Sparky had never known quite the silence that she was experiencing right now. The air was so very still, it was just so quiet. Sparky slowly opened her eyes to discover that she did not know where she was.
Sparky was standing in the middle of a luxurious hotel suite. The kind of which was so elaborately fancy and upscale, something that she had no business being in. At the far end of the room was a king sized bed, heavily ornate in the old style of Canterlot before its fall.
In the centre of the room was a large dining table, with a single chair at its head and a plate of salad sitting on it. The table itself was mahogany, and looked to have been manually carved by a unicorn craftsman.
At the far end of the room was a door, leading into a bathroom filled with something less like a tub, and more like a swimming pool. Sparky did not know what had brought her here, and she was more than a little confused. She was still wearing her spacesuit, and she reached up to remove her helmet. Then a thought occurred to her. She had to be hallucinating; removing her helmet couldn’t possibly be a safe idea.
Sparky froze; she was not alone in this room. The sound had come from the bed, and she slowly turned around to face it. Sparky discovered that there was another pony laying on it, the largest pony that she had ever seen. A mare, pure white, almost glowing against the background of the suite, her mane was a tricolour of pink, blue and green, flowing majestically even though there was no wind for it to flow in. She had both a unicorn’s horn, and a pegasi’s wings, and on her head sat a golden crown.
Sparky had never met this pony before, but despite the fact that she had never payed attention in her history classes, she knew exactly who this was. She stared at her intensely not believing what she was seeing for a second. Now she knew for certain, she was hallucinating.
‘Hello’, Princess Celestia said softly, smiling warmly at her. ‘It’s quite all right. The air is quite lovely here’.
Sparky continued to stare at her for a moment before eventually speaking. ‘You’ll forgive me if I remain sceptical’, Sparky said imprudently, not considering that being rude to Celestia the Tyrant was probably not the smartest idea. ‘You’re dead’.
Princess Celestia nodded her head in affirmation, frowning as the words fell upon her ears.
‘Am I dead too?’ Sparky asked.
Princess Celestia looked at Sparky sadly, but did not answer her.
‘Well?’ Sparky asked.
‘You have lived well’, Princess Celestia said. ‘You’ve done everything that was asked of you and more, you deserve to rest now’.
‘Don’t act like you care about me!’ Sparky cried out indignantly. ‘They call you the tyrant! You care only about yourself!’
Princess Celestia recoiled slightly as if hurt by the accusation. She climbed down from the bed and took to her hooves, she trotted over to the suite’s window, and waved for her to follow. Sparky reluctantly followed her, taking her place besides the former Princess of Equestria.
Sparky looked out the window to discover an idyllic garden dream world, with endless pastures, filled with flowers. Sparky’s eyes were set on perfection. She shut her eyes tightly and turned away. ‘I know what you’re doing, stop it. Now!’ Sparky said.
‘I’m offering you peace...’ Princess Celestia said quietly. ‘I’m offering you an end to suffering’.
‘And I’m telling you to fuck off!’ Sparky said as her eyes filled with fire. ‘I don’t need your peace! I don’t need you! Pony kind has NEVER needed you! I’d rather suffer as the free mare that I am, than live forever painlessly as your slave!’
Princess Celestia looked at Sparky in confusion, causing her to be taken aback. Princess Celestia literally did not understand why Sparky was acting like this.
‘If you can’t understand that... then I feel sorry for you’, Sparky said, turning her back to her. ‘You are responsible for me getting my cutie mark, aren’t you?’ she asked.
‘Yes’, Celestia said simply. ‘It was a means to an end, without getting it, you would have lived your life as a normal pony, and you would have grown old and died, withered away and out of the memory of others. The cutie mark sent you on a journey that brought you here, where you could live forever in peace. You’re special, Sparky, you deserve it’.
‘Fuck you’, Sparky said plainly.
‘There is no need for such language...’ Princess Celestia began.
‘Let me reiterate: fuck you!’ Sparky said. ‘You used me, manipulated the course of my life, sending me through hell and back, and now you stand here and tell me you did it because I’m special!? Well, maybe I am special, but even if I am, the last thing I want to do is spend an eternity here with you!’
Princess Celestia recoiled at Sparky’s statements; the unicorn’s harsh words were clearly affecting her. ‘Very well, I will send you back... but you must realise, I can no longer protect you...’
‘Protect nothing!’ Sparky said. ‘Don’t you get it? Equestrians don’t need princesses anymore! We can think for ourselves now, we don’t need you to do it for us’.
Princess Celestia nodded her head reluctantly. Sparky could tell, she did not want to admit it, but Princess Celestia knew that she was right. ‘Yes... yes you’re right, I see that now’, she said quietly, as a tear began to roll down her cheek. ‘You are the embodiment of my people. You have grown up...’
‘We’re not your people’, Sparky said. ‘We never should have been. You should have let us grow up by ourselves’.
‘Yes’, Princess Celestia said, nodding her head in agreement. ‘Good luck with the rest of your life Sparky, live well’.
Princess Celestia’s horn began to glow, light filled the room, and Sparky was over taken by it, before she knew it, everything was gone.
Sparky opened her eyes to discover that she was in the Leninov’s cockpit. Her helmet had been smashed in, and she struggled to remember what had just happened to her. She had vague memories of a being in a luxury hotel suite, but they were quickly fading. A dream, it had to be.
Sparky looked around to discover Dizzy buckled into the seat next to her. She was unconscious, but breathing. Sparky removed her broken helmet and looked around the rest of the cabin. Every one of her companions was injured in some way, and all of them were unconscious, but all were still alive. Sparky sighed in relief, they had gotten lucky.
Sparky looked forward towards the windows, when something caught her eye. Shortfuse was slumped over in her seat, and a bloody steel bar had completely gone through the seat... and her.
‘Shortfuse!’ Sparky called out to her as she unbuckled her seat and tried to crawl over to her. Sparky lurched in pain, at least one of her ribs was broken. She crawled up towards her oldest friend and checked for a pulse. She had one, Shortfuse was still alive. ‘Shortfuse!’ Sparky cried out.
Shortfuse tilted her head slightly and looked at Sparky. ‘Hey... Sparky, how are you doing?’ she asked weakly, giving her a small smile.
‘Well... compared to what you have... I’m just peachy’, Sparky said pointing to the bar.
Shortfuse looked down at the metal bar that was sticking through her and frowned. ‘Well, that does look bad, doesn’t it?’ she asked with a smirk.
Sparky couldn’t help but smirk back at her. ‘I guess I shouldn’t have expected a life threatening injury to stop you from being you’, she said with a small chuckle.
‘Of course not!’ Shortfuse said. ‘Besides... I’m not in any pain; I can’t feel anything below my neck... Hey Sparky? I’m glad we had one last chance to talk before I die’.
Sparky was mortified. ‘Who said anything about dying? There’s no way anyone could have missed our crash, help is coming!’ Sparky added quickly, she couldn’t let Shortfuse just give up like that.
‘Aw... come on Spark, let’s be serious... I’m not coming back from this, even with modern medicine. It would be a small miracle if I could ever walk again, forget my wings, those are a lost cause... It’s okay Spark, I’m not scared’, Shortfuse said, giving her best friend a small smile.
Sparky began to cry. Shortfuse, one of her oldest friends was dying and she couldn’t do anything about it. ‘What am I going to do without you!?’ she asked with a choke.
‘Oh you’ll be fine Sparky!’ Shortfuse said. ‘You’re not a reclusive shut in anymore! You’ve got lots of friends now... so do me a favour, will you? Go home, get well, have lots of hot lesbian sex with Dizzy. Do it for me’.
Sparky couldn’t help but smile. ‘You never stop being you’, Sparky said as she wiped a tear away from her eye.
‘Of course not...’ Shortfuse said as she tilted her head back. ‘Hey Spark? You see that blue button on the control panel there?’
Sparky turned her head and looked at the control panel. ‘Yeah, I see it’, she added, nodding her head.
‘Press it’, Shortfuse said simply. Sparky complied, and pressed on it. She turned her head and watched as the bulkhead doors slid open. Shortfuse smiled and leaned back in her seat, getting comfortable. ‘Hey Sparky? Do you think heaven is real?’ she asked.
Sparky looked towards Dizzy, and then back to Shortfuse. ‘I hope so’, she said softly.
‘Well... if it is, when it’s your time, meet me at the bar’, Shortfuse said with a smile as she closed her eyes and her head went limp.
Sparky’s eyes erupted with tears as she buried her head into Shortfuse’s shoulder. She cried for what could have been hours for her friend. Shortfuse Skydancer, her best friend, was dead.
‘Goodbye Shortfuse’, Sparky said as she turned towards the open bulkhead door. She reached out with her hooves and began to drag herself out. The pain from her broken ribs shooting through her entire body as she crawled out and onto the street that the Leninov’s cockpit had crashed on to.
Her spacesuit had been completely ripped up and she could see her MIP under the ripped sleeve. She reached out with her teeth and ripped the suit off completely. She pulled up the holographic display and began to tap at it. It started to pick up a local broadcast signal, and Sparky hit the play button.
Sparky couldn’t help but smile, her favourite song. She pushed a button on the back of the MIP releasing the fastening clamp and allowing it to fall towards the ground.
She listened to the song for a moment before losing consciousness completely. It was over. Now she could finally relax.
The fire brigade had gotten here long before Viola’s car rolled up to the scene. Viola and Kelso exited the car and watched as paramedics pulled the last of the occupants out of the capsule. Kelso stood in awe of what was before them. ‘What the hell happened here?’ she asked.
‘I don’t know...’ Viola said with a frown, as the medics pulled the last occupant out, quickly covering them up with a white sheet. Viola realised instantly that she had been killed in the crash. ‘We won’t know until the survivors are ready to talk’.
Kelso nodded as she began to look around the scene. She looked down to discover an MIP was lying on the ground, and picked it up. The holographic display popped up before her and she began to read what was on it. Kelso let out a gasp. ‘Guv! Look at this!’ she said.
Viola took the MIP and began to read it. She smiled and looked at Kelso with a widening grin. ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ she asked.
Kelso nodded her head and smiled. ‘This is exactly what we’ve been looking for!’