As Luna went about her business that night distractions would not come easily to her mind. The result was that she eventually found herself pacing back and forth across the balcony of her now empty room, Inventor having been awoken and taken back to the dungeon for security purposes. She hadn’t told Celestia about Inventor saving her life, there simply hadn’t been time. Now though, in the dead of night, the blue alicorn couldn’t get it out of her mind. As she paced she looked out over the city and a thought came to her mind.
“That- that might just work.” Luna said to herself and paused her nervous trotting for a moment as her thoughts ran through her head like rabbits on Pinkie’s cupcakes. After her pause the lunar princess nodded once to herself and then took a running jump off of the balcony. She fell freely for a moment and enjoyed the air rushing over her body, after another moment longer her strong wings rocketed from her side and the princess flew out into the nighttime darkness of Canterlot.
On the morning after the changeling attack the entirety of the council found themselves called to the meeting room by request of princess Luna. More than a few of the assembled group of ponies seemed irritated by the requested meeting so soon after the large events of the day immediately prior, believing that they had meetings of larger importance to attend. In addition to this annoying call the vast majority of the gathered group believed they already knew what the meeting had been called for, given who had called it. When Celestia entered the gathered ponies attempted to get her to confirm it but no information was disclosed as the solar princess claimed she was as in the dark as the rest of the council.
The grey unicorn stallion, who had once again been selected as speaker of the house, had just stood to leave when the door to the room swung open and Luna entered. Despite the regal authority she presented it was obvious she had gotten little to no sleep the day before, undoubtedly due to the changeling attack. With a purposeful stride the lunar princess entered the room, Inventor emerging from the shadows at her heels as he entered the room also. The man's body was still covered in scars from the day previous though the majority weren't visible under his clothing which had been stitched back together via spare cloth and a needle while he had been in the dungeon.
“What is the meaning of this Luna? We have sentenced him to death and you bring him here for some convoluted reason? I declare that this meeting is adjourned due to the erroneous purpose for which it was called.” The grey stallion said with a snarl as he began to move in the direction of the door.
“Sit down.” Luna said to the stallion, her voice cold and dark. The stallion hesitated, having to choose between the authority the princess claimed and his own stubbornness. Luckily for the stallion he ultimately decided to humor the lunar princess and lowered himself back into his seat. “I have come to inform the council, as well as my sister, that this man saved my life yesterday. An act for which I think he should be pardoned from his death sentence.”
“We can’t allow that your highness, he may inflict the pain and torture that he described from his world onto the ponies here. Or, worse yet, he may drag us into the same cycle of darkness that his people suffered from.” The stallion said, not missing a beat, before pausing to look at the man. Inventor returned a cold calculating stare which the spokestallion purposefully ignored before speaking again. “Do not get me wrong, I am happy that you survived, Princess Luna. I just do not think that that act alone is enough to justify his survival.”
Much to the surprise of the grey stallion Luna smiled at this, “I thought you might say that.” After she spoke the lunar princess stomped the ground three times with her hoof and a family of ponies came in. Two foals and a mother and father. “Tell them please.” She said kindly as she stepped to the side to let the father of the family speak.
“This creature, whatever he is, saved me and my family from the changelings yesterday. To put him to death would be a horrible thing to do, one that I do not agree with. If you go through with this death sentence I will make sure to inform everypony I know of this act and the twisted corrupted councillor behind it.” The father said as he looked malignantly at the grey spokestallion, meanwhile the mother nodded at her husband’s words and the two foals looked with awed expressions at the biped.
The grey stallion returned a bored glare and was about to speak but was cut off as a marching of hooves echoed in the hall outside the room. All present turned to face the door to see an entire company of guards enter the already cramped room. “Permission to speak, your highness?” The lead guard asked as he faced Celestia. The white alicorn nodded in return, a small smile growing on her face, and the armored guard stepped forward.
“If it weren’t for the bravery of this creature we would have been overwhelmed, the number of changelings who had made it into the castle would be drastically higher and we, as a group, can’t ensure that everything would have worked out as well as it did.” The guard said before bowing to Celestia and stepping back to his position with the rest of the guards.
The spokestallion moved his mouth uselessly in an attempt to rebuttal the words of both the father and the lead guard, just as he seemed on the cusp of a comeback to them Celestia stood from her white throne and spoke in an echoing voice. “According to the testimonies of these, my ponies, I hereby declare that the human, Inventor, shall be freed from his death sentence and shall be given all rights of a citizen of Equestria and Canterlot. This will be done on account of his heroic selfless acts that he displayed when the changelings invaded.”
The grey stallion gathered his thoughts for a brief moment before marching indignantly out of the room, the rest of the council hesitantly following him. After the stallion left several of the guards gave Inventor a congratulatory cheer, to which the man returned a friendly smile. The mother of the family smiled gratefully at the man and the father gave a respectful nod before the family left, the parents having to practically drag the children away from the spectacle of a weird creature and both princesses standing in the same room. This left only Inventor, Luna, and Celestia in the room.
“So now what?” The human said as he looked to princesses, “I very much doubt I could find a job in your city and I don’t want to leech money and room off of you two.”
Luna hesitated before giving her response. “I was wondering if, with how well you protected my life in town, that is to say... I was wondering if you would be my bodyguard?” She glanced at the man who appeared slightly taken by surprise.
“Well, I’m not so sure if that would be the best idea. I was not exactly known for my protective instincts...” The man paused as he glanced between Luna and Celestia, then continued. “Perhaps if I had some time to think I could give you a more definite answer.” Inventor supplied. His eyes seemed to be analyzing and manic at the same time, a short chill ran down Luna’s neck at how unnatural the gaze appeared, sane and insane at the same time.
“Certainly, while you consider the request of my dear sister, she can get some rest. I understand that she hasn’t slept in two days.” Celestia said as she glanced at Luna with smiling eyes.
“But Celestiaaaa” Luna whined.
“Luna, you need to sleep, I would prefer if I didn’t have to force you.” With a look of defeat on her face Luna left the room and returned to her room to sleep through the remainder of the day.
After she left Celestia turned to face Inventor before saying, in a slightly embarrassed tone “She can be a bit childish at times.”
“I find that having a child look at something can provide interesting results. To look at situations with the innocence of a child is something I have longed to do so myself, perhaps all governments should have children involved in some respect or another. It would certainly save a lot of lives.” The man replied, his eyes dropping to look at his feet.
“Well,” Celestia said with a slightly worried tone in her voice, “I suppose I should let you go so you can think about Luna’s offer. I have some issues that need taking care of personally in the meantime. Feel free to come back and tell me your answer when you are done thinking about it.”
“Will do. I think I’ll head down to my old room in the dungeon. You know, for nostalgia's sake.” The man said as he smiled at the white alicorn.
Celestia nodded slowly in return before she exited the room, followed shortly by Inventor himself as he made his way to the dungeons. The two parted quickly at the first intersection they came across and Inventor bid Celestia a short farewell before he headed down to the dungeons.
Upon arrival in the well-kept prison Inventor made his way to his old cell and opened the unlocked steel door. After he entered Inventor walked slowly and respectfully to the old bench that he had sat on and took his seat once again. After he was seated the man fell into a series of thoughts. These thoughts tumbled over and around as they debated with one another. All the while Inventor remained stoically sitting on the wooden bench, completely oblivious to his surroundings.
Luna was walking through the entire castle, searching for Inventor. It had been over a full day since he had been freed from his death sentence and no one had heard anything from him in that time duration. Having had no such luck herself, it was with great relief that Luna stumbled upon her sister walking the hall leisurely in between her various meetings that had been set up for the day. From what Luna had heard the solar princess had been the last to see the man the day prior.
“Tia!” Luna called excitedly “Have you seen Inventor anywhere? I’ve been looking for him all day but I can’t seem to find him anywhere.” As Celestia focused her attention on the approaching form of her sister she noticed the distress that laced the words of the lunar princess were also reflected on her demeanor as well.
“Not since yesterday, he said that he was going to his old cell in the dungeon to think about your proposition.” Celestia replied. With those words the lunar princess bid a hasty goodbye and took off in the direction of the dungeon. In her haste Luna’s mind skipped over the fact that she could just teleport and Celestia sighed as she shook her head in a dismissive fashion.
Celestia channeled a minor spell to check the position of the sun in the sky. After a small amount of deliberation the solar princess decided that some time could be spent to check on both Inventor and her sister. Realizing that Luna had probably reached the dungeon already the solar princess’ horn began to glow as she charged a teleportation spell and felt the familiar strength of her own magic emanating from her being. She felt the strings of magic that coursed around her and gripped them tightly with her will power to channel them through her horn. There was a brief flash and Celestia found herself in the dungeon next to her sister.
Luna looked shocked, not at the appearance of her sister. No, that was quite normal. Rather her attention was directed towards the cell in which Inventor stood against the wall of the dungeon. The reason for the lunar princess’ stunned silent was still not directly a symptom of this fact alone, once again it was due to some other fact. The reason for the absolute domination of Luna’s mental capabilities was due to the fact that a large iron spike had been ran through the biped’s throat and had pinned him to the wall.
The man stood against the brick surface due to the strength of the spike and the depth it had been sent into the wall and not through his own will. His body was lifeless and pale as rivulets of blood snaked out of his slightly open mouth and a red crisscrossing of veins was visible around where the iron touched against his wounded skin. His eyes were closed and his arms were limp as he near about hung from the makeshift peg.
Slowly Luna’s thoughts came back to the moment at hand and she slowly approached what was left of the human who had saved her life. In the same fashion as her thoughts had came back it was now Celestia’s turn to slip into a catatonic state at the sight of such a grotesque display. Both sister’s remained in these states of mind for a duration, Luna was now crying as stood in front of the body and Celestia’s mind was still deperately trying to figure how anypony, anyone or anything could do such a thing.
Eventually Celestia managed to cope with what she saw and came back to reality just as her sister had a moment ago, She always had more endurance and hope in this area then I the solar princess thought to herself as she approached her sister.
Luna heard her sister approach and turned around to talk to her, “He saved my life, but when he needed it I wasn’t there to save his. I swear on the stars that whoever did this will feel my wrath.” She said, the tear stains evident by streaks of dark blue that ran like rivers down her normally lighter blue face. The alicorn’s voice was strong and the feeling behind her words was ancient and powerful. Celestia merely returned a forgiving gaze and let the younger of the immortals a moment more to grieve.
After what the princesses would have sworn was just short of a lifetime the crying came to an end. In this new silence Celestia was the one who spoke, “I’m sure he would forgive you for something that you couldn't have stopped. He seemed like that kind of human to me.” The alicorn paused as she let her sister soak in the words. “But regardless of who or what did this act don’t you think we should still give him a reasonable farewell. What do you think of this for an epitaph ‘The world traveler who died much too soon’.”
“Right, but first.” Luna said as she turned to look once more at the limp body of the human, “We need to get him off this wall.” As she spoke a blue magical glow surrounded the iron spike that kept the man against the cobblestone. The lunar princess attempted to drag the stake out of the wall but with her mind as unstable as it was from such an event she couldn’t direct her magic as she wanted to. After a moment of tugging that was going nowhere the younger sister felt the comfort of her sister’s magic mingling with her own.
The blue alicorn looked to the side and received a comforting smile from the solar princess whose own horn was glowing with magic. The magic intermingled and increased its power tenfold from what they would be able to do alone, as they did so the sister’s felt a comforting companionship that neither had felt since Luna had been banished to the moon. After a minute longer to relish the feeling the two focused and pulled the spike from where it was lodged.
As the spike left the man’s throat and he began to fall forward to the ground from the pull of the tool his eyes snapped opened and his arms shot out from his sides to catch himself before he hit the ground. As his hands hit the ground the force caused him to begin to cough up the blood from his mouth onto the stone floor, quickly turning it from its stationary brown to a flowing crimson. Both princesses were shocked and backed away from the man as he continued to empty his throat and mouth of the red liquid.
After a few moments longer the man’s left arm gave out and he fell to his side. With as much strength as he could muster the man rolled onto his back and looked up at the stunned faces of Luna and Celestia. They looked down at him in horror and surprise as the flesh around where the spike had been began to knit itself back together and the scars he had received from fighting the changelings had all but disappeared. Meanwhile the edges of the man’s vision were beginning to blur and darken as his body dragged him once more into an unfeeling, healing blackness.
He looked up to the princess and smiled, revealing teeth stained with red, before he spoke in a rasping voice. “Sorry you had to see me like this, but you see I wasn’t planning on getting stabbed through the throat while I was down here. Nonetheless, my apologies.” That was all as the man succumbed to the continued urging of the darkness and let unconsciousness take him.
The two princesses looked down at the man once more, his throat almost fully healed from the wound. Luna was the first to break the silence, “So, I guess we should get him cleaned off and into bed then..?” She said with a questioning tone.
“I guess that that would be the best course of action.” Celestia said, “When he wakes up he can tell us what he knows of this attack. Until then though the best we can do is just to hope for the best and wait for his body to recover.” Despite the agreed upon course of action neither sister did anything for a moment longer as they were both too stunned by the fact that the man had just survived getting stabbed through the throat. Eventually though Luna teleported both her and the human out of the room and Celestia went back to her meetings for the day, both of them more then a little preoccupied mentally with what they had just witnessed.
Luna carefully undressed the crimson outfit of the madman and soaked him in the tub, afterward she cleaned his clothes and when the man was clean she redressed him once again and laid him on the bed. With that done she lingered in the room beside him for several minutes and listened to the soft ticking that came from his body. After several more minutes she left to begin her duties for the night and left the man to sleep off his healing alone.
(Sorry about the insane delay on this chapter, I kept getting distracted by stuff. Videogames foremost among them. Regardless, there it is in its entire glory. -N64Fan)