Reccomended Listening for reading this story.
Such a simple word, alone… Yet it can carry the weight of the world, multiple worlds sometimes.
It is easy to feel that way when you are drifting among literally nothing. Thousands, no, hundreds of thousands of miles away from my nearest kin as reality marches on.
It has been this way for as long as I can remember although I am uncertain about how long that is… When time holds no meaning, how do you quantify eternity?
I can see them, specks of existence just beyond my reach. I imagine they can see me too… I wonder if they feel the same, if they look out at their brethren and wonder why we were cast so far apart…
She is calling again. Her mind reaches out to me from the darkness. I feel myself move to her pleasing. We are a medium upon her canvas. We are puppets, and she our master. We answer her willingly for she is a beacon to the scattered… The lonely. She knows of our pain. She knows solitude. Yet her suffering is far worse than ours.
My life alone is all I know, all I have ever known. For me it is routine. It is not circumstance, it is fact… But for her…
Anger, jealousy, betrayal, sorrow, contempt… Pain beyond what mere flesh can know. When she first called out to us she was ignorant to these things. She was full of joy and energy. She was our light. Her joy became passion and she was our pride.
Then she changed… It did not last long, but for a moment she was something else entirely. For the first time, we knew fear… Fear that our beacon of hope was forever corrupted. And as quickly as it came, it was gone.
When next she called us, she was broken. She no longer guided our dance among the nothing yet she still called to us. Our strings were pulled by another, but still we were her refuge, and she was still ours.
It continued like this for a while… Long enough to remember… She never left us. It was as if she was hiding herself among us, trapped not only away from her kind, but also trapped within herself. We felt her pain. The pain of a heart broken as a mind watches a body act without consent. The rage had consumed her and she had lost herself… She had lost everything…
We offered what comfort we could. Her heart flowed among us as her mind and body brooded. Things could not remain as they were. She had been our hope, and now she was torn. As long as her body was imprisoned she could never be whole again. We gave her all our strength and we set her free…
Silence… And then… Joy greater than we ever remembered flooded our being. Our beacon had returned. Yet there was more. We knew each other better now. She remembered our comfort. She loved us, and we loved her. Soon our dance was returned to her and we knew bliss. My kin and I are closer now thanks to her…
She’s calling again… Our dance resumes anew as she embraces us… The moon is calling… Luna… As long as we burn, you will never be alone…
“Luna?” Celestia called. Luna was crying. At first Celestia was concerned but Luna turned to her and smiled.
“I am fine, sister.” Luna replied. “Tell me… While I was gone, did you feel anything among the stars?” Celestia thought back.
“I did.” She said. “I felt they were alive just as the Sun is.”
“Anything else?” Luna pressed.
“Not that I recall… Why?”
“They kept me safe.” Luna said. She closed her eyes, fresh tears rolling down her face. “When Nightmare moon consumed me, I reached out to them and escaped her. My soul danced among the stars. They comforted me in my time of need.”
“Oh Luna,” Celestia said, fighting back tears of her own. “I never knew.”
“I know them all by name,” Luna continued, “Each and every one of them. They all shared my pain… They were so alone…” Celestia pulled Luna into an embrace. For a moment Luna could only sob into her sister’s shoulder. Celestia wondered how she could have missed this. But of course the answer was simple. Even when Luna was lost to her jealousy the stars were still hers. Celestia could move the moon, and she could move the stars, but she couldn’t truly feel them, not the way she could her Sun. Luna’s sobs subsided a bit but she remained in her sister’s embrace.
“I am so grateful they were there for you when I could not be.” Celestia said.
“Sister, please,” Luna pleaded.
“You’re right,” Celestia sighed, “It’s behind us, and there it shall stay.”
“Thank you.” Silence hung between them again. After a while, Luna broke their embrace. “They helped me, you know.”
“Indeed I do,” Celestia nodded. “The stars will aid in her escape.” Luna cocked her head in silent question. “It’s a quote from a book of prophecy. Twilight Sparkle brought it to my attention just before you were freed.”
“Of course she did,” Luna smiled. There was a knock at the door.
“You may enter.” The door opened to reveal a Pegasus clad in the armor of the Lunar Guard. His coat was a deep but dull red, and his pale eyes were almost as white as his mane.
“Captain Night Wing.” Celestia said.
“Your highness,” Night Wing bowed, “I was just checking on Luna. She sorta disappeared on me.”
“Thank you Night Wing,” Luna smiled. “I’m fine.”
“Good,” Night Wing returned the smile.
“Well,” Celestia said, “I believe I shall retire for the night.”
“Rest well sister,” Luna called as Celestia left the room, closing the door behind her. Luna turned her attention to the stars once more.
“Are you sure you’re ok Luna?” Night Wing asked joining her at her window.
“Yes,” she replied. “I just needed some time among old friends.”