The Twibright Zone

Feb 18th, 2016
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  1. Twibright Sparkle
  3. >You are Twilight Sparkle.
  4. >Well, you looked like Twilight Sparkle anyway.
  5. >You had the mane, the wings, the horn, and the cutie mark.
  6. >But you weren’t Twilight Sparkle.
  7. >You’d been given the name Twibright.
  8. >You ended up here in Equestria the same way many others had, when you dreamed of some starscape and awoke in a field not far away from where you currently lived.
  9. >It was pretty great at first.
  10. >You were the little mare, and you had magic, and there dozens of others like you.
  11. >Unfortunately for you, when you eventually found Ponyville they weren’t precisely happy to encounter duplicates of themselves.
  12. >It got a bit dangerous at first because they thought you were changelings.
  13. >Stupid changelings, but changelings nonetheless.
  14. >It took some careful diplomacy on your part to explain to the real Twilight Sparkle what was going on.
  15. >She was scared, but her solution was fair.
  16. >She isolated all the duplicates, and got family members and friends to verify the real ones from the newcomers, and had all the duplicates branded underneath an eye.
  17. >It was cold branding, so it didn’t hurt, but left an indelible mark so you would always be known as a false version of Twilight herself.
  18. >OC’s and anyone who became a griffon, dragon, or changeling, kind of got a free pass, which felt unfair, but you couldn’t really disagree.
  19. >After all, some doubles might have slipped through the cracks, and now Twilight and the other princesses had to be on guard, which was pretty messy.
  20. >So you’d taken the lead, and agreed with her decision.
  21. >You wanted to live here, and you’d take what you can get.
  22. >Following that, you were the one Twilight came to when she needed to ask anyone for help about your little herd.
  23. >And also for help in capturing wayward ‘clonies’, as you had come to be called.
  25. >You were the only ‘Princess Twilight’ in the newcomer group, so everyone kind of nominated you to be the ambassador when some enterprising OC’s made you all a village.
  26. >They called it ‘Adorbia’.
  27. >That’d gotten permission to build it west of the Everfree, near Gastly Gorge, and it had sprung up almost overnight.
  28. >Like, not even joking.
  29. >It was literally done the afternoon following them getting permission.
  30. >You didn’t know how.
  31. >The clonies were given a small section on the outskirts called Clonyville.
  32. >Yes, it was built like Ponyville as best they could manage.
  33. >Yes, you lived in a small crystal castle.
  34. >No, it wasn’t your idea.
  35. >Thankfully you weren’t actually required to be in charge of the town.
  36. >That was left to somepony named Adorablast Tintwinkle, who had started organizing the entire thing.
  37. >She was smart, but a little too excited about being cute.
  38. >She and like-minded ponies all made efforts to be as cute as possible, and provide that cuteness as some kind of… commodity?
  39. >It all kind of went over your head on how they expected it to work, but the strange thing was that it did.
  40. >A lot of the clonies joined in, since they weren’t as welcomed in Ponyville proper, they made their living in Adorbia.
  41. >It was running smoothly as far as you could tell, but they lacked specific types of trades that should have been necessary.
  42. >There was no smithy or carpenter anywhere, which as far as you knew were required to make houses.
  43. >You chalked it up to magic.
  44. >Yours wasn’t nearly as powerful as the real Twilight’s, but you were still a good few shakes ahead of any of the others here.
  45. >You’d never encountered any ‘edgy’ OC’s, so you assumed they went off to brood somewhere, or none of those got in with the rest of you.
  47. >That meant you were probably the most talented in magic, but you still had no idea how they did it.
  48. >Any trades that were considered strictly ‘manly’ were outlawed.
  49. >Like, straight up.
  50. >If you practiced weightlifting, you had to do it outside of town.
  51. >There was a building code that prevented houses or shops from being too tall or angular.
  52. >You’d seen one turn up that broke the rule, and Adorablast was outside discussing it with another pony you didn’t recognize.
  53. >You’d stayed to see if you could watch how they modified it, but you never saw the construction start or stop, it was just proper the next day.
  54. >Your castle was the one exception to the height rule, and it had been a hot topic of debate for Adorablast and her ‘unofficial’ group of ponies in charge.
  55. >Half had wanted to build you the treebrary, and the other half wanted to build you the castle, with Adorablast being the deciding vote.
  56. >Adorablast had picked the castle because the library would offend real Twilight.
  57. >You agreed with that.
  58. >You would have preferred the tree, but that wouldn’t be fair to Twilight at all.
  59. >You still never saw them build it though.
  60. >The one time you had asked Adorablast about it, she simply responded with: “The Magic of Friendship.”
  61. >That was all well and good, but how did the magic of friendship do that?
  62. >For that matter, how did the magic of friendship feed all these ponies?
  63. >Trade was good, but not THAT good!
  64. >Ponies elsewhere loved all the cute toys, clothes, candles and events that Adorbia produced and held, but you’d never seen enough food imports to manage the kind of consumption you would expect from a city this size.
  65. >You could buy anything you needed, and the cute stall ponies gave you a wink and a smile as you bought groceries, but where were they getting them?
  67. >You’d written all of your concerns down and attended one of Adorablast’s Sweet Meets, as she called the council meetings, to address them, and Adorablast had responded yet again with ‘The Magic of Friendship’, as if it explained everything.
  68. >In reality, you couldn’t answer them, but everything she explained had a Stepford Mares feeling to it.
  69. >Like the surface was cute, but underneath it was sinister.
  70. >So far nothing had turned up, despite investigation.
  71. >They just really wanted to be cute.
  72. >It was jarring, but you supposed you could live with it.
  73. >If there had been any sort of weird brainwashing, you’d probably have been captured and had it done to you by now, because you hadn’t exactly been stealthy about your investigation.
  74. >Adorablast had even caught you in her house, reading her cute little pink diary.
  75. >Nothing sinister, just cuteness.
  76. >She’d even offered you tea, explaining while you sipped it that she and others like her just really wanted to act cute, so you did.
  77. >And ‘The Magic of Friendship” helped them thrive!
  78. >It was still really jarring, though.
  79. >The only one of the council who really made sense was the pony named Waxworks.
  80. >You were currently visiting her, sitting in her candle shop talking with her about all this while she worked.
  81. >She tried to be cute and fit in, but it didn’t really work.
  82. >She always seemed kind of depressed, though her actions said otherwise.
  83. >She worked very hard, she took part in all the cute activities, and attended every single meeting, and had even recently gotten a cute mare-friend named Propriety.
  84. >You were happy for her.
  86. >Her mare-friend was actually here, serving you tea while you talked.
  87. >She’d insisted Propriety didn’t talk much, as it wasn’t becoming of a maid to gossip about others.
  88. >She just kind of… stood there, in the corner, watching to see if you needed any more tea.
  89. >So you addressed all your concerns to Waxworks, while she made candles.
  90. >Her house was really dark, lit only by some of the candles she made, with all of her windows covered in dark curtains.
  91. >It was kind of sinister and made you feel like you were doing something wrong.
  92. >All while Propriety watched you from a dark corner.
  93. >You shivered involuntarily.
  94. >”I don’t really know what you want me to say, Twibright.” Waxworks said.
  95. “I guess I’m not really expecting a response, I just needed to talk to someone about it.”
  96. >”Well I’m glad you think of me as a friend, but wouldn’t Applehack or Charity be better choices?” She asked.
  97. “Despite us all being Clonies, none of us are elements of harmony, and we don’t have the same connection the Mane six do.”
  98. >”Well I can’t really allay any of your fears. I really enjoy the activities they hold here, and I’m glad they work so hard to keep it as cute as they can. It’s… pleasant.” She said, with a small smile.
  99. “I’ve been to some of the meetings, and Adorablast never brings up anything but how to make the town more cute. Do you never manage finances or budget or anything like that? I’m really just trying to make sense of it, because it doesn’t make sense. At all.”
  100. >”Adorablast says it’s the magic of friendship, and nothing has broken down so far, so why worry so much about it?” Waxworks said.
  102. >She walked past a candle and the bottom of her mane started on fire.
  103. >It was a tiny flame just on the very end, and it burned slowly.
  104. >Propriety walked over to her, and smothered it with a hoof.
  105. >Waxworks turned to her and smiled slightly, and kissed her on the forehead.
  106. >Propriety blushed and averted her gaze, then went back to her corner.
  107. “But it doesn’t make sense! Where does the food come from? The houses? The materials? Who handles the plumbing? Repairs? Everything!?”
  108. >”Twibright, I think you’re getting worked up over nothing. We came here from dreams, turned into ponies we liked, and now get to live in Equestria, a place that shouldn’t exist. I’m pretty sure, the answer you’re looking for is magic.” Waxworks said.
  109. “Yeah, it just seems like a shitty answer.”
  110. >Propriety gasped and put a hoof to her mouth
  111. >”Please don’t curse around Propriety, she finds it offensive.” Waxworks said.
  112. “Right, sorry.”
  113. >You place your cup of tea down on the wax-covered table and stand up.
  114. “Well, I should get going. I have to meet with Twilight to discuss a possible underground railroad of clony slaves in Canterlot. Thank you for tea, Waxworks, and it was nice to meet you Propriety.”
  115. >Propriety holds the door for you and bows.
  116. >Waxworks gives you a small smile and a wave.
  117. >When the door shuts behind you, you look around at the town.
  118. >Still filled with cute buildings everywhere, and off in the distance you could see somepony had begun a musical number as they were out shopping, with everypony around them joining in and knowing the words and steps.
  119. >It was weird.
  120. >You knew it was probably magic, but that didn’t help.
  121. >Magic didn’t just happen for no reason, it had to have a cause, and you wanted to figure out what.
  122. >You trot in the direction of the train station.
  123. >Maybe you could talk to Twilight about it.
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