Edited by: xtremesmw
12 years in the past
Derpy Hooves hid underneath the blue blankets of her bed fighting against the tears that demanded to be free. She had just come back from school where she had spent the day being ridiculed by her fellow students, all because of her eyes.
The young grey pegasus' eyes had a strange habit of looking away from each other and, as one classmate had put it, made her look weird. It didn't help that when her eyes did this, her depth perception became mumbled up making her bump or trip over things. Because of these incidents, the other ponies had been calling her names like "googly eyes" or "ditzy doo" not caring whether she was in earshot or not.
Suddenly there was a knock at her bedroom door. "Derpy, dear is everything alright?" asked her mother's gentle voice.
Derpy pull the blanket tighter around herself. "G…go away. I… I just what to be alone."
"Come now dear let me in." her mother cooed her. "I got muffins."
At those three words the grey pegasus lifted her head slightly, peeking at the door though the sheets. "Are they chocolate chip?"
There was a moment of silence as Derpy took a moment to consider whether she was sad enough to say no to her favourite food.
"You can come in." she said mournfully.
The bedroom door opened, revealing an older grey pegasus with a long golden mane wearing a pink apron and carrying a plate of muffins in her mouth. Putting the plate on the nightstand she took a seat next to the mass of blankets. "Now dear, do you want to tell me why you're crying?" she asks.
The filly beneath the blankets didn't answer her mother, but instead quickly took one of the muffins from the plate and slowly nibbled on it.
"Did something happen at school today?"
Derpy remained silent.
"Were they calling you names again?"
There was a sudden sniffle, before a part of the blanket began to move up and down. "They called me googly eyes."
"Oh, my poor baby." Her mother said wrapping her arms around her blanket covered daughter. "It's okay."
"No it's not!" Derpy cried as she pressed her head against her mother's neck. "Everyone make fun of me and calls me a freak because of these stupid eyes of mine. I hate my eyes, and I hate my life!"
"Now you listen here Derpy Sapling Hooves." Her mother said in a stern voice, pulling her daughter in front of her to look her directly in the eyes. "The world will not always be fair and you will meet ponies who are mean and selfish. But I promise you, you will find ponies who will accept you for who you are. Unlike the ones at school they see past your eyes and see the kind hearted and fun loving little girl that I know and love."
Derpy looked into her mother's eyes for what felt like forever. The tears had stopped flowing down her face and she was feeling less sad than before.
"Really?" she asked.
"Really." with that the two embrace each other in a warm hug.
"Do you think a boy will see me that way too?"
At the mention of the word 'boy' her mother's eyes widened to the size of saucers. "Uh… maybe dear, uh… why do you ask?"
"I just wanted to know if I'll have a husband when I grow up." Derpy asked not realising that the conversation was making her mother somewhat uncomfortable.
"I'm sure you will honey, and I'm sure he will love you just as much as I do. But there is still a long time until then. Okay?"
"Good, now would you mind passing me a muffin?"
For the rest of the afternoon Derpy and her mother sat in her room eating chocolate chip muffins and talking about the friends she would one day meet.
534 years in the future
"Dr. Whooves, you can't do this!" Cronus protested to the brown stallion who was busy dragging a large piece of cable to what looks like a miniature blue barn. The brown horse ignored his fellow scientist as he plugged in the cable at the back of the barn.
"The TARDIS isn't ready for this. If you try to activate the time vortex now it could explode, or cause a planet wide blackout, or-"
"Or it could do what we built her to do." The Doctor said cutting him off. He walked over to the other side of the lab to get another cable. "Honestly Cronus, you need to relax."
"Relax!" roared the blue stallion who was following behind the doctor. "You want me to relax!?"
"Yes, if you wouldn't mind."
Cronus shook his head at his friend in disgust. Why does Whooves have to do something insanely dangerous every time we work together? He thought to himself. True, his recklessness had made him a famous inventor, at the price of being deemed a mad scientist. The Doctor actually found the idea funny and would often dress up as one on Nightmare Night.
"You're insane." The blue stallion sighed realising it was hopeless to try to talk him out of doing this.
The Doctor chuckled lightly as he connected the last of the cable to the TARDIS. "Well, you know what they say about geniuses being confused with the insane." He said. (?)
With all the power cables connected to the blue barn, the two scientists opened its doors and stepped in. On the outside, the barn looked as if it could only fit one or two ponies at a time. However, the inside showed a much different story. The inside of the TARDIS was as large as a ballroom with a large pillar standing in the centre.
Dr. Whooves moved to one of the many panels that surrounded the pillar, causally mumbling to himself as he started to press buttons and pull levers. Cronus meanwhile stood by the door, ready to run if there was the slightest sign of danger.
"Okay, that should do it." said the Doctor as he finished typing on the panel. "Now all we need to do is activate the time vortex, pump in enough power to bring the main computer online then open a controlled wormhole without causing a permanent rip in the space-time continuum. Simple."
"Simple," Cronus muttered under his breath, "You always say that."
"Cronus, would you mind closing the door please." Dr. Whooves called back going to the other side of the pillar to type on another panel. "We wouldn't want to be sucked out when we enter the wormhole now, would we."
"Don't you mean, if we enter a wormhole?"
The Doctor chuckled lightly. "I'd think that you would know by now that I never deal with 'ifs'."
"Of course, how silly of me." Cronus said sarcastically, before closing and locking the door. "I still think this is going to end with you killing us."
"Oh really, then why are you still here?"
"Well, if this thing does work and we actually manage to travel though time I'm not letting you take all the credit." He said making, the Doctor chuckle again.
Taking his place, opposite from the Doctor, the two stallions began to slowly bring their invention to life. Bringing the main computer online was the easy part; however, activating the Time Vortex was an entirely different matter. The device had to be carefully fed power. Too much, and their years of work, along with their lives, would go up in flames. Too little, and it would not activate.
"How's everything looking at your end?" Dr. Whooves asked while keeping an eye on the power readings on the screen before him.
"Good so far." The blue stallion answered, also keeping his eyes on his screen. "But the Time Vortex needs a lot more energy than I expected."
"From the top of my head I would say… twenty-five percent."
The Doctor lifted his head and looked at his friend sceptically. "I thought you said anything over twenty percent would be bad."
"Well, that's what the simulations say." Cronus said looking back at the Doctor who, to his surprise, looked as if he was having second thoughts. "Don't suppose you've change your mind?"
Dr Whooves looked up at the blue stallion who stared at him with questioning eyes. My doubt must be showing, He thought as he turned his attention back to the screen before him. Truth be told, he had his doubt about going through with this since he came to the lab and found Cronus going over the TARDIS's blueprints.
His original plan was to try and activate the machine by himself. That way if by the small chance it did explode, his life would be the only one in danger. That plan had since flown out the window now that Cronus had decided to stay rather than leave like most ponies would have done. I'm beginning to rub off on him. The image of the blue stallion wearing the Doctor's red bowtie would have brought a smile to his face if he wasn't trying to decide whether or not to go through with his potentially suicidal plan.
"Whooves?" Cronus called, snapping the Doctor out of his mental escapade. "Well, are we going to do this or not?"
The brown stallion looked at his friend, to the screen, and then back to Cronus. He had come too far now to just turn around and leave with his tail in between his legs, but what if something bad did happen.
No, he thought giving his head a quick shake to clear his mind of doubt, I do not deal with "ifs" the machine is going to work perfectly just as I calculated.
With that, the Doctor gave Cronus one of his cocky smiles. "Of course we are." He said in his usual cheery voice.
Cronus gave a small sigh. He was hoping the Doctor would have second thoughts and stop the test, but he should have known better. Once he set his mind on something, nothing could change it, not even himself.
"Alright then," the blue stallion muttered, "let's start with getting twenty percent. Then if we have the time, pray."
The two scientists began the long and painfully agonizing process of feeding the Time Vortex power. Soon they heard a soft humming sound coming from the pillar which made both the ponies both excited and cautious. The device was slowly activating and they were only at seventeen percent.
"So far, so good." Cronus said sounding slightly more confident than before.
Dr. Whooves, on the other hand, was feeling even more nervous than ever as he watched the power level rise. For some strange reason, there was a small voice in the back of his head demanding he stop the test, that it was too dangerous, but he ignored it. All of his calculations said that the chance of something going wrong was virtually zero.
The humming sound from the pillar grew even louder and a faint glow could be seen in its core. Cronus was growing more and more excited for each passing second. I can't believe this, he thought, it's actually working. The Time Vortex is actually responding!
When they finally reached twenty percent, the glow within the pillar was almost reaching the top and bottom, and the humming was almost deafening.
"It needs more power." Cronus said impatiently like a child who wanted to open his birthday present early.
The Doctor noticed this and raised one of his eyebrows in a questioning manner. "You've change your tune," he said, "What happened to the whole 'I'm going to kill us all' stuff?"
"That was before I saw these read outs." The blue stallion replied defensively. "The power levels are steady, the core is nowhere near the red zone and the Time Vortex is responding perfectly. Just a little more energy and we'll make history." For a moment the Doctor shared his friend's enthusiasm, but then he saw something on the computer screen that made his stomach tired up in knots. It was a small energy surge from the Time Vortex, so small in fact that most scientists wouldn't have seen it or paid it attention to it. Luckily, Dr. Whooves wasn't like most scientists.
"Cronus, we need to shut the TARDIS down, now!" He shouted, barely controlling his panic.
The blue stallion looked at the Doctor, confused by the sudden urgency. "What!" he said. "Why?"
"There's no time to explain, just do it!"
"But we've come so far," Cronus protested not wanting to lose his chance of becoming a renowned scientist like his friend, "I don't see anything on my screen that would call for an immediate shutdown."
"JUST DO IT!"
For a moment the blue stallion was stunned by the Doctor's sudden outburst. It was extremely rare for the Doctor to raise his voice, and even when he did, it was only in the most serious of situations.
After regaining his senses, Cronus reluctantly followed the Doctor's orders to perform the shutdown, but the computer wouldn't respond to the command. In fact, it was continuing to feed power to the Time Vortex.
"What are you doing?" Dr Whooves shouted, "I said shut it down!"
"I'm trying, but the computer isn't responding!"
"Blast it." the Doctor cursed, slamming his hooves onto the panel. This was what he was afraid of. Even though they had performed extensive research on the device, there was still a great deal they did not know about it, or what would happen if it was given too much power.
He looked at the screen to find the power levels had reached twenty-eight percent and rising. Everything in a fifteen-mile radius could be reduced to a very large smoking hole in the ground. Cronus was also rattling his brain for a way to shut down the machine.
Suddenly, the blue stallion thought of the cables the Doctor had plugged before the start of all this madness.If we can't shut it down on the inside, then maybe we can shut it down on the outside, he thought. With that, Cronus ran towards the entrance at top speed, not even bothering in letting the Doctor in on his plan.
"Cronus, wait!" the Doctor called out to him, "Where do you think you're going?"
"I'm going to pull the plug!" He called back.
Dr. Whooves was confused for a moment, but then his eyes widened in realization. Of course, why didn't I think of that! He thought as he rushed to his friend's side. However, if he had stayed at his station he would have seen the words;Quantum Leap activatedflash across his screen.
Cronus reached the doors first with the Doctor a couple of steps behind. The blue stallion quickly pulled the doors open expecting to see the familiar lab where they had been working in for the past five years. What he found was beyond his comprehension.
Instead of the large white room with cables littering the floor, the pony was staring at what he could only describe as a tunnel of light. He stayed where he was for a brief moment, his face the perfect image of shock and confusion before suddenly being pulled out of the TARDIS by some invisible force.
Cronus screamed in horror as his hooves left the safe contact of the time machine's floor. He tried to grab on to something, but it happened too fast. There was nothing he could do to save himself from being pulled into the tunnel. Just as he had lost hope, he felt something grab onto one of his legs. Looking back at the entrance of the time machine he saw the Doctor hanging out of the TARDIE with one hoof holding his leg and the other securely holding onto the machine's doorframe.
"PULL ME BACK IN! PULL ME BACK IN!" the blue stallion shouted at the top of his lungs.
"I'm trying!" the Doctor grunted as he tried to pull his friend back to the safety of the time machine.
It was a losing battle as the Doctor could feel his grip on Cronus' leg was slipping. The blue stallion felt this too, and began to twist and turn in the hope of getting a grip on the Doctor's arm with his own fore-hooves. This however, only caused the chestnut brown stallion's grip to become even looser.
"Cronus! Stop moving around, you're making me lose my grip!" Dr. Whooves called out. Whether he heard him or not, he could not say, as the fellow scientist was begging him not to let go.
Pulling with all the strength he had, the Doctor slowly pulled himself back into the TARDIS with his hoof still holding onto Cronus' leg. As soon as his hind legs touched the machines floor he grabbed the blue stallions other leg with his free hoof, making the job of pulling him back in easier. The Doctor smiled as he was seconds from bringing his friend back into the time machine.
"Don't worry Cronus, I've almost got you." He said pulling with all of his might.
But just as he had half of the blue stallion's body through the doorframe, disaster struck. Out of nowhere, a sudden bolt of energy crushed against the time machine with enough force to knock the Doctor off his hooves. For one brief moment he could see Cronus' eyes widen in horror as the hooves that were keeping him from flying into the abyss were suddenly gone.
The last thing he saw of his friend was him reaching for the doorframes, calling out his name as he was sucked out of the time machine. "CRONUS!" the Doctor cried as he got back onto his feet.
He quickly ran back to the doors in the hope that he could still save him, but deep down inside he knew there was nothing he could do. Cronus was gone. Washed away in a portal through time where he could have died upon being swept away, or permanently stuck in a time limbo.
For a moment the Doctor stood by the door looking out into the tunnel, trying to come up with a plan to save his friend from a fate that could very well be worse then death. But nothing came to him. Here was the great brilliant Dr. Whooves, the pony who everyone called the smartest pony who ever lived and yet, for the first time in his life, he didn't know what to do.