“Because I believe in you, Twilight Sparkle.”
Twilight looked up at her mentor’s smiling face. Celestia’s expression was warm and kind, and Twilight knew she meant what she said. She always did.
“I… Thank you, Princess. This is a momentous occasion, and to be trusted with it is…”
Celestia chuckled at her student’s inability to articulate her feelings.
“I’m sure you will do fine, Twilight. Now, I will leave you to your business.”
The Princess turned and trotted from the conference room, leaving Twilight fidgeting nervously in full diplomatic regalia. Though not technically a member of the palace staff, she had been lent a uniform for the purposes of this meeting.
You can do this Twilight. You’ve done it once before, you can do it again.
She swallowed, and took her place at the small table in the centre of the room.
Moments later, the door creaked open, and two ponies stepped through. The first, an officious-looking unicorn guard strolled in, bringing his trumpet to his lips and letting loose an obnoxious blast. As the echoes died down, he turned to the side and bowed toward the door, announcing the second arrival as she walked in.
“Her Royal Apprenticeship, Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic, greets… Her Royal Apprenticeship, Twilight Sparkle, Element of Magic!”
Twilight’s breath caught in her throat. This was the moment, the moment unprecedented in Equestrian history. She watched herself traverse the room confidently, stepping lightly onto the thick carpet and taking a seat before her. She… the other she… the other Twilight was dressed in a tight black suit of unknown material, and her was mane immaculately combed back in a style that Twilight could not believe she was wearing.
She stopped looking herself over and took a deep breath. There was no time for messing around. She was here to make history. To do something nopony had ever done before.
To talk with an ambassador from the future.
Twilight’s doppelganger leaned forward, her suit making only the faintest rustling. Twilight was suddenly painfully aware of the age and mustiness of her robes. How silly must she look?
“I’ll make this quick, Twilight, and I’ll be honest. After last time, I’m picking my words carefully.”
Twilight nodded, remembering her last disastrous experiment with time travel. Her cheek still smarted some days.
“Soon, very soon, you’ll finish your work on the spell which you will come to name Sparkle’s Temporal Flimflammery - a name I still cannot believe I thought was any good. It is imperative that you cease all progress before that happens.”
“The… the time spell? Why? What could possibly go wrong?”
Future Twilight sighed, a deep and mournful sigh that spoke of things Twilight couldn’t possibly imagine.
“Nothing. It will work perfectly, and repeatedly. And that is precisely why you have to stop.”
Twilight shook her head, mouth opening and closing stupidly as she tried to find the words to protest.
“I don’t understand. This spell could revolutionise the world! Stop accidents, reverse economic disasters, let us visit the ponies of the past… isn’t that what you’re doing?”
Future Twilight gritted her teeth before massaging her temple and continuing.
“Listen, there are rules. You know there are, because you’re writing them into the spell tonight. It’s… complicated, and I can’t tell you why, but it’s vital that you stop working on this spell for the safety of all that we know and love.”
Twilight folded her forelegs and set her expression in determination.
“There has to be a reason. A hint. I know me, I know I can work around a rule.”
Future Twilight was silent for a moment.
“Fine. All I can say is… the right spell in the wrong hooves can make all the difference in the world. Do you think Celestia was always a Princess? That Equestria has always been at peace? That Discord has always existed? This spell is powerful, Twilight, and it will cause more damage than you can possibly imagine. You have to stop.”
Twilight looked herself in the eye. Future Twilight’s gaze was steady, resolute. Maybe… maybe she had a point.
“I’ll… I’ll think about it. I’m sure that with time and planning, any negative consequences could be negated. I’m sure.”
Future Twilight looked back at her, then nodded and stood.
“As long as you think about it. I swear to you, you mustn’t complete this spell.”
Future Twilight raised her hoof to shake, and Twilight stood to reciprocate. As she raised her foreleg, she suddenly felt Future Twilight’s hoof about her neck, pulling her close. She heard the suit crackle with electricity and felt the materialising blade enter her chest.
She gasped in pain and shock, collapsing to the floor as Future Twilight stepped back and the blade attached her leg sizzled back into nonexistence. Tears welled in her doppelganger’s eyes as Twilight’s blood pooled about her hooves.
“I’m so sorry, Twilight. This is the only option left. I’ve come back so many times and you never listen. You never listen.”
Twilight tried to reply, but the breath was leaving her and she could only look up in desperate confusion. Future Twilight leaned closer, stroking her mane as she cried for her dying self.
“We’re the wrong hooves, Twilight. We always were.”
Norse Pony’s comments: Holy crap that was amazing. I am a huge science fiction nerd, and this pushed a bunch of my Classic SF Trope buttons at once. I am hoping this one winds up on FiMFic with a little more meat to it, because I want more details about what Future Twilight’s future is like and why she is so intent on changing it. Encore, sir, encore!