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About Deviant Member Brony1728/Male/United States Group :iconsilentponyville: SilentPonyville
 
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(Contains: sexual themes, violence/gore and strong language)
Once upon a time, in the magical yet somewhat unimaginably named land of Equestria, the entire known cosmos was controlled by two siblings, because that was a great idea! The eldest used her unicorn powers to raise the sun at dawn, and the younger brought out the moon to begin the night. Somehow, maintaining this cycle created harmony for all the land, despite doing absolutely nothing to address economic and social issues. Also nopony really bothered to wonder what had kept the sun and moon and nature in general functioning before they showed up. But despite the fact that she was pampered royalty whose only hardship in life was being tasked with making some truly B team decisions, the younger sister decided to flip her shit because she wasn't getting enough attention from sleeping ponies who had the audacity to have to go to work in the morning.

Oh there was plenty of time to discuss the topic too! But whenever the eldest saw the younger moping around all dawn before bed and asked if something was wrong she went all passive aggressive telling her that nooooo nothing was wrong she was just fine! The eldest made the mistake of expecting the younger to be a mature adult about the matter, but then one day things boiled over and she was like "younger sibling lower the moon it's really cold out" and then the younger sibling was like "I'm Nightmare Moon now and mommy always loved you better and you always took my cake" and the eldest was all "I told you I had  a problem things are different now wait why are we talking about this what does this have to do with keeping the moon up until nine in the morning?' to which the younger replied 'it has laser beams to do with it!' The eldest was confused because this answer made no sense. Then a laser beam hit her in the face, to which she replied "oh."

And such a mighty, epic battle did ensue! Flying through the night sky that was actually day, ducking through architecture, the eldest not returning fire at all, the entire climactic encounter taking a much much shorter amount of screen time than three seasons worth of mystery and fan fiction had lead all to believe! But then, just when the child friendly bit of legendarily one sided violence threatened to get a little repetitive, the elder was struck down and plummeted from the sky through the shattered roof of the throne room that she and her sister had once so happily shared! There, as she lay still, her purple pupil wept over her unmoving form, asking why the younger would do thi-wait that didn't happen yet. Uh...

...

Anywho, the eldest fell into a completely empty throne room.

...

Empty just like her heart, imploding from the bitter black hole of misery and woe from her sister's utter and complete betrayal of her love! Feeling the sting of a thousand daggers comprised entirely of sadness stabbing into her chest, the eldest resorted to her only remaining option, to trade her sister's continuing presence upon this world for the welfare of her kingdom! Using the Elements of Harmony, she banished her to the moon and doomed them both to a millennium of solitude, separated from the only fixed point in one another's lives that they knew would not waste away to the bitter reality of mortality in a continual cycle of pain and loss unending!

Yep, it was pretty bad.

After that, the eldest took up the role her sister once filled, which would be pretty easy for her considering her usual work, I mean the sun's about eight hundred seventy-five thousand miles in diameter and ninety-three million miles away. The moon almost doesn't exist in comparison. Once things had settled down, her subjects were joyous that peace had been restored, and had the dandy idea to throw a celebration of the day every single year forever! The eldest sister kindly stated that such measures weren't necessary but her subjects insisted that they create an annual, super happy, brightly colored festival celebrating how they were all still together and happy with loving friends and family, on the day that the youngest sister had been banished!

For some reason the eldest sister once more began having problems regarding cake and the over consumption thereof.


"Wow, who the hay edited this?" the purple unicorn pondered aloud as she looked down at the book resting at her hooves with an upraised eyebrow. Her horn then alighted with a magical aura that levitated the book closer to her muzzle for more thorough examination. "Furthermore, how am I even reading this page? It's two pictures with no text at all!"

"Oh there you are Twilight Sparkle! Moondancer is having a little get together in the west-"

"Gah!" the startled and now conveniently named mare exclaimed before a conjured can of disinfectant blinked into existence prior to spraying the intruding ivory coated unicorn in the face.

------{STATIC}------

Ruined Forever: Season One
Friendship is Oddly Intrusive

------{STATIC}------

"Perfect!" the little, purple scaled, green spined baby dragon proclaimed proudly as he put the finishing touch on his gift wrapping. Looking quite pleased with himself, he picked up the present with one hand, smoothed back the spines atop his head with the other, and then grabbed the doorknob just in time to be flung backwards into a book case by the dramatic entrance of his would be caretaker through the double doors of her private library tower. He was then pummeled by a preponderance of plummeting paperbacks, publications, and pamphlets that he'd spent the last few hours sorting in a hurry so that he would have extra time to attend a party. As the final indignity, once he'd emerged unharmed he found that his spines were now out of order on account of having skewered the present of which he'd been so proud. Also, the final indignity wasn't the final indignity in the slightest.

"Spike! I told you to have everything re-shelved by the time I got back, and here you are in a pile of unshelved books?" she scoffed as the can of disinfectant she had been levitating at the ready tucked itself back inside of her saddlebag. "What have you been doing this whole time? And what's that on your head?"

"Moondancer's late birthday pres-" Spike started before he was gripped by Twilight's magic and wrenched free of the pile.

"Nevermind, there's more important things to be talking about, much more important!" she interrupted as she levitated the mangled mass of box, wrapping, and torn up teddy bear off of Spike and into the conveniently located chute labeled 'completely legitimate incinerator that has never been abused to destroy incriminating documentation'.

"But we've been invited to lunch for once, I even convinced Twinkleshine to invite you as my plus one and told her where to find you!" he replied in exasperation while dusting a few bits of dust off himself that had been covering the older tomes.

"Well, that explains why she snuck up on me then," she mused aloud as she unceremoniously dropped her baby dragon assistant to the floor before trotting up to her favorite reading spot, which was of course atop a raised platform from which she could lord over her book filled domain.

"Please tell me you didn't spray her with the disinfectant," Spike groaned, putting a clawed hand to his forehead after he got back to his feet.

"Spike don't worry, she's fine," she assured him dismissively as she started examining the legion of books now floating around her.

"I CAN'T SEE! IT BURNS! AAAAAAAAH!" came the distant cry from an ivory coated unicorn mare gripping her eyes in pain and writhing on the ground.

"See? Healthy ponies can't scream that loud. She's fine. Now stop dragging your feet and help me save the world!" Twilight ordered as she continued flipping through pages with rising frustration. Spike let out a fatigued grumble and started trudging toward where he knew their copy of Predictions and Prophecies rested on the shelf, mentally relinquishing his latest failed effort to obtain a life outside the tower. "Guh! Why can I never find that book when I need it?!" she growled in exasperation.

"It's right here on the shelf, where you told me to put it after you found it left on your desk two days ago when you suspected the visiting prime minister of being the great destroyer, which was where you told me to leave it after you had to go looking for it another two days before that when you thought the atmosphere was going to be vaporized by a passing comet," Spike answered as he pulled the book from the shelf. Rather than offer any words of reply, Twilight magically grabbed the book and pulled it across the library baby dragon and all, knocking the little fire breathing lizard against a chair, a few table legs, some of the more empty shelves, and a metal lighting fixture on the way across the room and upward before he finally let go of the book and fell back to the floor.

"Finally!" she beamed briefly before burying her nose in the text.

"I'm pretty sure there was a straight line you could've pulled that book along that would've avoided hitting every single thing in the tower," Spike pointed out from his spot below as he admired the stars floating round his head.

"And I'm pretty sure you could've let go of the book when you felt me grab hold of it," Twilight countered as her eyes darted from left to right between turns of the page.

"That's a...good point actually," the baby dragon replied, stumped as to any other response as he looked up toward the ceiling and rested a single claw on his chin in contemplation.

"Aha! Found it!" the unicorn above proclaimed before she magically blinked into view standing over him, pointing the open book downward for him to see.

"Uh, found what?"

"Right here!" she said whilst irritably pointing a hoof. "The Mare in the Moon!"

"Let's pretend that I'm not the one who's been reading like crazy for two days straight, and I don't know why a series of craters on the moon that looks like a pony head is important?" Spike proposed whilst scooting his way out from beneath her.

The lavender mare let out a sound composed of equal parts sigh and growl. "Okay, fine Spike. The whole reason I'm here in this school started with the Summer Sun Celebration, and since I'm bored out of my mind during break I decided to do some reading about it because it means so much to me. Turns out that nine centuries ago it was called the Victory Sunrise Festival, before somepony really, really high up the chain decreed it be changed to the Summer Sun Celebration and moved to the longest day of the year. I only found this as a footnote in the oldest book I could find on the subject, oldest by centuries! This has probably been forgotten for hundreds of years!" She began explaining whilst pacing back and forth leering intently at the book in front of her.

"Huh," Spike responded whilst busying himself re-shelving books. His interest was entirely genuine. No, really. So genuine. The genuinest.

"Naturally I started wondering why it was changed, and then on a hunch I looked up the history of Nightmare Night. It was started only ten years after the Victory Sunrise Festival was changed, supposedly by ponies who wanted to preserve some aspect of the original festival and had to work under cover of night to avoid catching any royal attention. The central figure of Nightmare Night is Nightmare Moon, but the way the holiday describes her is just as a made up boogie mare to scare foals into behaving, there had to be more to it so I spent the last six hours trying to find any reference to Nightmare Moon that I could."

"Mhm," Spike replied in a continuing outpouring of the most genuine interest to ever be genuine while stacking some papers that had fallen from a desk in the commotion.

"But it's bafflingly hard to find any mention of her unrelated to Nightmare Night! I was beginning to lose hope, but then I found her again in this...uniquely written book of old legends, specifically in an old story regarding two sisters who used to rule together a thousand years ago. The younger sister transformed into Nightmare Moon and was banished to the moon to prevent her from forcing the world into eternal night. That made me think of the myth of the Mare in the Moon, particularly the part right here where upon the longest day of the thousandth year the stars will bring about her escape! The change to the Summer Sun Celebration, the starting of Nightmare Night, the legend of the two sisters, and the Mare in the Moon; they're directly connected, it just can't all be coincidence!"

"Oh, right," Spike nodded, his most genuine of attentions so sincerely riveted on her theorizing while he focused on straightening some pencils on a lectern.

"The one who ordered the change to the Sunrise Victory Festival must have been the elder sister not wanting to be reminded of what she'd been forced to do that day, and the ponies who started Nightmare Night must have wanted to preserve the knowledge of what happened in a way that would be passed on from generation to generation for a thousand years. Well, it worked, thanks to me!" she concluded triumphantly before turning to see a baby dragon doing everything but listening to her. "Spike, what are you doing? I thought you wanted an explanation!"

"I did...so that you would be talking long enough for me to clean up without you knocking anything else over," he explained as he shifted a lesser reading table to be arranged at a precise ninety degree angle from the nearest bookshelf.

"You know what? Fine, just take a note for the princess!" Twilight ordered curtly before her assistant dutifully grabbed a quill, inkwell, and parchment. She cleared her throat before continuing.

Dear Princess Celestia, it has come to my attention through judicious study of historical and cultural archives that we are a mere sunset away from the utter and complete end of our world as we know it! Upon the stroke of midnight tonight, the evil Nightmare Moon, who had been banished to the moon a thousand years ago by one of your predecessors, will return and ensure that the sun never rises again! An army must be amassed with all due haste to combat the coming of this prophecy, lest the planet be plunged into a winter unending! You are the only one with the political authority to take such measures and I as your faithful student implore you to do the right thing! Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle.

"Alright Spike, send it!"

"So wait, you're requesting the most massive military action possible based on folk holidays, storybooks for foals, and a book of prophecies by Neighstradamus which mostly consist of things like, and I quote, 'there will be a day, and upon that day a thing will happen, and it will be of some import to world events'?" Spike interjected.

"Spike send the letter," she deadpanned.

"This is almost as weird as last week when you tried to convince Celestia that there was an empire of technologically advanced subterranean canines that was days from emerging to kill us all," Spike continued while waiting for the ink to dry.

"Send, the letter, Spike," she repeated through grit teeth.

"But that one wasn't nearly as outrageous as last month when you suggested that our entire planet had been relocated for use in some kind of reality destroying super weapo-"

"SEND THE BUCKING LETTER!" she bellowed at the end of her patience.

The baby dragon flinched and spent a few frantic seconds trying to catch the letter he'd almost dropped before hastily rolling it up and breathing green fire upon it, consuming the parchment into a cloud of enchanted ashes that then flew out the window. "Okay okay, sent!"

"Good!" she nodded. "Don't go anywhere, I'm expecting a nearly immediate reply due to the severity of this issue."

"You said that the last ten times and we were-urk!" Spike started before a belch of flame that formed into a reply letter interrupted him.

"Aha, what did I tell you?" she smirked triumphantly before snatching it out of midair and opening it.

My faithful student, it has become increasingly apparent from your near daily proclamations of impending doom and terror that perhaps your vast and expansive intellect would be better served by giving you something to do. To that end, and because I know how much you dearly treasure the holiday, I have selected you to oversee preparations at the site of this year's Summer Sun Celebration in Ponyville. There I hope you will be able to focus your mind, meet some friends, and step outside of this comfort zone in which you have so steadfastly barricaded yourself.

"...oh...it's like that then," Twilight said with a prickly looking frown.

"What did she say?"

"Nevermind what she said Spike, take another letter!" she seethed.

"Uh...you sure you don't want to take a few minutes to cool off first?"

As reasonable a suggestion as it was, Spike only had to look her in the face for a few seconds to get the point that she wanted nothing to do with said suggestion, and also that his soul would potentially be forfeit depending on his next choice of words.

"Right, silly suggestion, I mean why pause when you've probably get a reply fresh in your mind already, you know?"

Possession of soul preserved.

"Exactly! Now-...what are you writing? I didn't even dictate anything yet!" Twilight asked as she noticed Spike scribbling something at the bottom of the page.

"What? No, I'm not writing anything, just making sure the quill doesn't need another dip yet is all!" he explained before smiling awkwardly.

Twilight gave him another few seconds of narrow eyed inspection before taking a breath to begin her dictation.

Oh, my apologies. You see, had you actually been Princess Celestia, leader of all Equestria and most powerful pony I've had the fortune to know, you would've promptly sprung into action to protect your beloved subjects. As you are suggesting I instead simply ignore  the incredible danger soon to rear its ugly head and waste my ubermarensch caliber intellect on organizing a podunk backwater mudpony insult to my favorite holiday, it has become quite apparent to me that there has been a mistake in delivery of the previous message. Should you actually see the sovereign ruler of Equestria who, unlike you, would actually be concerned with the fate of her kingdom, I would very much appreciate if you could inform me as to her whereabouts as there are ever so important matters to discuss.

P.S. THIS IS SPIKE I'M SORRY I ONLY WROTE WHAT SHE TOLD ME TO


"Send it!"

The beleaguered baby dragon sighed and did as requested.

"There, that ought to put a fire under her rump and get us on track to stopping this!"

It took only a few minutes before there was a sharp impact of four gold shod hooves at the front door prior to it being flung open to reveal a towering white alicorn clad in golden royal barding with a long polychromatic mane and tail which both sparkled with the light of the sun as they drifted along in an unseen ethereal breeze.

She looked slightly pissed.

"About time! Now if you're not convinced, I have plenty of evidence to back up my-"

Celestia discontinued her student's explanation by way of magical levitation via nape of her neck.

"Hey! Put me down!" she shouted as her horn lit up in an utterly ineffective attempt to counter the alicorn's grip upon her. Kicking her hooves around yielded similarly futile results.

"Nope, on the chariot, let's go, come on Spike," the princess replied dismissively as she carried her student off like a naughty puppy whilst her assistant followed behind wiping the sweat from his forehead and thanking the stars above that that had not gone any worse.

------{STATIC}------

"What do you think she meant by 'I'm not losing another student to this ubermarensch bullfuckery'?" Spike pondered as the clouds zoomed past them from their seat aboard the royal chariot currently being pulled by two royal guards.

"Regardless of what she meant, what she did is prove herself unfit to lead Equestria, which makes me glad I thought ahead and enchanted a scroll with a spell rigged to cast itself in the event that I'm forced to leave Canterlot, replacing Celestia's mid morning tea with a batch of totally-sweet-ultra-super-happy-fun-flower petal extract that I was saving for just such an occasion!" Twilight replied as she maintained her fixed grump face on the city from which they had departed.

------{STATIC}------

Celestia gave her guards a nod of acknowledgement as they opened the door to her private quarters for her, closing it behind her after she had stepped through. Once inside she pulled off her crown and took a seat on the white sitting cushion at her table, a pot of hot tea awaiting her so that she might have a few moments to relax before returning to the rigors of the day. There was another cushion on the other side of the table colored a dark blue that never seemed to get any use anymore.

Before she could stress about Twilight Sparkle's recent outbursts any further she sighed and poured herself a cup of tea before taking a sip.

...

She smacked her lips a few times with a look of puzzlement on her eyes before taking another sip.

...

She sniffed her cup briefly with an upraised eyebrow and then took another lengthier drink.

...

Her eyes narrowed. "This is not tea."

------{STATIC}------

"Do you really think slipping the leader of our kingdom powerful hallucinogens is a reasonable response to all this? Furthermore, is doing that that then discussing it right behind her guards not kind of dumb?" Spiked pointed out with a nod of his head toward the two pegasus stallions pulling them along.

"Spike, please, if the royal chariot wasn't enchanted to thwart eavesdropping guards I doubt the kingdom would've lasted this long without collapsing beneath security leaks. Furthermore, it'll all be fine, I'm only doing this to discredit her in the eyes of the public so that I can more easily sway them to my side and rally our forces. Hopefully she'll learn something from all this and be a better leader in the future. In the meantime, I'll finish her little foal's errand and then sequester myself in the local library to research my backup plan. I know its been a thousand years, but if the elements of harmony mentioned in the legend are still in working order they'll be an invaluable tool in beating back Nightmare Moon!"

"You're going to spend your first time outside Canterlot in ages reading books alone in a library?" Spike asked as the two royal guards began their final descent into the charming little town below.

"And what's your suggestion?" she snapped back, bracing herself briefly against the slight jostle of their landing before hopping out.

"I don't know, sight see a little, say hi to some ponies, strike up a few conversations? You know, normal stuff," Spike answered with a casual shrug.

"Normal stuff is for normal ponies Spike. I am not a normal pony, and we sure as hay aren't in a normal situation either!" Twilight grumbled as she pointedly examined their list of objectives for the day.

"Seriously Twilight? You can't even so much as say hello to ponies as we pass by? It takes half a second and you might meet somepony nice, fun, or helpful!" he urged her before pointing at a pink pony on the street ahead of them. "Just say hi to one pony, try it on for size!"

Twilight growled and rolled her eyes while putting the list aside and slightly altering course. "For pony's sake Spike, fine. If it'll get you to shut up about it and let us get on with the day I'll do it."

"Great, you won't regret this a bit!" Spike assured her as she trotted over the pink, curly maned, blue eyed mare.

"Uh...hi, I just got here from Canterlot and I was-"

The pink mare gasped in shock and promptly exploded.

Twilight was left standing there before a charred mark on the ground in complete shock with steaming blood and seared bits of meat covering her from head to hoof. The only sound that came out of her mouth was a terrified squeak while her right eye twitched and her ears rang.

...

"Huh, glad I was standing behind you for that one," Spike remarked after a few silent moments.

------{STATIC}------

Twilight pulled her head out of the cool clean running water of the creek and took a deep breath, now certain that the last bits of pink pony splatterings had now been cleaned away. "Now that I've had some time to calm down and get my thoughts together again, you know what the worst part of that was Spike?"

"What?" Spike asked while holding up a towel that was then gripped by her levitation magic.

"Nopony else even reacted. Not a bit! Like a pony exploding is an every day occurrence around here! There's even more wrong with this town than I thought!" she ranted whilst toweling herself off until she was no longer dripping wet.

"Have to agree with you this time, that was nuts," Spike agreed as he grabbed the towel floating toward him and started wringing it out.

"On the bright side, I feel like it can't possibly get worse than exploding ponies, and I'm handling it alright. Perhaps this won't be such a bad thing to get through after all!" she continued, a more confident smile soon replacing her thousand yard stare.

"That's the spirit Twilight!" he cheered.

"Right then, let's go down the check list and finish this so we can save the world!"

"Alright, next stop is the Sweet Apple Acres farm to check on the catering," Spike replied after glancing down at their list.

"Oh. A farm. We're sure starting this at the hillbilliest point we possibly can aren't we?" she remarked, her high spirits deflating a bit as they started on their way.

"Eh it won't be so bad," he said with a dismissive wave of his hand from her side.

"Yeah, probably right," she nodded, managing another softer smile.

------{STATIC}------

"Hey there stranger, what's your name?"

"Nice to meet ya ma'am, welcome to the farm!"

"You're just in time for some mighty fine treats here!"

"Always a pleasure to have a surprise guest!"

"Feel free to take a load off and enjoy some of the famous Apply Family hospitality!"

"SPIKE, DON'T FORGET TO AIM FOR THE HEAD, AND IF ONE BITES ME AT LEAST WAIT UNTIL I TURN TO KILL ME, I'D DO THE SAME FOR YOU!" Twilight shouted from her spot backed up against the barn hopelessly surrounded by friendly country ponies. She and her assistant both held loaded crossbows the unicorn had brought along just for such emergencies. Spike silently rolled his eyes and undid the safety latch on his weapon to let off the tension in the bowstring before it could hurt anypony, looking oddly like this was not his first time in such a situation.

"Whoaaaaa Nelly! C'mon Apples, give a filly a little breathin' room!" said an orange coated, blonde maned, freckle faced pony wearing a brown stetson hat as she pushed through the gathered earth ponies with an amused smile on her face.

"Oh, sorry 'bout that ma'am!"

"Didn't mean to crowd ya' none."

"Now then, allow me to be one more pony to welcome both of ya'll to Sweet Apple Acres! Name's Applejack, what brings ya'll out here to these parts?" the orange mare greeted as her apparent family members gave the purple unicorn some space but still looked quite attentive.

"Oh...uh, right!" Twilight said before sheepishly setting down her crossbow and continuing. "I'm Twilight Sparkle, I was sent by the princess to check on preparations for the Summer Sun Celebration, and according to my list ya'll-you all are handling the catering, so here I am," she explained.

"Well you tell Princess Celestia not to worry none about the caterin', we've got it all well in hoof here, right Apples?" Applejack said proudly.

She was answered with a simultaneous cheer that made Twilight instinctively back against the barn again.

"In fact, why don't ya stay a spell? You can meet the family, and sample some of the dishes we're gonna be servin' up tonight and tomorrow. Why ah bet it'll be just what ya need to let off some of that uh...stress...you're havin' there," she suggested while none too subtly nudging the crossbow away from Twilight with her hoof.

"What? Absolutely not, we have far too many important things to do today!" Twilight declined firmly with a frown and stomp of her hoof.

"In that case, at least let me introduce the family, they'll be happy to meet ya properly without all the...cornerin'...and potentially deadly crossbowin'...while implying we're zombies just because we as a family are very friendly to everypony," she insisted, the offer becoming a bit awkward near the end.

"Um...why? I'm probably going to forget all your names minutes after leaving the property anyway, what good will wasting time like that actually do...any...pony..."

At that moment a tall, well muscled, handsome looking stallion strode into view around the side of the barn effortlessly pulling a cart loaded down with barrels full of apples. His coat was red, his mane and cropped tail orange, and he wore the collar of a workhorse, casually chewing on a sprig of wheat as he worked. Twilight's eyes widened and she craned her neck to get a better view around Applejack, a slight blush coloring her cheeks.

"Nevermind please introduce me to your family!" she blurted out suddenly.

"Well alrighty then!" Applejack replied, happy to oblige. "This here filly's mah little sister Applebloom," she began, patting the head of a little yellow red maned filly with a bow in her air that had just trotted her way over.

"Howdy!"

"And that back there's mah big brother Big McIntosh, we just call him Big Mac." She turned to look at the stallion in question and waved her hoof. "Hey Big Mac, come on over here'n say hi to Twilight Sparkle!"

He unhitched himself from the cart and then strode over to them, regarding Twilight with a soft smile and a nod. "Ma'am."

Before she could stop herself, Twilight giggled like a little school filly but then stopped herself, turning beet red for a moment before straightening her posture and clearing her throat. "Um, hi," she replied in the smoothest of manners.

Applejack proceeded to rattle off a list of apple related names that the purple unicorn could not have possibly cared less about while she made eyes at her brother who took one look at her and then sighed in a very 'not this shit again' fashion.

"-Caramel Apple, Apple Crisp, and Apple Tart!" Applejack finally concluded.

"Would ya like to stay for brunch?" Applebloom offered with a beaming smile as she looked up at Twilight.

"Nah, Twilight's got a lot on her plate today already Applebloom," her big sister interjected with a soft shake of her head.

"Actually, if your biiiiiig brother is going to be there, I wouldn't mind staying for brunch I'm just stuffed to the brim, if you know what I mean," Twilight corrected as she sidled close to Big Mac and batted her eyelashes at him ever so subtly.

"Eeeyup," he replied with another nod.

------{STATIC}------

"Urp! That is not what I meant at all," the large bellied, pie laden pony groaned as she trudged along on the way to their next destination.

"Why did you keep eating so many pies if you didn't want that many?" Spike asked, looking up from his list.

"Because if I had recanted my acceptance of their hospitality, those redneck ponies would've become irrationally offended and we would've been stuck in some horrid Hills Have Chainsaw Massacres scenario! I did what I had to in order to get us out of there!" she explained before her cheeks briefly puffed out from another restrained burp.

"Oh, my hero," the baby dragon snickered in reply.

"What do they even do with so many calories?! Ugh, this would never have happened if Celestia hadn't taken away my can of defensive disinfectant. How can she expect me to carry out her orders if I'm constantly anxious because of germs?"

"Pfft, come on Twilight, I know you're not a germaphobe. You make fun of ponies who are for not understanding how an immune system works! The only reason you carry that can around is because the water bottle spray wasn't working and the princess wouldn't allow you to buy a can of pepper spray!"

"Ugh, buck it I don't care anymore, what's next on the list?"

"Checking how the weather will be tonight and tomorrow. We need to get in touch with the head of the local weather management, she's a pegasus named Rainbow Dash," he answered, reading from the notes he'd brought along.

"Great, so, from the ground, we have to find the one pegasus in this town who could actually be miles away from here dealing with potentially interfering weather patterns. This is going to take hours!" she complained seconds before a rainbow colored streak came out of nowhere and struck her with sufficient velocity to kick up dirt and debris in all directions and leave them both at the bottom of a six foot deep crater.

"Wow...two for two on standing in the right spots today!" Spike proclaimed victoriously before looking behind him, pondering if he should look into the crater.

"Woops, heh, that trick went a bit wrong, thanks for breaking my fall though!" came an unfamiliar voice.

It was answered by the sound of a unicorn throwing up.

"Ah! Ew! Eeeeew! What the hay is wrong with you, it's all over me!"

"OH DID I VOMIT ON YOU AFTER YOU SLAMMED INTO ME AT MACH 'HOLY SHIT' AND BROKE THREE OF MY LEGS AND ASSORTED OTHER BONES?! I'M SO SORRY FOR YOUR INCONVENIENCE!"

Spike decided to stay right there, not looking into the crater.

------{STATIC}------

"Can we go back to the exploding pony? At least she didn't give me bulimia nervosa and break my everything," Twilight whined as they approached the town hall, covered in various bandages and casts with her assistant pushing her along in a wheelchair.

"I'll admit, this has been way harder than I thought it would be...on you...but we're getting near the end of the list, and the hospital will have that healing crystal charged for you in an hour or two. Plus, we're checking on decorations next! How dangerous could a decorator pony be?" he reasoned as he pushed her inside.

"Spike, I'm just about convinced that you saying everything is going to be okay is having some weird quantum observer effect on reality and ensuring that everything turns out not okay, so stop trying to reassure me and leave me to at least be cynical enough to see it coming!"

...

"Spike?" Twilight looked behind her to see Spike staring wide eyed at something on the other end of the room, following his enraptured gaze to a white coated unicorn mare with a stylish blue mane and tail fussing over various bows and ribbons.

"She's...so beautiful," Spike said whilst hearts appeared around his head.

"Okay cut that out right now young dragon, you are far too young and...dragony to be looking at a mare that way!" she scolded after looking back at him again.

"There, perfect!" the white unicorn chirped in satisfaction before turning to the two visitors. "Can I help you with someth-waaahaha!" she cried out, recoiling at the sight of the purple mare in such unbecoming white gauze. "What happened to you?!"

"It's a long story that I'd rather not recount right now. So how soon can we expect the decorations to-ack!" A blue magic aura took hold of her wheelchair handles and turned her around before hurrying her out the door toward a nearby boutique. "What are you doing?!"

"Rescuing you from looking hideous darling!"

------{STATIC}------

"Um, this looks nice I guess, but why did you take off my casts and bandages...and put makeup on my bruises?" Twilight asked uneasily as she floated in front of a full length mirror.

"Do I even need to explain how they would clash with this saddle? My goodness, for a pony with such delightful color composition you are frightfully lacking in a good fashion sense. Fortunately for you, you ran into me!" Rarity answered cheerfully as she secured the last strap of the outfit then nodded in approval before lowering Twilight to the ground. "There, magnifique! Now, what were you trying to say earlier darling?"

"I was trying to-" the magical aura vanished as Twilight's hooves touched the ground and she let out a piteous cry of pain as her broken legs immediately buckled under the weight. "AAAAAAAH FOR BUCK'S SAKE WHYYYYY?!"

"You know what? I was wrong, emeralds are not in season at all. I'll go find you some rubies!" Rarity said before galloping off to her workshop.

"SPIKE, FOR LOVE OF GODDESS, DRAG ME OUT OF HERE OR SOMETHING!" Twilight begged as her benevolent tormentor dashed out of sight.

"I have never liked watching a mare walk away more than I do right now. Those...diamonds," Spike rambled as though in a trance as his eyes sparkled in wonderment.

"FINE THEN, BLOWIN' THE DAILY!" She closed her eyes, straining as a particularly bright aura emanated from her horn, gathering intensity until at last she, her dragon, and every nearby loose object disappeared and blinked back into existence on the other end of town in the emergency room of the local hospital thanks to her Teleport All spell.

------{STATIC}------

"Aaaah, it's good to be able to walk again!" She had an extra bounce in her step now, even letting Spike have a ride on her back as they made their way to their last mandated stop of the day. "Those healing crystals are amazing!"

"Yeah, and I'm sure that terminally ill mother of three will last another week while they recharge it," Spike added cheerfully.

"Well when she is also an incredibly gifted ubermarensch student of Princess Celestia like myself, then she can get first dibs on vital medical care too. Now keep an eye out for that mare in charge of the choir."

They continued along the path outside of town until reaching an intersection that surrounded a central raised patch of grass with a single tree. There, a yellow coated pegasus with a long pink mane and tale was conducting a small flock of songbirds who, aside from one particularly out of tune blue jay, were united  in a wonderful melody.

"Oh, um, excuse me, sir? I don't mean to be nit picky or offensive or distracting or irritating or needy or inconvenient or overly critical, but you're just a tiny bit off in-"

"Birds?! The leader of all Equestria is coming and your choir is just a bunch of filthy birds?!" Twilight shouted in exasperation after taking in the sight.

The pegasus squeaked in terror before whirling around and spraying the purple unicorn in the face with a can of pepper spray, the dragon on her back managing to jump off just in time to avoid it. Twilight immediately screamed in agony and collapsed to the ground, clutching at her eyes as her back legs kicked about. "Oh my goodness I'm so sorry I thought you were one of those creepy stalker ponies I keep selectively reading about at the exclusion of all other news articles!" the pegasus mare gushed in apology after dropping the spray can.

"THIS IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO TO PONIES?! AAAAAUGH I FEEL LIKE I DESERVE THIS NOW!" Twilight cried out in an oddly timed moment of empathy and self clarity whilst writhing in the dirt.

------{STATIC}------

"I think...I think I can see now," she said shakily, blinking her bloodshot and glistening eyes after having spent a good half hour getting help from Spike to wash her eyes out with the water hose outside of the local library.

"Good, had me worried there for a sec'." He dropped the hose then turned the nearby valve shut and helped her back to her hooves. "Don't be too mad at Fluttershy, she's really not so bad, just shy and a bit high strung about...well, everything."

"Yeah that'll really help me feel better if I have permanent vision defects because of this," she replied sarcastically as they walked into the pitch black dark of the library. "That was an ordeal. The faster we get things handled and get the buck out of here the faster we can start petitioning to have this entire place leveled and replaced with...I don't know a parking lot? Shopping mall? Anything else would probably either not hurt me at all or at least kill me quickly so I don't suffer so much, and the world would be rid of a bunch of overly attached ponies that are absolutely insane. Now did I go blind or did you just not hit the light switch yet Spike?"

The light flipped on and Twilight Sparkle was suddenly looking at a crowd of ponies that had been there in the darkness the entire time, now glaring at her with severe disapproval. Twilight went wide eyed and started silently backing away toward the door, only to be cut off from escape by a familiar pink pony popping up out of nowhere.

"SURPRIIIIIIISE!" she shouted before throwing confetti and blowing a party horn. Twilight backed away much more quickly now, mouth hanging open aghast at the sight.

"Didn't you EXPLODE?!" the unicorn asked in complete shock.

"Yeah I do that sometimes!"

------{STATIC}------

"And now you have friends!" Pinkie Pie concluded her ramble as Twilight reached the base of the stairs, having honestly not been listening to a single word of that long winded outpouring of consciousness.

"Sounds like ya'll just had a bad day sugarcube, ah been there plenty mahself so I know how ya feel," Applejack said sympathetically. "Yah didn't really act all that friendly though..."

"She barfed on me!" Rainbow Dash added as the only point she felt she needed to make.

"She didn't let me finish her outfit properly and it's been bothering me all day!" Rarity pouted.

"I um...I don't mean to be rude or anything, or hurt anypony's feelings, or impose on anypony, but um...well, if it's okay with you, my birds would really like an apology for you calling them dirty...and um, implying they were unworthy of royalty," Fluttershy managed to squeak out from her place hiding beneath her own mane.

...

"What a bitch!" some random unseen pony in the audience remarked.

"Lots of friends!" Pinkie Pie repeated obliviously.

"You know what? You can all just buck off and kiss the sparkliest part of my ass! If you had any idea what I was trying to save you from you would all bow down to kiss my bucking hooves and like it! Not even the princess is trying to do what I'm trying to do! So here I am trying to save the entire world all by myself, and all you ponies can do is constantly get in my bucking way and act all creepy and intrusive then expect me to act grateful?! I don't want a bucking thing to do with any of you! So just leave me the hay alone and let me save your lowly undeserving asses so I can go back home and then we'll never have to put up with each other again!" Twilight snarled angrily, pausing for a few moments to catch her breath before turning and storming up the stairs.

------{STATIC}------

"WHY...ARE THEY STILL...HERE?" Twilight seethed as she again attempted to drown out the music below by covering her ears with a pair of pillows. Her search for knowledge after having escaped upstairs had been fruitless, all the books in the library were completely out of order, she couldn't find anything in the slightest!

Spike then made things even better by bursting through the door wearing a lampshade on his head and holding a cup of something as he staggered into the room. "Twilight! Oh my god Twilight! You have to...you have to come down stairs! It's...SO awesome! Like the...awesomest! I've been talking with Rarity like...all night and stuff, and I think she is waaaaaaay into me!"

------{STATIC}------

Rarity sighed in irritation as she tossed away yet another napkin on which Spike had drawn a heart and written her name inside of it.

"Heh, ah think ya got a new suitor there Rarity," Applejack teased.

"Oh really? Thank goodness you were here to notice Applejack, because as you know, I am just a complete stranger to the revolting and frankly insulting attention of a lesser male," Rarity replied with a roll of her eyes.

------{STATIC}------

"Plus Applejack brought over this...also awesome stuff!" he slurred further while holding up his glass and hiccuping. "I am...I am so wasted right now you don't even know!" Spike promptly lost what remaining balance he had and hit the floor with a second hiccup. Twilight raised an eyebrow then jumped out of bed, trotted over, and sniffed the glass in his claw before her curious look reverted to a blank stare.

"Spike this is plain apple cider."

"You're plain apple cider!" he shot back in a cunning display of unparalleled wit.

------{STATIC}------

"Hey remember that time you were like 'hi' and then I exploded?!" Pinkie Pie babbled away whilst Twilight stood amongst the crowd gathered to greet Princess Celestia and the coming of the dawn.

"Yes. I remember. In great detail. In fact I'm going to need therapy before I stop constantly remembering it," Twilight grumbled as she looked around nervously. The appointed hour of the world's doom was approaching and she was the only pony yet to worry even the slightest bit about it. She released a slow exhalation to try and calm her nerves. "You know what...maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I am seeing connections where there aren't any and stressing myself out to the point of insulting an entire town for no good reason. Perhaps the best course of action is to let go and just enjoy the rest of the holiday...if at all possible."

She happened to glance out at the window at just the right moment to see four stars twinkle and then move behind the moon before the pattern of craters forming the shape of a menacing pony head vanished.

"That's probably fine," she said to herself wide eyed before the mayor appeared onstage to kick things off.

"Fillies and gentlecolts, as mayor of Ponyville, it is my great pleasure to announce the beginning of the Summer Sun Celebration!" The assembled ponies responded with an enthusiastic cheer. "In just a few moments, our town will witness the magic of the sunrise, and celebrate this, the longest day of the year! And now, it is my great honor to introduce to you the ruler of our land, the very pony who gives us the sun and the moon each and every day, the good, the wise, the bringer of harmony to all of Equestria..." Fluttershy's birds began chirping their song of greeting. "...Princess Celestia!"

Rarity opened the curtain to display nothing but an overwhelmingly severe lack of princess, a sight which prompted to crowd to give a collective gasp of alarm. She trotted past the curtains back stage, only to return moments later with a worried expression on her face. "She's gone!"

At that moment on the main stage, a blue haze started to gather and then darken. A chill filled the room as tiny points of light blinked into being in the growing mass. Within, a silhouette of pure black took shape, forming into a towering alicorn whose bat-like wings then spread open, parting the veil to reveal the terrifying form of an evil mare of darkness clad in dark blue armor, the mane surrounding her a field of stars both magnificent and terrifying. What had started as a chill quickly progressed to an icy grip around every present heart as the nightmare creature before them spoke.

"Oh, my beloved subjects. It's been so long since I've seen your precious, little sun-loving faces."

...

"YEAH! WHO CALLED IT?! WHO BUCKING CALLED IT?!" Twilight whooped with vindicated joy while rearing up on her hind legs and pointing at herself.

------{TO BE CONTINUED}------
Ruined Forever S1E1
And so it came to pass that last year's April Fools joke actually became a thing, and lo', it just so happened that the premiere day of season 5 was the finest day to release it! Prepare thyselves o' ye readership, for references shall be made shamelessly, jokes years old shall be resurrected and made into a shambling shell of their former glories, and continuity shall be enforced with no consistency what so ever!

Also since this is a story version of my episode blogs I'll be adding personal commentary about the parodied episodes as I go, though since this is a two parter I'll save that bit for the end of the next chapter. Hope you enjoy it, and a Happy Season 5 to you all!
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In review, this was kind of the year I put a lot of effort into doing nothing! That’s right, absolutely nothing because the all of TWO CHAPTERS of Reunion that I finished are the only ones that count. Blog posts? Don’t count. Journal entries? Don’t count either. People don’t track me for those, and the fact that I’ve spent so much effort on them instead of Reunion has probably lost the interest of many fine folks who started reading my work because of Lance’s gory and depressing trek. But I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I’d done the episode blogs up like right proper post-able stories that could stand center stage instead of being off to the side. So I suppose this year is as good a time as any to find out. In accordance with that, here’s a bit of what I’m planning to work on in 2015:

A parody series much like my episode blogs. They will start at Friendship is Magic Part 1 and proceed from there. They will no longer be in script format, which is a change that needs to happen for them to be allowable at Fimfiction so that people can freely read and comment on them. This will also allow me to monitor view counts so that I can gauge interest and decide if it will continue or if it’s something I should abandon instead of injecting more time into it. Still trying to decide on a title. Overall it’ll be a small stupid easy hopefully entertaining thing I can work on between more serious fare.

Something new. That’s all I’m saying for now, you’ll find out a bit more this weekend.

Finishing Reunion. As of right now I have not written word one of the next chapter nor will I begin until I finish the first tidbit of the new thing. After that however, I will try to get Lance through this excruciatingly long trek that has taken three years for me to slowly write so far, so that we may all move on at long friggin’ last. To be honest, the Manehatten General segment pretty much killed the story for me due to my disastrous over planning for it, and it’s left the lingering impression that further writing is futile because nobody in their right mind would ever stick around through all of that nonsense, as though I’m trying to revive a patient that died from a massive tumor six weeks ago. Every time I sit down and try to write it pretty much goes like this:
Me: Now to write some Reunion finally!
Brain: The huge wave of MLP craze has died down to normal levels now that the show isn’t the completely unexpected hit it was to begin with. Nobody is interested in Silent Ponyville anymore because Sam is no longer writing it. Grimdark is a niche interest and grimdark stories that people have to spend time reading are an even nichER interest. You know what’s even more niche than a grimdark fic though? A grimdark fic that’s over 200,000 words and has been in the writing process for three years. Manehatten General made half of your readers go “fuck this garbage” and the other half went “fuck this writer” when you took an entire year to write two chapters. Nobody cares anymore. Stop pretending to be a writer and go back to playing WoW and watching Youtube like the eleven dollars an hour disposable piece of wasted parental effort and potential shit you are.
Me: … (Sighs and closes Open Office before pouring a glass of Crown Royal)
So yeah, that sucks. I don’t know how much of that is remotely rational thinking and how much of that is just my ever present mental subroutine of self flagellation, but it is what it is and those are the thoughts I have to shrug off before I manage to write anything.
But bear in mind that even in the hypothetical world where absolutely nobody was reading Reunion anymore, I would feel like I need to finish the story right, just to know that I got the job well and truly done. So don’t worry after reading the above, it will still be finished.

Learning to draw. Yep, unknown to all of you I actually spent much idle time during high school and my brief attempt at college refining drawing skills that have since withered. They still exist though. In fact I have several bits of half assed concept art that I doodled on notepads and MSPaint while trying to refine the design of Reunion monsters that have me convinced I can in fact draw some pony art with practice. This one’s low on the list though, my writing takes priority and I’d really need to buy a tablet and find enough living space to use it comfortably, because right now I have a single bedroom’s worth of space to use for my own purposes. It would be pretty damn nice though, and give me the ability to offer followers/watchers something other than text that they’d have to devote a lot of time to reading.

And that is basically my plans going into 2015. Hope you all have a great New Years Day and get to do something great in the year to come.

Sam: (Standing on a Canterlot balcony singing into a microphone whilst playing a not-cardboard-keytar at the Hearth's Warming Eve Pageant) It was Hearth's Warming Eve, and everypone was excited,
there was a pageant and the whole MLP crew was invited!
Twilight Sparkle stood and said-

Twilight Sparkle: (Raises glass of champagne) Listen everypone I love you guys, you are my best friends in the world, you make me glad to be alive!
(A contingent of villain characters sneers back at her from their side of the auditorium as she receives a cheer from everypony else)
Sovereign: (Savagely bashes through the wall with Chappy standing on her back)
Chappy: Hi there I'm the writer of this lame ass parody!
Twilight Sparkle: (Raised eyebrow) Um, okay, so what exactly is it that you want with me?
Chappy: (Levitating a book being quickly written in by a levitating quill, the tome quickly glowing an evil red) Well first I'm gonna write you to a world of hate and war where you'll assault all of the ponies that you've known and loved before!
Twilight Sparkle: (Backing away) I don't think I want to do that!
Chappy: Oh I know, but I'll have a blast! Now kiss your holiday goodbye because it's time for us to MOTHER BUCKING SMASH! (Throws red evil glowing book to the floor where it explodes into blinding white light that recedes to reveal an arena of rusted metal platforms)

Sam: Whoa oh!

Twilight Sparkle: (Looking around with a look of terror) Wait no!

Sam: Let's go! Kick the shit out of your friends!

(Applejack and Rainbow Dash immediately lunge for each other, triggering the rest of the crowd to join in on the brawl)
Twilight Sparkle: (Turns toward them and raises a hoof in protest) That's not cool!

Sam: Have a blast as you kick their ass!

Rainbow Dash: (Flying circles around Applejack whilst sneaking in jabs)
Applejack: (Seems completely unfazed and then confidently turns and aims a perfectly time smash attack buck that connects and sends Rainbow Dash careening off screen)

Sam: And they'll be forced to clap for you in the end!

Rainbow Dash: (Clapping as Applejack stands smugly on a winner's platform) Thank Celestia he didn't say clo-

Sam and Chappy: 3-2-1 SMASH!

Twilight Sparkle: Shining!
Shining Armor: Hey sis-
Changeling: (Delivers a vicious charging headbutt to Shining Armor's crotch) Your chode, has been destroyed 200%!
Cadence: (Still without a foal of her own, glaring angrily at the giggling changeling queen that had given the order) I need that chode!
Shining Armor: (Writhing in pain on ground holding groin) YOU?!
Twilight Sparkle: (Hold hooves up to the meleeing mass in a desperate plea) Caaaaaan't weeeee aaaaaall just get aloooooong?!
Celestia and Luna: Abso-bucking-lutely not you gotta SMASH!
Twilight Sparkle: Wait what you too?!
Celestia: Thousands of years ago we used to have pony gladiator games! We've been waiting for them for the public concern regarding blood sport to die down, they were ever so entertaining!
Luna: (Eating popcorn) The hemorrhaging has been doubled!
Celestia: This is the best pageant in centuries!
Twilight Sparkle: WHAT THE BUCK IS WRONG WITH EVERYPONY?!

Sam: The cast was destroyed,
the fighting floor painted red,
and Pinkie trapped Big Mac inside her
costume's huge disgusting head!

Pinkie Pie: (Flings the flailing stallion filled costume head out of the arena)
Rainbow Dash: (Starts Making a beeline for Applejack again but then spots something curious and stops)

Sam: Dash said-

Rainbow Dash: Hey Sovvy weren't you bigger when you tried to make Lance dead?
Fluttershy: (Sitting there in a fetal position crying as Angel Bunny stands nearby roaring in victory before he tosses away some random pony's severed limb) I'm Fluttershy the bloodstains make my long pink mane look red!
Chappy: (Standing with his own microphone on the same balcony as Sam) Soarin' was looking tough, til Spit kicked him in the stuff!
Soarin: (Now also writhing in pain gripping protectively at his crotch) WHAT THE HELL SPITFIRE?!
Spitfire: I'M JEALOUS THAT YOU GOT TO KEEP YOUR ORIGINAL VOICE OKAY?!
Chappy: Meanwhile the melee madness had overtaken Flufflepuff!
Flufflepuff: (Surrounded by bruised and bloodied bodies) Pfflbt.
Chappy: She knocked Tirek to infinity with one massive ass hit!
Flufflepuff: (Slight touch with hoof)
Tirek: (INSTANTLY ROCKETS OFF SCREEN)
Chappy: Then she took the Sovereign's charge as though it wasn't even shit!
Sovereign: (Charges horn first into Flufflepuff only to be bounced backward and land in a heap with a bent horn, having not moved the fluffy pink pony even a tenth of an inch)
Flufflepuff: Thbtb! (Sees red balloon floating by, then gasps happily and grabs the string before it easily carries her off in the breeze)
Twilight Sparkle: (Lying next to a half emptied bottle of champagne with a thousand yard stare in a sudden depressive episode at seeing everypony she knows savagely beating one another) Is the fight almost over? I can't tell my heart just crashed.
Chappy: (Pointing at giant rusted bloody clock towering over the arena) Don't you worry Twilight the clock says 4-3-2-1-
Twilight Sparkle: (Covering her eyes and choking back tears) -oh no-
Chappy: -SMASH!

Sam: Whoa oh!

Twilight Sparkle: (Finishes taking another swig of champagne) This blows.

Sam: You know! When husband and wife horse team up you are screwed!

Cadence and Shining Armor: (Advancing menacingly toward Twilight)
Twilight Sparkle: (Backing away in tears) YOU'RE MY OWN BROTHER!

Sam: Trixie is way fucking cute when she is trying to electrocute you!

Trixie: (Pouting face as ponies getting tickled by her ineffective lightning beams laugh with merriment) Please fear me!

Sam: Gem butt-

Rarity: Wait, what?

Sam: -is pissed, AJ got a splash of mud on her mane!

Rarity: (Looks up at mane then turns and scowls fearsomely and Applejack) Oh you're DEAD bitch!
Applejack: (Smirks and gets into a fighting stance for yet another Twilight irritating tussle with Rarity)
Twilight Sparkle: (Scuffed and teary eyed as Shining Armor and Cadence both lie smoking at her feet, her eyes starting to glow with rage as embers build around her mane and tail) THAAAAT IIIIS THEEEE LAAAAST GOD DAMN STRAAAAAAAAW!
Chappy: (Takes glasses off looking down in horror) OH SHIT I think that Twilight's gonna fucking-
Twilight Sparkle: (Bursts into a flaming nexus of magical alicorn rage as everypony stops dead in their tracks and stares in fright at her while the illusion magic shatters around them revealing the Canterlot field in which they had started) SMASH!

Sam and Chappy: (Backing away fearfully) Whoa oh oh!

Twilight Sparkle: (Teleports into the midst of the battle in a whirling inferno and unleashes magical glowing clones of herself that start beating the ever-loving-FUCK out of everypony) Hey look at me now!

Sam and Chappy: (Running from fiery magic clone pony wrath) Whoa oh oh!

Twilight Sparkle: I'm beating my friends, I have no regrets! This is the FUCKING best!
(The flames die down and the clones vanish before everypony, Sam and Chappy included, is swept up in the astral winds of a summoned arcane twister that fling them all over creation, colliding with debris and each other as Twilight stands in the center looking almost peaceful)
Twilight Sparkle: Yes I can see now! We're having fun in the end! (Rears up on her hooves as the magical whirlwind starts shrinking in size but growing in intensity, drawing everypony closer and closer above her) Now it all makes seeeeeeeeeense!
(The whirlwind bursts in a final gigantic explosion of magic, flinging everypony into the air before they come down in a rain of beat up bruised ponies and she simply looks up at the night sky contemplatively before levitating the friendship journal and a quill over to herself)
Twilight Sparkle: Today I learned that just because we smash each other, doesn't mean we aren't friends! (Smiles happily before she's slammed into the ground by the force of Shining Armor landing on her after his fall from roughly outer-fucking-space) AUGH! Shining Armor, you suck!
Shining Armor: (Spits out blood and exactly three teeth) BITE ME.

---{STATIC}---

Papa Pony: Honey, kids, here it is! I've finished it, the culmination of ten years worth of hobby toothpick construction! The entirety of Canterlot, and the mountain on which it resides, perfectly recreated with glue and toothpicks!
Son Pony: Dad you seriously suck.
Daughter Pony: (Wordlessly texting on her smart phone paying no attention at all)
Mama Pony: (Wearing the fake-est smile EVER) Now kids this is really important to your father. (Her smile wavers slightly and she proceeds to take a handful of depression medication with a large shot of whiskey, returning the smile to it's full depressing glory) This will look great next to my world record breaking house of cards, our priceless but ridiculously fragile China, and the freshly baked souffles we are letting cool so that our hollow boned hemophiliac children may enjoy them!
...
(Papa Pony's ear twitches as he hears a distant screaming from above growing louder)
Papa Pony: Honey do you hear that?
Mama Pony: Hear what honey muffin? (Eye twitch)
(A grey unicorn stallion and a brown earth pony stallion smash through the ceiling at the other end of the house breaking absolutely none of those aforementioned items)
Chappy: (Struggles to hooves and adjusts his completely wrecked glasses) Okay, I know it looks like this was a bad idea, but in my defense, this was entirely your fault because reasons.
Sam: (Chops Chappy in half with his not-cardboard-keytar causing blood to splatter the words "MERRY CHRISTMAS" onto a nearby wall)
 
Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: sexual themes and violence/gore)
Silent Ponyille: Reunion
Lost Cause.
Part 29

------

"This again," he muttered to himself as he closed his office door.  The blackened entryway no longer stood out as prominently now that its surroundings were charred a matching black color.  The floor beneath him still felt fortunately solid despite the sudden onset of extensive fire damage.  The soft yet persistent buzzing of his watch told him that the sovereign was still lying on the balcony, and he was content to take its word for it.  So while everything was relatively fine for the moment he wasn't sure he would be able to say the same thing when his burned out house had also become rotten and battered.  

Lance sighed and took a moment to fish his newest health drink from his pack and drink about a third of the bottle's contents.  The pain was slowly coming back, but it wasn't so bad as to require the whole thing yet.  The cuts on his back weren't anywhere near deep enough to worry about too much, annoyances more than anything.  He knew he should be worried about infection from the rusted, filthy barbs that had been covering the nurse, but he was worrying less and less about such things.  If the dip in the tub alone hadn't already reduced him to a festering, inflamed mess, then he doubted anything there could.

So the question was, how exactly did infections just stop happening?

He put his drink away, moved down the hallway to the corner, and peeked around to the two other doors still waiting for him.  No matter his worries about the building's condition, he couldn't do anything but keep going.  The thought didn't do much for him as he approached the battered door though.  It was next in line.  It was only natural that it would be the one he'd enter after the burned door...but he couldn't bring himself to open it.  He stood there staring at it, rooted to the spot for a solid minute or so before tearing his gaze from it.  There was nothing forcing him to go through it next, so why should he?  He'd get to it eventually.  No need to continue standing there justifying it to himself.  Lance started for the molded door at the end of the hallway...which was also now bearing a note with black writing.

You're killing her.

...

"You've had enough time to watch me," he started as he tore the note off the door.  "There is no way you don't know that my wife is the only thing keeping me going.  But you want me to stop.  So that brings up an interesting question doesn't it?" he continued while staring at the doorknob.  "If you want me to stop so badly, why haven't you done the one thing that you know would most immediately make me give up?"  Lance's hoof took hold of the doorknob and turned.  "So either you can't...or you won't."

He opened the door.  The entryway that greeted him was ever so slightly at odds with the damp, mold infested panel of wood he'd just pulled aside.  It was almost pristine, without even so much as a speck of dust coming into view of the beam from his surgical light.  Even with how meticulous Lance could be, he couldn't manage to recall a time in all the years spent there by he and his family that the house had ever looked quite so clean.  Aside from one detail, the place would have passed for a real estate agency's open house.  He was fairly certain the blood red numbers drawn here and there on nearly every uncovered surface would have been a deal breaker though.  Every 303 was crossed out by a black X mark that he could only guess was keeping them from showing him anything.    

"You really don't want me to see something," he pondered to himself as he moved into the living room.  It was in much the same pristine yet sanguine graffiti riddled condition, with a quiet, steady tapping noise that would normally make him want to start checking pipes.  There was another bust in the same spot as the first, but the bed had been replaced with a gurney, thankfully a clean looking, unoccupied, completely inanimate one.  Though located in the same place, the bust itself was different, this time made from one solid, formidable looking sculpted piece of metal instead of having been put together with slipshod welding.  It also served as the indirect source of the tapping noise, a drop of water falling from above onto its forehead every few seconds.  Lance looked up to see a hole that had been precisely cut into the ceiling, complete with a paneled border and everything.  It exposed a single pipe, ending in a spigot with its valve opened just enough to let the water steadily drip.  As far as he could tell somepony had gone to great lengths to...slowly make the floor wet?

Something else was slowly creeping up on him the longer he spent in there.  He couldn't put his hoof on it either, it was just some intangible sense that something was off, and it had nothing to do with the numbers.  Everything was silent except for the dripping noise, his watch, and his own breathing, but that in itself wasn't odd at all.  It was something more extensive, like somehow the possibility of further sounds ever existing had been switched off.  The air felt heavier, every movement bringing the almost imperceptible feeling that he was having to force the air around him to give way rather than it flowing around him on its own, even though moving about wasn't any more difficult than before.  It was probably nothing though.  Probably.

There were no stacks of boxes filling up the current version of his dining room so it seemed the next logical choice.  The now expected bevvy of crossed out numbers continued in there, only interrupted by what looked like a wooden shipping palette bolted onto the wall on his left side as he entered, with the numbers seeming to thicken as they got closer to it.  There were words crudely carved into it, and although the message was so nearly illegible that it took him a moment to work out what it was saying, the intent of the writer still became clear in the end...

"I DON'T WANT TO"

...or at least as clear as a sentence fragment could manage.

"Don't want to what?" he muttered to himself as he continued looking the room over.  There was another gramophone waiting for him in the corner, and the obligatory glance at the back door reassured him there was still no way out.  Perhaps as some sliver of mercy, this version had been boarded shut, saving him the trouble of getting his hopes up in the slightest.  Their table was gone again, but this time there hadn't been so much as a hoof stool left behind to replace it.  The room felt much larger for all the missing furniture, making the trip over to the gramophone seem a bit longer than before.

The label on the record was a different color than the first.  Lance was left to imagine what sort of unrelated nonsense he was about to listen to as he gave the crank another few turns to move things along.

The recording began with the sound of hoof steps hurrying along a cobblestone street at a brisk trot.  As the unnamed pony continued, the clopping of their hooves was joined by a crowd's murmur drawing closer and closer.  The hoof steps came to a stop before the first voice spoke.

"What's the situation?"  Lance recognized the voice as that of the younger stallion he'd heard in the first recording.  Apparently he'd either made a miraculous full recovery or, far more likely, these were events that had taken place before the first record.

"An early morning patrol found a mare walking the streets alone looking visibly distressed, so they approached to ask if she was alright.  She cut one of their cheeks open with a scalpel and ran off.  The injured guard's partner helped him to the hospital, and they found out that same hospital had a patient sneak out last night matching the mare's description.  They got word out, another patrol spotted her, and apparently she didn't think she could outrun them because she made a beeline for that cafe right there, and now she's in that alley with some old stallion's grandson who she's threatening to slice open unless we let her go," a mare's voice explained in reply.

"We obviously can't do that...okay, what else do I need to know?  What's her problem exactly, why was she in the hospital?"

"We don't know exactly, but if she can give a guard a lopsided smile and then lead another two on a chase I'd hazard a guess her problem wasn't physical," the mare pointed out.  "Frankly we don't have the kind of time to figure that stuff out, she's getting more paranoid by the second, and if the captain hadn't told me to wait for you I would've already gotten on that roof with my crossbow and put her down."

"So...that's your recommendation here?  Kill her?" he asked with an ever so subtle hint of disapproval.

"Yeah.  Yeah it is.  I've been here watching her for over two hours.  I've seen ponies try to tell her nopony wanted to hurt her, that everypony only wanted to help her, but she's still not budging.  Every time somepony even starts to get near her she reacts like they're a bucking monster.  I don't know what's wrong with her or how long they tried to fix it, but as far as I'm concerned time is up.  The world will probably be better off with that colt in her hooves than it would be with a mare that would take an innocent foal hostage," she answered with little to no hesitation in her words.

"Okay then.  I'll take it under advisement.  Stay off the roof, if she spots anypony up there she'll panic.  You have any other details for me?  Things about the hostage I need to know?"

"What?  You can't be serious, you're going to try to talk that down?!"

"I asked for details, not questions, now are you going to help me or am I going to have to pull rank on you?"

...

"What do you need?" she asked hesitantly.

"Anything you can give me."

"All we know is that the kid's grandfather Laughlin was taking him out for breakfast while his parents were getting a surprise party ready for his birthday, the kid's name is-"

"So nothing useful then. I'm going in."

Before the as of yet unnamed stallion made it two steps away, the needle reaching the end of the record cut off all sound.  Lance took the needle off, leaving the gramophone to spin down.

"..."  He wanted to be able to say something about how the stallion had deserved what had become of him.  He wanted to hate him for his stupidly letting his ambition get the best of him at such a sensitive juncture, snuffing out an innocent life before it could barely get the chance to live.  He wanted to feel as though he could call somepony like that out for their callous apathy for another pony.  But even though all of those things were true, it had been a long, long time since he could say them in good conscience.

Now all the was left of the first floor was the hallway, which turned out to be a quick search, more of a glance really.  His surgical light fell upon door after door that had been boarded up until it reached the end of the hall, where the laundry room door waited with no visible obstructions.  Lance trotted the length of the corridor to check the doorknob, and found that it was unbroken, but locked.  There would be a key somewhere, and since he'd already searched the first floor that meant it had to be upstairs...hopefully someplace other than the balcony.  His watch was still warning him about his friend up there.

Lance made it four steps upward before his ear twitched and he stopped.  He looked toward the wall to his right and waited.  He could've sworn he'd heard some sort of squeaking sound outside the 'front' door, in the upstairs corridor of the central house, but it had been so faint it could likely have just been the house settling.  After another few moments he disregarded it as a needless distraction and continued upstairs.

Upon reaching the top he spotted two unobstructed doors and noticed that the numbers seemed to have been strewn even thicker upstairs.  His office was open in this version of the house too,  and the second open door was to his home library at the corner of the hallway.  He passed each one up though, intent on making sure he didn't blunder into another monster this time by clearing the corridor first.  There was nothing alive waiting for him around the corner, though what he did find was was not all that pleasant either.  A set of iron bars a few feet past Fluttershy's bedroom door blocked him from getting any closer to the master bedroom, the numbers and crosses getting so thick that the walls around the door were practically solid black with the occasional red spot.  The door itself was strangely bare save for another crudely carved message.

"LET ME"

He was beginning to rethink his whole 'open house' sentiment.

Lance momentarily felt both frustrated and appreciative at the writer's apparent inability to use complete sentences.  It was irritating not being able to make out the blur that resulted from the lack of clarity, but he simultaneously doubted that he wanted to see any of this clearly anymore.  At least he didn't have to ponder it any further; there were two rooms with which he could distract himself.

His home library had long served as a refuge where he could simply sit down, relax, and read things that had little to nothing to do with his job.  He had many a pleasant memory of evenings spent with his wife at his side as they both read whatever had their attention at the time.  They'd even taught Fluttershy to read there...which was a thought that made him suddenly want to get the search over with already.

The window that had once let sunlight into the room had been covered with taped on newspaper, the couple bits of furniture were gone, and the shelves that had once housed their books now laid bare. The only thing that remained was the grandfather clock near the far corner of the room that had for years ensured nopony lost track of time while reading. It still looked to be in fine condition, thought it wasn't working at that very moment.  The pendulum inside of the case had ceased to swing and the weights were at their lowest position.  Were it to ever tick again it would need the routine weekly pull on the two center chains to lift the weights back up, but that would be tricky.  A heavy chain was wrapped tightly around the case, keeping the door held shut.  Lance looked around the clock curiously but found nothing in the way of a padlock holding the chain together, it was all just one looped length of chain.  He wouldn't be sliding the chains off the top or bottom of the clock either;  the case was the timepiece's thinnest part and they were so tightly bound he had doubts that he could move them at all.  It seemed that this was something he would have to come back to later.

Lance moved on along the hallway to his open office, and what he found there was even less helpful than had been his chained up longcase clock.  Though there had been plenty of reading done in that room, none of it had been relaxing.  This was his business room where he read up on his various medical journals, studied new editions of the Equestrian Medical Association Official Compendium of Diseases and Conditions religiously, and handled the family finances because as distant as his accountant parents had been some things about them had rubbed off on their son.  Over the years it had become partially filled with boxes containing various documents and records, many of which would probably never have been needed but he had always figured it was better to be safe than sorry with such things.  To his now complete lack of surprise, none of those things were there anymore.  There was only his desk...with a rather curious thickening of numbers and crosses beneath it on the floor and another message messily carved into the top.

"PLEASE STOP"

"Sorry, I can't," he apologized to the writer.  He planted his front hooves on the side of the desk and pushed in attempt to see what it was hiding, but unexpectedly found that it absolutely refused to move.  Lance blinked in confusion and then looked downward, knowing full well that his desk had never been that heavy.  Though a sudden arbitrary change in weight would have been par for the course for recent events, the desk's weight had nothing to do with it.  It had been bolted to the floor...which meant this would be another thing he would have to come back to later.

The amber, blood, and bandage coated pegasus emerged into the hallway with brow furrowed in frustration.  Thus far he'd found a dripping pipe over a bust, a record that told him nothing, a locked door with no key, a door he couldn't reach because of some bars, a chained clock with no padlock, and a desk that might be hiding something but couldn't be moved.  The burned out version of his house had been self contained...perhaps that didn't hold true for this one.  Maybe skipping the battered door had been a bad idea after-

Lance just about leapt out of his skin as a loud crash of cracking wood sounded downstairs, followed soon after by an even louder rending and groaning of metal.  He stood stone still with his gaze transfixed upon the stairwell next to him in case anything was about to come up at him, but nothing did, leaving his watch to continue with the soft buzzing that had been nagging at his ears ever since entering the house.  There was only the steady noise of a repeated metallic tapping below him, daring him to descend and investigate.  With everything else leading to a dead end, he let out an unsteady breath and crept downstairs...stopping briefly as he heard that sound outside the door again.

The racket had come from the far end of the first floor hallway, and Lance saw the aftermath as soon as he looked right after stepping off the last stair.  The door to the laundry room had been bashed down and now laid in splintered pieces all over the floor.  Somepony had taken something with two red handles and jammed it into the top of the dryer so hard that it had pierced right through the metal and deformed it to the point that the rotating drum inside was now getting caught on something repeatedly.  There was a trail of dripped blood along the hallway floor, too copious to have been left by the grinning stalker.  Yet Lance hadn't heard any fluctuations in the buzzing of his watch, so the only other creature he knew could have done this hadn't moved...right?

He quietly trotted to the door and cautiously peeked inside to find the room unoccupied, then entered and turned the dryer off to stop the grating noise it had been making.  The two red handles sticking out of the top looked like a tool of some kind, so Lance took hold with both hooves and with some effort and time was able to wrench it free.  It was indeed a tool, a heavy bolt cutter in fact.  He instantly thought of the clock upstairs, but only managed a couple steps before an even better idea came to him.  Instead of the chains on the clock, he could just save himself any further trouble and cut the chains holding shut door 303!

With a new spring to his step Lance stashed the bolt cutters in his bag then hurried to the front door and turned the knob to open it.  All that resulted was the door opening a half inch before hitting something on the other side.  He let out a quiet grumble to himself, frustrated at this new obstacle.  After closing the door again he peered out the peephole to see if he could catch sight of what was stopping him, hoping that whatever it was would not prove so heavy as to be immovable.

The sounds outside hadn't been the structure settling after all.  There were two flesh sheet covered roller gurneys parked right in front of the door frame, the other three waiting on the ceiling and each wall.

Lance recoiled from the door with a sharp gasp, suddenly wanting to get as far away from it as possible.  He hurried back upstairs, quickly making his way to the library and shutting the door behind him, his breath coming a little heavier as he pondered the futility of running.  They moved freely in the unseen spaces, and he didn't have near enough eyes to stop them.  He'd been left alone so far though...best not waste time and tempt them to change their minds.

He brought the bolt cutters back out and caught a link of chain between the blades before snapping through them.  The chain length instantly fell to the ground in a noisy clatter, and the handles of the tool broke off as it began burning away to ash in his hooves.  Lance took a moment to hurriedly dust the ash off his hooves before opening the front panel of the clock case and pulling down on the chains until each of the weights were just below the clock's face.  He then moved the pendulum to its leftmost position and let it begin swinging freely.

It was like he could feel the first tick...and then the next, and then the next.  With each tick of the newly active clock, the vague feeling of all consuming stillness that he'd noticed when first entering ebbed away.  When it was entirely gone he breathed a sigh of relief, as though the very air around him had stopped weighing so much upon him.  But nothing else happened...the clock was now ticking away and that was all.  He'd revealed no new item or opened any path by doing this, and those gurneys were still outside, assuming they hadn't just let themselves in yet.

Wracking his mind trying to think of anything else to try, Lance opened the door again only to receive another shock.  His surroundings now quite well suited the rotted plank of wood that lead back to the 'normal' version of his house.  Most of the buildings he'd been through had been abandoned, but this one had been left behind for quite a while longer than any of them.  The air was moist and cold, his surroundings were covered by large patches of mold and bits of fungi that had rotted away a good chunk of the structure, and the smell of mildew was heavy in the air.  The house had an infection that had been left to relentlessly eat away at it for decades.

He stepped out and looked around in dreadful awe at the changes.  The floor felt a bit less stable but still able to support his weight reliably enough. What he was walking could still roughly be called 'carpet' but he never remembering carpet making a squishing noise with each step.  A great deal of the walls had been rotted away, baring the now dank and filthy insulation, broken wiring, and rusted pipes that were normally hidden.  What was left of the bars blocking his way to the master bedroom were a testament to the extent of the water damage.  They had rusted to such an extent that they were unable to so much as hold themselves together, now mostly laying in scattered rust red bits on the floor leaving only the segments directly connected to the wall to maintain their laughably ineffective guard.  It was difficult to tell if the black color covering the walls beyond was black mold or the cross marks anymore, and the door had been rotted to the point where the already hard to read message from before was now entirely gone.

Lance stepped through the boundary that the bars had once kept, his back hoof errantly knocking another rusted bit of metal from one of the lower segments in the floor.  The doorknob assembly of the door wasn't faring any better than the bars, and he had only to nudge his hoof against the door to make it swing inwards.  He flinched as the door hinges likewise gave way to their disrepair, the top hinge snapping free of the wall before the sudden shifting of weight broke the lower one.  The door fell, the fairly tame impact against the floor proving enough to make the rotted plank fall into two pieces with an assortment of wet wood bits between them.

He set his hoof down and looked up from the mess that had once been a door.  This room had been a treasured place to him...once.  It's actual state looked nothing like the squalor before him, but it suddenly occurred to him that it might as well have for the way he treated it.  The mirror above the drawer-less dresser was broken, the glass from the room's window was missing and the screen panel that had once accompanied it was blotched over with mold and fungal tendrils.  It was certainly a distressing sight but it wasn't until his eyes roamed over to the bed that things began to take a turn for the sinister.

Their bed frame was absent, leaving only a sheetless mattress on top of a box spring.  It was stained a horrible orange maroon color in patches all over, and there was what he could only assume was dried blood that had pooled on the floor after trickling over the side.  In the middle of the mattress was a hole only a little larger than the space a pony would occupy while lying down.  Tight leather straps held it all in place, the ends of each strap held fast to the floor via bolted metal plates.  They crossed over the hole in varying, sometimes overlapping angles, allowing one to look inward but not enter...or exit.  Lance approached the hole and hesitantly peered downward, greeted again by an infinite unending blackness that even his surgical light couldn't penetrate.  He could also hear that same quiet, unending sound of exhalation that he'd heard in between the floors of the hospital...only this time it surprised him by pausing briefly and resuming, as though changing to an inhalation.

He would have left the room immediately save for having caught sight of something shimmering on the dresser when the beam of his light passed over.  It was a small key with an attached tag on which the words 'FOR A GOOD TIME' were written with an accompanying heart symbol.  Though he no longer immediately needed a key, he assumed it would prove useful later and stashed it away before getting the buck out of there.

Lance took a glance to his left into the library as he passed the corner of the hallway.  The rot from the rest of the house had taken advantage of his absence and moved right on in.  Whilst the clock was now in a severe state of mold riddled, fungi eaten disrepair it still manage to tick onward somehow, though the sound was so severely distorted from it's formerly comforting rhythm.  He moved along towards the stairs but was stopped by the sound of voices in his office.

"Lance, please, you're not looking at this reasonably," came Posey's voice.

"Posey?" he replied as he trotted up to the office door and looked inward.  It was indeed Posey, but she wasn't standing in the present.  He saw his younger self seated at the desk looking over their bank statements as his wife stood next to him with a distinct frown.

"How am I not looking at this reasonably Posey?  We just spent a bunch of money on buying this house and moving in just a month ago, and we need to have enough on hoof at all times to take care of Fluttershy.  I'm sorry, we just don't have enough to safely spare right now," the young Lance replied as he looked over at her and pointed his hoof at the form he'd been examining.

"Honey, we have plenty, and even if things might be a bit tight for maybe a week if I go ahead and buy it, did you see  your last paycheck?" Posey countered.

"Just because I'm making more doesn't mean we can afford to buy whatever luxuries we want yet sweetheart, we need to wait a bit longer and make sure things are stable here first," Lance said with a note of finality before opening a desk drawer and slipping the form into a folder inside.

"Luxury?  Lance...my cutie mark is three flowers.  I'm a gardener.  I love growing things, as a job or as a hobby, it doesn't matter to me.  It's as much a luxury to me as being a doctor is to you.  I just thought you'd realize that I kind of left my dream job behind in Manehatten so that you could go after yours," she replied in a bout of exasperation that soon gave way to plain old sadness.

"..."

"Lance it's not like I think you're a bad pony for wanting to make sure our daughter is well provided for.  But, I guess I don't see this huge risk that you're seeing.  I only see a little bit of a chance that you won't take that would make me so much happier here at home, because Fluttershy is wonderful and I love her dearly but if I had this cloud enchanted soil to make a nice big garden with, it would be absolutely perfect," Posey pressed further at his lack of reply.

"Wait," his present self muttered.

"I'm still thinking like I'm on intern pay aren't I?" Lance asked after a brief pause before sighing.  "Might be something you and Fluttershy could do together too...and you're right, it really isn't fair."

Her expression brightened a bit and she smiled at him with a nod.

"Okay...you convinced me."

She gasped happily. "Really?"

"Yep, send them the check before I change my mind," he said with his own nod and smile.

"Well since you insist," Posey agreed with a smirk before walking toward the door.

"What...not even a hug?" Lance asked behind her.

"You don't get a hug or kiss just for not being a jerk," she teased back while looking over her shoulder and sticking out her tongue at him.

"Whatever, you'll just ambush me later," he replied with a smirk of his own as he pulled the latest issue of his medical journal of choice from the shelf.

"Oh you think so huh?" she answered with a quiet chuckle. "...Probably."

Time stopped in the scene, and then it slowly burned away into nothingness.  The vision of his office in its pristine form was replaced with an empty neglected room containing a desk that had fallen apart through the apparent ages, revealing the blood red number 303 beneath that promptly boiled away.

"..."

------

"Yeah," she reluctantly agreed with a sigh.  "Just such a shame to see them like this after you insisted on buying the cloud enchanted soil for me."

"...what?"

"Hrm?  Don't you remember?  I was too worried for Fluttershy to spend the money on it after we moved up here, but you insisted because you knew how much I loved gardening.

"..."

"Lance?"

"Yeah, I...remember that."


------

"Just...keep moving," he ordered himself before hoofing it downstairs.  If this was anything like the burned version of his house, he would have to figure out some way to get something out of the bust in the living room, and hopefully do so before the roller gurneys decided to come insi-

Never mind.

Once he'd stepped past the entryway he saw all five of them arranged in a semi circle in the living room, with the bust as their apparent focus.  It was the hospital day room all over again, save for the small favor of them being right next to a door this time.  Though he did not exactly expect it to prevent the door from closing on him if it desired as much, he took a moment to duck into the entryway and preemptively open the door anyway.  With his escape route semi-secure he craned his neck around the corner to get a look at the bust.  The dripping water from the overhead pipe had slowed considerably, likely partially blocked from rust, but it made little difference as the water had clearly already done its job in the ages that had passed so quickly.  What once had been a solidly constructed metal bust was now only the bottom half of one that had yet to rust away completely.  Unfortunately he wouldn't be able to see what was inside until he got closer...much closer.

"As long as there's five I'm fine," he muttered to himself, keeping his eyes glued to the undersides of the gurneys as he crept closer and closer to the bust.  The urge grew stronger and stronger with each step until it was practically an unseen knife stabbing at his gut...and that was before he knew he'd have to turn his back on them.  It was alright though...deep down he knew his ears and watch would warn him if any of them were going to act up...or if it was.  He still wasn't entirely sure how to refer to it...them...whichever.

Lance took a deep breath and turned toward the bust, finding what he was looking for immediately.  He reached in and retrieved another small triangular tablet, this one bearing an engraving of a withered pony hanging upside down, manacled and chained inside of some kind of rectangular metal caging that was suspended from the ceiling.  The inscription below the image read 'The Heretic', and Lance turned it to see a letter C on the opposite side.

His watch's steady buzzing switched all at once to calamitous screeching accompanied by a flurry of squeaking wheels behind him.  A shock went down his spine and he whirled around to confront...nothing.  The gurneys were all gone without a trace...but now that he was looking back toward the dining room he could not help but notice how clean it had mysteriously become.  He glanced around quickly, breath still a bit accelerated from the sudden adrenaline spike as he made certain that they were truly gone before stowing away the tablet and continuing.  Lance only made a step or two into the dining room before he saw a young filly Fluttershy, his wife, and himself approach the back door.

"Ready to go see the shooting stars my little angel?" Posey asked melodiously, looking down at the small yellow filly with a smile as she opened the door.

"Yes!" she replied excitedly as her little wings gave a couple flaps of excitement.

"Hang on dear, don't you want to put on a coat?" his past self asked, wearing his old coat as he held out Posey's and Fluttershy's.

"What?  Why?  I barely ever wear a coat.  I like the cold, it's refreshing!" Posey replied, the cold air from outside already starting to make her breath visible.  The younger Lance wordlessly made a subtle head motion toward their daughter, prompting Posey to turn his attention back to her.

"I'm j-j-j-just l-l-like M-M-M-Mommy!" Fluttershy proclaimed proudly as she stood there shivering in the doorway.

Posey's eyes widened briefly before she snatched her coat from Lance's hoof and starting putting it on.  "Um I mean it's a good idea to wear our coats when it's cold out, you might catch a cold and colds are no fun!"

"Oh! Ok-k-k-kay!" the little filly said as she walked over to her father and let him start putting on her coat.

"Actually it's not the cold itself that makes you sick, but staying warm does improve your chances of keeping away the things that do," Lance explained as he got his daughter's coat on then pulled the little hood over her ears to keep them warm.

"Thank you Daddy," Fluttershy said, fidgeting a bit until the cold weather garment fit comfortably.

"You're welcome sweetie."

"Can I go outside now Mommy?" she asked her mother, turning to look up at her.

"Yes Fluttershy, Mommy and Daddy will be right out, don't try and fly over the fence again," she gently warned her.

"I woooon't," the little filly whined as she finally got to go outside and look up at the sky.

"Thanks Lance," Posey said quietly after their daughter was out of earshot.

"No problem, I'll just have to remember this next time you give me grief about all the mistakes I made so far," he replied with a smirk as he stepped past her, eliciting a scoff from the purple maned mare.

"Oh like my list of stuff you've messed up isn't ten times as long," she snarked back with a chuckle.

"Whatever," the younger Lance blurted out dismissively as he looked back at her over his shoulder still wearing that same smirk.

"Jerk face," she scolded, though the way she giggled and followed behind him completely took any sting out of her proclamation.

Once she'd closed the door behind her, it lit up with another blaze of smoldering red flame that consumed the entire room and bared the rotting present anew.  Lance turned to his left, seeing that the pallet once bolted to the wall had decayed to ruin exactly like his desk, exposing another hidden 303 that burned itself away into an ill smelling vapor.  He looked back toward the door out of which the visions of his past had stepped with a haggard, fearful look in his eyes.  Every bit of that memory had been true...

------

"I was cold..."

"...so I...put the dress on..."


------

"..." he turned and walked toward the front door, unable to shake the dread in his stomach that was steadily growing more and more tense.  As he was about to reach the entryway he heard a stirring and a few sharp hoof falls behind him from above.  Lance looked over his shoulder and up to see that the bloodied alicorn was now sitting on the walkway over the living room, resting her head on the railing as she leered intently at him but made no move otherwise.  They regarded one another for a few long moments before Lance tore his gaze away and stepped into the entryway.  He placed his hoof on the rusty doorknob, and then remained there looking at the floor with a distant, blank expression.

If only there had been monsters waiting for him instead of memories...
Silent Ponyville: Reunion pt.29
Next Part: LET'S SEE IF WE CAN'T GET PART 30 BEFORE 2015 SHALL WE?!
Previous Part: Silent Ponyville: Reunion pt.28

Holy crap you guys it's been eight months where the HELL have you all been?!
(Runs down street from torch wielding mob dodging thrown pitchforks)
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In review, this was kind of the year I put a lot of effort into doing nothing! That’s right, absolutely nothing because the all of TWO CHAPTERS of Reunion that I finished are the only ones that count. Blog posts? Don’t count. Journal entries? Don’t count either. People don’t track me for those, and the fact that I’ve spent so much effort on them instead of Reunion has probably lost the interest of many fine folks who started reading my work because of Lance’s gory and depressing trek. But I can’t help wondering what would have happened if I’d done the episode blogs up like right proper post-able stories that could stand center stage instead of being off to the side. So I suppose this year is as good a time as any to find out. In accordance with that, here’s a bit of what I’m planning to work on in 2015:

A parody series much like my episode blogs. They will start at Friendship is Magic Part 1 and proceed from there. They will no longer be in script format, which is a change that needs to happen for them to be allowable at Fimfiction so that people can freely read and comment on them. This will also allow me to monitor view counts so that I can gauge interest and decide if it will continue or if it’s something I should abandon instead of injecting more time into it. Still trying to decide on a title. Overall it’ll be a small stupid easy hopefully entertaining thing I can work on between more serious fare.

Something new. That’s all I’m saying for now, you’ll find out a bit more this weekend.

Finishing Reunion. As of right now I have not written word one of the next chapter nor will I begin until I finish the first tidbit of the new thing. After that however, I will try to get Lance through this excruciatingly long trek that has taken three years for me to slowly write so far, so that we may all move on at long friggin’ last. To be honest, the Manehatten General segment pretty much killed the story for me due to my disastrous over planning for it, and it’s left the lingering impression that further writing is futile because nobody in their right mind would ever stick around through all of that nonsense, as though I’m trying to revive a patient that died from a massive tumor six weeks ago. Every time I sit down and try to write it pretty much goes like this:
Me: Now to write some Reunion finally!
Brain: The huge wave of MLP craze has died down to normal levels now that the show isn’t the completely unexpected hit it was to begin with. Nobody is interested in Silent Ponyville anymore because Sam is no longer writing it. Grimdark is a niche interest and grimdark stories that people have to spend time reading are an even nichER interest. You know what’s even more niche than a grimdark fic though? A grimdark fic that’s over 200,000 words and has been in the writing process for three years. Manehatten General made half of your readers go “fuck this garbage” and the other half went “fuck this writer” when you took an entire year to write two chapters. Nobody cares anymore. Stop pretending to be a writer and go back to playing WoW and watching Youtube like the eleven dollars an hour disposable piece of wasted parental effort and potential shit you are.
Me: … (Sighs and closes Open Office before pouring a glass of Crown Royal)
So yeah, that sucks. I don’t know how much of that is remotely rational thinking and how much of that is just my ever present mental subroutine of self flagellation, but it is what it is and those are the thoughts I have to shrug off before I manage to write anything.
But bear in mind that even in the hypothetical world where absolutely nobody was reading Reunion anymore, I would feel like I need to finish the story right, just to know that I got the job well and truly done. So don’t worry after reading the above, it will still be finished.

Learning to draw. Yep, unknown to all of you I actually spent much idle time during high school and my brief attempt at college refining drawing skills that have since withered. They still exist though. In fact I have several bits of half assed concept art that I doodled on notepads and MSPaint while trying to refine the design of Reunion monsters that have me convinced I can in fact draw some pony art with practice. This one’s low on the list though, my writing takes priority and I’d really need to buy a tablet and find enough living space to use it comfortably, because right now I have a single bedroom’s worth of space to use for my own purposes. It would be pretty damn nice though, and give me the ability to offer followers/watchers something other than text that they’d have to devote a lot of time to reading.

And that is basically my plans going into 2015. Hope you all have a great New Years Day and get to do something great in the year to come.

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:iconcidersplice:
CiderSplice Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2015  Professional Interface Designer
+fav Thanks
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:iconxeno-the-hedgehog:
Xeno-the-Hedgehog Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
It would seem that you haven't posted anything in several months.  Are you alright?
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:iconbrony17:
Brony17 Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2014
I'm still here, and I'm planning for October to be a busy month here.
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:icongodzillabadger:
godzillabadger Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanx for the fave! :)
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:iconcheshiretwilight:
CheshireTwilight Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the :+fav: :iconthumbsupplz:
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:icondereliict:
Dereliict Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013
hey bro! i love your writing and i cannot wait for the next installment of Reunion

another thing though, you need to let EqD know that you have indeed updated your stories, cause i tried letting them know that you have had several installments since the last update on there, but they need the author to directly contact them.

you'll get quite an extreme boost in viewership if you do ^^
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:iconbrony17:
Brony17 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2013
I've been trying.  I would send them an email containing a link to each new chapter and thus far they haven't done anything to update the page since part 21 came out.  If you'll notice, the EQD page for Silent Ponyville hasn't updated at all, still showing Silent Ponyville 3 part 7 as the latest chapter of that story even though Sam recently put up part 11.  We both kind of gave up on getting them to post it and decided we would just try again when our stories were completely done.  I don't know what the issue is.  :(

But if they bothered to respond to you I suppose I could try sending them links to chapters 22 through 26 again.
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:iconnotagoodusername360:
NotAGoodUsername360 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2013
Valve time is best time
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:icontlmb:
TLMB Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Valve time?
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:iconbrony17:
Brony17 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013
Valve, the development company, is notorious for delays and missing deadlines, so a joke came up where there is normal time and 'valve time' that is actually five or six times longer than normal time, like a 'Valve week' or a 'Valve month'.
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