Equestria has been at war for forty years now. So much had changed in such little time. Towns vanished and new ones were founded, so many friends splitting paths, only to meet once more in battle. Sister fought sister, daughter fought mother... friend fought friend.
Twilight by all intents and purposes was an old mare now, and war had changed her. She was no longer a mere unicorn, her body now transcending that of a mortal shell. Her mortal life forfeit a long long time ago*, under the servitude of the eternal sun. Her body was strong and built tall and powerful. Her short stub of a horn, was now a mighty lance on her brow. Barring only a pair of wings, she was the very image of her empress now, albeit slightly more lavender than her ivory goddess.
It was the year 40 after the Day of Coronation Twilight stood a quiet vigil, contemplating the loss of a true and loyal friend. War was still raging somewhere in the world but in the vast expanse of the plains that laid just on the edge of the Everfree, stood a monument to one of the greatest ponies to have ever fought for the empire.
The silver white light of the evening sun burned across the land, purging all colour into monochromatic scenes. In the distance Twilight could hear the faint rumbling of thunder, and the eerie, lonely whistling of the wind. The sky was a regal evening purple, as if stuck in perpetual twilight, never to make way for night. The earth was patchy with grass, no doubt caused by eons of hoof steps trampling what little vegetation there was into pulp. Only to die, brown and dry. A husk of it's former greenery.
"Hello Rainbow Dash." Twilight said before a faceless gravestone. It was scribed simply with long faded dates and a name. The countless medals that use to adorn it, either stolen or lost to the sands of time.
No one gave tribute to her anymore, no more flowers of all seven colours to mark her grave. Just a half buried stone upon land that use to hold so much life.
Above that very spot Rainbow Dash's quaint little cloud house use to reside there. No place was fitting for the great hero than having her body returned to its rightful home. A place of so many happy memories.
Out of respect Twilight put a hoof to the faceless stone, tapping just hard enough so that her hard hoof would bump against it in a solid clip. After letting the sound resound into silence, the princess let the hard truth pour from her mouth. The harsh reality becoming so much more potent when spoken out with such factuality.
"Rarity died today." Each word hurt, but a necessary pain. Acceptance is the first step to moving on.
"The church is going to name her a martyr and make her the matron saint of the order of harmony." Tears were falling upon the earth.
"She'd lived such a good life, saving so many lives while I... we..." It hurt too much to say it out loud. To think that taking the life of another came so easily now, in a mere forty years.
And she did it with every action she took, from a flaring of her horn, to a breath out of her mouth, ponies died by the hundreds. Twilight flared her horn with magic and the leather holster on her flank undid its bindings to unsheathe a rusty and bloody dagger. On her right flank, her new commander's sword remained where it was.
"I'm getting sick of this. There are no more friendships in the world. Harmony is dead and it isn't coming back." Twilight floated the dagger towards her throat and she raised her head so that her neck could be seen to more easily. She was afraid to look death in the face despite her bravery to meet it, and so she closed her eyes.
"I want to meet everyone again. I want to go where everyone is right now!" Twilight's magic willed the rusty blade to her throat and it moved rapidly towards her.
Twilight's magic was so powerful that it was known throughout the land. Her feats in the battlefield were forever immortalised in the histories of all of Equestria.
Her telekinesis alone had such potent force as to carve clean holes right through pony bodies with a mere throwing of pebbles. If she willed it, she could rip ponies apart with it or obliterate a volley of a hundred arrows. It was even known to hold magic itself, during some legendary battles against the former Lunar general Trixie the great and powerful.
And it all came so easily with such little effort. Just a single will and she too would die. Another death in an endless war.
With mockingly equal epicness, if not overwhelming strength, another magic had stopped her dead from becoming dead. Laughter filled the air, seemingly carried by the wind. The blade in question, had fallen down to the earth, only it's hilt visible as the earth greedily devoured the killing edge. Twilight was covered in streamers and confetti and blood, all the while the sun turning blood red and the sky a cloudy pink.
It was raining brown liquid, the stench of chocolate choking Twilight's nostrils.
Instinctively a bubble enveloped Twilight's form with a single will into her horn. The princess attempted to brandish the blade upon the ground with her magic, but any attempts were easily repelled as if her invisible hands of magic were being slapped away, the stinging pangs of repulsion pulsating in her mind with the sound of giggling echoing somewhere in the recesses and niches within.
And as if, none of it ever was, the skies returned to its twilight, the sun to it's white light, the grass was still a patch of grey and brown. And Rainbow dash's gravestone stood ever unassuming.
Pinkie Pie, exactly the young mare she remembered her as, stood beside the war princess. The princess's dagger in her pink hoof, licking it like a lollipop. There was a disquiet, savouring appreciation the pink mare showed as the iron tang tickled her taste buds.
Twilight shook her head, causing more confetti to fall over her eyes. She stared aghast, her mouth wide open and her eyes in surprise.
"Pinkie Pie?" In reaction to Twilight saying her name, the pink mare lost interest in the blade. As if tasting the bitter tang of iron in the blood, and the gut wrenching disgust the rust induced, to her taste buds for the very first time. Her tongue stopped licking, her face contorting into disgust. To Twilight herself, she paid her no mind at all.
"Was it fun Twilight?" Pinkie said as if talking to herself, the blade in her hoof thrown from the foot of the grave and dead center of the gravestone opposite. she did it so effortlessly. She did it as if she'd been long well-practiced in killing other ponies with such things and in such ways. She could feel than see in the pink pony, a killer's arrogance. And Pinkie's killing intent was exuding out of the mare as if intending to ensnare her in it's almost humid miasmic invisible shadow. But Twilight didn't care, fear took a backseat as other more positive feelings flooded her heart.
"Pinkie where have you been...?" Twilight's tears streamed down with such joy. She was so happy to not be so alone anymore. In her fit of desperate relief the largely built mare hugged her little pony friend. Pinkie didn't pay her any mind.
"Was it fun, when you stabbed that dagger into Rarity's gut?" Pinkie said, still as if she was speaking to no one at all. As if she were talking before Twilight's grave.
The joy inside Twilight died, as fear and dread came over her finally a totally.
Then her side hurt, exploding in a sharp concentrated bloom of pain.
The princess looking to the source of the pain found the dagger embedded into her chest, into her heart. Her eyes looked to the gravestone, and didn't find the dagger there.