Within the Night Bringers.
fan fiction by Twilight_Crow
All My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is property of Hasbro, Inc.
4. The pony who saved Equestria.
Equestria. Two days before the 1st Summer Sun Celebration.
It was right before dawn. Princess Celestia stood in her chamber’s balcony, her eyes were still drowsy. She yawned widely while rubbing her right eye with her bare hoof. The Moon had been set, but the Sun was not calling for her to raise him yet. Ugh... failed again.
Celestia entered her chamber. It was big and elegant, but the sight of several notebooks and scrolls spread all over the place made it look messy; her bed lay untouched. I didn’t want to overwork myself like this again. Her magic grabbed the opened notebook she had woken upon. She contained a chuckle while staring at the drool that covered a passage about how to help animals hibernate. Well, at least I did sleep a bit. She used her magic to dry the page, and made sure it wasn’t damaged. These notebooks were very important after all.
The sun called out to her. Ah, there you are... three minutes late. The Princess put the notebook on her bed and turned to the open window. “Getting better~!” sang the Sun bearer with a small smile.
Back on the balcony, the alicorn’s golden magic gleamed on her horn. The Sun slowly appeared on the horizon and grew until its full shape graced the sky with light. The morning was beautiful and filled with color, only a few clouds in the sky.
Celestia smiled for a moment, but then her expression changed completely. Her horn glowed again, and the Princess furrowed her brow. Her tongue poked out of the corner of her mouth as she deeply focused her magic. Alright! He’s on his way...
With a determined stare, the Goddess spoke. “You’d better touch the western horizon at seven o’clock.” She dramatically raised her hoof and pointed it to the Sun. “Or you will regret the day you were put in the sky.” She rapidly turned around and went inside.
Celestia gave a big sigh and then laughed. It was like a melody, a joyful one. Mmm, now I feel much better.
Indeed, she felt ready to start a new day. She calmly started picking up notebooks and scrolls. She skimmed through some of them, trying to recall what she had learned the night before.
The new calendar project... I skip a few meetings and suddenly I have no idea what is going on... Fine, maybe more than a few.
Celestia stared at one of the reports her nephew had politely wrote for her during the last few months. You should have at least read these, Celly. You were so lucky yesterday... Well....
Her meeting with the new calendar committee had been at times painless and at times excruciating for the Princess. On one hoof, the main discussion was on something that, thanks to the weather reports, she was familiar with: cloud manufacturing during the new summer. On the other hoof, the topic kept being put aside because of an argument about a certain notebook.
It took Celestia nothing to realize that the whole problem was partially her fault. It was she who had lent the notebook to the head of the committee, Snowflake, for her personal use. Since that particular notebook, a calculus compendium, was not part of the new calendar project, Celestia didn’t think it necessary to make a certain little change to it.
With a sigh, she took one of the notebooks with her magic and opened it.
Soil properties. B-14
By: The pony who saved Equestria.
(Linked from the beginning: The One Harvest B-11, page 5)
(In the 360 Calendar Manual, page 276)
The pony who saved Equestria... It’s amazing how no one has guessed who that is.
Most ponies had suggested it was Princess Celestia herself. Many thought that due to the size of the project, in reality, there was more than one pony involved. The ponies that knew about the notebooks thought that whoever he was, he was a shy genius, maybe from old times. Somepony ahead of his time for sure. Those were not completely wrong.
The Princess sat on her haunches. She grabbed the notebook hovering in the air, held it between her hooves and nuzzled it gently.
“Thank you... Without these I wouldn’t know what to do...”
There was no day Celestia didn’t wonder what would have happened if she hadn’t found the notebooks and the whole new calendar project that day. The day after...
The Elements of Harmony had been returned to their rightful place, a pedestal in a sacred hall from the old castle. The shiny crystals were no more, for they had turned into plain stones. The Magic was gone. Together with her.
The night was finally over. The Moon had been set somehow and the Sun was rising brightly, shining in the sky. As she raised the Sun, she swore she could hear them, the little ponies, their clamors of joy, their happy celebrations, songs and dances. They shouted the name of their goddess. They thanked her.
Meanwhile, a sad, tired alicorn laid down and silently cried. After a minute she composed herself, slowly rose and, with a lowered head, walked out the room she was in.
Wandering through the remains of a destroyed grey castle, the broken soul tried to shut her feelings away, years of practice keeping her real emotions at bay helped. She looked serene. But no matter how she looked, it still hurt.
Every little part of the castle brought a memory back, each memory so vivid it felt as if the words were spoken to her right there. The bad memories hurt her; the good ones stung her very soul. The tears seemed to have dried out, but between the images of her past and the dread of an uncertain future, there was no way she could be at peace.
The tormented pony kept walking restlessly for hours.
The early afternoon sun shined above her as she walked through the remains of a garden. She ignored the debris, the fallen trees and the broken walls. She just kept walking.
She turned her face towards a single tree and moved close to it. It had survived the destruction but not the influence of the dark magic. Its bark and leaves were changing, getting darker, grimier. Its branches were starting to grow and twitch.
It’s my fault... all of it...
“In a bad mood, are we? You should rest for a moment. You look terrible,” a voice in her mind spoke to her, and then she recognized the tree.
“Luna’s tree,” said the alicorn quietly, surprised. She used to sit under it to read, hidden from everypony’s view.
The mare stared at the bottom of the tree. She wasn’t crazy. She knew the voice had been an illusion of the past, a memory. She didn’t care. Memories were all she had left. “How is it that you always had time to relax?” she asked nopony.
She continued her senseless walking and arrived at the main hall. There were no stairs to the second level in there anymore. Without caring, she flew up, landed in another corridor, and kept walking.
She suddenly raised her head and turned towards a closed wooden door. Other ponies would say it was big, but it was just her size. She magically opened the door and entered the room. Amazingly it was almost intact; a shelf was knocked over, but everything else seemed in its place. It was her old office. She had worked in there for decades before moving to Canterlot Castle. It was as she had left it: very little furniture, almost no books or personal objects. Perhaps I should grab whatever is left.
She took a book with her magic and read the title. “Development and Improvement of Agricultural Economy Based on Knowledge Economy.” She opened her eyes wide and dropped the book. A long-forgotten gift from her sister. She immediately regretted what she did and picked it up again, opened it, and read.
“‘Scientific and technological progress in agriculture is the key element to determining survival in these modern times.’ Mmm I definitely should take this...” Maybe it’s time for me to go back. There must be chaos out there. Equestria is my responsibility, I need to do something about... I need to... do what? What am I going to do? How do I fix Equestria? What can I do?
She gave the biggest sigh of her life.
Invoked by the room, the voice of her memories came back. “Maybe I can help you with that too… but, why not?... You can’t do it all yourself you know… I don’t know, get help. There are quite a few ponies capable of... Alright, alright, it was just a suggestion, no need to get mad... Yes, of course I’ll do what you asked.”
If only she could change the past.
The pony stood there unmovable, the book still on her magic grasp. “Get help,” she whispered. The faces of four ponies crossed her mind. There is no chaos out there... Celestia. Your little ponies are not useless, they can take care of themselves. They did it just fine these last few days. They managed everything without you, they kept calm and organized everypony. They told you not to worry, that your duty was to find a way to bring the dawn back; a way to beat... her.
Very well, the Dawn has returned. What is your duty now Celestia?... To rule them? I am a terrible ruler... But they want me to keep ruling them. Even though I failed. I failed... SO BADLY! A part of her wanted to scream, but she took a breath and calmed herself. “I failed,” she whispered.
“Try again,” the voice from her past spoke again.
The memory confused the already troubled mare. Wait... when did Luna tell me that? It was her sister’s voice she had remembered, no doubt about that, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t remember when she heard those words.
“Try again... huh?”
Maybe she had no other choice. The truth was that, somehow, her subjects still believed in her. What was she supposed to do? Go back just to abdicate the throne. After everything that has happened, that is just what I feel like doing...
No, she couldn’t do that. Abandon the little ponies to their luck now would be just as bad as if she had done just that after Discord was defeated.
If I stand down all would have been for nothing. Defying Father. Restoring Equestria from the chaos magic. The wars fought to stop the threats from beyond the borders. The laws implemented to keep order. The politics... that kept the old nobility happy; there were lots of that. All that work... mine and Luna’s... would be worthless.
And there were them. She couldn’t betray them. The ponies that stood by her, even after seeing her broken...
“Your highness, now that you know what’s wrong, we can do something about it. I’ll gathered everypony and we’ll start working,” a red mare’s voice had said just days ago.
“My dear aunt, I’m sure there’s a solution. And if you can’t find it, I’ll find someone who’ll find it for you,” spoke the white unicorn of her memory.
“So what if our princess is not perfect, no biggie. I will reorganize all of the castle staff. You just do what you know, which is surely more than I do,” the brown scruffy pony had told her.
“So, you made a mistake. You can’t rule without her.” Without another word to her, the Royal Commander had immediately gathered her best pegasi squad. “You did hear that right. Our wise princess needs her sister back, so you are searching for her, till the end of the world!”
She had regained hope that day; when these ponies offered to help and acted without being ordered.
But then Nightmare Moon appeared.
The thought of the evil mare made her heart sunk deep again. All the events of the night before returned to her like an avalanche and clouded her mind.
The alicorn shook her head and stared at the book still floating in front of her. How long had she been holding this? She paid more attention to her surroundings, and walked around the old office. There were many salvageable items --furniture, writing material and books.
“I’ll come back for these books... and all of this stuff, I guess.” The destroyed castle was surely full of still useful resources and, as things were, letting those going to waste was just wrong. She left the book on a table, lowered her head and left the office.
She gave another sigh as she magically closed the door behind her. Somehow she felt a little less gloomy, but she had no idea what to do now. She was sure her four... my friends... perhaps, had everything under control at the moment. But that wouldn’t last forever. Eventually, the whole “eternal” night incident will be left behind and everything in Equestria would go back to normal. Normal... normal as in: In a permanent state of emergency. No food, uncontrollable weather, uncontrollable animals... and all those many other things Luna wrote down.
Her head shoot upwards. Wait, that’s it, that is my duty, to fix all those problems. They are my fault, it is my duty to keep being a princess until I fix my mistakes... Um... I could... No, you have to be honest with yourself... You have no idea how to fix anything... “We are doomed,” she said calmly as she lowered her ears.
She restarted her walking through the castle hallways.
Luna would know what to do...
She had already planned to apologise to her sister, to ask for her help once she found her; to listen to her. Too late. Luna was gone, forever. How was she going to manage without her? As if all those problems already mentioned weren’t enough, there had already been terrible consequences due to the lack of Luna’s extremely efficient work.
Just a day after Luna left, there were already problems on the governmental accounting system. Of course the white alicorn was no stranger to accounting, all of Luna’s work went through her before being redirected to the proper departments, but her skills didn’t get close to Luna’s. Still, instead up giving the work to a group of ponies, she stupidly tried to manage everything by herself. She ended up having a nervous breakdown. The whole system collapsed. It all caused turmoil in Canterlot and literal chaos in the Castle. “How could it cross my mind she was not necessary?” she said in a sad but composed way. However, a part of her just got tired of composure.
And how could you tell her that? How could you act so mean? Then again, HOW COULD YOU DO EVERYTHING YOU DID? Quit playing dumb already, just look at everything you did little Celly.
You and Luna were supposed to work together. You promised. But you started going all over yourself with the whole Princess thing. With your so many plans to lead Equestria to a glorious age, and your great ideas for transforming it into a perfect realm... a place where all the kinds of ponies could be happy. Only a utopia. But even if she had her doubts, your sister followed you. She gave you her support and expert advice. But the day she started disagreeing with you, what did you think? You thought she was just being a brat; jealous of you being the Princess who everypony followed and envious because your day was more needed than her night. As if.
She just grew up. She stopped following you blindly. But you kept scolding her and urging her to keep following your ways... and you started to get too harsh actually. You even started offending her. Then you didn’t even care if you hurt her, disregarding her and her opinions and work; and her night. Why?
Maybe the stress... it was so bad. Then, as new problems appeared, the workload became more and more unbearable. And the worst part was that no matter how hard you worked, things just kept going downhill. But you were too stubborn, too angry, to admit your ideas weren’t working. You convinced yourself that magic would fix everything. You and everypony else just needed to work harder. The truth was that things just got more and more out of your hooves.
Luna knew that, but she still respected you, and she put all differences behind. She kept trying to help, presenting you with her little ideas that would help fix things... you knew she was intelligent and capable, even if her ideas weren’t perfect, they would have helped. You could have listen to her, at least about fixing the day and night lengths. But nooooo, there had to be another solution, and it had to be you who’d find it. You were the big bad alicorn princess that could fix everything. How could you let your pride get the best of you like that?... You were just sooooo mad. So mad your plans and ideas kept failing, so mad things didn’t turn out as you expected.
Then that day... --You were in a terrible mood and as stressed as you had ever been, there had been many weeks since the last day you had slept-- She showed herself before you, to face you with the truth. Most problems were your fault. She was not nice nor understanding, and she even called you a foal and a tyrant. Darn it, she used the Voice. On you!... Did you deserve it? Most probably. Even if she was rude, you had been rude many times too. But somehow you snapped. Suddenly all you wanted was to shut her up, because In your mind she was mocking you, everything she said sounded like: “Poor little Tia can’t do your job right, look at all you’ve done wrong, only I can fix it.” And then you got that monumentally terrible idea! What were you thinking? More like... were you thinking? At all? I seriously doubt so. Yes, you were mad, yes you were stressed, but for Heaven’s sake! It was your sister! How could you so evilly desire to make her feel as miserable as you were?
You released all your frustration on her; as if everything were her fault. You even surprised yourself at how cruel your little plan got, accurately hitting your sister’s sore spots. Then you both got into a fight, attacking and insulting each other, like some common ruffians... Finally she ran away; probably feeling terribly.
Do you know what happened next Celly? Your sister came back after a few days, transformed into a wicked monster that had to be sent to the moon. I hope you are proud.
“Alright! Yes, I doomed all of Equestria and then banished the only pony I trusted that could help me save it,” she said between her teeth, despair in her voice. Her muzzle was completely wet and many more tears were falling to the grey stone floor. Her pace had become slow and wobbling. Her head and ears as low as they could get. She had been finally releasing her emotional charge.
Suddenly the mare stopped and raised her head, looking to the clear blue sky. She sobbed a few times and then screamed, “We are SO DOOMED!” She kept staring up as the echo of her voice faded.
Wait... the sky? After some panting, the alicorn turned to her surroundings. “Where am I?”
She had been aimlessly wandering so it took her a moment to recognize the place. The Castle of the Royal Pony sisters had been built around a smaller building. The place had a look a lot smaller and simpler than the hallways she had been walking through moments ago. She was on what once had been the entrance hall of the original construction, a big room with a straight central stair that had led to the second story.
Now it was more like an empty space with rubble all around. The building was practically gone. There was just one last wall standing to her left. It used to be a door there, but now there was just a hole on it. The mare got closer to it. A corridor was still there; it had holes in its left wall, but somehow was still on hoof.
A voice from her past spoke from the depths of the corridor. It was the voice she wanted to hear the less. “I will NOT lower the Moon... “
“The end started here.” The white mare furrowed her brow and gave a step back. Her eyes filled with tears again. She turned around and started leaving the place.
Another voice from her memories interrupted her, “No, I’m not afraid... A-Are you?... ” This time it was the voice of a young filly.
The pony turned around. She stared at the opening, clearly remembering her little sister’s scared face from that day. She used her hoof to clean her face from the tears. “Of course I’m not afraid, only little foals are,” she said with a serious yet determined voice.
She went inside the wrecked corridor and walked till she reached a black, metallic door to her right. It was open wide. The first four steps of a steep stone stair were barely visible in the threshold. Beyond that everything was pitch black. “The basement.” More like Luna’s basement Celly. There was a huge hole in the wall just in front of the door. Nightmare Moon’s first magical attack.
The alicorn took a deep breath and went through the open doorway.
She used her horn to light her way downstairs, and when she reached the bottom, her mind looked for the torches she knew were there and magically ignite them all.
Even lit by the torches, the stone walls remained dark and foreboding. On the floor lay a dusty, tattered old rug between two pairs of bookshelves. Another, larger bookshelf stood next to the back wall where the rug ended. At one time, these shelves had been stuffed with a myriad of books of all shapes and colors, but now most lay strewn haphazardly on the floor, another reminder of that long night.
It was right here where she had faced the black alicorn for the first time. She thought she could talk to her, she thought it was still her sister. Just another mistake.
She walked slowly, looking sadly at her surroundings. Before that fateful encounter, it had been decades, at least, since the last time she had been there.
There was a time when both she and Luna were really afraid of this place. But that was when they were very young. Once they grew up, Celestia lost her fear, but always kept feeling a bit uneasy while in this place. Luna in exchange became in love with it, she always came down there when their father wasn’t using his library. After their father departed, it had become Luna’s library... Luna’s sanctuary.
It hadn’t changed much; there were more books now but that was about it. The original bookshelves had still a few newer books placed in them. She figured they had all been organized by topic, before they got knocked all over. As she drew closer she glimpsed her father’s books in one of the larger bookshelves tucked deep into the farthest wall. They had been carefully arranged on the shelf, and she didn’t fail to notice the enchantments that had been placed on it. Luna’s magic, keeping her father’s ancient --and dangerous, for that matter-- collection safe. These will have to be removed and put into a safer place. Actually I think the full library should.
She put a hoof on the shelf and silently thanked her father, for it had been his knowledge on the Elements that have helped her defeat Nightmare Moon. Yet, she also apologised for what she did to her sister.
And now I am crying again, seriously it is not proper... Oh shut up! All your family is gone Celly, you are gonna be alone for the rest of eternity; the hay that gives you the right to cry.
She softly sobbed for a moment, before looking around. To her left was the door to the lower levels. It was metallic, grand and imposing, engraved with two symbols: a pair of bones forming a cross and a four-pointed star. A shiver ran down her spine.
“Afraid are we?” Another memory. She swore she could see the smirk on her sister’s face. “... the place has lots of levels... yes I’ve been all over it... it’s nice down there, quiet. There is also a lot of wasted space, I could use it... of course I won’t disturb anything.”
The white mare took another deep breath and magically opened the door. This chamber was darker even than the library. The white alicorn’s eyes could barely pierce it. Somehow it was thicker and heavier than before, like it had been designed to turn prying eyes away. Even so, she was able to sense torches hidden within the swirling darkness before her. She used her magic just like she did in the library. The torches had been placed there by Luna, and did a poor job at illuminating the space. However, it had obviously been enough light for the dark alicorn. The sight was impressive nonetheless, and unsettling. She had known that big chamber; it was indeed a wasted space back in the day. Not anymore.
In front of her was her sister’s laboratory. So, those stories weren’t all just gossip after all. She entered it, looking around uncomfortably. It was expansive yet cramped; there were a number of passages leading every which way. Within the nooks the white mare beheld a number of strange, magical implements: a cauldron, a forge, an enchanting table etched with runes, several metallic implements of unknown applications, a glowing crystal ball set on top of yet another table and plenty of shelves lined with bottles, filled with unidentified substances.
As she walked around the alicorn felt some uneasiness, but her sister’s lingering presence in the place was soothing. It just felt like her. How everything had its place, but at the same time felt randomly ordered. The way the lights made possible to admire the place but also create mysterious shadows on the corners. She had transform the creepy place in an even creepier place, but somehow comfortable. That is Luna for you, confounding but fascinating. The scaredy filly that transformed into the undaunted mistress of the night, through and through. The Princess everypony feared... The one who tried the hardest to do the best for them... Irony... she was good at that.
Something that she just noticed was the fact that there were no books or notes anywhere, nothing left around the tables, no experiments without finishing, no brews in the making. Did you plan not to come back? Or perhaps you knew there was a chance you wouldn’t be able to.
She was not sure what to do of all this stuff, or if she could use some of it, and it was too dangerous to let other ponies come in here. So, the mare decided to trust her sister and leave the place alone, just like she did.
“How many things did you do in here without me finding out?” she wondered quietly, while coming out through the door. “I will never know.” With a loud clank, the door was magically sealed behind her.
Once back in the library, she walked past the big bookshelf. Right at the wall in the corner of the big room were two smaller bookcases. A glimpse of a small desk could be seen beside them.
She remembered there was a fireplace, so she focused her magic, a warm fire appeared right behind the desk, covering the full corner of the library in its glow. The alicorn stared curiously. The fireplace was large and ornately carved. Next to it hung a large piece of parchment that she was not able to make out. In front of it sat a large and inviting plush carpet. On top of the carpet lay a worn blanket and cushion as well as a well-used desk situated at the edge. There was a nearly-depleted candle set in a bracket on top, as well as a smattering of old scrolls littering the top. Crumpled-up bits of parchment were scattered all around the desk, as if someone had begun to write only to not be happy with it and toss it away disgustedly.
She magically grabbed one of those discarded pieces of parchment and gave it a look. The paper was directed to her, and she had a very good idea what the final product had been. So, that scroll is the last thing you wrote. She cleaned the floor and desk from all the papers. You did have hope of coming back here. “I wonder what else did you wrote at this place.” She turned to the small bookcases, those hadn’t been there before.
The closer bookcase seemed to contain a set of numerous, oddly-numbered notebooks. The notebooks were all unmatched; no two were alike, all featuring different colors, sizes, shapes and thickness. She grabbed one, marked as A-6, with her magic and opened it. “Luna’s hornwriting...”
Tidal Waves. A-6
By Princess Luna of Equestria.
(Linked from the beginning: Weather A-1, pages 36, 109)
(In the 360 Calendar Manual, page 78)
“What is this?” She turned the page and read. “Original Tidal Wave Control Project. Rejected by Celestia on...” She gasped, almost dropping the notebook. Then she remembered. “I charted perfect moon patterns through the night sky that will keep those tidal waves manageable...” , Her eyes were wide open, “She... wrote that down!... Well, obviously.” The mare skimmed trough the notebook. It was written in a journal format, with notes, mathematical equations and graphs all around. There were even notes between the lines that referred to other notebooks. Though she was a cultured pony she had to admit some of it was too advanced for her. Gratefully there were synopsis and explanations here and there.
The moon moves west to east in our sky, just to balance the sun attraction. However, it seems to move east to west because, unlike the sun, that is moved a lot faster, Equestria rotates faster than the moon is forced to orbit around it. (See Astral Control A-3 page 25). This spin of our entire system keeps it all balanced. So tidal wave control has a limit. To be able to change the attraction the moon has on Equestria, the moon was given an oval-shaped orbit, so the moon is not always the same distance away from Equestria. Adapting that orbit is easy, but the night length needs to be stabilized (THEORY DONE 360 Calendar Manual page 45) before finding the perfect paths that will work periodically. The original tidal wave project’s moon charts show the prototypes of these perfect orbits. The point where the moon comes the closest, called perigee, and the point where it comes the farthest, called apogee, are the markers for these orbits and would change every night throughout a thirty day period.
Note on the three hundred and sixty-day calendar (360 Calendar Manual page 99): the moon's revolution around Equestria is measured in synodic months and sidereal months (See Astral Control A-3 page 39). With a bit of control both can be rounded to be thirty days long. This adds to this tidal wave project and the phases of the moon; thus, that confirms the definitive length of the new month of Equestria: thirty days.
“Three hundred and sixty-day calendar? Months thirty days long?... What is this Luna?” The white mare was intrigued, there were many notebooks. “Did you write all this?” She grabbed a couple more notebooks. Effectively they all had her sister’s hornwriting. She rifled through a few more of them. Her sister had obviously been working a lot on these... projects, is the word she seemed to have used to describe what she had been doing. It is quite interesting, and perhaps... helpful. Yes, of course! Her ideas can help bring the solutions I need. After foalishly rejecting so many of them, now is my chance to redeem myself a little. But you are going to need help Celly, this is definitely more that you can chew. Look at you, you are already lost in all this information.
She sighed and decided to put the notebooks back in place. She then searched for one that look like a good starting point, maybe there were one numbered A-1?
The alicorn looked for a moment but couldn’t find it, she stopped to rub her eyes. They felt puffy. Of course you are tired, it was a long night after all. The tired pony smiled at her silly pun. She looked at the fire and yawn, conjuring the memories of her sister relaxing right there in front of that fireplace.
“Do you want to join me? I got a cozy fire... and tea~” She knew how that memory went, she had said she was busy, and asked her sister to go finish her work.
“I would love to Lu.” The notebooks were not going anywhere.
She went to lay down on the cushion in front of the fireplace. I wonder, how long did Luna sleep here? I didn’t know she was not comfortable on Canterlot until recently. Heavens Celly, every hour or so you discover something that makes you an even worse sister. She stared at the blanket on the rug, gently grabbed it with her mouth, held it in her hooves and hugged it. Then something fell from it. It was another notebook.
She magically picked it up and looked at it closely. It didn’t have a number like the others. The mare opened it. There were a couple of blank pages and then an entry. It was dated some years ago. “Luna’s hornwriting again... Oh my goodness, is this a diary?” The mare snapped the notebook close, she didn’t want to peer into something that private, but then she thought again. Luna was gone for good. Whatever she wrote, it was better than just memories.
I need to write this down, things are starting to look detrimental, and now I am worried. Celestia is not listening to me anymore, no matter what I do. What did I do to her? She used to trust me. She
Whatever, that is not why I’m writing here. I got a great idea and I need to focus my mind. Yesterday I finished the first pages of the New Calendar Project, that idea could really work, but for today I had other priorities. I finally wrote down the supplement from the Tidal Wave Control Project that Celestia rejected a few years ago, I had already made the necessary changes to the moon orbit, but now with a little calculation every night (assuming I can nightly find out an approximate of what the “Charming Sun Princess” wants the night to last) I will be able to diminish the floods caused by the tides 20% more. Celestia won’t even find out. Hate to do this on her back but I have no choice.
Tonight she basically told me to stop any attempts to convince her to change anything. Now I have to send whatever I see is needed to her as a memo, and then she would decide if it’s done or not, but I can’t talk to her. I’m so sad, because talking to her has been, you know, so pleasant. And telling her about the too long day’s repercussions for the umpteenth time would make such a difference. But seriously, I bet most of my ideas won’t be read beyond the second line. She just listen to me when I talk about my administrative chores or tax reforms or
Whatever, whatever, focus. I decided to link my New Calendar project with my renewed tidal wave project. After the deeper research I just started on the weird weather the random days and nights provoke, I can clearly see the relations between the two projects. I’m going to rewrite the original Tidal Wave Control Project, in a cleaner way, and I’m going to try to do the same with all the research that could possibly relate. I’m confident that some of my other failed attempts to regain a little of stability may be useful to improve the calendar idea. If I can do this, this new project will be a safe valve, and I’m ready to work real hard to make sure it will work. There is not much time before the end maybe a decade or so.
I hope it doesn’t get too bad before Celestia realizes how wrong things are. No, I have to be positive, she will notice, she has to. I’ll just wait, and when she is ready to listen this combined project will be really advanced.
The notebook was, as the big alicorn realized while she kept reading, half a diary half a journal. It contained much more than she expected. This journal was the key to the other notebooks. Luna filled the pages with her ideas on how to organise all her research and even celebrations on her discoveries. “Three hundred and sixty, yes, that is the magical number, so to speak. The new year will have three hundred and sixty days. I explained every detail on the first pages on the biggest notebook I found on Canterlot’s writing material shed. There’s no way to miss it. I’ll write down how to go from notebook to notebook there. It will be like a manual of sorts.” And so, she read her sister’s journal, and finally started to understand some of the intricacies of this project; and her sister.
It was also a diary, filled with emotional passages, disregarded a paragraph later as unimportant. But for the white mare reading her little sister’s feelings was important. The younger alicorn had been under a lot of pressure too. She had never been good treating other ponies. Without her big sister, and with so much work, she just had dismissed developing her social skills. Luna resorted to being assertive with other ponies, far too assertive. “Why are they afraid of me?” she had written. “I just went to the castle because her “Mighty Royal Highness” asked me to, is not as if I like to see their terrified faces staring at me as if I was going to rip their heads off. Maybe I should rip their heads off, so they have a reason to be afraid.” Luna felt unappreciated, because she was treated like that. Both she and the night were, in the best case, disregarded, but mostly feared. And it was getting to her.
And it’s your fault, the way you always spoke of it, you almost made it sound as if day was life and night was dead. She wanted everypony fully awake during the day, and there was a point nights were so short, she needed the ponies to never consider staying awake through the night. Look how well that worked. The night shift was avoided like a plague. She had just read how her sister had dissolved her royal guard, since nopony wanted to be on it.
But the worst were the parts about her, Celestia. Her sister went from referencing her with sarcastic compliments as “The charming and beloved Sun Princess”, to calling her a foal, a jerk, a tyrant, and what seemed to be her favorite combination during the last entries: Tyrannical jerk. At first Luna had hoped she would accept everything she was doing just didn’t work. Little by little that hope disappeared. At the end, Luna was in despair, angry and completely alone.
After reading a page that was mostly many splodges of ink, and hurting words against her and other ponies, she could see perfectly well where Nightmare Moon had come from. It seemed those horrible things Nightmare did crossed Luna’s mind at some point. She was not sure what kind of magic had awakened the evil mare, but she was indeed there in those pages.
She finally made it to the last entry, dated about a week ago:
I’m done with this. I have to make her listen. I’d force her to listen if only I had enough power. I’d show that ty
The was another splodge of Ink. She calmed down.
All has been in vain, all the projects. She would never listen. I have no choice. I’ll face her.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I can’t approach her with power. I need to write something down to back me up, a clear explanation of the problems, yes. Maybe forcing her to read that would be easier.
Anyway I have to face her. I seem to be Equestria’s only hope. There’s no turning back.
And that was all.
She took a moment to consider what she just read. The mare stood up, with the journal on her magical grasp, and looked at the notebook filled bookshelves. Part of her wanted to forget everything that had led to the creation of them. It had been her mistakes after all. And Luna sacrificed so much. But what lay in front of her represented hope. Her sister’s brilliant ideas at her reach. A carefully crafted plan to follow.
I need to prepare myself to present this project on Canterlot. She just needed two things. First the 360 Calendar Manual. As Luna wrote, it was easy to find, if you knew what you were looking for, a big black notebook thick like a book. She grabbed it and opened it over the desk.
The second important thing had been right in front of her all this time. The calendar design. It was the big piece of parchment hanged beside the fireplace, most probably conjured by Luna. It had drawn on it all the basic structure of the new calendar and there were also many written notes.
She got close to it and gently touched it with her hoof. “I’m going to need help deciphering it. But my little ponies are clever. We will. I know we will.”
At that moment something nagged at the back of her head. “The sun is setting!” She had spent the whole day there.
A sense of dread crawled into her. The night had to come. From now on, it was her responsibility, but she was very bad at raising the moon. Suddenly she got an idea. She turned to Luna’s diary and looked for the answer to her prayers. A small basic guide to control the Moon. She was lucky Luna wrote that down since it was not part of the New Calendar Project.
She climbed up the stairs, and went out the corridor. She flew up into the surviving parts of the higher levels of the old castle. She found a terrace, though only half of it remained. She stood in there, providing the sunset. Soon the sky was empty.
“Do you like it?” This time the memory in her head slightly startled her. “Well... Do you?” The memory of that night hit her with full force.
She stood still for a moment, and then closed her eyes while trying to remember the words she had spoken, “I do...” She remembered herself smiling brightly while gazing at the sky. “But... aren’t you a little... too old and busy for star drawing. The night sky... is beautiful already, it’s fine.”
“Nonsense. You love new constellations and I’ll always have time to make you smile. You’ve been too serious lately. Besides, I don’t think it’s perfect just yet. I can make it prettier, you’ll see.”
A single tear streamed down her muzzle. The image of her sister’s cocky smile flooded her mind.
That night... I thought on telling her... ‘You have some talent Lu. Is it a dragon with a cold?’ hm. But I didn’t. Celly, you should have at least told her the first part.
The sigh returned, the mare stood there in the broken terrace. It was time to raise the Moon...
That slippery rock... Is gonna take a while to get it right.
The new night bringer skimmed through her sister’s little guide. It was a bit confusing but she trusted that she could understand how to put the Moon in a safe path. “Let’s see, in a nutshell... er keep it on course, don’t rush it, don’t move it too close. Um, I think I can manage.” She braced herself as her horn glowed, and the Moon began to rise. She didn’t dare to look at it.
Focus Celly, the Moon will tell you where she usually goes, just like the Sun does.
She took a deep breath and closed her eyes while focusing her magic. There were indeed small traces of magical paths. The Moon was carefully moved onto the one closer to what the notes described.
I just hope you didn’t end up creating a flood or something.
She had already provoked some in the nights prior to the “endless” night. There weren’t that bad, but with the situation as it was, creating even the slightest problem was definitely not a good idea.
The alicorn used her magic again to double check the path the Moon had taken; it seemed to be far enough and on course. With yet another sigh, the white mare prepared herself to fully bring the night.
She had never tried to call upon the stars. She actually forgot about them after Luna left Canterlot. She would try tonight.
She took a sit and slowly raised her head towards the night sky. “Here goes nothing.”
Her magic made her horn gleamed once again. She looked for the stars beyond the sky.
For all that is magical... there are too many! Come on Celly you can do it.
Of course she could, if her sister could, she could. She just needed to focus. Once more she closed her eyes and put all her magical power into it.
“There!” she said before she started panting. She looked at the sky and there they were... about 100 visible stars.
She looked at the stars, so few in comparison; and not a full constellation in sight. Not even close to what her sister could do. It was so sloppy, it was shameful, it was... ridiculous, in a very sad way. And yet she laughed at herself. “You win this one Luna. I hope you are happy to know your stars can still make me smile.” The glorious Equestrian night sky would probably take a while to shine again, if at all. But the new night bringer didn’t lost hope.
“I’m sure she left some instructions somewhere... Right?” She looked at the Moon, and then her mouth opened in shock. There, on the Moon’s face, the profile of a unicorn mare could be seen. She composed herself and sighed one more time, then promised herself it would be the last one.
The night was not perfect, actually it was as far from perfect as it could get. But it would have to do for now. Now there are a lot of notebooks to read, and things to do... er after I take a nap, no more overworking for you Celly, it affects your brain. “It makes me... grumpy!” She shivered at the thought.
The alicorn rose and extended her wings. With one last sad stare at the Mare on the face of the Moon, the big sister spoke, “Rest assured all your work was not in vain. You did save Equestria, you know?”
By the time the last memories of that day played through her mind, Princess Celestia had already cleaned up the notebooks and scrolls from all of her chamber. A small tower of notebooks hovered gently besides her covered in the yellow glow of her magic.
After making sure she didn’t forget anything, the Princess walked towards the big white doors of the room. She had to return the notebooks to the library as early as she could, in case any member of the committee needed any of them.
Before stepping through the door, she gave the notebooks one last contempt stare. And that is just another reason you should never forget her Celly. You must never forget, who was the pony who saved Equestria.