The Council chambers were a mess, bustling with echos against the walls as members of the Lunar Council murmured and spoke over one another, each having their own ideas and arguments that were usually just as questionable as the others, or even self serving. The squabbling had been going on for most of the night as several notable council members brought forth proposals to better the new Council's reputation given the return of Princess Luna to her seat of the Crown, but of those that came forth, only a hooffull were clean of serving self interests. The other, more subtle, nobles either had weak ideas, or put too much attention on the princess herself, being nothing more than brown nosers wanting to advance their political status.
Basyrr Dusk could only sigh and close his eyes, knowing this was the very thing he was afraid would become of this Council. The Solar Council was already a travesty, but seeing it here was something he hoped would never come to be as there were other more important matters that needed addressing once everypony was on the same page. The lavender unicorn was pulled from his train of thought as the bell was rang by a mildly disgruntled Princess Luna.
“Hear ye! We believe this has gone on long enough. We are one half hour past our closing time. Let us save our words for the morrow.” She levitated the hoof sized bell out to the center of the round council table and gave it three sharp rings. The Princess left no time for the other council members to argue, knowing very well if she were to entertain their opinions or protest, it would be another half hour before they got anywhere. With the bell’s ring, the meeting of the Lunar Council came to an official close, the Princess wasted no time rising from her seat and briskly trotting towards the exit, chin up and ears deaf to the pleas of nobles trying to catch her attention. All but one.
“Princess Luna.” Basyrr said, following after her, the pale violet maned pony almost gliding with how low his purple robes surrounded him.
The Princess of the night hardly broke stride, but spoke over her shoulder firmly. “Come Basyrr. We will talk…” The doors of the great chamber opened for them as they approached, the Lunar Guards bowing their heads as they passed. “What ails you?”
“I think it’s best we speak in private, my Princess.” Basyrr scanned around him with his purple eyes for any eavesdroppers.
“To our chambers then.” She replied after a moment's hesitation. The Princess led the noble unicorn down the halls of the castle, remaining in complete silence until they reached her personal chambers. The doors were opened for them by the guards there, none of them questioning Basyrr’s presence there with her. Once the doors closed, Princess Luna let out a long sigh, letting her stature fall and shoulders hang.
“Stressed? I can understand after a meeting like that. Can I get you some tea?” Basyrr offered though the Princess shook her head.
“You were right Basyrr. This is starting to get out of hoof.” She threw her mane to the side and fell into the nearest sitting cushion. “These ponies strive toward self gain sooner than they would toward a working solution.”
“That is to be expected, all things considered,” said Basyrr. “Though if it continues at the frequency it does, it will become a Council of appeasement, much like the Solar Council.” Taking a seat aside her, he let out a controlled sigh.
“Then We shall dissolve the Council and hoof pick its members to better serve Equestria’s interests.” Said the Princess with her head held high and confidently.
“My Princess…” Basyrr shook his head at her. “You know the Council is meant to give ponies of interest and influence a means to partake in Equestria’s governing, despite the monarch having the final say in all matters.”
“Of course We know this. We understand the need for advisors and their uses they can provide-”
“Their connections not only provide benefits, but they also represent your will and public image. It has hardly been four years since your return from banishment, and only a few months since officially governing independently of your sister. The public already has a wary opinion of you. Dissolving the Council and picking your own supporters would hurt your image and ruin any credibility the Council has with the public.”
Princess Luna sighed irritably and lowered her head to her hoof. “That rules out adding and removing anypony...What would you suggest then, my friend?”
“A little of both.” He said, smirking ever so slightly when she gave him a bemused look. “As I have mentioned before, we both know a few seats have less than stellar records, and others who might be willing to give up theirs for other benefits. My brother has filled me in on some interesting information recently to back up a few suspicions and my foresight validates what I can see.”
Princess Luna looked to her smaller companion and smiled. Even though he looked like a young adult, the Princess knew he was closer to middle aged and had the stoic wisdom of a elder pony. “Well thought Basyrr. Were it not for your friendship and advice, they would have ousted me and declared you Princess of the Night.”
“I can’t say I would be terribly fond of that my Princess. I believe the change of gender would prove to be ultimately distracting, if not give me a host of new problems all together.”
Princess Luna laughed beautifully. Ever since she had first met him after her return from banishment she grew fond of him and his interesting dialogue. Basyrr was the pony who helped her get adjusted back into modern day Equestrian society, teaching her the changes in culture and politics of governing, and has been her unofficial assistant ever since. “So you find mares distracting Basyrr?” She said with a smirk.
The unicorn casually shook his head. “No, Princess, you misunderstand me. Having a body of the opposite sex, shaped and proportioned differently as well as es-”
“Basyrr, I am making a joke.” She said with a smile. Of the many great helps he has been to her, humor was something that he felt short on almost as badly as she did upon her return.
“...I see. My apologies for robbing you of my gratuitous laughter.” He said, looking right back at her with his usual hard to read expression.
Luna looked back carefully, smirking as she tried to determine if he was attempting some humor of his own with that suspiciously sarcastic feeling sentence. The awkward silence dragged on until broken by the Council stallion.
“...Princess, I think would be in our best interest to never attempt ‘humor’ in public for the sake of our reputations. We both...’suck’ at it.” The stallion managed to smirk ever so slightly.
Luna chuckled lightly. “Right you are, good friend. We have detracted enough from the topic at hoof though. You came to talk to me about removing and suggesting new members for the Council?” Much to her surprise though, he shook his head.
“No, actually, I came to speak about something of greater concern. I believe that there may be somepony trying to...’infiltrate’ The Crown.”
Princess Luna turned to him, regarding her concerned friend skeptically. “There are political influences inside and out of Equestria that want the same. Even other fellow nobles wish to pervade and spy upon us, even your own kin. How does this differ from any other occasion that does not deserve to be presented at the table?”
“Well, it certainly is not...’traditional.” Basyrr hesitated on his words, something he rarely had issue with. “I do admit I do not have any substantial evidence, but...I sense something coming in, and close.”
The Princess was intrigued, raising her eyebrows. “Your precognition spoke to you?”
“Yes. I have felt something upon the Council, getting closer, or maybe it is already here, and another influence is coming. It is a bit soon to tell, but I felt the urge to tell you rather soon.”
Luna nodded relaxing some. “So, this is an early indicator? You sound rather concerned for being so short on certainty and clarity. Normally you have much more insight to offer. What urges you to speak of it now?”
Basyrr looked down at the ground, shaking his head. “I...am unsure. I have not felt anything like it before. Just an impending sense of... a need bring closure.”
“This sounds like a matter that my sister should want to hear of, but you must be certain of it first. It is unlike you to speak about your future visions without having dwelt on them more. If these visions of yours continue, and with more clarity, then I will see that both my sister and I have an audience with you.” Luna and her sister both knew that Basyrr often provided sound precognitions, having aided them both and become a valuable friend for Luna. Premature or not, she would not ignore his concerns. Her sister must be made aware.
“Princess Celestia wakes soon, does she not? I do not wish to be overbearing, but I must insist that I see her this morning.” He looked to Luna, his face starting to become grave.
This further perturbed the Princess, and only worried her further. “Basyrr, my friend, that will be nearly two hours from now before she can see you. Are you sure you want to see her this soon with only what you have given me?”
The mystical unicorn noded firmly. “I am. I will wait for her to rise. Perhaps draw up the list of ponies I will recommend to the Council in the meantime, as well as some meditation.”
Luna nodded, relaxing herself some as she felt some relief for the topic at hoof being concluded for the moment. “Very well, I hope you do not suggest any ponies of ill will toward me.” The Princess chuckled and rose from her seat. The silence that followed, though, made her stop and look.
“Well, counter arguments bring about the best debate…” Basyrr had only so much time to calm before he was onto yet another stressful, if not humorous, point of discussion.
“Who is it that makes you say that?” Her gaze rested sharply on him.
“House Vanity has been a Solar Council member for many centuries until late.”
Princess Luna’s eyes began to widen as she recalled the name with unfortunate ease. How could she ever forget. “Basyrr, there are counter arguments and then there are ponies who want me dead.”
“Pony. Singular in this case, considering-”
“Please do not remind me. You are serious about this?”
“I understand there are many reasons for you to be concerned, but I believe it is a good choice, all things considered with our current situation. The others I suggest may appeal more to you if you would like to hear them.”
The Princess shook her head. “No, I think it best I wait until you present them all at once when I am prepared to address it. The night is growing late, and I will need my rest if both my sister and I are to see you. Perhaps she would like to hear of your list as well.” Luna began to remove her crown and other adornments.
Basyrr nodded with some uncertainty. “If she would like to, but I hope she does not wish to poach.” He rose from where he sat, preparing to leave.
“She wouldn’t. My sister is better than that.”
“Very well, Princess. I shall see you again soon.” He helped himself to the door.
“I shall see you again soon, good friend. Do not let the Horizons pester you too much if they show early.”
Her wise friend smiled before helping himself out the door of her chambers. Having parted the Princess’s company, Basyrr set out to find a place for him to relax.
Ever so gradually, the feeling of anxiety continued to build up in him. Something was coming, he was sure of it. He needed to be sure he conveyed that to the Sisters with the best of his words. For now, he needed calm his mind.
The walls of Canterlot Castle were often a favorite of his, letting him admire the starry sky and read to the gentle moonlight. He always found it more calming than any library could ever be, and watching the sunrise was a reward on its own.
“Need a cushion, Bassy?” Asked an approaching thestral Night Guard as he headed toward the battlements. He recognized the mare that stood a couple inches taller than him and smiled. This mare knew him so well, she already had the cushion in question on her back for him.
“That will do fine, Caster. As always, thank you.” He said to her graciously.
“No bother. Your legs’d be fallin off you if you fell asleep on me again, not to mention you’d wake the Princess with your gobshite snoring.” She smirked and followed him up to the battlements before putting the cushion in his signature spot.
“I can’t be that predictable, can I?” He asked, but she was already on her way back.
“Wee bit.” She chuckled. “I’d stay and chat, but my round is due in justa coupla minutes. I’ll be heading off, talk to you!”
Alone, Basyrr sighed and looked to the moonlit sky. Tonight was already starting to ease up some. He took out his note pad and quill, but before he began to write, that feeling was back, and growing. He bit his lip and sighed, having never before felt his foresight pester him so much. Worst part was it was barely able to feel that far, as if time just stopped after the coming moment. He looked about to see if anypony else were nearby, but only the occasional Night Guard patrolling the walls could be seen. It felt like eternity was creeping by as he stared at his notes, hardly able to think with the building unease in him. As one of the Night Guards passed, Basyrr could barely stand it anymore.
“Excuse me...Could you-” But as soon as the guard turned to him, he froze, knowing what this moment was. “Oh...I see.” That crimson streak in his mane was subtle, but unique and unforgettable.
There was hardly any time for him to say much more when the spear came thrusting forward, piercing Basyrr’s neck. The realization as to why he felt this urgency settling upon him earlier, and why he couldn't see beyond this point, only seeing mere fragments of it. They were to be his last moments, and likely the beginnings to many others.