Chapter 5: The Therapy

Opening comments: This chapter was started on my flight back from Florida. It's only my second time flying (the first time being the trip to Florida, obviously), and I realized that I may not have the opportunity to write while flying for quite some time after this. I always like finding new atmospheres to write in. For anyone who cares, the trip was very fun.

My thanks to Beige Monkfish for pre-reading this chapter!

***

        The remainder of the weekend passed without incident. True to her claims, Twilight spent the good majority of her time holed up in her room, plugging away at her homework and her own personal studies. She never managed to completely forget about the incident with her book, but she did manage to push the issue to the back of her mind. Now it was Monday morning, and she stood in the middle of her group of friends, the book clutched tightly in her hands as she recounted the details of the incident, Rainbow Dash nodding beside her the entire time. The shocked looks on her friends' faces told her all too well that they found the story completely unbelievable. An eerie silence fell over the usual chatty group as Twilight finished her story. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Pinkie Pie spoke up.

        "Um, Twilight, I think all that studying has finally fried your brain. I think you need to unwind a bit." Her eyes brightened as she made her statement. "You know what's good for unwinding? A party! We should have a 'Help Twilight Unwind' party! Ooo, and I'm feeling better now! It could be a 'Help Twilight Unwind and Pinkie Pie is Feeling Better' party!" At this point she was practically jumping up and down with excitement, and Twilight wondered if her friend even remembered the story about the book. Leaving Pinkie to her own jubilation, Twilight turned back to the rest of the group.

        "What do you guys make of this?"

        Rarity was the first to speak up. "Honestly Twilight, while I might not say this that often, I think that Pinkie Pie is right. All you ever do is work in the library and study. You need to get out and stretch your legs more." She turned to look at Rainbow Dash. "Dash had spent the entire day looking after Pinkie. She was probably exhausted, so it's no great leap to assume that she could have shared your hallucination."

        Twilight wanted to protest the shared hallucination theory. After thinking it over, it just didn't seem logical that she and Rainbow Dash would see the same false vision at the same time; however, since she had been the one to originally propose the idea she decided it would be best to bite her tongue. More importantly, it seemed that whatever was affecting Pinkie Pie's mind had completely disappeared along with her cold. She hadn't made one single mention of ponies or other worlds, and she certainly wasn't moping around like she had been. The irony that her own hallucination had occurred on the same day that Pinkie Pie's fever broke wasn't lost on Twilight, and she started wondering if she was affected with the same thing. Her deliberations were cut short by the sharp ring of the warning bell.

        The sextet made their way to their homeroom without a single word spoken amongst them. Everyone's mood seemed to be down after the recent events--well, everyone except Pinkie Pie, who was happily half-walking, half-skipping in front of the group. She stopped briefly to open the classroom door, and then proceeded to skip to her seat. Behind her, the rest of the group shuffled in, making their way to their seats with much less enthusiasm. Twilight knelt down and slid her books into the rack under her seat and then turned to look at Pinkie, seated at her desk on the other side of the room. As usual, her books were tossed helter-skelter on the desk in front of her, but for once Twilight didn't care about that. What she was really interested in was the glazed look in Pinkie's eyes. Her overly-perky friend was staring off into space, lazily kicking her feet under her desk, a half-smile spread on her face. It was extremely unsettling, and Twilight just couldn't let it go.

         She stood up and approached Pinkie's desk, waving her hand in front of those glazed, pink eyes, while saying, "Hey, Pinkie, are you feeling okay?" When Pinkie didn't reply, Twilight gave her shoulder a gentle shake and repeated her question. Pinkie Pie shook her head and turned to look at Twilight.

        "Huh? Twilight? Oh, sorry, I didn't hear you from the other side of the yellow door."

        Twilight cocked an eyebrow and began to ask, "What door?" but was cut off by a much louder voice calling out, "You've seen the yellow door?"

        Everyone in the room turned to stare at Fluttershy, standing in the middle of the room, her eyes fixated solely on Pinkie Pie. Twilight had never heard her introverted friend yell out like that, and probably would have never identified the voice if she wasn't staring straight at its source. Pinkie Pie seemed to be equally unsettled as she slowly replied, "Y-yeah, but what's so special about a door?"

        Twilight was looking back and forth between the two of them, her face twisted in confusion as she tried to make sense of the conversation. Finally her patience gave out and she asked, "Would either of you mind explaining what door you're talking about? The only door we came through was the classroom door, and that certainly isn't yellow."

        Fluttershy looked as though she was about to reply, but the realization that everyone's attention was fixated upon her finally sank in. She bowed her head and mumbled, "Oh um, sorry for the interruption," before shuffling to her seat and burying her face in her arms. With that avenue decidedly closed, Twilight turned back to Pinkie Pie for an answer.

        "You mean you can't see the yellow door?" Pinkie Pie asked, tilting her head and giving Twilight a puzzled look.

        "What door, Pinkie?" Twilight was becoming frustrated, and it was starting to show in her voice.

        "The pony door, of course," Pinkie replied, without a trace of humor or amusement on her face.

        "Wha-ponies? Again?" Twilight threw her hands up in the air and groaned loudly. "You know what? I don't care anymore!"

        That was a lie, she told herself as she stormed back to her seat. The truth was that she was more curious now than ever. What could be so important about some unseen door that would make Fluttershy burst out like that? Furthermore, the look that Pinkie Pie had given her made her feel as though she were the odd one out in this case, even though it seemed like only two people knew of this supposed door. It's all too much, she thought to herself as she took her seat. While she could have easily continued pressing Pinkie for more information, her mounting frustration would have inevitably taken its toll, and may have caused her to say something that would be damaging to their friendship. Whatever was happening, it certainly wasn't worth that price. Nothing was.

        The door at the front of the classroom opened and Ms. Cherri shuffled in, looking as though she'd rather be anywhere but in the classroom. Rumor had it that she spent her weekends going on blind dates, trying to find the right man. If the rumors were true, then her appearance could only suggest another failed blind date, and thus another miserable weekend. That she was in misery, though, there was no question; her voice lacked its usual cheery nature as she methodically went down the role sheet, calling each name in order. When she was done she muttered, "The clubs can handle their own announcements. I have a headache," and shuffled out of the room the same way she came.

        "At least I'm not the only one in a bad mood," Twilight commented to herself, opening up a thick tome on Estrios' history to kill the time that would normally have been occupied by club announcements. The book was one in a series, and focused on the Sundai and Arau continents to the East. It had always been one of her favorites, as evidenced by the worn pages and the slowly failing binding. Despite her love for the book, though, she found it impossible to concentrate. She closed the book with a sigh, giving in to the fact that this was not going to be a good day.

        After what seemed like an eternity, their math teacher, Mr. Garon, finally made his way through the classroom door. He was a short, chubby man with a balding head. Twilight had never been able to gauge his personality; after all, the only time he talked was to lecture about math. He was the only one of her teachers who did not provide some insight into their personal life.

        Like every day, Mr. Garon sat his books and laptop bag on the podium in the front of the class, picked up a piece of chalk, and proceeded to write on the blackboard. Today, however, he did not write a long series of equations, but rather the words "Pop Quiz", which elicited a simultaneous groan from the entire class, Twilight included. And this day just keeps getting better she thought to herself as she extracted a piece of loose leaf from her binder.

***

        The rest of the day passed just as it had started: awkward and slow. The usually chatty group of friends barely said two words to each other over the entire course of it, and they were all quick to go their separate ways when the final bell rang. Twilight was the last of the group to leave school that day, having chosen to stay behind and help one of her teachers with an editing job he had taken. The book was on the mating rituals of northern hemisphere geese--a book that could easily be described as the epitome of boring. Even the teacher seemed to have trouble keeping an interest in the material, but not Twilight. She held on to every word she read, finding it immensely interesting--but then again, Twilight Sparkle found everything interesting. By the time she had finished providing her assistance, it was past five p.m., and the sun was low in the western sky. Twilight scurried down the pathway towards the library, eager to get to her job of filing away returned books. It wasn't that she particularly enjoyed putting the books away--she often found herself wanting to read them instead of put them back--but rather that she wanted something else to keep her mind occupied. If her mind sat idle for too long the morning's events would keep playing over in her head until they drove her mad.

        She burst through the doors of the library, sending a stream of fading daylight into the usually dim building. The librarian on duty looked up from her computerized solitaire game and stared at Twilight, a disapproving look on her face. "So you finally decided to show up, did you?" She was a short, old lady, with sagging features that reminded Twilight of an old bulldog. The old woman had never seemed fond of Twilight, and Twilight couldn't say she felt any different towards the old lady. She was always nitpicking at everyone's work, and her voice reminded Twilight of a croaking frog.

        Despite her feelings, though, Twilight had been raised to respect her elders, and so she simply smiled and responded, "Sorry Ms. Meredith. One of my teachers asked me to help him with something after school." She looked around for the return cart, but didn't see it next to the front desk where it usually sat. Confused, she turned back to Ms. Meredith. "Where are today's returns? I need to get them put away."

        "I instructed one of the other staff members to put them away. We don't have time to wait on you, Ms. Talon, and you'd best remember that. I will be reporting your tardiness to the head librarian as well as the headmaster. See that you keep your priorities in line next time." With that Ms. Meredith went back to her solitaire as though nothing had happened.

        Twilight wanted to yell at the old lady, but she found that she lacked the energy. For whatever reason, Ms. Meredith had decided from day one that she didn't like Twilight, and she always went out of her way to make things as hard as possible for the young scholar. On top of that, she was the only person besides Ms. Cherri to insist on calling Twilight by her real name. Twilight hated that name, and often questioned her parents on why they chose to name her 'Talon' of all things. "It's exotic! It's different! It will set you apart from the crowd!" they had exclaimed, as though naming her after a bird's claw were the greatest thing she could ever ask for. She much preferred the nickname her friends had given her, and was ecstatic when it seemed to catch on among the other students. Even Queen Celestia seemed to have taken to the nickname, using it in the occasional letters that she would send to Twilight. Those letters were one of Twilight's few joys in life, and she looked forward to the times when she would receive one. Her ties to Queen Celestia were her greatest secret, shared only with her friends, and that was only due to an accident where she had been careless with one of her letters.

        Twilight began making her way through the rows of tall bookshelves. As she looked up at the books above her, she felt a twang of guilt for not being there to do her job. It felt as though the books were judging her and blaming her, although she knew that was impossible. There was a study area packed with tables about halfway through the library, separating the sections of shelves from each other. At a lone table sat a boy and a girl, a couple by the looks of it. The boy was holding a book entitled, Human Anatomy and You, and was pointing his finger at the book and saying, "How about I put this in this, eh?" while the girl sat there blushing. Twilight shot them a dirty look and continued on her way.

        You know you can borrow the book and take it back to your dorm room, right? She kept the thought to herself, though, and made her way through the second leg of bookshelves until she reached the winding staircase that lead to her room. She took the stairs two at a time, reaching the top in about half a minute, where she proceeded to extract her key and unlock the door to her room. Inside, she flipped on the light, tossed her backpack into a corner, and flopped on to her bed. For once she only had a small amount of homework, and as far as she was concerned it could wait. A small, rarely used television sat on a stand at the foot of her bed. After a few moments of fumbling around in her nightstand drawer, she finally extracted the remote and flipped on the television. The screen blinked to life, and the speakers blared out a narrators voice, commenting on the lifestyle of a nomadic tribe.

        This again? I haven't watched TV in weeks, and yet I immediately catch a re-run Twilight thought to herself as she began to slowly flip through the channels. She caught glimpses of several sitcoms, none of which interested her, as well as soap operas and telethons. The more she changed the channel, the more she found herself remembering why she barely bothered with television. She was ready to admit defeat when an image of two soldiers clashing swords flashed across the screen. Intrigued, she observed the duel, a nostalgic wave washing over her. When the soldiers addressed each other by name, her eyes grew wide. This was an adaptation of the only fantasy series she had ever found worth reading! She considered most fantasy to be tripe intended for escapists, but this particular series was intriguing. It pulled on plenty of historical fact within the fantasy, and it strayed from conventional and predictable means. Twilight had found herself enthralled with the books, and now found herself drawn into the television adaption.

        It seemed like only moments passed before the credits began to roll over the screen, but in fact an hour has passed since she began watching her show. After a preview for the next episode played, Twilight made sure to note the time and channel that the show had played on. She then began perusing the channels yet again, looking for something else worth her time. She stopped again five channels later on PNN, the Perryville News Network, where an image of a smoking building stood as the focal point. A woman's voice was speaking over the image.

        "This footage is live from the Sun Financial Firm, a loan company owned by Queen Celestia's family since before their rise to royalty. Approximately an hour ago, an employee was cleaning up for the day when he discovered a small box outside of the building's main doors. Witnesses say that the man picked up the box, only to have it explode in his hand seconds later, taking part of the buildings eastern wall with it," the woman explained, pausing to let the information sink in. After a few seconds she continued, "While a perpetrator has not been identified, the Queen Celestia's Royal Guard have already begun pointing their fingers at 'Shame On The Night', a group calling for Queen Celestia to relinquish her claim to the throne. The Guard points to recent threats made by the group, and claims that it believes this to be a warning that those threats are true. The Royal Guard is an elite group of soldiers typically stationed as protectors for Queen Celestia and the royal palace; however, they have now been dispatched to investigate this incident. That fact alone should speak volumes about this situation. Coming to you live from Belmont Square, this is Trixie Knox for PNN."

        Twilight turned off the television, completely stunned from what she had just listened to. Her country had been peaceful for close to a century; the idea of war and terrorist attacks long gone from the minds of its people. Sure there were always people ready to protest some new law or tax, but even the worst protests only resulted in some minor rioting that was quickly put down. Actions like this were something she never thought to see in her lifetime, yet here they were. She could only imagine how Queen Celestia must feel. While Celestia had no personal hand in the operation of the financial firm, it was still a family business, and would affect somebody within her bloodline. A sinking feeling in her stomach told Twilight that the situation would get a lot worse before it ever saw any conclusion. With only one thought in mind, Twilight rose from her bed and retrieved a piece of paper and a pen. She took a seat at her desk and began to write her letter.

***

        Several days had passed since the news of the attack. New details were few and far between, but that didn't stop Perryville Academy's hallways from turning into a hub for gossip and conspiracy theories. It made Twilight sick to her stomach to hear some of the things the students were suggesting, and to make matters worse the situation with her friends didn't seem to be getting any better. They all still seemed to be awkward around each other after the dual combo of a floating book and some unforeseen door. None of them would admit that there was any tension, of course, but it could be felt in the air amongst them when they converse. Everything they said sounded stiff, as if their conversations were some practiced courtesy as opposed to friends sharing stories. The situation irritated Twilight to no end, and yet she couldn't bring herself to blame her friends for feeling awkward. Pinkie's original delusions had been explained away by her cold, but there was no logical explanation for the floating book that both Twilight and Dash had witnessed, or for the door that only Pinkie and Fluttershy seemed to see. It didn't help that the latter two weren't interested in discussing this "door", either. With no answers to soothe their nerves, the friends could only continue on the best they could, unaware of the next oddity that would come to their attention on Friday morning.

        

        The girls were standing at their usual locker meeting spot, the tension thicker than ever since no one dared tackle the obvious elephants among them. Fluttershy was doing her best to ease the tension by telling them about how one of the rabbits was pregnant, and how her teacher was going to let her be there when the litter was born, but no one else seemed interested in the story. After a few moments, she simply gave up and stopped talking, slinking back against the lockers. Twilight sighed at the sight. It was a miracle when Fluttershy talked that much, and it seemed like such a waste to have it fall on deaf ears. She was sure none of her friends meant to be rude, but she also couldn't deny that their minds were pre-occupied. To Twilight's right stood Rainbow Dash, who was looking around nervously as though she was trying to avoid someone. Twilight gave her a quizzical look.

        "Is everything alright Dash?" she asked.

        Dash flashed a shaky smile and replied, "Of course it is, why wouldn't it be? Does it look like something's wrong?"

        Twilight wanted to tell her friend that this was indeed the case, but the words didn't have the chance to leave her lips. While Dash had been looking at Twilight, a tall, blonde haired girl had slunk up behind the rainbow-haired athlete, and was now clasping her by the shoulder. Dash turned to meet her gaze, trying and failing to place a convincing smile on her face. "H-hey Ashley, how's it going?" she stammered out.

        The newcomer, who Twilight now knew was named Ashley, did not look amused. She held up a small, clear container with a white lid and pressed it into Rainbow Dash's hand. "Listen, I don't know what you used, but I know you used something. Meet me at lunch time; we're going to the nurse's office and you're going to fill this," she paused to indicate the container. "The school nurse will run her tests on this, and once I prove you're using, you'll be out of the track team and out of this school for good." She jabbed her finger into Dash's chest twice as she uttered 'for good', as if to drive the words in deeper. With her message delivered, she turned and walked swiftly away. By now, the rest of the sextet had become interested in the situation, and for once the tension seemed to lift.

        "What horrid manners! Was that oaf of a girl not taught how to conduct herself among polite society?" Rarity commented as she stared at the retreating girl's back. To their surprise, Dash spoke up in defense.

        "She actually has a reason to be so suspicious," Dash commented. When she saw the concerned looks on her friends' faces, she quickly added, "I'm not using, though, trust me! I would never risk my scholarship!" She sighed and looked around at them all. "Yesterday I beat my top speed at the one hundred meter dash by two seconds."

        Her friends faces seemed to brighten as smiles spread across them. They moved to congratulate Dash, but she pulled away from them. "You don't get it, do you? That's physically impossible! I worked my butt off to beat the school's record. There's no way that I could turn around and beat my own record in the course of one afternoon! I swear, I'm not using performance enhancers, but I can't blame Ashley for being suspicious."

        Twilight knew that Dash's claims were true--such a feat was completely impossible. She thought about speaking up and saying as much, but decided against it. The situation was bad enough without her potentially restoring the tension that had been hanging between the friends. She put her scientific facts aside and instead asked, "Who is this Ashley girl, anyway?"

        "She's the captain of the track team...and the person whose record I beat," Dash explained.

        The true weight of the situation seemed to sink into the group with that explanation. They all moved to embrace Dash, creating an awkward group hug that finally brought some feeling of normalcy back to the group. Pinkie Pie spoke up from her spot behind Dash. "Don't worry Dashie! All you have to do is take a tinkle in the cup and everything will be okie dokie loki!" It was an obvious statement, but for some reason it made them all laugh. Twilight had to admit that it felt good to laugh with her friends again. Unfortunately, the morning bell rang seconds later, forcing their group to break up and collect their belongings.

        As she watched her friends move towards the classroom, Twilight couldn't help but feel a little envious of Dash. When she had experienced her own strange phenomenon her friends were skeptical and ready to call her sanity into question; however, they were quick to comfort Dash. Then again, there are more logical explanations for Dash's situation. Ashley could have simply meddled with the stop watch, Twilight admitted to herself. On the other hand, maybe there really is some scientific explanation for this. She sighed with the realization that she would end up spending a lot of time studying that idea to satiate her own curiosity.  Books in hand, she too made her way to the classroom.

        Lunchtime came, and for the first time in a week the six girls found themselves gathered around a collection of desks to eat together. Their conversation was lighthearted, with no traces of the former tension to be found. Whether the awkwardness was truly gone or the group was just putting on a show for Dash's sake, Twilight couldn't say, but she couldn't deny that the return to normalcy felt good.

        Today, her lunch consisted of spaghetti and meatballs from the cafeteria. While she couldn't claim it to be the greatest rendition of the dish that she'd ever tasted, it was still quite delicious. She had saved her meatballs for last, a personal tradition since childhood, and was now lifting the first to her mouth when the school's PA system crackled into life.

        "Good afternoon, students and faculty," the principal's voice announced. He was a gruff old man, with a gravelly voice that was unmistakable. The classroom conversations quickly died down so that the students could hear the announcement that was worth disrupting lunch over. "I have just been informed that Goldenrod Hall has been destroyed, presumably by the terrorist group that has recently been in the news. If you all recall, they had allegedly attacked an establishment earlier this week, as well. While this will not be interrupting your classes, I felt that you all had the right to know, as Goldenrod was one of our country's most valued landmarks. You may now return to your meals."

        As the PA system died down, the classroom erupted back into a torrent of discussion about the events. Outrage, sadness, and indifference all intermingled to create a buzz that was almost intolerable. Twilight placed her meatball back in its container, her appetite suddenly gone. Goldenrod Hall had been the stronghold from which Queen Celestia's ancestors had planned their movements during their rebellion a century ago. The monarch at the time had gone mad, and began raising taxes to extreme highs, putting those who couldn't pay on trial and, usually, to death. Insane measures by an insane man, it was often said. Celestia's family had begun organizing a rebellion, amassing citizens and arms at Goldenrod. Despite the odds against them--a ragtag group of rebels versus a trained military--they had succeeded. Since then, Goldenrod had stood as a beacon of hope for all of Celestia's faithful. Its loss would surely be a blow to the nation's morale. Twilight's stomach began to churn. How would Queen Celestia take this news?

        Applejack turned to Twilight and in a low voice asked, "Hey sugar, you okay? I know you're close with the queen, so I imagine this has ter be a bit shockin' to ya."

        Twilight tried to feign a smile, but it died before it could even fully form on her lips. She slumped in her seat and confessed, "I'm worried for Queen Celestia. The claims this group is making are damaging enough. If these attacks continue, the public is going to get uneasy. I've already heard some of the students making comments like 'If she can't protect her own family's property, how can she protect our country?' It might be an absurd claim, but if enough people fall into that mindset it could be disastrous. Now they've gone after a national monument, which just adds more fuel to that argument." She felt the uneasiness in her stomach growing along with her stress. Her lunch was threatening to come up. "I really don't feel good."

        "Maybe you should just take the rest of the day for yourself," Dash suggested. "I could tell you not to worry, but I know that won't do any good. If you're going to worry anyway, you might as well do it where you can be comfortable--and not risk failing assignments. A make-up penalty is better than a full on assignment fail."

        "I would really prefer--" Twilight began, but then fell silent as she felt the discomfort in her stomach grow again. She had only ever missed two other days of school, a Thursday and Friday where she had contracted a bad case of influenza. Technically this would just be an early exit due to sickness, and would not count against her attendance record. Plus, if she were to lose her lunch she would prefer to not do so around her classmates. With slow, resigned movements she rose from her desk and grabbed her books, bidding farewell to her friends. Rarity promised to inform the teachers of Twilight's ill health. Twilight thanked her, and then made her way out of the classroom.

        She stopped in the hallway to retrieve her backpack, and then followed the path back to the library. The uneasiness in her stomach continued to increase, and with it the pace at which she walked. By the time she walked through the library doors she was sprinting, clasping her hand over her mouth as a pre-caution. Up the winding staircase she went and into her room, just in time to make it to the bathroom and lose her spaghetti lunch in the toilet. Her body forced her through that torture two more times over the next ten minutes, until her stomach had nothing left to relinquish.

        Afterwards, she found that the combination of stress and a sour stomach had exhausted her strength. She rinsed her mouth with mouthwash, brushed her teeth, and walked back into the main room, collapsing on her bed. Within moments she was asleep.

        A knock at the door woke her suddenly. She wasn't sure what time it was, although the dim light streaming through her window suggested that it was well into the evening. Twilight wiped the sleep from her eyes as she walked towards the door. She threw it open to find a blonde girl with odd eyes standing on the other side, an envelope clutched in her hand. "Delivery service!" the girl happily announced, holding out the envelope.

        Twilight stared at the girl for a moment. "Aren't you responsible for handing out the school newspaper?" she asked.

        The girl smiled and replied, "Yep, but I also deliver campus mail as a side job. I was told to rush this to you. Don't worry, I didn't look at it; they instructed me not to."

        Wondering what could be so important, Twilight thanked the girl and took the envelope, closing the door as the girl proceeded back down the steps. The back of the envelope was sealed with a stamp that looked like a sun. Realization began to sink in, and Twilight quickly tore the envelope open and extracted the letter from within, reading it over quickly. As she reached the bottom, her breath caught in her throat, and she began to read it again, more slowly.

My Dearest Twilight Sparkle,

        Thank you for your concern in regards to my family's establishment. None of my family members were injured in the attack, but unfortunately the young man who picked up the package did not survive. While we grieve for his loss, there are more pressing matters at hand. As you have probably heard, Goldenrod Hall was destroyed today. We fully suspect that Shame On The Night is to blame for both incidents; however, you have probably already deduced this yourself. You are such a bright girl after all. I fear this is only the beginning, though. As a pre-emptive measure, I am sending someone from my personal staff to Perryville Academy to act as a body guard for you. He is a year younger than you, but he is very bright, and I have managed to get him placed into your class. It seems that these people are targeting things that are tied to me personally. If they discover your connection to me, I fear that they may come after you as well. Perryville Academy is a safe place, but I would feel better knowing that you have someone guarding your personally.

Stay strong during these turbulent times. I fear that things will get much worse before this is over.

Warmest regards,

Queen Celestia

****

Closing comments: Chapter 5 is finally done! I think this is the longest chapter yet! I don't have a whole lot to say here, so I'll just say that I hope you enjoy it, and that I hope you are looking forward to seeing where this leads! I'd be surprised if no one figured out which character Twilight's bodyguard is going to correspond to. It should be noted that I am a huge fan of science fiction and fantasy novels, so no offense to my fellow fantasy fans.