Days Gone By

By: Broznik

Twilight Sparkle’s Journal, Day 1: I’ve only had a diary once before in my life. I can barely remember it, it must have been a long time ago. I never really saw the point of keeping one going lately. Writing weekly reports to the princess and my own memory was always plenty, but this book was a gift from my friends. If it makes them happy, I’d do anything.

Today was the 1004th Summer Sun Celebration, and the four year anniversary of meeting my friends. There was a massive celebration in Ponyville, led by no other than the premiere party pony, Pinkie Pie. She really outdid herself this time. I’ve been to the celebration in Canterlot, but even that couldn’t outdo the party here. Rarity helped her with decorating, and the entire town was covered in ribbons, flowers, and balloons. Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy put a giant “1004” in the sky with clouds and rainbows, and Dash even got the Wonderbolts to appear! Applejack brought in a ton of homemade treats for the town, including the best apple fritters I’d ever tasted. I must’ve eaten a good fifteen of those before the day was done.

It was the best time that I’d had in a while. My friends are the best, and I don’t know what i’d do without them.

Day 2: I had a strange dream last night. I was in Ponyville, but it was different. Everything was destroyed, as if a great fire tore through the town. Most of the homes and buildings were piles of blackened rubble, everything else was reduced to scorched supports. The ground was grey from all the ashes, and I couldn’t see very far because of the fog. Except it wasn’t fog, it was just smoke and ash in the air. There was no sign of anypony else there. I was all alone.

I woke up quickly, thank Celestia, but it still bothered me. I told the others about it while we were cleaning up the remains of the celebration. They just think I had too many apple fritters, and said not to worry too much. They’re probably right, I still remember the time that Rainbow Dash was sick from eating too many and thought she was Daring Do for the next couple days. She dyed her mane, donned a fedora, and snuck into Canterlot to steal Luna’s tiara. I still don’t know how she managed to actually do that. If she did all that, one silly little dream from me isn’t anything to worry about, right?

Day 3: I had that dream again. The one where I’m in the ruins of Ponyville, but this time it felt so much more vivid. My eyes and throat were sore when I woke up, as if I’d been breathing in and seeing that fog of ash for real. My friends seemed concerned when I spoke to them about it, and Applejack gave me a family remedy for bad dreams, but that can’t be all this is. I intend to start researching this, it can’t just be a dream.

Day 4: This is the third night in a row. It was the same dream, but this time I spent more time there. The research that I did yesterday mentioned visions into the future. It sounded a lot like what was going on with me, so I’m trying to remember as much as I can from my dreams. I don’t think it was a fire that caused the destruction, as much of the wreckage was scattered south of the town. I believe there was an explosion, or some kind of wave of force that blew away Ponyville. Whatever it was, it came from the north. I still couldn’t find anypony else in the ruins, and I’d rather not think about what that implies.

        I sent the princess a letter with my findings and theory, but she hasn’t replied as of yet. It’s getting late. I don’t want to fall asleep, but I need to know more about this disaster that might occur.

Day 5: I received a reply from Princess Celestia. According to her, visions of the future only happen in very specific circumstances. She said premonitions can be a side effect of very volatile magic, and I haven’t been experimenting with magic at all. It shouldn’t be possible that what I’m seeing is actually the future. Maybe I’m just having a recurring nightmare, but I just don’t believe that. I don’t know why I’m so sure, but I can’t escape the feeling that everypony is in danger.

        In my dream last night, I think I found the source of this calamity. Just north of Ponyville, close to where Rarity digs for gems, there was what I’d call a crater, if I didn’t know any better. It was huge, almost as wide as the town hall, yet relatively shallow, and perfectly circular. What was really strange, however, was there was a small mound in the exact middle. It made the entire thing look disturbingly like a target. I also checked the spot after I woke up. Right now, it’s all flatland, save for a few holes dotted around the area where gems were unearthed, but whatever causes the disaster that engulfs the town, it starts here. I’m sure of it.

Day 6: This is terrible, this is so much worse than I thought. I found a calendar in my dream, not only is the calamity going to happen soon, but it’s going to happen sometime this month. There was a lot of ash covering it, and some of it was scorched, but I know what I saw. It’s going to happen so soon, and I have to stop it. I sent another letter to the princess, and I intend to look for anything in the area that could possibly cause an explosion large enough to wipe out the town. So far, there’s nothing, and I don’t know what to do. My friends are helping me completely canvas the town tomorrow, however. Hopefully we can stop this.

Day 7: Me and the girls searched everywhere in town, but we found nothing that could cause so much damage so quickly. I won’t give up though. Pinkie had an excellent idea. She said that we might not know what happens or when, but we know where. I know a basic shielding spell that can cover an area, but it won’t be strong enough to contain an explosion so big. I’ll look through the library, there must be a way to strengthen a shield like that. If I can make it big enough and strong enough to restrain this, then the disaster from my vision will never happen, and everypony will be safe!

Day 8: I spent the entire day leafing through spells, trying to find anything about a stronger shielding spell, but nothing fits what I’m trying to find. With my basic shield, I can put a wall around a small area, which keeps everything out, but anything that’s inside can escape. I also have to keep focus to maintain it, and I can’t do that every minute until the calamity happens. There was another spell I found though, it’s a difficult one, but it’s the best I could find. It was specifically designed for containment. With this spell, I can project a small sphere that contains anything inside, provided I put enough magic into it to maintain it, and it will remain long after I cast it. The only problem is that it’s small. Tiny. Big enough to maybe cage one pony. The creator of the spell did have a theory about expanding it, but it would take much more magic than I can create on my own.

It isn’t a lost cause, however, because I found something else in my research. There’s something called a magic amplifier that, if built correctly and properly enchanted, can exponentially increase the potential of a spell. For instance, I can levitate Spike on my own without a problem. With an amplifier, I can levitate Ponyville on my own without a problem. It’s obviously a little bit dangerous, and the last time somepony used one was almost 600 years ago, but it isn’t actually that difficult to make. I have everything I’d need right here in town, and all the spells right in front of me. So I now have a plan to stop the calamity from my dream. I have to get to work soon, because there’s too much at stake to fail now.

Day 9: First things first. The containment spell is a little more complicated than I realized, and it’ll take more practice than I originally thought. So I had my friends go out and gather the materials I need to build a magic amplifier while I practiced the spell. I was rather adept after only a few hours. By the time I received the building materials, I could trap Spike and repel his fire breath without losing focus.

        Everything was going so well, I decided to take a break and have some dinner with AJ and Rarity to celebrate. That was a bad idea. I couldn’t stop thinking about the calamity through the entire meal. Every time I closed my eyes, I went straight to the ruins of Ponyville. I almost choked on my food because I thought it tasted like ash. How could I stop working when there was so much at stake? I had to keep going. It’s almost midnight now, and I’m not tired at all. I can’t afford to be. I’ll keep awake through the night and work even harder.

I’ll save them all. I have to.

Day 10: My progress is going smoothly. I’ve mastered the containment spell that I intend to use, and now I just need to empower it. I started building the magic amplifier to the north of Ponyville, just outside of the crater from my dream. If things go according to plan, then when I’m finished, all I’ll have to do is focus the spell into the amplifier. The shield will contain the blast and Ponyville won’t be destroyed! That’s the idea, anyway, but when I actually started building the amplifier device, I had trouble focusing on the task at hoof.

My friends insist on distracting me from my work, trying to get me to do silly things like take breaks or stop worrying about the calamity completely! I suppose I can understand them, at least. I have been working hard lately, but I would never ignore them unless I had a good reason, and what’s a better reason than wanting to save their lives? They didn’t see my visions, and they can’t understand what I’m trying to prevent. I can’t afford to waste time more than I have already, since I still don’t know when this calamity is supposed to happen.

I need to be ready, whatever it takes, and if I have to drive away my friends to save them, then so be it.

Day 11: It rained today. It wasn’t supposed to rain. I checked and double checked and triple checked with the weather team, and it wasn’t supposed to rain until 10:47 AM two days from now! Then Rainbow Dash told me that since there were clouds blowing in from Everfree, that she’s going to let it rain. So I can’t work on building my amplifier at all. The worst part was getting stuck in the barn at Sweet Apple Acres with her and AJ. I couldn’t work on anything from there, and I almost lost a full day because of it. What if the calamity happens a day early and I can’t stop it because of lost time? The entire situation frustrated me so much that I teleported both of them away. They probably landed somewhere outside, but that doesn’t matter, because I was able to focus enough to teleport myself back to the library.

At least I got a few hours of research out of this mess.

Day 13: Oh, silly me, I didn’t even write an entry yesterday. It doesn’t matter much, nothing noteworthy happened anyway. I continued building the magic amplifier, my friends kept trying to stop me, and I trapped them with the containment spell. I’m very good at that spell now, I can make it big enough to trap all five of them, but it only lasted a few hours. I need to practice more, and the amplifier will make it easier.

        Today, however, was particularly grating. I’m so close to finishing my construction, but everypony insists on making my work difficult. One of my friends decided to hide the book I’m using as a reference. This was rather crippling as the schematic for the magic amplifier is in those pages, as are the enchantments that I’m to cast on the finished product. I finally found the book in the library, on my desk. I just had to wade through a ton of party decorations and cupcake trays. Apparently Pinkie was hosting some kind of “relaxation party,” as she called it. It must not have been too popular, as she was the only one there, but I found my book and left her to her business.

        Despite so many setbacks, however, I finished building the magic amplifier just after sundown. For some reason, I can’t manage the enchantments for it right now. I must have used too much energy chasing my book today. I’ll sleep for a couple of hours to help my magic, but only for a couple hours. I can’t wait any longer to start, or else none of it will matter. Just a couple hours, then I can save them all.

Day 14?: I have to write everything down. I can’t risk forgetting, so I’ll write it down. If I write it, I can remember, and If I remember It’ll help. I need to remember. I remember that morning, how long ago? Days? Weeks? I’m not even sure which date to write this under. I don’t know how long it’s been, but I remember that morning. I remember being angry. I woke up in the morning. I only wanted to sleep a couple hours, but I slept the entire night. I ran back to the magic amplifier with my book, and cast the enchantments over it. The amplifier, not my book. Then I made sure it worked. Oh it worked so well. Alone, in that gem field, I could have unearthed ten or fifteen gems, if I knew where they were. Casting a spell through the amplifier was a little difficult, but I could feel every gem in the field going down for what felt like miles. I could feel my magic flow through every cave, cavern, and chasm in the mines below, and I could have brought up every gem there if I wanted.

        I was ready to start, but my friends tried to stop me. I couldn’t let them. I had to do it, I had to save them. They kept trying to talk me down, to keep me from using the amplifier. I didn’t listen, why would I? I was so close to saving them, so close to achieving what I’d worked for. I started the spell, and focused. I had to focus, going through the amplifier with that shield was delicate. Precise. They didn’t stop though, they kept trying. Why didn’t they stop? They tried to counter my magic, to destroy the amplifier, to beg me to stop.

I got angry. Were they trying to get themselves killed? Did they not want me to save them? I didn’t understand then. I still don’t, not completely, but it made me mad.

        That anger that I felt, that tiny bit of ire, it could never disrupt a spell so drastically, but focused through the amplifier? It grew so much, I just lost control. I became furious. I could no longer control the spell, and it backfired. I remember a bright light, then everything faded away.

        I must have never woke up, because I’m still in the ruins of Ponyville. My dreams were never this vivid before, though. Everything is so dark, but I know it’s daylight. I can see the sun a little bit through all the clouds of smoke. I couldn’t have woken up, because I cast the containment spell. I prevented the calamity, right? Why can't I wake up? I just want to see my friends, now that all this is over. I’ll explore the ruins. That’s what I always did in my dreams, and I always woke up. So that’s what I’ll do, I’ll explore, and then I can see my friends.

Day 15: I didn’t wake up. I should have woken up yesterday, but I didn’t. I wandered everywhere. I wandered until my hooves were ready to fall off. I found everything like it was in my dreams: the scattered wreckage, the crater in the field, even the calendar. Everything is exactly like my vision. When I finally collapsed, I dreamed. It was the first night in a long time that I didn’t dream about this place. I dreamt about home. I dreamt about my friends, and all that we had been through. Except when I woke up, I was back here. I shouldn’t be here. I should be there, but I’m not.

        I don’t know what to do. I can’t find anypony else here, just more wreckage and ashes. Despite that, I did manage to make a new friend. I call him Rocky. He’s actually a lot like my old friends, except he doesn’t talk much. Which is fine, I can talk as much as I want and not worry about being interrupted.

        I found something else, too. Not all of Ponyville is in ruins, because I found a cellar near where the apple orchard was. It was just full of preserved apples in jars, which helped me quite a lot. I was getting hungry. Rocky didn’t eat, though. I think he’s traumatized. At least we can use the cellar as shelter, it sure beats collapsing in the ashes. Plus the view is nice. From just outside, the smoke is clear enough to see Canterlot. I should go there. Maybe the princess can help with Ponyville, if she isn’t too busy.

Day 16: Canterlot fell. I was on my way there to see Princess Celestia, and it fell. It just started crumbling and collapsed off the mountain. I almost got caught in the landslide, but I teleported away. The worst part is that Rocky didn’t teleport with me, he was buried under what’s left of Canterlot. I tried to find him. I dug for hours, but I just couldn’t save him. I couldn’t save any of them. The princess must be disappointed.

        While I was digging, I found an old hourglass. Very ornate. I’m actually surprised that it was still in one piece. Maybe it was protected by magic? I think it came from the library. I remember it when I tried to break into the wing where the time spells were kept. Back when my friends were still here.

Unfortunately, that hourglass is all I found from there. All the scrolls and books must have burned up. I shouldn’t be too shocked about that, though. The calamity would have scorched all of them even before the city fell. With a time spell, I could have stopped salvaged some of those scrolls. Maybe even saved the city itself. Now that I think on it, a time spell could have saved everypony, and even stop the calamity itself!

I did use a time spell once, but I remember that spell. It could only be used once. When I tried to use it again, nothing happened. What if I modified the spell? Try to twist the spell to make me go back permanently, so that I can make sure the calamity never happens? It wouldn’t be easy, but I’m not really short on time, and it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve modified a spell. I can make this happen. I can save them all.

Day 17: The time spell seems easier to change than I thought. At least from what I remember of it. It was a long time ago that I first used it, but it’s simple enough. The limitation of only casting the spell once was a failsafe, I guess to keep it from being abused. Getting around that was the easy part, it’s much more difficult to make the spell permanent. I’m not even sure if I can change that. I’ve been trying my best, but it isn’t something I can test easily.

Regardless, the spell is finished. All that’s left is to go back and stop myself from attempting to prevent the calamity. It shouldn’t be hard, I’d do anything to never see this ruined place again.

Twilight Sparkle’s Journal, Day 1: I’ve only had a diary once before in my life. I can barely remember it, it must have been a long time ago. I never really saw the point of keeping one going lately. Writing weekly reports to the princess and my own memory was always plenty, but this book was a gift from my friends. If it makes them happy, I’d do anything.