One Crazy Week Part Seven
Everypony knew not to question the fuming, twitching, multicoloured alicorn that had magical scrotch marks on her coat that stormed into Ponyville as she made her way towards the slightly damaged library. Even Pinkie Pie didn't try to give the pony a party to cheer her up, instead of focusing on the dizzy, flummoxed and magically defeated Trixie Lulamoon who was resolving never to underestimate a magically deprived alicorn again.
As Twilight threw the door to the library open and slammed it shut behind her, she was aware that was she not alone.
Her left eye twitching several times along with other body parts, she glared at the alicorn stallion standing in front of her. He was tall, even by alicorn standards, coat and mane flawless, his cutie mark was impossible for her to observe, and he wore a small key around his neck.
"I suppose you are the next one that is going to cause my day to be utter tartarus, aren't you?" Twilight snarked, flaring her wings out.
"I am Lord Sunday, if that's what you mean Lady Twilight Sparkle," the stallion muttered, rolling his eyes. "Over the last several thousand years or so, the Compleat Atlas has been visiting the rest of the Morrow's Days about plans for interactions with your world, humourous situations as it were." The arrogance he was emitting made Blueblood seem like Fluttershy, but at the very least he wasn't boasting about himself. "Frankly, I do not see the humour in how they dealt with you, but the Atlas adamant about how we interacted with your world."
"Interact- are you Morrow's Days looping?" Twilight took a step backwards in surprise.
"No Lady Twilight Sparkle." Sunday said, examining the library. "We Superior Denizens are what you call Loop Aware. We are currently unaware what is required for us to start experiencing the time repeats and the information that the Atlas gave us for our parts in its plans towards you made no sense whatsoever."
"Wait, are you telling me that this Complete Atlas was responsible for all this?!" Twilight shouted, her coat starting to catch on fire.
"Compleat Atlas." Sunday corrected, brushing a hoof against a shelf and examining a tome that survived the snake attack earlier this week somehow. "Here, let the Atlas explain its own actions to you." Sunday lifted the green notebook and handed it over to her.
Twilight frowned, watching the strange text on the cover move around into common Equuish.
The Compleat Atlas of the House and Immediate Environs, and soon to be all of Yggdrasil.
"That's a title that I am told the Atlas often claims for itself despite being told the contrary by Kui Xing." Sunday muttered as he sat himself down on a couch, eating biscuits and watching her out of the corner of his eye quite literally. "Ask it a question, and it will more than likely answer you."
"Okay..." Twilight blinked, a bit uneasy and annoyed with how demeaning the stallion was acting. "Atlas, why did you do all this to me?"
The book responded by opening up, expanding to at least four times its size. The pages itself were blank until an unseen writer starting to fill in the pages.
The writer crossed the lady part, before starting again.
'Greetings Twilight Sparkle, I am the Compleat Atlas from the Keys to the Kingdom Branch. I have my reasoning for pranks, which goes to how a being from my Branch would start looping. For one to do so, Arthur and his first Noon have come to the conclusion that for one to do so, we would need to step out of our set roles. As I have begun to start experiencing the loops, I questioned if I truly were looping and needed a method to prove that I have grown beyond my set role. As such, I started my plans to prepare my pranks towards you based on the information I gathered from observing the stored material in your subspace pockets.' There was a pause in the writing before the Atlas stated to write again. 'Upon second observation, I gathered that my actions could have been deemed a bit extreme. I... I am sorry for my actions Twiligh-'
"No, it's okay, I understand," Twilight did her best to sooth the book, feeling the anger drain from her body. "Some loopers have a hard time passing the time during the loops, and I suppose that some in your situation would have a hard time proving it to themselves that they are looping." Twilight thought of Skynet and several other looping artifacts and wonder how the two would get along. "Promise me that in the future, you'll tone down the pranks?
'Of course Twilight. And again, I am sorry for my seven pranks.' With that, the Compleat Atlas closed itself and shrank back down to its original size.
"Good, now that's dealt with, I will take my leave." Sunday huffed from behind her, standing upright and in front of her door. Before Twilight could respond, he flew off into the sky towards a very strange looking hou-
"Twilight is that you?" Blinking, Twilight turned her eyes downwards to the street to see two ponies staring up at her, the stallion in shock while the mare next to him was watching the alicorn stallion fly away with a small grin on her face.
"Dad?" Twilight squeaked, blushing as she started to think of why they were here. "Mom?"
"Who was that honey?" Twilight Velvet asked, nonchalantly observing her alicorn daughter. "He seemed nice looking. What's his name?"
Twilight's mind was racing to what she should she say until she remembered what she read in the Atlas. "Seven pranks..." she muttered under her breath, glancing in the mirror to see the green notebook vanish from its shelf.
Twitching in pure rage, Twilight bellowed to the heavens. "COMPLEAT ATLAS!"
There was a pause while the mare continued to shout to the sky before she placed her hooves down on the ground, panting heavily as her parents simply watched her.
Then Twilight Velvet smiled, walked up to her daughter and patted her on the side. "That's a nice name. Now let's see this place you moved into and meet all the little friends you have met that Spike wrote about."
Sputtering as her mother tsk'd her way into her library as her father gave a her a sly look before he entered the library too, with the photo album clearly in his saddlebag.
Twilight simply resolved to get drunk as soon as possible and forget that this week ever happened as she closed the door behind her.
"Let me get this straight," Twilight muttered, looking at Nyx and Luna. "There was a variant where Blueblood took my place in the Summer Sun Festival."
"In a nutshell," Nyx replied, "yes. And let me tell you, the results were rather...unpleasant."
Luna groaned. "We knew that our nephew would be quite pompous," she said, "but for the other Elements to bond with us in place of him...it's mind-boggling. The final nails in his coffin were Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy complaining, and they're friendly and quiet."
Twilight knew where she was coming from. For Pinkie Pie to deny friendship and Fluttershy being outright furious via Baseline Personalities, Blueblood must have pushed their buttons somewhat fierce.
Then she realized something.
"Now I remember what I was doing," she muttered. "I went to Moondancer's again. My apologies."
"It's okay, Mom," Nyx replied. "Just...make sure that Celestia doesn't send him again when she Wakes Up."
"Agreed," Luna added. "Maybe send someone with a more...laid back position in case you decide to break the plot."
Twilight gave them a look. "I've been succeeding for quite a while just in case," she muttered. "Why would I stop now?"
Unfortunately, the realization hit.
"He didn't gain a Nightmare Form, did he?" she asked them.
Nyx shook her head. "I'd know if he'd gain a Nightmare Form," she replied. "For all we know, he may have refused the power due to his vanity."
"Oh, thank the Horse Chestnut. I thought he would destroy the Library." Nyx and Luna gave out Nervous Looks. "What happened?"
"Let's just say he got back to Equestria when the Nightmare Forces attacked," Luna muttered. "The same way Tirek went to the Moon, and...the tree got destroyed in his crash landing."
Twilight's eye twitched. She could see the plaque now: "Nightmare Moon had the stars aid in her escape to Equestria. The moon itself kicked Blueblood out."
...Considering that his pompous attitude had shown up more often than not, it wasn't hard to imagine the moon itself kicking him out.
"Narf!" Said Pinky.
"Naaaarf" Said Pinkie, knowingly.
"Naa-a-aarrf!" replied Pinky.
"Narf?" queried Pinkie.
"NARF!" yelled Pinky.
Brain sighed from atop Twilight's back. "My recommendation is that we leave these two imbeciles to it. They're likely to keep this up all day."
Twilight turned her head around to shoot him a quick glare. "That was a bit rude...but you do have a point."
As they left the Golden Oaks library, Brain sighed again. "I just don't understand those two. Why in the world would anyone want to put ketchup on glitter? No, Twilight, don't answer that, I don't actually want to know with those two, I learned that lesson a long time ago."
Twilight closed her mouth until they'd wandered past Carousel Boutique. "Y'know, I'm actually coming up short on ideas for this loop. Do you have any?"
Brain grinned. "Why Twilight, we're going to do what I do every loop: try to take over the world."
Twilight stopped walking. "I walked right into that, didn't I?"
Brain's grin widened. "Yes. Yes you did. "
It was a typical Loop where everypony was Awake. Most problems were solved before they even began and the others were small potatoes.
"Vacation Loops with my friends and this cutie patooie! What more could a mishmash like me want?" Discord grinned.
"I dunno. How about we talk about this later tonight?" Berry said with a sultry tone.
Discord's horns straightened themselves immediately.
"Ugh, gag me with a spoon." Rainbow Dash playfully replied, to the giggles of most of the others.
Pinkie then shook violently.
"Oh de-e-e-ear, a do-o-o-o-o-ozy!" Pinkie said.
"Alright. Twenty bits it's another something that's goin' ta happen in five minutes." Applejack replied.
"Thirty for MLE." Ivory Scroll said.
"Really girls?" Twilight said, right before saying, "Obviously, you should bet twenty-five on something nopony could expect."
"Congratulations," a new voice said to the shock of everypony as they entered into battle positions. "you are all winners."
"DIO!" Luna shouted.
The vampire smirked as he trotted towards the group.
Several moments passed.
"Eh, aren't ya gonna attack?" Apple Bloom asked.
"No. I'm not."
"Okay, what's your angle?" Twilight asked.
"Simply speaking, a bit of news. You're officially the first to hear of this outside my Branch, so consider yourselves lucky. I, DIO, have solemnly sweared to give up on Ascending while Yggdrasil's being repaired, and thus, have given up on being an MLE."
Everypony stood quietly.
"What a load of crap," Gilda bluntly said.
"Agreed," Cadance agreed.
"Do you take us for fools?" Celestia asked.
"What do you think?" DIO replied. "But for the sake of convenience for all, ask your farmer friend if I'm lying."
Expecting eyes turned to Applejack.
"Well?" Berry asked.
"Applejack?" Big Macintosh said with worry.
"...He ain't lyin'."
Pinkie took out a glass of water, drank it, and spat it out.
"And so, I've completed the purpose of this visit." DIO turned around to trot off.
"Hold on!" Nyx exclaimed. "What makes us think that you're not doing this for your own gain?"
DIO grinned and turned around, posing.
"I've never said that I was turning 'heroic' once. I merely said that I wasn't going to Ascend. I, DIO, have abandoned my humanity long ago. I've merely decided that this inconvenience must be eliminated."
"You no good, yellow-bellied snake."
"A snake? Hmm, perhaps I've got my next outfit theme now. My thanks." DIO trotted off, satisfied with this conversation.
Everypony was silent.
"So, who gets what amount of cash?" Spike asked.
"Well, it's official," said Spike, "ponies don't need to breathe this loop."
Twilight frowned and put a hoof to her chin. "That can't be right, I saw Applejack and Rainbow Dash using chokeholds in a wrestling match."
Spike waved a claw dismissively. "That works for the same reason some Primarchs can choke daemons."
Twilight paused for a few seconds. "Equestria is in the middle of the Eye of Terror again, isn't it."
Spike raised an eyebrow. "You only just noticed, Ms. Magic?
(MLP/RWBY Fused Loop)
The four newest Remnant Loopers looked around in the dojo they were in. Sun asked, "How did we get into this mess?"
Raven frowned, and said, "You did want to learn how to fight from the Looper that defeated Yang in the Vytal Festival that one Loop that happened a long time ago we heard about."
As if on cue, Sunset Shimmer walked in, and cracked her knuckles.
"I suppose you four heard about my battle with Yang a long time ago?"
Taiyang nodded. "We did. Yang showed us a video of that battle. I was surprised at that fight. I had no idea Yang was that strong."
Sunset laughed. "That was ages ago...Way before Pyrrha and Jaune got married. Heck, it was even before the wedding of Nyx and Leman."
The four newest Remnant Loopers nodded. They had heard tales of that. Kali then said, "So, what are out going to teach us?"
"Basic martial arts, swordsmanship...the stuff that doesn't require any Loop-acquired abilities. But, first, I want to see what you can do. So, come on. If one of you can even hit me, I'll bow down and call you master. Now, shall we- "
Suddenly, Sunset leapt into the air, and landed on top of Raven's sword, as Raven had already used a portal to attempt to catch Sunset off guard.
"Nice try, Raven. I figured that would be your first move. Boot to the head."
Cue Raven getting hit with a roundhouse kick, which sent her flying. Sunset smirked.
With that, the sparring match began. It was soon obvious that the new Loopers stood no chance against the way more experienced Looper, as she easily countered or dodged every attack they used. Soon after, Taiyang said, "Enough. I give up. I know when I don't stand a chance."
The other Loopers nodded in agreement. Kali sighed. "I am not surprised. I only just started learning how to fight."
Raven, who could barely stand, growled. "How did you predict my attacks?"
Sunset smiled, and said, "I figured you'd use your Semblance as a means of using sneak attacks. All I had to do was force you to face me head-on. But, don't be surprised. I've been at this for a lot longer than Ruby was."
Sun nodded. "We know. So, how did we do?"
"Not bad at all. This will be fun. Just remember, I won't go easy on you guys."
Taiyang smiled. "I do not doubt it."
Sunset then entered a fighting stance. "So, let us continue, shall we?"
The four new Loopers nodded, and another sparring match began. They knew that this would help them become better fighters, and help them protect what they cherished most...
Twilight took a deep breath through her nose, savoring the lovely smell of books and baked eggplant with a hint of mint. With a smile, she placed the bestsmelling book "Smell Bread Before Baking" back on the shelf. Three seconds later she pulled it back off the shelf; she simply had to order more copies of it.
Twilight had only just sat down to pen an order when there was a knock at the door.
Puzzled by the knock (for all that the treebrary was her home, it was also a public library), Twilight got up to answer the door.
"Oh hi, Maud! What brings you here?"
Maud Pie held out a grey bag. "These rocks want to be with you."
Twilight's grin faded slightly. "Oh...kay" she said, even as she took the bag in her magic.
"Their names are Rainbow One, Rainbow Two, Rainbow Three, Rainbow Four, Rainbow Five, and Rainbow Six. "
'That explains why Spike had to fill in for Rainbow Dash as loyalty', thought Twilight. "Ah! Thank you for bringing them here, Maud! Anything you need?"
"No. I'll go visit Pinkie before heading back home."
Twilight emptied the bag onto her desk. Unsurprisingly, the rocks had the colors of Dash's tail.
"..." said Rainbow One.
"Yggdrasil's played the "Rainbow Rocks" joke on you before, huh?" said Twilight.
"..." said Rainbow Six.
"I fail to see what Tom has to do with this situation," replied Twilight, as a frown formed.
"..." said Rainbow Six.
Twilight scratched her head, "Now I'm really confused. What does a clan of sea ponies have to do with any of this?"
Rainbow Five laughed hard enough to dampen ambient sounds.
"!" came Rainbow Six's silent yell in turn.
"I'll...I'll go get Lyra. My inanimese is clearly rusty," said Twilight, before hustling out the door.
"...and they all lived happily ever after" Said Twilight as she finished reading a bedtime story to Nyx.
"How come death is both terrifying and really attractive?" asked Nyx.
Somewhere (probably Vinyl's house) a record scratched. 'Is she feeling suicidal?' was merely the topmost of Twilight's worries. 'Is she dating an anthropomorphic death?' was not too far behind.
There was a knock at the door. "Be right back, Nyxie!" said Twilight, grateful for the chance to collect her wits as she zipped off.
She opened the door with her magic. "Can I help...you..."
Just outside the door stood a flaming skeletal centaur with a scythe.
"It's because death is really, really hot," said Nyx from just behind Twilight.
Twilight's eye twitched and her coat started to smolder as she turned to give Nyx a glare.
197.9 (Awesomedude17 w/ a minor addition by Vinylshadow)
(My Little Pony x Jojo's Bizarre Adventures)
Twilight looked over the remains of Golden Oaks Library, and then looked at the Stallion beside her.
"Think you can fix this?"
"Hmmm..." The stallion with the pompadour pondered. "I think I can. Crazy Diamond!"
The Tree immediately fixed itself. Everything fell back into place, and even the books reorganized themselves.
"There we go. Fixed." Josuke smiled with pride.
"Thanks, Josuke. Now I'm going to read some more books."
"Twilight, I really don't know what happened but... Twilight... oh crap."
Josuke immediately booked it as Twilight howled in rage and began to be a destructive rage pony.
Trixie gave a stern glare at the Unawake CMC.
"Trixie tried to warn you that that was too much nitroglycerin, but nooooo, you just had to ignore her for the sake of Cutie Marks. There's a reason why Trixie studied explosives, and let's be honest, you failed spectacularly. Now what do you have to say?"
"We shouldn't have mixed tree sap into the compound?"
"Tree...sap? Tree sap caused that? HOW?!"
The CMC didn't have an answer.
"Well... is there anything else, such as an apology?"
"Sorry Miss Trixie," the trio said with regret.
"Good. Trixie is still telling your families."
"No awwwwwwws. Come!"
197.10 (continuation of 168.2) (Masterweaver and Evilhumour)
Twi-Sparkle braced herself for a disco style Gilda, roaring in on rollerblades at an unAwake Fluttershy.
What she had not expected was a straw-hat and overalls wearing griffon roaring in front of an unAwake Fluttershy. "Hooooooooowday ya'll," she broke out in a massive grin, a wing wrapped around Radical Dashie. "Mah name is Gilda the Griffon and sure as shucks nice to meet some 'ew friends of my old pal Radical D!"
A country style Griffon Empire was so begging to be researched, Sparkle thought to herself, along with a lot of video tapes.
"Come on, Sparkle baby, chaos is the ultimate groove!"
Sparkle gave the pink suited draconequus a flat look. "This pun is terrible and you should feel terrible."
"I just book it to the beat, Sparkle baby." He peered over his rhinestone pink glasses and grinned broadly. "Don't be such a spaz!"
"I get that this all started as an accepting counterculture to the dominance of rock and roll, but... Disco R&D? Really?"
"This wedding is bogus!" Sparkle cried, glad she was alone for the loop. "That's not..."
She stopped short, looking at the fully undisguised changeling queen wearing, of all things, KISS makeup.
"Yo, Sparkspark!" Grooving Armor waved. "So here's the skinny, Chrysalis and her Bangin' Bugs agreed to be our gig for the wedding. She just wanted to pretend to be a princess for a bit, so Caddy there said yes."
"I tried to tell you," the pink alicorn explained sheepishly, "but you were so intent on 'saving' me that... uh... you kinda flipped there, Spark."
Twilight blinked. She looked at Chrysalis, who was unabashedly grinning. "...Sounds... loopy."
"Total wake-up call," the queen agreed. "PSYCHE!"
Chrysalis was taking pictures, grinning wildly. "You should know better than to step on Blue Suede Shoes!"
"She's right, Sparkle baby!" The grooving blue unicorn in a white high-collar sequined suit grinned, her eyes glowing as the amulet bouncing against her exposed chest fueled her rage. "You stepped on, now STEP OFF!"
"Yo yo, Sikey D, you are totally whack for hanging with square ponies, dog!" the leader of the dragon teens popped his collar as he loomed down over the young drake.
"Right on dude," the other dragon teen said, flipping his jacket so his many gold chain clinked loudly. "You've got your head on backwards, it's totally rad to wreck stuff!"
"It's the Man, man!" The crystal pony shivered. "He took our sweet high and crashed us into a low! We can't even remember what the Man did, man!"
Sparkle held back a sigh. "So... is there any way we can fight this... Man?"
"I dunno, man. We used to be so up and gloryhigh, but now we can't even smile. It's right bogus, man." The mare sighed. "If you do figure it out, man, let us know."
The door shut, and Sparkle turned to a disguised Chrysalis. "Okay. Please tell me we aren't looking for weed."
"No, no, I don't think so." Chrysalis shrugged. "I think it's the crystal heart as always... it's just that the magic boost had psychological side effects."
"When Cerberus booked from the Tats, some of the prisoners left their crib," Princess Moonbeam stated, gravely strolling into the room in her skin-tight white shimmering outfit. "And one of them... he's bad. Not bad as in good, but bad as in bodaciously wicked evil."
Sparkle struggled to keep her face serious. "Oh?"
"Yeah. Steals the rightful power of his victims, using it for his own twisted vision of the world." Princess Sunbeam frowned. "He is known as... the Taxman."
"So Cheerilee," Mac asked his friend, looking up at the sky. "A group of crows is a murder, right?"
"Yes," she responded.
"A group of cats is a chowder and knot for frogs, right?"
"Yes..." she said, looking at where he was staring at now and had to bite back a chuckle.
"So what do you call a group of alicorns?" he asked as all of their friends were in their alicorn forms, and swimming on a pond of water, splashing about and making goose sounds along with squeaks of laughter. Luna was doing her best not to roll over as a very large white swan had started honking at Celestia, the alicorn of the sun blushing at the forwardness of the bird.
"Your friends, silly," Cheerilee said booping his nose as she ascended and flew into the pond with Mac just smiling contently from the shoreline.
"Dusk, what's up?" Barb said.
"Just trying to go through a loop without saying anything with that fifth...syllabary symbol in it," Dusk said.
"...Okay," Barb said slowly. A dull Dusk or Twilight was not good for anypony. "I'm going out, okay?"
"Okay," Dusk said without looking up.
Fluttershy was humming to herself as she put out some birdseed for her little bird friends. She always enjoyed when they decided to sing along with her.
"Fluttershy!" a voice unexpectedly called out to her. Fluttershy flew upwards a little in surprise before lowering herself back down to see what her visitor wanted.
She landed and greeted her surprise visitor, "Why hello, Sweetie Belle. How's your loop going?"
"Terrible!" Sweetie exclaimed and started pacing agitatedly. "The other Crusaders aren't Awake so we can't work on one of AB's projects or play Battleship. And I have a really good idea this time too! And then just my loop memories of this Unawake Rarity is driving me crazy! She keeps trying to discourage me from anything music related. Me! She thinks it's a waste of time. I mean, I know the loop just started, but she's not even a member of the Ponytones like she's supposed to be and I can't remember this her participating in any heartsongs!"
"Oh no!" Fluttershy exclaimed and draped a comforting hoof around Sweetie Belle. "Do you want me to talk to her?"
Sweetie shook her head and answered, "No. Not yet, anyway. I was hoping I could get you, Big Mac and Vinyl to help me out with an idea I have that would help change her mind about music."
"Oh?" Fluttershy asked, surprised. "What would you need our help for?"
"I call it 'Plan Music Soothes the Savage Beasts'!" Sweetie said proudly.
"Oh, not too savage I hope," Fluttershy chided. "We don't want anypony to get hurt after all."
"Naw," Sweetie waved a forehoof. "It'll be fine. Trust me."
Sweetie took another sip of her pink drink with an umbrella and a piece of pineapple in it and smiled at her aged-up friends in Mac's Bar. "For the rest of the loop, we stopped every encounter by singing at it."
"No way," Scootaloo scoffed and pointed her bottle of apple cider at Sweetie. "You didn't get rid of the dragon on the mountain by singing at him."
"We sure did," Sweetie said smugly.
"Ah gotta agree with Scoots. There's no way you coulda gotten Mac that involved. He likes stayin' close to the farm," Apple Bloom protested.
Sweetie shrugged and said, "Well, Berry was Awake that loop so the bar stayed staffed. I guess he wanted to try it out or he just got bored or something. I was hoping Fluttershy would use some poison joke if he said no and we needed a bass part."
Silver Spoon snapped her fingers and a full wine glass and an empty wine bottle appeared in front of her. She tipped the wine bottle over the full glass and the wine started flowing up into the bottle. "Surely you didn't solve the changeling invasion by singing at it," she prompted.
"No eating my glassware, Silver," Big Mac warned from behind the bar.
"Geeze, you try something just a few times and no one lets you forget it," Silver grumbled before waving at Mac. She snapped her fingers again and the wine flow reversed itself and started filling the wine glass again.
Everypony at the table giggled at their friend before Sweetie answered, "Yup. Sung at them."
Diamond Tiara was looking at Sweetie suspiciously and asked, "Just how baseline were you guys running the Loop?"
"Ok, you're right," Sweetie grinned. "We had to catch some things early so singing at it would work. But it did!"
Nyx smiled and asked, "Well, did you ever figure out why Rarity thought music was a waste of time that loop?"
Sweetie magically lifted her empty glass up in the air and gestured to it. Once Mac nodded at her she answered, "Yeah, Fluttershy got it out of her during a spa visit pretty soon after we started singing at problems. Well, not so much as 'got it out of her,' but more like 'Rarity spilled her guts while trying to convince Fluttershy to stop all that nonsense with Sweetie Belle.' Turns out one of our aunts that loop was a famous singer when Rarity was young. Rarity hero-worshiped her and wanted to be a singer too. But then our aunt fell into celebrity-syndrome and became a different person. Stopped visiting, and when she did she treated everypony poorly. Rarity got it into her head that that's what happens to everypony who becomes a musician."
Nyx winced and said, "Ouch. Talk about a butterfly effect."
Big Mac walked up and delivered another pink umbrella-y drink to Sweetie Belle. AB quickly asked him, "Mac. Did ya'll really sing at problems during that Loop? And it worked?"
"Eeeyup," he answered and turned to walk away.
"Wait, wait, wait." Scootaloo stopped him and asked, "What about Discord? Tirek?"
Big Mac nodded towards Sweetie and answered, "Ask her. She knows." Sweetie smirked at her doubting friends.
Apple Bloom blinked in surprise and leaned eagerly towards Sweetie and said, "No way! Really?"
Diamond held up a hoof and interrupted before Sweetie could answer and asked, "What? You didn't really believe her a minute ago and now you do? Is this one of those he's-you-brother-so-you get-more-out-of-what-he's-saying-than-he-actually-said things?"
AB looked around the table and said, "If ya'll didn't pick up on that, then yeah. Ah guess so. Go on, Sweetie."
"Thanks," Sweetie said. "And there's not much more to say. We sung at the problems and solved them."
"Ok, Best Young Fliers," Silver said. "How did you sing your way out of that one?"
Sweetie shrugged and answered, "Well, we kinda need that one to happen baseline so Rainbow can rediscover how to do the Sonic Rainboom. I think we helped with her stage-fright a bit though."
"Oh right. I didn't think about that…" Silver answered before taking a sip of her wine bottle.
"Ok, I got one," Diamond said smugly then asked, "Sunset Shimmer stealing the Element of Magic?"
Sweetie smiled and answered, "We just happened to use an out of the way storage room for midnight practice. Sunset tumbled out of the mirror and into Vinyl's turntable setup while we were singing. She looked at us and jumped back into the mirror. The mirror was guarded from then on."
"Discord?" Apple Bloom asked. "He's a right menace when he first gets out."
"And that's why we had Vinyl play some of the heaviest and most chaotic stuff she has and we had a rave right there in the castle courtyard. And let me tell you, Big Mac is amazing when singing heavy metal covers. As soon as Discord broke out of the statue, Pinkie put a drink in one of his hands and a glow-stick in the other. He joined in the rave right away and Fluttershy had no problem befriending him," Sweetie answered.
Scootaloo rolled her eyes and said, "Ok, you're right. You sung at him."
"I'm kind of surprised that Fluttershy attended a rave. Looping or not," DT commented.
Sweetie rolled her eyes and said, "I think she was wearing noise-canceling headphones during it. She wasn't slated to sing any that set and we kept the music so loud talking was impossible. She just danced along with everypony else and then got friendly with Discord when he started looking like he was going to bail."
Sweetie took another sip of her drink and said, "I'm telling you. We sung at the problems the entire loop. And it worked."
Padawan Kenobi looked up as the ramp opened.
"Good news?" he asked.
"The best," the head engineer replied. "That hyperdrive Master Jinn won for us has arrived."
Interested, Kenobi stood up, following as the sleek hyper unit was carried on repulsors through the royal cruiser. "It's the right model?"
"It's got the right control plugs," the engineer answered. "It's marked as a Class 0.5, as well, which is excellent quality."
He checked the notes. "Huh, that's odd… it needs fusion mass as well. That's a supply of distilled water, and… apparently plant material."
Kenobi waited until the engineer had hooked up the control runs and other fitments, then watched him leave.
Moving with care, he undid the clips and opened the side of the hyper unit.
"Uh… hello?" asked a purple quadruped, peering up from a computer screen. "Wait, now I know where I am!"
"What are you?"
"That's who, thank you very much," the purple creature replied, flaring a pair of wings which didn't quite fit in the confined space. "I'm Twilight Sparkle – an alicorn, if it matters. Anyway, can I get out and stretch my legs? I've been in there for days."
"I… didn't expect there to be some kind of sentient inside the hyperdrive," Kenobi said lamely, stepping back and letting her exit.
"Oh, yeah, that's much better," Twilight said, rolling her neck and stretching with every indication of relief. "Okay, we're on Tatooine, right? What's our next trip?"
"We're going to head to Coruscant," Kenobi answered her automatically. "But not until my master gets back."
"Right, right, of course," Twilight agreed. "Now, do you have any daisies? And I'd also like to file a sapient rights complaint against a scrap dealer by the name of Watto..."
"Uh... Spike? I mean, um, Sir?"
"Spike is fine," Spike assured the newly minted Princessly Pupil. "My rank's mostly because Rarity likes designing outfits for it anyway. What's up?"
"Well..." Starlight Glimmer lifted a large tome in her magic. "I've been trying to find out how much of history I, um... didn't put back right?"
Spike nodded, absently thinking about the time-travel chaos of this loop in particular.
With the local Anchor elsewhere, and Twilight's normal loop-stability job handled by a bald Prench-speaking Griffin with a fondness for Earl Bay, it had been pretty much like baseline. Indeed, exactly like baseline except for the odd appearance of a giant purple dragon in the alternate timelines or on slow news days.
Spike would firmly deny it was him. But it had been fun, to watch all these events from the baseline perspective.
"So, what's the problem?" he prompted, when Starlight declined to be forthcoming.
"Well... I think there's a contradiction here," Starlight confided. "A logical one - and I think that's probably bad."
"Let's have a look, then," Spike agreed, patting the nearest desk.
Glimmer put her book down and leafed through it, identifying the page in question. "So this is a recent history book, and it says here that Princess Twilight managed to fight on equal terms with Tirek when he had the power of all of the rest of Equestria behind him."
Spike nodded. "Yep, pretty much."
He'd throttled his own magic for the duration, because letting Tirek have an Old Looper sized infusion of draconic magic usually involved either a violent explosion or the centaur playing Alicorn Golf, and both were messy. But aside from that, Starlight's description was basically right.
"But... All Of Equestria includes me," Starlight emphasized. "And I beat Princess Twilight, so..."
The Jedi Master considered what Starlight had said, and nodded to himself.
"I don't see a mistake, Starlight," he told her. "I know what you're getting at, but both of those things make sense."
He folded his clawed hands, steepling them together. "What is magic?"
"Friendship?" Glimmer hazarded.
"That's one way of putting it, yes," Spike agreed. "But I don't think you get what Friendship means here. It means caring for others."
Seeing Glimmer's uncomprehending look, he sighed. "Okay, Starlight. Imagine for a moment that Twilight hit you with the kind of magical force that could stun or even defeat Tirek - as powerful as he was, with all that magic in him."
Starlight nodded, then winced, then scraped a hoof on the floor and tapped it there for a few beats.
"Splat," Spike summarized. "And do you think Twilight is the sort of pony who would make anypony - anyone, pony or otherwise - go splat if she didn't absolutely have to?"
At that last question, Starlight looked troubled.
"I... don't think so," she said, slowly. "But does that mean... I thought I was..."
"Starlight, you're a very powerful unicorn," Spike assured her. "Pretty sure that if we still had a Thaumometer to measure you with you'd be right up there with the greats. But Twilight is... Twilight."
He waved a claw. "She's the reason all the Thaumometers melted."
Seeing she was still upset, Spike snapped his claws. "Come on. I'll take you out for a drink, and we can get advice from this cool griffin I know. Does great speeches, brews a good cup of tea."
197.1: Betrayed by a book. The equinity of it all...
197.3: Technically, Twilight does gain a part-share of the world in baseline.
197.7: Rainbow Six: Rocks Here.
197.12: I do not wish to add anything.
197.14: Early Kenobi loop, or Unawake Kenobi loop.
197.15: That particular anchor is quite experienced with mixed-up time - and with questions on the nature of sapience.