• Published 23rd Oct 2011
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Whiplash - Molotov Cocktail



A motorcyclist is struck by lightning. He awakens on the verge of death in a very strange land.

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Chapter 6

Canterlot was a true masterpiece of pony architecture. It was, quite literally, built into the side of a cliff, giving all of its royal and high-class residents a bird’s-eye view of Equestria. Several waterfalls dropped thousands of feet, completing its magnificent appearance of the most regal city in Equestria.

Princess Luna called upon her magic as she gracefully floated across the sky. She beat her wings steadily to maintain a generous altitude, as magic emanated from her horn. The sun slowly gave way, needing its rest now. The moon seemed especially eager tonight to take its rightful place.

No, not its rightful place. Luna wasn’t even going to entertain that thought. As much as Celestia insisted it wasn’t her fault for what happened with the Nightmare Moon incident, deep down, she truly believed it was. She had been destroyed, and overcome by some evil force. Celestia still seemed reluctant to even speak to her about that. She had always seen Luna as her little sister, and couldn’t accept the fact she could take care of herself.

But Celestia had seemed a lot different, recently. Something appeared to be troubling her, ever since that lightning bolt had struck the Everfree Forest during that day.

Luna even had to admit that it was odd. She had been sleeping at the time, and awoke after sensing a very, very large presence of magic. She knew Celestia was losing sleep over it, as she would see her pace back and forth each night off her balcony, staring off into the Everfree forest. Waiting…

The moon princess glided gently to a stop onto her balcony. She folded her wings as she entered her royal chambers.

“Sister?” Celestia called from the center of the room as waves of magic rolled through her mane. She seemed to be waiting for her.

“Tia?” Luna asked. “Aren’t you normally going to bed now? Don’t you have to get up and raise the sun?”

“Of course,” she smiled, but Luna could still tell something was wrong.

“What’s troubling you?”

“Come,” Celestia nudged Luna with one of her giant wings.

They dismissed the guards in the throne room. Celestia wanted to make sure only she and her sister would hear the conversation about to be had.

“There’s something I need to talk to you about, Luna,” Celestia murmured, as they admired Luna’s work in the sky.

“Hm?” Luna’s eyes widened, as she could tell it was definitely serious. She felt her heart might skip a beat. Her sister was finally including her in on things! Tia finally no longer saw her as a child, knowing she could handle whatever she was about to tell her!

“Yes!” Luna shrieked happily, surprising Celestia. “Erm, yes, do go on, sister.”

“Right, as I was saying,” Celestia continued, and pointed towards the Everfree forest.

“While I never addressed it with you personally, I’m all too aware you felt the disturbance from the Everfree Forest several days ago.”

“It’s been much more than several days!” Luna wanted to yell, but she was just happy to be included for once.

“Yes, sister. And it troubles me. Have you discovered the source of this, disturbance, then?”

“Luna,” Celestia paused. “Have you ever wondered why you and I raise the sun and moon every day?”

Luna was silent. That was her entire life, that was her purpose. To be a royal deity to the ponies of Equestria and give them the sun they needed for crops and play, and the moon for sleep and calm.

“Celestia,” Luna shook her head. “The thousands of years we’ve lived, I have never once questioned that.”

“Long ago,” Celestia’s gentle tone now sounded like a teacher lecturing a student.

“Please,” Luna interrupted. “Spare me the story of my banishment.”

“No,” Celestia replied. “If you’d have let me finish, you’d know this story took place long, long before that.”

“How long before?”

“Even I am not sure,” Celestia uttered. “But it’s the reason for the creation of Equestria, why you and I rule together, and why ponies must control the weather, take care of the animals, and why we must raise the sun and moon. There was a time, sister, when all of this happened on its own.”

“But, this all happens in the Everfree Forest,” Luna said. “The plants grow, the weather controls itself, and the animals fend for themselves.”

“True,” Celestia answered. “And even that boggles all of our scientists that on patches of our world, the environment seems to work without magic. And me, as well. But because of recent events, I believe it’s time I finally told you the truth of our existence. Are you ready, Luna?”

Luna nearly burst with excitement.

“Yes!” she replied as calmly as possible so her sister would see how mature she was about the situation. Unfortunately, it sounded like a dog yipping with joy after someone utters the sacred word: “Treat.”

Celestia took a deep breath. “We believe it was thousands of years ago. Equestria was once a planet called Earth. The weather occurred on its own, the sun and moon raised themselves, and the plants and trees grew all on their own. It was inhabited by a very diverse spectrum of creatures. The dominant species at that time was called humans.”

“Humans?” Luna repeated. “Those old legends… They were true?”

“Yes,” Celestia nodded. “They were an extremely intelligent race. In fact, most of our society and technological advances, even our culture, has come from them.”

Luna listened intently to Celestia.

“From what we’ve been able to piece together from artifacts and ancient documents, human beings were indeed very intelligent, even brilliant. They did wonderful, beautiful things. Terrible things, too.”

“Such as?” Luna asked.

“Wars, even genocides, like we couldn’t comprehend.”

“And…?” Luna raised an eyebrow. “What does this have to do with the magic we felt from the Everfree forest?”

“Quite a lot, Luna,” Celestia re-gathered her thoughts.

“It has been a closely-guarded secret of the royal family, since before even you and I ruled. While we have always been able to keep peace, it is only because of how strongly our society is based on values, such as friendship. My faithful student, Twilight Sparkle, continues to contribute to that constitution.”

“As I’m aware,” Luna replied. “Did they use magic?”

“Artifacts discovered over the generations have led us to believe that at one point, they did. But their technology was greater than anything we could ever hope to replicate. Very few artifacts survived age, but many others, even books, have been restored using alicorn magic. Archaeologists all across Equestria have discovered remains of entire cities buried underground, as well.”

“They are extinct, then?” Luna said.

“They are long extinct, yes,” Celestia looked off into the distance.

“And just what was the cause of their extinction, Tia?”

“I’m afraid I can’t really answer that for certain,” Celestia sighed. “While no one knows for sure what happened, it is commonly agreed amongst the scientific community that when humanity was at its peak, it had one of the greatest wars this world has ever known. Then, they vanished.”

Luna tried to imagine a human war, when she didn’t even know what they looked like.

“Why was it so difficult for their nations to just live in peace, then?”

“It’s hard to say, since it was such a long time ago,” Celestia answered. “They created very advanced weaponry, and at the peak of their society, several of the most powerful human nations on Earth had enough to destroy the world.”

Destroy the entire world? Even using magic that would be no ordinary feat. To kill, destroy, and dismember every living thing. That truly made these humans…

“Gods…” Luna whispered.

“No,” Celestia put a wing over Luna again. “They were not gods. They were like anypony else. They loved one another, they married, they had children, families, societies, even sports, arts, and literature, just like we do.”

“Then, how did-“ Luna didn’t know what else to say, expecting Celestia to finish for her.

“Maybe I should just continue,” Celestia said. “The Earth was running out of its natural resources. The humans population grew faster than the world could create the resources they needed. Over time, this caused a famine on a massive scale, and the Earth’s remaining super powers fought over any natural resources remaining. A powerful, religious alliance also played a role in sparking the conflict.”

Celestia looked over her shoulder, to make sure no one was present.

“What is it, sister?” Luna sighed.

“This is why I have ruled the way I have, and made such an effort recovering human artifacts. To learn from the achievements, and the mistakes they made, only then could we maintain peace.” Celestia nodded.

“Humanity may have achieved so much in their lifespan, perhaps more than ponies could ever achieve. But it was for that very reason they had the single greatest war this world has ever known. This war killed almost every last human man, woman, and child, and eventually led them to their downfall. It is for that reason that I have purposely shrouded any knowledge of the human race from the general public.”

Luna was about to speak, before Celestia shushed her.

“Come, I must show you something.”

She led Luna into the Canterlot library’s royal archives. Ancient pony texts and scrolls were under heavy guard until Celestia dismissed them.

“Only my sister and I are to be present,” Celestia spoke to an armor clad, white Pegasus royal guard.

“As… you wish, princess,” Surprised, the guards quickly left the royal library and left the two sisters alone.

Celestia’s horn glowed, and illuminated a bookshelf from the stone castle wall. It slid to the side with an audible creak, as dust filtered into the air along with it.

It revealed a hole in the wall, an entrance to a long corridor, with a musty smell of age.

It appeared nopony had been down this hallway for a very, very long time. Celestia used her horn to light the way.

They arrived at a massive subterranean chamber. It was quite large, nearly as large as Celestia and Luna’s throne room. Celestia used her magic to light several torches, filling the windowless chamber with light. Stacked upon shelves were dusty, decaying books and parchments, brought up from the ashes of human ruin by Celestia herself.

A rusty, decrepit engine sat encased in a glass box to keep it preserved, as well as other examples of human technology. Some of it looked very early, like a cracked, glass screen encased in a rotted, wooden box. Others looked advanced and complicated.

The room was almost like a museum. One section was unmistakably dedicated to weaponry; rusted, aged swords, shields, and loosely intact firearms, existing by only the narrowest of margins.

More decrepit and precious artifacts were encased in preservation boxes to protect them from decay. There were photographs framed on the wall under protective glass, some faded completely so that nothing was legible to the naked eye.

“This is nearly every human artifact I’ve found since humans disappeared from this earth. Larger artifacts are in a different chamber.”

“How did it happen?” Luna looked through certain artifacts. Celestia showed her to a peculiar arrangement of documents, many written in languages Luna had never seen before.

“These are the latest, dated documents I possess in the archives that describe what happened to humans.”

Two yellowed parchments that appeared to have been laminated with a material similar to glass were encased in a preservation box.

“Please, read,” Celestia insisted. Luna’s eyes scrolled across the first parchment.

“Their language,” Luna gasped. “They spoke Equestrian?”

“They spoke many languages and dialects,” Celestia answered. “But where do you think Equestrian originated from?”

Luna looked back to the article on the parchment. It appeared to be a newspaper clipping. If it was thousands of years old, how could it not have decayed?

“I know what you’re thinking,” Celestia’s mane rippled with magic. “We used magic to restore many of these papers and books we’ve found in ruins. Almost everything was destroyed, but we continue to find more artifacts occasionally.”

Luna dropped her eyes back to the ancient parchment. Adjacent to the content of the newspaper article was a photograph of a city street. Dozens of bodies littered the ground as a group of figures, donning bright, yellow HAZMAT suits, examined several groups of corpses. They appeared to be looking for survivors.

She could see patches of grass and trees neatly framing the street, their vivid greens reduced to pale, lifeless grays. Her eyes drifted to the beginning of the article.


New York Times
June 13, 2042

IRAN LAUNCHES NUKES, WASHINGTON ANNOUNCES APOCALYPTIC SCENARIO

Iranian president Al-Shallah and the Republican Islamic Alliance has claimed responsibility for the attack on the western seaboard of the United States. The death toll has been estimated at over one hundred million in the immediate affected zone and continues to rise. All contact has been lost with any North American state or territory west of the Mississippi River. There are no presumed survivors.

Fallout radiation clouds are expected to reach the east coast at approximately 8:00 PM EST tomorrow evening.

“Please cooperate with your local and state authorities’ evacuation procedures. What few fallout shelters remain are currently being populated.” Said US Defense Secretary, Allen Richman.

Washington has declared a complete state of emergency in all fifty states and has urged all un-evacuated citizens to stay inside and arm themselves for the days to come. United States President Stephen Grant has released this statement:

“My fellow Americans, it has been a very difficult time for us all as friends, neighbors, communities, and fellow citizens as we have endured the hardships of this world-war for the past decade. This country was brought up as a beacon of light in a world of darkness on that fateful day of 1776. Nothing can ever crush the determination and spirit of the American people.

But the United States has fallen victim to an attack from which we cannot recover. Anarchy has already broken loose in communities where survivors remain. Our military has suffered a massive blow and is no longer able to function. I thank you for electing me to protect you as your president, but I have failed. Islam’s holy war against America has finally been won.

The United Nations has determined that constant nuclear warfare across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia has increased the Earth’s natural radiation to dangerous levels. The nuclear contamination zone is expected to include every Sovereign State within 72 hours. The UN has informed me that in less than thirty days, Earth will no longer be able to sustain life.

It is with a heavy heart that I say… This is the end of the world, and we lack the capability to stop it. My heart goes out to those unable to reach adequate radiation-proof shelter. I urge you all to spend your last moments with friends and family.

I hereby resign as Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and incumbent President of the United States.

It has been an honor serving as your president for two terms.

God bless America.

-Stephen Grant

Former President of the United States of America

Editor’s note: We at the New York Times sincerely thank each and every reader for looking to us for the world’s top stories since our humble beginnings in 1851. We wish you the best of luck in the days to come. While we wait for the end, one can only wonder how we, as the human race, got to where we are today.

No matter what you believe in, may God have mercy on your soul.”


There was another document, in a preservation case just adjacent to the article. The language it was written in contained alphabetic lettering, but contained odd symbols, as well.

Printed on clean, white paper, it seemed somepony had recently translated the article. It appeared to be a flyer of some sort.


Vladivostok Komsomolskaya Pravda
14 June 2042

EVACUATION!

All residents advised to evacuate Vladivostok immediately!

Fallout radiation has created a contamination zone across the globe and continues to intensify. The Kremlin has declared Martial Law across all provinces of the Russian Federation. Curfews have been set in place from 06:00AM to 22:00PM.

Motorized Rifle Troops will be conducting evacuations from 07:00AM to 12:00PM and 16:00PM to 21:00PM on 15 June 2042 at the Pacific Fleet Naval Complex.

Please bring a form of identification and no more than one personal baggage item.


Luna could not find the words to express the many emotions she felt in her heart.

“This is… incredibly shocking,” Luna stammered. “Those were very desperate times, indeed.”

“Yes,” Celestia frowned. “It’s not clear, as during this period almost everything was destroyed on Earth, but the entire planet rotated, revolving around the sun, and the moon orbited the earth. Night and day occurred as their own.”

Celestia took a few steps back, staring into a glass preservation box on top of a table. A worn, leatherbound book sat inside. In scratchy, faded lettering, the title read “Holy Bible.”

“Until…”

Luna looked up from the newspaper clipping. “Until what?

“Until those who came before us… Started anew.”

“Who?” Luna demanded. “Who came before us?”

“Since the fall of man, two alicorns have always ruled. The ones we have replaced… I know nothing of.”

Luna slunk down. She was finally mature enough in Celestia’s eyes to handle this information, but she was starting to regret hearing it. She understood Celestia’s reasoning, though. It wasn’t humanity itself that was to blame for their downfall, it was those who lead them, and did not act in the best interest of their subjects. By learning from their mistakes and ruling accordingly, it would ensure prosperity for future generations.

“And while there has always been two powerful alicorns in Equestria, there has always been one alicorn, equally powerful as the two combined. You met that alicorn when you became...”

Luna shuddered. “No,” She shook her head. “No, no, no, no!”

Celestia knelt down, wrapping a wing around her sister in a tender embrace.

“After the humans disappeared, the alicorns that came before us renewed everything in their image. The secrets of what happened were lost in time, since recorded pony history began.”

“Why are you telling me all this, then? What’s all this buildup for?”

Celestia paused.

“Do you remember the day I banished you?”

“Yes…” Luna murmured. “I was so full of rage. All I could think about for centuries was how I was going to get back at you. How I was going to hurt you…”

“Just as the Nightmare began overtaking you, I spent almost three days meditating. I had a very important decision I was about to make. Do you remember that?”

“Yes…?”

“Luna,” Celestia nervously sighed. “I never had to banish you. I could have saved you with the Elements of Harmony, and isolated the Nightmare, instead.”

Luna was silent for some time.
“YOU WHAT?!” Luna bellowed at the top of her lungs. So loudly did she shout, Celestia was afraid the Royal Guards several stories up would hear her and blow the lid off this secret chamber.

“I told you, it was not your fault,” Celestia said. “Please, just let me explain, I-“

“How could you?” Luna cried. “How could you do something like this to your own sister? You banished me to the moon for a thousand years when it wasn’t even necessary?!”

“Please, Luna,” Celestia calmed her down. “If I had done so, the Nightmare would have gone free. Had that have happened, Equestria would have been no more. The Nightmare had already picked a host, and unfortunately, it was you who had to take that sacrifice. I’m so sorry, Luna.”

Luna squeezed her eyes shut, making every effort not to shed a single tear.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, it hurt me in so many ways, and I still have sleepless nights when recalling my decision. By banishing you, as Nightmare Moon, I had time to come up with a solution. The Elements of Harmony; when used by my student and her friends; was only powerful enough to merely disrupt it. Temporarily. It took the entire thousand years you were gone to cast the spell, but I found hope.”

“And just where did you find this hope?” Luna asked sarcastically, repressing her anger and tears.

“The past.”

“How?” Luna questioned.

“It was a very difficult spell to cast, even for me, without changing the past so that Equestria would never exist. I found a human being that had the potential, and his disappearance would not create a time paradox. Very subtlety, I manipulated certain events so they would turn him into what Equestria needs.”

Luna and Celestia sat together, neither speaking a word for what seemed like an eternity.

“Then the lightning in the Everfree Forest,” Luna started. “That means…”

Princess Celestia turned her back and spoke in a low, gentle tone.

“Yes,” she let her mane expand and contract in magical ripples. “I have brought a human to Equestria, and we need his help. And he will not want to give it to us after all I’ve done to him.”