Epilogue: Both Sides Of The Story
Presidential Palace of the New Equestrian Republic, New Canterlot. One day after the explosion.
The secretary rushed into the President’s Office, carrying a folder in her saddlebag, while mumbling something about ‘defeat’ and ‘crushed’. Her face showed worries and fear, but one could not tell if she felt that because of the contents of the folder or because of the pony she was about to confront.
“Miss President!” She cried.
“What is it?” Praline took a puff of her cigar and groaned. “Why do you look so… anxious?”
“It’s the last report…”
“What last report? Speak up!”
“The frontline… in Neighvada…” The secretary tried to catch her breath. “There’s a problem… Harpsong…”
“Calm down, will you!” Praline facehoofed. “I need you to speak clearly, or I won’t understand you! Take a moment to breathe if you need it!”
The secretary nodded and gasped for air, while Praline fumbled with the cigar and waited with a face of expectation and displeasement. Somehow, she had the feeling that there were no good news on the horizon.
“Miss President, the Neighvada Army has been…”
“Decimated. The death toll grows to the 85% of the entire Army!”
“WHAT?” Praline roared, and the cigar fell to the table. “How on Equestria could that have happened? Was it the Tsar’s doing?”
“No, Miss President. According to Stonetree’s report, it was Farsight.”
“Farsight? What did that son of a bitch do this time?”
“He blew up the entire city, ma’am. Apparently, he had a balefire bomb.”
“Luna damn his soul!” Praline roared and stomped the floor. “What happened exactly?”
“According to the last transmissions we managed to record, the City Gates opened, and once the troops were inside, he pulled the trigger. Vice-President Heartstrings was leading the assault…”
“Harpsong…” Praline mumbled. “Dammit. What about Stonetree?”
“He saw the bluff through, and he retreated his unit. They were the only ones that survived the blast.”
“Shit.” Praline sighed and went silent.
“W-what should we do, President? Should we send reinforcements?”
“No way.” Praline shook her head. “Retreat all our forces to Divide Pass, and once the radiation has settled, begin sending recon squads to find out what really happened in New Pegasus.”
“What should we tell the population?”
“Put all the blame on Farsight. Have the History books picture him as a traitor and an evil tyrant. We need to justify our actions in Neighvada… and I will never admit defeat against a no-good mobster. The Republic demands it!”
“For the Republic, President!” The secretary saluted.
“For the Republic…”
*** *** ***
Single Pegasus Project Tower. Two hours after the explosion.
The screen showed nothing but radiation-induced static, as the blast from the Enola had blocked all the comms systems in the Divide. The only eye into Neighvada had been clouded, and Littlepip knew exactly what it meant… her hopes had been dashed.
“I guess I misjudged you, Farsight. You were in deeper trouble than what I imagined… but I never expected you to take out the population of New Pegasus with you.”
“Hello? Who is that?” A voice called from the other end of the line.
“What? I thought the camera was down.”
“We have no image, but we can hear you… and I guess you can too.”
“I can, yes. Who am I speaking to?”
“My name is Petlyakov… I was Farsight’s friend, and trust me, he didn’t do what you think he has done.”
“But New Pegasus…”
“Yes, it is no more. However, the population has been secured.”
“A convenient Stable.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“I checked it myself, ma’am. It will work, have faith in Farsight.”
“Faith… yes, that’s all that remains now…”
*** *** ***
The Tsar’s Palace, Quebuck. Two weeks after the explosion.
“We have news from Neighvada, your Majesty.”
The Tsar moved on his throne and showed a face of eager interest. After having been bored to death by a self-appointed Court Minstrel, he needed to give his mind enough food to chug the routine of the daily life as a Wasteland ruler. His old, battle-hardened body needed action to be kept in good state, and since he was too important to risk his hide in battle, he awaited each after-action report with true enthusiasm.
“Fine, fine. About time, anyway.” The Tsar smiled. “What does Nevski tell us today?”
“Nevski is dead, your Majesty?”
“Really? How did that happen?”
“Well, apparently he messed with some local chieftain.”
“Could that be the renowned Farsight he has mentioned in prior reports?”
“Yes, your Excellence.”
“I see… and what did that Farsight pony do to defeat Nevski? As far as I know, his military forces were close to none.”
“It seems that he… blew the entire city up.”
“He did that?” The Tsar laughed. “That’s simply incredible. That Farsight is a master of the unexpected.”
“Was, your Highness.”
“He committed suicide. With the bomb.”
“Did he?” The Tsar clapped. “Better dead than defeated. I like his attitude! He should be regarded as a hero! I want our chronicles to glorify his name!”
“Certainly, your Majesty. What should we do with Neighvada?”
“Forget about it.” The Tsar frowned. “If that Farsight has been capable of destroying all he had to preserve his freedom, I don’t want to face the wrath of his followers. We have other ways to expand before returning to Neighvada. Nevski made a mistake, and I am not going to repeat it.”
“Of course, your Majesty. Of course…”
*** *** ***
Stable 188 Clinic
“Easy now, Avro, breathe steadily.” Mixer mumbled.
“Ugh…” Avro moaned. “It… it hurts…”
“I know, dear, but it will be over soon. It’s coming fast!” Mixer smiled.
“Stay strong, Avro, we’re here with you.” Rose whispered.
“Uuuuggh…” Avro huffed.
“Push, Avro.” Mixer said calmly. “Slowly and steadily, but don’t falter. Push!”
“Urrgh… aaaagh!” Avro cried and panted, sweating profusely.
“You’re doing fine, Avro!” Rose cheered. “It’s coming, I can see it! Just a bit more!”
“That’s it, one final push, darling, and it will be over!” Mixer yelled, trying to give the pegasus one last hurrah.
“EEEYAAAAARGH!” Avro wailed to the top of her voice, while tears rolled down her cheeks. Suddenly, the cries of a foal flooded the steel-walled room.
“Congratulations, Avro.” Mixer smiled. “It’s a perfectly healthy unicorn colt.”
*** *** ***
Studio of DJ PON-3, Tenpony Tower, Manehattan. Six years after the explosion.
The soldier came out of nowhere, looking worried and searching everywhere for something nopony else could see. He carried a large bag with the symbol of the NER Army, and he showed the scars of a battle-hardened pony, put to a test in the toughest possible environments. It was odd to see such individuals walking into a place like Tenpony Tower, but ever since the City began to return to its original state, things had become a tad less paranoid.
“Hello.” Homage smiled and grabbed the strange soldier. She saw that he was scared and took him to a nearby room, where they could speak without being bothered. “How can I help you?”
“I would like to speak to the DJ.” He groaned. “The one that told the tales of the Light Bringer.”
“That… will not be possible.” Homage grinned. “However, I can act as a messenger. Would you please tell me your name?”
“I am Sunlight Forger, of the NER Army… I would like to stay anonymous, though.”
“Of course, I understand that. What did you want to tell DJ PON-3?”
“I have… information about what happened in New Pegasus six years ago.”
“Really?” Homage flinched. “What kind of information?”
“A direct confession.”
“That’s impossible. Farsight died on that explosion.”
“I found a PipBuck with his memoirs. Before giving it to my commanding officer, I copied the contents to these holotapes.” Forger picked a pack of five tapes out of the bag. “I realized that the truth had to be told… somehow.”
“This will get me killed, I know… but I can’t sleep at night, knowing that the official version is a blatant lie. Please, help me spread the word. DJ PON-3 did that with the Light Bringer… and I believe Farsight deserves that as well.”
“Of course.” Homage nodded. “I’ll send this to the DJ right away.”