The Earth and Sky

by Syke Jr


~Silver Star~

Steady Path is melancholy when I see him back down on the main staging area. I look over, and see a huge blinder covering the window facing Earth. “Did you watch?”

“Yes.” He responds with a shake of the head. “I couldn’t not watch. It was just… right in front of me and I saw it start and I didn’t look away-”

I close the distance between us and hug him. “It’s okay, Steady,” I mumble. “You would have regretted not watching.”

He nods mutely, hugging me back, and I grunt a little at his earth pony strength.

“Is Amber okay?”

“Oblivious,” he says, stepping back and smiling wryly. “She started drinking. It’s for the best. She wanted to leave before the end, anyway. She didn’t see the… the globe turn grey.”

“Hmm.” The nanites did completely overtake the world, by the end. Only the surface—it would take a long time for them to convert the entire thing, but it certainly no longer looked like a life-sustaining planet. I guess looks can be deceiving.

Steady sighs. “I’m glad Olive came with me.”

“Yeah. Did he have a good time?”

“I think so.” Steady shrugs. “He’s hard to read sometimes.”

I laugh. “Like father like son…”

He grimaces. “Yeah.”

I look over at Amber Glow. She’s talking animatedly to Lucky Penny, Olive Branch and Evening Rose, holding a glass of wine in her magic. Eve looks amused; Penny looks embarrassed. Around them, ponies are filtering out. I see Celestia giving farewells. “Well. It’s all over.”

Steady nods. “It is.”

We fall silent for a bit. I rest my head against his neck. “You know,” I say after a while, “I really do feel sort of bad for that other Silver. He didn’t need to know you were here.”

Steady snorts. “He didn’t believe I was real. And anyway, he deserves it. Amber and I love you, not some millennium-old jackass.”

“You loved him when he was me,” I say quietly. “Back on Earth.” A pause as he digests this. “He didn’t ask me to create him. It’s not really his fault.”

“He came here to gloat about how good his life is,” Steady says shortly. “Forget about him. And promise me, you will never become… that.”

I laugh. “I promise to try my very best.”

He nuzzles my head. “That’s all I ask.”

We stand together, watching ponies leave, for a little while longer. Neither of us is in a hurry to part ways.


~Evening Rose~

“So how long is the wait on these?” I relax into the beanbag, watching Frosty positioning herself upside-down in her own beanbag. I giggle at the sight.

“No idea,” Dad says. “I figured waiting for it was part of the fun.”

“For sure,” Frosty agrees. “I hope it kicks in slow.”

“Okay, you lot,” Mum says, entering the room. “Before you start wigging out… I have something for you, Silver.”

Dad grins. “Is it that huge canvas you’re carrying?”

“Perceptive,” Mum says sarcastically as Frosty laughs. With a flourish, she uses her wing to flip the canvas that’s almost as big as she is over her back and reveal it to Dad with a grin.

He smiles widely, sighing contentedly as he drinks it in. It’s a photograph of the Earth, with a twist: I had enchanted it, so it’s like looking through a window. The planet slowly revolves even as we look, clouds shifting almost imperceptibly slowly over its surface. Hanging there in space, the blue marble, impossibly large and far away. “It’s fantastic,” he breathes. “Thank you, Snaps. And Evie… did you help?”

“Yup,” I say. “And it’s not the only one. We did some smaller ones, as well. Detroit, and some of the waterfalls, and some other places too…”

“Fantastic.” He smiles. “I can’t thank you enough.”

“I have one of the other small ones right here,” Mum grins. I cringe a little at what I know is coming as she pulls another small canvas from her mane.

Dad laughs as he takes it in his magic and gazes into the scene. “Awesome. Just awesome.”

“Lemme see,” Dark Frost says, wiggling a little as she tries to look. He angles it towards us, to show us a striking image: it’s me, eyes glowing white, shooting a beam of crackling energy at a pony who looks like my father. The other Silver Star is caught in an expression of surprise, a split second from summoning a shield. He has the stars of the galaxy at his back, the moon hanging high above.

I grimace. “It’s weird to look at.”

“It’s great,” Frosty says. “I can’t believe you took that, Gingersnap.”

“I don’t remember doing it,” Mum says defensively. “It’s all a blur.”

“Well I love it,” Dad declares. He pulls Mum to him with his magic, making her yelp slightly, before she relaxes into him as they kiss.

I grin despite myself. But something is strange. I feel a buzzing in my lips, and I lick them, confused. They taste like blueberries. For some reason, I giggle, and I can see the giggle ripple out through the air in front of me like a cloud of purple smoke.

“Uhhh…” Frosty says, blinking rapidly. “My wings are tingling. And my ears. And my… honestly, I’m tingling all over.”

“Woooahkay.” Dad puts the photo down on the nearby table, very very carefully, before putting a hoof to his horn, feeling it gingerly. “I think it’s kicking in.”

Mum giggles and kisses his forehead. “Happy quartermillenial, sweet Silver.”



I leave the three of them to it. Doing the drugs is fun, but I also enjoy being a bystander. In a few hours they’ll get past the doing-nothing phase, and we’ll play board games or cards or something. Then at some point the unicorns will start playing with magic. That’s when things really start to kick off.

For now, though, there’s some peace and quiet. I take the photo of Earth over to the wall and hang it up on its waiting peg. I stare into the clouds. I wonder how long it will take before it really is all gone. Definitely years, from our point of view.

I turn on the computer and scroll through news reports about the Last Emigrations. There are interviews with a few of the newly-emigrated ponies. Their words remind me of some of the things Silver Star said, all those years ago.

The end of one article reads:

Planet Earth’s human population dropped to zero on April 7th, 2079. Now, Princess Celestia makes use of its matter to pull Equestria into a new era.

By the year 2100, Earth will be no more. The rest of the Solar System is to follow. By the year 3100, all of the planets will be converted, and Sol converted into a power station of incredible magnitude.

Ponykind, meanwhile, will strike out into space, setting out for the nearest stars, to pave the way for Equestria’s expansion into the galaxy, and eventually, the rest of the universe.

We stand here at the beginning of eternity, staring into the future, where once Humanity saw only darkness, but Ponykind knows contains nothing but satisfaction.

I stare at the screen. Nothing but satisfaction.

I hear laughter drifting from the other room, followed by a loud thud, a batpony screech, and more laughter. I think about starting the games early, but what's the rush? More than ever, I'm hyper-aware that we really do have all the time in the world.

Slowly, I smile, and close the page.