DYSTOPONIA

a "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" fanfic

by Erin Mills

"My Little Pony" ©2012 Hasbro

CONTINUITY NOTE: The events of this story take place somewhere between "It's About Time" and "A Canterlot Wedding."

Prologue

Visions

The Curse is spreading.

I may not be able to see it with my own eyes, but I know it's spreading. I hear it in the wind, smell it in the air, taste it in my food. It's been spreading ever since the war ended. The Forest isn't the only place where the rules are different anymore.

Equestria is dying.

How long has it been since the last battle? Time has ceased to have all meaning here. The sun stays perpetually under the horizon. The remains of the moon hang in the sky. It's been a long time, years, but that's about as specific as anyone can get. The war and the Curse haven't affected anypony's ability to age and I know I'm nowhere near as young as I used to be.

Of course, back then, before Ponyville became a ghost town, and the Duchess conquered the world, I wasn't anywhere near as smart as I am now. Side effects of the last battle, I suppose. Along with my other little trick.

My other little trick which tells me that Equestria has about six months before history as we know it comes to an end. I have no idea how. I have no idea what will cause it. But I know for an absolute fact that six months from now everything just...stops.

I wish Twilight Sparkle and her friends were here. But of course, they aren't. They've been gone for a long time and if they hadn't done what they did, the war would probably still be raging today. I don't know if that would be a good thing or a bad thing anymore. Honestly, I don't even know where the Duchess came from, or how she seized power, or what happened to the princesses. I don't know who bombed the palace. I don't know what started the war in the first place.

I just don't know what went wrong.

The Duchess rules from Canterlot. Her Governors rule the major cities. And here, here in the heart of the Forest, Zecora and I do what we can to keep the ponies that flee from the Duchess and her forces safe.

We don't know why, but the Duchess can't come here. Her minions evaporate when they come within the boundaries of the Forest. The animals actively attack the Duchess when she tries to enter. It's ironic really, that the last safe place in Equestria from her is just as dangerous to us.

The Curse has gotten stronger since the war ended. And from everything we hear in the other parts of Equestria, there's whole sections where the animals run wild and the weather does whatever it wants to do. But it's nowhere nearly as bad as what happens in the Forest if somepony is foolish enough to stray from the path Zecora has laid out to the settlement.

Pinball Wizard thought he could forge a new way through the Forest. When he arrived at the settlement he had...changed. His expression was blank. His legs didn't bend the way they used to. His eyes were smaller and weirdly placed almost on each side of his head. He couldn't talk anymore and he didn't seem to understand what we were saying to him.

But worst of all, his cutie mark was gone.

We tried to find out what happened to him, but he just stared at us for a minute before going over to a small patch of grass...And he started EATING it.

After a while he wandered off into the Forest. We haven't see him since.

Zecora and I keep wondering if that will happen to the settlement one day. If everypony in Equestria will end up like Pinball Wizard. Maybe that's why everything stops in six months. Maybe I'll go the same way. Maybe we'll all revert to the primordial state that Twilight Sparkle kept saying ponies were like millions of years ago.

Twilight Sparkle. Fluttershy. Applejack. Rainbow Dash. Rarity. Pinkie Pie.

The world made so much more sense when they were around. Yeah, I never really hung out with many of them except Rainbow Dash. Well, and Pinkie Pie. Show me anypony in Ponyville that hasn't hung around with Pinkie Pie.

I still miss them all the same. Things were better when they were around.

But they're gone. And all the magic in the world wouldn't be enough to bring them-

Wait...what the...

Oh. Oh WOW.

It's splitting. The future is SPLITTING!

Something is going to happen. Something which can cause the future to split. Something which might be able to save Equestria. Save us all.

It's not certain. There's still two paths open. One where everything ends in six months and the other...

That's weird. The other loops back on itself. I've never seen that before. Well not "seen," but you get the idea.

Whatever is going to happen it's going to happen soon. Two weeks, maybe three.

I need to tell Zecora.

We need to be ready.