At the dawn of the day Luna was still watching over the city of Canterlot from her balcony, lost in thought, when Celestia approached to take over for the day. As the sun princess approached she noticed the signs that her sister had been crying during the night, a shaking back, distracted glances, avoiding eye contact. The younger princess had always been the more childishly pure of the two and she could barely bring herself to watch even the smallest amount of pain in her subjects. Though the ponies below never knew of it.
“I am sorry for what is going to happen to Inventor. You understand the way things are though, don’t you?” Celestia said as she looked to her younger sister, sisterly care flowing from her words. All in an attempt that she might console her sister and bring her back to the point of talking with her, the lack of conversation between them for the past day had nearly driven Celestia up the wall with worry. In the end the white alicorn had decided that Luna need some time to think because, despite the age differences 'twixt the two sisters, the white alicorn felt the princess of the night had the greater of the emotional struggles.
“I can’t say I do sister, I return from my banishment and apologize to everypony I see. Yet despite my best efforts everypony aside from you and the Elements all treat me with distrust. Even if it isn’t openly I can see it behind their eyes, in their dreams of the day, they all fear me. Now I am forced to watch while an innocent being is put to death for some political agenda because I don't hold enough respect to have a say in the matter. So excuse me if I withhold my enthusiasm.” Replied Luna in a cold, deadpan tone as she turned to look at her sister, her bloodshot eyes removing all doubt in the solar sister’s mind in regards to how Luna felt.
“I have to give this one to the Council, I remember when they were originally formed it was to help me adjust to dealing with your absence. In a short time however they advanced to being the voice of the general populace. After you returned it took all I had to convince them that you were no threat, this result of me ignoring their advice has put us in a rough position. If I were to ignore them again on such a large topic as this I don't know how the ponies of Canterlot might react, so if the price of keeping you as my sister is to put to death some maniac from a mass-murdering race who teleported into your room then so be it.” The white alicorn responded with a tone of finality ringing in her voice.
“Sister, why are ponies so much more different now than they were when I left, I remember them being wonderful creatures that tried their best to help one another and all living creatures around them, much like Fluttershy and the other Elements. What changed in these thousand years to shift their personality so drastically?” Luna asked, her tone soft as she blinked her eyes to try and clear them of the bloodshot that was so obvious on her features.
“Over time, my dear sister, over that time society unbalanced itself. Ponies still care for one another but it has evolved to almost become strictly amongst other ponies. I’ll admit that when I found the elements not only did I hope that they would be able to free you from your curse but I also hoped that, with you back at my side, together we might turn the ideals back to how they once were.” Celestia paused and glanced sorrowfully at Luna before she continued to speak. “However, if I deny the council again, and so soon, there's a chance that the citizens might rebel. If that were to happen we wouldn’t be able to do anything to return to the norm.”
When Celestia finished Luna silently abandoned her post and proceeded towards the tower, on the way she stopped briefly at her sister’s side to speak a few quiet words to her before she continued. “But if you no longer exemplify those morales you want so desperately to fulfill, then aren't you at as much fault as them?” Celestia balked at this but had no answer as Luna continued past her and descended the spiral staircase of the tower.
The mind of the lunar princess was frazzled at all the different events that seemed to be occurring without her attention and now they were all much too large to stop. As she retired for the day her mind drifted to what she was to do. In such a state of inner turmoil she couldn’t fall asleep and as such was wide awake to answer the call for help from her city.
Inventor saw the remainder of the night pass uneventfully. The guards walked their paths through the dungeon, the man himself joining in to keep the watch on the prisons as the moon began to set behind to horizon. Sleep was but a faint memory to the man, he hadn’t had an opportunity to rest in the past few years and figured that if he was to be put to death soon he may as well stay awake for the remainder of his short life. Despite his wakefulness he never moved, he remained on the bench with his fingers interlocked and his gaze set on the far wall. It had become a habit really, gazing emptily into space.
As he did this his mind shifted wildly between insanity and sanity, this voluntary shift in mental health afforded him unique views on the separate theories he had running through his mind that others of his area of expertise couldn’t see. Sometimes the eyes of a madman and the hands of a genius are all it takes to change the world, most of the time that was what the world needed, change. Without it people would grow bored and stagnant, they fell to sloth, sloth lead to greed and greed led to wrath and before you knew it everyone had nukes, far too many nukes. It was in doing what wasn’t expected, but only when it was needed, that you could save entire species.
What the man did not expect was to be dragged from his thoughts sometime in the early morning as a guard approached his cell. The man’s concentration broke from the inner workings of the mind as he looked to the pony; Moments passed as the man tried to recall why the pony looked familiar Inventor realized it was the guard who had asked him about his chalk recycler. Or at least, he appeared to be at first sight, upon closer inspection he realized that something was off about the stallion’s eyes, they didn’t reflect the same way they had before. Before Inventor could ponder on it too much the stallion had unlocked his cell door and gestured for him to exit the prison.
When Inventor had left the cell door he looked curiously at the guard who returned a wide grin. Caught slightly off guard the man managed a few questioning words that rang with the same tone of suspicion that was echoing around his mind, “What are you doing this for exactly?”
“The queen would like to set free the prisoner so he may cause havoc and confusion in the upcoming battle.” Responded the not-quite-a-pony pony as it looked to the man who stood at about double its own height. The disguise fell away in a sudden burst of green flame to reveal a black creature that looked at the man with compound eyes. The man was unimpressed at the appearance swap and the creature paused for a moment, almost in disappointment, before speaking in a crackling tone, “The queen would like to know what you are going to do now that you are free.”
“Well, since I’m a fickle human, I could care less about favors and more about what is right. I wasn’t originally like that you know? But eh, a hundred years in a wasteland of your own making can really change a guy's point of view.” The human’s eyes began to shift to insanity as he took a pause before continuing. “I think that, given what you so foolishly told me, I will go and help the princesses with this coming battle you spoke of, can hardly hurt my situation right?”
When he finished the strange creature took to the air on its translucent wings and lunged at the man aggressively, enraged that the being had the gal to defy the queen. Its horn lowered as it flew through the air, trying to go for a skewer on the man. Much to the surprise of the creature the man returned with a lunge, his palm held to his side. As he thrust toward the creature a manic grin was plastered across his face and the hive mind briefly shuddered at the insanity in the expression, even the queen was slightly scared by the creature. She quickly disregarded the fear though, under the pretense that the man would fall to the sheer size of her army should he try anything. Her first mistake, perhaps if she had more of her subjects with her in the wedding room things would have gone differently...
The horn of the changeling dug deep into the man’s flesh and out to the side of his face, leaving a wound that delved far below the surface of his skin, yet left only a thin wound in his flesh. The man seemed not to notice the strike as he completed his movement and forced his palm hard into the creature’s chest. As his hand connected the man let loose a throaty exclamation that, to him, was a warcry. He had been given a few opportunities to use it while he was in the wasteland and not a single one had gone to waste. Regardless of the exclamation of the man the blow did just as it was intended to and it knocked the wind from the changeling’s lungs while also sending it tumbling into a cell.
With a smile the man locked the cell of the newly imprisoned creature shut and exited the room, the insanity of his mind still dancing in his eyes and a rivulet of blood moving down his face. The man took note of the lack of guards on the way up but he continued on anyway, an overall sense of excitement being his sole motivation. The man reached the ground floor just in time to see a swarm of the insectoid creatures bust in through the giant doors that composed the entrance to the castle. Much to the dismay of the gathered guard who had tried to keep it closed. It seemed the battle had started, something must have rushed forward the invasion.
The changelings began to swoop at the guards who fought back as best they could. The guard may have never have been tested in actual combat but they managed a fair amount of strikes on the changelings. As the chaos ensued Inventor found one of the guards who he had seen was in charge of the others. He approached the commander quietly, dropped his altitude to avoid giving away who he was, and quickly asked where both of the princesses had gone off to.
“Luna went off the help the citizens as soon as the threat became apparent, and last I heard Celestia was in still in the wedding room. Meanwhile the Elements are left by themselves to retrieve the artifacts, if we can’t hold the castle though it won’t do use any good. It needs to be clear if they wish to return” The captain responded as he managed to cut a changeling across the chest..
With a nod to the pony Inventor ran past the gathering crowd of guards and into the massive threshold that composed the doorway of the castle. “HELLO, CANTERLOT!” The man bellowed with a voice much louder then looked possible for him to produce. His call of the location came from his own remembering of the location he had heard a few of the guards talking about, the man could only hope he had the right place. Luckily the shout was loud enough to pause the battle between the soldiers and the insects who all looked at him in an interim of silence, shocked by this creature. “WHO TAKES THE ELEMENTS, TAKES EQUESTRIA. BUT BAD NEWS EVERYBODY, BECAUSE GUESS WHO?”
The man paused to inhale, speaking with this much volume took a lot out of him in regards to oxygen as well as energy, running low on both of those the man dropped his intensity, though he was still audible to all present. “Now, question of the hour is, who is going to help Luna and Celestia save the town. Answer? I am, So come and get me you flying pieces of swiss cheese!” This statement was enough of a taunt to grab the overall mind of the hive and they quickly redirected their attacks to the man who turned to leave. This left the castle completely unoccupied by the creatures, much to the surprise of the guards. Wasting no time the stallions began to set up defences once again.
The man was running within the second, running faster than he had in at least two whole days. The changelings were beginning to gain ground regardless of his efforts however and the man began to take sharp turns in an attempt to lose them. After many such turns he eventually made it to the town surrounding the castle and came across the princess herself, Luna. She was worn from her work and was defending a group of civilians who the swarm had initiated on. Though she was doing an amazing job of defending them she was still tiring, the effects of the battle evident on her face. Fighting fiercely regardless of her fatigue until a glob of green goo landed about her legs, leaving the princess immobile. In this state a changeling charged towards her from behind, going for the killing blow.
Luna sensed the approaching creature and flinched in anticipation for the blow that didn’t come, after a second of silence the lunar princess tore through the goo at her hooves and turned to see what had saved her, her eyes were met with the sight of Inventor throwing a stunned changeling into a larger collection of them, some moved to catch the body, others moved out of the way. With the time it bought them the man and the alicorn found themselves back to back as they waited for the rebuttal.
“Well at least they are few right now.” The alicorn said over her shoulder to the man, as she did so the fresh wave of the creatures that had been following the man crested up from behind a building and sped towards them, when she glanced back at the man his face was covered with his insane smile and a pair of goggles covered his eyes.
“Time for some fighting Luna, want to take wagers on who can beat up the most of these things?” The alicorn was stunned silent before she turned away from the man with a cold disapproval. In curiosity about her silence he turned around to talk to her when he got a look of the civilians she was protecting, among the group was a mother, a father, and two foals. Inventor didn’t respond to the looks of fear that they gave him instead choosing to focus on the approaching enemies.
The creature's began to take the forms of ponies as they approached but this did little to deter the man as the new wave of changelings reached the pair. Both him and the alicorn broke into a blur of movement, the princess’s dexterous magic struck down changelings after changelings only to find that another had filled their place. She was slightly put off by this until she heard a deep rough voice shouting words behind her, the man’s intelligent eyes were back and he carefully applied force to each of the oncoming changelings, they would either careen off course or would dodge his blow. Inspired by the man’s spirit and morale the princess picked up her pace. Both beings fought defensively, deterring blows in an effort to protect the ponies between them.
It had been several minutes of this and both of the defenders were growing tired, it was at this time that Luna spotted an opening appear in their lines as Inventor tossed a changeling over his shoulder and past Luna’s vision, “GO!” He shouted loudly, the alicorn picked up the family with her magic and ran out of the swarm and toward the building nearest them. With a jerk of her magic the door opened and Luna moved the ponies inside the house. When they were safely inside Luna turned once again to help Inventor fight against the swarm but felt a shove on her flank before she tumbled unceremoniously into the building as well and the door slammed shut behind her. She immediately tried to teleport out and help the man but she found herself too weak to do so after all the fighting she had subjected herself to, in addition to this attempting to push the door open only resulted in a strong resistance against the act.
With a steely determination the blue alicorn began to gather her magic and prep for her magic spell, just as she was about to cast it a wave of pink shot from the castle and flew over the entirety of the castle, the noise from the other side of the door faded away. With a moment to gather her thoughts the blue alicorn teleported directly past the door and outside of the building where she found the man lying against the door. To say that his attempt to protect the ponies had resulted in damage would be an understatement, several bleeding wounds, caused by the horns of the changelings, covered the man from head to toe. There was no audible breathing from the creature and rivers of blood poured from the variety of cuts and bruises that decorated his skin.
The alicorn had tilted her head in respect for the man’s sacrifice when a soft laugh caught her ears, it quickly grew in volume and Luna looked at Inventor incredulously. When his laugh reached a pitch that screeched against her ears the man began to cough up blood, only to be laughing again before too long. The laugh was rough and coarse on her mind and the alicorn hit the man across the face with her hoof to stop the noise as well as try to knock some sense into him before she realized what she was doing. After that action he fell silent for a few moments before he attempted to stand, blood surged from his wounds and he managed to fall off to the side of the doorway.
“Inventor!” Luna called in worry and disbelief as he leaned against the wall of the building, a red smear on the cobblestones marking his path.
“You should really-” Inventor paused as he coughed up more blood into his hand, “You should really get them back to their house through teleportation. Something tells me that bloodstained monsters aren’t the best thing for foals to see.” He managed, his arms fell limp at his sides and he gazed up at the sky.
“I would recommend you do it now, don’t want them wondering what happened to their savior and princess.” Inventor said as he looked to the mare out of the corner of his eye. She merely returned a glare at the man who was breathing heavily as he lost blood onto the street. “Oh come on, with any luck this will kill me and you won’t have to see me killed by the justice you don’t seem to agree with.” The mare still hesitated at his words and the man looked at her. He needed her to leave, she shouldn’t be seeing him like this, with that pain in her eyes.
With the intention to get her to leave the man pulled his ultimatum, “If you don’t leave me and take care of your subjects I will end my life right here Luna, and the blood will be on your hooves.” He glared at her, his cold eyes unmoving and uncaring. Luna was stunned but slowly made her way back into the house and looked at the ponies within. The mother was holding the babies close to herself while the father was standing between his family and the door. When the door opened he crouched low into a fighting stance but relaxed as he noticed it was Luna.
The blue mare stopped as she closed the door behind her and looked to the ground, organizing her thoughts. After a few moments of silence she raised her gaze to the family and smiled lightly before speaking. “We should get you home, I’m sure that today has been quite trying for you and your foals.” As she mentioned the children her gaze drifted to them and she noticed that they had fallen sound asleep. “I’ll teleport you home if you would kindly give me your address.”
The stallion looked at her indignantly before he spoke, “We can walk home thank you very much.” he said and marched to the door, Luna remained unmoving as she stood between the stallion and his exit. “Move aside.” The stallion said cooly, Luna looked at him with eyes full of sadness and despair, regardless she moved to the side.
The stallion, thinking he had won the argument, marched out the door and paused just beyond the threshold. After a few moments of silence he returned to the house and glared at Luna from under his eyebrows, “1300, Narish Road” He said as he stood next to his family. Luna nodded sadly in return and a ball of blue magic formed at the tip of her horn, just before it was cast the stallion spoke again. “Tell him thank you for me, I owe him my family...” With another nod to the stallion the spell was cast. It softly settled around the family and teleported them back to their house.
With a sigh the lunar princess once again exited the house. Upon her exit the alicorn turned to look at the man smeared with blood and covered in wounds, as the mare did she noticed he had once again stopped moving his limbs, leaving his arms limp at his side. Unlike previously though his chest was now rising and falling with his breaths. She was about to ask him a question when she was preemptively cut off by a snore. He’s sleeping after that? I suppose he deserves it though, after the insane acts that he did today. Thought Luna to herself.
Deciding that the man needed medical treatment as soon as possible but finding herself unable to perform spells after all that, she lifted the man onto her back and trotted toward the nearest hospital. If the man had been awake he would have said that the trip to the hospital and the wounds that covered his body had been worth it just to see the looks on the faces of the hospital staff as she approached. When Luna attempted to get assistance for the man a unicorn doctor closed the flesh wounds of the man to staunch the blood flow, but refused to attempt any healing that may have occurred internally.
After the excursion to the hospital Luna took the man back to the castle. Upon entering the castle door the princess immediately redirected her trek towards her own personal chambers, which sat at the top floor of the castle. As the duo made their way to the room several guards looked at them with cold glares. Luna was used to these, among them however were several looks she had not seen from the guards. A look of respect appeared on several of the guard’s face as they saw the two pass.
Upon entering the room Luna gently levitated the man onto the silken bedspread and arranged a pillow behind him. The wet blood on his clothes rubbed off on the sheets but Luna didn't mind. She could always get them cleaned. After assuring herself that the man was carefully laid out upon the bed Luna looked once more around the blue room and departed via the balcony.
As she flew from the room the man opened his eyes and rolled up the sleeve of one arm, a shiny reflection danced across the man’s vision. Ignoring the light he grabbed a hold of a handle that rested against his arm, with a grunt of exertion a switch was flipped and a whirring noise issued from the arm. Inventor managed to roll the sleeve back down over his odd limb and fell into a light sleep once again.
As he fell into his rest for the second time a blue alicorn approached a wedding party, more specifically she approached her sister of the sun who stood next to the bearers of the elements of harmony. Luna had several questions and information flowing around in her brain as she landed next to Celestia but, seeing that Cadence and Shining Armor were enjoying a dance, the princess of the moon decided that it could be put off until a more appropriate time. Instead as she landed she smiled and said, with a joking tone, “Hello everypony, did I miss anything?”
(Being half asleep is not the best time to edit a story... or write it.. or pre-read it...
Also! I just came out with a plot that should last me another chapter or two. So, If have a bone to pick with how the ponies are acting like selfish punks then I would like you to wait until the next chapter before you jump on my face with a dagger and a rope, maybe a candlestick.. revolver? W/E I’ll be in the library with the colonel. -N64Fan)