• Published 6th May 2012
  • 7,098 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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6: Journeys

Princess Celestia sat on her throne, like she always had for thousands of years. Sure the seat cushion changed every decade and the chair itself was changed every century. By Tartarus, the castle seemed to change every millennium. But Celestia’s perfect posture was always the same. She was a mare of order. Everything had to go to plan. It was true, as the years passed her by, she indulged in a joke or two, but these were always under her control. Her informants kept her supplied with news from all over the Known World. If a leaf fell too early in Quagga, the land of the Zebras, Celestia would know about it before it hit the ground. And she would have a four part defense strategy already in the approval process. When things surprised her, she was unhappy, and lately things had been surprising her often. Celestia gathered a small sliver of her magic and focused her attention briefly to the dungeon. She could sense the Changeling Queen sorrowfully singing a song. Serves her right. She thought. No pony gets the better of the Goddess of the Sun. Well… except him. But now that the Elements had moved on, there really was nothing she could do about… him. Now her favorite pony, Twilight Sparkle, was having a long-lasting sprint of nightmares starring him. Perhaps this was nothing, but Celestia would not be Celestia if she did not at least consider the possibility of something… greater.

In her slightly distracted state she had almost forgotten that it was open court. In front of her a gruff-looking Earth stallion was pleading his case on tax laws or something about farmland, he looked like a farmer. Maybe it was about reparations from the Changeling incident? Either way, he had not said any of the special words that got Celestia’s attention. She nodded gracefully to the pony, “My little pony, your concern has been noted. Rivensilt here will be glad to take care of your issues on a more personal level.” It was a boilerplate response she gave anytime she was not actually paying attention. She was not fooling anypony on her staff; Rivensilt smiled at the princess and lead the stallion away. In her defense, the stallion seemed quite pleased he had been assigned a royal delegate to attend to his problem personally. A silver Pegasus coughed loudly. “Yes, Storm Dancer? Is there something you need?”

“Forgive my impudence, my princess, but you seem distracted. Perhaps we should cancel the rest of open court until a time where your thoughts have aligned?” Storm Dancer secretly wondered if the princess was taking ill, after all she had agreed to the absurd proposal of Princess Luna.

“An impromptu cancellation of open court? Such an even has not occurred in over a millennium. It would be awful to break such a splendid record. However, your observations are spot on. I am a bit distracted today.” Celestia thought for a moment, “Gilded Shoe, be a dear and tell the guards that for the next hour I am suspending open court. We will defer the ending time by one hour to compensate. Rising Star, please see that concierges are dispatched to properly apologize for the inconvenience.” Celestia allowed herself the comfort of leaning against the throne’s backrest. My, I’m certainly being wild today. To others it would have been an incredulous thought, but Celestia was a princess without parallel when it came to regality. She had spent years cultivating an image of beauty, perfection, kindness, and authority. Slouching for one hour was not going to undo all that, but the thought still lingered. More importantly however, there was the issue of Twilight Sparkle’s dreams. She contemplated for a moment. “Storm Dancer, it occurs to me that with Luna departing for the week, your schedule has freed up for the time being.” Storm Dancer nodded in agreement. “I would like to give you a special assignment. Are you up for this quest?”

“Most certainly, my princess.” Storm Dancer did his best to hide his excitement. It was a pleasure to be working directly for Celestia and not under the evil command of Luna.

Celestia focused her mind to her private study in the east wing of the castle. Drawing magic there, she combed through the piles of documents and books until she found the one she was searching for. With a bit of focus, she had teleported the scroll to the throne room. “You know of the Castle of the Two Sisters correct?” Storm Dancer nodded as Celestia levitated a quill to the scroll.

“You refer to the old capital, right? The one that is now in the overgrowth of the Everfree Forest?”

“The very one. I wish you to venture there and study a document for me. It will be dangerous to go on your own; I want you to take this map. I have marked the room where the document resides. It’s a magical flow path chart titled Starswirl’s Requiem of the Calming Mind.”

Storm Dancer took the map and placed it in his saddlebag, “You wish for me to bring the chart back?”

“If you can manage to retrieve a stone tablet that’s the size of three ponies, by all means, bring it back with you.” Celestia chuckled, “If not, an etching will do just as well. I believe the Calming Mind spell might be just what Twilight Sparkle needs to escape from her nightmares. I’ve used it myself before, but I am afraid my memory lost it to time.”

Storm Dancer bowed, “I will depart posthaste.” Celestia nodded with a gentle smile.

The Friendship Express was racing down the mountainside. While it took a day to reach Canterlot from Ponyville, it only took three hours to go in the opposite direction thanks to all the downward slopes. Twilight was watching the scenery past swiftly by through the window. She was sharing the car with a extremely hung-over Fluttershy. Fluttershy muttered something about swearing on Angel’s life that she would not touch a drop a cider in the rest of her days. Twilight sighed. She was reflecting on the events of the past night. She felt a bit bad about leaving so early. She had definitely enjoyed spending time with Luna, and she was fairly certain that Luna was quiet upset to know she was leaving. “Missing her already? It’s been less than two hours. Really, Twilight, you’re like a love sick filly.” Twilight’s reflection in the window had been replaced with the smug mug draconequus.

“I’m not a love sick filly.”

“Ah Twilight, you really need to learn to tell the truth. Like me. I never lie.”

“You lie all the time.”

“Oh no, never. Everything I say is true in some fashion. Why would I lie when the truth is far too much fun?”

“I really have to stop looking at reflective surfaces.”

“Oh, I just do the mirror thing because it’s fun. It’s what they call a classic!” Discord snapped his fingers and with a flash of light a miniature draconequus was lounging on top of the Unicorn’s head, leaning back against her horn. “Ah, this is much more comfortable though.” Discord patted the top of Twilight’s head.

“Hop back in the window so I can smash it.”

“Oh, very clever, Twilight. Eat any good books lately?

“Get off!”

“Fine. But don’t think for a minute it’s because you asked. It’s because I want to.” Discord snapped his fingers and with another flash of light he was gone. Twilight was startled by the sound of the train’s breaks squealing.

The Friendship Express had pulled into Ponyville station and her friends were already disembarking. Applejack staid she had to make up for lost time with apple bucking. Rainbow Dash had to go for a flight to clear her head. Was she still upset with Applejack? Pinkie Pie was escorting Fluttershy home. Rarity had to start work right away on the Daring Doo costumes. And finally Spike had already climbed onto Twilight’s back and was waiting for his pony ride home. Twilight sighed and began a slow thoughtful trek back to the tree house library. She had a new shipment of books that had arrived shortly before the party she had yet to catalog and shelve. Other than that she really had no plans for the rest of the evening. She had blocked her schedule out in case the train had arrived late. Tonight though, she was planning on stargazing. She was curious to see what she looked like in the night sky. Her thoughts turned back to Luna. That was happening a lot today. She reached home and glanced around. “Well, home sweet home.”

Princess Luna adjusted her saddlebags. She was not planning on bringing much, just a few star charts and a couple books she thought Twilight might find interesting. She assumed the Unicorn had a chess set they could use. She considered bringing her spyglass for some stargazing, but it was too oblong to fit in the bag properly. She giggled in excitement as she packed one of her better cloaks. It would be useful if they decided to venture about. After all it would be bad if Celestia somehow got word that Luna was not in Griffica but rather in Ponyville. Luna frowned for a moment. She had not exactly taken the time to tell Twilight she was coming, and also planning on staying in her house for a week. Would Twilight be alright with it? She had planned on surprising the young Unicorn, but she had not thought things through. The blue Alicorn smiled to herself. Celestia had always said Luna rushed into things without thinking, still better than being paralyzed with indecision. Luna fastened the clasp on the saddlebags and adjusted her tiara. She considered for a moment leaving it behind but when she took it off her mane fell across her eyes in a manner she found made her look stupid. She placed the small crown back on her head but decided to leave her armor plate and hoof ornaments. She causally laid them on the chifferobe and headed to the northern end of her bedroom. Focusing her magic she forced the glass dome that made the ceiling to open. With a mighty flap of her large wings, Luna bolted out of the room and resealed the dome.

Luan’s wings flapped furiously as she climbed high into the evening sky. She wavered slightly during the ascent; her wings were stiff from not being used in the past months. Being grounded will do that to an Alicorn. Once she was above the clouds, she spread her wings wide and leaned into a glide. She chortled; she had often forgotten how much fun it was to soar though the skies of Equestira. The air rushing across her coat, rustling through her feathers, and blowing her mane to a starry streak in the sky, it was exhilarating. She folded her wings at her sides and fell into a dive. A large smile adorned her face as she closed her eyes and fell with increasing speed. She let her body listen to the feel of the air pressure and only brief moments before she would have collided with the ground, she spread her wings and arced into a swooping climb. She was propelled through the air at an alarming speed as she drew her legs in towards her body for a more aerodynamic position. Luna sighed regretfully. She had always wished she could fly faster, but she was an Alicorn and her large size and wingspan was built for endurance not speed or agility. Given a bit of magical help, she could probably fly around the Known World three or so times before needing to rest, but when it came to obstacle courses or races, she would lose to any Pegasus that excelled at flying.

Truth be told, Alicorns were better at all tribes respective talents, they were better sorceresses than Unicorns, stronger by far than Earth ponies, but Pegasi actually beat them when it came to speed. Manipulating weather however was clearly easier with magic to aid. The princess leaned into a bank around a mountain peak. Ponyville was now in sight and she just needed to glide straight there. Luna chuckled. She was in a spectacular mood today. She had not felt this good since the time before Nightmare Moon. She knew the reason, of course. It was the little purple Unicorn that her sister had taken as her favorite. Luna scoffed at this. Celestia had always taken favorites. Every generation Celestia would find one pony with exceptional talent and take that pony under her wing. The last one Luna had remembered was before Nightmare Moon, an Earth pony by the name of Sandcastle. Sandcastle had been a talented architect and Luna was pretty sure Canterlot Castle had been designed by him. Before Sandcastle was Slipstream, a Pegasus that was an exceptional flyer. Actually now that Luna thought about it, Twilight’s friend Rainbow Dash was a lot like Slipstream. However, out of all the ‘favorites’ that Celestia had, Twilight had been by far her preferred favorite. Luna was not sure if Twilight was so well liked because she was an element bearer or if she became an element bearer because she was so well liked.

Luna on the other hoof, never played favorites before. In her life ponies could be divided into four kinds. First there were the ponies that seemed to think she was a menace to the world; a dangerous foe that would stop at nothing to see the world suffer. She stayed away from those ponies as they tended to make her feel unwanted and sad. The second kind were those that saw her as a victim of Nightmare Moon, one that needed to be cared for and attended to delicately, lest she become distraught and revert back to Nightmare Moon. She positively could not stand those ponies. All of their love was false and born out of fear. The third kind was Celestia, who treated her like a misbehaving filly. She hated being treated like a foal; she was over several thousand years old! Then the last kind was Twilight, who just treated her like a normal pony.

Luna tucked her wings in slightly and scowled. How dare Celestia keep Twilight all to herself, Celestia had every other pony in Equestira rolling in admiration. Could Luna not have just one pony that was hers? Hers to spend time with and laugh with, to play chess with, and gaze at stars with and to snuggle with…. Luna blinked a few times. That last one… that one was a bit different. Lately Twilight had been on her mind more than she would have liked to admit. More than she would admit to herself for sure and definitely more than she would ever admit to Twilight. Lately, Luna had even been having dreams about the Unicorn. Mainly Twilight would just be in the background of whatever dream she was having, but every now and then Luna would have to play hero and save Twilight from some chaotic disaster or from Discord himself.

She shook her head and inclined her wings up at an angle to slow her speed. She was approaching Twilight’s library. She beamed with delight as what sat before her eyes. Twilight was sitting on her balcony staring up at the night sky with a rather crude telescope. What had pleased her most was that Twilight was clearly looking up at Luna’s constellation of her. She decided she would aim for a bit higher than the balcony. And with a bit of deft flying, Luna landed on a branch of the tree over top of the terrace doorway.

Twilight was naming stars out loud that made up the picture, “Septius…. Aldaric… Discordia… Aelitius…. Elysisonica….”

“It’s pronounced El-lis-sion-i-ca.” Twilight spun around to see Luna sitting on the branch.


“Hello, Twilight. I’ve got a surprise for you. What would you say to me staying here for a bit?”

“Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh! How long?”

“The whole week. I have no appointments, no attendants. It will be just you and me.”

“The whole week?!” Twilight was bounding around the room more than Pinkie Pie with a sugar rush and that is quite a statement to make. Twilight could not believe her eyes; Luna had cleared time in her busy schedule to spend it with her friend. She was so excited that she was not even upset about having to alter her own schedule, which again was quite a statement to make.

“As long as you’ll have me, we can practice magic, star gaze, anything you can think of; this time is just for me and my best friend.” Luna smiled. Twilight blushed slightly; she was Luna’s best friend? It felt like an honor. More so than Celestia because Luna treated Twilight like an equal, where as Celestia was clearly Twilight’s mentor.

“Of course you can stay! Oh, we’ll have so much fun! I’m sure Pinkie Pie will want to throw you a party, of course.”

Luna winced, “Uh, actually I would rather be incognito, if you understand.” Luna could not risk word getting back to Celestia that she was not in Griffica. She could only imagine how much trouble she would get in for lying.

“I can’t tell my friends that you’re here?”

“I would prefer not. I want to ditch royal decorum for a time and just spend time with you. If everypony knows I’m here, they’ll throw a parade or something. I don’t want that.” In addition to the issue with Celestia, Luna simply wanted Twilight to herself. She was her best friend and she did not feel like sharing anymore than she had to with Celestia. At least not during her probably only free week she would get in this century.

“Well… if that’s what you want.” Twilight sounded slightly disappointed. Luna flinched, she certainly did not want to hurt Twilight’s feelings, but there was just too much risk for involving her friends. “Spike of course will know you’re here. He’s asleep right now, but I mean he’s pretty much here all day or at Rarity’s store.”

“That is fine, if he keeps quiet about it. However I would also appreciate it if you could not tell Celestia I’m here as well.”

“Why? Did you run away from the castle?!” Twilight gasped.

“No, no. She just thinks’ I’m studying the archives in Fillydelphia. It’s no big deal, she just wouldn’t approve of me wasting time like this. But it’s good to spend time with friends, right?” Luna hated lying to Twilight, even if she was good at thinking on the spot like this. Twilight did not like keeping secretes from Princess Celestia, however when she thought about Nightmare Moon, perhaps it was a good thing that Luna was getting out and about more.

With that thought lingering in her mind, Twilight only had one answer, “Your secret is safe with me, Luna.” Luna smiled the biggest smile she could manage. It was shaping up to be a wonderful week for the princess of the night.

It was very late. Storm Dancer had arrived in Ponyville; it was the closest town to the Everfree Forest where the Castle of the Two Sisters was left forgotten by many a pony. He landed ungracefully in the middle of the town. It had been sometime since he had flown like that, not since his time in the Royal Guard. However, that was a long time ago and he had made peace and moved on. The silver Pegasus walked around the area, most of the shops seemed to be closed, which was no surprise for such a small village. It was, after all, well past midnight. Ponyville was not known for its taverns or inns, but there was one place where his subordinates had mentioned he might find a room. He walked to the southern part of the town and gazed at the street sign. He wondered why they even needed street signs; there could not have been more than ten streets in the whole town. Still the place had a sort of rustic charm. When he was too old to serve the princess anymore, he could see himself retiring to a place like this.

Storm Dancer walked through what was obviously during the day the market place. It was a mostly empty street, with a layout in designed for cart vendors to park their stalls. A few of the stalls were left on the street. They had been covered with tarps but otherwise completely unprotected. It amazed Storm Dancer how trusting they could be in this town. Finally after a bit of walking, the silver pony found the building he was looking for: the sole inn in Ponyville, the Stables. He chuckled at the name. It was not very creative, there were at least six other inns he could think of that had that name. He had somewhat hoped that a town like this would have had a more creative name for their inn, one with a story behind it. Like the Prancing Pony. There was a story behind that name, why was the pony prancing? What was the pony’s name? Still, the Stables looked well kept. It looked freshly painted even. Storm Dancer pushed open the door and took a few steps inside. Over in the corner a minty-blue Unicorn mare was magically strumming a harp while lazily slouching on a sofa reading a human-tale book. The Unicorn called out noisily, “Hey, we got a customer!”

“I’m getting out of the bath, can you tend to it, Lyra?!” An odd sounding voice came from somewhere on the upper levels of the house. Storm Dancer guessed it was a mare, but the voice was so odd he was not entirely sure.

The blue Unicorn, apparently Lyra, looked Storm Dancer up and down, waved to him slightly, then shouted at the top of her lungs, “But I’m reading!”

“Lyra Heartstrings! Get out of that chair and tend to the customer!”

“No! I’m playing my lyre, too! Too busy!” Lyra turned to Storm Dancer and added in a gentle tone, “She’ll be right with you.”

“You use magic to play it! You can play it while sleeping!”

“I got dinner! You have to deal with the customers, Bon Bon!”

“Take out from Sugarcube Conner is not that exhausting!”

“It is when Pinkie Pie runs the counter!”

Loud stomps rang out as a cream colored Earth pony descended the staircase. “Hello, welcome to the Stables, its twenty-eight bits per night. Is that alright?”

Storm Dancer gulped, “That will be just fine…” These ponies made Princess Luna seem laid back.

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