The realm of Equestria is filled with countless tales, as varied as its countless candy-colored equine inhabitants. They lead a nearly limitless number of possible lifestyles.
One might be a stoic cellist, bearing the misfortune in life of having already seen roughly twenty-three other mares looking exactly like her, barring coat or mane colors. She might be wondering why on earth they all look the same. Were they all like her, or was she like all of them? This, in turn, leads her to question the very nature of her existence and wonder if she is, in fact, a figment of their imaginations. She ultimately decides that the best course of action is to drink on it. Maybe add another drink to that. And another. Oh, maybe one more. She lost count. Ah well, back to one!
Another might be a fairly quiet grape-grower and lover of fine wine. Unlike the above pony, she doesn't have any major philosophical problems on her mind, other than the usual "If I have five bits and a bottle of wine is eight bits" mathematics problem. Occasionally, due to low grape prices in her hometown, she might drag a cart to the nearby capital to sell her wares and just so happen to meet our friend the stoic cellist. In an effort to cheer up her new friend, that night they enter a respectable-looking tavern and have some wine, and some more wine, and some more
"Ahhh, don't-don't worry 'bout yer clones," she says warily as she concentrates on pouring more wine into a glass. "Y'know what they are? Buncha goddessdamn talking ponies, that's what they are. Whoa
hey, YOU'RE a talking pony! Geta-getaway from me, talking pony. I ain't no talking pony, I'mma
She looks at her hooves, and her eyes widen in shock.
"Sweet Celestia! I'M a talking pony!"
But the main protagonist of this tale is a witty and charming unicorn socialite. At first glance, you'd be hard-pressed to find much that's wrong with her pretty, healthy, and wealthy to boot. As a newfound member of a noble class she'd been aching to get into since she was a filly, admittedly there are few problems this unicorn actually has. Nevertheless, ponies are ponies if they can't complain about where to find their next meal or even about finishing their day's tasks before sundown, they will complain about the dirt on their hooves, or about the lack of a nice champagne.
Though she doesn't get a champagne, she does meet two seemingly nice ponies (although one seems rather morbid) and, ponies being the friendly creatures they are, joins them for a drink.
"Oh, this wine is simply heavenly darling, you must tell me how you knew about this place
"What's that? You don't have enough for a bottle? It's fine, my dear! This one's on me
"So many other ponies like you? Darling, Berry's she's right. Let me tell you something, m'dear! You're
you're the only Octavia I know, annnnd that's a fact. You're a great cellist and-and friend
"BARTENDER! DRINKS! FORRRR! EVERYPONYYYY! WAAAAHAHAA!!"
Usually, Rarity liked sunshine well enough. She didn't enjoy it quite as much as some ponies, as she was normally holed up inside her home and business, the Carousel Boutique, brainstorming new fashion ideas or selling her current designs. Today, however, she held a particular bout of loathing for it
her head was pounding from the night before. How she managed to get back here, or even why she bothered, she didn't know. All she knew was that she'd feel a heck of a lot better if the blasted sun would get out of her window!
"Oh, Celestia! Why must your sun be so bright
?" Rarity grumbled, grimacing as she turned her head away from the window. As the bright lights cleared away moments later, Rarity slowly opened her eyes, this time facing away from the sunlight. The room seemed neat enough, about how she normally left it. The only thing out of place was a golden dress with matching bows carelessly tossed onto the floor, along with a teal hat complete with peacock feathers.
Really, Rarity? You're so exhausted that you cannot bother to clean up after yourself before bed? She shook her head in disgust as her horn began glowing, moving both dress and hat into her nearby dresser, neatly hanging the dress up and placing the hat on a shelf just above it.
Rarity proceeded to the bathroom, head pounding. How much did I drink? I had one, two, maybe three glasses of wine
and then I lost count. It's a good thing that was a Friday night.
She stood in the mirror now, examining herself critically.
Indeed, I look simply awful. My mane is ridiculously ruffled, I still look positively plastered, my body is invisible
"Wait. M-my body! Where's my body!?"
Rarity looked down, and at last realized that she currently consisted of a head, mane, and some neck. The rest of her appeared to have vanished into nothingness! But how could that have happened? She couldn't have done anything to herself! She didn't know any magic for this sort of thing! The only other possibility was...
The floating unicorn head galloped back to her bedroom window, ignoring the painful throbbing of her head as sunlight bore down upon her. Her horn glowed, and her window shot open so she could stick her head out into Ponyville.
"Everypony, come quick ! Something terrible has happened! I'm DEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!"
And so another perfectly normal day in Ponyville began.
"So, Rarity, let me get this straight: You saw your body was invisible and you thought you were dead."
"Isn't it awful!?"
"It IS awful! The most beautiful unicorn in Equestria is dead!"
"I know, Spike! The horror!"
"Rarity, you are not dead."
"Land's sakes, Twilight! If Rarity says she's dead, she's dead! Ah'm sorry ye had t' go like that, sugarcube
"I don't believe Rarity's dead, either." Pinkie Pie turned to her friends Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, and Spike, all of whom were in various states of grief. "If she were dead, that means that she's a ghost! And I've tried giggling at her for five minutes now, and she won't go away! So, she can't be a ghost and therefore she's not dead!" The pink earth pony drew herself up proudly, like a scientist just proving the theory of relativity.
"Unless... she's a zombie!?" Spike fearfully backed away from the distraught and possibly undead unicorn.
"A zombie!?" Rarity wailed. "But darling, they're simply hideous! They're all decayed, and they eat nothing but brains!" This revelation was more than she could take. Her horn glowed once more, and a short red chaise lounge with fluffy pillows slid across the floor towards her, stopping only when she could jump on it, crying, "Whyyyy, Celestia, why-hy-hy-hyyyyy
yes, Twilight?" Rarity immediately ceased her dramatic tearful display.
The irritated purple unicorn walked slowly over to the chaise lounge. "Alright, first of all, ask yourself: Are you breathing?"
"Are. You. Breathing." Twilight replied in monotone.
Rarity paused for a moment, finally registering that her lungs were, in fact, moving air through her nostrils.
"Oh." She said simply.
"And second," Twilight added sternly, "why do I see an indentation on your sofa?"
"Chaise lounge, darling."
"Whatever! Look! There's a depression on it where your body would be laying down!"
Rarity blinked, and looked down at where her figure normally lay. Sure enough, there was a slight indentation on the couch, as though a weight were pressing down upon it.
I'm not dead, then." Rarity said happily. "Oh Twilight, that's such a relief!" She smiled warmly at her friend. "I can be such a drama queen sometimes."
"Sometimes?" Applejack, an orange earth pony with a cowpony hat, smirked at her half-invisible friend.
"Oh, alright, all the time," Rarity admitted with a laugh, still quite relieved.
"But since she's not dead," Pinkie added quizzically, "What's happened to her body? Why's it invisible?"
"I might have an idea," Twilight replied, pacing back and forth. "I remember coming across it a few times in my readings. There's a spell out there that allows a unicorn to turn another pony invisible. It's fairly tricky, though. You see," she said, her voice taking on a more enthusiastic tone, "Visibility is all about being able to see colors. If I can see Rarity's white coat, I can see Rarity. If I can't see Rarity's white coat, then I can't see Rarity. Therefore, the way to make another pony invisible is by taking away their colors. The unicorn who did this to Rarity took away Rarity's coat and tail coloring, leaving her without any visible color. With no colors, we have an invisible unicorn."
"Then why's her head still showin'?" Applejack asked.
I don't know," Twilight answered. "It is a tricky spell, though. You're removing the colors of the pony's mane, the coat, and the cutie mark over the entire pony. Even if you have a great swath of one color, you still need someplace on which to store all the color you've just removed. Usually, all this color is then layered atop the colors of another pony. That means that all we need to do," the purple unicorn finished with a confident smile, "is find the pony whom the spell was cast upon and reverse it!"
"Wait a sec, ah think ah see th' problem here." Applejack frowned. "Rarity, you don't remember a thing 'bout last night, do ya?"
define 'remember', Applejack
" Rarity's voice trailed away.
"Oh, good gravy." Applejack's left hoof came to a rest against her forehead. "Twi, ah think we'd have better luck jus' paintin' her like the side of a barn."
"I brought crayons!" said Pinkie cheerfully, digging in her poofy pink mane for a moment before removing a surprisingly large box of crayons.
"No! Get those crayons away from me!" Rarity hurled herself over the side of her drama lounge, eyeing her two earth pony friends suspiciously. "Stay back! I have pillows, and I'm not afraid to use them!" The cushions of her chaise lounge floated menacingly before her. Spike came to her aid, the small dragon hustling forward before turning about in front of his crush, grabbing a floating cushion and brandishing it like a soft rock.
"Girls! Nopony's coloring anypony," Twilight said firmly. Rarity's cushions fell back onto the lounge. "Rarity, you were in Canterlot last night, and you had a few drinks. We also know there were two other ponies with you. Is that all you remember?"
I recall there being quite a bit of wine," Rarity offered.
" Pinkie thought for a second. "Oh, hey!" She bounced up and down excitedly. "Berry Punch likes wine! She said earlier yesterday she was going to sell her grapes in Canterlot! Too bad I'd already bought some grapes earlier so I could make jam. I told her my toast had been so dry, and I'd tried everything else!"
"Berry Punch?" Rarity's face brightened. "Yes! I remember that name! I ran into her and another pony that night. If we hurry, Berry might still be there!"
Berry Punch awoke with a faint groan, finding herself lying on some paved cobblestones. Mostly upper-class ponies walked past her. A majority of them ignored her, turning up their noses at her disheveled state, but a few kinder souls stopped to place a bit or two next to her formerly sleeping self.
"Urgh." The purple earth pony managed as she rolled over. She was thankful that at least her head had been resting on something soft. As she turned, it appeared to be long and white with a long, straight, deep purple tail.
Suddenly, the memory of last night clicked into place. "Omigosh! Rarity! I'm sorry. I had no idea you were
" her voice trailed off as her eyes fell upon a bright blue treble clef cutie mark. "my
" Octavia stirred, rolling to her hooves and slowly getting up. "What
"Um..." Berry Punch had dealt with these nights before. Waking up on the cobblestones or perhaps on a cart wasn't all that new to her, and she knew what to do. Usually, you just brushed yourself off, got up, maybe got a drink of water, and moved on. Sometimes, like today, things weren't so simple. "Now, Octavia
" she began diplomatically. "You may notice a few changes about yourself this morning, but the important thing to remember is
"Don't panic? Don't panic!? What happened to my body?" Octavia ignored the stares of curious passers-by, glaring at the purple earth pony.
"Dunno," Berry said bluntly. "All I can tell you is we had a hay of a night last night, and we'll never remember it."
"Oh, THAT'S reassuring," the cellist snapped sarcastically. "I'll never remember how I completely changed my coat and mane colors!"
"Except your head, but look at it this way. You were complaining before that you were just another pony in the crowd, right? You're not now."
Octavia paused. "You remembered what I said last night?"
"Of course. I wasn't drunk when you were telling me your problems. You said you'd seen so many ponies like you that you weren't sure that you were you. This is a good way to, ahh
" Berry waved a hoof vaguely in the air.
"Gives a good story to tell the fillies?" Octavia said coolly, quirking an eyebrow.
"Exactly! A great ponytale."
"I don't see what manes have to do with
oh ha, ha, Berry Punch. I bet you were just sitting on that pun, weren't you?" The white-and-grey mare shook her head at her grinning friend.
"Hey, you think any of those other Octavia wannabes did anything like this? Not a chance."
"Heh." The cellist couldn't help a small smile. "No
no, I guess not. You've got me there." She frowned curiously. "And yet it's more than that. I suppose if it were a matter of just coats and manes, then I should feel silly right about now. However, the look-alikes I've seen all play musical instruments. One plays the violin, another likes playing a trumpet, and I've seen one in Manehattan just sitting in a park, strumming a guitar."
"So this is about talent, then, not looks."
Octavia shrugged. "The looks didn't help."
"You're still unique. Any of those other ponies play the cello?"
"What?" Octavia looked surprised. "Well, no, but"
"Then why are you complaining?" Berry Punch quirked an eyebrow.
Octavia opened her mouth, thought for a moment, then closed it again, still pondering. She nodded slowly, saying, "Though we might have similar special talents, nopony can actually replace my talent, or me. I should've seen it before. Thank you, Berry."
"Not a problem. Hey, you remember Rarity from last night?"
"The white unicorn? Why?"
"You're colored exactly like her. I think finding Rarity would be a good start to getting you out of this mess."
"Everypony, I've been doing some thinking."
"Yes, Rarity?" Twilight glanced over her right shoulder at her mostly-invisible friend. To hide her 'condition', Rarity she wore a long green dress with darker stripes towards the back and yellowish bands around the midsection one of her 'Four Spectrum Fashion' designs, complete with a plumed green top hat. Green wasn't usually her color, but as time was of the essence, it would suffice.
Rarity glanced over the side of their chariot as it sped off toward Canterlot. "I realize I'm fine, but supposing I actually HAD
"That seems kind of morbid," Twilight said slowly. "Where's this coming from?"
"It's just that I'm reminded of my own mortality, darling! I won't live forever. What would you say on my behalf as the dearly departed, hmm?"
"I'd say that you were a wonderful friend and I'm glad to have met you," Twilight said without skipping a beat.
"Awww! I'd say the same thing," Pinkie Pie added.
"Yer also pretty generous, givin' us new clothes or fixin' th' ones we already got."
"That's it?" Rarity's frown deepened. "THAT'S all you can say about me? 'Oh, she's just somepony who's good with a needle and thread'? I
" She caught herself. "Ahh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it that way. I just
I enjoy my line of work, I really do. And I'm grateful for knowing every one of you," she added, smiling sincerely at all of them. "But when I go, I'd like to leave behind... a legacy. Something ponies will remember me by."
"But Rarity, you're already on two painted glass windows in Canterlot Castle," Spike pointed out.
"An' given that both o' them were put up in only a year, ah reckon by the time we're old mares that place'll be renamed 'The Hall o' the
'" Applejack stopped, placing a hoof on her chin. "Hey, what would we be called? As a whole group, ah mean."
"Ooh! Ooh! How about the 'Pinktastic Ponies', featuring Twilight Sparkle?" Pinkie asked excitedly, bouncing up and down on the chariot.
"That's not what I mean, either! Ponies won't remember us separately that way. They'll just remember the
the 'Superb Six' who go about casting rainbow pony magic at demons." Rarity shook her head. "They don't know us as individuals. If they did, I should think that the nobility at Canterlot would have recognized me a lot sooner than just a few weeks ago."
"To be fair, you guys did act pretty quick," Spike chimed in. "Neither Nightmare Moon nor Discord actually got to do anything for more than a few hours. Just shows how good you all are."
"Well, duh. Can you imagine if it took us weeks or months to re-petrify meanieface Discord? I'd have us fired for that!" Pinkie said indignantly. "We'd turn in our Elements by the end of the day, and I'd hire replacements pronto!"
"An' who would you find t' replace us?"
"I know Twilight tried Spike once for Dashie. I think it was a good call. It just didn't work out."
By the time the chariot landed on one of Canterlot's paved streets, Pinkie had gotten no further on who her replacements would be, but that wasn't for lack of trying. Meanwhile, Rarity remained glum. It's quite selfish of me to think this way, she admitted to herself, But I'd always wanted to be remembered. Fame is a means to immortality, yet despite my efforts I still find myself lacking. What more can I do to truly stand out?
She looked back at her friends. At Twilight, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, and Spike. "
But you do make me stand out," she realized, eyes softening as she gazed at them.
"Beg pardon?" Applejack asked as they turned to their friend.
"I just realized even though I did something foalish and stupid, none of you thought worse of me for it. Instead, here you all are, ready to lend a helping hoof. This isn't the first time, either. The Sonic Rainboom, my current success in fashion
I wouldn't have gotten anywhere without all of you. I wouldn't even be alive! Fame isn't a means to immortality. Friendship is. I can't believe I didn't see it before."
ahh, shucks. Don't go all mushy on us yet," said Applejack heartily. "We still gotta get ya back t' normal, now."
the invisibility spell
the whole reason this happened was! "I remember now!" Her eyes lit up in excitement. "Can we head for the Casa Blanca, off Mane Street?"
"Okay. Follow me ladies, I'll getcha there." Spike strutted forward. "No problem for a gentledragon."
Twilight giggled. "Lead on, chivalrous Casanova."
Rarity and her friends entered the Casa Blanca to the sound of clopping hooves. Though the place wasn't crowded, the patrons therein seemed to recognize the unicorn's face, several giving greetings or raising glasses. Rarity laughed nervously and gave a few half-hearted hoof waves.
"Excuse me. Has anypony recently seen two earth ponies?" Twilight Sparkle asked. "One of them would be purple, the other gray."
The bartender quietly pointed a hoof towards a booth near the wall.
Rarity blinked. "I don't believe it," she said, sauntering over. "It's almost like they never left."
Berry Punch and Octavia had both reasoned that Rarity had been with them when they left the bar. Perhaps she had forgotten something and come back in? So they asked questions about where she had gone. They received some important information, but at the same time were pretty thirsty after last night. So, they both ordered water as well as
"Well, look who's come back, Octavia!" Berry Punch crowed loudly, a wide grin plastered on her face. "It's the talkin' unicorn pony!"
"Bury, we're ALL talking ponies," Octavia slurred.
"Well, Rarity, there's what happened to your body," Twilight said, pointing a hoof at Octavia's body, now in the white unicorn's colors.
"Ohh! Yyyyeah, we meant t' tell her 'bout that, didn't we, Octavia?" Berry said, swaying a little in her seat.
yeah, we did! And I'm glad for it, too," Octavia replied, giving her companions a sunny smile. "Turns out get this! Turns out, I was feeling down, right, because of all the other Octavias wandering around."
"So you wanted t' treat 'er to a makeover," Berry continued. "But nothin' was open at this hour. Then you found this talkin' unicorn named Fancypants an'"
"I did WHAT!?"
"And you told him to switch your colors over to me!" Octavia said happily, raising her glass to toast Rarity and splashing wine over the table. "Just so it'd make me unique!"
"Awww! That's really sweet of you, Rarity!" Pinkie smiled.
"Yes, well, I-I don't see why on earth I would approach such a pony about so trifling a matter!" Rarity stammered.
"You were drunk?" Berry Punch offered with surprising clarity.
"Yup!" Octavia's expression sobered a little. "But I realized something today. It doesn't matter if you've got a mess of clones. What really matters is you're still you, with your own talents aaaand your own friends, aaaand they care about you."
"An' also," Berry added cheerfully, head swaying a little, "Your friends can be fun when sober, but
they're even more fun when they're drunk! Man, wish I could tell the Princess 'bout that, help her loosen up a bit more."
The sounds of scandalized gasps echoed across the room.
"Ah reckon it might be time t' go see Fancypants, sugarcube." Applejack seized Berry's tail in her teeth, slowly dragging her out of the booth.
"And it might be time to sober up," Twilight added, watching Octavia slide out.
Oh, no. Oh, no! What have I done? I know I meant well, but Fancypants? What was I thinking?
Later that day, after Berry Punch and Octavia once again sobered up (neither pony remained in any speaking mood due to splitting headaches), the ponies and dragon found themselves with Fancypants, a blue-maned, large-horned elite unicorn stallion. He seemed rather amused by the two earth ponies' disheveled appearances, and assured them he could fix the matter over Rarity's supplications.
"Oh, do be a dear and stop groveling. That was quite a generous thing you did," he said jovially as his horn bathed itself in a bright yellowish glow. Grey and black replaced rapidly receding white and purple on Octavia's body; Rarity's own body was restored to its former glory. "Of course, I talked you out of doing your head I daresay you'd have been quite distraught had you been entirely invisible!"
"I am just so sorry for putting you through this, Fancypants! I can't believe you're not upset with me dragging you into such a--"
"Not at all, not at all," he said kindly. "You didn't do it for laughs. You did it to lighten up your friend in the name of friendship. Anypony could see that. We all do silly things every now and again, Rarity. It's why we did it that makes all the difference."
"Plus you bought everypony free wine," Berry added.
"Indeed," Fancypants replied. "The wine helped give me the idea
though not the hangovers," he added with a meaningful glance.
Octavia and Berry Punch groaned loudly.