Pony POV Series
Butterflies Doctor Whooves:
"Big Blue Box" Pt. 2
Written by OracleMask
...Look, when I said 'some other time', I didn't mean 'come back tomorrow'! You can't tell me you don't have anypony else to talk to.
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Actually, we were reviewing our notes and there are a few points we were hoping you could clarify.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Starting with the fence.)
Your notes cannot possibly be that bad.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): You said you were building it because the Crusaders managed to travel through time. How is a fence going to stop it from happening again?)
It's...admittedly more of a symbolic gesture. But I can't just do nothing! I'm responsible for this stuff being here, so I'm responsible for how it gets used. Even if I still haven't figured out exactly how they managed to go sideways. The old girl's systems can't tell me what happened either...although now I wonder if she's just being sly with me. I still get false context errors whenever I try to review the data on some of the places she and Miss Pie went to...
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): What do you think of Pinkie Pie?)
I think she gives me a headache.
Err, not all in a bad way! There's just something about her that I'm missing, some piece to the puzzle that would explain things. Now I love puzzles, don't get me wrong. But it's frustrating. I'm used to knowing more about what's going on behind the scenes. One downside to a new universe...having to muddle through until you get the hang of things. At least I know I will get the hang of things. Eventually.
There's also the fact that Miss Pie sets off all my Timey-Wimey Detectors. All that noise! You could give anything a headache doing that.
What do I think of her as a person? I don't think I know her well enough to say. Although if Miss Pie wasn't clearly needed here I'd be very tempted to offer her a trip in the TARDIS. There's just something about her attitude that makes me wonder, something...I hesitate to say familiar, but...
...Oh, why are all the ponies who intrigue me the most the ones most likely to say 'no'? Or be too busy doing something vitally important?
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Does that mean you wouldn't travel with any of the Elements of Harmony?)
Considering that I can't say I know any of them that well, except perhaps one? And her, only due to an extreme circumstance that hopefully shall never be repeated?
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): That's another point we'd like to clarify. What do you think of Fluttershy now?)
Hmm...tricky. Overall, I'd have to say that I don't blame her for what happened. She got hold of power that mortal ponies were not meant to wield, somehow, and the power understandably took her initial good intentions and ran them straight into the ground. Thankfully her rampaging motherhood came to an end with everypony safe and alive. In fact, quite a few ponies benefited from having a day without worries or bad memories.
Even I feel better! I'm rather ashamed that I let myself forget that my travels, while many times giving me harsh and painful results, are still a fountain of new experiences and wonderful surprises. I almost threw away something very important to me.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): So what Fluttershy did was good?)
Rewriting reality to suit your own personal whims is dangerous, misguided, short-sighted, and without-a-doubt completely idiotic! Oh, it's tempting, it's beyond tempting, to think you can fix things if you just do the right thing – patch all the holes, heal all the wounds, bring back the dead! But...there are some things that simply have to stay broken. Even if it's miserable. Even if it hurts!
Besides, slathering a superficial sugarcoating over the universe can't stop those pains or heal those wounds for good. They'll come to the surface somehow, everything does eventually. Everything has its time, and everything...ends. One of my dearest friends told me that once, and I won't ever forget it.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): So what Fluttershy did was bad.)
It's not that simple. It's just not as simple as 'good' or 'bad' – she had a good intention, a bad idea, the power to see both through, and the results were...I'd say mixed, at best. You can't slap a label on that and just say 'it was all good' or 'it was all bad'. This universe isn't that straightforward. I'd feel much better if it was.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): That's a lie, right?)
Of course it's a lie. This isn't the Element of Honesty pasted to my rump.
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): What was your take on the Gaia Festival?)
I'd say that had mixed results as well. Oh course, I was busy with the ice cream mountain the first time around, so I couldn't see much of what was going on. I even remember wondering what in the world had possessed Celestia to honor Fluttershy's near-disaster so openly...the second time, I'd heard Celestia's reasoning and found it sound, so I was able to enjoy myself much more. That particular teatime took place right around the timeline divergence as I recall...err, I'm getting ahead of myself, sorry.
The rock? I thought it was a bit much. No, I don't know who threw it yet. I'll probably find out the next time I visit the festival. Though I did swap with myself at the ice cream stand so I'd have an excuse to offer Fluttershy a complimentary banana split when she came by.
Heh, I was fairly shocked too when it happened! There I was, dishing out banana splits – Miss Pie kept me well-supplied with bananas, where she got them from I haven't the faintest clue – when all of a sudden who should walk up to me but...me!
“Go on and enjoy yourself, I'll handle things here for a while,” I told myself.
“You're bonkers, what're you doing crossing our timeline?” I asked myself.
Of course seeing myself walk up to chat all casual-like had me worried! You don't cross your own timeline unless things are very serious! Or unless you want to pull off a cheap party trick, which turns out to be what I was aiming for.
“Nothing bad, I promise! You'll understand when its your turn. Now go on, shoo!” I scolded myself.
So after sending myself off for an hour (I went to go see the magic show, it was quite good actually) I was more than ready when Fluttershy came by this time. Zecora was accompanying her, rather wary of any more rock-throwing ponies coming after her princess. The zebra did a bit of a double-take when I waved them both over, not surprising considering they'd just passed the previous me. Fluttershy...did not look surprised, which raised some alarm bells for me.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Her knowing what you were up to is bad? She -was- inside your head.)
Yes! She was inside my head! And I'd been focusing on the wrong aspect of the situation, when all this time – well, let me explain properly. Once, I had a very best friend. She and I traveled, and by sheer happenstance she got a copy of my memories stuffed into her head. All nine hundred years of them.
There's a...there's a reason I used the term 'once' to describe her. Though I know she survived, her mind had to be wiped for her own safety. No version of me can ever approach her again, or the wipe will break and she will burn.
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Fluttershy's case is different, Doctor.)
Yes, I know that now. At the time, I had every reason to worry. Fortunately, Fluttershy must have picked up that as well because the first thing she told me was that she didn't have any of my memories anymore. Apparently she'd taken in a few, and remembered what they'd contained, but they'd been returned to me at the same time the de-aging effect wore off. And then she asked me how I was! Can you imagine that? Bludgeoned in the face not an hour earlier, and Fluttershy was more concerned with how I was doing instead!
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): She's very considerate, isn't she?)
Yes, perhaps a bit too much for her own good. Good thing she's got her friends to keep her head on straight from now on... Though when she was standing close by, I thought I saw...well, I must have been imagining it.
Anyway, we chatted as she politely nibbled the banana split, before she and Zecora headed onwards. Some of her more devoted followers were watching...which explained why I had such a long line after I got back from the magic show. Oh, and I was a little annoyed that I wouldn't find out what happened until I went through it again, but that's timeline crossing for you.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Does that mean you're friends with Fluttershy?)
...I really don't know...
...She did ask me if I knew anything about a small town in Everfree, about one thousand years ago or so. I hadn't been that way yet, which I told her, and she seemed a bit disappointed. I still haven't been there, to be honest...why not? Well...I'm a little worried about what I might find. I get the vague sense that it's a fixed point – a thing that has to happen because it always happened – and I don't really like those. I always seem to run into the most miserable ones.
Anything else you need?
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Do you do that a lot?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Go back in time to meet yourself.)
I don't do it that often. And it's really only dangerous if it's the same incarnation. I can meet my past and future incarnations without it being much more than an annoyance. I had a very bad habit of doing that as my second incarnation...I think that me managed to meet all of my other pre-war selves. He rather infuriated my third self whenever they crossed paths.
And recently, I actually ran into one of my future pony selves! This was during at that garden party in Canterlot, back when Derpy was getting her award from Luna. Oh, there I was trotting into the garden party wearing my best tie, when who do I run into but this grayish pony with a black mane and wearing a bow and top hat. He took one look at me and broke out into a huge grin.
“Ooh, the green tie! I miss that tie, it always looked smashing!”
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): He recognized you that fast?)
Why wouldn't he? He's a future version of me. Of course he remembers what I look like. I was the one doing a double-take there, since I hadn't met him before that point. The overwhelming familiarity was a big clue, though, and I'm pleased to say I figured it out fast.
“...When and how?” I asked.
“Spoilers! Oh, that's actually fun to use when you're on this end, I might keep that.”
I could've guessed that I wouldn't tell myself anything about the circumstances of my regeneration. Otherwise I might manage to avoid it, and then the me in front of me would be out of luck. Really, I'm too clever for my own good sometimes.
Of course, the garden party fizzled a bit after the Elements showed up. Magical prowess does not conduct itself to pleasant dance moves, as it turns out. Not to mention that myself and I had a bigger problem to deal with! Somehow he'd managed to get involved with some ponies trapped by Cyberponies fifty years earlier. Got himself trapped too...and refused to tell me how it happened. Not keen on admitting anything too embarrassing, I guess.
Then while that me and the ponies were escaping the cyberponies' deadly metal clutches, something happened involving overloading infostamps...long story made extremely short, Pokey Pierce's great-uncle had decided he was really my third self and was in turn seriously hamming it up at the garden party.
We could both see him reminiscing very loudly at a certain blue-coated, blond-maned pony, who was in turn giving both of me one of his more angry glares. Still, I have to agree with Pierce's great-uncle, that beard he used to have was rubbish. It's not my fault if some people can't take criticism.
I had about an hour before I'd be missed by the rest of the group I'd traveled to Canterlot with, so I offered to help wrangle the errant Pierce. Ended up in the future me's TARDIS, and then Pierce's great-uncle got to the controls and sent us back in time before I could get out...well, in the end we averted the cyber-conversion of Equestria in the past, Master Prickly Pierce got most of his real memories back while retaining my third self's knack for getting in and out of trouble, and the future me ended up with a new companion who already knew something about the business of traveling!
Good thing too, he was tip-toeing around the subject but there was definitely something going on with him that he needed help for...sounded rather big. Hope it goes well.
So, not too bad overall for a few hours on my own. And I got to be my own companion for a little while, which turned out to be rather fun. But he put a new desktop theme in the TARDIS, and ugh. What an eyesore! There was purple everywhere...that me has no sense of taste when it comes to interior decorating! I shudder to think how I got that way.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Isn't it dangerous to mess with your friend's family like that?)
It's almost completely harmless, I assure you. Although that mess did have a few odd results...Cherry Fizzy and Caramel now have an extra shared branch of their family. Not sure how it happened, but I suppose living through a near-invasion would make anypony reconsider tying the knot. It was all mostly near Canterlot though – the Cyberpony invasion, I mean – and that's where the extra Caramel-Cherries ended up living. Loads of them joined the Royal Guard too...a tad odd, that. Fizzy's always struck me as more of a laid-back sort.
Now, I'm quite sure that's the last of it, right? You don't need updating on anything else?
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): We'd still like to hear about your other pony companion, but that can wait.)
Really? You really have to know about what happened? It's just – just not something I want to talk about, alright?! It's...I don't enjoy taking strolls down memory lane when it comes to companions I've...the ones I...failed. There, I said it. I failed her, and now she's as good as dead, and you want me to reminisce about it?!
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Doctor, we kinda -have- to ask you. You're the only one who knows her story anymore. Doesn't she deserve to have it told?)
...I...suppose...yes, I suppose that's true...can I have some more time to think about it, though?
Good, good...thank you.