To the Nth Dimension
A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction by Homfrog
“No, Pinkie Pie. I don’t have time to go to the Sugarcube Corner, I’m practicing this new move!” Rainbow Dash sighed and blew her mane off her face.
“But it’ll be fuuunnnn,” Pinkie urged, looking up at the pegasus from the ground.
“No, Pinkie Pie! I’ve been practicing all morning, and I don’t want to lose my focus!”
“ALL MORNING?!” she gasped her usual gasp, bounding up and pulling Rainbow Dash to the ground by one hoof. “That’s even MORE reason to come with me! You neeeeed to seeee this!!”
“Hey! Pinkie! Where are you taking me?” Dash struggled in mid-air, but Pinkie’s grip was iron as they approached the Cakes’s bakery where Pinkie worked. Opening the door, Pinkie introduced her to a large glowing machine.
It went up to the ceiling and then some. Reels of paper were being written by markers and fed through spools and unwritten. Blinking lights made strange patterns on the front of the display. A screen showed a progress bar, nearing 100%. Intense heat came out of vents on the sides. And all the while, it emitted a dull, loud humming noise not unlike a duck snoring.
“Whoa... what is it?” Dash was awestruck and a wee bit confused. However, an egg-timer ding resolved that question shortly.
“They’re done!” Pinkie Pie opened up a slot in the center and pulled out a batch of steaming hot cupcakes, each one shaped like a different polygon.
“I shoulda guessed. Pinkie Pie, you are so random.”
“Thanks! Twilight helped me build it! It super-charges each delicious cupcake with the power of a billion neutron stars and the flavor of an entire planetary rainforest!” Pinkie offered a pentagon-shaped cupcake from the baking tray. Her rainbow friend looked hesitant.
“...What’s a neutron star?” She sniffed the treat, looking for anything out of the ordinary, or, well, anything more out of the ordinary.
“Nevermind! Just eat it!” Pinkie began to push it onto Dash’s snout, making bits of frosting get on her nose. “Eat it! Eat it eat it eat it eat it eat it!”
“Well, oookay...” Slowly, she grabbed ahold of the treat and took the smallest but least-insulting bite she could, chewed deliberately, and swallowed. A few seconds later, it was like a nuke went off in every cell in her body.
“OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!” Rainbow Dash felt great! Everything was colored so much more brightly than before. She could hear long-gone echoes everywhere and smell things so much clearer. The pink mare in front of her was grinning madly, wobbling from side to side with every breath. “PinkiePieWhat’sInThisCupcake IHAVETOKNOW!!!!!” So much energy, so much to do.
“Just the usual stuff, but super-charged! The big ol’ machine increases the metabolic conversion rates of all the ingredients by 3 orders of magnitude! That means every gram of sugar is equivalent to 1000 grams!”
“IsThisHowYOUFeelAllTheTime?!?!” Dash was jittering as she spoke, resonating the cupboards nearby into releasing their dishes upon the floor. Nothing broke, but the winged pony saw something falling and did her best full-body impression of a whipcrack while picking them up and placing them on Pinkie’s head in afterthought.
“Yep! I make these every day, but usually with a different machine! Don’t you love ‘em? I call ‘em Pinkie’s Secret Energizer!” She did a sort of clapping thing with her front hooves like she was playing a drum. “Have a great day, Dashie!”
“WhatDidYouJustCallM—” but Dash was already being pushed wings-first out the door into the gorgeously bright day. The light was at once beautiful, invigorating and overwhelming. She could hardly see a thing, and yet she was seeing farther and sharper than she had ever seen before. It was like a veil that filtered everything into one spot: her mind. She took to the air, casually flapping her already-outstretched wings, and seconds later was at the top of Dragon Mountain, listening to a million bats slumbering. She could hear their dreams turning into pictures in her mind. Going back the way she had come was easier, being downwind, and even faster than before she was at the Library, home of resident egghead Twilight Sparkle.
“HEYTWILIGHTLetMeInLetMeINNN!!!” She punched a hole through the door knocking on it, accidentally toppling Spike as he came to open it. Fumbling inside for the handle, she decided it would be easier to just bust the whole dang door, and did so. Twilight was in the middle of reading, a pallor of shock on her face.
“Rainbow Dash? What’s gotten into you?!” Twilight slammed the glossy paperback shut, covered it with another heavier book, then a cloth, and walked over to the incredible vibrating pegasus. “Does this have anything to do with—”
“PINKIEPIE??? YESOFCOURSEITDOES!!! IHaveSoMuchEnergy!! SheFedMeTheseAWWWESOMECUPCAKES!!!” She found herself being levitated out the door by the unicorn, who was frazzled at being interrupted and just wanted some quiet, but was willing to sacrifice her morning to attend to a matter of friendship. “WHOAWhereAreWeGoing???”
“We’re going to talk to Pinkie Pie. Those cupcakes were prescribed for her and her alone. Sharing them, although nice, violated the terms of her prescription, according to the town rules.” Twilight walked alongside the floating pony, carrying her back to Sugarcube Corner.
“I wouldn’t know that far, but I do know that I was required to make that machine so she could have her special cupcakes. It was a request I was happy to fulfill.”
Rainbow Dash saw the Sugarcube Corner slowly approaching and twitched slightly at the thought of being called “Dashie” again. After a brief moment in thought, she found herself twenty feet up, free of the levitation spell. Twilight peered out of a nearby pond, a feathery imprint on her cheek. Embarrassed yet again, Dash took to the skies, effortlessly gliding all the way to within sight of Fluttershy’s cottage in three seconds flat.
While Dash was flying, an unfortunate bug happened to move in front of her. Swerving to avoid the incoming menace to all bug-kind, it was surprised to find a soft, sugary breeze had replaced the gigantic blue thing. It bug-shrugged and continued on its merry bug-way.
Meanwhile, Rainbow Dash could not see anything. There was nothing to see, not even darkness, not even emptiness. She felt her lungs strain for air but there was no air to breathe, and even then she had no lungs to breathe with. Her heart beat sideways, splaying as a bacteria on a microscope slide would. Gradually she became aware that she was still alive, and she knew this because she was thinking, “Ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh I’m gonna die!!!” But then she realized that she was no longer in impending danger, for she could not feel any wind or gravity or time passing by. Opening one eye, then the other, she found herself in a void. A vacuous white space. A small, cruller-shaped cloud hovered behind her.
“Whoa. Whoa. Where... am I?” She could not hear herself think over the deafening silence, but she could talk herself through this anyways. Turning in a circle, she confronted the non-visible cloud with her non-visible face, and stuck her non-tangible head into it. She could see Fluttershy’s cottage about 100 feet below her, and the stream was burbling. “Weird... that’s where I was, I guess?” She pulled her head out of the cloud and back into the nothingness.
Concentrating as hard as she could, Dash flew forwards at what she thought was a snail’s pace. But her eyes betrayed her inner ear, and she saw many pinpoints of blue light converging on her non-position. As they got closer, she noticed they bore a resemblance to the Greatest Young Flier in Equestria — that is, herself. And they were! The Rainbow Dash copies made every movement exactly in sync with her every movement, and by moving in the same direction as before, they got closer until she was rubbing flanks with infinite numbers of herself in all directions. She batted her tail and the one in front brushed her face.
Turning to the left, she saw the back of her own head, and exclaimed with the loudest echo imaginable, “Is that really how my hair looks?” It hurt her ears, and she could see it hurt her other ears too. She decided she’d had enough, and tried to move backwards. Instantly, everypony receded into infinity.
Meanwhile, back at the Sugarcube Corner, Twilight was sopping wet and terrifically peeved. “You gave her your special cupcakes?! What were you thinking?!”
Pinkie Pie tried to put on her best puppy-dog eyes, but seeing as it was Twilight, she thought better of it. “I, I just thought that she’d like them—”
“She couldn’t handle them! Those cupcakes are specifically adjusted for your metabolism! Imagine what they’d do to Fluttershy! She’d explode, twice! To Rarity! She’d get fat as a cow! You wouldn’t give THEM your special cupcakes, would you?”
“No, no, no, no, no, I only gave them to Dashie! What’s the problem?”
“The problem,” Twilight sighed, calming herself by covering her eyes, “Is that you gave Rainbow Dash, the fastest pony in Equestria, the equivalent of over 50,000 grams of sugar in one serving. You’re the only one with this... condition you have, and your metabolism is the only metabolism that can process that much sugar meaningfully.” She uncovered her face and looked at the Earth pony, who was now standing about 0.5 microns away from her.
“Not to mention the salt and flour,” Pinkie Pie said jubilantly, “And all that water weight too! I bet she’ll swell up and have to be popped with a pin or maybe you could use your horn or a shoe-nail but that might hurt and I don’t want my Dashie to be—” she blathered on.
Twilight pretended to be startled by this, but only just. She put a hoof to Pinkie’s mouth. “Pinkie, stop talking.” The pink one nodded. “Now, we are going out to find Rainbow Dash, and I expect you to apologize to her.” Another nod. “AND never share your special cupcakes with her again.” A reluctant nod. Twilight removed her hoof and the two of them trotted out the door, the machine idling behind them.
Somehow, even while in the timelessness between here and there, Rainbow Dash had perceived the entire exchange as if it were happening all at one moment. It was confusing, to say the least, but the conversation between Twilight and Pinkie had started and ended at the same time. She could see the purple unicorn asking passersby if they had seen her, and she could see them continuing hours later within the same second. To hear everypony’s voices squeezed together was unnerving, yet she could understand everything with crystal clarity. She wanted to call out to them.
“Hey guys! Guys! Help me,” the pegasus spoke at the bubbling and boiling images before her, “Guys! I’m in some kind of weirdo place!” Sadly, none of the pictures in front of her showed any semblance of hearing. In addition, these pictures were beginning to run together as paints do on a hot summer day. As she reached toward one to steady it, they twisted into unworldly and thaumatropic forms, gradually showing other creatures the likes of which Dash had never seen. They vaguely reminded her of monkeys, but they were bald, and they were looking at computers. The computers had her on them.
“AUGH! What are those things?!” Shocked, Rainbow Dash pulled back from the image in some odd direction and it melted yet again, this time showing Princess Celestia reading a letter from Twilight with concern. “Is that Celestia? What’s she...? Oh no. Ohhh no. They must think I’m missing. I am missing. How long have I been gone?”
Her monologue was broken, however, by a thud emanating from somewhere behind her. Spinning around the spot she saw Pinkie Pie laying down on some sort of surface, another white cloud behind her too. The pink pony sprang up as she saw Rainbow Dash.
“Dashie! Oh my goodness we were wondering where you were and now I’ve found you and everything is right with the world! But we’ve gotta get you back to Equestria before they call out the Royal Army to search for you! By now,” she paused for breath, pointing at an ethereal image of Celestia and Twilight looking at an atlas of Equestria and the strange lands beyond, “They must think you’ve gone clear off the map! Bang! Zoom! Straight to the moon! Straight to the other side of the globe, and who knows what awaits there?! They don’t, that’s for sure. They’re so worried, and it’s all my fault...” Pinkie Pie rarely frowned, but this was a rare moment.
“Pinkie Pie! What’s going on? Where are we?” She stared at her friend, who was staring back. “How is this your fault?”
“Oh! I gave you my special cupcakes which I’m not supposed to give to anypony else and then your metabolism went CCRRAAZZYY and now we’re in the fourth spatial dimension! You’ve been learning to move in the directions of ana,” she moved her right hoof behind her, and it vanished suddenly at the elbow, “and kata!” she moved her left hoof ahead of her, and it too became invisible, a cross-section of the stuff inside showing. She then pulled them back in and they reappeared. “But working with spissitude must be confusing for a pegasusasus like you, who normally works only with latitude, longitude, altitude and attitude!” She giggled nervously. “That’s my Dashie!”
Rainbow Dash blushed and coaxed her wings back down. “So, lemme get this straight. We’re in the fourth spatial dimension.” Pinkie nodded. “And we got here by eating your cupcakes, which Twilight says were prescribed for you.” Pinkie nodded and pulled out a set of colorful markers from her mane. She began to draw three-dimensional shapes in mid-non-air. Soon there were little sketches of her and Dash.
Okay, so that’s you, and that’s me. Well,” she took a deep breath, then began to draw frighteningly fast, “About a year ago I went on a diet because I had eaten too much candy and I was all bloaty, like a cute li’l puffer-fish, and then I got sick because I dieted too much and then I had no energy and I couldn’t even get out of bed and it was awful! So I went to that Doctor guy and he said I had some kinda mitochondrial disorder and that I needed enormous amounts of energy to do anything or I would start digesting myself and implode!! So he drew up some plans with a prescription with his psychical papers and I brought them to Twilight and convinced her to help me build it and the Cutie Mark Crusaders helped too but they didn’t get their cutie marks for advanced thermodynamic accelerator machining, which would have looked weird on their flanks anyways, and they’re so cute but anyways so the machine makes any food come out with a thousand times the energy it went in with, and I looove candy and sweets and chocolate and cakes and I love you so I shared them with you because I want you to be happy but I didn’t realize the implications of a separately-formulated metabolism and the energy was too much for you and that’s how we got into this big ol’ mess.” She stepped back, partially vanishing, and took a look at her work. It was a giant ink-sculpture of Rainbow Dash making a Sonic Rainboom with anatomically correct pony hearts surrounding it. The real Rainbow was dumbfounded.
“...you love me...?”
“Of course I do, silly! Haven’t you noticed?”
“Well, sometimes you say things that make me wonder...”
“Oh, Dashie, I’ve known all about you since forever! This dimension is how I take care of you! From here, I can look over you at any moment in time and space!”
“...look at me... ...at any time...”
“No, not like that!! Well, maybe, but that was only once or twice, I can’t remember, and you should get that mole checked out soon.”
The blue pegasus was frozen solid, her mouth agape, her wings flared, her eyes wide and staring at nothing. She began to tip over but Pinkie zipped and caught her before she hit the tenuously created idea of “ground”. “Dashie, I love you, and there’s nothing that will ever change that. Not even the stupid laws of physics!” Pinkie stroked her Dashie’s hair softly, turning her to putty in her arms. “Now let’s get back to Equestria; I think they’re calling out the cavalry for us.”
“General Bascule! General Brindle! Any luck finding the missing civilians?”
“None, Your Highness.” Generals Bascule and Brindle spoke in unison; they always did. “However, a pegasus reported seeing a small cloud over her house near the last known heading of one of the two ponies.”
“You’ll start from there. Good work,” Princess Celestia said, and bid her soldiers farewell. She turned to her student Twilight sitting beside her throne and lowered her head. “I have a sneaking fear we may not find them tonight. Who did you say this Doctor pony was?”
Twilight shrugged. “Pinkie just mentioned a stallion called “The Doctor” who seemed to have all the right credentials. She said he was the best.”
“I’ll ask Spike to send me the papers, if that’s okay with you?”
“It’s fine, Princess. Anything to find my friends.” Twilight looked back over the throne room, which was bustling with ponies of all shapes and sizes, frantically working computers to search for the pegasus and the Earth pony. Magic screens showed the locations of every trooper, and little snippets of reports poured into the headphones of trained messengers. Out of the corner of her eye, Twilight saw a small cloud, no bigger than a saddle, gently waft across the night sky and through the open window. It was shaped like a donut, with a gnarled annular center empty of anything visible. “Princess, is that cloud supposed to be there?”
“No, it’s not.” She and her pupil followed it with their eyes while it seemed to thrust itself in front of the throne. The cloud stretched back and forth, wiggling and shoving, until suddenly a familiar pink face popped out.
“Hi Twilight! Hi Princess Celestia! Oh hold on, I’ll be right back...” Pinkie’s head faded back inside, and Twilight thought she could hear hooves scraping. “C’mooooon, Dashie, we can come back laaatteerr...” Pinkie reappeared, flank-first, shifting herself out of the cloud with something in her teeth. It was a tail. “M’mon, Dmphsh!!” She lowered herself onto the palace floor, pulling Rainbow Dash by the tail out of the cloud. They collapsed in a heap, and the cloud shrunk to a point out of existence. A few eyes from the crowd turned to look at the noisy intrusion. “Ooh, hey a search-and-rescue party! Where are the balloons?”
Celestia and Twilight stared at the two, looked at each other, then looked back. Their monocles popped out.
Rainbow Dash stood up and dusted the sugar off nonchalantly. “Hey, guys! What’s up?” She noticed that ponies were staring, including the Princess, and shyly turned to Pinkie Pie. “Pinkie, what do we do?”
Pinkie answered by walking up to the Princess and whispering into the alicorn’s ear for several seconds, during which silence fell upon the rest of the ponies. Celestia showed that she understood.
“Attention, everypony!,” the Princess projected her voice with magic, “The two missing ponies have been found, and all is well. The search is off.” Everypony returned to situation normal and went about their business. The screens changed to show the soldier-marks returning and after a while faded off to a simple fresco of the palace. Celestia deamplified her voice and told Twilight Sparkle what had happened, albeit abridged. Twilight smiled and turned to her friends.
“I’m so glad you guys are safe and sound! What else happened? I want to document it for my research.” The unicorn hugged both her friends around the necks. Pinkie and Dash smiled awkwardly, and Dash stepped forward and knelt in front of the Princess.
“Princess Celestia, today I learned that friendship comes in all forms, even ones we are unaware exist. By finding these new friendships, we make the old ones stronger. I also learned to never take somepony else’s medicine, no matter how tasty it looks.” Dash held back a smile after a glance at Pinkie Pie, who was bouncing up and down, her usual hyper self. “Although I can’t say I won’t make exceptions.”
Twilight blurted, “But I’M the one who tells Princess Celestia about friendsh—”
MY LITTLE PONY! *instrumental music* Ah-ah-ah-ah-aaaahh...