~ Famous Philosopher, CR 937. Ironically, put to death for madness soon after.
Lyra was positive she was mad.
Nay, she was probably insane by now. But, by golly, she never felt better.
“Lyra... you can make Twilight yours. Forever. She just needs the right encouragement,” a metallic voice squeaked in her left ear. The source of the voice was a crude robot-doll fashioned out of clay with a little painted on face. The doll sat comfortably on her left shoulder. Lyra had dubbed him Mr. Druid Droid. For no reason other than he resembled a robot, and he was dressed in druidic garments. Or so she thought. Her memory was fuzzy these days.
“You’re ever so right Mr Druid Droid,” Lyra replied in a sing song voice. She fondled a doll in her hooves. It was an exact replica of the purple unicorn known as Twilight Sparkle. Better known as the personal student of Princess Celestia. It was carved out of the best pinewood she could find. If one were to examine it closely, it was clear it was the work of many loving hours, complete with the star-shaped cutie mark Twilight sported.
“Lyra, I’m so ashamed of you,” another voice spoke in her right ear. “If you want Twilight to love you, you are going to have to let her do so on her own accord.” Lyra sighed. It was Baron Awesome again. The kaiser-wearing, monocled falcon. Why couldn’t the avian see? Twilight would never accept her if she didn’t use force. All those years of failure in magic school taught her that. Yet, for all her bitterness, Lyra could see the falcon’s point. What chance has she in a relationship if it was only one way?
“But Baron Awesome... I don’t know any other way,” the mint green unicorn said pleadingly.
“Lyra, it is no excuse and you know it. True love does not come from the excessive application of rope and dubious means of inviting ponies to dinner,” the falcon gently chided.
“But-but-but... the robot told me it’ll work.” Lyra was in near tears.
“And it will. Do not listen to this sorry excuse of a bird,” Mr Druid Droid retorted harshly. “Where has his advice got you huh? All those years in magic school and what do you have to show for it? Nothing.” His voice rose in intensity and pitch. “Nothing at all.”
“I don’t quite remember it that way. I do believe our dear Lyra was thwarted by a number of... unfortunate incidents while trying to court the mare,” the falcon replied, unperturbed by the raised voice.
“Excuses. All you can do is give excuses,” the droid sneered. “I tell you what will work. Direct action. Make her confess-”
“ENOUGH!” Lyra screamed at the two.
“Sweetie? Are you in the attic again?” came the soft voice of Bon-Bon. Lyra blinked as both Baron Awesome and Mr Druid Droid disappeared. She opened the attic trapdoor and peered down into the hallway. Bon-Bon stood at the foot of the stairs, looking at the mint green unicorn expectantly.
“Ah, there you are Lyra. Are you playing with your dolls again?” Bon-Bon tapped her hooves in annoyance.
Lyra just flashed a guilty smile, masking her irritation at being interrupted. “Yeah... you know me. I need to let off steam sometimes.”
“Sweetheart, sometimes I think you spend too much time up there,” the beige earth pony huffed, before going on her way to the kitchen. Lyra heaved a sigh of relief. Nopony must know her most secret place ever.
The unicorn closed the trapdoor gently and put the Twilight doll back in its original position, amongst all the other dolls of Twilight she had arranged on the shelf. She took her time adjusting the position just right, making sure the mane fell exactly the right way, the eyes facing the correct direction. Satisfied, she glanced at all the surreptitious photos she had taken of Twilight over the years, arranged and pasted neatly on a board behind the dolls. Twilight dancing during the prom. Twilight busy with her books in the library. Twilight going out with her disgusting new friends in Ponyville.
As her eyes wandered over the photos, she spotted a horrible oversight. One of Twilight’s friends’ face was not properly decorated. That will never do. She quickly took out a marker pen and covered the offending face with angry black ink. There, much better. Lyra smiled creepily as she recapped the pen.
Her mood much improved, Lyra opened the trapdoor and skipped downstairs to join Bon-Bon. It was time to put her plan into action.
It was yet another sunny day in Ponyville. The sky was shining, the weather warm and the ponies happily going about their business in Ponyville. Except one. One, who was on a mission. One, who was currently buying baked goods in Sugarcube Corner.
“Thanks, Pinkie, these cupcakes are perfect!” Lyra gushed, as she lifted the tray of garishly coloured cupcakes from the counter. Oh, these would do nicely indeed.
“Those are my best yet!” the pink earth pony replied happily. “I sure hope you’ll enjoy them.”
“Oh yes. These are for a friend,” Lyra mumbled in response, before carefully trotting out the door, tray of cupcakes in mouth.
That part of the plan done, Lyra skipped back to her house happily, ready to enact the next phase of her masterplan. As she passed the library (where the oh-so-adorable Twilight lived), she heard a familiar voice addressing her.
“Tsk tsk, Lyra. I really expected better of you. Sleeping drugs now?” Lyra narrowed her eyes. Baron Awesome. How did he get here? And outside her secret place too. He never appeared outside her secret place. She stared at the curiously hatted falcon, perched on a branch outside the tree that doubled as a library, and was adjusting his monocle nonchalantly.
“What are you doing here?” Lyra hissed.
“Dear Lyra, I’m always with you. Although me being out here was a pleasant surprise. It was so long since I got to see the sunshine,” the falcon replied.
“Well, go back to wherever you came from you feathered freak.” Lyra hissed back, a little louder this time.
The falcon folded his wings into a comical bow. “As you wish my lady.”
“Lyra? Are you alright?” Spike’s voice spoke up behind the unicorn. Lyra’s eyes widened in panic and hurriedly turned to face the dragon.
“Oh, I’m fine. Just making a delivery.” Lyra stammered.
“Who were you talking to?” Spike quizzed, an eyebrow raised. Lyra glanced back at the tree branch. Baron Awesome was gone. Sneaky bastard. She turned back to find Spike staring at her with a curious expression.
“Nopony. Just... practising... a speech. Yeah.” Lyra replied, a guilty smile pasted on her face.
Spike gave her a quizzical look, obviously not buying a word. Fortunately, he didn’t press the issue either. “Yeah, whatever... Just don’t spill the cupcakes over the windows or something. I just cleaned it this morning.” He waved off the unicorn and slammed the library door.
Lyra sighed with relief. That pesky dragon could have ruined everything. She’d have to take... extra steps to ensure he’s out of the way. Lifting her tray of cupcakes, she continued on her way.
The photo shop was normally quite empty in the afternoon. Which was why Lyra usually stopped by the shop in the waning hours of the day. The mint green unicorn flashed a charming smile at the shopkeeper, Photo Flash (not related into any way to Photo Finish) as she entered the shop.
The maroon unicorn smiled back and said, “Oh hi, Lyra. The usual?”
“Yes, please.” Lyra replied, taking out a roll of film and placing it on the table.
“Just a second.” The mare took off her glasses and scooped the film roll with her magic. Photo then trotted off into the adjoining room to process the order. Since it took some time to develop her photos, Lyra decided to amuse herself by examining the various sample photos of other celebrity stallion and mares on display. None were up to the standards she came to expect though.
After a couple of minutes, the shopkeeper trotted back out with a bulging envelope and the film roll.
“That’ll be twenty bits.” Photo Flash said, as she set down the envelope on the counter. Then glancing around, she leaned over the counter and asked in a lower voice, “Who’s the mare in the picture?”
Lyra almost bit her tongue off in anger. Not because she was discovered. Oh, no that was a distant second to what was burning in her mind. How the hay this pony not know about the most famous pony in town?!
Lyra looked at Photo Flash impassively, silently fuming underneath. “Oh, she’s only the most famous pony in Ponyville. You know... Twilight Sparkle?”
Photo Flash looked surprised. “Oh, the new librarian? Sorry, never actually met her before.”
Lyra felt her left eye twitch at the shopkeeper’s ignorance. How dare she insult her Twilight like that?
“Librarian? Librarian?! She’s no mere librarian.” Lyra stood up to the shopkeeper and pushed her face against her snout, her eyes glaring into the shopkeeper’s blue-irised eyes. “She’s Twilight Sparkle, personal student of Princess Celestia. The hero of Equestria! Vanquisher of Nightmare Moon! You. Will. Pay. Her. Proper. Respect.”
“Uh.. okay... okay. I get it... Please... let me go?” Photo Flash pleaded. Lyra blinked and looked down. She had her forehooves on the mare’s chest, who lay pinned behind the counter. Lyra slowly eased the pressure off the mare and stood back.
She watched as the shopkeeper slowly got to her feet, and flashed an apologetic grin. “Sorry... I get carried away at times.”
The maroon unicorn did not reply, and instead backed away to the furthest corner of the shop. Realising Photo Flash was still looking at her with fear, she decided it was time to leave. Lyra mumbled her thanks and put the required bits in the counter, before galloping out of the store with her prize.
“Lyra, are you sure this is fine?” the self-titled fashion extraordinaire of Ponyville asked worriedly. Lyra hid her irritation behind a mask of cheerfulness. Of course it was fine. Why would she even order it in the first place if it was not?
“Yes, Rarity. It’s perfect,” Lyra replied in a cheery voice.
“But... it’s so...” Rarity made a face, “... garish. The shape, the colour. It’s like a walking fashion disaster.” And to anypony with a sense of fashion, it undeniably would be. The black satin dress was expertly sewn, no doubt. The low cut of the dress was extremely revealing, designed to excite and leave little to the imagination. But the entire thing screamed... goth. And goth was already two seasons out of vogue.
“I like it,” Lyra said simply. She watched as the white unicorn expression’s alternated between disgust and resignation. Finally, Rarity sighed, and took off her glasses. “The customer is always right I suppose. Thirty bits.”
“Thank you,” Lyra said sweetly and placed the bits on the table. She levitated the black dress off the table and began trotting out of the door. She froze when she saw Mr. Druid Droid sitting casually at the door frame, whistling a filly-hood lullaby. A very well-known lullaby.
Twilight Twilight Little Star~
“I see you been busy. Don’t forget the ropes.” The robot swung his legs rhythmically in sync with his tune.
How I wonder what you are~
“Lyra, are you feeling under the weather? You look pale.” Rarity’s voice floated from behind.
Up above the world so high~
“I’m fine, Rarity,” her own voice seemed distant, almost as if she was in another plane. She put a hoof to her forehead, suddenly feeling a touch dizzy.
Will you love me like I do~
“Lyra...? Lyra?! Oh my stars. Lyra!!” Rarity’s voice faintly echoed in her mind. The mint green unicorn found herself swaying on her feet, her vision blurring.
Twilight Twilight Little Star~
The last thing Lyra saw was the floor rising up to greet her.
How I wish you love me!
Lyra slowly swam back into consciousness. The first thing she noticed was the faint voices at the edges of her senses. The sounds were too garbled to make out any meaningful words though. She tried opening her eyes. No dice.
The unicorn lay there for an indeterminate amount of time, the different voices fading in and out like the waves on the beach. She could do nothing to respond. Nothing at all.
Eventually though, her addled mind recovered sufficiently to be able to interpret the voices speaking nearby. The resident nurse, Nurse Redhart reporting on her condition. Bon-Bon visiting and saying get-betters and whatnot. Miscellaneous ponies with well-wishes. Once, she swore she heard Twilight visited her. Unfortunately, that detestable Applejack pulled her away just as she said her well wishes. Something about the Rainbow Dash getting herself in a mess again. Bah, it was probably an excuse to draw her dear Twilight away from her.
And one fine night, Lyra finally found the strength to open her eyes. The blurry view of the room swam into focus. White. Sterile white. She was in a sterile white room. Ponyville Hospital. Was she really that sick? Lyra glanced all around. Her bedside table was filled to the brim with gifts of all sorts. A few balloons were tied to end of her bed for good measure. Lyra sighed. She felt fine now, if only a little weak from her prolonged stay in bed. She tried pushing herself into a sitting position. No dice again. She couldn’t even bring herself to sit properly. Lyra let out a long sigh.
She glanced again at the nearest gift. Muffins. Huh, probably Ditzy’s present. That mailpony had an unhealthy obsession for muffins. If not for that tiny hooded masked gray pony on top, she would have...
Hooded masked gray pony? She did a double take. Still there. And it was waving at her. Waving.
If she had the strength, she would have screamed and ran to the corner of the room. As it were, she could only raise her hoof weakly and mumble, “Get away from me...” The masked pony looked hurt and laid his head low.
“Goodness Lyra, now you made him sad.” Baron Awesome said. Lyra turned an eye on the bird. He was perched on one of the balloons, somehow managing to balance himself on top despite the gentle wobble of the ballon.
“Who the hay is he?” Lyra managed to croak.
“Don’t you recognise him? He’s Metal Mask,” the falcon replied in a surprised tone. He held up his monocle and started polishing it. ”He helps out around in the attic. ‘Course you were too busy plotting to seduce Twilight to notice him puttering around I guess.”
“Bah, why are we wasting time here?” the rough voice of Mr. Druid Droid barked. The robot was sitting cross legged on the lap of the bed. Huh, Lyra didn’t notice him sneaking in. “We should be plotting on how to implement the next stage of our master plan.” As he spoke, Lyra watched the gray pony walking over to the robot and giving him a solid thump on the head. Metal Mask jabbed a hoof at the unicorn.
“Oh right. You fleshly beings are so weak,” the droid huffed.
“Not my fault I had a dizzy spell and ended up in the hospital,” Lyra replied defensively.
“Lyra my dear, you spent an inordinate amount of time enacting this dubiously crafted plan of yours. Skipping that night time meal for the past week don’t look to be too healthy.” Baron Awesome casually remarked.
“... the patient is awake? I hear voices,” a muffled voice came from the room door. Lyra eyes widened in panic as she tried to stuff herself back into bed. They mustn’t see her like this.
The door slid open just as Lyra managed to cover herself with the blanket and close her eyes.
“Huh. She’s asleep. I swore I heard somepony speaking.” a mare said, probably the nurse.
“Probably sleeptalking again. She’s been doing it a lot lately,” came the laconic reply.
Lyra was found to be fit and healthy enough to discharge from the hospital three days after that. Just a bad case of poor diet and overwork, the doctorpony reassured. She reminded Lyra to feed herself at least three times a day, lest the same thing happen again. Lyra was sure the doctor was looking at her funny. Whatever.
For Lyra’s part, she was anxious to get away from the hospital and put her plan back into motion before it got delayed any further. Being in the hospital for one week was a setback. Unfortunately, Bon-Bon was there to escort her back home. She listened with a bored expression as Bon-Bon prattled on about the daily gossip that gets circulated around town, nodding at all the right places to fake her interest.
One piece of news that actually piqued her was that the news that Twilight somehow managed to find herself dragged to Cloudsdale. Where the ever noisy Rainbow Dash managed to conjure up another Sonic Rainboom. Lyra’s expression darkened at the thought. That mare was probably trying to steal Twilight for herself. She was going to have to... take care of that little problem as well.
“Lyra? Sweetie? Why are you hitting that bench?” Bon-Bon asked, a worried look on her face.
Lyra blinked and looked down on her hooves. She was gripping a sharp rock. Facing a bench, covered with dents. Bench... that was sky-blue. The colour of Rainbow Dash. Lyra dropped the rock she was holding and pasted a fake smile on her face.
“Heh heh. Just testing my strength,” she said, keeping the smile firmly attached.
“Really, Lyra. Defacing public property is not the way to go about doing so. You could have just pulled one of those hay carts,” Bon-Bon chided gently.
“Now let’s get back home. I already prepared dinner.” Bon-Bon nudged Lyra forward in the flank. “Oh, and that horrible dress you were buying from Rarity? I left it somewhere in your room. I really have no idea why you bought that dreadful thing.”
Lyra just smiled at that little tidbit of information. Perfect.
“What’cha need mah ropes for, Lyra?” Applejack inquired with a quizzical expression.
“It’s... for a special friend.” Lyra replied. Well, it was half-true. It was for a very special friend indeed.
“Lyra, you really don’t think these ropes are a tad excessive for what you have in mind?” Baron Awesome piped up from behind.
“Shut... up,” Lyra hissed. The falcon was starting to be annoying.
“What’s that, sugarcube?” the orange mare asked, an eyebrow raised.
“Nothing. Really. I’ll just be off now.” Lyra flashed her most charming smile and took off before the apple farmer could pepper her with more awkward questions.
“Just don’t forget to return it! Ah need it for mah rodeo lessons next week!” Applejack called. She scratched her head as she watched the departing unicorn.
“Strange mare that one.”
Lyra was bemused. Her attic was now filled with various guests and hanger-ons. Mr. Druid Droid mentioned several more had moved into the room during her unexpected hospital stay. She’d have to collect rent later. But for now, it was time for a review of her plan.
“Ropes?” The masked pony gave a thumbs up. Or a hoof up rather.
“Baked bads all the way, baby,” Mr. Druid Droid yelled. The small robot was hunched over the pastries, squeezing more sleeping paste on top from a tube twice his size. He scooped a handful and brought it close to his pseudo-mouth. “Mmm, mint.”
“Lyra, this dress isn’t even needed for your plan,” Baron Awesome said, as he perched on the dress rack, eyeing the black outfit curiously.
“It’s a gift for Twilight. She’ll love it!” Lyra stated obstinately.
The falcon shook his head slowly. “Lyra, you have even worse taste in fashion than I thought. Goth? Really?”
“Well, Shimmer there agrees!” Lyra pointed a hoof to a tied up white pegasus in a corner.
“Mmph!” Shimmer energetically mumbled, the gag in her mouth preventing any sort of meaningful speech.
“You can’t even tell whether that’s a yes or no!” The avian sounded exasperated.
“I’m pretty sure that’s a yes.” Lyra pouted. “Right, Shimmer?”
“Mmmmpmmmmph!” the bound pegasi replied, and even managed to swing her tied-up body around a little. The pegasus swayed slowly from side-to-side, bumping some empty cans onto the floor.
“I’m so glad you agree Shimmer.” Lyra replied sweetly, before cocking an eyebrow at the pegasus. “You should really spend less time up there, you know.”
“Mmmpmh. Mmmmphmmmph!” was the reply.
“Yeah, whatever.” Lyra looked down again at her checklist. “Now, for the final two items on my list. Location... and invitation card.”
“Why don’t ya just use your own house?” a flaming red pony with an equally flaming mane asked. Lyra rolled her eyes at the obvious question.
“Because... Lord of Gamers, Bon-Bon is always around. Always. And I can’t just send her away.” Lyra’s eyes clouded over. “No, we need to be discreet. Nopony must ever know. Until our wedding anyway. It’s for the best.”
“Spike? Get the door please. I’m in the middle of a very important experiment.” Twilight called, her eyes not moving from the petri dish of Evenmass Moss. She slowly maneuvered her dropper filled with calcium hydroxide. Steady... steady...
Twilight nearly squeezed the dropper by mistake. “Spike!” she shouted again irritably.
Seething with annoyance, she gave up. Where has that dragon got to? Come to think of it, she hadn’t seen him all day either. Putting the dropper to one side, she half-trotted, half-cantered to the lower floor of the library.
“I’m coming, I’m coming. Sheesh, put your hooves on the ground,” Twilight shouted back at the unknown visitor. She unlocked the door with her magic and pulled the door open.
“What do... you... huh?” Twilight blinked as she glanced around the empty doorway. Nopony. Huh. She scratched her head in puzzlement. As far as she knew, nopony in Ponyville would resort to pranks like these... well maybe except Pinkie Pie, but the unicorn knew for a fact Pinkie was off visiting her sister.
Shrugging, she was about to turn around and continue her experiment when she spied a piece of paper lying beneath her hooves. She took a step back and eyed the thing closely. Why, it was an invitation card. A rather overdecorated invitation card, with purple and red ribbons and the name Twilight Sparkle scrawled in pink. She levitated the card to face level and began reading.
For years now, I have admired you from afar. Your cute smile. The way you carry yourself in the library. Defeating Nightmare Moon. It’s like honey to bees.
Twilight blushed hard at the compliment. Was she really that cute? She continued reading.
I have finally worked up the courage to do something I always wanted to do.
Could you join me for dinner tonight? Meet me at the treehouse in Sweet Apple Acres.
Twilight raised an eyebrow at the choice of location. The Cutie Mark Crusaders hideout? Applebloom wouldn’t be happy to hear her secret hideout being used so casually.
She closed the card and began wondering idly whether she should go or not. On one hoof, the princess had always told her not to trust strange mails purported to be from admirers. Twilight supposed she had a point. After all, she had had over a thousand years to receive fan mail of all sort. Some was bound to be from slightly unhinged ponies. On the other hoof, she was really, really curious as to who was her admirer all these years. She began ticking off the list of suspects.
Spike? Not his style. Plus he has been with her the whole time anyway.
Big Mac? You had to be kidding.
Dr Whoof? Possible, but Twilight didn’t think he was that sort of pony.
Lone Star from Magic School? Impossible, even Celestia didn’t know where he went.
Trixie? Yeah, right. And then they’ll have a purple foal together and live happily ever after.
Lyra? Wait, where did this come from? A filly-fooler she was not.
and so on and on...
Flopping on a bunch of cushions, Twilight finally ran out of suspects to suspect. Huh. Guess she’s going to have find out the hard way. She took out a sheet of paper and began writing a note to Spike.
Night. The full moon shone brightly across the inky black landscape. The rest of the night sky was dark though, as heavy cloud cover obscured everything else.
It suited Lyra just fine however. The unicorn stood waiting just beneath the darkened treehouse the Cutie Mark Crusaders considered to be their secret base. She already laid out a table decked out with purple satin and a vase of purple lilac to match. The cupcakes were already set on the table. Lyra had considered adding pie to the mix, but Sugarcube Corner was strangely closed.
She tapped her hooves nervously as the time of their appointment approached. Will Twilight take the bait? Will she suspect anything amiss? Lyra hoped the purple unicorn didn’t mind her drugging Spike with a clinical overdose of punch. If she found out that is...
“Lyra, really. Cease this insanity before you do something you will regret.” Baron Awesome said in his very aristocratic voice. Lyra shot a sharp look at the falcon who remained calmly perched on a convenient tree branch beside her.
“It’s going to work. Trust me.”
“Lyra, don’t you think it’s ethically wrong to even contemplate-”
“I see the nosy bird continues to interfere with our plan,” Mr Druid Droid interjected harshly. “Lyra, it’s high time you ditch the dead weight.”
“Ditch...” Lyra repeated, before divining his meaning. “You mean...”
“Yes, I mean that. The banishment.”
For the first time since Baron Awesome appeared in her life, the falcon looked unsettled. “You cannot seriously be considering-”
“Banishment! Banishment! Banishment!” a chorus of voices cried out. Lyra suddenly realised she was surrounded by a gaggle of creatures and ponies she never met, nor seen before. A 10-foot tall lich. A tan stallion dressed in a curious green cloak and pointed hat. A robot pony... with a monocle and top hat? Lyra shook her head in bemusement.
“Gentleponies!” a blue stallion called in a distinctly French voice. “I believe we should let Lyra do the honour, yes?” A cheer erupted.
“Save your punishment. I know when I’m not welcome,” the falcon said with unearthly calm. He turned to face the unicorn. “Goodbye, Lyra. I hope you can live with your decision.” And with that, he flapped his wings and flew off into the night.
“Good riddance to goody-pants,” Mr. Druid Droid said.
“Shh, is that somepony?” a voice whispered from the crowd. Lyra strained her ears. A faint rustling in the distance. Before she could call for everypony to disperse, Lyra found herself standing in an empty clearing, next to the table she so lovingly prepared.
The rustling inched closer, the bushes in the orchard swaying visibly. Lyra gulped. What if it was some criminal pony instead? She felt a bead of sweat forming on her forehead. Okay, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea-
A solid thud resounded from the bushes, followed by a cry of pain. Twilight!
“Oh my, Twilight, are you okay?” Lyra called out, her fear all forgotten.
“Lyra?” came the answer. Lyra parted the last bush separating the two to find Twilight sprawled awkwardly on the ground. A large stone sticking out nearby seems to be the obvious culprit. The purple unicorn’s eyes shrank to pinpoints at the sight of Lyra. “LYRA?! My secret admirer is you?!”
“You look so surprised, dear.” Lyra answered sweetly. Inside though, she was seething. How dare this ungrateful mare not acknowledge her love. After how much she trouble she had gone through? “Come now, let me help you up.”
Twilight looked stunned by the revelation, but offered no resistance when Lyra helped her up. She continued to stare vacantly ahead as the mint green unicorn led Twilight to the table.
“Come now, Twilight. Have a cupcake. I made them specially for you.” Lyra put her hooves on the table and stared dreamily at the unicorn. By Celestia, Twilight looked even more attractive under the moonlight.
Twilight still hadn’t moved though. The purple unicorn sat frozen at her seat, still staring into thin air. Lyra’s left eye twitched a little as the seconds ticked past. “Twilight, honey,” she said softly. “EAT YOUR CUPCAKES NOW!” Her voice suddenly turned into an angry shout, before dropping into that singsong voice again. “Please?”
Twilight seemed to break out of her stupor and nodded slowly. Her eyes was still in pinprick mode though, and she eyed the cupcakes with suspicion. Lyra continued to watch as the unicorn slowly picked up a cupcake and took a delicate bite. “Well?” Lyra asked hopefully, as the unicorn chewed.
“I... err... it’s... good.” Twilight stammered. Then Lyra noticed her eyes focusing on something behind her. “Who’s that- uhhhh...” the purple unicorn said in surprise, before dramatically slumping on the table in a deep stupor as the sleeping drugs took effect.
“Who’s what?” Lyra turned to look behind her. “Mr. Druid Droid?” she said in surprise.
“Surprised, Lyra?” the robot said as he stood up from his sitting position on her back. He began stretching his mechanical limbs. “Well? We got a mare to court. Get to it.” The droid waved impatiently at the now-sleeping soundly Twilight.
“R-right.” Lyra replied, a little perturbed. She couldn't quite put her hoof why though. No matter, she’d ponder the matter over breakfast. Now it was time to implement the final stages of her plan.
“Oh Spike, you shouldn’t have,” Twilight said.
“I insist. After all, you’re the bestest friend in my entire life,” Spike replied, as he pulled the rope. The falling cloth revealed a roomful of books, bound and decorated with the most beautiful material Twilight ever seen. She found herself squealing with glee at the prospect of So. Many. Books!
“Oh Spike... Spike?” Twilight touched a hoof on the purple dragon’s shoulder, who seemed to have frozen. Turning him around, she got the shock of her life. Face. Gone. What?!
Then she felt reality shattering to pieces around her.
“Uhhhhh...” Twilight moaned, as she slowly came to. “What happened...?” She opened her eyes, only to find she was shrouded in darkness. She tried moving her legs, but they seemed to be tied up. Plus, she appeared to be hanging upside down.
“Ah Twilight honey. You’re finally awake.”
Lyra lit the candles in the darkened room, illuminating the room in a flickering, glowy way only candles do.
“I must say Twilight, you look gorgeous in that dress,” Lyra said suggestively.
“What?” The unicorn looked down on her body. “WHAT THE HAY IS THIS?!” she cried in shock. Lyra clopped her hooves in delight. The outfit she bought fit the purple unicorn so well. Each curve was perfectly accentuated by the black fabric.
“Lyra, get me down this instant!” Twilight shouted.
“No can do Twilight. Not until... you love me as much I do for you.” Lyra replied with a smirk. “Your... reeducation begins here.”
“You’re insane!” Twilight said with feeling. Lyra noticed her horn began glowing. She smirked as the horn’s glow fizzled. “What?” the purple unicorn cried in surprise.
“Poison Joke. Though the spots wouldn’t show till later. Don’t worry, I have the cure with me... if you cooperate.”
“You... evil... no-good... ugh.” Twilight said, before sighing. “I’m no good with calling people names. I need Spike.”
“Now, we can do this the hard way. Or the very hard way.” Lyra gave Twilight her most reassuring and charming smile. The purple unicorn seemed to recoil though.
“Does it also involve that falcon perched on your back?” Twilight asked in a curious voice.
“Who.. what?!” Lyra snapped her head towards Baron Awesome, who stared back at the unicorn in his usual calm demeanour.
“How did...? Wha? Why? How...?” Lyra stuttered. This wasn’t part of the plan. They were supposed to keep out of sight. Besides, nopony else saw them. Ever.
“Dear Lyra. Did you really think you would have succeeded so easily?” Baron Awesome calmly stated. He polished his monocle nonchalantly. “Think back on the events of the past week, Lyra. What do you remember?”
Lyra scrunched her brow and dug up the memories. Well... it was funny how the days passed without her eating a single meal. And Bon-Bon was conveniently absent whenever she wanted to. And Applejack did lend her the ropes without further questions. Wait...
She whirled back to face Twilight, who now had a goofy grin on her face. “Oh Lyra, how I wish I confessed my love to you all those years past,” the purple unicorn said in a voice she knew so well. Her own voice. When she imagined herself talking in Twilight’s voice.
Lyra googled. It cannot be. All her hard work. For naught?!
“The Great & Powerful Lixie endorses this ship,” an authoritative voice declared. Lyra, her head still spinning from the implications, slowly glanced at the speaker. A navy blue alicorn who was somehow wearing Trixie’s pointed hat and holding a green book. Who the hay was she and how did she get into the room?
Then she heard Trixie herself speak. “You dare challenge the right of the Great & Powerful Trixie to ship? Nopony ships ponies but Trixie.” The alicorn was tackled to the ground by the azure mare herself, where they promptly engaged in a kissing contest.
A purple foal walked up to the pair and tapped Trixie by the flank. “Momma? Why are you kissing that weird pony?” she asked innocently.
As Lyra watched, the room itself began to shimmer and change colour. Ghostly re-enactments of her life began to unfold before her. Lyra watching Twilight from afar in the prom. Bon-Bon and Lyra cooking in the kitchen. Lyra in music practice. Lyra in her secret place, smiling.
Then the room completely disintegrated, leaving her in a wide open plane of nothingness. Ponies she never seen before in her entire life began to blink in and out of existence, speaking gibberish she could neither understand nor decipher.
“CURSE YOU, WARLORD MUSTACHE!”
“Fire the Orbital Friendship Cannon!”
“Elementary, my dear Rainbow Dash.”
Lyra shook her head and closed her eyes, trying to shut out the clearly ridiculous situation unfolding before her. She felt a gentle tap on her shoulder. It was Baron Awesome, who somehow managed to stay with her on her back. He managed to convey a warm smile despite his lack of facial muscles.
“Lyra. It’s time to wake up.”
Lyra slowly opened her eyes.
White. Sterile white. The hospital.
“Oh, Lyra you’re finally awake!” she heard Bon-Bon cry. Lyra turned her head weakly towards her friend. She noticed Bon-Bon’s eyes were puffy. “For a day there, you had the doctors really worried. Really Lyra, what were you doing sniffing around in a Poison Joke patch?”
“I... don’t remember.” Lyra answered hesitantly. For the first time in a long while, it was the whole unadulterated truth. She tried to raise her head, to sit up. Anything to make her feel less helpless.
“Shush, Lyra, you need your rest now. Lucky for you, the overdose wasn’t as bad as feared. They managed to get the antidote to you in time.”
“You’re... right.” Lyra laid her head back.
“I’m so glad you’re alright.” Bon-Bon said, hugging Lyra tightly. Lyra, after a moment’s hesitation, returned the gesture. Yes, everything will be alright.
After a couple moments more of small talk, Bon-Bon got up to get the doctor. As Lyra lay on the comfortable bed, she spied Twilight walking past outside. A smile crossed her face.
Someday, Twilight. Someday. After all, her secret place in the attic will be there for her.
Lyra Bridge is falling down~
Wait. That lullaby. Where was it coming from? Her eyes darted to the radio at her bedside. It was turned off.
Falling down, falling down~
A very familiar voice whispered into her ear, “Lyra, you still have much to learn.” A chuckle. “Very much indeed.”
Lyra Bridge is falling down~
The mint green unicorn’s yellow pupils shrunk to pinpricks.
My fair lady~