My Little Pony Fan Fiction ❯ My Little Pony: Days of Future Past ❯ Chapter Two ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Disclaimer: `My Little Pony' belongs to Hasbro and `X-Men' belongs to Marvel respectfully. No profit is being made out of this work.

Chapter Two

The countryside cottage appeared anything but welcoming. It was in a state of extreme disrepair and was definitely showing its old age; especially with the abandoned horse stables nearby. Twilight even wondered whether anyone was still residing in this seemingly forsaken home. The atmosphere she felt was far too morbid.

“Are you sure this is where she lives?” she asked Firefly.

“Yes, this is it. I'm positive.” she insisted.

Spike and the other ponies watched patiently while Twilight approached the door of the boarded up cottage. She pressed her nose on the doorbell. No reply, since the mechanism was broken. She tried knocking with her hoof. Faint footsteps followed. Suspense gripped her as the door creaked open very slightly.

“Yes, what do you want?” an icy female voice from the darkness groaned.

“Excuse me,” Twilight cleared her throat, “I'm sorry to disturb you, but I'm looking for somebody by the name of Megan Williams? Is she around?”

“Who wants to know?” the voice snarled.

“I'm Twilight, from Ponyland. My friends and I have come because-“

“Yeah-yeah, good joke, kid. Laugh it up, but Megan doesn't live here. Go away.”

Twilight wasn't entirely pleased with the cold shoulder she was getting. “Just for the record, I'm a Unicorn pony, not a kid. And my name IS Twilight.”

“Riiight… a likely tale.”

“I'm not bluffing, you know. We need to talk to Megan, urgently. It's a matter of life and death.” Twilight pleaded. “I heard she used to visit Ponyland many times and help the ponies… that was until several years ago, when she vanished and never came back. Please, do you know where we can find her?”

There was doubt for a brief moment… then followed by a faint snort.

“No, you're only wasting your time. Leave me alone!” the voice replied reluctantly.

The mysterious and paranoid girl attempted to slam the door shut on the uninvited guest's face. But Twilight pushed it firmly against her and resisted. She knew well enough that searching for Megan wouldn't be as straightforward as she hoped for.

“I'm not finished yet!” Twilight said with absolute persistence. She refused to be spurned so soon. “There's so much I need to tell her in too little time! And judging by how uncivil you are, I'd sense that you're hiding something secret from me!”

“Leave! I've said it before, there's no Megan living here! She's gone!” the girl asserted.

Twilight was unable to hold the door for long when it finally closed. She heard the clicking of locks on the other side. That was the last straw; if the girl wanted to play hardball, then that was what she was going to get.

“Open the door now!” Twilight demanded.

Her horn began to glow, summoning her magical energy. Her intent was to telekinetically swing the door open with sheer force, overpowering the locks. Instead though, within a flash, she disappeared out of sight, and then reappeared directly on the other side of the door. She was now inside the cottage.

“Huh?” Twilight said, surprised that her magic had teleported her right into the woman's abode quite unintentionally. It was apparent that she lacked her telekinesis in the World Beyond. “Is that all I can do now?”

In front of her was the young face of a teenage girl, around eighteen or nineteen years. She was in a ghastly condition with dirty slippers and a torn nightgown, not to mention how unhealthily thin she appeared. She bore blue cerulean eyes and blonde hair that was messy and uncombed. From these physical characteristics alone, Twilight could tell right away that she was some nutcase, as if she had just escaped from some psychiatric ward.

Shocked by the pony standing before her inside her home, the girl rushed frantically to the storage room to fetch something.

“Hey, relax. It's okay.” Twilight tried to reassure her. “I'm not here to hurt you.”

She didn't know sooner when her eyes met face-to-face with a polished double-barreled shotgun, fully loaded. Twilight went cross-eyed for a second, then her face dropped in severe terror. The girl cocked the firearm, aiming it at the frightened pony. She was unafraid to pull the trigger if needed.

“YIKES! Don't point that thing at me!” Twilight flinched nervously.

“Then GET OUT!” the girl yelled.

She kicked open the door and nudged her head outside, inadvertently exposing her identity from the sunlight. Spike and the ponies in the field watched motionless when they saw Twilight being forced at gunpoint to leave. The girl wasn't going to take `no' for an answer.

Then from out of the blue…

“MEGAN!” Firefly called out.

Megan stopped what she was doing and glanced sideways to see a familiar face come rushing towards her. With a blink of an eye, she recognized Firefly, for she was the first ever pony she encountered long before who could talk to her, when she was in dire need of help to save the ponies from the clutches of the evil Tirek. She was the one who introduced her to Ponyland and its inhabitants. Those wonderful memories meeting on that faithful day, flying across the nightly moon in song, suddenly came flooding back to her.

“F… Firefly?” Megan whispered, lowering her gun.

Firefly stood perfectly still as Megan slowly reached a hand out to her. She stroked her mane softly with her delicate fingers and then moved down to touch her nose. Megan could feel it; the warmth of her skin and her soft gentle breathing. This was no illusion. It was real.

“Megan, don't you remember me?” Firefly asked.

Megan sighed, dropping her weapon. “Of course I do.” she answered as she fell to her knees and broke down in tears. “It's just been too long since I last saw you!”

Spike and the other ponies approached Megan, seeing their long-lost friend in heartache. Along with Firefly, they gathered to embrace Megan affectionately after so many years. She had changed so dramatically yet little had her friends. It was a happy albeit unplanned reunion. Twilight, however, still remained inside of the cottage, astonished that the girl who had moments before threatened her life, was in fact Megan Williams.

The Volcano of Gloom still remained as the residence of Hydia and her two children, Reeka and Draggle. Despite their unceasing incompetence, Hydia continued to try ever so hard to teach the girls how to become a despicable and despising witch like herself, as it was in the long family heritage. And even though attempts such as the Smooze had worked to an extent, their schemes had always been thwarted. It appeared for a while that they couldn't do anything right.

However, in recent years, Reeka had begun showing better potential to follow closer in her mother's footsteps. This consequently made Hydia draw more of her attention towards her, leaving Draggle to fend on her own and feel neglected. It was unfair and unjustified, but old habits died hard. Such were the nature of witches to commit such cruel acts, even amongst themselves.

Yet something else came to pass over time. Unbeknownst to everyone but herself, Draggle in her mind was gradually drifting apart from the way of sorcery and witchcraft and shared small interest in them. And bit-by-bit, hazardous to say, she grew to harbor sympathy for the ponies, likewise for nature's other admirable creatures. As she matured, even under the wing of her sadistic and appalling mother, the question occurred to her in the course of time as to why she was pressured tremendously to abhor the most pleasant and charming aspects of life. Surely at first, she despised them far to the extreme, but was there any reason, any purpose in being so disgustedly antagonistic? Was her feeling of ambiguity the reason behind why her magic capabilities were currently dwindling? Perhaps it was her conscience reaching out to her, telling her that she didn't have to follow in the footpath of witches after all…

“DRAGGLE! Get over here!” Hydia ordered. “See what new spell your sister is conjuring up today!”

“Coming, Mama.” Draggle shut her mouth and immediately corrected herself. “I mean, Hydia.” she stopped sweeping the floor with her broom and sped to her mother.

Hydia was about to scream at Draggle for addressing her as `Mama', something she detested enormously, but forgave her this time for the common mistake. Besides, she was far too engaged with Reeka by the cauldron, teaching her how to cook up another evil witch spell with some raw and fresh ingredients. As usual, Draggle was left to handle the house chores. Not the most exciting job for one still young.

Reeka, still chubby as she used to be, was chewing on a millipede and other revolting creepy crawlies as she stirred the cauldron with a wooden spoon under Hydia's watch.

“You make me proud, Reeka. You're the best daughter that any witch could ever ask for!” Hydia said, smiling with glee. “There's so much devotion and passion within you!” she patted her loyal daughter on the head, before deviating her eyes towards Draggle with a scowl. “Why is it that YOU can't be like her?”

Draggle innocently shrugged, swinging her arms behind her back casually and thought. “Well, um… maybe that's because you hardly give me a chance to practice MY magic, and er… I need help to improve them.”

But her words only fell on deaf ears, for Hydia was distracted elsewhere; she was ensuring that Reeka wasn't making any mistakes with her spell that might accidentally cause a massive explosion. Draggle grumbled, annoyed that nobody was listening to her. Of course, this wasn't the first time Hydia had done this.

What prevented Draggle from shouting out of frustration was when she noticed how awfully youthful Hydia appeared today. Her face was somehow less droopy and her skin was smooth and devoid of wrinkles. She seemed almost ten to fifteen years younger. What's more, she was wearing less makeup on her face, revealing more of her natural beauty. Reeka was far too set on pleasing her mother and commented nothing about this. Yet it caught Draggle's notice considerably.

“Um, Hydia…?” she dared to say.

“What is it?” Hydia glared.

“Um, er… I just wanted to say how beautiful you are today.” Draggle meekly replied.

“Oh… why thank you, Draggle.” said Hydia, inspecting her physique in the reflection of the cauldron. “I've been taking more care of my looks lately, you know.”

“Um… something else that's been bothering me. Something I've been meaning to ask in a while.” continued Draggle. “Why do we have to hate the ponies? I mean… I understand they've been nothing but a nuisance and granted, everything they do and represent tends to irk us… but why? Wouldn't it be better maybe to talk to them and try to work out our differences, you know, work things out? I've been thinking… what's wrong with just getting along with them?”

By this time, Hydia's face was heating up to a boiling point already. “Are you questioning the way I've raised you?! Are you taking pity on those pesky ponies?! Are you defying me?!”

“N-no, mother, I mean, Hydia!” Draggle cringed in fear. “I would never mean to defy you. I was only asking if-”

“Allow me to remind you, Draggle. Your family has forever loathed the ponies and everything pretty they've brought upon our world for ages! Straying from our beliefs, our dignity that we strive for would be nothing but an uncompromising taboo! So I say this once, do NOT break our tradition! Child or no child of mine, you wouldn't want to disappoint me if you value your life dearly. Is that clear?”

The ominous warning from Hydia was enough to render Draggle mute as she nodded obediently. Hydia snorted and turned away, picking up a couple of rats and hurling them into the cauldron. She wanted to pretend her daughter had never asked those bold questions.

“Now then, when you're done sweeping up the floor, you can go fetch the flume that we'll need later!”

“FLUME?!” Draggle exclaimed, knowing well enough how painstakingly difficult it was to gather such. “But why me? Why not send Reeka?”

“Because she's going to become a better witch than me one day!” she laughed, hugging Reeka with arrogance. “And I wouldn't want to endanger her life at this point.”

Reeka did nothing but extend her tongue and blow a raspberry at her skinny sister. “It stinks to be you, Draggle!” she remarked.

After six years, it was hurtful and embarrassing for Draggle to witness how much Hydia favored her sister over her. Yet there was little she could do about it. She could only assume that after Reeka had reached the top of her ladder of success in becoming a full villainous witch, there would be time for Hydia to shift more of her focus and care on Draggle. She could start to set a good example if she complied in obtaining the flume, even if she dreaded it immensely.

Draggle gathered her bucket and pickaxe and was about to set off. But before she could step out through the entrance, she was abruptly halted by a towering and sinister figure. Its shadow loomed over her and she staggered back, almost afraid it was going to devour her.

There in the doorway stood the demonic centaur of darkness himself: Tirek.

“Good afternoon, Draggle.” he said calmly, arms crossed. “Might your mother be home today? If it is not too inconvenient, I wish to have a word with her… now.” He stared at her piercingly, threatening to pulverize her if she didn't summon Hydia promptly.

Draggle hesitantly nodded and called out: “Um, Hydia! There's somebody here to see you! Sounds pretty important!”

Tirek grinned, exposing his sharp teeth.

Megan poured herself another glass of Jack Daniel's. She paced around her living room, after hearing everything about Twilight's story. She gulped her fourth drink in one go and sat back down on her armchair. Spike and the ponies awaited her response.

Megan juggled the ice cubes in her glass and said: “So let me to put this straight. This Princess Celestia, you say, and all her pals from this Equestria place, as you call it, sent you here from the future to help save Ponyland from these giant metal men, who'll apparently wreak havoc and decimate everything that we cherish. And you need ME to stop THEM from ever wakening and cross-stepping into other parallel universes?”

Twilight nodded affirmatively.

“HAH!” Megan scoffed, rolling her eyes away adversely. She was without any doubt tipsy from all the alcohol she consumed. “That's one heck of a tale you have there, Twinkie.”

“It's Twilight.”

“Yeah, Twilight, wh-whatever.” Megan shrugged nonchalantly, sinking into her armchair. “Look, I appreciate you coming back to see me, honestly. It's great to see you ponies doing so well after this time. Thanks. But the fact is, I'm just not buying this story.”

“It's not a story. It's going to happen tomorrow!” Twilight corrected.

“Well, suppose that was true,” Megan thought, despite a bit of a headache, “suppose everything you said does happen, why do you need MY help?”

“Because you can show us the way to Hydia's lair.” Twilight answered sharply. “Firefly told me about your encounters with her and the other witches, Reeka and Draggle. She also told me they once kidnapped you, threatened you to be cooked alive… that was until you managed to escape, suffice it to say. The ponies had no idea of your whereabouts until you returned to them safely.”

Megan knew about that incident all too well. It was a daunting experience and one that she couldn't forget. She mumbled:

“You don't say…”

“I DO say.” Was Twilight's quick response. “And if you don't help us to find those witches in time before Tirek does, then it'll be too late!”

Megan rested in contemplation, settling her glass on the table. Then without saying another word, she abandoned her armchair and calmly departed for the stairs, gesturing the ponies to leave her house.

“I have to get up from this bad dream… I'm sorry. I can't help you. Not after what's happened.” Megan shook her head in sorrow. “You guys know the way out. I'll wave goodbye to you here before I head upstairs and back to bed. I need my rest.”

Twilight only huffed with impatience. “What's wrong with you?! Why have you stopped caring so much about us, Ponyland, yourself?! The Megan Williams I was told about was always a great leader. The ponies looked up to you as a hero, cheered for you and shouted your name whenever trouble was afoot. Whatever brought you to all this?”

Twilight looked around Megan's run-down cottage, which wasn't too well maintained, truth be told. The ponies continued to watch the conversation in silence. Spike stepped forward, hoping that he could help bring Megan back onto her feet.

“Megan, I know it's been long, but please try to understand. We need you, at least one last time.” he asked kindly.

“Wake up! Don't you see that our lives are in peril?” Twilight had to remind her. “This is our only chance to change that!”

“Like I actually give a darn.” Megan moaned. She burped discreetly and leaned against the wall, still drunk as her eyes began to drop. She said under her breath: “Can you… can you just leave now…? I wanna be alone… Twilight, I've told you… I can't help… and I won't… go back home with Firefly, Spike and the rest of your silly load of cockheads, will ya…?”

That did it. Twilight roared in protest and pounced onto Megan with her hooves, making her slump on the staircase. The ponies were stunned. Spike begged Twilight not to hurt their moody and dysfunctional friend.

“WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE, YOU MISERABLE HUNK OF JUNK!” snapped Twilight uncontrollably with her temper. “I didn't come here from light years beyond just to lecture you about the woes of my decaying world! I've lost too many of my friends out there, good ones! And if you want to sit here cooped up in this heck hole, not giving a rat's butt about what's going on outside, then be my guest, go ahead sulking in your own self-pity, because in the end, we won't stand for you when those murderous machines come knocking at your doorstep!”

Megan's heart was beating so rapidly that it could have burst. A harsh tranquility filled the cottage as Twilight calmed herself down and released her.

“Please lead us, Megan,” Firefly spoke out, “if you don't, we'll die.”

Megan, still with a callous attitude about the fate of the world, simply replied: “We all have to sooner or later. It's the circle of life.”

With that said, she returned upstairs and retired to her bedroom, slamming the door behind her.

The witches had their noses stuck in the ancient book Tirek had presented them. They read pages of detailed descriptions, accurate diagrams and old records and reports of giant robots, prone to destroy anything its master desired. They were equipped with weaponry so advanced that it left Reeka and Draggle scratching their heads. They were inconceivable yet also the ultimate tools for destruction.

Tirek tapped his fingers on the table as the witches continued reading on their couch. “The Sentinels,” he announced, “devised long ago by my ancestors, accomplished in every detail to hunt and kill any designated prey. Calculating, deadly and utterly emotionless. I firmly believe that this is the key to ridding us of the ponies for good.”

“So I don't get it.” Reeka said, snatching a black widow spider crawling on her shoulder and munching on it. “What does this have to do with us?”

Tirek smiled, delighted that she raised the question. “Because… according to what's written on the last page of the book, your dear mother, Hydia, holds the Scepter of Darkness, an essential artifact that my ancestors passed onto her before their passing. The Scepter of Darkness is required to open the sealed gates of the Shadowy Caverns, where the Sentinels have remained dormant for centuries. Inside there, the Crown of Darkness sits… and he who wears it commands the Sentinels to do his every bidding.”

Reeka laughed with ecstasy, bouncing on the couch and clapping her hands with excitement. Draggle was unsure of how to perceive this. Hydia remained still.

“Yeah! That sounds wonderful!” Reeka remarked. “Those Sentinels will teach those icky ponies a lesson or two! But Hydia… is it true what Tirek says? Do you have that Scepter of… um, Darkness somewhere?”

Hydia gave a firm nod but was in mood for rejoicing.

“Indeed.” Hydia replied sedately, giving Tirek a stony stare. “But know this. Your ancestors entrusted me with that scepter for well-kept reasons. After fulfilling many of their conquests, they later discovered that the Sentinels, quite unexpectedly, were acting on their own accord. Soon enough before it came to be realized, they no longer adhered to the one who wielded the Crown of Darkness. Fearing much for their own lives, your ancestors were fortunate enough to render the Sentinels dormant with the crown in time, and before long, they sealed them deep underground within the Shadowy Caverns, praying that no man, good or evil, would ever unearth them. I have protected and maintained the Scepter of Darkness safely since then I'll say that. But I have no intentions of handing it over.”

“And why do you say that?” Tirek asked, his fists clenching.

“Isn't it obvious? Because unleashing the Sentinels would jeopardize not only the ponies but us as well.” warned Hydia sternly. “You cannot control them, Tirek. Even with your vastest armies, your mightiest strength and your darkest magic, nothing will be able to stop them once they're awake. Even as a cold and heartless witch like myself for hundreds of years, I'm wise enough to know that.”

Tirek rose, pounding his fist on the wooden table, splitting it clean in half. He shouted in an uproar:

“NONSENSE! My ancestors were weak, foolish and ignorant! They didn't know better!” Tirek claimed, regarding himself far more intelligent and superior compared to them. “I, however, will possess every control of those Sentinels! They'll belong to me! And believe this Hydia, you wretched toad, if you do not deliver me the Scepter of Darkness now, I won't guarantee that I'll spare your lives!”

“Your words alone don't frighten us, Tirek!” yelled Hydia in return. “I could cast a spell right now and transform you into the tiniest feeble fly if I wanted to!”

Tirek snarled. He could have very well trampled Hydia under his hooves; yet little known fact was that he also loved making surprises, especially when it came to killing. Why waste the fun when he could take more enjoyment disposing of Hydia and her daughters later when they least expected it?

“Fair enough, dear Hydia,” Tirek calmed himself rather uncommonly, “you've made your point across clear. Perhaps I was a little impulsive with my sudden outburst. My apologies. I suppose if there's one thing that we can agree on together, it's not having a war spill out between us. And so for today, I shall say goodbye and bid you and your daughters farewell. Thank you for your time.”

He turned and quietly left for the exit, sending his final words:

“Have a pleasant evening, ladies. I know I will.”

A few hours had passed.

A tense Twilight and her group wandered in circles in the grass field in front of Megan's cottage. She wondered what would be the next best plan of action. Things weren't leaning towards her favor, for sure.

“I had a bad feeling we shouldn't have come back.” said Surprise with a doleful look on her face.

“Cheer up, Surprise.” suggested Posey. “Where's your optimism?”

“I must find a way to reach Megan.” said Twilight. “I won't leave without her.”

“Do you truly not know about what happened to Megan?” Firefly asked her. “Sounds like you have no idea.”

Twilight stopped on her tracks. “Of course I don't because NOBODY'S TOLD ME!” she snapped, scaring Firefly out of her skin.

“Twilight... let's calm down.” Applejack requested peacefully.

“It's not our fault for how Megan is acting now, Twilight.” Glory spoke. “We swear.”

Twilight sighed with regret. “I'm sorry, Firefly. I didn't mean to get worked up on you like that. Could you please shed some light on Megan for me? Sounds like there's a lot of background information I'm missing here.”

“Um,” hesitated Firefly, “okay, though I'm not sure if you're going to like it.”

Megan observed the ponies from her bedroom window. She saw them gazing up at her, and shut the curtains fiercely. No question she had grown a strong stubborn streak… yet how long could her stubbornness last before misery would sink in again?

Thanks to Twilight's tantrum, her favorite nightgown was now filthy and stained with mud. She was in desperate need of a new one. She let out a grumpy groan and marched to her wardrobe, swinging it open furiously. She browsed through her other gowns inside, pulling out one after another.

She reached the back of her wardrobe, finding nothing that pleased her. Though much to her surprise, she accidentally stumbled upon something familiar: an orange button shirt, a brown leather sleeveless jacket, a navy blue pair of jeans, a red hair ribbon tie, and just below, a dusty pair of cowgirl boots. It was her old cowgirl outfit she wore from the same day she met Firefly and experienced her first adventure in Ponyland. The sudden flashbacks rushed to her head again. It was one of the scariest yet blessed times of her life for certain. What she would do to get back those precious fond memories…

There was something else there, however. Attached to the button shirt was an old photograph taken from Megan's first camera, one she received as a present on her twelfth birthday. In the photo was Megan herself, posing together with her younger lively siblings: Danny and Molly. How much she missed them both.

A moment of warmth embraced Megan's heart, as she looked closer at the photo and remembered the best years she had spending time with Molly, especially. She wished that she were still with her now. She missed her so much that… it merely raised the question to mind:

“What would you ask me to do right now, Molly?”

Stillness. Megan went back to her window and withdrew the curtains, seeing that the ponies hadn't left yet. She hurried and retrieved her cowgirl outfit, seizing a pair of scissors from her drawer. Positioning herself in front of her mirror, she stared at her own reflection for a short period, asking herself if this was what she wanted to do, before snipping off a piece of her own hair.

“My gosh, that's terrible!” Twilight shook her head in unbelief, after hearing everything that Firefly had told her. “No wonder she's become so sour.”

Firefly looked away in pity. “Well, there you go, now you understand why some of us we're afraid of coming back here.”

Just then, the door of Megan's cottage opened. All eyes were set on Megan as she stepped out, dressed in her cowgirl outfit, which by miracle still fitted her perfectly. She had straightened and disentangled her hair, and now it appeared in a neat ponytail.

“Megan!” Firefly shouted with elation. “You're wearing your old clothes!”

Megan wiped the dirt off her sleeves and tidied herself, straightening up her shirt, jacket and jeans and adjusting her boots. And with a deep sigh of admittance and a clear voice, she announced:

“Okay, I've thought about it for a while… and I've decided to help. But know that I'm not doing this for you… or Twilight's future friends… I'm doing this for a special little girl...”

All heads turned to Twilight, who was staring at Megan soundlessly.

“Good enough for me.” she nodded confidently. “Let's go and find those witches!”

Spike and the ponies formed a circle, beckoning Megan to join them. The rainbow in the far distance was beginning to fade. Glory summoned her magic and within a second, they vanished and were transported away across the rainbow, the gateway to Ponyland.

Author's Note: By the way, that story mentioned about Megan being kidnapped by the witches isn't of reference to any episode from the original G1 cartoon. It's an event I threw in solely for the storyline's sake.

Please leave your comments below. They're much appreciated. Many thanks.