• Published 2nd Oct 2014
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Clever Scraps - cleverpun



Story snippets, outlines, short one-shots, and the like.

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Welcome Home

Luna awoke, her scream echoing off the tiles and windows.

She lurched to her feet. Memories stabbed at her. Memories of blood and fire and imposters. Memories of failure and betrayal.

“Celestia! I know you are here somewhere!” The castle looked different, unfamiliar and distorted. Luna tried to walk forward, but her legs barely held up her weight. This had to be Celestia’s doing. She had discovered Luna’s friend, had somehow found out about her plans.

She had to be jealous. She was jealous that someone had paid more attention to Luna than to Celestia.

“Come out, sister!”

Pain stung at Luna’s chest. It felt like she had forgotten something important. Why the castle looked different, why her chest hurt. Hazy memories stabbed at her mind again. The taste of blood creeped at the edge of her mouth.

Please, help me. You said we would get revenge, that ponies would love us. You said we would do it together. I need you.

No voice answered her.

“H-hello, Luna.”

Luna’ face twisted into a smile that showed entirely too many teeth. “Hello, sister.” She spun around, her horn ignited.

She paused. Celestia looked different. Too different. Frayed and forlorn.

“Who are you?”

“I’m C-celestia, your sister.”

“No.” Luna crept forward. The discolored pony sat there passively. “You are not bright enough to be Celestia. Sickeningly bright. Disgustingly bright.”

Luna looked around. “Do you know where we are?”

“In C-canterlot.”

“The mountain? This is the first I’ve heard of such a construction in that old place.” She turned back to the discolored pony. “I’m looking for a friend of mine. She was supposed to come with me to talk to Celestia. Have you seen her?”

The discolored pony frowned at that. “I’m afraid that your f-f-friend had to leave.”

“No! She wouldn’t leave me!” Luna ignited her horn. “You lie!”

“I wouldn’t l-l-lie to you.”

“Are you another of Celestia servants? Another disguised guard come to feed me lies...” Luna paused. There had been another imposter, pretending to be her friend. That is why she was unconscious. That is why her chest hurt.

“No...”

“Luna, p-please try to stay calm...”

“That imposter...she told me things. I tried to kill her and... but I can’t be...”

“Luna, don’t worry, I’m h-here to help y—”

“Stay back!” Magic scattered off Luna’s horn, cracking tiles and chipping columns. She ran towards the door, any door.

The hallways all looked dingy and unkempt. She ran down corridor after corridor. Finally she burst through a set of double doors and into the courtyard.

The courtyard had decayed long ago. Empty plots of dirt and worn tiles stretched forward, ending in a set of disheveled gates. They had been left open. Empty landscape stretched as far as she could see, swathed in light from a disproportionately large moon.

Luna turned her head in every direction she could, but the same sight greeted her at every turn. Broken, empty skyline.

Luna sat down.

Hoofsteps clacked on the tile behind her.

“I had h-hoped to ease you into the s-sight,” Celestia said.

“I recognize your scent, now.” Luna turned her head. “At first it confused me. You look like Celestia, but with all the light gone.” Her teeth shone in the moonlight. “You smell like decay and failure.”

Celestia sat down. “That’s n-not inaccurate.”

“So that doppelganger killed me after all.”

“Y-yes.”

Luna laughed. “Well, if I had to die, had to wind up in Hel or Tartarus or wherever we may be, then I suppose that is only fair.” She turned her body to face Celestia. “But my friend kept her promise after all. She killed you too.”

Celestia sighed. “That’s n-not inaccurate.”

Luna laughed. It reverberated off the stones and empty planters. She laughed until her teeth caught the moonlight.

“But t-tell me, sister. Now that y-you have what you wanted, now that we are e-equal in the eyes of our subjects...” Celestia waved a hoof at the emptiness. “Was it w-worth it?”

Luna’s laugh stopped abruptly. She turned around again, stared at the skyline. She sat there, unmoving, for a very long time.

Celestia stared at her the entire time. She said nothing, just waited.

Finally, Luna’s shoulders shook.

Celestia inched forward, placed a hoof on her sister.

“She wasn’t my friend, was she?”

“N-n-no,” Celestia whispered.

Luna grabbed her sister, began sobbing into her coat. “I’m sorry... I’m so, so sorry...”

“Shh... It’s ok-kay, sister.” Celestia leaned down, nuzzled Luna’s mane. “I’m just g-glad to have you back.”



Luna had listened quietly to the entire story.

“That sounds...quite far-fetched.”

“Yes, I s-suppose it does. But considering everything we have s-seen, is it really s-so improbable?”

“So then this is not the underworld, just a broken Equestria? I don’t know if that is a comfort or not.” Luna scanned the horizon. “Why did you bring me here?”

“I thought that, p-perhaps, we could rebuild this w-world together.” Celestia knelt down toward a patch of cracked dirt. “I learned some things from Discord. More than I would like to know, more than I deserve.” Her horn ignited, gold light spread across the dirt. “It will take time. A long time. But I can teach you. We can reforge this world into something better than it was before. We can remake it together, however we like.”

Celestia started. She looked down at her side, and saw blood dripping from a freshly made would. Behind her, Luna stood, her horn ignited and a wide smile scarring her face.

“L-luna…”

“I think, sister, that I would prefer to rule alone.”

“L-una…you c-can’t…”

“Shut up!” Luna screeched. Another bolt tore from her horn. It rebounded harmlessly off Celestia’s barrier. “Every time, at every turn… ‘Can’t can’t can’t’!” Another laser fired and deflected. “I can do everything you can and more!”

“L-luna, that’s not what I meant…”

“Don’t try to backtrack now, dear sister.” Luna spat the words out with such vitriol. They sounded worse than a thousand insults or epithets could have. “Even now, after everything that has happened, you think yourself my better.”

“That’s n-not true!”

“Even now, you try to raise yourself above me!” She punctuated each sentence with a blast of magic. They shattered columns. Waves of magic shattered windows and kicked up clouds of dust. Celestia remained unharmed, her puncture wound bound long ago.

“You can drive away my one ally, you can have all the powers of Discord and Tirek and all the hordes of Tartarus!” Another streak of lightning, another lance of fire. “But I will never subserve to you again! If that doppelganger could kill you, then so can I!”

The fusillade of magic stopped abruptly. Luna features froze. Her pose stopped mid-attack, her teeth bared and her front legs flailing. Molten rock and crackling static shifted around her briefly, then settled.

Celestia walked forward. Her hoofsteps echoed loudly in the sudden silence. She reached out and touched the statue Luna had become.

“I’m s-so s-sorry, sister. I should have kn-known better. I will w-w-wait as long as it takes for your anger to cool. And, when y-y-you are ready, we will rebuild the world together. It will never be the s-s-same. It c-c-can’t be. Perhaps it can’t be b-b-better. B-but it will be ours. S-someday.”

Celestia sat down in front of the statue. Her tears dripped onto the pavement. “To p-pass the time, perhaps a story? How about the t-tale of how the gods f-forged the world? You always liked that one, back when we were f-f-fillies…”

Author's Note:

Originally I considered caving to peer pressure and adding more to the Conquer trilogy. The end result ended up far too nihilistic and depressing for my tastes, so this is as far as I got.

The idea was that this would be the first chapter, and that each subsequent chapter would be a brief scene of Celestia talking to Luna. After enough of that, the final chapter would be some amount of time later, and it would just be a scene of Luna's statue breaking free. The story would end with Celestia asking "S-sister?" and a close up of Luna's smile. Vague and depressing cliffhanger, or implied happy ending? Probably the former, which is one of many reasons I didn't like it.

You could also make the argument that this chapter alone would be an adequate addition, I guess. But I don't think it's good enough.