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Profiles in Fellowship (Bellosh & SteelEagle)


Bellosh
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Twilight frowned. Sunset was always a little reticent to discuss her hometown and didn't have good memories of it, but this reaction was a little less than she had hoped. Was the memory of Hope Hollow so awful for Sunset? It didn't sit right with Twilight. It didn't hit her heart well. Such gaps and such damage needed to be filled somehow, some way. You couldn't be whole if you didn't make peace with your past, the demons that scarred you, because a piece of you sat in the prison of angels of a lesser grandeur. She opened her mouth to speak when Sunset made her move, giving Twilight a chaste kiss on her forehead, adjacent to a horn which felt itself burn up in a manner of excitement. Multiple manners of excitement for the mare, but she wouldn't let it show too much aside from the faintest glimmer of a blush flashing on her features briefly, leaving little but the aftermarks of a shimmer on Sparkle's face.

 

It was enough to give he pause, but Sunset's attitude still needed to be bolstered. She was not deserving of being in this pit she dug for herself. Twilight trotted next to Sunset after a few moments, missing her depressed sigh. "Hey. Hey!" She pulled Sunset gently up by her chin until they were looking eye to eye. "Don't ever say that about yourself, Sunset. I know one thing: Nocreature that has met you for a moment will ever forget you. How could they? You're a very special mare, even when you're woman," Twilight said before she gave her friend a deep and powerful hug, pulling her up off the ground with its intensity after a few moments. She would not allow Sunset to fictionalize her own self-worth and respectability so she could get away with giving in to her self-doubt. She was worthy of so much more than she gave her credit for.

 

"Hopefully I'm not interruptin' anything?" Came a drawling voice, that of Mage Meadowbrook as she approached. "Princess Twi-light Sparkle, so good ta see you! And who is this friend of yours?"

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...Oh Twilight Sparkle, you poor naive pony.....


She still had much to learn about the art of seeing through Sunset Shimmer’s dismissive evasions. To think that it hadn’t crossed the princess’s mind that not every creature was going to have fond memories of her friend. Did Twilight forget how Sunset committed such grievous crimes in her past as backstabbing Princess Celestia, using stolen magic to transform into a winged demon, and having the personality of a one-dimensional mean girl stereotype?


And yet even if Sunset’s logical side wanted to chide Twilight for her brain fart, the unicorn mare’s sentimental heart basked in the warmth and fuzziness the alicorn provided so freely. See, emotional affection like this was the reason Sunset could never begrudge Twi for long, no matter what silly secret she felt like keeping on a particular day.


They always say that the eyes are the window to the soul... but the soul possesses language too, and its language is the Hug.


If Twilight’s bone-crushing embrace was anything to go by, it was that Sunset Shimmer was a fool for ever doubting that the intimate trust she gave her companion was equally reciprocated. It didn’t matter that the alicorn’s reasons for comforting Sunset’s feelings were based on an erroneous insight; the simple fact that she cared profoundly was enough to make the amber unicorn crack a smile...


.....And wince from the pain of constriction... and blush from the inherent awkwardness of being lifted into the air in a public setting. “Hey uhh Twi?” Sunset, blushing furiously, barely managed to choke out; “You DO realize other ponies can see us, right?”


One rather famous earth pony from history did in fact manage to catch Twilight and Sunset red-hoofed. Upon being released from Twi’s relentless grip, Sunset needed a moment to catch her before answering the wise Mage Meadowbrook; “Oh, I’m Sunset Shimmer!” The unicorn reflexively dusted herself off, attempting to play it cool while recovering from Twilight Glomping Syndrome; “I just happen to be an old acquaintance of Princess Twilight’s.....”

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"Yeah, and I don't care if they see," Twilight laughed as she let go slowly. She probably could have trapped Sunset in the hug for longer. Alicorns were hideously strong. Just ask Applejack. Twilightw as full of surprises now, but it shouldn't be a surprise that she understood that she had a rosier outlook for Sunset than the human-mare herself did. Like Starlight, she could be caught up on her past misdeeds and how they were viewed. But she had grown so much from that time. She was a heroine and an inspiration, a leader and a friend to not only Twilight- Equestria Twilight- but to all of her friends and beyond in the human world. Nopony could have poor opinion of her because she was such a bright beacon that to know her, even at her worst, was to eventually realize that within her sparked the divinity of friendship.
 

Luckily for Sunset there was one other pony close by and Twilight blushed as she recognized her, giving a nervous laugh. "Haha, nice to see you too, Meadowbrook. How has the clinic been going?" She asked, happy to jump the subject back over. Meadowbrook wouldn't comment on the ongoing oddness between the two mares and instead was happy to discuss anything that allowed the blushing to die down.

"The clinic is going swimmingly, Your Majesty. Why, I hardly get time ta sleep! Not that I'd trade it for anything, however," she turned her attention to Sunset. "So, you're tha famous Sunset Shimmer. You're the mare who went to that...human world, was it? My my, I can't even imagine it! Tell me Sunset, since Twilight won't. What is their medicine like?" She asked as she led the duo deeper into her exhibit. Many, many sickly ponies seemed to be crowding aroud, though most seemed to be soothed with various balms and soups. Meadowbrook's eyes had permanent bags under them but her smile was still pure.

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Welp, so much for passing as a mere acquaintance. From here on out, Sunset Shimmer would have to assume that Twilight told all the Pillars about who she was. It was a thought both flattering and scary at the same time. What would Star Swirl the Bearded think of the one-time magic student? Did he know the story of how she dropped out of Celestia’s School? ...Was Sunset getting ahead of herself thinking about what’ll happen when she encounters the Father of Modern Spellcasting?


.....Yeah, she probably was. Time to get back to the here and now with Mage Meadowbrook!


“Well over there,” Sunset started explaining; “Nobody who works in healthcare brews their own medicines anymore. The gist of it is that you’ve got these giant pharmaceutical companies who mass-produce thousands upon thousands of clinically-tested drugs per day, and they charge whatever price they want due to their absolute control of supply and demand, and of course intellectual property law allows these conglomerates to do whatever the heck they want. So to actually get the pharmaceuticals you need, first you have to go to a primary care physician who is covered by your health insurance plan, because if you don’t, you incur a hefty bill after a trip to the office. And the health insurance company has to sign off on your prescription too, because the thing is that the health care providers can’t actually make any money if they approve every prescription, meaning oftentimes you’ll end up footing at least half the bill, and did I mention how expensive prescription medication can be? Oh and if you’re a human with chronic health issues or other pre-existing conditions, you can forget entirely about having a health insurance plan, because the insurance companies will lose too much money on you, and did I also mention how hideously expensive a trip to the ER is over there? This is why we need to-”


It was only now that Sunset noticed the ill ponies in every direction. “Uhhhh,” she quietly asked Meadowbrook, nervously glancing towards the sickly crowd; “Should we be concerned right now? Is Canterlot suffering some sort of freak viral outbreak today?”

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Mage Meadowbrook slowly started to lose confidence in her ability to ask pertinent questions as Sunset Shimmer started to collapse into a rant about the medical issues of the human world. To Meadowbrook, a mare born from an age long past and who currently lived in a utopian ideal as a selfless healer, very little of what Sunset said made sense. She understood that they made medicines instead of creating them from he natural world but after that she lost track. She kept up a polite smile as Sunset continued, though she did rear her head back just as Twilight did. The two shared a confused look, though it was mostly done in sympathy on Twilight's part. She had a greater understanding of that world's medical practices as she had read up on it. Indeed, she likely had a better understanding of the mechanics of the system than Sunset did. One of them was a thinker and the other was a doer after all.

 

Sunset finally came to her senses as she started to look around and notice the collection of ill ponies. Mage smiled. It was hard to shoo away the crowds wherever she went but she would admit to being a little vexed that it had happened here of all places. She couldn't deny them however. It was in her nature to be a healer, in her nature to help ponies in need no matter how poorly chosen the venue was.


"Oh, it's all right," she said with a double meaning, hoping that Sunset had managed to get out whatever venom she had stored up when discussing that other world. She knew all about the deadly nature of venom no matter the mechanism.

"All this? Honey, it follows me everywhere I go. Everypony wants a cure and I try to do my best to help them. Nothing serious here- well, not anymore. Colds, flus, hayfevers and some bad allergic reactions are all that's left. The ones who were worse off I either helped if I could do so quickly or directed them to the nearest hospital, with some additional instruction," she said as she stepped next to several pots that were each brewing a special brew. Each one was marked with the name of the illness it was curing, and the sickly ponies were divided likewise.
"Got tha various elixirs and cures for what ails them here. If you don't mind I could use an extra pair of hooves to get them their bowls, unless you're too busy...?"

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By now, Sunset Shimmer was starting to sense that the Pillars of Old Equestria never took a break from their day jobs. Even when they were ostensibly “speaking guests” at an exhibit honoring their achievements, each Pillar that Sunset had seen so far pretty much neck-deep in the things they did for their day-to-day occupations. Then again, maybe this was the Museum’s way of incorporating a living history program, but somehow the unicorn mare doubted it.


Whatever the case may be, Sunset found herself getting roped into another “hooves-on learning activity”. Lacking the heart to turn Meadowbrook down, the unicorn swiftly replied; “Nonono, not at all! We’ll be glad to help!! Just show us what to do, Mage Meadowbrook.....”

 

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Meadowbrook smiled wide. She was happy to help ponies but she was only one mare. Getting aid would not only make this go by faster, but hopefully if there were any additional issues having more ponies around could help her respond faster. She felt bad about using their time together for her role but for the most part she knew it was for the greater good. "Oh, nothing too big. Ah've got the mixture all ready ta go. Ah'm just gonna continue making this final batch while you an' Twilight work on gettin' it out to them poor ponyfolk out there," she said, giving them the tools they needed to do their job.

 

Twilight sighed. She didn't mind helping out one of Equestria's oldest legendary figures do some good. She rather enjoyed that. Giving of herself to others was part of who she was, after all. And as she helped each and every one of her little ponies she made sure to spend a second to ask them how they were feeling and if they were going to be okay, easing them into taking their tonic. That much felt all right. That much felt good. But she couldn't help but have this sinking feeling, that this was somehow ruining one of Sunset's rare days she got to spend with Twilight. Maybe not ruining, but it certainly wasn't as Twilight had envisioned it. She could only assume Sunset felt the same way, at least partially.

 

"I'm sorry, Sunset. I didn't think we'd be do so much work at a museum of all places!" Twilight said with a laugh as she continued her work quickly yet thoroughly. She wouldn't let the ponies down, not any one of them, but she worried that her favorite cross-dimensional being may not feel included in that, and what a tragedy that would be.
 

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“Nah, it’s fine Twi,” Sunset reassured her friend with the sort of raised defensive tone that indicated that things were NOT completely fine; “Seeing you’ll be princess of all the land soon, you might as well start getting used to having your free-time endlessly interrupted.....”


And yet still after her day took this unforeseen detour, Sunset Shimmer continued to do her best to serve the ailing ponies. In between patients however, she couldn’t help but grumble; You’d think Mage Meadowbrook would have interns to do this sort of thing.....”

 

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Twilight was not an expert at deciphering all of the emotions a pony may feel. Indeed, she knew for a fact she had less of a feel for it than Starlight Glimmer and at times found herself operating from an emotional deficit. But that did not hold true here, mostly because Sunset Shimmer wasn't all that great at hiding it. It hurt, though not as much as it made her angry at the circumstances. All she wanted to do was spend time with her cross-dimensional friend and yet every single Old Equestrian hero and heroine wanted a bit of their time. It was enough to make a Princess ban the study of pony history out of spite, or so the feeling came when she heard how ruefully Sunset regarded these events.

 

Twilight frowned as Sunset spoke, trying to contain her growing anger at the interruptions. Had she made a mistake choosing this exhibit? It seemed perfect, right? They loved history and the most history possible was on display here. But instead it had turned into interruptions and little jobs that she didn't really want to do. She sighed in frustration. "She should, but I guess she was called here too quickly to get them ready," she said as she finished her work, carrying both of their materials with her on the way back. "Though I think I should make a decree banning excessive non-patron usage of a museum. You know, for the safety of the relics," she said as she tossed her head towards Meadowbrook, who didn't catch the joke and waved the two back.


"Why, thank ya so kindly for that help! I got something for ya in return," she said, pointing at Sunset Shimmer. She bent down, rummaged in her knapsack, and came back up with a package of tea leaves wrapped in an unusual red flower. "Twi here told me yer from some sorta alternate world or someword like that. Ah learned what Ah could 'bout it and Ah know you don't have these lea leaves and herbs in that human world of yours. So I found some special ones and protected it with a red gabban, which should resist the damage that comes with some of them magical portals. And then you'll have a lil' bit of Equestria whenever you wanna sit down and have a nice cup of tea!"

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“Eh heh, yeah...” Sunset barely held back a chuckle from Twilight’s joke as the two brought back their work product. Inconvenienced as the two mares were by their unexpected sidequest, it was hard to resent Mage Meadowbrook just from her congenial personality alone. And then there was her unique gift to top things off; herbal flora that grew only in this world.


“I-I..." the amber unicorn struggled to articulate her gratitude; “I know I’m usually the one harping to my friends about the dangers of magic and wildlife from Equestria leaking into their world, but..... thank you very much, Mage Meadowbrook.” Sunset gave the earth pony a brief, appreciative hug. “I admit it DOES feels good to have a reminder of Home.....”

 

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Mage Meadowbrook could feel the dimensional mare's thankfulness even before she gave word to it. Mage had thought that Sunset would enjoy the little reminder of home and for it to be done in such a manner so that it wouldn't be too hard for her to resupply in the future. Mage returned the hug gently and with a soft smile. "I'm glad you like it, Sunset Shimmah. Now, you an' Twi just make sure ta enjoy tha rest of yer day. Y'all deserve it!" She said with a smile as she pulled back, allowing Sunset the distance she needed to get away while she went back to work. The two mares may have a fun day ahead of them but Mage Meadowbrook's work was never done, not that she minded.

 

Twilight in time led Sunset through the exhibit. Masks, poultices, half-scribbled ancient poems and tablets thanking her for saving ancient towns full of ancient ponies lined the walls and made for interesting discussion. But Twilight's heart wasn't in it. What Sunset had said was still sticking with her and clouding her mind. She tried but it was clear her mind was clouded. The best exhibit remained however, and she felt herself perk up as they started to make their way to the Starswirl wing. That didn't mean that she could let what they had discussed die entirely. "I'm sorry this hasn't gone perfectly. But this next exhibit is the best. Starswirl is responsible for so-" she began as they entered. Within moments, a familiar elder stallion approached from behind. "Ah, hello Princess-" Starswirl began.

 

Twilight turned around, firm in her devotion to the rest of this trip!
"No, no, no! Whatever it is, no Starswirl! I just want to spend time with Sunset today!" She barked quickly at the elderly stallion who, for his part, sat there with only slight amusement showing.

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Ah yeah; Starswirl the Bearded exhibit, here they come! Sunset Shimmer was rather surprised that the Starswirl section wasn’t used as the finale portion of the whole Old Pillars experience, but museums did what museums do, the Equestrian girl rationalized. Like many magically-gifted unicorns, Sunset had idolized the Bearded Wizard since she was a little filly. So of course his exhibit will be Miss Shimmer’s most eagerly anticipated one.


Twilight however was still feeling in a somewhat of a bad mood from all the prior interruptions, causing her to finally snap at a Pillar... at Starswirl, no less! Quickly snapping into action, Sunset jammed a hoof into Twilight’s mouth to silence it just before she could complete her sentence. “D-don’t mind Princess Twilight,” the embarrassed amber unicorn hastily excused her companion’s actions; “It’s just that you know, being the Princess of Friendship makes her feel she’s not able to perform her royal duties if she can’t feel like she’s being a good friend, eh heh. Twilight didn’t really mean what she said!”


Sunset took her hoof out of Twilight’s mouth as she proceeded to respectfully nod towards the aged stallion; “I must say though... I can’t believe I’m actually meeting the legend himself in person. You can’t EVEN begin to imagine how much you inspired me as a filly!” Nervousness filled Sunset’s heart as she spoke those words, remembering how Twilight once recollected the cold reception she got from her idol after initially freeing the Six Pillars from Limbo.....

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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Oh, Twilight had meant every word she had said and even as te amber mare went ahead and tried to throw herself at Starswirl's mercy on Twilight's behalf the Princess of Equestria couldn't really claim to have felt sorry for saying it. If anything, it felt good. She could handle some manner of gossip about her bad attitude for a day or two if it meant just the most minor of sequence breaks from her endless list of interruptions during what was supposed to be a special time with a great friend. She wasn't perfect, she wasn't flawless, and she was sick of having her good nature used against her. None of the Pillars meant to do so, of course. They were all great ponies in their own right, each and every one an Equestrian symbol through and through. But that didn't save her own emotions from needing expression and in that moment, yes, yelling right at Starswirl certainly felt right.

 

It didn't feel right a few moments later, but she wasn't lucky enough to get the reprieve she wished for. Starswirl, to both her outburst and then to Sunset's insistent defense on her behalf followed by her own very minor gushing, seemed rather sternly set. "Well," he started in a low tone, looking at the two mares with quite the judging expression, "I hope that the Princess can manage her day at the museum and that her friend can manage her expectations for her heroes," he leaned in, "lest they both be disappointed by the realities of their position," he then leaned away, his features softening. "Of course if they continue to meet the challenges of their lives as well as they have already, then they will be well. Princess Twilight, a pleasure to see you!"

 

Twilight sighed, her stress leaving her. "You as well, Starswirl. This is-"
"Sunset Shimmer! Yes, I know. I do read your letters, my dear," he said with a smirk.
Twilight nervously rubbed the back of her neck and laughed.
"Dear Sunset, a pleasure to meet you. Your exploits with the dimensional mirror have been most heartening to hear. I would have thought the arcanic displacement spells I placed on such devices eons ago would have collapsed entirely!"

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Sunset gulped; it did not seem that Star Swirl’s initial impression of her was a favorable one. The unicorn mare knew that outcome had been a likely possibility, but it hurt seeing it come true before her eyes...


.....Yet the elderly stallion’s show of coldness turned out to just be a fake-out, allowing Miss Shimmer to exhale in relief. By this point, Sunset was out of blushes to give, having correctly assumed that Twilight told the Bearded Wizard about her too. Star Swirl’s mention of displacement collapses prompted the smarty-pants side of the Equestrian girl to emerge.


“Well at one point, the mirror portal was only activating once every 30 moons, and for only 3 days at a time. I thought that strange (and frustrating) too, since I know more there are more practical ways to ensure a planar gateway can’t be used by the wrong creatures. But after discovering I could write messages to Twilight across dimensions even with the portal closed, she was able to do some jury-rigging, so now we can cross over between worlds at any time!”


An intriguing question popped into Sunset’s mind. “If you don’t mind me asking; since you were the one who created the mirror portals and made trips to each mirror destination... I’m assuming you’ve had the experience of turning into... ahem,” she stood on her two hind legs for emphasis; “.....A human?”

 

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"Yes, briefly. A most disconcerting experience," Starswirl said as his horn lit up. A moving image appeared of a tall human with a long, flowing, curled beard and in the clothes of a wizard. It would go on to show him acclimating to the dimension, scouting, roughing it in the wild, and observing humans from afar. "The land I arrived in was wild and untamed in my time, and I saw only what could e described as hunter-gatherers and less intelligent fauna. Still, I recognized that it was a land of relatively low aural import and then realized what a threat it was. Like most portals, I had hoped it would be permanently disabled. But the ninth law of Planar Travel does work against me in that regard, something both of you have shown quite clearly!" he said as he the image vanished out of the air, the final flash being the human version running into the portal and the pony version chaining it back up.

 

"Of course, when I heard about your escapades after I was rescued from the void, I did my research. I completed a device I had started work on eons ago but only a month ago," he said as his horn lit up. In a flash, a small stone box with a pad, watery surface trapped in limbo, and dials appeared in Sunset Shimmer's hand. A similar device appeared in Twilight's. "I used the conflicting aural natures of the opposing dimensions to power a certain spell that should allow instant messages from across dimensions. Sadly, similar technology is not entirely feasible within the same dimension, and the power expenditure means it requires resupply more rapidly than I would like. However, it will allow you two to communicate in a more instantaneous fashion, should you desire. And I presume you do desire, Sunset Shimmer?"

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Hmmmm..... Sunset Shimmer wasn’t quite sure what to make of Starswirl’s latest invention yet. On the one hand, Sunset and Twilight already possessed a reliable means of interdimensional communication that’s worked out well enough for them so far. Then again, said interdimensional friendship journals also didn’t have infinite pages, and they could only display written messages. Maybe this artificed contraption had a feature which made up for its limited power supply? Only one way to find out...


After affirmatively nodding in response to the wizard, Sunset asked; “So how do we use this device?”

 

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Starswirl took the device into his own hooves and pressed his hoof against a small sigil in the front. "Press down on this sigil," he said for mental safekeeping. As he did so, the device came to life with a dull glow, as did the device Twilight held in her own hooves. The Princess brought it up to eye level to inspect it, which allowed an uncharacteristically mischievous smirk to appear on Starswirl's face.

 

"The device it is synced to will glow. If the one who holds the other device presses down on their own sigil-" he said, using his magic to send Twilight's device into her snout firmly enough for it to be pressed, much to his own amusement, "-you should be able to hear each other's voice and even see one another's face across the dimensional barrier," he said with growing excitement. Both devices were now active. On Sunset's device, Twilight's chagrined expression quickly vanished as she smiled and waved through her device to greet her friend who was mere hooves away. At least it proved it worked! 

 

"It does have some drawbacks. Namely, it pulls upon the dimensional energies that exist between one world and the next to power the audio and video, meaning that it will work for only moments when the two of you are in the same dimension. Interference may cause the signal to dim and further fixes will be needed down the line, but it should suit both of you well." 
 

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As cute as it was to see Twilight’s snout being utilized to activate her device, Sunset Shimmer was genuinely excited to see Twi appear on her own screen. She could genuinely video-chat with her friend across dimensions now! That WAS super rad!!!


Once she waved back to the alicorn, a grinning Sunset looked back up at the elderly Starswirl; “This is... this thing is wonderful!!! I can’t wait to give it a go once I get home! Say though Starswirl, have you given this device a name yet?”

 

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"Trans-Dimensional Aetheric Real-Time Transmitter, or a T.D.A.R.T. for short. It was the least I could do for Princess Twilight, after everything she has done for me," The ancient pillar said as he bowed his head to the Princess. "I heard she had a very unique friend with very unique circumstances whom she wished to have as much contact with as possible. I hope you enjoy it during your adventures on the other side, Sunset Shimmer," Starswirl said as he gave both of them a knowing look. Then he smiled. "Well, I will leave you two to enjoy the exhibit. I was offered a chance to speak to the Canterlot Historical Society at a private hall at this exhibit. I can't wait to hear about even more misconceptions about me and my time," he ended with a wry chuckle and a smooth stride for an older stallion away from the two mares. 

 

Twilight was very excited about this development. She had spent many late nights studying the scientific principles behind this device and how it worked, even creating one or two small prototypes. She had ended up sending those prototypes to Starswirl because her new schedule seemed specially designed to crush her scientific ambitions and free time, even when she desperately cared about what it was she was working on. Luckily Starswirl had seen the project to completion and it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. It wasn't perfect but it was a step in the right direction. "Well, that was very nice of him. Do you think he used the Aetheric Bridging Theory of Communication or the Auric Barding Method to solve the Star-Bloom Problem of Dimensional Resonance Failure?"

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As Starswirl started to take his leave, Sunset offered parting words; “Thank you very much, sir! I promise to put the T.D.A.R.T. to good use!” And then just like that, the old wizard was off on his way. Overall, their encounter with the Legend himself went pretty well, thought the unicorn mare.


Twi meanwhile... went back to being Twi. “Teh heh,” Sunny jokingly elbowed her geeky friend and winked; “Why don’t we save the magibabble for later, Twi? We still have the rest of Starswirl’s exhibit to look over.....”

 

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Twilight blushed, but mostly because she was embarrassed about he magibabble. Not because she had gone into it. Of course she would love to do nothing but spend some time discussing magibabble with Sunset Shimmer right about now. Nor because she was elbowed gently and told to come back down to Equestria by that very mare. She didn't enjoy anything half as much as she enjoyed simply being around her friends regardless of any other circumstance involved. No, she blushed because it was one of her many reactions to having to stuff all pf her idea and thoughts back inside of her when she really just wanted to let them loose. Why did this exhibit have to e so much more entertaining than magical discussions with Sunset Shimmer?!

 

"Haha, sorry about that. I'm just really excited about this device," she said with a smile before she took it in her magic and placed it in her saddlebag. "I know I can get a little excited about magical problem solving, heh. Sorry if it got in the way," she said as she resumed walking through the exhibit next to Sunset. Starswirl had been one of the pillars who had decided on taking his property back in large part, saying that most of it was related to projects he wasn't fully completely finished with. Luckily during exhibits like this he was more than generous and very on theme, with many materials and artifacts relating to the pillars of Equestria and all that they had done for Equestria lining the walls. "Oooh, look at that!" Twilight said as she trotted deeper into the exhibit.

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“Don’t worry ‘bout it,” Sunset reassured Twilight as she patted her on the back; “We need to save a conversation topic for dinner, anyway.” And with that quip, it was back to appreciating Star Swirl’s belongings, all of them most interesting. An ancient tome within a glass display seemed to catch Twilight’s attention, so the two mares were off to take a closer look at the item.....

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

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Twilight nodded with her friend from another dimension. There would be plenty of time to talk about it over dinner. She had made sure to schedule that one far in advance. A nice dinner at the castle! She had wanted it to be private but thought that might signal things too strongly. Still, it was only a few dignitaries that would most converse amongst themselves and then Twilight and Sunset. She was very much looking forward to it. "Yes, yes. I suppose I have to leave something to talk about tonight, hahaha," She said, rubbing her neck as she trotted away from the uncomfortable subject and towards something much cooler.

 

It was Starswirl the Bearded's first scroll explaining the concept behind a transfiguration spell. It was an important part of magical history. WHile the concept of transfiguration was known and indeed some of its many spells had been cast. But even the best unicorn mage had difficulty understanding or controlling the spell. Starswirl had studied the mechanics of how transfiguration magic worked and set it out for all to study and learn. An entire art had one been artless until one with keen vision and insight gave you the knowledge to remake the world. "The first ever scroll on the subject, right there! To imagine the entire school of magic he opened up with quillstrokes. Even after everything I've done I still feel like I'm passing through history. But this *is* history!"

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Like a young filly drooling over cakes on display in a store window, Sunset Shimmer pressed her face against the museum display separating the outside world from one of the most important scrolls in wizarding history. Here indeed was a treasure beyond her wildest aspirations. Back in more ‘innocent’ times, Sunset hoped that she too would produce such seminal works that would leave as big of a lasting impact as those of Starswirl the Bearded. But well... growing up happened, and it taught Miss Shimmer that childish daydreams couldn’t always be fulfilled.


For now however, Sunset wasn’t reminded of that disappointment. Instead, she joined in the chorus of gushing over a thousand-year-old piece of paper. “You know Twi, ponies would *kill* to possess something this priceless,” She suddenly turned to give Twilight Sparkle a look of dead-seriousness; Mares like you and me...


.....It took all of Sunset’s willpower to avoid corpsing right there and then, and it was blatantly obvious to anypony who knew the look of somebody holding back laughter that she was doing so.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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Twilight's eyebrow shot up at Sunset's joking, even as she maintained a neutral expression. After all, it took all of Sunset's efforts to stop herself from blowing her insidious cover. Twilight was good at acting herself, but only to a certain degree. Or so she thought- reflections later would prove the lies she lived were large indeed She'd have to see how long she could keep this one up, though. "Hmm, well I suppose if we wanted to be really naughty I could just freeze time, freeze this moment in time. Then we could do whatever we wanted and nopony could stop us. Not that they could stop us anyway, if I so ordered it..." she said as she turned to Sunset, her eyes given to a dangerous glint as a predatory smile crept over her face. She was, after all, the Princess of Equestria. Not A, but THE. Her word was law.

 

And her word could hardly escape before she broke character and laughed. "Haha, oh Sunset, we both know neither one of us have the heart for it," she said as she started walking away from the artifact. The crowd was thinner here, and especially as the day started to drive to a close. "Are you hungry yet? At all?" Twilight asked as she started to look for an exit strategy. They had dinner planned after this after all and an Alicorn's diet was never fully satiated or satisfied. 

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