• Published 13th Mar 2012
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Inner Glory - Erindor


A utopian society cannot exist without the corpses of the revolutionaries.

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Chapter 10: Covenant
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CHAPTER 10: Covenant

The Metaspectre dropped to the ground and stepped forward, getting in Celestia's face. Realize, it began, we are not trying to hurt any of you. But push it any further and we cannot guarantee anypony's safety.

“The... the Elements failed?” asked Celestia quietly. Twilight was in just as much shock. Unlike when they had tried to take down Discord, benevolence was strong between the friends. They had used the Elements correctly. And yet the Metaspectre was fine. It didn't even seem disoriented.

We are bound by rules older than you, Goddess. The chief among them that we cannot directly harm any being on this planet. The other side of that is that none may directly harm us. Not even the Elements.

Bright Eyes pushed through the crowd and stepped between the two aggressors. “I can see this will get nowhere without my intervention.”

The two all-powerful beings stepped away from each other, separated by a simple pegasus mare. Twilight almost laughed despite the severity of the situation.

“Celestia. As I understand it, you wish for the safe return of your sister. Metaspectre... is there a name I can call you by?”

Thael will do.

“Alright then. Thael. You wish to take Luna with the intent of?”

Restoring her to Justice.

“Very well. Celestia, you are a mare of your word. Thael, your very race is bound by covenants. I believe we can reach some sort of middle ground.”

“Perhaps.”

We will consider. Celestia, I, the core personality, can promise you that no harm will come to Luna. But your intervention we cannot allow. If you allow us to enter the forgotten realm, with Luna, we will return her, unharmed, before two weeks are up.

“How is that any different than what you were already going to do?”

You have a guarantee of safety and a time restraint, neither of which were certain before.

“Though you may hold to your word, I cannot leave Luna without any sort of support.”

Once more, I cannot allow you to follow me. However... The Metaspectre turned to the six friends, who were still standing in formation, too engrossed by the current events to move. I never said anything about these six.

“Never! The atrocities in there are meant to be forgotten. I cannot have any of my subjects relive them.”

Twilight stepped forward. “Princess. I am willing to go.”

“Twilight, if you understood what you're offering, you'd change your mind.”

The bookworm shook her head. “I'm not certain I would, Princess. I have a duty to the kingdom and to Luna, as my ruler and my friend.” That was all true. However, Twilight had an ulterior motive. She needed to know more about the Metaspectre. As much as she despised the Devil, it seemed to know what was going on. It knew what Celestia was hiding, and why. Besides, the temptation of a 'forgotten realm' and all the potential knowledge it held was too great.

It's decided then. Our business, one way or another, will be finished in two weeks. If Twilight and her friends can stop us before then, so be it. Celestia, if you break your covenant and enter the Land of the Lost and Forgotten, our agreement is off. No guarantees for anyone's safety. Now, we'll be off. Follow me whenever you're ready, Elements.

The Metaspectre disappeared with a loud crack, the scar in space mending in its wake. Celestia looked at Twilight sternly, who, for once, held her gaze in rebellion.

“Twilight, though I appreciate the intent, I cannot condone your actions. The Metaspectre wants you in there. You're smart enough that you should see that. And as we've already found out, the Metaspectre never has your best interest in mind. Only its own.” Celestia stopped, letting out a quick groan of frustration. “Don't misunderstand, Twilight. I'm grateful that you'd consider, but it's so dangerous there. I can't even begin to explain it, because I've made every effort to erase the words from our language. I'm trying to keep you safe.”

“And I appreciate your concern Princess. But it's not like I'm charging in there unprepared. I have the strength and support of my friends.” The five ponies nodded their agreement and Spike smiled and waved.

Celestia sighed consent. “If only there were another way to save my sister... I would wait out the two weeks but I fear what the Devil can do with that time. Twilight, there will be no way for me to communicate with you in there. So remember, in the darkest moment, light will return. Sometimes all you can do is wait for the dawn. Get in and out of there as quickly as you can. The longer you stay, the harder it will be to stay strong.”

“Thank you, Princess.”

Bright Eyes stepped forward. “Before you enter, Twilight, know that I will always be watching. If you need it, I can help you along your way. I am not supposed to directly influence events, but I can give a slight nudge to the time stream in one direction or another. I might be able to illuminate a dark path but I won't be able to fight off an army of foes.”

The gray pegasus moved her forehoof in the air, eyes glowing with a celestial light. A rift similar to the one the Metaspectre made, appeared in front of them.

Twilight raised a brow. “Did you just use magic?”

Bright Eyes gave a melodic yet calm laugh. “The Forgotten Realm will change your perspectives on Reality. This is nothing.” She paused for a moment, before looking very seriously at Twilight. “Would you like your future revealed to you?”

Twilight thought for a moment. She had read countless books that used fortune telling as a plot device. The heroes in there always became flustered and tried to change the terrible future, and often ended up causing it. She thought back over the last day. If she had known that her house was going to be destroyed, that Luna would be kidnapped, she probably wouldn't have even left her bed. Besides, all the frustration caused by her trivial causality loop, her future self warning herself about nothing... that had been a headache for all parties involved.

“Actually, Derpy, I don't think I do. It's better to deal with problems as they come, especially if they can't be avoided.”

Bright Eyes smiled. “You have shown great wisdom, and that's exactly why I asked. Remember what you've learned with your friends. It's the only thing that can save you. I wish you good luck, Miss Sparkle. Sometimes, that's all it takes to change the future.” The mare extended a hoof towards the rip.

“Well girls?” asked Twilight.

“And guy, don't forget me,” added Spike.

“How about friends?” Twilight looked to Celestia, who nodded her approval.

One by one, the friends stepped into the portal, which closed behind them at Bright Eye's command.

“Will they be safe?” asked Celestia.

“A better question to ask is: do you trust them?”

“Twilight's a wonderful girl,” interjected the Doctor. “But she'll never know the extent of her own ability until we've let go. She has the making of a true hero, but she has to know that for herself.”

“I know, Doctor. You're right, as usual. I just feel like I'm abandoning her, rather than letting her grow.”

“Sometimes that's what it takes.” said Bright Eyes, placing a comforting hoof on Celestia's back. “I'll open a window to the Elements. You'll be able to watch their progress, but knowledge might be a greater torture than ignorance.”

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