• Published 10th Feb 2012
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Of Stars Descending - Taldaer



Human, deceiver, martial artist all these words have been used to describe me. Hi name's Stormcloud

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Ch 4. Truths and teleportation

Chapter 4 Truths and Teleportation

Don’t give me love, don’t give me faith
Wisdom nor pride, give innocence instead
Don’t give me love, I’ve had my share
Beauty nor rest, give me truth instead

Am I evil? There are times I would call myself evil but never really contemplate the meaning. In a sense I guess we can all be called evil for no one is brought into this world without causing pain. Although this pain is not intended it is still there. Which leads me to my point: Even the best of intentions can cause someone pain through ignorance. In cases such as this is there really an evil to blame?

*~*

Twilight was staring at me. Rainbow was staring at me. Hay, if I didn’t know better I’d say that the books were staring at me too. All I knew was that I had just managed to screw myself over royally. There comes a time where even the most skilled liar blanks out completely, this was my time it seemed. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t come up with a lie that could even begin to get me out of my own mess. So in the end I just accepted defeat and waited for the two mares to collect their thoughts. Twilight was the first to speak but it was nothing I would call a coherent sentence. She shook her head violently and then focused her eyes on me with a frown on her face. What was that behind her gaze? Fear? Curiosity? Both?

"What exactly do you mean your own dimension?" Twilight finally managed to ask me.

"Exactly what I just, in all likelihood, shared with everyone inside the library and quite possibly quite a few outside it too."

"Wait so you’re telling me that you really are from another dimension?" Twilight exclaims with her eyes sparkling in excitement.

"Short answer, yes." I answered carefully. I was somewhat baffled that she seemed to accept it.

"Wow this is so amazing a pony from another dimension here in my library! What do I do? What do I do?"

Twilight's excitement didn’t last long as Rainbow snapped out of her shocked state and started to launch another barrage of accusations at me.

"So you’re some sort of spy from another dimension then?"

"Yeah that’s me, the spy without a way home." I said, my voice dripping with sarcasm.

Rainbow scowled furiously and started to retort when Twilight interrupted us both by magically smacking both me and Rainbow on the head with a couple of books.

"Hey, why did you do that for Twi?" Rainbow exclaimed.

"Because we won’t solve our differences by shouting and speaking of shouting we’re still in my library." Twilight said smacking us again for good measure.

"So Stormcloud, could you tell me more about this dimension of yours?" Twilight continued, turning her attention back to me.

I ignored my craving to rub the top of my now aching head. This was it, wasn’t it? The time of deceit had passed for now, and it was now time to unravel my web of lies. With a sigh I let my eyes wander between Rainbow and Twilight. I didn’t feel like repeating this conversation more than once, so in a split second I made a decision. If the truth was going to come out then I would have all ponies of importance at least know of it.

"Well, I wish it was that simple Twilight, I really do. But this goes far beyond what you could possibly imagine. I mean for starters I’m not even a pony."

"What? Don’t be silly of course you’re a pony I can see that you are one." she said, cocking her head to the side.

"Ah, but then you assume that this is the only form I have ever had." I continued only to get a new question.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I wish I could explain that in a better way on such short notice. All I can tell you right know is that if I’m going to explain my origin it’s going to take a while. More than a while probably and for such a long explanation I really don’t want to repeat myself unless it would be absolutely necessary." I summarized.

"Hmm, I can see why. Well then; how would you like to go about explaining yourself?"

I smiled to myself. It wasn’t really manipulation, but their innocence made them quite easy to predict how they would act in certain situations. In this case Twilight's curiosity easily outweighed her sense of potential danger in the unknown dimensional traveler. Rainbow on the other hand was still glaring at me. To be honest I hadn’t even concerned myself to come up with a way to make friends with her. So I did the obvious thing and threw some more chaos into the mix.

"Well first I’d like you to gather the rest of the elements of harmony here and I suppose it would be a good idea to send a letter to the princesses about this is as well."

Once again Rainbow and Twilight stared at me with gaping mouths.

"H… H… how do you know about that?" Twilight stammered still recovering from my latest reveal.

"Let’s just say that I know a whole lot more than you can expect and that I will try to answer your questions to my best extent once the rest of the elements are here."

"Very well Stormcloud, we’ll do this your way." Twilight said with a slight groan while rubbing her temples.

"You can’t actually mean that you believe him Twilight?" Rainbow cried out.

"To be honest Rainbow I don’t really know what to believe right now, but I really want to know what he has to say."

"I still say this is a mistake Twi. You can’t trust him." Rainbow grumbled.

Oh Rainbow you don’t know how close you are to one of the most fundamental truths about me. Too bad you’re completely off the mark this one time.

"It might be a mistake and I’m not going to lie I’m upset over his deceit as well. But I will not judge him before I’ve heard his reasons for doing so." Twilight said with an air of finality.

"Hmpf, who cares about his reasons?"

"I do, but that’s not the point here Rainbow. I need to know this, so could you please gather the rest of the girls while I write a letter to the princess?"

"Fine I’ll do it if this is so important."

"Thanks Rainbow."

"Yeah yeah, whatever."

With that she left the library to gather the remaining elements. Twilight on the other hoof immediately started to draft a letter to Celestia, which left me some time for myself to contemplate what I had just done. In hindsight this was probably not the smoothest way to go about this, but the dice had already been cast and now it was time to see how they would fall. So I started to prepare myself for what would probably end up being a very long evening. As time passed Twilight finished her letter and had Spike send it to Canterlot.
She then started to try and pry all the information she could from me. I stubbornly refused to answer any questions about me or my home, much to Twilights frustration. She even tried to guilt trip me a couple of times to give her a straight answer. It almost worked and had I lied a bit more to her before my outburst I would probably have told her something. Eventually Rainbow returned with the rest of the mane six.

"Ah just can’t see whut’s so important sugar cube." Applejack complained as she entered the library, closely followed by Fluttershy.

"It was something about a mysterious pony dear, wasn’t that right Rainbow?" Rarity said as she followed Fluttershy inside.

"I wouldn’t say mysterious I’d call him evil." Rainbow called out to Rarity before heading inside closing the door behind her.

"Good you’re all here which means it’s finally your turn Stormcloud." Twilight said with barely contained curiosity.

This statement of course brought all attention toward me. Now five pairs of eyes were staring at me. Wait a sec we’re still missing one aren’t we? I carefully scanned the room Fluttershy had hidden herself behind Applejack after noticing me, Rarity was looking at me with recognition while Applejack held an unreadable expression. Rainbow was still looking at me with distrust clear in her eyes and Twilight was starting to become impatient. Yet there was a pony missing a certain pink party pony. Knowing her she would probably try and surprise me in some sort of way. So instead of trying to predict the unpredictable I decided to act on a random feeling. Without looking up I pointed toward the ceiling and said:

"Hey, would you mind coming down from there?"

"Oooooh you’re good!" Pinkie said while she dropped down from the ceiling she had been walking on.

"I’m Pinkie Pie what’s your name? No wait how silly Twilight already told us! Hey you’re new here in Ponyville that means… *GASP*"

"That you’re about to rush off and plan something?" I interrupted her in an amused tone.

"That I need to ru… HEY! You stole my idea you sneaky, sneaking, idea stealing pony."

"Oh I’m terribly sorry. How about I promise to make it up to you?" I was enjoying this conversation far too much.

"I don’t know… do you Pinkie promise?"

"Cross my heart, hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye!"

At this point Pinkie was beaming at me for making a flawless pinkie promise complete with all the motions, while the rest of the mane six were staring at us mouths gaping. I really have to stop doing stuff like this until after I’ve explained my situation. Applejack was the first to recover this time.

"Sweet Celestia don’ go tellin’ me that there are two of ‘em now…" She said with a groan.

Twilight just shook her head with a look of despair on her face. Well I suppose it was my turn now. I had gone over this in my head a couple of times already and had concluded that the best way to set this up was as if I was about to hold a class.

"Aight, then let’s get started shall we? Could all of you gather somewhere in front of me and get comfortable this is going to take a while."

The girls complied with variations of enthusiasm. Twilight and Pinkie practically flew forward and sat in front of me while the others more calmly took a seat with exception of Rainbow who stubbornly remained standing. I ignored her knowing that she would concede eventually.

"Well allow me to begin with an apology to those I have deceived. I hope my intentions and reasons for doing so will become clear during this evening. Furthermore I’d like to reintroduce myself to those I have already given the name Stormcloud. My true name is Cloud or at least that is my family name, and it is also what most people at home would call me once they knew it." I began my seminar style explanation.

"Well then introductions aside I am not normally a pony, from the dimension I come from I was a being called human. Or Homo sapiens if you were to use scientifically correct terms. The human is a bi-pedal creature that is closely related to primates, although there are many visual differences between us. The most important thing that sets humans apart from the rest of our world would be our mind.
With this edge humanity has become the dominant species of my world and by the looks of things this will continue until we go extinct. Now if you don’t have any questions so far I’d like to go along and try to shortly describe how the human psyche works."

I let my gaze wander over the assembled ponies but since nopony raised a hoof or started to talk I simply went on.

"Aight then, well first of you should know that humans are creatures of emotion much like ponykind. However the main difference would be that humans are subject to the complete spectrum of emotions all the time. By that I mean that the world I come from is not the happy and peaceful world this one is. In my world you can step outside your door and see every emotion conceivable just by looking at the individuals passing you on the street. You can see happiness, love and calm but you also see hate, despair and jealousy. The point I’m trying to get across is that although I love my race we are a complicated one with much darkness surrounding it."

My descriptions of humans and my world went on for hours, and as the mane six grew more and more accustomed to my style of presenting my unique situation they started to ask more and more questions. Which in turn got us more and more sidetracked soon we had gone from history to biology, to snippets of my life and then back to biology and so forth. Even Spike who had listened in from the kitchen joined in with a couple of questions of his own. Some topics left the ponies horrified such as humans being omnivores and others left them confused. Our current topic was technology and magic.

"Well as I mentioned before we humans do not have magic in our world or at least we have never been able to prove its existence, this led us to become a technologically advanced race instead. Over our years of existence we have created increasingly advanced methods of transport and communication and with that we also created more and more efficient sources of energy. Little did we know that many of these sources would lead us to where we are today."

"What do you mean by that?" Twilight looked up from the 5th scroll she was scribbling in.

"For all the marvels of technology we created there’s almost always a dark past to it. As I have told you, the history of my race is stained by war and bloodshed. Many wars have been fought over petty greed or just over difference in beliefs. But it cannot be denied that during times of war our technology has advanced at an incredible pace. One of these discoveries was the splitting of the atom. This was however done in the time between two of the largest wars in human history."

"You actually managed to split an atom?" Twilight asked in wonder.

"A whut now?" Applejack chimed in.

"An atom is the smallest building block we ponies know of, and everything is made out of atoms." Twilight quickly summarized for her friend.

"Yes we split the atom and if I’m ever going to give you a warning Twilight, this is it. Don’t ever try to duplicate the feat here in this world. You see splitting an atom creates a chain reaction which in turn creates a massive amount of energy in the form of heat. Unfortunately the fallout from this type of technology is highly dangerous as well. The byproduct after use will stay dangerous for many millennia after usage, and will continue to be lethal for most of that time. So once again, do whatever you can to prevent any further research of this in Equestria."

The ponies had a hard time digesting the many revelations I had presented so it was decided that a small break was in order. To be honest I would need a break as well if I had been brought here without prior knowledge. I had refused to go into certain topics though after I had deemed them unsuitable for the innocent ponies. During this time a letter arrived from the two reagents saying that they would be arriving sometime right after sunrise tomorrow. Pinkie took the break as an opportunity to launch her trademark rapid fire question session upon me.

"So Cloud do you like parties? Ooh, oh, do you like cupcakes? And music? Do you like dancing? Do you dance in your world? Do you have parties there? Are there cupcakes there? What’s your favorite food? How old are you? Which color do you refer blue or red? Oooh do you have any pets?"

"Aight let’s see, yes, yes, yes, no, not if I don’t have too, yes, yes, nothing specific, 21, red and no not at the moment." I answered with a smile.

"Now it’s my turn. How old are you? What is your favorite color? Who’s your favorite pony? Is there a way to learn Pinkie sense? Would you like to pull some pranks if we the time to do so? Do you like spicy food? Do you know why Applejack is looking at us with a terrified expression?"

"Hmm, 16, entire spectrum, all of my friends, no, YES, YES and she is not terrified she just wants to join in." Pinkie said cheerfully.

"What have ah’ done to deserve this?" Applejack complained loudly.

"Weeeell…" Pinkie and I started simultaneously before falling over in a shared laughing fit.

It took me and Pinkie about ten minutes to stop laughing by then the rest of the assembled ponies had sat and waited patiently for five of those.

"Aight then let’s continue." I said with a smile plastered over my features. "Now where were we? Was there anything more you wanted to know about my home world?"

When nopony showed any kind of response to these questions I continued with my life story. I spoke of my upbringing, my family, my interests and how I worked as an individual.

"So you see although I have studied for so long I still have a bit left until I’m actually allowed to teach in my world." I answered a question from Rarity about my education.

"Now is there anything else before I move into the final part of this explanation?"

"I have one." Rainbow said, much to my surprise.

"I’d like to know why your “martial arts” is so different from mine?"

"Let me take ask you a question first Rainbow. When you practiced it did you practice it as a sport or did you practice the original form?" I asked her.

"What do you mean the original form?"

"There’s your answer. You have practiced Karate as a sport a way of competing while I practiced its original form, which is designed for self-defense were defense equals neutralizing the opponent. Most of the advanced techniques are quite gruesome. I did not lie to you when I said that those two from the other day got off lucky. Now is there anything else you’d like to know?"

In response she just glared at me which I tried my best to ignore.

"Well then let’s move onto some more recent parts of my life."

And so I finally recounted my waking up in Equestria and spending the first weeks in the Everfree. Now that I think about it must’ve been fools luck that I didn’t run into any predators while in there. Fluttershy seemed to blush when I recounted my escapades while trying to learn to fly. Was there something I said was there some sort of don’t speak of flight training taboo among pegasi? It didn’t matter anyway so I continued to recount my literal run-in with Rarity and finally my dealings in Ponyville until the situation I currently was in.

"…and there you have it the story about my life and a somewhat complete description of my world."

"So now that you know how I ended up here in Equestria what is your verdict?"

I was met with silence. Twilight was still scribbling down notes while Rarity was giving me an evaluating look. Applejack was tapping her chin thoughtfully while Rainbow glared at me. Finally we had Pinkie who sat right in front of me with a goofy grin while Fluttershy avoided eye contact. Eventually Twilight looked up from her notes and spoke to rest of the girls.

"Well what do you think girls?"

"I don’t trust him." Came Rainbows reply.

"Hmm he certainly isn’t much of a gentlecolt if he can lie like that. But he did come clean in the end." Rarity added.

"Well ah can tell you that he didn’ lie about his life at least I don’t think so, even if much of it sounded like a bunch of hooey." said Applejack.

"I like him." Pinkie said plain and simple.

"He seems… nice." Fluttershy finally said.

"I wish there was a way to learn if he’s really telling the truth. So much of what he said just seems like crazy talk, but he had so many details and answers to most of our questions." Twilight said to the group.

I on the other hoof was for the time being content with seeing how this progressed. My part was done I had come clean and now it was their turn to see if they believed me. I had sugarcoated quite a bit of my explanations of the human world, but I had also made it quite clear that I was doing so. Some topics I had managed to skirt around such as my knowledge of their world I had explained that it was part of the popular fiction in my world. So although I had been truthful for the most part it hadn’t always been complete truths.

"OH, I know how we can tell for sure if he’s telling the truth." Twilight suddenly burst out.

"And how do we do that dear?" Rarity said while arching an eyebrow.

"Well there are spells that allow you to read another ponies memories, if I used that on Cloud I could confirm whether he is telling the truth or not." Twilight explained to her friends.

"Let me stop that train of thought right there Twilight." I said my attention now fully on her.

"I’m afraid that I cannot allow you to see my memories."

"Augh. Why do you have to be so difficult to deal with Cloud? Why can’t I see your memories?" she demanded to know.

"To make it simple Twilight seeing my memories would cost you your innocence. I have seen far too much to let anyone wander into my mind without a really good reason. The only beings in this world I would even consider letting see my memories would be the princesses."

"Okay fine, I won’t force the issue but can you at least tell us why you started off by lying to us all?"

"Wait I didn’t make that clear enough already? Then allow me to once again introduce the situation as I saw it. One; I wake up in strange world transformed. Two; I realize that I actually know where I am. Three; I decide that I would solve the problem by myself and leave before anyone knew. My question is if I had told you straight out that I was a dimensional traveler would you even have considered that I was a sane pony?"

That and not wanting to cause widespread panic. I thought to myself.

"I guess you have a point, but where do we go from here?" Twilight agreed.

"Well unless you intend to keep me here the entire night I plan to head back to the inn and sleep a couple of hours." The clock was already past midnight. Though normally this wouldn’t have been a problem for me, I had awoken very early two days in a row now. No thanks to the wonderful sun.

"Well I’m sorry to tell you Cloud, but the inn in Ponyville locks its doors after eleven." Twilight said sheepishly.

Oh that was just dandy. Pulling an all-nighter right before meeting a pair of demi goddesses seems like wonderful thing to do.

"OH! OH! I know let’s have a slumber party!" Pinkie cried out as she appeared upside down between me and Twilight.

"Well we all need to be here when the princesses arrive, so I suppose you can all spend the night here." Twilight said thoughtfully.

"Wooooo! Let’s get this started then. Pillow fight!" The Pink pony shouted as she pulled out two pillows from seemingly nowhere.

"Now Pinkie I don’t think we shou-" *POFF!* Twilight began to say but was interrupted as a pillow hit her face.

"Hey Twilight I think you’re losing." I snickered.

"Okay that’s it!" Twilight shouted as she magically pulled forth additional pillows.

Soon everypony except Rainbow, who refused to participate thanks to me, were pulled into a massive pillow fight. The fight didn’t last long though since most ponies already were exhausted in the end two remaining combatants remained standing, me and Pinkie.

"When you came here I was but the learner Cloud, now I am the master." Pinkie proclaimed.

"Only a master of parties Pinkie." I retorted knowing full well what was happening.

"If you strike me down now I shall become more powerful than you could ever imagine." I said as I dropped the pillow I was holding.

Not wasting a second Pinkie launched the pillow toward my face accompanied with her trademark giggle. The battle was over and Pinkie stood as the victor of the library pillow battle. Throughout the course of the battle I had paid attention toward how the girls had acted toward me. Applejack and Pinkie had simply acknowledged me being there and had competed to their fullest extent. Fluttershy on the other hand/hoof had avoided any direct interaction with me, not something that surprised me that much. Rarity and Twilight had come to some sort of silent agreement that I still needed some sort of punishment for lying. This resulted in an unrelenting barrage of magically flung pillows until they both were taken down by Fluttershy who had snuck in behind the two unicorns. Spike who hadn’t really participated in the battle itself had watched me from the sidelines with a disappointed look on his features. I suppose he believes everything I told him was a lie. Well another apology is needed it seems. I walked over to the young dragon and he looked up at me as I spoke to him.

"Heya mate. Judging by the look on your face you’re in doubt whether I lied to you too?"

"How did you know that?"

"Eh, human skill. I can read faces."

"You can?" Spike asked, sounding surprised.

"Nope that was a lie, but what I told you earlier wasn’t."

"You… wait what!?"

"As I just told thou sir dragon. My first conversations with thee was the truth, although slightly altered. Will thou accept mine finest apology though sir dragon?"

"I have no idea what to make of you Storm or Cloud or whatever you want to be called but I will accept your apology." Spike said, now sounding confused instead.

"Aight, most excellent now you wouldn’t have a midnight snack anywhere before we hit the hay?"

"Aaand you’re back to speaking in a normal manner, but yeah sure let’s head to the kitchen." The young dragon said with a small chuckle.

Spike led me into the library kitchen where we prepared some simple dishes. Dishes which we also devoured within minutes after completing them. Soon I felt a familiar drowsiness come creeping over me. So I bid my goodnight to Spike who headed up to the room he and Twilight slept in. The rest of the girls seemed to have made their sleeping arrangements in that room as well for the rest of them were nowhere to be seen. I chuckled slightly to myself as grabbed a random pillow from the floor and moved to the closest corner. I was too tired to bother asking if they had prepared a bed for me. They probably had done just that, but once in a while sleeping on the floor is preferable. I’m strange like that.

For a while I could hear the muffled voices of the girls from above no doubt they were discussing everything they had heard from me today. Eventually the library became the very essence of silence and I tried my best to fall asleep and soon I was drifting away into a deep slumber.

*~*

I awoke in a still dark library with an incredibly dry throat. A quick glance at the clock told me that I had slept for about three hours. What was it about Equestria and sleep deprivation? Perhaps I should suggest it as area of research for Twilight. Well anyhow I was now awake and the rest of the library was asleep, what to do? I walked out into the kitchen to get a glass of water. I began humming a tune as I searched for a glass to pour the water in. When I couldn’t find one I just took a couple of quick draughts from the tap before I made my way back to my makeshift bed. The humming soon turned into lyrics and I began to sing softly to myself.

You’re taking care of your instincts
No matter what you do
Your life could be so much better when everything is through
The demons that refused to let you go
They leave with empty hands
You got to give it a try
don’t put an end to your life
‘Cause that’s where you show your last sign

You gotta rise with me!
‘Cause you’re so vulnerable… Me!
No need for sympathy now…
Yet so admirable… Say…

A quiet sniffle interrupted me before I could start the second verse. A teary eyed Fluttershy stood watching me from the stairs leading up to Twilight’s bedroom. There was no doubt that she had heard my singing and my mind was kind enough to give me two possibilities for her current demeanor. A: My horrendous singing voice had made her cry. B: The somewhat dark lyrics had moved her. But no my mind was telling me that option A was more than likely the cause for the tears.

"What was that song? It was so sad. No sad is not the right word."

Well I’ll be damned it wasn’t my voice.

"That was one of the songs I usually listen to at home Ms. Fluttershy."

"Why would you want to listen to something like that don’t you get sad? And just call my Fluttershy please."

"Well music is just another way to convey emotion or tell a story isn’t it? So it’s only natural that it comes in all forms right? That being said, it doesn't really make me sad per say. Just thoughtful."

"Oh sorry, I forgot what you said about feeling all emotions everyday sorry. You’re mad at me now aren’t you?" Fluttershy started to apologize.

"Fluttershy… It’s impossible to be mad at you for more than five seconds, and to answer your question no I was never mad at you to begin with. Why would I be?"

"Oh I don’t know… sorry." She replied sheepishly.

"No need to keep apologizing when you’ve done nothing wrong. But for now I need to see if I can get a few hours of more sleep. G’night Fluttershy."

"Oh okay, good night Cloud."

With that she turned and headed back up the stairs. Well she’s just as timid as I imagined. I think I heard a door open and close before sleep once more caught me in its alluring grasp.

*~*

The next time I woke up it was once again to the beloved sun doing its best to direct rays of light straight into my face. Seriously what were the freakin’ odds of me sleeping in the one corner that was being directly hit by sunlight? This is what? The third time in a row? As I grumbled to myself for being forced to wake up early again I heard movement from upstairs. Somepony beside me was awake it seemed, well it was only natural the princesses should arrive quite soon if they kept their appointed time. Soon I was joined downstairs by Applejack who seemed to be ready to tackle the new day. She seemed to be used to waking early because of her famous orchard no doubt.

"Mornin’ Cloud nice to see somepony else who wakes early beside me an’ Big Mac. Or do all what did ya’ call ‘em hoomen always wake up at sunrise?"

"Mornin’ to you too Applejack. To answer your question no humans have become a rather lazy species over the most recent decades. Can’t say I do too much to combat that mentality myself."

"If ya’ say so Cloud, well let’s get us some grub then."

I simply nodded in agreement and followed Applejack into the kitchen. Breakfast was rather pleasant as the rest of ponies and dragon joined in as time passed by. Polite conversation was made and good food was devoured and before long breakfast was over. Since the princesses had yet to arrive the girls took the opportunity to ask me more questions. Even Dash asked me a few questions between her glares. It seemed that they accepted my version more or less for now until it could be confirmed. The small session for questions did not last long though as a three knocks came from the library door. Twilight rushed to the door before anypony else could react. The door swung open glowing with Twilights magic to reveal the alicorn sisters I knew so well from my memories. It suddenly struck me that I had no idea how I should act toward them.

"Good morning princess Celestia and princess Luna." Twilight greeted the two rulers while bowing her head in respect.

This action was quickly mimicked by all assembled ponies except me who was still pondering on how I should act towards the two demi goddesses. I simply nodded in their general direction as an absent minded sign of acknowledgment. If they were surprised by this they showed no outward sign of it they simply strode into the library and closed the door behind them. Celestia finally broke the silence that had fallen inside the hollow tree.

"Good morning to you as well my dear student. I take it this stallion is the reason for your letter yesterday?"

"Yes indeed he is. He has told a most incredible tale of how he got here and what he did before coming here. From what he has told us the world he claims to be from almost seems unbelievable."

"But Twilight I thought you could have confirmed his story by just looking into his memories?" Celestia asked with a hint of confusion in her voice.

"Ah well that’s the thing he…" Twilight began to explain before I interrupted her.

*<>*

"That’s because I forbade her in doing so princess."

Celestia turned her focus toward the stallion that now had chosen to speak for the first time since she and her sister had arrived. She had seen almost every kind of pony during her long life but this pony was a first. His features were nothing special, although she pondered why he would have chosen to let his scars remain. But it was not unheard of to let scars remain there were even a few ponies in her guard that had scars. No what left her baffled were his eyes. Every pony she had ever met usually had problems with meeting her gaze for too long but this pony calmly continued to look straight into her eyes. She realized that he was trying to read her just as much she was trying to read him. How peculiar... She thought. I can see pride in his eyes and calm coupled with confidence. He doesn’t seem to be the kind of pony who would be afraid to let someone enter his mind, so why? Suddenly something changed in his eyes, and the next instant it was gone. It had happened so fast that she was unsure of what she had seen. His eyes had seemed to grow cold and emotionless. No she must’ve seen wrong it just seemed so unlikely.

"May I ask why you did that Mr.?" She finally asked the strange colt.

He responded by tilting his head slightly to the right before answering.

"Cloud is the name you’re asking for Celestia as for my reasons, why it’s quite simple really. I’m afraid that my memories aren’t quite what your subjects are used to. Thus seeing my memories could be a one way ticket for losing the relative innocence they have." he supplied calmly.

She didn’t know what to make of this pony. He didn’t act crazy he simply stated his explanations calmly as if he was discussing the weather. She turned back to Twilight who stared at Cloud with shock plastered over her face. It suddenly dawned on her that Cloud had addressed her as simply Celestia without batting an eye. He just seems to get weirder and weirder. she mused.

"Well Twilight was this what he told you yesterday?"

"It was princess and I wanted to honor his privacy too." Twilight answered her mentor and fidgeted slightly.

"Relax Twilight, you did the right thing in waiting for me and Luna."

That being said, perhaps his warning might not be completely without merit. She thought. I’d better go over the next step with Luna before we do anything else.

"Sister would you mind if we discussed this a bit?" she asked, turning to Luna.

"Not at all Tia, I would like to talk to you about this too."

They excused themselves for the time being, and entered the library kitchen for a bit of privacy.

"What are your thoughts on all this Luna?"

"Well first of all I can’t really understand how a pony of this day and age could get eyes like that. Those were eyes that held much more than the average pony. I could see pride, sadness, understanding, anger, and experience just to name a few. It was strange to see eyes capable of showing so much in somepony who looks that young. He has seen more than most ponies see in a lifetime."

Celestia nodded thoughtfully. Luna had also picked up on his eyes and she had seen much more than she had. Well that was to be expected Luna had always been adept at this particular practice.

"So what do you think we should do?"

"Well I don’t think we should ignore his warning but we do need to get the truth out of this." Luna said thoughtfully.

"Alright then let’s rejoin the others."

They strode back into the library were the assembled ponies waited anxiously. Well everypony except Cloud and Pinkie who were caught up in a game of tic-tac-toe, seemingly not worried in the slightest.

"Cloud would you allow me or my sister to read your memories?" She asked the increasingly odd pegasus.

Looking up from the game he flashed a smile before answering.

"I thought you’d never ask. Although a fair warning, understand that my culture is vastly different from yours."

"I understand and I accept your warning now is there anything you wish to say before we begin?"

"Naa, not really. Just out of curiosity though who will be performing the spell?" He said with a shrug of his wings.

She exchanged a quick glance with Luna who nodded toward her.

"I will be casting the spell, now are you ready?"

"Ready as I’ll ever be. You may fire when ready."

With his consent she prepared the spell and lowered her horn slowly until it touched his brow. The effect was instantaneous starting with his most recent memories going backwards day for day, week for week. Then she came to a point in his memories where he really wasn’t conscious but something was happening to his body. She put more power into the spell eager to uncover the mysteries of this pony but as she did something resonated within his mind altering the flow of her magic. Half of it was now flowing into her.

*<>*

Celestia had cast her memory spell on me and I was seeing my life over the recent weeks flash before my mind’s eye. When it reached the point of my arrival something odd happened. It was like a bright light had replaced my memories then just as quickly as it had come the light vanished and I was once again seeing memories rush by.

The only thing was I couldn’t recall any of these memories. It took me a while to realize that what I was seeing was Celestias memories. The amount of memories was overwhelming, a life spanning over millennia does contain a lot of memories. Before I knew what had happened I found myself laughing and crying at the same time as memory after memory filled with emotions washed over my mind. In the torrential mass of images, tastes, smells and so on those tied to a strong emotion were those that were burned into my own memory. My laughter and tears soon had a meaning. For I was crying for the race lost thousands of years ago and a sister lost, and I was laughing from all the joys and marvels that was life coupled with a sister returned. When the images finally stopped flashing I was humbled.

*<>*

She didn’t really have time to ponder the implications of her spell going haywire for what she was witnessing in Clouds memories were unlike anything she had ever seen. He had not been lying when he claimed to be from another world. Doing her best to limit all the new information his memories provided she focused mainly on what Cloud experienced. How could anypony survive in such an environment? Cloud had seen so much misery and violence through different sources that it had numbed him to it. At points she almost manually ended the spell due to the nature of some of the memories. Not everything was bad though. She could see memories of Cloud roaring with laughter surrounded by friends and family. She saw memories of diligent training and study for him to achieve his goals in life. The more she saw the more intrigued she became. He was no pony that much was certain and he was not the most honest of individuals but bellow it all was an easy going persona hidden away from sight. He reminds me a lot of me during Luna’s banishment she realized just before the spell ended.

*<>*

As the maelstrom of images finally ended I looked up at the sun goddess that was now studying me. What would she think? She had seen who I truly was, and in return I had seen her life. Not that I could make any sense of most of the information that had been flickering past. Although my emotional state was in complete disarray. I couldn’t shake the feeling that she was a lot more like me than I had first assumed. She was hiding behind a façade created for the eyes of the public, while only showing her true colors to a few chosen. Not that different from my many masks. I caught myself thinking before an impatient Rainbow raised her voice.

"Well is he telling the truth or what?"

Celestia broke away from my gaze and looked out over the assembled ponies in the library.

"Yes, he’s telling the truth and although I cannot stand for his deceit and actions here he acted with the best of intentions. It may sound strange but from what I saw his choices were either seen as necessity, or they were forced upon him. He’s not without guilt but he acted as best he could in a complicated situation." she declared.

"So then you also realize that I cannot stay longer than I have too?" I asked the sun goddess.

"No you’re correct in that assumption Cloud and I do believe that I know a spell that will allow me to send you home. However I will need to find it in the Canterlot library before we can send you on your way."

This was a lot more than I could have ever hoped for. Now it was only a matter of time before I could head home. My time in Equestria hadn’t really been a vacation so to speak.

"I will gladly accept that condition Celestia. Might I be so bold to ask for an approximate time for you to find this spell?"

"It shouldn’t take more than a day or perhaps two. Is there something bothering you?"

"No I just wanted to know how much time I had to pay for my stay at the inn and clear up some unfinished business." I said truthfully.

"Well then you should have plenty of time, but for now my sister and I must leave for Canterlot. Oh, and I will send a letter to Twilight so you know when to expect us again. Take care girls and Twilight try to relax a bit more you seem a bit tired."

The two demi goddesses teleported away from the library with a flash leaving the rest of the ponies to ponder what had just been revealed. I was the first one to react as I started to make my out of the library. Nopony stopped me as I opened the door and flew off into the morning sky.

*~*

During the rest of the day I tried to contact Swiftmend but he was conveniently “busy” every time I came calling for him. In the end I gave up if he wasn’t ready for our exchange of truths there was nothing more I could do.

The rest of the day I spent lazing around Ponyville taking my time to really appreciate where was for the first time since my arrival. I visited Sugar cube corner much to Pinkies delight, I gave Twilight a personal chance to ask me questions and I visited Rarity’s boutique to once again extend my apologies for my behavior. I contemplated trying to make nice with Rainbow as well, but since I never found her that option was a no go. In the evening I returned to the inn to spend my hopefully final night there. Jadechaser and Carrotstep had continued their travels so it was just me, Meadow and Dreamcatcher at the inn’s dinner table. I went to sleep early that day due to my lack of proper sleep.

The following morning Meadow called upon my attention as I made my way downstairs to eat breakfast.

"Hey Storm, I’ve got a letter here addressed to you."

"Thank you Meadow I’ll read that after breakfast." I said as I took the scroll from her hoof.

So after a quick breakfast I headed back up to my room to read my letter.

Good day Cloud.

I’m writing this letter to inform you that princess Celestia has found the spell she mentioned yesterday.
She will be arriving this evening at the library to send you on your way home.

Best regards Twilight Sparkle.

As I rolled up the letter a smile spread over my face. That was quick; better remember to thank them for doing this. I thought to myself. I was going home and that was all that mattered. In a different time and a different situation I would have enjoyed my stay after all I was rather fond of this world and its inhabitants. The truth however was that I didn’t belong here and the fact that I already had a good life back on earth so there really wasn’t any reason to stay. Now I had another matter to attend namely to pay for my stay here and then spend a final day in Ponyville.

After a quick transaction of bits with Meadow I journeyed out into Ponyville for the final time. Not really having a plan on where to go I strolled down the streets aimlessly. Soon I found myself outside the Ponyville Infirmare:y. Well perhaps I should check if I can find Swift today. With that thought I opened the door only to come face to face with Hoops. Recognition flashed across his face as he meet my gaze. He mumbled something that sounded like “sorry” before he scrambled past me and flew off. Well at least he didn’t try to punch my face this time. I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to find Swift who somehow managed to avoid me today as well. Well it’s his loss then I don’t have time for this anymore. The rest of the day went by rather quickly and soon I once again found myself outside the library. After knocking I was let inside by Twilight and was met by a surprise. All of the mane six had gathered there and were looking straight at me.

"Okay, what’s the occasion?" I asked unsure of why they had all gathered.

"We wanted to see you off silly." Pinkie answered cheerfully.

"Oh you really didn’t have to do that you know, but I appreciate the gesture."

"See I didn’t need to come here!" Rainbow complained loudly.

Oh for the love of… I have known multiple people who are keen to hold a grudge but this is starting to get ridiculous.

"Well Rainbow try to see the bright side of the situation after this is through you never have to deal with me again."

Rainbow simply huffed as a response but seemed to brighten up at the thought of never having to see me again. The rest of the girls were a mix of farewells and well wishes for the future. Pinkie was bawling her eyes out for the prospect of losing a friend until I pointed out that she already had a town full of them. I exchanged some words with everypony that had gathered in the library but eventually there was a knock on the door signaling the arrival of the sun princess.

"Good evening my little ponies." Celestia greeted everypony in the library as Twilight let her in. She then proceeded to turn her attention toward me.

"Are you ready to go Cloud?"

"Yep just let me do one last thing."

I rose up on two hooves and turned to face the mane six. Rainbow tensed up visibly but didn’t do anything. What I did next shocked them all as bowed before them in a sign of respect.

"Thank you, for understanding." I simply stated before getting back on four hooves.

"Well Celestia I’m as ready as I’ll ever be."

Celestia nodded in response and began to gather magic to her horn. I took one last look at the six mares and dragon that had gathered in the library. I flashed them a last smile and said what would probably be my last words as a pony.

"Hey no need to be sad, I’m only returning to my proper place. This is Cloud signing off."

Celestia's spell hit me a moment later, and the world became a brilliant white. For the second time in a matter of weeks I experienced the odd melting/molding feeling as bones were rearranged and my body started to change its shape. I closed my eyes for a second and when I opened them again I was met with a familiar sight. I was standing in the living room of my small flat. Although the room was dark there was no mistaking it, I was home again. Looking down at my body I noticed that I the only clothing I was wearing was a pair of boxers but that was only a minor inconvenience now. I raised my hands in triumph. My adventure was at an end I was finally home and I could continue on with my life. Now let’s just check the… My thoughts were interrupted as my living room was lit up by a flash followed by a soft *thud* and a soft groan. I turned to see an unconscious female wearing a snow white gown and golden jewelry lying on the floor behind me. Her long hair went from pink to teal like the colors of a rainbow would.

My first thought was: Oh shit!
The second one was: Hey I can curse again!







A/N:

Hello Bronies, Taldaer here. Allow me first to apologize for the increasing gaps between chapters. As I have mentioned before there are a couple of reasons for this but mainly it's me being lazy. Also I'm really uncertain about how this chapter turned out so some feedback would be greatly appreciated! So rate, comment but above all enjoy.