Thump Ba-dump... Thump Ba-dump... Thump Ba-dump...
The sound thrums in your head, pounding away in your ears as you slowly come to consciousness. Your mind is still foggy, trying to clear out the cobwebs of what seemed to be a millennia long sleep. You feel weightless, as if floating in the deep oceans, existing in an expanse of nothingness.
Ba-dump... Ba-dump... beep... beep... beep
As your mind clears, the pounding in your head fades and the sound of your heart quiets, giving way to an irritating beeping. The shrill cries of the strange noise pierce through the cloudiness in your mind, slowly leading you back to awareness. You start to try to move around, but nothing responds, none of your limbs move.
Beep... beep... beep... beep... beep
As you finally start gaining some of your senses back, you open your eyes and see a sea of red, with bubbles floating everywhere. You see some moving shadows in the abyss, and you try to focus your vision to see what it is, but to no avail. You hear someone speaking in the background, but the sound is warbled and indecipherable.
"It worked! It's alive!!!..."
The words become clearer and clearer as you gain consciousness. The world is still a blood red color, and the shades are conglomerating. The noises grow louder and louder as you hear the shades congratulate each other.
Suddenly, the thrum of your heartbeat returns, faster and harder than ever. The pain in your head is intolerable, and your vision starts to blur again. That incessant beeping starts to speed up, as you see the shades begin to panic.
Beep... Beep.. Beep Beep Beep. "She's going into shock! Somebody, administer the knock out gas!"
"Wait... No...", you think, as your consciousness slips once more, diving deep down into the abyss. You fight the feeling of falling, but the fight is pointless. At first, your vision starts to blur as your eyes feel tired and your eyelids feel heavy. The sounds start to warble once more, as the beeping and talking become blurred in a strange, warped sound. The noise gets softer and softer until you are left alone with the thrum of your heart.
Then, everything vanishes. You feel the terrifying feeling of falling once more, and then, nothingness.
"WARNING WARNING! EMERGENCY POWER LOW! EMERGENCY FAILSAFE ENCAGED IN 10, 9, 8....", rung a sharp and shrill mechanical-sounding voice as a loud hissing noise blew out, signifying the depressurization of a chamber.
A white pony was shocked into the waking world, with her heart beating rapidly as the racket disturbed her long sleep. Bright white light flooded her vision as she immediately squinted her eyes shut. As her eyes became adapted to the bright light, she looked from side to side wildly, panicking and noticing that she was in a claustrophobically enclosed space.
After banging her hooves onto the coffin-like enclosure and hyperventilating for a few minutes, the ringing and the mechanical warning voices stopped. The pony was able to calm down and look around.
Once she calmed down enough, she was able to take in her surroundings and figure out where she was. She was crammed into a tight coffin-like container with cream white walls. The light that lit up the container started to flicker and slowly dim. The light dropped from a blinding white light to a dull glow, allowing her to look around as much as she could in the cramped space.
Looking on all sides of the container, she noticed that the side facing her feet was made of glass, and gathering all her strength, she tried to kick the window. A spider-web pattern sprawled out on the tempered glass, originating where her hoof hit. Panic started to set in again as she kicked the glass over and over again. Mustering all her strength in one kick, she broke open the glass and was relieved when a flood of air came rushing into her enclosure.
She laid there for a while, breathing hard from the exertion of using muscles that she never knew existed. After resting for a while, the pony slowly shuffled herself out of the small space, sliding out onto the a floor on the other side of the window.
She sat on the floor and looked around, and took in the surroundings. She was in a cylindrical room, with small windows lining the walls. She took a closer look at some of the windows and was terrified.
Many of the windows held skeletons that had been dead for eons. The creatures that had been inside of the cases had obviously at some point in time woken up, but could not get out. Some of the windows had cracks in them and others had scratch marks all over the glass, but none of them were broken open. Looking back, she saw her container had a dim green light emanating from a panel next to where she had been kept.
"Celestia, Unit 002, Container Status: Power Down", the screen read.
"So... my name is Celestia...", the pony filed the name into her mind.
Looking around at the other windows, all the panels had some sort of error message with a blinking red light. It appeared that she was the only one that made it out.
The room was lined with vines and other natural growths, seemingly out of place against the chrome floor and walls. The floor itself was cracked in sections with wild growths sprouted through the floor. Bushes and vines grew out from what would be a uniform tile pattern. They broke through the tiling and were in stark contrast to the aged tiling that was uplifted by roots in several areas. In the center of the room, stood a tall tree reaching up to the ceiling, which itself was covered by hanging vines.
Noticing how wrong everything in the room was, Celestia felt the urge to get out of the graveyard. She tried to stand up, but her legs gave out quickly and she flopped back onto her stomach. Whinnying, she slowly dragged herself closer to an opened door and rolled into the hallway.
Satisfied to be out of the room, she calmed down and chewed on some of the grass sprouting from the floor. Feeling the strength come back to her, she slowly tried to get up, and while she slipped a few times, she caught herself and slowly stood up shakily.
Looking down the dark hallway, she saw several doors open with light shining out of them. Curious, the white alicorn gently trotted down the hallway, hooves clopping on the unnatural floor, echoing with each step.
As she peeked into the first room, she turned into a horror scene.
The chrome furniture sat everywhere. Tables and chairs were strewn around the room haphazardly and plants also grew rampant, covering and entangling a large portion of the once-shiny surfaces. The terrifying thing was the multiple skeletons lying on the other side at a locked door. There was a pile of skeletons clustered around a door at the other side of the room, which was covered with long scratches across the door face. Splashes of dried blood could be seen on the wall, crumbling and falling off with each time Celestia's hooves hit the floor.
The furniture was strange and bizarre, most likely fit for the bipedal beings that the skeletons used to exist as.
The alicorn turned away from the scene, feeling her stomach turn in ways that it wasn't supposed to.
Walking back to the hallway, she heard some banging and someone yelling. Breaking into a gallop, she ran to the next room, hopeful for a companion of sorts in the strange, new world.
Turning the corner, she entered a cylindrical room not too different than the one she had woken up in. Walking closer, she observed a lit up containment cell, which was where the banging originated from. She looked closer at the flickering display panel.
"Luna, Unit 003, Container Status: Powered Down, Note: Growth Cycle Hampered", the screen read. The banging continued as the creature inside tried to get out.
Deciding that whatever couldn't get out of their container couldn't possibly be a danger to her, Celestia gave the window a hard buck, shattering the window and exposing the creature inside.
A small ball of blue rolled out, still screaming random shouts and throwing her hooves around.
Putting a hoof out to stop the ball of blue from rolling, Celestia stared oddly at it, and it stared back.
"Woona!", the small blue alicorn said, pointing to the panel excitedly.
"Celestia...", the larger white alicorn greeted with an unsure voice.
"Cewestia!!!", the ball of blue hugged Celestia around the legs and giggled happily.
Celestia, being about four feet tall, looked down on the much smaller two feet tall blue fluff ball and sighed.
"Well... it's better than being alone...", she muttered to herself.
Together, the two ate some of the plant life sprouting on the ground started to get ready to explore again, when a howling sound rang from the doorway.
Instinctually, Celestia stood up and pushed the curious blue alicorn behind her, fanning out her wings to cover the younger alicorn and began pawing the ground aggressively.
As the wolves turned the corner, Celestia looked the predators over. They easily towered over the alicorn and were made completely of wood. Unfortunately, the teeth on the wolves looked sharp enough to hurt.
Three wolves slowly walked into the room, eyeing the alicorn for an easy meal.
As the wolves crept into the room, one suddenly lunged at the alicorn. By instinct, Celestia turned around and gave the wolf the hardest buck she could muster, shattering the head of the timberwolf.
The other two wolves growled, and lunged. Celestia could do little but shield the smaller alicorn and try to kick the timberwolves away.
Flailing out with her hooves, she managed to come out of the small conflict with two scratches on her flank. The cuts stung, but the adrenaline ran through her body and her heart beat fast and strong.
The wolves backed off to the other side of the room, and continued eyeing the alicorn. Due to the tangle, one of the wolves saw the smaller blue pony and signaled to the other wolf to circle the two alicorns.
The wolves stalked around the two ponies in opposite directions, and soon, Celestia couldn't keep Luna out of sight. Just at that moment, the wolves lunged at the two ponies at the same time, one going for Celestia and the other, going for Luna, who was behind Celestia.
Feeling desperate, Celestia tried to intimidate the wolves and let out a great roar. As she did, she felt a strange tingle run all the way from her back to her horn, and felt a great pressure build up in her horn.
Instinctually releasing it all at once, the magic poured out into a small pink spherical bubble, just large enough to protect and encase Celestia and her smaller counterpart.
The wolves bounced violently off of the bubble and jumped back, not harmed, but not deterred from their meal. Circling closely, one of the wolves clawed at the bubble once again, but the bubble proved too strong for them to break.
They continued circling as Celestia kept her shield up, waiting for the alicorn to tire and give up.
As the stand-off continued, the wolves settled down, still hungrily staring at the two alicorns protected by the bubble.
After about fifteen minutes, Celestia started to feel her energy wane and her vision started to blur. As she started to run out of magic to sustain the shield, she felt her legs weaken and body start to shake.
Suddenly, Celestia ran out of energy and the shield fizzled. The larger white alicorn keeled over and started losing consciousness. Just as she collapsed on the floor, her vision started to blur and all she could hear was Luna's scream and the wolves approach.
"...lestia... Celestia... CELESTIA!!!!" the sound of a pony's concerned voice broke through the Celestia's dazed mind.
"Huh? Wha? What happened?", the fair-skinned pony muttered out as she tried to open her eyes.
"WOAH!", she shouted as she pushed herself away from the blob of purple in front of her. Shaking her head, she tried to get her eyes to focus, and stared back at the strange pony who had woken her up.
Slowly, Celestia's eyes gained focus while the panicking purple pony kept fussing about her.
"How many hooves am I holding up?", the purple pony frantically asked.
"Two?", the white equine muttered in a confused voice, trying to come up with an answer that would calm the inquisitive being in front of her.
"That can't be right...", the lavender pony answered, as Celestia's double vision started to fade back into one, showing the pony holding one leg up.
"How are you feeling? Do you feel okay? Is that scratch hurting?", the new pony kept up a barrage of questions, double checking on anything that could have gone wrong as she fussed about Celestia, poking and prodding her.
"Cewestia?", came a small voice from beside her, still hiding underneath her wings. "Are you okay?", Luna asked, still shivering over the entire ordeal with the wolves.
Giving her a small nod, Celestia quickly focused her attention to the pony fussing about her.
"Who are you?", the white equine asked, tilting her head a bit, a few strand of hairs falling over her eyes.
"Who? me?", the pony in question asked, looking up from her work on examining the state of Celestia's wings.
The pony in question was a soft lavender shade of purple and stood at the same height as the taller white alicorn. Her fur had a healthy sheen to it and on her flank, sat a strange starred mark. The new pony also had a set of wings, each one's length reaching to just about as tall as she was. Her mane seemed a bit disheveled, but her eyes were so... captivating. They sparked with a hint of curiosity and... familiarity?
"My name's Twilight Spa... errr just Twilight.", the pony answered, snapping Celestia out of her daze as both the ponies fluttered their wings nervously.
After staring at the fidgeting pony for a while longer, Celestia seemed to accept the answer and looked around. It didn't seem like she had been out for long, given by the still-smoldering bodies of the timerwolves lying lifelessly on the ground. The two wolves that she hadn't managed to stop had each had a large hold boring through their torso, with the edges of the hole blackened and still aflame.
"They called it 'magic' ", Twilight answered, as if reading Celestia's mind. She picked up a glowing tablet with her teeth and showed it to the other alicorn.
Celestia stared at the screen in front of her. In it, there was a perfect replica of herself, spinning in slow circles with pointers pointing to separate points of her body, naming them in an odd dialect. Oddly enough, as she looked closer, she began to naturally understand the words as if she had been taught how to read the language since she was born.
One of the arrows pointed to her wings, noting that they should be capable of flight given enough training. Another pointed to her horn, with the arrow only labeled as "magic".
"What kind of magic?", Celestia wondered out loud. From what she understood, magic was not a very specific term. However, thinking back, the bubble she had erected at a time of great desperation did indeed seem... magical.
"I'm not quite sure...", Twilight answered, fluttering her wings nervously, "I only know that it tends to stuff like that...", she paused, looking pointedly at the lifeless lumps of wood, "when released.", she finished off.
Tearing her eyes off the lifeless logs sitting against the wall, the white pony shook the strange feeling of guilt from her.
"Did you just wake up too?", the curious white pony asked, changing the subject.
"Yeah, I woke up just as I heard you yelling. I rushed here when I thought somepony was in danger.", Twilight answered.
After running a full check over on the injured pony, both ponies stood to their full height and got ready to move. Luna, with her smaller legs and tiny wings, had to sit on Celestia's back in order to keep up with them.
Together, they looked through several rooms, looking for anything of use. Food itself was not in short supply, though, since food happened to be growing everywhere through the floor and infesting the entire building. Other than the tablet that Twilight had initially found, none of the other tablets appeared to light up. They came across several rooms similar to where Celestia first woke up, but all of the other rooms were graveyards. None of the panels were operational and the only thing occupying the caskets were corpses and skeletons.
After walking past a couple of rooms, they came across a room that was completely dark. There was a strange repeating sound of squeaking. As they walked into the room, the ponies slowly walked closer and closer to each other, their hooves clacking on the floor being the only sound they could hear other than the speaking.
As Twilight and Celestia walked closer and closer to each other, they accidentally bumped into each other, and both squeaked as they jumped apart. For some reason, Celestia felt her face get hot and tingle, but ignored the feeling in favor of staring into the strange quiet darkness.
Soon enough, walking straight in the darkness, the ponies were able to see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. As they got closer to the source of the light, they walked faster and faster, getting more and more excited to see the light of day. Soon, they could see the sound of the squeaking. The door had been left open and flapping, causing the un-oiled hinges to make the noise. They could feel the wind on their manes and the natural light bathing them.
When they arrived out the door, the natural light blinded the ponies. They squinted in order to see what the surroundings were like. As they did, they saw the most chaotic sight they had ever seen.
The building they had been in appeared to be raised on top of a floating island, hovering several hundred feet above the surface of what appeared to be a wasteland. Below them lay a dead city, the only remaining remnants of greater skyscrapers being the bent and rusted metal frames lying on the ground. The metal wireframes were the only thing remaining of the city, as a large portion of it had been buried under shifting sands. As they looked further, they see the shadows of other floating land masses in the distance, some of them flourishing with forests on top of them, while others were simply empty and sat in the distance.
The ponies could feel the sun beating down on them, and as they looked up to the natural source of light, it strained their eyes. However, the sun itself had taken up a quarter of the sky, and was most likely the source of desertification due to their apparent proximity to the sun.
Suddenly, they heard a loud noise from behind and the alicorns looked back alarmingly.
"Meteor shower forecasted. Raising shields now!", a mechanical voice called from behind the ponies. An electric blue transparent shield popped up in front of their eyes and raised all the way around what they could see to be the edge of their island. The shield stretched overhead, completely encasing the entire structure and island with a bubble.
Looking up to the clear blue sky, they could see tiny specs of fire rapidly getting bigger and bigger. The specs of fire soon became so numerous that they blotted out the sun and covered the sky in a sea of fire. As they approached, many of the other floating islands took on their own defensive measures. Some of the islands also had bubble shields, but what was on them was too hard to distinguish.
The group of islands that had forests on them suddenly danced to life, with the forest itself growing rapidly and surrounding the island with a dome of biomass shielding.
As the meteors impacted on the islands, the islands shook and the shields took the damage. The first meteor approached their own shield and crashed upon their shields.
Fire spread across the shield, bathing their vision in angry red as heat washed on their faces. The ground shook as if it was falling out of the sky, with each impact from the celestial beings displayed a great brilliance of lights on the blue shield. The shield itself, however, held strong as it blocked each impact.
After fifteen minutes, it seemed that the firestorm had simply disappeared. The islands returned to their normal state with shields powering down and forests returning to normal.
However, as the chaos resided, what had been the bright, unyielding sun turned into a chilly dark. A large moon rolled over the horizon and appeared to be eating up the sky, casting a dull glow on the land. As the moon approached its zenith, it occupied a quarter of the sky.
With the moon's arrival came a large crashing sound. Looking down at the earth again, a tsunami of water travelled with the moon, standing at least a hundred feet tall. The water consumed all in its path, stopping for nothing as it enveloped what used to be a desert in its maws.
Then, as quickly as the strange changes came, they stopped. The water kept travelling behind the ponies, leaving a strange calm before them.
The moon shone over the horizon, sitting at the highest point in the sky. Below them, what was land previously was now a calm ocean of water, with the peaks of the skyscrapers just breaking the water's surface.
The scene before the ponies was bewildering. What used to be a desert had transformed an ocean and what used to be an unbearably hot sun had become a large, round, disk of moonlight in the sky.
As the night began to settle in, the temperatures dropped rapidly, leaving the ponies shivering in the night.
"I... just don't know what went wrong. How could this possibly happen?", Twilight muttered to herself.
"We need to head inside. We'll spend the night here and decide upon an action tomorrow.", Celestia declared, turning around and walking back to the broken down building.
"At least the building has shelter and some form of food...", Twilight noted, also agreeing as she walked back inside.
As the two other Alicorns walked back to the building, Luna stared up at the moon, mystified by its appearance and glow. Her large eyes reflected the moon and she sat there for a while, awed by its beauty.
"Luna!", came a voice from inside, breaking the little alicorn's focus on the moon. When she followed the voice back into the building, she saw that Twilight and Celestia had settled into a well-lit corner, keeping a small distance between each other.
Luna giggled as she ran in-between and squished herself into the slot between the two larger alicorns. The two large alicorns stretched out their wings and covered the bundle, leading them all to a fitful night, wondering what the next night held for them.