"When I saw that Pinkie Pie was suffering trauma from the divergence from the heart world, I was surprised not to find you running around in the background." I said politely to the pony across from me.
"I mistook my Time Whimy Detector for my alarm clock and hit the snooze button. Besides, Universes -naturally- diverge from each other. That's the thing with free will. And besides that, the only time space disturbance of note here recently was those fillies who 'borrowed' that rusted flux capacitor, so I didn't think much about it. Quite an interesting disturbance as well, they somehow found themselves in a time that shouldn't even exist
those girls could do so much if they actually thought things through."
"Indeed Doctor Whooves."
"Just The Doctor please."
"As you wish Doctor. You have failed to bring a single one of your enemies' wars to my ponies' doorstep so I can do that small a 'favor.' Tell me Doctor, did you ever wonder why I granted you sanctuary given your reputation?"
"It had crossed my mind. And it certainly wasn't easy to stop them from tracking me back here whenever I take a trip."
"You could say we are alike."
"Teacher! Er, Princess. I wanted to know the truth about you and Equestria. Not that weird pony with the blue shed in his backyard."
"Sorry My Faithful Student. Force of habit ... I am normally asked vague and imprecise questions, so I give vague and imprecise answers. Sometimes leading somepony to find the answers they seek results in more good than simply telling them. However, My Faithful Student, if you wish to know the truth. Then I wish to say a few things first, and I do mean a few."
"Yes Princess." She bowed her head.
"The time I spent with you at the festival for Princess Gaia was wonderful for me. You have no idea how beautiful it was to simply take a day off, and to spend it with you."
"But Princess, you're, you're The Princess you can take a day off whenever you want."
"Ah Twilight, sometimes I forget there are things you don't understand yet ... I am not a 'figurehead' Princess nor is Luna. And in spite of my best efforts, Equestria does not run itself. And Equestria, is not a tiny domain. And Luna has found her nights are not as inactive they were a thousand years ago."
"I understand Princess."
I think I preferred teacher. She's calming down. That's good. She'll need to be for her answer.
"Twilight. This will be my first confession this evening. When I saw the evils in the hearts of all ponies seeking to return to the ponies that spawned them ... I was tempted to destroy them, and leave everyone Princess Gaia had touched as untainted foals, ready to slowly grow up into adults again without those inner demons."
"Princess Celestia ..."
"I had the authority, I had the right, you are my little ponies, even Mother wouldn't question my choice. But I couldn't go through with it. So I let their inner monsters back inside them." I almost told her about Golden Skates, but Twilight was going to have enough on her mind from a selfish goddess spilling her eternity of regrets out to one tiny mortal pony. "So my ponies would have a choice on overcoming their monsters on their own ... I watched Blueblood turn from an innocent colt who lived his life like a timid caged bird back into a spoiled narcissist. Only this time I didn't have the excuse of being too busy correcting one of my other mistakes not to see it happen in front of me."
Twilight's a smart filly. Very smart. One of those ponies so sharp she has a bad habit of sometimes cutting herself. Of course she'd know what I meant.
"What happened with Princess Luna wasn't your fault!" She said, pleading.
"Heh. Roxxie Pie, Shadow Sparkle, and Thunder Dash said the same thing."
"Some friends who helped save the world that the history books forget to include."
"Those names ... our ancestors?"
All cards on the table, like she asked. "And your other friends had distant relatives from a thousand years back who were Luna's closest friends when she turned into a Nightmare and stayed true to her to the end."
"Luna had friends?"
"She wouldn't realize they were friends until a thousand years later, but yes. They stayed by her until the bitter end."
"But-, how could any pony, any pony at all, be loyal to Nightmare Moon? Did she promise them power? Money? Revenge? What?"
"None of the above."
"Then why? "
"Because, before Luna went completely insane, she really did believe she was making a better world."
"And myself, as you've read in Razzaroo's book. Nightmares more often than not are born from good intentions, what then become an all consuming obsessions. When I saw she was lonely, I thought she'd remember in a bit that the Night Guard, her Court, and the others loyal to her would always be there for her. When I saw she was jealous, I believed it would just inspire her to do greater. When I felt she was angry, I brushed it off thinking it would blow over, we were at the age when we were both finding out who we were with no one to guide us.
"And when she suddenly became cheerful, polite, and submissive in court, I didn't think what her new outlet was as her creative works outside her night sky ceased. Any answer, as long as there was nothing wrong with the closest family I had left. 'You don't understand my sister as well as I do.' Any answer, as long as the world was good. What a naÔve little pink haired goddess I was, that I couldn't even put the pieces together that my little sister had gone mad."
"Just like with me when it came to Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash
"Do not blame yourself, Twilight. After what Discord put you through, no one can blame you for refusing to see fault in your friends out of fear they were once more not themselves."
"That's a lie."
"And it's the one Luna helped me believe. She was insane, but she was careful. She animated her shadow and created an avatar of herself -as much a part of her as a leg or a hoof- for when Nightmare Moon and Princess Luna had to be in the same place, much like how Nightmare Whisper hid her true form behind her avatar of Princess Gaia. She kept up her ruse by making Nightmare Moon act so very different from herself, even down to a different manner of speaking, something which you yourself have witnessed when encountering them both.
"She spoon fed me plausible excuses for another Alicorn-like being with control over the night, such as one of her gifts falling into the hooves of the wrong pony, or the Rainbow of Darkness having regenerated a second time.
"In spite of it all, I can't help but applaud her for the skill and precision it took to create a glorified talking dummy of herself that could fool even my senses while successfully hiding Nightmare Moon's true identity from my eyes, let alone doing it from within the depths of madness. Even Shadow Sparkle was impressed. But now that I look back on it, I'm certain I saw the same thing that revealed to Applejack that Princess Gaia was an illusion, nothing. But as I did with everything else, I justified it, deciding she was just masking her eyes. As I said, I was naÔve
"I still remember every detail of their faces and cutie marks, their flaws, their virtues ... The mantle never stops feeling heavy. The pain of outliving those you care about? It NEVER gets easier. Because everypony is unique. And each loss is unique. And I can no more take it off than you take off your horn Twilight."
For less than a moment, Twilight dared to nuzzle me. Good girl. That's a brave pony. It feels good to have one of my little ponies actually nuzzle me. She came back to her senses and withdrew like I was white hot.
Before she could begin babbling apologizes for overstepping her place I said,
"Thank you for that day Twilight Sparkle. Even as Sunny Day, it is a gift I'll treasure forever."
That calmed her down, a little, she loved me enough that she didn't think it was giving her a final polite thanks before sending her to the moon.
"T-thank you Princess."
I think I do preferred 'Teacher' now that I think about it. "Feel free to ask as many and whatever questions you may like Twilight." I said in my most royal and calm voice, getting things back on track now that I used my own student as a shoulder to cry on.
"That Kenbroth Gilspotten Heathspike, the one from Razzaroo's book. The Forth. He's Spike ancestor isn't he? My Spike. Number seven?"
"Indeed he is, he was able to continue his line in this timeline rather than simply living forever. His bloodline has overseen the rise and fall of pony civilization for roughly seven thousand years, always at the side of their generation's champions as your Spike does now."
"Seven thousand? But Equestria's history only goes back around half that."
"The world is much older than most ponies give it credit for, even without the time that was removed."
She looked into my eyes with her own looking rather large. "I need to know. Did you only take me on as your apprentice because you knew Minty is a part of me? AM I Minty?"
I couldn't stop myself, I laughed.
"You are not Minty Twilight, nor are you Twilight the First's shadow. You are not merely a fusion of them but a unique entity unto yourself. You merely carry their legacy. Just as you are not your parents. You were born from them, they are a part of you, but they're not ALL of you, my Faithful Student. And I only learned later what happened to her because of Razzaroo's book, a book that isn't supposed to have ever existed in this universe. And I believed that your mother was born from Twilight the First's shadow, it never occurred to me that you might be. And Twilight,"
She looked up at me in surprise.
"Consider this; Pinkie Pie did what she did because of how much Minty meant to her, because of their friendship. Your place in fate was born of an act of true friendship, the kind of friendship you now share with all your friends. I cannot think of anything better one could be born from, can you?"
I guess you're right, Princess
" she said, a small smile.
It was ironic. After Discord was finally beaten I had been anticipating in two thousand years I'd finally be reunited with the friends I had lost as Star Catcher. Then saving Luna from herself became my focus, and I had no time to look up the lives of ponies who had never met me.
"Alright, what's your next question?"
"What about Equestia's history up until that point. Did it all happen?"
Not this again. I put on my most serious face. "It better sure have happened, I was witness to a good deal of it."
"But-but-but how could, could what I have read been real, if I remember my childhood?! The teasing at magic kindergarden sure felt real to me."
Her thinking was still so limited! After everything she had seen and learned she was still thinking like the flesh and blood pony she was. I felt my chest ache a bit. I went over possible metaphors I could use to explain a sphere to a stick pony who had only ever seen a circle. I breathed in deep.
"Twilight." This was harder than I thought it would be. "First picture reality like a tree, every choice and probability causes it to branch out in any number of directions, each as real and valid as the next and each one unique though many branch from one source.
"For example, there is a universe where all genders being flipped is the probability that changed oh please stop blushing. But also a universe were I fell to darkness instead of my sister, yes it scares me too, and another where Rainbow Dash chose to rescue Fluttershy instead of finishing the race, becoming less driven but better emotionally adjusted. All of these timelines are branches on the same tree, but no one branch is more or less a part of the tree.
"Now imagine time. Do you see a road? A river? I will now explain the truth of things. Time is the blood that enables the mortal universe's gears to turn, the sap allowing the tree to grow. As was mentioned enough times in Razzaroo's book for you to hear it in your nightmares, the 'all desires fulfilled' enchantment placed upon the world caused that particular branch to twist back on itself, and develop unhealthy growths. Normally these things can be straightened out or straighten themselves out. But as it created new contradictions to fix old ones, they went further and further back in time. The timeline had essentially become a cancer that would continue to spread if it wasn't stopped. So it had to be amputated. There's just one thing Twilight."
"Spirits are not entities of space time. They are eternal. Your past did not retroactively come into being when time reached that point again. It came into being the normal way: one present moment and choice at a time which ripple into the future. I'm sorry Twilight if that doesn't make complete sense. I've never had to explain all this before, it was simply known among my family. You carry Minty's light inside you Twilight, it is an indivisible part of you, but you were never her."
"When Pinkie gasped and ran from me when we first met in Ponyville. It wasn't simply because I was new was it?"
"That I do not know. Pinkie sealed away the vast majority of her memories of that never-time, I do not know how much of the end she let herself remember at that time until she allowed herself to become one pony again. But it is quite possible that the personality that remembered it may have forced itself to the surface and recognized you."
"But if spirits aren't part of space time, how can every version of me be
me, but not me?"
"That is a good question, my faithful student. Each version of you has their own spirit, but all of them connected, like how the leaves on one tree are fed from the same sap as ones on another branch but still their own entity. Dusk Shine, that is the you from that world were genders are reversed, is his own pony, but his soul and yours are linked. Inseparable, but unique, in the same way you and Trixie are both embodiments of the Element Of Magic yet manifest it in different ways."
I saw the gears in Twilight's head turn. Finally her mind seemed to accept my answers and filed them away. She was silent for a full two minutes and I let her be. Finally she asked leaving that part of the session behind, "Why did you almost completely purge Discord from the history books."
"I didn't want to leave him any trace of a legacy, he doesn't deserve one."
"What about his 'statue?'"
"That was for the Draconequi, not Discord."
"DraconeQUI as in more than one-?!"
"Yes. You read Razzaroo's book remember?"
"Yes! But- it's so much to all take in!"
"I didn't know that was actually Discord. After what happened to Luna and I relocated I lost track of him, I thought he was buried."
"And you never recognized-"
"I had just sealed away my own sister! My best friend, as good as my twin! And I spent the next thousand years planning and preparing how to cure her! And as far as I knew he would be stone until the universe died of old age and His Mother came for him! I truthfully believed he was as good as dead!"
Twilight cowered before me. She was not the first to ask that question, or the second, and I was tired of it. I stood quietly in the dead of Luna's night as Twilight shook like a leaf in front of me. Finally she peaked out from under her hooves and slowly stood up. "I'm sorry Princess."
"Apology accepted Twilight Sparkle. Ponies love thinking I'm perfect when they can imagine a connection between their unhappiness and me, and love to think I am the opposite of perfect if it means they can shove their noses at me when they think I'm not looking. Just look at any of the tabloids at a supermarket, I don't write ALL the articles condemning me." I wasn't able to control myself, Twilight had hit a nerve. Elites and nobles who had caught wind of the Draconequus statue and connected the dots with Discord himself had roared at me why I had better security around the toppled tyrant. Some of the tabloids had a field day with it too, as you can guess.
I noticed how uncomfortable she looked. It was times like this I wished that I could afford to apologize more. Cadence had only been able to afford to apologize to Razzaroo since the world was coming to an end. A leader who spent all her time apologizing, didn't stay a leader for long.
I resisted the coming headache. "Please Twilight, continue, I am not angry with you, I am angry at being asked that question over and over! You have more questions before I begin, ask them."
"Princess ... the reenactment of Equestria's founding at Hearth Warming's Eve. I know there were some dramatic and historic liberties taken, but how much of that play is real? And how much is what ponies THINK happened?" Good student.
"It's what they believe happened. It's what in their hearts happened Twilight, that's all it needs to be.
I spoke in my most perfect sagely voice. "That is only one truth Twilight, one version, and even I can't remember anymore how accurate it is. So much has been repaired and revised since then. I sometimes remember it as you've seen in that reenactment. Other times I remember it just being me and Lulu, Discord gone, and me a naive little goddess thinking that without her parents baring down on her, not there to help her, guide her, that maybe at least she could make a land where everyone was happy no matter what. I accept that truth you and everypony else knows, because it gives them hope. It gives them something to grasp and trot towards to the future. More importantly, it inspires them to believe in their friendships and the power they possess. Power you've witnessed yourself numerous times now."
"Thank you Teacher." Twilight bowed her head. Then she asked. "Now what are the real details?"
I resisted the urge to applaud my student then and there. Maybe she was pushing past her limits. Made me wish I could still give her a gold star on her report card.
"All three expeditions did arrive at the same new area on the same day, but the pegasi claimed the new land by a few hours rather than a few seconds, or so says the records. Despite what most think, racism isn't dead in Equestria and I'd rather not encourage it with that little fact.
"And the expeditions didn't plant their standards within yards of each other. And all three expeditions were much larger than just two each.
"Princess Platinum actually led the expedition because her father was too ill to travel, and given her pampered attitude, I trust this says how much she loved him. And to be fair the personalities of all three leaders has been ... exaggerated."
"Like General Custard?"
"Yes like General Custard. Oh Platinum was pampered and spoiled. Hurricane was a warrior without any wars to give her glory. And Pudding Head was insane and childish, but also she was crazy like a fox! Like a good leader Hurricane -cared- for her fellow pegasi and was in command because her elderly superiors were dead or dying, thus why she wasn't a general and yet the leader of the Pegasi.
"Princess Platinum's prejudice was not exaggerated, but she was actually the last one to leave the summit, and was demanding the other two not leave as they left.
"Smart Cookie, Clover the Clever, and Private Pansy were indeed the ones whose friendship shattered the Windigo's grip on the ponies, and were great exceptions to the prejudices of their time. They still have my utmost respect for more reasons than one. After all, they managed to channel their friendship into a powerful spell without the Elements Of Harmony, a feat that has only recently been replicated by you and your friends.
"But Pansy was not Hurricane's Second-In-Command or aid. She was a faceless††expendable grunt. Hurricane's Second froze with her loyally trying to pull Hurricane out of the cocoon of ice forming on the Pegasi leader.
"The leaders were the first to freeze and the trio were the last, but it was more than just a minute apart. The rest of the expedition froze in turn.
"The leaders stopped -hating- each other when they learned the others were not the cause of the blizzard, and that their hatred had fed the very beings who had caused it. But caring for other another? That took years.
"And ... the relationship between Earth ponies and the other clans was ... more tense. And unicorns had an
exaggerated opinion of their magic.
"Also, that play leaves out ... that the three tribes found out there was were two more races of ponies.
"No, not the Alicorns, we are one in all and all in one. But the new Equestrians did give the Hippocampi back the idea of individual names. And they brought the Flutterponies out of their newest fit of isolationism. The flutterpony's magic? Heh. That is the student I know. Individually their magic was less than that of a below average unicorn, but ... heh, they were able to group together their magic infinitely easier than Unicorns can, some even said that to test the magic of one of them was to face the magic of their entire race. Not that I ever got a big chance to ask them or see much for myself sadly. Strife only said they never failed to surprise her ...
"The seaponies? Their singing was the most beautiful in Equestria and they knew it. They were also very helpful creatures, if you were in distress at sea, you could always count on them to come to your rescue. Even when they were in hiding, they kept this in secret, often pretending to be dolphins or the like when they could get away with it.
"I suggest if you seek to learn more about the Flutterponies and Seaponies, I suggest you speak with Lickety Split, a colt in Ponyville whose family has stories dating back to that time, including quite a few involving those two, though they have been exaggerated somewhat by time, as stories often are." My student scribbles down the name, I taught her well.
"One last question. That flag The one used at the end of the play... it wasn't the one used by the ponies who founded Equestria was it?"
"No. It wasn't. Ponies have since forgotten what standard they used. And I wasn't on the scene at the time except in spirit, and that Equestria ... would be crushed under Discord's heel."
"I'm ready teacher. Tell me everything."
"As you wish. But be warned Twilight, you leave childhood behind now."
"But after the big bang happened you won't believe how boring everything was for a while after that. I mean! A whole new universe, when you see it the first time you think that it'll be stars, planets and life in a couple centuries. I threw such a fit when I learned we'd have to wait a couple billion years for life to evolve-
-so the score of star ball remained at a draw when Our Parents told us we were causing too many super novas whenever we played with the draconequi-
-And that was when I created my first species. My Parents were so proud.-
-And then there was my time as a perfectly normal horse on the world on other side of the rainbow. It taught me to pick my battles when I talked back to my older siblings-
-Discord wasn't always a sick bastard, wait, he was always a sick bastard, but unlike Destruction he refused to take his medication-
-And if I knew what it would start I would have never given him that extra slice of birthday cake-
-I mean! Come on! Turning a racially segregated species all the same color purple with blue polka dots was funny the FIRST time he did it! But you think he'd at least-
-So I told him. NO! Plucking an entire species of sapient flowers and turning them into a bouquet did NOT make my heart flutter! And it turns out they were a species Strife was experimenting with so ... -
-And after I got the piercing at the rock concert-
-And I slapped him so hard when he kissed me that he sailed from one edge of the universe to the other side-
-I told him he was STILL missing the point when he got His Father to blow up several planets to spell out my name-
-So when I found out she was dating that jerk I might have SLIGHTLY overreacted. No one's going to notice one extra desert planet, and it only took a few decades for all the species to adapt-
-And then I rolled a three, my sister a two, and he a seven, on a six side dice!"
"I asked for the truth! Not your auto-biography from the beginning of the universe!...You can tell me some of that when I'm not having a panic attack after learning about the apocalypse!"
"Oh! Sorry! It's not like I was trying to bore you to sleep with trivial mundane details of my early life so you'd sleep through the deep and terrible secrets of the origins of the current cosmic state of being and your civilization."
"Teacher? Can we? Please?"
"First, why 'Teacher'?"
Her eyes quivered, "B-because ... I don't know what to call you anymore."
I gave her a serious look back. "I understand. Just please remember. I am your Princess, and I would never seek to harm or sacrifice any of my little ponies. I love all of you, I wouldn't be ruling you directly right now if I didn't. And I started out as such a naive and innocent deity, I didn't know how valuable life was at first, that's why we Alicorns took mortal form, so we could learn about what it was we were protecting. I did learn a little from my days as Star-Catcher. And Twilight, there is nothing more dangerous, than only learning 'a little.' "
"And please, no, no 'flights of fancy'."
"Alright. I made up the birthday cake. Discord always thought I was hot-"
"-after I filled in. He spent the first couple billion years teasing me about it."
Pony POV Series Origins
Forgive me if I am abridged on some parts. There is much to cover and no time to cover it as I'm sure you know by now dear.
I can assure you. Myself and Discord were never in love ... not by any meaningful definition of the word at least. I knew love between my family, and I knew love of the friends Star-Catcher had made, but my ideal world had turned love into an almost monotone emotion with no depth or shading, deep and complex friendships were rare gems on the beach.
... So what was it like between myself and Discord? It's complicated.
I'm sorry I've just done my best not to think about in two thousand years!
I was a pure divine maiden for whom his disgusting black claws could only blindly grasp at. Oh alright I thought he was a blast to be around! After he stopped teasing me and turned on the charm I was hooked! Discord may not look it, but he is quite capable of learning from his mistakes and with me he made so many. He got it wrong the first several times, but we were counterparts who had to work together whether we liked it or not, so I chose to like it.
In honesty, I chaffed under the laws that said we had to amputate the timeline I had lived, and Discord provided my outlet.
So yes my student, a little pinkette goddess and a little draconequus playing together. My Parents approved at first. Saying we'd learn things from each other we needed to learn. Havoc was upset I was 'infecting' him but figured I could be constructive in small doses. His Mother approved because it almost amused Her.
He taught me the joys of pranking and how to think outside the box. I laughed again with him. Luna said I was being an idiot, I told her she was being prejudice, and Discord asked her if she was just being jealous. This made Luna's face burn. But not as much as when he put a stink bomb under her pillow. Back then, Discord's games could actually be fun!
I taught him to appreciate art and beauty, and ... how to think and plan.
I gave his randomness direction, he gave my projects more creative flair. He rarely made things on his own but he was so easy to inspire with just the most simple of ideas. He was always trying to push me to break the rules the Elders had put in place, while I was always trying to get him to go one day without breaking one of them.
Ever hear of the crab nasties? They were frightening giant crabs created between Discord and I and instilled with an unbreakable sense of justice. Why? Because it was unexpected and surprising. Nothing else to it. Strife adored them, powerful creatures with equally strong willed hearts, she didn't care if they were good or evil. One of my siblings, Justitia, liked them for acting in her name.
Then we visited this world again on a whim, and I noticed a pony walking along side a cliff eating bits of grass, she looked malnourished.
I considered cheating and making some flowers bloom around her in great numbers to feed her. But I hesitated. Discord saw the look on my face.
"What are you thinking beautiful?"
"Nothing. I was just thinking back. What if giving her flowers once makes her keep coming back here wasting time when she could be searching elsewhere? And if I make the flowers constantly grow, other ponies might fight her over it. There could be consequences."
Discord flicked her off the cliff, I watched as she fell, and the ground broke her neck. Then Discord snapped his fingers and she was back on the edge of the cliff. She blinked in confusion and ran away from the cliff, scared nearly to death. He laughed, "You see? There are no consequences. Rules and laws exist just to artificially create them."
I growled at him.
"What? She's alive and well. And she has the common sense now not to stray so close to cliffs. No harm. No foul. And I'd say that was a good thing, wouldn't you Celly?"
I couldn't defeat his logic. Yes, logic. We learned a lot from each other.
It was a violation of Mortis' territory. But Discord had made it sound all so rational!
He still saw I was upset though.
As an apology he transplanted the rest of the race of sentient flowers, the Flores, to the early Age of Equestria before it was Equestria. You'll find them in one of Lickty-Split's stories, about that which is ugly not always being evil and what is beautiful does not make it good.
Turns out that even before being transplanted they were a ruthless species of sapient plants who's lifecycle was like locusts: they'd wander from land to land sucking up the nutrients and fertility of the soil for miles around leaving all other forms of plant life dead and move on leaving deserts in their wake. And they loved it.
It didn't matter so much on their own world where they were the only form of sapient life, but this meant they had no empathy for their new neighbors. Strife approved of this new conflict and accepted as Discord's apology to her as well. Destruction clapped like a child watching fireworks. Pandaemonium admitted they did look pretty, but didn't like seeing gardens created for their beauty destroyed. Anarchy just shrugged. We had to transplant the crab nasties as a counter balance.
Allow me to explain something to you my little pony, it is hard to understand but please try to. When one exists ...outside of things, the order you perceive things happening is not the order that mortal ponies experience them in.††Just know that these events happened prior to the First Age, even though I had already been Star Catcher in what would've been called the Third Age had it not been erased. In other words your past, present and future are like a river to those of us outside it. If I was not flesh and blood before you, I could take Smarty-Pants from your death bed, and give it to you in your cradle.
So then I saw his real personality? My student, Discord always saw reality as his playpen, but it was only when he was older when he found the 'joy' of seeing ponies broken and squirming in terror or dancing on his puppet strings. That sadistic pleasure was always in his heart, as you can assume from his treatment of the Flutterponies during the amputation of that timeline. But the true extent of his pleasure in others' misery was hidden even from him. Then it was just a black seed buried in the depths of his soul.
And it was on that day, I had helped him discover it.
He saw he could cause chaos through indirect means, he saw good intentions could lead to disaster, or bad intentions disguised by good ones, and he wanted to know more. He wanted to understand.
So he taught an elderly woman how to steal youth and create illusions based on her victims' innermost fantasies. He taught a fat failure of a wizard how to feed off shadows to increase his magic. He told an Octopus-like creature who shared his newfound love of causing suffering where to find the buried remains of a pendant given to the beast eons before by Strife to stir things up called the Flashstone imbued with draconequus magic. Strife had long abandoned him for a new avatar on your world. And before you ask, no, there is no need to worry about the Flashstone, not that I blame you, the ones who defeated its owner feared its power would again be used for evil and destroyed it the moment his rampage was undone.
"Teacher. By that logic you should break every horn in Equestria of every unicorn whose special talent is destructive magic. Because they might use it for evil."
"I never said it an unbiased decision. Remember, this was an age where, while powerful, Unicorn magic was in its infancy as an art compared to what you know it. So the Flashstone's power was even more fearsome back then."
Discord's toys fell eventually, but this only made him laugh harder. Their hope then despair added to the mix.
No matter how many fell, he'd just find another greedy being or monster who needed a 'benefactor.' All he needed to do was reach out and grab a new toy when the pony's broke his old ones. It was also about this time he began to see the power lies and half-truths could have. He told tell a once kindly girl that a plant would give its user incredible magical power if made into a proper potion, but neglect to mention it was essentially a powerful drug that turned its users into power mad psychopaths. You know it today as witchweed. However, he did not discover the true power in deceit and treachery until he was older.
He wound them up like toy soldiers sent them off causing misery until they fell. It was a game without end.
And he happily thanked me for it. Enthusiastically, he shook my hooves telling me how grateful he was for helping him discover his new passion. He got his sister to help create an entire nebula in my image as a thank you gift.
I felt sick inside.
Did he love me? Twilight, first you need to understand something about the Draconequi. The Alicorns and Draconequi, as Spike the Fourth stated, were protectors of the Life of the universe. We were the countless improbable factors that enabled life to exist. But our roles were very different. The Draconequi's roles did not permit the same form of compassion as Alicorns and mortal ponies possessed. You are a product of both our efforts after all.
But at the same time, if they had no idea what love was at all, they'd be incapable of testing and encouraging the Life of the universe as was their duty, since as more sapient life appeared, love became a part of life.
Thus, the form of love the Draconequi had was very different, but none the less real, or at least they understood the mechanics behind it. They knew it was fickle thing, making it part of chaos. They knew it was part of what bound families, which Strife understood. They knew it was beautiful, which Pandora appreciated. And it could lead to great disaster, which Destruction comprehended. They knew it made people fear for those they cared about, something Havoc saw useful. Anarchy knew it was something unto itself, which he accepted.
It is difficult to explain, but the best way I can explain it is the compassion of a Draconequus was based on something that let them care for living beings without becoming attached to them.
For example, Strife couldn't afford to develop compassion as we know it for any species or individual or she'd risk favoritism and refuse to allow them to be challenged properly per her duty. Instead she loved them in memory of their victories, their battles, their strengths, and of their determination, but didn't judge them based solely on these things, considering their right a fundamental one of all species. She took pride and admired a being who managed to conquer the challenges she placed before them. Her admiration for Thistle Whistle's sacrifice was entirely genuine, I even heard the sonnet she had Pandemonium write for her. In this way, Strife managed to remain detached enough from the world so as not to descend into favoritism but at the same time avoided becoming so apathetic that she became incapable of valuing Life in any form. Each of the Draconequi possessed something akin to this, or so I believed back then.
Of all the Draconequi, Discord was the only one whom I think was honest confused and befuddled by very the idea of love. The idea frustrated him to no end, even when he smashed it and looked at the pieces he couldn't wrap his mind around it.
If he could, he loved me as much as you love Smarty-Pants. No more and no less. And as he grew up, he discarded all but his most beloved of his older toys, and even them he now played with
But these are all mechanics Twilight Sparkle, descriptions . And text entries don't matter to a broken heart.
It was too much, I, I broke down in tears when I saw what he did. I tried telling him this wasn't right, that this wasn't the chaos he was meant to unleash, but he gave me the same answer he'd given me before when he threw the pony from the cliff. He put an arm around my shoulder, he told me "There are no consequences Celly. Rules and laws exist just to artificially create them."
I trotted back from him, slowly shaking my head. He was confused by my reaction. I think he thought I'd be laughing with him right about now.
I ran away. From everything. From him. From my family. From Luna.
I ran back to the world where everything was nice and simple, where everything had always been black and white. Yours. And I saw what had become of things. This was the Second Age, after the events of Dream Valley during the First Age, but before the 'perfect world' I lived as Star-Catcher came into being in what was originally the Third Age.
By the time of the Second Age, Earth ponies had grown to mimic humans and their culture in tribute to their world's savior. In fact, they had even taken the NAME EARTH Ponies in tribute. Yes humans, the species from the other side of the rainbows. Since there was a whole world of them waiting for him when he was bored of Equestria, Discord wasn't bothered that his 'playing rough' ... no, no, no, I'm alright Twilight. Discord was particularly, 'creative' with them.
But the Earth ponies had forgotten any of the other tribes even existed. Earth ponies in the tropics even developed the fantasy that mainland Earth ponies could fly. Not that they even thought of themselves as Earth ponies by that point, after all, there were no Pegasi or Unicorns to distinguish themselves from.
Civilization grew, even greater than what it is today. Many things I've seen invented are in fact what has been RE-invented after being lost from the world being broken twice over. But these Earth Ponies completely forgot about magic, not that they really needed it anymore.
They lived lives with challenges, obstacles, all on a personal level. No one had a perfect life, foolish fillies fell in love with narcissistic stallions, ponies who believed there were other worlds were laughed at, and all had hidden sides to themselves same as anypony. But most could reach their dreams if they tried hard enough.
And no pony had to worry about giant monsters, a lord of darkness descending upon them to turn ponies into brainwashed dragon slaves or mad magicians looking to steal a part of their souls like it was firewood or dangerous narcotic plants. Some called it bland, but I think after all the ponies before them had endured, as a species and a people they had earned their world.
"It sounds like not that bad a time."
"It wasn't my student. And I hated it! Ponies being insensitive to each other-?! Ponies who were more in love with themselves than their friends? Ponies who would cheat at tests and competitions? Ponies having to work for MONEY opposed for the joy of it? Ponies being born then dying of old age? No magic at all? I saw it as some dark grim dystopia of everything the flawless shallow child-like paradise I had come to love was. In other words, I was spoiled."
"I thought you had accepted that a perfect world like that couldn't work."
"I did. But accepting a world of ponies who weren't perfect? Ponies who would make selfish choices? A world where ponies weren't friends with everyone else? The only experience I had with mortal ponies had been that dream world. I trotted along the road of time, wanting to see, hoping that even if my ideal world couldn't exist, maybe when the point came, they could at least be the perfect little near identical ponies I had fallen in love with. Mother's vital lectures on the importance of freewill I'd been given were buried in my brain and forgotten."
Then, as the Second Age began its end, the civilized ponies found magic again. They realized what magic could do, and with their better understanding of the world, they could use it on a grander, more precise scale, of the unicorns of the previous eons who had barely understood how to teleport and other forms of magic were just being discovered.
It was a grand project. Magic was 'magic' to them, in other words, the magic of their fairytales, magic that could give them anything they wanted regardless of any rule. Inspiration was drawn from their fantasies, and for these ponies, one idea sparked in one pony who now dared dream the impossible. She suggested the idea to others, who were slow at first but as her idea became more refined they readily picked it up. There was resistance of course, but it never became violent. The promise of an ideal world was simply too tempting.
The mare who came up with the idea however had had a heart-breaking encounter in her youth, and believed the world wouldn't need stallions if everypony was immortal and in perfect health no matter how much candy or soda they guzzled down.
Their dream was a simple one: recreate the utopia exaggerated in their fairytales with an Age's worth of magic released all at once.
Pinkie Pie and the others at that time? A very intelligent question. If they were all immortal and had no children they had to be alive at this point yes? Logical yes?
That's the funny thing my student. BECAUSE they had been erased or revised at THAT point in time when the amputation happened, that meant they HAD to exist when time reached that point again, and no longer being immortal, this meant they all had to be born eons later!
But even all the magic they had, they had no real way to properly manifest it and direct it.
There was however, another legacy from the First Age when ponies were limited to Dream Valley. Ever heard of the Rainbow Of Light my student? It was a powerful instrument created as a pair. One of light, one of darkness, to ensure ponies would have a choice about which one to use. Mother tends to be rather intent on freewill, in theory at least. She said freedom to shape one's own destiny and freedom to enjoy that destiny would always butt heads.
The Rainbow of Darkness during the First Age was destroyed by the Rainbow of Light after the dark half was being used as a weapon to corrupt ponies into near mindless dragons by a centaur in love with the idea of eternal night, who was destroyed along with it. I do not know if he was servant of my sister's who fell too much in love with her. The Rainbow of Darkness regenerated itself during my reign with my sister and resurrected its last master with it and he challenged Luna for the right to rule the night. You've seen his chariot Luna had kept all these eons as a trophy.
How did Tirek get his claws on the Rainbow Of Darkness? I can't be sure, I have my suspicions as I'm sure you do by as well, but I do not know which ones are correct.
The Rainbow of Light remained however, and it kept its care takers alive and healthy, ready to be used when the next mad man arose who wanted to reshape the world to how they thought it should be, and between them, Strife and Discord provided plenty of those.
Among the Rainbow's caretakers was a unicorn named Twilight who used wishes to trigger her own magic, yes, she whose shadow gave birth to you. A silly minded pegasus named Surprise. A brave dare devil named Firefly. A rational and logical and sometimes stiff pegasus named Wind Whistler (for a time I believed YOU were her shadow) who was once teased she had no feelings until she cried about it. And many, MANY others. It was not a small group.
Ever heard of Paradise Estate and Dream Castle? They resided in what was once called Dream Valley in the First Age. No no no, when the ponies SETTLED there from being wandering herds it was dangerous place, but they turned it beautiful and safe by hard won successes. Many of Discord's beneficiaries were vanquished by this very group. This is how your species caught Strife's full attention with their hard won victories.
Dream Castle was destroyed by ... you don't want to know how, it's safe to say that you should pray no one remembers how to create The Smooze. No, not even the Rainbow Of Light could stop it. After the Smooze was destroyed, the caretakers relocated to Paradise Estate. If you wish to know more about that, I suggest you once more consult Lickety Split, its one of his family's favorite stories as their ancestor did play a role in it.
The Paradise Estate Ponies had never actually kept their immortality secret from the modern ponies who inhabited the Second Age. They hadn't even meant to kept their own existence a secret! They weren't even all Earth Ponies! They simply had fallen out of context of what civilized ponies would accept as real in their minds. But magic was suddenly real again thanks to one pony who dared believe.
The idea would have been to break the Rainbow Of Light into several pieces and place them at various castles across the land of ponies, its magic spread across the land with one giant wish to create their ideal fantasy world.
The civilized ponies never knew it, but resulting magic would have also turned many of the ponies on Paradise Estate into shadows of existence, as the retcons to reality to ensure this perfect world had a reason to exist would have pushed many lives aside. The Paradise ponies knew and accepted this however, since they were sick of a new evil always on the horizon, and wanted to be done with it.
And it worked. And you read about the results and I lived them in the Third Age that never was.
Then history had to change.