• Published 22nd Feb 2015
  • 1,590 Views, 34 Comments

Times Long Past - Cryptic-Dash

In a time long before equestrian civilization was a great empire, after years of flourishing and expanding the empire died out... or so we thought. What will be discovered after being lost to the ages will change equestrian history forever.

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2: Power Surge

1200 years before Nightmare Moons return

The cool night wrapped around Princess Luna as she looked out over the Everfree forest from the balcony of the castle, the stars almost dancing in the sky as she exhaled the cool air from her lungs.
She looked over the homes in front of her while her subjects slept through the night, a wave of sadness gripped her as it seemed to her that no one cared for the night and that what she did was not wanted, but she would not let these thoughts out and continued to stare over the forest as if on guard.

The gentle clop of hooves on the marble floor behind her broke her line of thought, quickly composing herself, taking a quick breath she turned to greet the visitor only to find it was a guard she was quickly disapointed but made sure not to show it.

I really wouldn't mind some decent company just now

Even though the guard was loyal they would never break protocol to have a chat, then again it was their job and they were usually just guarding doors or out patrolling the castle grounds.

"Princess Luna" the guard began giving a curtious bow, "Princess Celestia has returned from the Gryphon negotiations and would like to meet with you."

"Thank you Iron Hoof" she responded, after all the guard was only a couple of hundred ponies since there had been a time of peace and prosperity across the kingdoms since Discords defeat, so she knew all her guards by name.

Iron Hoof gave a quick bow before heading back to his duties. Watching the night guard leave gave Luna a little happiness that some her ponies wanted to be apart of the night.
After a quick breath she made her way to the sitting room to meet her sister, hopefully she'll have some good news. As she went through the castle the guards would bow slightly as she passed, in return she would dip her head in recognition.

Reaching the large iron doors she pushed it open with her hoof as the door creaked under its own weight.

"Ah" Celestias spoke, "Luna your here" placing the cake and tea on the table she made her way to greet her sister, sharing a quick hug Luna nuzzeled into the side of her sisters head, Celestia dong the same.

"Pray tell sister, how did the negotiations go?"

"They were..." Celestia began a small frown on her face, "Difficult."

"Oh" now Luna was interested since her sister usually got everything done with ease and trouble free, "Dosen't sound like you Tia." she replied with a small smirk.

Celestia quickly picking up on her sisters tone just caused her to deadpan Luna.

"Anyway Tia, what happened?"

"Well you remember king Talos?" Tia began, Luna nodded in understanding of where this was going, "Well..." she continued, "he has pride that could rival a dragons and unfortunately he seemed to notice when I made a remark on how old and nice his city looked, he took it a different way and began to accuse me of being an old hag who knew nothing of modern architecture" Celestia took another bite out of the cake, "turns out the City had been redone only two years prior and I somehow insulted their way of life, anyway after his little outburst we continued with the negotiations with difficulty since everytime I went to speak he just glared at me..." she spoke in mock pain, "little old me Luna, well after I said my peice and offered a mutual agreement between our kingdoms, he seemed to like the prospect of getting some of our delicacies, after all we have things they do not and in return there will be a trading pact between us, however the most interesting part is as I was leaving"

"Don't tell me sister" Luna showed that cocky smile again, "you didnt spill tea on him like you did the Mintoar king"

Celestia quickly shot a glare at Luna, "we said we would never speak of that again Lulu," Luna just laughed at her sisters antics and how easy it was to get under her skin.

"Nay Tia, we dost not know what thou mean, anyway what did you do?"

"Well..." Celestia began sheepishly, "I might have called him a bird brain"

"Sorry Tia, didn't quite catch that."

"I... err, might have called him a bird brain"

"Tia, please, I can barely hear you here"

Celestia quickly stood up throwing the cake to floor and breaking the dish it was on, "I called him a bird brain"

Celestia stood there breathing hard for a moment before going in to rant mode, "I had just finished the meetings with king Talos when as I got back to my ship, he made a fleeting comment about ponies and how naieve we were so I quietly said under my breath that he was being a complete bird brain and that he needed to get some manners" Celestia took in a great gulp of air to continue, "then he decided to challenge me to a duel but nooo he didn't want to do it just for himself Lulu, no, he said if I beat him the negotiations hold but if he beats me then it's all off..." Luna just sat there watching Tia pace back and forth, "...so I accepted his challenge, and I beat him fair and square, but apparently I cheated" she paused, "ME Lulu, ME... a cheat, well I showed him whos boss, lets just say we won't have any griffon troubles for a long time," she finished with a smile.

Using her magic to pick up the plate and bringing it back over to her, a flash later and it was fixed again, then she looked over to the cake lying on the floor she let out a sigh.

Well it was nice while it lasted Tia thought.

"So" Luna began, "alls good then" she finished with a chirpy smile.

"Yes Lulu, everythings good," looking at the empty plate again she contemplated getting another slice of cake, Luna quickly picked up on this.

"Sister, I understand your sweet tooth needs nourishment" Luna deadpanned, "your flanks are getting a bit more plump after all you've had" as she motioned towards celestias rear.

Celestia in turn quickly blushed at the comment as she craned her neck round to look at it, her face grimacing at the fact she did look a litlle on the plump side, "It is simply... errr... old age, yes old age"

"Tia, I'm three years younger than you, and I still seem to be fine" Luna deadpanned.

'sigh, "I suppose I have let myself go a little bit," but it tastes so good she thought as her mouth began to drool uncontrolably.

Luna just chuckled to her self at ther sisters silly antics before the a knock was heard at the door.

Celestia quickly composing herself again spoke up, "Come in."

In walked one of the guards as he gave a quick bow to them, "your majesties, Lord Aurora wishes to see you both"

Giving a curtious nod to the guard in understanding he bowed before exiting the room. Looking at each other the two sister were both asking themselves the same unspoken question, 'what is so important at the late hour of now.'
As they made their way to the mages college on the edge of the castle grounds, the place was almost eerily quiet, with only the occasional sounds of wind rushing through the castle and the clop of hooves.
Crossing to the mages college had them go through the royal gardens where the night blossoms had come full bloom and bathed the gardens in a series of dark blues and rich purples giving the gardens a tranquil feel to whoever was in them.

"What do you think this is about Tia?" Luna spoke with curiosity in her voice.

"I do not know Lulu, but if it requirs at this time, then it must be something important," Celestia spoke calmly, "however, I really hope this dosen't take too long because I am very tired after the Gryphon trip," Tias voice now soaked in annoyance at being prolonghed from her slumber.

"Fear not Tia, i'm sure your bed can wait a little longer for your return" Luna finished with a cocky smile.

As they aproached the door, the muffled sounds of items being thrown around and the irritated voice of non other Lord Aurora as he continued to mutter and complain about some unknown problem.
Celestia and Luna having just stopped outside the door looked at each other with uneasy faces at their master mages strange burst of annoyance, following this uneasy look Luna knocked on the door and waited for an awnser.

"Coming~" the rough voice of Aurora seemed to sing. As the door opened to reveal a gray coated stallion with a two tone mane of gold and black and a heavy brown coat covering most his body, "Ahh, your majesties" he bowed, "I'm so sorry for this late night call but I have a matter of grave importance that has been troubling me now for some time now."

As the princesses entered the glum looking room they browsed around to find it lit only by a few candles, but stacked high with books and tomes, some having been thrown around in what looks to be an exasperated attempt at finding something, "Dawn Aurora, what is it you wish to speak with us about?" Celestia asked.

"Ah, yes, please take a seat and we shall begin right away," Aurora said as he scurried in to the back room to go and collect something.

Tia and Luna took seats by the fireplace, although already quite warm the wind was quite cold this dark evening, Aurora reappeared with several books in tow with his magic and placed the small pile in front of the princesses. What is he doing... Celestia cocked her head at him.

"Now," he began, "there was a recent surge of magic not to far from here that has caught my attention," the princesses noddded for him to continue, "I first caught a scent of the power a couple of weeks back, but I dismissed it as a dragon or just a one of thing" he looked to the books and began flicking through the pages, "however in the past week I have detected it again multiple times and it seems to be increasing in power with everytime I feel it."

"I felt something this evening" Luna began, "it couldn't be the same thing could it?"

"Maybe princess, but I believe we should investigate this unknown magic as it could be dangerous and may potentially spread causing panic amongst the ponies." Aurora stopped at a page and turned it to the princesses. "I've have searched every book on what it could be and this is the script I could find on anything that could help us in what it is."

Celestia looked at the book, reading the story it told of the great cave and the last of the epic empire, Celestia cocked her head at Aurora before speaking, "Dawn, I understand your concern over this but this is nothing but a childrens story, myth and legend."

Luna looked at the front cover, 'Tales of a time long past', before the memory struck her, "Lord Aurora this is a story our mother used to tell us when we were younger, I don't believe in such fairytales" she finished by giving the mage a scowl for wasting her time.

Quickly panicing that he might be punished, Aurora backpedalled quickly to explain, "princesses I would not have brought this up if I had not thought about it myself first, I understand that it is a story for fillies and colts but there are multiple books recording very similar things by different ponies who have never even met each other, it's location leads me to think not all myths are false."

"Ah yes, where is this source of power then?" Luna asked with noticable irritation in her voice.

"It's in a cave deep inside Mt. Canterlot, nothing more than a short flight or quick teleport away" taking a breath he continued, "I would've taken a look myself but if I did find something and didn't return it may have become more powerful and threatened everything we know."

Celestia watched as the young stallion regained his breath before continuing, "Very well Aurora, I understand your concerns" she began with a motherly tone, "me and my sister shall take a small group of guards to the caveand take a look ourselves."

"We will?!?" Luna asked in surprise.

"Yes Lulu, if it's enough to get the good mage worked up it may be worth looking into."

'sigh', "Very well Tia, we shall go and take a look."

Aurora sat there watching the discussion taking place with great interest as he never expected either of them to take a look into what's been causing the issues, "Thank you princesses" giving a curtious bow before the rwo sisters began their way to the door.

"We will let you know if there is anything Dawn" Celestia spoke before exiting. Aurora simply nodding to their understanding.

After getting a group of six guards and meeting them at Discords statue in the courtyard Celestia gave them a quick run down of what was going to happen when they reached their destination. They all understood that this could be a threat to equestria so were on high alert at all times for this mission. As the princesses boarded the chariot to thier destination Luna was still not sold on what could be so intrusive in the field of magic to cause great concern. Picking up on this quickly Celestia made sure to put her sisters troubles at ease on the journey over to the cave.
A short half an hour flight later and they landed at the base of the mountain, up the side was a narrow path with sheer cliff edges on the side of it, butwas the only way to the cave entrance.

"Two of you stay with the chariot, the rest come with us and stand guard at the cave entrance" Celestia instructed the guards, the gurads compling without fuss.

"Sister," Luna began, "do you feel that?"

"Yes Lulu, I do believe the good mages concerns were well placed."

As they began their way up the side of mountain the pulses of magic were continuous and getting stronger with each passing hour sometimes making the walk up more difficult, but after an hour of walking they neared the top before eventually they reached the cave entrance where the gaurds took positions on either sides of the cave entrance. As the two sisters looked into the darkness all that was visible were the pristine crystals reaching out from the cave walls with shimmering beauty.
Celestia and Luna lit thier horns before heading into the darkness, deep within the cave however was a tiny blue glow almost unnoticable to the naked eye, which forced the princesses to squint thier eyes in order to see it properly.

"What is that?" Luna asked, getting ready for a potential fight.

"I do not know sister" Celestia replied sternly, "but we will find out soon enough."

As they continued deep into the cave, the passages narrowed and become more numerous, yet only one had thier attention as the cold blue light grew in intensity until they found the source of the glow. Turning one last corner had them face to face with a large hole in the cave with a strange blue light hanging off the wall and a placard now deemed unreadable from the ages. Massive metal doors stood having long been ripped open by an immense force, so old that the metal was being worn away.

Luna looked at the doors with suspicion as she recalled the story she was shown earlier by Aurora, quickly putting rwo and two together she went wide eyed in realization, "thats impossible."

Celestia who was now just as suprised that the story they loved as fillies was now reality and proof stood right in front of them tried to compose herself before speaking, "shall we find out if the legends are true... sister?"

Luna only nodded in response, gulped down a lump she didn't even realise she had and followed her sister into the darkness of the cave.

12000 years before Nightmare Moons return

The light beeping sound and the sound of crumbling rock was heard as I slowly woke to a world I thought I was no longer part of. Trying to blink my eyes to clear the hazy fuzz which had collected in my time unconcious had also left me with a severe headache and a want to just close my eyes and sleep.
The sparking of the wires and broken terminals caused me to open my eyes in sudden realization that I was still alive, the pain in my side almost unbearable as I tried to move to stand forcing me back into the chair.
After the quick realization that the doomsday device had worked and I was still here forced a flurry of questions into my head, how am I still alive, did the device work, am I alone, are the invaders dead.

These questions forced me out of the chair to go and investigate the cave city, taking it slowly towards the door which had half caved in forcing me underneath whilst I held my arm against my side to prevent anymore pain, gritting my teeth I continued on through the network of passages which were now littered with bodies of aliens and fallen comrades, staring at the site in front of me caused emotions to swell in me, anger, sorrow and sadness. Tears which had built up in my eyes as I began stomping on the alien as if doing that would bring back my friends and family.
Having taken all my rage out on the motionless corpse, I continued on my way through the collapsed passages, passing the reactor chamber where the doomsday device had done it's job so well it had caused the device to become a melted mass of metals and rock.
The hangar bay had been hit hard and the ship that previously been sat there had now been shoved into the side as a huge wall of rock had forced its way through into the hangar, the ship though seemed to be in good condition and it had been mostly serviced before the attack so should be operational.

Continuing through the bunker, passing countless numbers of fallen humans filled my nose with the stench of death causing me to gag on the air around. Having no choice of either suffocating on death or continuing and just throwing up everywhere I decided to put my helmet on blocking out the smell and helping illuminate the surrounding area. Continuing on my way to the civillian shelter as the lights flickered on and off and rock crumbling down around me ahd me on high alert as I proceded onwards, finally reaching my destination I break into a pained jog to the ripped open bunker door only to stop in my tracks at the site infront of me.
Resting before are thousands upon thousands of dead bodies, men, women and children all huddled together for the end only to be crushed by rock or burned by laser fire.

I could no longer contain it anymore as I collapsed to my knees and weeped where I was, there was nothing left, just me, sole survivor.
As this thought went through my head all I could do was cry out loud to motonless corpses in front of me, the pain long forgotten it my arm as the pain of loss ripped its way through me.
Memories flashed as I would never see anyone again, never love again, never have anyone to speak to again, I am... alone.

After what felt like hours I puled myself from my sorrowful spot as my cries had become nothing more than chocked sobs. Not knowing what else to do I made my way to my ship back in the hangar, thankful to see it only collected minor damage.
As I boarded the ship everything was functional, lights, power, the lot. Using this to my advantage I spent the next few hours sitting on my bunk just looking at the cieling letting everything sink in.

We beat them

This thought alone helped me realise that we at least stopped the alien war machine from doing this to any other species unfortuanate enough to get in thier way. Turning my head to the side had me stare at the hollow white tube in front of me, the prize of my ship. The hypersleep pod, contemplating that I had no other option other than live alone for the rest of my life or sleep until I'm either found or just sleep forever. With nothing left to lose I climbed into the pod, not even bothering to remove the armour, recorded one simple message.

"To whomever finds this ship, know that I am ally unless attacked first, if you wish to revive me the code to do so is X598P4, this is Commander General Gamble, signing off for maybe the last time."

As the pod begins to close I let out one last shaky breath to steady my nerves before I close my eyes and everything goes black.

Author's Note:

Here ye, here ye, updates will be every weekend with either one or two chapters depending on how much work I have on during the week.
Blah, blah, author stuff, (I have no idea what to write...)

I hope your all enjoying the story, and don't forget if you fave it give it a big thumbs up too. :pinkiehappy:

And last of all have a great day. :twilightsmile: