• Published 6th May 2012
  • 7,101 Views, 727 Comments

Static World - Kendandra

Discord haunts Twilight's dreams as she and Luna share romance. Celestia frets over Discord's seal. There is more to the the story of these three ancient beings than meets the eye, and Twilight Sparkle is about to get a crash course.

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4: Lullabies

“This is fun!” Twilight practically squealed. She and Luna were tip-hoofing around the halls of the castle, completely unseen as they passed by several ponies. They had been practicing the invisibility spell for the past two hours. Luna had to admit, it was blatantly obvious why Twilight was Celestia’s favorite mortal pony of this generation. Twilight possessed a skill with magic that was unheard of for ponies three times her age. She was exceptionally gifted at learning new spells on the fly and it was clear that she had magical reserves aplenty. The more Luna thought about it the more she was convinced that if a fake pair of wings was slapped on her sides, Twilight could have easily passed for a filly Alicorn. Luna was still amazed at how quickly she had learned a spell which Luna herself had taken weeks to learn. Though to be fair, she did have to invent it first. Luna suddenly bumped into something that let out a small, “Oof.”

“Warn me next time you’re going to stop.” Luna said. Sneaking around the castle with another invisible pony was not an activity that she had thought through completely. She neglected to consider the fact that she would not be able to see the other pony. Still though, Luna was glad that Twilight was enjoying herself so much. The young Unicorn had become ecstatic when she learned that even Celestia could not turn invisible and had been in fact unable to learn Luna’s spell in the past. The idea of being able to perform a spell her mentor could not made Twilight feel almost sinful that she could claim more power than one of the Alicorns.

“Look,” Twilight said in a hushed tone. Princess Celestia was coming down the hallway in the opposite direction. She wore a scowl on her face the likes of which Twilight had never seen. Twilight had seen Celestia somber and irritated before, but this look was clearly angry. Twilight could only wonder what was upsetting her mentor so. With each step Celestia took, the floor vibrated slightly with a chilling echo. The floor was made of marble, no pony could have stomped their hooves with enough force to cause tremors, but Celestia was not just anypony. The princess of the sun strutted down the hallway with determination. Luna outstretched her hoof and pushed Twilight up against the wall so they were not in Celestia’s path. Celestia walked right past the invisible pair seeming not to notice them, at least that is what Twilight assumed until the Alicorn came to a stop a few feet away from them. Celestia turned around to glance at the hallway. She let out an unladylike snort.

Don’t move. Luna’s voice echoed inside Twilight’s head. The only possible explanation was telepathy; another spell Twilight did not know how to perform. That was two spells she had seen in one night she could not do! She looks upset. Twilight felt Luna was stating the obvious there. Celestia turned to face the space just a foot away from Luna and the glared at the spot.

“Lulu? Are you hiding around here?” Celestia looked around the hallway and a brief glow emanated from her horn. “Lulu? Not here…” Celestia sighed. “Perfect. I seemed to be losing my ability to sense presence as well. First the toast, now this. Just spectacular.” Celestia stormed away at a brisk pace. Twilight let out the breath of air she had been holding.

Twilight sighed, “Is she ok? I’ve never seen her like this before.”

“She likes you a lot; she tends to hide her unpleasant emotions around you. Come on, we can keep practicing invisibility over this way.” Luna said as she took a step in the opposite direction of Celestia. She stopped walking when she realized Twilight was not following her. “Twilight?”

“She mentioned the toast. I missed the toast. Was it really that big of a deal that I was there for the toast? She seems so angry. I need to go apologize!” Twilight had a hint of panic in her voice.

Luna rolled her eyes sighed, “She’s upset right now and it’s nighttime. If you want to apologize talk to her in the morning after she raises the sun. She’ll be much happier then and in less of a banishing-to-the-moon mood.”

“Luna, I’m going to apologize.” Twilight said as she trotted invisibly after Celestia. Luna sighed once more and contemplated just letting Twilight take the blame herself but something was nagging at her. With a deep breath, Luna raced after Twilight. They caught up with Celestia in a vastly large chamber filled with several stained-glass windows. Much like the chamber that housed the Elements of Harmony, these windows seemed to depict several great conflicts in Equestrian history. “The Hall of Stories,” Twilight whispered. Celestia walked to the end of the oval shaped room and sat down on the floor facing the central window in the room. The image on the window was a detailed outline of a map of Equestria with the emblem of a sun rising over the mountain ranges. In one corner a stylistic version of Luna sat, her back turned to the land and neck arched up looking at the sky. The opposite corner showed Celestia looking towards the ocean that bordered the east of the land. A depiction of Discord as a statue rested in the lower left corner near the symbol for the Elements of Harmony. Celestia studied the image intently. Twilight took a quiet step forward.

Don’t. I can’t stress this enough. Luna’s words echoed once more in Twilight mind. Don’t bother Tia when she’s in the Hall of Stories. She only comes here when she’s very upset. Looking at the windows calms her. Twilight fought back a sob. Had she really upset her mentor so greatly? I’ll talk to her tomorrow. If she’s upset about you missing the toast, I’ll just tell her I ordered you to keep me company. Celestia bowed her head and closed her eyes. She opened her mouth slightly and pursed her lips. She began to sing in a mellow key. Luna placed her hoof over Twilight’s mouth to prevent her from saying anything, but it was unneeded. Twilight was awestruck by the princess’s voice. She had never heard her mentor sing before. Luna guided Twilight out of the Hall of Stories. Celestia’s song rang out and echoed through the castle with striking clarity. Luna’s wing extended and gave Twilight a push. Luna began to lead the lavender Unicorn through the halls of the castle farther and farther away from the Hall of Stories. No matter how far they were from the song’s source it still floated to their ears with ease. They passed a few royal guards who were also awestruck by the melody. They stood still looking towards the ceiling, listening intently. As they neared one of the western towers Twilight finally spoke up.

“Her voice is beautiful, why doesn’t she sing more?”

Luna sighed, “She only sings when she’s very upset and in the Hall of Stories or the old hall at the old castle. I haven’t heard her sing since… well… Nightmare Moon…. It’s always the same song too.”

“It’s beautiful and the melody’s familiar, but I can’t understand the words….”

“The national anthem was based on it, only in a major key. You can’t understand it because it’s in the language of the ancients.”

“Can you translate it for me?”

“No. I don’t remember how to speak it. It was the language spoken around Discord’s time. I’m not even sure Celestia could speak it fluently anymore.”

“Do you know what it’s called? The song?”

“I don’t know if it has a name. I just call it her sorrow song. The important part is, do not disturb her while she’s singing. It’s her way of coping with things that upset her. I think our mother or somepony important used to sing it to her. I’ve only ever heard her sing it though.”

Twilight sobbed, “I upset her so much she’s crying through song!?”

“No, no, Twilight,” Luna said as she nuzzled her neck around the Unicorn. “The toast… was probably just the tipping point. She’s been upset since the Changeling incident. I think she’s worried she’s getting weaker in her old age.”

“Does that happen to Alicorns?”

“No. She’s just overreacting. Here, you can stay here for the night. The guards won’t find you here, and we can talk to Tia in the morning.” Twilight had not noticed it because she was upset, but they had climbed to the top of the west tower and were presently standing in front of an incredibly large deep blue stone door, large enough probably to fit half a dragon inside. It was decorated with ornate carvings of stars and the phases of the moon. Luna’s horn glowed with magic and the carvings on the door came to life. The stars slid out of the way and the door creaked open. Twilight was fairly certain this was Luna’s private chamber. The chambers of the Alicorn princesses were never seen by outsiders, even Twilight who had a close connection with them. She had to admit, while she worried and upset over Celestia, her curiosity was piqued with the prospect of seeing something no other pony would get to see. This was a once in a lifetime chance. Luna beckoned for Twilight to enter and Twilight eagerly did so. Once they were inside the doors slammed shut far too quickly for their size.
Luna chuckled, “The doors to our bedchambers can only be opened by Alicorns. Even if the guards suspected you were in here, they couldn’t get in to retrieve you.” Twilight barely heard a word of what Luna had said, she was enthralled by the bedroom. If one could call it a bedroom, its size almost made it a ballroom. The ceiling was a large dome shaped covered in depictions of the constellations. After a closer look, it was a glass ceiling that overlaid the actual stars with the lines of the constellations. Several brass spheres, planets she assumed, hung in a large geared device, perhaps a mockup of the solar system. The rear of the room housed a telescope, the size of which Twilight could not even imagine. The room’s grandeur was palpable. “Like it? Celestia built and designed it herself, I’m told. A welcome back present, I guess. It certainly is pretty, but largely empty space. I don’t spend much time here, except to sleep. It’s too… vast. It makes me feel lonely.”

“It’s very impressive. Seeing the sky when you look up, I…” Twilight let out a loud yawn. “Oh my, I’m suddenly very tired.”

“It’s the rejuvenation spell, it wore off. That’s why it’s banned. You use it too much and it wears the body out after it wears off.” Twilight spotted a few reading pillows and trotted over to them.

“Can I sleep here?”

“You can use the bed if you want. I’m going to read for a bit.”

“I couldn’t possibly…” Twilight started to protest but was cut off by Luna levitating her to the bed and draping the covers over her.

“Nonsense, sleep tight. You’ll need to be well rested if you’re going to face Celestia tomorrow. I know I’m not looking forward to it.”

“Goodnight, Luna.”

“Goodnight, Twilight.” Luna smiled warmly. Twilight fell into a deep sleep almost immediately, with Celestia’s song acting as a lullaby for the entire castle. The melody echoed throughout the Sundancer suites where Twilight’s friends were attempting to close their eyes as well. It flowed through out the hallways where the guards were scrambling about looking for the lavender Unicorn at Shining Armor’s request. Lastly, the notes even found their way down to the dungeon underneath Canterlot Castle. The sweet and sad melody wavered around Queen Chrysalis. While the Changeling could not understand the words, she knew the heart of the song. After all, this type of song, no matter how ancient was something of a specialty to the Changelings. Changelings always recognize a love song.

Twilight awoke to a soft pink sky. It was perhaps around sunrise. Pretty clouds drifted softly by as she realized she must have been lying on her back looking up. The Unicorn rolled to her side as the grass she was laying on tickled her. She slowly stood up and stretched out her forehooves. A few birds chipped as they passed her. She smiled back at the little animals and gave her haunches a stretch for good measure. She had to admit, it had been a good night’s sleep. Luna’s bed was very comfortable and…. Actually, she was outside, in a field, with the castle nowhere in sight. Had she slept on the grass? From the looks of a pony shaped impression, it seems likely. For some reason, however, even though this made no sense, it seemed to make perfect sense. And not at the same time, as if her mind was not sure what to believe. She gave a quick shrug and decided that was future Twilight’s problem to figure out. Glancing around she noticed there was a hill, perfect for viewing the sunrise just a little bit away from her with a figure sitting on top of it. She tilted her head to the side and thought for a moment. After deciding that there was no possible way to brush her teeth in the middle of a field she decided she would go watch the sunrise from the hill.

She trotted as a lazy pace, passing trees and shrubs as she went. She noticed one particularly large tree as she neared the base of the hill. Up high on a branch a bird was flying back and forth. It was building a nest. Wait, that can’t be right. She thought. Birds don’t build nests. Ponies build nests for birds. She squinted her eyes at this odd behavior. A bird that takes care of itself, such a thing only happens in the Everfree Forest. She glanced around; this area was far too open to even be a forest, let alone Everfree. She gave the bird a suspicious scowl and began to climb the hill. When she reached the top she had a good chance to look at the figure sitting there. To say she was surprised was an understatement. “Discord!”

However, the draconequus was silent and still. If not for a subtle movement of breathing, Twilight could have mistaken him for a statue. The draconequus stared at the sun as it peeked over the horizon. The moon was still visible in the sky, another thing that never happened. Celestia, or rather Luna now, would always lower the moon before sunrise. Twilight was not sure they both could actually exist in the sky at the same time. It made the moon look odd against the lit sky; it had a softer tone to it. Discord sighed, “Sit, watch.”

“Why are you here?”

“Why? Why, to give you a taste of your future...a preview of things to come. Not this though. This certainly isn’t the future anymore. Tell me, Miss Sparkle, what do you see here?”

Twilight did not know how to respond his statement. Discord’s voice had almost a gentle tone to it. Not manipulative or condescending like normal. Twilight looked out at the land before her. “The moon and the sun sharing the sky at dawn.” Discord nodded but seemed to be waiting for her to continue. “The clouds in the distance, they move on their own. The wind blows without aid.” She glanced back at the tree behind her, “the animals care for themselves. It’s like Everfree Forest but for all of Equestria.”

Discord chuckled, “Actually, that is Griffica. Land of the Griffins. Behind us is the eastern boarder of Equestria. Over there is the land of the zebras. And over there is where the pony tribes migrated from.”

“Griffica doesn’t behave like that. The world is running out of control on its own. Who’s moving the clouds? ”

“Nature does. No pony guides the weather here.”

“The world can’t work that way. What’s to stop a storm from destroying a village?”

“Nothing. It’s chaos.”

Twilight looked up, “No pink clouds. No soap roads.” The sun was above the horizon now, spreading golden light across the land. The warmth of it tickled Twilight’s cheek.

“No, this is old chaos, before the world became static. Very old chaos. Boringly tame by my standards now. I used to call it…” Discord looked upwards pensively like he was trying to remember something, “I called it freedom.” He stood up to his feet and stretched his arms. For a brief moment, Discord did not seem imposing. “That was a long time ago. I’m too old now.” The draconequus twisted himself in a painful looking position. Sickeningly sounding cracks echoed throughout the area. “Now then! Twilight Sparkle, I dare say you’ve been a most ungracious mind host. You invite me here and you provide no entertainment?”

“Entertain… what?”

“I’m ever so board. I know! Let’s play a game.”

Twilight shook her head, “No, none of your….” It was too late; Discord had snapped his fingers and plumes of fire ignited the grass around the Unicorn. The fire closed in and burnt the ground away where Twilight was standing beneath the grass was a black void and the pony fell. Discord’s cackle could be heard circling around Twilight as she fell through an endless sea of blackness. Swells of abstract shapes danced around her, a few crashing into her hooves as she made her descent. The blackness shifted to a pokadot pattern and a few houses went spiraling by. Suddenly, she found herself being yanked upward and slamming into a checkered ground. When she stood up she was undeniably in Ponyville, or what would be Ponyville if it was not under Discord’s control. In front of her the draconequus sat on am imposing throne. He chortled as he gripped the throne’s armrests.

“What shall we play? Oh! One of my favorites! Hide and Seek!”

“I’m not running from you. I’m not afraid of you.”

“Why would I think that you would be afraid of me? I’m not such a bad guy. It’s you ponies that have an issue with me. I add a little spice, a little excitement to your lives, and all you do is complain! Besides I didn’t say you were the one who’s hiding.” Discord placed an arm on his chest and looked off to the side, as if he were offended. “You’re going to be the one seeking Twilight.” He snapped his fingers and in his claws Princess Luna appeared. The Alicorn struggled against his grip.

“Luna!” Twilight gasped.

“Don’t do anything he wants, Twilight! He is the puppeteer, remember? He’s just trying to… urk!” Discord snapped his fingers and Luna’s mouth vanished.

“That’s enough of that.” He took his free hand and tapped his fingers open and closed like a mouth. The hand mouth spoke with Luna’s voice, “How do you stand her voice? It’s so whiny.”

“Let her go!”

“Certainly.” He snapped his fingers and Luna vanished with a flash of white light.

“What have you done with her?!” Twilight stamped her hoof on the checkered ground.

“Oh? What? Oh dear, you meant let her go here? You really should be more specific.”

“Where is she? Where’s Luna?!”

Oh the missing one I’ve took? To find her you’ll just have to look. Run around all the town, make what’s lost found. Find her quickly, you’re not alone. Get to her fast and I’ll send you home.” Discord laughed heartedly, “Let the games begin!” With a snap of his fingers Twilight found herself standing outside Sugercube Corner. Discord’s voice echoed, “The clock is ticking, Twilight Sparkle. You wouldn't want something to happen to your poor ‘Pwrincess Woona’, would you?”

“Just shut up!”

“My my Twilight, that was uncalled for. You should apologize for being so rude. That’s it. I was going to give you clues, but now I think I’ll just let you run about aimlessly until time runs out.”

Twilight opened the door to Sugarcube Corner and sprinted around the place calling Luna’s name repeatedly. She checked the kitchen and the store room. No sign of Luna there. She checked behind the front counter to no luck as well. She ran upstairs to where Pinkie lives. A quick glance around did not yield Luna but Twilight soon noticed she was not alone in the room. “Pinkie Pie! Discord has Princess Luna! I need your help!”

“There you are! The party wrecker!” Pinkie jumped into the air and tackled Twilight. Twilight felt the air get knocked out of her. “You left before the toast! Princess Celestia was sooooo mad!” Twilight cast a quick charm to make it so she could breathe again. The Unicorn kicked Pinkie off of her.

“Pinkie! What’s wrong with you?”

“Duh. I’m not even pink. I’m all gray. That means I’m evil. Now get back here so I can stop you from finding Luna in time!” Twilight bolted to the windowsill and teleported to the ground outside from there. She was breathing hard. He was using corrupted ponies again; this was not going to be easy. “Come back here! I just want to throw you a party! A party of doom!”

Twilight made a bolt for the Carousel Boutique. “Ah, Pinkie. She has all the subtly of an Ox.” Discord’s voice rang in Twilight’s ears. “Speaking of which, watch out.” From the sky, oxen began falling landing on either side of Twilight nearly crushing her. She glanced behind her to see that Pinkie Pie was bouncing a few feet from her tail. Twilight used her magic to fling the door open at Rarity’s shop and dashed inside. She called out for Luna again but was met with no response. The store’s inside was warped as if it was being seen through a funhouse mirror. In the center of the room Discord was sitting in a throne on the ceiling. He looked down at Twilight, “What are you doing up there?” Gravity reversed and Twilight slammed into ceiling at Discord’s hooves. “Oh, you've come to apologize for being rude, how nice. All is forgiven, no offense taken.”

“Where’s Luna?”

“Lulu’s busy at the moment. Can I take a message? Wouldn’t you rather talk to Rarity instead?” A Unicorn stepped out from behind Discord’s throne.

“Oh Twilight you look like a mess! Time for a FASHION MAKEOVER!” Several strips of fabric and ribbons swirled around Rarity as she attempted to use them to tie up Twilight. Discord laughed as Twilight bolted out the door. Outside the store Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy were flying just above the door. Twilight gritted her teeth and raced past them. In the distance she could see her library tree house. It was a long shot but maybe there were still books in there. Perhaps a spell she could use to locate Luna. The lavender pony was running as fast as she could when she noticed Rainbow Dash casually flying backwards next to her.

“Hi, Twilight.” Rainbow Dash tackled Twilight and pinned her to the ground. “Pinned in ten seconds flat.” Twilight struggled to get out of the pin, but Rainbow Dash was too strong. Fluttershy came up next to Twilight and smiled.

“You caught her. I knew you could do it. Yay!” The shy Pegasus said quietly.

Rainbow Dash bolted into the air and poked Fluttershy with her hoof. “How many times do I have to tell you! Cheers have more volume!” Rainbow Dash placed her hoof on her face and sighed. Twilight took advantage of the fact she was no longer pinned and galloped to the library, teleporting short distances forward when she could manage it.

“Good help is so hard to find.” Discord said with a yawn. “This is why I usually work by myself. I'm not good in groups. It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent.” At last Twilight had reached the library. She bucked the door in and called out for Luna. Books where flying around like bats and were constantly slamming into Twilight’s face. Twilight ran upstairs, tripping on the fourth step. There at the top of the stairs her heart skipped a beat. Luna was sitting on Twilight's bed.

“Twilight!” Luna jumped forward and embraced the purple Unicorn. The flying books all fell to the ground and the checkerboard pattern vanished from the walls. Discord’s laugh echoed off the bookshelves. With a flash of light the draconequus replaced Luna in Twilight’s embrace.

“Now Twilight, I like you and all, but I just don’t like you in that way. Well done though.”

“Give me Luna back!”

“I will, but first I have just one question: Was finding Luna so important that you didn’t bother to cure your friends?”


“Your friends! You’ve broken them out of my brainwashing before, why didn’t you do it this time?”

“Luna was…. I had to find…. Time was running out… I….” Twilight clenched her eyes shut a tear almost leaking out.

“It’s so selfish of you. Trading one life for so many others.”

Twilight shook her head, “Selfish? Big words from the one who has to control everything even the laws of physics.”

“Yes, you're right, of course. I'm extraordinarily selfish. But it has served me so well in the past. But you are an element barer! You’re supposed to be above petty things like that! You gambled with your friends’ lives just to save your precious Luna. You blew them off, just like you blew off Celestia’s toast for her.”

Twilight stopped her hooves on the ground, “I’m not listening to you anymore. You’re nothing but a puppeteer. If I had saved them, you would have just said I didn’t care about saving Luna.”

You are positively no fun.” Discord struck a pose and then was encased in stone. There was a flash of multicolored light. Twilight closed her eyes to avoid being blinded by it. When she opened them again, she was in Luna’s bedroom sitting on Luna’s bed.

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