• Published 1st Feb 2014
  • 978 Views, 76 Comments

One of these Days - Wrabbit

Far in Equestria's past, an old threat once more rears it's head, seeking revenge on the princess who thwarted it; a princess that is no more, her life claimed in the effort to destroy it. But this time is different. This time.. it can&

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Chapter 1: Behind Blue Eyes


Chapter 1: Behind Blue Eyes

~12 Aevum Illuminationis~

In a secluded garden known to only a few, Celestia wended her way through the unkempt, overgrown foliage. The dense canopy overhead blocked out almost all of her sun's life-giving light, but was unable to completely separate her from it. What few beams of direct light made it through, dappled her pristine white coat as if to spotlight her. The hot, summer air was pregnant with moisture, almost suffocating in its humidity, with nary a breeze to alleviate the oppressive feeling that niggled at the alicorn.

Verily, I wish she would cease these nonsensical visitations. We sealed him away here so that we might finally get on with the business of our lives. With a sigh, Celestia rounded the corner of the path to find what she had expected to find; had found at least once a week since the garden had been magically induced into growing in order to hide the first and only immortal criminal.

Twilight laid on her stomach before the dome-like half of the exposed boulder, a look of pained remembrance upon her face. Her lilac wings lazily flapped in an desultory effort to move the air around her, but she was still covered in sweat. Without turning around, she said, “Still thy tongue, 'Tia. I am quite aware of my mania, but I cannot deny it. I want, nay, need to know what transpired with Draco and Ursa. They wert our friends, and they vanished trying to bring this monster down like the morning fog before thy sun.”

Celestia settled down in the dirt beside her sister and gave her a quick nuzzle. “As do I, Twilight, but we shan’t find the answer by staring into Discord's prison.”

Just mentioning his name sent a chill down both alicorns' spines. Twilight looked down at her hooves, which were pushing around dead leaves, uncovering the soil beneath. “Sooth, I wish I could have attended them when they went forth to put his madness to the sword.” She looked up at her sister, tears formed, but unshed. “Prithee, what dost thou thinkest? Art they safe, but humbl’d in some fashion, 'Tia? Ursa's chosen have dwindled to a mere shadow of their original numbers, and Draco's have become so... withdrawn. Verily, I remember a time when rarely a day went by without seeing at least one of them in one of the pony villages, but now...”

Nuzzling her again, Celestia replied, “I am certs they are safe, Twily. Harken and attend, dear sister. Remember that we are exceedingly difficult to kill; nigh on impossible to do so. I doubt Discord did more than seal them away, much like we did to him in kind. Ere long, his hold on them will weaken, and we'll see them again.” Seeing that her words were failing to have the desired effect, she decided to play her ace. “Come. Nyx awaits you in her library. Did you not ask for her help on your mysterious research project?”

As expected, a crooked smile briefly played across lilac lips before disappearing behind a mock serious facade. “I did, did I not?” With a sigh, she took to her hooves and gave an all-over shake to dislodge the leafy debris that had accumulated on her coat. “Indeed, t’would be passing rudeness to keep her waiting and risk rebuke.”

Celestia smiled at the returned spring in her sister's step, and gave her a good-natured shove as she walked past; a shove that quite naturally turned into a friendly race to the end of the maze-like garden. In the center of the garden behind them, a snail slowly made its way up the gentle curve of the rune-covered stone, a tiny trail of slime marking its passage. Traversing the side of the dolomite sphere, the snail had the misfortune to touch a particularly dangerous rune, and was vaporized instantly, leaving behind a tiny scorch mark. The char crumbled and flaked off, revealing a tiny patch of clean stone. The runes all glowed once before returning to quiescence. An almost imperceptible chuckle broke the still, dead air of the garden.

(\ /)
( . .)

~2015 Aevum Illuminationis~

With a critical eye, the sky blue earth pony watched her latest distillation of the dark purple liquid bubble and boil in its glass retort, an occasional puff of pink vapor escaping past the bend in the glass. She scratched down a few notes on the parchment laid out on the table next to her, then turned back around to the small, magical bead under the propped up magnifying glass. With this magnification, she was able to clearly read the runes, and she gave a small, very brief smile of satisfaction.

As I thought. A poison immunity with a minor preservation enchantments. Looks like Open Book will have to be the one to clean out the basement this time. Her smile became more devious as she imagined the smug unicorn covered in dust and cobwebs, something he vehemently detested as being beneath him.

A yellow hoof suddenly clapping her on the back almost made the earth pony drop the bead, and given the size of some of the gaps in the wood flooring, lost for all time. “How's it going, Silly?” Open Book smiled at her, somehow managing to look disingenuous, smug, and lustful all at once.

“The name,” the mare replied with a barely arched eyebrow, “is Silver Script. One would think that a pony studying to become a mage could manage to at least learn the names of the apprentices studying with him.” Silver Script's voice barely conveyed an emotion beyond a monotone, and Open Book seemed to not even notice what she had said.

“So, Silly, what did you find? Is it a spell that creates poison like I said it would be? It is, isn't it?” Open Book asked in a way that bespoke of supreme confidence in his assessment.

Silver Script shook her head, the silvery bangs almost uncovering her left eye. “Poison immunity with a minor sigil to preserve the bead itself.” She hopped off her stool and walked towards the door. “I hope you've finally learned that spell to prevent sneezing fits. It's awfully dusty down there in the basement.”

Open Book looked at the bead under the glass, and an incomprehensible rage overtook his features. He whirled back to the earth pony just as she reached the door. “Just where do you think you're going? Master wanted you to monitor this potion on the burner.”

Without turning around, she replied, “Out. Master Hokum wanted me to deliver a message when you returned from your herb hunt.” She paused, halfway out of the room and looked at her rival over her shoulder. “He also said that you're in charge of the lab until I return.”

“You're just going out to see that so-called friend of yours, aren't you?”

Silver Script's gaze turned forward again, and without a single drop of emotion, said, “Try not to let the potion burn. Hen's teeth are difficult to come by.” The mare left, gently closing the door behind her. She made her way down the rickety tower stairs and into the main floor library, where a middle aged stallion sat at a lectern, poring over a book. Silver Script tapped her hoof twice on the wood floor and cleared her throat. “Master? Open Book has returned and I'm ready to deliver your message.”

The pudgy unicorn jumped in his seat, and turned to face her with a fake smile, a hoof quickly shutting the book in which he was writing. “Ah. Silver. Good. Yes. Ah, here is the ah, message for you,” he said, using his telekinesis to float a rolled up scroll over to her saddlebag laying next to the front door. “Now, then. I ah, want you to, ah, deliver this directly to the hooves of Arcane Codex. No one but her is to, ah, read this; not even, ah, you. Is that, ah, clear?”

Silver Script bowed slightly, and was about to go over to her bag, when he stopped her by grabbing her forehoof. “Clear?” he asked, looking into her one visible eye.

“Crystal, Master,” Silver Script replied.

Hokum held onto her hoof a moment longer, lightly rubbing it as if petting a cat. “I knew I could rely on you, Silver. You're my best apprentice.” His smile grew more genuine, but also took on a lustful taint.

It took a great effort for Silver Script to suppress the shudder that threatened to overtake her from the way her master was caressing her hoof, but she managed the barest hint of a smile just as fake as the one he initially wore. “Thank you, Master. I better go now if I am to return before suppertime.”

With that, Silver Script was able to slip away and was out the door with her saddlebag before Hokum even registered that she was gone.

Free of the cloying scents of the tower whose windows were rarely opened, the mare trotted with a light spring in her step, and a smile that was almost perceptible to the ponies around her. She made her way through the streets, ignoring the snickers and glares tossed her way from the unicorns which made up the vast majority of the city of Spellgrade. Not many earth ponies made their home in the city which was the seat of unicorn magic and majesty, and the few who did, were mainly servants who looked upon Silver Script as somepony in an envious position.

The mare made sure that she never came close to one of the unicorns so as to not give them any reason to harangue her, thereby making her late; even going so far as to wait in alleyways until one particularly large group of them pass by. Even with the necessarily circuitous route, she made it to her first destination, a large, square building known as the largest library in Equestria. With a nod towards the large, armored pegasi guarding the entrance, Silver Script walked in, her eye sparkling at the wealth of knowledge neatly shelved and ordered according to the strict dictates of the head librarian.

Silver Script sedately walked over to the front desk, which was staffed by a unicorn mare affording her the same look of disgust that she might give to a garden slug that had somehow found its way into the building. “I have a message for Magus Arcane Codex from Master Hokum,” she announced in her monotone voice.

“Just leave it here on the desk. I'll see that she gets it,” came the mare's sneering reply.

With a shake of her head, Silver Script replied, “I was instructed to hoof it over directly to her and no one else.”

The desk librarian's upper lip actually curled in disgust. “Just... just go stand over there,” she said, waving a hoof over at the wall near the doors. “And don't drip anything on the carpet. Luna knows what filth you've already tracked in. I'll let you know when the Magus is free.”

Silver Script walked over to stand in the indicated spot, ignoring the “Filthy mud pony” comment the librarian didn't even bother to say under her breath. For over an hour, she stood there patiently while the librarian did her best to continue on as if she didn't exist. Other ponies approached the desk and were immediately given the assistance sought after, but still, Silver Script stood and watched the mare. Several other ponies glanced her way, but most treated her as they would a potted plant, mere decoration.

Finally, the librarian couldn't stand the feeling of the mare's eye on her and walked into the room partitioned off specifically for the head librarian in a huff. It was only a moment before she reappeared again and called the earth pony over with a wave of her hoof. “You have five minutes of the Magus' valuable time. Any longer, and I send in the guards to escort you off the premises.”

With a silent nod, Silver Script walked into the dimly lit, spacious office and bowed before the ornately carved wooden desk and the mare sitting behind it. “Magus, I bring you a message from my master, Hokum.”

The stern unicorn looked down her nose at the prostrate earth pony for a moment as if searching for weaknesses before saying, “Rise, apprentice. Deliver your master's message.”

Silver Script rose and as if handling the most precious of treasures, placed the scroll on her desk with a hoof. She then took two steps back, waiting as the Magus read the message. She surreptitiously examined the office, noting with quiet jealousy the opulence, the great number of books (this one room held more books than Hokum's entire tower), and the small peryton perched on the back of the Magus' chair. The stag-headed bird glared at her, and pulled its lips back in a snarl that revealed fangs designed to rip and tear flesh before letting loose a quick honking screech at her.

The sound of the older mare shifting around in her chair brought Silver Script's attention back to her. “Tell your master,” she said with the slightest of sneers, “that he may use one of my laboratories on the requested day, but you will not be allowed to assist him here. Your presence causes too great a disturbance, and that is not something I will tolerate in my library. Also, you would do your due diligence to inform him that he is not to send you here again, for any reason. This is a place of study, not a whorehouse.” With an absent-minded wave of her hoof, she added, “You are dismissed.”

With a bow, Silver Script silently left the study and made her way to the library's entrance. She stopped at the doors, and turned to take one last look at the enormous collection of books, scrolls, and other means of learning, breathing a longing sigh. She caught sight of the desk librarian glaring at her and making shooing motions, and with a sigh, left the library. Stepping out into the street, she noted the sun setting and gave another sad sigh. She'll have gone home, by now. Oh, well. It was a bit much to expect enough free time to see her. As she made her way down the steps of the library, a voice intruded on her thoughts.

There you are! I was getting worried that you had forgotten all about our meeting today.”

Silver Script didn't need to look up to recognize the owner of that voice. “Awesomeshine!” she exclaimed, her tone rising a half octave above her normal monotone.

A bespectacled white unicorn mare walked up and nuzzled her, bringing a slight reddish tinge to Silver Script's blue cheeks; a tinge that disappeared by the time Awesomeshine pulled back. “What are you- How did- how did you even find me?”

Awesomeshine tucked a stray lock of blonde mane behind her long ear with a smirk and gave her a bemused look. “Like it's difficult for me to ever find my best friend in the whole world?”

This time, Silver Script's blush was more pronounced, as was the confusion upon her face. “W-w-what happened? I figured you would have gone back to Foalton when I didn't show. Aren't your masters going to miss you?”

“Not as much as I'd miss you if I didn't get to see you once more before returning,” Awesomeshine replied. Silver Script smiled wistfully before a stabbing pain in her face caused her to wince. Immediately, the unicorn lifted the earth pony's bangs, revealing a milky-white eye and a scar running perpendicular to it. “Is it still hurting? Sil, you should have told me.”

Silver Script pulled back and rubbed her eye with a hoof, allowing her mane to fall back into its covering position. “It's fine. It just does this now and then. It doesn't bother me anymore like it used to, really.” She saw the concern etched onto her only friend's face, and placed a hoof on her shoulder. “You need to stop blaming yourself for this, Awesomeshine. You did the best you could at the time.”

“But it's your eye, Sil,” the white unicorn replied. “That's... not something that can just be brushed aside.”

“It is, if you're hurt by it.”

A trembling smile formed on Awesomeshine's lips. A yellow glow appeared on the tip of her horn, and the pain was erased, leaving only a soothing warmth behind. She kissed the crown of the earth pony's head and said, “You are a good pony. Don't let anypony say different.”

Silver Script looked away in embarrassment, casting about for a change of subject. “I… I can’t believe you still wear those old glasses.”

Awesomeshine recognized the tactic for what it was and smiled. “Of course I still wear them. Not only are they useful, you made them, and that’s reason enough to keep them.”

Still unable to meet her gaze, Silver Script scuffed at the ground with a hoof and asked, “How’s the enchantment holding up? I… I can strengthen the runes if they’re weakening.”

“They work perfectly, which is only to be expected of your work, Sil,” the unicorn replied.

They stood in silence for almost a full minute before Silver Script finally said, “H- how’s… your family?”

Awesomeshine rolled her eyes with a smile, doubting that her friend would ever change. “Doing well. Mom keeps wondering when I’m going to bring you back home to visit. Maybe she wants to fatten you up. She’s always going on about how thin you are; thinks they didn’t feed you enough at the orphanage. I guess she just doesn’t understand how busy we apprentices are. Dad’s business is doing well, and of course, the Smudge is being a brat like always.” The affection in her voice was apparent when she talked about her baby brother, despite her less than affectionate nickname for him.

As was always the case when the subject of Awesomeshine’s family came up in conversation, Silver Script felt a stab of jealousy at her luck in having such a family, followed quickly by guilt at feeling that about the only pony in the world she considered a friend, let alone… No. That part is dead. Just let it remain that way. “Th- that’s good to hear. Give them my regards when you see them next time.”

The unicorn surprised her by dropping an arm over her shoulders, pulling her in for a hug. “There’s no need to stand on such ceremony with them. My family is your family, You should know that by now; we say it often enough. You’re lucky enough to live in the same city as them, but you never go see them. The Smudge is going to forget what you look like, you stay away much longer.”

Silver Script looked chagrinned and gave Awesomeshine a tiny, sheepish smile. “Sorry. It’s hard sometimes to find a free moment to myself, let alone an hour or two to visit.” Silence reigned between them, during which time, the earth pony noted the creeping darkness of Luna’s night. “I suppose I better head back. Master Hokum likes his meals at a very specific time, and I have yet to start on dinner.”

Both mares looked reluctant to part ways, so Silver Script took the initiative and turned toward the street leading to her new home and school. “I guess this is goodbye for now. Until we meet again.”

She didn’t wait around to hear Awesomeshine’s reply. At a quick trot, she walked back to her Master’s tower.

(\ /)
( . .)

With a sense of satisfaction, Silver Script poured out the latest batch of her newest idea into a shallow, square pan to let it cool. The viscous, brown paste slowly oozed out of the glass beaker with agonizing slowness, piling up in the center before spreading out to fill the pan. The mare gave a satisfied grunt when the last of it pulled free of the beaker, and walked over to the window, gazing out at the hustle and bustle of the city below her.

She noted a group of unicorn foals playing a game of tag in the abandoned lot next to Hokum’s tower, taking special care to avoid talking to, or even looking at the earth pony colt that silently stood on the other side of the rickety picket fence, watching their games with longing. After a few minutes of this, exclusion suddenly became insufficient for some of the unicorns, and they began levitating dirt clods and launched them at the earth pony colt, chasing him off.

Silver Script pulled out a scroll from a shelf near the window and began reading aloud from it. At first, there was no effect, the foals in the yard laughing at the colt they had just chased off. The laughter was halted, however, when the ground beneath them heaved and buckled, sending several of them sprawling in the dirt. Then, as if the ground had become as fluid as water, the foals were tossed out into the street on top of a wave and unceremoniously dumped in the gutter. A few of the foals were quick to regain their hooves, and turned to see that the yard had a new occupant, a rather large earth elemental which looked down at them dourly, its arms akimbo.

With another satisfied grunt, Silver Script walked away from the window, and looked at the water clock. “They’re probably wrapping up the experiment by now. I hope Open Book doesn’t mess it up this time, though I shan’t hold my breath. Honestly, I’ve never seen a unicorn quite so inept at magic. Makes one wonder what his parents were teaching him, really.” She heaved a sigh and shook her head. “I wish I could return to that library. Seems such a waste to restrict it to unicorns; especially when I know that I am more adept than at least one unicorn I could name.”

She walked over to her notes spread out on the table next to her cooling experiment, and began gathering them up, forming a neat stack and took them back to her room in order to return them to their hiding place. “I guess that’s what happens when you get to write the rules. You get to exclude who you want.” Her task done, she returned to the laboratory and poked the substance in the pan with a hooftip, noting that it left an indentation.

“Excellent.” She pulled out a bit of the clay, and hoof molded it into a ball, then used a dry quill to sketch a few quick, yet precise runes on its curved surface. Silver Script held her hoof out and smiled as the ball floated up and began circling her head. She ducked and weaved, trying to avoid letting the ball circle her, even trying to bump it with her head, but the ball stayed in its orbit, always at a set distance of just under a hoof from her head. After a few minutes, the ball began to falter, then fell to the floor and crumbled to dust.

“Hmm… I’m going to have to work on mana retention.” She made a few mental notes as she packed the clay into a lead box to keep it free from interference from outside magical influences, and put the box under the bed in her room. Returning to the lab once more, she began cleaning up the mess her experiment wreaked, finishing just as she heard the door downstairs opened. Silver Script walked downstairs, eager to know the outcome of the experiment. “Welcome back, Master. How did it go?”

The sour look on his face, as well as the fresh scorch marks on Open Book’s hooves and face were really all she needed to know, but still she asked for the sake of letting Hokum vent, and perhaps rub a little metaphorical salt on Open Book’s wounds. “Awful,” came the elder stallion’s disgusted reply. He nodded towards his other apprentice adding, “Butterhooves here apparently forgot how to evenly fold cloud cotton into liquid lightning and blew up the lab. Naturally, Arcane Codex didn’t take kindly to the mess, less so since it caused all the feathers and fur on her peryton to fall out.”

“She was watching, Master?”

Hokum’s eyes darted to the side and he started to stutter. “Ah, er, yes. She, along with a few ah, others were watching, it ah, being an accreditation evaluation.”

This was news to Silver Script. Accreditation evaluations were only undertaken when a magic-user sought out a higher level of accreditation. This would go a long way to explaining why Master was so nervous about the experiment when he left this morning. Though, now that I think of it, aren’t you supposed to have some new spell, magic item, or theory to be advanced? Try as she might, the mare could not remember anything Hokum had been working on lately that would fulfill the requirement for advancement. “Er, Master-”

“Well, enough of that bit of unpleasantness,” Hokum said quickly. “Why don’t the two of you take the rest of the day off? I think we could all do with a bit of rest, don’t you?” He clapped a hoof on the mare’s shoulder, sending an involuntary shiver down her spine. “Why not go visit your friends or family? I’m sure you’d like to reconnect with them, right? And don’t worry about dinner. I’m going to eat out since I’ll be out anyway. Seems I have to find an alchemist that can brew a potion that regrows feathers and fur.”

Before she could protest, he was out the door again, leaving her alone with a still smoldering Open Book. The stallion smirked at her, giving her a vague feeling of unease. “What?” she asked.

Open Book chuckled and walked past her to the bedrooms upstairs. “Nothing. I just think that it’s... cute.”

“What’s cute?” Silver Script asked as she followed him up.

“Your naïveté. You really don’t get it.” He stopped on the landing to the second floor and looked down at her from his higher vantage point. “The Great Silver Script, the mud pony who would cast magic, whose brilliance eclipses that of her unicorn betters, is too stupid to notice what’s really going on! The irony is so delicious, it must be fattening!” He turned to walk to his room, but was stopped by her calling out.

“What are you talking about? Why don’t you spell it out for the ‘mud pony’?”

Open Book paused with a hoof on the door handle, halfway inside his own room already. “You want answers? How about a clue? I’ll let you figure it out on your own; I would so enjoy seeing the look on your face as you finally work it out for yourself. Why do you think Master only invites me along and not you when he makes his presentations? Why is it that you’ve never seen him working on his own projects anymore, only helping you?”

Silver Script began thinking back, trying to remember the last time she had seen Hokum work on one of his projects, let alone ask for her assistance instead of offering his own. Dawning realization took over her face, and her eye widened, her mouth gaping open slightly. She didn’t even hear the stallion’s vicious laughter as she ran into her room to gather her personal notes from their hiding place. Racing downstairs to the tower’s library, she ignored Hokum’s admonition to never enter the library without him, and galloped over to his desk.

She hesitated there, one hoof holding her notes, the other poised to open his private spellbook. She noticed her hoof shaking as it hovered over the silver-inlaid tome, and took a calming breath. She eased open the heavy wooden lid, coming to the page where the red ribbon marked his place and compared it with her own notations.

The writing she found there froze her blood. It was as if the words from her notes were magically lifted from the pages, and placed neatly into the book’s own. Even her diagrams and side notations were there in her own hoofwriting. Everything down to the small blotches of ink that had dripped from her quill as she paused in her writing were present. The only difference was in the signatures at the bottom. The copied pages still had her name signed in the same spot all mages sign their notes, but had “mysterious” ink blots, and Hokum’s name signed above them.

Slowly, the shock wore off and she closed the book once again. With eerie calmness, she walked over to her saddlebags and placed the book along with her notes into them. Silver Script was well aware of Open Book’s smirk as he watched her do this. The mare calmly walked out the door, never hearing him say to himself, “Heh, heh, heh. I knew you wouldn’t disappoint me, Silly. Mud ponies are so predictable.”

(\ /)
( . .)

The knock on her door wasn’t unexpected, but the one knocking was. “Enter,” Arcane Codex said, laying aside the most recent reports from the capital, and raised an eyebrow as one her pegasus stallions which guarded the library walked in followed by the blue earth pony she had given very specific instructions to never return. “What is the meaning of this? Did you not understand that I had forbidden you to return, filly?”

The hulking stallion replied first. “I beg your forgiveness, Magus, but she invoked the Right of Grievance. Being the closest council member, I was compelled to bring her before you.”

This time, both of Arcane Codex’s eyebrows rose. “Right of Grievance? I hope you don’t think to use that against me. This is my library, and so I make the rules governing it.”

Silver Script bowed low, her nose touching the rich, red, Purrsian rug that took up most of the center of the room. “Of course not, Magus. I would never think to defy your rules within your own demesne. No, my grievance is with my master, Hokum.”

Surprised at this turn of events, Arcane Codex rose and walked over to the young earth pony and looked into her one good eye, gauging her resolve. After a moment with no sign of wavering or doubt, she said, “The Right of Grievance is not something to be taken up lightly; especially for an earth pony against a unicorn. I presume you have proof of wrongdoing?”

“Physical proof, Magus,” she replied. With that, she pulled out the book along with her notes and presented them to her. “The book is my master’s. You’ll note that the hornwriting at the beginning is vastly different from what follows. The loose leaf pages are my own notes on my independent studies.”

The older mare flipped between the first few pages and where the bookmark lay, comparing the two. She then looked at the notes, and cast a spell on her eyes, making them glow unnaturally. Looking at the copied pages and the notes once more, she nodded. She was about to say something, when another knock at the door preempted her. The door opened on its own, and the desk librarian looked in. “Begging your pardon, Mistress, but as you predicted, Mage Hokum is here with a potion for you as an apology for the accident earlier today.”

Arcane Codex smiled down at Silver Script. “It seems he’s saved us the trouble of looking for him. Let us return the favor by not making him wait, shall we?” A wordless nod was all she got back from the earth pony, so she turned to her apprentice. “Send him in, Page Turner. There’s something here, he simply must see.”

(\ /)
( . .)

Vindication was an uncommon emotion for Silver Script. Being an earth pony growing up in a unicorn city that prized magical ability over all else, she had learned early on that no matter what she did, what she learned, how far she excelled, she would always, always be on the losing end. She could well remember the first time she had gotten anything other than grief from unicorns.

The small, blue filly sat apart from the others everyday in an attempt to stay below the other’s notice. Most days, this worked out well for her, and the most she would have to suffer were the normal privations that came with being an earth pony living in an orphanage in a unicorn city. Sleeping on the floor while the rest slept on beds or clouds (“They’re tough, right? They can handle it.”), getting the smallest portion at meals (“They get nourishment from the dirt just like the plants they love, right?”), getting the hardest chores (“They’re brutes, well suited for such tasks.”), and the weakest education (“They’re too stupid to learn anything more difficult.”) were all things that she was well used to by now, punctuated by explanations of why she was so inferior and beatings from the matron, who seemed to consider the strong connection to the soil and toughness of an earth pony not good enough to consider as magic, and therefore making them less than true ponies in her eyes. Even the pegasi’s ability to manipulate weather and walk on clouds was deemed more magical. No, the earth pony foals definitely had the thin end of the stick. They were all great lessons on just how the world worked to all the foals, not just the earth ponies.

Unfortunately for Silver Script, it seems that today was not one of those days where the other foals were content to simply ignore her. “What do you think you’re doing, mud pony?” Snickers met this expected opening salvo of what would likely to be a barrage of insults, if past experience was at all accurate.

Silver Script looked up, try her best to keep her face expressionless as she met the gaze of the orphanage’s top bully and her gang. She never bothered to learn her name, as to her, one unicorn was much like another. “Nothing.” This was a fair approximation of her activities, as she was simply resting in the shade one of the juniper bushes that lined the low picket fence of the orphanage’s playard.

“Wrong, mud pony,” the bully replied, wielding the insult like one might wield a cart as a weapon. “You’re breathing our air. So either stop right now, or we make you stop.”

This was a new tack for Silver Script. She had never been told to “stop breathing other pony’s air” before, so she was necessarily off balance. Unsure how to proceed, she said, “I’ll get right on that,” then went back to staring at the clouds.

“Hey, I don’t think she’s doing it,” said one of the pegasus colts. “I think she might need a hoof to learn how.”

That’s when the first mudball landed on her rump. Silver Script leaped to her hooves, but the first was far from the last. She looked towards the orphanage itself only to see the matron put her knitting in a basket and carry it inside, clearly ignoring her. Covered in mud, the filly tried to huddle down until it was over, but was forced into action when a rock sailed into her side, drawing forth an “oof” from her mouth.

Now under threat of serious harm, Silver Script ran into the streets, but the rocks and mud followed her unerringly. The filly had no idea where she was going, and didn’t care, as long as it was away from the pain. Rocks flew with the kind of uncanny accuracy that only telekinesis could offer a foal. One struck an ankle, sending her sprawling to the curb in a dirty heap. She tried to crawl through the offal and night soil in an effort to get away, but one especially well-aimed rock struck the left side of her face, breaking bone and nearly gouging out her eye.

Pain like no other before caused Silver Script’s world to turn white, while a ringing filled her ears, allowing no other sound to reach her until the vision in her one good eye cleared, and she saw… a wall of white fur? Shaking her head, she saw a white unicorn filly standing over her, angrily facing down the foals that had chased her to this pitiable condition. For every rock that came her way, she would telekinetically scoop up a hoofful of offal from the curb and fling it back at the offender with harsh precision. Finally, the other foals had enough, and fled into the streets, braying insults at both of them.

Once she was sure the others were gone, the unicorn turned to her, beaming a smile- a genuine smile at her. This too was new to Silver Script, because it implied that the unicorn was pleased to see her. “Here, let me try to fix your eye; that looks pretty bad,” the angel of mercy said, ignoring her own wounds garnered during the rescue.

Her horn glowed a light, golden aura, and some of the pain in Silver Script’s face eased, though it was still unbearable. “Oh, dear,” she said. She was trying to not sound worried, but being no older than the earth pony, she wasn’t very good at it. “Um, maybe we should get you to a healer.” She offered her hoof, but Silver Script ignored it and shakily rose on her own. Seemingly unaffected by this rudeness, she gestured further down the road. “There’s one down this way. My name’s Awesomeshine, by the way.”

It seemed that the filly’s happiness was infectious, as the normally taciturn Silver Script smiled a little as she replied, “Silver Script.”

Unfortunately for the filly, the healer was either unable or unwilling to fix her eye, so the unicorn did the only thing she could think of doing; she brought her home.

Being treated like a real pony was a unique experience to Silver Script. Not only had the filly stood up for her, but also introduced her to her parents, who treated the earth pony like one of their own. They eased her aches and pains, but unfortunately were unable to help with her eye. Regrowing an organ like that just cost too much money, far more than they were able to earn, they explained. Sadly, that they were unable to adopt her as well, given that their second child was on the way, and due within the next few months. Still, they welcomed her into their home whenever she was dragged over by Awesomeshine, giving her as much food as she wanted, even teaching her things that the lackluster teacher that came to the orphanage once a week missed, like math, history, and basic magical theory, which she lapped up like a cat at a puddle of spilled milk.

Being accepted as a mage’s apprentice, was one of those rare days that she felt that oh, so fleeting feeling of vindication; that, despite all the odds against her, she was accepted into a field that was unheard of for an earth pony. Today was another of those times.

Silver Script stood before the Mage Council which governed Spellgrade, and in precise, clipped words, explained when her notes were made, as well as the exact circumstances of each instance, impressing them with her memory. Above her, a magical sensor designed to detect falsehoods continued its quiet vigil over her testimony, never once giving the slightest indication that she uttered anything less than the whole, and unvarnished truth. She went on to tell the story of her discovery, even giving credit to Open Book where it was due. Throughout it all, she only took her eyes off of the council to look at her old master, noting how he could not seem to find the courage to even meet her gaze.

In all, it turned out that he had claimed credit for four of her projects, and had been advanced in the ranks twice thanks to them. However, he had all but her most recent notes copied into his book, and was beginning the process of transferring the notes into another ledger in an attempt to erase her contribution to his ascendency entirely. Her testimony given, she was dismissed to the witness gallery, and Open Book was called forth. He was admonished several times when the sensor above the witness stand warned the council that he was trying to embellish his part in the story, attempting to make himself seem more sympathetic towards the earth pony. Nevertheless, Silver Script couldn’t help but note how he was treated with more respect than she, despite Hokum never actually stealing any of his work. However, that was immaterial, as the magical artifacts expert told the story of how Silver Script’s signatures were uncovered from the deliberate ink blots that nearly wiped away all indications that they ever existed.

Truly, this was a great day for justice, as Hokum was stripped of all titles and rank, and sentenced to be imprisoned for thirty years. Mages took intellectual property theft very seriously. All of his property was seized to be sold once his former apprentices had cleared their belongings, leaving both of them on the streets. At least, it would have been the case for Silver Script (Open Book was quickly snapped up by another mage after it was heavily intimated by him that he was the one doing the lion’s share of the lab work), had it not been for Awesomeshine’s parents.

“Don’t be absurd, child. You’re welcome to stay as long as you like. You know how little Sprocket cleaves to you so,” her best friend’s mother said. It was true. He would often bring her little presents like flowers he picked from someone’s garden, or some little widget he made “just for her”. Silver Script always returned the affection, hugging him heedless of the grease that seemed to always cling to his coat. They often joked about how he was going to marry her someday, but he always blushed and ran off to hide until the gentle teasing was over.

Silver Script ended up staying with them for only a week. Despite the love she felt from the family, she knew that her destiny could not be found within Spellgrade’s city limits. Too many bad memories combined with too little opportunity forced her to seek to further her education outside the stifling confines of the magic capital of Equestria. Unfortunately, being an earth pony apprentice of a convicted fraudulent mage like Hokum seemed to be the final nail in the coffin of her formal magical education. No mage would touch her. She was persona non grata.

Eager to get on with her life, she accepted the first prospect that came along that would at least appeal to her love of learning, which turned out to be as an assistant archivist in a small research library in the rural village of Yoke, whose only true saving grace was it’s somewhat close proximity to Foalton, and therefore, her only friend. So, with a promise to write often, Silver Script departed for greener pastures, full of bruised and battered hope.

Author's Note:

Well, here it is, the promised new story. I hope you like it and the artwork. Please give it a chance, even though it's an all OC story. The princesses will show up, but like in the show, play a minor role at best. The artwork is what will be delaying each update in case you're wondering (yes, that does mean there will be 2-4 pictures per chapter), and is the surprise I was alluding to in my blog. I got the idea for it from the light novels I buy now and then (mostly Haruhi Suzumiya, and Tenchi Muyo). Anywho, I hope you'll like my new attempt at world-building, and my own personal headcanon. Um, comment away? Something I forgot to mention, but really should have. This all takes place well before the TSW series, and in fact, before the show's beginning. We're talking ten millennia here, so way, way, way before anything in the show or my previous stories.

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