By: The Polecat
Recursion - the act or process of returning or running back.
"In the beginning…"
"Well, your credentials seem good." The heavyset stallion noted, looking over the resume on his solid oak desk.
"I worked for 3 years in Baltimare delivering the mail," The filly answered, smiling warmly.
"Well, we're a small town here in Ponyville, you'd be doing the deliveries alone."
"I came out here to get away from the big city, sir. It won't be a problem" She answered simply, using a hoof to brush a bit of her pale blonde mane from her eyes.
"Any medical problems we need to know about?" Uh oh… this was the part she was worried about.
"I have a problem with my eyes," she admitted, "I can work around it."
"What sort of problem?"
"I… well" she stumbled a little bit. Even after all these years it was difficult to explain, "My eyes don't always work… together as they should."
"Walleye?" he asked carefully.
"Yes sir. I spent some time in Baltimare trying to get it fixed, but the doctors weren't able to help. Finally I just needed to get out of the big city and Ponyville was just the place." She answered simply.
"Will it affect your work any?"
"It can sometimes give me depth perception problems, but if I pause a few moments and focus I can straighten myself out." She shrugs, the light grey filly flicking her wings slightly.
She shook her head, "Divorced." She answered simply.
"Any foals from it?" he asked simply.
"No, no children." She fought hard to keep from expressing the pain she felt inside whenever she was asked this question. Inevitably she remembered the foal she had, a beautiful little unicorn she'd named Dinky. But the foal never survived the week. It had crashed her into a depression that lasted years, which in turn lead to the end of her marriage.
The stallion grunted as he considered the information, he was making his decision. A cold prickling sensation ran up her spine, one she was long familiar with as her eyes "slipped", the wall-eyed expression that had earned her the nickname "Derpy" when she'd been a foal. But few knew the reality of what she could actually see when it happened.
In one eye, she saw the stallion come around the desk, "I'm sorry ma'am, you're just not what we're looking for."
In the other eye he came about the desk as well, but offered her a huge smile, "Welcome to the team Ditzy Doo." And grabbed her hoof to shake it.
Carefully she waited, earning a slightly confused expression from both stallions, until one started to fade, and her eyes focused on the one that was the "real" present that was actually happening, which she responded by shaking the stallion's hoof in return, beaming happily.
"I won't let you down sir!"
"I think we've been here before."
Ditzy yawned widely as she climbed out of bed. Unlike most pegasai, she'd chosen to live with her hooves on the ground. Call it habit, she'd spent 5 years married to a unicorn after all. She wandered to another room and started to pour herself a strong drink, pausing only to look at the mark on the cup.
"Looks like I got his mug." She mused, "I'm not Ditzy Hooves anymore… just Ditzy Doo." She reminded herself before downing the thick drink and heading to the front room. She'd managed to get a good pattern down, and essentially lived in what could only be considered the Mail Center of Ponyville. It was a simple home, but she had a second "entrance" to a small stall-like area where ponies could drop off their letters in a variety of slots, or simply put packages down. Her usual routine would be to spend the morning sorting the mail, then the afternoon delivering it all.
She nosed her way into her "office", as she jokingly called it, and looked around, checking the various slots, pulling out the letters there and setting them down on a table she kept nearby. She'd been doing this for 6 months now, and found the job agreed with her.
"Looks like a light load today," she mused, but something odd caught her eye. She leaned closely to look at the letter, and realized what it was, "Didn't I deliver this already?"
The confusion only continued to mount when Ditzy went out onto her deliveries, that strange sense of Deja-vu hounding her. She kept craning her head around to try and notice little things out of place. The Apple clan reunion for one. They were supposed to be wrapping that up yesterday, climaxing with the big Celebration of the longest day. The were ponies mulling about with barely contained excitement for the "Summer Sun Celebration" once more. Hadn't this already happened? Then there was the oddest part, the letter she herself had to deliver from Canterlot to Mayor Mare, informing her of a new pony to stay in the nearly abandoned town library. A letter direct from the Princess!!
But that happened already. Ditzy was sure of it, everything that had happened was happening again today. Could she warn someone about Nightmare Moon? The whole "longest night" thing? The fact that Twilight Sparkle, this "new pony" in the letter she just delivered, would soon will lead 5 other town ponies against the Nightmare and win?
Was it even possible? One possibility always came out ahead when she saw things like this, but she was LIVING it a second time! Ditzy wasn't sure what was happening, but decided to watch for now. She didn't know what was going on, but what if something changed? What if Nightmare Moon didn't come, or worse, what if she wasn't defeated? The thoughts made her head swim and sent a shudder through her.
Then, she saw it. The first thing that'd changed since yesterday. It was minor, but it was obviously there. Everyone in town knew Pinkie Pie, it was hard not to. The hyperactive pink bundle of energy was always around… but as that familiar sensation crept over her, she watched not one, but TWO Pinkie Pie's moving about. One was hopping contentedly down the main street of Ponyville, enjoying the time off for the celebration. The other was going to Sugarcube Corner, seemingly intent on putting in a shift at work.
That wasn't what bothered the grey pegasai, she was used to seeing possibilities split off like that. The problem was one of them wasn't fading. From what she could see, the BOTH existed fully right before her, she could even hear the tuneless singing from one of the Pinkies as she wandered close. Ditzy put her hooves to her head, forcing herself to focus, that always worked before…
But it didn't. She could tell which one was "now", but both still where there. A thought suddenly struck the mail-pony; how would Pinkie meet the new pony if she was working in the bakery today??
Ditzy rushed through the rest of her deliveries, which wasn't too hard after having done it before. But she had to figure this out, even as she rushed back to the center of Ponyville. She arrived just in time to see Twilight Sparkle and her little dragon assistant… what's-his-name… Spite? Spit? Slight?
"Okay Spike, let's get this over with." She could hear the lavender unicorn pronounce, pausing to shake out some of her deep indigo mane with the pink stripe in it.
"Summer Sun Celebration, Official Overseer's Checklist: Number one:…" the purple dragon started, green accent scales offsetting nicely in the afternoon sun.
"Banquet Preparations, Sweet Apple Acres." Twilight stated, and started to walk one way.
"No… Music!" Spike corrected, causing the unicorn to do a double take and rush back over as if you check.
"But… that can't be right…" she stammered, as if confused.
"You still on that weird dream Twilight?"
"But it was…. It had to be…."
"Yeah, like YOU would ever defeat Nightmare Moon." He all but laughed at the pony, "That's just an old pony-tail, Twilight, and you were just dreaming. Like a bookworm like you could ever do that anyway."
The lavender unicorn deflated as she looked at Spike, then heaved a resigned sigh, "Yeah, I guess you're right. Let's get going…." and started to follow the purple dragon. Above them, the grey pegasus watched this play out in one eye… and the other she saw the lavender unicorn meet Pinkie for the first time, who dashed off at hyper-speed. This left Twilight and Spike shrugging in confusion before they started headed towards the orchards. Ditzy shook her head, this was a BIG change!
"First up, a unicorn named Lyra." Spike announced, as the duo stood just outside a modest looking shop with a harp looking sign over the door. The duo of Spike and Twilight Sparkle both stood at the door for a moment before the unicorn dipped her head.
"Let's get this over with." Twilight sighed and nosed her way into the shop. Ditzy flew to the other side, peering carefully into the window from the closest thing to an unseen position she could find. Thankfully most everyone else had their own things to do today.
"Good afternoon, my name is…." A loud brassy note interrupted the unicorn, momentarily deafening both baby dragon and unicorn alike.
"No, that doesn't work at all." An unseen voice pronounced and the horns floated over to the wall as another pair floated over.
"Excuse me…" Twilight started, only to be drowned out by these new horns going off, sending poor Spike tumbling head over heels.
"No." the owner noted, and floated the new horns back over to the wall. "It needs to be… warmer." The owner of the voice mused as she trotted out to where Ditzy could see her. A mint green unicorn with a pale blue mane streaked with white.
"Excuse me…" Twilight tried again.
"One moment." Came the curt answer, the other unicorn not even looking at her guests. Her horn glowed again, a pair of heavily curled French horns floated over to her. She considered them for a moment, then puckered her lips and blew into one horn, the second horn matching it immediately. The small store filled with warm brassy notes as the unicorn ran through what sounded like a royal introduction.
"Oh wow…" Twilight noted as the other unicorn seemed to nod to herself.
"I'll have to rewrite part of that, but I think those will do." She noted, then turned around to face Twilight, "Now then, are you here for lessons?
"Lessons? Uh no. Sorry, Let me introduce myself. I'm Twilight Sparkle, and I was sent from Canterlot to check in on the preparations for tonight's Summer Sun Celebration." The lavender unicorn finally managed to get out.
"Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't realize the Princess sent an official representative!"
"I'm just checking on the music. It sounded quite lovely."
"Once I could hear again." Spike grumbled.
"Well thank you, but it still needs some work. I wrote it thinking the horns would be the instrument to use, but when I actually tried it they were just too…"
"Loud?" Spike supplied.
Twilight shot her companion a sharp look, but the other unicorn continued, "It just didn't have the sound I wanted. I HAVE to get this JUST so. Oh! I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Lyra. I'm the music instructor here in Ponyville, and I sell instruments from my little shop here." The unicorn posed proudly.
"It's… a nice shop." Twilight managed.
"You really should try an instrument, I'm sure you would just love the lessons. We can start right now!"
"Um, no thanks. I still have to check on the other preparations."
"Well then, we'll just have to schedule them later." The green unicorn grinned, "Now let's see… what sort of instrument would suit you. Fiddle? Mandolin? No… too country. Maybe a nice…." And Lyra trailed off as Twilight and Spike looked at each other, then made a break for the door.