Within the Night Bringers.
A fan fiction by Twilight_Crow
Edited by PhilomenaSage
All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
1. Within the Nightmare.
She was a Princess, a Goddess; she deserved respect and adoration. Yet she had none. And now she had been betrayed, by her own sister. She just wanted to talk, to reason with her sister, but no, the mare wouldn’t listen. And then the humiliation, followed by an argument, followed by a fight. It was all useless, as she was no match for her big sister. She needed more power.
She was angry. More angry than she had never been before. She was jealous and she hated that tyrannical jerk. It was all she could think about.
The spell casting lasted a long time, and then suddenly she was not Luna anymore.
Wait, what? But I am Luna.
Ignoring her completely, another voice resounded in her head. Luna felt this new voice engulfing her being. Whoever she was, she was mad, and she was crazy. She wanted her sister to suffer; no, she wanted all of Equestria to suffer. She would take the throne and would became the new tyrant. She would make night eternal and everyone would worship it, or pay the consequences. She didn’t care about balance, not even life. All she cared for was herself.
Why is this happening?... How can I have so much darkness in my heart?... This is not what I want. Stop! Let me go!
But it was too late. The darkness was taking over, and the power it held was so big it stung. Luna could not access that power though, and she felt it as if it was devouring her feelings and thoughts. In a last struggle for self-preservation, Luna gathered what little of herself was left, and curled into a small ball. She then waited for the final blow, but it didn’t come.
What happened? Where am I?... Who am I?
From her mouth, a voice she did not recognize answered her question: “I am Nightmare Moon, future Queen of Equestria!” boomed an insane, cackling voice. The dark alicorn shone under the night sky. Her muzzle was longer; her frame, taller. A mane of deep night sky flowed as a mist out behind her. Her cold blue eyes were slits, like a reptile, and the sapphire blue colour was not limited to the iris, but the full orb. She was dressed in armor of cold, dark blue steel. A helm doming her head and her muzzle wore the cruelest smile. She was a wicked version of Princess Luna.
Within the new alicorn, Luna, or what was left of her, heard the thoughts in her mind... but wait no, those weren’t her thoughts, were they? A plot to dethrone her sister? The idea of putting nightmares in everypony’s dreams to keep them awake? Destroying some villages to prove her might and earn her future subjects’ fear?
NO! STOP, YOU CAN’T DO THAT!
If Nightmare Moon could hear her, she didn't show. She kept plotting, rejoicing herself in her hatred.
Luna kept screaming for some time, until she was sure she was unheard.
The wicked mare planned on starting her evil crusade. First she needed to call her sister’s attention. The total destruction of the Everfree Ponyville all the way into their old castle would do. After Luna’s attempts to stop those thoughts, came the even more desperate attempts to stop this evil creature she was in. Then she just gave up. She couldn’t stand the idea, and even before it started, Luna closed that piece of her mind to the outside world, trying to not attend to Nightmare Moon’s thoughts and acts. But how can you ignore your own thoughts and acts?
But I’m not like this... I’m not... am I?
Luna noticed how the Everfree Forest was quiet and peaceful no more. Using all her mental might, she got to overlook the destruction and pain happening around her. She blocked herself from the details. Still, she knew the big picture, and she would have cried if she could have, but Nightmare was too happy. Then, even with the only sane piece of her mind in deep meditation, Luna felt an insane, sadistic happiness as she used her new power to lock the moon in the sky and the sun out of it. She couldn’t avoid it.
Darkness, sweet darkness. I guess I am... this. I am a monster. I am Nightmare Moon.
Time went by, Luna’s mind mused on what little she grasped of what she was doing, but her introspection was suddenly stopped by a voice, she knew that voice far too well. Her attention hastily returned to the events in front of Nightmare Moon.
Celestia!... What are you doing here?... This this is all your fault.
Indeed Princess Celestia, the big, majestic, white alicorn with a flowing mane, was right in front of her. They were in the old castle, in Luna’s library. Her sister was trying to reason with Nightmare, but it wasn’t working, and she didn’t want to hear it.
Luna could feel the anger, the hatred towards her sister, it was too much. She snapped.
No, I don’t want to hate you, I said that because I was angry. Maybe I am still angry... but I know I don’t hate you. I DON’T HATE YOU!
Celestia spoke again, the Night Princess couldn’t block her words anymore. “Luna, you were right, I was wrong. Listen to me. I know you don’t want to do this. I know you don’t want to doom Equestria, or you wouldn’t have tried to save it from me!”
“And now you care? spoke Nightmare Moon, “Whatever. You say all that only because now you see me as a threat to YOU! You are pathetic, Celestia. If Equestria has to fall, better under my hooves!”
“No, I opened my eyes before all this. There’s still hope, I know it, but Equestria needs you, we can only save it together. I need you!”
Nightmare Moon laughed for a moment, then stared at Celestia with killing eyes. “You are seriously saying you need me? Don’t you remember the last thing you told me last time? Wait, let me remind you, YOU ARE NOT NEEDED!” The force of those last words was such that it echoed throughout the whole castle.
“I-I’m so sorry, Luna!”
Celestia’s words reached Luna’s heart, You are sorry... No, I don’t believe you. Those thoughts were Luna’s, but they are close to Nightmare Moon´s, right? However the feelings were too different, and suddenly Luna’s emotions were struggling. She closed her mind again, desperately ignoring Nightmare Moon mocking her sister, and dismissing all of her kind words.
It hurt, but why? Nightmare Moon didn’t believe Celestia either, but she just didn’t care. Luna however didn’t believe her because she was still angry at her, yet... she wanted it to be truth. Celestia had many flaws, like being arrogant and too proud, but she had not always been like that. She was under a lot of pressure. Luna never wanted to actually hurt her sister... She was willing to use this power to make her listen though.
Okay, I am not the kindest of ponies. Wait, maybe, just maybe, these feelings mean... I’m still Luna.
Then Nightmare Moon terrible ideas stole Luna’s attention, and she braced herself for the imminent attack. Luckily Celestia was not stupid. She was prepared and when the battle started she managed to avoid the first magic attack, and then run away. Nightmare followed her and kept attacking, destroying the castle in her way. The destruction hurt Luna. It was her home and she was tearing it to pieces. Nightmare Moon didn’t care. More proof that Luna was still Luna.
Nightmare Moon kept ramming through walls and collapsing hallways until she finally caught up to Celestia. Luna then understood the reason her sister had run. She had warned the few ponies still on the castle; they were fleeing, they were safe.
Good thinking. Now finish with me. Stop Nightmare Moon as I know you can.
Celestia turned to face the evil mare. However she didn’t attack, even though she was under fire. Even though she was tired and hurt, she kept trying and trying to talk to Nightmare Moon, to reach Luna.
Her sister’s words, Nightmare’s words, her home being devastated, it all hurt. Luna ignored it the best she could. It was not as if she was able to do anything. But she started growing more and more anxious.
Shut up and stop being nice! You stupid filly. You are going to get yourself killed!
Indeed Celestia was getting badly wounded and Nightmare Moon was ecstatic at how the battle was going. Luna felt terrible when she could do nothing but agree when Nightmare Moon said “Now, you know what it feels when somepony doesn’t listen to you at all!” while sending another wave of telekinetic magic. Celestia was too weak and got hit hard. She was expelled backwards, destroying a wall in her path and disappearing behind the debris.
Luna couldn’t block herself anymore; the emotions, the sensations, they were too much. Nightmare Moon laughed.
“So, you see my dear sister, it is over. I win! Equestria is mine! Mwahahahaha!”
No... CELESTIA! ARE YOU A GODDESS OR WHAT? EQUESTRIA DEPENDS ON YOU, YOU ARE ITS STUPID SUN!
As if triggered by the thought, the power of the sun started to be felt. Luna hadn’t felt this power in a long time. Nightmare Moon braced herself as Celestia flew out of the debris, her fur and feathers shining with a golden fire. Her eyes were white with light and her horn flared with a terrifying power.
Nightmare Moon covered herself with a dark magic shield, ready to bear the attack. Then it came, but it was not what she expected. The power of the attack was insignificant. Nightmare Moon lowered her shield. It had been a distraction. Celestia’s real spell was a teleportation spell. She was gone.
Nightmare Moon stood still in the middle of the castle remains, a smirk in her face.“You coward. Well I’ll deal with you later then.”
Luna was dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe it; Celestia ran away, and Nightmare Moon was so joyful about it that it made her piece of mind hurt.
The moon and the sun were stuck and Celestia was nowhere to be seen. On top of that, Nightmare Moon was on a rampage of cruelty and destruction. To say the next couple of “days” were bad would be an understatement.
Luna found herself shut away from the exterior as much as she could. Being apart from Nightmare Moon’s deeds, but aware of them nonetheless, gave her a good lot to think about. She tried hard to keep her mind busy, dismissing the chaos surrounding her alter ego.
So, Let’s see... I’m doing all this for revenge; yeah, I’m angry at all ponies.
Yes she was. So Nightmare Moon was angry at all ponies too, and liked to watch them suffer. In every town, there seemed to be a lot of destruction and hurting. She would mock them, force them to bow before her and assure them that just as the sun was gone, Celestia, whom was cowardly hiding from her, soon would be too. She had a speech for those moments.
A speech... what am I thinking? I suck at those.
And indeed those were terrible. Too much mad cackling and too little content. Scary yes, but only after the full lightning bolt show. Luna was sure if Celestia were the mad, jealous, hateful mare, then at least the speeches would be worthwhile. She had seen her sister bring full towns to their knees. Not a moving muscle, not a tingle of magic. Just her words and her traditional Royal Canterlot Voice. Still, Nightmare Moon was so joyful while speaking that she felt satisfied.
Oh wait, I got it. I want to be like big sister... even as an evil being... I’m pathetic.
The pragmatic approach to the situation she achieved, thanks to the detachment she forced on her mind, had been a great idea; very enlightening. Luna had gotten to the conclusion that indeed, she and Nightmare Moon were one and the same. Luna shared all of Nightmare’s feelings, but Nightmare didn’t share Luna’s. It was too complicated, especially when you were the one feeling it.
It seemed the dark power she had obtained fed off her dark feelings. So in order to be really powerful Nightmare Moon had to feel only those emotions. The creepy part was that Nightmare was well aware of this too, and was willing to keep it that way. She loved the power.
Come on! It does feel nice, but... eternal night? As much as I love my night, I’m not sure that’s a good idea. How about saving Equestria and being a good ruler everypony could love?... Yeah, I’m probably not up to the task, I’m not really the ruler type. Celestia is the charming power freak, I just tag along.
This is not about being Equestria’s Queen, is it? This is all about taking away from Celestia what she cherished the most. Confirmation, I’m pathetic.
After about four “days”, Nightmare Moon was content with relaxing. She watched how her plans were working. Celestia had sent the Royal Guard and a lot of the towns had been evacuated to Canterlot. She knew there was no food for all of those ponies. Celestia would have to act soon, and this time she was going to have to fight her for real. The evil mare was completely sure that with her actual power, her sister was no match for her. That foal would fall and the horrible sun would be gone for good.
Nightmare Moon rejoiced on that thought, over and over again. It got so tedious that Luna had no problem ignoring the evil mare completely. Besides, the Moon Princess had been busy. Her introspection had been revealing a lot about herself and her sister.
She felt compelled to keep up with it. It was not as if she had many other things to do. Luna reexamined her findings.
First and most important, Luna was really jealous of Celestia. More so than she thought. She envied her self confidence. The way she always appeared to know what she was doing even when she didn’t, and that silvertongue, goodness that silvertongue. Celestia could convince a whole town that the lack of food was nothing to worry about, even in front of a totally ruined harvest. Darn it. She convinced all of Equestria that taking away their freedom to choose when to sleep, was for their own good. She got away with it. She was a total tyrant, and yet, ALL OF EQUESTRIA LOVED HER. Whenever there was a rising, or a movement against her, she just had to go talk to them. Done. Everything forgotten. Remarkable.
Yeah, Celestia has this realm in her hoofs. She could easily tell everypony to go jump of a bridge and they would go and do it. She might have already doomed them all anyway. That foal. That stupid foal!
Second. As bad as Celestia’s ruling was, and as bad as things were in Equestria, Luna was sure it wasn’t intentional. Celestia was not evil. Even though she did like control, she was not such a bad ruler at first, Luna had to admit. Celestia cared for her subjects. But ruling was demanding. She made mistakes, and she had been just too proud to admit them. She started listening to nopony. She had a terrible problem delegating tasks. Her organization skills sucked, and just as Father told her, she couldn’t keep the balance between her Goddess responsibilities and her Princess responsibilities.
In a few words, Celestia tends to bite off more than she can chew and she has been choking for a while now. I almost feel sorry for her... almost.
Why did Luna start to get angry with her sister? First, her complete disrespect for the night. ‘Oh Luna, lower the moon early there’s a lot of work I need the light blah blah.’ Jerk. Then Celestia started treating her like any other pony, ordering her around, telling her what to do, leaving to her all the administrative labour --the only thing she accepted Luna was better at. If Luna even dared to complain, she’d use the Royal Canterlot Voice against her.
Celestia’s angry. Royal. Canterlot. Voice. Nothing less than the most perfect balance between terrifying volume and hurting words. Funny fact: when she uses it against another pony, she contains herself. She doesn’t want her servants catatonic. With me, she doesn’t contain herself.
As the years passed Celestia became more and more overworked and stressed. It got to the point where Luna just couldn’t talk to her sister about anything; to the point where Luna’s Princess title had become a joke and everypony knew it. Following their gracious leader, the servants started disregarding her, and then her subjects did too. It really made her mad, and she started using a combination of the Royal Canterlot Voice and lightning bolts when regarding them. Now that she thought about it, that was probably not the best way to regain their respect. Curse my social awkwardness. They started to be afraid of her. In front of her, they bowed out of fear, but they didn’t respect Luna. They talked behind her back. They talked about how Celestia ruled all by herself, and the Night Princess was just the uncomfortable sister that raised the moon.
Which led to the third point. Luna was really angry at all the ponies for the way they treated her and her night; with fear and disrespect. However, deep within, Luna had been blaming Celestia for that too, as she was responsible for some of the blame. That was for sure.
Still, it was I who shut the world away, never approaching anypony. Then secluding myself in the old castle’s basement probably didn’t help my image much... Who am I cheating? I’m the only one here! Yes, the seclusion made everything worse. Ponies were more frightened and then came those silly stories about me being a crazy mare running creepy experiments... ha my experiments weren’t creepy... I was doing science for the good of all.
… okay, that sounded creepy. But it’s the truth.
Indeed Luna was no crazy scientist. What she was doing had a purpose. She recalled the first problem that called her scientific attention. The not-so-happy discovery of tidal waves, accompanied by the dark omen of the consequences of Celestia’s ways.
Oh I remember that day. I can’t believe l had thought she would listen. Pfff, what I got was a ringing in my ears...
Princess Luna looked upon her sister with uncertain eyes. One of those pegasi that delivered her hundreds of daily messages raced in. She took a look around. How was it possible that an office could be so cramped with papers, books, lists, and stuff? She barely even noticed when the pegasus flew back out the door at an incredible speed.
Luna sighed. Her sister still kept writing on a scroll. Luna cleared her throat.
“Oh, Luna. I didn’t see you there. Anyways, thank you for coming. I need your assistance with a couple of things.” Celestia floated a couple of scrolls to her sister. Luna took them in her magic grasp and put them under her wing. “If you could calculate those numbers for me today, if at all possible.” Luna gave a slight nod. Would it be so difficult for Celestia to just look at her sister?
“One other thing. Didn’t I ask you to lower the moon earlier today?”
Luna sighed again. “Sister… Look, I don’t think that was a good idea.”
Celestia finally looked at her, though it was the look of somepony really fed up. “Not again, Luna. I haven’t the time for this.”
“Just listen to me Tia, please,” the moon princess pleaded. Celestia just kept staring, and finally gave a little nod.
“I´ve been doing some research, and with the results I developed some charts…”
“Yes, charts. Remember all those floods you were complaining about? Well, the moon caused them. They get big or happen at odd times if the moon is rushed or if it changes its time from day to day, so.. er… I-I charted perfect moon patterns through the night sky that will keep those tidal waves manageable, and will keep their rising and descending at very predictable times in a period of 30 days… but… I need the night to keep a certain length.”
Luna forced a nervous smile at her sister, but it did little to change Celestia’s annoyance. In fact, if anything, she looked even more fed up.
“Luna, you’re an intelligent pony. Why don’t you find a way to completely avoid these… tied waves, you said? That would be more useful.”
“But they are necessary, the ecosystems...”
“Hush now, we certainly don’t need those floods. And for your information, Luna, changing the length of day and night has proved to be highly beneficial to Equestria’s productivity. We are not changing that now.”
“But Celestia, what about the weird weather patterns it provokes…”
Roaring with speed, another pegasus came flying through the door. After a gentle bow it presented a big batch of papers to the older princess. Without saying a word, Celestia took them with her magic and skimmed through them.
“Celestia!” Luna was angry. “Please understand, the nights have been too short…”
Celestia raised herself, her eyes narrowed and her nostrils flared.
“SO THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE ON ABOUT, YOUR PESKY NIGHT! WHY MUST YOU BE SO SELFISH? EVERYPONY IS WORKING VERY HARD TO MAKE EQUESTRIA A POWERFUL AND RESOURCEFUL LAND. EVERYPONY KNOWS THIS IS WHAT WE USE THE DAY FOR. WHY IT IS SO IMPORTANT. EVERYPONY EXCEPT FOR ONE WHINY PONY. ALWAYS WHINING AND COMPLAINING ABOUT HER “BEAUTIFUL NIGHT” BEING SO UNDER-APPRECIATED. UNDERSTAND THIS, NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU PLAY WITH YOUR NIGHT SKY, IT WILL ALWAYS BE BETTER OFF USED FOR SLEEP. NOW STOP BEING SUCH A BRAT AND DO WHAT I ASKED YOU TO DO!”
Darn you Celestia, you know how to hurt me...
It had been years since the day Luna had started to not care about the look of the night sky. She did the important part of her job: bringing night and that was all. And yet it still hurt when someone reminded her of how unimportant her lifetime masterpiece was. Especially Celestia.
Why can’t you understand my darkness is as important as your light? The last time I saw you smile was because of my night sky... Whatever, the past is the past. The future is more important.
Indeed, even if it hurt Luna, the night itself had been the least of her worries that day. She had been researching tidal waves for months, and she had noticed even more environmental anomalies. Then she noticed how those anomalies were the cause of several other problems. As the months went by, her discoveries were starting to sum up. The soil, the weather, plants, animals. Everything was affected. Years of Celestia’s irresponsible control over the day and night, and her crazy idea of using magic to have several harvests a year had started a chain of events leading to no good.
When the problems got too big to ignore, Celestia’s solution for them was simple: pony magic.
So, when a giant tornado appeared, pegasi had to take care of it. But then there were three tornadoes and the pegasi had to work all day to stop them.
When the crops started dying because of the wasted soil, earth ponies had to work extra hours to save what they could.
And then when the earthquakes started, unicorns were instructed on how to use their magic to prevent structures to fall. That had to be done whenever those happened.
Stupid Celestia... I told you, that is not the way. Why couldn’t you listen? And all of this leads us to Equestria today. More and more problems appear everyday. Plants and animals are starting to decay. The pony economy is failing and the food reserves are draining. And just to keep up, ponies are working harder than ever. Including you sister. This is a vicious circle, and it ends when ponies end.
But while this was happening under her sister’s nose, Luna wasn’t just sitting doing nothing. As soon as each problem aroused she tried to find ways of fixing it. Celestia even accepted some of her ideas, though most were rejected. Celestia was a jerk. She insisted that her solutions were better because they wouldn’t dramatically change the way things were. Her way was the only way. Luna had to resort to doing some things behind her sister’s back. She had to keep trying. So everyday after finishing her designated job, Luna kept working.
After years of research and experiments, many small projects came together and became my greatest pride after the night sky. The three hundred and sixty-day calendar. The two hundred-day calendar we use, with fifty days for each season, always worked well. That is, when Celestia moved the sun with precision. But then we came to think the sun and moon movements weren’t that important. After all, the real changing of the seasons had always come from the ponies. But after all my work, I realised just how important it is to keep a pattern for day and night. A bit too late, the balance of nature has gotten too messed up.
The new calendar however would not only restore the balance, but it would also improve everything. If my calculations are correct, the new length of the seasons, and just shortening the days by giving the sun some inclination as it gets colder, would make transitions easier. And don’t let me start with how good it would be for the soil. I’m talking huge crops with less work. Yes, this project was my second pride... as useless as the night sky now, since it lays forgotten in what is left of my library... as I said, whatever.
Finally, the last of Celestia’s magnificent ideas came to her. As she put even more hours into the day so everypony could keep working, everypony also got more and more exhausted. They kept sleeping even after sunrise. That’s where the sleeping law came to be. Princess Celestia of Equestria decreed that everypony should wake up as the sun rises. The penalty for oversleep was a fine of 5000 bits.
So yes, my sister is a tyrant. She lost it. Equestria is doomed. I decided it was time to face her for real with proof of her mistakes in hoof. With solutions. And I would NOT recoil. My last shot was to make her listen. I had to try. I had to...
How did I go from trying to save Equestria to wanting to destroy it with my own hoofs? Oh, right, Celestia had to go and...
Ouch! That hurts.
Nightmare Moon had been attacked by a single pegasus. A royal guard by the looks of his golden armor, he hovered just above her, wearing a serious stare. “Nightmare Moon!”
What the hay? Is he insane?
“Well well well, I was planning on heading towards Canterlot soon, but if you want to die right now, I can grant you your wish.” Nightmare Moon seemed amused.
“I am Silverwing, Captain of Princess Celestia’s Royal...”
“Yeah, yeah, I remember you.”
The pony frowned, then raised an eyebrow. “I have a message from your sister.”
Nightmare Moon smiled mischievously. “Oh.”
“Princess Celestia is waiting for you in the ruins of the old castle,” Silverwing spoke slowly and seriously with a stern look in his face.
“Very well.” Nightmare was so eager; soon Celestia would receive what she deserved. “Thank you.”
With what looked like a casual movement of the horn, Nightmare Moon summoned a lightning bolt. It struck right on top of Silverwing. The pony fell to the ground. “And that was for attacking me by surprise.”
Yes, he is moving! Thank goodness.
Nightmare Moon didn’t really care about her victim. She was already flying at high speed towards the old castle, towards Celestia, her mind already thinking on all the horrible attacks and spells she would use against her.
So it comes to this. I’m going to face my sister... with murderous intentions... Very well. You better have a good plan, you stupid tyrannical jerk, because if you let me kill you, I will never forgive you.