack was about to offer her opinion when Twilight suddenly grabbed her by the shoulders and yanked her away. “Applejack, please listen! You’ve GOT to focus on me!”

Then she finally noticed that Twilight looked different. Rather, she looked like herself but there were huge purple wings on her back, her horn was slightly longer and a golden crown sat atop her head…

Applejack gasped as she opened her eyes and sat up. She wasn’t anywhere now. She was literally in nothingness. She was “standing” but felt the sensation of weightlessness like she was in zero-gravity. Panic shook her body and she almost burst out into tears when Twilight finally showed up.

Again, she wasn’t… Twilight but she was at the same time. Same vibrant purple coat, same straight dark mane, same cutie mark even. But she had folded wings on her back, a crown on her head and her unicorn’s horn was straighter and longer. Her best friend was an alicorn princess.

“Applejack, thank goodness!” Twilight cried, approaching her.

Applejack blinked and stared at Twilight. She was all grainy and unfocused like she was just a projection or something. Her image flickered with static but it was no doubt her.

“Twi?” Applejack asked. “W-where are we? What is this place? What happened t’ you? Why’re you an alicorn?!”

“It’s really difficult to explain,” admitted Twilight. “And I don’t have a lot of time. This projection is only barely holding together—“

“Thanks to me!” cried a voice that Applejack couldn’t see but it seemed to be coming from in front of Twilight.

Twilight frowned. “Yes, thanks to you.”

“Wait,” Applejack interrupted. “That sounded like… Trixie.”

Suddenly, Trixie’s face appeared in front of Twilight. It was big and blown up so all Applejack could see were her eyes. She realized that she was looking through a camera of sorts. “Yes!” Trixie agreed. “The Great and Powerful Trixie is kind enough to lend you her aid—“

“Trixie!” Twilight complained, levitating her out of the way. “Keep an eye on the meter!”

“W-why are you with Trixie?” Applejack asked, pronouncing Trixie the same way she’d pronounce Vampire Fruitbat.

“It’s… complicated,” Twilight answered with a sheepish smile. “But anyways. This place is your mind, Applejack.”

Applejack looked around at the blank empty void that surrounded her. “Gee, thanks.”

“No, not like that,” Twilight said. “You’re asleep, technically. But you need to wake up.”

“So, wait, Ah’m dreamin’?”

“Yes, but this is real. The Doctor sent up a psychic connection to you guys. Trixie is helping maintain it that’s why we need to hurry.”

“From where?” Applejack asked. “Last Ah remember, you weren’t an alicorn.”

“Not where, when. I’m from the future, Applejack.”


Granny Pie was reading Pinkie a bedtime story. Pinkie always loved Granny’s bedtime stories, she made them sound so real and cool! It made Pinkie smile everything Granny Pie talked about metal ponies with glowing eyes. But some of her stories scared her… like the snowponies that were alive.

This particular story was about that wonderful machine that was infinitely bigger on the inside than the out. How Granny Pie had to run around all of the corridors searching for somepony. Whenever Pinkie asked who she was looking for, Granny Pie would just give her that sad smile.

The story was nice but it also scared Pinkie. To the extent where she dove under her covers and hugged herself. Granny Pie gently coaxed Pinkie out from her hiding spot with poking and prodding hooves that tickled Pinkie like crazy. She managed to get out of the covers but was such a mess from the tickling she just lay there for a moment, letting the last of her giggles out.

“See?” Granny Pie said with a coy smile. “That’s how you face your fears.”

Pinkie blinked and tilted her head. “How?”

“Whenever the scary things makes you run and hide, all you have to do is laugh,” Granny Pie answered. “Just laugh and make them disappear. So… giggle at the ghostie, Pinkie Pie.”

To prove her point, Granny Pie poked Pinkie again in the stomach making her collapse in a fit of laughter. Then the memory changed, torn away from Pinkie like someone pulled the rug from under her hooves.

Blinking, she noticed she was standing… nowhere. It was just emptiness, all around her going on forever. “Granny Pie!” she called out, looking around for her in vain.


Pinkie turned to face the voice but it wasn’t her Granny Pie. Golden eyes looked at her in wayward directions, followed by a golden mane, a light blue coat and a cutie mark consisting of bubbles. “Ditzy?” Pinkie asked.

Ditzy nodded grimly. “Okay, Pinkie. This is where it gets complicated…”


Applejack blinked and shook her head, trying to understand what Twilight was telling her.

“So, you’re from… th’ future,” Applejack said slowly.

Twilight nodded impatiently.

“How far into th’ future? When’d ya become an alicorn?”

Twilight spread her wings and looked at them like she couldn’t believe they belonged to her. “About a year or so,” she answered. “And as for that… that’s a really long story and I can’t tell you anyways.’

“Why not?”

“Spoilers,” she warned. “It’s bad if you know too much of the future. And on that note, you can’t tell me that I become an alicorn. Uh, I mean past me, like, the me that you know… ugh.”

She shook her head like she was getting a headache from this explanation. “Time travel is still confusing…”

“Okay, well, what’s goin’ on ‘ere?” Applejack asked. “First I’m on Gallopfrey, then I’m with my Ma’ and Pa’ and—“

“It’s Nightmare Moon.”

Applejack’s heart dropped. She laughed nervously but swore for a second that the air around here dropped 20 degrees. “W-whaddya mean? We got rid of Nightmare Moon with th’ Elements of Harmony a while back.”

“No, Nightmare Moon isn’t an actual pony,” Twilight explained. “She’s a primordial force, something that existed for millions of years just waiting. She’s a powerful magical force but without a body she can’t do much. That’s why she had to possess Princess Luna. She’s like a symbiot, requiring a host body to survive. She took advantage of Luna’s anger and envy and warped her into something evil.”

“Even still, we beat her with th’ Elements of Harmony, right?”

“Well, yes and no. Yes we beat her physical form but her mental form still existed, just banished so thinly that it took her a few thousand years to regenerate into a consciousness. When we defeated her, she went back to the moon and to lay in wait. Then you guys arrived…”

Applejack suddenly remembered everything that happened when they went to the moon. The Changeling-Pony war, the Doctor’s daughter, everything came back to her. How could she forget all of that? “Ah didn’t see Nightmare Moon while we were there.”

“She invaded the TARDIS as soon as you landed,” insisted Twilight. “And when you guys went through, she pounced, shutting off the TARDIS and putting you all in a deep sleep.”


“They don’t call her Nightmare Moon for nothing…”

Applejack gulped, completely aware that Nightmare Moon may be watching this conversation.

“The Doctor is in danger,” Twilight continued. “Nightmare Moon plans on possessing him like she did with Luna.”

“Where is th’ Doctor, anyway?”

“I told you, Nightmare Moon put everypony—“

“Not him,” Applejack interrupted. “Your Doctor. You’re on his TARDIS, right?”

His?” asked Trixie off-camera.

Twilight shot Trixie a glare. “Y-yeah, in a way. The Doctor is… busy. But my Doctor isn’t important now, it’s your Doctor that’s in danger.”

“What do Ah do?”

“Stop him from regenerating.”


“Ditzy?” Pinkie asked, tilting her head. “What’re you doing in my dream?”

Ditzy Doo stood before Pinkie but it wasn’t her real body. Pinkie realized that Ditzy was two-dimensional, just an image a very low-quality image but an image entirely. She flickered in an out of existence but her expression remained grim.

“I’m trying to wake you up,” Ditzy answered. “Right now, you’re trapped on the TARDIS with Applejack and the Doctor asleep because of Nightmare Moon. Nightmare Moon wants to possess the Doctor and to do that she put him to sleep to weaken his mind until she can take over it. If that happens… the universe will suffer, Pinkie!”

Pinkie Pie poked Ditzy in the chest, her hoof going right through the pegasus. Pinkie laughed and snorted. “Ha, no guts, no glory!”

“I was listening!” Pinkie promised. “Nightmare Moon is being mean and we have to stop her but how? I’m asleep, right?”

Ditzy nodded and looked off to her left, off-camera. “Twilight is ready with the spell.”

“What spell?”

A flash of light blinded Pinkie and warmth radiated all over her body. The light was so bright she could see it even with her eyes closed. When it died, she opened her eyes and saw Applejack next to her.

“AJ!” Pinkie cried, hugging the farm-pony.

“A-are ya real, Pinkie?” Applejack asked, hugging her back.

“Yeppers! Even my tail is real!” Pinkie wiggled her bushy tail for emphasis.

“I brought you too together,” Twilight said, her face beaded with sweat. “Dream spells are kinda hard but Princess Luna taught me how to join two dreams together.”

“Twilight, you’re an alicorn!” Pinkie yelled excitingly. “We should throw a YAY Twilight is an Alicorn party!”

Applejack settled Pinkie down and gave her the abridged explanation. “So, we can’t tell Twilight she becomes an alicorn.”

Pinkie nodded, though it was a bit sad. “Aw, okay… Wait!” She looked at Twilight and frowned a bit. “But, how do you know we’re here, Twi?”

“You two tell me.”

“But Ah thought you said—“

“You guys explain everything that happened to you without mentioning the alicorn part,” Twilight amended. “That’s how I knew and sent this message to you guys.”

“So, th’ only reason you’re here is because Ah told you, because you told me to tell you because… ugh… my head hurts…”

Twilight smiled sympathetically but then Ditzy reappeared next to her. “We should probably get on with this!” Ditzy said.

“Ditzy?” Applejack asked.

“Never mind that,” interrupted Twilight. “Ditzy is right. Look you guys, what you have to do is wake up and save the TARDIS from Nightmare Moon.”

“You said we’d have t’ stop th’ Doctor from regeneratin’,” Applejack said. “What’d ya mean by that? An’ what’s regeneratin’ anyway?”

Twilight and Ditzy shared a nervous look. “Regeneration is… when a Time Lord is… dying, they use this to cheat death. They heal their whole body but they get a new face a new personality, new everything. They become a new pony.”

“A whole new personality,” Applejack mused. “Does this happen to your Doctor?”

Twilight didn’t say anything. Pinkie gasped. “Wait, so he can be whoeverrr he wants to be?”

“Within reason, I suppose,” admitted Twilight.

“I’d want to be a lizard so I can talk to Gummy!”

“Why, other than th’ fact that we have t’ protect th’ Doctor, do we have t’ stop his regeneration? He doesn’t die when he uses it, right?” Applejack asked.

“If he regenerates now, he’ll create a paradox so massive it’ll tear a hole in the fabric of the universe the size of our galaxy,” Twilight answered. “He can’t regenerate here.”

“Oh.” Applejack squeaked. “That’d be bad…”

“Yeah,” Ditzy agreed. “So, you have to wake up!”

“Wait, wait,” Pinkie interrupted. “You guys are from the future, right? Doesn’t that mean we won here? If the Doctor regerminates like you said, then the future wouldn’t exist, you guys wouldn’t be talking to us.”

“Time can be rewritten,” Twilight answered. “If you fail here then we won’t exist. The future will be erased and time will collapse bringing the end of the universe!”

“N-no pressure then,” Applejack muttered.

“Okay. So what do we do?” Pinkie asked. Applejack stared at her in confusion but noticed the determined look in her eyes. She might’ve been scared but she still wanted to try.

“We’re going to wake you up then you’re going to run down from the console room and head to the left corridor.” A voice called from the background but Applejack didn’t understand it, Twilight frowned and rolled her eyes. “Sorry, right corridor. You need to find the TARDIS’s ventilation system and dump everything in there. That’s how Nightmare Moon got inside, if you dump it, she’ll be expelled into space.”

“Wow, that sounds easy,” Applejack grumbled.

“You think that’s hard, wait till you meet the We-“

“Spoilers!” hissed Trixie and Ditzy.

Twilight blushed and meekly rubbed the back of her head. “Sorry, time travel gets a bit confusing…”

“How are you gonna wake us up?” Pinkie asked.

“Will it hurt?” asked Applejack.

“No, no, of course not,” Twilight promised in that way Applejack just knew she was lying. “Just… take a deep breath and open your eyes.”

A pulse of pain washed over Applejack’s mind. It felt like a sunburn on her brain. It burned and ached so much but she could remember everything. The memories flooded back. The adventures on the moon, the aftermath, the trip the Doctor had planned afterward. When he reactivated the TARDIS, the lights had shut off and the engine went dead.

“What’s wrong?” Applejack had asked.

The Doctor scrutinized the console and pressed his stethoscope against the time rotor. “Not sure, she’s not… feeling well.”

“Ooh, does she have a cold?” Pinkie asked. “We can get her some soup!”

“I’m not sure that would help…” the Doctor muttered.

Then the console exploded. A brilliant purple light sparked from the time rotor and snaked around everypony. It knocked them off their hooves and as they landed they convulsed from the pain.

“Much like a snake on the prowl, I strike!” spoke a quiet, venomous mare. “And you will all bow!”

Applejack opened up her eyes and found herself back at the TARDIS. It was freezing, so cold her legs were going numb and she couldn’t feel her lips. She shivered but then she realized the cold was from her.

The purple smoke had fully materialized into an alicorn mare. Her violet coat shifted and moved like the souls of the damned were part of her. Her mane was starry and obsidian black and on her cutie mark was merely a black hole. When she turned, her purple eyes and wicked fangs reminded Applejack of Princess Luna so much she nearly called her that.

“The little ponies rise from their slumber,” she purred, staring coldly at Applejack. “It is such a shame really. You would have died less painfully… But don’t cry.”

Then she turned her evil eyes to Pinkie and bared her fangs. Applejack choked back a sob as she realized she was standing over the Doctor. She was getting too strong and he was getting weaker! Nightmare Moon pounced on Pinkie who yelped in surprise. Applejack jumped to intercept and hugged Pinkie to protect her.

But she yelped as she was repelled back from a mysterious force. Nightmare Moon hissed disdainfully at the console.

“Damned machine!” she roared. “You can’t protect them forever! It’ll be soon… He will die, you will see.”

She turned her attention back to the Doctor. If the TARDIS was protecting her then… Applejack broke out in a sprint and ran for the Doctor. Nightmare Moon tried to attack her but once again her progress was impeded by the TARDIS. She reached the fallen Time Lord and touched him on the shoulder.

A jolt of electricity went through Applejack. Through her entire body and into her mind where it burned thousands of years’ worth of memories on it like a brand. It nearly drove her insane as the memories flooded her. For a brief moment, her eyes glowed a brilliant gold as tears formed.

“Doctor… Who?” she muttered in a trance.

But as quickly as the memories appeared, the psychic link broke and the shockwave sent Applejack flying back to Pinkie. She shook her head and sat up weakly then Twilight materialized in front of them, still in a grainy, unstable image. “Applejack, run! Get to the corridors!”

“But, the Doctor!”

Twilight turned and looked at the Doctor. Her eyes glistened with tears and she looked absolutely devastated, as if she didn’t want to see him that way again. “Just.. go! You’ll help him when you find the TARDIS ventilation.”

Applejack wanted to protest, but Pinkie took off running and the farm pony had to follow. They ran down the steps and took the first available corridor and veered right, Twilight following them like a ghostly unicorn. She hoped they weren't too late.


The Doctor gasped as he sat up, blinking and trying to push his nausea down. Strong hands gripped his shoulders, trying to calm him down. Wait. Hands?

“Whoa, easy there,” the person said, his voice was deep and powerful with a distinctive Northern accent. “You’re okay, mate.”

“Who…” the Doctor gasped, looking up and finally noticing who he was. The big nose perfectly complemented by his oversized ears, his military-cropped hairstyle and shell-shocked eyes. The Veteran. The Ninth Doctor patted his shoulders.

“I’m the Doctor,” Nine told him. “And, apparently, so are you.”

Familiar Face

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The Doctor tried to sit up but his disorientation almost sent him tumbling again. Nine held on to him, making sure he didn’t fall down. “Easy there, no need to get out of hand…” He glanced down at the Doctor’s hooves and picked one up. “Or, hoof, if you will.”

“Where are we?” the Doctor asked, taking his hoof back.

He looked around and noticed they were standing in, well, nothing. Just a pale white space that stretched on endlessly, even the ground they were standing on seemed like a pit that led to oblivion. Nine shrugged as he stood up, his leather jacket rippling slightly from the movement.

“Don’t know,” he admitted. “Was hopin’ you’d have a clue.”

“And why’s that?”

Nine smiled cheerfully, making the Doctor remember that smile. “Funny thing. ‘ere I was, minding my own business when I get a message. Me gettin’ a message in the TARDIS. I thought, ‘Well, wotever can send me a message must be pretty important, eh?’ So I check out the message and decide to track it down.”

The Doctor nodded, following the story but felt a bit unnerved at the fact that he couldn’t remember it at all. “I thought I’d grab Rose and check it out but then I saw where the message came from.” His happy expression darkened as he pulled out a bright blue cube from his coat pocket. “My future self.”

He tossed the cube to the Doctor and he caught it awkwardly with his hooves. He stared at it and listened to the psychic message. Strange, this message hadn’t come from him…

“I had the TARDIS check it out and poof, ‘ere I am with a brightly colored pony,” Nine finished with a grin. “Speakin’ of which, I didn’t want to bring it up but, ah, pony eh? Cute, I suppose.”

The Doctor scowled as he stared up at leather-clad Doctor. Nine easily towered over him but he was at about his abdomen so it wasn’t all too bad. “It wasn’t my choice,” the Doctor grumbled. “It was… an accident.”

“Ah, love those.”

The Doctor put down the cube and looked around. If he, or rather his future self, sent a message to his past incarnations then where was everyone? While he doesn’t have much of an issue with 9, he wasn’t exactly enjoying being here alone with him.

“Just you then?” he asked Nine.

Nine frowned and glanced at his watch. “The others should be ‘ere soon. Why, you’re not enjoyin’ my company?”

“Not really,” the Doctor answered. “But mostly because I know how you’re looking at me…”

Nine didn’t say anything and kept his dark eyes on the Doctor’s golden ones. “You look at me and wonder… how I could get over the war so easily.”

Turns out he was right on the ball. Nine crossed his arms and sat down slightly so he could be at the same level as the Doctor. He frowned but stared at his shoes. “How did ya?” he asked weakly. “'Cos I can’t get them out of my head. They’re just… there.”

To prove his point, he pointed at the side of his head and pressed his finger in slightly. “How did you do it?”

The Doctor smiled as he remembered the reason why he was like this now. Why he could deal with his problems better. “Rose,” he answered.

Suddenly a crackle of electricity broke their train of thought and a tall, lankly man in a dark purple coat and bowtie appeared. “Now, Clara, the cube works like… Oh, blimey,” he muttered looking around frantically. “I probably shouldn’t have done that…”

Nine stood up and stared at this newcomer with the baby-face and the ridiculous outfit. The Man Who Remember. The Eleventh Doctor, the present Doctor’s most recent incarnation. “Oh… Hello!” Eleven smiled at the two of them. “Ooh, old faces, though, is that what I really looked like?”

He approached Nine and grimaced as he examined his face. “Well, regeneration was always a lottery…”

“Speak for yourself, Bowtie!” Nine chuckled. “I can see where Mr Ed ‘ere got his fashion sense.”

He jabbed a finger at the Time Pony and he sheepishly smiled at Eleven. “Bowties are still cool,” he admitted.

Eleven gave him a thumbs-up and smiled. “But how nice, I have a future! I thought for sure Trenzalore would be it for me…”

“Trenzalore?” Nine asked.

“Long story,” both Eleven and Twelve said.

Nine shrugged as if he wasn’t entirely interested in that but the Doctor knew the truth. Behind Nine’s swagger and confidence he was just as nervous as anyone would be. He hid it well with his angry and snappish personality.

“Well! This is interesting then,” 11 smiled brightly, turning to the pony Doctor. “Got a message and I thought—“

“Yes, we’ve already been through this,” the Doctor muttered, looking at Nine. “No need to reiterate it.”

Eleven frowned, pouting like a chided child. “So, I suppose you lot haven’t figured out why we’re here then?”

Nine shook his head and looked at the Time Pony. “Nope, Mr. Ed doesn’t seem to have a clue.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes and ignored his past selves as they spoke amongst themselves. He focused on his psychic connection to the TARDIS, he remembered that he was on there, sleeping because of Nightmare Moon, so maybe there was a way to contact the Old Girl.


White noise answered him back.

The Doctor breathed through his nose. “It’s a psychic connection,” he guessed. “My life is in danger at the moment, more danger than ever, apparently, and my future self called for a psychic meeting to help.”

Both Nine and Eleven looked at the Doctor with wary expressions. As if wondering what on earth could be so dangerous that in all of his lives he called for help like this?

“What’s happening to you then?” Eleven asked. “What’s so dangerous you’d call us here?”

The Doctor thought about it for a moment. It’d be really difficult explaining all of this to these two without spoiling them. “I’m being forced to regenerate,” he answered finally. “It’s either that or allow a primordial, evil force to possess me.”

Eleven frowned as if he were remembering the Cyberplanner. “You’re my direct successor, yes?”

The Doctor nodded.

“Means you’re number 12, well, not really but the numbering gets really confusing before and after this guy.” He jabbed a thumb at Nine. “Which means…”

“The reason why your regeneration can’t happen now is because of ‘im,” Nine finished, frowning as he crossed his arm. “The regeneration between you and your final one…”

The air around them was heavy with worry and concentration. The three of them knew the answer but none of them wanted to say it aloud. The Valeyard… The darkest part of the Doctor incarnated in a body. The Doctor remembered his first meeting with the Valeyard so long ago, but he wasn’t a pony, he looked like a regular old person.

But then again. Time can be rewritten, and if that guy’s timeline was rewritten who knows what would happen.

“So, what can we do?” asked Eleven.

“Aside from givin’ you a good whack on the ‘ead,” Nine suggested.

“Honestly, I don’t know,” the Doctor admitted before chuckling softly. “Always did like it when I don’t know something… it’s new.”

“We can’t just wait,” Eleven muttered. “A solution isn’t just going to… fall out of the sky.”

“What’s going to fall out of the sky?” a new voice asked. The three Doctors looked to the source of the voice and saw a tall, skinny man in a blue pinstripe suit and a large brown overcoat which matched his brown hair that stuck up wildly.

The Time Lord Victorious. Number Ten, has arrived.

“What have we gotten ourselves into this time?” he asked.


Applejack and Pinkie ran down the corridors without any idea of where they were going. They weaved past corners, didn’t hesitate at intersections and jumped over pits without missing a beat. Twilight floated alongside them like a ghostly guide shouting directions at them as they ran at full speed like something was chasing them.

“Where are we going?” Pinkie asked, no longer using her bouncing gait and instead into a full gallop.

“The TARDIS schematics are always changing,” Twilight answered. “Even without a change to the desktop, she’s always shifting and changing so a clear map won’t help at all.”

“Oddly ‘nuff, that ain’t real reassuring, Twi!” Applejack chided.

“But!” Twilight continued, floating through a random statue. “The TARDIS is helping us! She’s psychically transmitting the directions in my head. It’s kinda confusing, just a bunch of images appearing in my mind, but it’s helpful. Wait, LEFT!”

Applejack and Pinkie skidded to a stop, turned around and went back to the intersection they passed and ran the correct direction. Twilight blushed and apologized.

Applejack shook her head slightly as images appeared in her mind. It was a confusing jumbled mess of strange things and people, like a movie playing fast-forward. When she had touched the Doctor, a burst of electricity had arced through her body and her mind buzzed like her brain got goosebumps. It felt like a sixth-sense, Applejack hoped it wouldn’t develop in some weird spider-sense ability.

The images were confusing and muddled but… she knew it was about the Doctor. She saw faces, strange flat pink faces with small nose and tiny eyes. They reminded Applejack of monkeys but they only had hair on the top of their heads.

She even saw a name. A single name that burned Applejack’s mind like a sunburn on her mental facilities. She was so terrified of that name she didn’t dare utter it. Even when she didn’t think about the name, it still burned in the corner of her mind.

“Twi, Ah get you wanna help th’ Doctor and all but…” She paused for a moment, frowning. “You know th’ Doctor in th’ future, right? Why is it so bad that he turn into th’ Doctor you’re with?”

Twilight frowned and she looked down. Her expression was so despondent, so depressed and dejected that it made Applejack both sad and scared to find out what the Doctor is like in the future. “The Doctor… The Doctor I know isn’t bad… n-not really. But your Doctor can’t regenerate into he- I mean, my Doctor. Not yet, the paradox it will cause is nightmarish and horrible and trust me… I’ve had my fair share of paradoxes by now.”

Pinkie was quiet which startled Applejack when she spoke. She was so focused she nearly forgot the party pony was with her. “Either way. The Doctor is our friend and no matter what or who he turns into in the future, we’re always going to be there to help! Because that’s what friends do! That’s what Granny Pie taught me.”

Applejack and Twilight nodded. She didn’t really understand the whole regeneration concept but that didn’t matter, the Doctor was the Doctor, simple as that. If he needed help, they would always be there to help, always.

“Then let’s run faster,” Applejack suggested. “We might be runnin’ out of time.”

“Not something you want to happen on the TARDIS, either,” Twilight muttered.

But the three of them poured on the speed.

Through a labyrinth of hallways that morphed from metallic corridors to wooden hallways with bookshelves and paintings decorating the walls, the trio ran. But even the adept farmpony and hyperactive party pony began to slow down from exhaustion.

“How… big is this place?” Applejack asked.

Twilight looked at her sympathetically, after all she didn’t have to do any running. “The Doctor explained that the TARDIS interior is infinite,” she answered. “She’ll go on forever and ever.”

Applejack panted and wiped her forehead with her hat. They didn’t have forever to look for this room. “Ah thought she was helpin’,” Applejack complained. “Why can’t she make th’ entrance, like, right in front of us?”

“Nightmare Moon is damaging the TARDIS,” Twilight explained. “She’s trying to hurt and possess the TARDIS. The TARDIS has to make the interior complicated so that Nightmare Moon has a harder time taking over her.”

Applejack bit her tongue and felt guilty for complaining. The TARDIS had, after all, protected her from Nightmare Moon a few times. She didn’t have much right to complain, after all the TARDIS was fighting for her life.

“Are we any closer though?” Pinkie asked.

Twilight closed her eyes and concentrated. “I think so, it’s hard to tell distance from psychic images…”

“Well, let’s git going a bit faster—“

“Watch out!”

A force knocked Applejack and Pinkie off their hooves and they flew across the hallway. Landing with a hard thud, Applejack blinked the stars from her vision and noticed why their lives had been saved by Twilight. Nightmare Moon stood between the alicorn princess and the two mares.

Applejack had to force herself not to sob. Nightmare Moon was only a smoky apparition but she was becoming more solid, her coat became corporeal instead of one made of magic. Regal armor sat on her head and crest, it was silver and freezing air radiated from it. Applejack nearly got frostbite just being next to her.

But Twilight just glared at her darkly and puffed out her chest in defiance. Applejack appreciated the bravery but she wasn’t really here so there wasn’t much Nightmare Moon could do—

Twilight crumbled and cried out in pain as her grainy image began to flicker sporadically. Applejack sat up and yelled at Nightmare Moon, “HEY! Get away from her!”

Nightmare Moon turned her frosty eyes on Applejack. “The little orphan,” she sneered. “So far from home. Tell me, how does it feel to be a failure? You pathetic mare, such a burden to her friends—“

Pinkie ran up and bucked Nightmare Moon right in the face, sending the ghostly mare recoiling back from the impact. The mare had a look of fierce determination on her face, something Applejack never saw in the time she knew her.

“Don’t make fun of my friends!” she cried.

Twilight stopped twitching in pain and sat up unsteadily. Applejack heard voices in the background, probably Ditzy or Trixie, but she waved dismissively. “Thank you, Pinkie,” she muttered. “You guys have to run, I’ll hold Nightmare Moon off.”

“The Princess out of time, so desperate to save her precious Time Lord, ha! Does it pain you to see the pony you love become a killer? Fret not, he will be disposed of!”

Tears fell from Twilight’s face as she stifled a sob. Nightmare Moon laughed viciously, Applejack gritted her teeth, got to her hooves and pulled her hat off. She reached into the Stetson and pulled out a coil of rope and lassoed a bust of what appeared to be a woman and threw it at Nightmare Moon.

It collided into the demon, shattering against her face and knocked her down causing her to roll. Nightmare Moon turned and glared evilly at Applejack but the farmpony only maintained her hard glare.

She knew that Nightmare Moon wasn’t at full power. If she were, she would kill Applejack and Pinkie and Twilight with ease. She was still by the Doctor’s side trying to possess him, otherwise, these three didn’t have much of a chance.

“Say what you want,” Applejack growled. “But you’re just a bad dream. A jealous, angry ghost that’s got nothin’ goin’ on in her own life so you try t’ steal th’ lives of other ponies! You ain’t scary, you’re just a bitter old mare.”

Nightmare Moon’s eyes glowed with such intensity that Applejack’s fur became frosted with snow. She thought, Welp, it was good while it lasted.

But then a purple magical bolt slammed into her and she roared in agony as her smoky form dissipated briefly before reforming. Twilight’s horn smoked and a harsh glare was plastered on her face, despite the tear-rimmed eyes she looked fierce.

“I wasn’t sure that would work,” she admitted quietly. “But back off!”

Nightmare Moon hissed and seethed, her horn glowing with power. Applejack and Pinkie readied themselves for a fight but Twilight stepped in front of her, growling as her horn glowed as well. “Get out of here!” Twilight told them.


“I can hold her off, I’m a lot stronger now,” Twilight said. “You two need to save the Doctor!”

Applejack wanted so badly to protest, she looked at Pinkie and expected her to agree as well but the party pony grabbed Applejack by the hoof and ran off. “We’ll see you soon, Twi!” Pinkie said as the corridor behind them exploded with a supernova of magic.

The two made it about 30 kilometers before realizing they were hopelessly lost. Of course, Twilight was their guide and she was off having an epic duel with Nightmare Moon, the very first villain she fought. Applejack’s shoulders slumped as she thought about what Nightmare Moon had told her.

Such a burden to her friends.

Applejack hated being a burden. She hated having to make others shoulder her problem because, well, that just ain’t right to her. She didn’t want to bother anypony with what she was dealing with though she was perfectly happy helping out her friends when they had issues. Applejack realizes the hypocrisy behind that.

“We’re lost,” Applejack decided.

They were in an older-looking corridor. It wasn’t metallic like the others, but pure white with a few flashing lights on it. It might’ve looked impressive 50 years ago, but the white color decayed to a moldy greenish-yellow shade, the lights blinked but more from electrical failure than by design.

Pinkie Pie wasn’t convinced. She looked around, pressing the walls with her hooves as if searching for a secret passage. There weren’t any visible doors anywhere so Applejack wasn’t sure what her friend was doing.

“There’s gotta be a way out,” Pinkie muttered. “Granny Pie said there’s always a way out.”

“Pinkie,” Applejack sighed. “Without Twi’s directions, we’ve got no clue where we’re headin’.”

“The TARDIS is helping,” Pinkie insisted. “Remember? She protected us. So we just have to trust her.”

Applejack stared at the ceiling and for the hundredth time had to remind herself that she wasn’t in some sort of machine, this place was alive. It was hard to explain but a force thrummed within the TARDIS walls and Applejack could feel how alive it felt by merely standing here. The TARDIS was trying to help as much as she could but a psychic connection isn’t enough, if only she could speak…

“She did speak,” Applejack mumbled quietly, her green eyes glowing gold as memories of Idris-TARDIS flooded her mind. “You’re like a child trying to rebuild his motor bike!”

Her natural Southern drawl disappeared in replacement of a posh sort of Trottingham accent that was eerily similar to the Doctor’s. Pinkie Pie blinked and turned around with a confused expression. “Did you say something, Applejack?”

Applejack’s eyes returned to normal and she shook her head. “Uh, n-no Ah didn’t.”

Pinkie didn’t seem convinced and was about to voice her concerns when the farmpony approached her and searched the walls as well. Her green-blue eyes were orbs of curiosity, like a trance she traced her hoof on the wall in a circular pattern.

“Ah think it’s…” Applejack trailed off for a moment. “Braveheart.”

The wall rumbled and separated in front of them, opening up to another large room. Pinkie Pie smiled and hugged Applejack who seemed confused as to what she just did. “That was awesome! How did you know it would open?”

“A-Ah don’t really know? Beginner’s luck?” she suggested nervously. Pinkie decided it was probably that and led her into the new room.

As they entered, the lights turned on. It looked like the TARDIS console room but it was a lot smaller than the actual one. It had a rigid design with the elevated deck being decidedly circular and almost Spartan-like. Over the time rotor was a large structure composed of concentric circles getting bigger the closer it got to the ceiling. Gallopfreyan—er, that is, Gallifreyan words were drawn into the circles that gyrated almost excitingly.

The console itself was white, sterile and not fun at all. It looked like a proper spaceship whereas the Doctor’s console now was more fun and silly with different everyday devices as controls. It made Pinkie sad when she looked at the dark color scheme contrasted against the bright silver and white console.

“What is this place?” Pinkie wondered aloud.

“TARDIS console room,” Applejack answered without hesitation. “But it wasn’t our Doctor’s room. It was th’ one before him.”

“How’d ya know that?”

Applejack frowned. “Ah… don’t know.”

Pinkie heard the panic in her voice and tried not to let it get to her. All of this crazy knowledge was just popping in Applejack’s head, was it the TARDIS transmitting the information to her? If it was, Applejack shouldn’t have been so scared, right?

A bright light filled the console room and when it faded, Trixie was standing before them. She didn’t, well, look very much like Trixie, or rather it was the same mare just different. She wasn’t wearing her traditional performer’s cloak but instead had a gold pendant on her neck with a star shaped crystal. There wasn’t a hat on her head which revealed her silver mane which cascaded down her neck and forward in almost princess-like curls.

Pinkie realized that this Trixie had a longer mane that the one she knew.

“Ah, the connection is established, Ditzy,” Trixie told somepony off camera. Interestingly enough, Trixie’s image moved up and down as if the world was nodding, it was probably Ditzy controlling the camera and nodding to Trixie’s comment.

“Trixie?” Pinkie asked.

“Where’s Twi?” Applejack demanded.

“She is fending off Nightmare Moon as we speak,” Trixie answered calmly. “We don’t have much time and this connection is quickly fading. It is only due to Trixie’s magical expertise that it has not failed.”

Applejack rolled her eyes. Even future Trixie was still pretty cocky but it was more… subdued than normal and there was an air of maturity in the way she spoke. It made Applejack shudder to wonder what Trixie must’ve gone through to grow up like this.

Trixie looked around and frowned. “This isn’t the ventilation room but it will do. This is the TARDIS control room for the Eleventh Doctor, the third one he used, I believe. Funny story about his second one, actually, you see a Cyberman—“

“Trixie!” hissed Ditzy. “Get to explaining!”

Trixie shot a glare at the camera but cleared her throat. “This room is still connected to the TARDIS which mean the controls work, get up here and I’ll explain.”

Applejack and Pinkie ran up the steps and on to the controls. It all looked familiar but at the same time so foreign to Applejack, she was afraid if she’d press one wrong button the whole ship would explode.

“Now, Nightmare Moon is a primordial deity, yes, but she manifested as mere particles when you first arrived on the moon. She got caught in the vents and once the TARDIS engine ran, it accelerated her growth and caused her to infest the ship. This happened once with psychic pollen, the same concept but the pollen attached itself to the Doctor’s mind and grew like a tumor whereas Nightmare Moon already existed.”

“That’s fine and dandy and all but how do we get rid of her?” Applejack asked.

“You’ll have to dump the vents,” Trixie answered. “Go to the red lever and pull it!”

Applejack looked for the red lever for a moment and found it. She and Pinkie ran for it, grabbed it as one and pulled it as hard as they could. The TARDIS groaned and the engines ran for a moment… then it died and the lights shut off.

“Uh oh,” Pinkie yelped. “Wrong lever?”

“N-no,” Trixie said, appearing like a ghost beside them and glowing like a nightlight. “That was the correct one, I don’t know—“

“Ah, there you are, my little ponies,” purred the voice of Nightmare Moon but she didn’t appear anywhere. The room just echoed with her voice. The light turned back on but they were violet and reflected images on the walls of horrible things. Ponies in war, death, a smoky battlefield, an evil monster reveling in the chaos. Nightmare Moon’s face appeared on the time rotor.

“You should know by now that you cannot hide from me. Or gobble you up, I shall!” Applejack and Pinkie shook, completely terrified. Nightmare Moon laughed evilly. “You may want to run now!”

They wanted to run so bad but they were paralyzed with fear. Nightmare Moon’s laughter became more and more manic. A light exploded from the console and blinded Applejack and Pinkie, it was so warm it made her sleepy…

Trixie and Ditzy yelped as the camera they were using exploded and shattered into a million pieces. But that wasn’t the surprising part. The surprising part was what happened after the camera exploded. The flash of light that erupted startled Trixie and when it died she was on the floor with Applejack and Pinkie lying on top of her.

Twilight Sparkle ran around the console and noticed the pile-up of mares. “Okay…” she muttered, her face beaded with sweat. “This I didn’t see coming.”


“Look at you, all spiffy,” Nine said with a grin, gesturing to Ten’s suit and tie. “I presume you’re my direct successor?”

Ten barely looked at Nine, fixing his hard look on Eleven and Twelve. “Yep, bit of an improvement if I do say so myself.”


“Though granted…” He grimaced at Eleven. “Chinny here takes the cake.”

Eleven pouted and straightened his bowtie. The Doctor nodded at the little trifle and mentally noted 10’s place in the timeline. This must be just right before he went back to the Ood.

“Now, now, we really can’t have everyone here arguing like children!” chided another voice. Another man appeared out of nowhere in a brown suit, silly umbrella and strange hat, he was short and stout but with the mad eyes of a strategist. The Schemer. Number Seven.

“Says the biggest child of us all!” argued another. His blond curly hair was just wild as his ridiculously chromatic outfit. The Trickster. Number Six.

“Do you really think you should be saying that? In an outfit like that?” asked a tall similarly blond man with a simple cream suit, a celery on his lapel and a smile on his face. The Human. Number Five.

“Says the man who considers vegetables a fashionable design,” quipped the tallest of them all. With a dark hat, decent coat and oversized multicolored scarf that trailed behind him. The Bohemian. Number Four.

“Much better than that scarf of yours,” muttered an older one with gray curly hair, a dark red cape like he was a performer and a gleam in his eyes. The Fighter. Number Three.

“Of course the Dandy of all people would say that!” snapped a short one with a dark bowl haircut, a blue bowtie and a dark coat. The Eccentric. Number Two.

Finally, the most silent of them all stepped out. He wasn’t a very imposing man, with a balding head ringed with silver hair that was combed back. He wore neat black clothes that matched the wicked gleam of intelligence in his eyes. Though his posture was bent, he commanded authority like no other.

The First Doctor regarded the others coldly and harshly as if wondering how he came to be so childish over the years.

“Looks like all of us!” Nine clapped with a grin.

“Not exactly,” corrected Ten, frowning at him. “We’re missing exactly two.”

The Doctor nodded as he looked around for Eight and the War Doctor but they wouldn’t show up, he was sure of it. They were both too busy with their own problems now.

“Well, well!” laughed Four, pointing at the pony Doctor. “I say, is that a pony?”

“Rather interesting, quite frankly,” agreed Seven.

“Oh, don’t tell me I become that!” gasped Three.

“No need to be melodramatic!” snapped Two. “He’s quite adorable if you ask me.”

If you could all focus,” said the Time Pony through gritted teeth. “We could get to the problem at hoof.”

“At hoof…” repeated Four.

“At hand!” he corrected, blushing as he remembered Twilight and the girls’ incessant lessons on proper pony speak.

“Well, get to it then,” said Six with a bored expression.

“It’s a matter of life and death,” Eleven reminded them. “You lot could be a bit more sensitive to the matter.”

The Doctor was about to thank him when he realized that Eleven pulled out his sonic and began scanning the Time Pony. Swatting the sonic away, the Doctor sighed in frustration at his past selves.

“What have you done with my sonic?” Nine asked, swiping Eleven’s screwdriver and staring at it. “It looks like a toy!”

Ten shrugged, barely containing a smile. “He’s compensating if you ask me.”

“Doctor!” The First Doctor called. Every Doctor, save Twelve, looked over at him and answered back, “Yes?”

“Our future self indeed has a point,” First said.

“Thank you,” Eleven grinned, making a face at both Nine and Ten.

“If he is a bit camp…”


“But we were summoned here for a reason,” he continued. “And this pony, our latest self, may have the answer as to why.”

Nine pairs of eyes turned and looked at the Time Pony. He sighed and shrugged as best he could, absentmindedly straightening his bowtie. “It’s like I told these two, I don’t have a clue. I didn’t summon you lot here, I certainly wouldn’t have the time presently.”

“Then who did?” the First Doctor asked.

“I did.”

All eyes went straight to the newest Doctor who appeared behind Twelve. Both Eleven and Twelve’s face paled as they looked at her. Her fiery red curly mane looked like wildfire against the white background with streaks of gold dyed into it and a simple unicorn horn stuck out from her mane. Her bright green eyes shone with a serene intelligence. She wore a rust-red faux-leather coat with a military-esque vest underneath with a bunch of crazy pockets. On her right hoof was another faux-leather strap that contained a watch and another holster for the sonic and on top of her head were a pair of golden goggles that whirred and zoomed in and out automatically.

On her flank was a cutie mark of a Golden Hourglass but the sand in it was nearly reaching the top, dangerously close to overspilling.

The Thirteenth Doctor grinned wickedly at everyone but all Twelve could think about was how much she reminded him of Amelia.

“’Ello fellows, in case you hadn’t noticed,” she said in a thick Scottish brogue. “I’m the Doctor.”


View Online

The TARDIS, ???


Twilight Sparkle helped Applejack and Pinkie up while Ditzy attended to Trixie. The duo shook their heads trying to get rid of their disorientation but looking at Twilight they found to be only more confused. Applejack couldn’t keep her mouth shut as she stared at Twilight’s new wings. She has WINGS!

“Wow, Twi, your wings are really pretty can I touch them?” Pinkie asked, smiling broadly as she poked Twilight’s wings and giggled to herself from the sensation.

Twilight chuckled in spite of the situation. “That’s funny, you actually said that to me when I first got my wings.”

“The device is damaged!” reported Trixie. “We can make repairs but… it’ll take too long.”

Applejack finally turned away from Twilight and looked around at the TARDIS. Whoa. The console room was twice as big as her Doctor’s TARDIS and it went for a more regal and stately appearance. The entire place was composed out of crystal, gleaming precious stones that glowed a deep blue against the light of the TARDIS. There were staircases spiraling up and down into a multitude of different directions and the console itself… whew.

The console was pretty big now so that you had to line up about 10 ponies around the circumference of the panel to fully encase it. The controls were about the same and were probably the only thing that remained untouched from this redesign. Applejack gaped at the new TARDIS and wondered how her reaction would be when she sees it again for the “first” time.

“Do you know what happened?” Ditzy asked.

“Not sure,” admitted Trixie. “Nightmare Moon attacked then poof, all of a sudden they’re on top of me!”

“Well, it was more like a poof, boooom!” suggested Pinkie. “But you’ve got the gist.”

“I couldn’t hold her off on my own,” said Twilight sadly. “She would’ve gotten me if I hadn’t backed off. I’m sorry—“

“No need t’ apologize, Twi,” Applejack said, placing a hoof on her friend’s shoulder. “Ya did amazingly, it’s Nightmare Moon that’s gotta apologize now.”

“Sure, but how are we going to send you back?” Trixie asked.

“We’re in a time machine,” suggested Pinkie.

“The Doctor isn’t here to fly it,” reported Ditzy. “She went to talk to your Doctor.”

“She?” repeated Applejack.

Ditzy covered her mouth sheepishly but they had already heard it. Pinkie laughed. “You silly goose, the Doctor is a boy… Unless…”

“No, Pinkie,” Twilight interrupted. “Our Doctor is a mare now. He regenerated a while back and, well, became her.”

“Regenerated?” Pinkie asked.

Applejack nodded. “It’s what Time Lords do t’ cheat death. Ah didn’t know he could regenerate as a mare though.”

“She was a bit surprised too,” admitted Twilight. “But the point is, she isn’t here now and none of us can fly the TARDIS.”

The girls remained quiet and the only sound that filled the room was the subsonic thrum from the TARDIS’s engines. Applejack closed her eyes in frustration, wishing there was something she could do or a button she could press to fix this, like a fast-return switch.

Applejack’s eyes widened and glowed gold. “Applejack..?” Trixie asked. Twilight, Ditzy and Pinkie backed off as she approached the controls, regarding them as if she had known them her whole life.

“Lower the shields and the dimensional dams and we could break through the Doctor’s TARDIS,” Applejack said in a trance, no longer speaking in her Southern accent. “The TARDISes won’t be able to compensate for the quantum superposition and the feedback will release Nightmare Moon’s control!”

“What? Applejack what’re you—“

“Allons-y!” Applejack cried as she threw two levers and the TARDIS lurched. The mares, save Applejack, fell forward and tumbled into a screaming pile of ponies. Applejack held on to the console and threw more buttons but the TARDIS resisted, sparks exploding and the engines stalling.

“She’s fighting,” Applejack said with a smile. “Doesn’t like what I’m about to do. However, if we can reverse the polarity….”

Applejack ran over to a pulley and yanked at it, she then twisted a dial and the TARDIS careened into the time vortex still as bumpy as ever. “Oh, don’t be like that!” She turned to Twilight, her eyes still glowing. “Susan! Hold down the orbital transistors!”

“My name isn’t—“

“Just do it!” complained Trixie.

Twilight groaned and threw down the switch Applejack ordered. The TARDIS ride became smoother but it was still pretty hectic. Applejack chuckled as she glanced at the readings. “Nearly there. Hold on!” She threw another lever and the TARDIS slowed for a moment. “GERONIMO!” It raced off into space, pushing the mares to the ground from the G-force.


“I like her,” Nine said with a grin, regarding her leather jacket appraisingly. Some of the other Doctors agreed with Nine's assessment save Seven, Three, Eleven and Twelve. Especially Twelve. He finally regained his composure and approached the mare, glaring darkly at her but she met his glare with a frosty expression.

“So, you’re my future?” he asked, barely containing his anger.

Thirteen narrowed her eyes and looked past him, at the Eleventh Doctor. “If we’re done with show-and-tell, perhaps we should move on to what’s important. This guy“— She waved a hoof at Twelve with distaste—“Is too dangerous to leave alone, yes, even more than our forgotten incarnation.”

At the mention of him, every Doctor shuffled nervously except Nine whose expression suddenly darkened. Naturally, he’s the closest one to the Time War than everyone else. None of them seemed very eager to talk about the War Doctor, but Twelve had a few questions.

Dangerous?” he repeated incredulously, staring wide-eyed at the mare. “How am I dangerous? I haven’t done anything—“

“But you will,” she insisted. “Maybe not now, but soon.”

“Still can’t be more dangerous than this bloke,” Eleven muttered, pointing at Ten. “Time Lord Victorious, here.”

Ten’s expression darkened and he looked like he was ready to sonic Eleven into a coma or something but refrained from doing so.

"You know as well as I do that was a mistake," Ten grumbled. "So, watch it."

The other Doctors well merely chuckled amongst themselves. “Is that what our future has come to?” asked Six with raised eyebrows. “Time Lord what?”

“You can never fault them for being that way, however,” Four responded, giving a mischievous wink to Eleven. “It’s not entirely on them.”

“Despite whatever danger number Twelve may pose,” the First said quietly yet firmly. “It may not be necessary to call us all here.”

“Maybe,” agreed Thirteen. “But it’s worth a shot.”

“So, what’s your plan then?” Twelve asked frowning. “A plan that involves all of us?”

He shared a look with Eleven, silently remembering the last day of the Time War. The Thirteenth Doctor nodded firmly and smiled slightly, Twelve was already wary of such a smile. “Of course I’ve got a plan…”


The TARDIS came right out of the time vortex spinning out of control. Applejack tried to maintain the flight pattern but then suddenly the gold glow from her eyes dissipated and she staggered back from the console dizzily. She shook her head, “W-what?” Her eyes rolled up and she fell over passed out.

Applejack would’ve cracked her head on the floor but Trixie ran up and caught the farmpony before she could. Unfortunately, that meant using her body as a cushion for Applejack to land on. She groaned under the weight of Applejack but everpony was too busy being thrown everywhere to do anything.

Finally, Twilight regained her balance. She bounced off the floor and spread her wings, floating above the console. “Guys, get closer together!” she told them. Pinkie and Ditzy understood and jumped on top of Applejack and Trixie. Despite how crazy the situation was, Pinkie couldn’t help but giggle as she cried, “Dogpile!”

Twilight’s horn burst with magic and a purple spherical force field surrounded her and the other girls. Warily, they stood up, suddenly unaffected by the TARDIS’s erratic movements.

“Antigrav bubble,” Twilight told them. “Pretty useful.”

“You could’ve started with that,” Trixie grumbled, getting Applejack off her but careful not to jostle her head too much.

Twilight blushed slightly but looked at her unconscious friend. “Anypony know what that was?”

The girls shook their heads. “I’ve never seen her eyes do that! Although, I have seen them go from pretty sky-blue to mysterious sea-green before!” Pinkie said.

“You’ve been with the Doctor longest,” Ditzy said, looking at Twilight. “You haven’t seen anything like that?”

Twilight’s face paled and in the purple light from her shield, she looked like a ghost. “Not really, no. The light seemed like regeneration but I’ve never seen it on a regular pony… Well, actually—“

The TARDIS rumbled again and more sparks exploded. The girls yelped as they watched in horror at the TARDIS beginning to break down. “We’ve got to do something!” cried Ditzy.

“Trixie isn’t sure the Doctor would appreciate us breaking his TARDIS,” Trixie muttered. Twilight floated down from her spherical protection and worked her magic on the console controls. She strained herself and beads of sweat came down her face, concentrating until her cheeks with red.

Like magic, the TARDIS controls activated through her telekinesis working with the speed of 6 Time Lords, Twilight utilized the Doctor’s lessons and the TARDIS’s psychic connection to at least make the ride bearable for them. The TARDIS slowed down along with the temporal turbulence but Twilight looked absolutely exhausted from her piloting.

“Look!” Trixie popped Twilight’s spell and approached the scanner, pointing at Equis. The 12th Doctor’s TARDIS remained in orbit of the planet, when the TARDIS shut down due to Nightmare Moon she probably went back home to protect them but couldn’t make it.
The scanner’s image broke apart slightly and static was displayed. Twilight cursed as the TARDIS rumbled again. “She really doesn’t want to be here,” Twilight muttered as she pressed at the keyboard to override the TARDIS’s controls.

“Well, she’s about to crash into her past self,” Ditzy said, propping up Applejack with Pinkie. “I don’t think anypony would like that.”

“Uh, guys,” Pinkie said, pointing at the screen. “What’s… that?”

A black mass was now pouring out of the TARDIS doors and windows and completely surrounding it. The goop was smoky yet at the same time had the same consistency as gelatin. Twilight swallowed nervously. “Nightmare Moon,” she answered.

“It looks like she trying to move the TARIDS closer to Equis,” Trixie noted. “But why?”

“She also wants to take over Equis! Probably to get revenge on the past versions of us for defeating her,” Twilight answered. “We have to stop her.”

“But, how? The TARDIS won’t move,” Ditzy asked.

“Like this.”

Twilight’s horn glowed so brightly the girls had to shut their eyes to avoid being blinded. They weren’t able to see what she was doing, but Twilight’s magical aura wrapped around the entire TARDIS and with all of her concentration and willpower, she telekinetically threw the TARDIS toward Nightmare Moon.


“That’s a stupid plan,” said Nine.

“It’s insane!” noted Five.

“I quite like it,” disagreed Four.

“Of course you would,” snapped Three.

“It just may work,” muttered Seven.

“If it is to work it requires all of us,” agreed Six.

“There must be a better solution,” asked Three.

“Why don’t you think of one?” grumbled Two.

“Blimey, who knew us all meeting up would end up like this?” Ten asked, looking at Eleven.

Eleven shrugged, smiling slightly at his past selves bickering once more. “Well… all of us knew. Still that never stopped us, in fact it encouraged us to keep going.”

“Sentimental aren’t you?” Ten raised his eyebrows as he studied Eleven as if seeing him for the first time.

Eleven absentmindedly touched his coat pocket where he kept Amy’s glasses and flushed. “Well, not exactly.”

“It won’t work,” Twelve insisted, still glaring at Thirteen. “It’s too dangerous, if something goes wrong—“

“Then make sure nothing goes wrong,” Thirteen countered calmly, returning his glare with a smile. “The fact that I’m here already indicates that it works.”

The Eleventh Doctor scoffed. “Time can be rewritten.”

“Not all the time,” Ten snapped impatiently. “Regardless, she’s got a point, Doctor.”

Doctors Two through Seven answered, “Yes?”

The Doctor sighed, placing his hoof to his forehead, rubbing it as he felt the onset of a headache coming on. This plan of hers was insane and way too dangerous to even attempt. As much as he hated to admit it, however, she was right. This was the only choice he had.

“There’s got to be another way,” Twelve asked.

“Then, pray tell, what do you suggest?” asked the First.

The Doctor remained silent, painfully aware that he had nothing to offer to Thirteen’s insane plan, but he still wanted to protest. Judging from the looks on the other Doctors’ faces, they wanted to as well but they all begrudgingly agreed silently. Figures the one thing that every Doctor could agree on was a stupid idea.

“If this doesn’t work,” Twelve muttered. “It’ll be the end of all of us. You wouldn’t be here”—Twelve looked at Thirteen – “And Nightmare Moon will have won.”

“Wait, that’s the force that wants to possess you?” Nine asked incredulously. “Blimey, the names they will come up with.”

“It is not my name you should fear, Number Nine,” Nightmare Moon’s voice spoke over the entire world. The Doctors all cupped their ears as the landscape changed from alabaster white to nightmarish black, a huge pair of purple eyes materialized above the group. “But instead me, Nightmare Moon, Darkness Divine!”

A mouth appeared under her eyes and it opened up, showing off her sharpened fangs and threatening to eat the Time Lords. “Break the connection!” Twelve warned.

“Not until you go along with the plan!” yelled Thirteen.

“FINE! I’ll do it! You want me, Nightmare Moon?” Her eyes turned to the Twelve Doctor, glaring defiantly at her. “THEN COME AND GET ME!”


The TARDIS smashed through the inert TARDIS’s walls. Time fluctuated and the whole of reality warped around the two TARDISes. Both TARDISes were struggling to maintain the paradox for as long as physically possible but it may prove difficult as the recently hijacked ship left the other one completely damaged.

It was strange to look at. Within the TARDIS, right by the console, as a solitary wall with an empty space large enough for a bonfire. The future TARDIS broke through that wall and lodged itself within the hole it had created, doors first. Somepony looking at a TARDIS within a TARIDS would experience a severe sense of vertigo and disorientation, as if the mere sight of it was biologically programmed to indicate something was terribly wrong.

The doors creaked open and sparks exploded on the now concave walls. Applejack, now having recovered from her siesta, stepped out wearily with Pinkie, Ditzy, Trixie and Twilight right behind her. They had arrived just in time to see Nightmare Moon completely overwhelming the Doctor.

Her form was more solid at this point, now materializing as viscous black goo that covered the Doctor from head to hoof. Applejack didn’t know what was going on but she knew she was too late. She ran to the Time Lord but the goo had covered his face and solidified.

Applejack was halfway to the console when the Doctor sat up. Everypony gasped as the Time Lord glanced at them. His eyes were ink-black, glowing with power, his formerly brown coat was the color of mud, as if all of the joy in his personality was ripped away. Even his mane deflated over his head and around his unicorn’s horn. Applejack noticed that he was an alicorn, much like Twilight.

A pair of black wings were folded on his back, tearing through his purple overcoat and his unicorn horn was sharp and longer than the average unicorn’s. The Doctor smiled wickedly. “Such despondent expressions,” he said, Nightmare Moon’s own voice overlapping with his. “Smile! Come on, everpony, smile, for the end of your world is nigh.”

Trixie was the first to recover. She blasted the Doctor with a fireball but he easily deflected it with his magic. While the Time Lord was distracted, Applejack sprinted to him and leapt to tackle him. The Doctor merely shifted his eyes to look at her and she came crashing on the ground, an invisible force pinning her down.

“Applejack!” Pinkie cried, trying to run to her but a forcefield materialized around the girls. The bubble was the color of the night sky. The Doctor regarded the trapped mares coldly.

“Twilight Sparkle?” he mused with a smile. “The mare responsible for banishing me to the moon? My, my, where did you acquire your wings?”

Twilight cursed and blasted the bubble but nothing happened and no sound traveled from the forcefield. It was soundproof! The Doctor-Nightmare Moon chuckled and turned to face Applejack.

“Now then, how shall I destroy you?”

“Let… th’ Doctor… go!” Applejack said in-between gasps as the crushing force made it difficult for her to breath.

“I don’t think so,” he answered smugly. “You see it took years for me to acquire Princess Luna. Every night I would prod the back of her mind and try to break her but with the Doctor? Hmph, all I had to do was threaten you and Pinkie and he gave up. Pathetic.”

Applejack’s mind raced. The Doctor was insanely protective of his friends, that much she was sure of, it went to the extent of allowing himself to be captured by her. So… “Doctor!” she cried, glaring straight at him. “Ah’m right ‘ere! Ah know you don’t want t’ do this.”

“The Doctor isn’t in right now,” he said with an evil smile. “Please leave a message after the tone.”

“Ah know you’re in there!” she continued. “You can fight this! Don’t give up!”

The Doctor rolled his eyes. “I told you, there’s nothing you can—“

He doubled over in pain and groaned. Stepping back a bit, the Doctor’s expression was contorted into absolute agony. He gripped his head and cried out in pain. The force that pinned Applejack was gone and the forcefield that encased the girls disappeared.

“N-NO! DON’T—AHH!!” he was screaming so loudly, so painfully that Applejack needed to force herself not to cry.

“AJ! Now!” Twilight cried.

Applejack understood. She leapt to her hooves and ran around the Doctor, heading to the lever that controlled the ventilation. She threw it and the TARDIS hummed, the sounds of a giant fan turning on filled the room.

It was on… but the Doctor remained the same. He was still writhing in pain but Nightmare Moon hadn’t left yet. Then it happened. Nightmare Moon’s “skin” appeared. It looked like another layer to the Doctor’s actual body that when it peeled off, his real face was revealed.

It was grotesque and gruesome, seeing a second layer of skin peel off from the Doctor as he writhed in agony. The skin, Nightmare Moon’s aura, was alive, Applejack decided. It desperately tried to cling on to the Doctor but kept recoiling back, almost in fear.

“I… WILL… HAVE YOU!” Nightmare Moon screeched in the Doctor’s voice.

“No.” Applejack straightened and glared at Nightmare Moon. “YA WON’T!”

Applejack sprinted toward Nightmare Moon and almost regretted what she was about to do. She heard Twilight yelling in the background but didn’t register her voice until she had already leapt and tackled Nightmare Moon.

Her skin tingled and glowed gold upon contact with Nightmare Moon. They burst into a brilliant light completely concealing the pair, though the sound of Nightmare Moon roaring in perpetual pain echoed throughout the whole TARDIS.

When the light died, the girls ran up to the Doctor. He was back to normal, it seemed, there wasn’t any trace of Nightmare Moon left. “Look!” Ditzy pointed up at the purple aura that floated to the ceiling, it was weak and slow-moving, the remains of Nightmare Moon’s consciousness.

Suddenly, the aura was dragged upward and passed through the vents and properly ejected out of the TARDIS. Twilight sighed in relief as she tended to Applejack who was lying beside the Doctor. She felt her forehead, absolutely freezing but she began to warm up.

The TARDIS turned on completely, the engines running idly, lighting up the room. “What happened?” Trixie asked. “There was a light from Applejack…”

Twilight shook her head. Of course she knew, she was from the future she knew pretty much everything at this point but she couldn’t bear to mention it. The things she saw and did. Twilight caressed Applejack’s cheek and the farmpony sighed contently, tilting her head closer to her hoof.

“Spoilers,” she said in a ragged voice and to Pinkie, Twilight looked much older than she was at that moment.

“We have to get out of here,” Trixie suggested, looking at Twilight and Ditzy who were both concerned with Applejack and the Doctor respectively. “He cannot meet us now, especially not Twilight.”

Ditzy hesitated, looking at the Doctor’s sleeping face as if she were trying to memorize every detail. She touched his face tentatively but then stood up and nodded. “We should leave before the Doctor wakes up.”

Twilight looked conflicted, her eyes flitting back and forward from Trixie to Applejack but finally she sighed and stood as well. “Alright… let’s go.”

“Wait, what’ll I do?” asked Pinkie.

“They’ll be fine,” promised Twilight. “Nightmare Moon is gone now, all you need to do is be there when they wake up and explain everything. But remember—“

“Nothing about us,” chimed in Trixie. “Especially about Twilight and the future Doctor.”

“Or me and Trixie,” Ditzy said. “He hasn’t met us yet.”

“That’s a lot of things not to say,” Pinkie complained, holding her head.

“They’ll think it was a dream,” Twilight explained. “Just say that you and AJ saved the Doctor, just not the how.”


“We must go,” Trixie complained, taking Ditzy by the hoof and running back to the other TARDIS. Twilight looked pained but she hugged Pinkie Pie so tightly, like she was afraid she wouldn’t see her again. Pinkie enjoyed the hug and giggled as Twilight breathed on her neck.

“Everything will be alright, I promise,” she said, her voice cracking. “Just… Just keep being you, Pinkie. Past me and your Doctor will need you more than we realize.”

She broke the hug, giving Pinkie a sad smile. “Give past me a hug like this, okay?”

Pinkie nodded, crossing her heart with her hoof and gently poking her eye. “I Pinkie Promise.”

Twilight thanked Pinkie, hugged her again, and ran off to the TARDIS. A moment later, the TARDIS engines ran and the machine disappeared out of sight. The hole in the wall led out to the deepest part of space was still there but the TARDIS instantly repaired it like it was new, Pinkie couldn’t tell where the hole was anymore.

She looked at her sleeping friends and resisted the urge to cry. Instead, she wiped her eyes and ran down the basement part of the console and grabbed two pony-sized wagons. “If you’re going to sleep,” she said quietly. “Sleep in a nice, warm bed.”

Ten minutes later, the Doctor and Applejack were set up in beds in a large room within the TARDIS interior. Pinkie had found the room at random but it worked out since there were about a dozen beds set up. At first she thought this must’ve been an infirmary or something given the multitude of beds and the sterile scent of antibiotics, but then she saw the pictures.

There were hundreds of various pictures on the walls of creatures Pinkie didn’t comprehend. A majority of them had big, flat faces with small noses and lips and stood up on their hind legs so they looked like bipedal apes. But then Pinkie remembered a conversation she had with the Doctor once.

It was about a week after he visited and she had asked him where he came from. The Doctor wasn’t keen to answering that. “A place very far from here,” he said cryptically.

“Were there ponies there as well?” she had asked.

The Doctor frowned and shook his head. “Yes, but they weren’t like you. None of them spoke the same language as the native folks.”

Pinkie felt a little sad, not because there weren’t talking ponies back where he was from but he looked so sad when he brought up the natives, so she asked, “What were they like?”

He hesitated for a moment, pulling off his glasses and staring off into the distance somewhere like remembering a long, lost memory. “They were marvelous. So curious and inventive, so insane at some moments and so… human!”

“Human?” she repeated. He said that word before but she never knew what it meant. “Is that a type of fruit?”

The Doctor laughed and shook his head. “They were creatures that populated one of my favorite planets. You know, you lot remind me so much of them it’s uncanny…”

Those must be the humans he was talking about. Pinkie was looking at the humans he was friends with back home. They didn’t all look the same, there were some that Pinkie wasn’t even sure was human. But they all looked happy, smiling at the camera or making silly expressions, a joyous moment captured forever in time.

“My friends.” Pinkie wasn’t surprised when she heard the Doctor speak. She calmly looked at him, he was wide-awake, lying in his bedsheets with a sad look in his eyes. “The best of me.”

He looked at the pictures wistfully, like he could remember when they were taken. “They look happy,” Pinkie remarked, following the Doctor’s eyesight to a picture of a blonde woman with a wide grin on her face and an expression that said, Well, take the picture!

“They were,” he answered bitterly.

“What happened?”

The Doctor turned and tried to get out of bed but he winced and stiffened up, still unable to move properly. Pinkie ran to his side and helped him up and he accepted reluctantly. “Doctor—“

“We should get going,” he said weakly. “Even if Nightmare Moon is gone, we need to leave this place and get home. Applejack needs to get back home, she needs—“

“Doctor, stop.” Pinkie stood in front of the Doctor, stopping him in his tracks. Her bright blue eyes were fixed with determination. “You need to get to bed.”

“What I need is to get back to the console,” the Doctor snapped. His face was beaded with sweat and his cheeks were flushed but his tone was steely. “And get home. There you’ll be safe and won’t end up as a photograph on a wall!”

He tried to push past Pinkie but either his reluctance to do so or his already weakened state didn’t allow him to do it. The Doctor weakly tried to shove Pinkie on the shoulder but couldn’t muster it. His eyes were so sad, so filled with anger that Pinkie stepped aside and allowed the Doctor to walk past her.

Pinkie followed as he left the room and headed for the control room. “Doctor, wait,” she called. “What happened to your friends? There were so many of them! You’ve got so many friends it’s unbelievable! What—“

“They’re gone!” the Doctor finally snapped, turning on his heels and glaring at Pinkie. His golden eyes were so sad and old and rimmed with tears. “Gone! Either too far from me or dead. Turned into dust because that’s all you lot do. You live and die and I go buggering on.”

The pain in his voice tore at Pinkie’s heart, how could somepony with so many friends be so lonely? “They move on with their lives, like they’re supposed to but in the end it’s all the same,” he continued, maintaining his cold glare. “Every time, they break my hearts. I try to be different every time, every time I promise myself to be different but… it happens one way or another. That’s why, for your sake, you need to get away. Live your life peacefully and forget me, Pinkie. I don’t need another ghost following me.”

The two stood in silence for a few moments. Twilight’s words echoed in Pinkie’s head, Past me and your Doctor will need you more than we realize. She stepped forward and gave the Doctor a tight, warm hug. The Time Pony was surprised at the comforting act but didn’t push away and hugged her back.

“That’s the point,” Pinkie said, tears falling from her eyes. “That’s why we make friends, for a brief moment of happiness but the sad parts don’t overshadow the good ones. You’ve got so many friends, including us, and that isn’t going to change, Doctor.”

She broke the hug and smiled tearfully at the Time Lord. “I know for a fact that none of your friends would agree with what you said.”

The Doctor chuckled under his breath as numerous past companions went through his mind. All of them would unanimously agree with Pinkie. With perhaps a few exceptions, none of them would think their time spent with that eccentric Time Lord wasn’t worth the pain.

“How did you stop Nightmare Moon?” Pinkie asked. The Doctor paled slightly as he shook his head, but Pinkie continued. “She had already possessed you and was, well, really scary. So how? She looked terrified of something and tried to run away…”

The Doctor stared at Pinkie for a few seconds, his eyes so heavy with grief. “Nightmare Moon focuses on the bad dreams, that’s her shtick. She makes you relive bad memories to break your mind. So, that’s what I did. I gave her every bad memory of mine, every single black day.”

Pinkie remembered how horrified Nightmare Moon was. Something so bad that it scared that monster away like that? Pinkie shuddered to think about that but couldn’t help but recall the collective dream they shared.

“I remember,” Pinkie admitted, frowning slightly as the memories of Gallopfrey came back to her mind. The memories of that Time Lord dying in Arcadia filled her heart with ice. “I remember Gallopfrey, Doctor. You were… happy.”

The Doctor grimaced and looked away, suddenly interested in his hooves. Of course she remembered, as if things weren’t awkward enough.

“I remember the Daleks,” she continued. “Nightmare Moon gave me a dream where I was one of the Time Lords in Arcadia and…”

Her voice faltered and panic swelled in her chest. The Doctor placed a hoof on her shoulder and calmed her down considerably. “It’s best you forget that, Pinkie. It’s just a bad dream.”

Pinkie shook her head. “I can’t, it’s your home, Doctor. Or… was…” She swallowed nervously. “What.. what happened to Gallop—er, Gallifrey?”

The Doctor sighed as he sat down, his hind legs becoming stiff and sore from standing up so long. Pinkie sat as well, watching the Time Lord’s expression become pained and sad. How on earth could he explain everything to Pinkie so easily?

“There was a war,” the Doctor began. “Against my people, the Time Lords, and a race called the Daleks. You’ve seen them in your nightmare but they’re more horrible than you can imagine…”

For close to a few hours, the Doctor calmly explained everything to Pinkie Pie. The events of the Last Great Time War and his involvement in it and everything that proceeded. The two spoke for hours on end and although the Doctor was initially hesitant he was happy to have opened up once again.

So Many Wonders

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Fluttershy’s Cottage, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 8:00am, 1002 C.R.

Fluttershy smiled as the woodland critters from all around scurried up to her and ate out of their bowls with enthused vigor. She was going through her feeding rounds for the critters before she set of for Sweet Apple Acres, the beloved farm of Ponyville and home to one of her best friends, Applejack. Angel Bunny was the least enthusiastic about this abridged breakfast and displayed his impatience by stamping his paw against the hardwood floor.

While Fluttershy attended to the birds, sprinkling bird feed into the dispenser, he glared frostily at her with an expression that read, Why do you have to leave so early?!

Fluttershy meekly hugged her bag of bird food as she pondered the question. “Applejack isn’t feeling too well,” she said, picking out her words deliberately. “I thought I would drop by to see if there is anything I can do to help.”

Angel rolled his eyes and picked up a carrot, nibbling it with deep despondency, which Fluttershy took as resigned acceptance of her going away so early. It had been three days since Applejack and Pinkie returned from their impromptu trip with the Doctor and the esteemed farmpony was still feeling under the weather. Applejack had explained that because they had gone to the moon (and apparently diverted a war while there, oh my) that trying to orientate herself back on Ponyville was difficult.

Pinkie Pie, however, was perfectly fine. Bouncing all over the place and recounting her adventures with Twilight and Fluttershy when the pegasus dropped by for her afternoon tea with the librarian. She had explained everything that occurred on the moon and why it took so long for them to get back home. Twilight was initially concerned about the war that nearly escalated on the moon but Pinkie reassured them that it was fine.

“It was just a silly misunderstanding,” Pinkie had promised with a bright smile. “Everypony is okay.”

Fluttershy couldn’t shake the feeling that Pinkie was mostly saying that to herself rather than Twilight. Then she had explained another scary part, apparently, the dormant spirit of Nightmare Moon was still alive and around on the moon. Fluttershy nearly dropped her tea cup when she heard that, she could barely stop herself from shaking.

She was absolutely terrified of Nightmare Moon. Her dad told her stories of her when she was a filly and grew up fearing the monster. Just last year, during the last Nightmare Night, Princess Luna had graced Ponyville with a visit and Twilight brought her around to Fluttershy’s house for some quick elocution lessons. Fluttershy was so paralyzed with fear, she’s embarrassed to say she tried her best to run away from Princess Luna.

Now, Fluttershy knows it isn’t Princess Luna’s fault she became Nightmare Moon and she knows that the princess is no longer that evil alicorn but she still couldn’t help being scared. The fact that Nightmare Moon wasn’t an alter-ego of Princess Luna but a physical, primal force scared Fluttershy even more.

“What happened?” Twilight had asked, her quill writing so fast it began to smoke.

That’s when Pinkie got uncomfortable. Fluttershy knew Pinkie longer than Twilight did and could recognize when she wasn’t feeling well in a situation. That didn’t make sense. Pinkie Pie and uncomfortable went as well together as Applejack and laziness, it simply didn’t add up. Pinkie Pie doesn’t get uncomfortable.

Fluttershy was about to stop Twilight’s line of inquiry when the party pony finally answered meekly, “I don’t really remember,” Pinkie scratched the back of her head, making sure not to look Twilight in the eyes. “We just opened up the, um, vents for the TARDIS and Nightmare Moon was blown out into space, voom!”

The answer seemed to satisfy Twilight who mused at the idea of keeping a journal of their adventures with the Doctor somewhere but Fluttershy wasn’t so convinced. She stared warily at Pinkie, as if trying to force the truth out of her with sheer willpower. But alas, Pinkie was immune to Fluttershy’s psychic abilities and stood to bid herself goodbye. Right before she left, however, Pinkie did something… odd.

She had gotten up from her spot, approached Twilight, who responded in raising her eyebrows and asking what was wrong, and hugged her. Now that wasn’t the strange part, Pinkie was a very affectionate pony (rivaled only by the Doctor) and loved to give hugs and even kisses if the mood was right but this hug was different. She hugged her tightly and with so much love and intimacy that Fluttershy blushed because she was in proximity of an intimate moment. Pinkie hugged her like she was afraid she would disappear.

When she broke the hug, Pinkie grinned broadly. “What… was that for?” Twilight asked, blushing slightly.

“Just a promise to a friend,” Pinkie answered cryptically.

Fluttershy sighed as she patted Barry, the grizzly bear, on the head. What could’ve happened to make Pinkie that awkward and having to make her lie to Twilight? Pinkie was an honest pony, sometimes too honest. The first week of their friendship, Pinkie gave Fluttershy regular updates on the curvature of her mane.

So, to see her lie like that was disconcerting. Perhaps Applejack would know? Since they arrived back, Applejack hadn’t been feeling well. She had complained about headaches and a fever and was resigned to bed rest by the doctor, like, an actual medical practitioner not the Time Lord.

Thing is, Applejack rarely, if ever, got sick. She claimed it was because of the moon but Fluttershy wasn’t so sure.

“I’m heading off now,” she told Barry who nodded lazily and rested his head on the couch. A swarm of birds floated over, carrying her saddle, and placed it on her as she prepared to leave. “Thank you,” she said sweetly, making the birds blush and tweet nervously.

Fluttershy headed off from her cottage and headed straight into Ponyville. She could’ve easily flown to Sweet Apple Acres but enjoyed the novelty of walking there. Like all pegasi, Fluttershy enjoyed the feeling of liberation upon taking flight. Her fear of heights didn’t impede it, it felt amazing to fly; the wind in your face, the adrenaline pumping through your body, it was incredible.

But there were so many things pegasi missed when they flew. So many wonders that went unappreciated, like the squirrels in the trees or the cute little bunnies. Fluttershy always enjoyed it, she’d never grow bored with it.

Once she was in town, the sleepy village was already bustling with activity. Vendors were setting up to start the day, ponies milled about, taking at the cafes and flirting apparently. It was a lovely sight but Fluttershy had to swallow back her trepidation as she made her way into the crowd.

It felt illogical to her to fear crowds and other ponies but it wasn’t something she could help. Her chest tightened, invading and intrusive thoughts popped into her head and anxiety gripped her throat. But still, Fluttershy took a deep breath (as Twilight had taught her) and stepped in.

She walked past a dozen little shops and homes, one shop in particular was in construction right in front of the Golden Oak Library, she didn’t recognize the new shop but she silently wished it luck.

“Hey, Fluttershy!” a silly voice called from the sky. Fluttershy glanced up and noticed Ditzy Doo nosediving toward her. Fluttershy yelped and ducked for cover but Ditzy immediately slowed down and landed gracefully in front of the whimpering pegasus.

“Uh, you okay, Fluttershy?” Ditzy asked, watching Fluttershy curiously as she was balled up and shivering.

Fluttershy snapped up and nervously met Ditzy’s eyes. “Sorry, for some reason I thought you were going to crash into me.”

“That’s silly,” Ditzy said with a smile. “I’m a trained mailmare, which means I’m one of the safest fliers out there. I may act silly from time to time but it’d be weird if the Post Office hired a clumsy mailmare.”

“Oh, I suppose you have a point,” Fluttershy agreed. “I suppose the assumption just goes back of you silly personality and wall-eyed expression.”

“Never judge a book by its cover, Fluttershy,” Ditzy said. “And speaking of covers, look!”

Ditzy brandished a book from her mailbag. Fluttershy scrutinized the cover, it read, PARADOXICAL IMPLICATIONS OF SOCIAL CONSTRUCTS AS ELABORATED BY THE ELITE. “It’s a really interesting book, it talks about socioeconomic disruptions due to popular trends as implemented by the social elite.”

“Wow,” Fluttershy said, nodding. “I almost forget how intelligent you are, Ditzy.”

Ditzy smiled bashfully and put her book away. “Anyways, where are ya heading?”

Fluttershy continued walking and Ditzy followed her pace. “Sweet Apple Acres,” she answered, pointing at the farmland as it materialized in the horizon. “To visit Applejack. She’s feeling a bit sick.”

“Oh no,” Ditzy gasped, frowning as if it were her fault. “Did she called the doctor?”

“Yes, the doctor says she’s just a bit under the weather,” Fluttershy answered.

Ditzy nodded firmly. “Good, that’s good.”

“Hey, do you know that new shop being set up?” Fluttershy asked, pointing behind her at the construction site.

Ditzy looked back and frowned, shaking her head, her golden eyes glittered with curiosity. “No,” she admitted. “It just popped up overnight.”

Fluttershy frowned. “Popped… but that’s impossible,” she said. There was no way a construction site that large and nearly finished could happen overnight.

“Well, I deliver mail every day and I’ve never seen that before this morning,” Ditzy insisted.

Fluttershy thought about it. That really was strange that a new building just appeared out of nowhere. She wondered if it was the intervention of aliens.

“Anyways, I gotta go, Fluttershy,” Ditzy said, turning around. “Still got my rounds to go through.”

Fluttershy considered the time. It was a bit early for her to be working but she didn’t mention it. Instead, Fluttershy nodded and squeaked slightly when Ditzy hugged her. “Say hi to Applejack for me!”

In a flash of gray and gold, Ditzy flew off and headed straight for the town. Fluttershy waved goodbye and when she was out of sight, she turned back around and continued down the path, Sweet Apple Acres only a few minutes away.

As she got closer to the farm, she heard something strange… singing? Fluttershy listened as the sounds of music assailed her. Somepony, or rather someponies, were singing Fluttershy’s lullaby “Hush Now” but in the style of rock n’ roll.

Fluttershy giggled as she heard Scootaloo yell out a soulful scream to conclude the song. A lullaby like that probably wasn’t intended to blow anypony’s ears out. Fluttershy entered to see Big Mac by the stove cooking up some stew.

“Oh, good morning, Big Mac,” Fluttershy greeted with a smile, pulling off her saddlebag and settling it on the table.

Big Mac regarded her calmly and gave her the subtlest hint of a nod. “It is a beautiful day isn’t it?” Fluttershy agreed. “I was wondering how Applejack was doing.”

The stallion glanced up at the ceiling then back at Fluttershy. “Oh, the poor darling. Well at least she’s getting better, right?”

“Yeeup,” Big Mac drawled out, putting his attention back on the stew.

Fluttershy smiled as she headed upstairs. She always did like talking to Big Mac, he was so insightful and wise. Heading for Applejack’s room there were sounds of chaos erupting from there, the Cutie Mark Crusaders were running around her room, firing a barrage of questions at Applejack while simultaneously asking themselves what they were doing.

She opened the door. The Cutie Mark Crusaders were outfitted with white lab coats (they looked professionally made, perhaps Rarity designed them?) and running around Applejack with thermometers, wet towels and bowls of soup. The Doctor was sitting bedside to Applejack, watching the hyperactive fillies run around with an amused expression.

“Blimey, remind me never to get sick,” he remarked.

Fluttershy looked at Applejack and smiled warmly. Applejack definitely looked sick. Her coat’s vibrant color faded to a sickly shade of white-orange, her mane was messy and matted on her forehead and dark circles showed up under her eyes as if she had trouble sleeping.

“G’morning, Fluttershy,” Applejack greeted.

“Fluttershy?” Sweetie Belle echoed.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders turned and faced Fluttershy, their expression of shock turning into happy smiles. All three of them dropped what they were doing and ran for Fluttershy, stopping respectfully before her and grinning from ear to ear.

“G’morning, Fluttershy!” Applebloom greeted respectfully.

“How are ya doing, Fluttershy?” Scootaloo asked.

“Would you like some water?” offered Sweetie Belle.

Fluttershy giggled at the Crusaders’ sudden change in attitude and the Doctor gave her a strange look. “Blimey, look at that, they’ve stopped. What have you done, Fluttershy? They were like this all morning.”

“It just takes a caring hoof,” Fluttershy said wisely, patting each Crusader on the head eliciting giggles from them. “So, what brings you here, girls?”

“Applejack is sick,” stated Scootaloo.

“We wanna nurse her back t’ health,” Applebloom added.

“Yeah, and maybe get our cutie marks while we’re at it!” Sweetie Belle finished. “CUTIE MARK CRUSADERS DOCTORS!

Fluttershy nursed her ear and when she was sure she didn’t lose any hearing ability, she smiled warmly at the Crusaders. “That’s wonderful. Do you mind if I help?”

“Of course not!” Scootaloo said.

Fluttershy approached Applejack, nodding respectfully at the Doctor, and began setting up a tray. “How’re you feeling, AJ?”

Applejack smiled, trying to sit up straight but couldn’t gather the strength. “Ah’ve had better days,” she answered. “This bug has really got me pegged.”

Fluttershy was setting up the tray for some nice, warm tea when she noticed the Doctor glaring solemnly out the corner of her eye. She thought she imagined it because when she turned to look at him, he was smiling broadly.

“The girls here insisted on doing the nursing,” the Doctor added. “How could I say no? I had to keep Applejack here in bed, however, doctor’s orders.”

Fluttershy raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t know you were an actual doctor, Do—er, that is, Time Turner.”

The Doctor smiled and winked. “Oh, I dabble.”

“Applebloom, Sweetie Belle, Scootaloo, ya’ll can go now,” Applejack said. “Go play in yer clubhouse if ya want.”

Applebloom frowned, giving Applejack her famous puppy-dog eyes. “But, Ah wanna help you get better, sis!”

“We’ll be fine,” promised Fluttershy. “We’ve got a doctor, after all.”

Applebloom wanted to protest but Sweetie Belle spoke up, “Applejack will be fine. Besides, didn’t you want to introduce that pegasus to us?”

“Pegasus?” Scootaloo repeated.

Applebloom blushed as red as her mane. “He’s just a friend, Ah met ‘im th’ other day.”

“Cloudchaser, right?” Sweetie Belle asked.

Applebloom nodded. Scootaloo’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not trying to replace me, right?”

Both Applebloom and Sweetie Belle’s eyes widened, Applebloom looked aghast at such a suggestion. “Ah’d never do that, Scoot! We’re best friends, and nopony ain’t gonna get in th’ middle of that. Ah wouldn’t just heartlessly dump ya and suspect ya of doin’ scandalous things, that’s just wrong.”

The girls shared a hug which warmed Fluttershy’s heart. “Sorry,” Scootaloo muttered. “I just get a bit worried, but then I remember that we are best friends and no matter what happens that isn’t changing. I’m glad we talked this out rather than bottle up our feelings, creating misunderstandings and escalating into a full on fight.”

“We’d never fight!” said Sweetie Belle. “Because friends don’t do that.”

The girls hugged one more time before walking out of the room together… wherein they started to argue because Applebloom stepped on Scootaloo’s hoof.

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “Blimey, that was odd. What were they talking about? Sounded like they were trying to give someone advice or a lesson on how to progress their story—“

“Anyway, Doctor,” Applejack interrupted. “Not that Ah mind, but what’re ya doin’ here? Ah thought you’d be back in th’ TARDIS for another adventure.”

The Doctor smiled. “Well, perhaps later. Right now, my friend, Applejack, isn’t feeling too well. I thought, I’d be a rubbish doctor if I didn’t try to help.”

Fluttershy was sitting on the bed listening intently but couldn’t help sense there was a nervous edge to the Doctor’s tone. Like he was here for an entirely different reason but didn’t want to say it aloud or something. Fluttershy didn’t dwell on it too much and prepared Applejack’s tea.

“Here you go, Applejack,” Fluttershy said, handing her the cup. “It’s a bit hot, so be careful. Would you like me to cool it off for you?”

“If ya don’t mind.”

Fluttershy took back the cup and gently blew over the top of it, cooling it off quickly and spreading the scent of warm vanilla tea throughout the room. It made the Doctor yearn for some good old British tea. “Say, you wouldn’t happen to have Earl Grey in those bags, would you?”

Fluttershy shook her head, her expression was perfectly confused. “Earl… who?”

“Never mind,” he said, standing up and feeling Applejack’s forehead as she sipped her tea. “Looks like your fever is gone completely. You should be fine after a little more rest.”

“That’s good,” Applejack said but she winced and nearly dropped her cup.

“Applejack?” Fluttershy asked, starting to get up but the farmpony waved her off.

“A-Ah’m fine. It’s just a headache,” she grumbled. “It feels like somepony is banging drums in mah head, ugh.”

The Doctor’s expression paled and for a second panic was evident in his expression. To see the Doctor look so scared, Fluttershy couldn’t help but be scared as well, she was going to ask what was wrong but then the Doctor’s expression returned to its placid, neutral state.

“I’ll see to it Big Mac gets some more medicine,” the Doctor said. “Get some rest, Applejack.”

With that the Time Pony left. Fluttershy was tempted to run after him to ask why he had looked so scared when she mentioned drums but she didn’t want to leave Applejack. She turned to apologize for being so distracted but found that the farmpony was asleep already.

Smiling softly, Fluttershy took her tea cup and set it aside, got up and packed her bags again. As quietly as she could, Fluttershy exited the room and headed downstairs. She gave more herbal medicine to Big Mac and Granny Smith and explained the instructions to them. Once they understood, Fluttershy left the farm and headed back to Ponyville. She wanted to find the Doctor.

She found him by the newly constructed shop. The place was nearly done, it had the outline of a sign set up protruding from the side of the building. The shop was small, much smaller than Rarity’s boutique or Sugarcube Corner, so it was probably going to be low-key. Rainbow Dash was flying above the shop, holding up a bright neon sign and the Doctor was scrutinizing the placement of the sign. Fluttershy saw on his back were a stack of fliers.

“Hm…” he hummed, looking intensely at the sign. “A little bit to the left.”

Rainbow Dash sighed impatiently and moved it as he ordered. The Doctor frowned like that was the wrong direction. “Now, about a millimeter down,” he said.

Again, the cyan pegasus sighed explosively but followed his order and pushed the sign down slightly. But the Doctor still wasn’t satisfied with it, he kept frowning as if it were completely off but Fluttershy didn’t see anything wrong with its placement.

“A smidgen to the north…”

She pushed it up.

“No, no, I said the north.”

She pushed it away from the Doctor.

The Doctor stayed quiet for a really long time.

“A tiny bit to the right—“


The Doctor laughed and pulled out his sonic. “Alright, alright, here you go.” He tossed the screwdriver to Rainbow who barely caught it with her hooves. The device was a lot lighter than she expected but there weren’t any obvious buttons on it.

“Psychic interface,” the Doctor explained. “Point and think. Seal up the fastenings for me, will you?”

Rainbow didn’t know what a psychic interface was but she thought about sealing the fastenings as the Doctor asked and the sonic buzzed in her hoof, nearly making her drop it. She got a firm grip on it and stared at it, as if reappraising its worth. “Cool,” she remarked as she got to work fixing it up.

“Um, Doctor?” Fluttershy asked. The Doctor turned around and gave Fluttershy a smile.

“Ah, hello, Fluttershy,” he said but Fluttershy was too focused on the fliers.

“What’s that?” she asked.

The Doctor looked at the fliers. “Oh, this?” He grabbed one with his mouth. “Ish ah flyah fuh duh hop.”

Fluttershy took the flier from his mouth. “What?”

“It’s a flier for the shop,” he said, still grinning. “Time Turner Clock Emporium!”

She read the flier. It had a cartoon drawing of the Doctor standing next to a large hourglass with a big smile on his face. On the top of the page read the shop’s name and contact details. “Oh, okay, but why do you have a shop?”

The Time Pony threw his foreleg over Fluttershy. “Dear little Fluttershy, my naïve little Fluttershy, oh well when you learn?”

“I’m not little. I’m twenty-f—“

“People will think its about odd that I live with Twilight yet bring no income,” the Doctor continued. “This shop is a perfect cover, so I could be incognito.”

“Done!” Rainbow tossed the screwdriver to the Doctor and he tried to catch it with his hoof but he stumbled and dropped it, cursing. Rainbow landed in front of the duo, chuckling under her breath. “Geez, Doc, when are you gonna learn how to catch things with your hoof?”

The Doctor muttered another curse. “It’s these blasted hooves! If I ever make it back home. It’s impossible to pick anything up!”

Fluttershy picked up the screwdriver and handed to him. But the Doctor stared at her as if she grew a second head. “How did you…”

“How’d you get it built so quickly?” She asked, interrupting his question.

The Doctor looked like he wanted to continue his line of inquiry but shook his head and pulled out his psychic paper. “Did a little convincing with Mayor Mare. Don’t worry, it’s a legitimate business. I just need some workers…”

His eyes went over Fluttershy. “Say, what do you know about watch repair?”

“O-oh, I can’t, Doctor,” she said, backing off. “I’ve got my little critters to look after and—well, I’m no good with watches… Sorry.”

The Doctor frowned as he looked over Rainbow Dash with interest. “Say, Rainbow, how would you—“

“No.” She said firmly and before the Doctor could refute, she took off at the speed of sound and left. The Doctor huffed at the difficulties of being friends with someone more free-spirited than he was. Fluttershy looked apologetic, like she wanted to cry but the Doctor raised his hoof.

“It’s fine,” he said. “I’ll just have to look for someone—“

“Somepony,” Fluttershy corrected.

The Doctor glared at her. “Et tu, Fluttershy?”

“Um, excuse me?”

They turned around to see a bright blue unicorn behind them. Her mane was blue and white, so it resembled toothpaste to Fluttershy, in her magical grip she held a flier and behind her was a bag packed to the brim. On her flank was a cutie mark of a Golden Hourglass.

Fluttershy recognized her. She was Minuette, or Colgate, she helped up with Winter Wrap Up last year then traveled to Manehatten for a while.

“Is this where I go to apply?” she asked.

The Doctor huffed. “Can’t you see we’re having a conversation?” he said, turning back to Fluttershy. “Anyways, I need somepony to look after the shop while I’m—oh, OH!”

He turned around and embraced Colgate who was so startled she dropped the flier and her bags. Lifting up the poor unicorn, the Doctor spun around slightly before placing her down and kissing her cheeks. “Doctor!” Fluttershy exclaimed, fanning her face.

“Apologies,” the Doctor smiled but he didn’t look very apologetic. “Yes, yes of course you apply here. What’s your name?”

Colgate wiped her cheeks slightly and frowned. “Minuette,” she answered. “But everypony calls me Colgate. I think it’s my mane…”

The Doctor laughed but Fluttershy couldn’t help but look at Colgate’s cutie mark. It was exactly the same as the Doctor’s. That was strange. There were no two same cutie marks, like, ever. Even siblings had different cutie marks, but these two strangers had the exact same one.

“I’m the Doctor, this is Fluttershy,” he said, gesturing to Fluttershy.

“I know Fluttershy already,” Colgate said, respectfully nodding at the mare. “And I thought your name was Time Turner?”

“That’s a ridiculous name,” the Doctor grunted. “Why would you think that?”

“Uh…” Colgate slowly pointed at the flier which said the name of his shop with an impression of him underneath.

“Ah, well, yes that’s my name but I didn’t like it so I picked another. Picking a name is like a promise, after all,” he said, winking at Fluttershy as if they were sharing a joke.

“Right, so I’d like to apply,” Colgate said, pulling out her resume and handing it to the Doctor. “It’s been a while since I was a watchmaker, but—“

“Right, ooh, quite impressive. Studied at Pranceton? Really?” He looked at Fluttershy like he couldn’t believe the school was called that. “Hell of a record. Why’d you want to work here? With your skills you could easily land a job at a university.”

Colgate frowned, that was a bit of a weird question, like he didn’t want her here or something. “I spent the last year traveling Equestria, trying to figure out a few things. By the end of the year I realized something. I was homesick. I was no closer to my answers than I was when I started.”

“Answers to what?”

“Doctor who?” she asked coyly.

The Doctor smiled. “Oh, I like you,” he said, patting her. “Alright you’re hired. There’s room and board on the upstairs bit and, ah, good luck.”

“Wait!” she stopped the Doctor from leaving. “What’re my duties?”

The Doctor frowned like he was confused. “I thought it was obvious, you’re running the shop.”

“What?!” cried both Colgate and Fluttershy.

The Doctor stepped back from the outburst. Fluttershy flew over and took the Doctor aside. “Are you sure that’s a good idea, Doctor?” she whispered, which made the Doctor strain his ears because she whispered when she normally spoke. “You can’t start up a cover shop and let somepony else run it.”

“She’s qualified,” the Doctor answered, showing her the resume. “She could run a high-grade chemical lab by herself much less a shop.”

“Yes, but—“

“I-I can do it,” Colgate said. They turned to see her with a firm and determined look in her eyes. “It’s no problem, it’s just… do you really trust me to run a shop, you barely know me.”

“You’ll be fantastic!” the Doctor said, clapping her shoulders. “Now, d’ya need help with your bags?”

“No, I’ll be fine. Is it okay to live there, the building isn’t done, after all.”

The Doctor waved his hoof. “It’ll be fine. Listen, if you have any questions, you can run them by the Elements of Harmony. Twilight, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Applejack (though she’s a bit sick now) or Fluttershy and I’ll get back to you.”

“Okay, but what if I need to reach you—“

Momentai,” he said, walking toward Twilight’s home. “I’ll catch up with you later!”

Fluttershy bowed her head awkwardly and followed the Doctor into the library leaving Colgate a bit confused. “But what about my pay?” she asked but nopony heard her.

After apologizing to the construction crew, she made her way inside and up the stairs to the little flat she’d be living it. It was a simple and humble abode. There was a bathroom-bath, a little kitchen unit and a big sitting room/bedroom that you walk into upon entering.

Colgate began to unpack and organize most of the things that were already there. Thankfully there was already a bed there so she didn’t have to worry about that and a bookcase, weirdly enough. Once she had unpacked everything, Colgate could see the barest foundation for a nice home.

She stepped back to look at her lovely little place. “Well, not bad for a new place,” she said to herself. “Time to stop running away, Cole.”

Colgate magically levitated one last item from her bag and placed it on one of the top shelves of the bookcase. It was a simple fob-watch, very old and weather worn. It had a nice chain attached to it and strange circular designs on the face of the watch.

“I’m home,” she said to the watch. Colgate always wondered why that watch never worked for her, it never even opened yet she felt so attached to it. Huh, one of life’s little mysteries, eh?


The Basement of the Golden Oak Library, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 9:30am, 1002 C.R.

“Where’s Twilight and Spike?” Fluttershy asked as she entered the basement, right behind the Doctor.

The Doctor grumbled under his breath before answering, “They went to Canterlot for an audience with the Queen.”

“You mean Princesses Celestia and Luna?” Fluttershy suggested.

“Yes, them.”

The Doctor looked a bit annoyed that they weren’t here so Fluttershy didn’t say anything. They stepped off the last stair and Fluttershy looked at the TARDIS with a smile. She was only in the TARDIS once but she felt a connection of sorts with her. Normally, she would’ve been scared to approach a machine like this but the TARDIS was so warm and caring that it was impossible for her to be nervous.

“Hello, Old Girl,” the Doctor grinned, patting the wooden frame. He opened the door and stepped through. Fluttershy looked at the threshold, a smile coming to her face and she wasn’t sure why. She could feel this tickling sensation against her mind that just made her unconditionally happy.

Fluttershy realized it must’ve been the TARDIS sending her a warm greeting. “Hello, to you too,” she said, patting the frame as the Doctor had and following him inside.

She had only been in the TARDIS once, the very first night she met the Doctor, but it still felt like walking in here for the first time. Fluttershy fought disorientation as the scale of this room hit her, it was much bigger than her little home. She also had to fight the urge to go outside and make sure the TARDIS wasn’t the size of a house.

Fluttershy wasn’t sure about everpony else, but she enjoyed the Nature Desktop, as the Doctor had called it. Large branches spread from the base of the console and upward to the ceiling with foliage growing on the limbs that dipped lazily below, providing a natural canopy over the console. The console base was a large circular area with a glass floor and lights underneath it that glowed iridescent randomly, Fluttershy wondered if the colored lights were based off the TARDIS’s mood.

The console itself was an array of confusing controls that both intrigued Fluttershy’s curiosity and intimidated her. The controls were a mix from sci-fi to random stuff like an old-fashioned keyboard and a hammer tied to the console. It was beautiful to look at.

The Doctor trotted up to the console and began inputting something in the keyboard. The TARDIS hummed and beeped to the Doctor’s typing and Fluttershy approached, intrigued at what he was doing.

“Um, what’re you doing?” she asked quietly.

“The TARDIS is still having trouble navigating,” the Doctor answered. “It’s difficult for her to get around the place which causes bumpy rides. I am just updating the software and zeroing out her calibrations.”

Fluttershy looked at the Doctor with a confused expression. The Doctor sighed. “Basically, she can’t fly in this universe too well. The travel puts a strain on her engines and power supplies because she has to compensate. What I’m doing is… changing her old navigation system and inputting a new one to align to this universe.”

“Like when we have to help the birds fly to the south during the winter and fly them back when its warmer,” Fluttershy said.

“Exactly!” the Doctor smiled. “Well not exactly like that, but if it helps, imagine that.”

The Doctor pressed a switch and a noise ran through the TARDIS that reminded Fluttershy of a squeaking bunny. “There she should recalibrate in a bit,” he said. “I’d need to take her for a test run to see if she’s working properly…”

He frowned as he glanced at the scanner and went back to inputting buttons. Fluttershy almost wanted to volunteer to go but the idea scared her too much. From what Rainbow and Pinkie had recounted from their respective adventures things were… scary with the Doctor.

Fluttershy had agreed to become his companion but merely for the sake of being his friend and not for the prospect of traveling with him. Fluttershy was more than content with her little cottage in her little part of Ponyville, space adventures didn’t agree with her.

Still a twinge of guilt gnawed at Fluttershy. There wasn’t anypony available to go with him. Applejack was bed-ridden, Pinkie Pie was busy with Sugarcube Corner, Rarity had her own business to run, Rainbow flew off to Celestia knows where and Twilight and Spike were in Canterlot; something that seemed to bother the Doctor a lot.

Fluttershy did consider the Doctor her friend and she wondered what kind of friend she would be if she didn’t accompany him somewhere at least once?

“Um,” Fluttershy called but when she looked up the Doctor wasn’t there. He was on the other side of the console, throwing levers and smashing buttons.

“Yes?” he called, not looking up. “What is it, Fluttershy?”

“I’d like to go somewhere, if you don’t mind,” she mumbled silently.

“You’d like to go home?” the Doctor guessed. “Well, I don’t mind flying you there but I feel I must remind you that your wings work.”

“No,” Fluttershy said, shaking her head. “I said… I’d like to go somewhere, Doctor.”

The Doctor looked up, his expression quizzical and reminiscent of a confused puppy. “What?”

“I want to see something,” she continued. “Something… new. Somewhere I’ve never dreamed of going, Doctor. Let’s go somewhere amazing.”

Something Amazing

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The TARDIS, Golden Oaks Library, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 10:00am, 1002 C.R.

“Right then!” the Doctor called out from the other side of the console. He threw a switch and the TARDIS rumbled. “Custom settings let’s see… Let’s go with non-hostile environment, preferably one with ideal atmospheric conditions, no civil wars, and ah, here.” He grinned at Fluttershy as he threw one more switch. “Amazing.”

The TARDIS shook once more but as the Doctor mentioned earlier it was smoother than the last time she remembered. Fluttershy didn’t even have to float to stay on her hooves, so that was a plus. The Doctor pressed a button and the TARDIS stopped rumbling. Only the sounds of her psychic messages filled the TARDIS.

“Right, she’s recalibrating,” the Doctor said, stepping back from the console and sitting on the couch. He pat the spot next to him, beckoning Fluttershy to sit as well. Well, Fluttershy was never one to refuse a seat, so she took one beside him.

“How does the TARDIS… fly anyways?” Fluttershy asked, finding it difficult to imagine this blue box sprouting wings and flying through time and space.

The Doctor gave her another strange look, like an amused expression. “Right, imagine… imagine your eyes, right? The fact is, you blink so quickly your brain has to recalibrate and trick you into thinking the world didn’t just go completely dark at that moment.”

Fluttershy nodded. The Doctor turned to her and gestured with his hooves in an excitable manner. She may not have understood what he was talking about but it was nice to see him this excited about something.

“The TARDIS is somewhat the same way,” he continued. “She isn’t exactly flying per se but just flitting through time and space so quickly that the universe has to recalibrate around her. Yes, sometimes she can fly but that method takes a lot out of her, strangely enough.”

“What about space and time?” she asked. “Does she, like, sail through it like a ship would on the water? Is space like water?”

“Not exactly,” he said. “Space-time does have… waves of sort. Cosmic waves or temporal riptides but it isn’t like the ocean. She goes through the ‘waves’ like you would wading through a pond, with the water bending around you as you muddle through.”

Fluttershy tried to imagine the TARDIS sailing through an ocean of time and cosmic rays, it was surprisingly difficult. “Why is the TARDIS a blue box?”

The Doctor looked sheepish in answering this. “One of the TARDIS’s original functions was that it could camouflage itself. It could appear as anything it wanted. It would take a scan of the surrounding area at the first nanosecond of landing to create a twelfth-dimensional map within a thousand mile radius, calculating the cultural influences, temporal relevancy, and overall the best outer shell to use that blends in best with the environment.”

The Time Lord’s face fell, he absentmindedly straightened his bowtie and ran a hoof through his mane. Fluttershy wondered if he had an attention-deficiency problem. “Then… she turns into a blue box.”

“What is a call box, anyways?” Fluttershy asked as the Doctor went over to the console and began checking the readings.

“Police box from 1960s earth, back in the universe where I was from. It was used to arrest and detain criminals or to call for help,” the Doctor answered, pressing a few buttons and scrutinizing the screens.

“Oh,” Fluttershy said, floating alongside the Doctor finding it difficult to continue on the conversation. “So, has it always been a box?”

The Doctor shook his head. “Not always, the few times she’s disguised as something else never sat well with me. I just happen to like how she looks now, don’t you?”

Fluttershy nodded, keeping her comments to herself for fear that she wouldn’t be able to articulate how she felt about the TARDIS. It was magical in the sense that it provided this unbridled sense of wonder to Fluttershy, making her believe that anything was possible. She wasn’t as smart as Twilight or the Doctor and didn’t have the prose of Rarity or the enthusiasm of Pinkie and Rainbow or the simple honesty of Applejack but that was one thing she was certain of.

“So, um, you’re a… Time Lord,” Fluttershy said cautiously. “What is that, exactly?”

The Doctor frowned and Fluttershy feared she may have said something wrong. She was about to apologize when the Doctor spoke up. “An alien, well, from your point of view that is. We were a race of people who could see and manipulate time. The Keepers of Time and Space.” He smiled wistfully as if he could imagine them.

“But, now I’m the last one, well, I’m not even sure about that anymore,” he said under his breath.

“What do you mean?”

“It’s complicated,” he admitted. “But come on, who wants to talk about that, eh? Let’s go see where she’s taken us!”

The Doctor pressed a button and the TARDIS shook with a jolt, a sensation that reminded Fluttershy of a chariot landing so she assumed they had stopped. Fluttershy went over to the Doctor’s side and looked at the scanner as he had. The display made no sense to her, it was just a jumbled mess of circular patterns and strange lines but the Doctor smiled like it was good news.

“Where are we?” she asked with trepidation.

The Doctor grinned broadly. “Somewhere amazing,” he answered. He bounded off from the console and grabbed his coat he left draped over the railing, throwing it on. Running toward the door, he stopped and smiled at Fluttershy, waiting for her. “Ready?”

Honestly, Fluttershy wasn’t sure. Some part of her wanted to go back home and call this whole thing off but the other part wanted to follow the Doctor into this strange new land. The scary thing was, she agreed with the second part. Fluttershy floated toward the Doctor and nodded. “R-Ready.”

He stepped aside and gestured for her to open the door. Fluttershy pressed the handle in and pulled the door outward and stepped out.


Hoofbeat Road, Canterlot, Equestria

47th of Summer, 10:30am, 1002 C.R.

Spike the dragon was enjoying a lovely cone of vanilla-ruby ice-cream that was both smooth and crunchy at the same time. Perfect. Of course such a culinary combination of dairy and precious stones wasn’t exactly commonplace as Spike’s kind weren’t the most hospitable type. But this was Canterlot. Everypony knew Spike; beloved friend, and adoptive brother, to Princess Celestia’s prized pupil and Element of Magic.

The stores and vendors had specifically altered their menus to accommodate the young dragon’s tastes in order to get in a good word with Twilight and, hopefully, Princess Celestia.

“Please put in a good word for us,” they would ask Spike. “Mention us next time you see Princess Celestia!”

Spike always promised to but sometimes he would forget. Hey, can you blame a guy? He was always busy with Twilight’s library and the various adventures that occur and the Time Pony’s crazy shenanigans. Things were never the same the day the Doctor moved in. Singlehoofedly the Time Pony had turned their lives upside down, not that Spike minded.

The dragon was never too keen on going on crazy adventures through time and space. When he had heard that Rarity went on a trip with the Doctor, Spike was a little miffed he didn’t hear about it before hoof. If Rarity was going, he wanted to go, but the Doctor apologized profusely.

“It was a bit… explosive,” the Time Pony admitted. “We sort of crashed a sky island into an ocean.”

Spike was infuriated upon learning that the Doctor nearly got Rarity hurt but she came back fine and even enjoyed the trip.

“It was simply marvelous, darling,” Rarity had told him. “Oh, the city was beautiful, it certainly outshined Canterlot or Manehatten. Of course, sending it to the bottom of the ocean was a bit of a problem…”

Spike felt like he shouldn’t inquire about what exactly happened and he wasn’t terribly interested. Unlike the girls, Spike was more content with eating and sleeping, no life-threatening stuff for him, thank you very much.

That’s probably why he felt comfortable as the Doctor’s assistant. He had years working with Twilight under his belt, so he felt it would be easy to work with the Doctor. Nope. When the Doctor explained something, he had a bad habit of rambling on at the speed of light using all sorts of big words and then he’d look at you like you’d drool on yourself when you didn’t understand him.

Even Twilight gets confused by the Doctor which, to be honest, was a nice change of pace since she used to be the smartest pony Spike knew. Speaking of Twilight. Spike spared a glance at his oldest friend, Twilight Sparkle, the esteemed student of Princess Celestia, current holder of the Element of Magic and the most powerful unicorn Spike knows, was worried about what she was going to tell Celestia.

She was looking over her notes and muttering to herself, making adjustments and changes with her quill. Well, actually it was 5 quills on five different pieces of paper at the same time. Spike wasn’t sure what she was so worried about, this wasn’t the first time she has reported personally to Princess Celestia about her misadventures with the Doctor. Though, for some reason, when it concerned the Doctor, Twilight insisted on appearing before Celestia instead of writing a letter as was the traditional manner.

Whenever Spike asked her why she can’t simply write to Celestia, Twilight would just nervously glance at him and down toward the basement where the Doctor resided and said, “It would just be better if I visited Celestia!”

He didn’t get it but then again girls were but a mystery to the poor dragon. Ever since her trip to Rainbow Island, Twilight had gotten sensitive over discussing the Doctor. The Time Pony apparently felt a bit nervous around her as well since he didn’t seem too keen on inviting her on any more trips. The last trip he took was to the moon a few thousand years into the future! Twilight would’ve loved going there, but oh well.

“Twilight, relax,” Spike said, licking his ice-cream. “I dunno what’s gotten you so worked up…”

Twilight shot him a glare but he was used to it by now. “Spike this is serious. My narrative is sloppy and indelicate. If I’m to recount the Doctor’s escapades it has to be succinct with the professional prose of a scientist.”

Spike rolled his eyes, pfft, artists… they were so hard to deal with.

“Yeah, yeah, speaking of the Doctor…” Spike said, pausing to toss his ice-cream cone in the air and snatching it in one bite. “Why haven’t you guys talked yet?”

Twilight blushed and levitated her journal closer to her face. “W-what are you talking about? We talked this morning.”

Barely. How did it go…” Spike cleared his throat and spoke in a falsetto. “Oh, Doctor. Spike and I are going to Canterlot for the rest of the day. I’m afraid we won’t be back for a while! You didn’t even let him respond.”

Twilight didn’t say anything, pretending to be busy with her work, but Spike wouldn’t let up. The little dragon grabbed the papers she was holding, eliciting a complaint from the unicorn, and glared at her.

“What’s going on? When he first arrived, you couldn’t shut up about him! Now you’re going out of your way to avoid him?”

The librarian frowned and rubbed her foreleg nervously. “It’s not that,” she muttered. “I’m not trying to avoid him, it’s just… Rainbow Island was a bit intense for me and, well, a little break from him might be nice.”

Spike wasn’t entirely convinced. He crossed his arms and stared at her for a moment. “Uh huh, are you sure the island was the most intense part of the trip?”

Twilight’s blush turned her entire body red. She turned away with a huff and started to make her way to the castle. Spike dutifully followed, wishing he hadn’t eaten his ice-cream so quickly.

Despite the fact that Twilight wasn’t a princess, she strode through the halls with such stately grace that Spike didn’t have a hard time imagining her in a crown. The guards bowed awkwardly and stepped out of her way, even opening doors for her (though she had insisted it was perfectly fine).

Weaving her way around the corridors and through the innards of the castle, Twilight made her way to the throne room where the entrance was flanked by two sentries. Spike noticed that one of the sentries was new to the job while the second was his superior, probably training him in the rigorous duties of door-pony. The new sentry smiled and waved at Twilight, earning him a hard look from his elder but he didn’t mind.

“Oh, hello, Ms. Sparkle,” the guard said. In his golden armor, which was too big and bulky for his diminutive size, he looked like a colt trying on his father’s clothes. His blue mane stuck out from his helmet in all sorts of crazy manners and his wings chafed against his armor but he grinned happily at Twilight.

Twilight smiled as well, giggling as the elder sentry ribbed him with his hoof. “For the last time, Flash, it’s Twilight Sparkle, or just Twilight. How many times do I have to remind you?”

Flash Sentry blushed and scratched the back of his neck. “Once more, if you don’t mind.”

Twilight laughed again and Spike swore he saw a blush on her cheeks. “Have you seen Shining Armor lately?”

Flash straightened, his eyes wide with panic. “Y-your brother, uh, n-nope. Not lately,” he stammered looking around as if searching for the Captain of the Royal Guard now made Prince of the Crystal Empire. “W-why? Has he said anything to you?”

Twilight frowned and shook her head, confused as to why Flash became nervous at the mention of her brother. Perhaps it was because Shining Armor severely outranked him. She looked at the elder guard but he was chuckling under his breath as his younger recruit all but wet himself in fear.

“No,” she answered. “I was just wondering if he was around. But it was really nice to see you again, Flash.”

She approached the pegasus and gave him half of a hug. The guard pony blushed darkly, coloring his already orange fur into a deep red. Twilight broke the hug, nodded respectfully at the other guard and entered. Spike followed but he shot Flash a glare and made a gesture with his claws pointing to his eyes then to Flash’s as if to say, I’m watching you.

The throne room looked beautiful as always. It was a long, wide corridor with gilded columns, a beautiful plush carpet that stretched from the doorway to the thrones, and intricate mosaics in the windows depicting a brief history of the kingdom of Equestria. Upon the two thrones sat Princesses Celestia and Luna appearing as regal as always as they talked with one of the unicorn elites.

Princess Luna looked completely bored of the manner, yawning and sleepily blinking, struggling to stay awake. Spike figured it was because of her sleep pattern, in fact, he rarely saw Princess Luna. Maybe she resented him for the way he treated her last Nightmare Night. While Princess Celestia appeared alert and politely listened to the complaining unicorn.

Spike knew it was rude to interrupt the princesses while they are in the middle of their royal duties (hehe, royal) but Twilight smiled and broke out into a light jog toward Princess Celestia. The princess beamed at Twilight, a smile so warm and affectionate Spike could see why artists would want to immortalize it in a painting.

The unicorn turned around to see Twilight jogging toward her, even Princess Luna stirred in her sleepy stupor, lazily looking up just as the librarian approached. Twilight bowed formally to the two princesses and couldn’t wipe the grin off her face.

“Hello, Princess Celestia,” she said cheerfully.

“Why, hello, Twilight Sparkle,” Celestia greeted back with a grin.

“My dear princess,” the unicorn began to say. “I must say this intrusion—“

“Is most welcome and I very much appreciate Twilight taking time to see her teacher,” Princess Celestia finished smoothly.
Twilight blushed. “It’s nothing. I’m sorry if I was interrupting something…”

“Well, indeed you were, Ms. Sparkle—“

Princess Luna shot the unicorn a frosty glare. “How impetuous! Lord Trottingford, please escort thyself out lest We invoke further assistance.”


But Princess Luna’s glare only intensified and the unicorn bowed awkwardly and trotted out of the room. Spike chuckled, “Wow, nice going, Luna. You sure showed him.”

Princess Luna smiled and nodded. “It is the best We could do, after all such a disrespectful tone and manner is not welcome in Our chamber.”

“What was he complaining about anyways?”

That’s when the alicorn princess blushed and shook her head. “Truthfully… We are not sure. His complaints droned on that We are afraid We weren’t conscious of the entire conversation.”

Princess Celestia giggled and patted Luna on the head. “It was something about his local tailor ruining his latest order. Not really worth your time, Luna.”

Twilight’s expressions relaxed as if she were happy that she wasn’t interrupting anything important. Princess Celestia looked down at Twilight, still smiling. “Now then, what do you have for me this time?”

The Princesses had decided on a walk. Which wasn’t bad since the Canterlot Gardens were absolutely beautiful and since Twilight agreed to carry Spike the entire time so long as he read her journal aloud to the princesses. They listened intently as Spike spoke as they made their way around the amazing flowers and trees that Fluttershy would’ve loved. By the time Spike reached the end of the entry, Philomena the Phoenix arrived and perched herself on Princess Celestia’s back.

“Whoa,” Spike muttered. “Is that… true?”

Princess Celestia considered it for a moment, petting Philomena absentmindedly with her wings. In this light, it was difficult to remember that Princesses Celestia and Luna were thousands of years old, they looked so young and vibrant, much like the Doctor.

“Yes,” she answered.

“So, wait,” Twilight said, stopping for a moment. “We are the reason why the Wonderbolts exist? And why Philomena is named, well, Philomena and why she’s your pet?”

Princess Celestia nodded again and Philomena chirped happily in response. “That is correct, Twilight.”

Spike groaned, his head beginning to hut. “I’m starting to get a headache…”

Princess Celestia giggled. “Time is not so easy to understand, even when one is in the middle of the most convoluted of adventures. Philomena told me of those adventures she had when I was but a filly. I did not understand what they meant until now.”

Philomena chirped and bowed slightly to Twilight. She remembered that the Doctor explained the phoenixes had a sort of hive mind of a psychic connection that he could tap into to communicate with them. Twilight wondered if Celestia could communicate back to Philomena.

“So, if we didn’t go back in time and find that island…” Twilight wondered aloud.

“Philomena and I would have never met,” Princess Celestia finished.

Suddenly, the weight and burden of this time travel business fell upon her shoulders and Twilight felt almost claustrophobic. If they had messed up one little detail on the trip, if the Doctor decided on a name other than Philomena the entire future would be different!

“So, does that mean you know all about the Doctor?” Spike asked, Twilight was so wrapped up in her own thoughts she jumped, forgetting the little dragon was there.

Princess Celestia looked at Princess Luna coyly and smiled, the Night Princess blushed and looked down on the ground. “That is another story entirely,” she said cryptically. “Though, I’m sure Princess Luna would be more than happy to regal you with stories—“

Sister,” Luna hissed, still blushing. “W-we must not divulge the future to them, their future.”

It was the first time Twilight and Spike ever saw Princess Luna embarrassed like that, it made Twilight felt a little bit better. “Of course,” Celestia agreed but was still smiling. “I was merely jesting.”

“This is dangerous,” Twilight finally said. “The implications of time travel… you knew we went to that island and saved Philomena but you couldn’t tell us. What else do we do?”

Princess Celestia put a hoof to her lips and winked. “Spoilers, my dear.”

Twilight sighed in frustration at both this timey-wimey stuff and herself for getting involved. Sensing her pupil’s distress, Princess Celestia sat down and beckoned Twilight to join. The Librarian snuggled up close to Celestia as she had when she was younger. Spike sat to Celestia’s left while Luna took the right and the Sun Princess extended her wings and hugged the two of them as well.

“I know you are afraid,” she said. “But that is not a bad thing. The Doctor once taught me even in the grimmest, darkest of times there will be a light that shines through and we must never forget it. You are brave, braver than me, braver than the Doctor, my dear Twilight. There isn’t anything you can’t do.”

Twilight shivered despite the warmth of Princess Celestia. She thought she had just figured out the Doctor and it turns out there was a whole lot more to him! What’s worse is that now she isn’t even sure if what she knows about Princess Celestia is due to Twilight’s interference with the TARDIS or not. Oh gods, the Doctor doesn’t know anything about this either, this is in his future.

“I can’t tell the Doctor, can I?” she asked.

Princess Luna spoke up, “It would be detrimental. The times where the Doctor knew his future he attempted, in vain, to prevent it, putting the whole of reality at risk.”

“It’s too dangerous,” Celestia agreed. “He cannot know his future.”

“But… you told me,” Twilight argued. “If it’s so dangerous, why did you tell me?”

“Because it was time,” Celestia answered. Her horn glowed gold and a book materialized out of nowhere. It was a thick ugly book, but it was ancient. The cover was frayed, the entire thing was falling apart, the pages were coffee-brown, and the color had faded. Twilight could still tell, however, that it used to be the bright shade of blue, TARDIS blue.

“His journal,” Celestia said. “Well, not exactly… Let’s just say it belonged to someone close to him.”

Someone? Twilight wondered.

“It contained his past and future,” Celestia continued, magically opening the book and flipping through the pages but Twilight noticed they were perfectly blank.

“Uh, it’s blank,” Twilight pointed out.

Princess Celestia’s expression went from confusion to coy understanding. She smiled impishly. “Perhaps,” she mused. “It simply depends on how you think.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Psychic interface,” Celestia answered. “Look and think. The pages will respond to your psychic feedback and reveal what is written.”

Princess Celestia handed her the book and Twilight held it in front of her. She did as Princess Celestia had suggested and just think about the words… but nothing came up. “It’s still blank!” Twilight complained.

“Yes,” Celestia said sadly, taking the book back. “It takes a connection between two souls intertwined to be able to read it.”

“Oh.” Twilight blushed as the implications dawned on her.

“I was given this book when I was a filly,” Celestia continued. “Then Luna was given this book when she was my age at that time. We both chronicled our adventures here and when we lost the book we used other means… it had taken centuries but I finally recovered the journal so I could pass it on to you.”

Princess Celestia handed the book to Twilight again and the unicorn’s eyes widened. “M-me? But why?”

“You’ve an important role to play,” Princess Luna answered. “You have trumped Nightmare Moon, Discord, saved the Crystal Empire and Rainbow Island. You, and your friends, are very important to what occurs now and in the future.”

Twilight looked at the book, unable to hide her shivering hooves. “D-do you know what happens in the future?”

Princess Luna and Celestia exchanged a look and they shook their heads. “No,” Luna answered. “We have heard rumors but we know nothing of your future.”

“You will be fantastic, Twilight Sparkle,” Princess Celestia said, nuzzling Twilight even more, making her giggle from the close contact. “Absolutely fantastic, of that we have no doubt.”

Twilight held the book against herself and smiled. Despite this immense pressure to succeed not only for the potential safety of Equestria but for the whole of time and space, Twilight felt a surge of confidence rise in her. She witnessed what kind of impact she could have on time and space and if she were to continue, to go on and do the right things she could make this universe a better place to live.

“Thank you, Princess Celestia and Luna,” Twilight said, standing up and hugging the sisters one at a time. When she broke the hug she had an expression of subtle doubt on her face.

“What’s wrong?” Luna asked.

“The Rainbow Phoenix,” Twilight said. “She… I met her and she told the Doctor something that… scared him.”

“What did she say?” asked Celestia.

“The Mistress will see to your destruction and your greatest enemy will wreak chaos,” Twilight remembered. “She also called him… Time Lord Victorious.”

Princess Celestia’s face became ashen but she asked, “What else?”

Twilight shuffled nervously. “You haven’t escaped your fate. It still waits you… Trenzalore.”

The Princesses looked ill as if they hadn’t expected that but… that wasn’t possible, right? If they knew about the Doctor’s past and future, they should know about this place Trenzalore. But they looked like they were going to be sick, Celestia in particular.

“What’s Trenzalore?” Twilight asked.

Princess Celestia frowned as if considering her words carefully. She paused and looked at Twilight with an expression she recognized, her regal face, it was the expression she used when she needed to make tough decisions. “It’s the one place he can’t go, not now, or ever.”

“Okay, but what is it?”

“Twilight… I’m afraid it isn’t our place to tell you,” Luna said.

“What, but—“

“The Doctor will provide insight,” Celestia said. “You must ask him.”

“If this Trenzalore place scared him to death, you’d think he’d tell me about it?” Twilight asked.


Twilight took a step back. Wondering how and why the Sisters had such hope for her. She was the Doctor’s friend, fine, but why would the Doctor want to divulge something that scary to her? She hesitated, wanting to protest but decided to keep her comments to herself.

As much as it annoyed her, they were right. If it was something important about the Doctor, what better pony to tell her?

“You’re right,” she said. “I have to ask him. Thank you, Princesses.”

She bowed again and ran out of the gardens and away from the castle. Spike awkwardly brushed himself off and cleared his throat, approaching Celestia and Luna. “So, you know about the Doctor’s future, right?”

“That is correct,” Luna answered.

“So, what about my future? Or Rarity’s? Do we get together? Ooh, or married? What did I say to her to—“ POP! Spike disappeared in a flash of purple lightning, teleported by Twilight.

Princess Celestia chuckled under her breath. “It is a shame we couldn’t say what happens between him and Rarity…”

“It will be better as a surprise,” Luna said.

“Very true.”

Under the Veil

View Online

The Garden, Perciwing, Ceres Galaxy

89th of Summer, 8:00am, 4000 L.R. (The Republic of Princess Luna)

Fluttershy gasped as a whole new world opened up before her. Green grass stretched from her hooves to seemingly forever, a bright sun shined its rays down on them, covering the landscape in a beautiful spectrum of colors, large wispy trees reached the skies, a massive mountain range peered over the horizon and to the east was a river so clear she could see the bottom. And the animals, oh, the animals.

There were dozens upon hundreds of animals of all sorts. Fluttershy recognized flying squirrels, bunnies, bears, giraffe, dogs, everything living harmoniously together. Tears welled up in her eyes as the idyllic scenery was too much for her to bear. She hugged the Doctor suddenly and the Time Lord chuckled as he hugged her back.

“Welcome to the Garden,” he said breaking the hug and extending his foreleg across the landscape. “The biggest sanctuary in the universe!”

“It’s wonderful,” Fluttershy said, unable to keep her excitement contained. She wondered if this is how Pinkie Pie felt all the time, just ready to explode and burst out in a smile that was a mile long.

The Doctor grinned alongside her, he held out his foreleg for the shy pegasus and she took it tentatively and together the duo stepped out and entered the Garden.

It was the most wonderful place Fluttershy had ever seen. Honestly, she thought Canterlot gardens was beautiful but this beat it by light-years. There were so many animals and plants that Fluttershy nearly got dizzy trying to count them all. Despite the large number of animals, there was a sweet scent that seemed to travel with the duo.

It reminded Fluttershy of home, not her home in Ponyville, but her fillyhood home. It was a sweet scent of ozone mixed with jasmine that her mother adored and spread throughout the house making Fluttershy feel warm and cozy. She could practically feel her mother’s hoof against her forehead for when she got sick…

The Doctor held her by the shoulders and straightened her as the pegasus nearly fell over, dazed from her unusually powerful memory. He chuckled, his golden eyes twinkling playfully.

“Whoa there, don’t want you dozing off.”

“I…” Fluttershy blinked, slightly confused and yawned so loudly and widely that a nearby bear mimicked the action. “Oh my, I’m sorry, that was rude.”

“Not as rude as this,” the Doctor reached over to Fluttershy’s mane and she winced, thinking he was going to pluck one of her hairs but instead pulled back and showed her a shiny purple orb, like a seed. “It looks like a variation of psychic pollen.”

The Doctor brandished his sonic and began scanning it. “It appears designed to induce sleep through powerful memories produced by sensory overload via psychokinetic connection…”

Fluttershy tilted her head quizzically. The Time Lord sighed. “It puts you to sleep, it isn’t particularly harmful, though I’ve come across a stronger variant a long time ago, but just in case let’s just make sure you don’t have any on you.”

He ran his sonic over Fluttershy and her skin buzzed slightly from the sensation. “You said you’ve seen that before,” Fluttershy said as the Doctor ordered her to stick her tongue out.

“A very long time ago,” he answered cryptically. “Let’s just say it was a bit of a nightmare.”

“How do you get rid of it?”

The Doctor pocketed his sonic and smiled but it was a very sad smile. Fluttershy saw pain in his eyes, he tried to mask it with his cheerful demeanor but it was just a fake. “Through extreme measures,” he answered. “But for these, we just do this.”

He tossed the pollen into the air where it was carried away by the breeze. “Now then,” he said with a smile that seemed more genuine. “Talley-ho.”

They walked down a beaten and weathered path enjoying the sights. Whenever an animal approached, Fluttershy would cheerfully greet them and they would always respond back. A flock of bluebirds had appeared, fluttering around her head, and weaved flowers into her mane. They attempted to do the same to the Doctor, but the Time Lord waved them off. “Sorry, no touchy,” he told them.

Fluttershy stopped to have a friendly conversation with a few mice and a grizzly bear. They asked her how she arrived here. “Oh, my friend the Doctor”—she gestured at the Time Lord—“Brought me here in his ship.”

The Doctor was smiling at her with an amused expression, Fluttershy blushed and hid behind her mane, suddenly self-conscious. While the Doctor rarely hung out with Fluttershy, he was more than aware of her ability to communicate with animals, but Fluttershy barely had the chance to display that ability to him. Suddenly, it felt like Fluttershy was on display, vulnerable and raw to the Doctor’s scrutiny.

“You’re the only one who can speak to animals like that?” the Doctor asked.

Fluttershy timidly nodded. “I’m not certain why I’m so different but yes.”

The Time Pony leaned back, taking in the information and Fluttershy thought she had ruined her chance at appearing normal to him. He probably was about to call her a freak or something, a pegasus who can barely fly and loves animals and nature? Weirdo!

“Impressive,” he remarked, grinning. “You lot always manage to surprise me every day.”

Fluttershy let out the breath she was holding and blinked in confusion at the Doctor. A smile appeared on her face as the realization of his acceptance dawned on her. It was such a relief not to be thought of as a freak, all of her other friends agreed with the Doctor’s sentiment but he seemed more… accommodating. As if he were used to being the weird one to everyone he knows.

“Back in your universe, was an ability like mine common?” Fluttershy asked.

The Doctor shook his head. “Sometimes. Some animals were psychically gifted but it was mostly the humans that stifled that process. As brilliant as they were, they were a thick lot, they thought they were the centers of the universe.”

“Oh, so you can speak to animals too?”

“Over here it’s a bit harder,” the Doctor admitted. “I gather the general gist but it’s muddled, I wonder if it’s my pony body, because when I was back home I could speak to loads of animals. Mostly though, it was horsesssss—“

The Doctor stared wide-eyed at Fluttershy as he elongated the S sound of that word awkwardly for a few moments. After he was done, he sheepishly cleared his throat. “Sorry about that…”

Fluttershy shook her head, her expression puzzled. “No, you’re fine. What is so offensive about the word horse?”

The Doctor blinked and tilted his head. “Twilight informed me that the word was offensive, like a slur, in the olden days. It was one of the worst insults you could call somepony.”

Fluttershy smiled and the Doctor stared at her quizzically. “What?”

“Now you’re finally getting it,” Fluttershy remarked, still smiling. The Doctor broke out in a broad grin and laughed victoriously.

“Only took me a few life-or-death situations but I’ve got it, ha!”

The pegasus giggled at the Doctor’s triumphant roars which the nearby weasels attempted to emulated. “As to your concern, yes, the term was offensive but it’s an archaic insult.”

“Like scullion,” the Doctor offered.

Fluttershy nodded. “It was used to insult somepony’s heritage, like mixed races between pegasi, unicorns or earth ponies or even zebras and donkeys. The elites never considered them to be as good as them, to them they were uncultured swine.”

The Doctor frowned. “So, some things never change… What about you, what were your parents like?”

“My mom is an earth pony, my dad a pegasus,” Fluttershy answered. “Mom’s a doctor and dad’s a military general.”

“Can’t say you take after your father then,” the Doctor remarked.

Fluttershy laughed. “Surprisingly enough, I do. Mom was always sort of scary and difficult to approach whereas dad is quieter and soft-spoken. Apparently, I’m as stubborn as mom.”

The Doctor tried to imagine Fluttershy dressed in military apparel, it was surprisingly difficult. Fluttershy’s affinity toward earth-ponies must have been due to her mother, but what about her fear of heights?

Fluttershy’s stare broke the Doctor’s concentration. She was looking at him with those big sad eyes, her lips slightly pursed in concentration, the Doctor figured that was Fluttershy’s thinking face. “Yes? Is there something on my face?”

The pegasus blanched, her eyes widened in surprise and she shyly averted her eyes. “Sorry,” she mumbled, “It’s just… I’ve been meaning to ask, Doctor. What did Applejack mean about drums in her head? When she mentioned it, you looked scared… like you had seen a ghost.”

The Doctor grimaced and Fluttershy would’ve began whimpering under his scrutiny but thank goodness he stared out into the horizon, glaring at the sun. “She’s ill,” he answered. “It isn’t something she won’t be able to recover from. But the drums… Reminded me of a darker time.”

Fluttershy waited for the Doctor to elaborate but he remained quiet which she took as a cue to continue petting the animals. Although it was merely a question, Fluttershy felt like she narrowly avoided danger. She never knew how dangerous a simple question was.

The Time Pony continued glaring at the sun until he raised his hoof cautiously, pointing it out in front of him. “What… do you think that is?”

At first Fluttershy thought it was a tornado. Harsh winds whipped around cyclonically, the cobalt skies were colored blood-red and thunder rumbled through the valley. The animals began to panic as they ran away from the storm system then Fluttershy noticed something odd. It was way too perfect to be a tornado, if that makes sense. The rotation was pristine and tight, much too perfect too be a regular tornado.

“I’m… not sure,” Fluttershy admitted. The “tornado” was so tall it touched the skies and so wide that it could probably take out Ponyville in one go, but it was perfectly crimson. Then she finally noticed. “Is that…”

“Yep,” the Doctor said grimly. “So much for peaceful. Come on!”

Fluttershy really didn’t want to fly into the tornado but the Doctor insisted. “At the rate it’ll take us to run to it, we’ll be too late!” the Time Pony reasoned. “If you fly into it, however…”

“I’m not a weather pony though!” Fluttershy had to yell over the deafening winds. “My—my wings aren’t strong enough to—“

“Of course they are!” the Doctor interrupted. “With enough motivation and drive, you can do anything! If we can’t stop this tornado then what of the animals?”

Fluttershy looked to her left and right as the animals continued to stampede away from the tornado. There were so many of them, if they got caught in the tornado… The pegasus shook her head, getting rid of those horrible thoughts and fixed a look of determination on her face.

“Okay,” she said, barely above a whisper and ten times as inaudible in the wake of this storm but the Doctor got the gist. “But, Doctor… This tornado, it’s…”

“I know,” the Doctor said, glumly staring out at the tornado. It wasn’t a typical column of air and was strange even to the Doctor’s standards. The entire structure was rust-red and whipped around violently, blowing up dust to obscure what was hidden inside. Hundreds upon thousands of birds were flying in a perfect rotation producing the violent storm.

The Doctor grimaced, as far as he knew avian species in this universe weren’t nearly strong enough to produce a violent tornado like this, and judging from Fluttershy’s reaction he was horribly correct in his assumption.

Fluttershy all but whimpered when she saw the tornado of birds, she was reminded of the day the Ponyville pegasi were tasked to produce a tornado of their own to send water up to Cloudsdale but this was different. The pony-made tornado was controlled (in a manner of speaking) and regulated, this was wild and untamed and violent.

“See if you can communicate with them!” the Doctor yelled. “I’m going to try something.”


“Something stupid,” he grumbled, sprinting toward the tornado.

The Carousel Boutique, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 12pm, 1002 C.R.

Sweetie Belle peeked a glance down the stairs and into the main room where Rarity was. She was walking up and down the length of the room, scrutinizing half a dozen ponikins with her latest designs draped over their bodies. Her work glasses was sideways on her face and the length of measuring tape haphazardly reached her hooves but she didn’t appear to care or notice.

The filly tilted her head sideways as she paid more attention to the actual clothes. They weren’t part of a particular line, as far as she could guess, it certainly wasn’t for summer either. It looked more like a personal commission and probably designed for a stallion.

For one thing, they were stout and designed for a bulkier figure, and secondly they looked completely different from one another. One of them was a shimmering silver spandex outfit with a black mask over the face, another was a tuxedo with a tiny black bowtie, another was a bright red and blue ensemble with an Hourglass design on the lapel. They were completely random!

Sweetie Belle’s knowledge of fashion was about as tenuous as her abilities in magic and as tangible as her cutie mark acquisition but even she knew that those outfits were hardly fashionable. Rarity’s ears perked up and like a snake nearing its target she whipped around to the stairs to find… nothing there.

“Strange,” Rarity murmured. “Felt like somepony was watching me.”

Sweetie Belle had ducked behind the wall just moments before Rarity spotted her, no doubt if her sister caught her she’d task the Crusader with arduous jobs. She loved her sister and all but Rarity perfectionist nature wasn’t always appreciated.

Like a ninja in the dark, Sweetie Belle quietly walked up the stairs then swiftly into the nearby wall and swore about her aching horn.

She rolled into her room earning a few strange looks from Scootaloo and Applebloom the latter of which was still dressed in her impromptu doctor’s uniform.

“She didn’t notice me,” Sweetie Belle relayed in a hushed tone.

“Good, wait, why are we whispering?” Scootaloo asked in a similarly quiet voice.

“Ah really think Ah should get back t’ Applejack,” Applebloom whispered as well. “She didn’t look so good…”

“That’s why we’re here,” Sweetie Belle insisted. “To figure out what’s wrong with her.”

“Wouldn’t it be, like, easier if we were with the patient?” Scootaloo asked. “We aren’t exactly Dr. House.”

“There’s something fishy going on or my name is Clarabelle,” Sweetie said. “And it’s not.”

“What’dya mean?” Applebloom asked.

“You said AJ went off chasing Time Turner and Pinkie Pie after they pranked her.” Applebloom nodded. “Then she’s gone for a few days and comes back sick as a dog?”

Scootaloo tilted her head and placed a hoof to her chin. “But I thought she went to the Crystal Empire, maybe she caught something there.”

“It’s just weird,” Sweetie Belle continued. “AJ never leaves without notice, not since last time when she couldn’t win first place at that rodeo.”

“Oh, don’t remind me…” Applebloom muttered glumly.

“I think there’s something going on, something to do with Mr. Time Turner,” Sweetie Belle summed up.

The two fillies waited, breaths held at the prospect of this no-doubt life-changing, concise and amazing conclusion to Sweetie Belle’s paranoid ranting. “He’s an alien,” she declared proudly.

Sweetie Belle’s expression flared up in a proud, confident smile as her friends proportionally deflated at the unimpressive declaration. Scootaloo sat on her rump while Applebloom rubbed her head, confused as to why she’s over here rather than helping out her sister.

“Really? That’s the best you’ve got?” Scootaloo deadpanned.

“He definitely is an alien!” Sweetie Belle all but shrieked. “Just look at his bowtie.”

“Mr. Turner is weird,” agreed Applebloom, now seriously mulling the idea over to Scootaloo’s surprise.


“But not alien weird,” the farmpony amended. “Grown-ups are always weird, like Pinkie Pie.”

“Yeah, and even she didn’t appreciate when we tried to find out if she was an alien,” mumbled Scootaloo.

“He’s definitely an alien,” Sweetie Belle insisted with the stubbornness that could rival Applejack. “There’s something off about him. I know it!”

“What do you suggest?” Scootaloo asked.

Applebloom shook her head, scrunching up her expression in absolute shock. “Don’t tell me you’re gonna go along with this?!”

“There is something weird with him,” Scootaloo said. “Whether or not it’s alien weird we can decide later.”

“Exactly!” smiled Sweetie Belle, draping her foreleg over Scootaloo’s shoulders and the duo practically had glowing halos over their heads. “What do ya say, ‘Bloom? Cutie Mark Crusader Alien Hunters?”

Applebloom frowned, conflicted over her sisterly affection and worry toward Applejack and yet enraptured by the prospect of finding and capturing a real-life alien! She rubbed her chin in consideration and her two best friends strained their smiles to the limit.

“Alright, fine, Ah guess we can—“

YAY!” Scootaloo and Sweetie roared causing Applebloom’s ears to ring slightly for a few seconds. The farmpony briefly wondered if that’s what it felt like to be on the receiving end of the Crusaders’ enthusiasm.

“But…” she hissed, keeping her voice down. “We’ve got to be all quiet like. Rarity can’t catch us.”

“She’s busy,” Sweetie Belle relayed. “She won’t notice.”

“But,” chimed Scootaloo in with a smile. “Just in case… Stealth mode activate.”

With the practiced vision of a scientist, Rarity scrutinized her latest works and frowned as she spotted a microscopic mistake on the outfit to the far right. Adjusting her glasses, Rarity stormed up to the ponikin, angry that it had the nerve to mar her immaculate technique perfected with time and practice. Rarity fixed the little mistake with the elegance and grace one would expect from the fashionista and stepped back to observe her work.

There wasn’t any evidence that Rarity did anything to “fix” it but she smiled as if it were now perfect; artists were weird that way. While the outfit wasn’t the most subtle thing in the world and a product of Rarity’s overactive imagination fueled by a sugar frenzy from Sugarcube Corner, she quite liked it.

It was Mercury silver and so shiny and reflective that Rarity had to squint when she looked at it, she should probably consider a warning label like, Warning: May Cause Blindness and Fabulousness”. It was form-fitting and tight over the pony’s barrel, even considering the Doctor’s lithe figure, and emblazoned with tiny silver Hourglass designs that could only be observed with a magnifying glass. It didn’t cover the flank well considering Rarity ran out of cloth halfway through.

The cloth was fashioned from a dangerous material: Lethean fabric. It was created from superheated water from the Lethe River, it was so dangerous that ponies couldn’t touch it directly or they would lose their memories. Only dragons could touch the water and not be affected by its magic (thank you Spike!) and once it was boiled in a volcano only then could it be manipulated by ponies.

It took ages but Rarity was able to produce a fabric from it, it took a lot of magic, dragon fire, and rubber chickens (don’t ask) but she was able to do it. The fabric was absurdly durable, water-proof, fire-proof and as thick as a dragon’s scale.

Unfortunately, it also meant it was near impossible to change the color. Perhaps Twilight had a spell powerful enough to manipulate the fabric, but if not, the Doctor would have to settle for sticking out like a black-eye, or silver-eye, if you will.

Rarity giggled to herself at her little joke, completely captivated in her work that she didn’t notice the three worst ninjas in the world sneaking around behind her.

Scootaloo, Applebloom, and Sweetie Belle awkwardly scuttled around, trying not to trip over their own hooves, while remaining as quiet as possible which wasn’t easy considering how often they bumped into each other and swore under their breaths.

“Ugh, how are you supposed to see out of this?!” Scootaloo grumbled, tugging at her Balaclava mask which, unfortunately, covered her eyes and wasn’t designed for stealth. It was the color of Scootaloo’s fur, bright orange, which matched her form-fitting “stealth” outfit that was neon-orange and sky-blue.

“Ah don’t think yer supposed to,” mumbled Applebloom as she knocked her hoof into the wall, swearing up and down from the pain but managing to keep quiet. Her mask was apple-red and, again, covered Applebloom’s eyes as if it were designed for someone with a head theoretically three-times the size of the farmpony. Her outfit was honey-yellow and had crudely drawn apples stitched into it.

“Oh shush,” Sweetie Belle hissed, hoping her alabaster mask concealed her embarrassed blush. Her own outfit was bright purple and designed perfectly fine… if she had an extra leg sprouting from her neck. “It was the best I had in such short notice.”

“It isn’t exactly stealthy,” Scootaloo remarked.

“And plus, Ah’ve seen you workin’ on this for weeks—“

“Just, shh,” Sweetie Belle shushed her friends and pushed them by the flanks out the front door of the boutique. Once her friends were out the door, Sweetie Belle tried to follow with but her hypothetically fifth leg tripped her up and she fell to the ground like a sack of apples.

With bated breath and trepidation, Sweetie Belle cowered and waiting for her sister’s inevitable frothing-at-the-mouth rage and punishment of no dessert for a week… but nothing happened. She looked over her shoulder and noticed that Rarity was still examining her strange outfits.

Sweetie Belle frowned, through her mask her expression of perfect confusion was apparent. Grown-ups are weird, she decided. She jumped to her hooves and ran after her friends.

“So, where are we checking first?” Scootaloo asked, pulling off her mask and frowning distastefully at it.

Applebloom pulled off her mask and fixed her already untamed mane. “Ah’m not sure, where does he even live?”

Sweetie Belle removed her mask and fixed her mane with magic. It was the most basic spell she could muster without blowing something up, Rarity herself taught her the spell. “We go ‘round town and investigate.”

“Yeah, investigate!” Scootaloo agreed, jumping in the air and fluttering around on her tiny wings. “Wait, that sounds hard.”

“No it ain’t,” Applebloom said. “It’s like Fetlock Holmes an’ Dr. Trotson, private detectives. We go ‘round and search for clues.”

Sweetie Belle gave Applebloom a strange look. “How do you know about them?”

Applebloom blushed. “Ah like to read. Rarity gave Applejack th’ entire Fetlock Holmes collection. She reads them t’ me before bed.”

Sweetie Belle nodded as if she understood. “I read them as well. Have you reached The Valley of Fear?”

“No, but Ah hear that Fetlock—“

“If we can stop this egghead convention for a few seconds,” Scootaloo interrupted with a deadpan expression. “Perhaps we can get to the problem at hoof with this first clue.”

They looked over at Scootaloo, finally noticing that she was holding up a flier of sorts. It had a cartoonish drawing of Time Turner with big words in bold that read, TIME TURNER: CLOCKWORK EMPORIUM.

“I’m not sure about you,” Scootaloo continued. “But I’m willing to guess he’s here.”


The Garden, Perciwing, Ceres Galaxy

89th of Summer, 10:00am, 4000 L.R. (The Republic of Princess Luna)

If there was an award for Stupidest Ideas, the Doctor would be the King of them. That probably wasn’t how it worked, but the Time Pony hardly cared at the moment. He got Fluttershy to pick him up and fly toward the tornado, to her dismay and reluctance.

He was rather surprised at her flying ability. The Doctor thought Fluttershy was so docile a pegasus that she would be a poor flier but she exceeded his expectations by a mile. Not only did Fluttershy maintain herself while flying at such close proximity to a wild tornado they were in spitting-distance of it, she overtook the funnel and plopped the Doctor a few meters in front of it.

“Talk to it!” the Doctor told Fluttershy.

“I don’t think they’ll listen…” Fluttershy mumbled. “There are too many…”

Make them listen!” the Doctor insisted. “You can do it, Fluttershy! We can’t let this storm get out of hand!”

“You mean out of hoof?”

“Seriously, now, you want to do that?!”

“I’m just saying, Doctor. That’s the expression, if you want to sound like a normal pony then you should—“

“Just, TALK TO IT! I’ve got an idea!”

“What is it?”

“Okay, I’ll admit, it isn’t an idea, per se. It’s more like a concept of an idea.”

“That isn’t very encouraging…”


“Oh fine!”

Fluttershy turned from the Doctor and faced the tornado for the first time. She tried to ignore the burning fear that gripped her heart and the harsh, knife-like winds that whipped on her face. She tried to channel the bravery of her best friend, Rainbow Dash, imagining what she would do in this situation.

She’d probably try to fight the tornado with her bare-hooves. The thought was almost enough to comfort her, but then she remembered that she was too close to this tornado to allow herself a moment of respite.

“Um, hello birds.” Good start, always nice to be polite. But the tornado didn’t even hesitate from Fluttershy’s greeting and continued its path, it would soon overwhelm her in mere moments. “I don’t know if you guys noticed, but you’re a tornado.”

A few hundred birds shuddered and stopped their rotation, staring at Fluttershy like, What is she doing? But it wasn’t enough to stop the tornado entirely. “You’re causing a lot of damage,” Fluttershy continued, her voice rising in volume with each word. “And you might hurt someone. You need to stop before something bad happens.”

Metallic hissing erupted from the tornado and Fluttershy reared back, instinctively covering her ears. It sounded like a knife against a sheet of metal. The rotation slowed enough that Fluttershy could actually make out the birds’ features. They were tiny, the size of ravens, but had red feathers that when they flew around it looked like a streak of blood in the sky. Their eyes were glowing red and gleamed with intelligence, for some reason their beaks and talons were bronze-colored.

A few thousand birds, stopped and fixed their laser-like eyes on Fluttershy, the hissing noise continued and with a start Fluttershy realized they were laughing at her.

That should’ve scared her that these birds were intelligent enough to grasp the concept of laughter and embarrassment but instead it made her angry. Pick on her, fine, she won’t like it or whatever but she can deal with it. Endanger the lives of other ponies and animals? That was crossing a line.

These birds, whatever they were, were smart enough to know what they were doing and didn’t care. Anger bubbled in Fluttershy’s chest and her demure expression changed to an expression of fierce determination.

“It’s one thing to want to cause havoc and mayhem everywhere, but you’re putting innocent animals at risk and you don’t care?!” Fluttershy began yelling, a sound so foreign coming from the meek and timid pegasus it was almost unnatural.

“What have THEY ever done to you?” she continued, raising her volume more and more causing the birds to slow down and by a pegasus. “What make YOU so special?! So, when I said you have to stop, I mean you have to STOP!

That’s when the birds finally stopped. They jostled slightly midair, confused, and the rotation finally stopped but now Fluttershy had a few thousand, angry birds ready to attack her. They turned their red eyes to her and Fluttershy swore they were seething.

“Fluttershy, DOWN!

Fluttershy didn’t even think about it too hard. She curled up in a ball and dove downward, away from the birds just in time for the Doctor to do, well, whatever it is he was doing. A loud, high-pitch screeching noise broke through the cacophony from the birds. It reminded Fluttershy of Sweetie Belle when she hit a particularly high-note except amplified a hundred times.

Instantly, the birds screeched in a thousand-part harmony, shuddering in the air violently. They jerked around so sporadically it made Fluttershy’s heart ache to see them in pain, no matter how mean they were being. For some reason, sparks exploded off their tiny bodies and smoke steamed from their mouths and within a few seconds, the birds dropped to the ground completely inert.

The high-pitched screeching ceased as well and Fluttershy turned around to see the Doctor holding a metallic box with a broad grin on his face. Anger bubbled in Fluttershy’s throat, not the sort of anger she felt toward the birds; the blind sort of fury that made her feel scared of herself, this anger was one of sadness, like she would easily burst into tears if she started yelling. Still that didn’t stop her.

“Doctor!” Fluttershy scolded as loudly as she could. She timidly flapped down to the Time Pony as he was placing his box down and observing his sonic screwdriver, a deep frown set in his features but Fluttershy didn’t register that. “How could you do that to those birds?”

The Doctor looked up, distracted then glanced back down at his box. “I’m busy, Fluttershy.”

“No!” Fluttershy said, stopping in front of him and trying to be brave though her legs shook. “I don’t know how things work in your universe, but we don’t kill birds no matter how mean they’re being!”


“I thought you were a nice pony, at least from what the girls told me. Bu-but, you’re just a big—“

Fluttershy,” the Doctor interrupted as firmly and gently as possible. “They weren’t birds, well, not anymore.”

The Doctor gestured at the carcasses of the birds behind Fluttershy. She turned and observed them from the first time. A gasp escaped her lips.

They weren’t birds exactly, they were but at the same time they were also… metallic and weird-looking. They reminded Fluttershy of the box the Doctor just used to disable them, cold, metallic, and potentially very dangerous. They were part-flesh, part-machine it seemed. Their more fleshy components were contained on the outside, like a shell, while on the inside there was a whole mess of complex machinery and copper wiring.

“Whatever remained of their original bodies is long gone now,” the Doctor continued grimly. “They’re no more birds than you are a griffin.”

At his last comment, the Doctor scrutinized Fluttershy for a moment as if seriously entertaining the idea that she wasn’t a pegasus but she didn’t pay him any attention, her eyes remained on the birds. She calmly and slowly approached them, the Doctor voiced his concerns but she didn’t hear them. Kneeling by one bird, she held it up in her hoof, the tiny avian was barely bigger than her hoof. It creaked and squeaked weakly.

“What happened to them?” she asked quietly.

The Doctor exhaled and examined his sonic screwdriver. The readings were incomplete but he already had a few ideas cooking in his mind. “Cybernetics are highly advanced, light-years beyond the capabilities I’ve witnessed in this universe. Instead of fully assimilating the creatures’ minds, it augments it, using it as a foundation of sorts. Like a Cyberman but much weaker, Cyberbird 1.0, perhaps?”

Fluttershy didn’t even try to translate the more confusing part of the Doctor’s ramble but one thing was sure, at least. It was alien and it took away the lives of these poor birds. “We need to find the pony responsible for this,” she decided.

Normally, the Doctor would be more than excited whenever his companions are so moved by tragedy they set aside their inhibitions to help those in needs but he felt nervous this time around

Absentmindedly, he fixed his bowtie and gave Fluttershy a nervous look.

“Of course, but there’s no need for you to do anything,” he said softly. “It won’t be safe, I could take you to the TARDIS and you’ll be safe.”

“No.” Fluttershy poured all of her determination and emotion in that one word, even managing to impress the ancient Time Pony with a wary smile. She put the bird down and stood up, wiping a tear from her eye. “It was my decision to go with you. If there is something I can do… anything, I want to help, Doctor. Especially if there is somepony out there hurting these poor animals.”

She turned around and saw the Doctor smiling broadly at her. “Um, w-what?”

“Nothing,” he said, not even trying to wipe that grin off his face. “It’s just I should never forget how… brilliant you lot are.”

“Oh. Thank you.”

The Doctor laughed as he ruffled up Fluttershy’s mane, earning an uncharacteristic frown and quiet complaint from the pegasus. “You’re right, we need to do something about this because it isn’t the Cyberbird that concerns me, not really. That’s just part one of my concerns.”

“What’s part two?”

Spinning around suddenly, his jovial expression became grim and serious, his grumpy-face, Fluttershy decided. He pointed to his box which Fluttershy noticed for the first time. “That is part two.”

“What is it?” she asked, experimentally poking the box hoping to elicit a response but it just stood there immobile. It was a box, after all.

“In simple terms, it’s an amplifier. It’s designed to make my sonic screwdriver louder than normal, which can be really helpful when you’re trying to disable a flock of Cyberbirds with a weak threshold against an amplified sonic frequency.”

“Why is it a concern?” Fluttershy asked, tilting her head. “It worked right?”

Well, remember when you asked about my plan? It wasn’t really a plan, not really. I only had a sneaking suspicion of what they were and if I was wrong, we wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

Fluttershy frowned, trying to follow the Doctor’s erratic and vague train of thought. “So, the fact that you were right and saved us… isn’t a good thing?”

“Exactly. Because the only reason I was able to stop them was because I used a certain sonic frequency. Now, it would normally take ages for me to calculate the billion billion combinations to get the right frequency, but… I didn’t have to.”

“Doctor,” Fluttershy said, rubbing her head from an impending headache. “Just get to the point, please.”

“I only have one other sonic frequency on here that I used at the beginning of this life, when I first met Twilight. It was against the Krynoids.”

Doctor Who?

View Online

Ponyville, Equestria, Equis

47th of Summer, 2:30pm, 1002 C.R.

Twilight was, needless to say, a bit miffed off when she arrived at the library to find that both the Doctor and the TARDIS were gone! She was walking up and down the streets of Ponyville, trying to find that irritating Time Pony but with little avail. Spike had long given up trying to talk some sense into the unicorn and instead opted to let her have her little tantrum, it was the safest option for him.

“Where could he have gone?” Twilight asked, grumbling to herself.

Spike stifled a smile and poked Twilight’s right ear, causing it to twitch slightly but the unicorn barely noticed. “I’m not Fetlock Holmes, but if the TARDIS is gone as well, I’d say he’s probably anywhere in time and space.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. While she appreciated sarcasm this was hardly a jesting manner. “Spike, this is serious.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” Spike grumbled. “You’ve been saying that for an hour now.”


“Fine, fine!” Spike threw up his claws in the air in exasperation. “What do you need?”

“The Doctor, I’ve got a few very important questions for him,” Twilight answered, levitating her new book in front of Spike. Its worn, frayed blue cover was nearly falling apart, only maintained by Twilight’s magical aura. “Princess Celestia could read the book and so could he, if it contains important information about his past and his future then we should know.”

“But, wait, doesn’t that break one of the Doctor’s rules?” Spike asked, tapping his chin in consideration. “Something about not crossing into somepony’s time stream?”

Twilight stopped, pausing for a moment, and turned her head to get a good look at Spike, her expression quizzical. “How do you know that?”

Spike shrugged. “The Doctor talks a lot. He mentions a lot of the times where he crossed into his time-stream and messed things up, even meeting a future version of himself sometimes… But thinking about that gives me a headache.”

Twilight shook her head and continued on through the town. She was walking around aimlessly, not really sure where to go, but the pacing helped her think. Twilight was considerably impressed by Spike’s retention of knowledge, but then again, after a lifetime living with her such abilities weren’t too surprising.

“This is important,” Twilight insisted. “Like really important. If three near-immortal, all-powerful creatures agree that Trenzalore is a dangerous place for the Doctor, then, call me crazy, it has to be something worth investigating.”

“But wouldn’t the most logical thing to do be to run away?” Spike asked. “Running headfirst into danger may be the Doctor’s M.O. but it doesn’t have to be yours.”

“Running isn’t an option. Running is what got the Doctor into this,” Twilight argued. “Besides, I can’t help to think that if I don’t do this, something really bad would happen.”

“How bad?”

“End of the universe bad.”

“Oh, that’s bad.”

“So, that’s why we need to get the Doctor to read this book to me because if Princess Celestia won’t then he’s the next best thing.”

“Okay, that’s the really confusing part,” Spike said, rubbing his head. “Princess Celestia said we can’t tell the Doctor about the journal because it contains his future and that’s too dangerous. But then she said Trenzalore is in his future and told you to ask about it. So, your option is to ignore her and ask about the book and Trenzalore. Like, what?”

“I can’t explain it,” Twilight answered. “There’s something in my gut saying this is the right thing. It may be dangerous but I dabble in dangerous all the time.”

“Not end-of-the-universe dangerous!”

“We have to do this, Spike,” Twilight insisted. “I will get to the bottom of this and nothing can stop me!”

With a heavy crash in a hurricane of gold and gray, Twilight was thrown across the marketplace with a mare, and a disgruntled dragon, tangled in her legs. They collided into a nearby, surprisingly sturdy, shop and splayed awkwardly across the ground.

“Okay…” Twilight groaned. “I didn’t mean that as a challenge…”

“Oh my gosh,” Ditzy said, sitting up and fixing her walleyed expression on Twilight and Spike. “I’m so sorry, I don’t know what went wrong! That entrance was contradictory to my cautious and professional demeanor!”

The surprisingly eloquent mailmare helped Twilight up, apologizing profusely as she helped dust off her coat and straightening Spike’s green spines. Twilight shook her head, getting rid of the stars in her vision and tried really hard not to scowl. As silly as Ditzy could be, her crashing into them was clearly an accident and snapping on the poor pegasus wouldn’t do anything.

“It’s fine,” Twilight said instead, rubbing her head. “I shouldn’t have challenged the universe anyways.”

Ditzy giggled, stifling the laughter as to not embarrass Twilight. “You’re pretty funny,” she decided.

“What’s got you in such a hurry anyways?” Spike asked with a frown.

Ditzy blinked, her attractive, yet inconsistent, golden eyes straying from left to right as if they had a mind of their own. Then she broke out in a grin and brandished a poster from her wings. “I’m heading to the grand opening of the Clock Emporium. We don’t have a place in Ponyville specifically designed for watches and clocks, so I wanted to check it out.”

Twilight gasped as she levitated the poster (pegasus and all) closer to her and noticed the cartoonish drawing of the Doctor underneath the title of the store. A scowl deepened in her face. “Doctor…”

“Actually, I’m not sure he’s a doctor,” confided Ditzy, still trapped in Twilight’s aura but smiling all the same. “I think he deals with clocks…”

“Ditzy, show me where this store is.”

“Okie dokie loki!”

Time Turner Clock Emporium, Ponyville, Equestria

10 minutes ago

Colgate was already beginning to hate this job. She tried for a diplomatic smile as the three fillies fixed their glares on her. She had only been on the job for, like, twenty minutes and already she had to deal with troublesome customers.

“I already told you,” Colgate said slowly, as if afraid to startle them. “Time Turner isn’t here right now, and this store only opened just now, what do you need from him?”

“The truth!” declared Scootaloo dramatically, slamming her hoof on the counter.

“What my associate is tryin’ t’ say.” Applebloom began as she pulled Scootaloo back. “Is our business wit’ Mr. Turner is between us, ma’am.”

Good cop, bad cop, Colgate decided.

“So… where did he go?” Sweetie Belle asked, glaring at Colgate.

“I don’t know,” Colgate admitted. “He hired me then left.”

“What kind of pony puts somepony else in a position of power then leaves?” Scootaloo wondered aloud.

“Then if it’s all the same t’ you, we’d like t’ investigate,” Applebloom said.

Colgate looked at the three fillies then at the shop. The shop was finally finished and Colgate had celebrated by setting up the clocks. There were dozens of clocks of all different shapes, colors, and sizes decorating the walls. They were all synced up perfectly, a job that was painstaking and tedious, so it drowned the tiny shop in a maddening symphony of tick-tocking.

These fillies were inquisitive, but Colgate sensed that they lacked control and a parental unit to look over them like a hawk. She got the feeling that if she allowed them to do what they’d like, the entire shop would be leveled.

“Um…” Colgate cleared her throat, she needed to handle this delicately. “Sure, but the upstairs part is closed off. They haven’t finished up there, so you’re only allowed here.”

The fillies narrowed their eyes and jumped back away from the counter to convene an abridged group meeting to whisper amongst themselves. Occasionally one of the fillies would poke their head from the huddle to glare at Colgate suspiciously. The meeting only lasted for a few minutes and once they were finished they approached with a sense of decorum and respect.

“That is acceptable,” Sweetie Belle announced.

Colgate nodded and the three fillies set off around the store. “Um, just don’t break anything!”

The Cutie Mark Crusaders ran around the store, searching frantically like bloodhounds for any sort of clue that could somehow prove the Mr. Turner is indeed an alien. But what could they hope to find, a great honkin’ sign that says “I’m an alien!”?

Sweetie Belle considered this as she turned over a wooden cuckoo to find it wasn’t harboring a tiny alien form bent on world domination. Though this idea seemed doable when first suggested, the actual likelihood of Mr. Turner being an honest-to-Celestia alien has exponentially decreased as time passed.

Scootaloo nonchalantly sidled up to Sweetie Belle, bumping her flank against hers, and whispered, “I don’t think there’s anything here.”

Applebloom approached from the other side, bumping into Sweetie Belle’s flank as well, sandwiching her against Scootaloo. “Ah can’t find anythin’ either. Maybe we were wrong?”

“No, Colgate seems a bit suspicious as well,” Sweetie Belle said, gesturing at the shopkeep who went back to cataloging clocks and watches.

“How?” Scootaloo asked. “She helped out in the Winter Wrap Up last year, she’s really nice too.”

“Ah dunno,” Applebloom agreed. “Scoot has a point.”

Sweetie Belle cursed under her breath and shrugged. “Alright, I guess we can go—“

“Doctor?” Twilight burst into the shop, all but shouting with Spike and Ditzy Doo behind her. Colgate frowned and tilted her head and the Crusaders yelped, taking this opportunity to quickly hide in the back and spy on this conversation.

“Doctor?” Colgate repeated. “You mean Time Turner?”

Twilight flushed but regained her wits and cleared her throat. “O-of course I meant that, you don’t happen to know where he went, Colgate?”

“Wait, why is Colgate working here?” Spike asked.

“Ooh, cuckoos!” chimed Ditzy with a grin, pointing to a set of cuckoo clocks in the corner.

“Time Turner hired me,” Colgate answered with a clipped tone. “As to where he went… I don’t have a clue. He went running off to your library with Fluttershy and—“

“He took Fluttershy with him?!” Twilight interrupted, now seething as she paced around, levitating her blue journal with her.

Colgate looked at the journal and frowned, as if she recognized the book. Wincing slightly as a wave of pain pierced her mind, Colgate tapped her head a bit in a repetition of four-times, tap-tap-tap-tap, and shook her head slightly.

“Took Fluttershy where?” Colgate asked.

“Yeah, where?” Ditzy repeated now carrying five clocks in her hooves.

“That’s the thing, I don’t know,” Twilight muttered, mostly to herself.

“Either way, are you going to buy anything? Doctor Turner is still my boss and this is still my job,” Colgate remarked.

“I’ll buy these!” Ditzy proclaimed, handing Colgate five different clocks. “They’re pretty.”

“What now?” Spike whispered to Twilight. “There’s no way we can track the Doctor much less the TARDIS…”

“I’m not sure,” admitted Twilight. “But if we’re going to find anything out about Trenzalore we have to find him.”

“Trenzalore?” echoed Colgate.

Twilight looked up to answer to see that the unicorn’s face was now paler than death. Her breathing became shallow and she looked like she was going to be sick. Ditzy frowned and tilted her head, which made her eyes jump around like crazy.

“Are you okay?” Ditzy asked.

“You look like you’re going to pass out,” chimed Twilight as she stepped forward.

“It’s nothing,” Colgate said, gritting her teeth and wincing as her headache became more intense. “It’s… just a headache.”

“Are you—“

“I’m sure,” she snapped, glaring at Ditzy with a dark and scary expression that made everypony back up. Twilight swallowed nervously as she looked at Colgate’s eerily familiar expression. But the unicorn shook her head again and her scowl lessened.

“I’m sorry,” she muttered. “I’m just not feeling well.”

“It’s okay…” Twilight said.

“Is it?” Spike asked. “She looked like she was gonna kill—“

Twilight zipped Spike’s mouth shut with her magic and tried for a brave smile. “We’re gonna go now, thanks for your help, Colgate.”

She magically grabbed Ditzy’s tail and dragged her out of the shop despite her protests that she hadn’t paid for the clocks yet.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders looked at each other in shock. Applebloom swallowed the lump in her throat. “Okay, fine… you’ve got a point, Sweetie Belle…”

“What was that for?” Ditzy asked, fixing up her magically tangled tail.

“You heard Colgate,” Twilight said, trying to keep the nervous waver out of her voice. “She’s feeling a bit sick, we should give her some space.”

“Yeah, but—“

“I’m sorry, but I’ve got to go, I’ll talk to you later!”

Twilight trotted off with Spike on her back. She tried to ignore Spike’s questions and her own fear threatening to swallow up her heart. Colgate’s dark expression… it reminded her of the Doctor’s when he was in a bad mood, so much so that she nearly called her by the Time Pony’s title.

Willow’s Pass, The Garden, Perciwing

89th of Summer, 10:55am, 4000 L.R. (The Republic of Princess Luna)

The sun beat down on the desolate plain of unrecognizable wheat and possibly barley but it hadn’t done much to weather the Doctor’s mood. He walked with stately purpose toward the TARDIS which sat parked atop an unremarkable hill. With Fluttershy behind him, he walked and cursed under his breath, muttering frantically.

Fluttershy struggled to keep up with the Doctor’s ramblings, trying to answer whenever he asked a question rhetorically, but the Time Pony was so distracted he didn’t register her answers.

“Of course, of course!” the Doctor grumbled sullenly. “I’m thick, a thicky thick thickton from Thickington! That’s the problem with getting old, Fluttershy, head’s too full of stuff!”

“Oh, yeah, you have a point and… wait, actually, I don’t understand…” Fluttershy muttered.

“Why would a carnivorous alien species try to possess a town full of ponies instead of eating them as they should?” the Doctor asked, turning to Fluttershy. His golden eyes were fierce and his scowl was terrifying.


“To send a message!” the Doctor answered, running his hooves through his mane. “The Krynoid invaded Ponyville weeks before I arrived and only manifested into physical forms once I made my presence. They were going after me, they could’ve easily wiped out your whole town but they didn’t. They wanted to tell me something.”

Fluttershy gently fluttered along but her patience for the Doctor’s incoherent mess was wearing thin. She flew and stopped in front of the Doctor, folding her wings back nervously. “Doctor, if you could start making sense… What are the Krynoid and what do they have to do with the birds?”

The Doctor sighed in frustration of both himself and Fluttershy for not understanding what he was going on about. He was ready to berate her but reminded himself that it wasn’t her fault she wasn’t understanding.

“Before I crash-landed in the Everfree, the Krynoid arrived here before me. They are an alien species of plant that possess a host and consume and spread their roots until they conquer worlds. They had possessed everypony in Ponyville but didn’t do anything until I arrived. How could they know I was coming, I didn’t know I was coming!”

“But, I don’t understand how that affects this. Aren’t we, well, in the future and on a different planet?” Fluttershy asked.

Exactly! And yet those Cyberbirds… they were affected by the same sonic frequency that stopped the Krynoid. The possibility of two independent creatures sharing the same weakness is astronomical at best! Twelve hundred to one, I did the math myself. But it happened! Look!” The Doctor brandished his sonic screwdriver and extended it with a flourish. Inside was a dark blue crystal that glowed. The Doctor gestured to it as if it answered everything but Fluttershy still didn’t understand.

“The sonic frequency is seventy-four point two,” he said. “Which leads us to the next question… Who is behind all of this? The Krynoids told me something important… ‘You do not belong here.’ Princess Celestia told me the same thing, so did the Rainbow Phoenix… those exact words. It can’t be a coincidence, the universe is rarely so lazy.”

“A time traveler,” Fluttershy decided. “It’s the only way they would be able to send those messages.”

“Obviously,” the Doctor remarked. “But there have only been a few beings that are capable of this, one of them is me.”

“What are we doing then?” Fluttershy asked as she followed the Doctor up the hill.

“We’ll head to the TARDIS and follow this trail,” he answered.

“Wait, but what about the animals here?” Fluttershy asked. “Aren’t they still in danger?”

“This is important,” he insisted.


“This isn’t up for discussion,” he interrupted. “We have to—“

The Doctor stopped as he reached the apex of the hill. His eyes widened and a few expressions ran across his face: shock, sadness, then pure terror. Fluttershy looked at where the Doctor was looking and tilted her head. She didn’t understand what was so scary about a bit of graffiti, sure, she was confused as to what could’ve written those words on the TARDIS… and the fact that even the words POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX now read BAD WOLF in capitalized words like it was screaming at the Doctor.

“Doctor…” Fluttershy said quietly. “What’s Bad Wolf?”

The Doctor didn’t answer, he ran up to the TARDIS door and tried to push it open but it didn’t move. His hearts froze in fear, he stomped his hooves in a three-note rhythm, clip-clip-clop, but the doors remained shut. Psychic feedback brushed against the duo’s minds, Fluttershy winced as the feedback became too unbearable. If she didn’t know any better, she’d say the TARDIS was screaming.

“Doctor, what’s wrong?” she asked. “Why are the doors locked?”

But the Time Pony merely stared at the TARDIS in absolute shock. “That’s… impossible,” he mumbled, before a weak smile came to his face. “Ha… that’s new, I… don’t know what to do.”

Suddenly, the Doctor slapped himself in the face to snap into action. His posture stiffened and he adjusted his bowtie. Turning around, he faced Fluttershy with a determined expression. “Right then! Let’s go.”

He set off back down the hill, completely ignoring the TARDIS’s cries of pain and Fluttershy’s protests. She flew beside him, easily keeping up with his more casual pace. “Wait, but the TARDIS…”

“Is better off there,” he finished. “There’s nothing I can do for her now except solve this mystery.”


“There’s someone… something out there toying with me, manipulating time and space to send me a message. Something powerful enough to manipulate destiny. Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem content with me leaving just yet. As much as I hate being toyed around, we have to stay and solve whatever is going on around here.”

“Okay… Wait, no, I don’t understand,” Fluttershy said, shaking her head. “What’s Bad Wolf?”

“If I’m right, it’s the one thing we cannot leave alone. Something so dangerous and powerful it shouldn’t even be here… Bad Wolf is the end of the universe.”

The Doctor didn’t elaborate as he stormed down the hill and across the plains, heading toward the spot where they had stopped the Cyberbird tornado. There were only a few dozen Cyberbirds left, Fluttershy figured that scavengers had taken off with the carcasses, though she wasn’t eager to find out what creature would enjoy half-bird, half-robot creations.

He picked up a random bird and began scanning it, after a few moments, he put the bird down, muttering an apology, and moved on to another. He continued this pattern for ten birds and once he was satisfied he looked at his sonic and pocketed it.

“Other than the cybernetic implants there aren’t any anomalies apparent from the initial reading,” the Doctor relayed. “So not much to go on…”

“What now then?”

“I’m not sure, this doesn’t make sense!” he cursed. “If you’re trying so hard to send me a message, why not send it to Ponyville? Why send it here, even I didn’t know I’d land here!”

“Hm, how about I ask the animals?” Fluttershy suggested. The Doctor turned and looked at Fluttershy with a confused expression. “Animals are pretty smart, maybe they’ll know something.”

The Doctor ran a hoof through his mane but nodded reluctantly. “Let’s go.”

After the 40th hippo, the Doctor was ready to give up. Fluttershy approached an animal at random, politely greeted it, then asked the questions the Doctor relayed to her like an interpreter. Some of the animals weren’t intelligent enough to recognize something being wrong, the ones that were didn’t help at all. As far as they knew, everything was copacetic for years, even those birds didn’t do anything bad until today.

“This is hopeless,” the Doctor groaned. “They don’t know anything.”

“You don’t know that for sure,” Fluttershy gently chided. “Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions…”

“I suppose who is the evil, super-intelligent creature trying to destroy me wasn’t clear enough?” the Doctor said sarcastically.
Fluttershy ignored him and flew up to a tree. There she met a family of bluejays hanging out, they timidly backed away from the pegasus but she smiled warmly at them and they relaxed. “Excuse me, I don’t mean to startle you. But I have a few questions.”

The biggest bird, the mother, straightened up and calmly approached her. She chirped cautiously and Fluttershy smiled. “Thank Mrs. Bird, firstly, I’d like to know about those red birds from earlier. The ones that caused that tornado?”

Mrs. Bird tilted her head in consideration and chirped a response. Fluttershy frowned. “Yes. You wouldn’t happen to know where they came from, would you?”

She tilted her head to the south, pointing at a large mountain in the distance, and chirped. “Oh… from that big scary mountain… That’s… nice.”

Fluttershy flew down the tree and in front of the Doctor. She folded her wings back and kept her eyes on the ground, rubbing her hooves nervously. “Well?” he asked.

“She told me the birds came from that mountain,” Fluttershy relayed. “They haven’t been seen anywhere else.”

The Doctor grimaced. “Okay, well, up that mountain then.”

“But… alright,” Fluttershy relented with a sigh. “It’s going to be scary though…”

“That’s what I’m hoping for…”

That’s when they heard the growl. A sound only slightly quieter than a tank crunching debris under its treads. Slowly, the Doctor and Fluttershy turned around to find a massive bear looming over them. Fluttershy whimpered, this bear was the biggest thing she’s seen, at least ten feet tall with tons of fat and flesh rippling under their fur.

“D-Doctor…” she whimpered.

“Fluttershy…” the Doctor said quietly, backing up. “Basically… Run!”

The bear roared, parting their manes but the ponies didn’t stick around to start a conversation. They took off sprinting. The bear ran after them, on all four, and they poured on the speed. Fluttershy spared a glance over her shoulder to see the bear roar and snap at her. Unlike normal bears, his fur was platinum silver, his eyes were fiery red, even his teeth were metallic silver.

“Doctor!” Fluttershy cried. “The bear it’s—“

“Cyber! I know!” the Doctor said. “This way!”

He tackled Fluttershy to the right, into a grove right outside the forest. Fluttershy yelped as the grove suddenly opened up into a tunnel. The two awkwardly tumbled into the tunnel, falling head over hooves, the Doctor cursed every time he hit his head. Fluttershy tried to open her wings to stop their fall but she kept tumbling.

The Doctor bumped hard off the ground, slamming Fluttershy up into the ceiling and she looked toward the end of the tunnel. At the speed they were going, the Doctor would be maimed by those jagged rocks. Fluttershy tucked into a ball, pushing the Doctor behind her and opened her wings to slow down.

It worked, good news, bad news, her wings were torn up. She cried out in pain as they fell through the tunnel, her wings colliding into the maw of the exit and getting shredded by the rocks. The two fell through the air briefly and crashed into the ground.

Thankfully, the Doctor moved Fluttershy so he was on the bottom but the damage had been done. She cried out in pain as the Doctor embraced her. He cursed and let her go, gently setting her down and observing her wings. “Sorry, sorry you okay?”

Fluttershy blinked the tears from her eyes and swallowed the burning hot lump in her throat. “N-no, I’m not.”

The Doctor brandished his sonic and was going to start scanning her wings but the damage was apparent. Her wings were riddled with cuts and bled, some feathers were falling out, there weren’t any breaks but her right wing was bent in a weird angle.

He scanned her wings for a more in-depth diagnosis. “Good,” he sighed. “Nothing is broken. Here, here, I think I’ve got something…”
He reached into his coat and pulled out a container with a white paste inside. “Healing paste from the Catkind. Does not go well on a sandwich but should do the trick.”

Gently, he scooped a certain amount in his hooves and slathered it on Fluttershy’s wings. She winced and bit her lips to not cry out. “Sorry, this will hurt but soon it’ll start working,” the Doctor said as he continued his impromptu first-aid.

Thankfully, he was right. Within a few minutes, the pain in her wings subsided and she could move them without it hurting so much. The Doctor then wrapped them up in bandages as best he could without fumbling with his hooves. “No more flying,” he advised. “And Fluttershy… thanks. You didn’t have to do that to help me.”

“I didn’t want you getting hurt,” Fluttershy admitted, trying really hard to keep her voice from cracking.

“Feeling’s mutual,” he grumbled sullenly.

“Doctor, where are we?” Fluttershy asked.

The Doctor pocketed his equipment and looked around the room. Well, room may have been an overstatement. It was more like a cave, just a big, dank cavern with no source of light save the bits from the tunnel. Stalactites hung from the ceiling all in a semicircle so it reminded the Doctor of standing inside a giant mouth.

“Not sure,” he admitted. “Base of the mountain which might actually be a volcano given this rock formation…”

“Oh, a volcano… that’s much better…” Fluttershy whispered.

The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver, flicked it on and a light appeared on the bulb, illuminating the cavern slightly. “Not exactly a torch but it should do.”

Fluttershy stood up, wincing slightly as waves of pain washed over her. The Doctor steadied her slightly. “Are you—“

“I’m okay,” she said as firmly as she could. “We should… Doctor, what’s that?”

Her expression went slack as she pointed at the far end of the cavern. The Doctor swung his sonic to where she was pointing and he nearly dropped it. His expression went pale, he looked much worse than he had when he saw the TARDIS.

Fluttershy only recognized the symbol because it was in the Doctor’s TARDIS. It was a circular pattern that resembled the innards of a watch with tinier circles inside. Underneath the symbol was something even more confusing. It looked like an inverted bowl with a metallic stalk fitted with a bulb at the end sticking out from the base of the bowl. It was just that, Fluttershy decided that it must’ve been a top to something and the stalk disturbingly resembled an eye.

“Doctor, what’s—“

“That’s…” he said, almost in a trance as he slowly approached it. “Impossible…”

He looked up at the impossibly perfect Gallifreyan phrase, well, it was more like a question. In Gallifreyan a simple question was asked, a single question that made the Doctor feel like his hearts were dunked in ice.

Doctor Who?

He kept himself from shivering. He bit the inside of his cheeks to stop his mouth from betraying his logician’s mind. But there it was, the impossible message… Right under the Gallifreyan was one of the worst things in the universe. It was the head of a Dalek. Just the head, right where the neck would be the metal became jagged and sharp, like it was violently sliced off.

Cautiously, the Doctor tapped the Dalek head and it fell over from the simple movement, crashing on the ground with a horrible clunk! The Doctor caught his breath as he saw what the Dalek was obscuring. Right underneath the message was a signature carved into the stone. It didn’t mean anything but the Doctor recognized it.

It was Twilight Sparkle’s cutie mark.

Bringer of Darkness

View Online

Cavern, The Garden, Perciwing

89th of Summer, 12 Noon, 4000 L.R. (The Republic of Princess Luna)

“Doctor, calm down,” Fluttershy attempted to placate the now raging Time Lord. He paced the cavern, mumbling angrily to himself, messing up his mane as much as possible as his mind worked hard to figure out the reason for that message. Misdirection? His enemies have tried countless times to distract him by using his loved ones as either bait or leverage against him. But what would be the point of that? For some random planet in a random corner in the universe?

A trap? Well, he’s certainly trapped here but again this was all decided randomly. It would be illogical to think whoever planned this would know the Doctor would end up here. That doesn’t make any sense! And why use Twilight’s cutie mark as the signature? Why use a Dalek head? How did they even acquire a Dalek?!

The Doctor stopped and slapped himself, hard, then once more for good measure. “Who would go through such extravagant measures to get me here to see that message?”


“Well, besides me,” he muttered. “But that doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t make any sense!”


“And look at this!” he pointed at the carved Gallifreyan, scanning it with his sonic. “This message has been here for”—he consulted his sonic screwdriver –“Two point four billion years! That isn’t an easy feat, oh, let’s pop in a time machine to when this planet was created and leave a message!”


“And for what! To scare me? To make me angry? To…” He paused, looking around the room as he realized they had been surrounded by dozens of animals. None of them were the same species but all of them had red, glowing eyes and multicolored fur. “Distract me…”

“Um,” Fluttershy squeaked up in the claws of the bear from earlier. “I just wanted to say, we’re surrounded.”

The Doctor must admit, being captured and taken prisoner by a bunch of robotic animals is new. An honor guard of bears and gorillas carried the Doctor and Fluttershy by the forelegs deeper into the cave. They didn’t resemble each other but the Doctor could see their laser-like red eyes and hear the subtle whirring of advanced mechanics under their skin.

“Cyberanimals,” the Doctor remarked. “Certainly new.”

“Oh yes, this is the first time I’ve encountered them as well,” Fluttershy nodded with a timid smile. Despite her pale expression and bandaged, stiff wings, she seemed surprisingly well. Perhaps it was the fact that she was surrounded by animals, albeit slightly evil.

The Doctor looked around and tried to focus on his surroundings. The cavern was certainly naturally formed, water and wind and the elements have worn this place down over the course of millions of years, so it wasn’t some artificial base of operations for some villain.

The animals, as well, were only recently made into Cyber-things. The Doctor glanced at a Cyberbear’s shoulder, its fur was coarse but still full and healthy, meaning this change was only a recent one. That was slightly informative but, as with everything else, only served to confuse the Time Pony.

None of this seemed to make sense, if the Doctor wasn’t absolutely sure there was a chess master, of sorts, manipulating these events he would honestly peg it as random coincidence! That Gallifreyan message, the Dalek head… Twilight’s cutie mark signature.

Scowling slightly, the Doctor shook his head and decided to focus on the problem at hoof. He knew it was a bad idea but if he didn’t then more harm would befall Fluttershy and he’d never forgive himself.

“So! Cyberanimals, eh?” the Doctor said with a great big smile, looking at the bear at his side. “I mean that’s quite scary but not, well, end-of-the-universe scary. More like, Oh look at that poor dog in the Henderson’s lawn, all chained up and barking up a storm’!”

The animals were, however, not as receptive as he hoped. They deliberately maintained their military decorum and did not stop their monotonous marching. Fluttershy was uncharacteristically, very calm despite the situation. While most of the Doctor’s companions would’ve responded to this situation with more fire, Fluttershy maintained a calm demeanor.

Still, behind those eyes, the Doctor sensed that she was more worried than she let on but chose to hide it. At first he figured it was to reassure the Time Pony that she was, in fact, calm, but he then realized it was more for the animals. Animals generally respond to someone’s emotions and demeanor, the calmer and in control the person (or pony, in this case) seems the less likely the animal will fall into a wild rage.

It was both inspiring and reassuring, but the Doctor wasn’t sure there was anything left in these Cyberanimals. As near as the Doctor figured, they may be controlled by a central transmitter, receiving orders from a mastermind elsewhere. But still that didn’t make much sense, did this big bad want to lead the Doctor down here to see the message and this secret base?

What kind of fool would deliberately expose their plans, especially to someone like the Doctor?

“Um, excuse me, Mr. Bear,” Fluttershy said gently, startling the Doctor out his thoughts. “I’d just like to know something. Why did those Cyberbirds create that tornado? Was it to hurt the other animals, because it didn’t do anything but get our attention…”

The Doctor blinked, staring at Fluttershy incredulously. He mentally noted not to underestimate the pegasus, as timid as she is, she is still rather sharp and quick to adapt.

“Perhaps a fault?” the Doctor suggested. “Why would they want to put the local resources in danger?”

Fluttershy frowned, perhaps bothered by the Doctor’s insensitivity, dismissing innocent lives as resources, but she didn’t respond to his poor mood and ill-temper.

“Whatever the case,” the Doctor continued, scowling at the Cyberanimals. “I will put a stop to it, and you can tell your leader I’ll find them as well!”

The TARDIS, The Garden, Perciwing

A few minutes ago…

Darkness enveloped the hill where the time machine sat. It covered the area in a thousand kilometer radius in perpetual obscurity. Light faded, warmth snuffed out, the temperature dropped so quickly the grass and trees were caked with frost and ice. The TARDIS itself began wailing the cloister bell throughout all of time and space but even sound became muffled in the wake of this evil.

Shadows and black magic manifested in a lone figure. Their body left ambiguous to shape and gender yet the distinct silhouette of a pony was allowed to surface. It approached the TARDIS almost with trepidation, as if overwhelmed by the familiarity of the situation.

A cold wave washed over the hill as the pony finally stood in front of the screaming time machine. “It’s been a very long time…” the pony cooed, its voice warped and echoed as if spoken from deep underground. “You’re looking… young, Old Girl.”

Magic surrounded the TARDIS and focused on the doors. Psychic feedback screeched as the TARDIS resisted this influence from opening her doors but it wasn’t strong enough. The doors opened slowly, with a deafening screech, as if the TARDIS was crying from the unwanted intrusion, until it was opened completely.

The enigmatic pony stepped through, indifferent to its almost violent intrusion into this beautiful time machine. Freezing waves of cruelty radiated from the pony as they approached the console, gently touching its controls despite the TARDIS’s psychic protests.

“Time and Relative Dimension in Space,” the voice said nostalgically. “Best ship in the universe… That old Time Lord would be devastated to lose you…”

It turned and handled a random lever with familiarity. “I suppose we shouldn’t disappoint…”

Throwing the lever forward, the TARDIS rumbled as the engines roared to life and began to take off. The pony smiled darkly. “Next stop, everywhere…”


Okay. This was definitely new.

The Doctor and Fluttershy was deposited in the middle of a large cave, well, the entire place was just one big cave but, once again, calling this place a room would a gross overstatement. In the center of the cave was a massive spire made from molten rock that sprouted from the ceiling, the Doctor wondered how dormant this volcano was considering the spire radiated intense heat.

The Time Pony glanced at Fluttershy and noticed her fur was damp and sweat beaded her forehead. Worriedly he looked at her bandages which were beginning to slip off, he could see her wings, red from inflammation, and twitching nervously.

Staying in this environment would be detrimental to her health. But still, Fluttershy managed a brave, if weak and tired, smile. It seemed despite the danger, she was more or less in her element around these animals.

The Doctor looked back at the base of the spire which blossomed out like an inverted mushroom and glowed similarly with heat. With a start, the Doctor realized that the spire resembled a Time Rotor. He looked at the ground and noticed that other than the radiating heat there were strange patterns embedded into the ground. No…

He stomped the ground with a hoof and instead of the dull sound of a hoof against rock, it clanged with a metallic ring.

“Doctor, what’s that?” Fluttershy asked, pointing to the far end of the cavern. A dozen or so Cyberanimals poured into the place carrying… no, that was impossible. They carried complex machinery over their shoulders, silver, bronze and gold equipment that, by itself, was relatively useless, but together could be meshed up to produce a working… time machine.

“What do you think you’re doing with that?!” the Doctor demanded stepping forward, but a bear sentry intercepted him, calmly raising his arm to stop him from advancing. “Even if you could manage to make it work, you don’t have the power source required to stabilize it! You’ll burn up on your first trip!”

“What’s going on?” Fluttershy asked.

The Doctor didn’t meet her gaze, merely looking at the animals as they worked with a horrible expression. “They’re trying to build a TARDIS…”

Sweet Apple Acres, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 4:00pm, 1002 C.R.

Applebloom sullenly shut the door to Applejack’s room as her elder sister had fallen to a deep sleep only five minutes into their conversation. Which was fine, since Applebloom didn’t want to disturb her anyways and it would give her time to process everything she had witnessed a few hours ago.

While Applebloom had expressed her doubts about Mr. Turner being an alien, she couldn’t deny the evidence stacking up at this point. In particular, Colgate’s reaction to Twilight’s prodding about Mr. Turner.

That cold, frosty look still chilled Applebloom to the core. Even though she didn’t get a direct look at it (only from a peripheral) it still unnerved her. That looked was the scariest thing she saw, easily beating even the most sour moods from Granny Smith. Applebloom also had the feeling that her expression had something more to do than this Trenzalore place Twilight mentioned.
To be completely honest, Applebloom wasn’t sure she wanted to find out what.

She shook her head, ridding of those thoughts, took a deep breath and headed downstairs to help her brother with supper… completely unaware of the nightmare black aura that materialized behind her and slipped into Applejack’s room.

Unbeknownst to the sleeping Applejack, the temperature of the room dropped so quickly a sheen of frost appeared over the windows. A dark form of a pony materialized by Applejack’s bed, almost smiling as it looked down on the farmpony’s sleeping face.

“The former Element of Honesty,” the pony mused before pausing for half a second, cocking its head in a manner almost like an inquisitive pony but a cruel smile still apparent on their face. “Or is it current? I always get past and future confused…”

Calmly, the pony lifted their hoof and reached over to Applejack’s forehead, causing the farmpony to briefly glow a golden dust. “Hm. The Doctor’s memories are still rattling around there… I suppose it’s only right to leave it there, no reason to risk the causal nexus.”

The pony turned around, prepared to leave in a gesture almost certainly suited to appease regular ponies given its ability to shift through walls, but paused for a moment. “Have a good sleep… Applejack. I’ll see you very soon.”

It tapped the ground in a strange rhythm, clop-clop-clop-clop, took a single step forward and faded into the shadows.

“Twilight?” Applejack opened her eyes and looked toward the door just as the Element of Magic stepped in with a meek smile.

“Hey there, AJ,” Twilight said, waving her hoof in greeting and approaching the bed slowly. “You feeling okay?”

Applejack weakly sat up, nodding as she managed a smile but her face paled as if that exertion only cost her a tremendous amount of energy. Twilight quickly closed the gap between them and sat at Applejack’s bed, taking her hoof.

“Ah’m feeling a bit better,” Applejack admitted. “At least th’ drummin’ stopped.”

Twilight nodded, unsure of what to say. “Sorry I haven’t visited all day, I’ve been in Canterlot speaking with the princesses.”


Twilight looked away, fiddling with Applejack’s hoof for a moment. “So this illness, how do you think you got it? It doesn’t seem like something that would form naturally.”

Applejack frowned for a moment, fixing her green eyes on as if trying to extract the information with her gaze alone. After a moment she gave up and sighed. “Ah’m not sure. It happened after we got back from th’ moon.”

“Pinkie said you faced Nightmare Moon up there,” Twilight remembered. “That must’ve been scary.”

“It was,” Applejack admitted. “Ah was terrified, Ah wasn’t sure if we would get outta there alive.”

Twilight’s eyes softened and she gently caressed Applejack’s hoof, trying to comfort the poor farmpony. “Good thing you managed to flush her out of the TARDIS,” Twilight said.

Applejack frowned, her green eyes becoming foggy and dazed, as if she couldn’t remember where she was for a moment. “We… did?”

Twilight tilted her head. “That’s what Pinkie told me. Why, what do you remember?”

“Ah remember a golden light,” Applejack recalled dreamily. “Then somethin’ burning in my head… like, like a sunburn for yer mind then…”

She frowned again, her breathing became quick like she was hyperventilating. “A-Ah don’t remember.”

Twilight sat up suddenly, using both her hooves to caress and calm Applejack down. “AJ, it’s okay,” she said in a soft, cooing voice. “You’re here that’s what matters. Applejack, just breath.”

“But th’ drums…” she said, her eyes darting around like she could see something that wasn’t there. “Th’ drums are so loud, Twi…”

Twilight felt Applejack’s pulse through her forelegs, it was becoming erratic and out of control. If she didn’t intervene, Applejack may go into shock. Twilight’s horn filled with magic and her magical aura wrapped around Applejack’s head. Soon, the farmpony’s eyelids started to droop sleepily and within seconds, Applejack’s head slumped back and she fell perfectly asleep.

Twilight exhaled, feeling Applejack’s pulse through her magical influence, good she was stabilizing. She brushed the mane from Applejack’s eyes gently and looked at her sleeping form, trying to ignore the sliver of ice in her chest as she considered what the farmpony told her.

The drums

That definitely didn’t sound good.

Twilight stood and quietly headed out the door and down the stairs. She made her excuses and left Sweet Apple Acres, even more determined to speak with a certain Time Lord, wherever, and whenever, he was.


“A… TARDIS?” Fluttershy repeated, looking around the cavern as if imagining it to be that impossible box she was familiar with. “But this is a cave…”

Despite the situation, the Doctor managed a childish, incredulous expression as he looked over at the yellow pegasus who maintained her confused expression. “Firstly, a TARDIS interior, and exterior, can look like anything, so a cave isn’t out of the question. Secondly, they’re just building a TARDIS console room, trying to achieve time travel with… well, rocks!”

The Doctor noted the animals who continued to work, bringing in tons of equipment and setting them up in the circumference of the molten spire. As each piece of the make-shift console was set into place, the equipment began glowing in an eerie blue light, so as they worked, the Doctor and Fluttershy had to squint because the spire was glowing so brightly.

“Well, they can’t right?” Fluttershy asked. “The TARDIS requires a… power source, right? I mean, if anypony could simply build one, then we’d see hundreds of TARDISes, right?”

The Doctor nodded, again surprised at the adaptive nature that Fluttershy was displaying. “They require power sources unlike anything I’ve seen in this universe, well, other than a black hole but this lot… they’re trying something dangerous.”

Fluttershy looked around at the impassive animals who continued to work, either unaware of the danger the Doctor implies may occur or indifferent, neither of those options comforted her.

“TARDISes require something called the Eye of Harmony to power it, well, amongst a dozen of other alternatives but the Eye is the most potent,” the Doctor elaborated. “The Eye is simply a star moments before it collapses into a black hole, the instant that happens it released a tremendous amount of energy, almost incalculable. The black hole I saw on Rainbow Island nearly reached the levels the Eye of Harmony produced but it was too unstable and was prone to self-destruction.”

Fluttershy again looked around the cavern, the heat was almost becoming a bit unbearable even for the weather-protected pegasus. She figured that being inside a volcano, no matter how dormant, wouldn’t be good. That the convection of the volcano would burn them up but it hadn’t… almost as if this place was insulated against it.

Fluttershy tapped the ground, feeling the foreign sensation of hoof against metal.

“Metallic insulation,” the Doctor explained, looking at Fluttershy despondently. “Keeps us, and the console, from burning up.”

Fluttershy felt out of her depth but nevertheless terrified at the implications. These animals were building a time machine… and succeeding!

“But, Doctor,” Fluttershy said. “You said the Eye is a star collapsing… I don’t see a black hole around here.”

“They’re trying an alternative,” he answered. “They’re trying to use the volcano as an energy source.”

The Doctor tapped the ground again, motioning Fluttershy to pay attention. “These not only insulate against heat, they transfer it into the console, feeding off the dormant energy of the volcano to power it up.”

“Is that possible?”

“Volcano eruptions release a massive amount of energy,” he said. “They release hundreds of megatons of thermal energy, one of the last eruptions I saw was Vesuvius and it completely obliterated Pompeii and Herculaneum.”

“But this volcano is dormant, right?” Fluttershy gestured at the molten cavern. “We should be fine.”

“It wouldn’t be difficult to trigger an explosion, especially considering the technology they have,” he said, growling as they set up more and more equipment. “They only need to do it once and in the instance of the eruption, they’ll have just enough energy to time travel only once… But why?!”

He turned toward the Cyberbears, angrily stomping up to him. “You’ll only have enough power for one trip,” he said, his voice carrying the fury of the Time Lord. “And you’ll condemn this entire world to centuries of ash, if they even survive that long!”

The bear impassively turned away, ignoring the Doctor’s questions and the Time Lord huffed in frustration. “What I don’t understand is why now? They had the technology and means to do this, why wait now?”

“Because we were missing one more component.” The Doctor and Fluttershy turned and faced the Cybergorilla that spoke in its mechanical voice. Its red eyes were now glowing dark purple and its face went slack and listless.

“Missing what?” the Doctor asked, approaching the gorilla and gesturing at the console. “Because it looks to me you’ve got everything.”

“We were missing the pilot,” the Cybergorilla answered.

“Oh come on,” the Doctor grumbled. “There’s only one thing in the universe that can pilot a TARDIS…”

Suddenly, he felt all eyes draw on him. The Doctor paled and took a step back and the Cyberanimals responded by taking a step forward. “Fluttershy,” the Doctor said in a hushed voice. “Stay close…”

“Restrain the pegasus,” a Cyberbird ordered.

A pair of bears grabbed Fluttershy and hoisted her up, the pegasus yelped out in pain as her wings were suddenly, and violently, jostled. She blinked the tears from her eyes and willed herself to remain conscious.

“Let her go!” the Doctor demanded.

“The Doctor will pilot the TARDIS,” the Cyberanimals spoke in unison. “He will take us to salvation.”

“You must not know me very well mate, because I don’t respond well to threats,” the Doctor growled, brandishing his sonic. But at the same time he produced his tool, the Cyberbears lifted their free arms and weapons protruded from them, pointed at Fluttershy.

“Doctor!” she squeaked.

“The Doctor will pilot us, or his companion will be destroyed,” the animals told him.

“Once again you’ve made another grave mistake!” the Doctor said, this time with a cocky smile on his face. He began walking, slowly, around the console and the animals never took their eyes off him. “Thinking my companions are a useless lot, a dead weight I have to carry around, well if you think that then you’re thicker than I thought!”

He spared a look at Fluttershy and gave her a subtle wink then turned back to the Cybercreatures, still grinning madly. “Because I choose my companions with care, every single one of them. And I’ll have you know, none of them are useless. Not one single hair on their bodies, or lack thereof, is useless…”

Fluttershy’s eyes widened as she caught the subtle shift in tone in the Doctor’s voice. He was giving her a clue, but, would it even work? After all, these Cyberanimals are hardly flesh and blood anymore. No, it would have to work, otherwise the Doctor wouldn’t have suggested it.

While they all had their eyes on the Doctor, Fluttershy tilted her head in a way that her mane fell over her eyes. None of them thought anything of it, like she suspected. She squinted her eyes, trying really hard to spot the near microscopic orbs that she encountered earlier…

Ah! There!

Dozens of glowing purple orbs were embedded into her mane, the psychic pollen! But with her legs trapped and her wings useless, how could she scatter them? Fluttershy flipped her mane back and shook it like a dog trying to dry itself. As expected, the pollen scattered from her mane and straight into the Cyberbears that restrained her.

The effect was near instantaneous. The bears became dazed and confused and their eyes rolled up and they fell over unconscious. They released Fluttershy which was good since she was nearly crushed by them and she dropped to the floor with a yelp. Every Cyberanimal turned their eyes on her and produced weapons.

“Run!” the Doctor yelled as he activated his sonic. It emitted a loud high-pitched screech which caused every Cyberanimal in the vicinity to spark violently and fall over. Fluttershy turned tail and ran out the entrance.

Despite Fluttershy having a 10 second headstart, the Doctor caught up with her quickly. He took her hoof and turned to the right, into another corridor. “Doctor, the exit’s—“

“I know!” he said. “But I need to see something!”

Fluttershy didn’t complain as she followed the Doctor deeper into the volcano. They ran and ran but Fluttershy didn’t hear any sounds of pursuit behind them, she wondered what the immediate danger was if the Doctor disabled them with his sonic.

“Doctor, your sonic screwdriver worked,” Fluttershy told him. “It disabled the Cyberanimals.”

“Momentarily,” the Doctor answered. “Without the Harmonic Frequency Circuit, the best my sonic can do is give them a headache.”

“What’re we looking for?” Fluttershy asked.

“We’re looking for the bedroom!”

“The what?!”

Suddenly, they burst into another cavern but this time… it was definitely pony-made. The entire place was metallic, from the walls, to the ceiling, to the floor. Pristine silver walls with cascading lines running through them in parallel patterns. It reminded Fluttershy of being inside a cube, it made her feel claustrophobic.

The Doctor headed deeper into the room. Propped up against the walls were large, tube containers ten feet tall and glowing a sickly green. Fluttershy followed the Doctor who began inspecting the cubes and gasped at what she saw.

Inside each container was a silver… something. It was bipedal and shaped almost like a rocket, to Fluttershy, but it reminded her more of a skinny gorilla. Its broad shoulders, long arms that weren’t proportional to their heads. On their chest was a large silver emblem, it was simple the letter C.

“Doctor, what are they?” she asked nervously, hiding behind the Time Pony despite the creature not showing signs of life.

“Cybermen,” he answered grimly. “Hundreds of Cybermen.”

The Fury of a Time Lord

View Online

The TARDIS, The Garden, Perciwing

89th of Summer, 2:00pm, 4000 L.R.

The TARDIS landed. It materialized back on the hill, as if it never left, with its customary lyrical whooshing and dull, metallic thud. It looked practically untouched, saved for its BAD WOLF message which had been dutifully erased and replaced by its original text.

The doors opened and out stepped the enigmatic pony. They regarded the volcano with a mild interest, smoke plumed and blossomed over the top and the ground rumbled as it prepared for a violent eruption. “A silly plot,” the pony remarked as it shut the doors behind them. “Simple, by the Doctor’s standards. Even I couldn’t believe the choice he made when it came to this place.”

Looking over the green plains and rolling golden hills, the pony almost bared a resemblance to a nostalgic smile, as if they were remembering the first time they saw this wondrous place. “To see this world burn… Well, it isn’t like the Doctor isn’t used to that.”

Turning around, they patted the TARDIS doors fondly, to the time capsule dismay. “I’ll see you soon, Old Girl. Take care of the Doctor for me, oh, and don’t tell him about me. We can’t spoil it for him, not yet.”

Dark smoke rolled off the pony’s legs and toward the immoveable TARDIS, surrounding the machine and perfectly encapsulating it. After a few moments, the smoke dissipated, along with the pony and any evidence that they had been there at all.

All that remained was a cold, evil whisper in the wind and the foreboding darkness of the implications of what one could do with a powerful time machine for an hour…

Cybermen Barracks, The Garden, Perciwing

The Same Moment

The Doctor ran his sonic screwdriver over the capsules, growling as he psychically scrutinized the readings. This wasn’t good. The Cybermen were absolutely top-of-the-line. That was… the Doctor didn’t want to say impossible, because clearly he had been proven wrong multiple times today alone.

“Doctor, what are Cybermen?” Fluttershy asked, nervously trailing behind the Time Pony as he continued to scan.

“Imagine the most heartless, ruthless, evil force that never sleeps, never stops, never doubts,” the Doctor answered distractingly.


“Now forget that, the Cybermen are lightyears worse.” He took a look at his sonic and scowled at the readings. “This isn’t right. Cybermen shouldn’t even exist in this universe! You lot don’t even know what humans are.”

“Maybe it followed you?”

The Doctor ran over to a control panel and automatically began hacking it, well, not hacking per se more like violently disassembling the innards of this machine meticulously and ruthlessly. “They’ve been here for centuries, eons, even. What’re they waiting for? Ugh, look at this, even the controls were designed for ponies not humans.”

“Doctor,” Fluttershy said. “You said you fell into this universe, what if—“

“I’ve considered that,” he interrupted. “But even still, there’s no way these Cybermen could’ve been here for eons without my noticing.”

“Maybe whoever left you that message wanted you to find them?” Fluttershy suggested.

The Doctor paused, taking in the pegasus’s words and considered them really hard this time.

Whoever had the technology to leave the Doctor messages hidden in time, to not only encounter a Dalek but kill it and decapitate it, wouldn’t bother with Cybermen and Cyberanimals. After all the only one capable of doing all of that is a Time Lord.

The Doctor racked his mind, trying to answer all of these questions that popped in his head. Who could do that? Why would they? How on earth are they doing it? Was it a game? That’s what it felt like, it felt like something was tugging him by the ear, throwing him into trouble for the sake of it, as if trying to send a message…

I could kill you now, but where would the fun in that be?

“Right, right!” the Doctor said, pacing around nervously, trying to focus on one thing. The problem at hand. “We’ve got about a hundred Cybermen at the base of a dormant volcano now fashioned into a TARDIS with an army of Cyberanimals all primed to time travel at the expense of this planet.”

The ceiling overhead rumbled, shaking the ground so hard that Fluttershy struggled to stay on her hooves but the Doctor kept his balance. He casually checked his watch, noting the time. “In about ten minutes. If they manage to succeed they’ll have a perfect army of Cybermen to wreak chaos on this unsuspecting universe.”

“What’s ten minutes?” Fluttershy asked.

The Doctor turned and gave her a silly, childish smile. “Volcano day!”

They ran around the room which was now covered in a green glow. The Cybermen containers began to glow more intensely and beeping now echoed throughout the room, but the Doctor didn’t seem particularly worried, he ran around, scanning various pieces of equipment and working on random consoles.

Fluttershy followed him, trying to ignore the pain in her wings as it got worse and worse as time passed. It seemed that the paste the Doctor applied earlier was beginning to wear off, that didn’t help Fluttershy’s already frayed nerves.

“Doctor, what’s that noise?” she finally asked.

The Doctor looked up from his console and frowned as if he finally noticed those warning sounds. “The Cybermen are awakening,” he answered. “They’re probably going to capture and force me to pilot their TARDIS. When I refuse, they’ll force me into a Cyber suit and have me lead their army to conquer the universe.”

“Oh, okay,” she said, nodding in understanding. “So, how are we stopping them?”

The Doctor flashed a brilliant smile as he pulled out his sonic screwdriver. “Why, waking them up of course!”

He activated his sonic and the green lights faded into blood-red hues that flooded the place. The light washed over the Doctor’s face and Fluttershy shuddered, he looked like a ghost in this light. The pods became decompressing all at once, the sound of compressed air hissing out a hundredfold filled the air, reminding Fluttershy of angry snakes.

Then they opened.

The pods opened at the same time, folding upward as every Cyberman lit up and coldly regarded the Doctor. Fluttershy held her breath as she stood behind the Time Pony who grinned confidently at the Cybermen. They were incredibly taller than the Doctor, he only came up to their stomach, but he still regarded them as if he had the stature of a general.


The Doctor guffawed walking around the Cybermen rank fearlessly. “You just getting that now, tin-brain? I tell you, you lot haven’t gotten any smarter since the last time I met you. Well, even Handles had his moments now and then, but taking refuge in a volcano? Controlling the local wildlife? Cowardly!”

The Cybermen watched impassively as the Doctor walked circles around them, ranting and raving like he owned the place. He was so convincing that Fluttershy had to remind herself that he wasn’t in charge of them.

“Then again…” his voice dropped and became freezing cold. “Cybermen were always cowards… That’s why I beat you time and time again, eh? You lot know the drill by now! I give you a chance to surrender, you lot don’t take it, I send your collective posteriors back to the nursery and I’m home in time for tea. So if you want a warning… this is it. Get off this planet and I might leave you in one piece, whaddya say?”

The Cybermen stood as statuesque as ever, so still and impassive that Fluttershy wasn’t even sure if they were listening. The only indication she had were their glowing blue eyes which blinked rapidly, as if they were thinking.

“YOU ARE INCORRECT,” one of them answered.

The Doctor’s confident expression fell, replaced by one of absolute confusion. “Eh?”


For what felt like the hundredth time today, the Doctor felt like he was dipped in ice-water. He tried to maintain a calm demeanor, but his big, expressive eyes betrayed him. “What do you mean? The cybernetics, they’re crude but they’re definitely Cybermen. Who else…”


The Doctor took a step back, staggering as if he had been hit, and Fluttershy quickly got behind him as if getting behind cover. The Cybermen became more active, taking a single step forward and outstretching their arms forward as if to shoot something.

But that’s ridiculous, Fluttershy thought, they don’t have any weapons—

With a delightful pop, weapons protruded from the Cybermen’s arms and pointed at the pony duo.

“THE DOCTOR WILL BE DELETED,” the Cyberman (the leader, probably) said. “THE PLANET WILL BE ASSIMILATED.”

“How did you get here?!” the Doctor suddenly demanded. “You’re in different universe, after all. Not even her strongest ship could handle a flight here!”

The Cybermen paused as if considering the question. Fluttershy thanked Celestia for their hyper-logical minds that bent them to answer every question the Doctor posed. Or perhaps, they respected him enough to answer?

Again a ridiculous thought, but Fluttershy couldn’t help but consider that as the truth. Cybermen don’t feel emotions, they don’t feel anything, according to the Doctor, no way they could have respect for something.


The way they emphasized the fact that it was the Doctor who defeated them sounded a lot like contempt. “OUR SHIPS CRASHED HERE, WHERE REPAIRS COULD BE MADE.”


“Yeah, yeah,” the Doctor interrupted with an anger glint in his eyes. “We’ll be here all night if you rattle off my titles. But here’s the thing! If you lot are really the same Cybermen I faced on Trenzalore then you should know a lot better than to try to kill me.”

The Cybermen didn’t say anything, a modicum of hesitation, and kept their weapons trained on the Doctor. Fluttershy thought they were simply waiting for an order to fire but she realized they were scared of him. Scared of the seemingly innocent pony with a madcap grin and golden eyes.

Fluttershy wondered if she should be afraid as well.

“Because I remember you lot,” he continued. “You tried to Gravity Bomb Christmas! Even for you lot, you couldn’t bypass the technology barrier…”

“Doctor…” Fluttershy whispered. “What’s the plan?”

Momentai, Fluttershy,” the Doctor whispered back. “I’ve got this.”


Trapped?” the Doctor repeated incredulously. “Ohoh, if there’s one thing you don’t not want me in, it’s a trap. Because that’s when I get really… dangerous.”

The Doctor raised his sonic screwdriver and it buzzed to life. The walls of the barracks exploded with such force it threw the Cybermen off their feet. The Doctor wrapped his leg around Fluttershy’s shoulder and pulled her toward the battalion as the Cyberanimals invaded.

The ensuing chaos was more than enough for the ponies to get away. The Cyberanimals certainly lived up to their independence as they attacked the Cybermen with an array of weaponry and animalistic instinct. The Cybermen rallied back, firing off volleys of energy bolts at the animal army, instantly disabling them with a glancing shot.

They ran through the cavern, back where they came from. They ran so much and so hard Fluttershy’s legs felt like jelly, her lungs felt like they were withering up. Even as a pegasus, she was fundamentally built differently than the other ponies, larger lung reserve, lighter skeletal frame, strong upper body, but she was struggling to keep up with the Doctor.

He ran as if he had been doing so for centuries, without breaking a sweat. The two continued their path into the original cave where the duplicate TARDIS was. This time around, it was perfectly empty.

“Thick lot,” berated the Doctor with a tsk. “Deploying every solider they’ve got to recover me, they’re never smart enough to leave a guard or two behind.”

“Doctor, don’t you think we have problems of our own?” Fluttershy asked.

“Of course!” the Doctor smiled as he ran around the now-completed TARDIS console. He flicked switches and threw levers which did its job properly as everything began to light up and the ground underneath them began to rumble.

“It’s based off my TARDIS,” the Doctor mumbled as he continued working. “That’s troubling.”

“Doctor, what are we going to do?” Fluttershy asked.

“If we leave this place unabated, the Cybermen will be able to deploy across the universe in this TARDIS,” the Doctor explained. “Nothing will be safe with them hanging around and I don’t exactly have the resources to stop them except—“

“DELETE!” An energy bolt ricocheted off the console, nearly catching the Doctor by the shoulder. Fluttershy yelped as she ducked under the console, the Doctor growled as he brandished his sonic and rolled to the right, dodging another energy bolt.

He rolled to his hooves and aimed his sonic at the Cyberman. It whirred to life and the Cybermen stiffened, screaming in its monotone voice, as streaks of blue electricity arced off its body. The Doctor ran up to the Cyberman as it was stunned and bucked it off its feet. Pressing the sonic to the Cyberman’s head, he activated it and the robot convulsed… then went still.

The Doctor stood up and adjusted his bowtie. “Whew, now where were we?”

“Impending doom,” Fluttershy suggested.

“Right!” the Doctor ran back up to the console and scowled. “Blasted Cyberman!” he cursed, bucking the console. “He’s disabled the shields, lucky shot…”

“So now what?”

The Doctor paced around, his expression perfectly anguished as he ran his hoof through his mane. He ran through the hundreds of strategies popping up in his mind to save the day. Nothing!

“We need to stop the Cyberanimals,” the Doctor said. “I don’t think my sonic will do anything this time around, they’ll have upgraded their defense protocols… Have you got anything to stop animals, you’re the expert, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy stiffened and rubbed her hooves nervously. “Um, w-well…” She moved her mane in front of her face and shyly hid behind it.

“Fluttershy,” the Doctor said firmly, making the pegasus jump. “If you have anything that can stop the animals, even for a little bit, I need to know.”

Fluttershy bit her lips and blinked rapidly to stop the tears from coming. “W-well, I can do something I call the Stare on them.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow. “On normal animals it intimidates them to stop moving for a moment, like a defense mechanism. It works on nearly every animal, but I don’t know if it’ll work on—“

“Try it,” the Doctor said as he ran around the console and began working. “Stop them for a minute, two tops. I’ll keep the Cybermen busy.”

“B-but, I don’t like doing it. It makes me feel like such a meanie…”

“You’ll have to, Fluttershy,” the Doctor said, not looking up from the console. “It’s either this, or we both die in a fiery blaze.”
Fluttershy stayed quiet for a few seconds. “Fluttershy!”

“I-I can’t, Doctor. Please, I’ll do anything else—“


The entire room shook as a massive explosion rocked the southern wall. Fluttershy was nearly thrown off balance and she yelped a more explosions and energy bolts sizzled and crackled against the ground. Cyberanimals marched inside, aiming their weapons at the ponies.


Fluttershy whimpered but she took flight and raced toward the army of Cyberanimals, dodged a few energy bolts, took a deep breath and focused all of her concentration on a single word.


She opened her eyes and fixed her determined glare on the animals. A glare so intense and laser-like, it cut through the army like an energy bolt. Despite being more machine than animal, something primal deep inside their subconscious forced them to stop, drawn to Fluttershy’s Stare like moths to a flame. Something instinctive that caused them to lower their weapons as they stared slack-jawed at the pegasus… and began whimpering.

All of the Cyberanimals within Fluttershy’s scrutiny began whimpering and groveling, bowing their heads and giving her their best puppy-dog expression. Fluttershy’s heart felt like it was being torn apart.

“Just a little while longer!” the Doctor announced from the console. He had dismantled part of the console and began connecting and disconnecting wires together.

“Doctor!” Fluttershy cried, trying to not blink from the tears.

“Don’t blink!” he said. “Just a little… more. Ha!”

He connected two larger couplers together and the Cyberanimals twitched, sparks exploding from their cybernetic components. “Molto bene!”

The Cyberanimals twitched and collapsed on the ground, completely inert. Fluttershy stopped her Stare only to replace it with a shocked expression as she flew toward the animals and checked if they were okay. “Doctor, what did you do?!”

“Shut off their cyber parts of their brains,” he answered immediately. “Luckily they were hooked up to this console, perhaps using the volcano as an energy source for their cyber hive-mind. Very clever if a bit rudimentary, why didn’t they just use the Cybermen barracks below—“

“I meant will they be fine?” Fluttershy asked in a harsher tone than she thought she was capable of.

The Doctor gave her a grave expression, his old, sad eyes were cold as ice. “Honestly, I’m not sure. Maybe given enough time, but we’re running out of that…”

“So you just…”

“Given the circumstances, I did the best I could,” he defended with a growl. “Even if I hadn’t done it, the detonation process had already begun! There wasn’t any other choice!”

“DELETE, DELETE!” Another squad of Cybermen flooded into the room, firing energy bolts at the Doctor. He ducked behind the console, raised his sonic and aimed it at the squadron. His sonic activated the auxiliary doors, shutting them in front of the Cybermen.

The Doctor ran up to Fluttershy as she remained kneeling before the still animals. “We only have a few minutes, Fluttershy. We need to get going!”

Fluttershy looked up at the Doctor, her big green eyes were rimmed with tears, her upper lip trembled with fear. “I… want to go home,” she squeaked.

The Doctor’s expression fell, from his cold, soldier gaze to a comforting, sad one, as if he agreed with her with every single cell in his body. “Come on!”

He took her by the hoof and led her to the console. He sat her in front of the controls and continued working, Fluttershy remained there, mute and sad, while the Time Pony ran around throwing levers and pressing buttons.

“Your wish, my dear Fluttershy, is my command,” the Doctor said as he pressed a few more buttons.


The Doctor looked up, his eyes so sad and heartbroken. “You shouldn’t be here. It’s my fault. I’m sending you back.”

“W-what, but—“

“No buts!” he interrupted. “You need to be safe, I swear, you won’t end up like the others. It’ll be different… it’ll be different.”

“W-what about you?!”

“I’m staying behind,” he answered gravely. “It’s the only way.”

“But Doctor—“


“Fluttershy, if you just listen!” Fluttershy looked at him and while she was distracted he threw a lever and a blue light washed over the pegasus. She disappeared from the volcano, transmatted… back on the Doctor’s TARDIS. “Ha! That’s how you do it!”

Fluttershy landed in the middle of the Doctor’s console room, scared and confused but absolutely certain on what she had to do next. She ran up to the time rotor, gently placing her hooves on the console, and gave the TARDIS those big sad eyes of hers.

“Please, help the Doctor…”


The Doctor dismantled the first Cybermen for its weapon. He removed his bowtie and tied the weapon around his foreleg with it, sonicking the cloth so it fashioned tight against his leg. Then he sonicked the weapon again, psychically linking his mind with it so it’d fire on his mental commands and tested the weapon by tensing his leg.

The weapon activated, powering up and glowing dark blue in the dim lighting. The Doctor managed a grim smile. “One Doctor against a few hundred Cybermen, poor odds for them.”

The door exploded outward and a dozen Cybermen began marching inside. The Doctor turned on his weapon to the highest setting and fired off a massive bolt of energy, so much so that the recoil knocked him off his hooves.

The energy bolt slammed into the first Cyberman and exploded, tendrils of electricity snaking around and hitting every other Cybermen. The Cybermen twitched from the blast and fell over. The Doctor got to his hooves and checked the energy output from his impromptu weapon.

“Pretty low,” he grumbled, thankfully it wasn’t depleted immediately. Without a stable energy source, this weapon has only a few shots left. He ran back up to the console and switched on the loudspeaker. “OI! Cybermen! You wanted a fight, and I’ll give you ONE HELL OF A FIGHT!”

Right outside the volcano were hundreds and hundreds of Cybermen, flying around the dormant mass, finding no other entrance than the top of the now thundering opening. The Doctor consulted the scanner by the console, more than half of the Cybermen forces were now jumping into the volcano opening, just as he planned.

He threw a lever, accelerating the volcano’s eruption process, with a triumphant cry. The volcano exploded, spewing lava upwards at a terrifying velocity. Hundreds of Cybermen were vaporized instantly at the raw power of this massive force of nature. The interior rumbled and exploded as magma poured in through the walls and floor, causing the Doctor to hop around nervously as he worked the controls.

Sweat completely covered his body in an instant and he began to feel woozy. He threw another lever and from the console spewed freezing air so cold that it froze the ground and cooled the console. Environmental controls, the Doctor noted, but it would only last for an instant.

The walls exploded more and the Doctor whirled around, aiming his energy weapon at the source and fired off a few shots. They collided with a few Cybermen but there were dozens more and the Doctor was running out of power. He aimed his weapon up and shot the ceiling above the Cybermen and it collapsed, magma and rock crashing on them, destroying them.

The Doctor looked at his weapon and grimaced, out of power. He took the weapon off his leg and tossed it aside, so much for shooting his way out. He ran to the console again. The Doctor had sabotaged the console, activating the volcano in a violent way so that the console room (which would’ve been protected from the insulating plates) was also flooded with magma.

He worked on the teleporter controls… but they failed. They went inactive as soon as the volcano erupted. The Doctor wasn’t surprised, this outcome was expected after all.

“One Doctor for the whole universe,” the Doctor remarked sadly, walking around the console solemnly. “I quite like that…”

The Time Pony stood in front of the console, looking out as the cavern around him began to collapse around him, magma pouring in everywhere and even beginning to melt through the environmental controls. The Doctor closed his eyes and smiled wearily, accepting this forlorn fate of his.

Trenzalore would never come for him.

Then that most wondrous noise cut through the collapsing volcano. The Doctor opened his eyes in shock as that beautiful Blue Box materialized to his left… like directly to his left. It materialized inside the volcano’s console, completely atomizing half of the spire. It landed with its customary thud and the Doctor could barely stop his wide smile from appearing.

The doors opened and Fluttershy stepped out and she looked mad. Her coat was pale and beaded with sweat, her eyes were puffy and red from crying and her mane was a complete mess. But her expression was downright murderous as she glared at the Doctor. Stomping toward him, the Doctor braced himself for a punch but it never came.

Fluttershy hugged the Doctor as tight as she could (and she knew how to hug, ouch!) sobbing into his neck. The Doctor stood there, shocked for a moment, then regained his wits and hugged her back. Fluttershy didn’t cease her crying, nuzzling into the Doctor’s fur, dampening it further, but he didn’t mind.

After a moment, she looked back up, her eyes still full of tears, and streaks of soot across her cheeks. “I-I thought you were—“

“I’m not,” he promised, smiling. “See, I’m fine. Now, we need to go!”

“Wait, what about the animals?”

The Doctor looked past Fluttershy to where the Cyberanimals were but there was nothing there. He brandished his sonic and activated it. “No signal,” he mumbled. “They might have escaped before anything happened, I’m not sure, but Fluttershy we need to go now!”

Fluttershy didn’t argue as the Doctor led her back in the TARDIS. The environment went from blistering heat to tranquil cool instantly as the Doctor ran up to the console and worked at the controls. Fluttershy was less than enthused, she weakly followed and reached the console just as the Doctor completed a revolution.

“Getting us out of here,” he said, keeping his eyes on the controls. “The TARDIS can handle volcanic eruption, but I’d rather not pull her out of the rubble… again.”

“Doctor, what about the animals?” Fluttershy asked sadly but as firmly as she managed. “What about the planet? What’s going to happen when this volcano finishes its eruption.”

The Doctor didn’t answer for a few seconds, he kept running around the TARDIS, throwing switches and pressing buttons, his expression solemn. “Doctor?!”

The Time Pony slammed his hooves on the console and scowled, still refusing to meet Fluttershy’s gaze. “The eruption is apocalyptic,” he answered grimly. “If the heat and ash doesn’t finish off the planet, the distraction atmospheric change will. Everything will be wiped out.”

Fluttershy took a step back, mute and stricken with grief. Tears fell from her face and her voice cracked as she whispered. “You can’t do anything?”

“There’s too much temporal interference,” the Doctor said. “I can’t mess with this planet’s timeline anymore, it’s too risky.”

“An entire world will be lost in ash,” she said back. “Isn’t that a risk?”

“Of course.” The Doctor looked up and stared at Fluttershy, his eyes were as cold as liquid nitrogen. “But the temporal risks are too great.”

“But you’re a Time Lord, shouldn’t you—“

“Don’t you think I want to?!” the Doctor snarled. “Of course I want to save them! But I can’t there are rules, laws of Time, that I can’t break, maybe bend but this time around my hooves are tied.”

Fluttershy couldn’t find the words to answer, the bubbling anger in her chest melted into heartbroken sadness. The Doctor took her silence as acceptance and began inputting the coordinates, keeping his glare on the Time Rotor for if he kept looking at Fluttershy his hearts would break again.

But suddenly, Flutterhy ran up to his side, grabbing his shoulders, desperately sobbing. “Save them, please.”

The Doctor didn’t answer, he didn’t even try to shrug Fluttershy off, he kept wordlessly working. “Please! You’re… the Doctor! We’re supposed to trust you, please, please… Please be the Doctor…”

Fluttershy tugged at him with all of her strength and she managed to make the Doctor look at her. Her sad, blue-green eyes bored into his cold, golden eyes…

The TARDIS slammed through the volcano walls, causing tons of magma to pour down from the cracks but she continued on unabated. The volcano kept rumbling, thundering so loudly it felt like the whole world was falling apart.

The Old Girl kept flying through the volcanos until it found the Cybermen barracks, nearly untouched from the violent eruptions. Once it had slammed into the barracks, however, magma spilled from the wound just as quickly. Violently and abruptly the TARDIS screeched to a halt in the middle of the barracks.

Cracks and holes appeared all throughout the room and magma poured in like a coursing river. The TARDIS doors opened and the Doctor ran out, now outfitted in a bright red environmental suit. He leapt from the TARDIS and touched on spot of ground that wasn’t engulfed by magma and looked around.

“The floor is made of lava,” the Doctor remarked as nearly every square inch of floor in the barracks was covered with magma. The only parts that weren’t were Cybermen containers and pieces of the ceiling that weren’t overwhelmed by the magma.
This will be fun.

Like a child playing an imaginative game at home, the Doctor leapt from rock to rock to Cyberman container avoiding the magma as much as possible. The environmental suit was rated for deep-space exploration and harsh inclement weather but being inside a volcano while it’s erupting is generally a bad idea regardless of how good your suit was.

Blisters were beginning to form on the Doctor’s body, he was now drenched in sweat, and his face burned like he had the world’s worst sunburn. But still, he ran toward the Cybermen console, miraculously untouched by the magma. As he reached it, he brandished his sonic screwdriver and aimed it at a set of pulsating green structures in the corner then to the console itself.

Klaxon alarms rang but they quickly died off from the intense heat. The Doctor laughed as he inputted a few more numbers and pressed a large red button. The rumbling only intensified, cracks appeared in the ground and from the outside they zigzagged up and down the face of the volcano, like it was being cut in half.

The Doctor prepared to run but the rumbling threw him off balance and he tripped, nearly falling into the magma but stopping just inches away. Unfortunately, during the imbalance, he dropped his sonic and it sizzled up in the magma. He cursed but got to his hooves and jumped his way back into the TARDIS.

The TARDIS doors burst open and the Doctor spilled inside, smoking and steaming so intensely it resembled a thick fog. He kicked the doors closed and coughed loudly. “Don’t touch!” he warned. “Very hot!”

Fluttershy remained by the console, watching the Doctor with concern. “Did you do it?” she asked tentatively. The Doctor rolled to his hooves and threw his helmet off, revealing a very sweaty, a very exhausted, Time Lord. He flashed Fluttershy a childish smile and jumped/skipped toward the console.

“Of course!” he answered. “Well, I did something, who knows if it’s the something that saved this world. Hopefully my calculations were correct...”

“How will we know if it worked?” she asked.

“Like this.” He threw a lever and the TARDIS jolted, the Time Rotor activating and the time machine took off.

The TARDIS materialized two-hundred fifty-thousand kilometers in the air, floating impassively in the lower atmosphere of Perciwing, otherwise known as the Garden. The volcano grumbled in the distant, a blood-red blot in the beautiful, green environment of the thick forests and plains.

Smoke plumed from the mouth of the volcano, spilling into the clouds and turning the sky into a sickening shade of black. Lava exploded, pouring down the volcano with terrifying speeds and overtaking the forests.

Within the TARDIS interior, the Doctor pulled the scanner toward Fluttershy and flicked it to a live feed of the volcano. “I’ve put the Cybermen cells (sort of like batteries for these lot) into overdrive and threw their retro-feeds directly into the volcano so their thermal-energy output becomes ten thousand percent!”

Fluttershy nodded, not sure what the Doctor was saying but he sounded so giddy and confident that she took that as a good sign. “The cells will reach maximum capacity in”—he consulted his watch – “Two minutes and will stop the volcanic eruption.”

“Okay… how?”

The Doctor furrowed his eyebrows and patted Fluttershy. “You might want to cover your ears.”

For a moment, the eruption continued as normally. Lava spewing out and explosions occurring inside the volcano. Then a blue light washed over the interior of the volcano. It shot out from the mouth and straight into the sky, like a massive beacon. Then the light faded.

The explosion rattled the planet to the very core. A second sun bloomed on top of the volcano as the shockwave ran for miles and miles, flattening trees and boiling lakes and rivers. The shockwave was so powerful, the TARDIS was shaken from it and the two inhabitants had to struggle to remain vertical.

Fluttershy felt the explosion in her gut, like her entire insides were turned to jelly. Then the world went silent, so silent that Fluttershy thought she was deaf but the humming of the TARDIS still rang in her ears. She looked at the scanner again which displayed static until the Doctor hit it and the volcano came into view again.

Well, it used to be a volcano.

The landmass was reduced to half its original size. It no longer reached the clouds, instead it jutted out pathetically from the earth. Once the smoke cleared enough, Fluttershy finally saw what the Doctor did. The top half of the volcano was completely sheared off, as if cut by a knife.

Smoke still puffed from the volcano but it was mostly from the Doctor’s explosion than the lava. Which speaking of which, had cooled at this point and hadn’t reached any points of civilization yet.

Fluttershy sighed in relief as she saw little dots in the scanner, animals, hundreds of animal, that were a few thousand kilometers away from the explosion began crawling out of the dirt and blinked, dazed, at the sun.

He had done it! Fluttershy let out a sob of relief and ran up to the Doctor, hugging him tightly. The Doctor, thankfully, had stripped his environmental suit to accommodate her hug, laughing gleefully. “We did it!”

“We did!”

Fluttershy’s Cottage, Ponyville, Equestria

47th of Summer, 9:00pm, 1002 C.R.

The TARDIS materialized right outside Fluttershy’s home with a dull thud and stood there, ancient and forever as if it had always been out there. The doors creaked open and Fluttershy quietly stepped out, in mute awe at the fact that she had traveled all the way home in only minutes.

She had been given several commodities while on the TARDIS. The Doctor directed her to a personal room filled with flowers and plants and a large aquarium, which felt just as impossible as what she had done while in the Garden. Fluttershy took a bath and had a lovely dinner, the Doctor even mended her wing in a place called the Zero Room.

It was a comforting experience, but hadn’t done much to lessen the blow of what she had witnessed. Cyberanimals… Cybermen, that horrible volcano, the Doctor’s cold dismissal of an entire planet… Fluttershy shivered in spite of the warm summer breeze that blew through her wings.

The Doctor stepped out right behind Fluttershy, he had showered and cleaned up as well. He wore a simple thin black blazer and a dark blue bowtie. He didn’t look very scary but Fluttershy remembered his dark expression when he got really upset.

“Well, got you back on the first go, that’s always nice,” the Doctor remarked with a smile on his face. “Same day, you’ve only been gone a few hours. So nopony would know any better.”

Fluttershy turned and noticed the look the Doctor was giving her. The silent question, the one wondering how much she would tell her friends about what happened. Fluttershy cleared her throat and looked away.

“Thank you, Doctor,” she said calmly. “Besides all of the scary bits, our trip was… nice.”

The Doctor raised an eyebrow, either incredulous of Fluttershy’s calm demeanor or wondering if she was just lying to reassure him. “Sorry about that,” he said. “I hadn’t meant for any of that to happen. I’d understand if the idea of another trip wouldn’t appeal to you.”

Again, there was this unspoken question in his golden eyes. As if wondering what she’s going to do, and an underlying fear of Fluttershy actually deciding to quit this gig. Fluttershy looked at her hooves and swallowed the lump in her throat. “I’ll… think about it. Good night, Doctor.”

The Doctor stared at her for a few seconds not blinking then nodded. “Good night, Fluttershy.”

Fluttershy turned and entered the cottage, not waiting for the TARDIS to leave, and shut the door behind her. All of her little critters gathered up at the door, happy to greet their owner with warm hugs and kisses, but they were confused when Fluttershy slumped to the floor, all of the energy drained from her body.

She leaned against the door and covered her face with her forelegs and wings. Her critter friends surrounded her, squeaking in confusion and fear as Fluttershy let out a heart-wrenching sob. Angel Bunny approached Fluttershy from the right and gave her the biggest hug he was capable of as Fluttershy sobbed…

The TARDIS, In-Transit, Time Vortex

9:05pm, Relative Time

The Doctor circled the console, flicking switches and pressing buttons as he passed them. Unlike the crazed, inspired dance he does when piloting the TARDIS, he was calm, methodical and calculative as he consulted the scanner.

Gallifreyan words blinked to life on the display. The Doctor toggled a switch and the display changed to a grainy picture of a large Gallifreyan phrase signed with Twilight Sparkle’s cutie mark and the head of a Dalek. The Doctor scowled as he considered the question, the dreadful question he had been running from all of his lives.

Doctor Who?

He flicked another switch and a picture of Twilight Sparkle appeared on the screen. The Doctor glared at the picture like he was looking at a Dalek. “Twilight Sparkle… who are you?”

The Mystery of Twilight Sparkle

View Online

Bushel’s Street, Canterlot, Equestria

10th of Spring, 2:30pm, 990 C.R.

Twilight Sparkle trotted down the street as she always did, with her nose firmly planted in a book, and a saddlebag filled with more books on her back. Her blank flank was a foreign sight, but then again this miniature Twilight, only ten years old, wasn’t the unicorn the Doctor befriended twelve years into the future.

The Doctor watched impassively from a ways away. He tilted a newspaper down just in time to catch little Twilight narrowly avoid a particularly rambunctious group of fillies and colts without averting her gaze from her book. The Time Pony frowned slightly as he waited for something, anything, to happen. Like Twilight shapeshifting into some evil alien or a Zygon ship abducting her, but nothing happened.

He put his newspaper down and sighed explosively. She was, evidently, a perfectly ordinary, if powerful, unicorn. The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and pointed it at Twilight’s direction. It whirred and buzzed in its high-pitched cadence, its dark blue bulb turning on and off.

“What’s that mister?” A high-pitched voice asked from right beside him. The Doctor almost jumped from the sudden filly that appeared to his right. Her sky-blue coat gave an impression of perfect innocence while her silver mane spoke of an inner wisdom. Like Twilight, she was a unicorn. She blinked curiously at the Time Pony, not afraid or concerned about this strange stallion but infinitely curious.

The Doctor straightened his bowtie, cleared his throat and presented the screwdriver to the filly. He knelt slightly so he would be at her eye level and smiled warmly.

“Sonic screwdriver,” he answered, wiggling the screwdriver in front of her. The filly blinked in confusion but a bright smile spread across her face.

“That’s weird!” she said.

“Yes, I suppose it is,” the Doctor agreed.

“What were you doing with it?”

The Doctor shrugged, flicking the sonic and it expanded slightly, revealing the psychic crystal encased within the metallic components. “Temporal scans,” he answered absentmindedly. “Trying to detect any temporal or spatial correlation that may imply… insidious purpose.”

The filly had a blank expression and the Doctor wondered if she was listening. The filly giggled, pointing accusingly at the Doctor. “You’re weird too!”

The Doctor blinked but a warm, genuine smile spread across his face. “Yes, I suppose I am…”

“What’s your name, mister?”

“I’m the Doctor,” he answered, holding a hoof to shake.

The filly took his hoof and shook firmly. “I’m Trixie, Trixie Lulamoon.”

“Brilliant to meet you, Trixie!” he said, grinning. “Now, I’m afraid I have to get going. This version of Twilight Sparkle hasn’t displayed anything anomalous, so, on to the next!”

“Okay, bye, Doctor!”

The Doctor bid Trixie goodbye, turned around and headed into his TARDIS only a few feet away. A moment later, he opened the door and stuck his head out. “Oh, Trixie, you might wanna stick around for what happens next. It’s fantastic!”

He grinned then ducked back into the TARDIS. Trixie waited patiently as the Doctor suggested, waiting for something to happen. A loud lyrical noise emitted from the TARDIS, the sound of wheezing, like an asthmatic, but for some reason it filled Trixie’s heart with joy. The TARDIS, the tall Blue Box, began fading in and out of existence, the bulb on top blinking on and off in time to its dematerialization.

Trixie gasped as the TARDIS, after a few moments, disappeared completely, taking that wonderful sound with it. Her eyes widened and a grin spread across her face. She knew what she wanted to do, she wanted to be fantastic!

Turning around, Trixie ran toward the park where her mother was and tugged at her leg. “Mommy! I’ve decided, I wanna go the school for talented unicorns!”

The TARDIS, In-Transit, Time Vortex

Time Unknown

The Doctor flicked another lever in frustration and the TARDIS adjusted her temporal trajectory accordingly. “Perhaps the next one,” he said wearily as he plopped himself down on the couch.
Psychic feedback buzzed in the Doctor’s mind: trepidation, uncertainty, incredulousness. The Doctor merely rolled his eyes and sighed. “Yes, dear, I know what I’m doing. I wouldn’t investigate Twilight if I wasn’t absolutely sure.”

More psychic messages prodded his mind. “I’m well aware of the paradoxes that could occur, I’m the bloody Doctor!”

A high-pitched screech came from the console and the Doctor recoiled from the sudden shift in volume. “Oh, don’t bring that up again. Rose was only doing what she thought was right. Besides, the Reapers were my fault.”

The Time Rotor hummed and the Doctor chuckled under his breath, jumping off from the couch and running to the console. “No, I’m not being a grumpy face. Shush.”

The Doctor cranked a lever and inputted some data into the keyboard. Pulling the scanner toward himself, the Doctor looked at the display and noted the time and date. “I suppose this is a good a time as any, alright dear, please land.”

With a customary thud the TARDIS landed, the Time Rotor ceasing its movement. The Doctor smiled, jumping to his hooves and adjusting his bowtie as he ran out of the door. Pausing for a moment, the Doctor frowned and brandished his sonic and pointing it to his face.

“Shimmer!” he shouted, activating the sonic. His entire body shimmered for a moment and he completely changed form. His coat became chestnut brown, his mane a darker shade of brown and long and spikey, but he still wore his customary outfit.

“Wouldn’t want her recognizing me,” the Doctor remarked as he pocketed his sonic and exited the TARDIS.

Ponyville, Town Square, Equis

45th of Summer (Summer Sun Celebration), 12 Midnight, 1000 C.R.

He ran out of the TARDIS, into the night of the little town, just in time to see everypony head into the town square. Dozens of pegasi, unicorns and earth ponies herded into the building, excitingly chattering about coming events, none of them paid any attention to the strange blue box and the alien that just popped out of it.

The Doctor adjusted his bowtie and consulted his watch. “Right then, two years ago, forty-fifth day of Summer, ooh, Summer Sun Celebration and what’s that?” The Time Lord looked up from his watch and sniffed the air for a moment and recoiled, frowning slightly. “Dangerous point in time… This is a fixed point, better not get any more involved than I am now.”

He tilted his neck slightly, cracking it, and took five steps forward… and slammed right into a pair of ponies. Hooves and limbs went flying in a miniature dust whirlwind, and the Doctor found himself pinned by a bubbly flank and a little unicorn filly.

He groaned as his face was pressed into the earth. Well, quite smooth, eh, Doctor? He thought as the mare on top of him gasped dramatically and quickly got off. “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry, sir!”

He was helped up and had his coat brushed off but the Doctor focused more on the mare and filly. Her mane was golden-blonde which matched her yellow eyes that moved around independently like googly-eyes and her coat was dust-gray, punctuated by a cutie mark of bubbles and a messy tail. The filly by her side had the same blonde mane and tail but her coat was a light lavender, her diminutive horn and blank-flank indicated her age, probably a year or two younger than the Crusaders?

“Dinky and I didn’t even see you!” the mare said, trying to brush his coat off with her hooves but only managing to smear more dirt into it.

Dinky looked up at the Doctor with a curious expression, the Doctor realized she was looking at his bowtie. He smiled and winked at the filly, fixing his bowtie, before turning to the mare. “No apologies necessary, I’ll simply collect your insurance information later. Do you lot even have that sort of thing, wonder how that would work. Perfectly fine! I’m Clockwork, is this your daughter, Miss, uh?”

The mare tilted her head, her golden eyes jumping around slightly but making an attempt to focus on the Time Lord’s face. “Ditzy Doo,” she answered. “And Dinky isn’t my daughter, silly, she’s my little sister.”

“I’m eight years old!” Dinky relayed with a bright smile.

The Doctor grinned, patting the filly on the head, careful to avoid her horn. “Of course you are. I’m two-thousand three-hundred!”

Both Dinky and Ditzy laughed at the prospect of this strange earth pony, who looked around 24, claiming to be over two thousand years old, the Doctor shared a knowing grin with the mares then pointed at the Town Square. “So! This is where the Summer Sun Celebration is taking place, eh? Never been to one, should be a barrel of fun!”

He looked up at the moon which twinkled in the night sky, surrounded by a number of glowing constellations. This pollution-free world always allowed for beautiful starry nights, which the Doctor could certainly appreciate. As he looked at the moon, a very distinctive shape of the profile of a mare adorned the side of the moon.

Nightmare Moon, the Doctor guessed, this was before she was released. Well, the Doctor checked his watch, only about ten minutes before she was freed.

“Yeah, it should be fun,” Ditzy said with a grin. “This is also Princess Celestia’s thousandth year of her reign!”

“Yes, certainly a pivotal point in time and space,” the Doctor muttered absentmindedly. “A big juicy fixed point… And Twilight is put in the middle of it.”


“Nothing. Hope to see you in the future!” the Doctor said with a wide grin. “Stay good.”

Without waiting for a response, the Doctor ran toward the Town Square. He burst into the room just as the entire town gathered in the front of the room, they were chattering in excited, hushed tones but the Doctor didn’t pay them any mind.

Quietly, he brandished his sonic and began scanning the area, but didn’t have to look for long for Twilight.

“Isn’t this exciting?!” Pinkie Pie all but materialized by Twilight’s side with a wide grin on her face as she spoke at a hundred miles per hour. “Are you excited, ‘cause I’m excited, I’ve never been so excited – well, except for the time that I saw you walking into town and I went”—Pinkie paused to gasp dramatically—“But I mean really, who can top that?”

The Doctor smiled wistfully as Twilight, obviously overwhelmed from Pinkie’s hyperactive behavior, took a step back, staring at the Party Pony in complete shock. Before Twilight could answer, however, the music began. Trumpets, drums and a choir of birds chirping and singing in perfect harmony, being orchestrated by Fluttershy who flew nearby with a hint of pride in her

The spotlight searched and found Mayor Mare and she began her little speech with the audience enraptured by her. The Doctor took this opportunity, getting closer to Twilight but not too close as to arouse suspicion. He pointed his sonic at her and began scanning… nothing!

Glancing at his screwdriver, the Doctor looked at the readings. Absolutely nothing wrong with her! She was a perfectly normal twenty-year old unicorn. The Doctor scowled, hitting his sonic a few times and checking the readings again, nope, completely normal.

A loud gasp cut through the audience, startling the Doctor out of his thoughts. He looked up to the balcony, where the spotlight was, to find Rarity standing there completely flabbergasted. Everpony went nuts, Princess Celestia was missing?

“This can’t be good,” Twilight muttered besides the Doctor.

“Certainly not,” he muttered back. “But I won’t be able to stick around, not this time.”

He turned around but then more gasps exploded in the audience. The Doctor turned around and saw a familiar dark purple aura materialize on the balcony and the form of Nightmare Moon appeared. Unlike last time, she had a physical form, a tall, lithe obsidian-colored alicorn in silver armor.

The Doctor’s frown turned into a dark and cold glare. He still remembered the intrusive force against his mind as Nightmare Moon wormed her way in and possessed him. Nightmare Moon grinned as she looked around and zeroed in on the Doctor. She gave him a knowing expression, which was impossible, and looked away from him.

Perhaps she was an entity who could see into the future? Or maybe she was just enjoying the look of pure hatred he was giving her, the Doctor wasn’t sure, but he didn’t stick around to ask questions. He pocketed his sonic and walked straight out of the building and toward his TARDIS.

“Fixed point,” he told the TARDIS as he enter, storming toward the console like a General with a purpose. “She’s involved in a fixed point, and not only that, the first fixed point I’ve encountered in this universe!”

The Doctor flipped a switch and the TARDIS hummed, its engines began raring to go but he hadn’t engaged lift-off yet. Instead, in frustration, he glared at the Time Rotor, trying to make sense of it all. Brandishing his sonic, he pointed it at himself, clicked the button, and his form shimmered again and reverted to his original appearance.

“It’s not unlikely,” the Doctor muttered. “Most of my companions have temporal links in them before meeting me. Rose worked in the shop the Nestene operated out of, Martha, the same hospital, Donna, her wedding, Amy and Rory the same town… Clara…”

He walked over to the console, letting that thought hang in the air, and consulted the scanner which showed a live image of the Golden Oaks library. Twilight was inside, cataloguing the books for the twentieth time. She worked in a brisk, if distracted, pace. Worry was evident in her eyes but she allowed herself to be absorbed in her work, with a pep in her step and a song in her voice.

“But this is too much,” he muttered, pointing at Twilight. “The Krynoids didn’t touch her, she’s involved in a fixed point…”

A pleasant ding from the other side of the console grabbed the Doctor’s attention. He trotted over to the other side and inspected a printer-like device producing a sheet of paper that was so long it draped on the floor. He took some of the paper and read it as it continued to print out and frowned.

“Eh? That’s… interesting,” he muttered as he walked over to navigation and inputted the coordinates from the new data and activated the engines. “Let’s see then!”

Palace Labyrinth, Canterlot, Equestria

20th of Spring, 11:50am, 1001 C.R.

The TARDIS materialized a few hundred feet in the air on silent mode. The Blue Box wobbled and shook slightly from the temporal turbulence but the Doctor opened the door and stuck his head out regardless.

He was flying over Canterlot Gardens, the Doctor realized, on a particularly boring day. Looking down at the Maze below, he spotted six familiar ponies reach the entrance of the labyrinth. The Doctor fumbled with his coat and pulled out a mini spyglass and looked through it to get a closer look.

Fluttershy was one of the first to reach the Maze and she stopped just short of the entrance, whimpering at the impressive hedge. “W-We have to go in there?” she asked.

“Nope!” Rainbow answered confidently, strolling right up with a cocky grin on her face. “Dopey Discord forgot about these babies!”

The Cyan Pegasus flared her wings to demonstrate them and the Doctor couldn’t help but smile at her confident demeanor and cocky prose. She shot up in the air and began flying over the Maze with ease. “I’ll just have a quick fly-over and we’ll have the Elements in no time!”

Mid-flight, however, her wings disappeared in a bright flash of light. Yelping in surprise, Rainbow fell to the ground, hard, and slammed face-first into the dirt. “My wings!” she shrieked.

Fluttershy flashed in a brilliant light as well, her wings disappearing just as easily. The poor pegasus cried out at the disappearance of her lovely wings. Twilight and Rarity were next, their horns flashing and disappearing. The two former unicorns looked at each other in surprise, “Your horn!” they cried in unison then looked up. “My horn!”

Chaos all but descended in the pony group as each of them (save Applejack and Pinkie Pie who stood off to the side, unimpressed at the fact that their friends were suddenly made into earth ponies) freaked out over their respective body-parts.

Then a bright light exploded in front of them and in a flashy display of theatrics that would rival the Master, Discord appeared. The Doctor had heard a lot about the Spirit of Chaos but he had never actually had the pleasure of meeting him.

He was a weird conglomerate of other animals, vaguely reminding the Doctor of a chimera, the only thing that was pony-like was his face which had mismatched eyes and a wicked smile. He appeared in a brilliant flash of light, thunder clouds immediately gathered and lightning flashed as he laughed maliciously.

The Doctor frowned and pointed his sonic at the clouds, scanning it for a moment. “Back to normal,” he muttered. “Weather-changer but not to the extent I’ve seen from the pegasi, it’s more like he changes them with his will alone.”

Discord continued laughing but it turned from evil to pure joy as he guffawed at the Mane Six. “Y-you should see the looks on your faces!” Discord said breathlessly. “Priceless!”

Twilight wasn’t amused by Discord’s antics and took a step forward, glaring at him darkly. “Give us our wings and horns back!”

Discord landed on the ground soundlessly and waved his lion’s paw dismissively. “You’ll get them back in good time…” He disappeared in a bright light, causing the Doctor to stumble slightly as he pointed his sonic at the Trickster. Discord reappeared behind Applejack. “I simply took them to ensure there’s no cheating! You see this is the first rule of our game: no flying and no magic.”

He said all of this as he slithered around and in-between the girls like a mischievous snake, poking and prodding each of them.

The Doctor frowned and ran back into his TARDIS. The door was left precariously open as the TARDIS floated just above the maze as Discord and the girls bantered about. The Doctor raced to the console and tapped its controls, running around quickly and inputted pieces of data into the machine and consulted the display.

“Draconequus,” the Doctor muttered as Discord’s readings appeared on-screen. “Nothing else here, it says they are mostly a myth and…”
The data buzzed, reading an error of insufficient data. The Doctor frowned, unsurprised by this, there was very little information on this Discord. The only thing that bothered him was the fact that Twilight and her friends were, yet again, involved in another scuffle with an extremely powerful entity and won.

The Doctor looked at the scanner which displayed Discord explaining the rules to the game to the girls with that mischievous smile on his face. The Time Pony frowned, “Like the Toymaker,” he muttered to himself, noting the disturbing similarity between the two.

More and more mystery surrounded Twilight the more the Doctor investigated. There were far too many questions being raised and very little answers.

“Blimey, even Clara wasn’t this difficult to figure out,” he grumbled, pulling the lever causing the TARDIS to enter transit space. “Where to?”