• Published 27th Oct 2011
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Lunar Apprehension - Vypor



A mysterious pony attempts to show Luna her work is appreciated, but Celestia sees him as a threat.

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Chapter 7: Deprivation Realized

A dull thump, followed by flailing and confused shouting met the new morning in Tsyreim's cave. Stumbling to his hooves, he glanced over at his unkempt bed, and then his unkempt hair. Gem's gentle chuckle rang through the air. “It would seem someone's dreams were less than calming.”

Sighing, Tsyreim's horn glowed, a green aura spreading over his bedsheets, straightening them. “Whatever could it have been to draw from you such a preposterous insinuation?”

“Are you still brooding over last night, son?” Gem spoke again. “You escaped, and I suppose I should be thankful. But I can't help but think you should have tried spe-”

“YOU didn't see her expression!” Tsyreim spoke up. “I had every intention if she would have let me, I wanted to not fear her anymore, I wanted to be accepted instead of labeled as an enemy.”

He slowly plodded toward a series of shelves, his horn glowed again and a cabinet opened, several makeshift dishes floating out. “That would have been the perfect circumstances. But alas, not even a word I could speak before her expression spelled murder once more. The way she spoke, it sounded disappointed, as if she was angry I was not already dead due to old age.”

Gem's ethereal sigh was audible. “Then forget her anger. Be instead happy for Luna's return to normal. I know that was your ultimate motive for all of this Celestia business.”

Tsyreim stared down at his food. “I suppose I should, mother. I suppose I should.”

“Please, don't be like that. This is not how I want to see my son, brooding over the past. Equestria is rejoicing over the return of their Lunar Princess, should you not also?”

The stallion's striking green eyes stared down at the ornate stone table, his mouth slowly curved to a smile. “This, this is why I chose so long ago to bind you here. I feared you would disapprove, that you'd be angry. But in truth, I was scared.” Raising his eyes once again to the crystal sculpture he recreated of his mother, Tsyreim continued. “I feared living by myself, living without your comfort. You have been my true guide all these years, what kept me going. You have been more than a mother to me, you have been, everything.”

“You tell me that nearly ever year now, son.” Gem's voice comforted him. “And yet I never tire of it. I would not have chosen differently, and I am glad you chose the way that you did.”

The two conversed for a bit longer, till Gem brought up another subject. “Now that Luna has returned, what do you plan to do?”

“Is it not obvious?” Tsyreim shrugged. “I shall do, what it is that I always have done. I shall stay here, for as long as fate deems fit for me to do so.”

“Is that all?” Gem probed.

“Why not? What else would you have me do?” Tsyreim raised an eye, it was fairly easy to distinguish when Gem was suggesting something.

“What of the rest of Equestria? Don't you ever plan to interact with others?”

Tsyreim's mind rushed back to the festivities of the Summer Sun Celebration. The strange feelings of happiness brought on simply by the groups playing games and such. And then much, much further back, to when he would interact with his own family, back before Gem had become so ill.

“I shall not lie to you mother, yes, I enjoyed it.”

“And you simply want to sit here in isolation now that your ulterior motive remains complete?” Gem continued pressing.

Tsyreim finally groaned and stood up. “Mother, I treasure your advice more than anything, but if I could survive a thousand years alone here, then I can do it again. My 'ulterior motive' of which you speak, was not returning Luna to her former self, it is instead branded by destiny upon my flank. Curator, of this temple.”

Silence filled the room, Gem finally speaking up. “Then why were you so set upon returning Luna to her former self for all those years?”

Tsyreim opened his mouth to speak, but could only sigh. “I could tell you that it was my wish to keep the world from eternal darkness. Yet you would only point that out to be partially why I did it.”

“Yes, I would.” Gem replied.

“...And then you would be right.” Tsyreim shook his head. “Fine then. I wanted to get to know her, and back before the ordeal with the Sun Princess, even she as well. I wanted to learn with those who knew magic, I wanted to share my knowledge, and learn from theirs.”

“You wanted friends.” Gem simply summarized everything he meant to say.

Tsyreim sat back on his haunches, silent. As much as he desired to be right so often, there was simply no way around what his mother had said. He knew it to be true, he wanted friends. He had never known what it was like to even have friends. He was either hiding from Celestia's knowledge, or hiding to keep the knowledge of his home safe as well. His incredible paranoia keeping him from even straying so far as to make a single friend.

Another rare event then happened, as a single tear ran down his face. Tsyreim had hardened himself in a thousand years of training to the point of being nearly unstoppable if not faced by a trained army, or the solar sisters themselves. Yet the mention of one of the simplest things that many a colt or filly enjoyed could bring him to tears.

“Tsy...” Gem sighed. “Please, I know you would do anything for me. So now I ask you this. Listen to me...”

Tsyreim lifted his face upward. “Speak, and it shall be done...”

“Go, I know perhaps it is dangerous. But I will no longer stand for you to be like this. I never wished for my son to be so deprived of this necessity. Interact with regular society if you will. And if you find somepony whom you so deem trustworthy, then make a friend.”

Tsyreim nodded slowly. “You know, after she saw me, there will be guards everywhere again.”

“Then if you are found, flee. If you don't cause harm, then how can you be blamed for harm?”

Standing again, Tsyreim looked toward the door. “I said I would do as you asked, and I hold to my promises.”

“Don't promise this for me.” Gem stopped him. “Promise it for yourself.”

Tsyreim smiled again, and walked outside into the daylight.

- - - - - - -
One hour later, Ponyville Library
- - - - - - -

Twilight was up bright and early, studying as usual. This time however, it was a search for something different. Like the foal who was told that they could not have something, it only made the desire stronger. And whatever this 'Prequestrian' was that Luna had kept mentioning, it intrigued Twilight greatly. Celestia ceasing the conversation so soon only made the young unicorn all the more curious.

The only things she could find however were a couple snippets of seemingly meaningless info, often paired with talk of a long-forgotten language.

Finally, she just groaned loudly, planting her face to the desk in frustration. Gathering a pen and parchment, she began to scribble a short note to her mentor.

“Dear Princess Celestia,


I know you told me no back in the Everfree forest, and I apologize for my request. But I simply must know what this 'Prequestrian' is. It's been driving my crazy all night.

I don't need to know details, I just want to know what it is.



Your faithful student,

Twilight Sparkle”

Looking it over, she shouted out. “SPIIIIKE!”

Shortly afterward, the small dragon came running down the steps. “What's the rush Twi?”

“I need you to send this to Princess Celestia.” Twilight replied, levitating the scroll to Spike's claws.

“Already? But it's barely morning, and you already have your lesson ready for Celestia?” Spike said, looking down at it.

“No, this is a personal request.” Twilight said, poking him. “So I'd appreciate it if you'd send it instead of staring at it.”

“Well, ok then.” Spike held the scroll up, blowing a small flame over it. The scroll instantly burning into a small wisp of smoke and blinking away. Turning back to the Unicorn, he yawned. “Is there anything else? Or can I go back to bed.”

Twilight looked out the window. “Haven't you slept enough, it's light outside.”

“Don't you remember last night? It was crazy! How was I supposed to get sleep during THAT?” Spike waved his arms.

Twilight for once, couldn't actually come up with a good reason why. Last night after all, was a rather panicked time. “Alright, but before you do...” She rooted through a couple books. “I need every book regarding criminal ponies, or those that Celestia has sent out searches for.”

Spike blinked. “Twi, is someone after you? Is that why you-”

Twilight quickly waved the notion off. “Oh no no! I simply need to do some freelance research, and there's a particular subject I'm looking for.”

“Err, okay.” Spike shrugged, jogging up the stairs again.

- - -

Elsewhere in Ponyville, a strong young orange pony strode into town, a small cart full of apples scooting along behind her. A large cowboy hat shaded her green eyes from the sun as she entered the shopping district.

Several other eyes watched her as she entered, then poking back into the shadows, giggles shortly following. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash hid behind some bushes, awaiting their grand prank.

“Applejack won't know what hit her!” Dash giggled. “This will be so great.”

“Yeah, yeah!” Pinkie peeked out again. “I made some improvements to the prank myself.”

“I know.” Rainbow said bluntly.

Pinkie continued as if the blue Pegasus hadn't said a thing. “It's so great! When someone picks up this particular apple, it pulls this string which runs along these confetti cannons that I hid inside the vendor carts, only I filled the confetti cannons with POPCORN instead of confetti! Imagine when the ponies see the cannons, they'll be all like 'oh those are confetti cannons, but they're not shooting confetti!' They'll be so surprised!”

Rainbow Dash stared blankly at Pinkie. “Like I said, I know. I helped set it up, remember?”

“I know.” The exuberant pony bounded off. “I was simply saying it so the reader would know what was happening.”

Rainbow Dash stopped. “What? Reader?” Taking off after Pinkie, she threw her forelegs up in frustration. “We didn't even WRITE anything!”

Back in the library, Twilight was having trouble concentrating, and in these times, she found having something to chew helped. Looking through her cabinets, she felt like having a fresh apple, but apparently had eaten the last of them in a previous study session.

Looking at the clock, she noticed it was near time for the shops to open, and thought for a bit. “Applejack should be opening up soon, I guess I could go get a few apples.”

“Some fresh air might do you some good too.” Spike grunted, placing down a heavy stack of books.

Rolling her eyes, Twilight headed to the door. “I'll be back soon, you can go ahead and get more sleep I guess.”

- - -

Tsyreim crept through the bushes, looking at the sleepy little town, he had to smile at himself. He was so used to having an important mission of sorts, that it almost seemed confusing to be in such a normal place, intending to do somewhat normal things.

Perching himself in a large tree near the town, he watched several ponies leaving their houses, heading toward some strange cart-huts. Some had wheels, others didn't.

He tilted his head, watching them open a large window on each, setting little trinkets, food items and such along a shelf on the outside. He soon realized that they were trading wares with each other. More ponies came by, and he saw them leaving small round metal objects, and leaving with the host-pony's wares.

“Interesting...” Tsy mused. Looking over the rest of the vendor area, he squinted, easily making out one of the six ponies who brandished the Elements of Harmony the previous night. The orange Earth Pony.

He stared at her hat. Such a strange looking object, yet he rather liked it. And clearly, she had an affinity for apples.

Before long, the purple pony, whom he deciphered to be the Element of Magic came trotting into the marketplace, headed straight for the orange pony's stand.

- - -

Twilight waved to Applejack, and the Orange pony waved right back. “Hey there Twi. Did'ja sleep well last night?”

Twilight laughed. “To tell you the truth, I didn't sleep much.”

“Ah didn't either.” The farm pony shrugged.

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Well, mainly because I was studying quite a bit.”

“Again?” Applejack frowned. “Listen here sugarcube, ya gotta stop doin' that. Ya may just lose yer ability to study if you keep it up.”

Twilight couldn't resist a chuckle. “Ironically, that's why I'm here. I study better with something to chew.”

Applejack blocked her merchandise and stared at Twilight. “Promise you'll stop stayin' up so late.”

“Alright, alright.” Twilight agreed. “You got me.”

Applejack smiled and sat back again. “Now then, ah just loaded up some nice fresh'uns this mornin'.”

Twilight walked over and took a big whiff of the fresh apples. “Mmm, they smell delicious.” Looking over the selection, she began to levitate some of the produce into the air, looking over them before placing the ones she wanted into a bag.

Lifting a large one, she looked with confusion at a string hanging off of it. Applejack squinted at it. “Wha-”

Suddenly, party cannons popped out of the carts, exploding, sending popcorn absolutely everywhere. Ponies shrieked and jumped around in shock.

“WHAT IN TARNATION?!” Applejack jumped away from her stand in surprise.

- - -

Tsyreim sat back, staring at the spectacle in utter disbelief. “What in Celestia's name... Is this normal pony life?”

Suddenly however, two more of the Element ponies jumped out of hiding, the bouncy pink one and that blasted rainbow Pegasus, both laughing uncontrollably. All eyes turned to them, and multiple other ponies started laughing as well, others however, didn't find it so entertaining.

Tsyreim found himself chuckling, and then laughing. He had no idea how they pulled it off, but that was beside the point. Whatever it was, it was hilarious.

Clearly, this wasn't 'normal' pony life per se, but rather a prank. Tsyreim, not having experienced any actual pranks in his lifetime, found it ever so perplexing and entertaining. He watched with envy as the ponies went about their lives, wishing that he too could join in the fun.

Eventually however, something else called him. His stomach rumbled, and the unicorn frowned, looking down at the market stands filled with all sorts of curious-looking foods and treats. He wanted to get some of them to try himself, but alas, he did not have any of this currency the others appeared to be using, nor was he risking giving himself up so early on.

Finally he couldn't ignore it any longer, and retreated into the woods to forage something to sate his appetite. When finally he found a berry bush, he sat down, telekinetically plucking the juicy morsels one by one. His mind drifted back to the stands of food. He desperately wanted to test the civilized ponies' culinary expertise, but he was no thief, he refused to take any of it illegitimately.

A plan began to brew in his mind as he sat there, slowly chewing the colorful bits. From where he had sat, it appeared that the metal discs the ponies were using were of the same shade of yellow that a certain metallic ore he had found before had. Perhaps, if he were to find one of those metal objects, he could smelt his own.

Pleased with his plan, and his hunger quenched, the stallion trotted back to the town to wait till nightfall. The rest of the day, he spent watching ponies travel about the town, learning where several of the element-ponies resided.

- - -

Twilight returned home, setting the sack of apples down near her cupboards. Carrying an apple back to her desk, she could barely begin looking through her books before there was a knock at the door.

The Unicorn leaned back to call for Spike, but remembered she had allowed him to sleep longer. Trotting over to the door, she opened it, greeted immediately by Rainbow Dash.

“Hey Twilight.” The Pegasus nodded. “Saw you in the market today, sorry if Pinkie and I scared you.” She snickered, still quite pleased with her prank.

Twilight smiled and rolled her eyes, she had to admit, the prank was good. “Yeah yeah, you got us good this time. Just, make sure next time you play a prank like that, don't aim the cannons toward ponies. I think you nearly gave Cherrilee a heart attack. And that's saying something when the pony that has to teach the Cutie Mark Crusaders got frightened.”

“Yeeahh... My bad.” Rainbow shrugged. “Anyway, I just came over to tell you something that I forgot about yesterday.”

“What's that, Dash?” Twilight stepped aside, motioning for the Pegasus to come inside. “Did it have to do with the Nightmare Moon business?”

“Not exactly...” Rainbow Dash rubbed the back of her head. “It's just that, before the big celebration, when Nightmare Moon arrived, I saw that weird black pony.”

“The unicorn?” Twilight immediately perked up.

“Yeah, that one that Princess Celestia flipped her lid over when she saw him.”

“I've never seen her so angry before...” Twilight shivered, recalling the memory.

“Yeah well, before the celebration, I was flying toward town hall when I saw somepony's shadow sitting up on... I forget who's house it was. I just know I saw a pony there. So I flew over, he seemed completely surprised that I had seen him, so I tried to make conversation.”

Twilight pulled some parchment and a pen over from her desk, preparing to write anything about it down. “Did he say anything?”

“No... Well, I mean, yes.” Rainbow Dash shuffled. “He just stared at me really weird, and had a sling across his back, I guess that's where he kept the scroll thingy you found.”

Twilight stopped writing. “You said he didn't speak, but he did?”

“Well, he shouted, like he did back at the ruins. I can't really remember what he said... Resender, Resalder? I dunno, it was weird, and didn't seem to make sense. But it did something, cause he just vanished in a flash of light. Kinda like when you teleport.”

Twilight paused, writing down the words that Dash thought it might have sounded like. She had heard it a few times too when the mysterious Unicorn was teleporting all over the place back in the Everfree. Looking back up, she asked another question. “One more thing, Dash. What else did you notice about him? Or see with or on him? I'm afraid I never got as close as you did.”

Rainbow Dash paused, then took the parchment and pen from Twilight. “I remember kinda what his cutie mark looked like. But it wasn't anything I could recognize.” She began to scribble on the paper, making a strange three-pointed starlike shape with several circles.

Twilight pointed at the paper rather excited. “I know that symbol!”

The Pegasus looked up. “What? You do? What is it?”

“Well, I don't actually know WHAT it is.” Twilight admitted. “But I saw it, on that magic scroll he left. That symbol was in the upper right corner. I just thought it was part of the spell, but I guess it's more like his signature or something.”

Looking back at her books, Twilight pursed her mouth, thinking. “I know you're not really into books and all, but your timing was perfect. I was about to go looking through these to see if I could find anything about that pony.”

“So you're a detective now huh?” Dash snickered.

“Just out of curiosity anyway.” Twilight looked back. “Celestia definitely recognized him from somewhere, and I aim to find out how.”

“Shouldn't that be the Princesses' business?” Dash raised a hoof.

“Yes, well...” Both ponies looked toward the stairs as a loud burp interrupted their conversation. Spike stumbling down the stairs slowly right after.

“Talk about a rude awakening...” He grumbled, handing the scroll to Twilight, immediately heading back toward the stairs.

“Oh, Celestia must have read my scroll alrea-Huh?” Twilight looked at the seal on the scroll. “This isn't Celestia's crest, this is a half-moon.

Rainbow Dash trotted over. “It must be from Luna then.”

Twilight looked skeptically at her friend. “Dash, why would Luna be looking through Celestia's mail?”

“I dunno, let's find out. Open it.” The Pegasus eagerly poked it.

Twilight removed the seal and unfurled the parchment. “Dear Twilight Sparkle, I know thou wouldst disapprove of my inquiring searches through mine dear sister's personal writings, but we could not simply dismiss thine persistent inquiries regarding that long-relinquished dialect.”

Both ponies looked at each other. “Wow, Luna sure has a strange way of speaking doesn't she?” Rainbow Dash stated, stifling a giggle.

“I guess, but then again, she's been trapped on the moon for a thousand years.” Twilight shrugged.

“True, true.” Rainbow Dash replied. “What does the rest of it say?”

Twilight looked back down at the paper and began reading again. “While my sister forbade me from speaking to you of such things back at those ruins of my reckoning, I can surely at least answer this simple query without disclosing too much knowledge.

The Prequestrian of which you are so curious, is a banished language of old. Usage of the dialect was forbidden in a time lost to memory, except to those whom lived during those olden times.

With that, I do surely hope that your thirst for such knowledge has been quenched.


Sincerely,

Luna, Your beloved 'Mare in the Moon'.”

Rolling up the parchment, Twilight stared at the floor for several seconds. “A language? But... They seemed to cast spells with the words.”

“Yeah, and powerful ones too.” Rainbow Dash nodded vigorously. “That pony even blocked a spell by Celestia herself!”

“That is true...” Twilight rubbed her chin. “All the info that I could find on the subject seemed to refer to a language. All two passages of it.”

Rainbow dash shook her head. “How can a language even be banned? You use languages to communicate.”

Twilight nodded slowly. “That is right, however if you can cast spells with this one, then it stands to reason it could be very dangerous. Maybe some sort of black magic spell or something.”

“Weird.” Rainbow Dash said, looking back toward the door. “Well, you have fun overthinking things. I'm gonna go outside, to you know. HAVE FUN. Instead of reading books.”

Twilight rolled her eyes. “Alright then, have fun not learning anything.”

“Goodbye to you too, egghead.” Rainbow Dash laughed, shutting the door before flying away.

“That pony...” Twilight shook her head with a smile.

- - -

Night had begun to set in, and Tsyreim sat back in a clearing, watching the stars setting in the night sky. This night felt special, it was technically Luna's first since she had returned to normal again. It felt somewhat like meeting an old friend. Well, had Tsyreim ever actually had any friends to begin with.

After awhile, he crept back to the town and waited until all the lights he could see had been extinguished. Then, it was time to hunt.

Tsy slinked in the shadows near the shops, searching underneath the vendor stands, and in the grass near them. Surely somepony had dropped a bit of their currency at some point.

Looking around silently, he whispered several words “Jubufhose Issay Merehr...” His horn glowed slightly, and he blinked several times, his vision altering slightly. Suddenly metal objects glowed slightly in his sight. Looking around the stands, he saw a glowing dot in the grass near a further stand. Quickly making his way toward it, he levitated the object up, grinning as he looked at the slightly worn coin. “Perfect.”

Taking a glance around, Tsyreim quickly made his escape, headed back home. He knew where to get more of the yellow ore, and could make himself some coins in no time.