The Demon's Angel

by Radiant Dawn

Chapter 22: Shards of Memories

Chapter 22: Shards of Memories

PoV ‒ Rainbow Dash

I watched with worry as Koa slung his rucksack over his arms and shoulders before doing a walk around his house, making sure everything was in order before he left.

It was scary...I’d never seen him like this before. The gentleness in his eyes was gone, and in its place was a raging storm the likes I’d never seen before. It was like while he slept, someone swapped out his heart and soul with somepony else, and while he would offer a smile to me or Scootaloo whenever our eyes met with his, the smiles were nowhere near as warm and inviting as they normally were. It was the first time that Koa was actually scaring me...

The gathering thunderhead outside didn’t help my nerves either.

I knew why he was like this though. Celestia was like his younger sister, and with how protective he already was of his friends (in addition to his natural dragon instincts), I was actually surprised he’d kept himself calm for this long. I didn’t really want him to go...but I also knew he had to. This was something he had to do, more now than ever because these enemies attacked Equestria directly...I couldn’t truthfully say I wouldn’t be equally upset if they had come after Scootaloo, or any of my other friends.

Still...I didn’t want him to lose himself to revenge.

An hour later the three of us ‒ me, Scootaloo, and Koa ‒ were gathered out in front of Koa’s home to see him off, and we were greeted by a massive cumulonimbus cloud the likes of which I’d never seen before. Its base covered all of Ponyville, as well as extending to cover both the Whitetail Wood and the Everfree Forest. Lightning jumped around inside the cloud itself, causing it to flash every now and then, and the amount of wind shear coming off of the cloud structure was enough to cause my instincts to make my wings flare in a flight response.

I looked nervously to my stallionfriend (or is it dragonfriend?) and said, “Not the most subtle.”

Koa stared at the cloud with a stern gaze. “I’m done with subtlety. I want them all to know I’m coming from dozens of miles away...I want them to know I’m hunting them, and no matter where they run or try to hide, they’re going to be found and will pay for what they tried to do to Lil.” He then turned to Scootaloo and I and pulled us into a tight hug, which even though I was nervous, I returned. “Keep each other safe, and keep an eye on the news.”

“Wait, what?” Scoots asked in confusion as he pulled away.

He turned away from us before saying, “So long as the storm lives, so do I. For our enemies, it will be something to be feared...for our friends, it is a sign of power and respect.” He then looked back at us with just the tiniest bit of electricity buzzing around his eyes. “It will also be an example of what will happen to anyone who threatens Equestria or its ponies.”

I stepped forward a bit, now actually scared for him. “Koa, you’re freaking us out.”

He shook his head. “Don’t worry about me, Dashie. I promise I’ll be alright and I’ll come back as soon as I can.” He then flapped his wings once and landed on top of the flanking line of the monstrous cloud before turning back to us. “I’m going to go and escort Celestia home and then I’ll be off. I can’t send letters, so just keep an eye on the news. I’ll try and let you all know somehow that I’m alright whenever I can.” His expression then finally softened and he added, “I love you both so much, and I’ll be thinking of you when I’m gone.”

I could feel the fear bubbling up within me, but I offered him a smile as I said, “We love you too...please be safe.”

Scootaloo suddenly shot past me and wrapped herself around his leg, pleading, “Please Koa...don’t go.” Her eyes teared up as she turned her gaze to his, and it broke my heart to see the normally-tough filly so afraid and vulnerable.

Koa reached down and pulled her off of him before bringing her up to his chest for a tight embrace. “Scoots, I have to go. I’m sorry, but I promise I’ll be back as soon as I can be. Everything’s going to be okay.”

She shook her head as tears continued to drop. “You don’t know that, though! Something could go really, really wrong!”

Koa looked down at the filly and ordered, “Scootaloo, I want you to listen to me.” She looked up at him attentively, and he smiled gently at her. “I am coming back. I don’t care if both my wings are broken and I have to crawl on my hands and knees...I’m going to make it home. Nothing will stop me from coming home to all of you.”

The determination in his eyes spoke of the truth of the statement...that no matter what, he would come back home to us. I felt better for some reason, just because of the sheer confidence he held.

Scootaloo nodded slowly. “Okay, safe.”

He gave her one last squeeze before letting her go to fly back to the cloud home, and with one last look at the two of us, he closed his eyes and turned towards the northeast. Wind began to blow from out of nowhere, and the huge monster-cloud started to move towards Canterlot, and I watched as Koa flew straight up the side of it to stand on the anvil as it sped away.

I looked to Scoots nervously and asked, “I’m not the only pony who’s feeling really bad about this, am I?”

Scootaloo shook her head. “I don’t like it either. He’s being too...”

“Cold.” I offered.

She nodded. “Yeah. It kinda scares me.”

I shrugged. “Keep in mind what happened to Princess Celestia though. I gotta say that if I were in the same situation ‒ like if something happened to you ‒ I can’t say I would be anywhere near as calm as he is. Even though Celestia is...” I thought for a moment, “you know what, I’m not actually sure which between the two of them is older, but Koa sees her as a little sister.”

Scootaloo stared into the distance as the huge storm retreated. “Yeah...I can’t really level with you two on that though. No siblings, remember?”

I let out a soft, halting laugh before going silent again for a few moments. I then thought of something to distract both of us, so I looked to her and said, “Alright Scoots, we’re doing endurance training today. You’ve got flight mechanics down and you’ve got no problem as far as strength is concerned, but you’re not able to fly for very long.”

I looked over the young filly in front of me and smiled wide at the changes the years had brought upon her. Her once-tiny wings were now much larger and stronger, proportionately larger than mine, actually. She was steadily growing into quite the athlete, and already I could see the graceful, ropy muscles of a flier beginning to show. She was still thicker than I was, but only because she was still growing. A few years of good training, and she’d be the picture of pegasus athleticism. For the time being though, she had to deal with me, and I was far from an easy trainer. She had to stack up to me, after all.

I grinned evilly as I shouted, “Ten laps around Ponyville. Go!”

She grinned right back and took off as if she had been shot out of a cannon, and I followed her closely, never having been more proud of another pony.

PoV ‒  Celestia

It was a novel experience, being dependant on another. Yet, as I leaned on the reassuring strength of Luna as I walked back and forth across the room, I couldn’t help but smile. I was tired, sore, and more than a little grouchy, but having Luna beside me during the whole process was more than worth it.

“Uh, princess? I believe you should come take a look at this.” Doctor Steady Hoof beckoned.

I groaned a bit at the request, but limped (with Luna’s help) over to the large window that fed light into the physical therapy room. Quickly approaching in the distance was a storm front the likes of which I’d only seen before once...

“Koa.” I found myself whispering. I then looked to the doctor and Luna as I ordered, “Help me outside.”

A few moments later we stood outside the front of the royal infirmary, the clouds stopped overhead, save for a soft rotation that looked rather ominous. There was no wind, and only the occasional rumbles of thunder broke the silence.

Suddenly the clouds directly above extended down towards the ground, but in a column rather than a funnel. The column of cloudmass touched down directly in front of me, and when it dissipated, Koa was standing before us.

He smiled gently, obviously glad to see me standing. “Hey Cel.”

I tried to smile, truly I did, but I only showed worry on my face as I asked, “Koa, what’s happening?”

He sighed and jerked his head towards the palace. “I’ll explain when we get you home.” Without waiting for me to respond he bent down and picked me up in his arms effortlessly, reminding me again of just how strong he was. He then turned his gaze to Luna as he said, “Sign her out please, and then meet me in her quarters.”

Koa didn’t wait for Luna’s response before walking away, carrying me home...and I couldn’t stop myself from rubbing my cheek against his chest affectionately as he did so.

We arrived to my palace some time later, the guards eyeing us both curiously as we did so, but the questioning gazes were cut off when my private quarters’ door closed behind us, and I found myself gently set upon my own bed. A moment later I felt Koa sit down beside me as he began stroking my mane in an incredibly relaxing manner...almost making me forget about his behavior.


I raised my head weakly to look at him and asked, “Koa, what-”

He placed a finger on my lips and smiled gently. “I’ll explain when Diz gets here. For now just rest.”

I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to get much out of him until Luna arrived, so I settled my head upon his knee as he continued stroking my mane, massaging my scalp gently.

A few minutes later Luna pushed the door open before stepping in and closing it behind her. I cracked open one eye to see her looking equal parts worried and relieved (a rather curious combination). Still, she was silent as she made her way over to  us and sat in front of Koa as she glanced at me with a forced smile.

“I’ll explain,” Koa began, breaking the silence, “because I’m sure both of you want to know what’s going on.”

“That would be nice.” I replied softly.

Koa sighed before nodding. “Alright. Well to put it simply, this little spat with the Lunar Republic is going to be ending, and I’ll make sure the entire world witnesses what happens to someone who attacks Equestria or its people.”

I gasped at the sheer hostility in his voice and shook my head. “You cannot simply slaughter indiscriminately, Koa. It goes against everything Equestria is."

He shook his head. “I’ll announce my arrival and my intentions, giving those who are simply ‘following orders’ a chance to leave. I’m in this for justice. I mean, they had to know to expect retaliation. Them and groups like them have to know they can’t continue their activities without consequence, and since negotiations haven’t worked, it’s time for force. I’m not going to have you risking the lives of your ponies either...this is something I have to do.”

Luna moved forward with her brow furrowed and a frown upon her face, lifting her hoof to Koa’s face. “ do not have to do this. We can think of something else.”

He shook his head resolutely, leaving no room for a rebuttal. “Not at the cost of more ponies’ lives. One way or another, this will end.”

I strained my weak muscles as I sat up, my hooves shaking from the effort. “K-Koa, what about you?”

Again he shook his head. “I’ll be fine, I swear.” He then turned to me directly and said, “I need to speak privately with Luna for a moment, okay?”

He didn’t wait for a response before kissing me on the forehead, just below my horn.

The gesture, the all reminded me of that time so long ago in the past when we were just regular people. He was my best brother. He cared about me and took care of me when I needed it the most, and I never got to truly thank him for it.

The four of us ‒  me, Dizzy, Koa, and Kayla ‒  always spent time together. We were as close as four unrelated people could be, and I don’t think blood could have ever made us any closer. Then came the time when Kayla became ill, and eventually passed on. It was one of the most difficult times of all our lives, and at times I still don’t know how we got through it...but we did. We survived and continued with life.

And then she changed everything.

The animated stories of what was now our world ‒ commonly known as My Little Pony ‒ took Earth by storm, becoming a worldwide sensation in a matter of months. Somehow someone had found a way to glimpse the future, whether they knew it or not, and began producing our events as a television show. It was truly confusing now that I thought about it, as even though it was not entirely accurate, it was enough to realize that someone had seen what was to become of Earth.

The Element-bearers ‒ commonly called the “mane six” ‒ became iconic within the community of those who followed the My Little Pony program. Even back then, I would often find myself having a strange connection with Celestia ‒ with my future self. Desiree too felt the same sort of connection with Luna, though she didn’t admit it...but I could tell. By far though, the one we always felt the closest to was Rainbow Dash. I suppose it was why when she suddenly showed up one day with Koa at the beach, we welcomed her easily. I remember thinking back then just how comfortable it felt to be around her, as if we’d always known each other.

The next few days after Rainbow Dash’s arrival in the past stuck with me for a long time, because it all happened so quickly. It seemed that one moment we were all getting to know Rainbow Dash, and then the next she and Koa were together. Shortly after that, Koa was struck by lightning, changed into some sort of monster, and then advised me that he was leaving everything to me as he traveled to some world that might not have even existed.

If only I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have worried.

Koa’s departure was not without its downsides, however. Not a day after he left, government agencies sought us out and detained us, taking away our freedom as if it were nothing to them...which I suppose it wasn’t. For weeks they interrogated Desiree and I for anything and everything we knew, but we told them nothing. They even resorted to torture the likes of which I never even knew existed...

But thankfully, the end of the world as we knew it freed us.

One day I found myself sitting alone in my solitary cell, awaiting whatever was going to happen to me next, and then suddenly the sky itself seemed to scream as a massive ball of flame tore through the atmospere. It exploded high in the sky with enough force to level buildings and flatten mountains. Thankfully for Dizzy and I, the blast was far enough away that only bits and pieces of the place we were held in were damaged...just enough so that we could escape. We got away, found each other, and ran. We ignored the strange glowing dust that fell from the sky upon our hair and skin, and just sought out a place to be safe.

The years passed quickly for Dizzy and I, as we were always on the run. We kept up with current events of course, and found that the glowing dust began having some strange effects on humans throughout the world. Strange mutations became commonplace among every race and every country. The different governments around the world saw the mutations as a pandemic (though no fatalities as a direct result of the mutations were ever reported), and attempted to find a cure or vaccine. These mutations were in response to the magic that had infused our world and the people that lived upon it, and so of course mere medicine was not enough to combat it.

And then one day, he was back.

Koa was the first of the three of us to fully mutate into his new form, that of a bright bronze dragon, the first skylord. He assured Desiree and I that all was progressing as it should, and that her and I were going to have a place in the “new” world of paramount importance. When our hair began to change and we started to manifest our magical talents, time began to skew. It didn’t seem like it at all, but hundreds of years began to pass in what only seemed like a few months. I suppose it was my first dose of the life of what was to be an alicorn...watching many pass on while we persisted.

One fateful day, the sun did not rise.

As the mutations had taken hold across the world, civilization as a whole collapsed. Vicious wars were fought, the power grids went completely offline, and we were thrown back into the dark ages of technology. The tense atmosphere that gripped Earth was only made worse when the sun and moon, the only two constant things about life for us, stopped. The sun never rose on its own again, and the moon simply sat in the sky, unwilling to move.

The flora of the world began to wither and die, and the fauna was not far behind.

We were starving ‒ me, Koa, and Diz. We were desperate. Severely malnourished and giving up on life as a whole, we would often just sit on the rooftop of our home (a log-cabin we’d found out in the mountains of northern Colorado), waiting for death to come to us.

I felt...something. As a human I could not explain it, but it felt like something...warm. It was calling to me, as if asking me for help, and as the days passed slowly, Diz confided in me she felt the same thing. So, one day ‒ one life-changing day ‒ I opened my heart and mind to the call as I instinctively reached my hand towards the horizon, where the call seemed to be coming from. Warmth and strength washed over me at that moment, and Diz gasped as she advised me the sun was rising into the sky.

She spoke to me...the sun.

Not in words, but in emotions and pictures. It was like speaking to an old friend, and by the end of our silent conversation (which only lasted a few seconds), I understood what I needed to do for this world. From that day on, I was no longer Lily. With my change of duty in the world, so too did my name change. I chose the name of Celestia, after the solar princess of Equestria. it just felt...right for some reason. Diz learned her own calling once night fell, and took the name of Luna, after the pony princess she seemed to take after. Little did we both know at the time that those same ponies were us, but even though we knew not who we were to become, we knew just how important we were.

Just like in the timeline we resided in now, Koa protected us. With our new power and Koa’s frightening new visage and strength, we were constantly hunted. The few remaining religions of Earth branded us demons or monsters, and we were seen as a stain upon the Earth, not its salvation. It was a thankless job in many ways, but for the continuation of life upon the planet, we all bore the burden of exile from the world as a whole.

For many, many years, it was the three of us...then Luna died.

It broke Koa and I, and even though I continued my duties, I found it difficult to truly find joy in life anymore. I took solace in the fact that I could at least move Luna’s moon in her stead, but it wasn’t much of a consolation. Luna had been taken so suddenly, becoming ill and then passing on within a month. It was true that we were finally showing wrinkles and other signs of age, but I hadn’t thought we had that little time left.

The two of us that remained soldiered on as life continued for us.

Five years had passed since Luna’s death, and I finally took the time to notice a familiar feeling gripping me. It was the same enigmatic “call” as when the sun was first calling for me, but it was different somehow. It felt more like a person than the sun, though I didn’t know (and still don’t) how to explain it. Once again I allowed the feeling to overcome me, and I reached out my consciousness.

I felt an explosion of magic somewhere in the world, though I didn’t know what it was at the time.

Three years passed since the night I had reached out to the “call”...and then suddenly one night, the moon moved on its own.

Years passed since the moon began moving of its own accord, but then Koa (or Zizzanasx as he preferred to be called) advised me that a young girl was being held in a bandit’s hideout in the long-destroyed city of New York, which was now known simply as “The Great City”. What caught my attention was the fact that the girl was rumored to be able to speak to the moon.

We moved to find her immediately.

With a full-grown dragon on our side, the girl was saved in record time without any casualties. Of course, I was stopped dead in my tracks when the sleeping girl awoke later that night to raise the moon...and she called me “Tia”.

Somehow, some way, it was Luna. No matter how we asked her, she was adamant that her name was Luna and that she knew who we were. She had memories that no one should have known but the three of us, dating all the way back to when we all met together in college.

It was then that I first understood that Luna had been reborn because of me calling her back.

With the next twenty or so years that passed, things began to change much more rapidly for us all. Most people didn’t even resemble humans anymore, and truth be told, I was rather nervous about the stark white fur growing over my entire body. I couldn’t even think about the changes to my hair, which had become a rainbow of cyan, turquoise, lavender, and magenta. And...I grew a tail as well. Both also defied gravity, and it was at that time that I realised I was Celestia. I didn’t just take after her, Celestia was me.

And that meant...

Yes, Luna was the Luna. Her skin had changed to a royal blue color, she was growing fur all over her body as well, and her hair had changed as mine had. She was much smaller than me of course, being a fraction of my age, and it was also at that time that I realized I’d have to explain to her how to “call” me home when I passed on.

Passing on and being reborn is an odd sensation. It happened in my sleep one night after Koa had been killed in battle by some rogue religious sects, and the next thing I knew, a bright light filled my vision as the world came back to me. It was a little like the horrible sleep that happens when you fall asleep and seem to wake up moments later, unrested and exhausted. I remembered very little about my previous life, only keeping memories having to do with Luna and Koa...which after I figured out how reborn memories worked, I realized it meant he was already alive again.

Just like I had found Luna, Luna found me and brought me home, telling me that Koa hadn’t come back. The both of us wept tears of loss, but moved on with our lives, keeping the sun and moon rising and falling over the world.

Normal people passed on in only a little over sixty years, but Luna and I persevered through millennia before we would pass on. We never saw Koa again after that, before the world went through the Age of Darkness.

And then suddenly...he was there.

Somehow he had called both Luna and I from across the void, and since one side of the planet was an inferno while the other was a frozen wasteland, I was unsure of how exactly he had been reborn, or even survived for that matter.

He was the first thing Luna and I saw when we returned to the world as mere children, a massive golden dragon that ruled the skies and brought life-giving rain to the parched world. Luna and I had been away from the world for so long that we were forced to re-learn nearly everything. The only things that were kept within the recesses of our minds were memories of Koa, and the instinctual ability to control our magic and the sun and moon.

The only safe area for Luna and I was the area of twilight, the space in between the halves of night and day where neither ruled over the other. It was light enough where strange breeds of plants could grow, but cool enough where it didn’t turn into a hellish world of fire. It was the place where we began anew.

It took many, many years, but eventually plant life began to return to the planet as a normal solar and lunar rhythm was set.

The residual magic of the planet itself, which Luna and I renamed Equis (a testament to what was to become of most of its people), did what science deemed impossible. It accelerated the evolutionary process from millions of years to a scant few thousand, and once sentient life came about, Luna and I spent time developing spells to give them sapience.

It took a few failed attempts, but eventually Luna and I formulated a spell to speed the evolution process even further, giving the simple life that existed a strong boost for future generations to advance. It only took a few decades for the planet to be as it was before the Age of Darkness, though it was noticeably lacking in any large cities anymore due to the twenty-thousand years of half firestorm, half darkness.

The three of us taught them all we knew, though somehow Koa retained more knowledge than we did. We instilled in them the values of harmony, while Koa gave them science, medical practices, and basic construction. He was no true master in anything, but he gave them enough to get a head start.

As we had basically created life from the ground up, I finally knew what it felt like to be a mother. Though not born of my flesh these people were my children, and I loved them as such.

Life moved on.

As time passed and the people became self-sufficient, they began to wish for someone to watch over them. Dragons were now in great numbers compared to the anthropomorphic ponies (ponies with humanlike characteristics) that were populating what would become the kingdom of Equestria, and my people cried out for protectors...for structure.

Thus, what would be known later as the Old Kingdom was born.

Koa had many diplomatic ties as the first and strongest of his kind, and so was often gone for long periods of time, leaving Luna and I to govern our people...or learn to anyway. After all, Luna and I were new to being exalted instead of hunted, and so it took some time for us to learn the correct way to rule such a large group of people. It was not without its “speed bumps”, but as a whole things turned out rather well. Something I found strange was that because of the nature Luna and I had with the moon and sun ‒ being equal yet opposite beings ‒ they believed we were sisters. It was untrue of course, but we were close enough to be just that, so I saw no reason to correct them...and Luna had far too much fun referring to me as “big sis”.

I had grown rather lonely for a suitor over the years, and so had chosen a mortal named Sweet Shop as a courter, who was also my first bodyguard as regent of the Celestial Kingdom. I was with him for forty years until he passed, and while his passing was a grievous wound on my heart, he left me the gift of a daughter of my own flesh.

Koa on the other hand had a rather active “social” life.

Over the next thousand years he courted the mare that would one day become Scootaloo, and after her passing (and his grieving of her), he found love again in the most unlikely of Luna.

Truthfully I hadn’t thought the two of them compatible after all, as they had both been rather platonic for as long as I could remember, but one day the two simply hit it off without warning or pretense (as far as I knew). In all honesty though, the two of them worked quite well as a couple, and even had a daughter named Janice Kamakani, using the old human style of names for her own.

At the official marriage of Koa and Luna, the two were crowned King and Queen of the Celestial Kingdom by the populace. After all, save for Koa we were all still technically humans for the most part. Odd-colored skin and fur aside, of course. With that being the case there wasn’t much point in the kingdom being named Equestria yet, and certain things were different than what the television show in the past had portrayed.

A few things that I was able to experience and learn from were also some of the hardest.

First was war with the Blazing Scales radical dragon faction. Dragons as a whole were much larger and more powerful than most of the other races on the planet thus far, and a small group of them had come to the idea that because of that, they should rule everything however they see fit.

This, of course, didn’t go down so well with Luna.

Even as a normal human she had always been the more volatile of the two of us, and she never took anything “lying down”. With the help of Starswirl the Bearded (a rather brilliant but queer fellow, if ever there was one), she began producing new spells in scores. Where once we used our vast magic on a rather basic level (besides manipulation of the sun and moon), we were now preparing for war. It was a new situation on my part, as even though the world had its share of wars over the eons, this would be the first conflict I directly took part in.

It happened again...we lost him.

The three of us had been the last stand against the dragons before they reached our people, and it was a losing battle. We all knew it, but we couldn’t simply abandon our kingdom after four years of war. They needed us...all of us, and we would not leave them behind.

It was then, when times seemed the darkest, that Koa made a that would change our lives forever.

He pleaded to the sky itself, to the winds and the clouds, to save us. Not him...just Luna and I. The winds answered to his call immediately, whisking us away in a powerful whirlwind to a mountain summit as he fought alone against the enemies that remained.

After Luna and I gathered our bearings and realized what happened, we sped back with all haste to our castle in what would one day become the Everfree Forest. We had not grown wings as of yet, and so we simply ran the entire way. Even with enhanced strength and stamina, it took a long time...too long, actually.

When we arrived, the field was devoid of life. Save for a few smoking corpses and burnt patches of ground, there was nothing of note to be seen...until the blood. From the steps of our castle, a trail of blood led inside. The blood itself sizzled and smoked against the stone, which we had come to know was a familiar attribute of dragon’s blood.

We followed the trail to find a large golden dragon bleeding from several large wounds on his abdomen and throat, but we were already too late. Koa had passed possibly minutes before we arrived, sacrificing his own life to save those he loved the most.

The funeral itself was heartbreaking, and Luna took it the worst, of course. For a dragon, he had died very young, and so it was a tragedy in itself. After all, he could not be summoned back as we could. We had to wait for him to be reborn in his own time, and since something about the magic that made it possible also required the “slot” in time to be run out before another could be placed, we were forced to wait for him to return in what could be several thousand years.

Finally, though we didn’t know it at the time, the mutations for humans ceased.

Many, many years had passed, and I was reborn with Luna a great many times. Time itself seemed to blend together as Luna’s daughter and my own grew, started families of their own, and moved away from that eventually it was just the two of us again.

We were ponies now, ponies of wings and horn; of magic, strength, and wisdom. In response, we renamed the pony nation Equestria, realizing that this was now who we were, and Equestria was our home.

We should have expected certain things, however.

Discord was, in fact, real. He was every bit the same as he had been portrayed in the silly television show so long ago, and was every bit as dangerous. He was able to make our magic useless against him, and even turned our own subjects against us. Again, we became fugitives in a hostile world.

The Elements of Harmony were created by Luna and I, over many, many years. The spells that created them required the sacrifice of a pure being though, and so Luna and I sacrificed our own lives time and time again while calling each other back to the world. It seemed like a simple enough issue to deal with, but because we had to wait for the sacrifice (by the stars, I hated that reference) to fully mature, the process spanned thousands of years, and the whole time, we hid while Discord tore the very world asunder in such a chaotic fashion that it would never look the same. The face of the world as a whole had been changed in a way that continental drift could not account for. Still we hid, even once the Elements were created, gathering our strength and planning for how to approach a being of chaos.

The world we returned to was alien. The races of the world had been scattered, the very laws of reality warped, and even night and day were constantly in flux. Our beautiful world, and even our children, had suffered because of our absence, and while I wanted to hate myself for it, I knew there had been no other way.

But now we could fix it.

The battle was not as it was in the stories. Before being given time to “cool off” in a stone prison for such a long time, Discord was a much different person. Violent, more chaotic...more dangerous. Luna and I nearly lost our lives multiple times before his vast magic stores finally exhausted themselves, for though ponies believed it otherwise, not even Discord’s magic was infinite.

We cornered him, beaten and exhausted, atop a certain mountain plateau, which would one day become the building site for Canterlot. Discord could not be killed, and he knew this, but what he didn’t know about was the Elements of Harmony. Luna wielded Honesty, Kindness, and Generosity, while I wielded Laughter, Loyalty, and Magic. For the first time, we unleashed their power into the world, and it turned the great chaos being Discord into a harmless statue.

Though further damage was prevented, Equis was never to be the same again.

A few years after the battle with Discord, Luna began acting strangely.

She assured me that all was well and I shouldn’t worry, but I knew she was the opposite of well. She mourned the loss of her husband, as well as the many casualties of the conflict with of which was her daughter and her family.

She became cold and angry as she watched our subjects go about their lives. Even after the calamity with Discord, she found them to be contemptuous and petty, squabbling over the most unimportant things. The way she saw it, her losses far outweighed their own, and yet even she was able to put things aside and focus on what was important.

A part of her soul was festering with hatred, and the powerful magic within her transformed her into a true nightmare.

My battle with Nightmare Moon was legend, though the truth behind it was carefully hidden. What was written down in books and scrolls was that she had become jealous of me and held scorn for the ponies that did not revel in her night (which was never true). It was in an effort to keep the truth hidden, which was that she truly hated the ponies she had seen, and wished to punish them. Should the ponies ever learn that it was in fact punishment she’d had in mind, they would never trust her I wove a lie to protect us.

Our dear Luna was not around to greet Koa when he returned, though he seemed...different somehow. True that any others but Luna and I would change in minor ways here and there if they were reborn, but something seemed to be missing that time. It was as if someone had taken his humor, his mischievousness, and even his laugh away. True that such things were not what the average pony would consider “important”, but knowing who he was and how he was supposed to be, it was just wrong somehow.

Still, he and I picked up where we left off, more or less. Some things changed however, namely the fact that he explicitly requested to be referred to as Zizzanasx instead of Koa, and he was much more calm and reserved. There was no mistaking who he was though, so I obliged with his request.

From there events unfolded as normal, or as normal as I could remember.

Twilight Sparkle was born, and with her, the cogs of fate were set in motion to bring Luna back to us, cleansed of her hatred and insanity. Discord escaped once again, but the new Elements of Harmony imprisoned him. The changelings invaded, Sombra was defeated, and life as a whole moved on.

Then, Zizzanasx began dying.

It was frightening to behold, my ancient friend again passing away, but this time he assured me he would return as he was. I was unsure at the time what he had meant, but when he advised me what needed to be done and what was to happen, I realized my place in the events.

I foresaw Rainbow Dash’s passing, and knew where she would be going. And then, I sent Spike to check on her and the past Koa. Lastly, I worked with Luna and Twilight to weave the spell that would bring them both back to us...

And I hoped with my whole being that I would hear Koa laugh again.

I came out of my past memories to see both Luna and Koa standing in front of me, Koa with a small smile, and Luna stifling giggles.

I raised my eyebrow as I asked, “What’s so funny?”

Luna pointed at me and explained, “Did you know whenever you are thinking very hard, you wiggle your nose and bite your tongue?”

“It’s adorable.” Koa added.

I snorted in indignation and stuck my tongue out at the both of them. “Stop making fun of me.”

Koa said nothing, simply making his way to me and embracing me tightly once again. After a moment he kissed my forehead again before stepping away. “I gotta go now, Lil. Luna’s going to take good care of you, okay?”

I nodded with a slightly worried expression. “I understand. Please be safe, Koa.”

He nodded before looking to Luna, who looked much more worried than I did. He then did something that likely surprised the both of us...

He cupped Luna’s face in his large hand and kissed her strongly.

Luna’s eyes went completely wide in shock, and I imagine mine were not much different, but after a moment, Luna’s eyes fluttered closed, and she pushed into the oral embrace. Koa wrapped his arms around her as he deepened the kiss, and after a minute or so, they broke apart.

Luna was panting slightly as she breathed out, “W-what...why...?”

Koa caught his breath and smiled gently, tracing his thumb along her jawline. “Because even though I’m devoted to Rainbow Dash, I do love you, Luna...I’ll always love you, just like I’ll always love Rainbow Dash. Should the extremely unlikely happen and I’m killed, I want you to know that...just in case.”

She smiled gently at his words, and I saw a tenderness in her smile and her eyes that I had not seen in what felt like several lifetimes, which might have been the case. She simply nodded before stepping over to me, and we both watched as he left without another word.

After the doors closed, I smirked with newfound confidence.

“The sun and moon will watch over you, Demon of Equestria.”