• Published 20th Aug 2014
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Truth's Echo - Psi-nova



Two thousand years after Dusk Shine's Saga, A unicorn mare must takes up a role long forgotten.

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Chapter 1: Between Night and Day there is only a Whisper.

Years moved on. No act could prevent them from doing so, and once they had begun? It was an unstoppable process that one soon simply accepted, or they would enviably be taken away by time's tides force.

Alone on a balcony, Prince Dusk Shine would overlook the grand city of Canterlot, from its spiraling towers to simple squat homes that lay packed together in the poorer distracts. In every direction the city stretched, from one horizon to the other, and even on the clearest of night's it was a struggle to see the edge even here at the center of power, not that it mattered to him anymore.

The stars would sparkle this night, their soft whispers calling to him in a thousand voices at once, but long ago he had learned to sort them apart. And now he could find one voice and hear its words in a way his mentor's had never been able to manage. It had always been a sweet legend that the voices of the dead somehow danced with the wind, or that they were reborn into new bodies over time. Dusk now knew better then any other that when the dead were gone they took to the stars and watched over those left behind with as much joy as he did his beloved city.

A voice was what at last pulled him free from the choir of friends who had long ago passed, in the centuries that were greater then any could count. In his own world it took the light pressure of a hand upon his own shoulder and those words offered once more to his ear to finally break the spell their song had upon him. Dusk would twist around, his own moderate eyes of violet hues clouded in a milky white mist, and looked though the simple mare who had took a hold of his elbow after her turned. As her bat wings folded to her back she would lean in and speak softly, but the panic in her words was powerful. "Prince Dusk Shine... Princess Celestia. None can wake her. Th... This would make the fifth..." The mare swallowed, biting back a sob.

At last once really in his own world again, Dusk Shine allowed the night guard to take up his elbow. His breathing low and easy, he would walk with quiet pace so she might keep up with his long strides. His free hand softly touched her hand on his own elbow, his voice low and tender too. "Captain Whisperfall, she has missed the last four Summer Sun Celebrations. If she misses this year, people may begin to forget she is the true Princess of the Sun. Cadence can do the job, but its hard on her. We need Celestia today if only for the single day."

The stress in his voice had her scared only worse and she stopped just before they passed though the drapes that separated inside from out. She would step in front of him and placed a hand on his cheek, her voice low and hard while tears ran down her cheeks freely. "I... I tried everything grandfather... Cadence help me. I..." Attempting to swallow, and would bury her face into his chest. "I... I cut her grandfather. She never... she never twitched. We've lost her grandfather. Princess Celestia has gone into the Eternal Sleep." He would draw his arms around her shoulders and in silence he held the weeping mare close.

* * *

Cadence had preformed the Summer Sun Celebration in Cloudsdale with admirable skill. There were few who hadn't seen a more brilliant display of power and grace then when the Princess of Love lifted the Sun and returned the golden glory of the day to shine down upon the gathered crowds. Dusk Shine sat alone in his box, save his captain of the guard. He had long ago ordered the other member's of the Night's Watch to their beds but she always remained at his side against despite any orders. Just as her mother. And her grandmother. In the nine hundred years since the accident a member of her family had taken him by his elbow, be it day or night and guided him in a world he could only see though the stars now.

When the crowds began to thin out Cadence left those who had come to praise her behind, and joined him in the private booth. The years had been kinder to her and all knew it. Whisperfall let her alone into his private box with a soft nod, then a level glare passed over the dozen courtiers that attempted to follow her in. Her record of intolerance to any going near her grandfather was fierce. Thus Dusk and Cadence would have a long and quiet moment, watching the sun as it made its path across the sky.

It was Cadence who spoke first, her words soft so only he could hear, but by the way Whisperfall stiffened and moved to take two steps away from them forcing the hangers on to back off a little further, it was clear she knew this wasn't for others. "How long will it last this time Dusk? We let her go for forty years last time. And it took all four of us to wake her. Now Luna refuses help us do it again." Even as his glare snapped around on her, she shook a hand to wave off his words. "I'm sorry Dusk. I had to. Every day it screams at me. It knows I'm not it's mistress and it doesn't want my touch. Every day the screams get louder and it hurts a little more. I can bare the weight Dusk. But for how long?"

The intrusion hurt. She knew it, and yet she had gone anyway. But it wasn't the first... and he knew it would not be the last. For an hour he sat in silence and let those words hang between them, weighing memories of the past again the heartache she had just placed at his feet. At last his hand touched her shoulder, his voice weak and low as he spoke. "We will deal with one crisis at a time. My love still speaks with us every night we ask. For now we must find some solution to Celestia first and foremost. I will forgive you for the intrusion into our home, but next time? Ask." When she nodded to his words and touched his wrist he would snap it away. The balance of memories had been tight. Tighter then he wished to admit, and for a moment he considered the unthinkable. But he couldn't not to her, not to his coltsitter., His voice was breathless and hallow he he spoke up again, louder this time. The silly fools who stood still waiting for Cadence suddenly scribbling every word down as he spoke them. "Barb brought me a gift for you last time she was in town. She found it when she visited Lady Emerald Thunder. It took her four years to restore it, but it is at last like new. Restored to the condition it was in the day he gave it to you."

And here Whisperfall pushed the simple wooden box into Cadence's hands before returning to her post at the luxury box's gate. As Cadence opened it, a low gasp whispered from her lips and a simple metal pin lifted free of the plush red velvet pillow, inspected in silence, and then placed once more into the velvet pillow. Dusk again spoke, this time his voice warmer to her, his eternal sister-in-law. "Someday you should let me bring you to him. His voice is as strong as ever and he still thinks only of you." She gave a soft nod, clutching the gift tight to her heart her tears now streaming over her cheeks in a free flow. Here at last Whisperfall allowed the fools to enter his presence, but only as she took up his elbow, and they walked silently away from the still grieving widow.

* * *

Dusk Shine stood again upon that balcony in Canterlot, a silent watcher of a world his eyes no longer perceived. The stars sung for his tonight and yet it felt like their choir was short one voice today. He searched for the one who held out, who refused to speak up yet he could find no sign of her. In frustration he steeped though the veil and turned to his right, to softly take up Luna's hands. She was always at his side the moment he entered her world, and the kiss they shared was in silence. After this long they needed no words, and she would draw his hands to guide him to what he hunted.

The dream was a simple bubble tiny and weak. Fragile enough that even after all this time he feared to touch it, knowing she could handle the sensitive ones like this far better then he. Together they entered but inside was not the dreams stars had. No repeating memories of a life lived were here. Instead it was a quiet void of with almost no form. The confusion drove him to try and define the dream, but her hand squeezed his own, stopping him. And at last he saw the reason why.

A filly... hardly even anything more then a few hours old. The baby only newly born had no dreams yet. His eyes wide Dusk turned to his love and she gave a single simple nod. Even the question of how could not be answered but for a moment they would share a hug, hope was shared between them for the first time in ages.

Whisperfall was at his side when he returned, her hands holding at his elbow while eyes lifted to watch the stars. "Grandfather. Why do you refuse to stand this watch with any others? Even Princess Luna had a few retainers on hand. Voices she could consult. I constantly fear the day you ask me a question and I'm unable to answer it. I'm no star student no matter how kindly you were in taking years to teach me." His hand lifted, softly touching her own lips, to silence her protest.

His free arm lifted from those quivering lips and waved to the glittering stars that danced above them, his words soft and easy. "I am old Whipserfall. But I have had many friends over the years. Even now when the sun sets I stand not alone. You do not take up my watch without aid. Pinkie is just there." He pointed to one blue mote in the sky his voice full of soft delight. "She still remembers how you were scared of that old filly tale as a child. She was the one who told me you have to 'Giggle at the ghosties'." as her eyes followed his finger and he shifted to mark out another star. "Rainbow Dash remembers a time when none believed a Bat Pegasus could manage the Sonic Rainboom. She told me how you had to bend your will against the air itself. Who now holds the record for the quietest Rainboom ever recorded?"

Here Whisperfall swallowed hard and would let out a sob nodding warmly. "Captain Whisperfall of the Night's Watch does grandfather. A pin dropping is louder then her in flight." When he laughed she did too, clearing her nose and turning about to stare up at the stars... at his friends. "You told me all of their stories at one point or another grandfather. About Applejack and her simple love of life and family. Of Fluttershy, and the way she took in any creature in need as if they were family in need. Of Rarity and her selfless sacrifice." In silent awe she watched the stars realizing he was waiting for her to continue. "And Rainbow Dash. And Pinkie Pie. I remember all of them grandfather. The Elements of Harmony. It's amazing to think you were once a simple unicorn grandfather."

Dusk Shine snapped his head snapped down once more to gaze at the girl's own eyes. His free hand shaking a little at his side, at last his grasp lifted to take hold of her shoulder, turning to gaze deeply into her own eyes with his blind gaze. His voice a low whisper. "When is your child going to take you from me dear?" when she gasped his head shook voice soft. "I've been around mares for too long granddaughter. I know the smells. I know the way your stride changes. It's no dishonor to step down from your duties for a few weeks, a few months. Your cousin Silver Grace or your niece Dawn Wing would both be willing to take your place with pride."

Once more she started to shake her own head at the kind words. "It... It will be two or three months before she is ready grandfather. Until then I guess I had better start to break them both into the work." When he arched a brow she snickered gently in response. "What? You think any one of them could be as good as me grandfather? No. I wont allow that chance. Silver Grace and take the nights. Dawn Wing the days. No arguments." When he gave her a simple nod of joy she laughed warmly in return. "Even if its only a few months I will miss our conversations grandfather. Promise you wont let them replace me?"

Laughing softly Dusk would simply stroke her jaw his voice soft. "You won't Whisperfall. You're going to be with me a long time. You wont be rid of me so easy." Their shared laughter was warm and he let her guide him back indoors their conversation on lighter topics for the rest of that night.

* * *

Another night alone on the balcony, this one was unlike the others though. A new voice had joined the choir of star's above him. And the second he heard its song he had ordered Dawn Wing and Silver Grace to join their family for the night. They were needed more at home tonight then here with him. For the first time in nine hundred years he had no member of the Night's Watch noble line was available to stand at his side. A new star bloomed in the night sky, its voice whispering softly down to him. Tear's streaming over his cheeks he would nod softly and voiced a quiet answer. "I will watch over her Whisperfall. Only promise me you will watch the night with me still. Tonight and every night." The bright dance of light was joined by a thousand others who whispered together but one voice stood out over all others and he offered a soft nod. "Thank you granddaughter."

For the first time in nine-hundred years Dusk turned, and no hands took his elbow. For a second he had to cast around in the darkness before the star's whispers directed his hand to the shoulder of a young Bat Pegasus filly whose name he hadn't learned. It took a few seconds until one in the stars found the answer and passed it down to him. "Gilded Tooth. Go to the Nursery. Tell them her name..." Drawing a sharp breath he paused for a moment, then shook the shocked lass so he was sure she was more afraid of him then in in wonder of being assigned to his company with nine others of her clan. "Go. And tell them the fillies name is Slipstream. And if any of them offer you any argument tell them they can take it up with the stars. But only after I'm though with them."

When she bolted, the other eight stepped back further from him. All watching close but too scared to step any closer. He would release a sharp grunt of annoyance, and then hands were on his elbow, drawing it into arms and a body pulled itself into his side. A timid voice lifted but unlike the others she would speak out, and stand up to his fearful aura. "Prince Dusk Shine... I have seen the Night's Watch at your elbow for years like this. Ma... May I take your arm and honor there memory?"

He would scowl at the young filly. Too young to be pressed into the service she was not taking up. His eyes leveled their blind glare on her own and his voice lifted but the bitter tone from before was softened now. "The Night's Watch is not dead. Three remain." When she stiffened her grip on his elbow Dusk stopped his stride and touched her cheek voice gentle. "What is your name little filly, and are the Bat Pegasus so few in number a child without her Cutiemark must be assigned to my service?"

Giving no sing of flinching at his antics, the girl stood up as tall as she could manage while her voice lifted, as if that might convince him she was older or stronger then she really was. "I am Platinum Heart, Prince Dusk Shine. And I got my Cutiemark last week when the changelings tried to attack Princess Cadence in her sleep." A hand pulled back the chain mail and tunic that lay under her dress armor revealing to eyes that couldn't see a emblem upon her chest.

A sigh whispered from his throat and he would nod slowly, his soft stride started up again with two steps taken before three figures came bursting though the blinds that separated inside from out. Silver Grace and Dawn Wing were in full dress mail, with the younger mare's poleaxe drawn. Blind as he was, a light danced in the other mare's arm that he could see, one wrapped in blankets and crying like... like a newborn. When Gilded Tooth realized how close Dusk Shine and Platinum Heart were to the two approaching mare's she turned and drew her sword with a ringing sound that echoed in the night. Throat quaking she called out to the last two daughter's of the Night's Watch. "Halt I said! Prince Dusk Shine ordered you two away for the night and I will not allow you to break an order from our lord."

The other eight of the young mare's would rush as fast as wings and legs would carry them to form a line between him and the two determined elder's. But before a melee could break out Dusk's voice whispered free and with Platinum's grip on his elbow allowed him to push though the gathered guards. All of them reluctant to step down and lower their weapons when he stepped between the two groups. His eyes were not on the weapons. Not even on the enraged eyes of his granddaughter's. The baby in Silver Grace's arms had shifted and kicked a foot free of the blankets. A foot that glittered in Dusk Shine's eyes like the starlight above. His free hand lifted, and gently pushed Dawn Wing's poleaxe aside, it moved without resistance to his touch.

His eyes wide with wonder the towering alicorn stallion drew open the blanket's to marvel at a sight he had not seen in nine-hundred years. The newborn filly glowed before him in a world that was otherwise grey shadows. His gaze lifting to look into Silver Grace's own his voice was soft. "Thank you granddaughter. But it is cold, and she might catch one if she stays out much longer... besides. Her father has a right to mourn his wife with his daughter." Words of protest were stifled in her lips when he put a finger to them his voice soft and lower still so only she, her niece and Platinum Heart might heart. "Does she glow in your eyes too?"

All three turned to inspect the baby, to them a normal Bat Pegasus in every way. Their silence broken only when Platinum Heart spoke up. "No Prince Dusk Shine. She is but a babe to our eyes." When the others nodded he would shake his head in wonder memories of two thousand years past flooding back in the oddest of ways.

Turning away again he would start towards his balcony again, pacing pack to where he started this night. His voice was stronger now. Stronger then any of the thirteen mare's who stood with him that night had ever heard in their lifetime. Facing the Dawn sun as it began to rise he called out his voice at last full of hope for the first time in ages. "Go back to your family granddaughter's. I will deal with your punishment for disobeying me another day. And one of you fillies. The silly one who thought to draw her sword on my children. Go to Princess Cadence. Tell her ..." he paused, his eyes cast about the stars in joy. "Tell her that Pinkie says it's time we started to 'Giggle at the Ghosties' again."

When Gilded Tooth paused in her step, it was Platinum Heart who slapped her fellow, hard her voice stern and far older then her years suggested. "You heard Prince Dusk Shine. Go you silly filly." A pause as the others parted ways, spreading out in the morning sun she returned to Dusk's side and took up his elbow once more, this time without asking. Afterwords. But a ne question was on her lips, and at last when they stood alone in the dawn's rich glow the others too far off to her she asked it. "Why... why do you speak of a filly from the faery tale's of your youth as if she were watching over your shoulder?"

A grin upon his lips Dusk would softly tap the mare's nose voice bright, almost cooing with delight. "Because she does. And because she is right. And... because laughter is back."

Author's Note:

I hope you enjoyed this brief distraction.

Comments ( 12 )

This story seems interesting. The background of what happened to Dusk and his relationship with his grandaughters is intriguing.

4878196 Haha. Thanks. I am trying to make this a little bit different and a lot more emotional.

Tough crowd.

Cut down on the Author's Notes maybe a little.

5099445 haha. Thanks. I plan to do a major rewrite at some point but I'll look into that too.

I'm wondering why the 'sex' tag was added... :facehoof:

6843322 Sorry for the confusion. I had big plans for a long story but put it on hiatus as I am currently occupatied with Dusk Shine’s Saga. Maybe when I complete the other story I will return to this and massively rework it to improve the glaring quality issues here.

Holy cow. I have not had so much liquid pride running down my cheeks in a long time. Magnificent story, and loving Dusk's story. This one is powerful as hell, and I love it already. Thanks for writing it and giving me all these powerful feels.

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