• Published 27th Feb 2015
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Dark Sun - ScreamingDoom



Twilight must delve into Celestia's past to save the future of Equestria.

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5 Stormfront

"There's something going on outside."

Twilight blinked and looked up at the small dragon in the doorway."Huh?" she asked, the mental gear change after being yanked out of her reading reverie affecting her verbal articulation.

"Outside," Spike repeated, gesturing vaguely to one side, "There's something going on. I heard it when I went downstairs to make breakfast."

Twilight frowned faintly then stood up, stretching a bit to work out the stiffness in her muscles, "What is it?"

"Beats me," Spike replied with a shrug, "I heard thunder and shouting, but I couldn't make any of it out. I came to get you right after."

The frown on Twilight's face deepened and she let out a faint sigh, "Well, I suppose we had better see what's up." She followed Spike out of the study, pausing only to cast a longing look at the diary she was interrupted in reading.

As she and her reptilian assistant walked through the largely empty halls of the castle, Twilight took the opportunity to consider what she had read so far. It had surprised her that at some time in the distant past, alicorns were common -- indeed, the diary seemed to imply that at one time, there were only alicorns and that a magical accident is what resulted in the four different races. What was the spell that Celestia, Luna, and that Stardancer pony had cast to do that? The diary was frustratingly poor on technical details, so Twilight only had the narrative description to try and extrapolate the spell. A cursory examination of all the spells Twilight knew didn't reveal anything that sounded even close to the one detailed in the diary. She let out a mildly frustrated sigh.

Before she could consider further, the pair arrived at the large doors to the castle. Twilight could, indeed, hear pony voices on the other side shouting and what sounded like a storm outside. On opening, they both were accosted by a cacophony of noise and a sheet of wind and rain. Twilight closed her eyes to the maelstrom for a moment before opening them up in slits, peering outward into the dark torrent.

It was as bad a storm as she had ever seen. The rain came down in pounding sheets, lightening flashed brightly in the clouds and seemed to crawl along the sky like reaching electric blue fingers, the wind howled like the worst of experimental music.

"This looks bad," Spike yelled out, shielding his eyes with an arm, "You'd think the weather service would give a bit more warning about something this severe!"

Twilight could see dark pony shapes silhouetted against the crawling lightening, desperately flitting from one place to another. "I don't think this is a weather service storm, Spike," Twilight yelled back to her companion, searching the sky, "Hold on, I'm going to fly up for a closer look." Twilight spread her wings and trudged out into the maelstrom, fighting against the push of the wind.

"Be careful!" Spike called after her, "I'll be making pancakes for when you get back!" Once she was fully outside, Spike pulled the door shut behind her.

After a few false starts, Twilight managed to get herself airborne, though the wind and rain buffeted her and made her path upwards a crazy, serpentine affair. Once gaining a bit of altitude, Twilight stopped (or, at least, tried to -- the driving wind and rain still made her attempts to stay in one piece a bit haphazard) and looked around through the storm. Eventually, she spotted what she was looking for: a streak of bright rainbow colored hair darting back and forth against the darkness of the sky.

"Rainbow Dash!" Twilight called out as she flew up to to the streak during a pause in its zigzag course from one cloud to the next, "What's going on?"

"I don't know," Rainbow called back as another rumble of thunder rolled through the area. Twilight could see that her friend was wearing a pair of goggles to protect her eyes from the rain; the purple alicorn made a mental note to invest in the same. "It's like the weather has a mind of its own! I've never seen anything like this before! Well, except over the Everfree, but still never this bad!"

A pegasus screamed in the background as the wind got the better of her and she began tumbling through the air. Twilight's horn glowed purple and caught the out-of-control weathermare and stabilized her enough until she had her wings about her again and could fly off under her own power to fight against the storm once again.

"I sent Cloud Kicker to Cloudsdale to get some emergency reinforcements," Dash continued, smacking a storm cloud and making it disperse, "As it is, we're fighting a losing battle here. No sooner do we bust a cloud than another one forms! The whole weather team has been at this for hours!"

"Hours?" Twilight asked in surprise, noticing another of the weather ponies was losing its fight against the wind and again used her magic to stabilize the mare, "This has been going on for hours?"

"Well, it wasn't this bad until the last half hour or so," Rainbow Dash admitted, still punching and destroying storm clouds as she spoke, "We had a report of anomalous weather a few hours ago -- just a few storm clouds. It happens sometimes with Ponyville's location close to Everfree. But that quickly escalated into... this." Rainbow stopped her cloud busting just long enough to gesture at the chaos in the sky. A moment later, a pegasus smacked right into Rainbow Dash, sending the two of them tumbling end over end through the sky. Twilight quickly dived and again used her magic to shield the pair until they could de-tangle themselves from each other.

"Cloud Kicker!" Rainbow exclaimed with relief after she got a good look at the pony who ran into her. Her jubilation didn't last though as she frowned, ears flattening back on her head, "Where's... where's the support from Cloudsdale?"

Cloud Kicker shook her head -- she also was sporting a set of goggles along with some kind of poncho that was designed to still allow wing movement. "It's not coming," she called out over the storm, "It's not just us, boss. The weather all over Equestria has gone crazy! The Weather Center in Cloudsdale is running ragged trying to get weather districts under control -- they've declared a Class Five Emergency! Ponyville is pretty far down the list compared to more heavily populated districts."

Rainbow Dash's draw dropped in shock, staring at Cloud Kicker in disbelief. "What's a Class Five Emergency?" Twilight asked as tentatively as she could, still shouting over the raging maelstrom.

"Pretty much the worst thing ever!" Rainbow Dash replied, running a hoof through her wet mane.

Before Twilight could ask for clarification, Cloud kicker spoke up, "Class Five Weather Emergencies are the highest rank of emergency declarations in the weather department. It's for when things are so bad, so out of control that the regular Guard can be drafted for weather work. Normally, Guardponies are exempt from the weather draft if a weather district doesn't have enough wings in the air. Hay, I've never even heard of it being used before! This is on the level of when the Windego forced the three races to leave the Hearthlands!" She turned her attention to Rainbow Dash, shaking her head grimly, "Things are bad, boss. It'll be hours at least -- maybe days -- before Cloudsdale is able to send any help. On the plus side, when help does come, we'll likely be getting some hot, fit ponies in shining gold armor." Cloud Kicker couldn't resist a lopsided lascivious smile at the thought.

Rainbow Dash just rolled her eyes before she responded, "Riiiiight. Before that, we're on our own. We have to beat the storm back or at least keep it from getting worse. Get back to your squad, check the situation, and see if you can't go and find any other pegasi who aren't flying yet to help. Go door-to-door if you have to."

"Ponies are going to start getting exhausted soon, boss," Cloud Kicker quickly pointed out, "We'll need to start taking pegasi off duty to recharge their batteries or they'll just end up as detritus in the storm." As if on cue, another pony flew past, desperately flapping his wings to no avail. Once more, Twilight used her magic to stabilize the stallion who gave a nod and tired smile in response once recovered then immediately flew back into the stormy fray. An idea suddenly came to Twilight and she brightened.

"Rainbow Dash!" she exclaimed, "There are some weather control spells I know of. They're not as fine-tuned or precise as pegasus weather manipulation, but it looks like you're missing raw power, rather than finesse. There are at least some unicorns in Ponyville that could cast the spells. I could make a list of the most likely candidates."

Rainbow Dash blinked once then smiled thankfully at her friend, "That'd be a big help, Twilight. Thanks."

Twilight smiled back and nodded, "No problem. Even unicorns who can't cast any weather spells might be able to help with communication. I mean, not having to yell anytime somepony wants to coordinate might make things easier."

"Command and control has been a bit of an issue, boss," Cloud Kicker piped up with a nod, "Being able to say something without screaming yourself hoarse would be nice."

"Right, new plan," Rainbow stated with a definitive nod, "Twilight, go make that list and give it to Cloud Kicker. In the meantime, Cloudy, go back to your squad and evaluate the situation there. Once Twilight gives to that list, find any pegasi who can deal with the weather and are not currently flying as well as any of the unicorns on that list." Rainbow paused briefly then added, "Coordinating a bunch of grounders who have never done weather work before is going to be a full-time job. Anypony in mind for that kind of organization?"

Twilight was about to volunteer when Cloud Kicker spoke up, "Blossomforth, boss. She was one of the initial emergency responders, so she's probably been out here longer than most and could use a break. Plus, she's pretty good at the nitty-gritty organizational stuff."

Rainbow Dash nodded, "Blossomforth it is." With a quick salute, Cloud Kicker turned and flew off into the storm. Dash turned to Twilight, "Okay, go make that list and get what you need to teach the spell. I'll be in the area, so just find me and I'll deliver the list to Cloud Kicker."

Twilight nodded as she peered down at Ponyville and could see the lights in the windows as the ground bound world awoke. Ponies stood at their windows, gazing out awestruck at the thunder, lightening, and rain. It was then that several facts that had been lightly poking at her brain began to coalesce into something more daunting. Spike was awake, making breakfast... his alarm had gone off. The ponies below were also waking up. The storm had lasted for hours at least. And it was still dark. "Rainbow Dash," Twilight began, her brows furrowing and a frown forming on her features, "What time is it?"

With a blink of surprise, Rainbow Dash paused in thought, rubbing a hoof against her chin, "Um... I was sound asleep when Thunderlane woke me up to deal with the storm. That was about... three in the morning, I think. Maybe a bit later. I've been out here since then, so it's probably... around seven or so. I think."

Twilight's gaze turned away from the ground and towards the horizon. "Where's the sun? Celestia should've risen it by now."

Again, Rainbow Dash blinked, turning her attention to where Twilight was looking, "Well, it's behind the clouds, right? The stuff's so thick here that we just can't see it."

In an instant, Twilight was racing up through the clouds, Rainbow Dash close behind her. The rainbow maned pegasus shouted something, but whatever it was Twilight couldn't hear. She had to see, she had to know. Silently, Twilight wished as hard as she could that Rainbow Dash was right, and it was just the thick and unusual cloud cover that covered the dawn, but dread clawed at her nonetheless. With a puff of grey, the cloud cover finally gave away and Twilight burst forth from the storm into the clear sky. Below her, the storm roiled and boiled like a liquid carpet, bright flashes of light illuminating the insides briefly. The moon and stars had already been removed by Luna.

But there was no sun.

***

Twilight stared at the black, featureless sky in slack-jawed silence when Rainbow Dash burst up from the stormy carpet. She, too, looked over to where Twilight gazed into the featureless black and blinked.

"Huh. That's... weird."

Twilight snapped out of her reverie and looked to her friend, "This is really bad, Rainbow Dash. The storms, the diary, the fact that Celestia hasn't risen the sun and she came to see me earlier... it's too much to be coincidence."

"Wait, Princess Celestia came to see you? Like, just tonight?"

Twilight ignored Rainbow Dash, instead opting for pacing back and forth on the roiling dark cloud underneath her hooves. "I don't know what it means, but it's definitely bad. Maybe there's something in the diary that could explain it...?" She shook her head quickly, muttering to herself, "No! I have to report this to Princess Luna first. If Celestia hasn't risen the sun, then she might be hurt! Luna will know what to do. I have to go to Canterlot!"

The purple alicorn was already flapping in the direction of the capital when Rainbow Dash popped up in front of her, "Woah, hold on there! What about the storm over Ponyville?"

"Rainbow Dash! I don't have time for that! The future of Equestria could be at stake!"

Rainbow Dash frowned, folding her fore-hooves over her chest, "I'm not saying that this is not important or that you should stay here to help, but you heard Cloud Kicker. This is a Class Five weather emergency! Ponies could be seriously hurt if we don't have some kind of help."

Twilight frowned, chewing her bottom lip before taking a deep breath. "You're right. You're right, Rainbow Dash. I'll... make that list and find the appropriate books with the weather and communication spells. But I have to leave for Canterlot right after that!"

Rainbow Dash smiled and nodded, patting her purple friend on the shoulder with a fore hoof, "No argument here. I just want you to be able to come back to something other than a soggy mud pit once you find out what happened in Canterlot."

Twilight spared a quick smile for her friend before immediately turning and heading back into the maelstrom, making a bee-line for her castle.

***

The large double doors to the castle burst open and Twilight galloped inside. Her drenched form left a trail of water behind as she raced through the corridors of her castle. She skidded a bit outside her study, her hooves providing a brief hydroplane on the smooth crystal floor before she managed to get her feet under her again and went into the study. In a flurry of purple telekinesis, books began to fly off the shelves and deposited into a saddlebag until it was full to bursting. Twilight paused, then floated a roll of parchment, quill, and inkwell over, quickly scrawling down the names of unicorns she knew who might be able to cast the weather control spells (from most skilled to least). After a bit of a pause, she added to the list, this time for ponies who could help facilitate communication. A brief overlook of the list to check it and Twilight gave a definitive nod, rolling up the scroll and having it join the overstuffed saddle bag.

At the doorway to the study, the purple alicorn paused and looked over her shoulder towards the still-open diary she had been reading. After a moments hesitation, Twilight telekinetically lifted the diary to a separate saddlebag and left with both in tow.

"Oh, there you are, Twilight!" Spike said cheerfully, motioning to the stove, "I've already got some pancakes done. They're being kept warm in the stove." The small dragon was clad in an equally small apron imprinted with a heart on the front.

"No time for breakfast, Spike," Twilight replied, levitating the full-to-bursting saddlebag over to her assistant, "I need you to do something very important while I go to Canterlot."

Spike blinked, grabbing the saddlebags. "You're going to Canterlot? This early? Celestia hasn't even risen the sun yet."

Twilight winced, "That's why I have to go. Spike, something really bad is going on and I need to talk with Princess Luna immediately. But Ponyville needs my help too. I need you to give this list and books to Rainbow Dash."

Spike frowned faintly, looking at the saddlebag briefly before turning his attention back to Twilight, "If things are that bad, shouldn't I come with you to Canterlot? Won't you need your number one assistant?"

Twilight smiled gently and shook her head, "It's too dangerous, Spike. I can fly above the cloud cover and the storm for most of the trip, but if the weather in Canterlot is as bad as it is here, I don't know if I could come in for a safe landing, especially if I had to worry about you as well." Her telekinesis lifted the second saddle bag containing the diary to her back as she trotted over to Spike and laid a hoof on his shoulder. "Please, Spike. This is all very important."

With a nod, Spike puffed out his chest and ripped off the apron in one smooth motion, "You can count on me Twilight."

The purple alicorn smiled and hugged the small dragon, "Good. I know you won't let me down." Releasing him, she stepped back and then turned towards the door, "I'll be back as soon as I can, Spike." With that, she left. A few minutes later, she was airborne, over the clouds, and flying as fast as she could towards the capital.

***

Thankfully for Twilight, the trip to the capital was fairly uneventful. The storm clouds over Ponyville had lessened as she got further away, eventually becoming a lighter grey and more sparse. The lightening inside had stopped too. The weather improved further as she got to Canterlot proper; it made sense that the Weather Control Bureau would prioritize keeping the skies of the capital cleared over other districts. Twilight could see the shapes of pegasi and the glint of armor of Guardsponies flying between the diminishing clouds.

Below, the city streets of Canterlot had foot traffic, though Twilight could see it was cautious and worried. No doubt with the skies clearer here than probably most of Equestria, the ponies below were quickly becoming aware of the lack of sun. The Guard might be required to keep ponies from panicking if the sun wasn't raised soon... something that would further reduce the ponypower available for sky clearance.

Twilight shook her head, forcing the grim worries that invaded it from her mind. Instead, she dove towards an open terrace on Canterlot Castle.

She had begun thinking that she had acted precipitously in leaving Spike behind; it would've only taken a few seconds to find Rainbow Dash and give her the list and books. Having Spike do it instead made sure that the little dragon was safe. She had started to regret the decision when she saw how much better the weather was in Canterlot compared to Ponyville, but her landing quickly reversed that decision. While the skies were clearer and the driving rain of Ponyville was only a stubborn drizzle here, the wind still came in powerful gusts. Twilight was quite sure she probably would've broken something if she had to land with that wind and worry about Spike.

As it was, her landing on the terrace was an embarrassing combination of cartwheeling, sliding, and finally skidding to a stop. Undignified and Twilight felt she would be sporting a few bruises for a day or so, but no real harm was done. Smoothing herself off, Twilight walked further into the castle. It was then that she hesitated in indecision. Should she head towards Celestia's quarters and see if she could find some sign of the Princess of the Sun, or go directly to Luna?

The sun wasn't raised. Luna needed to know.

With a nod to her own internal logic, Twilight walked through the corridors of the castle towards Luna's quarters. When she got there, she was surprised to find to pairs of Guardsponies on either side of the door, resplendent in their armor and holding long spears. Confused, Twilight trotted up to the door, only to have her progress blocked by a crossing of the spears.

"Halt!" one the Guards immediately barked, "No one is allowed to see Princess Luna until the sun is up!"

Twilight blinked then looked askance at the Guard. "Why? Under whose orders?"

The Guardspony hesitated, shifting his weight on his hooves. "Uhm, Princess Celestia," he eventually replied, looking unsure, "She was... very emphatic."

Twilight couldn't believe it. "Princess Celestia put her sister under house arrest?!"

The Guardspony started looking much more uncomfortable. "She... didn't say it was arrest, specifically, Princess Sparkle," he said in a contrite tone, "Only that no one was to disturb Princess Luna until the sun was up. No one. Not even another Princess. As I said, she was very emphatic that her orders be carried out."

Twilight stared for a moment more, her wings fluttering out in disbelief before she raised herself up in as much of an imposing stature as she could. "You will let me see Princess Luna now."

"But... Princess Celestia's orders--"

"To Tartarus with the orders!" Twilight snapped, causing the Guardpony to flinch a bit, but he stood his ground. Twilight took a deep breath before speaking again. "Equestria is having an emergency. The weather is going nuts and the sun still isn't up. I need to talk with Princess Luna."

The Guardspony hesitated, shifting his weight again before stiffening and shaking his head. "No. I'm sorry, Princess Sparkle. But Princess Celestia's orders supersede your own. She said her orders could not be countermanded."

Twilight glared at the Guards, who all looked away uncomfortably. They didn't budge, however.

"Fine," Twilight said after a while, turning to leave, "I'll be back." Just as the guards were starting to relax, Twilight whirled around, her horn glowing with power. The guards barely had time to raise their spears before their eyes drooped and their bodies began to sag from fatigue. A moment later, they all slumped to the floor, eyes closed and snoring lightly. Twilight grunted and nodded at her handiwork before moving past the guards into Luna's room proper.

As soon as she passed the threshold, darkness and silence enveloped her. Twilight looked behind her; there was no tell-tale light spilling through the doorway, or any doorway visible what-so-ever. This wasn't entirely surprising; no doubt to get some sleep during the bustle of daytime hours, Luna had a spell on her room to cut out light and sound from outside. Still, it meant that Twilight couldn't see or hear anything herself, so she channeled magic into her horn to try and find a counter spell. She didn't get very far before the magical darkness and silence was lifted, leaving her face-to-face with a slightly grumpy looking Princess of the Night.

"Twilight?" she asked, tilting her head and frowning, "Why have you disturbed my slumber?"

"Something is seriously wrong, Princess Luna!" Twilight talked quickly, her words coming faster and faster in a tumble as she spoke, "Princess Celestia came to visit me last night and gave me a diary, but not like the diary you and she kept in the old castle, this one was older and is from when she was a filly, then there are these storms all over Equestria and there's a class five emergency, but also the sun hasn't been risen yet and there were some really stubborn Guardsponies outside who didn't want me -- or anyone -- to see you under Celestia's orders and I'm really worried something happened to your sister!" At the end of the torrent of words, Twilight was breathing heavily, gasping for breath.

For her own part, Luna seemed a bit confused and blind-sighted by the whole thing. Instead, she focused on one part of the run-on statement. "My sister hasn't risen the sun yet?" Luna asked as she trotted over, "That is... most unusual. She wasn't at dinner -- well, breakfast for most ponies -- either. She had seemed a bit tired as of late, so I had thought she merely skipped breakfast to sleep a little longer." Luna frowned then straightened up, moving towards the doorway, "Come, Twilight. We must make haste to my sister's room."

Once in the hallway, Luna took note of the slumbering Guardsponies and their spears. "They're armed?" Luna asked in mild surprise, "How strange."

Twilight nodded, "Like I said, Princess, they refused to let me see you."

Luna frowned again, peering at the Guards. She closed her eyes as her horn glowed with the dark light of her magic. After a moment, the Princess of the Night pulled back in alarm. "These ponies have been magically compelled."

Twilight joined Luna in surprise, looking at the Guards. "Magically compelled? They were brainwashed?"

Shaking her head, Luna pursed her lips, "Not quite. The spell used could not create loyalty where none exists, but what loyalty that was there was strengthened to the point of fanaticism and blind obedience." Luna stared at the sleeping ponies for a while more before turning away, "Very strange. I have seen such spells before, but not for a very long time. They will sleep for some time yet and we will have them gathered by other Guardsponies and given comfortable isolation. The spell is quite powerful and it will take a little time to break. But they should recover once that is accomplished."

The pair of princesses walked through the corridors of the castle silently for a while before Luna frowned faintly. "The Guard seems quite light at present."

"Most are probably dealing with the weather anomalies in Equestria," Twilight replied, "In a Class Five Weather Emergency, Guardsponies can be drafted for weather work."

Luna thought for a moment before responding, "So there was unlikely to be anyone to come across those guards outside my room. If anyone thought to inform me, they were likely alone and turned away."

"And with communication being somewhat of an issue with the emergency going on, it could be hours before enough of the Guard were informed about those outside your room to force their way through," Twilight concluded with a frown, her ears flat against her head, "Seems... planned."

"Yes, indeed," Luna mused, "Though... risky. Relying on a communications problem due to an emergency is hardly iron-clad. Many things could go wrong, even if it's just enough of the Guard being informed quickly. While it might've taken hours to discover, it could've just as easily taken minutes. It hardly seems worth the trouble."

"But the ponies said Princess Celestia gave the order," Twilight noted in frustration, "That doesn't make any sense! Could someone disguise themselves as Celestia or maybe used an illusion?"

"Possibly," Luna replied.

Twilight nodded, but could think of nothing more to add. Eventually, they came across some Earth pony Guard, drenched and looking quite tired. The small group stood to attention once they saw the two princesses approach.

Luna glanced at each of the ponies, moving up to one with a specific insignia on his armor. "Commander," she said, "A status report, if you please."

The commander saluted smartly before replying, "We have the weather in the capital mostly under control at the moment, Your Highness. Guards units in other weather districts are mobilizing to aid local weather teams in control and clean up."

Luna nodded once, "Good. All pegasi Guard in the capital are to get four hours of bunk time and a meal then be redeployed immediately to other weather districts as determined by the Weather Control Bureau. Have the Nightwatch help as well, if they are not already." The Princess hesitated then added, "Princess Celestia may be missing. The sun has not been risen. Organize a search of the capital for her immediately. Princess Twilight and I will conduct the search of my sister's personal quarters."

The commander's eyes widened, but his military discipline quickly reasserted itself, "Understood, Princess. Anything else?"

"Yes," Luna assented, "Four Guardsponies outside my room had been magically compelled to put me under de-facto house arrest. They are to be brought to and isolated in a Guard bunkhouse. Give them whatever aid they need, but they are to remain under guard and isolated until the spell they were under has been analyzed and dispelled. You have your orders, Commander."

Again, the commander's eyes widened, but again his discipline won out over his surprise. He gave a salute then turned to the other Guardsponies to relay orders. Luna and Twilight watched the Commander for a moment more then made their way to Celestia's room.

***

"My sister isn't here," Luna stated, looking around the room as she and Twilight entered the Royal Suite, "Why hadn't anypony come to find her once the sun failed to rise?"

"The storm was already in full swing by that point," Twilight said, poking around the room idly, "The sky was probably obscured by dense storm clouds. I wouldn't have noticed that the sun wasn't up unless I went above the cloud layer. With the emergency and every pegasus needed for weather control, it probably didn't occur to anyone to check."

Luna let out a displeased grunt at the explanation then continued her search. A moment later, she called out, "Twilight, quickly!"

Twilight trotted over to where Luna stood, in the doorway of the bathroom. The purple alicorn craned her neck and peered inside, noting the area where Luna pointed. A broken glass lay there.

"A broken glass?" Twilight said, tilting her head to one side, "Well, it's unusual, but I don't know if it means anything."

"My sister left in a hurry," Luna stated flatly, "And no pony else has been in here since she left. If it had been a pony-napping or other such skulduggery, there would be much more damage."

"Unless Princess Celestia was overpowered almost immediately," Twilight offered tentatively, "Though I don't know of anypony who could put down Princess Celestia in one blast."

"Discord, perhaps?" Luna offered in thought before frowning, "No. Not Discord. He has the power to possibly do what you suggest, Twilight, but it is... out of character for him to do something as mundane as a pony-napping."

"Well, that and he's reformed now."

"Yes. Reformed." The tone in Luna's voice indicated that she didn't put much stock in the Chaos God's reformation even after all this time. "But the fact remains, that it is unlikely to be him and I know of no other entity who could have the raw power to do what you suggest Twilight yet still keep the room relatively untouched."

"So she did likely leave of her own accord and very quickly," Twilight concluded with a nod before sighing, "I wish she would've said something more when she saw me earlier and gave me the diary. Though I suppose it's a good thing she wasn't taken."

Luna paused again, looking over at Twilight curiously. "Yes, I remember you mentioning that my sister came to see you and gave you a diary. What did she say? And may I see it?"

"I brought it with me," Twilight stated with a smile, happy she had thought of doing so. It was a bit of spur-of-the-moment decision and she was honestly unsure if she should risk the tome considering she was flying through the storm, but Princess Celestia thought the book was important so she felt she should keep it with her. A bit of purple telekinesis later and the tome was floating in front of the Princess of the Night.

Luna stared at the book with an unreadable expression for a very long moment. "I... had thought this lost long ago," she murmured.

"It's... from when you and Celestia were fillies, right?" Twilight offered tentatively, "She got it as a birthday present and you got--"

"A telescope, yes," Luna interrupted, her voice filled with nostalgic longing, "I lost that telescope a very long time ago. I had assumed by sister had lost this as well." Luna closed her eyes, letting out a sigh, "She kept it all this time? My sister was always better taking care of her things than I." Luna opened her eyes and peered at the book, "It hasn't aged a day. It is a very strange thing, Twilight, to have lived as long as my sister and I and come across an artifact from our youth. It's very odd that I can even remember that day when other memories dissolve into the haze of history."

"Princess Celestia seemed to think it was important I read it," Twilight replied, gnawing on her lower lip, "Maybe... maybe there's something in it that explains what the hay is going on?" Twilight hesitated then floated the diary closer to the other princess, "You should read it, Luna. It's your sister's and... well... if there is something important in it, then you're much more likely to see it than I am."

Luna hesitated, idly rubbing one foreleg against the other. "I... it's tempting, Twilight," Luna admitted reluctantly, "There are many things about my sister that I still do not understand even after all this time. To read her innermost thoughts would be... very illuminating." Her pose stiffened, "But no. If my sister had wanted me to read it, she would've given it to me, or told you to deliver it to me. She came to you, specifically, and told you to read it. I... I can't deny that wish."

Twilight blinked and looked at the diary again. She floated it back to her saddlebag and nodded. "All right, Princess Luna. If I come across anything that might shed some light on things, I'll tell you." Twilight stretched her wings out and began to move to the terrace, "First, though, I need to get back to Ponyville and help with the weather."

"Twilight, wait," the dark princess held out a hoof, "I... I don't think that's a good idea. If my sister's private diary does hold the key to the mystery here, it is imperative that we find out as soon as possible. You should stay here and read it."

Twilight frowned, "But... Ponyville needs me. The weather is really bad there, Your Highness, much worse than here. I can't just abandon it and my friends."

Luna paused in consideration before speaking again, "I will personally go to Ponyville, along with a coterie of Nightwatch. We will aid in any way we can."

Twilight still was unsure, her ears flattening back against her head as she gnawed on her lower lip. Luna approached her and set a comforting hoof on her shoulder. "I give you my word, Twilight Sparkle, that nothing will happen to Ponyville or anypony therein. Please... I feel that this assignment is very important."

Twilight hesitated again before letting out a sigh and nodding. "All right."

Luna smiled and nodded, moving to the terrace, "Good. You may use the Royal Suites if you'd like. Of course, the Royal Library is also available should you find that locale more comfortable." Luna spread her wings, "Since my sister is unable, I will raise the sun myself before I gather the coterie of Nightwatch and fly to Ponyville." Luna gave one more smile over her shoulder at the purple alicorn, "I'll see you... when I see you." With that, she jumped off the terrace and flew into the air.

Twilight watched after her for several minutes until she saw the first rays of the sun peek over the horizon. It was wobbly, but it was rising (and doing a much better rise than when she tried her hoof at it during the whole Tirek debacle). With a sigh of relief, Twilight turned back to the room proper and found a comfortable cushion to settle down on, once more opening the diary and beginning to read.

Author's Note:

Oh man, how about that Season 6 Premiere, huh?

I swear, I had this storm thing planned (and partially written) long before the S6 Premiere! I guess the show kinda... stole my thunder. :rainbowlaugh:

Bad puns aside, the premiere was quite interesting. I guess my story is officially an AU now considering that alicorns are always made, not born. Although, there is a little wiggle room in that Celestia's statement said that no alicorns have ever been born in Equestria. If she was talking about the political entity and not the world, then alicorns could be born before the founding of Equestria. Which suits my story just fine.

As another note, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate you folks who comment. It's always heartening to read them.

I also note that I have two thumbs down, but no comment as to why. While I, of course, love comments who praise the story, discuss it, or just say something amusing, I am also really curious to know why those who don't like it feel that way. No story is going to appeal to everyone, but if there's something about my writing or the story that irks you, I would be interested to know. I can't promise I'll change anything, but I still would like to know.

But don't think that I don't want comments that stroke my ego. I love those, too.

Thanks everyone for reading! :twilightsmile: