• Published 10th Dec 2013
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My Family and Other Equestrians - Blade Star

A HiE fic with a twist. Our protagonist is not alone. How does one approach being in Equestria, when their family is along for the ride?

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Chapter 21 - Nightmare

I found myself wide awake in the middle of the night. It seemed like I had only closed my eyes for a moment before I was wide awake again. I tried for about half an hour to get back to sleep, but despite my tossing and turning, rearranging the pillow and counting sheep, rest would not come. So I decided to do what I had always done back on Earth when insomnia had struck, I went for a walk.

I tiptoed downstairs so as not to wake anypony else in the house. I knew I would regret doing this tomorrow; it was already two in the morning when I headed out. I set out amongst the bare apple trees in the moonlight. Like everything, the moonlight gave the farm a beautiful quality unmatched by the light of the day. I kept up a steady trot as I wandered in an aimless pattern through the trees.

As I turned around, I saw an odd glow in the distance. There was light emanating from Ponyville, as if the entire town was up and about. I had been going around the acres for a few hours or so by my reckoning, and I estimated it to be around five. Applejack and her family might get up soon, but Ponyville was usually silent until around seven or eight o’clock. As always is the case, I decided to investigate and headed toward town.

As I neared the small hamlet, I could hear voices, lots of them. It seemed as if not only were the residents of Ponyville awake, but they had also taken to the streets. Why though? It was far too early; I could even hear the shouts of excited foals badgering their parents. Something was off, that was certain. My hypothesis was conformed as I noticed the decorated state of the town. Everywhere I looked as I crossed the river, were banners and streamers and balloons. They each bore the same thing, the cutie mark of Princess Celestia.

Why would she be here? And where were the banners of Princess Luna? She was the ruler of the night after all. As I reached Town Hall, I found myself in a crowd of ponies, with no humans to be found. If everypony was up and out of their beds, where were the members of my family?

The whole area was ringed with Royal Guards; evidently the Princesses were due to make an appearance. As I moved through the crowd, I bumped into Lyra. Since she had concluded her interviews, we were on relatively good terms with one another, though I quickly discovered the idea of her being a reincarnated human like me to be false.

“Hey Lyra,” I greeted her. “What’s everypony doing out here at this hour? I thought I was the only one who liked to stargaze round here.” The equine anthropologist looked at me incredulously, as if I had said the maddest thing in the world.

“Come on, Blade Star,” she chided. “This is the most important event of the year! She’s going to be here any minute!” The mare was acting like a little foal on Hearths Warming.

“The princesses you mean. I take it that’s what all these Royal Guards are here for. But where’s the Lunar Guard, aren’t they pitching in?” Again Lyra looked at me as if I had gone mad.

“Blade Star what do you mean? There’s no such thing as a Lunar Guard. And what the Hay do you mean by ‘princesses’?” Before I could form a response, our attention was taken by a sight that made my blood run cold.

A strange blue mist swept around the assembled crowd moving up toward the balcony on Town Hall. I had seen that mist once before, way back in the past, when I first discovered the fandom. The mist settled on the balcony, forming into one of Equestria’s deadliest foes.

“Oh my beloved subjects,” a dark voice called out. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen your precious, little sun-loving faces.” Nightmare Moon; she was back!

For the record, I despise Nightmare Moon. She wrongly took the title of Princess of the Night and forcibly took control of Luna. I will not, till the day I die, forget that look of absolute terror on Luna's face as the transformation consumed her. However, there was little I, or anypony else, could do against her, she was an alicorn after all.

I was panicking. I had to do something, beneath that monster was Princess Luna, the pony I admired above all others. I had to do something, I had to save her. I looked around for Twilight and the others, but I could not see them anywhere. As the Royal Guard attempted to restrain her, Nightmare Moon lashed out at them, sending them flying backwards.

Wait a minute. This wasn’t a return. It was a rerun. At last the puzzle pieces fitted together perfectly. I was in the past, somehow, back in the time of the pilot. This was the return of the Mare in the Moon after her one thousand year banishment. But there was no sign of Twilight, no sign of the Elements, just me. So, with my heart pounding and a desperate desire to save the pony underneath the armour she wore, I stepped out of the crowd.

“Nightmare Moon!” I shouted. This drew the attention of the twisted princess. “Well, well, well, somepony who remembers me. Then you also know why I'm here.”

“You seek eternal night,” I replied fearfully,. “But you are no princess of Equestria, your crown is false. You are not the Princess of the Night.” At once the enraged alicorn was beside me.

“Do you care to repeat that?” she asked coldly.

“Princess Luna is the Princess of the Night, not you!” I answered, with more defiance in my voice now. “You are just a twisted reflection! Return both princesses to us, you have no authority!” And so, I was introduced to a world of pain. Lightning arced across my form, I felt like my skin was being burnt off.

“No authority!” The Nightmare answered. “You foal! I am Luna! I always have been! The only difference between me and her is that I am willing to stand up for myself.” She flung me across the courtyard, at last releasing me from whatever spell she had used to attack me. “I am the ruler of Equestria now! The night shall last forever!”

She was not Luna. Luna would never do this. Somewhere in that monster she lay dormant, unable to move or speak. Without the Elements, I would have to find some other method to redeem her.

“Luna, I know you are in there!” I called out to the Nightmare. “You know this is wrong, you have to fight her. Night-time eternal will destroy everything. Then you will have no one. It will be just you, alone, for all of time. Remove that armour and let me help you.” For the briefest moment, I saw Nightmare Moon’s eyes return to Luna’s own. They were no longer reptilian, but were those wonderful blue orbs that you could get so deeply lost in. But just as quickly they returned to their previous state.

“You lie! You are just another of my pathetic sister’s lackeys. No matter what, I will always be in her shadow! Ponies like you shall not live in my new kingdom!” She reared up to attack me, this time it would be a killing blow. I braced myself. I had tried, but she was consumed, without the Elements, we were lost. I wondered why Twilight and the others were not here. It might have been fun to accompany them on their quest and be there to see Princess Luna’s redemption. But instead, I would die here.

Then though, the sane world intervened. The moon, which had hung motionless over the sky since Nightmare Moon returned, flashed a dazzling light. It was not the cold light of the moon under the Nightmare, but the soothing, gentle light I associated with Luna’s magic. Everypony, including the Nightmare looked away from the sudden bright light.

“Foul creature!” a familiar voice called. “You have a place here no longer, leave this place at once!” The Nightmare took a combat stance.

“What are you? The moon is mine!”

“You are incorrect, Nightmare Moon,” the voice replied. Again, the moon flashed and the speaker appeared. Luna was here, though I had no idea how. “I think you’ll find that the moon is mine, and that you are no longer a part of me.”

For a third time, the light of the moon increased beyond its normal levels. It began to form a beam towards Nightmare Moon, who cast spell after spell against Luna, to little effect. As the light focused, the dark alicorn screamed in rage. And then, she was gone. Everything vanished for a moment. The world then reformed and I found myself again on Sweet Apple Acres, with the true Princess of the Night beside me.

“Are you alright now, Blade Star?” she asked. “That was a very powerful nightmare. I have not seen one that strong for a while.” She paused again as I worked out what was going on. I had been dreaming, it was a nightmare, literally. She had come to save me from it. “You are correct. You are asleep.”

“I suppose it was a sort of attempt at wish fulfilment,” I replied at length. “I just wished I could have saved you, but I couldn't.” I bowed my head, my ears splayed back. Luna placed her hoof on my shoulder.

“Not even my sister could save me then, Blade Star. It took the full power of the Elements to release me from that horror. Nopony, no matter how noble their intent, could have talked me down that night. Though I must say, you did seem to come quite close. And now I am free of that dark influence.” She smiled at me, lifting my spirits somewhat. I then noticed something.

“Hey, you aren’t speaking using the Royal ‘we’ or any of that other old language from your time.” This caused her to giggle slightly in a very un-princess like way.

“I only use that way of speaking when I am in the castle. Tia suggested I try to adapt to speaking in this modern tongue, to help ponies accept me more easily,” she replied. It was nice to have a ‘normal’ conversation with her. “Besides, our time is now. Is it not natural that I talk in the correct manner?”

A wind began to pick up. I knew this to be a sign that I was waking up. Luna too sensed this, and began to take flight. As she moved away from me, she offered a piece of parting advice.

“Remember Blade Star, not everything is in your power. Some things you just have to accept and cope with. You cannot always play the hero, sometimes you need to just live your life.” And with that she, and the dream world we inhabited, was gone.

I woke up relatively peacefully. I was soaked in sweat from the bad dream, but I didn’t awaken with a start. However, I did bolt upright when I opened my eyes. The entire Apple family were gathered around my bed. They all had looks of worry on their faces, though these were now changing to looks of relief.

“What the Sam Hay are you folk all doin’ up here?” I asked in my southern accent. “Ain’t ya ever heard of privacy?”

“We were all just so worried about ya, Blade Star,” Applejack replied.

“Yeah!” chipped in Apple Bloom. “You started tossin’ and turnin’ in the night. An’ ya kept callin’ out ‘Luna’ over an’ over again. We tried to wake ya up, but we couldn’t. Ah was just about to go to get Twilight to see if she could help ya.” I relaxed and smiled.

“It’s okay y'all. Princess Luna herself came to save my sorry hide,” I replied. It occurred to me that Luna had never heard my other way of speaking. I wondered what she’d make of it compared to my much more prim and proper British accent, though that was probably a Trottingham accent to her.

I got myself up. I had definitely tossed about in the night, and the sheets would need a wash to get the sweat out of them. Despite Luna’s intervention, the nightmare had shaken me up more than I cared to admit, the image of Nightmare Moon always had.

I went across the hall to the bathroom and splashed some water on my face. This both woke me up and assured me beyond all measure that I was awake. Though just to be on the safe side, I watched the clock in my room for two minutes. After that, I went down for a late breakfast, I had slept in to half eight. I had another magic lesson with Twilight at nine, so I quickly had breakfast before heading for the front door.

“Hey Blade Star, mind if Ah come and watch you an’ Twilight practice magic today when school’s out for lunch?” Apple Bloom asked. You can’t say no to that filly, so I agreed. In addition, since we were both going the same way, I offered to walk her in to school, so AJ could get in some more training. And with that, we set out for town and our respective schools.

Author's Note:

This is the single most stu-ish thing I have ever or will ever write.

Before you abandon this story or plot to lynch me, let me explain. This chapter is a failsafe. If I ever get tempted to write a stu chapter, this will make it non-sensical in the context of the story. The key is Luna's parting advice. Blade Star cannot always be the hero, nor will he be. That is the sole reason for this chapter's existence.

Next, we go back to normal slice of life stuff. I hope that is more to your liking.

As always, I appreciate your comments and criticisms. Don't forget to like and favourite.

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