The Student of Sparkle

by Pew Die Pony

Chapter 1

The Student of Sparkle: By PrincessLunaOfficial
It all started on an early morning in Ponyville, Twilight Sparkle was eagerly waiting for a message from Celestia to begin her day.

“I’m starting to get worried Spike, Princess Celestia hasn’t responded to any of my letters.” Twilight said, reading over a series of letters received by Celestia earlier.

“I’m sure there’s nothing to worry about Twilight, perhaps she’s just been really busy lately.” Spike said reassuringly.

“But she hasn’t responded in weeks, I’m not sure what could’ve possibly happened to cause her to be distracted for so long.” Twilight said as she put down the most recent letter.

Suddenly, spike had received a letter from Celestia. Twilight snatched it from him before he could even open it. She opened the scroll and skimmed through the letter at a blazing pace. She stood there, confused at what had been written.

“What does it say?” Spike asked as he leaned closer to read it.

Dear my Faithful Student Twilight, I apologize for not responding to you earlier; I have had all of my time occupied by a personal issue, and soon you shall find out what it is. You shall soon learn a great lesson of sorts from my issue. Remember, one must not judge before one truly sees.
Your Teacher,

Neither Spike nor Twilight could think of anything to say at that point, they sat there in the living room, staring blankly at the paper together, confused upon extrapolating anything from the letter. As silence slowly engulfed the room, there was a quiet knock at the door; breaking the duo’s spell from the letter. Spike turned around and walked toward the door, Twilight still reading the letter. As Spike opened the door, he saw a pink mane dart back behind the door out of the corner of his vision.

“Fluttershy,” Spike said as he opened the door further “good to see you this morning.”

“Hi Spike, Pinkie told me to tell you and Twilight to meet her at the town center.” She said in a quiet, almost angelic voice.

“Did she at least say what it was for?” Twilight said as she turned her head towards the door.

“No, but it she seems to think it’s important.”

Twilight followed Spike outside, putting the letter on a reading stand and leaving without saying a word. The three walked into the town center, completely silent. Finally, the trio spotted pinkie speaking with Applejack, Rainbow Dash hovering above the group, and Rarity standing aside from the group, looking at her hoof.

“He was here just a minute ago; I don’t know where he went.” Pinkie said as the trio approached her.

“I’m not sure where he went either.” Applejack responded, turning her head towards Twilight mid-sentence.

“Who are we talking about?” Twilight interrupted.

“Somepony Pinkie didn’t get a chance to welcome.” Rainbow responded without haste, rolling her eyes.

“We have to find him, no pony has ever arrived in Ponyville without a welcome; and that’s not changing today.” Pinkie said as she took off searching for the unknown pony.

Without another word, the group split up into two-pony groups, with spike accompanying Rarity and Applejack, as Twilight and Fluttershy remained perfectly still. Twilight exchanged a look of confusion with Fluttershy before walking back towards Twilight’s house.

“Where are we going?” Fluttershy asked.

“Pinkie said we have to look, perhaps the pony went this way.” Twilight said as she pondered to herself.

After fifteen minutes of walking, Fluttershy stopped Twilight as she blindly walked when she noticed a single pony. The pony stood outside of the crowd, trying to draw the attention of any passing pony, but clearly too scared to do so.
He appeared to be very wealthy, perhaps even royalty. He was extremely short, no taller than a newborn. Despite being a colt, he had many feminine features; his face was somewhat square but predominantly rounded, like a mare. He appeared to be on the thinner side, lacking any muscular definition. He wore a Golden-weaved robe just slightly touching the ground and a hood covered his head, eyes, and short, yellow-white body. He carried a two-sided bag on his back and wore two small jewel-laced bracelets on his front legs, one black with darker gems and one white with lighter gems. A large glass piece, with seven jewels encrusted in it dangled from his neck on a necklace. As Fluttershy and Twilight approached the small pony, he backed away in fear. As he continued walking back in fear of the two, he finally backed into a corner of a wall as their shadows cast over him. He slid down to sitting in the corner, shaking with fear as the two exchanged looks of confusion.

“Please…” The pony whispered, stuttering with fear.

“…don’t hurt me.” The pony finished.

Twilight and Fluttershy stood in front of the terrified pony, exchanging looks of sadness and confusion. Fluttershy then began walking slowly to the pony.

“Don’t worry; we’re not going to hurt you.” Fluttershy said as she sat down next to the pony.

Fluttershy then reached her hooves around the pony, trying to comfort him as she proceeded to hug him. Finally, the pony halted his nervous shaking.

“My goodness, I forgot to introduce ourselves.” Fluttershy said as she let go of the pony.

“I’m Fluttershy” She spoke welcomingly.

“S-S-Solaris” The pony stuttered in a squeaking, terrified voice. He had a slight Canterlot accent.

“And I’m Twilight Sparkle” Twilight said, remaining in her place.

Solaris heard Twilight introduce herself and heaved his bag off his back as he urgently searched through it for something.

After searching every pocket of his bag, he emerged with a small note in his mouth and walked toward Twilight. Twilight took the letter using her horn as she unfolded it; she recognized who wrote the letter instantly.

Twilight Sparkle, I see you have met the source of my occupied time. I have seen you grow as a pony and now you shall face your ultimate test. For years, you have been the student, now you have the opportunity to be the teacher. I know you will not disappoint me.

Twilight dropped the letter in amazement, taken aback by its contents. Solaris nervously proceeded towards Twilight after he picked his bag back up. Twilight had entered a blank gaze at the wall behind Solaris, concerning both him and Fluttershy.

“Twilight, are you ok?” Fluttershy spoke, breaking Twilight’s trance.

“Yeah, I just can’t believe it.” Twilight said now looking at the ground.

The trio entered silence again; the only sound around was ponies walking behind them. For what seemed like hours,

Twilight and Fluttershy looked over the letter, not a word spoken. Just as Solaris began to sit down again, a gasp of excitement drew his attention. It was Pinkie, accompanied by Applejack, gazing an obstructed view of the pony. Pinkie broke in between Twilight and Fluttershy to get a better look. She had instantly recognized him and ran off to find the rest of the group, leaving Applejack with Twilight and Fluttershy. Applejack approached Solaris, a welcoming grin on her face.

“Hi there, I’m Applejack.” Applejack said reaching out her hoof.

Solaris nervously reached out his hoof, much smaller than hers. He shook her hoof and remained completely straight-faced.

“I see you’ve already met Twilight and Fluttershy.” Applejack said, trying to break the awkward silence.

Solaris nodded. After the awkward moment, Pinkie returned back, Rainbow Dash and Rarity accompanying her. Pinkie appeared next to Solaris, as if out of nowhere; scaring Solaris senseless.

“Hi! I’m Pinkie Pie. This is Rainbow Dash and Rarity.” Pinkie said, moving closer to him with every word. By the time she finished her sentence, Solaris and Pinkie were face-to-face, Solaris nervously twitching.

“Pinkie, give him some space; you’re scaring him.” Rarity said as she pulled Pinkie away.

“Everypony, Solaris needs to follow me for a few minutes, and then you can introduce yourselves properly.” Twilight said as all eyes fell on her.

Without a word, Solaris followed Twilight as she departed from the group. The two proceeded towards Twilight’s house;

Solaris locked his gaze at the ground as they walked.

“T-Thank you for saving me”

“Saving you from what?”

“All of those ponies, I was just about ready to pass out, and I was so scared”

“They just need to be a little less upfront; Fluttershy is exactly the same way.”

After the short walk, the two arrived at Twilight’s house. The two entered, Solaris was taken aback by the wall of books as he looked around, Twilight immediately walked over to the stand where she placed Celestia’s letter earlier.

“You can place your bag anywhere; we’re coming back here soon anyway.” Twilight said as she looked through the letter she had received earlier.

Twilight turned around to see Solaris had removed his hood; now perched on his shoulders. He had solid white hair, glistening ultramarine blue eyes, and a small horn protruding through his mane. The hood revealed his slightly yellow-white complexion as well. Until now, Twilight had not noticed how small Solaris really was. He was extremely short, shorter than any pony she had ever seen. To anyone else, he wouldn’t appear to any older than a month. She took a moment just to observe his appearance, before leading him back outside. The two headed out, towards the alley they were just at. The group was just where they were as they left; spike was now present standing behind Fluttershy as only his tail was revealed.

The group turned their gaze towards the small pony.

“See! I told you I saw him” Pinkie shouted.

“Nopony said you didn’t” Spike responded, behind Fluttershy.

“Everypony, this is Solaris” Twilight said as she gestured towards him.

The group remained silent as they observed Solaris; they had all only seen the hood covering his face, now they could see who he really was, his youthful beaming eyes and his short snow-white mane. After an awkward silence, Twilight cleared her throat, trying to alleviate the tension.

“Well, aren’t you all going to introduce yourselves?” Twilight asked.

“Oh, of course, I had forgotten.” Rarity spoke.

Before she could utter another word, the group all took turns introducing each other; starting with Pinkie Pie.

“I’m Pinkie Pie, but you can call me Pinkie.” She spoke with a cheek-to-cheek grin.

“I’m Rarity.” She began to speak again, but was promptly interrupted.

“I’m Applejack; I do believe we’ve already met.” Applejack spoke, recalling the event no more than twenty minutes ago.

“I’m Fluttershy, we have met.” Fluttershy spoke in almost a whisper.

“I’m Rainbow Dash, the most awesome pony of the group.” Rainbow spoke while hovering in front of him.

“The showoff pony, more like.” Applejack whispered to Fluttershy whilst rolling her eyes.

“And I’m Twilight Sparkle, again.” Twilight spoke.

Suddenly, Spike shouted from behind the group.

“Wait, what about me?!” Spike chirped.  

Still unaware to Solaris of where Spike was, he burst in between Applejack and Fluttershy and fell on his face with a thud.

He instantly got back up, dusted himself off, and walked toward Solaris.

“I don’t believe we’ve met, I’m Spike, Twilight’s Assistant.” He said as his reached out his claw.

Solaris reached out his hoof quietly and with hesitation. He shook his claw and returned with blazing speed. After silence fell again, Spike spoke.

“Wow, he’s even shorter than me.” Spike said again, noticing his height.

“Spike, don’t be rude.” Twilight butted in.

“It’s alright; I’m used to short comments.” Solaris spoke, looking at the ground.

“Anyway, it’s an extremely great honor to meet you all. My name is Solaris, I was sent here by Princess Celestia to learn from all six of you, and so if you ever need help with anything, I’ll be waiting at a moment’s notice.” Solaris spoke at an average volume, but occasionally quieting himself.

“Well, I do need someone to help me set up for a party.” Pinkie spoke out of nowhere.

“It will be my honor.” Solaris spoke while bowing his head.

“Perfect, follow me.” Pinkie said while bounding backwards.

Solaris then took off running, first tripping on his robe, and proceeded to sprint to catch up with Pinkie Pie. The remainder of the group stayed frozen in their places, looking at each other as Solaris vanished from their view. Solaris charged forward as fast and as far as his legs could carry him, head down and unable to see. After running for what seemed like eternity, he was suddenly stopped by an unknown force. Still confused, Pinkie’s voice spoke from behind.

“Wow, you can really run.” Pinkie said.

“Put me down, I have to follow Miss Pinkie Pie.” Solaris spoke, wriggling to try to break free from the grip of the unknown force. He had not remembered the sound of her voice.

“Well, you did a good job of that.” Pinkie responded. Solaris stood confused.

“Hi!” Pinkie’s smiling face appeared into Solaris’s field of view from above.

“How…” Solaris uttered in confusion.

“It’s a good thing I stopped you, you almost ran into that wall. See.” Pinkie said as she turned his head up, now facing the wall of Sugarcube Corner. Pinkie let go of Solaris as he looked up and gazed at the size of the building.
“C’mon, I still need your help” Pinkie said as she grabbed Solaris by the hoof and pulled him into Sugarcube Corner. The door slammed shut, drawing the attention of Mr. and Mrs. Cake as they began their morning.

“Good Morning Pinkie, who’s your friend?” Mrs. Cake asked.

“This is Solaris; he arrived in Ponyville just this morning and he’s going to help me set up for a party.” Pinkie answered gleefully.

“Well, it’s a pleasure to meet you.” Mr. Cake spoke, preoccupied by stacking boxes behind the counter. Mrs. Cake grabbed four boxes off the shelves and placed them on the counter in front of Pinkie. Pinkie then turned her gaze towards Solaris.

“Can you please help me carry these?” Pinkie asked with a playful smile.

“It would be my pleasure.” Solaris nodded.

Without another word, Solaris’s horn began to glow as the boxes lifted off the counter, restacked on his back; and his horn returned to normal as Pinkie and Mrs. Cake silently looked on in amusement.

“Where do you need me to take these?” Solaris asked, brushing his mane out of his eyes with a huff.

“Just follow me.” Pinkie retorted.

“Alright.” Solaris answered as he opened the door with his horn.

“It was a pleasure meeting both of you.” Solaris said as he looked back and proceeded out the door.

“It was nice meeting you,” Mrs. Cake said as the door closed “welcome to Ponyville.”

As the door closed behind Solaris he turned around to see Pinkie eagerly waiting in front of him. Without a word, Pinkie darted off towards Sweet Apple Acres, as Solaris followed suit. He relentlessly pursued her, still maintaining balance with four boxes stacked on his back. Finally, Pinkie suddenly stopped right in front of the wooden arch leading into Sweet Apple Acres.

“We’re here” Pinkie said, still looking ahead.

“Do you need me to do anything else?” Solaris said wheezing.

“Hmm,” Pinkie responded as she turned around “nope.” She returned beside Solaris and took the boxes off his back and
placed them on her head.

“Thanks for all your help.” Pinkie squeaked.

“My pleasure.” Solaris said as he headed back towards town. As he turned around, another voice drew his attention from behind.

“Wait.” The voice said. Solaris turned around to see it was Applejack, with Apple bloom standing next to her.

“If you’re still here, would you mind helping my sis for a while?” Applejack said standing next to Apple Bloom.

“I would be honored.” Solaris responded as he proceeded towards the two.

Applejack waited until Solaris was no more than four feet away to speak again.

“Great, you’re going to help Apple Bloom collect and sort apples.” Applejack said as Apple Bloom waved.

“I promise you, I will not disappoint you.” Solaris said, alternating between looking at Applejack and Apple Bloom.

“Follow me.” Apple Bloom said with a childish squeak.

Solaris followed quietly, incoherently talking to himself as he observed the endless rows of trees. Apple Bloom looked behind her, noticing the pony rambling quizzically. She turned back around and saw two wooden baskets next to a single tree Applejack had placed there earlier. Apple Bloom turned back around and halted Solaris’s soliloquy with a short whistle to draw his attention. Solaris noticed the baskets, pondering their presence. The baskets were almost one and a half times his size.

“Ok, this is what y’all are gonna do.” Apple Bloom said pointing towards the baskets.

“You’re gonna kick the tree, collecting the good apples in the basket and leaving the rotten ones on the ground to pick up later.” Apple Bloom explained.

Solaris nodded with understanding, and walking towards the nearest tree with the basket on his back. Apple Bloom turned back around, picking up her basket in suit.

“Now, don’t be discouraged if you can’t get the apples to fall, some of the trees are really persistent.” Apple Bloom said, back turned to Solaris. The only thing Apple Bloom heard was the rustling of the trees shaking behind her. Suddenly, the noise ceased.

“Are you alright? Did you hurt yourself?” Apple Bloom said, noticing the silence. She turned around and saw Solaris breathless with exhaustion, a small number of apples now in the basket.

“It’s a bit harder than it looks, huh?” Apple Bloom chuckled; Solaris still panting.

Solaris attempted to speak, but all that came was a series of short gasps with two or three words and then quickly dying off.
After aimlessly trying to speak, he gave up and nodded instead.

“I’ll be right back,” Apple Bloom said while turning around and walking back in the direction she came. “Just rest for a minute, I don’t want you to pass out.”

Solaris, ignoring Apple Bloom’s request, walked over towards Apple Bloom’s basket she had left, as he picked it up; a tall shadow eerily casted over him. The small pony noticed the shadow cast over him and became paralyzed with terror as his eyes as the basket slid off his head. Fear stricken, the newcomer pony didn’t dare turn around to see who or what it was, instead; he remained perfectly still. Just as he began to muster the courage to turn around, a hoof tapped him on his shoulder. Solaris tried not to run as his fear had engulfed every thought in his mind and his hooves refused to move. As mere seconds ticked on for a short eternity, Solaris slowly turned around to get a glimpse of the unknown creature. He noticed it was a large stallion, but the sun behind his head had blocked any form of identification asides from his two dreary oval-shaped green eyes. The Stallion remained perfectly silent, examining Solaris’s face for a moment and looking away the next. Solaris was completely immobilized out of sheer terror of the massive Stallion. Before Solaris could try to pull away, Apple Bloom had returned.

“I see you’ve met my big brother, Big Macintosh;” Apple Bloom said, puzzled at the frightened pony.  “Big Mac, this is Solaris.”            

At that moment, Big Mac turned his head away from the sun; revealing the rest of his face. Solaris remained completely silent, but now relieved. Big Mac reached out his hoof, which Solaris met hesitantly. After the shake, Big Mac walked off without a word or reason.

“Oh my goodness,” Apple Bloom said, no longer distracted by Big Mac. “I forgot to introduce myself.”

“I’m Apple Bloom;” she said as she reached out her hoof “I don’t think I caught your name.”

Before Solaris could respond, Twilight appeared behind her.

“Solaris, if you’re not busy, I would like to begin your magic training now.” Twilight said as Apple Bloom turned around.

“Actually, he’s helping me collect apples;” Apple Bloom said looking back at Solaris. “He’s a really fast learner.”

“I am sorry Apple Bloom,” Solaris responded. “But Twilight IS my teacher.”

“I’ll return soon;” Solaris nodded as he left with Twilight. “Could you save a few trees for me for when I do? It was a great pleasure meeting you and your brother.”

“Alrighty then, Bye.” Apple Bloom waved goodbye.
Twilight and Solaris left Sweet Apple Acres with a wave goodbye, Solaris had now finally calmed from his introduction with Big Mac after only about three minutes from the original event. The two walked through the town, all the passing ponies staring at Solaris.

“Why is everypony staring at me? Solaris asked, trying avoiding any form of eye contact. “Did I do something wrong?”

“I’m not sure, I guess it’s because you’re new here.” Twilight tried her best to answer.

“I suppose.” Solaris retorted with lack of enthusiasm.

The two finally reached Twilight’s house and proceeded inside. Solaris headed towards his bag hiding in the near corner of the room and retrieved a book with solid gold stripe across the black hard-cover. Twilight had not recognized the book.

“What book is that? I haven’t seen anything like it before.” Twilight said, picking up the book and examining it closely.

“It’s not of significance; Princess Celestia said it was important though.” Solaris said as he gave the book to Twilight.

“Well, we can worry about that later.” The purple pony said as she placed the book on a nearby shelf “Right Now, you begin your magic training.” Twilight said as she retrieved another book from another nearby shelf.
Solaris smiled with excitement.

“Now, how much magic do you already know?” Twilight said as she retrieved a scroll and quill from a nearby stand.

“Just the levitation spell and I’m awful with it.” Solaris shook his head.

“Ok, let’s try a transformation spell.” Twilight said as she looked at a nearby plant.

“I’m not sure I can.” Solaris said sheepishly.

“It’s simple, focus on what you want to turn your target into, and let your horn do the rest.” Twilight said while picking up a plant with her horn.

“Now, try and transform this plant.” Twilight spoke again.

Solaris looked at the plant, examining its detail. After looking at the plant for no more than a moment, Solaris closed his eyes and focused as his horn began to glow as well as the plant. After a minute had passed and the plant remained in its state, Twilight began to get nervous. Just before Twilight lost hope, the plant transformed into a single monarch butterfly.

Twilight couldn’t help but smile as the butterfly flew out the nearby window. Solaris opened his eyes and noticed the plant had vanished, he chuckled with giddiness.

“Excellent, I knew you could do it.” Twilight said as Solaris observed the butterfly’s departure.

“But I couldn’t have done it without an incredible teacher like you.” Solaris said as he hugged Twilight.

“Well, I don’t know about that.” Twilight responded. In the back of her mind, a seed of jealousy began to spread throughout her subconscious. She had worked for weeks to master the spell and Solaris had learned it instantly. Twilight masked her petty jealousy with a shallow smile.

Suddenly, the front door creaked open; and Rarity walked in.

“Twilight dear, do you know where---” Rarity started until she cast her gaze upon Solaris.

“---Oh, there you are.” Rarity finished.

“Is there something you need help with?” Solaris spoke.

“Actually there is, I need someone to pose for a new design I’m making; and I think you’d be perfect for the job.”

“I would be honored, but first I must consult with my teacher.” Solaris said, now looking back at Twilight.

“Ms. Twilight, would you mind if I helped Ms. Rarity for a while?” Solaris said with a pleading smile.

“Sure, I don’t see why not.”

“Thank you, I promise I will be back in time to finish the lesson.”

“Its fine, you need to learn from everyone, not just me.”

“But I did enjoy our short lesson.”

As he finished his last sentence, Solaris walked towards the door as Rarity held it open and closed it immediately following his leave. The two walked back through town again, everypony still staring at Solaris as he timidly walked. Rarity instantly noticed as Solaris kept his head down. Before she could think of something to say, they had arrived. She invited him inside, Sweetie Belle waiting in the main room. Solaris looked around, observing the room. Rarity and Sweetie Belle looked back at Solaris, admiring his outfit.

“It’s taken me until now to notice your incredible ensemble.” Rarity spoke, examining Solaris closer. Solaris remained perfectly deadpan, confused on why Rarity seemed to value his appearance so much.

“Those jewels, they’re absolutely stunning.” Rarity spoke, Sweetie Belle just as confused as Solaris.

“And this robe, golden-weave silk with gold leaf; hoof stitched. This must have taken weeks, possibly months to make.”

“They were a gift.” Solaris spoke, pulling away.

“Well, whoever gave you these certainly has an eye for fashion.” Rarity responded, holding the corner of the robe in her hoof. She examined the extreme quality stitching, when something caught her eye near Solaris’s back leg. She then turned her focus to the shape.      

“What is that?” Rarity spoke, Sweetie Belle accompanying.

“It’s nothing” Solaris responded instantly, recovering his leg with the robe.

“It definitely looked like something to me.” Sweetie Belle answered.

Following Sweetie Belle’s key in, Rarity flipped the robe over Solaris’s back with lightning speed, and a single wing was illuminated for only a moment as Solaris jolted back trying to hide. Rarity and Sweetie Belle suddenly went wide eyed with amazement as they caught a faint glimpse of the small wing; words were suddenly rendered impossible as the room went silent. Solaris backed away from the two towards the door, sitting down, pulling the hood back over his head.

“How…” Sweetie Belle finally uttered.

“You two cannot let anyone know about what has been seen, I’m begging you.” Solaris said stifling tears, still avoiding any eye contact.        

“Why?” Rarity asked quizzically.

“I wish I could explain…” Solaris retorted, still fixated to his spot on the ground. He let out a long sigh and began.

“Many desire to be what they are not, for me; this is normality. As far as my memory spans, everypony has assumed I am something not of their kind, an oddity perhaps. When I arrived in Ponyville, even as a visit, I finally believed I could possibly live a life of normality; but for only a moment. Please do not deny me the only thing I have ever wished for.” Solaris eyes began to well up with tears near the end of his emotional séance.
Rarity and Sweetie Belle looked at each other in both confusion and in sympathy for the pony.

“Well, you could’ve just said that.” Sweetie Belle finally spoke.

“Do you both promise not to tell a soul?” Solaris asked, wiping a tear from his face; alternating looks between the two.

“I promise.” Sweetie Belle answered.

“I guess I can too. I had no idea you were so strong about this.” Rarity followed.

“Are you still willing to help me?”

“My personal pity shall not prevent my work from being completed.” Solaris responded as he placed his hood back on his shoulders.

“Wonderful, I just need to make a few measurements.”

With a twist, Rarity fetched a tape measure placed on a desk behind her; Sweetie Belle now standing at Solaris’s side.

“You still have to meet my friends though.” Sweetie Belle smiled.

“I shall not show them my wings as my condition.” Solaris remained straight faced.

“Fine.” Sweetie Belle said as her emotion died down.

“Oh Darn, I don’t appear to have the fabric I need; could you go with my sister to retrieve some?” Rarity asked.

“It would be an honor.” Solaris responded.

“Sweetie Belle, would you mind if he accompanied you?” Rarity said, now looking towards her sister.

“Not at all; C’mon, I can introduce you to my friends while we’re at it.” Sweetie Belle said as she opened the door behind her as Solaris followed.

The two walked back through town, Sweetie Belle looking down and over at Solaris.

“So, what’s it like in Canterlot? I of course mean living there.” Sweetie Belle asked.

“It is difficult, but one can learn to tolerate it.”

“How so, I visited and it was really cool.”

“To one who seldom visits, perhaps it is. One who lives rather than visits learns the true pompous, and how you say ‘upper crust’ culture and observes how it is truly not desirable for someone such as me.”

“Ok, is there anything you like about living there?”

“Well, my mother is there; does that count?”

“Do you love your mother?”

“I love her more than anything in the world.”

“I see.”

“Also, when one lives a life of solidarity with nature rather than ponies; some things as simple as the sun are beyond their
mask of reality, becoming a temporary release from one’s life.”

“What about the sun?”

“I rise early every morning, standing on my balcony waiting for the sun to peak from the horizon; as the amber lights touch the morning sky and the darkness and stars slowly fade away; I escape my life for just a fleeting moment. Even as my life spirals in misery every day, I know the rising sun is all I ever need.”


“I apologize, I’m pretty sure I did not answer your question.”

“No, but that worked a lot better.”

Solaris looked up at Sweetie Belle and smiled. The atmosphere seemed to brighten, as if a veil of uncertainty had been lifted. The two finally stumbled upon the fabric shop and Sweetie Belle stood in front of the door, clearly distracted by something. Solaris tried to budge open the door but Sweetie Belle turned his head, forcing him to observe the same. There, at the end of the street; stood Scootaloo, looking back in the distance.

“Who might that be?” Solaris inquired.

“That’s my friend Scootaloo, go over and introduce yourself while I get the fabric.” Sweetie Belle answered.

Uncertainly, Solaris walked down the street towards the pony. Upon arrival, Scootaloo first observed his height as she looked at him.

“Hmm, so you’re who Apple Bloom was talking about, right?” Scootaloo spoke, trying not to bring up his height.

Solaris silently nodded.

“Well, I’m Scootaloo.” She said while reaching out her hoof.

Solaris met her halfway with a shake, avoiding eye contact the best he could. The two were then struck with monotony; just staring at each other without a word spoke between. Scootaloo suddenly gasped with comprehension, finally having an idea.

“Have you ever heard about the greatest flyer in Ponyville?” Scootaloo proposed.

Solaris shook his head.

“Perhaps you know her by her real name: Rainbow Dash.” Scootaloo said as she jumped with excitement.

After she finished, Solaris’s eyes widened with discovery.

“I have.”

“I knew it; do you want to go pay her a visit?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

“Wait, you’re a unicorn. Not to worry, we can walk there.”

“Thank you.”

Once the brief conversation ended, Sweetie Belle finally left the fabric store as the bell on the door jingled behind the two.

She walked towards the two carrying a fine cloth on her back.

“Solaris, I see you’ve met my friend.” Sweetie Belle chirped.

“Yep, and I’ve heard you also met Apple Bloom.” Scootaloo offered her rebuttal.

“And the three of us are the Cutie Mark Crusaders.” The two spoke in proud unison.

“I’m sorry, what are the Cutie Mark Crusaders?”

“We’re the trio ever destined to find our Cutie Marks together. Do you have your Cutie Mark?”

“No, I do not.”

“You can join our group if you want.”

“I would be honored.”

Suddenly, Solaris halted the conversation after his statement.

“We’ll have to do that later. First we must return to Ms. Rarity.” Solaris said trying to break from the group.

“You let me deal with that, go with Scootaloo.” Sweetie Belle said, tugging on Solaris’s collar and pulling him back.

Solaris hesitated; Scootaloo turned him around, now looking eye to eye.

“You’re coming with me.” Scootaloo said taking off with Solaris, Sweetie Belle remaining in her place.

The two walked out into the forests near Ponyville, heads pointed at the sky speckled with the tops of tall evergreen trees.

Suddenly, a rainbow stripe cut through the sky; bending the trees with a roaring gust. Darting back, the stripe suddenly stopped directly above the two, it was Rainbow Dash.

“Rainbow Dash, this is Solaris.” Scootaloo shouted above, pointing at Solaris.

“Follow me; I’ll see you back at my place so we can talk.” Rainbow Dash said taking off with a burst of speed.

Scootaloo instantly took off following Rainbow Dash; Solaris was left sitting in confusion as the two suddenly departed. He rose to his hooves and took off following them full sprinting. The two appeared to slowly vanish as he relentlessly tried to pursue them, his hood falling over his eyes as he ran. After running until he couldn’t breathe, Solaris gave up and fell on his side, his heart pounding in his chest in an irregular rhythm; wheezing with agony as two shadowy figures slowly appeared before him. Before he could utter another word, his vision went black as darkness engulfed him as he passed out.

                Hours later, Solaris rose to consciousness with a series of labored and frightened gasps as he surveyed his surroundings; he had been placed in a bed in an unfamiliar room in an unfamiliar house. He looked to his left to see a stack of books on a single wooden counter; he then looked down and noticed the sheets on the bed had a bizarre design: solid blue with a cloud and three rainbow stripes forming a bolt of lightning jutting from the cloud. After finding no possible explanation, he laid his head back down on pillow, trying to collect his thoughts. As he began to fall asleep again, a faint whisper right behind his ears chilled the blood in his veins with terror.

“Calm down little one.” A familiar voice whispered with reassurance. It appeared to sound familiar, but the shocked colt could not collect his thoughts to remember the identity of the voice.
Solaris shot his head back around in an instant to see Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash at the side of the bed. Solaris, still petrified, spoke.

“Where am I?” He asked, still gasping.

“It’s kind of a long story…” Rainbow Dash began while nodding.

“When you and Scootaloo tried to follow me back here, you vanished. Worried, we went back to look for you. When we found you, you were on your side wheezing like an old chew toy; your heart was pounding so loudly I could hear it from almost six feet away. When we moved in closer, you blanked out. We took you back here and---well, here we are at my house in Cloudsdale.”

“But the mystery of where Ms. Scootaloo is and why Ms. Fluttershy is here remains.” The confused pony said. He then turned his eyes toward Fluttershy “No intended offense Ms. Fluttershy.”

“Scootaloo is here, she’s just not in the room right now. And for Fluttershy…I got nothing.”

“I came here as soon as I heard you were in trouble, I couldn’t let myself sit by and not help my friend.”

“Well, thank you all for helping me; I am eternally in your debt.”

“Its fine, I’m just glad you’re ok. Now go back to sleep.”

“Wait, this is your bed though.” Solaris said now looking at Rainbow Dash.

“It’s alright; you need the rest.”

“I appreciate you both trying to aid me, but I’m fine.”

“You need to sleep right now.” Fluttershy insisted in the sternest voice she could congregate.

“Fine.” Solaris said, displeased; but compliant.

Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy turned around and headed to the door, Solaris placing his head back on the large blue pillow. As the door slowly creaked to a close, the line of light slowly thinned into nothingness as the door clicked closed, leaving Solaris in the darkness to sleep.
Around three hours had passed, Fluttershy had left for home and Scootaloo went to watch Rainbow Dash for a few hours. After an extensive flying session, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo nervously returned; hoping Solaris was still there. Scootaloo peeked in Rainbow Dash’s room, only to see Solaris was still sleeping like a baby in the large bed.

“I do have to admit, he does look kinda cute when he’s sleeping.” Rainbow Dash said behind the slightly open door her head perched above Scootaloo’s.

Scootaloo focused his gaze on Solaris’s tiny head, his small hood just peeping out of the sheets.

“Why do you think he’s always wearing that robe thing?” Rainbow Dash said, refocusing her eyes as she looked down.

“Maybe he’s trying to hide something.”

“Maybe he IS hiding something.” Scootaloo remarked with imprudence.

“I have wondered that.”

“Well, I’m gonna see for myself.” Scootaloo said, slowly opening the door. Rainbow Dash tried her hardest to utter a word for her to stop, but all hesitation prohibited a word from crossing her lips.
The door squeaked open as Scootaloo slowly leaned in to look inside. She slowly tiptoed across the floor; a seemingly endless, nerve-racking trek. After carefully sneaking across the squeaky floor, she was finally next to the bed. At the headboard, Solaris was in a deep slumber, his ears occasionally twitching through his mane as he dozed. As she began to move closer, she froze up; rendered incapable of movement out of sheer uncertainty. It seemed almost criminal to wake him from his peaceful slumber. After being awe-stricken by the sleeping colt, she came to; remembering her mission. She silently walked around the bed, now face to face with the sleeping pony. His mane drooped over his eyes as he buried his head further into the pillow. She looked down to notice he was twitching in his sleep, as if having a bad dream. Driven by curiosity, she little by little removed the cover from the bed, trying not to wake Solaris as he trembled in his sleep. The removal of the sheets revealed he was curled up in a fetal position, completely covering his body with the long robe. She slowly lifted the robe, revealing his long, solid white tail. Solaris convulsed as the robe moved, a single wing shook as well. Scootaloo stood there, dumbfounded by her discovery as she held the robe corner in her hoof. She gently placed the robe down as Solaris shivered. As quickly as she arrived, Scootaloo crept back. Just the step before reaching the door, the floor squeaked. Scootaloo became frozen with fear as the room quickly returned to silence. Behind her, sheets shifted as Solaris rolled over. Scootaloo slowly cracked the door open; creating a space just big enough to fit her. She rapidly squeezed through, closing the door behind her.

“Well?” Rainbow Dash whispered.

“He…” Scootaloo uttered.

“…He has wings.” She finished with a look of shock in her eyes.

Rainbow Dash was rendered speechless with confusion; she attempted to articulate but not a word was capable of escaping her mind in an endless sea of confusion swelling in her subconscious. She pushed Scootaloo aside and reopened the door, hoping to find out the truth for herself.            
Rainbow Dash cautiously approached the bed, noticing Solaris somehow managed to stay asleep despite the noise. She saw Scootaloo had left the sheets off of him, still shivering as he balled up tighter to protect himself. She floated over to the bed at a snail’s pace. As she moved closer, the curious pegasus gingerly moved the robe off his body, revealing the wing. Rainbow Dash became wide eyed and silently gasped as the tiny wing quivered. With lightning speed, she placed the robe back over his body and covered him with the bed sheet. Turning around, she bolted for the door; still hovering above the ground. She mistakenly kept the door slightly open behind her; forgetting to close it entirely.

“Now do you believe me?” Scootaloo softly asked.

“It…It doesn’t make sense.” Rainbow Dash articulated with perplexed look on her face.

“Wait a minute, if he has wings; why didn’t he follow us by flying?” Rainbow Dash asked, unintentionally increasing in volume as she spoke.

“Keep it down,” Scootaloo shushed. “Or else you’ll---“

Suddenly, a slight noise rose from behind them in the other room; a faint murmur. The two turned around and looked back in the other room; only to be frozen with fear as Solaris slowly lifted his head off the pillow and yawned. The sleepy colt noticed the beam of light behind him and slowly turned around. Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash hurriedly hid behind the door, hoping Solaris did not see them. The sound of a shifting bed sheets echoed as he rose from the bed and slowly walked over to the door. Each step the small colt took sent the two in a deeper grip of fear as his hooves clicked on the floor. As Solaris was just behind the doorway, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo jumped out from behind the door and grabbed Solaris, slamming him back on the wall behind them.

“Care to explain Solaris,” Scootaloo said with her hooves pinned on his shoulders; “If that is your real name.”  

“I swear I don’t know what you speak of.” Solaris said, his hood over his face shaking with fear and on the verge of crying.

“Enough with the Canterlot speak; Scoot, take off his robe-cape thingy and expose himself for who he really is.” Rainbow Dash commanded.

With a quick move of the hoof, Scootaloo disconnected the robe from his shoulders; revealing his wings and his horn simultaneously; her other hoof still pinned to his shoulder. After the instantaneous reveal, Solaris broke down sobbing miserably. The orange pony let go of Solaris as he fell on all four hooves.

“Why?” Solaris spoke to himself. “Why did I have to be given this curse?” He said now looking at the ground as a small pool of tears formed.

“Hey, don’t be like that;” Scootaloo remarked. “It’s really cool.”

“No,” Solaris responded, now shouting at the baffled filly. “It’s not cool!”

“This is what I had feared,” Solaris spoke now calmed from his anger. “Now you will see me just as the others have.”

“What?” Rainbow Dash asked.

Solaris sighed, wiping his face.

“Everypony I’ve ever come in contact with has treated me like I’m different; but I never wanted this. All I’ve ever wanted was for someone to treat me for who I truly am; but I guess I’ll have to live life as a freak.” Solaris said, leaning on behind the wall behind him as he fell to a sit.                    

“Solaris, you are not different and you’re not a freak;” Rainbow Dash responded, trying to comfort him. “You’re gifted above all else.”

“Why do you think I never use my wings or horn?”


“Because I shouldn’t have them, I don’t want them. It’s a constant reminder of everything I seek to rid myself of.”


“Have you not listened to anything I’ve said?”

“I see. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. It’s not your fault I was given this.”

The phrase was the final word spoken as pure silence filled the room for minutes. Suddenly, Solaris sighed again to break the calm.

“I suppose I could tell the others,” Solaris spoke timidly, still in Rainbow Dash’s and Scootaloo’s embrace. “There would be no point to hide it any longer.”

“That’s the spirit. C’mon,” Rainbow Dash said as she headed for the door. “I’ll race you back to Ponyville.”

“I think I’ll walk thank you.” Solaris said with a sense of sadness still lingering in his voice.

“Aww, C’mon;” Rainbow Dash said as she waited at the door; Solaris not providing a response. “Please?”

As if suddenly possessed, Solaris became overwhelmed with a sense of competition and flew out the door to follow her.

Rainbow Dash, leaving Solaris behind, turned around to see Solaris following close behind; she abruptly stopped to admire his quick change of heart.

“That’s it; if you’ve got wings you might as well use ‘em.” Rainbow Dash spoke with a new impression of Solaris.

“Many times I’ve heard of your competitive nature Ms. Dash,” Solaris said with a sense of intended competition in his voice.
“I only hope you’ll be willing to show me.”

“You know it, want to race?” Rainbow Dash said as she turned back around to face Ponyville.

“I would be my pleasure.” Solaris said flaring his small wings.

“Tell you what,” Rainbow Dash began. “I’ll give you a small lead; just to---“She began again as Solaris dashed in front of her; beginning the race.  

“Wow, he can really book.” Rainbow Dash said as she pursued him.

The two were locked in a fierce race, each stealing the lead from each other. Rainbow’s mane fluttered as she was in a neck and neck tie with Solaris; now beginning to show signs of fatigue. Near the end of the race, the rainbow mane pony took a sudden bolting lead and finished first, leaving Solaris far behind; gone from her sight.  The two were left hovering over the town square, Solaris wheezing just as before. Rainbow Dash became instantly concerned and moved closer to investigate.

“Solaris, you ok?” Rainbow Dash said, trying to keep his attention.

Solaris struggled to speak between gasps for air. Following, he became lightheaded, swaying from side to side as he flew.

“C’mon, don’t black out on me again.” Rainbow Dash said as her voice slowly echoed in Solaris’s head; and the same darkness surrounded him as before. After struggling with keeping himself awake, Solaris slowly closed his eyes and slipped out of consciousness again.

Solaris woke but only minutes later; his blurred vision as he opened his eyes revealed six multicolored figures formed in a circle around him. As his vision enhanced, the figures were revealed to be the ponies. While still hazy, Applejack spoke in a muffled and echoing voice.

“Ok, no more racing for you for a while alright?” Applejack spoke as her voiced improved with clarity.

“I’ll comply with that.” Solaris responded as he stood up.  “I guess you all know my secret now?” The encircled pony spoke while eyeing the group.

The group nodded in unison.

“I just have a question, why were you so obsessed with not telling us?” Twilight asked.

Solaris looked back down at the ground, contemplating his response; finally he spoke.

“I thought you would all treat me like everypony else did, and I didn’t want to return to living that wretched nightmare again.” Solaris attempted to explain.

The group fell into an awkward silence.

“…Well, you certainly have speed with your wings; you managed to keep up with me.” Rainbow Dash said, stealing Solaris’s attention from Twilight.

“What? I did no such thing.” Solaris said as he flipped his hood off his face.

“It doesn’t matter at this point,” Twilight Sparkle said looking at Rainbow Dash “just thank Celestia you’re ok.” she said now looking at Solaris.

As Twilight uttered those last four words, Solaris’s eyes widened; recalling something which caused him to spring up and attempt to escape the circle; only to be blocked by Pinkie Pie.

“Where are you in such a rush to get to?” Pinkie asked, shoving Solaris back into the center of the circle with her hoof.

“Canterlot,” Solaris said, trying to push through the barrier of Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy.  “I have to briefly return so my mother does not fret about me.”

“Well, what if we went with you?” Fluttershy asked, holding Solaris back.

“I was hoping you would ask so I would need not.” Solaris said, no longer trying to escape. “That was my intent to begin with.”

“Yes,” Rarity cheered. “It’s been so long since I’ve last seen Canterlot.”

“And I’d love to meet your mom.” Twilight spoke, looking Solaris straight in the face.

Now all looking at each other, Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rainbow Dash broke into a series of excited conversations with each other constantly overlapping each other; leaving Twilight with Solaris as the two departed back to Twilight’s house without a moment’s notice. Completely unaware of their departure, the group noticed Twilight and Solaris had both vanished and returned; Solaris now carrying his bag on his back. The group reformed and proceeded to the train station, the group boarded the train; and a sense of excitement enraptured them all as they departed from the station. Twilight seated herself with Solaris who was staring out the window, half asleep. The train shook as it rolled over the tracks, creating a hum of white noise. Solaris began carelessly began drawing on the fog of the window, creating elaborate shapes and erasing them after. Twilight patted him on the shoulder, freeing him from his dreary state.

“So, excited to see Canterlot again?” Twilight asked as Solaris turned around.

“I’ve been gone for only a day, but my memories shall hopefully suppress my nightmares of Canterlot for our visit.” Solaris responded with a saddened look in his face, now nonchalantly toying with his dangling necklace.

“Just don’t let anypony bother you. Besides,” Twilight said, lifting his chin and turning his head towards hers “you’ll have us with you.”

Before Solaris could enunciate a single word, the train screeched to a halt as the brakes grinded on the steel tracks. The group departed the train together; Rarity instantly taken aback by the grandeur of the city as everyone else remained straight faced. The close-knit cobblestone streets were abundant with life.  The group walked through town in a tight, shoulder-to-shoulder group; Solaris leading no more than six inches ahead. Whilst walking, a few ponies began blankly staring at the Canterlot native leading the group, spreading from three or four to ten or eleven in an instant. In only a block crossing’s time, every passing pony was staring at Solaris. The frightened colt pulled his hood over his face, trying to mask his anguish. Twilight pulled his hood back off his head as quickly as he donned it. The grieving colt first attempted to pull his hood back over again, but something inside stopped him from doing so; a lack of need to hide anymore. The group became confused when Solaris led the group to Celestia’s Castle. They all rose to the door in unison, the guards moving aside without a second though as the massive door opened. The group entered the main hall, Celestia sitting at her throne at the end. The evening light peered through the stained glass windows, forming a faint kaleidoscope of colors in the great hall as Celestia smiled at the group.

“Hello Mother.” Solaris chirped as Celestia remained in her seat.

“Mother?!” The group shouted in a chorus of confusion. The room went dead silent as Rainbow Dash looked directly at Solaris as the rest of the group eyed Celestia.

Celestia cracked a nervous smile and chuckled, her eyes darting all about the room as she nervously perspired.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait a minute. You’re a Pegasus Unicorn and Celestia’s your mom?!” Rainbow Dash interrogated Solaris, directly face to face with him. “What else are you hiding from us?”

Solaris remained silent, too fear-stricken from Rainbow Dash’s interrogation to respond.

“Care to explain Princess Celestia?” Twilight asked with a need for answers.

“I…” Celestia stuttered with nervousness. She remained silent while imagining an acceptable response.

“Solaris, please stay here for a minute.” Celestia commanded with a gingerly tone as she looked directly at him.

“No problem.” Solaris said, leaning away from Rainbow Dash.

“The rest of you; please follow me.” Celestia now spoke in a melancholy manner.

“That means you too RD.” Applejack called to Rainbow Dash as she turned her attention away from Solaris.

“Fine,” Rainbow Dash turned back around “but I’ve got my eye on you.” She said looking back at Solaris with an angered look.

As the group left the room, Solaris planted himself on the ground; pulled a small book from his bag and began reading. Back in the second room, the entire group fixated their eyes on Celestia. The ashamed princess looked away and began to speak.

“A few years back, I was told somepony found a single colt which appeared to be different than any other pony anyone had seen for centuries. I heard he had both a Unicorn horn and Pegasus wings and yet was not of royal decent. A non-royal Alicorn has not been born for centuries. I had him brought back here to Canterlot as soon as I heard he was found. I began raising him when he was no more than three days old. No one knows who his real parents are; my fear is they are now deceased, leaving their newborn abandoned forever. When my sister had discovered I had taken upon myself to raise him after only a week in my care; she desired to be involved in his life after living so long in isolation. At first I was hesitant, she had no experience, but she proved herself at every turn; teaching him the basics of magic and flight. She had raised him for a majority of his life; she began to grow much attached to him, as did he. She refused to give him up. After persuading her to relinquish him to me, she sunk into a manic depression, I couldn’t bear the sight of my brokenhearted sister, but I needed to be just as involved in his life as she. When Discord escaped his prison years later, I placed him back in Luna’s care, aware he would be safe with her. And for the last few weeks, he has been back in mine.”

“So, technically he’s not your son?” Pinkie Pie asked with one eyebrow raised.

“By definition, I am not his true mother. However, he has seen my sister and I as parental figures his entire life; and both Luna and I claim to be his parents.”

“It’s so noble of you to raise him Princess.” Fluttershy stated.

“I knew I had to protect him, I could not let the possibility of him being corrupted as my sister did subsist. And as long as he was in my care, I would have to be his parental figure.”

“Well, why does he not like being an Alicorn?” Twilight asked.

Celestia paused, stricken by confusion.

“I’m not sure; I didn’t even know he thought this way.”

“He said something about having a curse.” Rainbow Dash spoke, looking back in the main room; staring at Solaris.

“A Curse,” Celestia questioned. “Why would he…”

The wise pony suddenly gasped with realization. She swiftly turned around to see Solaris sitting in exactly the same spot in the main room, blithesomely reading his book. He turned around to notice she was looking back at him; he shot her a smile and instantly went back to reading.

“Well, I thank you all for visiting, but at this point I’m afraid I can’t explain anything more. You have all done well teaching him so far and I know you shall continue.” Celestia said, turning back around to look at the group.

“It was a pleasure.” Twilight answered.                  

Celestia walked back into the main room as the group followed, she approached Solaris as the rest of the group hung back, Solaris still sitting on the ground. A shadow cast over him as he turned around to see Celestia standing directly behind him. She kneeled closer to him, the reading colt now sporting a somewhat worried look on his face.

“Is it true? Have you been trying to hide yourself as I have heard?” Celestia asked; her head now right beside his as she sat beside him.

“Yes…” Solaris responded, turning his head away from hers.


Solaris looked down, recalling his short list of memories.

“I’m not like everypony else. I just want to be treated normally.”

“Solaris, you have a gift which very few have; and you should embrace it, not cover it in fear.” Twilight spoke behind the two.

“She is right;” Celestia said as she turned her head towards Twilight. “You have no reason to hide what you have been given.” She said, now looking at Solaris. “I do have another question however.”

“What might that be?” Solaris said now looking at Celestia.

“Why did you not tell me?”

“Because I was afraid if I told you the truth after lying to you, you would abandon me.” He said while shaking his head.

The entire hall became vacant of sound in an instant; Celestia was puzzled and shocked by his answer.

“Solaris, I would never abandon you. I expect you to make mistakes and wrong decisions, but it will never be enough for me to ever do something so drastic.”

Celestia’s easing words almost brought her son to tears as he turned away from her.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you;” Solaris said as he turned back around to hug Celestia. “Can ever you forgive me?”

“Of course I can; I love you dear.”

“I love you too mommy.”

The hall became reclaimed with sound as the group cooed in a chorus of affection. But deep inside Twilight’s subconscious, the seed of jealousy spread throughout her entire mind, becoming a raging fire of anger and sense of replacement with Celestia. In spite of her anger, Twilight couldn’t help but smile, dulling her anger.                                

“Well, this has been…weird.” Rainbow Dash interrupted.

The rest of the group shot a look of confusion and disappointment at Rainbow Dash.

“What? It has.” Rainbow Dash responded.

Solaris chortled to himself, still hugging Celestia. After the heartfelt moment, Solaris broke from the hug. The group, now accompanied by Solaris, departed with a wave and a farewell. Solaris proudly walked through town to the train station; no longer distinguishing the glares of passing ponies which haunted him for so long. As the group arrived at the train station, Rarity was shocked out of her awe-stricken trance of the city.

“Wait, we’re leaving?” Rarity spoke, falling behind the group as she remained in her place. “But we just arrived here.”

“Not to worry Ms. Rarity,” Solaris said looking behind him. “We will return in just a week’s time.”

“A week,” Rarity said, speculating on the thought. “I guess I can manage until then.” She said while catching up with the rest of the group.

The group boarded another train back to Ponyville, now with more answers and more questions. The group began eagerly discussing to each other, creating a commotion of disorderly conversations as the train shook as it rolled over the tracks. Twilight sat with Solaris, just as before. She began examining him based upon her recently discovered information.

“I can see the resemblance.” Twilight nodded while eyeing Solaris up and down.

“I’m sorry?” Solaris responded while turning around.

“You look a lot like Princess Celestia and Princess Luna. “ Twilight explained, surprised he did not already know.


“Well, you coat is just like Celestia’s; and you have Luna’s eyes and smile.”

“All is but coincidence.”

Twilight was taken aback by the statement of the small colt. The words echoed through the train cabin, stealing the attention of the entire group as they closed in around him from the chairs behind him. The silence only rivaled by the shaking of the train.

“When did you find out?” Twilight spoke, shattering the gripping silence which haunted the cabin for several minutes.

“I have known for many years. I had first observed I shared no distinguishing trait with either Celestia or Luna; asides from the ones you described. As my assumptions grew greater, Luna finally told me; informing me of my real parent’s demise when I was born. Since then, I had developed a stronger connection with them both; knowing my true parents are gone forever and they are all I have left.”
The group fell silent with sympathy for the colt, despite all assumptions; he remained completely expressionless, not a shred of emotion in his speech. Twilight was both saddened and impressed at retaining his composition.

“That’s not true, you also have us; and I’m sure wherever your real parents are, you have them too.” Twilight said as she hugged him, hoping his emotion would return.

To her avail, Solaris began to cry; all withheld feelings suddenly returned in an instant. Several times he tried to halt his lament, but his aching memories had overpowered him consistently.

“It’s ok; I know it hurts.” Twilight said, brushing his mane from his face as she held him.  

Solaris tried several times to speak, each attempt silenced by either Twilight or himself. After ten minutes, Solaris finally collected himself as Twilight let go of him, wiping his face clear. He looked back at the window, only to be stopped by the train arriving in Ponyville moments later.

The group departed the train, the sky painted a beautiful red and purple dusk as the group walked back to the main part of town, Solaris mystified by the beautiful sunset as he followed closely behind. The group met in front of Twilight’s library; forming a shoulder-to-shoulder circle in front of the door as Twilight and Solaris stood on the doorstep.

“Well, It’s getting late; goodnight everypony.” Twilight said quickly as she turned around, turning Solaris around with her as the two walked to the door behind them.

“Hang on,” Applejack blurted out behind the two as they turned around in confusion. “Who’s to say he has to stay with you?”

“Actually I---“Solaris began, but was promptly interrupted by the orange pony now in front of him.

“He should stay back at Sweet Apple Acres with me; at least he’ll have his own bed.” Applejack spoke, bobbing her head as she alternated eye contact with Twilight and the small colt beside her.

“I have a spare bed too.” Fluttershy smiled as she looked at Solaris in the middle of the circle.

“Or you could bunk with me; but it’s your decision Solaris,” Twilight said as the entire group stared at the now encircled pony.  “Who do you want to stay with?”

Solaris became nervous as he stuttered and looked around the circle to see six pairs of eyes all looking down at him.

“Miss Twilight and Miss Fluttershy, would you mind if I stayed with Miss Applejack? No offense, I just need to finish my work with Apple Bloom early tomorrow.” Solaris asked, revealing a nervous smile.

“I don’t mind.” Twilight said smiling.

“Me neither.” Fluttershy said as she looked as Twilight and shook her head.      

“Miss Applejack,” Solaris said as he turned around, now facing Applejack. “I guess I’m staying with you, if it’s not too much to ask.”

“It’s my pleasure,” Applejack said as she turned around. “Now C’mon, follow me” Applejack now looking back at the short colt behind him.

“Goodbye all, I hope to see you all in the morning.” Solaris said, now following Applejack with his head turned to his side, facing back at the group.

The two walked back to Sweet Apple Acres as they faded from view of the now incomplete group in the setting darkness. The ponies, now alone in the streets, didn’t speak or even look at each other; Applejack looking straight ahead at the street with a dead-eyed gaze. The empty streets lacked any trace of life, every light off in every building, not a single pony outside in the dark hour. The sign of Sweet Apple Acres was blackened in the night, only recognizable by the shape. The brightened crescent moon hovered directly above the massive barn ahead of them; the only building illuminated by artificial light inside.

“Well, here we are.” Applejack spoke as she looked to her side to see Solaris almost asleep standing up.
The orange mare rolled her eyes as she tapped the sleepy colt on the shoulder, causing him to turn his head at her; his glossy eyes only slightly opened as he looked at her.

“C’mon, you look exhausted.” Applejack walked towards the illuminated building ahead, directing the half asleep colt beside him.

The two entered the house, Apple Bloom and Big Mac standing in the main room; the two looking at the small colt with a hood perched over his head, looking at the ground. Applejack led Solaris to the stairs, Apple Bloom and Big Mac looking in confusion at her without speaking a word. The two silently walked up to the upper floor as Apple Bloom and Big Mac followed suit. Once Solaris reached the top floor, Applejack turned around and pointed to the door beside her at the end of the hallway.

“You’ll be staying here tonight.” The mare was now looking in confusion at the ponies behind Solaris in the back of the hall.

“Thank you so much for letting me stay here.” Solaris looked up from the ground at the door at the other end of the hall.

Solaris walked to the door alone, bridging the gap between the empty hallway center; now face to face with Applejack. Applejack opened the door for him, revealing a simple guest room illuminated by a window beside the bed. Solaris walked inside as Applejack looked back at Apple Bloom and Big Mac both dumbfounded with confusion. The colt slid the bag off his back to the floor at the side of the room and walked to the bed at the far end as Applejack looked on. Solaris turned around to Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Big Mac all peering into the room from the hallway around the door arch.

“Well, unless any of you need me for something; I’m going to sleep.” Solaris laughed awkwardly.

“If you need anything, don’t be afraid to ask. Good night.” Applejack spoke as she closed the door in front of her.

Solaris smiled back at her as the door slowly creaked closed. He then turned his eyes at the bed beside him, the side of his face illuminated by the light of the window. He drowsily crawled into the simple-sheeted divan, pulled his hood over his eyes, and sank into a deep slumber within seconds; but his slumber was anything but peaceful. He twisted and turned in the bed, breathing heavily and gasping in his sleep without any control of himself as his mind was wrapped in terror of a horrible nightmare. He began talking to himself in his sleep, but all that was heard was faint whispering never leaving his head. After his sudden episode, he jumped back to reality with a gasp of terror and looked around the room, still disoriented. The room was dead silent; after only perhaps a second, the room gained a single sound as the terrified colt moved the sheets closer to himself. Solaris moved his hood back over his head after the room fell back into stillness and placed his head back on the pillow. Suddenly, a faint creaking noise projecting from the other side of the pitch black room sent the pony back into a grip of sheer terror. Solaris looked at the other side of the darkened room to see a shadow of the door beginning to move. As the noise subsided and the shadow stopped moving, a silhouette formed in the distance, illuminated by two glowing green spheres about halfway up the door.

“I-Is s-someone there?” Solaris spoke, stuttering as he stretched his neck to better observe the figure.

“Solaris, are you ok?” The voice spoke, revealing to be Applejack.

“Oh, yes Miss Applejack;” Solaris blindly looking in the direction of the figure. “Just a bad dream is all. Did I wake you?”

“Actually, I wasn’t asleep yet.” Applejack walked into the light of the window beside the bed; her blonde mane illuminated above her emerald eyes. “Do you need to stay with me?”

“No thank you, I’m sorry I woke you.”

“It’s alright,” The half-enlightened mare spoke, now beside the bed. “What was the bad dream about; maybe if you explain it
you’ll feel better.” She reached out her hoof to turn his head towards hers.

Solaris sighed, pulling his head back and now facing forward.

“It was bizarre, my wings were cut off and my horn was broken off by some unknown force. I was on the ground in a barn of some sort but had no recollection of how I arrived there. A massive pool of blood had formed beside me and my entire body felt like it had been lit aflame. I had been paralyzed by the pain and pure terror as my vision grew darker and darker.”

Applejack stood looking at him as he described his nightmare; a look of shock grew larger and larger as he went on. When he finished, Applejack was too dumbfounded to speak.

“And the strangest part is,” Solaris said, now looking down. “Just as I was about to wake up, I looked to my side to see Miss Twilight; holding a blood-soaked knife, not an ounce of emotion on her face.”

Applejack remained silent, pondering of an adequate response.

“What do you think it means?” The bed-ridden pony asked.

Applejack finally snapped from her amazement stricken trance and spoke.

“I’m not sure Sugarcube; but if it makes you feel any better, I’ll be across the hall if you need me.” The mare spoke as she turned around. Applejack began walking towards the door when Solaris spoke behind her.

“Miss Applejack,” the bed-ridden pony spoke as Applejack turned around. “Thank you.”

The orange mare at the other end of the room couldn’t help but smile as she turned around and opened the door in front of her, revealing a red shape beside the doorway. Applejack looked to her side to see Apple Bloom, sitting on the floor, her head next to the wall. She appeared to have completely ignored Applejack as she looked at her with disapproval. Finally, after almost a minute of complete silence, Applejack tapped her sister on the shoulder; instantly turning her head towards her. Apple Bloom, with her wide golden eyes, shrugged her shoulders and cracked a nervous smile.

“I thought I taught y’all better than sneakin’ around in other pony’s privacy.” Applejack now looking straight at her as she closed the door beside her.

“I’m sorry, I was just wonderin’ what was goin’ on is all.” Apple Bloom now looking down at Applejack’s hooves, a look of self-hatred now on her facade.

“Go to bed, and I better not find y’all sneakin’ around again.” Applejack walked past Apple Bloom, now looking back at her sitting on the wood floor.

“Fine.” The filly rose to her hooves as she hung her head down.

But back in the guest room, Solaris let his own curiosity get to him. Solaris, with his almost bat-like hearing, heard every word of the conversation in the other room. After waiting until the two had disbanded, Solaris slowly and quietly snuck out of bed, keeping his gaze on the window beside him. He slowly slid to the floor as his hooves clicked, now standing perfectly still. Now, as if standing on thin ice, the sneaky colt slowly crept to the window, looking out at the crescent moon outside. Awe-stricken for only a second, the colt slowly pushed the window up, the glass frame refusing to budge. The colt began to strain as the window slowly slid up from the window stop. After an almost endless struggle, the window finally gave, popping from the stop as the wood frame struck the top of the window with a loud crack. Solaris fell back as he instantly looked back at the door, hoping nopony heard him. The entire room went dead silent, the crickets outside from the open window seemed to alleviate the fear of the now petrified colt lying on the bedroom floor. After waiting almost five minutes with no outside response, the colt rose to his hooves and looked out the open window. Solaris moved his robe to reveal his small wings as he flared them out in preparation for a flight. The colt took the small picture from the nearby nightstand and placed it to keep the window up as he climbed out. Solaris looked down from the window to see an almost thirty foot drop, a guaranteed bone-breaking fall. The small colt pulled his head back in, too terrified to climb out. He shook his head, regaining his conscience and climbed out again.

The night was perfectly still, not an ounce of wind abound in the pitch black night. Solaris looked down once more, looked back up, and flared his wings once again. A look a stern determination now masking all inhibitions as he jumped out the began flapping his small wings. He looked down to see the ground in the same place, moving up and down as he hovered in front of the window behind him. It was only the second time he had ever flown, and not once had he ever dreamed of flying, or more so defying a curfew of any sorts. Determined to seek answers, the tiny alicorn raced off back towards Ponyville, his short nightmare on his mind. He rushed past the trees of Sweet Apple Acres, the trees rustling as he quickly bolted over them. He could see Ponyville in the distance, a few scattered lights stood throughout the town like beacons as the lights grew brighter and the colt flew closer. Finally, Solaris found himself in the town center, the ground almost entirely bathed in darkness. The colt blindly flew around town, looking for the only library abound. After flying for what seemed like hours, the colt suddenly struck a wall; a pitch black mass in the darkness. Still dazed from the sudden impact, Solaris looked around the unknown building; only to see a single light on inside. He looked to a bedroom almost exactly in front of the window with a living area behind the bed, stooping down a ladder. He saw Twilight sitting on the floor, looking at a book in the middle of the room, a look of confusion across her face as she turned the pages. Solaris remained hovering in front of the window, Twilight seeming to completely ignore the shadow being cast around her. As Solaris looked closer and placed his hoof on the glass, Spike walked into the room. The flying colt outside moved out of the field of view of the window, his eyes looking into the bleak darkness in front of him as the two spoke in the room behind him.

“What’s that?” Spike spoke back inside the room.

“The book Solaris left here,” Twilight said as Solaris remained flush up against the wall outside. “I think it’s his journal.” Twilight spoke now looking at Spike.

Spike moved closer, now looking at the drawings of artistically drawn sunrises and moons and short paragraphs sprawled across the page.

“Did you know he’s Celestia and Luna’s son?” Twilight turned her head, now looking out the window.

“He also has been taught magic by Luna.” Twilight kept her view at the black nothingness outside as Spike looked at the stargazing mare.

“But, that doesn’t make sense.” The dragon spoke. “Neither Princess Celestia or Princess Luna is married; is he adopted?”

Twilight looked to her side as she shot a look of obvious observation of foolishness at Spike, and returned to look back at the window as she shook her head.

As Solaris heard her speak, he began to push off the building; preparing to leave. When suddenly, Twilight spoke again; roping him back to the wall.

“Why? It doesn’t make sense.” Twilight shook her head as she looked at the floor in front of her.

“Why what?” Spike said as he looked over her to see the journal.

“Why would Celestia trust me with a pony which already has mastered magic?”

“Unless...” Twilight began.

“Unless Celestia is trying to replace me.” The crazed mare looked up with anger as she pushed the journal to the other side of the room.


“Yes, it all makes sense. That little rat is trying to replace me, he knows I’m close to Celestia, and he can’t stand the competition.” Twilight said now infuriated at Solaris.

Solaris heard the angered mare’s words and became simultaneously confused and saddened. As he heard her rant on, he jumped off the wall as he flew away, his hood now over his eyes as he slowly flew back to Sweet Apple Acres, a sense of self-disappointment engulfing his heart. He flew for hours, slowly creeping his way back to Sweet Apple Acres. The moon began to set as the horizon became lighter, the moon now in the middle of the horizon. Solaris looked to see the window was still being held open by the picture frame and climbed into the room. He slowly pulled the picture frame back on the window ledge as it finally slid out and the window slowly slid back to its resting position. He placed the picture frame back on the nightstand and climbed back into the bed, the sheets still draping off the mattress. He pulled his hood over his head, pulled the sheets back over him; and slowly cried himself to sleep.

The Next morning, Applejack woke to see Apple Bloom standing on her bed; a look of shock across her face.

“He’s Gone!” The short filly spoke as she moved closer to her sister.

“What do y’all mean? Who’re we talkin’ about?” The hazy Applejack spoke as she rubbed her eyes.

“The little colt, Solaris. He’s gone.” Apple Bloom spoke as Applejack got out of bed.

“Alrighty, let’s go see.” Applejack said as she walked to the other end of the hallway, Apple Bloom following close behind.

The two opened the door to see the bed was empty, Solaris’s bag was gone and a small note was placed at the foot of the neatly folded bed.

“You’re right. Oh no.” Applejack said as she looked at the letter. She unfolded the tiny parchment to see a line written in fine ink with flawless hoof-writing.
No need to worry about where I am, I just got up early to begin the work I didn’t finish yesterday. Thank you all for being so kind as to let me stay for the night.

The two breathed a sigh of relief in unison as they turned around and headed downstairs and finally outside into the fields.

“Apple Bloom, go look for Solaris and see if he needs any help.” Applejack said as she looked down to her side.

Apple Bloom nodded as she walked into the endless patch of trees. Suddenly, the sound of rustling trees near her drew her attention to a group of trees just north of her; the trees located on a short hill. She walked closer to see Solaris bucking at a single tree, trying to knock down one last apple perched at the top of the tall deciduous. Apple Bloom chuckled to herself as she moved closer, Solaris now looking at the filly approaching him.

“C’mon, let me help ya’.” Apple Bloom said as she moved closer to the tree, looking at the apple perched high above.

With one swift buck, she brought the apple down into the basket as it bounced on top of the pile already formed within it.

“T-Thanks.” Solaris nervously smiled.

“No problem. Now,” Apple Bloom said as she looked out at the trees below. “We’ve got some work to do.”

The two worked together for the entire day, endless moving from tree to tree collecting each apple as it fell. The day moved slowly, but the two seemed to not care. The two enjoyed their work for the day, not a sense of tiredness or weakness in either of them.  After hours which only seemed like minutes, the two were called back to the barn; now in the late afternoon.

“Solaris,” Applejack said as Big Mac stood beside her. “I think you’ve filled your obligation, lets go back to Ponyville to see if anypony needs your help before it gets too late.”
Solaris smiled as he said goodbye to Apple Bloom and Big Mac. After the fond farewell, the two slowly walked down the road leading to Ponyville. It was now evening, the sun began to set and a few dark clouds began to form off in the distance. The duo arrived in town to see the group huddled in a circle around Twilight’s house; seeming to ignore the arrival of the two.

“Hey Everypony,” Applejack spoke as the group turned around. “If y’all need Solaris to help you with anything, he’s free for the rest of the day. And trust me, he’s a great worker.” She spoke as Solaris bowed.

Twilight, originally ignoring the two, finally turned around and pointed at Solaris.

“You,” Twilight spoke as she grinded her teeth with anger. “I’ve figured out your plan, and now everypony will know your real intent here.” Solaris looked both scared and confused.

“I-I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Solaris stuttered with fear as the wind picked up.

“Don’t play stupid with me,” Twilight snarled. “We all know all you want to do is replace me.”
The entire group looked confused at Twilight, knowing she had lost it.

“Uhh, Twi?...” Applejack spoke, moving Solaris closer to her.

“First you try to get my friends to replace me, then you go after my teacher. You truly are a devious little colt.” Twilight’s eyes now seething with rage.

Solaris began to cry, Applejack trying to comfort her.

Twilight rolled her eyes, her brow now slanted like arrows. “Oh come on everypony, you really believe he’s this sweet and innocent colt you all seem to think he is?”

The group now moved to Applejack’s side, trying to comfort the sobbing colt as they all looked sternly at Twilight.

Solaris looked at Twilight as he brushed part of his mane from his face. Amongst the group, he rose up, walked backwards and took off flying amidst the coming storm. The group rushed to follow him, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy following suit as the wind became even stronger.

“What are you doing?!” Rainbow Dash shouted at Solaris through the gusting winds.

“To solve this the only way I know how.” Solaris said as he picked up in speed, leaving Rainbow Dash behind to combat the storm.

Solaris vanished into the storm clouds, disappearing from view as the gray clouds flashed with lightning.
The rainbow-maned mare turned around and flew back to the group still on the ground.

“Come on everypony, we’ve got to find him.” Applejack spoke as everypony split up. “Twilight,” Applejack spoke as she turned around. “You’re staying with me.”

Twilight sighed as she kept her head hanging.

The group split up into teams, Applejack and Twilight searched Ponyville, Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash searched Cloudsdale and the Everfree Forest, and Pinkie Pie and Rarity went to Canterlot as fast as they could.

Twilight and Applejack searched through every building in Ponyville as the storm intensified still. Outside, it was gusting winds and pouring rain as the two searched for the runaway colt; but their search was fruitless.

“Wait,” Applejack became stricken with an idea. “I think I might know where he is.”

Applejack suddenly took off sprinting in the pouring rain, her hooves splashing each puddle as she headed to the end of town. Twilight followed suit as it almost became too dark to see; the flashing lightning being the only light.
The two headed to Sweet Apple Acres, the dirt road leading to the farm now a strip of mud in the black darkness. When they finally arrived, it was pitch black; the only light was of the flashing lightning now engulfing the farm in all directions as the storm clouds masked the moon. Applejack looked to see the barn door slightly open, compared to being closed as she remembered it when she left. The two rushed towards the barn, their hooves covered with mud. Applejack slowly creaked the door open to reveal a small, critically injured colt lying in a pool of blood in the center of the room. Applejack instantly teared up as her and Twilight rushed to his side. Solaris reached for a blood-encrusted knife next to him, straining in pain as her reached over. Twilight used her horn and picked up the knife; a look of deadly seriousness across her rain-drenched face. The lightning flash creeping through the slightly opened door reflected the image of Twilight’s face on the blade. Solaris was in awful condition, both of his wings were cut to the bone, exposing part of his rib cage and lungs; his face was bloodied and his horn was gone, appeared to have been broken off in a crude manner of sorts. A massive dent and a series of deep scars were now covering  the side of his bleeding head. The beaten pony began coughing up blood as Twilight held his head upright as she threw the knife behind her. Applejack looked to see a wall to the right of her had been badly damaged, cracking and almost ready to give. Solaris was rolling from one side to the other, blood now slowly pouring from his open amputations of his wings.

“Why?” Twilight said, now tearing up. “Why did you do this?”

“Because...” Solaris spoke in almost a whisper tone, violently coughing up more blood on the floor. “...Because I’m trying to make you happy. You’re right, Celestia only needs one pony in her life; and I’m the only thing standing in your way.”

Twilight couldn’t believe what the dying colt had just spoken; never would she have imagined her spiteful words would lead to his violent self-mutilation.

“You don’t need to do this; C’mon, we need to get you to a hospital before it’s too late.” The now bawling mare spoke as she looked towards Applejack.

“You don’t understand Miss Twilight,” The slowly dying colt spoke, coughing once again. “It’s always been too late.”
Twilight became shocked and sickened by his outrageous response.

“Besides, now I get to be with my real parents.” Solaris now smiling amidst his agonizing suffering.

Twilight held his head closer as he began to close his eyes and smiled.

“No, it doesn't have to end like this.” Twilight spoke as Applejack stood beside her.

He looked behind Twilight through the narrow opening in the barn door to see the storm had ended, the clouds now revealing a gleaming orange sunrise in the distance.

“Even as my life spirals into misery every day...I know the rising sun is all I ever need.” Solaris quietly whispered to himself as he gazed at the sunlight beyond.

“Mommy...I’ve missed you...I’ll be with you soon...” Solaris slowly spoke as his voice grew quieter and his breathing slowed to a stop; A smile now across his face.

“Solaris? Solaris? Please, no! Don’t go! Please...” Twilight held the now dead colt in her arms, a pool of tears now mixing in the blood pool as she sobbed hysterically, Applejack now sitting beside her, lachrymose crying as she held her head in her hooves.

The two turned around to notice the gleaming sun sparkling in the morning mist as they wiped their tears from their reddened faces. As even amidst their sadness and darkness, amongst their weeping and misery, they couldn’t help but smile at the sparkling sunrise. Reminding them both of their short but memorable time with Solaris as he lay lifelessly on the barn floor; now in a better place with his parents, and reminding them that even in the darkest of times, there will always be another sunrise to brighten their lives.