Chapter 11: The New Life
Inkblot found his way to Room 4906A easily. After asking somepony, he discovered that the building was very organized. The headquarters was 5 stories tall and featured 10 main hallways. The first digit of a room's number represented what floor it was on, an the second digit represented which hallway it was in. The last two digits were the room number inside the hallway or something. He used the information to eventually find Room 4906 on the fourth floor in hallway 9.
Inkblot was no interior designer, but he couldn't stand the hallways throughout the entire building. They were all grey. From his entire walk from the hospital room in Room 2208A to Spike's room in 4906A, all that he saw was grey walls, grey airducts, dim flourescent lights, and the occasional splash of color from another pony. For a moment, he thought that the humans thrived in the dullest environment like a windigo thrived in a cold unfriendliness.
After ten minutes of boring hallways and dimmed lights, he found his way to the room. Even the doors were grey, with dark grey numbers. He knew that behind the door was probably Spike. Considering Inkblot saw him earlier with the princess and the two had been in action together for weeks without him remembering, there may be more than enough to to talk about, for sure. He had no idea what to expect from his visit with him, but he hoped for the best as he opened the door.
The first thing he noticed is that the door was unlocked, which was odd, since it was apparently Spike's room. Everyone likes privacy, so why not Spike? Meh, maybe he just accidentally left it unlocked. The second thing the pony noticed was that Spike was there. He was packing up a suitcase with ink and scrolls on the white (surprisingly not grey) bed. When he heard the door open, he stopped what he was doing and turned to see Inkblot. "Oh, hey Inkblot. How's it goin'? You're looking better, that's for sure."
Inkblot didn't waste a second. He went straight to interrogating. "You were with me the last few weeks, right?"
For a moment, Spike looked at him like his horn was turning green, but then his face dampened. "Oh yeah. Your memory got cleared. Forgot for a moment, there. Yeah, I was with you," he said glumly. Inkblot wondered why he was so dumb.
"Tell me everything." Inkblot may not trust this little dragon completely, but he wanted to make sure the doctor's story checked out. And since Spike was with him, he'd probably get even more information. After all, the doctor said he was "reclusive"
The dragon hesitated. "Wait...you mean... like.... everything?"
"Starting from the day I joined this organization. If that did happen."
The purple dragon was clearly shocked. "Whoa! It took out THAT much? I thought it would only take away thirty days worth. I guess they must stack or somethi-"
"Spines!" the unicorn interrupted.
"It's Spike, but close enough."
"Care to explain?"
"Oh yeah. Anyway, so you joined the HPIRT so you could find that Trixie girl of yours. I honestly don't know what you see in her, especially after what she did to Rarity!"
"You know, the beautiful one!"
They were getting off topic fast. It was like this little dragon had an extreme case of ADHD. "So I joined the HPIRT to find Trixie."
"Oh yeah! And then I was assigned to help you out. Of course, I sometimes had to go to Ponyville to help out with the show, so I dunno what you did while I was in Ponyville, unless you were with me."
His story fit. Inkblot figured he may as well believe it since it's the closest he could get to finding out what happened over the last month and a half. "You were with me. What do you know about me that nopony else knows?"
Spike used his claw to scratch his chin, thinking back to the last 43 days with him. "Well, even to me, you kinda kept to yourself. You were always talking to yourself, so I heard some of that."
"What sort of things did I say?"
"Well, most of the time you were looking over your notes and muttering about Trixie. You kept asking yourself questions, saying things like 'Why?' or 'How would she get there?'. It was a little creepy to be honest."
Inkblot figured that his own mutterings wouldn't help much. He probably kept the information to himself. Unless... "You said I had notes. Where are they?"
"You wrote 'em all down in some little diary. I do-"
"A diary?!" Inkblot almost yelled with excitement, pressing his face against Spike's with a wide grin. He still had the diary through the whole thing. He still had a link to the Trixie he once knew. "Where is it?!"
Spike looked nervous, pushing the unicorn's face away from him. "Well, about a week ago, you looked really happy. You said you found her. You gave her the diary. And you didn't tell me where she was. You didn't tell anyone where she was. You kept it to yourself."
And just his luck, he lost his memory of where she was. He slumped down onto Spike's bed. "Well, do you have any clue where she may be?"
Spike thought to himself. "I'm not sure if I should even be helping you. Celestia herself told me to stop helping the HPIRT."
This WAS a bump in the road. He still needed to talk to him about that, but one thing at a time. "I know, but you can help me. I'm not a part of this any more."
"You can't just quit the HPIRT, Inkblot!"
"Hopkins is dead."
Spike was frozen, shocked by the news. It took him a few seconds just to close his mouth. Inkblot took this opportunity to continue. "I didn't kill him in cold blood. I just can't remember the passcode for sending him back. So now that there's no more life support for him, and he can't go back. Considering the shape I saw him in, he's probably gone by now."
Spike was still dazed. He did speak, however. "So.....he's gone..."
"Yes. He's gone."
He suddenly got up from his bed and walked toward the door. "I have to go."
But Inkblot wasn't going to let Spike go that easily. He asserted this by picking the dragon up with his magic and placing him . "Oh, no you don't." His horn hurt from using magic with all the scratches, but he was too close to finding Trixie to give it up.
Spike took a moment to struggle, but to no avail. Inkblot was surprised at the power of his magic. He had no clue how he got it, but he figured it must have been training or something. "Look, now that the lead human guy is out of the question, it needs to be reported to the princess, so we can take...appropriate...action!" He struggled again between words, but to no avail.
"If you have any clue about where Trixie is, you need to help me."
"Why...should I help you? Now that Hopkins is gone, I don't have to put up with you anymore!"
Inkblot held him tighter. "Put up with me?!"
"All you did was boss me around!" He grunted, being squeezed by the magic. "You were always too focused on Trixie. You always did things like this to squeeze information out of me. Whenever you weren't, you were always lonely and kept pushing me away! I'm done!"
Well now he knew why Spike was so glum. Apparently the days Inkblot had forgotten had turned him into a monster. Either way, he needed Spike. So he pulled up the quickest idea he could think of. Inkblot dropped him to the ground and said something that confused the baby dragon. "Bridge"
As the dragon brushed himself off, he tried to decipher what Inkblot had just said. "Huh?"
"The password was bridge." He didn't know if it was true, but he needed something to get Spike on his side. He felt bad doing it, since he usually just stretched the truth. This time he was lying. And not just to some stranger, but apparently they were friends for quite some time. He couldn't remember it, but that didn't change anything. He had a plan, and he had to do what he could to fulfill it.
Spike's reaction was one of surprise. His eyes were wide open as was his mouth. "You mean, you did it on purpose?"
"Yes." The words hurt his mouth as they came out. Not only was he lying, but he was making himself guilty of killing someone. But he assured himself the lie was for a good cause.
"Well, that's awesome."
"I know that you were planning to overthrow the HPIRT. i overheard you and Celestia."
"That was your hairpiece?" he interrupted.
"Technically it's the doctor's hairpiece, but that's not important."
"How did you-"
"I said it's not important. Anyway, I know you guys were overthrowing the HPIRT, and I have a plan. For that plan, I need your help to find Trixie." Inkblot was back to stretching the truth. He did hear that they were taking over the HPIRT, and he did have a plan. His plan just had nothing to do with taking over the HPIRT.
Spike thought for a minute. After all of the apparent hardships he had experienced with Inkblot, the dragon was more hesitant to work with him. "Celestia has a plan, too."
"How much does she need you compared to how much I need you?"
Spike groaned. "You need me more, I guess."
"So can you help me find Trixie? Please!"
There was another pause. The unicorn knew that this was it. It was his big decision. He hoped that his lie would help out, because at this point, he would do anything to carry out his plan.
Spike came to his decision, closing his suitcase. "We're going to Ponyville."
Inkblot laughed. "Just let me get my bags."
Apparently, while he was looking for Trixie, a railroad had been made, providing easy transport to Ponyville from Canterlot. The fact that they built a whole railroad in less than 43 days astonished Inkblot. Maybe it mostly happened behind his back, considering that the train track took him places he hadn't been before. After all, construction workers seemed to be very efficient whenever unicorns were involved.
Spike came with Inkblot to Ponyville, taking the train to get down quickly. On the train ride, Spike got Inkblot even more up to speed than he was before. First of all, whatever the doctor told him was all true, but Spike knew more. The doctor said that Inkblot had a brilliant plan, but with Spike's information, it was revealed that Inkblot's plan was even more brilliant.
When Inkblot joined the HPIRT, he got access to security codes, which was ironic since Inkblot was keeping codes from then. One code accessed the records of CamSystem, which Inkblot had wanted ever since somepony robbed their house. He used the code and found out who robbed his house. Spike said who did it wasn't important, but Inkblot's family got the things back and Inkblot himself got the reward since they apparently were the first of many victims. He used the reward to buy a huge bunch of memory wipe from the HPIRT (spending a little extra since it was against HPIRT policy). Some of this was used to take away his own memory (and heal his wounds from falling off the mountain). Another bit of it he used on his own father to forget the robbery ever happened. Along with letting him forget that he had been gone for so long. After all, Headline had been suspicious. The rest of it was used on friends of Trixie. After getting as much information as possible from them about her whereabouts, he used the memory wipe on them to "cover his tracks". Why would he want to do that? Because the HPIRT was stalking him, trying to find Trixie, too. Afraid they were going to punish her for leaving the HPIRT, he didn't want anyone knowing other than himself.
His plan was perfect. Up until when he lost his memory. Spike didnt know what he planned to do with the extra memory wipe and Inkblot couldn't remember, so whatever his original plan was, it wouldn't get finished.
At the same time, Spike told him about when he found Trixie. Spike himself was busy filming for the show, so he didn't know much. But he did know that Inkblot gave Trixie her diary back so that she could get her memory back. Then he made some plan with her for the two to meet up at some place when he set fireworks off from the top of the mountains. Then that plan went awry when he didn't do a very good job with the fireworks.
His saddlebags had taken a beating, whether it was from his near-death tumble or just his forgotten experiences. Fortunately, it was given to him by the HPIRT. The grey bag had rips and tears, but fortunately they were quite small and didn't let a lot of things out. Or so he hoped.
The inside of the bag looked as messed up as the outside. Everything seemed scattered around, lacking any organization, despite the many pockets. Inkblot had no idea what half of the things in there were, but Spike said that most of it was looted from the HPIRT vaults, so maybe that explained it. One thing he did recognize was a vial of blue liquid. The memory wipe.
After only a couple short hours, they stepped off the train and stepped into Ponyville. It was definitely a more efficient mode of transportation compared to walking up and down the mountain. Inkblot thought of what would have happened if the trains were there earlier. He could have avoided Hopkins his first time up the mountain. Trixie wouldn't have had to destroy the old bridge. Trixie wouldn't have known Inkblot had the laptop. The list went on, making him wish that the train had been there earlier.
"So, where was Trixie's house?" Inkblot asked, as he looked around the town.
"I have no idea. I was helping out my friends when you met up with her. You're the only person who could know where she lived. But now-"
"My memory is gone, yes. I know." That nagging little detail had gotten old quickly.
The two walked down the roads of Ponyville looking for some sort of sign. They had no idea what to look for. No name. No physical feature. No address. Just a watchful eye and hope.
Spike and Inkblot talked most of the way around the town. Most of the conversations consisted of Spike reliving the adventures between the two as if they had just saved Equestria. He told about how they narily escaped punishment for looting the HPIRT vaults and how at one point they helped some zebra named Zecora fight off a Timberwolf!
They searched for a couple hours, at one point stopping for lunch. They were around the south side of town when Inkblot found something on the side of the road. It was a group of pieces of burned up paper. There must have been at least fifty of them. The pale pony picked up the largest one with his magic. "Hey, Spike! I think I found something!" Inkblot called.
The scrap of paper was no bigger than his horn, and was burned around the edges. Only a little bit was readable, while the rest was obscured by the burn marks. "....oking the cliff, I saw somethi...."
The rest of the sentence snapped in his mind, with the handwriting to help him remember. "But while I was overlooking the cliff, I saw something strange. I saw Inkblot, seemeingly running for his life," he said out loud.
This led Spike to look up at him like his coat turned orange. "Was that from her diary?"
"Yes it was."
"How did you remember that?"
Inkblot paused for a second. How DID he remember that part of the diary word for word? He only remembered reading it once. "I have no idea, but I'm not going to complain about something like that. Especially since we've finally found her." The unicorn looked up to see an open window on the second story. He concluded that this was Trixie's house. "Let's do it."
Spike followed Inkblot as he approached the door, seeming to stand back in case the worst was to happen. It was sort of starting to piece together for the pony. When he gave her back the diary, she must not have liked what she read. Judging by the fact that the diary was set on fire, she must have REALLY not liked it. He guessed that this might not be a joyful reunion. Inkblot extended his hoof and knocked against the green door.
A few seconds passed, which to him felt like a few minutes. The anticipation was killing him. Would she remember him? Would she lash out at him? Would she accept who she was? What did she look like? He was about to find out.
The door opened slowly to reveal an angry looking unicorn. Her coat was a darkish purple and her hair was bright lavender, flowing similarly to how her former self's mane did. She spoke with a voice that Inkblot recognized immediately and a voice that was angry and teeming with sarcasm. "Good to see you, Inkblot."
Inkblot caught the sarcasm, but tried to be friendly, considering how ticked she looked. "Good to see you too, Trixie."
"Blackberry!" she nearly screamed back at him.
"Blackberry. Sorry." Whoops. Slipped a bit there. At least now he knew that she changed her name to Blackberry. Well, the name fit the look she was going for. "So how's it going?"
"Listen, I don't want to talk to you, okay? I don't know what you're trying to do, but making the front page isn't the best way to do it."
"Wait, I was in the paper?"
"Yeah! All of Equestria saw your little stunt on the mountain! I mean, thank Celestia you're alive, but you were being stupid!"
"My dad wro-"
Inkblot was interrupted by a slamming door in his face. After a quick second of silence, he turned to Spike. "Why didn't you tell me I was in the paper?"
The dragon trembled as he pathetically shrugged. "I-I dunno! I don't read the paper!"
In return, the unicorn shrugged as he turned back to the door. "Listen, Blueberry!"
"It's Blackberry!" came a cry from the other side of the door.
"Yeah! Blackberry! Listen! I have a plan! And for this plan to work, you have to trust me!" He was arguing, which he had hoped to avoid, but Inkblot needed to talk to her face to face.
A loud groan was heard from behind the door, quickly followed by Blackberry reaching out, grabbing the colt with her magic, and pulling him inside, then closing the door before Inkblot even knew what was going on.
The houses of Ponyville were all built off similar models, so Blackberry's house looked similar to Inkblot's on the outside and inside. Her house wasnt well furnished since she had only lived there a month and a half.
Inkblot was confused by her sudden yank. "What was that for?"
"Clearly, your plan almost got you killed, and it doesnt really seem like following you is the safest option! Not to mention, I'd be chasing some legend!" she whispered loudly.
For her sake, Inkblot whispered with her. "If you think it's a legend, then why are we whispering?"
"Because in the event that it IS real, I'd much rather not risk my life talking about it out loud!"
"They wouldn't kill you, just take your memories."
"Still, it doesn't matter because they don't exist!" Blackberry insisted.
"Listen, you need to trust me on this!" Inkblot's voice was slowly escalating from a whisper.
"Why? I met you for 5 minutes and then you gave me this book and fell off a mountain!" Trixie's voice was doing the same.
The white unicorn was already sick of arguing. In order for his plan to work, she needed to cooperate. "Trixie!"
Inkblot twinged. It wasn't Blackberry. It was Trixie. But he looked over it. "Blackberry. That diary has your very writing in it. I would know. It has her side of my story in there. It all adds up. I know it's hard, but you have to understand."
"Well why do you think I wiped my memory in the first place? Just for you to bring it back!"
Trixie had a point. She took her memory to forget about everything that had happened. She probably wouldn't want to remember all of that again. "But it's a part of my plan. It'll all work out in the end!"
"It'll all work out? I have no idea how you're alive after the mountain thing. How can I trust you with your genius plan with my life when you almost took your own life with your last genius plan?" Blackberry asked.
"Because this plan isn't just for me! It's for both of us! I care about you more than myself!" The colt's voice was borderline yelling.
"I dont believe that for a second!"
Inkblot snapped as his voice raised to yell. "No! Not Blackberry! Trixie! I fell in love with Trixie! And I want to be with Trixie! Not Blackberry! Trixie! The pony I love! And for the plan to work, I don't need Blackberry! You say this whole thing isn't real?! BLACKBERRY isn't real! Blackberry is just Trixie! I want my plan to work, so I need you, Trixie! I want us together forever, and I know you feel the same in there, Trixie! Screw Blackberry! She isn't real! And in order for my plan to work, I need you to cooperate or I'll find some other way for you to do this!" He pulled a vial of memory wipe from his bag without looking.
Blackberry was stunned, her mouth open, unable to utter more than a couple words. "I.... I.... I'm..."
The colt finished his semi-maniacal speech. "I don't want to do this Trixie. I know your memory's already been wiped, and so has mine! And I hate it! But I have a plan that will make us both happy! And I need you to make it work, Trixie!"
Blackberry finally found words to speak, and she screamed them out as she threw a pot on the table at him with her magic. "MY NAME'S NOT TRIXIE!"
The pot shattered as it hit Inkblot square on the jaw, sending a rush of pain through his face. As he yelped, the unicorn lost focus and dropped the vial, making it shatter. Inkblot looked down at it and noticed something. A red fog was coming from it. Inkblot could have sworn the memory wipe was a blue liquid. Before he could wonder what it was, his head felt light, and his legs grew weak. He had one last thought before he went unconscious.