6 days later…
"No, bowties are cool, Doctor. You should wear one," Octavia stammered. She nearly tossed her drink against the wall in an attempt to make her point. The chilled brandy was very precious to the cello player at this point. The Time Lord opposite her, who was slightly less drunk replied.
"I-I don't really think it's me. Have you really never had a banana?" He always seemed to start on bananas when he was drunk. He would have told Octavia to slow down on the drink but she seemed to be having fun, plus he was afraid that Octavia would bite his hand off if he tried to take the brandy away from her. She really liked that stuff apparently.
"Nah, they always looked weird to me. Vinyl's always been more into pears so she always gets some from Forelle in the market. Did you know that she's from Poma? I've always wanted to go there!"
"Pears!" The Doctor cried out. "Yuck! I can't even look at pears. If Martha was here she would tell you that I hate pears. You shouldn't have even brought it up; I can taste it on my tongue." After a moment the Doctor appeared to forget what he was saying and he continued on with his rant about his trust in bananas.
"Octavia, stop right there!" He said forcefully. He didn't raise his voice but his tone had a sense of command in it. "I am going to get a banana and you are going to eat it in front of me." The Doctor got up and waddled towards the back of the TARDIS while he left Octavia lying on her side on the coach. He said one last thing before he left. "Octavia, you should never leave home without a banana. Bananas are good."
The next morning…
Not even Time Lords were safe from hangovers. The Doctor would be berating himself for quite some time for forgetting that. The pounding feeling against the Doctors skull quickly became a nuisance as he took his first cautious steps towards getting up. His eyes gently flickered open but the lights above him were too intense. Eventually his eyes adapted and they were fully open. He could tell that he was in the TARDIS which he considered a blessing and that he was lying on the couch located next to the TARDIS control panel. A thought crossed his mind that Twilight may have seen him in his drunken state that night. He hoped that he didn't make spectacle of himself like the last time he got drunk. He had always thought the French had a sense of humour. Suddenly his body became aware of a warm figure snuggling up next to him.
He looked to the left of him and by his side was the peaceful looking form of Octavia Philharmonica. She was fast asleep and clinging to the Doctors form in an attempt to keep as warm as possible. Her mane was slightly dishevelled which the Doctor assumed was the pony equivalent of 'bed head'. His left arm was wrapped around her and he presumed that after the pair had finished drinking they had curled up together on the TARDIS couch and fallen asleep. The Doctor remembered something about Bananas, which he knew Donna would have had a field day with. He remembered pears which he shuddered at but since he couldn't taste it on his tongue he assumed that he was in the clear.
This was the couple's third date. A combination of boredom due to lack of anything to do and genuine curiosity guaranteed the Doctor would reply yes to every date Octavia had asked him on. This was worrying the Doctor, since he still could not leave despite his best attempts; he had no reason not to go, which meant he could not avoid becoming emotionally attached to the mare that was snuggling up next to him. Was he really trapped here? If he was then could he really settle? The boredom would kill him, surely. In his third form, he had constant alien invasions and his U.N.I.T. family to keep him busy. Here, it was for too peaceful. Octavia began to stir next to him. Her eyes gently fluttered open as she gazed up towards the Doctor.
"Good morning," she said weakly.
"Good morning," the Doctor replied with considerably more energy. Pieces began to form in the cello players head as she realised where she was.
"Oh my goodness! Did we?" She stopped herself when she realised the Doctor was still wearing all of his clothes. She sighed in relief and returned to snuggling. "Good, I'm not that kind of mare. I wouldn't want everypony thinking that I'm some kind of hussy." The Doctor gave a light chuckle.
"How could anyo… anypony think you of all mares was a hussy?"
"Rumours spread fast in a small community, especially untrue ones. Me and Vinyl have been mulling over the idea of moving to Canterlot. Most of our gigs are there nowadays, but I would hate to have to leave all of my friends here."
"I wouldn't worry about it if I'm honest. The TARDIS was locked last night and nopony could get in." As soon as the Doctor said this, Octavia flickered her eyes at the Doctor and trailed her hoof along the Doctor's chest seductively.
"Oh really? So, were totally alone then?" The Doctor quickly got the not so subtle nuances of Octavia's voice and shot off the coach. He nearly took the earth pony with him as he brushed himself off.
"Right, well I should probably be off to see… how Twilight is doing. She wanted to ask me about… Time Lord stuff. Take your time to freshen yourself off." The Doctor hurried out of the TARDIS as Octavia attempted to tell him that she was joking.
The Doctor breathed a sigh of relief as he exited the TARDIS. He had become so use to running from every problem, that he didn't even realise he had developed a problem himself. The only thing that made him act is if it was a physical danger to people. He made sure not to lock the door behind him so Tavi could get out when she needed too. He still hadn't told her everything about him. He had regaled her and his new found friends with tales of his adventures in time and space and even went into detail about his companions; his friends. During the third date, Tavi had brought up two things. If he ever had feelings for any of his companions? And what was his homeworld like? What was Gallifrey like? In the end, instead of talking about it he picked an option he rarely chose. Tavi had brought a bottle of brandy with her, their intention was to have a quiet night in and the Doctor decided drinking was the best way to avoid the questions. Despite the small headache it did indeed work. When the Doctor stepped away from the TARDIS he spotted Spike who was eating gems at the dining table. Spike waved to the Doctor.
"Twilight will be down in a minute if you want to talk to her," said the baby dragon. The Doctor nodded and sure enough he could hear the sound of Twilight making her way down the staircase. She looked very tired which the Doctor couldn't help but capitalise on.
"Good morning, Twilight. Tired?" The Doctor asked in a mocking tone. He assumed that she had been up all night reading her books again. "Ponies will talk if you keep reading like that. Some might say you're trying to match Celestia in knowledge." Despite how tired she was the unicorn couldn't help but chuckle a little as she rubbed her eyes.
"Heh, I would have to live nearly a 1000 years to get anywhere the Princesses knowledge. And I'd have to be an alicorn to reach that age," she remarked as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
"You'd be surprised," the Doctor muttered. Octavia groggily exited out of the TARDIS. Twilight spotted her and a few things clicked inside her mind. A mischievous grin appeared on her face.
"So, it looks like the two of you had fun last night," she remarked. The Doctor looked confused at first, but when he saw the blush on Octavia's face he was able to piece it together.
"Oh! No, no, no, no, no, we didn't do any… we uh, just woke up together," he assured but Twilights grin grew wider. "Uh, that came out wrong. You see… what were you studying last night?" This seemed to take Twilight away from the awkward situation.
"Well, I wasn't actually studying anything last night."
"Oh? Why are you so tired then?"
"There was this loud drilling noise that woke me up in the middle of the night. I would have investigated but I was too tired so I put up a sound proof shield around the library and tried to go back to sleep. It took me a good hour."
"Noise? What noise? I didn't hear anything last night," said Octavia.
"You wouldn't," answered the Doctor. "Unless the noise was right outside the TARDIS door, you would've never heard it." Twilight walked into the centre of the room and began charging up a spell.
"Anyway, I better take it down now. Ponies can't get into the library while it's up," said the unicorn. As soon as the spell was cast and the shield was taken down,the small group could suddenly hear a drilling sound. Twilight covered her ears and said, "Just like it was last night. I think it's right outside, but what could they be working on out there?"
The Doctor was thinking the exact same thing and without another word, he made his way to the door with the two mares and baby dragon in tow.
As soon as the library door was opened, a large crowd of Ponies met the four as they exited the library. The entire town seemed to be in attendance, but what were they gathered for? Despite them being gathered around the library nopony was looking at the door. They were all looking at the top of the tree. Twilight noticed this and ran into the crowd with Spike in tow to get a better look. Her face soon became scrunched up in confusion.
"What the heck are they doing?" she called out. Placed just behind her Library was a metal structure which was peeking out from the top. A number of construction ponies appeared to be putting on the finishing touches to the structure as the Doctor and Octavia joined Twilight at the back of the crowd. "They can't do that can they? I didn't give them permission to place that behind my library!" Twilight's angry glare was halted when one of the construction ponies approached her, handed her a note and then went back to work without saying a word.
My faithful student, Twilight.
I have personally written this letter to assure you not to worry about the Antenna being built behind your library. I sincerely apologise for not telling you of my plans sooner. However, I have been extremely busy here in Canterlot and this has prevented me from telling you sooner. I assure you, you will be thanking me very soon.
Love your mentor, Princess Celestia
Twilight quickly showed the message to the other three as her anger departed and understanding entered.
"Well she is the princess," she mused. "Canterlot has apparently been a mess lately. Celestia knows (literally) what's going on in there that's caused it to go into lockdown." Spike jumped on Twilight's back as the pair departed to investigate the tower further. Meanwhile, the Doctor continued to glare at the antenna. The Doctors expression was unreadable. The only thing that was running through the Time Lords head was how wrong this all was. Octavia quickly noticed what was wrong with the Doctor.
"There's something wrong with these 'antennas' isn't there?" She asked. The Doctor nodded quickly. A sudden urgency was beginning to arise in him, but he still wasn't sure what he was supposed to be anxious about.
"The problem is an odd one, Octavia," he replied. "Radio technology shouldn't exist in a civilisation like Equestria for at least another 200 years. Your dependency on magic makes this so. Plus, this is such a giant leap forward when you should have to master radar first. It doesn't make any sense. How did Celestia get this technology? And what is this all for? Think, THINK!" The Doctor angrily berated himself which drew the attention of some ponies around him. Octavia attempted to quieten him down but then a stallion appeared beside the Doctor.
"Well, it's refreshing to see somepony who sees things like I do. To be accurate, technology like this won't exist for another 268 years. To be precise when a young Stallion will stumble across the technology by mistake when he was trying to find an easier way to contact his marefriend who was staying in wolf country. Lovely Stallion, but a bit of a ditz though, however he could make a hell of a pizza." The Doctor looked next to him and he recognised the stallion immediately. It was the brown stallion who had been following him since he had arrived. He was wearing a green tie and a white collar. "Oh, sorry I haven't introduced myself have I? My name is Time Turner." He stuck out his hoof for the Doctor to shake. The way Time Turner moved, the way he spoke, reminded the Doctor of someone in particular. The Doctor introduced himself as he shook Turners hoof.
"Smith, John Smith."
The Pair kept on shaking each other's hands/hoofs while Octavia looked on. The intensity in both their eyes as they looked at each other was incredible. She was taken away from this though when a muffin was shoved in front of her face. "Don't worry about them. They're both like this with suspicious ponies. Muffin?" Ditzy Doo was now in front of Octavia, holding a muffin for her to take. She politely took it as both the Doctor and Time Turner overheard the exchange. Octavia hadn't seen the former mailmare in months. How would she know how the Doctor would act, she barely knew him, she thought.
"Ditzy!? Where have you been?"
"Oh, I've been travelling with…" The Time Lord finished the mailmares sentence.
"The Doctor? That's who you really are, isn't it?" The Timepony couldn't help but smile.
"Yes. Time Turner is a name I sometimes go by. Ever since my third form. I had a companion who is a journalist called Lens Turner. Lovely mare, a good friend." The pair finally let go of each other's hand/hoof and gauged each other again. "But your name isn't John Smith is it?
"No it isn't. In my third form I met a woman named Sarah Jane Smith. She's a journalist who lives with a robot dog called K-9."
"Heh, same here." The pair then busted out laughing in the middle of the crowd. This drew some very odd looks from the Ponies present but many returned to focusing on the tower. After a solid five minutes of laughing between the pair, they started to calm down as Octavia began to piece together their conversation.
"Hold on one moment you two," said Octavia. The two Doctors turned towards Octavia as she asked, "So, you're both the Doctor?"
"That's right. Kind of weird, huh?" Replied Ditzy. The Time Lord tried his best to explain.
"Well, as I've told you before I'm not from a different planet, I'm from a different universe entirely. There are an infinite amount of universes out there that either spawn from our choices or our imagination. There was one awful incident with a man named Booker Dewitt and I thought I might have to intervene with, but that incident seemed to sort itself. Poor man, I hope he found some peace." The Doctor realised he was beginning to ramble. "Anyway, a good example is your universe. This universe may have been created from the fandom from my universe. Anyway, just because you see one planet doesn't mean there aren't others that are teeming with life. I am assuming you are an alien."
"You are correct. My two hearts can vouch for that."
"Yeah, but you also have the extraordinary alien ability to disappear whenever you want." A new voice had caught the small group's attention and they turned to see it belonged to a very angry looking Vinyl Scratch who was heading straight for the pony Doctor. Her anger could only be judged by her frown because as usual, her shades covered her eyes. The Time Lord couldn't help but wonder why she always wore shades. The pony Doctor adjusted his tie and greeted Vinyl.
"Ah, Vinyl, it's been a whi…" Vinyl slapped the equine Doctor before he could finish his sentence. This earned a chorus of oooooooh's from the crowd as the Doctor rubbed the side of his cheek.
"Okay, I might deserve that."
"Might deserve that!? You just left me here to go off on your stupid war! I've been stuck here for months. You've been alive this whole time, but not once did you think to come back to pick me up. Then I find out you've been travelling with Derpy!" Vinyl shot her a cold glare. Ditzy hated that name, Vinyl for a short period when they were foals was one of Ditzy's many tormentors because of her eye condition. Both Doctor's were too polite to mention it. As Vinyl matured and mellowed, she began to feel bad and made amends with the Pegasus. She even protected her from the bullies, and this made them close friends. Octavia had to know more.
"Vinyl, you used to travel with this pony Doctor?"
"Yeah that's right. Me and derpster used to travel with the Doctor when he was into his candles and gothic stuff. When he left us both behind, he only came back for Derpy…"
"Stop calling me that!" Cried the Pegasus.
"Whatever," replied Vinyl. The DJ quickly turned towards the Time Lord. "And you. I figured out who you were pretty quickly and when I heard your name… I'm not gonna let you hurt Tavi you son of a bitc…" A cyan hoof stopped the Unicorn from striking the Time Lord in the leg.
"Hey, Vinyl, what the heck's wrong with you?" Asked Rainbow Dash as she continued to hold Vinyl's hoof while hovering in the air.
"Get off me you stupid fillyfooler!" the DJ roared as she broke Rainbow's grip surprisingly easily.
"Hey! First off I'm straight. Second, everypony knows that you hang around Octavia because you want her…" Octavia quickly stepped in and broke the pair up as she attempted to defuse the situation.
"Please, let's just calm down. Ponies are staring."
"Let them stare Tavi," remarked Vinyl. She broke away from Rainbow and backed away with an angry glare directed at the Time Lord. A pink figure however blocked off her escape.
"C'mon Vinyl. Let's turn that frown upside down." All of the Elements of Harmony had returned with Twilight and Spike. Octavia and Ditzy quickly grabbed Vinyl by her shoulders and led her to the side in an attempt to calm her down.
"What the heck was that about?" asked Applejack. Rainbow Dash was about to answer but was cut off by Time Turner.
"It isn't important. Despite Vinyl's generally laid back and friendly personality, when she gets mad, she tends gets violent. She'll calm down in a moment and be forced to apologise, courtesy of Miss Philharmonica's skilful negotiation skills." Twilight recognised the brown stallion.
"Hey Time Turner. I haven't seen you in the library in ages. Where have you been?"
"Oh, you know. Fighting intergalactic monsters and so on."
"Never mind. It's good to see you Twilight." The Doctor looked down at the pony counterpart.
"They don't know who you really are, do they?"
"Well I don't imagine you've told the planet you regularly visit what you really are either. I haven't seen Gallifrey in…" The Doctor stopped himself before he could continue. A dark grimace appeared on his face. The other Doctor realise that if their histories were truly similar, then he assumed the worst. The mane six looked confused.
"What are you two talking about?" asked Twilight. "What do you mean 'what you really are?'" Pinkie shook her head.
"Silly Twilight. Time Turner is actually an alternate version of the Doctor. They even have the same name. Basically, Time Turner is a Time Lord too." Twilights jaw literally dropped at the realisation that she had known an alien for at least a year and hadn't taken a single note. Turner sighed in exhaustion, but smiled.
"I should have known that Pinkie knew. I think one of her parents must have been part of the impossible race. A race of extinct aliens that could seemingly break the laws of physics. I've never had the time to look into that closer though." Dash flew closer to Turner and asked.
"So wait a minute. You really are an alien?"
"Yes, I'm a Time Lord, just like the Doctor you know. A race that mastered the ability to travel through time and space by growing…" before he could continue, everypony's attention was directed at a scowling Vinyl Scratch who was approaching the group with Octavia and Ditzy in tow. She marched right up to the taller Doctor and sighed. "I'm sorry alright. I shouldn't have gotten mad at you, especially since you haven't done anything, yet." She then turned to the others, "I'm sorry for trying to agitate you Dash and I'm sorry for calling you that name, derpster." Ditzy didn't appear to mind being called derpster and smiled in content. Dash simply nodded while the Doctor remained silent. Vinyl wasn't finished though as she turned to Time Turner. "I still can't believe you would leave me here though. Especially in my… condition." Octavia's ears perked up at this.
"Condition? What are you talking about Vinyl?" Vinyl looked away, pretending she hadn't heard the question, but then a realisation struck the Time Lord.
"Twilight, you're wearing your earpiece." Everypony turned to the mare as she did not shy away.
"Yes I am. You were clearly worrying over nothing, Doctor. Trust me, I should know." The Doctor looked over everypony else in their small group that was situated in the crowd. Only Twilight was wearing her earpiece, but Spike who was still on her back was quickly putting his on. The other Elements had all been asked by the Doctor previously not to wear them. Vinyl wasn't wearing one but he suspected that her previous excuse was a lie and she assumed something was up due to her adventures with his counterpart. Octavia was also asked by the Doctor not to wear one and Ditzy was probably told by his counterpart not to wear hers.
"Twilight, please. I wouldn't tell you not to wear yours if I didn't think something was wrong," pleaded the Doctor. Twilight quickly dismissed his worries.
"Relax Doctor. Princess Celestia herself is endorsing this and she has assured me whatever's happening will be perfectly safe."
"Yes, Twilight, but that's exactly it. She hasn't told anypony what it is, not even you. And then suddenly Canterlot is conveniently under lockdown, preventing anyone from going in and seeing what happened when this event activated exactly a week ago. Does that not seem suspicious to you?" Twilight simply ignored the Doctor and beckoned Applejack to come towards her. Applejack quickly put her earpiece on.
"Sorry Doc," Applejack said sincerely. "But I trust sugarcube over there with this kind of stuff." Rarity and Fluttershy joined both Doctor's.
"Well me and Fluttershy would like to see exactly what this is all about first, before we put some fashion faux pas in our ears," exclaimed Rarity. Fluttershy silently nodded. Pinkie hopped other towards Rarity and Fluttershy as well, claiming that the author needed to keep the comic relief in the story or something like that. Rainbow looked conflicted. Being the element of loyalty was difficult when your friends split into two different groups but Rainbow decided on the larger group.
"Twi, AJ, I'm sorry but… I think their right." She didn't need to say another word as she flew over towards the Doctors. Tavi, Vinyl and Ditzy also joined the Doctors as Twilight, Spike and Applejack made their way to the front of the crowd.
"Suit yourselves, but you'll all feel pretty silly when it turns out that there's nothing to worry about," announced the element of magic. The pony Doctor turned to the group.
"Thank you for trusting us," he said. "I think were about to find out what these earpieces are all about." The noise in the crowd slowly started to die down as the mayor of Ponyville approached the front of the towns ponies.
"Rejoice Ponyville. Our fair Princess Celestia has allowed Ponyville to be the next location to receive her mystery gift. Does everypony have their earpieces on?" The dead eyed workers quickly departed the tower when they were confident everything was ready. One stayed at the base next to a large switch. All the ponies in the crowd checked if their ear pieces were on while the Doctors group exited the crowd and stood by the side-lines. "Then if that's the case. Let this gift be brought upon us."
On cue, the last worker pony by the antenna flicked a giant switch and quickly put up a magical shield to protect it. Almost instantly, it affected the ponies with the earpieces on. It looked like some sort of electric current starting from the earpiece and entering inside the Ponies ears was the cause. Nearly every Ponyville citizen had deadeyes and seemed almost lifeless. Due to a lack of a better word, they appeared to be zombies. The crowd began to disperse with everypony going in different directions, nopony was talking and all were doing random jobs. Some began collecting any sort of metal they could get their hooves on and placing them in the middle of the town square. Others were beginning a march towards Canterlot which would take them several days by hoof. Twilight and Applejack were among the ones collecting items. The other members of the mane six ran up to the pair, but nothing they said or did could snap them out of their trance. Both Doctor's ran over and at the same time pulled out their respective sonic screwdrivers. They looked at each other, trying to figure out who should do what but eventually, Time Turner relented.
"Doctor, why don't you do it?"
"My pleasure, Doctor." Both couldn't help but snicker and this angered Rarity.
"I'm glad you two find this so funny. Celestia knows what's happened to the poor darlings." The Time Lord asked Ditzy and Octavia to hold Twilight down for a moment and luckily Twilight offered no resistance. The Doctor then began to scan the earpiece and quickly had his suspicions confirmed.
"Good news, she and the other ponies can be saved. Although this is now connected to her brain it's not directly wired in." Vinyl began to reach for Twilights earpiece.
"So we can just take them out right?" Both Doctor's stopped her as Turner explained.
"No Vinyl! That's the bad news. If we take them out it will cause a neuron implosion." Fluttershy then spoke up.
"But Doctor's, what's happening to them? Why are they doing this?" Turner nodded to Ditzy and Tavi so they could let Twilight go as she continued to work.
"My best guess is that they are all being given direct orders in their subconscious through the earpiece. For what purpose, I cannot say?" Octavia was the next to speak up.
"The Princesses must know. But why would they do this?" Her Doctor put a reassuring hand on Octavia's shoulder.
"Octavia, we will stop this, and we will save your friends, that is a promise I make to all of you." This calmed everypony down for the moment as both Doctor's realised they had a new problem. "We don't have a way to Canterlot that will be quick though. The train is out, the place is likely guarded to let only taken minds in and my TARDIS still refuses to move." The other Doctor then took his turn to cut in.
"Pardon me Doctor, but who said we had to use your TARDIS?"