17w, 6dArt, Exiles, and Guardians in the Night. 7 comments · 163 views
23w, 9hAnnouncements, Apologies and New Ideas 7 comments · 122 views
34w, 3dUpdate - I'm (sort of) back! 17 comments · 411 views
50w, 21hStory Teaser 7 comments · 194 views
55w, 4dMoving on and branching out 6 comments · 80 views
60w, 3dLow and behold, for I walk among the living once again. 17 comments · 166 views
69w, 14hThank you, Derpy 6 comments · 75 views
70w, 6dOH MY GOD IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED 10 comments · 93 views
71w, 8hDEAR SWEET CELESTIA'S TEATS!!!11!!1! 1 comments · 134 views
71w, 1dSo this new story happened... 6 comments · 83 views
The hallway was unusually quiet. Normally, the space slightly amplified the various noises of activity from the many rooms and offices throughout the rest of the building, but not now. All was eerily silent; the only sound was the faint echo of her footfalls of Cie’ara walked briskly down its length. It was as if the very space around her was holding its breath in anticipation of what would happen next. Eventually, she reached the end of the hallway, and paused in front of the large mahogany door. She began to tremble lightly as a mixture of fear, apprehension and worry briefly overtook her.
She knew what she was supposed to do. Protocol was pretty clear, and this wasn’t the first time this had happened. She’d done this before. So why was this time any different? Why was she so nervous? Sure, the Director never liked to hear this kind of news and was most definitely a scary man when he was displeased. But she was used to that. And besides, he never took it out on her, or anyone else for that matter. He was strict, maybe even a little harsh, but he was also kind and just. He never punished the messenger for this sort of thing. But then why was she so anxious? What was different this time?
Victor. It had to be. Victor was what was different. Yes, he had done this sort of thing before, but never quite like this. This time was different. She’d never seen him do this before, and it scared her. It scared her terribly. She’d stories, just rumors really, of him doing something similar before, long before she had come to work for the GEA and become his handler. It hadn’t ended well.
The person he’d helped almost couldn’t cope. The strain it put on them was too much, and they just couldn’t handle it. They’d survived the initial stages, but not unscathed. Afterwards, they quickly grew unstable and out of control, going on a rampage. They even turned against Victor. He almost didn’t make it. He had to fight them, even though he was still weakened from helping them in the first place. It was a long and destructive fight, but in the end he managed to escape off-world, barely getting away with his life. The rest of the realm wasn’t so lucky. In a final, desperate attempt to kill Victor, they unleashed all of their power, destroying both themselves and the world they were on. Billions of innocent lives, all lost. Victor was never quite the same afterwards. Not as trusting, more secluded and aloof to those around him.
Shaking her head to push such dark thoughts out her mind, Cie’ara raised a trembling fist to knock on the door. She rapped her knuckles three times in quick succession just beside the small golden plaque announcing whose office this was. After only a momentary pause, she was answered by a smooth but strong voice, “Enter.”
She did as she was instructed. The heavy door opened silently on well-oiled hinges, spreading small amounts of light from the hallway into the dark room beyond. The only other light in the room came from a small brass lamp that sat on the Director’s desk, the angle of its blub alighting upon the desk’s various contents and somehow throwing the man himself even further into shadow. In fact the only part of him that was visible was his eyes, which always seemed to glow with an eerie inner light. Those eyes regarded her as she entered the room, carefully following her movement. “Yes? What is it Cie’ara?” he asked in a silken voice.
Cie’ara couldn’t help but nervously fidget in place as she answered, “I-It’s Victor, sir. He’s gotten into trouble. Again.”
The Director closed his eyes and sighed. Looking to her once more, his eyes betrayed a small hint of the weariness he carried. “What has he done this time?”
She gulped audibly before she replied, “It seems that he bestowed the Blessing.”
Immediately, his gaze turned steely, and the Director was silent. When he spoke again, the smooth charm of his voice was gone, replaced by a firm and commanding tone, “Are you absolutely sure of this, Cie’ara?”
The Director leaned forward onto his desk, the dark fabric covering his elbows becoming visible in the light of the lamp as he clasped his hands. In a stern voice that brooked no argument, he spoke, “Very well. Initiate Hidden Hand Protocol. Victor will head the operation. I will be sending in back-up within the next 24 hours, local time. I want a status update report on my desk by then. As of this moment Victor has Code Siri authorization. Make sure that he is aware of all this as soon as he is conscious. Do you understand, Cie’ara?”
Despite only having a vague idea of what was going on, she wasted no time in nodding vigorously. He was starting to scare her.
“Good. See that it is done. Now leave me, I have much work to do.”
She did as she was told immediately. As she walked briskly down the hall she muttered darkly under her breath, “Dammit Victor, if you don’t make it through this I’m going to kill you…”
The incessant beeping of machinery reached me even thorough the thick darkness of unconsciousness. The tell-tale tone that sounded in time with my heartbeat told me that I was in a situation that I had found myself in many times before. As I slowly roused myself to consciousness, an anti-septic smell reached my nostrils, further affirming my suspicions.
I attempted to open my eyes, only to close them again as they were invaded with far too much white. Instead, I focused on my other senses. The scent of sterility and harsh cleaners overpowered anything else, leaving only the almost iconic smell of anti-septic to reach my nose. The constant noise of the heart monitor was the most prominent of sounds, but beneath it other things could be heard. The faint sound of someone breathing softly in the next bed was apparent. The faint buzz of fluorescent lights was absent, indicating that it was most likely either too early or too late for them to be necessary. The soft gurgle of water in pipes within the walls reached me as well.
From all of this I reasonably deduced that it was still night-time, perhaps even early morning judging from the soft light alighting from the window on the far wall. With a sigh, I tried to roll out of bed, only to fall back into the sheets with a soft grunt as pain shot through my body. The pain was sharp, harsh and insistent, flaring to life just behind my ribs whenever I tried to move. As uncomfortable as it was, I welcomed the pain in a way. It was definitely better than the alternative.
My movements did not go unnoticed however, for just as soon as I attempted to rise I noticed someone else in the room, and they noticed me.
She, (and it was most definitely a she, I didn’t need my new body’s natural gender differentiating instincts to tell me that) was lacking in any sort of horn or wings, unsurprisingly. I don’t know why I expected anything else. What did surprise me though was her strange coloration. From what little I remembered about the briefing before I took this mission, the native inhabitants came in all shades and stripes, quite literally in fact, but even so, I was sure that she was at least somewhat unusually. I mean, come on, she was pink. And not just a regular pink, or a subtle pink, or even a whiteish-red, she was pink. Her whole body screamed it, from head to hoof, in a way that was almost painful to look at with my currently sensitive eyes. Her mane was pink too, thankfully a darker shade at least. Just one look across her brightly colored body to her strangely pretty blue eyes told me that she was nothing if not a big ball of optimism and energy. Her actions in the next few seconds did nothing to disavow me of that assumption.
Almost as soon as our eyes met, she let out a loud gasp and somehow crossed the distance between my bed and the waiting chair across the room had occupied in a single bound, wrapped her fore-hooves around me, and squeezed me in an unnecessarily tight hug (I swear she creaked one of my already bruised ribs) as she spouted off words far too fast for me to follow. After a few moments of me flailing about in her grasp and gasping for breath she seem to get the hint and let go of me, standing back and looking at me with small tears in the corners of her eyes as she said one more thing in a (thankfully) understandable speed, “Thank you.”
After a few seconds of coughing and catching my breath, I managed to wheeze out a simple question, “Who are you?”
“I’m Pinkie Pie,” she responded, “and you are the one who helped my friend, aren’t you?” She pointed a single hoof towards the other bed in the room as she spoke, and I now realized that it was indeed occupied by the same purple unicorn I had seen in the castle when I had fought Lunacy. She continued to look at me with her large blue eyes, and I realized she was expecting me to answer.
“Yeah. Yeah, I am,” I said, wincing as I rolled over and actually managed to get out of bed this time.
Having calmed down enough now, she walked over to me and hugged me lightly around the neck, again whispering her thanks into my ear. From her proximity, I couldn’t help but notice that she smelled faintly of cotton candy and strawberry icing. Blushing, I gently pushed her away and stammered, “I-it was nothing.”
Undeterred, she continued speaking, “But it wasn’t ‘nothing’! You saved her. I don’t know what from, or why, but my Pinkie Sense says you saved her from something dangerous, and my Pinkie Sense is never wrong.”
“Pinkie Sense?” I inquired, raising an eyebrow.
Without missing a beat, she explained, “Sometimes I get little strange feelings, like my tail twitching, or my ears flopping, and they supposedly predict the future. I call it my Pinkie Sense, and it’s never been wrong before.”
With a small frown I pushed my way past her and made my way to the other bed, mentally face-palming (face-hoofing?) as I walked. “Oh great,” I thought to myself, “a clairvoyant.” Taking my mind off the pink pony, I looked to the lavender mare in the bed.
At first glance she appeared to be simply resting. Her expression was peaceful, her breathing was even, and the slightest nudge seemed as if it might wake her. But all one had to do was look a little closer to see the real depth of her malady. Every so often her breath would hitch the slightest amount, and the corners of her mouth would twitch into the faintest semblance of a grimace of pain. If I looked closely enough I could even see a thin layer of cold sweat forming on her forehead, just around the base of her horn. But even this did not convey the true extent of her illness. All of these symptoms could easily be mistaken for something as mundane and harmless as even a common cold. There was only one sure way to find out how bad her state really was; examine how she looked not on the outside, but on the inside, and not only that but look closely.
All throughout her body, invisible to the naked eye were laylines, channels for magic energy. The intangible matrix acted like her physical circulatory system, allowing her magical essence to flow all throughout body, from the bottoms of her hoofs up to and out of the tip of her horn. Much like its physical counterpart, this system also had a center from which it flowed: the Carbuncle. Directly attached to a pony’s spirit, the Carbuncle generated all of their innate magics and forced them through the body. In a perfectly normal, healthy unicorn, the Carbuncle was located directly in the pony’s center, was a color similar to the pony’s individual aura, and would thrum occasionally, up to ten beats a minute.
Unfortunately, Twilight Sparkle was not a healthy unicorn. Do to her recent ordeal, her Carbuncle had been moved out of place, close to her chest and almost outside of her body completely. The entire lifestream of energy in her laylines had been tainted, small streaks of black running throughout the otherwise magenta material. Worst of all though, were the several shards of pure corruption, poised and ready to sink deeply into the heart of her Carbuncle, destroying her as the Lunacy took over her mind and body and twisted it to suit its own unknowable purposes. The only thing holding them back was a glowing, silver nebulous of utterly alien and incredibly powerful energy sitting just outside of her chest: my blessing.
It was a single foolish act of desperation on my part that had led to this situation. When Lunacy had tried to possess her, I had done everything I could think of to save her. I wasn’t about to let another innocent suffer because of my mistakes and weakness. If I wasn’t strong enough to protect her in the first place I would have to be strong enough to save her then. But all of my efforts were in vain. After hours of struggle to contain it while it slowly seeped into her, I did the only thing I knew could save her: I gave her the Blessing of the Stars, at a great cost to myself.
I was careful not to use too much power, I had already made that mistake once before. The consequences still haunt me today. I only made the Blessing as strong as it needed to be to hold the Lunacy back, and save her from whatever awful fate she would otherwise suffer. As desperate as the action was though, it had most assuredly saved her life.
I just hoped that it would all be worth it. I hoped that this young unicorn would be strong enough for what lay ahead. As difficult as the coming transition would surely be, I would at least be by her side to help her. After going through so much to save her I felt somewhat invested in her continued survival.
Before my thoughts could continue down their current path I was interrupted by an immediately recognizable buzzing coming from a small table adjacent to the bed in which I had been laying, as well as a faint pressure at the back of my mind.
Ignoring the curious look from the pink pony that had been following my movements as I walked about the room, I made my way over to the table. Opening my Badge where it lay, I was greeted with the familiar sight of my insignia above a small blue vortex. Keeping my current company in mind, I switched the device into “Text Only” mode and opened the waiting message.
One new message received. Relaying message now.
Special Agent Victor Umbra, we are aware of your recent breach of protocol and have taken appropriate action. Effective immediately, you hereby put on level Siri authorization. In addition, Protocol code named: Hidden Hand has been activated. You have been assigned as head of the operation. Over the next twenty-four hours please expect----
Before I could read any further I was interrupted. My Badge flashed brightly as the message on its screen changed and began to blink with urgency.
Absence of a sufficient energy source detected. Energy reserves at critical level. This device will now shut down in order to preserve critical systems. Do not re-activate without an adequate source of power.
After few seconds -- just long enough for me to read the message -- the screen went blank and the internal crystal matrix became idle as my Badge went into full shut-down. Cursing my bad luck, I closed the Badge and stowed it away, all the while silently berating myself for forgetting the loss of my Badge would be another one of the consequences of bestowing my blessing.
Turning around, I was greeted by a faceful of pink pony as she leaned over my shoulder to try and get a better look at the device.
“Gah! Don’t do that!” I screamed as I instinctively jumped backwards, only to crash into the small bedside table, knocking over the lamp that rested on it with a loud crash. Grumbling, I bent down and picked up the small brass lighting fixture with my teeth and replaced it in its rightful spot. Pinkie Pie just wore a sheepish but apologetic smile.
“Is there something I can help you with?” I asked irritably, and with a bite of sarcasm.
Either Pinkie was completely oblivious to my sarcasm, or she intentionally ignored it as she answered, “Yeah, there is! Can you tell me what that thing is?” She pointed an inquisitive hoof at my Badge as she spoke.
“What, this?” I asked as I held the device aloft, and Pinkie rapidly shook her head. “This is… well it’s…” I floundered as I attempted to come up with an explanation that wouldn’t arouse suspicion from the hyperactive pony. After several moments I still came up with nothing and simply said, “You know what? Don’t worry about it, it’s nothing special. It doesn’t even work anyways.” From the somewhat suspicious way she eyed me, I could tell that my answer wasn’t exactly satisfactory. Thankfully, she chose not to pursue the issue though.
“If you say so…” she said slowly, the suspicion evident in her voice. After several seconds of her eyeing me unblinkingly, I began to feel nervous. Fortunately, she didn’t seem to be one to linger on anything negative. With a loud gasp and a shocked look on her face, she leapt into the air a good several feet and somehow hung suspended there for a few impossible seconds. Surprised, I stumbled backwards once more as she landed and squealed, “I just realized something!”
“What, what is it?!” I asked loudly, put somewhat on guard by the hyperactive pony’s sudden spike in energy.
“I don’t know you!” she exclaimed. The triumphant look on her face was more like that of someone who had reached a great epiphany, instead of stating the obvious.
“Yes? And?” I inquired with my eyebrow cocked, somewhat put off by her rather strange actions.
“If I don’t know you, then that must mean you’re new here! And if you’re new here then that means you probably don’t know anypony! And if you don’t know anypony then that means I have to throw a party and invite everypony and introduce you and we can all have funandmakefriendsand…” She ranted until her words started to blur together. Her eyes lit up with joy as she spoke, becoming more and more wrapped up in her party plans. Finally, her seemingly inexhaustible lungs ran out and she took a deep breath. Realizing that she had been rambling, she shook her head to clear it before speaking again, in an understandable way this time. “Anyways, what’s your name?”
Having been eyeing her strangely while she practically bounced up and down in excitement, I was slightly caught off-guard when she spoke in an understandable manner. “M-my name?” I stammered.
Not even attempting to stifle her giggle, she just repeated herself, “Hehe, yeah silly. What’s your name?”
“Well, my name is---“Before I could finish my sentence, I was interrupted by the door to the room being opened rather suddenly and forcefully, startling both me and Pinkie Pie.
In the doorway was a rather unhappy stallion. His coat was a light brown, only slightly darker than mine, and his spikey mane was a dark, chocolaty brown, similar to my own. Judgeing from the white coat he wore and the stethoscope around his neck, I assumed that he was the doctor. The intensely disapproving glare that he shot Pinkie Pie caused her to fold her ears flat against her skull and offer a small apologetic smile. “Pinkimena Diane Pie, what did I tell you?” He asked in a strangely familiar voice.
“N-not to bother Twilight and her friends while they’re recovering…” She mumbled, sitting on her haunches and twiddling her hooves.
“That’s right. Now do you know what I’m going to ask you next?”
“To stay and help make them feel better?” She ventured optimistically. The venomous glare the doctor continued to give her killed any such hope.
With a sigh, Pinkie rose to her hooves and sulked out the door with her head held low. “OK. I’ll just be going then.”
Satisfied that she had gotten the message, the doctor allowed his expression to soften as he spoke again, this time much more gently, “Thank you, Pinkie. Maybe you can come back later, during visiting hours, alright? They should be well enough by then.”
Pinkie picked up her head and gave him an appreciative smile as she walked past. “Ok. I think I will.”
He allowed himself a small smile. “Good, I’m glad that’s settled. Now stay safe, you hear?” He called out to Pinkie as she retreated down the hallway. Pinkie just waved as she walked away.
Having finished his talk with Pinkie, he walked into the room and shut the door softly behind himself. Turning to me he spoke, “So you’re awake, hm? I’m glad, that was quite the beating you took.”
Snorting nonchalantly and chuckling, I said, “Don’t worry about it. I’ve had much worse than this before.”
“Oh, I know. But this time is different. You’re usually not this stupid,” He rebutted, walking over to the bed of the room’s other occupant and checking her charts.
Narrowing my eyes, I stared at him suspiciously, “I’m sorry? What was that?”
The brown earth pony didn’t even take his eyes off the medical charts as he spoke, “Don’t worry, you heard me correctly Agent Umbra.”
Immediately, I dropped into a defensive stance and pointed my horn at the strange stallion. I pawed the ground and readied myself to charge at a moment’s notice as I spoke. “Who are you and how do you know who I am?” I ask in an even and measured tone.
This reaction caused the doctor to look up from his clipboard eye me strangely and slightly disbelievingly. “You really don’t recognize me?” he asked as he raised one eyebrow, “Well, I suppose that’s only natural with this new body. Hell, I wouldn’t have recognized you either if I hadn’t already known it was you.”
Lowering my horn a fraction of an inch, I incredulously asked, “Just who are you?”
This only served to earn me a smirk from him as he spoke, “Oh, come on. It can’t be that hard to figure out. Honestly I’m somewhat surprised that you haven’t guessed it already.”
As he spoke, I took the chance to examine him more closely. His voice, unkempt brown hair and were all incredibly familiar. It wasn’t until I sawed the hourglass on his flank that it finally clicked. “Doctor?! Doctor Who?!” I exclaimed.
“Bingo, mister Umbra. Although in this world I’m known as Doctor Whooves. You’d do well to remember that,” he answered, smirking.
Instantly, I perked up. “What the hell are you doing here? And Doctor ‘Whooves’? That has got to be the one of the worst puns I’ve ever heard.”
“Hey, first off, I don’t really like the name either. But regular names won’t fly in this world. And secondly, I’m here because of you,” he clarified.
“Me? What about me?” I asked.
“I’m sure you’ve already heard that Hidden Hand Protocol has been activated. But that’s not all; the higher ups aren’t exactly happy about that stunt you pulled. Not only are you now on Siri level authorization but they’ve also sent in some backup to watch your ass. That’s where I come in. I’ve been called in to watch over you and report back to HQ about your actions and make sure you don’t do anything else incredibly stupid,” he explained.
“Oh great,” I said, hanging my head dejectedly, “so you’re here as a glorified babysitter.”
This drew a chuckle from the Doctor as he went on, “Oh don’t be like that, it’s not all bad. The only reason the Director ordered this is because everyone is honestly concerned about you. I heard that Cie’ara hasn’t slept a wink since this whole assignment started. And she’s not the only one. Hell, even I’m worried about you. And besides, I’m not here just to babysit you. You’ve been made the operation and I’ve been ordered to assist you in any way you deem necessary.”
“Thanks,” I said with a small smile.
“Don’t mention it,” he said nonchalantly as he waved it off with a hoof. He looked me over and spoke again, “You should probably go back to sleep. Word travels fast around here so you’ll most likely have a lot of visitors tomorrow. You’re going to be in for a busy day and you should be 100% for that.”
“Are those doctor’s orders?” I asked with a sly grin.
“You know it,” he said with a smirk.
Deciding to follow his advice I made me way back to my own bed, wincing as I place a little too much weight on a sore leg. He was right; I definitely wasn’t in peak condition right now.
“Get some rest Victor. If my guess is right – and they always are – you going to have some very important ponies visiting you tomorrow,” he said quietly as he left the room and softly shut the door.
Closing my eyes, I did just as the doctor prescribed. I was asleep within moments.
Celestia found her sister exactly where she had expected she would be. Luna had found the particular balcony shortly after her return from her lunar exile, and even after so much time had passed she still spent many a night watching over the kingdom from the high perch. Even during the depths of the Autumn and Winter season such as it was now she continued her self-imposed night-time vigil. Celestia supposed that in a way her younger sister was just trying to do whatever she could help and atone for her past sins. Celestia just wished that she would realize that there was nothing left to atone for; all had been forgiven.
Calmly and quietly, Celestia walked out onto the balcony and sat down beside her younger sibling. For a long while neither of them said anything, just admiring the scenery and looking out across their kingdom instead. After several moments of silence Celestia opened her mouth to remind her sister that the time to lower the moon and raise the sun was drawing near when she was interrupted.
“Can you feel it, sister?” Luna asked quietly, her expression unusually grim.
“Feel what, Luna?” Celestia asked out of genuine curiosity.
“The stars, dear sister. They cry out, but in joy or sorrow I cannot tell,” she replied as she turned towards the sky.
“What do you mean?” the white alicorn asked, becoming a little concerned.
“I… am not sure,” Luna said, shaking her head “Although I cannot imagine when such a thing has happened before, it feels strangely familiar. It is as if the very heavens themselves quiver in anticipation. I am not sure why, but it makes me feel frightened… and excited.”
“Luna… I don’t know what to say,” Celestia spoke, becoming somewhat frightened by her sisters words. Desperate to change to topic, she latched on to the first thing she could think of. “Besides Luna, it is time to change the night into the day.”
“You are right,” Luna said with a sigh. Softly, she spread her dark blue wings and lifted gently into the sky. Celestia wasted no time in spreading her own wings and joining her in the air.
Slowly, they allowed their inner magics to channel down the length of their horns as they each reached towards their respective celestial bodies. There were none to watch the intricate dance this morning and so the two sisters felt no need to make any sort of show of the daily phenomenon. Still, it was impossible to perform such a miracle completely devoid of any sort of beauty and any who might have caught a glimpse of the ritual would have likened it to nothing it to nothing less than exactly what it was; the dancing of the very heavens themselves. With a firm and incessant strength, the cool winter’s breeze of Luna’s magic pushed against the rocky surface of her charge, lowering from sky and out of the sight of all who dwelled in Equestria. The warmth of Celestia’s magic, almost in a direct contrast to her sister’s, gently prodded and guided the sun, coaxing it above the horizon so that it could take its rightful place among day-time heavens. As one final act, the two siblings set the Celestial Wheel in motion, so that the sun could trek its way across the sky without any further intervention.
They both landed gently, alighting on the same balcony from which they launched, the subtle clink of their ornate shoes the only sound in the otherwise silent morning air. For a good while the two sisters sat side-by-side, quietly enjoying the sight of the sunrise over Canterlot Mountain. Once the bottom edge of solar body had made its way above the horizon, Celestia rose to her hooves. Gently, she wrapped her younger sister in a fleeting embrace with her wings before turning to leave, “Good day, Luna. I’m afraid I must go now; the day court beckons.”
“Farewell sister,” Luna responded without turning away from the spot.
Before the older pony could make it more than half-way across the room however, she was halted by an audible pop and a flash of green light. Instinctively, Celestia reached out and caught the newly materialized scroll with her magic, simultaneously opening it as she did so. Intrigued, Luna turned towards her sister and waited for some sort of reaction. After several silently moments in which she read the letter, Celestia released a small sigh.
“What is it, sister?” Luna asked, honestly curious.
“It seems,” she said as she indicated the parchment, “that my faithful student has done something foolish and gotten in over her head. As such, she is currently unconscious within Ponyville’s Hospital.”
“I see,” Luna responded. “And what is it you intend to do?”
With another sigh, Celestia continued, “Well, I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t concerned, but I can’t—“
“Let me,” Luna interrupted.
“Let me go and visit her. I know you are concerned about her, but you have your duties you must attend to. Mine have finished with the night. Allow me to visit her in your stead, and I will make sure that all is well while you do what you must.”
“I… thank you Luna. I appreciate this.” Celestia said with a smile.
“It is no trouble at all. And besides, I have been meaning for some time to meet once again with your student. I just wish it would have been under better circumstances.” Luna responded, mirroring her sister’s smile.
“I will have a chariot prepared immediately, you will be able to leave as soon as you wish,” Celestia said as she turned towards the door.
“Please, do not bother.”
“Oh? And why not?”
“There is no need. It is not far to Ponyville, and I have not had the chance to stretch my wings in a while,” Luna spoke, indicating the feathered appendages, “besides, I would rather leave right now if I can.”
With a smile, Celestia hugged her sister one more time, “Thank you again, Luna.”
“You are welcome, sister,” she said, nuzzling into the embrace. Spreading her wings, Luna lifted into the sky with ease and grace. “Farewell, I shall see when I return,” she said over her shoulder as she flew away with considerable speed.
“Farewell, little sister,” Celestia said, more to herself than anyone else. She watched her sister fly away towards the west, rapidly becoming no more than a small blue speck. All too soon, even the small blue speck faded from her vision as it headed towards the town of Ponyville. Without a word, Celestia turned and began to make her way towards her throne room, so that she might begin her day.
To all of my readers... I apologize. My absence has been far too long and I have no excuse. I do have reasons though, some of which I mentioned in my blog, in addition to the occasional power outage. But basically just suffice it to say the RL was being a needy bitch and was keeping me all to herself so I wouldn't do, well, pony things. But anyways, I've ranted long enough and I have a quick word about the story before I leave.
First off, I will not be returning to the once-a-day/once-every-other-day chapter release schedule. The reason for this is that rushing myself like that just kills any sort of flow the story might otherwise have. As a trade-off though, the chapters should be generally longer and of better quality. Thank you for your understanding.
One last thing before I go. Have some art for your trouble. It's a full-color version of Victor Umbra's pony form that I made in MS Paint. Enjoy.