• Published 9th Jul 2013
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Star Shepherd - Plaguemouse



The Goddess of night has many duties.

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Wrongs


A chill pierced through the Goddess's spine at the sight of her subject. She felt a wave of something rising with in her. Calling upon her magic, she pulled the body from under the desk, and sweeping away the endless bottles, laid her out in the open. With solemn grace, she pushed her onto her back and folded her hooves over her stilled heart. Slipping off a silver slipper, with a bare hoof she pushed back the unicorn's indigo locks from her face, and leaning over pressed a silent kiss on her cooling brow. How like a mother kissing her foal goodnight!

Sleep right, sleep tight, goodnight, goodnight, be you winged or horned or hooved, sleep tight.

Wordlessly, Luna reclaimed her shining shoe and slipped out the door into the lighted bustling room. Perhaps it was her demeanor or perhaps it was nothing, but the ponies fell silent as their dark Princess reentered the room. She looked upon them, her face passive. Silently, like a night breeze she unfurled her pinions from her side so that all present knew the weight of her words and her power as an Alicorn Princess.

"We leave now" she bellowed in the deep heraldic voice of her station. "See to it that the unicorn Inkstar is attended to Immediately."

Her royal posture did not falter until she had left the scriptorium far behind, and even then, not until she could no longer hear the hustle and bustle in the distance. Not until no eye was present to see did the pain show, etched on the brow of their Princess's elegant face. There was a wrongness here. Luna knew it, as clearly as she knew the fatigue creeping into her bones. She paced the endless marble halls of her castle home, wandering an endless loop towards her bed she knew she would not reach. There was a wrongness here.

It filled her stomach and turned it's empty caverns into a writhing mass of bile and terror. It slithered up her spine like a wicked serpent, biting hold of her skull with it's wicked maw. There was something terribly, horribly wrong. Her subjects suffered before her, and even with the powers of a God she was impotent against it. A child died in her sleep, and all she could do was help her pass. Through her fevered dreams she had heard the doctor, her mother, powerless against the infection that had spread in her body, the only comfort to give was sleep.

And the unicorn Inkstar, so wronged by the world, so lost, seeking the peace of dreams through opiates to banish her from the real world, only to die by that which gave her escape. Were they the only ones, she might could understand. But no! No. There were so many, night after night. Dying children, pained hearts hiding, dark night terrors all eclipsed the unlimited perfect potential of dreams, and all falling on the shoulders of the Dark Princess.

Why was her night an escape? Why was her night abused, the pain of her sister's day thrust upon her innocent beautiful night? She had not designed dreams to hide reality. She had given them as a gift, let the earth bound fly! Let the colors flow, the imagination soar! Let the minds of her subjects continue to play even as they slept through her night! Her subjects would dream about her, live more fully, more richly here than they ever could in Celestia's day! So why was her dream world marred with nightmares? Why did ponies use it to hide instead of explore? It was not right. The day was Celestia's domain, as she so proudly claimed it. Luna stood beside her subjects in the dark of their worst nightmares. She saw their crying fearful faces, heard their tearful cries, felt each of their names stained forever on her lips. Why not Celestia?

Celestia. Goddess of the sun. Why shouldn't the all powerful Celestia stand by her subjects as they die and cry and hurt? Why shouldn't Celestia help fix it? Luna smiled broadly, not realizing she had simply stopped dead in the hallway. She will help fix the pain of nightmares by helping Celestia fix the pain of the day. In a second, the moon Goddess was in full canter towards the throne room.

*************

Princess Celestia, Goddess of the Sun, ruler of all Equestria and it's inhabitants reclined recumbent on a velvet throne of polished gold. Her coat, so white and pure in it's radiance seemed to glow in inner light, bounced it's reflection off the priceless chair, creating a million million delicate reflective lights about her, like a halo surrounding a serephian being.
Before her bowed a stallion, speaking fervently about pointless court related things, at least pointless to Celestia. The concerns of a mortal politician were mere dust motes in the mind of an immortal Sun God. It should be enough for him to merely bask in her glory.

Yes indeed. All hail Celestia, ruler on High. Princess, Goddess, Mother to all the short lived waifs that flashed before her. Their complete adoration brought a wry smile to the serene Deity's face. A smile that did not live long. With a thunderous boom, a great magical wave forced itself through the heavy doors, and in trotted Luna, sweat condensing on her brow like some peasant.

"Sister. We must speak with the at once."

Celestia blinked, showing no emotion on her placid face. "Princess Luna." she said insistently, her voice never rising, never breaking the level of a calm coo. "You should be sleeping. Your rule has passed with the night."

Luna furrowed her brow. "There are things we must insist we speak of. Things that effect the peace of my night as well as your day."

Celestia raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And what could that possibly be?" she cast a look towards the now frightened dignitary as if sharing a private joke.

Luna caught the gesture, and stomped a silver clad hoof in frustration. "The citizens are using my night as an escape. Escape from pain in the day, emotional and physical."

"And what exactly do you propose I do about that, Luna?"

"We think the ponies lack any medical arts other than the natural and a few odd sleeping spells. Infections are dangerous, but you know they are treatable. " she paused, the filly from the night entering her thoughts. "We just helped pass another Filly tonight. So many foals have been dying, Celestia. So many others are relying on street remedies. Opiates, and addictive numbing medicines. We found a unicorn overdosed on Laudanum just this morning. "

Luna paused. The air between them became stagnant before Celestia deemed the time worthy for a reply.

"And what would you have me do about this."

Luna beamed. "We must help them, Tia. All that we can. Give them a happy day and happy dreams as well. We need to outlaw the production of those addictive remedies like opiates, and in return teach physician unicorns spells to help treat the ill so the remedies aren't needed in the first place. And maybe...if you gave us a few more hours of night, we could reach more ponies in their dreams to try and sooth them."

Celestia, face still stoicly perfect and beautiful, stood. Her mane, flowing lithe ethereal strands dancing with delicate color fanned out behind her, whipping about like a heavenly storm of light.

"And how, Princess Luna, do you exactly intend to help these emotional pains you spoke of? Will you be visiting every sad pony in equestria, as you did this overdosing unicorn this morning? Yes I know of her."

"We-"

Celestia, stepping down from her throne, cut her off

"And HOW Princess Luna, would you go about educating these unicorns? Would you teach them yourself? Would you issue magic books to the populace? Do you not remember the danger of uncontrolled unicorn magic? Have you forgotten Sombre?"

"But sister thats-"

Celestia approached her sister, cutting her off again.

"AND JUST HOW, Princess Luna, do you expect me to pull these folk remedies off the streets when so many ponies make their livlihoods from their growth, their production, their sale? Do you really expect they will be surrendered so easily?"

"We could-"

"AND HOW, PRINCESS, do you expect me do give you more night? Would you sacrifice another hour of time that could be helping to grow food for your subjects?"

"We didn't think-"

"AND YOU NEVER DO."

The horror of this exchange was the calm on Celestia's face. It had never faltered. Luna found herself weak at the knees, tears beginning to fill her eyes.

The same look of passive calm was still etched on Celestia's face as she took the last steps towards her sister. Opening her wing, she pulled the younger alicorn to her body in a calming gesture. Luna nuzzled her elder sister's coat.

"I...I am sorry sister." she said quietly.

"There, there, Luna. You didn't know any better. This is why I am the one to rule the day. You must understand, Luna. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I will do what I can, as I always do, but ponies are slow to give up old ways. Now you go along to sleep, I will wake you when it is time to raise the moon."

Luna turned, red hot anger and embarrassment and shame burning on her cheeks. But sleep does sound nice, she thought as she left the throne room. Slowly, ever so slowly, she made for her chambers, Step by step, Inch by inch, resigning herself to second best, the younger sister, the one who didn't know better. She found herself lost in her thoughts, and barely realized she had stopped in front of an open terrace window. Her eyes, glazed over with contemplation vaguely watched the still early sun in the sky, took in the brilliant green mountains and hills. Barely thinking, she pulled herself out the window and took flight.

Author's Note:

There is another chapter. :s

Thank you to everyone commenting and faving! <3 Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine anyone would even read this at all! I really appreciate your support, and hope you liked this new chapter!