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Bright New Days

Twilight Sparkle woke up.

Twilight Sparkle woke up.

She woke up.

She got up. Yawned.

Went down and started her morning routine.

Dental hygiene. Poke Spike. Read for a bit.

Start the day off with her usual - sweet tea - and biscuits.

It looked like a beautiful day outside.

Start the day off with her usual - coffee - and biscuits.

Sun shining. Celestia had certainly done her duty this morning.

The milk tasted fantastic. She'd have to send her compliments to the Cudderly sisters. Cudderly milk - fresh from the udder!

Bright new day. Beautiful, brand-new bright new day.

Walk outside. Cloudy, dim. Looked like the weather factory was brewing up a storm - better be careful.

Where was she going, again? To the detention facility where the apple-farmer was being held under suspicion of smuggling subversive materials via apple deliveries?

No. That's silly. No.

She was going to go to the cafe. She secretly hoped that she would see Applejack there - she'd been kind of shy around Twilight lately, and Twilight wanted to really know what was up. Maybe... there was more under the dirt and sweat than just more dirt and sweat.

Oh, it's Pinkie Pie. Hello, Pinkie Pie. Bouncing about merrily, big toothy grin.

"Hey, Twilight! Do you want some cupcakes?"

"Cupcakes? Sure! I haven't eaten today, so I'm kind of hungry... what flavor are these?"

"They're made from 100% Rainbow Dash! Wheeeheeeheee!"

Twilight steps back, trying to figure out what's going on in that crazy pink head. "...What?"

"Just kiiiiiding! Custard!" Splat. Custard dripping down a purple flank, madly giggling pony hopping away. Twilight tries to lick some off, but gives up. Urgh. That Pinkie Pie. So random.

She hoped Her Imperial Benevolence wouldn't mind the lateness of the latest report. It was sometimes slow, she'd argued in the last letter, and she would alltogether rather avoid having to intentionally stir up trouble just so she could relate her latest findings on the superweapon known as Friendship.

Besides. Fluttershy had been making eyes at her, she was sure, and Applebloom wanted some help. It was about the Cute Mark Crusaders, and their upcoming trip to Mount Evercrest, to see if they were, in fact, mountain-climbing-ponies.

Besides. Rarity had been distracted lately, she was sure, and Sweetie Belle wanted some help. It was about the Cutie Mark Crusaders, and their upcoming trip to Camterlot, to speak with the lovely Princess Luna.

But she'd have to deny them. After all, the former Nightmare Moon was currently awaiting Her Grace's pleasure in the cold iron holding cells.



Oh. It's Derpy. Hello, Derpy.

That's not her name, Twilight says.

Hello, Derpy. How are you today?


I'm showing my daughter around the mail routes!

...A shake of the head, a slow sad smile.

That wasn't the answer, Ditzy Doo.

That wasn't the question either.

But how are you today, Twilight?

Not good.

Hurting somewhere.

But that's all right. Zecora could probably brew up some kind of magic potion to help with the ache. Maybe she could gather up her friends and go off on an epic quest to find the exotic ingredients! Yeah! Rarity could find the magic flowers, along with Fluttershy (who'd have to overcome her fear of palm trees) and Applejack and Rainbow Dash could catch the racing-weasel who needs to give up his tail and then-

But that’s all right. Princess Celestia could probably cure any sickness, if she had the four elemental gems. Maybe she could gather up her friends and go off on an epic quest to find the elemental gems! Yeah! Rainbow Dash could team up with Fluttershy to find the gem of air, while Applejack dug for the gem of earth and then Rarity could-



Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy, both of them blushing, Rainbow Dash nuzzling at Fluttershy's mane.

You can't do that, Rainbow Dash!

(What will Rarity think? Fluttershy and she were...)

But what about your upcoming career in the Wonderbolts, Rainbow Dash? Do you want to leave Fluttershy a widow, if some griffin were to catch you while you were attempting a bombing run?


That's not right.

(Rainbow Dash loves Pinkie-)


Maybe she was just trying to get a tick out of Fluttershy's mane. With her lips. And tongue.

And now she is.

Fluttershy backing away, squeaking, trembling.

Rainbow Dash pushing her, almost shoving her over, sneering.



"Hey, Twilight. You don't look so good."

"Leave me alone!"

"B-but, Twilight, we- we just-"

"No! Go away! Stop being whoever you are! Leave me alone!"

She turns, and runs. It takes her ten minutes to get back to the treehouse.

It should only have taken five.

It should have taken fifteen.

Shut the door behind you, Twilight.

Lock it, throw away the key.

Bar the door.

Lock it, keep the key on your desk.

You have a desk, Twilight?

Of course you do.


You can see it out of the corner of your eye.

Just don't turn around.

Don't blink.

You blinked, didn't you, Twilight?

It's gone now.

There's a dining table there.

Don't you want to eat dinner, Twilight Sparkle?

It would be a nice lunch, with Spike as the main course.

Oh, and you could have Rarity over, and discuss the Evertree Forest problem.

That would be a nice relaxing evening, wouldn't it?

It's Everfree, by and by.

That's important to remember.

If you don't, it'll never have been.

If you don't, it will always have been.

Buzzing at the door. Buzzing buzzing like little bees.

Remember when they stung you, Twilight?

When you were spying on Pinkie Pie?

(She's probably working for Her Majesty's Enforcers.)

(That's the only way her Pinkie Sense makes sense.)

[That was a joke.]


Door opens.

Didn't you latch it, Twilight Sparkle?

But you don't turn around to check.

Just curl up and pray for it all to be gone.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"Can you do anything about...?" Applejack.

"Is she going to be all right? Will her corpse be no good?" Pinkie.

"I need you lovely, lovely ladies to leave." Voice. Familiar. Not important.

Look up at him, Twilight Sparkle.

Stop crying and look up.

He might not be a lady-pony.

He might not be one of the gang.

But he's here right now and he's looking at you all tear-eyed.

"I'm sorry. Of course you'd be the one to notice."

"What is it? Why is this... tell me!”

"It's complicated..." He looks away, but she catches him, makes him look. Look at her.

"I had three different breakfasts! At the same time!"

Tears rolling down a purple cheek.

Can't explain that.

Didn't you learn that you're supposed to accept these things?

These unexplainable things?

"How many ponies do you think there are in Equestria? Just Equestria, right now."

"Thousands. Tens of thousands. Easy." She knows. She helped the Imperial Census.

No. She didn’t. But she did.

"How many choices do you think they make every second? Deciding to do something, not to do something, brains humming away at a subconscious level?” So many books on the shelves. Too many. Trying to be in the same place, same time.

"I'll answer that for you. It's okay. Take a deep breath.


"And all of them happen. They have to. Otherwise, what's the point?" He repeats it. Softly. “What’s the point?”

"But that's... I've never... am I living through them all... am I?"

"Imagine that reality is a tapestry. It's nothing like a tapestry, but imagine. You're a thread. Woven through a bunch of other threads. And to exist independently of all the other threads, someone needs to look at you. Otherwise you're just... a bunch of possibilities and could-have-beens and potential.

"Now, this is where everything breaks down. Because a thread can't simultaneously be coming loose and becoming one with all the other threads at the same time.

"This shouldn't happen,” he says.

"This shouldn't ever happen.

"My people... Gallopfrey... we stopped things like this from happening.” Sad. He looks at the rumpled sheets, the torture implements hanging from the walls, the evidence for the case building up on her table-now-a-desk. So sad.

"I can't... I can't stop this. Back when we were shining... maybe. But the observers have looked away. No. They've chosen not to allow the Thread-Singularity Omega Principle act. Everything should come down to one point that creates an entirely new set of choices, and all the others - nothing. Potentia again.

"It's not. They’re not.

"And you're the bearer of the Element of Friendship. Smartest pony alive. Student of Celestia herself, whoever she happens to be at this moment.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. You had to notice. You're clever. You notice these things, can't just let the inconsistencies go.” How large is the library? She doesn’t know anymore.

"Everyone else does, you know. Just ignores what’s happening. Maybe the pink one doesn't, I don’t know. But the rainbow one - she can be bullying Flutterfeather-"

"Shy." Is she that unimportant?

"Whoever... one moment... and then kissing her the next."

"Help me. Please." She holds out her forelegs, begging.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

"How old are we? How many times have we done this? How many lives?"

"Just close your eyes, and this will all be a bad dream. Maybe you'll wake up working for Her Enforcers. Maybe you'll wake up with Rarity beating down your door. But just close your eyes, and everything will be better."

"No, no, it's all wrong, please, just help me-"

"Ssssh. It's all right. Just close your eyes, let me close them, hold them tight- just forget- just ignore the breaking walls, the calls down the watchtower, the threads entertwining- just-"

Twilight Sparkle woke up. It was a beautiful new day, though she wasn't sure why she'd decided to fall asleep on the floor. Oh, now she remembered - Spike had been scared by the thunderstorms last night, and so she'd come down to cuddle with him. Wherever he was now, it was probably best to leave him.

"Oh, excuse me." She looked up to see that brown earth pony, the one with the hourglass cutie mark, carrying a book balanced precariously on his back. "I hope I didn't wake you up."

"No, it's all right. Could you wait until I wake up to check out anything, though? I guess that I'm the librarian around here, after all." She levitated the book over to her, sliding a library card in. "Here you go - though I don't know why you'd want to read about ancient Equestrian tapestries."

"It's... ah, it's a hobby. You know. Can't be saving time all the time, right?" Twilight laughed, and he joined in, slightly lackluster.

"You have a good day now, okay?" Twilight said as he turned to leave - and when he looked back, for a moment she could see tears in his eyes.

"Yeah. You have a good day today, Twilight."

And he walked out, leaving Twilight to the rest of her day in peace.