Dear Princess Celestia,
I cannot tell you how happy I am to be finally uploading this chapter. I know alot of ponies have been patiently waiting for it, and I am pleased to say it is finally here. Life, work, and school have been absolutely insane for my, your highness. At one point, I had to put down all Pony things to divert my attention to my studies. I am now happy to say I am doing well and have passed all exams with flying colors. To be perfectly frank, I have rewritten this chapter from scratch no less than six times, on account i wasnt happy how each of them were turning out. In the end, I felt it was best to split this chapter into smaller chunks due to its length. These finished chunks will be released, on time, over the weekend, as well as some smaller chapters, as an apology to everyone for making you wait so long.
To all my friends and fans, and of course, my younger brother who edited this chapter like a BOSS,
Your faithful archivist
Brrrrrrrinnnnnng! Brrrrrrrinnnnnng! Brrrrrrii-click.
Celestia’s hoof slid off the surface of her alarm clock as she blearily opened her eyes to the cool darkness of her room. One of the few benefits of raising the sun was that you never awoke to somepony yanking the curtains open and blinding you.
That was about where the benefits ended, however. It also meant you had to be up before the crack of dawn.
“Another day in paradise…”
With great reluctance, the alicorn slowly peeled herself out from between the two layers of heaven known as her bed and blankets. She used to think this was the hardest part of the day; getting out of bed. Now it proved to be one of the few moments of tranquility before her day began.
“I’m getting too old for this…” the sun goddess muttered to herself, as she stared at the mirror. Indeed, Celestia could have sworn that she looked more her age than usual. Her worried reflection pressed a hoof up against its cheeks. Her skin wasn’t sagging, was it?
Celestia uncertainly stepped away from the mirror, still eyeing herself. She had promised herself that if she ever started showing grey hairs, that was it. Abdicate the throne, toss the sun to Luna, hope she’d catch it, and then spend the rest of her eternity lounging on a tropical beach soaking up sunshine. After how the past few weeks had been the Ancestors knew she deserved it.
She wasn’t being vain, she was being practical. But there was no way in Equestria she would deal with a museum full of grey-haired self-portraits.
Her steps sluggish, Celestia pulled open the drawer to her dresser and fumbled for her now unnecessary fail-safe. It was still another hour until sunrise, but there was no possible way she was getting back to bed. She might as well get a fresh start on her day.
With a tired yawn, Celestia turned back the hands of her snooze alarm and carefully tucked the clock amidst the folds of clothing.
“Same time tomorrow?”
In a way, she envied the time piece.
Nopony bothered it.
All it had to do was activate once a day, do its one sole required duty, then it could climb back into its nice, warm, dark drawer and sleep the rest of the day away. Her snooze alarm was comfortable within its own metal skin. Why wouldn’t it be? She never made fun of it’s perfectly round figure.
Nopony called it fat.
The great glass doors opened and Celestia stepped out onto her balcony, the snooze alarm clock dangling from between her teeth. Her magenta eyes narrowed, peering out into the darkness. In the distance, her sister’s moon was hugging the horizon, merely waiting for the final push from Celestia to be lowered. Almost of all of Canterlot was still and quiet tonight. Some ponies had already begun to rise before her dawn tending to their wares and jobs. Somewhere, far away in the distance, the warm scent of fresh bread drifted up from some baker’s oven and reached the very edge of Celestia’s nostrils.
The goddess closed her eyes, trying to savor the rare extravagance. When was the last time she had smelt this? When was the last time she had tasted it?
It was whisked away a few seconds later, by the cool almost-morning air which blew through her pink hair. Celestia let the alarm clock drop into her hoof and released a disappointed sigh. Too short… like everything else in her life.
Her gaze swept over the grounds of her palace, looking for the most optimal target zone. Celestia smiled. The royal garden would do nicely.
Maybe this day wouldn’t be a complete waste. Maybe she could convince her guards to take her down Baker Street on the way to the Haunches Gym later today. Maybe the bakers and pastry chefs would be wide open today, the entire air filled with the scent of wholesome rye, fluffly Prench, spicy pumpernickel…
Celestia snorted to herself.
Yeah, and maybe she’d grow a pair of fins and a tail.
“The Fillies are leading 15 to 14. The White Fetlocks are up to bat. Seventh inning, bases loaded, two outs...” The white glow of Celestia’s magic took hold of the clock, suspending it in the air infront of her. She reared back onto her hooves, and the clock zipped back with her. It began to shake as the pressure built up behind it. “…and here’s the windup pitch!”
Celestia suddenly released her magic and the alarm clock shot off like a rocket, shooting out into the night. Celestia held a hoof to her ear, leaning over the balcony in eager anticipation.
Her face broke out into a grin as she heard the joyous sound of smashing clockwork. Celestia threw her hooves up into the air, basking in the non-existent roar of the crowd. “AND IT’S OUT OF HERE!”
With a smug look across her face, the white alicorn sauntered back into her room. Oh how she wished she could do that to all of her problems…
The Royal Gardens
It was a beautiful night, Private Hoplite decided as his eyes briefly flicked to the starry heavens above. A fraction of a second later, and they were refocused on the empty space in front of him. The guard kept his breath slow and steady, his ears primed to pinpoint even the faintest of sounds.
The early chill of the dawn had been creeping into his armor for the past hour or so, and it numbed his movements. So long as his reflexes were compromised, Hoplite knew he had to be constantly vigilant of his surroundings. Anything could come from around these hedges and bushes. The Royal Gardens were a dangerous place.
Okay, so Hoplite had to admit to himself that maybe the Royal Gardens weren’t the most dangerous of places. But it would be a start to his illustrious career.
In a half an hour, Princess Celestia would finally raise the sun and he could relax. Hoplite could almost feel the warm sunlight soaking into his feathers and porous bones.
The white Pegasus held his head proudly, nostrils flared. Constant vigilance. That’s what would raise him through the ranks. Yes sir, nopony would get by him on his wat-
“Well well, look who’s on guard duty again.”
It took all of Hoplite’s will power not to jump out of his armor in surprise and remain firmly planted where he stood. ‘Oh for Celestia’s sake, not again.’
The Day Guard raised his cerulean eyes to the heavens once more, and lo and behold, the bane of his existence. The grey filly flapped lazily in front of the guard, her body encased in the black armor of the Night Watch. He sent a stoic look her way
“What’s the matter big guy? Manticore got your tongue?”
Lethe pouted when Hoplite remained silent and snapped her bat-like wings shut, landing in front of the guard. She took her place next to him, and nudged him with her knee.
“Hoplite.” Nudge. “ Talk to me, Hoplite.” Nudge. “Hoplite.” Nudge.
Hoplite finally relented and sent a look to his companion, muttering through his gritted teeth “What do you want, Lethe?”
The grey Night Watch gave a broad impish smile at her counterpart.
“Ah! The stone decides to speak!”
“Go away. I’m on duty.”
“What? Can’t a gal give you some company?” Lethe asked, batting her golden eyes.
“No. She can’t. Go away.”
Lethe pressed her hooves against his cheeks, mushing his face together.
“Awww, Mister Fwwony face is being seewious.”
“I am seewi- serious! I am serious! You can’t be talking to me right now!” Hoplite stammered. “If the Captain sees I’m not at attention, I’m going to get in a lot of trouble.”
Lethe stuck her tongue out at the guard and tossed a hoof over Hoplite’s shoulders. “You’re being to serious. You’re watching plants. Not only are you watching plants, but you’re watching them grow. That has to be the second most boring thing in the world, beaten only by watching paint dry.”
“I swear, you have no sense of duty!”
“You have no sense of fun!”
“We’re not here to have fun! You’re a guard. I’m a guard. That’s it, that’s all there is to this job! Now go home for the day, will you?”
“No. You. Me. Right now. Fifty rolls of toilet paper ALL over the Arcana tower. I’ll even give you first throw. You KNOW you want to.”
“Lethe, if I leave, then-“
“What? You think the roses are just going to get up and walk away?”
“Oh, maybe the Butterfly Burglar is gonna sneak in and pick all the flowers?”
“You’re not being fun-“
“Or gasp! An uncertified landscaper might come in and mow the lawns!”
Hoplite gave her a flat stare. “Are you done?”
“Me? Heck no, I can go all day.”
Hoplite gently peeled her hoof off of him and resumed his stationary position. Silence passed between the two of them for a few minutes. Hoplite was grateful for the return to silence. Hopefully, Lethe would pick up the cue and-
“Look, I have a deck of cards back at my locker. How about I get them, and you and me play a few rounds of strip poker?”
Hoplite’s composure broke, and his jaw dropped ever so slightly. “You seriously did NOT just suggest that. I’m going to pretend you didn’t say that.”
“Yeah, you’re just saying that cause you know I’d win every hand.” Lethe moved her lips close to Hoplite’s ear.
“You know I always wondered if the curtains matched the carpet for you.” Lethe whispered, running a hoof through Hoplite’s buttery mane. He pulled away from her, scowling with tinges of pink around his cheeks.
“You’re unbelievable, you know that?”
Lethe bit her tongue and winked playfully at him. “Miiiiine does!”
The Day Guard sighed and pressed a hoof to his face, if but purely to hide his blush. “You know I don’t see mares as crudely as other stallions do, right?”
The Pegasus rolled her draconic eyes, smiling in disbelief.
“Why’s that? You keeping yourself pure for the Princess?” Her eyes lit up and her grin widened as she noticed Hoplite’s blush deepen. “Oh my ancestors, you are! You have a crush on Princess Celestia!”
“It’s not a crush!”
“Yes it is! You actually think you have a shot at her! Oh wait till the boys on the graveyard shift hear about this!” Lethe laughed. Hoplite’s scowl deepened, his face thoroughly burning with embarrassment. He pressed his forehead against Lethe’s, pushing her back. Leathe was still laughing, a smile on her face.
“Well, what’s wrong with that! Princess Celestia is perfect! She is the nicest, the most beautiful, and the kindest pony who ever lived and-“
The laugh died in Lethe’s throat as she watched Hoplite go down. Something smashed against the side of his head, shattering upon impact and showering her coat and armor with bits of metal. The guard was knocked several feet to the ground, and the Night Guard hit the deck, reacting on pure training as her body covered her companion’s. Her wing’s snapped shut over him and the Pegasus made herself as small as possible. If the next round landed anywhere close to them-
Lethe’s heart pounded in her chest, expecting an attack that never came. Once she realized this, she fell back onto her rump, her eyes wide and shocked. She pressed a hoof to her chest, feeling it pound against the ribcage. That had scared the crap out of her.
“See, now if you had just gone with me, none of this- Hop!” Lethe shouted, galloping over to the Day Guard’s side. His eyes were shut and he was unmoving.
“Hop! Answer me Hoplite!” Lethe said worriedly, smacking the guard gently with a hoof a few times. He gave an incomprehensible murmur before blacking out again. The grey pegasus gave a sigh of relief. Hoplite would live.
Lethe looked at the shattered mass of shattered metal, wires, and gears and felt the back of Hoplite’s head. Sure enough, there was a bump nearly as big as Celestia’s sun.
Lethe cringed. “Oh that has got to hurt.” She began to pick him up, when a thought suddenly crossed her mind.
“I wonder if he has his wallet on him?”
“Of all the times, why now?!” Celestia shouted in frustration. With a little more force than was required, she slammed her hoof against the faucet handle. The metal bent under her hoof, but it served her purpose. The stream of water that rained down on her was abruptly cut off.
She could only stand there in shock, her chest heaving, from experiencing the most vile of horrors.
She raised a giant ball of flaming gas each morning for her ponies. She had fought shadows that terrified even her, creatures long forgotten and now safely locked in Tartarus. She had sent her own sister to the moon for a thousand years to protect them.
How did they repay their princess?
By letting the pilot light go out again, of course.
Well, if Celestia wasn’t awake before, she sure as heck was now.
Her teeth chattering like castanets, the goddess made the bold decision the ponies of old once did; to venture forth from cold waste to warmer climate. Celestia snatched a fluffy white towel from a nearby pile with her magic and ran it across her body, swiftly removing it of the offending water. She shivered as she stepped out of her shower and onto the cold marble tiles.
How utterly typical. Out of the fridge and into the icebox.
With a mental note to have a few firm words with the royal plumber and a warming spell cast upon her body batted away the chilly advances, Celestia made her way over to her bathroom sink and prepared for the last of her routine.
He lay there on the sink like a faithful lover patiently waiting for her return. Celestia smiled, and ran her tongue over her teeth. His touch was as soft as pegasus down, and yet, firm enough to reassure Celestia of his strength. His massages were to die for…
Out of all of her inanimate possessions, she knew that at least he would remain true and faithful to her. She had many names for him. He was the staunch defender against decay. A paladin against plaque. The hero who fought daily with halitosis. He was Celestia’s royal knight of her pearly whites and his name was-
Her magic froze the brush in place a few inches from her teeth, and her eyes widened in disbelief. With a shaky hoof she held it up to eye level.
“Et tu, Mr. Scrubby?”
The cruel sting of betrayal pierced Celestia’s heart and her lip trembled from it. How could she not see the betrayal earlier, the evidence of his deceit? There, on the glorious white bristles, was the unmistakable smear of chocolate.
“You… you’ve been brushing with other mares, haven’t you?”
He remained silent, too ashamed of his transgression to even speak with her. No more words needed to be said between the two.
Without so much as a goodbye, Celestia swiftly banished the traitor to the depth of her bathroom wastebasket.
“Heal, oh my wounded heart...” Celestia whispered, pressing her hooves to her chest. The pang of sadness left her as she hardened her heart, and turned her gaze to the future. There would be other brushes. Ones more sensitive to the needs of her gums.
After a brief one-morning stand with one such brush, Celestia turned her attention to the last of her companions.
Celestia couldn’t deny it. It was a love-hate relationship. He brought out the worst in her and was the sole reason her life was miserable right now. But unlike the mirror who made her look old, unlike the alarm clock who selflessly lounged around, unlike the shower who found new ways to torture her and unlike Mr. Scrubby who would brush any willing mare, her bathroom scale was always honest with her.
Brutal... but honest.
Celestia squeezed her eyes shut in dread of what she would find when she opened them as she stepped onto the scale. The goddess’s heart beat once, twice in her ivory chest before she finally worked up the nerve to see the damage.
The red light on the scale was flashing again.
It was going to be yet another one of those days.
The Royal Kitchens
Copper Kettle brushed away the bead of sweat that rolled down his forehead. It felt unusually hot in here, even for a kitchen. With a shaky hoof, he wiped it away and made the fatal mistake of looking at the person across the table from him.
Head Chef Ram Sea face was inscrutable. The chef had already removed his traditional hat, and was patiently waiting for Copper Kettle to make his move. The kitchen staff were a hush of whispers, their eyes fixed on the two. Copper tried to block out their voices. He couldn't afford any distractions.
He couldn't postpone it any longer. The young chef nervously reached for a utensil.
The ghost of a smile appeared on Ram Sea's face.
'HANG ON! Wait! Wait wait wait a minute! Think this through!' Copper's mind screamed at him.
Copper Kettle immediately withdrew, his mind racing. Was the Chef playing him? Did Ram Sea have some sort of trap set up and was Copper falling into it?
'Things have been getting worse and worse since this began. Surely it can't be a series of unfortunate events! Every time I try to make things easier for myself, it just gets ten times worse! I really need to think this through before I start making any moves. But what do I do?' Panic slowly began to grip Copper Kettle. 'The Chef won't wait forever. If I try to go for something easy, it's bound to end bad! But maybe I should draw him in and make him react first... ' Copper Kettle wanted to punch himself in the face for such idiocy. 'NO! That's just asking for trouble! And if he didn't fall for it, I'd just get yelled at again.'
Chef Ram Sea began idily tapping his hoof against the table, an utterly bored expression across his face.
'What do I do what do I do what do I do? It's as though he has some sort of evil grip on me that I can't shake from!' The orange cook pressed his hooves to his head, staring with frustration at the wooden surface in front of him. 'I can't choose something too simple or he might think I'm trying to throw this! Maybe I can sabotage his recipe... No! He won't take too kindly to that! There's too much at risk! Unless he wants me to think that! Maybe this whole patience thing is just a front so he can have his own way! After all, that's the reason we're even doing this. But what if I'm wrong?! Think about how disastrous that would be?! I can't afford to go that far and-'
A tap on his shoulder sent Copper looking up into the face of his partner, Whisk. His partner in crime gave a solemn nod. "I got your back on this. He's not gonna get you this round." Whisk said, sending a dirty glare to Ram Sea.
The Chef smirked, and leaned back in his seat.
"Well, are ye gonna make a move or what, ye lumpish crook-pated puttock?" Ram Sea asked condescendingly. "How abit we make things a wee mair interestin'. Th' losers git tae clean pots an' pans for th' next week." It was enough to push Copper Kettle over the edge.
"Deal!" The unicorn grabbed the card from his hand and slammed it onto the table. "I play the Utensil Card 'Serrated Knife!' Now if you attack my Lilywurst it'll turn into three Deli Slice tokens!"
Chef Ram Sea smirked. "A Deli Slice wall. Nae bad, nae bad. But Ah'll tak' mah chances an' Ah'll have mah-"
"Not so fast!" Whisk interrupted, as he flipped a card over on his side of the table. "You just activated my Appliance 'Flaming Range'! Now all your food is burned and sent to the Trashbin, and with each one, you lose two hundred Kitchen Points!"
There was many gasps and 'ooo's from the audience. The cooks were awed by the brilliant play and necks craned forward to see the remaining cards on the table.
Soggy Grounds, a sallow brown unicorn with a stained apron, threw down his hand in disgust. "He's got me. I'm out of points."
Chef Ram Sea was furious. "Ah thought Ah tauld ye tae stop stackin' yer deck wi' so many of those damn Coffee class Foods!! They're weak as Apple Crumble's spaghetti!"
"Hey!" shouted the mare indignant from the crowd.
"Och, can it ye tart!" Ram Sea swiped the defeated cards off the table and pushed them to the side. "Ah swear, this is th' last time Ah ever tag team wi' ye, Soggy."
The Head Chef of the Canterlot Royal Kitchen sent a look to where Copper Kettle and Silver Whisk were high-hoofing each other. "Don't get cocky, lads. Ah'm nae out of th' game yet."
A feeling of power and control surged through Copper, and his grinned defiantly at his boss. "You have no Food on the table and only three hundred Kitchen Points left! There's no way you can win this! Looks like you'll be washing my dishes!"
The Scottish Sheep returned the grin with a devious sneer and leaned in close to the cook. "Wanna know a secrete laddie?"
"Ah'm Ram Sea an' this is mah buckin' kitchen." The sheep quickly placed a series of cards in front of him. "...an' in mah kitchen, th' Head Chef ne'er washes buckin' dishes."
A loud gasp echoed from the crowd. Copper Kettle's eyes grew wide as he looked at cards and Whisk groaned, burying his face in his hooves. "Celestia damn it..." Whisk muttered.
"Ah summon a filet mushroom, duxelles, an' a puff pastry! Ah think Ah'll just tribute those tae summon mah Wellington!" Chef Ram Sea said smugly. "Now, Ah suggest ye milk-livered sissies roll up yer sleeves. Ah think Ah'll be mixin' up mah famous maccaroni an' cheese for th' guard tonight. It sticks tae th' bowls like cement! Now kiss mah white fluffy bottom, ye beslubbering-"
AOOOOOOGAAA! AOOOOOOOOGAAA! AOOOOOOOGA!
There was a series of groans and shouts from the kitchen staff as the pressed their hooves over their ears as the sirens blared through the kitchen. A look of defeat appeared on Chef Ram Sea's face.
"Another day, another failure..." Ram Sea muttered to himself,as he pressed a hoof to his heart.
The irate sheep sent a glare to the red lights on the ceiling.
"Ye know what? Ye don't e'en get an insult from me. For the past month all you've done is wail, an' scream like a fussy baby. Well Ah'm done wi' ye. Whisk, get me th' biggest pan ye can find. The rest of ye better watch out for fallin' broken glass. There's gonnae be a lot of it."
Celestia was sincerely wishing she could have toast at this very moment. If anything so she could cut through the tension with a knife and spread it on said toast.
The palace guards stood at attention as the doors swung open and servers came in with silver-domed platters. Their eyes followed the dishes, ready to spring into motion at the slightest movement. There were at least a dozen of them, lining the walls of her private dining chambers.
"At the advice of your trainer, we're serving a light breakfast; watercress-and-mint salad with shaved apple with a side of celery.”
Celestia sat stone faced, her lips a tight unwavering line. Regardless, Feather Duster gave a small smile at the growls that escaped her princess’s stomach at the mention of food.
“I am pleased to hear that you approve,” the maid said, as she lifted the covering of the dish. At sight of the promised salad, and nothing more, the guards seemed to relax. “Since I spoke to you earlier this morning, there have been a few changes with your schedule. The Archduke of Saddleworth has requested an audience with you in regards to- "
Celestia tried not to let the disappointment show on her face at the sight of the subpar serving.
She could have sworn that the prisoners in the royal dungeons were far better fed than this.
Well… to be fair, nopony was in the royal dungeons. They had been pretty empty as of late. In complete and utter honesty, due to government programs and recent prosperity, nopony had ever been imprisoned in the royal dungeons for close to four centuries. So the iron cells and shackles and instruments of the Solar Inquisition sat down there collecting rust and dust in idle use.
Then Celestia went and turned the deep and dank dungeons into a tourist attraction.
Nopony expected the Solar Inquisition Gift Shop.
In the end, it turned out to be a rather decent field trip location for the local schools. Foals could get their own miniature Iron Mares, and the t-shirts were to die for. The profits it added to the royal coffers weren’t bad either.
The point was, however, was that IF Celestia did have any prisoners she would make sure they were better fed than this.
The goddess speared an innocent leaf with her fork , holding it up for examination. As the monarch of Equestria, her judgment had to be firm, fair, and absolute. With merely a shrug of her shoulders she condemned it to a swift death of chewing.
“-Lord Poppy Seed of the Canterlot Merchant guild has also come with an urgent-“
She silently wondered what exactly one would have to do to be to get imprisoned in this day and age. Would murdering the royal hoof maiden suffice? Celestia sincerely hoped so. The real question was would the guards stop her in time? Celestia slowly began to reach for the fork again. Feather Dusty was too busy reading from the long list in front of her to even notice her own death slowly creeping upon her, sharpening it’s scythe for-
“Do you feel that?” Feather Duster asked suddenly.
Celestia paused in her reach for the murder weapon. Curses! The mare would have to-
It was only when Celestia processed what Feather Duster had said that she became aware of what the maid was talking about: a faint tremor.
“What in Equestria is that?” Celestia asked aloud as the tremor grew stronger. The glasses on the dining table began to rattle against each other. Celestia exchanged a worried look to her maid and rose from the table.
“Feather, go quickly get one of the Arcana-oompf!” A sudden quake knocked the goddess out of her chair and robbed some of her guards of their balance, sending them toppling to the floor. Feather Duster’s reaction time was swifter than her liege’s, and the unicorn just barely managed to magic a mattress under Celestia before the goddess could touch the ground.
“Brace yourselves!” the hoof maiden shouted coolly to the guards as they tried to pick themselves up.
For Celestia, the room was still spinning. The castle itself seemed to be shaking. Inside every cabinet and servant cart came a delightful tinkling of glass as if a small party had broken out to toast her sunrise. A trickle of dust fell from the ceiling where the chandelier was whirling violently. Servants ran for cover in door frames, under furniture, anywhere they thought they would be safe.
“It’s an earthquake!”
“Get the princess to safety!”
“Someone get those damn mages up here to-“
Celestia could remember little of what happened next. She remembered staggering to her feet and herding Feather Duster to safety. Canterlot was precariously perched upon the mountainside. An earthquake would ruin the city. She remembered the almost dream-like state of disbelief she was in as she ran to the windows, images of screaming ponies and toppled buildings in her mind. The alicorn pressed her hooves and face against the glass of the window.
Horror reared upon Celestia’s face as she looked outside.
That was when the wave hit.
The window panes shattered as a flood of thousands of small boxes crashed into the dining room from the outside. Ponies were buried beneath the tide as it filled the room. In less than a moment, Celestia was knocked head over hooves, white cardboard filling her vision from every angle. She couldn’t read or tell what sort of images were on them. She just knew they filled her world at the moment.
Like a drowning sailor, the ivory mare made an educated guess as to which way was up and pushed her way to the top.
“BWAAAAAAAAAH!” gasped Celestia as her head breached the surface. Sweet fresh air filled her lungs.
The dining room was filled almost to the ceiling with thousands of rectangular white boxes, all tossed and heaped haphazardly together. All Celestia could see was the uneven surface of these boxes. Somewhere, buried beneath it, were the guards and servants.
Her sister’s head popped up nearby, sending several of the boxes flying.
“Tia!” Luna exclaimed in delight, throwing her hooves up. “We must celebrate! We must rejoice! We must… we must… thou does not look happy.”
“Luna…” Celestia said slowly, “…I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt. There’s a perfectly logical explanation to all of this right? Right? Oh, I sure hope so.”
The biggest possible smile broke out across Luna’s face. “Yes! Indeed! It is the most marvelous of reasons! I had thought that mine presence here in Equestria was all but forgotten by our subjects! But they have shown their love for the Night! They have created a delicacy after me! Behold!” Luna picked up one of the thousands of boxes that filled the room and held it up for Celestia to see. Celestia was forced to shield her eyes with a hoof from the halo of light that radiated from the box. Squinting, she was just able to make it out.
On the cover of the white box was a picture of Luna lounging on a crescent moon, eating a dark brown circle.
It was a moon pie.
Luna hugged the box to her chest. “Such flavor! Such texture! Such chocolaty goodness! I just had to buy every single box the grocers had! Every bite sends my tongue into throes of delight! I must have more!” Luna squealed in happiness. In an instant, her magic had ripped the box open, sending the chocolate-covered wheels everywhere.
The Night Alicorn seized one and bit into it with gusto. A look of sheer bliss appeared across her face, and her jaw began to work overtime as she devoured it. “Nomnomnom! Are they not glorious? Tia, thou must try one! Nomnom! Everypony must try one! Moon pies! MOON PIES FOR EVERYPONY!” Luna shouted, her magic causing dozens of boxes to explode in a rain of moon pies.
Celestia’s eye twitched as several of the treats hit her in the face. With all the grace she could muster, Celestia climbed out of the sea of boxes and moon pies, crushing the valuable pastries underhoof.
With a shaky breath she shook out several of the wheels that had become trapped in her hair, tears brimming in her eyes. Luna had gone too far this time. This was too much of a tease. This was like dangling a red, juicy steak in front of a famished dog. Celestia anxiously chewed her lip .
She wanted one. Just one. And there were millions of moon pies here. Celestia loved moon pies. Loved the sweet chocolate. Loved the sticky marshmallow. Loved the crumbly graham cracker.
Loved them so much she even knew how many calories they had: 226.
But one is all it would take. Then it would be ‘Tubby Tubby Tia’ all over again.
‘It isn’t that bad.’ Celestia decided. ‘Luna flooding the dining room with moon pies has got to be better than Canterlot being hit with an earthquake. Lesser of the two evils. In fact, that ranks relatively low on what could have screwed my day up. Could’ve been something infinitely worse like Discord, or an evil Twilight Sparkle or-‘
Celestia watched as another of the chocolate-gramcracker-and-marshmallow concoction was slowly demolished by her sister, the chocolate clinging to the alicorn’s teeth.
The rich, dark chocolate.
“You…” Celestia whispered.
A horrible squeak filled the air. Luna paused in her feast, and turned to see her sister harshly grinding her teeth as a vein throbbed dangerously in her neck. Celestia narrowed her eyes in understanding at her. “You did it! You were in my bathroom again this morning, weren’t you?” Celestia accused. “You used up all of the hot water! YOU used Mister Scrubby!”
Luna knew that hellfire had nothing on the solar flare in the irises of her sister’s eyes.
Luna popped the rest of the moon pie in her mouth and hurriedly swallowed. “…moon?”
“Moon.” Celestia confirmed.
“You’ll never take me alive!” Luna screamed, as she dove into the sea of boxes.
“Luna, get back here!” Celestia shouted as she trudged through the boxes towards where she thought her sister was.
“Never!” came Luna’s muffled reply from somewhere under the surface. The goddess turned around to see Luna pop up behind her.
“I am going to murder you, Luna!”
“Evil boring nag! Return my sister to me at once!” Luna shouted, as she hurled a box of moon pies at her sister before plunging into the boxes again. Celestia growled angrily as the box hit her in the head. A moment later, Luna popped up against and repeated the process, pelting her sister with boxes of moon pies.
“Luna-“ whack “-you better-“whup “-stop-”crack smack fwump “-or else-” thwack “-I’m gonna-“ whack.
ENOUGH!” Celestia shouted with the voice of a titan. Her mane roared into a sheet of flame, incinerating several boxes around her. A wicked smile stretched across the goddess’s face, as she picked up dozens of moon pie boxes with her magic.
“If it’s a fight you want, dear sister… it’s a fight you’ll get…”