• Published 24th Jun 2013
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Return of the Dawn - pchn00



A substitute teacher with what she's always been told is a mental condition begins to suspect that's not the entire truth when a familiar sun shaped cutie mark appears on her hips.

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Chapter 16: Vomit, Sweat, Blood, and Tears

Chapter 16: Vomit, Sweat, Blood, and Tears

I’m starting to hate the toilet. Not the concept of course, toilets in general serve a very important purpose in the world. I guess I hate seeing the toilet from this perspective. Which is me leaning over the rim, my muzzle nearly touching the water as I heave up this morning’s breakfast. Or last night’s dinner. Really I’ve been puking so much it’s all starting to run together.

That’s gross, Erin.

“Wha… oh.. didn’t even realize I was being punny. Instead of commenting on how gross my thoughts are why don’t you make yourself useful and magic us healthy again!” I don’t mean to sound as nasty as I do… lately though my mood’s been all over the place.

Shakily I place my forehooves more solidly on the ground on either side of the toilet and rise to all fours. Celestia’s tone is patient as ever. I’m sorry, Erin. I’ve tried several spells to expel illnesses but nothing seems to work. Just the fact that you’re sick at all is cause for concern. Neither Luna or myself have been ill since our ascensions.

I close my eyes and take a deep breath, magically flushing my sick down the drain. Carefully pacing to the bathroom sink I run the water and levitate a wash cloth, dabbing my mouth clean. “So why in god’s name have I been puking everyday for the last two weeks?”

I wish I knew, Erin. Things in Hope are getting more stable. There IS a working hospital with proper doctors, machinery and all. I think we should pay them a visit.

“Tell you what. We get more than ten minutes to ourselves to actually make a Doctor’s appointment, and we’ll go.”

Luna and Markus would be happy to meet with the visiting dignitaries this afternoon, Erin.

My hooves clop lightly on the floor made of… moon beam magic or whatever. I still have no idea how our siblings magic’d up this whole city but here we are. My own rooms… plural… are ridiculously lavish and spacious. My tub is more like a swimming pool. Of course now that I’m all pony, having an enormous pool sized bathtub isn’t a bad thing.

“Can I please go down there as something VAGUELY resembling a human?!”

I can sense Celestia’s growing irritation with my attitude. Erin…

I take another deep breath. “I’m sorry. I am. Really. Just… I haven’t been sick very much either. This is really exhausting on top of the million other things I have to worry about. Who knew running a province would be so much work huh?”

The Princess seems mollified by my apology, but I can sense she’s still worried. I’m not sure taking part in an important diplomatic meeting is the wisest idea in your condition. Perhaps I should represent us?

“You know what? THAT is an awesome idea. It’s all yours, Celestia.” More than a little eagerly I relinquish control.

As she settles into the forefront her eyes immediately go wide and she rushes to the toilet. I recline comfortably in my mental library and sip a lovely cup of tea. Let her deal with the vomit for a little while.

***

I wince as I hear Erin heaving up in the bathroom again. My wings keep flexing as I pace in front of the bathroom door. Princess Celestia’s been telling everypony that they’re not dying or anything, it’s just a stomach flu. Still if I didn’t know better, I’d almost think they were…

“Hey, Jake! How’s it goin’? Erin still puking her guts out?”

I roll my eyes as Ellie canters in smiling toothily. “She’s still sick, Ellie, yes. Is there something you needed?”

She frowns. “Weeeell…..”

I take a deep breath. “Spit it out, Ellie.”

“The crystal pillars are ready to be put in place. Princess Cadance says we can get started as soon as Princess Celestia shows up.”

“Premier Celestia, Ellie. She’s the Premier of New Equestria, not the Princess. For that matter Cadance is just Cadance.”

She raises an eyebrow. “So YOU call her Premier Celestia?”

I huff realizing that I usually call her Princess. “It’s going to have to wait. We have diplomats from Russia, England, Japan, and Australia all coming in. Erin and the Prin… Premier have to be there to greet them. Can’t Markus handle it?”

I sigh as she shakes her head. “Nope! It has to be all three of em for the big spell to work!”

“Alright. Tell Princess Cadance that they’ll be there this afternoon once the meeting is over, okay?”

“Yes ma’am!” She snaps off a sharp salute, ignoring my scowl at the female pronoun. Erin’s spell wore off pretty soon after I woke up. Something about my body rejecting the transmutation spell. I don’t pretend to understand the specifics, all I know is I’m a mare again and Celestia says it’ll be awhile before it’s safe to try again.

Gently I rap on the door. “Erin? Erin, are you alright? We need to get going for that meeting.”

The door swings open as the Princess steps out. Their wavy mane is the easiest way to tell who’s who now that Erin’s voice is the same as Celestia’s. “Of course. Let’s not delay any further hm?”

She moves to one of the large wardrobes and magically settles a very smart, finely tailored pantsuit around her large equine body. “You’re not going to uh… human up a little?”

“No. I’m the Premier of New Equestria, the pony homeland. So I’ll represent my people as a pony.” Despite her confident words she looked more than a little uncomfortable in the confining clothes. “...I detest formal wear.”

Sometimes these two are so alike it’s hard to tell who you’re talking to without looking at the hair. “Well it’s just for a couple hours then you can go back to running around naked like a lot of the city.”

Celestia laughs lightly and shoots me a mock glare. “My subjects got along just fine without clothes in Equestria for thousands of years, Jake Matsen.”

I nod. “I’m sure they did. And I’m sure in a world where pretty much no one covers their private parts that’s fine. But here it only reinforces the ‘ponies are lesser animals’ thing.”

She’s staring at me more intently now. Mostly on the stretchy shorts that cover said private parts. “I suppose you make a valid point. Would you add a note on my itinerary about making clothing more available please?”

I lift my wing and retrieve the clipboard tucked beneath it, making a quick note. A few months ago if you’d told me I’d be used to writing with my mouth I’d have called you nuts. Now it’s as natural as using my hands. “Noted, Premier. Anything else?”

“No that will do just fine, Spitfire.” She frowns. “...I apologize. It’s hard to ignore the memories.”

My smile is warm and understanding. “It’s alright, Princess. I don’t mind. At least it’s not Blossomforth or Flitter.”

She laughs aloud. “Yes. That’s true, you could do worse than Spitfire.”

I have to trot to keep pace with the much longer legged mare at my side, but I never complain. It’s a small price to pay to be allowed in her presence nearly all day everyday. On some level I know that she’s still Erin. The quirky, gorgeous girl next door but there’s this instinct. One I think every pony in Hope has that she’s somehow above us. As unreachable as the sun she’s named after. Being around her all day it’s like sitting outside in a warm autumn afternoon. It just makes me feel warm, safe, and comfortable.

Celestia seems perfectly at home in the palace her sister created. When Erin’s in control and they have some free time she usually spends it in the cabin. She brought the whole thing with her from Michigan, settling it out behind the palace like some kind of giant tool shed you’d see on a normal back yard.

The meeting is taking place in the eastern wing’s conference room. We have to practically cross the entire palace to get there, and I feel a twinge of annoyance at whoever scheduled it there. Celestia looks pale and exhausted just from the short walk already. “Premier, should we postpone?”

She shakes her head. “No. These good folks have come from very far off places to speak with me. It would be rude to postpone just because I’m a little under the weather.”

I frown. I know it’s an insane idea but I have to ask. “Princess… I don’t want to seem too forward but do you think you and Erin could be…”

“Princess!” We both look up to see a jittery Blossomforth descending rapidly from the open air courtyard.

She smiles patiently. “It’s Premier, Blossomforth. Remember?”

The newcomer pales beneath her already pale coat. “O--oh my! I’m so sorry! I keep forgetting!”

Blossomforth is a good pony. Good head on her shoulders, showed real promise in weather manipulation. It’s why we made her head of weather coordination for the whole province. She just gets a little nervous around Celestia and Erin. “It’s alright. What’s the problem?”

She calms down a little. “There’s a big storm blowing in from the coast. We need extra wing power out there to make sure it doesn’t roll over the city.”

Celestia frowns. “How serious?”

“Very. Thunderlane thinks it could be a hurricane!”

Celestia’s eyes widen at the same time mine do. “A hurricane? Blossomforth that’s impossible, we’re way too far from any coast for that. It’s probably just a really serious thunderstorm.”

“Well that’s what I told Thunderlane, Princess but he sounds really sure and he’s almost always right…”

I can see it in her eyes. She’s going to investigate. “Spitfire, please tell our guests I’ll be a little late, but I’ll arrive as quickly as possible. This bears investigation.”

I nod. “Let me give them the message and I’ll go with you, Premier.” I ignore the use of my other name, I know she’s distraught and it helps to not constantly remind her of how much things have changed.

“No, it may be too dangerous.”

I scowl. “Celestia.” Using her first name gets her attention. “I know you’re super magical and strong and such but you can’t go flying off on your own like this. You’re too important to our people to go alone. I know it’s a slim chance but something mighthappen.”

She slowly nods. “You’re right of course. Thank you. Assemble your finest weather team members, Blossomforth. Once Spitfire is ready we’ll set out to investigate this hurricane of yours. I think I’ll fetch my sister as well. Just to be on the safe side.” She tosses me a wink, and I smile.

“Good idea. I’ll meet you at the construction site. That’s where Markus and Cadance are.”

I watch her go with a sigh, my concerns almost forgotten.

Almost.

***

“Jesus christ how the fuck is it so fuckin’ hot out?! We’re almost so far north we can see god damned penguins!” My stream of profanity is getting more than a few looks from the construction ponies in the clearing.

You know very well why the climate is so unusual, Markus. Celestia has been working tirelessly with the weather teams to get our new home as comfortable as possible.

“Yeah well she isn’t out here bustin’ her ass hauling these big fucking crystal pillars now is she?” I glare at the last one. It’s a good thirty feet tall and half as wide at the base. With a resigned sigh I grab it and heft it into the air. “Bullshit makin’ me do this. She’s on her ass ‘sculpting’ while I have to haul these around.”

The ‘she’ in question is Cadance herself. She shoots me a glare as I finish, one I’d return with a middle finger if my hands weren’t occupied. “If you can grow these crystals and shape them with the proper runes, Markus, go ahead. I’ll do the grunt work.”

I snort through my nostrils and splay my wings wide as I haul the pillar into the last waiting position. Spread around the clearing in a huge circle are twenty of these fucking things. Cadance finally gets off her ass, only to start drawing a line in the dirt with a big stick. “Whycan’t we use magic?”

She just looks annoyed. “My aunt didn’t tell you?”

The runic circle must not be disturbed in any way, Markus. It may disrupt the spell. It is of a much finer detail than the typical casting.

I grunt and settle the last pillar into place. “Whatever. Hey! One of you ponies got a beer for your Prince of the Night?”

One of the burly stallions chuckles and tosses me one from a cooler. “Here ya go, boss.”

I nod my thanks and down the thing in one go. “Alright guys. I’m takin’ off. Do whatever Princess Nutjob wants you to alright? Celestia or Erin should pop by soon to get the ball rolling.”

Cadance shoots me another look, one I return with a smirk. A shadow descending from overhead draws everyone’s attention. Erin… or from the wafting mane, Celestia is making her entrance. Everypony goes ape shit anytime they show up. Either one, really, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore. A lot of the poor bastards still bow when they show up. As she gets closer Luna’s concern mingles with my own when we get a good look at our sister.

She doesn’t have a stitch of clothing on, which isn’t weird at all when they’re running around all pony. Something I haven’t let Lu do to me yet. Wings, horn, and goofy blue hair are enough for me. But the lack of clothing isn’t what concerns us. Her coat is shaggy and disheveled and there’re noticeable bags under her eyes. Strange still, she looks tired and worn out from just a short flight from the castle. Even her landing is heavier and more awkward than usual. “...you alright?”

Markus, may I?

I relinquish control and settle back. Luna moves to her sister’s side, dropping her voice low so the ponies can’t overhear. I look to the side and find the door that’ll lead me to Erin’s mind scape ready and waiting. With a shrug I trudge over and let myself into her prissy little library. “What’s up?”

She looks just as shitty as her physical body. Erin’s hair is limp and frazzled, the dark circles under her eyes too. She looks like she’s been running a marathon. “...are you guys alright?”

She just waves a hand, nursing her tea. There’s already a cup waiting for me and I help myself. “We’re fine. Just been really sick the last couple weeks.”

I hm as I sip at it. “Sick how?”

She shrugs. “Mostly we throw up in the morning.”

My eyebrows shoot up. “Just in the morning?”

Another slow shrug. “Usually just in the morning. Sometimes it happens late at night. Rarely during the day.”

“So you could almost say it’s a kind of morning sickness?”

She just nods dumbly again, then stops, looking at me wide-eyed. “What? No no. Ha! No that’s.. that’s just silly.”

“You doknow why mare’s go into heat, right?”

Erin stiffens and sets her tea cup down gently. “Markus, can you excuse us for just a minute?”

She lookscalm… but the fire in her fireplace is raging pretty fucking fiercely. “Uh… yeah. Know what? I’ll just go back over to my own uh… mind. You guys probably have a lot to talk about.” I really can’t get the hell out of there fast enough. Now that'sgonna be an awkward conversation.

***

“Sister, allow Markus and myself to lead this expedition. You should rest. I know not what ailment afflicts you and Erin, but clearly you are being taxed by a simple flight. If this storm is as dire as good Thunderlane predicts your condition would only hinder us.”

Celestia opens her mouth to respond, but I’m quicker. Are we pregnant?!

Pregnant?! Of course not!”

Luna looks at the two of us wide-eyed. “Sister?”

Celestia turns away and trots hastily from the construction site. “Of course we’re not pregnant, Erin! Remember what I told you about our reproductive systems?”

Uh yeah I remember! You said you were barren after the ascension. No more heat or estrus or whatever. But newsflash! We went into heat! And we kinda fucked Jake silly!

“L--language, Erin…” But there’s no force behind her admonishment. Celestia swaps places with me and I stagger on my hooves as I resume control.

“Celestia? What are you doing?”

Luna’s been standing still, head tilted to the side, listening to Markus talk I’d guess. When her eyes pop wide open and her hands fly to her mouth I have a feeling he just filled her in on our suspicions.

E-Erin, there’s… there’s another heart beat in here. It’s ever so faint but… but it’s there. We’re… pregnant.

I stagger and fall back on my rump. Luna rushes to my side, concern in her eyes. “Erin? Erin is what Markus says true? You and Celestia are…”

I nod wordlessly. My head still reeling from the revelation.

Her face brightens into a smile that looks really weird on my brother’s normally dour visage. “This is most joyous news! We shall announce it to the people! An impending royal birth!”

“Wh--what?! No! No no the whole city will freak!”

Of course, Luna isn’t known for her ‘indoor’ speaking voice. Her bellowing hasn’t gone unnoticed by the ponies in the construction yard, or by Cadance. “Ah… perhaps. Well that settles it then. The two of you will remain here in Hope. You most certainly are not flying into danger in your condition. Cadance, once Spitfire arrives please inform him of the situation and tell him my sister will be in Hope General Hospital.”

Cadance looks just as stunned as me. “What? She’s really…” She narrows her eyes and I see her horn glimmering. “...she’s really pregnant. We can have children again?”

Luna nods. “So it would seem. Erin, you go to the hospital immediately. This is an unprecedented situation. No alicorn has ever been with foal. You and Celestia need careful monitoring to ensure there are no unforeseen complications. Go now, Cadance will inform the father.”

The father. That means I’m the mother. Celestia... we’re going to be mothers.

Y--yes I suppose we are, aren’t we?

I get back to my hooves plodding down the cobblestone street in stunned silence. A mother? I mean… it’s something I’d considered of course. Maybe even with Jake in one of my more wild flights of fancy but… after all thisstarted I hadn’t given it a second thought.

“How the hell are we going to raise a baby in all this insanity?!”

...very carefully I should think. Try and calm down, Erin, this is joyous news. You love Jake do you not?

“Of course! But this is… this is a surprise.”

To me as well, Erin. Though a pleasant one I think. I had long ago given up the thought of children of my own. While I understand the foal is yours and Jake’s I hope you won’t begrudge me in wishing to be a part of the child’s life.

“What? N--no of course not. You’re practically it’s mother too. God-mother or aunt or something.. we’ll figure it out I guess…” My step is perking up as we move from plod to trot. “A mother. Mom. Some kid’s gonna be calling me mom.”

This is very exciting, I must admit. And the timing could be worse. New Equestria is thriving beyond our expectations. The fields are overflowing with crops ready for harvests. The weather teams we’ve sent to other parts of Canada are reporting favorable results, and our healers are hard at work in Canadian hospitals. And once our exodus spell is readied things will only improve for us.

I’m grinning as the hospital comes into view. “You’re right! This is a good thing! And oh my gosh can you imagine the festival our ponies are going to throw? I mean these guys literally look for any little excuse to have a holiday. Princess Celestia’s first foal I think is going to warrant a big one.”

The Princess laughs. You’re not wrong about that. I wonder what sort of cake they’ll have.

“Large ones I hope.” We share a laugh as I enter the hospital, the crystalline doors sliding open to admit me. The staff and waiting patients all look up in alarm seeing me step inside. I walk calmly to the counter and smile at the very familiar receptionist.

“Good afternoon, Becky. Celestia and I were hoping to see a doctor. An OBGYN if one is on staff.”

Becky sputters behind the desk. “A… a what?! Erin are you guys….?”

My smile grows wider as I nod. “Pregnant.”

“Oh. My. God. You’re pregnant! Did you hear that everypony?! The Princess is pregnant!”

“Premier…” I gently correct. Of course my words are drowned out by the thunderous cheering going on in the waiting room. Even the human citizens are applauding loudly, likely more swept up in the excitement than anything.

I smile patiently waiting for things to calm down. “So… the Doctor?”

She blinks. “Oh! Oh jeez! Ha! Oh man sorry. Yeah does anypony mind if we get the Princess in a little ahead of the line?”

Of course they don’t. One stallion with a badly cut leg even offers to pull the gurney for me. I politely decline and follow Becky into the hospital. I can’t help but look around curiously. It really does look like a modern, state of the art hospital. The Canadian people have been so generous in their donations and helping us get on our hooves. Of course we’ve proven to be more than a little self sufficient. Magic has a way of making things a little easier. “Becky, everything looks wonderful.”

“Ha! Don’t tell me, I just work the front desk. Though Doctor Steven has been talking about getting me some proper medical training. Going to nursing school, y’know?”

I smile. “He’s you and Jake’s family physician isn’t he?”

She nods. “He is! When he heard about everything going on, he was one of the medical volunteers who came up to help out. I guess he liked it enough he decided to stay.”

“Well that’s nice.” She gets the elevator and taps the button for one of the upper floors.

“So does Jake know yet?”

I shake my head. “We only just found out a few minutes ago. Luna wanted us to come in and get checked out.”

She nods slowly. “Oh! How’d the big meeting go?”

My mouth drops open. “Crap! I forgot the diplomats! I… I need to go meet them!”

Becky frowns. “Erin, I think you need to get to the Doctor first? They’ll understand. We’ll send a messenger explaining things.”

I scowl at that. “Celestia?”

While meeting with them is of paramount importance, Erin, so to is the health of your foal. They’ll simply have to understand. Perhaps some sort of compensation? Allow them a tour of the city and let them enjoy our freshly grown produce?

“Oh! Oh good idea! Okay uh, Becky once I’m settled in find Ellie. Have her give them a tour of Hope. If anyone can get folks relaxed and smiling it’s her. Send my deepest apologies and tell them I’ll be there as soon as possible.”

She nods. “You got it boss!” The elevator stops and we step off. “Head down the hall, just follows the signs and you’ll find OBGYN.”

“Thanks, Becky. Wish me luck!”

She grins. “Good luck, Princess Erin.”

I scowl in mock seriousness at the nickname my close friends have taken to calling me. Shaking my head I can’t suppress a soft chuckle as I trot down the hall. The staff on this floor are just as surprised to see me, and trip all over themselves to accommodate me. I’m already reclining on one of the larger beds intended for a human patient when Jake comes barreling in. “I got here as fast as I could! Cadance said you had some sort of emergency?!”

I snort in irritation at Cadance’s antics. “It’s not an emergency per se. I’m pregnant.”

Jake’s wings flare and she sits heavily on the floor. “Bwuh?”

I chew my lower lip nervously. “Uh… surprise?”

“Surprise? Surprise?!” I’m worried that she’s not going to take this well, but then her face splits into a huge smile. “Erin, we’re gonna be parents!”

I nod, my own smile matching hers. “I know!”

“This is great! Oh jeez I hope we can make me a proper stallion before the kid’s born. We don’t wanna confuse ‘em right?”

I laugh. “Jake, I think they’ll be able to grasp the concept of a lesbian couple in the worst case scenario. There’s more than a few same sex parents in Hope now… a lot of them of mixed species too. Those kids seem to be doing alright.”

She settles on the bed with me grinning ear to ear again. “You’re right! You’re right! Who cares about all that anyway?! I’m gonna be a dad!”

I smirk. “Technically a mom.”

“Oh no. You’re not ruining this for me. I’m gonna be a dad. And when the guys get here we’re importing cigars.”

“What? You’re not smoking around me or the baby!”

She snorts. “Of course not. But it’s tradition. Let me have this at least.”

I nuzzle her warmly. “You can smoke A cigar with your friends. Just one.

She grins. “Thanks, mom.”

I have a warm smile at that. “Pretty soon that’s what somepony’s going to be calling me seriously, you know?”

Jake just nods, grin never fading. “I know. And I’m gonna be dad. Or pop? No… no, dad’s good.”

The door opens as a cream colored earth pony mare trots in. Her raven black mane and tail straight and immaculately styled. “Premier Celestia, Miss Spitfire. It’s an honor to be your Doctor through this exciting time in your lives. I’m Doctor Mathiss. I thought today we’d start with an ultra sound. Make sure everything’s right where it should be.”

I sit up smiling politely. “Nice to meet you, Doctor. How does all this work? I’m guessing we have more in common with horses than humans?”

She nods. “We do. You’ll be happy to hear you’re not the first pony pregnancy we’ve treated, just the most prestigious. We have tentative procedures in place. It’s all touch and go of course, but we’re confident we can properly care for our patients. We have some exercises for you to follow, a special diet plan it’s recommended you adhere to as strictly as possible.”

She says the last part giving me a meaningful look. My diet is rather legendary around Hope, or the lack of a diet would maybe be more appropriate. “I’ll ah, follow the diet, ma’am.”

She smiles. “Good! Well then let’s take a look at your foal hm?”

I nod feeling giddy with excitement, no less so than Celestia who’s just as elated as I am. Jake climbs off the bed and I lay on my back as the Doctor wheels the machine over. Gently applying some sort of gel to my belly draws a ticklish giggle from me. Doctor Mathiss just smiles. “That’s not uncommon. Just try and relax.”

The machine hums to life as she rubs the sensor over where I assume a ponies’ womb sits. My ear twitches at the sudden strange sound coming from the monitor. “Is that…”

“Your foal’s heartbeat.” She furrows her brow after she says that.

My breath quickens in fear. “Is something wrong?!”

“Well no… its just… ah!” her frown turns into a smile immediately. “Well that explains it. It sounded a little odd is all.”

“Odd? Odd how?!”

“Well there are two heartbeats, not one.”

I blink.

Jake blinks.

“Two?”

The doctor nods. “Two.”

Jake and I look at each other simultaneously breaking into matching smiles. “Two!”

***

Jake has all sorts of paperwork and pamphlets we need to read over later. “I think we’ve made our guests wait long enough huh?”

She laughs. “You go do your Premier business. I’ll start giving these a once over. Sound good?”

“Trade you?”

Jake smirks and steals a quick kiss. “Not even if you made it a royal decree! I’ll see you at home!”

I snort as she flies off. “Ah well. It’s a good day! I can deal with a little political boredom.”

It might not be boring Erin. These good people have come to extend an olive branch to us No doubt wanting what we’ve already given Canada but still, even with all the ill will the U.S. media is generating, these people are wanting to work with us.

I sigh. “You’re right. Of course you’re right.”

“Erin! Erin! Eeeeeeriiiiiiin!”

I snort and turn look upwards as Lucas begins his descent from overhead. The young human teen has settled into life as a pegasus colt pretty well I think. Though his legs are a bit overlong which I’m told is common… hence the term ‘coltish legs’ really. His eyes are the same golden amber color as his sister, but his coat is a much deeper shade of blue while his mane and tail are white with streaks of black. “Morning, Lucas. Or probably afternoon by now huh?”

He stumbles a little awkwardly as he lands. “Thunder Hooves!”

“No.”

He frowns. “...Sky Shredder!”

“Mmm. Better, but no.” This has become a common routine. He comes up with all sorts of ridiculous new names for himself then comes to me to try them out.

“Cloud Buster?”

I tilt my head as I consider it. “Not bad. Sounds like a weather pony name though. That what you plan on going into?”

He shakes his head. “No way! I’m gonna join the royal guard!”

Celestia is laughing delightedly in my head, making it very hard to keep a straight face. “There is no royal guard anymore, Lucas.”

His face falls as the realization hits home. “...well then I’ll start it back up!”

I ruffle his mane with a hoof and grin. “If we ever need a royal guard again, Lucas, you’re in for sure. I promise.”

He puffs his chest with pride at that. “Oh! Uh… what time is it?”

I look up to the sun. “Almost noon. You’re not cutting school are you?”

He shakes his head rapidly. “No! I came to find you at lunch. They let us go home or eat out if we don’t want cafeteria food.”

“Alright. Well then you better get back then.”

I watch as he gallops down the street full tilt before leaping into the air and spreading his wings. A few disturbed pedestrians shout after him as he goes but I just smile. The upset folks cool off almost immediately, most sharing good natured laughs with one another over the colts antics.

Judging by the unusual amount of congratulations thrown my way from every pony I pass in the street, news about my condition has spread like wildfire. I just smile and thank them all. Really it’s not too much work to be happy today. I can’t remember the last time I was in a better mood to be honest.

I take a purposefully long route back to the castle. Meandering my way along the lanes and streets of Hope, content to browse the market stalls and greet my citizens. Both pony and human of course. Once word reached the families of many of the ponies who’d followed me up North, they’d begun to trickle in slowly at first but more and more arrived once it was made clear any were welcome… so long as they were willing to pull their weight.

For the most part there’d been no problems. There was a little awkwardness at first of course but once the human residents started to realize the ponies were still their sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, or spouses they warmed to the situation immensely.

The Canadian government has been amazingly understanding throughout this difficult transitional period as well. Since New Equestria is a Canadian province, residents are required to become Canadian citizens. Some friends in the bureaucracy have helped streamline the process a good deal however.

Our new human citizens had pitched in wherever they could. Lacking the magic of the ponies they were limited in what they could do, but plenty were out in the fields every morning working side by side with the earth pony farmers. Many had taken clerical or analytical positions in the city as well.

Our economy was on the rise. At first the food and services we provided were free, mostly in thanks for GIVING us an entire province of our own. Once we’d grown more settled and the food started to flow regularly the other provinces insisted on payment. And now that we had unicorns transmuting refuse to mulch, fruit trees, or something equally useful and the weather ponies got to work clearing the pollutants from the air, the entire country was overflowing with gratitude.

For the longest time Earth had been on an increasingly steady decline. Now however, my ponies and I appeared with a literal magical solution for all their problems. The Canadian government wasn’t the only one to take notice.

Many countries around the world have been opening their doors and offering ponies amnesty from less friendly governments. Very few European countries looked down on pony citizens. There were some that rose above the rest in their good will drives. The representatives of those countries were here today to speak to me and ideally iron out a more concrete agreement which would most likely end with my people doing for their countries what we’ve done for Canada.

This was causing some friction with the United States, of course. They’d imposed an embargo on any and everything to do with New Equestria. Not only that, they still refused to release the American ponies from captivity. It had taken quite some convincing from Mr. Gordon Crispin to keep Celestia and I from simply barreling our way into the holding facilities and retrieving our people. He sternly reminded us that as a Premier of one of the Canadian provinces, an act of aggression like that would be considered an act of war.

Which was certainly the last thing we wanted to burden the kind people who’d given us a home with. And so Celestia, along with Luna, had devised the Exodus plan. A plan we would be putting into motion late this afternoon in fact.

As the castle came into view once more I draw myself back to the present. Celestia has been quiet for a while now, which usually means she’s communicating with Luna. Probably about the storm they’re on their way to intercept. I know she wanted to do this meeting as a pony but I’m still more comfortable in a mostly human shape. I cast the spell to transform myself almost without thinking. My easy canter becomes a casual stroll as I rise to two legs, my bare feet lightly padding on the crystalline floor of the castle.

“Of course no shoes.” I sigh and weave an illusion of heels around my bare feet. “Best of both worlds. Look nice and feel nice.”

More congratulations come from the various ponies I pass in the halls on my way to the conference room. I hear laughter coming from within, definitely a good sign. Having Ellie play tour guide was the right move. Squaring my shoulders I step inside, all smiles. “Ladies and gentlemen, I can’t apologize enough for the delay. I had a bit of a personal emergency.”

The Australian diplomat, a well tanned woman with bleach blonde hair grins. “For personal business it sure is being talked about by just about everyone in your city, Premier. Congratulations by the way. Just had my first tyke a couple months back.”

Congratulations come from all the visiting diplomats soon after that. “Thank you. It was more than a bit of a shock that’s for sure, but Jake and I couldn’t be happier.” I settle at the head of the table, wings ruffling gently as I get comfortable. “Well! I’m sure you didn’t come all this way just to see the sights and hear about my home life.”

Good natured laughter come from the assembled diplomats as people find seats. I smile my thanks to Ellie as she winks and slips out the door. “Your Miss Eleanor is a very interesting young woman, Premier Celestia.”

It takes me a minute to realize who the Russian gentleman is talking about. “Oh! Ellie? She’s great. Everyone loves her really. I’m sure you’re all eager to begin our discussions but I thought you might enjoy a little peek at what my people can do.”

“We have seen exactly what your wondrous people can do Premier. It’s why we’re here in the first place I believe. In a scant two months Canada has had a complete reversal of fortunes. While the population of ponies is not as dense as it is in the U.S., Japan has a large concentration of its own. Many are eager to visit New Equestria, but just as many wish to begin learning to utilize their amazing talents as your people have here.”

I nod to the Japanese gentleman. “Well on that note, perhaps you would all indulge me a few words.” I clear my throat, and the five diplomats sit up with rapt attention. “My brother and I have been working on locating every pony currently living on planet Earth. Through several complicated spells we’ve managed to pinpoint each and every one of them. Now outside of New Equestria and the U.S., your four countries have the biggest concentrations. England, Russia, Japan, and Australia. We are also aware that you’ve been treating the ponies very fairly. Of course there would be an initial period of unease but you’ve overcome it far better than others.”

The group chuckles as they are all keenly aware of which country I’m hinting toward. “With that in mind, and as thanks for how well you’ve treated my people I’d like to make the following proposal.”

My horn shimmers as I magically summon manilla folders to the table before the diplomats. Sure I could have just carried them in but this was more fun. They seemed to appreciate it too. Each was curiously looking through the folders contents. “Premier, you truly intend to do everything detailed within?”

I nod. “I do. We’ll need help of course. It would fall to your people to provide the necessary training facilities for each of the three pony tribes. But I would send our best of each tribe to work on training your own pony populations to the point where New Equestria’s citizens are.”

I continue before they can interrupt. “The other option is that your own ponies participate in the upcoming Project Exodus my brother and I have been preparing. While I’m sure you’re all aware I can’t physically enter many countries where the ponies are still being oppressed, there is nothing that says I cannot magically bring them to me.”

The group start to murmur and look on with deeper interest. “With the aid of my brother and our niece Cadance we’ve begun construction of… well of a big circle of large crystal pillars. I won’t go into the surprisingly boring details of how such a complicated magical ritual works… but essentially once activated it will allow every pony not already in New Equestria to magically teleport to the province with a simple mental command. It would make the training go far smoother if every pony was gathered in one place. We could train your people simultaneously, and I, Markus, and Cadance would be able to personally participate.”

“We have no intention of forcibly taking anyone from their home our countries. And we certainly don’t want to cause any friction with you, our tentative new friends. The project is for the safety and freedoms of the oppressed ponies in the world. Once your people have been properly trained, they’ll be sent back free of charge to begin working helping your countries just as we’ve helped Canada.”

The woman from England speaks up for the first time. “What’s to keep them from staying here?”

I shake my head. “Nothing at all. Project Exodus by its very nature has to include every pony. That said, I offer my personal assurances you won’t go hungry. You won’t be ignored. If every pony from Russia, or Japan, or England wants to remain in New Equestria I guarantee just as many will volunteer to leave and aid your countries. If there IS any shortage on volunteers, my family and I will pick up the slack. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but one of me or Markus is equal to a hundred ordinary ponies easily.”

I can sense they all have mixed feelings about the information I’ve shared. “I know this is something of a surprise. And a rather bold step for us but it must be done. My people are in cages. Not prison cells, but actual cages. Like animals. Surely any of you can see the wrongness of this, and the necessity for Project Exodus. If I may make a suggestion, take what I’ve told you back to your various leaders. Inform them of the situation, and let them know Project Exodus will be going live in one week’s time. That should give everyone plenty of advance warning to make any preparations that are necessary, right?”

Gradually all are in agreement. I shake the hand of each as they depart, some with more haste than others. The woman from Australia lags behind. “Just want you to know, you have our support one hundred percent. We’re no huge super power like some folks but I personally understand where you’re coming from, and our PM will too. I can safely say our pony folk will be coming to study here. And if they wanna stay, I’ll put you up personally when you show up to turn the outback into a paradise like you’ve done here.”

I smile at the good intentions. “Well I’ll take you up on that offer. And you’d better have a big food budget, I can put a lot away.”

She laughs. “Hungry as a horse you could say”?

I groan and shake my head. “That was awful.”

***

Feeling my spirits if possible rising even higher I watch as the Australian diplomat heads to her own rooms with a casual stride. You did well in there, Erin.

“Gah! Celestia?! Were you watching the whole time?!”

I was. I wanted to see how you conducted yourself. I was very proud of you.

I snort. “You just wanted to get out of having to do anything.”

She laughs a little. Maybe. I must admit it’s nice to see somepony else take charge now and then. Everything I’ve seen of you the past two months has shown me you’re more than capable of leading our people.

“Mmhm. Well as soon as we figure something out we’re still separating. No offense but I want some privacy in my own head back. Plus this whole being in charge thing is super stressful.”

She’s not offended at all of course. While I’ve very much enjoyed your company, I too would like a body of my own again soon. I think it would be best to wait until the foals are born, but Luna and I have been brainstorming on ways to give you and Markus your bodies back. We have a few tentative solutions, and will keep you abreast of further developments.

“Well that’s great! I’m assuming we’d be ponies?”

Yes. Your souls are heavily saturated with our magic and are irrevocably Equestrian in nature now.

I shrug. “Eh, won’t be so bad. Jake’s stuck as a pony after all.”

“Erin! Hey! if you’re done talkin’ to yourself like a crazy cat lady you need to see this!”

I chuckle and turn toward Jules’ familiar voice. Not so familiar is the usually calm and collected unicorn’s look of panic. “Have you seen the news?!”

I frown shaking my head. “No I’ve been a little busy Jules. Pregnant and all? Talking with diplomats from huge foreign countries?”

She waves a dismissive hoof. “Yeah, yeah. Congrats. Now come on!” She races down the halls prompting me to follow. It’s definitely not like her to seem so panicked.

Jules leads me to a sitting room filled with plenty of staff from the castle. All are gathered around the TV.

“...again we are on high alert after the Seattle bookstore bombing, and unidentified object racing across the American border have been revealed to be caused by ponies. Details are sketchy at this time but cameras on the jets pursuing the object clearly identified it as a pegasus pony.”

The picture switches from the reporter to a blurred picture, but the cyan coated pegasus mare with the rainbow mane and tail are easily identified by anyone with even a passing familiarity of the show. I sense Celestia’s excitement at finding a sign that the element bearers are alive and well on earth, mingling with her fear over her safety.

“Magical experts have successfully determined that the bookstore bombing was indeed caused by unicorn magic. Their spell casting leaves a distinctive energy residue that can be detected by specialized instruments. We go now to Presidential hopeful, Senator Lance Corddis.”

The whole shop falls dead silent, and now all eyes are on me as my jaw drops wide open. “...senator?!”

The camera cuts again to the familiar face of my former doctor. Now dressed in a fine suit, the scrolling news bar beneath identifies him as the Michigan senator. “This… no. No, this is impossible! Not even he could…”

He could, and he apparently has, Erin. You can’t underestimate Discord’s cleverness or the lengths he’ll go to sew chaos.

“My fellow Americans, I address you today with a heavy heart.” As he speaks I feel a strange sensation prickling in the back of my head.

“Celestia, what is that?”

She doesn’t answer vocally, instead she subtly demands control which I give over. Without speaking her magic flares up and pulses outward going for who knows how great a distance. Every television in Hope, and the bulk of them in Canada itself shut off instantaneously.

Ignoring the questioning gazes of our people, Celestia steps outside and closes her eyes, focusing on her magic once more. When she begins to speak I know that everyone in the Province, probably the country can hear.

“Friends, family, and citizens of New Equestria. This is Premier Celestia speaking. The man identified as Senator Corddis is in fact Discord, the one responsible for our banishment here. He’s weaving subtle influencing magic into his broadcast. No doubt any listening for any length of time will come around to his way of thinking. While I cannot order anything of those not in my own province, I strongly urge you that if he appears on television again, or you hear his voice on the radio turn it off immediately.”

“As for my own citizens, any and all broadcasts with this individual are banned indefinitely in our Province. We cannot risk Discord’s corruption reaching us while our fledgling homeland is still developing. I apologize for the inconvenience, and hope you’ll all understand why this is necessary. Please remain calm in the interim. We’re safe here. My sister, niece and I will ensure the safety of every one of our beloved citizens.”

She ends the spell and gives control back to me. Of the ponies and humans gathered around only Jules approaches. “Erin… what does this mean? Are we in danger?”

I shake my head. “I wish I knew for sure, Jules. Celestia was right though, we need to stay calm. Losing our heads isn’t going to help anyone…”

I trail off as I feel a strange sensation in the air. A vague sense of wrongness coursing through the city. Taking to the air ignoring the curious cries from below I scan the city from above. “You feel it too don’t you?”

I do. Discordant magic. I thought I sensed it very far away but slowly approaching.

“The hurricane!”

Yes, that seems likely. But this is closer… within the city itself.

I squint, spreading my senses out and trying to follow the sensation. Then I zero in on it. I narrow my eyes and tighten my focus. A man in a heavy coat, twitching and looking back and forth erratically. All at once I realize why the sensation seemed to faint. It’s been slowly building more and more as I watch him. A whirling chaotic mass of magic building beneath his skin… reaching toward a very explosive finish.

“Celestia!”

I see him! We must get him away from the city!

I nod folding my wings and diving toward him as he throws his coat off. Ponies and humans alike gasp and run as his flesh bulges and warps beneath the burgeoning chaotic energies. “You freaks don’t belong here! You’ll be wiped away in cleansing fire!”

I ignore his lunatic ravings and reach out with my magic, attempting to seize him in a field and haul him into the air. I yelp as my spell slips away from him like oil on water. I try again but it’s like trying to grab an eel with my bare hands. He sees me coming and his manic grin turns into an unpleasant leer.

“Their deaths are on your head monster!”

He’s right. There’s enough magic building up that he;ll level several blocks of the city, no doubt killing anyone caught within the blast. Breath coming in ragged gasps I know what I have to do. Magic won’t work… which means I have to physically remove him from the city. Not slowing in the slightest I swoop in and grab him tightly with my forelegs, ignoring his ineffectual fists battering about my head and chest.

My hooves slam into the pavement hard enough to send cracks spreading in all directions, before I crouch and spring back into the air angling upwards. Intending to carry him as high above the city as possible.

...can we make it through this?

Celestia is quiet as we fly higher and higher into the air. The man growing heavier in my grasp as the city dwindles to a small speck below. It’s been a privilege getting to know you, Erin Rockwell.

That’s not the answer I wanted. But I guess it’s the only one she had to give. ...you too, Princess. It’s been fun. Mostly.

She laughs… but it’s a sad laugh. Mostly.

The magic in the man reaches its boiling point. I feel a searing heat… very similar to the heat I felt in my dreams. Then… I feel nothing.

***

“Jesus fucking Christ! What the fuck is wrong with this storm?!”

I know not! But I am growing as vexed as you are! Allow me control, Markus!

I do. Luna takes the helm and the magical barrier I’d been maintaining around myself and the other normal pegasi with us strengthens. I have plenty of magic muscle, but Lu knows how to work it better. “Cadance! This has gone on long enough! Together?”

The other woman nods, jaw set firmly. “This is chaos magic!” She has to scream for us to hear her over the storm.

Lu just nods back. “Indeed! No time for finesse I believe! Let us simply eradicate it with a show of force!”

Cadance’s grin is kinda feral as she nods. I feel a jolt run through my body as Luna gathers more magic than I’d ever felt her call up before. Our body is glowing like a star, Cadance is just as bright at our side. Together Lu and her niece fire off massive waves of magic that ripple into the storm. For a minute I think it’s not gonna work, then the black clouds start to swirl faster and faster toward the point both women through their spells. The storm is swallowed up in what looks suspiciously like a miniature black hole, before it vanishes entirely with a thunderclap.

The weather ponies start to cheer as Lu and Cadance share a tired smile. My whole body aches and with a grunt I realize she’s put me in charge again. “Thanks a lot for that!”

You are very welcome, Markus. This whole affair reeks of Discord. I suggest we return to the city and…

She feels it when I feel it. Judging by the look on Cadance’s face she feels it too. “Go! I’ll make sure everypony makes it home safe!”

I nod my thanks and turn toward Hope. My wings working hard enough that the ground whips by in a blur. I felt Erin’s… her I don’t fucking know. Her spark I guess. It flared brighter than ever for a second, then it was gone. Completely gone.

“Lu? Lu, what the hell happened?”

I do not know, Markus. Only that our sisters are in grave peril.

“Lu, I don’t feel Erin OR Celestia at all!”

Nor do I, Markus! So perhaps you could prattle less and fly more?!

I don’t like her tone, but she’s right. I fly straight for the last place I felt Erin. In the sky high above Hope. “She’s not here! Where is she?!”

Luna doesn’t ask as she takes over our body. “Your panic helps nobody, Markus. I will locate our sister’s.”

I don’t argue. She’s right. I’m flipping right the fuck out but I think I’m a little entitled. She dives for the ground and lands, already a huge crowd of sobbing ponies have gathered. “What has happened?! Where is my sister?!”

Ellie flies above the throng waving to get our attention. “Markus! Markus, over here!”

Luna is less gentle than I’d expect as she pushes a path through the throng. “Ellie. Tell me what has happened. Where is Celestia?”

I’ve never seen Ellie look so sad. “There was a man. He was… he was exploding. Erin swooped in and carried him into the air. He… he blew up. Right in her arms.”

Luna takes a deep breath and squares her shoulders. “Did her body survive?”

Ellie nods slowly. “Y--yeah. It’s… it’s real bad though. The Doctor’s dunno if she’ll make it.”

“She is at Hope General Hospital?”

Ellie nods again. “Yes, ma’am.”

Luna doesn’t wait for more information. A quick teleport brings us to the hospital. Everypony there in much the same state as the ones outside. Here and there I spot the humans who emigrated here to be with their families doing their best to console the pony folk. Becky’s behind the desk. She doesn’t even say a word as she gets up motioning for us to follow.

“Where is my sister, Becky?”

“In the ICU. They’re doing what they can for her but her burns don’t heal. No matter how many healing spells they use.”

Luna nods. “This is chaos magic. The scars it leaves are not easy to mend. Take me to Celestia immediately.”

The earth pony mare complies. She ignores the elevator and leads us to the stairs racing up several flights. The commotion is almost over the top until I realize who it is these ponies and people are trying to save. Princess Celestia has fallen, and with her so does any hope for the pony people’s survival.

Luna and I have our talents, we’ve got a lot we can offer. But the sort of hope and inspiration Erin and Celestia give? No one can replace that. And without that, things are gonna get real fuckin’ bad around here real fuckin’ fast.

Luna pushes her way through the doctors and nurses. When she sees Celestia’s body she gasps and staggers to her knees. Every inch of her body is covered in gruesome burns. Some of them still smoldering from the magical flames. Her mane, tail, and feathers are burned completely away. The only part of her that seems untouched is her stomach, the patch of pristine white fur standing out clearly.

“...she centered all her magic around protecting the child.” Luna steps to the bedside and rests a hand on Celestia’s shoulder, flinching at the feel of the burned skin. “Oh, sister.”

I feel a… drain. It’s the only way to explain it. Luna is draining away our magic and pumping it into Celestia. The smoldering flames still licking about her body die away. The glittering embers fade and our sister’s breathing evens out. The machines stop their wild, erratic beating as her heart steadies as well.

The doctors look on quietly, seeming not at all surprised. “My sister will mend on her own now. She simply needs time. …a significant amount. I trust I can leave her to your care?”

One doctor, an earth pony mare nods. “You can, Princess. We’ll protect her with our lives.”

Luna shakes her head. “A kind claim, but unnecessary. Once Cadance returns she and I will erect a proper barrier about New Equestria. We will sweep the city and ensure no more of Discord’s agents lay in wait. For now… simply see to Celestia’s comfort.”

Luna almost stumbles over the pegasus colt standing in the doorway suddenly. She looks down at him with a raised brow. “Lucas? What are you doing here?”

He swallows hard. Through Luna’s eyes I see something on his flanks too, a new addition. It looks like a silver shield. “I… w--well…”

His sister stands beside him. “Lucas was the one who caught the Princess as she fell. He tried to follow her up but she was too fast of course. But he y’know… he was there.”

Luna kneels down now, smiling. “Is this true, Lucas?”

He nods jerkily. “Y--yes, ma’am. I… I’m sorry I couldn’t do more.”

Luna tilts her chin up regarding him coolly. “Why did you do this, Lucas?”

He blinks in surprise at the question. “What? Why? What’s that supposed to mean? Why wouldn’t I have done it? I’d have carried that guy away myself if I knew she’d get hurt like that!”

Damn this kid’s got balls.

Indeed. Luna stands again. Magic coils around her arm and hand as a gleaming black sword forms. She lifts it slowly and rests it on the kid’s shoulder. “Lucas Hayworth. I, Luna Equestria, Princess of the Night dub thee a knight of the realm of New Equestria. I charge thee with protecting thy Princess of the Day as she recovers from her grievous wounds. Dost thou accept this charge?”

The poor colt’s eyes go wide in shock, as he looks to his sister. She just steps back leaving the decision to him. Gotta admit, my respect for him jumps up even more as he steadies himself and nods. “I do, Princess.”

“Then I name thee Sir Gleaming Shield, first Knight of the new Royal Guard. See to your duties with diligence, sir knight. As I see to mine.”

He even salutes. I know the kid’s gotta be freakin out at how cool and exciting this is, but he keeps his cool. Luna’s sword vanishes and without another word we disappear in a burst of magic.

A teleportation takes us from the hospital and back to our private place in the city. Not in the castle, but a small apartment we use when coming and going incognito. Get my girls here, Lu.

She doesn’t need to ask who my girls are. Jules and Ellie appear in our apartment blinking around in confusion until they see me, and figure out where they are. And why they’re here. Luna hands the reins back over to me.

Ellie swallows looking concerned. “What’re we gonna do, Markus? Erin is…”

I raise my hand cutting her off. “We’re gonna get our gear. Then we’re gonna do what we do best.”

Author's Note:

Well! Is this fast enough for folks? XD Normally I'd be working on one of my other stories in the rotation but this was just like... SCREAMING to be written nao. So I wrote it.

Comments ( 90 )

For the longest time Earth had been on an increasingly steady decline

This story take place in some kinda weird alternate history Earth?
One where education isn't on the rise, crime rates aren't declining, violence rates aren't declining, health care and life expectancies aren't improving, technology is stagnating, social progress has halted or reversed, environmentally friendly technologies were never researched, empathy is on the decline, food production is decreasing and world hunger is dramatically increasing, poverty and racism aren't on the decline, democracy and average national income aren't on the rise, that sort of thing?

Or is Erin just a pessimist (and/or ignorant)?

EDIT: Also, attempts at tying this story into the original 5s/4 seem kinda odd since it has gone so fully AU by this point that it can pretty much be considered a separate 'verse. About the only thing that the two have in common is that 25-year-old humans turn into ponies (or rather, they turn back into ponies, but even the reason/function of said change is different).

EDIT2: I updated this post with links to much of the data in question. Now, not everything has been improving or been improving constantly over the last few decades or centuries, but clearly very many things have been improving and life on Earth is clearly not in a steady decline nor has it been for quite some time.
So either the fic takes place in Bizzaro-world or the statement in question is just plain wrong.

3194881
Nope. I'm just a pessimist.

3194908
Oh. Well.

Hm, not sure how to respond to that.

So was that statement from the narrator or was it Erin's personal thoughts about the situation?

If it was the latter, I would've thought Celestia would have called her out on it.

Unless Celestia is also an irrational pessimist, in which case I foresee problems in the future.

EDIT: The thing is, pretty much all of the things I listed in my previous post have demonstrably gotten significantly better in the last few decades, and even more so over the last few centuries. Given that, it seems odd to make such an objectively false statement like

For the longest time Earth had been on an increasingly steady decline

I mean... it's like saying that the sky is made of cheese or something. It's... it's nonsense, it's an falsehood asserted to be true despite all evidence to the contrary. If somebody said "The sky is made out of cheese" you would tell them no, that's not right at all and point to the sky and show them and if they still insisted that it was cheese anyway you'd wonder what the hell was wrong with them. If you reject new data that doesn't fit with your existing views instead of adjusting your views to fit said new data, well... that seems kinda irrational and silly to me. If you are so determined to hold to your beliefs no matter what evidence against then might be provided to you... Well, doesn't that seem a bit unreasonable? I mean, being unconvinced is one thing. Being unwilling to be convinced is something different.

3194917
Let's just say I have my opinions and you have yours and leave it at that? I don't debate with folks on pretty much anything for a reason. Politics, religion, world affairs, economy. I'm of the opinion that everyone's going to think something different and very rarely will two people agree. Regardless of what sort of facts are presented.

I have a dim view of mankind in general and I'm afraid that's going to reflect in anything I write. Just the way it is.

3195035
EDIT: Okay, fair enough, I admit that this isn't the place for such a debate anyway.

I apologize, one of my berserk buttons is misanthropy. And, well, irrational pessimism. And irrationality in general.
And willful ignorance.

YES!!! This was the chapter I've been waiting for!

So, with Discord, AKA Lance Corddis sending suicide bombers into New Equestria, could that be construed as an act of war by the United States?

By the way, you already have your story completely planned out to the end by now, but if this were to happen in reality, there are a number of people in the US who would take this opportunity to literally rebel against the government. So there would be complete anarchy in a few areas. And Texas would probably be seceeding from the Union also. :facehoof:

I got super excited when this chapter was posted

This was so intense! :pinkiegasp:

3195067 Keep in mind this total fiction and taking place decades into the future. Who knows what will happen by then?

3195321
Right, kinda hard for me to keep remembering that since so many of the 5s/4 (including the original) seem to be effectively set in the modern day (i.e. the setting is virtually identical to today socially, technologically, politically, etc.). Although I think the original fic stated that it was more like 1 decade or less into the future, since the main characters were bronies and are just now turning 25.

If that is the case, then even assuming that everything goes to hell starting tomorrow I'm not sure less than one decade is enough time to qualify as "for the longest time".

So... either it takes place in an alternate dystopian-lite universe or we have an unreliable narrator.

3195337 That'd be about half their remembered lives at that point. That'd seem like "forever." And to be certain, this is not from the perspective an unbiased narrator but that of a woman who's been raised by an eccentric man who likely was quite pessimistic about the future of the world he lived in.

Oh sweet tiny baby Jesus this is amazing.:pinkiecrazy::pinkiehappy::pinkiecrazy::pinkiehappy::pinkiecrazy:

Der are fuckin rainbows pouring out of my mouth right now.:moustache:

MOAR PLEASE!!!:pinkiecrazy:

3195386
and to add to that, while celestia really has the experience to probably be able to tell when someone like erin's uncle is biased, she probably doesnt have enough data to challenge it, and so says nothing when erin hinks these things. after all, she can only know what erin knows.

3195410
You should probably see a physician about that.

3195337
In the original they do have some weird quirky future tech stuff mentioned in some of the early chapters if I recall right.

3195101
Thanks! I had planned to shift the narrative from Erinlestia to Lunarkus at this point SOMEHOW. Originally it was just going to be them slinking off to 'take care' of Discord. Then I thought "Know what? Let's crank this to 11." So I blew up Erinlestia.

3195082
Well! It probably WOULD be an act of war if it could be proven that he did it. At the very least he'd be in trouble with the U.S. govt. Though if you think President Discord is something, wait til you see his running mate. :duck:

3195067
Hey it's cool. Certain things push my buttons hard too man, I understand completely.

3195834

Then I thought "Know what? Let's crank this to 11." So I blew up Erinlestia.

Sheogorath approves of this. :pinkiecrazy: And so does websterhamster :pinkiecrazy:

3195834 The Doc told me to stop reading fanfics so I told him to go fuck himself...
PONIES!!!:pinkiecrazy:

I scream, you scream, everyone ice-cream!

3195067
Did you get those from me ;D?

Oh my gosh that was amazing! Best chapter ever!!!!!!!!!! Yes! Yes! MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :flutterrage::flutterrage::flutterrage:

pwease?:applecry::scootangel:

There are some good stories that make you just want to annihilate the badguy. Those stories are among the best of the best, for they are able to manipulate their reader's emotions like fine clay. This is one of those stories, or near enough to them as to make no difference.

Your amazing writing skills and technique never fail to amaze me. Keep writing. You have a great future!

3199654
Thanks! In my other stuff Discord ranges from the tragic villain ala Ice King, to the goofy nut from the show. This time I wanted to portray him as a genuinely evil entity. I think I did an alright job!

3200459
Thanks for the kind words, it means a lot.

What I imagine Lucas looks like:

http://www.dolldivine.com/mlp-fim-pony-creator.php
pony code: 0O5K0000203430AFFFC49D00900A9E217UN1837001000001H1FFFFFE0000000V107F3FCC004CB2

3203010
Oh that's cute. Very cool :rainbowkiss:

Not all the way throught this story yet but I am liking the heck outta it.:rainbowdetermined2:

3247657
Erin's a substitute teacher. She's leaving work when she goes to get Jake's present. >_>

It's in the same parent universe, TS himself has given the thumbs up on the upcoming ending. XD

Hmm. It COULD be the same apartment building, I never thought of it. I specifically ignore the mane 6 as they belong to TS in the setting, so they get very little mention.

I read Sunflower not TOO long ago, it was a really good one. Hope he makes a proper sequel lol

3277015
I have talked to Twisted Spectrum, discussed the ending and events in the story with him. He gave them a big thumbs up haha. So far as I know, Discord isn't showing up in his main fic.

3279173
Thilton is intentionally fictional, as is Belvue lol

3279233 But they were in Illinois, right? Anyway, on with the review of this chapter I was writing as I read it...

Now wait a second... by this point in the story, with international news about a terrirtory in Canada being rebranded, don't you think the main characters from TwistedSpectrum's story would have heard about this by now? And wouldn't Rainbow Dash (Anon, though I think he/she should have an actual "real" name that isn't "Anon") want to be in charge of the weather, instead of Blossomforth?
"but something mighthappen.” You forgot a space.

The runic circle must not be disturbed in any way, Markus. It may disrupt the spell. It is of a much finer detail than the typical casting.

You forgot to put this in italics.
"Erin’s mind scape" - Isn't "mindscape" one word?
"You doknow" - space missing again. And again with "that'sgonna"
"You’re practically it’s mother too." Use "its", not "it's".

A brief aside as I remark that this is a really weird Spitfire/Celestia crack shipping.

“He’s you and Jake’s family physician isn’t he?” Does the sentence "He's you family physician?" make sense? No? Then the sentence should be "He's your and Jake's family physician, isn't he?" (note the added comma.)
"smoke A cigar" Why is "a" capitalized?
"where I assume a ponies’ womb sits" ... "a ponies"? No no no. You mean "a pony's"

Two heartbeats? What if one of them is human? Hmm...

"over the colts antics." -> "the colt's"
"the Australian diplomat heads to her own rooms..." She has more than one room?

That was a beautiful tie-in connection to TwistedSpectrum's story, with the Rainbow Dash missile and bookstore bombing. Applause all around.*

"that he;ll level several blocks" - I think you can see the problem here. Very obvious.
"I will locate our sister’s.” -> change to "our sisters".

*So far the main thing I don't like about this story now is the female/female pregnancy thing, but what can I do? Oh well.

3280500
They started off in Michigan, Detroit to be specifically. I've been intentionally avoiding the Mane 6 because as a side story to another fiction, characters already claimed BY the original author I feel shouldn't be used without permission.

That being said, I DO have a reason why the mane 6 haven't picked up any of the Celestia related stuff, and why she can't find THEM. Which will come up at some point. If TS at some point gives me permission to use them, I will.

If not, I do have a scene in mind at the VERY end involving them but that's all we'll see of 'em.

3280538 Okay, that sounds good. I just thought they might have been mentioned a little bit more.

Very good chapter. A nice time skip that took care of my previous Jake concerns, (Kind of expected it). I would have liked to see more of Erin's pony adjustment period, but that's just because I like tf's and you did do away with a lot of redundant material. Good use of things going great for Erin before the fecal matter colides with the oxygen agitator, but I think that goes with pacing and you already know I love your pacing. And by the way. Almost done with Galaxy's. More on that later. (When I have time for the last two chapters.

Wait... Will the baby be born in the story, or in an epilogue, or...:twilightsheepish: (please say yes please say yes please...:fluttercry::fluttercry:)

Either way, my complements on over 200 followers! :pinkiesmile:

3296877
Thanks. And yes the twins will be born before the story is finished. XD

3320199
It gets worse for Cadance I'm afraid. Still, glad you're enjoying it.

3321516
A little of both I'd think.

Gotta say, I'm glad the Senator Corddis reveal happened, I was started to get more than a little irritated at the portrayal of the United States in the last few chapters.

I also agree with Humanist on the pessimistic take on humanity.

You had me, but then you lost me. I like your characters, and your take on PreEquestria. I can deal with you messing with the canon of Five Score universe, messing with canon isn't uncommon. But this chapter doesn't sit well with me, and for the life of me I don't figure out why. I think perhaps that the hurricane in Canada did something to my willing suspension of disbelief, and let me see other things that I don't quite believe.

It's all good I suppose, but after a point, I could only bear to read every third word.

I really hope the foals are ok. I also hope that they stay combined and even maybe fuse together into one mind, I love it when that happens.

Wow, this story so far is pretty good. I would consider this canon...almost. My reason being is that I have read a couple other FSDF side fics and some of the characters used in those fics clash with this one. The two I can think of off the top of my head are the following two listed below. I will state them and also give my reasoning as to why.

1. "A Love For Madness," by ShadeJak
Reason why: The portrayal of Cadence in this particular story seems more believable to me. Cadence draws a good chunk of her power from strong love connections. By Discord setting Cadence up to where she has a human life that totally contradicts her previous life and strength, it makes her as a character in this universe look more believable. Don't get me wrong, I like how you're handling Cadence so far, but she just doesn't have that believable quality to her like Cadence does in "A Love For Madness."

2. "The New Boss," by Dash Attack
Reason why: This story contains Thunderlane and has him as Sombra's human version's best friend. Thunderlane is now working alongside Sombra and his organization to create a safe haven in the United States for ponies and humans to live in harmony. Having Thunderlane in your story as one of the ones that got rescued the first time conflicts with how I'm piecing the world of "Five Score, Divided By Four" together. This is rather a minor nitpick of mine, so there really is no need to worry about it.

So in summary, other than these two, the rest of the story's events are lining up as canon for me perfectly well. :twilightsmile: Although, I will have to agree with Dogman15 (3280500) that this is definitely a very weird Spitfire/Celestia shipping...very weird, oh well.

I really liked, however, how you made the Canadian government so supportive of the newly instated ponies on Earth. It certainly explains quite a bit of why the United States would be so antsy with Canada after Rainbow Dash/Anon speeds across the border like a missile. :derpytongue2: And Senator Lance Corddis running for President? That can't be good at all. If Discord gets elected as President of the United States, I imagine that an equivalent of World War 3 would soon follow as well as some states possibly succeeding from the union and becoming provinces of Canada. :twilightoops:

The Harmonic Allies (Canada, Great Britian, Russia, Japan, the majority of Europe, and Austraila) vs. The Anti-Pony Allegiance (the United States and anybody else that's anti-pony).

Very good so far, I'm anxious to see how everything turns out with Erin/Celestia; what Markus/Luna, Ellie and Jules are up to; how 'Project Exodus' and continued relations among the Earth's nations goes; and above all, just the next chapter in general. :pinkiehappy:





~ Super-Brony12

3364633

And Senator Lance Corddis running for President? That can't be good at all. If Discord gets elected as President of the United States,

Oh yeah. How did Discord create a life history, documents, and implant in the memories of millions of people that he has existed as a person for years and year?

3364732
I know this may sound silly, but my guess?

...magic. :derpytongue2:





~ Super-Brony12

Any hints about when the next chapter will be coming out? :pinkiehappy::applecry::scootangel:

3384197
I'm working on them now. TwistedSpectrum and I were discussing on Skype how to properly tie our two stories together. Now that it's hashed out, the end of this is coming soonish.

3364732
Magic.

3364633
A world war would certainly be the last thing the spirit of chaos would have any interest in!

3384302
Hmm...you do have a good point.

Perhaps she "died". Looks can be deceiving. They thought Luna/Nightmare Moon was stuck in/on the moon forever. The book Twilight was reading in the first episode said it! And just exactly were is Luna/Nightmare Moon now?:twilightoops::scootangel:

You mean I have to actually wait now? Fuck!
patience is a key virt-
Don't make me slap you
But seriously… *drools*

3450184
Well I'm glad you enjoyed it so much. I'm trying to get it finished in time to match up to the end of the main fic, so we'll see! :x

3451134
*breaks out whip*
There is no we'll see, only a 'you will'

The story is well written, and increasingly fits within the Five Score canon (no doubt because collaborative efforts), but I can't help but notice that so much of the early stuff doesn't fit.
The main thing that is concerning me is time scales.
In chapter 1, the season 1 bluray is stated to be "More like thirty" years old despite the original story being set in 2020, which would make generation 4 just under 10 years old and the season 1 DVD set barely more than 7 years old.
In the same paragraph, Jake says there are seven seasons, but it is somewhat important to the Five Score canon that there are five seasons.

A lesser issue, because it requires counting out the days to be sure (and because it would require a major rewrite of several chapters if I'm right), is that it seems like it took too long for the pony transformation (princess special cases excluded of course). I recall the process for the mane six taking about 3 days from cutie mark to 100% pony, but the process seems to have taken at least a day or two longer in this story. Also, I might be misremembering it, but for some reason I think the order of changes was slightly different.

Everything else though, great. I do admit that I prefer the main Five Score fic and the Last Crusade side fic, but at the very least your writing quality overall makes this a worthy companion piece to the original. I do kinda worry that the huge political stuff you've got going will conflict with the main fic, but you're collaborating with TwistedSpectrum, so I'm going to trust that you've both got it all worked out.

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