Pony POV Series
POV Doctor Whooves:
Written by OracleMask
I suppose we'd better get this over with. Err...though where do I start...
Begin with the beginning? Right, but which one? I've got a couple of options here...one of hers? Maybe mine, that might make sense...unless you'd prefer Station Four's?
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): What is Station Four?)
Oh, that's the place where she and I first met. Mobile research platform, built early Second Delightful Pony Republic. About, say, five hundred million years from last Tuesday, assuming I've done the math properly. D'you know how hard it is to convert temporal mechanics into base four? Look, here's an example of converting one Equestrian year to one year on Florana...all this and you still have to divide sideways, loop your happy primes, and...what?
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Doctor, why are you counting with your hooves?)
Because I haven't any fingers, obviously.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Let's start with why you wanted another companion, Doctor.)
That's obvious too, I was sick and tired of traveling solo. It's so boring exploring without anypony around to talk to. Of course I could chat with the locals wherever I went, and there were a few very odd things to see even without leaving the planet, but...eh? What happened to Derpy? Oh, she was on her vacation at the time. Still is, technically. Quite likely not to be done with it until Dinky's all grown up and possibly has foals of her own, which is...well...commendable...
Eh? No, of course I don't begrudge Derpy taking the time to be with her family! That's like complaining that artron energy tastes like raspberry fizz. You'd think it'd be banana, what with the yellow color...oh well, maybe in the next universe.
Yes, I suppose I could skip ahead in Derpy's timeline. If the marvelous Granny Smith is any indicator, ponies age rather like a fine wine: Granny Hooves could very well be up for traveling like she'd never left the TARDIS at all. On the other hoof, Miss Smith might be an exceptional case...and besides, it's not a good idea to skip around a friend's timeline like that. Even if you don't end up off-phase, it's still so needlessly complicated.
Hmm? Yes, I've been to the early days of Ponyville quite a few times by now. You get curious about a place when you spend loads of time there, after all. And have I danced with Miss Smith? Ha ha hah, of course! She's brilliant at it! Always has been and would still be if not for the unfortunate business with her hip. Did you know Ponyville's Founder's Day celebration used to have a dance contest? Miss Smith was the uncontested champion of it for ages.
How many of those dance trophies have my name on it as well? Well...that's for me to know and you to wonder.
Unfortunately, while amusing myself with little trips like that is all well and good, it didn't do anything for my waiting problem as a whole. And I hate waiting. Just because it doesn't hurt me to spend a few decades or centuries taking the slow path to get somewhere doesn't make it any more bearable! And after I took that frying pan to the head, the little trips just seemed to be more trouble than they were worth.
But I'll admit, the reason I finally got on with the whole business was Derpy telling me to stop moping around. Of course I protested about not having a companion, and she told me flat to my face that I needed to go make a new friend to travel with. Told me that she was getting worried that I didn't have anypony else in the world to turn to...and I would have just settled for her bringing Dinky with her on board the TARDIS. It seemed like a win-win to me: loads of new things to learn and places to see for Dinky, Derpy gets to take care of her daughter while still traveling with me, and I get two pony companions for the price of one! So naturally Derpy turned that idea down without even considering it.
'Too dangerous for Dinky', she said. Not that I would intentionally endanger anypony who traveled with me, especially a wonderfully clever little filly like Dinky, but...that's never stopped the danger from finding me before. I even tried to sweeten the pot by offering a spot for Sparkler to join us as well. Make her a full member of the team instead of just pitching in now and then, like she'd done for us in the past. And Derpy still didn't...
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): 'Hmm'?)
...That was really terribly unfair of me, wasn't it? I seriously...was I even thinking things through then? No, wait, don't answer that, I know I wasn't. No wonder she hates me.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Who hates you? Derpy?)
Derpy?! I should hope not! Oh no no no, I mean Sparkler.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): You think it was unfair to Sparkler when you tried to bribe Derpy with her?)
No – well, technically yes, that was unfair too – but I meant the whole business with Sparkler, really. Talking her into coming along on the TARDIS when we needed an extra body for something...and in one case because I lost Derpy inside a pocket dimension and needed Sparkler as a polarized fishing line to get her back...I was always ready to jump on that. Once things were done, though, it was always straight back to Equestria, have fun explaining where you disappeared to! Never mind Sparkler might have an interest in traveling somewhere, never mind that she deserved something for her trouble, oh no! Stupid selfish Time Lord, what did you think would happen after that?
And exactly how did I not get bucked ten ways to Sunday for treating Derpy's daughter like a disposable tool? Derpy must have noticed!
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Were you doing it on purpose?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): And do you think Derpy would get that mad about something you weren't doing on purpose?)
...Maybe not...Derpy has a rather amazing capacity for forgiveness...but I'd feel better if she knocked me around for it. Maybe I'll ask her sometime. I'm sure I can make up something convincing to explain why the fate of the universe suddenly depends on her bucking me in the head.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Or you could tell her the truth, and let Derpy decide what to do about it.)
...We'll see. Err, now then, I think we lost track of the original topic. Which part of the story was I on?
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): You were saying Derpy was the one who told you to take on a new companion.)
Yes, that. And I've always had a great deal of respect for her advice. Granted, I wasn't too keen on the idea, but...eh, a temporary assistant might not be the end of the world, I thought. So I fired up the randomizer on the TARDIS and launched into the unknown! Could have landed anywhere doing that – any time, any place, the universe is literally the limit! Now, at that point I hadn't traveled too far into Equestria's future yet. The furthest Derpy and I had gotten was a thousand years, and while she and I agreed that it had gotten a bit strange in some respects, it was still recognizably a pony land.
Five hundred million years in Equestria's future, that's far enough for space travel! Interstellar pony colonies, pony space ships whizzing about, and ponies meeting aliens! You lot manage your first contacts better than a few species I've known, but then again, you've had practice with the non-ponies here at home. So there I was, the amazing wonders of your future before me...and nopony else around to be impressed by them.
The old girl materialized inside somepony's cargo hold, and I decided to go find something to stick my nose into: standard operating procedure for the visiting Time Lord. I learned two things right away: one was that the ship I was on was approaching a very nice-looking nebula, which I could see through a large viewing window. The other thing was that they apparently had cameras in the ceiling because there were security ponies pointing guns at me in less than ten minutes.
No, being held at gunpoint is never something I intend to happen. It's just one of those things that I seem to go through whenever I visit a new place.
“Hello! I was on tour and got separated from the group. Mind pointing me to the information desk?” I asked them.
For such grumpy ponies, they had an oddly well-furnished brig on their ship. Carpeting and everything.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): They locked you up?)
Well, I was on their super-secure military research station without permission. Soldiers can be tetchy about that sort of thing. Not that the scientists knew they were doing military research...or that they were planning to harvest a nebula that contained sentient lifeforms...but thankfully ponies are inquisitive to the end! It wasn't long before the soldiers had somepony else to round up and throw into their brig. One of the scientists, white lab coat and everything. She would've spent ages banging on the door and demanding to be let out if I hadn't got her attention.
“Letting us out after locking us up would defeat the purpose, don't you think?” I asked her.
She startled. Apparently she hadn't noticed I was locked up in with her.
“What the – who are you?” she asked.
“Would you believe I'm a lost tourist?”
“No,” she said.
“What about a visiting space alien?” I tried.
“You hardly look alien to me,” she retorted.
“Suppose that's true, pony shape and all that...and if I said I was an ancient time-traveler from another dimension?”
“...I'm not going to talk to you if you're going to make things up.”
“Hmm...nine hundred years doesn't really qualify as 'ancient', does it. I should at least wait until I hit four digits,” I agreed.
She stared at me for a few more moments, then shook her head.
“Look, I'm in kind of a tight situation here. My colleagues are about to commit a horrible mistake if I don't warn them, and I don't have time to play guessing games with some random pony from who-knows-where! This is a restricted station, we don't get visitors and I know we weren't supposed to get any more staff this month,” the mare said, “If you're not going to explain yourself, then go sit in the corner and leave me alone!”
Teasing her had been fun, but I relented with good grace.
“Since you asked so nicely,” I said, “I'm the Doctor.”
I waved a hoof.
“Doctor who? Doctor of what?”
“Just the Doctor,” I replied, “And...dunno. Everything? This and that, sure...”
“Your name is 'the Doctor'...” she said, “...That's not a name, that's a psychological condition.”
“Oi! That is rude,” I countered, “That is very rude, even. I'm not poking fun at your name.”
“You don't even know my name!”
“And whose fault is that? Not introducing yourself is rude too,” I pointed out.
The mare's face went almost as red as her mane. Was that still teasing? Honestly, I've heard that question about my name a million times over by now: it's very tiresome. I'm allowed to be sarcastic about it!
“I don't have time for this,” the mare was muttering, turning her attention back to the door, “If I can't stop the experiment, they're going to destroy everything...there's got to be some way to get the door open from the inside...”
I've always been a gentleman, you know? So I did the gentlemanly thing and got out my sonic screwdriver. The locking system didn't have a deadlock seal, so it was easy to open the door.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): I bet it wasn't made of wood, either.)
Yes, that was helpful too, I – oi! That's a cheap shot! Stop laughing! I – fine, I'll put in a bloody wood setting! Are you happy now?!
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Don't feel bad Doctor, the original Green Guardspony was weak against wood too.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Didn't they change that because it was a dumb weakness?)
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): This isn't the time, you two.)
Look, do you want to hear this story or not? Because I'm sure I have other things to do –
(Interviewer Notes (Pegasus): Wait, no, we're sorry!)
(Interviewer Notes (Earth Pony): Please keep going!)
So I unlocked the door, and that got the mare's attention right away. I was expecting her to ask how I'd done it, but instead...
“You've been able to escape this entire time, and you've just been sitting around on your hooves in here?” she asked me incredulously, “That doesn't make sense...unless...”
She hesitated a moment.
“...Are you from the Celestial Government?”
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Did you say -Celestial- Government?)
Now who's interrupting? ...Though to be fair, it's more commonly called the Celestial Bureaucracy and there's a rumor that the paperwork they accumulated on the first day formed a supermassive black hole. Still, I suppose you can't really have a Second Delightful Pony Republic running efficiently without somepony in charge.
“Sure, if you like,” I said, stepping past her to take a look out the door.
None of those soldiers were in sight, so I waved a hoof at her. We crept out and began making out way stealthily along the corridor. And by stealthily, I mean she was trying to be subtle and failing, whereas I didn't bother because I've done this before. Sure enough, we ran right into some guards and had to leg it...good times.
“By the way, I never did get your name,” I called over my shoulder as we raced away through the corridors.
She replied with a very unkind remark about my sense of timing.
Now, Station Four was never a very big station, but luckily there was one safe place for us to hide: my TARDIS, still waiting in that cargo hold. Those soldiers had noticed the old girl was there, but they hadn't managed to budge her from that spot or convince her to let them in. The look on their faces when we ran past them and through the doors that were swinging open for us all on their own...ha ha, priceless!
As for my new friend?
“What the...this is...it's...”
“It's...bigger on the inside.”
“Really?” I said, “I hadn't noticed.”
Of course, we didn't have all day for bantering. That nebula that I'd seen through the window turned out to be the Ponyhead Nebula.
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Didn't you say that the Moonfish lived in the Ponyhead Nebula?)
They do, and did. And their home was about to be broken down and processed into raw materials if nothing was done. There's a rare element in the cloud that's built up as a result of the Moonfish living in the area, and nothing leads to tearing a hole through the middle of a natural wonder faster than the quest for rare and valuable things. Only one scientist had noticed there were life forms in the cloud – she'd spotted the xenoplankton, and the Moonfish that farm them – and trying to share that information was what landed her in that cell with me.
It was after getting this story that she finally introduced herself properly. Doctor Rosalind, up-and-coming xenobotanist. Because of her special talent to make any flower she worked on flourish and bloom even moreso than Earth Ponies normally could manage, she had the nickname 'Rose-luck' amongst her peers. I called her Rosy for short.
And that is the story of how I met my second companion.
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): That scientist...that was really Roseluck?)
I told you she was living a new life here in Ponyville, didn't I? Of course she had one before I came across her. A whole life on her own...it's all gone, now. Roseluck's got a new life now, one with a new family...new experiences...new friends...even a new cutie mark...
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): Do you remember Roseluck's original cutie mark?)
Of course I remember it. Why would I forget? It was four red flowers, all in full bloom....all technically 'roses', but they came from different ecosystems so of course none of them matched...
(Interviewer's Notes (Pegasus): Doctor? Doc, it's okay...)
This is why I didn't want to talk about her! My Rosy, the one who – the one who gave all of herself up to save someone like – ...who gave herself up to save the universe and time itself! She was clever and wonderful and absolutely positively one-of-a-kind! Don't you dare imply I'd forget anything about her! You...
(Interviewer's Notes (Unicorn): I think we'd better stop here.)
(Interviewer's Notes (Earth Pony): Can we hear more about your Roseluck some other time? If you like her that much, she must've been -amazing-.)
You're seriously asking me to –