The Broken Carousel: Twilight Sparkle Interlude 1

Jan 6th, 2018
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  2. >hardened war hero Twilight
  3. >aside from the horrible visions of war tormenting her every single night she's also a decorated war hero
  4. >that means she has seen a LOT of horrors and had to suck it up to fight another day
  5. >not only that, she was sometimes responsible for causing them when things didn't go as planned
  6. >she believes blood of those who died under her command is on her hooves
  7. >from commanding a squad to commanding an army she has seen everything this war has to offer
  8. >but she also witnessed true camaraderie on the battlefield and through this distorted friendship magic she pulled through, found the strength to carry on
  9. >she has made many friends in this war but so few have lived to see it end
  10. >it is for them she ended it
  11. >it is her sharp mind that ultimately contributed the most to Equestria's eventual victory
  12. >but all the tough calls like choosing between lives of some vs. interests of many, others paying with their lives for each of her missteps and wrong decision making - it's all still with her
  13. >after the war she doesn't know what to do with herself
  14. >the idea of being celebrated as a hero is disgusting to her, even if she understands that in the end she did everything right and saved so many
  15. >now Cadence thinks some guy from another world can make her feel better
  16. >someone who can make it over the wall she has constructed around her heart to protect it? that's just too good to be true
  17. >besides, she's not the only pony who suffers from disturbing dreams; she's adamant that some need Initiative way more than her, she's not the one who should be getting therapy
  18. >those who lost everything should get their happiness first and she's definitely not one of them
  19. >some of them lost it because of her
  20. >sometimes it feels like it won't ever stop
  21. >those friends she's lost can't be brought back or replaced
  22. >yet deep inside she still aches to rekindle that feeling - and it scares her the most
  24. >I like to think Commander Sparkle still gets together with her surviving friends after the Crystal War.
  25. >Commander Rainbow Dash, who like her understands the weight of leadership and the guilt of every comrade lost under their command.
  26. >Rock Troopers Pinkamena Pie & Maud Pie, who's immense physical strength have saved many lives on the battlefield by either lifting large objects off of ponies or destroying them before they can even hit anyone.
  27. >Gilda, who convinced the government of Griffonstone, to lend their aid to Equestria with the truth that if Sombra wins then he's inevitably going to try to take over the rest of the world. She learned to respect and came to like Twilight, Pinkamena, and Maud after seeing what they're capable of in a fight.
  28. >The five of them often frequent bars together, partially to have fun, but also because the buzz of alcohol helps dull the emotional pain of what they've experienced.
  29. >Twilight complains to them about being forced into the Initiative, but they just tell her to stop acting like a dyke because unlike them she actually has a decent chance to get laid.
  30. >The war made the already skewed gender ratio even worse, as Sombra's forces didn't discriminate between male and female.
  31. >That's another reason for the Initiative.
  32. >Twilight tries to tell them that she simply thinks other ponies deserve this help more than her, but they just roll their eyes at her.
  33. >*frustrated horse noises*
  36. >You are Commander Twilight Sparkle, a veteran of the Crystal War
  37. "So naturally, when the letter shows up at my apartment, I want to know why the heck I'M being dragged into the Initiative?!"
  38. >And you're pretty bucking pissed right now.
  39. "I catch the next train to the Crystal Empire to talk to Cadance personally, and you want to know what she tells me?!"
  40. >"Why are you askin' us? You're just going to tell us anyway." Gilda rolls her eyes.
  41. "She tells me," you begin doing your best impression of Cadence, "'Oh Twilight, this will be good for you! You'll be so happy when you meet your match!'"
  42. >Your friends look decidedly unimpressed as the five of you sit at a table playing Go Fish in a dive bar in Baltimare.
  43. >Fools.
  44. >You shake your head.
  45. "I swear, this is just like my application to the Royal Guard getting rejected. I KNOW Shiny had something to do with that."
  46. >With your record in the war, you would have made Captain by the time you were Shining's age!
  47. >"Have you ever considered that perhaps they're trying to help you?" Maud asks in her usual deadpan.
  48. >You snort.
  49. "No duh, but I don't need it. Those ponies who are so broken by the war that they refuse to leave their homes? Or the ponies who lost everything? THEY need it. Yet I'm being dragged into the Initiative because I'm apparently 'at high risk for a violent mental breakdown without intervention'?! I am the PERFECT example of ideal mental health, thank you very much!"
  50. >"Or maybe they just think you really need to get laid?" Rainbow snarks, placing a card down.
  51. "And what? Some random alien from another world is supposed to be sweep me off my feet?"
  52. >"Well, I've heard that the humans go to war with each other all the time. Maybe you'll get matched with a guy who can understand how you feel?" Pinkamena suggests, placing a card down.
  53. "That's not the point, Pinkamena! I don't have time for romance! There's still so much to do!"
  55. >"Like what? Sombra's dead and his helmets are all destroyed. War's over." Gilda says, placing a card down.
  56. "Yeah, the WAR is over. What about all Sombra's leftover dark magic experiments running around? The Princesses are still looking for whatever escaped from Tartarus,"
  57. >That they wouldn't tell the public the exact nature of, for some reason...
  58. "Plus we're still having skirmishes with the Changelings in the Badlands.. There's still so much good, I, WE, can do!"
  59. >"Yeah, no." Gilda deadpanned.
  60. >"We did our time, Twi. Nothing left to do but go back to our old jobs." Rainbow Dash shrugged.
  61. >That works for them, except before the war you were just a magic researcher.
  62. >You still loved books of course, the war could never take that away from you.
  63. >But after witnessing all that death, destruction, and pain... It just seems so frivolous when you could DO something about it.
  64. >To prevent anymore of it from happening in the world.
  65. >"Why not give it a chance, Twilight? Maybe you'll really like the guy you get matched with." Pinkamena smiled.
  66. >That's how she's playing it?
  67. >You raise an eyebrow at her.
  68. "If you think it's a good idea, why don't you register? I got a royal order, but you have a choice. What about the rest of you?"
  69. >"Even if that Initiative thing accepted griffins, which it doesn't and I think that's kinda racist, I'm not into ponies." was Gilda's response.
  70. >"Ha! I don't need help to get a stallion!" Rainbow grinned.
  71. >"I already have a coltfriend." Maud said in her monotone voice.
  72. >Hold up.
  73. "Since when?"
  74. >"We met when we were both stationed in Galloping Gorge. We didn't really have time during the war, so we met up again after it ended."
  75. >"His name is Mud Puddle." Pinkamena continued.
  76. >"Wait, you mean that earth stallion who likes sticks as much as you like rocks?" Rainbow asked.
  77. >Then the cyan pegasus snorted, "Yeah, he definitely seems like your type, Maud. He's a dude you."
  78. >You turn to Pinkamena.
  79. "What about you?"
  80. >The pink mare looks away, nervously.
  82. >"I uh... what if the guy I get matched isn't really into mares without... you know?"
  83. >Maud, in her usual seemingly emotionless way, pats her sister on the back.
  84. >Rainbow Dash scoffs, "If any guy rejected you because of that I'd give him two black eyes, Pinks. Besides, wouldn't that just not happen? Princess Cadance supposedly uses the Crystal Heart to find someone who's your ideal match. She wouldn't put you with someone who'd do that."
  85. >That is true.
  86. >"It still really bothers me. Makes me feel, I dunno, lesser in a way." Pinkamena said, tracing the rim of her drink with a hoof.
  87. >"You aren't, and anypony who says that doesn't know what the buck they're talking about." Rainbow glared at her friend in that strange 'I'm angry FOR you not at you' way she has.
  88. >"Twilight, it's your turn." Gilda announced.
  89. >You look down at your hand.
  90. >Crap.
  91. "Anybody got any fives?"
  92. >The four of them look down at their respective hands.
  93. >"Nah."
  94. >"No."
  95. >"Nuh-uh."
  96. >"Go Fish."
  97. >You reach into the pile, and look at what you drew.
  98. >An 8, darn it.
  99. "So I'm completely alone here?"
  100. >"Eh, maybe she's right. You could give it a shot, Pinks? If you're getting put with the best possible guy for you, then you have nothing to worry about." Rainbow suggests.
  101. >Maud puts a card down, "You'd do well off the farm, Pinkamena."
  102. >Pinkamena looks at her sister with alarm, "But Maud! Mom and Dad need so much help ever since Marble and Limestone..." she sniffles.
  103. >The mood sours, and you decide to take a shot of your drink.
  104. >"They also know you've always been miserable on the farm. Perhaps the reason you don't have... that, is because the environment is too limiting for it to show up?"
  106. "I imagine fighting for your life against mind controlled ponies being led by a centuries-old dark wizard isn't conductive to finding yourself either."
  107. >Rainbow puts down a card.
  108. >"Honestly, you ponies put way too much stock in those butt tattoos of yours in my opinion. You're the only race that has them, but you don't see the rest of us complaining about it." Gilda flicks a card down.
  109. >You sigh.
  110. "It's a cultural thing, Gilda."
  111. >"I know! But it's not like she's missing a limb or sick or weak. She's turned too many rocks to dust with her bare hooves for anyone to think that."
  112. >Gilda shrugs, "I guess it's just a pony thing."
  113. >Rainbow takes a drink, "Maybe this Initiative thing is just what you need, Pinks? It'd be like one of those cheap romance novels my mom reads. 'Mare Finds Herself Through The Power of Love."
  114. >The one-winged pegasus gags, "It'd be way too sappy for me, but isn't mushy stuff like that Princess Cadance's schtick to begin with?"
  115. >Pinkamena looks like she's actually considering it.
  116. >"Huh, when you put it that way. Maybe I should give it a chance?"
  117. >She points a hoof at you.
  118. >"But if I'm going then you're going with me."
  119. >Eh?!
  120. "Did you miss the part where I've been saying how much I don't want, nor do I need, this?"
  121. >Pinkamena smiles, and you feel your resistance start to crumble a bit.
  122. >That mare doesn't smile nearly as often as she should. She has a beautiful smile.
  123. >"Moral support." is her response.
  124. "What about Maud?"
  126. >Maud gives one of those small smiles she only gives when she's thinking of something devious.
  127. >"I'm already in a relationship. How does it look if I, an already taken mare, go to a matchmaking program?"
  128. >You turn to Rainbow Dash and Gilda, but they offer no help either.
  129. >"Don't look at me. You're the one with the royal order, Twilight." Gilda snickers.
  130. >"I wouldn't be caught dead in a place like that." Rainbow smirked.
  131. You grunt in frustration, "Some friends you are."
  132. >You grab your drink and down the rest of it in one go.
  133. >Ugh. You would never understand why the others enjoy cheap booze. Still, it gets you drunk so at least it does that right.
  134. >Pinkamena taps a hoof to her chin, putting down a card.
  135. >"Well, think of it another way Twi? Your Royal Guard application getting rejected and getting dragged into the Initiative probably ARE connected to each other. If you participate in the Initiative, maybe they won't think you're crazy anymore?" the younger of the two remaining Pie Sisters theorizes.
  136. "That'd still require dating a stallion or an alien. Whichever the Crystal Heart decides to put me with."
  137. >"How bad could it be? From what I've heard, everypony who participated is more than happy with their match." Rainbow asked.
  138. >Because if you die then you don't want to leave behind another pony, or rather person, who would miss you.
  139. >You know Mom and Dad had worried themselves sick when you and Shining were both on the battlefield.
  140. >When you finally returned home to Canterlot and a hero's welcome, you had been surprised by just how aged they had become by all the stress.
  141. >If either of you had died, they would be crushed.
  142. >That's a pain you wouldn't, couldn't, wish on anyone else.
  143. >But it seems you're not getting out of this anytime soon.
  144. >Who knows? Maybe if you do well enough in the therapy then they'll decide you don't need a match after all, and let you go.
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