• Published 19th Feb 2012
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Solar Flare - Dragryphon

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Solar Flare Part 3

SOLAR FLARE
A SURVIVOR’S EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE WAR OF THE NIGHT
Written by Dragryphon

Shortly after the breaking of the dawn, the two alicorns stood together on the beach, having momentarily left the comforts of their temporary shelter and the sleeping unicorn within. The morning air was cool upon their flanks, and the sound of the waves and the waking shore birds drifted through the air around them. It was quite picturesque, and the two alicorns stood side by side, staring wistfully up into the sky.

“Celly...” the midnight blue alicorn finally spoke, breaking the silence. “Are you sure Twilight can handle the book? You saw how shaken she was when she first arrived. She’s never been exposed to that sort of thing before. I fear it may be too much for her.”

The alabaster alicorn was quiet for several long moments before she responded in turn, “I still believe that she will be able to handle it, little sister. My most faithful student is stronger than you think.”

Luna sat down beside her sister, and thought a moment before speaking, “But what if she isn’t? How will she react when she discovers the horrors that we’re responsible for? That you, her beloved teacher, have committed?”

Flinching, Celestia raised a hoof and placed it gently upon her sister’s shoulder, “I have faith in her, dear sister. I believe wholeheartedly that she will be able to overcome the memories of the tome. That is not my concern. No, what I am more worried about is that her perception of us will change. Luna, you know that you were not at fault for the things that Nightmare Moon did, and I do not blame you for them. However, the things I did were my decision alone. And try as I might, I... I cannot forgive myself for some of them, no matter how much they were needed.”

“Celly, what about the spell, then? If she cannot handle it, would you use it again upon your own student, if you must?” Luna leaned against Celestia’s side, looking up at her loving sibling with worry in her eyes.

Celestia swallowed, leaning down to nuzzle lovingly at her younger sister’s cheek for a moment, before replying in a most serious tone, “If she asks for it, then I will. Then her innocence will be spared, and I will hide the tome once again. Perhaps this time so that nopony will find it until our Ascension days.” She settled down upon the sand beside her sister, their sides pressed up against one another as they basked in each others’ presence.

A short time later, Twilight Sparkle dragged herself out of the little hut the princesses had been using as resting quarters, blinking the sleep out of her eyes. That night, her dreams had been quiet, and her sleep, restful. Princess Celestia had placed a little shield around the tome so that it couldn’t intrude upon her rest that night.

Slipping back into the hut for a moment, she shortly re-emerged, floating a rolled up blanket and the tome itself before her as she trotted out to the two princesses.

Looking up at Twilight’s arrival, Celestia and Luna smiled pleasantly at the unicorn.

“Ahhh, my faithful student. I assume you are ready to start your studies into our history once again?” Celestia asked, watching as her student lay the rug out upon the sand next to her, before lying down upon it herself with the book in front of them.

Looking up uncertainly at her teacher, Twilight replied, “I think I am, but honestly, I’m afraid of what I might find, Princess.”

Twilight’s horn glimmered, and the book began to open to her bookmark, but was stopped by Celestia’s hoof resting upon the cover. “Understand me, my faithful student, what happened in this book is in the past, and many of the things that were done, were done because they had to be. Please keep that in mind.”

What has the Princess done in the past that she’s so concerned I’ll discover? Is she really that worried about my reaction? Twilight wondered as Celestia withdrew her hoof and allowed the tome to open to where she left off.

______________

The skies about Cloudsdale were bright and clear. It was a warm and sunny day, a welcome change from the previous one that the pegasus ponies had spent shrouded in darkness. The sun hadn’t risen at all that day, and they had begun to worry that it might simply... not. The city below was bustling, and pegasi were flying about everywhere, either on their daily duties, or for the simple thrill of flight itself.

They were not the ponies Nightmare Moon’s attention was focused on, though. Far below, she was studying the cloud fields that the pegasi were drilling upon as they prepared themselves for war. All around, there were ponies suspended upon the clouds, some were obvious lookouts while others tried to look like they were doing other things, like sleeping or going about their business. The Nightmare knew better. No touch of dreams rested within their heads. It was no matter.

She wasn’t worried about being spotted, oh no. She and her Shadowbolts were hidden within the sun’s glare, far too high to be seen or cast a shadow onto the cloud city below. Of course, her Shadowbolts weren’t the only ponies she had hidden, either. Through out the city, her Storm Mages, the unicorn corps, were stationed within the clouds themselves, able to fly from the bat-like wings she had given them with her magic. Not only that, but in the likelihood that a pegasus might stumble upon them, she had also fitted her Mages with a temporary invisibility spell, to keep them hidden until the time was right. Nightmare Moon would have nothing jeopardize her plans.

No. No. Nothing will stop me now. Not only do I have backups, but if all my plans fail, well... I could always just wipe Cloudsdale off the map. It is not something I would prefer to do, but if I must, I will.

The ebon alicorn continued to study the city below her, her thoughts with the events of the day prior.

It is nearly time...

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

Earlier...

It was the day after the battle with Nightmare Moon’s traitorous sister, and the sun had not risen that day. It gave Nightmare Moon immense satisfaction to know that she had crippled the ‘Princess’ enough to actually keep her from doing her duties. The heavens felt strained, though, having been robbed of their natural order, but the monarch did not dwell on it.

Nightmare Moon had released Luna from her Nightmares earlier that morning. It had been so satisfying to hear her alter-ego break down in tears before her, apologizing profusely, and not only that, but thanking the Nightmare for releasing her from the Slumber, and promising to never fight against Nightmare Moon again. Of course, I didn’t believe her in the least. Why should I ever trust that foal again?

No. Never again would she allow Luna to rise in her favor. She might even begin torturing her dear partner for fun, as sending Luna to Slumber had been quite the delicious amusement.

Oh, I so wish that upstart foal would say something to cross me, then I could do it again with a real reason. Nightmare Moon thought as the she traveled down the ruined halls of Everfree, which, while having seen better days, had been cleaned up as best as they could. Red splotches were still present where blood had stained the stone, but at least the corridors were traversible.

Of course, I could just torture her for whatever reason I like... No, she has not done anything as of yet that deserves such. She continued to think, looking inward as Luna cowered within a far corner of her mind.

The Queen’s self-appointed advisor emerged from a nearby doorway, falling in step beside her as she proceeded through the castle. She was green unicorn, with a light blue mane that was combed simply to one side and stark sea-green eyes. She wore a pitch black vest with the silver crescent moon emblazoned upon it magically, and on her flank, an image of a piece of parchment with several checkmarks written down one side. Her expression was grim, and she avoided looking at the Nightmare’s face as she accompanied her. The two said nothing for several long moments as they walked, and the Nightmare knew why. Self-appointed or not, the advisor knew when to hold her tongue, and was deathly afraid of treading upon her Queen’s ground. No, she was a smart one, which is why the alicorn had kept the mare around. Whenever she had said something over the past few days, it had proved to be very important and the advice she had given to Nightmare Moon had actually been instrumental in establishing the Queen’s rule. Finally, tired of the silence, the Nightmare spoke abruptly, “Report.”

The advisor, who had never even told her liege her name, gave a start and finally replied, “My Queen, I bring news, and... advice... Your troops have all been fitted with the spells that you desired, and have begun deploying to their assigned positions near Cloudsdale. They should arrive by tonight, my Queen. In other matters, the continued night of your reign has begun causing plants to wilt. If this keeps up for much longer, we will have a widespread food shortage on our hooves, and no city under your rule will last the winter with their shortened stores.”

A simple look from Nightmare Moon was all it took for the other mare to quickly come to the point, “All that I wish to suggest is that you should allow the sun to shine upon the land every couple days. It will give you a night long enough for your subjects to adore, but will also keep the land alive. Crop yields will drop, of course, but that can be easily remedied by an increase in the crops planted. It will also be a good way to keep order; the slightest bit of disorder and the sun is eclipsed once again for a certain number of days.”

Turning her head away, the Nightmare considered this proposal for several long minutes, her advisor next to her trembling with anxiety. While serving under their Queen would eventually be rewarding, the penalties for failure were quite severe. “What is your name, mare? And what title do you think would serve you best?” Nightmare Moon finally said to the young mare, who recoiled at her Queen’s voice.

The unicorn wilted visibly under Nightmare Moon’s gaze, stumbling over her words. “I-I-I’m C-Check L-List, my l-l-leige. I... g-guess I...could be....Chancellor...?” Check List ventured forth, terrified that she might have overstepped her boundaries.

Nightmare Moon had other plans, however, and was actually quite impressed by the unicorn’s bravery. Few ponies would have had the backbone to outright tell her these sort of things. Still, a little fear was good; it kept her subjects in order. “Well, then, Chancellor Check List, I do believe you have earned your new position. We will discuss what your new benefits and pay will be at a later time, as well as outlining your new duties. As for right now, you are dismissed. This goes without saying, but... Do not fail me, Chancellor...”

At first, the mare brightened up considerably, but at the utterance of those last few words, her eyes widened and a little squeak escaped her muzzle, “Yes, Majesty, thank you! Of course; I will never fail you!” She then galloped off to some other business that desperately needed her attention. Far away from Nightmare Moon.

I do have to say, that idea was quite brilliant for coming from some other pony. It will come in most useful for my first attack. The city of Cloudsdale will be expecting me to attack at night, when I am at my strongest, not during the daytime. Foals! I will show them just how wrong they are...

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

Nightmare Moon glanced to either side of herself. To one side, shrouded by her invisibility spell, were her Shadowbolts, hovering in place as the last couple wings fell into position. Each one had a readied crossbow within their hooves, poised to attack at their Queen’s command. To her other side were her pegasi Sleepers. Not as many in number as her Shadowbolts, but more than quite enough to bolster her Storm Mages below. All the while her unicorn Messengers stood at the ready to form a shield around Cloudsdale, preventing anypony from escaping.

Taking a quick look at the sun overhead, Nightmare Moon smirked to herself. The lethargy brought on by the day would not stop her. Oh no, she was much stronger than her pitiful counterpart, the sun's rays meant nothing to her. It was most certainly time to begin the attack.

With a simple gesture of her hoof, the Nightmare sent her enchanted Shadowbolts forth, the wings diving down to hover above each of the cloud fields that the pegasi of Cloudsdale were drilling upon. Each took careful aim, awaiting their Majesty’s signal. Beneath them, the pegasi took notice of the changed air currents, but not seeing the cause of it, they went back about their duties.

Perfect... Nightmare Moon thought, as she looked through the eyes of each of her Shadowbolts, taking in the sights of the floating city as she basked in the fear radiating from many of the pegasi below. They were terrified of her, terrified of what she could accomplish, and what she could do to their precious Cloudsdale. Oh, yes, she would certainly show them exactly what it meant to fear her.

Once her air troops were in place and ready, Nightmare Moon let her gaze slide over to the various lookouts, and grinned. A very wide grin full of nothing but malice. Beneath the sentries, pools of whirling darkness sprung into being, the screams of the pegasi cut off before they could even leave their lips, as they were dragged down into the black depths beneath them. The pitchblack alicorn drank in their fear and pain, revelling in the waves of distress emanating from her victims.

As the sentries sank into the dark pools and vanished, Nightmare Moon narrowed her eyes and whispered...

“Fire.”

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

Earlier...

All it took were a few spells to simulate a three dimensional map of Cloudsdale and the surrounding airspace. Added onto the diagram were an abundance of tiny ponies indicating the wings of Sleepers and Shadowbolts, as well as each of the individually placed Storm Mages. Cloudsdale was well and truly surrounded on all fronts.

Sneering at the battle plan set before her, Nightmare Moon adjusted it for several more moments before pulling away and turning to her officers. “Captains, this is your structure for the start of the decimation of Cloudsdale. Study it well, for if you screw this up, you know what awaits you.” She began to glide the tiny ponies across the diagram, picking out which wing was which as she sent them to their positions. Aqua Mane, Captain of the Shadowbolts, Storm Chaser, Captain of the Storm Mages, and Check List, her Chancellor all watched in rapt attention.

“Aqua Mane, your Shadowbolts will cut down any and all military forces once I give the signal. I want to see those crossbow bolts blot out the sun. Any military personnel that surrender are to be rounded up and brought to the Knightmares’ base. Once the initial assault has been completed, you are to break formation after the military personnel have been dealt with and fan out through the city proper. Hunt down any and all resistance, crush it, and expect aerial combat to happen. I want three Shadowbolts guarding each others flanks at all times.”

The wings of pegasi within the diagram broke apart after striking the illusionary air force base, sweeping in to engage with the rogue forces within the city. At the same time, new symbols began to show up on the battle plan, all moving toward a different goal.

The future ruler of Equestria continued her plans, keeping pace with the happenings on the board. “Storm Chaser, your Storm Mages will hide within the clouds once the spell to give your troops wings has been cast. Your targets are the Weather Factories. They are your only objective. We must have those factories to prevent them from being used against us.”

Stepping back, the Nightmare sent off the last company of troops: Her Sleepers. “Finally, the Sleepers will spread themselves out amongst the populace, aiding you in putting down any rogue elements. Once positioned, they will open their mouths and eyes. Only soldiers under my banner will be protected from them, everypony else will be unable to act, frozen in fear. During this instance, I will converge upon the town hall with my honor guard and I will take control of the ruling government.”

Then, staring at her captains each in turn, she snorted, “Well? You have your orders! Dismissed!”

Aqua Mane and Storm Chaser immediately snapped salutes and trotted out of the war room.

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

The carnage was absolute and the death toll high for the Cloudsdale Air Force Base. A torrent of crossbow bolts had seemingly come out of nowhere, striking down all but the swiftest pegasi. All across the field, entire battalions lay dead or dying, waving their perforated limbs feebly while their life’s blood drained into the clouds beneath them.

Even out of the lucky ones that had managed to evade the storm of bolts, a few were struck down immediately by forces unseen. The rest of the base was thrown into a panic, pegasi fleeing for shelter, burrowing into the clouds or even hiding beneath their own wings up until the moment their enemy showed themselves. Wings upon wings of Shadowbolts appeared in the skies, and even higher, entire companies of Sleepers. At the pinnacle of the formation sat the Dark Queen herself, Nightmare Moon, hovering in place above the battlefield.

The sight was horrifying. With their main force slaughtered, the clouds running red beneath their bodies, Cloudsdale was left nearly defenseless.

As she watched, her Shadowbolts descended upon the clouds, brandishing their crossbows at the survivors. Within a few moments, a multitude of prisoners had been taken and marched to the center of the cloud field. Folding her wings to her back, the alicorn dove down toward the prisoners before pulling up and landing her hooves upon the clouds.

The fear rolling off the group of surviving fillies and colts was palpable, and Nightmare Moon relished it. While her Shadowbolts stood guard around the prisoners, the Nightmare looked each one up and down, most of the ponies keeping their eyes away from her own, but there were a few who locked their gaze with hers. The cold, unforgiving malice within her eyes made them each flinch in turn.

“....Remove them from my sight. Find out which are soldiers and separate them from the rest. I will deal with them all later,” she said as the guards snapped smart salutes and began to guide the prisoners off. Their life-force will be drained to bolster the Core’s power, she thought to herself.

One terrified pegasus panicked and tried to take flight, but the sudden twang of a crossbow stopped him short as he fell to the cloud below, a bolt buried in his heart.

Ignoring the now dead pegasus, Nightmare Moon looked up into the sky and whispered another command, “Phase Two.” Her Shadowbolts that were not indisposed of at the moment immediately sped off into the rest of the city, while around her, unicorns began to rise from the clouds, taking flight toward the Weather Factories at the edge of the city.

And above her, oh yes, above her flew in her Sleepers. The legion that would terrorize Cloudsdale. The city soon became encased in a dark shield, preventing escape for anypony, while her maniacal laughter filled the air.

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

Earlier...

The day’s events had gone by quite quickly, leading to the time when it would have been dusk, though the moon was still high in the sky. Dinnertime had come and gone, which had caused quite the hectic rush amongst the remaining castle staff to find a suitable chef. All of the castle’s previous cooks either had fled or been killed.

The dining hall had been refitted as best as the staff could manage, which hadn’t been very well considering that tables and cushions were in desperate need at the time. What they did have had either been salvaged from the ruins of the castle itself or from Everfree City and was thus in pretty bad shape.

What had come out of the kitchen, however, was even more disappointing. The food was passable at best, and Nightmare Moon had been about to severely punish the offending ponies when dessert was served. In fear for their lives the servers swiftly placed a small plate in front of her and then fled back to the kitchens.

What lay before her, Nightmare Moon had never seen. It appeared to be a roundish treat layered in chocolate, and the Nightmare was not quite sure what it entailed. Hovering it up to her mouth, she took a tiny bite of it, noticing one of the chefs peeking around the corner of the kitchen out of the corner of her eye.

The treat was still quite warm, and when the taste hit her tongue, her eyes lit up. In fact, she had to keep herself from devouring the treat all at once, instead keeping her bites slow and small.

Now that was quite delightful, a fitting highpoint to my dinner so far, she thought to herself, turning her head suddenly to glare in the direction of the chef peeking around the corner. “You, pony. Are you the one responsible for this dessert? What do you call it?” she demanded of him.

Nightmare Moon’s stare was enough to put a quaver into the chef’s steps as he approached his Queen. “Y-Yes, my liege. I call it a M-Moonpie,” he stuttered out.

The Nightmare raised an eyebrow, then said, “Indeed! I’d like to see more of your ‘Moonpies’, and in many different varieties. See if you can create a cheesecake version.” Cheesecakes had always been her guilty pleasure even before she had become Nightmare Moon.

“Y-Yes! My Queen!” the chef exclaimed before dashing back into the kitchen.

The taste of the dessert still within her mouth, Nightmare Moon stood and slipped out of the dining area, only to be met by her newly appointed Chancellor, who bowed before her.

“My Queen, I bring important news from our spies in Canterlot. The Traitor Princess, Celestia, is currently in critical care within their hospital. She will be out of your mane for at least a week, even with her magic to help heal her wounds faster. For other matters, Stalliongrad has accepted your terms, and await your presence, albeit a day late.” After dealing with the Nightmare all day, Check List had become a little more comfortable with her presence, if still extremely wary of it.

I’m so sorry, Celly..., came a voice from the back of Nightmare Moon’s mind, which she promptly ignored. “This is exceptional news, my Chancellor. Reply to them that I will get to them within the next week. For now, I have cities to overtake.”

The eve of the battle was quickly coming to a close...

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

The exhilaration of flight flowed through Nightmare Moon as she dove and spun through the skies above Cloudsdale. The resistance was strong, but nothing that could not be handled by her or her Shadowbolts. Oh no, in fact, it was going so well she had decided to join in on the fun, and was currently engaged in aerial combat with two very brash young colts who thought they could take on an alicorn. She had to laugh about it. Their aerial acrobatics were more akin to a courtship dance than actual combat maneuvers; they had no chance of getting anywhere near her.

Spotting an opening, the alicorn folded her wings to her sides and dove, keeping a watchful eye behind her as one of the two colts dove after her, trying to close the distance. Nightmare Moon ignored the battle raging around her, instead focusing upon her current airspace. Come on you stupid foal, I am such a tantalizing target, am I not? Go ahead, try to catch me!

Suddenly, she flared her wings, slowing down greatly before angling them in order to twist around and face the upstart colt. Bringing her hooves up, she kicked out with her hind legs, the speed at which the colt was diving giving him little time to evade the sudden attack. He ran full speed into the Goddess of the Night’s hind kick, and the loud snap and spray of crimson were all that Nightmare Moon needed to know he was dead on impact.

As his body tumbled down into the city below, Nightmare Moon’s eyes snapped up to see the other foalish colt breaking away from the fight as fast as his wings could take him. A Shadowbolt came diving down from above, the Nightmare watching through her puppet’s eyes with fiendish delight as he struck the fleeing colt in the middle of the back. The blow crippled the unfortunate creature, and his limp form went spiraling down into the cloud-bank below.

All around her, the battle raged on, with the resistance growing ever weaker by the second. Ponies fell from the sky like rain, a few wearing the uniform of the Shadowbolts to her minor disappointment. Foalish ponies, wasting their lives. If they cannot survive, then it only makes my army stronger.

Indeed, she watched the battle wane around her as fewer defenders were left in the sky. In fact, it did not need her right now, leaving Nightmare Moon able to turn her attentions elsewhere. “Phase Three, Honor Guard, to me!,” she whispered, sending out her thoughts to her Shadowbolts.

Immediately, four pegasi in her colors dropped out of the sky to take up wing positions behind her, and together they descended upon the city below. The screams were distant at first, but became more apparent as the alicorn and her guards drifted down into the city. There, her Sleepers were spread out, their mouths wide open as their Slumbering minds screamed at the horrors besieging them. Even their eyes were open, windows into the torment they were being subjected to. Any pegasi foolish enough to look in the direction of the Sleepers’ gazes were held fast by fear, unable to act.

Cloudsdale was a militaristic state, and as such, its headquarters were located in a fortified building at the center of the city. That was Nightmare Moon’s destination, and when she arrived, she was greeted by the sight of mares and stallions of all ages frozen in place by pure, unadulterated fear. She reveled in it, drinking the whole scene in before turning her attention to the cloud building before her.

Taking the steps up to the building, Nightmare Moon called to those inside, her voice booming out over the anarchy of the battle raging throughout the city. “SURRENDER! Cloudsdale has fallen and my Lunar Republic now controls the skies. Refuse and my Storm Mages will destroy the entire city. Surrender, and you will be accepted into the Lunar Republic and your city will remain floating in the skies. You have five minutes.”

Time ticked slowly by, but just as the Nightmare was becoming impatient, a simple white flag pushed itself out of one of the high windows, bringing a gleeful smile to her lips.

Cloudsdale is mine...

__________________

Celestia lay deep within the shroud of unconsciousness. Voices drifted around her, hidden in the fog of sleep, but not yet waking her. She was wrapped in a cocoon of pain, and though she realized that it must be hers, it was distant and numb. She felt it, but not as a part of her. Drifting within this nothingness for what felt like years, she heard the occasional voice clearly.

“Where’s the sun? Has she given up on us?”

“Come back to us! We can’t do this without you!”

“Princess! You must wake up!”

No, the alicorn was much too tired, though she did not understand why. She ever so wanted to feel the warmth of her mother... her Sol... her sun upon her coat, and yet she could not sense it. It should be nearing sunset by now. Why wasn’t it in her sky...?

Weariness took over, and the Princess slid into the realm of dreams. Dreams that quickly transformed into nightmares. Nightmares of what her sister had become, how Luna had yelled at her for abandoning her... for never having loved her. And no matter what Celestia wished to say, what came from her lips were things so very different.

“Of course I abandoned you! Why wouldn’t I leave you behind just as mother and father did? You’re weak! Worthless! Why would I ever love such a foal as you!?” Celestia shouted at Luna, watching as her words changed her beloved sister into Nightmare Moon. Her sister’s Nightmare then attacked, forcing Celestia to to relive the battle over again. And again. And again.

After what seemed like the hundredth time she had been beaten into the ground by Nightmare Moon, Celestia started out of her sleep, opening her eyes to the pre-dawn darkness. Oh Sol, did she ever ache. Every muscle felt bruised, every bone felt cracked or broken, and the painkillers flowing through her veins barely suppressed the pain. Celestia was lying upon her side in a hospital bed, and breathing was difficult. The remnants of magic not her own told her that unicorns had been brought in to assist with healing, which would explain why her chest didn’t feel like it was in a thousand pieces, though it was certainly not fully healed yet. Magical healing was a difficult process.

Groaning as she shifted positions and tried to stretch her wings, Celestia noticed a shape move near her in the darkness. It turned out to be a nurse, who whispered, “Princess, please don’t move. We did the best we could, but your wounds were extensive. You need to rest!”

Celestia stopped moving, but she did manage to say, “Thirsty...”

She could see a faint glow emanating from her nurse’s horn as a large glass of water floated over to her lips, whereupon she drank deep, quenching her thirst. This time, her voice wasn’t as gravely, but the alicorn’s throat was still sore as she spoke. “Thank you...”

“Of course, Princess.”

“What...What time is it? What day...?”

Celestia’s unicorn nurse was silent for a moment before she said, “It’s just about time for you to raise the sun, Princess. You’ve been... incapacitated since your defeat at the hooves of Nightmare Moon... The sun did not rise yesterday.”

Inwardly flinching, Celestia let out a drawn-out sigh. So that was why I could not feel my sun’s familiar warmth. My little ponies must be in a panic! I have to raise it today, if even just to show that I am still alive. She began looking around her room, trying to spot a nearby window when she finally noticed one on the side of the room she had her back to.

Before her nurse could ask her to stop moving, Celestia turned over and settled down into the mattress of the hospital bed, waiting for what seemed like eternity until finally the time for dawn came about. Raising her horn into the air, Celestia grimaced as her raw throat was irritated further. Her nurse had not yet noticed, so the Princess began to channel the magic needed to pull the sun into the sky. It was difficult. Her weakness was hindering her ability to do so, and if the alicorn had not been so familiar with her celestial orb, she probably would not have been able to complete the task.

“Princess!? What are you-” her nurse began just as the first light of the dawn crested over the horizon and hit the wall opposite her bed, leaving the nurse flabbergasted.

She had done it, though, once the sun was above the horizon, Celestia felt drained to the point of exhaustion. Her breathing became labored and she collapsed back upon the bed.

Panicking, the unicorn sprinted to the door and thrust it open. Shortly afterward, two of Celestia’s guards, as well as some hospital staff, rushed into the room. A mare well into her years said to the rest, “Get her into the sun! Move! She’s fading!”

And indeed Celestia was. She could feel herself slipping away, her eyes fluttering as she tried to keep herself from falling asleep. As she began to sink, she felt a lifeline tether itself to her, followed by another, and then another. The clerics were doing their best to lend her their strength, but it did little to help. Her body was slowing down. She was going under.

She felt herself moving, involuntarily, and her body shifted as warmth alit upon her. Little by little, her body was immersed in that familiar feeling, and it radiated throughout her, giving her the strength to pull herself up out of the dark abyss.

The Princess opened her eyes to find that the bed she was in was now next to the window that her sun was peeking through, and that her covers had been removed to allow Sol’s light to fall upon her.

Blinking the darkness out of her eyes, Celestia raised her head to peer at all of the worried ponies crowded against her bed, and flashed them all a thankful smile. The alicorn’s strength was returning to her little by little, fueled by the celestial orb that was very much a part of her. Suddenly, a thought came to her and she blinked, My sister’s moon wasn’t in the sky! My sun reigns alone this day! Did... did she come to her senses?

This hope filled Celestia throughout breakfast and the painful healing session that followed. They had informed her that she would be bed-ridden for at least a week, even at her current rate of healing. There had been many injuries, including internal bleeding and many broken bones, and they needed time to heal properly.

It was not until late in the afternoon that a messenger solemnly entered the room and delivered the news, “My Princess? Nightmare Moon and her forces have attacked Cloudsdale. Long distance viewing of the city has been obstructed, preventing us from seeing exactly what has occurred, but... there have been sightings of a ‘rain of blood’ falling from the clouds, along with reports of a multitude of bodies strewn about the countryside beneath the city. From this and the lack of any communication with Cloudsdale itself, we can only conclude that the city has fallen... I’m sorry, Your Majesty...” He stayed for a moment longer before bowing to her and making his way out of the chamber.

Tears sprang to Celestia’s eyes and she buried her face into her pillow, sobbing into its limited comfort. Her nurse could only watch sympathetically and gently pat the Princess’ shoulder with a hoof. Celestia felt like she stayed that way for hours, and by the time she finished, it was nearly dusk. Using her strength gained from the sun, she set Sol beneath the horizon, and then set about to planning.

If the doctor’s predictions were correct, Celestia had a week to figure out what to do.

__________________

Days went past, and as Celestia healed, she grew antsy. She wanted to fly, to get up and stretch her legs, but neither her nurses nor her guards would allow her to even move from the bed except to go to the washroom, and while the Goddess of the Day took advantage of that little movement as best as she could, it was not enough.

The news that kept coming in from around Equestria was not helping her recovery in the slightest, and many of her afternoons were spent crying into her pillow, or on the shoulder of one of her guards.

Manehatten had fallen with barely a whisper, whereas Fillydelphia had been the exact opposite: A complete bloodbath. Further reports from the front confirmed the first; Cloudsdale’s entire military hierarchy had been slaughtered, only to be replaced by her sister’s so-called ‘Shadowbolts.’ Cloudsdale had become their new base of operations, and Celestia knew that it was only a short flight to Canterlot from there. She knew that her sister’s Nightmare planned to leave Canterlot for last, as an example to every other pony.

Every plan Celestia came up with failed to stand up to her intense scrutiny, and by the time the Sun Goddess was able to get to her hooves without falling on her face, Canterlot was the last city in Equestria not part of this ‘Lunar Republic.’ She knew what would happen next from the reports.

What the Sleepers would do. What her sister would do.

Celestia’s throat choked with a coming sob, her eyes threatening to soak her already dampened pillow once again. Despite rotating shifts, her nurses had become accustomed seeing her cry and would still give her the occasional shoulder to lean on.

That didn’t prevent the thoughts that were racing through Celestia’s mind. She’ll kill me as soon as she lays her eyes on me this time. Or... she might even take her time in doing so... Oh, what am I going to do? The only way I could save Canterlot is by surrendering, but that would leave me to my fate either way. I may have to do it anyway, and simply expect myself to be imprisoned. Or banished... Or even imprisoned in the place I was banished to! I can’t stop Luna’s... No. Nightmare Moon’s Lunar Republic from happening. I... I can’t fight her...

An hour passed, then another, while Celestia remained deep in thought. Finally, the alicorn’s voice broke the silence of the hospital room, startling the attending nurse out of her own thoughts. “I need parchment, ink, and a quill, please. I... I wish to take a letter...”

The nurse hopped up immediately and trotted out of the room, returning shortly with the requested items floating before her, saying, “Would you like me to act as your scribe?”

A simple shake of Celestia’s head was all it took for the unicorn to lay the proffered writing implements upon the end table. Celestia rolled over with a groan, her joints aching with the effort as she floated the parchment and quill over to her pillow and began to scratch out a letter. All the while, tears ran down her face, splotching the ink where they fell to the parchment, but the Princess did not care. She would not hold that title for very long.

________________

Nightmare Moon’s ever present laughter floated through the corridors within Everfree Castle. The scroll the alicorn had received from her oh so dear sister was the best news she’d had all week! The Nightmare had read it a dozen times already, and would read it a dozen more, she could not keep herself from chuckling as she read through it once again.

“To my dearest sister, Luna;

I cannot keep hiding any longer, nor can I keep running. Neither can I abandon the nation of Equestria to its fate and watch Canterlot suffer for taking me in. I know what I must do, and what I should have done a week ago when I approached you. In but a few days, I will have recovered enough to be able to escape the confines of this hospital. Until then, I beg of you, please hold your hoof against attacking Canterlot, they are not to blame, as I had approached them. I have left their Council an order of what I wish for them to do.

Moreover, when I am recovered enough for travel, I wish to meet up with you, my dearest Luna. I wish to surrender. A week I have attempted to form plans of any type, so that I might be able to do something, yet after studying them, they all fell apart before my eyes. I concede defeat, and will leave myself within your care, loving or not. I just beg that you do not destroy and subjugate Canterlot as you have done with the rest of Equestria. I am unable to fight the Nightmare within you, and she knows it.

If you acknowledge my surrender, I will await at the location and time you wish to accept my defeat and abdicate my claim to the throne. I can only hope that you will.

Your loving sister, Celestia”

Victory was within the Nightmare’s reach! It was so close she could taste it. All of Equestria, nay, the entire hemisphere was within her grasp, and even her dearest sister, Celestia, was going to bow down to her. Of course, Celestia would not get off so easily. She would have to be broken and remade so that she would be a most productive and loving sister.

“Chancellor Check List. Take a return letter. ‘To my Traitorous Sister...’”

________________

It took everything Celestia had to fly herself to the rendezvous point, exhausted in both mind and body. The past few days had crawled by painfully with Celestia readying herself for the day that she would bow down to her own sister, and it had taken all Celestia had not to run and hide like a little foal. After donning her crown, chestplate, and hoof ornaments, the alicorn had flown out of the hospital, leaving her best wishes behind. Her flight had started out shakily, with her wings still sore from healing, but any problems Celestia had soon worked themselves out as she got back into the routine of flying.

The area Nightmare Moon’s letter had pointed out was a large clearing, devoid of trees, within the Whitetail Wood. It was empty for now, yet Celestia still landed within the center, lying down immediately within the tall grasses to rest. Within little time at all, the pearl alicorn had fallen sound asleep.

“Oh, my dear sister. Sleeping during your surrender? Do I bore you that much?”

The voice jarred Celestia from her dreams, and she stumbled to her hooves, noticing her sun had crept across a fraction of the sky. In front of Celestia stood several ponies, including her sister’s Nightmare, who was looking down upon her with a barely contained sneer. “You will not be needing this for quite some time, sister,” Nightmare Moon hissed, her horn shimmering as Celestia’s crown rose off her head into the air, then soared through it to land within a Shadowbolt’s saddlebag. “Kneel before me.”

Swallowing and staring up at her sister, Celestia shakily dropped onto her knees and lowered her head in front of Nightmare Moon. I... I can do this... I can’t mess this up... I have to do this by the conditions my sister’s Nightmare and I had agreed upon. Her thoughts did not prevent her tears from flowing down her cheeks, not unlike the blood of all the ponies who had died in this war.

The Nightmare, of course, gloated over her fallen sister, her laugh ringing out across the clearing.

“So weak. So powerless! Not even worth your title of ‘Princess’. Oh, yes, my dearest sibling. Soon, you will publicly announce that you are stepping down and leaving me complete control over Equestria. And then? And then I will make sure to properly train you to be a worthwhile addition to my Court. Royal Guard? Court Jester?” Nightmare Moon sneered, her hate filled voice hissing from between her teeth, “...Royal Pet?”

“Oh, my, that does sound like it would have a good ring to it. A former Princess of Equestria, reduced to nothing more than the obedient pet of the new Queen. Such delicious irony!”

Her eyes clenched tightly shut, the shame of Nightmare Moon’s words digging into her heart, a sob escaped from Celestia’s lips. Her cheeks were soaked, the ground beneath her face wet with the alicorn’s sorrow.

Next to her ear, she heard steady breathing, and then Nightmare Moon’s silken voice, “I must say, you held out far longer than I thought, but you are my prisoner now, and you will be bound like one.” The feeling of magic was in the air around her, and Celestia was surprised to feel bindings and chains attach to each of her ankles, a wide band encircle her torso to keep her wings down tight, and a little ring upon her horn. Almost immediately, she felt her magic dim and then vanish, seemingly sucked away by the inhibitor placed on her horn.

Smirking, Nightmare Moon turned to her Shadowbolts and barked, “Prisoner Escort positions! We have a distance to walk, and I want to be back in Everfree by dusk!“ Turning her head back to Celestia she said, “My dearest Celestia, get to your feet. We march. As of now, you are prohibited from using magic until the time comes to set your eclipsed sun, and that will be the only magic you’ll be permitted for a long time to come... now MOVE!

Swiftly, the Shadowbolts took up flanking positions around Celestia as she rubbed the tears from her eyes, getting to her hooves as Nightmare Moon began the long march through the winding paths of Whitetail Wood. The shackles and chains clinked together as they walked for what seemed like hours, Celestia’s head hanging the entire way as her hooves dragged upon the packed earth.

As the forest turned to sparse trees, and then the occasional building, Celestia’s downcast eyes widened as realization hit her. They were passing through Ponyville, and not just through the outskirts, but straight through the center of town. As the procession continued, Celestia dared to look around her, noticing the buildings under repair, and even worse, the many eyes upon them.

The white alicorn could feel the heat of their gaze upon her. After all, it was her, not Nightmare Moon, that they blamed for the needless destruction of their town, along with the deaths of so many of their friends. Celestia rapidly set her eyes down back to the ground before her, if just to avoid the residents of Ponyville from reviling her with their gaze.

It seemed like forever, but finally the tiny parade marched their way out to the perimeter of Ponyville and into the forbidding depths of Everfree Forest. While the paths through the forest still seemed to be intact, they felt dangerous and foreboding. Leaving the beaten path here seemed as though it would mean certain death. No... We would not be taking this route if we were in any real danger. We’d have flown... Or teleported... Or... any number of things... Celestia thought to herself, keeping quiet as the wild canopy overhead began to block out the tiny amount of light that escaped from the eclipse.

Something Celestia had noticed during her stay in the hospital was that every few days, the sun would shine unabated. Nightmare Moon needs Equestria to stay alive. No sun means no plantlife. No plantlife means no ponies. And no ponies means no nation to rule over. At least she isn’t so corrupted as to destroy all that Equestria is... At least she is still sane enough not to bring about eternal night...

The trip back to Everfree Castle was spent in silence, even when the small group of travelers were walking through the mostly empty streets of what remained of the city. The entire time, Celestia kept her head low and her eyes lower, staring at nothing but the ground in front of her hooves, and trying not to listen to anything but the clink of her shackles. The former princess did not want to see the blistering stares from the subjects she failed, nor hear their caustic whispers.

It took all Celestia’s strength to whisper her next words. “Nightmare...?”

The alicorn in front of her tensed for a moment before snapping, “What does my prisoner want?”

The fallen ruler flinched back with each word, then whispered in a lower voice, barely able to be heard, “I... I want to see what remains of the Castle, of my childhood home before... Before you do whatever it is you have planned for me...”

Nightmare Moon kept silent up ahead, momentarily crushing Celestia’s hopes of being able to see what remained, or maybe even salvage something of hers from the wreckage.

However, the alicorn’s hopes were returned once they reached the large gates signaling their arrival at the audience hall of the Castle, taking a deep breath as she glanced up at the foreboding doors opening to her new life. A hoof in front of Celestia stopped her, though, and she turned to stare directly into Nightmare Moon’s eyes.

“I am not without some mercy. You have two hours, no more, and you will be accompanied by my Messengers. You will be on your best behavior, my prisoner, or my punishment will be swift and severe. Do I make myself clear!?” Nightmare Moon hissed, the alicorn’s dark face inches from Celestia’s own, while the Nightmare’s eyes drilled themselves through her own and into the back of her skull.

At no other point during this entire ordeal had Celestia felt as powerless as she did at that point, and her voice refused to be heard. Instead, the alicorn merely nodded her assent, too frightened by the Nightmare’s gaze to say anything else. I cannot imagine what it must be like for Luna! Oh my dear sister, I’m so sorry...

Nightmare Moon stared deep into Celestia’s eyes for a few long moments before turning away and making a motion with her hoof. The Shadowbolts guarding her turned away and flew off to other matters, only to be replaced by a duo of grey-coated Messengers. A nod of Nightmare Moon’s head was all it took to spur Celestia to make use of the two hours given to her.

While exploring the remains of Castle Everfree, with the two Messengers in tow, Celestia came to the realization that everything she once knew within the palace was gone. Her old bedchambers had completely caved in, and many of the other rooms that had a personal touch were irrevocably changed. This castle was indeed Nightmare Moon’s now.

However, as Celestia was passing by one of the many old halls, she sensed something completely new, something that she hadn’t ever sensed before. Nearby, there was a hole in the wall, which lead into a chamber she did not recognize. Upon entering it, Celestia felt a wave of peace and happiness was over her.

The room itself was nothing spectacular, just stone walls that hid within them the actual prize. Standing in the center of the room was a large pedestal with multiple branches. Upon those branches were beautiful gems that lit the entire room, emitting a gentle and soothing aura that made Celestia feel as if she were immersed in the light of her sun. And they sensed her dilemma, calling to her to come closer.

The... The Elements of Harmony? All I knew was that they were within the castle somewhere, but hidden? Here? Celestia’s mind was at a loss of what to think, so she entered the hidden chamber and stepped toward the Elements. As the Messengers followed, they entered the light the Elements gave off and collapsed onto the floor.

Celestia took no notice of this, instead enraptured by the pedestal before her. Reaching a hoof up, she touched one of the Elements, and her mind was instantaneously drawn into them. Endless warmth and tranquility surrounded her, and she felt as if they were her best friends and she had known them her entire life.

“We are your best friends. We help those who are so ever in need of our aid. And you, dear alicorn, need us more than anything right now.”

The voices were deafening, as if a crowd of ponies were all speaking in unison somewhere inside her head. “How... How can you help me? The fight is lost...” A feeling of sadness crept into Celestia’s heart, but was swiftly brushed away by the Elements.

“The fight is only lost when you completely give up, our little pony. Your sister can still be saved, but only if you accept our help to banish the Nightmare within. Here, let us give you a token of our favor. Will you accept our aid, little one?”

As Celestia watched incredulously, her bindings crumbled into dust, and the inhibitor around her horn vanished in a puff of smoke. Even the chafing around her hooves from the shackles had been healed. Opening herself up, Celestia replied to the Elements, “I accept.” and the sudden influx of warmth filled her to the brim, and past that to bursting, her body shining with the power the Elements gave her.

______________

Nightmare Moon was galloping as fast as she could down the halls, her anger showing as crackles of power pulsed through her mane. The alicorn had been keeping close watch upon her traitorous sister through the ‘eyes’ of her Messengers. The moment she had lost contact, she had dropped everything and took off for the region of the castle they had been in.

Sprinting by, she caught site of the fractured wall and turned into the room, stopping and covering her eyes due to the blinding light that emanated from within. As her eyes adjusted, she caught sight of Celestia at the center of it, the source of the blinding radiance. “You FOAL! What have you done!? You lied to me!” she roared, the Nightmare’s rage resonating throughout the chamber.

A shriek from the back of her mind drew her attention for a brief moment, Nightmare! Those are the Elements! She- She’s planning to use them against us!

“Don’t you think I already know that, you stupid foal! No matter, she lost to us once before, and she will again,” the Nightmare snapped back at Luna, before turning her voice toward Celestia. “This time you will die, sister! I hold no more patience for you, and I can see that even my mercy fell upon deaf ears!” Nightmare Moon’s horn flared, and a flurry of dark, crackling bolts flew through the air at Celestia.

Each was deflected in turn by a burst of power from Celestia’s horn, the bolts slamming into the stone walls, ceiling, and floor around her. One
blasted a hole through the roof of the chamber, masonry crumbling to reveal the darkening sky, the eclipse having ended to show the setting sun once more.

“No, Nightmare Moon. Not this time. Now I have the power to fight you, and to free my sister. Nightmare Moon, I hereby banish you from the lands of Equestria and from the hemisphere, to be imprisoned within the one thing you thought was yours. You thought to control what Luna calls her own. To control my sister, myself, and all of Equestria. No, now it is my turn to show no mercy...” Celestia spoke, taking a step closer to Nightmare Moon with each word, all the while deflecting her every attack.

The chamber shook with every blast, and Nightmare Moon stood her ground until Celestia was no more than a pony-length away. “No! NO! You will not succeed! You will never succeed, Celestia, not while I hold breath! Not while Luna and I are one!” Nightmare Moon screamed in defiance, froth escaping from her lips as she gathered as much power from the Core into her next spell as she could.

But Celestia would not have it. In return, she wove a spell of her own, and a rainbow cascade came from her horn to encircle her sister’s Nightmare. The black alicorn screamed in rage as the power of the Elements weakened her, causing the power within her horn to flow back into the Core at an astonishing rate, irrevocably damaging it.

“Nightmare Moon! From this moment henceforth, you are banished from Equestria and sentenced to imprisonment within Luna’s moon for all eternity! BEGONE! And free Luna where you stand!” Celestia announced into the chamber, rearing up upon her hind hooves as she poured more power into the spell.

“No... No! I will not be defeated! No!” The rainbows tightened around Nightmare Moon’s body, weakening and pushing her down into into Luna’s mind. When they retracted, what remained was Luna within her original body, collapsed upon the floor.

Opening her eyes and looking around, Luna slowly smiled, tears springing to her eyes as she peered up at her elder sister through the swirling maelstrom of rainbows. “I’m sorry, Celly, I never meant for any of this to happen...” Then, she began to float upward, her legs dangling beneath her, the princess too weak to do anything. “Goodbye, Celly... I’ll miss you...”

At first, Celestia was overjoyed, her sister had returned to her, and healthy, too! But as Luna raised into the air and said her goodbyes, Celestia began to worry, “W-What? Goodbye? No! I freed you, dearest sister! You’re free and Nightmare Moon is banished!”

The last thing Luna said as she floated up into the sky through the hole in the roof was, “So I am...” Far below, she could see the ruins of Everfree Castle, could hear the soft sounds of the night, and could hear her sister screaming in heartbreaking despair.

I WANT MY SISTER BACK! …...
While Nightmare Moon raged on in a corner of Luna’s mind, her own thoughts became peaceful as an intense lethargy settled over her. She felt the long slumber coming, and her thoughts slowly drifted away until only a single one remained as she fell into the realm of dreams.

Goodbye, Celly... I love you...

_______________

Tears streamed down Celestia’s eyes as she stretched her neck out as far as it would go towards her rapidly dwindling sister, and a sob broke through when the outline of an alicorn’s head appeared upon Luna’s moon.

No! No no no nonononononono! You said she would be freed! That I would have my sister back! You lied to me! Why did you lie to me? Give me this false hope!? Celestia demanded of the Elements coursing through her body, collapsing to the floor as her strength gave out on her.

“We never lied to you at any point. We did free your sister, and you had her back for a short time, but you chose the punishment without realizing that the two entities may be connected. When your sister’s Nightmare was banished, you banished your sister, too. No, this is not our fault, we did as you had asked of us, a tool in your hooves, nothing more.” The Elements pushed their warmth and peace at Celestia to calm her heart, but the alicorn pushed it all away.

N-No! I couldn’t have! I couldn’t have done such a thing to my own sister! I... I... It took a moment for Celestia to finally accept what she had done. What do I do to get her back...? I’ll do anything, even if I am put in her place!

“We took care of that for you. While we could not change the spell you had chosen yourself, we could at least add to it. We work best when we each have a vessel of our own to work through that possesses our specific trait, so we looked forward and found the earliest point at which we would be able to take up containers. Originally, you were going to banish them both for eternity, and for the next thousand years, she will slumber, but on the eve of the thousandth Summer Sun Celebration, as you call it, your sister will return to you, and we will be able to free her once again.”

As Celestia was about to reply, a rumble shook the entire castle, and a wave of disrupted magic passed through the stone, causing the Princess’ eyes to widen in fear. The Core! It had become unstable and about to blow!

“Our little pony, you must leave. Now. We will survive this. You however, will not. Go! Flee! Escape! Live on for your sister! If you are not there for her when she returns, then she will never break free from her Nightmare!”

The Elements’ words caused Celestia to hurry to her hooves and sprint from the chamber. The alicorn was fearful, panic in every step as she galloped through the halls. The short battle between the two alicorns had done a number on the palace, with once clear halls now strewn with more debris. Whatever ponies that had been within the palace had fled this time around, but she did see the occasional body amongst the debris as she fled.

One of them caught her attention. It was that of a former Minister of hers, Check List, her form half crushed beneath a pile of stone blocks. Her horn had been shattered by falling masonry and her eyes were wide open, a look of shock and regret frozen upon her face.

Oh... Check List... Not you, too... The shock of seeing the body of one of her former Ministers brought Celestia out of her panic. I will mourn you later... but right now, I must go! There isn’t much time! The Princess steeled resolve and she refocused her efforts more on escaping than simply running away. Gathering magic within her horn, a loud whine began to rise into the air, and just as it reached an unbearable pitch, the light from Celestia’s horn surrounded her body, and she winked out of existence.

______________

The next few days passed in a fog to Celestia. While she had escaped from the castle and reappeared within her quarters at Canterlot, she was still able to witness the destruction of Everfree castle. It had started out as a dim light on the horizon outside of her window, followed by a bright flash, like a second sun, that turned night to day. Now, Everfree City was but a memory.

Once the adrenaline had drained from Celestia’s body, she had collapsed and took her frustration and despair out upon her bed. On pillows, large damp areas were evidence of the tears she had spilled, while on the mattress, it looked like the fabric had nearly been torn apart from where she had battered it with her hooves.

The few inquisitive ponies who had tried to find out what happened had been unceremoniously tossed from the chambers, the doors magically bolted and shielded from further entry behind them. At first, the sound of pounding hooves had resonated through the chamber from the door, but over time, they decreased and then stopped. Through the windows, the only thing the curious pegasi or even levitating unicorns could see were their Goddess in weeping misery, or asleep.

So they left her to recover, at every moment afraid that Nightmare Moon’s army would come rolling in to finish off the last city of Equestria. In a corner of Celestia’s mind, she could still hear the goings-on outside of her room. How the Sleepers and Messengers had collapsed where they stood. The Shadowbolts, Storm Mages, and Knightmares were in disarray and quickly falling apart. Cities were regaining control, and the only link to what had actually happened was laying within her chambers unwilling to inform anypony.

After Celestia had cried herself out for what seemed to be the thousandth time, she looked up and noticed the sun high up in the sky. Even through her tears and mourning, she had almost subconsciously raised the sun every morning. She couldn’t touch the moon itself, so, instead of trying to control her sister’s night, she instead used her sun to push it along the sky. It wasn’t the best solution, but it worked for now, until she could find a way to assume the duties of both the day and of the night.

Hunger gnawed at her empty belly, and although she wasn’t weakened from it, it still drew her attention. It’s been days, I can’t sit here the rest of my life and cry for my sister, that can wait until I’ve gotten this mess cleaned up... Come on, Celestia, let’s get up and get moving, one hoof in front of the other. I have cities to regain, ponies to comfort, and problems to address!

The Princess pulled herself out of bed and looked at her reflection in the vanity mirror beside her, shuddering at what she saw. She looked like she was half dead! Her mane was mangled and disarrayed, worse than she’d ever seen it before, and the alicorn’s face was soaked and puffy from crying, her eyes more red than white at this point. Crawling from the bed, Celestia stepped into the washroom to bathe. Once that was done, she could then begin the long and arduous process of taming her pink mane and restoring her damaged facial features.

Afterwards, Celestia felt refreshed and considerably better than she had earlier. She still wanted to bawl her eyes out, but that could wait for another time. She was now the sole ruler of Equestria, and she had to show it. Dropping the shields around the room, she threw open the doors, surprising the two guards waiting outside. As they dropped into a bow before her, Celestia thought that she saw the hind-end of a page go running around the corner at the far end of the hall.

She was quite right in her assumptions, it seemed, as she was quickly swamped by the Canterlot Ruling Council and swept off into their meeting chambers. Hours went by as Celestia recounted the happenings of that fateful night, and several times she had to stop as she choked and nearly broke down into tears once more. The questions they leveled at her were scalding and pervasive, and she answered them as best as she could, but still the unicorns were not satisfied. She gave them everything she could and more, but the unicorns of the council seemed intent on pushing her to her limits and beyond.

So far, in fact, that she had to leave the meeting partway through and return to her room, locking herself inside for the remainder of the day.

______________

“What will we do with them, Princess?” a gruff guard asked of her.

Looking across the field, Celestia grimaced at the sight that lay before her and had to shake her head to get the afterimages out of her mind as she turned away.

Multitudes of Messengers and Sleepers lay strewn haphazardly across the fields near Canterlot, many of the Sleepers dead from having tumbled out of the sky. It appeared they had all been prepared to march upon Canterlot.

Celestia crept forward and knelt down before one Messenger, a colt. Nightmare Moon was long gone, but she could not understand why her army of ponies was still in this condition. Nudging the unicorn, The Princess touched her horn to his to figure out what, if anything, that she could do for him, and was immediately plunged into nightmares so severe she could have sworn they were her own.

It felt like an eternity until something broke the contact between their horns, bringing Celestia back to the present. She was shivering, her breath coming in ragged gasps, and she was honestly surprised to find that she had not wet herself out of terror. “Wha-What happened...?” the alicorn questioned to one of her guards, who was knelt down beside her in concern.

“You touched your horn to the Sleeper’s, then screamed and were cut off somehow. Almost immediately your colors began to fade, and that’s when I wrenched your horn away from that...thing’s. What did you find out?”

Lowering her head, Celestia swallowed and whispered, “I can’t save them... When I went in... Whoever these ponies were, there’s nothing of them left, only the Nightmares remain. I... I don’t know what to do! I want to save them, but there’s nothing I can do to help!”

The sound of swords unsheathing caused Celestia’s head to dart up and look behind her. More guards had arrived from Canterlot, and each had their sword unsheathed. “What? Why?” the Princess inquired, worried of what each of the ponies had in mind.

“We’re soldiers, your Highness. We may not have fought in a war, but we’ve seen plenty of things over our years of duty. Right now, if there is nothing you can do for them, then the only merciful course of action is to give them a swift death.” He held up his sword and raised an eyebrow down at her. “Do we have your blessing?”

Celestia shut her eyes tight, wishing that this wasn’t the case, but she did not wish to see her ponies suffer further and finally nodded, standing to turn away. “Wait until after I have gone, I... I can’t watch this, but please end their suffering...” Opening her eyes wide, Celestia took to the skies and tried to get as much distance as she could, but even then she could not escape the sounds of steel sliding into flesh.

______________

“My little ponies, we are all gathered here so that I may announce that the War is over. It was through great fortune that I personally defeated Nightmare Moon not more than seven days ago, and banished her from these lands. My... My sister, sadly, was lost..., and I now rule Equestria alone.”

Just before her speech, reports had come back to Celestia of how everypony that had fallen to the Slumber of Nightmare Moon had finally been laid to rest and the bodies disposed of.

She could not help but think about all the innocent lives that had been lost as she spoke, and though, in reality, it only lasted for a few minutes, the speech seemed as though it carried on for hours. Once Princess Celestia had finished, she saw a number of ponies raise their hooves into the air, eager to ask questions. Unsure of where to start, she simply chose one at random, pointing to them and listening to their query.

“Now that this ‘war’ is over, what are your plans for Equestria?”

Smiling at the audience, Celestia rose her voice, “I plan to begin the reintegration and reconstruction of all the cities attacked by Nightmare Moon, back into the nation of Equestria, and to begin construction of a new Royal Palace within the city of Canterlot. Next question?”

However, as she pointed to the next pony she was to address, another mare spoke up instead.

“And what about all the ponies hurt in this war!?” she cried out, “What are you going to do for their families?!”

“Do we even know what started this bloody thing in the first place?” another said. Ponies began to speak and shout at the Princess without giving her a chance to respond and gradually the whole thing degenerated into a cacophony of voices all wanting to be heard as angry ponies each raised their own questions.

“Who’s going to pay for all this?!”

“...and what of the allegations that you could have prevented this war from even starting...”

“...heard that you abandoned your sister to …”

“...crock of horseapples, you caused this war to get rid of your sister and become the sole monarch!”

“...my brother was in Cloudsdale!”

“...rumors that all the remaining enemy forces were slaughtered without mercy!”

“I... What I can say is... That’s untrue! No, that did not...” Celestia tried answering the questions, but new ones constantly interrupted her, and the more she tried to answer questions, the louder the crowd became.

Until, the crowd had become little more than an unruly mob and had begun pushing against the guards at the edge of the stage in protest. Cries of “Tyrant!” emanated from the frothing mass, slowly merging into a discernible chant which rose into the air as more ponies took it up.

Celestia took a few uneasy steps backward, unsure of how to proceed when a guard pushed against her side and snorted, “Go. It’s become too dangerous for you here, Princess. We’ll handle this.”

Continuing to back up, Celestia’s eyes went across the mob of angry ponies gathered in front of her. Turning away, she fled from the auditorium, leaving the jeering mass behind her and sprinted across the courtyard into the Council building. The alicorn’s eyes began to dampen as she felt tears fill them. Galloping back to her quarters, all she could think was, I’m not a tyrant! I was just trying to do my best for my little ponies! I’m not a tyrant! No no nononononono!

______________

As time passed, Celestia’s approval went down the drain as the rumors and accusations of tyrant went out across the land of Equestria, and while she did her best to gently quiet them, it did not help that many of the communities hated her for allowing the war to even occur. In time, however, order was eventually restored to the kingdom. More or less.

Remnants of Nightmare Moon’s armies were still fighting in places, lead by two of the former captains of the Nightmare’s Legion, and what little that remained of Equestria’s armed forces were consistently faced with fighting them off. Morale was low, after all, what were they fighting for? A tyrant princess?

Even so, Canterlot’s new Royal Palace was proceeding along quite nicely, assisted in no small part by the magic of the unicorn workforce present in the city. A dungeon had to be built, unfortunately, due to the disorder still raging throughout the country and because of that, it filled up quite quickly. In order to offset this, the worst of the offenders went to the headsmare, who gave them a choice: the axe or the noose. This was, of course, done behind Celestia’s back, as the Council did not feel it necessary to trouble her with such depressing duties.

When the Princess eventually found out, her anger could be felt across all of Canterlot. Though she did little more than remove the offenders from their positions, the whole ordeal only succeeded in fueling the flames, and gave more ammunition to those that accused her of being a tyrant. It was at this point that the Goddess of the Sun became desperate. Desperate enough to use a spell that would label her as a tyrant for sure if it was ever discovered.

A new day found the alicorn at the entrance chambers of Canterlot’s own Core. As she entered, she noticed that it certainly did not seem as spectacular as Everfree’s chamber. In fact, it was much smaller, with this Core nothing but a shard compared to Everfree’s massive crystal.

Stepping forth, Celestia’s thoughts roiled within her mind. She had to get this spell right the first time. She did not want to think of what would happen if she did not.

Swallowing, the alicorn thought back to the first time Luna had used Everfree’s Core, and going over the steps in her mind, repeated them. Standing beneath the floating crystal, Celestia sent a ray of power into its heart, filling it with her consciousness, and in return, the Core filled hers with its own. She stood in awe at the immense amount of energy at her disposal. She felt it well within her and marveled at its intensity as it bolstered her own power. Thanking the Core for its gift, the alicorn wove her spell ever so carefully, double and even triple checking it. She could afford no errors. The slightest mistake would be catastrophic. When she finished, she passed on the completed spell to the Core, which used its power to strengthen and expand it until the spell was cast.

What passed through Equestria was an immensely complicated spell that touched every creature, large and small. They knew something had happened in the previous weeks. Something... Horrible? They could not place their hooves upon it. They of course knew that there had been somepony named Nightmare Moon, and that Celestia had to banish her to the moon, losing her own sister in the process, but the specifics were always vague, as if it had happened so long ago.

Memories of loved ones who died vanished, instead replaced by ones of them moving on. Accidents killed their friends, a slew of accidents that spread across Equestria. Maybe perpetrated by this ‘Nightmare Moon’?

Even Nightmare Moon’s own troops questioned what they were doing. What were they fighting for? They could not remember. Why did they have a moon upon their foreheads?

Even Everfree was barely a memory now. It had always been an abandoned castle in the middle of Everfree Forest, a strange place where the forest followed no rules or guidelines.

No... Celestia’s little ponies would not remember. They would not remember the terror that was the War of the Night. Of course, she would have to hunt down and destroy anything that mentioned it and leave no histories behind. If necessary, she would even have to make sure that nothing was left behind from the current generation at all. While the spell would work upon them, any future generations would not be affected by it...

______________

Months passed, then years, and Celestia had, to the sorrow of her heart, just discovered the very last mention of the War of the Night. Looking up into the night sky, Celestia could clearly see Luna’s image drawn against the moon her sister had created. Sitting atop the remains of Everfree Castle, she could see that the forest had all but overrun the remains of the city, hiding it within the foliage, and the castle itself now sat upon a high cliff, presumably because of the destructive energies released by the Core’s detonation.

At her hooves lay two objects. One was special to her, a gift from her parents to their daughters: a gold and silver filigreed tome. Celestia and Luna’s life. Recorded by an invisible quill for the ages, forthright and impartial. The other was something Celestia knew was so very dangerous: A simple, onyx statuette of a pony. It carried the feel of her sister all through it, but Celestia refused to touch its inky surface.

The first object, Celestia lay bound within a ornamented box and hid away, the box locked by the strongest magics she could place upon it. The other made its home within Canterlot Castle’s deepest dungeons, placed within a room specifically made for it, shielded, and then walled off. Nopony would ever find her sister’s downfall again.

________________

Time passed, years went by, and Celestia grew, physically, mentally, and emotionally. She matured greatly in her years of rule, growing taller and more regal, as her mane began to take on the colors of the Borealis, flowing eternally in the breeze of the Solar Wind. She ruled with a gentle heart, her many years of hardship giving her great wisdom, something that she wished she had possessed during her sister’s war. Still, with the years came a new serenity for her.

While the days were lonely, and the nights ever more so, Celestia knew she would be reunited with her sister one day, and she made plans for when that time would come, some nights even looking up at the moon and talking to her sister, hoping the alicorn would be able to hear her words. And sometimes, unknowingly to Celestia, she did...

______________

Something shook Luna from her dreams, and she let her now conscious mind explore her prison once again. Her moon was cold and desolate, and far below, through the vastness of space, she could sense the hemisphere of Equestria, and the Deep Dark that it rested upon. She never seemed awake while the moon was within the Deep Dark, only when it shone high above Equestria.

Looking inward, Luna noticed Nightmare Moon was asleep, herself. The two had only been awake at the same time once in the past... Luna did not know how long ago it was, all she could sense were the bright lights beginning to spread across Equestria during the night. She did not know what this implied, but was only too happy to hear the words sent to her.

“My dearest sister, I hope you can hear me... I do not blame you for anything that happened. I read our parents’ gift to us, and found that statue. Both are hidden safely away now, hopefully never to be found again. I-I’m so sorry everything turned out the way it did, I never meant for this to happen to you. To us. Time’s ticking slowly away from me, and I cannot yet see the stars that will aid you in your escape... I just wish you were here.”

They were the same words Celestia spoke to her whenever she was awake to hear them, and Luna smiled as sleep took her once again...

_______________

Centuries passed, and Equestria prospered, growing larger by the year. Memories became tales, tales became legends, and legends became myths. Luna and Nightmare Moon became something even less than that, an old mare’s tale, nothing more than the story of Mare in the Moon.

It was the eve of the thousandth Summer Sun Celebration, and Celestia was nervous and downtrodden. The stars were approaching the moon quite quickly now, nearly to its edge.

The Princess was as prepared as she could be. She had removed the Elements from their old resting place and put them within an accessible chamber. She had made sure that the path to Everfree Castle was at least traversible, and she had sent her most beloved student on the quest that would enable the whole plan to come to fruition.

Celestia’s student was the young Twilight Sparkle, a bright unicorn mare with a knack for learning. She was also the most magically proficient unicorn that she had ever come across in her entire thousand years of ruling, and as Celestia tutored her, she came to the realization that Twilight was also one of the containers the Elements of Harmony had spoken of. The one for Pow- No, not Power. Magic as it was called now. And so, when her faithful student had discovered the old tale of the Mare in the Moon, the Princess had simply laughed it off and sent her off to Ponyville to make some friends.

Celestia’s student would find the other containers, and the Elements would stop Nightmare Moon and return her sister to her, and all would go back to how it was. Or so the alicorn hoped.

She was currently waiting in one of the dressing rooms, having been attended to by a unicorn by the name of Rarity, gazing up at the moon hanging silently in the night sky outside the window. As the four stars connected, the image of her sister’s head vanished from its surface. Celestia hung her head, waiting until she felt a dark presence seep into existence behind her.

“A thousand years. A thousand years I dreamt. A thousand years I suffered in total isolation, and when I return, you have nothing to say to your dearest sister!?” the Nightmare said from behind Celestia, venom dripping from every word.

Celestia slowly raised her head and turned to stare at Nightmare Moon, sadness within her eyes, “I have nothing to say because I cannot think of anything to say except that I am both grateful, and saddened, to see you once again...”

Nightmare Moon approached Celestia, circling the Goddess of the Sun as her intense gaze pinned Celestia where she stood. “You look much different from when I last saw you. Older. That will not save you, of course. A thousand years, even asleep, is plenty of time to figure out a plan of revenge. Oh, yes, dear Celestia. I came up with the perfect spell for you! Just as you banished and imprisoned me, so shall you be, but this time, it won’t be a thousand years. Oh no, my sister. You will be imprisoned within your precious sun. And then, when I have subjugated all of Equestria, you will return here, and this time, there will be no Elements to save you. I will break you! And you... will... bow to me!

Celestia kept her eyes upon her sister, silent for a time before finally replying in a whisper, ”...And I deserve every last bit of it... I’m sorry, Luna.”

Nightmare Moon’s horn began to shine brightly as the coils of the black mare’s spell wrapped themselves around the Princess. Celestia felt herself becoming insubstantial. Her sight blurred, and she could feel the intense heat of her sun become one with her...

Please, Twilight, be swift...

______________

A gentle nuzzle to her cheek shook Twilight Sparkle from her studious trance, and she looked up with sorrow-filled eyes into Celestia’s own. Her beloved teacher’s hoof gracefully came up and shut the book in front of them, and the Princess nuzzled her once again as she smiled to her student, “And you know what happens after that, my faithful protege.”

Twilight looked down at the closed tome, and then back up at the white alicorn, her eyes beginning to dry. “But Princess...? Why all the death, and the spell? Why those?” Twilight’s eyes begged for some justifiable reason, for something to show that her teacher wasn’t some sort of monster.

Celestia had expected this, raising her head away from Twilight to speak. Taking a moment to gather her thoughts, the Princess breathed deep and closed her eyes, before reopening them to stare down lovingly at her student.

“The tome does not list everything, Twilight Sparkle. It does not list exactly how much I went through. There really was nothing to be done for Nightmare Moon’s Sleepers and Messengers. Even if there could have been, they would have been little more than vegetables. The Nightmares within had destroyed their minds. They were... already dead. Their bodies just didn’t know it, yet.” Twilight could see the intense sorrow in Princess Celestia’s eyes and turned away.

“As for the spell, I had run out of any other course of action I could take without actually resorting to tyrannical measures, and even that spell I knew crossed the line, but it was the best I could do considering the event’s circumstances. In more ways than one, it was a necessary evil. My little ponies forgot about the war, the atrocities, and the deaths of their loved ones. Because of it, peace settled over the land once again, but in spite of what has been forgotten to the ages, I still carry the burden of what I have done with me, my student.”

Celestia laid her neck over Twilight’s, the pony giving a little shiver at the touch. From around Celestia’s other side approached Luna, who lowered her head to brush her nose against Twilight’s mane, “Twilight, my sister has always meant well.”

“But... What about me being a container for the Element of Magic? Was that all you took me in for, Princess?” asked Twilight, begging for any answer other than what she feared, even a lie would suffice.

Princess Celestia chuckled, pulling her student into a hug, “Twilight, you should know me better than that! I didn’t know you would be the container until you were nearly a mare. I have always loved you, and since the day I took you on as my student, you’ve been a dear friend to me. Of that, there is no doubt.”

Twilight gave her teacher a loving nuzzle in return, then peered down at the book before them, a thought coalescing in her mind.

“Princess... You had that spell ready for me... didn’t you?”

The unicorn thought she saw Celestia flinch, but could not be sure. The pony who spoke, however, was Luna, who laughed softly, “Your student is quite perceptive, Celly!”

Celestia smiled at Luna’s laughter and nodded in return, “Yes, you are Twilight Sparkle. ...I did. I had the spell ready in case you could not handle what was within that book, but my worries seem to have been unfounded.”

As Luna settled back down next to them, Twilight leaned against Princess Celestia and sighed, “...I suppose I should go get the other book and get started on it.” As she began to stand, however, a hoof pushed her back down into place.

Staring in amazement at Celestia, Twilight began to speak, but was instead interrupted gently by her teacher. “Not tonight, my student. We’ve covered quite a lot, and though I know of just how great your thirst for knowledge is, it is good to pace yourself. For now, rest yourself, and let us just watch the sunset, having just ourselves for company and knowing that all is right in Equestria...”

And so they did, the three of them taking in another glorious sunset over the ocean.

And yet, not all was right.

______________

In a sealed room, deep within Canterlot Palace, a malice a thousand times worse than Nightmare Moon’s lay waiting, gathering its power. A thousand years had given it enough to take shape, but that was it. Soon, however, it would have enough energy to break out of its stone and magic prison. The entity cursed that the violet creature had moved out of range of its surveillance spell, but no matter. It knew that it would not be long now.

The Deep Dark would feast upon the world of Equestria soon enough...

EPILOGUE

Everything comes full circle. Life begins, life ends, and life begins again in a never-ending cycle. As the sun sets, the moon rises, only to give way to the sun once more on the following day. Our daughters, the skies are yours now. Our Sol and Luna, yours to command. This tome that was given to us by our parents, we now give to you. May all your adventures be written within, and may you both always be there for each other. Learn from our mistakes and our experiences, and may the Daughters of Equestria rule in everlasting peace.

_______________

“Come, come my daughters, we must hurry. Ascension waits for no pony, no matter who they are,” former Queen Luna said to the two alicorn fillies ahead of her. She had grown over the years into a body much like that of Nightmare Moon’s, but not quite. While she bore the mane of galaxies, her coat remained the same color as it had always been. No, she was glad she was no longer that menace.

Ahead of her walked her daughter and her adopted daughter. One was hers, of course, and the other Celestia’s. She quite missed her mate, who had died of old age over a decade ago, and while it still pained her, she was happy he had lived quite the lengthy life, as well as giving her a beautiful filly.

“Mother, what will the Ascension be like?” Venus, her own filly asked of her, while Sirius looked back at her adopted mother. Venus had a deep violet coat, with a velvet black mane that seemed to soak in the light of the day. The cutie mark on her flank was of a crescent moon with one star within its cradle, representative of the name that she was sometimes called: The Morning Star. Sirius beside her could not contrast more so. Her coat was the sky blue of a warm summer day, and her mane the orange of a lively flame. Her mark was much closer to her mother’s: A many-rayed sun of white and a darker blue.

“Sad, and yet happy at the same time, and very very bright, my Morning Star.”

Luna shooed both fillies ahead of her with her wings until they entered Celestia’s personal chambers. There, in the center waiting for them, was Celestia, looking the same as she had two millenia ago. Luna walked forward and embraced her elder sibling, whispering into Celestia’s ear, “I wish I could come, Celly, but a thousand years in the moon in slumber prevented me from aging. Please wait for me on the other side?”

Celestia chuckled at her sister’s enthusiasm and hugged her in return just as hard, “Of course, my dearest Luna. You won’t be alone, either. You’ll have our wonderful daughters with you. Venus will never experience the deep loneliness of the night with you around.”

Breaking apart, their children rushed in to embrace their other mother as Luna stepped back to a safe distance. After several minutes, Celestia pushed them gently away, and the two fillies made their way beneath Luna’s wings, which held Venus and Sirius tightly beneath them, just as Celly had done with her so many years ago.

And as a light began to shine from Celestia’s body, Luna whispered, “Goodbye, my dearest Celly. Wait for me, just as you did after I left...” Soon, the light grew too bright to look at, and Luna shielded her daughters’ faces with her wings.

Once the light vanished, there was nopony there, and Luna nuzzled each of the fillies, as tears streamed down all their faces.

“Come, let us go paint a picture of your mother. When we’re done... we’ll hang it alongside the one of my parents...”

________________

The thousand years that passed since then seemed like an eternity for Luna, but soon enough, her own Ascension day came, with her fully grown daughters looking on. All her affairs were in order, and as the light began to take her, Luna felt a great peace settle over her mind. Her own light became too bright to keep her eyes open, and she felt something shift.

After what seemed like only a few seconds, Luna came to find herself upon a pure white platform within a gazebo-like structure. Blinking and stepping out, her eyes were met with a sight so beautiful she could not put it to words. Haven stretched out before her in every direction, and there, at the bottom of the steps stood a large crowd of alicorns, waiting to greet her.

However, Luna’s eyes saw only the three at the forefront. Three alicorns she had not seen in millenia... and as Luna galloped down the snow-white steps to Sol, Altair, and Celestia, she thought only one thing.

I’m home!

THE END OF SOLAR FLARE

(A/N) Whooboy this was a tough one to write! I nearly made it TWO parts just because of how long it was becoming! But, it is finished now, with two sequels planned for it. Hell, I had to stop several times just to dry my eyes, and from talking with a couple of my proofreaders, I broke their hearts, too! There was so much more I wanted to put in that I couldn’t, either to not having the room, or because it did not fit. Also, a thanks to my editors, Sali and ZAquanimus!
~Dragryphon~

(E-1/N) Hoo... I’m kind of at a loss for words at this point. It’s... been a very harrowing experience, editing this series and the whole set has been very emotionally and physically draining for me. Good writing will do that to you. It hadn’t taken as long as the previous portion, thanks in no small part to ZAquanimus, which I am extremely grateful for.
I enjoyed reading and refining several areas: The battle for Cloudsdale and Nightmare Moon’s dialogue were particularly fun for me. I love... Nightmare Moon’s dialogue. She’s so... corrosive and full of herself. It’s like she’s taking a brillo pad to your face and smiling at you when she does it. By far... my favorite representation of the character, as I’ve stated before.
Check List was kind of sad, for me... She was more of a footnote than anything else originally... and I feel kind of responsible for what happened to her... so... that kind of hurts.
In fact, and in spite of that... I actually... made it all the way through, to the last sentence of the story without... any sort of external emotional response... but... it got me on the last sentence. I couldn’t do it. Manly tears. So here I am... and... though it’s going to kill me, I can’t wait to see what happens. We’ve got a whole... alternate universe thing going... and then the future. And maybe more. I can’t wait. So until then.
~Sali (aka Saliant Sunbreeze)

(E-2/N) …did you guys just read what I read? What I had to read again and again for pretty much a week. I swear, I’ve cried more times this past week than I have in a long time. I thought I supported my own fics, heart and soul, as insurmountable fanon. But this...
Solar Flare is fanon, it is a mythos, it is The Mythos of Equestria; as far as I’m concerned. I started out as just a lucky little pre-reader for part 1. Then my OC actually got a cameo in part 2, as well as 3. And here I am an editor for part 3, and I could not be happier, despite my puffy red eyes and tear-drenched face. I’m getting to the point where I’m just gonna end up rambling for a while.
So, long story short, Dragryphon is an amazing writer, she brought Nightmare Moon into being and gave her life. Even as an evil, tyrannical, power-hungry dictator, I just can’t help but find myself... admiring, praising, pitying her. And then there’s her majesty, Princess Luna... oh don’t let me even begin on how much I adore how Dragryphon brought her to life. The Princess of the Night will always be my favorite pony, whether it be Princess Luna or Nightmare Moon, a troubled soul that just wants to feel loved.
I am truly honored to have contributed to this fic, to have worked with Dragryphon and Sali. And I cannot wait to see what else Dragryphon has in store for us.
Her Royal Majesty’s humble servant of the night,
-ZAquanimus

Comments ( 16 )

One thing: Why are there no comments? This is a brilliant story and I really can't fathom why it has received so little attention.
Your writing is amazing, the idea is clever, and the overall execution is just spectacular. Well done, I really hope more people read this.

247372

My guess is because I've listed the EqD post with it. I originally wrote this story back in June and July.

247384
Yup, that makes sense. I'm surprised it wasn't featured though...was it? Otherwise more people would have seen it, surely.

247525
Not that I know of quite yet. I'd love for it to be featured. I still have to upload my other stories, though.

This is official history to me.

405219
I plan to rewrite it after I redo What Could Have Been. So much more I wanted to add in but couldn't. Plus, a bunch of small retcons that help explain things better. For example, the war actually happened over a series of months, not a single week. It gives me more time to fit in what I couldn't.

... Simply amazing.

This story is one of my favorites, even after reading hundreds of others. Magnificent

What I'm wondering is what it's like on the Plane of Ascension. Do they still have full conscious awareness? Is it like Adam and Eve and their 'ignorant happiness'? Can they still see the material plane? Or is their plane material as well?

1337623

Deep Dark was meant to go more into the Alicorn Plane, but I have set that story aside, perhaps permanently.

This was a really really good fic. Definitely the best I have read which details Luna's descent into Nightmare Moon. I really cannot fathom why this fic has not received more attention because it is definitely worthy of it.

Well done, sir :rainbowdetermined2:

I cried. That is beautiful.:fluttercry::raritycry::ajsleepy:

2406971

There's a future rewrite for it in store, fixing several of its issues. No idea if I'll ever get around to it.

3496707 Glad to know you enjoyed it!

This is was truly a beautiful story. *sniff*

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