by Pandora

Chapter 1 — I Always Wanted to do the Right Thing



I’ve always wanted to do the right thing. From the very beginning.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of pony you’d expect to be so… forthcoming about this kind of thing. You’ve probably read it in the papers. You’ve probably heard about it on the street.

Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Princess Luna’s return. Quite specifically, the Elements of Harmony bringing her back from the moon after her long banishment of 1,000 years.

But the fact of the matter is that I was the one who brought her back.

Not me… specifically. Well… kind of me. It’s a long story.

But hey, I’ve got a lot of time. So, pull up a chair and lean back because this is one shit-slam of a story.

My name is Captain Trance Leap, Squad Leader of C – Squad in the Dream Jumper division of Princess Celestia’s Equestrian Intelligence Agency, commonly referred to as the EIA. Oh… you don’t know what Dream Jumpers are? Well, I’m technically not supposed to tell you. But hey, there’s been a lot of crazy theories flying around here and there about Nightmare Moon’s return, so adding another one into the mix won’t really hurt anyone. Especially if no one really knows if it’s true or not.

Dream Jumpers, or Jumpers as we are commonly referred to, are in charge of all the dreams of everypony in Equestria. We hop from one dream to the next, making sure that anything with the ability to dreamwalk, such as Nightmare Moon, doesn’t subconsciously alter the makeup of a dreamer’s brain, and therefore plant ideas, give directions, or anything else that pony wouldn’t normally do.

Back at the start of Luna’s banishment, Princess Celestia created the EIA as a means of making sure that all the ponies of Equestria were — and I quote — “to bring all ponies conspiring with, allying themselves with, or in any way aiding known criminals or terrorists to justice.”

From the EIA she then created four different branches; the Central Branch — which pretty much controls all major police forces around Equestria and takes over for them in times of crisis, the Governmental Branch — which focuses on the government officials and makes sure they’re not stepping out of line, and the International Branch — which controls how our diplomats and other national bodies interact internationally with other governments, especially ones so closely affected by the Night Skitter Army. Because of the Skitters to jump from host to host so easily, Celestia didn’t want to take any chances with a diplomat that may have been introduced to one overseas.

You may have noticed that I only mentioned three different branches. That’s because those are the only branches that are made public, and for good reason.

The fourth branch, the Subconscious Branch, is much, MUCH harder to explain.

Aside from the obvious lack of attention to the Unified Rights Doctrine signed by all the nations of Gaia — mainly in the sections detailing breaches of personal security, warrantless searches, and the whole ‘innocent until proven guilty’ thing — the SCB (as it’s referred to) is much harder to explain to the average laypony.

Basically what we do, what Dream Jumpers and the SCB does, is we get into ponies’ minds. And not just that woo-woo mind control shit a lot of ponies are picking up these days.

We see everything.

Memories, feelings, thoughts, emotions, everything that makes up a pony is accessible to us in a millisecond. And that’s just the start. The SCB, and by extension the EIA and Celestia herself, have access to massive records and collections of data bought in from every single Dream Jump that we Jumpers have ever done in our entire career. All of it in one place, where all data goes.

The Royal Archives is home to every single book ever written, but it also houses all secret, sensitive government information in a pocket dimension accessible in the back room. All anypony needs to do to open it — and immediately make multiple known terrorist lists — is to (a:) be a unicorn, (b:) place their horn in the correct position, and (c:) cast the “Lo—

… aah, I’m getting ahead of myself here. If I told you that I’d be in even more hot water than I already am. Let’s just leave it at ‘it’s easy when you know how,’ and move on, shall we?

If information about the SCB or the Dream Jumpers were to leak out to anypony outside the small circle of trusted government officials, Celestia would probably have been charged for pony rights violations. But enough with the small talk, you want to know my experiences with the Jumpers, right? Good, because it’s a very interesting story.

The Dream Jumpers, as I said earlier, were created around the time of Princess Luna’s banishment to the moon. Of course, I wasn’t around during that time, I joined in year 997 of her banishment, which meant I only had three years before her return. One would think that the Jumpers would be happy about not having to work in that profession much longer because Luna would only be gone for three more years… but not everypony knows the whole story.

Princess Luna wasn’t banished for a thousand years. She was banished for ten thousand.

I know what Celestia said after Luna’s return. I know what that Twilight Sparkle character said after she and the rest of the newly proclaimed ‘Elements of Harmony’ brought her back from the Castle of the Two Sisters. But it’s all wrong. The history books were changed. The prophecy wasn’t real.

It was all a fabrication of Celestia’s government. She is a leader of secrets. Sure, I’m — and everypony else in government positions — are loyal to her cause, but she’s a much deeper character than any of us had thought. We all knew Luna’s banishment was for ten thousand years. The problem lies in the average citizen of Equestria, Germaneigh, Glascow, the Griffin Kingdoms, Ib’xian, or any other country in Gaia not knowing this fact.

The only place Princess Luna’s banishment was ever mentioned was in A Brief History of Equestria, which, according to Sparkle, foretold the return of Nightmare Moon after a thousand years of banishment.

And that’s my doing. Woah, this is getting more and more confusing for you by the second. But don’t worry, it’ll all become clear in a moment, once the pieces come together like they did for me.

So, Dream Jumpers.

It began in the summer of the year 3071, the year I enlisted in the EIA. Of course, I didn’t start directly into the Jumper program, because I didn’t know about it yet. I was just a Corporal then, in the Royal Guard… —

— J U M P E R —