Luna’s night… it was as beautiful as ever. A marble-white orb silently travelled its destined path through the black void, accompanied by the stars, tiny beads of divine light. The Moon was perfect in its imperfectness, craters and channels painting an image for all the world to see. Twilight marvelled at the majesty of it all, these celestial residents of the night; wondering their purpose and their creation. Was it all Luna’s work? I should ask her… but I can’t. I’m alone, confined to the Moon. Oh, Celestia! My teacher, my beloved friend! Why am I here? Why must I be alone? I didn’t do anything! I deceived Spike, yes, but it was by your orders! I couldn’t tell him of the letter. I had to… no. It wasn’t Celestia. I was fooled. I was fooled into…
Twilight woke up.
She lifted her head, but a sudden spinning sensation struck it down immediately. She felt her head fall on a musty, soft carpet. She wasn’t in pain, but a blurry, spinning vision almost made her vomit. She inhaled quickly, and felt a stifling stink fill her lungs. The unicorn coughed harshly and rolled onto her back. As she began to regain her senses, she finally opened her eyes again and rose to a shaky sitting position.
It was a dimly lit, medium-sized room, with old-fashioned wallpaper, a dark carpet and the elegant furniture of a drawing room. There were many things to catch a viewer’s eye; beautiful paintings and expensive decorations, obviously from a myriad of countries and cultures. Still, only one thing caught Twilight’s eye, not letting her avert her gaze. Another pony.
“Awake, are we?” she spoke with a strange accent, a mysterious grin on her lips.
“It doesn’t matter. Not yet, in any case. Would you care for some wine?” She offered one of two glasses, her horn levitating it with a light blue glow.
“No… thank you”, Twilight answered, still unable to think properly. She stared at the stranger.
“A shame… it’s made by the Duke himself. Delicious.” She was a beige unicorn with a striking red mane that flowed down on one side of her head, stylized with much care. She was actually slightly smaller than her guest, but her aristocratic manners gave her an air of importance and impressive stature. Her cutie mark was… a cart wheel? The confused mare didn’t know what to make of it. Why would a high-class member of the society have such a cutie mark?
The mare’s smile had grown into an expression of amusement and mockery. “I heard you were a most intelligent individual, Miss Twilight Sparkle. Yet you look like a foal torn from the lap of her mother.”
Twilight’s thoughts were clearing. She still didn’t fully remember the events that had brought her here, nor did she know where ‘here’ was or why she was sitting in front of this pony ridiculing her… but she knew she would take no more of this.
The purple unicorn rose to her feet with as much dignity as she could muster in her weakened, nonplussed state. “Since you seem to know my name - and won’t tell me yours - I believe we’re past any introductory phase. Now, could you please start explaining where in Celestia’s name I am - and why?”
The aristocrat’s eyes widened slightly, even though she kept her smile even. “You may not wish to utter that name in His house… you’ll soon understand why.” She took a sip from her glass. “There are two reasons why you’re here. The first is that-“ she pointed at Twilight’s saddlebags on a stool next to her chair “-the second… that”. She pointed directly at the unamused librarian. “Where we are… I’d rather show than tell.”
The beige unicorn stood up and gracefully walked to a nearby wooden door. “Come”.
Out of options, Twilight complied, glaring at her.
“I’ll see you again soon. By the way, you may call me Roue, for now.” She laughed delicately. “I’m sure you will, soon enough”.
Twilight was about to say she wouldn’t leave before getting proper answers, but was silenced when Roue opened the door.
Behind the door was a hallway; one you might expect to find in a house with the sort of room the two stood in. The walls were covered in fine wood paneling and the floor hid under a tasteful green carpet. The only unusual thing about the straight, narrow hallway was its length. As well-lid by regularily placed gas lights as it was, Twilight couldn’t see an end to it. As she stared to the distance, she heard a door slam shut. As she hadn’t exited the room, it must have come from… behind?
Behind the mare was a hallway, continuing to an unseen end.
There was no echo to her call.
After a moment of hopelessness Twilight’s logic kicked in. Seeing but two ways to go, she chose one and started cantering forward. The canter soon changed to a panicked gallop, as she couldn’t find any change in the never-ending corridor. Tentative probes with magic proved futile; it was as if there was nothing beyond the well-maintained walls, the perfectly horizontal floor or the dark-coloured ceiling. Without her saddlebags, she soon realized, she wouldn’t last long. There was no water in this infernal trap, and she was already thirsty. As the crushing realization of her situation dawned to the unicorn, she slowed down, then stopped completely. Panting heavily, Twilight let herself go limp and buried her face in her hooves.
“What is this place!? Why am I here?” she cried, physically and mentally exhausted. She rolled over so as not to smell the foul-stinking carpet and wiped tears off her eyes.
And saw a strip of white in the ceiling.
The strand of hope reinvigorated her. Perhaps it was something important; something useful! She stood up on two legs, leaning to the wall, and felt out with her magic. It was a trapdoor, its seams nearly invisible and coloured like the rest of the ceiling. Twilight pulled, and with surprising ease, it opened outwards. A piece of paper stuck between the door gently floated down. The mare snatched it from mid-air with her magic and looked at it.
Lesson one: always stay aware