I awaken with a gasp, expecting to see Chrysalis or any of the multitude of changelings from earlier around me. But what I don’t see is what surprises me.
There is nothing. No Chrysalis, no changelings, no ponies. The only thing I see is the chamber and the cocoons. I get up quickly and grab my staff, not believing this for a second. There is no way that these things are gone. But that leads to another odd realization.
My wounds are healed. I’m not hurt! I feel fine! I felt like I did before I met that first changeling! My ribs are fine, my nose isn’t busted and my arms aren’t weak any longer!
But how is that possible? Last I remembered I was nearly stomped to death by Chrysalis. I passed out next to the cocoon that Celestia was in. Wait, I should probably check that out too, since all of this is just too freaking weird.
Looking over at it though I see it’s empty! There’s no one inside it! But, it isn’t broken, and neither is it opened. How could this cocoon be empty if it wasn’t opened or broken? Even the cracks I made on it are gone.
“This is getting to be all kinds of crazy. Wait a second, now my stutter is gone? I was stuttering like crazy earlier, what the hell?”
Ok, ok Micah, don’t worry about this. Regardless of what exactly is going on, everything should be alright. You aren’t being beaten by a changeling so this is obviously a great improvement. Just try to find the ponies.
I head towards the passage from the sewers that lead me down here quite some time ago. “Girls, can you hear me?! Are you there?!”
Ok, that silence is not good.
“Girls! This isn’t funny, where are you?! Answer me!”
“They cannot hear you, young man.”
Did that voice just come from inside my head?
“Who are you, and where the hell are you?” I ask as I look around the entire chamber, but see absolutely nothing but the cocoons.
“There is no need for you to be so nervous Micah. You have no reason to fear me. After all you have done, my sister and I owe you greatly.”
“You and your sister? Again I ask, who are you?” I ask as I walk around, trying to find out where that voice could possibly be coming from.
“I am Princess Luna, Micah. As I believe you know, Celestia is my elder sister.”
“Luna? The Luna? Ok, that’s one question answered, but--”
Without warning of any kind, suddenly I feel the ground shake. I quickly steady myself against a wall as everything around me continues to shake. It is as if I am at the center of an earthquake!
“Luna, what’s going on?!” I shout as even the ground itself is showing cracks, and as I look about the very wall behind me is actually beginning to crumble.
“Micah, stay calm. I know you are frightened but I swear you are safe. You will not be harmed.”
“There’s an earthquake occurring right now, so are you sure about that?!” I scream as the very ground falls away in front of me. “Luna!”
I claw at the wall behind me to try and get a grip, though my efforts are in vain as I fall down into the abyss below me. I try and reach out to the sides of the abyss or pit or whatever the hell it is to get a grip but I feel nothing. It’s as if I am clawing at air!
Soon though I see something coming up at me rapidly from below. It looks to be brown or oddly black. Regardless of what it is, I know if I hit it at this rate there is no way that I can survive. Damn it there has to be a way to slow down or something!
I do not stop falling, and actually continue to go faster and faster as I descend until the surface below is almost upon me. “Luna! Luna, help!”
I close my eyes to not see what happens… And nothing happens. No pain, no death, nothing. I open my eyes to see myself standing in what appears to be an old, long-abandoned field of some sort. The grass underfoot is brown and dried out, and the sky above was blood red.
“Micah, do not move. I am nearly there. I am sorry for what happened. Doing this with a human is different than with a pony. It is more difficult.”
I look about for Luna, trying to see where the hell in this field she is. “Doing what?! What the hell is all this?!”
“You are dreaming Micah. I am joining your dream, though as I have said it is more difficult with a human. From what I have learned from you, human minds are similar yet different from that of ponyfolk. To enter into your dream and speak with you I had to try something... different.”
“Different how? And how could a dream be this real? I have never had as realistic a dream as this before,” I state as I bend down and feel the coarseness of the dead, dried grass under my palm.
“Normally with ponyfolk I can enter into their dreams with ease, though it is a one-way door. They cannot enter into my dreams or mind. With you it is not so for some reason. The human mind seems to be able to find doors in rather strange ways.”
“So then where I am is--”
“My dream and mind, yes. Though as with your mind there are certain things I cannot and will not do. Mostly all I can see is what you are currently dreaming of, or something from your past that you would permit me to see. It is the same with me. You are capable of seeing my dream, were I to dream now. And if I lost control, memories as well.”
“Alright, alright. But, why am I here? And, and what happened to Celestia, and Twilight and the others? Are they alright? Are they hurt?”
“They are safe Micah.”
Without hesitation I turn around with my staff at the ready, but quickly breathe a sigh of relief. “Luna. Uh, sorry about that,” I say as I lower my staff.
Yes, this is definitely her. There is no possible way to mistake that. The dark blue coat, the wavy mane with stars seeming to be inside of it. She also wears the regalia only Luna would have. Seeing her in person like this, it is certainly obvious why she has the title ‘Princess of the Night’.
“There is no need for an apology. I have been told what you have been through. Your caution is certainly understandable,” she states as she steps towards me, smiling gently.
“I am most glad that you understand Princess Luna. Wait…” For goodness sake I can’t believe I forgot this bit! She’s royalty you idiot! You’re supposed to bow!
I bow towards her and think I hear her chuckle softly as I do so. “I thank you for your manners and courtesy Micah. Though for now we can dismiss such things. There are some things that I need to speak to you about.”
Raising up I speak at once. “That is quite true. There are a number of things I am curious about. Such as first and foremost right now, since I know that Twilight, Celestia and the others are safe, how the hell are you doing this? If you could talk to someone far away on other worlds, why not do so with Twilight? She could have certainly used your help.”
Luna’s smile, a moment ago rather happy and gentle, immediately vanishes. She isn’t even so much as looking at me now. Her eyes are downcast towards the grass at her hooves.
This can’t be good.
“Princess Luna, why aren’t you answering?” I ask, worried what the answer might be.
Looking at me, she begins to speak. “Micah, you must understand, your wounds were horrible. Chrysalis caused much damage to your body. Not just broken bones. Celestia knew you would not last long and needed to get you medical attention and stop the changelings both as soon as possible. She had to make a very quick decision.”
“A quick decision? What are… No. No, she didn’t,” I say as I back away, realization starting to wash over me.
Luna steps closer for each step I move away from her. “Micah, please. You were nearly dead when you got to the hospital. If you arrived at a human one the damage would have been too great for them to repair.”
I shout at her as I back away, collapsing onto the grass. “N-no. No she didn’t. This is impossible! Twilight told me how dangerous and risky such magic is, she told me! When they first got on Earth they were up in the air! No one would willingly take such a risk!”
This can’t be true. They wouldn’t have done this. I didn’t want this, and I told Applejack I didn’t want to leave! She has to be lying right now, she has to be!
“It was a risk she had to take. I am so sorry,” I hear Luna say and feel a wing on my shoulders. I look up at her, and see what I must admit is a true expression of sorrow, and I think a bit of empathy.
But… But it can’t be true. “NO!”
I get back to my feet and glare straight at her. “You’re lying! There is no way that’s the truth! You’re not really here! This has to be a dream… you’re just a dream!”
Luna seems that she is about to speak, but before she does I hear what sounds like thunder echoing throughout this place. Though there is something else that gets my attention. Something far behind Luna.
Behind Luna, in the distance of this dreamscape is a large, towering black cloud. No, no not really a cloud. It seems as if it is a huge, unending shadow. One that is slowly getting closer and closer, and larger and larger.
Luna looks to me with what seems to be actual fear. Why would she be afraid of something in her own dream? “Micah, your questions will be answered later. For now our meeting is over.”
“What?! Luna, you can’t just--”
“I can, Micah. And I am.”
“Broken bones, internal bleeding, lacerations, and so many other things. Keep an eye on him will you Redheart? The Princesses say he deserves our best care.”
“Of course. I never do anything less with any of our patients Doctor Haywick.”
“I know. And don’t tell him of what has happened in Princess Celestia’s absence. He will have enough stress as is when he wakes. There’s no reason for us to add to it.”
“He will know sooner or later.”
“Yes, yes. But only after he adjusts. I haven’t heard everything, but he has been through a lot already.”
“That would be putting it mildly.”