Chapter 8: A Trivial Task
Courtyard, Castle of Equestria, Equestria, Gaia, Autumn, 146 P.C.E.
The Doctor and Twilight ran towards Discord, who was kneeling in what remained of his loving wife. His eyes were emanating golden light and were producing little strands of steam. Tears were rolling profusely down his face. Twilight tried to approach him but the Doctor held her back.
"Be alert, Twilight. He's not the same Discord that we've gotten to know," he said. Discord turned towards the Doctor and Twilight and gave a tear-filled smile.
"Everything fades to dust. There is no order. There is only chaos," he uttered. He picked up a pile of golden dust and let it glide through his claws. His face then suddenly changed to that of a raging monster. "You did this!"
"What?!" Twilight croaked.
"You killed my Lily with your box! Something inside it killed her! It must be destroyed! You must be destroyed!"
Discord charged towards them but the Doctor stood his ground. Just before he was about to reach them, the King stopped and knelt back down on the ground.
"Everything's okay, your majesty," said the Doctor as he looked straight into Discord's eyes. "You just need to take a nice, long rest."
"Why am I sad? I feel sad and yet...I don't know why," said the King. His eyes were still glowing and burnt tears were rolling down his cheeks. "What were your names again? I remember a Tara but the rest is-"
"Just forget about us. Forget about us and move on, King Discord."
Suddenly, a group of guards appeared from a nearby tunnel.
"Your majesty!" cried Clyde. Discord's face became full of rage once again as he chucked a fireball at the guards. They proceeded to scatter as Discord charged towards them.
"You did this! You did the action that has angered me! You will pay!" Discord yelled. He shot several fireballs into the courtyard, setting fire to the rosebushes. Twilight turned around to see Matilda approaching them.
"You two go ahead," she said. The Doctor turned to face the mysterious mare. "The TARDIS is in working condition once again. Meet me by the star known as Castor. I've got a couple things to take care of here before I head off."
"How will you meet us by a star?" Twilight asked.
"You'll find out soon enough."
Matilda gave both the Doctor and Twilight a sad smile before heading off towards the Castle of Equestria, which was now being burned by the mad Discord.
The Doctor and Twilight quickly made their way back into the TARDIS. The Doctor examined the controls and gave a sigh of relief, happy that the TARDIS had finally healed itself.
"She said to meet her by the star known as Castor right?" he asked.
"Yeah," Twilight replied.
"Then off to Castor we go!"
The Doctor tweaked with some of the console's controls and the TARDIS emanated its usual sound as it took off towards the stars.
Orbit of Castor, Equinox Collection, Twin Galaxy, Space, Autumn, 146 P.C.E.
The TARDIS gave one last groan as it came to a bumpy stop. The Doctor opened up the doors of the TARDIS and what Twilight saw outside amazed her. Outside the TARDIS was a massive, purple star. It sparkled like glitter and emanated an aura of power that made Twilight's horn tickle with glee. Multicolored stars and an endless void of space stretched beyond the star known as Castor.
"Space. The final frontier," said the Doctor with a saddened smile. Twilight turned to face the stallion and patted one of his hooves.
"Is...is everything alright, Doctor?" she asked. The Doctor sighed and shook his head.
"It looks like Queen Lily's predictions came true."
"What exactly happened?"
"Queen Lily sacrificed herself so that the timeline could flow as planned. She defeated the windigos but at the cost of her life and her husband's sanity."
"So...given enough time, Discord will eventually become the chaotic dictator that my friends and I fought?"
"Why did it have to happen this way? Discord and Lily could have been happy and-"
"Sometimes, the universe doesn't exactly have a bright future planned out for us."
"Doctor, you mentioned a Rose Tyler. Could this, by any chance, be the same Rose that you mentioned earlier?"
"Another past companion of yours? Like Donna Noble?"
"What happened to Rose? Did she die like Lily?"
"No. She, like Lily, once looked deep into the Time Vortex. I sacrificed one of my past bodies to save her life. We traveled around for a while but then...some things happened and Rose ended up trapped in a parallel universe."
"Did you ever see her again?"
"Once. Right before I had to part ways with Donna. She helped save all of reality."
"Where is she now?"
"Back in her parallel reality with a human version of me."
"How was a human version of you created?"
"It's another one of those long stories that I'll save for a rainy day but I will say that his creation had everything to do with Donna gaining Time Lord knowledge."
"Which resulted in you erasing memories of you from her mind."
"Anyway, weren't we supposed to meet Matilda here?"
"Yes. But I don't see how she's-"
Suddenly, there was a flash of light from behind them and they turned to see Matilda standing in the middle of the TARDIS.
"Hello, you two. I hope I didn't keep you waiting," she said.
"How did you get here?" Twilight asked. Matilda raised one of her hooves and presented a leather device wrapped around it. "What is that?"
"A vortex manipulator," said the Doctor.
"Very good, Doctor," said Matilda with a smile.
"How the hell did you get your hooves on one of those?"
"I borrowed it from the Time Agency in your dimension."
"Dimensional travel is practically impossible."
"And yet here you are, Doctor, in a universe completely different from your own. Times are changing. Soon, everything, everypony, and everyone is going to come together. But, first things first."
Matilda tapped her hat and four objects popped out of it. One was the jar containing the Fire of Friendship, one was a jar containing the golden remains of Queen Lily, one was a simple piece of paper, and the last object, or objects, was a small stack of papers.
"What are those for?" the Doctor asked.
"Gifts. I'd keep the Fire and the ashes if I were you. You never know when they might come in handy. Twilight, I suggest that you finish your story for Sarah by December 1," the mare replied.
"How did...never mind," said Twilight. Twilight suddenly noticed that the single piece of paper was her note to Princess Luna. "What about the note?"
"The note to Luna? I'll just deliver it myself."
"You know when and where to deliver it?"
"Are you sure you want to deliver that?" the Doctor asked, who was still a little uninformed over the topic of Twilight's note for Princess Luna.
"Well I don't want to go against Lily's prediction."
"A friend will perform a trivial task. I think this counts as a trivial task."
"Not by much since refusing to deliver that note would create a massive hole in the time stream," said Twilight.
"Yeah. Little things like that."
Twilight giggled and the Doctor smirked. Matilda grabbed the note and stuffed it away in her hat.
"So I guess this is where we part ways for now, Doctor and Twilight Sparkle," she said.
"I have a feeling that we're going to cross paths again pretty soon," said the Doctor.
"You'd be right about that Doctor. You have a lot of meetings to look forward to."
"Could you maybe tell us about some of those meetings?" Twilight asked.
"Spoilers, dearie. Don't want to ruin your part of the story."
"What is it with you?" the Doctor asked. "You act a lot like-"
"How did you-"
"I've run into her enough times to pick up some of her habits. Well, both versions of her to be more specific."
"Both versions? What are you going on about?"
"Remember what I said? Spoilers, Doctor. Anyway, I best be off. Notes to deliver, ponies and people to meet, and adventures to be had. So long, Doctor and Twilight Sparkle!"
Matilda then activated the vortex manipulator and disappeared in a quick flash of light. The Doctor and Twilight stood in silence for a moment. The Doctor then closed the doors to the TARDIS and approached the main console.
"So, Ms. Sparkle. Let's say we get you back home," he said.
"Sounds good," Twilight sighed. The Doctor fiddled with the TARDIS controls and Twilight held on as the TARDIS sped off towards 1002 C.E.
Canterlot Castle, Canterlot, Equestria, Gaia, Spring, 1002 C.E.
The halls of the castle were quiet as a pegasus guard named Phillip and his brother, Dallas, stood in front of the mail room door.
"Almost time for the end of our shift," said Phillip.
"Thank Celestia! My eyes are heavier than sacks of flour!" Dallas groaned. Suddenly, a soft crack emanated from the other side of the door and was followed by a flash of light. The two pegasi opened the door and entered to see a strange earth pony mare dropping a note into Princess Luna's mail slot. "Hold it!"
The mare turned around and giggled happily.
"No need to fear me, gentlecolts. I am Matilda," said the mare.
"Okay, Matilda, what are you doing here at this hour?" Phillip asked.
"Nothing much. Just performing a trivial task for a friend. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to wipe your memories and be on my way."
Before the guards could react, Matilda jumped through the air and grabbed hold of both of their heads. They instantly felt a peculiar drowsiness overcome them and, within seconds, were fast asleep on the ground. Matilda pushed the guards out into the hallway and carefully closed the mail room door. She then activated her vortex manipulator and disappeared.
Phillip and Dallas awoke moments later with a strange sound ringing through their ears.
"What just happened?" Dallas asked.
"I don't know...but I think that sound has something to do with it," Phillip groaned.
"I think I really need a vacation."
"Yeah. I do too."
To be continued...