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The Consequences of Imitation (RGRE)

By Uh-hmmm
Created: 13th September 2021 11:53:10 PM
14th September 2021 01:02:44 AM

  1. >You are Celestia, waking up in darkness as you always do.
  2. >You slip out of bed and trod a path polished smooth by millennia of hoofsteps.
  3. >From your balcony, your horn lights up, a spark that lights the flame of a new day.
  4. >You take a few moments to bask in the silent dawn, then turn back to find Raven Inkwell standing at the door with her ruthless clipboard.
  5. "Good morning, Raven."
  6. >She bows at your approach, meticulously formal as alw-
  7. >The dawn light spilling into the room dims, then retreats.
  8. >You wheel to face the balcony once more.
  9. >There is no eclipse, no threatening clouds, just the darkness of the night sky.
  10. >You frown and raise the sun once more.
  11. >There isn't any unusual resistance, so you set it once more on its morning course.
  12. >You stare at it for a long minute, waiting for some sign of unruliness.
  13. >Raven coughs.
  14. >"Good morning, your majesty. Should the elements be mobilized?"
  15. >You turn away from your sun and sigh.
  16. "No, not yet."
  17. >You scribble out a letter in flawless calligraphy.
  18. "Nox Movet, discretely deliver this to Fluttershy and return with her response. Keep an eye out for signs of Discord, but do not seek him out."
  19. >The thestral creeps out from under the ledge of your balcony, accepts the scroll, salutes, then flits away.
  20. >You trot toward the door of your chambers, Raven already briefing you on your schedule for the day.
  21. >Back to the grind.
  22. --
  23. >The high point of your day comes just before noon, pun intended.
  24. >You take a moment to push the sun to its zenith, then pay attention once more to Anon's tirade.
  25. >"-elderberries. Seriously, I think I saw buck teeth, not to mention the bobbed tail."
  26. >You take a sip of tea and smile.
  27. "A common alteration among alchemists. Less to swing about and knock volatile concoctions down."
  28. >He pauses, then shrugs with poor grace.
  29. >"Okay, maybe that was just me not knowing. But trust me, using some goblet of power or whatever to have a seance with the spirits of great heroes will only end in tragedy."
  30. >You pout.
  31. "It would be nice to talk to some old friends again, though."
  32. >Anon deflates slightly, then looks at you with a grim expression.
  33. >"Would it be nice to have to fight them while they are in mana-saturated artificial bodies?"
  34. >You think it over.
  35. "It still would be nice, but the risk of collateral damage is still too great. What do you think, villain or over-enthusiastic researcher?"
  36. >He chews on his lip distractingly.
  37. >It's honestly pretty cute and the tiniest bit suggestive.
  38. >"Probably the latter. Maybe get Cadance in to matchmake for her, chances are good that Stayed Fate has some sort of historical crush or perversion."
  39. >You nod in agreement, that had been your impression as well.
  40. >As you write to make some arrangements, it happens again.
  41. >Your sun drifts back down.
  42. >You flare your magic and feel the slightest bit of resistance before you have full control of the celestial body.
  43. >Anon raises an eyebrow as you move it back to it's scheduled arc.
  44. >"It's okay, Princess. It happens to everyone sometime. There's no shame in not being able to keep it up."
  45. >You blink.
  46. >That is not the reaction of a surprised or curious person.
  47. >You narrow your eyes at your lunchtime companion.
  48. "You!"
  49. >He raises his eyebrow in amateurly feigned puzzlement.
  50. >"Me?"
  51. >You snort.
  52. "Try again in one thousand years, when your acting might actually deceive me. How are you doing this? Discord? An artifact? A team of archmages?"
  53. >No reaction to any of your guesses as he hesitates to answer.
  54. >Perhaps...
  55. "You got your cutie mark?"
  56. >Anon twitches minutely.
  57. >You beam at him.
  58. "Congratulations! What triggered it? May I see it?"
  59. >He blushes .
  60. >"I just wondered what it would be like to actually move the sun, and then...I did."
  61. >You blink.
  62. "Really? Have you tried anything else?"
  63. >His brows furrow adorably.
  64. >"Like what?"
  65. >You think for a moment before a brilliant idea occurs to you.
  66. "If you can move my sun, then there is something similar to try. In fact, if you are mimicking talents, you ought to be able to alter the topography as well as trajectory."
  67. >Anon looks at you in dawning wonder.
  68. >"Oh, oh this is amazing!"
  69. >He starts giggling and you are not far behind.
  70. >Things had gotten a little boring lately, this is exactly what you needed.
  71. --
  72. >You are Twilight Sparkle, pacing a rut into your Crystal Castle Playsetâ„¢ floor.
  73. "It's probably nothing, right? I mean, if it was something, then Princess Celestia would definitely tell me right?"
  74. >Spike continues to dust the shelves as he deadpans, "Right."
  75. >You gnaw on your lip.
  76. >There's never been a disruption to the celestial procession that hasn't been caused by some element-worthy disaster.
  77. >You glance once more at Spike, and he still shows no signs of belching out a scroll.
  78. >So, either Celestia is pranking somepony, Discord is waxing whimsical, or some threat from ancient Equestrian history has resurfaced and incapacitated Celestia.
  79. >Again.
  80. "Spike, take a note."
  81. >You'll get to the bottom of this, one way or another.
  82. "Dear Princess Celestia, Is everything alright? I couldn't help but notice..."
  83.  
  84. >After your letter vanishes in a tongue of emerald flames, you teleport to Fluttershy's cottage.
  85. >You scrunch as you see Discord reclining on a pool chair on top of the thatched roof, an immense bag of buttered popcorn towering over him and filling the air with its delicious scent.
  86. >Maybe you should have had lunch before confronting him, but it's too late now.
  87. "Discord, have you been messing with the sun today?"
  88. >He affects a hurt expression, his bird leg fused to the bag, pausing with a clawful of popcorn.
  89. >"Who, little old me? Why is it that whenever something strange happens, your first suspect is always me?"
  90. >You keep from scrunching by the skin of your teeth.
  91. >This is exactly why stallions shouldn't have access to true power.
  92. "You are one of maybe two beings with the power to alter the sun's course. I'd be a fool not to ask."
  93. >He smirks at the backhanded flattery and pops a few kernels into his mouth.
  94. >"Mm, we can't have that, can we? You are right, I am one of the few who can, but it wasn't me, filly scout's honor."
  95. >You raise an eyebrow.
  96. "You're not a filly scout."
  97. >Discord sniffs.
  98. >"It's fine, I'll give it back to Scootaloo once I'm done with it, no harm done."
  99. >You drag a hoof across your face tiredly.
  100. "So, to be clear, you promise you're not involved, swearing by Scootaloo's filly scout's honor?"
  101. >He beams.
  102. >"Yep! But I have a really good feeling about how it's all going to go down, if that helps."
  103. >You sigh.
  104. "Can you at least tell me if anypony's in danger?"
  105. >Discord eyes you speculatively.
  106. >"Hmm, should I tell you?"
  107. >Fluttershy opens her door, taking in the situation in a single glance.
  108. >She smiles sweetly at the spirit of chaos.
  109. >"Shall I get the paddle?"
  110. >He blushes and coughs.
  111. >"Well, ah, there is no danger, but you should still investigate, it will be quite interesting for you."
  112. >You aren't really sure what to think.
  113. >Fluttershy beams at Discord.
  114. >"Good boy! And you know what good boys get?"
  115. >You teleport away before you take any more damage to your sanity.
  116. >In the quiet order of your room, you wonder if it was a mistake to leave a stallion, no matter how powerful, under a sole mare's care.
  117. >Then again, Fluttershy already has him well in hoof, and it's not like you want to shoulder some of that responsibility.
  118. >You flop onto your bed for a long moment, letting your stress flow out of you with long, measured breaths.
  119. >Then you get up and get on with your day, your sanity only a little worse for wear.
  120. --
  121. >You are Celestia, sipping the last of your tea as the moon rises, your energy already ebbing after a long day.
  122. >But seeing the crude and strange illustration of a dick on the lunar surface makes it all worth it.
  123. >Not to mention the embarrassed squawk echoing from your sister's tower.
  124. >You shuffle back to your bed with a grin, to sleep the sleep of the unjust.
  125. --
  126. >You are Luna, using the lingering traces of magic on your moon to scry for the perpetrator.
  127. >The divination settles, gently tugging you downward.
  128. >You follow the pull into the palace gardens.
  129. >There you find the human standing in a clearing, snickering to himself.
  130. >You land in front of him and fix him with a stern glare.
  131. "Anonymous, you dare mar my moon with your vulgar drawing? Do you think it a mere laughing matter?"
  132. >He stares at you with a blank expression for several moments.
  133. >Then he snickers again.
  134. >"Come on, admit it, it was funny."
  135. >You allow yourself a chuckle.
  136. "I cannot deny it. Though I must ask, what being does that sort of penis belong to? It looks nothing like a stallionhood, nor that of a dragon, diamond dog, or griffin."
  137. >Anon blushes fetchingly.
  138. >"A...human."
  139. >You raise your eyebrows at him.
  140. "Are you propositioning me?"
  141. >He licks his lips.
  142. >"Do you want me to?"
  143. >You boop his nose with a firm hoof to put him in his place.
  144. "Enticing as you may be, I have a coltfriend already. I suppose the only remaining question is, how did you do it?"
  145. >Anon shrugs.
  146. >"I can imitate other pony's cutie marks."
  147. >You eye him speculatively.
  148. "Anypony's?"
  149. >He nods hesitantly.
  150. >"I played around a little with Celestia's earlier today."
  151. >You start to grin.
  152. "Do you think you can make a stable solar flare?"
  153. >He gives you an intrigued look.
  154. >"One way to find out."
  155. --
  156. >You are Celestia, waking up in darkness as you always do.
  157. >You slip out of bed and trod a path polished smooth by millennia of hoofsteps.
  158. >From your balcony, your horn lights up, a spark that lights the flame of a new day.
  159. >Even without looking, you can feel what was done to the sun.
  160. >And yet, while it would be but the work of a moment to fix it, your honor as a prankster compels you to raise it as is.
  161. >The circle of your sun breaks past the horizon, or more accurately, the peach of your sun.
  162. >From the cleft of the butt fires a solar flare larger than any you have made before.
  163. >You are impressed at how it is subtly recaptured on the far side.
  164. >The sun rises in the morning sky on a jet of flatulence, earning a sensible chuckle from you.
  165. >You should probably write back to Twilight.
  166. >Though, perhaps you should hide Anon's involvement, it will make a fun surprise for her, maybe help her loosen up a bit.
  167. --
  168. >[...hopefully reduce panic when the next celestial disturbance occurs. It had been millennia since we have had both the time and the security to allow us to play around with our personal magic. Perhaps you should consider doing the same? Just as much can be discovered in play as in study.]
  169. >You frown.
  170. >Celestia and Luna have it easy, they have a physical object to play with.
  171. >You have magic itself.
  172. >What are you supposed to do, warp the nature of magic to draw slits everywhere?
  173. >No wonder Discord is happy, that is exactly sort of thing he would do.
  174. >You are tempted to ignore your mentor's suggestion, but she hasn't steered you wrong before.
  175. >In fact, you are reminded of when she first sent you to Ponyville to make friends.
  176. >When was the last time you really played around with magic?
  177. >...
  178. >When you gave Spike and those two colts mustaches, what, five or so years ago?
  179. >Perhaps it is time to take a break and do silly things.
  180. >...
  181. >Like what though?
  182. --
  183. >You are Celestia, standing next to Luna as Anon arranges what he swears will be his magnum opus.
  184. >You are little out of sorts, deflecting and defusing the various complaints the nobles and stallions have been sending in.
  185. >Only now do you remember why you don't play large scale pranks that can be directly attributed to you.
  186. >There are far too many who take it too seriously.
  187. >Raven stands beside you, taking scrolls from functionaries and presenting them for your approval while you wait.
  188. >You sign the papers, trusting Raven to select worthwhile proposals.
  189. >Anon raises his hands, bringing your sun and Luna's moon high in the evening sky.
  190. >It's a delicate balance, bringing them close enough together that they seem to overlap, while also making sure they are about the same apparent size.
  191. >You are rather impressed, though you don't see the joke yet.
  192. >Finally, once the two orbs have stabilized, Anon waves his arms up and down in exaggerated milking motions.
  193. >A circular protrusion forms at the center of the sun as well as the moon.
  194. >Anon turns and grins.
  195. >"Teats!"
  196. >You give him an unimpressed look.
  197. >A glance at Luna tells you that she isn't particularly tickled either.
  198. "Perhaps these jokes have run their course, if this is your magnum opus."
  199. >Then you hear a snort of laughter from the last pony you would expect.
  200. >You slowly turn to look at Raven, who is blushing and struggling to keep a straight face.
  201. >Anon grins in delight and waves his hands, the sun and moon wavering in the sky.
  202. >"Big, bouncing boobas!"
  203. >Raven pounds the floor with her hoof, wheezing in laughter.
  204. >You share a bewildered glance with Luna, who merely shrugs.
  205. >You clear your throat.
  206. "Anon, perhaps you can try imitating Raven's cutie mark?"
  207. >The human pouts.
  208. >"But...tiddies!"
  209. >You sigh as your secretary collapses in laughter.
  210. >What did you unleash on the world?
  211. --
  212. >You are Twilight, revising your definition of silly for the twentieth time.
  213. >There is an element of spontaneity that you are missing, even after consulting Pinkie Pie.
  214. >You have so many spells you can cast, but which would be the most fun?
  215. >Should you be including other ponies, or can you be silly by yourself?
  216. >You had hoped that by levitating the objects in your room and giving them random velocities that you would be able to tap into a bit of discordian whimsy, but mostly it makes it hard to find things again.
  217. >Nevertheless, you feel you might be onto something.
  218. >Stallions and their whimsy are the very definition of silly, so perhaps by studying them, you can get some inspiration.
  219. >Celestia's words echoed, "There's a time and a place for everything, but do not perform scientific studies on unsuspecting stallions."
  220. >You grumble, foiled again by your mentor's wisdom.
  221. >Your eye twitches.
  222. >If you can't study stallions...
  223. --
  224. >You are Celestia, taking a tea break.
  225. >Ever since you had Anon help out Raven, things have been running exceedingly smoothly.
  226. >You have time for a cup of tea and some cookies, Raven has time to flirt with her human assistant, all the complaints about the celestial shenanigans are handled by Anon, it's like a dream.
  227. >...
  228. >You pinch yourself.
  229. >Right, only like a dream.
  230. >Maybe you can have Anon raise the sun tomorrow morning, so you can sleep in for once.
  231. >Then a tongue of emerald flame deposits a rumpled scroll before you.
  232. >You unroll it, wondering what happened for Twilight to send it in that condition.
  233. >You recognize Spike's clawwriting.
  234. >[...locked up in her lab, mane frazzled worse than ever before...]
  235. >It appears you need to talk to your student.
  236.  
  237. >Ponyville itself is reassuringly not on fire or in ruins, though there is no hooftraffic near the crystal castle.
  238. >You can't miss the subtle looks of relief in the citizenry's eyes as you pass them by.
  239. >You enter the castle and freeze on the threshold.
  240. >The entire lobby is covered in back issues of fashion and stallion lifestyle magazines.
  241. >You step carefully through narrow paths.
  242. "Twilight! Are you trapped under a pile of books again?"
  243. >Sadly, that would be the best case scenario.
  244. >Harmony knows you had to excavate her enough times when she raided the royal library.
  245. >Instead, your voice is trapped and deadened by piles of coltish matter.
  246. >You ascend a staircase, keeping an eye out for a rolling boulder of ball bras or something.
  247. >As you step out onto the second floor, it becomes apparent that the boulder did not form because every ball bra is piled up around ponnequins.
  248. >The ponnequins themselves are covered in minute calculations and incomprehensible notes.
  249. >You follow the sound of panting and...birdsong?
  250. >You open the door to a lab to find your troubled student hunched over small lozenges of metal with fins welded to the sides.
  251. >Twilight beams at you, left eye twitching madly.
  252. >"Princess Celestia! Have you come to see my breakthrough in stallion science?"
  253. >You swallow nervously.
  254. "Yes, I am curious about your methods."
  255. >She nods happily.
  256. >"Of course, of course. It wasn't easy, gathering enough data without actually examining stallions outside of passive methods."
  257. >You breathe a sigh of relief.
  258. >You really didn't want to have to deal with a basement full of foalnapped stallions.
  259. "What did you come up with then?"
  260. >Twilight beckons you towards a black, iron cauldron.
  261. >"After extensive reading, I believe I have narrowed down the essence of whimsy and masculinity. You remember the old rhyme, 'snips and snails and puppy dog tails, this is what little colts are made of'?"
  262. >You frown.
  263. "It rings a bell, however faintly."
  264. >You peer into the cauldron.
  265. >At the bottom, about twenty snails crawl over hoof clippings and hairs of every color, as well as trembling little tails, smooth flesh covering where it would have connected to the rest of the dog
  266. >You resist the urge to vomit.
  267. "Please tell me you didn't amputate tails off of puppies."
  268. >Twilight scoffs.
  269. >"Of course not. I merely duplicated them out of stew meat and fish bones."
  270. >It's still unsettling, but you can deal with that much.
  271. >You face your student.
  272. "So, what about that rhyme?"
  273. >Twilight responds, "I asked Zecora, and she confirmed it was part of an ancient zebrican ritual, meant to help a struggling tribe repopulate after a disaster."
  274. >You raise your eyebrows at her.
  275. "A fertility rite?"
  276. >She blushes.
  277. >"No! No, it's even more wonderful. It transmutes animals into forms that are compatible for breeding!"
  278. >You glance at the blue jay trembling in its...his? cage.
  279. >You scowl at your student.
  280. "Twilight Sparkle, you are not going to transform a thinking, feeling animal into a pony. I thought I taught you better than this."
  281. >Twilight stares at you with wide eyes, leaning back in alarm.
  282. >"I- how else am I supposed to-"
  283. >You sigh.
  284. "I am partially at fault as well. I was not entirely honest about what has been going on. In truth, Anonymous was the one causing the irregularities with the sun and moon."
  285. >Your student blinks.
  286. >"He was? Of course! I should have known, stallions are naturals at silly things! My premise was correct!"
  287. >You chuckle.
  288. "You may want to keep that finding to yourself, unless you want a horde of angry stallions and their mares besieging the castle."
  289. >Twilight nods absently.
  290. >"Naturally, it wouldn't do to bias the populace before more concrete data is accumulated. Hmm, I think I shall consult Spike, he helped me have fun with magic the first time, so his point of view will be crucial to similar efforts."
  291. >You smile fondly at your student as her mane settles down into a more grounded state.
  292. >Disaster averted.
  293. "Before that, perhaps you should clean up the castle. I can't imagine he would be agreeable to consultation when you have made so much work for him and the staff."
  294. >Twilight chuckles ruefully.
  295. >"Good point, I'll get started right away."
  296. >You watch her trot out into the hall.
  297. >Some days you really worry about that mare.
  298. >You turn and open the window and the blue jay's cage .
  299. >It chirps in gratitude and flits away.
  300. >You aren't sure why Twilight chose a bird to transform, maybe it's related to the metal flying fish on the table?
  301. >You flip through the schematics and calculations, something about reentry?
  302. >You shake your head and gather all the notes into a bundle.
  303. >It seems the forbidden section of your library is gaining another volume.

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