"Ah! Fresh air! exclaimed the Doctor as they reached the back alley. "I haven't been outside since the crash, it's nice to get out of that stuffy old pla-" He caught Twilight staring daggers at him. "Er, I mean, of course the house is lovely, but nothing like that fresh clean morning air!"
"Of course, Doctor." Twilight rolled her eyes. "So, Pinky, lead the way."
The pink pony took up the lead. "Okey-dokie! Follow me!" she set off bouncing down the alley.
"After you, Daylight." The Doctor ushered her forwards.
"It's Twilig-, oh you know what, just forget it." she marched after Pinkie, head in the air.
The Doctor looked down at Spike. "What did I do?"
"Fillies, can't live with um." Spike shrugged and followed.
The Doctor looked confused for a moment.Then he looked around, and realised everyone had left "Uhg, it seems some things are the same in every world." He raced to catch up.
Twilight and Pinkie reached the end of the alley. Pinky peeked her head around the corner.
"Pinkie, do you see anyp-"
"Shhh" Pinkie put a hoof to Twilight's mouth. "We have to be very very quiet. We're hunting Night Shifts."
"Shh! Sompony's coming!"
There was a sound of hooves coming towards them.
"Pinky, I don't think this is necessar-"
"What are you girls doing?" asked a voice behind them.
Both pony's jumped, they whirled to find Rarity staring at them. Her saddlebags were full of various links of fabric, her eyebrows raised."
"Oh, well, hello Rarity!" Twilight chuckled uneasily. "We were, just....um, trying to....-"
"Find our way to the library!" Pinkie interjected.
"Um, yes, find our way to the library."
"But you live there, Twilight." Said Rarity suspiciously, "And it's the other way."
"Well, we were-"
"Taking the scenic route!" Pinky finished.
The white unicorn eyed the two ponies. "Well, I've got to get these new fabric orders into the shop I suppose. Have fun taking the 'Scenic route'" She turned to go through the back door of her shop.
"Umph!" She bumped into the doctor galloping to catch up. Fabric spilled everywhere in patches and rolls. "Oh! My materials! You really must watch where you're going Mr...Mr...." she looked the Doctor up and down. "You know I don't think we've met."
"Oh, quite sorry!!" The doctor picked up a roll of fabric and put in her bag. "In a bit of a hurry, I'm the Do-"
"Clockwork!" Twilight yelled. "His name is Clockwork."
The Doctor stared at Twilight bemused, then back at Rarity. "Yes, that's it, my name is...Clockwork."
Rarity's eyelashes fluttered at the brown stallion "Well, it's very nice to meet you clockwork. Are you new around here? I haven't seen you before."
"He's visiting from hoofdale!" Twilight interjected again.
"Oh, a visitor!" Rarity said excitedly Well, let me welcome you to Ponyville, how long have you been in town, dear?."
"Oh, only a couple days." said the Doctor shooting Twilight a glance.
"Well you must tell me about it! My family comes from Hoofdale, how is the old place?"
"Oh...well it's...better than ever! Really....hoofy."
"Splendid." Rarity picked up the last of her fabric. "Well you must come in and tell me all about it!"
"Well, I would, but I have t-"
"He'd love to!" Yelled Twilight.
"What!?" The Doctor looked around desperately. "But I-"
"Could think of no better way to spend the day, I'm sure!" Rarity herded the Doctor through the back door to her shop. "Plus I think I have some outfits that would look absolutely splendid on you!"
The Doctor looked frantic. "Flashlight!"
"Twilight do you mean?" Said Twilight smugly. "Don't worry, we'll meet you back at the house 'Clockwork'" she chuckled.
The door closed behind them.
"Remind me not to get on your bad side." said Spike.
"I figure some time with Rarity aught to change his attitude." she turned and walked forwards. "Now lets see what's so important about Night Shift."
Night Shift's house was rather plain, it was an old sagging blob of a house. It's paint had probably once been brown, but was now gray with slightly less gray patches. A tree grew sadly in the yard, bent and withered, a few leaves hanging stubbornly from the old branches.
"Well this is cheery." said Spike sarcastically.
"I know! Isn't it?" asked Pinky without so much as a trace of irony.
"No time for commentary." Twilight marched up to the door and knocked. "Mr.Night Shift? Oh Mr.Night shift! Are you there?" she waited several minutes for a reply. When there was none she tried the door.
"It's locked. Quite securely by the looks of it."
"He doesn't like to be bothered in the morning." Pinky said. "He's really grouchy when he's interrupted from his morning sleep."
"Well, I hate to use magic, but there's a lot at stake, so I suppose I must."
Twilight concentrated, her face scrunched up as her horn glowed purple. There were several clicks and the door flew open.
"Nice." said Spike. "Do you think you could do that with my old lunchbox?"
"Later Spike, besides anything that's in there is long past it's due date."
"I know, I know." Said Spike, "But still food is food."
The three walked slowly into the old house. The inside was made of old slightly warped wood. They made their way down the hallway and into the living room. The furniture was plain and in various states of disarray. There was a fine layer of dust over everything.
"Wow, he must have been gone longer than you thought, Pinkie." Spike said "It doesn't look like most of this stuff has been moved in ages!"
Twilight put a hoof to her chin as she looked around. "That might not be the case, Spike." she walked over to a small table. " Look, in the dust, there's a perfect imprint of a saddlebag and a plate."
"Yeah, so?" Spike shrugged.
"So, that means he moved this stuff fairly recently. He's such a sleepy pony, he only has time to do so much, and dusting isn't on the top of that list." she pointed to table. "Judging from the complete lack of dust here, I think this is where he always put his saddlebag when he came home."
"I've never seen him without his saddlebag!" Pinky exclaimed. "Well, I hardly ever see him, but when I do see him, I've never seen him without his saddlebag!"
"So that means he must still be out somewhere....but where?"
There was a crash from front door.
"What was that!" yelled Spike.
"I don't know, Spike, but I have a feeling it's not good.." Twilight took a step back. eyeing the hallway.
There was silence, the ponies and dragon stood quietly for several minutes.
Spike let out a breath "It must have been nothi-"
All at once, they were surrounded by the Weeping Pegasus.
They screamed. "I thought the Doctor got rid of these guys!" Spike looked around wildly for a way out. The three of them stood in a circle, surrounded by the stone creatures, their wings blocking any route of escape.
"They must have escaped somehow!" Yelled Twilight.
"Well what do we do?! The Doctor's probably having tea and crumpets about now! I don't know what these guys did to Night Shift, but I don't think I want the same treatment!"
"I know!" Twilight bit her bottom lip, "It was stupid of me to send him away! I was mad, and I let my anger get the best of me and I'm sorry..." Tears welled up in Twilight's eyes. "I'm sorry."
"That's all I wanted to hear!"
"What?...." Twilight looked up.
The Doctor strode in, "Sorry I had to pick up some new duds. How do I look.?" He did a little spin. He was wearing a brown stripe suit with a red bow tie. There was a small hourglass on the lapel.
"I thought a suit would be quite uncomfortable in my present form, but your friend really knows her stuff! And look!" his head dipped into the suit. "Pockets!" When his head reappeared he was holding a small object, there was a glowing light at the end. He pointed it at the floor. "If I were you, I'd hold on to something."
The floor began to vibrate.
"What's happening!?" Twilight yelled.
"I think It's kinda fun!" Pinky said shakily.
"I think I'm going to be sick!" Spike looked green.
The circle of Pegasus began to sink into the floor.
"Come quickly you three, don't worry, they can't move."
Twilight took a leap over the heads of the Pegasus. Spike followed. Pinky jumped onto the nearest one and jumped from head to head.
"It's like hopscotch!"
"Pinky!!" yelled Twilight.
Pinky jumped down. "Sorry."
Twilight turned to the Doctor, her ears lowered slightly. "Thank you." she said softly.
"What was that?" He asked holding a hoof to his ear.
"Thank you okay!?" she blushed slightly. "I'm sorry I sent you away."
"There we go. Apology accepted. Now, back to business!" He turned and began looking through Night Shift's things.
"One question, Doctor." said Twilight.
"How did you do that? What's that stick of yours?"
"What?" Twilight raised an eyebrow,
"Sonic, Screwdriver, you know, it's a screwdriver, that's sonic. I'd thank you not to call it a 'stick'."
"Quite alright, you see, this world is mostly 'magic' which basically means the laws of nature are a bit different. To put it basically, everything is a little bit alive. So, with a bit of sonic resonance, I just asked the wood to assume a liquid state and presto! Stuck Pegasus!"
"You asked it?" Twilight stared. "Oh never mind thank you in any case."
"You're welcome, now if we can only find something to tell us about this 'Night Shift', everything will be fine and dandy."
"But, Doctor, those stone freaks are trapped, what else is there to do?" Asked Spike.
"Well, my dear Spike, they are only trapped for a small amount of time, they're weak. but not that weak. As a matter of fact, we're in a fair amount of peril just standing here."
"Then why are we!?" Twilight asked exasperated.
"Yeah, what's finding Night Shift gonna do now?" asked Spike
"Well," The Doctor bent to look Spike dead in the eye. "For one, it would help an innocent
person who is probably very scared, and for all I know in danger."
"Oh, well there's that." Spike replied suddenly sheepish.
"And for two," the Doctor continued. "It will tell us more about what these things are
planing to do. Sure, they want Guidelight, then they want the TARDIS, but then what? they can't reproduce, it'd just be the three of them, in the whole of the universe. What'd be the point? Three ex weeping angels, they could feed for ages hardly noticed. But no, they attacked you in your kitchen, and they keep tangling with me. Something they wouldn't do unless it was well worth it." He put a hoof to his forehead. "What do they want? We need an answer, and it's not just going to pop up on the doorstep."
The doorbell rang.
A silence settled over the house for several minutes.
The doorbell rang again.
"Pinkie, I thought you said no one ever bothered Night Shift?" said the Doctor.
"Oh, no one ever does, he'll hardly open the door for me, and I've got cupcakes, that means he's really serious about it."
"Well in that case, who could that be?" Twilight asked.
"One way to find out." the Doctor set off down the hallway. The others close behind.
The doorbell rang again.
"Who is it?" The Doctor called as they reached the door.
"Mail!" said a voice.
"Mail?" the Doctor opened the door.
A blue and yellow Pegasus pony sat on the doorstep. Her eyes both staring off in different directions.
"Mail." she said again.
"Um..thanks." said the Doctor. "Mr.Shift is out currently, I'll take it for him."
"Sure as bubblegum!" said the pony distantly. She dipped her head into her bulging saddlebags. "Mhher" she said around a large, dingy letter.
"Thank you." he took the letter. "Who's it from?"
The pony's head lolled to the side slightly "Night Shift." then she was off like a rocket.
The Doctor closed the door and walked back into house. "Hmm, well that's interesting. Could you open this?" He said, offering the letter to Twilight. "I'm not extremely used to having hooves yet.
"Sure." the letter floated over to Twilight, it folded open, with a small plume a dust. "Wow, this is old."
The Doctor stuck his tongue into the dust cloud. "Yes, I'd say about 108 years, 4 months and 23 days old." He looked at the three other's staring. "Give or take a few months. Read it if you wouldn't mind."
Twilight began to read.
To Whom it May Concern
I, Night Shift, write this letter to inform all of what happened to me all those years ago. It is more than possible no one has noticed I am gone. Besides perhaps that pink pony who always brought me cup cakes, for which I am eternally thankful, though I never said it. If this letter is read by her and no one else, I will be happy with my lot in life. In any case, on the night of August the fifth in the 1000th year of Celestia's rain, for reasons I still do not understand, I found myself setting hoof once in the present, and again in the past. The year 892 to be precise. At first I was confused and afraid. For a while I was a recluse. Ponyville is just an outpost these days. If only they could see the progress they will achieve, the looks on their faces would be priceless. Alas it is not to be.
Do not fret on my behalf, I was a specter in the future, something neither seen nor heard. Here I have found ponies who appreciate me.
They have not perfected the art of weather control, I teach them and
in return I am respected. I found a mare who I love dearly, oddly her name is Sunny Day, now Sunny Shift. We are perfect for one another. I am happy, though I have aged. I sit here, and old workhorse now, writing to tell you hello from a long time passed.
I hope my home is well, and the pony's that live there. They shall have to find a new pony to make the stormy nights, I'm too busy enjoying my Sunny day.
There was a sniffling sound. "Pinky?" Twilight turned to look. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine." the pink pony sniffed.
"Don't be sad, he found somewhere he bel-"
"Sad?! Are you kidding!?" Pinky yelled with a bounce. "I'm so happy! That was so romantic! I only regret I couldn't throw him a going away party!" she frowned. "Wait! I can throw him an already gone party! I wonder what color balloons you order for that....green?...Blue?"
Twilight smiled. "I'm sure you'll figure it out." she turned to the Doctor. "How does this tell you what they're planning?"
The brown pony frowned. "That depends, does the year 892 have any significance? Anything fundamentally different from any other year? I have a feeling they didn't just dump Mr.Shift there at random."
"Wait....Mr.shift?" Twilight put a hoof to her chin. "That sounds familiar."
"Familiar?" asked the Doctor, "had you met him before?"
"No, Pinkie's the only one that knew him." She tapped her chin. "Mr.Shift...Mr.Shift."
"Mr. and Mrs.Shift!" Pinkie interjected. "Don't forget, he got married! I wonder who made the cake?"
Twilight's face lit up. "Mr. and Mrs.Shift!! The famous weather pioneers! They're famo-" Suddenly she looked distraught. "But...but I've known about them forever! Read books about them! There are seven in the library alone! How's that possible!?"
The Doctor put a reassuring hoof on Twilight's shoulder. "Time travel my dear, you get used to it." He grabbed the letter and stuffed it in his suit pocket. "There, see? Everything is so much easier with pockets. Now, I need you not to be alarmed."
"Why?" asked Twilight.
"Because the Stone Pegasus are gone."
"What!?" Twilight looked into the living room. Where the stone creatures once were giant holes yawned open in the wood. "Where did they go!?" Twilight looked around wildly.
"Gone." said the Doctor simply.
"Where!? Why!?" Twilight yelled.
"Now that," said the Doctor marching towards the door, "is and excellent question. They had the perfect opportunity to snap our necks, and yet we are still here. I'm quite offended actually."
"Why!? Isn't that a good thing?"
"Well under normal circumstances yes. But one thing that means is," he turned and pointed to the holes. "If they're not here, and we're not dead, that means they had more important things to do. I like to think I'm very important you know."
"Yes, but besides that, at the moment," he paused. "What was so important? If they couldn't spare a second for us, what are they up too?"
Twilight gulped "Good point...it can't be good."
"Anyhoof," the doctor strode back towards the door. "Let's see those books of yours. I'd like to know more about Mr. and Mrs. Shift.
"But, Doc," said Spike "what about those stone freaks?"
"Spike, I'm afraid if one of them doesn't want to be found, it will not be found. We shall have to wait for them to attack our poor Evening Siesta."
"Twilight....Sparkle" Twilight said crossly.
"Hm? Oh yes, that. In any case, back to the library! Onwards and upwards!"
By the time they reached the library it had begun to get dark. Most ponies had begun turning in for the night, so they were able to take to main roads without a fuss.
"I'm glad to get home, for a second there I thought I'd never see this place again." Said Twilight.
"Yes, one must love a library. The pen is mightier than the sword! That means books must be mightier than some other medieval weapon. Perhaps a catapult." The Doctor mused. "In any case it's time to arm ourselves. You said you had seven books on Night Shift?"
"I do," Twilight nodded. "Though they might be a little hard to find, because someone destroyed half of the east wing!?"
"Well, you've still got the other half haven't you? Good odds I'd say." He looked away. "Besides, I'll replace them."
"Really? And how to you plan to go about doing that?" Twilight rolled her eyes.
"I'm the Doctor." said the Doctor, "You'd be surprised what I can do. In any case," he bounded up the stairs "We've got books to find."
Twilight used her magic to light the lamps around the library, and the search began. Though they had cleaned the library to a degree, in places mountains of books lay in disarray, and any system there once was was no longer of much use.
"Spike!?" Twilight yelled. "What's this book about Harmonicas in the science section?"
"What? Playing harmonica is a fine science. More fun than those other dusty old books too."
Twilight sighed. "It'll take forever to find anything in this mess."
"I doubt forever," said the Doctor, "but a very long time at the very least. Where were they before everything got jumbled.?"
"In the weather section, under S."
"Have you looked there?" asked the Doctor eyebrows raised.
"That was the first place I looked! No luck." Twilight sighed dejectedly.
"Well I suppose we shall simply have to look until we've found it. No matter how long it takes. We must perseve-"
"Wow, Night Shift looks really nice in this old photo!" Pinky lay in the corner hunched over a large old book. "And that must be be Sunny! She looks so pretty! "
"Pinkie...." asked Twilight. "Where did you get that?"
"Over in the little ponies section. It was under C."
"For Clouds silly. There's some more back there if you want them."
Twilight's mouth hung open for a moment. "And you neglected to tell us this!?"
"I'm sorry, it's just you looked so busy, I didn't want to bother you."
Twilight put a hoof to her forehead. "That's alright Pinkie," she said calmly. "just show us where you found them.
They found the books where the pink Pony said they would be, all lined up in a row.
"And how long ago did you find these?" asked Twilight.
"About an hour ago." said Pinkie cheerily. "They're really interesting."
"No matter!" said the Doctor. "As long as we know where they are now. Bring them into the living room. I want to get a look at them."
The books were large and heavy, it took both the Doctor and Twilight to get them on the table. The Doctor flipped through it, seemingly at random.
"How will you know what you're looking for that way?" asked Twilight. "Wouldn't it be more efficient t-"
"Done!" said the Doctor. "Next book, this one is mostly pictures."
"Y-you're done? With what?" asked Twilight.
"The book, I read it, nothing of interest. Bring me the next one." he noticed her staring. "Yes, I know, impossibilities and all that rot, let's just say it's magic. Now time is of the essence!"
"Um, yeah of course." Twilight trotted into the library to get the next book.
" So, Doc, what are we looking for anyhow?" Spike asked.
"Well, my reptilian consort. Anything that might be unique to the time period, and Mr.Shift. I have a feeling the Pegasus had more in mind with him. The fact he's central to this world's history makes me believe it all the more."
"Well in the mean time do you think those stone freaks will attack again?" Spike looked apprehensive. "I don't like not knowing where they are."
"Not to worry, Spike, they should not bother us as long as you all stay together near me."
"In that case..." Spike trailed off.
"In that case what?"
"Well, should you really have sent Twilight to the Library by hers-"
A scream rang out through the halls.
"No, no, no, no no!!" The Doctor ran through the library at a full gallop.
Spike and Pinky close behind.
"Twilight!!" they both yelled.
"Help!!" Twilight's voice cried.
They rounded a corner to find the purple pony almost totally enclosed in the wings of a stone Pegasus. Only her head was visible, less than an inch from the sharp teeth of the creature.
"Doctor...." Twilight said quietly, her voice filled with fear.
"Don't worry!" The Doctor's sonic screwdriver was out in a flash. He walked around the creature, scanning wildly.
"How do we get her out of there!?" Spike yelled.
"I don't know!" the Doctor tossed his screwdriver down in frustration "I can't find an opening!"
"Do the liquid wood thingy!" Pinky said, distraught. "That's what you did last time!!
The Doctor's eyes darted everywhere, looking for a solution. "No, no, no, that wouldn't help, then she'd just be stuck in the wood and stuck with that thing! There's no way it'll let go of her now."
"Doctor?.....What do I do?" Twilight bit her lip, holding back tears.
"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!!." The Doctor pounded his head with a hoof.Eyes scrunched in concentration. There was silence for several minutes. Then he calmly lowered his hoof, and walked over to Twilight.
"I'm going to need you to trust me for a while." he turned and gazed at her two frightened friends. "All of you."
"Doctor.... what are you planning?" asked Spike slowly.
"Well, I'm going to count to ten. And on ten, I'm going to need us all to blink."
"What!?" All three yelled in protest.
"But that thing! It'll kill her, Doctor!" Yelled Spike, tears welling up in his own eyes. "You can't let that happen! You just can't!"
The Doctor bent down to Spike's level. "They won't kill her Spike, they need her, she'll be fine for at least a little while. I need you all to trust me."
Pinky looked the Doctor dead in the eye. "You'd better be right."
The Doctor turned back to the purple pony. "Don't fight them when you close your eyes, everything will be fine. I promise."
"How can you be sure?" she said with a slight sob.
"I can be sure. Because I'm going to save you. Twilight Sparkle."
She gasped. "My name....you got it right.."
"Haven't I always? Now, I need you to be brave for a moment, Ms.Sparkle, until I come to get you." He turned and stared hard at the stone creature that held her. "Be warned, you've done the wrong thing now. You've gone and made me mad. No matter where you go, no matter what you're planning, I will find you, and when that happens, you're going to wish the Abstract Plane had turned you into a pebble." the Doctor turned away. "On my count. Are you ready?"
"No." Said Spike.
"What he said." Pinky concurred.
The Doctor smiled. "Good." He drew in a breath. "One...Two...Three....Four...Five....Six.....Seven...Eight....Nine..."
"Bye Twilight." whispered Pinkie.
They all closed their eyes.
When they opened them. Twilight was gone.
"Okay folks!" said the Doctor. "No more Mr. Nice Doctor." He galloped back to the library. "What do we know?" he called back as Pinkie and Spike raced to catch up.
"That Twilight's gone?" Spike said sadly.
"Besides that, what?" The Doctor flipped through a book. "Come on! What!?"
"Um...That the Angels want to use Twilight for energy?" said Pinkie.
"Yes! That. What Else?"
"That they needed Night Shift in 892 for some reason?" Spike hazarded.
"Yes! Good, and Mr.Shift was a....?"
"Ooh, ooh! Weatherpony!" Yelled Pinkie.
"Yes, but not just any weatherpony, the weather pony. The original." he flipped through the pages faster. "And what do pioneers like that often receive?"
"Cupcakes?" guessed Pinkie.
Spike gave her a look. "I don't know, books, statues, there's an exhibit in the museum if that counts."
"Aha!" the Doctor yelled. Spike and Pinkie jumped. "It says here that the artifacts of his life are at the Ponyville Museum of History. Including his saddlebag. I have a feeling it'll be in there!"
"What will?" Spike asked. But the Doctor was already out the door.
The museum was a large old building. Stone columns jutted up to support the roof. Twilight Sparkle tried to open her eyes, but found she could not. She could feel that she was moving fast. Incredibly fast. But everything else was a mystery. In the dark she could hear breathing, there was hardly any break between breaths, it was almost one continuous low hum.
"Doctor," Said Spike breathlessly as they reached the entrance to the museum. "Are you sure she's going to be in there?"
The Doctor pointed a hoof to the door. It had been crushed inwards, what was left hung on the hinge at an angle. "I'm sure."
The inside of the museum hadn't fared much better. Display cases lay in splinters on the floor. Exhibits were scattered and broken everywhere.
"It seems the weeping angels are looking for it same as us."
"Humph, I'm never allowed to touch the art!" Pinkie said crossly. "After we rescue Twilight I'm going to have a word with the curator."
The three walked gingerly deeper into the gloomy library.
"Keep your eyes peeled." The Doctor advised. "I doubt the angels will be as kind to anyone else they catch." There were two hallways to take at the end of the hall. "Does anyone know the way to Night Shift's exhibit?"
Spike and Pinkie shook their heads no.
"Well we're certainly not splitting up." He held a hoof up "Eeny...meeny...miny...mo! This way!" he veered off to the left.
"Well that's an advanced way to choose things.." said Spike sarcastically.
"Do not mock the Eeny Meeny, Spike. That's how I choose most things!" said Pinky "Now come on!!"
They raced to catch up to the Doctor, stepping over the destruction caused by the Pegasus. The lights were out, and what little the moon provided cast shadows along the smashed displays and broken artifacts.
"I've never been here before...and this is a heck of a way to see it." the small dragon huddled closer to Pinkie.
"Don't worry Spike, there's nothing to be scared of." Pinky put a hoof to her chin. "Well except living stone creatures from another dimension that have your best friend trapped in their clutches and can end your life if you so much as blink in their presence, hurtling you back hundreds of years to live your life in solitude knowing you'll never see anyone you know and love again as they feed on all the experiences you'll never have." she noticed Spike staring. "Other than that, there's nothing to be scared of." she finished sheepishly.
They came up on the Doctor peeking around a corner.
He put a hoof to his lips. "Ssshhh"
They peeked to see what he was looking at. Twilight lay on the floor, her eyes closed.
Spike looked at the Doctor "Is she?"
"No, she's breathing, I suspect they've established a psychic link, forcing her to keep her eyes closed." he whispered.
"Well where are they? The Pegasus I mean."
The Doctor looked around. "Probably still looking for the saddlebag. It seems they're not very good at finding things are they?"
"Well why don't we just go get her?" Spike whispered urgently. "She's right there!"
The Doctor took stock of the situation. "That's exactly it, Spike. If you were a bunch of living statues who'd just captured the thing they were after what would you do?"
It dawned on Spike. "Keep a guard?"
"Precisely. Somewhere, very close by I suspect, there's a statue that doesn't belong."
Spike gulped. "So what do we do? We can't just stay here."
"I suspect it doesn't know we're here yet. Otherwise I severely doubt we still would be." the Doctor looked along the floor. "We need something reflective, that way maybe we can see it, before it sees us. Look for shards of glass, maybe a mirror if we're lucky. And don't get near Twilight while you do it either. You'll probably be safe as long as you stay under their radar."
Twilight heard whispering, did the Pegasus whisper? She wondered to herself. She tried, again, unsuccessfully to get up. The same force binding her eyes had extended to her legs. She had been laying here for some time. She knew the creatures were close by, but could not fathom what they were doing. She was scared, more scared than she could remember being in a long time. She tried watching the colors behind her eyelids, but it didn't help. She could only lie here and hope the Doctor would come soon.
She heard a noise to her left. she tried to call out "Doctor?" but found her mouth as inert as the rest if her. A stone hoof told her it wasn't who she had hoped. The Doctor had told her not to fight, but still, she could not resist the urge to move, to struggle in some way though at the moment there was no way to do so.
Suddenly there was a new sound, like jewelery banging together. Then a crash, followed by several other sounds she could in no way identify.
She wanted so much to open her eyes, but they still did not respond to her efforts.
She felt a tap on her shoulder.
"Are you alright?" said a voice.
The Doctor! She tried to say yes, to say anything, but could not.
"It's worse than I thought. They didn't just lock her eyes, she can't move at all."
"Can you fix her?" she heard Spikes voice.
"Yes, I believe so if I had time. But that's something we have in very short supply. It shall have to wait."
She wanted to protest, what could be more important? But she felt herself being tossed over the Doctor's back. That made her her want to protest even harder.
"Was that the guard?" she heard Spike again.
"No, it's still around somewhere, but it can't get to us as long as I've got this."
What? She wondered.
"I think this was one of the scavengers, look!" she heard rustling. "It found the saddlebag, what luck!"
She felt the Doctor bend to pick it up. Sending her headlong onto the floor.
She was going to have some words for him when she could move again.
"Twilight!" She heard Spike rush over. He put his hands on her head.
"Don't worry, she'll be quite alright. Can you open it Spike? I don't do zippers. I think with what's in here, I may be able to wake her."
"Um, sure, Doc." there was the sound of a zipper.
There was yet more rustling. "Let's see, no...no..no...how long do you think that's been in here?...no....aha! Just as I thought. Place this against Twilight's forehead Spike."
She felt something cold.
"Now lets see." there was the ring of a sonic screwdriver.
Twilight opened her eyes.
The first thing she noticed was Pinkie holding a battle axe in her mouth next to a pile of rubble.
"Twilight!" the pink pony rushed over and picked her up in hug. "I got that mean old Pegasus, he won't bother you again!"
"Not precisely true, with time it will reform. But for the moment it's harmless. A roundabout way to do it, but effective." said the Doctor. His suit was covered in reflective surfaces, glass, pieces of tile, precious stones, and on the back of his head hung an antique mirror.
"You look ridiculous." Twilight said holding back laughter.
"That's a nice thank you." said the doctor jangling as he moved. "It's so the Pegasus can't sneak up on me."
"Sorry, thank you." she said. She tried to move her front hoofs, but found she still couldn't "Um, Doctor.....I still can't move."
He frowned. "Darn, I was afraid of that." he picked up a small stone. "It appears I was only able to break the hold on your oral and visual functions. Nothing else."
"What! Will I ever be able to move!? " Twilight asked fearfully.
"Oh yes, this is a piece of an angel, with it I could break their hold, but it appears they must be close for me to do so." He nodded toward the pile of rubble on the floor. He walked up to Twilight getting very close. "Are you alright?"
Twilight stared at him for a moment, she noticed his eyes were blue, and looked very old.
"I'm fine Doctor. Thank you really."
"Good." he walked towards the hall. "Now! I've got what the Weeping Pegasus really want! A piece of an angel, 108 years, 4 months and 23 days old, waiting to be activated."
"Activated?" asked Spike. "What do you mean by 'Activated'."
"It's quite simple. This fragment is a piece of the Pegasus, they sent it back with Night Shift, and because of that, it has been among the belongings of a very famous pony.
Imagine, he took it with him everywhere, in his saddlebag, probably kept it because it was in there when he arrived. A harmless stone. But! When someone gets to that level of recognition it generates a lot of power. The adoration, think of it, how many little ponies must have seen the exhibit? Looking with bright eyes? How many people learned from his skill? Read his books? All that was focused at on one point in history, and this was at the center of it. Gorging on the energy. There's power in numbers, and it's got millions."
"Well what are they planning to do with it? And if they have that, why do they need me?" Twilight asked.
"Well, my dear Twilight, this isn't simply a powerful object. It's also a beacon."
"Yes, you see with this a million angels could flood in through the abstract plane into your world. A whole new universe, filled with energy waiting to be devoured like so much starfish."
"As to why they need you, this is very powerful, and to put it bluntly they're not. They need something with enough power to activate it. Ring the dinner bell as it were."
"Me?...." Twilight whispered. "B-but I'm not even that powerful! Sure I'm good a magic, but I'm not as strong as they think."
"Oh, I have no doubt right now you're not that powerful. But that's because you don't know how to use everything at your disposal. They have no such problem. They need power, not direction, it's in you, they just have to reach in and use it, pure and unchanneled."
"Well I won't let them!!" Twilight yelled. "I will not help those things, take over Equestria!!"
"Oh I fear much more is at stake here. Most every universe has more than one inhabitable planet. One like this most certainly. Equestria is only one small piece in a very big puzzle about to be thrown into a fire." He looked away. "Besides, I'm afraid you have no choice in the matter."
"What!? What do you mean, Doctor? What do you mean I have no choice!?" Twilight cried.
"Well, I was unable to break the hold on everything but two of your functions. They hold everything else, magic included. They can't just stop you from doing things. They can use you like a puppet as long as they have a hold." He said sadly. "I'm sorry Twilight, but until I can break it we're in terrible danger just being around you."
Twilight began to cry. "What am I suppose to do!?" she tried hard to move, but still nothing would respond.
"Just relax, they don't know we're here yet. The one Pinkie disabled can't alert them until it's reformed."
"Relax!? I'm a ticking time bomb! It's only a matter of time until those things come to get me! Then what?" she sobbed. "Doctor?"
He put a hoof on her shoulder. "Twilight, remember earlier, when I said I would save you?"
She sniffed. "Yeah."
"That promise is still valid, and I will save you. That I can guarantee. I'm not going to abandon you, and there's no way we're going to let that happen alright? " his old eyes stared at her.
She sniffed again. "Okay."
The Doctor turned to her two concerned friends. "Alright, so there are two more Pegasus to worry about and one more pulling itself back together! We need to work fast, so listen closely."
Twilight lay in the dark. Staring at the wall. Waiting for something to happen. She couldn't move her neck for a different view, so she was stuck staring at it. She wished she had fallen in front of a painting, or something more interesting. It could have taken her mind off things. She began to worry about all the things that might go wrong. Listing them in her head one by one.
A sound behind her shook her from her thoughts. She closed her eyes.
The wind ruffled her hair as something stepped next to her head. she could hear the continues hum she had come to know as it's breathing. It got closer until it was right next to her ear.
Had she been able to move she would have shivered. Instead she threw her eyes open. The creature was frozen inches from her face. She had grown so used to it she didn't even scream.
The Doctor dashed out from behind a pillar, the fragment in his mouth. He quickly pressed it against Twilight's forehead. She found she could move again. For the second time in the last few minutes she wanted to cry.
"I can move again!" She did a little jump! "Thank you, Doctor, thank you!" she threw her hoofs around the brown earth pony.
"Er...Quite alright, Twilight." he said breaking from the hug. She noticed he was frowning.
"Well, this is really bad."
"Why in the world is it bad!? I can move again! I never thought I'd be so happy to be back on my own four hooves!" she chuckled.
"Well, you see, dear Twilight, it's for the very fact that you can move, that we're in so much trouble."
The Doctor looked around. "Well, I only count two stone creatures here. Each one holds a different function. That one," he pointed to the pile of rubble. "held your speech and sight. And that one you just froze held your movement."
"Yes, and?" Twilight asked turning her head to the side.
"That means the last one, the one that isn't here, holds your magic."
Twilight's eyes widened as she realized the implications. "Oh no." She tried to lift something magically, and found she could do it no more than she could move her legs earlier. "We need to get it back!!"
"Yes, but first, we need to incapacitate this Pegasus." when he turned to Pinky she was already holding the battle axe. "I see you'd like the honor?"
Several smashes later there were two piles of rubble.
"That takes care of them at least." Said the Doctor brushing some stone dust off one of his mirrors. "Now, by this point the third Pegasus must be aware of what we're doing. Which begs the question of why it hasn't acted yet."
"What could it do?" asked Spike. "With you in that disco ball getup, I thought they couldn't touch us?"
"Well it doesn't have to touch us, Spike. With Twilight's magic it could easily do a number of things without showing itself. So why doesn't it?"
"I say we don't rush it!" said Twilight. "I don't like the idea of someone using my own magic against me!"
"It's just I'm really quite curious, with that power this could be over very quickly. So," the Doctor turned and spoke to the air. "What's the problem?! Huh? You have all that power! Why aren't you using it?! You could turn my hooves into daisies, or my head into a fishbowl, but you're just sitting around! You scared of something?"
"Doctor!" Twilight urged. "What are you doing! Don't encourage them!
"Well why not!? It's obvious it's not going to do anything. Probably found someone in the sculpture section to spend it's time with. Hmmm? A nice Michelalhoofgelo? Come on! Show me what you've got! Turn me into a butterfly why don't you? Maybe a nice wart filed toa-"
Suddenly the Doctor was gone. His mirror covered suit fell to the floor in a heap.
Twilight's horn stopped glowing. "Doctor!!" she yelled. "Oh, what have I done!!" She raced over to the pile of clothes. "Doctor!.......Doctor!!" she looked around wildly. "This is wrong." Twilight hung her head. "This is all wrong."
"Twilight! Look!" Spike pointed to the heap, where something was moving.
"What?" her head shot up to see a lump slowly moving towards the sleeve.
A rather cross looking toad hopped out and croaked.
"Doctor?!" She picked the amphibian up with a forehoof. "Is that you?"
There was a croak of confirmation.
"Oh I'm so sorry!! I didn't want to do it, they have control of my magic."
"He makes a really cute toad!" Pinkie remarked.
"Without the Doctor what do we do now!" Spike cried.
"I don't know." Twilight said quietly. "But I know one thing, you and Pinkie have to get away from me Spike."
"What!? No, there's no way we're leaving you with that thing!!"
"And there's no way I'm going to let it harm you. I don't want this to happen to anyone else. Run, warn people of what's coming, send a letter to the princess, I'm sure she'll think of something."
Her horn started to glow. "Go!" She screamed. "Quickly! Go!!"
Spike ran, gabbing Pinkie and dragging her after him. He paused for a minute and turned back.
"I love you."
When she looked up there were tears streaming down her face.
"I love you too."
"Don't worry Twilight." Pinkie said. "We'll see you again." Spike dragged her away.
The Doctor's coat rose slightly by the pocket. It slipped away to reveal the Angels Fragment. Twilight could hear that sound she had come to know behind her. The continuous hum of a Pegasus breathing. The fragment floated towards her. She could feel something tugging at her magic. A feeling that something was inherently wrong, but she could do nothing to stop it. Like a subtle shock, that grew stronger and stronger. Her horn glowed brighter and brighter as the power increased, forcing her to close her eyes.
"I'm sorry Equestria." she whispered.
Suddenly everything was dim. She opened her eyes to find a smug looking toad floating in front of her. It's stomach glowing purple.
She felt a new tug, a subtle one, she allowed her power to flow into a new stream. The toad glowed brighter.
In a flash of light the Doctor was standing in front of her again. "Hello, Twilight. In a bit of trouble?" he asked.
Twilight stood, stunned.
"You shouldn't stand with your mouth open, you'll catch flies. Trust me, it's not worth the effort." He turned to the Pegasus. "Now, on to y-" he paused. "Oh wait a minute" In another flash of light he was wearing his suit again. All the mirrors were gone, it looked brand new. "Now, on to you. If I remember correctly your the one from the library." his face took on a terrible calmness. "You see that's a problem, because you kidnapped one of my friends. I don't like when people do that. It's really not very polite, so you've given me quite a dilemma. What should I do with you? Twilight?"
Twilight smiled. "I have a few ideas."
"I knew I liked you Ms.Sparkle. May I borrow some magic?"
"Thank you. I was thinking a stone toad? You?" the Doctor asked.
"Oh I couldn't think of anything better." Twilight concurred.
In a flash the Pegasus vanished, and in it's place sat a happily painted green lawn frog. The Doctor raised an eyebrow.
"The paint's mine." Twilight chuckled.
"I like it, now to finish this"
Twilight felt another tug. Her horn glowed fiercely, there was a flash of light.
Twilight awoke in her bed. She looked around.
"What happened?" she said groggily. She noticed Spike in bed. She nudged the small dragon. "Spike, Spike!"
His eyes fluttered open. "T-twilight? What's goin on?" his eyes closed again. Then shot open. "Twilight!!" Spike jumped up to hug the purple unicorn. "You're alright! What happened!?"
Twilight laughed. "I'm glad to see you too Spike! I don't know, the last thing I remember I was at the museum."
She noticed a slip of paper sticking out from under her pillow. It floated in front of her face.
"It's a note....From the Doctor."
Dear Twilight Sparkle.
If you're reading this it means I was successful . The Weeping Pegasus are gone, and will no longer trouble you. I opened a rift to the Abstract Plane, and sucked everything back from whence it came. Well, minus one Weeping Angel and plus one happy frog. In any case, I'm sorry to say this means I must go as well. It has been wonderful meeting you and your friends. But I must return. I'm sorry for all the trouble my visit caused you, but as a token of my thanks, I have left you something. Go into the library.
Always your friend.
Onwards and Upwards.
"He's gone..." Twilight whispered. "But..he didn't say goodbye."
Spike put his hand on the unicorn's shoulder. "It's alright, Twilight, look on the bright side. We saved the whole of Equestria! We're awesome!"
Twilight smiled sadly. "Yeah, I suppose we are." she got up. "Let's see what this 'something' is."
Twilight walked towards the library.
"What do you think it is?!" asked Spike. "I bet its some cool alien stuff! Like a raygun, or a jetpack!"
"Spike, I'm sure its nothing like that." Twilight chastised. "It's probably waffles knowing what happened last time he left a note. That's o-" she paused, mouth agape as she entered the library.
It was immaculate. Everything was in it's place, not a book out of order.The damage to the east wing had been completely repaired.
Twilight ran along the shelves.
"They're all here! All the books that were destroyed in the crash! How's this possible!?"
She noticed a not attached to the shelf. It floated up to her nose.
Told you I'd replace them.
Twilight blinked away some tears. "Thank you Doctor."
"What!!" Twilight turned around to find the brown earth pony standing behind her reading a book.
"I've got a lot of history to brush up on if I'm going to be affective." said the Doctor.
"B-but the note! I thought you'd left! Gone back with the Weeping Pegasus!"
"Me too, I sent everything back through, apparently I'm not included in 'everything' who knew?" The doctor turned the page absently. "Perhaps there's more stuff to be done around here. That or something kept me from going." he looked at Twilight,.
Twilight looked off in another direction. "Perhaps something did. I wonder what?"
The Doctor smiled. "Yes...I wonder what. Anyway, whole new universe, lot's of stuff to do. I could stick around a while."
"I can't say I'm totally unhappy." said Twilight with smile. "Rarity does have an empty room, I'm sure she'd be happy to have you."
The Doctor's face fell. "What!? But I-"
The doorbell interrupted the Doctor's protest.
"Come in!" Called Twilight.
Pinkie burst through the door. "Twilight!! Doctor!!" she raced over and grabbed the both of them. "I'm so happy to see you, Twilight! And I'm so happy to see you with less warts, Doctor! You look terrible in green!"
"Pinkie....choking..." Twilight gasped.
Pinky released them. "Oh, sorry." she said sheepishly. "Now, Doctor, I don't think you've been properly introduced!! I've got a full itinerary! We'll start with Mrs. Cake and work our way down! Then we'll have a party to celebrate!"
She dragged the Doctor towards the door. He shot Twilight a look that said "Help me."
She just waved. "Enjoy your party Doctor! I have a feeling you're going to like it in ponyville." The door closed and he was off.
"I'm glad you're back." she whispered.
"What's that?" asked Spike.
"Oh, nothing, Spike." she walked off. "Let's find something for the party."