Elementals of Harmony

by FanOfMostEverything

Chapter 1: Gathering Clouds

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It was a beautiful morning in Ponyville. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, and as a certain trio of florists could attest, the town had been mercifully crisis-free for almost two weeks now, ever since the Great and Powerful Trixie had returned to declare her undying love for Twilight Sparkle while under the influence of a staggering amount of poison joke.

Aside from Twilight still blushing furiously whenever somepony hummed "The Wedding March", things had returned to an enjoyable normalcy. Representing this glorious status quo, Ditzy Doo was merrily prancing to the Sugarcube Corner for her first muffin of the day. She even had a song for the occassion. "Muffins, muffins, roly poly muffins. Muffins, muffins, eat 'em up—" She then interrupted herself with a horrified gasp.

"Omigosh! What is it? Did Pinkie Pie find somepony she's never seen before? Wait... I'm Pinkie Pie. Silly unattributed dialogue!" Indeed, the resident party pony had emerged from the bakery, apparently summoned by the sound eerily similar to her own reaction to the mentioned scenario. "Oh, hi Ditzy! Your usual?"

The grey-coated pegasus slowly dragged her gaze from the Corner to Pinkie. To the earth pony's astonishment, both canary-colored eyes were unwaveringly focused on her. "Oh wow!" she cheered. "I don't think I've ever seen you underped!"

A brief twitch in one eyelid was all the acknowledgement Ditzy gave to that hated term. "Miss Pie," she said, "it is my lamentable duty to inform you that a miasma of a most worrisome nature and magnitude has settled around your home and place of business. I do not know how or why it came to be, but I assure you, nothing good will come of it."

Pinkie stepped out of the shop to investigate. Nope, same delicious-looking architecture as always. Still, she was hardly one to disregard mysterious, seemingly sourceless intuitions. "Are you sure? I don't see any miasma, and I'm almost positive we don't have any dead dwarves in the basement."

"It's probably invisible to most ponies." Seeing the frizzy-maned pony's confusion, the mailmare gave a self-deprecating smile, and her eyes gradually drifted out of alignment. Gesturing at them, she noted, "There's more to these than a killer chameleon impression, Pinkie."

This information was met with a delighted gasp. "Wow, you've got some kind of Ditzy Sense? That's so cool! I thought I was the only pony in the whole wide world that had that kind of ability! Well, me and my sisters. And Mom. And Granny Pie. And—"

"I think I get the idea, Pinkie."

"Well, anyway, the point is, we can be ESP buddies! Now all we need is an alien, a time traveler, a slider, an omnipotent Japanese schoolgirl, and a snarky narrator! Ooh! Do you think Twilight could be snarky enough? I'm sure she could make enough obscure literary allusions, and she's done lots of voiceovers when she's dictating letters to Princess Celestia!"

"Pinkie, this is serious!" The mailmare's eyes were focused again, as though to emphasize the point.

The other pony seemed to not quite appreciate this. "Can you do that at will or what? 'Cause at this rate, you're going to alienate at least half your fanbase."


Things finally clicked in that collaboration between M. C. Escher, Rube Goldberg, and Salvador Dali more commonly known as Pinkie Pie's brain. "Sorry, sorry. I just get so excited sometimes, it gets hard to stop myself, and before I know it people are accusing me of turning Rainbow Dash into cupcakes and I don't know where to even begin with that kind of recipe and—" Prompted by the increasingly impatient look on Ditzy's face, the bubblegum-coated mare interrupted herself by, as so many had silently asked her, sticking a hoof in it. It, of course, being her mouth. "Oo err fayin'?" she managed around the extremity.

"The point of the matter is this: Keep an eye out for any strange occurrences in the Corner. If my hunch is correct, do so especially at night, or in regards to your sanity."

Pinkie pouted indignantly "Hey, I'm plenty sane! I just choose not to use most of it." Her expression shifted to one of concern. "Wait, are Mr. and Mrs. Cake in danger? What should I tell them?"

The pegasus shrugged. "Right now, it doesn't seem to be doing anything other than making me worry. For the Cakes, I leave it to your discretion, but I don't think you should worry them over nothing. I admit, that could be exactly what I'm doing. Still, keep your eyes and ears open, and don't disregard anything that crops up on your Pinkie Sense."

"Well, that might be a bit of a problem," admitted the apprentice baker. "I'm kind of on the 'and it goes' end of things there." She looked back at her current home. "What does it look like?"

"You remember Nightmare Moon's mane and tail?"


"Something like that, but even darker and without the flecks of starlight."

Pinkie shuddered. "Ugh. I'm glad I can't see it. Thanks for the heads-up though, Ditzy."

"Celestia be with you, my friend." The mailmare crouched for takeoff.

"Wait! Aren't you going to get your muffin?"

Never had Pinkie Pie seen so serious an expression on the face of the normally happy-go-lucky pastry aficionado. "I never thought I would say this, but this is no time for muffins, Pinkie." With that, Ditzy Doo took to the skies, leaving an astonished ex-rock farmer beneath her.

As much as she wanted to more closely investigate the Sugarcube Corner, Ditzy had a job to do, and neither rain nor sleet nor ominous, soul-curdling energy buildup would keep her from her appointed rounds. In any case, her duties proved a boon, for the bakery was far from the only place in Ponyville exhibiting a strange aura. Visiting every house in town proved a convenient way of bringing each such building to her attention. Once she had completed her route, the underlying pattern was obvious: A building bore an anomalous aggregation if and only if it was the residence of a bearer of an Element of Harmony.

Once she determined this, it led to a hunch too compelling and worrisome to ignore. Thus, it had to be tested. That night, after tucking in Dinky, Ditzy made her way up to her attic. The storage space was filled with mementos of a life she'd hoped she was done with. "You were right," she muttered to nopony in particular, "you can't ever really get away from it, no matter how hard you try."

Once she found the specific item she'd been looking for, she made her way to the Everfree Forest. What she had in mind would by no means be easily overlooked, but if she did it here, it would hopefully be dismissed as just another inexplicable occurrence in the uncontrollable wood.

Setting herself on a feral cloud, Ditzy took a moment to contemplate the implement she'd brought with her. By most accounts it appeared to be nothing more than a common headband, easily donned given a bit of hoof-wing coordination. What made it stand out was the muffin projecting from the center. Aside from its innate incongruity, the baked good was carved from stone and attached to the cloth by a circular band of steel. But, as the pegasus well knew, no Equestrian geologist would be able to say precisely from what manner of stone the lifelike pastry was carved.

Given that, Ditzy's thoughts began to wander to her own strange qualities. Obviously, she was a very unusual pegasus. Once she went above a certain altitude, she lost all sense of direction, as she'd demonstrated in almost every past Winter Wrap-Up. (Though she had to wonder, why exactly did she keep getting assigned to migratory bird retrieval?) She lacked the effortless grace of many of her kin, especially when it came to not dropping things on the flightless. (She swore she'd never let her cousin talk her into helping his moving company again.) And for whatever reason, she was simply more comfortable on the ground than in the clouds, something for which she'd become quite thankful since Dinky's birth. That her daughter was a unicorn had come as little surprise to her, and not just given the girl's father.

As with so many things, it came back to Ditzy's eyes. While they wandered in their sockets like bored foals if she didn't force herself to focus, they made up for it by seeing things that other ponies simply couldn't. It had taken her years to realize that not everypony in Cloudsdale could see the shining barriers under each hoof that kept them from falling through the clouds, or how they were a different color and shape than the ones supporting the rare unicorn or earth pony visitor. She'd been the only member of her class in flight school to be dazzled not just by a legendary Sonic Rainboom, but the prismatic glow that attended Rainbow Dash's flanks in the minutes after her cutie mark appeared. (And explaining that that was the reason she'd been staring at said flanks had been an ordeal in and of itself. Suffice to say, she could confirm that the rumors regarding Dash's sexuality were just that.) As for when she'd gotten her own cutie mark... Well, glowing flanks were the last thing on her mind at the time, and for very good reasons.

Ah yes, her bubbles. For what was a bubble? (A tiny part of her mind suggested in Pinkie Pie's voice, "A miserable pile of lipids.") Clearly foam had little to no bearing on her job or personal life. But as with many cutie marks, there was a deeper symbolism there. For though Ditzy Doo couldn't keep track of north or south, there were stranger dimensions that came far more intuitively to her. If she lacked a certain degree of dexterity with hooves, that didn't mean she did not possess a stunning agility in more cognitive and arcane maneuvers. No, her bubbles were not envelopes of soap and air, but time and space. Fragile things, yes, but only in comparison to the rapacious medium in which they floated. For the day she earned her cutie mark, when she saw the orbs that defined her flank and her soul, she learned of her true nature. Her one-in-a-trillion kinship with something greater than Cloudsdale, Ponyville, or Equestria as a whole. A horrible blessing, an awesome curse, a destiny known only as...

With a shake of her head, the mailmare realized that she was woolgathering, trying to put off what she'd come here to do. In any case, she could see magic, even manipulate it to a degree beyond her winged heritage. With the muffylactery she'd brought with her, she could work spellcraft with far greater ease than normal. Both despite and because of the Everfree's fearsome reputation, she wanted to take as little time as possible in this endeavor. With practiced motions, she tied it into place, the stone muffin lying on the exact point on her head where a horn would were she a unicorn. With that, she focused her conscious mind on the arcane processes of the spell even as she let her memory continue to wander. It lingered on the lush growth of Sweet Apple Acres. It fondly regarded the accumulations of cloudstuff that made up her hometown. And most importantly for what she was attempting, it recalled an endlessly winding river in a world that perhaps only a handful of others in all of Equestria might ever even know of, much less see for themselves.

As Ditzy drew from these recollections, the muffin on her forehead began to glow with an azure luminescence that brought to mind the sky at high noon. With an utterance somewhere between whinny, shout, and song, she brought her forehooves together. Before her there appeared a massive, brilliant sphere of the same hue as her muffylactery's light.

This orb vanished like a popped soap bubble, leaving behind an equally large being of vastly more surreal countenance. The creature resembled nothing more than a huge fish with feathered wings instead of pectoral fins. In place of a tail, it continually shed that selfsame sky-blue energy in the form of thousands of luminous birds.

As this bizarre creature seemed to contemplate Ditzy, and she it, this shedding began to spread across the thing's form, becoming a full-fledged dissolution. Fluorescent flocks freed themselves from the flying fish, flapping for futile, fleeting moments of freedom before fading to nothingness themselves. The fish, oddly, seemed not to mind this avian decomposition, continuing to gaze as inquisitively as a fish could at its summoner until it could gaze no more.

As the last vestiges of the mulldrifter evanesced, Ditzy gave a weary sigh. Her brief communion with the thing, the very idea of careful contemplation given flesh, had made much clear to her. She now knew precisely why the strange buildup of magical energies was taking place around each Element's bearer. More importantly, she now knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was the only being in Equestria with the knowledge, the ability, and the muffins necessary for addressing the situation before it came to a catastrophic head.

Taking off for home, she summarized her reaction to this knowledge in a single sentence. "It's a good thing that tomorrow's Sunday."

Ditzy Doo, Perception Adept 1UU
Planeswalker — Ditzy
+2 - Look at the top card of each library.
-2 - Creatures you control gain hexproof until the beginning of your next turn.
-7 - You get an emblem with "You may look at the top card of your library at any time." and "Your opponents play with their hands revealed."

Next Chapter: Plans Making Contact Estimated time remaining: 6 Hours, 16 Minutes
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