Sometimes we find things that we’ve forgotten, and we can’t help but smile...
A thousand years had passed since Twilight Sparkle and her friends brought the Elements of Harmony to bear against Nightmare Moon. So much had happened since that time that the Princess of Friendship struggled to remember. Celestia had been a wise mentor, but she failed to properly convey one of the biggest burdens when it came to becoming an immortal. Alicorns had unfathomable lifespans, but they did not have unfathomable memories. Certainly, the important things were cherished, but the little facets that colored her past had long since slipped away-
“Princess!” A filly’s shrill voice had driven Twilight from the memory stroll, and her gaze fell upon a rather excited and precocious cyan pegasus.
“Rainbow!” Twilight chided before her awareness locked upon the youngster’s beaming cobalt irides. The alicorn chuckled sheepishly and quickly brushed her mane. “I’m sorry, Reveric. You really do remind me of her when you get excited like that. I take it you found something.”
“Yes! We haven’t found much since you sent us to investigate the Ponytown ruins, but this is definitely the discovery we’ve been waiting for!”
Twilight nodded as the cogs of her mind began churning once more. She honestly could not remember much about Ponytown. Some lingering shadow in the back of her head suggested that it had been a research settlement that had erupted something like nine centuries ago. However, the bits were fleeting. In some senses, it made the alicorn pitfall something of a blessing in disguise. She held steady to the things that mattered – but that made finding the old feel as though she were discovering the new.
“...an incredible spell!” Reveric Memory was practically bouncing upon her hooves before she thrust a leg towards a glimmering sphere of pure magic. The blue orb drew a name to the tip of Twilight’s tongue, but she held silent. “We think it’s a time capsule, which means that there is hopefully something inside, but we can’t tell without destroying the cast work. Nopony dared do it, and after some discussion, I suggested that it would be best left to you.”
“Another wise decision by my faithful student,” she answered with a level-headed tone that had definitely been Celestia’s hallmark. “I’m definitely interested in seeing the fruits of your hard work, and I’m certain that you are as well.”
The filly’s bouncing resumed, and her eyes widened as magical sparks danced along Twilight’s horn. The princess took her time with the spell and allowed the waves of her aura to feel out what exactly had been left behind. “Take notes, Reveric,” Sparkle commanded quietly. “Upon inspection, the ball is incredibly smooth. Even on the magical level, I cannot sense any deviations, aberrations, or flaws in the spherical harmonic. The pony who cast this spell was undoubtedly a skilled artist with a detailed knowledge of preservation techniques and methods. It is almost a shame that we must destroy it to uncover what’s inside.”
“Princess, what about using teleportation? That way we could...”
“Ah-ah-ah, my little pony, I could do that, but there is no way of knowing what exactly the casing holds. I might very well damage whatever is inside by probing the interior without unwrapping the package. That being said, I am a sucker for Hearth’s Warming presents, and I happen to know that a certain filly loves to rip into her gifts like a party pony.” Twilight giggled after she managed to draw a blush to her student’s muzzle. “I’m going to open it.”
The light around her horn grew brighter once the alicorn began focusing her efforts even further. She carefully split the shell and grasped the device that dropped out. A glossy black tablet roughly two-by-three hoofs in length floated in her aura. Its surface flashed to life, displaying proudly in white text >town.aggie.io.
Reveric Memory’s jaw dropped as she examined the utterly foreign contraption. The grayscale screen exploded into a plethora of colorful, pixelated ponies that danced about a simulated expanse of grass. She had read about these things once upon a time. It was an exceptionally antique gaming device that took Equestria by storm the instant it had been invented. By today’s standards, the entire thing was downright primitive, but as Reveric stared at the actions taking place upon the screen, her shocked expression blossomed into a beaming smile of unbridled joy.
“This is amazing!” she squealed, much to her mentor’s amusement. “This gives us a completely unique and unprecedented glimpse at what everyday ponies cared about centuries ago. Look at how they’re all wandering around turning grass into dirt and then planting more grass! Some appear to be even drawing shapes with this technique. See! There’s a heart! And there’s Luna’s cutie mark... And... Oh my, Celestia! That is downright offensive. I had no idea ponies of that era were that kind of expressive. They also seem to have a fascination with butterflies... rocks... and apples...”
Twilight struggled to maintain her magical grip as the last statement made her burst into laughter. Rocks and apples always reminded her of Pinkie Pie and Applejack, and the pink butterflies were an obvious nod to Fluttershy. There was simply no way around it. Tears swelled in the corners of her eyes as she embraced the silly ramblings of her excited pupil and tucked them away in a mental space that would assuredly be cherished centuries after she had moved on.
“My faithful, yet incredibly silly student, Ms. Reveric Memory, let me tell you that seeing this wonderful device has certainly brought back a flood of recollections. While the underlying events that led to the creation of this form of entertainment remain hazy to me, I think it is safe to say that we should not base our knowledge of past trends solely on the content of a game – or its media for that matter – without more context, lest this generation be remembered for its garish music or its fascination with those silly NERF toys the colts are clamoring on about. Such violent things...”
The lecture drew a tomboyish laugh from the lungs of the cyan filly. “I’ll try to keep that in mind, Princess,” she responded before throwing a sheepishly playful smile at Twilight. “Then again, it’s fun to think that ponies from your time had an over-exuberant love of massive parties in small fields, strangely placed fruit, and those pink butterflies.”
“You have no idea, Reveric. You have no idea... Though, I can think of at least one pony who would complain about the lack of fashion...”
Memories are beautiful things...