EPISODE 4: LEGACY
"Story time!" Pinkie pie jumped up and down extatically as the Doctor entered the room. Everyone was gathered to hear the Doctor; Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, and Spike all sat around the fireplace as the Doctor took his seat. It was already dark out, and the winter night surrounded the library. The smell of hot chocolate filled the air as the Doctor cleared his throat and smiled at the ponies in front of him.
"So," The Doctor commenced, "You all wanted to hear stories from my homeworld?"
"Oh yes, most certainly," Rarity replied, "It would be most interesting!"
"Yea," Applejack added, "Ain't never heard nothin' about yer planet."
"And you mentioned dragons before!" Spike retorted. The Doctor smirked, and closed his eyes. He was thinking as hard as he could, back to the time he still walked upon the surface of his home planet.
"I remember that old planet, Gallifrey. It lay in the constellation of Kasterborous, or the Seven Systems as it was also called." The Doctor cleared his throat, "The Shining World of The Seven Systems, it was known. Our planet was part of a binary system; imagine that, aye, two suns. It was here that my people, the Time Lords, lived and thrived. In the land of Wild Endeavour our mighty Citadel stood, watching over all of Time and Space. We swore never to interfere with the lives of others. We only watched over and protected. As a more privileged race we felt that we should treat the rest of the universe with extra care. I grew up, along with many other of my Time Lord friends, to become educated and proper. Even so, that didn't mean that I didn't have time to have a little bit of fun
The Doctor continued his story as the ponies listened intently. The Doctor brought up stories of great mountains, red grasslands, and silver trees that lit up with a bright fire with the morning sunlight. He mentioned the hermit of Mount Cadon and his stories of the Fendhal and the Great Vampires, and Time Lords of long ago. As his tale drew to a close the other ponies had fallen asleep. Even Spike, who had been waiting on stories of his kind across the stars, fell into a deep slumber. The Doctor sighed, and proceeded up the ladder to his usual spot near the observatory. As he heard the breathing of his new friends down below, he could help but think of the old days on Gallifrey; all those years oh so long ago. And it hurt to remember it. Those ancient old Time Lords, all his loved ones, were gone forever.
He was so absorbed in his thoughts he did not notice Twilight Sparkle had climbed up the ladder to meet him until he felt her head laying atop his back. He looked at her, visibly surprised, but resumed his staring at the winter world outside.
"Doctor, why are you so sad all the time?" Twilight Sparkle was mumbling, half asleep. "I remember hearing that you were the last
last of your kind. Is that why?"
"Sums it up a bit, yeah," The Doctor muttered, "It isn't easy being alone. Even then, the things I've done in the past still haunt me. Everything that happened, everything that can never be corrected bite at the corner of my mind. And it hurts; I can never be rid of those memories."
"Tell me about them." The Doctor hesitated at first, but proceeded with his story, this time with only a single listener.
"There was a war," He continued, "The Last Great Time War. It was my race against a new and hostile monstrosity of a race known as the Daleks. We fought endlessly through time, constantly trying to destroy the other. Our war not only disrupted our own timelines, but destroyed countless planets, extinguished countless races, and wrecked the very balance of space and time. I was a soldier in this war of madness. I don't think I can ever be the same after everything that transpired"
"I don't believe you were a soldier," Twilight said already dozing off, "I can't picture you as a fighting
" The Doctors eyes suddenly filled with tears.
"I killed them," He blankly stated, "I killed all of them. Not just the Daleks but the Time Lords as well. I didn't want to do it
but I had to. I had to put a stop to that madness. Hell was unleashed upon Gallifrey, and I had to send it back. And so I killed them; I destroyed Gallifrey and sealed off the Medusa Cascade. My whole race is constantly dying for all of eternity; all because of me. If I didn't end it then the Time Lords would have ushered in the Ultimate Sanction; the end of time. I couldn't let that happen. I know it had to be done, but I can never seem to forgive myself." The Doctor looked back at Twilight Sparkle, who had apparently fallen asleep. He forced a smile to cheer himself up, and then went back to staring at the stars. There would be another time to talk about death and forgiveness, the Doctor thought to himself. For now, he would enjoy the warmth that life had to offer.
The next morning Twilight Sparkle and her friends awoke to find that the Doctor had gone. His TARDIS was still in the same spot as usual, but when they went and knocked on the door he did not respond. They assumed that he was busy and decided to go on home. Twilight Sparkle, however, wanted to take a stroll down to the Marketplace; she needed to pick up some groceries anyway. Besides, it was a fantastic day out; the sun barely reflected off the snow covered ground, and here and there the voices of cheery ponies echoed about. The smell of cinnamon and apples was all about, and the best part was the marketplace itself. Even in the coldest of winters the marketplace was stocked with all kinds of fresh produce. She was just about to inquire on some excellent looking sandwiches when she bumped into a brown colored pony. At first she thought it was the Doctor, but upon closer inspection she noticed that their cutie marks were different.
"Oh, I do apologize," The Pony smiled, "I must have not known where I was going."
"Do I know you from somewhere?" Twilight Sparkle inquired, "You seem so familiar."
"Me? Oh, I've been all over the place. I'm sure you've seen me once or twice."
"I think I remember you from Cloudsdale! I saw you in the young fliers competition!" Immediately after Twilight Sparkle said that she was puzzled at her own statement. "But to be in that competition
where are your wings?"
"I-I-I think you have me confused with someone else," The Pony stammered.
"No, I know I have seen you somewhere!"
"You've never seen me before," The brown pony declared blankly, and slowly walked off. That was strange, Twilight Sparkle thought to herself. She knew that pony from somewhere; and it couldn't have been the one from Cloudsdale because he had no wings. Then why on earth did she compare the two? And why did that brown pony bare a cutie mark similar to the Doctor's? Groceries would have to wait, she thought to herself as she rushed back home. Something strange is going on, and the Doctor knew more about strange things in Ponyville than anyone else.
"Doctor!" Twilight Sparkle began knocking on the door of the TARDIS. Before she could complete the third knock the door swung open and she instead knocked on the Doctor's face. He held his muzzle in surprise as he fell backwards on his rump. "Oh I'm terribly sorry! Are you all right?" The Doctor said something whilst holding his nose, and it came out sounding as though he were trying to impersonate a young pony:
"Oh, fine, perfectly fine, I just got up early to fix up some rooms in the TARDIS and the next thing I know someone's knocking my face in." The Doctor got up on his feet and shook his head so that the feeling dissipated. "Now that I am thoroughly awake, what can I do for you?"
"Just something I wanted to talk to you about. Today I was going to the market place when I bumped into a stranger. I had seen him before, but where I had seen him I couldn't exactly tell. I never forget a face, Doctor, but this was a difficult one to determine. Not to mention he had a similar cutie mark as yours."
"Cutie mark," The Doctor asked, "what in the blazes is that?" Twilight Sparkle pointed to the symbol on his flank. "Oh, that thing is a cutie mark? I remember looking at it before. Why is it called a cutie mark? Wait, don't answer that; you said you saw a pony with one that looks like mine, right?"
"Yes, but it lacked the symbols and lines behind the hourglass."
"I thought these marks were supposed to be all unique"
"They are! It puzzles me that the marks were nearly identical." The Doctor thought for a moment, and then he looked at Twilight Sparkle sternly.
"I'm going to need every pony to look for this strange anomaly, and once we do we will discover the nature of this strange phenomenon. I'll need you, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack to accompany me in my own investigation of this matter; your knowledge will come in handy, and Rainbow Dash and Applejack will be the 'brawn,' so to speak." The Doctor did the usual routine of flipping switches and pressing buttons to prepare the TARDIS for takeoff. "We haven't a moment to spare!"
"Doctor," Twilight Sparkle cut in, "before we go
I remember what you were telling me last night. And, I just want to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry you had to do it." The Doctors hooves sagged to his sides, and he lowered his head. For a moment he stared at the controls in utter silence.
"We all have our regrets." The Doctor mumbled. Then, in a flash of joy, he smiled and flipped the final switch. "Allons-y!" Twilight Sparkle sighed and smiled nervously as she activated her magic for another trip.
Both Rainbow Dash and Applejack had just finished one of their 'friendly competitions' when Twilight Sparkle showed up.
"The Doctor wants us for another adventure? Count me in!" Rainbow Dash did several swirls in the air as Twilight Sparkle explained the circumstance of the confusion.
"I don't know, Dash," Applejack mumbled skeptically, "After what you pulled last time I don't think this here adventure is gon' be all stunts and show. Not sayin' you ain't capable of doin' nothin,' I'm just sayin' that this here Doctor bites off more than he can chew."
"Relax," Twilight Sparkle reassured her, "I was on one of these risky adventures too, you know; not to mention I was all by myself. The Doctor has a way of helping us in times of great need. I know he will keep us safe."
"I know you have yer trust in that ol' Doctor, but I ain't been around him enough to say for certain. Is he really that reliable?"
"I would never be asking you if it would kill you."
"If it doesn't kill me I'm all for it!" Rainbow Dash fluttered to the ground and grinned at the two ponies. "Well, what are we waiting for? The Doctor needs us!" The other two nodded and ran toward the TARDIS, where the Doctor had been waiting patiently.
"Took you three long enough," The Doctor mockingly scolded, "I thought I would age another hundred years just by waiting!"
"1,006 years doesn't sound all that bad now that you mention it," Rainbow Dash playfully sneered.
"Well I hate to be rainin' on yer parade, Doctor," Applejack interrupted, "but we still got something to be doin' right about now."
"Quite right," The Doctor agreed, and proceeded into the TARDIS. The others followed closely behind."
"So! Before I had Twilight here go and fetch you two I had her bring Pinkie Pie here, and I placed a communications device on her. The plan is that she will give Rarity and Fluttershy their own coms devices to give the location of the brown pony if she hasn't already. She was also to alert Fluttershy to take to the skies, but from what I heard that task will be
most difficult." The Doctor tapped on the screen several times, and then used his screwdriver to peck in a few keys on the keyboard. "Blast these hooves, they weren't made for typing
Ah, there we go! Pinkie Pie, do you hear me?" A small wave of static could be heard coming from the screen. Then Pinkie Pie's voice filled the room.
"Loud and clear, Doctor! I haven't spotted anything yet, but I do have some good news!"
"Alright, sounds wonderful! What do you have to report?"
"Gummy's next party is coming up in two weeks, and you're all invited!" The Doctor's smile went from being genuinely wide to awkwardly forced.
"Pinkie, I think the Doctor wants to hear about the mission." Rainbow Dash remarked.
"Oh, sorry; I haven't seen the brown pony with the hourglass cutie mark. Rarity and Fluttershy are both on the case as well, but Fluttershy is still unable to fly so high up. This may take a longer time than you think, Doctor."
just keep searching and tell me what you can uncover; over and out."
"Oh, sorry, I keep forgetting where I am. Talk to you later."
"Okee dokee, lokee!" The communications line went silent. The Doctor walked over and pressed a button on the keyboard and turned to face the three ponies.
"Well, Doc, what do you suggest we do here in the mean time," Applejack asked, "because I got a farm to help run."
"I'll need you keep all three of you here. This mission is of great importance, and if I can complete it any faster I would, but sometimes it takes a lot more than just rushing to get a job done." The Doctor leaned forward on the console, staring blankly at the many switches and knobs that adorned its surface. A brief moment of silence was brought forth, but Twilight Sparkle ended it by uttering a single phrase:
"You want to know if they're out here," Twilight Sparkle mumbled, "don't you?" The Doctor sighed and looked up at her. The silence continued as their eyes met.
Yes," The Doctor replied, "Yes, I want to know if there are Time Lords out here. I want to know if there are any of my people still surviving to this day. Is it so much to ask for, after all I've done?"
"No," Twilight Sparkle shook her head, "It's not too much to ask."
"Then you will let me do this. I'm sorry if I wasted your time. If you do not wish to help me I will not stop you from leaving. Just don't get in my way." The others turned to look at each other. They were helpless in coming up with a decision. Luckily they didn't have to wait long.
"Doctor, I don't know what all this is about, but you can rely on me to get the job done!" Rainbow Dash pounded a hoof on the grated floor.
"Ah heck, if Dash goes, I go," Applejack smiled, "ain't any way I'm gonna let her take all the credit!" The Doctor grinned, and then faced Twilight Sparkle. She looked nervously at the Doctor, then at Rainbow Dash, and then at Applejack.
"Oh fine, I'll go; but you better not be expecting to blame me anymore if something bad happens." The Doctor laughed, and so did the other two ponies.
While they waited in the TARDIS for any sign of the brown pony, Pinkie Pie was staking out the market place. People went about their own business, and so did she; Pinkie Pie was hopping about being, well, Pinkie Pie. She hummed enthusiastically as she pranced around in the snow, singing in her head about the winter holidays. It was during this joyful, peaceful time of day that Pinkie Pie caught sight of something strange. At first she noticed that the pony she had been told to wait for had begun fluttering down from the sky. He landed with a graceful motion, and looked about as if he knew he was being watched. Pinkie Pie immediately jumped into a nearby bush, watching as the pony paced back and forth in the marketplace.
"That's strange," She said to herself in a hushed voice, "The pony Twilight Sparkle described was an Earth pony
How can he be a Pegasus pony?" It was at this point that Pinkie Pie really found herself being confused. Out from behind one of the carts there came another pony; an identical pony. He was the pony that Twilight Sparkle described, the Earth pony. Were they twins? And if they were why do they have the same cutie mark? Pinkie Pie watched as they made a quick glance at each other, said a single set of words to each other, and then departed together. As they walked away she activated her communication device, as the Doctor had so called it. "Doctor! This is Pinkie Pie. I have the location of the targets!"
"Targets," The Doctor inquired, "I thought there was only one target."
"I found two ponies matching Twilight's description; they are heading toward the Everfree Forest!"
"I knew I've seen a pony like that before," Twilight Sparkle said in the background. There was a brief pause.
"Okay," The Doctor began, "I need you to follow those two ponies until you manage to find out where they're going, or until you lose sight of them. The comms device you are wearing doubles as a homing beacon, so if either happens I can reach you at that exact moment. Get Rarity to follow you, and have Fluttershy on lookout. Whatever you do, try not to lose track of those ponies!"
"Gotcha," Pinkie Pie whispered, "I'm on it." She turned off her communicator, which had been pieced together from junk the Doctor kept around, and turned the dial on the earpiece to receive another frequency. "Rarity, this is Pinkie Pie. I've picked up the location of the target
targets. They're heading toward the Town Square. Be advised; do not approach! Fluttershy, I need you to keep an eye on our behinds; we're following somepony's trail, not letting them follow ours." Both ponies acknowledged, and Pinkie Pie proceeded with the mission.
The two brown ponies kept their path, walking to the Town Square. They lingered there momentarily before they passed it, and then into the Everfree Forest. Pinkie Pie kept her position behind some nearby bushes, and Rarity kept her position behind the trees. Fluttershy kept an eye close to Ponyville to make sure they weren't being followed. The ponies walked ever so slowly, as if they were going to make conversation any minute. Even so, they did not make an effort to, and continued deep into the forest. Once they had reached a certain point Pinkie Pie activated her communicator. "Doctor," She whispered into her earpiece, "They're walking into pretty deep territory; I don't know what they're up to, but I can say that no pony ever goes this far in."
"Okay," The Doctor replied from the other end, "Just keep your distance and move forward. I just need to get a lock on their position."
"You need to get a flock on their perfection?"
"Just keep following them!" The Doctor yelled almost playfully.
"Okee dokee, lokee!" Pinkie pie crawled from bush to bush almost playfully, making sure to avoid any potential hazards along the way. She still remembered exactly what happened the last time she followed someone into the Everfree Forest
Regardless of that memory, she traveled onward, making sure to signal to Rarity and Fluttershy to follow her. The two colts suddenly did begin a conversation now, but neither Pinkie pie nor Rarity could make out a single word of it. Pinkie Pie did, however, catch the words "Time Lord" escape one of the pony's mouths. This only excited her, and she became determined to find out just exactly who these two ponies were.
The two brown ponies ventured even deeper into the Everfree Forest until they eventually reached a point beyond the forest where some of the trees looked like they had been burnt down. Around where these dead trees stood several saplings had already started to take root, and the smell of moist firewood hung over the air. In the center of this massive pattern of burnt trees and young plants was a massive crater, spanning at least forty feet in diameter. As Pinkie Pie and Rarity followed the two brown ponies they made their way across the massive crater all the way to its center. Here they stood, facing each other. They started to converse, but Pinkie Pie still could not make out a word of their conversation. Whatever it was that they were discussing they seemed to enjoy it, because they smiled after finishing their sentences.
Then, without warning, the two ponies began dissolving into the very air! Their particles then sank into the soil at the center of the depression. Pinkie Pie and Rarity stood with their mouths agape, not believing what they had just witnessed. Slowly Pinkie Pie reached up to her earpiece and pressed the button. "Doctor
I don't think I can even tell you what just happened."
"Did you lose sight of them?"
guess you can say that." The grinding sound of the TARDIS had already started to roar around her, and before she could tell what was happening the Doctor's capsule appeared right next to her. The Doctor's head popped out from behind a blue wooden door, and Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle soon followed.
"So, this is the place," The Doctor mumbled, "Well, can't say that a Time Lord can resist a bit of alien technology placed before them."
"I recognize this place." Twilight Sparkle tapped the ground with her hoof. "Isn't this where the Auton relay was?"
"Exactly; the only question now is where did all of their machinery go off to?" The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and began his search. His screwdriver buzzed its way across the soil, seeming to pull the Doctor along with it. He kept moving without any other word, and as he did the other ponies followed. The sonic screwdriver led him back into the trees along a path that had recently been cleared of all grass. It winded down through the trees, out into a smaller clearing, and into a large opening in a cliff that seemed to jut out of the ground so abruptly that it seemed artificially placed. The sonic screwdriver, however, turned up a negative on artificially lifted soil. "The trail goes down into this cave. I have a feeling that these two Time Lords have set up camp directly beneath the crater, but why? Why would you build a camp near such an exact location? Well, I mean, it makes things easier to find, but still
somehow it's just too obvious for a Time Lord."
"Maybe they just wanna be found is all," Applejack suggested.
"Perhaps," The Doctor nodded, "but that can be just as much a good thing as a bad thing. You never know what these Time Lords intend to do." The Doctor turned around to face all six ponies. "Right, here's what we need to do. Rainbow, Applejack, Twilight, I need you all with me. Fluttershy, Rarity, Pinkie Pie, I need you on guard. Make sure nothing happens to the TARDIS; we might need a quick escape, so get ready to start her up, Rarity."
"You can count on me, Doctor!" Rarity beamed.
"Right; you three, follow me!" The Doctor galloped into the entrance of the cave, followed closely by his companions. Twilight Sparkle felt a flood of dread at this precise moment, and with that she hesitated to enter.
"Something wrong, Twilight," Pinkie Pie asked with concern, "what is it?"
just a slight tingle is all." Twilight Sparkle followed everyone else into the cave, leaving her concern behind in the outside world. The Doctor would keep her safe, she told herself; he's always been there.
The cave was oddly damp smelling; a thick scent of perfumes and decaying wood filled the air. When the Doctor stepped into the main tunnel system he noted that the ground was scared with many different lines, almost as if something had been dragged inside. "That's what we were looking for, isn't it Doctor; the trail to the Time Lords."
"I hope so," The Doctor muttered, "To be horridly honest I don't feel all that confident myself." The Doctor used his sonic screwdriver to examine the indents in the rock floor, and then put the tool back in his coat pocket. "There are leftover particles of metal in these scars; this should lead us straight to them." He trotted forward, keeping an eye on the ponies behind him. The last thing he wanted was to be alone. The excitement boiled within him, but he desperately kept it down. He had been disappointed time and time again by the hope of a surviving Time Lord, and he knew better than to keep his hopes up.
They kept following the main tunnel to where they knew the crater was, and sure enough they came to a massive opening directly beneath it. It was a massive atrium of a room, decorated with all kinds of machine parts and pieces. Here and there were bits of Autons, partially torn apart from the blast that destroyed the relay. Rainbow Dash picked up one of the heads and stared into its hollow eye sockets. She dropped it, disgusted by its blankness, and kicked it lightly across the stone floor. "Never did like these things." She muttered in loathing.
The Doctor paid no mind to any of the technology; the only thing that fascinated the old Time Lord was a large metal circle that stood in the center of the crater. It almost stretched across the entire room, and it was adorned with Gallifreyan runes. The Doctor tried to make out some of the information written on the runes, but they seemed to be blocking his vision. The perception filter placed upon the runes was immense, almost overpowering. Someone didn't want the Doctor, or anyone for that matter, to find out what this device was.
Twilight Sparkle noticed several cobbled together machines in the corner of the atrium. What they could possibly be for she had no idea, but they struck her as fascinating. She approached one of the devices and placed a hoof on the metal surface. Immediately an image flashed in her mind; it was her dream from before: The figure she saw laughing. Its laugh filled her head to the point where she could not focus. As the laughter built up inside her mind the same notes played over and over again; a rhythm of four. Tap, tap, tap, tap, the tune played inside of her head. She collapsed to the floor holding her head in agony. The Doctor rushed over to her and held her in his embrace.
"What's wrong? Tell me what's wrong, Twilight!" The Doctor could only hear her repeating the number four under her breath. She kept saying it, but she had no control over what she was doing. The other two ponies rushed to her and could only watch in fear as their friend was stuck in a delirium.
"Yer not makin' any sense, Twi!" Applejack panicked.
"C'mon! Snap out of it, Twilight!" Rainbow Dash shouted.
"Doctor," an unfamiliar voice called, "Oh, Doctor." The Doctor turned to face an unknown Unicorn pony. It was covered from head to hoof in strips of cloth; a bandage of some kind covered its eyes. "How delightful I get to see you here, in this filthy world. You have no idea how long I have waited for you, Doctor. Countless days and nights, toiling to build from everything you took from me
but I prevailed." From behind the Unicorn pony the two brown ponies appeared. They were grinning, almost madly, at the Doctor. "Oh right, you still don't know who I am, do you Doctor? Perception filters, they're a must for any successful Time Lord. Perhaps this will refresh your memory." The pony attacked, using electrical magic to send a bolt of lightning straight at the Doctor. It impacted his chest, sending him flying into the stone wall.
"Doctor!" Rainbow Dash and Applejack both called out in spite of their shock. They lunged at the Unicorn pony, only to be blocked by the two brown ponies. Despite Applejack and Rainbow Dash being the two of the toughest ponies in Ponyville, the two brown ponies were tougher, and before they could react the brown ponies had them pinned down. Twilight Sparkle, still caught in her mental trap, could only watch in horror as the unknown pony continued to attack the Doctor. The look of pain was locked on his face as he tried to resist the attack. Finally the pony ceased his attack, and the Doctor lay there, breathing heavily. He tried to pick himself off the ground, only to have the pony resume his attack. The Doctor screamed in pain as lightning arc throughout his body. He finally fell to the ground, unresponsive, but still breathing. The rise and fall of his chest was weak, and Twilight, for the first time of her life, felt helpless.
"Oh, Doctor, you are far too trusting! And to think, it took you only a short while to befriend these indecent locals." The Unicorn pony walked over to the Doctor and kicked him in his side. The Doctor groaned, and turned to face the pony.
who are you?"
"I think we can both find out the answer to that
" The pony reached up and tugged at the bandage over his eyes. The cloth fell to the rock floor, and the Doctor's eyes filled with dismay. He coughed, reaching up with a hoof toward the unicorn.
I don't know how you survived
but we can still stop this. We can still-" The pony stomped on his ribs, and the Doctor uttered another cry of agony. Rainbow Dash and Applejack watched in terror and disgust, still being held down by the two colts.
"Use my name Doctor," The pony demanded, "say my name!"
" The Doctors head fell to the floor, completely exhausted of all energy. The Master slowly began to laugh, and the laugh broke out into a chortle. Eventually the Master cackled in such a maddening fashion that Twilight Sparkle had to push her hooves over her ears to keep from going insane. As the Master's crazed laughter echoed throughout the caves the Doctor lay on the ground, as helpless as the others
TO BE CONTINUED