• Published 27th Jan 2014
  • 11,079 Views, 185 Comments

Not Another Alicorn! - LordBrony2040

Nothing to see here folks just another lousy fic combining alicorn ascension, divine parentage, and the fallout one of the episode we just don’t talk about aka Mare Do Well.

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Chapter 9

First impressions were important. No matter where a pony went in life, everypony who saw her would remember the first few moments that they met. If Princess Celestia were to end court one day, then go down to the Apple Farm and roll around with the pigs, everypony would remember she had gotten off a throne to do it. Even if Rainbow Dash had trashed the Gala, the Wonderbolts would remember she performed a Sonic Rainboom and saved their lives.

For Rainbow Dash, this party was her first impression when it came to the majority of the ponies in the room. So far, all she had done was shake a few hooves and say hello to her mother’s cabinet, nothing of any real importance. While it was nothing of note, it was also a long way from causing any huge screw ups. To make it through tonight, all she would have had to of done was stick to her friends, and let them be a block to all but the rudest of ponies. High society would think of her as a social wallflower, but an unknown was better than anything negative, and she could deal with that. It wasn't as if she needed to make friends with high society anyway.

The panic attack she was on the verge of having changed that. Now, she knew she looked like some sort of social phobic pony that couldn’t deal with being in large crowds. But for the life of her, Rainbow could barely seem to care.

All she could think about was the information Rarity had relayed.

Part of her screamed at how stupid she was being. Of course a Princess of Equestria wouldn’t have been able to join the Wonderbolts. Her own mother had made Cadence the ambassador to the Griffin Empire. Twilight might have said being a princess didn’t really effect a pony’s life, but Celestia had corrected her as soon as she could. Rainbow just hadn’t wanted to listen.

It might not be that bad, Rainbow Dash tried to tell herself. I might end up leading the Wonderbolts one day.

…because I wrote a book, she reasoned. Even then, it would be the kind of leading she didn’t want to do, like leading them into battle, or just telling the Wonderbolts to go deal with a dragon problem. Rainbow wanted to join the Wonderbolts in order to partake in the air shows, to entertain and inspire. While she would never balk from going on the front lines if the situation demanded it, having that be her sole involvement with them made the idea of such experiences seem so…tainted.

“Rainbow, are you alright?” Fluttershy asked.

The question sent a shiver through Rainbow Dash’s body.

She tried not to sneer. She really, really tried not to sound like an irate donkey, or a huge flank face, but…that question…that idiotic question coming from Fluttershy of all ponies, her oldest friend, the empathic one, the one who knew what Rainbow Dash was feeling before Rainbow knew herself half of the time, it made a tiny bit of the infinite depression she felt turn into something else.

“How do you think I feel?” the alicorn asked through gritted teeth.


“The dream I’ve had since before I can even remember is dead!” she told the yellow pegasus at a much more normal volume. “Everything I’ve ever worked for has been taken away!”

A white hoof placed atop her own. “Rainbow Dash, I’m so sorry,” Rarity told her.

The apology made the alicorn tremble as she practically felt herself pulled in two emotional directions. She knew it wasn’t Rarity’s fault. She had just been the one to repeat what Spitfire had said. But that also made Rarity the one who had added this extra weight on Rainbow’s chest. A weight that already included so much.

“Dash, please calm down,” Twilight begged as she grabbed onto the alicorn’s shoulder.

Calm down? Rainbow Dash mentally screamed as she felt her anger over the situation growing worse by the second. How the hay am I supposed to calm down?

“Ah thought one of them light shows was enough con-sarnit!” Applejack mumbled.

“Time for the big princess magic scene,” Pinkie Pike said as she dove under the nearby buffet table and grabbed some cake to take with her.

The alicorn knocked Twilight’s hoof away and glared at her with enough force to make a minotaur cry for his mommy. “Why?”

Twilight didn’t budge. “Dash, look at where you are!”

“I know bucking well were I am!” Rainbow Dash hissed as she flapped her wings to ruse a few inches into her element and glared back towards the room when she heard a few unintelligible mumbles. For the first time since coming in, Rainbow actually took a moment to really look around at the ponies in the ballroom.

It wasn’t like the distribution of ponies during the Grand Galloping Gala, where admittance was brought with money rather than prestige. Instead of around a third of the crowd being earth/pegasi/unicorn with a tiny smattering of other races, the numbers favored unicorns by a margin that approached nine to one. The fact that all the ponies carrying around serving trays, not to mention the band, were earth ponies just added to her growing fury.

Thousands upon thousands of years had passed, hundreds of generations had come and gone, cities had risen and fallen, Celestia’s Equestria had grown to encompass the continent…and things hadn’t changed at all. The unicorns were still on top, the earth ponies still lived at the bottom, and the pegasi were still sent out to the front lines when they weren’t farming the sky.

I’m here in the middle of Equestria! In the center of our government! And what do I see? she mentally shouted before looking over the crowd. A crowd of stuck-up, self-important unicorns who are just waiting for an excuse to look down on the big pegasus with the horn!

A tiny part of her told Dash that wasn’t true, that things hadn’t been the way she remembered, that it was all just some delusion. But… Rainbow Dash remembered the magic she had used a few minutes ago, magic that even an expert Aeromancer like Spitfire hadn’t been aware of. If that had been real, then it meant everything else in her mind was true as well. It meant that the page from the spell book she had read had been correct.

It was the proof Twilight had been talking about just a few hours gone.

With that realization came another, and another, and a dozen others, one right on top of the other.

It meant that Celestia had taken the life of the pony she had been to replace it with her daughter’s like the spell Twilight had found said.

It meant that her children were dead.

It meant that the ponies that had been her friends were not really her friends.

It meant that her husband was gone.

It meant that the love she had for five mares whom she considered more than family was a lie.

It meant that her own mother had betrayed her.

It meant that Celestia had betrayed her.

The confusion, anger, sadness, and pain all flooded Rainbow’s mind as she looked to the cause of her distress standing on the area overlooking the ballroom. The giant white alicorn was looking down at the smaller light blue one with a frown on her face. Like always, Celestia was judging her, and finding fault.

Rainbow felt a bile rising up in her throat over the whole situation while her heart rate increased and her anger at everything in this room started to boil. Past and present, she had never wanted to be a princess! She hated this! She hated all of it! She wished-

“I would never hurt my friends!” Rainbow Dash’s words rang in her mind.

The interruptive thought stopped the alicorn’s unformed desire before it could fully manifest. She remembered what had happened at the boutique, her friends in a panic and her mother’s own words from a few days prior repeated themselves while her emotions continued to push against their bonds.

“When Luna and I were able to achieve that state, our magic would react to our desires without the need of focus. Petrifaction, transmutation, translocation, I’ve done all this and more to ponies who were simply in the room with me after I entered a foul mood.”

-wished that she could just get out of this stupid castle!

Celestia looked down on the blue alicorn from the top of the stairs that led to the balcony overlooking the ballroom, a little concerned about the evening. The princess was rushing things far too much, and she knew it. The smattering of nobles the sun goddess had gathered were mostly the social climbers and the herds her nephew ran with; all that could be expected when the notice for the gathering had been sent out only shortly before lunch.

But with everything that had surrounded Rainbow Dash the past couple of days, Celestia knew her granddaughter had to make some kind of public appearance. The rumors were already circulating as to why she hadn’t had her coming out party before now, and after her coma became public knowledge, none of them were good. So, this party would be used as a quick introduction to high society, and when it came time for the Canterlot Garden Party, Rainbow Dash would be making another appearance in front of the more nationwide movers and shakers.

The goddess turned her attention away from her reborn daughter for a moment and motioned for the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to join her. Although Lord Fancy Pants had long since graduated from the exciting part of foreign relations that actually involved talking to other lands and now just handled all the paperwork, the stallion was still a master conversationalist and partygoer. “Yes my princess?”

“It would seem my granddaughter is hiding behind her friends like I feared she would,” Celestia mumbled. “Signal your wife to approach the filly and strike up a conversation with them in about ten minutes.” From there, Fleur could make her away around the room to some of the other ponies, who would undoubtedly ask about the new princess, and the seeds of beneficial gossip would have been planted.

A movement at the corner of her eye caught Celestia’s attention, and she looked down to see Rainbow move away from the table she was at. Ah, she is going to mingle that’s…oh, she’s just getting something to eat, the princess thought as she watched the smaller alicorn head to the food while flanked by Twilight and their friend Rarity.

Although, it seemed somepony else wasn’t going to let the impromptu royal guards stop him. “Well, it seems my nephew is doing as I asked at least,” she mumbled.

Fancy Pants turned his attention away from the far corner of the room where his wife had positioned herself, and took a moment to follow the princess’s gaze. “You asked that…your nephew strike up a conversation with the princess?”

“Yes, just to give her a heads up and tell her what’s what,” Celestia explained. Her elder sister’s several times great grandson did have a way about him, and being the ‘most eligible bachelor’ in Canterlot had to have meant he really knew how to play the political games Celestia found herself having little interest in.

For some odd reason Celestia couldn’t fathom, Fancy Pants’s eyes became filled with concern. “I…see,” he mumbled before looking around for a moment, then turned his attention back to the princess. “You mentioned your granddaughter had a passion for the Wonderbolts, yes?”

Celestia nodded hesitantly, remembering Rainbow’s declaration from earlier about her desire to join them. She would need to find a way to let the poor filly down as gently as she could when it came to deliver the bad news about her future as a stunt flyer. As if destroying a pony's hopes could ever be a gentle process. “That’s correct,” she slowly agreed, unsure where this was going.

“Hmm, stands to reason she might enjoy a minute or two with Captain Spitfire,” the unicorn said as he rubbed his chin. “Think I’ll go arrange it, with your permission your majesty.”

“Seems as good an idea as any,” the princess agreed absently while her mind shifted to consider the captain of the Wonderbolts in another way.

Shortly after her reborn daughter had awoken and set off into Canterlot, she had easily managed to loose a pair of pegasi guards that had been positioned near the hospital should anything disastrous were to occur; and from what Celestia could tell, the filly hadn’t even noticed them tailing her before she lost them completely while simply experimenting what with Rainbow considered less than capable flying skills.

It brought up a problem that needed to be addressed. Rainbow Dash was a princess, and a princess needed royal guards. If Rainbow Dash was anything like she had been in her previous incarnation (and Celestia knew for a fact she WAS) then the filly would kick and scream till the sun exploded if Celestia tried to tie a pair of guards to her that would slow the young alicorn down.

Being thoroughly trounced during her race back to Canterlot had proven to the sun goddess that none of the pegasi in the royal guard were ever going to be keeping up with her. She needed another trained Aeromancer, a Wonderbolt. So she had passed the idea to her captain, and Spitfire had agreed to be Rainbow Dash’s personal guard for a week while she evaluated the alicorn to see which of her squadron or a reservist would best mesh with the new princess’s personality.

The sound of approaching hooves drew Celestia out of the past, and she looked up to see the other two alicorns coming towards her.

“Ah sister, Cadence was just telling me the most delightful-”

“What is she doing?” Cadence asked as she looked over the railing.

Celestia turned a bit to follow her adopted niece’s gaze and raised an eyebrow at Rainbow‘s display of displeasure. “I wonder what caused that?”

“She’s manipulating temperatures, with her wings,” Cadence stressed, “in a confined space and-wow that looks cold.”

Apparently ignoring Rainbow Dash giving Blueblood Aurora’s patented cold shoulder, Luna raised a quizzical eyebrow at Cadence. “Pardon? Were you not a pegasus before your ascension? While not all of you are skilled in Aeromancy, I would at least think you could recognize a mare giving a stallion the cold shoulder when…” she paused for a moment and looked over to Celestia. “You cannot tell me that changing temperatures fell under your magic ban for safety, sister.”

“Temperature? No,” Celestia assured her. “However, unfettered vacuum creation was most certainly left out of the general populace’s knowledge.” She hadn’t even shown the Wonderbolts the theory behind that particular technique.

With that bit of trivia out of the way, Celestia turned her attention back on her reborn daughter and gave her a pensive frown. “What in the world is going on down there anyway?”

Cadence let out a groan. “Ugh, probably the same thing he did to me when I was moved to the palace,” Cadence said before she changed her voice to a heavy Canterlot accent most would call ‘snobbish’. “Hello I’m Prince Blueblood, I don’t care that you’ve proven yourself worthy to lead ponies rather than being born with a title like I was, but just let me show you my complete lack of intelligence by insulting you the very first chance I get while showing you what a self-important pompous plot I am.”

“What? Celestia asked as she blinked in confusion, not quite sure what she was hearing had been right.

Luna chuckled at Cadence’s comment. “You as well niece?” the other alicorn asked before she also broke into an impersonation of the prince. “Mine was a bit more like this… Nightmare Moon! Oh you may look like just a young filly but I shall still cower before your expected presence within the castle and… Actually, it’s not all that funny when I think about it. But after learning I would not flay his soul, yes that was the general impression he has left on me as well.”

“Don’t even get me started on what he tried once he found out I was the Alicorn of Love,” Cadence continued. “Well then let us retire to my bedchambers and make you truly worth of that title. Ugh! If it wasn't for that stallion's title, I think Shiney would have snapped off his horn and shoved it right up Blueblood's-ahem, sorry, got a little carried away there."

The white alicorn’s gaze went back and forth between her pink and dark blue counterparts. “What in the world are you two talking about? Blueblood would never say such things!” Celestia exclaimed. “He is the most respectable and mannered stallion in Equestria and-why are the two of you looking at me as if just grew another head?”

“Sister…surely you jest,” Luna said uncertainly.

“Auntie, he’s worse than the guy I went to prom with,” Cadence continued. “You remember that stallion right? Blueblood is that guy with a royal title. Tartarus, at least Buck grew out of it.”

Luna blinked at the information and looked over to the pink alicorn in confusion. “Wait a moment…a pair of parents actually cared so little for their foal to name him Buck? Is that not a euphemism for-”

Celestia groaned and turned away from where this particular conversation was going to look at her daughter. It seemed she had already met with Spitfire and was heading back to her table.

She had to suppress a smile for Rainbow Dash’s choice in companions and seating for this night. As much as Celestia had loved Aurora, the mare always did have a thing against unicorns, her views had always been a bit tainted by a few harsh experiences and the commoner’s view of the third tribe. In truth, they were just as noble and foul as the other two when it came down to it. Celestia simply had to do a bit extra cleaning to get the decent ones in power.

But Rainbow Dash had made friends with members of every tribe equally. Even with everything going on within her, she still counted Twilight and Rarity among her closest friends. It was good to see the filly’s heart hadn’t been overcome by old memories that had been filling her head.

“Yeah, it’s best not to think about it,” Cadence said as she shook her head before she looked back to Celestia. “And Auntie, you can’t seriously tell me you don’t-”

Cadence cut herself off and lost the white alicorn’s attention when Celestia felt a major buildup of mana coming from the area below her. A second later, the sun goddess looked back down to see what all the commotion was, and caught the telltale signs of a teleportation spell aimed somewhere to the West.

“WHAT IN THE NAME OF LOVE WAS THAT?” Cadence shrieked.

Luna groaned and looked over to her sister with a frown. “I thought you said that we weren’t going to be in danger of any more of those outbursts Tia.”

The alicorn of the sun looked back to her sister with her own pensive frown. “You knew there was no guarantee of that Luna,” she said before turning to Cadence. “And that was simply a…mana surge. You know that ponies untrained in the use of their horns have them from time to time.”

“Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening to me after I got my horn,” Cadence deadpanned over the obvious lie.

Still, she didn’t press the issue, so neither did Celestia. “Cadence, I require you to explain Rainbow’s…abrupt departure,” she told the alicorn before turning to Luna. “Will you please check Rainbow’s quarters…and perhaps Twilight’s tower to see if she ended up there?”

Luna raised an eyebrow. “I think we would be able to feel it were that the case sister.” Still, she disappeared in a flash of light all the same.

“Auntie, what’s going on?” Cadence asked as the light from Luna’s teleportation cleared.

“It’s…nothing,” she said, voicing her hopes more than lying. “I will need to speak to Twilight and other others.”

What happened?”

Twilight wilted under Celestia’s demanding gaze and saw that the rest of her friends weren’t faring much better. Fluttershy was hiding behind her hair, Applejack had her hat covering her chest as if it were a shield, Rarity was…glistening bullets as she would say, Pinkie Pie looked ready to bolt at any second, and Spike seemed to be shedding scales he was so nervous. Thankfully, they had been called out of the ballroom for the audience with the princess and there wasn’t a mob of panicked unicorn’s running around Canterlot this time. That little miracle was thanks to a combination of explanations from Princess Cadence and two other tall unicorns; one of whom Rarity had identified as Fancy Pants.

“It was all my fault Princess!”

Twilight closed her half-open mouth and looked over to Rarity in shock.

“We were talking to Spitfire, and she mentioned to Rainbow Dash about how her new status wouldn’t allow for Rainbow to join the Wonderbolts,” the white unicorn explained in a panicked voice. “And well… Rainbow never has been one of the brightest mares, so I guess it never occurred to her that becoming a princess meant giving up her chances of serving in the military. Then, the poor dear must have been in shock, because she just stood there, and we led her back to our table, and I had the most foolish of ideas to mention it to her again and-”

Twilight shook with anxiety as she listened to Rarity throw herself down on the sword. Part of her told the purple unicorn to simply be quiet, to let Rarity take the fall and everything would be okay. It wasn’t even that big a deal, Spitfire had been the one to mention such things, Rarity had simply been repeating what she’d heard.

Yes, Twilight told herself, Spitfire can be the one to be banished, or thrown in prison, or imprisoned in whatever land she gets banished to.

Because…all she had done was tell Rainbow Dash something she hadn’t wanted to hear. So see, it probably won’t even be that bad.

All Twilight had to do was keep her mouth shut, and everything would be fine.

All she had to do was be the exact opposite kind of pony Princess Celestia thought she was, and punishment would be avoided.

All that needed to be done was stay silent, and nopony would know all the other stresses being put on Rainbow Dash’s mind at this point in time had been brought to bear thanks to Twilight’s foolishness. Everypony would think everything was perfectly fine and...

Oh buck it all. Twilight let out a sigh, then took in a deep breath. “It’s my fault Princess Celestia.” The words weren’t said very loudly, or even with much gusto. Still, they stopped Rarity mid-sentence, and brought everypony’s attention down on the purple unicorn.

But the distraction lasted only a moment. A second later, Rarity had recovered and was back to sacrificing herself. “Oh hush Darling, all you did was try to calm her down. I’m the one that-”

Twilight ignored the other unicorn and simply spoke to the princess directly with a little louder voice. “I showed Rainbow Dash some old spell book papers that I found in your room and copied down earlier today and…she…read them. Then she said something about the magic in them being Necromancy. I think that, combined with the stress of her...memory problems, finally exploded when Rainbow Dash got word about the Wonderbolts."

Although Twilight had spent the majority of her life with Celestia, reading the attitude of the sun goddess had always been hard; with the exception of when she was angry. Celestia’s mane would take on a more fiery hue, and what Twilight know knew as the Royal Canterlot Voice would be employed.

This was not one of those times.

Celestia stood frozen. Even the alicorn’s ethereal mane seemed to droop, becoming more like strands of sparkling hair than untouchable bands of light. Her eyes widened, and she made an audible gulp. Then, she looked over to the other assembled ponies. “You may all rejoin the party. I need to speak with my student in private.”

“Uh Princess, what’s goin’ on?” Applejack asked as they all turned to leave, the question giving the group a pause.

“I said-”

“Princess please, they’re Rainbow’s friends too,” Twilight spoke, cutting off the tall alicorn. After the words left her mouth, a part of Twilight’s mind told her she had just interrupted Princess Celestia of all ponies, but the voice that said it wasn’t very loud in contrast to the worry building in the unicorn’s gut. “We’re all worried about her, and I only know a little bit about what's going on, but I know that Rainbow is in trouble and...I...I just want to help her Princess."

A silence fell over the room that lasted far too long in Twilight opinion. But after a few minutes, the alicorn began to speak.

Princess Celestia told them everything. She explained to the Bearers about her past with Aurora, picking up on the events of what happened after her daughter’s death. She explained how she took the pegasus’s soul and placed it within an unborn child, hoping to give her daughter a new life where they could be together. It would have been a life where Celestia could make up for the mistakes of her past; thus beginning the line of rainbow pegasi that would eventually lead to Rainbow Dash, thanks to its failure. She explained how it was obvious Rainbow was showing knowledge of things she should have no information about, and possessed mannerisms thousands of years dead. But she also told them that for some reason, unlike with all the others, Rainbow did just seemed to have not only Aurora’s mane, but her personality as well; even before alicorn-hood would have given her the memories that were causing Rainbow so much confusion now.

When she finally finished her explanation, Twilight started to understand why Rainbow Dash might have been so upset. “So, the original spell called for placing a soul in an empty vessel, but you put it in an unborn child, hoping that Aurora would be reborn as that child? But instead she…well, I guess the most logical explanation would be she road through each life in the back of that stallion or mare’s essence somewhere. Although the question of why Rainbow, or Aurora, was reborn now still comes into question.”

“Pardon me for asking Princess, but…somethin just don’t seem to add up,” Applejack said as she scratched her head. “If Rainbow is like yer daughter born again and all, then…wouldn’t she be…not yer daughter?”

The question only got a confused expression from the princess, along with all the other ponies gathered…except for one that is.

“Are you talking about the conflict between the idea of nature versus nature Applejack?” Pinkie Pie questioned, making everypony in the room give her an even more confused look than the one Applejack had earned a second before.

However, Pinkie didn’t even seem to notice as she tapped a hoof to her chin. “You know, how environmental influences are supposed to account for more than the ones your born with? I can kind of understand that in regards to things like buffalo, griffons, dragons, people, orcs, Jake the Dog, and nine-tailed foxes, but I don’t think it works that way with ponies.”

Twilight raised an eyebrow. “And why is that Pinkie?”

In response, the pink pony turned around to face Twilight with a somber expression. “Because, every pony is born with a gift, and in that gift, lies our destiny. Where we’re born, how we’re raised and who we are pales in comparison for that one moment in which we realize our place in the world,” she said before brightening up. “Least that’s what my Mom said before I moved out. I just like to sum it up with…” she stopped to shove her flank into Twilight’s face, “it’s because of our cutie marks, silly!”

Then, the party pony turned to look at Celestia with a grin. “And I bet Dashie has the same cutie mark she did back when she was Princess’s Celestia’s daughter.”

When all the ponies turned to look at the princess, the alicorn cleared her throat and looked away. “There are definite similarities,” Celestia admitted, “however, Aurora’s cutie mark was just a lightning bolt with a rainbow coloring. While it is true that Rainbow Dash possesses that, her cutie mark also contains a white cloud.”

The news didn’t deter the pink party pony at all. If anything, she became even more excited. “Then that just means she’s even better than before! Her destiny’s even bigger and her talent’s are even cooler! It’s like having two friends in one! She’s both Dashie AND Aurorarararara!” Pinkie exclaimed, earning another confused look from all the ponies assembled. “Hey, let’s see you guys come up with a nickname for Dashie’s past life on the fly!”

While Princess Celestia still stood there speechless, Twilight found herself understanding what Pinkie was trying to explain. After getting over just how much being able to understand Pinkie-level randomness terrified her and wondering if she needed to see a therapist when this was all said and done, Twilight looked up to the Princess. “Pinkie’s right Princess.”

“We already got that part Twilight,” Pinkie reminded her. “And if anypony out there’s been keeping track, it means I’ve been right since Chapter 2! Now all that’s left is for Princess Celestia to explain how zombies are involved…or is it zomponies? Cause that pun might actually work, at least until we met an undead that wasn‘t a pony. Hmm, this one’s a toughie.”

Twilight simply ignored the crazy mare and continued on. “I think you and Rainbow Dash have approached this problem the wrong way; and I think that’s what’s really scaring her. When I spoke about things with her before the party, she was so afraid of what was going on in her head and I couldn’t understand why. But after talking to you…I think I get it now. Rainbow Dash is afraid of admitting the truth because, I think she thinks she will stop being Rainbow Dash if she admits that the memories she's experiencing are real. But…I don’t see why she can’t be both Rainbow and Aurora; because like you said in the hospital when I showed you my memories of Rainbow Dash, that’s who she is.”

The news didn’t seem to sit well with Celestia. Her head drooped, and her mane wilted even more. “That’s what I’m afraid of.”

“How come?” Pinkie Pie asked.

“Because of everything I’ve done to her, “Celestia began. “Because I abandoned her out of my own selfish fears, because I ignored her own desires for my own.”

Rarity stepped up to the goddess, and placed a hand on her hoof. “Recently, my parents have begun to leave my litter sister with me more and more as they go off on some trip or another,” she said, getting a raised eyebrow from Celestia. “And more and more, I seem to feel that I am just a free foalsitting service to them so they can go off to do whatever they want while abandoning responsibilities. But no matter my anger, it does not mean I do not love them, and would accept an apology should they give it. Stop beating around the bush and go talk to her. If she truly is your daughter, then she will forgive you.”

For a full minute, Celestia simply stood there, unmoving. Then she took a deep breath and let it out. “You know, when Rainbow Dash started remembering things, I was so afraid of what she would tell me. I was even a little relived when she fell into unconsciousness from the flood of memories, and I had to create a wall in her mind to keep them from leaking through too quickly. I thought to myself ‘if she only remembers the good things, then we might be a family again’ and avoided putting any pressure on her, or causing any pain for fear of what it might bring,” Celestia mumbled before looking up to her little ponies. “But I think the time has come for me to stop running.

“Twilight, Rainbow Dash made a blind teleport while at her full power,” the goddess said as she looked to the purple unicorn. “That means she would have been guided by instinct, and had enough magic flowing through her to reach anywhere in Equestria. Where would she go?”

The answer didn’t even require a second of thought. “Well her home, obviously. At last that’s what happened when I teleported for the first time on accident.”

Behind her, Spike let out a humph. “Not to mention what it did to me.”

“Then I shall send you all to Ponyville, while Fluttershy and myself head to Rainbow Dash’s old home in Cloudsdale.”

The princess’s words brought a look of confusion to all the faces of the assembled ponies. “Cloudsdale?” Twilight asked.

“Where else would a child in need of comfort go, but to the wings of her parent?” Celestia asked.

Applejack was the next to ask the obvious question. “And why Fluttershy?”

“Because I have no idea what Rainbow’s address was back then.”

Fluttershy cleared her throat, then did her best to hide behind her hair when everypony looked her way. “Well, sorry…it’s just…Rainbow Dash doesn’t have the best relationship with her father…I think,” she mumbled. “Oh! that’s private, I shouldn’t have said something like that…I hope Rainbow will be able to forgive me.”

“Still, it was her first home, and holds a special place in her heart,” Celestia explained. “And logic is not what guides a mare who teleports blindly. Now, are you all repaired? I shall be sending you to Ponyville myself.” The goddess’s horn lit up, and she looked at the assembled ponies. “Spike, please go and inform everypony that a matter of state has come up, and I will not be able to rejoin the festivities. Explain only to my sister what is truly transpiring.

A nod from the Elements was all Celestia apparently needed, and then the purple unicorn saw the world disappeared in a flash of light.

The next thing Twilight knew, she was standing on a field of green grass on the outskirts of Ponyville with her friends surrounding her. Overhead, a terrible storm was brewing. The wind blew her mane into a jumble, and she had to light her horn to provide illumination since neither the stars or moon were visible.

“What in tarnation?” Applejack cried out over the wind, “weather schedule didn’t say nothing about no storms this week! Specially not one like this.”

Twilight wanted to explain her theory of the cause, but the magical aura she was feeling in the distance gave her pause for a moment. “I think it’s Rainbow Dash!” Twilight shouted over the wind. “I think her magic is what’s creating the storm.”

“You mean Dashie’s flying around causing this?” Pinkie asked.

The possibility didn’t quite match everything she knew about the mare, so Twilight shook her head. “Remember when Luna came to Nightmare Night and blocked out the sky with clouds without any help or source? This is basically like that, just on a bigger scale!” She didn’t want to explain the other half of her theory, that would cause a bit of a panic.

“Well then let’s hurry on over to her house and make her simmer down before she kicks up a twister!” the farm pony replied.

“That could be a problem,” Twilight yelled.

“Why’s that?” Applejack called back.

Twilight looked over to Rarity, who had already come to the same conclusion judging by the direction she was looking. Without need to explain to her, Twilight looked back to the two earth ponies. “You remember how Celestia said Rainbow might teleport to her childhood home out of instinct? Well, she did…as in her FIRST home! From what I can tell, Rainbow Dash is in the castle in the middle of the Everfree Forest!”

Rarity finally looked away form the forest and back to the others. “Not to sound selfish or anything, but if that’s the case, shouldn’t we just wait for Rainbow to calm down? I do feel dreadful for whatever’s hurting the poor dear, but she’s hardly in any danger. With as much mana as she’s putting out, I doubt anypony short of the sisters could even hope to hurt her.”

“That’s the problem!” Twilight yelled back over the rushing wind. When everypony looked at her with confused glances, Twilight rolled her eyes. If they weren’t going to help her without a good reason, then… “The weather of the Everfree is feeding off of Dash’s wild mana and creating this storm!”

Applejack stepped forward and grabbed Twilight at her shoulder. “All the more reason for us to bunker down somewhere till morning Sugarcube.”

The suggestion had Twilight shaking her head. “Don’t you girls get it? Dash made this after just five minutes! She isn’t controlling it, but she is feeding it! Luna and Celestia move heavenly bodies with the kind of power she’s using. If we don’t go and calm her down and the storm keeps getting worse, THERE ISN’T GOING TO BE AN EQUESTRIA BY MORNING!”

Aurora wandered the halls of her former home in a huff, barely noticing the ethereal rainbow mane that danced along the back of her neck, or its matching tail. Everywhere she looked just made her angrier. Dozens of memories ran through her mind, telling the goddess how the place should look, reminding her of the past that she belonged in; where the few friends she had managed to make despite her royal status had been left behind at.

Every now and then, Aurora would notice a small change to the castle: walls restoring themselves to match her memories, paintings and tapestries becoming refurbished, a torch appearing in its proper place before lighting. The unrestrained magic made little changes to reality here and there in order for her memories to match the here and now.

A random thought brought the princess to her old bedroom, and another restored the alicorn’s bed to pristine order before she slumped down on it in depression. Thankfully, it was a royal bed and made for a filly several times the size of a normal pegasus, so she had plenty of room, but that did little to change her mood.

Now that Aurora had realized the truth of things, she was angry, depressed and confused. Angry at her mother, depressed over what the loss of Rainbow Dash meant, and confused on what she needed to do about it. She wanted to find Celestia and pound the living daylights out of her, but those thoughts were stopped by feelings of guilt images of her mother laying beaten the ground brought up as well as realization of what five other mares would do once that particular action was taken.

The mental images of Rainbow Dash’s old friends made the alicorn want to cry. The memories of them were so wonderful and full of joy, surpassing anything she had back in Old Trottingham thanks to the distance between ponies being a royal created.

Then there were her dreams, her aspirations and desires…which numbered nothing. Even before her rebirth. Aurora had never wanted to be a princess and lead ponies, she had just wanted to fly. She had wanted to explore and have daring adventures; to travel to mysterious lands and meet creatures that cared nothing for her titles. But with alicorn-hood upon her, the princess knew she would be pulled back into the world of politics somehow.

I just want to…I just want…

Memories of Rainbow Dash’s life flew by, and tears leaked from the alicorn’s eyes. A life surrounded by friends who are closer than family, of fun times and adventures, of ponies who saw me for me, who celebrated my accomplishments on their own merit and not because of a title… That’s all I ever wanted.

The stab of guilt that came with that came with those memories made Aurora curl into a ball and whimper. The pony she had been had everything Aurora had desired in her own life, and the princess had taken everything from her. But she couldn’t do anything about it. So what am I supposed to do now?

Nothingness surrounded her, enveloped her, was her. There was no sight, no sound, no touch and no taste. All that existed was her will, and the task at hoof which forced her to concentrate everything on her work rather than spend even a stray thought in creating an illusionary landscape.

It was no loss, Luna had left her in so many dreamscapes over the years after stripping Andromeda of her awareness that it was indeed a dream to leave her to nightmares that would eventually fade, becoming fantasies as the weeks, months, and probably even years wore on.

For a brief moment, Andromeda spared a bit of concentration to wonder how many years had passed. Fifty? Sixty? It had to be about a generation, considering what Celestia had been babbling about when she arrived.

It mattered little, once she was free, the unicorn queen intended to pay a visit to her sister and ask how it felt to murder her own child. Andromeda supposed she could even gloat to the freak about how she had found a loophole in her interrogation method, further humiliating the sun monster before bidding it farewell.

The only problem was, she had yet to escape her corporeal prison to do so. Although Celestia had started the process by ripping Andromeda’s soul and mind from her body, the unicorn queen still needed to escape it after her little sister foolishly placed Andromeda back in it without Luna’s magic to make her slumber.

Thanks to that mistake, Andromeda had already severed the connection to her stoned flesh once again, and was ready to make her escape. Once free, she could find a new body to hold her essence, and rally support against Celestia for stealing the throne.

But moving within ones own self without a guiding point was a difficult task. There was no up or down, no distance or form within her own mind. She could not simply take herself and step out of her body. So Andromeda was left to roam the expanse that was herself for…however many hours she had been left in such a state by her little sister. Eventually, she would find her way out and…

An immense feeling of power washed over the unicorn, and after settling from the shock, Andromeda was able to grab a frame of reference before she ‘looked’ up at where the feeling was coming from. The feeling was certainly different than what she remembered…and it was definitely not Celestia’s presence that accompanied the tsunami of mana that just entered close proximity. So process of elimination made her guess it was Luna.

Whatever the reason, the presence served as the point of reference that Andromeda needed, the guiding light to judge her position by. With that, she willed herself to move forward, and floated outside of her body.

The darkness that was once a pony princess seeped out of the statue that had been her body and congealed into a mass of black light on the floor. After waiting for a moment to adjust to the change of existing as a shade and all the sensory changes that came with it, the unicorn’s essence slithered forward and through the unkempt prison, and into her castle.

Author's Note:

And so we come to the penultimate chapter for this arc of the story. What took so long in updating this fic was the fact that while writing this chapter, I seriously derailed the path I was intending to go. The original version had Rainbow and Celestia duking it out over Rainbow getting pissed off at her realization instead of running away.

But...that's just not MLP. Despite all the crap that happens with the mane cast, they don't really get violent towards each other. They're Hasbro's Ponies, not Marvel's Avengers.

Plus, I had always planned for the evil stepmother to escape her prison as a show monster, but couldn't really think of a reason to get a unicorn/alicorn in close enough proximity without it being really tact on. So, this is how its all been set up.

Next chapter, everypony dies! Celestia is found out to be Derpy's mother, and Big Mac decides to try growing pineapples.

Oh and yes, Cadence really DID have a boyfriend named Buck...just read the comics.