Oceans

by Yip


Oceans

I

The oceans bent, rose and fell to her will every day—emotionless, barren, and worst of all, mute. But it was not always so.



At one point in her life, there was another. Countless years of isolation gave way to the best thousand years of her immortal life. The Night had come, in banishment, to tell her all sorts of things about her life. Life—life was what she craved. There wasn’t much life where she was, just distant stars, space debris and an endless vacuum of nothingness.

She wasn’t ever able to reply or sympathize to all of the stories the Night had told her—stories about the Sun, remorse, morality, a figure named “Nightmare Moon”—but for some inexplicable reason, they understood each other. She had had no idea that someone so foreign, so different from her, could have so much in common with her.

She looks down, and the Night is staring back at her many miles away with tearful eyes. The Night wishes she could say something to her, but whether she was actually able to hear her stories during all of those countless years of banishment was unknown. She likes to believe that the moon understood them all, but there was never even so much as a gesture that this was true. Even if she could understand, even if she was alive, the distance between the two was too great to make conversation.

The Night looks down at the sand beneath her feet, tiny grains not unlike the specks of ponies that the moon sees every day. The Night picks one out in particular—with great effort, the grain being so small—and smiles for a moment. It gives off a sense of familiarity... a sense of warmth. A wave trickles up the beach and reaches the princess, forming cold walls around her hooves and taking the grain of sand away. Just like that, the familiarity and the warmth are gone.

The Night looks up at the moon, and for a moment, the grain of sand suddenly becomes the Night, and the Night becomes the moon. For the thousandth time, the moon thinks about the thousand years, and cries—but she is not heard. She has heard others, but others have never heard her.

Perhaps it’s better like this, the Night thinks. Whether it’s for better or for worse, the silence remains.

The Night takes in a deep breath and closes her eyes, breaking contact with the moon. She turns, shakes her wet hooves and moves away from the ocean. “I miss you," she says, even though she knew full well that nothing needed to be said. Just being there was enough for the moon.



It was a long way to Canterlot from the ocean, and for the Night, it was a million times longer from her home.

II

Two sides of an ocean have only one thing in common: water.

I wonder... I wonder what lies on the other side of this ocean. Whoever is over there, what could be thinking? Are they happy thoughts, are they thoughts of sadness?

Perhaps I’ll know once I meet them—that is, if anyone else is there. Anywhere is better than here, though. If I travel at a fast enough speed across this body of water, then maybe I can catch them before they leave for the night. Whether or not I can jump it that quickly is the question.

I hear something behind me. Could it be the night watch? Probably. It’s not like this is the first time I broke the curfew, and I’m sure they’ll give me more than a citation this time. If I wasn’t born an earth pony, I could probably get away from this... this living nightmare.

No, it isn’t them. Just a friendly seagull patrolling the beach. I can hear the night watch in the distance, but I’ve got enough time to prepare myself for this.

I wonder if they have freedom on the other side. I remember seeing a beautiful patch of grass as a young colt with an even more beautiful flower in the center. Once the regime began, someone had stomped on it. Hard. Not a day had passed when I walked back outside and saw that the flower was dead, and the patch of grass had turned a light shade of brown.

From that moment onwards, I hadn’t seen much grass in my life.

But now, on this glorious day, I’ll finally be able to get away from all of this, to a place where the grass will surely be green, where the ponies are free, where I can live without fear for my well-being. It’s time to jump across the ocean.

It’s not too far, really. If I squint, I can see something way in the distance. Something like... land. The night watch won’t stand a chance over there. There’s probably a way around, but they’d surely catch me before I could make it... if I don’t die of thirst or hunger before then.

Oh, I hear something again. A lizard? Nope, definitely not a lizard. Much too loud to be a lizard—and there’s a voice. A familiar voice. That voice.

Drat, it’s the night watch. Let’s see the looks on their faces when I fly right over them and far away!

Sigh.

I know full well that I can’t jump this ocean. I know full well that there’s nothing in the distance. But as long as my heart disregards what my brain has to say, I’ll be just fine. I need to get home... my home across the sea. It's a long way home from here.

Well, here goes nothing.

III

While the two sides of the ocean had only one thing in common, no one in the universe has anything in common with a few folks on the moon a few days before Luna’s return to Equestria.

“Aeiou,” a figure in a white suit said, stepping out of a domed spaceship on the surface of the moon. His steps were slow and pronounced. “Aeiou,” he repeated, ushering out another of his species outside.

Princess Luna sat in front of the spaceship, quite still, wondering what was going on before her eyes. One moment she had been anticipating the last five days of her banishment, trying her best to take preventative measures against the return of Nightmare Moon, and the next, two bipedal, faceless creatures were trying to take her moon.

“Uuuuuuuuuuuu,” the second figure said, pointing to Luna. “Nine nine nine, nine nine nine, nine nine nine.”

“You—” Luna stumbled for words. “—you’re humans, aren’t you? Celestia told me rumours about you, living in far off lands with special magic we’ve never used.”

“John Madden,” the first replied.

“Question mark exclamation mark,” the second added.

“That’s... odd. I’ll call you John and Mark, is that okay?”

John and Mark walked over to Luna and scratched their heads. John turned to Mark and said: “Snaaaaaakee.”

“Eeeeeeeeeee.”

“Are you two alright?” Luna said, raising an eyebrow. “Do you speak the common tongue?”

“Yuoiyouiyouiyouiyoui.”

“Ebrbrbrbrbrbrbrbr.”

Luna scratched her head. “Do you”—she pointed to the duo—”know”—she pointed to her head—”how to speak this language at all?” She topped it off by motioning to her mouth.

John looked at Mark wordlessly, who looked back at him with a shrug.

“Holla holla...”

“...Get dolla?”

“That at least sounds coherent,” Luna said, chuckling. “Can you make anything else out?”

“Football!”

“Back to base John Madden.”

Luna frowned. “It sounds like you really do understand me. That’s common tongue as I know it. What’s going on here?”

“Ebrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbrbr.”

“Uuuuuuuuuuuuu.”

“...Really,” Luna said, standing herself up. “I’m definitely imagining things. You two can’t possibly be real.”

Without another word, Luna flapped out her wings and flew away from the men and their spaceship. They both watched as she left, the air empty and silent.

“She’s a talking horse, Neil,” Mark said. “With wings. And a horn. Shouldn’t we have tried to make better contact with her?”

“I guess so, Buzz,’ Neil replied. “It’s not like we were able to understand her whinnies anyway.”

“She seemed to respond to what we said. Do you think she understood us?”

Neil thought for a moment. “Eh, probably not. We’ll deal with it later. As for right now... one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Luna convinced herself it was a dream.