Chapter 1: Being Dead
"Ah, you must be Pinkamena Diane Pie yes?" A friendly looking middle-aged stallion behind the desk said waving her over. "Come in, come in, I've been expecting you."
Pinkie gently floated towards the chair opposite the friendly looking pony. She didn't feel very solid and yet she felt more real then she ever did, odd. It appeared she didn't have any limbs either or a mouth. She was just a glowing ball of light. It was nice.
"Well let me have a look at you." The stallion picked her up from out of the chair and bounced her around between his hooves.
"Yes your time in Equestria certainly did you some good." The stallion put her back into the chair.
"O what am I doing? Where are my manners?" The stallion offered her his hoof "Hi, I'm Death."
"Yes I'm aware you don't have any limbs or mouth at the moment but manners are still important. It puts ponies at ease… mostly. Would you like some tea?"
A cup of tea appeared in front of Pinkie gently steaming in the sunlight.
"Just some Earl Grey. Cookie?" Death asked smiling.
A cookie appeared next to the tea.
"Now let's have a look at your resume, see what you've been up to down there." He winked at her.
The stallion put his rear hooves on the desk and picked up a pink file decorated with flowers and smiley faces from out of his desk and placed it in front of him. He fumbled with some reading glasses and put them on his nose.
As he read his eyebrows kept rising and rising to higher levels. He started hoofing his collar and swallowing profusely. Quickly, he sat back in an upright position. A few minutes longer and sweat stains started to form underneath his wings. He gave a quick look at Pinkie and dropped his gaze again. He turned a page and paled even further then he already had. He quickly fumbled with some more papers in the file.
There were a lot of papers in this file.
Suddenly he stood up.
"I'm sorry miss Pie I think I need to talk to my Supervisor. You'll be okay right?" The stallion seemed really worried almost like Pinkie could explode or something.
"Thank you." He rushed out his office. Then quickly returned and took the file with him.
Pinkie started humming a little ditty inside herself and zooming around a bit. It was fun being a ball of light.
The Death Of Ponies ran through the corridors of the Heavenly Realm like his tail was on fire. A strange sight to be sure in a place where time held little meaning.
All manner of strange and wonderful creatures stopped and stared at the odd pony. Why would a Death of all beings be in a rush? Then again it was a pony and everybody knows that ponies like running. Maybe he was just having fun?
Death had no time to change his co-workers misconceptions. Out of breath and sweaty he arrived at his destination. A giant oak door. He quickly grabbed the brass knocker with his teeth and loudly slammed the thing.
Death did quickly.
"Sir I believe I have a twenty-four-seventeen."
The wizened old stallion rose from his seat and raised an eyebrow. "Twenty-four-seventeen, you're certain of this?" He looked skeptic.
"Quite certain sir. Look at the file." He hurriedly gave it to his Supervisor.
Supervisor sat back down again and started reading it. Death was nervously biting his hoof in his chair barely containing his anxiety.
After about five minutes the old stallion looked up.
"When will she be arriving? You're right this is definitely a twenty-four-seventeen"
"She's already here."
The Supervisors eyebrows heightened.
"O my. I hope you offered her her body back at least." Supervisor said giving Death back his file.
"Tea." Death started whimpering "I offered her tea."
"Tea? You offered a twenty-four-seventeen tea?"
"And a cookie."
"You offered a twenty-four-seventeen tea and a cookie?! While she's still floating? Have you completely lost your senses?"
"Well how was I supposed to know! She presented like any other original soul!"
Supervisor started cleaning his glasses.
"Son, how long have you been working this department?"
"forty-nine thousand years sir, give or take."
The old stallion led out a long sigh.
"...Still wet behind the ears" he mumbled placing the glasses back on his nose. "By now you should have learned that you always, always read the file before the soul arrives. Preparation Death, that's how we work! And by no means do you offer a twenty-four-seventeen who's still floating tea and a fucking cookie!"
Death had never heard his supervisor use profanity before he must have really screwed the pooch this time.
"Yes sir. Sorry sir."
"Well let's hope that a few years from now we can all laugh about this." Supervisor stood up and walked towards the coat rack "Where is she now?"
"In my office."
"You just left her there? For goodness sake Death are you trying to get us sacked?" Supervisor grabbed his coat and his hat and stepped out the door.
"Well are you coming or what?"
"Yes sir!" Death said and stormed off behind him.
Pinkie was having a good time. You can't exactly drink tea when you're a ball of light but you certainly can bathe in it. It was nice and warm. She started splashing around in it.
Suddenly the door to the office opened again. Death and another pony entered the office and saw her in the cup of tea.
Pinkie saw them staring at her and feeling a little embarrassed she slowly floated out of the tea and back onto the chair dripping a little.
The older pony moved to the chair opposite her own. Death stayed in the corner looking like a dog that's been naughty and has been caught. His ears where drooping.
"My apologies miss Pie. It appears my colleague has not read your file prior to your death and has therefore not granted someone of your position the respect you deserve. I promise you that he will be punished and his behavior will be corrected."
Supervisor looked surprised for a moment. Death's ears turned up.
"Well...if that is what you wish."
"I see, you've given me much to think about." Supervisor sat there for a second staring into space. "Maybe we can move on to more important matters at this time?"
"Splendid. Supervisor said clopping his hooves together. "First things first. Would you like a body?"
The supervisor couldn't help himself. He started laughing. This mare was just to funny! Suddenly he remembered his place and moved his hoof in an odd motion. He transformed Pinkie's soul onto a physical shell.
Slowly she transformed from a ball of light to a pink alicorn with an incredibly poofy mane reminiscent of an ice cream swirl. She was tall and beautiful but if the supervisor was being honest with himself she also looked a little...chubby.
She wore a white long dress that almost seemed translucent. And despite her chubbiness she nevertheless also looked both regal and kind. Her blue eyes looked mischievous and on her head sat a crown with three diamond balloons at it's center.
"Why are you all so short?"
Death and Supervisor shared a look. "You're a goddess Pinkie." The supervisor said.
"Really? How come?"
"Ponies worship you."
"That's silly, I've only ever really threw parties. Make ponies laugh you know. They don't worship me."
"They do. You spread joy wherever you go, and you did it with such fervor that it was oftentimes to your own detriment. To the ponies you've left behind you are an inspiration. You have no idea how special you are."
"Aw shucks you're making me blush."
Supervisor just smiled gently at her. Pinkie clearly didn't know how to take a compliment.
"I've read in your file that you're an original soul. That means you've never reincarnated before. Most souls have to reincarnate thousands of times to even come close to your achievements. Pinkie, you really do deserve this honor."
"But what about my friends? They where good ponies too. Shouldn't they also be Goddessessess?... Goddessi?… Alicorns?"
"Goddesses. And while your friends where extraordinary ponies in there own right. None of your friends did as much as you did to spread the values that your elements represented. Or to put it in another way. Your friends represented their elements really well. You taught others to represent your element and how to spread it further to others and in doing so you became a goddess. A goddess of joy, baking and parties, if I've read your file correctly."
"But but but,-"
"Do not worry about your friends Pinkie. They've moved on to bigger and better things. They were not original souls like you were, and they understand how things are done. Those connections you have with your friends are unbreakable. You are in their very souls as are they inside yours."
"But what does that mean? Will I ever see them again?" Pinkie was starting to tear up.
Supervisor just looked at her with a warm expression.
"Close your eyes Pinkie." He said "And think really hard on one of your friends. Think of a memory that means a lot to you."
Pinkie thought long and hard and suddenly she started humming.
"…We're Apples together… Apples together...We're family but so much more…"
When she opened her eyes all of the apple family was just there. Applejack was waving her hoof at her sitting on top of the supervisors desk looking not a day older then she did in that memory. She even had her hat. Applebloom was standing right beside her as well as Big Macintosh and even Granny Smith.
They weren't ghosts either they looked as real to Pinkie as they did in real life.
"Howdy Pinkie! It's sure has been a while! Heh!"
Pinkie just stared at her when she suddenly burst into tears and grappled Applejack into a fierce hug.
"I've -sniff- missed you -sniff- so much!" She blubbered in her ear.
"Shh, It's okay Sugarcube. It's okay." Applejack was trying to soothe the alicorn, patting her awkwardly on her neck. All of the other Apples joint in on the hug. It appeared that Pinkie really did miss them a whole bunch and had a lot of tears to shed.
Not even the Supervisor could keep his face dry at such a powerful display of friendship.
"Are you really real?" Pinkie whispered in Applejacks ear.
"Yes Pinkie I'm really real." Applejack said smiling. "Never been more real, and so are Applebloom, Granny Smith and Big Mac."
"And anypony else you would wanna see." Granny Smith added.
Pinkie Pie was just enjoying the group hug. Being so close to her old friends was so incredibly soothing. Knowing that friendship was eternal like this felt like an enormous weight has been lifted from her shoulders. One she never realized was there.
Drowsily another memory came from her subconscious and wormed itself to the forefront. A much older memory, one from when she was just a filly.
"...Pinkie you gotta stand up tall..."
And when she looked up she was no longer hugging Applejack but instead an elderly mare with a graying mane and a bright red coat. Applebloom, Big Mac and Granny Smith had disappeared.
"Granny Pie! It's so good to see you. Wait! Where did the Apples go?"
"One at a time Pinkie" Granny Pie said. "Don't be greedy."
"Okay Granny." Pinkie secretly knew she had plenty of memories of parties with loads of ponies if she wanted to well… have a party.
"Good Filly." Granny Pie said knowing full well what went through her grandfoal's mind. "Now tell me, did you live your life to the fullest? Did you get your Pinkie sense under control? I always worried about that you know."
"Yes Granny I did. And I also learned a bunch of other cool stuff. Like canons and baking and things that go woosh and -" Granny Pie quickly prevented a rant by putting a hoof in her mouth. Knowing how long those could get.
"That's lovely dear. Now give your old granny a proper hug."
Pinkie did just that. "Wait how come you're old? Aren't you supposed to being young and juicy again?"
The old mare laughed. "That's because old is how you remember me silly filly. That's how that works. The memory you used makes me an old lady."
"Wait then where are you now really?"
"I'm here really. But I'm also a foal right now in another world really. It's best not to think to much on it. It can get confusing quickly."
"Don't worry about it Pinkie the fact that you can make me appear like this means that my soul has grown as well as your own."
"If I may interject." Supervisor interjected. "That is basically the point of living. To make friends and to have meaningful relationships with other souls."
"So… The meaning of life is parties? Ha I knew it. Wait what about slugs? They can't party. Can't they grow there souls? What about the slugs!"
Granny Pie and the Supervisor shared a look. "Uhm, slugs and other such animals and most plants are what we call proto-souls. When they die we usually smash a bunch of them together. When we do that we get an original soul. One that can interact with other souls." Supervisor explained.
"That's not to say that there aren't a lot of souls that like to reincarnate as a slug or a tree or a dog or whatever. It's generally very peaceful. Most souls do it as a bit of a vacation from all the complex life that happens otherwise. In fact your friend Applejack is currently a tree on the apple family orchard. I believe it's a bit of a tradition for them."
"Oh that sounds like a lovely tradition." Granny Pie said. "Maybe us rockfarmers should try something similar? Then again the rock life seems dreadfully dull so maybe not."
Supervisor agreed that it was a rather lovely sentiment. "Be that as it may why don't we leave this dreary office for a tour of the Heavenly Realms?"
"Hey my office isn't dreary!" Death took offense at that. "It's old fashioned chic."
"Death your office is brown and beige. It's dreary."
"Yeah sorry Death, it's pretty dreary." Pinkie pie added
"Well If y'all are gonna tour the heavenly realms I'm just gonna poof back into your soul Pinkie. These old bones aren't meant for walking."
Granny Pie did just that with a soft poof noise she disappeared again. Pinkie could feel that something was added back deep inside. It was an odd snugly feeling.
"Alright let's go."
Pinkie was walking alongside Supervisor and she was ooing and aaing at everything she saw. The heavenly realms where exquisitely beautiful and as such incredibly distracting.
"That's the corridor of the skies. It leads to the gaseous worlds."
"Neat. And what's that?"
"That's a tree I believe you have those in Equestria as well."
"Oh, and what's that yellow stuff?"
"Uhm, heavenly light? I don't really know. I've never thought to ask."
"Cool, and what's that creature?"
"That's a skrunk. They hale from the jungle planet of Kibblebib"
On and on the questions came. During that time they traveled along all the environs the Heavenly Realms had to offer including the Really-big-ocean and the Not-as-big-but-still-very-impressive-lake. Every now and again Pinkie would poof in an old friend to have a chat with or to show something of to Supervisor.
Time passed lazily or not at all depending on your perspective when they entered a lovely square looking building in the biped primate quarter. Suddenly they heard a heart wrenching wail coming from one of the offices they just walked passed. Pinkie and Supervisor gave each other a look before deciding to investigate. The Heavenly Realms were no place for heart wrenching wails after all.
When they entered the office the first thing they noticed was the smell. Stale sweat and coffee. There was an odd bipedal creature pulling on the mane on his head. It had no hair anywhere else and instead wore clothes. Perhaps it had pulled all of it's hair out and the patch on his head was all that's left? Poor thing. Pinkie would wear clothes to if she pulled out her coat hair. O wait she was wearing a dress!
Supervisor closed the door behind him."What's going on in here?" He asked not unkindly.
"It's all gone crazy man! It's all gone crazy! The stupid death eaters gonna 'cause the whole thing to collapse. It's game over man, it's game over!"
"Alright calm do-"
"It starts in Britain and then it spreads man! There's no stopping it! No stopping it I say!" He started raving in earnest now, about the end of the world and something called a Voldemort.
Supervisor ran up to the creature and slapped him in the face. Not a pleasant feeling since hooves are quite hard. Still it seemed to get the point across.
"Thanks, I-I needed that." The tall biped said recovering himself. "My name's Steve. I apologize for that display. I've found myself in a right tizzy."
Pinkie stepped forward and pulled Steve in an awkward hug. "That's okay Stevy. Is your tizzy a doozy? Tell your auntie Pinkie Pie all about it. Maybe she can help."
"Who's Pinkie Pie?"
"I'm Pinkie Pie." She said as she let him go.
"O, right well okay. It all started when the god of this world decided to take a break and go for some fresh scones. He said he would be right back and well, that was six – no seven thousand years ago. I've been hitting buttons on the console and I've managed to set the autopilot but things have slowly started getting worse."
Steve put his face in his hands."Geez I'm not ready for this man! I'm just an intern! I was only supposed to learn a little bit about how the system works."
Supervisor stepped behind the console. "May I?"
He started to run some diagnostics. "How many souls are in this system?"
"Approximately six billion conscious."
"Six billion, and you're using a world-o-tron 2000? I don't think that's designed with such a big world in mind."
Steve made a low groan. Pinkie stepped behind him and started to rub his back.
One of the machines on the side started to print a long scroll of paper. Supervisor started to move towards it when suddenly an alarm started blazing, red lights started whirring and an artificial voice sounded through the intercom.
"A level nine cataclysmic event is imminent. Manual override and divine intervention required."
Steve started screaming and pulling on his hair "It's starting man! It's starting!"
Pinkie moved towards Supervisor.
"That sounds bad. Is it bad?"
"Pretty bad Pinkie. Basically means that this world is about to end unless we do something."
"Maybe I can help?"
The Supervisor rose from his console and gave her a thoughtful look.
"No I don't think so Pinkie. You don't have any experience yet with these consoles."
He continued pushing buttons and pulling on doohickeys.
"Shoot it's already to far gone. Nothing can stop it now."
"But what will happen to those souls?"
Supervisor was thinking for a moment. "I don't know actually I've never had this happen before. Things never got so bad for us. I tell you what it's nothing good."
"Come on there must be something we can do!"
"I'm sorry, there's noth-"
"Wait!" Suddenly Steve jumped up from his chair. "You said your name was Pinkie Pie? The new goddess?"
"Yeah I guess so? Why?"
Steve turned towards Supervisor. "What about a retrograde divinity injection?"
"The world-o-tron doesn't-"
"We won't use the console, instead we'll inject directly into the timeline, it will force changes that could fix everything!"
"You don't know that! And we couldn't ask that of Pinkie. She doesn't know-"
"I'll do it! I'll do the retrograde… thing!"
"Pinkie nobody has done anything like this before. We don't know what effect it will have on the world or on you."
"But we gotta do something!"
Supervisor looked at Pinkie for a long while. The alarms and warnings were still ringing.
"Steve, mute the system please."
When Steve pushed the button the office became eerily quiet.
"Pinkie let me explain. There's a reason why the gods don't directly interact with worlds. They could lose their divinity. Not only that but once you're inside you won't remember your friends until you return back here and because the souls of your friends are still part of you this can have curious effects."
"But what about all the other reincarnations? They've got friends that are part of them to don't they?"
"The difference is scale Pinkie. Your connections are stronger and you have more of them. A lot more"
"Still doesn't sound very scary. I trust my friends"
Supervisor gave her a look. Suddenly he burst out laughing. "Well if losing something that other souls have worked multitudes of lifetimes to achieve doesn't scare you who am I to say otherwise. I couldn't even if I wanted to. You're the boss Pinkie don't forget it!."
"Great then let's do this thing!"
"Alright, Steve grab a screwdriver and open the console."
Steve pulled a screwdriver from somewhere and started fidgeting with the screws on the bottom.
The supervisor started rummaging through desk drawers when suddenly he pulled out a truly massive syringe. It was about the size of a waste container.
"Alright Pinkie, bend over."
"Sorry, that was a joke. We will need this syringe though."
In the meantime Steve had unscrewed the console cover. "Sir, ma'am, I've isolated the timeline."
Supervisor and Pinkie moved towards the console. There was only a red piece of string running between one end of the console and the other. It didn't look very impressive.
"Pinkie I request permission to de-bodify you."
Supervisor transformed Pinkie back into a floating ball of light. He removed the plunger of the syringe with an audible plop. Pinkie floated inside of the syringe and Supervisor put the plunger back on. Inside the syringe all sounds suddenly ceased. Pinkie was a little nervous but she knew she could do this.
"Alright Steve now help me aim this thing."
Together they grabbed the syringe and tried to poke the red string. That didn't work so Steve opted to just hold the string up to the syringe and that worked much better. Supervisor pushed the plunger down.
"We'll be keeping an eye on things from this end Pinkie and we'll help you if we can."
Pinkie heard nothing of that. All she saw was redness then blackness.
Then she felt some severe awkwardness followed by warmness and coziness.
Wait what was the plan again?
Then came some pushiness followed by tightness followed by wetness, coldness and brightness.
And then she just felt like screaming.
A/N Susanne Sundfor – Reincarnation
It's mood music to digest the chapter.